Crypto Cruise Ship ‘Satoshi’ to Make Panama Bay Home | News Bitcoin News

Crypto Cruise Ship 'Satoshi' to Make Panama Bay Home | News Bitcoin News

Crypto Cruise Ship 'Satoshi' to Make Panama Bay Home

The Crypto Cruise Ship called Satoshi is gearing up to set sail from the Mediterranean to Panama, where it will drop anchor and call the bay its home. The ship has 777 cabins that will be auctioned off as condos. Bitcoin will be accepted for all goods and services aboard.

Ocean Builders, a company that builds “seapods” or floating homes for seasteaders, has unveiled “The Crypto Cruise Ship” called Satoshi. It is being prepared to set sail from the Mediterranean and will anchor in the Gulf of Panama.

The Crypto Cruise Ship Satoshi is 811 feet long with 12 decks and 777 cabins to be auctioned off as condos. It will have three restaurants, a juice bar, two cafes, three bars, two pools, four whirlpools, a water park, and more, Ocean Builders’ website details. Bitcoin will be accepted throughout the ship for all goods and services, alongside U.S. dollars and other forms of payment.

According to the Maritime Executive publication, the Crypto Cruise Ship Satoshi was formerly a cruise ship called the “Pacific Dawn” by P&O Cruises Australia. Built in 1991, it has been operating with Princess Cruises and P&O Australia. P&O’s parent company, Carnival Corporation, recently sold the ship as its business was affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

American bitcoin entrepreneur Chad Elwartowski, COO of Ocean Builders, says that his company is scheduled to take delivery of the cruise ship on Nov. 4 in the Mediterranean. The ship will subsequently be renamed to Satoshi, after Satoshi Nakamoto, the pseudonymous creator of Bitcoin.

Elwartowski has been a pioneer in seasteading. Last year, he and his Thai girlfriend got into trouble with the government of Thailand while occupying a sea home off the coast of Phuket. The Thai government accused the couple of violating the country’s sovereignty and the Thai Navy seized their home and issued arrest warrants for both of them.

Regarding the Crypto Cruise Ship Satoshi, Elwartowski was quoted as saying: “We look forward to creating a hub for technology and innovation here in Panama. Our goal is to figure out how to live sustainably on the sea and chart new waters in this new frontier.” In addition to permanent residential units, Ocean Builders says that vacation rentals will also be available on the ship.

Registration has already opened and auctions for the cabins are scheduled to take place between Nov. 5 and Nov. 28. According to Ocean Builders, the move-in date will be in January next year. Buyers will acquire full ownership of their cabins and will be required to pay a monthly fee to cover operating expenses. The publication added that the first sale will be for 200 cabins, tentatively priced between $25,000 and $50,000.

Would you buy or rent a cabin on the Crypto Cruise Ship Satoshi? Let us know in the comments section below.

Spot-markets for Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ripple, Litecoin and more. Start your trading here.

Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only. It is not a direct offer or solicitation of an offer to buy or sell, or a recommendation or endorsement of any products, services, or companies. does not provide investment, tax, legal, or accounting advice. Neither the company nor the author is 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 this article.


Author: News

Kevin Helms

Bitcoin mining’s future is green, and Russia has the best chance

Bitcoin mining’s future is green, and Russia has the best chance

Last month, Chinese President Xi Jinping, declared that China has plans to become carbon neutral by 2060, calling for a “green revolution.”

If the plan is properly implemented, it could help China to finally shed its biggest-polluter status and significantly improve the global ecosystem, which could also drastically shake up the country’s eminent Bitcoin (BTC) mining industry.

The most well-known mining hub of China is the Southern province of Sichuan, which has an abundant hydroelectricity sector. However, the electricity there is especially cheap only during the wet season, which takes place between May and September. Outside of that period, most miners migrate up north to Xinjiang and Inner Mongolia, which currently generate over 40% of the total Bitcoin hash rate. Unlike Sichuan, however, those desert regions depend mainly on non-renewable sources of energy such as coal. If the government proceeds to push for net-zero carbon dioxide emissions, mining there will become inefficient, and local players will be left with much fewer options.

As the world has finally learned the hard truths of climate change and human-caused emissions of carbon dioxide, having constant access to renewable energy is going to become one of the most important factors in Bitcoin mining. But are there any locations that can cater to this requirement?

