NASA’s Spitzer Telescope Reveals Surprising New Details About “Hot Jupiters”

So far, over 4,000 exoplanets have been found and they come in all different sizes, temperatures, orbits, etc… For example, some exoplanets are gas giants that are larger than Jupiter, while others are rocky worlds about the same size as Earth. They can be exceptionally hot or have very cold temperatures. They can complete a full orbit around their star (or stars) in just a few days or much longer, and some don’t even have a host star.

Some exoplanets have been described as “hot Jupiters” and recent studies have revealed new and surprising facts about them. First of all, the fact that scientists have found hot Jupiters is amazing as they once believed that they were so unlikely that they probably didn’t even exist. These are exceptionally hot giants that orbit their star at an incredibly close range.

So far, astronomers have detected over 700 hot Jupiters in our Milky Way Galaxy and the data collected by NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope allowed experts to focus in on a specific number of them. In fact, 49 hot Jupiters were chosen to be extensively studied for the new research project.

Jean-Michel Desert, who is an astronomer at the University of Amsterdam, stated, “Hot Jupiters – all of them are quite peculiar,” adding, “But we do see families of [these] exoplanets.” To better understand this, they are grouped into three families – “cooler” hot Jupiters with atmospheric temperatures as high as 1,300 degrees Fahrenheit (704 degrees Celsius); “hot” hot Jupiters with temperatures between 1,300 and 3,100 degrees Fahrenheit (704 to 1,704 degrees Celsius); and ultra-hot Jupiters with temperatures hotter than 3,100 Fahrenheit (over 1,704 degrees Celsius).

As for what the researchers found, one surprise was that the “cooler” hot Jupiters didn’t have any methane in their atmospheres as stated by Claire Baxter from the University of Amsterdam, “To not find methane in any of the planets [at temperatures lower than about 1,300 degrees Fahrenheit] was surprising with the basic assumptions we had made.”

On the ultra-hot Jupiters, carbon monoxide and methane were mixed together in their atmospheres. “Seeing the evidence for vertical mixing in a statistical sense is an important step because it is predicted by models and was also previously seen in brown dwarfs [a kind of failed star],” Baxter explained, “Now we have collected evidence that this effect is also seen in exoplanet atmospheres.”

Another thing they discovered was that hot Jupiters have approximately the same amount of metal content as their stars which contradicts previous theories that they had a much higher amount.

This is a very important step in learning more about hot Jupiters and with future observations from the James Webb Space Telescope as well as the European Space Agency’s ARIEL mission, astronomers will be able to gather even more data regarding these giant exoplanets.

The research was published in Astronomy & Astrophysics.

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Non-Human Entities and Wholeness and the Implicate Order

In my latest article on the strange world of the Collins Elite (a small group in the U.S. government that believes aliens are really demons) I told the story of how the group began and how I came to meet a few of the people involved. My key source for the story was Ray Boeche, both a priest and ufologist. In 1991, Ray was approached by two members of the group, both of whom were physicists working for the U.S. Department of Defense. They wanted guidance on how to handle some of the weirder aspects of their investigations into the world of all things demonic. It’s a little-known fact, though, that Ray’s two informants didn’t just speak with him. Linda Howe had contact with them, too, three years after Ray Boeche met them. They particularly wanted to read Howe’s book, Glimpses of Other Realities, Volume 1: Facts & Eyewitnesses. In June 1994, they provided a statement for Howe that revealed much about the group’s belief-systems and the kinds of things they were into. With that said, I’ll let you read what they had to say. Their words began as follows:

“Dear Ms. Howe: Your book is an excellent, thought-provoking work. Overall many salient points are covered quite well. Following are some random notes for your consideration. Study David Bohm’s Wholeness and the Implicate Order. Much insight into the mechanics of the NHEs (non-human entities) can be gained from study of his ideas. He [was] on target with his concepts, and our program is attempting, unfortunately to exploit them. Perhaps a better description might be that the mechanics of the NHEs ability to interact with our physical reality is what Bohm’s work details, and the contact with the NHEs has occurred, and will continue to occur, regardless of our understanding of the mechanism of the contact. Our misguided program directors cling to the false belief that we can control or manipulate the NHEs, when in actuality, the reverse is occurring – we are the ones being manipulated and deceived. Cellular changes in plants from within genuine crop circle formations are due to the same sort of energy release/exposure as that used in the so-called ‘negative healing’ experimentation. Once again, [the] forces being utilized by NHEs, to interact with us in a bizarre, confusing manner, designed to divert us and draw our attention from the true purpose of their actions: manipulation and deceit.”

