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MAJORITY of Bitcoin Holders Officially PROFITABLE, Following Week of Strong Performance...

Bitcoin Price Rise

Following Bitcoin's price gains over the past week, the crypto world can once again claim that the majority of Bitcoin investments have made a profit for the investor - as 68% of Bitcoin addresses are now considered 'profitable' to it's owner, according to the latest data from research firm Glassnode.

The last time this happened was in the middle of last year, as can be seen in the graph that accompanies the firm's publication. At that time, the price of the cryptocurrency exceeded $40,000 and was in sharp decline.

Basically, it Means the Majority of BTC Holders Paid an Average Price Less than $22,000...

There's more positive statistic pointing towards Bitcoin's resilience.

Looking at 'dormant' coins (coins that have not moved for an extended period) 'lost' coins (coins believed to be in wallets no one has the key to) and long-term 'saved' coins (coins deliberately untouched by their owner, aka HODLing) are now at a 5-year high. 

These coins contribute to stability and a higher floor price, because they are considered unlikely to be sold anytime soon . 

Also, there are more people with at least 1 full bitcoin now than ever before. 

End of the Bear Market in Sight?

While a good week doesn't mean we're out of a bear market, it does look like the sell-off is done. Those buying BTC say their current goal is accumulating more, and as they began dominating the market it became clear, buyers are greatly outnumbering sellers, which naturally led to the price increase. This behavior indicates that most BTC owners believe that there's another bull run coming.

Currently the market is a mixed bag of indicators pointing in both directions, we see sentiment among traders moving away from fear, which is part of a bear market coming to a close, but that's still premature to claim.

While traders feel more confident now than they have for months, another price dip before things go bullish is still something most traders see as possible. The main reason for skepticism is the larger economic situation, as the uncertainty resulting from national debit, layoffs, and inflation are shared by crypto investors regardless of where they're from. 

Officially, this is still a bear market, and many believe it will stay that way until the overall economic situation improves - people are unlikely to make significant investments in crypto or anything else if they're not sure they will still have a job next month.

I Reached Out to 2 Pro-Analysts, Hoping for Some Insight on What Bitcoin's Next Move Could Be...

I've occasionally reach out to these guys for their opinions ever since I met them at Blockchain Expo Global in 2018. 

One works for a US based investment firm some of you have most likely heard of, the other works at an international exchange I think nearly everyone is familiar with. Note that they are sharing their professional opinions, on a personal and unofficial basis. So while we cannot include their full credentials here - they're the real deal.
 
There was Consensus From Both That the Smart Thing to do Right Now: Probably Nothing...

The US based analyst explained "this is one of those occasional times where no one can predict what comes next... until we see what comes next" he asks to let him clarify, and adds "basically, there's nothing we would consider a strong indicator that BTC will move in either direction right now- actually, some of the typically reliable indicators are disagreeing with each other Ironically, what seems like a lack of data is actually an accurate look at the market's current state - it's legitimately undecided right now."

The analyst currently working for an exchange added "While I know I'll be wrong sometimes, I still think that if my level of confidence is below like 70% it's probably best not to say something that people will act upon, I wouldn't move any of my own funds around for a prediction from someone whos only 60% behind it."

What Should You Be Paying Attention To Over the Next Week?

If things take a turn and prices head back down, look for Bitcoin dropping below $20,000 -  if it does,  it may continue to drop to around $16,000, a proven strong support level.

On the other hand, if Bitcoin continues to make gains and manages to cross $24,500 we could see the rise continue to around $27,000.

A Reminder of The Market You're In:

Bitcoin tanked from $1,000 to below $200 in 2015.

Bitcoin dropped below $3,200 after hitting $20,000 in December 2017.

Bitcoin dipped from $63,000 to $29,000 in 2021.

Bitcoin went from $68,000 to below $20,000 in 2022, this is today's bear market.

After each of these events the media declared the "end of Bitcoin".  Elderly professionals from the traditional finance and banking world would make sure to be seen in print and on TV saying "told you so" while warning everyone not to ever buy more Bitcoin.

What they don't say is that their grandson helps them anytime they need to send an email, and they literally couldn't buy Bitcoin if they wanted to (people under estimate how often this is the true reason an older person is anti-crypto)

EVERY. SINGLE.TIME. Those who stood firm in their belief in crypto's future were rewarded with prices hitting a new all-time high, every major crash as been followed by breaking previous records. 

---------------------
Author: Oliver Redding
Seattle Newsdesk  / Breaking Crypto News



Great Escape: The "Female Sam Bankman-Fried" - She Stole BILLIONS, Disappeared, Now Continues to Outsmart Authorities for NEARLY 4 YEARS...

Ruja Onecoin Scam

While the scam is over, the story behind it is not. That won't change as long as it's main character remains in hiding. 

The dollar amount allegedly stolen by 'Crypto Queen' Ruja Ignatova is approximately the same amount Bankman-Fried is accused of losing. But Sam's story is downright boring compared with the chaos still happening today in the aftermath of OneCoin.

Both Sam and Ruja are accused of losing $3 - $4 billion of their user's funds, which puts them in a category beyond just running "crypto scams"- they're officially among the "largest scams ever" both in the number of victims, over 3 million, and the total dollar amount taken from them - over $4 billion in USD value, according to the FBI and Europol.

First Time Hearing About This?

The first time I heard of "OneCoin" it was already over, they had just been shut down, and the people behind it were in the process of being tracked down and arrested.

I was shocked - how could a multi-billion dollar crypto scam happen and it wasn't even on my radar?!

