Author Topic: Legal Council about BTS and No-action  (Read 4157 times)

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Offline xeroc

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Legal Council about BTS and No-action
« on: January 30, 2018, 07:53:41 am »
New Worker Proposal

Proposer: BitShares Blockchain Foundation

About
With this worker, we (the bitshares blockchain foundation) would like to fund this project to seek legal clarity and presentation for BTS holders and regulators.

Throughout the last couple months, we have been repeatedly approach about core aspects of BitShares and its governance token BTS that have been presented publicly in an inaccurate and unfavorable manner. This often resulted in ambiguity and uncertainty that has held back some businesses from working with or on the BitShares Blockchain and could well have been a reason for lack of ecosystem growth throughout the last years.

Additionally to an opinion letter of a prestigious legal council, we also seek a non-action letter by the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the prototype for many regulators in the world.

Read more
http://www.bitshares.foundation/worker/budget/2018-02-legal-council-bts
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Offline Brekyrself

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Re: Legal Council about BTS and No-action
« Reply #1 on: January 30, 2018, 09:11:56 am »
Thank you for putting this together and running with it.  Lets get this voted in and moving along.

Offline abit

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Re: Legal Council about BTS and No-action
« Reply #2 on: January 30, 2018, 11:24:37 am »
Something wrong with "Duration   2018/02/15 - 2018/07/30 (12 months)".
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Re: Legal Council about BTS and No-action
« Reply #3 on: January 30, 2018, 02:56:08 pm »
Something wrong with "Duration   2018/02/15 - 2018/07/30 (12 months)".
Thanks, it was meant to be 6 months.
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Offline crypto4ever

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Re: Legal Council about BTS and No-action
« Reply #4 on: January 30, 2018, 03:44:10 pm »
I make a suggestion that two different legal firms work on this, even if it doubles the worker proposal to $700,000

Putting all your eggs in one basket (Paul Hastings LLP) doesn't give the benefit of a second opinion.


Having two legal firms working on the same issue gains the NEW benefit that the best course of action (as determined by the foundation or BTS votes) now becomes possible once you have two different opinions.  You can have each firm review each other's recommendation and get the best answer out of the two.

Since the SEC has federal jurisdiction, I recommend each legal firm being in different states.

Competing legal firms will ultimately give their best resources and attention to the matter.  This is why massive corporations don't just have multiple lawyers around the table, but different firms as well.

https://www.hg.org/article.asp?id=36943

In the end, the legal firm with the best performance and best legal direction would yield more business from Bitshares in the future.

We get second opinions from doctors, car mechanics, etc.. It is not unheard of (and only diligent) to get second opinions from an additional law firm.

Even the Supreme Court has multiple judges for these reasons.

If you are in agreement, please voice your support.
« Last Edit: January 30, 2018, 04:21:47 pm by crypto4ever »

Offline Chris4210

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Re: Legal Council about BTS and No-action
« Reply #5 on: January 30, 2018, 04:13:44 pm »
Thank you BitShares Blockchain Foundation for pushing this matter forward. I will vote for your worker.

Crypto4ever has a good point that a second law firm could be helpful to get a more defined result.

What will happen with the leftover funds for this worker? Is this worker in BTS or BitUSD?
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Offline xeroc

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Re: Legal Council about BTS and No-action
« Reply #6 on: January 31, 2018, 02:03:24 pm »
I make a suggestion that two different legal firms work on this, even if it doubles the worker proposal to $700,000

Putting all your eggs in one basket (Paul Hastings LLP) doesn't give the benefit of a second opinion.


Having two legal firms working on the same issue gains the NEW benefit that the best course of action (as determined by the foundation or BTS votes) now becomes possible once you have two different opinions.  You can have each firm review each other's recommendation and get the best answer out of the two.

Since the SEC has federal jurisdiction, I recommend each legal firm being in different states.

Competing legal firms will ultimately give their best resources and attention to the matter.  This is why massive corporations don't just have multiple lawyers around the table, but different firms as well.

https://www.hg.org/article.asp?id=36943

In the end, the legal firm with the best performance and best legal direction would yield more business from Bitshares in the future.

We get second opinions from doctors, car mechanics, etc.. It is not unheard of (and only diligent) to get second opinions from an additional law firm.

Even the Supreme Court has multiple judges for these reasons.

