Here you will read about my experiences a I travel around exploring the Internet, exploring the country side and exploring life the way we would all like it to be.
Your life is what you create. You are in control and nobody can change the reality that you observe except you. Your life will go on whether you direct it or not. If you don’t take action, on your own, your life will play out by default and that may not make you happy!
Gold price today rises 1% on safe haven demand as Coronavirus spreads
At 9.07 am, April gold futures were trading 0.87 per cent higher at Rs 43,037 per 10 grams on MCX.
EW DELHI: Gold futures for April delivery rose nearly 1 per cent in Monday’s trade amid concerns over the spread of coronavirus outside of China and its impact on the global economic growth.
Silver futures for April delivery were ruling at Rs 48,615 per 1 kg on the exchange.
“Bullion counter can continue its upside momentum as yellow metal continued to hover around its seven-year peak in COMEX midst panic regarding coronavirus outbreak as central banks prepare more easing measures to prop up sagging economies,” SMC Global said in a note.
Safe haven demand is pushing gold prices higher globally. Data showed coronavirus is spreading outside China rapidly. Cases in South Korea have touched 763, with eight deaths till date. In Italy, the virus cases have jumped to 150. Iran, which announced its first two cases on Wednesday, has 43 confirmed cases and 8 deaths.
Globally, gold prices climbed more than 2 per cent to their highest since February 2013, as a spike in coronavirus cases prompted a flight to safe havens.
Spot gold was up 1.1 per cent at $1,661.86 per ounce, after climbing to $1,678.58 earlier in the session. US gold futures rose 1 per cent to 1,664.60.
Among other precious metals, palladium eased 0.5% $2,690.52 per ounce. Silver rose 1.2% to $18.69 an ounce, while platinum fell 0.7% to $966.54.
Asian stock markets are seeing panic selling today and India is no exception.
In a sign of panic, E-minis for the S&P500 dropped 1 per cent in early Asian trade on Monday while Nikkei futures slipped more than 1 per cent too. Australia's benchmark index slid 1.6 per cent while New Zealand was down about 1 per cent. South Korea's KOSPI index fell 2.2 per cent. Japanese markets were closed for a public holiday.
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There are so many facets to Markethive, as it is a complete Market Network with a Social Media interface. It has everything you need to succeed in whatever it is that you do online, including the potential of extra revenue made available to *Entrepreneur One (E1) associates through the Banner Program. Our banner program is very innovative, where Markethive returns 100% of our ad-revenue back into your pocket. There have been 20+ years of high energy poured into Markethive. This is a Divine inspiration and places all of the members of Markethive first and foremost.
AAA Real Estate
The banners slots in the Banner Program are AAA top of the page real estate and displayed on the complete Markethive Network which includes the many websites Markethive owns. This means your banners are viewed not just by members within Markethive, but also to the vast internet traffic and onlookers.
Notably, the lower your Alexa Rank, No 1 being the top, the more expensive the banner advertisements. With Markethive’s ever-decreasing Alexa ranking (currently at 9,008) and since there are millions of sites ranked by Alexa, that’s way up there in terms of traffic, plus a consistently increasing number of unique visitors and members at Markethive. Being an E1 member gives you ownership of a limited resource of the most prominent, sought after advertising spot in Markethive and makes this an exceptional lucrative opportunity.
To give you an example, at Coinmarketcap, the banners are being sold for an average of $300,000+ a month. To break it down you will pay $16 per CPM (Clicks Per Mille = 1 Thousand Impressions) On average the estimated impressions for a top banner per month are 23,190,000. That works out to $371,056 per month. Coinmarketcap currently sits at 593 on Alexa Ranking.
Now let’s have a Markethive example. Let’s say the E1 is capped at 300 members. 165,000 unique visitors divided by 300 EP1s = 550 impressions on 1 page. The number of impressions into 50 pages per day would equate to 27,500 equalling 825,000 impressions per month. So if you had to pay a rate of say $10 per CPM, that would equal $8,250 a month for banner advertising expenses.