Good news, the problem isn't that you weren't paying attention - OneCoin deliberately avoided attracting attention from people in select 'Western' nations.  They feared that law enforcement in these countries were tech savvy, and way ahead when it comes to cases involving crypto. 

Still, today it's not uncommon to find someone who is in the crypto industry (full time) who says they've never heard of OneCoin. But most common seems to be someone remembering OneCoin was 'some kind of scam a few years back' with maybe 10% of people aware of its size - one of the largest scams in history and on the extremely short list of scams with a multi-billion dollar price tag.

It was the US FBI they feared the most, and to avoid them they also avoided scamming US citizens. They believed this was so important that if someone in the US ended up on their site and wanted to join - the signup page would give them an error and close itself.

Ironically, the FBI is leading the way in dismantling OneCoin, and is credited with tracking down many of the executives in custody today.

Comparing Sam and Ruja May Be Unfair... to Sam. He Isn't Nearly as Evil...

There's one huge difference between them  - Sam started a legitimate business. The more money he had the more careless he became.  But those funds were handed over to him for use in his legitimate business, which did exist..

Ruja never intended to start a business - she created a scam. 'OneCoin' was a fraud from the first day it launched, not a single feature ended up to be true.

Her public image was the same, professionally she introduced herself as "Dr Ruja Ignatova" and claimed an educational history of elite colleges, and an employment history at major financial firms.

She is the definition of 'scammer' - so dedicated to it she lives her daily life as the character she created for the single purpose of getting people to believe the opposite of what is really happening. 

Exactly how it appeared on OneCoin's website - but when Forbes was contacted they said OneCoin simply purchased as space, in that space they put an interview, then announced people could read an interview with Ruja in the latest edition of Forbes Magazine.

People behind scams this large don't struggle morally about what they're doing, far from it. They become addicted to the power they feel whenever they step on stage and see thousands of people clapping and cheering for them - the same people they will soon financially ruin. In these short moments they feel like the smartest person on the planet. 

What Puts This Story On a New Level of CRAZY: OneCoin Wasn't Even Real...

To be clear, I am not saying "her coin wasn't as good as she claimed" - I'm saying they didn't even have a coin.

She nicknamed their non-existent cryptocurrency the "Bitcoin Killer', claiming the blockchain technology behind it was so superior, it would soon come to replace Bitcoin.  In reality, she had nothing. No blockchain, no cryptocurrency.

What they did have was the OneCoin App, where people couduse real money to purchase OneCoin, and see it added to their balance - that's the entire system.

The price of OneCoin was also entirely imaginary, having nothing to do with supply and demand they could simply decide what the app would show the public, and of course, they decided to make it look like demand was huge. 

In e-mails obtained by investigators and used in court against OneCoin leaders, Ruja is seen telling the developers building the OneCoin system that:

"We would like to be able to set the price manually and automatically and also control the traded volume."

Legitimate cryptocurrencies cannot control any of those - the market decides the price, and volume is simply the total amount people bought or sold. 

Now That They at Least Appeared to Be Having a Strong Start, They Would Use Their Fake Coin's Fake Success, to Bring in Real Money...

Within the app was also the only 'exchange' where OneCoin could be traded - it had to be this way because trading it anywhere outside of their app would have been technically impossible -  no transferable cryptocurrency existed.  But according to their app, their imaginary cryptocurrency was quickly increasing in value, and that's all they needed to keep users buying more and telling their friends. 

This is where the pyramid aspect comes in to play -users would receive commission from people they invited to OneCoin, then they would also receive commission if that friend brought their friends.

OneCoin users who referred a lot of other users are the only group of people who walked away with a profit, but it's impossible to figure out who was knowingly promoting a scam, and who was a victim believing they were sharing something good. 

OneCoin Held 'Conferences' Attended By Thousands - Here Ruja Would Speak About Blockchain Revolutionizing the World of Finance...

Always booked as the special 'keynote speaker' at her own events, Ruja would give long speeches about what blockchain tech can do, and will do in the future. But back in reality, no blockchain of any kind was being used at OneCoin.


OneCoin's final event before it all came crashing down, the 'Crypto Queen' makes a dramatic entrance - pyrotechnics included.

E-Mails obtained by investigators and shown in trials of her partners made it clear - she was the mastermind behind the lies, fully aware of every shady thing they were doing.

In one exchange with co-founder Karl Greenwood, she says “We are not mining actually – but telling people shit" and jokingly referred to OneCoin as 'Trash Coins'

The Collapse...

The red flags started to pile up - people discovered that some of OneCoin's directors had previously been involved in other known scams.

Plus, for years people requested any verifiable evidence for any of their claims, and the excuses dragged on so long it became obvious they were hiding something.  They had been telling so many lies for so long that their own statements would occasionally contradict things they said in the past. 

As the inflow of money began to slow down, use of their fake exchange became limited, dividing their members into different levels with each given different trading restrictions. Those who spent a lot on 'educational materials' could trade on more days than those who didn't. 

They were making it impossible for there to be a run of users withdrawing until there was nothing left.

As OneCoin Comes Crashing Down,  Ruja is Nowhere To Be Found...

Some believe she bribed government officials in the 3 countries she had homes in, so they would agree to warn her in advance of any plans against her, or her business.

While that hasn't been proven, we can say that somehow she managed to stay months ahead of authorities, and was long gone when the day came, and OneCoin was forced to shut down as it's leaders were rounded up and arrested.

