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FTX Founder Sam Bankman-Fried Thinks Bitcoin Has No Future as a Payments Network – Bitcoin News

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Sam Bankman-fried


Sam Bankman-Fried, the founder of the cryptocurrency exchange FTX, has given his take regarding the future of Bitcoin’s usage. Bankman-Fried stated he doesn’t believe that Bitcoin will work as a payments network, due to its limited capability for scaling to fulfill this task. However, he believes it might become “an asset, a commodity, and a store of value.”

Sam Bankman-Fried on Bitcoin as a Payments Network

FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried has given his opinion about where bitcoin is going and the real value of its structure in the future. In an interview published by the Financial Times, Bankman-Fried criticized the implementation of Bitcoin as a payments network. To him, the Bitcoin blockchain system will never work as a day-to-day payments system for several reasons.

A perceived lack of scalability of the Bitcoin blockchain is one of them, and the second reason presented by the executive has to do with the energy and environmental implications of this hypothetical growth compared to other alternatives. To Bankman-Fried, bitcoin for payments is akin to gold, in that it would be impractical to use. He stated:

Why don’t we go to a store and pay with physical gold bars? First of all, it would be ridiculous and absurd. It would be unbelievably expensive. And I’m sure it’d be bad for the climate.

He also declared that proof-of-stake (PoS) networks would be more efficient to complete these tasks, explaining:

Things that you’re doing millions of transactions a second with (will) have to be extremely efficient and lightweight and lower energy cost. Proof of stake networks are.

Bankman-Fried believes that Bitcoin has other unique properties that make it good as “an asset, a commodity, and a store of value.”


Differing Opinions

However, some views differ from Bankman-Fried’s opinions. The inception of the Bitcoin Lightning Network (LN), the second layer (L2) expansion protocol for Bitcoin that proposes very low transaction costs, might be a solution to the scaling problems that first-generation blockchains like Bitcoin face when congested. This is the opinion of Paolo Ardoino, CTO of Bitfinex, who believes Lightning has the potential to turn Bitcoin into a feasible payment rail. He stated:

Bitcoin’s Lightning Network is quietly emerging to make manifest Satoshi Nakamoto’s prophecy of a decentralized, peer-to-peer payment network. A case in point is El Salvador where the country’s adoption of bitcoin as legal tender has made the nation a laboratory for Lightning usage with global corporations integrating the technology.

David Marcus, former crypto chief at Meta, recently launched Lightspark, a VC-backed company that will explore the capabilities of the Lightning Network for payments.

The protocol, which was proposed in 2015, has still not managed to gain mainstream support, and it sits at number 32 on the list of decentralized protocols with the most value locked, according to Defi Pulse, a decentralized finance index.

Tags in this story
Bitcoin, Crypto, David Marcus, expansion, lightning network, paolo ardoido, Paolo Ardoino, Payments, Sam Bankman-Fried, sbf, Scalability

What do you think about Sam Bankman-Fried’s opinion on Bitcoin as a payments network? Tell us in the comments section below.

Sergio Goschenko

Sergio is a cryptocurrency journalist based in Venezuela. He describes himself as late to the game, entering the cryptosphere when the price rise happened during December 2017. Having a computer engineering background, living in Venezuela, and being impacted by the cryptocurrency boom at a social level, he offers a different point of view about crypto success and how it helps the unbanked and underserved.

Image Credits: Shutterstock, Pixabay, Wiki Commons

Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only. It is not a direct offer or solicitation of an offer to buy or sell, or a recommendation or endorsement of any products, services, or companies. Bitcoin.com does not provide investment, tax, legal, or accounting advice. Neither the company nor the author is responsible, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any content, goods or services mentioned in this article.





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Finland, Sweden file official applications to join NATO amid Russia-Ukraine war

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FILE - Finland's President Sauli Niinisto makes a point during a joint press conference with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, at the Presidential Palace in Helsinki, Finland, Wednesday, May 11, 2022. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein, Pool, File)


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The pivotal Nordic countries of Finland and Sweden formally applied to join the North Atlantic Treaty Organization Wednesday, amid Russia‘s continuing invasion of Ukraine.

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg told reporters that the treaty organization had formally accepted the applications, which have been in development over the past week.

“I warmly welcome the requests by Finland and Sweden to join NATO. You are our closest partners,” Stoltenberg told reporters after a receiving their application letters from the two Nordic countries’ ambassadors.

KREMLIN CALLS FINLAND’S NATO MOVE A THREAT TO RUSSIA

NATO’s 30 member countries will now weigh the applications. The process is expected to take about two weeks, although Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has expressed reservations about the Nordic countries joining.

FILE – Finland’s President Sauli Niinisto makes a point during a joint press conference with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, at the Presidential Palace in Helsinki, Finland, Wednesday, May 11, 2022. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein, Pool, File)
(AP Photo/Frank Augstein, Pool, File)

If Finland and Sweden overcome Erdogan’s objections, they could become members in a few months. While the process usually takes eight to 12 months, NATO wants to move quickly given the threat of Russia.

The Kremlin has warned that Finland and Sweden joining NATO would represent a threat to Russia, and has threatened to deploy nuclear warheads to the border with Finland should the alliance go through.

