Google Trends Data Shows BSV’s Delisting Controversy Wasn’t All Bad News for the Altcoin

Source From https://coinjournal.net/google-trends-data-shows-bsvs-delisting-controversy-wasnt-all-bad-news-for-the-altcoin-craig-wright/

All publicity is good publicity. Yes, this is a massively overused phrase, but it holds true in the Bitcoin space. Whether the price is skyrocketing towards the moon or crashing back down to reality, the media tends to cover the story with the same level of interest. When looking at the Google Trends data for […]

The post Google Trends Data Shows BSV’s Delisting Controversy Wasn’t All Bad News for the Altcoin appeared first on Coinjournal.

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Crypto Exchange Liquid Unveils US Expansion Plans

Source From https://coinjournal.net/crypto-exchange-liquid-unveils-us-expansion-plans/

Liquid, the cryptocurrency exchange platform operated by Japanese startup Quoine, has partnered with Virtual Currency Partners (VCP), a venture capital group composed of fintech and crypto investors and entrepreneurs, to establish a jointly-owned entity called Liquid Financial USA Inc. (Liquid USA). The new company will focus on expanding Liquid’s services into the US, Quoine said […]

The post Crypto Exchange Liquid Unveils US Expansion Plans appeared first on Coinjournal.

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Debunking Bitcoin Myths: "It’s Only for Criminals"

Source From https://bitcoinmagazine.com/articles/debunking-bitcoin-myths-its-only-for-criminals/

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A series of op eds by Kyle Torpey addressing some of the oft-repeated arguments against Bitcoin

Bitcoin’s core value proposition is that it is an uncontrolled, apolitical money. To some people, this means Bitcoin is only useful to people who want to get around various regulations imposed on the world’s financial systems and society more generally.

And in a way, these Bitcoin critics have a point. Bitcoin can be quite useful for criminals, much like physical cash. However, the permissionless nature of Bitcoin also enables other valuable use cases of this new technology.

Bitcoin is simply a tool. And that tool can be used by both good and bad people.

Non-Criminals in the Developed World

In the developed world, bitcoin has mostly been used for price speculation. People simply want to bet on the future potential of this new digital asset. That’s not a crime.

In addition to outright speculation on bitcoin and altcoins, there are those who already view bitcoin as a credible store of value due to its difficult-to-corrupt monetary policy.

Having said that, there are also some nonspeculative use cases for bitcoin that have gained traction in places like the United States and Western Europe.

If someone wants to protect their financial privacy online, bitcoin is often seen as the best available option. Although privacy-conscious altcoins, such as Monero and Zcash, have increased in popularity, bitcoin is still generally preferred in this niche due to its own privacy improvements (Samourai Wallet and Wasabi Wallet come to mind) and various network effects.

Seeking privacy does not necessarily mean someone is doing anything wrong. Some people are simply becoming more conscious about the amount of personal data they hand over to third parties, especially in light of Facebook’s ongoing privacy controversies.

There are also a variety of other, admittedly niche, Bitcoin-related activities that can be found in the developed world — such as saving money on Amazon purchases via Purse.io and timestamping.

Additionally, it should be noted that “criminal activity” is a rather subjective term. While some bitcoin users may technically be criminals, much of this activity may be seen as morally acceptable by the vast majority of society. Does anyone really care if someone buys a small amount of marijuana on a darknet market?

Furthermore, what’s illegal in one country may be legal in another.

Non-Criminals in the Developing World

Bitcoin has long been touted as having the ability to “bank the unbanked” around the world. While some of this narrative is likely overblown, at least for now, it’s true that Bitcoin can be a solution in the developing world for holding digital value (especially in countries dealing with high levels of inflation) and gaining access to the internet economy.

Issues around identity and reputation make it difficult or uneconomical for banks to provide services in some markets, so Bitcoin can be helpful in filling in the cracks found in the global financial system.

This access to the global economy is also much more difficult for local tyrants to control when it’s enabled by Bitcoin. For example, families leaving Venezuela are able to more easily hold onto their savings by placing it into a Bitcoin private key rather than something physical like cash or gold.