Keep in mind these banners will be viewed on the complete Markethive Network and all other systems that we have, so the number of impressions any banner receives will be exponential.
You will get this type of exposure for only $100 per month with the Entrepreneur One Upgrade. This part of the program is up and running now where you can create a banner and upload it via the Advertising page found in your profile settings.
Very soon Markethive will be launching the Banner Exchange where any E1 member can create a Banner Ad business within the Markethive system by putting their unused Banner slots/impressions up for bid and being paid in MHV. If you have no need to use them yourself why not sell them?
The Banner Exchange, exclusive to the Entrepreneur One Loyalty Program where each E1 member receives an equal share of the total number of impressions from the massive traffic Markethive receives.
We are now basically hitting 165,000 visits per day. Pageviews, (impressions) are nearly 25 million per month. With the very real possibility of the Entrepreneur One Loyalty Program closing at 300 members, that equals around 83,000 impressions allotted to each E1 loyalty member, who can then sell their unwanted impressions on the Markethive Banner exchange which is open to all Markethive members to purchase. At today’s impression value of .02 per impression, that equals a potential income just from the banners of $1,660 per month, with the potential be a lot more.
Coming soon, there will be a group in Markethive with a banner ad exchange panel/interface where all members can visit and view the banner slots, times and dates available, etc, that are up for bid. You can stipulate whatever price you see fit. Also, Markethive Coin (MHV) will be the only currency used to purchase the banner slots.
My guess is some people are saying “I have no use for the Banner Ad Program”. Or “I don’t use banners. I don’t have a personal business that requires banner advertising” Being an Entrepreneur One Upgrade gives you the opportunity to have a Banner business and make a significant income. And this is apart from the ILP that is also included which is considered a legacy and a very lucrative living.
Are Impressions Important For Your Business?
Yes, they are the very foundation of the advertising process. They are important for branding campaigns. Awareness is created from impressions and continuing to drive impressions will be key to brand success. Increased impressions will lead to increased engagement and community size.
1. Impressions are the “eyes” that see your add. This could be as little as a three-second scroll in some cases.
2. Reach/Engagements involve some kind of interaction, usually. But the impression comes first.
3. Lastly, clicks, and/or actions are the most important. That is where your leads, and ultimately, your sales come from.
You can’t have reach or clicks without impressions first. Without impressions, which is the availability to view, there would be no clicks.
How Does The Banner Exchange Work?
The Bidder pays you for the banner slot. They will then upload their banner into your Banner Control System and the Markethive Admin will take the necessary steps to approve it.
Note: There are certain guidelines and qualifications that need to be followed when creating a banner:
Ensure your banner is sized to 960px x 80px.
Use images with white or transparent backgrounds.
Fade any graphics to white that touch the banner edge.
If it doesn’t meet the qualifications. Markethive reserves the right to make changes to it. This will be free of charge as an Entrepreneur.
So now you can sell your banner slots if you are not going to use them for your personal business. This is a limited resource to an ever-expanding market. The demand is only going to continue to increase.
A message from the CEO and Founder of Markethive Thomas Prendergast explaining the Banner Exchange Platform, with even bigger numbers and the comparisons of other sites in our industry.
MHV Coin Velocity
If you’re wondering how the value of the Markethive Coin (MHV) is measured, here is a simple explanation of how the ecosystem works. The Banner Program is just one more way Markethive is increasing our coin velocity. The fact that we are a meritocracy, exponentially growing daily as a social network with all the marketing tools, gamification, and loyalty programs we have and are still implementing is ensuring the credibility, velocity, and ultimate success of the Markethive Ecosystem and its Universal Income.
Many coins and tokens on the market have no velocity as they don’t have a real use case. All the services free and otherwise Markethive offers, increase the velocity, supply, and demand of the MHV coin. Utilizing the coin within Markethive for services and loyalty programs including but not limited to,
Incentive Loan Program
Banner Slot Bids
By the very nature of MHV being a consumer coin, it’s not open to speculation like many other coins on the market. The benefits of being on the inside of Markethive transacting with MHV in its ecosystem are many, and while this is happening velocity and demand increase. The added benefit is the Markethive Exchange and MHV being listed on 3rd party exchanges gives it liquidity.
