This is my story of how I derped around during the last BTC bubble, made some dough, and saw my friend pile up a mountain of debt on himself, only to become a millionaire. I hope if you read it there is a moral somewhere, but I'm not so sure there is. (prices are approximate to dates, going back in my memory a bit) OCT 2011: (BTC $4) (preface) As an undergrad computer science major I mined a few coins in a cyber security class . It took about 2 months and I think it was around .89 BTC or something like that (Edit: OK so I probably didn't mine this much, but I had access to the computers in the graphics lab and during this time, and they were mining 24/7. We let them run for a while after the class before taking our share out). I think it was worth about $8 at the time. I thought this was really cool, but also remember at that time you couldn't do anything with it, especially where I lived. I just kind of forgot about it, got a new laptop sometime later, and eventually chucked that one with the coins on the hard drive... (it was just $8 and I had no way of spending it remember) oh well so much for those. Who knows how many coins were lost by these standards back in those days. I take in all the maths, graduate with marks, drink all the beer, laugh with friends, fun times. May 2015: (BTC $234) Fast forward.. I end up in Los Angeles, CA through another long set of tales. I live with aspiring actors and film makers grinding it out as waiters and bartenders. They are good mates and take me to parties on occasion where we meet all kinds of characters. I end up chatting with a guy (lets call him Bill) who's nuts about BTC. I explain to him that I know all about it, and he is ecstatic to find someone who understands what he is talking about. I haven't been paying much attention the past years, and he shows me how far its come in tech and price. I smack my forehead, knowing I tossed away 8/10ths of a coin (could have been beer money man). We become friends and talk about Bitcoin pretty regularly. I don't buy initially, but Bill is giving it all he's got, buying left and right with anything extra dollar he can scrape up. He believes in it. I get so worried that Bill is going to loose what he put in that I just buy a bit (.1BTC) so I will be invested enough to watch it, to know if Bill is up or down. You can guess what happens at this point. Up we go. Bill makes money, I make money. June 2016:(BTC $661) All is well. I am happy that Bill didn't lose his money and hoping he will take and re-invest his earnings in a more diversified portfolio. I'm worried about the ~$100 I made in earnings, like do I file this? (lol younger me) I meet with Bill for the first time in a while. I'm excited to share our gains. We both show our gains and cheers. He immediately tells me that he is looking at ways of taking out credit to buy more BTC.... WTF? I say. He quickly proceeds to tell me the banks turned him down, but he found out he can just buy BTC with credit cards... so he is filing 7 applications right now to see how many he can open to buy BTC... I think for a second. I do the rational thing. I try to talk him down, but no way. He's doing it. I don't know much about investment at this point, just math and percentages, but thats enough to make me beg him to not do it.... he doesn't listen. By my estimates Bill purchased a total of $30K worth of BTC with combined cash and credit on hand at (my best guess) an average price of $589 per BTC. I invest what I have to spare from savings to just keep up with the train wreck I am worried about happening to Bill. I think I have .2 BTC at this point just to keep up with his insane position August 2016: (BTC $576) The first dip comes, and Bill is facing credit card bills with interest rates that will kick in soon (he will not be able to make the minimum payments). We discuss is troubles at this point frequently. I suggest he should liquidate and close the cards. He disagrees, and liquidates only a position large enough to pay the minimums and give him a bit of cash. Not only that but he use the cash to secure short term loans at higher interest in order to re-invest to make up the losses. I once again beg him to re-consider, but no... this is his path. I once again invest more to keep up with it, so I can keep up with Bill and his well being. I purchase a good bit more and have .5 BTC November 2016: (BTC$758) I move to another city and mostly forget about my interactions with Bill. He messages me a few times about the price going back up and being bullish about it once again. I do the same song and dance of trying to warn him to close his cards and positions to get out while he can. Nope he's holding strong. Nothing to be done. I assume I can't do anything to help this situation. Once the price busts above $900/BTC even I can't say anything. I've made money, he's made bank. I feel happy for him, but once again concerned. I know he is running on margin and don't want him to get sucked in, but I also don't want to weigh in on such a big investment at this point. He texts me about the gains, I mostly just give the thumbs up back, knowing I can't back down at this point, but I don't want to be around him if it fails. Jun 2017: (BTC $3000) I have mostly lost touch with Bill because I live in another city. I never sold my BTC though, and I never forgot about him. Around Feb. 2017 I visited LA and saw Bill. I thanked him for making me the money that I held now in BTC. I asked him what he was doing with his stake. As always he was ready for the apocalypse to happen and for his BTC to be the only currency left somehow. He was holding stone cold. I wasn't persuading at this point, hell, I was holding myself. Dec 2017: (BTC $16000) While I thought I would never be swept up in the chaos that is BTC... I was. The amount of BTC I hadn't sold (.3BTC) was making even me feel like a genius. I had made so much money off just forgetting about something over months at a time. I often thought about Bill, but I didn't envy, in fact I really hoped he had paid off his credit card debts and was sitting on his fat profit. I watched BTC Youtube channels and debated if we would go to $100K or if this was it. I couldn't take the pressure and sold half my position @ around $16K/BTC 2018-2019 (BTC $20K -> $3.5K) (Epiloge) In early 2018 price went up to $20k before quickly falling back to 10K. Thankfully I sold the rest of my position on the way down at about the same point as on the way up ($16k). I bought a few back in 2019 but have never really put as much capital back in as I made. As for Bill, well I told you at the beginning. Bill is a millionaire. My best estimates based on my text with him is he cashed out @ around an average of $17k/BTC. Even after taxes, he ended up real nice. I don't know if he was in the run up in 2019 but I must assume he was. Looking at the market today, I'm not sure this story will repeat itself... maybe it will.
As promised in our previous article, we wanted to provide some extra clarity on Bitcoin Unlimited financial choices. We wanted to do this as there has been a lot of confusion and misinformation within the community as to the reasons behind these choices. It has been claimed by a small number of influential people in the ecosystem that Bitcoin Unlimited does not support BCH (see the previous article debunking this claim) and that BU’s holdings are supposedly evidence of this. Background Bitcoin Unlimited was founded in 2015, and was set up as a response to the Bitcoin block size debate. More specifically, it was created to provide software that allowed on-chain scaling as originally proposed by Satoshi Nakamoto. As we all know, on-chain scaling is a vital component required for peer-to-peer electronic cash to serve the world’s population. Without it Bitcoin would be limited to serving only a small number of people willing and able to pay exorbitantly high fees. Our organisation was created to make Bitcoin unlimited. This prediction of high fees and limited capacity was played out in the BTC we know today as we predicted. Bitcoin Unlimited received a large anonymous donation in BTC in 2016 from supporters of the ‘on-chain scaling’ movement. This donation allowed our organisation to remain independent and focussed on building software that allows on-chain scaling. As you all know, in August of 2017, Bitcoin Cash was created after an unsuccessful multi-year effort to allow Bitcoin (BTC) to scale on-chain. Bitcoin Cash was created with the goal of on-chain scaling to support the world’s population right at its heart and BU has been supporting it since the idea was originally formulated. Once Bitcoin Cash was created it also meant that all funds Bitcoin Unlimited held (BTC) were forked into two equal sets of coins, BTC and BCH. This put BU into a position where we had to make an important decision on how to handle these funds in a way that was in the interest of both BCH and BU.
Any organisation that wants to be effective in its goals must aim to always be financially sustainable. Without money, achieving anything becomes significantly more difficult. Cryptocurrencies only magnify this issue even further. Highly volatile asset values, opaque and dynamic tax and regulatory environments, and the unique properties of cryptocurrencies all contribute towards making the financial operations of an organisation an extreme challenge to say the least. Navigating this challenging landscape is a necessary requirement for the success of any organisation within our industry though. While Bitcoin Unlimited’s primary goal is to make sure peer-to-peer electronic cash (as set out in the Bitcoin white-paper) becomes a reality, a secondary goal must be to make sure that it has the resources required to make its primary goal achievable, and an important part of these resources are its funds. After Bitcoin forked into BTC and BCH, Bitcoin Unlimited then held an equal number of both. Although a BUIP was passed to authorize some extra conversion, significant practical obstacles to doing so exist (although this is still being worked on). However, since the overarching reason to convert a significant number of BTC to BCH is to maintain financial prudence based on the reasons outlined below and the poor BCH price performance has heavily skewed our holdings, we do anticipate some rebalancing when these obstacles are resolved. We will further expand on these reasons below. Historic Volatility It is a fact that BCH has historically been more volatile than BTC. An organisation that wishes to maintain a lower level of risk must aim to hold a majority of funds in assets which will maintain their value over time, i.e. be less volatile in their price. It is unfortunately true that BCH has been a more volatile asset than BCH since its creation. While there has been lots of progress and maturation of the BCH ecosystem, this price volatility is likely due to BCH still being a smaller and less developed ecosystem than BTC. The graphs below show levels of volatility in the two coins compared. BTC BCH This higher volatility in BCH has meant that to significantly increase BU’s holdings of BCH would expose the organisation to a higher level of risk for ideological reasons. BTC is already a high-volatility asset and to expose the organisation funds to even higher volatility and further risk is a decision that should not be taken based on simplistic ideology, but rather with the strategy of maximising the ability for the organisation to achieve its primary goals. This meant making the decision to not take on a higher exposure to price volatility, and instead maintain a more conservative risk profile.
Lack Of Say In The Protocol
One argument that has been put forward to suggest that this decision does not make sense because it is analogous to a CEO of a company holding more shares in their competitor’s company. This analogy does not accurately reflect the current scenario for BU or BCH. In this analogy BU is the CEO and BCH is the company. Ignoring the shareholders, A CEO is able to have the largest impact on a company compared to any other stakeholder. Their actions have a direct impact on operations of the company and therefore its value and the value of the shares. Unfortunately, Bitcoin Unlimited currently has little to no input on the BCH protocol. It has no way to directly influence the direction or success of BCH. There are two reasons for this. Firstly, BCH has a mining software homogeneity that is as centralised as BTC (i.e. essentially all miners and pools run a single client, BitcoinABC). This means that, all though BU has a slight majority in non-mining and in-consensus nodes, BU has no say in protocol decisions unless a collaborative and decentralised development model were to be used by BitcoinABC. This is an unfortunate situation considering the fact that the community split from BTC for this very reason and is strongly in support of decentralised development. Secondly, BitcoinABC does not take a collaborative approach to development. All decisions and features are dictated by BitcoinABC. In fact the situation is unfortunately even worse than this. BitcoinABC has decided to take an actively hostile position against Bitcoin Unlimited (and many other valuable participants in the ecosystem) and would rather that it did not exist at all.
