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Millions Laundered Through Crypto Money Services Operation Triggers Prison Sentence

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A California man will spend time behind bars for a Bitcoin money-laundering operation, after being nabbed by undercover agents.

Kais Mohammad, 37 years old, used the handle “Superman29″ to advertise a Bitcoin-cash exchange service dubbed Herocoin, charging commissions of up to 25%.

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Mohammad’s illegal business exchanged up to $25 million through in-person transactions and ATM-type kiosks for Bitcoin. Undercover officials eventually incriminated Mohammad by posing as karaoke bar workers asking for his services for a prostitution ring.

A police sting helped close the case when Mohammad met with an undercover law enforcement agent and exchanged $16,000 in cash for 1.58592 Bitcoin. He reportedly did not file a currency transaction report or suspicious activity report for these transactions, despite the agent disclosing that the cash was garnered from illegal activity.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California states that Mohammad is a former bank employee who trained others on compliance matters.

Mohammad was aware that he was required to – but chose not to – develop and maintain an effective anti-money laundering program, file currency transaction reports for exchanges of currency in excess of $10,000, conduct due diligence on customers, and file suspicious activity reports for transactions over $2,000 involving customers he knew, or had reason to suspect, were involved in criminal activity.”

Mohammad pleaded guilty to operating an unlicensed money transmitting business, money laundering, and failing to maintain an effective anti-money laundering program, surrendering 17 Bitcoin ATMs, $22,820 in cash, 18.4 Bitcoin and 222.5 Ethereum to the government.

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Disclaimer: Opinions expressed at The Daily Hodl are not investment advice. Investors should do their due diligence before making any high-risk investments in Bitcoin, cryptocurrency or digital assets. Please be advised that your transfers and trades are at your own risk, and any loses you may incur are your responsibility. The Daily Hodl does not recommend the buying or selling of any cryptocurrencies or digital assets, nor is The Daily Hodl an investment advisor. Please note that The Daily Hodl participates in affiliate marketing.

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Source: https://dailyhodl.com/2021/06/02/millions-laundered-through-crypto-money-services-operation-triggers-prison-sentence/

Blockchain

Making sense of Solana’s ‘extremely rapid’ growth

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When Solana experienced a crash right after hitting a new all time high on 9 September, traders and experts tried to make sense of the event. On “The Best Business Show,” investment expert Anthony Pompliano interviewed Kyle Samani, co-founder and managing partner at Multicoin Capital, to discuss the rising star-turned-meteor, that Solana has turned out to be.

From 4 cents to over $200

Pompliano began by discussing Multicoin Capital’s investment in Solana. He calculated that the initial investment had gone up roughly 3750 times since the initial round, when one SOL had been at $0.04.

For his part, Samani said,

“Solana today is growing at an extremely rapid pace. Users being on-boarded, assets being issued, stablecoins going into it – all of these things. Look at the last nine days: it’s just a vertical line from, call it a billion in assets to like 10 billion.”

While listing out possible factors for Solana’s success, Samani cited Solana’s speed and network, its NFT platform Metaplex, the rise in SOL’s price, and the stablecoins issued.

Network > Price

Inevitably, Pompliano brought up Solana’s crash – though he admitted calling it so was “hilarious,” in the context of the alt coin’s growth. However, Samani’s answer was a surprising one. He claimed that he tried to ignore prices and didn’t refer to Coin Gecko or Coin Market Cap. Rather, he preferred to focus on Solana’s network and its growth. He further explained,

“Our time horizon is measured in years, not weeks or months. So the question we will always ask ourselves, is you know, is this network compounding at a sufficiently fast rate? And if you really go dig into developer activity, user on-boarding, dollar flow in the system. . .all of those things right now are compounding at an astounding rate and I don’t think that’s going to slow down.”

Furthermore, the following infographic presents data on Solana transfers.

Could Solana kill Ethereum?

Samani spoke about Metaplex and how the NFT platform came during the NFT Boom of summer 2021. He noted Ethereum’s high gas fees and how many users saw Solana as a faster alternative. Even so, Samani admitted that he thought it was “improbable” for Solana to displace Ethereum. Instead he suggested the two would likely co-exist.

Samani also addressed a common criticism aimed at Solana, regarding the its centralized nature, due to the number of validators and the expensive hardware required to run it.

Samani called the criticism “valid” but “irrelevant,” pointing out that the trade-off meant better performance for users, reiterating the network’s rapid growth.

At press time, there were between 974 and 1000 validators on the Solana mainnet. Samani’s assessment of the alt coin was simple but memorable. He said,

“I don’t think there’s going to be another Solana.”

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Source: https://ambcrypto.com/making-sense-of-solanas-extremely-rapid-growth

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Blockchain

Will Bitcoin make a pitstop at $85,000, before racing to $100,000

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Even though Bitcoin has been making no major moves of late, the market’s bullishness on the coin continued making headlines, and all for the right reasons. After all, the king coin surprised the market before, with massive its moves that rendered skeptics silent. 

Bitcoin to $100K, by the end of the year is a much-anticipated move by the market. As we enter the last quarter of this year, Bitcoin is expected to push towards that major psychological barrier. However, even though Bitcoin presented a solid recovery from the May crash, at the time of writing, the effects of the September 7 flash crash hadn’t completely worn out. 

