Alert For Your Business Banking Relationship

Alert For Your Business Banking Relationship

Where Things Are Headed In The Financial World?

You may think this article doesn’t affect your business – but you are wrong!

You may think you are not using CryptoCurrency so it does not affect you – but you are wrong!

You must look at the future implications of where this is all leading – TOTAL CONTROL!!!

To help amplify these points we have underlined some lines in the article below

It begins: US government issues $700,000 fine against a digital currency

May 5, 2015
Sovereign Valley Farm, Chile

Alert For Your Business Banking Relationship

Alert For Your Business Banking Relationship

Well, it was bound to happen sooner or later.

Our beloved amigos at the US Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), have just issued the first-ever ‘civil enforcement action’ against a virtual currency.

The offending criminal mastermind in this case? Ripple Labs.

If you’re not familiar, Ripple is a virtual currency platform that was once the darling of Silicon Valley, attracting top VC firms like Google Ventures and Andreessen Horowitz.

Ripple’s technology allows users to conduct financial transactions with one another — sending and receiving payments in cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, as well as fiat currency.

Imagine Bitcoin meets Paypal… and you have the basic idea.

As part of its technology, the parent company Ripple Labs also created a native virtual currency called ‘XRP’, which is the second largest in the world after Bitcoin when measured by market capitalization.

Because of all of these features, Ripple Labs qualifies as a ‘money service business (MSB)’ according to FinCEN… which makes them subject to all sorts of regulations.

At the top of the list is the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA), which, contrary to its name, requires banks and MSBs to betray their customers’ financial secrets to the US government.

Specifically, the BSA mandates that all banks and MSBs file ‘suspicious activity reports’ if they “know, suspect, or have reason to suspect” that a transaction of $2,000 or more is ‘suspicious’.

And in the age of the USA PATRIOT Act, suspicious transactions are BIG BUSINESS for Uncle Sam.

Last year a record 2.4 MILLION suspicious activity reports were filed. That’s a 40% increase from 2013’s record year of 1.7 million.

As you can imagine, Ripple Labs failed to register with FinCEN as an MSB, nor did it submit suspicious activity reports.

In its complaint, FinCEN describes several of the oooooh-so-nefarious violations.

According to FinCEN, “In January 2014, a Malaysian-based customer sought to purchase XRP from [Ripple Labs], indicating that he wanted to use a personal bank account for a business purpose.”

HOLY JIHAD BATMAN!!!! Someone wanted to use a personal bank account for business purposes?!?! NUKE THE SON OF A BITCH!

I mean, seriously. This is the complete nonsense that keeps financial bureaucrats up at night: some guy in Malaysia wants to buy digital currency with his personal funds.

Whoop-dee-doo.

But what’s really wild is that Ripple actually DENIED the transaction. They just didn’t file the SAR.

So… even though Ripple didn’t actually ENGAGE in said ‘suspicious activity’, failing to file the SAR (with the appropriate TPS report cover sheet) was enough to land them in hot water.

End result — Ripple was dinged with a $700,000 fine.

Now, $700k is a pittance compared to the $9 BILLION that BNP Paribas was slammed with last year for doing business with countries that were former enemies-turned-BFFs of the US government — namely Cuba and Iran.

But it’s still a ridiculous penalty for having done nothing wrong.

Of course, it’s never about right or wrong. It’s about sending a message. And that’s exactly what FinCEN is doing.

By going after Ripple (a major player in the industry), FinCEN is trying to scare all the smaller players into ratting out their customers.

This, after all, is what desperate, bankrupt governments have done for millennia —

Step 1: Track down where everyone’s money is.

Step 2: Take it.

You don’t see rich, stable countries doing this sort of thing. In fact, the exact opposite.

An official from Hong Kong’s Treasury recently stated that: “the Government does not consider it necessary to introduce at the moment new legislation to regulate trading in such virtual commodities or prohibit people from participating in such activities.”

Night and day difference.

We’ll continue to see these steps in the US and in Europe. Tracking down virtual currency transactions. Banning cash. Anything they can do to keep your money trapped in the system where they can keep their eyes on it.

It’s all the more reason to move a portion of your savings out of that system and into somewhere safe.

Our goal is simple: To help you achieve personal liberty and financial prosperity no matter what happens.

If you liked this post, please click the box below. You can watch a compelling video you’ll find very interesting.

Will you be prepared when everything we take for granted changes overnight?

Just think about this for a couple of minutes. What if the U.S. Dollar wasn’t the world’s reserve currency? Ponder that… what if…

Empires Rise, they peak, they decline, they collapse, this is the cycle of history.

This historical pattern has formed and is already underway in many parts of the world, including the United States.

Don’t be one of the millions of people who gets their savings, retirement, and investments wiped out.

 

About the author: Simon Black is an international investor, entrepreneur, permanent traveler, free man, and founder of Sovereign Man. His free daily e-letter and crash course is about using the experiences from his life and travels to help you achieve more freedom.

