Chinese Crypto Leader Li Xiaolai Suddenly Retires 8 2880

One of China’s most prominent Bitcoin investors has announced his retirement from the crypto world. Billionaire Li Xiaolai is the founder of BitFund, a crypto venture capital firm that has fostered a slew of Bitcoin-related startups.

Li’s announcement of his decision to withdraw from cryptospace—and investing otherwise—came unexpectedly via his page on Chinese social media site Weibo.

“From this day on,” his post reads, according to TechNode’s translation, “I, Li Xiaolai, will personally not invest in any projects (whether it is blockchain or early stage). So, if you see ‘Li Xiaolai’ associated with any project (I have been associated with countless projects without my knowledge, 99% is not an exaggeration), just ignore it.”

Li is a former school teacher, and claims to be the first person in China to openly trade Bitcoins, rather than hiding behind its famous anonymity. Now, retired from both teaching and investing, he says he’s not sure where to go next. “I plan to spend several years to contemplate on my career change. As for what I’m doing next, I’m not sure just yet.”

Li closed his post by expressing that he still maintains a long term optimism about the blockchain.

Li’s Ventures Grew Crypto Capital, Controversey

Through BitFund, Li has incubated a number of blockchain related startups, including an off-chain wallet called Bitfoo, the crypto exchange YUNBI, and HashRatio, a miner manufacturing company. Li organized 2014’s Global Bitcoin Summit in Beijing, back when you could get a BTC for as little as $440, and years before China instated its full ban on cryptocurrencies.

Earlier this year, Li also acted as managing partner of Hangzhou Xiong’An Blockchain Fund, a billion dollar fund backed by the Hangzhou government. Li stepped down after fellow venture capitalist Chen Weizing introduced a series of accusations against him.

Included in the eleven accusations, which Chen broke on social media and messaging platform WeChat, were a supposed debt of 30,000 BTC that Chen says Li failed to pay on time. Li published a point-by-point response to Chen’s accusations, addressing the 30,000 BTC debt by saying “it’s not true… Chen is just muddying the water.”

Though Li called them “defamations,” and Chen did not offer supporting evidence for his allegations, Li said Chen’s antics “brought material and negative impacts on the reputation of Xiong’An Blockchain Fund” and that his resignation would “let the Hangzhou government continue its push for blockchain development.”

Li was the subject of controversy on another occasion when, in a candid conversation he did not know was being recorded, he outed several influential organizations as scams and said that the best way to succeed in blockchain, even if your project is worthless, is to get famous and build consensus.

The State of Crypto in the People’s Republic

All crypto and blockchain related websites are blocked by the Chinese government, and citizens are forbidden from engaging in crypto transactions. The People’s Bank of China released a statement on August 24th warning against ICOs, which they consider to be “illegal fundraising, pyramid schemes, and fraud.”

But the rules have been difficult to enforce, and crypto still enjoys an active user base in China. Beijing Sci-Tech Report, China’s oldest technology publication, is now the first Chinese publication to accept BTC as payment from its subscribers. Chinese crypto channel cnLedger announced in a tweet on September 25th that Ethereum Hotel, China’s first hotel to accept ETH as payment, is open for business in Sichuan Province.

A Crypto Landscape Without a Leader

The sudden exit of Li Xiaolai from the Chinese crypto scene could have caveats, or greater implications. Weibo users expressed their support and gratitude following his announcement, but some also speculated that his choice of words leaves room for Li to continue investing in crypto indirectly, perhaps through funds or corporate entities. Whether that will be the case or not, for many, his resignation marks the loss of a public blockchain leader.

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I grew up in the Silicon valley under the technological mentorship of Steve Wozniak. I'm a proud member of the Choctaw Nation, I've lived, worked and traveled all over the world, and I now write in the Pacific Northwest.

