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Federal government websites often end in. The site is secure. In a two-count information, Hugo Sergio Mejia, 49, of Ontario, was charged with money laundering and operating an unlicensed money transmitting business. In a plea agreement also filed today, Mejia agreed to plead guilty to these federal felony offenses in in March.

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WATCH RELATED VIDEO: Where Did Bitcoin Come From? – The True Story

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We met with Dr. William M. Maurer mines the world of money, exploring the social impact of digital cryptocurrencies, academic experiences with Bitcoin and Etherium, mobile finances, ATMs, offshore money shelters, and what money actually represents to people.

Maurer talks with Dr. Jed Macosko, academic director of AcademicInfluence. See additional leaders in anthropology in our article: Top Influential Anthropologists Today. Considering a degree in anthropology? Jed Macosko at academicinfluence. Take it away, Professor Maurer. Bill Maurer: Sure. But when I was growing up in Upstate New York, in a rural area, I always loved going to the local library and there I really, really got into these collections of folktales from around the world.

And I was probably reading those from around age 6 or 7, and I think that that is the thing, looking back, that laid some of the seeds of my interest in anthropology. And I just started at the very beginning of the alphabet, which was A for Anthropology. And it kind of blew my mind. And that pretty much did it.

Bill: It took maybe six months to a year. This was back when there was a Soviet Union. And it really did just blow my mind because there was the Iron Curtain. There was very little information that was coming out about life behind the Iron Curtain. I did take a couple courses in archaeology and physical anthropology, and that aligned nicely with the stuff I had already done in biology, but really, it was this realization that there was a whole field devoted to the study of other life ways that got me, that hooked me.

Jed: Wow, that must have been great. What was the culture that hooked you the most for the longest when you were young? Was there something you did a project in as an undergraduate, or was it in grad school? And then my advisor at the time got me very interested in the Caribbean.

I really wanted to start thinking about where it is that we got the kind of world that we live in today that is so fundamentally structured by racist stuff. And as a young person, and even today, I was very committed to social justice and to changing the world for the better, and there was something about going to where it all began that was very intriguing to me. So, my next bit of research as an undergrad, which then I carried through into my graduate career, was in the Caribbean. Jed: As an undergraduate, you got to take several trips to the Caribbean.

How did it look? It was the sort of thing where my advisor connected me with a contact in Dominica, the Commonwealth of Dominica, at a local college, and then also with government official. They welcomed me, but it was very much like I got on the plane, I flew away, I landed in this place, and there I was, all alone, on my own pretty much in an entirely different environment. I had a wonderful landlady who took very good care of me, and made a point of making me local food and introducing me to lots and lots of people.

But it was bizarre. And there are other things, too, that happened. I experienced slaughtering chicken by hand for the first time.

It was pretty intense for, I guess, I was probably 17 years old or something, and here I was, on my own, in this place surrounded by very, very warm, welcoming people who took very good care of me, but still it was Jed: Wow, that is really cool.

Then you said it carried over into your graduate school. Bill: Yeah. My dissertation work ended up being about something that had been happening in parts of the Caribbean that really initiated my interest in thinking about money and finance from an anthropological perspective.

And this was the offshore financial services business in parts of the Caribbean, in other words, the tax saving business. So, I ended up doing my dissertation work in the British Virgin Islands.

I had been set up there by one of my undergraduate mentors, in fact, and again, it was Even though I was familiar with the Caribbean and had a lot of experience there at that point, I was not familiar with the whole phenomenon of brass plate incorporation, like these fake companies that would be set up for people to do things with money in.

And here, in this tiny, tiny little place, with just 10,ish people, you had millions of dollars going through every year, and lots and lots of accountancy firms and trust company firms and registered agents for other corporations using that jurisdiction as a place to really make it a node in global finance. And I was just fascinated by how that came to be and how we can understand global finance as it gets routed through tiny little places like Tortola in the British Virgin Islands.

Jed: Interesting. What were the ramifications that you discovered, and maybe other people had discovered before you did your PhD work.

Was there anything new you found out about that whole money transfer thing? And one of the things that was super interesting to me was how important the law was for British Virgin Islanders as a point of pride and almost as a point of national identity, because their work in creating the legal structures that permitted offshore finance is the thing that put them on the map in the global economy.

And so they are very, very, very, very, very proud of BVI law, very proud of the fact that we had written these laws and we had created this thing, even if not many of them were actually involved directly and offer a financial services. Although, as I said, it did kind of contort the local labor market and a lot of people who are British Virgin Islanders become lawyers and accountants and folks managing trust companies and that sort of a thing. Jed: But not necessarily a bad thing for those people, is it?

How do you feel about that? Bill: Not necessarily a bad thing, although it exposes this tiny place to an enormous amount of risk. All it takes is one international scandal involving lots and lots of ill-gotten money, and then fewer people are gonna wanna incorporate in the British Virgin Islands. Bill: There are other things that have happened that have also affected the way that folks incorporate there, and that has a lot to do with China and Hong Kong. Is that true? Have you maintained some area of research in this Jed: There were a few things about money that you and I thought might be interesting to discuss, do you want to just move into those now?

