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AI-generated news anchors to present personalized reports on Channel 1 AI in 2024

A new AI-generated newsroom plans to launch its programming in early 2024 with AI-generated news anchors delivering AI-generated personalized news - what could possibly go wrong?

The media company “Channel 1 AI” is rolling out a brand new newsroom in 2024, but with a catch - it’s powered by generative artificial intelligence (AI) and manned by AI-generated news anchors who will deliver personalized AI-generated content. 

On Dec. 12, the channel released a teaser video of its upcoming segments on the social media platform X, formerly Twitter, with AI-generated news anchors delivering the company’s mission.

The 22-minute pilot introduced the content as “AI native news” and clarified that it would not constitute stories generated by AI, i.e. fake news, but rather take “trusted news sources” from across the globe to gather and synthesize information into its segments. It claims its goal is to provide “accurate, unbiased news.”

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Bankless controversy forces founders to burn tokens and separate from DAO

The co-founders of crypto media Bankless are seeking to separate their brand from BanklessDAO some two years after the launch of DAO.

Amid the ongoing controversy around cryptocurrency media Bankless and the associated decentralized autonomous organization (DAO), BanklessDAO, the founders of Bankless have suggested separating the brand from the DAO.

Bankless co-founders David Hoffman and Ryan Sean Adams plan to submit a governance proposal to BanklessDAO to separate the two entities. The co-founders took to X (formerly Twitter) on Nov. 26 to announce that they also plan to burn all of their BanklessDAO (BANK) tokens on the back of this proposal.

Hoffman and Adams’ decision to separate Bankless from BanklessDAO came in response to community criticism of BanklessDAO’s application for a grant from Arbitrum. Filed on Nov. 20, the application asked for 1.82 million Arbitrum (ARB) tokens from Arbitrum, a layer 2 scaling project for the Ethereum blockchain. The amount is worth around $1.8 million at the time of writing, according to data from CoinGecko.

“The concern is that BanklessDAO would not be able to make such ambitious proposals without leveraging the weight of the Bankless brand, which they did not produce, is not theirs, and ought not to benefit from,” Hoffman wrote.

The BanklessDAO community was quick to criticize the initiative, with many DAO members pointing out that the proposal requested almost two million ARB for writing content without providing detailed information about how the money would be spent. In response, BanklessDAO committed to revising the proposal to cut the one-year grant to three months and providing clear KPIs and milestones.

BanklessDAO’s education and onboarding campaign for Arbitrum. Source: Arbitrum Foundation

The argument between the proposal backers and opponents escalated rapidly on social media. Some commentators like pseudonymous Delegate Cash CEO Foobar accused Bankless founders of “legitimacy grifting” by pretending that BanklessDAO was completely unrelated to Bankless.

Some Bitcoin (BTC) enthusiasts like Pledditor also criticized Bankless founders for claiming “they aren’t grifters,” referring to Hoffman and Adams promoting projects like Nexo. “They later clarified that they were paid 31k to shill Nexo, not 250k,” Pledditor wrote.

Related: Azuki DAO rebrands to ‘Bean’ as it drops lawsuit against founder

Bankless co-founder Adams addressed the criticism, stressing that calling creators grifters for running ads is essentially trying to consume products for free. He also stated that paid subscribers have always funded the mission of Bankless.

Founded in 2019, Bankless is a crypto media company that promotes the adoption and awareness of bankless money systems. In May 2021, Bankless launched Bankless DAO, a decentralized community to coordinate and promote bankless media, and launched the BANK token.

In April 2023, Bankless founders announced it was raising a $35 million venture capital fund to invest in seed-stage Web3 companies.

Magazine: Are DAOs overhyped and unworkable? Lessons from the front lines

The Runes Economy: Navigating the Booming Market of Bitcoin-Derived Tokens

Tether, Bitfinex agree to drop opposition to FOIL request

Tether and Bitfinex say the decision not to appeal the Freedom of Information Law request by several media outlets was made in the interests of "transparency."

