RNC’s Embrace of Trump Platform Signals Shift in GOP as Old Guard Fades in Influence

Donald Trump at a rally event

Whereas Donald Trump as the 2016 Republican presidential nominee battled the GOP establishment over changing the party’s direction and in 2020 faced substantive internal resistance during his reelection bid, he now appears as the 2024 nominee to have won control of a party apparatus willing to embrace his policy platform and earnestly support his efforts.

The Republican National Committee on Monday formally adopted Trump’s 2024 party platform, which focused heavily on economy and border security issues. While both issues have been topline issues for Trump throughout his political career, the platform’s inclusion of other provisions highlighted the extent to which his own agenda had inserted itself into the party.

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Silicon Valley Tech Moguls Flock to Trump’s Banner

David Sacks and Chamath Palihapitiya (composite image)

Big names in the cryptocurrency and venture capital worlds, some of whom are former Democratic donors, are throwing their support behind former President Donald Trump.

Venture capitalists David Sacks and Chamath Palihapitiya organized a high-dollar fundraiser for the former president Thursday night in San Francisco, raising $12 million for the Trump 47 Joint Fundraising Committee at a sold-out fundraiser where tickets cost up to $500,000 per couple. Coinbase Chief Legal Officer Paul Grewal, prolific tech investor Shervin Pishevar as well as Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss, famous for their dispute with Mark Zuckerberg over the founding of Facebook, all attended the event, a source familiar with the fundraiser told the Daily Caller News Foundation

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Trump Vows to Fight Central Bank Digital Currency, Keep Crypto Independent

Donald Trump

by John Solomon   Former President Donald Trump is vowing to fight any effort to create a central bank digital currency in the United States, saying the “right of self custody” is the key to the future of America’s cryptocurrency. In a speech to a raucous crowd Saturday night, Trump told the Libertarian National Convention in Washington D.C. that he believes President Joe Biden is waging a “crusade to crush crypto.” “We’re going to stop it. I will ensure that the future of crypto and the future of Bitcoin will be made in the USA, not driven overseas,” Trump said. Biden two years ago issued an executive order that many fans of Bitcoin and other private cryptocurrencies panned. Among other things, it urged research on creating a national digital dollar. Trump offered a vastly different policy vision in his speech Saturday night, promising to keep federal regulators out of the cryptocurrency business like Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., has urged. “I will support the right of self-custody.,” the former president said. “To the nation’s 50 million crypto holders, I say this: with your vote, I will keep Elizabeth Warren and her goons away from your Bitcoin. And I will never allow the creation of…

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Dem Megadonor Sam Bankman-Fried Sentenced to 25 Years in Prison

Sam Bankman-Fried in courtroom (composite image)

Convicted cryptocurrency fraudster Sam Bankman-Fried on Thursday received a prison sentence of 25 years.

A jury found Bankman-Fried guilty on seven counts of fraud and conspiracy-related charges in November and the New York probation department’s sentence recommendation was 100 years in prison, according to a February court filing pleading for a lighter sentence. Bankman-Fried’s lawyer had asked for a 60-78 month sentence, citing the convicted fraudster’s philanthropic ventures and Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).

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Ohio U.S. Senator JD Vance Demands Answers After SEC X Account ‘Compromised,’ Announces Premature Approval of of Spot-Bitcoin Exchange-Traded Funds

Vance Tillis

U.S. Senators JD Vance (R-OH) and Thom Tillis (R-NC) have sent a letter to Gary Gensler, chair of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), demanding answers after the commission’s X account tweeted false information leading to “drastic swings in the price of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.”

On Tuesday, the SEC’s X account published a post announcing that it had approved Bitcoin exchange-traded funds (ETFs) to be listed on all registered U.S. securities exchanges.

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Commentary: Let Cryptocurrency Implode with FTX

Sam Bankman-Fried’s arrest makes for a fitting final act to this chapter of cryptocurrency history. The internet prodigy-turned-supervillain had been at large for a whole month since the spectacular collapse of his crypto trading platform, FTX. But Sam is no Butch Cassidy. Rather than vanishing, he spent his time tweeting, giving interviews, and most stupefying of all, making appearances at high-powered New York Times business conferences alongside the likes of Mark Zuckerberg and Janet Yellen. Tucker Carlson speculated at the time that Bankman-Fried’s lavish donations to Democratic politicians had afforded him de facto immunity from prosecution. It seems that the goodwill has now run out.

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Michigan Senator Received $55,600 from FTX Employees Before Leading Crypto Bill

U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-MI, received at least $55,600 in donations this year from employees of FTX, a cryptocurrency exchange platform that declared bankruptcy after allegedly misusing client funds.

Then, Stabenow, who as Agriculture Committee Chairwoman oversees the Commodities Future Trading Commission, a cryptocurrency regulator, sponsored legislation to regulate cryptocurrency.

