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US Launches Quiet Crackdown On Cryptocurrencies

Goldhedge

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#1
US Launches Quiet Crackdown On Cryptocurrencies

While all eyes were distracted with the Trump-demeaning headlines of the foreign sanctions bill, few spotted the hidden mandate that foreign governments monitor cryptocurrency circulations as a measure to combat "illicit finance trends" in an effort to "combat terrorism."



As Coinivore reports, the bill requires the governments to develop a “national security strategy” to combat the “financing of terrorism and related forms of illicit finance.”

Governments will be further required to monitor “data regarding trends in illicit finance, including evolving forms of value transfer such as so-called cryptocurrencies.”

According to the bill, an initial draft strategy is expected to come before Congress within the next year, and will see input from U.S. financial regulators, the Department of Homeland Security, and the State Department.

The bill calls for:

“[A] discussion of and data regarding trends in illicit finance, including evolving forms of value transfer such as so-called cryptocurrencies, other methods that are computer, telecommunications, or internet-based, cybercrime, or any other threats that the Secretary may choose to identify.”​

Interestingly enough, Coindesk reports, “the new bill echoes another submitted in May as part of a wider Department of Homeland Security legislative package.” That measure, as CoinDesk reported at the time, calls for research into the potential use of cryptocurrencies by terrorists.

Like the DHS bill, the new sanctions law doesn’t constitute a shift in policy, but rather indicates that Congress is taking steps to explore the issue more closely.

Just more examples of the U.S. government trying to impose its will upon other nations and citizens who never lived there, as witnessed with the arrest of Alexander Vinnik in Greece, BTC-E’s alleged CEO according to the Department Of Justice.
 

Joe King

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#3
They want their cut. Going outside of the system keeps them from collecting a toll.
Exactly. Which is why more people need to get into this stuff. If it's only a small number of people, it's easier for the gov to villify it and attempt a crackdown. On the other hand, if the vast majority are in it, it makes doing that almost impossible.
...and isn't that what we want? To not be locked-in to gov BS and their crony systems? Even here, people complain about the fed reserve, but when offered a chance with open source currency that has no centralized control, they rail against it. Go figure! lol
 

Mujahideen

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#4
Cryptos for the most part are beyond the reach of government. To ban them would mean to ban math and free speech.

They can make whatever law they want but they can't even enforce to any real degree.
 

Joseph

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#5
They want their cut. Going outside of the system keeps them from collecting a toll.
YES, BITCOIN HAS NO INTRINSIC VALUE. NEITHER DOES A $1 BILL



BITCOIN: FAD OR the future? The question has dogged the digital currency since its inception nearly a decade ago, and recent developments raise it anew. Last week, a new variant of bitcoin emerged via a “fork” in its underlying code, threatening to confuse and divide the still-small world of bitcoin adherents. Meanwhile, the price of a coin has soared to record heights above $3,000, from about $1,000 at the year’s beginning.

Skeptics remain. Consider the severe missive penned in late July by Howard Marks, who runs Oaktree Capital, which manages north of $90 billion. Marks wrote to his investors that “digital currencies are nothing but an unfounded fad (or perhaps even a pyramid scheme), based on a willingness to ascribe value to something that has little or none beyond what people will pay for it.” Not surprisingly, he cautioned clients about investing in the currency. His perspective is widely shared, amid concerns about the currency’s recent price spike and extreme volatility. Past security breaches on bitcoin exchanges, as well as the limited options for using bitcoin in transactions, only add to the skepticism. The “bitcoin fork” will do little to allay such anxieties about an unfamiliar form of currency that relies on software and a network of computers linked over the internet to record and process transactions.

There’s nothing particularly new about Marks’ critique. It reflects suspicion of the unfamiliar. On one level, it’s hard to see what the fuss is about: Even after its recent surge, bitcoin has a total market valuation of about $55 billion. The next-largest digital currency, Ethereum, has also spiked in value, yet still amounts to less than $20 billion. That compares with a global asset market of stocks and bonds and loans of nearly $300 trillion. Bitcoin gets a good bit of hype but remains tiny.

Instead, the attention seems derived from what these currencies might become. Bitcoin’s promise—that it can supplement and ultimately supplant national currencies and global financial institutions and allow for seamless commercial transactions without either banks or governments—is vintage Silicon Valley: disruptive technology opening new avenues of exchange and enrichment, empowering individuals, and weakening the hold of the state and large corporations. For now, of course, promise is about all it is, and that’s why it attracts such skepticism.

Another source of concern—that bitcoin is dicey because it lacks “intrinsic value”—is a weak argument. In truth, almost nothing in the world of trading and money has “intrinsic value.” Money has only the value that is ascribed to it over time. Fiat currency, issued by nations, has always faced distrust from skeptics who say it is backed only a government’s good faith. That helps explain the nostalgia for the gold standard, when dollars and other government paper represented a fractional interest in gold.

