Hawaii’s New Money Transmitters Act Will Require Virtual Currency Licenses

Hawaii's New Money Transmitters Act Will Require Virtual Currency Licenses

The state of Hawaii is planning to regulate the use of bitcoin and digital currencies that would require licensure to transmit cryptocurrency-based funds. Two bills introduced by a group of partisan Hawaiian lawmakers are focused on digital currencies as a monetary instrument under the state’s Money Transmitters Act.

Also read: Coinbase Exits as Hawaii Requires Bitcoin Companies to Hold Fiat Reserves

New Definitions Applied to the Hawaiian Money Transmission Act

Hawaii's New Money Transmitters Act Will Require Virtual Currency LicensesLast week Hawaiian bureaucrats reviewed a proposed bill, HI SB3082, that aims to tether regulatory policies to digital currency transmitters. The proposed law adds new definitions like “virtual currency exchanges, transfers, and storage.” The bill will apply to anyone credited with virtual currencies, moving them, relinquishing control, and any use tied to a medium of exchange if passed. The laws will recognize bitcoin as a “permissible investment and statutory trust.” Although, if the statutes does pass, anyone who plans to transmit bitcoin and other forms of digital assets must apply for licensure.

Hawaii’s Virtual Currency Transmission Requirements

Last year Coinbase left the state of Hawaii due to the state’s proposed laws which would require licensed virtual currency transmitters to hold USD reserves. The recently submitted SB3082 has changed this requirement for specific qualified trading platforms. Applicants who want to apply for virtual currency transmission will be required to reveal a lot of information like the applicant’s name and principal address, prior criminal convictions, a description of the business activities, sample of the virtual currency instruments or products, and the name and address of the clearing banks involved. Further, for each virtual currency sale, exchanges must provide its customers with some form of a receipt.

“Each licensee who receives money or monetary value for transmission and the licensee’s authorized delegates shall provide a receipt to the customer that clearly states the amount of money or equivalent value presented for transmission and the total of the fees charged by the licensee,” explains the proposed bill.

Hawaii's New Money Transmitters Act Will Require Virtual Currency Licenses

Hawaii’s SB3082: “These Currencies Are Not Backed”

One notable section describes virtual currencies as based upon computational cryptography and derive their value “solely from the market’s perception of their value.” Hawaii’s SB3082 states:

[Virtual Currencies] can experience great swings — These currencies are not backed by backed by any physical commodity, such as gold or silver; not backed by the United States or any other national government; not legal tender for debts; and are not insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation or any government.

The bill further details that consumers can lose all their cryptocurrencies through many attack vectors. “Computer failure; malicious software attack; an attack, closure, or disappearance of a virtual currency exchange company; lack of security; loss of your private key; or a sudden or dramatic change in value” are just a few examples explains the SB3082 text. The bill further notes:

Some virtual currency users have been unable to access their legitimate virtual currency account because of heavy traffic by other users or a prevalence of criminal activity in virtual currency use — To protect yourself, become educated as to the potential risks before deciding whether you want to transact in virtual currency.

Hawaiian officials will have a public hearing on SB3082 on February 2, 2018, at 9 am. The newly reformed money transmission act passed its first reading on January 26.

What do you think about the new virtual currency definitions that aim to be applied to Hawaii’s money transmission act? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.


Images via Pixabay, Hawaii’s Senate, and state logo.


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South Korean Court Rules Bitcoin Has Economic Value

South Korean Court Rules Bitcoin Has Economic Value

A South Korean court has ruled that bitcoin has an economic value for the first time. This overturned an earlier court ruling which did not recognize the digital currency. The case involves the confiscation of 191 bitcoins.

Also read: Japan’s DMM Bitcoin Exchange Opens for Business With 7 Cryptocurrencies

Bitcoin’s Status Re-Examined

The Suwon District Court in South Korea has, for the first time, recognized that bitcoin has an economic value and can be confiscated, local media reported on Tuesday.

