Binance Processed $346 Million for Crypto Exchange Bitzlato, Report Claims – Exchanges Bitcoin News

 

 

Cryptocurrency exchange Binance is said to have processed nearly $346 million in crypto transactions for Bitzlato, the cryptocurrency trading platform that was shut down in an international law enforcement operation. US authorities say the world’s largest digital asset trading platform is among the main partners of Russian-owned Bitzlato.

Blockchain data shows that Binance transferred over 20,000 BTC for Bitzlato from 2018

The global leader in crypto trading, Binance, has been accused of transferring nearly $346 million worth of crypto to Hong Kong-based Bitzlato, Reuters reports citing data from Chainalysis. Bitzlato was a little-known exchange until it was recently targeted in what US authorities describe as “a significant blow to the crypto crime ecosystem.”

Last week, the Ministry of Justice announced that the co-founder and major shareholder of Bitzlato, Russian citizen Anatoly Legkodymov living in China, was arrested in Miami and charged with running an unlicensed money exchange business that handled $700 million illegal money.

On Wednesday, the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) said that Binance is the only major crypto exchange dealing with Bitzlato and one of its top partners. Among other things is the darknet market WaterPeer-to-Peer (P2P) Exchange Localbitcoins and Cryptocurrency Investment Scams FinikoRussia’s largest financial pyramid in recent years.

According to FinCEN, Hong Kong-registered Bitzlato, better known to Russian-speaking users, is a “major money laundering concern” related to illegal Russian financing. The office did not disclose details of the transaction sizes of the aforementioned platforms with Bitzlato but said it would prohibit financial institutions from transferring funds to the exchange without specifying the entities it refers to.

According to data compiled by blockchain forensics firm Chainalysis and viewed by Reuters, Binance has transferred over 20,000 BTC for Bitzlato, valued at $345.8 million at the time of the transaction, from May 2018 to the shutdown. The report also notes that Bitcoin for around $175 million was transferred to Binance from Bitzlato during this time period, making Binance its largest receiving partner.

The Largest Crypto Exchange Says It Supported the Investigation of Bitzlato

Binance has “provided substantial assistance” to international law enforcement to assist with their investigation of Bitzlato, a spokesperson for the exchange told the news outlet via email, while denying it. provide more details on the crypto giant’s dealings with Bitzlato or its partnership with the authorities.

Finland-based Localbitcoins said it has never had “any form of partnership or relationship” with Bitzlato while acknowledging that some P2P traders on their platform “will also trade on the Bitzlato P2P marketplace” but pointed out that there have been no transactions between the two exchanges since October 2022.

Reuters commented that there is no evidence that Binance, Localbitcoins or Finiko transactions with Bitzlato violated any laws or regulations. It is also not possible to determine whether Binance’s transactions with Bitzlato are under review. At the same time, the US-led action against Bitzlato comes as the Department of Justice investigates Binance for possible money laundering and sanctions violations.

Several European countries are also involved in the investigation against Bitzlato. Last week’s announcement revealed that French law enforcement agencies had dismantled the platform’s digital infrastructure in the country and confiscated its website. On Monday, Europol get the news that four other members of the exchange’s team were arrested in Spain and Cyprus.

 
 

For Sale By Owner – Ask Your Loan Officer To Help

For Sale By Owner

So you want to sell your home. You don’t know what to do.

You search the internet. You ask friends and relatives advice on how to go about doing this. You have a series of questions.

  1. What price should I ask for the home?
  2. How and where should I advertise it?
  3. How much should I spend on advertising?
  4. How long should I leave it on the market before I lower the price or should I list it with a realtor?
  5. How do I negotiate with a buyer?
  6. Who writes the contract?
  7. Are the buyers even able to buy my home?

This is just a short list of the questions you may have. After some research you decide to try and sell it yourself. You become a ‘for sale by owner’ home. FSBO for short.

Did you think of asking your mortgage loan officer for help?

Mortgage loan officers are not realtors and more than likely will not be able to answer all your questions about selling your home but they sure can be a good ally. They are in the business of home mortgage financing. They know a whole host of service providers related to the real estate business. Their sphere of influence and knowledge includes realtors, buyers, sellers, real estate contracts, settlement companies, real estate attorneys, appraisers, home inspectors along with other service providers that you may need during the ‘for sale by owner’ real estate process.

If you are selling your home it is likely that you will need a mortgage for your new place. Give your mortgage loan officer a call to get pre-approved. When we meet for your pre-approval you can discuss the ways in which you may need help with selling your home.

The most important service they can provide to you is to do a pre-approval on any potential buyers of your home. This will insure the buyer can purchase your home. This step will save you a lot of time, money and potential heartache down the road.

Some mortgage loan officers can also provide you with marketing flyers FREE of charge. These flyers will be colorful, descriptive and professional. You provide them with great pictures of your home. They will include those pictures along with your contact information, monthly payment examples and the amounts needed for down payment and closing costs. If you need a value on your home they can refer you to home valuation websites. They can also refer you to a real estate appraiser who can give you an exact market value of your home for a fee. Most can show you how to obtain a real estate sales agreement and how to fill it out. They can also refer you to a real estate attorney to do the contract if that would make you feel more comfortable. You may want to have your home inspected to provide a potential buyer with a clean home inspection. They can refer you to a home inspector for that service.

Remember, when you are a ‘for sale by owner’ seller, use all the resources at your disposal. This includes your mortgage loan officer. They can be a great asset in your corner when selling your home on your own.

How to make money from blogging

We’ll be honest: blogging isn’t the easiest way to make money. But, the great thing is that anyone can do it, and it looks amazing on your CV.

All you need is something interesting to say and enough patience and dedication to build traffic and a following. But how do successful bloggers make their money? We’ve interviewed a couple of them to reveal their monetisation secrets. 카지노사이트

Our guide gives you a concrete action plan to get your blog off the ground and grow it into a profitable little business from home.

How to start a blog

You have two main options when it comes to actually setting up a blog – you can use a free blogging platform, or you can create your own website. We’ll take you through both, outlining their pros and cons.

Free blogging platforms
Best for: Casual bloggers and those not interested in making money from their blog.

Pros: Super easy to set up and completely free.

Cons: Limits on customisation and video/image uploads, you often can’t place adverts or use affiliate links, you can’t create a custom URL and the platform retains the right to delete your blog.

A lot of platforms will allow you to set up a blog for free, and they’re super easy to use. If you’re just wanting to blog casually at first, this could suit you well.

But, free blogging platforms can be very limiting. You’ll only be able to customise to a limited extent, and your blog will have a storage limit which could make it harder to upload large videos and images.

Another drawback is that your blog URL will be something like ‘www.yourblog.wordpress.com’ with the platform branding.

Most free blogging platforms also don’t allow you to place banner adverts or affiliate links on your site, which are key revenue streams for most bloggers. 안전한카지노사이트

However, if these things don’t bother you, here’s a quick rundown of the best free online blogging platforms.

