Oil prices drop on promises of increased output

Oil prices headed lower on Tuesday as Saudi Arabia and Russia vowed to raise crude output, slashing market concerns over looming sanctions on Iran that kick off on Nov. 4.

U.S. crude oil futures lost 31 cents, or 0.46%, to $66.73 by 5:43 AM ET (9:43 GMT), while Brent oil traded down 34 cents, or 0.44%, to $77.03.

Saudi Arabia pledged earlier in the month to raise oil output to offset the fall from Iranian exports expected to be caused by the U.S. sanctions, while Russia, also said on Saturday that there is no reason for the country to cut its production levels.

After many months of concern about shortage of supply ahead of U.S. sanctions on Iran, the oil market is beginning to be concerned about possible oversupply and inventories that are rising in many parts of the world.

The latest reading on U.S. crude stockpiles will come late Tuesday from the American Petroleum Institute, while official government data will be released a day later amid expectations for a build of 3.67 million barrels.

If confirmed, that would be the sixth straight weekly climb that has already seen domestic supplies swell by a total of 28.7 million barrels over that period.

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Former Fed Chair Janet Yellen Is Now a Bitcoin Owner

She may not be \"fan\" of bitcoin,\" but former Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen now has a small amount of BTC in her possession.

On Monday, Yellen explained why she believes bitcoin is not a useful form of currency during an appearance at the Canada Fintech Forum. The former chairperson of the U.S. central bank has struck critical tones in the past toward cryptocurrency, but elsewhere had said she views blockchain as an \"important technology.\"

A day later, according to an email obtained by CoinDesk, Raz Suprovici, the founder of bitcoin gifting service Biterica, sent Yellen 0.0031642 BTC – or roughly $20 – by way of her University of California Berkeley e-mail address.

When contacted to confirm the gift, Yellen said that she had received it but hasn\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\'t gone far in investigating her newly-obtained coins.

\"I did receive a gift of bitcoins this morning and have been very busy ever since so I\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\'ve not looked into it further,\" she wrote. Yellen further said that she did not have anything to add to her previous remarks about bitcoin this week.

Suprovici told CoinDesk that he wanted to help Yellen learn more about bitcoin, seeing the gift as the best avenue for that to occur.

\"Based on the way she spoke about it at the conference, it seemed that she had never owned any bitcoin,\" he said, adding:

\"People are afraid of the unknown. I was hoping that when she logged into her bitcoin wallet with her ID and password, she would see it\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\'s just like a typical online bank account. The money she owns is there, in her control, ready to spend ... I hope that this sparks her openness to the technology.\"

\"Maybe all policy-makers should be gifted a little bit of bitcoin,\" he added.

Janet Yellen image via Federalreserve / Wikimedia Commons

The leader in blockchain news, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups.


Bitcoin Trader Faces Five Years in US Jail for Unlicensed Money Transmitting Business

Bitcoin trader Jacob Burrell-Campos pleaded guilty this week in a U.S. federal court to operating an unlicensed money transmitting business. The 21-year-old San Diego native is now awaiting sentencing and faces a maximum of five years in jail.

Also Read: How to Easily Give BCH as Gifts in Halloween Trick-or-Treat Packages

‘Serious Threat’ to US Banking System

Bitcoin Trader Faces Five Years in U.S. Jail for Unlicensed Money Transmitting BusinessBurrell was arrested in August while trying to cross the border from Mexico. He was apprehended for trading crypto to fiat with over 1,000 people in the U.S. since January 2015, without any anti-money laundering safeguards in place. According to his plea bargain agreement, Burrell now admits to operating an unregistered exchange and has agreed to hand over more than $800,000 to the government.

“Unlicensed money transmitting businesses, especially those operating at or near the border, pose a serious threat to the integrity of the U.S. banking system, and provide an ‘open door’ for criminals to utilize such businesses to launder the proceeds of their illicit activities,” said U.S. attorney Adam Braverman. “The Department of Justice (DOJ) will continue to investigate and prosecute all individuals and businesses that seek to evade the licensing and anti-money laundering requirements under federal law.”

How It All Went Down

Bitcoin Trader Faces Five Years in U.S. Jail for Unlicensed Money Transmitting BusinessAccording to the DOJ, Burrell advertised his services on Localbitcoins and privately offered to sell bitcoin to people with no questions asked, in exchange for a 5 percent markup over the going rate. He initially purchased the cryptocurrencies he sold from Coinbase, but his account was closed due to the large number of suspicious transactions he had conducted. Undeterred, he turned to Bitfinex in March 2015 and bought about $3.3 million worth of bitcoin from the exchange over a period of just over two years.