South Korean Court Rules Bitcoin Has Economic ValueThe ruling concerns the case involving Ahn who was arrested in May of last year and convicted of operating an illegal pornography site with approximately 1.2 million members. Ahn pocketed 1.9 billion won (~USD$1.78 million) in membership fees. While arresting him, the Southern Gyeonggi Provincial Police Agency confiscated his 216 bitcoins from an online wallet which received some fees from the site.

In September of last year, the court did not recognize bitcoin and ruled that it could not be confiscated, as news.Bitcoin.com previously reported. An official from the court explained that they did not judge bitcoin to have any economic value because it is “in the form of electronic files without physical entities, unlike cash.”

Landmark Court Ruling on Bitcoin

South Korean Court Rules Bitcoin Has Economic ValueFollowing the first ruling, the prosecutor appealed in December to the court for the ability to confiscate bitcoins. The second hearing was held recently.

In the second hearing, the court found that “The crime profit concealment law does not restrict the criminal income to the goods but the cash, the deposit, the stock, and other property with economic value,” Chosun reported and further quoted the court explaining:

Bitcoin can be changed into money through an exchange. It can be used as a means of payment through merchants, so it should be regarded as having economic value.

The court subsequently ruled that “Among the 216 bitcoins confiscated by the prosecution, Ahn’s 191 bitcoins” were traced to email addresses of the pornography site members, so they are “recognized as criminal proceeds from the operation of the site.”

Since Ahn’s arrest in April, the price of bitcoin has risen significantly. The 191 bitcoins are worth approximately 2.13 billion won (~$2 million) at the time of this writing based on bitcoin’s price on Bithumb, one of the country’s largest cryptocurrency exchanges.

South Korean Court Rules Bitcoin Has Economic Value

Maekyung quoted a lawyer explaining:

The recognition of virtual currency as an object of forfeiture means that it will be transferred to the national treasury and used as a national budget.

What do you think of the new court’s ruling? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock and Bithumb.


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PR: BCShop.io Aids Ethereum Business Adoption

BCShop.io Aids Ethereum Business Adoption

This is a paid press release, which contains forward looking statements, and should be treated as advertising or promotional material. Bitcoin.com does not endorse nor support this product/service. Bitcoin.com is not responsible for or liable for any content, accuracy or quality within the press release.

Blockchain revolution is happening. Sure, we are in first days yet, in “stone age” of cryptocurrency. Nevertheless, practical business solutions are already emerging. One of the most known and functional is Ethereum blockchain.

Ethereum not only enables online payments; it is also capable of running any decentralized application’s programming code. As such, it can greatly help businesses by making transactions more efficient. Here are some of the ways it does so:

Ethereum ensures data security and accuracy

Ethereum keeps business transactions secure as they are encrypted and employed in a closed peer-to-peer system. This ensures that they are protected from fraud, theft, and privacy violations.

In addition, Ethereum provides a system for the accurate maintenance of records. It prevents them from being modified after they are added to the ledger and it adds a timestamp, making the ledger more reliable and accurate than databases and spreadsheets. This in turn enables the company to earn the trust of both their employees and clients.

Ethereum makes it easier for businesses to increase their reach

With Ethereum, businesses are able to save on the costs incurred from sending and receiving payments from other countries. They are also able to minimize the delays that are usually experienced with international transactions, in turn making more people and companies want to work with them.

Ethereum makes it easier to form agreements

Unlike traditional contracts that must be notarized, Ethereum enables the creation of smart contracts without the need for middlemen. These smart contracts define and enforce the terms and penalties that come with the agreement.

How to Integrate Cryptocurrency Payments into Your Business

There are indeed many benefits to enabling cryptocurrency payments into your business. It ensures that your transactions are kept secure and accurate. It allows you to save on costs, particularly when making or receiving payments from other countries, as well as on the costs incurred from middlemen. In addition, it enables you to create smart contracts, which helps ensure the enforcement of business agreements, in turn preventing business conflicts. In summary, cryptocurrency use can help you provide better customer service and can give you a competitive advantage.