Best blogging sites
WordPress.com – This is a free basic blog hosting service that’s easy to use. You’ll have to put up with WordPress ads and branding unless you pay a monthly fee. It’s also not possible to earn ad revenue unless you pay for the Premium, Business or eCommerce package. There are also limited options for customisation and expansion.
Blogger – Google’s free blog hosting service, Blogger, is really simple to use. But, the customisation and design options are very limited, and there aren’t a lot of options if you want to add new features.
Medium – With Medium, the emphasis is on the writing rather than design. It’s used by lots of journalists, writers and experts and is a great way to share your work with a particular community. You can’t run any ads and it’s difficult to create your own personal branding.
Create your own website
Best for: Dedicated bloggers and those looking to make money from their blog.

Pros: Complete control over design and customisation, your own custom URL and the ability to use adverts and affiliate links how you like.

Cons: You’ll have to pay. Firstly for your domain name (URL) and then for hosting, but we’ve got tips on cheap web hosting.

If you’re not particularly tech-savvy, the thought of creating your own website might seem quite scary. But in reality, it’s actually pretty easy to do, and you can create one in just 20 minutes.

Save the Student’s founder, Owen, has written an easy-to-follow, step-by-step guide to show you how to start a website.

With your own website, you’ll be able to create unique personal branding (with your own URL), and there’s no risk of your blog being deleted by the platform – you’ll own the site and be in complete control.

WordPress has an insane amount of templates or ‘themes’ for you to choose from – take your time to decide on one which suits both your personality and the topic of your blog.

Opt for something clear and simple, with space for large images and easy-to-read fonts (Comic Sans and Courier fonts are no-nos).

Create your own website »

How to choose a blog topic

This can either be the easiest or the hardest part of starting your blog.

The most important thing at this stage is to choose a niche in which you can call yourself an authority. The biggest mistake new bloggers make in such a crowded blogosphere is starting a blog without trying to do something surprising or different.

For example, if fashion’s your thing, instead of combining generic fashion content, you could combine your love for clothes with your big-hearted concern for the environment by blogging about environmentally-conscious designers instead?

These are the best ways to find a topic for your new blog:

Look at other blogs – This should be your first port of call. What’s already successful? And more importantly, what’s missing? Find the gaps in the market. 카지노사이트 추천
Use Google – What are people searching for? Use Google suggested searches and autocomplete to discover what people are looking for. If they’re searching for it, that shows there’s a demand.
Search forums for common FAQs – When people can’t find answers to their questions, they go to forums. What are they asking? What do they need advice on? This will show what people are interested in and what there’s a lack of available information on.
Track current trends – What topics are in the media right now? It’s good to pick a topic with longevity, but if you can piggyback on a trend early on, you can quickly establish yourself as an expert on it before anyone else. Searching #journorequest on Twitter shows what kind of themes journalists are currently reporting on.

Think about different types of content – Could you do tutorials/how-to guides? Reviews? Interviews? Lists? It might not be what you write about, but how you write which sets you apart.

Identify your own interests and passions – While all of the above are important, there’s no point in blogging about something you have zero interest in. You’ll quickly get bored and people will spot your lack of enthusiasm. Write about something you really, truly care about.

How to increase your blog traffic
Once you’ve created your website, come up with a kick-ass blog topic and you’ve published your first posts, the big question is – where are all the readers?

You can’t just expect people to magically find your blog and start reading it. You have to promote it!

Here are the best and easiest ways to get more readers for your blog:

Promote your blog on social media

As with any business nowadays, you’re not likely to get noticed if you don’t have social media accounts.

We recommend setting up pages/accounts for your blog on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, Snapchat and even LinkedIn (you’re essentially your own business anyway, right?). Design these accounts in a similar colour scheme/theme to your blog so your brand is consistent and easily recognisable.

Use them to share new posts and tag fellow bloggers/influencers/companies who might share your content and help it to reach an even bigger audience.

You could also dabble in some paid advertising to help your blog reach a wider audience, or run a competition to generate more likes. Once you’ve got the followers, keep them interested by posting on a regular basis (not just for new blog posts).

Connect with other bloggers
Make yourself known to other people who blog about similar topics. Despite the fact you’re technically a competitor, you’re likely to be pleasantly surprised by how supportive the blogger community can be.

Many bloggers even have a ‘links’ page on their site which they use to link to loads of their friends within the community in return for a link on your own blog. This will help massively with your SEO (that’s search engine optimisation – how likely your blog is to pop up in Google searches).

If you engage with other bloggers and share their content, they’ll likely return the favour. You could even work on some collaborations!

Respond to news stories on your blog

If something happens in the news which is related to your niche, get involved. This is what we refer to as ‘newsjacking’ and it can work a treat for getting you some great exposure.

For example, if you blog about cheap student cooking, keep an eye out for things like the reveal of our latest Student Money Survey. Students might spend an average of £116 a month on groceries, but you can tell them how to spend less (while eating better food!).

You can get on social media to say your bit with relevant hashtags, get involved in discussions and even reach out to journalists to say you’re available for comment.

If you’re really great at owning your niche, journalists might even come to you.

Create viral content
Creating viral content will help you reach a new market and, in turn, increase your readership.

This might be easier said than done, but the key to creating viral content is to tap into controversial or highly-discussed topics related to your niche blogging field. As you can imagine, this often involves newsjacking, as mentioned above.

As this is your niche, you’ll be passionate, opinionated and knowledgable about it, so you’ll be able to post an opinion that people want to read, share and talk about.

How to increase your blog traffic
Once you’ve created your website, come up with a kick-ass blog topic and you’ve published your first posts, the big question is – where are all the readers?

You can’t just expect people to magically find your blog and start reading it. You have to promote it!

Here are the best and easiest ways to get more readers for your blog:

Promote your blog on social media

As with any business nowadays, you’re not likely to get noticed if you don’t have social media accounts.

We recommend setting up pages/accounts for your blog on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, Snapchat and even LinkedIn (you’re essentially your own business anyway, right?). Design these accounts in a similar colour scheme/theme to your blog so your brand is consistent and easily recognisable.

Use them to share new posts and tag fellow bloggers/influencers/companies who might share your content and help it to reach an even bigger audience.

You could also dabble in some paid advertising to help your blog reach a wider audience, or run a competition to generate more likes. Once you’ve got the followers, keep them interested by posting on a regular basis (not just for new blog posts).

Connect with other bloggers
Make yourself known to other people who blog about similar topics. Despite the fact you’re technically a competitor, you’re likely to be pleasantly surprised by how supportive the blogger community can be.

Many bloggers even have a ‘links’ page on their site which they use to link to loads of their friends within the community in return for a link on your own blog. This will help massively with your SEO (that’s search engine optimisation – how likely your blog is to pop up in Google searches).

If you engage with other bloggers and share their content, they’ll likely return the favour. You could even work on some collaborations!

Respond to news stories on your blog

If something happens in the news which is related to your niche, get involved. This is what we refer to as ‘newsjacking’ and it can work a treat for getting you some great exposure.

