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Bitcoin pushes cryptos upwards

FX Pro intel via Media Man and Bitcoin News Media

Market picture

The crypto market reached a capitalisation of $1.82 trillion in the early hours of trading on Monday. By the early European session, it had corrected to $1.8 trillion, but this is still more than 10% above the levels of a week earlier.

Bitcoin remains the most crucial growth driver, adding 12% in 7 days against about 8% for Ethereum, Solana, and Cardano - important drivers of the current cycle. Bitcoin now accounts for 52.6% of the entire crypto market, adding more than ten percentage points over the year and 1.5p. p. over the month.

Bitcoin posted its seventh consecutive day of gains, but the strengthening slowed over the weekend. It also coincided with a move above 70 on the RSI on the daily timeframes, which could increase players' appetite for short-term profit-taking. Caution is also building as we approach the January peak. Bulls have clearly become more cautious, closing the week at the highest since December 2021.

News background

According to The Block, a month after launch, assets in the top nine spot bitcoin-ETFs exceeded 200,000 BTC ($9.5bn). The new bitcoin ETFs climbed to second place in the ranking of commodity exchange-traded funds in the US by assets, becoming a more popular investment vehicle than silver ETFs.

At the same time, the assets of Grayscale's GBTC fund have declined by 25% since 11 January, and in terms of trading volume, it has lost the lead to BlackRock's bitcoin ETF.

BlackRock, one of the largest investment companies in the US, plans to add more bitcoins to its investment portfolio. BlackRock now has 82,515 BTC on its balance sheet, worth about $4 billion. Interest in Bitcoin among investors remains high, according to the investment company's management.

Bankrupt cryptocurrency lender Genesis Global Trading has settled a lawsuit filed against it by the New York State Attorney General. Genesis will submit a plan of liquidation on 14 February.

The New York Attorney General's office has expanded its lawsuit against Digital Currency Group. The amount of fraud was three times the original estimate, exceeding $3bn.

According to a study by the Coinbase exchange, US residents could save at least $74 million (or $600 per household) in 2022 if they used cryptocurrencies rather than credit cards for payments. That includes businesses that paid $126 billion to process credit card transactions.

(Source: FxPro)

 

 

Bitcoin hits $US40,000 for first time since May 2022 - December 4. 2023

Bitcoin topped $US40,000 as the largest digital asset extended a 2023 rebound on expectations of interest rate reductions and greater demand from the exchange-traded funds sector.

The token added as much as 2.9 per cent to reach $US40,867, taking its 2023 jump to 146 per cent. Bitcoin was last at such levels in April last year before the Terra USD stablecoin collapse that contributed to a $US2 trillion rout in digital assets.

Investors are increasingly convinced that the Federal Reserve is done with rate increases as inflation cools, turning the focus to the likely extent of cuts next year. The changed backdrop has fuelled a rally across global markets.

The crypto industry is also awaiting the outcome of applications from BlackRock to start the first US spot bitcoin ETF with some of these products expected to win approval by January.

“Bitcoin continues to be supported by optimism around SEC approval for an ETF and Fed rate cuts in 2024,” wrote Tony Sycamore, a market analyst at IG. Technical chart patterns point to $US42,330 as the next level to watch for, he added.

Bitcoin’s revival from the 2022 crypto crash has weathered a US crackdown that put Sam Bankman-Fried behind bars for fraud at FTX and handed top crypto exchange Binance and its founder, Changpeng Zhao, rap sheets and big fines.

Optimists argue the drive to curb dubious practices and the prospective ETFs signal a maturing crypto industry and the potential for a wider investor base.

Recent enforcement actions “have instilled confidence among investors”, said Su Yen Chia, co-founder of the Asia Crypto Alliance. Bitcoin “is aping momentum in traditional finance with Fed rate-hike expectations fading.”

A reset in rate bets or unexpected snarls for the ETFs could yet derail bitcoin, while some technical indicators suggest the virtual currency’s rally is stretched.

For instance, bitcoin’s weekly relative-strength index, a momentum gauge, closed above 75 for the past two weeks. Readings above 70 are viewed as signalling “overbought” conditions. At the same time, bitcoin in the past decade rose an average 15 per cent over the subsequent month after printing a weekly RSI of more than 75, data shows.

In the short term, “’long trader positioning implies that further price appreciation may be harder to come by”, crypto fund provider Grayscale wrote in a note. Still, the financial and economic backdrop is set to stay positive for digital assets, it added.

Bitcoin’s jump in 2023 has outstripped global stocks and gold. In the derivatives market, open interest recently advanced to landmark levels at the CME Group for bitcoin futures and at the Deribit platform for options on the most high-profile crypto coin.

One prop for sentiment is the so-called bitcoin halving due next year, which will cut in half the amount of tokens that bitcoin miners receive as reward for their work. The quadrennial event is part of the process of capping bitcoin supply at 21 million tokens. The coin hit records after each of the last three halvings.

(Bloomberg)

 

 

Casino industry spurs $329 billion in U.S. economic activity

 

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J.

The casino gambling industry in the U.S. generates nearly $329 billion a year in economic activity, according to a new study by the industry’s national trade association.

The American Gaming Association released a study Monday showing the industry’s economic impact in 2022 was up 26% from 2017, before the COVID-19 pandemic hit.

Commercial and tribal casinos support 1.8 million jobs, including 700,000 jobs at casinos themselves or related businesses, about the same as in 2017. Those jobs generated $104 billion in wages across the country, up 40% from 2017, according to the study.

The industry paid $52.7 billion last year in taxes to federal, state and local governments, up 29% since 2017, the report said.

The report was the first such study released by the association since 2018, which presented 2017 data.

Bill Miller, president and CEO of the association, said the numbers show the casino industry’s “resiliency and continued strength” since the pandemic first hit.


“Think back to where we were a few years ago with nearly 1,000 casinos, almost all of them closed,” he said. “Today, we’re seeing record revenue in the industry.”

Miller said the association will use numbers from the survey to press its case to lawmakers in favor of gambling industry goals, including a government crackdown on unlicensed gambling operations.

The U.S. casino industry is having its best year ever this year in terms of the amount of money won from gamblers. It is on a pace to exceed the $60 billion it won from gamblers last year.

“I think it speaks to the continuing popularity of casino gambling in the United States,” said David Schwartz, a gambling historian at the University of Nevada Las Vegas. “Despite some economic headwinds, casinos remain powerful drivers of economic activity.”

Jane Bokunewicz, director of the Lloyd Levenson Institute at New Jersey’s Stockton University, which studies the Atlantic City gambling industry, said money won by casinos is just part of their overall contribution to the nation’s economy.

“Casinos are often the largest employers in a region, with major commitments in terms of wages and benefits,” she said. “People employed by casinos use those wages and benefits to purchase additional goods and services, generating secondary economic impact.”

Bokunewicz said casinos spend significant sums on operating costs, including purchases of goods and services like food, linen, hotel room amenities, laundry services, and building maintenance. They also hire local builders and vendors for construction and ongoing capital improvements.

The survey examined money won from gamblers or spent at non-gambling casino businesses like restaurants and stores, including traditional casino games, sports betting and online gambling. Also surveyed was capital investment, including the building and opening of new casinos or renovations to existing ones, and spending by manufacturers of gambling devices including slot machines.

It included supply chain spending by casinos, and spending by casino workers on non-gambling items. And it also included $13.5 billion in so-called catalytic spending by casino patrons outside casinos, on things like transportation to and from a casino resort, and money spent at restaurants that are not part of casinos.

