SoftBank Invests $200 Million In Brazil’s Largest Crypto Exchange

Brazil’s leading cryptocurrency exchange, Mercado Bitcoin raised $200 million from the SoftBank Latin America Fund, Mercado’s parent company 2TM Group announced today. The investment values 2TM Group at $2.1 billion and is SoftBank’s largest capital injection in a Latin America crypto company.

Following closely on the tails of SoftBank’s investment in the $250 million round raised by Mexican cryptocurrency exchange Bitso in May, the deal shows a growing interest in bringing bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies to Latin America.

“This series B round will afford us to continue investing in our infrastructure, enabling us to scale up and meet the soaring demand for the blockchain-based financial market,“ says Roberto Dagnoni, executive chairman and CEO of 2TM Group. “We want to be the main solution provider for corporate players.”

The São Paulo-based exchange aims to increase the number of listed assets (the exchange currently lists approximately 50 tokens) and grow its 500-member team to 700 by year’s end. Further plans involve regional expansion with focuses on Mexico, Argentina, Chile and Colombia and growth acceleration across 2TM Group’s portfolio, which also include digital wallet provider MeuBank and digital custodian Bitrust (both are subject to regulatory approval).

Founded by brothers Gustavo and Mauricio Chamati in 2013, Mercado Bitcoin has become the largest cryptocurrency exchange in the country. In January, it scored its first financing round co-led by G2D/GP Investments and Parallax Ventures with participation from an array of other investors.

Like many of its counterparts, Mercado Bitcoin has seen significant growth over the past year, with its client base reaching 2.8 million in 2021 – more than 70% of the total number of individual investors on Brazil’s stock exchange B3. Approximately 700,000 clients signed up just between January and May.

Over the same period, trade volume on the exchange had increased to $5 billion, surpassing the total for its first seven years combined. “Every single month [of this year], we are trading the full volume of 2020,” says Dagnoni.

“Mercado Bitcoin is a regional leader in the crypto space and the leading crypto exchange in Brazil. They are tapping into a huge local and regional addressable market measured by potential use cases for crypto,” says Paulo Passoni, managing partner at SoftBank’s SBLA Advisers Corp. (which manages the SoftBank Latin America Fund).

“At SoftBank we look to invest in entrepreneurs who are challenging the status quo through tech-focused or tech-enabled business models that are disrupting an industry – Mercado Bitcoin is doing just that.”

Despite the rapid growth of the local crypto market, Brazilian regulators have been lagging behind. In 2018, Brazilian antitrust watchdog, the Administrative Council for Economic Defense (CADE), opened an investigation into the country’s largest banks for allegedly abusing their power by closing accounts of crypto brokerages. The probe was ongoing as of last year.

In April 2020, Senator Soraya Thronicke proposed an extended set of rules for Brazil’s “virtual asset” businesses, custodians and issuers, consumer protection, crypto taxation and criminal enforcement, however no apparent action has been taken on the bill so far. Nonetheless, Dagnoni says the nation’s regulatory environment is favorable, and the company is closely working with regulators “to build a consistent framework for alternative digital investments in Brazil, in line with its vision of a convergence of the traditional and blockchain-based financial markets.”

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I report on cryptocurrencies and emerging use cases of blockchain. Born and raised in Russia, I graduated from NYU Abu Dhabi with a degree in economics and Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, where I focused on data and business reporting.

Source: SoftBank Invests $200 Million In Brazil’s Largest Crypto Exchange

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Critics:

SoftBank Group Corp. is a Japanese multinational conglomerate holding company headquartered in Minato, Tokyo. The Group primarily invests in companies operating in the technology, energy, and financial sectors. It also runs the Vision Fund, the world’s largest technology-focused venture capital fund, with over $100 billion in capital, backed by sovereign wealth funds from countries in the Middle East.

The company is known for the leadership by its founder and largest shareholder Masayoshi Son. It operates in broadband, fixed-line telecommunications, e-commerce, information technology, finance, media and marketing, and other areas.

SoftBank was ranked in the Forbes Global 2000 list as the 36th largest public company in the world, and the second largest publicly traded company in Japan after Toyota.

The logo of SoftBank is based on the flag of the Kaientai, a naval trading company that was founded in 1865, near the end of the Tokugawa shogunate, by Sakamoto Ryōma.

Although SoftBank does not affiliate itself to any traditional keiretsu, it has close ties with Mizuho Financial Group, its main lender.

See also

 

Say Goodbye To Bitcoin And Say Hello To The Digital Dollar

https://img.particlenews.com/img/id/2mPBQk_0aeawgZp00?type=thumbnail_1600x1200

Yesterday we talked about the prospects of a digital dollar coming down the pike. It seems clear that global governments will not allow non-sovereign forms of money to continue to proliferate.

