Nowadays more and more often governments around the world, and particularly the government of the United States where the incident occurred, face cryptocurrency traders who sell BTC, ETH and other coins at face-to-face meetings with buyers and do not report their trade to the Ministry of Finance, thereby bypassing the state control, which should license every trade operation if its amount exceeds $10,000.
A US citizen, 24-year-old Eldon Stone Ross was caught on one of these illegal transactions. The man sold cryptocurrency in the amount of one and a half million dollars to an agent of special services under cover.
Ross exchanged fiat money for cryptocurrency and vice versa for a total of $40,000, which he must pay to the state according to the court decision.
“We don’t see many of these cases,” said Bert Glenn, the assistant U.S. Attorney who prosecuted the case in Philadelphia. “It’s the first I’ve done here.”
Besides paying $40,000 to the state, Eldon Stone Ross will spend one year and one day in prison. It is worth noting that this is not the first imprisonment of this fellow. In 2014 Ross was arrested for drug trafficking, which he received 23 months in a Chester County jail for.
Elon Musk has recently made a statement showing his attitude towards cryptocurrency and financial world as a whole. He supports Bitcoin, yet, it will not bring good for Tesla.
Elon Musk is a well-known technology entrepreneur and engineer with a fortune of $22.8 billion, he projects, like SpaceX, Tesla, PayPal, cover different areas of live, meanwhile they are competing to other companies at a high level. Musk is also a socially active person, he likes to post tweets sharing his thoughts about what is happening in the world. Though, sometimes it may bring consequences, like it was in July last year, when the SEC sent a request to Tesla regarding tweets of Elon Musk.
Furthermore, he freely expresses his attitude towards cryptocurrency. Once he even claimed how many Bitcoins he actually possessed. The Twitter community blowed up every time when Musk speaks about cryptocurrency. For instance, in October 2018, Elon posted a tweet about his love for anime and offered a subscriber to buy Bitcoins.
Twitter even blocked his account for a certain period of time to make sure he was the author. So, this time the world has gone mad, when Musk expressed his feelings about financial system and Bitcoin, in particular, in the podcast “On the Road to Full Autonomy With Elon Musk.”
“Paper money is going away. Crypto is a far better way to transfer value than pieces of paper, that’s for sure,” he said.“Bitcoin’s structure is brilliant but I don’t think it would be a good use of Tesla’s resources to get involved in crypto.”
Furthermore, Musk added that Bitcoin has its pros and cons, yet, what he is really concerned about is crypto mining, to create one Bitcoin, people use high-powered computers to solve a complex math problem.
“We’re really just trying to accelerate the advance of sustainable energy, and I think one of the down sides of crypto is that computationally it’s quite energy intensive. There had to be some kind of constraints on the creation of crypto. But it’s very energy intensive to create slightly incremental Bitcoin, at this point.”
Thirty people have filed complaints to Thailand’s Technology Crime Suppression Division stating that they were victims of crypto mining scam, they allegedly lost 42 million baht ($1.34 million). The police thinks that the amount of victims can be bigger.
According to the victims’ words, the leaders of the scam convinced them to invest money into CryptoMining.Farm, a blockchain-mining website. One anonymous victim said to the Bangkok Post that one of the leaders promised investor an impossibly high return – 70% a year.
The victims signed contracts when they entered the website, the documents said that a customer may withdraw money at any time he/she wanted without any additional condition. However, the situation has changed since August. The victim stated that:
“From August the owner began imposing conditions for withdrawing the money. Then at the start of this month, the site announced it would start paying back investors in 84 installments which would take over seven years to complete. The payments were supposed to be made in foreign currencies [which] is not permitted by Thai laws.”
After a preliminary investigation, the police is sure that not 30, but 140 people became victims of the scam. Moreover, it can be related to a big scandal which happened in August 2018, when a popular Thai actor and his siblings stole about 797 million baht ($25.5 million).
According to the Bangkok Post, the company has two official offices in Bangkok and Chiang Mai, which may make the victims think that the company’s operations are legal.
Thailand treats digital money with caution and tries to regulate it. The Thai Ministry of Finance even issued a document last year where all the country’s cryptocurrency activities were regulated, including the taxation of participants of crypto market.
Bitcoin is one of the most famous cryptocurrencies in the world. It is actually the first one, thus, no matter what might be, it has already gone down in history. Even though the cryptocurrency may not be that popular right now, due to various reason, some changes are already inevitable, hence, let us just check on trends which will become a part of everyday life in 2019.
1. Bitcoin ATMs
The number of Bitcoin ATMs is growing rapidly. It is a kiosk which allows a person to buy/sell Bitcoins in cash or by credit card. They actually look like an ordinary terminal, yet, it is connected not to bank account, but to Bitcoin exchange. The number of Bitcoin ATMs in the world accounts for 4292 at the time of writing.
Such ATMs will definitely encourage people to use cryptocurrency, since now it becomes more understandable for ordinary people. If people get accustomed to use Bitcoin ATMs, then crypto will see a bright future.
2. Central banks and Bitcoin
Some people do not want to get involved in crypto as it lacks regulation, including bank regulation. However, in 2019, one of Bitcoin trends may become partnership between central banks and cryptocurrency.
Several banks have already introduced systems how to work with crypto. Bank of America, for example, has officially patented a system for saving crypto actives for significant corporations. Moreover, this week, one of the biggest American banks, JPMorgan Chase & Co, has announced that it developed its own digital coin – JPM Coin.
Perhaps, such implementations will bring positive effect on the relationships between crypto and financial institutions.
3. Bitcoin in smartphones
Since the beginning of the third millennium, a cell phone has become an integral part of our everyday life. By using a smartphone we can do almost everything that is connected to our work, study, leisure, or hobby. Financial transactions, including crypto operations, are no exception.
On May, 2018, Huawei Technologies Corporation provided users of its smartphones with the opportunity to use Bitcoin wallet BTC.com. At the end of the past year, HTC company released the smartphone Exodus, powered by blockchain. A person can only purchase the phone with digital currencies.
It is too early to say whether these phones will be successful and useful or not, yet still it is very important that world is trying to meet the needs of everyone.