There are many platforms that will allow you to integrate cryptocurrency payments into your business. You just need to sign up for a merchant account at your chosen cryptocurrency wallet. However, the manner by which businesses use cryptocurrencies today tend to inconvenience users. The underlying issues can be easily improved, though, and this is what BCShop.io offers.

BCShop.io is an innovative platform for e-commerce and e-payments where one can offer products and services in exchange for cryptocurrencies: Ethereum and tokens. It also provides an easy-to-use interface so that even cryptocurrency newbies will have no difficulty learning about and using the platform.

If you want to try and get a feel of using Ethereum payments for your business, then you can do so at public testnet version: https://testnet.bcshop.io/ for free. As an example, several business cases were already implemented, bitcoin.com and ICOAlert.com are worth to mention among others. For more information, visit https://bcshop.io/.

Contact Email Address
[email protected]
Supporting Link
https://bcshop.io/

This is a paid press release. Readers should do their own due diligence before taking any actions related to the promoted company or any of its affiliates or services. Bitcoin.com is not responsible, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any content, goods or services mentioned in the press release.

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Number of People Looking for Crypto-Careers Increased 10-Fold in 2017

Number of People Looking for Crypto-Careers Increased 10-Fold in 2017

New data from the UK shows that interest in crypto careers more than doubled in December 2017 when the all time high Bitcoin price record dominated headlines​. The average salary for roles requiring “Blockchain” expertise ranges from £30,117 per year for a Research Analyst to £67,209 per year for a Software Architect.

Also Read: Vegetables on a Blockchain ICO Exit Scams After Paying People to Write On Their Bodies

Interest in Crypto Careers is Surging

Number of People Looking for Crypto-Careers Increased 10-Fold in 2017The massive rise in the price of bitcoin last year has inspired droves of people in the UK to look for new careers in the crypto sector, this according to figures released today by the dedicated search engine for job listings, Indeed.

The company says that its data reveals that at the start of 2017 there was “an acute talent mismatch”, with vacancies outnumbering candidates four to one. However by the end of the year the number of those searching for roles had increased 10-fold. During the same period, the number of available jobs tripled, meaning that by December the talent gap narrowed.

The greatest spike came in December, when bitcoin’s value in GBP soared past £13,000. In December the number of job seekers looking for bitcoin careers was more than double that seen in November 2017, the company explains.

Most Wanted Skills

The data shows that a growing number of employers want to explore developing capabilities derived from the technology behind bitcoin, and thus most vacancies are for people with tech skills. The top ten related roles on the site right now, by descending order, are: Developer, Recruiter, Software Engineer, Director IT Digital Strategy & Innovation, Java Developer, C# Developer, Senior QA Engineer, Solution & Proposition Architect, Senior Developer, and lastly Project Manager.

Bill Richards, UK Managing Director at Indeed, commented: “Bitcoin was designed to be a secure and anonymous way of paying for things and for some its rocketing value is a sideshow. Nevertheless its stellar rise has turned Blockchain – the technology that powers it – into a tech pin-up for ambitious jobseekers. Hundreds of companies are now investing in staff and skills in an effort to develop new applications for Blockchain.”

‘‘While the number of opportunities and searches remains modest, Indeed’s data shows companies are increasingly seeking experts to focus on this new technology – and jobseekers have been quick to react. It is worth noting that these are specialised roles and they can be hard to fill. However, Blockchain is a field that is certainly worth watching as both jobseekers and employers seize the opportunity to capitalise on its potential, he added’’

Number of People Looking for Crypto-Careers Increased 10-Fold at End of 2017

This news shouldn’t be that surprising for anyone closely following the market. Back in October 2017 it was revealed that bitcoin-related jobs are the fastest growing category of role on international employment marketplace for freelancers.

What advice would you give those who want to have bitcoin-related careers? Tell us in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Indeed.