The Senate Banking committee’s hearing on the digital dollar two weeks ago was not only a public exploration and introduction to the concept a central bank-backed digital currency, the hearing was also used as a platform to publicly assassinate the viability of the private (“bogus” in the words of Senator Warren) cryptocurrency market (bitcoin, stablecoins, etc.).

With this in mind, the Chinese government has continually tightened control over the crypto market in China, most recently cracking down on cryptocurrency mining in the country. The U.S. Justice Department announced a few weeks ago that it “recovered” $2.3 million in cryptocurrency of the ransom collected from the Colonial Pipeline hack. And today, it was reported that South Korea seized almost $50 million of crypto assets from citizens accused of tax evasion.

So the benefits of the private cryptocurrency market are being deconstructed by governments. Add to that, even after gaining traction, the private crypto market continues to be used primarily as a tool of corruption and speculation. With that, this chart set up argues for a typical bubble outcome (crash).

I founded billionairesportfolio.com — an online investment advisory site that gives the average investor access to sophisticated hedge fund analysis and strategies, all in an easy to understand format. I am also CEO of Logic Fund Management. I started my career with a London-based family office hedge fund that managed money for a French billionaire.

Source: Say Goodbye To Bitcoin And Say Hello To The Digital Dollar

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Critics:

A pair of U.S. congressmen have introduced a bill that would require the Treasury Department to evaluate the digital yuan, digital dollar and the actual dollar’s role in the global economy.

The bipartisan bill, introduced by Reps. French Hill (R-Ark.) and Jim Himes (D-Conn.), seeks to ensure the U.S. dollar remains the world’s reserve currency and directs the Treasury Department to publish a report that evaluates current policy and governance around the currency. This report would include details around central bank digital currencies (CBDC), among other issues.

Under the terms of the bill, dubbed the “21st Century Dollar Act,” the Treasury secretary (currently Janet Yellen) would submit a report to the Senate Banking and House Financial Services committees that includes “a description of efforts by major foreign central banks, including the People’s Bank of China, to create an official digital currency, as well as any risks to the national interest of the United States posed by such efforts.”

The report would update these committees on the Federal Reserve’s current status in researching a digital dollar. The bill would also require the Treasury Department to develop a strategy for boosting the dollar’s reserve status.

The report would detail “any implications for the strategy established by the secretary pursuant to subsection (a) arising from the relative state of development of an official digital currency by the United States and other nations, including the People’s Republic of China,” the bill said.

Keeping the dollar as the world’s reserve currency would be “good for American companies and workers as well as U.S. global influence,” Hill said in a statement.

USD Coin (USDC) is a digital stablecoin that is pegged to the United States dollar and runs on the Ethereum, Stellar, Algorand, and Solana blockchains. USD Coin is managed by a consortium called Centre,which was founded by Circle and includes members from the cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase and Bitcoin mining company Bitmain, an investor in Circle.

Circle claims that each USDC is backed by a dollar held in reserve. USDC reserves are regularly attested (but not audited) by Grant Thornton, LLP, and the monthly attestations can be found on the Centre Consortium’s website. USDC was first announced on the 15th of May 2018 by Circle, and was launched in September of 2018.

On March 29, 2021, Visa announced that it would allow the use of USDC to settle transactions on its payment network. As of June 2021 there are 24.1 billion USDC in circulation.

See also

Curious About Crypto? Here’s What 10 Financial Experts Think

A photo to accompany a story about financial experts' advice for investing in cryptocurrency

Everyday investors are overflowing with cryptocurrency questions, according to the financial advisors hired to answer them.

There is clearly an “emotional euphoria that seems to be sweeping through the public around cryptocurrency,” says Frederick Stanfield, a CFP with Lifewater Wealth Management in Atlanta, Georgia.

But for the average person focused on retirement planning and financial stability, is it time to consider investing in cryptocurrency?

The answer is complicated, so we asked financial advisors for their crypto advice, and here’s what 10 of them are telling clients. In an emerging field with few set rules and norms, we discovered some universal truths that everyone should know before putting money in cryptocurrency.

First of all, financial advisors say a healthy dose of skepticism is a crucial place to start, and you should never invest in crypto if it takes away from other goals and financial fundamentals like paying off debt, building an emergency fund, or maxing out your retirement accounts.

As difficult as it may be, do not become seduced by the intrigue and allure of this new technology, says Stanfield. Instead, employ the same mindset you bring to your regular investment strategy.

Here’s what else the experts want you to know about cryptocurrency investing:

Be Prepared for Loss

As with any investment, financial gains are far from guaranteed with cryptocurrency investing. For some financial advisors, crypto looks more like a lottery ticket than an investment strategy.