Commercial casinos employed almost 332,000 workers last year, who earned $16.3 billion in wages and benefits, and tribal casinos employed almost 265,000 workers, who earned $8 billion in wages and benefits. There also were almost 89,000 jobs at businesses serving casino patrons during trips or in casino construction and renovations, and more than 23,000 jobs at gambling equipment manufacturers.

Non-gambling revenue accounted for nearly 17% of casino revenue last year, including money from food and beverage sales, hotel rooms and other items.


‘Mr. Bitcoin Is About to Go Down Big’: Jim Cramer Expects Lower Prices - October 12, 2023

Former hedge fund manager and host of CNBC’s Mad Money, Jim Cramer Tuesday evening continued with his recent bearish stance on crypto, a stark contrast to what another hedge funder said earlier that day on CNBC.

“I can’t go out with gold because gold is not good; I can’t go out with bitcoin [BTC] because I can’t be in something where Mr. Bitcoin is about to go down big,” said Cramer.

It’s unclear if “Mr. Bitcoin” was in reference to the ongoing trial of Sam Bankman-Fried, or to bitcoin in general, but Cramer’s bearishness was evident.

Although bitcoin is far off its all-time high of $68,000 reached in 2021’s bull market, the cryptocurrency is still trading up 68% since the start of the year.

Cramer had previously stated in June 2021 that he had sold most of his bitcoin holdings following China’s crackdown on crypto miners. He also said during the same time period that bitcoin had structural issues and its price would likely fall further.

Appearing on CNBC earlier on Tuesday, billionaire hedge fund giant Paul Tudor Jones said he’s a fan of both bitcoin and gold due to the combination of extensive geopolitical risk and rising U.S. government debt levels.


SBF's ex-girlfriend: He 'directed me' to steal billions from FTX - October 11, 2023


Caroline Ellison was one of Sam Bankman-Fried’s top deputies and his onetime romantic partner. On Tuesday she testified that Bankman-Fried "directed me" to steal billions from customers of his cryptocurrency exchange.

Ellison ran day-to-day operations for Alameda Research, a crypto trading firm also controlled by Bankman-Fried. She said Alameda took "around $14 billion" from FTX customers to repay debts Alameda had accumulated.

She said she also sent information to Alameda's lenders "from Sam" that made Alameda's balance look better than it was.

The crimes she said she committed at Alameda weren't done on her own. "They were committed with Sam. ... He directed me to commit these crimes."


The testimony from the 29-year-old Ellison marked her first public comments about what transpired as the FTX cryptocurrency exchange imploded last November, an unraveling that led to the arrest and indictment of the 31-year-old Bankman-Fried.

Prosecutors are arguing that Bankman-Fried embezzled billions in FTX customer funds while also defrauding investors and lenders.

Ellison, their star witness, corroborated earlier testimony from FTX and Alameda co-founder Gary Wang, who said Alameda had essentially unlimited access to FTX customer funds.

Bankman-Fried "was the one who set up these systems," Ellison said of Alameda's ability to tap into FTX customer deposits.

Ellison is one of several members of Bankman Fried's inner circle who pleaded guilty to criminal charges and agreed to testify against Bankman-Fried, including Wang and chief engineer Nishad Singh.

She appeared in court Tuesday wearing glasses, a reddish-orange dress with black tights, and a black blazer. When asked to identify Bankman-Fried, she stood up and struggled to find him in the sea of people filling the courtroom.

Bankman-Fried’s team could try to pin some blame on Ellison too. His defense attorney argued last week that when Bankman-Fried became concerned about crypto prices going down, he urged Ellison to put on a hedge. Yet she didn’t do it, according to the attorney.

Bankman-Fried made a similar claim in a series of his unsent Twitter posts and writings that Bankman-Fried shared with crypto blogger Tiffany Fong while on house arrest.

"She continually avoided talking about risk management — dodging my suggestions — until it was too late," Bankman-Fried wrote, according to the New York Times.

The US district court judge overseeing his case, Lewis Kaplan, concluded Bankman-Fried engaged in witness tampering by leaking those diary-like writings to the New York Times. In August, he ordered Bankman-Fried to await trial at a Brooklyn administrative prison known for grueling conditions.

Bankman-Fried has pleaded not guilty to all charges, and his defense attorney has said he didn't steal money from FTX because he believed in "good faith" that Alameda could use funds on deposit with his cryptocurrency exchange.

'The auditors aren’t going to look at that'
Ellison and Bankman-Fried first met at a New York trading firm called Jane Street Capital, where she worked as a quantitative trader.

After Bankman-Fried co-founded Alameda, a hedge fund firm that specialized in quantitative crypto trading, he eventually hired Ellison in 2018. He named her as co-CEO in 2021 and sole CEO in 2022. She was paid $200,000 in salary per year and received two bonuses of $20 million and $100,000.

She said she didn’t feel particularly equipped for the CEO position but Bankman-Fried said it made sense and there wasn’t anyone better for the job.

Ellison testified that she and Bankman-Fried would have regular conversations about Alameda and FTX. It was a "big priority" for Bankman-Fried to increase Alameda’s borrowing capabilities so that the company could make more trades, investments, and acquisitions.

“Sam was directing us to borrow as much money as we could,” Ellison said.


Early on in her time at Alameda, Ellison said, the company would take loans from third-party lenders, and by 2021 the amount was $10 billion-15 billion. Those loans, however, were open-term loans that if recalled would need to be paid back immediately.

For that reason, she said, she was asked by Bankman-Fried to create spreadsheets showing various scenarios that would impact Alameda’s ability to continue taking out loans, as well as repay them. Ellison said Bankman-Fried told her at one point that FTX funds would be a "good source of capital" for Alameda.

FTX cryptocurrency assets were the first types of assets Alameda used from the cryptocurrency exchange, she said. Later on, she said, Alameda began to tap FTX’s fiat currency deposits. The reason to use the funds, she said, was so that Alameda could make investments and execute arbitrage trades in various cryptocurrencies.

Ellison testified she first raised concerns about using FTX customer funds during an audit of FTX.

"No don’t worry. The auditors aren’t going to look at that,” she said Bankman-Fried told her.

'I didn't feel good about it'
Ellison said she also learned that FTX had made multimillion-dollar loans to FTX executives, including Bankman-Fried, some of which she signed on behalf of Alameda. The purpose of the loans, she said, was so Alameda could invest in a gambling startup and so political donations could be made.

Ellison said the illiquid nature of Alameda’s long-term investments and debt made her concerned about Alameda’s ability to pay the open-term loans if they were called.

“I didn’t feel good about it,” Ellison said.

In the fall of 2021 Ellison began sharing analyses for worst-case and bad-case scenarios in the event that Alameda’s loans needed to be repaid — selling cryptocurrencies, raising more capital, adding more loans — all of which showed significant risk for Alameda.

She was asked Tuesday while testifying how she would repay the loans if they were called.

"I assumed we would use customer funds."


Crypto FTX co-founder admits ‘we did it’ - October 6, 2023


New York | FTX co-founder Gary Wang took the stand at Sam Bankman-Fried’s trial on Thursday (Friday AEDT) and admitted he and his former MIT roommate committed a multibillion-dollar fraud by secretly shifting customer funds to trading company Alameda Research.

Mr Wang, who was also FTX’s chief technology officer, told the federal court that Mr Bankman-Fried directed him to alter the cryptocurrency exchange’s code so that Alameda was able to draw a $US65 billion ($102 billion) line of credit.


“When customers deposited money on FTX, the money went to Alameda instead,” Mr Wang said, adding that Alameda “withdrew so much that FTX was not able to pay customers who tried to withdraw”.

