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Smell Something Fishy? The CFTC Will Pay You to Report Crypto Scams

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Nestled in the exhibition room at this year’s Consensus conference, the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) had a message for conference goers as they weaved in and out of booths representing various projects and startups in the space: “Be on the lookout for virtual currency fraud” and if you see it, let us know.

CFTC Booth at Consensus 2019

“The Whistleblower Office of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) is issuing this alert to inform members of the public about how they may make themselves eligible for both financial awards and certain protections while helping stop [sic] fraud and manipulation relating to virtual currencies,” a handout from the booth reads.

The CFTC has long classified bitcoin as a commodity, and the document states that the CFTC considers all “virtual currencies [as] commodities under the Commodity Exchange Act (CEA).”

This same act gives the agency regulatory power to prosecute virtual currency fraudsters. Since the 2017 price run-up, crypto scams have been on the agency’s radar and it’s been keen to keep investors privy to project warning signs. In cooperation with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, the CFTC has cracked down on illegal bitcoin brokers and dealers, as well as fraudulent crypto consultants and token rackets like My Big Coin.

In the whistleblowing briefing document, the CFTC uses My Big Coin and CabbageTech as textbook examples of scammy behavior. Among other red flags it warns potential whistleblowers against pump-and-dump schemes, wash/insider trading, unregistered derivatives platforms and “supervision failures or fraudulent conduct (e.g., creating or reporting fictitious trading) by virtual currency exchanges.”

If you notice any of these behaviors in practice, “you don’t have to be an ‘insider’ … to be a whistleblower,” the document reads. It continues to tell readers that they can tip off bad actors through the agency’s website, asking that they provide as much information on the alleged scams and orchestrators as possible (this includes “identifying information” like social media profiles, screenshots, bitcoin addresses, email addresses, etc.).

Anyone whose whistleblow ends in more than $1 million in sanctions against such companies are entitled to 10 to 30 percent of the monetary penalty.

A CFTC representative declined an interview, telling Bitcoin Magazine that each employee must be cleared by the agency to go on record. Bitcoin Magazine did learn that this was the CFTC’s first year at Consensus and that the agency has been making its rounds through the crypto conference circuit over the past year.

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Could Tesla CEO Elon Musk be Next in Line for Bitcoin’s Lightning Torch?

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From Twitter founder Jack Dorsey to crypto billionaires, the Lightning Network torch remains to be a factor on social media. It maximum not too long ago discovered its method into the palms of Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao. Zhao, like many within the Bitcoin group, want to see Tesla CEO Elon Musk clutch the torch subsequent.

Twitter Wants Elon Musk to Join Bitcoin’s Lightning Experiment

Litecoin writer Charlie Lee sought after it for himself, on the recommendation of Lightning Labs co-founder Elizabeth Stark.

He took the chance to indicate that many of us don’t appear to “want” the torch.

TakeTheTorch.online is regularly creating as a website online and probably a motion. Every time we seek advice from it, the illusion has modified, and the checklist of people that’ve won the torch has grown longer. It now sports activities a meme gallery.

The contemporary Bitcoin price building up moved the worth of the torch (3.21 million satoshis) to about $116.

Will This Bitcoin Torch Be ‘Stolen’ More Often As It Grows in Value?

Binance’s Zhao clearly sees the worth of the Twitter recreation. Demonstrating the microtransactional probabilities of Lightning Network, the scaling answer for Bitcoin has so much to turn out after two forks of Bitcoin have viably created techniques the place the worth of a transaction is way decrease.

Other notable torch-bearers within the week-long experiment come with @Excellion or Samson Mow, the outspoken Blockstream Chief Strategy Officer. Mow as soon as spoke so fervently in prefer of Bitcoin Core that Gavin Andresen labeled both him and Gregory Maxwell “toxic trolls.”

In addition to Samson Mow, @aantonop or Andreas Antonopoulos prior to now took the torch and handed it to pseudonymous Peter Parker.