Those who don’t believe the developing world will want to hold an asset as volatile as bitcoin should look at an app like Abra, which allows users to peg the value of their bitcoin to basically any real-world asset.

The developing world also accounts for the other side of the aforementioned Purse.io. Much of the Amazon credit liquidity that powers the site purportedly comes from Amazon Mechanical Turk workers in the developing world.

The key attribute that these use cases in the developed and developing worlds share is that they rely on the existence of a digital bear ecash like bitcoin. Much like the development of the internet itself, the permissionless nature of Bitcoin has the potential to unlock large amounts of value for the world.

This is a guest post by Kyle Torpey. Opinions expressed are his own and do not necessarily reflect those of Bitcoin Magazine or BTC Inc.

This article originally appeared on Bitcoin Magazine.

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Analyzing bitcoin price movement on April 25th

Source From https://research.tradeblock.com/analyzing-bitcoin-price-movement-on-april-25th/

On April 25th at 5:05 p.m. ET, crypto news site, TheBlock, reported that the NY Attorney General’s Office was initiating a lawsuit against the Bitfinex exchange and its loosely associated stablecoin, Tether, in a probe to uncover ongoing fraud. At 5:18 p.m. ET, The Wall Street Journal reported that Bitfinex used US dollar reserves that were backing Tether to cover…

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Finland: Financial Watchdog Adopts Role as Supervisory Authority for Crypto Sector

Source From https://cointelegraph.com/news/finland-financial-watchdog-adopts-role-as-supervisory-authority-for-crypto-sector

Finland’s Financial Supervisory Authority is to assume its role as registration and supervisory authority for the crypto sector.

Finland’s Financial Supervisory Authority (FIN-FSA) is set to assume its role as a registration authority and supervisory agency for crypto industry participants as new legislation comes into force this week. The news was revealed in an announcement published by FIN-FSA on April 27.

With Finland’s Act on Virtual Currency Service Providers set to come into effect on May 1, the watchdog clarifies that it will henceforth be statutorily required to register all crypto exchanges, custodian crypto wallet providers and cryptocurrency issuers operating in the country.

As FIN-FSA notes, the new Finnish legislation has been drafted on the basis of the European Union (EU)’s Fifth Anti-Money Laundering (AML) Directive. As reported, the latter came into force in July 2018 and established a revised legal framework for EU financial watchdogs to regulate cryptocurrencies and mitigate the risks of money laundering and terrorism financing.

FIN-FSA outlines that registration will necessitate statutory compliance with multiple rules, including those pertaining to the storage and protection of client funds, segregation of service provider and client assets, rules for the marketing of services and heeding AML/CFT laws.

The watchdog also announced a briefing directed to the crypto industry on May 15 to be held at the Bank of Finland’s auditorium in Helsinki. The briefing will reportedly lay out FIN-FSA’s registration timeline and the steps and schedule for the procedure, as well as addressing formal and draft regulations and guidelines applicable to industry participants.

Notwithstanding the new legislation, FIN-FSA states that investor protection is not fully resolved within the new measures, and reminds the public that:

“The risks related to virtual currency investments remain unchanged. The risks include sudden major fluctuations in value, data security threats pertaining to exchange services and custodian wallet providers, and the nature of several virtual currencies as speculative investments not involving any inherent source of return.”

As reported this March, Helsinki-based international peer-to-peer crypto exchange LocalBitcoins has recently announced its forthcoming supervision by FIN-FSA in accordance with the country’s new legislation.

In the EU context, member state France is reportedly poised to attempt to persuade other countries in the bloc to adopt cryptocurrency regulations similar to its own new framework, approved earlier this month.