That means you should only put in what you’re OK with losing. “On a spectrum between gambling and investing, I think it’s closer to the former,” says Matt Morris, principal advisor at Sanderling Finance in Columbia, South Carolina.

As a high-risk, high-reward investment, keep any crypto investments in perspective amid your broader goals and finances. As with certain types of gambling, “you have a high chance of losing it all, but a small chance of winning it big,” says Nate Nieri, a CFP with Modern Money Management in San Diego, California. “Just don’t gamble an amount that would burden your family or prevent you from achieving your goals” if you lost it all.

Steer Clear if You’re Risk Averse

If you’re risk averse, crypto isn’t the investment for you.“How well can you sleep at night knowing that this is an emerging asset class with high volatility? And if you were to wake one morning to find that crypto has been banned by the developed nations and it became worthless, would you be OK?” asks Stanield.

If you’re going to be constantly stressing about your crypto investment, or tempted to change your investments in light of the volatility that comes with crypto, then you’re better off putting your money in a more stable investment, according to Stanfield.

“I believe it is still in its infancy stage, and just like any new fund or IPO, there is a level of uncertainty about the future that I’m not ready to stomach,” says Alajahwon Ridgeway, owner of Ridgeway Wealth Management in Lafayette, Louisiana. “I believe it … is an unnecessary risk at this point for my clients to reach their financial goals.”

There’s also far less historical data available about cryptocurrency to help investors make informed decisions — unlike conventional ETF and index/mutual funds. Crypto investors face additional risk in the form of poor or inaccurate trade data, competition among fellow investors, theft, loss of wallet passwords, supply and demand issues, government regulation, and energy consumption concerns, says Chelsea Rude, a CFP at Rude Wealth Advisory in Olney, Illinois.

“Most importantly for investors, there is a lack of a well designed and tested way to value the assets,” Rude says. This means crypto investors are essentially going in blind, and subjecting themselves to the uncertainty that comes with any new business or investment

Know Why You’re Interested In the First Place

Some people see crypto as an emerging investment, while others see it as an interesting new global currency you can use instead of the U.S. dollar or other international currencies. But whether crypto has long-term staying power on either front is still uncertain.

“I strongly believe the vast majority of people who own crypto currency are doing so for all the wrong reasons and misunderstanding what they are truly buying,” says Ben Lies, chief investment officer at Delphi Advisers.

Many experts are concerned about people dumping their money into crypto without real understanding of the area. Do your own research, and make sure you’re thinking about your investment in the right way.

“Hype and excitement around the space are not reasons for inclusion into any portfolio, but I believe there are compelling reasons to consider cryptocurrencies,” says James Vermillion, owner of Vermillion Private Wealth in Lexington, Kentucky. “When discussing crypto with clients I emphasize education and understanding. It’s important to note that there are thousands of cryptocurrencies in existence and they are not created equally. Due diligence is important, just as it is when looking at stocks or other investment vehicles.”

Nieri warns those who see Bitcoin as a currency to think about what that means for investing. “I don’t typically trade or have a currency hedge as part of my investment strategy. Would you have ever thought about trading dollars for Euros as an investment? In order for Bitcoin to be a legitimate currency, the world’s governments would need to accept it as a global currency, something that has a remote likelihood,” Nieri says.

Keep Crypto In Its Place

Don’t rely on crypto investments for your retirement or overall financial strategy. Make sure the majority of your investment portfolio is made up of stable assets projected for long-term growth.

“What I am sharing for [my clients] to do is build their future financial pie with investments such as stocks and bonds. If there is extra money they want to play with, buying crypto is an option,” says Eric Powell, financial advisor and founder of the Future Mill.

Make sure your overall investment portfolio is predominantly made up of conventional investments like stocks and bonds, says Powell. But within any crypto investments you might have, experts recommend sticking with the big names.

“I personally do not go beyond Bitcoin and or Ethereum,” says Michael Kelly, a CFA at Switchback Financial in Madison, Connecticut.  “I feel those two have a bit more of an established base and feel the risk of other coins becomes too significant.”

By:

 

Source: Curious About Crypto? Here’s What 10 Financial Experts Think | NextAdvisor with TIME

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Decentralized finance (commonly referred to as DeFi) is a blockchain-based form of finance that does not rely on central financial intermediaries such as brokerages, exchanges, or banks to offer traditional financial instruments, and instead utilizes smart contracts on blockchains, the most common being Ethereum.[1] DeFi platforms allow people to lend or borrow funds from others, speculate on price movements on a range of assets using derivatives, trade cryptocurrencies, insure against risks, and earn interest in savings-like accounts.[2]

DeFi uses a layered architecture and highly composable building blocks.[3] Some DeFi applications promote high interest rates[2] but are subject to high risk.[1] By October 2020, over $11 billion (worth in cryptocurrency) was deposited in various decentralized finance protocols, which represented more than a tenfold growth during the course of 2020.[4][2] As of January 2021, approximately $20.5 billion was invested in DeFi.[5]

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References

Braun, Alexander; Cohen, Lauren H.; Xu, Jiahua (May 2020). “fidentiaX: The Tradable Insurance Marketplace on Blockchain”. Harvard Business School. Retrieved 2021-01-05.

