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Crypto

The DOJ Charges Two People in Bitfinex/Tether Related Fraud

James Dendson

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On a statement released yesterday, the U.S. Department of Justice announced charges filed against Arizona native Reginald Fowler and Israeli Ravid Yosef. The latter remains at large while Fowler was arrested last Tuesday. The two men are accused of running a scheme involving bank accounts to move funds through cryptocurrency exchanges.

“Mr. Fowler and Mr. Yosef opened and used numerous bank accounts at financial institutions that were insured by the FDIC”. Including one bank based in Manhattan.

 

Bitfinex in Problems

The New York State Attorney General (NYSAG) filed a lawsuit against Bitfinex on April 24. In the document, the AG confirms they have enough evidence to believe Bitfinex still services traders from New York despite the exchange assuring the world they stopped doing so in 2018.

The AG also claims Bitfinex partnered with the Panama-based payment processor Crypto Capital.  The rogue financial company was in charge of handling customer withdrawals after struggling to find a reputable bank to work with. The exchange allegedly used its own “dollar-backed” stablecoin, Tether, to sweep $850 million in missing funds under the rug.

“As explained to OAG attorneys, Bitfinex and Tether also used a number of other third-party payment processors to handle client withdrawals including various companies owned by Bitfinex/Tether executives. OAG believes that Bitfinex required the service of third-party payment processors like Crypto Capital because, at the time, Bitfinex had no reliable bank that would work with it.”

Bitfinex issued a statement to refute the accusations on April 26. Bitfinex and Tether claim to be financially strong and in full cooperation with authorities while denying any accusations.

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Blockchain

Building Globalcoin: Facebook reaches out to Coinbase and Gemini

James Dendson

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The largest social network in the world has been holding important meetings with major exchanges regarding the launch of its own cryptocurrency, which could be ready by 2020.

It has recently been reported that Facebook has held a series of meetings with Coinbase and the Winklevoss twins, founders of the Gemini exchange, despite being former rivals of Mark Zuckerberg. These events seem to point to the fact that the Facebook project is going in the right direction and will study the field in the hands of the most experienced.

Anonymous sources have confirmed that Facebook has established a series of negotiations with famous crypto-related companies to ensure that its stablecoin is linked to the US dollar, enjoys liquidity and is safe to trade.

These firms have refused to reveal specific details regarding the Facebook project (they probably had to sign a discretion agreement), although it is a fact that the Libra project will have the direct participation of the aforementioned parties.

Facebook has ensured that its new cryptocurrency will specialize in payments but not on a simple scale, as Globalcoin intends to expand and accept users from all over the world. Facebook’s digital asset will not only serve for purchases within the social network, but it will also extend to Instagram, Messenger, and WhatsApp to offer its functions to as many users as possible.

Although Facebook’s expansion plans sound very promising, it will have to deal with setbacks due to regulations, as there are still many nations that put legal barriers on cryptocurrencies and consider them a threat to their economies.

In early May, Facebook registered a new financial technology firm, which will be based on blockchain and finance, thus offering services for payment solutions, storage of information, confirmation of identity, data analysis, among other functions related to the processing of valuable data. It is estimated that Globalcoin is ready to start reaching user wallets for next year.

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Crypto

Iranian users will no longer be using LocalBitcoins

James Dendson

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The popular cryptocurrency Exchange LocalBitcoins has established a ban on its services for Iran-based users on its website.

The restriction of Iranian users is due mainly to two factors, the financial regulations imposed by Finland (where the LocalBitcoins barracks are located) and as a result of the sanctions imposed by the United States Government, so this exchange would not be the only one to ban accounts in Iran.

Other exchanges such as Binance and Coinbase also refrain from providing services to users based in Iran, in support of the aforementioned measures. Tensions in the middle east between the United States and Iran have triggered a state of maximum alert, which has caused all federal US workers in the region to vacate their posts and return to their country for security reasons. LocalBitcoins would be only a small consequence in the long list of punishments that this conflict results from.

This results in a heavy blow for users in Iran, as they had the advantage of being able to buy and trade crypto-currencies without having subscriptions to international bank accounts.

Iranian users will no longer be able to make any transactions on the LocalBitcoins platform, however, they will be able to withdraw their funds if they use the website as a wallet, since the point of this sanction is to limit the service but not to generate capital losses.

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Crypto

Presidential candidate Eric Swalwell accepts Bitcoin as contribution for his campaign

James Dendson

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The Democratic candidate, Eric Swalwell has announced that he will accept donations in cryptocurrencies to carry out his presidential campaign for 2020 elections.

The donations will be processed through a technology developed by the firm “The White Company”, which recently announced that the candidate would accept 6 of the most recognized digital assets in the market, including Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), Bitcoin Cash (BCH), Stellar (XLR), Bitcoin SV (BSV) and the belonging token to the company White Standard (WSD).

It is the second time that a presidential candidate publicly announces the collection of cryptocurrencies to strengthen his campaign after Democrat leader Andrew Yang did the same. Swalwell stated:

“Blockchain is capable of changing the world if we let it. Part of our public lives is currently existing online, and there’s no reason to believe we can’t extend this further into our democracy and economy – from exercising our right to vote, to the way we’re looking at cryptocurrency.”

With 38 years of age, Eric Swalwell already maintains a political record, having been chosen to represent California’s 15th Congressional district in 2012 and has also served as an active member of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence and the House Judiciary Committee, so he could function efficiently in politics despite being a relatively young candidate.

The candidate has previously expressed his position when it comes to cryptocurrencies, showing very positive with regard to what they mean for the world and the future. Swalwell recently signed a letter to the Internal Revenue Service trying to appease the tax policies on digital assets.

The White Company will process donations in a matter of seconds and will use a stellar-based stablecoin to allow immediate access to funds and reduce volatility to the greatest extent possible.

The founder of this initiative, Elizabeth White, said that by establishing a system of contributions for this campaign, Swalwell not only facilitates the options of participation of the people but also denotes behaviors that support financial democracy and not only the economic power of the wealthy, taking into account the citizens in general.

Although the Democrat Andrew Yang has also established a protocol based on donations in cryptocurrencies, the system imposed by The White Company can process contributions much faster and without the need to make explanatory calls, since it is enough to provide certain basic data such as Name, address, phone number, and occupation, making the process simpler for Swalwell voters.

 

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