Novogratz: Cryptocurrency Market Will be ‘Largest Bubble of Our Lifetimes’

A former hedge fund manager at Fortress Investment Group is, reportedly, looking to create a $500 million hedge fund focusing on cryptocurrency and blockchain.

Mike Novogratz, the former manager at Fortress Investment Group, is investing $150 million of his own money. An additional $350 million is expected to be raised by January, 2018, through outside avenues, reports Bloomberg News.

If true, the Galaxy Digital Assets Fund would represent the biggest of its kind. Not only that, but it would illustrate Novogratz’s aggressive move into the sector, to date.

Despite the fact that he didn’t specify whether he’s raising a fund, he did explain why he’s taking part in what he called ‘the largest bubble of our lifetimes.’

He says:

“This is going to be the largest bubble of our lifetimes. Prices are going to get way ahead of where they should be. You can make a whole lot of money on the way up, and we plan on it.”

Investing in Bitcoin

Novogratz made headlines in April when he revealed he had put 10 percent of his net worth into bitcoin and ethereum.

At the time he declined to reveal how much his net worth was. However, he claimed that it was ‘the best investment of my life.’ In April, bitcoin was trading over $1,200. Fast-forward to September and bitcoin’s price topped the $5,000 mark on the 2nd.

Yet, shortly thereafter, it’s price plunged 30 percent as China’s ban on initial coin offerings (ICOs) and a crackdown on domestic digital currency exchanges impacted the market’s price.

Novogratz explains that he sold at the right time.

“I sold at $5,000 or $4,980. Then three weeks later I’m trying to buy it in the low $3,000s. If you’re good at that and you’re a trading junkie, it’s a lot of fun.”

It is because of the market’s fluctuating prices that Novogratz compares it to the Wild West. He believes that the cryptocurrency market needs more regulation and that some ICOs are simply fraudulent ‘get-rich-quick-schemes.’

Concerns Still Remain

While Novogratz appears keen to explore the cryptocurrency market further, most large establishments are steering clear. For many, concerns about its unregulated nature and its volatility remain.

Jamie Dimon, CEO of JPMorgan Chase, recently added his voice to those against bitcoin when he called it ‘a fraud.’

At a news conference, the banker claimed that the digital currency ‘won’t end well’ and that it will eventually blow up.

He said:

“It’s worse than tulip bulbs. It won’t end well. Someone is going to get killed. Currencies have legal support. It will blow up.”

He also mentioned that he would ‘fire in a second’ any employee found trading in bitcoin. Interestingly, questions have been raised about the fact that JPMorgan handles bitcoin-related client trades.

Another figure that has been against bitcoin is Howard Marks, founder of Oaktree Capital Management. At the end of July, Marks claimed that digital currencies ‘aren’t real‘ in a 22-page memo to clients. At the time, he said people were investing in the market for fear of missing out. Additionally, he claimed that digital currencies are ‘nothing but an unfounded fad or perhaps even a pyramid scheme.’

Interestingly, he has since changed his view on the market. As a result, in a new 11-page memo to clients he admits that bitcoin could become a legitimate currency. Yet, even though he considers himself ‘less of a dinosaur’ regarding his understanding of the currency, he’s still not investing in it.

He wrote:

“I still don’t feel like putting my money into it, because I consider it a speculative bubble.”

Seeing Opportunity Where Others Smell Fear

For Novogratz, though, the cryptocurrency market presents the perfect opportunity. And it’s one that he wants to be a part of.

He explains:

“In a lot of ways, this is a market like any other market. You see the psychology of fear and greed in the charts the same way you’d see it in charts of the Indonesian rupiah or dollar-yen or Treasuries. They’re exaggerated because of less liquidity and because you can’t get short.”

Interestingly, Rainer Michael Preiss, executive director at Singapore-based Taurus Wealth Advisors, said that CEOs of major U.S. banks are ‘probably afraid‘ of bitcoin and the blockchain.

In a report, he said:

“Of course, if you run a very large U.S. bank, most probably you are afraid of blockchain and bitcoin.”

