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Monthly Archives: January 2018

Call-of-Duty Player “Swats” Teammate After $1.50 Loss, Cops Show Up To Wrong Address And Kill Innocent Man

A Wichita, KS man is dead after two competitive Call of Duty (CoD) players lost a $1.50 wager December 28, resulting in one of the players attempting to “swat” his teammate – the act of lodging a false report with 911 in the hopes a police SWAT team will show up to deal with the situation.

Tyler Raj Barris / Andrew “Andy” Finch

The two CoD players lost the $1.50 wager in a competitive match, resulting in the players arguing and threatening to “swat” each other. One of the players, “Baperizer,” sent an incorrect address to a known swatter – Tyler Raj Barris, 25 (“swatusitc”)- who showed no remorse for his actions both on Twitter and during an interview on YouTube.

The FBI has confirmed that Andrew “Andy” Finch, 28, was shot dead by Wichita police after Barris called 911 to report that he had murdered his father, was holding his mother and siblings hostage, and that he had poured gasoline throughout the house. When police arrived prepared for a hostage situation, 28-year-old Andrew Finch was shot by an officer as he opened the door, later dying at a local hospital according to Wichita Deputy Chief Troy Livingston.

Police body camera video here:

Barris, who showed no remorse over Twitter, was arrested Friday afternoon by Los Angeles police on a felony charge which has not been disclosed, and booked into LA County jail at 11:25 p.m. Friday evening.

In the 911 call, Barris – impersonating a Wichita man, can be heard telling the dispatcher that he had shot his father in the head:

Barris: “They [his parents] were arguing and I shot him in the head and he’s not breathing anymore.”

911 Operator: So what’s going on right now? Are you there?

Barris: Yes

911 Operator: Do you have any weapons on you?

Barris: Yeah I do. A handgun. I’m just pointing the gun at them making sure they stay in the closet. My Mom and my little brother. Are you guys sending someone over here because I’m definitely not putting it away. I already poured gasoline all over the house I might just set it on fire. 

Listen here:

An unapologetic Barris went on YouTuber Keemstar’s online show to discuss the swatting

When you want to say “your” fault, if anyone is going to take blame, let’s just say I’m not gonna take blame myself. I didn’t just seek to swat some person just to do it. I was minding my own business, I was given an address. It was really three parties involved. 

Towards the end of the interview, Barris says:

I don’t think that I should not do jail time, but I don’t think I should do life or get charged with murder, that’s all. I’m not saying that I’m saying I shouldn’t do any time at all though, because admittedly yeah I was involved. So if I get caught and charged, then so be it, and I’ll do whatever time they give me. I’ll serve whatever sentence because it is what it is.”

Watch here:

The victim’s mother, Lisa Finch, recounts the shooting:

My granddaughter saw the shooting and had to see her uncle lay there dying. She’s only 17, but she’s had a lot of trauma in her life, and I don’t know if she’ll survive this. 

But the cops can’t just go around shooting people without any consequences. They cannot do that.

If there was a hostage situation, like my sister said, she was tackled coming over here. Why couldn’t they tackle my son? Why did they shoot my son? 

The FBI, which assisted in the investigation, said that they would continue to work with police as required, and that Barris had “served time after being charged by state authorities in Los Angeles for making threats,” in reference to a 2015 arrest for making a bomb threat to ABC Studios on Glendale.

On October 9, 2015, at 4:29 p.m., the Glendale Police Department received another call from a male caller reporting bombs had been placed at the ABC Studios. ABC Studios management and security department made the decision not to evacuate the building. A search of the building was conducted by the Glendale Police Department K-9 unit and ABC security. No explosives or suspicious devices were located.

Glendale Police Department detectives conducted an extensive investigation and identified the male caller as 22 year old Tyler Raj Barriss of Chatsworth, California. –Glendale City News

After initially delaying the release of Finch’s body, the Sedgwick County Coroner released Finch to a local funeral home at around 3:30 on Wednesday. In a letter to Wichita police and the mayor, Lisa Finch had begged for her son’s body to be immediately returned so they could give him “a proper funeral service and burial.”

“What cannot go without saying is why Wichita City leadership is compounding our grief and sorrow, by keeping my son from us?” she wrote. “Please let me see my son’s lifeless body. I want to hold him and say goodbye.”

