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November 18, 1990 | From Times Staff and Wire Reports
China announced a 9.57% devaluation of its currency, beginning this weekend. The buying rate will change from 4.71 yuan to the dollar to 5.21, and the selling rate from the previous 4.73 yuan to the dollar to 5.24. Last December, the Chinese yuan was devalued by 21.2%. China's currency is not convertible on world money markets. The new rate is still slightly below the black-market rate.
March 25, 2014 | By Shan Li
This post has been corrected. See the note below for details. The Internal Revenue Service said Tuesday that bitcoin would be treated and taxed as property, a decision that is part of wider efforts to bring more oversight to the controversial digital currency. In its first big ruling on bitcoin, the agency noted that "it does not have legal tender status” and will be taxed under codes that apply to property transactions. That means wages paid to workers in bitcoins will be subject to federal income and payroll taxes.
April 3, 2011 | By Nathaniel Popper, Los Angeles Times
Dorothy Ouma began trading foreign currencies after seeing a TV commercial touting it as a way to make extra money, something she could use as a single mother raising three children. "The ads made me think, 'This is easy,'" said Ouma, 52, an administrator with the Grand Prairie, Texas, police department. Ouma used her credit card to fund an account with an online currency broker. Within a few weeks of swapping dollars for yen and euros, she said, her $3,000 of borrowed money was gone.
March 13, 2014 | By Vincent Bevins
RIO DE JANEIRO - Brazil's currency is called the real, which in Portuguese means both "royal" and, simply, "real. " But with prices skyrocketing ahead of the World Cup finals this summer, some locals in this famed beach city have created a mock currency they've dubbed the "surreal. " Adorned with the mustachioed face of Salvador Dali, the bills exist only as an Internet meme. Still, they have become the symbol of a digital protest movement. Fed-up Rio residents have taken to social media to share photos of price tags, receipts and menu items so pricey, it almost seems they could only have been dreamed up by the Spanish surrealist artist.
May 17, 2013 | By Chris O'Brien, Los Angeles Times
Not that long ago, the virtual currency Bitcoin was one of the Internet's great rebel causes, a digital form of money embraced by libertarians and anti-establishment types who saw it as a way to diminish the power of big governments and big corporations. But Bitcoin's growing popularity and a recent surge in value has caught the eye of entrepreneurs and venture capitalists, including some who are convinced that Bitcoin could be the biggest thing on the Internet since, well, the Internet itself changed our lives two decades ago. Now, Silicon Valley is about to perform its classic ritual to signify that a new technology, product or idea is ready to be taken seriously: It's holding a conference.
October 22, 2012 | By Jim Puzzanghera
President Obama and Mitt Romney both talked tough on trade relations with China during Monday's debate. But they sparred over how best to get China's currency more in line with the U.S. dollar. U.S. officials have complained for years that China was keeping its currency, the renminbi, too low relative to the dollar in order to make Chinese goods less expensive for U.S. consumers. Some in Congress have pushed the Treasury Department to formally declare China a currency manipulator, which would trigger negotiations with Beijing over the issue.
February 17, 2012 | By Devorah Lauter, Los Angeles Times
Amateur collectors worked the crowd for limited editions, warning against giving away potentially valuable bills. One doomsaying politician called for a return to the discarded currency. And people of all ages waited patiently to turn in their forgotten, worn-out francs. A decade after being pushed aside by the euro, the franc on Friday officially became a relic. It was the last day to exchange old currency for euros, and the event attracted hundreds to the Bank of France in Paris, the only location in the capital able to convert the colorful bills.
May 28, 2013 | By Andrew Tangel
NEW YORK -- A federal grand jury has indicted Liberty Reserve, a major digital currency company, and its top executives in what authorities billed as history's biggest-ever international money-laundering case. The alleged $6-billion scheme spanned the globe and involved more than 1 million users worldwide, according to the indictment announced Tuesday. Prosecutors cited 55 million illicit transactions as part of the scheme, calling Liberty Reserve a "financial hub of cyber-crime world.
July 11, 2013 | By Patrick J. McDonnell
BEIRUT - War-battered Syria moved Thursday to protect its battered currency, proposing new laws to criminalize dealings in other nations' bank notes. The new statutes would subject violators to fines and prison terms of up to 10 years, state media reported. The move comes as concern mounts about the plummeting value of the Syrian pound and the use of the U.S. dollar in its place. With the Islamic fasting month of Ramadan having begun, some Syrians say they are having difficulties buying sufficient food.
November 12, 2013 | By Mery Mogollon and Chris Kraul
CARACAS, Venezuela--An elderly Caracas woman recently called a travel agency to buy an airline ticket to Argentina because of a family medical emergency. She was told that no seat on any plane leaving Venezuela was available at any price on any airline until next fall. “There is essentially no availability of air tickets out of Caracas until September 2014,” said the travel agent, who dealt with the woman, and who spoke only on the condition of anonymity out of fear for government reprisals.
