ICO FRAUDSTER PLEADS GUILTY TO $7M COVID RELIEF LOAN SCAM

ICO FRAUDSTER PLEADS GUILTY TO $7M COVID RELIEF LOAN SCAM

Wednesday, 21 April, 2021 at 05:42 GMT

A 24-year-old New York resident has pleaded guilty to acquiring more than $7 million in Covid-19 relief through fraudulent loan applications and misleading investors in a fraudulent initial coin offering during 2018.

According to an April 20 announcement from the U.S. Department of Justice, Taiwanese national, Justin Cheng — also known as “Justin Jung” — Cheng submitted a series of online loan applications accompanied by forged tax and payroll records between May and August of last year.

Cheng’s applications featured fraudulent IRS tax and payroll records purporting to document the names of 200 employees earning $1.5 million in monthly wages from Cheng’s businesses. However, the list consisted of names from current and former public figures including Good Morning America co-anchor and a deceased “former Penn State football coach.”

In addition to applying with at least five different banks, the scammer sent loan applications to the U.S. government’s Paycheck Protection Program and Economic Injury Disaster Loan programs.”

Cheng was successful in securing $7 million worth of covid-relief for his fictitious employees, which was reportedly spent on personal expenses including a $40,000 Rolex, rent for a $17,000 a month apartment, and 2020 Mercedes. U.S. Attorney Audrey Strauss said:

“Cheng lied to the SBA and several banks about ownership of his companies, the number of people employed, and how any loan proceeds would be applied, using forged and fraudulent documents in the process. Cheng spent much of the money on personal luxury items.”

The self-described “serial entrepreneur” also pled guilty to operating a fraudulent ICO between August and October 2018 for his firm.

In 2018, Cheng solicited investors to participate in the ICO for his company, Alchemy Coin Technology Limited, while making false statements about the firm's finances and readiness of its peer-to-peer lending platform, and failing to disclose the ICO was an unlicensed offering. The Department of Justice stated:

“These investments were obtained through materially false and misleading statements and omissions regarding Alchemy Coin’s access to capital, use of investor proceeds, the product readiness of its purported blockchain-based peer-to-peer lending platform, and the registration of its tokens as part of an initial coin offering.”

District Judge Alison J. Nathan set a sentencing date for Aug. 3, with Cheng facing up to 80 years in prison....

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VALUE OF BITCOIN DOWN 15% AFTER BTC PRICE REACHED RECORD HIGH OF NEARLY $65‚000

VALUE OF BITCOIN DOWN 15% AFTER BTC PRICE REACHED RECORD HIGH OF NEARLY $65‚000

Tuesday, 20 April, 2021 at 10:17 GMT

Bitcoin declined 15% over the weekend. As BTC plunged, altcoins like Ethereum (ETH) also fell in value.
The value of the leading cryptocurrency by market cap Bitcoin fell as much as 15% over the weekend after reaching a record high of nearly $65,000 last week. According to Coin Metrics data, Bitcoin traded as high as $64,851 in the early hours of the 14th of April. The record high occurred ahead of Coinbase’s (NASDAQ: COIN) public debut on Nasdaq.

Bitcoin Value Down Less than One Week after Hitting Record High


As Bitcoin plunged, altcoins like Ethereum (ETH) also fell in value. As of the 19th of April, Bitcoin traded at about $55,000. Some equities related to cryptocurrencies also went low. Coinbase lost almost 2.6%, Voyager Digital dropped 9.6%, and Marathon Digital Holdings lost 8.7%.

At the time of writing, Bitcoin is down 3.24% to $54,792. In the last 24 hours, BTC has traded as low as $54,368. The king coin has also lost more than 3% in its market capitalization to a little over $1 trillion. On the other hand, ETH has also lessened 7% to $2,100.

The vice president of digital-asset strategy at Fundstrat Global Advisors Leeor Shimron commented:

“There’s been a lot of rumors and speculation about what pushed the market down over the weekend. To me, it’s boiled down to excess leverage within the system. We’ve seen it over the last couple of weeks, especially in bitcoin but it spilled into other asset classes as well.”

Shimron added that another factor behind the speculation is the huge BTC deposit over Binance during the weekend. He noted that about $5 billion worth of BTC contract was liquidated. Including the altcoin market, $9.5 billion was liquidated.