Tether and Bitfinex have jointly agreed to drop initial opposition to a freedom of information (FOIL) request lodged in New York by a number of high-profile news publications.

A statement from the USDT stablecoin issuer and cryptocurrency exchange shared with Cointelegraph notes that it is committed to transparently sharing information following a FOIL request from Coindesk earlier this year.

The companies also indicated that they would not be openly releasing documentation, claiming that the approach is not in line with its business practices:

“It's essential to clarify that transparency does not mean a wholesale release of all our documents.”

Tether and Bitfinex will not appeal against the FOIL request put forward by journalists including Zeke Faux, Shane Shifflett and Ada Hui, while claiming that this is despite “certain behaviors” exhibited by the writers in question.

The company’s claim that Faux’s past reports on Tether and Bitfinex have “extended beyond the boundaries of professional journalism”. They also claim that media outlets including the Wall Street Journal and Bloomberg, whose journalists are participating in the ongoing FOIL request, have been “one-sided and inaccurate”.

Related: Tether’s game plan in El Salvador: Why invest in Volcano Energy?

The statement stresses that both companies are committed to transparency and remain open to engagement with journalists and regulatory authorities, given that they “adhere to ethical reporting standards and respect data privacy boundaries”.

Tether and Bitfinex have also called for “responsible document review” before any public release of information and that their efforts to be transparent do not “equate to unrestricted public disclosure of all documents”.

Cointelegraph has reached out to Tether to ascertain finer details of the FOIL request and the information it pertains to.

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The Runes Economy: Navigating the Booming Market of Bitcoin-Derived Tokens

Crypto exchange Bullish buys 100% stake in crypto media site CoinDesk: Report

CoinDesk was owned by Digital Currency Group who acquired the media company in 2016 for $50M. The new owner, Bullish, is headed by former New York Stock Exchange president Tom Farley.

Crypto media platform CoinDesk was acquired by crypto exchange Bullish on Nov. 20, according to a report published in the Wall Street Journal (WSJ).

The crypto exchange is headed by former New York Stock Exchange president Tom Farley. The media platform said that former Wall Street Journal editor-in-chief Matt Murray will chair an independent editorial committee while the current CoinDesk editorial team will remain intact.

According to the report, Bullish acquired the crypto media platform in an all-cash deal, though the terms of the deal were not disclosed. The media platform, formerly owned by Digital Currency Group, has been in the acquisition talks after DCG faced a financial crunch after one of the worst crypto winters over the past two years. DCG purchased CoinDesk for $500,000 in 2016.

The CoinDesk acquisition by Bullish was backed by investors such as Peter Thiel and Louis Bacon. However, the deal follows a canceled SPAC merger, and comes amid efforts to acquire parts of the bankrupt FTX's business.

Related: OpenSea lays off 50% of staff with severance in preparation for version 2.0 launch

According to reports, CoinDesk generates an annual revenue of $50 million, however, Bullish is not the only firm that showed interest in the media company. Earlier, an investor group led by Matthew Roszak attempted to purchase CoinDesk for $125 million, but the deal didn’t materilize.

CoinDesk is not the only crypto media company to have struggled during the bear market. The Block also had to cut ties with its original founders after links with FTX surfaced after the cataclysmic collapse of the crypto exchange. The crypto news platform sold a majority of its stake to Singapore-based venture capital firm Foresight Ventures at a $70 million valuation. The VC firm behind the deal bought an 80% stake for $60 million.

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The Runes Economy: Navigating the Booming Market of Bitcoin-Derived Tokens

Crypto news site The Block shakes off SBF ties with Foresight Ventures deal

The Block bagged a $70 million valuation after it sold a majority stake to a Singapore-based venture capital firm, severing financial ties to scandal-ridden FTX.

The Block, a crypto-focused media company, sold a majority stake of its company to a venture capital firm in Singapore, according to Axios, which has valued it at $70 million.

Foresight Ventures, the firm behind the deal, is buying an 80% stake for $60 million. The venture capital (VC) firm says The Block will continue operations as an independent business.