Let’s take a look at the Bitcoin Mining Map that indicates a close estimate of the geographic distribution of the global BTC hash rate. China, of course, is the uncontested king, making up more than 65%. Following China are the United States, Russia and Kazakhstan, which are neck and neck at 7,24%, 6,90% and 6,17%, respectively.

The Commonwealth of Independent States, or the CIS region, which includes both Russia and Kazakhstan, seems to be particularly overlooked by international players, mostly due to a lack of information about local mining scenes.

Akin to Northern China, Kazakhstan’s electricity is produced mostly by coal power plants. It’s cheap, but not sustainable. Also, the local government has been interfering with the electricity market by lowering tariffs and cost, meaning that they might eventually bounce back.

Russia, on the other hand, has lots of natural prerequisites for cheap renewable electricity, as well as a more stable economic environment.

If you ask me to name one thing that the Soviet Union was good at, I’d say industrial infrastructure.

Most of Bitcoin mining in Russia takes place in the famous Siberian region, which has also been a key spot for aluminum production since the 1960s. Because energy is consumed at all stages in the production of aluminum, the USSR chose to build Siberian smelters along with hydropower plants (Russia hosts as much as 9% of the world’s hydro resources, mostly in Siberia and the far east).

Aluminum smelting technology has evolved since then, making production much more energy-efficient. That, along with the fact that the Soviet government often left room for future growth when building infrastructure, is the key reason why the region has so much excess power these days. According to RusHydro, the world’s second-largest hydroelectric power producer, the total installed capacity of hydropower units in Russia is currently approximately 45 million kilowatts. More specifically, hydropower plants in Siberia are estimated to produce almost 10% of the total output of all power plants controlled by the Unified National Energy Network.

Another key aspect is Siberia’s infamous climate, where it’s cold nine months of the year. If there’s anything that this kind of weather is good for, it’s hosting a datacenter stuffed with large ASIC units running at full capacity. Anyone who has ever tried running a mining rig at home during summer will likely know what I mean.

Russia’s vicinity to China is also a big plus, as the best mining hardware is produced there.

Historically, Moscow has had a strong economic relationship with Beijing, which continues to strengthen to this day. The shipping between the two countries is cheap, fast and constant: Freight trains and cargo aircraft continue to run despite the COVID-19 pandemic.

Now, imagine shipping thousands of mining rigs to the state of Texas from Beijing, considering that the U.S. is in a trade war with China and has slapped a hefty 25% tariff on imported mining equipment.

Related: China and US must learn from one another and collaborate on CBDC

Continuing the comparison to the U.S., operating expense and capital expense costs of maintaining a data center are considerably lower in Russia, mostly because local labor and construction costs are cheaper.

Furthermore, if your rig breaks down, you don’t even have to send it back to China, wasting several weeks (which is considered ages in Bitcoin mining). Institutional-scale Russian facilities tend to have in-house repair centers with technicians trained directly by top Chinese mining hardware manufacturers, so they can quickly get everything up and running again.

Russia has been the third-largest Bitcoin mining country in the world for quite a while now, and the local industry has developed significantly.

Hearing all of this for this first time, one might argue: But the Russian government has banned crypto. Well, that’s not factually correct. Let’s take a closer look at the country’s major crypto-related law, called “On Digital Financial Assets,” or DFA, that was signed into law in July.

The bill prohibits Russian residents from making payments in cryptocurrencies starting from January 2021 but legally recognizes them as “digital financial assets.” It does not mention cryptocurrency mining in any form, meaning that currently, there are no legal restrictions.

In early September, however, Russia’s Ministry of Finance reportedly proposed to amend the DFA law to prohibit miners from receiving payments in crypto for their activities. As the authority reportedly stated:

“Standalone crypto mining is legal, but it loses its financial value because the payment is usually processed in Bitcoins and Ethers.”

While no one knows if the amendments will get approved, what they imply is pretty straightforward: Russians can’t sell the coins that they mine, but they can legally host their hardware and other infrastructure for foreign players. Most likely, the change will affect mom-and-pop operations, since large-scale miners are normally paid in fiat currency. Moreover, operations whose clients are overseas can still be legally paid in crypto from abroad even if the proposed bill comes into effect.

Besides, regional authorities in Siberia are growing highly supportive of large mining operators because they pay taxes, create jobs, and put that excess energy to use. The truth is that the government is pro-business and has no interest whatsoever in destroying something that contributes to the economy.

