Trader at Chicago Firm Stole Millions in BTC – Faces 20 Year Sentence

Bitcoin Trader Facing 20 Year Prison Sentence in $2 Million Caper

Late 2017 will long be remembered as the time when bitcoin went mainstream. Prices were mooning, and the general atmosphere was one of fear of missing out. That sentiment was especially true in trading circles, and more traditional outlets were experimenting with cryptocurrency divisions in order to take advantage. One such experiment went sour, as a trader attempted to play upon relative company ignorance by shorting bitcoin and covering personal margin calls, with the affair ending in million dollar losses and a first of its kind federal prosecution.

Also read: Citibank India Bans Bitcoin 

Bitcoin Trader Faces 20 Years in Prison

Consolidated Trading, LLC’s Joseph Kim, according to federal authorities, emailed, “Until the end I was perversely trying to fix what I had already done. I can’t believe I did not stop myself when I had the money to give back, and I will live with that for the rest of my life. You have every apology I have to give, I am sorry to betray you all like this.”

John R. Lausch Jr, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois in conjunction with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), insists Mr. Kim “worked as an assistant trader for…a Chicago trading firm that recently formed a cryptocurrency group to engage in cryptocurrency trading…Over a two-month period in the Fall of last year, Kim misappropriated at least $2 million of the firm’s Bitcoin and Litecoin cryptocurrency for his own personal benefit, and he made false statements and representations to the company’s management in order to conceal the theft.”

Bitcoin Trader Facing 20 Year Prison Sentence in $2 Million Caper
Mr. Kim

According to reports, Mr. Kim had previous experience in cryptocurrency by way of working in South Korea for a time after graduating from the prestigious University of Chicago. He joined Consolidated in the Summer of 2016 as an assistant bond trader. Employees describe him as having gone by the online name “degen,” as in ‘degenerative gambler’.

It’s the first federal criminal prosecution of its kind in Chicago, and Mr. Kim, 24, is being charged with one count of wire fraud punishable by up to 20 years in prison. U.S. v. Kim, 18-cr-107, states “from September through November 2017, Kim transferred more than $2 million of the trading firm’s Bitcoin and Litecoin to personal accounts to cover his own trading losses, which had been incurred while trading cryptocurrency futures on foreign exchanges.”

Attempting to Cover Tracks

By Fall of 2017, Mr. Kim was made part of a cryptocurrency wing of Consolidated, moving from its bond division. That was a heady time for crypto, especially bitcoin, and price action steeped to unheard of highs. Mainstream trading outlets were itching to be part of the market. Shortly after, the complaint alleges, Mr. Kim moved nearly 1,000 litecoin from company coffers to his own, an “intermediary holding space” he reportedly offered as excuse for the unorthodox maneuver due to Bitfinex exchange issues. Something like that, according to prosecutors, was also done with bitcoin, to the tune of 3.2 million USD, as a way to cover personal losses (1.2 million USD was eventually returned).  

When questioned at the time by company officials, Mr. Kim is reported to have claimed he returned at least the litecoin (his alleged dealings in bitcoin hadn’t been discovered). When Mr. Kim was suspected of mishandling bitcoin, he again offered excuses that the company increasingly worried were not adding up, though Mr. Kim seemed to assure all was well. By late November, 280 bitcoin were suspected missing.

Bitcoin Trader Facing 20 Year Prison Sentence in $2 Million Caper
John R. Lausch, Jr., United States Attorney

What seems to be clear is Mr. Kim used bitcoin for personal trading, and Consolidated and federal authorities believe he stole over 280 bitcoin at one time or another. Though he did manage to transfer some back, inevitably losses began to add up. Mr. Kim reportedly admitted to the company he indeed transferred 55 bitcoin from the company to his personal wallet. He also allegedly came forward to explain he was trying to short bitcoin, at times converting litecoin for that purpose. There are also allegations he used company bitcoin accounts to help cover margin losses.

As it stands, Consolidated was able to recover some 144 bitcoin, but claims to have lost as much as 600,000 USD as a result of Mr. Kim’s doings. Mr. Kim and his attorney have not been made available for comment. He is expected to face a federal judge today, 16 February 2018, in order to enter a plea.

