US Financial Watchdog Fines Bitcoin Mixer Service $60 ...

The Travel Rule is Coming in 2021 - Here’s What You Need to Know

Link to BTCTimes: https://www.btctimes.com/news/the-travel-rule-is-coming-in-2021-here-is-what-you-need-to-know
On June 30th, the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) released the outcomes of the June FATF Plenary, a report that concluded a 12-month review of cryptocurrency businesses as they prepare for the Travel Rule and its extended information sharing requirements.
The result back then: the FATF would extend the preparation period by another 12 months, allowing the industry more time to become compliant with the Travel Rule and avoid penalties.
The year-long extension did not come as a surprise: “I expect FATF to only reiterate their guideline expectations on member countries during the plenary. This will help ensure that more VASPs [virtual asset service providers] can work with greater confidence towards firm Travel Rule compliance deadlines in each country following the June plenary,” said Michael Michael Ou, CEO of CoolBitX, on June 9th, prior to the June Plenary report.
Another extension of the preparation period, however, is unlikely according to David Riegelnig, Head of Risk Management at Bitcoin Suisse AG.
“From the regulators’ point of view, they’ve granted one more year to implement the travel rule and they see that the industry is moving,” he told the BTC Times. “I expect regulations to come into effect at least mid-next year.”

What Is the FATF?

The Financial Action Task Force on Money Laundering (FATF) sets international standards to prevent money laundering and terrorist financing. Its primary objective is to develop and enforce FATF Recommendations, which describe a comprehensive plan for a globally coordinated effort to identify the transfer of funds for illicit purposes.

What Is the Travel Rule?

The Travel Rule was first created in the U.S. on May 28th, 1996 through the Bank Secrecy Act and was issued by the Treasury Department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN).
The rule requires all intermediary financial institutions to share customer information with one another for fund transfers exceeding $3,000. The type of information that must be provided include the name, address, and the bank account number of the sender.
With the emergence of Bitcoin, a new, unregulated asset class has stepped into the picture and continues to draw interest from both young and established financial institutions. In light of this, the FATF is currently developing new standards for virtual asset service providers (VASPs) to comply with the Travel Rule.
On June 21st, 2019, the FATF updated the existing FATF Recommendation 16 to include the FATF Travel Rule specifically to address the challenges law enforcement faces in monitoring and identifying the use of cryptocurrency for money laundering or terrorist financing. This new Travel Rule is similar to the audit regulations of the United States’ Bank Secrecy Act, but extends the obligation to cryptocurrency transfers world-wide.

Which Cryptocurrency Companies Need to Comply With the Travel Rule?

The Travel Rule applies to businesses that exchange, transfer, or safekeep cryptocurrencies, as well as those who provide financial services related to cryptocurrencies.
“If you custody, process, or exchange crypto, you’re a VASP. But if you are a wallet software provider, you might be excluded,” David Riegelnig told the BTC Times.
But what about “decentralized” exchanges and lending protocols that facilitate transactions through smart contracts?
“FATF is increasingly thinking about this [space], especially with the recent DeFi frenzy,” Riegelnig shared. “If a smart contract is controlled by humans through admin keys, it’s very possible that they will be treated as intermediaries.”
Privacy-enhancing services such as CoinJoin providers, according to Riegelnig, likely have no reason to worry about the Travel Rule as they don’t typically control the private keys of CoinJoin participants.

What Will Change for Businesses and Customers?

With the FATF extending its review period by another 12 months, the Travel Rule is anticipated to be enforced by June 2021.
Therefore, customers of cryptocurrency businesses that operate in one of the FATF’s 39 participating member states should expect personally identifiable information to be collected and shared should they transfer cryptocurrency from one institution to another. This includes countries such as the United States, the United Kingdom, China, and Japan.
However, the Travel Rule will have an impact on businesses all over the world as members may choose not to interact with those who aren’t compliant.
“It's true that FATF requirements are binding only to member states. But in reality, they are effective beyond this group. After this migration period, no transfers will be done with VASPs in countries that are ‘non-cooperative’. You can simply not risk your license for that,” Riegelnig concluded.
submitted by BlockDotCo to u/BlockDotCo [link] [comments]

The Undiscovered Facts Behind Money Laundering, Cryptocurrency, and Banks

The Undiscovered Facts Behind Money Laundering, Cryptocurrency, and Banks
A week ago, a lot of documents known as the FinCEN documents were delivered, enumerating how the absolute greatest banks on the globe move trillions of dollars in dubious exchanges for suspected psychological militants, kleptocrats, and drug top dogs. Also, the U.S. government has neglected to stop it.
https://preview.redd.it/lme57jyyx1r51.jpg?width=1200&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=014ead7b7b812b3d6cbaf4a141eeec123589121b
The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network ("FinCEN"), an agency inside the Treasury Department, accused of battling tax evasion, psychological militant financing, and other monetary violations. An assortment of "dubious movement reports" offers a window into budgetary debasement, and how governments can't or reluctant to stop it. Benefits from destructive medication wars, fortunes stole from creating nations, and hard-earned investment funds taken in Ponzi plans, all course through money related establishments, in spite of admonitions from bank workers.
These reports are available to US law enforcement agencies and other nations’ financial intelligence operations. Although FinCEN is aware of the money laundering activities, it lacks the authority to stop it.
Money laundering is more than a financial crime. It is a tool that makes all other crimes possible - from drug trafficking to political crimes. And banks make it all possible. In a detailed expose, BuzzFeedNews named several of the most trusted banks. Current investigations show that even after fines and prosecutions, well-known JPMorgan Chase JPM (+0.9%), HSBC, Standard Chartered, Deutsche Bank, and Bank of New York Mellon BK (+0.8%) are all involved in moving funds for suspected criminals.
The current money related framework generally protects the banks and its heads from the indictment, inasmuch as the bank documents a notification with FinCEN that it might be encouraging crime. The dubious movement alert adequately gives the banks a free pass. Thus, unlawful finances keep on moving through banks into different businesses from oil to amusement to land, further isolating the rich from poor people, while the banks we have developed to trust, make everything conceivable.
As indicated by the United Nations, the assessed measure of cash laundered universally in one year is 2 to 5% of the worldwide GDP, or $800 billion to $2 trillion, with more than thank 90% of illegal tax avoidance going undetected today.
Simultaneously, the cryptocurrency industry has likewise been condemned for being an apparatus for tax evasion, in spite of insights expressing something else. It is assessed that solitary 1.1% of all digital currency exchanges are illegal. During its initial days, Bitcoin was generally connected with the Silk Road, an online dim net commercial center, where clients could buy weapons and unlawful medications namelessly.
Be that as it may, with the developing utilization of the Bitcoin organization, 42 million Bitcoin wallets, and checking, it is getting progressively conceivable to follow exchanges on open blockchains, while private financial exchanges stay covered up on display.
This week, I had a chance to plunk down with Chanpeng Zhao "CZ", the Founder and CEO of Binance, the biggest cryptographic money trade by volume on the planet, to get his interpretation of illegal tax avoidance both in the customary and the computerized fund universes.
Coming up next are a couple of features from our meeting:
Much obliged to you for going along with us today, CZ. As you would see it, for what reason is illegal tax avoidance especially destructive to our economy?
CZ: As monetary administration suppliers, it is our obligation to battle unlawful action. Everybody shares this duty. Yet, regularly once the principles are set up, individuals will attempt to get around the guidelines. What's more, there are individuals who simply need more business, and knowing or unconsciously will encourage these exchanges. We live in an intricate world, where one nation may see a go about as criminal and the other may not. Many individuals have a high contrast see, yet the world is really dim. Not all banks are honest and not all crypto organizations are terrible.
The digital currency industry has experienced harsh criticism for encouraging unlawful exchanges. How would you think conventional money and digital currency businesses analyze in such manner?
CZ: If you are utilizing Bitcoin, it is a straightforward record. When you have a couple of exchanges, you can follow the assets right back to where the coins were mined. So along these lines, blockchain really gives a straightforward record to everybody to dissect. In the event that you piece together a couple of information focuses and do a group examination, it isn't that difficult for a calculation to break down the beginning. Security coins are more earnestly to follow, yet their market top isn't unreasonably high, making bigger exchanges more troublesome. So to be completely forthright, it is a lot simpler to make illegal exchanges utilizing fiat than utilizing crypto.
How might you analyze the volume of illegal exchanges in crypto versus fiat?
CZ: It's likely a thousand times less. Essentially, for any important measure of cash you need to move in the crypto, it is exceptionally difficult to move it namelessly. There are outsider checking devices and information bases that can coordinate a considerable lot of the addresses to known people. The digital currency market top is little to the point, that in the event that you are moving a $100 million dollars, you can't do as such without experiencing an incorporated trade, making it considerably simpler to follow.
The cryptographic money space overall was begun by Satoshi Nakomoto as to some degree a campaign against the defilement of banks. Remarkably, the beginning square of Bitcoin contained a commentary tending to the bailouts of banks in 2008 and 2009 ["The Times 3 January 2009 - Chancellor on edge of second bailout for banks."] Is that ethos still alive in the digital currency space today, the drive to bring down the enormous person?
CZ: I have even more a fair view here. Some in the crypto space are against banks, fiat, and so forth., while others think digital forms of money are utilized by drug masters. Those are two extraordinary perspectives. My view is that digital money offers opportunities - a further extent of opportunity in exchanges, ventures, property, reserve funds, and so on. We are simply offering another choice for clients who esteem that opportunity and control. I'm not against any bank or any single individual. I think crypto offers a higher opportunity of cash, and thusly we need to give more individuals admittance to crypto… If I don't care for the banks, I simply don't utilize them.
Where do you feel the equalization lies between the legislature securing its residents as opposed to encouraging advancement?
CZ: I accept governments ought to be public administrations. They ought to give streets and fire departments...Whenever there is government intercession, it is awful for the economy. At whatever point an administration encourages one gathering, it naturally harms another. The administration influences the parity of the economy giving assistance to a gathering that isn't sufficiently serious to remain alive. So at whatever point an administration rescues huge banks, or any business so far as that is concerned, they just appear as though they are making a difference. I have confidence in a free economy, and I buy into that way of thinking unequivocally.
Much obliged to you for your understanding, CZ.
More information about PrivateX: www.privatex.io
PrivateX is a private wallet for sending, receiving, and storing your Bitcoin and Ethereum.
If you are interested in services, contact us [[email protected]](mailto:[email protected])
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submitted by privatex-wallet to u/privatex-wallet [link] [comments]

Dirty money pours into the world’s most powerful banks.

This is the best tl;dr I could make, original reduced by 92%. (I'm a bot)
Today, the FinCEN Files - thousands of "Suspicious activity reports" and other US government documents - offer an unprecedented view of global financial corruption, the banks enabling it, and the government agencies that watch as it flourishes.
The FinCEN Files investigation shows that even after they were prosecuted or fined for financial misconduct, banks such as JPMorgan Chase, HSBC, Standard Chartered, Deutsche Bank, and Bank of New York Mellon continued to move money for suspected criminals.
Sen. Ron Wyden, a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, which requested some of these SARs, said the FinCEN Files investigation "Reinforces the fact that we now have two systems of law enforcement and justice in the country." Drug cartels move millions through US banks; poor people go to jail for possession.
Despite the banks' sweeping powers to investigate account holders, the FinCEN Files investigation reveals that major financial institutions often fail to perform the most basic checks on their customers, such as verifying where a business is located when someone opens a new account.
When investigators for HSBC's American operations asked their colleagues in Hong Kong for the name of the person who owned Trade Leader, a company that had moved more than half a billion dollars through the bank in less than two years, the answer they got was "None available." The company would reportedly emerge as an important hub in the so-called Russian Laundromat, a sprawling scheme in which wealthy Russians, facilitated by banks, secretly moved their money into the West.
The FinCEN Files investigation shows HSBC continued banking, and profiting from, the same kinds of customers that got it in trouble in the first place, such as a Panamanian import-export firm that the Treasury Department later said was laundering money for drug kingpins.
Summary Source | FAQ | Feedback | Top keywords: bank#1 Money#2 file#3 SAR#4 financial#5
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NOTICE: This thread is for discussing the submission topic. Please do not discuss the concept of the autotldr bot here.
submitted by autotldr to autotldr [link] [comments]

BITCOIN REGULATION IN THE UNITED STATES

BITCOIN REGULATION IN THE UNITED STATES

How Bitcoin Is Regulated in the U.S.


https://preview.redd.it/db78y5uys4p51.jpg?width=756&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=cf4ef658e32cd1075de722ae8ce36d897a10975a

Bitcoin Regulation by CFTC

Currently, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) regulates digital assets that are considered commodities. Bitcoin is considered as commodity under the Commodity Exchange Act (CEA) and therefore is regulated by the CFTC.

Bitcoin Regulation by SEC

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) regulates digital assets that are considered securities. Bitcoin is not considered as security by the SEC, however it has issued several important regulations, no-action letters, and enforcement actions concerning digital assets in general.

Bitcoin Regulation by FinCEN

Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) analyzes digital asset transactions to combat money laundering, terrorist financing, and other financial crimes. FinCEN reviews suspicious Bitcoin transactions with the purpose of preventing financial crimes.

Bitcoin Regulation by IRS

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is responsible for the collection of taxes based on income received from the digital asset investments and transactions. IRS regulates Bitcoin within its competence.

