Feds accelerating crypto world crackdown

Business

Fox Business 25 June, 2021 - 02:46pm 70 views

Why is Bitcoin dropping today?

Bitcoin (CRYPTO:BTC) tokens are worth about 15% more than they were at the start of 2021. Today, Bitcoin is dropping as investors digest both China's recent actions related to the cryptocurrency and a major bank's opinion on its future. Motley FoolHere's Why Bitcoin Dropped Today

Quotes delayed at least 15 minutes. Real-time quotes provided by BATS BZX Real-Time Price. Market Data provided by Interactive Data (Terms & Conditions). Powered and Implemented by Interactive Data Managed Solutions. Company fundamental data provided by Morningstar. Earnings estimates data provided by Zacks. Mutual fund and ETF data provided by Lipper. Economic data provided by Econoday. Dow Jones & Company Terms & Conditions.

This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. ©2021 FOX News Network, LLC. All rights reserved. FAQ - Updated Privacy Policy

Bitcoin Foundation Chairman Brock Pierce discusses his travels to El Salvador to help guide and inform the country on making bitcoin a legal tender.

A recent job posting on the Justice Department’s website is yet another indication that the federal government is about to accelerate its oversight of criminal activity in the crypto world, FOX Business has learned.

The posting says the DOJ is looking to hire a trial attorney with expertise in both cryptocurrencies and blockchain technologies as well as money laundering and asset forfeiture law to work within the department’s Criminal Division. The position will specifically be assigned to a unit focusing on crypto-related crimes. Responsibilities include prosecuting criminals who use digital currencies as vehicles for illegal activity and providing advice to federal agents on legislative and regulatory matters.

The posting, though unremarkable on the surface, is further proof that the federal government is worried about the proliferation of crimes involving digital currencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum, and plans a broad criminal crackdown on illicit activities in the crypto world. In recent weeks, crypto-related criminal activity has been making national headlines, particularly with the cyberattack on the Colonial Pipeline in May that resulted in the days-long shutdown of the country’s largest fuel pipeline. Russian hackers were behind the move and they demanded $5 billion in ransom money, which was paid by Colonial’s CEO in bitcoin. 

The FBI ultimately recovered around half of the money by seizing a so-called digital wallet that contained the ransom. Last year, the DOJ seized $1 million in crypto assets from the now-defunct Silk Road marketplace, one of the most notorious criminal digital-currency black markets in existence. 

Aside from criminal activities, both the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Treasury Department are monitoring the hype surrounding Bitcoin and other digital currencies and whether small investors are being misled to buy cryptocurrencies, which have no immediate inherent value. Digital currencies are used when transacting business through blockchain technologies, but the industry is nascent and has yet to gain broad acceptance as a tool to transact business. 

"There's absolutely nothing you can do with Bitcoin - it doesn't have a characteristic of a commodity, it doesn't have the characteristics of an asset, so it’s just a token, a speculative token," says crypto skeptic Peter Schiff, chief economist and global strategist at Europac. "Right now people want to collect it because they don't really understand it".

The price of Bitcoin, though significantly off its highs from April has had a pretty impressive run-up in the last year, surging above $60,000 before crashing back down to $30,000 earlier this month. Early this week, it briefly fell below $30,000. Ethereum’s performance is even more eye-popping – the asset up nearly 700% over the last year, though it has traded off as well falling to below $2,000 from just over $4,000 in May. 

Greg King, Osprey Funds CEO, says he's used to volatility related to Bitcoin and argued that investing in cryptocurrencies is 'actually tech investing.'

Top regulators such as Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen and SEC Chairman Gary Gensler have stated publicly that they think cryptocurrencies need to be more closely regulated even though Gensler notably left off cryptocurrencies out of the SEC’s spring rule-making agenda, giving precedent to more polarizing matters such as climate change and diversity disclosures.

People close to the SEC say Gensler and the commission are grappling with how best to regulate a business that operates outside the banking system. 

"The government will inevitably attempt to regulate crypto because this administration’s solution to every problem is simply to increase regulation," says Charles Enson, a law professor at the University of Delaware. "The big question will be ‘How?’ It’s easy to say but tough to do." 

Still, many crypto experts think more stringent regulation is just around the corner. One reason, according to Michael Oliver of Momentum Structural Analysis, is that the increasing investor appetite for cryptocurrencies could pose a threat to government monetary policy since the Federal Reserve has no role in the creation of Bitcoin and other popular digital currencies.

"Momentum Structural Analysis had predicted in reports beginning in September 2020 onward that governments and central banks would crackdown on private money and cryptos as the growing acceptance of such money was implicitly a threat to central bank monopoly control over their monies," Oliver said. "Hence a threat to their policy implementation." 