What are your thoughts on this federal case? Let us know in the comments section below.


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Bank of America Has Filed More Cryptocurrency Patents Than Any Other Company

Bank of America Has Filed More Cryptocurrency Patents Than Any Other Company

Think of cryptocurrency developers and names like Satoshi Nakamoto, Gavin Andresen, and Nick Szabo spring to mind. Individuals who place principles ahead of profit and are more aligned with open source principles than filing patents and closely guarding their secrets. The only secret Satoshi guarded was his identity. It may come as a surprise then to learn that in the last decade, the company that has more cryptocurrency patents than any other is in many bitcoiners’ eyes the antithesis of everything decentralized currency stands for – Bank of America.

Also read: Crypto Exchanges Launch P2P Platforms from Latvia and Bulgaria

Bitcoin Patents Pile Up

Since Bitcoin’s genesis block was mined nine years ago, over 2,000 related patents have been filed, Bitcoin Patent Report reveals. In the cryptocurrency’s early years, the number of patents was low, averaging under 50 a year, but by 2015 that figure began to pick up and by 2016 was growing exponentially. Some of the companies whose names feature in the top ten are to be expected, such as Bitflyer and IBM, whose interest in blockchain is well documented. The computing giant has filed a total of 34 cryptocurrency related patents, but is outplaced by South Korean brokerage Coinplug, which is third on the list with 39.

Bank of America Has Filed More Cryptocurrency Patents Than Any Other Company

Some entrants on the list are unexpected, either because they have publicly expressed little interest in cryptocurrency, or are not commonly associated with cutting edge technology. It makes sense that Mastercard would have an interest in digital payment systems, for example, but it is surprising to see them ranked ninth for cryptocurrency related patents, with 21 filings. The greatest surprise of all is reserved for top spot, which is claimed by Bank of America, with no less than 45 patents. Last year, a total of 1,250 cryptocurrency patents were filed, demonstrating the extent to which corporations have finally caught on to bitcoin’s huge potential.

Encouraging Innovation or Stifling Competition?

A patent grants its holder exclusive rights to an invention, such as a piece of technology, for a certain period of time. While designed as a means of protecting the intellectual property of inventors, the system is not without its critics who believe that patenting deters innovation and wastes resources. For example, companies may apply for overly broad patents and then use skilled lawyers to prevent anyone from encroaching on them. Certainly, patents weren’t the first thought of the cypherpunks who sought to make the internet a better and safer place through developing cryptographic tools and later cryptocurrency.

Bank of America Has Filed More Cryptocurrency Patents Than Any Other Company

Any individual or organization can file a patent, and just because one is registered and approved doesn’t mean the technology has any merit. In other words, the number of patents an entity files is not evidence of their expertise in the field. Bitcoin’s earliest developers were more interested in creating revolutionary technology than applying to have their code protected by centralized databases. One later entrant to the scene who is synonymous with patents, however, is Craig Wright. He makes it to number two on the list by dint of EITC Holdings, which has filed 42 patents.

Bitcoin Patent Report also reveals that 50% of all crypto-related patents come from China (910) followed by the U.S. (676), U.K. (112), and South Korea (98). Regardless of the merits of each patent, and the moral case for their very existence, they indicate the unprecedented level of interest in bitcoin and the blockchain ecosystem. From insurrectionary cypherpunks to the largest corporations, everyone now has a stake in the game.

How do you feel about companies patenting cryptocurrency technology? Let us know in the comments section below.


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Malaysia Central Bank to ”Let Public Decide” Crypto’s Fate

Malaysia Central Bank to Let Public Decide Crypto’s Fate

Malaysia’s central bank, Bank Negara, is set to release a “concept paper,” calling for the public to decide the fate of cryptocurrencies in the country, according to a recent report. Bank Negara governor Muhammad Ibrahim is said to have assured the bank will neither ban nor recognize cryptocurrency, and that the paper will be finalized in February.