Mr Wang is testifying as a government witness against his onetime friend. Prosecutors claim Mr Bankman-Fried committed fraud and conspiracy after the FTX cryptocurrency exchange he co-founded went bankrupt last year, owing its 50 biggest creditors almost $US3.1 billion ($4.6 billion).

His hotly anticipated trial started this week, with Mr Wang one of the key witnesses after he pleaded guilty to fraud and agreed to co-operate against his former house-mate. Prosecutors promised, before the trial started, to use testimony from Mr Bankman-Fried’s “trusted inner circle” to prove he intentionally stole from customers and investors and then lied about it.

In contrast, defence lawyers told the court this week that Mr Bankman-Fried had no criminal intent as he took actions to try to save his businesses after the cryptocurrency market collapsed.

Bankman-Fried visibly shaking
Mr Wang, 30, said Mr Bankman-Fried instructed him to sign documents allowing up to $US300 million in funds from FTX customer accounts to be transferred to Alameda to trade cryptocurrencies, sometimes at an unfair advantage to other FTX customers.


Asked by the prosecution whether he and other FTX executives committed fraud, Mr Wang immediately answered “yes” and said the crimes were “wire fraud, securities fraud, and commodities fraud”. He then pointed out Mr Bankman-Fried who was sitting in the courtroom visibly shaking.

He said Caroline Ellison, Alameda’s former chief executive and Mr Bankman-Fried’s former girlfriend, and Nishad Singh, the former engineering director at FTX, were also involved in the fraud.

Mr Wang’s testimony potentially undercuts Mr Bankman-Fried’s contention that he was not closely involved with the running of Alameda and relied instead on ex-girlfriend Ms Ellison.

Mr Wang said FTX gave special privileges to Alameda, allowing the “withdrawal of unlimited funds for the platform, and we hid that from the public”.

He said Alameda was allowed to take any position it wanted “without any limit” and had the “ability to place orders on the platform slightly faster than other customers”.

Mr Wang, who was once a billionaire with 10 per cent ownership of Alameda Research and a 17 per cent equity stake in FTX, was asked about the genesis of the name of the affiliated hedge fund.

He said the word research was important because it “sounded prestigious”.

“It’s also better if the name didn’t include cryptocurrency because that would make it easier to get office leases and things like that,” Mr Wang said.

A video was played of Mr Bankman-Fried talking about the evolution of the names and how calling the company “Shit Coin Day Trader” would not have helped it get loans from a bank.

Prosecutors are expected to hear testimony from Ms Ellison on how he orchestrated a conspiracy to use $US10 billion of FTX’s customers funds for uses that were kept secret.

Also giving evidence was Matt Huang, co-founder of crypto investment firm Paradigm, who told of his company’s $US278 million in investments in FTX and FTX US. He said he did not know FTX was using customer funds to lend out to Alameda to trade cryptocurrencies and that he “would have wanted to know more”.

Mr Huang also said he did not know Alameda had been made exempt from a special FTX feature known as the “liquidation engine” which prevented FTX customers from not being able to cover any losses. The exemption, which was written into FTX code, allowed Alameda to continually increase its line of credit until it grew to about $US8 billion.

Earlier in the day, Adam Yedidia, another Massachusetts Institute of Technology classmate who went to work at FTX, testified that Mr Bankman-Fried was aware and concerned about a huge potential shortfall at FTX from loans to Alameda five months before both companies collapsed. Mr Yedidia told jurors he was testifying under a grant of immunity from prosecution.


Fred Schebesta’s Finder claims its crypto product wasn’t money - October 9, 2023

Lawyers for Fred Schebesta’s Finder.com have laid out why the comparison website’s now-defunct crypto savings product was not caught by existing laws, arguing digital assets count as property rather than money.

The corporate regulator sued a subsidiary of Finder.com last year, alleging the comparison website provided unlawful financial advice and put customers at risk by offering its Finder Earn product without a proper licence.

The lawsuit is one of three the Australian Securities and Investments Commission has brought against local crypto businesses experimenting with new product types built using blockchain technology.

Sydney-based Block Earner and Gold Coast-based BPS Financial are also defending the release of their crypto-based products against similar litigation from ASIC.

The trio of cases will test the regulator’s power to oversee crypto products, mirroring a lawsuit from the US Securities and Exchange Commission against the listed token exchange Coinbase.

Finder, which is currently seeking fresh funding, argues it did not need a financial services licence to offer its Finder Earn product, which paid out investors a “guaranteed” 4 per cent interest rate in return for deposits.

ASIC argues the product was a debenture, which is a long-term security that yields a fixed interest rate and is often used by companies to borrow money.

But Finder disagrees, noting that ASIC itself has maintained its overarching position is that digital assets are property rather than money. ASIC says the process by which Finder Earn operates interacts with fiat currency.

“Although cryptocurrencies share features in common with money in that they can be stores of value and are fungible, they are not money, they are property,” Finder’s lawyers told Justice Bridgette Markovic in the Federal Court last Wednesday.

“This is important because a fundamental part of a debenture is the depositing or lending of money.”

Finder Earn customers deposited Australian dollars into a Finder Wallet, which was then converted to a stablecoin called TrueAUD, which the company said was backed by Australian dollars.

The Finder Earn product was shuttered before the lawsuit began, but it was marketed across morning television shows and in slick digital campaigns targeting young “savers”.

Its launch was the result of an explosion of interest in decentralised finance, or DeFi, where investors were often paid high-interest rates to “lock up” their capital in various systems that mimic banking functions.

These products contributed to the crypto market crash in 2022, when the companies took the customer deposits and lost them in risky trades designed to generate the “guaranteed” interests.

In the absence of any new federal legislation, ASIC has cracked down on crypto businesses using existing financial markets regulation over the past 12 months.

Although Finder is licensed to provide financial services as a representative of Centra Wealth, a disclaimer on the Finder website explained that its Earn product was not offered under that or any other licence.

Regulators brought a similar action against Block Earner, which also offered a high-yield crypto-based product, for allegedly offering unlicensed financial services.

ASIC sued Gold Coast-based BPS Financial over a crypto product known as Qoin in October, alleging unlicensed conduct and the misleading promotion of crypto asset.

The judgment for ASIC’s case against Finder Wallet is expected in the coming months. Mr Schebesta stepped down as Finder chief executive last December but remains executive chair.


Bitcoin Mining Industry Is at a ‘Crucible Moment,’ JPMorgan Says - October 2023


The bitcoin (BTC) mining industry is at a crucible moment, as the approval of a spot BTC exchange-traded-fund (ETF) could catalyze a rally against a backdrop of record hashrates and the impending block reward halving that threaten the industry's revenues and profitability, JPMorgan (JPM) said in a research report Wednesday.

The bank favors mining operators that offer the best relative value in light of their “existing hashrate, operational efficiency, power contracts, funded growth plans and liquidity,” analysts Reginald Smith and Charles Pearce wrote.

JPMorgan initiates coverage of CleanSpark (CLSK) with an overweight rating and a price target of $5.50; Marathon Digital (MARA) at underweight with a $5 target; Riot Platforms (RIOT) at underweight with a $6.50 target, and Cipher Mining (CIFR) at neutral. The bank also upgraded Iris Energy (IREN) to overweight from neutral.

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has delayed its decision on whether or not to approve a spot bitcoin ETF until this month. The crypto market is hopeful that any approval will trigger a flood of mainstream money into the sector.

CleanSpark is the bank’s top pick, offering the best balance of “scale, growth potential, power costs and relative value.”

