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| May 25, 2018

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Cop Gets Federal Sex Charges Over His Brand of Condom

May 19, 2018 |

A former cop who paid underage girls for sex is facing a harsher sentence over his brand of condom, the Chicago Tribune reports. William Whitley, 61, pleaded guilty this week in federal court to sex trafficking of a minor and will likely serve 10 years to life. Prosecutors leveled federal…
Newser

Federal Reserve Pres: People Want Dollar, Not Volatile Crypto

May 16, 2018 |

Federal Reserve Pres: People Want Dollar, Not Volatile Crypto

St. Louis Federal Reserve President, James Bullard, was recently interviewed at this year’s Consensus conference in New York City. That a top US economic policy maker was in attendance is victory enough; however, he was asked his opinions on cryptocurrency going forward by CNBC Global Markets Reporter Seema Mody. He explained he found the phenomenon “interesting,” and how more cryptos being issued all time necessitates keeping an “eye” on them. Mr. Bullard also compared the use case for cryptocurrencies with that of the dollar, and whether the former posed a threat to the latter.  

Also read: Bitpay Enables Bitcoin Cash (BCH) and Bitcoin Core (BTC) for Tax Payments

Federal Reserve President Attends Crypto Conference

Federal Reserve President, James Bullard, gave a presentation at this year’s giant Consensus conference in New York City. Reread that sentence. A sitting Fed policy maker thought it important enough to attend a crypto soiree. That’s news enough. But more importantly, President Bullard gave a presentation on the government’s current thinking about cryptocurrency.

In his talk, he acknowledged crypto is facilitating trade that might otherwise not occur. He couldn’t help himself by mentioning illegal activity (and we all know fiat currencies are never used in illegal activity), but he did describe decentralized money’s lean toward frictionless transactions (especially with regard to costs/fees) as being an advancement.

Federal Reserve Pres: People Want Dollar, Not Volatile Crypto
Mr. Bullard and Ms. Mody

The Fed policy maker reserved the bulk of his comments, both in the presentation and during a post-game interview with CNBC, to talk about the problems in crypto as he sees them. One issue is simply the number of currencies being offered. The 12th St. Louis Fed President feels this over complicates matters, especially with regard to exchange rates and volatility.

Asked if cryptocurrencies pose a threat to the dollar, Mr. Bullard, 56, answered he didn’t think so. Global Markets Reporter Seema Mody, who is covering Consensus for CNBC this year, quickly followed up with a “but it could be?” The Fed President was noncommittal, choosing instead to shrug and give the pat answer about no one really knowing what the future holds. He emphasized how since its creation the US dollar has vanquished nearly all currency competition due to its being backed by the world’s strongest economy. It’s abundantly clear, Mr. Bullard suggested, people want the dollar and not crypto … at least at the moment.

Fed Coin on the Horizon?

Ms. Mody pressed Mr. Bullard about his presence at the conference, asking if this was a hint of things to come with regard to a future coin birthed by the Fed, a Fed Coin? Interestingly he didn’t dismiss the idea outwardly, and instead said they’d for sure look at the possibility, as the Fed does with many different types of financial innovations. He also assured there wasn’t any plan being hatched at the moment, no imminent Fed Coin coming. Mr. Bullard also wondered aloud what the gains would be by creating such a coin. He smiled subtly, assuring he’s keeping an “open mind.”

Federal Reserve Pres: People Want Dollar, Not Volatile Crypto

His comments seem to be less strident than statements issued by the St. Louis Fed on the very subject not even one month ago. “The St. Louis Federal Reserve has published an essay critically evaluating the notion of cryptocurrencies that are issued by central banks,” we detailed. “The article is highly dismissive in presenting what it describes as ‘the non-case for central bank cryptocurrencies,’ concluding that ‘a central bank will not issue cryptocurrencies in the sense of a truly decentralized and permissionless asset that allows users to remain anonymous.’”

A rather curious fact about the St. Louis Fed, one of twelve jurisdictions in the Federal Reserve system (the 8th district serves Indiana, Kentucky, Missouri, Illinois, Tennessee, Louisiana, Mississippi, Arkansas), is how it has recently become very chatty about crypto. As these pages reported back at the beginning of this year, “Aleksander Berentsen and Fabian Schär of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis have recently published an article that emphasizes many of the benefits of cryptocurrencies. The article states that ‘cryptoassets are well suited to become an important asset class,’ in addition to offering praise regarding a number of the major applications associated with cryptocurrencies.”

Do you think a Fed president attending a crypto conference is meaningful? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.


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The post Federal Reserve Pres: People Want Dollar, Not Volatile Crypto appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Bitcoin News

Wells Fargo will need a formal vote from the Federal Reserve before growth restrictions are lifted

May 11, 2018 |

Wells Fargo & Co. will have to receive formal approval in a vote taken by the Federal Reserve Board of Governors before its growth restriction is lifted, Fed Chairman Jerome H. Powell has decided — a move that could cut into the bank’s profits.