At this point, the government has already met all the local large-scale mining operators mostly because the consumption of several megawatts of power is easily detectable by the electric grid operator (and naturally requires some sort of explanation). Earlier in August, the Ministry of Digital Development, Communications and Mass Media published a proposed bill that would establish additional control over data centers in Russia.

A skeptic would continue: But surely you will get scammed if you choose to mine in Russia. While doing business is never a risk-free activity, especially when it comes to the cryptocurrency industry, there are actually no reported cases of crypto mining-related scams in Russia. The police regularly shut down illegal operations that steal electricity, but the authorities never scour compliant operations who pay due taxes and costs.

Curiously, most stories about inconsistent mining players come from North America, which is generally considered to be a highly-regulated market. In fact, the region is littered with carcasses of mining companies that either suddenly went bust or turned out to be scams, disappearing with investors’ money in both cases.

The most recent example would be the Toronto-based HyperBlock, which abruptly closed down its 20-megawatt data center in May, saying that it had to cease operation due to the Bitcoin halving — despite the fact that it is a regular event that companies can prepare for well in advance. Similarly, in early 2019, U.S.-based major crypto mining and blockchain firm Giga Watt closed access and power to its facilities after allegedly failing to pay $300,000 in utility bills.

Sure, Russia could use some clearer regulation on mining (like most countries in the world), but this process will likely take some time. The most important thing is that the government has finally communicated its general attitude, which could be summarized in the following way: “We’re skeptical about the use of cryptocurrencies as a payment method, but are fine with the related activities that stimulate our economy.”

Consequently, it seems like Russians are getting ready for a mining boom similar to the one that happened in 2017. Local retailers have recently reported a 49% spike in crypto mining-related sales of graphic cards in August, and GPU sales registered from June to August are up 470% compared to last year, so things are clearly heating up.

The views, thoughts and opinions expressed here are the author’s alone and do not necessarily reflect or represent the views and opinions of Cointelegraph.

Igor Runets is the founder and CEO of BitRiver, the largest colocation services provider for Bitcoin mining in Russia and the CIS region. After completing his MBA from Stanford, Igor returned to Russia to utilize his more than 10 years of experience in enterprise-class data centers and the excess hydroelectric power of Siberia to bring institutional-grade Bitcoin mining to investors around the world.


Author: By TeamMMG

Analyst: Chainlink Likely to Rally to $16.50 as It Approaches Key Level

Analyst: Chainlink Likely to Rally to $16.50 as It Approaches Key Level

Chainlink has been struggling to break above $11.00 throughout the past few days and weeks. This level has become a strong resistance for the cryptocurrency, and both bulls and bears have largely reached an impasse.

Although Chainlink has a history of forming price trends independent of the rest of the market, it has lost some of this independence over the past few weeks as it begins moving in lockstep with Bitcoin.

LINK is currently trading down 50% from its recent highs that were set roughly one month ago.

Despite the intensity of the downtrend seen following the rejection at these highs, the cryptocurrency has been entering what appears to be an accumulation phase, which indicates that the base of support it is forming below $10.00 could act as a launchpad in the coming few weeks.

One trader is now expecting massive upside in the coming few weeks.

He notes that LINK is nearing the apex of a pennant formed in the time following its decline from $20.00.

This trader believes a move past $16.00 is imminent in the near-term.

At the time of writing, Chainlink is trading up just under 3% at its current price of $10.96. This is around where it has been trading throughout the past couple of days.

Until it can gain some strong momentum that lifts it past this price level, its near-term outlook remains somewhat unclear.

If this level is broken above and confirmed as support, then the cryptocurrency could be in for some serious upside.

What future awaits cryptocurrencies?

Because of its close ties to BTC, its next trend may depend largely on that of Bitcoin.

While sharing his thoughts on where the crypto might trend in the near-term, one analyst said that he is expecting it to see a move up towards $16.

He points to a triangle pattern formed in the time following its decline from its $20.00 highs as one technical factor that may play a role in this movement.

“LINK – Starting to look very interesting. This is one of the few altcoins I’m currently in a swing trade for. Adding down to $9.85 if possible. As well as adding more size to the position on a break of Diagonal Resistance. Targets: $13.7 & $16.48… Clear invalidation,” he said.