Also read: Internet Pioneer Who Influenced Assange & Snowden Dead at 70

Malaysia Lets Public Decide

At the 40th anniversary dinner of Harvard Business School Alumni Club of Malaysia, Bank Negara governor Muhammad Ibrahim said, “Basically, we will let the cryptocurrency promoters including bitcoin, ethereum and ripple to be more transparent, the methods to be more transparent and people behind the scene are to be more transparent too. By doing so, the public can decide on its own if they want to invest in cryptocurrencies.’’

Malaysia in recent years has been an economic tiger, its economy growing faster than more powerful regional cousins South Korea, and even outpacing France and Australia. Its government is unusually paternalistic with regard to the economy, however, though less so as it has developed. Politically it occupies an odd space in Southeast Asia as a federal constitutional elective monarchy. Something akin to the Westminster system, the king is chosen in rotation by hereditary families, and he acts as ceremonial head of state, appointing upper parliament house members and ministers.

Malaysia Central Bank to Let Public Decide Crypto’s Fate

Mr. Ibrahim’s comments follow Finance Minister II Johari Abdul Ghani who explained the country wouldn’t ban cryptocurrency completely so as to avoid curbing “creativity and innovation in [the] financial sector,” according to a report. This is at least the second time the government has reverted to public opinion with regard to cryptocurrencies. Back in December of last year, the central bank put together crypto regulatory guidelines for both citizens and businesses in the country.

Bold Policy

While Mr. Ibrahim’s latest comments might seem a victory for freer market forces, a hint of the old paternalism also pervaded the report. He waxed on about exactly how much debt citizens should have relative to housing prices, broadening to the regulator’s role in an economy. He mentioned understanding the corporate sector is always looking for a relaxation of rules, but that the government’s job was to preserve “stability.”

Malaysia Central Bank to Let Public Decide Crypto’s Fate

“When necessary, policy makers should be bold in drafting policies especially when the operation in financial and economic system face pressure or the yardsticks are no longer effective,”  he reminded.

For crypto enthusiasts, the hope is Bank Negara really does listen to its citizens, as the country continues to have a vibrant scene of cryptocurrency exchanges in the traditional sense along with peer-to-peer options. 

Do you think the central bank will keep its word and listen to the will of the people? Let us know in the comments section below.


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Korean Government Answers Petition Against Unfair Cryptocurrency Regulations

Korean Government Answers Petition Against Unfair Cryptocurrency Regulations

The South Korean government has officially responded to the popular petition, with over 20,000 signers, against unfair cryptocurrency regulations. The regulators defended their crypto measures and outlined additional regulatory plans.

Also read: Japan’s DMM Bitcoin Exchange Opens for Business With 7 Cryptocurrencies

Popular Petition Answered

South Korea has answered the petition entitled “Has the government ever dreamed a happy dream for the people?” Filed on December 28, the one-month petition asks the government to avoid excessive regulations for cryptocurrencies in the country and “not make unfair regulations on virtual currency investment.”

According to the rules set by the Blue House, the government will respond to any petition with over 200,000 signatures within a month. On January 16, the above petition surpassed that threshold, as news.Bitcoin.com previously reported. By January 27, a total of 228,295 people had signed and the government subsequently responded to it on Wednesday.

Korean Government Answers Petition Against Unfair Cryptocurrency Regulations
“Has the government ever dreamed a happy dream for the people?” petition which ended on January 27.

Hong Nam-ki, Minister of the Office for Government Policy Coordination (OPC) said in his response:

It is the basic policy of the government to prevent illegal acts and uncertainties in the process of virtual currency transactions, and actively nurture blockchain technology…Transparency of virtual currency transactions within the framework of the current law is a top priority…We have been attentive and careful, keeping an open eye on market conditions, international trends, and all means”

Government Still Divided on Regulations

Korean Government Answers Petition Against Unfair Cryptocurrency Regulations
Hong Nam-ki.

The Korean government started announcing regulatory measures for cryptocurrencies in the middle of December. Since then, the regulators have considered a wide range of measures to curb speculation of the crypto market. They implemented the real-name system on January 30, ending anonymous crypto trading via virtual accounts.

The most extreme measures have been proposed by the Korean Ministry of Justice, including an outright ban on cryptocurrency trading and closing down crypto exchanges. However, other financial regulators in the country did not support these proposals. Last week, the Korean prime minister stated that closing down crypto exchanges is not a serious consideration.