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“Make America Gay Again” Flag Draped Over Pence Vacation Home, Secret Service Shares Chili With Culprits

Vice President Mike Pence’s neighbors in Aspen, CO decided to teach him what for by draping a “Make America Gay Again” flag over a stone pillar in front of the house where the Pences are vacationing this week.

The family across the street and a friend reportedly draped the rainbow flag  over the pillar between the homes while a Pitkin County deputy and Secret Service members stood watch, according to the Aspen Times.

“You couldn’t miss it,” said Pitkin County Sheriff’s Deputy Michael Buglione. “He was real sheepish and thought he might be confronted by the Secret Service or deputies who’d tell him he couldn’t do it,” said Sheriff Joe DiSalvo.

According to the Times, the Secret Service agents were unfazed when the banner was draped over the pillar, telling the neighbors, “We’re not here to control your free speech rights.”

After the women realized they weren’t about to get carted off in cuffs, they warmed up to the officers and later brought over chili and corn muffins to the men stationed at the foot of the driveway.

“They’ve been really nice to us.”

The residents of the home did not answer the door or respond to a note left Friday asking for comment about the banner. However, late Friday night, a resident of the home emailed The Aspen Times a brief correction to DiSalvo’s comment.

“(The banners) were actually hung by the daughters of the couple who live in the home, and one of their girlfriends (I’m one of them!) with the full support of their parents,” Shannon Slade wrote in the email.

Mike Pence, who describes himself as a “Christian, a conservative and a Republican, in that order,” once likened gay marriage to “societal collapse.” While governor of Indiana, he also signed legislation which critics say encouraged discrimination against gays.


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Trump Cancels Voter Fraud Investigation After States Refuse To Hand Over Data

President Trump signed an Executive Order Wedensday disbanding his controversial Advisory Commission on Election Integrity, tasked with investigating reports of voter fraud in the 2016 election.

The refusal by most states to turn over voter data, along with several lawsuits filed by voting rights groups were said to have ultimately hobbled the commission’s work.

Despite substantial evidence of voter fraud, many states have refused to provide the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity with basic information relevant to its inquiry,” White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in a statement. “Rather than engage in endless legal battles at taxpayer expense, today President Donald J. Trump signed an executive order to dissolve the Commission, and he has asked the Department of Homeland Security to review its initial findings and determine next courses of action.”

In June 2017, at least 29 states refused to hand over voter data to the commission, established the previous month after President Trump insisted that as many as 5 million votes were illegally cast in the 2016 presidential election.

Echoing Trump’s skepticism at the time, Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, the vice chair of the commission, had a similar response to the president on states refusing to comply.

“Frankly, if a state like Kentucky or California won’t provide available information, one has to ask the question, ‘Why not?’” Kobach told NPR, adding “I mean, what are they trying to hide if they don’t want a presidential advisory commission to study their state voter rolls?” he asked.

Several states replied to that question, according to The Hillafter the Commission’s first action was to ask states for the names, addresses, birthdates, partial social security numbers, party affiliation, felon status and other data for every registered voter.

There’s not enough bourbon here in Kentucky to make this request seem sensible,” Kentucky’s Democratic Secretary of State, Alison Lundergan Grimes, said on MSNBC. “Not on my watch are we going to be releasing sensitive information that relate to the privacy of individuals.”

Mississippi Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann, a Republican, also said he won’t turn over any information to the panel, telling members of the voter fraud commission to, “go jump in the Gulf of Mexico.”

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf, a Democrat, took a similar line, calling the Trump investigation an attempt to suppress the vote.

Election officials from both sides of the aisle expressed skepticism about Trump’s claim of voter fraud:  “In Ohio, we pride ourselves on being a state where it is easy to vote and hard to cheat,” said Jon Husted, Ohio’s Republican secretary of state. “Voter fraud happens, it’s rare and when it happens we hold people accountable. I believe that as the Commission does its work, it will find the same about our state.”

Several states, among them California and New York, said participating in the attempt to compile voter data would only serve to legitimize the false and already debunked claims of massive voter fraud,” according to Democratic Secretary of State Alex Padilla. On the other hand, by refusing to participate in the first place, they force Trump himself to question what it is they are hiding.

Democrats and voting rights groups were quick to cheer the panel’s demise, reports NPR:

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said that it was nothing more than “a front to suppress the vote, perpetrate dangerous and baseless claims, and was ridiculed from one end of the country to the other. This shows that ill-founded proposals that just appeal to a narrow group of people won’t work, and we hope they’ll learn this lesson elsewhere.

