Coinbase has announced that it will provide custody services for the exchange token of the Binance-backed crypto derivatives platform FTX (FTT) on May 22. Coinbase Custody will comprise the primary custodian for the ERC-20 token, managing custody, compliance, and insurance for the FTT tokens. Coinbase stated that FTX is its “largest exchange client to-date.” The exchange noted that crypto watchers may notice large FTT transfers taking on the blockchain over recent and coming days, clarifying that they will be “closely monitored migrations of $FTT onto Coinbase Custody’s secure, offline storage platform.” ##FTX expands into United States ## The news follows FTX’s launch of a spot exchange in the United States earlier this month. In order to facilitate the U.S. expansion, FTX registered as a money services business with the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, or FinCEN, with the exchange expecting to soon receive several money transmitter licenses at the state level also. The exchange also confirmed that it will apply for a BitLicense in a bid to service New York-based traders. The exchange support trade between the U.S. dollar and Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), Litecoin (LTC), Bitcoin Cash (BCH), Paxos Gold (PAXG), and Tether (USDT). FTX.US plans to support additional crypto assets and fiat on-ramps in the future. The exchange also offers margin trading for “eligible traders.” ##FTX rises to prominence ## Since launching 12 months ago, FTX has emerged as a top player in the crypto derivatives sector, handling $250 million in volume over the past 24 hours. In December, FTX secured a “strategic investment” from Binance on an undisclosed sum. Source Source: https://thedailyblockchain.news/2020/05/24/coinbase-to-custody-ftxs-exchange-token/
Hi, I posted a similar post earlier this morning but needed a follow up on the question. Basically, I want to start buying Bitcoin from Coinbase and then reselling it on Paxful where the price is higher. I plan on reporting all income as a short-term capital gain but want to make sure I don’t need a money transmitter license or something else. I also don’t think I need to register it as a business since I’m literally just buying/selling, correct? I live in the United States (New York)
I'm trying to put together a list of what's coming out this year. Have this very simple list so far. Anyone care to add anything or suggest some better dates?
Latest News (most recent first) - Instant channels enable safe Lightning payments with unconfirmed funding Beta - Feb 10, 2019 - Voyager, New trading app from Uber & E-Trade execs announce launch date - Feb 9, 2019 - bumi/blockstream_satellite ruby gem for the Blockstream Satellite API - Feb 8, 2019 - New Zap Desktop 0.3.4 is out. New features, massive performance - Feb 8, 2019 - New release: @lightning desktop app v0.4.0-alpha - Feb 8, 2019 - valerio-vaccaro/Liquid-dashboard - Feb 7, 2019 - Japanese SBI Holdings will allow trading of coins - March 2019 - lnd v0.5.2-beta released - Feb 6, 2019 - Koala studios launches online LN gaming platform - Feb 6, 2019 - Independent Reserve has become the first #crypto exchange in Australia to be insured, with coverage underwritten by Lloyd's of London. - Feb 6, 2019 - Coinbase announces BTC support for their mobile (keep your own keys) wallet - Feb 6, 2019 - Blockstream published a new open source Proof of Reserves tool. - Feb 5, 2019 - RTL release v0.1.14-alpha - Feb 5, 2019 - dr-orlovsky/typhon-spec spec for new trestles side chain published - Feb 5, 2019 - Payment requests coming soon to BTCPay. - Feb 5th, 2019 - Kraken Acquires Futures Startup In Deal Worth At Least $100 Million - Feb 5th, 2019 - Next Blockchain cruise scheduled for June 9-13 - Feb 4, 2019 - Work on a GoTenna plugin to Electrum wallet in progress - Feb 4, 2019 - Bitcoin Candy Dispensers being open sourced - Feb 4, 2019 - New release of JoinMarket v0.5.3 - Feb 4, 2019 - Prime Trust won’t charge its clients to custody digital assets any longer. - Feb 4, 2019 - nodogsplash/nodogsplash wifi access using LN - Feb 3, 2019 - @tippin_me Receive tips using Lightning Network adds message feature - Feb 3, 2019 - Bitcoin-for-Taxes Bill in NH Unanimously Approved by House Subcommittee - Feb 3, 2019 - Full support for native segwit merged into bitcoinj - Feb 3, 2019 - Bitfury is partnering with financial services firm Final Frontier! - Feb 2, 2019 - Now you can open #LightningNetwork channels in @LightningJoule - Feb 2, 2019 - Integrating Blockstream’s Liquid payments on SideShift AI - Feb 1, 2019 - Wyoming legislature passes bill to recognize cryptocurrency as money - Feb 1, 2019 - Casa is open sourcing the code for the Casa Node - Feb 1, 2019 - Casa Browser Extension released - v0.5.2-beta-rc6 of lnd, full release getting very close now - Feb 1, 2019 - Tallycoin adds subscriptions and paywall features in bid to rival Patreon - Jan 31, 2019 - Static channel backup PR merged into LN - Jan 31, 2019 - The NYDFS grants another Bitlicense to ATM operator - Jan 31, 2019 - @pwuille currently proposing the “MiniScript” language to describe BTC output locking conditions for practical composition - Jan 31, 2019 - Fidelity is in the “final testing” phase for its new digital asset business - Jan 31, 2019 - Hardware wallet PR #109 just got merged so that @Trezor no longer requires user interaction for PIN - Jan 31, 2019 - CBOE, VanEck & SolidX filed a new & improved bitcoin ETF proposal. - Jan 31, 2019 - Casa Node code is now open sourced - Jan 31, 2019 - Next Bitoin halving in roughly 497 days - Jan 31, 2019 - BTCPay released 18.104.22.168 - Jan 31, 2019 - @binance now lets users purchase cryptos using Visa and Mastercard credit. - Jan 31, 2019 - Bitfury to Launch Bitcoin Operations in Paraguay - Jan 31, 2019 - Coinbase introduces very generous affiliate program - Jan 30, 2019 - DOJO Trusted Node bitcoin full node. Coming Early 2019 - Jan 30, 2019 - FastBitcoins.com Enables Cash-for-Bitcoin Exchange Via the Lightning Network - Jan 30, 2019 - TD Ameritrade says clients want cryptocurrency investment options - company plans major announcement in 'first half of 2019' - Jan 30, 2019 - Storage component of Fidelity's @DigitalAssets live, with some assets under management, @nikhileshde - Jan 29, 2019 - lightning mainnet has reached 600 BTC capacity - Jan 29, 2019 - Drivechain shows picture of Grin side chain and suggests might be ready in 2 month - Jan 29, 2019 - Lightning labs iOS neutrino wallet in testing stage now - Jan 29, 2019 - Aliant offering cryptocurrency processing free-of-charge - Jan 29, 2019 - Chainstone’s Regulator product to manage assets on the way - Jan 29, 2019 - Fidelity Investments’ new crypto custody service may officially launch in March. - Jan 29, 2019 - Gemini's becomes FIRST crypto EXCHANGE and CUSTODIAN to complete a SOC 2 Review by Deloitte - Jan 29, 2019 - Iran has lifted the ban on Bitcoin and cryptocurrency - Jan 29, 2019 - Confidential Transactions being added into Litecoin announcement - Jan 28, 2019 - http://FastBitcoins.com Enables Cash-for-Bitcoin Exchange Via the Lightning Network - Jan 28, 2019 - Germany’s largest online food delivery platform now accepts btc - Jan 27, 2019 - Launching a Bitcoin Developers School in Switzerland - Jan 27, 2019 - RTL release v0.1.13-alpha Lightning Build repository released - Jan 27, 2019 - The first pay-per-page fantasy novel available to Lightning Network. - Jan 27, 2019 - Numerous tools become available to write messages transmitted with Blockstream Satellite - Jan 26, 2019; - BTCPay 22.214.171.124 released - Jan 26,2019 - WordPress + WooCommerce + BTCPay Plugin is now live - Jan 25, 2019 - Juan Guaido has been promoting #Bitcoin since 2014 is new interim president of Venezuela - Jan 25, 2019 - Morgan Creek funds @RealBlocks - Jan 25, 2019 - Coinbase integrates TurboTax - Jan 25, 2019 - Robinhood received Bitlicense - Jan 25, 2019 - Anchor Labs launches custody - Jan 25, 2019 - NYSE Arca files w/ @BitwiseInvest for BTC ETF approval - Jan 25, 2019 - South Korea, Seoul, Busan & Jeju Island currently working to create pro crypto economic zones. - Jan 25, 2019 - valerio-vaccaro/Liquid-dashboard - Jan 25, 2019 - Bermuda to launch crypto friendly bank - Jan 25, 2019 - Mobile Bitcoin Wallet BRD Raises $15 Million, Plans for Expansion in Asia - Jan 25, 2019 - BullBitcoin rolling out alpha access of platform - Jan 25, 2019 - Electrum Wallet Release 3.3.3 - Jan 25, 2019 - Bitrefill, purchase Bitcoin and have it delivered directly over LN - Jan 25, 2019 - South Korean crypto exchange Bithumb looking to go public in USA - Jan 24, 2019 - Bitcoin Exchanges Don’t Need Money Transmitter Licenses in Pennsylvania - Jan 24, 2019 - US; New Hampshire Bill Aims to Legalize Bitcoin for State Payments in 2020 - Jan 24, 2019 - Robinhood, LibertyX Receive Licenses from New York Regulators - Jan 24, 2019 - Bakkt Bitcoin futures contract details released - Jan 24, 2019 - Blockstream CryptoFeed V3 now includes 30+ venues and 200M+ updates per day - Jan 24, 2019 - Binance Jersey – The Latest Binance European Exchange - Jan 2019
Bitfury Rolls Out Lightning Peach, Its Own Suite of Lightning Tools - Jan 24, 2019
Good news. v3.6.2 just hit the play store for Android. - Jan 24, 2019
Bitrefill - LN now accounts for more payments than alts - Jan 24, 2019
proofd.app allows you to store a checksum of a doc on the blockchain - Jan 24, 2019
487 days until bitcoin halving - Jan 23, 2019
New #GalaxyS10 coming with ‘Samsung Blockchain KeyStore’- Jan 24, 2019
Proof-of-Reserves tool for Bitcoin github.com/stevenroose/reserves - Jan 24, 2019
Lightning Network Pac-Man Arcade introduced - Jan 23, 2019
Playing with fire with FinCen and SEC, Binance may face a hefty penalty again after already losing 50 percent of its trading business
Adam S. Tracy Explains The State of Incorporation (Fallacy) Decision
