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Wells Fargo Dismisses Bitcoin As Risky, Pays $575 Million Fine For Scamming Clients

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Wells Fargo

The third largest US Bank that has more than $2 trillion in assets- Well Frago is in our crypto news today for the obligation to pay up to $575 million settlement after investigations show that the bank scammed its clients for nearly 15 years.

Wells Fargo pointed out a few months ago that Bitcoin is too risky as an investment but ironically ends up paying huge fines. After the federal investigations, the bank admitted that employees opened hundreds of unauthorized credit card accounts and bank accounts since 2002 until 2017.

The bank proceeded to illegally charge its clients for financial services and products that the customers never purchased such as life insurance policies. The employees claimed that they were afraid of losing their jobs and that is why they continued the fraud.

Wells Fargo has to open a consumer restitution review program in order to check for people that were illegally charged for a service. John G. Stumpf the bank’s CEO resigned back in 2016 after the fraudulent scheme was discovered.

The Securities and Exchange Commission is still conducting investigations for Wells Fargo and so does the Department of Justice and Department of Labor.

Ironically, Wells Fargo banned its customers earlier this year from using their credit cards to buy cryptocurrencies just as the bear market strengthened. The bank claimed that there are too many risks associated with Bitcoin:

“Customers can no longer use their Wells Fargo credit cards to purchase cryptocurrency,” a bank rep said in a statement. “We’re doing this in order to be consistent across the Wells Fargo enterprise due to the multiple risks associated with this volatile investment.”

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Bitcoin News

Interest For Bitcoin Versus Gold Is Increasing For All Ages

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interest for bitcoin
The interest for bitcoin versus gold is increasing among all age groups as per the World Gold Council reported in the high-profile Drop Gold campaign arguing that the investors believe that crypto is risky and speculative but the numbers don’t seem to support this assertion. In today’s bitcoin news we take a closer look.The council released the survey results of more than 18,000 people in India, China and the The US but also Canada, Russia, and Germany, all designed to provide ‘’valuable insights into what, why, where and how many people purchase gold, in the context of retail investment and luxury goods in general. The research found that more than half of the interviewed retail investors purchased gold at some point in their lives.More than half of the investors trusted gold more than ‘’currencies of countries’’ and the trust in gold seems to be the strongest in India at 75 percent. More than 60 percent of the investors trust gold for its store of value properties and half of the respondents said that they will buy gold in the future as an investment. However, the number seems to drop when it comes to those aged 18-38 and the council concluded that the demographic differential only shows that younger generations are less-risk averse and they will likely adopt a long-term approach to investing.The council also noted that 18 to 24-year-olds took a very short-term approach to invest and according to the report, they were most likely to say ‘’I don’t really believe in investing in the long term, I want to live for today.’’ The industry’s market development organization found out that more than 60 percent of the investors who had bought gold in the past would do it again. This figure is not correlating with the findings for cryptocurrencies, funds, and stocks at about 40 percent.The interest for bitcoin is increasing and according to Greyscale and its Drop Gold campaign, the full report dismisses cryptocurrencies as a speculative option for the youngest investors of the GEN Z:
 “Gen Z’s live-for-today, the risk-taking attitude is most evident in their exposure to other investments, rather than in the exclusion of gold, and one asset stands out as featuring more highly in their portfolios than those of older investors: cryptocurrencies. The role cryptocurrencies play in their portfolio is significantly skewed towards short-term and speculative needs, in contrast to gold which is skewed towards long-term and wealth preservation needs.’’
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Bitcoin News

IRS Investigators Are Looking Into Bitcoin ATMs And Kiosks

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irs investigators
The United States Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and its Criminal Investigation Chief John Fort recently announced the plans of the regulator to look into potential tax issues caused by the Bitcoin (BTC) ATMs and kiosks. As the reports show, IRS investigators are now collaborating with law enforcement to investigate illicit uses of new technologies like cryptocurrencies.
“We’re looking at those, and the ones that may or may not be connected to bank accounts [...] In other words, if you can walk in, put cash in and get bitcoin out, obviously we’re interested potentially in the person using the kiosk and what the source of the funds is, but also in the operators of the kiosks," the IRS investigators noted.
Data from Coin ATM Radar in the latest crypto news shows that there are 4,129 Bitcoin ATMs and tellers in the United States reserved for letting users buy and/or sell cryptocurrencies in exchange for fees. Bloomberg claims that there is one such machine in every major city within the US. As a leader of the IRS investigators, Fort explained that such services are required in order to conform with the Know Your Customer rules and regulations:
“They’re required to abide by the same know-your-customer, anti-money laundering regulations, and we believe some have varying levels of adherence to those regulations.”
As we reported a month ago, the Bitcoin ATM company Bitstop installed one of the machines at the Miami International Airport, suggesting that Bitcoin is useful for moving money when traveling.In the other Bitcoin news, we can see that the tax status remains murky for this sector. Fort explained that crypto taxation issues are an emerging threat. He added that the space has an inherent lack of transparency and visibility, increasing the potential for non-compliance. Still, the head of the IRS investigators unit noted that no cases have been filed so far, stating “We haven’t had any public cases filed, but we do have open cases in inventory.”ATMs and kiosks aside, we can see that Bitcoin is taking a beating again. The cryptocurrency went below the $8,600 price target just as the market lost another couple of billion this Saturday. 
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Altcoin News