In those final months without Ruja, OneCoin stayed open for business, with her younger brother Konstantin Ignatov taking over the title of CEO.  But his reign as OneCoin's top boss was a short one, as he was arrested March 2019 in Los Angeles, and it all ending with him pleading guilty to fraud and money laundering charges.

Co-Founder Greenwood was detained in Thailand in 2018 and then extradited to the United States - just 3 weeks ago his case was closed after a deal to plead guilty was reached.  He still faces up to 40 years in prison.

Mark Scott, a former corporate lawyer, was convicted in November 2019 of laundering $400 million for the group by using a network of shell companies, offshore bank accounts and investment funds.

Another man, David Pike, pleaded guilty to committing bank fraud. He was sentenced to two years probation in March.

Not Even her Husband or 9 Year Old Daughter Has Heard from Her Since...

Most shockingly, she left her husband and now 9 year old daughter behind as well.   

They are said to be under 'constant surveillance' as authorities were expecting Ruja to eventually make contact with them.  If she has, it was done without anyone noticing, as the official status of her with the FBI describes her 2019 disappearance has the 'last time anyone has heard from or seen' her.

Is She Now a He?

It's hard to believe that a 3 year long global search with the powers of multiple law enforcement agencies from multiple countries behind it still hasn't found anything - to avoid even the occasional random sighting she either never goes outside, or has drastically changed her appearance. 

One way people believe she could do this would be for her to live as a man.

Ruja Ignatova as a male, Ruja Ignatova man
 A professional sketch artists rendering of Ruja as a male, commissioned as part of Tradingpedia's research in to her disappearance.

Simpler methods of disguise have been suggested too, such as plastic surgery to make her face and body thinner, along with dying her hair blonde, would probably also make her unrecognizable. 

Possible Leads...

So where is Ruja Ignatova now?  On a recent BBC podcast, Jamie Bartlett suggests that Ruja may be living in luxury in Dubai. This revelation comes after reports of her being spotted in Southeast Asia, specifically in Thailand.

According to documents obtained by the BBC, Ignatova allegedly worked with Sheikh Faisal bin Sultan Al Qassimi, a royal in the United Arab Emirates, to release funds that had been frozen over suspicion of money laundering. Furthermore, it is believed that she purchased a $20 million villa in the UAE, which may serve as her hiding spot for the past five years.

The investigation also uncovered a mega-million deal struck between Ignatova and Emirati royal Sheikh Saoud bin Faisal Al Qassimi, a known enthusiast of cryptocurrency. In 2015, Al Qassimi reportedly sold 230,000 Bitcoins worth more than $48 million to Ignatova.

As mentioned when talking about her initial disappearance, many speculate that Ignatova may be buying intel and bribing authorities wherever she is, which would explain her ability to evade investigators for so long.

That is The Cliffhanger Ending to The Story So Far...

If this is beginning to feel like a movie, you're not too far off - because the story will soon become a TV docuseries, according to entertainment news site Deadline.

We Want To Hear from YOU! Tell us your thoughts:
Who do you think is WORSE?!  Sam, or Ruja? + Share how you decided.
Tweet us @TheCryptoPress


-----------
Author: Ross Davis
Silicon Valley Newsroom
GCP Breaking Crypto News


A Bad Week to Bet Against Crypto - Traders Shorting the Market Hit with OVER $500 MILLION in Losses...

This week was brutal for those betting the crypto market would continue to drop lower, as they were instead met with a surprise bull run leading to the most liquidations of short positions in over a year.

In the case of Bitcoin (BTC) which rose from $17,500 at this time last week, to over $21,000+ at the time of publishing, truly punished those who bet against it. 

Short trader losses for BTC reached levels not seen since Aug 2021.

Total Lost by those Shorting the Crypto Market this Week Totals OVER $500 Million...

Ethereum has been the most shorted coin with 49% of liquidations coming from ETH shorts, Bitcoin was the second most popular coin responsible for 29% of the liquidations, with the remaining liquidations spread among altcoins that also went along for the ride up.

One thing is clear from looking at these stats - a lot of people were caught off guard!

The Question on Everyone's Mind - Where Do We Go From Here?

There's a split among analysts who predict that prices will continue to rise, and others who believe prices are soon heading back down... so, that doesn't help much.

Both sides have valid reasoning behind their predictions, it's up to you to decide which feels right.

Those who believe that bitcoin will continue to rise point to the fact that the cryptocurrency has bounced off lows of approximately $16,000 on five different occasions over the last three months. This is seen as proof that "we've found the bottom" - many investors were standing by, waiting to see what the bottom would be - now that they have an answer, expect more to take positions as prices remain low.

Others believe that these gains are only temporary. They point to the general economic uncertainty that can be found in most industries, in most countries - and top concern, inflation, far from resolved.

Make Smart Moves: 

There's 2 strategies dominating in communities of experienced traders.

Those who agree$16,000 is indeed 'bottom' will likely agree with the strategy shared by one trader "Anything within $10k of that is an automatic buy - so if the price is $26,000 or less I'm accumulating."

If you're not convinced that we've seen the worst of it, you'll probably agree with what another trader shared, saying "I still believe a drop to $10-12k is possible before the next real, sustained bull run.  So I'm going to keep my DCA strategy running" - DCA stands for Dollar Cost Averaging, this method involves investing a set amount each week no matter what the price is. If it goes down from here, you still have funds to buy the dip.  If the price continues to go up, you at least bought some near the recent low.

Share your thoughts:
Do you believe recent gains will hold? Tweet us at @TheCryptoPress 


---
Author: Mark Pippen
London News Desk 
Breaking Crypto News 

Claim $50 Payment Towards ANY of Your Bills, Thanks to New Crypto Start-Up - Spritz Review and How-To...