"It's being marketed as a competitor to government-issued money", Schiff said. "So obviously the government doesn't like competition, especially when you're competing with it…so it makes sense that they're going to regulate it."

Meanwhile, on the world stage, global regulators have been closely scrutinizing cryptocurrencies over the past few weeks. Most recently, China’s central bank ordered state-owned banks and payment provider Alipay to cut off all transactions related to Bitcoin. South Korea just confiscated $47 million in crypto assets in an effort to crackdown on tax evasion. 

Here in the U.S., the DOJ’s crypto task force known as the Digital Currency Initiative was established in 2018. The unit was created following then-special counsel Robert Mueller’s indictments against Russian Intelligence officers using cryptocurrencies in their efforts to interfere in the 2016 U.S. Presidential election. 

The Justice Department did not respond to our request for comment on this story.

This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. ©2021 FOX News Network, LLC. All rights reserved. FAQ - Updated Privacy Policy

Read full article at Fox Business

3 Reasons Why China’s Bitcoin Crackdown Isn’t All That Bad - CoinDesk

CoinDesk 25 June, 2021 - 06:05pm

China’s relationship with bitcoin has long been defined by regulations. As news of the country’s latest restrictions once again dominates headlines, it’s important to put the new regulations in the context of past ones.

China’s first major crypto statute came in 2013, when the government recognized bitcoin as virtual property but banned it as a medium of transaction. In 2017, China’s central bank declared initial coin offerings (ICO) illegal, causing bitcoin’s value to temporarily plummet. While the currency’s trade restrictions are reiterated year after year, news of mining bans within several Chinese provinces is the latest cause of concern.

Last week’s announcement of a mining ban in China’s Sichuan province has created an exodus of miners seeking refuge for their hardware overseas. It’s estimated that 90% of the country’s mining capacity will be shut down as a result of the recent bans. The news is significant because Chinese mines power 80% of global cryptocurrency trades.

While mining regulations have brought FUD (fear, uncertainty and doubt) to the global crypto markets, causing the price of Bitcoin to fall dramatically, many experts remain optimistic as to how Chinese regulation will strengthen bitcoin’s long-term health. Here are 3 reasons why China’s mining ban may not be as bad as it seems.

As it currently stands, Chinese citizens aren’t being forced to surrender their assets to the state. The terms “bitcoin” and “ban” have been thrown around a lot with regards to the China clampdown, but it’s important to note there has been no outright ban on holding bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. 

China’s central bank is primarily concerned by the increased popularity in cryptocurrency because it directly challenges the nation’s economic and financial stability. By upping the enforcement around speculative crypto trading and mining, it’s the Chinese State Council’s hope the nation’s economy will be better insulated from the wild volatility of the crypto market. However, this rhetoric being used is far from new. The recent crackdown on financial institutions facilitating crypto payments is largely a reiteration of regulations from 2013 and 2017. 

While China has taken a more aggressive stance against bitcoin and crypto in general in recent months, some of the regulations being mentioned could be subverted in the same ways they always have been. When China imposed a trading ban in 2017 during the ICO boom, cryptocurrency trading continued with many participants switching to foreign exchanges based in Hong Kong and Japan. As long as the holding of the assets themselves is legal, it’s possible Chinese citizens will look for ways to circumvent restrictions against trading them. This, of course, could change if the Chinese government opts to more strictly enforce existing laws.

While the exodus of miners may disrupt the crypto market in the short term, in the long term, increased decentralization promises to make the Bitcoin network less vulnerable to the rules and regulations of any single country. It’s estimated that 65% of bitcoin mining takes place in China. With miners now forced to relocate to other countries, the redistribution should help to ease previous concerns of China’s mining dominance. 

It’s also worth noting the conflict between bitcoin mining and national politics is far from new, with rumors of a Chinese mining ban dating to 2018. In May, Iran announced a temporary mining ban due to power shortages throughout the country. The news paired with the fact that 4.5% of all mining takes place in Iran caused crypto markets to shift, which is far from desirable in an already volatile space.

While Iran’s volume of mining pales in comparison to that of China’s, the point remains – risks and complications of mining will be less prevalent if the miners themselves are more spread out. And with this recent exodus, that’s exactly what could happen.

With a sizable portion of Chinese miners expected to be relocating to the United States, the exodus could actually be a positive step towards reducing bitcoin’s carbon footprint.

One landing spot for Chinese miners could be Texas. The state benefits from some of the world’s lowest energy prices, a growing share of renewable energy sources and a deregulated power grid. Maybe most important, it has one of the most pro-crypto politicians in the country as governor, Greg Abbot.