Hong was quoted by Reuters on Wednesday:

The government is still divided with many opinions ranging from an outright ban on cryptocurrency trading to bringing the institutions that handle the currency into the system.

In addition, he explained that the regulators will “develop ways to tax virtual currencies, led by the finance ministry, and should announce measures within the first half of the year to develop the blockchain industry.”

What do you think of the South Korean Government’s response to the petition? Let us know in the comments section below.


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South Korea Considers Bitlicense-Style System for Cryptocurrency Exchanges

South Korea Considers Bitlicense-Style System for Cryptocurrency Exchanges

The South Korean government is considering introducing an approval system for cryptocurrency exchanges based on the Bitlicense model, developed by the New York State Department of Financial Services.

Also read: Japan Cracks Down on Foreign ICO Agency Operating Without License

Bitlicense Comes to Korea

The South Korean regulators are considering introducing an approval system for cryptocurrency exchanges, Business Korea reported. An official participating in the government’s virtual currency task force, which has been discussing the matter, revealed on Monday:

We are positively considering the adoption of an exchange approval system as the additional regulation on cryptocurrencies. We are most likely to benchmark the model of the State of New York that gives a selective permission.

South Korea Considers Bitlicense-Style System for Cryptocurrency ExchangesThe State of New York allows exchanges to trade cryptocurrencies only when they have obtained a charter or a license, known as Bitlicense, from the New York State Department of Financial Services (NYSDFS). Its restrictive controls and capital requirements have led to only 6 firms being approved so far. Circle Internet Financial, XRP II, Coinbase Inc, and Bitflyer USA have received Bitlicenses, while charters were granted to Gemini Trust Company and Itbit Trust Company.

South Korea Considers Bitlicense-Style System for Cryptocurrency Exchanges“When the country accepts the model from New York, it will be able to bring cryptocurrencies into the institutional system as well as supervise the market in an orderly manner, according to the government,” the news outlet conveyed. While emphasizing that the final decision will likely be made after local elections in June, the publication asserted:

The Ministry of Strategy and Finance is aggressively planning to adopt the exchange approval systems.

At the end of January, the NYDFS requested cryptocurrency trading data from the South Korean regulators after two agencies conducted inspections of 6 major South Korean banks.

No Need for Extreme Measures

The South Korean government began announcing regulatory measures for cryptocurrencies in the middle of December. On December 15, bitcoin was trading at over 20.2 million won (~USD$18,500), according to data from one of the country’s largest cryptocurrency exchanges by volume, Bithumb.

South Korea Considers Bitlicense-Style System for Cryptocurrency Exchanges

In an effort to curb speculation, the Korean government considered extreme measures including an outright ban of crypto trading and closing down crypto exchanges.

With the price of bitcoin at approximately 9,747,000 won (~$8,967) at the time of this writing, the Korean regulators believe that “there is no need to use a hard-line policy, including a total ban on trading, as the speculation has subdued,” the news outlet noted.

Furthermore, the country’s prime minister confirmed last week at a National Assembly meeting that closing down cryptocurrency exchanges is “not a serious consideration.” Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Strategy and Finance Kim Do-yeon also recently proclaimed:

We don’t need to get rid of or suppress digital currencies.

Do you think the Korean government will implement a Bitlicense-style set of regulations? What do you think it will do to the Korean crypto market? Let us know in the comments section below.


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This Week in Bitcoin: Who Do You Believe?

This Week in Bitcoin: Who Do You Believe?

The bitcoin space is a constant battle of truth versus untruth, rumor versus fact and optimism versus pessimism. With market manipulators up to their usual tricks and salty altcoiners crying FUD, it can be hard to tell what’s real and what’s fake. This week truly had it all: keks, lies, and videotape beamed live from the U.S. Senate. Throw in the obligatory multi-million dollar hack, and you’ve got all the makings of another seismic week in bitcoin.