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Bitfinex Faces Legal Action From NY Attorney General: Here’s What This Means

Source From https://bitcoinmagazine.com/articles/bitfinex-faces-legal-action-from-ny-attorney-general-heres-what-this-means/

Bitfinex Ny Attorney General

The New York Office of the Attorney General (AG) wants to take a closer look into the business operations of Bitfinex and related stablecoin issuer Tether (USDT). According to a legal petition filed with the Supreme Court of New York, the NY Attorney General Office of Letitia James is applying for a court order to investigate Bitfinex’s suite of interrelated companies (including its umbrella firm iFinex and Tether Holdings Limited) for “ongoing fraud” to the tune of $850 million.

What does the news mean for Bitfinex, Tether and Bitcoin?

What Is the Legal Action About Exactly?

Prompted by its findings in a 2018 investigative subpoena, the New York Office of the Attorney General alleges that Bitfinex used funds from Tether (a separate company run by the same management) to mask some $850 million in losses in customer funds resulting from potential theft or mismanagement by payment processor Crypto Capital.

Bitfinex ended up relying on the fiduciary services of the Panama-based payment processor following a roulette of troubled banking relationships throughout the years. By mid-2018, Crypto Capital held roughly $1 billion worth of combined business and customer funds on behalf of Bitfinex. The document alleges that Bitfinex entrusted Crypto Capital with these funds without signing a contract or business agreement.

Text-based correspondence cited in the document from mid-2018, which was obtained during the AG’s 2018 investigation, reveal a Bitfinex employee’s persistent yet unsuccessful attempts to retrieve funds from Crypto Capital. The payment processor claimed that the funds were seized by Portuguese, Polish and American authorities, though both the Attorney General and Bitfinex question whether this is true.

In the meantime, complaints of delayed withdrawals from Bitfinex users were rampant. The court document states that despite its issues with Crypto Capital, Bitfinex falsely claimed that cash withdrawals were unobstructed during this period.

In order to be able to continue processing withdrawals, Bitfinex ultimately transferred $625 million from Tether’s reserves. Additionally, Bitfinex established a $900 million “revolving line of credit” with Tether, and both this promise of credit and the prior transfer were conducted without Bitfinex or Tether alerting its users.

This line of credit, which Bitfinex can draw from on a need-by-need basis, is collateralized with over 60 million shares of iFinex Inc., one of the Bitfinex brand’s shell companies. These shares are owned by DigFinex, the majority owner of both Tether and iFinex.

“That transaction closed on or about March 19. 20I9. The total accessed under the loan facility as of today’s date is equal to $700 million,” the document states.

This fund shuffling and the capital mismanagement that prompted it are the crux of the legal proceedings, with the letter stating that Bitfinex has “produced only limited relevant information” regarding Tether’s $625 million transfer and $900 million line of credit.

In conclusion, the letter reads, “OAG’s ongoing investigation seeks to determine, among other things, the extent to which New York investors are exposed to ongoing fraud being carried out by Bitfinex and Tether.” To make this determination, the application seeks a court order to secure relevant business and financial information, including tax documentation, an official audit, and banking/loan documents and correspondence.

Why Is This Legal Pressure Coming Out of New York?

Bitfinex nor Tether are based in New York. Neither company possesses a BitLicense needed to operate a cryptocurrency exchange in the state, so Bitfinex officially barred its service to individuals from New York in August 2017 and to businesses in August 2018.

However, the New York Attorney General believes that the exchange was still serving (some) New York citizens regardless, and the order explicitly states that it seeks to protect “legitimate traders using the Bitfinex platform … primarily those residing in New York.”

The New York Attorney General can also invoke what is known as the Martin Act. As securities regulatory attorney Scott Andersen said on Twitter, the Act “broadly empowers the NY Attorney General to conduct civil and criminal investigations for securities law violations.” With this regulatory power, the AG can obtain a preliminary court order to elicit testimony and evidence from Bitfinex.

What Does Bitfinex Say?

In a response published on the company’s blog, Bitfinex positions itself as a company that is a good corporate citizen and strong supporter of law enforcement, and it condemns the legal action by the New York Attorney General’s Office as “gross overreach.”

