Finnish Customs Sitting on $14 Million Bitcoin (BTC) Stash

Finnish Customs Sitting on $14 Million Bitcoin (BTC) Stash

Finland’s Customs, locally known as Tulli, is considering auctioning some 1,666 bitcoins (BTC) worth approximately $14 million seized during a successful drug bust back in 2016. 

Authorities Concerned About Selling Bitcoin To Criminals

According to local news outlet Yle, Finland’s Customs agency is considering auctioning some 1,666 BTC seized from criminals and illegal drug operations. The crypto funds currently held by the agency is reportedly worth an estimated $14 million at today’s price.

After confiscating the BTC back in 2016 during a string of successful arrests and drug busts, authorities have been looking for appropriate methods to offload the crypto. In September 2018, the agency reportedly planned to sell the seized BTC in a public auction.

However, Customs officials in the country are concerned that potential buyers could include individuals with ties to criminal organizations. Speaking on the issue, Director of the agency, Pekka Pylkkanen said:

“From our point of view, the problems are specifically related to the risk of money laundering. The buyers of [cybercurrency] rarely use them for normal endeavors.”

Despite the reservations expressed by the agency, some experts and industry stakeholders have pointed out that the Finnish crypto space has grown since the time of the arrests.

Henry Brade, the founder of Prasos, a Finnish blockchain startup pointed out that most buyers of cryptos in the country are legitimate investors looking to engage in legal transactions. Brade also said that the crypto economy has experienced a boost in liquidity and that there are a plethora of legal channels to facilitate the sale of BTC and other digital currencies.

Furthermore, a researcher at the Finnish Institute of Economic Research, Juri Mattila noted the utilization of BTC for illegal purposes has significantly declined over the past few years. Mattila remarked:

“Nowadays there are other virtual currencies that are more difficult to track [by authorities] than bitcoin which may now be used in criminal activities.”

The researcher also suggested that the agency should auction off the seized BTC in small batches to avoid mass purchases by any one individual or organization.

Law Enforcement Agencies Cracking Down on Crypto Crime

Authorities around the globe continue to keep a close watch on cryptocurrencies and its potential use for illegal purposes. Law enforcement agencies are also learning to turn confiscated funds in crypto funds into revenue and facilitate the regulated sales of these seized funds back into the crypto-economy for investors.

As previously reported by BTCManager earlier in February 2020, the U.S. Marshals Service (USMS) auctioned off some 4,000 BTC worth $37.4 million. The crypto funds were reportedly seized during several criminal and civil proceedings.

Back in February 2019, Wilson Auctions, a leader in the sale landscape in Ireland and Britain announced the sale of some 315 BTC seized by Belgian police authorities from local drug traffickers.

Like BTCMANAGER? Send us a tip!

Our Bitcoin Address: 3AbQrAyRsdM5NX5BQh8qWYePEpGjCYLCy4

Ripple Class-Action Lawsuit Can Proceed, Judge Rules

A lawsuit claiming Ripple violated securities laws will be allowed to move forward – though with a caveat favorable to the San Francisco-based payments firm.

In a ruling Wednesday, U.S. District Judge Phyllis Hamilton, of the Northern District of California, allowed a putative class-action lawsuit by retail XRP (XRP) buyers to proceed. Hamilton said the suit can include claims filed under federal law but dismissed some claims filed under California state law. Plaintiffs can refile some of the claims under California law in an amended complaint within 28 days, she added.

The order follows a hearing held in mid-January between the plaintiff, which includes Bradley Sostack, a one-time XRP owner, and the defendant, which includes Ripple, its XRP II subsidiary and Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse. 

Notably, the judge appears to have found Ripple’s argument that the plaintiffs filed their complaint after a legal deadline (the “statute of repose”) persuasive. However, Hamilton said it does not prevent the lawsuit itself from proceeding, pointing to the claims under federal law.

“Based on plaintiff’s complaint and the judicially noticeable facts proffered, the court cannot conclude that defendants’ first bona fide public offer to sell XRP occurred before August 5, 2016,” she said.

The amended complaint at the heart of Wednesday’s ruling was filed in August 2019.

“While defendants did acknowledge various 2013 offers and sales in their May 2015 settlement with the USAO [U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of California], the sales activity identified in that settlement does not show that defendants targeted the general public when offering to sell XRP,” the judge wrote.

The putative lawsuit is now stretching into its second year, after a number of similar complaints were consolidated and moved from state court to federal.

Read the full document below:

Disclosure Read More

The leader in blockchain news, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups.