This is understandable considering the amount of wealth they control. However, Preiss believes that cryptocurrencies are becoming a viable alternative to people because of a bank’s lack of transparency.

He added:

“The concerns are about the fractional reserve banking system, and the balance sheet of the Federal Reserve at $4.5 trillion, where the Fed officially refuses an audit. On the other hand, on the bitcoin blockchain, you have an audit everyday because it’s open-sourced.”

Investing in Ethereum

It wasn’t until Novogratz left his job at Fortress that he made a name for himself in the crypto market. In 2015, after seeing a friend’s startup and the success of it, he decided he wanted to become more involved in the space.

Instead of investing in bitcoin, though, he put his money into ethereum. At less than a dollar per ether, Novogratz invested $500,000 and left for a holiday to India. When he returned ether’s value has risen fivehold.

During 2016 and 2017, ether and bitcoin soared in value: ether touched $400 and bitcoin scaled $2,500. As a result, Novogratz was able to make around $250 million through the coins he sold. From then he became hooked. He believes that bubbles help to ‘fundamentally change’ the way people live.

“Remember, bubbles happen around things that fundamentally change the way we live. The railroad bubble. Railroads really fundamentally changed the way we lived. The internet bubble changed the way we live. When I look forward five, 10 years, the possibilities really get your animal spirits going.”

He now estimates that he has around 20 percent of his net worth invested in digital assets.

Despite his self-imposed exile from Wall Street after his losses at Fortress, Novogratz is keen to enjoy this venture in the cryptocurrency space. As he says, you ‘learn from your mistakes.’

Featured image from Shutterstock.

Bitcoin Extortion Group DD4BC Targeting Financial Companies

The world of the Bitcoin is overall looking a lot more positive. Every day we see more and more reports of startups and well-established companies using the Bitcoin or its technology in their company and as a micro-payment solution it is probably the best around at the time.

But not everything is perfect in the Bitcoin world, far from it. Since the beginning there has been blackmarket darknet sites who has been using Bitcoins as a payment method for illegal drugs, weapons and other things that regular people would not be buying.

There has also been extortion done on companies, where Bitcoin payments has been preferred as a method to pay the ransom to get the attacks to stop. This seems to have ramped up lately, especially with a group known as “DD4BC” who has been attacking several financial companies.

Akami has explained the issue very well in a recent blog post, where they tell more about exactly what sort of power that the group has to attack with, which industries they target the most and how exactly they go about the attacks in terms of wanting Bitcoins and such.

DD4BC is very well known in the online Bitcoin community, as well as in financial industries, due to their many attacks the past year. Nobody has found any information on who is behind the group, where they are from or anything else, which has made it impossible for companies to report it to the authorities.

The group will initially start out a small attack on a single ip or server with a limited version of their power, where they will send the company an email at the same time to explain to them what is happening and try to get them to pay a one-time fee in Bitcoins, ranging from 40-50 Bitcoins.

However if the company chooses not to pay, then they will be in serious trouble. The group will then launch full scale attacks on the company and the Bitcoin ransom will go up and up until they decide to pay the extortion fee.

Heimdal Security has also made a blog post about DD4BC, where they give an example of how the group will contact the company initially and how they threaten the companies to pay.

The main issue in all of this from a company perspective is that nobody wants their services to be down and it may be the easiest way to get rid of the problem to simply pay. It is also a problem that nobody really knows where they can go to report crime of this matter and they might not know how to safeguard against it happening again.

From a Bitcoin community point-of-view, it is an issue that the currency that we are all working for people to respect is being used to extort companies, which gives the Bitcoin a bad reputation and will not gain our course at all. Hopefully it will be possible to stop these attacks once and for all in the future.

Dark Web Market Places Processed $500,000 in Bitcoin Transactions Daily in 2014

The Bitcoin is becoming increasingly popular to use, as the Bitcoin community is constantly expanding and the mainstream population is also beginning to see the benefits of using the cryptocurrency to pay with, as well as sending funds with.

But despite the massive increase in mainstream transactions and companies accepting Bitcoins completely legal and regulated, the amount of Bitcoins processed in the “regular” markets are not close to the same numbers as the underground markets process.

