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CoinWeek News Wire for November 3, 2017: Bitcoin Bound and the RCM Counterfeit Gold Mystery

By Coinweek ….

CoinWeek News Wire for November 3, 2017: 

Brain Food

1.) The Ideal Auction

Preston McAfee, Chief Economist at Microsoft, explains the different kinds of auctions, how they work, what the pros and cons are, and why we don’t have auctions for everything we buy. Truly fascinating stuff. But where it gets deep is in the auction’s relationship to value and price – and this obviously has implications for coin collecting. —CoinWeek

2.) How much money is there in the world?

Jacob Kirkegaard, senior fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics, said one part of the answer can be found in information published by the U.S. Federal Reserve: “It’s a number called M0, which is essentially the number of notes and coins in circulation. For the United States, that number on the Federal Reserve website is somewhere in the vicinity of $1.5 trillion.”

Kirkegaard said that a comparable tally of currency in circulation from all over the world, tracked by the Bank for International Settlements, totals about $5 trillion.

But using a more inclusive definition of money, “that amount goes much, much higher,”

3.) US Mint reveals artists’ designs for ‘heads-side’ of Apollo 11 coins

In an Oct. 27 letter to David Motl, the acting deputy director of the U.S. Mint, CFA secretary Thomas Luebke summarized the commission’s thoughts on the designs.

“The commission members supported the presented intention for the obverse to represent the combined efforts of many people in achieving the goals of the Apollo program, complementing the reverse depiction of the lunar landing itself,” Luebke wrote. “They noted some of the artists chose to illustrate this theme by depicting one person as a representative of the group effort.”

Current Events

4.) All Change at the UK’s Royal Mint

The Chairman of The Royal Mint, Peter Warry, has today announced that its Chief Executive, Adam Lawrence, will be leaving the company at the end of October to pursue a new role in the manufacturing sector.

Mr. Lawrence joined The Royal Mint as CFO in 2008, becoming Chief Executive in 2011. He has overseen a transformation of the Royal Mint and, amongst other things, managed the one pound coin project, with the new coin entering circulation earlier this year.

Peter Warry said: “Adam has steered a transformation of the business which has led to the most successful period of performance of The Royal Mint in recent memory. The company has diversified considerably under his stewardship and now operates three distinct businesses – circulating coin, consumer and bullion, together with an evolving FinTech digital gold product. This has put the company on a very strong footing to respond to future challenges. I thank Adam for his commitment to the company and for the strength of his leadership and wish him every success in his new role.

Prior to joining The Royal Mint as Director of Finance, Adam held a number of senior positions with Catalent Pharmaceuticals and its predecessors for businesses located in Australia, Asia, Europe and the US and was Vice President Finance for the Sterile Technologies division before leaving in 2008. Adam originally trained as Chartered Accountant with Price Waterhouse, and also holds an MBA from Monash University in Melbourne, Australia.

5.) In defense of cash: why we should bring back the $500 note and other big bills

When the power goes out, telephone lines shut down or account information is stolen, it is impossible to use ATMs, credit or debit cards or mobile payments – no matter how rich you are.

In other words, giving up cash increases the chance of the kind of economic catastrophe that results when people can no longer easily trade for the goods they need and want. The solution to this national security issue is simple: bring back the currently maligned large denomination bills like the $500, which was discontinued in 1969

Robo the Robotic Coin Robot from Robotron

In Memoriam

6.) The Man in the Speedy Electric Wheelchair

David Black of Black’s Coins & Jewelry (“The Man in the Speedy Electric Wheelchair”) passed away at 8:30 pm on Sunday, October 29, at the age of 62. His death was the result of congestive heart failure.

He was at home when he passed away. Cathy, his wife of 32 years, was at his bedside.

A memorial service will be held at Memorial Park Chapel, 8525 Mid Cities Blvd, North Richland Hills, Texas on Thursday November 9 at 3 pm local time. A family-only burial will be held out of the area.

