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Chinese Police Arrest 1,100 People for Money Laundering With Cryptocurrencies

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Authorities in China escalated their campaign against cryptocurrencies and arrested more than 1,100 people suspected of using the digital assets to launder illegal funds and order the closure of mines in one of the western provinces.

In a nosedive over 23 provinces, regions and cities, Chinese police arrested more than 170 criminal groups engaged in cryptocurrency trading to launder money received through phone and online fraud, the Ministry of Public Security said in a statement . The suspects had repeatedly converted the assets from one cryptocurrency to another in order to cover their tracks, it said.

The illegal activities “caused severe social damage,” added the ministry.

The arrests came after a powerful Chinese superregulator promised last month that it would “crack down on Bitcoin mining and trading behavior” as part of a broader effort to protect against financial risk and reduce energy consumption in the country. Regulatory crackdown concerns contributed to a sharp sell-off in Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.

Bitcoin is still struggling to recover from its recent trading range. It traded near $ 36,755.77 on Thursday after trading at $ 64,802 apiece in mid-April.

Many proponents of cryptocurrencies had dismissed China’s recent warnings as a repetition of previous bans. However, there are signs that after months of volatile trading and mounting concerns about their carbon footprint, Chinese authorities are now more serious about curbing crypto-related activity.

“China has always had a very strong stance on cryptocurrencies. Now they are stepping up part of their narrative, ”said Naeem Aslam, chief market analyst in London at brokerage AvaTrade.

Several cryptocurrency mining platforms have started blocking internet addresses in mainland China from accessing services in the past few weeks.

On Thursday internet searches were for several major crypto exchanges such as Binance, Huobi and OKEx on Baidu. empty Inc.’s

popular search engine and Weibo, a Twitter-like microblogging service. The exchanges have been a popular choice for people in mainland China to trade virtual currencies in what is known as the over-the-counter market. The accounts of several Weibo users known for posting about cryptocurrencies were also suspended last week.

The huge appetite for cryptocurrency mining, an energy-intensive process where computers compete to solve complex mathematical puzzles to unlock new bitcoins, runs counter to Beijing’s energy goals. President Xi Jinping is determined to make China the climate champion and has set ambitious goals to reduce coal consumption.

Regional governments have recently stepped up their anti-mining campaigns. In late May, authorities in the coal-rich Inner Mongolia region published detailed draft rules against the deal.

The government in western Qinghai Province has also announced a ban on cryptocurrency mining, state news agency Xinhua Finance reported on Thursday. Authorities were said to be investigating mining operations that allegedly operate as big data or supercomputing centers.

While China has tried to contain cryptocurrency miners, others are trying to woo them. El Salvador’s President Nayib Bukele said Wednesday that he had directed the country’s state-run geothermal electricity company to come up with a plan to provide Bitcoin mining facilities using cheap, renewable energy from the country’s volcanoes. The announcement came hours after the small Central American country first introduced Bitcoin as legal tender.

Some of the pressure on Bitcoin from measures taken by China could ease, said Joel Kruger, strategist at LMAX Digital cryptocurrency exchange. The spread of cryptocurrency mining to more countries, leading to a decentralization from its current concentration in China, has fueled optimism, as has the prospect of greener energy sources than coal used by some Chinese miners.

“This is positive in that it forces mining to become more prevalent and forcing the narrative to shift to more environmentally friendly ways of mining,” said Mr Kruger.

Bitcoin, Dogecoin, Ethereum: cryptocurrency markets

Chinese bitcoin miners have long dominated the global computing power that powers the bitcoin network with sophisticated equipment and access to cheap electricity. But now a group of US miners with deep pockets are looking to capture a bigger share of the industry. Photo: Adam Chapman for The Wall Street Journal (video dated 2/17/21)

Write to Elaine Yu at elaine.yu@wsj.com and Caitlin Ostroff at caitlin.ostroff@wsj.com

Copyright © 2020 Dow Jones & Company, Inc. All rights reserved. 87990cbe856818d5eddac44c7b1cdeb8

Appeared in the print edition of June 11, 2021 as “China Cracks Down on Crypto Laundering”.