They continued: “The penultimate diversion in this whole area is the mutilation of thousands of animals. The NHEs, with the ability to work unseen (read invisibly), and to create incisions and excise tissue in manners which seem humanly impossible (because they are) and to either remain totally undetected, or to create the illusion of extraterrestrial beings (the apparent UFO/phantom helicopter sightings, and concomitant occupant sightings often associated with the events), provide an extremely effective smoke screen. People are now busy chasing secret government projects, satanic cults, and UFOs, while the actual perpetrating agents go unsuspected. Regarding the phantom helicopters, while many are direct NHE ‘productions’ (craft is not an appropriate term as they do not need to travel via a propulsion device), many are related to our program, especially regarding running checks and surveillance on mutilation sites and so-called abduction victims. The comment left on your telephone answering machine referenced on Page 194 (Glimpses, Vol. 1) may very well have been made by someone within the government hierarchy who has been convincingly fed the false ET scenario propagated as disinformation by those who are in charge of the NHE projects. Many variations of this exist, and all who are privy to a particular variation are convinced they have ‘the answer.’ With our society as it is now, the core truth of the situation is such that the public really could not handle it.”

There was more to come: “The ultimate diversionary tactic to this point (and diversions will begin to increase in frequency, degree of strangeness, and in a more overt fashion, visible to greater numbers of observers) is the UFO abduction scenario. The concept of these events, real though they are, being the result of extraterrestrial beings is a masterful piece of disinformation to divert attention away from the real source of the NHEs. Our information as to the true nature of these events does not negate the possibility of extraterrestrial life. But the causal source of the UFO and UFO abduction phenomena is not extraterrestrial. The so-called Roswell crash of 1947 did indeed occur and debris of a non-earthly type was found, as were non-human bodies. Although in our position we cannot speak with authority, we believe that there is a basis in truth for Bob Lazar’s story of government-held ‘craft.’ However, the origin is not extraterrestrial. The NHEs being dealt with in our psi (mind control) weapons development, and who are apparently allowing themselves to be used, for a time, are neither benevolent nor neutral. It was our feeling that very few could understand or accept this. That is the reason we approached our mutual friend (Ray Boeche). His theological training, his acceptance of orthodox Christian thought, and his obvious abilities as an astute researcher, seemed to indicate to us that we might effectively communicate our concerns through him, and still maintain our positions, which would enable us to accurately monitor the ongoing work. He has made some blunt statements which run counter to the positions of his peers, and has been roundly criticized by many for his position, but we desperately hope that at least some are listening.”

Things got even more intriguing: “Your comments and thoughts (in Glimpses of Other Realities) concerning ancient civilizations and their contacts with the NHEs need to be considered in light of the bigger picture of the deception of mankind as a whole. If this grand deception is taking the course it seems to be, then it makes complete sense to analyze the false gods of ancient civilizations in light of the current level of deception. It is only logical that given their non-human, other-dimensional nature, the NHEs would be able to foresee the need to establish a foundational base, the facts of which could be slightly twisted, or distorted, by the fog of antiquity and forgotten cultural distinctiveness, to seemingly establish themselves as the bringers of all good things to humanity. Explore [Jacques] Vallee’s Passport to Magonia again, for more close parallels between the ‘faerie’ manifestation of the NHEs, and current events. Dr. Vallee was so close to the truth of the situation, with the exception that the ultimate manipulators are not human.”

Finally, there were these words from the two Deep Throats: “You have created a remarkable piece of work which helps to begin to point to the final truth behind the phenomena. Our mutual friend could be most helpful to you in explaining details of the deception. We, on our part, will be happy to answer specific questions you may wish to put to us. You must understand, however, that some things simply can’t be discussed. Please transmit your questions and or concerns via our friend. We believe you can understand our need for discretion, and the wisdom of limiting the number of direct contacts we make. We applaud your efforts, and we look forward to your next volume. You are a very bright and obviously courageous woman who seems to remember the maxim, ‘You shall know the Truth, and the Truth shall make you free.’ With our sincerest best wishes.”

Another piece of a strange story that continues to grow.

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The Weird Story of a Panic-Inducing Fake Documentary Called “Alternative 3”

There have long been those radio programs, films, or shows that have blurred the lines between reality and fiction to the point that some people have taken them to be real and flown into a panic. The most famous of these is perhaps the 1938 alien invasion broadcast of War of the Worlds, by Orson Welles, but this is not the only example of this. On June 20, 1977, families across the UK sat down in front of their TVs to watch a series on Anglia TV called Science Report. It was a very well-respected, conservative science program that put out a factual series of serious science documentaries involving reputable scientists and facts. It was this reputation for hard, fact-based programming that made the show that was unfurling on screens across the country so shocking. The program, called Alternative 3, would meander down a twisted rabbit hole of dark conspiracies, mysterious disappearances, and bizarre tales of space travel that would leave people in a panic that is much talked about even to this day.

