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While President Trump criticized Germany as “captive to Russia” during a NATO breakfast this week, multiple news outlets pointed out that chief of staff John Kelly didn’t look like he was having a great time, reports USA Today . As the Washington Post notes, Kelly pursed his lips and shifted his…
Eurozone house prices rose at the fastest pace in 11 years during the first three months of 2018, a development that is likely to reinforce the European Central Bank’s determination to end a key stimulus program in December.
WSJ.com: What’s News Europe
When Netflix was on the verge on impeaching “House of Cards” amid the Kevin Spacey scandal last year, it was the new president who rallied the base to save it.
Tuning into the White House July 4th concert on the Hallmark channel? You’re not likely to see many celebs, unless you like American Idol finalists—”as in, not actual winners,” the Washington Post explains. Idol alumni Jax and Jonny Brenns, country singer Sara Evans, and Russian-born classical pianist Lola Astanova…
House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer was in the hospital on Wednesday after getting a pneumonia diagnosis a day earlier, and was expected to make a full recovery.
President Donald Trump backed away from plans to create tough new restrictions on Chinese investments in the U.S. and U.S. technology exports to China, defusing one fight with Beijing as American business officials try to head off a looming battle over tariffs.
WSJ.com: What’s News Asia
The U.S. House of Representatives has unanimously passed a bill to help prevent the illicit use of cryptocurrencies, including bitcoin, dash, zcash, and monero. This bill follows a testimony by the Secret Service asking Congress for help stopping these activities.
H.R. 6069 Bill Passed
The U.S. House of Representatives has passed Bill H.R. 6069, known as the “Fight Illicit Networks and Detect Trafficking Act.”
The bill was considered by the House on Monday, June 25, and “passed unanimously,” according to California Rep. Juan Vargas, the representative who jointly introduced the bill with Rep. Keith Rothfus, announced.
The Republican Policy Committee website describes:
H.R. 6069 would require the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to carry out a study on how virtual currencies and online marketplaces are used to buy, sell, or facilitate the financing of goods or services associated with sex trafficking or drug trafficking. The GAO study would also examine how virtual currencies can be used to detect and deter these illicit activities.
After passage of the bill, Rep. Rothfus released a statement saying, “Illicit markets where drug and human trafficking take place are constantly evolving, especially on the dark web…Cryptocurrencies can mask traffickers’ transactions, affording them a level of anonymity when conducting illegal activities.” He added that “This bipartisan legislation will help the government expose new criminal methods to move illicit funds, and provide ways to stop them.”
Bill Aimed at Fighting Illicit Use of Crypto
While acknowledging that “Virtual currencies, such as bitcoin, dash, zcash, and monero, can be used for legal purchases,” the Committee website noted, “It has also been reported that virtual currencies are being used to run illegal online marketplaces to sell drugs, including the opioid fentanyl, and contributing to the opioid crisis in America.”
The Republican Policy Committee further claims, “according to recent reports, transnational criminal organizations are increasingly using virtual currencies for illicit activities, including drug trafficking,” citing the US Drug Enforcement Administration’s 2017 National Drug Assessment.
According to Rep. Vargas:
The anonymity behind virtual currencies has made them a preferred payment method to carry out illegal activities…Congress must understand the full extent of how virtual currencies are being used to facilitate drug and sex trafficking and propose legislative solutions to fight these crimes.
After the passage of the bill, Vargas commented that “this bill is an important first step in helping Congress understand the full extent of how virtual currencies are being used to facilitate drug and sex trafficking and will help us propose effective legislative solutions to fight these crimes. I hope to see the same level of support for this legislation in the Senate.”
Deputy Assistant Director of the U.S. Secret Service’s Office of Investigations, Robert Novy, shared a similar sentiment in his testimony before the House of Representatives Financial Services Subcommittee on Terrorism and Illicit Finance last week. He called on Congress to “help in preventing cryptocurrencies like monero and zcash, which provide users with enhanced privacy and anonymity features, from being used for illicit purposes,” as news.Bitcoin.com previously reported.
On Tuesday, the Department of Justice also announced the arrests of more than 35 people selling illicit goods in a nationwide undercover operation targeting darknet vendors. According to the notice, “Nearly 2,000 bitcoins and other cryptocurrencies, with an approximate value of more than $ 20 million” were seized.
What do you think of the US government’s efforts to crack down on crypto use? Let us know in the comments section below.
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President Trump staked a lot of political capital on a primary in South Carolina on Tuesday—and won. Gov. Henry McMaster prevailed in the Republican primary, beating businessman John Warren, a political novice, in all but seven of the state’s 46 counties. Both candidates tried to appeal to Trump voters,…
South Carolina State Rep. Katie Arrington is in critical but stable condition after two major surgeries following a car crash Friday night, authorities say—and the Republican’s associates say it would take a lot more than that to halt her bid for US Congress. Her campaign says she isn’t expected…
The Trump administration wants Congress to remove the federal charters for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac as part of a plan to release the mortgage giants from U.S. control, according to a sweeping proposal for reorganizing the government released Thursday.
The two companies, which have been under…