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| June 18, 2019

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Beto O’Rourke confronted at town hall about stingy charitable donations

April 17, 2019 |

Former Democratic congressman and 2020 presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke was confronted by a voter at a town hall on Tuesday about his recently-released tax returns and suggested that his attendance at the campaign event was in itself a charitable act.
FOX News

Wikileaks Bitcoin Donations Soar Following Assange Arrest

April 12, 2019 |

Wikileaks' Bitcoin Donations Soar After Arrest of Assange

Wikileaks’ bitcoin address has received a deluge of support following founding editor Julian Assange’s arrest. Donations have reached nearly $ 32,000 on Friday, 60% more than was raised the day before, when Assange was taken into custody.

Also read: How Traditional Stock Markets Can Help Mainstream Cryptocurrency

BTC Donations Reach $ 32,000

More than 6.3 BTC worth of donations to Wikileaks has been recorded from 272 transactions at the time of going to press. About $ 20,000 of donations poured in on April 11, when police dragged Assange out of the Ecuadorian embassy in London where he had been holed up for the past seven years. In 2016, Wikileaks’ bitcoin address reached a milestone of 4,000 BTC, five years after turning to cryptocurrency to avert financial censorship.

In addition to bitcoin, the whistleblowing website is accepting donations through different fiat and crypto mediums listed on its Courage Foundation page. Data from the other payment formats is not immediately available but bitcoin donations sizeably spiked after Wikileaks embedded its address in its Twitter announcement of the arrest of its former editor on Thursday. Celebrities including Pamela Anderson also urged the public to show their support for Assange.

Wikileaks Bitcoin Donations Soar Following Assange Arrest

Bitcoin and Wikileaks go back to 2011 when the cryptocurrency kept financial assistance flowing to the guerrilla publisher after Paypal, Mastercard, Visa and Bank of America disabled services to Wikileaks under political pressure from the U.S. In return, bitcoin, then newly incepted, enjoyed international attention for the Wikileaks association. Ecuador, which had granted asylum to Assange, revoked it on Thursday and invited the London police to arrest him.

The South American country’s desire to curry favor with the U.S. are seen as having influenced the decision to give Assange up to possible jail time. Ecuador’s former president, Rafael Correa, the man who granted asylum to Assange, has described his successor as “the greatest traitor in political history.” Apparently, even the most principled of states are ultimately vulnerable to shifting interests, showing that they cannot be entirely trusted with upholding individual freedoms at all costs.

Wikileaks Bitcoin Donations Soar Following Assange Arrest

Wikileaks and Bitcoin’s informal alliance suggest the need for more entities that thrive outside state and corporate control. Unlike Paypal and Mastercard, Bitcoin gives users the financial freedom to act according to their conscience rather than under political instruction.

Shooting the Messenger

The Moreno administration never pretended to like Assange, indicating that the Australia-born dissident had overstayed his welcome at the embassy. Assange worsened an already frosty relationship, first by allegedly meddling in the U.S. elections, before voicing support for Catalan rebels and angering Ecuador which supports a unified Spain.

An ungenerous historical allusion on Germany’s involvement in the Catalan secessionist saga by Assange prompted his hosts to cut off his internet connection and restricted visitors’ access to him. With Assange isolated from the world, Wikileaks – icons of the global left – and his mother condemned the deteriorated conditions of his stay at the embassy and the limiting of his freedoms.

But if the Lenin Moreno administration had shrugged off the criticisms, it could not deal with a Wikileaks report indicating that the president was under parliamentary investigation for financial impropriety allegedly committed offshore. The website, which is under a new editor, also published that the Moreno administration was in negotiations to hand over Assange to the UK in return for debt relief from the U.S. The accusations appear to have prompted Ecuador’s withdrawal of asylum, leading to his immediate arrest.