Donations in lieu of flowers, should be sent to Community Hospice, 1111 Summit Avenue, Fort Worth, Texas.

Bitcoin & Cryptocurrency

7.) Is Coin Miner draining your Android device?

The TrendLabs Security Intelligence Blog has identified the Coin Miner mobile malware back in the Google Play store. The malware takes over a device and uses its resources to mine a selection of different cryptocurrencies. Users will often not realize what is going all. What they will see is poor battery life and degraded performance

Android Low Battery bitcoin mining8.) Go nowhere ICOs testing investor confidence

The reality of the ICO market is that in most cases investors are simply betting on the startup team’s ability to turn their proposed ideas into reality. As it turns out, only a few have actually been able to do that

9.) Inside Russia’s Love-Hate Relationship with Bitcoin

This past July, Putin’s aide on internet matters, Dmitry Marinichev, took international press on a tour of his own cryptocurrency mine. Marinichev had converted what was originally a Soviet era car factory into a cryptocurrency server farm. Speaking over the hum of mining rigs, Marinichev revealed he had started a company called the Russian Miner Coin. “The rush to virtual money is not a fad or a fleeting phenomenon. The virtualization of our lives is a market process that has gone on and will continue,” he said, according to AFP…

10.) SEC Enforcement Director: ICO Fraud Requires ‘Thoughtful Approach’

While blockchain technology can be used to raise funds legitimately, it can also be abused, she said, noting that “like many legitimate ways of raising capital, the popular appeal of virtual currency and blockchain technology can be an attractive vehicle for fraudulent conduct.”

11.) Celebrity endorsements of new coin sales may be illegal, SEC says

“Celebrities and others are using social media networks to encourage the public to purchase stocks and other investments,” the commission said. “These endorsements may be unlawful if they do not disclose the nature, source, and amount of any compensation paid, directly or indirectly, by the company in exchange for the endorsement.”

12.) Brooklyn Businessman Arrested Over Alleged Fraudulent Coin Offerings

According to prosecutors in United States v. Zaslavskiy, 17-mj-00934, Zaslavskiy claimed to have issued the first-ever cryptocurrency backed by real estate assets with the launch of RECoin Group Foundation. Later, he created Diamond Reserve Club as a “exclusive and tokenized membership pool” hedged by actual diamond

13.) Starting 2018, using Bitcoin in Vietnam will be illegal and subject to a $9,000 fine

The State Bank in Vietnam (SBV) has amended its monetary laws to make Bitcoin and similar virtual currencies illegal. [I]t is now illegal to issue, supply or otherwise use Bitcoin because it has been designated as an illegal means of payment

14.) Catalonia Considering Cryptocurrency Post-Independence, Advised By Ethereum Creator

The small but economically vital Catalonia region of Spain has declared its independence, but Madrid vows to keep the region a part of Spain. While governments and thought leaders around the world line up behind opposing sides, the would-be independent government is looking to use a national cryptocurrency and a Blockchain-based residency system


In January 2016, I spent $3,000 to buy 7.4 bitcoins. At the time, it seemed an entirely worthwhile thing to do. I had recently started working as a research director at the Institute for the Future’s Blockchain Futures Lab, and I wanted firsthand experience with bitcoin, a cryptocurrency that uses a blockchain to record transactions on its network. I had no way of knowing that this transaction would lead to a white-knuckle scramble to avoid losing a small fortune

16.) How Many Barrels Of Oil Are Needed To Mine One Bitcoin?

Cheap electricity is exactly what made China the Bitcoin mining king. The yearly cost of the energy necessary to mine Bitcoin determines its economics. But to get in on that you risk reputation because you’re either siphoning off surplus energy from somewhere else, or you’re partnering with the government … No one wants dirty coal fueling such a sophisticated endeavor, for example.