Chainlink LINK

Image Courtesy of UB. Source: BTCUSD on TradingView.

Unless Bitcoin sees a sharp downturn that drags LINK lower with it, the coming few months will likely favor Chainlink bulls.


Author: admin

Big Bitcoin prediction, OKEx spooks markets, Ripple exec’s crippling mistake: Hodler’s Digest, Oct. 12–18

Big Bitcoin prediction, OKEx spooks markets, Ripple exec’s crippling mistake: Hodler’s Digest, Oct. 12–18

Coming every Sunday, Hodler’s Digest tracks every important crypto news story from the previous week. Essential reading for all Hodlers!

Bitcoin volatility has fallen to a 16-month low, indicating that a sharp move is on the horizon.

Large fluctuations tend to follow prolonged periods of consolidation, and according to a Bitazu Capital founding partner, Mohit Sorout, BTC could reach its previous all-time high if it was to break out today.

There are other factors at play. The U.S. dollar has been weak recently, and traditionally, this leads to strength across other “safe haven” assets. Bitcoin exchange reserves have also continued to plummet, indicating there’s a shortage of sellers… or a lack of trust in centralized platforms.

Cointelegraph analyst Michaël van de Poppe says BTC must hold $11,000 for October’s rally to continue — paving the way for a retest of $12,000 in the short term. Meanwhile, a report by Stack Funds suggests BTC has support to climb all the way to $15,000 if historic trends repeat themselves this year.

But this optimism isn’t universal. JPMorgan Chase experts believe Bitcoin is slightly overvalued and think the asset could see selling pressure ahead.

OKEx, a major crypto exchange, spooked the markets this week by announcing that it had suspended withdrawals.

The company said one of its private key holders was “cooperating with a public security bureau” concerning ongoing “investigations.”

In the immediate aftermath of Friday’s statement, Bitcoin fell nearly 3%, while OKEx’s native token, OKB, crashed 15%.

According to Caixin, OKEx founder Mingxing Xu — also known as Star Xu — was the executive who was questioned by authorities. The Chinese news agency also reported that he was investigated “at least a week ago” and had been absent at work for some time.

Industry executives have expressed surprise at how events unfolded. The Bitcoin Association’s president, Leo Weese, wrote: “That one person sits in China holding the keys to an entire offshore cryptocurrency exchange is probably the most surprising thing about this industry I learned this year. That customers don’t demand transparency about key management comes in at a close second, though.”

Staff at Coinbase fear that the exchange’s leadership are watching their every move and monitoring their messages, it has been reported.

According to Motherboard, the exchange’s newfound “apolitical” stance has led to allegations of surveillance and censorship, but in a leaked recording of an ask me anything session, CEO Brian Armstrong said the “silent majority” supported the move.

Elsewhere, it was claimed that Coinbase’s management had “stunted internal discussion” and forced employees to delete political Slack messages. The exchange responded to Motherboard’s claims by describing the accusations as “quite extreme and absolutely false.”

During an AMA back in June, Armstrong had reportedly resisted the idea of making a public statement in support of Black Lives Matter following the killing of George Floyd by police. However, he later backtracked and posted a series of tweets in support of BLM.

Coinbase has been hemorrhaging employees of late, with at least 5% of its workforce opting to take an exit package if they were unwilling to avoid political and social issues at work.

It’s been a wild ride for the FIL token following Filecoin’s long-awaited launch.

FIL initially rocketed by 118% before plunging by 80% as the cryptocurrency was listed on major exchanges — three years after the project’s ICO was held.

Now, the blockchain-based data storage platform is hoping to right the ship through a weeklong digital conference that begins on Oct. 19.

“Filecoin Liftoff Week” is going to be centered on education, infrastructure, interoperability, and future plans, with each day focusing on a different theme.

Despite the recent plunge in FIL’s value, the Filecoin team remains optimistic about the project’s future prospects: “This is only the beginning for the Filecoin network.”

And we end our news roundup with a painful story courtesy of Ripple’s chief technology officer David Schwartz.

He revealed that he and his wife came up with a “derisking plan” for their crypto investments in 2012 — and missed out on millions of dollars in profit as a result.

Schwartz sold 40,000 ETH for $1 each at the time — a stash that would be worth more than $15.5 million at today’s prices.