Bitcoin Regulation by OCC

The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), an independent bureau within the United States Department of the Treasury, supervises all national banks that provide Bitcoin custody services to customers.
You can learn more about Bitcoin and its regulation here.
Legal Disclosure: The information contained in this article is the property of Digital Finance LLC and cannot be republished without our prior permission.
Digital Finance is a Washington, DC, financial company that specializes exclusively in the Bitcoin market. We provide easy and compliant exposure to digital assets and help our customers from all over the world toinstantly buy Bitcoin and earn up to 6% annually on their Bitcoin holdings.
submitted by MaximNurov to u/MaximNurov [link] [comments]

Dash Core Group - Desperately Seeking Bankers

Introduction
This story starts with DCG and it’s relationship with Dr. Darren Tapp of ASU (Arizona State University). But Dr. Tapp does not stand alone, for there is a loose network of friends with a shared agenda, not only to make dash a regulator-friendly project but to wilfully weaken end-user privacy by upholding a principle of transparency-first.
More than ever, society is engaged in a war on privacy. And when it comes to financial transactions, DCG has taken the position of transparency-first. In sharp contrast, many other projects in this industry are either improving end-user privacy (decred, tezos etc), or actively pursuing privacy first (monero, beam etc).
As you may know, the scaling wars of the past revolved around block size, eventually giving way to “big blocker” projects like bitcoin cash and dash. By enforcing small blocks, Blockstream successfully syphoned off miner fees to the Lightning Network and it’s own Liquid Network. I believe we may be witnessing a similar event with dash. This time it’s not a scaling issue, it’s a privacy issue; transparency-first vs privacy-first.
The Power of Inaction
As many of you know, Dr. Darren Tapp is a research professor at ASU. And you may also be aware, in July 2019, the dash treasury paid ASU 345 dash for research into zero-knowledge proofs. Here’s an excerpt from the proposal along with the relevant link:

“This proposal seeks funding to renew our annual funding commitment to ASU’s Blockchain Research Lab and specifically to fund a research project which would investigate methods to apply zero-knowledge proofs to blockchain identities. It is possible Dash could leverage this research to apply zero-knowledge proofs to identity functions within the Dash network.”
https://www.dashcentral.org/p/dash-core-group-research

To date, there has been zero feedback from this project and, so far, all requests for an update have resulted in silence, including it’s omission from the DCG quarterly call.
I am particularly concerned by a seemingly gross contradiction. The result of this research into zero-knowledge proofs was to apply to blockchain identities but not to actual payments when they hit the dash blockchain. DCG and it’s proponents argue that privacy-first negates the ability to audit the chain for inflation. But if this was true, how can anyone argue with confidence that zero-knowledge proofs would only work with blockchain identities? It is, I say, a bit disingenuous to suggest it can work one way but not the other.
A Tapp Perspective
I now want to draw your attention to a recent interview between Joel Valenzuela and Dr. Darren Tapp on 8 May 2020:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tikj0O0xphE

Here is a particularly pertinent quote from Dr. Tapp:

@ 1:06:13 DT: “Well, I’ll just tell you my use case for dash, right. You’re talking about your use case. My use case for dash is, well, I’m not going to worry about the coffee guy thinking I have a whole bunch of money because I’m going to pay with my phone and I’m only going to keep a small amount on my phone, right? So that right there, they would have trouble you know, they have to go a few steps back and then they’re not even sure if it’s mine if there’s no Private Send. Um, if I don’t use Private Send. And if, let’s say, if I did want to take some money and put it into Coinbase. Well, if I don’t use Private Send and they’re asking “where’s the money came from?” - and that’s what they’re going to do - it’s going to be a little bit easier to say, “this is where it came from”, right?. I mean, I wouldn’t lie to them, I’d tell them the same thing no matter if I used Private Send or not, but I just think I’m going to have less problems with the bank and stuff if it wasn’t so obfuscated. So yeah, I think there’s a kind of, I think there needs to be room for both on chain. There needs to be.. I mean, I’m glad you’re enjoying Private Send. I think there are some improvements that can be made to Private Send. Umm, but I mean, there were some discussion of MimbleWimble and there is, no, we do not do that. No no no. But like, I mean, if you want to bring over some improvements, maybe start reading about the Cash Fusion that’s on the Bitcoin Cash. Umm, so err and like, I believe if you read Cash Fusion, their paper, I believe we can do Private Send in a way where the masternodes doesn’t know which output corresponds to which input. So, right now we trust that the masternodes aren’t paying attention, aren’t going to, you know… they’re... yeah I mean, and they have the word trust in it, they have a vested interest in the network working so that Private Send works the way it’s supposed to work. But, you know, at the same time, if you can do some small little cryptographic thing for no real cost on your processors and stuff like that, umm, why wouldn’t you? So that’s one thing I think that can be brought in. I think Cash Fusion also might do a better job of keeping the balance separate or something like that, but err., I would definitely be in favor of improving Private Send. Umm, but also at the same time, I’m glad that I’m given a choice if I want to use it or not. And pretty much anything when I’m interacting with the banking system, which I know you’re doing a fiat-free, so you don’t need to worry about that Joel.. but when you’re interacting with the banking system, the easier it is to explain to them, the better off, the easier time they’ll give you. That’s the way it is.”

In other words, Dr. Tapp’s priority is transparency-first for the benefit of the banking system.
What I found particularly interesting was Dr. Tapp’s body language. While he was making the above statement, at 1:07:04 he says, “I wouldn’t lie to them [the bank]” and at this exact same moment he goes to touch his face and pulls back. This is a body language clue that he’s lying or somewhat anxious about saying this. This doesn’t mean he is actually lying because with body language you normally need multiple clues to be sure, but having watched it multiple times, I am personally more convinced than not that he was in fact lying or anxious.
Dr. Tapp has outright rejected MimbleWimble, which is fine because MW is just one of several privacy enhancing technologies. But given the complete lack of feedback regarding zero-knowledge proofs from ASU. And given Dr. Tapp’s stance on transparency-first for the benefit of the banking system, I am wondering if there’s more to this than just one person’s opinion on the matter.
The Yes Chain
DCG asserts that dash has fewer privacy features than bitcoin. To make this case, considerable effort has been made to educate exchanges and regulators:
https://blog.dash.org/dash-complies-with-the-financial-action-task-force-fatf-guidelines-including-the-travel-rule-a4c658efc89d

According to DCG, the benefits of a transparency-first approach are:
a) Transaction monitoring
b) Identifying and blocking transactions that utilized mixing, or are in close proximity of known bad actors or sanctioned wallet addresses.
c) Track anonymity enhanced convertible virtual currencies and wallet addresses sending more private transactions.
d) This means that the VASP can choose to identify, block, and report on all transactions sent with Dash PrivateSend and can track and report on all the components of a mixed transaction.
e) Reporting on your users’ blockchain transactions
f) Establish an automated record keeping system for suspicious activity
g) Activity reporting, customer due diligence, and currency transaction reporting.
h) Track anonymity enhanced convertible virtual currencies and wallet addresses sending more private transactions.
i) Customizable risk scoring

Clearly, the scoring / ranking of coin histories (“risk assessment”) is producing a situation where some coins are more worthy than others.
Let us also consider the recent initiative to get dash re-listed on Japanese exchanges at a cost of 428 dash: https://app.dashnexus.org/proposals/listing-dash-in-japan/overview
Coinfirm-ation
For a number of years, in pursuit of regulatory approval, DCG has been courting chain analysis companies. This started in August 2016 when Robert Wiecko (Dash COO) was invited to attend a bitcoin meetup in Warsaw where he met Pawel Kuskowski (CEO and co-founder of Coinfirm) . Here is the original proposal along with the subsequent Coinfirm interview with Amanda B Johnson:
https://www.dash.org/forum/threads/dash-on-warsaw-block-on-25-08-2016.10211/
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KJOhIkeK3Ho

Mr Wiecko’s original proposal failed to mention any relationship or intention to engage with chain analysis companies. Nor was it mentioned that this meetup itself was sponsored by Coinfirm. It comes with little surprise that Robert Wiecko does, in fact, have some experience working with compliance (see @ 27:05 of Amanda’s video).

“Btw, we have, both of us have a compliance background. My last job was with [inaudible] bank, before that within a banking compliance department”

Block the Blockchain
Karen Hsu has a long history with dash. Formally from BlockCypher, she helped dash with various integrations, including Payza. She is now CEO of BlockchainIntel and in April 2020, she helped to facilitate an integration with Reciprocity Trading.
https://blog.dash.org/dash-core-group-reciprocity-trading-and-blockchainintel-focus-on-transparency-in-digital-currency-7a71c8ff84ec

“As more people will be interacting online now and potentially in the future, it will be increasingly important to provide transparency so people can trust those they cannot see,”

Karen is interested in blockchain, machine learning and analytics. And in 2018 she worked with various law enforcement agencies to help track and trace five million dollars worth of dash, allegedly stolen from a retired couple:
https://medium.com/@karenhsumaif-you-have-digital-evidence-for-a-theft-whats-holding-up-justice-e7ebf99eddf0

“The thieves didn’t move the funds right away. A couple months after the initial theft, they started to move the funds to multiple wallet addresses across the world. During their hundreds of transfers, the thieves converted the Dash into other cryptocurrencies. We were able to track their every transfer, whether it was from one Dash address to another, or from a Dash address into another cryptocurrency. In the end, the thieves had transferred the stolen Dash into hundreds of different wallet addresses and exchanged the Dash for Bitcoin, Ether and Bitcoin Cash.
We collaborated with the FBI and traced the funds to an exchange in Asia. Through our connections with that exchange, law enforcement was able to obtain details of the account owner, which led to a bank account. By September 2018, three months after the theft, our tools and collaboration with law enforcement had identified a person involved in this theft. At that point, the victims, law enforcement and us at BlockchainIntel were hopeful there would be some recovery of stolen funds. But that’s when things slowed down. A lot.”

The narrative is clear; an innocent couple were victims of financial crime. Did the thief use Private Send? Was the thief dumb enough not to use Private Send? Is this the type of scenario that Dr. Tapp endorses for transparency-first when dealing with a financial institution?
In contrast, let us take a look at a story from January 2017 by NIAC (National Iranian American Council):
https://www.niacouncil.org/press_room/niac-concerned-u-s-banks-denying-financial-services-iranians-u-s/

“Over the past few years, Iranian visa-holders resident in the United States have seen their bank accounts at U.S. financial institutions shuttered as a result of U.S. sanctions. The most recent case is that of Chase Bank, where NIAC has learned that Chase is closing the bank accounts of Iranian visa-holders. NIAC is deeply concerned that U.S. banks are denying financial services to Iranians in the United States on the basis of their national origin and calls on Chase Bank and other U.S. financial institutions to cease and desist from such discriminatory policies. At the same time, NIAC believes that the repeated nature of these account closures makes it incumbent on the U.S. administration to take immediate steps to provide clarity as to the scope of existing U.S. sanctions laws — none of which bar U.S. banks from opening and maintaining accounts for Iranian visa-holders resident in the United States.”

Great! Who needs banks when Iranians can use dash! But then again, what if the recent history of your dash coins was linked to an innocent Iranian, disqualified and excluded by sanctions?
Closing
A global peer-to-peer electronic cash system needs to be cheap, fast and very easy to use. Dash’s technical ability to meet demand is very much in sight and the Velocity protocol certainly seems promising. But digital cash also requires a high degree of fungibility. The less fungibility there is, the more discretion and division it sows. The path of a coin should not unduly taint a person’s reputation.
Incremental improvements have been made to Private Send but it is today, fundamentally, the same as it was six years ago. Mixing takes a long time and the user requires knowledge to use it in a safe manner. For example, external actors proactively breaking VPN connections to reveal the underlying IP address during mixing.
A poor user experience is probably why Private Send isn’t used very much and that seems like a very convenient situation for those people actively pursuing regulatory approval. I have to wonder, has the internal workings of DCG been compromised by state level actors? Is this why key members of DCG have refused to undergo a polygraph test?
submitted by circleio to dashpay [link] [comments]

The Cryptowar is ON -- "Bitcoin mixing is a crime."

This week the US Attorney General, William Barr stated in a speech (quoted from WSJ Feb 13, 2020) "Companies cannot operate with impunity where the lives and safety of our children is at stake." Indicating encrypted platforms (like WhatsApp) and Crypto endanger "children". Really?
But finally, the f'n truth comes out of Steve Mnuchin, Secretary of the Treasury/ U.S. Treasury Department's Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) testifies in front of the Senate and says "... cryptocurrencies aren't used for the equivalent of old Swiss secret number bank accounts" & "bitcoin mixing is a CRIME." It's not about the "children" it's about the MONEY.
Read it all here in the recent Forbes article.
The #Cryptowar is ON.
submitted by hashratez to Bitcoin [link] [comments]

The Cryptowar is ON. Finally the US Government admits true intent.

This week the US Attorney General, William Barr stated in a speech (quoted from WSJ Feb 13, 2020) "Companies cannot operate with impunity where the lives and safety of our children is at stake." Indicating encrypted platforms (like WhatsApp) and Crypto endanger "children". Really?
But finally, the f'n truth comes out of Steve Mnuchin, Secretary of the Treasury/ U.S. Treasury Department's Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) testifies in front of the Senate and says "... cryptocurrencies aren't used for the equivalent of old Swiss secret number bank accounts" & "bitcoin mixing is a CRIME." It's not about the "children" it's about the MONEY.
Read it here in this recent Forbes's article.
The #Cryptowar is ON.
submitted by hashratez to CryptoMarkets [link] [comments]

Playing with fire with FinCen and SEC, Binance may face a hefty penalty again after already losing 50 percent of its trading business

