Bitcoin Loses Steam after Recent Rally but Remains above $5,000: BTCManager’s Week in Review April 15
The price of bitcoin remained effectively unchanged at the $5,000 mark, week-on-week after the premier cryptocurrency retraced from its mid-week high of $5,421 per coin.
The biggest story of the week was the attempted “doxxing” of Twitter user Hodlnaut by Bitcoin SV advocate Craig S. Wright. The attempt was met with an impromptu social media campaign by the bitcoin community called “#WeAreAllHodlnaut,” a crowdfunding effort to help Hodlnaut in his defense against Wright’s lawsuit. The campaign also generated a statement from Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao that his exchange will delist BSV if “anymore of this sh!t” happens. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the price of the bitcoin cash fork, BSV, dropped by 18 percent versus last week’s close.
The seemingly neverending QuadrigaCX saga has taken another unfortunate turn. According to a new report, the late CEO of the Canadian exchange was allegedly involved in a money laundering scheme. Data suggests that the two founders of QuadrigaCX, Michael Patryn and Gerald Cotten, had previously been engaged in a Liberty Reserve exchanger called Midas Gold, which served as means for criminals to send funds to each other using a digital currency called Liberty Reserve (LR). The currency was sent anonymously and only needed an email address to open an account with each LR being worth one dollar.
On the bitcoin adoption front, there was good news this week. Coinbase, the popular crypto app for first-time users, announced the launch of their crypto debit card. The Coinbase Card, a Visa debit card issued by Paysafe, enables Coinbase users in the United Kingdom to spend their crypto holdings everywhere where major cards are accepted.
The altcoin market closed the week mainly in the red, however, as bitcoin’s momentum turned mid-week, which pushed the entire crypto market a leg lower.
Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao (“CZ”) threatened to delist Bitcoin SV (BSV) from the platform over the attack by Craig S. Wright (CSW) on the Twitter handle “Hodlonaut.” CSW reportedly has a BSV bounty worth $5,000 out for the identity of Hodlonaut. Many in the industry have banded together in solidarity to defend Hodlonaut.
In a tweet posted on April 11, 2019, the Binance chief weighed in on the matter of CSW’s contentious claim of being Bitcoin creator Satoshi Nakamoto. Many in the cryptocurrency industry do not take Wright’s assertions seriously.
Zhao’s tweet was in response to the trending matter in the Twitterverse where CSW placed a $5,000 reward for anyone who reveals the identity of the Hodlonaut Twitter account.
Details of the bounty emerged on a blog post by CoinGeek which is owned by fellow BSV advocate, Calvin Ayre. According to the blog post, CSW’s legal team had served Hodlonaut with legal papers containing a slew of allegations pertaining to online harassment and conducting a targeted campaign on calumny.
The QuadrigaCX plot only seems to thicken as new evidence suggests that their late CEO had been involved in a money laundering scheme, reported on April 9, 2019.
The now-defunct crypto exchange first made headlines when it was discovered that hundreds of millions of dollars in customer funds were locked away in a cold wallet to which only Gerald Cotten, their late CEO, had access.
As soon as the story broke, there were fake death conspiracies and exit scam theories floating around and even now that they have been declared bankrupt, there is still speculation about what truly went on. An April 9, 2019 report now alleges that money laundering might have been a part of the mix.
The report from former BTCManager contributor Amy Castor cites data published by a Reddit user by the name of QCXINT. The data suggests that the two founders of QuadrigaCX, Michael Patryn and Gerald Cotten, had previously been involved in a Liberty Reserve exchanger called Midas Gold.
Patryn, it has been revealed, is Omar Dhanani, a convicted felon who had been charged with identity theft in the United States in 2004 for his involvement in the Shadowcrew.com identity theft ring.
Part of the ring’s activities included an electronic money laundering service in which interested parties would send Dhanani money through western union, and he would help launder it using e-gold accounts for a fraction of the cost.
