Putting $400M of Bitcoin on your company balance sheet
Also posted on my blog as usual. Read it there if you can, there are footnotes and inlined plots. A couple of months ago, MicroStrategy (MSTR) had a spare $400M of cash which it decided to shift to Bitcoin (BTC). Today we'll discuss in excrutiating detail why this is not a good idea. When a company has a pile of spare money it doesn't know what to do with, it'll normally do buybacks or start paying dividends. That gives the money back to the shareholders, and from an economic perspective the money can get better invested in other more promising companies. If you have a huge pile of of cash, you probably should be doing other things than leave it in a bank account to gather dust. However, this statement from MicroStrategy CEO Michael Saylor exists to make it clear he's buying into BTC for all the wrong reasons:
“This is not a speculation, nor is it a hedge. This was a deliberate corporate strategy to adopt a bitcoin standard.”
Let's unpack it and jump into the economics Bitcoin:
Is Bitcoin money?
No. Or rather BTC doesn't act as money and there's no serious future path for BTC to become a form of money. Let's go back to basics. There are 3 main economic problems money solves: 1. Medium of Exchange. Before money we had to barter, which led to the double coincidence of wants problem. When everyone accepts the same money you can buy something from someone even if they don't like the stuff you own. As a medium of exchange, BTC is not good. There are significant transaction fees and transaction waiting times built-in to BTC and these worsen the more popular BTC get. You can test BTC's usefulness as a medium of exchange for yourself right now: try to order a pizza or to buy a random item with BTC. How many additional hurdles do you have to go through? How many fewer options do you have than if you used a regular currency? How much overhead (time, fees) is there? 2. Unit of Account. A unit of account is what you compare the value of objects against. We denominate BTC in terms of how many USD they're worth, so BTC is a unit of account presently. We can say it's because of lack of adoption, but really it's also because the market value of BTC is so volatile. If I buy a $1000 table today or in 2017, it's roughly a $1000 table. We can't say that a 0.4BTC table was a 0.4BTC table in 2017. We'll expand on this in the next point: 3. Store of Value. When you create economic value, you don't want to be forced to use up the value you created right away. For instance, if I fix your washing machine and you pay me in avocados, I'd be annoyed. I'd have to consume my payment before it becomes brown, squishy and disgusting. Avocado fruit is not good money because avocadoes loses value very fast. On the other hand, well-run currencies like the USD, GBP, CAD, EUR, etc. all lose their value at a low and most importantly fairly predictible rate. Let's look at the chart of the USD against BTC While the dollar loses value at a predictible rate, BTC is all over the place, which is bad. One important use money is to write loan contracts. Loans are great. They let people spend now against their future potential earnings, so they can buy houses or start businesses without first saving up for a decade. Loans are good for the economy. If you want to sign something that says "I owe you this much for that much time" then you need to be able to roughly predict the value of the debt in at the point in time where it's due. Otherwise you'll have a hard time pricing the risk of the loan effectively. This means that you need to charge higher interests. The risk of making a loan in BTC needs to be priced into the interest of a BTC-denominated loan, which means much higher interest rates. High interests on loans are bad, because buying houses and starting businesses are good things.
BTC has a fixed supply, so these problems are built in
Some people think that going back to a standard where our money was denominated by a stock of gold (the Gold Standard) would solve economic problems. This is nonsense. Having control over supply of your currency is a good thing, as long as it's well run. See here Remember that what is desirable is low variance in the value, not the value itself. When there are wild fluctuations in value, it's hard for money to do its job well. Since the 1970s, the USD has been a fiat money with no intrinsic value. This means we control the supply of money. Let's look at a classic poorly drawn econ101 graph The market price for USD is where supply meets demand. The problem with a currency based on an item whose supply is fixed is that the price will necessarily fluctuate in response to changes in demand. Imagine, if you will, that a pandemic strikes and that the demand for currency takes a sharp drop. The US imports less, people don't buy anything anymore, etc. If you can't print money, you get deflation, which is worsens everything. On the other hand, if you can make the money printers go brrrr you can stabilize the price Having your currency be based on a fixed supply isn't just bad because in/deflation is hard to control. It's also a national security risk... The story of the guy who crashed gold prices in North Africa In the 1200s, Mansa Munsa, the emperor of the Mali, was rich and a devout Muslim and wanted everyone to know it. So he embarked on a pilgrimage to make it rain all the way to Mecca. He in fact made it rain so hard he increased the overall supply of gold and unintentionally crashed gold prices in Cairo by 20%, wreaking an economic havoc in North Africa that lasted a decade. This story is fun, the larger point that having your inflation be at the mercy of foreign nations is an undesirable attribute in any currency. The US likes to call some countries currency manipulators, but this problem would be serious under a gold standard.
Currencies are based on trust
Since the USD is based on nothing except the US government's word, how can we trust USD not to be mismanaged? The answer is that you can probably trust the fed until political stooges get put in place. Currently, the US's central bank managing the USD, the Federal Reserve (the Fed for friends & family), has administrative authority. The fed can say "no" to dumb requests from the president. People who have no idea what the fed does like to chant "audit the fed", but the fed is already one of the best audited US federal entities. The transcripts of all their meetings are out in the open. As is their balance sheet, what they plan to do and why. If the US should audit anything it's the Department of Defense which operates without any accounting at all. It's easy to see when a central bank will go rogue: it's when political yes-men are elected to the board. For example, before printing themselves into hyperinflation, the Venezuelan president appointed a sociologist who publicly stated “Inflation does not exist in real life” and instead is a made up capitalist lie. Note what happened mere months after his gaining control over the Venezuelan currency This is a key policy. One paper I really like, Sargent (1984) "The end of 4 big inflations" states:
The essential measures that ended hyperinflation in each of Germany,Austria, Hungary, and Poland were, first, the creation of an independentcentral bank that was legally committed to refuse the government'sdemand or additional unsecured credit and, second, a simultaneousalteration in the fiscal policy regime.
In english: *hyperinflation stops when the central bank can say "no" to the government." The US Fed, like other well good central banks, is run by a bunch of nerds. When it prints money, even as aggressively as it has it does so for good reasons. You can see why they started printing on March 15th as the COVID lockdowns started:
The Federal Reserve is prepared to use its full range of tools to support the flow of credit to households and businesses and thereby promote its maximum employment and price stability goals.
In english: We're going to keep printing and lowering rates until jobs are back and inflation is under control. If we print until the sun is blotted out, we'll print in the shade.
BTC is not gold
Gold is a good asset for doomsday-preppers. If society crashes, gold will still have value. How do we know that? Gold has held value throughout multiple historic catastrophes over thousands of years. It had value before and after the Bronze Age Collapse, the Fall of the Western Roman Empire and Gengis Khan being Gengis Khan. Even if you erased humanity and started over, the new humans would still find gold to be economically valuable. When Europeans d̶i̶s̶c̶o̶v̶e̶r̶e̶d̶ c̶o̶n̶q̶u̶e̶r̶e̶d̶ g̶e̶n̶o̶c̶i̶d̶e̶d̶ went to America, they found gold to be an important item over there too. This is about equivalent to finding humans on Alpha-Centauri and learning that they think gold is a good store of value as well. Some people are puzzled at this: we don't even use gold for much! But it has great properties: First, gold is hard to fake and impossible to manufacture. This makes it good to ascertain payment. Second, gold doesnt react to oxygen, so it doesn't rust or tarnish. So it keeps value over time unlike most other materials. Last, gold is pretty. This might sound frivolous, and you may not like it, but jewelry has actual value to humans. It's no coincidence if you look at a list of the wealthiest families, a large number of them trade in luxury goods. To paraphrase Veblen humans have a profound desire to signal social status, for the same reason peacocks have unwieldy tails. Gold is a great way to achieve that. On the other hand, BTC lacks all these attributes. Its value is largely based on common perception of value. There are a few fundamental drivers of demand:
Means of Exchange: if people seriously start using BTC to buy pizzas, then this creates a real demand for the currency to accomplish the short-term exchanges. As we saw previously, I'm not personally sold on this one and it's currently a negligible fraction of overall demand.
Criminal uses: Probably the largest inbuilt advantage of BTC is that it's anonymous, and so a great way to launder money. Hacker gangs use BTC to demand ransom on cryptolocker type attacks because it's a shared way for an honest company to pay and for the criminals to receive money without going to jail.
Apart from these, it's hard to argue that BTC will retain value throughout some sort of economic catastrophe.
BTC is really risky
One last statement from Michael Saylor I take offense to is this:
“We feel pretty confident that Bitcoin is less risky than holding cash, less risky than holding gold,” MicroStrategy CEO said in an interview
"BTC is less risky than holding cash or gold long term" is nonsense. We saw before that BTC is more volatile on face value, and that as long as the Fed isn't run by spider monkeys stacked in a trench coat, the inflation is likely to be within reasonable bounds. But on top of this, BTC has Abrupt downside risks that normal currencies don't. Let's imagine a few:
A critical software vulnerability is found in the BTC codebase, leading to a possible exploitation.
Xi Jinping decides he's had enough of rich people in China hiding their assets from him and bans BTC.
Some form of bank run takes hold for whatever reason. Because BTC wallets are uninsured, unlike regular banks, this compounds into a Black Tuesday style crash.
Blockchain solutions are fundamentally inefficient
Blockchain was a genius idea. I still marvel at the initial white paper which is a great mix of economics and computer science. That said, blockchain solutions make large tradeoffs in design because they assume almost no trust between parties. This leads to intentionally wasteful designs on a massive scale. The main problem is that all transactions have to be validated by expensive computational operations and double checked by multiple parties. This means waste:
BTC was estimated to use as much electricity as Belgium in 2019. It's hard to trace where the BTC mining comes from, but we can assume it has a huge carbon footprint.
A single transactions is necessarily expensive. A single transaction takes as much electricity as 800,000 VISA transactions, or watching 50,000 hours of youtube videos.
There is a large necessary tax on the transaction, since those checking the transaction extract a few BTC from it to be incentivized to do the work of checking it.
Many design problems can be mitigated by various improvements over BTC, but it remains that a simple database always works better than a blockchain if you can trust the parties to the transaction.