“Notably, this is twice the notional value compared to Black Thursday 2020, when bitcoin’s price dropped by ~50% in 24 hours. The fact this sell-off resulted in a drop of just 15% and quickly rebounded speaks to how much the market has grown and matured over the course of the last year,” added the vice president.

Bitcoin Surges 680% in One Year


As Shimron said, the crypto market has increased more than 680% in the last 12 months. The gains were caused by the continuous demand for crypto by institutional investors, among other factors.

The head of equities and derivatives strategy at BTIG predicted BTC to trade between $50,000 and $65,000.

According to Ari Wald, head of technical analysis at Oppenheimer, the recent Bitcoin decline seems like a trend. Speaking to CNBC’s Trading Nation on the 19th of April, Wald pointed out that Bitcoin plunged 20% in August, 17% in November, 31% in January. 26% in February, 18% in March and has now fallen about 16%.

He further said that instead of Bitcoin investors recording losses, the king coin has grown more than 315% between August last year and now....

BITCOIN RETESTS $54000 PREPARES TO MOVE HIGHER LATER TODAY

BITCOIN RETESTS $54000 PREPARES TO MOVE HIGHER LATER TODAY

Tuesday, 20 April, 2021 at 07:15 GMT

Today’s Bitcoin price prediction is bullish as the market rejects further downside after failing to move below the $54,000 support. Therefore, we expect BTC/USD to move higher over the next 24 hours as bulls look to set a higher above $57,000 resistance.

The overall crypto market is in the red over the last 24 hours. Bitcoin is down 4 percent as it retests previous lows. The worst performance is seen for Ripple (XRP) from the top altcoins, which is down by 16 percent. Meanwhile, Dogecoin continues to gain ground and is up almost 20 percent after breaching the $0.40 mark.

 Bitcoin retests $54,000, prepares to move higher later today 


BTC/USD opened at $55,696 after a brief move higher yesterday and a subsequent reversal around $57,000 resistance. From there, the Bitcoin price set another lower high and slightly lower low as a quick move below the $54,000 support was seen over the last hours. However, unless further downside is seen, we expect the market to reverse later today with the goal to move above the $57,000 resistance.

Bitcoin price movement in the last 24 hours


The BTC/USD price moved in a range of $54,062 – $57,520, indicating a moderate amount of volatility. Trading volume has dropped by 14 percent and totals $65.84 billion. The total market cap stands just above the 1 trillion mark with a market dominance of 51.72 percent.

BTC/USD 4-hour chart – BTC rejects further downside at the $54,000 mark again
On the 4-hour chart, we can see BTC/USD currently attempting to move lower. If a further downside is rejected, we should see a move towards the $57,000 resistance later today. 

Overall, Bitcoin has turned bearish over the past few days. After gaining almost 30 percent from the $50,500 low set on the 25th of April to the high of 64,896, set on the 14th of April in two separate bullish waves, the market started slowing down.

 Late last week, we saw Bitcoin price action set several lower lows and highs until previous major support at $60,000 was broken without much hesitation. From there, further, spike lower was seen all the way towards $51,500. Bulls quickly pushed the price action higher towards $57,000 resistance, where a significantly lower high was set. 

After some consolidation, BTC/USD started moving lower and almost retested $54,000 support. After a brief pullback overnight, the Bitcoin price started to move lower again and currently retests the $54,000 support.

If a further downside is not seen over the next hours, we can expect the market to reverse and start moving higher later today. First minor resistance is seen at $55,500; however, since it has been invalidated several times before, we will likely see the market push straight towards the $57,000 mark later today. From there, if Bitcoin established a higher high, we should see the market start trending higher again over the remainder of this week.

Alternatively, if BTC/USD moves lower and breaches the $51,500 support, we can expect a much longer recovery for the Bitcoin price structure. The next major support to be tested is 

Bitcoin Price Prediction


Bitcoin price prediction is bullish as we see BTC/USD setting a higher low over the next hours. The next target for Bitcoin bulls is seen at the previous swing high at $57,000. Once it is broken, we can expect the several-week bullish momentum to return.