The Ripple executive also sold a significant sum of BTC for $750 apiece, and a large trove of XRP for $0.10.

He described himself as a “risk averse person with people who depend on me financially and emotionally” but admitted that selling his crypto at this bargain basement prices “hurt.”

Gainers and losers

At the end of the week, Bitcoin is at $11,435.68, Ether at $375.90 and XRP at $0.24. The total market cap is at $359,603,174,619.

Among the biggest 100 cryptocurrencies, the top three altcoin gainers of the week are ABBC Coin (77.11%), Filecoin (44.49%) and Waves (28.70%). The top three altcoin losers of the week are Arweave (-32.22%), OKB (-23.80%) and Coin (-21.98%).

For more info on crypto prices, make sure to read Cointelegraph’s market analysis. 

“All your funds and assets are safe. The investigation concerns a certain private key holder’s personal issue only.”

Jay Hao, OKEx CEO

“That one person sits in China holding the keys to an entire offshore cryptocurrency exchange is probably the most surprising thing about this industry I learned this year. That customers don’t demand transparency about key management comes in at a close second, though.”

Leo Weese, The Bitcoin Association president

“The Chinese government is cracking down on money laundering using cryptocurrency for telecom fraud, and centralized exchanges are in a very dangerous state.”

Colin Wu, crypto reporter

“I do believe we’ll be seeing a relatively boring and corrective quarter on the cryptomarkets. In history; $ETH frequently bottoms out in December, to start running the quarter after. $BTC dominance to run up, to have an altseason in Q1 2021. Continuing the patience.”

Michaël van de Poppe, Cointelegraph analyst

“You can only try to win the hand with the high hand: gold, silver and Bitcoin. You can’t win playing the low hand unless you’re a sovereign state or a major investment bank, and that’s the game today.”

Max Keiser, broadcaster

“We’d like to keep tabs on what other central banks are doing and learn from them, not just from China but from other countries.”

Kazushige Kamiyama, Bank of Japan’s CBDC head

“Our eyes are peeled on the $12,000 key resistance level, as we expect further consolidation around current levels going into the elections before breaking into the upside going forward.”

Stack Funds

“So if I am to buy the dip, where would the perfect dip be? Well, the perfect dip would be… around $11,000.”

Tone Vays, trader

“It’s definitely sending a message to the crypto world that when there are U.S. users of a product or a service, there’s going to be enforcement of U.S. laws.”

“Crypto Mom” Hester Peirce, SEC Commissioner

Rapid growth of institutional investments in crypto has prompted 10T Holdings co-founder Dan Tapiero to warn that shortages of Bitcoin could be on the horizon.

He warned: “SHORTAGES of Bitcoin possible. Barry’s Grayscale Trust is eating up BTC like there is no tomorrow. If 77% of all newly mined turns into 110%, it’s lights out. Non-miner supply will get held off market in squeeze. Shorts will be dead. Price can go to any number.”

Institutional demand surged rapidly after March when Bitcoin suffered one of its steepest falls in recent history. This indicates that big players see staying power in the world’s biggest cryptocurrency. 

The speculation about a potential supply-side crisis around Bitcoin also coincides with the post-halving cycle. Bitcoin went through its third halving on May 11, and historically, halvings lead to extended bull runs in the two years that follow.

Bitcoin may fall upwards

The G7 has warned that it will initially oppose the launch of Facebook’s Libra project.

In a statement that pulled few punches, the Group of Seven wrote: “The G7 continues to maintain that no global stablecoin project should begin operation until it adequately addresses relevant legal, regulatory, and oversight requirements through appropriate design and by adhering to applicable standards.”

The statement was co-authored by central bankers and finance ministers from the United States, Canada, Japan, Germany, France, Italy and the United Kingdom.

The G7 has previously raised concerns over how to ensure digital assets comply with Anti-Money Laundering laws, consumer protection rules and other regulatory matters.

Last October, one of its reports also warned that global stablecoins pose a threat to the global financial system.

G7 issues warning to stablecoins

Europol has announced that 20 individuals suspected of working for the “QQAAZZ” criminal network have been arrested in an operation that spanned 16 countries.

The organization is accused of laundering tens of millions of euros for top cybercriminals since 2016. About 40 homes were searched as part of “Operation 2BaGoldMule,” with arrests made in Australia, the U.S, the U.K, Portugal, Spain, Latvia and Poland.