In 2013 we saw the biggest Dark Web market place, known as Silk Road, being shut down by the FBI. The feds had been infiltrating the organization over a longer period of time and arrested the alleged operator and founder of Silk Road.

While the FBI probably hoped for Silk Road to be one of the last market places to exist in the Dark Web, tons of sites continues to pop up and operate despite many being shut down all the time.

Now some official numbers have been released which shows that the Dark Web market places averaged $500,000 in Bitcoin transactions a day in 2014, ranging from $300,000 to $650,000 a day.

But despite the big numbers, it is still such a small portion of the overall illegal market transactions that it doesn’t make much of a difference – except for the Bitcoin. The Bitcoin has been associated with many shady things in the past and the people working towards creating a better picture of the cryptocurrency are not happy about this path continuing.

The Bitcoins anonymous nature makes it a very good way to sell drugs, weapons and other things illegally, but the sellers on average doesn’t really make any money, which in turn may cause them to leave it all together in the long run.

“About 70 percent of all sellers never managed to sell more than $1,000 worth of products. Another 18% of sellers were observed to sell between $1,000 and $10,000 but only about 2% of vendors managed to sell more than $100,000. In fact, 35 sellers were observed selling over $1,000,000 worth of product and the top 1% most successful vendors were responsible for 51.5% of all the volume transacted.” The report issued reads.

“Psychedelics, opioids, and prescription drugs are a little less than 10% of market demand each, although starting in November 2014, prescription drugs have gained significant traction—perhaps making anonymous marketplaces a viable alternative to unlicensed online pharmacies,” The report further states.

This numbers shows that more sellers are trying their luck on the Dark Web market places, but that very few actually succeeds in making money, which in the long run will drive people away from the market places and only a few sites will be left with the same “big guns” selling their stuff.

While not ideal for the Bitcoin as a whole, given the nature of the purchases being made, there’s still a positive aspect to take out of the story as it shows that the Bitcoin can work as an independent currency and handle large amounts of transactions with little to no fee and a high security level.

Once the Bitcoin distances itself from the illegal market sales and gains ground in the mainstream environment, then we will be able to see why it is the currency of the future.

LOT Airlines and Lawyer.com Now Accepting Bitcoin Payments

It’s exciting times for the Bitcoin payment industry these days, as we are seeing a vast amount of online companies, big and small, starting to accept the cryptocurrency as a mean of paying for their goods and services.

Poland’s state-owned air carrier LOT Airlines announced earlier this week that they will not start to accept Bitcoin payments for plane tickets. While not being the first, as Air Baltic started accepting Bitcoins in 2014, they are still one of the first and one of the biggest to do so.

Customers who wishes to purchase tickets using Bitcoins will be able to do so through the website and through the mobile application. The price will be shown in fiat-currency and then converted into Bitcoins at the rate currently available at the time of the purchase.

LOT Airlines have teamed up with BitPay to be able to accept Bitcoin payments and BitPay will be responsible for converting the fiat-currency price into Bitcoins and also pay LOT Airlines in a fiat-currency for all transactions made with Bitcoins.

“The new payment method is addressed to everybody who has a Bitcoin wallet, and is an active user of this currency when doing the shopping online. Bitcoins can be used to pay for any LOT flight on the majority of the markets where the airline sells tickets.” A statement from LOT Airlines said.

“It’s just a matter of time when payments with the online currency will become as popular as using credit cards today. We notice this potential, which is why we are one of the first airlines in the world to give its passengers the possibility of paying with Bitcoins as early as today.” The statement further read.

“We go for innovations thanks to which [the customers’] journey is even more comfortable and pleasant not only on board, but also much earlier – at the stage of buying the ticket. Many of them do the shopping online, including plane tickets.” Jiri Marek, Sales and Distribution Executive Director for LOT said in a press release.

Lawyer.com also announced this week that they have begun accepting Bitcoin payments for their services. The company basically offers people the chance to find a lawyer online and lawyers pays a monthly subscription fee to be on the website.