Game Theory: The Strategy of Betting Against Yourself
Counter intuitively, a strategy where you bet against yourself can provide a beneficial low-risk profile. When you bet against yourself, if you lose you win and if you win you win. With BU’s current asset holdings of BCH and BTC the organisation is financially hedged in a way that it wins if BCH wins, and if BTC wins then BU lives to fight another day for worldwide peer-to-peer electronic cash. If BTC goes down and BCH goes up then it means BCH is succeeding, and our funds in BCH will sustain us for longer. Not only that, but there would likely be more funds available for BCH development in this scenario. If BTC goes up and BCH goes down then BU will be sustained for longer to continue the fight for BCH and peer-to-peer electronic cash. This is very similar to the strategy of BCH-supporting miners mining on BTC and then converting the BTC block rewards into BCH in an effort to use BTC gains to support BCH price. BU is similarly using its gains in BTC and converting them to efforts and initiatives in support of BCH. In doing so Bitcoin Unlimited is able to turn any BTC win into a positive for BCH.
It has been suggested that the situation created by holding a larger portion of funds in BTC than in BCH creates negative incentives that push BU towards supporting BTC. It is important to keep in mind that Bitcoin Unlimited is not a profit driven organisation. While an increase in value of its assets is of course beneficial to the organisation, our primary goal is to accelerate the global adoption of peer-to-peer electronic cash as described in the Bitcoin white-paper, and the officials, membership and founding articles of Bitcoin Unlimited are the driving force for this. It is also important to point out that there is no evidence to support the claim that BU is in support of BTC (or BSV). In fact the voting record clearly shows the opposite of this. BU has continually worked in support of peer-to-peer electronic cash, and specifically in support of BCH since it was created. This is thanks to the strong commitment by the BU officials and members, all of whom are long time Bitcoiners and supporters of the ‘on-chain scaling’ movement. The only members who receive any payment from the organisation are those who provide significant value in the form of various skilled services, and all of these are voted on by the membership. The BUIP record also shows that compensated individuals are often compensated at far under market rates for developers of their caliber. Should the price of BTC increase, no member receives any direct benefit from this beyond any appreciation in value of any BTC they privately hold. Therefore there are no strong incentives for BU to drive the price of BTC up and push the price of BCH down as this would be counter to our primary goal.
Has This Strategy Been Successful?
Bitcoin Unlimited and its members, all being long-time Bitcoiners, are acutely aware of the need to play the long game to make sure a globally adopted peer-to-peer electronic cash becomes a reality. BU is the oldest entity within the BCH ecosystem and with good reason. The financial strategy of BU to date has been highly effective in sustaining the organisation over a long period of time, and allowing it to independently support BCH development initiatives. This is made clear by the fact that BU continues to have enough funding to provide value to the BCH ecosystem for the foreseeable future. Had BU converted all funds to BCH at, or at almost any point after, the time of the BCH/BTC fork in August 2017, then for much of the time since it would have been forced to either scale back operations or shut down support for BCH developers completely. We now see development teams such as BitcoinABC facing the prospect of being unable to fund their development of BCH, and their financial strategy may have contributed to this reality. This is despite the fact that nearly all the funds donated in the recent community funding drive sponsored by bitcoin.com were directed towards BitcoinABC. Lack of a sustainable funding model also seems to have been a major factor in pushing BitcoinABC to make the highly controversial decision to support a change to the BCH protocol that would divert 12.5% of the block reward to themselves. Being financially prudent and sticking to its principles (as defined in the founding Articles of Federation has allowed Bitcoin Unlimited to steer clear of any conflicts of interest such as this.
Through its financial strategy Bitcoin Unlimited has been able to maintain its independence and financial sustainability and has therefore remained in a strong position to support Bitcoin Cash. BU’s officials and membership have continually made good decisions that have allowed BU to provide long-term support for the Bitcoin Cash ecosystem.
The One Thing EVERYONE Must Know About the Dev Funding Plan: IT'S COMPLETELY FREE.
sigh I get so tired of having to stop working to put out a post explaining issues. If anyone else wants to join in I could use help. (actually I've seen Jonald F. do this before too, so thanks JF!) Things are bad when even developers don't understand what's going on. So I'll try to clearly explain an important point on the Dev Funding Plan (DFP from now on) for the community: it's completely free. Yet we still get panicked posts saying Please Save Us from the TAX!!! Somebody Help! You may be for or against the DFP, but either way please at least understand what you're forming an opinion on. Let's start from the beginning. We know Bitcoin works on blocks and block coin rewards. The block reward, which started at 50 coins per block, and cuts in half approximately every 4 years, serves two purposes: it's a fair way to bring coins into circulation, but more importantly it provides security for the network. For simplicity, please think of "security" as being measured in power bars. When the network first started, with just Satoshi and Hal Finney, there was 1 power bar. This power bar was made up of the electricity their combined computer hardware used to find blocks. They were the first miners. Bitcoin uses a difficulty level to adjust how hard or easy it is to find blocks. This level is important for a key reason: we want the inflation rate of coins (how fast they come into circulation) to stay about the same, regardless how many miners (computing power) suddenly comes online. If the difficulty is set at super easy, but suddenly a super computer comes online that computer can gobble up thousands of coins in minutes if not seconds, creating massive rapid inflation. So the first thing to understand is that due to the Difficulty Level Adjustment the rate of coins coming into circulation will always stay about the same, regardless how many miners join or leave the network. Getting back to power bars. So the point of Bitcoin is there is no center, no fixed authority. The problem is we still need a decision made about which chain is valid. This is where proof-of-work comes in. Satoshi's fairly brilliant solution to a consensus decision, with no leader, was to simply look for the longest chain (technically the chain with most hashing work). The reasoning was: as there are far more ordinary people than there are governments and dictators a Bitcoin supported by the all the world's people should always be able to muster more hashrate than even rich governments. So Bitcoin began and people saw the brilliance: even with a weak power bar level of 1 (a couple computers), Bitcoin was safe from 51% attacks and attacking govs competing for control of the chain because a super low hashrate meant Bitcoin wasn't popular and govs wouldn't bother paying attention. By the time Bitcoin was big enough for govs to worry about attacking it should also have so many participants the power bar level would be far higher, providing strong defense. Let's say the ideal power bar level is 50,000. At this level no government on earth has enough resources to beat the grassroots network. We hear people brag about how much security BTC has. However, the marketcap for all of BTC is about $160B. Countries like the U.S. and China have GDP measured in many trillions; a trillion is 1,000 billion. Does 160B really seem untouchable? For numeric comparison the main U.S. federal food assistance program cost the government $70B in 2016, representing about 2% of the budget. So the entirety of the BTC market cap is about twice the size of one welfare program, representing 2% of the overall budget. Where should we place the current security power bars if we want guaranteed safety from a determined U.S. gov? If 50,000 is guaranteed safe we're far from it. I'd say BTC is more like 5,000. That's still pretty decent. Of course, BCH split from BTC... and didn't carry over all the miners and accompanying security. That's not an immediate concern because if BTC isn't on government's radar yet BCH sure isn't. However, that doesn't mean BCH doesn't need security from hostile forces. It's still a valuable network and needs defenses. Where would we put power bars for BCH? If BTC is 5,000 and BCH only has 3% of that hashrate then BCH has just 150. That's it. How the Developer Funding Plan Works Back to the DFP. What this says is as a community we agree to break off a piece of the block reward and instead of giving 100% to miners we give a small percent to developers. If each block is 10 coins and the price is $300 then winning a block means winning $3,000. Of course that's not all profit because miners have electricity and other expenses to pay before calculating profit. So if we reduce the portion of the miner reward by 10% so they get just 9 coins per block yet the price stays the same what happens? It means miners receive $2,700 for the same effort. We've just made it more expensive to mine BCH from the point of view of miners. What would any miner then rationally do? Seek profitability elsewhere if available. Suddenly BTC SHA256 hashing looks slightly more attractive so they'll go there. Hashrate leaves BCH and goes to BTC, but the key important point is BOTH chains have a difficulty adjustment algorithm which adjusts to account for rising or lowering miners overall, which keeps the coin inflation rate steady. This means BTC total hashrate rises (more miners compete for BTC) and its Difficulty Level rises accordingly, so the same rate of BTC pumps out; on BCH total hashrate falls (less miners compete for BCH) and its Difficulty falls, so the same rate of BCH pumps out. Inflation remains about the same on both coins so the price of both coins doesn't change any, beyond what it normally does based on news/events etc. So what difference is there? The difference is total network security. Hashrate totals have changed. BTC gains more miner securing hashrate while BCH loses it. So BTC goes from 5,000 to say 5,100 power bars. BCH goes from about 150 to 140. Does any of that matter in the grand scheme of things? Not in the slightest. Part of the reason is due to our emergency circumstances with BCH we had to rework our security model. Our primary defense is an idea I came up with, which BitcoinABC implemented, saying it's not sheer hashpower that dictates what chain we follow. We won't replace a chain we're working on if a new one suddenly appears if it means changing more than 10 blocks deep of history. This prevents all the threatening hashrate hanging over our heads from mining a secret chain and creating havoc unleashing it causing 10+ confimed txs to be undone, while exchanges, gambling sites etc. have long since paid out real world money. Switching $6M worth of block rewards from mining to devs just means we lose a bit of hashrate security, while we gain those funds for development. Nothing more. Nobody holding BCH pays in the form of inflation or any other way. It costs literally NOTHING BECAUSE The block reward is ALREADY ALLOCATED. It will EITHER go 100% to mining security if we do nothing, or go to both miners and devs if the plan is put into effect. Hopefully this helps. :) TL;DR: we switch security which we don't really need, for developer funding which we do.
An extensive guide for cashing out bitcoin and cryptocurrencies into private banks
Hey guys. Merry Xmas ! I am coming back to you with a follow up post, as I have helped many people cash out this year and I have streamlined the process. After my original post, I received many requests to be more specific and provide more details. I thought that after the amazing rally we have been attending over the last few months, and the volatility of the last few days, it would be interesting to revisit more extensively. The attitude of banks around crypto is changing slowly, but it is still a tough stance. For the first partial cash out I operated around a year ago for a client, it took me months to find a bank. They wouldn’t want to even consider the case and we had to knock at each and every door. Despite all my contacts it was very difficult back in the days. This has changed now, and banks have started to open their doors, but there is a process, a set of best practices and codes one has to follow. I often get requests from crypto guys who are very privacy-oriented, and it takes me months to have them understand that I am bound by Swiss law on banking secrecy, and I am their ally in this onboarding process. It’s funny how I have to convince people that banks are legit, while on the other side, banks ask me to show that crypto millionaires are legit. I have a solid background in both banking and in crypto so I manage to make the bridge, but yeah sometimes it is tough to reconcile the two worlds. I am a crypto enthusiast myself and I can say that after years of work in the banking industry I have grown disillusioned towards banks as well, like many of you. Still an account in a Private bank is convenient and powerful. So let’s get started.
