War On Cryptocurrencies: Wells Fargo, J.P. Morgan Chase, Bank of America, Citigroup And Capital One Have Banned Their Customers From Buying Bitcoin With Credit Cards

A war on cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple and Litecoin has begun, and it threatens to destroy the entire cryptocurrency industry.  If you think that I am exaggerating, just keep reading.  Government agencies are cracking down hard, Bitcoin traders that don’t file the proper paperwork are being sent to prison, Facebook and other online ad platforms have banned all cryptocurrency advertising, and now major credit card companies are banning their customers from using their credit cards to buy cryptos.  What is an industry supposed to do if it can’t advertise and it can’t take credit cards?  Such moves would kill virtually any consumer-oriented industry, and right now the cryptocurrency industry is absolutely reeling.  If this war on cryptocurrencies continues to intensify, I honestly don’t know how the industry is going to survive.

On Monday, another shot was fired in the war.  Wells Fargo formally announced that their customers would no longer be permitted to purchase Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies with Wells Fargo credit cards

Wells Fargo customers can no longer buy cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin on their credit cards, the company announced Monday. But they can still buy firearms.

The San Francisco-based bank joined some of its Wall Street peers in banning the purchase of cryptocurrencies on credit cards and said its decision is “in line with the overall industry.”

Of course this follows decisions by virtually all of the other major credit card companies to ban cryptocurrency transactions as well

J.P. Morgan Chase, Bank of America and Citigroup announced in February they would no longer let customers buy cryptocurrencies using credit cards, and like Wells Fargo cited credit risks and market volatility.

Capital One Financial said it has decided to ban cryptocurrency purchases with its cards, and Discover Financial Services has effectively prohibited cryptocurrency purchases with its credit cards since 2015.

All of these banks are deeply tied in to the existing world order, and obviously the elite have decided that now is the time to make a move against cryptocurrencies.

In the online world, cash and checks are rarely used.  And so if people can’t use their credit cards to buy cryptocurrencies, what are they supposed to do?

There is always Paypal and other online platforms, but it is probably only a matter of time before they start banning cryptocurrency transactions as well.

And the same big banks that have already banned credit card transactions could very easily start banning direct bank transfers as well.

The 800 pound gorilla in the room has started to wake up, and that is really, really bad news for the cryptocurrency industry.

It is absolutely absurd for banks to be telling us what we can and cannot buy with our own money, but unless somebody does something they are going to get away with it.  A few of them have even started putting restrictions on gun transactions, and they will keep pushing the envelope until they are stopped.

Meanwhile, government agencies have decided that now is the time for a crackdown on the cryptocurrency industry as well

The SEC investigation, which Bloomberg reported last month, is the U.S.’s latest effort to crack down on the booming Bitcoin and cryptocurrency industry and will look into illegal practices that can influence prices.

On Friday the Wall Street Journal reported U.S. government investigators demanded several bitcoin exchanges hand over trading data, putting the price on the back foot ahead of today’s sell off.

Federal prosecutors are working with the U.S. financial regulator that oversees derivatives tied to Bitcoin, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission.

And it isn’t just the exchanges that are getting hit.

Individuals that have not filed the “proper paperwork” with the government are being arrested and sent to prison

This week in Southern California a Los Angeles woman who called herself the ‘Bitcoin Maven’ will be sentenced this Monday after pleading guilty for illegal money transmission. According to law enforcement, the woman made close to $300,000 USD annually by selling BTC on the peer-to-peer exchange Localbitcoins.

U.S. law enforcement has arrested and convicted another Localbitcoins seller who reportedly made $300K per year selling digital assets. The 50-year-old Theresa Tetley used the alias ‘Bitcoin Maven’ and sold bitcoins without registering with the financial authorities. Prosecutors say Tetley’s operations “fueled a black-market financial system in the Central District of California that purposely and deliberately existed outside of the regulated bank industry.”

So where do things go from here?

Are these just temporary bumps in the road to a promising future for the cryptocurrency industry, or is this the end of the road?

Well, cryptocurrency evangelist John McAfee believes that now is a perfect time to buy more coins…

“Do not panic about the drop in Bitcoin’s price. It is an overreaction to the news that Bitstamp, Coinbase, itBit, and Kraken are being investigated for price manipulation. This will delay the bull market by no more than 30 days. Don’t buy into the fear. Buy the coins.”