North America also has more incentives to supply miners with renewable forms of energy, both in the free market and via government regulation because the mining industry’s exorbitant use of energy continues garnering public scrutiny in the United States. In May, Elon Musk announced his company, Tesla, would no longer accept bitcoin as a payment method until the mining industry reached 50% clean energy usage. In June, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) publicity criticized bitcoin for its negative environmental impact, calling for increased regulations around the mining industry. Musk also leads the Bitcoin Mining Council of North America with MicroStrategy CEO Michael Saylor, a group dedicated to improving the United States’ transparency and usage of renewable energy in bitcoin mining and countering bitcoin’s environmental image.

Unlike with the Chinese government, North American regulations will not be an “all or nothing” affair. President Joe Biden’s addition of several new crypto reporting requirements in his 2022 budget indicates the country is moving towards a future where crypto may be tightly regulated but not completely banned.

Mining will likely be eased into using alternative energy sources over a multi-year span, a more sustainable tactic for progress than threats of an outright ban. While China voiced concerns over the environmental impact of hashing, it was far from the primary issue.

Ultimately, China’s mining ban and reiteration of trade restrictions are emblematic of many gripes investors have always had with bitcoin, and cryptocurrencies in general. For all the promise, innovation and ingenuity the technology brings to the digital age, there will always be obstacles, like government regulation, to overcome. But these are widely considered short-term obstacles in a long-term game – ones that have the power to strengthen cryptocurrencies like bitcoin as much as they can hurt them.

The future of Bitcoin will be determined by China - not the West | Hamish McRae

The Independent 25 June, 2021 - 06:05pm

That is the lesson of the past few days. There has been much analysis of China’s decision to regulate the market more closely and the banning of bitcoin mining in Sichuan province – but it is hard to pick out the signals from the noise. Bears, such as the famed author and mathematician Nicholas Taleb, feel that investors have underrated the power that governments have in controlling cryptocurrencies. In a paper published on Sunday he wrote:

“By its very nature, bitcoin is open for all to see. The belief in one’s ability to hide one’s assets from the government with a public blockchain…not just read by the FBI but by people in their living room, requires a certain lack of financial seasoning and statistical understanding — perhaps even simple common sense.”

Bulls, of which there are many, note that while the past few days have been highly volatile, the fundamental case for investing in something that has a finite limit to its supply will be even more attractive as inflation returns. Cathie Wood, chief executive of ARK, was a huge buyer of bitcoin during its meltdown of the past few days. She was undeterred by the so-called “death cross” of its price.

It takes two views to make a market, as the old saying on the stock exchange goes. So what is the new evidence?

Well one clear thing is that China has, for the time being at least, seems to have shutdown a number of bitcoin mines – “seems to” because we should always greet any such news with a certain scepticism. Since more than half of new bitcoins are mined in China, this will slow the creation of new coins and, other things being equal, should increase the price. So why did the price fall?

The best answer to that is that the ban on mining was more than offset by the other measures taken by China. These include the announcement by the People's Bank of China that it had asked the major banks and Alipay, Alibaba’s payment service run by its affiliate Ant Group, restrict crypto trading. Individuals can still hold cryptocurrencies, but they may find it harder to use them for normal purchases.

There is a powerful message here. It is that if you hold a lot of cryptocurrency the authorities will scrutinise your behaviour. They will want to know how you got the money, whether you have paid tax on it, and what you intend to do with it. In other words, holding crypto is a red flag. Far from your being able to use bitcoin to hide wealth from the government, it will actually increase the chance that the authorities will scrutinise your financial dealings.

The rest of the world will watch what China does. There is the simple point that it is on course to become the world’s largest economy by the end of this decade. What it does has a direct impact on global payment flows as well as national ones. But beyond that, if it takes the view that the cryptocurrencies are making global markets more volatile, then the other major governments around the world will probably agree.

To be sure there will be exceptions. El Salvador is pushing to make bitcoin legal tender and some other Latin American countries may follow. But that will not move the dial. The big call will be what the US Treasury and Federal Reserve decide to do. We don’t know how they will extract the American economy from its current surge in speculative activity. Cracking down on crypto would be unpopular, but maybe less unpopular that a sharp rise in interest rates.

The new information of this week however is that the world’s second-largest economy is not simply prepared to crackdown, but is doing so. If this proves a relatively painless way of curbing its boom, then expect others to take serious note.

