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Winklevii Warn Investors in Their ETF That Bitcoin May Become Illegal

[Reading Time: 6 minutes]

Apart from the cookie-cutter risks everyone is required by law to disclose, the Winklevoss Bitcoin Trust prospectus contains a series of unique risk factors that would make even Bernie Madoff cringe.  One of those risks, indicated as my favorite below, almost made this post qualify for my ‘Seriously?’ category, reserved for cases of utmost nonsense and near insanity.

All joking aside, the unique virtual currency-related risks listed in the Winklevoss twins’ new Bitcoin fund SEC filing hint at the number and complexity of roadblocks that the crypto-community will need to surmount if it aspires to take digital currencies to the mainstream.  On the positive side, this first (technically, second) Bitcoin fund marks Bitcoin’s official entry into the capital markets and could go a long way towards legitimizing it as a commodity.

Here are some of the more salient risks for your edification and enjoyment:

  • The loss or destruction of a private key required to access a Bitcoin may be irreversible.  The Continue reading

“Most Bitcoiners Are Unaware or In A State of Deep Denial”

[Reading Time: 8 minutes]

Interview with David Landsman, Executive Director of the National Money Transmitters Association (NMTA) – PART ONE

In the past couple of weeks I have noticed in my conversations with cryto-preneurs a growing, yet begrudging acceptance of the inevitability of having to comply with United States regulation if their ventures are to be viable.  However, many remain unperturbed and some even defiant.

After writing extensively on America’s convoluted regulatory regime, and the challenges ahead for Bitcoin entrepreneurs, this week I thought I would seek the thoughts and opinions of someone I respect a lot, who knows the money transmitter industry inside out, and who has for decades advocated for regulatory rationality and fair play –David Landsman, head of the National Money Transmitters Association, a U.S. industry advocacy group for small and medium-sized operators who toil through some of the same issues as the Bitcoin community is facing today. Continue reading

Dwolla Account Seizure Reveals Mt Gox on Brink of US Indictment

[Reading Time: 8 minutes]

The US District of Maryland seizure warrant that stopped Dwolla in its tracks this week reveals in good detail that the Department of Homeland Security, the US federal agency charged with not only protecting the US borders but also deterring cybercrime, has been investigating Mt Gox for a while now, and has found a criminal violation to the US federal prohibition to operate an unlicensed money transmission business.

This warrant, which was published yesterday by multiple blogs, officially confirms that the FinCEN guidance of March 18, in which this federal government agency equates virtual currency exchanges and administrators to money transmitters, is already being enforced.  To my knowledge, no charges have been made at this point, but the fact that two bank accounts were seized (see below) seems to indicate that an indictment may be imminent.

What exactly is the “Dwolla Account” seizure warrant that stopped its operations this week?  Why was it issued?  What’s going on here!? Continue reading

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