The analysts said that Marathon is the largest mining operator but has the highest energy costs and lowest margins. Meanwhile, Riot has relatively low power costs and liquidity but is the most expensive stock in their coverage universe.

Among the peers, Cipher Mining has the lowest power costs but is “growth constrained,” the report noted.

The bank estimates the four-year block reward opportunity at around $20 billion at current bitcoin prices. However, the looming block reward halving, expected in the second quarter of 2024, could impact profitability. It estimates that as much as 20% of the network hashrate is at risk from halving as less efficient mining computers are decommissioned.


Calvin's Corner: 'Ya...Nothing to See Here' Calvin Quips in Regard to Slew of Crypto Murders - September 2023


These are the latest tweets and news from Web influencer and billionaire Calvin Ayre, a proponent of the BSV blockchain, an environmentally friendly, fast, and robust choice for enterprise-grade applications.


Billionaire investor and BSV influencer Calvin Ayre is the latest to chime in on a series of high profile murders that have recently taken place in the world of cryptocurrencies.

And the deaths have been nothing short of gruesome.

"Stuffed down toilets, dismembered in suitcases — crypto has been the common denominator for several gruesome murders and mysterious deaths this year," blares the headline from Coin Telegraph Magazine.

Plumbers in Bulgaria discovered the decomposing remains of 41-year-old United States crypto mogul Christian Peev — suspected to have been battered to death with a dumbbell by a friend out of jealousy.

In Buenos Aries, crypto millionaire Fernando Pérez Algaba's body was discovered chopped up in a suitcase near a river bank by a group of children.


It doesn't end there.

Others involved in the world of cryptocurrencies have been killed in a helicopter crash in France and a fatal stabbing in the U.S. There was also a suspected suicide in South Korea.

Since November of 2022 we've seen ten suspicious deaths of those in the cryptocurrency community, and these are just the cases we know of.

Ken Gamble, the co-founder and executive chairman of financial crime intelligence firm IFW Global, tells the magazine he believes most of these deaths are linked to organized crime making its way into the world of digital currencies.

“What’s happening is that these organized crime groups, particularly the Chinese, have suddenly come into masses of money. They have had more money now than they’ve ever had traditionally,” said Gamble.

“They’re making so much money that it’s become extremely dangerous now […] they have to now reach out to more groups and more people to try and move the money — broadening their money laundering capabilities,” he added.

May be time to beef up the security and might want to avoid pissing off the wrong person as to not end up floating around inside the pipes of someone's toilet.


Calvin Announces New BSV Site and Encourages Consumers to Become Better Educated (September 12, 2023)


"BSVBlockchain.org has a new site up that is the best place in the world to go to learn about this amazing tech now. Still more stuff coming but the Association has done a great job on this already."

The new site can be found here.

The BSV Blockchain is billed as "Reliable open source software, providing the fundamental requirements for enterprise grade blockchain applications."

It focuses on the following three pillars:

Unified Compliance Approach
Explore our unified approach to regulatory compliance, recognizing that existing laws apply to all tokens on blockchain platforms. At BSV, we prioritize adherence to the comprehensive legal framework.

Streamlined Legal Compliance
Learn how BSV integrates legal compliance seamlessly into its blockchain ecosystem. We ensure that all transactions and interactions on our platform adhere to existing property, security, and criminal laws.

Transparent Regulatory Measures
Discover the transparency in our regulatory measures. We provide clear visibility into how we enforce compliance and uphold existing regulations to create a secure and trusted environment for our users.

BSV About to Change the World? (August 31, 2023)
Julian Goddard (the technical product lead at @nChainGlobal) nChain has been working on CBDC solutions for several months, with Goddard playing a part in the company’s projects since last year, he revealed.

One of the company’s guiding principles is flexibility, aware that governments will only integrate blockchain technology if it fits into their existing systems.

“We’re always trying to meet our customers’ requirements first, and where they don’t know [about blockchain nitty-gritty], we try to build our products as flexible as possible.”

As the technical product lead, Goddard is at the forefront of exploring new products that nChain develops. He says the company is currently working on “a new product that’s very exciting and is going to help change the world. It will make a difference to the way things work in the world.”

CoinDesk Compromised? (August 28, 2023)
Calvin on Monday retweeted a question concerning whether the popular crypto news site CoinDesk may be compromised.

Bitfinex'ed made the original tweet, noting the site appears to be removing a number of negative articles of late.

Anti Crypto Revolution offered this suggestion:

"Need UK's new FCA rules on crypto media and marketing here in the USA asap. Crypto shillers/media must pay for billions of losses and Americans' savings being hacked to fund NK's nukes. Egregious."

Binance Seeks Protective Order....Against SEC? (August 15, 2023)
If you follow our good friend Calvin Ayre regularly as we do here at Gambling911.com, you'll realize pretty quickly there is no love lost between him and the cryptocurrency exchange Binance.

"Binance is bad news—is anyone still surprised?," he tweeted back in January.

At the time Ayre's popular website CoinGeek reported that a special agent for the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Daniel M. Sirmons, claimed under sworn deposition that "according to his knowledge, training, and experience, ransomware attackers frequently use digital currency exchanges like Binance to launder or obfuscate their ill-gotten gains."

Ayre's site was the first to report on the skullduggery taking place at the FTX Exchange a good year plus before they went into free fall this past December.

The billionaire investor was quick to tweet out how Binance on Tuesday filed for a protective order against the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) saying the regulator's requests for information were "over broad" and "unduly burdensome".

Binance is claiming that the SEC is demanding it produce all communications dating back to November 2022 for “dozens of topics — many of which have nothing to do with customer assets.”

Stay tuned.

Calvin's Corner: Billionaire Launches New Site to 'More Accurately Explain What My Multinational Business Group Does' (August 10, 2023)
On Thursday, online gambling and blockchain pioneer Calvin Ayre announced his new website that he described as more accurately demonstrating what his investment firm encompasses.

Ayre Group was launched just days after his global investment group purchased nChain, the global leader in blockchain and Web3 technology.

Ayre Group invests in building ventures in real estate, blockchain technology, media, publishing, health & wellness and travel & leisure.

The new site proclaims: "Led by entrepreneur and philanthropist Calvin Ayre, Ayre Group is a multi-faceted global operation funding real estate projects, businesses and technologies that break down barriers to entry, democratize opportunity and positively enhance peoples’ lives."

Suits Can (Will) Be Brought in Regard to Micropayment Technology (August 2, 2023)
We've had an opportunity to speak with those closely associated with the BSV Blockchain and one thing is abundantly clear, Web3 and micropayments are the future.

Calvin tweeted (or X'd) on Tuesday that he believed this article to be fair.

And it appears that Ayre's investment firm's announcement it has taken a majority stake in nChain (announced Tuesday) will make as a priority the aggressive legal pursuit of those who violate nChain's patents pertaining to micropayment technology. Of note is that this technology will become the future of iGaming, in particular sports wagering.

In response, someone tweeted:

"He (Calvin) is bullish that the BSV chain is the blockchain to unite all blockchains. He points to the scaling technology solutions offered by BSV to be its superpower and the nano transactions possible putting the token firmly in the utility section and not as a security.
The scaling and rate of transactions on BSV according to Ayre are so substantial as to make the Proof of Work (POW) blockchain green."

And then there is this tweet:

“There isn’t a single blockchain or Web3 project out there that isn’t standing on the shoulders of nChain’s patent library—the earliest, largest, and highest quality collection in this space.”

