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Something Very Strange Is Going On With Bitcoin And BTC Google Searches

Bitcoin and cryptocurrency prices are well known to be closely tied to media and general public interest–-though that could be changing.

The bitcoin price has been climbing so far this year, rising some 200% since January, though has recently plateaued at around $10,000 per bitcoin after peaking at more than $12,000 in June.

Now, it appears Google searches for bitcoin and BTC, the name used by traders for the bitcoin digital token, could be being manipulated–-possibly in order to move the bitcoin price.

Source: Something Very Strange Is Going On With Bitcoin And BTC Google Searches

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US Lawmakers Are Realizing They Can’t Ban Bitcoin

Those who have been longtime critics of Bitcoin usually have one key theory in common, which is that governments will eventually ban Bitcoin and cryptocurrency will then cease to exist in any meaningful form. For examples of this point of view, just look at economist Nouriel Roubini and JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon.

That said, implementing such a ban is no easy task. After all, Bitcoin was built by cypherpunks as a form of digital money that would be unaffected by the desires of politicians and regulators around the world.

Lately, it appears that lawmakers in the United States are starting to realize the difficulties associated with a potential Bitcoin ban.

Bitcoin Ban Deemed Unlikely During Congressional Hearings

On Tuesday, the U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs held a hearing on cryptocurrency and blockchain technology regulation. During that hearing, Senate Banking Committee Chairman Mike Crapo (R-ID) shared his belief that the United States would not be able to succeed in banning Bitcoin.

“If the United States were to decide — and I’m not saying that it should — if the United States were to decide we don’t want cryptocurrency to happen in the United States and tried to ban it, I’m pretty confident we couldn’t succeed in doing that because this is a global innovation,” said Crapo.

This statement came in the form of a question to Jeremy Allaire, who is the co-founder and CEO of global financial services company Circle. In his response, Allaire explained the new reality created by the creation of Bitcoin.

“I think the challenge that we all face with this is some of these cryptocurrencies — they’re literally just a piece of open-source software,” said Allaire. “There’s nothing else. It exists on the internet, it’s open-source software, anyone can implement it, it runs wherever the internet runs, and these have a monetary policy where these assets are algorithmically generated . . . That is a challenge that every government in the world now faces — that money, digital money, will move frictionlessly everywhere in the world at the speed of the internet.”

These remarks made during Tuesday’s hearing follow comments made by U.S. Congressman Patrick McHenry (R-NC) from earlier in the month when he stated “there’s no capacity to kill Bitcoin” during an interview with CNBC.

Back in May, Congressman Brad Sherman (D-CA) claimed that Congress should implement a ban on Bitcoin, but Sherman did not share specific details as to how such a ban could be effectively achieved.

                                

The difficulties associated with implementing a ban on Bitcoin are behind one economist’s theory that the best way to kill the cryptocurrency would be for governments to become more competitive in terms of monetary policy and financial freedom.

Abra CEO Bill Barhydt has also pointed out that bringing forth a Bitcoin ban could be legally difficult for the U.S. Government. That said, there is growing support for bans on encryption-based technologies among various law enforcement agencies in the United States, in addition to the Trump White House.

On the other hand, more centralized cryptocurrency systems like Facebook’s Libra project, which is really a cryptocurrency in name only, would be much easier for governments to control.

It should be noted that extreme limitations on technology and financial freedom, such as the new cash-related bill making its way through the Parliament of Australia, may end up unintentionally educating more people as to why Bitcoin has value in the first place.

Follow me on Twitter. Check out my website.

I’m a writer who has been following Bitcoin since 2011. I’ve worked all over the Bitcoin media space — from being editor-in-chief at Inside Bitcoins to contributing to Bitcoin Magazine on a regular basis. My work has also been featured in Business Insider, VICE Motherboard, and many other financial and tech media outlets. I’m mostly interested in the use of Bitcoin for transactions that would be censored by the traditional financial system (think darknet markets and ransomware) in addition to the use of bitcoin as an unseizable, digital store of value. Altcoins, appcoins, and ICOs don’t make much sense to me. Find all of my work at kyletorpey.com. Disclosure: I hold some bitcoin.

Source: US Lawmakers Are Realizing They Can’t Ban Bitcoin

Bitcoin: IRS Takes On The Crooks—And The Good Guys

Image result for bitcoin and IRS

Are cryptocurrencies reportable for FBAR? For Fatca? No and maybe.

Turns out there’s no FBAR mandate on your offshore bitcoin account. Is the government making a tactical retreat in its war on money launderers and tax cheats?

In response to a request for guidance from an accountants’ group, the Treasury Financial Crimes Enforcement Network has recently decreed that cryptocurrency accounts held by exchanges located outside the country don’t have to be disclosed.

