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  1. NEW YORK (Reuters) - The U.S. government will strictly enforce a rule that requires cryptocurrency firms engaged in money service businesses such as digital asset exchanges and wallet service providers to share information about their customers, Kenneth Blanco, director of the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), said on Friday . Part of anti-money laundering regulations, the “travel rule” requires cryptocurrency exchanges to verify their customers’ identities, identify the original parties and beneficiaries of transfers $3,000 or higher, and transmit that information to counterparties if they exist. “It (travel rule) applies to CVCs (convertible virtual currencies) and we expect that you will comply period,” Blanco said at a conference hosted by Chainalysis, a New York-based blockchain analysis company. “That’s what our expectation is. You will comply. I don’t know what the shock is. This is nothing new,” he added. The U.S. government’s moves came as cryptocurrency crime soared into the billions of dollars, with global investigators grappling with major money laundering hubs that are at the center of the virtual worlds. Ciphertrace, in a recent report released in August, said cryptocurrency thefts, scams, and fraud may exceed more than $4.3 billion this year. The travel rule was first issued by FinCEN in 1996 as part of anti-money laundering standards that applies to all U.S. financial institutions. FinCEN expanded the rule’s coverage in March 2013 to apply to crypto exchanges as well, and in May this year, the Treasury unit affirmed that guidance. The government’s action comes on the heels of guidelines released in June by the U.S. Treasury led-Financial Action Task Force (FATF), an inter-governmental global organization devoted to battling money laundering and terrorism financing. FATF likewise directed crypto exchanges and regulators around the world to comply with the travel rule, giving them about year to do it from June this year. “FinCEN...has been conducting examinations that include compliance with the funds’ travel rule since 2014,” Blanco said, adding that it is the most commonly cited violation with regard to money service businesses engaged in virtual currencies. FinCEN’s May guidance on the travel rule created confusion within the crypto industry, which believes the rule didn’t apply to them. In an earlier interview, Dave Jevans, chief executive officer of U.S. blockchain forensics company CipherTrace, said people in the crypto industry were surprised at FinCEN’s recent actions because digital currencies have never been classified as money and the belief was that the travel rule does not apply to them. Source
  2. You won't be able to buy Bitcoin with your Apple Card, and you'd better not hack the iPhone associated with your account. Like US banking giants and credit-card issuers Citigroup and JPMorgan Chase & Co. before it, Apple won't let people use its card to buy cryptocurrencies. "You may not use or permit your account to be used for ... cash advances or cash equivalents," reads the Apple Card Customer Agreement posted Friday on the website of Goldman Sachs Group Inc., Apple's partner in the Apple Card venture. The agreement says cash equivalents include things like travelers checks, money orders, lottery tickets, casino gaming chips and cryptocurrency. Reuters notes that Citigroup and JPMorgan Chase nixed such purchases because they were worried volatile prices for cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin could leave consumers with debt they couldn't repay.. 9to5Mac points out another detail from the agreement: Apple Card holders can't use their accounts in connection with an iPhone that's been hacked or modified through jailbreaking. "If you make unauthorized modifications to your Eligible Device, such as by disabling hardware or software controls (for example, through a process sometimes referred to as "jailbreaking"), your Eligible Device may no longer be eligible to access or manage your Account," the agreement says. Apple will begin offering the Apple Card to users this month, CEO Tim Cook said during the company's fiscal third-quarter earnings call Tuesday. First announced during Apple's March software and services event, Apple Card will be Apple's entrance into the payments arena. The iPhone-maker has teamed with Goldman Sachs and Mastercard for the card, which will be available as a digital card in the Wallet app for use with Apple Pay. A physical titanium card will also be available for use in places that don't yet accept mobile payments. Source
  3. LONDON (Reuters) - Bitcoin slumped more than 10% over the weekend to a two-week low as fears of a crackdown of cryptocurrencies grew on mounting scrutiny of Facebook’s planned Libra digital coin. Bitcoin fell 11.1% from Friday to $9,855 early on Monday, its lowest since July 2. The original cryptocurrency slumped 10.4% on Sunday alone, its second-biggest daily drop this year. It was last up 1.3% at $10,319. Politicians and financial regulators across the world have called for close scrutiny of Facebook’s Libra coin, with concerns ranging from consumer protection and privacy to its potential systemic risks given the social media giant’s global reach. In a sign of widening U.S. attention, a proposal to prevent big technology companies from functioning as financial institutions or issuing digital currencies has been circulated for discussion by Democratic lawmakers, according to a copy of the draft legislation seen by Reuters. U.S. President Donald Trump had last week criticized bitcoin, Libra and other cryptocurrencies, demanding that firms seek a banking charter and subject themselves to U.S. and global regulations if they wanted to “become a bank”. Bitcoin, which initially shrugged off Trump’s Tweet, fell sharply after U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell called for a halt to Facebook’s project until concerns from privacy to money-laundering were addressed. “Together they have increased the tail risk that the U.S. will look to crack down on it in some way,” said Jamie Farquhar, portfolio manager at crypto firm NKB Group in London. Underscoring the growing attention on Facebook’s plans, Japanese authorities have also set up a working group to look at Libra’s possible impact on monetary policy and financial regulation, government sources told Reuters. European Central Bank policymaker Benoit Coeure is due to deliver a preliminary report on the matter at a meeting of G7 finance ministers this week in Chantilly, north of Paris. Bitcoin climbed nearly 55% in nine days after Facebook unveiled its plans for Libra on June 18, touching an 18-month high of nearly $14,000. The project has boosted hopes among some investors that cryptocurrencies could gain wider acceptance. Source
  4. Thanks to the volatile price of Bitcoin, cryptocurrencies are enjoying a frenzied moment in the sun as the market swings wildly on a daily basis. The coins with the highest market cap (Bitcoin, Ether, Bitcoin Cash, Litecoin, Ripple, and others) deservedly get the most attention, but there are blockchain-based digital tokens for just about everything. While there are plenty of cryptocurrencies out there with tangible utility and unique value, in this story we salute the dregs: the weirdest, wackiest, and most ridiculous coins that have popped up over the past several years. Fans of CryptoKitties—the Beanie Babies of blockchain—are only just realizing the frivolous wonders to behold within decentralized networks, but the cryptocurrency landscape is already littered with the ghosts of hundreds of dead coins that were too niche, too dumb, or blatant scams. The Cryptocurrency Market Capitalizations website lists more than 1,500 active coins, but the further down the list you go, the more obscure they get. Below are 23 of the most out-of-the-box and straight-up bizarre cryptocurrencies we've seen (so far). Honorable mention to some defunct and truly vaporware entries like Fonziecoin (FONZ), Selfiecoin, Pizzacoin, and the ill-fated 2016 President Johnson coin (GARY), which are still technically listed but do not seem to be active. Dogecoin Let's start with the original weird cryptocurrency: Dogecoin. The meme-turned-cryptocurrency has been around since late 2013, developing a passionate online community on sites like Reddit around the likeness of the famed Shiba Inu dog. Dogecoin has pulled some stunts—like sponsoring Olympic athletes and NASCAR drivers—but has somehow managed to stay relevant and still sits on a healthy market cap of more than $650 million as of December 2017. Much coin, very currency. KodakCoin The latest company to wade into the cryptocurrency space in ridiculous fashion is Kodak. The venerable camera company announced KodakCoin at CES in January to manage digital image rights and to pay photographers for image usage. The camera maker even announced a new Kodak KashMiner mining rig to go with it. KodakCoin was a reach to begin with, and the company has already delayed its initial coin offering (ICO) to verify potential investors. However the saga plays out, KodakCoin deserves a spot on this list. Venezuelan Petro The most recent entrant on our list is the "Petro," a new cryptocurrency announced by Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro. The embattled leader said the coin would be backed by oil, gas, gold, and diamond reserves to prop up the country's struggling, sanction-laden economy. Maduro gave no details as to when the coins would be rolled out or how exactly the Petro would fit into the current monetary and cryptocurrency landscapes. The Petro is actually ­not the first digital currency to emerge from Venezuela, however. That distinction goes to Bolivarcoin. PotCoin When you hitch your wagon to Dennis Rodman, you earn a place on this list by default. PotCoin is designed to provide a decentralized banking infrastructure for the legal cannabis industry, which is turning to blockchain for a number of creative solutions. There are actually a number of cannabis-focused coins—including CannabisCoin, KushCoin, Bongger, Ganjacoinpro, and others—but only one sent Rodman to North Korea. DentaCoin The only cryptocurrencies by dentists, for dentists. Dentacoin is a digital token and blockchain network for the dental industry to help dentists and patients share data and medical records, trade products and materials, and even pay for procedures. Anti-dentites are not welcome. TrumpCoin Of course Trump has a cryptocurrency. While not directly affiliated with the president, the TrumpCoin website says it aims to "integrate itself into the agenda of Donald Trump" and "aid in funding projects domestically and worldwide" including infrastructure, veterans, and securing the border. The site prompts you to "Buy TrumpCoins today and help your nation, community and citizens finally realize their true potential!" TrumpCoin isn't alone in the political arena. In fact, there are dozens of failed or dubious-looking political currencies floating around the web. For this piece alone I stumbled across Billary Coin, Ron Paul Coin, French presidential race coins for Emmanuel Macron and Marine Le Pen, and…Mao Zedong? PutinCoin and Putin Classic Since President Trump has his own coin, you know Russian president Vladimir Putin has some, too. Putin actually has more than one: PutinCoin was "created to pay tribute to the people and the president of one of the largest and greatest country in the world: Russia!" There's also PutinClassic, which is marketed as a "digital souvenir" to commemorate the leader. Buy five PutinCoins to get a limited-edition figurine of shirtless Putin on a horse! Enjoy the wonderful rap song above extolling the many virtues of glorious PutinCoin. Coinye This doomed