It’s been a while since HSBC agreed to get out of the money-laundering business for the low, low price of $1.9 billion. Alas, as of a few months back, the bank still had a bit of work to do re: not laundering money for drug dealers or rogue states anymore. Plus, there are a few other legal and reputational issues it’s dealing with. So you know what it really doesn’t need? A money-laundering headache from some two-bit fake-currency hedge fund, that’s what. Read more »
Just lose your job because all of a sudden manipulating the currency markets is not OK? Or because maybe Brian Moynihan runs your company? Maybe you still have a job, but you were informed that “black edge” will no longer be rewarded and you somehow don’t know who else has been insider-trading your way to the top? Well, if you’ve got some free space in your vestibule, Lamassu has a compelling business opportunity. Read more »
Issue #1: How can you get a permit to do a damned illegal thing?
Bitcoins are a “real” commodity, so says the Commodity Futures Trading Commission. Commissioner Mark Wetjen “I do believe we have the authority because if you think of any reasonable reading of our statute, bitcoin classifies as a commodity, “I do believe we have the authority because if you think of any reasonable reading of our statute, bitcoin classifies as a commodity.”
Well maybe if Wetjen wishes really, really hard, Tinkerbell will spring to life and sprinkle enough regulatory pixie dust to give the CFTC the authority it believes it should have. Read more »
Inevitably, somebody was going to run a Ponzi scheme with bitcoins, and so it has (allegedly!) come to pass: Trendon Shavers of exurban Dallas won the race to be hit with the first such criminal charges, although some of the element of surprise went out of it when the SEC fined him $40 million for the same thing two months ago.
But Shavers was not content merely to enjoy the proceeds of said (alleged) Ponzi scheme. As old friend Matt points out over at Bloomberg View, in a feat of confidence worthy of Bernie Madoff, he actually bet someone 5,000 bitcoins that his enterprise was not a Ponzi scheme. But do not say Shavers is without honor; say he is without intelligence: Much to his lawyers’ current chagrin, he (allegedly) ‘fessed up that it was, in fact, a Ponzi scheme, and made good on the bet. Read more »
There are things at which the Securities and Exchange Commission should probably have a look. Like, say, the unregistered issuance of securities by companies dealing in fake currencies. You know, just a gander, if for no other reason than to demonstrate that they’re expected to follow all of those boring, stupid rules they hate so much. And so they have! Or perhaps not. Read more »
Bitcoin Enthusiasts To Cheer Themselves Up By Living Like Mike Tyson, Fictional Heroes From ‘The Hangover’By Jon Shazar
The Biterati will gather this week in—where else?—Las Vegas to celebrate, well, something, and to pick the startups that will staunch the bleeding and destroy the fiat currency that they undoubtedly paid for everything with. Read more »
Allowance Watch ’14: You Can Earn 5 Bitcoins A Week These Days But You’re Not Gonna If This Trash Doesn’t Make Its Way To The Curb In The Next 5 MinutesBy Bess Levin
People worldwide have opened 41 million bitcoin accounts, according to the Bank of England. While the total value of bitcoin commerce isn’t known, Gil Luria, an analyst at Wedbush Securities Inc., estimates global spending on goods and services has doubled in the past year. Parents are dispensing allowances in bitcoins so their kids learn to be digital citizens. Marijuana smokers are buying buds from bitcoin-enabled vending machines. Consumers in emerging markets such as Brazil and Russia are starting to use bitcoin to hedge against currency volatility. [Bloomberg]