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.
One year and two months after heralding “the ultimate integration of bitcoin” into their system, the ecommerce company OKPAY has announced that it is suspending its “complete Bitcoin integration.”
Read more here.
Thursday 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.
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
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.
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 ?
The 2013 San Jose Bitcoin Conference has proven to be rather controversial. While it is considered to have been a success, being well attended and attracting high profile speakers, it has brought up a very divisive topic in the Bitcoin community…regulation.
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:
The Electronic Frontier Foundation, which aims to defend “your rights in the digital world”, has announced that they will again accept Bitcoin donations.
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.”
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.
The problem here is that Mt. Gox is operating as an unlicensed money transmitter.
With their recent guidance, FinCEN decided that virtual currency exchangers are money transmitters.
“An administrator or exchanger that (1)accepts and transmits a convertible virtual currency or (2) buys or sells convertible virtual currency for any reason is a money transmitter under FinCEN’s regulations.”
Mt. Gox is not a US company; however, it does a lot of business in the States and is not registered with FinCEN.
An informant working with a Homeland Security agent signed up for both Mt. Gox and Dwolla accounts. After making a few transactions, he was able to determine that his funds had gone through a Wells Fargo bank account owned by Mt. Gox and opened by the exchanges’ CEO Mark Karpeles. The account was opened by Mark in May 2011 who at the time signed a Wells Fargo form declaring that his business was not a Money Services business or a Money Transmitter. Of course this was almost 2 years prior to FinCEN’s guidance on the issue.
The Warrant states that Mt. Gox is in violation of 18 U.S.C. section 1960. The punishment for this can include fines and up to 5 years in prison.
Ars Technica obtained a copy of the warrant which can be read here.