If you are in agreement, please voice your support.

Thank your for your input, I will forward it to the corresponding people that deal with this.
However, I don't see the need to pay twice as much until we have an actual course of action.
It is also that PaulHastings has a very good reputation in the space, it's not that BTS is the only crypto in their customers list. I'll still forward the issue.

What will happen with the leftover funds for this worker? Is this worker in BTS or BitUSD?
I recommend you read through the proposal and the corresponding description of a "budget worker".
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Offline abit

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Re: Legal Council about BTS and No-action
« Reply #7 on: January 31, 2018, 09:03:19 pm »
What's the difference between this worker and the "201710-compliance" worker? It seems the latter has been voted in now.
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Offline crypto4ever

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Re: Legal Council about BTS and No-action
« Reply #8 on: January 31, 2018, 09:12:13 pm »
However, I don't see the need to pay twice as much until we have an actual course of action.

The link I provided explained that, but I'll quote the important part for your reference.

Quote
The client might want to learn about alternative options to the recommendation by his or her primary attorney.

(This would include an alternative course of action)

Once you've started on a course of action, by then, it is often too late.  You can't reverse time.

I'll give an example.  One law firm may suggest applying to the SEC for their interpretation of whether or not BTS tokens are considered securities.

An opposite law firm might suggest, no don't do that.  Once you do that, you're giving them subject matter jurisdiction right from the beginning by appealing to them for their opinion.  You'd be better to wait for the SEC to make the initial contact, and that way you can defend yourself.  You can then use the fact you never even contacted the SEC because they was never any speculation or intent that the tokens were even in a grey area from the very start.  (Which will side with your mens rea -- a legal term with significance)

However you end up cheating yourself by starting a course of action without a second opinion.

Law firms have a primary principal... to generate revenue to keep their law firms doing well. Their secondary principal is to follow the first principal while still helping their clients the best they can.  The legal profession is a business like any other business.  It must always generate a profit otherwise it can't help anyone.

By realizing this as a client, you can make use of this primary principal by feeding that principal by retaining two different law firms and creating a small competition between them.  Competition will yield you higher accurate answers when both firms are in agreement. When there is  difference of opinion between 2 law firms, it gives the client the opportunity to select the best recommendation based on what each law firm comes back with.

Trusting a reputable law firm, doctor, or mechanic is good, but in the end, they are still humans who are prone to mistakes.  Having more than one opinion limits those unintentional mistakes.

Go into this with 2 law firms.  The benefits will be obvious in the long run.

I'm not going to continue to speak about this issue.  I have a friend who has recommended these things and is not part of this forum.  His suggestions feel this has said enough.  Those of you who support this should say something.
« Last Edit: January 31, 2018, 09:20:16 pm by crypto4ever »

Offline Brekyrself

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Re: Legal Council about BTS and No-action
« Reply #9 on: February 01, 2018, 06:48:18 am »
[member=30441]crypto4ever[/member] does bring up good points about the SEC letter.  Could some of the funds be used for a second opinion on the SEC letter? 

I'd like to hear what some of the large proxies such as [member=23]bitcrab[/member] have to say as I do not see their votes?

Offline Chris4210

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Re: Legal Council about BTS and No-action
« Reply #10 on: February 01, 2018, 08:00:49 am »
What will happen with the leftover funds for this worker? Is this worker in BTS or BitUSD?
I recommend you read through the proposal and the corresponding description of a "budget worker".

Thank you for the lead to http://www.bitshares.foundation/worker/ . It is good to see how the BitShares Foundation is handling the different worker models. I especially liked http://www.bitshares.foundation/accounting .
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Offline xeroc

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Re: Legal Council about BTS and No-action
« Reply #11 on: February 01, 2018, 03:40:59 pm »
What's the difference between this worker and the "201710-compliance" worker? It seems the latter has been voted in now.
Yhea, that came as a surprise to us as well .. we will discuss how to deal with that situation going forward.
The original proposal wasn't as "clear" as the new one is, mostly because the situation was foggy and there has been an NDA that prevented our company
from going too deep into details. Now we know much better about what is needed.
Please do not vote for the old worker but instead consider approving the new one ...

[member=30441]crypto4ever[/member] does bring up good points about the SEC letter.  Could some of the funds be used for a second opinion on the SEC letter? 

