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| January 24, 2018

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Mulvaney’s first funding request for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau: zero

January 18, 2018 |

In his first quarterly funding request as acting director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Mick Mulvaney is asking for nothing.

“This letter is to inform you that for the Second Quarter of Fiscal Year 2018, the Bureau is requesting $ 0,” he wrote Wednesday to Janet L. Yellen, chair of…


L.A. Times – Business

Mick Mulvaney takes first step toward overhauling Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

January 18, 2018 |

Mick Mulvaney once called the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau a “joke … in a sad, sick kind of way.”

Now, as its acting director, he’s in a position to change it.

On Wednesday, Mulvaney announced he was launching a review of the entire operation of the consumer watchdog agency created in…


L.A. Times – Business

Financial apps can make it easier to keep your new year’s resolution to save money

January 14, 2018 |

New year’s resolutions have a notoriously low success rate — only 8% of people achieve their goals. Losing weight, drinking less, being nicer to the cat — all these aspirations fall away as January wears on.

Success spikes, however, when the resolution has to do with money and finance.

This trend…


L.A. Times – Business

Annual U.S. Car Sales Drop for First Time Financial Crisis

January 3, 2018 |

The U.S. auto industry in 2017 likely suffered its first annual sales decline since the financial crisis eight years ago, as demand finally ebbs after a remarkable multiyear growth spurt.
WSJ.com: US Business

Theranos Gets a Financial Lifeline

December 25, 2017 |

Blood-testing firm Theranos has secured a $ 100 million loan from Fortress Investment Group, averting a possible bankruptcy for now.
WSJ.com: US Business

Financial Experts Make 5 Predictions for 2018

December 23, 2017 |

It’s that time of year when financial experts are asked to dust off their crystal balls and tea leaves and offer up their predictions for the economy in 2018. At Yahoo Finance , David Nelson warns that the problem with these predictions is that experts tend to extrapolate, i.e., believing…
Newser

Mattel lays off 70 employees amid continuing financial struggles

December 22, 2017 |

Mattel Inc. laid off 70 employees earlier this month, according to a California Employment Development Department report.

Mattel had 32,000 employees as of last December, according to its Security and Exchange Commission filings.

The cuts, which were effective Dec. 8, come during a time of financial…


L.A. Times – Business

Putin Aide Says Bitcoin Can Help Russia Bypass Financial Sanctions

December 14, 2017 |

Putin Aide Says Bitcoin Can Help Russia Bypass Financial Sanctions

While the rising transactions fees are making bitcoin less usable for everyday purchases, its strength is drawing in companies and nation states looking to use the cryptocurrency. This is especially true for those locked out of the international financial system, as can be seen by the thinking of a top Putin aide.

Also Read: Israeli PM Netanyahu Says Bitcoin Is Rising as Banks Are Destined to Disappear

Sergei Glazyev, adviser to Russian President Vladimir Putin, thinks bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies can help the country’s banking system to bypass Western sanctions, the Russian Rambler News Service reports. He said that the sanctions regime has created an “objective need” for cryptocurrencies at a meeting of the presidential administration on their legal status, according to Rambler.

He also advocated for creating a national crypto ruble at the meeting, according to Rambler. Glazyev even suggested that Russian government agencies could use cryptocurrencies for transactions around the world related to “sensitive” services, the news agency added.

Putin Aide Says Bitcoin Can Help Russia Bypass Financial Sanctions
Wikileaks’ Julian Assange

Dr. Glazyev is an economist and a member of the National Financial Council of the Bank of Russia. He was the minister of Foreign Economic Relations in Boris Yeltsin’s cabinet in 1992-93.

Glazyev has a personal incentive to see the Russian government find a way to defeat the sanctions as he is personally facing United States and European Union punitive measures for his role in the 2014 annexation of Crimea from Ukraine.

An Axis of Bitcoin

Putin Aide Says Bitcoin Can Help Russia Bypass Financial SanctionsBesides Russia, other entities antagonistic to Washington have used or are looking into using bitcoin to bypass sanctions. These include Iran, Wikileaks and even a Ukrainian shipping firm. In a related matter, North Korea is also suspected of using its army of hackers to steal funds from bitcoin exchanges to cope with its dire financial situation.

The American government is well aware of this issue and is known to be preparing a response. William Browder, a co-founder of a Russia-focused investment fund, will testify about the matter today before the U.S. Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe (Helsinki Commission). He says that: “These cryptocurrencies are a gift from God to criminals and dictators who want to keep their money safe. He also thinks this calls for ”the urgent attention of the U.S. and other Western governments in relation to Magnitsky sanctions as well as all other sanctions programs.”