On 14 June, Binance announced that it “constantly reviews user accounts to improve (their) platform security and to comply with global compliance requirements”, mentioning that “Binance is unable to provide services to any U.S. person” in the latest “Binance Terms of Use” attached within the announcement.
According to the data from a third-party traffic statistics website, Alexa, users in the U.S. form the biggest user group of Binance, accounting for about 25% of the total visitor traffic.
In the forecast of Binance’s user scale compiled by The Block, the largest traffic is dominated by users in the U.S., surpassing the total of the ones from the second place to the fifth place.
Also, considering that the scale of digital asset trading for the users in the U.S. far exceeds that of the users of many other countries, it could mean that Binance may have already lost 50 % of the business income by losing users in the U.S. Apparently, such an announcement by Binance to stop providing services to users in the U.S. means Binance has no other alternative but “seek to live on.”
So, what are the specific requirements of the U.S. for digital asset exchanges and which of the regulatory red lines of the U.S. did Binance cross?
Compliance issues relating to operation permission of digital asset exchanges
In the U.S., the entry barrier for obtaining a business license to operate a digital asset exchange is not high. Apart from the special licencing requirements of individual states such as New York, most of the states generally grant licences to digital asset exchanges through the issuance of a “Money Transmitter License” (MTL).
Each state has different requirements for MTL applications. Some of the main common requirements are:
Filling out the application form, including business address, tax identification number, social security number and statement of net assets of the owneproprietor Paying the relevant fees for the licence application Meeting the minimum net assets requirements stipulated by the state Completing a background check Providing a form of guarantee, such as security bonds
It is worth noting that not all states are explicitly using MTL to handle the issues around operation permission of digital asset exchanges. For instance, New Hampshire passed a new law on 12 March 2017, announcing that trading parties of digital assets in that state would not be bound by MTL. Also, Montana has not yet set up MTL, keeping an open attitude towards the currency trading business.
On top of obtaining the MTL in each state, enterprises are also required to complete the registration of “Money Services Business” (MSB) on the federal level FinCEN (Financial Crimes Enforcement Network of the U.S. Treasury Department) issued the “Application of FinCEN’s Regulations to Persons Administering, Exchanging, or Using Virtual Currencies” on 18 March 2013. On the federal level, the guideline requires any enterprise involved in virtual currency services to complete the MSB registration and perform the corresponding compliance responsibilities. The main responsibility of a registered enterprise is to establish anti-money laundering procedures and reporting systems.
However, California is an exception. Enterprises in California would only need to complete the MSB registration on the federal level and they do not need to apply for the MTL in California.
Any enterprise operating in New York must obtain a virtual currency business license, Bitlicense, issued in New York
Early in July 2014, the New York State Department of Financial Services (NYSDFS) has specially designed and launched the BitLicense, stipulating that any institutions participating in a business relevant to virtual currency (virtual currency transfer, virtual currency trust, provision of virtual currency trading services, issuance or management of virtual currencies) must obtain a BitLicense.
To date, the NYSDFS has issued 19 Bitlicenses. Among them includes exchanges such as Coinbase (January 2017), BitFlyer (July 2017), Genesis Global Trading (May 2018) and Bitstamp (April 2019).
Solely from the perspective of operation permission, Binance has yet to complete the MSB registration of FinCEN (its partner, BAM Trading, has completed the MSB registration). This means that Binance is not eligible to operate a digital asset exchange in the U.S. FinCEN has the rights to prosecute Binance based on its failure to fulfil the relevant ‘anti-money laundering’ regulatory requirements.
Compliance issues relating to online assets
With the further development of the digital asset market, ICO has released loads of “digital assets” that have characteristics of a “security” into the trading markets. The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has proposed more comprehensive compliance requirements for digital asset exchanges. The core of the requirements is reflected in the restrictions of offering digital assets trading service.
In the last two years, the SEC has reiterated on many occasions that digital assets that have characteristics of a security should not be traded on a digital asset exchange
In August 2017, when the development of ICO was at its peak, the SEC issued an investor bulletin “Investor Bulletin: Initial Coin Offerings” on its website and published an investigation report of the DAO. It determined that the DAO tokens were considered ‘marketable securities’, stressing that all digital assets considered ‘marketable securities’ would be incorporated into the SEC regulatory system, bound by the U.S. federal securities law. Soon after, the SEC also declared and stressed that “(if) a platform offers trading of digital assets that are securities and operates as an “exchange,” as defined by the federal securities laws, then the platform must register with the SEC as a national securities exchange or be exempt from registration.”
On 16 November 2018, the SEC issued a “Statement on Digital Asset Securities Issuance and Trading,” in which the SEC used five real case studies to conduct exemplary penalty rulings on the initial offers and sales of digital asset securities, including those issued in ICOs, relevant cryptocurrency exchanges, investment management tools, ICO platforms and so on. The statement further reiterates that exchanges cannot provide trading services for digital assets that have characteristics of a security.
On 3 April 2019, the SEC issued the “Framework for ‘Investment Contract’ Analysis of Digital Assets” to further elucidate the evaluation criteria for determining whether a digital asset is a security and providing guiding opinions on the compliance of the issuance, sales, holding procedures of digital assets.
As of now, only a small number of digital assets, such as BTC, ETH, etc. meet the SEC’s requirement of “non-securities assets.” The potentially “compliant” digital assets are less than 20.
Early in March 2014, the Inland Revenue Service (IRS) has stated that Bitcoin will be treated as a legal property and will be subject to taxes. In September 2015, the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) stated that Bitcoin is a commodity and will be treated as a “property” by the IRS for tax purposes.
On 15 June 2018, William Hinman, Director of the Corporate Finance Division of the SEC, said at the Cryptocurrency Summit held in San Francisco that BTC and ETH are not securities. Nevertheless, many ICO tokens fall under the securities category.
So far, only BTC and ETH have received approval and recognition of the U.S. regulatory authority as a “non-securities asset.”
Since July 2018, the SEC has investigated more than ten types of digital assets, one after another, and ruled that they were securities and had to be incorporated into the SEC regulatory system. It prosecuted and punished those who had contravened the issuance and trading requirements of the securities laws.
Although there are still many digital assets that have yet to be characterised as “securities”, it is extremely difficult to be characterised as a “non-securities asset” based on the evaluation criteria announced by the SEC. As the SEC’s spokesperson has reiterated many times, they believe the majority of ICO tokens are securities.
Under the stipulated requirements of the SEC, Coinbase, a leading U.S. exchange, has withdrawn a batch of digital assets. The assets withdrawn included digital assets that had been characterised as “securities” as well as those that have high risks of being characterised as “securities.” However, it is worth noting that although the risk to be characterised as “securities” for more than ten types of digital assets, which have not been explicitly required by SEC to be withdrawn, is relatively small, they are not entirely safe. With the further escalation of the SEC’s investigations, they could still be characterised as securities and be held accountable for violating their responsibilities. However, this requires further guidance from the SEC.
*Coinbase’s 14 types of digital assets that have yet to be requested for withdrawal
Poloniex announced on 16 May that it would stop providing services for nine digital assets, including Ardor (ARDR), Bytecoin (BCN), etc. under the compliance guidelines of the SEC. On 7 June, Bittrex also announced that it would stop providing trading services to U.S. users for 32 digital assets. The action of the SEC on its regulatory guidance was further reinforced apparently.
In fact, it is not the first time that these two exchanges have withdrawn digital assets under regulatory requirements. Since the rapid development of digital assets driven by ICO in 2017, Poloniex and Bittrex were once leading exchanges for ICO tokens, providing comprehensive trading services for digital assets. However, after the SEC reiterated its compliance requirements, Poloniex and Bittrex have withdrawn a considerable amount of assets in the past year to meet the compliance requirements.
In conclusion, the takeaways that we have got are as follows: Under the existing U.S. regulatory requirements of digital assets, after obtaining the basic entry licences (MSB, MTL), exchanges could either choose the “compliant asset” solution of Coinbase and only list a small number of digital assets that do not have apparent characteristics of a security, and at all times prepare to withdraw any asset later characterised as “securities” by the SECs; or choose to be like OKEx and Huobi and make it clear they would “not provide services to any U.S. users” at the start.
Binance has been providing a large number of digital assets that have characteristics of a security to U.S users without a U.S. securities exchange licence, so it has already contravened the SEC regulatory requirements.
On top of that, it is also worth noting that the rapid development of Binance has been achieved precisely through the behaviours of “contrary to regulations” and “committing crimes.” Amid the blocking of several pioneering exchanges, such as OKCoin, Huobi, etc. providing services to Chinese users in the Chinese market under new laws from the regulatory authorities, Binance leapfrogged the competition and began to dominate the Chinese market. Similarly, Binance’s rapid growth in the U.S. market is mainly due to its domination of the traffic of digital assets withdrawn by Poloniex and Bittrex. One can say that Binance not only has weak awareness of compliance issues, but it is also indeed “playing with fire” with the U.S. regulators.
In April 2018, the New York State Office of Attorney General (OAG) requested 13 digital asset exchanges, including Binance, to prepare for investigations, indicating it would initiate an investigation in relations to company ownership, leadership, operating conditions, service terms, trading volume, relationships with financial institutions, etc. Many exchanges, including Gemini, Bittrex, Poloniex, BitFlyer, Bitfinex, and so on, proactively acknowledged and replied in the first instance upon receipt of the investigation notice. However, Binance had hardly any action.
Binance has been illegally operating in the U.S. for almost two years. It has not yet fulfilled the FinCEN and MSB registration requirements. Moreover, it has also neglected the SEC announcements and OAG investigation summons on several occasions. The ultimate announcement of exiting the U.S. market may be due to the tremendous pressure imposed by the U.S. regulators.
In fact, the SEC executives have recently stressed that “exchanges of IEO in the U.S. market are facing legal risks and the SEC would soon crack down on these illegal activities” on numerous occasions. These were clear indications of imposing pressure on Binance.
Regarding the SEC’s rulings on illegal digital asset exchanges, EtherDelta and investment management platform, Crypto Asset Management, it may not be easy for Binance to “fully exit” from the U.S. market. It may be faced with a hefty penalty. Once there are any compensation claims by the U.S. users for losses incurred in the trading of assets at Binance, it would be dragged into a difficult compensation dilemma. It would undoubtedly be a double blow for Binance that has just been held accountable for the losses incurred in a theft of 7,000 BTC.
Coincidentally, Binance was tossed out of Japan because of compliance issues. In March 2018, the Financial Services Agency of Japan officially issued a stern warning to Binance, which was boldly providing services to Japanese users without registering for a digital asset exchange licence in Japan. Binance was forced to relocate to Malta instead. Binance may have to bear hefty penalties arising from challenging the compliance requirements after it had lost important markets due to consecutive compliance issues.
The rise of Binance was attributed to its bold and valiant style, grasping the opportunity created in the vacuum period of government regulation, breaking compliance requirements and rapidly dominating the market to obtain user traffic. For a while, it gained considerable advantages in the early, barbaric growth stage of the industry. Nonetheless, under the increasingly comprehensive regulatory compliance system for global digital asset markets, Binance, which has constantly been “evading regulation” and “resisting supervision” would undoubtedly face enormous survival challenges, notwithstanding that it would lose far more than 50 per cent of the market share.
https://www.asiacryptotoday.com/playing-with-fire-with-fincen-and-sec-binance-may-face-a-hefty-penalty-again-after-already-losing-50-percent-of-its-trading-business/
submitted by Fun_Judgment to CryptoCurrencyTrading [link] [comments]

US Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin reacts to Libra and the prospect of cryptocurrency

YouTube: Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin URGENT Speech on Cryptocurrency 27:31
Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin made these prepared remarks (emphasis added) and answered questions:
Last month the Libra Association, a consortium of 28 businesses including a Facebook subsidiary, announced that it is developing a cryptocurrency called the Libra. The Treasury Department has expressed very serious concerns that Libra could be misused by money launderers and terrorist financiers. Cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin have been exploited to support billions of dollars of illicit activity like cyber crime, tax evasion, extortion, ransomware, illicit drugs, human trafficking... This is indeed a national security issue.
The United States has been at the forefront of regulating entities that provide cryptocurrency. We will not allow digital asset service providers to operate in the shadows, and will not tolerate the use of the cryptocurrencies in support of illicit activities. Treasury has been very clear to Facebook, bitcoin users, and other providers of digital financial services, that they must implement the same anti-money laundering and countering financing of terrorism (known as AML/CFT) safeguards as traditional financial institutions. Money transmitters of cryptocurrency must comply with the relevant bank secrecy act obligations (known as BSA), and register with the financial crimes enforcement network, known as FINCEN.
Many people are not familiar with FINCEN. It is a bureau of the US Department of Treasury. FINCEN's mission is to safeguard the financial system from illicit use, combat money laundering, and promote national security through the dissemination of financial intelligence. Last year alone it collected over 20 million BSA reports, and has collected over 300 million in the last 11 years. FINCEN implements the bank secrecy act's regulation and has federal regulatory, supervisory, and enforcement authority over money service businesses and banks.
The rules governing money service providers apply to physical and electronic transactions alike. As money service businesses, cryptocurrency money transmitters are subject to compliance examinations just like every other US bank. To be clear, FINCEN will hold any entity that transacts in bitcoin, Libra, or any other cryptocurrency, to its highest standards.
I also recently established the Financial Stability Oversight Council's Working Group on Digital Assets. This FSOC group enables US financial regulators, such as FINCEN, the Fed, OCC, CFTSC, CFPB, SEC, and other key stakeholders to work together to combat risks posed by cryptocurrencies.
As the president has said, bitcoin is highly volatile and based on thin air. We are concerned about the speculative nature of bitcoin and will make sure that the US financial system is protected from fraud. Given the international nature of cryptocurrencies we are also going to great lengths to ensure that effective regulation does not stop here at the US border.
Last month, led by the United States, the Financial Actions Task Force, known as FATF, the global standards-setter for AML/CFT, adopted comprehensive measures on how countries must regulate and supervise activities and providers in this space. This was a major step toward harmonizing international regulations concerning cryptocurrencies. We have also had extensive work at the G20, and I will be addressing this again this week at the G7 finance ministers in France.
To be clear, the US welcomes responsible innovation, including new technologies that may improve the efficiency of the financial system and expand access to financial services. That being said, with respect to Facebook's Libra, and other developments in cryptocurrencies, our overriding goal is to *maintain the integrity of our financial system** and protect it from abuse.
Treasury takes very seriously the role of the US dollar as the world's reserve currency, and will continue our efforts to protect our country and secure the US and global financial systems.
submitted by satoshiscrazyuncle to btc [link] [comments]

US Treasury Blacklists Bitcoin, Litecoin Addresses of Chinese ‘Drug Kingpins’

US Treasury Blacklists Bitcoin, Litecoin Addresses of Chinese ‘Drug Kingpins’

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News by Coindesk: Nikhilesh De
The U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) has sanctioned three Chinese nationals and their cryptocurrency addresses, alleging they violated money laundering and drug smuggling laws.
OFAC named Xiaobing Yan, Fujing Zheng and Guanghua Zheng as narcotics traffickers under the Foreign Narcotics Kingpin Designation Act, freezing any property they own within the U.S. and listing a number of email aliases, citizen numbers and passport information for the three.
The agency also listed a number of bitcoin addresses, as well as one litecoin address, that the agency claims belong to the Chinese citizens.
According to a press release, Fujing Zheng is a “significant foreign narcotics trafficker,” who received support from Guanghua Zheng. Yan has separately been designated “as a significant narcotics trafficker.”
In addition to naming the three individuals, OFAC listed Qinsheng Pharmaceutical Technology Co. Ltd. and the Zheng Drug Trafficking Organization in Wednesday’s update.
OFAC coordinated with the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) and local law enforcement agencies, said Treasury Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Sigal Mandelkar in a statement.
The group specifically coordinated Wednesday’s designations with the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Ohio, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Mississippi, the Department of Justice’s Criminal Division, the Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) Cleveland and Gulfport offices and DEA’s Special Operations Division, the release stated.
“The Chinese kingpins that OFAC designated today run an international drug trafficking operation that manufactures and sells lethal narcotics, directly contributing to the crisis of opioid addiction, overdoses, and death in the United States,” Mandelkar said, adding:
“[Fujing] Zheng and Yan have shipped hundreds of packages of synthetic opioids to the U.S., targeting customers through online advertising and sales, and using commercial mail carriers to smuggle their drugs into the United States.”

