Washington [state] Politicians Defend Regulations as Cryptocurrency Exchanges Flee – Bitcoin News

Washington [state] regulators recently introduced exchange rules for any firm wanting to allow customers to trade in cryptocurrency. They said they created Senate Bill 5031 to make the ecosystem fair for cryptocurrency exchanges and their customers. However, a number of exchanges have left the area, because they believe the rules were too burdensome. Now Washington lawmakers are defending the bill on the grounds that it helps the exchanges and their clientele. 

Poloniex, Bitstamp, Kraken, and Bitfinex are a few of the exchanges that left the area after Washington announced its regulatory requirements in July. Each company provided their reasoning why they stopped servicing Washington area customers.

Bitstamp wrote a letter to its customers back in 2016, saying, “After long and careful deliberation, we are sorry to inform you that due to recent regulatory constraints imposed by the State of Washington, Bitstamp will cease to serve customers from The Evergreen State, effective 20th December 2016.”

Bureaucrats Claim Bill is Good

Charlie Clark, deputy director of the state’s Department of Financial Institutions and director of the authority’s division of consumer services, did not comment on the specific companies that left. He did suggest the restraints were not imposing or negative, though. He mentioned State financial regulators spent months preparing and detailing the bills.

More at: Washington Politicians Defend Regulations as Cryptocurrency Exchanges Flee – Bitcoin News

A Bitcoin Is Worth $4,000–Why You Probably Should Not Own One – Forbes Leadership #CuttingEdge

Even though most people don’t even know what they are, Bitcoins increased in value from about $570 to over $4,300 — an astounding 750% — in just the last year.  Because of this huge return, more people are becoming interested in possibly owning some Bitcoins hoping to make a fast fortune.  That would be very risky.

More at: A Bitcoin Is Worth $4,000–Why You Probably Should Not Own One – Forbes Leadership #CuttingEdge

Money Management Firm Calls Bitcoin a ‘Fad’ then Files for Bitcoin ETF – Cryptocoins News

Money management firm VanEck has filed for a bitcoin ETF despite claiming that the digital currency was a ‘fad.’

Regardless of the recent user activated hard fork (UAHF), which saw the creation of bitcoin cash, bitcoin’s value has soared. Over the weekend, the digital currency jumped to over $4,000 for the first time, quadrupling its value since the beginning of 2017.

However, despite claims that bitcoin’s price is similar to the 17th century Dutch tulip mania, it appears the rising interest in the digital currency is presenting a high-risk opportunity that is too good to miss.

This is the case for VanEck.

According to a report from CNBC, Joe Foster, portfolio manager and strategist for VanEck’s flagship International Investors of Gold Fund (INIVX), he said that bitcoin would never ‘replicate or replace’ gold.

Foster said:

Bitcoin and other digital currencies are a fad that has attracted the attention of programmers, speculators, and early adaptors.

He added that he didn’t think governments would permit digital currencies to reach the level required to challenge fiat currencies, claiming:

At best, digital currencies may eventually occupy some middle ground as a niche product. At worst, they become a failed experiment that ends in tears.

Now, though, in a complete reversal, the money management firm has filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for a VanEck Vectors Bitcoin Strategy ETF. Initially investing in bitcoin future contracts it will trade on the Nasdaq.

More at: Money Management Firm Calls Bitcoin a ‘Fad’ then Files for Bitcoin ETF – Cryptocoins News

Mainstream Acceptance of Bitcoin is Almost Certain, But We’re Not There Yet – The Cointelegraph

The current bull market is outrageous. Long-dead altcoins are being pumped to 10,000% gains, ICOs are raising hundreds of millions of dollars, and the talk over on /r/ethtrader is dominated by folks with lambos. In the midst of it all, Bitcoin has gradually increased its price, from just over $1000 at the beginning of the year to $4250 at press time.

Many are calling this market a bubble, saying that everything that goes up must come down eventually. They are likely correct this time. But there is reason to believe that digital currency is beginning to reach mainstream acceptance.

Regulators haven’t figured it out

Regulatory uncertainty is arguably the biggest obstacle to the mass adoption of digital currencies. While tales of “Bitcoin bans” have gradually faded over the years, and governments are looking more favorably upon digital currency, it still has a long way to go. The biggest regulatory obstacles are tax policy, anti-money laundering (AML) laws, and securities regulators.

Recently the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) issued a report condemning many ICOs as violating securities laws. This has resulted in Bitfinex ceasing all trade of ERC20 (ICO) tokens and suspending service to U.S. users.

Despite this, most regulators do seem to hold generally favorable views, or are at least willing to adopt a wait-and-see approach. Japan and South Korea both officially legalized digital currency in recent months, which has proven to be quite a boon to the markets. A large percentage of exchange volume has been coming from both those countries recently, fueling the current bull run.

More at: Mainstream Acceptance of Bitcoin is Almost Certain, But We’re Not There Yet – The Cointelegraph

Bitcoin Cash Just Mined its First Block, Making Blockchain Split Official – CoinDesk

A controversial bitcoin spinoff called Bitcoin Cash has officially broken off from the main network, forging ahead with its own blockchain.

Nodes running Bitcoin Cash diverged from the network earlier this morning, but hit a quick roadblock given the absence of a larger-than-1-megabyte block to actually trigger the split.

The block in question was mined by 478,559, according to a Bitcoin Cash block explorer hosted by data provider BlockDozer. This came nearly six hours after after block 478,558 – which started the separation – was struck.

More at: Bitcoin Cash Just Mined its First Block, Making Blockchain Split Official – CoinDesk

New York City Staffer Sanctioned For Mining Bitcoins at Work – CoinDesk

An employee of New York City’s Department of Education has been disciplined after being caught mining bitcoins on his work computer.

According to a recently published disposition from the City of New York Conflicts of Interest Board, department employee Vladimir Ilyayev admitted to mining bitcoin between for a period of several weeks between March and April 2014. Bitcoin mining is an energy intensive process by which new transactions are added to the blockchain, generating new coins with every block that is created.

Ilyayev is said to have installed mining software that ran at night, while he monitored progress from his home.

The document, which includes a signature from Ilyatev along with those from NYC Education Department counsel Karen Antoine and Conflicts of Interest Board chair Richard Briffault, states:

“I ran bitcoin mining software on my [work] computer from 6:00 p.m. until 6:00 a.m. every night from March 19, 2014 until April 17, 2014, when my bitcoin mining software was shut down by [the Department of Education’s] Division of Instructional and Information Technology”.

More at: New York City Staffer Sanctioned For Mining Bitcoins at Work – CoinDesk

This $4 billion Bitcoin laundering scheme reads like a gripping detective story – Mashable

A Russian man was indicted by a U.S. jury on Wednesday on charges of laundering more than $4 billion through a Bitcoin exchange, Reuters reported.

Alexander Vinnik, 38, and likely operator of popular Bitcoin exchange BTC-e, was arrested in northern Greece on Tuesday, according to the report.

The U.S. Justice Department thinks he used the exchange to launder money for criminals, and ties him to the demise of another popular Bitcoin exchange, Mt. Gox, which was shut down in February 2014 after 850,000 of its bitcoin—then worth about $450 million—went missing.

More at: This $4 billion Bitcoin laundering scheme reads like a gripping detective story – Mashable