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Blockchain is good for hodling, but not for voting: Bad Crypto news of the week

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Bitcoin continues to move through the gears. The currency is up more than 12 percent over the week and is now playing with the $18,000 mark. And it’s not just the US dollar that Bitcoin is bashing. It’s also hit all-time highs against the Russian ruble, the Colombian peso, the Brazilian real, the Turkish lira, and the Sudanese pound among others. Its rise, now 375 percent above the point that gold investor Peter Schiff accidentally called as Bitcoin’s bottom, is inevitably causing analysts to ask how high it can go.

One expert is predicting that Bitcoin will soon hit $22,000, citing HODL and funding rates, the fall in Bitcoin reserves, and the growth of institutional accumulation. Investor Mike Novogratz has his eye on $65,000, powered by high demand and limited supply. Thomas Fitzpatrick, a senior analyst at Citibank, is looking even higher. In a report aimed at the bank’s institutional clients, he predicted $318,000 by December 2021.

And yet despite Bitcoin’s current rise, and its positive direction, it’s all happening very quietly. While the coin’s last rush towards $20,000 generated headlines around the world, the press has barely noticed the current price increase.

In China, at least one bank has noticed. The China Construction Bank chose the digital exchange Fusang to issue $3 billion worth of debt securities. The bonds would be tokenized and exchangeable for Bitcoin. But it’s not happening, at least not any time soon. Shortly after the announcement, Fusang said that the issuance would be delayed until further notice “at the request of the issuer.”

In the US, Jay Clayton, the chairman of the United States Securities and Exchange Commission has announced that he is leaving his post. Clayton previously told Bitcoin investors they couldn’t expect to trade on mainstream exchanges without robust regulation.

The blockchain, though, continues to find new uses. IBM is teaming up with German textile manufacturer Kaya&Kato to use the blockchain to track supply chains in the fashion industry. Albany Airport in New York is using the blockchain to track cleanliness, while BitPay is launching a new service to enable businesses to make payments using cryptocurrencies. And Cointelegraph is using Rarible to offer single edition NFTs of its illustrators’ art-inspired illustrations.

But the blockchain might want to steer clear of voting systems for a while. Security experts at MIT say that using blockchain voting technology might increase the risk of hackers trying to tamper with elections.

It’s not all good news for cryptocurrency journalists though. Binance is suing Forbes and two of its journalists. The publication had alleged that Binance had a plan to avoid US regulators. The company denies the allegation and is demanding compensation and punitive damages.

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The views and opinions expressed here are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Cointelegraph.com. Every investment and trading move involves risk, you should conduct your own research when making a decision.

Source: https://cointelegraph.com/news/blockchain-is-good-for-hodling-but-not-for-voting-bad-crypto-news-of-the-week

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Macau’s Gambling Operators Panic as Digital Yuan Threatens Industry

Casino operators in Macau’s multibillion-dollar gambling market fear that their industry is in danger of being eviscerated if China’s digital yuan is fully implemented across the country. According to Bloomberg, some operators have already begun diversifying their operations away from Macau or pivoting away from gambling altogether after being approached by regulators to discuss the … Continued

The post Macau’s Gambling Operators Panic as Digital Yuan Threatens Industry appeared first on BeInCrypto.

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Casino operators in Macau’s multibillion-dollar gambling market fear that their industry is in danger of being eviscerated if China’s digital yuan is fully implemented across the country.

According to Bloomberg, some operators have already begun diversifying their operations away from Macau or pivoting away from gambling altogether after being approached by regulators to discuss the possibility of integrating their casino operations with the digital yuan.

Digital Yuan Threatens Macau’s Gaming Industry

With average annual revenues estimated at $28 billion — even reaching a peak of $45 billion in 2014, the size of Macau’s gambling industry is worth roughly three times that of Las Vegas.

This has been the case because as a former Portuguese territory that maintains a unique economic status as a Special Administrative Area, Macau has long been the destination for well-heeled Chinese corporate tourists to experience the kind of revelry that is almost entirely unavailable on the Chinese mainland.

Typically, such tourists arrive as part of corporate junket packages and they convert their RMB to HKD, which is then used to pay for gambling chips. HKD and the relative anonymity it offers to Chinese tourists are central to the operation of Macau’s gambling industry.

Now, however, following the successful first phase of trials for the digital yuan, a number of operators say that they have been approached by Macau’s Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau to discuss the possibility of replacing HKD with the digital yuan in their casinos.

Grand Lisboa Casino, Macau (Source: CNN Travel)

If implemented, this would mean that Beijing would have full visibility and control over all financial flows in Macau, which has famously lax financial restrictions and has been identified by the U.S. State Department as a money laundering hotspot.

Quoted in Bloomberg, Associate Professor at Macau Polytechnic Institute’s Centre for Gaming and Tourism Studies, Zhou Jinquan, described the potential impact of the digital yuan on gambling in Macau:

If applied widely, the digital yuan will…breach customer privacy and restrict people’s betting amount to the potential conversion cap imposed on the digital yuan to foreign currencies.

Macau’s Operators In Panic

Speaking to Bloomberg, Eric Leong who runs one of Macau’s famous corporate junket services revealed that he has exited the gambling industry and has switched to import and distribution of luxury items and cosmetics.

Explaining why he thinks the CBDC will destroy Macau’s gambling industry if implemented, he said:

Everyone in this industry is trying to survive however they can. If the water is too clean, there’ll be no fish. The big gamblers will go away if casinos need to be that transparent.

On Dec. 2, Galaxy Entertainment Group Ltd, which is one of Macau’s biggest casino operators declined more than 3% on these fears, as the digital yuan continues to record new usage milestones in its two-month-old launch experiment in Shenzhen.

