Robinhood Faces 458% Spike in Crypto Customers–Massive Increase from 1.7 Million to 9.5 Million in Q1 of 2021
Joen Coronel, 09 April 2021
On Thursday, Apr. 8, Robinhood announced a staggering surge in the number of its customers who engage in cryptocurrency trading. The financial services company which was founded on Apr. 18, 2013, has recorded that 9.5 million people have used the platform during the first quarter of this year.
The said number shoots up to a stupendous 458% increase in users, which only accounts for 1.7 million in 2020’s Q4.
How Robinhood Sudden Became Popular in Crypto Trading Continue reading “Article: Robinhood Faces 458% Spike in Crypto Customers–Massive Increase from 1.7 Million to 9.5 Million in Q1 of 2021”
Robinhood Says 9.5 Million People Traded Crypto on Its App in Q1
Will Gottsegen, 09 April 2021
The online brokerage service Robinhood said on Thursday that 9.5 million of its customers traded cryptocurrency on its platform in Q1 of 2021.
That’s up from just 1.7 million in Q4 of last year, a 458% spike.
In a blog post, the company chalked up the numbers to crypto’s growing “popularity”: the global market cap of all cryptocurrencies has doubled in the past three months to over $2 trillion. Continue reading “Article: Robinhood Says 9.5 Million People Traded Crypto on Its App in Q1”
BCH Price Prediction: Bitcoin Cash risks a price decline towards $500 as selling spree looms
Robert Githinji, 07 April 2021
Over the past few days, Bitcoin Cash has been recording significant price surges, appreciating by over 30 percent in value. Despite the impressive bull run, Bitcoin Cash recently experienced a price correction towards the $600 region. At present, multiple technical indicators are showing BCH could experience further price declines. Continue reading “Article: BCH Price Prediction: Bitcoin Cash risks a price decline towards $500 as selling spree looms”
XRP Pumped To $1, Ignoring SEC Lawsuit
Dana Sanchez, 07 April 2021
XRP, the currency that runs on the digital payment platform RippleNet, hit $1 on Tuesday morning EDT, becoming the fourth highest-valued cryptocurrency with a $45.5 billion market cap despite being sued by the U.S. agency that works against market manipulation.
After rising as high as $1.12, XRP was trading at $0.96 as of this writing, with a $43.567 billion market cap — still ranked at No. 4 by CoinMarketCap, before slipping down to fifth place after Tether. Continue reading “Article: XRP Pumped To $1, Ignoring SEC Lawsuit”
Bitcoin’s ‘Kimchi premium’ slips as South Korean officials pledge action on illegal crypto market activities
Kollen Post, 07 April 2021
South Korea’s government has pledged to focus on illegal activities in crypto markets.
The South Korean Financial Services Commission, Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Justice, among other regulators, met on April 7 to discuss virtual asset trading. In their announcement following the meeting, the authorities wrote: Continue reading “Article: Bitcoin’s ‘Kimchi premium’ slips as South Korean officials pledge action on illegal crypto market activities”
Todd Ehret, 06 April 2021
Bitcoin, other cryptocurrencies, and essentially all digital assets have surged in price recently amid surging interest by the public, investors of all types, and the financial industry. Despite a steadily growing acceptance and anticipation of a crypto-friendly regulatory environment under the new administration in Washington, the future regulatory framework for digital assets is complex and uncertain. Continue reading “Article: INSIGHT: U.S. cryptocurrency regulatory path appears long and complex”
High Profile Crypto Execs Dodge Bitcoin Cash ‘Hijack’ Lawsuit
Andrew Asmakov, 02 April 2021
A federal court in Florida has dismissed an antitrust suit filed against Bitcoin.com founder Roger Ver and several other prominent figures in the crypto industry, accused of market manipulation during a contentious split of the Bitcoin Cash network in November 2018, Law360 reported.
Other defendants in the case included Kraken CEO Jesse Powell, former CEO of Bitmain Technologies Jihan Wu, as well as Bitcoin Cash developers Shammah Chancellor and Jason Cox.
First filed by United American Corp (UAC) in December 2018 and amended in March 2020, the lawsuit claimed that the defendants colluded to manipulate the cryptocurrency market to favor Bitcoin Cash as some participants on the network were engaged in creating a competing clone called Bitcoin SV. Continue reading “Article: High Profile Crypto Execs Dodge Bitcoin Cash ‘Hijack’ Lawsuit”
Claiming flight risk, judge orders Free Keene activist held until bitcoin money laundering trial
Mark Hayward New Hampshire Union Leader, 30 March 2021
CONCORD — Free Keene activist and cryptocurrency trader Ian Freeman will remain behind bars as he awaits trial on charges of money laundering, fraud and other financial crimes, a magistrate judge ruled Monday.
