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Bitcoin.com Launches Bitcoin Cash Notary Service


Bitcoin.com Launches Bitcoin Cash Notary Service

Back in April of 2017 Bitcoin.com launched a notary service that was based on top of the bitcoin core (BTC) blockchain. However, due to the transaction bottleneck and extremely high fees, the notary service became unsustainable. Now Bitcoin.com has re-launched the notary using the bitcoin cash (BCH) blockchain, and anyone in the world can prove ownership for only 0.0005 BCH (about $0.97).

Also read: Lots of Optimism at the Miami Bitcoin Conference This Week

Verify Essential Documents Using the Bitcoin Cash Blockchain

This week Bitcoin.com has re-launched the blockchain-based notary service that was once tethered to the bitcoin core blockchain. Unfortunately, the service did not work correctly because of transaction backlog, and high network fees to verify documents. Now the infrastructure is tied to the bitcoin cash blockchain making document verification extremely cheap, and fees are practically non-existent. Right now a user can upload a document for only 0.0005 BCH ($0.97), and the network transaction fee is less than a penny. (It’s important to note that records don’t actually “exist” on the chain per say, it is merely timestamped encrypted data that is tied to the file that’s processed into a valid BCH transaction.) Not only that but the proof will be verified in less than ten minutes, and you can rest assure the notarization service will be validated.

Bitcoin.com Launches Bitcoin Cash Notary Service

For thousands of years, people used third-party sources and notaries to verify essential documents like wills, contracts, birth certificates, and deeds. Governments also operate services that offer endorsement through its own notarization entities. Now with the existence of blockchain technology, individuals and organizations can use a more autonomous tool like the BCH chain to certify a file or document. When a person utilizes the Bitcoin.com notary service the file is signed into the bitcoin cash blockchain forever.

You control your own information — your document’s contents are not stored in the blockchain or ever exposed. Prove your document existed by comparing the blockchain entry of your document’s cryptographic digest to your actual document (if and when the need arises).

Bitcoin.com Launches Bitcoin Cash Notary Service

Using the notary service is easy, and all a person has to do is add a file by dragging it into the browser or using the file selector. Then you fund the anchor by sending BCH to the provided bitcoin cash address. Finally, after its confirmed, it will be signed into the BCH chain alongside a unique address and timestamp. Furthermore, users can also see the proof on the blockchain by checking the transaction on any bitcoin cash-based block explorer.               

At Bitcoin.com we believe in decentralization, and the need for third parties can be disrupted by the power of Satoshi Nakamoto’s vision. A genuine peer-to-peer electronic cash can do wonderful things, and one of the many great concepts using transactions is also verifying important documents without the need for governments, banks, or corporate entities just like Satoshi intended.

Have you tried our bitcoin cash-based blockchain notarization service? Let us know about your experience in the comments below.

Images courtesy of Pixabay, and Bitcoin.com 

Want to etch a document into the bitcoin cash blockchain? Check out our bitcoin cash powered notary service here.

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Onecoin Offices Raided in Sofia, Servers Shut Down


Onecoin Offices Raided in Sofia, Servers Shut Down


Bulgarian law enforcement agencies have raided the offices of Onecoin in Sofia as part of a multinational effort to neutralize what authorities call a “centralized cryptocurrency pyramid scheme”. Three million people may have been defrauded by the company which offers services on four continents, according to media reports. Bulgarian officials were diligent enough to note that Onecoin has nothing in common with the decentralized Bitcoin.

Also read:Nigerian SEC Associates Shady MLM Schemes Like Onecoin With Bitcoin

50 People Questioned, No Arrests

Servers, documents and other evidence have been confiscated from Onecoin and about 50 people have been questioned by investigators, according to the official statement. No arrests have been reported so far. Bulgarian prosecutors, national security agents and members of the organized crime combating unit were involved in the joint operation. They acted on request from Germany, where Bulgarian-born “founder and visionary” of Onecoin, Ruja Ignatova, had been taken to court. “Onecoin” payments were banned in the Federal Republic and in 2016 the UK Financial Conduct Authority issued a warning about the company. The Ministry of Interior of Bulgaria released a video of the search in Onecoin’s building:

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In just three years, about three million people have subscribed for the educational packages offered by Onecoin, Bulgarian prosecutors announced at a briefing on Friday. The company is suspected of commercial fraud, money laundering and illegal payments. During the press conference security officials clarified for the audience that while Bitcoin is a decentralized system, the “so called cryptocurrency Onecoin” is centralized.

“You can only buy from a company that is part of the International Marketing Association of Onecoin”, the head of Bulgaria’s Specialized Prosecution Office Ivan Geshev said, quoted by Nova. The offices of the Sofia-based subsidiary “One Network Services” EOOD and 14 other connected companies have been searched by the Bulgarian authorities.

Onecoin Busted, Onecoin Online

Onecoin operations had not ceased after its servers in Sofia were shut down, Bulgarian prosecutors admitted. The local subsidiary has been offering services on four continents, but “Onecoin Ltd.” is actually registered in the United Arab Emirates and operates through hundreds of affiliates around the world, with key markets in Europe, Asia, Latin America and Africa, according to its website. Associated companies have been investigated by authorities in Britain, Ireland, Italy, US, Canada, Ukraine, the Baltic States and other countries.

Onecoin Offices Raided in Sofia, Servers Shut Down

The distribution of Onecoin is forbidden in several jurisdictions, including Germany. Bulgarian authorities conducted the operation on January 17 and 18 in response to legal assistance request from the Prosecutor’s Office in the German city of Bielefeld stemming from October 2017. The 37-year-old Ignatova, former CEO of Onecoin, has German citizenship. The “virtual currency” that Onecoin offers to its customers has been used as a means of payment, circumventing local laws that cover payment services, according to the German financial regulator Bafin. Authorities have also noted the possibility of using the network to fund organized crime and terrorism.

Representatives of the Bulgarian Special Prosecutor’s Office, officers from the General Directorate Combating Organized Crime and agents of the State Agency for National Security have participated in the operation. Their actions against the international criminal organization have been observed by Europol delegates and German investigators.