In an abrupt about-face, however, Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov later said that the Russian neighbors joining NATO “makes no big difference.”

In this photo released by the Russian Foreign Ministry Press Service, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov pauses during his and Brazilian Foreign Minister Carlos Franca's joint news conference following their talks in Moscow, Russia, Tuesday, Nov. 30, 2021. 

In this photo released by the Russian Foreign Ministry Press Service, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov pauses during his and Brazilian Foreign Minister Carlos Franca’s joint news conference following their talks in Moscow, Russia, Tuesday, Nov. 30, 2021. 
(Russian Foreign Ministry Press Service via AP)

Germany and the United States already have agreements to defend Finland and Sweden against Russian aggression.

Sweden's Minister of Foreígn Affairs Ann Linde signs Sweden's application for NATO membership at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Stockholm, Sweden, on May 17, 2022.

Sweden’s Minister of Foreígn Affairs Ann Linde signs Sweden’s application for NATO membership at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Stockholm, Sweden, on May 17, 2022.
(Photo by HENRIK MONTGOMERY/TT News Agency/AFP via Getty Images)

Sweden has avoided military alliances for more than 200 years, while Finland adopted neutrality after being defeated by the Soviet Union in World War II. Finland has an 810-mile border with Russia.

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The capital city of Finland, Helsinki, sits across the Gulf of Finland from Russia’s historic capital, St. Petersburg. 

Finnish Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto signs a petition for NATO membership in Helsinki on May 17, 2022.

Finnish Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto signs a petition for NATO membership in Helsinki on May 17, 2022.
(Photo by ANTTI AIMO-KOIVISTO/Lehtikuva/AFP via Getty Images)



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Wednesday morning UK news briefing: Today’s top headlines from The Telegraph

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Welcome to your early morning news briefing from The Telegraph – a round-up of the top stories we are covering today. To receive twice-daily briefings by email, sign up to our Front Page newsletter for free.

1. Tory MP arrested on suspicion of rape and sexual assault

A Conservative MP has been arrested on suspicion of rape and a string of other sexual offences spanning seven years.

The sitting politician was being questioned by Metropolitan Police officers on Tuesday after being accused of rape, indecent assault, sexual assault, abuse of a position of trust and misconduct in a public office. Read the full story.

2. Ministers warm to energy windfall tax after polling finds it ‘wildly popular’ with public

A windfall tax on oil and gas companies is “wildly popular” with the public, internal government polling has discovered, as ministers warm to the idea.

Voter research conducted in Whitehall has found that as many as eight in 10 people back the tax raid on energy companies with increased profits, The Telegraph can reveal. Read the full story.

3. Black Lives Matter paid $1.8m to companies owned by founder’s relatives

The Black Lives Matter foundation (BLM) paid hundreds of thousands of dollars to its co-founder’s brother and the father of her child for security and “creative services”, tax filings show.

The leaders of the racial justice movement received $90 million in donations amid the 2020 protests triggered by the police murder of George Floyd. Read the full story.

4. Wagatha Christie trial: Jamie Vardy says ‘confused’ Wayne Rooney ‘talking nonsense’ in court

The “Wagatha Christie” libel trial has been a showdown between two footballer’s wives. On day six, it was the turn of the footballers themselves.

Wayne Rooney and Jamie Vardy, former England teammates, came face-to-face in the High Court for the first time since the case began, as the evidence turned to the team’s Euro 2016 performance. Read the full story.

5. New boats scrambled to pick up Channel migrants as Rwanda one-way ticket fails to stop surge

Border Force has deployed “ferry-style” vessels to pick up Channel migrants, as the new Rwanda policy failed to deter a surge in crossings.

Two crew transfer vessels (CTVs), which can each carry 92 migrants, are now operating in the Channel as the number of migrants reaching the UK approaches 9,000 in less than five months – more than double last year’s rate. Read the full story.

If you want to receive twice-daily briefings like this by email, sign up to the Front Page newsletter here. For two-minute audio updates, try The Briefing – on podcasts, smart speakers and WhatsApp.



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Tucker: The Democratic Party has decided they will change the electorate

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Payton Gendron appears during his arraignment in Buffalo City Court, Saturday, May 14, 2022, in Buffalo, N.Y.


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Last May, a 17-year-old high school senior called Payton Gendron received an assignment in his economics class. The assignment asked, “What do you want to do when you retire?” He answered, “Commit murder-suicide.” Gendron’s teacher immediately reported his threat to authorities who sent him to the emergency room for a psychiatric evaluation. 

Gendron was there for just 20 hours as he wrote later in his diary, “I got out of it because I stuck with the story that I was getting out of class and I just stupidly wrote that down. That’s the reason I believe I’m still able to purchase guns.”

But he was lying. Gendron’s intention to commit mass murder was, as he later wrote, “Not a joke. I wrote that down because that’s what I was planning to do,” 

And he was. Payton Gendron was mentally ill. His classmates knew that. Gendron made strange facial expressions and said odd things in class. Last year, he showed up for school for a full week wearing a hazmat suit — boots, gloves, everything, recalled another student.  