Nonetheless, as BTC presented around 3% daily gains and traded at the $48.5 level at press time, the market once again eyed BTC for some major moves. But before Bitcoin actually makes a move towards the $100K, its last stop would be the $85K mark which will confirm an upward move to $100K. 

The above observation was part of a market report by trading platform Decentrader ,which presented bullish signals in the near term, for BTC. It presented how we it could be setting up for a major run that first reaches $85,000 before breaking through the psychological barrier of $100,000, thereby making for an explosive Q4 2021. 

BTC looking hyper bullish 

In spite of BTC trading below $50K throughout the week, on-chain metrics have led analysts to stay bullish on Bitcoin price action. A report stated that the constantly decreasing supply of BTC on exchanges put upwards pressure on price in the medium term. With demand increasing as supply reduces, the price would go up. 

Further, another factor that contributed to Bitcoin’s bullish mid-term trajectory was its SOPR which presented a similar trend to the months that followed the March covid crash. After the summer crash where SOPR was heavily printing green candles, some minor selling at a loss was observed on this pullback from $50,000 too. Thus, SOPR flashed a sort of buy-the-dip opportunity as final sellers get flushed out before it moves higher, as was observed in Q4 2020. 

Additionally, Active Address Sentiment Indicator had reset with price change lower than active address change. With a pullback in prices alongside constant network growth, the market will look to catch up with network growth by noting price gains. 

Thus, the report presented a hyper-bullish possibility of Bitcoin reaching $85K by the end of Q4. However, Bitcoin’s options market didn’t look too big on gains at the moment with funding rate flashing negative signs. Further BTC’s global open interest by expiry indicated year-end expectations of around $65K which is almost $20K less than the target of $85K. 

So, is $100K too far?

Well, not really. The reason being that, from the July local low of around $30K Bitcoin registered almost 75% gain to reach the multi-month price high of over $52K. Notably from the current consolidating prices, another 75% price gain would land Bitcoin to $85K. So a rally like that over the next three months won’t be a big surprise. 

Thus, while BTC was consolidating, a squeeze upward should characterize the remainder of this year, similar to events from 2020. 

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Source: https://ambcrypto.com/will-bitcoin-make-a-pitstop-at-85000-before-racing-to-100000

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Blockchain

Hungary Unveils Statue In Honor Of Bitcoin Creator Satoshi Nakamoto

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Hungary Unveils Statue In Honor Of Bitcoin Creator Satoshi Nakamoto

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Key takeaways

  • Hungary has erected a statue in honour of the anonymous creator of Bitcoin, Satoshi Nakamoto.
  • Hungary’s Bitcoin adoption is still underdeveloped compared to other European countries.
  • The initiative hopes to create awareness for cryptocurrencies in the country.
  • Satoshi Nakatomo’s legacy is gaining traction globally.

A statue in honor of the anonymous creator(s) of the pioneer cryptocurrency, Bitcoin, has been erected in Hungary. The imposing bronze statue was unveiled in Budapest – Hungary’s capital – on Thursday. Its creators say it is the first in the world to pay homage to the anonymous creator of Bitcoin.

The bust sits atop a stone plinth engraved with the name of Satoshi Nakamoto, and features a featureless face wrapped in a bronze hoodie engraved with the Bitcoin logo. The face is heavily polished to make it reflective like a mirror in which viewers can see themselves.

The sculptors, Gergely Réka and Tamás Gilly said the face was made reflective to capture the mantra of “we are all Satoshi,” so when viewers look at the statue they are reminded that they play just as an important role in Bitcoin as Satoshi and everyone else does. The statue sits among others that depict notable figures including Steve Jobs, the founder of Apple.

The Central European nation considers Bitcoin to be an asset and hence subject to capital gains tax. In May, plans to reduce the tax rate on cryptocurrencies were however revealed. The finance minister Mihaly Varga posted a video address on Facebook that announced that from 2022, taxes on cryptocurrencies would be cut in half from a 30.5% rate to 15%. It is hoped that the cut would incentivize better tax reporting by cryptocurrency enthusiasts and bring in “several billion florists” – the country’s currency – in revenue.

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According to CoinDance, a Bitcoin trading volume by country data aggregator, Hungarians traded 256,260 (over $12 billion) in the past week. However, compared to many other members of the European Union, analysts say the Bitcoin space in Hungary is currently in a state of underdevelopment.

Andras Gyorfi, the initiator of the project and a Bitcoinjournalist, while addressing a crowd at the unveiling said that the statue is a token of respect to Nakamoto, and an effort to “raise awareness toward blockchain and cryptocurrencies.” Hungary has become the first country to honor Bitcoin creator Satoshi Nakamoto with a public statue.

The organizers of the statue project said they invited Nakamoto to the unveiling in the hopes of finally learning the true identity of the Bitcoin inventor. The moment was a significant one however as it shows how far Bitcoin has come since its creation in 2008. 

There is no doubt that Satoshi Nakatomo’s creation has created value for a lot of people. Recently, El Salvador became the first nation-state to adopt Bitcoin as legal tender. The country expects that with the move they will give back economic power to citizens and incentives savings in the form of reduced remittance fees that should have gone to remittance giants.

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Source: https://zycrypto.com/hungary-unveils-statue-in-honor-of-bitcoin-creator-satoshi-nakamoto/

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