Ultimate glossary of crypto currency terms, acronyms and abbreviations
Vinnik trial for extortion and Bitcoin money laundering begins in Paris
The Russian national linked to the laundering of $4 billion of Bitcoin stolen during the Mt. Gox hack is finally in court. The trial of the alleged launderer of $4 billion worth of Bitcoin (BTC), Alexander Vinnik, got underway in Paris on Monday. However, despite reported links to the 300,000 BTC hack of Mt. Gox in 2014, prosecutors are focusing on a 135-million-euro ($159 million) ransomware fraud targeting French businesses and organizations between 2016 and 2018. According to The Associated Press, Russian national Vinnik is being charged with extortion, money laundering and criminal association after 20 victims of the "Locky" malware paid the ransom in Bitcoin through BTC-e. Vinnik is alleged to be one of the creators of the malware and the former operator of the now-shuttered cryptocurrency exchange, although he claims that he was only a technical consultant at BTC-e and had no knowledge of any wrongdoing. If found guilty, Vinnik faces up to 10 years in prison. Vinnik trial for extortion and Bitcoin money laundering begins in Paris
For newcomers: Criminal charges filed against BitMEX. Why this is a good thing for crypto
BitMEX, a centralized cryptocurrency exchange, was recently charged by the United States CFTC with failing to prevent money laundering and failing to implement other basic compliance procedures. For those unfamiliar with BitMEX: BitMEX is a trading platform that offers investors access to the global financial markets using only Bitcoin. BitMEX is built by finance professionals with over 40 years of combined experience and offers a comprehensive API and supporting tools. Gee, that doesn't sound so bad. Basically, you can buy and sell bitcoin on BitMEX. So what's the big deal? Well, from the BitMEX site: Does BitMEX offer leverage? Yes, BitMEX offers leverage on all of its products. The highest leverage BitMEX offers is up to 100x leverage on its Perpetual Bitcoin / USD Perpetual Contract. Okay, but what is leveraged trading exactly? According to thebalance.com, "100:1: One-hundred-to-one leverage means that for every $1 you have in your account, you can place a trade worth up to $100. This ratio is a typical amount of leverage offered on a standard lot account. The typical $2,000 minimum deposit for a standard account would give you the ability to control $200,000."
And herein lies my first issue with an unregulated exchange like BitMEX. When used in the crypto-space, I think leverage is some fucked up shit. With massive amounts of leverage, whales can manipulate the price of bitcoin while little fish like you and I are at the mercy of the gods. If the whales want to move the price higher, they can coordinate a leveraged 'attack' to increase the price of bitcoin. If they want to drop the price of bitcoin, they can similarly coordinate a massive sell off. This is often visualized as those exaggerated green and red spikes on a trading chart sending the price of bitcoin through lines of resistance or support. This, in turn, can then trigger further exaggerated selloffs. Additionally, inexperienced traders have little to no business trading on leveraged accounts. The vast majority of those who try will walk away in a world of pain carrying a huge loss on their shoulders. But... if some schmuck goes all in on leverage and loses their investment and goes broke, isn't that their fault? Well, yes. That would be a tough pill to swallow, but technically yes, it's their fault. But rather than laugh and point at this person, shouldn't we be encouraging others to embrace cryptocurrency? I think leverage exposes all the wrong things about trading cryptocurrency, yet leverage is exactly how centralized exchanges like BitMEX make their money. This leads me to my second point.
Criminal charges against a centralized exchange facilitates the need for decentralized exchanges. What the hell is a decentralized exchange? From wikipedia: A decentralized exchange (DEX) is a cryptocurrency exchange which operates in a decentralized way, i.e., without a central authority. Decentralized exchanges allow peer-to-peer trading of cryptocurrencies. Because users do not need to transfer their assets to the exchange, decentralized exchanges reduce the risk of theft from hacking of exchanges. Decentralized exchanges can also prevent price manipulation or faked trading volume through wash trading, and are more anonymous than exchanges which implement know your customer requirements. I remember when I first heard about decentralized exchanges I thought to myself... this is going to be huge! But then, no one seemed to share my excitement. Coinbase continued to thrive, followed by the likes of BitMEX and other centralized exchanges. Then, one by one, hack after hack, I finally began to see people move toward decentralized exchanges like uniswap.
I mentioned in another post that we are still in the early stages of crypto development. While bitcoin has been around for over a decade, we are just now beginning to gain traction in other areas of innovation and growth. If there was ever a time to break out of the same corrupt pattern of conventional finance, now is the time!
My name is Gabriel Acosta, a small business owner seeking representation in a securities fraud case. I am a victim of online broker scam; a operation I was coerced into, and as a result of which I was defrauded by a company named Tridixoptions (Tridixoption.net), claiming to have a registered address at 1407 Moon Harbor ct, Saint Augustine, FL United States, representing itself as a “financial broker”. The perpetrators approached me through the social media platform, Instagram, using profiles inquiring whether I was interested in making a small investment into their platform, Tridixoptions. I decided to give it a try with $300 USD. In my eyes, this was an opportunity and decided to incorporate a business to use as a personal investment structure and decided to use this "online broker" as a catalyst for the opportunity. Shortly after the initial deposit, they began charging me fees as the “investment value” increased on the platform. These fees included fees to increase wallet value, enable auto-trading and finally a withdrawal insurance fee, among other various "fees". The value listed on their "platform" consistently showed an increase in value; I went ahead and believed their listed returns and continued to deposit funds into the account. At the time of payout, I was shown to have a value of over 108,000 USD and had personally invested approximately 50,000 USD into their platform. Unfortunately, on May 31, 2019 after depositing the withdrawal insurance fee, I received communication from the platform informing me that if I had not received my payout by then that I will not receive one and to proceed with filing a lawsuit against them. I am able to provide email documentation detailing what is described above, it is house and organized within the company OneDrive. Upon further reflection, it is evident that this Merchant is operating the online platform under the address http://www.tridixoption.net/ and the deposit of funds were directed into a false and fictitious “trading account”. The cryptocurrency deposits I made into their account are as follows:
Bitcoin (BTC) totally equal to 10,541.15 USD bought via Coinbase, LocalBitcoins and BitBase exchange (www.bitbase.es) platforms;
Bitcoin (BTC) totally equal to 24,016.00 USD bought via Paxful exchange (www.paxful.com) – owned and operated by Paxful Inc., a company registered under the laws of the United States, having its registered address at 3422 Old Capitol Trail PMB # 989 Wilmington, DE 19808-6124;
A wire funds totaling to 9,720.08 USD to another entity acting as Beneficiary, namely Coin Trader LLC, registered in the US with company number 1293008-93, based in 4621 SW KELLY AVE STE 200, Oregon, USA and holding an account with Keybank National Association. These funds were used to purchase additional virtual currency (BTC) and transferred into the e-wallet of the fictitious e-wallet.
The entirety of purchased BTC (virtual currency) were deposited into the following wallet addresses, as designated by the Merchant: 1EqldoPtl96ZDYF2uoATG5YV6Bj3uih4u9 (https://www.blockchain.com/btc/address/1EqLdoPtL96ZDYF2uoATG5YV6Bj3uih4u9?page=12) 3Qd7ghJ39CA3VrTc4DtATAyT3kVjvGcv6b (https://www.blockchain.com/btc/address/3Qd7ghJ39CA3VrTc4DtATAyT3kVjvGcv6b) AND 3QfSA27pAU68YRahSbbusCtEyKnNyNxp48 (https://www.blockchain.com/btc/address/3QfSA27pAU68YRahSbbusCtEyKnNyNxp48?page=1) The aforementioned should have never been treated as owned by the Merchant. Neither the Merchant nor the beneficiary of payments demonstrated capacity to keep segregated accounts for such investment endeavors. It remains unclear how the Merchant passed through the on-boarding procedures of the cryptocurrency exchange, respectively whether the Merchant acted on his own or by an authorized representative in his relations with the cryptocurrency exchange. Following the principle that possible breaches of banking and financial laws, such as the allowance of payment processing in favor of unregulated legal entity, shall be observed and established by the competent authorities, I hereby report alleged financial fraud. This situation has destroyed the potential of the company and my personal finances. The pain and suffering I have incurred due to these actions include: destruction of my personal credit, repossession of the company vehicle, eviction from my residence and subsequent homelessness and inability to provide health care of myself or my pet. Herewith I kindly request: I am searching for an attorney that can complete the following:
File a lawsuit against the brokers that house the perpetrators e-wallet and where the virtual currency was transferred into. To elaborate: The prior twelve (12) months, I have been collaborating with a company based out of Europe that was tasked with informing all stakeholders and regulators of the issues I have been facing and attempt to make recovery of the funds (mychargeback.com). As of today, we have informed the authorities and the exchanges where the currencies were purchased (Paxful, LocalBitcoins, Bitbase, Coinbase) and have conducted an online trace of where the funds were transferred into using state-of-the-art cryptocurrency technology (Cyphertrace). There are two (2) exchanges that have processed the transactions and have violated domestic and international banking laws by not conducting proper due-diligence on both sides of the transactions: one located here in the United States (Paxful, Delaware) and the other located in Singapore (Luno). I have informed both entities of the illegal activities and at this moment, they are conducting internal investigations to protect their interests and contain liability. According to email documentation, they have traced the perpetrators and flagged their accounts to hopefully prevent another victim.
Obtain the results of the subpoena and provide me additional representation in filing a lawsuit in an attempt to recover the stolen funds and provide justice for these illegal acts. This item may also involve filing a lawsuit against the cryptocurrency exchanges that failed to conduct proper investigations on both sides of the transaction to ascertain that the money was not going to fund terrorism, money-laundering, racketeering, trafficking or other illegal activities. These exchanges are now liable for violating both domestic and international law. They have failed to act in a manner consistent with being a "good banker”.
