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BTC-e, who were shutdown in July, have made good on their promise to return with the launch of the new WEX exchange.

Which looks pretty much exactly like BTC-e in design and functionality and according to a Twitter post by the team behind it, this is the result of a months work beginning shortly after the
July raid by US Authorities.

"We thank all ex-users of BTC-E for their patience at such a difficult moment for all of you guys. We on our part have spent a lot of efforts and energy to create a new platform for trade in the shortest time limits. Our platform will operate according to AML/KYC laws and world legislation in this field. " - WEX Team

Notably in the statement from the WEX exchange website, they plan to abide by all anti-money laundering and know-your-customer laws that govern their operation and the jurisdictions governing their user base.

WEX claims they are unrelated to BTC-e but anyone with half a brain can clearly see it's the BTC-e platform with a new coat of paint.

BTC-e 2014 Compared to WEX - 2017


Additionally the BTC-e users are already present on the platform and mention of bonus tokens (to repay those who lost money on BTC-e) can be found in their website statement.

"We thank all ex-users of BTC-E for their patience at such a difficult moment for all of you guys. We on our part have spent a lot of efforts and energy to create a new platform for trade in the shortest time limits."

BTC-e stated in August it would relaunch in September after being shutdown in July on a 21-count blast from the United States packed with a $110 million dollar fine (seems a bit extreme).

Thus, the answer and fulfillment of the latter appears to be ... WEX.




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Regulating Air - Originally Aired on August 21st 

August 21st - dinbits Daily Blockchain Media - "Regulating Air"

1. Market Update
2. What affects market rates?
3. SEC Statements
4. Industry Regulation
5. Enforcing Regulation
6. Securities Explained and Industry Applicability
7. Profitable bitcoin mining

Listen Here Now:


Release date: 21 August 2017

℗ 2017 dinbits, Inc. All rights reserved.




Once again the Chinese government is hinting about making bitcoin illegal and once again people are freaking out and once again, exchanges are closing up shop. This time BTCC, the oldest Chinese exchange, has announced it will stop taking on new customers in China.

This is not a major surprise coming after China's banning of ICO's last week, but it's important to keep in mind that China has not officially banned bitcoin. Even if they do, people in China will still own bitcoin and still trade bitcoin on other exchanges or locally among themselves.

The concept of China banning bitcoin completely to the point it would be non-existent in the country is ridiculous, unrealistic, and rather improbable if not impossible.

What they can do is cause exchanges some major headaches as far as regulation, much like exchanges in the United States already get to enjoy, but even if they were to regulate bitcoin to the point no exchanges had any desire to conduct business that would only cease operations of Chinese exchanges and there's quite a few other countries hosting exchange platforms.

Party Time?

Along with other bitcoin doom and gloom broadcast by the mainstream media, the price has dropped to nearly $3200. For some this might cause panic time, for others this is most certainly buying time.
The question is how low will bitcoin go and how quickly can it be purchased before it rebounds. The next question is what will it rebound to?

It's been a one-two-three-punch as the mainstream media blast pumped up the China ICO ban, Jamie Dimon's "fraud" name-calling of bitcoin, Mohamed El-Erian's valuation of bitcoin being half of what it currently is, and now Chinese exchanges (at least one, BTCC) heading for the hills.

Naturally that's going to persuade week stomachs to abandon ship, but only until they realize there's nothing to really worry about and this presents a lucrative opportunity for investors jump in. This is particularly attractive to day traders.

Bitcoin Mega-Bash

It seems to pour when it rains, or rather the haters seem to jump on the opportunity to "group-bash" bitcoin when the chance presents itself. Who can blame them, this is the nature of people, when shit starts rolling downhill, those who wish it to do so will  throw as much as they can on the pile to build momentum.

The truth is however, bitcoin is unlikely to be stopped dead in it's tracks, stopped by any government, stopped by any company or organization, or by any unknown power that may have such ability and the likely hood of every single human being involved in the industry to up and decided tomorrow that bitcoin will be no longer is fairly non-existent.