The site has been on the market for the past six years and sees the potential in accepting Bitcoin payments. The service costs between $99-$299 a month to be a member of, but lawyers paying with Bitcoins will be subject to a 10% discount.

“Bitcoin transactions reduce our costs, improve transaction speed and provide full billing transparency. In return, we can offer our services at significant savings. We’re not paying transaction fees, there are no bad credits, and we can manage our own bad debts.” Chief Executive Officer at Lawyer, Gerry Gorman said in a press release.

The site have been testing Bitcoin payments for a months time before deciding to integrate it into their payments platform. They have teamed up with Stripe to be able to accept Bitcoin payments and it works in the same way as explained with BitPay, where customers price will be converted to Bitcoins at the current rate.

“We have an emerging group of very tech-savvy lawyers. We think bitcoin could appeal to them in building their practices. Bitcoin is going to be mainstream five years from now. We’d like to be the leader today. We’ve known about and understood bitcoin, we wanted to achieve some sort of critical mass in the marketplace.” Gorman added.

Coingaming To Launch Sportsbetting Platform

The Bitcoin gaming industry is moving forward at full speed these days, with more and more operators opening up their doors and attracting new clientel to the thrilling world. The traffic and revenues increases year-by-year and all the larger sites has experienced an increase in revenues.

One of the current obstacles in the Bitcoin gaming industry however, is that most sites that are currently online are very specialized in one specific type of gambling, rather than diversifying. Initially we saw this with the Bitcoin dice sites that only offered dice games, then Bitcoin poker sites just offering one or two types of poker and so on.

In order to be able to move more traffic away from the fiat-currency gaming industry, operators in the Bitcoin gaming industry needs to be able to diversify and integrate products that players wants to play, to get them to continue playing in their site at all times.

It is very common for the major sportsbetting sites to both offer poker, casino, live casino, bingo, sports betting and even financial trading similar to binary options. Finding sites in the Bitcoin industry that offers more than one or two of these products is rare and those that are there currently may not have the experience needed to really take it to the next level.

This is about to change however, as one of the leading Bitcoin gaming platform providers Coingaming will be launching their Bitcoin-only sportsbetting platform on August 8th, right when the Premier League starts.

This means that Coingaming can now offer at least the full standard suite of products for their operators, which includes poker, casino and live casino as well as sportsbetting. Integrating these products will make it easier to attract new clients and convert fiat-money players to Bitcoins if the advertising is done correctly.

The betting platform has been designed by Coingaming to maximize the revenues and profit streams for the operators integrating it. It has also been created with Bitcoin in mind, ensuring that it seems natural for Bitcoin users to use.

Mark McGuinness, Communications Director of Coingaming, said: “The underlying bitcoin sportsbook technology shall offer significant advantages over traditional fiat currency based fixed-odds platforms. We have over 10,000 live betting markets on offer per week, including fast developing betting sports such as MMA and eSports.  Benefits for the player include the ability to place larger bets on events on any device with better odds, instant deposits and cash-outs. These features will appeal to young smart, mobile focused sports bettors that demand instant gratification.”

The sports betting market is currently seeing a lot of investments from Bitcoin operators, as it is one of the biggest revenue streams in the iGaming industry. There are million of bettors betting on a daily basis and many are not happy with the restrictions that traditional bookies put on them, which would make the Bitcoin sportsbetting product very attractive to them.

Coingaming did not announce if any of their current partners will be integrating the sportsbetting platform.

Snapcard and Alpha Payments Cloud In Bitcoin Payment Partnership

The Bitcoin is becoming increasingly popular all over the world, with an estimated 7 million either trading or using Bitcoins on a regular basis. A lot of the mainstream adaption comes from services and businesses accepting Bitcoins, but we still haven’t seen a small percentage of the world’s businesses integrate it yet.

With more companies integrating the Bitcoin as a payment method, people will have a cheaper alternative towards paying, as well as more secure. For the companies it is also beneficial, as they will save a fortune in transaction costs and the security in Bitcoins are a lot higher than in regular payment methods such as credit cards and bank wires.

Now we will see yet another boom of businesses accepting Bitcoins online and land-based as Snapcard (now Sendwyre) and Alpha Payments Cloud has signed a partnership agreement to power AlphaHub customers with Bitcoin acceptance.