Spritz review - bill pay with crypto

This is our favorite new tool in a while, one I actually plan on using for the foreseeable future because  it's making life easier.  The end result will be the same, but now I can get there with less steps and a lot faster.

It's called Spritz and they've built what they call "the bridge between DeFi and traditional finance (TriFi)".

In simpler terms - everyone has bills to pay every month, now there's a way to pay the bills with crypto that actually seems easier, faster, and generally better than the old way.

Plenty of projects claim they are the 'solution' to some problem - but we consider Spritz an actual solution, for the simple fact that they're capable paying literally every type of bill the average person could have - credit card bills, cell phone, cable tv, utility, mortgage payments, car payments, student loans... you get the idea!

Sometimes it feels like doing things the 'new way' really means still having to do some things the old way - but Spritz actually seems ready to handle your bills, all of them, period.

Right Now They'll pay $50 Towards Any Bill You Want!

The platform just opened up for Beta testing, currently this is only for people in the United States. 

So if you live in the US and want to be one of the first to use the site: Sign up via this invite link, pay at least $50 towards your bills, and they will then credit you with $50 more that you can use towards any bill you want!

IMPORTANT NOTE: Some people have reached out saying they did not get the $50 bonus on their account. We discovered this happens when someone navigates away from the invite link to look around the site, then signs up.  That will not work.  Feel free to browse the site but the last thing you do before signing up should be going to the $50 bonus invite link: spritz.globalcryptopress.com

It Was Actually a FASTER Way To Pay Bills Online..

Instead of jumping around to multiple websites, having to log in each time, you link your accounts here once, and you now have just 1 platform able to handle all of your monthly bills. 

The Actual Payment Process...

Was as simple as making a trade on any DEX (Decentralized exchange like Uniswap or PancakeSwap). 

Use any of the top wallets like Metamask, Coinbase Wallet, Trust Wallet, Ledger and more. 

But most impressive was their 'use any coin' policy...

You can then pay your bills with any tradable coin from 5 blockchains of your choice - Ethereum, Polygon, Avalanche, Arbitrum, Optimism, and BNB Chain! They plan to add even more blockchain networks soon.

Obviously, it can't be a coin with a $2 daily volume, but if they can trade it, you can probably pay your bills with it.

"Any bill. Any token. Any wallet. It's that simple." 

That's it, you just hit send and the rest is handled by them! Real world financial utility from your crypto, without selling coins at the end of the month for Fiat currency, then hoping the bank transfer shows up before they're late. 

Add accounts, then pay any future bills in a simple crypto transaction.

Use Spritz as the gateway between your bank and DeFi! 

Now you can skip transfering coins to a major exchange when you do need funds in your bank account.  Spritz can function as an off-ramp, sending fiat currency to your bank account following a single transaction from you.

Who is Behind Spritz, and Can We Trust Them?

First, it's important to note they state they will never ask for your private keys - this also means there isn't a security risk from you simply using the platform for transfers, they will only be allowed to access coins you specifically approved for them to use.

The site was developed by the team behind QuickSwap, for those unfamiliar, it's a decentralized exchange that launched a couple years ago.  They became popular fairly fast, and currently even in this bear market process over $10 million in daily trades.

So if this sounds useful to you, make sure to use this invite link to claim a $50 Credit once you make payment of $50 or more towards any of your bills! 

------- 
Author: Justin Derbek
New York News Desk
Breaking Crypto News

Sam Bankman-Fried Pleads 'NOT Guilty' - The Twisted Way He May ACTUALLY Be Found INNOCENT...

Sam Bankman-Fried, the former CEO of cryptocurrency exchange FTX, pleaded not guilty to charges of fraud and money laundering on Tuesday. From what you hear in the press, you would reasonably assume there is a mountain of evidence against him - so is Sam crazy? 

Well, he may not be as crazy as it sounds. 

Why Risk More Years in Prison Instead of Negotiating? To Get ZERO Years in Prison...

Approximately 97% of cases are resolved with a plea deal. Sam, like most defendants, had the option to negotiate how long he would stay in prison, in exchange for pleading guilty. 

We don't know what that deal would have been, but with the charges against him, it's reasonable to think he could have reduced his time behind bars by 10+ years. Turning this down is not a decision someone takes lightly. 

If you choose to be among the 3% of people to go to trial, you must be confident that you can win.

Why Sam Believes the Jury Will find Him INNOCENT...

What Sam and his legal team believe they can prove to a jury revolves around the fact that there is no FTX'- there's two of them, completely separate companies, functioning independently. 

No country in the world charges people with crimes committed in foreign nations with foreign victims.  Bankman-Fried can only be charged with crimes he committed while in the US or against US citizens.

This also reminds me of when after his arrest in the Bahamas, he said he planned on fighting being extradited to the United States, then suddenly reversed this and fully cooperated to insure his trial would take place in the US.

Bankman-Fried's Defense is NOT that He Did Not Break The Law, But Rather that Any Alleged Wrongdoing Occurred Outside the US and Involved Foreign Victims...

Meaning that the alleged crimes were committed by a separate, foreign entity and involved funds belonging to users of FTX International. 

Structurally, the companies remained separate, there were no (known) shared accounts, no fiat or crypto spilling from one to the other. The company/exchange for US citizens had its own website at www.FTX.us - then there was FTX International at www.FTX.com.

If someone from the US attempted to sign up on the FTX international site, they would simply get an error message redirecting them to the US site.