One (Ponzi) Coin Exposed

Onecoin, and the network of companies behind it, has been exposed as a Ponzi scheme in multiple media reports and by many cryptocurrency experts. News outlets and journalists have been threatened by Onecoin lawyers for shedding light on the nature of its global business. Authorities, regulators and law enforcement agencies in countries like Hungary and Italy have taken measures against it and imposed fines, as news.Bitcoin.com has reported. In April the German federal financial supervisory authority seized funds from a company associated with the multi-level-marketing scheme to promote and sell the “cryptocurrency”.

Onecoin Offices Raided in Sofia, Servers Shut Down

The company has been singled out in numerous warnings issued by authorities around the world and investigated by relevant agencies. The latest attempt to end its activities is the largest in scale so far and has been coordinated with partners from other countries, as Kapital points out. The Sofia-based “One Network Services” Limited Liability Company was registered with just 2 BGN (≈1 EUR) authorized capital, according to a publication by Dnevnik. It has been previously headed by Ignatova’s mother, Veska, also investigated in Germany. Both women have vacated their Onecoin executive posts last year.

In a statement sent to the media, “One Network Services” said it had been targeted in a showcase police operation. The company has never maintained illegal activities neither in Bulgaria, nor in other countries, the press release stated. Its representatives added they were cooperating with the authorities but were kept in the dark about the subject of the investigation.

In a 2016 presentation Onecoin’s founder and visionary said: “We will rewrite history… In two years nobody will speak about bitcoin anymore.”

Do you think the raid in Sofia will put an end to Onecoin? Tell us in the comments section below.

Images courtesy of Shutterstock. Onecoin

Do you agree with us that Bitcoin is the best invention since sliced bread? Thought so. That’s why we are building this online universe revolving around anything and everything Bitcoin. We have astore. And aforum. And acasino, apool and real-timeprice statistics.

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Markets Update: Cryptocurrency Prices Rebound But Uncertainty Still Lingers


Markets Update: Crypto Prices Rebound But Uncertainty Still Lingers

Market Updates

After the past few weeks of bearish market sentiment within the cryptocurrency economy, a wide variety of digital assets are starting to gain higher values. BTC/USD markets have hit a 24-hour high of $13,050 on January 20, after slowing creeping upwards from the low $10K range. Overall nearly every token market is up today anywhere between 2-50 percent higher than yesterday.

Also read:Japan’s GDP Grows Due to Bitcoin Wealth Effect

The Market Storm Has Subsided, But What Lies Ahead Is Whole Lot of Uncertainty

Markets Update: Crypto Prices Rebound But Uncertainty Still LingersCryptocurrency markets have seemingly reversed the downward trend in value and have started to gain steam again. At the moment bitcoin core markets are hovering around $12,650-12,950 for the three hours. Volume is decent for a Saturday, as BTC markets are seeing roughly $11.6Bn in global trade volume while bitcoin core, ethereum, and tether are hold the highest trade volumes today. The top exchanges swapping the most BTC this weekend include Upbit, Bitfinex, Okex, Bithumb, and Binance. The South Korean exchange Upbit has been trading some notable volumes over the past few weeks and has become one of the largest exchanges worldwide.

Over the past few weeks, the U.S. dollar has been the top nation state issued currency traded with BTC. However this week Japan has taken the lead once again, as the yen now captures 36 percent of the global trade volume. This is followed by the USD (32%), tether (USDT 12.8%), the Korean won (7.5%), and the euro (4.9%). The most popular traded cryptocurrency paired with BTC on Shapeshift is still ethereum. The overall market capitalization of all 1,469 digital assets is $635Bn, and bitcoin core markets dominate by 34 percent at the time of writing.

Technical Indicators

Looking at the charts things are a bit more bullish than a few days prior. Volume is definitely not as strong but buyers are controlling the market, and BTC/USD market values continue to rise. At the moment there is deep resistance right now at the $13,000-13,150 zone but bulls have been slowly chipping away at those orders. It’s safe to say that BTC is struggling to break past crucial resistance levels which could lead to a sell-off point if things cannot hold.  

Markets Update: Crypto Prices Rebound But Uncertainty Still Lingers
RSI and Stochastic levels.

Currently, the two Simple Moving Averages (SMA) have changed courses since our last markets update. The short-term 100 SMA is still below the longer term 200 SMA which indicates the path to resistance will likely head southbound. However, both RSI and Stochastic oscillators are headed northbound showing more room for price improvements, but there’s also room to drop as well. At present order books show thicker sell walls above the $13,500 territory alongside even more in the $14K regions. On the backside, there is excellent support at the $12,200 through $11,900 zones, but after that, the books start to thin out. A lot of traders believe the storm is not over and expected a ‘dead cat bounce’ at $13K. These negative speculators think bitcoin could range between $9,000 to even $5,000 in the short term. More optimistic traders believe the storm is over and we should be heading towards the $16K zone over the next week while also reaching all new highs next month.

Markets Update: Crypto Prices Rebound But Uncertainty Still Lingers
The price of BTC couldn’t hold above $13K and has started to head downwards slightly. The price per BTC at press time is $12,740 USD.

Cryptocurrency Markets In General

As mentioned above most cryptocurrency markets are doing very well, and only tether is suffering today because many traders have exited that strategy so they can plot new positions. The second highest market cap is still held by ethereum (ETH) as the market value is up 12 percent. One ETH is averaging $1,163 per token, and the market is the second most traded cryptocurrency today. The third position is held by ripple (XRP) as its markets are up 4 percent and each XRP is priced at $1.60. Bitcoin cash BCH markets are up by 13.9 percent, and the currency is seeing over $800Mn in global trade volume presently. One BCH has an average price of around 2,014 per coin, and the market has a valuation of around $34Bn. Lastly, the fifth highest market cap is still controlled by Cardano (ADA) as markets are up 12 percent and each token is priced at $0.71 per ADA.

Markets Update: Crypto Prices Rebound But Uncertainty Still Lingers

Again many traders are uncertain of the short-term future that lies ahead as far as government crackdowns and reaching all-time highs. Many agree that so far bear market sentiment may not be over yet and newer lows could happen. If the price can breach past $14-15K rigorously, then the trend reversal could have more of a solid foundation. Bulls are maintaining some momentum at the moment, and the next 24-hours may show some clearer signs.

Where do you see the price of BTC and other digital assets heading from here? Do you think cryptocurrencies will see more gains? Let us know in the comments below.