Second action

Wednesday’s action marks the second time OFAC has sanctioned digital currency addresses specifically, having last done so in November 2018 when a pair of Iranian nationals were added to the Specially Designated Nationals list.
At the time, Mandelker said the agency was “publishing digital currency addresses to identify illicit actors operating in the digital currency space.”
Individuals who violate the Kingpin Act might face civil penalties of a $1.1 million fine per violation, in addition to possible criminal penalties of a $5 million fine and up to 30 years in prison.
Drew Hinkes, general counsel at Athena Blockchain and an attorney with Carlton Fields, told CoinDesk that any property or interests in property that the three have in the U.S. must now be blocked and reported to OFAC.
“U.S. entities need to comply with OFAC requirements and need to shut down any accounts that are listed,” he said.
According to the SDN list, the following addresses have been affiliated with the individuals.
Xiaobing Yan:
Fujing Zheng:
Guanghua Zheng:
Sigal Mandelkar image via CoinDesk archives
submitted by GTE_IO to u/GTE_IO [link] [comments]

Treasury secretary Steven Mnuchin Believes Libra May Encourage Crime and Make Him Uncomfortable

Treasury secretary Steven Mnuchin Believes Libra May Encourage Crime and Make Him Uncomfortable
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Treasury secretary Steven Mnuchin chose to line up with President Trump, who also believes that Cryptocurrencies are for scammers.
In a press conference on Monday, Mnuchin expressed the Trump administration's concerns about Libra, Facebook's platform, and cryptocurrencies like bitcoin. Mnuchin's statement comes shortly before two more congressional hearings this week and Facebook blockchain chief David Marcus will testify in front of members of the senate and the house of representatives.
Earlier, President Donald J. Trump tweeted about cryptocurrencies and Libra three times last week: I am not a fan of Bitcoin or other Cryptocurrencies, which are not money, and whose value is highly volatile and based on thin air. Unregulated Crypto Assets can facilitate unlawful behavior, including drug trade and other illegal activity. Similarly, Facebook Libra’s “virtual currency” will have little standing or dependability. If Facebook and other companies want to become a bank, they must seek a new Banking Charter and become subject to all Banking Regulations, just like other Banks, both National and International. We have only one real currency in the USA, and it is stronger than ever, both dependable and reliable. It is by far the most dominant currency anywhere in the World, and it will always stay that way. It is called the United States Dollar!
While Mnuchin did not make any new policy statements on Monday, he repeated past statements by various government entities, one of which was that cryptocurrencies could be used by criminals.
Mnuchin cited money-laundering, terrorist financing, extortion, human trafficking, drug trafficking and tax evasion as examples of how cryptocurrencies and Libra can foster crime - “Libra can be abused by money launderers and terrorist financiers. This is indeed a national security issue. Libra and bitcoin will be investigated by the financial crime enforcement network (FinCEN), which will adopt the ‘highest standard’ for any entity engaged in these two transactions”
Mnuchin also pointed out the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) on money laundering that the guidelines issued last month for its member governments on how to regulate cryptocurrency service providers. FATF's guidelines specifically recommend implementing the so-called Travel Rule, which requires exchanges and wallet providers to hold KYC (know your customer) information on both sides of every transaction.
Peter Van Valkenburgh, director of research at the Coin Center, emphasized after Mnuchin's speech that the Treasury Department which Mnuchin oversees, has provided guidance to encrypted custodians on how to comply with the Bank Secrecy Act and how to try to 'output' their policies under the new FATF rules.

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How to treat Libra?
In his half-hour news conference, Mnuchin repeatedly referred to Libra which is the cryptocurrency project launched by Facebook the month before. He said representatives of the social media giant have met with Treasury officials and other government agencies.
Logically, it shouldn’t be an issue to launch Libra as long as Facebook maintains strict anti-money laundering standards. But Mnuchin said several times that Facebook had a lot of work to do before it was convinced that it was compliant, and he declared that he was uncomfortable that Libra was launched at this point of time.
Mnuchin said that as for Facebook's Libra, our overriding goal is to preserve the integrity of our financial system and protect it from abuse.
Mnuchin said he did not know and would not speculate on how or why the price might have reached its current level when got asked about bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. He claimed that they would ensure that the public and investors know what they are investing in and whether there is or will be proper disclosure, whether through the SEC or other regulators.
But Mnuchin's seemingly bearish comments have so far had no impact on bitcoin prices. As of press time, the global average price for BTC was $10,998.28, up 4.9% in 24 hours, according to CoinMarketCap.
submitted by infini2019 to u/infini2019 [link] [comments]

FOR THOSE NOT IN US. CSPAN-3 hearing BITCOIN

Right now, Senator Tom Carper is giving an introduction into what bitcoin can be used to buy. He mentioned buying all goods but specifically spoke of drugs, weapons, and how it can be used to exploit children.
Carper mentioned how the silk road was taken down in a joint effort by the CIA, FBI and dept. of Homeland security.
WILL CONTINUE UPDATING
BITCOIN TIP: public address- 1AkF4HaJrJzXVYuSxifwLUWNEwhbGv5sXu
3:10 EST: jennifer Shasky calvery- Treasury Department - Financial Crimes Mythili Ramen (head of the Dept. of Justic Crimnal Division) Edward Lowry- special agent in charge of criminal investigation division
3:13 EST - jennifer Shasky calvery statement. 'Recognizing new payment methods must keep pace with laws against money laundering and illegal money transfers. Users of virtual currencies don't have transaction limits, is secure, can be used for money laundering. Illicit actors use virtual currencies in order to launder money, enable drug trafficking and move child abuse forward.
For businesses, complying with Federal laws is good for the business integrity.
Bringing virtual currencies into regulation will be positive for the US financial system.
3:20 EST: Mythili Raman
Virtual currencies are viewed through the lens of crimnal activity. Criminals will always look for new ways to hide their crimes. The criminal division's main aim is to reduce the ability of criminals to use virtual currencies for illegal activity.
Virtual currencies (as long as the comply with laws) are not illegal. They can be convenient for consumers because they are quick. These same currencies can also be used by criminals for drugs, weapon sales, and child pornography.
In 2007 - EGOLD moved 6 million dollars per day which may have been used for sale of drugs and child pornograpgy
When virtual currencies fail to live up to their Financial Laws, the Justice division will come after them.
Silk road- the largest online marketplace for illegal substances accepts BITCOINs exclusively for payment. When silk road was shut down, the US sized upwards of 70 million dollars from the silk road website.
The US justice department is encouraged by virtual currencies reaching out to comply with FINCEN's laws. (Financial Crimes. Enforcement Network)
3:27 EST- Edward Lowry Digital currencies have continually grown over the past 17 years. Since Criminals and other illegal organizations use virtual currencies such as E-gold and Liberty reserve for illegal operations
As FINCEN emphasized, digital currency exchanges MUST comply with money laundering laws.
The secret service has successfully found and arrested leaders of illegal organizations whom use digital currencies to fund their activities.
Digital currencies are tools used by a wide variety of criminals. The secret service and ICE (immigration and customs enforcement) cooperate with FINCEN in order to find criminals who use virtual currencies for money laundering.
3:34 EST Sen. Tom Caper Asks about the early days of virtual currencies as well as what the future holds for future currencies.
3:35 EST- Jennifer Shasky Calvery When there is a new "player" in the currency industries, most people think about the gaps that will exist in the market and how criminals will use it for illegal activity. Moving forward with change is very important though, so regulation is necessary.
3:36 EST- Mythili Ramen Virtual currencies are not illegal as long as they comply with money laundering laws. The Criminal division needs to be vigilant towards virtual currencies in order to make sure they actively attempt to comply with laws.
3:38 EST -Edward Lowry The secret service's hallmark is to adopt their defenses to an ever changing threat.
3:39 EST- Sen. Tom Carper "what roll does the legislative body need in order to combat the dark side of this technology?"
3:41 EST - Edward Lowry Device fraud- today anyone in the world can reach anyone else in the world. This has changed how ICE and the secret service must combat illegal activity.
making his case for more money to his department
3:42 EST- Sen. Tom Carper - Can Law enforcement keep up with the changing technology?"
3:44 EST- Mythili Ramen Liberty reserve was taken down in a coordinated arrest done by the US branches joined with other governments. The ability of the criminal division is evolving just as much as criminal activity is evolving.
3:47 EST- jennifer Shasky calvery Congress passing the Bank secrecy act. in 2011, the justice dept needed flexibility in order to combat digital currencies. With the USA patriot act sec 311, gives FINCEN the authority to name a foreign entity as using money laundering, and thus cut off from the US market.
3:49 EST- Sen. Tom Carper - "Give examples of how virtual currencies have worked out for the good"
3:50 EST- jennifer Shasky calvery
Online banking and ACH (picture deposit) makes money exchange much easier for the consumer. But with each of these, we had to think about how criminals could exploit it.
"CASH IS STILL THE BEST MEANS FOR LAUNDERING MONEY" - jennifer Shasky calvery
3:52 EST- Sen. Tom Carper " Do you see gaps in our legislation regarding virtual currencies?"
3:53 EST- Edward Lowry
The secret service recognizes that the high level cyber criminals HAVE NOT moved towards P2P currencies such as bitcoin. Many high-level criminals use centralized online currencies based in places with less regulatory laws.
3:54 EST- Sen. Tom Carper "Which agencies need to be at the forefront of recognizing virtual currencies"
3:55 EST- Mythili Ramen The FBI, DEA, OFAC, IRS are necessary participators but are already participators. The National crime agency in the UK has also participated. The Criminal division invites any other entities for help in identifying emerging threats and what governments can do about them
Currently, the criminal statutes used thus far have been effective. The substantive criminal statute, murder statute, and money laundering statutes have already been used to prosecute criminals that use virtual currencies.
Many updates to laws can still be made.
3:59 EST- Sen. Tom Carper The JAO reports with the help of the IRS on "tax gap." 100's of millions of dollars in taxes that are owed to the treasury. The number is going down over the past 10 years
In may of this year, "virtual currencies could prevent a real vulnerability in the current system."
Question, "do you know the current guidance of that status?"
4:02 EST- Jennifer Shasky Calvery
FINCEN, once it collects financial data, disseminates the information to law enforcement. This is not only for taxes but also for evidence against criminals.
The JAO and FINCEN are working diligently to modify tax laws to incorporate virtual currencies.
The focus of FINCEN is to combat illegal use of virtual currencies while still within U.S laws. Conveniently, many of the laws are very flexible.
4:06 EST- Sen. Tom Carper After the SILK ROAD shut down, many have popped up in its place. "How do we combat these websites?"
4:07 EST- Edward Lowry
We believe there are 3 infrastructures in place. The SILK ROAD forums, the digital currencies (those which fall outside of the guidance of FINCEN), and "bulletproof hosting" -an organization that provides web hosting to anyone with servers in countries with little regulation.
4:09 EST- Mythili Ramen
The main problem is anonymity. The criminal division has created tools and strategies to combat this. (not said) but this is the TOR javascript exploit We have been successful in combating criminals who use anonymity to continue illegal activity.
4:10 EST- Sen. Tom Carper
Bitcoin and virtual currencies may move overseas to countries with less regulatory agencies. What can we do to combat this? How do we make business stay in the US?
4:12 EST-jennifer Shasky Calvery
Bitcoin is going to be a big player in the future of the exchange of goods and services. The financial action task force does a good job at making the countries around the world comply with regulatory laws.
4:15 EST - Mythili Ramen
This hearing is important for the law agencies because talking about these problems is not easy. Virtual currencies in of themselves are not illegal. Innovation is important. Just as criminals have done for ages, this is just another means for illegal activity. We need to stay vigilant in keeping pace with evolving virtual currencies.
4:17 EST- Edward Lowry The secret service will continue to work strategically to remove the gravest structures to the [US] infrastructure. We are going to have to adopt and jump over hurdles but we will work with foreign partners to make this happen. We will continue to work as a part of DHS to eliminate these threats. We believe that aggressive acts by law enforcement will benefit the world as a whole
4:18 EST-Jennifer Shasky Calvery
I heard a CEO of a fairly large bank say, "having the privilege to be a part of the financial industry comes with great responsibility. While innovation is a wonderful thing, it does come with obligations to become part of the US financial system. Regulation in place have help in minimizing the risk and the burden. We ask that businesses do this, put in place AML protections, register with FINCEN, maintain records (including suspicious reports)
We believe that these requests are reasonable because these currencies have already been used for illicit activity.
4:21 EST- Sen. Tom Carper
"This has been a thought provoking and encouraging discussion"
"It's not true We have to choose between a stronger economy and a clean environment"
"Is it possible to reap the benefits of this virtual currencies while still being able to clean up criminal activity?"
-RECESS- and change of panel
4:28 EST Introduction by Sen. Tom Carper Ernie Allen- Centre for missing & Exploited children Patrick Murck-General council of BITCOIN foundation Jerry Brito-Senior researcher of Technology at George Mason university. Jeremy Allaire- Circle Internet Financial CEO
4:30 EST- Ernie Allen Our goal is to bring people together to protect the digital economy while combating its misuse. We are excited for digital currencies to give "banking" to adults all over the world. Our concern today is the use of digital currencies in child pornography. Most countries have not added regulation to digital currencies.
Over the past year, I have consulted financial experts of this issue. Child pornography is being created and disseminated by using anatomizing technologies and virtual currencies.
Freedom hosting was shut down by law enforcement by penetrating a loophole in freedom hosting's servers which gave users identities away.
Most of the arrests of those using anonymous networks are of those who are misusing the network. Because of this, we believe that we are not catching the high-level criminals who are using these networks.
We can press for global cooperation to solve these problems. Digital currencies move from nation to nation.
We need to address the core problem which is internet anonymity. An environment in which child exploiters can thrive and not be caught should not be allowed.
Anonymity allows illegal activity, but also acts to give a voice to those against oppressive regimes.
4:39 EST- Patrick Murck There is no single bitcoin company that manages the value of bitcoin or the trade of bitcoins.
Bitcoin is like email for money. It is secure any completely transparent. Bitcoin can operate without 3rd parties.
Financial exclusion is a problem for the US. There is a rising tide of un-banked people within our borders. Bitcoin can help move people from a trapped economy to a globally connected economy.
Just like any currency, bitcoin can be used for illegal activity. It is no easier to commit crime with bitcoin then it is with any other currency.
Keeping the bitcoin network safe is all of out opportunity. When the SILK ROAD was shut down, the bitcoin community was excited.
Bitcoin is not some magical cloaking device that allows criminals free reign. The use of bitcoins is not un-regulated. The exchanges have a deep understanding of how to effectively allow users to trade bitcoin with fiat currencies.
Bitcoin exchanges- "If you give us clear rules, we will work to abide by them"
We would like to thank FINCEN to opening up the dialog about bitcoin. The bitcoin foundation looks forward to continuing in this dialog with the government and the public.
4:47 EST- Jeremy Allaire
As bitcoin moves into mainstream acceptance, it is important that governments fully understand how to include bitcoin into existing laws.
Bitcoin allows innovation in currency, exchange, and payment that many other currencies cannot offer. Much of our current infrastructure for finances has existed before the internet was invented.
It is a risk if the government doesn't support businesses that want to use bitcoins. Such businesses may be encouraged to move offshore.
The U.S. falls behind in this critical economic innovation. A bitcoin exchange in CHINA has become the single largest currency exchange in the world . We need to be open and evolving.
4:53 EST Jerry Brito
From facebook credit to world of warcraft gold, Virtual currencies are nothing new.
Prior to Bitcoins invention in 2009, all virtual currencies needed to be exchanged through an intermediary.
Emerging technologies allow great benefits but great risks. 3-d printers revolutionize personal creation, but also creation of guns.
While Bitcoin transactions don't need intermediaries, many exchanges can still convert government currency to bitcoins.
Criminals are more likely to use centralized currencies because they can lie about how much money has been moved. Currencies such the bitcoin infrastructure show every transaction that happens.
The U.S. could loose it's headstart on an emerging economy if it chooses to create strong regulatory laws.
4:59 EST- Sen. Tom Carper
"Where is the general agreement on the panel, and if not, how can we make agreement?"
5:00 EST- Ernie Allen There is clear agreement that we can't just ignore the misuse, and that the misuse jeopardizes the currency in the long run.
5:02 EST Patrick Murck
There is a real need to create on ramps into the traditional economic system. The biggest obstacle to that happening is the ability of businesses to get bank accounts in the current system, even a checking account.
If you have the word "bitcoin" anywhere around you, your file will be cast aside.
5:04 EST- Jeremy Allaire
Anonymity needs to be addressed in some way
POST IS TOO LONG, LINK TO PART II
http://www.reddit.com/Bitcoin/comments/1qxgc9/for_those_not_in_us_cspan3_hearing_bitcoin/
submitted by hand_jibber to Bitcoin [link] [comments]

Battle Over Bitcoin: China Backs US Startup Coinbase And US Falls Behind In Virtual Currencies.

