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Illegal Bitcoin Operation in Alberta Facing More Than $7M in Fines

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Illegal Bitcoin Operation in Alberta Facing More Than $7M in Fines

A Canadian crypto mine could be facing up to $7 million in fines after setting up a power plant without permission. 

Alberta’s provincial utility commission has suggested fining an illegal cryptocurrency mine upwards of $7 million for operating without the proper permissions. According to a report from the CBC, the company responsible failed to notify neighbors, Sturgeon county officials, or the Alberta Utilities Commission about its intentions. That company, Link Global, went behind Alberta’s back and set up a quartet of 1.25 MW generators in 2020. These generators were set up to draw power from an unused natural gas source that is owned by MAGA Energy in Calgary. The power was then used to handle the massive power needs of a mining operation. 

The mine started to gain attention in the community due to the noise created by the gas generators. Eventually, Link Global was forced to close in late August by the province’s utility commission. Initially, the company responded with criticism for the jobs that will be lost if the oil and gas operation was to go unused. Eventually, Stephen Jenkins, CEO of Link Global, admitted that the snafu was on him and that the project had not gone as planned. “It’s my fault. I take full blame for it. We did not consult with residents,” Jenkins said. He added that when complaints began rolling in, the company sent teams around to measure decibel levels in the area and shut down temporarily based on the results. Attempts to counteract the noise such as a wall of straw bales and an upgraded exhaust system. 

Jenkins added that if they are forced to close again, “we’ll just shut it down; close the plant off, and it will sit there again.”

Massive fines incoming

Despite complying with the noise issues, the major problem with Link Global was its failure to file the proper paperwork for permission to operate in the first place. Now, Alberta’s provincial utility commission is asking for a fine of more than $7.1 million. On top of the mine that was shut down due to noise, the company also opened one in Kirkwall that did not meet AUC conditions either. A third site, in Westlock, remains compliant. 

AUC’s enforcement team reports that the Sturgeon plant was up and running for a total of 364 days, and the Kirkwall for 426. Neither had proper approval for operating. The team has argued that Link Global should pay an “economic disgorgement,” of around $2 million, for the loss of electricity. An additional fine of more than $5 million for “economic gains from mining bitcoin,” was also requested by the AUC. Other penalties could total up to $100,000. 

According to a statement from the AUC, “Link Global received a significant economic benefit by immediately commencing operations at both power plants without taking any of the measures required to receive approval from the Commission or to qualify for an exemption.”

Jenkins claims that the company is working to file a submission in response to the request. Jenkins also confirmed that the company is still trying to expand in the area and has plans to launch three more 10MW mining facilities in Alberta. The CEO adds that the proper steps will be taken this time to operate legally. Steps, Jenkins claims, the company was unaware of before. 

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PlanB Admits $98,000 November Bitcoin Price Target ‘First Miss’

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PlanB Admits $98,000 November Bitcoin Price Target ‘First Miss’

Some investors reacted angrily after PlanB admitted that his model failed to accurately predict the price of bitcoin (BTC) for November.

The popular crypto analyst aimed for a $98,000 BTC price for the end of this month. Just last week, he insisted the price target was still possible, even as markets declined.

PlanB correctly predicted BTC reaching $47,000 in August and $43,000 in September. He slightly missed the $63,000 target for October, but said the three percent “rounding error was close enough for me.”

Now the pseudonymous Dutch investor says that his $98,000 prediction for this month “will probably be a first miss,” according to a tweet posted on Nov 25. He did not give an exact reason for the failure.

“I see this miss as an outlier, a black swan, that has not occured in the data last 10 years,” he explained.

He spoke as the price of bitcoin tanked to $55,300 on Nov 23, down 20% from its record high of $69,000 reached on Nov 10. Some analysts are blaming the decline on fears of the impending Mt. Gox BTC repayments.

Bitcoin ‘stock-to-flow model still on track to $100,000’

PlanB, who claims 25 years of financial markets experience, is famed for creating the stock-to-flow (S2F) price prediction model. The model is based on the ratio of the current supply (stock) of an asset or commodity to its annual production (flow).

It can be applied to any asset with limited supply really, and the Dutch analyst did so with bitcoin in 2019. The idea is that since the bitcoin supply diminishes with every “halving” event every four years, it will create boom and bust cycles. He then uses these cycles to forecast prices.

PlanB explained that the missed November target relates only to the “floor model,” one of his three price prediction tools. Unlike the S2F, the so-called floor model relies on price and on-chain data, he says.

He insisted the stock-to-flow model had not been “affected and indeed [was] on track towards $100,000.”

Justin Stagner put the miss into perspective. “[It is] not like you just barely missed it either. I mean, its looking like you really blew this one,” he stated.

Mounting criticism

Some investors reacted angrily to PlanB’s admission of failure, blaming the crypto analyst for their financial losses.

“I used my student loans along with a short term loan using my house as collateral to go all in at $68k because you told me it would reach $98k. Now I’ll be homeless and without a degree…” complained Twitter user Brett Lethbridge.

Another lamented: “Now your stock-to-flow model is not reliable anymore. Most people incurred great losses because of your prediction.”