Police and school administrators understood perfectly well that Gendron was potentially dangerous. That’s why they sent him to the psych ward. Even his own parents must have known that something was very wrong. Gendron’s diary describes how his mother helped him bury a cat he had beaten to death in the garage and then beheaded with a hatchet. On Saturday, Payton Gendron, as you know, finally did what he said he would do. He committed mass murder. 

BUFFALO TEEN WHOSE AUNT, COUSIN WERE INSIDE GROCERY STORE DURING ATTACK: ‘WE’VE GOT TO COME TOGETHER’ 

Payton Gendron appears during his arraignment in Buffalo City Court, Saturday, May 14, 2022, in Buffalo, N.Y.
(Mark Mulville/The Buffalo News via AP)

He opened fire on a crowd of strangers in a Buffalo supermarket. He murdered 10 of them. So how did the adults around him let this happen? In a country with functioning leadership, we would be asking that question. The signs of mental illness were certainly there. The people in charge missed those signs or didn’t take them seriously enough or weren’t paying close enough attention. In any case, they didn’t fix it. They let a killer slip through. 

So, what did they do wrong with Payton Gendron, and how can we learn from it? We should learn from it if we want to prevent more mass murders. But that’s not at all what our leaders are asking tonight. Hardly. Instead, they’re asking the only question that ever occurs to them – how exactly can I benefit from this? How can I leverage this tragedy to my advantage? How can other people’s suffering make me more powerful?  

It didn’t take long for Joe Biden to find a way. Biden flew to Buffalo this morning to speak about what Payton Gendron did. There have been a number of mass murders since Biden became president. Some of them have been racially motivated. A little over a year ago, in fact, there was even another supermarket massacre that happened to have the same casualty total. 

BUFFALO MASS SHOOTING: BIDEN VISITS TOPS SUPERMARKET MEMORIAL, PAYING RESPECT TO VICTIMS 

A Syrian-born man murdered ten people in Boulder, Colorado, even used the same caliber rifle that Payton Gendron brought to Buffalo, but Joe Biden didn’t bother to fly to that crime scene. He didn’t go to any of them, in fact. Biden went to Buffalo today because he thought he could blame his political opponents for what happened there, which, of course, he promptly did. Watch.  

PRESIDENT BIDEN: And other nations ask me, heads of state and other countries ask me: what’s going on? What in God’s name happened on January 6? What happened in Buffalo? They ask.  

January 6 and the Buffalo Massacre — so how is a political protest at the Capitol related to a murder spree by a demented teenager in New York State over the weekend? What do those two events have in common and who exactly are these unnamed heads of state who are connecting these unconnected events in conversations with Joe Biden? You may have wondered that, but don’t ask because it’s not meant to be asked. It is instead a dream sequence.  

NORTH KOREA MAY STAGE ICBM TEST LAUNCH AS BIDEN PREPARES FOR ASIA TRIP, SOURCE SAYS 

President Biden speaks during the 2022 National and State Teachers of the Year event in the East Room of the White House in Washington, Wednesday, April 27, 2022. 

President Biden speaks during the 2022 National and State Teachers of the Year event in the East Room of the White House in Washington, Wednesday, April 27, 2022. 
(AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

It’s a rhetorical device meant to connect everything that might challenge Joe Biden and bunch all of these things together in the same repulsive moral category. January 6, mass murder, the bubonic plague—it’s all the same. It’s all bad. And because it’s bad, Joe Biden informed us today, after 250 years, we’re going to have to suspend the Bill of Rights and we’re going to begin where the Bill of Rights begins, with the freedom of speech.  

BIDEN: You can’t prevent people from being radicalized to violence, but we can address the relentless exploitation of the Internet to recruit and mobilize terrorism.  

The relentless exploitation of the Internet to recruit and mobilize terrorism. Okay. But can anyone show, has anyone ever shown that this specific case, Payton Gendron, was “recruited and mobilized by the internet”? Well, no, in fact. By his own account, he was mentally ill. He snapped. He’d been planning this for a long time. He did what his diseased brain commanded him to do. The internet did not make him do it. He did it himself, but even if he had been “radicalized by what he read on the Internet,” what then exactly?  

HUNTER BIDEN LAPTOP REPAIRMEN SAYS FBI ‘DIDN’T SEEM INTERESTED’ IN REVIEWING HARD DRIVE 

Many have been radicalized by what they’ve read. Pol Pot was radicalized by reading Das Kapital. He went on a murder spree. He killed more than a million people. Should we ban that book? Should we ban all books, all internet sites that “radicalize people?” What exactly is Joe Biden saying here? Well, he’s saying that thanks to what happened in Buffalo over the weekend, you no longer have any rights at all, including the most basic, which is to read what you want. After nullifying the First Amendment, Joe Biden moved to the Second Amendment.  

BIDEN: The venom of the haters and their weapons of war, the violence in the words and deeds that stalk our streets, our stores, our schools. This venom, this violence cannot be the story of our time, but there are certain things we can do. We can keep assault weapons off our streets. We’ve done it before.  