In a 17-page order that lays out the decision, Judge Andrea Johnstone said she is not confident that a freed Freeman will show up for trial in the future. She also feared that his freedom could allow his alleged crimes to continue.
During a hearing earlier this month, prosecutors described the wealth Freeman has built up in his exchange business, including 28 bitcoins, a $1.6 million cache this is almost impossible to trace and can be accessed anywhere. Continue reading “Article: Claiming flight risk, judge orders Free Keene activist held until bitcoin money laundering trial”
Crypto Shadow Banking Explained and Why 12% Yields Are Common
Matthew Leising, 27 March 2021
(Bloomberg) — A swathe of shadow banks in the $1.6 trillion cryptocurrency market have figured out how to generate returns of 12% with minimal risk: Lend U.S. dollars to hedge funds so they can buy Bitcoin.
Some of the largest non-bank firms in cryptocurrency including BitGo, BlockFi, Galaxy Digital and Genesis are stepping up to meet investor demand for dollars amid a long-standing weariness by banks to lend to individuals or companies associated with Bitcoin and other digital assets. In this case, they’re lending to hedge funds that need cash to buy Bitcoin for a trade that is almost guaranteed to pay out at annualized returns that have recently hit 20% to 40%.
“The people with all the money — the banks, the brokerages — they’re not in this space yet,” said Jeff Dorman, chief investment officer for Arca Capital Management, which specializes in digital assets. “Everyone wants to borrow dollars, but there’s not enough dollars in the space,” Dorman said. “There is a huge cash shortage.” Continue reading “Article: Crypto Shadow Banking Explained and Why 12% Yields Are Common”
Money Laundering Might Taint NFTs Too, Prepare For Tighter Controls
Simon Chandler, 27 March 2021
While non-fungible tokens (NFTs) are certainly the big thing in crypto at the moment, they aren’t without their problems. Aside from accusations of hype and faddishness, NFTs also raise the familiar and thorny issue of money laundering.
Without much in the way of quantitative proof, detractors have linked the burgeoning NFT market with money laundering, with some people describing them as the “best money laundering method in the cryptocurrency world.”
However, industry players speaking with Cryptonews.com suggested that, while NFTs are open to money launderers, there’s currently nothing concrete to indicate that their use for laundering is significantly worse than it is in the traditional art world, or with other types of crypto. At the same time, they attest that the strict introduction of KYC/AML (know your customer / anti-money laundering) standards will help combat this emerging problem. Continue reading “Article: Money Laundering Might Taint NFTs Too, Prepare For Tighter Controls”
Crypto Must Apply Safety Lessons of the Existing Financial System
Rick McDonell, 25 March 2021
There is a revealing, albeit slightly morbid, maxim that “safety standards are written in blood.” Humans and human-created systems generally tend to be reactive rather than proactive when it comes to developing protective rules. Nevertheless, today’s construction workers and consumers are more shielded from danger than those of the past because we’ve learned from prior mistakes.
Rick McDonell was the executive secretary of the Financial Action Task Force from 2007 until 2016. Prior to that, he was chief of the United Nations Global Program against Money Laundering at the UNODC. He is now executive director of ACAMS, the Association of Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialists.
The same dynamic exists in financial regulation, where it could be said that “financial standards are written in fraud.” For example, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission didn’t exist in the first iterations of the stock market. It was only after “Black Tuesday,” the 1929 stock market crash so severe that it was a major contributing factor to the Great Depression, that new laws and regulations were introduced that continue to define modern finance. But the world has morphed into two: the real world and the virtual world. The old rules do not suit either of them.
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Coinbase pays $6.5M to settle government investigation into false reporting
DUNCAN RILEY, 21 March 2021
Cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase Global Inc. has been fined $6.5 million by the U.S. Commodity Future Trading Commision to settle allegations that it undertook reckless false, misleading or inaccurate reporting as well as so-called wash trading between 2015 and 2018.
Along with the fine, announced Friday, Coinbase is also subject to stop any further violations of the Commodity Exchange Act or CFTC regulations.