You'd basically have to get every person on the planet involved to agree to quit. Short of that, the only other option would be cutting of the electricity. All of it. The entire planet.

I'm guessing that's going to be a big fat "not gonna happen".




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JP Morgan CEO, Jamie Dimon called bitcoin a "fraud" according to Bloomberg. This coming after China's "ban" on ICO's which has brought the price of bitcoin under $4000 for the first time in a while.


“I’d fire them in a second. For two reasons: It’s against our rules, and they’re stupid. And both are dangerous."


Dimon said about any trader caught trading bitcoin on his watch, however the only reasoning beyond "stupid" he had to offer was evidence of his clear and obvious misunderstanding of bitcoin and digital currency in general. 

He compared bitcoin to "tulip bulbs" stating that things would "end badly" referencing an "end" being governments "allowing" bitcoin to continue to exist.

Who Has Choice?


Dimon is of the opinion the a government can just easily "close it down" (his words about bitcoin).

First off, "governments" really don't have much of a say in bitcoin being in existence or not, neither does anyone, any company, or anything other than the entire community that supports it. So that statement doesn't hold allot of water. 


Sure, they can regulate the hell of it, even ban it all together, but as we've seen with such attempts, folks either conform to regulatory requirements and continue to trade or disregard them all-together. As far as banning, it's no different, you can say it's "illegal" but you can't catch the millions of people that would continue to trade the crypto-currency. 

Secondly, we have to keep in mind that this is a CEO of a bank, one of the entities commonly hated by bitcoin enthusiasts. I can't think of many good things, if any, ever said about bitcoin by any executive of a bank, it's been negativity for nearly a decade. 

Third, let's remember that this is also the CEO of a bank that took a 12 BILLION dollar BAIL OUT in 2008 to keep afloat all while continue to pad their executives wallets quite handsomely. 

That entire ordeal is allot of the reason bitcoin exists in the first place.

Fourth, Dimon states that bitcoin might be used for "illicit" activity in which case it'll be shot down. Seriously? What planet does this guy live on? "Might be"? Just like every single other payment method and/or currency on the planet, bitcoin is also used for illicit activity.

That said, credit cards and cash dominate the "illicit activity" market by far. Bitcoin and all crypto-currencies combined don't even scratch the surface in comparison.   

It's A Bubble!!

Well in all fairness, he does have a slight point here, the price was well over $4,000 USD when he said this and it had no realistic business being there. Somewhere between $2500 and $3000 is honestly where the current valuation should be according to many and this can be agreed on to some degree. However,  that accounts for a only a portion of the value which is still far more than double the value of a year ago and about what was expected. Dimon's been saying "bubble" since bitcoin was at $400.

He's the problem with the long-time "haters" [bitcoin and/or digital currency haters], if you sit there and say any asset on earth is going to decrease in value long enough, eventually it's going to happen due fluctuations in price. One can sit there and say Amazon.com stock it going to lose $100 and continue to say that for the next 8 years and eventually at some point in time this is going to be a correct statement. That doesn't make it suck.

Moreover, it's not a decrease in value these folks are hoping for, they state total and complete death and destruction and the END of bitcoin. 

Again .. that's from a banker and a banker who just happens to be the CEO of JP Morgan. So...

SHOCKER THERE!

Additionally Dimon states that the underlying technology of bitcoin, blockchain technology, is "years away" from the ability to be used. Maybe that's why he wants bitcoin to die, so he'd be right about that statement, because as it sits, he might not have noticed but that technology, blockchain technology, has been going strong for about .... 8 years now.



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Coinbase stated it would not support BCC or it's blockchain or allow withdraws of BCC. It stated no plans to support BCC trading and gave ample notice of all of the above. Over the course of several days leading up to August 1st, Coinbase drug it's user base through a muddy ditch of pins and needles as transactions painstakingly took upwards of 24 to 48 hours in preparation for the event that was the birth of the new altcoin, Bitcoin Cash.

Well today they took it all back and said they'll support BCC in some manner. Users will be able to withdraw BCC and their balances will be in tact after all.

Notably there was no "April Fool's" subsequently following the email blast on Thursday when they made this announcement.