For example, if you blog about cheap student cooking, keep an eye out for things like the reveal of our latest Student Money Survey. Students might spend an average of £116 a month on groceries, but you can tell them how to spend less (while eating better food!).

You can get on social media to say your bit with relevant hashtags, get involved in discussions and even reach out to journalists to say you’re available for comment.

If you’re really great at owning your niche, journalists might even come to you.

Create viral content
Creating viral content will help you reach a new market and, in turn, increase your readership.

This might be easier said than done, but the key to creating viral content is to tap into controversial or highly-discussed topics related to your niche blogging field. As you can imagine, this often involves newsjacking, as mentioned above.

As this is your niche, you’ll be passionate, opinionated and knowledgable about it, so you’ll be able to post an opinion that people want to read, share and talk about.

How to make money from blogging
Once you’ve got your blog up and running, you can (finally!) start looking into ways to make a profit from it.

These are the best and easiest ways to make money as a blogger:

Use affiliate marketing on your blog

Affiliate marketing works by adding tracked affiliate links into the text of your blog. You can make a small commission every time a reader clicks through to a site you recommend and makes a purchase.

The links will lead readers to the website of a brand, and the money you receive is to say ‘thanks’ for sending some of your lovely readers to their site.

Almost all online eCommerce websites have an affiliate program of some sort, like Amazon, ASOS and Apple.

Sign up to Affiliate Window. This is a huge affiliate network where you can promote thousands of well-known brands and services from around the world.

Money-saving blogger, Claire Roach, revealed:

The key is to be authentic and genuine with affiliate marketing. Write reviews and articles with your honest opinions and only encourage your readers to buy something if you think it’s a good product or service for them.

Add banner adverts to your website
As a more visual way of advertising, you can sell banner advertising space on your blog page to brands that relate to your readers.

Adverts can be placed anywhere, but they’re commonly found across the top of blog pages or in the sidebar.

You can earn income in one of two ways. CPC (cost per click) means you’ll get a set payment for every reader who clicks the advert, while CPM (cost per thousand) means you’ll negotiate a set payment for every 1,000 ‘impressions’ the ad gets.

With the growth of AdBlocker plugins, the CPC and CPM can be low, but it does depend on your industry, and there’s little harm in trying them out.

A quick way to get started is to create an account with Google AdSense.

Write advertorials and sponsored content

According to the bloggers we spoke to, one of the best ways of monetising a blog is through offering sponsored content opportunities (or advertorials). These are essentially adverts in the form of a paid-for article or blog post.

As an example, if Adidas brings out a new swimwear line and you have a blog on women’s sportswear, they might offer to pay you to write an article about their range. You may also be able to add some affiliate links on top.

This monetisation method usually works best when you have a strong niche audience. Once you’ve grown your readership, brands will often approach you to discuss sponsored posts.

Charge for sponsored social media posts
If you have a strong social media presence, you’ll be very attractive to brands. Some people actually make their entire blogging income through sponsored posts on social media. You can charge per post/re-post and the fees can be surprisingly high.

You’ll just have to work hard on building your followers first. Your ‘social proof’ (or how many people follow you on social media) is seen by brands as evidence that readers will like what you post about them, too.

Write guest blog posts for media outlets

Occasionally, members of the press (or even brands who have a blog of their own) will reach out to you if you’re an authority on a certain topic, asking you to make a little cameo appearance on their website.

If you’re particularly knowledgeable on cooking on a budget, for example, a newspaper might get in touch and ask you to contribute some budget-friendly recipes to their cooking magazine.

Don’t be shy in pitching ideas to publications either. If editors don’t know who you are, a quick email intro is a great way of getting your blog’s name out there.

Work with an agency to build your blog
Believe it or not, blogging’s become so popular in the advertising world that there are now agencies exclusively catered to promoting bloggers to big brands.

Working with an agency can be super lucrative and it offers you security, but you’ll need to have a pretty decent following to be scooped up in the first place.

Agency fees are also incredibly high, meaning only the biggest brands will be able to afford to work with you, and smaller independent ones will be scared off.

Depending on the kind of blogging business you’re aiming for, this may or not work to your advantage. To use the example of ethical fashion blogging again, agency fees might prevent you from working with the small independent designers you really want to promote.

Sell digital products on your blog

If you have skills or advice to offer, another option is to charge a fee for access to eBooks, video tutorials, courses or workshops.

In order to make this option work, you need to be able to show you’re extremely good at what you do, or that your content has proven to be incredibly valuable. This isn’t easy.

It can be pretty difficult to convince online communities to pay up, as there’s a tendency for people to think everything online should be free of charge. Worth a try though, right?

Sell your blog’s newsletter space
It’s also an option to charge a brand for either advertising space or a mention in your weekly/monthly newsletter (if you have one!). It’ll take very little time to do, and you could get a fair amount for it.

However, you’ll need to build up a decent size mailing list for brands to consider this.

Get employers’ attention as a blogger
Using your blog to promote your own business or even land yourself a job is another (albeit indirect) way to make more cash with your blog.

If you’re one of the many students selling stuff online, your blog is the perfect platform to promote what you have to offer (although don’t go in too hard, or you’ll put readers off).

You can also use your blog as a sort of online profile. It’s a place to build credibility, show your skills and hopefully, you can get a good job out of it.

Think of it this way: your blog is like your own small business in itself. By showing potential employers that you can do this successfully, you’re showing that you’ve got an entrepreneurial mind, and know how to achieve success with it.

The biggest challenges when monetising a blog

Nothing worth having comes without hard work and a few challenges.

Be under no illusion that blog monetisation takes time. Many bloggers only make pennies from monetising their blog each month – and this is after having worked on their blogs for a while.

To have a chance of creating a full-time income through blogging, again, you need to have multiple income streams from a selection of sources. Monetising a blog takes time and relies on you having some traffic. The more readers you have, the more attractive you are to advertisers.

Many bloggers decide to monetise quite early on in their blogging journey. Blogger Urszula Makowska explained:

Can you really make money from blogging?
As we have seen, the answer is yes! But how much money you can make from blogging is variable. That’s the nature of monetising a blog at the start, however with time bloggers can do very well.

Monetising a blog takes time and relies on you having some traffic. The more readers you have, the more attractive you are to advertisers.

To make a decent income from blogging, think about having multiple streams of income coming in from different sources and through different means.

SECURE 2.0 Glitch Appears To Remove Your Ability To Make Retirement Catch-Up Contributions In 2024

 

What’s a paragraph worth in a thousand pages of Congressional legislation? Quite possibly, your ability to save thousands of dollars more in your company’s retirement plan.

 

The news regarding SECURE 2.0 broke earlier this week from the National Association of Plan Advisors (NAPA) when a staffer at the American Retirement Association discovered a major glitch in the law’s wording. According to the NAPA post, the accidental elimination of a third subparagraph in one section of SECURE 2.0 “eliminated the ability to make ANY pre-tax catch-up contributions.”