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Cryptocurrency

How to invest bitcoin in IRAs for retirement

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Nicolas Economou / NurPhoto via Getty Images

To Matthew Roed, social security looks a lot less promising than the money he hid in his BitcoinIRA.

Roed is a registered nurse who lives in Golden Valley, Minnesota, and says he spent 16,000 hours researching everything related to Bitcoin. His conclusion? Investing in the cryptocurrency is key to a good retirement, and the best way to do it is with a tax-free, self-managed individual retirement account, or IRA.

“With Bitcoin legally classified as owned by the US government and my crypto being inside an IRA, I knew I would greatly reduce my taxable expenses due to the exponential growth,” said Roed.

At today’s prices, the risk has so far been worth it.

The MBA graduate, father and husband initially invested $ 30,000 in his BitcoinIRA. Right now he says his retirement portfolio is up to $ 250,000,

Even though it fell below its high of $ 500,000, Roed still feels vindicated in his belief that Bitcoin is the future.

“Nobody wanted to listen to me back then, not even my own family,” he said. “I got withdrawn and used my frustration to push more and more to get involved in this market.”

RN Matthew Roed of the Courage Kenny Rehabilitation Institute in Golden Valley, Minnesota.

Matthew Roed

BitcoinIRA

BitcoinIRA was launched in May 2016 and offers investors the tax benefits of an IRA as well as the returns of a risky and rewarding alternative asset class. It is similar in nature to other IRAs, except that it is funded not by gold, cash, and bonds, but rather by Bitcoin.

The company has more than 100,000 individual account holders, including customers who are only 18 years old. But Chief Operating Officer Chris Kline tells CNBC that 75% of account holders are 45 and older. “It’s not a game for young children anymore,” he said.

BitcoinIRA doesn’t just trade in Bitcoin. It now has a long list of cryptocurrencies, including Ethereum and Litecoin.

Campbell Harvey at Duke University believes diversification is the right decision.

“Having a portfolio that is exposed to a single crypto like Bitcoin doesn’t make sense because while Bitcoin is currently the most important, its share of the total capitalization of cryptos has decreased over time. There are so many other tokens out there, “Harvey said.

When CNBC first profile BitcoinIRA in 2017, it was serving $ 6 million in transactions for 700 account holders. This month it exceeded $ 1.5 billion in all-time transactions.

There were also far fewer crypto-retired players. The market is now inundated with options.

A recent survey of financial advisors shows a clear shift towards cryptocurrencies. Of the 500+ financial advisors included in the report, 14% said they use or recommend cryptocurrencies to their clients now, up from less than 1% in 2019 and 2020.

The IRA custodian Kingdom Trust offers users the ability to diversify into 20 different cryptocurrencies. CEO Ryan Radloff tells CNBC that $ 2 billion of the $ 17 billion it holds for customers is now in cryptocurrency. That’s $ 350 million a year ago.

“The number of people interested in adding Bitcoin to their retirement plans is growing exponentially,” said Radloff. “People don’t want zombie retirement accounts that only allow you to invest in three target funds. They want more choice in what to do with their hard-earned money, and they want access to hard assets that will increase “in value over the long term.”

IRA vs. Roth IRA vs. 401 (k)

Crypto-backed retirement portfolios may grow in popularity quickly, but there are still some major limitations.

For one, while there are several ways to invest your savings for retirement – be it an employer-sponsored 401 (k) or a Roth IRA – very few of these vehicles actually allow for an alternative asset like gold or crypto.

Because of this, self-directed IRAs are the primary retirement tool for holding crypto, explains Shehan Chandrasekera, CPA and head of tax strategy at crypto tax software company CoinTracker.io.

As the name suggests, you open an account with a custodian, make all investment decisions and your income is tax-exempt until you retire. Kingdom Trust and BitcoinIRA both follow this model.

“When it comes to retirement accounts, it is currently Bitcoin IRAs, IRAs, IRAs,” said Tyrone Ross, CEO of Onramp Invest. Onramp sells software that helps financial advisors track clients’ cryptocurrency investments.