Wikileaks Bitcoin Donations Soar Following Assange Arrest

The U.K. is charging Assange with skipping bail when he sought refuge in the Ecuadorian embassy at a time when Sweden wanted him extradited to answer sexual assault allegations. Although the Swedish charges have since been dropped, the U.K. kept its intact and the U.S. has since announced that it wants Assange extradited for conspiracy to leak its military secrets. There has been an international outcry, particularly by media personalities and authors, that such a conviction by the U.S. would not only flout its First Amendment but also set a precedent for the criminalization of journalism.

Given that the Trump administration considers Wikileaks not so much a media organization as a hostile foreign intelligence agency, and has sent Chelsea Manning, the veteran who provided Assange with the 2010 War Logs publication, back to jail for refusing to testify against Wikileaks, it seems unlikely that it will show clemency to the controversial Australian.

What do you think about Julian Assange’s arrest? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock and Wikileaks.


Express yourself freely at Bitcoin.com’s user forums. We don’t censor on political grounds. Check forum.Bitcoin.com

The post Wikileaks Bitcoin Donations Soar Following Assange Arrest appeared first on Bitcoin News.

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Campaign Asks for Donations to ‘Fully Vindicated’ Trump

March 25, 2019 |

The Trump 2020 campaign didn’t waste any time after Attorney General William Barr disclosed Sunday that Robert Mueller’s investigation hadn’t found evidence that the Trump 2016 campaign conspired with Russia . An hour after Barr’s letter was released, the campaign sent out a fundraising email claiming that Democrats had been caught…
Newser

Wikipedia Now Accepts Bitcoin Cash Donations via Bitpay

January 30, 2019 |

Wikipedia Now Accepting Bitcoin Cash Donations via Bitpay

Users from all over the world can now support the widely popular free encyclopedia Wikipedia with bitcoin cash donations via Bitpay. The non-profit model and global nature of the organization means it has to find a universal and cost-effective payment solution, and cryptocurrencies are an obvious choice.   

Also Read: Blockchain.com Launches New Educational Resource With BCH Report

Accepting Bitcoin Cash Is a Natural Step

The Wikimedia Foundation, the nonprofit that operates Wikipedia and similar free knowledge projects, has partnered with Bitpay, the popular cryptocurrency payment processor, to accept bitcoin cash (BCH) and bitcoin core (BTC) donations. The Wikimedia Foundation has already been accepting BTC since 2014 via Coinbase but recently switched payment processors to Bitpay and used this opportunity to expand into accepting BCH.

Wikipedia Now Accepts Bitcoin Cash Donations via Bitpay

“Our donors have shown an increased interest for different cryptocurrencies, so accepting bitcoin cash was a natural next step,” said Pats Pena, director of payments and operations at Wikimedia Foundation. “We accept donations globally, and we strive to provide a large variety of donation options. It’s very important that we can get international donations processed in ways that are efficient and cost-effective.”

Cheapest Payment Options Available

Bitpay works with many large non-profits to allow them to accept cryptocurrency donations. The company reports that donations have increased dramatically in the last couple of years, especially at the end of the year as people look for tax benefits. The service has reportedly processed several multi-million dollar donations to non-profits in the recent past and expects that to continue in 2019.

“Bitcoin and bitcoin cash are one of the cheapest payment options available so more money goes to charity rather than paying fees. Wikimedia does so much good around the world that it is a privilege to help them raise money,” said Sonny Singh, Bitpay chief commercial officer.

Wikipedia Now Accepts Bitcoin Cash Donations via Bitpay

Bitpay recently reported strong performance for 2018. During the year, the service processed over $ 1 billion in payments for a second year and set a new record for transaction fee revenue by adding new customers. The company’s B2B operation also had a record year as it grew almost 255 percent from 2017.

What do you think about Wikipedia accepting BCH donations via Bitpay? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock.


Verify and track bitcoin cash transactions on our BCH Block Explorer, the best of its kind anywhere in the world. Also, keep up with your holdings, BCH and other coins, on our market charts at Satoshi’s Pulse, another original and free service from Bitcoin.com.

The post Wikipedia Now Accepts Bitcoin Cash Donations via Bitpay appeared first on Bitcoin News.