Also read: Japan Cracks Down on Foreign ICO Agency Operating Without License

The Rumor Mill Goes Into Overdrive

The week started with rumors that China was banning bitcoin – yes, again. Not only that but they would be cracking down on mining too and laying the banhammer in Hong Kong into the bargain. It turns out the story was actual fake news, but that didn’t stop a couple of lesser publications from running with it. It was an elaborate hoax that showed much more sophistication than the average Nigerian phishing email, and was clearly an attempt at shorting the markets for monetary gain. As we reported:

The objective of the bogus email’s senders was to spread rumours and panic, in the hope of manipulating the price of bitcoin, after taking short positions on bitcoin futures and betting that the price of bitcoin will fall, said Leonhard Weese, president of the Hong Kong bitcoin association.

Discrediting fake news is one thing, but what about news that’s yet to occur? Who do you believe when it comes to predicting bitcoin’s future movements? Two very different sources gave their views on where bitcoin’s headed this year, one pessimistic, the other largely optimistic. While a central banker was trotting out the usual apocalyptic proclamations about bitcoin being a Ponzi and a disaster, a group of luminaries were predicting more positive price movements for the year ahead.

This Week in Bitcoin: Who Do You Believe?

Bitcoin Gets The Hero It Deserves

Tuesday saw  the Senate hearing on cryptocurrencies, which was interpreted as mostly positive for bitcoin, despite SEC chairman Jay Clayton opining that every ICO to date has issued tokens that constitute a security, not a utility. The hearing was also noteworthy for the first recorded usage of the word “HODL” in the U.S. Senate, a feat which made an instant hero of CFTC chairman Chris Giancarlo, whose Twitter follower count “did a bitcoin” and grew exponentially in the aftermath of the hearing.

Other major stories that got heads talking this week include Forbes’ Crypto Rich List which is either harmless fun or a gross invasion of privacy depending on your perspective. Weiss Ratings defended its decision to give bitcoin a C+, and there was good news from Korea, where the PM confirmed that crypto exchanges are in no danger of being shut down provided they play by the rules. As always, you’ll catch the best of this week’s stories in the This Week in Bitcoin podcast, embedded below.

Bitcoin Springs a Bear Trap

It looked like bitcoin was back on track after a glorious green candle sent it scurrying above $9k, but the joy was to be short lived. Possibly feeling the effects of the global slump induced by the sliding stock market, bitcoin was dragged back into the low $8k territory, where it’s been floundering every since. Eric Wall sees a clear correlation between the crypto markets and the U.S. stock market. Watching the bitcoin price ticker rise and fall can be heart-stopping stuff; you can’t blame Steve Wozniak for tapping out and selling the bulk of his BTC.

This Week in Bitcoin: Who Do You Believe?

Finally, Ripple came in for scrutiny after Bitmex Research revealed just how centralized the XRP is, and the IOTA mafia were out in force after Andreas Brekken dared to deliver a few home truths in his latest shitcoin review. Still, better to be an irate IOTA holder than a Nano holder with your XRB in Bitgrail. $170 million of cryptocurrency lost due to a withdrawal bug that was mercilessly exploited for months. Next week can we please have no hacks, no phishing attacks, no bulls, and no baseless cries of “FUD”?

What was your favorite story from this week in bitcoin? Let us know in the comments section below.


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New Crypto Exchanges Launch in South Korea Despite Lack of Fiat Deposits

New Crypto Exchanges Launch in South Korea Despite Lack of Fiat Deposits

A number of new cryptocurrency exchanges are launching in South Korea despite being unable to provide full service due to regulatory challenges. Since the Korean government enforced the real-name system on cryptocurrency accounts, banks have only been providing fiat deposit services to the country’s four largest crypto exchanges.

Also read: Japan’s DMM Bitcoin Exchange Opens for Business With 7 Cryptocurrencies

Exchanges Undeterred by Regulations

New Crypto Exchanges Launch in South Korea Despite Lack of Fiat Deposits
South Korean regulator talking about the real-name system.

A number of new cryptocurrency exchanges are opening in South Korea despite regulatory uncertainty and the inability to accept fiat deposits. The challenge comes from the new system, enforced on January 30, which requires cryptocurrency traders to use real-name accounts to deposit money for trading at crypto exchanges.