Disclaimer: Price articles and markets updates are intended for informational purposes only and should not to be considered as trading advice. Neither Bitcoin.com nor the author is responsible for any losses or gains, as the ultimate decision to conduct a trade is made by the reader. Always remember that only those in possession of the private keys are in control of the “money.”

Images courtesy of Pixabay, Bitcoin Wisdom, Coinmarketcap, Reddit, and Bitstamp.

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PR: Retail Conglomerate Launches Online Mall Accepting Only MegaX and Bitcoin Cash


Retail Conglomerate Launches Online Mall Accepting Only MegaX and Bitcoin Cash

This is a paid press release, which contains forward looking statements, and should be treated as advertising or promotional material. Bitcoin.com does not endorse nor support this product/service. Bitcoin.com is not responsible for or liable for any content, accuracy or quality within the press release.

Singapore-based MegaX introduces first-of-its-kind global millennial online mall having raised USD2.5M from a token sale concluded on 16 November 2017.

MegaX, a partnership between iFashion Group and MC Payment, has launched an online mall targeted at millennials. Having been in the retail industry since 2009, the mall has served over 1 million customers worldwide. The mall will provide visitors with access to over 1,500 global brands and 80,000 products, featuring items such as the Google Pixel 2, the Oculus Rift Touch VR System, iPhone X and even adrenaline-pumping toys like the hydro jet that allows you to hover above the sea. The online mall will also include exclusive concierge service which aims to provide shoppers looking for a getaway with unique holiday experiences. Expect packages such as exotic stays in Irish castles, silver mines, airplane fuselages and even ice hotels.

The ability to transact using MGX coins and other cryptocurrencies will provide crypto-savvy millennials with the opportunity to experience a new retail phenomenon in the future of cashless society. MegaX envisions and has been working towards a future where ultimately MGX, the native currency, will be the cryptocurrency of choice for millennials to earn, spend and transact. A fresh and emerging retail network, MegaX will pave the way for emerging retailers to engage with millenials.

Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is an example of an evolved cryptocurrency that is ready for real-world use and is able to cater to retailers’ needs such as having faster transactions and lower fees. “By only accepting MGX and BCH instead of fiat for payments, we are determined to bring about real-world adoption of cryptocurrencies,’ said Jeremy Khoo, Group CEO, iFashion Group. “Despite a market cap of 728 billion USD in cryptocurrencies right now, most retailers do not accept them as a form of payment. Retailers looking to resonate with the new generation of consumers should be fearlessly agile and open to adopting new payment forms. Cryptocurrencies has seen unprecedented growth in 2017 and we believe that growth will continue.”

Megaxstore.com is piloting a rollout by accepting Bitcoin Cash. MegaX aims to help new-age retailers and cryptocurrencies reach out to a large addressable market, the millennials. A 2016 Accenture report states that within Asia alone, millennials are expected to collectively constitute USD 6 trillion in disposable income by 2020. According to a CBRE survey, 30% of this income is spent on leisure activities such as shopping and eating out.

MGX as a cryptocurrency revolves around the millennial movement and aims to create a retail revolution by better engaging with these segment of customers and being their currency of choice. The retail companies behind MegaX have served more than 10 million customers and will use an omni-channel approach in spurring real world adoption of MGX. Token holders can also expect to pay with MGX at multiple native offline events such as the next installation of Artbox Singapore – a creative market concept popularised in Thailand, which attracted over 600,000 attendees and totaled 30 million USD in transaction volume during its inaugural Singapore outing over 2 weekends in April 2017.

Visit http://megaxstore.com/ http://megax.io for more information or the following contact points
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/megaxcoin
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/megaxcoin/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/megaXcoin

Telegram: https://t.me/Megaxcoin
Medium: https://medium.com/@megaXcoin


About iFashion Group

iFashion is a leading venture conglomerate company focused on investing and acquiring fashion and lifestyle e-commerce ventures based in Southeast Asia. To create synergy among businesses, the Group aggregates highly complementary businesses via mergers and acquisitions in its sectors of interest. The Group acquired, most notably, local O2O brands Dressabelle and Megafash, in the lead up to an IPO.

About MC Payment

Founded in Singapore in 2005, MC Payment is a leading innovative fintech company that has a strong regional presence with end-to-end value-chain of commerce transactions, ranging from suppliers and merchants to consumer payments. Its technology entails both retail to online payments, mobile to Distributed Ledger Technology. MC Payment has become the bridge that facilitates commerce transactions across the region, with payment acceptance ranging from credit and debit, to locally preferred alternative payments, while serving regional merchants and financial institutions alike.

About Megaxstore

Megaxstore is a multi-label online mall dedicated to inspire and motivate customers with creative goods found around the world. Megaxstore now operates over 7 stores across Asia, offering experiential retail spaces and a well-curated mix of tech products, hotel stays, homeware, food items, stationery, novelty goods, travel essentials, apparel for men, women and children; as well as accessories.

Contact Email Address
Supporting Link

This is a paid press release. Readers should do their own due diligence before taking any actions related to the promoted company or any of its affiliates or services. Bitcoin.com is not responsible, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any content, goods or services mentioned in the press release.

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Trading Tip `The Wall´ – Why Do We Fall, Bruce?


Trading Tip `The Wall´ - Why Do We Fall, Bruce?


This week, the price of bitcoin reached a low-point of -53% from its December high. A few weeks ago, I wrote about the Death of the “Get in before Wall Street!”-meme and why it made sense to Short the Great Bitcoin Bull. My viewpoint remains unchanged in that I’m still confident that the CME bitcoin futures listing was a core ingredient causing the bull run up to $19,891, as well as the recent fall down to $9,017 (Gdax). In this post, we’ll take a look at the stats from the bloodbath’s aftermath.

Also read:Trade Like You’re John McAfee

Trading Tip `The Wall´ - Why Do We Fall, Bruce?

The Great Fall and Futures

This diagram shows the CME bitcoin futures trading volumes for the first month since their listing. During this month, 27,390 contracts were traded, which accounted for positions totaling 136,950 BTC (5 BTC per contract).