On the other hand, Mike Adams believes that we are witnessing the collapse of a Ponzi scheme that was always destined to implode at some point…

Even though Bitcoin is clearly an electricity-wasting Ponzi scheme built on zero real assets, some newbies are just now hearing about it, and they think they’ve discovered a perpetual motion get rich quick scheme that will allow them to acquire wealth without effort. (This is, of course, the key selling point among Bitcoin speculators, who have convinced themselves they’re actually “shrewd investors.”) In truth, they’re just being suckered into a collapsing crypto-fairy tale that never panned out because it was based on bad economics in the first place. Remember when Bitcoin enthusiasts promised that Bitcoin transactions would be extremely low cost and almost instant? Yep, and Obama said if you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor, too. Both promises turned out to be utter nonsense.

If the major banks and governments around the world had left the cryptocurrency industry alone, it probably would have done just fine.

But now a full blown war against the cryptocurrency industry has begun, and it is going to be exceedingly difficult for “crypto mania” to survive in this type of environment.

Michael Snyder is a nationally syndicated writer, media personality and political activist. He is the author of four books including The Beginning Of The End and Living A Life That Really Matters.

11 Economic Crashes That Are Happening RIGHT NOW

11 Economic Crashes That Are Happening RIGHT NOWThe stock market is not crashing yet, but there are lots of other market crashes happening in the financial world right now.  Just like we saw back in 2008, it is taking stocks a little bit of extra time to catch up with economic reality.  But almost everywhere else you look, there are signs that a financial avalanche has begun.  Bitcoins are crashing, gold and silver are plunging, the price of oil and the overall demand for energy continue to decline, markets all over Europe are collapsing and consumer confidence in the United States just had the biggest miss relative to expectations that has ever been recorded.  In many ways, all of this is extremely reminiscent of 2008.  Other than the Bitcoin collapse, almost everything else that is happening now also happened back then.   So does that mean that a horrible stock market crash is coming as well?  Without a doubt, one is coming at some point.  The only question is whether it will be sooner or later.  Meanwhile, there are a whole lot of other economic crashes that deserve out attention at the moment.

The following are 11 economic crashes that are happening RIGHT NOW…

#1 Bitcoins

As I write this, the price of Bitcoins has fallen more than 70 percent from where it was on Wednesday.  This is one of the reasons why I have never recommended Bitcoins to anyone.  Yes, alternative currencies are a good thing, but there are a lot of big problems with Bitcoins.  Why would anyone want to invest in a currency that could lose 70 percent of its purchasing power in just two days?  Why would anyone want to invest in a currency where a single person can arbitrarily decide to suspend trading in that currency at any time?

An article by Mike Adams of Natural News described some of the things that we have learned about Bitcoins this week…

#1) The bitcoin infrastructure cannot handle a selloff. Once the rush for the exits gains momentum, you will not be able to get out. Only those who sell early will be able to exit the market.

#2) The bitcoin infrastructure is subject to the whims of just one person running MTGox who can arbitrarily decide to shut it down whenever he thinks the market needs a “cooling period.” This is nearly equivalent to a financial dictatorship where one person calls the shots.

#3) Every piece of bad news will be “spun” by exchanges like MTGox into good-sounding news. As bitcoin was crashing yesterday by 60% in value in mere hours, MTGox announced it was a “victim of our own success!” So while bitcoin holders watched $1 billion in market valuation evaporate, MTGox called it a success. Gee, then what would you call it when bitcoin loses 99%? A “raging” success?

#2 Gold

The price of gold was down by about 4 percent on Friday.  Gold has now fallen below $1500 an ounce for the first time since July 2011.  Overall, the price of gold has fallen by about 10 percent since the beginning of the year, and it is about 22 percent below the record high set back in September 2011.

Yes, the price of gold is likely being pushed down by the banksters.  And yes, gold is a fantastic investment for the long-term.  But there will be times when the price of gold does fall dramatically just like we saw back in 2008.

#3 Silver

The price of silver fell by about 5 percent on Friday.  If it falls much more it is going to be at a level that presents a historically good buying opportunity.

Just like gold, there will be times when the price of silver swings dramatically.  But the truth is that silver is probably an even better long-term investment than gold is.

#4 Oil

The price of oil declined by about 3 percent on Friday.  Many will consider this a positive thing, but just remember what happened back in 2008.  Back then, the price of oil dropped like a rock.  If the price of oil gets below $80, that could very well be a clear signal that a major economic crisis is about to happen.