A. What is required to open an account in a Private bank when you made your fortune through crypto.
There are two different aspects to your onboarding in a Swiss Private bank, compliance-wise. *The origin of your crypto wealth *Your background (residence, citizenship and probity) These two aspects must be documented in-depth. How to document your crypto wealth. Each new crypto millionaire has a different story. I may detail a few fun stories later in this post, but at the end of the day, most of crypto rich I have met can be categorized within the following profiles: the miner, the early adopter, the trader, the corporate entity, the black market, the libertarian/OTC buyer. The real question is how you prove your wealth is legit. 1. Context around the original amount/investment Generally speaking, your first crypto purchase may not be documented. But the context around this acquisition can be. I have had many cases where the original amount was bought through Mtgox, and no proof of purchase could be provided, nor could be documented any Mtgox claim. That’s perfectly fine. At some point Mtgox amounted 70% of the bitcoin transactions globally, and people who bought there and managed to withdraw and keep hold of their bitcoins do not have any Mtgox claim. This is absolutely fine. However, if you can show me the record of a wire from your bank to Tisbane (Mtgox's parent company) it's a great way to start. Otherwise, what I am trying to document here is the following: I need context. If you made your first purchase by saving from summer jobs, show me a payroll. Even if it was USD 2k. If you acquired your first bitcoins from mining, show me the bills of your mining equipment from 2012 or if it was through a pool mine, give me your slushpool account ref for instance. If you were given bitcoin against a service you charged, show me an invoice. 2. Tracking your wealth until today and making sense of it. What I have been doing over the last few months was basically educating compliance officers. Thanks God, the blockchain is a global digital ledger! I have been telling my auditors and compliance officers they have the best tool at their disposal to lead a proper investigation. Whether you like it or not, your wealth can be tracked, from address to address. You may have thought all along this was a bad feature, but I am telling you, if you want to cash out, in the context of Private Banking onboarding, tracking your wealth through the block explorer is a boon. We can see the inflows, outflows. We can see the age behind an address. An early adopter who bought 1000 BTC in 2010, and let his bitcoin behind one address and held thus far is legit, whether or not he has a proof of purchase to show. That’s just common sense. My job is to explain that to the banks in a language they understand. Let’s have a look at a few examples and how to document the few profiles I mentioned earlier. The trader. I love traders. These are easy cases. I have a ton of respect for them. Being a trader myself in investment banks for a decade earlier in my career has taught me that controlling one’s emotions and having the discipline to impose oneself some proper risk management system is really really hard. Further, being able to avoid the exchange bankruptcy and hacks throughout crypto history is outstanding. It shows real survival instinct, or just plain blissed ignorance. In any cases traders at exchange are easy cases to corroborate since their whole track record is potentially available. Some traders I have met have automated their trading and have shown me more than 500k trades done over the span of 4 years. Obviously in this kind of scenario I don’t show everything to the bank to avoid information overload, and prefer to do some snacking here and there. My strategy is to show the early trades, the most profitable ones, explain the trading strategy and (partially expose) the situation as of now with id pages of the exchanges and current balance. Many traders have become insensitive to the risk of parking their crypto at exchange as they want to be able to trade or to grasp an occasion any minute, so they generally do not secure a substantial portion on the blockchain which tends to make me very nervous. The early adopter. Provided that he has not mixed his coin, the early adopter or “hodler” is not a difficult case either. Who cares how you bought your first 10k btc if you bought them below 3$ ? Even if you do not have a purchase proof, I would generally manage to find ways. We just have to corroborate the original 30’000 USD investment in this case. I mainly focus on three things here: *proof of early adoption I have managed to educate some banks on a few evidences specifically related to crypto markets. For instance with me, an old bitcointalk account can serve as a proof of early adoption. Even an old reddit post from a few years ago where you say how much you despise this Ripple premined scam can prove to be a treasure readily available to show you were early. *story telling Compliance officers like to know when, why and how. They are human being looking for simple answers to simple questions and they don’t want like to be played fool. Telling the truth, even without a proof can do wonders, and even though bluffing might still work because banks don’t fully understand bitcoin yet, it is a risky strategy that is less and less likely to pay off as they are getting more sophisticated by the day. *micro transaction from an old address you control This is the killer feature. Send a $20 worth transaction from an old address to my company wallet and to one of my partner bank’s wallet and you are all set ! This is gold and considered a very solid piece of evidence. You can also do a microtransaction to your own wallet, but banks generally prefer transfer to their own wallet. Patience with them please. they are still learning. *signature message Why do a micro transaction when you can sign a message and avoid potentially tainting your coins ? *ICO millionaire Some clients made their wealth participating in ETH crowdsale or IOTA ICO. They were very easy to deal with obviously and the account opening was very smooth since we could evidence the GENESIS TxHash flow. The miner Not so easy to proof the wealth is legit in that case. Most early miners never took screenshot of the blocks on bitcoin core, nor did they note down the block number of each block they mined. Until the the Slashdot article from August 2010 anyone could mine on his laptop, let his computer run overnight and wake up to a freshly minted block containing 50 bitcoins back in the days. Not many people were structured enough to store and secure these coins, avoid malwares while syncing the blockchain continuously, let alone document the mined blocks in the process. What was 50 BTC worth really for the early miners ? dust of dollars, games and magic cards… Even miners post 2010 are generally difficult to deal with in terms of compliance onboarding. Many pool mining are long dead. Deepbit is down for instance and the founders are MIA. So my strategy to proof mining activity is as follow: *Focusing on IT background whenever possible. An IT background does help a lot to bring some substance to the fact you had the technical ability to operate a mining rig. *Showing mining equipment receipts. If you mined on your own you must have bought the hardware to do so. For instance mining equipment receipts from butterfly lab from 2012-2013 could help document your case. Similarly, high electricity bill from your household on a consistent basis back in the day could help. I have already unlocked a tricky case in the past with such documents when the bank was doubtful. *Wallet.dat files with block mining transactions from 2011 thereafter This obviously is a fantastic piece of evidence for both you and me if you have an old wallet and if you control an address that received original mined blocks, (even if the wallet is now empty). I will make sure compliance officers understand what it means, and as for the early adopter, you can prove your control over these wallet through a microtransaction. With these kind of addresses, I can show on the block explorer the mined block rewards hitting at regular time interval, and I can even spot when difficulty level increased or when halvening process happened. *Poolmining account. Here again I have educated my partner bank to understand that a slush account opened in 2013 or an OnionTip presence was enough to corroborate mining activity. The block explorer then helps me to do the bridge with your current wallet. *Describing your set up and putting it in context In the history of mining we had CPU, GPU, FPG and ASICs mining. I will describe your technical set up and explain why and how your set up was competitive at that time. The corporate entity Remember 2012 when we were all convinced bitcoin would take over the world, and soon everyone would pay his coffee in bitcoin? How naïve we were to think transaction fees would remain low forever. I don’t blame bitcoin cash supporters; I once shared this dream as well. Remember when we thought global adoption was right around the corner and some brick and mortar would soon accept bitcoin transaction as a common mean of payment? Well, some shop actually did accept payment and held. I had a few cases as such of shops holders, who made it to the multi million mark holding and had invoices or receipts to proof the transactions. If you are organized enough to keep a record for these trades and are willing to cooperate for the documentation, you are making your life easy. The digital advertising business is also a big market for the bitcoin industry, and affiliates partner compensated in btc are common. It is good to show an invoice, it is better to show a contract. If you do not have a contract (which is common since all advertising deals are about ticking a check box on the website to accept terms and conditions), there are ways around that. If you are in that case, pm me. The black market Sorry guys, I can’t do much for you officially. Not that I am judging you. I am a libertarian myself. It’s just already very difficult to onboard legit btc adopters, so the black market is a market I cannot afford to consider. My company is regulated so KYC and compliance are key for me if I want to stay in business. Behind each case I push forward I am risking the credibility and reputation I have built over the years. So I am sorry guys I am not risking it to make an extra buck. Your best hope is that crypto will eventually take over the world and you won’t need to cash out anyway. Or go find a Lithuanian bank that is light on compliance and cooperative. The OTC buyer and the libertarian. Generally a very difficult case. If you bought your stack during your journey in Japan 5 years ago to a guy you never met again; or if you accumulated on https://localbitcoins.com/ and kept no record or lost your account, it is going to be difficult. Not impossible but difficult. We will try to build a case with everything else we have, and I may be able to onboard you. However I am risking a lot here so I need to be 100% confident you are legit, before I defend you. Come & see me in Geneva, and we will talk. I will run forensic services like elliptic, chainalysis, or scorechain on an extract of your wallet. If this scan does not raise too many red flags, then maybe we can work together ! If you mixed your coins all along your crypto history, and shredded your seeds because you were paranoid, or if you made your wealth mining professionally monero over the last 3 years but never opened an account at an exchange. ¯_(ツ)_/¯ I am not a magician and don’t get me wrong, I love monero, it’s not the point. Cashing out ICOs Private companies or foundations who have ran an ICO generally have a very hard time opening a bank account. The few banks that accept such projects would generally look at 4 criteria: *Seriousness of the project Extensive study of the whitepaper to limit the reputation risk *AML of the onboarding process ICOs 1.0 have no chance basically if a background check of the investors has not been conducted *Structure of the moral entity List of signatories, certificate of incumbency, work contract, premises... *Fiscal conformity Did the company informed the authorities and seek a fiscal ruling.
B. The tax issue I am not a tax specialist, but I can say that this year I have seen it all. Again I am not judging. You made $100m hodling, and still wouldn’t pay your taxes ? Your decision.I personally advise everyone to pay their taxes, but also to be generous, to give to charities. I mean you eventually made it. Good for you. What about you contribute to make the world a better place now? I will stop patronizing you. It’s just my 2cts, and it’s your money.
For the record, I am not into the tax avoidance business, so people come to me with a set up and I see if I can make it work within the legal framework imposed to me. First, stop thinking Switzerland is a “offshore heaven” Swiss banks have made deals with many governments for the exchange of fiscal information. If you are a French citizen, resident in France and want to open an account in a Private Bank in Switzerland to cash out your bitcoins, you will get slaughtered (>60%). There are ways around that, and I could refer you to good tax specialists for fiscal optimization, but I cannot organize it myself. It would be illegal for me. Swiss private banks makes it easy for you to keep a good your relation with your retail bank and continue paying your bills without headaches. They are integrated to SEPA, provide ebanking and credit cards. For information, these are the kind of set up some of my clients came up with. It’s all legal; obviously I do not onboard clients that are not tax compliant. Further disclaimer: I did not contribute myself to these set up. Do not ask me to organize it for you. I won’t. EU tricks Swiss lump sum taxation Foreign nationals resident in Switzerland can be taxed on a lump-sum basis if they are not gainfully employed in our country. Under the lump-sum tax regime, foreign nationals taking residence in Switzerland may choose to pay an expense-based tax instead of ordinary income and wealth tax. Attractive cantons for the lump sum taxation are Zug, Vaud, Valais, Grisons, Lucerne and Berne. To make it short, you will be paying somewhere between 200 and 400k a year and all expenses will be deductible. Switzerland has adopted a very friendly attitude towards crypto currency in general. There is a whole crypto valley in Zug now. 30% of ICOs are operated in Switzerland. The reason is that Switzerland has thrived for centuries on banking secrecy, and today with FATCA and exchange of fiscal info with EU, banking secrecy is dead. Regulators in Switzerland have understood that digital ledger technologies were a way to roll over this competitive advantage for the generations to come. Switzerland does not tax capital gains on crypto profits. The Finma has a very pragmatic approach. They have issued guidance- updated guidelines here. They let the business get organized and operate their analysis on a case per case basis. Only after getting a deep understanding of the market will they issue a global fintech license in 2019. This approach is much more realistic than legislations which try to regulate everything beforehand. Italy new tax exemption. It’s a brand new fiscal exemption. Go to Aoste, get residency and you could be taxed a 100k/year for 10years. Yes, really. Portugal What’s crazy in Europe is the lack of fiscal harmonization. Even if no one in Brussels dares admit it, every other country is doing fiscal dumping. Portugal is such a country and has proved very friendly fiscally speaking. I personally have a hard time trusting Europe. I have witnessed what happened in Greece over the last few years. Some of our ultra high net worth clients got stuck with capital controls. I mean no way you got out of crypto to have your funds confiscated at the next financial crisis! Anyway. FYI Malta Generally speaking, if you get a residence somewhere you have to live there for a certain period of time. Being stuck in Italy is no big deal with Schengen Agreement, but in Malta it is a different story. In Malta, the ordinary residence scheme is more attractive than the HNWI residence scheme. Being an individual, you can hold a residence permit under this scheme and pay zero income tax in Malta in a completely legal way. Monaco Not suitable for French citizens, but for other Ultra High Net worth individual, Monaco is worth considering. You need an account at a local bank as a proof of fortune, and this account generally has to be seeded with at least EUR500k. You also need a proof of residence. I do mean UHNI because if you don’t cash out minimum 30m it’s not interesting. Everything is expensive in Monaco. Real Estate is EUR 50k per square meter. A breakfast at Monte Carlo Bay hotel is 70 EUR. Monaco is sunny but sometimes it feels like a golden jail. Do you really want that for your kids? Dubaï
Set up a company in Dubaï, get your resident card.
