COIN.MX BITCOIN EXCHANGE OPERATORS ARRESTED

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Two Florida men are facing some serious felony charges that intersect both Bitcoin and the money transfer business. According to federal authorities, Anthony R. Murgio and Yuri Lebedev never bothered to get a Money Services Business license for Coin.mx, a Bitcoin exchange. The FBI’s statement on the matter calls Coin.mx / Collectables Club a “phony front business” and mentions that the men also utilized a federal credit union that they bought solely for the purpose of washing dirty money. In doing so, they knowingly exchanged cash for people whom they believed may be engaging in criminal activity. MURGIO and his co-conspirators have also knowingly exchanged cash for Bitcoins for victims of “ransomware” attacks, that is, cyberattacks in which criminals (here, distributors of the ransomware known as “Cryptowall”) electronically block access to a victim’s computer system until a sum of “ransom” money, typically in Bitcoins, is paid to them. In doing so, MURGIO, and his co-conspirators knowingly enabled the criminals responsible for those attacks to receive the proceeds of their crimes, yet, in violation of federal anti-money laundering laws, MURGIO never filed any suspicious activity reports regarding any of the transactions. It goes on to allege that they willfully hid their …

Judge Rules in Peer-to-Peer Bitcoin Lending Lawsuit

admin Banking, Bitcoin, Bitcoin 2.0, Bitcoin Bank, Bitcoin Lending / Loans, Bitcoin News, Bitcoin Politics, Bitcoin Regulations, Bitcoin Services, Investors, Loans & Lending, Micro Payments, P2P Lending 0 Comments

A US judge has ruled that a Kentucky man must repay a loan he originally solicited in bitcoin. Judge Frank Fletcher of the Breathitt County District Court, in an order signed 5th June, stated that Dennis Kerley must repay $67,591 on a loan he had received in bitcoin via the peer-to-peer (P2P) lending platform BTCJam. The loan, dating back to December 2013, fell into default within a few months of receipt. The plaintiff in the case, Daniel Kaminski de Souza, loaned Kerley 11.95 BTC, worth just over $10,000 at the time it was solicited. The case is perhaps suggestive of how US judges who lack a general understanding of bitcoin consider cases, even providing a degree of precedent for future cases involving P2P loans denominated in bitcoin, according to lawyer Kevin Palley, who represented de Souza in the case. Palley told CoinDesk: “The judge did not understand what bitcoin was, and this is a small county in rural Kentucky. So he asked anybody in the courtroom if they knew about it and one or two people raised their hands.” Palley said that he went on to treat bitcoin as a kind of highly speculative foreign currency, a explanation that was ultimately accepted by the court. Kerley, according to Palley, did not …

Switzerland to Establish the First Bitcoin Bank

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If you are still skeptical about the way Bitcoin works, perhaps this would be the time to get to know everything that there is to know about Bitcoin. In recent news, a team of eight members is all set to open up a Bitcoin bank in Switzerland. A Bitcoin bank, where all the usual banking facilities would be available, just without the paper currency. The Bitcoin bank aims to impart various services such as loans, storage, transacting with the ‘international, digital, government-free currency’ that Bitcoin is. The team is currently looking for premises for the bank and is all set to apply for an official license in a few weeks. The team comprises of both IT experts and those who expertise in finance. The team already has investors set in place. A founder member and the IT specialist – Guido Rudolphi recently spoke on behalf of the bank, “Managers of the banks have knowledge both in IT and traditional finance. We hope to apply for Bank license in a few weeks. First people already got in business and now the bank is searching for the premises.” The key factor about this Bitcoin bank is that it isn’t related with Bitcoin …

MIT Media Lab Announces Launch of MIT Digital Currency Initiative, Headed by Former White House Senior Adviser

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A few days ago Bitcoin Magazine reported that Joi Ito, director of the prestigiousMassachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Media Lab, was about to unveil a plan for the institute to become what he called an independent, neutral home to help with Bitcoin standards development. “I think within a couple of weeks we’ll be announcing something which will be a little bit more substantive,” said Ito. “And I’m not pushing it, but I’m offering MIT as a neutral academic home for some of the conversations and the technical coordination.” MIT has now formally announced the launch of a Digital Currency Initiative, to be directed by former White House senior adviser for mobile and data innovation Brian Forde, who joined the MIT Media Lab as director of digital currency. Forde will work with researchers across the institute and leading experts at other universities around the world to address some of the most critical challenges to creating a safe, stable and secure digital currency. “As a technologist, there’s no more exciting place to work than the MIT Media Lab,” said Forde. “The innovations that come out of the Media Lab have made a truly global impact. I look forward to working with the …

Bitcoin Advocates Back Petition for BitLicense Safe Harbor Provision

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More than 70 digital currency industry businesses, executives and advocates are backing a petition that calls for the easing or eradication of allegedly onerous components of New York’s BitLicense proposal. Submitted as part of a recently closed public comment period, the measure has so far garnered support from companies such as Coinbase,Blockstream, BitPay, Circle and Ripple Labs, as well as notable developers and venture capitalists. Overall, the petition seeks to convey the argument that it is “unreasonable” for the New York State Department of Financial Services (NYDFS) to apply its provisions equally across the industry, arguing that creators of open-source protocols, micropayments providers, security intermediaries and smaller entrepreneurs should be excluded from certain coverage. Penned by Coin Center’s Aaron Wright and Yale Law School’s Elizabeth Stark, the authors are still collecting signatures in an effort to galvanize attention around the issue. Stark told CoinDesk: “The goal here was to bring a substantial part of the community to one proposal as opposed to different proposals so that there’s strength in numbers.” Stark and Wright were inspired to put together the proposal due to what Stark called their shared interest in Internet history and the belief that safe harbor policies such as this played an instrumental …

Fred Wilson on the Proposed Bitlicense Regulations

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Fred Wilson is a VC and principal of Union Square Ventures. USV invests in bitcoin companies, but not the currency itself. Fred is interested in bitcoin because he believes it can be and possibly will be the financial and transactional protocol for the global Internet.  Here, he shares his thoughts on New York State’s revised Bitlicense regulations. Over the past year, the New York State Department of Financial Services (NYDFS), led by Superintendent Benjamin Lawsky, has been attempting to create a set of regulations for virtual currency services. They called this set of regulations the ‘Bitlicense’. I have been following this issue closely and participated in public testimony before the NYDFSback in January 2014 that was a precursor to creating these new regulations. While these regulations will only apply to businesses operating in New York State, they will naturally be a precedent for many other states who seek to regulate virtual currency services and as such, we should consider them a potential framework for all state regulation of virtual currency. The initial proposed Bitlicense regulations were published last year and were subject to a comment period which produced more than 3,700 total comments. The NYDFS did an excellent job of working through those comments and came …