 
 

While the law clearly intends to increase catch-up provisions for those nearing retirement, the plain language of the law doesn’t allow for this. Mistakes like this, however, happen all the time.

 

“Because of the complexity of the Internal Revenue Code, it is not surprising that there are technical glitches in drafting appropriate language to implement any proposed changes,” says Marcia S. Wagner of The Wagner Law Group in Boston. “Secure Act 2.0 of 2022 itself made technical changes to the SECURE Act, although those corrections were relatively minor in nature. The clear intention of the change was to require catch-up contributions for plan participants to be Roth contributions unless the plan participant’s FICA compensation was less than $145,000. However, as drafted, the statutory language precludes any catch-up contributions to be made in 2024, either pre-tax or Roth.”

 
 

It should be noted that this wording error does not prohibit you from making catch-up contributions to your tax-deferred IRA or your Roth IRA. It only pertains to corporate plans, like 401(k)s and more advanced types of IRAs. “The error will not affect most IRA holders, both traditional and Roth IRA, but it will apply to SIMPLE IRAs and SEPs, which are both types of individual retirement accounts,” says Wagner.

In the past, legislative errors like this have been fixed in a variety of ways. Since this mistake won’t have any material impact until the 2024 tax year, Congress and the IRS have some time to think about the best way to handle this. There are three possible responses to this particular technical glitch.

“The first and most straightforward would be for Congress to enact a technical correction to address this mistake,” says Wagner. “On the substance of the modification, there should be unanimous agreement because no member of Congress believed that they were voting to eliminate catch-up contributions in 2024. Technical corrections legislation is generally not enacted on an accelerated basis, although the potential magnitude of this error should result in a quick fix.”

 

Right now, Congress has more pressing issues than a tax law hiccup that won’t manifest itself for a year or so. Legislators are likely to focus on these. In the meantime, there may be another avenue to take.

“If Congress does not act, it is not clear whether IRS has the regulatory authority to interpret the statutory language to reflect what was intended, rather than what was drafted,” says Wagner. “IRS might rely on a rarely applied rule of statutory interpretation, that the plain, literal meaning of a statute should not be followed if it would lead to an absurd result or a result that could not possibly have been intended.”

Of course, because it’s uncertain whether the IRS will intervene, plan sponsors and participants have a third option.

“For the same reason, if neither Congress nor IRS takes action in 2023,” says Wagner, “many plan sponsors will follow the intended meaning of the law, in the reasonable assumption that even if the error was not fixed in 2023, the error will eventually be corrected.”

While this might sound reasonable for plan sponsors, third-party plan administrators may not be willing to risk exposing themselves to an unknown fiduciary liability by circumventing the law’s precise language, no matter how flawed.

“My problem is that any purported catch-up made in 2024 would actually be an excess deferral (as defined by law) and thus subject to the well-established correction process,” says Lawrence C. Starr, President of Qualified Plan Consultants, Inc. in West Springfield, Massachusetts. “How can I ignore that in preparing the annual administration of the plan? The client pays us to do their plan right; that means ‘in compliance with the law.’ If Congress hasn’t fixed the problem by 12/31/24, I will have a real problem just ‘ignoring it.’ If IRS were to issue some sort of relief ruling, I would most likely be comfortable following their guidance, but without that, we have a real problem with ‘ignoring’ catch-up amounts made during the year.”

It’s possible there is a fourth way, depending on how you interpret existing tax law not affected by SECURE 2.0.

“Technically, Section 1.414(v)-1 (Catch-up Contributions) states that any applicable plan can provide for catch-ups,” says David Levine, Principal and Co-Chair of Plan Sponsor Practice at the Groom Law Firm in Washington, DC. “The IRS can say that 414(v) is still in the code and that they will abide by that but hope to get some clarification from Congress.”

Wagner wonders if the IRS would be willing to be this aggressive. “I guess the IRS could use the argument, but probably wouldn’t, and would probably rely on normal statutory construction,” she says. “I do not believe the IRS can rely upon a regulation that is facially inconsistent with the text of the statute. A regulation that is inconsistent with a Code Section may not be formally modified until years after the statutory change, if at all. That said, if Congress does not take any action to address this glitch in 2023, the IRS may advance any argument that it can to avoid applying the plain meaning of the text. I can’t predict the arguments that IRS will advance if Congress takes no action in 2023; it is possible IRS would look to the existing catch-up contribution regulation, but I believe that existing rules of statutory construction provide the better argument—to wit, if Congress intended to eliminate catch-up contributions from the Code, it certainly could have done so in a far more straightforward manner; hence there was no intent to eliminate.”

Remember, this technical glitch does not change what you can do in 2023. It only affects 2024. Until then, here’s hoping rational heads will ultimately prevail in Washington.

South Florida’s Trump Group Just Reset The Global Bar For Luxury Real Estate—Again

 

Ultra-high net worth real estate has long been full of hot shots, narcissists, and bravado.

 

In turn, unscripted reality shows like Bravo’s “Million Dollar Listing” and Netflix’s “Selling Sunset” have minted ratings and superstars out of realtors and developers, many of whom were just scrapping to get a listing or a loan a few years earlier.

 
 

Luxury real estate is also rife with hyperbole: browse through most multi-million dollar listings in Miami, Manhattan, or Los Angeles, and you’d be tempted to believe that every kitchen is fit for a Michelin-starred “chef” and that each fixture and finish belongs in the Louvre.

 
 

Against this background, it wouldn’t be unreasonable therefore to think that the tagline for the recently completed Estates At Acqualina in Sunny Isles Beach—a.k.a “The World’s Finest Residences”—might whiff of a little aggrandizement.

 

If you’re familiar with Florida’s “other Trumps”, however, you’d also be totally wrong since hyperbole is not their style and perfection is what they do.

 

Seventeen years ago in 2006, South African-born brothers, entrepreneurs, and real estate developers Jules and Eddie Trump, along with Jules’ wife Stephanie (none of them related to the former President), opened Acqualina Resort & Residences, spanning 4.5 oceanfront acres with 98 guest rooms, 188 residences, and award-winning restaurants and amenities all wrapped up within a 51-story tower fronted by 400’ of perfectly-manicured Atlantic Ocean beach 30-minutes north of Miami.

In the process, the Trumps succeeded in setting a new high bar for luxury real estate and hospitality in South Florida. More substantially, Acqualina also put Sunny Isles Beach on the map as the epicenter of Florida’s new “Riviera”.

Over the next few years, Acqualina quickly became one of the most coveted hotel reservations in the world (no hyperbole here). It’s earned Forbes Travel Guide’s Five Star and AAA’s Five Diamond Awards—both luxury hospitality gold standards—fourteen years in a row, and recently was ranked the #1 Best Destination Resort in America by USA Today.

As a result, if you call up to book a room at Acqualina on any date other than a Monday in August, you’ll likely to be met with a typical, perpetual refrain: “Sorry. We don’t have anything available for those days”—which, if you’re the Trumps, is a good problem to have when your starter rooms go for an average of $1,200 a night.