I'd like to hear what some of the large proxies such as [member=23]bitcrab[/member] have to say as I do not see their votes?
Indeed, very good points. I'll make sure the people involved will see those. Thanks

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Offline Brekyrself

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Re: Legal Council about BTS and No-action
« Reply #12 on: February 05, 2018, 03:28:49 pm »
What's holding people back from voting on this?  The worker should provide real world businesses with assurance they will not run into legal issues utilizing the bts blockchain?!

[member=23]bitcrab[/member] What is the feeling on your side of the world for this worker?


We need this to get back onto exchanges such as Bittrex who is trying to be as legitimate as possible!
https://cointelegraph.com/news/major-cryptocurrency-exchange-bittrex-to-add-usd-trading-reopen-new-user-sign-ups
« Last Edit: February 05, 2018, 04:27:36 pm by Brekyrself »

Offline Brekyrself

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Re: Legal Council about BTS and No-action
« Reply #13 on: February 07, 2018, 06:08:30 pm »
bumping this up, what is holding people back from voting this in?

Online sschiessl

Re: Legal Council about BTS and No-action
« Reply #14 on: February 07, 2018, 07:16:03 pm »
Agreed! Such a letter is a door opener to start talking to.the big exchanges to list BTS, e.g. Kraken. Also it will have big impact being the first crypto to actually have such a letter.

Voted!

Offline crypto4ever

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Re: Legal Council about BTS and No-action
« Reply #15 on: February 08, 2018, 07:26:13 am »
Most people look at this from the benefit view.  If the SEC agrees they are not securities, it could do so many good things.

What if the opposite happens?  The letter [saying that BTS is a security] could cause the opposite effect and hurt your investments.

That's probably why people aren't insta-voting this in.  We need more discussion I guess.
« Last Edit: February 08, 2018, 07:23:34 pm by crypto4ever »

Offline Ravid

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Re: Legal Council about BTS and No-action
« Reply #16 on: February 08, 2018, 08:59:38 am »
How can a SEC saying "BTS is not a security and we won't screw them up" have a negative impact?

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Re: Legal Council about BTS and No-action
« Reply #17 on: February 08, 2018, 09:08:30 am »
I understand that concern, but driving decisions through fears will not get us further. Of course, a negative statement would have atomic impact, but the legal council that was chosen has experience and necessary contacts there.

At some point regulators will come looking again, the more BitShares grows the more likely. Bittrex is just the first who needs a legal opinion. What's the alternative? Just waiting and hoping no one will notice BitShares?

I would say this worker is a much needed pro-active action!

Online sschiessl

Re: Legal Council about BTS and No-action
« Reply #18 on: February 08, 2018, 09:09:34 am »
How can a SEC saying "BTS is not a security and we won't screw them up" have a negative impact?

He means if the SEC says that BTS is a security.

Offline crypto4ever

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Re: Legal Council about BTS and No-action
« Reply #19 on: February 08, 2018, 07:26:23 pm »
At some point regulators will come looking again, the more BitShares grows the more likely. Bittrex is just the first who needs a legal opinion. What's the alternative? Just waiting and hoping no one will notice BitShares?

It's like walking up to a lion's den, and asking the lion "I'd kind of like to ask you whether or not I'm the type of thing you are interested in eating"

Why pester the lion when he has the whole jungle to take care of, which is keeping him busy already.  Did you want to be the next thing he pounces on?

Some people might say "What if the lion isn't interested in eating you? Isn't that good?"

Some people might say "If they lion says yes, and starts chasing us, we can run away or find ways to defend ourself"... That's fine to try that but if you're unlucky you'll probably wonder why you went and spoke to a lion in the first place.

I think the proposal should be changed.

1. There is no contact made to SEC or any intention to contact them

2. There is NO LETTER sent to any government agency

3. Legal Advice is sought, and the details are kept among the Bitshares foundation members.  They could be the ones to decide what to do with that information.

"Client-lawyer" privilege is where clients may discuss things with their lawyers and their legal strategies privately.  You can't do that in a decentralized environment without revealing your legal poker hand.  Which is a guaranteed losing situation for the client, if you openly disseminate where you lack ground to everyone, and anyone, including your adversary.