Indeed, virtual currencies are nothing new to the Chinese. For example, more than 100 million people on the social platform QQ have used the Q coin for more than 10 years. And after China’s state-run China Central Television, or CCTV, ran a half-hour-long documentary on bitcoins, downloads of apps for processing and “mining” bitcoins soared in the world’s second largest economy.
Bitcoin, long the plaything of the Western ubernerd, now appears poised to grow substantially in China and other markets, like the euro zone, where government meddling in native currency valuations has left many distrustful of the money in their bank accounts.
Americans don’t have this problem -- yet. And that may be a problem in itself. According to bitcoin proponents, if the U.S. tries to ignore the nascent currency, writing it off as a financial fad with less value than the seemingly stable dollar, Americans risk ceding to the Chinese and others control of the future of what could be the most disruptive force in monetary exchanges since the credit card. In turn, the dollar and the ability of the U.S. to navigate global currency conflicts could be seriously weakened.
“Here’s the bottom line: Bitcoin has much higher popularity outside the U.S. and much higher potential outside the U.S.,” observed Andreas M. Antonopoulos of the Bitcoin Foundation. “If you go to an American and say, ‘Hey, there’s this new thing, bitcoin,’ they say, ‘Well, what’s wrong with the dollar?’ That question is different in other countries.”
Bitcoins are a finite, Web-based currency created in 2009 by a group of hackers working under the nom-de-Internet Satoshi Nakamoto. Exactly 10,952,975 bitcoins are in circulation, all of which have been purchased on exchange networks or mined. The currency is mined using software that processes transactions on the bitcoin network, adding groups of transactions, called blocks, to the chain. Miners are paid about 25 bitcoins per block. That digital money can then be used to purchase a variety of goods online, from legitimate software to heroin on the infamous virtual black-market Silk Road.
Bitcoin surged in value to $266 last month, thrusting the currency into the mainstream spotlight as investment poured in from sources as diverse as the hapless Brothers Winklevoss (of Facebook infamy) and Union Capital Ventures principal Fred Wilson (an early investor in Zynga, Twitter, and Kickstarter). Suddenly, everyone was talking about buying bitcoins. But the bubble burst in late April, and in the U.S. at least, bitcoin faded from the news. That was not the case in China, where Antonopoulos said downloads of bitcoin clients have eclipsed those in the U.S.
Bitcoins are mined in several steps. After downloading a bitcoin client, such as Coinbase (which serves as a wallet in which to store the bits of code that constitute the digital money), miners often join pools where they share computing power to decode algorithms in which bitcoins are hidden. The concept of bitcoins and bitcoin mining is cryptic for many people, even some otherwise forward-thinking American investors. The irony is that, for now, American startups are leading the bitcoin charge, and the U.S. government was the first to issue guidance on using the currency as payment -- a seemingly tacit recognition of bitcoin’s validity as legal tender.
Why China Poses A Threat
Feng Li, the IDG partner who chose to fund Coinbase, said the Chinese have yearned for access to a virtual currency since the central government cracked down on the use of Q coins.
Q coins were introduced in March 2002 by Tencent Holdings Ltd. (HKG:0700), the parent company of the country’s most popular instant-messaging service, QQ , and they currently average an annual transaction value of more than 1 billion yuan ($163 million). That value is growing at about 15 to 25 percent each year.
Q coins, purchased with yuan, are predominantly used to buy virtual products and services in QQ and its related online games and social media. Originally, Tencent regulations prevented Q coins from being traded between users or converted back to yuan, but allowed users to trade points and purchase Q coins with their game accounts, then use the black market to convert them into cash. That caused concerns at the People’s Bank of China, China’s central bank. In January 2007, converting game points to Q coins was banned, and Tencent reiterated that Q coins constitute a product, not a currency, which seemed to satisfy the concerns.
“There has already been proof with the Q coin,” Feng said of the Chinese likeliness to start using bitcoin. “It’s been very well circulated and very well adopted.”
Already, shops on Taobao -- the Chinese equivalent to eBay Inc. (NASDAQ:EBAY), owned by Alibaba.com Ltd. (HKG:1688) -- accept bitcoins as payment for goods, as does the similar service, Tencent’s PaiPai.com.
The Chinese are embracing bitcoins in other ways. The first bitcoin fund began to raise money in June, with the goal of raising 20 million yuan. The fund’s investment threshold is 10,000 yuan, and it will mature in four years.
Q coin’s popularity isn’t the only reason bitcoin has appeal in China. As it turns out, China is the perfect place for bitcoin mining. While much of the developed world is well into the transition from personal computers to mobile devices, China’s PC market is still thriving, which provides the necessary computing power to run a successful business converting electricity into mined coins. Price caps on electricity already create wasteful use of energy in China, so running a code-crunching computer for hours on end isn’t as costly an investment as it would be in the U.S. And so-called “gold-mining” or “gold-farming” businesses already exist in China’s cybersphere. None of that will come as a surprise to any “World of Warcraft” player: Gamers in Chinese urban sweatshops are known to sit in front of glowing blue screens for hours, slaughtering players in the game for their spoils or mining gold deposits found in the sprawling milieu of Blizzard Entertainment’s international blockbuster. Those treasures are then sold to players in the game for real money.
China has a heavily controlled currency, which also makes bitcoin attractive.
“The more controlled the currency is, the harder the transactions are, the more friction there is in the national currency, the more appealing the coin is,” Antonopoulos said, noted that the most appealing place to use bitcoin would be a country whose economy is a veritable train wreck -- like Zimbabwe, except that the southern African nation lacks the necessary technology. “I would say China is perfect,” he said. “It’s got the penetration, it’s got the smartphones, it’s got the Internet and the people are familiar with virtual currencies. And, it’s got the not-as-appealing national currency.”
Regulation In The U.S.
Guidance issued in March by the U.S. Treasury Department said that companies issuing or exchanging online cash, including bitcoin, would be subject to the same scrutiny as traditional firms such as the Western Union Co. (NYSE:WU) to prevent money laundering.
Less than two months later, the Department of Homeland Security proved that edict had teeth.
Federal officials obtained a warrant Tuesday to seize an account tied to Mt.Gox, the Tokyo-based exchange company that handles about 80 percent of all bitcoin trades. Authorities accused Mt.Gox’s U.S. subsidiary, Mutum Sigillum LLC, of failing to register as a money-services company with the Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network. An account held by the online-payments firm Dwolla was subsequently seized.
Many feared the warrant execution could cast a chill over the bitcoin industry as a sector centered on a borderless, decentralized money came under the scrutiny of the federal government.
That proved not to be the case, Coinbase’s Ehrsam said. “For bitcoin to go mainstream, or as it goes mainstream, it will be used in a higher and higher amount of transactions,” he said, adding that Coinbase is registered as a money-services firm. “There’s no way there will be all this money flowing through an unregulated system.”
Chris Larsen -- the CEO of OpenCoin, a fellow San Francisco-based payment platform that processes most national currencies as well as bitcoin and its own virtual cash, Ripple -- agreed. “They definitely are regulating them, [and] we actually think that’s a really good thing for the industry,” he told IBTimes. “I thought the guidance was a good idea. One of the things the guidelines seem to make clear for the first time is that a virtual currency could be used for goods and services.”
The Price Of Regulation
But such regulation is a slippery slope, said Jerry Brito, a senior research fellow at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University.
Perhaps it begins with measures to prevent money-laundering, he said. But what measures would the government take to prevent the untraceable currency from being used for child pornography or human trafficking?
“Bitcoin has the potential to be a disruptive technology that would be beneficial to the economy, and we don’t want to kill off that potential to get at the other potential for bad stuff,” he observed. Brito, who plans to speak next month at a conference on virtual currencies organized by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, added: “We’re already the first country to enforce money-laundering laws against bitcoin. But the U.S. would be shooting itself in the foot if it went too far [with regulations] and either outlawed bitcoin or made the legal guidelines impossible to comply with.”
Will China Step In?
So far, Chinese bitcoin merchants have little to fear. For many, the CCTV segment on bitcoin seemed to be a signal from Beijing, which heavily controls the channel’s content, that the currency is worth exploring.
Some of those interviewed speculated that the Communist Party wants to see bitcoin stockpiled in China, allowing the government to invest in it if, or when, the dollar is shaken from its perch as the world’s reserve currency.
It remains to be seen whether -- or, more likely, when -- China will intervene in the trade of bitcoin in its own economy. But for the U.S. to experience widespread adoption of the currency, which is considered a necessary step for gaining a grasp on the bitcoin market, limited government control will have to allow the money, like the Internet that birthed it, to develop organically.
submitted by kazzZZY to Bitcoin [link] [comments]

Bloomberg - IRS Says Taxpayers Don’t Have to Report Bitcoin Accounts

Note: this has to do with reporting foreign assets NOT avoiding capital gains/losses reporting.
IRS Says Taxpayers Don’t Have to Report Bitcoin Accounts 2014-06-04 21:01:02.331 GMT
By Holly Rosenkrantz June 4 (Bloomberg) -- Taxpayers don’t have to report Bitcoin accounts for the current filing season, Bloomberg BNA’s Alison Bennett reports, citing an IRS official. * Rod Lundquist, a senior program analyst for the Small Business/Self-Employed Division, says the guidelines could change in the future as the IRS continues to monitor developments on virtual currency * Lundquist was responding to a question at an IRS webinar, as a June 30 deadline for electronic FBAR filing approaches * NOTE: Taxpayers are required to report foreign financial accounts with an aggregate value of $10k or more to the Treasury Department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, with IRS responsible for audits and enforcement
submitted by twobitidiot to Bitcoin [link] [comments]

Where do I buy bitcoin? The Tax and Regulatory Situation for Bitcoin in the US is a Nightmare

Retrieved from: https://roguecrypto.com/2018/08/18/the-tax-and-regulatory-situation-for-bitcoin-in-the-us-is-a-nightmare/
A lot of us invested in cryptocurrency because we believe the technology behind it as well as the hope for the decentralization of monetary power. It has a great potential to create equality in terms of wealth generation, asset possession, and ease of use. The idea behind bitcoin is all about not having to ask permission. Bitcoin also offers hope for many of the unbanked across the globe.
However, the US Internal Revenue Service (IRS) seems to be blocking at least part of humanity’s chance for greater development through faster and more accessible financial transactions. Instead of promulgating rules that could ease the ownership of cryptocurrencies, the US government even makes it more complicated to own and use digital coins. To make matters worse, each agency promotes its own set of extra-legislative rules (that is making law or “regulation” without actually voting on it in Congress).
According to the 2014 guidelines issued by the IRS, cryptocurrencies are considered property. It falls under the same category as houses, stocks, bonds gold or silver. For this particular arm of the government, cryptocurrencies are convertible virtual currencies that have equivalent values in real currency. This designation is mostly because they don’t want to treat it as currency. No one wants to admit that bitcoin is a currency yet, unless it serves them for some other purpose. Wait until you see the FinCen rules.
What do the guidelines imply to us? Since cryptocurrencies are property, The IRS basically wants us to record all the transactions that we have made using virtual currencies. We need to compute the losses and gains that we have acquired by using the digital coins that we have. If we intend to pay a night of hotel accommodation using Bitcoins, then we shall record the amount of BTC used, convert the value according to existing exchange rates, and subtract the cost basis in BTC from the price. We will all have to pay taxes from such transaction if it resulted in gains and of course deduct loses How does that sound to you?
It would be much easier to treat it like a currency. For example, you pay taxes on the USD that you put in the market such as when you trade it for Euros on vacation, but you don’t pay taxes every time you spend it if the market is up. Life is easier this way because you do not need to keep track of every soda or beer you buy in Euros and the corresponding exchange rate at the time. To do so would stifle free trade. Maybe this is the goal?
However, the IRS does not provide comprehensive guidelines on the methods of recording retail transactions using bitcoin and other altcoins. This has resulted in a lot of confusion concerning individual tax obligations related to cryptocurrency ownership and use. No one has yet to sue over this issue. I think that should be forthcoming. Our job as citizens is not to serve the state, but vice versa. Rest assured, the State will not choose to control itself and most of its employees are detached from real market conditions with their guaranteed salaries and pensions. They can make a mistake (hopefully not with your life or estate) and suffer little if any negative consequences. What happens to you in the process is inconsequential. To put it lightly, they will take your money, but they don’t represent you, nor do they care about you. In fact, your objects are a nuisance to them. They have more important things to do.
Apart from the IRS, there are also other government entities that propose restrictions and limitations on the liberty of cryptocurrency use based on archaic laws from the 30s and 40s. The SEC is starting to consider some digital coins as a security though no law has been passed allowing them to do so. They are interpreting existing laws in a way that gives them maximum authority. The US Commodity Futures Trading Commission also proposes to include virtual currencies under commodities. At least when it comes to bitcoin there is a consensus regarding its commodity status between the SEC, IRS and CFTS.
Here is where it gets rich and dodgy to be polite: The US Treasury Department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) has provided a statement that convertible virtual currencies constitute money transmissions. Now isn’t that rich? It’s not currency when you want to use and spend it, but when it comes to stapling your better parts to the floor in complete submission… it is now a currency, but only for the purposes of calling it a money transmission.
All of these, by the way, are extra-legislative in nature. All of these bodies have been asking Congress to clamp down on your freedoms to no avail. The banks lobby day and night. They have recruited the likes of Diane Feinstein and even a few Republicans to take away our financial choices.
The real question the courts need to answer is this: If FinCEN and the other entities really intend to regulate cryptocurrencies in the country, how are they supposed to do this without any legal basis or continuity? The US is not a nation of people that is supposed to ask for permission to transact.
With differing and contrasting views on cryptocurrency coming from the federal government, everyone is faced with extreme dilemmas concerning crypto investment and business compliance. The incoherence of policies among bodies of government can negatively affect the realization of the crypto world’s purposes for the middle class and poor. Maybe this is the goal after all?
submitted by knoll-ebitwork to u/knoll-ebitwork [link] [comments]