The program began quite spectacularly, reporting on the fact that there had been a large number of mysterious disappearances of physicists, engineers, astronomers, and others in related fields, which was at first thought to have been a “brain drain,” meaning that they were recruited by other nations, but which the program had purportedly found to be part of a far more insidious plan. The reporter, who was the respected former BBC and ITN newsreader Tim Britton, then explains that these scientists had been vanishing off the face of the earth and even turning up dead in mysterious circumstances. Some of these disappearances are presented with evidence, such as a mysterious videotape submitted by an alleged missing “Professor Ballantine,” which was delivered to his friend in the press shortly before his vanishing, but which is shown to contain mostly white noise and static, which is later claimed to have been part of a special encryption that required a decoding device to view. The program features interviews with family members of the missing people, fleeting interviews with co-workers who seem to panic about being on camera and run off, and it is all rather unsettling stuff. It is all presented rather ominously and in a completely serious tone, and already anyone watching would have been creeped out, but it gets better.

Through investigative research, it is then claimed that it had been found that the earth would be unable to support life for much longer due to catastrophic climate change, a growing population, and a lack of natural resources. It is presented as fact that our days are numbered, and that the scientific community has been racing to find an answer to out dilemma. In the show, this breaking discovery claims that the world’s scientists had in 1957 come up with three plans to avoid the unstoppable apocalypse. Alternative 1 is described as reducing the human population by blowing huge holes into the ozone layer to stop pollution, which would cause millions to die of cancer brought about by the UV light. Alternative 2 is to create underground cities for the last survivors to flee to, allowing in only those who are worthy and leaving the rest of humanity to die on the surface. Alternative 3 is described as a plan to get society’s elite off planet to bases that had already been built on the moon and Mars, with some regular citizens being mind-controlled and brought about for slave labor. Indeed, the show presents convincing looking evidence that the U.S. and Soviet governments had perfected interplanetary space travel and established bases in space as early as 1961, and that the Apollo Space Program had been a ruse to disguise the government’s true plans. Indeed, the program claims to have found that all of the disappearing scientists had actually been whisked away off-world to await the coming world-ending catastrophe, with those who refused or threatened to expose it all winding up conveniently dead.

All of this is presented in a very sober fashion by a physicist called “Dr. Carl Gerstein,” and there are several interviews offered up to back these claims up, such as one with “former Apollo astronaut” Bob Grodin, who claims to have actually seen one of these bases on the moon. There are also shown alleged conversations between the Apollo mission and mission control, and the Ballantine video is then decoded to show what appears to be a joint American-Soviet trip to the moon base in 1962. The whole thing is interspersed with realistic looking interviews with intellectuals, scientists, and family members of the missing, panicked interviews with “insiders” who do not want their real identities known for fear of retribution, fuzzy videos, photographs of bases on the moon and Mars, ominous charts, graphs, and animations showing the catastrophic effects of global warming back when this wasn’t even a much-discussed topic, shaky grainy camera work, and descrambled NASA recordings, all pervaded with such an utter sense of sobriety and seriousness that when the 52-minute program ended people across the UK sat there in complete shock. Shortly after the program ended, Anglia Television was flooded with deluge of telephone calls from panicked people demanding more information, and there was a minor hysteria going on, but it would turn out that, despite how realistically it had been presented, none of it had been real at all.

It would turn out that Alternative 3 was a fake documentary created by writer David Ambrose and director Christopher Miles. It had been meant to be aired on April Fool’s Day, but due to strikes and scheduling conflicts had not gone on the air until June 20. The creators of the documentary had gone through great lengths to make it all as realistic as possible, using the same kind of stock film used at the time to make it appear like a conventional documentary, actors that are largely unknown and with dialogue mostly improvised and unscripted, and a handheld camera style to lend it an air of authenticity. There are clear disclaimers in the program and credits that list all of the actors involved playing bogus scientists, government insiders, and astronauts, as well as the intended date clearly being shown in the program as April 1, and the TV station had assumed that most people would be aware that what they were watching was all fake. Writer Michael Barkun, author of A Culture of Conspiracy: Apocalyptic Visions in Contemporary America, has said of it:

Alternative 3 was clearly a hoax — and not only because it was intended for broadcast on April Fools’ Day. The interviews with supposed scientists, astronauts, and others were far too dramatically polished to have been spontaneous, and in any case, the episode’s closing credits named the actors who took the roles of interviewees and correspondents. Though artfully produced, the show’s counterfeit documentary style could scarcely have been expected to fool many. As an Anglia TV spokesman put it, ‘We felt viewers would be fairly sophisticated about it.