Do you like to research and read about Bitcoin technology? Check out Bitcoin.com’s Wiki page for an in-depth look at Bitcoin’s innovative technology and interesting history.

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South Korea Finds Nearly $600 Million in Crypto Crime

South Korea Finds Nearly $600 Million in Crypto Crime

Reports from the 대한민국 Republic of South Korea (ROK) indicate its Customs Service announced on Wednesday, 31 January 2018, it has discovered “cryptocurrency crimes” which amount to nearly 600 million USD.

Also read: Nassim Nicholas Taleb vs David Birch on The Bitcoin Standard

South Korea Customs Service Finds Almost $600 Million in Cryptocurrency Crime

ROK Customs Service released a statement claiming to have “uncovered cryptocurrency crimes worth 637.5 billion won ($594.35 million),” according to Reuters. Evidently, it includes illegal foreign exchange trading, a statement released by the country’s customs service said on Wednesday.

Korean Customs Service’s (KCS) charter includes keeping “our society safer from illegal foreign transactions,” its website notes. Reporting on the incidents mention South Korean investors gobbling up almost 2 billion won in cryptocurrencies. Supposedly tokens and coins were then sent abroad through “virtual wallets,” only to be brought back in the form of fiat currencies “which amount to unrecorded capital outflows,” according to Reuters.

South Korea Finds Nearly $600 Million in Crypto Crime

The statement continued, “Customs service have been closely looking at illegal foreign exchange trading using cryptocurrency as part of the government’s task force.” Reuters further explained, “Illegal foreign currency trading of 472.3 billion formed the bulk of the cryptocurrency crimes, Customs said, but gave no details on what action authorities were taking against the rule breaches.”

“Among other breaches,” the report continued, “Customs said there were also cases where investors in Japan sent their yen worth 53.7 billion won to their partners in South Korea for illegal currency trade.” This series of events comes at the end of a very hectic few months for the peninsular East Asian nation. Yesterday, US regulators in New York requested trading data on cryptocurrencies. New regulations regarding cryptocurrency exchanges took effect as well, essentially eliminating anonymous trades.

Wait and See

Even the Republic’s chief of state recently issued guidelines concerning public officials and their involvement in crypto. There has been a multi-pronged approach to limiting, if not outright ending, foreign participation in exchanges, which included South Korean card companies.  

South Korea Finds Nearly $600 Million in Crypto Crime

Ecosystem markets were rocked at the end of the year when fears arose cryptocurrencies would be banned outright. It turned out to be just a minister spouting off, but that unleashed a wave of dips in prices, and it spurred domestic protests to essentially leave cryptocurrencies alone.

As East Asia’s fourth largest economy, South Korea punches above its weight in the crypto world, clearly. “The customs office added that it would continue to monitor the use of cryptocurrencies in cases like illegal currency trading or money laundering,” Reuters explained. No word yet as to how the market will absorb this current controversy.

How do you think markets will respond to the South Korean crime news? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Pixabay, KCS.


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PR: All Crypto – Friendly Venues Are Finally Listed in One App – CryptoFind

CryptoFind Payment App by Graft

This is a paid press release, which contains forward looking statements, and should be treated as advertising or promotional material. Bitcoin.com does not endorse nor support this product/service. Bitcoin.com is not responsible for or liable for any content, accuracy or quality within the press release.

CryptoFind App by GRAFT Blockchain discovers nearby venues that accept cryptocurrencies as payment. Basically, it’s a self-spreading network, linking crypto-savvy buyers and merchants.

For the very first time, all businesses that accept crypto will be listed and curated on one global map. While CryptoFind is made by GRAFT Blockchain, it’s not exclusive to GRAFT-enabled locations. It maps venues that accept any cryptocurrency via different methods (Mobile PoS, Wallet to Wallet, Partner Credit Card Terminals).