Snapcard is one of the leading Bitcoin payment processing as well as Bitcoin wallet companies out there. Alpha Payments Cloud is a major payment processing company, with customers all across the globe.

The existing AlphaHub customers, as well as new, will be able to accept Bitcoins through a single, simple API integration on their websites. It litterally only takes a few clicks and their shop or service will be ready to accept Bitcoins.

“The AlphaHub API connects banks and merchants to more than 100 white-label solutions like gateways, alternative payments, ID verification, chargeback management– we’re excited to work with Snapcard to help our clients capture the added-value of accepting global alternative payments like Bitcoin,” commented Rónán Gallagher, Chief Product Officer at Alpha Payments Cloud.

Alpha Payments Cloud will furthermore refer interested customers to Snapcard, who will help educate the staff in Bitcoins, acceptance of them and everything else that one needs to know to accept the cryptocurrency.

“We pride ourselves in customer service and understand that with a new payment method like Bitcoin, it’s important to stay involved in the educational process,” noted Michael Dunworth, CEO of Snapcard, “Alpha is known for its innovative initiatives in the payment space– with this partnership, we’re looking forward to bringing a beautiful line of Bitcoin products to Alpha’s clients.”

The pricing should be quite attractive for many of AlphaHub’s customers, as there will be no setup costs or monthly fees. Instead, all businesses accepting Bitcoins will be paying 0.5% of each transaction made with Bitcoins, which will provide an average save of 3% compared to the regular methods.

Not only can the businesses who choses to accept Bitcoins through AlphaHub find new target markets and save money in fees, the Bitcoin also get more exposure to the general public which will attract more people towards using Bitcoins as their preferred payment method.

Hopefully we will see a wide range of different industries and shop integrate Bitcoin as a payment method, so that the mainstream adaption can reach new crowds. The more smaller businesses that integrates Bitcoins, the more the larger companies will consider doing so as well, creating a ripple effect that could only benefit the Bitcoin in the long run.

Bryan Micon Cuts Deal and Pleads Guilty In SealsWithClubs Case

The Bitcoin has attracted many creative geniuses, whom have created various businesses based upon the Bitcoin as a payment method or by using its technology. One of those people is Bryan Micon, who was the face of the now shut down SealsWithClubs and the owner of SWCPoker.

Micon helped the Bitcoin poker industry get to the next level, after being stuck with a couple of small-time operators who had no clue on how to get liquidity into a room. Micon started different marketing campaigns and slowly build up the reputation that made SealsWithClubs the Pokerstars of Bitcoin poker.

But just like most things, SealsWithClubs came to an end. The management didn’t feel that they could continue to operate the room after yet another attack on their servers and decided to shut down the site in February of this year.

Micon decided that he would not let the attackers decide if he should run a poker room or not and opened up his own room SWCPoker, which was a descendant of Seals, just without the original management team.

Micon believed that he could transfer over most of the player base from Seals and continue to operate a successful room with the new software he had purchased, along with other improvements.

Micon didn’t make it that far in his plans however, as his home in Las Vegas was raided and once he flead to Antigua, a warrant for his arrest was released

It was believed that Micon would not return to the US again to face his charges, as Antigua is a safe place to hide for those wanted by the US police and agencies. However Micon did return to face his charges, after his lawyer got him a plea-deal.

Micon pleaded guilty to having run an unlicensed interactive gaming system in the state of Nevada. By pleading guilty, Micon will, according to his lawyer, avoid any jail-time for the crime he did. Micon will instead be on probation for an unknown amount of time and if he completes that he will be able to plead to one gross misdemeanor count of conspiracy to operate unlicensed interactive gaming systems.

Furthermore Micon will also have to pay a $25,000 fine for having run the illegal gaming site, as well as forfeit properties seized in the raid, which includes $900 in cash, around three Bitcoins and a ton of electronic equipment.

The deal is still quite good for Micon however, as he initially faced upwards of 10 years in prison and a $50,000 fine for having run SealsWithClubs. Micon himself has not made any official comments on the case yet, but we feel confident that he is happy with the sentence despite of his beliefs that the US is killing the creativity in the country.