Interestingly, a couple of transactions within the checklist are marked as “steal,” “dup,” or “return.” Presumably, anyone who receives the torch and assists in keeping it has “stolen” it. If it’s despatched to anyone who has already won it, that’s a “dup” or replica. A “return” is what we may be expecting extra because the experiment grows in price and those who merely don’t have any pastime flip the transaction round.

For his phase, Elon Musk has no longer addressed the handfuls of frantic Lightning Network supporters tagging him on Twitter. As prior to now reported, Musk is deeply thinking about paintings at SpaceX at this time. The corporate is operating laborious to show issues round after large layoffs have been caused by way of a few of its extra “insane” analysis tasks.

Elon Musk Image from Shutterstock

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$370 Billion Asset Manger Janus Says US Stock Market is Careening Toward Recession

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According to George Maris, the co-head of equities of Americas at Janus Henderson, an asset supervisor with $370 billion in AUM, a recession within the U.S. obviously stays a near-term chance, which might totally opposite the bullish development of the U.S. inventory marketplace.

“It’s [a U.S. recession] clear a near-term risk. If we can’t get trade negotiation results favorably, we’ve got weakening investment to look forward to. I mean there’s going to be a problem,” Maris said on Bloomberg Markets.

The Janus Henderson govt defined geopolitical dangers, home politics, and quite a lot of uncertainties surrounding the U.S. inventory marketplace because the core problems that can result in a full-blown recession within the close to long run.

Very Little Appetite to Get Things Done within the U.S., Stock Market Momentum in Decline?

Over the closing seven days, primary indexes within the U.S. inventory marketplace within the likes of the Dow Jones and the Nasdaq Composite have retraced following a powerful few weeks in January.

While some analysts have stated that the recent momentum of the Dow and its friends has satisfied retail buyers to spend money on the U.S. marketplace, elementary problems stay unchanged.

dow jones industrial average

The Dow has recovered, however the U.S. inventory marketplace continues to grapple with elementary issues that might stifle futures beneficial properties.

Primarily because of the home politics within the U.S. and the focus established on strengthening the southern border, Maris stated that the urge for food to transport ahead from each buyers and corporations has declined.

Maris famous:

“Given the political issues in the United States, there seems to be very little appetite to anything done, so it will be hard to get fiscal expansions, whether it is infrastructure-based or otherwise; tax cuts, etc. to happen is going to be unlikely.”

Considering the state of U.S. politics and the loss of vital growth within the U.S.-China trade talks, the Janus Henderson govt emphasised that dangers of recession will inevitably raise.

“So with that kind of uncertainty happening over the economy, you know recession risks are going to elevate,” he added.

The govt echoed the sentiment of Nobel Laureate Paul Krugman, who stated that the U.S. marketplace is in a worse position than it used to be 10 years in the past all through the Great Recession.

In the closing ten years, Maris defined that the ammunition or the choices of the central financial institution to stop a recession have declined, which will increase the likelihood of a recession within the upcoming years.

The Dow, S&P 500, and Nasdaq are recently ready at the end result of the U.S.-China business talks with low volatility and a reasonably top stage of steadiness.

If the U.S. will get a complete business deal completed by means of March 1, lots of the dangers concerned out there might be eradicated.

However, Maris warned that during a conceivable state of affairs through which a business deal isn’t completed, there exists an opportunity of a steep downturn out there.

He defined:

“If you get trade resolved, then you can start to see those risks diminish. I think what Paul Krugman was talking about was, in fact, there is less central bank ammunition to fight off any sort of recession or financial crisis that we had in 2008 and I think he is right with respect to that.”

Even If a Recession Occurs, It Won’t Be Anything Like the 2008 Financial Crisis

If a recession happens within the subsequent 12 months or two, Maris mentioned that it’s going to no longer mirror the disastrous affect the former 2008 monetary disaster had at the U.S. financial system.

The basics within the native financial system stay robust with employment rates and family balances sheets at document ranges.

“The actual fundamental elements of the economy are good,” the chief stated, including that even supposing a recession happens, the impact it would have at the U.S. marketplace is proscribed.

