Why It Might Be Impossible For The US And Others To Ban Bitcoin

Bitcoin is the pioneer crypto that has existed since 2009 when its creator, Satoshi Nakamoto, released it online. Over the years, the crypto has …

Over the last few years, cryptocurrencies have been on the rise, with more of them entering the market each year. Bitcoin is the pioneer crypto that has existed since 2009 when its creator, Satoshi Nakamoto, released it online. Over the years, the crypto has garnered a lot of support from people who think that cryptocurrencies are the future of smooth business. However, Bitcoin is now facing attacks from various corners.

Genesis Of A National Emergency

Just recently, Donald Trump tweeted his personal opinion on cryptos. Apparently, the US president has some mild reservations about cryptocurrencies especially Bitcoin. According to Trump, Bitcoin’s volatility, lack of regulation, and chances of it being used by criminals are the main reasons he doesn’t like the crypto.

I am not a fan of Bitcoin and other Cryptocurrencies, which are not money, and whose value is highly volatile and based on thin air. Unregulated Crypto Assets can facilitate unlawful behavior, including drug trade and other illegal activity….

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 12, 2019

After Trump’s twitter statements, the US Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin called a press conference and called Bitcoin’s apparent lack of government regulation a “national emergency.”

However, the tweets and press conference didn’t seem to unsettle people like CZ. During an interview with CNBC, Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao had this to say about Trump’s statement:

The increasingly expansive nature of its market has put Bitcoin at odds with governments that see it as a threat to the centralized fiat currencies. Also, the increasing interest in it by various players within the financial market, including banks, has led some to suggest that governments might start looking for ways to suppress it. In fact, China and India have already instituted laws restricting ownership of cryptocurrencies. But is it really possible to totally ban Bitcoin?

Below are some tricky factors that may make it extremely hard for any government to kick Bitcoin trading out of the market.

Legal Hurdles

The Constitution of the United States protects free speech, and a ruling in a precedent case suggests that Bitcoin is subject to such protection. In 1996, the Clinton administration tried to block the publication of encryption software created by Daniel Bernstein (a mathematician). The news of the ruling was reported by the New York Times on December 19, 1996. In her ruling, Judge Marilyn Patel categorized the software code as free speech that needed to be protected just as other kinds of speech like poems and news articles.

Below is a snippet of a statement by ReasonTV explaining the correlation between the 1996 ruling and the case for Bitcoin’s protection:

During the Bitcoin 2019 Conference held in San Francisco, Abra CEO Bill Barhydt spoke of the need to protect and maintain the crypto’s legality as part of free speech. Below is a snippet of Bill’s speech as reported by Forbes:

In this sense, any attempt to totally ban Bitcoin would go against the First Amendment and the government would find it really hard to present a credible case to legally get rid of the cryptocurrency.

Bitcoin Is Decentralized

Cryptocurrencies generally run on decentralized networks, meaning that it’s not possible to block access to the Bitcoin network from a central point. If the networks were as easy to shut down as electric grids or water systems, it’s pretty certain that some governments would have done that by now. However, that’s not the case with cryptos. The Bitcoin network runs on open-source software that’s available for free everywhere in the world. In this case, any free people are constitutionally allowed to use it especially for peer-to-peer dealings.

A visual representation of Bitcoin’s decentralized network.

Also, even if governments could sabotage the internet to block access to the network, the move would be entirely fruitless. Bitcoin’s blockchain network can be streamed via satellites, making it not entirely dependent on internet access. That’s besides the crafty tricks like the use of anonymous nodes. In fact, Satoshi Nakamoto himself recommended the anonymous TOR browser by network users. The resultant expansive global network coupled with its high security makes it virtually impossible for anyone to interfere with Bitcoin through extra-legal means.

Big Money Is Getting Involved

People and institutional investors with heavy bags have been known to influence policies. Of late, Bitcoin has attracted a lot of attention from institutional investors like banks and other influential industry players. These entities have made it their business to boost BTC awareness, acceptance, and adoption across the world. There are now around 4,000 Bitcoin ATMs across the world. Some schools, coffee shops, and other business establishments in Europe and the US are now accepting Bitcoin payments.

Many entities have tabled Bitcoin ETF proposals to the SEC, with the most recent ones spearheaded by Van Eck and the Winklevoss brothers. Bakkt, an entity set to launch a Bitcoin futures trading platform, is set to commence operations on September 23rd, 2019.