Powell disclosed his determination in a letter Thursday…


L.A. Times – Business

Want a car with a backup camera? Now they’re not just for pricier models, thanks to federal mandate

May 3, 2018 |

As thousands of passenger vehicles roll off the assembly line this week destined for the U.S. market, each of them will be equipped with backup cameras — the result of a long-awaited federal rule that went into effect Tuesday.

The technology, which has already become standard in many vehicles,…


L.A. Times – Business

Nominee to New York Federal Reserve Claims That Crypto Isn’t Currency

April 23, 2018 |

Nominee to New York Federal Reserve Claims That Crypto Isn't Currency

The current president and chief executive officer of the San Francisco Federal Reserve Bank, and the man expected to soon be the New York Federal Reserve Bank, John Williams, has rejected the suggestion that cryptocurrencies comprise currency.

Also Read: Trading Sanctions Imposed on Tezos Co-Founder Amid FINRA Settlement

New York Federal Reserve Nominee Rejects Cryptocurrencies as ‘Currencies’

Nominee to New York Federal Reserve Claims That Crypto Isn't CurrencyMr. Williams, the man nominated to head the New York Federal Reserve, has stated that “Cryptocurrency doesn’t pass the basic test of what a currency should be.”

Mr. Williams asserted that currencies should comprise “basically something with a store of value,” also emphasizing the need for currencies to be “elastic” in order to adapt to a wide range of economic conditions and circumstance. Despite the criticisms, Mr. Williams failed to further elaborate on how cryptocurrencies fail to or could better fulfill the aforementioned monetary functions.

The current San Francisco Federal Reserve president also stated that “The idea of the supply of currency and thinking about currency really belongs more in the sphere of government and central banks. My view is it’s really more of a promise of technology.” At least, Mr. Williams acknowledged that his extensive experience in central banking had left him “very biased” regarding issues pertaining to cryptocurrency.

Mr. Williams also criticized “The setup [and] institutional arrangement[s] around bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies,” claiming that the cryptocurrency sphere suffers from “problems with fraud, problems with money laundering, terror financing. There’s a lot of problems there,” Mr. Williams stated.

Mr. Williams is expected to be appointed as the head of the New York Federal Reserve Bank in June when the current president, William Dudley, will step away from the position.

U.S. Federal Reserve Officials Criticize Cryptocurrency

Nominee to New York Federal Reserve Claims That Crypto Isn't CurrencyMr. Williams’ comments come following weeks of increasingly hostile rhetoric issued representatives of various federal reserve banks in the United States.

At the start of April, Federal Reserve Board of Governor member, Lael Brainard, indicated that the institution is “monitoring is the extreme volatility evidenced by some cryptocurrencies.”

For instance, Bitcoin rose over 1,000 percent in 2017 and has fallen sharply in recent months,” Mrs. Brainard said. “These markets may raise important investor and consumer protection issues, and some appear especially vulnerable to money-laundering concerns.”

At the end of March, the president and chief executive officer of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, Raphael Bostic, rejected the proposition that cryptocurrencies comprise money. Mr. Bostic discouraged consumers from investing in the virtual currency markets, stating “Don’t do it. They are speculative markets. They are not currency. If you have money you really need, do not put it in these markets.’’

In January, the president of the Federal Reserve bank of Chicago, Charles Evans, stated that bitcoin is “Not money-like at the moment,” adding that cryptocurrency investors are “swimming with all the sharks in the world because of all the anonymity.’’

Do you think that cryptocurrencies fulfill the basic functions associated with ‘money’ or ‘currency’? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!


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The post Nominee to New York Federal Reserve Claims That Crypto Isn’t Currency appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Bitcoin News

AT&T and Verizon are under federal investigation for potential collusion

April 21, 2018 |

The Justice Department is investigating potential efforts by AT&T and Verizon to hamstring a technology that could someday make it easier for consumers to seamlessly switch their wireless carriers, according to three people familiar with the matter.

The investigation appears to focus on whether…


L.A. Times – Business

Martin Shkreli Is Now in Federal Prison

April 19, 2018 |

Martin Shkreli wanted to serve out the remainder of his seven-year sentence at a minimum-security federal camp, but that request was denied and the 35-year-old “pharma bro” was transferred Tuesday to a federal prison in New Jersey. Shkreli, the infamous former pharmaceuticals company head convicted of defrauding hedge-fund investors and…
Newser

CNN

Brazil’s ex-president defies order to surrender to federal police

April 8, 2018 |

Former Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva failed to turn himself in to federal authorities Friday, when he was supposed to begin serving a 12-year prison sentence for corruption.
CNN.com – RSS Channel – Regions – Americas

CNN

Brazil’s ex-President Lula da Silva surrenders to federal police

April 7, 2018 |

Former Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva turned himself over to federal authorities Saturday to begin serving a 12-year prison sentence for corruption.
CNN.com – RSS Channel – Regions – Americas

Sen. Elizabeth Warren pushes Federal Reserve to hold formal vote on Wells Fargo reform plan

April 4, 2018 |

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) is requesting that the Federal Reserve Board of Governors hold a formal vote on whether to accept a plan from Wells Fargo & Co. to address consumer abuses.

In a letter to Fed Chairman Jerome H. Powell released Tuesday, Warren said it was important for Senate-confirmed…


L.A. Times – Business