'Crypto Scammers Running Around Asking for Clarity' (August 1, 2023)
Responding to an article featured on Fortune: "Coinbase boss Brian Armstrong: SEC suggested change that would have triggered the end of the crypto industry in America".

"These crypto scammers are so funny...they run around asking for Clarity...they were clarified and then they just refuse to accept it. They don't want clarity in the law, they want exception from existing law."


Coinbase chief executive Brian Armstrong told the Financial Times that the SEC made recommendations to halt trading in all cryptocurrencies other than bitcoin before launching legal action against the Nasdaq-listed company last month for failing to register as a broker.

From the Financial Times article:

The SEC’s case identified 13 mostly lightly traded cryptocurrencies on Coinbase’s platform as securities, asserting that by offering them to customers the exchange fell under the regulator’s remit.

SEC charges HEX founder Richard Heart with fraud (August 1, 2023)
Hex founder Richard Heart’s luck finally ran out after America’s securities regulator slapped fraud charges on the bling-loving conman.

CoinGeek's Steven Stradbrooke reports on these developments.

On Monday, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) brought civil charges against Heart, aka Richard Schueler, and his Hex, PulseChain and PulseX entities for offering unregistered securities that raised over $1 billion from customers.

The SEC is also alleging Heart committed fraud by “misappropriating at least $12 million” of the funds raised to buy luxury goods, apparently to perpetuate the illusion of wealth that his marks might one day enjoy. The SEC wants Heart to forfeit all his ill-gotten gains and to be permanently enjoined from ever taking part in any future digital asset scams.

Stradbrooke writes that customers were urged to buy HEX with ETH and stake their HEX—as a ‘Blockchain Certificate of Deposit’—with the expectation that they’d receive even more HEX down the road, by which time the value of each HEX would have soared. Allegedly.

Ayre: 'Everything But BSV is a Security Including BTC', CoinBase Ordered to Only Trade Bitcoin (July 31, 2023)
One of the world's largest cryptocurrency exchanges was told by the SEC to stop trading in everything except for Bitcoin, according to Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong.

This is viewed as a sign of the agency's intent to assert regulatory authority over a broader slice of the market, according to Scott Chipolina of the Financial Times, which broke the story.

The SEC sued Coinbase soon afterwards.

“They came back to us, and they said . . . we believe every asset other than bitcoin is a security,” Armstrong revealed. “And, we said, well how are you coming to that conclusion, because that’s not our interpretation of the law. And they said, we’re not going to explain it to you, you need to delist every asset other than bitcoin.”

Armstrong claimed any such action would signal the end of the cryptocurrency industry as we know it.

Calvin Ayre, who is a proponent of the BSV Blockchain, offered his assessment of the situation.

"Everything but BSV is a security including BTC," he asserted.


Almost twice as many students using AI than employees: report - September 2023


Experts warn AI will “rapidly and significantly” disrupt more than $600 billion of economic activity.

More than a quarter of the Australian economy will be significantly disrupted by AI technologies, experts have warned, as businesses and workers remain hesitant of new advancements.

The report by consultancy firm Deloitte Australia found about $600 billion in economic activity stands be to be “rapidly and significantly” disrupted by new generative AI technology.

More than 2500 students and employees from 18 industries were surveyed on their use of AI as part of the report, including from the IT, media, education, and wholesale trade sectors.

Deloitte Australia CEO Adam Powick said business leaders needed to accept their role in “harnessing and guiding the responsible application of generative AI”, rather than turning a blind eye.

“We need to rapidly educate ourselves on the potential of AI in our settings, and actively encourage adoption, innovation and the sharing of ideas and concepts across our organisations,” he said.

The report also revealed the generational gap between large business, of which less than 10 per cent have officially adopted AI, and the 58 per cent of students already using it.

Students were almost twice as likely to use generative AI tools such as ChatGPT than employees, with only 1.4 per cent of all Australian businesses currently utilising AI officially.

Deloitte Australia Lead Strategy and Business Design Partner and AI Institute Lead Dr Kellie Nuttall said individuals naturally embrace advancements in tech faster than businesses.

“But, generative AI has seen this happen faster than ever before, broadening the gap between a business and its workforce,” Mr Nuttal said ahead of the reports release on Sunday.

“Yes, this leads to a disruptive threat; but it leads to an even bigger opportunity. Let’s not forget businesses are made up of lots of individuals, each with the power to disrupt.”

For many, the rapid advancement of AI technologies has presented concern about its place in the workforce, sparking protests such as the current SAG-AFTRA strike in the US.

The actors and screen writers guilds in the United States voted to strike earlier this year over pay issues and fears that AI technology could subsume or reduce workplace jobs.

The Deloitte report – titled “Generation AI: Ready or not, here we come!” – found about 75 per cent of employees were concerned about AI’s use, including with personal data.

Just over 30 per cent said they already used some form of generative AI for work purposes, of which about two thirds stating they believed their managers did not know about it.

Big crackdown on gambling in video games - September 2023

Video games which offer in-game gambling will be restricted as part of big changes to the industry, the Albanese government has announced.

Video games which offer simulated gambling will be branded adults-only under big changes to the industry announced by the Albanese government.

After a meeting of the Standing Council of Attorneys-General on Friday, all states agreed to reforms which will see new age restrictions placed on games which offer gambling-like content.

The states agreed to updated guidelines, which will come into effect in September next year, giving the industry time to adjust.

Under the changes, computer games which simulate gambling, such as virtual casinos, will receive an adults-only R18+ classification.

Games which offer in-game purchases which involve elements of chance, such as paid loot boxes, will be classified as M and not recommended for children under 15.

he government said it was responding to potential harm caused by children being exposed to gambling-like content in video games.

It pointed to research by the Australian Institute of Family Studies, which found young people who were exposed to simulated gambling in video games were 40 per cent more likely to gamble later in life.

“The Albanese Government is determined to protect vulnerable Australians from gambling harms — including children who may be exposed to gambling through video games,” Communications Minister Michelle Rowland said.

“Research shows that children exposed to gambling-like content may be more vulnerable to gambling harm later in life – and we are determined to intervene early to keep children safe.”



Call of Duty rolls out AI-powered voice chat monitoring to crack down on hate speech

One of the world’s most popular video games has taken a drastic step to crack down on hate speech and other “toxic” behaviour.

Call of Duty players will have their in-game voice chat monitored by artificial intelligence in real-time as part of a major crackdown on hate speech and other harmful behaviour.

Activision announced in a blog post on Wednesday that it had partnered with tech firm Modulate to roll out its AI-powered voice chat moderation tool ToxMod, to “identify in real-time and enforce against toxic speech — including hate speech, discriminatory language, harassment and more”.

An initial beta rollout of the new system began on Wednesday to North American players of the popular online shooter series, which includes Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II and Call of Duty: Warzone.

The AI tool will be released worldwide — excluding Asia — on November 10, coinciding with the launch of the Call of Duty: Modern Warfare III on November 10.

Support will begin in English with additional languages to follow at a later date.

“This new development will bolster the ongoing moderation systems led by the Call of Duty anti-toxicity team, which includes text-based filtering across 14 languages for in-game text (chat and usernames) as well as a robust in-game player reporting system,” Activision said.

“Since the launch of Modern Warfare II, Call of Duty’s existing anti-toxicity moderation has restricted voice and/or text chat to over one million accounts detected to have violated the Call of Duty Code of Conduct. Consistently updated text and username filtering technology has established better real-time rejection of harmful language.”

Activision said data showed 20 per cent of players “did not reoffend after receiving a first warning”.

