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Cryptocurrency Archives - Sunnywebmoney.com

SunnyMay 24, 2018
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6min00


Marijuana prohibition never stopped marijuana sales. Blocking legal marijuana businesses from the legal banking system isn’t working either.

May 24, 2018

3 min read


The legal marijuana industry in the United States is awash in cash. Literally.

With reports that cannabis businesses generated almost $61 million in tax revenue for California in just the first quarter of recreational marijuana sales, it’s important to remember that the money moving through the marijuana financial system is almost 100 percent in cash. Why? Most banks won’t touch money from legal marijuana businesses because cannabis remains a Schedule I illegal drug at the federal level, meaning banks in the strictest sense risk committing crime providing the industry ordinary commercial banking services. That leaves marijuana entrepreneurs working in a cash-only world.

It’s more than just inconvenient. It makes it more difficult to create a safe environment for both employees and customers. It makes it next-to-impossible to get loans to start or grow a business. It also makes tracking marijuana transactions more difficult for businesses and the government.

Related: For the Perfect Social-Impact Investment, Look No Further Than Cannabis

Cryptocurrency Opportunity

Cryptocurrency companies, using blockchain technology, are hoping to step into the gap. At the recent CoinDesk’s Consensus 2018 conference in New York City, many companies touted blockchain and cryptocurrency as a potential cure for the marijuana industry’s financial headache. The conference attracted thousands. More than $17 million in ticket sales were made for the event, held at the New York Hilton Midtown.

Blockchain provides a transparent, secure digital transaction record that can be accessed by all users. It’s most associated with Bitcoin. One of the main topics at the conference was how can blockchain be used in the cannabis industry.

The idea of cryptocurrency in the marijuana industry gained momentum late last year when researchers at IBM advised the government in British Columbia, Canada, to use blockchain to for seed-to-sale tracking of legal marijuana. Legal recreational marijuana sales are expected to begin in July across Canada.

Related: Why Some Veterans Are On the Front Lines to Legalize Hemp

Cryptocurrency Startups

Now startups, or more specifically their financial backers, are putting their money behind this theory. Companies that have developed blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies aimed at use in the marijuana industry are springing up like weeds. For examples:

  • Cannabis social media hub MassRoots is now transitioning to a marijuana-focused software company, tying blockchain to its marijuana point-of-sale tracking business, MassRoots Retail.
  • Alt Thirty Six, which uses the cryptocurrency Dash, has partnered with cannabis software company Webjoint to provide access to its digital transaction system for the marijuana-related businesses Webjoint serves in California.
  • Software company Greenstream is building a blockchain-based supply chain system for the cannabis industry that could be accessed by retailers, suppliers and regulators

Related: DEA Chief's Congressional Testimony About Legal Marijuana Angered Some, Baffled Many

If it all seems a bit like Silicon Valley in the 1990s and 2000s, that’s because it is. The marijuana industry has gone from nowhere to a multi-billion industry in just a few years, yet people are still carrying around their profits in leather satchels. At some point, that is going to end. If the federal government doesn’t provide a solution, then cryptocurrency might.

Follow dispensaries.com on Instagram to stay up to date on the latest cannabis news.

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SunnyMay 24, 2018
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3min00


On Monday, cryptocurrency Verge fell victim to an all-too-familiar hack of the type that continues to plague the digital asset industry. The attack was the second on the XVG coin after an April attack of 250,000 coins, which led to a decline of 25% in the value of Verge.

However, in the history of cryptocurrency hacks, the $1.4 million heist ranks well down the list.

Check out this chart on the biggest hacks in crypto history from website HowMuch.net:




Crypto hacks

While it may make sense for exchanges to tighten security, the data suggests they are not. There have been 13 hacks of more than $10 million, with 12 of them coming after June 2016.

“A general trend is immediately obvious about our visualization: cryptocurrency hacks have generally become more common and more valuable over time. $10M+ hacks started happening with some regularity after the summer of 2016, right when the crypto-market started taking off.” wrote howmuch.net in its report.

The biggest hack remains the infamous Mt. Gox hack of 2014 where 850,000 bitcoin

BTCUSD, -0.82%

worth $450 million at the time, was stolen, leading the exchange filing for bankruptcy and begin liquidation proceedings.

Read: Former Mt. Gox CEO does not want his billion dollars

The numbers on this chart represent the value of the hacks at the time the theft took place, not today’s value of the coin. Because, if calculated in today’s terms, the $450 million Mt. Gox hack would need a chart of its own. The 850,000 bitcoins at today’s price is worth more than $6 billion.

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SunnyMay 24, 2018
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3min00


The Justice Department and the CFTC are reportedly taking a close look at bitcoin.