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TD Ameritrade Says US Stock Market Stability is Luring Investors, But Here’s Why the Dow Might Not Bounce Back

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Throughout the previous two weeks, analysts have most often attributed the restoration of Dow Jones to technical elements, expressing skepticism towards the sustainability of the U.S. inventory marketplace rally.

This week, Shawn Cruz, a dealer technique supervisor at $30 billion brokerage large TD Ameritrade, stated that the sentiment within the U.S. inventory marketplace has progressed, particularly amongst fundamental-based traders.

“[Indicators of economic stability are] giving the more fundamental-based investors faith coming back into the market, which is then driving what technical traders are seeing on their screen,” Cruz stated, speaking to The Wall Street Journal.

Can the Dow Jones Rally?

Since December 24, the Dow Jones has initiated one of the spectacular turnarounds in recent times, improving from 21,782.2 issues to 25,411.52 issues inside lower than two months.

dow jones

The Dow has assembled a large restoration since its late-December lows, however it would now not proceed thru to a brand new all-time top.

The Dow Jones used to be prone to coming into a undergo marketplace in mid-December after the Nasdaq Composite recorded a 20 % drop from its all-time top and formally bought a undergo marketplace standing.

The fast expansion of the Dow Jones previously two months has led traders to query the standards of the motion of the U.S. inventory marketplace.

Apart from technical elements, maximum foremost elements reminiscent of geopolitical risks and weak earnings reports from primary conglomerates within the U.S. stay because the core problems for traders.

On February 4, CCN reported that Raymond Jones fastened source of revenue capital markets head Kevin Giddis stated the U.S. marketplace lacks stimulus to develop within the upcoming months.

“There is obviously a separation between where the equity market sees the world and where the bond market sees the world. We don’t know what’ll cause the next recession, but at the same time, you flip it to the other side and you don’t see much that’ll stimulate economic growth.”

In the ultimate seven days, the Dow Jones has retraced from 25,411.52 issues to 25,045.96. Currently, the Dow is prone to falling beneath the 25,000 stage.

To maintain the certain development of the U.S. inventory marketplace in contemporary weeks, Direxion Investments managing director Paul Brigandi stated that it is vital for the marketplace to take care of its momentum.

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Many traders are buying and selling according to sentiment and are allocating capital into the inventory marketplace once more as primary indexes started to get better.

“Momentum is a key component right now. A lot of people are jumping in to get on board,” he stated.

Investors Have to Consider Short-Term Stock Market Risks

Some analysts foresee a continual rally for the Dow Jones. But, others together with Morgan Stanley senior portfolio supervisor Andrew Slimmon worry for the vulnerable company income launched previously 30 days.

Apart from the oil business, which outperformed the expectancies of Wall Street following a decline in the cost of oil, maximum primary industries have struggled.

The monetary sector has carried out particularly poorly within the fourth quarter with maximum banks reducing again on their projected revenues.

Slimmon said:

“I’m worried. As much as companies look like they made fourth-quarter numbers, the 2019 estimates are dropping, and it strengthens my concern.”

With vulnerable company income, no important construction within the U.S.-China industry talks, and the declining euro-zone financial system, the U.S. marketplace is also prone to experiencing a non permanent development reversal.

As emphasised via TD Ameritrade strategist Shawn Cruz and Direcixion investments govt Paul Brigandi, momentum is an important for the U.S. inventory marketplace.

If the Dow Jones fails to maintain balance above the 25,000 stage, a chance of an extra decline may just accentuate and tremendously modify the present sentiment available in the market which stays certain to this date.

In the non permanent, massive volatility within the U.S. marketplace is anticipated, however analysts stay unsure whether or not that might imply a rally to dance again from this week’s losses or an extra drop to December ranges.

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John McAfee Living in a Constant State of Paranoia Launches Podcast

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By CCN: Following John McAfee’s triumphant return to Twitter after a brief hiatus, the software mogul and his wife on Tuesday announced a new podcast about life on the run.