So, because a mentally ill 18-year-old used a specific rifle to commit these crimes, you can’t have that rifle. Now, Joe Biden’s bodyguards can have that rifle, so can Nancy Pelosi’s and of course, they do. In fact, you pay for it all. But they’re important, and you are not, so you can’t. So, because the people in charge failed to protect shoppers in Buffalo, you’re not allowed to defend your family despite the fact you may believe your family is every bit as important as Joe Biden and his family and Nancy Pelosi and her family, but they’re not as important. 

WHITE HOUSE MAKES 3RD ROUND OF FREE COVID-19 TESTS AVAILABLE TO ORDER 

So, we’re going to defund the police and disarm you. That’s how it works now, sorry.

And then Joe Biden got to the main point of his speech, which is that people who criticize his immigration policies are responsible for the violence you saw in Buffalo. Here’s the president of the United States explaining that.  

BIDEN: The hate, that through the media and politics, the internet has radicalized angry, alienated, lost, and isolated individuals into falsely believing that they will be replaced. That’s the word “replaced” – by the other and I condemn those who spread the lie for power, political gain and for profit.  

So you lock the country down, lock kids out of their schools for two years, force them to get “educated on the internet,” but it’s someone else’s fault that they’re “alienated.” They’ve been hearing about the great replacement theory. You’ve heard a lot about the great replacement theory recently. It’s everywhere in the last two days and we’re still not sure exactly what it is. 

Here’s what we do know for a fact. There is a strong political component to the Democratic Party’s immigration policy. We’re not guessing this. We know this and we know it because they have said so.  

DHS SECRETARY MAYORKAS VISITS US-MEXICO BORDER AS END OF TITLE 42 LOOMS 

They’ve said it again and again and again. They’ve written books on it and monographs and magazine articles. They have bragged about it endlessly. They talk about it on cable news constantly and they say out loud, we are doing this because it helps us to win elections. That’s not something that is said once. It’s something that gloated about again and again and again and we think that’s wrong and in case you doubt us, here they are.  

STACEY ABRAMS: Blue wave is African-American. It’s White, it’s Latino, it’s Asian, Pacific Islander. It is made up of those who’ve been told that they are not worthy of being here. It is comprised of those who are documented and undocumented.  

JULIAN CASTRO: In a couple of presidential cycles, you’ll be on election night, you’ll be announcing that we’re calling the 38 electoral votes of Texas for the Democratic nominee for president. It’s changing. It’s going to become a purple state and then a blue state because of the demographics.  

WASHINGTON POST OP-ED SUGGESTS LEAKED SCOTUS DRAFT OPINION IS ABOUT ‘PROTECTING WHITENESS’ 

DICK DURBIN: The demographics of America are not on the side of the Republican Party. The new voters in this country are moving away from them, and instead they’re moving to be independents or even vote on the other side.  

BIDEN: An unrelenting stream of immigration, nonstop, nonstop. Folks like me, who are Caucasian of European descent for the first time in 2017 will be in an absolute minority in the United States of America, absolute minority. Fewer than 50% of the people in America from then on will be White European stock. That’s not a bad thing. That’s a source of our strength.  

So, you played clips of them saying it, and you’re the deranged conspiracy nut. Maybe the funniest part is they may not be right. The Democratic Party has decided then, rather than convince you, people who are born here, that their policies are helping you and making the country better and stronger, they will change the electorate. Again, they say that. We’re not guessing.

But the funniest part is they may be wrong, actually, judging by recent polling. It turns out your average Salvadorian landscaper’s politics are a lot closer to Donald Trump’s than they are to Joe Biden and Nancy Pelosi. So, their basic calculation may be completely wrong, but that’s not even the point.  

NEW WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY BLASTED FOR BOTCHING ANSWER TO INFLATION QUESTION: ‘EXCRUCIATING TO WATCH’ 

It has nothing to do with who we’re letting in. It has nothing to do with race and ethnicity. It has to do with two things. One: the purpose of the U.S. government is to serve American citizens, period. Two: you should never craft any federal, which is to say, nationwide policy in order to help a specific political party. That is by itself in isolation, immoral. It doesn’t matter what the policy is, and that’s exactly what they’re doing. And again, they brag about it and not just Democratic Party politicians.  

Virtually every media figure on the left has been bragging about this for decades. Oh, it’s a conspiracy theory. Really? Well, here’s Ana Navarro from her time as a Harvard fellow. This is what she wrote, “The demographic trends show that the minority vote in the United States will continue to grow in numbers and influence. Unless you’re under the influence of hallucinogens, it is hard to imagine future scenarios where the Republican Party can win national elections.” That piece, by the way, is called “Old White, Straight Male Voters Ain’t What They Used to be.” 

So, let’s see. If you don’t want people to be paranoid and angry, maybe you don’t write pieces like that and rub it right in their face and give them the finger day after day. Maybe that would deescalate it a little bit. You think, Joe Biden, Ana Navarro? But they’re not the only two. This has been the prevailing view on the left for a long time.  

CONNECTICUT LACROSSE PLAYER JAMES MCGRATH STABBING: NO ARRESTS IN HIGH SCHOOLER DEATH AFTER HOUSE PARTY FIGHT 

Here’s a Politico piece from 2013. We could go on for hours, by the way, but here’s this: “Immigration reform could be a bonanza for Democrats.” The Democratic Party, the piece said, are, “pumping as many as 11 million new Hispanic voters into the electorate a decade from now in ways that could produce an electoral bonanza for Democrats and cripple Republican prospects in many states, they now win easily.”