That means you don’t have to confess your Binance assets on the Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts Report, alias FBAR. The report, which is filed on a form called Fincen 114, is required when a taxpayer’s financial assets (cash and securities) held in foreign institutions top $10,000.

Why the leniency? Mostly because the antiquated laws aimed at financial mischief simply can’t cope with crypto.

A rational observer would say that bitcoin, which is both a store of value and a medium of exchange, is money. But the IRS, enforcing legislation written in a pre-internet age, has concluded that cryptocurrencies are “property”—more like Picassos than pesos.

At some point the tax police will get up to speed. They’ll rewrite rules or get legislation including digital assets in the offshore reporting scheme. But they’ll still have a hard time ferreting out hidden wealth. Cryptocurrencies, already somewhat anonymous, are getting more so. There are tumblers that erase bitcoin trails and there are newer currencies designed to offer enhanced privacy.

To investors, crypto is an asset class that might warrant an allocation in a portfolio. Although cryptocurrencies are volatile, they have the virtue of being not very correlated to stocks and bonds that fall, directly or indirectly, under the spell of central banks.

To enforcers, crypto is nothing but trouble. Bitcoin was the common currency of Silk Road, that bazaar of contraband whose manager got a life sentence. Russian hackers used bitcoin in their election meddling. A press release in May from Immigration & Customs Enforcement, crowing about the indictment of an alleged fentanyl vendor, gives bitcoin a prominent mention.

Donald Trump doesn’t like crypto. His Treasury secretary, Steven Mnuchin, complained recently that cryptocurrencies are being used illicitly. He vowed to produce regulations to keep them from turning into a new form of numbered Swiss bank account.

But aren’t bitcoins by their nature numbered accounts? The blockchain—a record of all transactions to date—is a string of integers, with no holders’ names attached. Still, holders can get nailed for doing something wrong.

Chain analysis software traces the history of a bitcoin as it moves from account to account. If at any point that coin passed through an exchange subject to U.S. know-your-customer rules (like Coinbase), the cops can get the name and taxpayer ID of someone who used the coin. That may give them a wedge, via subpoena or a threat of prosecution, to identify other participants in the chain of ownership.

And then there are users who make mistakes. Evidently the fellow accused of selling fentanyl wanted to convert bitcoins to dollars, and in the process of doing that transferred the coins to addresses that were controlled by federal agents. This is reminiscent of the bank robber who hops into what he thinks is a getaway car but turns out to be a police vehicle.

Cryptocurrency users who want their activities to be more cryptic have options. They can use one of the tumbler services that take in possibly dirty coins and replace them with randomly selected coins. They can use Monero or Zcash, currencies explicitly designed to be more private than bitcoin. And how is Secretary Mnuchin going to police Binance, the fast-growing coin repository that hops from jurisdiction to jurisdiction? It is now in Malta, where regulators are proud of their light touch.

Yet another way to keep coins hidden is to keep them in your own wallet instead of in the custody of an exchange. Just don’t lose the key.

Sean Golding, an Irvine, California attorney whose clientele includes global investors, says that you are under no obligation to report coins held in a wallet on your desktop, any more than you are obliged to report gold stored under your bed. You must, though, report and pay tax on profitable sales of either.

What about your account at an offshore exchange? Even with the recent dispensation from the IRS, Golding says, it might be a good idea to file the FBAR anyway. You might, after all, do some trading that temporarily turns bitcoins into dollars or euros. If your total of cash and securities held offshore exceeds $10,000, even for a day, the FBAR is mandatory.

The government takes the Fincen 114 form seriously. It’s trying to collect a $4.7 million fine from someone who forgot to fill it out.

Your account at a U.S. exchange needs no FBAR. The IRS can already see the account. Thus, Coinbase customers who neglect to declare gains from crypto sales can expect to hear from the feds.

What about Fatca? The Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act is another disclosure regime, overlapping Fincen but with its own set of rules and different thresholds ($50,000 for a single taxpayer, $100,000 for a joint return filer). Play it safe, advises Golding. The recent guidance on FBAR doesn’t apply here. If you’re at or above the cutoff, file the Fatca report.

The FBAR must be filed electronically with Fincen, a Treasury unit separate from the IRS. Start here.

For Fatca, file Form 8938 with the 1040 you send to the IRS. It can be on paper. The form is here and the instructions are here.

A useful comparison between the FBAR and Fatca requirements is here.

This Journal of Accountancy report describes the recent guidance from Fincen.

The FBAR regs are here.

I aim to help you save on taxes and money management costs. I graduated from Harvard in 1973, have been a journalist for 44 years, and was editor of Forbes magazine from 1999 to 2010. Tax law is a frequent subject in my articles. I have been an Enrolled Agent since 1979. Email me at williambaldwinfinance — at — gmail — dot — com.