“Our initial vision with Acqualina was to build a family-run hotel that had all of the elements of the finest resorts in Saint-Tropez with the elegance of a great, historic city hotel,” says Jules Trump about their original vision for Acqualina and the gap they presciently saw in the market.

“Stephanie, Eddie, and I all felt back then that what was really missing in luxury hospitality were great amenities and creature comforts, particularly while spending the day on the beach, including everything from dining and drinks to exceptional service and spas. We wanted our guests to step into the exclusive world of Acqualina and feel as though their every wish and desire had been anticipated before they even had to ask for it.”

Using Acqualina Resort’s success as a springboard, the Trumps opened The Mansions At Acqualina next door a decade later in 2015, which consisted of 79 private residences in an iconic 47-story building designed by Cohen Freedman Encinosa & Associates that’s still the tallest in Sunny Isles Beach at 643’.

Billed as Florida’s first “mansions in the sky”, The Mansions At Acqualina delivered on virtually every detail, finish, and amenity that hadn’t previously been pushed in luxury real estate before. It also set a new standard for what the synergy of world-class design, art, architecture, and lifestyle on the beach could look like—something which every other South Florida developer is still trying to catch up and outduel each other on.

Not surprisingly, especially given their perfect timing well after the Great Recession, The Mansions At Acqualina fully sold out within months of launching sales, further solidifying the Trumps’ repute as one of the leading luxury real estate developers in the world—even if their legendary lack of presence in the press and shouting their success from their penthouse rooftops belies their more innately modest and humble side.

Fast forward another six years to now, and the Trumps’ newest development—The Estates At Acqualina, which brings to market 245 residences in two gleaming, glass waterfront towers this time on the north end of the resort—somehow manages to raise the luxury real estate bar again.

The Estates’ budget is part of that success, which at $1.8 billion makes it one of the most expensive new residential developments in America. This perfection-at-any-cost ethos ensured that no expense was spared to surpass buyers’ expectations at every level, from the world-class architects, interior designers, and craftsmen behind the planning and construction down to every material, finish, and fixture and the bolts, screws, and rivets that hold it all together.

The other driver of The Estates’ success has been clarity of vision—and equally importantly, the ability to execute on it, which not coincidentally has been one of the Trumps’ real estate hallmarks for more than four decades since they first developed Miami’s Williams Island back in the 1980s.

Since its origin moment, the Trump Group’s aspiration for The Estates at Acqualina was to create a luxury lifestyle that would set it apart from anything else in the world, and to design a building from the inside out within which those details, experiences, indulgences, and amenities could be brought to life in a way that would be effortless and osmotic.

“Perfection in anything isn’t easy to achieve,” says Jules, “But The Estates at Acqualina is quite simply that. After the incredibly successful opening of Acqualina Resort & Residences seventeen years ago, followed by the creation of The Mansions at Acqualina, The Estates go even further than we ever thought we could go. No expense was spared to design and build the two towers, everything is the best in its class, and our quality is incomparable in terms of the materials we’ve used including mosaics, marbles, and metals. The Estates are also a celebration of art, architecture, and lifestyle and a pursuit of perfection that you’ll see manifested everywhere, from the grand formal entrance to the signature integration of modern and classic architecture to the exemplary services that we offer to our residents.”

Not surprisingly—and with a little boost from the pandemic which sent 40 and 50-something, deep-pocketed buyers from New York in particular fleeing to Florida for larger floor plans and an upscale work-from-home lifestyle—both The Estates’ North and South Towers pre-sold out by mid-2021.

The Estates’ amenities and exclusivity were a big part of that, says Jules, in addition to the towers’ beachfront real estate and Florida’s tax advantages, which helped to attract buyers with younger families who naturally gravitated to six acres of Masters-quality lawns, landscaping, and pools on the ocean, a quarter-mile of postcard beachfront, five restaurants, and over 45,000 SF of indoor and outdoor amenities within the Tuscan-styled Villa Acqualina connecting The Estates’ two towers.

“The Estates not only provides the world’s finest residences,” Jules tells me with a rare note of self-satisfaction, “But also the world’s most luxurious amenities for our residents, redefining the standard for sophisticated living. The Acqualina brand has always prided itself on putting our residents first, and Villa Acqualina which is the epicenter of our amenities is an unprecedented offering in a residential development, including a spa, an ice skating rink, bowling lanes, a movie theater, a kids club, a teen room, an amazing health and fitness sanctuary called Acquafit with a juice bar, salt room, and boxing gym, and a Wall Street Trader’s Club where residents will have access to ticker tape, computers, and a board room.”

If The Estates At Acqualina has a penultimate pièce de résistance, however, for Jules, Eddie, and Stephanie it’s the towers’ lobbies, both of which were envisioned by German designer Karl Lagerfeld, who for decades was creative director for the French fashion house Chanel. The Estates’ lobbies are Lagerfeld’s only residential commission in the U.S. (Lagerfeld died in 2019), so they hold a special place for the Trumps given their reverence for world-class design and architecture.

“The Estates architecturally are purposefully a combination of contemporary elements and design merged with European Old World style that Eddie and I, along with my wife Stephanie, personally love,” says Jules. “We’ve found that our buyers love it too. So, when we committed to creating ‘The World’s Finest Residences’ at The Estates at Acqualina, we knew that had to be apparent from the minute our residents stepped through the door. Thus, the lobby design was a very important decision. Toward that end, it was an obvious choice to have our lobbies designed by one of the world’s most important designers: Karl Lagerfeld, the very master of modern creativity. We also take great pride in the fact that Karl chose Acqualina as his first residential project in the United States to bring his eye for opulence, luxury, design, and style to.”

On the culinary front, The Estates At Acqualina is equally world-class in its A-list, pursuit of perfection.

Avra—the first expansion of the iconic New York City Greek restaurant—recently opened in Villa Acqualina in November 2022 to widespread acclaim and is now one of Miami’s hottest new dining spots.

“At The Estates, Avra has quickly become one of the biggest selling points,” says Jules. “It’s more than a $10 million venture—the restaurant is 12,000 square feet, including an al fresco dining area that overlooks the ocean. The design includes an infinity pool, a collection of contemporary art and a panoramic bar. The restaurant flies in fish from the Mediterranean every day, has its own network of fishermen, and produces its own olive oil. Based on my numerous times dining at Avra in New York, dining there is an experience that transcends your typical meal out and creates a one-of-a-kind experience.”

If everything about all of this sounds appealing, billionaire neighbors are your thing, and you have a few million to spare, a few residences at The Estates At Acqualina can still be yours via re-sale.

The first is Casa D’ Oro, a two-story, turn-key, single-family home in the South Tower that’s just re-hit the market for $39,000,000.

Furnished by Fendi Casa, Casa D’ Oro flips the script on the typical South Florida condo model which for decades has priced properties vertically—namely that the higher up you go the more expensive and larger they are.