“Because it’s considered property by the IRS … that’s why you see the IRA self-directed space explode,” Ross continued. “There are a lot of regulations that have to be met before you get into the 401 (k) room.”

There are exceptions. A small 401 (k) provider called ForUsAll announced last month that it is now allowing attendees to split up to 5% of their retirement savings into 50 different crypto assets, including Bitcoin, that will be held and managed by Coinbase.

Companies like BitWage and Digital Asset Investment Management are also trying to incorporate crypto into traditional employer retirement plans.

But Chandrasekera says that “in general, 99% of the 401 (k) plans don’t offer bitcoin services,” so there is still a way to go before bitcoin hits mainstream retiree platforms.

For example, Fidelity tells its clients that retail brokers cannot buy or sell cryptocurrencies on Fidelity, although theoretically they can get into Bitcoin trading through crypto-related companies that trade in the public markets. The same goes for Charles Schwab.

Read more about cryptocurrencies from CNBC Pro

Volatility risk versus tax savings

Roed spoke to CNBC after completing a 14-hour night shift. In those hours after work, the rehabilitation staff nurse spends most of her time researching ways to invest in cryptocurrencies.

One reason he chose BitcoinIRA had to do with the company’s staking program. Roed lends his bitcoins to third parties in exchange for an annual percentage rate of return (APR) for the risk. “That’s about 2% a year,” he said.

This helps offset the $ 240 annual account fee plus the average transaction fees of 1% to sell and 5.5% to buy.

Kline says customers can see up to 6% annual percentage return on cash and cryptocurrencies, which helps offset fees.

Another important consideration? Bitcoin’s volatility.

The world’s most popular cryptocurrency trades at around half its value in April.

“We don’t see this volatility in the stock market, for example,” said Harvey.

“It is naive to believe that Bitcoin will just keep rising. There will be a limit and people need to think about that carefully, ”he said.

In addition to the risks of volatility, the Securities and Exchange Commission has also warned of the risk of fraud in participating in self-directed IRAs that trade in cryptos.

But Kline remains optimistic. He led CNBC through a case study of a customer who bought about $ 1.5 million worth of bitcoin in April 2020 when the token was trading at about $ 7,335. At today’s value, his investment is worth well over $ 6 million.

BitcoinIRA case study

date quantity Unit price Total bought Current unit value Current total value
April 9, 2020 193,295 BTC $ 7,335 $ 1,417,859 32,416 6,265,850

But ultimately, Kline says it’s the tax break that makes BitcoinIRA a slam dunk for those looking to trade cryptos.

If an average income taxpayer were to sell his Bitcoin today, he would not pay any taxes on the crypto held in his BitcoinIRA. If it were in a Coinbase account, the same person would pay a short-term capital gains tax of 22% or a long-term stake of 15%.

“Pretty straightforward quantitative reasoning for placing an asset like Bitcoin in an IRA environment,” said Kline.

FIX: This article has been updated to show that nurse Matthew Roed spent 16,000 hours researching cryptocurrencies, not 160,000 hours. It also clarifies that 75% of BitcoinIRA account holders are 45 years or older.

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Ethereum, Litecoin, and Ripple’s XRP – Daily Tech Analysis – July 24th, 2021

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ether

Ethereum gained 4.99% on Friday. After gaining 1.43% on Thursday, Ethereum ended the day at $ 2,125.81.

A bullish start to the day saw Ethereum climb to a mid-morning high of $ 2,094.46 before turning back into reverse.

Ethereum broke the first major resistance level at $ 2,065 before falling to an intraday low of $ 1,948.68 in the late afternoon.

The reversal caused Ethereum to break the first major support level at $ 1,967.

However, when Ethereum found late support, it rebounded to a late intraday high of $ 2,131.51.

Ethereum broke the first major resistance level and the second major resistance level at $ 2,105, ending the day at $ 2,120.