The media company’s CEO, Larry Cermak, is the second-largest shareholder in the company, while Foresight CEO Forest Bai will become chairman, with partner Tony Cheng taking a board seat. Cermak posted on X (formerly Twitter) that the company is getting a “fresh start.”

Regarding the deal, Cheng says that the focus will be to help companies bring in more users from Asia. 

“We’re seeing significantly more regulatory clarity in this part of the world. We’re also seeing significantly more capital flow into this region.”

This deal allows The Block to distance itself from the FTX scandal after the company’s ties to the defunct exchange came to light as its former CEO Mike McCaffrey, the majority shareholder, had been discovered to have taken loans worth millions of dollars from Sam Bankman-Fried, the founder and former CEO of FTX. 

Cointelegraph has reached out to Foresight Ventures for further comment on the deal. 

Related: OpenSea lays off 50% of staff with severance in preparation for version 2.0 launch

The VC firm agreed to spend an undisclosed amount on ads with The Block during the first year. Most of the capital was reportedly used to purchase the stake previously held by McCaffrey, with the rest going toward a change of control clause.

Foresight also has stakes in multiple Asian crypto media organizations such as Block Temp and Foresight News, both for Mandarin-speaking audiences, and CoinNess, which is published in Korean.

The company believes it can help The Block grow during a continuing bear market that has seen many companies in the crypto space lay off significant portions of their staff. In March, The Block reportedly laid off nearly 33% of its staff.

Magazine: Exclusive: 2 years after John McAfee’s death, widow Janice is broke and needs answers

The Runes Economy: Navigating the Booming Market of Bitcoin-Derived Tokens

Binance’s Richard Teng denies FTX comparisons: ‘We welcome the scrutiny’

Binance regional markets head Richard Teng insists that, despite regulatory scrutiny, the company has no parallels to collapsed exchange FTX.

Binance regional markets head Richard Teng insists that the global cryptocurrency exchange is financially secure and in no way similar to bankrupt peer FTX despite recent regulatory scrutiny and regional challenges.

Speaking exclusively to Magazine editor Andrew Fenton in Singapore ahead of the 2023 Token2049 conference, Teng addressed a variety of different challenges being faced by Binance’s regional arms as well as playing down reports that he is being groomed to take the reigns from founder Changpeng “CZ” Zhao in the future.

Binance head of regional markets Richard Teng speaking at Ethereum Singapore 2023.

Teng said that, while Binance has faced different issues over the past couple of years, it has managed to tackle these on a case-by-case basis while remaining financially strong and able to process customer withdrawals.

Commenting on a recent social media post from CZ that highlighted “negative news/rumors, bank runs, lawsuits, closing of fiat channels, product wind downs, employee turnover,” Teng said that comparisons to the failure of FTX were unjustified:

“There were different rumors and FUD after FTX. People tried to associate us, which is totally untrue. Our assets are backed one-to-one.”

He also addressed recent Cointelegraph exclusives that revealed high-level executives had departed Binance as well as another report on the company’s ties with Russian banks. Teng said that the exchange’s stellar growth in the space of six years continues to leave it in the spotlight.

“All this scrutiny will come from being the largest — scrutiny from regulators, scrutiny from the media — and we welcome the scrutiny.”

Teng said that Binance has not yet made a decision regarding its franchise that serves the Russian market while maintaining that the company continues to adhere to international norms and standards in regards to sanctioned entities and individuals:

“On our plans for Russia, we have stated very clearly in the last couple of weeks that all options are on the table. We continue to explore what we need to do for that particular franchise going forward.”

Meanwhile, maturing regulatory frameworks in various jurisdictions are also being welcomed by the global exchange. Teng said that the European Union’s Markets in Crypto-Assets (MiCA) regulation could benefit exchanges universally by creating standardized rules for the industry:

“This disparate treatment, it makes life very difficult for global platforms like for ourselves. In terms of local deployment, we need to understand how the rules and regulations are very different. So, what we hope for is harmonized standards.”