On Sept 6, our Warehouse will begin offering secure storage of customer bitcoin to prepare for the launch of Bakkt Bitcoin Daily & Monthly Futures when they launch on Sept 23

These contracts will enable physical delivery of bitcoin with end-to-end regulated markets and custody

— Bakkt (@Bakkt) August 28, 2019

Other developments that suggest a growing crypto industry include plans by JP Morgan Chase to launch its own cryptocurrency and Facebook’s plan to launch Libra.

The #Libra Association is today announcing plans for a simple global currency and financial infrastructure. Find out more https://t.co/VPS7LllcNn#blockchain#cryptocurrencypic.twitter.com/mdHymhsrcH

— Libra (@Libra_) June 18, 2019

The involvement of big-money entities that initially shunned cryptocurrencies is a clear pointer that Bitcoin, and the crypto industry in general, has managed to break the acceptance barrier. Any attempt to stifle its reach henceforth is bound to be meant with strong resistance from within both social and political fronts.

What Governments Can Do

As much as the odds seem to be on Bitcoin’s side when it comes to a throw-down with governments, it’s prudent to embrace a little bit of sobriety and face the hard reality that governments can still inflict some damage by making is harder to acquire and trade with the crypto. They can restrict access to certain websites that prop up Bitcoin and monitor power usage especially in regard to Bitcoin mining. They can also institute strict banking regulations like KYC (Know Your Customer) and AML (Anti-Money Laundering) policies on entities and platforms that operate in the Bitcoin industry – this includes crypto exchanges as well as ETF and futures trading platforms.

In fact, there have been a good number of hearings held by the government in an effort to address the potential issues of money laundering activities linked to Bitcoin. Abra CEO Bill Harhydt had this to say about that:

Banning crypto products has become the latest trick by governments to take a jab at the crypto industry. In a recent move, Britain’s FCA (Financial Conduct Authority) has proposed the drafting of new rules to ban products related to Bitcoin. However, this is only applicable to the regulated products as opposed to people who want to buy Bitcoin itself. The FCA cited Bitcoin’s volatility, saying that in such a market, “derivatives and exchange-traded notes are unsuitable investments for retail consumers.”

A snippet from the FCA’s press release announcing its proposal to ban the sale of crypto derivatives.

The Bottom Line

The crypto market has evolved into a seriously ratchet industry, and many have opined that Bitcoin may one day be a global currency. As such, governments should work to regulate rather than suppress it. It’s evident that a number of governments have gone to war with Bitcoin and lost terribly.

A similar notion was fronted by Zhao during his interview with CNBC.

Zhao described the possibility of the US banning Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies as “the worst-case scenario.”

In essence, Bitcoin cannot be banned.

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Binance.US User Account Registration Begins on September 18th

The company is also anticipated to allow depositing funds for different virtual currencies like Bitcoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, XRP & Litecoin. Binance.

Binance, the largest cryptocurrency exchange will start user account applications for its new US-based branch on Wednesday, September 18 at 08:00 according to Easter Time. The application processing for participating traders will be started early to facilitate the live launch of trading.

The announcement came out via US medium portal of Binance and by Catherin Coley, the CEO of Binance.US. The company is also anticipated to allow depositing funds for different virtual currencies like Bitcoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, XRP & Litecoin.

Binance.US explained,

During this initial registration phase, you will be able to sign up for a Binance.US account and select the tier of verification required to achieve your desired withdrawal limits. Once verified, you will be able to make deposits across the initial selection of digital assets. Shortly after registration opens, we will provide an update detailing when trading will go live for specific pairs.

The announcement was released via Binance.US’s Twitter handle, that went as,

Prepare for Launch: https://t.co/AZwoBOy3iq User Registration Opens Next Wednesday!@BinanceAmerica will open account registration & begin accepting deposits of BTC, ETH, XRP, BCH, LTC & USDT on Sept 18th, 2019, at 8am ET.

This kicks off our first phase!https://t.co/wfAREA0TYR

— Binance.US (@BinanceAmerica) September 11, 2019

According to the official launch, the first phase of registration will let users sign up & choose the verification tier according to their desired withdrawal limits.

The exact day and date for the beginning of the live session of trading still has to be communicated and will likely take place after the registration process. All accounts verified will get the digital asset marketplace access right after the start of the live trading.

Changpeng Zhao, the CEO of Binance, said that U.S.-based platform’s operations would be headed by the company, BAM Trading Services, which is a money servicing company based out of California. Given the news that BAM will be heading one of the most coveted cryptocurrency exchange to start its execution in the markets of the U.S., not much is known regarding this firm or its operations.

Binance.US was launched earlier this year in San Francisco. With main headquarters in Malta, Binance is available physically at locations in Hong Kong, Singapore, Jersey, and Uganda.

