Trump Task Force to Fight Financial Crimes Includes Cryptocurrencies

President Donald Trump has ordered the U.S. Attorney General to develop a Department of Justice task force on market integrity and consumer fraud that would include crimes involving cryptocurrencies. The executive order specifically mentions digital currency as an area to be investigated and, where necessary, prosecuted. The task force replaces the Financial Fraud Enforcement Task

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Libertarian Party Urges Trump to Pardon Silk Road Founder Ross Ulbricht

The Libertarian Party has requested President Trump grant a full pardon to Ross Ulbricht, who is serving a life sentence with no parole possibility for his role in launching and operating the Silk Road website, which facilitated illegal drug trading. The party passed a resolution urging the pardon at its annual convention on July 3. On … Continued

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Libertarian Party Urges Trump to Pardon Silk Board Founder Ross Ulbricht

The Libertarian Party has requested President Trump grant a full pardon to Ross Ulbricht, who is serving a life sentence with no parole possibility for his role in launching and operating the Silk Road website, which facilitated illegal drug trading. The party passed a resolution urging the pardon at its annual convention on July 3. On

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Grammy Winner Akon to Launch Cryptocurrency ‘Akoin,’ Build ‘Crypto City’ in Senegal

Akon, a Senegalese-American rapper and solar energy entrepreneur, plans to offer a cryptocurrency in two weeks to help improve conditions in Africa, according to Page Six. Speaking at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity in Cannes, France, the entertainer and entrepreneur told a panel that cryptocurrency and blockchain technology could empower people in Africa

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Steve Bannon Moves into Crypto – How? Why? Doing What?

Steve Bannon moves into crypto

Steve Bannon Moves into Crypto – In August of 2017, President Donald Trump decided to remove Steve Bannon from his administration. Since then, Bannon has been the subject of scrutiny. In fact, some have recently gone as far as saying he is a man who disrupted U.S. politics. Now, however, it’s June of 2018, and Steve Bannon has moved on from politics. Specifically, he’s moving onto cryptocurrency.

Yes, you heard that right. Steve Bannon is reportedly now involved in the crypto space.

Steve Bannon Moves into Crypto

On Thursday, Bloomberg reported that Bannon has ...

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Venezuela’s Petro Saga Set to Continue as Maduro Is Re-Elected in Controversial Election

Venezuelan president Nicolás Maduro has been re-elected this Sunday, which means he’s staying in power for another six years. The electoral process was embroiled in controversy, as his mains rivals claim it was filled with irregularities. Maduro’s new term presumably means the country’s oil-backed cryptocurrency, the Petro, will keep on growing. According to Reuters, the … Continued

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Trump’s Former Economic Advisor Joins the ‘Blockchain Not Bitcoin’ Brigade

One of President Trump’s former advisors has hopped on board the “blockchain not bitcoin” brigade. Gary Cohn, who led the Trump Administration’s National Economic Council prior to his resignation last month, told CNBC that he believes in the promise of blockchain technology but is not sold on bitcoin. The longtime investment banker, who served as … Continued

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Free Publicity: Venezuela Thanks Trump’s Petro Ban for Doubling Investors

The executive secretary of Venezuela’s Blockchain Observatory, Daniel Peña, recently did an interview for the country’s Cuatro F newspaper, in which he claims Donald Trump’s Petro (PTR) ban was free publicity for the oil-backed cryptocurrency. So much so, it allegedly helped double the number of interested investors. As covered by CCN, US President Donald Trump … Continued

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Report Claims Putin Aided Maduro in Creating Venezuela’s Crypto, Petro

Report Claims Putin Aided Maduro in Creating Venezuela’s Crypto, Petro

A Time investigation into the development of Venezuela’s state-backed cryptocurrency, petro, revealed strong anecdotal and circumstantial evidence connecting Russia to its launch. At least two Russians with ties to Vladimir Putin were present at petro’s unveiling, complete with the Venezuelan president’s thanks. Analysts are claiming the South American country is Mr. Putin’s crypto guinea pig as the two nations try to find innovative ways around US sanctions.

Also read: Bitcoiners Demand More Crypto CFDs and Spread-Betting in the UK

Report Claims Putin and Maduro Teamed to Launch Petro

Time online is referring to Tuesday’s official sale of petro as “a half-hidden joint venture between Venezuelan and Russian officials and businessmen, whose aim was to erode the power of U.S. sanctions,” finding “Moscow’s fingerprints all over the creation of the petro.”

Such revelations come at an interesting time for all three countries. In the US, the present administration has been accused of being too close to re-elected Russian President Putin. Mr. Putin is under international pressure for alleged acts of assassination on foreign shores along with meddling in elections abroad. Venezuela has long been a client state of Russia, and has equally been the object of scorn for several US administrations. The three were tied together, somewhat unknowingly (on the US side at least) by President Trump’s recent Executive Order forbidding formal participation in the petro.  