These Bearish Factors Show Bitcoin Could See Violent Movement Below $6,000

Bitcoin has seen some incredibly bearish price action over the past 24-hours, with the cryptocurrency losing its support at $9,500 and entering a full-blown downtrend as bears attempt to erase much of BTC’s recent gains.

It now appears to be increasingly likely that Bitcoin will see some further downside in the near-term, with multiple analysts noting that this retrace may cut deeper before BTC finds enough support to start climbing higher.

There are a few simple factors, however, that seem to point to the possibility that BTC is about to see significantly further losses, which could send it reeling to fresh year-to-date lows.

Bitcoin Plummets Below $9,000 as Analysts Eye Multiple Key Support Levels 

At the time of writing, Bitcoin is trading down over 6% at its current price of $8,770, which marks a notable decline from daily highs within the mid-$9,000 region, and an intense drop from weekly highs of over $10,000.

The catalyst for the ongoing selloff seems to have been the cryptocurrency’s swift rejection at $10,000 that it faced this past Sunday, which seemed to confirm the bearish market structure that was developing as a result of its flash crash seen exactly one week ago.

DonAlt, a prominent cryptocurrency analyst on Twitter, explained in a recent tweet that BTC is now approaching a few strong support levels, but he still anticipates it to continue declining until it reaches roughly $8,000.

“BTC update: Falling knife slicing through hands left and right. Approaching interesting areas, this isn’t really the worst place to take some profits and I might close a quarter into this weekly support here. Rest is still headed for roughly 8k,” he explained while pointing to the levels on the below chart.

These Factors Show Significantly Further Losses Could be Imminent

In addition to showing blatant signs of overt technical bearishness, there are a few factors that show Bitcoin’s yearly bottom may not be in.

Mac, a prominent crypto trader, mused these factors in a recent tweet, telling his followers that BTC’s open interest, basis, and high funding are all worse than that seen in October of 2018.

“Legit boys, $6k might not have been the bottom after all. This OI, Basis, Funding is worse than Oct 2018,” he bearishly noted.

Unless bulls are able to step up and catalyze a significant amount of buying pressure, it does seem that further downside is imminent.

Featured image from Shutterstock.

Presumed Guilty: Financial Watchdogs See Crypto as Illicit by Default

What can I do to prevent this in the future?

If you are on a personal connection, like at home, you can run an anti-virus scan on your device to make sure it is not infected with malware.

If you are at an office or shared network, you can ask the network administrator to run a scan across the network looking for misconfigured or infected devices.

Bitcoin Drove Half of Square’s Cash App Revenue in the 4th Quarter

Very close to half the revenue on Square’s Cash App in the fourth quarter came from bitcoin.

Jack Dorsey’s payments company reported on bitcoin profits as part of its fourth-quarter 2020 revenue results, in a shareholder letter released Wednesday. It reported bitcoin revenues of $178 million between Nov. 1 and Dec. 31, with profits of $3 million, up 50 percent over the prior two quarters.

Non-bitcoin revenue on Cash App in the fouth quarter was $183 million. 

The company reported a year-end profit of $8 million on $516 million in yearly bitcoin revenue.

Square launched crypto services in 2017 and rolled out bitcoin services on its Cash App across the U.S. in the summer of 2018. It serves as the buyer and seller of bitcoin for its customers. In June 2019, it started allowing customers to deposit bitcoin into the app.

During the third quarter of 2018, Square yielded only $43 million in bitcoin revenue through its Cash App, making today’s result indicate very strong growth in interest in the original cryptocurrency among the app’s users.

Ultimately, Square spent $174.4 million bitcoin services in the fourth quarter, for a total of $508 million for 2019. That’s compared to $164.8 million for 2018.

The Cash App as a whole drove $361 million in revenue in Q4. Square’s total revenue for Q4 2019 was $1.31 billion. Square’s profits for the year were $1.9 billion.

The company is projecting up to $715 million in transaction and bitcoin costs for Q1 2020.

Much of the bitcoin community has been watching to see what other contributions Square will make to the ecosystem. In January, the Square Crypto team announced that it would focus on building out a software development kit to make it easier for applications to integrate bitcoin’s lightning network. 

Given Dorsey’s involvement with Twitter, the crypto community has long anticipated some kind of integration between the site and bitcoin. So far, neither Dorsey nor Square has done anything to substantiate such hopes. 

Still, analysts view the growth in Square’s bitcoin business as positive. Square stock was up 6 percent after the earnings report was released.

