Russia Will Buy $10 Billion in Bitcoin, Ditch US Dollar and Become Huge Crypto Whale: Russian Economist

According to a new claim from a Russian economist, the world’s 12th largest economy is about to pour $10 billion into Bitcoin.

Vladislav Ginko, a lecturer at Moscow’s Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration, says US sanctions are forcing Russia to diversify.

 Ginko told the Australian crypto outlet Micky that at this point, he believes Russia has no other option.

“US sanctions may be mitigated only through Bitcoin use. Because of US sanctions, Russia’s elite is forced to dump US assets and US dollars and invest hugely into Bitcoins. The Central Bank of Russia sits on $466 billion of reserves and has to diversify in case there is limited opportunities to do it.”

A new report from Forbes highlights the impact that US sanctions are having on Russia.

“Sanctions and isolation are having an impact on the Russian economy. Although Russia is not a big exporter to the U.S., canceled energy and defense contracts in Europe coupled with bans on financing Russia’s key lenders have had an impact on the economy. What else can explain the lackluster growth story in the country since 2014? Even higher oil prices have done little to lift the Russian economy.”

In July, the state-sponsored Russian news outlet RT said President Vladimir Putin gave a speech highlighting the need for alternative reserve currencies in global trade.

“Regarding our American partners placing limitations, including those on dollar transactions, I believe is a big strategic mistake. By doing so, they are undermining the trust in the dollar as a reserve currency.”

At that time, Putin said Russia has no plans to stop using the US dollar unless it is prevented from doing so.

In Venezuela, President Nicolas Maduro announced that the country’s newly created digital asset, the Petro, is an official government currency. The Petro is supposedly backed by the country’s oil reserves. After its launch, US President Donald Trump prohibited Americans from investing in it, claiming it was designed to avoid US sanctions.

Author: Daily Hodl Staff
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Greek Supreme Court is Violating Alleged Bitcoin Launderer’s Rights, Lawyer Argues

The lawyer representing the alleged former operator of now-defunct crypto exchange BTC-e, Alexander Vinnik, has accused the Greek Supreme Court of “grossly violating” his rights, major Russian state-owned news agency TASS reported Nov. 19.
39-year old Russian national Vinnik, a.k.a “Mr. Bitcoin,” was indicted by U.S. authorities and detained in Greece on July 25, 2017 on criminal charges of fraud and laundering up to $4 billion in Bitcoin (BTC) via BTC-e.

Russia and France have since both sought the defendant’s extradition in regard to a further series of fraud allegations. When a Thessaloniki court ruled in support of Vinnik’s extradition to France this summer, he appealed against the decision at the Supreme Court.

As TASS reports, Vinnik’s lawyer Zoya Constantopoulous has this week accused the Supreme Court of failing to provide translations of court documents at her client’s request, in what she has argued is “a violation” of his rights:

“As of November 17, [Vinnick] did not receive an official translation of the documents of the French extradition request […] these documents were not translated into Russian, they have no seals or signatures.”

The lawyer further accused the Greek judiciary of discrimination on political/national grounds, claiming that the court would not have similarly treated “any Greek or EU citizen.”

Vinnik’s legal representatives reportedly consider that his extradition to France will result in his further extradition to the U.S. Russia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued a comment this July accusing the Greek authorities of “continu[ing] to complicate relations with Russia,” and requesting that Russia’s extradition request be given priority over that of France.

TASS states that a decision over the conflicting extradition requests will likely be settled by the Greek Ministry of Justice, or the country’s leadership.
Following the closure of BTC-e in July 2017, the U.S. has been seeking a penalty of $110 million from BTC-e and another $12 million from Vinnik for his alleged role in the exchange’s anti-money-laundering (AML ) violations.

As he continues to publicly defend his innocence and rebuff that he was ever an operator of BTC-e, Vinnik has further been prompted to deny involvement in the 2011 Mt. Gox hack in response to crypto security experts’ claims he had a direct relationship to the incident.

A New York Times report this fall indicated that BTC-e is suspected of handling funds used by a Russian military intelligence unit, which U.S. investigators have accused of hacking Democrats’ emails ahead of the 2016 presidential elections.

Author: Marie Huillet
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Russian Financial Watchdog Calls for Global Crypto Exchange Regulations

Russia’s Financial Monitor Service (FMS) is seeking the intervention of a global financial watchdog to regulate cryptocurrencies, local media sources have reported.

