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Biden Confirms Crypto-Savvy Gary Gensler Will Lead Financial Policy Transition Team

Gary Gensler, Simon Johnson and Mehrsa Baradaran are among the policy experts versed in crypto and blockchain issues named to Biden’s transition team.

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Author: Jaspreet Kalra

Market Wrap: Bitcoin Flat at $15.2K; Crypto Locked in DeFi at All-Time High

Bitcoin’s price takes a break while DeFi value locked is at record levels.

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Author: Daniel Cawrey

Multisignature Wallets Can Keep Your Coins Safer (If You Use Them Right)

Multisignature wallets are cryptocurrency wallets which require two or more private keys to sign and send a transaction.

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Author: Colin Harper

Legendary Investor Stan Druckenmiller Turns Bitcoin Bull

Billionaire investor Stan Druckenmiller made pro-bitcoin comments on CNBC, joining other high-profile, ultra high-net-worth investors.

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Author: Nathaniel Whittemore

Former Microsoft employee sentenced in what IRS calls ‘first Bitcoin case’ involving false tax return

A former product tester for Microsoft has been sentenced to more than nine years in prison after being convicted of defrauding the tech giant and using bitcoin as a means to hide the funds he obtained.

Volodymyr Kvashuk’s actions were first laid out in a July 2019 criminal complaint that was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington at Seattle. As outlined in the court documents, Kvashuk was first an outside tester before being brought in on a full-time basis. He was involved in testing a system through which users could buy things with digital gift cards and other sources.

Per the complaint, Kvashuk made real-world purchases through the system — an unintended result of the testing phase — and eventually he resold more of these digital gift cards in excess of $10 million. 

The complaint went on to allege that Kvashuk converted the proceeds from these sales, which were conducted via online websites, into bitcoin, which he later converted into dollars by way of a Coinbase account. As part of that process, he is said to have used, a transaction mixing service that was more recently used in an effort to obscure the source of funds stolen from crypto exchange Kucoin. The court document also shows that he obtained a small amount of funds on Paxful, a peer-to-peer crypto exchange.

The government further alleged at the time that Kvashuk, when reporting cryptocurrency proceeds to the Internal Revenue Service, sought to classify the bitcoin he’d received as a gift. This part of the alleged scheme is what drew the IRS into the eventual investigation and prompted the declaration this week that Kvasuk’s conviction and sentencing “is the nation’s first Bitcoin case that has a tax component to it.”

“Simply put, today’s sentencing proves you cannot steal money via the Internet and think that Bitcoin is going to hide your criminal behaviors. Our complex team of cybercrimes experts with the assistance of IRS-CI’s Cyber Crimes Unit will hunt you down and hold you accountable for your wrongdoings,” IRS-CI Special Agent in Charge Ryan Korner said in a statement.

In addition to the jail sentence, Kvashuk was ordered to pay $8,344,586 in restitution. 

© 2020 The Block Crypto, Inc. All Rights Reserved. This article is provided for informational purposes only. It is not offered or intended to be used as legal, tax, investment, financial, or other advice.

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Author: Michael McSweeney

ShapeShift Delists Privacy Coin Zcash Over Regulatory Concerns

XMR, DASH and ZEC “were delisted at the same time for the same reason – to further derisk the company from a regulatory standpoint.”

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Author: Brady Dale

Volume Surge Brings 25% Turnover to ‘CoinDesk 20’

In the latest CoinDesk 20 revision, five assets were replaced by crypto assets that saw recent quarterly volume surges.

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Author: Galen Moore

MicroStrategy CEO Explains Why Bitcoin Is ‘a Million Times Better’ Than ‘Antiquated’ Gold

Even if they don’t know it yet, Michael Saylor thinks gold investors will eagerly dump the commodity for what he calls a superior store of value – bitcoin.

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Author: Danny Nelson

Digital Voting Is Coming. Let’s Do It Right.

Cryptographic techniques, like zk-SNARKs and blockchains, could ensure online voting is secure and private.

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Author: Nathaniel Williams

Ethereum blockchain data startup Blocknative raises $5 million in new funding

Blocknative, an Ethereum-focused project that provides tools for on-network transaction transparency, has raised $5 million in new financing.

According to a Tuesday announcement from the firm, the financing was led by Blockchain Capital. IDEO Colab Ventures, Coinbase Ventures, Industry Ventures and Foundry Group also took part in the round, per the post. Blockchain Capital’s Spencer Bogart has also joined the firm’s board of directors.

“We are working towards a future in which a crypto-native global population can transact with clarity and confidence,” the startup said. “We have an ambitious product roadmap designed to accelerate the arrival of this blockchain-based future, and accordingly we are now growing our engineering, design, and go-to-market teams.”

Blocknative offers a data platform for tracking transactions as they occur on the blockchain network, specifically the mempool, where transactions populate before being included in miner blocks. 

In recent weeks, other Ethereum-focused data startups — such as Dune Analytics, Covalent and Nansen — have also raised funding rounds. 

© 2020 The Block Crypto, Inc. All Rights Reserved. This article is provided for informational purposes only. It is not offered or intended to be used as legal, tax, investment, financial, or other advice.

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Author: Michael McSweeney