Upon CME entering the market, it was speculated that Wall Street would take charge over the price discovery of bitcoin. The futures market (CME) and the spot exchanges (e.g. Gdax, Bitstamp, Bitfinex) are indeed interconnected through the actions of arbitrageurs and market makers, so there is no flaw in that thinking. But at 136,950 BTC per month, the CME volumes are currently too low to have any noticeable impact on the market on their own accord. As a comparison, this Wednesday alone 128,631 BTC was traded on Bitfinex.

There however a certain signal value to the CME market action which may influence traders other ways. The clearest example of such a thing I’ve seen was during the initial hours of the Cboe bitcoin futures launch on Dec 10, where Cboe completely dominated the price direction even on minuscule volumes. The CME and Cboe are potential avenues for institutional traders. As such, other traders might assume that CME and Cboe traders have access to better information; that they are “in the know”, so to speak.

If you wanted to capture what the signal was from the CME during the days leading up to our recent Jan 17 $9,017 low, you would have needed to gauge whether the CME bitcoin futures traders were mostly entering short or long positions. To some people, this task is confusing since every futures contract has both a short and a long side, so no matter how many contracts are traded, the net difference will always be zero. But that thinking fails to encompass the fact that a trade is the match between two different types of orders; a market and a limit order. The limit order is placed by a person (often a market maker) who enters a price where he’s willing to buy (long) or sell (short) at. At that point that’s just an order; it doesn’t cause a trade to happen yet. The trade happens on the market order; a person hitting the “buy now”/”sell now” buttons that consumes the closest limit order in the order book. If we then compare the net difference between the different (buy/sell) market orders placed in a certain interval, we can then gauge where the price pressure actually came from.

Trading Tip `The Wall´ - Why Do We Fall, Bruce?

In the lower part of this image, we see the cumulative delta of the January CME bitcoin futures (big thanks to SpeculatorSeth for helping me pull this graph together). It tracks exactly what I described earlier; the difference between market order short/longs. As we can see in this graph (click here to expand image) there was an unusual increase in short positions around January 11.

Trading Tip `The Wall´ - Why Do We Fall, Bruce?

At the same time, the price was just bouncing around in the 12800-14200 range. Since the cumulative delta went negative while the price was more or less flat, that means the CME traders were to an extent betting on the crash to happen while the rest of the market didn’t. Thus, the signal you would have gotten from CME on January 11 would have been to sell.

Did CME cause the crash?

Probably not. We’re still in the Gangnam Style Era of Crypto and mainstream investors are the ones moving the market, not the ones at the CME. And most mainstream traders aren’t basing their trades at the CME bitcoin futures cumulative delta. I contend we’re going down because of increased regulatory concerns coming from South Korea and China, and because we went up too much in over-anticipation of the futures launch, i.e. this is a correction, not a crash. The CME futures traders were just right in betting that this would happen.

What should you during a crash?

In a previous post I detailed The Art of Dip-Buying. An alternative to buying the dip is converting BTC into altcoins during crashes. Big apartments’ prices are less liquid than small apartments, therefore big apartments’ prices fall more relative to small apartments in the event of a real estate price collapse. Thus, it can make sense to trade your smaller apartment for a bigger one during a dip. Altcoins and bitcoins behave the same way. Altcoins are less liquid and collapse much more drastically than bitcoin. Between 15-17 Jan, the bitcoin price fell -37% (Gdax), but the price of Cardano fell -55% (Upbit) in the same time span. If you stayed in bitcoin from the moment of the dip, your fiat value would have moved up +25%, while a move over to Cardano would have moved you up +32%.

What are your thoughts about why the market dumped? Let us know in the comment section below!

Images via Shutterstock.

Disclaimer: Bitcoin price articles and markets updates are intended for informational purposes only and should not to be considered as trading advice. Neither Bitcoin.com nor the author is responsible for any losses or gains, as the ultimate decision to conduct a trade is made by the reader. Always remember that only those in possession of the private keys are in control of the “money.”

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The Satoshi Revolution – Chapter 4: Is Privacy Possible in the Digital Era? (Part 3)


Is Privacy Possible in the Digital Era?


The Satoshi Revolution: A Revolution of Rising Expectations.
Section 2 : The Moral Imperative of Privacy
Chapter 4: When Privacy is Criminalized, Only Criminals will be Private
by Wendy McElroy

Is Privacy Possible in the Digital Era? (Chapter 4, Part 3)

Recent inventions and business methods call attention to the next step which must be taken for the protection of the person, and for securing to the individual … the right “to be let alone” … Numerous mechanical devices threaten to make good the prediction that “what is whispered in the closet shall be proclaimed from the house-tops.”

— Louis Brandeis

What is privacy? Simple images come to mind, like slamming a door in the face of a census taker, but the question unlocks a complex issue.

Perhaps the most famous answer comes from an article by the American attorneys Samuel Warren and Louis Brandeis, which appeared in a 1890 issue of the Harvard Law Review. It was one of the most influential articles in the history of legal theory. “The Right to Privacy” is considered to be the first prominent call for privacy as a concept to be cemented into law. It opened: “THAT the individual shall have full protection in person and in property is a principle as old as the common law; but it has been found necessary from time to time to define anew the exact nature and extent of such protection.” Elsewhere, privacy is defined as the right to be left alone.

The article argued for privacy as a “foundational” or basic human right, upon which all other rights depended. “The right of property in its widest sense… including all rights and privileges, and hence embracing the right to an inviolate personality, affords alone that broad basis upon which the protection which the individual demands can be rested.” No right is more basic than privacy; freedom of speech, sexuality, freedom of conscience, and financial security depend upon it because none could exist in the presence of storm troopers smashing through your bedroom door. The right to close your door is paramount.

Interestingly, the Brandeis-Warren article was in response to technological developments that were seen to threaten personal privacy, much as the internet and blockchain are seen to threaten it today. One of those developments was the portable camera with which journalists photographed prominent people in venues that were formerly private, such as restaurants, weddings, and funerals. Today, the focus of privacy rights has shifted from rude journalists to the rude government for which “privacy” is a synonym for “secrecy.” The government regards privacy as a smoke-screen for criminal acts, especially tax evasion. The shift is probably a function of how powerful and massive government has become, compared to the 1890s.

Although privacy rights have been a theme in common law and, so, a strong theme within Anglo-American societies, their legal status has been vague. Indeed, before “The Right to Privacy,” the legal expression of the right was splintered. There were laws against trespassing, for example, but being safe from the invasion of property and home is only one aspect of privacy. The codifying of the broad concept of privacy is more difficult.

