Why US Intelligence Experts Have Been Monitoring Bitcoin

Why US Intelligence Experts Have Been Monitoring Bitcoin

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Hundreds of U.S. experts within defense and intelligence agencies are seeking to understand how virtual currencies like Bitcoin could undermine the U.S.’s long-standing ability to disrupt the financial networks of its foes and even permanently upend parts of the global financial system, Newsweek confirmed in a report. Juan Zarate, senior adviser at the Center for Strategic and International Studies and also on the board of advisers for Coinbase, told the weekly news magazine that virtual currencies pose a challenge. It runs contrary to the fundamentals of transparency and accountability that have been built over the last three decades to tackle terrorism, human trafficking, money-laundering and many other types of criminal activity. Is FBI hacking Bitcoin users’ computers? This new information will inadvertently provide an answer to the suspicion held previously that some agencies of the U.S. government have made moves that suggest Bitcoin users are being targeted for unconfirmed reasons. There were reports that a revised Rule 41 would allow the FBI to use a single warrant to hack an indefinite number of computers anywhere in the world. The rule, which will offer authorities an expansion of power over taxable pools of hidden assets such as cryptocurrencies, has been a …

EU to Tighten Cash & Gold Controls, Surge in Bitcoin Demand Will Follow

EU to Tighten Cash & Gold Controls, Surge in Bitcoin Demand Will Follow

admin 2017, Anonymity, Banking, Bitcoin Mixers, Bitcoin Mixers and Anonymizing Services, Bitcoin Regulations, Blockchain News, Digital Currencies, Gold, Politics, Regulations, World Politics 0 Comments

On Dec. 21, the European Commission tightened controls on the inflow of cash and precious metals from outside of the EU. Describing its decision as a move to crackdown on terrorist financing, the Commission granted permission to border patrols to seize cash or gold brought in by suspects. Customs officials in EU states, as well as border controls, can seize and restrict the inflow of cash and precious metals without particular guidelines as to whom is suspected of terrorist financing or funding of militant attacks. Such ambiguity in the new proposals could potentially lead to the false confiscation of funds carried in by civilians coming into the EU. Individuals holding over $10,400 in cash must declare at EU state customs before entering a member state. If they fail to do so, individuals could be scrutinized by the newly proposed regulations. The EU executive Commission also stated in a note obtained by Reuters that authorities will be able to seize money below $10,400 upon their independent investigations and considerations. Potential regulations on other money transmission methods To date, cash and precious metals are the only two stores of value that the European Commission plans on regulating. The inflow of cash and …

Blockchain’s Perfect Storm: Removing Money Laundering from the Financial System

Blockchain’s Perfect Storm: Removing Money Laundering from the Financial System

admin Anonymity, Bitcoin Mixers, Bitcoin Mixers and Anonymizing Services, Blockchain News, blockchain technology, CoinGreed, Technology 0 Comments

Today, banks and financial markets refuse to share information that can prevent money launderers and fraudsters from operating in the shadows, in the gaps between market participants. But now the situation is changing. As Grant Blaisdell, co-founder and COO of Coinfirm.io says: “Blockchain has the potential to completely eliminate fraud, money laundering and criminal activity from our financial and banking systems.” This is the first in a three-part report that looks at Anti-money laundering (AML) and the efforts of the Blockchain community to bring everyone together to rid the financial markets of fraudsters, criminals and those who seek to use the financial system for the bad ends. Compliance costs skyrocket Remembering back to 2012, HSBC had to pay the U.S. authorities $1.9 bln in fines for not identifying and distinguishing bad actors from good, through the handling of a huge volume of questionable transactions from unreliable sources. The question remains: did they really know or were the systems that are meant to flag the risks inadequate? How did HSBC get this so wrong over a long period across many sovereign jurisdictions? Does this continue to highlight the fundamental issue for banks and all financial institutions the challenge to accurately identify each party …

Trump Picks Anti-Encryption Attorney General, Signal Encrypted Messenger Downloads Skyrocket

Trump Picks Anti-Encryption Attorney General, Signal Encrypted Messenger Downloads Skyrocket

admin Anonymity, Bitcoin, CoinGreed, Donald Trump, Edward Snowden, Encryption & Privacy 0 Comments

Donald Trump’s choice for Attorney General may indicate an administration hostile to encryption and online privacy. Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions, the incoming administration’s Attorney General pick, has long adopted a critical stance against encryption. He has stood in direct opposition to end-to-end encryption, citing his experience in law enforcement when calling for government officials to have complete access to encrypted devices. Earlier this year, Apple remained in a standoff with the FBI over allowing law enforcement agencies access to a locked device owned by a mass shooter in California, a move highly criticized by Sessions. Trump himself also opposed Apple’s stand while on the campaign trail, insisting that the company be boycotted. The selection of Sessions for Attorney General of the United States indicates that a Trump administration would be hostile to encryption, and would side with law enforcement agencies over tech companies when making legal and prosecutorial decisions. This gives privacy advocates cause for worry for the next four years. Downloads for Signal, Snowden-endorsed encrypted messenger, up post-election An upcoming Trump administration’s promised hostility towards encryption has not gone unnoticed by the nation at large. Following the results of the U.S. presidential election, Signal, the encrypted messaging app by …

Bitcoin Privacy USA Anonymity Government Transactions Coinbase Identity

Bitcoin Anonymity Over? United States Government Seeks Identity, Transaction Records of Coinbase Users

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The U.S. government is seeking the identity of Coinbase users for tax purposes, sparking fears that Bitcoin’s anonymity may be compromised. According to a legal summons filed in the Northern California District Court, the U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS) seeks to identify several Coinbase users and their financial activity, based on evidence that they may have violated U.S. tax laws: “Based upon a review of the petition and supporting documents, the Court has determined that the “John Doe” summons to Coinbase, Inc. relates to the investigation of an ascertainable group or class of persons, that there is a reasonable basis for believing that such group or class of persons has failed or may have failed to comply with any provision of any internal revenue laws, and that the information sought to be obtained from the examination of the records or testimony (and the identities of the persons with respect to whose liability the summons is issued) are not readily available from other sources.” As indicated by the summons, two things are clear: one, the IRS has tracked Bitcoin-related activity sufficiently to be able to determine that certain users may not be in compliance with tax law, and two, this activity …

Trump-Connected Billionaire Peter Thiel: Bitcoin Threatens Fiat, Tax Authorities Can’t Break Codes

admin Anonymity, Bitcoin, Donald Trump, Fiat Money 1 Comment

Over the past few years, Peter Thiel, a prominent venture capitalist with a net worth of $2.7 bln, spoke of the threat Bitcoin poses to fiat money and the financial freedom it grants to its users. Thiel, who appeared on the Economist’s Keynote interview, stated: “It becomes a threat to fiat money at a point where Bitcoin is encrypted in such a robust way that the tax authorities can’t break the encryption, can’t tell how much money you have, and what transactions you are doing.” Trump’s transition team involvement Currently, Thiel’s stance on Bitcoin is notable considering his involvement in President-elect Donald Trump’s transition team, establishing himself as a crucial member. He emphasizes that the decentralized nature of Bitcoin allows users and citizens of the U.S. to benefit from financial freedom and escape the monopoly of the government. More importantly, he notes that tax authorities will no longer be able to track the earnings and income of entrepreneurs, workers and other individuals that are forced to deal with extreme amounts of income taxes among others. Anonymity of Bitcoin Thiel believes that Bitcoin is anonymous and that authorities can’t tell how much money users have. Conceptually however, this statement is false. …