The statement reads:

“The New York Attorney General’s court filings were written in bad faith and are riddled with false assertions, including as to a purported $850 million ‘loss’ at Crypto Capital. On the contrary, we have been informed that these Crypto Capital amounts are not lost but have been, in fact, seized and safeguarded. We are and have been actively working to exercise our rights and remedies and get those funds released. Sadly, the New York Attorney General’s office seems to be intent on undermining those efforts to the detriment of our customers.”

Bitfinex further suggests that the New York Attorney General’s time would be better spent trying to aid and support the company’s recovery efforts to procure the funds held by Crypto Capital.

Is Tether Insolvent? Is Bitfinex?

Nobody can know for sure — for either company. The request for a court order, in part, hinges on this question, however, and the New York Attorney General seems to believe that Bitfinex siphoned funds from Tether’s reserves to cover up a potential insolvency.

The document stakes no claim on whether or not Crypto Capital has the funds. It’s possible that the payment processor might have the money but is refusing to give it up, just as it’s possible that they no longer hold these funds in their own accounts or that they were seized or frozen by authorities.

It should be noted that even if $850 million is inaccessible, this represents only a fraction of Bitfinex and Tether’s total holdings. Twitter reports suggest that Bitfinex withdrawals are still being processed.

Were Bitfinex/Tether Critics Right?

It depends on which critics and the timing of their criticisms. Over the years, a wide range of accusations have been leveraged against Bitfinex and Tether.

One of the best-known and severe of these accusations was that Tether was creating unbacked USDT “out of thin air,” which it used to artificially inflate the bitcoin and cryptocurrency markets. Some of these accusations go back as far as early 2017. Based on the information that is now available, these accusations appear to be false or at least unproven, and the New York Attorney General’s Office doesn’t lend them credence in its letter.

More mild accusations focused on the untransparent business practices of Bitfinex and suspicions that the exchange, with the help of USDT, was running a fractional reserve in some way or another. Seemingly corroborating these suspicions for skeptics, Tether updated its website in March to clarify that USDT is “100% backed by [its] reserves,” which could include “cash equivalents” but also “other assets and receivables from loans.” The old version assured users that each USDT was backed 1-1 with cash. Tether made this change shortly before the $900 million line of credit was established.

It appears that from the moment when Bitfinex started running into trouble with Crypto Capital, sometime in 2018, these accusations of fractional reserve practices carried validity.

What Does This Mean for Bitcoin?

While only time will tell, of course, there is little reason to believe these latest developments will have great impact on Bitcoin one way or the other.

Many bitcoin exchanges have historically had trouble finding reliable banking partners, and some of them have even had to shut down because of this. As we’ve seen with the QuadrigaCX debacle, when an exchange can’t secure proper banking partnerships, it might turn to unscrupulous payment processors–to the detriment of both its operations and its customer’s funds.

Similarly, a number of bitcoin exchanges have lost funds due to hacks or otherwise, and in some cases had to entirely close shop because of this as well. While such events have affected the bitcoin price and general sentiment in the short term, it’s not clear if this will result in long-term effects; in this case, it’s far from certain that Bitfinex will have to cease operations or accept losses at all. The company itself certainly doesn’t think so.

So far the bitcoin price has seen a somewhat modest price drop of about 5 percent. Interestingly, even USDT is trading at $0.97 on Kraken, suggesting that the market still has relative faith in the stablecoin and the company behind it (for now).

This article originally appeared on Bitcoin Magazine.