Dig a bit deeper, however, and it becomes clear that gold itself has no intrinsic value. Its supply is limited (as is bitcoin, a strength of the digital currency), creating a relationship between supply and demand that cannot easily be manipulated. But gold itself has no value per se other than that ascribed to it by humans over time. It’s easy to believe in its value because people have done so for thousands of years, but that doesn’t translate into actual value, only greater trust.

While bitcoin may have only the value that its users ascribe to it, that in and of itself says nothing about what price it should command or whether it is a viable digital alternative to traditional currencies. All new mediums of exchange spawn skepticism, and should. For much of the 19th century, paper money was held in ill repute because it seemed so ephemeral and detached from value that could be easily recognized: land, gold, size of armies.

The arguments against bitcoin bear a startling resemblance to earlier roiling debates about which currencies have substance and which do not. In the late 19th century, the populist presidential candidate William Jennings Bryan crusaded against the erosion of value perpetrated by Wall Street financiers and their gold-backed paper money, at the expense of true value measured by the work of laborers. In fact, you could troll through reams of 19th- and early 20th-century fulminations, replacing the words “paper money” with “bitcoin,” and be hard-pressed to tell the arguments apart. Even today, a sizable minority of people remains ill at ease with fiat currency, hence some of the fear and animus toward central banks. It is no wonder, then, that bitcoin makes many nervous.

None of us know, of course, if bitcoin will survive or have any value in the years ahead. I own some myself, and have adopted the wise words of Wences Casares, one of the apostles of bitcoin: own less than 1 percent of your net worth, don’t buy and sell bitcoin, and don’t do anything with it for at least five years, at which point it will either be worth a lot more or absolutely nothing. I have yet to use bitcoin for a transaction, and wouldn’t know where to do so. That alone says something about where we are in its evolution.

What bitcoin does have in its—still largely theoretical—favor is ease, speed, security, and a final benefit less evident to denizens of the developed world: its users don’t need a bank account and don’t need to trust their government. For hundreds of millions in the emerging worldwide middle class, those are not givens, and bitcoin and its digital brethren offer alternatives to too few banks and erratic financial systems managed by unreliable governments. It is perhaps not surprising that Casares hails from Argentina, whose governments over the past decades have shown a ruthless disregard for the value of the peso and have manipulated the currency to maintain power at the expense of public and private savings and livelihoods.

Bitcoin’s path is unclear. There’s less doubt that the next century will reveal radical shifts in how people conduct commercial transactions. Financial services remain among the least disrupted walks of life. Yes, ATMs have changed retail banking and algorithms have altered trading. But much of the infrastructure and basic business of finance remain unaltered from a century ago. Bitcoin and digital currencies are one wave of change that will alter how we understand money and how it is used within and across borders. With bitcoin or without, the world of money will not remain unscathed by the digital revolution



https://www.wired.com/story/bitcoin-has-no-intrinsic-value-neither-does-a-dollar1-bill/
 

Joe King

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#6
Dig a bit deeper, however, and it becomes clear that gold itself has no intrinsic value. Its supply is limited (as is bitcoin, a strength of the digital currency), creating a relationship between supply and demand that cannot easily be manipulated. But gold itself has no value per se other than that ascribed to it by humans over time. It’s easy to believe in its value because people have done so for thousands of years, but that doesn’t translate into actual value, only greater trust.

This paragraph deserves repeating, as many don't seem to understand the difference between intrinsic value and extrinsic value. Unless one is actually making use of Au, as in the metal itself, it does not have intrinsic value to that person. If all one does is hold it in the hopes that later on someone else will give dollars for it, that is called counting on its extrinsic value.
 

the_shootist

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#7
The world government will compromise cryptocurrencies just like they did with every other world currency that matters. The central banks will assimilate crypto and the bad news is we'll never know it until its too late!
 

nickndfl

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#8
well, if you try to get a blowjob in a strip joint they want cash. No strippers take Bitcoin.
 

Uglytruth

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#9
Cryptos for the most part are beyond the reach of government.
OK maybe they are. You adjust your life around cryptos it's such a great thing. But all the while they monitor it & when you don't report it on your taxes brown shirts show up at your door ala Capone......
 

Usury

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#11
Problem is most places don't take them as payment. So you'd have to be able to convert to dollars. That requires an exchange and gives .gov ability to track and tax. Also gives hackers ability to hack. Even the businesses that do take them are likely using a payment service to convert back to dollars--otherwise how would they pay suppliers, vendors, employees and taxes?

And the comment about gold having no intrinsic value? LAUGHABLE. Spoken like a truly ignorant idiot. Even if perception of value from gold disappeared tomorrow, it's still a valuable commodity used in circuitry, jewelry and many other commercial uses. Gold will NEVER be worthless...can't say that about bitcoin. Make the comparison to fiat if you like, but not gold.