After all, what does the “right to be left alone” mean? Everyone knows a woman’s purse should not be snatched or a house broken into. But these are easy cases, and not the ones cryptocurrency users will confront; they must deal with their personal information being mined, and then being used against them.

The blockchain’s ledger of transfers allows uninvited parties to eavesdrop on financial and other information that has been voluntarily made public — at least, to some degree. What should the legal status of eavesdropping be? If someone overhears a personal conversation in a public place and he repeats the content, does the act infringe anyone’s right to “be left alone?” What if the eavesdropper uses the information to advantage, for example, by acting on a stock tip? What if he uses the data to blackmail? Is there a right to legally restrain the eavesdropper?

The Bottom Line of Privacy

The iconic libertarian Murray Rothbard argued that all human rights devolve to property rights; that is, they come down to the question of who properly controls the use of something, anything: a widget, an idea, information, your body. It is always possible to use force and usurp control, of course, but who is the proper owner in a peaceful society? It is the individual who acquires valid title through production, trade, or other peaceful means. There is no more clear or valid title than the one individuals have to the use and protection of their own bodies, which includes their personal information.

This right is under concerted attack by the biggest eavesdropper in human history–and one that intends to use the data against you with extreme prejudice. Government wants to access and control personal information in order to own the power of its content–that is, to use the power of your identity against you. It registers babies at birth; it pathologically chronicles everyone’s financial, medical, and educational status; it requires official paperwork at all junctures of life, including death. It does not matter if the person has done no harm and he is accused of no crime. The government’s purpose is control. Individuals who do not meekly acquiesce to being controlled are criminals.

One reason government succeeds at stealing information is that privacy is an ill-defined concept that people do not understand; if they did, they might value it more. Privacy hinges on two questions. As a place to start asking them, consider the right to control of your own thoughts and their expression. (Privacy consists of more than this ability, of course, but it is a springboard point.)

Question #1: Who owns what is in your mind? Most people would loudly declare “no one owns what’s in my mind!” Your thoughts are yours for the same reason that you own your fingers and eyes; they are part of your body; they are an integral part of who you are. But what if the thought in your mind is a chemical formula that you accidentally glimpsed? The instant you glimpsed the formula, it began to change by integrating with every other thought you have on chemistry and life. Do you own the altered formula that is now in your mind? If you do, then can you market it over the protest of the chemist who perfected it? If not, why not?

The parallel to financial information: if someone has financial assets, such as a sack of gold, then the information is properly private, but only as long as it is unrevealed. The problem with cryptocurrencies — at least, for this paradigm of privacy — is that all transactions are revealed.

Question #2:Who owns information that is now part of another person’s mind? Who owns information that has been made public? The 19th century libertarian James Walker stated, “My thoughts are my property as the air in my lungs is my property…” But what if you exhale? What if you willingly throw ideas or information into a public realm, like the internet or the blockchain?

If information sharing comes with a nondisclosure contract, then there is no problem; the originator retains rightful possession. But reality isn’t usually like that. Most violations of personal information are involuntary, such as being registered at birth and assigned a government tracking number for life. Some result from a transaction in which a naive person exchanges data with a corporation for a free subscription or the like.

The glut of personal information in the public sphere returns to the title of this article: Is Privacy Possible in the Digital Era? The answer is “yes.”

The Solution

As long as the old paradigm of privacy is used — that is, privacy = concealment — then the transparency of the blockchain is a death knell. But what if privacy now equals transparency, and the focus of protection is not on the transaction but on the identities of actors? This is a new and purer paradigm of privacy. For the sake of honesty and equitable trade, do not hide any transaction. For the sake of privacy, do not require the identities of actors anymore than grocery stores require ID of those who buy milk with cash. Then, let everyone see; let everyone verify. Both honesty and privacy can be preserved. The key is to keep your identity private—own what is in your mind, and in no one else’s—while allowing the information to be public as a proof of honesty.

Of course, there is a catch. How does anyone protect identity while making an open transaction? The solution to privacy is often painted as the problem. “Technology destroys privacy” is a common sentiment. The opposite is true.

Consider a small aspect of how to preserve privacy: encryption. Encryption is the process of coding and decoding information.

The idea and its importance to privacy is not new. It played a key role in the founding of America. Before Confederation, the Founding Fathers attacked the existing post office because the British used it as a censorship machine. After Confederation, some Founders did much the same thing. The Continental Congress wanted to declare some political material “unmailable” because it was deemed to be dangerous. A prime target was anti-Federalist letters and periodicals; the anti-Federalists fought many aspects of the Constitution, and they effectively blocked ratification unless the document included a Bill of Rights. During the intense debates, they simply could not circulate their material through the Federalist-controlled post office. Many of them, including Thomas Jefferson, resorted to corresponding in code.

The American government has always realized the political importance of controlling the flow of information. In the 1770s, communication may have occurred through postal routes maintained by horseback riders, while today, we communicate through packets of data beamed across optical cables. This difference is irrelevant to the principles involved. The key questions are: “Who owns your words and ideas?”; “Who has the right to read them?”; “Who owns your personal information?”


Few rights are as important as financial privacy because wealth is the way people feed themselves. The attacks on privacy are intensifying because government realizes the stakes; after all, your wealth is also the way government feeds itself.

The new paradigm of privacy is transparency without identity. But it works only if people protect their identities at every turn. Never willingly give personal data to government, to exchanges, or to the corporations that are government proxies.

Privacy is a human right, but it is a right you can surrender in the much the same manner as you can surrender your claim to a pile of cash by throwing it into the wind. In a word: don’t.

[To be continued next week.]

Thanks to editor/novelist Peri Dwyer Worrell for proofreading assistance.

Reprints of this article should credit bitcoin.com and include a link back to the original links to all previous chapters

Wendy McElroy has agreed to ”live-publish” her new book The Satoshi Revolution exclusively with Bitcoin.com. Every Saturday you’ll find another installment in a series of posts planned to conclude after about 18 months. Altogether they’ll make up her new book ”The Satoshi Revolution”. Read it here first.