There's a Catch

Sounds just peachy doesn't it? Well it's not. Users won't be able to access their BCC, much less do anything with it until next year. The current estimate being January 2018. 

Seriously?

What's so damn hard about letting folks withdraw their coin? Well lots of things. 

Coinbase would had to have had 100% of the coin they have custody over in individually allocated wallets for each amount per customer.

It's very unlikely this is the case and even if it was, they then would need to shove allot of code in rather quickly to support the new blockchain for BCC or handout the private keys for BCC, which would just so happen be the keys for bitcoin and suddenly you have a regulatory and security headache.

They also have the 8MB blocks to worry about as they are susceptible to network attacks.

All things that lean heavily towards a "not gonna happen" and for the most part nobody cared. Until BCC hit $700 before going stale. Then everybody had an opinion of the Coinbase decision and claimed "stupid" about how to withdraw fund from Coinbase to get BCC. Even a lawsuit was threatened and then suddenly ... Coinbase has everyone's BCC, everything is fine. You just have to wait

Yeah ... wait. Wait until BCC is ultimately worthless in 2018 and then Coinbase will fork it over. It sure will be awfully convenient for Coinbase if that value drops and BCC isn't worth $700 in January 2018.

That said, you can't blame Coinbase for being careful and not taking an unnecessary risk just because a handful of people want something for nothing with a BCC money-grab. This is one of those times I would actually have to agree with Coinbase. 

However, not on the "wait until Jan 2018" part ... that part is just mean.




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Tomorrow on August 1st, there will be a hard fork in the bitcoin blockchain code that will create a new virtual currency called "Bitcoin Cash". This coming after the news of the mining community and bitcoin developers finally reaching some sort common ground when recently signalling for Segwit (segregated witness) which prunes old useless data from the blockchain and increases the blocksize to 2MB.

Bitcoin Cash increases the blocksize to an alarming 8MB. Fortunately that will be the BCC blockchain and not the bitcoin blockchain.

Why Is Bitcoin Cash Happening?

Despite finally arriving at a consensus for block size relief with Segwit, a portion of the community still didn't like it and are going to force a hard fork instead of promoting its solution in an effort to gain consensus. 

Typically when a solution, regardless of support for it, is present in what is called a BIP or bitcoin improvement proposal in the form of an IBIP, SBIP, or PBIP. Depending on the level of support and/or response from the community the proposal can be implemented by it's development team and presented to the industry for consensus. This is done by making the proposals implementation backwards compatible while consensus us reached. If consensus is reached, most agree that a 75% or better consensus constitutes consensus, then a date is further solidified to enable the code supporting the BIP. If activated, that portion of the code can make older versions of the bitcoin software obsolete and why such a high consensus is required.

Once the BIP is activated and running in the real world, it is considered the new code base and it's blockchain is the new ledger of record. Older versions of the bitcoin software may be incompatible at this point and may not work in full or at all. 

It's a daunting process that can require a great deal of debate as we have seen with the blocksize debate.

That said, in cases where the majority of support has shifted to another BIP and not the BIP an given development team was hoping for, that team can force a hard fork by activating their solution anyway vie UAHF (User Activated Hard Fork). This is the case with Bitcoin Cash which currently does not have consensus but wants their solution "out there" anyway.

With UAHF a couple things happen. First, the new solution becomes an Altcoin, in this case BCC (Bitcin Cash) and since the hard fork basically is a "version" of it's intended predecessor, users holding assets on the blockchain it is intended to replace end up with assets on both the original chain and the new chain.

We saw this with Ethereum last year, although backwards where the developers of Ethereum forced a hard fork claiming the new solution was the Ethereum network while the original chain became labeled Ethereum Classic and it's Ether became an Altcoin of the new Ethereum's Ether. However the truth is that Ethereum Classic is the original chain and there was a great deal of controversy surrounding that fork and it's consensus since it's purpose was primarily to steal back stolen coins.

So What is Going to Happen?