Alert For Your Business Banking Relationship

Small Business Affected By Google Search Changes

What Small Business Owners Need To Know About Google Changes

This article by Eilene Zimmerman published in The New York Times Business “Boss” blog is insightful and worth a read.

The content can be a little techie for someone not involved in web development, but at least skim it for an overview.

The New York Times

How Google’s Search Changes Affect Small Businesses
By EILENE ZIMMERMAN October 8, 2013, 12:26 pm
Tech Support

What small-business owners need to know about technology.
Louis Gagnon: Making sense of Google’s search changes.Courtesy of Yodle. Louis Gagnon: Making sense of Google’s search changes.

Google recently switched to something known as secure search, limiting the data that can be seen using its analytics. This means Web site owners and managers can no longer see the string of words used by an individual to find their site in a search, which could have a profound effect on marketing efforts. Knowing how customers found them helps business owners optimize their sites so that they rank higher in search results.

Web site managers who use Google’s Webmaster Tools, which are free, can see some data for the top 2,000 search queries in a selected period of time. The information is not sent in real time, but is available in a secure dashboard that managers log can in to. The goal of the change, according to a Google spokesman, is to stop hackers from gaining access to the data, but it also means that business owners will have a tougher time piecing together the moment in time someone found them and the browser they used to get there.

We asked Louis Gagnon, chief product and marketing officer at Yodle, which helps small businesses with online marketing, including search engine optimization, to help us make sense of the changes. Based in Manhattan, Yodle, serves about 35,000 small businesses in 400 industry segments, had 2012 revenue of $132 million and has been growing about 40 percent a year.
Q.

What exactly did Google change?
A.

First, you need to understand the way search works. When you search for something on Google, at the top and on the right of the page are paid advertisements. Results on other areas of the page are called organic or the S.E.O. results.

In 2011, Google decided that for organic results, they would no longer make available the search terms a person used to get to that page if they searched while logged into a Google account like Gmail or another Google Web property. Before that point in 2011, if I had a Web site I could see the search words any individual who came to my site used to find me. Thirty percent of all global searches were made by people logged into a Google account. That meant if I was the owner of a business Web site, I lost information for about 30 percent of those who come to my site. I can’t see the terms they used to get to me. Last week Google changed that again and expanded what they started in 2011, by applying it not just to those logged into a Google account but to most users — not yet all users but likely 100 percent soon.
Q.

Is there any way for business owners to get that information now?
A.

Yes — you have to pay for it. You will have to create a Google AdWords account and an ad campaign. Paying for AdWords allows you to access that string of search words, but it’s related to the number of people who click on your ad. If no one clicks on the ad, you won’t see any information. That means there is an incentive to spend more and for a longer period of time, to test keywords.
Q.

Is there any other way?
A.

I would suggest trying to get your hands on ranking data — generally gotten by using an external vendor, who will tell you where your organic results are ranking and what keywords are connecting to you. Then combine that with several different reporting sources and look at the relationships between them. Those sources could include Google Webmaster Tools, Google Places for Business and Google Keyword Planner. Use those with Web site logs — the database that records everything that people do while on your Web site, so you understand which page is actually getting traffic and what visitors do on these pages. You have to put together ranking data, impressions data, click data, etc. and none of these reports will bring them all together, so you may also need an expert to interpret the data.
Q.

Do you really think small-business owners are going to do that?
A.

Most of them won’t. The average business owner is working 12 hours a day, and then they come home and have to deal with the rest of their life. There are only a few hours a night to do their other business chores, and most of them lack the background and expertise to do that. Even for those that do have the expertise and understanding, it’s not the best investment of their time. It’s better for them to get someone else to do it.
Q.

Do you think this is cause for them to panic?
A.

No. When you don’t know what you don’t know, it doesn’t hurt. A lot of business owners weren’t using this information before. Their level of understanding and sophistication is such that they just don’t know this has changed. I’m convinced it’s less than one percent that have this on the radar screen.
Q.

Is it too early to know how much of an impact this will have and how businesses are reacting?
A.

It’s early, but I think it will have a big impact on people who are managing their own sites. Maybe 20 to 30 percent of small businesses are doing this themselves and for those people, this change will hurt. They will have to pay for AdWords, or they will have to absorb the complexity in some way and do something with it. It’s not easy. They have to work harder. There’s no doubt it will require more time. The other 70 percent of small businesses have already outsourced this. There are different types of service providers that would help with solving the problem — they are bigger technology companies, like ours, that are not affected. But if you’ve outsourced digital marketing and S.E.O. to your cousin, now your cousin has the problem. He’s likely to come back with higher fees, because he has to spend more time on this, or he’ll suggest you spend a little bit on AdWords.
Q.

What do you think most business owners will do?
A.

Most people who really care about digital marketing and really understand it will reconsider what they’re doing from an organic search standpoint and ask themselves if they should outsource this to a technology company.