Again, as noted, that calculation may be completely wrong. A lot of those people the Democrats are importing may wind up being deeply sympathetic to the other party because they’re actually not White liberals. That’s the secret. But it almost doesn’t matter how they vote. Thinking about politics in those terms is immoral. That is wrong. You are gaming the system. That is not democracy. It’s the opposite, and they bragged about it for more than a decade. 

Here’s another example, also from 2013. The Center for American Progress announced that, “Supporting real immigration reform that contains a pathway to citizenship for our nation’s 11 million undocumented immigrants is the only way to maintain electoral strength in the future.”

Oh, great replacement theory, anyone? These people are lunatics. They’re telling you what their strategy is. When you note it, they scream at you and call you a criminal. In 2018, the New York Times published an editorial called, “We Can Replace Them.” Just in case subtlety is not your thing, “Right now, America is tearing itself apart as an embittered, White, conservative minority clings to power, terrified of being swamped by a new, multiracial, polyglot majority.” Right, ok.  

PRESIDENT BIDEN VISITS BUFFALO, MEETS VICTIMS’ FAMILIES FOLLOWING TOPS MARKET ATTACK 

In 2020, Joe Scarborough – real moral voice over at MSNBC – quoted this: “Trumpism accelerated damage done by demographic changes and will harm Republicans for years. Demographics is destiny.”

Are you allowed to say that? Once again, they’re wrong and if you haven’t looked at a an electoral map recently, look at the districts. The almost 100% Hispanic districts in the Rio Grande Valley that are bearing the brunt of our open borders, they’re now red. 

So. you’re wrong, Joe Scarborough, but the fact that you’re saying demographics is destiny tells you the great replacement theory is coming from the left. They don’t think it’s a theory. They think it’s real.  

In 2021, the Washington Post’s Jen Rubin celebrated a report that the number of White people in this country was declining. Can you even imagine? “This is fabulous news,” she wrote. “Now we need to prevent minority White rule.” My God, talking like that. Is there any more divisive thing you could write? We could give you a million more examples. We’re offended by this because it’s wrong and we’ve said so, but for saying so, according to Carl Cameron on MSNBC today, we should be thrown in jail. Watch.  

CARL CAMERON: You got to watch out because the Republicans have become the purveyors of misinformation and when our two-party system is broken like that, democracy is seriously in trouble. The president acknowledged that. It’s time to actually start doing things and maybe taking some names and putting people in jail.  

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Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer of N.Y., speaks to the media after a Democratic policy luncheon, Tuesday, Oct. 19, 2021, on Capitol Hill in Washington. 

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer of N.Y., speaks to the media after a Democratic policy luncheon, Tuesday, Oct. 19, 2021, on Capitol Hill in Washington. 
(AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

“Maybe taking some names and putting people in jail.” Hmm. Who would those people be? Well, thanks to the Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York, we now know. Schumer just sent a letter to our bosses here at Fox News blaming this show for the mass murder in Buffalo, as well as several other mass shootings in recent years. According to Chuck Schumer, this show spreads “dangerous rhetoric and needs to be pulled off the air immediately in the name of public safety.”

Now, again, Chuck Schumer is a federal official. He is the leading Democrat in the United States Senate and he is calling for media censorship. Now, there was a time like maybe 18 months ago when that would be considered a direct violation of the First Amendment. Now we hear it every day. “Let’s throw them in jail.”

We wanted to hear more from Chuck Schumer about this. We invited him on the show tonight, as we always do, but because he is a coward, this is the only media appearance probably in history he’s turned down. 



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DOJ Files First Criminal Complaint Against US Citizen Allegedly Using Cryptocurrency to Evade Sanctions – Featured Bitcoin News

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DOJ Files First Criminal Complaint Against US Citizen Allegedly Using Cryptocurrency to Evade Sanctions


The Department of Justice (DOJ) has filed its first criminal complaint against an American who allegedly used cryptocurrency to circumvent U.S. sanctions. “The payments platform advertised its services as designed to evade U.S. sanctions, including through purportedly untraceable virtual currency transactions.”

DOJ Charges US Citizen in Crypto Sanctions Evasion Case

The U.S. Justice Department has filed its first criminal complaint against a U.S. citizen who allegedly tried to evade American sanctions using cryptocurrency, according to a judicial opinion document filed on Friday by U.S. Magistrate Judge Zia M. Faruqui. The case is still sealed.

Judge Faruqui explained why he approved the DOJ’s criminal complaint against the American citizen accused of transmitting more than $10 million worth of bitcoin to a crypto exchange in a comprehensively sanctioned country. Comprehensive sanctions are currently placed on Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Syria, and the regions of Crimea, Donetsk, and Luhansk.

The U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) has imposed fines against crypto exchange platforms for violating sanctions laws. However, the judge explained:

The Department of Justice can and will criminally prosecute individuals and entities for failure to comply with the OFAC’s regulations, including as to virtual currency.