While six major banks have the ability to service cryptocurrency accounts, they “have been converting only existing virtual accounts to real-name accounts for four large cryptocurrency exchanges” – Bithumb, Upbit, Coinone, and Korbit. The Investor elaborated:

The banks have also been refusing to issue new real-name accounts for other cryptocurrency exchanges, citing uncertainties and security concerns.

Zeniex

New Crypto Exchanges Launch in South Korea Despite Lack of Fiat Deposit ServiceNew crypto exchange Zeniex announced last week that it will begin service on February 12. The company explained that its launch “has been delayed by a month due to the latest regulations designed by the Korean government to cool the overheated cryptocurrency market,” the news outlet reported. Initially, the exchange will support bitcoin, bitcoin cash, ether, ethereum classic, litecoin, quantum, eos, bytom, and 0x.

Zeniex CEO Choi Kyung-joon was quoted detailing:

It’s currently difficult to provide our complete services due to delays in issuing real-name bank accounts for trading…Despite these circumstances, we have decided to go ahead with the launch to service our customers who have been waiting for our opening.

With the bank account problem, traders “can only buy and sell cryptocurrencies with bitcoins because major banks are putting off confirming and issuing real-name bank accounts,” the publication added.

Dexko

New Crypto Exchanges Launch in South Korea Despite Lack of Fiat Deposit ServiceAnother crypto exchange named Dexko announced on Friday that it will start accepting pre-registration of users with the aim to launch its cryptocurrency exchange on March 15, the Investor also reported. Initially, the exchange will support 10 cryptocurrencies including bitcoin, ether, bitcoin cash, litecoin, and ripple. Pre-registration runs from February 5 to 25, according to the company’s website.

The firm will exempt trading fees for a month for pre-registered users at launch, the news outlet detailed. Kim Yong-ho, the CEO of Korea Digital Exchange which operates the exchange, commented:

We worked hard to remove defects and minimize customer inconvenience by conducting in-depth analysis on other exchanges…Dexko has completed all the legal and systematic requirements and is preparing to introduce won-based trading soon.

Chinese Exchanges

Two Chinese exchanges are also planning to enter the South Korean market. Earlier this month, Okcoin reportedly reached a final investment agreement with South Korean game company NHN Entertainment Corp, which was previously part of Naver. “Under the agreement, Okcoin will provide its own trading system and NHN Entertainment will operate a domestic server and respond to customers,” Business Korea described. The company plans to trade more than 60 cryptocurrencies against the Korean won.

Huobi is also planning to enter the Korean market in the first quarter of this year, the publication noted. Before the Chinese government closed down all cryptocurrency trading last year, the two exchanges were among the very largest in the world as measured by volume.

What do you think of these new crypto exchanges launching in Korea? Let us know in the comments section below.


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Bitcoin’s Volatility Is a Feature, Not a Bug

Bitcoin’s Death is Not the End of the World

Another suicide has made its way to media scrutiny, and crypto markets plummeting was promptly highlighted as the ultimate cause. It’s time to consider our mental health as investors in light of bitcoin’s infamous feature – volatility.

Also read: Landmark Senate Crypto Hearing Seen as Mostly Positive by Bitcoiners 

Bitcoin’s ”Death” Is Not the End of the World

Dear Reader, perhaps you’re considering a jump into the bitcoin investing pool. The waters, while choppy, seem warm and inviting. They are in a lot of ways. Prior to laying down any significant sums, it’s right and good to help you orient yourself for what’s ahead. First, you’re valued. That’s right. For decentralized currencies to work, we have to have a strange kind of faith in your being rational an actor enough to expand the network, either as an investor, hodler, or through development and mining aspects. You don’t have to be a good person necessarily, but you do have to possess at least slivers of our ethos, finding value in a trustless, borderless, payment system and currency. And that you do makes you valuable.