However, several other people replying defended PlanB, and even thanked him for his predictions. Often, they defaulted to a familiar refrain, a disclaimer of sorts, that his forecasts are “not financial advice. Do your own research.”

PlanB himself averred:

It is indeed absurd that when you publish information for free, somehow people make you responsible for their investment decisions and actions. Everybody is responsible for their own (investment) decisions and actions. Blaming others is a sign of immaturity: NGMI (not going to make it).

The Dutch analyst has faced criticism before. He’s often accused of adjusting his price predictions lower once it becomes clear that the S2F would miss its target, and be invalidated.

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Bitcoin (BTC) Falls Below $56,000 After Failure to Sustain Rebound Rally

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Bitcoin (BTC) Falls Below $56,000 After Failure to Sustain Rebound Rally

After initiating a bounce on Nov 25, Bitcoin (BTC) decreased considerably the next day and is back at its weekly lows.

Since Nov 19, BTC had been hovering above the $56,500 support. This is both a horizontal support area and the 0.382 Fib retracement support level.

Yesterday, technical indicators started to show some bullish signs.

After 15 successive lower momentum bars, the MACD finally created one higher (green icon). This was a sign that the short-term trend is gradually picking steam. 

Furthermore, the RSI generated a bullish divergence (green line). This is a bullish occurrence in which a price decrease is not accompanied by the same increase in selling momentum.

However, BTC reversed its trend on Nov 26 and is in the process of creating a bearish engulfing candlestick (red icon). This is a type of bearish candlestick in which the entire previous day’s increase is negated the next day. There are still more than 15 hours until the daily close, but the start of the day looks extremely bearish.

If a breakdown were to occur, the next support area would be found at $53,250.

Short-term BTC movement

The six-hour chart shows that BTC has been decreasing under a descending resistance line since Nov 19. This is a sign that BTC is correcting.

Furthermore, BTC created a lower high relative to the price on Nov 20. This is considered a bearish sign since it didn’t have enough strength to reach its previous highs.

The even shorter-term two-hour chart shows that BTC is trading inside a symmetrical triangle and is very close to its support line, which coincides with the $56,500 horizontal support area. 

Therefore, a breakdown from it would likely accelerate the drop.

Wave count

The wave count suggests that BTC is in the C wave (red) of an A-B-C corrective structure. This means that after the correction is complete, the upward movement is expected to resume. 

The sub-wave count is shown in pink. It shows that BTC is in wave five of the correction, which is the final phase. 

There is a considerable Fib confluence between $53,250-$53,800, created by: 

  • Length of sub-wave one (pink)
  • External retracement of sub-wave four (white)
  • Length of wave A (red)

These levels also coincide with the long-term Fib support outlined in the first section. Therefore, BTC is expected to reach a low in this area before reversing.

For BeInCrypto’s previous Bitcoin (BTC) analysis, click here.

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South Korea Crypto P2P Trading Hits New Highs as Regulators Debate Taxation

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South Korea Crypto P2P Trading Hits New Highs as Regulators Debate Taxation

P2P crypto trading has hit a new all-time high in South Korea, data from LocalBitcoins shows. The jump in P2P trading comes at a time when there is a lot of uncertainty surrounding regulation in the country.

Peer-to-peer trading of cryptocurrencies in South Korea is hitting all-time highs as regulators offer some ambivalent comments on regulation. Data from LocalBitcoins shows that over 353 million in Korean Won was traded in the first week of November. This is a significant jump from previous weekly volumes.

South Korean P2P trading volume: Coin Dance

Pondering crypto tax

The increased interest in P2P trading comes as regulators are working on implementing a regulatory framework. South Korea, already one of the leading governments when it comes to cryptocurrency market regulation, is doubling down on its bid to prevent any illicit activity.

The high P2P volume may be a result of investors seeking to make the most of their capital as regulators bear down. Recent reports have indicated that there is some confusion among investors because of the lack of clarity surrounding regulation.

One of the primary issues is the implementation of crypto taxation. South Korea officials announced that it would tax the asset class, to the tune of 20%.

But lately, reports have suggested that there could be a change or complete repeal to this taxation scheme. The taxation law will come into effect in 2022, though it remains unclear about what specific form it will take.

NFT regulation is also throwing more confusion into the mix, as the Financial Services Commission (FSC) said in early November that it would not subject the special asset to taxation. However, later, the Vice Chairman of the organization said that tax provisions would be made for NFTs.

Uncertainty still looms

At the moment, it’s uncertain exactly what the regulatory landscape in South Korea will look like, given the lack of conclusion so far. The South Korean opposition party challenged the taxation scheme and pushed for a delay to 2023, demanding a more generous tax plan.

Exchanges are one of the major elements of the industry under the microscope, with 2021 seeing the first regulatory compliance certifications being sent to them. Several exchanges have had to shut down following regulatory scrutiny.

As it stands, it’s unclear what the specifics of crypto regulation will be. However, it’s almost certain that there will be a framework implemented, and whether or not it is stricter than investors like remains to be seen.

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