Transcribed from: https://tracyfirm.com/adam-s-tracy-explains-the-state-of-incorporation-fallacy-decision/ Where should I incorporate? What state? I get this question five times a week. What state is better, what state helps me? What state has a better tax regime? Why should I incorporate in Nevada versus Delaware? Right? And the reality is the answer is completely over hyped. There couldn’t be a bigger misunderstanding in terms of what states have certain rights and privileges that others don’t. Your traditional states are like Delaware, Nevada. And then recently you had places like Wyoming and even Florida that have kind of come on, and almost offered cheaper incorporations as sort of a revenue stream for the state in question. But when you’re talking about running a crypto related business, what’s really relevant isn’t what state you incorporate in, but it’s what state you reside and operate from. So, obviously New York has the BIT license requirement. If you’re talking about state money transmitter laws, like Wyoming, which is a popular state to incorporate in, has some different capital requirements for operators of Bitcoin related businesses typically exchanges, right? But at the same time Wyoming is a very small state, and you’re probably not operating from there, statistically speaking. So, you really don’t have to worry about the laws. So the reality is you can incorporate in like a Wyoming and then operate from Illinois, and you have to worry about the laws of the state that you are actually operating from. Right? And if you want to operate in another state then you’ll have to worry about the laws pertaining to cryptocurrency or money transmission in that state, right? But if you can find your activity to a certain state or the nature of your activities such that you can deem every transaction you effectively encounter to occur in that state, which by contract you definitely can, then you only really need to concern yourself with the laws of that state. So to answer the question, you know, I’m a big proponent of cost, right? Like when I look at Delaware, you’re looking at almost $1,100. When I look at Nevada, they hit you with this business list, which takes their $150 Corporation and makes it almost $800, and you don’t really get a great deal of benefit from that. Right? I mean, there’s some speed and convenience elements to Nevada that make it very cogent, like in terms of having a robust online platform and quick turnarounds of formations which to a large extent can make it worthwhile. But, you know, from a legal perspective, you look at a state like Wyoming, which is really just pattern, its corporations code against the Nevada code, which in turn was an amalgamation of Delaware — the original sort of corporate Hub — and then all the case law that has developed which makes Delaware an attractive place to incorporate. But if you’re looking for convenience and sort of speed, Nevada’s great. If you’re looking for the same legal protections and not keen to pay thousands of dollars a year, especially when you start increasing number of shares in your paid-in capital or the tax your yearly franchise tax can go through the roof, then look at Wyoming. You can incorporate online immediately. It’s $100 cost, and you get the same protections and privileges as Nevada. So, you know, but at the end of the day, any state is pretty much on par with all others. I think the difference is very overstated, and I think you have certain states that have a reputation, but the reputation is a bit overstated for what they really get. So when you’re talking about a crypto-based entity, look first at what the particular cryptocurrencies (if there are any) laws are in that state and even to the extent and how they’ve interpreted things like money transmission license applications for exchanges in bitcoin ATM networks, things like that, look into those which a lot you can get with a simple Freedom of Information Act request that sends to the right Bureau. They’ll give you copies of the application, you get a sense of it, but don’t let the alleged preference of one state over another guide your decision for a crypto-based entity because there’s simply nothing compared to it. We’ve got to rely on the state that you’re from. If you have any questions regarding where to incorporate, be sure to contact attorney Adam S. Tracy. A former competitive rugby player, serial entrepreneur and, trader, attorney, Adam S. Tracy offers over 17 years of progressive legal and compliance experience in the areas of corporate, commodities, cryptocurrency, litigation, payments and securities law. Adam’s experience ranges from commodities trader for oil giant BP, initial public offerings, M&A, to initial coin offerings, having represented both startups to NASDAQ-listed entities. As an early Bitcoin adapter, Adam has promoted growth of cryptocurrency and offers a unique approach to representing crypto-clients. Based in Chicago, IL, Adam graduated from the University of Notre Dame with dual degrees in Finance and Computer Applications and would later obtain his J.D. and M.B.A. from DePaul University. Adam lives outside Chicago with his six animals, which is illegal where he lives. Primary website: http://www.tracyfirm.com Twitter: https://twitter.com/TracyFirm Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCVOa8Iy_RIkmRPwuQliPKfw Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/adamtracy/ Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/thetracyfirm/ Instagram: @adamtracyattorney Telegram: @adam_tracy Skype: @adamtracyesq Email me: [email protected]
Hello! My name is Slava Mikhalkin, I am a Project Owner of Crowdsale platform at Platinum, the company that knows how to start any ICO or STO in 2019. If you want to avoid headaches with launching process, we can help you with ICO and STO advertising and promotion. See the full list of our services: Platinum.fund I am also happy to be a part of the UBAI, the first educational institution providing the most effective online education on blockchain! We can teach you how to do ICO/STO in 2019. Today I want to tell you how to sell and transfer cryptocurrencies. Major Exchanges In finance, an exchange is a forum or platform for trading commodities, derivatives, securities or other financial instruments. The principle concern of an exchange is to allow trading between parties to take place in a fair and legally compliant manner, as well as to ensure that pricing information for any instrument traded on the exchange is reliable and coherently delivered to exchange participants. In the cryptocurrency space exchanges are online platforms that allow users to trade cryptocurrencies or digital currencies for fiat money or other cryptocurrencies. They can be centralized exchanges such a Binance, or decentralized exchanges such as IDEX. Most cryptocurrency exchanges allow users to trade different crypto assets with BTC or ETH after having already exchanged fiat currency for one of those cryptocurrencies. Coinbase and Kraken are the main avenue for fiat money to enter into the cryptocurrency ecosystem. Function and History Crypto exchanges can be market-makers that take bid/ask spreads as a commission on the transaction for facilitating the trade, or more often charge a small percentage fee for operating the forum in which the trade was made. Most crypto exchanges operate outside of Western countries, enabling them to avoid stringent financial regulations and the potential for costly and lengthy legal proceedings. These entities will often maintain bank accounts in multiple jurisdictions, allowing the exchange to accept fiat currency and process transactions from customers all over the globe. The concept of a digital asset exchange has been around since the late 2000s and the following initial attempts at running digital asset exchanges foreshadows the trouble involved in attempting to disrupt the operation of the fiat currency baking system. The trading of digital or electronic assets predate Bitcoin’s creation by several years, with the first electronic trading entities running afoul of the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) in late 2004. Companies such as Goldex, SydneyGoldSales, and Ozzigold, shut down voluntarily after ASIC found that they were operating without an Australian Financial Services License. E-Gold, which exchanged fiat USD for grams of precious metals in digital form, was possibly the first digital currency exchange as we know it, allowing users to make instant transfers to the accounts of other E-Gold members. At its peak in 2006 E-Gold processed $2 billion worth of transactions and boasted a user base of over 5 million people. Popular Exchanges Here we will give a brief overview of the features and operational history of the more popular and higher volume exchanges because these are the platforms to which newer traders will be exposed. These exchanges are recommended to use because they are the industry standard and they inspire the most confidence. Bitfinex Owned and operated by iFinex Inc, the cryptocurrency trading platform Bitfinex was the largest Bitcoin exchange on the planet until late 2017. Headquartered in Hong Kong and based in the US Virgin Island, Bitfinex was one of the first exchanges to offer leveraged trading (“Margin trading allows a trader to open a position with leverage. For example — we opened a margin position with 2X leverage. Our base assets had increased by 10%. Our position yielded 20% because of the 2X leverage. Standard trades are traded with leverage of 1:1”) and also pioneered the use of the somewhat controversial, so-called “stable coin” Tether (USDT). Binance Binance is an international multi-language cryptocurrency exchange that rose from the mid-rank of cryptocurrency exchanges to become the market dominating behemoth we see today. At the height of the late 2017/early 2018 bull run, Binance was adding around 2 million new users per week! The exchange had to temporarily disallow new registrations because its servers simply could not keep up with that volume of business. After the temporary ban on new users was lifted the exchange added 240,000 new accounts within two hours. Have you ever thought whats the role of the cypto exchanges? The answer is simple! There are several different types of exchanges that cater to different needs within the ecosystem, but their functions can be described by one or more of the following: To allow users to convert fiat currency into cryptocurrency. To trade BTC or ETH for alt coins. To facilitate the setting of prices for all crypto assets through an auction market mechanism. Simply put, you can either mine cryptocurrencies or purchase them, and seeing as the mining process requires the purchase of expensive mining equipment, Cryptocurrency exchanges can be loosely grouped into one of the 3 following exchange types, each with a slightly different role or combination of roles. Have you ever thought about what are the types of Crypto exchanges?
