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The CFTC Is Probing BitMEX Over Providing Suspicious Services

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Strict EU crypto regulations

The CFTC is probing the crypto exchange BitMEX for reportedly providing suspicious services to American traders as noted in the altcoin news reports.

According to the reports, an anonymous source noted that the United States regulatory watchdog is investigating the popular bitcoin exchange and says that the probe centers around BitMEX are allowing US traders on the platform. BitMEX is not a CFTC-registered platform but it is still illegal for Americans to trade the crypto derivatives that are noted on the bitcoin exchange. The regulatory ambit over crypto for the CFTC came after a federal ruling back in 2018 when it declared cryptos to be commodities. Because of this, the Commission now has jurisdiction over any place where the crypto-based derivatives might intersect with the United States traders even the platforms that are based abroad. The HDR Global Trading Limited, which is the owner of BitMEX did not comment on any media reports or about the ongoing investigations by the government agencies.

The terms of service of the exchange do not include a list of restricted jurisdictions and apart from the United States, some of the other countries banned are Iran, Syria, Cuba and North Korea. There are also some reports of users that show how their accounts got terminated on the platform based on the suspicion that they were only US customers. Tone Vays for example, tweeted in 2018 saying that BitMEX shut down his account for the same reason and this is why the CFTC is probing the crypto exchange:

‘’Just got my @BitMEXdotcom account terminated on suspicion of being a US Citizen. Anyone else find the timing of this odd?
The 900+ affiliates that accounted for half my income r gone going forward.
After #Unconfiscatable Conf expect prices on all services offered by me to rise.’’

As noted in the latest cryptocurrency news became the largest crypto exchange under investigation in the United States based on the suspicion of doing business in America. Exchange such as Poloniex and Bittrex are massively adopting the know-your-customer protocols in order to avoid sharing the same destiny as Bitmex as noted in the reports previously.

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Stefan is a full-time member and has been a Bitcoin Specialist for over 6 years. Providing daily news and updates for DC Forecasts.

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Venezuelans Are Selling Petro On LocalBitcoins For Half The Price

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New reports in the altcoin news and rumors show that more and more Venezuelans are selling the Petro cryptocurrency which was recently airdropped to them at half the official price. Even though the government claims to have fixed the value of one PTR at $60, many people are apparently selling the cryptocurrency on LocalBitcoins at around $30 to $40.A new Reddit thread shows that Venezuelans are turning to LocalBitcoins to sell their airdropped Petro amid the disastrous economic conditions. This follows a major airdrop which, as reported, was carried out by the government to more than 6 million people in December 2019.The Reddit user claims that Venezuelans are selling Petro online because the government initially allowed the usage of PTR for buying products through an app - but later shut it down as people flooded to the few stores supporting it.There are government exchanges which are reported to support PTR too, however, their exchange rate deviated too much from the "official" price of the cryptocurrency. Therefore, the only options for Venezuelans now appears to be LocalBitcoins.At press time, we can see several listings which accept Petro in exchange for Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies. Still, all of them appear to be inactive right now. These listings were still shown on the main page on LocalBitcoins on January 20.As some of the sellers told the cryptonews media, buying Bitcoin (BTC) for their Petro (PTR) holdings seems to be the rational move that Venezuelans have right now. They explained that the price is down because it was referenced from a local exchange, Amberescoin, which supported PTR. However, the rate at which they Venezuelans are selling Petro now is 1 PTR for 0.0036 BTC, which is close to $30.The logic now is simple - most of the people in Venezuela want to get either Bolivars (the national currency) or BTC. When they get Bolivars, they can actually spend the money while when getting BTC, they can use it as a store of value.There is apparently a Telegram group too where Venezuelans discuss and try to exchange Petros between themselves. The main things that people buy with PTR include food, rice, flour and sugar. 
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Last Week’s Price Gain For BTC Is Highest Since October