3 reasons why the CFTC action against BitMEX will not crash Bitcoin price
This post was originally published on this siteThis post was originally published on this siteWithin the last few hours Bitcoin (BTC) price plummeted as the U.S. Commodities and Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) charged BitMEX with facilitating money laundering and operating an illegal cryptocurrency derivatives exchange. An even larger shock occurred as authorities announced the arrest of Samuel Reed, one of the co-founders of […]
https://preview.redd.it/sk4qzvg2o5p51.jpg?width=1024&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=42c422967888ffb44288e1cf7b8e9b4ffd6e20a1 Quite recently, the world has seen a remarkable event — an anonymous bitcoin whale sent a total of $2.24 billion in a series of transactions. Large transactions are certainly not uncommon for the bitcoin network. Whale Alert — blockchain tracker and analytics system — regularly reports large and interesting transactions. Although $2.24 billion is the largest ever cryptocurrency transfer, the most remarkable thing about this event is not the transfer amount but the incredibly little fee the sender paid for the transaction — less than $1. With no checkups and intermediaries. If such a transfer had happened a few years ago, it would have considered abnormal and unreal. Today it is a matter of fact. With each passing day, using cryptocurrency for making transfers is getting more attractive than bank transfers. The UMI network, which enables instant payments with no fees, fits in best with new realities. Let's explore this issue. Freedom from Bank Charges The BTC whale sent the above-mentioned amount in seven successive transactions within one hour. The total amount was 241,500 BTC, which was equivalent to $2.24 bln. Each transfer cost around 0.0001 BTC or just $0.93, giving a total of about $6.51 for the seven transfers. Let's compare now how much you would be charged for an identical transfer in a bank. In big banks, the international transfer fee is at least 1% of the amount, but it is often higher than that depending on the conditions. For instance, the VISA system charges 1 to 10% of the transaction amount for an international transfer (minimum of $10). Therefore, the more you transfer, the more you pay for it. To transfer the above-mentioned amount via a bank, a customer would have to part with as much as $22.4 mln (!!!), in the best-case scenario — that is if the fee is the minimum 1%. In other words, a bank would make a fortune — virtually at the drop of a hat, making no effort whatsoever — by simply taking someone's money. What makes it more absurd is that banks intend to further raise their fees amid coronavirus pandemic. Cryptocurrencies are a completely different story. In most cryptocurrency networks, fees do not depend on the transaction amount — the same fee could be charged for transferring $1 or $1 bln. In the cryptocurrency world, it doesn't matter how much money you transfer. If you make a big transfer, no one makes you pay the “tithe”. With UMI, you don't have to pay anything to anyone — not a dime. But we'll get back to this a little later. Freedom from Excessive Limits and Unneeded Checkups First, let's consider another important factor — the very possibility to make unhindered transfers of large amounts via bank especially foreign transfers. The irony is that even if someone chooses to pay this multi-million dollar fee, the transfer would far from being 100% successful. In most countries, including the Russian Federation, a $22 bln transaction would be virtually impossible to run in a state-owned bank, let alone private banks. Even going through a bunch of mandatory procedures as well as wasting lots of nerves and time wouldn't save the day. This is why a payment of this size is virtually impossible:
The overwhelming majority of the world's banks just don't happen to have such large amounts on their correspondent accounts. Even if we assume they do have sufficient funds on the books, this money doesn't just sit idle — bankers use it in their own favor, for instance, to grant loans, make deposit payments, etc. No bank would agree to send all its reserve funds to another bank on your orders. Moreover, banks have no right to violate the law in terms of reserve requirements, including currency norms. And processing such a large amount contradicts the established rules and regulations. So, even if money is technically recorded on the customer's account, transferring it to another bank, especially in a foreign country, is still a virtually impossible task.
In almost all states transactions of this scale are only allowed on the level of governments, the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, or mega-tycoons with a declared multi-billion dollar income, such as Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, and the like. In other words, only customers with a special status can make especially large transfers without restrictions. Any “abnormal” transactions fall under suspicion and automatically frozen. If you have always run $500 transactions on a monthly basis, any incoming or outgoing $10,000 transfer would most probably be frozen. Let alone billions of dollars. An average owner of a large business will only be allowed to transfer billions of dollars after they get approval from FATF on an individual basis. Obviously, they must also be verified using KYC (Know Your Customer) and AML (Anti-money laundering) procedures and must establish the provenance of each dime they transfer. They have to do all this to transfer THEIR money, with a huge fee of billions of dollars.
The situation is even worse because it is equally true for receiving monetary transfers. In other words, if you have a large amount successfully transferred to you, there is no guarantee that you can use this money. Sadly, even if the money leaves the sender's bank, the recipient's bank can instantly freeze it. On the very same day, you could get a visit from bank or government officials along with the state security service and a special interrogation. If you cannot provide provenance data for the funds, the transfer could easily remain frozen for good. Naturally, this system opens the doors for various types of abuse of power and manipulation by bankers, governments, and state services.
For the existing banking system, any big transaction makes you a suspect of some manipulations resulting in a frozen transfer. More importantly, it isn't only true for multi-billion or multi-million transfers. Any transaction involving hundreds of thousands, dozens of thousands, or simply thousands of dollars may be deemed suspicious and sanctioned. It means that anyone who runs relatively big transactions runs the risk of encountering certain problems at any time. Cryptocurrencies are a step toward free transfers The above-described situation proves that digital money helps people get rid of many problems related to bank transfers: high fees, payment amount limits, specification of personal data, verification procedures. With digital money, you don't have to prove or explain anything. This is a real revolution that makes people free from fees and manipulation. Cryptocurrencies allow people to be a master of their funds and no one has the power to change this. No one charges you crazy fees and no one can steal your coins. With each passing minute, cryptocurrencies are becoming part of our life, and rather than profit from trading, investment, mining, or staking, they are regarded as a convenient way of sending funds. Only cryptocurrencies make people feel completely safe and allow them to transfer whatever amount wherever they want. This is a huge step towards changing the existing financial system, and it has already been made. But UMI Goes Even Further It may appear that problem with bank fees concerns only large businessmen. In real fact, regular people living live paycheck to paycheck are more sensitive to this issue. Being on a tight budget, most people have to pay for any bank transaction. You always pay fees charged by banks — when you pay utility bills, buy online, deposit money to your bank card, receive money, transfer money between your accounts or withdraw cash from an ATM. Overall, bank fees cost people a lot of money. It's curious to know how much your pay banks every year for mediation. Now let's see how you can make transactions using UMI. In terms of fees, UMI is more profitable than banks and even more profitable than most of the other cryptocurrencies, including bitcoin. There are no fees in the UMI network at all, even hidden ones. All transactions are instant. That is, if you sent $2.24 billion through the UMI network, it would be instant and completely free. There are no limits, verifications, and other nervous procedures. Instant, free, and secure — here and now. This is the key advantage of UMI as a payment instrument. Our cryptocurrency empowers all people — from large businessmen to factory workers — with profitable and absolutely safe funds transfers. UMI gives all people around the globe equal opportunities. This is the next step toward a free financial world. We are the first to make it. Sincerely yours, UMI team
Coins.ph is a Philippine-made virtual wallet founded in 2014 by Silicon Valley entrepreneurs Ron Hose and Runar Petursson. It is the first virtual currency provider in the country to be licensed by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) with a Virtual Currency Exchange license. This platform allows its users to top up prepaid load; send and receive money; pay bills; avail game credits; store and convert cryptocurrencies including Bitcoin (BTC), Bitcoin Cash (BCH), Etherium (ETH), and Ripple (XRP). Almost 5 Million customers have been using the platform in various transactions since 2014. Since it is regulated and licensed by the Central Bank of the Philippines, safe and secure ways to make digital payments, as well as cryptocurrency buy and sell services is guaranteed to its users. We are subject to the rules and regulations set forth by the BSP and the Anti-Money Laundering Act (AMLA). Under strict regulatory requirements, we operate with a very high level of security, with industry-standard measures such as SSL connections to AES-225 Encryption. - Coins.ph Support Team https://support.coins.ph/hc/en-us/articles/360000274842-Is-Coins-ph-safe This can be simply accessed by downloading the App directly from App Store or visiting the link: https://coins.ph Now, let's talk about the Pros and Cons of this platform. PROs : • Cash in and cash out are almost available with over 33,000 partner location throughout the country. Cash In options includes E-wallet (Coins.ph, GCash, Globe GCASH via Dragonpay, PayMaya Philippines, Inc.); Online Bank Transfer; Over-the-Counter Banking (BPI, Chinabank, UnionBank Cash Deposit); Remittance Center (Bayad center, Cebuana Lhuillier, LBC Bills Xpress, M Lhuillier ePay, Palawan Pawnshop, PeraHub, Tambunting Pawnshop); Department Stores (Robinsons Business Center, SM Bills Payment Center); International Options (Remitly, Ria Money Transfer, WorldRemit); and Kiosk Payment (Posible, TouchPay Kiosk, eTap Deposit) For Cash Out, options includes Remittance Center (LBC Instant Peso Padala, Palawan Express Pera Padala, M Lhuillier Cash Pickup); Banks; E-wallets (GCash, GrabPay PH, PayMaya); Cash Cards (Coins.ph, BDO, RCBC, Smart Money Card); Door-to-door delivery (LBC Pesopak); Tollway Credits (Autosweep RFID, Easytrip NLEX Toll); and Cardless ATM Instant Payout available 24/7. • No banks needed to make e-payments • Account Verification through App or website • Easy buying, selling, sending and receiving cryptocurrencies (Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Etherium, Ripple) • User-friendly interface • Lots of Promotion like instant 10% cashback on prepaid load (rebate); P5 cashback for each unique bill payment and P100 cashback for 5 unique bills; 1:1 pricing for all game credits; sending funds to any bank account via instaPay free of charge; and many more. • Can be linked to Facebook account CONs: • It’s compliance with Know-Your-Costumer regulation requires the users to verify private information in order to maximize spending limits. A selfie while holding government-issued ID card is a must to clear verification stage; • Minimal range of accepted IDs for verification • Users can’t shop around for best price on cryptocurrencies • Higher fees applied for cryptocurrency conversion to fiat money • Higher fees for sending and receiving cryptocurrencies Based on the above-mentioned advantages and disadvantages in using Coins.ph, it is therefore concluded that this e-wallet is best for any transactions in PHP like buying prepaid load, paying bills or remittance purposes however, doesn’t work well for crypto-enthusiast dealing with trading cryptos due to the rates and fees. Speaking from my own experience, coins.ph helped me a lot in saving time, energy and money since I don’t need to come visit the outlets or payment centers to complete my transactions. Feel free to comment down your experience with Coins.ph!