At midnight August 31st Bitcoin cash will become operation with hash power being it supporting it's blockchain. If you have any bitcoin stored on the blockchain, you will have BCC stored on the BCC blockchain. It's estimated value to begin will be something about 10% of bitcoins but watch for the massive dump as folks flock to dump BCC for a chance at "free money". From that point forward there will be the bitcoin network (the blockchain) as there always has been and there will be a new network for Bitcoin Cash which will be a new virtual currency (altcoin) that may or may not live long enough to see tomorrow. 

To avoid any problems many exchanges such as GDAX will be shutting down during the fork an halting all trading and transfers that could be inadvertently caught up in the mess and most large exchanges will not be supporting BCC. Some however, such as Kraken will be supporting the new virtual currency just as Ether Class was, and still is, supported.

That's about it, the process should be rather uneventful although look for some attempted fraudulent activity on the new network as well as the massive "dump" to complete the "pump" of recent days to unite as a pair. BCC should debut at it's highest value right after the fork. How long it will hold that value is yet to be seen but most seem to believe that past the initial "dump" the interest for Bitcoin Cash is non-existent. 

How Do I Get My BCC?

There's no magic process to be allotted any amount of BCC and it's possible you will not have the same amount of BCC as expected based on bitcoin's blockchain. Quite simply put you need only the private key of the wallet(s) holding your bitcoin. It will access the BCC on the BCC blockchain and you BCC will be in that copied wallet.

If you store bitcoin online with service such as Coinbase, you'll need to withdraw your bitcoin into a wallet you control and have access to the private key for. Coinbase, and many other online wallets will not be implementing any support for BCC and as a result there will be no way to obtain the equivalent value in BCC since you do not hold the private key of those service wallets.

To Hodl or Not To Hodl?

So should one hold BCC or sell? Those in support of BCC would like the world to get rid of bitcoin and opt for Bitcoin Cash (BCC), a common pitch among Altcoins on the planet. In reality, BCC doesn't appear to have much, if any, support long term and like most other Altcoins, it would likely need bitcoin in tact for survival.

For those reasons, the safest bet may be to dump-and-run as fast as you can since the price of BCC when it debuts is likely to plummet after a short rise in value. Long term it may or may not be viable and it certainly is going to be messy and a bit unknown as far as security and stability.

The danger in opening blocks to 8MB is also a concern. If bitcoin were to do this tomorrow, it could potentially bring the blockchain to a screeching halt as attacks against the network could overwhelm the blockchain with useless transactions and SPAM. This is the reason the 1MB limitation is in place to prevent in the 1st place and why scaling it slowly is the currently preferred approach that did reach consensus.

True Hard Fork?

Technically, this isn't really a true "hard fork". There have been arguably two hard forks in history, some say only 1 while others claim there never has been a hard fork. One being in 2012 which went in after two years of advanced notice and the other in support of BIP-50 however pre-BIP-50 clients were reportedly operational past the fork which would categorize that fork as soft.

Typically an accepted "hard-fork" would promote the new chain as the continuation of the original giving the support as in full consensus as was with Segwit recently. In this case bitcoin currently will continue to be bitcoin on August 2nd with no change at all. There will just be a new virtual currency called Bitcoin Cash that will have nothing to do with bitcoin at all other than the copied balances from the original network and what folks are hoping to cash-on with the "free-money" grasp.

There's nothing wrong with that really, holders aren't the ones doing this and if this gives them a bonus then so be it.

Since bitcoin will remain bitcoin, this isn't really hard-fork for bitcoin, it's a hard-fork creating another token.

What You Need To Do 

If you don't care about Bitcoin Cash then you don't need to do anything at all. Life will continue as normal tomorrow and beyond.

If you do want BCC, you'll need your private keys and if you don't have bitcoin stored in a wallet you have control over then you likely don't have your private keys, so withdraw the bitcoin ASAP and put the value in a wallet you control such as Electrum or bitcoin core itself.

You'll need you private keys tomorrow if you plan to make a cash-grab.

Another note, Kraken and a few other smaller exchanges plan to support BCC trading, so you'll need accounts there because most of the larger exchanges will not be supporting BCC.