What’s The Deal With Bitcoin ATM and How Does A Bitcoin ATM Work?

What is a Bitcoin ATM, and does it actually function as an ATM? The short answer is yes.

Technically, these aren’t traditional ATM’s (Automatic Teller Machines) as they do not allow physical withdrawals of BTC from an account you own. Instead, these machines will enable you to purchase Bitcoin, depending on the specific machine. There are a number of machine types around from various companies, the top 3 being: General Bytes, Genesis Coin, and Lamassu.

  1. You verify your identity through an one-time-password sent to your mobile or email. Again, this varies from machine to machine.
  2. You decide if you want to buy or sell BTC (if you have the option).
  3. To buy, you must choose the amount you want to in terms of BTC or your target fiat currency.
  4. You then deposit the fiat currency into the machine.
  5. Several things may happen depending on the machine:
  • A QR code may appear on the screen for you to scan
  • A QR code may be printed off corresponding to your new BTC wallet.
  • The machine will ask and scan the QR code of your pre-existing wallet.
  • You input your email address to have a QR code sent to you.

To sell, you must send the appropriate amount of BTC to the address displayed on the screen. Once the transaction is confirmed, you will receive the agreed fiat sum. How long this takes depends on the machine.

Bitcoin ATM’s v.s Crypto Exchanges

Bitcoin ATM’s are connected to exchanges. When using one, you are essentially buying or selling your chosen coin on an exchange. However, you’re interacting with a physical machine in a specific location rather than online. The price difference between using an online exchange and an ATM is generally around 5-10%. This means that ATMs cost 5-10% more to buy, and selling means you receive 5-10%.

Despite the premium that must be paid, many are attracted by these machines’ convenience and ease. They allow for a more visual and straightforward financial transaction that most are already familiar with. In addition, machines do not require any confusing registration processes or the need to learn about online trading interfaces.

When selling through an online exchange like Phemex, the platform’s spot markets offer more control over the price you are transacting with. You can also take advantage of limit orders and stop orders if you are not happy with current market prices.

Bitcoin ATM Map

There are many services and locations apart from bitcoin ATMs which provide exchange of bitcoins for cash and vice versa.You can send cash-to-cash payments to your relatives or friends in other countries by using two bitcoin ATMs. Find where to buy or sell bitcoins and other cryptocurrencies through ATMs for cash here…

By:

Source: Bitcoin ATM’s: How Does A Bitcoin ATM Work? – Phemex Blog

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References

“FINTRAC Advisory regarding Money Services Businesses dealing in virtual currency”. Fintrac-canafe.gc.ca. Retrieved 2016-11-22.

Investing In Bitcoin: What To Consider Before You Buy Bitcoin

Bitcoin is the first cryptocurrency in the world, launched in 2009. It is also the first wide-scale, real-world application of blockchain technology. Bitcoin (BTC) is a decentralised network which uses a public ledger to approve transactions, eliminating the need for third party approval (such as a bank). It also operates free of a governing body, such as a central bank, and all changes in the network require consensus from its members.

While initially BTC value was extremely low, priced at fractions of cents, it picked up steam over the years, reaching price levels in the thousands of dollars for a single Bitcoin token and a market cap in the hundreds of billions. The Bitcoin chart often displays extreme volatility, having short-term price spikes and tumbles. Sometimes, when the Bitcoin price is on the rise, more people are inclined to buy Bitcoin, fueling its positive run further.

On the other hand, when the Bitcoin value is on the decline, it can prompt existing investors to sell their Bitcoin and push prices down. Moreover, Bitcoin is considered the bellwether of the cryptocurrency space, so it can often generate industry-wide trends.

Should You Invest In Bitcoin?

Get the facts about trading Bitcoin before you start. Discuss investment strategies, review market research, and get real-time updates. Bitcoin is the first cryptocurrency in the world, launched in 2009. It is also the first wide-scale, real-world application of blockchain technology.

While initially BTC value was extremely low, priced at fractions of cents, it picked up steam over the years, reaching price levels in the thousands of dollars for a single Bitcoin token and a market cap in the hundreds of billions.