Galaxy Entertainment Group (Source: TradingView)

While casino operators fear disruption, others have pointed out that digital yuan implementation in Macau could open it up as a family destination to China’s middle class.

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David is a journalist, writer and broadcaster whose work has appeared on CNN, The Africa Report, The New Yorker Magazine and The Washington Post. His work as a satirist on ‘The Other News,’ Nigeria’s answer to The Daily Show has featured in the New Yorker Magazine and in the Netflix documentary ‘Larry Charles’ Dangerous World of Comedy.’ In 2018, he was nominated by the US State Department for the 2019 Edward Murrow program for journalists under the International Visitors Leadership Program (IVLP). He tweets at @DavidHundeyin

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Source: https://beincrypto.com/macaus-gambling-operators-panic-as-digital-yuan-threatens-industry/

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Coinbase Faciliated MicroStrategy’s $425M Bitcoin Purchase Without Moving The Market

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The leading US-based cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase assisted in MicroStrategy’s massive purchase of $425 million worth of BTC. The platform pledged to help other large firms diversify their portfolios with bitcoin in the future as well.

Coinbase Involved In MicroStrategy’s BTC Purchase

The NASDAQ-listed business intelligence firm made the news on two occasions earlier this year as it announced the total purchase of 38,250 bitcoins. At the time, this sizeable amount equaled about $425 million.

However, the entity that helped broker the deal remained unknown until today. The San Francisco-based crypto exchange Coinbase announced that it was “selected as the primary execution partner for MicroStrategy’s $425 million purchase of Bitcoin.”

The community speculated on how such a considerable amount didn’t move the markets as the price of BTC remained relatively still back then. Coinbase explained that this was the company’s intention in the first place:

“Using our advanced execution capabilities, leading crypto prime brokerage platform, and OTC desk, we were able to buy a significant amount of bitcoin on behalf of MicroStrategy and did so without moving the market.”

Furthermore, the exchange noted that its system takes a single large order and breaks it into many small pieces that are executed across multiple trading venues. This type of smart order routing reduces the trade’s impact on the market and assists in disguising the overall trade size.

This also helped MicroStrategy to get a better price for its BTC purchase as Coinbase’s trading team “achieved an average execution price that was less than the price at which the buying started.” The post highlighted that this strategy ultimately saved 1% (or about $4.25 million) for the NASDAQ-listed company.

More Large Companies To Come?

MicroStrategy’s purchase kicked off a wave of large companies and prominent individual investors who expressed willingness to get in bitcoin as well.

Jack Dorsey’s Square followed with a $50 million BTC allocation. More recently, the Wall Street giant Guggenheim Partners filed a document with the SEC to purchase about $500 million worth of bitcoin for one of its funds.

Coinbase asserted that more firms will look to BTC to hedge or diversify their excess cash. Consequently, the large US exchange will “look forward to helping more corporate companies and institutions looking to diversify their capital allocation strategies with crypto.”

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Source: https://cryptopotato.com/coinbase-faciliated-microstrategys-425m-bitcoin-purchase-without-moving-the-market/

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U.S. DoJ Extradites Key Member of Crypto Ponzi Scheme From Panama

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The U.S. Department of Justice (DoJ) has extradited a principal member of a fraudulent cryptocurrency mining and trading platform from Panama to the United States.

AirBit Club Co-founder to Face Criminal Charges in the U.S.

According to an announcement by the acting U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York, Audrey Strauss, U.S. authorities were able to extradite Gutemberg Dos Santos, co-founder of crypto Ponzi scheme AirBit Club.

Dos Santos, who holds dual citizenship from Brazil and the United States, was extradited to the U.S. from Panama on Nov. 23, 2020. According to Strauss, Dos Santos’ repatriation was possible with the help of the Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).

As reported by CryptoPotato back in August, the U.S. authorities arrested five individuals who were involved in the AirBit Club scheme that fleeced unsuspecting victims of $20 million. Operators of the crypto Ponzi scheme ran false advertisements that promised users hyperbolic rewards from Bitcoin trading and mining.

However, the DoJ at the time alleged that the group only sought to live flamboyant lifestyles of victims’ funds. While spending money on luxury homes and cars, they reportedly made more moves to recruit more victims across the U.S and different other countries.

A statement from the DoJ document reads:

“The extradition of Dos Santos reflects the determination of agents from HSI New York’s El Dorado Financial Crimes Task Force to dismantle global criminal organizations, wherever the investigation takes us. Utilizing our broad authorities and network of law enforcement partners, HSI will continue to hunt those who allegedly prey upon innocent citizens for financial gain.”

Also, if Dos Santos is found guilty of the charges levied against him, the AirtBit Club co-founder could face between 20-30 years in prison.

Law Enforcement Fighting Crypto Crimes

Regulatory authorities globally continue to warn investors about fake crypto-related schemes that promise high returns. According to a recent report by CryptoPotato, Chinese authorities confiscated $4 billion worth of crypto tokens from PlusToken scammers.

PlusToken, which is one of the biggest cryptocurrency Ponzi schemes, promised users high returns, similar to other crypto fraudulent projects. The Chinese law enforcement began investigating the project after it shut down in 2019. In July, the police arrested 27 key members of the scam project, along with 82 other members.

Another major fraudulent crypto scheme, OneCoin, reportedly stole $4 billion from investors with its founder Ruja Ignatova also known as “Crypto Queen,” still at large. Meanwhile, Ruja’s brother Konstantin Ignatov has been arrested by the U.S. authorities since 2019 and could face a 90-year prison sentence.

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Source: https://cryptopotato.com/u-s-doj-extradites-key-member-of-crypto-ponzi-scheme-from-panama/

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