Traditional Cryptocurrency Exchange: These are the type that most closely mimic traditional stock exchanges where buyers and sellers trade at the current market price of whichever asset they want, with the exchange acting as the intermediary and charging a small fee for facilitating the trade. Kraken and GDAX are examples of this kind of cryptocurrency exchange. Fully peer-to-peer exchanges that operate without a middleman include EtherDelta, and IDEX, which are also examples of decentralized exchanges.
Cryptocurrency Brokers: These are website or app based exchanges that act like a Travelex or other bureau-de-change. They allow customers to buy or sell crypto assets at a price set by the broker (usually market price plus a small premium). Coinbase is an example of this kind of exchange.
Direct Trading Platform: These platforms offer direct peer-to-peer trading between buyers and sellers, but don’t use an exchange platform in doing so. These types of exchanges do not use a set market rate; rather, sellers set their own rates. This is a highly risky form of trading, from which new users should shy away.
To understand how an exchange functions we need only look as far as a traditional stock exchange. Most all the features of a cryptocurrency exchange are analogous to features of trading on a traditional stock exchange. In the simplest terms, the exchanges fulfil their role as the main marketplace for crypto assets of all kinds by catering to buyers or sellers. These are some definitions for the basic functions and features to know: Market Orders: Orders that are executed instantly at the current market price. Limit Order: This is an order that will only be executed if and when the price has risen to or dropped to that price specified by the trader and is also within the specified period of time. Transaction fees: Exchanges will charge transactions fees, usually levied on both the buyer and the seller, but sometimes only the seller is charged a fee. Fees vary on different exchanges though the norm is usually below 0.75%. Transfer charges: The exchange is in effect acting as a sort of escrow agent, to ensure there is no foul play, so it might also charge a small fee when you want to withdraw cryptocurrency to your own wallet. Regulatory Environment and Evolution Cryptocurrency has come a long way since the closing down of the Silk Road darknet market. The idea of crypto currency being primarily for criminals, has largely been seen as totally inaccurate and outdated. In this section we focus on the developing regulations surrounding the cryptocurrency asset class by region, and we also look at what the future may hold. The United States of America A coherent uniform approach at Federal or State level has yet to be implemented in the United States. The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network published guidelines as early as 2013 suggesting that BTC and other cryptos may fall under the label of “money transmitters” and thus would be required to take part in the same Anti-money Laundering (AML) and Know your Client (KYC) procedures as other money service businesses. At the state level, Texas applies its existing finance laws. And New York has instituted an entirely new licensing system. The European Union The EU’s approach to cryptocurrency has generally been far more accommodating overall than the United States, partly due to the adaptable nature of pre-existing laws governing electronic money that predated the creation of Bitcoin. As with the USA, the EU’s main fear is money laundering and criminality. The European Central Bank (ECB) categorized BTC as a “convertible decentralized currency” and advised all central banks in the EU to refrain from trading any cryptocurrencies until the proper regulatory framework was put in place. A task force was then set up by the European Parliament in order to prevent and investigate any potential money laundering that was making use of the new technology. Likely future regulations for cryptocurrency traders within the European Union and North America will probably consist of the following proposals: The initiation of full KYC procedures so that users cannot remain fully anonymous, in order to prevent tax evasion and curtail money laundering. Caps on payments that can be made in cryptocurrency, similar to caps on traditional cash transactions. A set of rules governing tax obligations regarding cryptocurrencies Regulation by the ECB of any companies that offer exchanges between cryptocurrencies and fiat currencies It is less likely for other countries to follow the Chinese approach and completely ban certain aspects of cryptocurrency trading. It is widely considered more progressive and wiser to allow the technology to grow within a balanced accommodative regulatory framework that takes all interests and factors into consideration. It is probable that the most severe form of regulation will be the formation of new governmental bodies specifically to form laws and exercise regulatory control over the cryptocurrency space. But perhaps that is easier said than done. It may, in certain cases, be incredibly difficult to implement particular regulations due to the anonymous and decentralized nature of crypto. Behavior of Cryptocurrency Investors by Demographic Due to the fact that cryptocurrency has its roots firmly planted in the cryptography community, the vast majority of early adopters are representative of that group. In this section we cover the basic structure of the cryptocurrency market cycle and the makeup of the community at large, as well as the reasons behind different trading decisions. The Cryptocurrency Market Cycle Bitcoin leads the bull rally. FOMO (Fear of missing out) occurs, the price surge is a constant topic of mainstream news, business programs cover the story, and social media is abuzz with cryptocurrency chatter. Bitcoin reaches new All Timehigh (ATH) Market euphoria is fueled with even more hype and the cycle is in full force. There is a constant stream of news articles and commentary on the meteoric, seemingly unstoppable rise of Bitcoin. Bitcoin’s price “stabilizes”, In the 2017 bull run this was at or around $14,000. A number of solid, large market cap altcoins rise along with Bitcoin; ETH & LTC leading the altcoins at this time. FOMO comes into play, as the new ATH in market cap is reached by pumping of a huge number of alt coins. Top altcoins “somewhat” stabilize, after reaching new all-time highs. The frenzy continues with crypto success stories, notable figures and famous people in the news. A majority of lesser known cryptocurrencies follow along on the upward momentum. Newcomers are drawn deeper into crypto and sign up for exchanges other than the main entry points like Coinbase and Kraken. In 2017 this saw Binance inundated with new registrations. Some of the cheapest coins are subject to massive pumping, such as Tron TRX which saw a rise in market cap from $150 million at the start of December 2017 to a peak of $16 billion! At this stage, even dead coins or known scams will get pumped. The price of the majority of cryptocurrencies stabilize, and some begin to retract. When the hype is subsiding after a huge crypto bull run, it is a massive sell signal. Traditional investors will begin to give interviews about how people need to be careful putting money into such a highly volatile asset class. Massive violent correction begins and the market starts to collapse. BTC begins to fall consistently on a daily basis, wiping out the insane gains of many medium to small cap cryptos with it. Panic selling sweeps through the market. Depression sets in, both in the markets, and in the minds of individual investors who failed to take profits, or heed the signs of imminent collapse. The price stagnation can last for months, or even years. The Influence of Age upon Trading Did you know? Cryptocurrencies have been called “stocks for millennials” According to a survey conducted by the Global Blockchain Business Council, only 5% of the American public own any bitcoin, but of those that do, an overwhelming majority of 71% are men, 58% of them are between the ages of 18 and 35, and over half of them are minorities. The same survey gauged public attitude toward the high risk/high return nature of cryptocurrency, in comparison to more secure guaranteed small percentage gains offered by government bonds or stocks, and found that 30% would rather invest $1,000 in crypto. Over 42% of millennials were aware of cryptocurrencies as opposed to only 15% of those ages 65 and over. In George M. Korniotis and Alok Kumar’s study into the effects of aging on portfolio management and the quality of decisions made by older investors, they found “that older and experienced investors are more likely to follow “rules of thumb” that reflect greater investment knowledge. However, older investors are less effective in applying their investment knowledge and exhibit worse investment skill, especially if they are less educated and earn lower income.” Geographic Influence upon Trading One of the main drivers of the apparent seasonal ebb and flow of cryptocurrency prices is the tax situation in the various territories that have the highest concentrations of cryptocurrency holders. Every year we see an overall market pull back beginning in mid to late January, with a recovery beginning usually after April. This is because “Tax Season” is roughly the same across Europe and the United States, with the deadline for Income tax returns being April 15th in the United States, and the tax year officially ending the UK on the 6th of April. All capital gains must be declared before the window closes or an American trader will face the powerful and long arm of the IRS with the consequent legal proceedings and possible jail time. Capital gains taxes around the world vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction but there are often incentives for cryptocurrency holders to refrain from trading for over a year to qualify their profits as long term gain when they finally sell. In the US and Australia, for example, capital gains are reduced if you bought cryptocurrency for investment purposes and held it for over a year. In Germany if crypto assets are held for over a year then the gains derived from their sale are not taxed. Advantages like this apply to individual tax returns, on a case by case basis, and it is up to the investor to keep up to date with the tax codes of the territory in which they reside. 