The Bitcoin chart often displays extreme volatility, having short-term price spikes and tumbles. Sometimes, when the Bitcoin price is on the rise, more people are inclined to buy Bitcoin, fueling its positive run further. On the other hand, when the Bitcoin value is on the decline, it can prompt existing investors to sell their Bitcoin and push prices down. Moreover, Bitcoin is considered the bellwether of the cryptocurrency space, so it can often generate industry-wide trends. Still not sure if you should invest? Read more below

Read more about Bitcoin

Who should include Bitcoin in their portfolios?

  1. Cryptocurrency traders: Bitcoin is the most well-known cryptocurrency, and therefore, many crypto traders buy it as part of their cryptocurrency portfolio.
  2. Long-term investors: While still considered an extremely volatile and risky market, Bitcoin has shown tremendous price increases over time. Therefore, those who believe the overall trend will be positive could consider a Bitcoin investment.
  3. Day traders: BTC prices can often have significant price swings over the course of a few hours. Traders can try to take advantage of these movements in an attempt to generate short-term profits.
  4. Blockchain enthusiasts: Since Bitcoin is the first major application of blockchain technology, those who have faith in the technology and its potential impact on the tech and financial industries, could consider buying Bitcoin.

Blockchain enthusiasts: Since Bitcoin is the first major application of blockchain technology, those who have faith in the technology and its potential impact on the tech and financial industries, could consider buying Bitcoin.

Use Bevtraders advanced risk management tools to protect your positions. Enjoy hassle-free deposits and withdrawals, instant execution of trades to practice your strategy.

Source: http://bevtraders.com

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Cryptobitfortune From $500 Tiny Investment To $2500 In a Week Legit & Real

Cryptobitfortune Limited a company which is a developer and producer of ASIC Bitcoin miners. The company has been studying and mining this cryptocurrency for many years. Not so long ago we have developed a new-generation Bitcoin miner, which exponentially outweighs its competitiors based on the equipment price and power ratio.

Cryptobitfortune has power ratings of 50 TH/s, while the price doesn’t exceed the value of standard miners. This allows us to be the world leaders and opens the way for further development and market expansion.

Cryptobitfortune Mining is here to bring cryptocurrency mining to the investment world. We believe bitcoin has a long and significant role in the new monetary system that is forming. Our goal is to raise capital and scale our mining business; we are currently in operation and already delivering returns to our investors. With Cryptobitfortune, investors become our partners and share in the realization of profits, while assuring themselves a stable and passive income.

Because of our efficiencies, we are able to operate on lower costs and thereby pass those savings on to our investors. We guarantee the technical serviceability and continuous work of equipment which you purchase from us. Stop investing in suspicious companies which shut down every day more often! Invest in Cryptobitfortune! Cryptobitfortune company is a reliable and safe investment in the best mining equipment.

How much can I invest here? Each of your deposits can be for any amount from 0.002 BTC to 5 BTC. The number of such deposits is unlimited.

When will I get my first profits? Profit is generated on a daily basis, the first accrual will be after 1 day (24 hours).

Do you also work on weekends? Yes, profits are also accrued on Saturdays and Sundays.

How secure is your website and my account data? We have a wide range of security measures to protect your account. Our website is protected against DDoS attacks, all transferred data are SSL-encrypted. We use a licensed script for transactions together with online security certificates, you are able to see full list on our main page. Our website is located on a one of the best dedicated server.

What I need to do to become an investor? To become an Investor of cryptobitfortune.co you need to open an account. Registering is completely free and will take only a few minutes. After this you can officially become a member and will be able to execute your investment strategies. Please note that by agreeing to the Terms and Conditions of Use during the registration you automatically confirm that you are of legal age in your country of residence and that by using our platform you don`t violate any laws of your country of residence.

Worldwide web servers protected by OVH, one of most experienced , professional and trusted DDoS Protection and mitigation provider.EV SSL(Extended Validation SSL) encryption and has green address bar that confirms that the presented content is the genuine and legitimate.

Every withdrawal requests processes are instantly to your eCurrency account. You can make as many request as you want everyday.We understand how important having reliable support service is to you. Please don’t hesitate to contact us should you have any questions and we will get back…

Source: https://crypto-bitfortune.com

How Cryptobitfortune Finds Its Way The To The Home Of Million Homeworkers

Cryptobitfortune Limited a company which is a developer and producer of ASIC Bitcoin miners. The company has been studying and mining this cryptocurrency for many years. Not so long ago we have developed a new-generation Bitcoin miner, which exponentially outweighs its competitiors based on the equipment price and power ratio.

Cryptobitfortune has power ratings of 50 TH/s, while the price doesn’t exceed the value of standard miners. This allows us to be the world leaders and opens the way for further development and market expansion.