The official sentence in the case will be made in November of this year and will determine what Micon’s official punishment will be, should he complete his probation.

Coinzone Launches Bitcoin Merchant Services In Poland

The road to mainstream adaption of the Bitcoin seems closer than ever, with Bitcoins becoming increasingly popular around the world to own, accept and use. In the US and India, the cryptocurrency is being used a lot as a payment method in start-ups and in Europe there’s many places accepting it to save money in transaction fees.

Also the online gambling industry has embraced the Bitcoin, even the fiat-money industry who are saving tons of money in processing deposits and cash outs and are able to do it so much faster. But despite the good tendency, there’s still a long way to go before we are quite there.

It looks like Poland is the next place to embrace the Bitcoin and its good things, as Coinzone announced today that they have launched their Bitcoin merchant payment services there.

Coinzone provides merchants and businesses with the possibility to accept Bitcoins both in their online and land-based businesses through a simple and cheap integration. Once integrated, the customers will be able to accept Bitcoins in their native tongue and in their native currency, which will be exchanged at the daily exchange rate.

What makes Coinzone ideal for smaller, as well as larger, companies is the fact that there’s no monthly subscription fees or minimum amounts of revenue that has to go through them. This makes it a great tool for companies who are willing to reach out to a new crowd and adapt new technology, while saving money in fees.

“Coinzone’s payment gateway offers multiple advantages for merchants. Quick and easy to use and requiring no special hardware, our solutions offer a simple and secure way to accept Bitcoin with no associated risk,” explained Manuel Heilmann, CEO and Co-Founder of Coinzone.

“We’re excited to be part of such a vibrant Bitcoin market. Businesses in Poland are eager to attract growing numbers of Bitcoin users, and our launch will enable businesses large and small to respond to consumers with a convenient yet secure Bitcoin payment process that delivers an exceptional user experience.”

“Europe represents one of the fastest growing markets for merchants adopting Bitcoin. As the currency becomes increasingly mainstream, it’s changing the way people think about digital money. At Coinzone we’re committed to ensuring businesses across Europe are able to participate in this exciting new payment method – with a dynamic and highly functional solution that’s fully compliant to the local market they operate within,” concluded Heilmann.

If the Bitcoin adaption becomes a success in Poland, both in the online and the land-based industries, then we might see more countries join the wave and more companies be willing to try and accept the Bitcoin.

Overall this is a crucial step in the right direction for the Bitcoin and its quest to become mainstream. Reaching out to new people and companies will only help spread the knowledge of the cryptocurrency and with more understanding how it works, we won’t have to see more articles with “experts” claiming that the Bitcoin is not a currency.

You Can Now Margin Trade Bitcoins At Kraken

The Bitcoin has been gaining a lot of mainstream ground in the past years time, with many big companies embracing the cryptocurrency, as well as Bitcoin ATM’s popping up all over the world in large numbers.

The Bitcoin has always been a commodity that you would have to buy or mine to obtain, which has led to a decent amount of price swings in the past. While regular trading can be good and bad, it can be really good when it’s done by professionals trading large quantities at a time.

With large trading amounts, there’s a bigger need for Bitcoins to actually trade, which again in an ideal scenario will boost the Bitcoin value over time and make it more attractive for the mainstream public once again, as well as more companies.

Up until now there hasn’t been a lot of places where you could margin trade the Bitcoin against a fiat-currency, but there is now. The San Fransisco-based Bitcoin exchange company Kraken announced earlier this week that they have launched Bitcoin margin trading against the Euro.

Kraken is one of the leading Bitcoin exchange sites in the world, having massive volumes of Bitcoin trades done on a daily basis and they are even helping out in the Mt. Gox case.

Margin trading is basically where you place money on the value of the currency going up or down and you then sell your trade when you feel like it has hit the highest it can or when you have lost too much value on it.

It is very much like Forex trading, except from that you will be trading a virtual currency against a fiat-currency instead of a fiat-currency against a fiat-currency. With the swings that the Bitcoin encounters in value, it may just become the go-to currency for forex traders, as it is very good for making money.