Is bitcoin a good way to bypass sanctions? Will the U.S. eventually use this as a pretext to crackdown on bitcoin exchanges and users? 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 Putin Aide Says Bitcoin Can Help Russia Bypass Financial Sanctions appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Bitcoin News

How to find your way out of difficult financial circumstances

December 10, 2017 |

Dear Liz: I desperately need your help! My husband, who is 91, is in the early stages of dementia. I just turned 88 and for the first time am responsible for making all the financial decisions.

We are deeply in debt and I don’t know the best way to proceed. We owe more than $ 40,000 on credit cards,…


L.A. Times – Business

China’s Official Press Agency: 107 Altcoins Under Investigation for Financial Crimes

December 7, 2017 |

China’s Official Press Agency: 107 Altcoins Under Investigation for Financial Crimes

This week China’s official press agency Xinhua news reported that nationwide public security authorities have cracked down on 107 forms of knock-off altcoins in 2017. These coins claim themselves fintech products, but are large-scale Ponzi schemes in disguise, according to the authorities.

Also Read: Over 10,000 People Have Downloaded Fake Cryptocurrency Apps

“Zero Risk, High Returns”

As bitcoin price rallies hard, a growing number of “Fintech” altcoins join the race in the cryptocurrency industry. Zhao Shouguo, an economics professor at Northwest University in Xi’an, believes that the government’s ruling on ICOs this September has proved to be another case of “people get what they want”.

The ban on ICOs and closure of exchanges for mainstream virtual currencies created a market vacuum and gave rise to various knock-off cryptocurrencies. Scheme suspects would tell investors that mainstream cryptocurrencies are losing traction because of the ban and it’s their time to shine.

Xinhua news journalists searched the keyword “coin” on social media tools like Wechat and QQ (a popular communication tool of Tencent), only to find multiple closed altcoin groups like “HBB Environmental Protection Coin”, “Radar Coin(VBC)”, “Red Shell Coin(RSS)”. Group moderators would show newcomers snapshots of their high returns to induce them to invest. “Enroll five participants, you can get 600 yuan (90 USD), even a beggar can do this job,” a group moderator promises.

Huang Zhen, a law professor at Central University of Finance and Economics, explained that more schemes are emerging because it’s cheap and easy to duplicate an altcoin.

 Obscure Cryptocurrencies Become a Trendy Fraud

China’s Official Press Agency: Public Security Organs Investigate 107 Forms of Knock-off Altcoins for Financial Crimes
Chinese investor Chen lost 1 million yuan in Onecoin

As of the end of September 30, Chinese public security departments have conducted 5,900 criminal cases on Ponzi schemes that have raised more than 30 billion yuan (4.5 billion USD), among which knock-off cryptocurrencies have become a trendy fraud. Police have investigated 107 obscure cryptocurrencies including “Five Elements Coin”, “Onecoin” and “Ticcoin”. Xinhua news journalists revealed that these pyramid schemes used such new concepts as virtual currency and blockchain to confuse investors.

China’s Official Press Agency: Public Security Organs Investigate 107 Forms of Knock-off Altcoins for Financial Crimes
Creator of five elements coin Song was arrested

This January, a Chinese woman surnamed Yang invested all of her savings in “Five Elements Coin” without her husband’s knowledge. Not only that, she successfully convinced ten of her relatives to buy it. “They told me that the project is supported by the central government to promote technological innovation,” says Yang. “And they promised my investment will soon become 4 million yuan (about 606K USD).” Not surprisingly, her venture into the virtual currency market ended up being a scam. To compound her sorrow, her husband divorced her when he realized that she already spent all of their savings.

47,000 Participants and 613 Million USD in a Year

Police in Haikou, capital of Hainan Province busted a pyramid scheme called “Asia-Euro Coin”. Within a year, more than 47,000 people had been recruited to trade the fake virtual currency, with some 613 million U.S. dollars involved. The suspect surnamed Liu told investors that he is a cryptocurrency expert who has resources all over the world. And he would hold events at fancy restaurants to brainwash participants.

With the spread of mobile banking and social media platforms, ponzi schemes could quickly pull-in more investors. “As the perpetrators are often located in different parts of China and orchestrate the scams via computers and mobile phones, it’s quite difficult to detain all at once and secure the evidence,” said Ren Jian, a police officer in Haikou.

Have you ever been swindled in a scam altcoin? Leave your comments below!


Images via Shutterstock, Xinhua News.


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The post China’s Official Press Agency: 107 Altcoins Under Investigation for Financial Crimes appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Bitcoin News