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Two Estonian Citizens Arrested for Alleged Involvement in $575 Million Cryptocurrency Fraud

The Department of Justice announced on Monday that two Estonian citizens were arrested on Sunday in Tallinn, Estonia on an 18-count indictment for alleged involvement in a $575 million cryptocurrency fraud and money laundering conspiracy. 

The two men, Sergei Potapenko and Ivan Turõgin, both 37 years old, allegedly defrauded hundreds of thousands of people out of money by convincing victims to enter into fraudulent equipment rental contracts with the defendants’ cryptocurrency mining service called HashFlare.

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Congressman John Rose Reacts to House Hearing on the Collapse of FTX

Tennessee Congressman John Rose (R-TN-06), who serves on the House Financial Services Committee, applauded the committee’s decision to have a bipartisan hearing on FTX’s collapse.

“The overnight collapse of FTX will have a lasting impact on consumers and the digital asset industry as a whole,” Congressman Rose said in a statement. “The American people deserve answers, and bad actors must be held accountable to the laws and regulations meant to safeguard consumers. I appreciate Ranking Member McHenry and Chairwoman Waters for swiftly scheduling a hearing on this pressing matter, and I look forward to hearing Sam Bankman-Fried’s testimony soon.”

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Commentary: Americans Should Support Cryptocurrency to Improve America’s Economic Woes

The U.S. financial system is not working for too many Americans. We see it every day at the gas pump and grocery store with record-high inflation. We see it with empty store shelves and higher rents. We see it with high fees and slow transactions at the big banks – the same ones we taxpayers bailed out a little more than a decade ago. 

There’s an alternative that can help these systemic problems: cryptocurrency. 

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Atlanta Filmmaker Guilty of $2.5 Million Cryptocurrency Fraud

The United States Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Georgia announced on Thursday that Atlanta-based filmmaker Ryan Felton, 48, pleaded guilty to 12 counts of wire fraud, 10 counts of money laundering, and 2 counts of securities fraud that stemmed from two cryptocurrency-based investment scams.

“The defendant used 21st century technology to perpetrate an age-old fraud: lying to investors to steal their money and fund his own lavish lifestyle,” United States Attorney Ryan K. Buchanan said.

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Minnesota Rep. Tom Emmer Seeks Information on SEC’s Cryptocurrency Regulation

U.S. Representative Tom Emmer (R-MN-06) sent a letter to Gary Gensler, chair of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), to receive more information relating to the agency’s information seeking process relating to cryptocurrency and blockchain firms.

The letter, a bipartisan effort signed by multiple representatives, encouraged accountability and transparency, as the group outlined more than a dozen questions about the process.

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Biden Expected to Sign First Executive Order Regulating Cryptocurrency

Joe Biden is set to sign an executive order that will begin the process of regulating the trading of cryptocurrency, as crypto becomes a viable alternative for Russians seeking to avoid the impact of economic sanctions.

According to ABC News, at least two anonymous Biden Administration officials said that the order will be issued this week, and has allegedly been in the planning stage since before the Russian invasion of Ukraine in late February. The order will outline the various steps that government agencies, including the Treasury Department, are to take to begin the process of imposing regulations on the buying and selling of digital currencies.

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Commentary: Understanding Exchange-Traded Funds

Now that it’s easier than ever to trade stocks and crypto thanks to apps like Robinhood and Etrade, it’s time to think about other options. People were quick to jump on the crypto bandwagon when Doge went to the moon in early to mid-2021, but the crypto crash later that year reminded everyone what an unsafe investment it really is. For those looking to diversify their investment portfolio, there are options beyond the new-school cryptocurrencies, or the traditional stocks and bonds. Keep reading to learn about exchange-traded funds or ETFs.

To put it as simply as possible, an exchange-traded fund is like taking a specific type of investment, say a commodity like gold, and collecting it together in a single group. Instead of buying gold on your own, you can invest in shares of a gold ETF. But why would you want to do that? Well, gold is expensive. To buy a meaningful amount you’d need to invest thousands of dollars. Not to mention you’d now have giant bars of gold lying around your house. You need far less capital to invest in an ETF. (And you don’t have a hoard of gold in your basement like some kind of dragon.)

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Biden Reportedly Plans to Regulate Crypto over National Security Concerns

President Joe Biden is set to announce guidelines for regulating cryptocurrencies in the coming weeks, Barron’s reported.

The initiative will involve the State Department, Treasury Department, National Economic Council, Council of Economic Advisers and White House National Security Council, according to Barron’s, and it will charge the agencies with developing a coherent regulatory framework for digital assets.

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Crypto Market Sees $130 Billion Sell-off over Last 24 Hours

The cryptocurrency market lost nearly $130 billion in value over the last 24 hours as major digital coins continue their extended sell-off, multiple sources reported.

Bitcoin dropped 4.81% to $33,693.63 over the last 24 hours while Ethereum slid 9.41% to $2,206.22, according to Coinbase. Both assets fell to their lowest level since July 2021, and each has lost roughly 50% of its highest value.