Spend one day every 6 month there
Be tax free
US tricks Some Private banks in Geneva do have the license to manage the assets of US persons and U.S citizens. However, do not think it is a way to avoid paying taxes in the US. Opening an account at an authorized Swiss Private banks is literally the same tax-wise as opening an account at Fidelity or at Bank of America in the US. The only difference is that you will avoid all the horror stories. Horror stories are all real by the way. In Switzerland, if you build a decent case and answer all the questions and corroborate your case in depth, you will manage to convince compliance officers beforehand. When the money eventually hits your account, it is actually available and not frozen. The IRS and FATCA require to file FBAR if an offshore account is open. However FBAR is a reporting requirement and does not have taxes related to holding an account outside the US. The taxes would be the same if the account was in the US. However penalties for non compliance with FBAR are very large. The tax liability management is actually performed through the management of the assets ( for exemple by maximizing long term capital gains and minimizing short term gains). The case for Porto Rico. Full disclaimer here. I am not encouraging this. Have not collaborated on such tax avoidance schemes. if you are interested I strongly encourage you to seek a tax advisor and get a legal opinion. I am not responsible for anything written below. I am not going to say much because I am so afraid of uncle Sam that I prefer to humbly pass the hot potato to pwc From here all it takes is a good advisor and some creativity to be tax free on your crypto wealth if you are a US person apparently. Please, please please don’t ask me more. And read the disclaimer again. Trust tricks Generally speaking I do not accept fringe fiscal situation because it puts me in a difficult situation to the banks I work with, and it is already difficult enough to defend a legit crypto case. Trust might be a way to optimize your fiscal situation. Belize. Bahamas. Seychelles. Panama, You name it. At the end of the day, what matters for Swiss Banks are the beneficial owner and the settlor. Get a legal opinion, get it done, and when you eventually knock at a private bank’s door, don’t say it was for fiscal avoidance you stupid ! You will get the door smashed upon you. Be smarter. It will work. My advice is just to have it done by a great tax specialist lawyer, even if it costs you some money, as the entity itself needs to be structured in a professional way. Remember that with trust you are dispossessing yourself off your wealth. Not something to be taken lightly. “Anonymous” cash out. Right. I think I am not going into this topic, neither expose the ways to get it done. Pm me for details. I already feel a bit uncomfortable with all the info I have provided. I am just going to mention many people fear that crypto exchange might become reporting entities soon, and rightly so. This might happen anyday. You have been warned. FYI, this only works for non-US and large cash out. The difference between traders an investors. Danmark, Holland and Germany all make a huge difference if you are a passive investor or if you are a trader. ICO is considered investing for instance and is not taxed, while trading might be considered as income and charged aggressively. I would try my best to protect you and put a focus on your investor profile whenever possible, so you don't have to pay 52% tax if you do not have to :D
C. The cash out itself So you have accumulated patiently a good amount of wealth. For some of us who have been involved in crypto since 2010, it took years. Remember when BTC was stuck at 200$ for months? I personally feel like it was yesterday. There is no way you screw up your wealth by cashing out in a hurry or with low security standards. Here is how the cash out takes should place.
Full cash out or partial cash out? People who have been sitting on crypto for long have grown an emotional and irrational link with their coins. They come to me and say, look, I have 50m in crypto but I would like to cash out 500k only. So first let me tell you that as a wealth manager my advice to you is to take some off the table. Doing a partial cash out is absolutely fine. The market is bullish. We are witnessing a redistribution of wealth at a global scale. Bitcoin is the real #occupywallstreet, and every one will discuss crypto at Xmas eve which will make the market even more supportive beginning 2018, especially with all hedge funds entering the scene. If you want to stay exposed to bitcoin and altcoins, and believe these techs will change the world, it’s just natural you want to keep some coins. In the meantime, if you have lived off pizzas over the last years, and have the means to now buy yourself an nice house and have an account at a private bank, then f***ing do it mate ! Buy physical gold with this account, buy real estate, have some cash at hands. Even though US dollar is worthless to your eyes, it’s good and convenient to have some. Also remember your wife deserves it ! And if you have no wife yet and you are socially awkward like the rest of us, then maybe cashing out partially will help your situation ;) What the Private Banks expect. Joke aside, it is important you understand something. If you come around in Zurich to open a bank account and partially cash out, just don’t expect Private Banks will make an exception for you if you are small. You can’t ask them to facilitate your cash out, buy a 1m apartment with the proceeds of the sale, and not leave anything on your current account. It won’t work. Sadly, under 5m you are considered small in private banking. The bank is ok to let you open an account, provided that your kyc and compliance file are validated, but they will also want you to become a client and leave some money there to invest. This might me despicable, but I am just explaining you their rules. If you want to cash out, you should sell enough to be comfortable and have some left. Also expect the account opening to last at least 3-4 week if everything goes well. You can't just open an account overnight. The cash out logistics. Cashing out 1m USD a day in bitcoin or more is not so hard. Let me just tell you this: Even if you get a Tier 4 account with Kraken and ask Alejandro there to raise your limit over $100k per day, Even if you have a bitfinex account and you are willing to expose your wealth there, Even if you have managed to pass all the crazy due diligence at Bitstamp, The amount should be fractioned to avoid risking your full wealth on exchange and getting slaughtered on the price by trading big quantities. Cashing out involves significant risks at all time. There is a security risk of compromising your keys, a counterparty risk, a fat finger risk. Let it be done by professionals. It is worth every single penny. Most importantly, there is a major difference between trading on an exchange and trading OTC. Even though it’s not publicly disclosed some exchange like Kraken do have OTC desks. Trading on an exchange for a large amount will weight on the prices. Bitcoin is a thin market. In my opinion over 30% of the coins are lost in translation forever. Selling $10m on an exchange in a day can weight on the prices more than you’d think. And if you trade on a exchange, everything is shown on record, and you might wipe out the prices because on exchanges like bitstamp or kraken ultimately your counterparties are retail investors and the market depth is not huge. It is a bit better on Bitfinex. It is way better to trade OTC. Accessing the institutional OTC market is not easy, and that is also the reason why you should ask a regulated financial intermediary if we are talking about huge amounts. Last point, always chose EUR as opposed to USD. EU correspondent banks won’t generally block institutional amounts. However we had the cases of USD funds frozen or delayed by weeks. Most well-known OTC desks are Cumberlandmining (ask for Lucas), Genesis (ask for Martin), Bitcoin Suisse AG (ask for Niklas), circletrade, B2C2, or Altcoinomy (ask for Olivier) Very very large whales can also set up escrow accounts for massive block trades. This world, where blocks over 30k BTC are exchanged between 2 parties would deserve a reddit thread of its own. Crazyness all around. Your options: DIY or going through a regulated financial intermediary. Execution trading is a job in itself. You have to be patient, be careful not to wipe out the order book and place limit orders, monitor the market intraday for spikes or opportunities. At big levels, for a large cash out that may take weeks, these kind of details will save you hundred thousands of dollars. I understand crypto holders are suspicious and may prefer to do it by themselves, but there are regulated entities who now offer the services. Besides, being a crypto millionaire is not a guarantee you will get institutional daily withdrawal limits at exchange. You might, but it will take you another round of KYC with them, and surprisingly this round might be even more aggressive that the ones at Private banks since exchange have gone under intense scrutiny by regulators lately. The fees for cashing out through a regulated financial intermediary to help you with your cash out should be around 1-2% flat on the nominal, not more. And for this price you should get the full package: execution/monitoring of the trades AND onboarding in a private bank. If you are asked more, you are being abused. Of course, you also have the option to do it yourself. It is a way more tedious and risky process. Compliance with the exchange, compliance with the private bank, trading BTC/fiat, monitoring the transfers…You will save some money but it will take you some time and stress. Further, if you approach a private bank directly, it will trigger a series of red flag to the banks. As I said in my previous post, they call a direct approach a “walk-in”. They will be more suspicious than if you were introduced by someone and won’t hesitate to show you high fees and load your portfolio with in-house products that earn more money to the banks than to you. Remember also most banks still do not understand crypto so you will have a lot of explanations to provide and you will have to start form scratch with them! The paradox of crypto millionaires Most of my clients who made their wealth through crypto all took massive amount of risks to end up where they are. However, most of them want their bank account to be managed with a low volatility fixed income capital preservation risk profile. This is a paradox I have a hard time to explain and I think it is mainly due to the fact that most are distrustful towards banks and financial markets in general. Many clients who have sold their crypto also have a cash-out blues in the first few months. This is a classic situation. The emotions involved in hodling for so long, the relief that everything has eventually gone well, the life-changing dynamics, the difficulties to find a new motivation in life…All these elements may trigger a post cash-out depression. It is another paradox of the crypto rich who has every card in his hand to be happy, but often feel a bit sad and lonely. Sometimes, even though it’s not my job, I had to do some psychological support. A lot of clients have also become my friends, because we have the same age and went through the same “ordeal”. First world problem I know… Remember, cashing out is not the end. It’s actually the beginning. Don’t look back, don’t regret. Cash out partially, because it does not make sense to cash out in full, regret it and want back in. relax. The race to cash out crypto billionaire and the concept of late exiter. The Winklevoss brothers are obviously the first of a series. There will be crypto billionaires. Many of them. At a certain level you can have a whole family office working for you to manage your assets and take care of your needs . However, let me tell you it’s is not because you made it so big that you should think you are a genius and know everything better than anyone. You should hire professionals to help you. Managing assets require some education around the investment vehicles and risk management strategies. Sorry guys but with all the respect I have for wallstreebet, AMD and YOLO stock picking, some discipline is necessary. The investors who have made money through crypto are generally early adopters. However I have started to see another profile popping up. They are not early adopters. They are late exiters. It is another way but just as efficient. Last week I met the first crypto millionaire I know who first bough bitcoin over 1000$. 55k invested at the beginning of this year. Late adopter & late exiter is a route that can lead to the million. Last remarks. I know banks, bankers, and FIAT currencies are so last century. I know some of you despise them and would like to have them burn to the ground. With compliance officers taking over the business, I would like to start the fire myself sometimes. I hope this extensive guide has helped some of you. I am around if you need more details. I love my job despite all my frustration towards the banking industry because it makes me meet interesting people on a daily basis. I am a crypto enthusiast myself, and I do think this tech is here to stay and will change the world. Banks will have to adapt big time. Things have started to change already; they understand the threat is real. I can feel the generational gap in Geneva, with all these old bankers who don’t get what’s going on. They glaze at the bitcoin chart on CNBC in disbelief and they start to get it. This bitcoin thing is not a joke. Deep inside, as an early adopter who also intends to be a late exiter, as a libertarian myself, it makes me smile with satisfaction. Cheers. @swisspb on telegram
My wife (32F) is threatening to leave me if I (30M) don't get what she considers help for my depression. This isn't the first time she has threatened to leave me.