February 27, 2014 | By The Times editorial board
The sudden collapse of the Mt. Gox bitcoin exchange Tuesday demonstrated to the public just how risky the virtual currency can be. Prosecutors have rushed to investigate, and regulators in the U.S. and Japan, where Mt. Gox was based, are mulling how to extend their purview to bitcoin trades. One senator even called for a ban on the currency. Investors, however, have long been keenly aware of the perils associated with the volatile commodity. While the currency is in its infancy, those with little appetite for risk should stay away.
February 26, 2014 | By Stuart Pfeifer
The United States could create 5.8 million jobs if it moved to end global currency manipulation, according to a report by the Economic Policy Institute. The group, a Washington think tank supported by organized labor, said that manipulation of currency exchange rates is a key factor in the United States' $703-billion annual trade deficit. Several foreign countries devalue their currencies to make their products cheaper, making it difficult for U.S. manufacturers to compete, the report said.
February 25, 2014 | By Chris O'Brien and Andrew Tangel
It was supposed to revolutionize the global monetary system. Instead, the bitcoin virtual currency that has captured the imagination of investors and financiers is on the verge of collapse. In a stunning blow to a novel way to buy products and services, the world's largest exchange for trading bitcoin currency shut down Tuesday, triggering a massive sell-off and sending many prospective investors away - perhaps for good. "This is extremely destructive," said Mark Williams, a risk-management expert and former Federal Reserve Bank examiner.
December 27, 2013 | By Leon Logothetis
"Kindness is the language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see. " - Mark Twain I just got home from a four-month-long around-the-world trip. When I left Los Angeles on my motorcycle on Aug. 10, I took almost nothing with me, except hope. My pockets were empty. I had no money, nothing, really, to offer those I met along the way except my story and my gratitude for their kindness in providing me with food, shelter and money for gasoline. My trip took me across the United States and to and through 19 countries, from the Hollywood sign to the plains of Nebraska, to the streets of Pittsburgh, to the shores of Lake Como, Italy, to the slums of India, to the ecstasy of Bhutan and into the rigors of Vietnam.
December 26, 2013 | By Emily Foxhall
When Newport Beach City Council candidate Michael Glenn thinks of freedom, that includes the freedom to choose how to donate, be it with dollars, pesos or bitcoins. Glenn claims to be the first local politician to accept campaign donations in the esoteric digital currency. He is seeking the Balboa Peninsula's 1st District council seat being vacated by Mike Henn. Also in the race are businesswoman Diane Dixon and Harbor Commissioner Joe Stapleton. Glenn's announcement comes weeks after individuals used bitcoins to pay for a Tesla car, and then a Lamborghini , from a Costa Mesa dealership.
December 26, 2013 | By Salvador Rodriguez
There was much sadness for some owners of Dogecoins -- a digital currency that started out as a joke but has now become a popular way to tip someone on the Internet. On Christmas day, hackers digitally robbed 21 million Dogecoins, an amount whose reported value on virtual-currency exchanges is between $14,900 to $17,200. The Dogecoin currency was created earlier this month to poke fun at Bitcoin, a new form of currency that is being used to purchase products and services. PHOTOS: Got a Christmas gadget?
September 27, 1998
In response to the letter of Aug. 30 on Italian ATMs: Why would anyone carry $50 bills or any U.S. currency to Italy or any foreign country? We were in Europe this summer and found ATM machines readily available which dispensed currency of the country in short order, charging the transaction to our bank account. We always received the best rate of exchange. MARY AND EDWARD CATE San Diego
December 5, 2013 | By David Lazarus
I don't get bitcoins. I'm not saying they're a scam. I just don't get them. For the uninitiated, bitcoins are a made-up digital currency not backed by the full faith and credit of any government. They're worth only what users say they're worth. And they seem to be growing in popularity (except in China, which says it wants nothing to do with them). ASK LAZ: Smart answers to consumer questions Fred says he doesn't have any bitcoins. But if he did, he wants to know if he could exchange them for real dollars.
November 29, 2013 | By Becca Clemons
WASHINGTON - On the website for Jim Fulner's U.S. Senate campaign, 34 letters and numbers appear in a string above the "Donate Now!" button. They are the code for his campaign's bitcoin wallet, where holders of the so-called digital currency can send it to the Libertarian from Michigan - without a bank acting as an intermediary. "It's an exciting new technology," said Jeff Wood, the campaign treasurer and a self-described early adopter of bitcoin. But as with any budding technology, federal agencies must examine how its use fits in with the law, including rules for campaign donations.
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