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The price of Bitcoin has hit new records last week and jumped more than 11%, confirming a falling channel breakout and a bullish reversal on the weekly chart. The breakout opened the doors for a re-test of the October highs above $10,000.For the next 24 hours, the main focus is set on $8,200 which is a level that has proved a tough nut to crack in the last few days. A strong rejection above $8,200 could also yield a temporary drop to sub $8,000 levels.Bitcoin logged double-digit price gains last week and confirmed the reversal from a six-month downtrend. The top cryptocurrency by market cap gained 11.2% in the seven days to January 12, which is the biggest weekly gain since October.The prices rallied by 16% in the third week of October and since then, the top cryptocurrency has managed to score gains in only three weeks. The altcoin news and updates also show that other coins were affected by the gains. During the break six months to December 31, the cryptocurrency only rose with double-digit gains two times. Further, Bitcoin suffered a lot of losses in 15 out of 27 weeks and in two weeks, it was ending roughly fiat.Clearly, the bears were in big control during the second half of 2019. The prices fell from highs above $13,000 to $6,425 during this period and established a series of lower highs and lower lows on the weekly charts.This downward trajectory ended with last week's impressive 11% gains and the path of the least resistance now lies on the higher side. In the weekly charts, we can see that last week's candle closed well above the upper edge of the bearish channel, confirming a new bullish breakout.The pattern also indicated that the pullback from $13,800 has ended and the bull run from lows near $4,100 seen in the first week of April 2019 resumed. This rise also confirmed that the bearish-to-bullish trend change signaled by the hammer candle created in the third week of December.With this breakout, the odds of Bitcoin repeating history and the Bitcoin news showing new yearly highs ahead of the May 2020 mining reward halving have strengthened as well. The halving will cut the amount of Bitcoin created every 10 minutes by half.
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MetaMask Dapp Platform Returns To Google After Ban

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MetaMask dapp platform returns to Google after it was banned for one week at the end of 2019 as we are reading further in the ethereum news today.The Ethereum ecosystem saw a very small setback in the last week of 2019 when Google banned the MetaMask dapp platform from the Play Store. The Ethereum wallet and dApp platform announced the news exactly one week ago back on Twitter. As per the reports, Google believed that MetaMask violated the financial services of the tech giant which MetaMask of course, denied. It could turn out that the entire incident was a simple misunderstanding as the platform announced the return on January 1st, 2020. In the new announcement, the crypto wallet stated that Google permitted the mobile app back on the Play Store supposedly after very careful consideration.MetaMask thanked the community for the support saying that the Dapp is now back on the app store. Thanks to all of the users’ suggestions for alternate distribution methods, MetaMask is more resilient now and the community is stronger for enduring the incident despite the fact that it could have been an error. The entire incident has been confusing to a lot of users from the start and Google banned MetaMask because it believed that the dapp allowed the users to mine cryptocurrencies via mobile which is not true.On the other hand, Google was extremely quick to believe that false facts and ban the Android client without checking as part of the recent crackdown on digital currencies. Google banned crypto advertising a long time ago and the effects have just started to appear. In the last few weeks of 2019, YouTube also started its own crackdown where the world’s biggest video platform started removing crypto videos without warning while many crypto content creators were also banned from the platform.The company also claimed that it was a mistake but all of these errors happened simultaneously and many started to believe that Google also has the crypto problem. The crypto community started to enjoy its small victory once Youtube apologized when the ban of MetaMask was announced. It is also worth noting that Google is suppressing crypto websites on Google News which hurt the crypto industry and makes certain information less accessible to the community.
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Bitcoin ATM Number Increased By 50% In 2019: Report

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The Bitcoin ATM Number increased by 50 percent in 2019 and reached a total of 384 according to CoinATMRadar.December 2019 was a meaningful month for a multitude of causes, probably some of the least reported being the new record number of Bitcoin (BTC) ATMs installations. The number od 338 destroyed the previous record of 294 set in August of 2019. The ATM is a piece of very expensive equipment and logical is that they are supplying an existing demand.As we are seeing further in the latest bitcoin news, the analysts wonder from where this demand and the users really come from? They are surely not the best option for most of the Bitcoin (BTC) users and there are some jurisdictions in which this notion is increasing even more.The reality is that people have also used a Bitcoin (BTC) ATM often, but that was in the year of 2014. Some of the users have been in a need for some amount of cash in ASAP, and selling some Bitcoin (BTC) looked like the best deal, and also there was the fact that using Bitcoin (BTC) ATM’s was a fairly new thing. The process is fairly easy, make a transfer, get the printed QR code afterward come back in half an hour to take your cash.It could have been finished without the time spent waiting but that was not a deal-breaker. The deal-breaker is when you understand how big the fee to be paid was. Take into consideration the big fees that make a noteworthy hole in the funds received/paid the presence of another reason to use Bitcoin (BTC) ATM must be real. Can it be the anonymity that the simple walk up to a machine offers over registering?Of course, in some circumstances, yes, but in the USA the ATMs are now considered Money Services Businesses, which bears the consequence of enforcing the same anti-money laundering (AML) and know-your-customer (KYC) procedures as exchange companies. However, the question of whether all of the ATMs upheld the standards and regulations is another matter. The Bitcoin ATM number has been increasing throughout the year as per the recent reports where we can read that 20 BTC ATMs were installed in Circle K Convenient stores around the United States which marks the expansion of retail crypto availability in the Western US.
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