CryptoFind is mutually beneficial for users and merchants. Users earn rewards by persuading businesses to accept cryptocurrencies and enlist in the app, while merchants expand their client base by serving crypto-savvy buyers. Moreover, both contribute toward cryptocurrency entering the mainstream.

Benefits for Users
Instant transaction. Pay with crypto on the go.
No fees to the buyers. Even for small purchases.
Crypto variety. Use your favorite cryptocurrency.

Benefits for Merchants
Service new loyal clients. Crypto-savvy buyers prefer crypto-friendly venues.
Accept major cryptocurrencies. Deal with proven crypto.
Additional PR. Your location is added to the app’s map.

GRAFT Blockchain team comments: “The launch of the CryptoFind App is a decisive step towards taking cryptocurrencies mainstream. Merchant support is the final frontier in cryptocurrency adoption and a key to providing liquidity and stability to the market”

CryptoFind is currently available on the App Store with Android version scheduled to be released within a week.

———————————————————-

GRAFT Blockchain is a first global, open sourced, payment blockchain designed for the Point-of-Sale. GRAFT blockchain is live, running MainNet starting September 15, 2018, offering opportunity to miners. GRAFT coin (GRFT) will be available on exchanges in February / March time frame, and is currently in the final stages of a successful ICO.
———————————————

More information about the GRAFT Blockchain
www.graft.network

Contact Email Address
[email protected]
Supporting Link
https://www.graft.network/cryptofind/

This is a paid press release. Readers should do their own due diligence before taking any actions related to the promoted company or any of its affiliates or services. Bitcoin.com is not responsible, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any content, goods or services mentioned in the press release.

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Facebook Bans Cryptocurrency Ads

Facebook Bans Cryptocurrency Adverts

Following persistent complaints about spammy and fraudulent cryptocurrency ads, Facebook has issued an outright ban. As of a new ruling issued on January 30, “ads must not promote financial products and services that are frequently associated with misleading or deceptive promotional practices, such as binary options, initial coin offerings, or cryptocurrency”. The move is sure to be welcomed by Facebook users and bitcoin enthusiasts alike, who recognize that these adverts to little to promote the benefits of cryptocurrency.

Also read: Scammy Ads and News Factories Are Having a Field Day With Bitcoin

Facebook Gives Crypto Ads the Thumbs Down

Facebook Bans Cryptocurrency AdvertsOf the myriad places on the web where a person can learn about cryptocurrencies, Facebook is possibly the worst. Its users tend to be less sophisticated than those who frequent other social networks, and are easy prey for scammers, charlatans, and snake oil salesmen. Characters such as the impressively coiffured James Altucher have become the hated face of Facebook crypto, with their get rich quick schemes promoting the seedier side of bitcoin.

In a post published on Tuesday, Facebook Product Management Director Rob Leathern wrote: “We want people to continue to discover and learn about new products and services through Facebook ads without fear of scams or deception. That said, there are many companies who are advertising binary options, ICOs and cryptocurrencies that are not currently operating in good faith.”

Facebook Bans Cryptocurrency Adverts

He added: “This policy is intentionally broad while we work to better detect deceptive and misleading advertising practices, and enforcement will begin to ramp up across our platforms including Facebook, Audience Network and Instagram”.

Facebook Bans Cryptocurrency Adverts
The much derided figure of James Altucher

And Nothing of Value Was Lost

The moratorium on crypto ads can only benefit the cryptocurrency community. Scams such as Bitconnect and Arisebank are allowed to ferment on platforms such as Facebook, out of the reach of sharp-tongued Twitter traders who would otherwise call them out. Examples of ads that Facebook cites as being in contravention of its new policy include “New ICO! Buy tokens at a 15% discount NOW!”

Facebook Bans Cryptocurrency Adverts
Facebook’s new directive regarding cryptocurrency ads

Facebook’s advertising policy is notoriously fussy. The list of health foods and supplements it won’t list, for example, is extensive, and it also seems to have a problem with male torsos being displayed. ICOs and cryptocurrency projects – even those that are above board – can now be added to that list. There’s a school of thought that holds that ICOs which have merit shouldn’t require paid advertising in the first place, especially not display ads. If a product is genuinely innovative and worthy of investment, there are plenty of ways to create a buzz and form an active community without resorting to Facebook.