Binance restrained U.S. users earlier this year after the bedlam and skepticism of the regulatory authorities. Right before the suspension of the U.S. came through, a collaboration with BAM Trading Services was laid out.

New York will remain devoid of the services of new U.S. exchange because of the ‘BitLicense’ necessity for regulations. Last reported in August, Binance hasn’t yet registered for the license.

Binance.US had not yet replied to a request for a response.

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Binance, OKEx extend support to Ethereum Classic’s Atlantis hard fork

Recently, the price of Ethereum Classic’s native cryptocurrency, ETC, was seen recovering from its August lows. At the time of writing, ETC was valued …

In June, Ethereum Classic announced that the Atlantis hard fork was in its testing stage. Now, the hard fork is expected to take place between 11-13 September, when its block height reaches 8,772,000. ETC’s hard fork or the Atlantis Fork will initiate a range of upgrades which would include ten Ethereum Classic Improvement Protocols, along with improvement in the interoperability of Ethereum and Etheruem Classic. Additionally, the Atlantis hard fork will enhance the network’s security measures.

Recently, the price of Ethereum Classic’s native cryptocurrency, ETC, was seen recovering from its August lows. At the time of writing, ETC was valued at $6.69 and the market cap of the coin was at $757 million. The coin witnessed a 1.88% rise in its price over the last 24 hours and the 24 hour volume was noted to be $550 million. Most of the trading volume came from ZB.COM exchange, via the trading pair ETC/USDT.

Two prominent cryptocurrency exchanges have extended their support to the upcoming Ethereum Classic Atlantis hard fork. Malta-based exchange Binance shared a tweet with the community, announcing its support to the upcoming hard fork.

The Changpeng Zhao-led exchange revealed in a blog post that deposits and withdrawals of ETC would be blocked after ETC’s block height reaches 8,772,000. However, the blog post further asserted that there would be no impact on the trading of ETC.

Additionally, the exchange detailed that soon after the hard fork, Binance would inform users about the deposits and withdrawals for ETC, once it has considered the stability of the network.

OKEx also informed its users about the same and urged customers to deposit their ETC into OKEx as the exchange would manage technical matters of the hard fork. The exchange would suspend deposits and withdrawals on 11 September and commence only after the ETC mainnet is certified to be stable.

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Weekly Roundup (1-7 September)

Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange in terms of adjusted … but the Ripple management’s release of 500 million XRP in September, …

News revolving around Binance exchange has dominated this week’s cryptocurrency news. Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange in terms of adjusted trading volume, has been in the spotlight for good and not so good reasons. The Exchange generated over $78 million in profits from their Q1 2019 revenue, and its CEO Changpeng Zhao is not about to rest on his laurels.

On August 26, the crypto exchange announced it was launching Binance Lending. This new venture is going to be the Exchange’s crypto lending arm. Through it, the business will make more revenue from the interest earned. Binance Lending kicked off its operations on August 28, and, it is at the moment allowing investors to lend ETC, USDT and BNB tokens for interest.

The annualized interest rate for a 14 day fixed maturity term stands at 15 percent for BNB, and 10 percent for USDT. Ethereum classic tokens are earning a minimum of 7 percent as interest. Before the crypto-verse could catch its breath, the crypto exchange launched Binance X, just three days following the launch of Binance Lending.

  1. What Is Binance JEX Airdrop, And How Do I Sign Up?

Binance’s new offering is part of the Exchange’s goal of boosting cryptocurrency mass adoption. Teck Chia, Binance X’s head, says that “The long-term goal of Binance X is to foster a thriving developer ecosystem that innovates on products and services that would advance the crypto ecosystem and contribute to crypto adoption.”

Binance X is going to support crypto developers to enable them to succeed in crypto project developments. The platform is going to connect developers from other Binance supported programs such as Binance Launchpad, Binance X Fellowship, and Binance Labs Incubation.

The cryptocurrency Exchange has also made a newsworthy acquisition. The other new Binance product is as a result of the cryptocurrency exchange’s purchase of JEX. JEX is a Seychelles based cryptocurrency asset trading firm that has specialized in derivatives and spot trading services. Now known as Binance JEX, this new Binance product will work independently within the vast Binance ecosystem.

Binance is keeping the JEX team intact but will manage the JEX tokens together with its Foundation. The cryptocurrency exchange plans to convert JEX tokens from their Ethereum ERC 20 format to conform to the Binance Chain standard.

Even more exciting news from the exchange is that it is launching a token airdrop worth 200 million worth to BNB holders. BNB holders with a minimum of ten tokens in their wallets could benefit from the campaign running for 12 months.

Be sure to check out the article to find out how you can benefit from the airdrop.

