The Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation division released its annual report on Thursday, revealing that it is continuing to prioritize cybercrime, employment tax concerns, and cryptocurrency tax-related issues, Accounting Today reports. The division reported that it had identified a total of $1.8 billion of tax fraud so far this year and has successfully prosecuted 91.2 percent of its financial crime cases.
Georgia Governor Brian Kemp named Bakkt CEO Kelly Loeffler to replace retiring GA Senator Johnny Isakson, who plans to step down from office at the end of the year for health reasons. Loeffler, 49, is expected to bring a decidedly pro-cryptocurrency voice to the U.S. Senate, having served as Intercontinental Exchange’s (ICE) digital asset head prior to taking on the leadership role at Bakkt.
The South African Reserve Bank (SARB) will reportedly implement new rules for cryptocurrency use early next year, according to local media outlet Business Report. The new guidelines will be designed to prevent people from using digital currency to thwart the country’s currency controls.
U.S. law enforcement arrested 36-year-old Virgil Griffith on Thursday based on allegations that he traveled to North Korea earlier this year to provide them technical assistance in evading U.S. sanctions, NBC News reports. Griffith is reportedly an Ethereum developer.
The Central Bank of Russia has signaled its support for any possible ban on cryptocurrency within the Russian Federation, Russian media reports. That news comes in the wake of several weeks in which some observers believed that the country might have been warming up to the technology.
A new report from blockchain forensics firm CipherTrace claims that cryptocurrency theft has increased in 2019, when compared with similar theft in 2018. According to Reuters, which obtained the report, the rise in stolen cryptocurrency was due to the increase in money moving through digital currency exchanges and more large incidents of theft.
Government officials in Shenzhen have signaled a crackdown on illicit cryptocurrency activities and claim that they’ve identified at least 39 entities violating China’s ban on cryptocurrency trading, Sanyan Finance reported today. The announcement comes as The People’s Bank of China has confirmed it is intensifying efforts to combat digital currency transactions in the country.
Galaxy Digital Holding Ltd reportedly plans to launch two new Bitcoin funds that will target older investors, Bloomberg reports. In a phone interview, the cryptocurrency firm’s CEO, Michael Novogratz, told Bloomberg that the plan is to attract accredited and institutional investors aged 50 to 80 to cryptocurrency investing.
LocalBitcoins has announced that it has been registered as an approved virtual currency provider by Finland’s Financial Services Authority (FIN-FSA). That registration is now required for all digital currency providers if they intend to provide services in Finland.
IRS Criminal Investigation Chief John Fort confirmed this week that his agency is now focused on investigating possible tax issues involving Bitcoin ATMs and cryptocurrency kiosks, Bloomberg Law reports. Fort revealed the agency’s interest in the machines during a recent blockchain conference in New York:
Worldline Partners with Bitcoin Suisse to Provide Merchant Cryptocurrency Payments Services in Switzerland
European payments service firm Worldline is partnering with Swiss cryptocurrency company Bitcoin Suisse to provide digital currency payment services to consumers and merchants in Switzerland. Bitcoin Suisse recently announced that the two companies have signed a letter of intent, which is designed to increase acceptance and adoption of digital currency across the country.
Former European Central Bank President Jean-Claude Trichet had some harsh words for cryptocurrency over the weekend, the South China Morning Post reports. Trichet noted that he’s opposed to Bitcoin and suggested that cryptocurrency should not represent the future of money.
Silicon Valley venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz will be launching a new course for entrepreneurs who want to create cryptocurrency and blockchain startups, CNBC reports. The firm announced the news on Friday. The fund’s co-head, Chris Dixon, told CNBC that the project will offer entrepreneurs a “new way” to build their startups”
In June 2018, researchers John Griffin and Amin Shams published a paper arguing that trading patterns on the blockchain suggested that the Tether stablecoin had been utilized to manipulate the price of Bitcoin during 2017’s historic cryptocurrency bull run. A new forensic study from the duo has reportedly found that the manipulation was caused by “one large player.”
The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has formally launched a fund to enable donors to make donations using the bitcoin and ether digital currencies, CNBC reports. The UNICEF cryptocurrency fund will be used for donation storage and distribution of those donations.
A class-action lawsuit filed on Sunday accuses Bitfinex and Tether of manipulating the price of Bitcoin, and “propping and popping the largest bubble in history,” Bloomberg reports. The lawsuit alleges that the defendants’ actions have likely caused damages of more than $1.4 trillion.
When asked this week whether his company would be launching its own cryptocurrency to compete with Facebook’s proposed Libra digital currency payment system, Apple CEO Tim Cook told the newspaper Les Echos that there are no plans for an Apple digital currency, CNBC reports.
Ohio Treasurer Robert Sprague announced yesterday that his office is immediately suspending the OhioCrypto.com site, which was launched last November by former Treasurer Josh Mandel to provide the state’s businesses with an option to pay their taxes using bitcoin.
A new survey from YouGov reveals that the vast majority of Americans have at least some passing familiarity with cryptocurrency. In fact, the researchers discovered that 81 percent of those surveyed reported that they had heard of at least one digital currency.
The Intercontinental Exchange’s Bakkt bitcoin futures trading officially launched on Sunday, with the first physically-deliverable bitcoin futures trade executed at a price of $10,115, according to a tweet from Bakkt. According to reports, trading was relatively slow, with only five contracts traded in the first hour and a little more than two-dozen completed within the next ten hours.