Cryptobitfortune Mining is here to bring cryptocurrency mining to the investment world. We believe bitcoin has a long and significant role in the new monetary system that is forming. Our goal is to raise capital and scale our mining business; we are currently in operation and already delivering returns to our investors. With Cryptobitfortune, investors become our partners and share in the realization of profits, while assuring themselves a stable and passive income.

Because of our efficiencies, we are able to operate on lower costs and thereby pass those savings on to our investors. We guarantee the technical serviceability and continuous work of equipment which you purchase from us.

Stop investing in suspicious companies which shut down every day more often! Invest in Cryptobitfortune! Cryptobitfortune company is a reliable and safe investment in the best mining equipment.

Source: https://crypto-bitfortune.com

IRS Will Pay Up To $625,000 If You Can Crack Monero, Other Privacy Coins

When the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) signaled that it was getting serious about cryptocurrency, the agency wasn’t kidding. The IRS is now offering cash to anyone who can “reliably produce useful results on a variety of real-world CI cryptocurrency investigations involving Monero and/or Lightning.” That’s right: they are looking for code crackers.

The IRS has made no secret that it believes that taxpayers are not correctly reporting cryptocurrency transactions. An IRS dive into the data showed that for the 2013 through 2015 tax years, when IRS matched data collected from forms 8949, Sales and Other Dispositions of Capital Assets, which were filed electronically, they found that just 807 individuals reported a transaction using a property description likely related to bitcoin in 2013; in 2014, that number was only 893; and in 2015, the number fell to 802.

Cryptocurrency Compliance Efforts

A new cryptocurrency compliance measure for taxpayers was introduced in 2019 in the form of a checkbox on the top of Schedule 1, Additional Income and Adjustments to Income (Schedule 1 is used to report income or adjustments to income that can’t be entered directly on the front page of form 1040). And in 2020, the IRS noted that it will post a cryptocurrency question right on the front page of your Form 1040.

In 2019, the IRS also announced that it was sending letters to taxpayers who might have failed to report income and pay the resulting tax from virtual currency transactions or did not report their transactions properly. The names of these taxpayers were obtained through various ongoing IRS compliance efforts.

(For more on some of those efforts – like the Coinbase court saga – click here.)

Pilot IRS Cryptocurrency Tracing

Now, the IRS is offering what some are calling a “bounty” to those who can assist in tracing cryptocurrency transactions. Specifically, the IRS has created a pilot that will pay cash (up to $625,000) to anyone who can trace Monero or other anonymity-enhanced cryptocurrency, or Lightning or other Layer 2 off-chain cryptocurrency protocols.

You can read the official Request for Proposals (RFP) here (you can also find out more about the process).

The deadline for submissions is Wednesday, September 16, 2020, at 08:00 EDT. No late submissions will be accepted or considered or evaluated.

About Privacy Coins

The focus of the proposal is privacy coins. Privacy coins allow users more anonymity when using cryptocurrency. According to the IRS-CI, the use of privacy coins is becoming more popular not only by investors, but also by illicit actors. For example, according to the IRS-CI, in April 2020, a RaaS (Ransomware as a Service) group called Sodinokibi (a former affiliate with the GrandCrab RaaS group) stated that future ransom request payments will be in Monero (XMR) rather than Bitcoin (BTC) due to transaction privacy concerns.

Bitcoin has become increasingly common since it’s easy to use – even for relative crypto newbies. Bitcoin transactions are open ledger (blockchain): that means that the record-keeping system is “public” through a series or chain of blocks even though the exact identities of the participants (as well as their other details, like account balances) may remain private. This kind of open system encourages transparency but also means that, with some effort, hackers and others – like the authorities – can track down the players in a chain of transactions. 

The result has been a push from some crypto-sectors to completely anonymize all pieces of the transaction. Enter privacy coins. Monero is considered the largest privacy coin on the market right now; the technology it uses extends privacy to senders, receivers, and transaction amounts. Other popular privacy coins include Cash (ZEC) and Dash.

IRS-CI Is Looking For Solutions

Now, IRS-CI is looking for solutions which provide “information and technical capabilities for CI Special Agents to trace transaction inputs and outputs to a specific user and differentiate them from mixins/multisig actors for Monero and/or Lightning Layer 2 cryptocurrency transactions with minimal involvement of external vendors” as well as “technology which, given information about specific parties and/or transactions in the Monero and/or Lightning networks, allows Special Agents to predict statistical likelihoods of other transaction inputs, outputs, metadata, and public identifiers with minimal involvement of external vendors.” In other words, they are looking to crack privacy coins.

If this sounds out of the ordinary, you’re not wrong. And the IRS acknowledges as much, stating, “For those who are familiar with traditional government procurements, Pilot IRS will appear substantively different from how the government normally buys technology. To be fair, it is… This type of approach is more often used in research and development environments, but there are existing regulations that allow federal agencies to buy commercial items in a manner similar with how the private sector would. Pilot IRS will aggressively pursue a streamlined and cost-effective approach to testing and deploying technology solutions that will have an immediate impact on the government’s mission.” 