At the end of the day, you must understand: Hillary won and it was her turn. 

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Fire Breaks Out In Secret Service Facility At Clinton House In Chappaqua – No Injuries Reported


A fire broke out Wednesday at property owned by Bill and Hillary Clinton in Chappaqua, N.Y., confirmed by New Castle police. The flames erupted just before 3 p.m. in the ceiling of the second floor in a Secret Service structure behind the Clintons’ home, a Secret Service spokesman told Fox News.

The building was not connected to the home, and the Clintons were not there at the time of the fire, according to Hillary Clinton Communications director Nick Merrill.

Police declined to give further details on the fire at 15 Old House Lane where Bill and Hillary Clinton have lived for nearly 20 years after buying it for $1.7 million in 1999.

Scanner reports said it was a bedroom fire and has been extinguished.

The house, built in 1889, features five bedrooms over 5,232 square feet and a pool on its 1.1 acres.

In August 2016, the former president and past presidential hopeful bought the four bedroom house next door, at 33 Old House Lane, for $1.16 million. In October, they got in trouble for not having a permit for a kitchen renovation and filling in the in-ground pool, according to ZeroHedgewho also share the following video, revealing the Clinton’s house in Chappaqua on Old House Lane.

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Trump Goes Nuclear On Bannon: “When He Was Fired, He Not Only Lost His Job, He Lost His Mind”

Earlier today, an explosive report from The Guardian detailed an advance copy of Steve Bannon’s new book, “Fire and Fury,” in which the former Trump advisor unloads on Don Jr. and Jared Kushner, saying that their meeting with Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya at Trump Tower was “treasonous” and “unpatriotic,” and that the FBI should have been called immediately.


“Even if you thought that this was not treasonous, or unpatriotic, or bad shit, and I happen to think it’s all of that, you should have called the FBI immediately.”

Bannon went on, Wolff writes, to say that if any such meeting had to take place, it should have been set up “in a Holiday Inn in Manchester, New Hampshire, with your lawyers who meet with these people”. Any information, he said, could then be “dump[ed] … down to Breitbart or something like that, or maybe some other more legitimate publication”.

Bannon also says that Trump’s repeated messaging that the Mueller probe will end quickly is nothing more than wishful thinking, and that the investigation has moved on to money laundering – which will ensnare Paul Manafort, Don Jr. and Jared Kushner.

“You realise where this is going,” he is quoted as saying. “This is all about money laundering. Mueller chose [senior prosecutor Andrew] Weissmann first and he is a money-laundering guy. Their path to fucking Trump goes right through Paul Manafort, Don Jr and Jared Kushner … It’s as plain as a hair on your face.”

In a statement issued by the White House moments ago, Trump hit back, saying that Bannon “spent his time at the White House leaking false information to the media to make himself seem far more important than he was,” adding that the former advisor has “lost his mind.” (full statement below)

Even Scaramucci weighed in:

This is all a diversionary 5D alpha flank formation, obviously…

Statement from the President of the United States

Steve Bannon has nothing to do with me or my Presidency.

When he was fired, he not only lost his job, he lost his mind.

Steve was a staffer who worked for me after I had already won the nomination by defeating seventeen candidates, often described as the most talented field ever assembled in the Republican party.

Now that he is on his own, Steve is learning that winning isn’t as easy as I make it look. Steve had very little to do with our historic victory, which was delivered by the forgotten men and women of this country.

Yet Steve had everything to do with the loss of a Senate seat in Alabama held for more than thirty years by Republicans.

Steve doesn’t represent my base-he’s only in it for himself.

Steve pretends to be at war with the media, which he calls the opposition party, yet he spent his time at the White House leaking false information to the media to make himself seem far more important than he was. It is the only thing he does well. Steve was rarely in a one-on-one meeting with me and only pretends to have had influence to fool a few people with no access and no clue, whom he helped write phony books.

We have many great Republican members of Congress and candidates who are very supportive of the Make America Great Again agenda. Like me, they love the United States of America and are helping to finally take our country back and build it up, rather than simply seeking to burn it all down.

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Huma Abedin Forwarded Top Secret Passwords To Yahoo Account Hacked By Russian With Odd Clinton Connection

Huma Abedin forwarded a trove of sensitive emails to her personal Yahoo account, including passwords to government systems – before every single Yahoo account was affected by a massive hack conducted by a Russian security expert employed by the same Moscow bank former President Bill Clinton gave a $500,000 speech to in 2010, according to Luke Rosiak of the Daily Caller. An odd coincidence, no?