2013 Bull run vs 2017 Bull run price Analysis In late 2016 cryptocurrency traders were faced with the task of distinguishing between the beginnings of a genuine bull run and what might colorfully be called a “dead cat bounce” (in traditional market terminology). Stagnation had gripped the market since the pull-back of early 2014. The meteoric rise of Bitcoin’s price in 2013 peaked with a price of $1,100 in November 2013, after a year of fantastic news on the adoption front with both Microsoft and PayPal offering BTC payment options. It is easy to look at a line going up on a chart and speak after the fact, but at the time, it is exceeding difficult to say whether the cat is actually climbing up the wall, or just bouncing off the ground. Here, we will discuss the factors that gave savvy investors clues as to why the 2017 bull run was going to outstrip the 2013 rally. Hopefully this will help give insight into how to differentiate between the signs of a small price increase and the start of a full scale bull run. Most importantly, Volume was far higher in 2017. As we can see in the graphic below, the 2017 volume far exceeds the volume of BTC trading during the 2013 price increase. The stranglehold MtGox held on trading made a huge bull run very difficult and unlikely. Fraud & Immoral Activity in the Private Market Ponzi Schemes Cryptocurrency Ponzi schemes will be covered in greater detail in Lesson 7, but we need to get a quick overview of the main features of Ponzi schemes and how to spot them at this point in our discussion. Here are some key indicators of a Ponzi scheme, both in cryptocurrencies and traditional investments: A guaranteed promise of high returns with little risk. Consistentflow of returns regardless of market conditions. Investments that have not been registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Investment strategies that are a secret, or described as too complex. Clients not allowed to view official paperwork for their investment. Clients have difficulties trying to get their money back. The initial members of the scheme, most likely unbeknownst to the later investors, are paid their “dividends” or “profits” with new investor cash. The most famous modern-day example of a Ponzi scheme in the traditional world, is Bernie Madoff’s $100 billion fraudulent enterprise, officially titled Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC. And in the crypto world, BitConnect is the most infamous case of an entirely fraudulent project which boasted a market cap of $2 billion at its peak. What are the Exchange Hacks? The history of cryptocurrency is littered with examples of hacked exchanges, some of them so severe that the operation had to be wound up forever. As we have already discussed, incredibly tech savvy and intelligent computer hackers led by Alexander Vinnik stole 850000 BTC from the MtGox exchange over a period from 2012–2014 resulting in the collapse of the exchange and a near-crippling hammer blow to the emerging asset class that is still being felt to this day. The BitGrail exchange suffered a similar style of attack in late 2017 and early 2018, in which Nano (XRB) was stolen that was at one point was worth almost $195 million. Even Bitfinex, one of the most famous and prestigious exchanges, has suffered a hack in 2016 where $72 million worth of BTC was stolen directly from customer accounts. Hardware Wallet Scam Case Study In late 2017, an unfortunate character on Reddit, going by the name of “moody rocket” relayed his story of an intricate scam in which his newly acquired hardware wallet was compromised, and his $34,000 life savings were stolen. He bought a second hand Nano ledger into which the scammers own recover seed had already been inserted. He began using the ledger without knowing that the default seed being used was not a randomly assigned seed. After a few weeks the scammer struck, and withdrew all the poor HODLer’s XRP, Dash and Litecoin into their own wallet (likely through a few intermediary wallets to lessen the very slim chances of being identified). Hardware Wallet Scam Case Study Social Media Fraud Many gullible and hapless twitter users have fallen victim to the recent phenomenon of scammers using a combination of convincing fake celebrity twitter profiles and numerous amounts of bots to swindle them of ETH or BTC. The scammers would set up a profile with a near identical handle to a famous figure in the tech sphere, such as Vitalik Buterin or Elon Musk. And then in the tweet, immediately following a genuine message, follow up with a variation of “Bonus give away for the next 100 lucky people, send me 0.1 ETH and I will send you 1 ETH back”, followed by the scammers ether wallet address. The next 20 or so responses will be so-called sockpuppet bots, thanking the fake account for their generosity. Thus, the pot is baited and the scammers can expect to receive potentially hundreds of donations of 0.1 Ether into their wallet. Many twitter users with a large follower base such as Vitalik Buterin have taken to adding “Not giving away ETH” to their username to save careless users from being scammed. Market Manipulation It also must be recognized that market manipulation is taking place in cryptocurrency. For those with the financial means i.e. whales, there are many ways in which to control the market in a totally immoral and underhanded way for your own profit. It is especially easy to manipulate cryptos that have a very low trading volume. The manipulator places large buy orders or sell walls to discourage price action in one way or the other. Insider trading is also a significant problem in cryptocurrency, as we saw with the example of blatant insider trading when Bitcoin Cash was listed on Coinbase. Examples of ICO Fraudulent Company Behavior In the past 2 years an astronomical amount of money has been lost in fraudulent Initial Coin Offerings. The utmost care and attention must be employed before you invest. We will cover this area in greater detail with a whole lesson devoted to the topic. However, at this point, it is useful to look at the main instances of ICO fraud. Among recent instances of fraudulent ICOs resulting in exit scams, 2 of the most infamous are the Benebit and PlexCoin ICOs which raised $4 million for the former and $15 million for the latter. Perhaps the most brazen and damaging ICO scam of all time was the Vietnamese Pincoin ICO operation, where $660million was raised from 32,000 investors before the scammer disappeared with the funds. In case of smaller ICO “exit scamming” there is usually zero chance of the scammers being found. Investors must just take the hit. We will cover these as well as others in Lesson 7 “Scam Projects”. Signposts of Fraudulent Actors The following factors are considered red flags when investigating a certain project or ICO, and all of them should be considered when deciding whether or not you want to invest. Whitepaper is a buzzword Salad: If the whitepaper is nothing more than a collection of buzzwords with little clarity of purpose and not much discussion of the tech involved, it is overwhelmingly likely you are reading a scam whitepaper. Signposts of Fraudulent Actors §2 No Code Repository: With the vast majority of cryptocurrency projects employing open source code, your due diligence investigation should start at GitHub or Sourceforge. If the project has no entries, or nothing but cloned code, you should avoid it at all costs. Anonymous Team: If the team members are hard to find, or if you see they are exaggerating or lying about their experience, you should steer clear. And do not forget, in addition to taking proper precautions when investing in ICOs, you must always make sure that you are visiting authentic web pages, especially for web wallets. If, for example, you are on a spoof MyEtherWallet web page you could divulge your private key without realizing it and have your entire portfolio of Ether and ERC-20 tokens cleaned out. Methods to Avoid falling Victim Avoiding scammers and the traps they set for you is all about asking yourself the right questions, starting with: Is there a need for a Blockchain solution for the particular problem that a particular ICO is attempting to solve? The existing solution may be less costly, less time consuming, and more effective than the proposals of a team attempting to fill up their soft cap in an ICO. The following quote from Mihai Ivascu, the CEO of Modex, should be kept in mind every time you are grading an ICO’s chances of success: “I’m pretty sure that 95% of ICOswill not last, and many will go bankrupt. ….. not everything needs to be decentralized and put on an open source ledger.” Methods to Avoid falling Victim §2 Do I Trust These People with My Money, or Not? If you continue to feel uneasy about investing in the project, more due diligence is needed. The developers must be qualified and competent enough to complete the objectives that they have set out in the whitepaper. Is this too good to be true? All victims of the well-known social media scams using fake profiles of Vitalik Buterin, or Bitconnect investors for that matter, should have asked themselves this simple question, and their investment would have been saved. In the case of Bitconnect, huge guaranteed gains proportional to the amount of people you can get to sign up was a blatant pyramid scheme, obviously too good to be true. The same goes for Fake Vitalik’s offer of 1 ether in exchange for 0.1 ETH. Selling Cryptocurrencies, Several reasons for selling with the appropriate actions to take: If you are selling to buy into an ICO, or maybe believe Ether is a safer currency to hold for a certain period of time, it is likely you will want to make use of the Ether pair and receive Ether in return. Obviously if the ICO is on the NEO or WANchain blockchain for example, you will use the appropriate pair. -Trading to buy into another promising project that is listing on the exchange on which you are selling (or you think the exchange will experience a large amount of volume and become a larger exchange), you may want to trade your cryptocurrency for that exchange token. -If you believe that BTC stands a good chance of experiencing a bull run then using the BTC trading pair is the suitable choice. -If you believe that the market is about to experience a correction but you do not want to take your gains out of the market yet, selling for Tether or “tethering up” is the best play. This allows you to keep your locked-in profits on the exchange, unaffected by the price movements in the cryptocurrency markets,so that you can buy back in at the most profitable moment. -If you wish to “cash out” i.e. sell your cryptocurrency for fiat currency and have those funds in your bank account, the best pair to use is ETH or BTC because you will likely have to transfer to an exchange like Kraken or Coinbase to convert them into fiat. If the exchange offers Litecoin or Bitcoin Cash pairs it could be a good idea to use these for their fast transaction time and low fees. Selling Cryptocurrencies Knowing when and how to sell, as well as strategies to inflate the value of your trade before sale, are important skills as a trader of any product or financial instrument. If you are satisfied that the sale itself of the particular amount of a token or coin you are trading away is the right one, then you must decide at what price you are going to sell. Exchanges exercise their own discretion as to which trading “pairs” they will offer, but the most common ones are BTC, ETH, BNB for Binance, BIX for Bibox etc., and sometimes Tether (USDT) or NEO. As a trader, you decide which particular cryptocurrency to exchange depending on your reason for making that specific trade at that time. Methods of Sale Market sell/Limit sell on exchange: A limit sell is an order placed on an exchange to sell as soon as (also specifically only if and when) the price you specified has been hit within the time