Come to the Markethive meetings held every Sunday at 10 am Mountain Time. The meetings hosted by the CEO, Thomas Prendergast, and CTO, Douglas Yates are live, relaxed, very inspiring and above all very transparent. Stay informed about the massive undertaking and progress Markethive is making for the benefit of every Markethive member. The way Markethive is structured we have a lot to look forward to.
The introduction of the Banner Exchange which is a great way to earn even more income is just one more reason to Upgrade to Entrepreneur One before it closes for good. This is very limited and once the Banner Ad Exchange Panel is released the E1 Loyalty Program along with the Banner Program offer ends to new members, but all existing and active E1s will have the Banner Program and income potential for life. Active meaning they are current and in good standing with their $100 per month subscription.
As the Markethive community exponentially grows, the demand for Banner ads just internally will be huge and they will only be available from E1s. Keep that in mind as we approach 5 million, 50 million, 500 million or more.
If you’re not an E1 member you will still be able to benefit from the massive traffic Markethive produces by purchasing Banner impressions with MHV within the Markethive ecosystem from Entrepreneur One Associates. That in itself is a marketers’ dream to actually have traffic to their site.
There is still a little time to get your own lucrative banner business within your Markethive business by upgrading to the Entrepreneur One Loyalty Program. Ready to upgrade? Welcome aboard! Entrepreneur One Upgrade
A Crypto/Blockchain enthusiast and a strong advocate for technology, progress, and freedom of speech. I embrace "change" with a passion and my purpose in life is to help people understand, accept and move forward with enthusiasm to achieve their goals.
Adding Video Content to Your Social Media Strategy
The impact of social media has altered all kinds of industries.
The value of having a presence online has never been greater. Word-of-mouth marketing that once occurred in small social circles or at the office now takes place online?—?a much larger platform for communication. That value is steadily increasing as time goes on. Now more than ever, brands are able to reach larger audiences with recommendations, partnerships, and ambassadors on social media.
The projected figure for social media users this year will land somewhere around 2.62 billion. Social media now attracts users of all ages. Unfortunately, some brands still underestimate the power of social media. Even though brands may have opted out of creating an online presence due to their demographic in the past, now even once a large following has been established, some accounts may not take full advantage of the potential they have.
What do users like?
Different types of content are gaining traction online, including video content and live streaming. While these may seem new, foreign, and maybe even intimidating to certain brands, it is hard to ignore that this is the content users are beginning to prefer. In fact, according to Cisco, online videos will make up more than 80% of all consumer internet traffic (85% in the US) by 2020. Understanding how to engage an audience with video content and live streaming is vital to increase and properly utilize a company’s online presence. Fortunately, these types of content are also excellent for driving site traffic.
How can companies utilize video on social media?
In order to increase engagement and clicks, create an introduction video or demo a new product. Companies can record and package a short and sweet video or conduct a live stream to engage social media users in a live conversation with brand experts, developers, or ambassadors. Another great piece of content to create for your social media platforms are how-to videos. These can be formatted in jump-cut style steps and are great for highlighting how a product can be used in creative ways. You may recall on your personal social media feed viewing some very satisfying cooking how-to videos. They are always very brief and cleanly executed (for some great examples, take a peek at Tasty Presents). This is the type of content that users are beginning to prefer.
Event coverage is also a great way to grow your brand reputation online. Again, this can be through an edited piece of footage, or through a live stream. Live streams are great for events because they allow users who could not attend to feel like they get to be a part of the experience. They also allow your customers to ask questions on the spot which can create greater company transparency and customer loyalty.
Create, learn and start again.
As with any online activity that a company may conduct, it is important to gather data garnered from video content or live streaming. How many views did your content receive? How many users watched the entire piece of content or stream? How many users dropped off after a certain point? How many users asked questions, left comments, or shared your content? How did your company’s site traffic change once the content was released? How did site traffic and online content impact sales?