Casa D’ Oro is the anti-penthouse, located on the South Tower’s ground floor right next to the Acqualina resort, with direct beach access, a private pool, outdoor summer kitchen, a private elevator, a four-car garage, 11’ ceilings, and six bedrooms and 7 ½ baths spread out across 11,605 impeccably furnished square feet.

The second is an unfinished 15,000-square-foot, four-story residence located in the Boutique North Tower that’s now on the market for $85 million—which if it sells for anywhere near its asking price would be the most expensive condo ever sold in South Florida, besting the current record of $60 million hedge fund billionaire Ken Griffin paid for his 12,500 square foot Faena House pad in Miami Beach in 2015.

Named Casa di Coba after its current owners Joshua and Jenni Coba—who made a fortune in haircare and are reselling the condo to take advantage of Miami’s still smoking hot real estate market—the residence has seven bedrooms, nine bathrooms, six powder rooms, a private pool and four-car garage, its own elevator, a three-story spiral staircase, a 3,100 square foot guest house, and a private oceanfront cabana furnished by Fendi.

As for the Trumps’ next magnum opus after The Estates, Jules, Eddie, and Stephanie remain coy. But the one thing that’s for certain is that inertia isn’t their thing.

“We’re always looking at new opportunities and places where we can raise the bar again and build something that sets a new standard for luxury and lifestyle,” Eddie tells me with a wry smile. “Where and what that is, you’ll just have to wait and see.”

Judging from what he, his brother Jules, and Stephanie have done before, every other developer should be holding their breath as well to see where the bar moves next.

Examiner could cost $100M and ‘provide no benefit’

An investigation into FTX’s collapse by an examiner could cost the firm upwards of $100 million without providing any benefit to creditors or equity holders, argues lawyers representing the bankrupt crypto exchange. 

The arguments were part of a Jan. 25 objection to a motion from the United States Trustee in December, which called for the judge to appoint an independent examiner to ensure any investigations are transparent and their findings made public.

FTX lawyers argued that creditors would not benefit from an examiner investigation which duplicates investigations led by FTX’s CEO John J. Ray III, a committee of creditors, law enforcement agencies, and congress, adding:

“The appointment of an examiner, with a mandate to be determined, can be expected to cost these estates in the tens of millions of dollars. Indeed, if history is a guide, the cost could near or exceed $100 million.”

The creditors committee, also known as The Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors, submitted their own objection to the appointment of an independent examiner on Jan. 25, also citing the prohibitive costs involved and the investigations of various parties which are already underway.

In the original motion, the U.S. Trustee had noted if the court was concerned about the duplication of work, it could allow the examiner to access existing work, adding:

“An examiner may also allow for a faster and more cost-effective resolution of these cases by allowing Mr. Ray to focus on his primary duty of stabilizing the Debtors’ businesses while allowing the examiner to conduct the investigation.”

Joint provisional liquidators in the Bahamas and FTX.US also opposed the appointment on Jan. 25, pointing to a section of the bankruptcy code which allows the judge to appoint an examiner “as is appropriate,” and arguing that the unnecessary costs and delays which would accompany the appointment of an examiner renders it “inappropriate.”

Related: Breaking: BlockFi uncensored financials reportedly shows $1.2B FTX exposure

The appointment of an independent examiner has been a key topic throughout FTXs bankruptcy trial.

On Dec. 9 a group of four U.S. senators which included Elizabeth Warren wrote an open letter to Judge John Dorsey of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware, claiming that FTX’s counsel Sullivan & Cromwell had a conflict of interest in the case and cast doubt over their ability to provide findings which inspire confidence.

However, the judge ruled on Jan. 20 that there were no potential conflicts of interest sufficient to stop the law firm from continuing to act as FTX’s counsel.

The judge will decide whether to accept the appointment of an independent examiner in a court hearing on Feb. 6.

Independent examiners are often appointed by bankruptcy courts to investigate details of complex cases brought before them, and have been appointed in other high-profile bankruptcy cases such as Lehman Brothers during the subprime mortgage crisis and the crypto exchange Celsius.

Bitcoin rallies to its highest value in 2023 as crypto momentum is on the rise – Kitco NEWS

 

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(Kitco News) – The cryptocurrency market fell below stress throughout early coaching on Wednesday and struggled to mount any momentum till later within the afternoon when costs began to development greater and Bitcoin bulls set their sights on pushing previous resistance at $23,000.

Shares additionally confronted a pullback on the market open and spent the remainder of the buying and selling session clawing their method greater in an try to get again to even on the day. On the shut of markets within the U.S., the S&P and Nasdaq managed to recuperate most of what was misplaced, ending down 0.02% and 0.18%, respectively, whereas the Dow was in a position to climb into optimistic territory and completed the day up 0.03%.

Knowledge from TradingView exhibits that Bitcoin (BTC) bears made a number of makes an attempt to push its value decrease over the course of buying and selling on Wednesday, finally dropping BTC to a every day low of $22,345 earlier than bulls managed to bid it again above $22,800. A day rally noticed the highest crypto hit a every day excessive of $23,829.

BTC/USD 4-hour chart. Supply: TradingView

Kitco senior technical analyst Jim Wyckoff known as the early morning drawdown “a routine corrective pullback after this week hitting a four-month excessive,” and advised that it had no materials impression on the present outlook for Bitcoin.

“The BC bulls nonetheless have the strong general near-term technical benefit amid a steep value uptrend in place on the every day bar chart,” Wyckoff mentioned, which “suggests extra value upside is probably going within the close to time period.”

Vary certain earlier than climbing to $25k

Additional perception into what could come subsequent for Bitcoin was supplied by market analyst Duo 9, who posted the next tweet noting the potential for a pullback to $21,000 or range-bound buying and selling between $22,000 and $23,000.

The prospect of range-bound buying and selling was additionally famous by market analyst Crypto Tony, who supplied the next chart that highlights the opportunity of a continuation of the uptrend close to the center of February following a corrective wave.

And a last little bit of perception on how the present value motion for Bitcoin compares to earlier cycles was supplied by crypto analyst Moustache, who observed that one particular indicator is signaling {that a} bull market could also be about to start out ramping up.

Choose altcoins surge greater

The downward stress on the crypto market pushed the vast majority of altcoins into the crimson for the day, other than a number of notable standouts that noticed their costs surge greater.

Day by day cryptocurrency market efficiency. Supply: Coin360

The largest gainer on the day was LCX (LCX), which climbed 41.56% to hit a every day excessive of $0.158, adopted by a 41.02% achieve for Aptos (APT) and a 20.43% achieve for Hooked Protocol (HOOK).

The general cryptocurrency market cap now stands at $1.038 trillion, and Bitcoin’s dominance price is 42.5%.

 

Cryptocurrency Was Sold To State And Local Pensions As ESG

 

Senator Katie Muth, a Board Member for the $40 billion Pennsylvania State Employees’ Retirement System (PSERS) will never forget the first meeting of the pension board she attended and the ESG presentation she heard which included cryptocurrency as a solution for the un-banked in African countries. “I was really looking forward to the ESG presentation but was very confused as to how blackbox fake currency could improve the lives of people suffering from economic hardship on the continent. The un-banked need equitable financial opportunities—not the opportunity to be scammed and further exploited by tech-savvy Westerners.”