Do you think Facebook banning crypto ads is a good thing? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, and Facebook.


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Deep Web Roundup: Dream Adds Monero and Bitcoin Tumbler “Chip Mixer” Launches

Deep Web Roundup: Dream Adds Monero and Bitcoin Tumbler “Chip Mixer” Launches

The darknet has been quiet of late, which is the way it’s meant to be. No news means no mega busts, honeypots, or mass market shutdowns. Even when it’s out of the spotlight though, the deep web is quietly making news, whether trialling the latest privacy coins or the newest coin mixers that promise to restore a little of the privacy that’s being stripped away from bitcoin users on a daily basis.

Also read: U.S. Agency ICE Conducts Investigations That Exploit Blockchain Activity

The Battle for Privacy Heats Up

Privacy is all relative, but of late there’s been relatively little privacy to be enjoyed by bitcoin users. Blockchain monitoring software is becoming more sophisticated and more common, with U.S. law enforcement agencies using it to profile and hunt down deep web users. Chip Mixer is a relatively new bitcoin tumbler that’s designed to restore some of that privacy. Available on both the clearnet and darknet, the service uses a variety of techniques to obfuscate blockchain movements.

Unlike other mixers, Chip Mixer adds in its own chips which are then shuffled around in a manner akin to gambling at an online casino, before the initial deposit is withdrawn into a new address. Services such as Chip Mixer are useful not only to darknet vendors and customers, but to bitcoin users in general seeking to regain some privacy. In a week in which a prominent bitcoiner got the community talking simply by transferring their 40k BTC to a new address, it’s evident that there are instances where transaction obfuscation is desirable.

Deep Web Roundup: Dream Adds Monero and Bitcoin Tumbler “Chip Mixer” Launches

The Age of Blockchain Monitoring Has Arrived

“Criminals think that they are safe online because they’re anonymous, but they are in for a rude awakening,” said Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Monday, launching a crackdown on Fentanyl distribution. “We have already infiltrated their networks, and we are determined to bring them to justice.”

The sort of tools used by three-letter agencies such as ICE are presented as a means of crack down on the trafficking of harmful narcotics, but this is invariably the thin end of the wedge. Companies such as Bitfury gleefully boast of creating tools that are “for use by law enforcement organizations and financial institutions.” Their latest, Crystal, “tracks the relationships of an entity with identified bad actors (such as dark market traders)”. These sorts of companies would have no qualms about their software being used to profile users based on nothing more than their country of origin, libertarian beliefs, or cypherpunk ideology.

Deep Web Roundup: Dream Adds Monero and Bitcoin Tumbler “Chip Mixer” Launches

Dream Marketplace Adds Monero

There is an alternative means of regaining anonymity when transacting online which doesn’t call for passing through time-consuming tumblers: use a privacy coin. Dream, one of the longest standing DNMs, has always been a bitcoin-only marketplace, with bitcoin cash finally added a month ago. Now, much to the relief of r/Darknetmarkets, monero has made its way to Dream. To date, law enforcement – together with other busybodies intent on surveilling deep web users – have failed to deanonymize monero. Given the level of rhetoric surrounding new blockchain forensic tools, 2018 is shaping up to be an interesting year for privacy advocates and those who would seek to deny them that right.

Do you think tumblers such as Chip Mixer can be trusted to anonymize transactions? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, and Chip Mixer.


Disclaimer: Bitcoin.com does not endorse nor support these products/services.

Readers should do their own due diligence before taking any actions related to the mentioned companies or any of their affiliates or services. Bitcoin.com is not responsible, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any content, goods or services mentioned in this article.