[FULL ANALYSIS] Bitcoin exchanges and payment processors in Canada are now regulated as Money Service Businesses
Hello Bitcoiners! Many of you saw my tweet yesterday about the Bitcoin regulations in Canada. As usual, some journalists decided to write articles about my tweets without asking me for the full context :P Which means there has been a lot of misunderstanding. Particuarly, these regulations mean that we can lower the KYC requirements and no longer require ID documents or bank account connections! We can also increase the daily transaction limit from $3,000 per day to $10,000 per day for unverified accounts. The main difference is that we now have a $1,000 per-transaction limit (instead of per day) and we must report suspicious transactions. It's important to read about our reporting requirements, as it is the main difference since pretty much every exchange was doing KYC anyway. Hopefully you appreciate the transparency, and I'm available for questions! Cheers, Francis ********************************************* Text below is copied from: https://medium.com/bull-bitcoin/bitcoin-exchanges-and-payment-processors-in-canada-are-now-regulated-as-money-service-businesses-1ca820575511
Bitcoin is money, regulated like money
Notice to Canadian Bitcoin users
If you are the user of a Canadian Bitcoin company, be assured that:
These regulations only target virtual currency exchanges and virtual currency transmitters (e.g. payment processors, custodial wallets).
No action on your part is currently required. It is businesses that have to comply, not users.
You may notice that the exchange service you are using has change its transactions limits or is now requiring more information from you. You can stop reading this email now without any consequence! Otherwise, keep regarding if you are interested in my unique insights into this important topic!
Background on regulation
Today marks an important chapter for Bitcoin’s history in Canada: Bitcoin is officially regulated as money (virtual currency) under the Proceeds of Crime (Money Laundering) and Terrorist Financing Act of Canada (PCMLTFA), under the jurisdiction of the Financial Transaction and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada (FINTRAC). This is the culmination of 5 years of effort by numerous Bitcoin Canadian advocates collaborating with the Ministry of Finance, Fintrac and other Canadian government agencies. It is important to note that there is no new Bitcoin law in Canada. In June of 2014, the Governor General of Canada (representing Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II) gave royal asset to Bill C-31, voted by parliament under Stephen Harper’s Conservative government, which included amendments to the PCMLTFA to included Bitcoin companies (named “dealers in virtual currency”) as a category of Money Service Businesses. Thereafter, FINTRAC engaged in the process of defining what exactly is meant by “dealing in virtual currency” and what particular rules would apply to the businesses in this category. Much of our work was centred around excluding things like non-custodial wallets, nodes, mining and other activities that were not related exchange or payments processing. To give an idea, the other categories that apply to traditional fiat currency businesses are:
Foreign exchange dealing
Remitting or transmitting funds
Issuing or deeming money order or similar negotiable instruments
When we say that Bitcoin is now regulated, what we mean is that these questions have been settled, officially published, and that they are now legally binding. Businesses that are deemed to be “dealing in virtual currency” must register with FINTRAC as a money service business, just like they would if they were doing traditional currency exchange or payment processing. There is no “license” required, which means that you do not need the government’s approval before you can operate a Bitcoin exchange business. However, when you operate a Money Service Business, you must register and comply with the laws… otherwise you risk jail time and large fines.
What activities are regulated as Money Service Business activity?
A virtual currency exchange transaction is defined as: “an exchange, at the request of another person or entity, of virtual currency for funds, funds for virtual currency or one virtual currency for another.” This includes, but is not limited to:
Bitcoin trading platforms (orderbooks)
Bitcoin exchange platforms (fixed-rate)
Selling or buying Bitcoin OTC professionally
Crypto-to-crypto trading (orderbook, fixed-rate or OTC)
Notice to foreign Bitcoin companies with clients in Canada
Regardless of whether or not your business is based in Canada, you must register with FINTRAC as a Foreign Money Service Business, if:
You direct your MSB services at persons or entities in Canada
The regulation of Bitcoin exchange and payment services has always been inevitable. If we want Bitcoin to be considered as money, we must accept that it will be regulated like other monies. Our stance on the regulation issue has always been that Bitcoin exchanges and payment processors should be regulated like fiat currency exchanges and payment processors, no more, no less. This is the outcome we obtained. To comply with these regulations, we are implementing a few changes to our Know-Your-Customer requirement and transaction limits which may paradoxically make your experience using Bull Bitcoin and Bylls even more private and convenient!
The bad news
We are adding per-transaction limits in addition to daily volume limits.
The per-transaction limit for accounts with limited verification is $1,000 (previously $3000). To conduct transactions over $1,000 you must get your account verified.
We require users to provide their Date of Birth as a requirement to change their verification status to “Verified”.
We require users to provide their Occupation as a requirement to change their verification status to “Verified”.
The good news
We are increasing the daily volume limit from $3,000 to $10,000 for users that have the “limited” account verification status. Users with limited account verification can do multiple transactions as long as they are each below the $1,000 threshold and as long as they don’t exhibit suspicious behavior (see details below).
Identity documents will no longer be required for users that can be identified using their credit files. They will only be required where identification using credit file lookup was inconclusive. This change will take effect later this summer.
Connecting bank accounts to Bull Bitcoin using the flinks bank verification software will no longer be required for users that can be identified using their credit files. This will only be required where identification using credit file lookup was inconclusive. This change will take effect later this summer
The user’s KYC info (name, address, date of birth and occupation)
Suspicious transaction reporting
Satoshi Portal is required to make suspicious transactions report to FINTRAC after we have detected a fact that amounts to reasonable grounds to suspect that one of your transactions is related to the commission or attempted commission of a money laundering offence or a terrorist activity financing offence. Failure by Satoshi Portal Inc. to report a suspicious transaction could lead to up to five years imprisonment, a fine of up to $2,000,000, or both, for its executives. We are not allowed to share with anyone other than FINTRAC, including our clients, the contents of a suspicious transaction report as well as the fact that a suspicious transaction report has been filed.
What is suspicious activity?
Note forbitcoinca: this section applies ONLY to Bull Bitcoin. Most exchanges have much stricter interpretation of what is suspicious. You should operate under the assumption that using Coinjoin or TOR will get you flagged at some other exchanges even though it's okay for Bull Bitcoin. That is simply because we have a more sophisticated understanding of privacy best practices. Identifying suspicious behavior is heavily dependent on the context of each transaction. We understand and take into account that for many of our customers, privacy and libertarian beliefs are of the utmost importance, and that some users may not know that the behavior they are engaging in is suspicious. When we are concerned or confused about the behaviors of our users, we endeavour to discuss it with them before jumping to conclusions. In general, here are a few tips:
Don’t provide false of misleading information. We will know right away if your date of birth, address and name don’t match.
Don’t try to exploit loopholes in the KYC process.
Don’t transact on behalf of someone else without telling us.
Be cooperative with customer support.
Here are some examples of behavior that we do not consider suspicious:
Coinjoin or other Bitcoin privacy techniques.
Using VPNs, TOR or VOIP phones.
Asking questions about, or criticizing, our privacy policies.
Talking negatively about banks or government.
Here are some example indicators of behavior that would lead us to investigate whether or not a transaction is suspicious:
Making statements about being involved with criminal activity.
Saying you don’t want the government to know about your transactions.
Asking advice about concealing source of funds or tax avoidance.
Funding your account from a bank account that is not in your name.
Conducting transactions on behalf of someone else without telling us.
Trying to falsify your identity or impersonating someone else.
Making multiple bill payments to the same recipient, or multiple Bitcoin purchases, in a way which seems structured specifically to avoid the $1,000 transaction amount KYC threshold.
Continuing to perform transactions that are unnecessarily complex, inefficient and not cost-effective after having been advised otherwise by our staff.
What does this mean for Bitcoin?
It was always standard practice for Bitcoin companies to operate under the assumption they would eventually be regulated and adopt policies and procedures as if they were already regulated. The same practices used for legal KYC were already commonplace to mitigate fraud (chargebacks). In addition, law enforcement and other government agencies in Canada were already issuing subpoenas and information requests to Bitcoin companies to obtain the information of users that were under investigation. We suspect that cash-based Bitcoin exchanges, whether Bitcoin ATMs, physical Bitcoin exchanges or Peer-to-Peer trading, will be the most affected since they will no longer be able to operate without KYC and the absence of KYC was the primary feature that allowed them to justify charging such high fees and exchange rate premiums. One thing is certain, as of today, there is no ambiguity whatsoever that Bitcoin is 100% legal and regulated in Canada!
