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Secretary Mnuchin Indicates New Cryptocurrency Regulations are Coming

In his testimony before the Senate Finance Committee, on February 12, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin stated that the Department of the Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) will soon release new regulations related to cryptocurrency. FinCEN is responsible for issuing and implementing anti-money laundering (AML) and counter-terrorist financing (CTF) regulations applicable to certain US financial… Continue Reading

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In his testimony before the Senate Finance Committee, on February 12, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin stated that the Department of the Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) will soon release new regulations related to cryptocurrency. FinCEN is responsible for issuing and implementing anti-money laundering (AML) and counter-terrorist financing (CTF) regulations applicable to certain US financial institutions. According to Secretary Mnuchin:

We’re spending a lot of time on the issue of cryptocurrencies and digital payment systems …. on pure cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, and there are others, we want to make sure that these are not used as the equivalent of secret bank accounts. So, we are working with FinCEN, and we will be rolling out new regulations to be very clear on greater transparency so that law enforcement can see where the money is going and that this isn’t used for money laundering.

FinCEN previously issued guidance on virtual currency in 2013 and 2019, which clarify how FinCEN’s existing rules for money services businesses, or MSBs, apply to “administrators,” “exchangers,” and “users” of what the agency calls “convertible virtual currency.” The MSB rules apply to certain persons dealing in fiat currency, convertible virtual currency, and other “value that substitutes for currency,” but does not treat MSBs dealing in convertible virtual currency differently than other types of MSBs. Therefore, if FinCEN were to issue new regulations specifically addressing cryptocurrencies or digital assets more broadly, such regulations would be a first of its kind.

Secretary Mnuchin did not offer any additional details with respect to the timing or scope for any new regulations. Assuming FinCEN used the formal notice and comment process to issue any new regulations, this would be the first opportunity for digital asset companies to formally weigh in on FinCEN’s approach to the industry. The outcome of such a process could have a significant impact on the digital asset industry in the United States. (However, it is possible the agency issues an interim final rule or utilizes another process whereby industry would not be granted the same opportunity to comment).

Secretary Mnuchin also addressed stablecoins and central bank issued cryptocurrencies, telling lawmakers, “There is another component of the market which people refer to as stablecoins, where we do think technology can be used to reduce payment processing quite considerably, particularly for small dollar payments cross-border. And then there’s a third component that people are looking at, which is central bank digital issued currency. That is something that Chairman Powell and I do not think the US needs to consider now, but could consider again down the road.”

Although not clear, his comments with respect to stablecoins suggest there is a possibility that FinCEN might take a different approach toward stablecoins than other types of digital assets in any new regulations. While most regulators in the US have treated varying types of digital assets similarly with respect to AML laws and regulations, there has been some movement toward treating stablecoins differently, as noted in our prior blog post on guidance from the Texas Department of Banking.

Source: https://www.steptoeblockchainblog.com/2020/03/secretary-mnuchin-indicates-new-cryptocurrency-regulations-are-coming/

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Co-Founder of Floyd Mayweather-Backed Centra Tech Sentenced to 8 Years in Prison

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The co-founder of a fraudulent ICO project that duped more than $25 million from investors, Sohrab Sharma, has received a sentence of eight years in prison for his role.

The project itself, dubbed Centra Tech, was previously backed by several celebrities, including the boxing legend Floyd Mayweather and the producer DJ Khaled.

Centra Tech Co-Founder Behind Bars for 8 Years

Founded in 2017, Centra Tech marketed itself as a debit card provider that supposedly allowed purchases with cryptocurrencies at any businesses accepting Visa and MasterCard.

The trio behind the project, namely Robert Farkas, Raymond Trapani, and Sohrab “Sam” Sharma, claimed that a Harvard-educated CEO with over 20 of experience will run the project and that the card had licenses to operate in 38 US states.

However, an investigation from the Department of Justice concluded that the three co-founders had fabricated the information. Consequently, the authorities charged the three men with deceiving investors into allocating over $25 million in the fraudulent ICO project.

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Farkas and Trapani pled guilty to conspiring to commit securities fraud, wire fraud, and mail fraud initially, while Sharma joined them last year, as reported. Now, several months later, he has received his sentencing – eight years in prison, according to the DOJ’s statement.

US Attorney Ilan Graff said that Sharma has “led a scheme to deceive investors by falsely claiming that the start-up he co-founded had developed fully functioning, cutting-edge cryptocurrency-related financial products.”

He added that “in reality, Sharma’s most notable inventions were the fake executives, fake business partnerships, and fake licenses that he and his co-conspirators touted to trick victims into handing over tens of millions of dollars.”

Mayweather and DJ Khaled Involved

Taking advantage of a common occurrence at the time, Cantra Tech received the endorsement of at least two celebrities – DJ Khaled and Floyd Mayweather. However, both failed to disclose that they had accepted funding for their actions.