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U.S. Regulators Send Tether and Bitfinex Subpoenas

U.S. Regulators Send Tether and Bitfinex Subpoenas

There’s been a lot of discussion and controversy surrounding Tether (USDT) a digital asset that claims to be backed by the U.S. dollar. Now according to reports, the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission has subpoenaed the cryptocurrency exchange Bitfinex and the company Tether for unknown reasons.

Also Read: Analyst: IOTA Sharply Overvalued Due to “Overwhelming Evidence of Serious Flaws”

The CFTC Sends Bitfinex and Tether a Subpoena

U.S. Regulators Send Tether and Bitfinex SubpoenasA lot of skeptics believe that the digital currency Tether USDT is not backed by the U.S. dollar and may have pumped the entire cryptocurrency economy during 2017’s phenomenal year. Just recently new.Bitcoin.com reported on Tether severing ties with its auditor, so cryptocurrency enthusiasts are still left in the dark regarding USDT’s so-called backing. Tether has still not proven that it holds $2.3 billion USD in reserves. Now according to the financial publication Bloomberg the CFTC has sent subpoenas to both Tether and Bitfinex on December 6 “a person familiar with the matter” explains.

Bitfinex and Tether Say Legal Requests Are Routine While the CFTC Declines to Comment

U.S. Regulators Send Tether and Bitfinex Subpoenas

Tether and Bitfinex did respond to a question regarding the subpoenas in an emailed statement sent to the news outlet.  

“We routinely receive legal process from law enforcement agents and regulators conducting investigations,” explained Bitfinex and Tether representatives.

It is our policy not to comment on any such requests.

Furthermore Erica Richardson, a CFTC spokeswoman declined to comment on the subject concerning the digital currency businesses. Very little public information exists on why the CFTC has sent Bitfinex and Tether the notice.

However, the news follows a lot of speculation about both of these companies from various media sources and well-documented reports. This past week Professor Nouriel Roubini otherwise known as ‘Dr. Doom’ said, “regulators are asleep at the wheel while $2 billion of fake money was created via this scam.” With Bitfinex and Tether being subpoenaed by the CFTC, it seems regulators may be very aware of Tether and exchanges like Bitfinex who are ‘tethered’ to the digital dollar business.

What do you think about Bitfinex and Tether being subpoenaed by the CFTC? Let us know in the comments below.


Images via Shutterstock, Bitfinex, the CFTC, and Tether logos.


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Nassim Nicholas Taleb vs David Birch on The Bitcoin Standard

Nassim Nicholas Taleb vs David Birch on The Bitcoin Standard

The Bitcoin Standard: The Decentralized Alternative to Central Banking, by bitcoin maximalist Saifedean Ammous, is set for a spring release, having managed to make news ahead by snagging philosopher Nassim Nicholas Taleb to write its foreword. Mr. Taleb is his usual profound self, offering a full-throated defense of its essential idea, in contrast to many contemporary intellectuals who often dismiss bitcoin out of hand.   

Also read: Tezos Swiss Foundation Concept is “Old, Inflexible and Stupid”

Nassim Nicholas Taleb Forwards Bitcoin

“Which is why Bitcoin is an excellent idea,” continues a crypto community favorite philosopher, Nassim Nicholas Taleb, 57, in a recent post to his Opacity blog, It May Fail but We Now Know How to Do It. “It fulfills the needs of the complex system, not because it is a cryptocurrency, but precisely because it has no owner, no authority that can decide on its fate. It is owned by the crowd, its users. And it has now a track record of several years, enough for it to be an animal in its own right.”

Mr. Taleb is best known for his work in probability, risk, decision theory, and his books include 2010’s The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable, and 2012’s Antifragile: Things That Gain from Disorder, both highly cited by ecosystem enthusiasts. His present meditation on bitcoin came by way of a foreword to an upcoming release.