Contrary to portrayals in the media or government schooling textbooks, freer markets, quasi-anarchic systems such as bitcoin and crypto aren’t looking to gain at your demise. Just the opposite is true, in fact: everyone needs you to thrive, to do well. The more people having a great experience with cryptocurrencies, finding meaning within it in their own ways, the more innovation, growth, and eventual adoption. People feeling used, stupid, sorted as if this were some great Darwinian struggle for financial existence runs counter to literally everything bitcoin is about. That’s Old World thinking. That’s the Ponzi of fiat’s newer money getting into favored hands first, circulating down to the rubes later through inflation or redistribution schemes. That’s not bitcoin. That’s not us. We want you to see bitcoin/crypto as a long term project, and nothing like a get rich quick idea. You need to be very much alive to help us all get there.  

Bitcoin’s Death is Not the End of the World

The world’s most popular decentralized currency has a large, blunt pimp hand: price volatility. It’s brutal. It slaps down those who swagger into its orbit, hoping to strike it rich. The irony is that its crazy bounces, stair climbs, parabolas are what attracted hordes in the later part of 2017. As we’ve seen, it has since been their undoing. Stories in the popular press around the globe are beginning to emerge about the aftermath, from a Washington Post feature on Kentucky’s heartbreaking community of glossy-eyed, fevered bitcoiners to South Korean news about yet another suicide in relation to crypto losses.

Bitcoin has had a price nearly since its inception, not long after. Tenths of a penny notwithstanding, its balloon in this area has been well documented. Complexity surrounds its value, and while authors such as myself feel the tech is in some ways undervalued, really no one expected the damn thing to be units of magnitude like it is now. Sure, you’ll read a variety of claims, but most of that is marketing hype for media attention. Bitcoin has the hash power. It has the miners. It has user adoption numbers dwarfing all others. It has the brand. Might it continue to be the standout among its asset class is anyone’s guess. No one can say with certainty.

Bitcoin’s Death is Not the End of the World

Bitcoin Can Die

Bitcoin can die. It can be taken to near zero a variety of ways. The same is true for all cryptocurrencies, no matter levels of decentralization or other salient factors. If you’re considering investing in bitcoin, or if someone you know is, it’s a great time to take some giant steps back. Chances are you’ve never invested before formally in any financial realm, and cryptocurrencies are an easy way to get onboarded and make you appear to be a genius.

To be emotionally ready for crypto, however, consider the following. Pay down any consumer debt. That interest stacking up automatically eats at whatever perceived gains you’re calculating, almost defeating the purpose. A double whammy of losing at the crypto market and still having a credit card payment adds stress, to say the least. Gather up something like a budget. For three months stick to it, shaving off about twenty percent of your income as savings. By that first quarter, you should have a nice little nut relative to your earnings. During that time, check-in on the bitcoin price weekly. Read a few stories at News.Bitcoin.com every couple of days to get a sense of where the market is heading, possible trends forming. Read up on the technology: is it improving? Is its market share still there? And so on. The combination of financial discipline and crypto literacy will lessen shock and toughen you as a long term investor.

Bitcoin’s Death is Not the End of the World

After doing your homework, allocate as much as up to half of your savings, not more, into crypto. Buying a basket of currencies is a nice, conservative way to wet your beak. Give yourself a year to see where the money goes, and during that time continue budgeting and replacing your invested savings, taking profits from crypto gains, assuming there are some, and either place those in fiat or reallocate your basket as information on the ground changes.

And do not assume participating in bitcoin and crypto means always having to spend your own money. Participation comes in a variety of ways: people earn digital dough by selling goods and services online; they also begin to take developer courses, teaching themselves the ins and outs of coding; if you’re handy with words, start a blog to educate others. Again, there are a myriad of ways to be part of bitcoin’s pioneering spirit without trying to be a hotshot investor.

Bitcoin’s Death is Not the End of the World

Talk About It

It’s alright to have made financial mistakes. They sting a bit more because of the emphasis we place on money. And money is important. It’s a score keeper of our decision-making ability, all things being equal. It tells us a lot about ourselves. But it doesn’t tell us everything. Stories abound about later successes beginning as failures, and often over and over again. That might be your story too. Realize the best of us is guessing, that literally no one understands exactly where crypto is going, and don’t be so hard on yourself if you do lose.