Although video content requires a certain level of planning, production, and execution that may surpass what your brand has accomplished in the past with simply photo content alone?—?it is undeniable the potential benefits that video content can have. In order to fully reap the benefits of digital video content creation, data must be recorded and analyzed.
Business Insider reported on a finding by Zenith, predicting that global online video consumption will grow by an average of nine minutes per day each year until 2020. These findings support the idea that the digital video audience is becoming more engaged?—?something all companies with an online presence, seeking to increase site traffic, engagement, and sales, should be aware of.
ICOs are holding over $730M in treasuries, and doing nothing with it
What is going to happen to all that cash?
If you thought that all those initial coin offerings (ICOs) that raised millions of dollars in cryptocurrency are busy spending that money on development in pursuit of delivering on their promises, you’d be wrong.Cryptocurrency insights firm Diar has revealed that companies which undertook an ICO before the last quarter of 2017 are sitting on huge cash reserves that could potentially fuel the startup for the next few years.
The total amount of Ethereum held in treasury by blockchain startups currently amounts to 3,744,651 ETH (or roughly $733,614,577 as of September 9). For context, this accounts for 3.7 percent of the total Ethereum supply. Over the last five months these ICOs have only liquidated 20 percent (907,024 ETH) of all total funds raised. Prior to the liquidation, the total amount of funds held in treasury was 4,651,675 ETH (or roughly $1,758,333,150 at this time).
Interestingly, the study also found that at least 12 blockchain-based businesses have a market capitalization that is smaller than the amount of Ethereum they currently hold in treasury. These are the 12 that actually are liquidating their reserves. On average, these companies have liquidated 62 percent of all Ethereum raised through an ICO.
One thing to point out here
is that the US dollar value of ETH has fluctuated dramatically since most of these companies’ fundraising efforts. Indeed, Ethereum has dropped from $378 on April 1 to $195 on September 9. With all this latent cash laying around, it is entirely likely that it could be used to support these companies and extend marketing efforts over the coming years.
There’s nothing wrong with that per se, but the issue is that this could potential obscure the poor performance of these companies in terms of adoption and product delivery. After all, these companies are under no legal obligation to deliver on their promises or pay back investors in the case of insolvency.
Bitclub the Amazing Bitcoin mining company that's 100% legit!
It took 4 years for BitClub Network to reach over $100,000,000 per month in sales and 300,000 customers. BITCOIN was at a low of $330 in October 2014 and, in December 2017, reached a peak of $19,500. According to many Wall Street analysts and high-level banking, will soon reach $100,000. How many will you have in the next 3 to 5 years? There are two ways to earn BITCOIN with Bitclub Network:
1) Acquire mining pools with the largest leverage in the sector. Turn $3,500 into $150,000.
2) Build a global marketing team of entrepreneurs with mining equipment and be paid daily in BITCOINS.
More than 300 people are already earning $1 million a year and referring others can earn thousands more in the coming years.
Markethive poised to go to battle. Pay attention because it has taken 20 years to prepare for this journey into crypto wealth.
I have built Markethive as a walk in faith. Sometimes it has nearly broken me financially, but the Lord kept prodding me to build it. Through treachery with previous partners, financial collapse with Trivita’s damaged income, through suffering from heart failure and actually death in the hospital from heart failure, diagnosed with diabetes 2, having to move from Wyoming to Fargo, a wife that needs special care daily, I persevered because the Lord kept inspiring and prodding me to keep building it.
Last year (July 2016) I took Markethive out for trials, utilizing the Inbound Marketing tools and built the Valentus opportunity and became diamond in 12 days (breaking, even shattering the records!), then I rolled Markethive out to assist in an ICO opportunity and within 3 weeks produced over $180,000 in commissions and broke records again.
Keep in mind neither of these opportunities had the longevity capacity, like Trivita did, to become a legacy lifetime income. I was still looking.
This year, I actually died (obviously recovered)then was given a sobering diagnosis which sidelined me from any work for 5 months. Living on savings off my Bitcoins, I was able to focus on recovery and 4 weeks ago was diagnosed with no heart failure and no diabetes (a miracle blessing from the Lord, walking 10 miles a day and a strict diet) and was able to actually get back in the saddle again.