https://preview.redd.it/1v6z6af9jcf51.png?width=963&format=png&auto=webp&s=5b29763a9609c95dc0941c1a9edc443b2e3c1127 A cryptocurrency exchange is the meeting point where traders exchange their cryptocurrencies for fiat money or other cryptos. These online exchanges, where the market price is generated, mark the value of cryptocurrencies based on supply and demand. It is a virtual space that allows the purchase and sale of cryptocurrencies. Since the appearance of Bitcoin in January 2009, cryptocurrencies have quickly demanded the use of this type of platform to access decentralized assets. The first cryptocurrency exchange was developed in March 2010 under the name of Bitcoinmarket. Since then, many proposals have emerged in the crypto space to provide quality options to cryptocurrency traders worldwide. Listing One of the important achievements of a Blockchain platform is getting your currency listed on a major cryptocurrency exchange in the digital finance arena. According to the Cambridge Dictionary, in the stock market, the term ‘listing’ refers to a place in a list of companies whose shares are bought and sold on a particular stock market, or the act of putting a company on a list. In the case of cryptocurrencies, the native tokens or coins of a blockchain platform represent those ‘shares’ of the platform. However, being listed on exchanges, especially on major ones, is neither easy nor straightforward. Many cryptocurrency exchanges have well-defined listing criteria to list the cryptocurrencies of credible projects, and not all projects meet the criteria the exchanges present. How exchanges operate Cryptocurrency exchanges can be classified into different types, but they all share something in common. They are all platforms designed to facilitate the participation of their users in the alternative cryptocurrency market. For this, they have fundamental and technical analysis tools and a large number of indicators so that traders can make the best decisions at all times within the market. Depending on the type of exchange used, transactions work on the platform or user side, all based on the benefits offered by blockchain technology. Most of the exchanges charge a commission on the buy-sell operation established by the trader. Also, those transactions are confirmed in the native blockchain of currency on which it is operated. Thus, for example, if you deposit or withdraw a certain amount of BTC in Binance, you will have to wait for the confirmation of the bitcoin blockchain network. You can see the corresponding balance successfully reflected after your transaction is confirmed. What is the difference between a CEX and DEX As we mentioned earlier, there are many categories of cryptocurrency exchanges, but fundamentally two large groups dominate the scene: centralized «CEX» and decentralized «DEX» exchanges. The first group corresponds to traditional exchanges, where access to buy or sell their tokens according to the market price. Compared to DEX, they are highly regulated platforms that must meet KYC(Know Your Customer) and AML(Anti money laundering) standards. It means that there is no privacy on their platforms since users are forced to reveal their identity to trade. Coinbase, Binance, Kraken, Bithumb, and Bitfinex are examples of this type of exchange. Moreover, CEX charges for its services, and some of them offer funding alternatives through traditional bank accounts or conventional credit cards. By charging commissions, CEX keeps the platform functioning and generating income. In the case of decentralized exchanges or DEX, they are a direct evolution of the traditional ones. Although they work in a similar way to the CEX, they are able to operate in a decentralized way thanks to smart contracts. It indicates that there are no intermediaries, and the platform is self-supporting due to its programming. In addition to this, DEX usually has high levels of privacy and even anonymity since it does not require KYC or AML. Some of the examples of DEX are AirSwap, Bancor, UniSwap, and Bisq. However, despite its mentioned qualities, there are defects that traders are reluctant to use DEX exchange. In many cases, its interface is difficult to use for the average trader to operate, and it has limited order types. Also, its low liquidity that generates high spreads drives away the users. Where FLETA is listed In the case of the FLETA token, we can find it available in a large number of exchanges globally. Since our first listing on the GDAC Exchange with the FLETA / KRW pair, the token is now available on five more exchanges for a total of enlistment in 08 pairs within six global exchanges. Below you can find the complete list of token availability in cryptocurrency exchanges in the market: ● Bithumb «FLETA / KRW» ● Coinone «FLETA / KRW» ● Bithumb Global «FLETA / USDT» ● Bittrex «FLETA / BTC» ● DigiFinex «FLETA / ETH» ● DigiFinex «FLETA / BTC» ● GDAC «FLETA / KRW» ● Bitsonic «FLETA / KRW» **
New Zealand Police Seize $90M Linked to Alleged BTC-e Exchange Operator Jun 22, 2020 at 09:52 UTC New Zealand police have seized NZ$140 million (US$90 million) in bank funds linked to Alexander Vinnik, a Russian alleged to have been the controller of the now-defunct BTC-e cryptocurrency exchange. The seizure of funds, which were controlled by a New Zealand-registered company, is said to be the largest in the country’s history by federal police. The force’s Asset Recovery Unit moved to freeze the funds amid a global investigation into the activities of the exchange and its operators, according to a report by news source NZ Herald. prosecutors have alleged that Vinnik controlled BTC-e, a bitcoin exchange used to launder billions of dollars for criminal enterprises. Vinnik, who has been denying the charges for up to three years, was arrested based on extradition orders from the U.S. while on holiday with family in Greece in 2017.
~ Awareness of a HUGE Vulnerability for All of Us ~
Just looked-up Alexander Vinnik on wiki. Regardless of the charges, I don't know how to feel, why does the US have the right or ability to size a domain name or site ? Doesn't that expose a HUGE vulnerability to all of us and the very few sites we depend upon to interact with cryptocurrency and our funds? From wiki; On 28 July 2017, US authorities seized the BTC-e.com domain name and 38% of all customer funds. To repay its customers BTC-e created WEX tokens, which were used to represent customers' seized equity. The WEX tokens represented $1 and were issued to account for the value of customers cryptocurrencies at the time of the theft. Alexander Vinnik On 25 July 2017, suspected BTC-e operator Alexander Vinnik was arrested at the behest of the United States Justice Department while vacationing with his family in Greece. Wanted for money laundering by both France and Russia, in addition to the US. Vinnik agreed to be returned to Russia, where he was charged only with fraud. In October 2017 the extradition request by Russia was approved by one Greek court, but the request by the United States was approved by another. The decision to extradite Vinnik to the United States was upheld by the Greek Supreme Court on December 13, 2017. However, in July 2018 Greece agreed to extradite Vinnik to France instead, giving precedent to the European warrant. A final ruling is scheduled for September 19, though Vinnik's lawyer claims that "the decision on Vinnik's extradition to Russia has been made". A plot to murder Vinnik in prison was uncovered in early 2018. In September 2018, Bloomberg News reported on a potential link between Vinnik and Russian hacking group and intelligence service Fancy Bear. An Elliptic) blockchain analysis of a bitcoin transaction linked Vinnik's former employer, BTC-e to the group and this strengthened the American interest of extradition. Vinnik maintains his innocence of any wrongdoing, but has chosen to cooperate from Greece. Also, here is a Max Kaiser video that kind of relates to this exact question; Not Your Settlement Layer - Not Your Bitcoin
Link to our website:https://block.co/blockchain-in-the-public-sector-webcast-qa/ Block.co fourth webcast titled "Digital Transformation of the Public Sector & The Upcoming Legislation of Blockchain Technology in Cyprus” was an immense success. We gathered some of the best experts in the field, Deputy Minister Kyriacos Kokkinos, Jeff Bandman, Steve Tendon, and Christiana Aristidou to share their experience and discuss with us the latest updates regarding Blockchain in the Public Sector. In its fourth series of webcasts, Block.co gathered 281 people watching the event from 41 different countries, for a two-hour webcast where guests answered participants’ questions. Following the impressive outcome and response we received from the audience, Block.co’s team has done its best to address all the questions for which public information is available. Below is a list of the questions that were made and were not answered due to time constraints during the webcast. For the remaining questions from our audience, the team will reach out to our distinguished guests to receive their comments and feedback. Please note, that the below information is only for informational purposes! Question 1: How can asset tracing be accomplished with bitcoins and cryptocurrency? And how can this be regulated? Block.co Team Answer: Digital Asset tracing may be accomplished with cryptocurrency intelligence solutions such as Cipher Trace and the ICE cryptocurrency intelligence program. FATF (Financial Action Task Force) embarked on a program of work from summer 2018 to June 2019 to strengthen and update the provisions dealing with virtual assets and virtual asset service providers. FATF updated Recommendations in October 2018 and Guidance in June 2019 include several new obligations that apply to VASPs. The so-called “Travel Rule” FATF announced in October 2019 agreed on the assessment criteria for how it will assess countries’ compliance with the new global standards. Under the Travel Rule, the transmitter’s financial institutions must include and send information in the transmittal order such as Information about the identity, name, address, and account number of the sender and its financial institution Information about the identity, name, address and account number of the recipient. The ”Travel Rule” is effectively being applied to cryptoasset transfers when there is a virtual asset service provider (VASP) involved. The scope of focus has broadened from “convertible” virtual assets to any virtual asset. Countries should make sure businesses can freeze crypto wallet or exchange accounts for sanctioned individuals. Question 2: Which kind of software or technical knowledge is required to develop cryptocurrency? Block.co Team Answer: It depends on the type of cryptocurrency you wish to create, as well as the preferred functionality and features, and characteristics of the token or coin (i.e. will it be pre-mined, what type of hashing or cryptographic algorithm will be used (i.e. proof of work (POW) or proof of stake (POS) or a hybrid of both), etc. Likewise, it is useful to utilize a programming language that is broadly used and supported by a vast and active development community; more data could be found here: more information could be found here: top programming languages in 2015/2016, published by IEEE here, and TIOBE. Hypothetically, you can utilize any programming language to make cryptocurrency digital money, however, the most widely recognized are C, C++, Java, Python, Perl. The beauty of cryptocurrencies is that you can literally have access to the entire Bitcoin and Ethereum open-source programming scripts, and create your alternate coin (altcoin). Question 3: Hello all, I want to know about the current status of the European Union Blockchain initiative in currency or public identity. Block.co Team Answer: Please refer to the European Services Blockchain Infrastructure (EBSI) website. Question 4: Mining is also the process of confirmation of transactions in the Bitcoin Blockchain. What is the process of confirmation of transactions in the Blockchain of an Organization? How do we call it? Block.co Team Answer: That would depend on the specific consensus algorithm used for the confirmation of transactions. The consensus algorithm is part of the blockchain protocol that defines the rules on how consensus is reached on that blockchain. In order to participate, entities on the blockchain must obey and follow the same consensus algorithm. Make sure to check our glossary for more information. Question 5: How does a small business implement blockchain into its current non-blockchain software systems? Who do they hire to install it? Block.co Team Answer: It is easy when there are APIs to connect the various software. For more information, you can check Block.co API. Question 6: What is your opinion on digitizing developing economies like India by using AI and blockchain? Block.co Team Answer: Watch a very interesting webinar on the matter by Mr. Prasanna: Question 7: Blockchain technologies have been around since 2008. What would you say has been the biggest obstacle in widespread adoption? Block.co Team Answer: In our opinion, the biggest obstacles are volatile cryptoasset prices, complicated UIs, undefined blockchain technology standards. Moreover, the legislation around the technologies is still now being developed and does not offer legal certainty for broader adoption. Question 8: Limitations to Blockchain Usability in the Public Sector? Block.co Team Answer: Blockchain in the Public Sector, like any other innovative concept with big potential, cannot be a solution to every problem. Users and developers are still figuring out technological and managerial challenges. From a technological perspective, some aspects such as platform scalability, validation methods, data standardization, and systems integration must still be addressed. From a managerial point of view, the questions include business model transformation, incentive structure, and transaction scale, and maturity. Read more here. Question 9: How can these blockchain initiatives be practical for the African context Block.co Team Answer: As long as the internet infrastructure is in place, these blockchain initiatives may have the same benefits for the African region. Question 10: What are some compelling use cases you’ve seen lately, and how do they serve to further legitimize blockchain as a solution? Block.co Team Answer: You can see the global trends from all around the world when it comes to further legitimization as a solution, with China leading the way. Read more here. Question 11: How does digital currency manage the issue of money laundering? Block.co Team Answer: Depends under which context you are looking at the term digital currency. A digital currency usually refers to a balance or a record stored in a distributed database, in an electronic computer database, within digital files or a stored-value card. Some examples of digital currencies are cryptocurrencies, virtual currencies, central bank digital currencies (CBDCs), and e-Cash. The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) is an intergovernmental body established in 1989 on the initiative of the G7 to develop policies to fight money laundering. Since 2001 FATF is also looking into terrorism financing. The objectives of FATF are to set standards and promote effective implementation of legal, regulatory and operational measures for combating money laundering, terrorist financing, and other related threats to the integrity of the international financial system. FATF is a “policy-making body” that works to generate the necessary political will to bring about national legislative and regulatory reforms in these areas. FATF monitors progress in implementing its Recommendations through “peer reviews” (“mutual evaluations”) of member countries. It is the global watchdog for anti-money laundering & counter-terrorist finance. In June 2019, it updated its guidance paper for Virtual Assets Service Providers (VASPs) regarding the transfer of digital assets. There was an insertion of a new interpretive note that sets out the application of the FATF Standards to virtual asset activities and service providers. To apply FATF Recommendations, countries should consider virtual assets as “property,” “proceeds,” “funds,” “funds or other assets,” or other “corresponding value.” Countries should apply the relevant measures under the FATF Recommendations to virtual assets and virtual asset service providers (VASPs). Read more about the FATF recommendations here). https://preview.redd.it/58tt7mt1pld51.png?width=1920&format=png&auto=webp&s=d24811c4864ebf02cb9aacc8d6b877a1fbc3756b Question 12: To what extent can blockchain be used to improve the privacy of healthcare? Block.co team Answer: Please refer to our previous webcast, blog, and articles for more information. Question 13: What is Blockchain technology in Shipping? Block.co team Answer: The shipping sector has been in the hold of phony maritime institutes charging exorbitant fees via agents, issuing certificates to candidates who do not have the imperative attendance, or those candidates who just pay the fees for the course and ask for the certificate. In view of these fake accreditations, the possibility exists that someone could be harmed or killed, and we could face any number of potential ecological disasters. Having the option to easily verify the genuine origin of a certificate by an approved maritime center is foremost for shipping companies to fast-track their operation and streamline their labor. Question 14: Different uses of blockchain other than cryptocurrency? Block.co team Answer: Please refer to our blog and glossary. Question 15: Upcoming trends in Blockchain concerning Advertising, Marketing, and Public Relations in the Public and Private sectors. Block.co Team Answer: Regarding the application of blockchain technology to media copyrights, please see Block.co use case proposal during the Bloomen Ideathon. https://preview.redd.it/48zc8j38pld51.png?width=3622&format=png&auto=webp&s=79987d1dc7eb8d0c8e32dbce8680b17801d0d244 Question 16: How to create a decentralized blockchain? Block.co Team Answer: An excessive number of individuals feel that blockchain is some supernatural innovation that makes up a decentralized system. In truth, this innovation only enables decentralization. Which means, it permits cryptocurrency to work in a decentralized way. Yet, it doesn’t give any guarantees that it will work that way. Along these lines, it’s really, some outer variables that decide genuine decentralization. Technology, itself never really guarantees it. That is the reason it’s a mistake to expect that if it’s a blockchain — it’s decentralized. From a technical perspective, both blockchains, centralized, and decentralized are comparative, as they take work on distributed peer to peer to network. This implies every node is individually responsible to verify and store the shared ledger. Both Blockchains utilize either a proof-of-work or proof-of-stake mechanisms to make a solitary record and they have to give upper and lower limits on the security and productivity of the system. For more information please refer to our infographic. Question 17: Dubai government Blockchain implementation progress? Block.co Team Answer: You can see more information here. Question 18: How Blockchain and IoT can be integrated to secure data being transmitted through IoT devices. Block.co Team Answer: You can read more about it here. Question 19: How can the Nigerian government use Blockchain to effectively implement its existing launched eGovernment master plan? Block.co Team Answer: Perhaps it can draw its attention to the initiatives of Dubai, Estonia, and Malta to prepare an implementation framework. Question 20: What impact is blockchain going to have in today world of business especially in the financial sector Block.co Team Answer: Please refer to our recent article titled Benefits of Blockchain Technology in the Banking Industry. Question 21: Is Blockchain Technology affect individuals? Block.co Team Answer: The social effect of blockchain innovation has just started to be acknowledged and this may simply be a hint of something larger. Cryptocurrencies have raised questions over financial services through digital wallets, and while considering that there are in excess of 3,5 billion individuals on the planet today without access to banking, such a move is surely impactful. Maybe the move for cryptocurrencies will be simpler for developing nations than the process of fiat cash and credit cards. It is like the transformation that developing nations had with mobile phones. It was simpler to acquire mass amounts of mobile phones than to supply another infrastructure for landlines telephones. In addition to giving the underprivileged access to banking services, greater transparency could also raise the profile and effectiveness of charities working in developing countries that fall under corrupt or manipulative governments. An expanded degree of trust in where the cash goes and whose advantages would without a doubt lead to expanded commitments and backing for the poor in parts of the world that are in urgent need of help. Blockchain technology is well placed to remove the possibility of vote-apparatus and the entirety of different negatives related to the current democratic procedure. Obviously, with new innovation, there are new obstacles and issues that will arise, yet the cycle goes on and those new issues will be comprehended with progressively modern arrangements. A decentralized record would give the entirety of the fundamental information to precisely record votes on an anonymous basis, and check the exactness and whether there had been any manipulation of the voting procedure. Question 22: As Andreas Antonopoulos often says in his MOOC: ”is a blockchain even needed?” Ie. Are there better methods? Block.co Team Answer: In combination with nascent technologies, IoT, distributed computing, and distributed ledger technologies, governments can provide inventive services and answers for the citizens and local municipalities. Blockchain can provide the component to create a safe framework to deal with these functions. In particular, it can provide a safe interoperable infrastructure that permits all smart city services and capacities to work past presently imagined levels. On the off chance that there were better techniques, they would be researched. Question 23: Would any of this be also applicable to the educational sector (as part of the general public sector), and if so in which way? Block.co Team Answer: Yes, please refer to our Webcast on Education and our blog post. Question 24: Will we be able to get a hold of this recording upon completion of the meeting? Block.co Team Answer: Yes, here is a link to the recording of our webcast Blockchain in the Public Sector. Question 25: Was wondering if there are any existing universal framework in governing the blockchain technology? Block.co Team Answer: The short answer is NO, as this framework is currently being prepared in collaboration with the various Member States. We would like to thank everyone for attending our webcast and hoping to interact with you in future webinars. If you would like to watch the webinar again, then click here! For more info, contactBlock.codirectly or email at [[email protected]](mailto:[email protected]). Tel +357 70007828 Get the latest from Block.co, like and follow us on social media: ✔️Facebook ✔️LinkedIn ✔️Twitter ✔️YouTube ✔️Medium ✔️Instagram ✔️Telegram ✔️Reddit ✔️GitHub
Michael Kadar, dual Israeli/USA citizen, was arrested for many of 2017’s nearly two thousand bomb scares targeting Jewish community centers and synagogues. He got 10 years. In 2018 he was quietly released...only to be re-arrested in 2019 for violation of parole on a firearms and drugs offense...
...Further muddying the waters, there have been a number of instances in which Jews have themselves been responsible for what have been claimed to be anti-Semitic incidents. There has also been credible speculation that some of the incidents have been false flags staged by the Israeli government itself, presumably acting through its intelligence services. The objective would be to create sympathy among the public in Europe and the U.S. for Israel and to encourage diaspora emigration to the Jewish state. The recent tale of Israeli-American Michael Kadar, who has been credited with many of early 2017’s nearly two thousand bomb scares targeting Jewish community centers and synagogues worldwide, is illustrative. Kadar, who holds both Israeli and American nationality, was arrested in Ashkelon Israel on March 2017 by Israeli police in response to the investigation carried out by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Kadar’s American address was in New Lenox Illinois but he actually resided in Israel. Kadar’s defense was that he had a brain tumor that caused autism and was not responsible for his actions, but he was found to be fit for trial and was sentenced to 10 years in prison in June 2017. He was apparently subsequently quietly released from prison and returned to Illinois in mid-2018. In August 2019 he was arrested for violation of parole on a firearms and drugs offense. The court in Tel Aviv convicted Kadar on counts including “extortion, disseminating hoaxes in order to spread panic, money laundering and computer hacking over bomb and shooting threats against community centers, schools, shopping malls, police stations, airlines, and airports in North America, Britain, Australia, New Zealand, Norway and Denmark.” It claimed that “As a result of 142 telephone calls to airports and airlines, in which he said bombs had been planted in passenger planes or they would come under attack, aircraft were forced to make emergency landings and fighter planes were scrambled.” It was also claimed by the court that Kadar had gotten involved with the so-called restricted access “dark web” to make threats for money. He reportedly earned $240,000 equivalent worth of the digital currency Bitcoin. Kadar has reportedly refused to reveal the password to his Bitcoin wallet and its value is believed to have increased to more than $1 million. The tale borders on the bizarre and right from the beginning there were many inconsistencies in both the Department of Justice case and in terms of Kadar’s biography and vital statistics. After his arrest and conviction, many of his public, private and social networking records were either deleted or changed, suggesting that a high-level cover-up was underway. Most significant, the criminal complaint against Kadar included details of the phone calls that were not at all consistent with the case that he had acted alone. The threats were made using what is referred to as spoofing telephone services, used by marketers to hide the caller’s true number and identify, but the three cell phone numbers identified by the Department of Justice to make the spoofed calls were all U.S.-based and one of them was linked to a Jewish Chabad religious leader and one to the Church of Scientology’s counter-intelligence chief in California. In addition, some of the calls were made when Kadar was in transit between Illinois and Israel, suggesting that he had not initiated the calls. DOJ’s criminal complaint also included information that the threat caller was a woman who had “a distinct speech impediment.” Michael Kadar’s mother has a distinct speech impediment. Oddly enough she has not been identified in any public documents and the Israelis claimed that Michael was disguising his voice, but she is believed to be Dr. Tamar Kadar, who resided in Ashkelon at the same address as Michael. Dr. Kadar is a chemical weapons researcher at the Mossad-linked Israel Institute for Biological Research (“IIBR”). Michael appears to have U.S. birthright citizenship because he was born in Bethesda in 1990 while his mother was a visiting researcher at the U.S. Army Military Research Institute of Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID). While Dr. Kadar was at USAMRIID, anthrax went missing from the Army’s lab and may have been subsequently used in the 2001 anthrax letter attacks inside the U.S., which resulted in the deaths of five people. The FBI subsequently accused two USAMRIID researchers of the theft, but one was exonerated and the other committed suicide, closing the investigation. So, there are some interesting issues raised by the Michael Kadar case. First of all, he appears to have been the fall guy for what may have been a Mossad directed false-flag operation actually run by his mother, who is herself an expert on biological weapons and works at an Israeli intelligence lab. Second, the objective of the operation may have been to create an impression that anti-Semitism is dramatically increasing, which ipso facto generates a positive perception of Israel and encourages foreign Jews to emigrate to the Jewish state. And third, there appears to have been a cover-up orchestrated by the Israeli and U.S. governments, evident in the disappearance of both official and non-official records, while Michael has been quietly released from prison and is enjoying his payoff of one million dollars in bitcoins. As always, whenever something involves promoting the interests of the state of Israel, the deeper one digs the more sordid the tale becomes.