Russia Wants Global Crypto Regulations

The Russian financial regulatory agency contacted the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) to request an intergovernmental initiative that could control the supply and flow of cryptocurrencies. Pavel Livadny, the Deputy Director of FMS, confirmed that they are endeavoring to secure the participation of all the FATF member countries to design a unified legal parameter for the thriving industry, citing money laundering as the primary concern.

Decentralized assets like bitcoin can be purchased, sold or exchanged semi-anonymously without a central authority’s approval. A  global crackdown against malicious underground revealed its use in some widespread crimes, including drugs trafficking, money laundering and — in limited cases — terrorism financing. The cases alerted agencies across the world, leading them to develop tentative legal provisions to regulate the crypto industry.

FATF, a global financial regulatory body, in June announced that it would build global-binding policies for cryptocurrency exchanges. Russia is among those 36 FATF members that are building regulatory frameworks for their local crypto industries, with some in the crypto community criticizing their efforts as nothing but knee-jerk reactions to the sudden bitcoin boom.

IGO-level Monitoring and Licensing

The FMS’ proposed rules would place a hard cap on how much cryptocurrency a person can send during a calendar year.

A boundary-free technology such as bitcoin cannot be tamed unless the governments willing to oversee the regulations do not come together, the FMS believes. Adding to what FATF regulation is already building, the Russian agency offered its opinion on how cryptos can be legalized, regulated and defined in the future. Translated excerpts from Livadny’s statement to the local media read:

“All FATF members must change the legislation to include new crypto ecosystems. They should introduce registration and license parameters for the companies developing in the space, which include exchanges, initial coin offering projects, and cryptographic administrators. FATF should also monitor the companies’ activities and standards for anti-money laundering.”

“If FATF regulations allow, a cryptocurrency can be digitally handled and transferred in the case of payments and investments.” the deputy added. “But, at the same time, it should not be made into securities, mainstream and virtual money, coins or other financial assets.”

$9,000 Cap on Crypto Flow

Livadny also revealed that FMS would likely impose a restriction of over $9,000 on crypto transactions. That would include every transaction made outside and inside the Russian Federation. The provision, however, stands unconfirmed unless it makes into the final regulatory draft on cryptocurrency assets.

If it comes into effect anyway, authorities would likely find it difficult to enforce, considering the pseudonymous nature of crypto-transactions, though it would be possible with the help of blockchain tracing firms, many of whom have inked government contracts elsewhere. The emergence of privacy-conscious coins like monero has already made it more difficult for agencies to identify participants in a crypto transaction.

Meanwhile, FMS is also building a crypto transaction monitoring tool to address these challenges.

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A number of defense officials and armed forces across the globe are starting to look into blockchain’s potential in areas related to military activity.

Militaries across the world are always looking for cutting-edge technologies to get a leg up on the competition. Blockchain is certainly not escaping scrutiny.

Officials inside of defense agencies are particularly interested the technology’s distributed consensus and anonymity capabilities.

NATO has been looking into blockchain’s use cases in regards to military logistics and procurement, and are also studying how it could mesh together with other cutting-edge concepts like the IoT.

So far, the United States, Russia, and China seem to express the most interest in researching how blockchain can be used for purposes related to the military, general national defense, and for cyber-related endeavors.


In the United States, entities related to the military have been looking into blockchain for a while. The 2018 National Defense Authorization Act, Section 1646 calls for the assessment of blockchain for military employment purposes.

Recently, the U.S. Naval Air Systems Command said they were looking into blockchain to help keep tabs on aviation parts, which could help lower the costs of operating and maintaining military aircraft.

Others speculate the technology could be rolled out by the Department of Defense (DoD) to manage nearly $100 billion dollars’ worth of inventory.

A Government Accountability Office report from 2015 specifically highlighted issues with the DoD’s systems for tracking and delivering supplies, something which blockchain has partially helped solve in other (non-military) areas, like the palm oil industry.

Besides the United States, Russian military officials have also been exploring use cases for blockchain.

Russian news sources in June wrote about the creation of a military research lab inside of the country dedicated to studying how blockchain can be used to detect and possibly counter cyber attacks.

About two months later, Russian news outlet TASS reported on how blockchain might find its way into the Russian Defense Ministry if they manage to:

Quickly introduce Russian cryptographic algorithms into the international standard of blockchain.