Both received charges from the US Securities and Exchange Commission as a result of the investigation. Shortly after, they agreed to pay penalties without admitting to wrongdoing.

The boxer paid $300,000 in disgorgement, a $300,000 penalty, and $14,755 in prejudgment interest. He also agreed not to promote any securities, digital or otherwise, for a period of three years.

The musician paid $50,000 in disgorgement, a $100,000 penalty, and $2,725 in prejudgment interest while agreeing to avert any ICO promotions for two years.

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Source: https://cryptopotato.com/co-founder-of-floyd-mayweather-backed-centra-tech-sentenced-to-8-years-in-prison/

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Mark Cuban’s Dogecoin decision is a mistake: Mike Novogratz

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Mike Novogratz thinks Mark Cuban’s decision to let people buy Dallas Mavericks tickets and merchandise with Dogecoin is a mistake. In an interview earlier today, the Galaxy Digital CEO told Bloomberg,

“I think Mark’s making a mistake there. He’d be better off with 15 other different ways to pay for his tickets.”

The exec also pointed out how the popular meme-coin isn’t exactly the safest bet, adding, “Let’s put people in the safest best stuff, not these joke coins.” To make his case, Novogratz also highlighted that he had actually made money betting on the value of Dogecoin falling on the price charts.

While many in the community were quick to fire back after the exec’s comments, Novogratz’s concerns are understandable, especially since Dogecoin is a meme-based cryptocurrency that was intended to be a joke according to its creator’s own admission. However, as is the case with most cryptocurrencies, the community belief system in a coin may be as important as the tokenomics of the coin itself.

In fact, data suggests that Dogecoin adoption is on the rise. According to crypto-Twitter analytics tracker Swarm Analytics, Dogecoin has consistently been the most mentioned cryptocurrency after Bitcoin and Ethereum.

With its adoption surging over the past few months, Mark Cuban isn’t the only one embracing DOGE as a means of payment. Crypto-merchant service provider Bitpay recently added DOGE to its list of supported currencies, with crypto-ATM operator CoinFlip also making DOGE available at 1800 crypto-ATMs worldwide.

“The rise in popularity and price of Dogecoin means that developers and entrepreneurs will take Dogecoin more seriously and contributions to the project will create a positive feedback loop that increases the popularity of the project,” Daniel Polotsky, CEO of CoinFlip, said.

As things stand, the most telling sign of the coin’s newly-found standing in the market may just be the timing of its most recent dip in price.

Despite last week’s tweets from DOGE’s most influential supporter, Elon Musk, the price of DOGE failed to pump higher, something that suggested that Musk’s influence on the cryptocurrency may be declining. At the time of writing, the altcoin was trading at $0.05151, up by 4.5% in the last 24-hours.


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Source: https://ambcrypto.com/mark-cubans-dogecoin-decision-is-a-mistake-mike-novogratz

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Bitcoin Price Analysis: 06 March

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Disclaimer: The findings of the following analysis are the sole opinions of the writer and should not be taken as investment advice

In the short-term, Bitcoin flipped the $47,400-level from resistance to support. Bitcoin’s dominance has also been on a steady downtrend over the past few days, with the world’s largest cryptocurrency holding its own above the $45,000-mark, a sign that capital was flowing out of altcoins and into Bitcoin.

In fact, there were some signs that a bullish bias was back in the market as the correlation with the S&P 500 picked up too.

Bitcoin 1-hour chart

Bitcoin Price Analysis: 06 March

Source: BTC/USD on TradingView

The past two weeks have seen BTC trade within the range of $43,810 to $51,370. The mid-point of this range at $47,430 has been an important level of support and resistance over the same time period.

The descending trendline (cyan) was tested once more, and the bulls achieved a breakout as high as $49,400. However, there was some selling there that saw BTC pushed back lower to trade at $48,268, at the time of writing.

A move above $47,400 is an encouraging sign and another attempt to breach the $48,800-$49,350 area of supply is likely to be seen in the short-term.

Reasoning

On the hourly chart, the RSI was oscillating around the 50-mark, with market momentum not in favor of either side yet. The price dip from $49,350 over the past 12 hours was backed by low trading volume, indicating that it could be reversed.

The market’s bears were halted at $46,600 before a move above the trendline (cyan) was seen. Since then, the OBV has been making a series of higher lows to show that buying volume was rising. However, by and large, the OBV was pretty much in the same area it was before showing that short-term volatility notwithstanding, March has seen a deadlock between buyers and sellers.

A retest of $47,400 cannot be ruled out, but it is likely that this level will hold as support if tested. To the upside, a move beyond the aforementioned region of supply will likely see BTC test the $50,000-mark.

Conclusion

A retest of $47,400 or a hike above $49,350 can be an opportunity to enter a long position with a target of $52,000, based on the evidence at hand. Weekend volatility could also rear its head, making risk management all the more important.


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Source: https://ambcrypto.com/bitcoin-price-analysis-06-march

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