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Canadian Electoral Agency Clarifies Cryptocurrency Donations for Political Use

January 14, 2019 |

Canada Elections Agency Clarifies Cryptocurrency Donations for Political Use

Canada’s electoral body has started consultations on how political parties should handle cryptocurrency donations ahead of general elections slated for October. Political parties have requested guidance from Elections Canada (EC) on accepting contributions and conducting other transactions in bitcoin. EC has now released a draft note that broadly takes the position that cryptocurrency donations are non-monetary, in-kind contributions.

Also read: Thai Startup Atomicpay Launches Non-Custodial Crypto Payments Platform

‘Cryptocurrency Is More Like Bonds and Stocks’

In the draft guidelines published on the Elections Canada website, the autonomous agency states that virtual currencies “have traits of both money and property”, but stresses that they are not the same as money. It says a cryptocurrency donation is non-monetary, describing it more as bonds or stocks, and is therefore not eligible for a tax receipt. However, it should be received within the stipulations and limitations of the Canada Elections Act (CEA).

Canadian Electoral Agency Clarifies Cryptocurrency Donations for Political Use

“Like money, they [cryptocurrencies] can be used to make purchases from businesses that choose to accept them,” the note reads. “But unlike money, they cannot be placed directly into a bank account. Instead cryptocurrencies can be sold for traditional currencies that can be placed into a bank account.” This characteristic, according to Elections Canada, qualifies digital currencies as “a form of ‘property’ and fall under the definition of a non-monetary contribution.”

The position mirrors that of the U.S. Federal Election Commission. Most Canadian government and auditing bodies have already taken the position that cryptocurrencies are non-monetary. The Canada Revenue Agency considers crypto to be a commodity, subject to barter transaction rules when used to buy goods or services.

No to Anonymous Donations

Elections Canada said that political entities receiving donations should set up a two-step process to identify contributors of more than 20 Canadian dollars ($ 15) and to record transaction information from the blockchain so that contributions can be audited.

Although this recommendation may on paper look easy to implement, it is more difficult than it appears due to the anonymity associated with cryptocurrencies. Donations in crypto will typically be sent and received between digital wallets using public keys that are then translated into addresses and appear on the blockchain ledger as a string of letters and numbers.

Canadian Electoral Agency Clarifies Cryptocurrency Donations for Political Use

These addresses are the only data available to the public as to who the sender and receiver might be. To address these challenges, Elections Canada indicated that when a political party receives donations in cryptocurrency, it should keep “a record of the contributor’s name and address, transaction number on the blockchain or other public ledger, public addresses used in the transaction, contribution date, amount and type of cryptocurrency sent, commercial value in Canadian dollars at the time received, and any transaction fees deducted.”

In addition, the political party should report the individual’s name, address and contribution amount in the financial return, if required, in accordance with the rules for non-monetary contributions.

“Failure to follow these procedures could result in the contribution being considered anonymous for the purposes of the CEA which would require the political entity to pay an amount equal to its commercial value to the Receiver General for Canada,” explain the guidelines.

Candidates Cannot Buy Property Using Donated Crypto

Canadian Electoral Agency Clarifies Cryptocurrency Donations for Political Use

To meet the CEA’s objective of transparency, candidates and party leaders cannot buy property or services directly with cryptocurrencies. This is also the case for registered political parties in terms of their election expenses. The electoral body noted that cryptocurrencies must be liquidated and the funds deposited into the political entity’s bank account before being used to make purchases.

The draft report also noted that when a political entity sells digital currency, the transaction results in a contribution from the buyer only if the purchase price is above fair market value. The contributor must be eligible under the contribution rules and stay within their limit. But political parties can hold crypto for “an indefinite period,” which will be reported as assets at the fiscal year-end.

Political parties have up to Jan. 21, 2019, to submit their opinions and improvements to the draft document.

What do you think about Elections Canada’s draft note on cryptocurrency-based donations for political parties? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock.


