Minnesota Rep. Tom Emmer Seeks Information on SEC’s Cryptocurrency Regulation

U.S. Representative Tom Emmer (R-MN-06) sent a letter to Gary Gensler, chair of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), to receive more information relating to the agency’s information seeking process relating to cryptocurrency and blockchain firms.

The letter, a bipartisan effort signed by multiple representatives, encouraged accountability and transparency, as the group outlined more than a dozen questions about the process.

Read More

Biden Expected to Sign First Executive Order Regulating Cryptocurrency

Joe Biden is set to sign an executive order that will begin the process of regulating the trading of cryptocurrency, as crypto becomes a viable alternative for Russians seeking to avoid the impact of economic sanctions.

According to ABC News, at least two anonymous Biden Administration officials said that the order will be issued this week, and has allegedly been in the planning stage since before the Russian invasion of Ukraine in late February. The order will outline the various steps that government agencies, including the Treasury Department, are to take to begin the process of imposing regulations on the buying and selling of digital currencies.

Read More

Commentary: Understanding Exchange-Traded Funds

Now that it’s easier than ever to trade stocks and crypto thanks to apps like Robinhood and Etrade, it’s time to think about other options. People were quick to jump on the crypto bandwagon when Doge went to the moon in early to mid-2021, but the crypto crash later that year reminded everyone what an unsafe investment it really is. For those looking to diversify their investment portfolio, there are options beyond the new-school cryptocurrencies, or the traditional stocks and bonds. Keep reading to learn about exchange-traded funds or ETFs.

To put it as simply as possible, an exchange-traded fund is like taking a specific type of investment, say a commodity like gold, and collecting it together in a single group. Instead of buying gold on your own, you can invest in shares of a gold ETF. But why would you want to do that? Well, gold is expensive. To buy a meaningful amount you’d need to invest thousands of dollars. Not to mention you’d now have giant bars of gold lying around your house. You need far less capital to invest in an ETF. (And you don’t have a hoard of gold in your basement like some kind of dragon.)

Read More

University Official Defends Decision to Accept Crypto Donations

Chief Financial Officer of San Diego State University’s (SDSU) Campanile Foundation, David Fuhriman, spoke to Campus Reform about the school’s decision to accept Bitcoin and cryptocurrency donations.

Fuhriman noted the push to expand SDSU’s donor base, explained how the donated funds will be used, and expressed optimism for the asset class.

Read More

Biden Reportedly Plans to Regulate Crypto over National Security Concerns

President Joe Biden is set to announce guidelines for regulating cryptocurrencies in the coming weeks, Barron’s reported.

The initiative will involve the State Department, Treasury Department, National Economic Council, Council of Economic Advisers and White House National Security Council, according to Barron’s, and it will charge the agencies with developing a coherent regulatory framework for digital assets.

Read More

Crypto Market Sees $130 Billion Sell-off over Last 24 Hours

The cryptocurrency market lost nearly $130 billion in value over the last 24 hours as major digital coins continue their extended sell-off, multiple sources reported.

Bitcoin dropped 4.81% to $33,693.63 over the last 24 hours while Ethereum slid 9.41% to $2,206.22, according to Coinbase. Both assets fell to their lowest level since July 2021, and each has lost roughly 50% of its highest value.

Cryptocurrencies have trended similarly to stocks, which have seen a sell-off since the start of 2022. Investors have dumped their assets, especially technology stocks, in preparation for tighter monetary policies from the Federal Reserve, including interest rate hikes and halting of the central bank’s asset purchasing stimulus program.

Read More

Analysis: Five Controversial Policies Tucked Inside $1.2 Trillion Infrastructure Bill Passed by Congress

The final $1.2 trillion INVEST in America Act passed the Democrat-led House in a late night vote on Friday. Tucked away inside the infrastructure bill are some controversial policies, including these five:

1. The cryptocurrency tax provision in the Senate version of the bill was the subject of scrutiny from Democrats and Republicans. The language was not amended in the final bill that passed the House. The legislation includes an IRS reporting requirement for brokers of cryptocurrency transactions.

2. Under the “national motor vehicle per-mile user fee pilot” section of the bill, there is a pilot program to create a vehicle miles traveled system for taxing drivers based on their annual vehicle mileage. During his confirmation process, Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg floated the idea of taxing motorists based on the number of miles they travel each year as a way to partly fund the legislation. The Biden administration backed off of full-scale development of the controversial proposal, settling instead for a pilot program.

Read More

Commentary: Real Estate Scams Are on the Rise as the Housing Market Remains Hot

When Jeff, a retired marketing consultant from Chicago, was closing on his home sale, he received a new set of instructions at the last minute on where to send several thousand dollars in closing expenses. At first blush, the email looked legit with an official-looking logo and professional language specifying the amount owed and itemized expenses. But one thing caught his eye: The email address looked strange. Just to be safe, he called his mortgage broker.

“Don’t do that!” his broker told him in an alarmed voice. It was a scam. If he hit “send,” his closing fees would go to a thief who had been monitoring his emails. “I was a keystroke away from losing thousands of dollars,” Jeff recalled.

As the housing market sizzles across the country – with nearly 6 million homes bought last year – scammers have been finding new ways to tap into this once-secure market. Real estate transactions still demand reams of paperwork and regulations involving lawyers, brokers, title insurance companies and banks, but the fact that much of this work now takes place online gives thieves countless opportunities to exploit vulnerable buyers. Last year, more than 11,000 homeowners were scammed out of more than $220 million in closing funds alone, according to the American Land and Title Association, a trade group that represents professionals who perform property transactions.

Read More

China Outlaws All Cryptocurrency Transactions, Mining Activities

China’s central bank announced Friday that all cryptocurrency transactions and mining activities are illegal, banning financial institutions from providing digital asset services.

“Financial institutions and non-bank payment institutions cannot offer services to activities and operations related to virtual currencies,” the People’s Bank of China (PBOC) said in a statement Friday, according to a translation by CNBC. These services include derivatives trading, order matching and token issuance.

Read More

El Salvador Becomes First Country to Use Bitcoin as National Currency

El Salvador became the first country to adopt Bitcoin as legal tender Tuesday, allowing Salvadorans to use the cryptocurrency to purchase goods and services.

President Nayib Bukele officially announced the adoption of Bitcoin as a national currency in a press release late Monday, tweeting that the country had bought its first 400 bitcoins.

Read More

Hackers Steal over $600 Million in One of the Biggest Crypto-Heists Ever

Hackers stole over $600 million in digital assets Tuesday from users of cryptocurrency platform Poly Network in one of the largest digital token heists ever.

Poly Network, a decentralized finance (DeFi) platform that allows users to trade digital currencies with one another, announced the hack Tuesday. Cybersecurity firm SlowMist, which investigated the hack, said the total value of assets stolen was $610 million.

Read More

Founder of Papa John’s Headlines Cryptocurrency Event

John Schnatter, the founder of Papa John’s pizza, headlined a unique event for cryptocurrency supporters and investors on Thursday, ahead of the Bitcoin 2021 conference in Miami. 

Schnatter was selected as the featured speaker because the first physical purchase in history made with Bitcoin was the purchase of two Papa John’s pizzas in 2010 with 10,000 Bitcoins. 

Read More

In An Effort to Stem Out-of-Control Hyperinflation, Venezuela Cuts ‘Five Zeros’

Nicolas Maduro

Reuters   Venezuela on Monday slashed five zeros from prices as part of a broad economic plan that President Nicolas Maduro says will tame hyperinflation but critics call another raft of failed socialist policies that will push the chaotic country deeper into crisis. Streets were quiet and shops were closed…

Read More