limit you select. A market order executes the sale immediately at the best possible price offered by the market at that exact time. OTC (or Over the Counter) selling refers to sale of securities or cryptocurrencies in any method without using an exchange to intermediate the trade and set the price. The most common way of conducting sales in this manner is through LocalBitcoins.com. This method of cryptocurrency selling is far riskier than using an exchange, for obvious reasons. The influence and value of your Trade There are a number of strategies you can use to appreciate the value of your trade and thus increase the Bitcoin or Ether value of your portfolio. It is important to disassociate yourself from the dollar value of your portfolio early on in your cryptocurrency trading career simply because the crypto market is so volatile you will end up pulling your hair out in frustration following the real dollar money value of your holdings. Once your funds have been converted into BTC and ETH they are completely in the crypto sphere. (Some crypto investors find it more appropriate to monitor the value of their portfolio in satoshi or gwei.) Certainly not limited to, but especially good for beginners, the most reliable way to increase your trading profits, and thus the overall value and health of your portfolio, is to buy into promising projects, hold them for 6 months to a year, and then reevaluate. This is called Long term holding and is the tactic that served Bitcoin HODLers quite well, from 2013 to the present day. Obviously, if something comes to light about the project that indicates a lengthy set back is likely, it is often better to cut your losses and sell. You are better off starting over and researching other projects. Also, you should set initial Price Points at which you first take out your original investment, and then later, at which you take out all your profits and exit the project. That should be after you believe the potential for growth has been exhausted for that particular project. Another method of increasing the value of your trades is ICO flipping. This is the exact opposite of long term holding. This is a technique in which you aim for fast profits taking advantage of initial enthusiasm in the market that may double or triple the value of ICO projects when they first come to market. This method requires some experience using smaller exchanges like IDEX, on which project tokens can be bought and sold before listing on mainstream exchanges. “Tethering up” means to exchange tokens or coins for the USDT stable coin, the value of which is tethered to the US Dollar. If you learn, or know how to use, technical analysis, it is possible to predict when a market retreatment is likely by looking at the price movements of BTC. If you decide a market pull back is likely, you can tether up and maintain the dollar value of your portfolio in tether while other tokens and coins decrease in value. The you wait for an opportune moment to reenter the market. Market Behavior in Different Time Periods The main descriptors used for overall market sentiment are “Bull Market” and “Bear Market”. The former describes a market where people are buying on optimism. The latter describes a market where people are selling on pessimism. Fun (or maybe not) fact: The California grizzly bear was brought to extinction by the love of bear baiting as a sport in the mid 1800s. Bears were highly sought after for their intrinsic fighting qualities, and were forced into fighting bulls as Sunday morning entertainment for Californians. What has this got to do with trading and financial markets? The downward swipe of the bear’s paws gives a “Bear market” its name and the upward thrust of a Bull’s horns give the “Bull Market” its name. Most unfortunately for traders, the bear won over 80% of the bouts. During a Bull market, optimism can sometimes grow to be seemingly boundless, volume is rising, and prices are ascending. It can be a good idea to sell or rebalance your portfolio at such a time, especially if you have a particularly large position in one holding or another. This is especially applicable if you need to sell a large amount of a relatively low-volume holding, because you can then do so without dragging the price down by the large size of your own sell order. Learn more on common behavioral patterns observed so far in the cryptocurrency space for different coins and ICO tokens. Follow the link: UBAI.co If you want to know how do security tokens work, and become a professional in crypto world contact me via Facebook to get all the details: Facebook
Even by I.R.S. standards, the recent ruling on bitcoin flirts with nonsensical non-logic in a way that is truly shocking to an outsider. Govt officials have called bitcoin "digital currency" thousands of times, not once have they called it "digital property".
Really astonishing. For months, including the Senate hearing and the Treasury Department's own published documents on bitcoin always refer to it as a "virtual currency," "digital currency," or my favorite "convertible virtual currency." Don't take my word for it. Search through publicly available federal government documents that mention or address bitcoin in any way. It's always discussed as a convertible electronic currency, which it is, not as property. If the government views bitcoin as property - for taxation purposes the same as selling ice cream sandwiches out of an ice cream truck - why was this not a topic broached during the Senate hearing? Why did former Fed chairman Ben Bernanke in his letter refer to "virtual currency" several times, and "virtual property" not once. His successor, Janet Yellen, has had an equally sane approach toward bitcoin. Even by the sometimes byzantine logic of modern tax agencies, the IRS is simply wrong. If mining Bitcoins is self employment, so is jerking off to porn. If Bitcoin is primarily "property" and not currency, then why the focus on KYC/AML compliance? It's not money according to the IRS. And why the need for money transmitter licenses? And why is New York State trying to regulate Bitcoin if it's just property? Lawsky's job is over before it even begins, if this nonsensical IRS classification is not challenged and revised. Please don't tip me, I don't want the burden of having your property thrown at me unsolicited over these inter web tubes. Thank you.
Banking & Finance law: How "insured" are FDIC insured cryptocurrency exchanges?
My attempts are proving futile to find concrete answers to my concern about the claim made by cryptocurrency exchanges that customer USD balances are fully backed by the FDIC. Please see this post about the subject: https://www.reddit.com/personalfinance/comments/7h276w/fdic_insurance_do_crypto_exchanges_really_have_it/?st=japofflj&sh=090e68ce Basically, three big cryptocurrency exchanges claim that customer USD balances are fully backed by the FDIC. For those unfamiliar, the exchanges are named Coinbase, Gemini, and ItBit. Information provided in this article provides evidence that the exchanges my be engaging in deceptive marketing. Important to note that the three exchanges raised and spent substantial capital to obtain FinCen and Money Transmitter Licenses, they are by no means bucket shops run out of a virtual office in Taiwan. The most pertinent section of the article is quoted below: "To obtain the charter, itBit had to meet the very strict requirements of ordinary New York chartered commercial banks and subject itself to ongoing oversight. However, itBit is not required to obtain insurance from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), and it is subject to a much lower level of minimum capital – $2m – versus at least $50m for a commercial bank. Despite being organized under New York's banking law, itBit is not a bank in the ordinary sense and it not regulated by any federal banking authority such as the Federal Reserve or the FDIC. Being regulated as a bank would be too expensive and require a level of regulation and oversight ill-suited for a digital currency exchange. ItBit does, however, indirectly provide FDIC insurance to its clients' dollars by holding them at a separate FDIC-insured bank. It might be subject to some degree of FDIC oversight or compliance obligations indirectly, but that depends on how closely itBit and its banking partner work together. Bitcoin firms Coinbase and Circle similarly provide FDIC insurance to their customers' dollar accounts."
Robinhood, which is a trading platform for stocks, will be expanding its affiliation with digital currencies for the citizens of New York. This feature is however not new to Robinhood users in other parts of the United States, the only difference is that the firm was holding out on providing Crypto related services to New Yorkers awaiting approval from the NYDFS (New York State Department of Financial Services). The state of New York has approved the app to provide Crypto services through seven digital currencies which include Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum, and Litecoin. The Robinhood Crypto feature was already accessible to residents within various states within the US. Robinhood has been recently facing some controversy on account of the firm releasing bank accounts that are interest bearing which the SIPC (Securities Investor Protection Corporation) does not cover. Vlad Tenev, the co-chief executive of Robinhood in the press release thanked the NYDFS for their decision saying that the agency had been accommodating and provided a lot of support throughout the process. Tenev added that Robinhood will be looking forwards to receiving guidance from the agency during the process of launching Robinhood Crypto in the New York area.
Extensive Regulation Inhibiting Innovation
LibertyX is a nationwide network that enables retailers, in exchange for Bitcoin, to receive transactions in cash and credit cards. LibertyX, which going by DFS is the first firm to receive approval for the selling of Crypto in exchange for debit cards, will henceforth be able to operate within New York City. Terminals affiliated with LibertyX will now be able to facilitate debit card purchases on a regular basis. Within New York, Bitcoin ATMs only facilitate transactions using cash while Coinbase only accepts credit cards. The NYDFS released a press statement stating that it has and will continue to answer to innovations taking place within the financial markets space in a prompt an responsible manner. The agency stated that this response will be made by providing licenses for: money transmitters through the money transmitters’ law of New York, online lenders through banking law of New York and digital currency exchanges through the financial services law. This latest approval puts the total number of licences approved by the DFS, to companies within the Crypto sphere, to sixteen. Critics have however put the agency on blast in the recent past accusing them of slow processing of the applications. This is the reason why extensive regulation has been said to be one of the roadblocks for innovations. Investors pull their resources together into a project only to have the government slow down the project on account of regulation.