Russian Bitcoin Fraud Pleads Guilty In The US’ Largest Cybercrime Lawsuit
According To The U.S. Authorities, Sergey Medvedev Was Part Of A Cyber Fraud Scheme, Resulting In Over $2,2 Billion In Losses To The Crime Victims One of the major Bitcoin scammers in history has finally pleaded guilty. Sergey Medvedev, a Russian crypto scammer pleaded guilty in the U.S. District Court of Nevada – news, confirmed by the Department of Justice (DoJ). Medvedev was a key figure in the Infraud Organization – online crime group, specialized in identity thefts, financial frauds, as well as racketeering. The crime circle was created in 2010, with 8 years of active crime service until completely shut in 2018. In the eight years of fraud, Infraud became one of the largest cybercrime organizations in the world. Infraud also became one of the most preferred black markets for stolen credit card information. The Department of Justice also noted that the direct amount of money, stolen by Infraud, is around $568 million, with indirect losses totaling over $2,2 billion. The fraudulent organization is also accused of selling over 4 million credit card numbers from all major card providers like Visa, Mastercard, American Express and Discover. According to the DoJ, the Infraud Organization, operating under the “In Fraud We Trust” motto, was founded by Medvedev, alongside Ukrainian Svyatoslav Bondarenko. Apart from the racketeering charges, Medvedev is also accused of providing escrow services to his fellow members, as well as operating an illicit crypto exchange, used by Infraud for money-laundering. The case documentation also reveals that Medvedev made over $1 million just from escrow, advertisements, and payments facilitation. Infraud was among the best operating large cybercrime organizations. The card screening was immense, in order to provide fresh and authentic cards. Also, Infraud had a group of moderators, which oversaw different segments of the crime organization. After eight “successful” years of online scams, Infraud operations were ceased by the combined efforts of authority forces of France, Australia, Kosovo, the U.S., Italy, Serbia and the United Kingdom. Thirty-six individuals were charged with international racketeering. Medvedev was discovered and arrested in Bangkok in February 2018, during his family vacation. During the arrest, Thailand police discovered 100,000 BTC in Medvedev, worth a total of $914 million, as of press time.
Silk Road Seller Laundered Money Using Bitcoin Worth $19 Million
Global Exchange- Hugh Brian Haney, a narcotics drug dealer, has been found guilty of money laundering $19 million in profit via the Silk Road darknet marketplace. Silk Road seller laundered money using bitcoin worth $19 million. As per a news release, he was charged with laundering nearly $20 million utilizing Bitcoin last year. A plea deal was announced with Hugh Brian Haney by the prosecutors of the Southern District of New York. Silk Road was one of the common drug routes and a place for the dark web’s Bitcoin dealers. Ross Ulbricht, Silk Road’s operator, was arrested in 2013. He is now serving life imprisonment for being guilty of security hacking, narcotics supply and unlawful acts. Haney was a significant member of Pharmville, a narcotics trafficking organization. In 2012, he obtained almost 4,000 Bitcoin from accounts related to Silk Road. He was found to have traded drugs such as Fentanyl, Oxycontin and was also involved in narcotics trafficking. Geoffrey Berman, the US Attorney, said, “Hugh Haney used Silk Road as a means to sell drugs to people all over the world.” Adding, “Then he laundered more than $19 million in profits through cryptocurrency.” Haney was arrested in July 2019 after he had liquidated his Bitcoin for $19,147,053 in 2018. Though Haney said he got his Bitcoin from a mining act, researchers proved using the “blockchain analysis software” that the funds came from Silk Road. Haney was found guilty of covering up money laundering and being involved in a property transaction that was criminally derived. Sentencing is scheduled February next year for him.
I'm going to talk about the thing nobody seems to want to talk about.. or that nobody notices.....
Why do we not put repeated pressure onto the central banks and BIS when it is clear they are the force pushing to kill the market. This isn't people "selling" or "leaving crypto". People don't leave crypto first of all. Even after they have lost all their money you can still find them defending it. The coordinated unrelenting sell pressure, along with the coordinated attempts to contain and prevent all possible breakouts in the market over the last ten months, is most likely a single coordinated entity. Pull up the 12 biggest exchanges onto a few monitors and just watch for half a day. That is all the convincing one really needs. it is a type of manipulation that has one objective, to completely erode sentiment towards cryptocurrency and permanently damage the publics perception towards it. These are the direct words from the mouth of the head of the Deutsche Central Bank " I am pretty confident that we will reduce most citizens’ interest in digital currencies.”" Or how about the head of the CME Group "We'll tame bitcoin...." Or in the words of the European Parliament Committee " “the market power of banks in traditional banking services can be used to limit competition in the cryptocurrency market through pre-emptive acquisitions or predatory pricing schemes.” I am well aware that people will come in here and troll and talk of conspiracy theories, and those people are more than likely one of the many people on payroll. The central bank of poland, for instance, was caught spending $40,000 to pay a youtuber just to talk some FUD in his youtube video. Forty G's to a polish youtuber just to talk fud. If that's how broad and deep their budget is..... and that's one of the poorest central banks out there. Anyone who believes that these banks and the BIS aren't actively and aggressively trying to stomp out the ONLY THING that has ever truly threatened their power and control, you are either ignorant or lying. The most likely villian is the BIS, as the BIS is above the law, quite literally (the bank and it's members cannot be sued, charged with crimes, searched, arrested, and government officials from any country are not even allowed on the BIS land....being priveleges granted to the Bank by every country except iran and north korea essentially) Since The BIS is able to operate without any sort of regulatory oversight, and they have enough gold and cash reserves to buy the entire crypto market at full price a hundred times over. They have no interest in selling for the best price. They are willing to market sell 200,000 ETH at once. They are willing to let their presence be brazenly obvious, even gloating, it was no coincidence that hours after BTC finally broke below $6000, a week or so ago, the IMF gave a press conference speaking about the need for central bank cryptocurrencies. Shills like Nouriel Roubini meanwhile are given spots on national television, presenting in front of congress, despite the fact that over 7 years he has made no attempt to even hide his disgusting bias and alliance. He has called bitcoin a scam in 329 tweets. He has called gold a scam in over 150 tweets. Has he ever mentioned just one of the over 1800 violations for financial crimes and misdeeds since 2000? Nope. On a day when dankse bank is making "alt" news headlines for 200 billion in money laundering, instead he tweets about bitcoin being a scam 5 times. So the whole point of this, Is..... why are we just sitting back and accepting it. If we do nothing to combat the lies, to expose the manipulation, it will simply continue. We DO HAVE POWER. We do have voices. If they are aggressive in their attacks, we should be aggressive in our defenses. If all the public hears is the same bullshit narrative, that is what they will believe. WE MUST CHALLENGE THIS CRAP. When the head of the ECB calls bitcoin an evil spawn of the financial crisis, he should be getting 40,000 tweets asking him how bitcoin is an evil spawn, yet his bank, along with the us treasury, and the central bank of england, are all run by executives that used to work at the investment bank largely responsible for the 2008 collapse. He should have 40,000 tweets correlating his direct responsibility for the crash and the resulting 10,000 suicides that were ruled as fallout from it. Nothing is going to stop or change unless we find a way to organize together and start calling these losers out. Seriously BTW HERE IS PROBABLY THE BEST EXPOSE DONE ON WHAT HAPPENS. AND ANYONE WHO SPENDS HOURS A DAY WATCHING EXCHANGE ACTIVITY THIS ISN'T NEWS TO THEM https://firstname.lastname@example.org/4th-dimension-bitcoin-manipulation-cartel-can-it-be-burnt-no-way-c53de65c166a
Bitcoin is slow because the block size was left at 1MB - 2MB with Witness Data on the SEGWIT network - after throwing the entire "team" developer of GitHub and being occupied by developers of what is now known as Blockstream. This size has been maintained and keeps referring to two issues: Mining in China and the decentralization of the nodes or transaction validators that you point out in the article. Mining in China occupies a good part of the pie that miners distribute - in turn these are the ones that confirm the transactions and undermine the blocks - since 2011 and these Chinese farms are behind something that in the West call "The Great Firewall "that prevents a stable connection and slows down the propagation of the block, its mining and confirmation of the transaction over 3 minutes   causing a large part of the mining coming from China and therefore the power of 'Hash' decreased drastically affecting the security of Bitcoin; The less Hash the greater the possibility of being attacked by the Bitcoin network through a 51% attack that could cause double spending - although this gives rise to many debates since the 51% attack on an already "mature" network like Bitcoin requires a Considerable expenditure on mining equipment to control 51% of the mining power and receiving the block reward and the commissions for confirmed transfer on each block would make it less likely that said miner or mining group would like to make a double expense upon receiving sufficient economic compensation. So only a malicious agent with the intentions of destroying the network and assuming the total losses on the investment of equipment would be willing to carry out such operation. Possibilities exist but these are reduced by being the miner compensated for their activity. In the same references to Chinese mining farms but in another more economical field; Bitcoin has 21 million that are obtained through mining and commissions on transfers. These 21 million are achieved over time and from there it becomes a deflationary element as there is no possibility of printing more coins. The question of the Bitcoin block costly and the influence of Chinese mining goes through the Bitcoin subsidy or, currently called as, block reward: When a miner puts a block in the chain he receives the Bitcoin reward that is "inside" "of