US Secretary of State Wants Bitcoin To Be Regulated Similar to Other Electronic Transactions

Mike Pompeo, the U. S. Secretary of State, wants to regulate Bitcoin (BTC). According to him, the asset should be regulated in the same way that all other financial transactions which made online currently are.

During a recent interview with CNBC’s Squawk Box, he affirmed that anonymous transactions are very risky and that terrorists might start to use it if they remain unregulated. According to him, the country has moved forward a lot when it comes to tracking money, so not doing it would open a breach for illegal activities.

To him, if anonymous transactions become the norm, this would greatly decrease the security of the whole world, which can become an issue as time passes.

The host of the show, Koe Kernan, brought up that the Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin affirmed that more Bitcoin is used for illegal activities than cash. Pompeo supported the other secretary in his allegations against crypto.

According to Mike Pompeo, however, the main difference between him and his colleague is that Mnuchin wants a very tight and specific regulation on Bitcoin, while he believes that the asset should just be regulated as any other asset currently is.

Unfortunately, neither of the secretaries seem to understand Bitcoin very well. It has been proved several times that fiat currency is used way more than Bitcoin in money laundering and terrorism financing, so there is no excuse to keep being ignorant on the subject.

Bitcoin is also very hard to regulate, so they would probably have a very difficult time to do the same that can be done to similar digital transactions.

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Author: Lillian Peter

Bitpay Reports Bitcoin and Crypto Real Estate Spending on Pace to Double This Year

It may be because prices went up this year, but people are really starting to use Bitcoin in order to acquire real estate. Bitpay has recently affirmed that the spending of crypto on real estate is set to double in 2019.

If it depends on the company, it certainly will. Bitpay has recently started a new partnership with a luxury condominium complex in the city of Orlando that will allow people to buy properties using their crypto wallets.

According to Bitpay’s Chief Commercial Officer Sonny Singh, nearly $20 million was spent in real estate using the company’s platform back in 2017. The bear market made the spending go down last year, though, and only $6 million was used. However, this year it’s expected that people will spend over $12 million in this market again.

As Bitpay is the largest payment processor in the world right now, with over $1 billion USD processed each year, the company can really be considered an authority in payments. Singh affirmed that the new partnership is among many others that the company has with real estate companies and that they will drive investment in these areas upward.

According to David D’Ambrosio, who works with real estate, several clients from Brazil, China and Turkey inquired about crypto payments recently. He believes that there is a market for this and that it will grow a lot in the future. Soon after the contact of these clients, he started a partnership with Bitpay in order to enable these traders.

Bitpay is seen as one of the best ways to settle these transactions because, despite the fees of 1%, the transactions are settled very fast.

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Author: Bitcoin Exchange Guide News Team

New York Times Says Cyber Criminals Are Using Bitcoin to Get Around Sanctions

  • Bitcoin is not an anonymous asset and can be tracked.
  • A promotional video from Hamas encourages individuals to donate to their cause with Bitcoin.

The traditional finance market has been worried about a few of Bitcoin’s attributes, but proponents have largely focused on the blockchain’s lack of anonymity as a reason that criminals would be dissuaded. However, changes in the sanctions between the US and other countries have led cyber criminals straight to Bitcoin’s doorstep, applying the digital currency to their various funding efforts, according to reports from Decrypt and the New York Times.

The militant group in Palestine – Hamas – is considered to be a terrorist organization, and it has been largely kept out of the traditional financial system. However, as Bitcoin is not controlled by a single entity, the military wing has developed a way for their campaign to raise money through Bitcoin. In the latest version set up by the Qassam Brigades, every person is provided with a Bitcoin address where funds can be sent. In doing so, law enforcement can’t exactly track the funds. This website also includes a video that shows senders how to evade the authorities and prevent the transaction from causing an alert.

A screen shot from a Qassam video that explains how to acquire and send Bitcoin without tipping off the authorities.

A screen shot from a Qassam video that explains how to acquire and send Bitcoin without tipping off the authorities.

Bitcoin has been involved with drug purchases, money laundering, and more. However, the increase in the number of terrorist organizations using Bitcoin and other digital coins has attracted the attention of the authorities. While individual campaigns don’t appear to gain much funding, the authorities have pointed out that there is little funding necessary for terrorist attacks.