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Lots of Optimism at the Miami Bitcoin Conference This Week



This January, thousands of cryptocurrency enthusiasts flocked to The North American Bitcoin Conference in Miami after a grueling two weeks of market madness. The very large crowd, however, was quite confident that the emerging digital asset space was still on the rise as the halls of the James L Knight Center were bursting with vigor.

Also read: South Korean Officials Caught Trading On Insider Knowledge of Crypto Regulations

Thousands of People, Hundreds of Exhibits, and Lots of Lambos

The North American Bitcoin Conference (TNABC) was a full house this year as thousands of attendees (mostly newcomers) gathered to converse about cryptocurrencies and tech applications that many dreamers believed could make the world a better place. The new year market slumps of 2018 haven’t seemed to phase bitcoiners, as many of the attendees still believe “the moon” values are still very much in sight. The first thing attendees noticed at TNABC walking into the auditorium was the various exhibits, huge bitcoin signs and the large quantity of Lamborghinis in the parking lot. One Lambo was for sale at the conference for 43 BTC and a bunch of other digital currencies.

There were a lot of Lambos at TNABC and some were even for sale.

Mainstream Media Presence

In addition to the vast quantity of newcomers, many mainstream media outlets were also in attendance such as RT, CNBC, Bloomberg, and also a prominent amount of local Miami news stations. Of course, the press was quite interested in the crypto phenomena while they interviewed bitcoin luminaries and startups pitching different ideas. But the main thing the mainstream media wanted to know is whether or not cryptocurrencies would ‘survive’ the recent ‘crash’ that took place over the past three weeks.

The Tokenized Economy and ICO Pitches

One of the main themed events within the auditorium was the immense amount of initial coin offerings (ICO) pitching various ideas tied to the blockchain concept. Many of the ideas were basically tokenized (mostly ERC-20) assets bootstrapped to schemes like travel, fruit juices, healthcare, and luxury cars. The ICOs also filled the large exhibit hall and many attendees were fascinated by these tokenized ‘offerings’ while representatives tried to explain the startup’s objectives. The recent crackdown on ICOs in the U.S. by the Securities and Exchange Commission has not deterred people in the ICO industry as the TNABC event had shown this space is still growing exponentially.

Many Crypto Businesses, Gadgets, and Speakers

In addition to the ICO madness, TNABC hosted an extensive number of speakers and other types of businesses focused on assets like bitcoin cash, ethereum, dash, and bitcoin core. Well known businesses in attendance included Shapeshift, RSK, Bitpay, Bread, Edge (formally Airbitz), Netki, and more. Many of the companies said their growth last year was substantial and many reputable crypto-based firms said they had big announcements planned for 2018. TNABC also had live GPU miners running in the exhibit halls, a virtual reality setup, and a 3D printer making physical bitcoins in addition to the ‘swag’ participants were collecting throughout the day.

Cryptocurrency ATM, and a 3D printer creating physical bitcoins on site.

Throughout each day of the event, there were various speakers from different companies, developers, and luminary-esque cryptocurrency evangelists. Notable keynote speakers included Overstock’s Patrick Byrne and his Tzero project, Unsung’s Jason King, director of content at FEE Jeffrey Tucker, and the Dollar Vigilante’s Jeff Berwick.

The Hodler’s Bright Future

As usual, the Foundation for Economic Education’s Jeffrey Tucker’s speech got the audience fired up from his words towards the future of the crypto movement. Tucker explained how FEE started in 1933 and how it was an interesting year because the U.S. president FDR destroyed the country’s money. Tucker explains how the president then confiscated everyone’s gold and jailed and fined people if they did not comply. The FEE director notes: 

“The third thing FDR did was devalue the currency to 1/20th of an ounce to 1/35th of an ounce of gold. That was an unbelievable trauma right here in the United States of America. You see the founder of my institute said:”

Enough is enough people don’t have control over their wealth and can’t manage it themselves the people are not free.  

“Do you know how people responded? This is fascinating to me — they hoarded. For fifteen years they hoarded and they didn’t trust the banks anymore. The money went into the mattresses it went underground. A lot of people kept their gold and buried it and the savings grew and grew. The depression didn’t end until the thirties and World War II came to an end — And you know what happened after WWII? All the experts said there would be a depression.”

It didn’t happen you know why? — Because people hoarded — Because of the savings and capital that was put together over the course of those fifteen years formed the basis of a new prosperity and the greatest period of economic growth in the history of the world right here in the U.S. because of the defiance of the American people. Let me tell you, my friends, we got a lot of ‘hodlers’ here — there’s a beautiful future ahead — You are the future.

TNABC a Great Example of Cryptocurrencies Growing Up

Overall the crowd was very excited and positive for the future that lies ahead and very much believed the words of Tucker and many other visionaries who attended TNABC. Many also believed the digital asset economy would rebound after the past few weeks and cryptocurrency prices had jumped significantly throughout the event. The bitcoin event in Miami was a full house both days and the thousands of enthusiasts in attendance have shown the extent to which cryptocurrency has matured.

What crypto conferences will you be attending this year? Let us know in the comments below.

Disclaimer: Bitcoin.com was a sponsor of TNABC and media partner. 

Images courtesy of Jamie Redman, TNABC, Keynote Events, and Moe Levin.

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New Research: Laundering of Illicit Funds Less than 1% of Bitcoin Transactions


Research Concludes that Laundering of Illicit Funds Constitutes Less than 1% of Bitcoin Transactions


The Foundation for Defense of Democracies’ Center of Sanctions and Illicit Finance in conjunction with blockchain analytics company, Elliptic, has published a study seeking to track the circulations of illicit funds within the bitcoin economy from 2013 to 2016. The research concludes that the share of funds of illicit origin comprises less than one percent of all bitcoin flows, and has exponentially declined as the cryptocurrency has gained increasing adoption and popularity.

Also Read: Autopsy of the Bitconnect Implosion: Ponzi, Centralization, Governance

Study Seeks to Track Illicit Bitcoin Flows From 2013 to 2016

Research Concludes that Laundering of Illicit Funds Constitutes Less than 1% of Bitcoin TransactionsThe report states that “Criminals – often early adopters of new technologies – quickly appreciated that bitcoin has unique properties that could potentially serve their interest in evading law enforcement.” The research asserts that “bitcoin’s illicit use is mainly based on anecdotal evidence, usually without supporting data analysis of how it is used across geographical regions, or trends over time.” Although the report concedes that “it is impossible to quantify exactly how much bitcoin is used illicitly,” the research seeks to utilize Elliptic’s “forensic” blockchain network analysis to estimate the methods employed and scale of money laundering that is conducted using bitcoin.