Express yourself freely at Bitcoin.com’s user forums. We don’t censor on political grounds. Checkforum.Bitcoin.com.

The post Canadian Electoral Agency Clarifies Cryptocurrency Donations for Political Use appeared first on Bitcoin News.

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Newspaper Ad Seeks Donations for Bitcoin Baby’s College Fund

January 13, 2019 |

Newspaper Ad Seeks Donations for Bitcoin Baby’s College Fund

Despite being just one week old, Izabella Bowles carries great expectations upon her tiny shoulders. The baby, born on Jan. 6, will go to college when she’s older, if parents Wioletta and Peter can help it. What’s more, her future tuition fees will be paid for using what many believe to be the future of money – bitcoin.

Also read: Thai Startup Atomicpay Launches Non-Custodial Crypto Payment Platform

Wanted: Donors to Support Bitcoin Baby’s College Fund

The listing in The Times looks a little different from those adjacent to it on the births, marriages and deaths page. Aside from the prominent black box delineating it, there’s the unusual title – “Bitcoin Baby” – and the string of 33 multi-case letters and numbers running across the bottom. Appearing in the same newspaper from which Satoshi famously derived his encoded genesis block headline (“The Times 03/Jan/2009 Chancellor on brink of second bailout for banks”), the ad’s placement appears to have been a knowing nod from Izabella’s parents. Just three days earlier, Bitmex used the same British newspaper to take out a double-page ad marking Bitcoin’s 10th anniversary.

Newspaper Ad Seeks Donations for Bitcoin Baby’s College Fund
Izabella’s BTC college fund address

While the Bowles family are not the first to attempt to solicit donations for their child’s education, their methodology is certainly novel. There are signs that their college campaign has been successful so far, with little Izabella’s BTC address having amassed 0.84 BTC from 75 transactions in the past few days. Interestingly, the address in question, 1ZAB5XeKMdvax2S8eZT7GQ6Nj4xjbsw1Y, bears more than a passing resemblance to the name of the child who will one day inherit it.

Mixed Opinions About the Bitcoin Baby’s Fund

With the average cost of a four-year British university education priced at $ 52,000, Izabella’s fund is already 7 percent of the way there. Given the difficulty associated with manually typing in a bitcoin address, the donations that have arrived so far are likely to have come from the address being shared online rather than extracted from the print edition of The Times.

Newspaper Ad Seeks Donations for Bitcoin Baby’s College Fund

On Reddit, opinion has been divided about the bitcoin baby’s college fund, with one describing the parent’s initiative as a “disguised way to beg.” Others applauded the parents’ ingenuity, but took issue with the fact that the baby’s real-world identity will be forever tied with a BTC address. Predicting how much bitcoin will be worth 18 years from now is all but impossible. If past performance is anything to go by, however, Izabella’s 0.84 BTC might already be enough to fund her college tuition in 2037.

What are your thoughts on the bitcoin baby’s college fund? Should her parents be applauded or criticized for their actions? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock and Reddit.


Need to calculate your bitcoin holdings? Check our tools section.

The post Newspaper Ad Seeks Donations for Bitcoin Baby’s College Fund appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Bitcoin News

Trump Inauguration Spending, Donations Under Investigation

December 14, 2018 |

A federal probe is looking into whether Trump’s inaugural committee misspent funds and whether top donors gave money in exchange for access to the administration.
WSJ.com: What’s News Asia

Rosenstein Targets ICOs, FEC May Permit Political Donations Through Crypto Mining

November 23, 2018 |

Rosenstein Targets ICOs, FEC May Permit Political Donations Through Crypto Mining

In recent regulatory news, the U.S. deputy attorney general has called for international cooperation on cryptocurrency regulation. Separately, the U.S. Federal Election Commission (FEC) has prepared a draft advisory that could allow political donations in the form of mining power, while the Alabama Securities Commission has estimated that the state has brought forward 20 percent of all active cease-and-desist orders against crypto companies in the U.S.