This is going to be a long post. I met my wife online 8 years ago. We lived across the country from each other and kept a long distance relationship going well, and go the opportunity to see each other every few months for weeks at a time. We would fall asleep on Skype together every night, text each other throughout the day, and phone each other when we had time to talk or wanted to play games together. In 2013 after a year and a half of dating I asked her to marry me and she said yes. I was overjoyed! I had spent my highschool years as the guy that everyone avoided because my mother had been sending me to therapy for over 10 years for issues that may have been real at the time of my childhood, but regressed as I grew into adulthood. I would routinely take a cocktail of 8 different medications in the morning and before bed, and my friends are the time would better describe me as a zombie over a functional human being. I had issues holding conversation, would regularly space out, could not perform sexually, and could not get good grades in college. After I got married to my wife, we got an apartment together, and I stopped my medication cold turkey of my own volition. I was a new man, I no longer any of my previous issues and I felt free and full of life. I never resented my mother because she only had my best interests in mind, and was not doing sending me to therapy and keeping me medicated for her own peace of mind. My parents gave me a great life growing up and gave me everything I ever wanted, being from an upper class household, they bought me a brand new car for college, anything I wanted growing up, and would support me financially on almost anything I wanted within reason. My college was fully paid for and I went to one of the best private schools in the area while growing up. I had been to every continent in the world, visited tons of grand architecture and theme parks, and seen so many wonderful things, and I was looking forward to sharing that life with my new wife. My wife did not have the upbringing I did. She was the second oldest of 6 children. Growing up, she did not get any luxury. From having to work a summer job to buy her own school supplies and clothes, to dealing with an elder brother that sexually assaulted her every month while her parents slept, to a junkie father that would work odd jobs only to get money to get high, and a mother that worked 3 jobs to keep a roof over her children's head, her child hood was not easy. Her parents got divorced when she was 17, after being together for 23 years. Her father never gave her any love despite her efforts, she would regularly make love notes and lunches for him growing up, only to find them crumpled up and thrown in the trash and never responded to. Her elder brother would force her to give him oral at least a few times a month from the age of 15-16 while everyone in the house was asleep. Her father left and had no contact with her since she was 19, only showing back up in her life for our wedding, just to disappear again. He hasn't spoken to her in 4 years now. Before we got married, I flew out to meet her, and we packed up everything she owned and put it in her car. We drove 2900 miles across the US to move her into our house with my parents, and after we got married, my parents paid for us to get an apartment near their house. We were so happy! After we moved in together after getting married, we both were young, only 23 and 25. We worked fast food and don't have a lot of money, surviving on only a hundred dollars of food a month. But, because we were together, everything was ok. Or so I thought. My wife has constantly struggled with insecurity since we got married. We made sure when we got married that we would keep our finances separate. She was a bad money manager and didn't want to "ruin me" like she had ruined herself. She would break down sometimes for no reason begging me not to leave her, and I have never done anything to make it seem like I was. My parents decided that since I had gotten married and was doing OK, they were going to give me part of my inheritance up front. I took this money to pay off all our debt, I paid off half her student loans, and I would take care of any issues that came up for her that she couldn't handle without complaint. She crashed her car, I helped her buy a new one, she couldn't pay a bill, no problem, I've got her covered. Anything she felt she couldn't handle, I was always right there to support her. Near the end of our first year together, my wife for some reason had reached the end of her rope. If we didn't move out of the big city where she didn't have any friends or know how to get anywhere, she was going to leave me. It wasn't me, but she said was devastatingly homesick, and said she couldn't live here any longer. She had made a real home away from her parents at her college town, and her best friend of 6 years lived there, who had supported her through thick and thin. Despite my aversion to this at first, I could tell that moving back home where her best friend lived and what was familiar to her was important. After 2 weeks of talking about it, I agreed to move with her back to what she considered home. My parents were planning to move around this time as well, as they no longer had any children and we're looking to downsize their home. So, for her, I left my hometown of 25 years, and all my friends that I grew up with. My parents gave me money for us to buy our first house, and another 30 thousand on top. My wife and I found a nice 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom single family home, and bought it outright with cash. Because there was money left over, we used that for moving costs, and I began searching for a job I knew I would enjoy, while living off the interest on my savings. We were working on having a child and I knew that a kid was going to be expensive, so I was trying to make sure we had the money to support our child, and I could still make my wife happy. In 2015, 2 years after we moved into our house, my wife said she was going to leave me again. Despite her only ever needing to pay her bills (she had gotten herself into more credit card debt), despite her crashing another car and me paying a $5,000 down payment to buy her another new one (she had to get a loan out), despite me spending time with her every night and never going anywhere without her, taking her on trips and little date nights to make her happy, she was threatening to leave again. A month after her telling me this, my father passed away from early onset Alzheimer's. I was having a rough few months. We were having trouble conceiving and she was having severe body confidence issues. She was convinced that before I left her for someone else, she was going to have to leave me. Since we had gotten married, she had gained over 100 pounds, and I had never made an issue about it, other than showing concern for her health (her family has a history of diabetes and heart disease). She said that despite me continuing to support her in all her hobbies (she likes dancing and volunteering at the pet shelter), me not having a job was stressing her out because she wasn't sure that I could keep helping her. Despite my reassurances, she believed that I was going to leave her for someone better, and that she needed to leave before I did. No re-assurance I gave her would stop her from believing that I was going to be gone the next time she came home from work. She started self harming. When she was younger, she frequently thought that the reason that her mother was never around, her father left, her brother abused her, was all her fault. Hurting herself made her feel like she was being punished, and that her sins were being forgiven. Her church growing up was very abusive. They would make people stand up in front of the entire congregation and "confess" their sins in front of everyone. When she had premarital sex with her first boyfriend, she almost killed herself after when her mother found out and made her "confess" to the congregation. She hospitalized herself with a suicide attempt after this happened, and has never respected her mother since. I called up our PCP and told her that my wife dseperately needed help. After an appointment, blood work, and a CT scan for the issues with concieving, she was diagnosed with Severe Depression, Insulin Resistance, and PCOS. She was put on medication and around this time I had found a job, so I told her that she could cut back on her hours and I would start helping her with her bills. We also started looking for a therapist for her. She started going to the therapist and she seemed a lot happier. We were having fun with friends again, and she felt like the happy, bubbly woman I married again. In early 2016, we got great news! We were pregnant! Because I was making enough money at the time to pay her bills and mine, she was able to only work 20 hours a week through her pregnancy, and then her job gave her 6 months leave when the baby was due. While she was a few months along, she unfortunately got into another car accident, and so again, I helped her buy a new care, this time a minivan, because she wanted it for our kids. She was going to pay for it again, because she said she was tired of me paying for everything for her again. I have no issues with this as I never have, because whenever I try to pay for something, she doesn't let me. When we had our child, I had saved up enough money to start my own business. Using the money I had saved, I started up a computer system building company, and servicing the local area, I was able to be home a lot more than working my job, and still make the same amount of money. The business started doing extremely well, and I hired a few employees and a friend of mine to work for me, letting me spend more time with my wife and newborn daughter. Then, we started having problems again. My wife was in a lot of credit card debt from not managing her money ($30,000), and she had been hiding it from me. She was having issues breastfeeding our kid and would break down for hours at a time over not being able to do it. She was diagnosed with post-partum depression and started going to a different therapist. I wasn't making enough money for paying for our insurance, electrical, car payments, taxes and the credit card debt she had built up. I was upset, but it's extremely uncharacteristic for me to get mad about money, because I have always had money. I offered to use our house savings (we were saving up for a bigger house to have more kids) and pay off her debt again. She said no. She decided she was going work full time again. I helped her get a debt consolidation loan for her cards, and she began working full time while I took care of our daughter. This was in the beginning of 2017. Towards the middle of 2017, our life was going great. My business had taken off, and I was making $10,000 dollars profit a month. I had gotten early in on cryptocurrency back in 2013, and was riding high on the bull run from Bitcoin. My company made crypto mining machines due to having a ton of stock from system building, and we were selling those for record amounts. My wife had cut down to part time because I could afford the extra to help her bills, and she could spend more time with me and our daughter. Things couldn't of been better. Then in 2018, the crypto market crashed. My cryptocurrency that had been worth almost $500k crashed down to $60k of value in the span of a month and a half. I had to start selling it to pay off debt the company had taken on to expand, or else it was going to hurt me more. But I kept holding onto the majority of it. I kept my business running, but things were winding down because the crypto run was over. We were operating on razor thin margins. In May of 2018, I stopped paying myself while still running the business to make sure I could keep paying my employees. I was still getting a stipend from investments every month in the amount of a few thousand, so I could afford to not pay myself. I was still taking care of my daughter, but my wife had to go back up to full time. I started looking for jobs, figuring with my 2 associates degrees and my master degree, I could get a good job easy. In the beginning of 2019, I found out my wife had gotten another $25,000 of credit card debt she was hiding from me. She was eating out daily, bringing home for us to eat, and telling me she was making enough money to afford it. She was now up to almost $45,000 of debt, not including her car. I was upset. I told her she can't keep spending money like we have millions. My business wasn't going well, and we needed to cut back our spending so we can get a bigger house to have another kid like she wants. She broke down again. She admitted she had a money management issue. She locked all her credit cards up in the house safe, and she agreed to only spend money off her debit card. Then, the trade wars hit. Our stock account took a huge hit, and because I didn't have strong hands, I sold, at a loss of almost $55,000 dollars. Our stock brokerage trading account that had almost 70k of assets was only worth around $15k dollars. I no longer had the money to cover paying off my wife's debt in an emergency. In April of 2019, we just received our income taxes, due to my losses from last year, and reduced income, we were due back a large amount. I had unfortunately cut down the business to only myself working for it, as the company still had debt that was used a few years ago