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Arizona senator keeps pushing to make Bitcoin legal tender

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Arizona senator keeps pushing to make Bitcoin legal tender

Arizona senator keeps pushing to make Bitcoin legal tender Monika Ghosh · 23 seconds ago · 1 min read

If approved, the bill would allow Arizona residents to transact and pay taxes with BTC. A similar bill was first introduced in January 2022.

1 min read

Updated: January 25, 2023 at 3:39 pm

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Cover art/illustration via CryptoSlate

Republican senator Wendy Rogers introduced a bill on Jan. 25 that proposes including Bitcoin (BTC) in the list of currencies accepted as legal tender in Arizona. If passed, Arizona would become the first state in the U.S. to embrace Bitcoin as an official currency.

The bill, if approved, will enable Arizona residents to buy and sell goods and services, and pay taxes and dues with BTC.

Rogers had previously introduced bill SB 1341 seeking to make Bitcoin legal tender in January 2022. The new bill, SB 1235, proposes amending the definition of legal tender to include BTC in existing laws in addition to declaring the largest cryptocurrency as legal tender.

It is questionable, however, whether Arizona will be able to enact the bill into law. The U.S. Constitution specifically restricts states from creating their own legal tender.

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adoption

Justin Sun aims to get TRON adopted as legal tender in 5 nations by 2023

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Justin Sun aims to get TRON adopted as legal tender in 5 nations by 2023

Justin Sun aims to get TRON adopted as legal tender in 5 nations by 2023 Monika Ghosh · 2 hours ago · 2 min read

Sun said that getting TRON adopted as legal tender across countries could boost the cryptocurrency’s usage and cause its value to increase.

2 min read

Updated: January 29, 2023 at 2:08 pm

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Cover art/illustration via CryptoSlate

Tron founder Justin Sun aims to get TRON (TRX) accepted as legal tender in 5 countries this year. In a Twitter thread, Sun said that while the goal is “ambitious,” he is “confident” that it can become a reality.

In a separate Twitter thread, Sun said it is important to look beyond the U.S. to get TRX adopted as legal tender. He wrote:

“The US is just one country, and while it may be a major player in the crypto world, it’s not the only one.”

Sun acknowledged the importance of U.S. crypto regulations and said that if the rest of the world adopts TRON as legal tender, the U.S. will eventually follow suit. Therefore, he said it is important to work on a global scale and build partnerships with governments and businesses worldwide.

St. Maarten eyeing TRX as legal tender

In October 2022, the Commonwealth of Dominica adopted TRX and six other Tron-based cryptocurrencies as legal tender.

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Earlier this week, a member of parliament proposed a law that, if passed, would make Tron legal tender in the eastern Caribbean island nation of St. Maarten. In line with Dominica, the St. Maarten draft law proposes adopting Tron as the national blockchain of the country.

How adoption as legal tender will help TRON

According to Sun, adopting TRX as legal tender across countries will increase the cryptocurrency’s “legitimacy and usage.” He wrote:

“When a government recognizes a digital currency as legal tender, it gives a sense of trust and security to the general public, making it more likely to invest and use it.”

Moreover, as a legal tender, TRON will become a valid means of exchange in the country. This would encourage more businesses to start accepting TRX as a means of payment, which in turn will boost the cryptocurrency’s usage, Sun explained.

He said that government recognition as legal tender would make it easier for businesses and individuals to transact with TRX, leading to broader adoption. The increasing adoption will not only “benefit the entire ecosystem” but also boost the demand for TRX, causing its price to increase, Sun wrote.

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Crime

Dark web hitmen paid $60,000 BTC to kidnap estranged wife

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Dark web hitmen paid $60,000 BTC to kidnap estranged wife

Dark web hitmen paid $60,000 BTC to kidnap estranged wife Dorian Batycka · 1 hour ago · 2 min read

The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Washington issued a press release on Jan. 24 announcing the sentence.

2 min read

Updated: January 26, 2023 at 7:39 am

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Cover art/illustration via CryptoSlate

Ronald Craig Ilg — 56, of Spokane, Washington — has been sentenced to 96 months in federal prison for paying over $60,000 Bitcoin (BTC) to dark web hitmen.

Ilg paid the hitmen who attempted to kidnap and assault multiple victims — including his ex-wife — through an online scheme in which he solicited the assistance of known hitmen.

Neonatologist turned criminal

Beginning in early 2021, court records found that Ilg — who had been working as a neonatologist — transmitted dozens of messages under the alias “Scar215” and sent more than $60,000  BTC to advance his nefarious plot. 

During this time, Ilg directed the purported hitmen to assault another Spokane-area doctor — specifying that the victim:

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“Should be given a significant beating that is obvious. It should injure both hands significantly or break the hands.”

This initial plan led to Ilg paying more than $2,000 in BTC, after which he provided the hitmen with a link to the victim’s picture, their address and other personal details that would assist in the crime, court records show. 

In a series of follow-up messages, Ilg added, “I would like to see evidence that it happened. If this goes well, I have another, more complicated job” for a “different target with entirely different objectives.”

U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Washington, Vanessa R. Waldref said:

“This case demonstrates how violent offenders exploit cyberspace and cryptocurrency to further their criminal agendas.”

Bitcoin and the dark web

It’s certainly not the first time BTC has been used in an attempt to fund illegal activities. Late last year, the DOJ issued another press statement announcing they had seized a historic $3.36 billion worth of cryptocurrency relating to the Silk Road dark web portal — belonging to James Zhong. 

Furthermore, Silk Road’s founder — 38-year-old Ross William Ulbricht — is currently serving a life sentence without the possibility of parole for his role in operating the hidden service on the Tor network. This included facilitating the sale of narcotics and other illegal products and services —including an alleged plot to hire hitmen using cryptocurrency under the alias ‘Dread Pirate Roberts.’

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Exchanges

Prosecutors seize SBF’s $50M deposit to small bank

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Prosecutors seize SBF’s $50M deposit to small bank

Prosecutors seize SBF’s $50M deposit to small bank Zeynep Geylan · 7 hours ago · 1 min read

Roughly $50 million of SBF’s deposit has been seized by prosecutors – Alameda invested $11.5 million earlier in the same bank.

1 min read

Updated: January 25, 2023 at 5:14 pm

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Prosecutors seized just under $50 million belonging to FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried (SBF) held in Farmington State Bank on Jan. 4, according to a Yahoo Finance (YF) report on Jan. 24.

The total amount seized was only $500 short of $50 million, according to the YF report. The bank specialized in agricultural loans to farmers and had only three employees when SBF deposited this amount. It also didn’t offer online banking services or credit cards and had a net worth of $5.7 million.

Alameda invests in Farmington

SBF’s venture capital Alameda Research invested $11.5 million in the bank in March 2022, according to a New York Times (NYT) report published in November 2022,

Farmington has been steadily collecting about $10 million in deposits for a decade — by the third quarter of 2022, this amount increased to $84 million, according to the NYT report. Of this increase, $71 million came from new accounts.

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The bank also changed its name to Moonstone Bank and started offering online banking services after FTX’s investment, according to the NYT report.

The former head of the Independent Community Bankers of America, Camden Fine, reportedly shared his thoughts about the investment, according to the NYT report. He said:

“The fact that an offshore hedge fund that was basically a crypto firm was buying a stake in a tiny bank for multiples of its stated book value should have raised massive red flags for the F.D.I.C., state regulators and the Federal Reserve. It’s just astonishing that all of this got approved.”

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