that block and which is currently encrypted in 12.5. Every 210000 blocks the reward is reduced by half so in less than a year (312 days from today ) it will be reduced to 6.25 so the miners will see their subsidy fall in half unless Bitcoin's price per coin increases considerably or the mining farms begin to close or reduce mining equipment thus decreasing the power of the network's Hash. If Bitcoin reduces by half every 210000 blocks the subsidy per block to miners will come a time when they can only live and maintain their equipment for transaction fees and in a Bitcoin network with 7 transactions per second and a commission that tends to Increase the higher the number of movements in it makes it unfeasible for miners to continue in said 1MB network and above all that people want to use this payment method that is expensive and slow - more even than gold paper - Because remember that Bitcoin born as Peer 2 peer cash, not gold-. Therefore, if in time the subsidy or reward is going to be 0 or unable to cover the mining equipment expense, it is necessary to find a solution if the developers do not want to touch the block size. And this goes through three issues already raised in BIPs and about the community: RPF (Replace By Fee), Lightning Network and Increase in the number of Bitcoin since the demand for Bitcoin does not rise because it offers a quality service but for security and above all for the manipulation of Tether (USDT) and the large exchange houses: - The RBF consists in the substitution of a transaction without confirmations for another that would replace it with a higher commission eliminating the previous one of the mempool - the limbo of the transactions to be confirmed in Bitcoin -. Although this system seems effective, it does not eliminate the long-term problem of continuing to maintain the reduced block, but rather removes the problem of financing miners, but does not eliminate it and, above all, kills the operation of Bitcoin transactions by not eliminating the increase in commissions that would distance the user from its use. In addition to more easily allowing double spending  . - Lightning Network is a side-chain or second layer, that is, a software development not implemented in the Bitcoin network itself and therefore is not an element of the block chain so this should already be repudiated since being a External and non-auditable element such as Bitcoin gives rise to "blanks" and therefore lack of existence and possibility of auditing accounts  and even the loss of money or cancellation of the transaction  . It also faces the problem of routing since in a network in constant change with the openings and closures of payment channels it is unfeasible to establish a total and rapid diffusion to the nodes of LN - other than those of Bitcoin - so it comes into play Another new element of this network is the watchtowers in charge of ensuring compliance in open channels and over the entire LN network of payments. Obviously it requires an additional cost to hire this service and it is not yet implemented  and taking into account the pace at which Lightning Network is developed, it is doubtful that it will become available . In short, to use properly - which is not successful - LN you need a node valued at $ 300 , a watchtower, have a channel open 24/7 and with sufficient funds to carry out transactions    . - The increase in the Bitcoin offer was raised fleetingly by developer Peter Todd   and will become an open debate in a few years when the mining block reward is low and the price of Bitcoin cannot be sustained only with uncontrolled printing of Tether and the manipulation on the price of the currency   next to the collusion of the exchange houses headed by BitFinex  and personalities of the world 'crypto'  - if he survives long enough to see that moment since they are already behind Bitfinex for money laundering . When that moment arrives I am sure that a BIP - Bitcoin Improvement Proposal - will be launched by Blockstream or directly notified of the measure destroying the essence of Bitcoin and the TRUE DECENTRALIZATION: THE PROTOCOL. This brings us to the second reason for the slowness of Bitcoin. The correct and true decentralization goes through the code and the team of developers and maintainers, not any other. The protocol must be engraved in stone  and that the action of the miners distribute and decentralize the network and they maintain the nodes and the transactions in a completely capitalist economic relationship. Investing in machines and communication improves access, speed and spread of transactions and blocks and makes miners true competitors as well as facilitating the transmission of money and all kinds of transactions . The decentralization of the nodes was the other great reason to prevent the increase of the block and therefore the speed in the transaction. It is based on a false premise to base the decentralization of Bitcoin - which is nowhere on the whitepaper - on the raspberry nodes. The dispersion of the transaction and all the stages of the transaction and the blocks depend on the miner and his team, as well as the search for excellence in communications to avoid orphan blocks - which are stipulated in the Nakamoto consensus and are part of Bitcoin and not they throw no problem in the transactions only in the resolution of the reward of the block that affects the miners and should seek greater efficiency - and reorganizations. The audit on the Bitcoin network can be perfectly performed without there being a Bitcoin node in each house, in fact it would cause the same routing problems that occur / will occur in the LN network. Decentralization should not go through nodes but through developers and to a lesser extent by miners. If a protocol is continually being altered by developers they have the power of the network and it must be in constant struggle by the miners through the commission on transactions. Due to these two factors, the BIP0101 proposed by the developers that Satoshi left in charge  and that originated the creation of Bitcoin Unlimited was rejected, later it was attacked due to its recent creation through DDoS attacks in a statement of intentions of the network Blockstream bitcoin   remaining as a residual element. These two reasons are the cause of the drowning suffered by the Bitcoin network - including many other elements that were eliminated and that corresponded to the initial code completely changing the nature and destiny of Bitcoin that are not relevant and I will not enumerate -, Any other reason is propaganda by those who want to keep Bitcoin drowned in order to enrich themselves with mining sub-subsidies and second-layer software like LN. Bitcoin has a structure similar to gold and can collect certain attributes of it but its destination in efficient and fast transmission as effective - among other transactions. Bitcoin was designed to professionalize miners and create a new industry around them, so mining centers will become datacenters  and they will replicate all transaction logs and even this professionalization will eventually lead to specialization in other types of transactions born new industries around you that will support the nodes according to specialization - Data, asset transfers, money, property rights, etc ... - Bitcoin scales to infinity if they leave the protocol FREE enough to do so. P.D: Core, since the departure of Hearn and Andersen, they know perfectly well what they are doing: The worst breed from the Cyberpunk movement has been combined with the worst breed of the current synarchy; The ends always touch.  https://np.reddit.com/btc/comments/3ygo96/blocksize_consensus_census/cye0bmt/  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ivgxcEOyWNs&feature=youtu.be&t=2h36m20s  https://www.bitcoinblockhalf.com/  https://petertodd.org/2016/are-wallets-ready-for-rbf  https://www.ccn.com/bitcoin-atm-double-spenders-police-need-help-identifying-four-criminals/  https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=4905430.0 https://www.trustnodes.com/2018/03/26/lightning-network-user-loses-funds || https://www.trustnodes.com/2019/03/13/lightning-network-has-many-routing-problems-says-lead-dev-at-lightning-labs  https://diar.co/volume-2-issue-25/  https://blockonomi.com/watchtowers-bitcoin-lightning-network/  https://twitter.com/starkness/status/676599570898419712  https://store.casa/lightning-node/  https://bitcoin.stackexchange.com/questions/81906/to-create-a-channel-on-the-lightning-network-do-you-have-to-execute-an-actual-t  https://blog.muun.com/the-inbound-capacity-problem-in-the-lightning-network/  https://medium.com/@octskyward/the-capacity-cliff-586d1bf7715e  https://dashnews.org/peter-todd-argues-for-bitcoin-inflation-to-support-security/  https://twitter.com/peterktodd/status/1092260891788103680  https://medium.com/datadriveninvestotether-usd-is-used-to-manipulate-bitcoin-prices-94714e65ee31  https://twitter.com/CryptoJetHammestatus/1149131155469455364  https://www.bitrates.com/news/p/crypto-collusion-the-web-of-secrets-at-the-core-of-the-crypto-market  https://archive.is/lk1lH  https://iapps.courts.state.ny.us/nyscef/ViewDocument?docIndex=8W00ssb7x5ZOaj8HKFdbfQ==  https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=195.msg1611#msg1611  https://github.com/bitcoin/bips/blob/mastebip-0101.mediawiki  https://www.reddit.com/bitcoinxt/comments/3yewit/psa_if_youre_running_an_xt_node_in_stealth_mode/  https://www.reddit.com/btc/comments/3yebzi/coinbase_down/ https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=532.msg6306#msg6306"
Bitcoin Exchange Operators Charged With Money Laundering. By. Michelle Jones - Jan 27, 2014, 1:10 pm. U.S. authorities have filed money laundering charges against two operators of bitcoin-based businesses, according to a statement from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York. Officials from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, the Drug Enforcement Administration and the ... Faiella, 52, is also charged in the complaint filed in U.S. District Court in Manhattan with conspiring to commit money laundering and operating an unlicensed money transmitting business. He was ... By Emily Flitter NEW YORK (Reuters) - Two men who operate bitcoin exchange businesses have been charged with money laundering for helping drug merchants exchange $1 million (603.2 thousand pounds) in cash for bitcoins, the digital currency, U.S. prosecutors said on Monday. Federal prosecutors in New Bitcoin exchange operators charged with money laundering. Prosecutors say accused tried to sell $1 million in the digital currency to users of the black market website Silk Road . January 27, 2014 11:59AM ET Updated 4:30PM ET. by Evan Hill. Among those charged on Monday was Charlie Shrem, vice president of the Bitcoin Foundation. Jim Urquhart/ Reuters. Federal prosecutors charged a prominent ... Two men who operate bitcoin exchange businesses have been charged with money laundering for helping drug merchants exchange $1 million (603.2 thousand pounds) in cash for bitcoins, the digital currency, U.S. prosecutors said on Monday. Federal prosecutors in New York announced charges against Charlie