Best Cryptocurrencies Under $5 • Huge Growth • Benzinga Crypto

Benzinga 25 June, 2021 - 06:05pm

Although you can buy any small fraction of Bitcoin or Ethereum, there’s something special about owning several coins of a cryptocurrency. If you don’t have thousands of dollars to invest in crypto with, then you won’t be able to own full coins cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum. Luckily, there are thousands of cryptocurrencies on the market, and there are plenty of cryptocurrencies under $5 that have massive growth potential!

If you’ve been involved in cryptocurrency at all, you’ve probably heard the term altcoin. The term altcoin refers to any cryptocurrency other than Bitcoin, with few exceptions. Stablecoins are cryptocurrencies pegged to other assets like the U.S dollar, and they’re typically referred to as stablecoins, not altcoins. Also, Ethereum is usually just referred to as ETH or Ether, as its mass adoption and robust ecosystem put it in a category of its own.

There are some important differences between altcoins and Bitcoin that you should be aware of before investing in altcoins. Generally speaking, altcoins are higher risk investments when compared to Bitcoin. Bitcoin has seen mass adoption from governments, institutions and retail investors alike, giving it a wide user base and robust decentralized network. 

Also, many altcoins don’t have a maximum supply. While there can only be 21 million bitcoin ever created, many altcoins have a set inflation schedule to facilitate the project’s growth. It’s important to know a token’s inflation rate before investing, as this can affect the altcoin’s price.

Before buying a cryptocurrency because of its seemingly low price, you need to make sure the price is low because it’s market capitalization is low. Cryptocurrencies like Dogecoin have an enormous market capitalization, as there are over 100 billion tokens in circulation. What’s more, 10,000 Dogecoin are mined every minute, effectively decreasing the value of DOGE on a per token basis.

Let’s take a look at how token supply, market capitalization and token price are related. Let’s look at 2 cryptocurrencies: Dogecoin and Yearn.finance. 

So even though Dogecoin has a much lower price, it’s much harder to make a large percentage gain from investing in DOGE. While a $1 billion influx of capital to yearn.finance may double the price of the token, a $1 billion influx of capital into DOGE may only raise the price by a few percent.

While major cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum can be bought on any cryptocurrency exchange, certain altcoins are only available on specific exchanges. Luckily, all of the altcoins on this list are available on Coinbase. Coinbase is the largest U.S based crypto exchange. It’s a publicly traded company, so you can rest easy knowing that your funds are in good hands. 

If you’re looking for more variety, then consider Binance as your exchange of choice. The platform offers plenty of altcoins to invest in, and it’s the largest crypto exchange in the world. However, most investors would consider Coinbase more secure than Binance, as Coinbase stores the majority of investors’ funds in cold storage. 

Inexpensive cryptocurrencies can be enticing due to their large growth potential, but they aren’t for everyone. Altcoins are more risky than Bitcoin or Ethereum, which are volatile assets themselves. Generally speaking, the smaller the market cap a coin has, the more risky the investment is.

This being said, altcoins typically provide higher returns than Bitcoin during a bull market. Conversely, altcoins depreciate faster in bear markets, so make sure to only invest money you’re able to lose. 

Once you make your purchase on an exchange, you should consider where you’ll store your crypto. It’s not recommended to store your funds on an exchange. This is because crypto exchanges hold custody of all their users’ funds, making them large targets for hackers. 

Instead, you should opt for a hardware or software cryptocurrency wallet to store your crypto. This way, you own the keys to your crypto, allowing you to control your coins yourself. While software wallets usually suffice, hardware wallets (cold storage) is the most secure way to store cryptocurrency.

Cryptocurrency investors have trusted Ledger to store their cryptocurrencies since 2014. The hardware wallet manufacturer sells 2 wallets: the Ledger Nano S and Ledger Nano X. Both wallets serve the same function, but the Nano X has a few premium features and a higher price point.

Both wallets are multicurrency wallets, meaning you can hold a variety of different cryptos on the same wallet. The device stores your cryptocurrency offline, making it impossible for online hackers to access your cryptocurrency investments.

If you aren’t looking to shell out the money for a hardware wallet, then you should consider a software wallet. Most software wallets on the market are free, and they offer a secure storage solution for crypto.

Coinbase Wallet is especially convenient if you use Coinbase, as you can send and receive crypto from Coinbase extremely easily. Plus, you can store plenty of different cryptos on Coinbase Wallet, so you won’t need to have several crypto wallets.

Benzinga crafted a specific methodology to rank cryptocurrency exchanges and tools. We prioritized platforms based on offerings, pricing and promotions, customer service, mobile app, user experience and benefits, and security. To see a comprehensive breakdown of our methodology, please visit see our Cryptocurrency Methodology page.