What's bitcoin good for if nobody takes it as payment? NOTHING....less than even as it takes up valuable storage space on a disc somewhere.
 

anywoundedduck

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#12
Exactly. Which is why more people need to get into this stuff. If it's only a small number of people, it's easier for the gov to villify it and attempt a crackdown. On the other hand, if the vast majority are in it, it makes doing that almost impossible.
...and isn't that what we want? To not be locked-in to gov BS and their crony systems? Even here, people complain about the fed reserve, but when offered a chance with open source currency that has no centralized control, they rail against it. Go figure! lol
So, now that there is not many using Cryptos, government can easily ban and outlaw cryptos for SECURITY REASONS.
Tomorrow perhaps!
The world government will compromise cryptocurrencies just like they did with every other world currency that matters. The central banks will assimilate crypto and the bad news is we'll never know it until its too late!
They already have. They can crash it at will.
 

the_shootist

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#13
So, now that there is not many using Cryptos, government can easily ban and outlaw cryptos for SECURITY REASONS.
Tomorrow perhaps!

They already have. They can crash it at will.
Quite possible, which is why I consider BTC a missed opportunity. Had I played it perfectly I would have bought 100BTC when it was @ $30 and sold out of it all yesterday. Too late to play that market now. Too volatile and risky. It could crash in minutes and, unlike other means of currency, BTC is not portable enough to make me comfortable I can get out of it with at least half my skin if I see that crash coming.
 

Joe King

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And the comment about gold having no intrinsic value? LAUGHABLE. Spoken like a truly ignorant idiot. Even if perception of value from gold disappeared tomorrow, it's still a valuable commodity used in circuitry, jewelry and many other commercial uses.
Unless it is you that is using it in circuitry, or you making jewelery, or gold foil or little gold figurines with it, then it has no intrinsic value to you. What you are referring to is its extrinsic value. Ie: other people need it for those things and might be willing to purchase it from you.

Think of it like this. If you were somewhere with no other people, but had a lump of gold, what useful purpose could you use it for? That would be its intrinsic value to you. Even if you only used as a door stop, it would then have some intrinsic value to you. The value of a door stop.

On the other hand, if you are counting on external demand to value it for you, then you are relying on its extrinsic value.

It's not rocket science. lol



So, now that there is not many using Cryptos, government can easily ban and outlaw cryptos for SECURITY REASONS.
Tomorrow perhaps!
Yet those same ones complain about the fed and their control of the "money". It just seems weird that people who understand how the current monetary system works and don't like it, also tend to hate on an open source "peoples currency" that isn't controlled by central authority.
It's almost as though many people just don't know what they want.
 

Joe King

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Help me understand the 'for the most part' part!
Kinda like in the same way file sharing has mostly gotten beyond their reach.

Back when there were things like Napster and Kazaa, there were central servers that could be targeted and shut down. Now we have the Tor network and torrent files that de-centralize the networks being used to share files. If they want to target someone, there's reams of data that must be gone through and deciphered.
....and even then it might not work out for 'em.
Btc is kinda like that in that it has no central point that can be easily targeted. Sure, they can take out an exchange every now and again, but three more pop up in its place. Sorta like the silk road dealio. They shut it down only to have silk road 2.0 a few days later. It tuns into a game of wack-a-mole for 'em. lol
 

Usury

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Uglytruth

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Sure, they can take out an exchange every now and again,
What about this 2 levels of internet I keep hearing about? Could they just shut down that whole system where it could only operate on a targeted one?
 

michael59

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What about this 2 levels of internet I keep hearing about? Could they just shut down that whole system where it could only operate on a targeted one?
No, definite NO. The NAVY developed TOR...Totally Off Record. They call it the onion for a reason and it is how the spies for the USA get their messages across. You think they are going to tear that apart?
 

michael59

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OK sexy falsehood (sorry could not resist)

Here is how I understand it:

the signal bounces around the world at 35bits from router to router until it hits intended target/ip. You see your Wi-Fi and mine do not keep data but things can go through them and be sent onwards. I think that you pick the starting point and somehow your signal propagates according to an algorithm set by predetermined points.

The fact that different routers are involve is why they call it the onion. Each layer must be inspected before the next can be determined. This fact gives a guy/girl enough play time to dissipate or get their affairs in order.
 

#48Fan

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well, if you try to get a blowjob in a strip joint they want cash. No strippers take Bitcoin.
This is not true. Check out The Legends Room in Las Vegas. They accept Bitcoin and they have their own altcoin the LGD. When you pay with LGD, you get 20% off of everything, hehe.
 

the_shootist

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This is not true. Check out The Legends Room in Las Vegas. They accept Bitcoin and they have their own altcoin the LGD. When you pay with LGD, you get 20% off of everything, hehe.
Now I've heard everything! :rotf:
 

the_shootist

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#26
For all you Crypto-fanboys....