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Crypto Press’s Morning Crypto News Digest – 4/28/2019 12:01:27 PM – UTC

Source From https://crypto.press/2019/04/28/crypto-presss-morning-crypto-news-digest-4282019-120127-pm-utc/


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Bitcoin_Logo-bitcoin-latest-price-daily-price-information 4/28/2019 12:00:00 PM,$BTC | #BTC – bitcoin’s Current Price: ▲ $5325.7166 | 1h ▲ : 0.46 % | 24h ▲ : 1.42 % | 7d ▲ : 0.51% | More on: Bitcoin Information

thereum-news-ethereum-price-information-ETHEREUM-ICON_Black 4/28/2019 12:00:00 PM,$ETH | #ETH – ethereum’s Current Price: ▲ $159.5308 | 1h ▲ : 0.37 % | 24h ▲ : 2.12 % | 7d ▼ : -6.04% | More on: Ethereum Information

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:
Mutual Owners, Mutual Funds: What We Know About the Bitfinex/Tether Scandal
,

2019-04-28

:
Both Bitfinex and Tether are in deep trouble due to allegedly misusing funds — learn more about one of the biggest crypto scandals of 2019
,

‘Blockchain Bandit’: How a Hacker Has Been Stealing Millions Worth of ETH by Guessing Weak Private Keys

:
2019-04-28

There are at least 732 weak private keys on the Ethereum blockchain alone which are being exploited by a “blockchain bandit”, who has amassed almost 45,000 ETH at this point. Learn more in our interview with security researchers who found him

Singapore Police Rescue Victim from Elaborate Bitcoin Machine Scam

:
2019-04-28

By CCN.com: A police investigation involving bitcoin machines at Tampines One Mall in Singapore saved a 32-year-old man from scammers impersonating officials. They also helped a 49-year-old man not to transfer any more of his bitcoin to the alleged lying thieves. Singapore police warned on Saturday: “Do not fall for scammers who impersonate officials from China and ask victims to transfer money using bitcoin machines.” Also: “No government agency in …

Crypto Market Wrap: Ontology Still Moving on Paxos Partnership

:
2019-04-28

Crypto markets consolidate on Sunday; Bitcoin holding steady, BNB still gaining, Ontology making bigger moves.nMarket WrapnThe weekend has been typically quiet on crypto markets but that is preferable over further declines. Total market capitalization has remained above $170 billion which keeps markets within their range bound channel.nBitcoin snuck over $5,300 a few hours ago during morning trading in Asia and is heading that way again at the time of writing. Currently …

Bitcoin (BTC) Price Eyeing Last Line Of Defense: Buy Dips?

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2019-04-28

There was a strong decline in bitcoin price below the $5,280 support level against the US Dollar.nThe price even spiked below the $5,000 support level and it is currently consolidating above $5,100.nThere is a major bullish trend line in place with support at $5,080 on the 4-hours chart of the BTC/USD pair (data feed from Kraken).nThe pair could bounce back as long as there is no weekly close below the $5,000 support level.nnBitcoin price started consolidating losses after a …

Ethereum (ETH) Price Larger Dip Underway: Bulls Losing Grip

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2019-04-28

ETH price declined heavily this past week and broke the $166 and $160 supports against the US Dollar.nThe price even broke the $155 support level and traded close to the $146 level.nThere is a crucial bearish trend line formed with resistance at $172 on the 4-hours chart of ETH/USD (data feed via Kraken).nThe pair could correct higher in the short term, but it is likely to face sellers near $160 or $162.nnEthereum price declined below important support levels versus the US …

McAfee Says His Bitcoin Debit Card’s Coming Soon. Can We Believe Him?

:
2019-04-28

By CCN: John McAfee just tweeted out from somewhere in the Bahamas a teaser image for a new crypto debit card. The dotcom, anti-virus-millionaire promises the Visa-branded bitcoin card will be coming soon. From the teaser promo, it appears you can use your card to spend bitcoin anywhere Visa is accepted. McAfee has a history of making false promises, the most recent of which was that he would reveal the identity of bitcoin creator Satoshi Nakamoto. So for all those in crypto …

Bitcoin Pushes Over $5,300 as Most Top Cryptos See Gains

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2019-04-27

Bitcoin is over the $5,300 mark as most of the top 20 cryptocurrencies report slight to moderate gains on the day

Mutual Owners, Mutual Funds: What We Know About the Bitfinex/Tether Scandal

:
2019-04-27

Both Bitfinex and Tether are in deep trouble due to allegedly misusing funds — learn more about one of the biggest crypto scandals of 2019


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