IRS-CI has noted an uptick in criminal syndicates using privacy coins. And authorities have to be able to keep up. An IRS-CI spokesperson stated that, “IRS-CI is responsible for investigating potential criminal violations of the U.S. Internal Revenue Code and related financial crimes. We are also a global leader in cyber-criminal investigations involving cryptocurrency and have played a lead or key role in the takedown of numerous major Darknet Marketplaces and other transnational criminal organizations facilitating identify theft, narcotics trafficking, money laundering, terrorist financing, sex trafficking, and child prostitution.”

As a result, he explained, “The IRS Cryptocurrency pilot was developed to create and promote innovation in response to ongoing challenges within IRS-CI in hopes of quickly testing, piloting and/or deploying solutions. Privacy coins continue to be a challenge to law enforcement due to their increased anonymity and specific technological enhancements. Currently, there are limited investigative resources for tracing transactions involving privacy cryptocurrency coins such as Monero, Layer 2 network protocol transactions such as Lightning Labs, or other off-chain transactions that provide privacy to illicit actors. The pilot will look to leverage the knowledge of public/private sector and academia to address these specific challenges.” Follow me on Twitter or LinkedIn. Check out my website or some of my other work here

Kelly Phillips Erb

Kelly Phillips Erb

I cover tax and its impact on the lives of taxpayers and tax professionals. In addition to Forbes, you can find me at my own blog, Taxgirl.com, which has been consistently recognized by the ABA Journal as one of the top blogs written by lawyers. You can also subscribe to my newsletter – which features articles from the blog and Forbes – here. I am a member of the bars of Pennsylvania and New Jersey and licensed to practice in front of the U.S. Tax Court. I’m also permitted to engage in pro bono practice in my home state of North Carolina through Legal Aid of N.C.

Finally, I’m a mom to three children, so I can add science fair expert, cupcake baker, and sports mom to my resume

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Peer To Peer CryptoFree Technology Using Games & Betting Options

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Bitcoin is money, and money has always been used both for legal and illegal purposes. Cash, credit cards and current banking systems widely surpass Bitcoin in terms of their use to finance crime. Bitcoin can bring significant innovation in payment systems and the benefits of such innovation are often considered to be far beyond their potential drawbacks.

Bitcoin is designed to be a huge step forward in making money more secure and could also act as a significant protection against many forms of financial crime. For instance, bitcoins are completely impossible to counterfeit. Users are in full control of their payments and cannot receive unapproved charges such as with credit card fraud. Bitcoin transactions are irreversible and immune to fraudulent chargebacks.

Bitcoin allows money to be secured against theft and loss using very strong and useful mechanisms such as backups, encryption, and multiple signatures. Some concerns have been raised that Bitcoin could be more attractive to criminals because it can be used to make private and irreversible payments. However, these features already exist with cash and wire transfer, which are widely used and well-established.

The use of Bitcoin will undoubtedly be subjected to similar regulations that are already in place inside existing financial systems, and Bitcoin is not likely to prevent criminal investigations from being conducted. In general, it is common for important breakthroughs to be perceived as being controversial before their benefits are well understood. The Internet is a good example among many others to illustrate this.

Features:

  • Free Bitcoin: By clicking the ROLL button you can get your free bitcoins. The amount of free bitcoins that you get will depend on the number that you roll and paid out according to the payout table . You can come back and play every hour to win free bitcoins each time!
  • Dicing,Spining,Lottery: Drawings are held every 30 minutes. 5 of the random numbers from 1 to 36 fall out. The winning combination is the partial or complete coincidence of the numbers. Your bet will be multiplied in accordance with the coefficient presented in the table.

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Source: https://cryptofree.com

The Coronavirus Cryptocurrency Craze Who’s Behind The Bitcoin Buying Binge

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Trading of Bitcoin, Ethereum, and other cryptocurrencies increased sharply at the beginning of 2020, then jumped to a new high in February—a level that was sustained for the height of the Coronavirus crisis from March through May.

According to Coin Metrics:

“If historical growth rates can be maintained, Bitcoin’s current daily volume would need fewer than 4 years of growth to exceed daily volume of all US equities and fewer than 5 years to exceed daily volume of all US bonds.”

Where is this Coronavirus-fueled trading volume coming from and who will drive the future growth?

Who’s Buying Bitcoin?

A new study from Cornerstone Advisors revealed that 15% of American adults now own some form of cryptocurrency—a little more than half of whom invested in cryptocurrency for the first time during the first six months of 2020.