Varying Opinions On The Introduction of the BitLicense
New York City’s introduction of the BitLicense was received contentiously by many people within the Crypto community. Crypto exchanges on their part protested this introduction by disregarding customers within New York City in their offerings and services. #LibertyX #NEWS #NYDFS #Robinhood
Before I go into my story let me introduce myself. I work in the financial services sector, live in New York and am new to Bitcoin. Recently, I’ve decided to give a try and buy some bitcoins. Everyone talks bitcoin so I wanted to evaluate the future of the currency for myself. First, I googled the most popular ways to buy bitcoins. Decided to start with the exchange. After reading numerous stories about Mt. Gox, bitstamp and other exchanges decided to register with Coinbase for the reasons you all probably know. The basic registration process was straightforward and simple. However, in order to buy bitcoins you have to go through verification procedure. You need to link your bank account to Coinbase, provide your billing address and in case if you want to make buying bitcoins instant you also need to link your credit card. So you provide the same information you need to provide to any US bank to be able to buy bitcoins. There is no anonymity or privacy. It’s a myth. Then you buy bitcoins. You would expect instant transaction but instead you have to wait 4-5 days for the transaction to complete. So if I need to buy something with bitcoins the same day – I can’t. Moreover, the worst part is that while you are waiting for the transaction to complete the price of bitcoin fluctuates. In my case, it fell 15 USD which was more or less equal to 10% of the price of btc on the day of purchase. So btc lost 10% value against USD while I was waiting for the transaction to complete. In addition, you also have limits. You cannot buy more than 1000 USD worth of btc in one week. I thought this was totally ridiculous. What was the reason for going through all these verification steps if you are still facing limits? However, as I am new to btc decided to give another try. This time I registered with Coinbase Exchange. Again, you have to provide your SSN and link with coinbase account. When you register with the exchange Coinbase opens so-called “USD Wallet”. You can now transfer USD to this wallet and then instantly transfer them to btc or trade in the Exchange. However, the transfer again takes 4/5 days. I was totally disappointed by how the whole system works. I thought bitcoin users were treated like some kind of criminals. I wasn’t simply asked to verify my identity by providing all the usual KYC information, but I also faced buy/sell limits (1000 USD a week), 4/5 delays in transaction completion. Moreover, I had to provide all my bank details to Coinbase. I felt like I had no other choice as to trust Coinbase despite the fact that they disclose very little information about security measures they implement to store my personal information. Moreover, Coinbase was not different from any bank around the corner with its KYC procedures. Anyway, I thought it was too early to give up. Decided to try localbitcoins. Unfortunately, I experienced another disappointment. Bitcoins are sold in average with 6-7% premium. And you have to pay this premium every single time you buy btc. You also have limited options for buying btc: Moneygram/WU transfers, national bank transfers, paypal transfers and gift codes. From all these options the only instant and acceptable option was paypal. However, the seller of btc requested my photo holding some ID for verification process. Here you are not dealing with Coinbase, which is supported by NYSE, but with some ordinary guy who God knows how treats and secures the information you provide to him. I understand the reasons why he/she asks for the verification but still find it irresponsible to trust this person. I have no idea who he/she is and how he/she handles the information I provide (in case of buying using paypal). Of course you can also buy with cash. I tried that option as well. Buying with cash involves arranging a meeting with some stranger somewhere in your town. So you have to arrange the time and place to meet and both of you should agree on this. Then you have to carry cash with you, which is another risk. And of course you wont carry over 1000 USD especially if this is your first transaction with some stranger. Finally, again you have to pay around 10% premium. Then I found out about guys from LibertyX. I read some of their interviews and thought they were trustworthy. They claimed that one could buy their so-called Qpins in big stores nationwide and redeem them for btc. However, when I visited their website it turned out that I had some outdated information. In reality it’s possible to buy Qpins only from small stores in Manhattan and Brooklyn. They recommend calling the stores before visiting them. I followed their advice, but not a single store in Manhattan answered my call. So I decided to try my luck and go there without speaking to them on the phone. One store was out of business. Another one claimed that it didn’t sell bitcoins. In such case LibertyX recommends calling them, as they know how to handle such situations. So right from the store I called LibertyX. Guess what? All their operators (probably 1 or 2 people) were busy to answer my call. So decided to go to Brooklyn. And again one store was closed and the other store manager didn’t know what I was talking about. However, after 30 minutes of explanation the store manager finally figured out how to find in their system Qpins and sell them to me. Overall, the whole process took 1.5 hours. I came home, logged in to LibertyX website to redeem the pins and receive btc. They also collect personal information. I entered my real name and address. Their system gave an error message saying that it couldn’t verify the information I provided and asked me to send verification information (scan of ID). In order not to lose my money, I had to provide them the scan of my ID. Then I had to wait a day for my account to get verified. Please, note that they also have 1500 USD weekly limit. I am a stubborn guy and I hate banks enough to give another chance for bitcoin to prove itself as future currency and therefore I decided to try bitcoin ATMs instead of all methods described above. I visited coinatmradar.com to locate the nearest ATM. I found three ATMs in Manhattan and two in Brooklyn. Visited all of them and didn’t find any ATM in any of these locations. Finally, decided to try to register with the European exchange to compare with the US one. I couldn’t even register with them because Europeans avoid providing financial services to the US citizens. My attempt failed. The same happened when I tried to buy bitcoins through VirWox.com. So here are my conclusions.
Buying bitcoins is not anonymous.
Unless you use cold storage/offline solution you do not hold bitcoins but some institution like Coinbase does.
Buying bitcoins is not a straightforward process, is time consuming and requires risk acceptance.
Buying bitcoins is expensive. You will normally pay 10% premium when buying for cash or paypal. This premium equals to a dream annual return of most hedge funds (and their investors accordingly).
You have to verify your identity when buying btc through exchanges or companies like LibertyX. You go through the same procedure as when opening a bank account.
There isn’t any operating ATM in New York. This is due to “bitlicense” uncertainty. However, even if bitlicense is implemented not a single ATM would operate profitably under money transmitter licensing.
You face limits when buying bitcoins. Coinbase and Circle have 1000 USD weekly limits. LibertyX has 1500 USD limit. Localbitcoins doesn’t have limits but you cannot buy btc using debit/credit card. Moreover, when buying through localbitcoins you have to be aware of scammers.
The high cost of buying btc can potentially offset the benefits of low transaction costs. It might be cheaper to use your debit card.
Therefore I don’t see a single benefit of dealing with bitcoin instead of fiat (i.e. banks) in current environment. There is no “killer app” requiring you to go through all the above procedures to buy bitcoin. I think the only people who are willing to go through all this hell in order to buy btc are the ones who use them illegally in the dark market, some enthusiasts/revolutionists/anarchists who believe in the long run success of btc, hate banks and current financial system; and people who either trade btc or use it occasionally for some purchases online. I don’t see how mass adoption can happen if you cannot buy bitcoins with two-three clicks online. I don’t understand who would wait 4/5 days to get btc when the price fluctuates every 10 minutes. What I do now is I buy btc using Coinbase. Then I send them to bitreserve.org and hold them in different currencies. However, even if I want and need to buy btc instantly I simply cannot do this. If instant buying is possible then I have to pay high premium. I find it much cheaper to use my debit card and pay bank fees, which are nothing in comparison with the premium to buy btc. Please, prove me wrong or enlighten me. Maybe I am missing something.
After reading up on how the Lightning Network is supposed to function after it’s been built it became clear to me that there is a major flaw with proposing it as a scaling mechanism. According to the description on the lightning-dev mailing list a user would get information from the recipient of the transmitter, query the network to find a path from their hub to the destination hub and then broadcast a transaction to the first hub that only pays out if it takes the path to the destination. Intermediate hubs are necessary because it’s not feasible to open channels with every single hub in advance of trying to make a transaction.The Lightning hubs that route payments between ends appear to clearly fit the US definition of a money transmitter: http://www.ecfr.gov/cgi-bin/text-idx?SID=f7495bb4cb9f4181f1505d475bb7fb22&mc=true&node=se31.3.1010_1100&rgn=div8
(5) Money transmitter—(i) In general. (A) A person that provides money transmission services. The term “money transmission services” means the acceptance of currency, funds, or other value that substitutes for currency from one person and the transmission of currency, funds, or other value that substitutes for currency to another location or person by any means. “Any means” includes, but is not limited to, through a financial agency or institution; a Federal Reserve Bank or other facility of one or more Federal Reserve Banks, the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, or both; an electronic funds transfer network; or an informal value transfer system; or (B) Any other person engaged in the transfer of funds. (ii) Facts and circumstances; Limitations. Whether a person is a money transmitter as described in this section is a matter of facts and circumstances. The term “money transmitter” shall not include a person that only: (A) Provides the delivery, communication, or network access services used by a money transmitter to support money transmission services; (B) Acts as a payment processor to facilitate the purchase of, or payment of a bill for, a good or service through a clearance and settlement system by agreement with the creditor or seller; (C) Operates a clearance and settlement system or otherwise acts as an intermediary solely between BSA regulated institutions. This includes but is not limited to the Fedwire system, electronic funds transfer networks, certain registered clearing agencies regulated by the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”), and derivatives clearing organizations, or other clearinghouse arrangements established by a financial agency or institution; (D) Physically transports currency, other monetary instruments, other commercial paper, or other value that substitutes for currency as a person primarily engaged in such business, such as an armored car, from one person to the same person at another location or to an account belonging to the same person at a financial institution, provided that the person engaged in physical transportation has no more than a custodial interest in the currency, other monetary instruments, other commercial paper, or other value at any point during the transportation; (E) Provides prepaid access; or (F) Accepts and transmits funds only integral to the sale of goods or the provision of services, other than money transmission services, by the person who is accepting and transmitting the funds.