Nevertheless, the fact that it had aired on such a reputable science program by the serious presenter Britton, as well as the sheer convincing realism of it all, had caused this to fly right past most viewers, leading to the subsequent mass panic. Amazingly, even after it was all outed as an obvious hoax, people still continued to believe it was real, and a novelization put out by writer Leslie Watkins in 1978 would similarly be seen by some people as a real account. Indeed, this would all go on to spark a whole conspiracy theory that what was depicted in the film was based on reality, only done up to look like a hoax program to cover up the real elements. This was further fueled by a book by conspiracy theorist Jim Keith, who wrote in his book Casebook on Alternative 3: Ufo’s, Secret Societies and World Control, argues that many elements of the show are based on truth, and the film has gone on to be a catalyst for all manner of conspiracies of secret government space programs, bases on the moon and Mars, and vanished scientists.

Looking back at the original program now, it is rather hard to believe that it was ever thought of as real, even more so that it continues to be entertained as real by some conspiracy theories. It all looks pretty cheesy and fake in retrospect, but it still managed to earn itself a place among other similar programs such as Orson Welles’ War of the Worlds, the UK program Ghostwatch, the alien abduction film UFO Abduction, and The Blair Witch Project, all of which also provoked responses ranging from doubt over whether they were real or not to full on panic. It is amazing that the Alternative 3 program has continued to be so much discussed and picked apart by conspiracy theorists, and it remains a curious example of programming that was taken way farther than it was intended to be.

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Time Traveler Stuck in 2027 Offers Proof — He Lists Events About to Happen in 2021

FINALLY! What time travel skeptics have been waiting for! A time traveler who claims he’s stuck in 2027 but somehow still has access to TikTok has offered soon-to-be verifiable proof he’s a real time traveler – he’s revealed events about to happen in 2021 … including one just a few days away. No, no winning lottery numbers, but if he’s right, eight lucky humans are about to win something even more valuable. A reliable self-driving Tesla?

“Many of you still don’t believe I am a real-time traveler, so remember these 5 dates.”

The time traveler is Javier (no last name) who posts on TikTok as @unicosobreviviente – Spanish for “Only Survivor” because he claims he woke up in 2027, he’s the only person around and he can’t get back. It sounds unbelievable – even with the plethora of clear videos (unusual for alleged time travelers) he’s posted showing empty streets and buildings around Valencia, Spain. However, he either senses the skepticism in TikTok comments (not to mention the paranormal media) or he knows it because he’s in the future, so Javier decided to offer some proof in the form of revelations of events about to occur.

8/3/21 – NASA finds mirrored Earth, opposite gravity, physics, motion

This one is scheduled to happen next week. A mirrored version of Earth is certainly conceivable, but what are opposite gravity, physics and motion? Guess we won’t have long to find out – or prove Javier to be another time travel hoax.

9/14/21 – Category six hurricane will hit South Carolina, will the worst in history

This one is certainly a possibility, considering we’re in hurricane season and they’ve been stronger lately. We shouldn’t have to wait too long since hurricanes form in the Atlantic weeks before hitting the coast of South Carolina. No need to hoard toilet paper yet.

10/20/21 – Eight humans will receive superpowers from extreme energy of the Sun

This is the better-than-the-lottery winner. Superpowers from the Sun – Javier is still a Marvel fan even in 2027. It would be better if he said what the superpowers will be so we know if they’re going to be heroes or villains.

12/14/21 – Three teenagers will find a T-rex egg and a device to open a portal to an alternate universe

A two-fer gift just in time for Christmas! We’ve seen T-rex eggs, but a device to travel between dimensions would be unique – and probably on Javier’s wish list since he thinks he may be in one.

2/2/22 – Atlantis is found in the Atlantic Ocean and is housing human-fish life

By 2/2/22 (does the alliterative date have any significance?) we should know whether Javier is the real time travel deal or not, so let’s wait until 12/15/21 to decide whether to spend six weeks in anticipation of this one.

Coming soon?

Javier’s pronouncements and videos have stirred interest in other alleged time travelers, including Edward (no last name) who has been getting coverage for his claim that in 2004 he traveled to the year 5,000, saw what used to be Los Angeles underwater due to climate change flooding, and brought back a blurry picture to prove it. If this sounds familiar, it’s because Apex TV posted the same video of him in 2018 when he received plenty of skeptical reviews (including from this writer).

What should we make of the recent rash of alleged time travelers? Javier sounds like he’s making a not-so-subtle reminder of how the world looked in 2020 during the pandemic shutdown and warning it could happen again and we’ll be stuck in it. At least he makes nice videos to entertain us. The rest sound more like the usual hoaxers that get attention because the world is not happy with the state of affairs today, is dissatisfied with the rarely-achieved projections of leaders and experts, and want some assurance that things will be OK or some disaster preparation time. Ask the Hale-Bopp people how things turned out when they believed the Heaven’s Gate leader. Oh wait … they’re all dead.

We await August 3rd.

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Binance winds down futures and derivatives products in Europe as Malaysia mounts fresh enforcement action on the exchange

Binance announces that with immediate effect, users in the Netherlands, Germany, and Italy cannot open new futures accounts on the platform.