to expand to pay off. I still have kept the business operating, unable to pay myself for close to a year now, having to sell crypto to cover bills when business wasn't good enough. The first day of May, I took this money and put it back in the stock market, but due to weak hands again, I lost 60% of it again before the markets rebounded. The trade wars had taken a ton of my wealth again. Our brokerage account was now worth less than $10k, and I withdrew the rest to put it into my checking account. Over the past 6 months, I've had to sell off all my remaining cryptocurrency. I have none left. I have to continue running my business in it's dilapidated state, only making enough to pay the bills at the end of the month. I have gotten down to my last $5,000 in cash, and my monthly inheritance stipend, barely pays the bills for the house. All of the money my wife makes goes to paying off her credit card debt, her student loans, and her car payment. When she comes home, she sits down and plays video games while letting our 3 year old run wild and destroy the house while I sleep. We are trying to potty train, but that's not going well, and when I'm sleeping, our daughter will routinely use the bathroom on the floor then smear it on the walls. My wife will not always notice, and I will wake up having to clean up shit off the walls. I have been breaking down nonstop. I cannot handle the level of stress I have been having. I have interviewed for 12 jobs in the past 6 months, and not gotten hired. I have applied to over 30. I have lost over $100k of our savings in the past year alone. I never get to see my wife because when she is working, I have to take care of our daughter, and when she gets home, I have to sleep so I can make sure I'm able to work while they are sleeping, because I am unable to work while they're both awake. I make it a priority to make sure I spend a few hours with my wife and daughter a day, so they have time with me. My wife has not been a responsible adult for months now. She doesn't do her small part of the chores, which is simply do the laundry every week. Every week I take out the trash, clean up the yard, do all the dishes, cook dinner daily, vacuum the house daily, clean up my daughters shit and piss off the floor daily, clean up the mess that my daughter makes when she's playing. We recently found out my daughter is going to need speech therapy. Our house looks like a disaster zone. Our PCP said the speech therapist will come to our house to make it a more "secure environment" for our daughter to get help in. I'm terrified that we're going to get social services called for the state of our house and lose our daughter, but I physically cannot keep up with keeping it clean by myself, because every time I clean something, something else gets destroyed because my wife doesn't watch our daughter. My wife will throw trash on the floor in the house. She won't pick up dishes. She won't clean up the toys or help our daughter do that when I'm sleeping. There is shit caked on the wall in the nursery because almost every day I can't find it all and clean it all up when my daughter is awake. I cracked. I cursed at her for the first time in my life. She broke down, she said she's been so stressed and she's trying. I understand how it is to be stressed, I'm stressed too, but I said we need to try harder for our daughter. I told her I don't want to lose her. Then 2 weeks ago, a text sent late. I'm sure everyone heard about the Verizon bug where texts got send late. You can read about it https://www.theverge.com/2019/11/7/20953422/text-messages-delayed-received-overnight-valentines-day-delay I had an old text get sent that said "Do you still need me?" My wife thought I was going to commit suicide. She said that if I don't get help she's going to leave me and take our daughter with her. She didn't believe me when I showed her the text issue. She says I've been having depression issues for months, and that she's been asking me to get help. She said her therapist has been telling her for months that I need to go get help, and that the idea to threaten to leave me was her THERAPIST'S IDEA, because that threat has MOTIVATED ME BEFORE. This made me extremely upset. I tell her the same thing I did every time, unless they are going to give me a well paying job or hand me a million dollars, therapy is not going to help me. But I need advice. I love my wife. I have no reason to leave her. In the almost 8 years we've been married, I've never told her I was going to leave her. I pointed this out to her, she still says she can't trust me when I tell her that. I told her why am I being punished for her insecurity. I have done nothing but try to give her a great life. Yes, we've been having a hard time with money for the past year, and I've been very frustrated, but all couples have issues throughout their relationships. She says she doesn't want our daughter growing up hearing her daddy talk about suicide and her maybe hear that. I'm just trying to figure out how to handle this. I have friends telling me I should leave her. I don't see why I should. I love my wife. I would never leave her, and I feel like now she needs help again. She has gotten happier in person or at least it seems so, but her therapist telling her to threaten me to make me take action seems like a flag for her therapist. But she likes her therapist and likely wouldn't listen if I asked her to find a new one. I asked her to get therapy when she was severely depressed because she didn't seem like the woman I fell in love with anymore. Maybe part of her has come back, but the woman I fell in love with wouldn't be so irresponsible with our daughter, and wouldn't ignore her chores like she does. I just don't know what to do. I'm scheduled to see our PCP in Janurary for depression, but I don't think it's going to go like she expects, and she hasn't set any expectations of what she's expecting me to get out of this. She says I'm not the man she married any more, but of course I'm not when I'm broke and at the end of my rope with trying to find a job. I feel like anyone would be frustrated and upset if they were in the same position as me. Every day I wake up, work for my failing business that doesn't pay me, take care of my toddler while my wife works, and never get to do anything fun with my family because we have no money and no one will hire me. I just don't know what to do. I don't want to lose my wife. I have sacrificed so much for her. I want to make her happy. I want my daughter to not have a broken family like my wife had and grow up happy. After her threatening to leave me again, it feels like she doesn't need me anymore. It hurts me severely that she can say that so easily after everything I have done for her. I know she is stressed, and I feel like her saying she's going to leave me helps her cope somehow. I'm resenting her still seeing the same therapist, giving her advice on her home life off my wife's singular perspective. I just don't know what to think anymore. I want to make the people I love happy.
In case you missed it: Major Crypto and Blockchain News from the week ending 12/14/2018
Developments in Financial Services
A cryptocurrency exchange-traded product (ETP) that trades on Switzerland’s Six Exchange saw record trading volumes on Thursday and Friday last week, suggesting that institutional investors may be buying the dip in cryptocurrencies. Four major cryptocurrencies underlie the HODL ETP, including Bitcoin (BTC), Ripple (XRP), Ethereum (ETH), Litecoin (LTC), and Bitcoin Cash (BCH). While HODL ETP’s one-month average daily trading is 20,000 shares, on Thursday, December 6th, and Friday, December 7th, 53,233 shares and 62.986 shares were traded, respectively.
A report published last week by global anti-money laundering policymaker, the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), indicates that cryptocurrency exchanges in the United Kingdom pose a, “low risk,” for money laundering and terrorist financing activities. The report, however, does highlight that such activities on UK cryptocurrency exchanges are an, “emerging risk,” although there is not yet enough evidence to suggest that these activities are occurring through cryptocurrency exchanges. In its report, the FATF urged UK regulators to, “Continue to develop an understanding of emerging risks (such as virtual currencies) and intelligence gaps, and take appropriate action.”
Andreas Utermann, CEO and CIO of Allianz Global Investors, called on global financial regulators to ban cryptocurrencies while speaking at a panel discussion in London. According to a report by Reuters, Utermann said, “You should outlaw it,” while participating in a panel alongside Andrew Bailey, the head of Britain’s Financial Conduct Authority. Bailey responded by saying that Utermann’s comments were, “quite strong,” before adding that cryptocurrencies have, “no intrinsic value.”
Basis, a major US-based stablecoin project, is shutting down its operations and returning most of its funds to investors, according to a report by crypto news outlet The Block. The report by The Block cited, “multiple people with direct knowledge of the situation,” in claiming that the algorithmic stablecoin project, which generated UDS$133mm of funding through private investments in April, will return funds to investors. According to the Co-Founder and CEO of competing stablecoin project Nevin Freeman, Basis’ shutdown is due to regulatory concerns around one of its token types. Freeman explained, highlighting that algorithmic stablecoins implement a “secondary token”, known as a “bond token”, to help maintain the primary token’s peg. In many cases, regulators like the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) consider these secondary tokens to be securities.
Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange by daily trading volume, announced that it has added Circle’s US dollar-pegged stablecoin, USD Coin (USDC), to its combined Stablecoin Market. Circle, a company backed by Goldman Sachs, first released its stablecoin in September of this year. Binance’s combined Stablecoin Market features other notable stablecoins, like Tether (USDT), that trade against cryptocurrencies as interchangeable base pairs.
Coinone, a South Korea-based cryptocurrency exchange, has officially launched Cross, a cross-border payments application that leverages Ripple’s xCurrent product to increase efficiencies. The application, released by Coinone’s payments subsidiary, Coinone Transfer, targets unbanked or underbanked South Koreans by enabling the transfer of funds to Thailand or the Philippines at a low cost.
Gemini, a cryptocurrency exchange heralded by the Winklevoss twins, released an official company blog post this weekend announcing that the firm will support Bitcoin Cash (BCH) custody and trading. The exchange will support only the Bitcoin Cash ABC network at this time, adding that they, “are continuing to evaluate Bitcoin SV over the coming weeks or months, and we may or may not choose to support withdrawals and/or trading of Bitcoin SV in the future.” Additionally, the company detailed that its listing of BCH is pending regulatory approval by the New York State Department of Financial Services.
Gemini, the cryptocurrency trading platform founded by the Winklevoss twins, announced the launch of a mobile crypto trading application in an official blog post today. Accompanying the launch of the crypto trading app is a new investment vehicle, dubbed, “The Cryptoverse,” that is comprised of a basket of cryptocurrencies weighted by market capitalization. While speaking to Bloomberg today, Cameron Winklevoss said that, “A lot of our decisions have perhaps given off a perception that we’re more institutional-based. The reality of the situation is that we have a diverse customer base. And the retail story is just beginning.” The Winklevoss twins went on to detail of a goal to expand reach to Asian markets by 2019’s end.
Good Money, a US neo-banking platform, has closed its Series A investment round that generated USD$30mm led by cryptocurrency-focused merchant bank Galaxy Digital and the founder of EOS (EOS) Block.one. Good Money aims to provide a variety of banking service and certain financial instruments to US account holders while exploring innovative changes to traditional banking practices. “Modern banking is a primary driver of so many issues we as a society face – from economic inequality, institutional racism, environmental destruction to political corruption,” said Good Money founder Gunnar Lovelace. Specifically, Good Money eliminates ATM fees while offering each bank user equity in the company.
Kraken, a notable cryptocurrency exchange, is seeking to raise funding with a USD$4bn valuation for the company and a USD$100,000 investment minimum, according to CoinDesk. In an email to investors, Kraken CEO Jesse Powell wrote, “There is presently a limited time opportunity available to a very small select number of clients to purchase shares.” The email goes on to detail that the exchange will close its offer on December 16th.
OKEx, the second-largest cryptocurrency exchange by daily trading volume, will begin listing Bitcoin Cash ABC under the original Bitcoin Cash ticker (BCH), as per an official announcement Tuesday. Additionally, OKEx will change the Bitcoin Cash SV ticker from BCHSV to BSV. The announcement by OKEx comes after other notable cryptocurrency exchanges have made the same switch, including Coinbase and Gemini.