Gemini builds crypto products to help you buy, sell, and store your bitcoin and cryptocurrency. You can buy bitcoin and crypto instantly and access all the tools you need to understand the crypto market and start investing, all through one clear, attractive interface. Gemini Crypto Platform offers excellent account management options. You can manage your account at a glance, view your account balance 24-hour changes and percent changes. Get started with Gemini now.

What you’ll get: a deep dive into relevant crypto projects, exclusive insights into alt coins from the pros & more!

Learn more about the best cryptocurrencies and altcoins you can buy based on VC-backing, technology, price and more.

Read More

Learn more about the best cryptocurrency trading platforms to trade your coins. Rankings are based on usability, fees and more.

Read More

Discover the best crypto apps you can use on your iPhone or Android phone, based on security, data, availability and more.

Read More

Is bitcoin a good investment? Learn more about bitcoin and determine whether this cryptocurrency is the right investment for you.

Read More

Bitcoin and Ethereum are both crypto, but they couldn’t be more different. Learn more about Bitcoin and Ethereum in Benzinga's guide.

Read More

Confused about how bitcoin works? Start with Benzinga’s guide to learn more about the bitcoin system.

Read More

© 2021 Benzinga | All Rights Reserved

China bitcoin crackdown 'fantastic news' for crypto: Blockchain.com CEO

Yahoo Finance 25 June, 2021 - 12:11pm

Though the news and subsequent crash may have caused short term headaches in the crypto market, China’s crackdown on mining may actually benefit crypto in the long run, according to some experts. 

“I think it's actually fantastic news for the Bitcoin ecosystem,” Peter Smith, Blockchain.com co-founder and CEO, told Yahoo Finance Live. “You're going to see a diversification of mining operations around the world. We've been seeing that trend over the last two years, as large mines are built in Europe, the U.S., and a variety of other geographic locations—but that trend is going to accelerate hard now.”

Smith cited the growing concern of Bitcoin mining becoming too highly concentrated in mainland China as a reason for a positive outlook on the crackdown. He predicts that over the next three to four years, this will yield a net positive for crypto as mining firms sell off their bitcoin and move their operations overseas.

Chinese mining firms have already begun planning to shift their businesses abroad, with companies eyeing countries ranging from the U.S. to Kazakhstan. According to Chris Zhu, owner of Chinese mining service platform INBTC, approximately 10% to 20% of miners in China have already initiated their move.

"We spent around ten days getting to Sichuan, only for operations to stop there too," Zhu told AFP. "It's going to be tough to continue here."

As for what the implications of Beijing’s restrictions on mining will have in terms of Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG), Smith believes there is not enough available information to make a judgement call. According to him, the “vast majority” of mining operations being built today are powered by some form of clean energy.

“You're going to see mining companies start to disclose where they're getting their energy,” Smith added. “And for the most part, Bitcoin mines are powered in places where there's really low energy cost.”

Crypto mining’s issues surrounding social impact need to be “figured out” before large asset managers begin significant investment campaigns, Smith said. Ultimately, he believes this will happen once more data is made public regarding energy sourcing and consumption by mining operations.

“The ESG problem, though, is one that you need to solve over the next five years as you start to bring bigger and bigger funds into the space, like your BlackRocks (BLK) and Blackstones (BX) of the world,” Smith said. “So I don't think it was institutions selling because they suddenly realized that there's ESG concerns. I think it just kind of caps what institutions can come into this space until that's solved.”

Thomas Hum is a writer at Yahoo Finance. Follow him on Twitter: @thomashumTV

Follow Yahoo Finance on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Flipboard, LinkedIn, YouTube, and reddit

Cryptos remain under pressure from a sell-off triggered by regulatory action in China.

Two enormous influencers on one stage.

Bitcoin is down about 12% over the past seven days and was trading around $33,000 at press time.

Despite bitcoin's near 50% collapse, 29-year-old billionaire founder of crypto exchange FTX Sam Bankman-Fried is still bullish on crypto.

(Reuters) -A human rights group that attracted millions of views on YouTube to testimonies from people who say their families have disappeared in China's Xinjiang region is moving its videos to little-known service Odysee after some were taken down by the Google-owned streaming giant, two sources told Reuters. The group, credited by international organizations like Human Rights Watch for drawing attention to human rights violations in Xinjiang, has come under fire from Kazakh authorities since its founding in 2017. Serikzhan Bilash, a Xinjiang-born Kazakh activist who co-founded the channel and has been arrested multiple times for his activism, said government advisors told him five years ago to stop using the word "genocide" to describe the situation in Xinjiang - an order he assumed came from pressure from China's government on Kazakhstan.