On the same day, a 40-year-old man was arrested in New Zealand for using cryptocurrency to launder more than $2 million for criminals — as well as by purchasing luxury vehicles including a Lamborghini and Mercedes G63.

And in the U.S, six individuals have been charged for their participation in a conspiracy to “launder millions of dollars of drug proceeds on behalf of foreign cartels.”

The trustee of the now-defunct Japanese cryptocurrency exchange Mt. Gox has obtained another approval to extend the deadline for submitting a rehabilitation plan — this time to Dec. 15.

As reported by Cointelegraph, Nobuaki Kobayashi received a number of similar deadline extensions in March 2020 and April 2019.

The Mt. Gox crypto exchange is known for encountering the largest cryptocurrency hack in history. The exchange lost a total of 1.35 million Bitcoin in two hacks in 2011 and 2014.

Despite the hacks happening years ago, Mt. Gox customers have still not received compensation for their stolen funds. 

Kobayashi, a Japanese lawyer who was appointed to oversee the civil reimbursement process, reportedly has 150,000 BTC to repay users, but the refund process has been delayed multiple times since 2019.

Coinbase’s new “apolitical” culture has led to some employees taking severance packages, as the crypto community reacts with ambivalence.

The entry of firms like Square, MicroStrategy and Stone Ridge may open the BTC floodgates and provide “confidence for the rest to follow,” writes Andrew Singer.

Andrew Fenton talks to Jack Lu about his new DeFi platform Bounce, which has been described as a decentralized version of eBay, Sotheby’s or Christie’s.


Author: by admin

The DOJ Takes Aim at Privacy in New Crypto Framework

The DOJ Takes Aim at Privacy in New Crypto Framework

U.S. Attorney General William Barr’s Department of Justice (DOJ) believes cryptocurrencies pose an emerging challenge to law enforcement activities, according to a new publication filed Thursday.

The DOJ’s “Cryptocurrency: An Enforcement Framework” document, published by the Attorney General’s Cyber-Digital Task Force, outlines what cryptocurrencies are and their potential use cases, including sections on both legitimate and illicit uses (though the “legitimate uses” section was shorter and more skeptical). Crypto has been used to support terrorism, purchase illicit items, conduct blackmail and extortion, cryptojacking and launder funds, according to the document, and the DOJ has spent the last two years determining how best to address these issues.

“Those efforts are paying off,” wrote Sujit Raman, the task force’s chair, referencing recent cases against would-be token issuer Telegram; child-exploitation ring Welcome to Video; sanctions designations and other efforts. And while the report was published by the DOJ, it encompasses efforts by all parts of the federal government, including civil regulatory agencies.

In a statement, Attorney General William Barr said, “Cryptocurrency is a technology that could fundamentally transform how human beings interact, and how we organize society.  Ensuring that use of this technology is safe, and does not imperil our public safety or our national security, is vitally important to America and its allies.”

The report itself is split into three sections: an overview of the cryptocurrency space and its current illicit uses; the laws and regulatory agencies that oversee the space; and the current challenges and potential strategies to address them. 

The report warns that cryptocurrencies are more difficult for investigators to learn about than previous tools for executing crimes, citing pump-and-dump schemes as one example. 

Cryptocurrency is a technology that could fundamentally transform how human beings interact, and how we organize society. Ensuring that use of this technology is safe, and does not imperil our public safety or our national security, is vitally important to America and its allies.

Investigators must learn to use “specialized communications applications,” the report said. Further, the markets being used evolve rapidly, with the report pointing to how the initial coin offering boom has given way to decentralized finance markets. The fact that blockchains are borderless, allowing anyone from any part of the world to interact with the markets, “adds a further layer of complexity.”

“Finally, decentralized platforms, peer-to-peer exchangers, and anonymity-enhanced cryptocurrencies that use non-public or private blockchains all can further obscure financial transactions from legitimate scrutiny,” the report said.

Much of the first section of the report simply provides an overview of cryptocurrencies, blockchain and distributed ledgers more broadly and how they’ve been used over the past few years.

The report distinguishes between virtual currencies, which are a “digital representation of value,” and cryptocurrencies, which it describes as being in a subset of virtual currencies that are decentralized and based on blockchains. 

