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Analysis

New Report Says The Government Of U.S. Spent Millions Trying To Track Crypto Users

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We have been covering the news around regulation on our DC Forecasts crypto news site for about a year now, as well as the attempts by governments to ‘spy’ on the cryptocurrency users everywhere around the globe.

In the latest news, the U.S. government is in the spotlight – for allegedly spending millions on tracking cryptocurrency usage. According to the report published by a research firm named Diar, the US government agencies have collectively spent $5.7 million in hiring contractors who perform blockchain analysis, involving linking an individual’s identity with their crypto funds.

Even though there are tools that purport to allow users to send crypto anonymously, most of the users out there leave out some trails. When using the right tools, investigators can exactly determine to whom a particular wallet belongs.

Once a crypto user exposes their pseudonymous cryptocurrency address to a specific service or individual who could identify it as belonging to their real-world identity, they have the risk of having their entire wallet exposed as belonging to them – once a blockchain forensics takes his time to aggregate the data.

In most of the cases, these privacy lapses occur when users deposit or withdraw funds at a cryptocurrency exchange, where they are listed under their name and identity. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) of the U.S. has so far signed nine contracts with cryptocurrency forensics providers, together worth under $2.2 million and representing 38% of the government’s total spending on these services.

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Altcoin News

(Some) Crypto Exchanges Resume BCH Trading, Bitcoin Cash Price Reaches New Lows

Five days after the Bitcoin Cash hard fork began, it is safe to say that the stability of the BCH ecosystem has crippled. The worst part is what is seen in today's crypto news - that it has continued and is not looking to recover anytime soon. The BCH/USD pair suffered another 40% loss on paper (mostly because most exchanges paused BCH trading ahead of the fork) - setting a yearly low of $237. Currently, it seems like Bitcoin Cash (BCH) has corrected to $242 in a small upside recovery. However, the downtrend has certainly intensified over the past few days and each session formed bearish flags and pennants consecutively. As a result, the BCH/USD pair went inside a free fall without finding its bottom. In times when the fight between Bitcoin Cash (as most people are labeling the Bitcoin ABC version of BCH) and Craig Wright's Bitcoin SV is harming the crypto market as a whole. There seems to be no way that guarantees a way out - as the industry witnesses downward movements and new losses day after day. If you are wondering what's next, crypto exchanges are already in the process of labelling Bitcoin ABC's ticker BCHABC as BCH which signifies that ABC will lead the original BCH blockchain. Trading under the BCH ticker is still closed on some mainstream exchanges - but few allow it. Once the trading fully resumes for retail investors, then we can expect more trend-defining movements in this market.
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Altcoin News

After Days Of Resistance, Ripple (XRP) Suffers A Major Price Drop

In a new edition of this week's downward trend, we have the altcoin Ripple (XRP) which overtook Ethereum and became the second largest cryptocurrency by market cap - and its recent price drop which went viral everywhere in the crypto news. The intense downtrend finally took a toll on Ripple, even though it seemed like the cryptocurrency is resistant to it. Ripple, which is now the second most valuable cryptocurrency, is no longer up in value on a monthly basis. Over the past 30 days, XRP maintained the $0.5 level relatively well with minimized losses - during a period when Bitcoin and other top coins fell by 20% and even more. If you are asking yourself what was the primary reason for Ripple's drop, the truth is that XRP is a liquidity network that provides major banks and financial institutions the ability to move cross-border payments with low fees. Hence, a large supply of XRP is crucial for the Ripple blockchain network to operate. This week, around $16 million was removed from the Ripple Distribution wallet to an unknown one, injecting more XRP into the market. Over the past 12 hours, XRP fell from $0.48 to $0.41 and then recovered at the $0.43 support level. It is entirely possible (given that XRP has been successful in maintaining the $0.4 support level) - that this increase of the supply of XRP in circulation affected the short-term price trend of XRP.
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Altcoin News

BitMEX Research: The BCH “Hash War” Costed Miners $6.1 Million In Lost Revenue

BitMEX Research is in the latest cryptocurrency news - mostly for its new report which shows that the hash rate of both sides of the Bitcoin Cash "hash war" has led BCH miners to collectively lose as much as $6.1 million in gross revenue since last week's blockchain split - leading to the creation of Bitcoin Cash SV (BCHSV) and Bitcoin Cash ABC (BCHABC) accordingly. As a tweet from BitMEX Research's Twitter profile shows: https://twitter.com/BitMEXResearch/status/1064579883534348290 Something which must be noted is that the profits that were gained from such mining - or loss thereof - would currently be on paper only as neither BCH nor BSV has a liquid market at this time - in fact, they are measuring serious losses. The figure also assumes that everyone renting hash is actually finding blocks or that most or all of the hash being used to win blocks in either chain, right now, is rented. Obviously, this is not always the case as there are many Bitcoin Cash miners that own their hardware and choose to mine on BCH chains for various reasons. What we can conclude is that mining is not anymore a hobbyist game. As you can see from the report, the majority of miners run on tight margins and hardware expenses are at least as important as the cost of electricity - which always varies. As a result of this, analysts believe that a significant amount of new BCH will continue to be sold regardless of how the markets treat the tokens.    
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Altcoin News

Ripple Is Now The Second Most Valuable Cryptocurrency Surpassing Ethereum

In today’s crypto news, we can see Ripple despite falling down by 9.5 percent against the US dollar, overtaking Ethereum and is now the second most valuable cryptocurrency in the crypto market. Two days ago on November 17, Ripple increased in value at approximately 8 percent while other major cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum failed to maintain momentum. Its short-term rally back on Saturday, allowed XRP to peacefully surpass Ethereum with a market cap of $19.1 billion. Ethereum, on the other hand, remains at $15.92 billion. One of the reasons why this could be happening on the market right now could be the exploring of Coinbase Custody to add major cryptocurrencies and ERC20 tokens:
 “Coinbase Custody is exploring the addition of many existing and forthcoming crypto assets for storage only and will be working to add them as quickly and safely as possible. At this time, we have not yet considered these assets for trading. We are making this announcement internally at Coinbase and to the public at the same time to remain transparent with our customers about support for future assets.’’
Coinbase Custody integrated XRP on their platform and institutions can now purchase and hold it with Coinbase. This is a path for a positive development of XRP but the selling pressure on ETH continued to grow since a huge deal of their holdings was held by ICOs. ICO projects sold Ethereum constantly in order to fund operations on the public exchange market and managed to accumulate millions of dollars while increasing and intensifying the selling pressure on ETH.
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