As Hillary Clinton’s Deputy Chief of Staff at the State Department, Abedin sent passwords for her government laptop to her Yahoo account on August 24, 2009, according to an email released in September 2017.

This wasn’t the first time Abedin sent sensitive information through Yahoo. In addition to classified notes on a call with the U.N. secretary-general, Abedin received an email with the subject “Re: your yahoo acct.” – establishing that others knew of her use of the email account for official business.

According to the Daily Caller: 

Abedin received an email “with the subject ‘Re: your yahoo acct.’ Abedin did not recall the email and provided that despite the content of the email she was not sure that her email account had ever been compromised,” on Aug. 16, 2010,  an FBI report says.

The FBI also asked her about sending other sensitive information to Yahoo. “Abedin was shown an email dated October 4, 2009 with the subject ‘Fwd: US interest in Pak Paper 10-04’ which Abedin received from [redacted] and then forwarded to her Yahoo email account…. At the time of the email, [redacted] worked for Richard Holbrooke who was the Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan (SRAP). Abedin was unaware of the classification of the document and stated that she did not make judgments on the classification of materials that she received,” the report said.

After Abedin sent an unspecified number of sensitive emails to her Yahoo account, half a billion Yahoo accounts were hacked by Russian cybersecurity expert and Russian intelligence agent, Igor Sushchin, in 2014. The hack, one of the largest in history, allowed Sushchin’s associates to access email accounts into 2015 and 2016.

At the time of the hacks, Sushchin was the security director for Renaissance Capital – the investment firm which paid Bill Clinton $500,000 for a speech in 2010 that was attended by Russian officials and corporate leaders. “The speech received a thank-you note from Russian President Vladimir Putin,” wrote Luke Rosiak of The Caller. 

Sushchin’s indictment says “the conspirators sought access to the Yahoo, Inc. email accounts of Russian journalists; Russian and U.S. government officials,” and others. Information about the accounts such as usernames and password challenge questions and answers were stolen for 500 million accounts, the indictment says. The indictment does not mention Abedin’s account.

A hacker called “Peace” claimed to be selling data from 200 million Yahoo users.Daily Caller

The United States charged Sushchin with the hacks in March, 2017. His indictment reads “the conspirators sought access to the Yahoo, Inc. email accounts of Russian journalists; Russian and U.S. government officials, and others. The New York Times reported that the Yahoo hack – which affected all Yahoo accountsaffected users’ names, birth dates, phone numbers and passwords that were encrypted with easily cracked security. The intruders also made off with security questions and backup email information – which is particularly useful to hackers seeking to break into government computers worldwide.

While Clinton and Abedin woefully mishandled classified information, they were never prosecuted – after an investigation led by disgraced FBI counterintelligence agent Peter Strzok determined that Clinton’s behavior did not warrant litigation. “We do assess that hostile actors gained access to the private email accounts of individuals with whom Secretary Clinton was in regular contact from her private account,” said former FBI director Jim Comey in the agency’s exoneration of the former Secretary of State.

In this case, the “hostile actor” was none other than a man employed by the very bank Bill Clinton gave a 2010 speech to for a cool half-million dollars. What a small world!

Finally, none of this was lost on Trump was promptly reacted on Tuesday morning, tweeting “Crooked Hillary Clinton’s top aid, Huma Abedin, has been accused of disregarding basic security protocols. She put Classified Passwords into the hands of foreign agents. Remember sailors pictures on submarine? Jail! Deep State Justice Dept must finally act? Also on Comey & others

Content originally published by ZeroHedge

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Chris Matthews Runs “Brazenly Sexist” Workplace At MSNBC According To Five Women

Two weeks after it was reported that a former Chris Matthews staffer was paid $40,000 to settle claims of sexual harassment, the MSNBC host has been accused by five women of running an “openly derisive and brazenly sexist news operation,” with several staffers describing themselves as victims of “battered wives syndrome,” according to three of his show’s guests and two former producers who spoke with The Daily Caller‘s Amber Athey.