I was ready to get back into the fight and had a few false starts with The Trade Coin Club and Jet-Coin. Then an associate from my Trivita down line made me aware of Bitclub. Joe Able, one of the 3 founders of Bitclub Networks called me and paid to fly me out to meet him. I went with the intentions to pitch him for Markethive investments (I am obsessed with Markethive). Boy was I in for an amazing revelation.
As he introduced me to Bitclub (he took 3 hours out of his busy schedule for me to present this companies many facets and the details) I was overwhelmed, floored actually. It was a jaw dropping experience how well this company has been built, its foundational vision and mission. There is money to be made on so many levels and this company actually has ascended above all other MLMs in so many ways.
I could go on but I made a video to really illustrate how I am engaging Markethive into this. Millionaires will be made. 100s of them in my organization perhaps even 1000s because of the raw marketing power Markethive brings to this and I own Markethive.
Please join my group to get rolling into this huge opportunity tsunami. Surf is up. Big wave surf. Wax your boards and let’s safari brothers and sisters.
Cryptocurrency is a form of digital money that is designed to be secure and, in many cases, anonymous. It is a currency associated with the internet that uses cryptography, the process of converting legible information into an almost uncrackable code, to track purchases and transfers. Cryptography was born out of the need for secure communication in the Second World War. It has evolved in the digital era with elements of mathematical theory and computer science to become a way to secure communications, information and money online. The first cryptocurrency was bitcoin, which was created in 2009 and is still the best known. There has been a proliferation of cryptocurrencies in the past decade and there are now more than 900 available on the internet. Here's everything you need to know about cryptocurrencies.
How do cryptocurrencies work?
Cryptocurrencies use decentralised technology to let users make secure payments and store money without the need to use their name or go through a bank. They run on a distributed public ledger called blockchain, which is a record of all transactions updated and held by currency holders.
Units of cryptocurrency are created through a process called mining, which involves using computer power to solve complicated maths problems that generate coins. Users can also buy the currencies from brokers, then store and spend them using cryptographic wallets. Cryptocurrencies and applications of blockchain technology are still nascent in financial terms and more uses should be expected. Transactions including bonds, stocks and other financial assets could eventually be traded using the technology.
What are the most common cryptocurrencies?
Bitcoin: Bitcoin was the first and is the most commonly traded cryptocurrency to date. The currency was developed by Satoshi Nakamoto in 2009, a mysterious figure who developed its blockchain. It has a market capitalisation of around $45 billion as of July 2017.
Ethereum: Developed in 2015, ethereum is the currency token used in the ethereum blockchain, the second most popular and valuable cryptocurrency. Ethereum has a market capitalisation of around $18bn as of July 2017. However, ethereum has had a turbulent journey. After a major hack in 2016 it split into two currencies, while its value has in recent months reached as high as $400 but crashed briefly to as low as 10 cents.
Ripple: Ripple is another distributed ledger system that was founded in 2012. Ripple can be used to track more kinds of transactions, not just of the cryptocurrency. It has been used by banks including Santander and UBS and has a market capitalisation of around $6.3 billion.
This currency is most similar in form to bitcoin, but has moved more quickly to develop new innovations, including faster payments and processes to allow many more transactions. The total value of all Litecoin is around $2.1 billion.
Why would you use a cryptocurrency?
Cryptocurrencies are known for being secure and providing a level of anonymity. Transactions in them cannot be faked or reversed and there tend to be low fees, making it more reliable than conventional currency. Their decentralised nature means they are available to everyone, where banks can be exclusive in who they will let open accounts. As a new form of cash, the cryptocurrency markets have been known to take off meaning a small investment can become a large sum over night. But the same works the other way. People look to invest in cryptocurrencies should be aware of the volatility of the market and the risks they take when buying.