Also Read: Spain Monitors 15,000 Cryptocurrency Investors to Curb Tax Evasion

US Department of Justice Takes Aim at Crypto

While speaking at Interpol’s 87th General Assembly, Rod Rosenstein, the U.S. deputy attorney general, called for international cooperation on cryptocurrency regulation. Rosenstein implored regulators to “work together to make clear that the rule of law can reach the entire blockchain.” He also issued a call to prevent cryptocurrencies from being “abused by criminals, terrorist financiers or sanctions evaders.”

In addition, Rosenstein took specific aim at initial coin offerings. He stated that “fraudsters use the lure of coin offerings and the promise of new currencies to bilk unsuspecting investors, promote scams and engage in market manipulation.”

US FEC Paves Way for Campaign Donations via Mining

The U.S. Federal Election Commission has prepared a draft advisory that describes political campaign donations through cryptocurrency mining as “permissible.” The document is a response to a proposal submitted by Osianetwork LLC on Nov. 13 that questioned whether individuals would be permitted to support political committees by devoting computing power to the mining of virtual currencies.

The commission adds that such donations would “not fall within the volunteer internet activities exception, and would result in contributions from both the individuals and the Osianetwork to the participating political committees.” The FEC is scheduled to vote on the matter on Dec. 19, 2018.

US Litigator Notes Role of States in Regulating Crypto

Greg Bordenkircher, the chief litigator of the Alabama Securities Commission, has estimated that the state of Alabama accounts for “about 20 percent of all the active cease-and-desists” in the U.S. He stated that the commission has issued nine orders to shut down the operations of companies that have advertised fraudulent cryptocurrency products. He added that it is currently looking at another 20 to 22 companies that it may shut down.

Bordenkircher also emphasized the need for state regulators to take an active role in regulating the cryptocurrency sector. He said that the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission do “a great job, but the states have really got the boots on the ground. There’s more of us than there are of them.”

What is your response to the prospect of political donations in the form of mining? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock


At Bitcoin.com there’s a bunch of free helpful services. For instance, have you seen our Tools page? You can even lookup the exchange rate for a transaction in the past. Or calculate the value of your current holdings. Or create a paper wallet. And much more.

The post Rosenstein Targets ICOs, FEC May Permit Political Donations Through Crypto Mining appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Bitcoin News

Walmart Wants Donations Back After Senator’s Joke

November 20, 2018 |

A week before a runoff election that will determine whether she remains a senator, Mississippi’s Cindy Hyde-Smith continues to fend off bad publicity over a “public hanging” joke . The latest development is that Walmart has asked the Republican incumbent to return its campaign donations, reports CNBC . “Sen. Hyde-Smith’s recent comments…
Newser

Regulations Roundup: Chinese Mining Farms Undergo Tax Inspection, Michigan Bans Campaign Donations in Cryptocurrency

November 13, 2018 |

Regulations Roundup: Chinese Mining Farms Undergo Tax Inspection, Michigan Bans Campaign Donations in Cryptocurrency

In recent regulatory news, we report on an authorized mining company in China that has had its operations temporarily halted for tax inspection and implementation of real-name registration processes. We also look at the Michigan Secretary of State’s ban on crypto-based political donations, as well as the recent certification of X8’s stablecoin for Shariah compliance. In addition, we focus on the operator of a fraudulent cryptocurrency scheme who has been punished for misappropriating $ 601,000 in BTC and LTC from his employer.

Also Read: President of Marshall Islands Challenged Over Cryptocurrency Plan

Chinese Mining Farms Suspended

Regulations Roundup: Chinese Mining Farms Undergo Tax Inspection, Michigan Bans Campaign Donations in CryptocurrencyAccording to a statement published by an unidentified cryptocurrency mining company, Chinese state agencies have ordered the suspension of its mining farms in southwestern Guizhou Province and the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region for tax inspections and to implement real-name registration processes.

“According to the needs of the public security department’s network information security work, in the future, our company will implement higher standards for the company’s business real-name system according to the work needs of the public security department,” the anonymous company said. “For customers with the latest standard real-name systems, the data center will have to suspend reloading, restarting, moving in and out, etc.”