While waiting for further Bitcoin price action development, see our guide on Bitcoin mining software and how it works. Additionally, see our comparison on Litecoin vs Bitcoin....

CHINA TO FOCUS ON LOCAL USE FOR THE DIGITAL YUAN

CHINA TO FOCUS ON LOCAL USE FOR THE DIGITAL YUAN

Monday, 19 April, 2021 at 11:01 GMT

China intends to use its central bank digital currency (CBDC) domestically rather than aim for global adoption. This is according to a former governor of the central bank, Zhou Xiaochuan. There are concerns, especially from the United States, that China will use the digital Yuan to circumvent sanctions and topple the US Dollar as the global reserve currency.

However, Xiaochuan stated that using the digital Yuan as a global currency would cause issues. According to the former central bank governor, using the digital Yuan as a global reserve currency could affect monetary policy independence.

The digital Yuan has been in the testing phase for the past few months as China determines how the CBDC would perform in the real world. China is yet to identify a timeline for the full roll-out of the digital Yuan.

PBoC Deputy Governor Li Bo added that the bank intends to increase the testing scope of the digital Yuan. The PBoC wants to test cross-border payments of the digital Yuan as it prepares for the upcoming Winter Olympics scheduled for next year. China’s central bank wants to offer the digital Yuan as a payment method for cross-border payments for local and overseas users, including athletes.

Several reports suggest that officials at multiple government agencies in the United States are looking at the potential threat of the digital Yuan. The authorities are concerned that China will use the digital currency to circumvent sanctions and ultimately replace the greenback as the leading global reserve currency.

A senior Bank of Japan (BOJ) official said the digital Yuan doesn’t pose any threat to the dollar’s position in the global economy. China reiterated the same position, adding that the digital Yuan is focusing on domestic use.

Central bank digital currencies are gaining traction globally as countries begin to see the need to issue the digital version of their money. So far, Russia, Japan, the EU, and Sweden have revealed that they are working on CBDCs. More countries could join the CBDC train in the coming months and years....

CHINA STUDIES BITCOIN AS AN ALTERNATIVE INVESTMENT

CHINA STUDIES BITCOIN AS AN ALTERNATIVE INVESTMENT

Monday, 19 April, 2021 at 07:21 GMT

China is a country well-known for its support toward the ‘blockchain not bitcoin’ narrative. The country attempted to clamp down on cryptocurrencies more than once, but it appears that it’s now softening its stance, even taking a somewhat positive approach towards Bitcoin.

Bitcoin as an Alternative Investment Tool


Speaking at the Boao Forum for Asia on April 18th, the former central bank governor of China, Zhou Xiaochuan, and the current central bank deputy governor Li Bo opined on the matter of Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies.

"We believe that crypto assets should play a major role in the future, either as an investment tool or as an alternative investment. Many countries, including China, are also studying it as an investment tool.”


Adding to the matter, Zhou Xiaochuan said that people don’t necessarily need to know whether the technology behind digital currencies is centralized or decentralized because “ordinary people don’t necessarily understand what the system behind it is like.” He also ascertained that whatever the case may be, digital currencies must not be used for illicit activities such as money laundering, tax evasion, drug or weapon trafficking, or gambling.

Furthermore, Li Bo said that bitcoin, as well as stablecoins, are “encrypted assets” and that they are an investment option but not a currency.

"If it is used as an investment tool, many countries, including China, are also studying what kind of regulatory environment should there be for such an investment method. Although this regulatory  rule is the minimum regulatory rule, there are still regultory rules.”


The high-ranked official doubled down on the importance of legislation which ensures that “speculation in such assets will not cause serious financial risks.” Ultimately, despite the hints of a more positive approach towards bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, Bo said they would continue to maintain the current measures and practices.

Positive Market Reaction


Yesterday we saw a serious market-wide crash throughout all cryptocurrencies. As early reported, bitcoin dipped below $52,000, Ether went below $2,000, and so forth, resulting in more than $10 billion worth of liquidations across the board.

Today, however, things are looking brighter. The majority of cryptocurrencies are on the path of recovery, with BTC testing $58K already. ETH is trading at around $2,250, BNB reclaimed $500, while other large- and mid-cap altcoins also chart substantial increases....



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