Feelings of despair are natural during downturns. Just realize you’re not the only one, and that this isn’t the first time something like what’s happening has happened. Gallows humor goes a long way, making fun of yourself and that stupid initial coin offering from a Nigerian prince you sunk too much money into. Chalk it up to experience. And that gets easier to do if you approach crypto investing correctly in the first place. You won’t be completely busted. You’ll instead be wiser for the venture, and hopefully better prepared when the next proposition arises.

Bitcoin’s Death is Not the End of the World

Religious counselors, mentors, a good psychologist, friends, and family can all be great sounding boards. Chances are they too have anecdotes about investments going sour. Hear them. Tell them. Don’t isolate yourself. Don’t believe for a second you’re not valued. You are. I need you as a reader, Dear Reader. The broader community needs your story, as maybe your goofs can help someone avoid such a mistake. But abandoning all hope is so 20th century, so analog, so government issued paper money. You’re here with us now, 21st century pioneers at the hinge of financial history, and we need your bravery to succeed.

How do you deal with price downturns? Let us know in the comment section below!


Images via Shutterstock, Pixabay.


Disclaimer: Bitcoin price articles and markets updates are intended for informational purposes only and should not to be considered as trading advice. Neither Bitcoin.com nor the author is responsible for any losses or gains, as the ultimate decision to conduct a trade is made by the reader. Always remember that only those in possession of the private keys are in control of the “money.”

The post Bitcoin’s Volatility Is a Feature, Not a Bug appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Korean Prime Minister: Closing Down Crypto Exchanges ‘Not a Serious Consideration’

South Korean Prime Minister: Closing Down Crypto Exchanges 'Not A Serious Consideration'

The South Korean prime minister has emphasized that closing down cryptocurrency exchanges is not a serious consideration. His statement clears up any remaining confusion in the market regarding whether the Korean regulators are still considering this option.

Also read: Japan’s DMM Bitcoin Exchange Opens for Business With 7 Cryptocurrencies

Closing Down Exchanges Not Serious Consideration

South Korean Prime Minister: Closing Down Crypto Exchanges 'Not A Serious Consideration'
Lee Nak-yeon.

South Korea’s prime minister, Lee Nak-yeon, responded to questions from opposition parties on Tuesday regarding the government’s policies on cryptocurrencies at the National Assembly meeting, local media report.

“There has been a harsh criticism of the government for the confusion between the ministries around the virtual currency regulation direction,” Dailian reported. During the session, Lee was quoted by the Kyunghyang Shinmun saying:

The closing of [cryptocurrency] exchanges is not a serious consideration now. It is one of the many possibilities.

Besides legal considerations, Lee explained that closing down crypto exchanges “will take a lot of discussion, debate, and time,” adding that “I am thinking about how it will affect the market,” Edaily quoted him.

South Korean Prime Minister: Closing Down Crypto Exchanges 'Not A Serious Consideration'
The South Korean National Assembly. Ⓒ Daily Korean reporter.

Criticisms of Ministry of Justice’s Action

During the meeting, representative Chae Yi-bae of the People’s Party told the prime minister that since the minister of justice, Park Sang-ki, announced the closure of cryptocurrency exchanges, the position of each ministry has led to market turmoil, Dailian conveyed.

Parliament member Ha Tae-keung elaborated:

I understand the goodwill of the government regarding virtual currency, but the policy is too amateur…The government, which has to heal the pain of the people, has intensified the suffering.

South Korean Prime Minister: Closing Down Crypto Exchanges 'Not A Serious Consideration'
Park Sang-ki.

The remarks by Chae and Ha are in response to a statement made by the justice minister at a press conference on January 11, when he said, “We are preparing a bill to ban virtual currency exchanges…We also aim to close exchanges.”

The news immediately went viral, sinking the prices of cryptocurrencies before other Korean regulators could clarify that the announcement was solely the opinion of the justice minister. Park recently apologized for his action. “I apologize for the confusion,” he proclaimed regarding his statement of “closing virtual currency exchanges,” Maekyung reported.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Strategy and Finance, Kim Dong-yeon, has recently clarified in a recent radio interview, as reported by Edaily, that “In the near future, a consistent and comprehensive position of the government will emerge in an appropriate and desirable form.”

What do you think of how the South Korean government handle crypto regulations? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Dailian, and Yonhap.


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