Why the feds took down one of Bitcoin’s largest exchanges
Tracing Mt. Gox’s stolen coins led feds to Alexander Vinnik
This week, one of Bitcoin’s largest and most notorious coin exchanges
was brought down by law enforcement — and police and prosecutors are now beginning to explain why. On Thursday, the Department of Justice unsealed an indictment against Alexander Vinnik — thought to be the operator, or one of the operators of Bitcoin exchange BTC-e — charging him with 21 counts of money laundering and other related financial crimes. The counts range from operating an unlicensed money transmittal business to a variety of money laundering charges, including laundering associated with ransomware payouts and a theft from the now-defunct Mt Gox exchange. More generally, the indictment paints BTC-e as a hub of criminal activity, laundering the proceeds of everything from drug trafficking to ransomware attacks.
As some suspected, Vinnik’s alleged crimes go beyond just operating the exchange. Feds believe he played a role in the theft of more 800,000 bitcoin — about $400 million at the time — from Mt. Gox, a staggering loss that ultimately shuttered the exchange. According to the indictment, 530,000 of those bitcoin ended up passing through wallets controlled by or associated with Vinnik, although his role in the larger scheme remains unclear.Vinnik’s alleged crimes go beyond just operating a Bitcoin exchange
Vinnik himself is in custody, arrested while on vacation in Greece, but the Bitcoin world is still sorting through the larger implications of his arrest. BTC-e was one of the last major exchanges outside the reach of conventional finance, and now that it’s gone, it’s unclear what might replace it. There are many legitimate uses of Bitcoin, but Bitcoin transactions have also become essential for online crime — whether it’s ransomware or Silk-Road-style online marketplaces. There will continue to be demand for exchanges like BTC-e, and ____. With feds directly targeting exchanges that don’t play by the book, the split between the two halves of Bitcoin is becoming starker and starker.
BTC-e, founded in 2011, always stood out as an anomaly among the major Bitcoin exchanges. Even a cursory look at BTC-e flagged it as a little strange. “Their exchange prices always seemed weird and out of line with every other exchange, and I had wondered why,” Matthew Green, a professor at Johns Hopkins University told The Verge in an email.
Nicholas Weaver wrote at Lawfare that BTC-e was noted for its “sketchy ownership and control.” The exchange was supposedly located in Eastern Europe, but there were no clues as to who ran it — until now.300,000 bitcoin from Mt. Gox went to wallets tied to “BTC-e administrative accounts” But the big surprise in the indictment is how closely tied BTC-e is to a massive theft at Mt. Gox, one that eventually bankrupted the exchange in 2014. Founded in 2010, Mt. Gox dominated the Bitcoin world for years, at one point processing 80 percent of all bitcoin-to-currency transactions. Mt. Gox first suffered a multimillion-dollar theft in June 2011. When the exchange collapsed in 2014, the equivalent of nearly half a billion dollars was unaccounted for.
On Wednesday, in the wake of the arrest of Vinnik, WizSec published a blogpost presenting the findings of an investigation into the Mt. Gox thefts that they have apparently been preparing for years. According to WizSec, the Mt. Gox hot wallet private keys were stolen sometime in 2011, and the hacker (or multiple hackers) continued to steal bitcoin through 2012 and 2013. The bitcoin were laundered through wallets controlled by Alexander Vinnik. The indictment claims that 300,000 bitcoin were stolen from Mt. Gox went directly to three connected BTC-e accounts “directly linked” to “BTC-e administrative accounts” that only BTC-e admins and operators could have had access to.
At least one of the accounts — under the name “Vamnedam” — was controlled by Vinnik and “others known and unknown.” (The “others known” are either not named in the indictment or have been redacted from the published document.)Many of the charges allege more straightforward money laundering" More bitcoin from the theft were sent to other Mt. Gox wallets and wallets at a third exchange — the now-defunct Tradehill, which operated out of San Francisco, California. From there, they eventually ended up at BTC-e, in an account that was directly controlled by Vinnik. WizSec also claims that the wallets that laundered Mt. Gox coins also handled “coins stolen from Bitcoinica, Bitfloor and several other thefts from back in 2011 and 2012.”