“Those who did reoffend were met with account penalties, which include but are not limited to feature restrictions (such as voice and text chat bans) and temporary account restrictions,” it said.

“This positive impact aligns with our strategy to work with players in providing clear feedback for their behaviour. Teams across Call of Duty are dedicated to combating toxicity within our games. Utilising new technology, developing critical partnerships, and evolving our methodologies is key in this ongoing commitment. As always, we look forward to working with our community to continue to make Call of Duty fair and fun for all.”

In a question-and-answer section, Activision said in-game voice chat was monitored and recorded “for the express purpose of moderation”.

“Call of Duty’s voice chat moderation system is focused on detecting harm within voice chat versus specific keywords,” it said.

“Players that do not wish to have their voice moderated can disable in-game voice chat in the settings menu.”

While the AI tool detects and flags toxic language in real-time “categorised by its type of behaviour and a rated level of severity based on an evolving model”, Activision will still be responsible for enforcement decisions.

“Detected violations of the Code of Conduct may require additional reviews of associated recordings to identify context before enforcement is determined,” it said.

“Therefore, actions taken will not be instantaneous. As the system grows, our processes and response times will evolve.”

The gaming giant clarified that “trash talk” was not banned.

“The system helps enforce the existing Code of Conduct, which allows for ‘trash-talk’ and friendly banter,” it said. “Hate speech, discrimination, sexism, and other types of harmful language, as outlined in the Code of Conduct, will not be tolerated.”

Activision chief technology officer Michael Vance said in a statement that there was “no place for disruptive behaviour or harassment in games ever”. “Tackling disruptive voice chat particularly has long been an extraordinary challenge across gaming,” he said.

“With this collaboration, we are now bringing Modulate’s state of the art machine learning technology that can scale in real-time for a global level of enforcement. This is a critical step forward to creating and maintaining a fun, fair and welcoming experience for all players.”

Mike Pappas, chief executive of Modulate, said the company was “enormously excited to team with Activision to push forward the cutting edge of trust and safety”.

“This is a big step forward in supporting a player community the size and scale of Call of Duty, and further reinforces Activision’s ongoing commitment to lead in this effort.”

According to Modulate, ToxMod does not just detect flagged words but “analyses the tone, context, and perceived intention of those filtered conversations using its advanced machine learning processes”.

“ToxMod’s powerful toxicity analysis assesses the tone, timbre, emotion, and context of a conversation to determine the type and severity of toxic behaviour,” it says on its website.

“ToxMod is the only voice moderation tool built on advanced machine learning models that go beyond keyword matching to provide true understanding of each instance of toxicity. ToxMod’s machine learning technology can understand emotion and nuance cues to help differentiate between friendly banter and genuine bad behaviour.”

ToxMod’s ethics policy states that it may also take into account the race, gender identity, sexuality or other demographics of the speaker to determine whether certain behaviour is acceptable.

“We do occasionally consider an individual’s demographics when determining the severity of a harm,” it says.

“We … recognise that certain behaviours may be fundamentally different depending on the demographics of the participants.”

For example, “while the n-word is typically considered a vile slur, many players who identify as black or brown have reclaimed it and use it positively within their communities”.

“While Modulate does not detect or identify the ethnicity of individual speakers, it will listen to conversational cues to determine how others in the conversation are reacting to the use of such terms,” it says.

“If someone says the n-word and clearly offends others in the chat, that will be rated much more severely than what appears to be reclaimed usage that is incorporated naturally into a conversation.”


Star witness at US crypto trial says Bankman-Fried ordered fraud - October 11, 2023

Disgraced crypto wunderkind Sam Bankman-Fried was the mastermind behind a scheme to defraud FTX clients of billions of dollars, the star witness in his US trial testified on Tuesday.

Caroline Ellison, Bankman-Fried's former business partner and girlfriend, said that they had stolen "around $14 billion" from clients of the cryptocurrency trading platform before it collapsed into bankruptcy late last year.

The 31-year-old Bankman-Fried, co-founder and former CEO of FTX, has been charged with seven counts of fraud, embezzlement and criminal conspiracy, and if convicted could face a de facto life sentence of more than 100 years in prison.

In November 2022, the platform imploded, unable to cope with massive withdrawal requests from customers panicked to learn that some of FTX's funds had been committed to risky operations by Alameda Research, Bankman-Fried's personal hedge fund.

Ellison, a Stanford University mathematics graduate, was appointed by Bankman-Fried in 2021 to head Alameda, whose activities were largely financed by money from customers of FTX -- without their knowledge.

She has pleaded guilty to fraud charges and agreed to cooperate with the prosecution as have two other close associates of Bankman-Fried.

After taking a good 10 seconds to identify her former romantic partner in the courtroom, Ellison said he was "the owner of Alameda and he directed me to commit those crimes."

Bankman-Fried "was the one who set up the system" that saw Alameda take the client money from FTX and use it "for investments and to pay back debts," she said.

"For major decisions, I ran it by Sam. He was the person I officially reported to. He was the owner of Alameda. He could have fired me if he wanted to," she said.

- 'Awkward situations' -

A former analyst who developed mathematical models for market finance, Ellison said she expressed her reservations about the relationship between FTX and Alameda.

"I was somewhat concerned because it was something that customers weren't aware of and they wouldn't be happy if they'd learned about it," she said.

Bankman-Fried's lawyers are expected to argue against this depiction, saying that their client had little handle on the inner workings of Alameda's business and placing the blame at Ellison for the alleged fraud.

In the court on Tuesday, Ellison said that she and Bankman-Fried "dated for a couple years."

"He was also my boss, which created a lot of awkward situations," she said.

The on and off again couple and other FTX executives lived in a luxury apartment complex in the Bahamas until Bankman-Fried was arrested and extradited to the United States late last year.

Zixiao "Gary" Wang, another associate of Bankman-Fried, on Friday described the FTX co-founder as willing to break the law and lie to enable the company and Alameda to post strong growth.

 

 

Bitcoin’s next big price catalyst is coming - August 23rd, 2023


The world’s largest cryptocurrency has tumbled again but bitcoin’s fans argue the dip is a buying opportunity ahead of the next ‘halving’ in 2024.

 

The world’s largest cryptocurrency has experienced another sudden tumble, but the price falls in August will not shake the faith of bitcoin’s fans, who argue the dip is a buying opportunity ahead of the next “halving” in 2024.

A bitcoin halving is when the reward for mining bitcoin is cut in half, and it takes place every four years. Acolytes insist the diminishing supply coded into bitcoin’s existence will inflate its value against paper currencies such as the Australian dollar over the long term.

Bitcoin is down 8 per cent over the past week to $US26,050 ($40,634) on Tuesday, after reports of a sell-off by Elon Musk’s SpaceX sparked broad selling at a time when interest rates on cash – as an alternative and risk-free investment – continue to soar.

Bitcoin supporters argue the cryptocurrency can beat competition from risk-free returns available today of between 4 per cent and 5.5 per cent when the next halving arrives around April or May of next year.

Bitcoin has a finite supply of 21 million coins. With 19.46 million already mined, the halving of its supply will see its computer-powered miners rewarded with 3.125 bitcoins instead of 6.5 bitcoins for every block verified.

But Nick Bishop, a professional bond trader turned founder of crypto consultancy NotCentralised, says the halving will not necessarily mean a surge in bitcoin price in the second half of 2024.

The former investment banking head at Gresham Partners adds that evidence suggests some professional crypto traders try to front-run hype around the halving by selling to less sophisticated investors in the months before the anticipated event.