#5 Consumer Confidence

As I mentioned above, consumer confidence in the U.S. just had its biggest miss relative to expectations that has ever been recorded.  The following is from an article posted on Zero Hedge on Friday

Well if this doesn’t send the market into all-time record high territory, nothing ever will: seconds ago the UMich Consumer Confidence plummeted from 78.6 to 72.3, on expectations of an unchanged 78.6 print. This was not only a 9 month low in the index, but more importantly the biggest miss to expectations in recorded history!

#6 Retirement Accounts

According to Wells Fargo, the number of Americans taking loans from their 401(k) accounts has risen by 28 percent over the past year…

Through an analysis of participants enrolled in Wells Fargo-administered defined contribution plans, the bank announced today that in the fourth quarter of 2012, there was a 28 percent increase in the number of people taking loans out from their 401(k) and that the average new loan balances increased to $7,126 from those taken out in the fourth quarter of 2011 – a 7% increase from $6,662.

Of the participants who took out loans, the greatest percentage were to people in their 50s (34.2%), followed by those in their 60s (28.9%) and then by those in their 40s (27.3%). The increase among participants in their 50s was nearly double the increase among those under 30. This is based on an analysis of a subset of 1.9 million eligible participants in retirement plans that Wells Fargo administers.

“The increased loan activity particularly among older participants is concerning because those are the years when workers can start to make ‘catch-up’ contributions and really need to focus on preparing for retirement,” said Laurie Nordquist, director of Wells Fargo Retirement.

#7 Casino Spending

Casino spending is declining again.  Many people (including myself) would consider this to be a good thing, but casino spending is also one of the most reliable indicators about the overall health of the economy.  Remember, casino spending crashed during the last financial crisis as well.  That is why it is so alarming that casino spending is now back to levels that we have not seen since the last recession.

#8 Employment In Greece

Over in Europe, things just continue to get worse.  According to numbers that were just released, the unemployment rate in Greece has soared to 27.2 percent, which was up from 25.7 percent the previous month.  That means that the unemployment rate in Greece rose by 1.5 percent in just a single month.  That is not just a crash – that is an avalanche of unemployment.

#9 European Financial Stocks

European financial stocks have been hit particularly hard lately.  And for good reason actually – most of the major banks in Europe are essentially insolvent at this point.  This week, European financial stocks fell to seven month lows, and this is probably only just the beginning.

#10 Spanish Bankruptcies

According to Reuters, the number of Spanish companies going bankrupt has risen by 45 percent over the past year…

A record number of Spanish companies went bust in the first quarter of 2013 as companies remained under intense pressure from tight credit conditions and meager demand, a study showed on Monday.

The 2,564 firms filing for insolvency proceedings in first three months of the year was a 10 percent rise from the previous quarter and a 45 percent increase on the same period in 2012, the survey by credit rating agency Axesor said.

#11 Demand For Energy

Just like we saw back in 2008, the overall demand for energy in the United States is falling rapidly.  There are some shocking charts that prove this that were recently posted on Zero Hedge that you can find right here.

Yes, it is good for people to use a bit less energy, but it is also a clear indication that economic activity is really starting to slow down.

But despite everything that you have just read, the Dow and the S&P 500 have been setting new record highs.

And if you listen to the mainstream media, you would think that this stock market bubble can continue indefinitely.

Fortunately, there are a few voices of reason out there.  For example, just check out what Marc Faber recently told CNBC

In the near-term, the U.S. stock market is overbought and adding that any more near-term gains portend big trouble for the market, “The Gloom, Boom & Doom Report” publisher Marc Faber told CNBC on Monday.

“If we continue to move up, the probability of a crash becomes higher,” Faber predicted in a “Squawk Box” interview, saying it could happen “sometime in the second half of this year.”

As I have written about previously, a bubble is always the biggest right before it bursts.  I hope that we still have at least a little bit more time before it happens, but I wouldn’t count on it.

The economic fundamentals tell us that the stock market should be plunging, not rising.  At some point the boys over on Wall Street will get the message and the market will catch up to reality very, very rapidly.

But for the moment, the American people are feeling really good.  According to CNN, Americans are now more optimistic than they have been in six years…

As the stock market continues to show record highs, the number of Americans who say things are going well in the country has reached 50% for the first time in more than six years, according to a new national survey.

So what do you think will happen for the rest of the year?

Do you think that the good times will continue to roll, or do you believe that the bubble is about to burst?

Please feel free to share your opinion by posting a comment below…

A Market Crash Is Coming