With everything separate, it would have been easy for Sam to simply leave all funds related to FTX US alone, and this is exactly what Sam claims happened. 

So Far, There's No Evidence Saying Otherwise...

In every interview, Sam said that 'all funds in FTX US  were "never touched" and they could give users access to it right now if they wanted to.  This statement is included in the testimony he was planning to give Congress, under oath, but he was arrested the day before that was set to happen. 

But let's forget what Sam has to say, he's a proven liar on other related matters. -  what's been found since he lost control of the company? 

John J. Ray is the acting CEO of FTX appointed to oversee the company being dismantled in the bankruptcy process, and he is no fan of Bankman-Fried.

When testifying to Congress a couple weeks ago, he shared in his opening statements his belief that FTX US funds were involved, but later, during the portion where he takes questions from lawmakers, he was asked what they had found so far - and so far, nothing. 

In a previous report, an insider at the company shared that the new CEO believes they just need to dig deeper to find proof that Bankman-Fried did misuse FTX US funds - he just did a better job at hiding it compared to FTX International. It's reasonable to assume that, and the investigation isn't over - but Sam, the one person who would know, just pleaded innocent in court. 

Sam May Have Viewed US Funds as 'Off Limits' From The Start...

Ryan Miller, a member of FTX US's legal team used to work for the person in charge of regulating FTX, the current head of the SEC, Chairman Gary Gensler.  By the time this all happened, he had been with FTX for nearly a year, tasked with being the contact between the company and regulators. 

Sam's mom was a lawyer at one of the top firms in the US with clients like Exxon, JPMorgan, Citigroup, Universal Pictures, Sony and more. His father is considered one of the leading experts in tax law, tax shelters, and tax compliance, and teaches law at Stanford.

Between Miller, someone from the world of financial regulation, and his parents, who would surely advise him of the additional rules and risks attached to US investor funds, it's believable that Sam may have just considered this portion of his businesses off-limits. 

Did Sam Plead Innocent Because he Knows They Won't Find Records of Him Misusing US Funds?

This is the big question. 

Keep in mind, however, that Sam's original lawyers dropped him shortly after FTX's collapse due to his "incessant and disruptive tweeting" when he kept ignoring their advice to stop publicly speaking about the matter. 

Sam clearly believes he has a talent for persuading people, and maybe he once did, but the more he spoke publicly to audiences already suspicious of him, the more hated he became. I'm not sure if Sam ever really accepted that this tactic was a failure and he should have listened to his lawyers. 

So is Sam continuing to be a nightmare client for any legal team to represent? He may be pleading innocent because he believes he's so smart, he can just confuse a jury into thinking he's innocent. 

Or, does he know prosecutors will fail to find the evidence they need to prove the charges against him?


-----------
Author: Ross Davis
Silicon Valley Newsroom
GCP Breaking Crypto News


Digital Euro Project Seeks 'Volunteers to Help Craft' Europe's Upcoming Digital Currency...

Digital Euro

The European Central Bank (ECB) issued a request for "experts with experience" to apply yesterday with the intention of having them serve as volunteers on the group that will craft the regulatory code for the digital Euro system.

Candidates have until January 20 to submit a resume and responses to the five "justify credentials" questions posed by the group's executives.

The chosen individuals will join the Euro Digital Scheme Rulebook Development Group, tasked with creating the guidelines under which this asset can be traded and spent across Europe.

According to an ECB announcement, the development team working on the guidelines for the use of the digital euro will go to work on those guidelines on February 23.

The group's responsibilities include gathering market data and offering a sectoral view of the Eurosystem, as well as aiding in the development of a regulatory framework for the digital Euro. Christian Schäfer, manager of CBDC regulation, is in charge of coordinating all of this.

The building of the digital Euro is well underway...

The ECB has stated that the development group will include of market representatives with relevant experience as well as officials from the Eurosystem.

Payment service providers, banking industry members, and payment institutions/electronic money institutions will be chosen to offer the system. Consumers, brick-and-mortar stores, e-commerce sites, large and small businesses, and other organizations will all be represented on the demand side.

The distribution and implementation of this CBDC are still the subject of ongoing investigation by experts. Nonetheless, the ECB stated in its December report that the digital euro will be an asset that can only be handled and maintained by "supervised intermediaries" that will operate similarly to existing bitcoin (BTC) and cryptocurrency exchanges.

The Upgrade Nobody Wants...

Europeans have spoken, and they do not support the European Central Bank's plan to issue a digital euro. On the other hand, the bank sees the creation of the digital euro as imperative. It claims that the euro could lose "its position as Europe's monetary anchor" if its use as cash "is less and less" in member countries.

-------

Author: Mark Pippen
London News Desk 
Breaking Crypto News

BC.Game promo code "UNLOCK" Makes 2023 the LARGEST BONUS - Automatically ‘unlock’ BC Game's HIGHEST Bonus Credit (must use at signup)...

New 2023 Pic Showing BC.Game's new Promo Code With The BCGame Bonus Code✔️Verified WORKING!

Looking for a BC.Game Promo Code? Look no further! "UNLOCK" is the latest and verified promo code for BC Game. Simply enter the code at signup to automatically unlock the MAXIMUM BONUSES automatically.

With that BC Game Promo Code, you can enjoy unbeatable extras on all your favorite games. Don't miss out on the chance to earn big on your next round!. Visit our website now to find the perfect BC Game Promo Code for you.

BC.Game's top bonus promo code so far in 2023 is "UNLOCK" and must be entered when signing up for the site.  This promo code unlocks the current MAXIMUM BONUSES offered - so no more guessing and hoping you found the best deal, now you know you did!