In the wake of El Salvador's dramatic move to make bitcoin a legal tender, a world first, the internet has been buzzing with rumors that another Latin American country may be set to follow in its footsteps: Paraguay. Paraguayan lawmaker Carlos Rejala, who had inadvertently sparked the excitement with a tweet https://twitter.com/carlitosrejala/status/1405582533144809476?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1405582533144809476%7Ctwgr%5E%7Ctwcon%5Es1_&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.euronews.com%2Fnext%2F2021%2F06%2F22%2Fis-paraguay-set-to-become-the-second-country-to-make-bitcoin-legal-tender-after-el-salvado earlier in June, told Reuters on Friday he was pushing a bill to regulate cryptocurrencies, not make them legal tender. "It is a bill of digital assets and it differs from that of El Salvador because they are taking it as legal currency and in Paraguay it will be impossible to do something like that," centrist legislator Rejala said.

Elon Musk has tweeted about naming his Shiba Inu, Floki. Which has sparked a 25% surge in the price of SHIB.

(Bloomberg) -- Andreessen Horowitz is launching a $2.2 billion crypto-focused venture fund, the largest yet by one of the first big venture investors to wade into digital-asset world.Led by co-founder Marc Andreessen, the Menlo Park, California-based firm has been investing in crypto since 2013, in companies including Coinbase Global Inc., which went public earlier this year. It’s also an investor in hot startups such as Compound, a leader in decentralized finance, and a participant in Diem, a p

In February, the now-bearish Minerd said BTC could climb as high as $600,000.

According to data released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA), real GDP growth increased at an annual rate of 6.4% in Q1 of 2021. Five more industries have since recovered to real GDP levels past those in Q4 of 2019 since the previous quarter.

Inflation may be rising, but for now, at least, investors don’t seem to mind. Both the NASDAQ and the S&P 500 are holding just below their all-time high levels. But are the good times here to stay? One clue to the answer came in last week’s Federal Open Market Committee meeting, where officials indicated that two interest rate increases are possible as early as 2023, and the committee came just ‘two dots,’ or two members’ votes, from pulling at least one of those increases into next year. This i

Nomura says a new model correctly signalled two-thirds of the past 53 crises in 40 countries since the early 1990s, and it is currently warning that six economies appear vulnerable to financial crises over the next 12 quarters.

(Bloomberg) -- President Joe Biden ousted Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac’s regulator Wednesday, replacing the Trump administration appointee on an acting basis with a long-term Federal Housing Finance Agency senior official.The U.S. Supreme Court opened the door for Biden to remove FHFA Director Mark Calabria with a ruling that gave the president clear authority to fire the housing regulator. The White House replaced him with Sandra Thompson, who has been deputy director of the agency’s division of

El Salvador’s president says use of the cryptocurrency Bitcoin will not be mandatory, but the country is planning to give out starter accounts with $30 to promote its use. Finance Minister Alejandro Zelaya said Thursday the government will allocate $120 million to establish as many as 4 million starter Bitcoin accounts, or “wallets,” though he doesn’t think that many people will take up the offer. President Nayib Bukele said that when the law takes effect in September, accepting Bitcoin will be optional.

President Joe Biden told reporters that the 22.5-year sentence handed down to former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin was “appropriate.” “I don’t know all the circumstances that were considered but it seems to me, that under the guidelines, that seems to be appropriate,” Biden said in the Oval Office, where he was meeting with Afghanistan […]

New banking rules, part of an international accord known as Basel III, will come into effect on Monday and mark a big change for European banks and their dealings with gold --- potentially altering the landscape for precious metal demand and prices.

The ban on silica-based products comes after a U.S. investigation concluding a Chinese company is using forced labor to make its products.

The Idaho Way is a weekly roundup of opinions, commentary and your views from around the region brought to you by the opinion editor of the Idaho Statesman.

In this article, we will take a look at some of the best medical device stocks for 2021. To skip our detailed analysis on the medical device industry, the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the industry, and its future outlook, click to see the 5 Medical Device Stocks for 2021. The COVID-19 pandemic certainly […]

China's ban forces some bitcoin miners to flee overseas, others sell out

Reuters 24 June, 2021 - 11:18pm

"Many miners are exiting the business to comply with government policies," said Mike Huang, operator of a cryptomining farm in the southwest province of Sichuan.

"Mining machines are selling like scrap metal."

The local government of Sichuan, China's No.2 bitcoin mining centre after Xinjiang, issued a ban on cryptomining a week ago. read more

China's State Council, or cabinet, vowed to crack down on bitcoin trading and mining in late May, seeking to fend off financial risks after the global bitcoin mania revived Chinese speculative trading in cryptocurrencies. The clampdown comes as China's central bank is testing its own digital currency.