The DOJ alleged that the defendant, a U.S. citizen, used an IP address in the U.S. “to conspire to operate an online payments and remittances platform” based in a comprehensively sanctioned country. The Justice Department noted:

The payments platform advertised its services as designed to evade U.S. sanctions, including through purportedly untraceable virtual currency transactions.

The defendant also opened an account with a U.S.-based cryptocurrency exchange to buy and sell bitcoin. The defendant then used this crypto exchange account to transmit over 10 million dollars worth of BTC between the U.S. and sanctioned countries for the platform’s customers. In doing so, the defendant conspired to violate the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA) and defraud the United States, the DOJ detailed.

The judge further noted: “The question is no longer whether virtual currency is here to stay … but instead whether fiat currency regulations will keep pace with frictionless and transparent payments on the blockchain.”

What do you think about this case? Let us know in the comments section below.

Kevin Helms

A student of Austrian Economics, Kevin found Bitcoin in 2011 and has been an evangelist ever since. His interests lie in Bitcoin security, open-source systems, network effects and the intersection between economics and cryptography.




Image Credits: Shutterstock, Pixabay, Wiki Commons

Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only. It is not a direct offer or solicitation of an offer to buy or sell, or a recommendation or endorsement of any products, services, or companies. Bitcoin.com does not provide investment, tax, legal, or accounting advice. Neither the company nor the author is responsible, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any content, goods or services mentioned in this article.





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Billy Sharp left needing stitches after assault by Nottingham Forest supporter

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The incident occurred as Forest fans invaded the pitch to celebrate their victory over United, which secured their first trip to Wembley in over 30 years.

Forest released a statement after the match: “Nottingham Forest Football Club are appalled to learn that our former player, Billy Sharp, was assaulted leaving the pitch after tonight’s match at The City Ground.

“The Club will work with the authorities to locate the individual in order they are held to account for their actions, which will include a life ban from Nottingham Forest.

“The Club would also like to apologise to Billy personally and to Sheffield United Football Club.”



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Natural gas prices have already doubled this year. A hot summer could push them even higher

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Natural gas prices have already doubled this year. A hot summer could push them even higher


Workers operate a drilling rig for an EBR Energy LP natural gas well near Columbus, Texas.

Scott Dalton | Bloomberg | Getty Images

U.S. natural gas prices more than doubled since the start of the year, and this summer’s air-conditioning season could send them soaring by at least another 25%.

In the futures market, gas prices rose 4.4% Tuesday as hot spring weather in the Southern U.S. pressured a market that has already been concerned about tight supplies. The warmer weather is forecast to continue across the region.

“In the last month, there has not been a meaningful uptick in U.S. lower 48 states production,” said Matt Palmer, senior director North American natural gas at S&P Global Commodity Insights. “You’re seeing exports running full out on LNG; power burn from the power sector is really strong and layer in the heat we’re seeing and the expectation that the southern tier of the continent in May and June will see well above normal temperatures. That’s a recipe for higher prices.”

Natural gas futures for June settled at $8.30 per million British thermal units (MMBtu), up 123% for the year. A heat wave is expanding in the South, with temperatures above 100 degrees in some places. According to the National Weather Service, high temperature records are forecast to be tied or broken this week in Texas, Oklahoma and Louisiana.

The higher natural gas prices are hitting U.S. businesses and consumers at a time when gasoline and record diesel fuel are at record levels. Palmer said utilities that normally switch to coal for power when natural gas prices surge are finding that coal is even more expensive — the equivalent of gas at $9 to $10 MMBtu.

“The likelihood of prices in the double digits this summer is getting stronger by the day,” Palmer said.

While Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has sent Europe’s gas prices sharply higher, U.S. prices have edged up as well. Russia was supplying about a third of Europe’s gas.

U.S. prices, however, are not directly linked to the global market, even as the country sends about 15% of its gas production overseas in the form of liquified natural gas. European prices are about four times higher for LNG.

U.S. production fell sharply during the pandemic, and while it has restarted, it’s been growing slowly. In February, monthly production was 115.2 billion cubic feet per day, down from 118.7 BCF in December, according to the latest government monthly data.

“We’ll be topping $10 for sure. I would put $12 to $14 as the upper band,” said John Kilduff, partner of Again Capital. “This is a commodity that trades parabolically a lot. It’s no stranger to parabolic moves up and down. It’s incredibly volatile, and it also has the ability to reset. We could get to $10 or $12 and if you have a cool August, then you could be down below $8 again.”

Supply is tight in the U.S. market. The amount of gas in storage has been at an unusually low level, and cold spring weather followed by the heat wave has created more demand than normal at this time of year. That has made it more difficult to build inventories. Some of the gas that would be set aside for next winter is being used.

Kilduff said storage levels are 18% lower than last year and 16% lower than the five-year average. “Now you have the added pressures coming from LNG exports that are meaningful,” he said. “By meaningful, I mean it’s holding the U.S. back from getting wildly oversupplied or at high levels of storage for gas that would crush the price.”

Kilduff expects that 90 BCF of gas was injected into storage last week. The Energy Information Administration issues its weekly report on supplies Thursday.

“We’re starting off in a big hole,” he said. “We need to be like squirrels putting acorns away, and to the extent we have a heat wave, that retards the flow and underpins the price. You need to see triple-digit injections.”

