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| May 25, 2018

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Trump CIA pick Gina Haspel says agency should not have conducted enhanced interrogation program

May 15, 2018 |

Gina Haspel, President Trump’s pick to lead the CIA, admitted the agency should not have conducted its enhanced interrogation program.
FOX News

Russia’s news agency says its offices in Ukraine raided

May 15, 2018 |

A Russian state-owned news agency says its office in the Ukrainian capital has been raided and that at least one of its correspondents has been detained for questioning.
FOX News

Report: Spy Agency Triples Collection of Phone Records

May 5, 2018 |

The National Security Agency more than tripled the number of phone and text records that it collected of Americans in 2017 over 2016, according to a new government report . The spy agency collected 534 million records from telecommunications providers such as Verizon and AT&T in 2017 as compared with 151…
Newser

A good consumer agency is a weak consumer agency, says Trump’s consumer watchdog

April 17, 2018 |

If the stakes weren’t so high, it would be incredibly fun watching financial firms and their Republican allies repeatedly make the case that the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is a rogue agency determined to undermine capitalism, democracy and the American way of life.

My absolute favorite…


L.A. Times – Business

Australian Tax Agency Seeks Public Input Concerning Cryptocurrency Taxes

March 29, 2018 |

Australian Tax Agency Seeks Public Input Concerning Cryptocurrency Taxes

The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) has been researching how to formulate regulatory guidelines for taxing cryptocurrencies recently. This week the ATO is seeking input from Australian residents concerning how the country should tax digital assets.

Also read: South Korean Exchange Paying Users to Report Illegal Crypto Schemes

The Australian Taxation Office is Looking for Public Opinion Concerning Cryptocurrency Tax Implications

Over the past few months, the ATO has been drafting taxation guidelines for cryptocurrencies like bitcoin. The Australian tax agency has already described how it wants citizens to record all of their digital asset transactions and document the Australian dollar value amount at the time of each transaction. The ATO’s “Seeking Input” letter details its recently defined descriptions “resulted in queries from the community about how to approach specific tax events.” In order to deal with these requests, the ATO is asking for public opinion concerning crypto-tax laws.

“We have launched a community consultation to help us understand practical issues experienced when complying with cryptocurrency tax obligations,” explains the ATO.

We’ve timed this consultation to coincide with an update to our website, which should address some of the feedback we have received to date about our cryptocurrency guidance.

Australian Tax Agency Seeks Public Input Concerning Cryptocurrency Taxes

Public Feedback Must be Submitted by April 20

Australian Tax Agency Seeks Public Input Concerning Cryptocurrency TaxesThe recent letter follows the ATO’s creation of a special task force dedicated to tracking and identifying cryptocurrency transactions. Furthermore, the tax agency has partnered with the Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (Austrac) alongside other government bureaus. At the time the ATO detailed the agency’s strategy is meant for people to understand the “tax implications of cryptocurrency arrangements.”

This week the ATO’s letter explains it looks forward to hearing from the public.

“We’re eager to hear your feedback about cryptocurrency and its tax implications as the technology may impact how business operates in the future,” the agency adds.

Australian citizens who want to participate in giving public feedback can do so until April 20, 2018. Those who wish to make comments can visit the ATO’s consultation of substantiating cryptocurrency taxation events webpage.

What do you think about the ATO asking for public feedback concerning crypto-tax implications? Let us know what you think in the comments below.


Images via Pixabay, and the ATO. 


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The post Australian Tax Agency Seeks Public Input Concerning Cryptocurrency Taxes appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Bitcoin News

ICE Agency Charges Payza and Two Canadian Citizens With Bitcoin Money Laundering

March 23, 2018 |

ICE Agency Charges Payza and Two Canadian Citizens With Money Laundering

This week the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security agency (ICE) has revealed that it is charging two Canadian brothers and the company Payza with illegal money transmission and money laundering charges tethered to cryptocurrency transactions.

Also read: ICO Trackers Are the New Gatekeepers of Crowdsales

Money Transmitters are Required to Register With U.S. Federal and State Agencies  

ICE Agency Charges Payza and Two Canadian Citizens With Money LaunderingAccording to a press statement released by ICE, two Canadian brothers and the firm, Payza, are facing legal troubles for unlicensed money services and alleged money laundering. The firm Payza is a payment processor that utilizes bitcoin and other currencies for daily settlement operations. Payza allegedly processed over $ 250 million USD worth of proceeds stemming from Ponzi schemes, and other criminal activities. The ICE announcement was revealed by the U.S. Attorney Jessie K. Liu and ICE special agent Patrick J. Lechleitner. The two men facing charges alongside Payza are two Montreal, Québec residents Firoz Patel (43) and Ferhan Patel (37).   

“The arrest and indictments, in this case, demonstrate that we will vigorously enforce laws meant to protect the American consumer,” explained U.S. Attorney Liu.

Money transmitting businesses are required to be registered federally and licensed in most states and jurisdictions, including the District of Columbia. Consumers should beware of those that do not follow these laws because they could be acting as a cover for other illegal activity.