Chinese authorities say cryptocurrencies disrupt economic order, and facilitate illegal asset transfers and money laundering. Analysts say Beijing is also worried about potential competition for the digital yuan and that the power-hungry business of bitcoin mining could damage the environment.

Following Beijing's call, China's main cryptocurrency mining hubs, including Inner Mongolia, Xinjiang, Yunnan and Sichuan, have unveiled detailed measures to root out the business. read more

Bitcoin prices plunged below $30,000 this week, less than half their peak levels hit in April, as global investors worried about disruptions in a hitherto large market.

"If the government doesn't allow it (cryptomining), I just have to quit," said Liu Hongfei, a mining project operator in China's southwestern Yunnan province.

"You don't fight the Communist Party in China, do you?"

China's ban on bitcoin mining may see up to 90% of all mining in the country go offline, according to an estimate by Adam James, a senior editor at OKEx Insights.

Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are created or "mined" by high-powered computers, or rigs, competing to solve complex mathematical puzzles in a process that makes intensive use of electricity.

Most miners in China are "shutting down their machines, and selling them," said Nishant Sharma, founder of BlocksBridge Consulting, a consultancy focused on the cryptomining industry.

As a result of China's shutdown, "every mining operation outside China benefits straight away," because their mining reward, which is proportional to their share of the global hash rate of the bitcoin network - a measure of miners' processing power - automatically goes up, Sharma said.

"This is the end of an era for cryptomining in China," said Winston Ma, NYU Law School adjunct professor.

Prices of mining rigs have slumped on the mainland after the ban.

One machine which sold around 4,000 yuan ($620) in April and May, could now be bought for as low as 700-800 yuan, said a miner in Sichuan.

Bitmain, China's biggest maker of cryptocurrency mining machines, said on Friday it had suspended sales of its products and was looking for "quality" power supplies overseas alongside its clients, in places including the United States, Canada, Australia, Russia, Kazakhstan and Indonesia. read more

Some big Chinese miners are already venturing overseas.

BIT Mining said on Monday that it had successfully delivered its first batch of 320 mining machines to Kazakhstan. A second and third batch, totalling 2,600 machines, will be delivered to the central Asian country by July 1.

"We are accelerating our overseas development for alternative high-quality mining resources," CEO Xianfeng Yang said in a statement. BIT Mining has also invested in cryptomining data centres in Texas.

Huang Dezhi, who operates a mining farm in Sichuan, said his team is also exploring possible overseas destinations such as Kazakhstan.

"If the government doesn't reverse the policy, we will have no other choice. You cannot defy central government decisions," Huang said.

A project manager who identified himself only as Mr. Sun said he has been offering to help local miners move to Russia, but demand for his services had been lukewarm so far.

"Big risks if you move machines offshore, because you're in effect giving up control over your assets," said Sun, who is also securing fresh electricity supplies in China's southern Guangdong province, where restrictions are less tough.

Some miners meanwhile hope the ban will be eventually relaxed.

"Power supply has been cut, but we were not ordered to demolish the project," said Wang Weifeng, a miner in Sichuan.

"So we're taking a wait-and-see attitude. There remains a sliver of hope."

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

The most comprehensive solution to manage all your complex and ever-expanding tax and compliance needs.

The industry leader for online information for tax, accounting and finance professionals.

Information, analytics and exclusive news on financial markets - delivered in an intuitive desktop and mobile interface.

Access to real-time, reference, and non-real time data in the cloud to power your enterprise.

Screen for heightened risk individual and entities globally to help uncover hidden risks in business relationships and human networks.

All quotes delayed a minimum of 15 minutes. See here for a complete list of exchanges and delays.

© 2021 Reuters. All rights reserved

China's Bitmain suspends sales of cryptomining machines after Beijing's mining ban

Yahoo Finance 24 June, 2021 - 08:27pm

Bitmain also said it is looking for "quality" power supplies overseas along with its clients, in places including the United States, Canada, Australia, Russia, Kazakhstan and Indonesia.

China's State Council, or cabinet, vowed to crack down on bitcoin trading and mining in late May, seeking to fend off financial risks.

Answering Beijing's call, China's main cryptocurrency mining hubs, including Inner Mongolia, Xinjiang, Yunnan and Sichuan, have all published detailed measures to root out the business.

Following the ban, many Chinese miners are selling machines and exiting the business, or shipping machines overseas.

"(Overseas) mining sites are not built overnight, and selling pressure is huge in the secondary market," Bitmain said in a statement.

"To help smooth transition of the industry," Bitmain has decided to suspend selling its Antminer machines globally.

Bitmain said overseas markets where it and Chinese miners are seeking cheap electricity also include Belarus, Sweden, Norway, Angola and Congo.