FAQ about Bitcoin(2)

FAQ about Bitcoin(2)
www.fmz.com
Legal
Is Bitcoin legal?
To the best of our knowledge, Bitcoin has not been made illegal by legislation in most jurisdictions. However, some jurisdictions (such as Argentina and Russia) severely restrict or ban foreign currencies. Other jurisdictions (such as Thailand) may limit the licensing of certain entities such as Bitcoin exchanges.
Regulators from various jurisdictions are taking steps to provide individuals and businesses with rules on how to integrate this new technology with the formal, regulated financial system. For example, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), a bureau in the United States Treasury Department, issued non-binding guidance on how it characterizes certain activities involving virtual currencies.
Is Bitcoin useful for illegal activities?
Bitcoin is money, and money has always been used both for legal and illegal purposes. Cash, credit cards and current banking systems widely surpass Bitcoin in terms of their use to finance crime. Bitcoin can bring significant innovation in payment systems and the benefits of such innovation are often considered to be far beyond their potential drawbacks.
Bitcoin is designed to be a huge step forward in making money more secure and could also act as a significant protection against many forms of financial crime. For instance, bitcoins are completely impossible to counterfeit. Users are in full control of their payments and cannot receive unapproved charges such as with credit card fraud. Bitcoin transactions are irreversible and immune to fraudulent chargebacks. Bitcoin allows money to be secured against theft and loss using very strong and useful mechanisms such as backups, encryption, and multiple signatures.
Some concerns have been raised that Bitcoin could be more attractive to criminals because it can be used to make private and irreversible payments. However, these features already exist with cash and wire transfer, which are widely used and well-established. The use of Bitcoin will undoubtedly be subjected to similar regulations that are already in place inside existing financial systems, and Bitcoin is not likely to prevent criminal investigations from being conducted. In general, it is common for important breakthroughs to be perceived as being controversial before their benefits are well understood. The Internet is a good example among many others to illustrate this.
Can Bitcoin be regulated? FMZ
The Bitcoin protocol itself cannot be modified without the cooperation of nearly all its users, who choose what software they use. Attempting to assign special rights to a local authority in the rules of the global Bitcoin network is not a practical possibility. Any rich organization could choose to invest in mining hardware to control half of the computing power of the network and become able to block or reverse recent transactions. However, there is no guarantee that they could retain this power since this requires to invest as much than all other miners in the world.
It is however possible to regulate the use of Bitcoin in a similar way to any other instrument. Just like the dollar, Bitcoin can be used for a wide variety of purposes, some of which can be considered legitimate or not as per each jurisdiction's laws. In this regard, Bitcoin is no different than any other tool or resource and can be subjected to different regulations in each country. Bitcoin use could also be made difficult by restrictive regulations, in which case it is hard to determine what percentage of users would keep using the technology. A government that chooses to ban Bitcoin would prevent domestic businesses and markets from developing, shifting innovation to other countries. The challenge for regulators, as always, is to develop efficient solutions while not impairing the growth of new emerging markets and businesses.
What about Bitcoin and taxes?
Bitcoin is not a fiat currency with legal tender status in any jurisdiction, but often tax liability accrues regardless of the medium used. There is a wide variety of legislation in many different jurisdictions which could cause income, sales, payroll, capital gains, or some other form of tax liability to arise with Bitcoin.
What about Bitcoin and consumer protection?
Bitcoin is freeing people to transact on their own terms. Each user can send and receive payments in a similar way to cash but they can also take part in more complex contracts. Multiple signatures allow a transaction to be accepted by the network only if a certain number of a defined group of persons agree to sign the transaction. This allows innovative dispute mediation services to be developed in the future. Such services could allow a third party to approve or reject a transaction in case of disagreement between the other parties without having control on their money. As opposed to cash and other payment methods, Bitcoin always leaves a public proof that a transaction did take place, which can potentially be used in a recourse against businesses with fraudulent practices.
It is also worth noting that while merchants usually depend on their public reputation to remain in business and pay their employees, they don't have access to the same level of information when dealing with new consumers. The way Bitcoin works allows both individuals and businesses to be protected against fraudulent chargebacks while giving the choice to the consumer to ask for more protection when they are not willing to trust a particular merchant.
Economy
How are bitcoins created? FMZ
New bitcoins are generated by a competitive and decentralized process called "mining". This process involves that individuals are rewarded by the network for their services. Bitcoin miners are processing transactions and securing the network using specialized hardware and are collecting new bitcoins in exchange.
The Bitcoin protocol is designed in such a way that new bitcoins are created at a fixed rate. This makes Bitcoin mining a very competitive business. When more miners join the network, it becomes increasingly difficult to make a profit and miners must seek efficiency to cut their operating costs. No central authority or developer has any power to control or manipulate the system to increase their profits. Every Bitcoin node in the world will reject anything that does not comply with the rules it expects the system to follow.
Bitcoins are created at a decreasing and predictable rate. The number of new bitcoins created each year is automatically halved over time until bitcoin issuance halts completely with a total of 21 million bitcoins in existence. At this point, Bitcoin miners will probably be supported exclusively by numerous small transaction fees.
Why do bitcoins have value?
Bitcoins have value because they are useful as a form of money. Bitcoin has the characteristics of money (durability, portability, fungibility, scarcity, divisibility, and recognizability) based on the properties of mathematics rather than relying on physical properties (like gold and silver) or trust in central authorities (like fiat currencies). In short, Bitcoin is backed by mathematics. With these attributes, all that is required for a form of money to hold value is trust and adoption. In the case of Bitcoin, this can be measured by its growing base of users, merchants, and startups. As with all currency, bitcoin's value comes only and directly from people willing to accept them as payment.
What determines bitcoin’s price?
The price of a bitcoin is determined by supply and demand. When demand for bitcoins increases, the price increases, and when demand falls, the price falls. There is only a limited number of bitcoins in circulation and new bitcoins are created at a predictable and decreasing rate, which means that demand must follow this level of inflation to keep the price stable. Because Bitcoin is still a relatively small market compared to what it could be, it doesn't take significant amounts of money to move the market price up or down, and thus the price of a bitcoin is still very volatile.
Bitcoin price over time:

Can bitcoins become worthless?
Yes. History is littered with currencies that failed and are no longer used, such as the German Mark during the Weimar Republic and, more recently, the Zimbabwean dollar. Although previous currency failures were typically due to hyperinflation of a kind that Bitcoin makes impossible, there is always potential for technical failures, competing currencies, political issues and so on. As a basic rule of thumb, no currency should be considered absolutely safe from failures or hard times. Bitcoin has proven reliable for years since its inception and there is a lot of potential for Bitcoin to continue to grow. However, no one is in a position to predict what the future will be for Bitcoin.
Is Bitcoin a bubble? FMZ
A fast rise in price does not constitute a bubble. An artificial over-valuation that will lead to a sudden downward correction constitutes a bubble. Choices based on individual human action by hundreds of thousands of market participants is the cause for bitcoin's price to fluctuate as the market seeks price discovery. Reasons for changes in sentiment may include a loss of confidence in Bitcoin, a large difference between value and price not based on the fundamentals of the Bitcoin economy, increased press coverage stimulating speculative demand, fear of uncertainty, and old-fashioned irrational exuberance and greed.
Is Bitcoin a Ponzi scheme?
A Ponzi scheme is a fraudulent investment operation that pays returns to its investors from their own money, or the money paid by subsequent investors, instead of from profit earned by the individuals running the business. Ponzi schemes are designed to collapse at the expense of the last investors when there is not enough new participants.
Bitcoin is a free software project with no central authority. Consequently, no one is in a position to make fraudulent representations about investment returns. Like other major currencies such as gold, United States dollar, euro, yen, etc. there is no guaranteed purchasing power and the exchange rate floats freely. This leads to volatility where owners of bitcoins can unpredictably make or lose money. Beyond speculation, Bitcoin is also a payment system with useful and competitive attributes that are being used by thousands of users and businesses.
Doesn't Bitcoin unfairly benefit early adopters?
Some early adopters have large numbers of bitcoins because they took risks and invested time and resources in an unproven technology that was hardly used by anyone and that was much harder to secure properly. Many early adopters spent large numbers of bitcoins quite a few times before they became valuable or bought only small amounts and didn't make huge gains. There is no guarantee that the price of a bitcoin will increase or drop. This is very similar to investing in an early startup that can either gain value through its usefulness and popularity, or just never break through. Bitcoin is still in its infancy, and it has been designed with a very long-term view; it is hard to imagine how it could be less biased towards early adopters, and today's users may or may not be the early adopters of tomorrow.
Won't the finite amount of bitcoins be a limitation?
Bitcoin is unique in that only 21 million bitcoins will ever be created. However, this will never be a limitation because transactions can be denominated in smaller sub-units of a bitcoin, such as bits - there are 1,000,000 bits in 1 bitcoin. Bitcoins can be divided up to 8 decimal places (0.000 000 01) and potentially even smaller units if that is ever required in the future as the average transaction size decreases.
Won't Bitcoin fall in a deflationary spiral?FMZ
The deflationary spiral theory says that if prices are expected to fall, people will move purchases into the future in order to benefit from the lower prices. That fall in demand will in turn cause merchants to lower their prices to try and stimulate demand, making the problem worse and leading to an economic depression.
Although this theory is a popular way to justify inflation amongst central bankers, it does not appear to always hold true and is considered controversial amongst economists. Consumer electronics is one example of a market where prices constantly fall but which is not in depression. Similarly, the value of bitcoins has risen over time and yet the size of the Bitcoin economy has also grown dramatically along with it. Because both the value of the currency and the size of its economy started at zero in 2009, Bitcoin is a counterexample to the theory showing that it must sometimes be wrong.
Notwithstanding this, Bitcoin is not designed to be a deflationary currency. It is more accurate to say Bitcoin is intended to inflate in its early years, and become stable in its later years. The only time the quantity of bitcoins in circulation will drop is if people carelessly lose their wallets by failing to make backups. With a stable monetary base and a stable economy, the value of the currency should remain the same.
Isn't speculation and volatility a problem for Bitcoin?
This is a chicken and egg situation. For bitcoin's price to stabilize, a large scale economy needs to develop with more businesses and users. For a large scale economy to develop, businesses and users will seek for price stability.
Fortunately, volatility does not affect the main benefits of Bitcoin as a payment system to transfer money from point A to point B. It is possible for businesses to convert bitcoin payments to their local currency instantly, allowing them to profit from the advantages of Bitcoin without being subjected to price fluctuations. Since Bitcoin offers many useful and unique features and properties, many users choose to use Bitcoin. With such solutions and incentives, it is possible that Bitcoin will mature and develop to a degree where price volatility will become limited.
What if someone bought up all the existing bitcoins? FMZ
Only a fraction of bitcoins issued to date are found on the exchange markets for sale. Bitcoin markets are competitive, meaning the price of a bitcoin will rise or fall depending on supply and demand. Additionally, new bitcoins will continue to be issued for decades to come. Therefore even the most determined buyer could not buy all the bitcoins in existence. This situation isn't to suggest, however, that the markets aren't vulnerable to price manipulation; it still doesn't take significant amounts of money to move the market price up or down, and thus Bitcoin remains a volatile asset thus far.
What if someone creates a better digital currency?
That can happen. For now, Bitcoin remains by far the most popular decentralized virtual currency, but there can be no guarantee that it will retain that position. There is already a set of alternative currencies inspired by Bitcoin. It is however probably correct to assume that significant improvements would be required for a new currency to overtake Bitcoin in terms of established market, even though this remains unpredictable. Bitcoin could also conceivably adopt improvements of a competing currency so long as it doesn't change fundamental parts of the protocol.
to be continued. FMZ
submitted by FmzQuant to u/FmzQuant [link] [comments]

Bernanke never said that "Bitcoin may hold long-term promise", and other bitcoin quotes corrected with sources

