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Moonday Mornings: Alleged billion-dollar Bitcoin launderer extradited to France

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Blockchain, cryptocurrencies, and insider stories by TNW.

Crypto don’t stop for holidays

It’s almost New Year’s, but there’s still room for one more Moonday Mornings  Hard Fork’s roundup of weekend cryptocurrency news that you might’ve missed.

While I’ve got you here, props for sticking it out this year, faithful cryptocurrency fan. It hasn’t been easy: Bitcoin BTC sure has copped it this year, and so has pretty much every single altcoin.

Anyway, here’s the news.

Disney has succeeded in preventing blockchain-based network TRON from trademarking its name in the US, Decrypt reports.

Three separate applications were rejected after Disney said the trademarks would damage its brand, which started with the 1982 film and since expanded to a sequel, video games, an animations.

These claims went unchallenged, meaning that Disney was successful in defending its IP by default. Disney noted that Justin Sun markets his TRON blockchain in a way that borrows from TRON‘s 30-year legacy, particularly similar fonts and graphic design.

The New York Southern District Court is pushing ahead with its action against an alleged money launderer for the $4 billion Ponzi scheme, OneCoin.

FinanceFeeds reports that lawyers have argued that David Pike, the chief operating officer of a purported private equity fund management firm, assisted OneCoin by laundering approximately $400 million of its funds.

They also claim he lied to special agents from the FBI and IRS during investigations when he maintained that he didn’t know OneCoin was an illegal Ponzi scheme.

Reuters reports that Greece is extraditing Russian citizen Alexander Vinnik to France, who US authorities claim was the mastermind of a $4 billion Bitcoin laundering ring.

That laundering ring came in the form of seminal cryptocurrency exchange BTC-e, which was launched in 2011. Police reckon BTC-e facilitated multiple crimes including computer hacking to drug trafficking.

Vinnik has reportedly denied the charges, maintaining that he was simply a technical consultant for the exchange and not in charge. He’s commenced a second hunger strike in response to his extradition. His first lasted 88 days.

Hassan Rouhani, Iran’s president, has called for Muslim nations to increase financial and trade co-operation in a bid to curb reliance on the US dollar and fight back against heavy sanctions, AP reports.

As part of that effort, Rouhani proposed an Islamic financial system in which Muslim countries would trade in local currencies, as well as create a Muslim cryptocurrency to dampen market fluctuations.

“The Muslim world should be designing measures to save themselves from the domination of the United States dollar and the American financial regime,” said Rouhani.

That’s it for this week. Not long left until 2020, the year John McAfee prepares to eat his own dick. Stay safe out there!

Published December 23, 2019 — 11:31 UTC

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