Between January 2015 and September 2018, Coinbase is said to have operated two automated trading programs, Hedger and Replicator, that generated orders that at times matched one another on the GDAX electronic trading platform operated by the company. Although the GDAX rules did disclose that Coinbase was trading on the GDAX it failed to disclose that Coinbase was operating more than one trading program and trading through multiple accounts. Continue reading “Article: Coinbase pays $6.5M to settle government investigation into false reporting”
The future of bitcoin with Max Keiser, plus the US’s bombing addiction, and surveillance capitalism
RT NEws, 19 March 2021
Max Keiser is Lee Camp’s guest this week, for a conversation about bitcoin. Keiser argues that bitcoin has the potential to change the world in a progressive direction by replacing government-controlled fiat currencies and democratizing the economy. They discuss the future of bitcoin, market manipulation by the oligarchs at the top of the system, how cryptocurrencies can make imperialist wars irrelevant, and the real inflation rate.
After that, Lee explores the results of a new study by the women’s peace organization CODEPINK, which found that, over the past 20 years, the US has dropped an average of 46 bombs a day.
Finally, Natalie McGill reports on the surveillance system Flock, which is similar to the Amazon Ring, but offers extra, creepier methods of invading the privacy of your neighbors. She also looks into a new web search engine from the browser Brave, which allows you to surf anonymously, block third-party vendors from scraping your info, and prioritize independent news sites in search results.
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Prosecutor: Alleged money launderer Ian Freeman holds $1.6 million in Bitcoins
Mark Hayward New Hampshire Union Leader, 19 March 2021
CONCORD — Free-Keene leader Ian Freeman has accessed $1.66 million worth of Bitcoins and had $178,000 in cash in his safe when his house was raided by federal authorities this week, prosecutors said on Friday.
Federal prosecutors also said Freeman has access to gold, silver, and possibly other liquid assets and cryptocurrencies. Freeman — who faces eight felony charges including money laundering, wire fraud and conspiracy — could tap those assets and use them to flee if a judge releases him on bail, prosecutors warned.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Georgina MacDonald voiced those concerns during an hour-plus bail hearing streamed live Friday from U.S. District Court in Concord.
The hearing ended with Judge Magistrate Andrea Johnstone deferring a decision and promising a written order as soon as possible.
On Tuesday, the FBI arrested Freeman and five others who are part of the libertarian Free Keene movement on charges related to a Bitcoin-dollar exchange system they ran through churches they were closely affiliated with.
Freeman is the only one to face charges of money laundering and operating a continuing financial crimes enterprise, which call for mandatory minimum sentences of 10 years.
MacDonald termed Freeman a sophisticated cybercriminal.
Close to 70 people, including media, FBI agents and some with cryptic names, logged on for the hearing. Freeman participated via video feed from Merrimack County jail.
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Current Attempts To Define Regulator Roles in Cryptocurrency Enforcement Actions
Kenneth M. Breen and Phara A. Guberman, 19 March 2021
On March 5, 2021, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York charged John McAfee and his former employee, Jimmy Gale Watson, with conspiracy, fraud, and money laundering charges in connection with his cryptocurrency activities—specifically McAfee’s Twitter statements touting various cryptocurrencies and his false and misleading statements concerning personal investments or other involvement with those same cryptocurrencies. The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) have filed civil charges against McAfee and his former colleague in separate parallel actions, each based on a different aspect of McAfee’s alleged scheme. This case and the expected upcoming congressional task force on cryptocurrencies are likely to provide the market with more clarity on how coins and projects will be treated in investigations, including whether they can be treated as securities or commodities and the relative roles of the SEC and CFTC.
In the McAfee case, the first alleged part of the scheme is a pump-and-dump. A pump-and-dump scheme generally involves a party or entity acquiring a position in a financial instrument and then artificially inflating the value of that instrument before selling at an inflated price. In this case, McAfee and his team allegedly bought large quantities of various less popular than Bitcoin but publicly traded cryptocurrencies, such as Dogecoin, Reddcoin, and Verge. McAfee, a public figure of sorts because of his anti-virus software and social media following, then publicly endorsed and recommended a particular cryptocurrency on Twitter. When the value of that cryptocurrency increased, McAfee and his team sold their investments, earning a cumulative profit of approximately $2 million. According to the indictment, McAfee liquidated many of his cryptocurrency holdings through New York Stock-Exchange-based companies, implicating various securities laws.
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