During the course of my research, I made a collection of Bitcoin quotes that I could use in different publications.
Many "famous people bitcoin quotes" are false, misquoted and without sources. Using those quotes is bad for everyone.
The first, and most horribly fasle quote, is Bernanke's famous quote: "Bitoin may hold long-term promise, particularly if the innovations promote a faster, more secure and more efficient payment system.”
1) The quote is actually from Alan Blinder
2) The quote is from 1995
3) The quote has nothing to do with Bitcoin
This is the full quote:
Dear Senators: Thank you for your recent inquiry regarding virtual currencies. As you noted, virtual currencies have been receiving increased attention from U.S. authorities over the past several months.
Historically, virtual currencies have been viewed as a form of “electronic money” or area of payment system technology that has been evolving over the past 20 years. Over time, these types of innovations have received attention from Congress as well as U.S. regulators. For example, in 1995, the U.S. House of Representatives held hearings on “the future of money” at which early versions of virtual currencies and other innovations were discussed. Vice Chairman Alan Blinder’s testimony at that time made the key point that while these types of innovations may pose risks related to law enforcement and supervisory matters, there are also areas in which they may hold long-term promise, particularly if the innovations promote a faster, more secure and more efficient payment system.
Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/ben-bernanke-on-bitcoin-2013-11#ixzz2qgGXCYKk
I know some of you already know that this quote is badly cited, but believe me it is being used by every journalist and "expert" out there (google Bernanke bitcoin quote, you'll se that I'm right).
EDIT: Bernanke is not paraphrasing Blinder in order to support a positive / negative opinion of Bitcoin. He quotes Blinder in the introduction of his letter as a way to show that monetary innovations was already a topic of interest back in 1995
There was another post with Bitcoin quotes from famous people here: http://www.reddit.com/Bitcoin/comments/1ohza2/quotes_about_bitcoin_from_famous_people/
Many of these quotes were misquoted, false or without references. I took the liberty to create a legit quotes list with sources:
"I think Bitcoin is a techno tour de force." - Bill Gates, Founder of Microsoft Fox News, May 6, 2013 Original source: http://video.foxbusiness.com/v/2359385547001/
“I gave a talk back in November of ‘99 on […] how encrypted money was going to change the world. I do think bitcoin is the first one of these that has the potential to do something like that. - Peter Thiel, Co-Founder of Paypal. Secondary source: http://www.appstorechronicle.com/2013/11/exclusive-peter-thiel-bitcoin.html#ixzz2pdIR3w8w
“It’s fascinating to watch what’s happened with Bitcoin. Congress has just been spending a week looking at it, they might bring some regulations, but I just hope that it will not stifle innovations of new tech novalties like Bitcoin” Sir Richard Branson, Novembre 22th 2013 Original source: http://video.cnbc.com/gallery/?play=1&video=3000220731
“I think the fact that within the Bitcoin universe an algorithm replaces the functions of [the government] … is actually pretty cool” Al Gore, former US vice president and winner of the Nobel Peace prize Secondary source: http://www.pymnts.com/briefing-room/commerce-3-0/the-innovation-project-2013/al-gore-speaks-on-mobile-money-and-the-global-mind/
“Virtual currency systems, so long as they comply with applicable anti money-laundering and money transmission laws and regulations are not inherently illegal and they can be appealing to consumers because they can provide cheap, efficient and convenient means to transfer currency.” Mythili Raman of the Department of Justice Criminal Division Original source: http://online.wsj.com/article/65405E2A-CD8B-4B70-B8DD-9E7A19D05A61.html#!65405E2A-CD8B-4B70-B8DD-9E7A19D05A61
“Bitcoin is the most important invention in the history of the world since the internet. Roger Ver, CEO of MemoryDealers.com Original source: http://rogerver.com
“Three eras of currency: Commodity based, e.g. Gold., Politically based, e.g. Dollar, Math based, e.g. Bitcoin” Chris Dixon, Personal investor in technology startups Original source: http://nonchalantrepreneur.com/post/46485623457/three-eras-of-currency
"Bitcoin is the beginning of something great: a currency without a government, something necessary and imperative.” - Nassim Nicholas Taleb, Ph.D statistician, author, and advisor to the IMF Original source: http://nassimtaleb.org/tag/bitcoin/
"Bitcoin is going to be a big player in the future of the exchange of goods and services" Jennifer Shasky Calvery, the director of the Treasury Department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network Original source: http://www.c-spanvideo.org/program/DigitalCu
“The decision to bring virtual currency within the scope of our regulatory framework should be viewed by those who respect and obey the basic rule of law as a positive development for this sector. It recognizes the innovation virtual currencies provide, and the benefits they might offer society,” Jennifer Shasky Calvery, the director of the Treasury Department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network. Original source: http://www.c-spanvideo.org/program/DigitalCu
"A number of smart people both inside and outside of government view bitcoin as a major emerging issue that is deserving of our attention" - Senator Tom Carper (D) Original source: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x8Y71IXEK8w
“It [Bitcoin] is a huge, huge, huge deal […] it is gold 2.0” - Chamath Palihapitiya, venture capitalist and former Facebook executive Original source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=59uTUpO8Dzw&feature=youtu.be&t=19m14s
"Bitcoin may be the TCP/IP of money." - Paul Buchheit, Creator of Gmail https://twitter.com/paultoo/status/328969714283995136
“We have elected to put our money and faith in a mathematical framework that is free of politics and human error.” - Tyler Winklevoss, Winklevoss Bitcoin Trust Original source: http://abcnews.go.com/Technology/winklevosses-turn-bitcoin-turmoil/story?id=18941399
submitted by FrancisPouliot to Bitcoin [link] [comments]

FAQ about Bitcoin(2)

FAQ about Bitcoin(2)
www.fmz.com
Legal
Is Bitcoin legal?
To the best of our knowledge, Bitcoin has not been made illegal by legislation in most jurisdictions. However, some jurisdictions (such as Argentina and Russia) severely restrict or ban foreign currencies. Other jurisdictions (such as Thailand) may limit the licensing of certain entities such as Bitcoin exchanges.
Regulators from various jurisdictions are taking steps to provide individuals and businesses with rules on how to integrate this new technology with the formal, regulated financial system. For example, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), a bureau in the United States Treasury Department, issued non-binding guidance on how it characterizes certain activities involving virtual currencies.
Is Bitcoin useful for illegal activities?
Bitcoin is money, and money has always been used both for legal and illegal purposes. Cash, credit cards and current banking systems widely surpass Bitcoin in terms of their use to finance crime. Bitcoin can bring significant innovation in payment systems and the benefits of such innovation are often considered to be far beyond their potential drawbacks.
Bitcoin is designed to be a huge step forward in making money more secure and could also act as a significant protection against many forms of financial crime. For instance, bitcoins are completely impossible to counterfeit. Users are in full control of their payments and cannot receive unapproved charges such as with credit card fraud. Bitcoin transactions are irreversible and immune to fraudulent chargebacks. Bitcoin allows money to be secured against theft and loss using very strong and useful mechanisms such as backups, encryption, and multiple signatures.
Some concerns have been raised that Bitcoin could be more attractive to criminals because it can be used to make private and irreversible payments. However, these features already exist with cash and wire transfer, which are widely used and well-established. The use of Bitcoin will undoubtedly be subjected to similar regulations that are already in place inside existing financial systems, and Bitcoin is not likely to prevent criminal investigations from being conducted. In general, it is common for important breakthroughs to be perceived as being controversial before their benefits are well understood. The Internet is a good example among many others to illustrate this.
Can Bitcoin be regulated? FMZ
The Bitcoin protocol itself cannot be modified without the cooperation of nearly all its users, who choose what software they use. Attempting to assign special rights to a local authority in the rules of the global Bitcoin network is not a practical possibility. Any rich organization could choose to invest in mining hardware to control half of the computing power of the network and become able to block or reverse recent transactions. However, there is no guarantee that they could retain this power since this requires to invest as much than all other miners in the world.
It is however possible to regulate the use of Bitcoin in a similar way to any other instrument. Just like the dollar, Bitcoin can be used for a wide variety of purposes, some of which can be considered legitimate or not as per each jurisdiction's laws. In this regard, Bitcoin is no different than any other tool or resource and can be subjected to different regulations in each country. Bitcoin use could also be made difficult by restrictive regulations, in which case it is hard to determine what percentage of users would keep using the technology. A government that chooses to ban Bitcoin would prevent domestic businesses and markets from developing, shifting innovation to other countries. The challenge for regulators, as always, is to develop efficient solutions while not impairing the growth of new emerging markets and businesses.
What about Bitcoin and taxes?
Bitcoin is not a fiat currency with legal tender status in any jurisdiction, but often tax liability accrues regardless of the medium used. There is a wide variety of legislation in many different jurisdictions which could cause income, sales, payroll, capital gains, or some other form of tax liability to arise with Bitcoin.
What about Bitcoin and consumer protection?
Bitcoin is freeing people to transact on their own terms. Each user can send and receive payments in a similar way to cash but they can also take part in more complex contracts. Multiple signatures allow a transaction to be accepted by the network only if a certain number of a defined group of persons agree to sign the transaction. This allows innovative dispute mediation services to be developed in the future. Such services could allow a third party to approve or reject a transaction in case of disagreement between the other parties without having control on their money. As opposed to cash and other payment methods, Bitcoin always leaves a public proof that a transaction did take place, which can potentially be used in a recourse against businesses with fraudulent practices.
It is also worth noting that while merchants usually depend on their public reputation to remain in business and pay their employees, they don't have access to the same level of information when dealing with new consumers. The way Bitcoin works allows both individuals and businesses to be protected against fraudulent chargebacks while giving the choice to the consumer to ask for more protection when they are not willing to trust a particular merchant.
Economy
How are bitcoins created? FMZ
New bitcoins are generated by a competitive and decentralized process called "mining". This process involves that individuals are rewarded by the network for their services. Bitcoin miners are processing transactions and securing the network using specialized hardware and are collecting new bitcoins in exchange.
The Bitcoin protocol is designed in such a way that new bitcoins are created at a fixed rate. This makes Bitcoin mining a very competitive business. When more miners join the network, it becomes increasingly difficult to make a profit and miners must seek efficiency to cut their operating costs. No central authority or developer has any power to control or manipulate the system to increase their profits. Every Bitcoin node in the world will reject anything that does not comply with the rules it expects the system to follow.
Bitcoins are created at a decreasing and predictable rate. The number of new bitcoins created each year is automatically halved over time until bitcoin issuance halts completely with a total of 21 million bitcoins in existence. At this point, Bitcoin miners will probably be supported exclusively by numerous small transaction fees.
Why do bitcoins have value?
Bitcoins have value because they are useful as a form of money. Bitcoin has the characteristics of money (durability, portability, fungibility, scarcity, divisibility, and recognizability) based on the properties of mathematics rather than relying on physical properties (like gold and silver) or trust in central authorities (like fiat currencies). In short, Bitcoin is backed by mathematics. With these attributes, all that is required for a form of money to hold value is trust and adoption. In the case of Bitcoin, this can be measured by its growing base of users, merchants, and startups. As with all currency, bitcoin's value comes only and directly from people willing to accept them as payment.
What determines bitcoin’s price?
The price of a bitcoin is determined by supply and demand. When demand for bitcoins increases, the price increases, and when demand falls, the price falls. There is only a limited number of bitcoins in circulation and new bitcoins are created at a predictable and decreasing rate, which means that demand must follow this level of inflation to keep the price stable. Because Bitcoin is still a relatively small market compared to what it could be, it doesn't take significant amounts of money to move the market price up or down, and thus the price of a bitcoin is still very volatile.
Bitcoin price over time:

www.fmz.com
Can bitcoins become worthless?
Yes. History is littered with currencies that failed and are no longer used, such as the German Mark during the Weimar Republic and, more recently, the Zimbabwean dollar. Although previous currency failures were typically due to hyperinflation of a kind that Bitcoin makes impossible, there is always potential for technical failures, competing currencies, political issues and so on. As a basic rule of thumb, no currency should be considered absolutely safe from failures or hard times. Bitcoin has proven reliable for years since its inception and there is a lot of potential for Bitcoin to continue to grow. However, no one is in a position to predict what the future will be for Bitcoin.
Is Bitcoin a bubble? FMZ
A fast rise in price does not constitute a bubble. An artificial over-valuation that will lead to a sudden downward correction constitutes a bubble. Choices based on individual human action by hundreds of thousands of market participants is the cause for bitcoin's price to fluctuate as the market seeks price discovery. Reasons for changes in sentiment may include a loss of confidence in Bitcoin, a large difference between value and price not based on the fundamentals of the Bitcoin economy, increased press coverage stimulating speculative demand, fear of uncertainty, and old-fashioned irrational exuberance and greed.
Is Bitcoin a Ponzi scheme?
A Ponzi scheme is a fraudulent investment operation that pays returns to its investors from their own money, or the money paid by subsequent investors, instead of from profit earned by the individuals running the business. Ponzi schemes are designed to collapse at the expense of the last investors when there is not enough new participants.
Bitcoin is a free software project with no central authority. Consequently, no one is in a position to make fraudulent representations about investment returns. Like other major currencies such as gold, United States dollar, euro, yen, etc. there is no guaranteed purchasing power and the exchange rate floats freely. This leads to volatility where owners of bitcoins can unpredictably make or lose money. Beyond speculation, Bitcoin is also a payment system with useful and competitive attributes that are being used by thousands of users and businesses.
Doesn't Bitcoin unfairly benefit early adopters?
Some early adopters have large numbers of bitcoins because they took risks and invested time and resources in an unproven technology that was hardly used by anyone and that was much harder to secure properly. Many early adopters spent large numbers of bitcoins quite a few times before they became valuable or bought only small amounts and didn't make huge gains. There is no guarantee that the price of a bitcoin will increase or drop. This is very similar to investing in an early startup that can either gain value through its usefulness and popularity, or just never break through. Bitcoin is still in its infancy, and it has been designed with a very long-term view; it is hard to imagine how it could be less biased towards early adopters, and today's users may or may not be the early adopters of tomorrow.
Won't the finite amount of bitcoins be a limitation?
Bitcoin is unique in that only 21 million bitcoins will ever be created. However, this will never be a limitation because transactions can be denominated in smaller sub-units of a bitcoin, such as bits - there are 1,000,000 bits in 1 bitcoin. Bitcoins can be divided up to 8 decimal places (0.000 000 01) and potentially even smaller units if that is ever required in the future as the average transaction size decreases.
Won't Bitcoin fall in a deflationary spiral?FMZ
The deflationary spiral theory says that if prices are expected to fall, people will move purchases into the future in order to benefit from the lower prices. That fall in demand will in turn cause merchants to lower their prices to try and stimulate demand, making the problem worse and leading to an economic depression.
Although this theory is a popular way to justify inflation amongst central bankers, it does not appear to always hold true and is considered controversial amongst economists. Consumer electronics is one example of a market where prices constantly fall but which is not in depression. Similarly, the value of bitcoins has risen over time and yet the size of the Bitcoin economy has also grown dramatically along with it. Because both the value of the currency and the size of its economy started at zero in 2009, Bitcoin is a counterexample to the theory showing that it must sometimes be wrong.
Notwithstanding this, Bitcoin is not designed to be a deflationary currency. It is more accurate to say Bitcoin is intended to inflate in its early years, and become stable in its later years. The only time the quantity of bitcoins in circulation will drop is if people carelessly lose their wallets by failing to make backups. With a stable monetary base and a stable economy, the value of the currency should remain the same.
Isn't speculation and volatility a problem for Bitcoin?
This is a chicken and egg situation. For bitcoin's price to stabilize, a large scale economy needs to develop with more businesses and users. For a large scale economy to develop, businesses and users will seek for price stability.
Fortunately, volatility does not affect the main benefits of Bitcoin as a payment system to transfer money from point A to point B. It is possible for businesses to convert bitcoin payments to their local currency instantly, allowing them to profit from the advantages of Bitcoin without being subjected to price fluctuations. Since Bitcoin offers many useful and unique features and properties, many users choose to use Bitcoin. With such solutions and incentives, it is possible that Bitcoin will mature and develop to a degree where price volatility will become limited.
What if someone bought up all the existing bitcoins? FMZ
Only a fraction of bitcoins issued to date are found on the exchange markets for sale. Bitcoin markets are competitive, meaning the price of a bitcoin will rise or fall depending on supply and demand. Additionally, new bitcoins will continue to be issued for decades to come. Therefore even the most determined buyer could not buy all the bitcoins in existence. This situation isn't to suggest, however, that the markets aren't vulnerable to price manipulation; it still doesn't take significant amounts of money to move the market price up or down, and thus Bitcoin remains a volatile asset thus far.
What if someone creates a better digital currency?
That can happen. For now, Bitcoin remains by far the most popular decentralized virtual currency, but there can be no guarantee that it will retain that position. There is already a set of alternative currencies inspired by Bitcoin. It is however probably correct to assume that significant improvements would be required for a new currency to overtake Bitcoin in terms of established market, even though this remains unpredictable. Bitcoin could also conceivably adopt improvements of a competing currency so long as it doesn't change fundamental parts of the protocol.
to be continued. FMZ
submitted by Ruby-Yao to u/Ruby-Yao [link] [comments]

