WHAT WILL HAPPEN TO CRYPTOCURRENCY IN THE U.S.? AND WHY THIS COULD AFFECT YOU
REGULATORY UNCERTAINTY IN THE U.S. Although criminal usage of cryptocurrency is rather miniscule today, how do you resolve issues with ransomware? One rule proposed by the U.S. government would require anyone holding crypto in a private digital wallet to undergo identity checks if they make a transaction of $3,000 or more. Many believe, however, that this isn’t a long-term solution. Jesse Powell, the CEO of Kraken, the world’s fourth-largest digital currency exchange, told CNBC that the U.S. is more “shortsighted” than other nations and “susceptible” to the pressures of incumbent legacy businesses, like banks, that “stand to lose from crypto becoming a big deal.” Technically, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) regulates most crypto, but even Hester Pierce, a commissioner of the SEC, says, “We’ve seen other countries take a more productive approach to regulating crypto. Our approach has been to say no and tell people [to] wait … we need to build a framework that is appropriate for this industry.” In some ways, crypto is profitable like the stock market is, except you can also use it to purchase goods and services. While this regulatory framework isn’t clear just yet, the longer it takes to establish, the more the American public, like you, might lose out on these multibillion-dollar markets.
Even if you’re not familiar with cryptocurrency, you’ll notice one thing about its market trends — it has been trending higher and higher in the past decade. Then suddenly, in mid-April this year, Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies plunged significantly in value. That’s because the U.S. government has started the conversation it’s been putting off for some time: Should cryptocurrencies be regulated and, if so, how? Here are some reasons the discussion needs to move forward. CRIMINAL USAGE OF CRYPTOCURRENCIES Is cryptocurrency still popular with criminals? A blockchain data firm Chainalysis reports that illicit activity made up 0.34% of all cryptocurrency transaction volume. That’s roughly 2% lower than in 2019. While the percentage has dropped for overall activity, Kim Grauer, head of research at Chainalysis, told NBC, “Still, ransomware was by far the biggest category in terms of activity growth (311% year over year), and we’re seeing an all-time high for dark-net market activity.” Ransomware is malicious software that hackers use to infect a computer, then demand a fee to unlock it. The bounty is typically paid in Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies, which are difficult to trace.
LOCAL HAIRCUTS ON THE GO
Meet My Friend Mitch and His Business, Blacktop Barbershop!
What do you get when you combine an experienced barber, an old party bus, and a city full of people who need haircuts? Well, in Kenosha, you get Blacktop Barbershop, a salon on four wheels! I’m really excited to share this neat business with you this month. Blacktop is run by my friend and client Mitch Thomas, a barber with eight years of experience who was also one of the first graduates of our local barber program. You might have seen the bus around town. It’s a hot spot for haircuts, beard trims, and more and will even come to you for group haircuts. He has also just opened a brick-and-mortar location at 13200 Globe Drive in Mount Pleasant, it is about a quarter mile east of Interstate 94 off Highway 20. “I was just walking to my grandparents’ house one day after work, and Paul was in there talking to my grandparents,” Mitch remembers. “He seemed like a good guy right when I met him. Sometimes you meet people and you’re like, ‘I think I met this dude for a reason.’”
It turns out Mitch needed my help with a tax problem! I fixed it up for him, and when he started Blacktop Barbershop this January, I helped him with the ins and outs of the business’s accounting and taxes. Mitch is like family to me now, and I’ve even featured him on my Saturday morning radio show (listen at 7 a.m. on 1050 WLIP-AM). “Paul has helped my anxiety through it all by helping me with things I don’t understand,” Mitch says. “Just having him has made the process so much easier on the taxes, accounting, and business side. I know how to cut hair, but he has been helping me like crazy with that [other] stuff … He has been clutch for me. I definitely recommend him to anyone I know who runs a business.” You might have seen Blacktop parked in front of the Civil War Museum in Kenosha, or Saint Anne’s Church parking lot in Pleasant Prairie, or the Frank Boucher Kia car dealership in Racine. Whenever the bus goes, shaggy-haired people follow and come out looking sharp. I love the concept of Blacktop, unique in this part of the country. To learn more
about Mitch, visit BlacktopBarbershop.com or his Facebook page, Facebook.com/BlacktopBarber.
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