2. BitMEX Accuses Binance of Plagiarism?

In the good news category, BitMEX accused Binance of white paper plagiarism. BitMEX on Twitter pointed out what looks like similarities between its Bitcoin Futures platform documentation and that of the Binance’s Testnet Futures.

The tweet sarcastically congratulated Binance telling the exchange that they hoped that they had had as much fun reading their white paper as much as BitMEX had fun writing it.

CZ apologized, saying that he was ashamed over the glaring similarities between the documentations.

3. XRP: Will Community Takeover Due To Executives Dumps?

Away from exchanges, the Ripple Community is about to stage a civil war over the Ripple management’s habit of XRP dumping.

The issue has been eating away at the XRP community for a while, but the Ripple management’s release of 500 million XRP in September, blew their tops.

4. Burundi Bans Cryptocurrency Trading

The Central African state of Burundi has also made news after issuing a statement that they are banning crypto trading. This retrogressive move has come at a time when a large part of the African continent is immersing itself in digital currency trading. Urging caution, a statement from the country’s central bank read:

“Virtual currencies are traded on unregulated online platforms around the world, and their values ​​are highly volatile, resulting in speculative transactions that expose the users of these currencies to potential losses without any possibility of legal recourse.”

This ironically comes at a time when behemoths in Asia like Alibaba and HTC are diversifying their portfolio, and investing more in blockchain startups. HTC, the Taiwanese electronics giant, and Alibaba have invested in BitMark, a digital property rights startup.

5. US and China’s Digital Economy Cold War

Meanwhile, we also took a look at the emerging digital economy cold war between US and China. In its first-ever Digital Economy Report, the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) highlighted the dominance of the two superpowers. The UNCTAD also noted that the two nations hold 90 percent of the market capitalization value of the world’s 70 largest digital platform companies. This suggests a move from the long thought North-South divide to two competing powers. With Libra coming out of the US and national cryptocurrency from China, it certainly looks like this war is only beginning to heat up.

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Crypto whiz who paid to dine with Warren Buffett invited Donald Trump

He has invited executives from Ethereum, Litecoin, Binance, Circle, Huobi, eToro, and other crypto firms to attend, but not all have accepted.

Donald Trump

President Donald Trump.Twitter/@realdonaldtrump

Justin Sun asked Donald Trump to attend his lunch with Warren Buffett after the president criticised cryptocurrencies on Twitter.

“I am not a fan of Bitcoin and other Cryptocurrencies, which are not money, and whose value is highly volatile and based on thin air,” Trump tweeted on July 12. “Unregulated Crypto Assets can facilitate unlawful behaviour, including drug trade and other illegal activity.”

Sun invited the president to the Buffett lunch less than three hours later.

“Mr President, you are misled by fake news,” he tweeted. “#Bitcoin & #Blockchain happens to be the best chance for US!”

“I’d love to invite you to have lunch with crypto leaders along with @WarrenBuffett on July 25,” he continued. “I guarantee you after this lunch, nobody will know crypto more than you!”

Trump hasn’t publicly responded to Sun’s invite.

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Charlie Lee, creator of Litecoin

Litecoin creator Charlie Lee.Screenshot via YouTube

Charlie Lee is the creator of Litecoin, the fifth-largest cryptocurrency with a $US4.3 billion market capitalisation, according to CoinMarketCap.

Lee was at the top of Sun’s invite list.

“I’m thrilled to invite my good friend @SatoshiLite, creator of Litecoin, to be the 1st guest to join my lunch with @WarrenBuffett,” Sun tweeted on June 16.

“More friends to be announced!”

Lee accepted the invite later that day.

“Thanks Justin! I’m excited about this opportunity to meet a legend,” he tweeted.

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Changpeng Zhao, CEO of Binance

Binance founder and CEO Changpeng Zhao.YouTube

Changpeng Zhao is the founder and CEO of Binance, a global cryptocurrency exchange where users can trade more than 100 cryptocurrencies.

Zhao declined Sun’s lunch invite, saying he couldn’t make the trip to San Francisco.

“.@justinsuntron kindly invited me to go, but I can’t make it,” Zhao tweeted. “Too far. I guess that’s like turning down $US1,000,000, assuming 5 guys going, lol… But very much appreciated.”

However, Zhao made time to ridicule Buffett, a vocal cryptocurrency critic who has dismissed bitcoin as “rat poison squared”.

“I guess Buffet will be eating a lunch funded by ‘rat poison’ after all, lol,” Zhao tweeted.

“It’s good to be famous, people pay millions of dollars to educate you,” he added in another tweet.