“The research intends to provide insights for policymakers and financial industry leaders who want to better understand illicit finance risks arising from bitcoin,” in order to greater inform the development of legislation addressing the “Anti-Money Laundering and Combating the Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT)” concerns pertaining to bitcoin – which largely stem from “Users of bitcoin employ[ing] pseudonyms rather than names,” and cryptocurrency being “transferred without intermediaries and across international borders as easily as sending an email.”

Study Methodology

Research Concludes that Laundering of Illicit Funds Constitutes Less than 1% of Bitcoin TransactionsThe report draws off “extensive analysis of a narrow data sample of bitcoin transactions between 2013 and 2016,” however, states that “The parameters of the study were purposefully narrow to keep the data manageable, which likely minimized the volume of illicit bitcoins considered for analysis.” The research employs “Elliptic’s forensic analysis tool, which combines public blockchain data with a proprietary dataset of bitcoin addresses associated with known entities, to provide visibility into who is transacting with whom in bitcoin.”

The study examines 214 conversion services, “including virtual currency exchanges, gambling sites, and mixers,” in addition to bitcoin circulations originating from 102 illicit entities. The illicit entities considered include 30 darknet marketplaces, 6 darknet services, 16 darknet vendors, 5 identified Ponzi schemes, 19 ransomware schemes, and 26 entities engaged in fraudulent activities

Money Laundering Comprises Less Than One Percent of Bitcoin Circulations

Research Concludes that Laundering of Illicit Funds Constitutes Less than 1% of Bitcoin TransactionsThe findings state that “The amount of observed bitcoin laundering [is] small,” with “darknet marketplaces such as Silk Road and, later, AlphaBay,” comprising “the source of almost all of the illicit bitcoins laundered through conversion services” identified in the study.

The research states that “Bitcoin exchanges received the greatest amount of identified illicit bitcoins out of all conversion services” – likely owing to the fact that exchanges “process the majority of bitcoin transactions overall.” Of the 120 exchanges included in the study, 50% of illicit volume is attributed to just two European Union (EU)-based exchanges.

Online gambling sites and mixers, however, are identified as processing “the highest proportion of bitcoin laundering with their platforms.” The findings state that 97 percent of incoming transfers to gambling and mixer websites can be attributed to just three services – which in turn account for almost half of the illicit volume analyzed.

The Majority of Illicit Bitcoin Transactions Were Processed in Europe

Research Concludes that Laundering of Illicit Funds Constitutes Less than 1% of Bitcoin TransactionsThe research concludes that “conversion services based in Europe received the greatest share of illicit bitcoins out of identifiable regions,” receiving “more than five times as much as North American services.”

The report also identifies that whilst “Asian conversion services processed the highest share of all incoming bitcoin transactions in 2015 and 2016,” such “accounted for a disproportionately small share of bitcoin laundering during those years.” Despite the findings, it is recognized that “a large percentage of conversion services that receive illicit bitcoins appear to conceal their country of operations.”

Darknet Markets Account for Vast Majority of Illicit Funds Transferred Using Bitcoin

Research Concludes that Laundering of Illicit Funds Constitutes Less than 1% of Bitcoin TransactionsThe research states that darknet marketplaces account for more than 97% of illicit funds circulated throughout the bitcoin economy between 2013 and 2016. The only year examined in which darknet markets were found to have accounted for less than 97% of illicit funds was 2016, during which 80.42% of illicit funds were attributed to anonymous free markets – owing to the rise of ransomware which was estimated to have been the origin of 15.75% of the bitcoins associated with illegal activities entering into conversion services that year.

The research indicates that the flow of bitcoins via darknet marketplaces is highly centralized – with over 50% of illicit funds originating from no more than two anonymous marketplaces during each year. During 2013 it was estimated that almost 90% of illicit funds came from The Silk Road, whilst in 2014 Agora and Silk Road 2.0 accounted for over 40% of illicit bitcoin flows respectively. In 2015 the share of illicit funds across individual darknet markets became more pluralized, with four sites accounting for between approximately 9 and 14 percent of black market bitcoins, although Agora’s share increased to almost 48% during that year. Following the collapse of numerous darknet markets in 2016, more than 75% of illicit funds identified in the study were deemed to have originated from either Alphabay or Nucleus Market.

Policy Recommendations

Research Concludes that Laundering of Illicit Funds Constitutes Less than 1% of Bitcoin TransactionsThe foundation concludes that in order to effectively combat money laundering through bitcoin mixers and online gambling services, “Financial authorities in all jurisdictions must increase AML enforcement” of said websites. The report also advocates that law enforcement “not only target darknet websites,” but expose “their vulnerabilities publicly” in order to “increase customer skepticism” regarding the integrity and perceived security of said platforms.

Emphasis is placed on the need for regulatory institutions to mandate that “European virtual currency exchanges […] improve AML practices.” The report states that the absence of clear legislation pertaining to cryptocurrency-to-cryptocurrency exchanges results in EU-based exchanges adopting robust AML policies out of choice, rather than obligation. It is noted that the European Union has begun to take steps designed to tackle such, as evidenced by the updating of the EU’s “2015 Anti-Money Laundering Directive so that its regulations cover virtual currency exchanges and custodian wallet services.” However, the research concludes that “even the updated language has loopholes that could permit significant cryptocurrency laundering.”

Lastly, the researchers advocate that “The U.S Congress should mandate a National Commission for Digital Currency Preparedness and help develop a national blockchain technology innovation strategy” in order to “counter state actors aiming to use cryptocurrencies to circumvent U.S., EU, and UN sanctions.”

What is your response to the study’s conclusions regarding money laundering in the bitcoin economy? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!

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PR: Bitmora Exchange – a New Exchange Is Fixing the Fee System


Bitmora Exchange

This is a paid press release, which contains forward looking statements, and should be treated as advertising or promotional material. Bitcoin.com does not endorse nor support this product/service. Bitcoin.com is not responsible for or liable for any content, accuracy or quality within the press release.