Teng said that MiCA was a “step in the right direction” in providing the 23 EU member states with a consistent set of standards, which in turn could lead to a wider convergence of global regulatory guidelines for the industry.

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The Runes Economy: Navigating the Booming Market of Bitcoin-Derived Tokens

Media companies grapple with AI both inside and outside newsrooms

Media companies have been trying to navigate the rapid emergence of AI, with many banning its usage internally and others choosing to embrace it.

Many leading media companies have taken a stance against allowing artificial intelligence (AI), like OpenAI’s ChatGPT, into the newsrooms, and have withheld permission for AI to scan their content on the web. 

It has been reported that multiple mainstream media companies including CNN, the New York Times and Reuters have coded their platforms to stop OpenAI’s web crawler GPTBot from having access to their content.

The web crawler was released on Aug. 8 to potentially improve future ChatGPT models by indexing content from websites across the web.

Additionally, a CNN report claimed other news and media giants have also done the same, including Disney, Bloomberg, The Washington Post, The Atlantic, Axios, Insider, ABC News and ESPN among others. Major publishing houses like Condé Nast and Vox Media have also taken measures against AI.

Danielle Coffey, the president and chief executive of the News Media Alliance, told a CNN reporter that with AI in the picture: 

“I see a heightened sense of urgency when it comes to addressing the use, and misuse, of our content.”

Already AI developers have been faced with lawsuits pertaining to copyright infringement from material used to train models. On July 12, Google was hit with a lawsuit for its then-new AI data-scraping privacy policy. 

Prior to that, author Sarah Silverman and two others sued Meta and OpenAI for using her copyrighted work to train their systems without the proper consent.

Back in April, the CEO of News Corp Australia was ahead of the game when he argued that ChatGPT and similar AI systems must pay for the news consumed.

To ban or not to ban

It’s not just media companies that have been proactive in banning the usage of AI chatbots in the workplace or banning the systems from accessing content. 

In May tech-giants Samsung and Apple both banned the internal usage of AI chatbots like ChatGPT, over concerns of sensitive internal data being outsourced by the models.

Related: Academia divided over ChatGPT’s left political bias claims

Prior to that a slew of financial service companies such as JPMorgan, Bank of America, Goldman Sachs and Citigroup also banned the internal use of generative AI tools.

On June 26, the United States House banned its members from using all AI chatbots, with the exception of ChatGPT Plus due to its incorporation of “important privacy features” that can help protect sensitive data.

Media embracing AI - for better or worse

While many are putting up guard against the invasiveness of the technology, others have been eyeing it - even experimenting with it.

Entertainment giant Netflix appears to be looking into incorporating AI in one way or another, based on job listings in July offering high-paying AI roles.

The media site BuzzFeed recently shuttered its news division and laid off 180 staff employees, then shortly after in its Q1 earnings call said it will be “leaning into AI.”

One example of AI incorporation into media going wrong occurred in May, when an Irish daily newspaper had to apologize for unknowingly publishing an AI-generated article. It claimed it was “deliberately deceived” into believing the identity of a guest writer was human, however, it turned out to be AI.

AI for enterprise

A report conducted on Aug. 28 also revealed that the concern spills over into the consumers, with nearly three-quarters concerned about the unethical use of AI by firms.

This comes shortly after OpenAI released a version of its ChatGPT AI chatbot for businesses, with four times the power of the consumer version. It claims that the enterprise version is twice as fast as GPT-4, with enhanced privacy and security standards.

Prior to the release of the enterprise-focused chatbot, an IBM blockchain and AI expert said that the model poses several ‘key risks’ for business use. These centered primarily around the risk of sensitive internal data being compromised, which was a major concern for many of the aforementioned businesses who banned chatbots.

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The Runes Economy: Navigating the Booming Market of Bitcoin-Derived Tokens

NY Times defends article on Caroline Ellison: The public has a ‘legitimate interest’

The media outlet claimed the public and press had a right to receive information on a “central participant in a financial scheme that defrauded investors of billions of dollars.”