Chinese officials are well-known for their ‘Blockchain not Bitcoin’ mantra, having gone to great efforts to stifle the cryptocurrency market while keeping a more optimistic eye on blockchain.

So far, the number of authoritative material linking Chinese military officials with blockchain-related research is slim, but there have been some articles pointing out why officials should pay attention to the technology.

One, published in 2016, advocated for blockchain to be used by Chinese defense and security officials for a variety of tasks, including for the storage of weapons lifecycle information and for general logistical improvements.

One of the article’s researchers, Dr. Zhu Qichao, is a Director at the National University of Defense Technology and a colonel in the People’s Liberation Army (PLA).

Writing in RealClear Defense, Wilson VornDick ruminated on the possibility of how blockchain could also be used in China to

Secure sources of public opinion, ostensibly to the detriment of any adversarial counter-information operations.

He specifically noted how “public opinion warfare” is in line with the nation’s Three Warfare strategy. (The other two are legal warfare and psychological warfare).

A 2017 article found in PLA Daily also suggested the idea of blockchain being used in areas related to public opinion warfare.

Images courtesy of Wikimedia Commons, Shutterstock


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Police crack down on crypto ATMs across Russia

Cryptocurrency and blockchain technology have been making steady advancements into the mainstream market in many countries around the world, but apparently, this was not the case in Russia. According to local media reports, Russian police have seized no less than 22 automated teller machines (ATMs) selling cryptocurrency in several cities in Russia last week.

Operated by the Bbfpro company, the machines were located in shopping malls, restaurants and stores in nine different Russian cities, Russian news outlet RBC reported, quoting Digital Rights Center lawyer Sarkis Darbinyan.

In a separate interview with Russian media outlets, Bbfpro manager Artem Bedarev claimed there was no notice from the Russian authorities prior to the crackdown, noting that the investigation would continue for at least another six months. The machines would not be returned to Bbfpro while the investigation is ongoing.

The operation was ordered by the Prosecutor’s General Office, acting on a request from the Central Bank of Russia (CBR), a government agent told local media outlets. A CBR officer, who declined to comment on the crypto ATM seizures, noted that the government agency conducts “systematic work to identify and counteract illegal activities in the financial market,” particularly since there is a high chance that uncontrolled cross-border fund transfers and cash outs involving cryptocurrencies can happen.

Darbinyan, however, pointed out that the Russian Federation’s current laws do not prohibit citizens from acquiring cryptocurrencies. Bbfpro, for its part, has been observing all legal procedures, paying its taxes, and verifying the identity of its customers even without prompt from the government.

Bbfpro plans to appeal the seizure operation, according to the lawyer.

On its website, Bbfpro said its machines support purchases of cryptocurrencies like BTC. The company works with crypto exchange Exmo, offering technical support for the ATMs. According to Bbfpro, installing one terminal costs 155,000 rubles ($2,300). It charges 1 percent on the registered turnover, which is considerably less than other crypto ATMs in other countries. For example in Malta, ATM operators charge no less than 8% on each transaction.

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Russia’s Pension Fund Eyes Blockchain to Prevent Labor Abuse

Russia’s FIU pension fund will use blockchain technology to integrate all of its information into a distributed registry and will prepare proposals to integrate all systems into a single platform, according to Izvestia. The fund believes it will cut costs for servicing and storing significant amounts of data.


The technology will also provide more transparency to labor relations agreements and help protect workers from having their rights violated by negligent employers, which experts have cited as a pervasive problem.

Data to Move to Distributed Databases

The FIU currently houses employers’ data about insurance premiums and tax deductions on centralized servers. Once the distributed ledger technology is in place, all information will be stored on distributed databases.

Users will be able to record all agreements on the distributed ledger, and it will not be possible to edit the information retroactively.

Dmitry Medvedev, a government chairman, said in June that the digital labor books will consolidate labor relations work electronically from 2020.

Improved Labor Contracts

FIU said the use of smart contracts in labor relations will prevent compulsory exclusion in paper form.

Blockchain technology, the FIU noted, will enable information to be distributed concerning employment contracts between employers and certifying centers. This will protect citizens from illegal employment contracts as well as save the cost of servicing and storing large amounts of data.