Malaysia orders Binance and its affiliates to cease operation in the region.

Only a week after Binance announced its decision to stop crypto margin trading services involving Australian Dollar, Euros, and Pounds sterling, the largest crypto exchange by trading volume has taken another decision to wind down its futures and derivatives products offerings in Europe. 

According to the exchange, this is part of its effort to meet users’ needs as it continually evaluates products and works with partners. For now, the derivatives products service stoppage will take effect with the European region. 

While we do not actively market Futures and Derivatives Products locally, we plan to start further scaling down access to those products in the region. With immediate effect, users in the Netherlands, Germany, and Italy cannot open new futures accounts.

The exchange is recently facing strict regulatory hurdles from several financial bodies, with the UK, Japan, and the US expressing dissatisfaction in the operation of its business. According to the exchange, the European region is a very important market for its business, and so there is the need to take proactive measures in harmonizing crypto regulations. This may have a positive impact on the industry. 

As part of the statement, the exchange admitted that several regulators at the local level have their positions on cryptos, and to meet the local requirements, it is open to any constructive dialogue to provide its services effectively. 

The exchange recently reduced its maximum leverage option to 20X and set a reduced withdrawal limit for users who have not completed the Know-Your-Customer (KYC) verification. 

Read More: FTX and Binance to reduce maximum leverage options to encourage responsible trading

Malaysia goes after Binance

While the exchange is evaluating its products to provide services that comply with the requirement of regulators, the Securities Commission Malaysia (SC) has announced enforcement actions against Binance for operating illegal Digital Asset Exchange. All four entities of Binance: Binance Holdings LTD, Binance Digital LTD, Binance UAB, and Binance Asia Services Pte LTD have been asked to cease operation in Malaysia. 

The company has been ordered to disable its website and mobile applications within 14 business days starting from July 26. Also, they are to cease all media and marketing activities and to prevent Malaysian investors from accessing its Telegram group. 

Investors are advised to stop dealing with and investing through illegal DAX. Those who currently have accounts with Binance are strongly urged to immediately cease trading through its platforms and to withdraw all their investments immediately.

In addition to the dozens of international financial authorities issuing warnings to the exchange, Italy recently announced that Binance Group and its affiliates are not legally permitted to offer investment services in the country. 

Der Beitrag Binance winds down futures and derivatives products in Europe as Malaysia mounts fresh enforcement action on the exchange erschien zuerst auf Crypto News Flash.

XinFin Partners with Guarda Wallet and Simplex to Provide Easy Fiat Onramp for XDC

Tel Aviv, Israel, 30th July, 2021,

Guarda Wallet, with its Simplex-powered fiat onramp functionality, has added instant buy support for XinFin’s XDC token, allowing the wallet’s users to instantly buy XDC with debit and credit cards, Apple Pay or global bank deposits.

The integration is an important piece for adoption of the XDC Network hybrid blockchain infrastructure, as the XDC native network token grants the ability to pay for transactions and smart contract usage. Adding new and easy ways of acquiring XDC ultimately benefits the network by opening it up to a larger community of users and developers.

The XDC token can be purchased on Guarda Wallet thanks to its integration with industry leader, Simplex. Within seconds, users are able to get XDC directly to their wallet by paying with debit or credit cards, Apple Pay or instant wire transfers (where supported). As Guarda’s partner, Simplex handles the conversion and offers its deep expertise and wide adoption to facilitate a smooth exchange process.

Guarda is a multicurrency wallet that is available for web, mobile, desktop and as a Chrome extension. Guarda supports over 50 major blockchains, thousands of tokens and dozens of stablecoins. Guarda has supported XinFin’s XDC Network since 2020, but the partnership did not include an instant buy feature, until now.

XinFin’s XDC Network is a hybrid blockchain project with a focus on enterprise customers. The platform continues where J.P. Morgan left off with the Quorum project, and is ultimately based on an enterprise-optimized version of Ethereum. Since its inception, XinFin has focused heavily on notable partnerships to bring mainstream adoption to blockchain technology, powered by its XDPoS consensus mechanism that guarantees the required performance for this goal.

“It’s important to make XDC as widely available as possible to bootstrap adoption and network effects, and to that point we’re very excited for this new stage of the partnership with Guarda Wallet,” said Ritesh Kakkad, Co-founder of XinFin.

“We believe in the XinFin mission and support the project, and are very happy to be offering a sleek and easy integration to instantly buy XDC on our app,” said Paul Sokolov, CEO of Guarda Wallet. “The importance of good user experience should not be understated. Many users want something simpler than placing orders on an exchange, and that’s the need we are satisfying through a partnership with Simplex.”

“We’re delighted to be adding support for XDC, empowering millions of users to purchase the XDC Network’s native coin instantly with their everyday credit or debit card via our trusted and long-time partner, Guarda Wallet,” said Ari Last, VP Business Development at Simplex. “Crypto should be accessible to all, and through this partnership with XinFin and Guarda, we are one step closer towards that goal.”