That's all you need to know - but if you'd like to learn more things that will hopefully make playing more fun, continue reading our BC.Game in depth review and guide.

BCGame is a crypto-casino with a MASSIVE amount of games, many of which were developed specifically for the site...

Promo Codes from BC.Game
Just a small fraction of the game options at BCGame...

People from around the world play here, and they support 40 different cryptocurrencies to play with, plus an active message board where players can freely discuss strategies with each other. 

Tip: the forum is a great place to find some of the top players actually sharing their tricks! 

Real human help is a click away with 24/7 live chat assistance, which is available in multiple languages.

BCGame is "Provably fair" - Using blockchain technology,  anyone can view full records of every round, of every game played...

This means if a casino cheats, there will be a record of it!

Many young adults won't play anywhere that isn't 'provably fair', as Millennials are less likely place bets if they don't fully understand how things work behind the scenes.  They don't like the feeling of a slot machine taking their money if they're also wondering "Did I even have a chance, or was this rigged against me?"

You could bet that Las Vegas would never give the public access to every game's records allowing them to verify odds and fairness.

When it comes to games of chance, like slots, it's not uncommon to see Vegas casinos programming theirs to give them a 10% advantage over the player - if you find a casino slot machine that only gives them an advantage of 3% that's a rare gem. 

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Author: Ryan Kennings
Article Submitted / Sponsored Guest Author
BC.Game Promo Code and Bonus Codes




This is NOT Normal: MAJOR Finance & Investment Firms QUIETLY Moving in to Crypto...

Crypto investments

For those of us who have been around awhile, it takes more than another bear market to change our long term expectations for cryptocurrencies. 

I've been through three crashes - the first one really had me questioning things, the second time I was more willing to ride it out, 'hopeful but not certain' was my outlook on crypto's future. In both cases the crashes were followed by hitting new all time highs, and this pattern wasn't new, it's what Bitcoin historically had always done, and more recently, the top altcoins were included as well. 

So, this time around I feel like I'm just waiting... for our largest bull run yet. Not wondering if it's coming - waiting for it to get here.

Some of the Biggest Names in Investing and Wall Street are Quietly Preparing for a Crypto Boom...

Thankfully, it looks like I'm not the only one making this prediction. In fact, the biggest firms from the world of investing and Wall Street seem to be anticipating this too.

Keep in mind, the firms I'm about to mention don't throw millions at something because one or two executives believe it will pay off - before they invest, teams of analysts with specialists covering multiple aspects, and algorithms pumping out multiple models of possible outcomes, are involved.

Let's look at some of what is happening quietly behind the scenes right now - and ask yourself: does it seem like they see something coming?

Major Investment Firms:

Between just these 2 firms you're looking at over $2 TRILLION in assets under management, twice the size of the entire crypto market currently. 

● The world's largest global investment banking and investment management firm, Goldman Sachs, is quietly talking to multiple crypto startups that were hit hard by the bear market and investing to become part-owners of, or buying them out completely.

● The second largest global investment banking and investment management firm, Morgan Stanley, is currently creating their "digital-asset infrastructure," giving their 2 million+ clients access to the crypto market. While development started before the bear market hit, they say it never slowed down as they remain "focused on building."

When these firms enter a sector, countless smaller ones follow. 

Payment Processors:

The big 3 are all in.

● Visa is "propelling innovation to deliver even more access and value to the crypto ecosystem" and recently filed a series of trademark applications for crypto wallets, NFTs, and metaverse-related products.

● Mastercard is launching a program to enable mainstream banks to offer crypto trading to their customers.

● Even American Express, which in 2021 said they were "watching the space evolve" but had "no plans to announce" involvement in cryptocurrencies, began preparing for something, specifics still unknown, but real enough to have them file eight trademark applications for tech processing crypto and NFT transactions.

In addition to this, both Visa and Mastercard will expand their current role of providing cards that allow people to spend crypto anywhere that accepts their credit cards.  This has become a standard offering from most major exchanges now, and accounts for over $1 billion in transactions for Visa alone. 


Start-Ups:

When it comes to startups, those that truly serve a purpose are not struggling to find funding. Here are some of the projects that held investment rounds over just the last month - all hit their targets:

● Aztec Network, an Ethereum security layer geared towards privacy, successful raised $100 million in a  round led by prominent venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz (a16z), with participation from A Capital, King River, and Variant, and others.

● Singapore-based crypto firm Amber Group closed a $300 million Series C led by Fenbushi Capital US. Nillion, a decentralized file storage network, raised $20 million in its latest funding round led by Distributed Global.



● Fleek, a developer platform for crypto companies, secured $25 million led by Polychain Capital, along with Coinbase Ventures, Digital Currency Group, and Protocol Labs.

● Tax and accounting software for digital assets, Bitwave, closed a $15 million Series A co-led by Hack VC and Blockchain Capital.

● Blocknative, a company building web3 infrastructure, also secured $15 million in its Series A led by Blockchain Capital and a few other investors.

There's only one reason any firm would be investing in new companies that could still be years away from seeing profits - again, the long term outlook.

The Path from Here, to There...

The road from bear to bull market is surprisingly short and straight - plus, following the collapse of FTX, a come-back for crypto also means washing off  some of the mud currently splattered on crypto's public image.  But all of this is doable, here's how it will go;

Crypto regulations are coming, discussing if you're for or against this is officially a waste of time - we're getting them.

However, the industry has gotten smarter over the last few years and regulations no longer mean a 'crack down' on crypto. 

