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Cryptocurrencies

This ultra-simplified explanation clarifies the absolute basics of a subject that has become shrouded in myth and mystery.

The lockchain, crypto-currencies (or cryptocurrencies) like bitcoin, distributed ledgers and smart contracts are, actually, stuff you already know..

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It's almost impossible to open a website or blog with even a peripheral interest in financial matters and not see a headline saying something like "The Death of Bitcoin." Total tosh. So are the click-bait headlines in the style of "is blockchain dead?"

This is why.

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ASIC has taken action to stop several proposed initial coin offerings or token-generation events (together, "ICO"s), targeting retail investors.

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It takes something of a cheek to solicit investment in a fraudulent scheme and to publish a website with comments falsely attributed to the Chairman of the Monetary Authority of Singapore who also happens to be the country's deputy prime minister. But as MAS has warned, that's exactly what someone is doing...

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This morning, I received, in one of my corporate mailboxes, a spam which is disturbing on several levels, none of which are relevant to the core arguments in this piece so I've added the text in a footnote for readers' information.

What is relevant, and not disturbing, is that it demands payment to a specific bitcoin account.

This is it: 1JXuMq6sbL95XnrcDEsrZTCvvRjB52RCAD.

Governments and others are focussed on the person behind the account. There is another way, says Nigel Morris-Cotterill

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If the domain name used to send a spam and the subject line are inconsistent, that's often a guide to the probability that a the spam is also a scam. If the subject matter of the content is unrelated to a domain name that indicates a connection to a specific subject, that is also an indicator. So digital@myrountrips.net writing about "Multiple revenue streams" and "The Most Profitable Digital Currency System in the World" ticks more than enough boxes. Then we are promised no-lose crypto-currency trading.

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On 19th March, the USA's Office of Foreign Assets Control, a division of the US Treasury, which publishes lists of persons sanctioned under trade and economic policies, under policies that are political including but not limited to national security plus those under the USA PATRIOT Act announced that it was to include, where it has it, cryptocurrency data relating to subjects. Just what are they planning and what will it mean for crypto-currency holders and exchanges and businesses such as online auctions and advertising platforms?

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AUSTRAC statement

Are you a digital currency exchange provider?
16 January 2018 (updated 18 January)

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Yanis Varoufakis, has resigned. In one of his last pronouncements as Greek Finance Minister, Varoufakis said the idea that Greece could print Drachmas was a fallacy. He is reported as having said "we destroyed all the presses."

While he might be right in one respect, that of printing actual Drachma notes, he's fundamentally wrong in another. There is an option that would fix much of the crisis - although it's one that would cause the EU to have a major fit.

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