Tuesday, June 22, 2021

The Feds Are Terrified of Cryptocurrencies — but They’re Powerless to Stop Them

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by Josie Wales, The Anti Media

The federal government is no match for innovation. This is something lawmakers have always known, and it is the reason state and federal regulations exist. But innovation, by its very nature, will always find a way around those regulations, resulting in the implementation of more regulations for creative minds to learn to evade — which they will. This results in the over-regulation we see in America today.

Nothing scares the government more than something it can’t control, and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) revealed this week that it is terrified of cryptocurrencies — as well it should be. See, all those lawmakers and bureaucrats sitting around regulating everything depend on taxpayer money to pay their salaries so they can keep writing regulations. Since cryptocurrencies allow people to keep all of their money, this is a big problem for the lawmakers. Soon, people may even start to realize they can buy, sell, and trade freely without any government intervention. The horror.

So the SEC recently got together to write up even more regulations to try to scare people away from using cryptocurrencies and the blockchain by targeting Initial Coin Offerings, or ICOs. Initial Coin Offerings have become very popular recently as a way for crypto start-ups to raise funds for their ventures using digital tokens (cryptocurrency) like Bitcoin or Ethers. They operate on a blockchain, which is a decentralized digital ledger of publicly and chronologically-recorded cryptocurrency transactions. Investopedia gives a wonderfully detailed breakdown of how ICOs work. You can read it here or watch an explanation by technologist and author of The Internet of Money and Mastering Bitcoin Andreas Antonopoulos here.

Basically, with the birth of the ICO came the emergence of a whole new market — one with a great deal of money floating around that the federal government couldn’t take by force. Naturally, this had to be investigated, and on July 25, the SEC released a Report of Investigation under Section 21(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. The investigation zeroed in on the DAO, a distributed autonomous organization that set the record for the largest crowdfunding campaign in history, raising over $150 million in ether in 2016. According to the report published by the SEC:

The Commission applied existing U.S. federal securities laws to this new paradigm, determining that DAO Tokens were securities.  The Commission stressed that those who offer and sell securities in the U.S. are required to comply with federal securities laws, regardless of whether those securities are purchased with virtual currencies or distributed with blockchain technology.”

 

Or, as crowdfunding lawyer Amy Y. Wan explains, the press release amounts to the SEC saying: “For those of you out there doing ICOs, we’re here to warn you that U.S. securities laws might apply. When we say might, we mean just that — sometimes securities law will apply, sometimes it won’t. It depends on the specific facts of the ICO.”

Okay, so the government wants to regulate virtual tokens, aka cryptocurrency. Good luck. As blockchain engineer Elaine Ou pointed out on Twitter, ICO’s are “Untraceable, international, [have] no central authority, [and] funds can’t be frozen. The SEC ICO warning is the best ad for ICO’s.”

So while the government can — and will — continue to make the lives of innocent people miserable using weapons like civil asset forfeiture, crypto regulations, web-provider takedowns, and the war on drugs, these are all last ditch efforts by a desperate ruling class on its death bed.

The creativity and resilience human beings possess do not exist within the jurisdiction of the government – no matter how hard it tries to convince us otherwise.

Is the Bitcoin Civil War Over? Here’s How I’m Thinking About Bitcoin Cash

by Michael Krieger, Liberty Blitzkrieg

Before I get going, let me start out with the usual disclaimer. I’m not a Bitcoin expert, nor do I claim to be. I love people who live and breathe Bitcoin every day, and I have the utmost respect for all of you, but that’s not me. As you can tell from a quick glance at my website, my current focus revolves around the current political environment as well as the geopolitical implications of a declining U.S. empire. That said, I’ve been involved in Bitcoin since 2012, and I care deeply about it. In my opinion, globally interconnected humans functioning within decentralized systems of economics and political governance provide the best framework for the human species going forward. We have the tools, we just need the desire.

Today’s post is about an alt-coin that is about to fork from Bitcoin, led by a contingency in the civil war known as the big blockers. This piece is not meant for newbies, but is written for people who own Bitcoin and already have a good understanding of all the drama that’s been going on, and may continue to periodically resurface after August 1. If you aren’t already up to speed on these things you should probably stop reading. The post will just sound confusing and won’t have much impact on your decision making anyway.