Now, I think specific tokens would be more apt to be securities than the platform itself.  But if you were to squeeze government agencies, it's too easy for them to publish a response letter and say "yes, we believe BTS is a type of security".... (even if they don't have to prove anything in court).  They could cherry pick answers from "this case" and that "case" that may scare you and the public. (Even after you got your day in court many months later).  By this time though, it's too late.  You've already created a domino effect of FUD by arguing with the SEC in the first place.

I think the likelihood of this handled incorrectly are much more damaging to bitshares  than the possible benefit you are looking for...

So, no, I won't insta-vote this legal proposal as it is written in... I wish I could, but I cannot support it.

« Last Edit: February 08, 2018, 07:52:38 pm by crypto4ever »

Offline Brekyrself

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Re: Legal Council about BTS and No-action
« Reply #20 on: February 08, 2018, 07:39:53 pm »
Appears the SEC letter is the issue here.  [member=120]xeroc[/member] what about splitting apart the worker and going for the legal opinion letter now and hashing out the SEC letter later on?

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Re: Legal Council about BTS and No-action
« Reply #21 on: February 08, 2018, 08:59:22 pm »
thanks to a certain fraudulent operation, BitShares was mentioned several times already in official SEC documents. it's no longer a matter of whether they have bts on their radar, but when they decide to take a closer look in it. pro-activity is needed ASAP in my opinion.

edit: they seized funds and have a wallet on BitShares by the way.
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Offline crypto4ever

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Re: Legal Council about BTS and No-action
« Reply #22 on: February 09, 2018, 02:38:44 am »
thanks to a certain fraudulent operation, BitShares was mentioned several times already in official SEC documents. it's no longer a matter of whether they have bts on their radar, but when they decide to take a closer look in it. pro-activity is needed ASAP in my opinion.

edit: they seized funds and have a wallet on BitShares by the way.

I think you'd be better to say "allegedly fraudulent". No one knows 100% before the case is heard in court.

Secondly, as far as having a wallet or already on the radar is fine.  The problem is they can't file suit against computer code.

Yes, legal advice is still necessary, as long as it is managed by a team, maybe the foundation, the committee away from the forums (like a task force setup for this purpose) and in private.

The worker proposal has the right idea. Just fine tune it a little better considering what was discussed in this thread is all we have to do.

If they're on a witch hunt, first they'll try to roast the first witch they see.  Which is this "allegedly fraudulent" organization apparently. That could take 1-2 years before a final judgment is determined and appeals have been filed.

So as long as this is done right, and carefully, adjusting the proposal slightly to take these important discussions into account, I have no doubt it will pass as a worker.

« Last Edit: February 09, 2018, 02:41:16 am by crypto4ever »

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Re: Legal Council about BTS and No-action
« Reply #23 on: February 09, 2018, 04:15:00 pm »
I am not willing to discuss any "business" in here that is not about the SEC.

As for the "issue" with "approaching the lion" ... we are actually approaching the *LAWYERS* here and they assist us with a letter to approach the SEC.
If we cannot convince the lawyers, we don't need to bother with the SEC.
If we manage to write down a letter that is concise and accurate, the idea is to gauge probability of success before sending it in.
There will not be a letter sent to the SEC unless the lawyers and the BBF see very high chance of success.
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Offline Brekyrself

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Re: Legal Council about BTS and No-action
« Reply #24 on: February 16, 2018, 12:56:16 am »
Glad to see this got voted in, please keep us updated on the milestones!

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Re: Legal Council about BTS and No-action
« Reply #25 on: February 16, 2018, 05:01:34 pm »
@xeroc Do you think HERO and Hertz algorithm based assets would be treated any differently than traditional smartcoins such as bitUSD/bitCNY?

Cheers :)
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Re: Legal Council about BTS and No-action
« Reply #26 on: March 07, 2018, 11:06:59 pm »
How is this progressing?
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Re: Legal Council about BTS and No-action
« Reply #28 on: March 08, 2018, 09:47:57 am »
I've read a number of these press releases by the Foundation, and the English language usage is so poor that it is almost impossible to understand what is being said.  It makes the Foundation look very unprofessional.  I'm not sure if it has always been the same author, but I've read three or four of these releases and each time my reading comprehension suffers greatly because of the poor command of the English language used by the author.  Please invest in a native English speaker to write the press releases!

Offline litepresence

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Re: Legal Council about BTS and No-action
« Reply #29 on: March 10, 2018, 09:33:55 pm »
New Worker Proposal

(1)
With this worker, we (the bitshares blockchain foundation) would like to fund this project to seek legal clarity and presentation for BTS holders and regulators.