Alexander Shcherbakov, a professor in the Russian Academy of Science and Technology’s Institute for Public Administration and Management’s department of labor and social policy, said labor violations are widespread among small- and medium-sized enterprises in Russia. New technology will enable such situations to be monitored.


Employers often violate employee rights as soon as employees apply for a job, through to when they are dismissed, Shcherbakov said.

More than 465,000 appeals were filed in the past year from citizens concerning labor violations, according to Rostrud.

Experts have noted that smart contracts will change the relationship between legal entities and individuals. The contracts will be more transparent and help free people whose activities are impacted by the termination of agreements.

Also read: The Russian military is building blockchain research lab to combat hacks

Digital Economy Emerges

The transition to the digital economy is increasing, the FIU noted, encompassing more services, including tourism, transportation logistics and network trade. The pension fund, for example, has included Airbnb, Saloodo, Alibaba, Amazon and others.

The FIU’s digital platform should reduce the fund’s transaction costs and provide for the proactive digitalization of the country’s economy.

Here at Dollar Destruction, we endeavour to bring to you the latest, most important news from around the globe. We scan the web looking for the most valuable content and dish it right up for you! The content of this article was provided by the source referenced. Dollar Destruction does not endorse and is not responsible for or liable for any content, accuracy, quality, advertising, products or other materials on this page. As always, we encourage you to perform your own research!

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Mining Profitability Is Down, But Crypto Mining In Russia Is On The Up


Cryptocurrency mining profitability is down. If we look at Bitcoin, we see low profits yet the price of equipment is on the rise, as is the cost to run the equipment. Worldwide we are seeing a decrease in the popularity of mining as a result of this. According to reports though, within Russia, it seems that mining is still on the rise and is now more popular than ever.

Russia is quite a good venue for mining. With low energy bills due to natural resources, locations of cold weather that are perfect for building mining warehouses and a modern technology sector that is seeing a huge boom, it’s actually no surprise that mining is on the up, come to think of it.

According to The Paypers:

“The number of crypto mining companies has increased by 15% in H1 2018 to a total of 75,000, according to the Russian Association of Cryptocurrencies and Blockchain (RACIB). The mining industry already employs 350,000 people. As of July 2018, Russia accounts for about 6% of the world’s mining market, which is 1% more than a year ago, while the US and Canada hold the leading positions. At the same time, RACIB claims the number of Russians owning cryptocurrency has increased in 2018 from 2.5 to 3 million.”



“Earlier, RACIB announced that 70,000 Russians are employed in the crypto sector, a figure that could exclude those hired by the mining companies, the online publication continues. Moreover, according to Russian crypto media, the average salary in the industry has fallen by 40% from the 2017 record levels but, nevertheless, it remains relatively high for Russian standards, 10 times higher than the country’s average for certain professionals.”

These statistics offer some great insight into the future for cryptocurrency mining. If Russia are able to capitalise on this and become a powerhouse for mining then they may very well start to find cheaper alternatives and make the industry profitable again.

Here at Dollar Destruction, we endeavour to bring to you the latest, most important news from around the globe. We scan the web looking for the most valuable content and dish it right up for you! The content of this article was provided by the source referenced. Dollar Destruction does not endorse and is not responsible for or liable for any content, accuracy, quality, advertising, products or other materials on this page. As always, we encourage you to perform your own research!

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The Russian Military Is Building a Blockchain Research Lab

The Russian Ministry of Defense is launching a research lab to analyze how blockchain technology can be used to mitigate cybersecurity attacks, a local newspaper reported Friday.

The nation’s military technology accelerator, referred to as the ERA, is launching a special scientific lab to determine whether blockchain technology can be used to identify cyber attacks and protect critical infrastructure, according to Russian daily Izvestia.

The newspaper reported that research has already begun to explore possible applications for blockchain technology, though the lab itself is still being developed.

One of the priorities at ERA is the development of an intelligent system to detect and prevent cyber attacks on important databases, according to the paper. To that end, the organization has formed a team of information security specialists.

Alexei Malanov, an antivirus expert at Kaspersky Lab, a cybersecurity firm based in Moscow, told the newspaper that blockchain-based platforms can make it more difficult to hide traces of cyber attacks.

He explained that online intruders often clean up access logs on devices to hide traces of unauthorized access to the device. But, by using a distributed ledger, the risk of this happening is minimized.

German Klimenko, a former technology advisor to Russian President Vladimir Putin similarly said that work on blockchain studies has been “useful” for the cybersecurity industry in the nation.