PayPal, an online payments portal, has launched its own internal private blockchain platform that will allow staff to trade and exchange tokens while generating ideas and participating in programs to foster innovation, as per a report by news outlet Cheddar. The private blockchain network, which was built by 25 PayPal employees in just 6 months, will allow employees to earn more for enrolling in learning and development programs. The PayPal tokens are not tradeable, or worth anything for that matter, outside PayPal’s blockchain.
PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), a big four consulting firm, is partnering with Bitfury Group, a large blockchain software and mining firm, to develop a blockchain accelerator specific to Russian businesses. As per an official press release by PwC, the partnership will leverage Exonum, Bitfury’s open source framework to build blockchain applications, for educational courses and seminars. The partnership aims to meet the, “current needs,” of PwC’s enterprise clients in Russia.
Revolut, a digital banking alternative with an in-application cryptocurrency exchange, announced that it has been awarded a European banking license. Seeking to become the, “Amazon of banking,” the license will allow Revolut to offer traditional banking services alongside its current cryptocurrency offerings to European customers. Nikolay Storonsky, Founder and CEO of Revolut, said in regards to the newly acquired license that, “With the banking license now secured, commission-free stock trading progressing well, and five new international markets at final stages of launch, we are living up to our reputation as the ‘Amazon of Banking’. Our vision is simple: one ap with tens of millions of users, where you can manage every aspect of your financial life with the best value and technology.”
Shinhan Bank, the second-largest commercial bank in South Korea, is launching a new project to implement blockchain technology in its internal processes with a goal of eliminating human error. According to a report by news outlet The Korea Times, Shinhan also recently completed a training program for its staff to increase their knowledge of blockchain technology across various applications. After Shinhan implemented blockchain technology for interest rate swap transactions on November 30th, South Korea’s second-largest bank is now aiming to apply the technology in its record-keeping process to enhance overall efficiencies.
SolarisBank, Germany’s second-largest and Europe’s ninth-largest stock exchange, is partnering with Stuttgart Exchange Group, a German fintech company, to jointly develop a cryptocurrency exchange. As per a report by Cointelegraph Germany, the joint cryptocurrency exchange venture, “is scheduled to launch in the first half of 2019.” This news comes after SolarisBank announced plans to launch a zero-fee cryptocurrency trading application this past May.
The Canadian city of Calgary is becoming the first city in Canada to launch a digital version of its local currency, according to a report by the Global News. Dubbed as the Calgary Digital Dollar, the digital currency will be exclusive to Calgary and operate alongside the country’s Canadian Dollar. Calgary-based businesses will now be required by law to accept at least 10% of a payment in digital currency, although they are allowed to accept up to 100%.
The Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT) is launching a pilot of its Global Payment Initiative (GPI) to combat growing blockchain and fintech solutions, according to an official announcement last week. Currently, the SWIFT Network is used by global financial institutions to conduct global financial payments and cross-border transfers of fiat currency. Although the project is still in its early stages, the GPI pilot hopes to, “build the foundation of a new integrated and interactive service that will significantly improve efficiencies in the payments process and which will ultimately be made available to all 10,000 banks across the SWIFT network.”
The United Arab Emirates’(UAE) central bank is partnering with the Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority (SAMA) to develop a cryptocurrency to facilitate cross border transactions between the two countries, according to a report by news outlet GulfNews. In a meeting pertaining to global banking standards and regulation in the Arab region, Mubarak Rashed Al Mansouri, the governor of the UAE’s central bank, said, “This is probably the first time ever that witnesses the cooperation of monetary authorities from different countries on this topic and we hope that this achievement will foster similar collaboration in our region.” The prospective digital currency will be used by both central banks and financial institutions in the countries.
TokenSoft, a security token offering (STO) startup, has acquired a 20% stake in regulated broker-dealer Marpine Securities LLC in order to launch its own regulated broker-dealer. After acquiring the 20% stake, TokenSoft will launch its new regulated broker-dealer entity, called TokenSoft Global Markets, that will be registered through the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA). The new regulated broker-dealer entity will allow TokenSoft to advise token issuers through every step of the Initial Coin Offering (ICO) process. Additionally, TokenSoft will now be able to legally operate in services related to insurance and management.
Tom Lee, co-founder of Fundstrat Global Advisors and a notable cryptocurrency pundit, believes that the current fair value of Bitcoin (BTC) is between USD$13,800 and USD$14,800, according to a note published on Thursday. Lee arrived at this valuation by taking into account the number of active wallet addresses, usage per account, and other supply and demand metrics. Additionally, Lee forecasted that the fair value of BTC will reach USD$150,000/coin once BTC wallets account for 7% of Visa’s 4.5bn account holders.
UAE Exchange, an exchange based in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), is partnering with Ripple to launch a blockchain-based cross-border remittances platform by 1Q2019, as per a Reuters report on Thursday. The report details further that Finablr, a payments and foreign exchange company that owns UAE Exchange, observes a high level of remittance inflows from expatriate workers in the Middle East region. “We expect to go live with Rippel by Q1, 2019 with two other Asian banks,” said Finablr CEO Promoth Manghat, adding, “This is for remittances to start with, from across the globe into Asia.”
De Nederlandsche Bank, the Netherlands’ central bank, will soon require domestic cryptocurrency providers to obtain a license from the regulator to operate, as per a report by Dutch news outlet DeTelegraaf. The Netherlands' central bank is taking these measures in the hope that it will, “prevent such cryptocurrencies from being used to launder money obtained through crime or to fund terrorism.” In order to receive a license, cryptocurrency firms must maintain Know-Your-Customer procedures and report any suspicious activity to the Dutch central bank.
Eddie Hughes, a conservative member of the United Kingdom’s Parliament, suggested that Bitcoin (BTC) should be accepted as legal tender for tax and utility payments, according to news outlet Express.co.uk. The article discusses that Hughes, who is a self-described, “crypto enthusiast with amateur knowledge,” recently met with the Royal National Lifeboat Institution, which accepts cryptocurrency donations. This news comes after the US state of Ohio announced that it would begin accepting BTC as legal tender for tax payments.
Following a case in Canadian courts that resulted in a ruling ordering mistakenly sent crypto funds to be returned to their owner, a blog post from the University of Oxford Faculty of Law is noting that there could be repercussions with the case potentially setting a precedent for lost or stolen cryptocurrency claims. The Canadian court case’s ruling will require defendant Brian Wall to return USD$370,482 worth of Ethereum (ETH) tokens to the plaintiff, Copytrack. The blog post from the University of Oxford Faculty of Law reads, ‘This precedent may have major repercussions for the enforcement of claims regarding lost or stolen cryptocurrencies,” adding that the ruling allows the plaintiff to recover tokens, “in whatsoever hands those Ether Tokens may currently be held.”
Japan’s government is considering plans to ease cryptocurrency taxes in an effort to revitalize the domestic cryptocurrency and blockchain industry. This week, Japanese Congressman Takeshi Fujimaki proposed four significant changes to taxation requirements pertaining to digital assets, which include: a reduction on the cryptocurrency gains tax from 55% to 20%; elimination of taxes on crypto-to-crypto payments; elimination of taxes on miniscule cryptocurrency payments; and an adjustment that would allow cryptocurrency investors to carry forward losses across quarters and years, effectively until cryptocurrencies are ‘cashed’ out.
Jay Clayton, Chairman for the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (US SEC), said during a speech that Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs), “can be effective,” for fundraising, but that, “securities laws must be followed.” Clayton went on in his speech to comment on the US SEC’s work regarding distributed ledger technology (DLT), digital assets, and ICOs, saying that it is an, “area where the Commission and staff have spent a significant amount of time,” and, “that this trend will continue in 2019.”
Jay Clayton, the Chairman of the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), expressed his optimism for distributed ledger technology’s potential impact on traditional financial markets in a testimony before the US Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs yesterday. According to a transcript published on the SEC’s website, Clayton said, “I am optimistic that developments in distributed ledger technology can help facilitate capital formation, providing promising investment opportunities for both institutional and Main Street Investors.” Additionally, Clayton highlighted that the SEC is, “Focusing a significant amount of attention and resources on digital assets and initial coin offerings (ICOs).”
Maxim Akimov, the Deputy Prime Minister of Russia, announced that no significant changes will be made to the draft of a bill concerning cryptocurrency regulation in the country, as per news outlet Finmarket. The bill was already approved by Russia’s parliament, the State Duma, in May 2018, although the bill has generated substantial discussion since. Since approval of the bill, all cryptocurrency and token-related terminology have been removed and replaced with the term “digital rights”. At the beginning of December, Pavel Krasheninnikov, Chairman of Russia’s State Duma, said that the bill needed to be, “significantly,” changed.
Pan Gongsheng, a deputy governor of the People’s Bank of China, highlighted that Security Token Offerings (STOs) in China are illegal while speaking at a summit in Beijing. As per a report by news outlet the South China Morning Post, Gongsheng told the summit that, “illegal financing activities through STOs and ICOs were still rampant in the mainland despite a nationwide clean-up of the cryptocurrency market last year.” In citing reasoning for the continued ban on STOs, Gongsheng explained that, “Virtual money has become an accomplice to all kinds of illegal and criminal activities.”
Pantera Capital, a blockchain and cryptocurrency-focused investment firm and hedge fund, is warning investors that as much as a quarter of their ICO project could potentially be violating US securities laws, according to a Bloomberg report. In a newsletter to clients, Pantera Capital warned, “While we believe the vast majority of the projects in our portfolio should not be affected, approximately 25% of our fund’s capital is invested in other projects with liquid tokens that sold to US investors without using Regulation D or Regulation S”
Russia has no intention of implementing Venezuela’s state-backed digital currency, the Petro, into commercial operations, according to a report by news outlet RIA Novosti. While speaking to reporters this week, Russian Deputy Finance Minister Sergey Storchak said, “Representatives from our tax service and central bank... got acquainted with the cryptocurrency Venezuela is introducing,” adding, “But no more than that. As for payments, they’re not happening yet.”
South Korea’s representative body, the National Assembly, held its first official meeting with seven of the country’s largest cryptocurrency exchanges on Monday. The purpose of the meeting was to debate cryptocurrency regulation between stakeholders of South Korea’s cryptocurrency industry. Cryptocurrency exchanges Bithumb, CobitCoin, Coinone, Upbit, Gopax, Coinplug, and Hanbitco were among the attendees of the debate, which reportedly focused on Anti-Money Laundering (AML) customer protections and Know Your Customer (KYC) procedures.
The United Kingdom’s Financial Action Task Force (FATF), an intergovernmental financial security body, is calling on the country’s government to increase monitoring of cryptocurrency markets. According to an official report last week, the UK must overhaul its Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and combat terrorist financing (CFT) efforts in order to prevent illicit activities with cryptocurrencies. “Virtual currency exchange providers are not yet covered by AML/CFT requirements,” the report details, adding, “this is an emerging risk and there is not yet evidence to suggest that broad scale ML/TF is occurring in the UK through this relatively small sector.”