To make things more like forex, Kraken has enabled the possibility for users to get leverage. Leverage is basically the option to trade with more money than you actually have, making your profits larger or in the worst case, losing your money faster.

Initially Kraken will offer customers the option to trade with 3x leverage, which means that if you gain 4%, you actually gained 12% and vice versa for losing. Within a short period of time, Kraken will even offer up to 20x leverage for those who wants it, making it possible to make 20x as much more as you otherwise would have done.

Margin trading will not be available to everyone from the start, as they have strict requirements in terms of verification to be able to do margin trading. It is quite simple to get enabled however, as you simply have to send in some personal documents if you wish to trade BTC/EUR on the market.

Kraken will not be charging any additional fees towards any margin trading done in their platform, charging only their standard Bitcoin exchange fee, which averages at around 0.10%. Positions open for more than 24 hours will be subject to an additional 0.05% fee however.

Switzerland Might Open The World’s First Bitcoin Bank

While the Bitcoin is continuing its quest for mainstream adaption, there is still some major issues for most companies using it – It is very difficult to find banks to work with, even if the Bitcoin is fully legal and regulated.

This has led to some companies having to close shop as they didn’t have anywhere to do their banking needs and thus couldn’t continue their operations. It has also led to accusations of money-laundering as some companies has had to think outside the box to get their funds out.

Now this might soon be history however, as it was announced this week that a group in Switzerland is working hard on opening the world’s very first Bitcoin bank. The group has been preparing for several months, working on obtaining the necessary licenses to open up the bank.

The story has been confirmed from several people inside the Switz financial industry, saying that there has been talks with the Financial Market Supervisory Authority from the project group’s side and rumour has it that they will be applying for a license within a few weeks so they can begin their project officially.

The group, which consists of eight people, told the press that they have already found investors to invest in the Bitcoin bank and that they are also looking for a place to locate the bank if they are succesfull in obtaining a license.

So why is this so important for the Bitcoin industry? The first reason is very clear, as they would be able to offer proper banking for Bitcoin companies. The companies would no longer have to battle banks in order to get proper banking and could instead focus on growing their business.

Secondly it would be a major boost in the right direction for the Bitcoin as a whole, as it could officially distance itself from all the shady things of the past and work as a traditional company does, with all that it takes.

The different authorities would have one place to go to get information about the financials of a company and easily see if they pay the VAT, taxes and other fees as they should. Furthermore it would make it easier for companies to prove just the same things and for consumers it is also positive as one would know exactly where the company holds their funds.

It has not been released yet who the bank will be cooperating with to build their business, as they will need partners from all corners of the Bitcoin industry to open a bank. First and foremost they will need some sort of storage facility for the Bitcoins, so that they are safe at all times and secondly they will need someone to help them facilitate the Bitcoin transfers back and forward.

Overall this is very positive news for the Bitcoin industry if the group is succesfull in opening up the world’s first Bitcoin bank. It will make it easier for start-ups to embrace the cryptocurrency and thus make mainstream adaption easier in the future.

Denmark Aiming For Cash-Less Society – Will Bitcoin Play A Role?

Denmark is a country well-known for several things. First and foremost they have been awarded as the happiest country in the world, but they are also well-known for being very well educated and having a great economy – one of the best in the world per capita.

A society like theirs – and the rest of Scandinavia – is very pro-technology and is always looking for ways to make things more simple or cheaper compared to the way things are done today.

One of the things the country’s government is currently looking into is to make Denmark cash-less long-term, starting with a short-term plan where cash no longer would be accepted at restaurants, clothing retailers as well as on petrol stations.

While the idea is not yet approved, it seems that it may be. If so, it is just the first step on the way to making Denmark cash-less completely. Here’s where things gets interesting, because if that happens, can the Bitcoin play an important role?

Today most things are being paid with credit/debit card in Denmark, as well as through a mobile payment system, allowing people to pay and transfer funds directly from their mobile device. The transition towards not using cash at all wouldn’t be that hard for most Danish people, but do they wish to do so?