It’s not clear whether Vinnik was directly involved in the Mt. Gox theft, or how close he is to any of those previous thefts, or even the CryptoWall ransomware hackers whose funds he is accused of laundering. But when it comes to Mt. Gox, at least, BTC-e’s proximity to the theft is fairly suspicious.“Anybody who thought about this for a second understood that law enforcement was working on a case against BTC-e" While the Mt. Gox allegations are the most eye-catching, many of the charges that brought down BTC-e allege more straightforward money laundering. The very first count listed in the indictment is for operating an unlicensed money-transmitting business: a criminal charge based on failing to register with FinCEN, an intelligence network that’s mandatory for all financial companies dealing with US customers.
Participating in FinCEN comes with a range of requirements, from registration to internal anti-money laundering programs. Since 2013, it’s been clear that Bitcoin exchanges had to follow those same rules, and for the most part, exchanges have complied — and prosecutors haven’t been shy about filing charges against services that don’t. In recent years, BTC-e has been the largest Bitcoin exchange not registered with FinCEN, a distinction that made it an obvious target for law enforcement, even without Vinnik’s alleged Mt. Gox involvement. “Anybody who thought about this for a second understood that law enforcement was working on a case against BTC-e,” said Jerry Brito, executive director of Coin Center. “The question was just whether the government would catch them.”“designed so that criminals could effect financial transactions under multiple layers of anonymity”
Where other counts in the indictment focus on money transfers linked to theft and ransomware, the first two — operation of an unlicensed money transmitter and conspiracy to commit money-laundering — focus on the technological capabilities of BTC-e itself, claiming that the exchange had a “criminal design.” “BTC-e’s system was designed so that criminals could accomplish financial transactions with anonymity and thereby avoid apprehension by law enforcement or seizure of funds,” the indictment says, pointing out that BTC-e only required “a username, password, and an email address,” unlike “legitimate payment processors or digital currency exchangers.” The indictment also points to suspicious usernames like “ISIS,” “CocaineCowboys,” “blackhathackers,” “dzkillerhacker,” and “hacker4hire” as additional support for the money-laundering allegations.
The language in the indictment about BTC-e’s “criminal design” mimics the indictment against Liberty Reserve — an anonymous currency service taken down by law enforcement in 2013 — which also accused the online exchange of having a “criminal design” and a system “designed so that criminals could effect financial transactions under multiple layers of anonymity.” (The Liberty Reserve indictment also took the time to point out that account names on the site included “Russia Hackers” and “Hacker Accounts.”) BTC-e’s website claimed that they required customers to provide proof of identity — namely, a scanned ID card and a scanned utility bill or bank statement — and forbid any US customers, letting them off the hook for FinCEN registration. But neither turned out to be true, according to the indictment.“Exchanges will go one of two ways. Either they’ll clean up their act… or they’ll go fully underground.”
Now that BTC-e is down for good, it could have a profound impact on the criminal ecosystem more broadly. BTC-e handled about 5 percent of total Bitcoin transactions, but recent research found that as much as 95 percent of ransomware cashouts happened through the platform. With most comparably sized exchanges already registered under FinCEN, the takedown could make it both harder and riskier for criminals to cash out — something law enforcement seems to be counting on. In the same Lawfare piece, Weaver says he thinks taking down BTC-e “will probably prove more important than the AlphaBay and Hansa takedowns” in fighting online crime. For Bitcoiners less invested in law enforcement’s war on dark web marketplaces, the lesson is a more ambiguous one. Cornell professor Emin Gun Sirer says the focus on FinCEN compliance could lead to a lasting split in Bitcoin markets, as exchanges face the choice of whether to comply with US government demands.
“Exchanges will go one of two ways,” Sirer says. “Either they will clean their act, by first shopping for the most lenient jurisdictions and complying with relevant KYC/AML laws, or they'll go ‘fully underground,’ and operate with no rules, behind Tor and other anonymous communication technologies. The most colorful drama ahead will involve exchanges, such as Bitfinex, that operate in the gray zone, where they seem to neither comply with relevant laws nor go fully underground.” For a technology with a surrounding community built on libertarian ideas, that may be a difficult pill to swallow. But as the past week has made clear, those that don’t will be taking a very serious risk.