Two former NBC producers independently alleged Matthews would rate the looks of his female guests on a scale and said Matthews was so abusive that staff joked about being battered women. The interviews in total paint Matthews as a tyrant liable to fly off the handle at the slightest mistake, who was eager to objectify women and made inappropriate sexual comments appear to be a matter of course for someone in his position.Daily Caller

One former producer said “He [Matthews] would eye down a woman who walked on set or comment on their features or what they were wearing,” adding “He would objectify them and interrupt them in a way that he would never do with his male guests. He has a very outdated view of women.” 

The other former producer said Matthews was like a “teenage boy,” rating his female guests on a numerical scale and deciding which one was the “hottest of the week,” while constantly talking about how “hot” various women were at the MSNBC studios – including the Daily Caller‘s source.

One host on a CNBC show was allegedly on the receiving end of many of his comments and tried to avoid being around Matthews in the office.

She didn’t want to be in the same room as him,” the former NBC producer claimed. “She wouldn’t want to get her makeup done if he was in there too.”

The former producer said that while Matthews made comments about her appearance, she never felt like she was being harassed. She described the comments as “unprofessional” and “inappropriate” and said his remarks made multiple women uncomfortable. –Daily Caller

There are apparently more accusers who have yet to come forward. “Sadly, I know other women who won’t even be an anonymous source regarding Chris [Matthews] because they’re concerned about the door closing on career opportunities in media,” said one of the former producers.

Two weeks ago, ZeroHedge also reported that a former Matthews staffer received a payment from the network in relation to her departure after complaining of sexual harassment in 1999, according to the Daily Caller. Sources familiar with the situation told The Daily Caller that Matthews paid $40,000 to settle with an assistant producer on his show, Hardball with Chris Matthews, in 1999 after she accused him of harassment. An MSNBC spokesperson contested that claim to the Caller, saying the company instead paid significantly less as part of a severance package.

The woman complained to CNBC executives about Matthews making inappropriate comments and jokes about her while in the company of others.

The MSNBC spokesman said that they thoroughly reviewed the situation at the time and that Matthews received a formal reprimand. Based on people who were involved in matter, the network concluded that the comments were inappropriate and juvenile but were not intended to be taken as propositions.

MSNBC disputed the claims – telling the Daily Caller that while the woman was compensated, it was “significantly less” than $40,000 and in relation to a severance package.

Matthews, who has hosted “Hardball” on MSNBC since 1997 and stared down Melania Trump in a hot-mic moment during the election, is the latest in a growing list of influential media figures to be accused of sexual misconduct, and the third high-profile case for NBC.

NBC has had a rough run of sexual assault accusations. On November 29, “Today” star Matt Lauer – the highest paid personality in TV news, was fired after a “detailed complaint from a colleague about inappropriate sexual behavior in the workplace. Several other women also came forward at the time, telling Variety that their complaints to NBC executives about Lauer’s behavior were ignored. In addition to sex toys found in his office, Lauer reportedly had a button under his desk that allowed him to lock his door from the inside.

The network also cut ties with veteran political journalist and “Game Change” author Mark Halperin, who was accused groping, sexual assault and other forms of sexual harassment by a dozen women he worked with during his time with ABC news. “We find the story and the allegations very troubling,” MSNBC said in a statement to CNN, which broke the story, adding “Mark Halperin is leaving his role as a contributor until the questions around his past conduct are fully understood.”

Finally, NBC also cut ties with senior vice president Matt Zimmerman for failing to report relationships he had with women who worked for him.


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After Bitcoin Chokes On South Korea Regulations, India Warns Of “Terror-Funding, Money Laundering Ponzi Scheme”

Things could get interesting for Bitcoin and its crypto-peers as central banks begin to enact long-threatened regulations on digital currencies.

Bitcoin fell more than 11 percent last Thursday after sweeping regulations were announced in South Korea – a country thought to account for around 20% of global bitcoin transactions, though the virtual currency appears to be staging a last minute New Year’s Eve recovery for YTD gains exceeding 1,400 percent. 

The new foreign regulations are said to target money laundering and other financial crimes, and include the closure of anonymous accounts next month, a ban on new anonymous accounts, the ability for regulators to close virtual currency exchanges at will. 

“Officials share the view that virtual currency trading is overheating irrationally … and we can no longer overlook this abnormal speculative situation,” Hong Nam-ki, the South Korean minister for government policy co-ordination said. Anonymous accounts currently in use will be closed next month, it added, without explaining how it planned to do this. –The Telegraph

South Korea’s announcement comes on the heels of Vietnam’s central bank banned bitcoin as a “lawful means of payment” in October – adding that the “issuance, supply, use of bitcoin and other similar virtual currency as a means of payment is prohibited.”