There are few figures in the world more controversial than Julian Assange, the 47-year-old Australian computer programmer and Wikileaks editor. Assange has been simultaneously praised and villainized as a hero of transparency and privacy after compromising government secrets.
In a move that many thought would come sooner, Assange has finally been arrested at the Ecuadorian embassy in London, where he has taken refuge since 2012.
Assange has been holed up in the Ecuadorian embassy for almost seven years, and many are wondering about the timing of his arrest. The initial call for his apprehension came after he skipped bail in 2012 following the leak of highly-private government information.
Jen Robinson of Assange’s legal team has asserted that the arrest also involves an extradition request from the United States.
The court judge in Westminster, Michael Snow, has labeled Assange a “narcissist,” adding that he believes Assange cannot get past “his own self-interest.” Assange has pleaded not guilty and been remanded into custody as of press time.
Since it has now become mandatory for digital assets traders to remit taxes, 21 members of the United States Congress, led by congressman Thomas Earl Emmer, have jointly sent a bipartisan letter to the United States Internal Revenue Service (IRS) urging it to publish new guidelines on crypto tax remittance, according to a press release on April 11, 2019.
In a bid to foster clarity and make it easier for bitcoin and altcoin traders to fulfill their tax obligations, U.S. congressman, Tom Emmer has reportedly led a group of 20 Reps, to send a bipartisan letter to the IRS, asking the agency to formulate fresh guidance on how to report cryptocurrency taxes.
Per the report, since 2014 when the IRS made it clear that digital assets are like property, it has not issued guidelines to address several pertinent questions surrounding federal tax reporting of cryptoassets.
Also, the Reps have pointed out that it is now more than a decade since the IRS National Taxpayer Advocate declared in its 2008 annual report that the ambiguity of tax treatment of virtual property and cryptocurrency transactions poses a serious problem to taxpayers. It has been over five years since the agency published preliminary guidance on the matter.
Malta-based cryptocurrency exchange Binance announced that they have partnered with blockchain security firm CipherTrace to bolster their anti-money laundering (AML) measures. This according to a Binance blog post on April 11, 2019.
The use of cryptocurrencies to orchestrate money laundering schemes has been a major cause of concern for regulatory bodies the world over.
As reported by BTCManager on April 11, 2019, fresh evidence suggests that the late CEO of the troubled Canadian cryptocurrency exchange QuadrigaCX might have been involved in an elaborate money laundering scheme.
Seeing how such controversies can generate a poor reputation for the entire cryptocurrency industry, digital assets exchange platforms all over the world are leaving nothing to chance when it comes to security.
Binance, being one of the largest exchange platforms by reported trading volume, has now partnered with security firm CipherTrace to strengthen their AML measures. According to the blog post, CipherTrace will help Binance raise their compliance standards in line with a worldwide progression of digital currencies regulations and developing ecosystems.
Samuel Lim, CCO of Binance, said that the partnership with CipherTrace will help the exchange develop more trustful business synergy with users, regulators, and financial institutions. Lim added that the newly christened partnership will help Binance in expanding its business footprint “in the most compliant fashion.”
In a bid to promote mainstream adoption of bitcoin and enable cryptocurrency holders to seamlessly pay with their digital assets at millions of locations across the globe, Coinbase, one of the largest crypto exchanges in the world, has joined forces with Paysafe to launch the Coinbase Visa debit card, according to a blog post on April 11, 2019.
As stated in its blog post, Coinbase has launched its Coinbase Card, a Visa debit card issued by Paysafe. The product will help Coinbase users resident in the United Kingdom spend their crypto holdings at various locations around the world as effortlessly as the cash in their bank accounts. The firm says it automatically converts cryptos to the supported fiat standard during transactions.
Paysafe Financial Services Limited is a multinational payment solution provider reportedly authorized by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).
Reportedly, users of the Coinbase Card will be able to pay with any of the cryptoassets they hold in their Coinbase account at physical locations and online stores through contactless, chip and PIN mechanisms, and make cash withdrawals at ATMs across the globe.