That didn't take long!

Goldman Sachs Embraces The Cryptocurrency Market
watch the irrational exuberance now... everybody in the pool!

a mania will destroy any system, no matter how strong it seems/sounds, because everybody wants to take more than what he puts in.
=================


In a note circulated by Robert D. Boroujerdi, an analyst at Goldman Sachs, he indicated that: 'with the total value of cryptocurrencies nearing $120 billion, it was becoming harder for institutional investors to ignore the market'. Considering that the value of the cryptocurrency market was $40 billion at the start of the year, there are significant growth opportunities that financial institutions could potentially capitalise on. Should Goldman Sachs whole-heartedly embrace the cryptocurrency market, this may signal to other financial institutions to do same. As of now, many financial institutions have predominantly held back from fully committing to the crypto-space. A big reason for this, is the risk of uncertainty in the market with regard to how it will be regulated. For example, The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) recently ruled that initial coin offerings (ICOs) can be regarded as securities, and as a result, they should be subject to securities regulation. Thus, it is entirely possible that, as a clearer picture is formed with regard to how the crypto-space is regulated, the more capital that financial institutions may commit to cryptocurrencies, in hopes to capture the growth that the space has experienced so far.

Goldman Sachs On Initial Coin Offerings
In a Goldman Sachs FAQ, held for institutional investors, the group highlighted the increasing popoularity of ICOs in the market. Over $1 billion has been raised so far this year through ICOs. ICOs, as a method of raising capital, has proved far more popular amongst start-ups than Angel & Seed VC funding.

SOURCES
http://www.latimes.com/business/la-f...430-story.html
http://www.newslocker.com/en-us/news...es-blockchain/

David Sacks: Cryptocurrency fulfills the 'original vision' we tried to build at PayPal
https://uk.finance.yahoo.com/news/da...153800289.html
==============

Mutual benefits (for the usual suspects
)

The nine banks involved, Barclays, BBVA, Commonwealth Bank of Australia, Credit Suisse, J.P. Morgan, State Street, Royal Bank of Scotland, UBS and according to sources Goldman Sachs will partner in the project led by R3. The goal is to bring the block chain technology to the global financial system. Transactions in the financial industry need to be accurate, reliable and safe. The partnership will look for solutions to find better ways to record, reconcile and report financial transactions were these criteria can be met with higher success rates. The technology could also bring significant cost reductions, since separate systems by individual banks are no longer required. The interesting thing about the project is that all players can collaborate on an equal basis. The door for other banks is explicitly open, as stated by the project leaders.
http://www.capitalistreview.com/bank...break-through/
 

Uglytruth

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#27
The goal is to bring the block chain technology to the global financial system. Transactions in the financial industry need to be accurate, reliable and safe. The partnership will look for solutions to find better ways to record, reconcile and report financial transactions were these criteria can be met with higher success rates. The technology could also bring significant cost reductions, since separate systems by individual banks are no longer required. The interesting thing about the project is that all players can collaborate on an equal basis. The door for other banks is explicitly open, as stated by the project leaders.
zuckerberg is running for prez & the gs devil is getting involved so they fully understand the in's & outs so when they design their nwo currency. Stupid serf's there is no place to hide!
 

Joe King

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#28
zuckerberg is running for prez & the gs devil is getting involved so they fully understand the in's & outs so when they design their nwo currency. Stupid serf's there is no place to hide!
The answer is for more people get into what's already here and not controlled by them. That way when theirs comes, no one will need it.

Edited to add: so many rail against the fed and their notes, but reject out of hand anything not controlled by them or big gov. Go figure.
 

andial

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Joe King

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#36
Not sure just saw it took a 4/500 buck hit. wouldnt touch it myself
What's a measly 4/500 buck hit after a nearly $2600 gain?
That be like complaining about the Au you bought @$275/oz dropping from $1900 down to $1200. If you're still up 400%, what difference does it make?
In both cases, it should be expected after such a run up.
 

the_shootist

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#37
To me its the greater fool theory
Oh contrere' my good man, those who have taken advantage of getting in on the lower floors of BTC are sitting pretty still. They had better know when to bail or all those gains will have been for naught. The stupid people are the those who think BTC is a great place to dump their hard earned cash into. It may be a bit too late for that....maybe not
 

Joe King

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Oh contrere' my good man, those who have taken advantage of getting in on the lower floors of BTC are sitting pretty still. They had better know when to bail or all those gains will have been for naught.

Looking at my bud and huge BTC fanboy JK! :2 thumbs up:


There will be a day you'll look at todays $4k as having been one of the lower floors.