OpenVASP Will Help Exchanges Solve A Big Regulatory Problem

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openvasp
Virtual asset service providers, known as VASPs, just launched a new initiative called OpenVASP - something that aims to solve one of the biggest regulatory challenges often known as the "travel rule."For those of you who don't know, this rule basically necessitates that VASPs share customer information with each other so that one crypto exchange can confirm - for instance - that a customer on another exchange is sending 10 Bitcoins (BTC) and has a verified identity.The cryptocurrency exchanges will benefit big time from OpenVASP as reports show. The initiative was first unveiled at the Blockshow Asia conference in Singapore and the key players behind it include the Swiss-based Crypto Valley Association (CVA), International Digital Asset Exchange Association (IDAXA), ACCESS Singapore Cryptocurrency and Blockchain Industry Association.They announced OpenVASP at the event and said that they are working with other key partners on making this the future of sharing information, the cryptocurrency news show.
"The initiative will enable VASPs to transmit blockchain transaction information privately, immediately and securely, in compliance with the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) Recommendation 16, also known as the travel rule," according to one press release.
A specific whitepaper was prepared too, proposing an OpenVASP protocol "based on key design principles of decentralization, privacy, broad applicability, while remaining agnostic to the virtual asset being transferred."As shown, the protocol would allow VASPs from across different jurisdictions to transact between themselves without knowing each other and without the need to register with a cental authority or a database, as per the announcement.
“OpenVASP is a roadmap to FATF compliance that enables VASPs to protect private and business-sensitive data. We hope the community will consider it as a blueprint. Building partners are welcomed,” said Chris Gschwend who is the head of CVA's VASP/AML Taskforce.
This travel rule is "almost like applying U.S. postal mail rules to email for U.S. communication roles. Like pushing a square peg into a round hole for us, the blockchain ecosystem,” according to Tim Byun who is a former regulator and now CEO of the OKCoin cryptocurrency exchange.
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Bitcoin News

Mempool Of Bitcoin Gets Attacked By Small Transactions

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The mempool of Bitcoin (BTC) is attacked by small transactions, with no significant value, jamming the network. The mempool of bitcoin was lifted to around 90,000 pending transactions as the backlog was quickly amassed so let’s find out more in the Bitcoin news below.The small transfers of “dust” sums of Bitcoin are not affecting fees, thus the BTC network is working well. The transactions wait for others to be cleared hence they are not a priority. All transactions are included in block and the backlog could take hours to be confirmed.The big transactions with higher fees were passing while the backlog remained, continuing the mempool situation. Consolidation of dust from crypto wallets and addresses was included in the Whale Panda’s explanation. There is no information for a dusting attack at this time. A small amount of theories were given for the backlog, while Bitcoin transactions have come into scrutiny.Downward activity and transaction values are shown by the BTC network, as fewer and fewer coins are moved to exchanges. The relatively smaller size was moved the previews day, about $1 billion. Nonetheless, the backlog will be reflected soon as naturally confirmed transactions are growing.  The BTC network works through 350, 00 confirmed transactions per day.At the moment when the mempool buildup is coming is a time in which almost any sign of activity is scrutinized for potential price effects. With the anticipation of descending even to a lower range if the trend continues, Bitcoin is floating under $8,700. Proxy indicators of general interest in Bitcoin are transactions and mining activity.Widely bigger backlogs, that have also affected fees, were seen by the Bitcoin network. In 2017 even for the transactions with bigger fees were seen hours-long waiting times, because of the heightened interest in Bitcoin and the attempts to move funds. TX Street, shows all Bitcoin blocks arriving full already, at this moment, whit many transactions waiting their turn.The transaction fee for Bitcoin, however, had not been increased and is at $0.43. This is the biggest mempool blockage, since January the last year for the Bitcoin network. Even in comparison tho the backlog of this summer this backlog is higher when the network of Bitcoin was used for a for of verifications for other crypto projects.
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