Former CIA analyst Yaya Fanusie, who now acts as a consultant on rogue actors who use cryptocurrency, explained that more of these circumstances will arise, and “it is something that people should pay attention to.” Even the Treasury Department’s undersecretary for terrorism and financial intelligence, Sigal Mandelker, mirrored these comments during an interview, even though the concept is new to these terrorists.

Steven Stalinsky, the executive director of the Middle East Media Research Institute, said, “They seem to be reacting to all the economic sanctions by saying, ‘We are going to try using Bitcoin.’” Stalinsky’s organization, known as Memri, will soon be publishing a report with over 200 pages, explaining the signs that cryptocurrency is being used by terrorist organizations. The report will specifically reference groups in Syria that are already on the run.

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Author: Krystle M

Israeli Crypto Traders Fight Bank Lockouts with a Freedom of Information Petition

Several Bitcoin and crypto traders of Israel are facing a problem with banks right now. Many banks are not very sympathetic with crypto traders and are closing their accounts. This has prompted several of them to start a series of lawsuits against the banking institutions, the Globes has recently reported.

The problems are pretty varied. Some people have tried to pay their crypto taxes, only to find that the banks do not accept their payments. Others have lost their accounts or were blocked from opening one.

According to the investors, the national central bank, the Bank of Israel, is not helping either. The bank is said to be protecting banks affirming that their policies to block customers or not are a “commercial secret”, so traders have nobody to turn to.

Jonathan Klinger, the legal advisor of the Bitcoin Association in the country, affirms that the institution started to take action against banks because the regulators seem to be completely ignoring the traders and their problems.

Now, a lawsuit is in place and the main target is the Union Bank of Israel. The bank, according to the petition, has refused to accept crypto clients without even examining the circumstances. If you deal with Bitcoin in any way, you are likely to be cut out of the banking system of Israel.

The Bitcoin Association does not trade BTC, but it was also denied the opportunity to open up an account only because of its promotional relationship with cryptos. The reason for that? Well, it has Bitcoin on its name.

The problem is so big that the government is expected to lose $85 million USD in taxes because of it and even in this case nobody actually seems to care enough.

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Author: Hank Klinger

Newly Proclaimed, Satoshi Nakamoto, Claims to Break the Silence by Revealing Themselves

It seems like a new unknown individual has proclaimed themselves as the creator of Bitcoin [BTC], Satoshi Nakamoto. Interestingly, the official reveal is expected to be made on Sunday August 18 at 4:00 PM EDT, where they plan to expose the reason for not having moved their 980,000 Bitcoins.

The blockchain company that shared “My Reveal” date is Satoshi Nakamoto Renaissance Holdings. Apparently, spokesperson for the proclaimed, real Satoshi, Ivy McLemore, spoke with news outlets and shared that the “break in his silence” will be done in three parts, adding that

“the truth will be known.”

So what types of information will be disclosed in the reveal? In addition to the unmoved BTCs, the individual plans to share more about themselves including their real name, where they were born, educational and professional background and the “rebirth of BTC,” with the latter having to do with a project called ‘Tabula Rasa’ – a clean-slate version of BTC.

Obviously, consumers can expect to learn more about the bitcoin creation process, with emphasis placed on the “Chaldean numerology” and the contributions made by cyphers and encryption.

The three parts will be delivered one after the other, that is, once the first has been completed, the second and third have been scheduled for the same times but on August 19 and 20 respectively.

Given said shocking claims, people are bound to naturally doubt its likes. An example of this is Litecoin’s Charlie Lee, as reported by Daily Hodl, who argued that if the real Satoshi really planned for a reveal, then he would have done so by “sign[ing] a message with the genesis key,” adding that,

“anything short of that is most likely fraudulent.”

August 18 was chosen as a symbolic move, as this was the initial date back in 2008 when bitcoin.org was registered. The revelation would commence as a way to celebrate the eleventh anniversary of bitcoin.org.

So the question is… With Satoshi reveal himself (not likely) or is this some big PR stunt by a blockchain company?

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Author: Nirmala Velupillai

Why is Bakkt Important For Mainstream Adoption of Bitcoin (BTC)?

  • Bakkt get green light from CFTC, to launch Bitcoin futures contracts next month
  • Bitcoin Futures, Custody, Payments, & Compliance by Bakkt
  • One-day physically delivered BTC futures contracts traded on registered exchange big for Bitcoin

After a year of repeated postponements, we are finally going to have physically-delivered Bitcoin futures.

September 23rd is the day when Bakkt is launching its physically-delivered Bitcoin futures contracts after receiving the green light from the CFTC.

