bitcoinThe less bitcoins are worth, the more people want to invest real money with people doing business in the fake stuff. And what people, too: The New York Stock Exchange! And Vikram Pandit! Read more »

  • 02 Dec 2014 at 3:21 PM
  • Banks

HSBC Has Second Thought About The Whole Bitcoin Thing

Get this shit away from HSBC.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 »

  • 24 Nov 2014 at 12:29 PM

Who Wants To Earn An Extra $36K Per Year?

Takers?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 »

  • 21 Nov 2014 at 4:30 PM

Deal Judge: We’re Going To Need A New Master of Coin

Elie's idea of an Icelandic prison.

Elie’s idea of an Icelandic prison.

Ed. note: This is a new weekly column by Elie Mystal, Managing Editor of Above the Law Redline, wrapping up the week that was in law and finance. Elie is not a practicing attorney, and anything he says that you listen to can and will be used against you.

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 »

  • 19 Nov 2014 at 11:00 AM

The Bitcoin Definitional Debate Is Over

Commodified.The digital currency is a commodity, according to a guy whose job, coincidentally, is the regulation of commodities. Read more »

  • 07 Nov 2014 at 1:02 PM

Real Ponzi Scheme Possible With Fake Money

Hard to believe this guy was (allegedly) running a bitcoin scam.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 »

Nothing to see here.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 »

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 »