About XinFin’s XDC Network

The XDC Network  is a global open source Hybrid Blockchain protocol/platform with independent community contributors comprising long-term backers, network utility and tech developers. The XDC Network is a utility network that lets enterprises deploy real-world applications on Hybrid Blockchain Protocol in a conducive, compliant and regulation-friendly environment for diverse use cases in trade, finance, remittance, supply chain, healthcare and other industrial areas to improve business efficiency.

About Guarda

The story of Guarda began in 2017 with the first cryptocurrency wallet (Ethereum wallet for Android) being released. Since then, Guarda (officially registered as Guardarian OÜ in the European Union) has been focusing on building an ecosystem of blockchain-related products. As for now, the company received the FIU license (reg. FVR000109) for virtual currency against fiat currency exchange, complying with the laws and regulations of each jurisdiction in which Guarda operates.

About Simplex

Simplex is the fiat/crypto infrastructure for the entire world. Powerful, seamless, and impactful, Simplex has been changing the status quo of crypto on/off ramps since 2014. As the market leader, we pioneered the first riskless global fiat onramp using a credit and debit card, which promises a zero chargeback guarantee. Simplex Banking offers the Simplex fraudless payment processing, with global payment accessibility. Working alongside the biggest names in the crypto ecosystem, including Binance, Huobi, Bitpay, Simplex provides the complete fiat infrastructure for the cryptocurrency ecosystem. As a licensed EU financial institution and a Principal Member of the Visa network, Simplex was selected as one of the 10 most impactful companies in blockchain in 2020. Keep up with the latest Simplex news by following us on Twitter or visiting simplex.com

Contacts

Dan Edelstein
pr@marketacross.com

Der Beitrag XinFin Partners with Guarda Wallet and Simplex to Provide Easy Fiat Onramp for XDC erschien zuerst auf Crypto News Flash.

MicroStrategy plans to further its Bitcoin acquisition strategy despite BTC recent struggle

MicroStrategy CEO Michael Saylor says the company will “continue to deploy additional capital” into their “digital asset strategy.”
The software firm released its Q2 earnings Thursday, showing a 13 percent increase in revenue year-over-year.

MicroStrategy, the largest publicly traded business company will continue amassing Bitcoin (BTC), says its CEO, Michael Saylor. Speaking during the company’s Q2 earnings announcement on Thursday, Saylor said the latest funding had catapulted them into acquiring over 105,000 BTC. At this, he was referring to Capital International Investors, which had acquired a 12.2 percent stake in the company.

“We continue to be pleased by the results of the implementation of our digital asset strategy,” he said.

Going forward, we intend to continue to deploy additional capital into our digital asset strategy.

MicroStrategy Bitcoin acquisition strategy

Since August 2020, the Tysons, VA-based software firm has been on a Bitcoin purchasing spree for its treasury reserve. The firm’s 2020-devised corporate policy states that all cash outside of operations should be held in the form of Bitcoin.

With that, the company began purchasing Bitcoin with every knocking opportunity. A couple of months ago, MicroStrategy spent $500 million raised through junk bonds sale which was used to purchase more Bitcoin. Moreover, the firm filed with the SEC to acquire more Bitcoin holdings following the sale of its class A common stock. MacroStrategy LLC, a subsidiary of MicroStrategy, holds an estimated 92,079 Bitcoins.

Bitcoin acquisition went on despite BTC plunging below $40,000, with the company counting roughly $63 million in losses with the drop. At press time, Bitcoin was trading at $38,806, according to our data. At these prices, MicroStrategy now holds more than $4 billion worth of Bitcoin.

Reportedly, other major firms, such as Tesla, Square, and Coinbase have also purchased cryptocurrency worth hundreds of millions of dollars. For some investors, this move has opened the doors for them to gain exposure to digital assets without actual self-custody. It also marks a big turnaround especially since companies holding Bitcoin was considered exposing them to a lot of volatility and fragility.

Financial report

As of June 30, the non-GAAP (generally accepted accounting principles) market value calculation of MicroStrategy’s Bitcoin holdings was $3.653 billion. This figure reflected Bitcoin’s price at the time of $34,763. Additionally, the non-GAAP digital asset cost basis was $2.741 billion equal to $26,080 per Bitcoin.

According to data, MicroStrategy made $125.4 million in revenue for Q2, a 13.4 percent increase from its performance the same time a year ago. The gross profit for the quarter was $102,3 million. This represented an 81.6 percent gross margin, up from 78.3 percent over the same period last year.

Nevertheless, with the results, the company’s shares shaved off 2.2 percent to $611.48 during Thursday’s after-hours trading session.