The warmer temperatures have been expected, but Bespoke Weather said that models “are growing more adamant about the return of stronger heat as we end the month and head into at least the start of June.”

Bespoke said total gas demand over the next 15 days is expected to run above normal. “This is likely the base state we will have for the summer season, given the persistence of La Niña, where we are skewed hotter than normal, with occasional variability back to just near normal at times,” the firm noted in its Tuesday comments.

Analysts said the gas market is typically quiet at this time of year, but Kilduff said the price action this week could be a harbinger of what the summer could be like if warmer-than-normal weather persists. He said the natural gas price was also supported by developments over the past weekend, when the Electric Reliability Council of Texas asked consumers to conserve electricity after six power plants went down unexpectedly.

Kilduff said power issues in Texas could affect oil and gas production if they recurred or became persistent.

“Normally, this is a pretty calm time for the energy markets,” said Rob Thummel, senior portfolio manager at TortoiseEcofin. “The month of May is usually pretty sanguine. … I guess it’s an early dose of summer. If we continue to see hot weather, that is likely to have the same effect as extremely cold weather. It’s going to have an impact.”

“Normally the release valve is coal. It’s just not there right now. …The consumer is kind of at the mercy of Mother Nature at this point for the summer,” he said.

Thummel added the futures market is predicting gas will stay in the $8 range for nearly a year before falling below $5 again next April. He said he views the price as too high, given the state of the industry.

“$5 is probably better reflective of the current environment. We probably have a $3 or higher geopolitical risk,” he said.

Thummel said that U.S. production is growing, and companies with pipelines such as Kinder Morgan are expanding capacity from the Permian basin area in Texas.

The U.S. intends to send more natural gas to Europe to help compensate for the lack of Russian gas, but both export and import capacity have to be expanded. Thummel said exports should rise to about 20% of U.S. production over the next couple of years.

That should also help support U.S. prices.

“Last year at this time, [the price] was under $3,” said Kilduff. “In the last couple of years, $1.50 was the rock bottom price you would get for a short amount of time.”



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Neil Patrick Harris apologizes after Amy Winehouse death joke resurfaces

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Neil Patrick Harris is pictured here in 2018. The star recently apologized after a morbid joke he made about Amy Winehouse's death 11 years ago resurfaced.


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Neil Patrick Harris has apologized after a morbid joke he made about Amy Winehouse’s death resurfaced.

Harris featured a buffet platter made to look like the corpse of Winehouse just months after her death in 2011.

“A photo recently resurfaced from a Halloween-themed party my husband and I hosted 11 years ago,” Harris told Entertainment Weekly in a statement. “It was regrettable then, and it remains regrettable now. Amy Winehouse was a once-in-a-generation talent, and I’m sorry for any hurt this image caused.”

Neil Patrick Harris is pictured here in 2018. The star recently apologized after a morbid joke he made about Amy Winehouse’s death 11 years ago resurfaced.
(Photo by Jamie McCarthy/WireImage)

AMY WINEHOUSE’S FATHER BLASTS HALCYON STUDIOS BIOPIC IN THE WORKS: ‘100 PERCENT NOT ALLOWED’

A photo of the meat tray resurfaced on the internet recently. The image was originally posted by Jesse Tyler Ferguson’s husband Justin Mikita. 

The two were in attendance at the party.

He wrote: “Look who showed up @ActuallyNPH & @GourmetMD’s Halloween party last night. Looking good.”

The tweet was quickly deleted at the time.

Although many believed the platter to be a cake, it was actually made out of “beef ribs, pulled pork, chicken sausage in a spicy BBQ sauce.”

The corpse had Winehouse’s same hairdo and her tattoos.

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Harris featured a buffet platter made to look like the corpse of Amy Winehouse just months after her death in 2011. Winehouse is pictured here in 2008.

Harris featured a buffet platter made to look like the corpse of Amy Winehouse just months after her death in 2011. Winehouse is pictured here in 2008.
(Photo by Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images for NARAS)

In case guests didn’t know it was the musician, a handwritten note made it clear it was “The Corpse of Amy Winehouse.”

Harris and husband David Burtka, who hosted the party together, never addressed the controversy that followed after the picture was shared.

Winehouse died of alcohol intoxication in 2011. She was 27. She only released two albums, “Frank” and “Back to Black,” but had a tremendous impact on music fans and her peers, being praised for her jazz-like vocals and honest lyrics.

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Winehouse, seen here in 2007, died from alcohol intoxication. She was 27.

Winehouse, seen here in 2007, died from alcohol intoxication. She was 27.
(AP, File)

The British star won five Grammys at the 2008 show, which she couldn’t attend because she was rejected for a U.S. work visa.

A 2015 film titled “Amy” won the 2016 Oscar for “Best Documentary Feature.” However, the star’s father complained at the time that the movie was “unbalanced” and “tainted.”

Fox News’ Stephanie Nolasco and The Associated Press contributed to this report.



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Manchester United enquire about €20m-rated Bundesliga striker

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Manchester United are said to be interested in Stuttgart striker Sasa Kalajdzic.

Sasa Kalajdzic joined Stuttgart in 2019, after departing his home country of Austria.