On average, the typical stock purchase costs between $10 and $20, while the cost to exchange a cryptocurrency costs anywhere from 0.15%-0.25% of the amount being traded. You are probably thinking “Fantastic” if you’re playing with $500. But what if your trades start growing larger as you become more successful? Or if they are already something substantial, like $5,000?

Whether you trade through Poloniex, Bittrex or any other current exchange, the fees involved severely prohibit the profitability of crypto trading. Most exchanges use something called a “maker and taker” system. The maker creates volume. This important market function comes with the built-in incentive of lower fees. On the other end, the taker is simply the trader who benefits from this function by executing orders on prices offered by the maker. The cost of utilizing these functions is a higher fee. Traditional fee systems have set makers at 0.15%, with takers ranging between 0.20%-0.25%. If you’re starting out small with a couple thousand dollars and keep trades to a minimum, you will be largely unaffected. Meanwhile, active investors and traders with substantial amounts of coins will be faced with fees that prevent them from meeting their required rates of return! For a day trader executing a single $3,000 transaction, this 0.2% fee equals out to $6! If you take it a step further and include the exchange fee required to get back to their original position, they could expect to pay nearly $12 per trade. Every day these outrageous fees turn thousands of investors and traders away from the trading opportunity of a lifetime.

With all of this coming to light, a new cryptocurrency exchange has risen to challenge the status quo, bringing both a professional and mature fee system to this sector. Bitmora has popped up in the news these past few months and has been a trending topic on social media. It is becoming clear that people really love the idea they’ve brought in: a revolutionary fee system that doesn’t bind the user to any set fee system, but instead allows them to choose what works best for them. Upon registering on the exchange, the user will be given a choice between a traditional and a fixed fee system and will be given the ability to change this at any time. Both large and small volume traders alike will be able to trade calmly and effectively without the worry of their profits being eaten away by outrageous fees.

The first fee system includes your traditional maker fee at 0.14% and a taker at 0.24%. Nothing to get too excited about, but perfect for you small volume traders out there. The real action comes into play with their fixed base fee system, which is a near carbon copy of what you see in the stock market. The fixed base fee system features a standard maker fee of 0.01% and taker of 0.03% with a flat $7 added on top. Any trader with $5,000 will feel the benefit of keeping more of their money in their pockets. Any trader with $8,000 will be needing a bigger wallet as they’ll be saving nearly half their profit in fees. The fee system being created by Bitmora is a game changer and might spell the end of exchanges charging such predatory fees.

Bitmora is creating a cryptocurrency exchange to please all ends of the spectrum. By creating this revolutionary system, they have displayed a willingness to accommodate any trader or investor. The Bitmora Exchange is not released yet. It is still in development, and its funding stage is coming to an end soon. If you’re interested in investing and helping to fund the Bitmora Exchange, go here https://bitmora.com/register.php to sign up and learn more. It’s completely free to sign up, and you’ll be able to create suggestions and vote on other user suggestions through their portal.

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This is a paid press release. Readers should do their own due diligence before taking any actions related to the promoted company or any of its affiliates or services. Bitcoin.com is not responsible, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any content, goods or services mentioned in the press release.

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US Regulator Sues Three Companies For Cryptocurrency Fraud


US Regulator Sues Three Companies For Cryptocurrency Fraud


The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission has filed charges against three separate companies for engaging in fraudulent schemes involving cryptocurrencies. The cases include fraud and misappropriation of bitcoin and litecoin.

Also read: South Korean Officials Caught Trading On Insider Knowledge of Crypto Regulations

CFTC Sues Crypto Operators

US Regulator Sues Three Companies For Cryptocurrency FraudThe U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) filed civil enforcement actions in a New York District Court on Thursday against three separate cryptocurrency operators for allegedly defrauding customers and breaking commodity trading rules. The agency proceeded to post details of two of the cases on its website on Friday.

The first case concerns Colorado resident Dillon Michael Dean and his UK-registered company, the Entrepreneurs Headquarters Ltd. They solicited $1.1 million worth of bitcoin from over 600 members of the public from April 2017 to the present, promising to convert them into fiat currency and invest in a pooled investment vehicle such as binary options. Dean claims to have “strong skills” in options trading and customers were promised high rates of return, the CFTC detailed.

US Regulator Sues Three Companies For Cryptocurrency FraudHowever, the derivatives watchdog alleges that the defendants did not trade on behalf of their customers but misappropriated over $1 million in customers’ funds. Dean also launched another similar trading venture called Real Trade Profits.

Citing that the defendants failed to register with the Commission as a Commodity Pool Operator (CPO) and Associated Person of a CPO, the agency stated:

The CFTC Complaint charges the defendants with engaging in a fraudulent scheme to solicit bitcoin from members of the public, misrepresenting that customers’ funds would be pooled and invested in products including binary options, making Ponzi-style payments to commodity pool participants from other participants’ funds, [and] misappropriating pool participants’ funds.

Bitcoin and Litecoin Related Fraud

US Regulator Sues Three Companies For Cryptocurrency FraudThe second case concerns Patrick K. Mcdonnell and his company Cabbage Tech. Corp., doing business as Coin Drop Markets (CDM).

The CFTC is “charging them with fraud and misappropriation in connection with purchases and trading of bitcoin and litecoin.” Citing that neither Mcdonnell nor his company has ever been registered with the agency in any capacity, the regulator added:

The CFTC Complaint alleges that from approximately January 2017 to the present, Mcdonnell and CDM engaged in a deceptive and fraudulent virtual currency scheme to induce customers to send money and virtual currencies to CDM, purportedly in exchange for real-time virtual currency trading advice and for virtual currency purchasing and trading on behalf of the customers under Mcdonnell’s direction.

The Commission found that “the supposedly expert, real-time virtual currency advice was never provided,” adding that customers never saw the funds they sent to Mcdonnell or CDM again. Furthermore, the agency stated that the defendants “removed the website and social media materials from the Internet and ceased communicating with CDM Customers, who lost most if not all of their invested funds due to [the] defendants’ fraud and misappropriation.”

The third case, however, “remained under seal,” Reuters described. At the time of this writing, the CFTC has not released the details of the third case.

What do you think of the CFTC suing these companies for crypto-related fraud? Let us know in the comments section below.

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