[]
Additionally to an opinion letter of a prestigious legal council,
Quote
(2)
we also seek a non-action letter by the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the prototype for many regulators in the world.



This should be two separate workers.

#1 seems many agree on urgent and important, wise

#2 we all have varying outlooks, SEC letter is a https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rider_(legislation) to voting for legal council

maybe we should #1 and ask the experts if we should #2
« Last Edit: March 10, 2018, 09:59:59 pm by litepresence »

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Re: Legal Council about BTS and No-action
« Reply #30 on: April 05, 2018, 05:07:34 am »
I have a lot of issues with the advice and the remarks made from Mr. Hernard

'As to whether BTS is a security for U.S. securities law purposes, there appear to be very good arguments to make that a cryptocurrency with a substantial volume of coins in circulation and substantial daily volume of trades – indicia of having a true market value that is independent of the efforts of a group of employees or founders – is not a security.'

This is false. These arent the indicia of a security. Bitshares WILL be considered a security as a DAO or DAC gives parties voting rights - the same voting rights that got this proposal through. The
fact that he does not cover this is negligent on his part. There are further reasons why Bitshares WILL undeniably be considered a Security however I believe him skipping over this is the most
aggregious.

Spending BTS to send the no-action letter will be wasteful. The firm clearly have no idea how Bitshares or DAC's in general are run.

I could recommend an alternative law firm based in Australia - they have a lot of experience dealing with SEC issues regarding FinnTech and Cryptos generally.

@xeroc is there any way I can put forward a firm after Paul Hastings LLP contract expires? I don't think they have BTS' best interests in mind.

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Re: Legal Council about BTS and No-action
« Reply #31 on: April 05, 2018, 10:02:04 am »
The BBF has entered in an agreement with them and that means that they have responsabilities.
Still, thank you for your input and I will forward it to the respective parties to take it seriously.
The promised me to put this in their feed back to PaulHastings.
I expect the next spokesperson report to entail how this is answered.

In the future, it would be much more helful to send messages like those staight to the BitShares Blockchain
Foundation ([email protected]) to not spread uncertainty.

Most people in here do understand the difference between DAO and BTS and the BBF will make sure that
the SEC understands them too. That said, if you ask me, the DAO ruling doesn't apply for BTS.
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Offline ME1995

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Re: Legal Council about BTS and No-action
« Reply #32 on: April 05, 2018, 10:22:11 pm »
I dont think they will overlook fundamental components of a security such as the DAO's right to vote and receive dividends through ICO's such as Bits.Farm.

Are you handling the matter Xeroc? Or is there somewhere/way I can track what is going on with respect to the legal issues underpinning BTS? I feel as if a third party
that isnt Paul Hastings LLP or yourself, with legal expertise, could aid in pursuing the best outcome.



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Re: Legal Council about BTS and No-action
« Reply #33 on: April 06, 2018, 01:20:34 pm »
I dont think they will overlook fundamental components of a security such as the DAO's right to vote and receive dividends through ICO's such as Bits.Farm.
In contrast to DAO, the BTS token does not receive dividends. If it would, then it would be a security for sure - but it doesn't and hopefully never automatically receive dividends.
If someone wants to throw/drop money at someone, then that's fine, but doesn't make it a security IMHO - would ETH be a security because of the fork of ETC, or Bitcoin because BTC holders have also received BitcoinCash?

Quote
Are you handling the matter Xeroc? Or is there somewhere/way I can track what is going on with respect to the legal issues underpinning BTS? I feel as if a third party
that isnt Paul Hastings LLP or yourself, with legal expertise, could aid in pursuing the best outcome.
The BitShares Blockchain Foundation handles this. It reports on a regular basis on bitshares.foundation and on steem.

You are free to get in contact with them, but I would highly advise you introduce yourself properly and underpin your claim that
an established company like PaulHastings isn't a good choice
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Re: Legal Council about BTS and No-action
« Reply #34 on: October 06, 2018, 01:08:04 am »
Any update on this worker proposal? Did Bittrex never respond? Users on Telegram are claiming that Bittrex is emailing them about BTS being fully delisted, not just disabled?  :-\
Hertz, Beyond Bitshares, Gridcoin!