The German outfit are believed to have paid less than 3 million pounds to land the hitman, which has since proven quite the bargain.

In 33 Bundesliga outings last season, the 24-year-old would score 16 goals, as well as providing six assists.

The hitman has since been impacted by a shoulder injury that kept him out for a good chunk of the current campaign.

However, Kalajdzic has returned to action over the last few months and is getting back to his best, netting six and assisting two in 15 league outings for his current side.

Kalajdzic, whose current contract runs until 2023, also became a regular at international level after making his debut for Austria in October of 2020.

Now, as per reports coming out of Germany, Manchester United have enquired about Kalajdzic, who is said to be available for around €20m:

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Should Manchester United sign Kalajdzic?

Manchester United have a serious lack of decent striking options heading into the 2022/23 campaign.

Cristiano Ronaldo is 37 and unable to play every single game whilst Edinson Cavani will be leaving for free in June.

As a result it would make sense for United to be in the market for one or two striking options this year.

And as Erling Haaland is now on his way to Manchester City, United may be well served signing Kalajdzic for what, in today’s market, is a fairly small fee.

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Elon Musk Says Biden Isn’t The ‘Real President,’ It’s Whoever ‘Controls The Teleprompter’

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Elon Musk Says Biden Isn't The 'Real President,' It's Whoever 'Controls The Teleprompter'


Elon Musk heavily criticized Joe Biden Monday, saying the person controlling his teleprompter is the “real President” and suggesting inflation under the current administration is going to lead to America resembling Venezuela.

Musk made the comments on a podcast recorded during the All-In Summit being hosted in Miami.

“It’s hard to tell what Biden is doing to be totally frank,” the Tesla CEO asserted. 

He compared the President to Will Ferrell’s Anchorman character, Ron Burgundy, a news anchor who reads anything written on the teleprompter, regardless of how it affects his career.

“The real president is whoever controls the teleprompter,” reasoned Musk. “The path to power is the path to the teleprompter. I do feel like if somebody were to accidentally lean on the teleprompter, it’s going to be like Anchorman.”

RELATED: Elon Musk Says He Will Reverse ‘Foolish’ Trump Ban On Twitter

Elon Musk: Biden is Like Ron Burgundy

While the comments were made half in jest, Elon Musk’s comparison of President Biden to Anchorman may just be onto something.

In a speech paying tribute to Bob Dole in December 2021, Biden read aloud from his notes, “End of message.”

Reports also surfaced indicating the teleprompter wields enormous power in the White House. Or rather, the fake White House.

Aides to President Biden prefer he use a fake White House stage for events rather than the Oval Office because it can be equipped with an easily read permanent teleprompter.

Much to the horror of liberals everywhere, Elon Musk continued to shred Biden saying that by comparison to the Trump administration, the current President doesn’t get a whole lot done.

“This administration doesn’t seem to get a lot done,” he surmised. “The Trump administration, leaving Trump aside, there were a lot of people in the administration who were effective at getting things done.”

No need to leave Trump aside, Mr. Musk. Considering a good portion of his administration was actively working against him, President Trump accomplished quite a bit.

RELATED: Elon Musk Acknowledges Twitter’s ‘Obviously’ Strong Left-Wing Bias

Turning America Into Venezuela

Elon Musk also took President Biden to task over crushing inflation-related costs being heaped upon the American people.

The tech mogul pointed the finger at the government’s out-of-control spending, saying “the obvious reason for inflation is that the government printed a zillion amount of more money than it had.”

Musk said if the pace keeps accelerating, the United States might very well start resembling Venezuela.

“If the government could just issue massive amounts of money and deficits didn’t matter, then, well, why don’t we just make the deficit 100 times bigger?” he asked. “The answer is, you can’t because it will basically turn the dollar into something that is worthless.”

“Various countries have tried this experiment multiple times. Have you seen Venezuela?” he continued. “Like the poor, poor people of Venezuela are, you know, have been just run roughshod by their government.”

With empty shelves having plagued grocery stores in America over the past year and a new crisis involving a lack of adequate baby formula for parents of infants, Biden is well on his way to making this country resemble Venezuela.

Despite having voted “overwhelmingly for Democrats” by his own admission, Musk has been a frequent critic of President Biden.

Earlier this year, he taunted Biden for failing to mention Tesla’s investment in electric vehicle production during the State of the Union address, fact-checking him in real-time.

In doing so, Musk once again asserted there is somebody behind the President controlling the puppet strings.

“Tesla has created over 50,000 US jobs building electric vehicles & is investing more than double GM + Ford combined,” he said adding, “FYI to (the) person controlling this twitter.”

Criticism of the way the Biden administration has handled his electric vehicle company has been a theme, with Musk also saying the administration is “not the friendliest” to Tesla when it comes to promoting their investments in electric cars in the United States.

“Biden has pointedly ignored Tesla at every turn and falsely stated to the public that GM leads the electric car industry,” Musk told CNBC.

“Tesla produced over 300,000 electric vehicles last quarter, and GM produced 26.”

Musk’s acquisition of Twitter remains ongoing and he said he is “still committed” to the purchase of the social media company. It is currently on hold pending details about spam and fake accounts on the platform.





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