(Reporting by Samuel Shen and Andrew Galbraith; Editing by Shri Navaratnam and Christopher Cushing)

Improved decentralization and the potential for a greener mining industry are just some of the benefits to emerge from China's latest anti-bitcoin action.

China's sweeping ban on cryptocurrency mining has paralysed an industry that accounts for over half of global bitcoin production, as miners dump machines in despair or seek refuge in places such as Texas or Kazakhstan. "Many miners are exiting the business to comply with government policies," said Mike Huang, operator of a cryptomining farm in the southwest province of Sichuan. "Mining machines are selling like scrap metal."

The economist cautioned on Wednesday, adding that spiking prices will persist and potentially tie the central bank's hands.

Consumers in Hong Kong, mainland China and major Southeast Asian economies are seeking to set aside more cash for rainy days even as the pandemic has eroded their income. That may be unpleasant news for retailers and restaurateurs seeking to revive their businesses. Some 52 per cent of Hongkongers intend to boost their savings this year, according to a survey published by AIA Group. Almost half of them (46 per cent) aim to save 50 per cent more than in 2020. That mirrors the responses in mainlan

UPDATE: The long-awaited unidentified flying objects (UFO) report by the US government is finally out, but there’s no mention of whether aliens exist. Its most shocking claim: 143 out of 144 cases of UFOs seen by military planes can’t be explained. The report was released today by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence […]

This is the first time the financial guru has acknowledged directly owning cryptocurrencies.

WASHINGTON/LONDON (Reuters) -Wall Street notched broad gains on Friday, with the S&P 500 index closing at a record and global shares also finished at an all-time high, while oil prices rose for a fifth straight week. Weaker-than-expected inflation data and news that U.S. President Joe Biden has secured a bipartisan infrastructure agreement with lawmakers gave a boost to stocks. The S&P 500 rose 2.7% for the week, its strongest weekly gain since early February as Nike and bank stocks rose, and weaker-than-expected inflation data eased worries about a sudden tapering in stimulus by the Federal Reserve.

Brits have been urged to take urgent action in a biodiversity crisis that could wipe out many of our most treasured crops.

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) -Mexican inspectors have rejected three pork skin cargos at the U.S.-Mexico border since April from the biggest U.S. pork plant operated by industry giant Smithfield Foods as well as another shipper, the country's health safety agency told Reuters. In Mexico, pork skins are mostly used to make chicharrones, a popular fried delicacy found in a variety of dishes, from tacos to soups. Mexico was the biggest export market for U.S. pork by volume before being surpassed by China in 2020.

(Bloomberg) -- Some gasoline stations in at least six U.S. states are experiencing temporary fuel shortages because there aren’t enough tanker-truck drivers to deliver the fuel just as summer demand rises, according to an OPIS by IHS Markit report.Fuel-hauling companies that reduced staff during the pandemic are struggling to hire back drivers that found jobs elsewhere, leaving Florida, Iowa, Ohio, Washington, Oregon and Colorado with cases of bagged pumps and outages of regular and premium gaso

Retirement preparation is so much more than attaining the amount of money you need to live the rest of your life. Based on the financial information you shared, it sounds like you could be very comfortable in retirement, with the amount you have saved and also coming in every month. Then triple check your budgets, portfolios and the other sources of retirement income you expect to receive.

The Moneyist: ‘JPMorgan is playing a zero-sum game with its staff: They’re either all in, or they’re all out.’

For years, financial experts have suggested a target retirement savings goal of $1 million. But when you consider things like inflation, the rising cost of healthcare and longer life expectancies, that amount of money may not go as far as … Continue reading → The post How to Retire With $2 Million appeared first on SmartAsset Blog.

Dividends can be used to create passive income in an investment portfolio or grow wealth over the long term through reinvestment. Knowing how to live off dividends may be central to your retirement planning strategy if you want to avoid … Continue reading → The post How Much Do You Need to Live Off Dividends? appeared first on SmartAsset Blog.

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -The U.S. Supreme Court on Friday narrowed the scope of a class action lawsuit against TransUnion in which thousands of people sought damages after the credit reporting company flagged their names as matching some on a government list of suspected terrorists and drug traffickers. The justices ruled in TransUnion's appeal of a lower court decision that had upheld a jury verdict against the Chicago-based company in the lawsuit and had ordered it to pay $40 million in damages. The 5-4 decision, authored by conservative Justice Brett Kavanaugh, stopped short of tossing out the jury verdict, but found there was insufficient evidence to show that all of the plaintiffs had been harmed by TransUnion's conduct, meaning the amount of damages will be reduced.

Business Stories