The New York Times has submitted a filing in the criminal case against former FTX CEO Sam “SBF” Bankman-Fried, arguing the court should defend First Amendment rights by allowing certain parties to provide information to members of the media.

In an Aug. 2 letter to Judge Lewis Kaplan of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, NYT vice president and deputy general counsel David McCraw expressed concerns about the gag order placed upon Bankman-Fried and what participants in his criminal trial were allowed to say to journalists. On July 20, The New York Times published an article revealing details of former Alameda Research CEO Caroline Ellison’s private journals, including her professional and personal relationship with SBF.

McCraw argued that since Bankman-Fried was a “non-lawyer,” the standard for imposing a gag order aimed at preventing harm to other parties connected to the criminal case was stricter than for lawyers. As Judge Kaplan removed language from the order, suggesting it wasn’t necessary to prevent “interfer[ing] with a fair trial,” the NY Times claimed the public and members of the Fourth Estate had a right to receive information according to the First Amendment.

“While the current round of motion practice was prompted by a Times article about Caroline Ellison, and the Government argues that the article was part of Defendant’s effort to interfere with the trial, that overlooks the public’s legitimate interest—independent of this prosecution—in Ms. Ellison and her activities at her cryptocurrency trading firm,” said McCraw. “She has confessed to being a central participant in a financial scheme that defrauded investors of billions of dollars—a scheme that was not detected by government regulators and law enforcement agencies until the public’s money had disappeared.”

He added:

“It is not surprising that the public wants to know more about who she is and what she did and that news organizations would seek to provide to the public timely, pertinent, and fairly reported information about her.”

Lawyers for Bankman-Fried turned over documents connected to the NY Times interview – seemingly including Ellison’s journals — to the court on July 27. The judge in SBF's criminal case could reach a decision on Aug. 3 as prosecutors push to have his $250-million bail revoked, claiming the interview was intended to intimidate Ellison and affect her testimony.

Related: Was Sam Bankman-Fried behind a scam project?

Since his arrest and indictment in December 2022, Bankman-Fried has returned to the New York courthouse several times to address issues related to his bail conditions, which largely require him to stay in his parents’ California home. He is already barred from using messaging apps, virtual private networks and certain technology.

Justice Department officials announced on July 27 they expected to drop the charge concerning violations of campaign finance against SBF due to the conditions of the extradition agreement with the Bahamas — Bankman-Fried was originally arrested in the island nation before being transferred to U.S. custody. The former FTX CEO still faces 12 criminal counts, which will be spread across two trials scheduled for October 2023 and March 2024.

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The Runes Economy: Navigating the Booming Market of Bitcoin-Derived Tokens

Proposed gag order in SBF’s criminal case under review, citing attempt to ‘influence public opinion’

The proposal followed a complaint filed by U.S. authorities alleging Sam Bankman-Fried had leaked Caroline Ellison’s private journals in an attempt to interfere with the trial.

The federal judge overseeing the criminal case against former FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried (SBF) may consider a proposed order preventing all involved parties and their attorneys from largely contacting the media.

In a July 24 letter filed with United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, the U.S. Attorney's Office drafted a proposed order that would prohibit anyone directly involved with the case or acting on their behalf from “publicly disseminating or discussing” information not considered admissible at trial, or “intended to influence public opinion”. As part of the conditions for his $250-million bail, Bankman-Fried is already barred from using messaging apps, virtual private networks, and other technology.

The proposed order followed a complaint filed by the U.S. Department of Justice on July 20 alleging the former FTX CEO had leaked former Alameda Research CEO Caroline Ellison’s private journals to The New York Times. On July 23, lawyers for Bankman-Fried said in a court filing that “nothing improper or impermissible occurred”.

Under its current wording, the proposed order added that SBF would be personally barred from using “surrogates, family members, spokespersons, representatives, or volunteers” to make statements on his behalf. However, speaking to the media regarding information already available in public court filings or proceedings, or claims of innocence, would not be prohibited.