The United States Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) is interested in learning more about the Ethereum (ETH) network, its technology, and the markets build around it. On Tuesday, the CFTC published a Request for Input (RFI) that requests the public’s feedback on different questions concerning Ethereum. The RFI explains that its goal is to inform the CFTC about Ethereum and similar emerging technology, saying, “The input from this request will advance the CFTC’s mission of ensuring the integrity of the derivatives market as well as monitoring and reducing the systematic risk by enhancing legal certainty in the markets. The RFI seeks to understand the similarities and distinctions between certain virtual currencies, including here ether and bitcoin, as well as ether-specific opportunities, challenges, and risks.”
The United States Securities and Exchange Commission (US SEC) is ordering that cryptocurrency asset manager CoinAlpha Advisors LLC pay a USD$50,000 fine, alleging that the firm conducted an unregistered securities sale. After forming in October 2017, CoinAlpha raised more than USD$600,000 from investors to invest in digital assets. In an official release, the US SEC said that CoinAlpha did not file a Notice of Exempt Offering of Securities, meaning that the firm breached securities laws by soliciting securities investors. Additionally, the firm allegedly did not adhere to proper know-your-customer procedures to verify that investors were accredited.
Venezuela is reportedly beginning to convert its citizens’ monthly pension payments into Petros, Venezuela’s controversial state and oil-backed cryptocurrency, according to a report by local economics blog the Caracas Chronicles. The conversion of Venezuelan pensioners’ payments into Petros came after the country already sent pensioners their monthly payment in the form of a check for Venezuelan Bolivars -- normally, upon receiving their check, pensioners would deposit their funds into a bank account where they could then withdraw fiat from local branches. The Venezuelan government, however, converted pensioners’ fiat payments into the Petro upon their deposit into a bank. In the first few weeks of the Petro’s existence, its value has risen from 9,000 to more than 15,000.
Warren Davidson, an Ohio Congressman and notable advocate of blockchain and digital assets, is floating blockchain technology as a solution to fund US President Donald Trump’s prospective US-Mexico border wall. While interviewing with NPR, Congressman Davidson suggested, “the American people, or whomever should choose to donate,” could pay for the border wall, adding, “you could do it with sort of like a crowdfunding site or you could do a blockchain and you could have WallCoins.”
“The long-term value of Bitcoin (BTC) is more likely to be USD$100 than USD$100,000,” says Kenneth Rogoff, a former Chief Economist for the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the current Harvard University Professor of Economics and Public Policy. While writing an article for major UK news outlet The Guardian, Rogoff highlighted that, because BTC’s use is limited to transactions, it makes the digital asset more vulnerable to a bubble-like collapse. Rogoff also cited that BTC’s energy-intensive verification processes is, “vastly less efficient,” than systems that leverage, “a trusted central authority like a central bank.”
A new report by PeckShield, a blockchain security company that monitors various cryptocurrency ecosystems, details that decentralized applications (DApps) on the EOS (EOS) blockchain have lost as much as USD$1mm in hacks since July 2018. The report details further that DApps on the EOS network have sustained 27 breaches since July, which are responsible for the up to 400,000 EOS that have been compromised from hacks. Guo Yonggang, a blockchain security expert cited in a report on the matter by crypto media firm Blockchain Truth, believes that the hacks can be attributed to security problems with the DApps themselves, rather than with the EOS network.
A new study published by the Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance on Wednesday finds that the number of unique ID-verified cryptocurrency users nearly doubled in in the first 3 quarters of 2018. The study details that total ID-verified users increased to 35mm in the first three quarters of 2018 from 18mm at the end of 2017, representing an increase of 94%. As per an analysis of the study by Bloomberg, the growth of crypto’s userbase despite the market decline, “could signal that an eventual recovery could be coming.”
Amid the continued cryptocurrency sell-off, only two cryptocurrency mining machines remain profitable, according to real-time data from ASICMinerValue.com. ASICMInerValue.com, which calculates the profitability of Application-Specific Integrated Circuit (ASIC) miners, indicates that only indicates that only the Ebank Ebit E11++ and ASICminer 8 Nano 44Th mining models are profitable for mining cryptocurrencies based on the SHA-256 hash function -- notable cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin (BTC) and Bitcoin Cash (BCH) use this has function.
Bitmain, a large Chinese cryptocurrency mining firm, announced that it is closing its development center in Israel, citing current cryptocurrency market conditions. In closing Bitmaintech Israel, the crypto mining giant was forced to fire all 23 employees. Among the employees let go is Gadi Glikberg, head of Bitmain’s Israeli branch and Vice President of International Sales, who said on the recent market turmoil, “The crypto market has undergone a shake-up in the past few months, which has forced Bitmain to examine its various activities around the globe and to refocus its business in accordance with the current situation.”
Busan, a major South Korean city, will be the beneficiary of the South Korean government’s plan to spend 4bn Korean won (USD$3.5mm) to establish a blockchain-enabled virtual power plant (VPP). As per a report by South Korean news outlet Yonhap News Agency, the project will be angled as a national competition in 2019, hosted by South Korea’s largest electric utility, Korea Electric Power Corporation (KEPCO). The VPP will integrate the idle capacities of multiple energy resources through a cloud-based distributed ledger in order to optimize power generation and decrease costs.
Church’s Chicken, a large international fast food franchise, is partnering with Dash Venezuela to accept cryptocurrencies in its Venezuelan locations. According to an official press release, 13 Church’s Chicken establishments will begin accepting Dash (DASH) as payment following, “extensive and rigorous days of training,” staff to understand cryptocurrencies. With the addition of Church’s Chicken, more than 2,200 establishments in Venezuela accept DASH as payment.
Crypto.com, a Hong Kong-based cryptocurrency payments platform, announced the appointment of former PayPal executive Tyson Hackwood to serve as the firm’s Vice President and Head of Global Merchant Acquisition in an official press release today. Crypto.com aims to increase cryptocurrency adoption by both merchants and consumers through their point-of-sale (PoS) transaction terminals. Crypto.com CEO Kris Marszalek believes that Hackwood will be integral in furthering this goal, saying, “As we develop the Crypto.com Chain to fulfill the current industry need to pay and be paid in crypto, Tyson will play an important role in expanding the number and quality of merchants that are part of our network.”
Hyperledger, a notable blockchain consortium, is continuing its robust expansion after announcing the addition of 16 new members at the Hyperledger Global Forum in Basel, Switzerland. Among the notables to join the consortium are, Alibaba Cloud, Citigroup’s Citi Ventures arm, and Deutsche Telekom. The latest addition of 16 members brings the total membership of Hyperledger to more than 260 different companies. In a public statement, Hyperledger Executive Director Brian Behlendorf said that, “The growing Hyperledger community reflects the increasing importance of open source efforts to build enterprise blockchain technologies across industries and markets. The latest members showcase the widening interest in and impact of DLT and Hyperledger."
Jeremy Henrickson, the former Chief Product Officer at Coinbase, has departed the US-based cryptocurrency exchange after serving since July 2016. “Jeremy’s contributions to Coinbase over the past two years were invaluable,” said a Coinbase spokesperson, adding that, “he helped to build our scrappy startup team into a high-functioning product and engineering organization -- overseeing a 5x+ growth of the team.” Henrickson’s departure comes after long-term Coinbase executives Adam White and Hunter Merghart left the US-based cryptocurrency exchange in recent months.
LinkedIn’s, “2018 U.S. Emerging Jobs,” report released on Thursday ranks the role of blockchain developer as the fastest growing job in the United States. The report by LinkedIn indicates that blockchain developer jobs have increased 33-fold in the past 12 months alone. San Francisco, New York City, and Atlanta are among the cities with the highest demand for blockchain developer jobs.
Orbs, a unique hybrid blockchain platform, raised more than USD$15mm in cryptocurrencies to fund its development of a public blockchain, according to a company blog post. South Korean application provider Kakao lead the fundraising efforts with a representative telling CoinDesk that the company, “always seeks to invest and support innovative startups, and Orbs is a good example.” In total, Orbs raised 139,000 Ether (ETH) and 892 Bitcoin (BTC), amounting to roughly USD$15.4mm. Orbs aims to build a public blockchain with this funding that is, “universal,” and, “scalable,” for decentralized applications (DApps) with the, “liquidity of a base layer.”
Samsung has reportedly filed patent applications for three different blockchain-related trademark requests that all pertain directly to smartphones, according to news outlet Galaxy Club. Specifically, the patents named “Blockchain KeyStore”, “Blockchain Key Box”, and “Blockchain Core” all pertain to cryptocurrency custody capabilities on smartphones. This news comes amid the release of HTC’s Exodus 1 and Sirin Labs’ FINNEY, both of which are being marketed as blockchain smartphones with cryptocurrency custody capabilities.
Difficulty is changing every 2016 blocks, which means that Bitcoin mining is getting harder and harder. So, as the block reward decreases and mining difficulty increases, one can only hope that the price of Bitcoin will be high enough to make up for the reward decrease and mining difficulty. Spain to Tax Bitcoin and Altcoin Mining Companies. by Gautham. 4 years ago. in Crypto. Reading Time: 2 min Regulations concerning cryptocurrencies minting are gradually falling in place. While a lot of countries are yet to implement them, the Spanish tax authorities have labeled Bitcoin and altcoin mining operations as economic activities. This new classification makes cryptocurrency mining ... As Bitcoin enjoys a record week of price rises, we look at the profitability of mining Bitcoin now the prices has surpassed $7,000. On the 15th December 2018, Bitcoin recorded its most recent low price of around $3,200. For the miners, despite a drop of mining hashrate to 35 million TH/s, this meant that only […] Bitcoin mining tends to gravitate towards countries with cheap electricity. As Bitcoin mining is somewhat centralized, 10-15 mining companies have claimed the vast majority of network hash power. With many of these companies in the same country, only a number of countries mine and export a significant amount of bitcoins. China. China mines the most bitcoins and therefore ends up “exporting ... Every miner needs to know the relevant tax laws for Bitcoin mining in his area, ... The Bitmain S9 has been operational since 2016 and interestingly enough they are still being used in Venezuela and Iran where electricity is so cheap that it outweighs the risk of confiscation. There may, eventually, be more reputable sources of sub 2 cents electricity as the access to solar and wind improves ... The IRS has recently issued new tax guidance regarding Bitcoin mining stating that any income made from the mining could constitute as a self-employed income and therefore be subjected to tax. The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network will analyse any data used on financial transactions as well, to stop any financial crimes happening, such as money laundering and terrorist financing. FinCEN has ... Mining pools leverage your efforts by combining the computing power of the entire pool. A miner’s contribution level determines their mining rewards. Understanding Ethereum vs. Bitcoin Mining. Ethereum differs from Bitcoin in many aspects. For one, Ethereum is a centralized software platform. Is Bitcoin Mining profitable? Bitcoin mining is quite possible on the home computer, but this requires high purchases. Many users therefore opt for cloud mining. Users can rent computing capacity and mine digital currencies. In the case of cloudmining providers, the customer buys the computing power via a web interface. Your own hardware is no ... With bitcoin’s price jumping to a two-month high above $9,000, even mining equipment thought obsolete is becoming profitable again, at least for a short time. Bitcoin mining can still make sense and be profitable for some individuals. Equipment is more easily obtained, although competitive ASICs cost anywhere from a few hundred dollars up to about ...
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