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How a Thief Stole More Than $1M in NFTs on Instagram Comments Off on How a Thief Stole More Than $1M in NFTs on Instagram 106

A common use case for the blockchain is reducing fraud. Shouldn’t that mean it’s impervious to hackers? Not necessarily. Here’s how a hacker was able to amass more than $1 million in stolen Bored Ape Yacht Club NFTs.

For any of us that have received a nefarious link in our emails or on social media that encourages us to input private information, we’re already familiar with the logistics of phishing. A hacker sends us a link, usually under the guise of a brand or person we recognize, and asks for personal details like usernames, passwords, or bank details that aid them in assuming our identity or assets. 

It’s precisely what happened in the case of the Bored Ape Yacht Club hack which was announced on Twitter Monday morning. 

A hacker was able to take charge of the official Bored Ape Yacht Club Instagram profile, and sent a communication to followers claiming to be offering an “airdrop,” which is a term used to describe a free token giveaway. (Note: it’s not clear at this time how the hacker was able to login to the official Instagram, in the first place.)

Users were asked to link their wallet to benefit from the airdrop, which made their mobile wallet susceptible to the hacker and resulted in the transfer of multiple NFTs, presumably including four Bored Apes and a number of other NFTs minted by the Bored Apes creators, Yuga Labs.

The hack illuminates a glaring problem in the NFT market. Namely, MetaMask, the popular wallet application, only supports NFT display on mobile which is less user-friendly than the platform’s browser extension leading to mistaken transaction approvals.

What’s the solution for NFT holders? “MetaMask with Ledger,” according to Adryenn Ashley. “NFT holders need a wallet that gives them the ease of MetaMask with the security of hardware.”

The hack is a reminder that even though the blockchain has the potential to overcome fraud, users still need to be mindful of third party applications that manage their data. 

Serial Entrepreneur Lisa Carmen Wang Launches the Bad Bitch Empire Comments Off on Serial Entrepreneur Lisa Carmen Wang Launches the Bad Bitch Empire 259

While cryptocurrency has a notorious reputation for investment volatility, its adoption has marked one of the most significant shifts in wealth of our generation.  Last year, CBS reported that as many as 100,000 people may have amassed millions in bitcoin with many profiting from early adoption of the high profile cryptocurrency. When you zoom into where the wealth is distributed, though, the data is alarming. 

Recently, Entrepreneur published a list of The 50 Richest People in Crypto. On the list are individuals that made fortunes as shrewd investors and early technology adopters, but there’s one person that stands out. From this list of men from various parts of the world, Blythe Masters is the only woman listed reflecting a broader problem: women are consistently underrepresented in new technology sectors and the blockchain is no exception.

A survey by Pew Research found that more than 40% of men have invested or traded cryptocurrency, compared with only 19% of women. Moreover, half of women in STEM occupations have experienced workplace discrimination, further marginalizing the group from participation in emerging technologies. Fortunately, there are women actively changing the status quo.

As the founder of SheWorx, which was acquired by Republic in 2019, Lisa Carmen Wang made a career amassing resources for female founders and working to change the number of women represented in tech leadership. Now, she’s set her sights on leveling the playing field for women through financial literacy. 

“It wasn’t until I began investing myself that I really began to understand how to grow wealth,” says Wang. “Financial and investment literacy is essential to giving women a seat at the table, particularly when a sector is emerging and rapidly growing. Crypto is having one of those moments, and women need to capitalize on the opportunity in order to create systemic and meaningful change.”

Wang’s Bad Bitch Empire will be a community with a suite of educational and investment products beginning with a podcast about women breaking barriers and building wealth in Web3. According to the website, the “Bad Bitch Empire is the private crypto investment club for ambitious women who want to make our money work for us.”

High profile members include Lindsey Berg, Shannon Snow, Elizabeth Tan, Chi Achebe, Yael Streit, Katia Zaitsev, and Shaun Sager, to name a few. 

The BAD BITCH EMPIRE was unveiled at this year’s  Bitcoin 2022, the largest conference focused on Bitcoin alongside the podcast’s inaugural episodes. For more information or to request to join visit www.thebadbitchempire.com.

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