In the past, investors have been reacting to stock as the price of Bitcoin moves. For instance, in early 2021, as Bitcoin rose to its all-time $60,000 high, investors flocked the company. This brought shares to as high as 21.6 percent in February. Thereafter, as Bitcoin prices began to descent, investors began being wary, fearing tying their fate to that of Bitcoin. Others are now just sitting on the fence, waiting to see how events unfold.

Der Beitrag MicroStrategy plans to further its Bitcoin acquisition strategy despite BTC recent struggle erschien zuerst auf Crypto News Flash.

IMF warns against adoption of crypto as legal tender

The organisation said the adoption of crypto as legal tender could bring volatility and macroeconomic instability.
It called the move “a step too far” and “an inadvisable shortcut.”

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has issued a warning against countries using cryptocurrencies as a legal tender. This follows El Salvador’s recent move to pass a bill making the leading cryptocurrency, Bitcoin, a legal tender. A move that has received widespread backlash and prompted protest from Salvadorians.

In a warning dated July 26, the organisation called the adoption of crypto as national currency “a step too far”. The IMF, while acknowledging the potential merits of digital currencies like security, ease of access, and affordability countered that in many cases, the risks and costs outweigh potential benefits.

Volatility, monetary policy integrity and potential macroeconomic instability

The organisation cited the common argument that crypto is too volatile to qualify for use as a national currency. It pointed to Bitcoin’s crash from an all-time high of $65,000 per BTC to about $30,000 in about two months. Adoption of crypto as legal tender could expose a country’s financial institutions to such fluctuations, warns the blog post. Macroeconomic could also be affected, warns the organisation.

In a case where goods and services were priced in both the local currency and a cryptocurrency, businesses and households would have to invest a lot of valuable time and resources in settling on a currency. Governments would also potentially suffer exchange rate risk if, for example, taxes and other forms of government revenue were quoted in one currency while expenditure was quoted in another.

The blog also pointed out the potential threat to central banks and monetary policy.

Monetary policy would lose bite. Central banks cannot set interest rates on a foreign currency. Usually, when a country adopts a foreign currency as its own, it “imports” the credibility of the foreign monetary policy and hope to bring its economy–and interest rates–in line with the foreign business cycle. Neither of these is possible in the case of widespread cryptoasset adoption.

There is also the issue of financial integrity. Unregulated, crypto can be used in money laundering, tax evasion and to fund activities like terrorism. All these could be threats to a country’s “financial system, fiscal balance, and relationships with foreign countries and correspondent banks”. This is why the IMF believes that stable economies are unlikely to make this decision.

Cryptoassets are unlikely to catch on in countries with stable inflation and exchange rates, and credible institutions. Households and businesses would have very little incentive to price or save in a parallel cryptoasset such as Bitcoin, even if it were given legal tender or currency status. Their value is just too volatile and unrelated to the real economy.

Even in relatively less stable economies, the use of a globally recognized reserve currency such as the dollar or euro would likely be more alluring than adopting a cryptoasset. A cryptoasset might catch on as a vehicle for unbanked people to make payments, but not to store value. It would be immediately exchanged into real currency upon receipt.

“An inadvisable shortcut”

The merits of digital currencies and the underlying technology cannot be ignored. The IMF however, advises that governments simply step up and provide these benefits in existing financial services while leveraging new digital assets. All this while making sure to preserve ‘stability, efficiency, equality, and environmental sustainability. Attempting to gain all these benefits by simply introducing a cryptocurrency as legal tender is, according to the organisation, “an inadvisable shortcut”.

The IMF previously warned El Salvador about the possible adverse effects of its adoption of Bitcoin as legal tender.

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Best tax-reducing business expenses for DeFi traders

Some people trade cryptocurrencies to make quick money from the price volatility. But most crypto traders are excited about the future of crypto and DeFi, and hold digital currencies for the long-term.

DeFi traders and the tax mess

“Crypto currencies are used not only as payment methods, but also as investment opportunities,” says Shane Brunette, the founder of CryptoTaxCalculator. He adds that the “virtual currencies have also created a legal vacuum, which is now rife with regulations. A lot of them revolve around tax and the way that cryptocurrency taxes are paid.” 

Crypto traders often struggle to figure out their tax obligations. You might not be keeping track of your crypto transactions, but the authorities are going to tax your crypto gains nonetheless. 

The US Internal Revenue Service asks American taxpayers in its Form 1040 if they have at any time during a given year bought, sold, sent or exchanged any virtual currency.

The crypto landscape is rapidly evolving, and so are the tax regulations around them. Authorities have started scrutinizing digital asset holders closely. 

In general, cryptocurrencies are non-government currencies rather than property. But “many countries view cryptocurrencies as property with associated capital gains implications,” points out Brunette. 