 

First of all, I don’t think there will be any debate around what the “real Bitcoin” is following the fork and creation of an alt-coin called Bitcoin Cash (BCC). This coin will be a pet project of big blockers wanting to both save face, and also potentially hurt the original Bitcoin (BTC). Only time will tell if some of those considered “bad actors” will try to target the original Bitcoin out of pettiness, but you should never underestimate what people with a lot of money/power and huge egos will do. History is replete with the ruins of the crazed actions of these types.

If you control your private keys, you should be able to access BCC sometime after August 1st. Some people are describing this as a dividend, although it seems more like an asset spinoff to me. Either way, BCC will have some sort of value on or around August 1st, and a market will start being made. So how should people concerned about potential bad actors on the side of BCC think about all of this? Let’s start with a few tweets from Whale Panda that I think are important to ponder.

With that in mind, take a watch of this recent interview of Roger Ver. Roger is considered to be one of the largest holders of Bitcoin, and owns bitcoin.com

That video definitely made me feel that Roger could act in a hostile way following the launch of BCC. I really hope he swallows his pride and doesn’t go down that route, but we can’t make that assumption. I think we absolutely need to prepare for the possibility that some bad actors will try to harm Bitcoin using BCC. Here are a few more tweets from Whale Panda.

REPORTS OF ETHEREUM’S DEMISE GREATLY EXAGGERATED

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Enterprise Ethereum Alliance Joined by 34 More Organizations, Including Mastercard and Ciscoby Joshua Althauser, Coin Telegraph:

The Enterprise Ethereum Alliance (EEA), the world’s largest open-source Blockchain initiative, has recently added 34 new members expanding to a total of 150 organizations.

Mastercard and Cisco Systems: The EEA is a non-profit consortium that is focused the developments of Ether or in the broader sense, the whole Ethereum Blockchain. Among their 34 new members are Mastercard and Cisco as well as the Scotiabank and Government of Pradesh.

While Cisco is clearly on the list of the new members in the press release, the absence of Mastercard’s name has brought confusion to the Ether community in Reddit. But actually, the true reason behind this is because Mastercard refused to be included in the press release document.

Andrew Keys of ConsenSys explains:

“Mastercard is indeed a new member of EEA. They asked not to be in the press release document but approved being on the EEA official website. They may be doing their own communications on this.”

Aside from those banks and financial institutions, there are also members of EEA that come from different fields and business sectors. They have members representing various industries including technology, government, healthcare, marketing, insurance, energy and even some of the fastest-growing Ethereum start-ups.

The goals of EEA

The consortium was formed just this year in the late February. It was initiated by a group of Ether innovators, financial institutions and Blockchain start-ups. Two of the most prominent founding members of EEA are Intel and JP Morgan Chase.

EEA was established “to build, promote, and broadly support Ethereum-based technology best practices, open standards and open source reference architectures.”

In other words, they aim to streamline the Blockchain technology to be suitable for enterprise settings.

Read More @ Cointelegraph.com

Singapore Startup Launches Cryptocurrency Debit Card

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from ZeroHedge:
A Singapore startup called TenX has designed a Visa card capable of debiting users’ cryptocurrency wallets, allowing them to pay for goods at brick-and-motor merchants with bitcoin, Ethereum and a handful of other digital currencies, according to Bloomberg.

The question now is: Will anybody use it?

TenX’s business model is straightforward: It allows its users to pay for goods in a given fiat currency, then “instantly converts” cryptocurrency from their wallet into the amount needed to cover the transaction.

Dr. Pippa Malmgren: CryptoCurrencies – libertarian dream come true or Orwellian nightmare?

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by Eric Townsend, Macro Voices:
Erik Townsend welcomes Dr. Pippa Malmgren to MacroVoices. Erik and Pippa discuss:

Update on European geopolitics
What is in store for European migration
Considerations on Turkish politics
Geopolitics associated with the cryptocurrencies and blockchain technologies
Future of US dollars roll as world reserve currency
Post Donald Trump Texas economics
Understanding the PPT (Plunge Protection Team)