 
 

For those who have conveniently forgotten, there was a time—not so long ago—when cryptocurrency was sold to our nation’s state and local government pensions as consistent with their ESG objectives. (“ESG” stands for environmental, social, and governance. ESG investing is a way of investing in companies based on their commitment to one or more ESG factors. It is often also called sustainable investing, socially responsible investing, and impact investing.)

 

In his testimony at a hearing before the U.S. House Committee on Agriculture in May, 2022, Sam Bankman-Fried, Co-Founder and CEO of FTX stated that his “business was established in order to build a digital-asset trading platform and exchange with a better user experience, customer protection, equitable access, and innovative products, and to provide a trading platform robust enough for professional trading firms and intuitive enough for first time users…

 
 

FTX has aimed to combine the best practices of the traditional financial system with the best form the digital-asset ecosystem.”

 

He spoke eloquently about FTX’s commitment to a diverse workforce. “We are proud of our workforce at FTX and believe that one of our key strengths is a culture of mutual respect and cooperation. This type of culture is borne from the diversity of our team, which necessitates a spirit of empathy, understanding and humility. These traits in our workforce are good for business and are much of the reason we have been successful at understanding our customers and their needs, and executing on products that meet their needs. FTX has employees all over the world with diverse ethnic backgrounds, and 60 percent of women in our workforce are in senior management positions. The majority of our global leadership comes from diverse backgrounds.”

Then there was the commitment to “giving back.”

“FTX is committed to improving the lives not just of our customers through superior products, but also the lives of those in the broader global community. Toward this end, FTX created the FTX Foundation, founded with the goal of donating to the world’s most effective charities. At minimum, one percent of net fees from FTX transactions are donated to the foundation; additionally, FTX’s founders have pledged to donate the majority of what they make. Mr. Bankman-Fried has personally committed to donating 99% of his wealth. In 2022 alone, FTX, its affiliates and its employees so far have donated over $100 million to alleviate global poverty, provide ventilators to countries ravaged by covid, provide financial services to the un- and under-banked, and combat climate change by ensuring FTX is carbon-neutral, and help the world achieve a brighter future. FTX has launched additional philanthropic initiatves including the FTX Future Fund which invests in ambitious projects aiming to improve humanity’s long-term prospects. FTX Community’s philanthropic efforts are focused upon global poverty, animal welfare, and community outreach. In 2021, FTX Community organized the FTX Charity Hackathon and awarded $1 million to a local student group with the best idea to improve mental and physical health.”

Then there was the commitment to “carbon neutrality.”

“FTX Climate is a comprehensive initiative to make FTX carbon-neutral, support important environmental projects, and fund transformational research on the most impactful solutions to climate change. FTX plans to spend at least $1 million annually through FTX Climate. FTX has endeavored to take ownership of our portion of the environmental costs of mining associated with public blockchains and has purchased carbon offsets to neutralize those cost, in addition to funding research.”

 

Perhaps most memorable, FTX was going to provide banking to the un- and under-banked.

Said Bankman-Fried: “FTX is dedicated to harnessing the power of crypto to tangibly improve lives. We are working with non-profit organizations, cities and countries to make the financial system more inclusive.

According to Federal Reserve estimates, 70 million Americans are either unbanked or underbanked. They lack a safe place to store money and pay exorbitant fees to cash checks. Millions more are banked but face high fees when their balance falls below a minimum. Members of these communities often do not have insured checking accounts, for a variety of reasons, including credit histories. The legacy bank settlement system makes it hard to see realtime balances, and leads to overdrafts, which leads to higher fees. Our bank the underbanked program offers those cut out of the financial system a free bank account and debit card linked to a crypto wallet. There are no fees, and no minimum balances. Transferring funds is virtually free and instantaneous and can be accessed on a phone. They can use it to receive money, make payments and build savings. There are no fees and no minimum balance. Transferring funds through the crypto wallet is virtually fee and instantaneous.”

And, finally, FTX was even defending Ukraine from Russian invasion.

“Ukraine is deploying digital assets to defend against Russia’s invasion and support the population. In collaboration with the Government of Ukraine, FTX is converting millions of dollars in wartime crypto donations to fiat for the National Bank of Ukraine. This marks the first-ever instance of a cryptocurrency exchange directly cooperating with a public financial entity to provide a conduit for crypto donations. Facilitated by FTX, the Ukrainian government has purchased crucial defense and humanitarian equipment including medicine, ballistic plates for bulletproof vests, walkie-talkies, lunches for soldiers, thermal imagers and helmets. Ukraine’s Deputy Minister of Digital Transformation has noted, “Each and every helmet and vest bought via crypto donations is currently saving Ukrainian soldiers’ lives.” Additionally when the war broke out in Ukraine, FTX gave $25 to every Ukrainian user of our platform.”

So, gambling on blackbox cryptocurrency was marketed as an elegant solution to climate change, racial and gender diversity, income disparity and financial system exclusivity, and even war in Ukraine.

Crypto was going to “improve lives” and many ESG investors, including our nation’s state and local government pensions—so-called “sophisticated institutions”—couldn’t resist gambling workers’ retirement savings on the dream. Now those same pensions either outright deny, delay public disclosure, or claim they don’t have access to information regarding, any direct or indirect (through external fund managers) crypto holdings.

Nevertheless, information regarding the “crypto-contagion” at public pensions is gradually emerging, with some funds, such as Fairfax County Virginia, disclosing holdings over a staggering 10%. Whether you support or reject ESG, the crypto crisis is a profound reminder that coupling even the most laudable objectives with investment decision-making can lead to disastrous results.

Will BTC’s Recent Price Surge To Over $23,000 Lead To A Bullish Rally?

 

Bitcoin, the world’s most valuable cryptocurrency, has been rising and has reached $23,333 for the first time since August 19. Over the weekend, BTC broke through the $23,000 barrier for the first time in five months, making it exciting for the cryptocurrency market. 

Meanwhile, Ethereum, the second-largest digital coin, reached $1,664.78 for the first time since November 7, 2022.

 The reason for its bullish trend, on the other hand, could be attributed to institutional investors, who are increasing their holdings in anticipation of the next bull run. 

The price of bitcoin (BTC) has recently increased, benefiting both short-term and long-term investors, according to on-chain statistics.

 It is also worth noting that the percentage of Bitcoin holders who are now profiting in the short term has risen to 97.5%, the highest level since November. Long-term BTC holders, on the other hand, have benefited from Bitcoin. 

Aside from that, investors ignored the numerous issues confronting the cryptocurrency industry, most recently Genesis Global Holdco LLC’s petition for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. As a result, the BTC gains were unaffected.

Risk-On Crypto Mood Pushes Bitcoin and Ethereum To New Highs

The global cryptocurrency market has maintained its upward trend and is currently flashing green near the $1.06 trillion mark. This came after bitcoin, the world’s most valuable cryptocurrency, broke through the $23,000 barrier for the first time in five months, indicating that the cryptocurrency market is entering a new era.