cryptocurrency was sued into oblivion by Kanye West's lawyers, but will always hold a special place in our hearts. You shined bright like a diamond for a few blissful months back in 2014. Whoppercoin Only in Russia can you find a cryptocurrency only for buying Burger King Whoppers. Last year, Burger King Russia announced the Whoppercoin initiative...basically a blockchain-based rewards program. Customers rack up one Whoppercoin for each ruble they spend, and those who accrue 1,700 Whoppercoins get a free burger. What a great deal! BitCoen The first cryptocurrency that's certified Kosher, BitCoen is also the first Jewish crypto token made by Jews, for Jews all over the world. It's got the whole Megillah: a payments system, loyalty program, marketplace, wallet, and an advertising platform. Oh, and 10 percent of the coins are donated to Jewish charities. The coin recently completed a successful ICO, so to my fellow Hebrews I say Mazel Tov! The mensches behind BitCoen have got some real chutzpah. Unobtanium Mined on the fictional moons of Pandora and used to help Aaron Eckhart make it all the way to The Core, Unobtanium is—according to the cryptocurrency's website—"the platinum to Bitcoin's gold…a single piece of digital rock made up of a unique cryptographic material…a new element." The precious metal of cryptocurrencies is designed to be rare. Only 250,000 Uno coins will ever be mined over the next 300 years. The Cypherfunks Have you ever wished your favorite internet band was also a digital currency? Well you're in luck! The Cypherfunks are a decentralized community of musicians using FUNK coins to support their collective musical dreams. They need the funk. They've gotta have that funk. Cat Coins Cats are a staple of the internet, and cryptocurrencies are no different. The most famous of several cat-themed digital tokens out there is Monacoin, the first Japanese cryptocurrency. Others include Catcoin and Nyancoin, in case you hadn't seen the Nyan Cat meme in enough places by now. Useless Ethereum Token Yep, the UET logo is most definitely flipping you the bird. Useless Ethereum Token is exactly what it sounds like: a first-of-its-kind initial coin offering (ICO) that transparently offers investors absolutely no value. Don't just take it from me. The website states: "You're going to give some random person on the internet money, and they're going to take it and go buy stuff with it. Probably electronics, to be honest. Maybe even a big-screen television. Seriously, don't buy these tokens." Fuzzballs Want a great gift for your next party? Buy some Fuzzballs! This coin is intended for gifting and parties, or you can buy knickknacks from the FUZZ shop like keychains and bottle openers. Have a better idea for what to do with Fuzzballs? Let the creators know. The site states: "Ideas for giving the coin some more actual usage are always welcome." Cthulhu Offerings Praise be to Cthulhu, O' great Lovecraft-ian cosmic sea beast. Cthulhu Offerings is one of the strangest cryptocurrencies I found, which seems to be a religion based around the fabled giant octopus where the coins are part of a ritual sacrifice. From the site: “As the equinox approaches we begin the ritual; four weeks and five days long it builds until Cthulhu awakens and one worshipper is rewarded greatly…During the last five days, the 'Tharanak shagg,' or "promise of dreamland," the ritual reaches final pitch and the daily special blocks are highly increased. Finally Cthulhu will return after the xxx665th offering has paid tribute to the Great Old One and he will bestow a bounty deserving of Him upon one lucky worshiper.” All hail Cthulhu. Mooncoin Mooncoin is a cryptocurrency and blockchain network where the total coin supply is limited, based upon the average distance from the Earth to the moon. It’s also got its own programming language called MoonWord for decentralized app (DApp) coding and blockchain record-keeping. We bet the Moonman himself would approve. Skincoin SkinCoin is, oddly enough, not a porn-related cryptocurrency. Instead, it's dedicated to buying game skins for eSports. Porn Coins That said, there are quite a few cryptocurrencies dedicated to the adult entertainment industry. SexCoin and TitCoin are both designed for product purchases and transactions on porn sites. SpankChain goes even further, providing a full-blown blockchain infrastructure platform for building secure, anonymous pornography apps. What a time to be alive. Garlicoin Do you love garlic bread? Do you love cryptocurrencies? Well you're in luck! We've got the token just for you: Garlicoin! Born out of Reddit as a meme-based currency to rival Dogecoin, Garlicoin is forked from Litecoin and works the same way—except the cryptocurrency is devoted entirely to garlic bread. As the website's garlic recipes page states: "Garlicoin is hot out of the oven and ready to serve you with its buttery goodness." DeepOnion This anonymous, untraceable cryptocurrency facilitates payments through the Tor network. DeepOnion is…well to be honest it's a little creepy. Watch the video above to see why. UFOCoin UFOCoin, or Uniform Fiscal Object, is unfortunately not a cryptocurrency dedicated to funding galactic exploration or research into alien alloys. The UFOCoin blockchain actually uses something called neoscrypt technology, which "creates stronger encryption and thus an extra layer of protection to the network," and its unique architecture allows anyone with a desktop computer to mine UFO coins. Fuck Token I could explain what Fuck Tokens are and how this "Finally Usable Crypto Karma" works, but honestly this video is such a treat that you should just watch and find out for yourself. Here at the end of this very silly article, I have no more fucks to give. NOTE: SOURCE PAGE HAS VIDEOS THAT FURTHER DESCRIBE THE INDIVIDUAL CURRENCIES, IF YOU ARE INTERESTED. Article
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