When the law goes into effect on January 1, 2018 – illegal use of cryptocurrencies will result in fines between 150 million and 200 million Vietnamese dong ($6,600 – $8,800 USD).

Meanwhile, India’s Finance ministry issued an official statement Friday cautioning against trading in cryptocurrencies – likening them to “Ponzi schemes” and suggesting that participants in digital currencies do so “entirely at their risk and should best avoid participating therein.”

There is a real and heightened risk of investment bubble of the type seen in Ponzi schemes”, which could result in a sudden and prolonged crash, the ministry said, adding that encrypted cryptocurrency transactions were likely used in things such as “terror-funding, smuggling, drug trafficking and other money laundering acts.”

And as we reported on Sunday, Australian banks are reportedly freezing the accounts of Bitcoin investors. 

Bitcoin investors are claiming Australia’s banks are freezing their accounts and transfers to cryptocurrency exchanges, with a viral tweet slamming the big four and an exchange platform putting a restriction on Australian deposits.

Due to the Australian banking issues, crypto exchange CoinSpot said it was putting a “temporary restriction on all forms of AUD deposits” that would remain in place until at least the first week of 2018 as a result of issues with Australian banks.

“We assure you we are just as unhappy with the situation as you, but unfortunately Australian banks have been so far unwilling to work with the digital currency industry which leads to frequent account closures and strict limits on accounts whilst they remain operational, in effect debanking our industry,” it said.

In the United States various Central Bank members have cast doubts over digital currencies, while the SEC warned investors on December 11 against putting money into cryptocurrencies.

In May, Minneapolis Fed President Neel Kashkari took aim at Bitcoin, expressing concerns over how easy cryptocurrencies are to create. When asked about the Fed’s position with digital currencies, Kashkari listed the following points (via coindesk):

  • The Fed is watching: “This is a topic a lot of people across the Fed are paying attention to and watching how it evolves.”
  • His issue is with ‘inflation by altcoin’: “The problem I have [with bitcoin] is while it says, by design, you’re limiting the number of bitcoins that can be created, it doesn’t stop me from creating NeelCoin or somebody from creating Bobcoin or Marycoin or Susiecoin.”
  • Blockchain ‘has more potential’: “I would say the conventional wisdom now is that blockchain, the underlying technology, is probably more interesting and has more potential than maybe bitcoin does by itself.”
  • The waiting game continues: “I think it’s too early to know where this is going to go … we’ll see – we have a lot to learn.”

In September, Philadelphia Fed President Patrick Harker told a conference that he doubted Bitcoin would ever undermine the U.S. dollar.

The paper that’s in your pocket, that we call money, only has value because we believe it has value, because we believe the government stands behind it. It’s all trust issues,” said Harker, adding “And so, when cryptocurrencies and other forms of currency emerge, I think the basis of that has to be how do they create that trust?”

Also in September, a trash-talking JP Morgan CEO Jamie Dimon likened Bitcoin to a “fraud” that’s “worse than tulip bulbs,” while also dissing his daughter for “thinking she’s a genius” (buying Bitcoin thousands of points ago).

The only good argument I’ve ever heard … is that if you were in Venezuela or Ecuador or North Korea.. or if you were a drug dealer, a murderer, stuff like that, you are better off dealing in bitcoin than in US dollars, you are better off bypassing the system of your country even if what I just said is true.

There may be a market for that but it’s a limited market” –Jamie Dimon

In November New York Fed President William Dudley said that the Fed is exploring the idea of its own digital currency, while he slammed Bitcoin as “more of a speculative activity,” not a stable store of value.

And when you can’t beat ’em, join ’em – as Goldman Sachs and Silicon Valley elite team up for early adoption of a crypto-future. Last week, Goldman Sachs is in the process of setting up a trading desk to make markets in digital currencies such as bitcoin. The bank aims to get the business running by the end of June, if not earlier, two sources said. A third said Goldman is still trying to work out security issues as well as how it would hold, or custody, the assets.

Meanwhile, Twitter founder Jack Dorsey’s credit card processing venture, Square, announced in November that they are exploring adding Bitcoin to their platform – releasing a beta program for the digital currency on their “Cash” app, and Craigslist recently began allowing sellers to advertise that they accept cryptocurrency as a form of payment – something now illegal in Vietnam, under penalty of up to 200 million dong. 


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