Cryptocurrencies have trended similarly to stocks, which have seen a sell-off since the start of 2022. Investors have dumped their assets, especially technology stocks, in preparation for tighter monetary policies from the Federal Reserve, including interest rate hikes and halting of the central bank’s asset purchasing stimulus program.

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Analysis: Five Controversial Policies Tucked Inside $1.2 Trillion Infrastructure Bill Passed by Congress

The final $1.2 trillion INVEST in America Act passed the Democrat-led House in a late night vote on Friday. Tucked away inside the infrastructure bill are some controversial policies, including these five:

1. The cryptocurrency tax provision in the Senate version of the bill was the subject of scrutiny from Democrats and Republicans. The language was not amended in the final bill that passed the House. The legislation includes an IRS reporting requirement for brokers of cryptocurrency transactions.

2. Under the “national motor vehicle per-mile user fee pilot” section of the bill, there is a pilot program to create a vehicle miles traveled system for taxing drivers based on their annual vehicle mileage. During his confirmation process, Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg floated the idea of taxing motorists based on the number of miles they travel each year as a way to partly fund the legislation. The Biden administration backed off of full-scale development of the controversial proposal, settling instead for a pilot program.

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Commentary: Real Estate Scams Are on the Rise as the Housing Market Remains Hot

When Jeff, a retired marketing consultant from Chicago, was closing on his home sale, he received a new set of instructions at the last minute on where to send several thousand dollars in closing expenses. At first blush, the email looked legit with an official-looking logo and professional language specifying the amount owed and itemized expenses. But one thing caught his eye: The email address looked strange. Just to be safe, he called his mortgage broker.

“Don’t do that!” his broker told him in an alarmed voice. It was a scam. If he hit “send,” his closing fees would go to a thief who had been monitoring his emails. “I was a keystroke away from losing thousands of dollars,” Jeff recalled.

As the housing market sizzles across the country – with nearly 6 million homes bought last year – scammers have been finding new ways to tap into this once-secure market. Real estate transactions still demand reams of paperwork and regulations involving lawyers, brokers, title insurance companies and banks, but the fact that much of this work now takes place online gives thieves countless opportunities to exploit vulnerable buyers. Last year, more than 11,000 homeowners were scammed out of more than $220 million in closing funds alone, according to the American Land and Title Association, a trade group that represents professionals who perform property transactions.

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China Outlaws All Cryptocurrency Transactions, Mining Activities

China’s central bank announced Friday that all cryptocurrency transactions and mining activities are illegal, banning financial institutions from providing digital asset services.

“Financial institutions and non-bank payment institutions cannot offer services to activities and operations related to virtual currencies,” the People’s Bank of China (PBOC) said in a statement Friday, according to a translation by CNBC. These services include derivatives trading, order matching and token issuance.

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Hackers Steal over $600 Million in One of the Biggest Crypto-Heists Ever

Hackers stole over $600 million in digital assets Tuesday from users of cryptocurrency platform Poly Network in one of the largest digital token heists ever.

Poly Network, a decentralized finance (DeFi) platform that allows users to trade digital currencies with one another, announced the hack Tuesday. Cybersecurity firm SlowMist, which investigated the hack, said the total value of assets stolen was $610 million.

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New Ohio Sen. Portman-Endorsed Infrastructure Amendment Could Hurt Cryptocurrency Industry, J.D. Vance Says

A proposed amendment to the bipartisan infrastructure legislation, introduced by Senators Rob Portman (R-OH), Mark Warner (D-VA), and Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ), could dramatically harm the cryptocurrency industry, according to various officials.

The measure would increase IRS reporting requirements for the cryptocurrency industry, a move that could potentially hurt American innovation.

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In An Effort to Stem Out-of-Control Hyperinflation, Venezuela Cuts ‘Five Zeros’

Nicolas Maduro

Reuters   Venezuela on Monday slashed five zeros from prices as part of a broad economic plan that President Nicolas Maduro says will tame hyperinflation but critics call another raft of failed socialist policies that will push the chaotic country deeper into crisis. Streets were quiet and shops were closed due to a national holiday that Maduro decreed for the first day of the new pricing plan for the stricken economy, which the International Monetary Fund has estimated will have 1 million percent inflation by year end. The price change comes with a 3,000 percent minimum wage hike, tax increases meant to shore up state coffers and a plan to peg salaries, prices and the country’s exchange rate to the petro, an elusive state-backed cryptocurrency. Economists say the plan, which was announced last Friday, is likely to escalate the crisis facing the once-prosperous nation that is now suffering from Soviet-style product shortages and a mass exodus of citizens fleeing for other South American countries. Venezuelans were skeptical the plan will turn the economy around. “I can’t find a cash machine because all the banks are closed today,” said Jose Moreno, 71, a retired engineer in the central city of Valencia,…

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