At the time of writing, Ethereum is down 0.34% to $ 2,118.50. After a mixed start to the day, Ethereum rose to an early morning high of $ 2,131.48 before falling to a low of $ 2,107.64.

Ethereum left key support and resistance levels untested early on.

For the coming day

Ethereum would have to avoid the $ 2,084 pivot to bring into play the first major resistance level at $ 2,173.

However, for Ethereum to break out of Friday’s high at $ 2,131.51, it would require support from the broader market.

Aside from an extended crypto rally, the first major resistance level and resistance at USD 2,200 would likely limit any uptrend.

In the event of a large-scale crypto rally, Ethereum could resist a pullback at $ 2,300. The second major resistance level is at $ 2,221.

A drop in the $ 2,084 pivot would bring the first major support level into play at $ 2,037.

However, apart from a lengthy sell-off, Ethereum should stay away from under $ 1,900. The second major support level at USD 1,948 should limit the downside.

Look at the technical indicators

First major support level: $ 2,037

Pivot level: $ 2,084

First major resistance level: $ 2,173

23.6% FIB retracement level: $ 3,369

38.2% FIB retracement level: $ 2,740

62% FIB retracement level: $ 1,725

Litecoin

Litecoin rose 2.93% on Friday. After gaining 2.44% on Thursday, Litecoin ended the day at $ 124.28.

The story goes on

After a mixed start to the day, Litecoin fell to the intraday low of $ 117.06 in the late afternoon before moving.

Litecoin found support at the first major support level at $ 117 and rose to a late intraday high of $ 125.06.

Litecoin broke the first major resistance level at $ 123 and ended the day at $ 124.

At the time of writing, Litecoin was up 0.21% to $ 124.54. A mixed start to the day resulted in Litecoin falling to an early morning low of $ 123.91 before rising to a high of $ 124.79.

Litecoin left key support and resistance levels untested early on.

For the coming day

Litecoin would have to avoid the $ 122 pivot to bring the first major resistance level into play at $ 127.

However, for Litecoin to break out of Friday’s high at $ 125.06, it would require support from the broader market.

Aside from an extended crypto rally, the first major resistance level would likely limit any uptrend.

In the event of a prolonged breakout, Litecoin could test the resistance at $ 135. The second major resistance level is at $ 130.

A fall through the $ 122 pivot would bring the first major support level into play at $ 119.

However, apart from another lengthy sell-off, Litecoin should stay away from below $ 110. The second major support level at $ 114 should limit the downside.

Look at the technical indicators

First major support level: $ 119

Pivot level: $ 122

First major resistance level: $ 127

23.6% FIB retracement level: $ 178

38.2% FIB retracement level: $ 223

62% FIB retracement level: $ 296

Ripple’s XRP

Ripple’s XRP rose 2.62% on Friday. After gaining 3.99% on Thursday, Ripple’s XRP ended the day at $ 0.60913.

A bullish start to the day caused Ripple’s XRP to soar to an early morning high of $ 0.60858 before going into reverse.

Ripple’s XRP fell below the first major resistance level of $ 0.6104 and slid to a late afternoon intraday low of $ 0.57556.

To bypass the first major support level at $ 0.5688, Ripple’s XRP rebounded to a late intraday high of $ 0.61004 before falling again.

The first major resistance level at $ 0.6104 pushed Ripple’s XRP back at the end of the day.

At the time of writing, Ripple’s XRP is down 0.21% to $ 0.60787. A mixed start to the day resulted in Ripple’s XRP rising to an early morning high of $ 0.61171 before falling to a low of $ 0.60469.

Ripple’s XRP left key support and resistance levels untested early on.

For the coming day

Ripple’s XRP needs to avoid the $ 0.5982 pivot to bring the first major resistance level into play at $ 0.6209.

However, support from the broader market would be required for Ripple’s XRP to break above this morning’s high at $ 0.61171.

Aside from an extended crypto rally, the first major resistance level would likely limit any uptrend.

In the event of another breakout, Ripple’s XRP could test resistance at $ 0.65 before pulling back. The second major resistance level is at $ 0.6327.