If you get stuck or need some help, you can always contact us at press@dinbits.com and we'll be happy to lend a hand.

Get on it!





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Try sending any bitcoin from Coinbase over the weekend? You are likely still waiting for it. Coinbase posted an announcement on their status website saying there are delays due to processing high volumes. Then they say exactly how long. 12+ hours and note that + sign because they mean it.

You know how it goes, you're sending some friendly bitcoin over to your spending wallet from Coinbase having just purchased a fresh batch. You're eager for it while it still has that new bitcoin smell. You pony up and shoot it over only to see "Pending" when you check back after a few minutes.

Of course you've already sent this. You're committed now. Thus, you look and see if there are any issues when you see it. 

DELAY!

Specifically:

Bitcoin Transaction Delays

We're currently working through a backlog of Bitcoin withdrawals. Recent or new outbound BTC transactions may remain pending longer than expected

WTF?? This is information you could have used BEFORE you sent the coin. 

Also, WTF? 12+ hours, I mean what the hell are they doing? Counting every Satoshi they ever sold? Sending each transaction 1 by 1 in it's own block? Perhaps they are adding up the cost and amount for their round X funding.

Who knows, but 12+ is just ridiculous because guess what, that just to BROADCAST the transaction. You still may wait another 10 hours for the blockchain to decide to do its thing on top of that. 

We send a transaction at approximately 6PM yesterday, another at 7PM, and a 3rd around 3AM. In about 6 hours the 7PM launch had arrived. No sign of 6PM, no sign of 3AM. So clearly there is absolutely no order in which these things are going out. 

Coinbase now has a big sign hanging above the send button:


Yeah "may be delayed" ... trust me, don't make any fucking plans.





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Bitstamp has announced their partnership with Swissquote, an apparent leader in Swiss online banking, to provide "full-stack services" to new trading pairs involving bitcoin now offered by Swissquote.

Swissquote launched offering of pairs XBT/EUR and XBT/USD, bitcoin paired with the Euro and Dollar respectively, today with Bitstamp providing the back-end support to that offering under the partnership.

This marks another digital currency and traditional financial industry unity where there have been very few. Coinbase hooked up with USAA Bank for dual account balances through their mobile portal and BitPay provided WB21 bank with it's bitcoin funding solution . Both companies have also partnered with traditional financial institutions for their individual card offerings (Shift and the Bitpay Card) and they both worked with Paypal (but we won't hold that against them).

With the exception of a few others and funding such as BBVA's large investment in Coinbase, there hasn't been much else in the way of significant partnerships.

Swissquote is also hardly a "traditional financial" entity either, it's primarily an online establishment and presence.

Bitstamp had this to say:

"Bitstamp is honoured to be working with such a respected name in the financial world. Our partnership with Swissquote clearly shows that our efforts to increase compliance and regulation in the Bitcoin industry are continuing to bear fruit. With bitcoin now available in Swissquote customers’ domestic trading environment, this news means we are well on the way to achieving our long-term goal – the full integration of bitcoin with traditional financial services."

Clearly not a terrible occurrence and seeing a financial institution that doesn't hate bitcoin or at least pretend not to doesn't completely suck either. Other than stealing its technology in hopes of captial gain, the traditional establishments haven't looked at much of anything in this industry in a positive light.

You can read more on the announcement on Bitstamp's website.





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The US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) has granted LedgerX its registration as a swap execution facility (SEF). 

An SEF is basically a platform for swap trading that provides pre-trade information (like bid/ask) and a mechanism for executing transactions among traders. The CFTC announced uesterday:

"The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) announced today that it has issued an Order of Registration to LedgerX LLC (LedgerX), granting it registration status with the CFTC as a Swap Execution Facility (SEF). LedgerX is a limited liability company registered in Delaware with its primary place of business in New York, NY." - CFTC

The CFTC is no stranger to LedgerX as CEO Paul Chao was appointed to the CFTC’s Technology Advisory Committee (TAC) last year in January (2016). This grant solidifies the 2015 CFTC decision to grant LedgerX a temporary approval to operate as a SEF in 2015. 