McAfee’s Life on the Run

This John McAfee gif illustrates his MBTI

The outspoken bitcoin bull’s DGAF disposition. | Source: Giphy

In their announcement, McAfee and his wife describe living on the run and hiding from the government. The software mogul also informs followers that the couple’s brief social media absence was because of an incoming raid.

Can’t Keep John McAfee Down

The outspoken presidential longshot is also a fugitive who will face arrest upon return to the U.S. But McAfee – a bitcoin perma-bull – refuses to let any government keep him down. Following the couple’s announcement today, McAfee posted characteristic crypto advice on Twitter.

He addressed the bitcoin price, suggesting that people who ask him when bitcoin is trading at $7,900 whether they should wait to buy it sound more ridiculous than he looks while getting his hair processed.

“If you like bitcoin, buy it. Who cares whether it’s at $15 or $1,500 or $10,000. If it’s a good deal, f***ing buy it. End of story.”

He then promised to show everyone his hair after it’s done.

Although McAfee and his wife describe their podcast as a chronicle of the couple’s unconventional lives, one major theme is sure to touch on the benefits of decentralized money. If McAfee holds bitcoin, no matter where he goes, he can always use it. Governments may be able to seize the couple’s house, boat, and bank accounts, but they can’t stop bitcoin. At least not without shutting down the internet. Incidentally, McAfee recently expressed an interest in Dogecoin.

Craig Wright vs. McAfee

McAfee is reasonably popular among crypto proponents. But still, some argue that bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies were not designed to help people circumvent taxes or laws.  Among them is controversial figure Craig Wright.

Wright, who registered a copyright on the Bitcoin white paper this morning, is one of McAfee’s most vocal opponents. Wright will undoubtedly argue that McAfee’s podcast will slow mass adoption and increase the public perception that bitcoin’s primary use is for tax evasion and other nefarious purposes.

McAfee Doesn’t Give a F**k!

For those who might disparage McAfee’s unconventional methods of bitcoin evangelism, the presidential candidate has a message:

“As if I give a flying f**k what you think!”

Controversial, outspoken, and intelligent, John McAfee’s podcast is sure to attract a broad audience. But will the McAfee podcast “highlight” the advantages of a decentralized economy and fuel mass adoption or the opposite? Only time will tell.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article are solely those of the author and do not represent those of, nor should they be attributed to, CCN.

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Central Bank of Laos Issues Warning Against Using Cryptocurrency

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The central bank of Laos has warned the public against the use, purchase or sale of digital currencies, local news outlet Vientiane Times reported on May 21.

The Bank of the Lao PDR has issued a warning to financial market participants and the public against cryptocurrency transactions as they are considered illegal in the country. The bank previously banned financial institutions from conducting any operations with cryptocurrencies, as well as making investments in such an asset.

The bank is purportedly concerned about the anonymity of the sender and receiver in a cryptocurrency transaction, which it worries increases the risk of digital assets’ use in money laundering. A source familiar with the matter told Vientiane Times that authorities do not have a relevant security system to protect cryptocurrency owners.

While some countries like, Canada, Malta and Switzerland have embraced the new asset class to varying degrees, officials around the globe are still expressing skepticism toward crypto, while some hardliners call for outright bans.

In the United States, where the legal status of crypto can vary state-to-state, California Congressman Brad Sherman recently called for a full ban on cryptocurrencies. Sherman claimed that crypto presents a threat to the power of the U.S. dollar to affect world economic developments.

In April, Cointelegraph reported that the Indian government was considering a complete ban of cryptocurrencies under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act since it could purportedly be used for money laundering. The Ministry of Corporate Affairs reportedly stated that cryptocurrencies are used in fraudulent schemes to “defraud gullible investors”.

That same month, news broke that Pakistan — which banned cryptocurrency trading last April — is implementing new cryptocurrency regulations in an effort to improve its track record in fighting financial crime. The move was reportedly in part a reaction to demands from international monitoring body the Finance Action Task Force, which has repeatedly voiced concerns about cryptocurrencies’ role in terrorist financing.

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