Crime & Punishment

coin_crime_alert17.) NCIC Crime Bulletin

From the Numismatic Crime Information Center (NCIC):


Detectives with the West Peoria, Illinois police department are investigating a burglary that resulted in the loss of the following coins:

  • 1795 3 Leaf Flowing Hair Silver Dollar – PGCS VF-35 CAC
  • 1893 $2.50 Liberty Gold Coin – PCGS MS-63 CAC
  • 1929 $2.50 Indian Gold Coin – PCGS MS-63
  • 1902-S $5.00Liberty Gold Coin – PCGS MS-65+ Secure
  • 1904-S $20.00 Liberty Gold Coin – PCGS MS-63
  • 1924 $20.00 Saint Gaudens Gold Coin – PCGS MS-63

The two individuals identified below are persons of interest in this case:

  • Sherman Williams B/M
  • Dontrell Laxton B/M

Anyone with information should contact Det. Hoffman of the West Peoria Police Department at (309) 697-7865.

Assistance Needed

The Numismatic Crime Information Center on behalf of law enforcement is looking for anyone who has done business with an individual identified as Ken Shearn.

You may also contact the NCIC’s Doug Davis if you have any questions or information about any of the cases above. You can reach him at (817) 723-7231 or email him at [email protected].

* * *

The Numismatic Crime Information Center is a 501 (c)(3) non-profit corporation. P.O. Box 14080 Arlington, Texas 76094.

Gold, Precious Metals & Bullion

18.) China’s gold consumption grows in Jan-Sept

China’s gold consumption rose 15.49 percent year on year to 815.89 tonnes in the first three quarters of 2017 due to strong sales of gold bars, new data showed Wednesday. Consumption of gold bars went up 44.45 percent to 222.07 tonnes, while that for gold jewelry rose 7.44 percent to 503.87 tonnes, said the China Gold Association

19.) Russia Buys 34 Tonnes Of Gold In September

In recent years, since 2007, an increasingly powerful and assertive Russia has worked hard to reprise its place in the world’s top gold reserve rankings, quadrupling its purchases in the period to June this year. A 34 ton purchase of gold (1.1 million ounce) in September has put Russia firmly back in the golden spotlight. The country now holds 1,779 tons of gold, placing it sixth in the world and just behind China

20.) Scotiabank Looking to Get Out of Gold Business

The Financial Times reported this week that Toronto-headquartered Scotiabank is looking to sell its gold banking arm, ScotiaMocatta, in the wake of the gold smuggling scandal surrounding one of its clients, Elemetal

21.) Perth Mint’s Oct gold sales down, silver up 43 pct

The Perth Mint’s sales of gold products fell 3.87 percent in October from a month earlier, while silver sales rose about 43 percent, the mint said in a blog post on its website on Wednesday

22.) Rhodium hits highest in nearly 6 years as industrial demand surges

Rhodium prices hit their highest in nearly six years this week on the back of strong demand from industrial users, which has helped push prices up more than 40 percent so far this month

23.) Someone is counterfeiting the Royal Canadian Mint’s gold bars

Last week, a branch of the Royal Bank of Canada in Ottawa allegedly sold a fake .9999-fine, one-ounce bar to a local jeweler. The purchaser said the bar looked authentic, but upon investigation in his shop, the jeweler found the piece of metal shattered rather than bent under pressure. Neither did it pass the acid test for carat content.

A spokesman for the [Royal Canadian] Mint said the counterfeit was of exceptional quality (for a fake), but that it copied an old hallmark no longer in circulation. The Mint also denied that the fake could have been included in any shipment from that source. Several layers of security make that impossible.

Royal Bank refunded the purchaser’s price, and he returned the “gold” bar. Both the bank and police are investigating

24.) In Kottakkal, a girl child brings not just joy but also a gold coin

Ask Abdul what made him come up with this unique initiative and he replies, “I love girl children and have heard many cribbing that they have only girl children in their family. We also hear often about tales of female infanticide in certain parts of the country. At the same time, Hadith in our religion says that girls are so precious that anything that is brought by anyone to a house should be first given to the girl child. I felt positivity is what should come to people’s mind when a girl child is born in their family.”

