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Bulgarian Crypto Director Rossen Iossifov Given Prison Sentence

It has become rather clear in recent years that crypto crime will not be tolerated. Rossen Iossifov – the Bulgarian owner of the now defunct RG Coins – is learning this lesson the hard way. Iossifov Sentenced to Ten Years Iossifov has been sentenced to ten years behind bars for running a cryptocurrency exchange that

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It has become rather clear in recent years that crypto crime will not be tolerated. Rossen Iossifov – the Bulgarian owner of the now defunct RG Coins – is learning this lesson the hard way.

Iossifov Sentenced to Ten Years

Iossifov has been sentenced to ten years behind bars for running a cryptocurrency exchange that was allegedly used to launder tens of millions of dollars in ill-gotten funds. The exchange was reportedly utilized to host fake auctions, convincing people to invest and then moving their funds through assorted crypto platforms as a means of hiding the money from authorities.

The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) has put out a statement claiming that the 53-year-old Iossifov “intentionally engaged in business practices designed to both assist fraudsters in laundering the proceeds of their fraud and to shield himself from criminal liability.”

Initially, the criminal program began in the nation of Romania. This is where the initial auctions were held. As many as 900 separate investors were duped into taking part. Auctions were advertised on several sites including both eBay and Craigslist and featured top luxury items such as sports vehicles. The big clincher was that these vehicles didn’t exist and were never going to be sold.

Once people put in their money for bids and purchases on these auctions, the funds were funneled through cryptocurrency accounts located in various exchanges and transferred into digital currency. This was done to hide the money and prevent authorities from knowing where it came from.

U.S.-based prosecutors claim that Iossifov was one of the main people taking part in the organized crime. The main base for his operation was in Sofia, the capital of Bulgaria, and that a minimum of five clients were part of the Alexandria Online Auction Fraud (AOAF) network. These individuals said that Iossifov offered “favorable” rates to anyone that was potentially involved in the crimes network.

One of the big red flags was that no identification was ever collected on the people taking part in the auction. This was so that none of the funds could be traced back to their original owners. Without proof of ID, none of the criminals could be asked about who they did business with.

How Deep Does This Ring Go?

While exact figures regarding the stolen funds have not been given just yet, it is estimated that as much as $7 million was stolen just from U.S.-based customers in a little over two years. Iossifov is also believed to have given himself a healthy paycheck of roughly $184,000 following the completion of the auctions.

Iossifov is not the only one to have been picked up by law enforcement. As many as 17 separate individuals involved in the scam have been convinced, of which seven will serve time in jail. Three others have yet to be apprehended.

Tags: crypto crime, RG Coins, Rossen Iossifov Source: https://www.livebitcoinnews.com/bulgarian-crypto-director-rossen-iossifov-given-prison-sentence/

Blockchain

PayPal in Talks To Buy Crypto Storage Startup Curv for Around $500 Million, Reports

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PayPal could be in talks to buy a cryptocurrency startup focused on providing security solutions for cryptocurrency custody.

According to diferent reports, PayPal is interested in acquiring Curv, and the talks between the two companies’ teams are an open secret in the global tech scene – though perhaps no longer a secret considering how quickly it is spreading despite the cautious stance taken by both companies.

Local sources argue that the cost of the deal would be in the range of $500 million. This amount would exceed the expectations of Curv’s development team, which hoped to rake in between $200 million and $300 million from the company’s sale.

What is Curv and Why Does it Matter?

Curv has developed an encryption technology based on multi-party computation that secures digital assets and enables the secure transfer Store and any digital asset management on any blockchain. Its platform makes it possible for a Wallet to generate private keys at different points simultaneously, distributing them between the cloud and the client, eliminating possibilities of single points of failure.

Considering the services Curv provides, it stands to reason that an acquisition would be beneficial to PayPal. It would allow it to evolve and likely increase security and user confidence in its crypto services.

It could even allow PayPal to have a native cryptocurrency custody solution, reducing costs in the long run.

So far, no company has given public statements acknowledging or rejecting the news.

Paypal’s Interest in Crypto Grows Every day

PayPal’s interest in cryptocurrencies has only grown as institutional investment, regulatory clarity, and, of course, the price of digital assets increase.

Months after the March 2020 crash, PayPal announced a partnership with Paxos to provide its customers with exposure to the price of Bitcoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, and Litecoin.

The idea was to enable some cryptocurrency operations in a secure, easy, and legal way. The initiative was a massive success for PayPal, and the price of Bitcoin rose to new all-time highs. A study conducted by Mizuho Securities found that by the en of 2020, one fifth of all PayPal users had some exposure to Bitcoin and 65% of PayPal users were interested in crypto.

Dan Schulman, CEO of Paypal said on an official press release, that the use of digital currencies was inevitable, and governments need to hit the gas pedal and adapt their policies to the innovations of the modern era:

“The shift to digital forms of currencies is inevitable, bringing with it clear advantages in terms of financial inclusion and access; efficiency, speed and resilience of the payments system; and the ability for governments to disburse funds to citizens quickly”

Subsequently, reports leaked that PayPal was attempting to acquire BitGo; however, the talks never came to fruition.