It goes on to explain addresses, wallets, miners and other aspects, noting that while some transactions are private and easy to query on the blockchain, some cryptocurrencies emphasize privacy (the DOJ does not appear to be a fan of these currencies).

“As discussed in Part I, a wide range of criminal activity may involve or be facilitated by the use of cryptocurrency. On numerous occasions, the Department of Justice has used available legal tools to pursue successful prosecutions of such activity,” the report said in the opening to its second section.

It summarizes the U.S. government’s actions over the past few years. In addition to criminal cases brought by the DOJ, civil cases brought by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) were highlighted, such as the SEC’s case against Telegram, which raised $1.7 billion in an initial coin offering but ultimately had to refund investors.

Agencies with oversight or enforcement power in the space include the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), the SEC, the CFTC and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). The Financial Action Task Force (FATF), an intergovernmental organization that provides standards and recommendations for international money laundering rules, also received a mention.

It is the third section, “Ongoing Challenges and Future Strategies,” however, the DOJ noted that some exchanges and entities play “jurisdictional arbitrage,” looking for the friendliest jurisdiction in which to operate. This can harm law enforcement agencies’ efforts to “investigate, prosecute and prevent criminal activity” that involves virtual assets, the report claimed.

“In the United States, AML/CFT standards have been in place for [money services businesses, or MSB] engaged in virtual asset activities since 2011, and yet many [virtual asset service providers, or VASP] still are operating in ways that do not comply with the [Bank Secrecy Act, or BSA] and other regulatory requirements,” the report said, referring to anti-money laundering/combating the financing of terrorism standards. 

This concern is exacerbated with companies that operate across different countries. A VASP might apply a different standard within the U.S. than it does outside it, or use different standards for crypto-to-fiat transactions compared to crypto-to-crypto transactions, the report claimed.

“Such behaviors are flatly inconsistent with VASPs’ BSA obligations and can create significant financial intelligence gaps,” it said.

The DOJ report also took particular aim at privacy coins, mixers, tumblers and other tools that are intended to conceal aspects of transactions.

Any website that offers mixing or tumbling services is “engaged in money transmission,” meaning it is subject to the Bank Secrecy Act. Websites that don’t follow the BSA or similar international regulations might face criminal prosecution, the report said. 

As part of this section, the DOJ maintained its right and ability to prosecute violations conducted by entities based outside the U.S. should those entities still involve U.S. persons or services.

“The Department also has robust authority to prosecute VASPs and other entities and individuals that violate U.S. law even when they are not located inside the United States,” the report said. “Where virtual asset transactions touch financial, data storage, or other computer systems within the United States, the Department generally has jurisdiction to prosecute the actors who direct or conduct those transactions.”

While the DOJ most recently filed charges against BitMEX, it has in the past also gone after other non-U.S. based entities, such as 1broker.

The report similarly had an emphasis on national security concerns created by cryptocurrencies in its conclusion, saying rogue states and terrorists could take advantage of decentralized assets to undermine financial markets, avoid sanctions and fund harmful activities.

“As the use of cryptocurrency evolves and expands, so too will opportunities to commit crime and to do harm by exploiting cryptocurrency technology,” the report said. “Ultimately, illicit uses of cryptocurrency threaten not just public safety, but national security, as well … Current terrorist use of cryptocurrency may represent the first raindrops of an oncoming storm of expanded use that could challenge the ability of the United States and its allies to disrupt financial resources that would enable terrorist organizations to more successfully execute their deadly missions or to expand their influence.”

Current terrorist use of cryptocurrency may represent the first raindrops of an oncoming storm of expanded use that could challenge the ability of the United States and its allies to disrupt financial resources that would enable terrorist organizations to more successfully execute their deadly missions or to expand their influence.

A large part of the DOJ’s future efforts will depend on education around the cryptocurrency space, bringing regulators and government officials fully up to speed as the space evolves.

The report stressed that private stakeholders in the industry must work with regulators and elected officials.

Federal authorities must also work with state officials, the report said, to ensure “de-confliction” while conducting investigations.

“Indeed, for cryptocurrency to realize its truly transformative potential, it is imperative that these risks be addressed,” the report concluded.


Author: admin




Author: by admin

Crypto Cruise Ship 'Satoshi' to Make Panama Bay Home | News Bitcoin News

Crypto newsChasing the hottest trends in crypto, the EU works to rein in stablecoins and DeFi
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