Karen Bleier / AFP/Getty Images

The Justice Department has opened a criminal investigation into the possibility that the prices of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are being manipulated by traders, according to Bloomberg.

The probe is centered around spoofing, an illegal practice in which an investor floods the market with fake orders to distort the price of an asset. It’s reportedly being conducted in tandem with the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, the financial regulator which oversees derivatives tied to bitcoin.

The price of bitcoin fell to $7,364 in the wake of Thursday’s report from Bloomberg, from an overnight peak of $7,718. That’s a decrease of 4.6 percent.

The bitcoin market’s meteoric rise and massive volatility has led to some countries, including China, to ban the cryptocurrency, while others scramble to regulate it. In the US, the chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission has warned of the risks associated with cryptocurrency investment and noted that they hold substantially less investor protection than traditional securities markets.

The Justice Department and CFTC didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.


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SunnyMay 24, 2018
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10min00


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The U.S. Justice Department has opened a criminal investigation into the manipulation of popular cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum. It’s believed that some traders are manipulating the price of cryptocurrencies through illegal tactics like issuing fake orders, causing the price to go up and down at will.

Bloomberg first reported the investigation, which is being coordinated with the Commodity Futures Trading Commission. The price of Bitcoin, the most popular cryptocurrency, plummeted early this morning after Bloomberg first reported that the U.S. government was opening an investigation.

Bitcoin currently sits at $7,320 at the time of this writing, down 2.42 percent on the day, and down roughly 20 percent since May 4th when the cryptocurrency was at $9,900.

From Bloomberg:

The illicit tactics that the Justice Department is looking into include spoofing and wash trading — forms of cheating that regulators have spent years trying to root out of futures and equities markets, the people said. In spoofing, a trader submits a spate of orders and then cancels them once prices move in a desired direction. Wash trades involve a cheater trading with herself to give a false impression of market demand that lures other to dive in too. Coins prosecutors are examining include Bitcoin and Ether, the people said.

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Bitcoin hit a record high of $19,783.06 in December of 2017 after the cryptocurrency craze had been building throughout last year. Countless novice traders jumped into the market at the highest point and were disappointed when it did nothing but consistently fall after that.

One of the problems with the flood of over-excited investors is that Bitcoin isn’t regulated in any meaningful way. Some people lost thousands after the price plummeted, with tales of woe being posted on internet forums like Reddit. A few unlucky people even sold their homes to buy Bitcoin, a dumb investment for an imaginary currency that’s essentially Monopoly money.

Countries like China have placed heavy restrictions on cryptocurrency trading. The country recently shut down over 600 Bitcoin mining computers after a local energy company noticed a suspicious spike. Other countries, like Venezuela, have tried to cash in on the cryptocurrency boom by launching their own fake money on the blockchain.

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Big names in tech, including Bill Gates, have also been critical of the rise of cryptocurrency for its use in dangerous enterprises like drug dealing.

“The main feature of crypto currencies is their anonymity. I don’t think this is a good thing,” Bill Gates said during a Reddit AMA session this past February.

“The Governments ability to find money laundering and tax evasion and terrorist funding is a good thing,” Gates continued. “Right now crypto currencies are used for buying fentanyl and other drugs so it is a rare technology that has caused deaths in a fairly direct way. I think the speculative wave around ICOs and crypto currencies is super risky for those who go long.”

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Aside from being used for illicit drugs and being little more than a pyramid scheme, Bitcoin is also terrible for the environment. Rough estimates put the amount of energy that cryptocurrency mining will consume at 7.7 gigawatts of electricity by the end of this year. That’s enough energy to power the entire country of Austria.

Companies like Google have banned cryptocurrency advertising on their site because it’s such a rich field for scammers. But only time will tell if the U.S. government can crack down on illegal manipulation of Bitcoin. The cryptocurrency seems like it’s here to stay. Whether it will be worth anything years from now remains to be seen.

[Bloomberg]

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SunnyMay 24, 2018
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5min00


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Although bitcoin was created in 2009, it’s only become well-known in recent months. In early 2017, bitcoin was trading around $1,000. In March 2018, its value stood at $10,000. That ascent prompted interest in cryptocurrency, with people navigating currency and investment more differently than ever before.

Digital currency isn’t regulated, making cryptocurrency-investing risky in contrast to the stock market. Regulators around the globe have warned about the speculative nature of bitcoin and announced increased oversight.

Still, it’s difficult to ignore the rise in the price of bitcoin and the attention cryptocurrency is now getting in the press. There are even products focused on the alternative currency, giving novice investors access to this booming market. But all this attention begs the questions, "What’s this all about?" and "What are its risks?"