As politicians began considering passing finance laws specific to crypto assets, the crypto industry became major Washington DC influencers, and almost overnight began supporting pro-crypto politicians campaigns at such large amounts that crypto is outspending the industries that have typically spent the most for decades, the defense industry and pharmaceutical companies.

Until recently we were truly were at risk of tech-illiterate politicians passing poorly-written regulations that could bring everything to a halt, that no longer longer seems possible. 
This level of involvement has given the industry a place at the table with lawmakers.

If you're outside of the US thinking this doesn't involve you, I wouldn't count on that.  Some regulations will address the situation FTX is in, requiring exchanges to prove the assets they hold and auditing their total value regularly.  It wouldn't surprise me if US companies and investors could only do business with foreign firms that follow similar guidelines - setting a standard that will quickly become global.

Over the span of just a few days:  Crypto's current public image gets fixed as politicians pat themselves on the back for 'fixing crypto' with 'new investor protections'.  The largest investment firms have citied the lack of these regulations as the only reason they haven't yet gotten involved - so now the floodgates open. 

I believe the next bull market doesn't just set new all-time highs for the top cryptocurrencies, but does it at record speed as well - Bitcoin gaining $10,000 per week for 5 weeks would get us past it's previous high, and it wouldn't surprise me if that's how it went.

Remember - there's never been so many people and companies aware of what a Bitcoin bull run can do, and it will be a lot harder to justify sitting it out.

In Closing...

There's nothing fun about a bear market, except looking forward to it ending. Based on current indicators, it seems we may have a lot to look forward to!

-----------
Author: Ross Davis
Silicon Valley Newsroom
GCP Breaking Crypto News


Russian Darknet Market HACKED, Bitcoin Taken... Transferred to Ukraine!

Computer Security specialist Alex Holden was born in Ukraine, and while he now lives in the United States, he's doing what he can to help his countries efforts against Russia. 

Holden is sharing his accomplishment of infiltrating Russia's largest online drug market, called Solaris, steal 1.6 bitcoin (BTC) from the website's main wallet, and donate it to Ukraine.

The funds were sent to a Ukrainian non-profit called 'Enjoying Life", and the organizations co-founder Tina Mikhailovskaya confirms it was received, saying it was "given directly to the elderly, families and internally displaced people who suffered from the Russian war."

Holden declined to tell how he did the robbery, only sharing that it involved help from his team of hackers from he employs at his company Hold Security, and that they took 'partial control of the Solaris infrastructure' which somehow included access to the wallet. 

While an amusing story, this is small compare to the true impact of crypto on this war...

Ukraine is the first nation in history to formally accept bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies to finance the costs of a war, and so far their wallet has received 645 BTC in donations from around the world. That is equivalent to $10 million USD at current rates, and $45 million at Bitcoin's high.

-------
Author: Mark Pippen
London News Desk 
Breaking Crypto News


Europe's Government-Approved Coin the 'Digital Euro' is Coming - Why it Definitely IS NOT a CRYPTOCURRENCY....

The "Digital Euro" is expected to officially launch at some point in 2025, and will be issued by the European Central Bank (ECB) as the official Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) of Europe. 

We continue to learn more as the project continues developing, which involves creating an entire new framework of rules and guidelines as this is the first-ever digital currency issued by the ECB. 

In the Project's Latest Updates We Get a Look at Something Many Have Been Wondering and Speculating On - How it Will Be Controlled?

In its most recent report, some of these questions are answered as the ECB introduces us to what they're calling "supervised intermediaries" - these will be the organizations having 'direct contact' with individuals, merchants and companies that use the digitized currency once it enters circulation.

For the EBC to consider an entity a qualified "supervised intermediary" that entity must be one supervised and controlled by a previously designated public authority, in charge of guaranteeing that the operations are executed within a pertinent regulatory framework. 

In other words, those already operating under oversight of finance and banking regulations.

Among approved intermediaries - payment service providers, credit institutions, electronic money institutions and payment institutions all 'meet the defined criteria' to provide services using the Digital Euro.



But Don't Expect to See the Digital Euro Next to Your Crypto in your Existing Digital Wallet...

As most expected the Digital Euro and other CBDCs to come will not have much in common with cryptocurrencies - while both are digital the similarities end there, as the way everything from software, to the internet, are used will be completely different.

Owning a Digital Euro does not mean freedom to choose how to store it, any digital wallet or entity that will manage your money, for both individual users and retailers, will be done with tools developed in partnership with, or organizations operating under the guidelines of the European Central Bank.

A test run is scheduled to start at the beginning of the new year and run through the first quarter of 2023  This exercise will include participants from every relevant sector - banks, payment service providers, consumers and merchants, which will then provide feedback to be included in a new report from the Central Bank.  This report is expected to either say that the tech is ready, or highlight what still needs to be changed or implemented before an official launch.

-------
Author: Mark Pippen
London News Desk 
Breaking Crypto News

Sam Bankman-Fried REALLY Could Get LIFE IN PRISON... Unless he 'Leaves Early' to Join McAfee and Epstein...

FTX Sam Bankman-Fried

There's only two ways this can turn out, both bad, but one massively worse than the other.

Prosecutors from New York have unsealed the indictment against him, charging Bankman-Fried with wire fraud, conspiracy, committing fraud against investors, lenders, and the United States, securities fraud, money laundering, and violation of campaign finance laws.

But things aren't as straightforward as it sounds - there's a real possibility some, maybe even most of these charges, get dropped.