“Transparency and trust to digital assets,” is what Bakkt vows to bring to the cryptocurrency industry which is still in its early stages.

The digital asset platform launched by Intercontinental Exchange, a US company that operates 12 regulated exchanges and marketplaces is expected to be the beacon for the institutional investors.

Bakkt: Bitcoin Futures, Custody, Payments, & Compliance

In the decade long history of Bitcoin, one of the most concerning issues with the crypto industry is the wild swings in prices of crypto assets.

This kept the institutional investors at bay though they have started to make their way in crypto space. But with ICE backed Bakkt making its way into the market while adopting practices employed in the global futures market, more interest from institutions is expected.

Bakkt is partnering with ICE’s leading futures exchange and clearing infrastructure to bring its physically delivered futures contracts to market participants in more than 30 countries. These participants will undergo AML/KYC rules consistent with CFTC-regulated markets.

In addition, “Bakkt will routinely participate in financial and security audits, as well as regulatory compliance reviews.”

As for the custody, it provides secure storage backed by insurance for digital assets held in frozen wallets. Moreover, they are working with leading merchants who recognize the potential of crypto-assets as these new global currencies evolve beyond speculative assets and or a store of value.

A way for large, risk-averse institutions to buy & custody bitcoin

Crypto market is largely designed to serve retail customers rather than institutional participants and Bakkt is bridging the gap — concerns related to lack of regulation, liquidity, market quality, fees, and operational risks — to access this market.

“It offers a way for large, risk-averse institutions to buy and custody bitcoin through an end-to-end regulated system approved by the CFTC and NYDFS, and backed by the sterling reputation of ICE,” said Jake Chervinksy, General Counsel of Compound Finance.

Most notably, these bitcoin futures are physically settled contracts, unlike 98% of futures in the finance industry.

Bakkt is offering an innovating one-day futures contracts, traders will thus take delivery meaning it will be similar to trading spot, as explained by economist and trader Alex Kruger.

The fact that these futures will be traded on a fully regulated exchange, is huge to attract institutions and:

“could thus be an extremely bullish development IF demand is there.”

Bitcoin price meanwhile reacted somewhat positively to the news as we went above $10,500. But BTC/USD is yet again in the red by 0.54% while trading at $10,345.

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Author: AnTy

Survey Reveals Four Out of Five Colombians Are Open To Cryptocurrency Investments

A new survey has recently revealed that 86.5% of Colombians are familiar with Bitcoin (BTC) and that around 80% of them are actually open to investing in this market. The survey was made by the P2P Bitcoin platform Paxful together with Toluna Insights.

According to the information presented by the survey, at least half of everyone between the ages of 25 and 40 has already expressed at least some mild interest in buying cryptos. Most of them wanted to buy Bitcoin (79%). Ethereum, the second-largest token of the market, had only 3% of the people interested in it.

32% of the people who participated in the survey affirmed that they had already participated in crypto transactions and 59% believed that the adoption of the technology would continue to grow in the near future.

Curiously, 91% of the people who responded seemed to be aware that cryptos could change the future of finances forever. 86% affirmed that the technology would need to be properly regulated in the country, as they believed that the current legislation was probably not suited to handle it.

However, only 20% of the respondents actually used crypto at least once. The P2P trading volume in the country is growing a lot recently, although there is no clear explanation for why except the fact that cryptos are getting more mainstream adoption recently.

In the U. S., around 11% of the population have bought Bitcoin, recent research has shown. Most of them have between 18 and 34 years. Despite only a small percentage of the people have ever used it, 89% have heard about it at least once.

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Author: Gabriel Machado

Bitcoin Price Goes Back Above $10,500 But PlusToken’s 5,575 BTC on the Move Again

  • Bitcoin price rises by 4.75%, but trader still skeptical
  • Also, the Ponzi scheme PlusToken fund becomes active yet again

After tumbling down to $9,475 level this week, Bitcoin is yet again on the move and above $10,000.

In the past 24 hours, BTC/USD saw an increase of 4.75% going as high as $10,540 level. Trading volume meanwhile is holding steady around $1.6 billion.

According to trader TraderX0X0, the bears aren’t done yet with Bitcoin. He sees the flagship cryptocurrency dropping back down to $9,700 level.

This comes as no surprise as Bitcoin is expected to make a retreat to $8,500 and fill all the gaps left by CME Group’s Bitcoin futures contracts that unlike cryptocurrency spot exchanges doesn’t trade on weekends.