If PayPal buys Curv, the quality of cryptocurrency-related services could increase considerably, not only helping to appreciate the value of the company’s stock but proving the validity of PayPal’s strategy of investing in cryptocurrency goods and services rather than buying cryptocurrencies for speculation or storing value.

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Source: https://cryptopotato.com/paypal-to-buy-crypto-storage-startup-curv/

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Polygon-based QuickSwap’s TVL grows by $75M in two weeks

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Polygon-based DEX QuickSwap hasattracted more than $105 million in worth of liquidity since the start of 2021.

The Uniswap clone began the year with only $300,000 worth of assets locked in its protocol, with more than three quarters of the exchange’s total value locked being added in the past fortnight.

QuickSwap is currently the leading second-layer decentralized exchange by daily volume with $38.5 million worth of trades over the past 24 hours. The second-largest L2 DEX by volume is Loopring with $8.4 million, followed by ZKSwap with $2.5 million.

QuickSwap’s governance token, QUICK, surged from under $1 per token to $557 in three months, and currently represents nearly 20% of the protocol’s total liquidity. Other popular tokens on the exchange include Wrapped Ether, USD Coin, maUSDC, and Wrapped Matic.

Speaking to Cointelegraph, QuickSwap founder Nick Mudge attributed the exchange’s recent success to the user’s that Aavegotchi brought to Polygon after launching its NFT staking game on Jan. 21.

With more than 80 tokens driving more than $23 million in daily trade volume, Mudge believes QuickSwap is a cornerstone of Polygon’s nascent DeFi ecosystem, predicting the two will grow symbiotically:

“QuickSwap is the center of the Polygon DeFi ecosystem and will grow as the ecosystem grows. QuickSwap and its liquidity mining incentives were a solution to move the users to Polygon and give them a Uniswap experience with very low gas fees.”

Polygon, a scaling solution allowing projects to create Ethereum-compatible blockchains, has benefited from the crippling gas fees that have recently made many Ethereum-powered DeFi protocols too expensive for casual users.

MATIC, the native crypto of Polygon, has posted meteoric gains this year, rising 1,135% from $0.0182 to $0.2249 over 2021 so far.

Source: https://cointelegraph.com/news/polygon-based-quickswap-s-tvl-grows-by-75m-in-two-weeks

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Blockchain

TA: Bitcoin Turns Attractive Above $50K, Why BTC Could Rally To $55K

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Bitcoin price extended its rise and cleared the $50,000 resistance against the US Dollar. BTC is now consolidating gains and it is likely to climb further above $52,000.

  • Bitcoin is trading in a positive zone above the $50,000 and $50,500 support levels.
  • The price is now trading well above $51,000 and the 100 hourly simple moving average.
  • There is a major bullish trend line forming with support near $49,800 on the hourly chart of the BTC/USD pair (data feed from Kraken).
  • The pair could extend its rally once it clears $52,000 and $52,500 in the near term.

Bitcoin Price is Gaining Momentum

After a close above the $48,000 resistance, bitcoin was able to gain strength above the main $50,000 resistance. BTC even cleared the $51,500 level and spiked above the $52,000 level.

It traded to a new monthly high near $52,650 and settled well above the 100 hourly simple moving average. It is now trading in a positive zone above the $50,000 and $50,500 support levels. There was a minor correction recently below the $51,000 level.

The price traded below the 23.6% Fib retracement level of the upward move from the $47,102 swing low to $52,648 high. However, the bulls were active near the $50,000 and $49,500 levels.

Bitcoin Price

Source: BTCUSD on TradingView.com

There is also a major bullish trend line forming with support near $49,800 on the hourly chart of the BTC/USD pair. Bitcoin also remained well above the 50% Fib retracement level of the upward move from the $47,102 swing low to $52,648 high.

It is now trading above $51,000 and testing a connecting bearish trend line at $51,500. A clear break above the trend line resistance could open the doors for a move towards the $52,500 and $53,200 levels. The next key resistance sits near the $55,000 level.

Fresh Dip in BTC?

If bitcoin fails to continue higher above the $52,000 and $52,500 resistance levels, there could be a minor decline. The first key support on the downside is near the $50,500 level.

The next major support is near the $50,000 level and the trend line. If there is a downside break below the trend line support, the price could test the $48,000 support and the 100 hourly SMA.

Technical indicators:

Hourly MACD – The MACD is now gaining momentum in the bullish zone.

Hourly RSI (Relative Strength Index) – The RSI for BTC/USD is now well above the 50 level.

Major Support Levels – $50,500, followed by $50,000.

Major Resistance Levels – $51,500, $52,000 and $53,200.

Source: https://www.newsbtc.com/analysis/btc/bitcoin-btc-could-rally-55k/

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