Indeed, historical bitcoin price charts around the time of the last three supply halvings – in November 2012, July 2016 and May 2020 – suggest investors tend to take profits by selling as excitement builds ahead of halving events.

“To anyone who wants to act like a price sage, I would respectfully point out we’ve only had three data points from past halvings so far,” Bishop says.

“However, what we can say from those three instances is bitcoin prices peaked about 12 to 15 months before the halving event. Then, between three and six months after a halving event, the price has recovered to the prior peak that occurred 12 to 15 months before the halving.”

 

Risk proxy

Bishop says arguably a bigger driver of bitcoin’s price is its increasing correlation to other risk assets such as equities in traditional finance. That is, as big institutions such as BlackRock get involved, the bitcoin price is more likely to track traditional assets such as shares.

Online data shows a large proportion of the 19.5 million bitcoins in circulation are locked in cold storage or have not moved for more than six months, which suggests they’re owned by long-term holders – “hodlers” in crypto slang – with little interest in selling.

As a consequence, large institutional adopters in traditional finance such as Cathie Wood’s Ark Investments or the world’s largest asset manager BlackRock may be left scrambling to buy a relatively small free float of bitcoins estimated at between 2 million to 5 million.

“The more institutional interest we get, the more they’re chasing a somewhat constrained supply,” Bishop says.

“So, in a simplistic sense, if bitcoin demand stays the same then a halving means a higher price. But you’ve got all these real-world market interactions, the macro uncertainty, and the fact cryptocurrencies are highly correlated to risk assets. And as more institutions lean into bitcoin products like ETFs that will increase.”

The halving of the bitcoin awarded for verifying transactions occurs each time 210,000 separate blocks in its blockchain are mined, which is roughly every four years based on the 10-minute average time it takes the network’s hash rate (total computer power) to mine a single block.

According to Caroline Bowler, the chief executive of Australian crypto exchange BTC Markets, a smooth halving event should support the bitcoin price over the long term.

“I run BTC Markets, so I have to be bullish bitcoin,” she says.

“The halving is indicative of the fact bitcoin is a young technology and does what it says it will do, which is the expectation in the market. But if we saw problems, there would be immediate downward pressure on the price.”

The appeal of get-rich-quick and the public’s increasing cynicism around central banks’ money printing to support government spending has helped bitcoin’s price to rise more than 200 times in value over the past 10 years since August 2013.

Still, its future as a decentralised, apolitical and slightly crazy experiment in human psychology remains uncertain.

(AFR)

 

 

 

 

Bitcoin hits highest in a year as crypto rebounds from scandals - 26th June 2023

 

Bitcoin hit its highest level in a year amid renewed fervour for digital assets despite a slew of challenges for the industry.

The original digital currency crossed above $US31,013, its 2023 peak, to reach its highest level since June 2022, Bloomberg data show. The surge brought bitcoin to as high as $US31,410 before the gain was pared.

The token is up by almost 90 per cent since the start of the year, though still more than 50 per cent below an all-time high of almost $US69,000. Other cryptocurrencies followed suit, with Ether also rallying.

At 3.48am AEST, bitcoin was 3.4 per cent higher to $US31,158 on bitstamp.net.

It’s a remarkable development — and show of resiliency — for a market that many had written off as being on the verge of extinction following a number of high-profile and high-impact scams and company fallouts that left the industry besmirched among investors.

“From the ardent Bitcoiner’s perspective, the token’s most fundamental investment thesis is playing out: inflation, monetary mismanagement, banking crises, sovereign debt anxiety, US-dollar-reserve-status questions are all playing a role in giving Bitcoiners an ‘I told you so’ moment,” said Strahinja Savic, head of data and analytics at FRNT Financial. “I would not describe rallying to new all-time highs despite the challenging environment, but rather because of it.”

BlackRock’s shock filing

Most recently, it’s been news about BlackRock’s shock filing for a US spot bitcoin exchange-traded fund that’s reignited fervour for crypto, with some in the market hoping that such a product — which currently doesn’t exist — gets approval from regulators. An approval — whatever its odds — would mark a win for fans who have for years longed for such an investment product.

“BlackRock’s filing is big news for bitcoin due to its close ties with regulators and a very strong ETF-approval track record,” wrote K33’s Bendik Schei and Vetle Lunde. “It’s also worth noting that BlackRock would not dedicate time and resources to this filing if they did not view the probability of long-term strength from BTC, and thus strong inflows, as substantially high.”

They added: “An approval would profoundly impact the market structure of bitcoin, as it would reduce the barriers for financial advisors to offer exposure to BTC through an accessible investment vehicle with daily creations and redemptions delivered by a trusted issuer.”

Other recent news also reinforced crypto believers’ faith in the rally. A new crypto exchange backed by firms including Citadel Securities, Fidelity Digital Assets and Charles Schwab — called EDX Markets — said it’s gone live.

And, among other pieces of news, JPMorgan Chase & Co expanded one of the most high-profile projects to bring blockchain technology to traditional banking, introducing euro-denominated payments for corporate clients using its JPM Coin.

Crypto winter fades

“The effects of the so-called ‘crypto winter’ seem less persistent today than a year ago, as various jurisdictions and institutional players continue to embrace crypto-related initiatives,” David Duong, head of research at Coinbase, said in a recent note.

On Twitter, where a lot of crypto discourse takes place, a number of users cited FOMO — or the fear of missing out — as part of the recent price surge, whereby some investors jump into the market because they are watching others reap the benefits of the rally and want to take part in it.

But the fact that the industry is facing harsh regulatory oversight has not dissipated, despite all the renewed hype over prices surging.

The SEC has set its sights on the crypto space following last year’s numerous instances of scams and fallouts of once-vaunted companies, including FTX and a number of lenders. It’s led to a mass exodus by retail investors in particular, who have collectively lost billions of dollars in the wake of the revelations and implosions.

Trading volumes have dried up as a result. In May, the combined spot and derivatives trading volumes on centralised exchanges fell more than 15 per cent to $US2.4 trillion ($3.6 trillion), according to CCData.

Spot trading volumes alone dropped nearly 22 per cent to $US495 billion, notching the lowest monthly reading since March 2019, the researcher said in a report.

“Given the thin liquidity and the relatively scant amount of BTC available to new entrants (no eager sellers at these levels), even a tiny uptick in large investor interest would be enough to move the price,” said Noelle Acheson, author of the “Crypto Is Macro Now” newsletter.

Others point out that hype around a potential spot-Bitcoin ETF has come and gone in the past, without regulators ever approving such a product.

“People are speculating BlackRock’s heft in the financial markets will help them get approval. I am not quite there yet,” said Michael O’Rourke, chief market strategist at JonesTrading. “The SEC has been aggressively cracking down on the crypto space, it seems a bit early for such an about-face.”

 

News

$2 billion worth of Bitcoin withdrawn from Coinbase over weekend

November 29, 2022

Numbers show that Binance increased its reserves by a total of 78,000 BTC

 

Over the weekend of November 26 and 27, Coinbase saw withdrawals of about $2 billion worth of bitcoin, bringing the total amount taken out since November 24 to $3.5 billion, as reported by Cryptoslate.

Cryptoslate further noted Bitcoin (BTC) withdrawals from the exchange between November 24 and November 25 totaled approximately $1.5 billion. Since November 24, the exchange’s reserves have been losing about 50,000 BTC per day, or about $3.5 billion, in total.

Numbers show that Binance increased its reserves by a total of 78,000 BTC, which at the time of this writing is equivalent to about $1.2 billion.

The vast majority of the major exchanges experience heavy BTC withdrawals, according to data from Glassnode.