“If Square succeeds in growing its bitcoin business across the globe, especially in areas where fiat currency is not easily and readily accepted by merchants, and in hyperinflationary countries, the company will have a major advantage over its payment processing competitors,” Gartner analyst Avivah Litan told CoinDesk. “It will be able to grow its payment business amongst some of the fastest-growing and most promising economies of the world, located mainly in Africa.”

CoinDesk will update this story with additional information as needed.

Disclosure Read More

The leader in blockchain news, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups.

With New Members Libra Still Isn’t a Threat to Bitcoin, Here’s Why

Recent new members to the Libra Association look set to contribute capital, potential user bases, and technical expertise to help the project win favour with regulators. Yet, contrary to what you might have heard, Libra really isn’t a threat to Bitcoin.

The Libra Association recently added the Canadian e-commerce platform Shopify and crypto startup Tagomi to the governance consortium overseeing its Libra stablecoin project.

Libra and Bitcoin, Not Even the Same Beast

The crypto asset industry faced a lot of scrutiny when Facebook first announced Libra last summer. Suddenly, it seemed every lawmaker and regulator in the land had something to say about Bitcoin and/or Facebook’s financial ambitions.

It stands to reason that regulatory interest will continue to increase with further development on the project. The new members, as reported by Tech Crunch and Forbes this week, are clear evidence that those behind the project are soldiering on, despite the objections of the powers that be.

The Forbes piece describes Libra as the “biggest threat” to the leading digital asset. It states that the regulatory heat Libra may have brought to Bitcoin may put it jeopardy:

“How would governments allow bitcoin to exist if Facebook’s libra could not?”

This largely misses the point. There is no Mark Zuckerberg of Bitcoin. If there was a known individual or company behind Bitcoin, you can bet that Congress would have hauled them up already to give testimony for Bitcoin. It would have been long before its market capitalisation had swollen to hundreds of billions too.

Bitcoin is out in the wild already. Any action by authorities against it would not be preventative, as it currently is with Libra. Even if governments were to attempt to police its use with some hugely costly, coordinated global effort, with the Blockstream satellite orbiting the earth, they would fail to wipe it out.

Bitcoin is useful because it is completely removed from any previous system – be government or financial. Its absolute censorship resistance makes it a valuable hedge against, well, everything else. Backed by a basket of fiat currency, the same really cannot be said for Libra.

A Different Kind of Threat?

The “Libra as a threat” narrative is largely absent from the rest of the piece. Yet it does return right at the end, with a slightly different flavour.

This time, readers are told that the stablecoin may render Bitcoin obsolete:

“If libra… is able to achieve these ambitious goals even will find it far harder to convince others that the world needs bitcoin.”

Again, this completely misses the point of what both Bitcoin and Libra actually are (or will be). Libra is a fiat-backed stablecoin. It will, ultimately, need to please regulators for it to ever see the light of day.

With the very same regulators currently pressuring the very same companies behind Libra to add back doors into their products, it’s difficult to see how a system like Libra could be truly innovative or disruptive in the way that open systems, like Bitcoin and other crypto assets, can.

 

Related Reading: Amid Crypto Market Crash, Top Investor Calls Ignoring Bitcoin an ‘Idiotic Strategy’

Featured Image from Shutterstock.

Privacy Study: Brave Browser Smacks Down Chrome, Firefox & Safari

What can I do to prevent this in the future?

If you are on a personal connection, like at home, you can run an anti-virus scan on your device to make sure it is not infected with malware.

If you are at an office or shared network, you can ask the network administrator to run a scan across the network looking for misconfigured or infected devices.

Craig Wright Lawsuit: Tulip Trust and Bonded Courier Questions Remain

Craig Wright Lawsuit: Tulip Trust and Bonded Courier Questions Remain News

Craig Wright Lawsuit: Tulip Trust and Bonded Courier Questions Remain


Ira Kleiman’s lawyers have recently replied in support of a motion which could force Craig Wright to produce new evidence on the Tulip Trust. The Plaintiff asserts that exposing the Tulip Trust as another lie is an essential component of the lawsuit. 


PLAINTIFF INSISTS WRIGHT’S ARGUMENTS ARE INVALID

The trust in question is believed to hold 1.1 million Bitcoins, and was allegedly set up by Craig Wright after his partner, David Kleiman, died. His brother, Ira Kleiman, asserts that half of those coins belong to him. The estate contends that the trust is, in fact, a fraud and points to contradictory statements that Wright has made about them over the course of these legal proceedings. 