It All Comes Down to This: Did Sam Misuse of Funds Include Those from FTX US - a Separate Company and Website from FTX International?

This could be the difference between life in prison, or 10 years with a chance to get out early with good behavior.

The US will only charge him with crimes he committed while in the US, or against US citizens.

For example, US law enforcement cannot pursue a case where investors from France were victims of fraud committed by a company in the Bahamas.  Actually, no country on earth prosecutes cases under those circumstances.

As covered in previous articles, if someone from the United States visited FTX International (ftx.com) they would find themselves unable to get past the home page, they were blocked from joining, only able to view a message re-directing them to FTX's platform for US citizens (ftx.us).

The platforms did not share storage of funds with FTX International either, separate wallets for crypto, separate banks for fiat currency.

In other words, it would be extremely easy for Sam to exclude US funds from his alleged scheme, which would be the smartest thing someone in his position could do (besides leave everyone's funds alone).

So, are there any signs indicating FTX US funds were left untouched?

While Sam's word means very little and I'm not suggesting you put any trust into him, for some reason in every interview he's done following the FTX collapse, he made sure to tell the audience that the US site was not effected, everyone's funds are still there, and he believes 'it could open to let people withdraw today'.

If that is true, Sam committed no crime while in the US, and committed no crimes against US citizens, and suddenly this becomes a very different thing.

Sam Bankman Fried Arrest
Sam Bankman-Fried Being Taken Into Custody by Police in the Bahamas.

As predicted in previous articles, we see Sam being charged with additional crimes like wire fraud, this so they can still lock him up for something even if the charges directly related to him losing billions don't hold up in court.

Similar to how the FBI lacked evidence against Mafia leaders for murders they knew they had committed, so they started digging through their tax history and locked them up for tax violations.

Are There any Signs Sam Mismanaged Funds Belonging to Both FTX International and FTX US Users?

The acting CEO, John J. Ray, appointed to oversee the company's bankruptcy testified with Congress yesterday, Sam was scheduled to appear but that was canceled with his arrest. 

Ray stated they had "NOT found evidence (that Sam made unauthorized withdraws from US customer funds) of that yet"

This is a HUGE - It means if what Ray said is True, Prosecutors do Not Have Evidence for Several of the Charges Against Him! 

If Sam really did leave US funds alone, several charges get dropped before he ever sets foot in a courtroom.

However, a source on the 'inside' at FTX told me that the new CEO "thinks Sam was so reckless with funds from FTX International he's assuming Sam did the same at FTX US and just hid it better" adding that this was "just a personal opinion, but it's a fact that they're looking into where every dollar or token went, so if Sam did anything he shouldn't have they will find it'.

The new CEO and his team have been digging through the records for nearly a month, and their failure to find anything showing Sam's abuse of funds included the FTX US has me prepared for the possibility Sam told the here.

Remember, FTX US staff included former government regulators - would you hire former IRS tax auditors to work for your company if you were secretly committing tax fraud? Probably not.

It's starting to look like Sam followed the rules when it came to FTX US, all high-profile employees specifically worked for FTX US, and saw no red flags that would stop them from vouching for Sam as a legitimate business person.

Where they went wrong is assuming FTX International was operating similarly to FTX US - when in reality Sam saw FTX International as the place where the rules no longer applied.

Life in Prison?

Yes, really.  Many think life-sentences aren't given for financial crimes, and that's true for the average case of someone stealing thousands or even low-millions from a company they work for.

But when someone defrauds investors at a total cost in the billions, everyone involved is willing to punish  them as severely as legally allowed. Prosecutors seek the maximum sentence, and if guilty, the jury will agree. 

Looking at the other high-profile multi-billion dollar scandals, one thing that immediately stands out is how we refer to them by the company name, 'Enron scandal' or 'Worldcom scandal' for example. With the focus on the companies involved, the names of the actual people behind those scandals are generally forgotten. 

A multi-billion dollar loss with all the blame focused on 1 individual, the only other name that comes to mind is Bernie Madoff, the former head of the NASDAQ stock exchange, who lost billions of investors funds when his investment firm was exposed for not investing in anyone, it was actually the largest Ponzi scheme in history.

If Sam truly belongs in the same category as Madoff, he should expect a similar fate. Madoff received a sentence of 150 years in prison in 2009 - he died there last year.

If found guilty on all charges, Sam could be sentenced for a maximum of 115 years under current law.



An Unplanned, Early Exit?

Sam was politically connected, and many FTX members with empty accounts are wondering how their money is gone, but Sam had millions in 'profits' to donate to politicians.

Sam Bankman Fried and Bill Clinton
Sam and Bill Clinton shared the stage at a conference in the Bahamas.

Sam leveraged his political donations for meetings with lawmakers and other VIPS, he was becoming well-connected in Washington DC - many believe Sam may "know too much" and that worries powerful people.

Take this with a huge grain of salt since it is both a conspiracy theory and prediction - but the idea that Sam's former friends may now want him eliminated was on enough people's minds that both 'Sam Bankman-Fried' and 'Epstein' began trending on twitter with hundreds of tweets like:

"Does anyone else wonder if Bankman Fried will meet the same fate as Epstein? After all, how many will he expose if he testifies?"

'Let’s hope they don’t Epstein his a** before he really breaks into full choral singing. Just think what he knows."

"He either gets Epstein treatment or sentenced 2 weeks in a luxurious resort jail, no in between."

While this is one of the more extreme possibilities, one thing is clear - there's no 'good outcome' for him from here.

-----------
Author: Ross Davis
Silicon Valley Newsroom
GCP Breaking Crypto News