The problem in a cash-less society is privacy. There will be no privacy for anyone in a cash-less society, where the banks and government can track every single money transfer, payment or whatever else one does with funds.

Here’s where the Bitcoin comes into the picture. If there will no longer be cash to be used “anonymously”, where will people turn if they are not interested in the bank and the government knowing what they spend their funds on? That’s right, the Bitcoin.

The Bitcoin is already somewhat popular in Denmark, with many people using Bitcoins to gamble online, as well as pay in the few places that currently accepts it. The country also have three Bitcoin ATM’s, all located in the capital of Copenhagen.

However the Bitcoin may be boosted significantly when people finds out about the Bitcoin and its anonymous nature. Denmark has decided for now not to regulate the Bitcoin, allowing people to spend them as they want without having to be tracked by anyone.

So with one of the strongest economies in the world, the Bitcoin may get a significant boost in the right direction from 2016 already, when people wants to be able to spend money without being tracked.

But it will not only be good for the general public if the Bitcoin gets a boost in Denmark, as the shops who will be forced to accept credit card payments will want to have a cheaper alternative. Credit card fees are extremely high and cuts directly into any profit margin, while the Bitcoin is free to accept and costs almost nothing in general.

Coinify, a Danish Bitcoin exchange and Bitcoin payment system provider, are ready to provide shops, restaurants and whatever else with the opportunity to accept Bitcoins and convert the funds into fiat-money. This way we all win – There will be no traceless cash and we will all still have the possibility to pay in an anonymous way, whilst the shops saves money in fees.

Arrest Warrant Issued In Nevada For Bryan Micon

While the Bitcoin is moving forward like an unstoppable train across the world, with more and more companies embracing the coin and more merchants accepting it, it’s not everyone who is currently enjoying it as much.

Bryan Micon, professional poker player, former chairman of SealsWithClubs and current owner of SwCpoker, has got a arrest warrant issued on him in the state of Nevada, which practically means that if he goes to the US he will be arrested.

Micon has been charged with a Class B felony, for operating an unlicensed and unregulated poker site in the state of Nevada. Should he be arrested, trialed and found guilty, Micon can be looking at up to 10 years in prison and a fine upwards of $50,000.

While there are no exact details available from the state attorney yet, they have announced that they will be hosting a press conference to give the press the details about the case and what it is exactly that Micon did that was against the law.

What we do know is that the charges against Micon is for running the Bitcoin poker site SealsWithClubs, which was shut down in February, right after Micon’s Las Vegas residence was raided by local police forces and the Nevada Gaming Commission. 

The police raid was unwarranted and Micon explained in this video that his house door was kicked down by police forces with big guns, who didn’t listen when he said that he wasn’t going to do anything. Furthermore they scared his kids and wife during the raid, only to confiscate a few computers.

“A bunch of guys with guns broke down my door, put me in handcuffs, serving a warrant from the Nevada gaming commission. The 10 agents stole most of my electronics” Micon says in the video, adding:

“After I was lead out in handcuffs in my underwear, it was pretty clear that it was proper to leave sooner rather than later and I didn’t really want my two-year-old daughter, whom I love very much, to grow up in a police state where creativity was met with guns and what not.”

Shortly after the raid, SealsWithClubs shut down and asked players to cash out their Bitcoins as soon as possible to avoid troubles. Micon then decided that he wanted to continue operating SealsWithClubs and opened up its sister-site SwCpoker, which is currently operating without issues.

The case in general seems a bit like an overkill as SealsWithClubs was not making millions from offering Bitcoin poker. While they did serve US players, there are plenty of bigger poker networks and sites out there who does the same.

Micon left for Antigua shortly after the raid in his home and probably doesn’t plan on going back to the US to face a trial for operating a Bitcoin poker site in the state. Micon stated through his lawyer that he doesn’t feel like he did anything wrong or unethical in operating the site.

“Bryan has always maintained that he committed no wrongdoing, but I’m not in a position to comment on the Attorney General’s filing because I haven’t seen it,” said defense attorney Richard Schonfeld to ReviewJournal.com.