FAQ about Bitcoin(2)

FAQ about Bitcoin(2)
www.fmz.com
Legal
Is Bitcoin legal?
To the best of our knowledge, Bitcoin has not been made illegal by legislation in most jurisdictions. However, some jurisdictions (such as Argentina and Russia) severely restrict or ban foreign currencies. Other jurisdictions (such as Thailand) may limit the licensing of certain entities such as Bitcoin exchanges.
Regulators from various jurisdictions are taking steps to provide individuals and businesses with rules on how to integrate this new technology with the formal, regulated financial system. For example, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), a bureau in the United States Treasury Department, issued non-binding guidance on how it characterizes certain activities involving virtual currencies.
Is Bitcoin useful for illegal activities?
Bitcoin is money, and money has always been used both for legal and illegal purposes. Cash, credit cards and current banking systems widely surpass Bitcoin in terms of their use to finance crime. Bitcoin can bring significant innovation in payment systems and the benefits of such innovation are often considered to be far beyond their potential drawbacks.
Bitcoin is designed to be a huge step forward in making money more secure and could also act as a significant protection against many forms of financial crime. For instance, bitcoins are completely impossible to counterfeit. Users are in full control of their payments and cannot receive unapproved charges such as with credit card fraud. Bitcoin transactions are irreversible and immune to fraudulent chargebacks. Bitcoin allows money to be secured against theft and loss using very strong and useful mechanisms such as backups, encryption, and multiple signatures.
Some concerns have been raised that Bitcoin could be more attractive to criminals because it can be used to make private and irreversible payments. However, these features already exist with cash and wire transfer, which are widely used and well-established. The use of Bitcoin will undoubtedly be subjected to similar regulations that are already in place inside existing financial systems, and Bitcoin is not likely to prevent criminal investigations from being conducted. In general, it is common for important breakthroughs to be perceived as being controversial before their benefits are well understood. The Internet is a good example among many others to illustrate this.
Can Bitcoin be regulated? FMZ
The Bitcoin protocol itself cannot be modified without the cooperation of nearly all its users, who choose what software they use. Attempting to assign special rights to a local authority in the rules of the global Bitcoin network is not a practical possibility. Any rich organization could choose to invest in mining hardware to control half of the computing power of the network and become able to block or reverse recent transactions. However, there is no guarantee that they could retain this power since this requires to invest as much than all other miners in the world.
It is however possible to regulate the use of Bitcoin in a similar way to any other instrument. Just like the dollar, Bitcoin can be used for a wide variety of purposes, some of which can be considered legitimate or not as per each jurisdiction's laws. In this regard, Bitcoin is no different than any other tool or resource and can be subjected to different regulations in each country. Bitcoin use could also be made difficult by restrictive regulations, in which case it is hard to determine what percentage of users would keep using the technology. A government that chooses to ban Bitcoin would prevent domestic businesses and markets from developing, shifting innovation to other countries. The challenge for regulators, as always, is to develop efficient solutions while not impairing the growth of new emerging markets and businesses.
What about Bitcoin and taxes?
Bitcoin is not a fiat currency with legal tender status in any jurisdiction, but often tax liability accrues regardless of the medium used. There is a wide variety of legislation in many different jurisdictions which could cause income, sales, payroll, capital gains, or some other form of tax liability to arise with Bitcoin.
What about Bitcoin and consumer protection?
Bitcoin is freeing people to transact on their own terms. Each user can send and receive payments in a similar way to cash but they can also take part in more complex contracts. Multiple signatures allow a transaction to be accepted by the network only if a certain number of a defined group of persons agree to sign the transaction. This allows innovative dispute mediation services to be developed in the future. Such services could allow a third party to approve or reject a transaction in case of disagreement between the other parties without having control on their money. As opposed to cash and other payment methods, Bitcoin always leaves a public proof that a transaction did take place, which can potentially be used in a recourse against businesses with fraudulent practices.
It is also worth noting that while merchants usually depend on their public reputation to remain in business and pay their employees, they don't have access to the same level of information when dealing with new consumers. The way Bitcoin works allows both individuals and businesses to be protected against fraudulent chargebacks while giving the choice to the consumer to ask for more protection when they are not willing to trust a particular merchant.
Economy
How are bitcoins created? FMZ
New bitcoins are generated by a competitive and decentralized process called "mining". This process involves that individuals are rewarded by the network for their services. Bitcoin miners are processing transactions and securing the network using specialized hardware and are collecting new bitcoins in exchange.
The Bitcoin protocol is designed in such a way that new bitcoins are created at a fixed rate. This makes Bitcoin mining a very competitive business. When more miners join the network, it becomes increasingly difficult to make a profit and miners must seek efficiency to cut their operating costs. No central authority or developer has any power to control or manipulate the system to increase their profits. Every Bitcoin node in the world will reject anything that does not comply with the rules it expects the system to follow.
Bitcoins are created at a decreasing and predictable rate. The number of new bitcoins created each year is automatically halved over time until bitcoin issuance halts completely with a total of 21 million bitcoins in existence. At this point, Bitcoin miners will probably be supported exclusively by numerous small transaction fees.
Why do bitcoins have value?
Bitcoins have value because they are useful as a form of money. Bitcoin has the characteristics of money (durability, portability, fungibility, scarcity, divisibility, and recognizability) based on the properties of mathematics rather than relying on physical properties (like gold and silver) or trust in central authorities (like fiat currencies). In short, Bitcoin is backed by mathematics. With these attributes, all that is required for a form of money to hold value is trust and adoption. In the case of Bitcoin, this can be measured by its growing base of users, merchants, and startups. As with all currency, bitcoin's value comes only and directly from people willing to accept them as payment.
What determines bitcoin’s price?
The price of a bitcoin is determined by supply and demand. When demand for bitcoins increases, the price increases, and when demand falls, the price falls. There is only a limited number of bitcoins in circulation and new bitcoins are created at a predictable and decreasing rate, which means that demand must follow this level of inflation to keep the price stable. Because Bitcoin is still a relatively small market compared to what it could be, it doesn't take significant amounts of money to move the market price up or down, and thus the price of a bitcoin is still very volatile.
Bitcoin price over time:
www.fmz.com
Can bitcoins become worthless?
Yes. History is littered with currencies that failed and are no longer used, such as the German Mark during the Weimar Republic and, more recently, the Zimbabwean dollar. Although previous currency failures were typically due to hyperinflation of a kind that Bitcoin makes impossible, there is always potential for technical failures, competing currencies, political issues and so on. As a basic rule of thumb, no currency should be considered absolutely safe from failures or hard times. Bitcoin has proven reliable for years since its inception and there is a lot of potential for Bitcoin to continue to grow. However, no one is in a position to predict what the future will be for Bitcoin.
Is Bitcoin a bubble? FMZ
A fast rise in price does not constitute a bubble. An artificial over-valuation that will lead to a sudden downward correction constitutes a bubble. Choices based on individual human action by hundreds of thousands of market participants is the cause for bitcoin's price to fluctuate as the market seeks price discovery. Reasons for changes in sentiment may include a loss of confidence in Bitcoin, a large difference between value and price not based on the fundamentals of the Bitcoin economy, increased press coverage stimulating speculative demand, fear of uncertainty, and old-fashioned irrational exuberance and greed.
Is Bitcoin a Ponzi scheme?
A Ponzi scheme is a fraudulent investment operation that pays returns to its investors from their own money, or the money paid by subsequent investors, instead of from profit earned by the individuals running the business. Ponzi schemes are designed to collapse at the expense of the last investors when there is not enough new participants.
Bitcoin is a free software project with no central authority. Consequently, no one is in a position to make fraudulent representations about investment returns. Like other major currencies such as gold, United States dollar, euro, yen, etc. there is no guaranteed purchasing power and the exchange rate floats freely. This leads to volatility where owners of bitcoins can unpredictably make or lose money. Beyond speculation, Bitcoin is also a payment system with useful and competitive attributes that are being used by thousands of users and businesses.
Doesn't Bitcoin unfairly benefit early adopters?
Some early adopters have large numbers of bitcoins because they took risks and invested time and resources in an unproven technology that was hardly used by anyone and that was much harder to secure properly. Many early adopters spent large numbers of bitcoins quite a few times before they became valuable or bought only small amounts and didn't make huge gains. There is no guarantee that the price of a bitcoin will increase or drop. This is very similar to investing in an early startup that can either gain value through its usefulness and popularity, or just never break through. Bitcoin is still in its infancy, and it has been designed with a very long-term view; it is hard to imagine how it could be less biased towards early adopters, and today's users may or may not be the early adopters of tomorrow.
Won't the finite amount of bitcoins be a limitation?
Bitcoin is unique in that only 21 million bitcoins will ever be created. However, this will never be a limitation because transactions can be denominated in smaller sub-units of a bitcoin, such as bits - there are 1,000,000 bits in 1 bitcoin. Bitcoins can be divided up to 8 decimal places (0.000 000 01) and potentially even smaller units if that is ever required in the future as the average transaction size decreases.
Won't Bitcoin fall in a deflationary spiral?FMZ
The deflationary spiral theory says that if prices are expected to fall, people will move purchases into the future in order to benefit from the lower prices. That fall in demand will in turn cause merchants to lower their prices to try and stimulate demand, making the problem worse and leading to an economic depression.
Although this theory is a popular way to justify inflation amongst central bankers, it does not appear to always hold true and is considered controversial amongst economists. Consumer electronics is one example of a market where prices constantly fall but which is not in depression. Similarly, the value of bitcoins has risen over time and yet the size of the Bitcoin economy has also grown dramatically along with it. Because both the value of the currency and the size of its economy started at zero in 2009, Bitcoin is a counterexample to the theory showing that it must sometimes be wrong.
Notwithstanding this, Bitcoin is not designed to be a deflationary currency. It is more accurate to say Bitcoin is intended to inflate in its early years, and become stable in its later years. The only time the quantity of bitcoins in circulation will drop is if people carelessly lose their wallets by failing to make backups. With a stable monetary base and a stable economy, the value of the currency should remain the same.
Isn't speculation and volatility a problem for Bitcoin?
This is a chicken and egg situation. For bitcoin's price to stabilize, a large scale economy needs to develop with more businesses and users. For a large scale economy to develop, businesses and users will seek for price stability.
Fortunately, volatility does not affect the main benefits of Bitcoin as a payment system to transfer money from point A to point B. It is possible for businesses to convert bitcoin payments to their local currency instantly, allowing them to profit from the advantages of Bitcoin without being subjected to price fluctuations. Since Bitcoin offers many useful and unique features and properties, many users choose to use Bitcoin. With such solutions and incentives, it is possible that Bitcoin will mature and develop to a degree where price volatility will become limited.
What if someone bought up all the existing bitcoins? FMZ
Only a fraction of bitcoins issued to date are found on the exchange markets for sale. Bitcoin markets are competitive, meaning the price of a bitcoin will rise or fall depending on supply and demand. Additionally, new bitcoins will continue to be issued for decades to come. Therefore even the most determined buyer could not buy all the bitcoins in existence. This situation isn't to suggest, however, that the markets aren't vulnerable to price manipulation; it still doesn't take significant amounts of money to move the market price up or down, and thus Bitcoin remains a volatile asset thus far.
What if someone creates a better digital currency?
That can happen. For now, Bitcoin remains by far the most popular decentralized virtual currency, but there can be no guarantee that it will retain that position. There is already a set of alternative currencies inspired by Bitcoin. It is however probably correct to assume that significant improvements would be required for a new currency to overtake Bitcoin in terms of established market, even though this remains unpredictable. Bitcoin could also conceivably adopt improvements of a competing currency so long as it doesn't change fundamental parts of the protocol.
to be continued. FMZ
submitted by FmzQuant to u/FmzQuant [link] [comments]

is bitcoin legal in USA -bitcoin Legal Issues for USA Is bitcoin mining Legal in US YTGuide Donald Trump Told Treasury Secretary to ‘Go After Bitcoin’ BTC is Bearish but Paypal CEO is a HODLER Treasury Official Arrested, Charged with Leaking Confidential Info On Ex-Trump Advisers Bitcoin ATM's Could Be Coming To A Gas Station Or Vape Store Near You (HBO)

The US Department of Treasury's Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) today announced the first-ever penalty against a Helix and Coin Ninja cryptocurrency mixing services. WASHINGTON—The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) ... operated as an exchanger of convertible virtual currencies by accepting and transmitting bitcoin through a variety of means. From June 2014 through December 2017, Helix conducted over 1,225,000 transactions for its customers and was associated with virtual currency wallet addresses that sent or received over $311 million ... The Treasury Department’s financial crimes unit fined a California man it accused of violating anti-money-laundering laws, saying he exchanged bitcoins hundreds of times on behalf of customers ... The civil penalty against Mr. Harmon, who already faces charges by the U.S. Justice Department, is the first of its kind imposed by the Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network against a ... U.S. Department of Treasury Bureau, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network is not a big fan of Bitcoin mixer services.FinCEN Fines Bitcoin Mixing Service Operator $60 Million. On October 19, the FinCEN announced that it had fined Larry Dean Harmon – the operator of Helix and Coin Ninja crypto-mixing services – a mammoth $60 million for his alleged involvement in laundering tens of ...

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is bitcoin legal in USA -bitcoin Legal Issues for USA Is bitcoin mining Legal in US YTGuide

In February this year, Mnuchin said at a hearing that he would be announcing some “significant new requirements” for cryptocurrencies with the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, alluding to ... Companies like Bitcoin Depot self-report suspicious activity to the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, a bureau within the U.S. Treasury Department created to, “determine emerging trends and ... According to the U.S. Treasury Department's Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, as of 2013, using bitcoin to purchase well-natured goods and services is not illegal. However, those who mine ... - Stablecoin is as a money transfer service: According to the cointelegraph, Director Kenneth Blanco Blanco, of The U.S. Financial Crimes Enforcement Network asserted that all stable coins are ... In the latest indication of the Trump administration's efforts to root out alleged leakers, a senior Treasury Department official working in the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FINCEN ...

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