Related: Sam Bankman-Fried’s brother planned to buy island and prep for apocalypse: court filing

Ellison, both a former business associate and romantic partner of SBF, will reportedly offer testimony in his first criminal trial, scheduled to begin on Oct. 2. In December 2022, she pleaded guilty to charges including fraud related to the collapse of crypto exchange FTX. Bankman-Fried has pled not guilty to all charges.

Lawyers representing SBF had requested Judge Kaplan extend any media gag order to include potential witnesses in the criminal case, including current FTX CEO John Ray. The July 24 order does not appear to apply to witnesses. Since FTX filed for bankruptcy in November 2022, Ray has often spoken to different media outlets on a variety of topics related to the exchange.

Magazine: Can you trust crypto exchanges after the collapse of FTX?

Update (July 24 at 7:45 PM UTC): This article previously misstated the proposed gag order came from Judge Lewis Kaplan. It has been changed to reflect the order came from the U.S. Attorney's Office.

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FTX’s Bankman-Fried seeks gag order for all witnesses in criminal case

Lawyers representing SBF have agreed to a gag order preventing him from making comments that could sway his criminal trial but says it should apply to other witnesses too.

Former FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried has agreed to a gag order preventing him from making comments to third parties that may interfere with his trial — but argues other potential witnesses should be gagged as well, including current FTX CEO John Ray.

The gag order against Sam Bankman-Fried was initially requested on July 20, when the U.S. government accused the FTX founder of attempting to interfere with a fair trial by publicly discrediting former business partner and witness Caroline Ellison in an interview with the  New York Times.

In a July 22 letter to United States District Court Judge Lewis A. Kaplan of New York, Bankman-Fried’s lawyers Cohen & Gresser LLP denied the accusations but agreed to accept a gag order as requested.

A gag order is a legal order often issued by a court to restrict information or comment from being made public or passed onto any unauthorized third party. In this case, Bankman-Fried will no longer be able to make comments that publicly discredit a government witness by sharing confidential information that may taint the jury pool.

Legal filing by Cohen & Gresser LLP to District Court Judge Lewis Kaplan in New York. Source: Courtlistener.

However, in accepting the relief, Bankman-Fried’s lawyers also want the same gag order to be applied to all parties and witnesses that could be involved in his criminal trial.

“We respectfully request that any such relief, however, should apply not just to Mr. Bankman-Fried, but equally to all ‘parties and witnesses’ — namely, the Government and all potential witnesses in this case.”

This would include the U.S. government, former employees of cryptocurrency exchange FTX, FTX Debtor entities, Alameda Research and other potential witnesses involved in the case, according to the attorneys.

Explaining the request, the lawyers said there has been a “toxic media environment” surrounding their client since the collapse of the exchange, noting that FTX CEO John Ray was one of the bigger culprits.

“Most notably, the current CEO of the FTX Debtor entities, John J. Ray III, who has routinely (and gratuitously) attacked and vilified Mr. Bankman-Fried in his public comments and filings in the FTX bankruptcy proceedings,” they said.

“Mr. Ray’s repeated ad hominem attacks on Mr. Bankman-Fried — which have very little do with his role recovering assets for FTX creditors and seem more directed towards publicly vilifying Mr. Bankman-Fried. [This] has left Mr. Bankman-Fried with little choice but to respond,” the lawyers added.

Related: Sam Bankman-Fried’s brother planned to buy island and prep for apocalypse: court filing

The law firm argued that the U.S. government was applying a double standard by touting several articles that sought to harm SBF’s reputation. This formed the basis of their request for the same gag order for SBF.

SBF pleaded not guilty to a series of fraud charges for the alleged role he played leading to the bankruptcy of FTX. The trial for SBF’s fraud charges begins on October 3.

Collect this article as an NFT to preserve this moment in history and show your support for independent journalism in the crypto space.

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The Runes Economy: Navigating the Booming Market of Bitcoin-Derived Tokens