25.) Gold Fever in WA as Miner Digs up Big Nuggets

The nugget measuring 10 centimetres across and weighing in at 21 ounces – 670.3 grams – was discovered at Magnetic Resource’s Mertondale tenement between Leonora and Laverton in the Goldfields

Medals, Tokens & Exonumia

26.) The London Bridge Rotary Club Commemorative Coin: A Piece of Local History

The first Rotary Coin was originally named the “Havasu Dollar.” A Havasu Dollar owner could use the coin as a trade dollar to put toward purchases at local businesses. This was a a way to promote local business as well as the Rotary Club. Now, the coin is a yearly novelty kept by collectors and history lovers alike as they represent the city

Banknote News

27.) Vt500 Polymer Note Launched

The decision to launch the final Vt500 polymer note at Laminu Stadium at Lenakel last Friday, has been welcomed by all stakeholders on Tanna, as the best indication by the Government and the Reserve Bank of Vanuatu (RBV) that they recognise the vibrant economic power that is injected by the Southern Province in particular, the island of Tanna, to the national economy

28.) New 50-Dollar Note To Honor Late ECCB Governor

The Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB) will be releasing a new EC$50 banknote honouring late governor Sir Dwight Venner

29.) Kids’ craze for ‘counterfeit’ currency bookmarks could be illegal

In a report by Changsha Evening Daily on Monday, the mother of a fourth-grader in Changsha, capital of Hunan province, said she spotted one of the “billionaire bookmarks” when she was checking her son’s homework.

The boy said that he and his classmates bought the notes from local shops and traded and collected them with friends. It was the hottest craze in school, he said

30.) Venezuela’s socialist meltdown: 100,000-bolivar note worth $2.50 nation’s largest ever

The imploding regime of President Nicolas Maduro put the record-sized bill in circulation Wednesday as the nation continues to reel from food shortages, power outages, scarcities of basic necessities, and protests by angry citizens

Metal Detecting, Treasure & Archaeology

31.) Cache of antique coins found in drawer at Scotney Castle

[I]n 1823 Edward’s teenage diaries carefully recorded spending between four and seven shillings on coins. He also wrote that he wanted to collect the coins of all the Roman emperors, and when the hobby was taken up in turn by his son, they almost achieved it: only two are missing from the first and second century emperors. In 1883 they were still absorbed by their hobby: Edwy’s diary records he “went to the British Museum with papa as he wanted to ask about some coins”

32.) Mackenzie Crook explains why the next series of Detectorists will be the last

Detectorists is a gem of a series, a buddy tale of two men who are as far from being ‘lads’ as it is possible to imagine, all set in beautiful English countryside where the sun always seems to shine – or at least peak through the clouds. Their constant search for treasure below ground has always carried symbolic weight: searching for a purpose in life and, perhaps above all, for love.

So what happens now, when Mackenzie Crook’s metal detecting enthusiast Andy has left with his young family to follow his dreams in Botswana, and Toby Jones’s character Lance has unearthed actual treasure?

[Here is a trailer for the first series from the BBC. —CW]

Museums & Exhibits

33.) Anger as bank’s Museum on the Mound to close at end of year

Lloyds Bank is shutting the popular Museum on the Mound, at the historic old Bank of Scotland head office in the heart of Edinburgh. The museum is visited by more than 50,000 people a year and was opened 11 years ago by author Ian Rankin. It will close at the end of December.

The eight room museum, which is free and popular with school groups, is known for its exhibition of a million pounds, Scotland’s oldest banknote, and an interactive display on safe-cracking

Upcoming Auctions & Events

34.) Don Carlos Driggs’ first national banknote to be auctioned

Don Carlos Driggs’ First National Bank was one of those banks to be issued U.S. government notes, some of which were called “blue notes.” A blue note according to the world of monetary collectors is a rarity, particularly in Idaho

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