Jed: You thought it might be interesting to take a broader perspective. Bill: Sure. Let me back up and tell you another story. I did one on money. And usually you write these things and you assume probably like 15 grad students are gonna read it and maybe a couple of the people that you cite. But Scott had this hunch that what was gonna matter more to Intel was not the security stuff, but the actual social interactions that would change because people would start being able to use money on a phone.

The iPhone was launched, I think, the end of , beginning of We have Venmo and I can use it to send you money instantly, and we can split a bill or split the rent or whatever. But then it was kind of novel, so Scott and I ended up that day in my office talking for about four or five hours. It was super interesting. He got me involved in a collaboration at Intel, thinking about digital money, and at first we were looking at really the mobile phone revolution, and I ended up doing a bunch of work on mobile phone-based money transfer systems in Africa, and Kenya in particular.

I developed a research institute that focused on how it is that people understand and use mobile and digital forms of money. And I know you wanted to talk about cryptocurrency Bill: No, no, no, here we go.

And she forwarded me a link to the Satoshi white paper, the document that is anonymously authored by somebody supposedly named Satoshi Nakamoto, outlining a program to build bitcoin, a cryptocurrency. Bill: Which is great because In a way, that remains true, it is still a tiny little nothing on the world of money.

In particular, I got very interested in the way that bitcoin really was re-opening a conversation about money and the nature of money. But then to make it work, they ended up realizing the true nature of money, which is that all that it really is is a bookkeeping operation. Jed: Yes.

Bill: Yeah, yeah. You need giant server farms. And those are usually called proof of stake operations, where everyone buys in a particular stake and is giving up a predetermined amount of computing power in exchange for this distributed system for reckoning credits and debts with one another.

Jed: And when you say giving up a predetermined amount of computing power, is it because that computing power needs to be running this ledger or is it Bill: It basically needs to run the ledger to verify transactions, so that, if you post a transaction, then we all get to work verifying it. Now, when you and your graduate students were looking at these forums, did you participate in the forums? Or as a true fly-on-the-wall anthropologist, were you just reading them and not participating?

But as time went on, we all got involved in conversations with cryptocurrency proponents, developers, designers, people also who are legal advisors, regulators who were looking at these things in various federal agencies and state agencies, and it really became much more of a participant observation thing.

We did not do much in the way of transacting in bitcoin. I have taught a class I teach a class regularly where I teach about bitcoin in the blockchain as part of a bigger thing around the history of money. And I do send all the students little tiny bits of bitcoin, and they have an assignment where they have to send it on to somebody else, and send it on to somebody else.

And we do In my research institute, we did for a while play around with Ethereum, which was a new cryptocurrency that was really trying to create a system for distributed applications, distributed computer programs, almost like little robots that would do things digitally when certain conditions were met.

And one summer Gosh, it was several summers ago, we created on Ethereum something that we call the guac-chain, which was a system for securely and secretly storing guacamole recipes.

At the time, we had like, 50 cents, but the price went up so crazily. I just remember telling her, just turn the computer off, make sure that all those pass codes are locked up in the drawer.

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Three men, including one from Camarillo, have been arrested in connection with an alleged cryptocurrency mining scheme that authorities say defrauded investors out of hundreds of millions of dollars from April through December The Department of Justice announced charges Tuesday. Matthew Brent Goettsche, 37, of Lafayette, Colo. Goettsche and Weeks were also charged with conspiracy to commit wire fraud. Two other suspects remain at large.

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to cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin, trust is necessary in the permissioned blockchain, because the central banks actually “own” the coins.

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We met with Dr. William M. Maurer mines the world of money, exploring the social impact of digital cryptocurrencies, academic experiences with Bitcoin and Etherium, mobile finances, ATMs, offshore money shelters, and what money actually represents to people. Maurer talks with Dr.

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Bitcoin has been climbing higher independent from the rest of the crypto market. The immense strength seen amongst most major and minor altcoins is beginning to fade, with this segment of the market posting intense losses throughout the past couple of days. The uptrend seen by BTC throughout the past few days is unique because it has come about in the absence of any market-wide bullishness. He said that it has broken above its cloud, flipped its previous resistance into support, and is seeing an ongoing golden cross between its 21 and 89 day EMAs. These three factors may continue helping to lift Bitcoin higher in the near-term.

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Cryptocurrency continues to gain popularity both as an investment asset and as a means to pay for goods and services. The growing ease with which a person can buy, hold and sell cryptocurrency has resulted in an explosion in crypto transactions — and, in turn, has left taxpayers needing to account to the IRS for their newfound cryptocurrency gains and losses. This powerful trend reached a new peak in when, as a result of COVID disruption, related worldwide economic uncertainty and entry of companies such as PayPal into the consumer market allowing more than million users to easily buy cryptocurrencies , the crypto-market witnessed a dramatic run-up in the values of Bitcoin and many other cryptocurrencies. The dramatic swings and stunning volatility of cryptocurrencies has led to frenetic trading by investors. Even if the coin is held long enough a year and a day to qualify for long-term capital gains rates, the tax rate will still be up to

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  1. Jacen

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