On average, these new investors obtained roughly $67.5 billion in cryptocurrencies, roughly $4,000 per person. The self-reported value of cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum for Americans who owned these assets prior to this year is about $111 billion, or close to $7,000 per person.

At 15% penetration, the US cracks the top 10 countries with the highest adoption of cryptocurrencies according to data from September 2019 (although a lot has changed since then).

The Demographics of Bitcoin Buyers

Who fueled this Bitcoin buying binge during the crisis?

  • High income, well-educated men. Nearly eight in 10 of 2020 crypto buyers were men with an average annual income of $130,000. Four in 10 have a Master’s degree or higher (70% have a Bachelor’s degree or higher).
  • Millennials and Gen Xers. Millennials (26 to 40 years old) comprised 57% of the consumers buying cryptocurrency in 2020 with Gen Xers (41 to 55 years old) accounting for 30%. Overall, 27% of Millennials and 21% of Gen Xers now hold some form of cryptocurrency, in contrast to 7% of Gen Zers, and 3% of Baby Boomers.
  • Bank of America customers. Overall, 21% of all consumers call Bank of America their primary bank. Of the consumers buying cryptocurrencies during the Bitcoin binge, almost half—47%—are customers of Bank of America. You’d think Bitcoin buyers would be customers of the digital banks, but only 6% of them call a digital bank their primary bank—in line with the population as a whole.

The Bitcoin Benefit

It’s hard to prove that holding cryptocurrencies is the cause of this, but 44% of Americans who have already invested in Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies said that their financial health is “much better” since the beginning of the Covid crisis. That’s in contrast to just 5% of all other US consumers.

First Time Investors

From a demographic perspective, the first-time investors are very similar to the previous group of crypto holders, but they’re different in at least one significant way: They’re changing up the financial institutions they do business with.

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Among the consumers who invested in cryptocurrency for the first time in 2020, half of them switched their primary banking relationship in the past six months—one-third did so in the past three months alone.

The Apple Effect

Apple Card holders only comprise 5% of all credit card customers, but among those that do have the card, 47% own some form of cryptocurrency—two-thirds of whom purchased crypto in 2020.

The Next Wave of Investors

The 11% of Americans who expect to invest in Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are somewhat different, demographically, from the current set of investors. Specifically, they are:

  • Women. Women only make up 22% of current cryptocurrency investors. In the next wave of investors, they account for 35% of the total.
  • Minorities. African-American and Hispanic consumers, who comprise 28% of all Americans, account for 23% of current crypto investors. Among those that anticipate investing in the next 12 months, 37% are from these two ethnic groups.
  • Younger and older. Just 6% of Gen Zers and Baby Boomers already have cryptocurrencies. In the next wave of investors, 17% are Gen Zers and 11% are Baby Boomers.
  • Less educated. Among current crypto investors, just 18% have not earned at least an Associate’s college degree. Among the consumers expecting to invest in cryptocurrencies in the next 12 months, that percentage rises to 36%.

One area of concern regarding the next wave of investors: Just 30% consider themselves to be “very financially literate,” in comparison to 54% of those who already hold cryptocurrencies.

The Crypto Opportunity For Banks

The surge in cryptocurrency investing has been a boon for Square. Bitcoin revenue for its Cash App for Q1 2020 was $306 million, up from $65 million in Q1 2019. Not surprisingly, reports indicate that PayPal intends to offer crypto purchasing through its PayPal and Venmo apps.

While many banks prevent their customers from buying cryptocurrencies using the cards they issue, the mainstreaming of crypto investing raises new questions for bnaks—not just regarding allowing their cards to be used, but whether or not they should provide more cryptocurrency investment-related services altogether.

A new announcement from the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) may be opening the door to that. According to an article here in Forbes, the OCC letter:

“Clarifies that national banks have the authority to provide fiat bank accounts and cryptocurrency custodial services to cryptocurrency businesses. This clarification may open the doors for larger financial institutions to be provide bank accounts to cryptocurrency companies, as well as actually provide custodial services for customers’ private keys.”

Among the large banks, a few appear to have a head start over the others. A site called Moon Banking provides a “crypto friendliness” score for banks, with USAA and Ally Bank leading the way in the US.

All banks—in particular, community banks and credit unions—should look at opportunities to provide Bitcoin wallets and other cryptocurrency trading services as a way to differentiate their services.

Follow me on Twitter or LinkedIn. Check out my website.

Ron Shevlin is the Managing Director of Fintech Research at Cornerstone Advisors. Author of the book Smarter Bank and the Fintech Snark Tank on Forbes, Ron is ranked among the top fintech influencers globally, and is a frequent keynote speaker at banking and fintech industry events.

Source:https://www.forbes.com/

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