However, institutional investors, who are increasing their holdings in anticipation of the next bull run, are the primary drivers of rising BTC demand. 

Bitcoin, the world’s largest digital asset, is in an unusually upbeat mood after rising by more than 36% this month. Moving on, the next major turning point in the cryptocurrency market could occur at the upcoming Fed meeting next month.

How The Bearish US Dollar Is Underpinning Bitcoin’s Price Rally 

The falling value of the US dollar is another factor supporting the price of the cryptocurrency. On Tuesday, the broad-based US dollar remained on the defensive, sitting at a nine-month low against the euro and giving back recent gains against the yen as traders continued to assess the likelihood of a US recession and the direction of Federal Reserve policy. 

The US dollar index, which compares the greenback to a basket of six rival currencies such as the euro and yen, fell 0.09% to 101.92, closing in on the 7-1/2-month low of 101.51 set on Wednesday.

BTC Bulls: Short-Term And Long-Term Holders Are Winning Big Time

The price of bitcoin (BTC) has risen significantly in recent weeks, generating profits for both short- and long-term investors, according to on-chain statistics. 

At the time of writing, the percentage of Bitcoin holders making short-term profits had risen to 97.5%, the highest level since November.

Long-term Bitcoin holders, according to Glassnode, have also benefited from Bitcoin.

Gemini Downsizes To Adapt To The New Economic Reality

A spokeswoman for Gemini, a cryptocurrency exchange, told CNBC on Monday that the company will lay off nearly 10% of its total workforce. In less than a year, Gemini has seen at least three rounds of layoffs. 

According to PitchBook data, Gemini had 1,000 employees as of November 2022, which means that 100 people may have lost their jobs.

According to TechCrunch, Gemini previously reduced its workforce by 7% in July 2022, following a 10% reduction the previous month.

As a result, while this may be considered negative news, it has had no negative impact on the cryptocurrency market thus far. 

On the other hand, the growing number of COVID-19 cases in China will have an impact on the cryptocurrency market. As a result, this was regarded as a critical factor that could limit future gains in the cryptocurrency’s price. 

Bitcoin Price 

Bitcoin is currently valued at $23,097 and has a $27 billion 24-hour trading volume. Bitcoin has gained over 1% in the last 24 hours. With a live market worth of $435 billion, CoinMarketCap presently ranks top. 

Bitcoin is currently facing heavy resistance around a $23,250 level along with an immediate support at $22,500. If the candles fall below the $22,500 level, a bearish correction will most certainly commence and last until the $21,500 mark is hit. If Bitcoin falls below $21,500, it might fall as low as $20,450.

The RSI and MACD indicators are overbought, but the recent bullish engulfing candle is signaling chances of a bullish trend continuation. On the upside, the immediate resistance level for Bitcoin is $23,250, and a break above this level might expose BTC to levels as high as $23,900 and $25,150.

Buy BTC Now

Ethereum Price 

The price of Ethereum in the last 24 hours was $1,635, with a trading volume of $8.3 billion. The ETH/USD pair has found immediate support at $1,610, and candles closing above this level are likely to trigger an increase in BTC. 

On the upside, ETH is anticipated to face immediate resistance at $1,675, and a bullish crossover over this level might expose ETH to $1,750.

On the downside, a bearish breakdown of $1,610 might open up additional selling space till $1,550.

Buy ETH Now

Bitcoin Alternatives

CryptoNews Industry Talk has reviewed the top 15 cryptocurrencies for 2023. If you’re looking for a higher potential investment opportunity, there are plenty of other projects worth considering.

The list is updated weekly with new altcoins and ICO projects.

 

What Is RxPass, and Can It Save You Money on Prescription Medication?

Taking prescription medications is routine for many Americans. In fact, about 66 percent of US adults take prescription drugs, according to the 2021 Health Policy Institute — while “nearly half of adults take 2 or more medications daily & many find it hard to afford them,” Andy Jassy, CEO of Amazon, tweeted.

That’s why — in addition to hoping to boost subscriptions — on Tuesday, Jan. 24, Amazon announced the addition of a generic prescription perk for Prime members. Available only at Amazon Pharmacy, RxPass is a monthly subscription add-on that lets Prime members purchase multiple generic medications for one flat fee of $5. It gives members access to a list of up to 50 drugs for common conditions like high blood pressure, anxiety, and diabetes. The chief medical officer of Amazon Pharmacy said that over 150 million people in the US already take one or more of the medications offered.

In light of the offer, social media is already making jokes at the US healthcare system’s expense. “When private corporations offer a better deal on medicine than the government,” writes one user. While it’s not a replacement for insurance, the company noted on its site that its flat fee is often cheaper than going through traditional pharmacies using insurance.

This isn’t the first time the e-commerce behemoth has dabbled in healthcare. In 2020, Amazon launched its own online pharmacy after acquiring PillPack in 2018. It also launched Amazon Care, a telehealth service, which was shut down at the end of last year. In July 2022, it acquired One Medical in place of it. But how does its new service, RxPass, really work — and is it worth it? We break down everything you need to know below.

What Is RxPass?

RxPass is an Amazon Prime add-on that will now allow US-based members to purchase from a list of 50 generic medications used to treat more than 80 common chronic conditions. Among the list are medications to treat high blood pressure, anxiety, and diabetes. However, it doesn’t offer specialty medications like insulin. Also, it’s not a replacement for insurance. The service itself costs $5/month per person, on top of the Prime membership of $14.99 per month. It offers discounts of up to 80 percent on generic drugs and up to 40 percent on brand-name prescriptions. Delivery is free.

How Does RxPass Work?

If you’re an Amazon Prime member, you’d subscribe to RxPass for an additional $5/month. That means you can get all of your prescribed medication available via Amazon pharmacy to be filled as often as needed for the same flat monthly fee.

Amazon pharmacists or support staff are available to discuss medications and coordinate with your doctor, Amazon reports. And RxPass also allows for auto refill, so depending on the prescription, RxPass members will have the choice to have their medications delivered on either a monthly or quarterly basis. You can find the full list of medication included here and search by medication or by condition to confirm if they carry what you need.

Does RxPass Take Insurance?

With RxPass, you don’t need to use insurance because instead you’re paying with the flat fee. (And no, you can’t use your HSA or FSA to pay the monthly fee.) The service can be helpful to those without insurance or in the case when insurance doesn’t cover certain medications. For example, if you’re paying more than $5 a month on all of your medication, RxPass would be more cost effective. For other medication needs, Amazon Pharmacy accepts most insurance plans.

Worth mentioning: RxPass is restricted based on the state where the prescription will be shipped. For example, it’s not currently available in California, Louisiana, Maryland, Minnesota, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, Texas, and Washington. Customers who are enrolled in Medicare or Medicaid are also unable to enroll in the service. But they can still fill their prescriptions at Amazon Pharmacy using government insurance.