Numbers show that Binance increased its reserves by a total of 78,000 BTC, which at the time of this writing is equivalent to about $1.2 billion.

 

News

Bankman-Fried’s Money Tied to Major Media Outlets, Bringing ‘Journalistic Integrity’ Into Question

 

FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried gave millions to various media outlets throughout 2022 via his family-run nonprofit, “Building a Stronger Future.” The major companies who received funding include Vox, ProPublica, Semafor, and The Intercept.

In some cases, donations appear to be crucial to the viability of the recipients.

In a leaked letter to staff members, Roger Hodge, editor-in-chief of The Intercept, admitted that there was now a “significant hole” in the company’s budget. According to Hodge, the company received $500,000 a few months ago. “Another $250,000 was due in December, with $3.25 million to follow over the next two years.”

Downplaying the potential conflict of interest, Hodge heaped praise on his reporters in the letter: “I also knew our reporters would never pull their punches because of a donation—and they didn’t.” He adds that The Intercept disclosed Bankman-Fried’s donation in its reporting on the FTX story.

A co-founder of The Intercept took issue with these statements.

Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist Glenn Greenwald, who co-founded the outlet in 2013, but resigned after editors refused to publish his reporting on Hunter Biden’s laptop ahead of the 2020 presidential election, criticized his former colleague for deliberately obfuscating details about the funding and for failing to disclose it in past articles.

A representative for The Intercept told The Epoch Times that Bankman-Fried’s donations were received in September of this year. “In keeping with our general practice, The Intercept disclosed the funding in subsequent reporting on Bankman-Fried’s political activities,” said Rodrigo Brandão, director of communications at The Intercept, providing a link to an October article in which the financial ties are disclosed.

Greenwald points to several articles by The Intercept, including one published as recently as Nov. 11, in which the outlet does not mention Bankman-Fried’s donations. “Maybe there is some place that The Intercept mentioned this extremely deep and intricate relationship between it and Bankman-Fried and FTX—I can’t find it,” Greenwald taunted.

Industrialist Elon Musk took aim at Bankman-Fried–funded media as well, calling out Semafor, a journalistic outfit founded by former Buzzfeed editor-in-chief Ben Smith, for what Musk claims to be false reporting on FTX founder Bankman-Fried’s equity stake in Twitter. Musk also highlighted the fact that Semafor received investments from Bankman-Fried earlier this year in a $25 million fundraising round.

Smith, also a former New York Times columnist, founded the outlet earlier this year aiming for “a focus on global news for college-educated readers.” Semafor published an article suggesting Bankman-Fried owned a $100 million stake in Twitter, presumably rolled over from his public equity holdings prior to Musk taking the company private.

Musk responded in a tweet reply to Smith last week: “All public holders of Twitter were allowed to roll their stock into Twitter as a private company, but he [Bankman-Fried] did not do so.” The Tesla founder then asked Smith how much of Semafor is owned by Bankman-Fried, but did not receive an answer.

The Semafor article noted that FTX listed Twitter shares as an “illiquid asset” on its balance sheet, according to a document reported to be circulating among FTX investors.

Smith did not respond to The Epoch Times’s requests for comment.

“Is it perhaps the case that Bankman-Fried thought he was actually buying goodwill and favorable coverage?” asked Robby Soave in a recent article for Reason Magazine.

While there are no reports of financial ties between FTX and The New York Times, the Times was widely criticized for its “puff piece” on the controversial crypto exchange founder. Soave, who is also host of The Hill’s “Rising” show, criticized the outlet for using “soft, passive language” in regards to alleged crimes and instead emphasizing Bankman-Fried’s altruistic ventures.

Soave highlighted the disproportionate outrage the Times seems to exhibit when covering companies like Twitter versus what is potentially the largest financial fraud in history.

“One hopes they wouldn’t treat [Bankman-Fried] with kid gloves out of admiration for his philanthropy.”

The ubiquity of the former billionaire’s influence and financial ties has raised questions regarding the vulnerability of our institutions.

“The lesson to me is just exposing how corrupt the system really is,” said Saagar Enjeti, a media personality, on a recent episode of the news podcast Breaking Points. “If you’re a billionaire with the right ideology, the right amount of checks cut to the right people, you can make a hell of a lot happen in a short amount of time.”

“If it was this easy for [Bankman-Fried], imagine what the real titans of industry are doing behind the scenes.”

Musk, echoing this same sentiment with a more humorous tone, tweeted last Wednesday, “If [Bankman-Fried] was as good at running a crypto exchange as he was at bribing media, FTX would still be solvent!”

Several attempts to reach Bankman-Fried for a comment were unsuccessful.

(The Epoch Times)

 

The Media Man group has learned that there is a considerable change that many, in fact, most, of the world's premier online casino and online poker websites and brands will eventually accept the Bitcoin crpto-currently, with some also tipped to accept other forms of crypto.

This news comes as global press such as The Australian Financial Review, The Sydney Morning Herald, The Wall Street Journal, Washington Post and others continue to ramp up coverage (much of it positive) on Bitcoin, other crypto-currencies and Blockchain. Crypto news website Coin Telegraph has enjoyed a strong spike in traffic in the past few month, as this is another strong indicator that the confidence is building in crpto-currency and respective business models centered around the new money currency.

It's also reported that governments are looking very closely at even tightly regulating the use on Bitcoin and other crypto-currencies in both the casino, financial market and other business sectors.

A Media Man analyst said it was likely and was to be expected that governments would be looking to get their slice of the action as a new widely accepted currency emerges.

It's also common knowledge that people are carrying around less cash on them than in years past and that credit and debit card and PayPal use has escalated, which hasn't helped live entertainers ala buskers.

Internet and e-commerce giants such as Google will be looking to capitalize on the trend, with more changes tipped to be in story for Google Play, a favorite with games and music lovers.

A Media Man spokesperson said 'We will be aiming to enjoy a similar success with Bitcoin and crypto-currency opportunities in the media, publicity and advertising sector as we have with gaming, poker, pop culture and sports promotions. We are currently in negotiation with a number of leading Bitcoin entities and are accepting each business proposal on its own merits".

Social media gaming websites such as Twitch will also be looking to further moneytize crypro-current opportunities.

 


Bitcoin Profile via Wikipedia

 

Bitcoin (abbreviation: BTC; signis a decentralized digital currency that can be transferred on the peer-to-peer bitcoin network. Bitcoin transactions are verified by network nodes through cryptography and recorded in a public distributed ledger called a blockchain. The cryptocurrency was invented in 2008 by an unknown person or group of people using the name Satoshi Nakamoto. The currency began use in 2009, when its implementation was released as open-source software.ch. 1

The word bitcoin was defined in a white paper published on 31 October 2008. It is a compound of the words bit and coin.

The legality of bitcoin varies by region. Nine countries have fully banned bitcoin use, while a further fifteen have implicitly banned it. A few governments have used bitcoin in some capacity. El Salvador has adopted Bitcoin as legal tender, although use by merchants remains low. Ukraine has accepted cryptocurrency donations to fund the resistance to the 2022 Russian invasion. Iran has used bitcoin to bypass sanctions.

Bitcoin has been described as an economic bubble by at least eight recipients of the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences. The environmental impact of bitcoin is significant.Its proof-of-work algorithm for bitcoin mining is designed to be computationally difficult, which requires the consumption of increasing quantities of electricity, the generation of which has contributed to climate change.According to the University of Cambridge, bitcoin has emitted an estimated 200 million tonnes of carbon dioxide since its launch. (Wikipedia)