I’m not a lawyer but I have a hard time seeing where any of the exemptions could apply to a routing hub. However, Lightning hubs which restrict channel creation to a closed network of pre-verified hubs could very well avoid money transmitter regulation as long the network only includes other Bitcoin companies that have the appropriate federal and state licenses. It may allow a New York resident who routes a payment through a BitLicensed company to pay to a non-BitLicensed company that acts a payment processor for a merchant. A general purpose hub would have to obtain the appropriate licenses and apply an AML/KYC policy, so anonymous channels would be illegal, and report suspicious activity to the government. It would have to track all activity visible to it to try to determine if it’s going to someplace restricted under law. Looking through the lightning-dev and bitcoin-dev mailing lists I don’t see any consideration of the legal implications of running a hub. I would appreciate it if anyone else can see if I’ve spotted a flaw or if I’m misinterpreting how it will actually work.
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Marco Santori (Reg Affairs Committee Chair at the Bitcoin Foundation) breaks down the BitLicense
Note: This is NOT the Foundation's official response, just Marco's gut reactions... http://two-bit-idiot.tumblr.com/post/92075292699/todays-bit-marco-santori-on-the-bitlicense "Breaking Down the BitLicense" | Marco Santori, Regulatory Affairs Committee Chairman, The Bitcoin Foundation Hi everyone. I’m Marco Santori. For those of you who don’t know me, I’m a lawyer here in New York City. About 90% of my practice is digital currency clients. My team represents some of the biggest names in crypto, and even more of the littlest names I hope you’ll all have to learn one day. I am also Chairman of the Bitcoin Foundation’s Regulatory Affairs Committee, but the thoughts in this post are my own, not those of the Foundation. Believe me, those are forthcoming. You’ve likely felt the shockwaves of today’s seismic news: New York’s Department of Financial Services (DFS) has released proposed “BitLicense” regulations. Here is a quick rundown of some of the more interesting terms, along with my gut reactions – in no particular order and with very little filter. Definition of Virtual Currency: “Virtual Currency” seems to include bitcoin and other convertible currencies, but specifically exclude WOW [World of Warcraft] gold and customer affinity points. Expectedly, there is no carve-out for coins used to track digital assets and there is no specific treatment of branded coins that are quasi-convertible. Who Requires a License: Surprise! Everyone does. Direct purchasers and sellers, multi-sig wallet providers, merchant payment processors, custodial exchanges, hell, even local wallet software providers probably need one. Payment processors and payment networks all need licenses. Anyone who receives or transmits crypto as a business needs one. This is because the BitLicense language is even broader than the federal language, which only regulates those receiving and transmitting funds. Identity Verification: If a BitLicense holder “opens an account” for a customer, then that firm must collect and retain the customer’s name and address, check the names against the OFAC SDN lists and retain that information for ten years. It’s difficult to know what “opens an account” means. Even if we figured that out, this is more than even traditional money transmitters are required to do. Crypto is not a “Permissible Investment”: A BitLicense holder can only invest its earnings in: government securities, money market funds, insured CDs. No investing in Bitcoin. Strange – Moneygram is permitted to invest in dollars… Full Reserve: A BitLicense holder may not lend or spend bitcoins that it is holding on its customers’ behalf. Those bitcoin “banks” out there promising returns on your “deposits” are going to be “felons”. State-level AML Reporting: I’ve saved the best for last. NY is taking the first steps to create yet another anti-money laundering program. FinCEN – the federal regulator - already requires reporting cash transactions over $10k. Now, NY is requiring reporting to it for any crypto transactions over $10k. BitLicense holders must also file state Suspicious Activity Reports with NY, not just the ones required to file with FinCEN. I wonder how the boys at FinCEN feel about this. There will be a 45-day comment period beginning on July 23rd. If you disagree with any of these proposals, you should submit comments. If there is anything you agree with, and are happy to see, you should submit comments. If there is anything you don’t understand, and so aren’t sure if you agree or disagree, guess what? You should submit comments. DFS is giving the industry an opportunity to engage in a dialogue that never existed when FinCEN and IRS published their famous virtual currency guidance. We should not ignore that opportunity. If you’re looking for assistance or just want to talk crypto law, you can reach me at [email protected]. (Back to TBI) There is much work to be done with this BitLicense proposal. It will be a defining bit of regulation for the industry, which means that the amount of constructive feedback and proactive effort needed from everyone in this industry must be nothing short of herculean if bitcoin is to evolve unencumbered in the US. This proposal simply cannot survive as is. So if you are an entrepreneur, investor or just general enthusiast, you better step up this summer. If we can make our case effectively, we should be able to keep the sane, legitimizing parts and scrap the stifling, unnecessary parts of the proposal. Many more of my organized thoughts tomorrow… Cheers, TBI eepurl.com/JgGy5
Remember the Winklevoss twins pandering to Lawsky in 2014 ?
Remember how Overreaching Double Dealing Lawsky was summoning people to testify in January 2014 ? The bitcoin community was talking about the Winklevoss twins testifying in from of him. The next day there was another guy testifying, his name is Cyrus Vance Jr. He was trying to close Silk Road before the FBI. If you don't remember you can see the video here: https://youtu.be/6EPzoxTAcAI?t=2m42s Cyrus Vance Jr. is testifying: "it is my position that digital currency exchanges should be required to obtain licenses as money transmitters in order to do business in New York State, and therefore, come under this regulatory framework." 2017 is reelection season and Cyrus Vance Jr. is running for reelection and at a political forum, I asked him about Encryption and you can hear his answer. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k1X6gdWCS18 The video is broken in three parts and in reverse; you can hear the result of the vote for his endorsement, the internal debate of what members think of Cyrus Vance (minute 2), and you can hear his answer to me on Encryption (minute 9). At the end he lost the club endorsement. "No Endorsement" got 26 votes, "Cyrus Vance Jr." got 2 votes, and a "Write In" got 1 vote. He might get reelected in 2017 but I did open the door for challengers for 2021. I can't tell you the pleasure I felt when the Manhattan DA did not get the endorsement but it does show that when New Yorkers are presented with REAL FACTS, they do side on the correct one. Please share the Bitcoin Foundation message about how you can help beat the Bitcoin Bitlicense: https://bitcoinfoundation.org/bitlicense-theo-chino
New York is regulating BTC exchanges as financial institutions, not money transmitters (order issued today)
New York issued an order saying licenses for bitcoin exchanges are going to be issued under the financial institution rules, not the money transmitter rules. Financial institutions are exempt from money transmitter laws in New York. NEW YORK STATE DEPARTMENT OF FINANCIAL SERVICES ----------------------------------------------------------X In the Matter of Virtual Currency Exchanges ----------------------------------------------------------X ORDER PURSUANT TO NEW YORK BANKING LAW§§ 2-b, 24, 32, 102-a, and 4001-b AND FINANCIAL SERVICES LAW§§ 301(c) and 302(a) WHEREAS, on August 12, 2013, the Department commenced an inquiry into the use of virtual currencies, including Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, as an evolving technology for new and innovative payment systems (the "Inquiry"); WHEREAS, in connection with the Inquiry, the Department collected and reviewed extensive documentary material and interviewed numerous industry participants regarding: (1) investor activity in the virtual currency space; (2) consumer protection issues; (3) law enforcement concerns linked to the pseudo-anonymity of virtual currency users; ( 4) the potential and limitations of the related technology; and (5) fundamental safety and soundness considerations; WHEREAS, on January 28-29, 2014, the Department held public hearings to conduct further fact finding on these subjects and explore potential regulatory frameworks for virtual currency-related transactions; WHEREAS, in light of hearing testimony regarding the need for regulated virtual currency exchanges located in the United States and the recent events demonstrating certain vulnerabilities in the virtual currency markets in the absence of appropriate regulation; and WHEREAS, any appropriate framework should include strong legal and operational controls, including robust BSA/AML requirements; NOW THEREFORE, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that, pursuant to Banking Law§§ 2-b, 24, 32, 1 02-a, and 400 1-b the Department will consider proposals and applications in connection with the establishment of virtual currency exchanges located in the State of New York; and IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that all submissions be directed to the Department of Financial Services, Office of General Counsel, located at One State Street, 20th Floor, New York, NY 10004. Date: March 11, 2014
I'm trying to open a bitcoin atm in the United States, particularly in New York. I'm wondering what I need legality wise. I've contacted several lawyers and they seem to be no help! Do I just need a money transmitter license, or something else? Any help will be beyond appreciated !