A fall through the $ 0.5982 pivot would bring the first major support level into play at $ 0.5864.

However, aside from another lengthy sell-off, Ripple’s XRP should stay away from levels below $ 0.55. The second major support level at $ 0.5638 should limit the downside.

Look at the technical indicators

First major support level: $ 0.5864

Pivot Level: $ 0.5982

First major resistance level: $ 0.6209

23.6% FIB Retracement Level: $ 0.8533

38.2% FIB Retracement Level: $ 1.0659

62% FIB Retracement Level: $ 1.4096

Please let us know what you think in the comments below.

Thanks, Bob

This article was originally published on FX Empire

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Just HODL! Bitcoin and Ethereum outperform ‘lower risk’ crypto index funds

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Over the past two decades, index and exchange traded funds (ETF) have become some of the most popular forms of investment, as they offer investors a passive way to get exposure to a basket of stocks rather than individual stocks, which increases risk. of loss.

Since 2018 this trend has spread to the crypto sector and products like the Bitwise 10 Large Cap Crypto Index (BITX) track the total returns of Bitcoin (BTC), Ether (ETH), Cardano (ADA), Bitcoin Cash (BCH), Litecoin (LTC), Solana (SOL), Chainlink (LINK), Polygon (MATIC), Stellar (XLM) and Uniswap (UNI).

The ability to access multiple top projects through a weighted average market capitalization index sounds like a great way to spread risk and gain exposure to a wider range of assets, but these products offer investors better returns in terms of both profit and loss Protection against volatility? compared to the top cryptocurrencies?

Hodling versus crypto baskets

Delphi Digital took a closer look at the performance of the Bitwise 10 and compared it with the performance of Bitcoin after the market low in December 2018. The results show that investing in BTC was a more profitable strategy, even though BITX was a little less volatile.

Bitcoin Price vs. Bitwise 10. Source: Delphi Digital

According to the report, “Indices are not meant to outperform individual assets, they are intended as portfolios with lower risk compared to holding a single asset,” so it is not surprising that BTC outperforms BITX on a purely cost basis.

While the index offered investors less downside risk as the market sold out in May, the difference was “trivial” as “BTC’s maximum drawdown was 53% and Bitwise’s 50%”.

Overall, the benefits of investing in an index over Bitcoin are not that great, as the volatility of the crypto market and frequent large drawdowns often have a greater impact on altcoins.

Delphi Digital says:

“Crypto indices are still in the works. Selecting assets, allocations, and rebalancing thresholds is a daunting task for an emerging asset class like crypto. But as the industry matures, we expect more efficient indices to emerge and gain importance. “

Ethereum also outperforms DeFi baskets

Decentralized finance (DeFi) was one of the hottest crypto sectors in 2021, led by decentralized exchanges like Uniswap (UNI) and SushiSwap (SUSHI) and lending platforms like AAVE and Compound (COMP).

The DeFi Pulse Index (DPI) aims to capitalize on this rapid growth and the DPI token has assignments to 14 of the top DeFi tokens including UNI, SUSHI, AAVE, COMP, Maker (MKR), Synthetic ( SNX) and Yearn.finance (YFI).

When comparing the performance of DPI with Ether since the index was launched, Ether has come out on top in terms of profitability and volatility, as shown by a 57% decrease for Ether versus 65% for DPI.

Ether Price vs. DeFi Pulse Index Price. Source: Delphi Digital

While this is an “imperfect comparison” according to Delphi Digital, as “the risk and volatility of DeFi tokens are higher than those of Ether,” it nonetheless underscores the point that the traditional benefits of indices are not replaced by crypto-based ones. Baskets are reflected.

Delphi Digital says:

“You could have just made ETH HODL-ed for a superior risk-return profile.”

Currently, Bitcoin and Ether have proven to be two of the lower risk cryptocurrency games available when compared to crypto index funds, which offer exposure to a larger number of assets.

The views and opinions expressed are those of the author only and do not necessarily reflect the views of Cointelegraph.com. Every step of investing and trading involves risk, so you should do your own research when making a decision.

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