For instance, the US Internal Revenue Service (IRS) treats cryptocurrencies as property rather than currency. Shane Brunette adds,

If you save money in crypto, then want to buy goods (or other crypto) with that crypto, you are going to have to keep track of any gains, which can quickly become a nightmare.

The amount you owe in crypto taxes depends on your annual income and how long you’ve held the crypto assets. If you have owned a digital currency for less than a year before selling or spending it, the profits would be considered short-term capital gains and taxed at your normal income tax rate.

But if you’ve held it for longer than a year, it is a long-term capital gains event. It means they will be taxed at a lower rate, depending on your income. 

In case you earned cryptocurrencies through mining or received it as promotion, reward, an airdrop or payment for goods and services, tax authorities view it as your regular taxable income. You owe tax on the entire value of the digital currency on the day you received it, at your regular income tax rate.

Keep track of these expenses and deductions

It’s important to be aware of the tax-deductible business expenses. Platforms like CryptoTaxCalculator simplify the record-keeping and tax filing for DeFi traders. It would help you reduce your tax bill without incurring the wrath of the tax authorities. 

Among the most overlooked expenses are the fees traders pay for transactions. Shane Brunette told us that it’s important to carefully account for all the fees. They could lead to significant savings. If you are paying fees in crypto, you will also have to account for the capital gains or losses on the fee itself.

Active DeFi traders could qualify for the Trader Tax Status (TTS), which allows them to deduct trading business and home office expenses. TTS traders can write off health insurance premiums and retirement plan contributions by trading through an S-Corp with officer compensation.

If you mine cryptocurrencies, you spend money on computers, servers, Internet services, electricity, graphics cards, and more. So, you could deduct the mining-related expenses against your income. The exact amount you can deduct will depend on whether you treat it as a hobby or business.

Traders who have been victims of a Ponzi scheme can deduct their Ponzi losses from the taxable income. These are not subject to the $3,000 capital loss limitation in the US. Make sure to check the tax laws in your country.

In case you have incurred losses from crypto hacks, scams or theft, don’t forget to claim these losses as $0 proceeds transactions. For example, if you bought $5,000 worth of Ethereum but it was later stolen in an exchange hack, you’ll be able to report losses of $5,000.

Conclusion

Most of us don’t keep track of our crypto transactions and pay little attention to all the tax deductions we could take to reduce the tax bill on trading. Tax authorities have stepped up enforcement and surveillance on potential tax evasion by looking closely at crypto transactions. So, it’s wise to start keeping track of the transactions, gains, losses, and expenses.

 

DISCLAIMER: This article is for informational purposes only and should not be considered as tax advice.

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PayPal to expand crypto trading to the UK, plans to embrace smart contracts and DeFi

The UK is the next destination for PayPal’s crypto trading according to CEO Dan Schulman.

The payment platform also seeks to add smart contracts and DeFi to its platform.

In 2020, PayPal secured a conditional BitLicense from the New York State Department of Financial Services to offer crypto services in New York in partnership with a cryptocurrency firm Paxos. The electronic commerce company enabled US users to buy, sell or hold cryptocurrency on its platform while it rolls out to other countries. 

In its second-quarter report, PayPal has disclosed plans to expand its trading services to the UK following its incredible performance in the period under review. 

This was confirmed by PayPal CEO Dan Schulman:

Yeah, well, we continue to be pleased with the momentum we’re seeing on crypto. […] We’re going to launch, hopefully, maybe even next month in the U.K., and open up trading there.

PayPal is working to increase its ability to integrate into its Automated Clearing House (ACH) for faster payment. ACH is an electronic service that helps merchants obtain payment from clients by debiting their checking or saving accounts directly. 

Schulman mentioned that incremental functionality is being added to crypto trading. As it stands, the crypto purchasing limit has been increased to $100,000 per week. He further mentioned that crypto adoption and trading on Venmo was very positive as “Pay with Venmo” recorded revenue growth of 183 percent year over year. In April this year, Venmo introduced crypto trading to its 70 million users.

PayPal exploring possibilities to add DeFi to its platform

PayPal also has plans for other financial products as they explore possibilities to add smart contracts and DeFi to the platform. This is in line with a leaked video at the EthCC conference in Paris which revealed that Uniswap is in talks with many fintech platforms including PayPal to integrate DeFi. 

According to Schulman, this is a possibility. 

How can we use smart contracts more efficiently? How can we digitize assets and open those up to consumers that may not have had access to them before? There are some interesting DeFi applications as well. And so we are working hard.

The effort to catch up with the evolving financial industry will offset the gaps in the traditional infrastructures. 

According to Schuman, the financial infrastructure is inefficient, and so there is the need to embrace modernization. This is to overcome expensive and slow transactions. He believes that there will be a considerable decline in the use of cash in the next ten years. 

All form factors of payment will collapse into the mobile phone. Credit cards as a form factor will go away, and you will use your phone because a phone can add much more value than just tapping your credit card.

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