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Livio Weng, CEO of Huobi

Livio Weng, CEO of HuobiYouTube/Huobi Global

Livio Weng is the CEO of Huobi, a Hong Kong-listed company founded in China and run out of Singapore.

Huobi runs a big online cryptocurrency exchange and operates Huobi Token, the 14th largest cryptocurrency.

We couldn’t find Sun’s invitation to Weng on Twitter, but the Tron boss name-checked Huobi in another tweet.

“As of now we’ve only invited @SatoshiLite of Litecoin, @Binance and @HuobiGlobal to the @WarrenBuffett lunch,” Sun wrote on July 5.

Vitalik Buterin, co-founder of Ethereum

Vitalik Buterin is the co-founder of Ethereum, the second-largest cryptocurrency with a market cap of $US19 billion, according to CoinMarketCap.

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Sun invited Buterin to the lunch, but the Ethereum co-founder hasn’t publicly accepted, FT Alphaville said.

Vitalik Buterin, co-founder of Ethereum.Bloomberg

Sun and Buterin have jostled and clashed on Twitter in the past.

When Elon Musk tweeted the word “Ethereum” in April, Buterin invited the Tesla and SpaceX boss to attend his company’s Devcon conference in October.

Eager to share the spotlight, Sun replied to Musk’s tweet with the names of his two companies: “TRON” and “BitTorrent”.

Moreover, after Sun tweeted last December that Ethereum’s bull run was fuelled by hype, Buterin suggested Sun was a “self-identified shill” who’s “not worth listening to”.

Yoni Assia, CEO of eToro

Yoni Assia is the CEO of eToro, a social-trading platform where users can buy and sell multiple assets including stocks, ETFs, and cryptocurrencies, as well as mirror other investors’ trades.

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eToro CEO Yoni Assia.eToro

“I’d like to invite my good friend @yoniassia, Founder & CEO of @eToro, to join my lunch with @WarrenBuffett,” Sun tweeted. “4 days to go and more friends to be announced!”

Assia replied in under 10 minutes.

“Justin, it is my honour to join you for lunch with @WarrenBuffett, A big step for bridging between the traditional finance world and the new one!” he wrote.

“There is a huge opportunity to use #BlockChainForGood and happy to share our research on @TheGoodDollar with #TheOracleFromOmaha,” he added.

Circle CEO Jeremy Allaire.Circle

Jeremy Allaire, CEO of Circle

Jeremy Allaire is the founder and CEO of Circle, a peer-to-peer payments company that has received over $US100 million in funding from the likes of Goldman Sachs. Circle aims to bring digital currency into the mainstream. “I’d like to invite my good friend @jerallaire, Co-founder & CEO of Circle, to join my lunch with @WarrenBuffett,” Sun tweeted. “7 days to go and more friends to be announced!” Allaire replied three minutes later. “Hi Justin, I would be honoured to join you and @WarrenBuffett next week to discuss crypto!!” he wrote.

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“Count me in. Crypto is now a major global policy issue and there is a great deal for Mr Buffet to understand and for us to learn from him as well,” Allaire added.

Helen Haiyu, head of blockchain at Binance Charity Foundation

Helen Haiyu, head of blockchain at Binance Charity Foundation.YouTube/Binance

Helen Haiyu is the head of blockchain at Binance Charity Foundation, the cryptocurrency exchange’s non-profit arm.

The foundation engages in blockchain-powered philanthropy, and has raised money for causes such as disaster relief, education, and combating hunger, according to its website.

“I’d like to invite my good friend @helenhaiyu, Head of @BinanceBCF, to join my lunch with @WarrenBuffett,” Sun tweeted. “5 days to go and more friends to be announced! @binance.”

Haiyu replied five minutes later.

“It is my great honour to join @justinsuntron and @WarrenBuffett next week to discuss crypto & philanthropy,” she wrote.

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Chris Lee, CFO of Huobi

Chris Lee, CFO of Huobi.YouTube/VNX Exchange

Chris Lee – also known as Li Shufei – is the head of finance at Huobi, the crypto exchange.

“I’d like to invite @Chrislee_crypto, the CFO, Board Secretary and VP of International Business Development from @HuobiGlobal to join my Charity lunch with @WarrenBuffett,” Sun tweeted.

“3 days to go and more friends to be announced!”

“Thanks for Justin’s invitation! @justinsuntron It’s my great honour to be the guest of this remarkable event,” Lee replied.

“@warrenBuffett Lookin forward to meeting with blockchain iconic fellows & Mr. Buffett to share knowledge of blockchain/crypto and traditional finance world @HuobiGlobal,” he added.

This story first appeared in Business Insider. Read it here or follow BusinessInsider Australia on Facebook.

BusinessInsider.com.au

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