LedgerX, which tags itself as a "An Institutional Trading and Clearing Platform",must now focus on adhering to its submissions in support of its application. 

"LedgerX also must comply with all representations and submissions made by it in support of its application for registration as a SEF, including, but not limited to, its representations that it will not list an intended to be cleared swap until it has a clearing agreement with a derivatives clearing organization registered under Section 5b of the CEA and it will not list a swap that is not intended to be cleared until it submits to the CFTC revisions of its rulebook and other pertinent registration materials, pursuant to the provisions of Part 40 of the CFTC’s regulations, to provide for the execution of uncleared swaps."

You can read the entire announcement on the CFTC's website.




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You'd think with all of the recent arrests and indictments, those selling bitcoin in a "flying under the radar" capacity might have taken notice and made some adjustments to their business models. 

Apparently not the case, two more men have been indicted, and one arrested, for selling bitcoin. Specifically, Thomas Mario Costanzo and Peter Nathan Steinmetz have both been charged with:

  1. Conspiracy to Operate and Unlicensed Money Transmitting Business
  2. Operating Unlicensed Money Transmitting Business; and,
  3. Money Laundering

Among other counts.

The last of the transactions that led to the arrest were as recent as April 2017. During February and March, the Coin.MX trial was ongoing leading to a guilty verdict in March for the exact same thing these two are charged with. 

In all fairness it was predominantly May that brought the bulk of the P2P trading arrest disclosures (to the public, and note there were several in 2016 as well) and these guys started this back in 2013 so it's 3.5 years in the making.

Pretty much the same story we've heard, however the new twist on this one is that there were transactions as recent as a couple months ago.

Overall, the indictment states that the two men operated between 2013 to 2017 taking in over $160,000 from undercover agents in exchange for bitcoin.

Counting Counts 

Count 1: Conspiracy to Operate and Unlicensed Money Transmitting Business

Count 2: Operating a Money Transmitting Business
Count 2 also included (C) the allegation that the men knew the funds in which they exchanged were proceeds from illegal activity.


Count 3: Money Laundering/Structuring
Count 3 states that the men intentionally avoided BSA reporting. Any business conducting cash transactions that exceed $10,000 are supposed to file FinCEN form 8300, any attempt to avoid or flat out avoiding the report is viewed as money laundering. I guess nobody told them that if they wanted less reporting, they should register with FinCEN?

Registered entities such an Money Services Businesses file a smaller more streamlined report 104 and deal with aggregates of only 24 hours. (regular businesses or individuals can be required to aggregate for up to 12 months).

This count was in the amount of $3000

Count 4: Operating a Money Transmitting Business/Money Laundering - $13,000
Count 5: Operating/Laundering - $13,000
Count 6: Operating/Laundering - $30,000
Count 7: Operating/Laundering - $107,000

Count 8: Unrelated Ammunition and Marijuana charge against Costanzo only.

$166,000 in trades setup by the government. Where do these guys get that kind of jack to just be tossing around? Oh yeah, civil forfeiture and tax payers.

So in a nutshell, these guys paid to have themselves setup and provided funds for the next victims of HSI to setup.

One thing to note however, it was "virtual currencies" used to explain the allegations in the indictment and not bitcoin specifically.


Let the Games Begin

This one is just getting started as these men were just indicted Friday and it appears as if only Steinmetz has been arrested, however, we can eventually expect to likely see a couple more plea bargains rather than trials. 

One thing to be cognizant of is the apparent bag of nails the federal government has waiting for Costanzo and Steinmetz once they are near the wall. Unlike other recent cases such as Jason Klein where the single charge was backed up with an aggregated sum supporting the charges. This indictment has then itemized as different counts. This is a big deal because the law allows a equal penalty for each count in that they can be fined up to $5000 per day of operation that they can prove which means they could face up to $25,000 in fines in addition to 5 years in prison.

The two men traded on the localbitcoins.com platform under the username "Morpheus Titania" (aka: Costanzo). Steinmetz went by the user "Amedio" but it's not apparent if he had a localbitcoins account.

Dropping like ... flies.





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