The plaintiff’s motion states:

the trusts — the inherently contradictory stories Dr. Wright has told about the trusts — are intimately connected to the theft of bitcoin that belonged to Dave Kleiman and/or the partnership. Exposing the fraudulent nature of the trusts is therefore highly relevant to Plaintiffs claims as it goes toward proving the theft they were designed to cover up.

In other words, the estate asserts that Wright is lying about the nature of these trusts, and that the documents sought by the court will prove it.

Wright has stonewalled every order to produce documents related to these trusts. He has come up with one odd excuse after another as to why he cannot do so, and has changed his story on relevant facts related to their creation and purpose. His latest evasive manoeuvre has been to claim that the bonded courier with the information is an attorney, and thus attorney client privilege shields the needed information.

Adding to the saga, Wright has given confusing statements as to the whereabouts of the Bitcoins. At one point he indicated that Ira himself sold them. In December, when a court ordered him to turn over the Bitcoin keys, he instead produced thousands of addresses which he claimed held the cryptocurrency. Many of these addresses did not in fact belong to Craig Wright. The actual owner of one of the addresses listed even went as far as to sign a message using the private key that said, “Address 16cou7Ht6WjTzuFyDBnht9hmvXytg6XdVT does not belong to Satoshi or to Craig Wright. Craig is a liar and a fraud.”

CRAIG WRIGHT IS BECOMING INCREASINGLY ISOLATED

Wright has become a highly controversial figure among crypto advocates, largely due to his claim of being Satoshi Nakamoto. He used this claim to justify the legitimacy of Bitcoin SV, which he asserts represents the true vision of the blockchain asset. Few believe Wright’s claim to be Satoshi, and he has been unable, or unwilling, to produce any supporting evidence.

This lawsuit is connected to his claim. Dave Kleiman and Wright worked together during Bitcoin nascent stages. The estate thus claims ownership of half of the 1.1. million Bitcoins held in wallets known to be connected to Bitcoin’s creator. 

Wright’s credibility is increasingly dissolving as his behavior becomes more and more outlandish. Many documents presented by him in the lawsuit have proven to be forged. 

It is unlikely that this new filing by the Kleiman estate will result in Wright’s compliance. More confusion, drama, and legal obfuscation is all but certain.

Do you think Ira Kleiman will succeed in forcing Craig Wright to produce another discovery? Add your thoughts below!


Images via Vice.com

Actual Online Bitcoin Sports Betting on 1xbit and Win!

Actual Online Bitcoin Sports Betting on 1xbit and Win!

Gambling is becoming really popular today: more and more people want to get real income from sports betting. Actual online bitcoin sports betting on www.1xbit.com is a great chance for risk takers and real winners. The main advantage of this service is that the participants can place their bets in a modern electronic currency – bitcoins.

To start the game, first of all, you need to register. In addition, a small entry fee is required. The site provides you the opportunity to bet on various kinds of sports, including:

  • tennis;
  • golf;
  • football;
  • hockey;
  • basketball;
  • volleyball;
  • handball and many other games of various popularity. 

1xBit.com is one of the best online communities to offer online betting games of the greatest quality. The resource works on the principle of maximum chances with minimal investment! If you want to place any bet that comes to your mind, actual online bitcoin sports betting on 1xbit is at your service at any time.

Take Part in a Contemporary Bitcoin Lottery on 1xbit 

Players can quickly win large sums of money by taking advantage of all the benefits of 1xBit.com. To use all the functions of the website, just log into your account from your computer. But that’s not all – if you want to use the available options, you can download a convenient application suitable even for simple models of smartphones and other gadgets.

Clients registered on the site can participate in a contemporary bitcoin lottery on www.1xbit.com. The conditions of the casino are as follows: first, you need to make a small initial contribution of one bitcoin to your bonus account. Next, you need to replenish your balance with another five bitcoins so that you can make successful predictions. Funds involved in the game may be available for withdrawal to personal accounts and cards of players.

The BC website has created ideal conditions for users. Players can manage their budget using the maximum of useful features provided by the service. They can bet on various results of the game. The electronic bitcoin lottery will help anyone who wants to increase their revenue.

The conditions of the contemporary bitcoin lottery on 1xbit are most beneficial to users: the cost is only 0.83 mBTC per each game. You can withdraw money to any cards. 1xLottery offers users many awesome options. Playing for money online with 1xBit.com gives you a huge chance for having success! Choose a trusted bookmaker and make money on your knowledge in the world of sports with pleasure.

Like BTCMANAGER? Send us a tip!

Our Bitcoin Address: 3AbQrAyRsdM5NX5BQh8qWYePEpGjCYLCy4