Nassim Nicholas Taleb vs David Birch on The Bitcoin Standard
Nassim Nicholas Taleb

In his defense of bitcoin, he rifles through “experts” on the economy, familiar names who’ve either outright failed or who merely kept the dying patient alive for a little while longer, arriving at the cautionary value of how “we need to be careful on who to endow with centralized macro decisions.” The echo chamber of central banking has sought only its own ends rather than improving upon currency, half of all transactions. It’s probably safe to write the industrialized world hasn’t experienced innovation for at least a century. Imagine if any other technology, tool, commodity was allowed such stillbirth.

Mr. Taleb notes Hayek as inspiration for the innovation of bitcoin, at least in spirit. The distribution of knowledge means, almost paradoxically, “it looks like we do not even need that thing called knowledge for things to work well. Nor do we need individual rationality. All we need is structure,” and that structure is decentralization. Even stalwart stores of value throughout history, such as gold, have lost their heroic reason for existence: they’re now wholly play things of governments, from Hong Kong to New Jersey, while “Bitcoin is a currency without a government,” Mr. Taleb reminds readers.

Nassim Nicholas Taleb vs David Birch on The Bitcoin Standard

As such, he explains, it “has a huge advantage over gold in transactions: clearance does not require a specific custodian. No government can control what code you have in your head,” Mr. Taleb insists. He does acknowledge bitcoin’s present drawbacks in terms of network congestion and transaction fees, however, but brings us back to Hayekian ground, as bitcoin “is the first organic currency.”

David GW Birch Might’ve Very Well Missed the Point of Bitcoin

While Mr. Taleb is refreshingly pithy and grounded in bitcoin’s ultimate ends, other intellectuals of note in the financial world aren’t so convinced. Before Babylon, Beyond Bitcoin: From Money that We Understand to Money that Understands Us (London Publishing Partnership, 2017), is a breezy enough read by a familiar English financial columnist and pundit, David GW Birch. Mr. Birch, The Telegraph notes, is “one of the world’s leading experts on digital money,” and a director of Consult Hyperion, an IT management consultancy.

Despite its title, the book has precious little to say about bitcoin, devoting almost as much space to ether, zcash, and ripple as possible alternatives to what Mr. Birch declares a near sure thing: bitcoin won’t survive. Indeed, cryptographic currencies won’t either, at least not in the manner Mr. Taleb has praised, according to Mr. Birch.

Nassim Nicholas Taleb vs David Birch on The Bitcoin Standard
David GW Birch

Of its 18 chapters, it takes until the 13th before a discussion of cryptocurrency is hashed out. And really the segment is to probably justify the title, as scattered paragraphs tangent to practical concerns and comparisons to M-Pesa. Lost wallets and lack of recovery. Low relative adoption rates. Finally, he even doubts bitcoin is a currency. He writes almost rhetorically, “might it be the future of money? I think not,” Mr. Birch answers.

“Bitcoin is not the future of money, and the future of money is not Bitcoin,” he emphasizes. He does walk a tightrope of coming close to Mr. Taleb’s understanding, suggesting many people are fed up with status quo currency arrangements. But then Mr. Birch cheers much more centralized cryptocurrency alternatives such as ripple before advocating a kind of digital fiat hybrid where central bankers somehow stabilize and tame crypto in preference to his favored centralized structure. And then he’s off to the drug of professional financial journalists, “blockchain” this and “blockchain” that.

Nassim Nicholas Taleb vs David Birch on The Bitcoin Standard

Mr. Birch has it exactly backward: bitcoin is practical in a liberation sense. It’ll find its way toward use cases, and is nearly every day. While Mr. Birch’s predictions might just come to pass, the allure of bitcoin as an idea is now out there: people are free to transact without minders. Ending on Mr. Taleb for contrast suffices to push home the point:

“But its mere existence is an insurance policy that will remind governments that the last object establishment could control, namely, the currency, is no longer their monopoly. This gives us, the crowd, an insurance policy against an Orwellian future.”

What do you think bitcoin’s future is? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Pixabay, Nassim Nicholas Taleb, David GW Birch.


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