As part of the plea deal, Burrell also admitted he had exchanged his dollars, which he kept in Mexico, with Joseph Castillo, a San Diego-based precious metals dealer. This amounted to importing more than $1 million in fiat on almost a daily basis between late 2016 and early 2018, according to the DOJ. He admitted this was intentionally done in multiple transactions, each with an amount slightly below the minimum $10,000 reporting requirement.

Does Burrell really pose a serious threat to the integrity of the U.S. banking system? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

Images courtesy of Shutterstock.

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Exchanges Roundup: BNB on Etoro, Binance Freezes Wex Funds, Bittrex International

In cryptocurrency exchange news, Binance’s native coin has listed on Etoro, Bittrex has announced the upcoming launch of its Malta-based international exchange, and Chris Lee of Huobi has predicted that security token offerings will become a mainstream form of fundraising within five years.

Also Read: Bitcoin Trader Faces Five Years in US Jail for Unlicensed Money Transmitting Business

BNB Lists on Etoro in First Listing Outside of Binance

Exchanges Roundup: BNB on Etoro, Binance Freezes Wex Funds, Bittrex InternationalBinancecoin (BNB) has been listed on Etoro, bringing the number of cryptocurrencies supported by the platform to 13. The listing comprises the first instance in which the altcoin has been listed on an exchange other than Binance.

The chief executive officer and co-founder of Etoro, Yoni Assia, stated: “Despite sensational headlines about the death of crypto, we continue to believe in the potential for crypto assets, as do our clients who are increasingly looking to diversify their crypto holdings. In response, we will continue to add the leading crypto assets to our range and we are pleased to add BNB to the platform.”

Binance Freezes Funds From Wex Worth $18.5 Million

Exchanges Roundup: BNB on Etoro, Binance Freezes Wex Funds, Bittrex InternationalIt has been revealed that on Oct. 25 Binance froze more than 93,000 ETH that had been transferred from the embattled Wex exchange, valued at $18.5 million.

In response to a post on Twitter emphasizing the movement of funds from Wex to Binance dating back to August, Changpeng Zhao, the chief executive officer of Binance, tweeted: “The identified accounts are frozen, please report to law enforcement and have a case number. We will work with [law enforcement]. This is part of centralization we hate too, dealing with other exchange’s mess (we don’t even know the details). But we will do what we can.”

Users of Wex appear to have been unable to withdraw fiat or cryptocurrencies from the exchange for more than three months, with recent reports claiming that 35 complaints have been filed against Wex with the Russian Interior Ministry.

Bittrex Announces Upcoming Launch of Bittrex International

Exchanges Roundup: BNB on Etoro, Binance Freezes Wex Funds, Bittrex InternationalBittrex has announced that it will launch Bittrex International, formerly branded as Bittrex Malta.

The exchange will seek to target users based outside of the United States, with Bittrex also promising “a streamlined token approval process” designed to facilitate the onboarding of new markets in “weeks instead of months.” The launch of the new exchange will also see a “European-based Bittrex affiliate” listing particular tokens that are available on the Bittrex International platform and not the US-regulated Bittrex exchange.

If tokens are approved through Bittrex’s “standard initial review process,” prospective projects will be “directed to follow the process outlined in the Malta Virtual Financial Assets Act.”

Huobi’s Chris Lee Predicts STOs Will Become Mainstream in 3-4 Years

Exchanges Roundup: BNB on Etoro, Binance Freezes Wex Funds, Bittrex InternationalChris Lee, the former chief executive officer of Okex and the current board secretary and vice president of global business development for Huobi, has stated his expectation that security token offerings (STOs) will become a “mainstream fundraising method” in approximately three to four years.

Speaking to Huoxun Finance, Lee added: “Time will prove everything, [STOs are] indeed a big opportunity, as I believe asset-backed tokenization, which is the digital assets backed by physical assets, have the potential to drive the entire crypto industry to a higher level. There will be a place for STO in Hong Kong’s capital market one day.”

What is your response to Binance’s freezing of 93,000 ETH associated with Wex exchange? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!

Images courtesy of Shutterstock

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