Michigan Secretary of State Says ‘No’ to Crypto

Regulations Roundup: Chinese Mining Farms Undergo Tax Inspection, Michigan Bans Campaign Donations in CryptocurrencyIn a letter addressed to William Baker, a recent candidate for the Michigan state legislature, the office of the Michigan Secretary of State has formally barred cryptocurrency donations to political campaigns.

Baker, who lost his bid in the state’s Nov. 6 election, had previously sought clarification on how the value of donations in the form of cryptocurrencies should be recorded. He also asked whether virtual currency exchanges would qualify as valid secondary depositories for the storage of crypto assets.

Baker asserted that “it is self-evident that digital currency is a valid way to receive political contributions.” However, the state secretary’s office responded by stating that “the law does not authorize such a vehicle, and the department has never determined that digital currencies are a valid way to receive political contributions.”

The letter also highlighted concerns pertaining to the price volatility of cryptocurrencies. “As with stocks and commodities, bitcoin’s worth fluctuates daily,” the office said. “There is no way to ascertain the precise monetary value of one bitcoin on any particular day.”

The Michigan Secretary of State raised additional objections to the use of cryptocurrencies as donations. In the letter, the office added that state legislation also “requires that committees deposit funds in an account in a financial institution, which is not an option for cryptocurrency.”

X8 Stablecoin Certified as Shariah Compliant

Regulations Roundup: Chinese Mining Farms Undergo Tax Inspection, Michigan Bans Campaign Donations in CryptocurrencyX8C, the stablecoin issued by Swiss fintech company X8 AG, has obtained a certificate showing that its stablecoin is compliant with Shariah law. It received the certification from the Shariyah Review Bureau, an Islamic advisory firm licensed by the Central Bank of Bahrain.

Francesca Greco, director and co-founder of X8, announced that the company will soon establish a regional office in the Middle East. Greco also indicated that X8 plans to launch a Shariah-compliant virtual currency exchange, adding that the company has already met with representatives of exchanges based in Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Bahrain.

“The Gulf region is a really good place for financial technology companies, because they all want to become hubs for fintech,” Greco said.

CFTC Fines Crypto Scheme Operator Over $ 1.14M

Regulations Roundup: Chinese Mining Farms Undergo Tax Inspection, Michigan Bans Campaign Donations in CryptocurrencyThe U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) has ordered Joseph Kim, a resident of Phoenix, to pay more than $ 1.14 million for operating a fraudulent cryptocurrency scheme. Kim was also sentenced to 15 months in prison on “related criminal charges” filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. According to the court order, Kim pleaded guilty to “orchestrating a fraudulent Bitcoin and Litecoin scheme that led to more than $ 1 million in losses.”

Kim was found to have misappropriated $ 601,000 worth of BTC and LTC from his employer — described as “a Chicago-based proprietary trading firm” — before attempting to fabricate security-related issues to obfuscate the misappropriation of funds. Despite this, the company fired Kim in November 2017 after the theft of the cryptocurrency was discovered.

Between December 2017 and March 2018, Kim then sought to repay his former employer through profits that he had generated through the operation of a cryptocurrency trading scheme. According to the CFTC, he “falsely told customers that he would invest their funds in a low-risk virtual currency arbitrage strategy, when, in fact, Kim made high-risk, directional bets on the movement of virtual currencies that resulted in Kim losing all $ 545,000 of his customers’ funds.”

Do you think Chinese miners will report the temporary suspension of their operations for tax inspection and real-name registration? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!


Images courtesy of Shutterstock


At Bitcoin.com there’s a bunch of free helpful services. For instance, have you seen our Tools page? You can even lookup the exchange rate for a transaction in the past. Or calculate the value of your current holdings. Or create a paper wallet. And much more.

The post Regulations Roundup: Chinese Mining Farms Undergo Tax Inspection, Michigan Bans Campaign Donations in Cryptocurrency appeared first on Bitcoin News.

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