ICE Agency Charges Payza and Two Brothers With Money Laundering

Illegal Transmissions Stem from 2012 Until Now

The Patel brothers face conspiracy charges that consist of operating an unlicensed money transmitting business and violating anti-money laundering program requirements. If convicted, each of the brothers face a maximum sentence of more than 25 years. Payza and it’s parent company MH Pillars Ltd. is being charged with one count of illegal money transmission.

The indictment alleges that the brothers and Payza participated in criminal activities from March 2012 until the present. The ICE agency asserts that the brothers through Payza’s services knowingly transmitted funds that were tied to illegal activities.

Both Brothers Continued Illegal Activities Even After Cease and Desist Letters

“Despite receiving cease and desist letters from various states, and being told by a consultant that operating a money transmission business without the necessary licenses was a crime, Firoz and Ferhan Patel continued their illegal activity, the indictment alleges,” ICE details in the press release.

The indictment alleges that the Patels, together with other co-conspirators, are responsible for transmitting over $ 250 million throughout the United States and elsewhere.

The ICE report says Payza’s customers participated in multiple types of pyramid schemes and allegedly the Patels opened bank accounts in the United States and laundered their illegal proceeds through those accounts. The law enforcement agency has seized properties and funds tied to these charges. ICE has already confiscated $ 10Mn USD and states the investigation is still underway. The Patel brothers’ case follow other charges against Americans for illegal money transmission and money laundering crimes. 

What do you think about the ICE report charging Payza and the two brothers with money laundering and illegal money transmission? Let us know in the comments below.


Images via Shutterstock, Payza, and Pixabay. 


At Bitcoin.com there’s a bunch of free helpful services. For instance, check out our Tools page!

The post ICE Agency Charges Payza and Two Canadian Citizens With Bitcoin Money Laundering appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Bitcoin News

Under Trump, payday lenders and consumer protection agency exhibit cozier relationship

March 6, 2018 |

The former chief executive of a payday lending company that had been under investigation by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has asked to be considered for the top job at the watchdog agency.

Such a request would have been extraordinary in the years when the agency was run by an Obama appointee…


L.A. Times – Business

Under Trump, consumer agency promises to do the bare minimum, and nothing more

February 20, 2018 |

Let’s say there was a federal agency charged solely with protecting consumers from financial abuse. And let’s say that agency was so good at its job, it succeeded in returning $ 12 billion to consumers who had been ripped off by greedy banks and lenders.

How would you reward that agency?

If you’re…


L.A. Times – Business

Independent Ratings Agency Alerts Investors About Dangers of Tether

February 13, 2018 |

Independent Ratings Agency Alerts Investors About Dangers of Tether

Another outside observer of the controversial tether cryptocurrency is warning about the dangers it presents for the uninterrupted operation of USDT exchanges. Weiss Ratings is seeking to educate investors on the systematic risk tether introduces to the ecosystem.

Also Read: Faced With Criticism IOTA Fans Try to Bully Growing List of Detractors

Inherent Risks of Blind Trust

Independent Ratings Agency Alerts Investors About Dangers of TetherWeiss Ratings, an independent U.S. agency which recently published letter grades for cryptocurrencies, has issued an alert to investors about the dangers of tether (USDT). It highlights common fears about the stablecoin which is claimed to be fully covered by U.S. dollar reserves.

“The big issue: There’s never been an audit, and the folks behind Tether has been quite shady when asked. They have continuously claimed their tokens are backed 100% by actual dollars, yet they have failed to present any evidence to support this claim. On social media, there appears to be consensus that what Tether is actually doing is running a fractional reserve system. In other words, most observers claim they DO NOT have the dollars to back up all those Tether coins. I tend to agree. It’s just too suspicious,” says Weiss analyst .

What Happens When the Feds Stop USDT Printing?

Independent Ratings Agency Alerts Investors About Dangers of TetherWeiss explains how the importance of USDT to the entire ecosystem is that many non-fiat exchanges (like Binance or Okex) use it as a proxy for real dollars in trading. Because of this, it is the third most traded cryptocurrency and the only one with trading volumes that regularly exceed its market cap. These exchanges are thus dependent on tether for liquidity and put investors at risk if any government decides to pull the plug out of its printers. Some consider this to be a likely scenario under U.S. law.

“The consequences of hanky-panky could be far-reaching. What happens if Tether does turn out to be fraudulent? Or what happens if a major government determines that cryptocurrencies like Tether are being used by exchanges to avoid regulations? What if this large source of liquidity suddenly evaporates?” asks. “Conceivably, it could cause exchange failures. It could drive investors to liquidate their positions, causing sharp declines in market prices.”

Should cryptocurrency investors worry about the continued liquidity of USDT exchanges? Tell us what you think in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock.


Do you like to research and read about Bitcoin technology? Check out Bitcoin.com’s Wiki page for an in-depth look at Bitcoin’s innovative technology and interesting history.

The post Independent Ratings Agency Alerts Investors About Dangers of Tether appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Bitcoin News

The Beverly Hills attorney set to lead the IRS likes magic tricks — he’ll need a few to run the agency

February 13, 2018 |

The Internal Revenue Service this year will have to write and interpret a bevvy of rules as the agency implements the most sweeping set of changes to the tax code in a generation.

And leading the agency through that process could be an IRS commissioner with a resume quite unlike those of his predecessors.


L.A. Times – Business