CoinDesk: Bitcoin exchanges need to grow up fast

CoinDesk does an excellent job of pointing out the very different standards that entrenched TBTF financial institutions are held to as compared to those outside the system. Those choosing to operate alternative financial businesses are going to face many challenges. In fact, if you’re considering running a digital currency exchange you have only 3 choices…

  1. Find some damn good security experts and operate anonymously
  2. Forget about privacy for yourself or your customers and jump through any and all regulatory hoops
  3. Go to jail

Indeed it is time for digital currency businesses to grow up and make some tough choices.

Via CoinDesk

The relationship between big banks and their regulators is pretty dubious, to put it mildly. But expecting federal investigators to give Bitcoin exchanges the same free ride is childishly naive.

When HSBC got caught laundering money for drug dealers and terrorists, it promised regulators it would improve controls.

It didn’t.

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The Liberty Reserve Indictment

The Defendants

Liberty Reserve S.A., Arthur Bodovsky (owner), Vladimir Kats (left the business in 2009), Ahmed Yassine Abdelghani (left the business in 2009), Allen Esteban Hidalgo Jimenez, Asseddine El Aminr, Mark Marmilev, Maxim Chukharev.

The Charges

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Liberty Reserve Shutdown

liberty-reserve-logoThursday last week Liberty Reserve went offline. On Friday Arthur Budovsky Belanchuk, the owner, was arrested in Spain after a joint money laundering investigation by US and Costa Rican authorities. The allegations are that Liberty Reserve was financed using money from child pornography websites and drug trafficking.

The Tico Times, an English newspaper in Costa Rica, is reporting that Budovsky has been under investigation since 2011 after a request from a prosecutor’s office in New York.  Liberty Reserve is a Costa Rican business and Budovsky is a Costa Rican citizen of Ukrainian origin.

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The Real Asset Co: Unveiling the gold market’s working parts

The Asset Company’s Head of Research Jan Skoyles explains where the gold price is set by looking at the three different gold markets; the futures market, exchange traded products and the physical gold market

Via TheRealAsset.co.uk

On April 12th 3.4 million ounces (100 tonnes) of gold was sold in the US futures markets. This was just for starters, the main, side and dessert appeared over the following hours and the next session on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (COMEX).

As those in the West holding paper gold stood frozen watching the price tick further downwards, those in the East and others looking to buy physical gold, went on a shopping spree. Premiums on physical gold in China, India, Vietnam and across Asia hit highs associated with economic and geopolitical crises. Dealers struggled to keep up with demand.

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GoldBroker Interviews GATA’s Chris Powell

As a part of a three part series GoldBroker’s CEO Fabrice Drouin Ristori will be asking the same market manipulation questions of Chris Powell, Egon Von Greyerz  and Jim Willie. Below is the interview with Chris via GoldBroker.com

Fabrice Drouin Ristori:How long can the manipulation of the precious metal markets last ?

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Freemans Perspective: Bitcoin – The Tyranny Test

By Paul Rosenberg, FreemansPerspective.com

An increasing number of people have complained about governments and central banks in recent years, even using the word “tyranny” to describe them. They are, of course, called names in the establishment press: conspiracy theorists, mainly.

Calling someone a name, however, does not erase their argument (at least not among rational people) and both the governments and the big banks stand accused.

Up till now, however, these accusations were never accepted by the general public. The average guy really didn’t want to hear about the evils of government money. After all, that was the only thing he had ever used to buy food, clothes, gasoline, cars, and so on. He didn’t want to acknowledge the accusations because he feared what might happen to him without his usual money.

Now, however, we have a brand new currency (called Bitcoin) available to us: something radically different. This gives us a new way to directly address the subject of monetary tyranny, providing a clear test for the governments and money masters of the world:

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EFF resumes Bitcoin donations "to Support Digital Liberty"

The Electronic Frontier Foundation, which aims to defend “your rights in the digital world”, has announced that they will again accept Bitcoin donations.

Via the EFF website

Today, we’re happy to announce that we will be accepting Bitcoin donations through our website. You can use them to make one-time donations, set up monthly donations or get an EFF membership (which includes awesome membership swag like EFF hats and digital freedom t-shirts).

While we are accepting Bitcoin donations, EFF is not endorsing Bitcoin.  EFF does not typically endorse products or services, and we certainly do not endorse any of the electronic payment methods that we currently accept (credit cards, PayPal, and now BitPay).

The EFF stopped accepting Bitcoin donations two years ago. They give the reasons for the reversal of this decision as…

  • “Censorship by payment intermediaries is an ongoing problem for free speech online – so it makes sense to start diversifying the available options.”
  • “You can now give Bitcoins to EFF in the same way that you can give stock.”
  • “Our research and FinCEN’s guidance removed a key risk to EFF.”
  • “Our members keep politely asking for it.”

WebMoney announces the addition of a Bitcoin purse

The Russian based online payment service  allows users to store their funds in different “purses”. For example WME for Euros and WMG for gold. The new purse, WMX, is denominated in Bitcoin where one WMX = 0.001BTC.

WebMoney has its own exchange to allow users to convert between the supported currencies. This change means that users will be able transfer Bitcoin(WMX) to any of WebMoney’s other denominations.

More details here.