What You Need To Know About Cryptocurrency

Bitcoin Takes Out The Middleman

Bitcoin was created with the aim of taking the middleman (namely banks) out of the equation. Transactions are anonymous and usually have no fees associated with them. And because the coins aren’t tied to any country, they aren’t subject to government regulations, making them cheap and easy to engage in international payments.

Bitcoin works thanks to the technology that underpins it — blockchain, a digital ledger, where transactions are recorded in chronological order for the public to see. It’s used to store an online ledger of transactions that take place using bitcoin. It’s also unregulated and transparent.

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Although bitcoin was created in 2009, it’s only become well-known in recent months. In early 2017, bitcoin was trading around $1,000. In March 2018, its value stood at $10,000. That ascent prompted interest in cryptocurrency, with people navigating currency and investment more differently than ever before.

Digital currency isn’t regulated, making cryptocurrency-investing risky in contrast to the stock market. Regulators around the globe have warned about the speculative nature of bitcoin and announced increased oversight.

Still, it’s difficult to ignore the rise in the price of bitcoin and the attention cryptocurrency is now getting in the press. There are even products focused on the alternative currency, giving novice investors access to this booming market. But all this attention begs the questions, “What’s this all about?” and “What are its risks?”

What You Need To Know About Cryptocurrency

Bitcoin Takes Out The Middleman

Bitcoin was created with the aim of taking the middleman (namely banks) out of the equation. Transactions are anonymous and usually have no fees associated with them. And because the coins aren’t tied to any country, they aren’t subject to government regulations, making them cheap and easy to engage in international payments.

Bitcoin works thanks to the technology that underpins it — blockchain, a digital ledger, where transactions are recorded in chronological order for the public to see. It’s used to store an online ledger of transactions that take place using bitcoin. It’s also unregulated and transparent.

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SunnyMay 23, 2018
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4min00


The Marshall Islands made its own cryptocurrency, doing away with the US dollar. The government has signed the change into law, making the “sovereign” its new official cryptocurrency, as spotted by CNBC Africa cryptocurrency trader host Ran Neuner on Twitter yesterday.

The bill was signed into effect on March 1st, but the news is making waves again this week. The Marshall Islands’ population is 53,066, so the change doesn’t affect many, but it is significant for citizens of the islands because banks and credit card companies will need to begin accepting it. With the recent change, US dollars are still likely to be accepted on the Marshall Islands — the sovereign will just be considered the nation’s official legal tender.

In February, top officials from the Marshall Islands confirmed that the Pacific republic would issue its own cryptocurrency to be circulated as legal tender. The digital coin also received approval from the country’s parliament. “As a country, we reserve the right to issue a currency in whatever form it is, whether in digital or fiat form,” said David Paul, minister-in-assistance to the president of the Marshall Islands, to Reuters at the time.

The sovereign will be launched through an initial coin offering and supply is supposed to be capped at 24 million tokens, as a precaution against inflation. Paul said in February that a token presale for investors would launch soon, but there’s been no further word on that yet.

The Marshall Islands is a United Nations member and a sovereign state, creating a larger impact for banks globally. Back in February, Venezuela launched its own oil-backed cryptocurrency called the petro, but it hasn’t completely removed the fiat bolivar from circulation. Venezuela is also under US sanctions, and President Donald Trump actually issued an executive order banning anyone in the US or US territories from investing in petro.

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SunnyMay 23, 2018
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3min00


India is working on proposals to make cryptocurrency transactions subject to goods and services tax (GST), sources told Bloomberg May 23.

According to the anonymous parties with “direct knowledge” of the plans, the government’s Central Board of Indirect Taxes is considering applying the 18 percent tax to exchange operations, which it would view as “intangible goods.”

“Purchase or sale of cryptocurrencies should be considered as supply of goods, and those facilitating transactions like supply, transfer, storage, accounting, among others, will be treated as services,” the publication reports in a summary.

India has so far refrained from issuing regulations on cryptocurrency, despite efforts by its central bank to reduce the ability of businesses and citizens to interact with them.

In April, the Reserve Bank of India formally forbade domestic institutions from servicing cryptocurrency businesses in a move which has so far failed to curb the proliferation of new exchanges.

If the taxation rule goes ahead, it would signal a move towards legitimacy of the industry in the continued absence of hard-and-fast legislation.

“If buyers and sellers are in India, the transaction would be treated as a supply of software and the buyer’s location will be the place of supply,” Bloomberg continues, noting elsewhere that:

“Transactions beyond the Indian territory will be liable for integrated GST, and would be considered as import or export of goods. IGST will be levied on cross-border supplies.”

The move is not the first targeting taxation of cryptocurrency in India. In February, letters were sent to around half a million traders demanding they report profits on exchange activities.

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