 

 

Source: Bitcoin: IRS Takes On The Crooks—And The Good Guys

Bitcoin Plunged Below $8,000–Did This Cause The Sudden Price Drop?

bitcoin, bitcoin price, image

Bitcoin, which has been swinging wildly over recent weeks, has crashed under $8,000—suddenly losing almost $1,000 per bitcoin in a matter of minutes last night.

The bitcoin price, down around 8% over the last 24 hour trading period, is still up around double where it began this year after a terrible 2018 that saw many of the world’s biggest cryptocurrencies including bitcoin lose around 80% of their value.

It’s been suggested the latest sudden bitcoin sell-off, which sent the wider cryptocurrency market sharply lower, was caused by a so-called bitcoin whale selling a large amount of bitcoin then buying it back after the market has dropped due to the influx of supply—potentially earning millions of dollars in the process.

Last night a large bitcoin holder moved some 25,000 bitcoin, worth more than $200 million, from an off-exchange wallet to the San Francisco-based Coinbase bitcoin and cryptocurrency exchange, as reported by a bitcoin and cryptocurrency whale tracking Twitter bot.

Shortly after that, 14,000 bitcoin, worth $112 million, was moved from Coinbase to another wallet, then a further 11,000 bitcoin, worth $88 million.

“If you do a little math and follow the timeline, it’s not hard to see that someone dumped 25,000 bitcoin for $215 million and bought it back shortly after for $200 million,” wrote Reddit user u/makoveli in a post to popular cryptocurrency forum r/cryptocurrency. “In doing so, they pocketed $15 million and walked away with the same amount of bitcoin as they started with.”

Bitcoin, despite being the most widely traded cryptocurrency with trading volume into the billions of dollars every day, still struggles with wild price swings due to large holders moving significant volumes of bitcoin.

bitcoin, bitcoin price, chart

The bitcoin price has risen and fallen sharply multiple times over recent weeks.

Following the sharp bitcoin price plunge, other major cryptocurrencies including ethereum, Ripple’s XRP, litecoin, EOS, and bitcoin cash all fell with EOS leading the field lower, down over 10% on yesterday’s price, according to CoinMarketCap data.

Bitcoin SV, a variant of bitcoin cash, itself a fork of bitcoin, was the only top 10 cryptocurrency largely unaffected by the sudden sell-off—something that will likely further speculation the controversial token suffers from low liquidity and high price manipulation.

You can follow me on Twitter @billybambrough and read my other Forbes posts here

Disclosure: I occasionally hold some small amount of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies

I am a journalist with significant experience covering technology, finance, economics, and business around the world.

Source: Bitcoin Plunged Below $8,000–Did This Cause The Sudden Price Drop?

Chinese Analysts Say Bitcoin Bear Market Likely to Continue In 2019

Chinese analysts expect the current bitcoin bear market to continue in 2019, contradicting the bullish projections of crypto bulls like Mike Novogratz, who predicts that the bitcoin price will hit record highs this year. “In 2018, bitcoin became an investment black hole,” according to the state-run Beijing News. “Entering 2019, bitcoin prices are still showing signs of decline, and there is no obvious rebound……

For bitcoin’s trend in the new year, pessimism is more dominant.

Source: Chinese Analysts Say Bitcoin Bear Market Likely to Continue In 2019

Bitcoin Genesis Block Turns 10 As Crypto Advances Into 2019

The Bitcoin Foundation, Inc. is a non-profit organization founded in September 2012. Comprised of senior leaders in the Bitcoin and cryptoasset communities, the Foundation coordinates joint efforts of the Bitcoin and other cryptoasset communities, helping to create awareness of the benefits of Bitcoin and other cryptoassets, their responsible use and related technology requirements for global adoption. The Foundation’s audience includes technologists, regulators, and the media, and its reach is global. The Foundation has been at the forefront of campaigning for an unimpeded economic system for the future.

Source: Bitcoin Genesis Block Turns 10 As Crypto Advances Into 2019 | The Daily Hodl

Crypto and Oil Market Slumps Are Sign of Approaching ‘Flash Crash’ in Markets – Ana Alexandre

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Analysts from Bank of America Merrill Lynch have said that the crash in cryptocurrency and oil markets are indicators of a looming “flash crash” in markets, Reuters reported Nov. 16. The strategists reportedly suggested that rising volatility across various asset classes and deleveraging, such as that which happened in oil markets over the past weeks, are signs of the evolution of a bear market. On Nov.14, Bitcoin (BTC) price slumped below $5,400, while total market capitalization of all cryptocurrencies dropped as low as $174 billion. The price dive marked a new volatility record for markets this year…………..

Read more: https://cointelegraph.com/news/report-crypto-and-oil-market-slumps-are-sign-of-approaching-flash-crash-in-markets

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