However, if Bitcoin moves upwards to the $10,500 and $10,600 area, a drop to $9,700 would invalidate, TraderX0X0 said.

Ponzi Scheme PlusToken Fund Becomes Active yet Again

What’s concerning for Bitcoin price is the $3 billion Ponzi scheme PlusToken that has been dumping BTC in large amount and allegedly behind the 18% crash in Bitcoin price.

As we recently shared, this all started around early July.

But isn’t over yet.

According to blockchain security company PeckShield, PlusToken funds are on the move again. On 14th August, 5,575 BTC were moved from 1M1Tfsvb address to different addresses.

As per the PlusToken fund flow by the security firm, so far 540 BTC has gone Bittrex exchange and 663 BTC has gone into Huobi.

Back in late June, the Chinese publication, South China Morning Post reported the arrest of six Chinese nationals in Vanuatu following the complaints from authorities in China in a scam of $2.9 billion equivalent in BTC, ETH, and EOS.

Currently, Bitcoin is trading at $10,509, however, with these funds back on the move, it’s to be seen if another dump would be coming soon.

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Author: AnTy

Fundstrat’s Tom Lee: Bitcoin Is A Great Safe Haven Asset, Can Reach New All-Time Highs This Year

Tom Lee, one of the senior analysts of Fundstrat Global Advisors, has recently affirmed that Bitcoin is the “genuine safe haven” asset during a recent interview for Fox Business.

According to him, whenever there is political turmoil, crypto prices tend to go up a lot. This happens because people are trying to protect their assets from devaluation, so they use Bitcoin. The premium in markets such as Hong Kong right now is proof of that.

Bitcoin Is Good For A Diverse Portfolio

The investor also affirmed that BTC has been doing great this year. After the bear market, the asset was worth only over $3,000 USD and now it has surpassed $10,000 USD and stayed there. The future is set to be even better, he believes, and the all-time high can be broken before the end of the year.

Lee affirmed that BTC is a great strategy for diversification mainly because it is not really correlated with the rest of the market, so it does well when the traditional market is not doing well.

He believes that investing at least 1 to 2% of your portfolio in BTC is the best bet for times such as the one we are in.

The crypto community surely wants Lee to be right. The market was very popular when prices were going up a few months ago and most people still believe that BTC will rise more and take the whole altcoin market together to the moon.

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Author: Bitcoin Exchange Guide News Team

Samsung Finally Announces Integration of Bitcoin (BTC) Into its Blockchain Smartphone

Samsung has officially announced its integration of Bitcoin into its upcoming and series of blockchain-enabled smartphones. This news comes in the wake of the company’s partnerships with a range of blockchain-enabled or specialist companies like Enjin.

This move also comes in the months after the launch of the Samsung Galaxy S10 series back in mid-March 2019. Along with this broader announcement, the team also introduced its community to its bespoke ‘Blockchain Keystore’ which offers its users broader access to cryptocurrency storage and payment solution for Ethereum and related ERC-20 Tokens.

Even though this includes a wide range of dApps that leverage Ethereum, Samsung actually had an unspoken exclusion of the number one cryptocurrency in terms of market cap.

The company that is otherwise known as one of the tech giants operating within South Korea has since announced that it will be including Bitcoin related features to its developer kit (SDK) for a wider array of S10 models (S10e, S10, S10+ as well as the S10 5G) including its Note10 and Note10+ models.

The Samsung-based SDK solution actually allows those on Android Devices to link their dedicated blockchain addresses to Samsung’s blockchain Keystore. From there, users will be able to sign cryptocurrency transaction as well as check their Keystore status.

Some of the blockchain features on these phones remain geographically exclusive to certain areas. For the moment, these consist of the following: Canada, Germany, South Korea, Spain, Switzerland, the U.S., and the U.K.

Some of the newest additions to the SDK also include support for other native cryptocurrencies such as Klay, from the Klaytn network, which was recently launched by the Korean-based messaging solution – Kakao.

During the latter part of last week, Kakao’s blockchain subsidiary, known as GroundX has since teased at the launch of its upcoming wallet for Klay referred to as Klip, and has also announced the introduction of its very first decentralized dApp partners.

Samsung now officially lists 17 dApps within its digital Keystore and is actually in the process of developing its own, which is based on top of Ethereum. It has been alluded to that it may be working to release its own token, according to reports from the firm.

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Author: James Fox