I asked about how much of their hot wallets were at risk and the gentleman gave me a very high quality response, thought I'd disseminate: "Hi, Bitcoin and ether in cold storage are maintained in offline machines known as Hardware security modules (HSMs). All Hardware security modules used in our patent-pending offline storage are stored in guarded, monitored and access-controlled facilities that are geographically distributed. Basically, this means that in order for someone to "steal" any sizable portion of our users' digital assets, they'd have to access multiple offline machines from multiple locked vaults, each guarded by 24-hour security. Transfers from our cold and cryo storage to our online hot wallet need to be done in person. More than 85% of all BTC and ETH are held in cold + cryo storage. Digital assets are not insured, and no exchange offers this; however, our trust license makes us obligated to maintain capital reserves which would make our clients "whole" again in the event of a hack. We take extreme care to ensure customer deposits are secure -- a testament to this is that we are the only exchange in the world with New York State regulatory approval to custody bitcoin, ether, and other digital assets. Many exchanges (such as Coinbase/GDAX) have a Money Transmitter license (MT), but this does not regulate their custody of assets. If history has shown us anything, it’s that regulatory oversight of custody, is maybe even more important than regulating exchange activity. Being a fully regulated exchange AND custodian is a key differentiator. We also offer whitelisted withdrawal solutions, and IP whitelisting for added security. We are a limited liability trust company and therefore a fiduciary obligated to protect the financial interests of our clientele first and foremost. While I obviously come from a biased perspective, storing your BTC and ETH with Gemini is as close as you're going to get to holding a savings account with a legitimate bank. Let me know if you need any additional details here. Best,"
States put heat on Bitcoin. (WSJ - 6/26 - article cut & Paste for w/o Subscription)
By ROBIN SIDEL and ANDREW R. JOHNSON State regulators are warning virtual-currency exchanges and other companies that deal with bitcoin that they could be closed down if their activities run afoul of state money-transmission laws, according to people familiar with the matter. According to people familiar with the situation, banking regulators in California, New York and Virginia in recent weeks have issued letters telling the companies that they need to follow the state rules or prove that the rules don't apply to them. The warnings fall short of formal "cease and desist" orders, which would demand that the companies immediately stop engaging in their business, these people said. Still, the moves show that state regulators have moved beyond merely scrutinizing virtual currencies and now are taking steps to prevent people and companies from using them for illegal activities. Federal regulators already are cracking down on virtual currencies. Similar actions are expected from other states in coming weeks and months, according to people familiar with the matter. California, New York and Virginia are three of the 48 states that require the companies to obtain money-transmission licenses to operate. South Carolina and Montana don't have such rules. The money-transmission rules vary among states, but most require detailed financial data, business strategy and information about the company's management. States also typically require companies to put up a bond that could run as high as several million dollars. Bits and Pieces Read about Bitcoin's evolution. The actions aren't related to the announcement last week that Mt. Gox, the largest bitcoin trading exchange, has halted withdrawals of customer funds in U.S. dollars. The Tokyo company said it was making system improvements. Unlike dollars or euros that are backed by a central bank, bitcoin users can create the units in a process called "mining." Users also can trade the currency on a number of exchanges or swap it privately. The state actions come three months after federal regulators issued guidelines placing virtual-currency exchanges under the same comprehensive anti-money-laundering requirements as traditional money-transmission businesses such as Western Union Co. Since then, a handful of bitcoin exchanges have registered with the U.S. Treasury Department's Financial Crimes Enforcement Network. The California Department of Financial Institutions has issued at least three warnings to bitcoin-related companies in recent weeks, according to people familiar with the actions. One of the recipients is the Bitcoin Foundation, an industry-backed group that promotes the digital cash. Patrick Murck, general counsel for the Bitcoin Foundation, said it is a nonprofit organization and doesn't engage in money transmission. The group is formulating its response to the letter it received from regulators last week. A spokeswoman for the California banking department declined to comment on the warning letters, saying the communications are confidential and "the goal is safety and soundness and compliance with the laws that DFI enforces." California is particularly important to the bitcoin community because many of the startup companies that are tied to the virtual currency are based there. California and New York are known for having stricter money-transmission laws than other states. Bloomberg News Bitcoin supporter Peter Vessenes "Bitcoin businesses are spending a lot of time and energy figuring out how to stay out of California," said Peter Vessenes, chief executive of CoinLab, a Bainbridge Island, Wash., company that has registered as a money-services business with the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network. CoinLab is waiting to launch any exchange-related services until it gets its "state licensing strategy sorted," said Mr. Vessenes, who also is chairman of the Bitcoin Foundation. The New York Department of Financial Services issued a similar letter to BitInstant, a New York company that allows customers to buy and sell bitcoins. The company earlier this month alerted customers on its website that it wasn't accepting cash deposits "as we make steps to transition to our new website." Charlie Shrem, chief executive of BitInstant, couldn't be reached for comment. The company has registered as a money-services business with federal regulators. "Virtual currency firms inhabit an evolving and sometimes murky corner of the financial world," Benjamin Lawsky, superintendent of New York's Department of Financial Services, said in an interview. "The extent and nature of their operations morph constantly, so it's important for regulators to ask the hard questions and stay ahead of the curve in order to root out dangerous or illegal activity," he said. In Virginia, a company called Tangible Cryptography suspended the purchase of the currency through its service called FastCash4Bitcoins after receiving a letter from state regulators who received a complaint that the company was operating as an unlicensed money transmitter, according to a notice on its website. Company representatives couldn't be reached for comment. Tangible Cryptography said on its website that its activity is exempt from licensing requirements and that the commission's initial assessment contained factual errors. "While we respond to the commission's notice, the prudent action is for the company to suspend all new transactions," the company said. A spokesman for the Virginia Bureau of Financial Institutions declined to comment on whether it has issued similar notices to other companies. Write to Robin Sidel at [email protected] and Andrew R. Johnson at [email protected] A version of this article appeared June 26, 2013, on page C1 in the U.S. edition of The Wall Street Journal, with the headline: States Put Heat on Bitcoin.
Let's talk about state anti-money-laundering laws.
I live in Texas. After reading over penal codes. Link below http://www.statutes.legis.state.tx.us/Docs/PE/htm/PE.34.htm Most of it is with the intent of using money for criminal activity. On coindesk.com two people are charged with selling bitcoins for cash at a local meet up, it makes you wonder if what we're doing is not legal. The two people face three charges; two related to money laundering amounts under $20,000 and between $20,000 and $100,000. The third charge relates to money transmission services for amounts between $20,000 and $100,000. They were trying to sell 30k worth of bitcoins for cash in Florida. Texas law is very similar. So my question to anyone who can answer this is, are we with in the law to sell bitcoins from an exchange or person to person for cash? Tell everyone to read up on your state laws before you exchange bitcoins. Also reading that Texas became the second US state to explicitly require foreign-located money transmitters (including Bitcoin exchangers and administrators) to obtain a state money transmitter license if their customers are residents of Texas. The state of New York had taken a similar stance back in March of 2011.
The New York Department of Financial Services announced on Monday that it had granted a virtual currency and money transmitter license to bitcoin exchange Coinbase. Coinbase is the world's largest bitcoin company and currently operates in 32 countries. The announcement was made by Financial Services New York DFS Issues Crypto and Money Transmitter License to NYDIG Execution, LLC DFS has authorized NYDIG to offer secure custody and trade execution services providing consumers with several options for the custody of the digital assets. by Justin B. November 16, 2018. in Crypto news. Reading Time: 4min read hugorouffiac / Pixabay.com / New York. Share on Facebook Share on Twitter. On ... The New York Department of Financial Services announced on Monday that it had granted a virtual currency and money transmitter license to bitcoin exchange Coinbase. Coinbase is the world’s largest bitcoin company and currently operates in 32 countries. New York Grants BitLicense, Money Transmitter License To SoFi The New York Department of Financial Services (NYDFS) granted BitLicense, the license of virtual currency activities, and money transmitter license to crypto trading firm SoFi Digital Assets, LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Social Finance, Inc. New York Grants BitLicense, Money Transmitter License To SoFi Posted on 12/04/2019 The New York Department of Financial Services (NYDFS) granted BitLicense, the license of virtual currency activities, and money transmitter license to crypto trading firm SoFi Digital Assets, LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Social Finance, Inc.
The Bitcoin Group #39 - NY BitLicense Rules - Bitcoin and Business - Vericoin Hacked - Local
This week on Around the Coin, Faisal Khan, Brian Roemmele, and Mike Townsend discuss everything about money transmitter licenses, including how they work, who needs one, and how bitcoin plays a role. Issue 1 -- New York unveils Bitcoin license rules -- As expected New York State is leading the way in Bitcoin Regulation, with the goal of creating an exchange where users could never lose their ... HB 436 would carve out an exemption for bitcoin and other virtual currency users from the money transmitter regulations, but there are some problems. Here's the full hearing video. In New York, Money transmitter license is issued by the New York Department of Financial Services. From 2017, the procedure is conducted via the Nationwide Multistate Licensing System and Registry ... Most US states require exchanges to have a money transmitter license, which is regulated. Therefore there are many regulated bitcoin exchanges operating in the US already such as CampBX, Kraken ...