And truth be told it is Russia who would rather tread lightly at this point. Indeed, as Mr. Putin’s economic advisor, Igor Shuvalov, explained, “For Russia, it’s too dangerous. If we say that the only reason we do it is to avoid U.S. sanctions, then the United States is definitely going to be displeased about it. Venezuela has nothing to lose. For them it’s the only chance.” The Venezuelan economy is the daily subject of press accounts, documenting economic horrors.

So it might have seemed somewhat brazen to have no fewer than two Russian nationals connected front and center at petro’s media scrum launch last month. Denis Druzhkov and Fyodor Bogorodsky were thanked publicly by Mr. Maduro, and Mr. Bogorodsky stands at the one hour and eight minute mark to give a congratulatory speech in Russian (see video inset).

Covering Tracks on a Gamble

The two men were initially identified as representatives of a shadowy company, Aerotrading, which claims blockchain specialty. Within days of the presser, presumably to establish the company’s legitimacy, a sudden website and Twitter account were set up. Of the two men, Mr. Bogorodsky was the only to comment publicly.

Mr. Druzhkov is well connected to a Russian billionaire, while Mr. Bogorodsky is a former banking executive living in South America. The report describes him as having “close business ties with Russia and other former Soviet states.” It appears he’s been involved with petro since its inception late last year. Mr. Bogorodsky stresses, “Russia has been moving in this direction for a while now, trying to draft laws to regulate cryptocurrencies.” Venezuela’s pace has evidently been much quicker. Dismissing potential US concerns, he laughs, “Any citizen of the world can do what he wants. We offer freedom of choice. So I think there will be lots of investors, big and small, from all over the world.”

Report Claims Putin Aided Maduro in Creating Venezuela’s Crypto, Petro

According to an anonymous “executive at a Russian state bank who deals with cryptocurrencies, senior advisers to the Kremlin have overseen the effort in Venezuela, and President Vladimir Putin signed off on it last year. ‘People close to Putin, they told him this is how to avoid the sanctions,’ says the executive. ‘This is how the whole thing started,’” the report explained. Russia is insisting it had nothing to do with the petro’s creation.

State apparatchiks, on the other hand, have made plenty of statements about US financial sanctions. The head of Russia’s second largest bank, VTB, Andrei Kostin spoke openly recently about how “The reign of the dollar must end. This whip that the Americans use in the form of the dollar would then, to a great extent, not have such a serious impact on the global financial system.”

US regulators are quoted as not being too worried about petro nor the possibility of a crypto-ruble. It is hard to say if state-backed cryptocurrencies could ultimately work. Such ideas have always suffered from violating key tenants of crypto: censorship resistance and decentralization. By definition, state-backed currencies violate both.

Do you think state-backed crypto can work? Let us know in the comments!


Images via Pixabay, Wikipedia. 


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Could Trump’s Executive Order Banning ‘Petro’ Transactions Lead to Backdoor Cryptocurrency Regulations?

President Donald Trump’s executive order banning US residents from engaging in transactions related to Venezuela’s “Petro” cryptocurrency could give the federal government an opening to regulate cryptocurrencies more closely under the guise of national security. The order, signed by Trump on Monday and effective immediately, makes it illegal for US citizens and residents to transact

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President Trump vs. Venezuela’s Petro – New Sanctions Signed Against Controversial Coin

President Trump

President Trump has officially signed an executive order forcing sanctions against Venezuela. The country holds a “petro” cryptocurrency that is even controversial within its own countries’ government. Earlier this month, Rafael Guzman, chairman of the Economic and Finance Commision, said in a statement.

“This deepens the crisis that we are living in. The PTR is another [example] of corruption, and we will come out of this crisis with measures that we have announced from this Parliament.”

Venezuela and its citizens within the cryptocurrency space remain strongly divided on the subject. Venezuela sits on the ...

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Breaking: Trump Bans US Citizens, Residents from Venezuela’s Crypto ‘Petro’

US president Donald Trump has issued an executive order banning US citizens from buying, trading or dealing in cryptocurrencies (the Petro) related to the Venezuelan government. In what is certain to be the first crypto-related executive action taken by a US president, the White House revealed Donald Trump’s executive order to unconditionally ban all activities

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Blockchain Technology Could Save the U.S Government Billions

Blockchain Technology

In 2014, the USA today posted an article stating how $614 billion dollars had been completely missing from the 302 federal program audit. The government ran website USASpending.gov is supposed to be a transparent and accurate representation of where our tax dollars are being spent, but the Government Accountability Office found that only 2-7% of the website’s data was accurate. So where is the rest of the money?

In response to this report, Jamal Brown, a spokesperson from the Office of Management and Budget, told the press, “OMB is committed to federal spending transparency and working ...

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Trump’s New Economic Adviser Hints at Friendly Tax Policy for Crypto Investors

President Donald Trump’s new economic adviser has his sights set on lowering the capital gains tax rate, a move that would prove to be a huge boon to cryptocurrency investors. Earlier this week, Trump announced that he had tapped Larry Kudlow to become the new White House economic adviser, filling a post left vacant by … Continued

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