The lab, which is being built in the Russian coastal town of Anapa, will ultimately fall under the General Staff of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation’s Eighth Directorate, which likewise focuses on information security.

Here at Dollar Destruction, we endeavour to bring to you the latest, most important news from around the globe. We scan the web looking for the most valuable content and dish it right up for you! The content of this article was provided by the source referenced. Dollar Destruction does not endorse and is not responsible for or liable for any content, accuracy, quality, advertising, products or other materials on this page. As always, we encourage you to perform your own research!

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Two of Russia’s Largest Banks to Offer Crypto Trading in Six Top Coins

Two of Russia’s largest banks, Alfa Bank and Sberbank, will soon be offering clients access to cryptocurrency portfolios that will permit the trading of six popular coins on major exchanges Kraken and Bitstamp.

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Crypto Trading Portfolio

Alfa Bank is the largest private bank in Russia, while Sberbank is state-owned and is responsible for processing government employee pay checks.

According to reports from Russian news outlet Kommersant, the two banks plan to enter crypto trading by seeking help from Group IB and AddCapital investment fund, which will be in charge of providing technical solutions for the project. Also aiding in the development is the National Settlement Depository (part of the Moscow Exchange Group), which will be the portfolio’s custodian. 

Anton Rakhmanov, manager of Alfa Bank’s private banking branch said that he hopes the move will ‘speed-up the recognition of the digital assets as legitimate financial assets as soon as possible.’

The portfolio will include the six most popular cryptocurrencies. As per CoinMarketCap, these are Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple, Bitcoin Cash, EOS, and Litecoin. When operational, the portfolio will be altered at least four times in a given year when a trading algorithm will alter the combination of coins offered as necessary.

Alexey Prokofyev, CEO of AddCapital, provided further details:

“The investment process will see investors purchase a share of the fund as the shares are liquid and a client can send them for fiat currencies any time.”

Ana Ivanchuk, Deputy Chairman of Private Banking at Sberbank, was quoted as saying:

“We’d like to offer our clients an absolutely transparent way to invest in digital assets with a full compliance with regulations that will let them invest in the product they are interested in Russia.”

Russian Crypto Regulation

Late last week, also according to Kommersant, Russia’s head of the State Duma Financial Market Committee, Anatoly Aksakov, noted there would soon be some significant changes made to a set of draft laws intended to regulate cryptocurrency in the country.

“Three draft laws are currently being prepared for consideration in the State Duma: ‘On Digital Financial Assets’ (CFA), ‘On Crowd Funding’ (in terms of issue and circulation of tokens), as well as a package of amendments to the Civil Code of the Russian Federation,” Aksakov said.

The changes will mean that usual terms like ‘digital currency’ and ‘digital money’ will be replaced with the term ‘digital rights’ in any legal documents that deal with cryptocurrency regulations.

Additionally, Aksakov clarified that these “digital rights” will not be considered property, as they were previously defined by the Russian Ministry of Justice. It is also possible that “investment platform” and “token exchange operator” will be fused under a single term.

According to the report, the revised bills are expected to be adopted before the first of July. If the laws are adopted, Aksakov said Russia ‘will need to change something in the Tax Code to describe how digital rights will be taken into account for tax purposes.’

Here at Dollar Destruction, we endeavor to bring to you the latest, most important news from around the globe. We scan the web looking for the most valuable content and dish it right up for you! The content of this article was provided by the source referenced. Dollar Destruction does not endorse and is not responsible for or liable for any content, accuracy, quality, advertising, products or other materials on this page. As always, we encourage you to perform your own research!
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Russian Farmers Are Ditching The Ruble For A New Cryptocurrency

In a small village outside Moscow, a quiet revolution is underway.

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Farmers and small businesses around Kolionovo, 80 miles from the capital, are ditching the ruble and switching to a cryptocurrency — the kolion — to pay for local trade.

Banker turned farmer Mikhail Shlyapnikov led the way. Diagnosed with cancer a decade ago, he moved out of the city with the aim of reviving a dying village.

Five years later, he needed funds to develop his plant nursery but ran into an obstacle many small Russian businesses face: banks wanted to charge 12% interest to lend him money.

“I didn’t want to suffocate and be a slave of the banks,” Shlyapnikov says, putting a hand on his throat. “So I had to invent my own money. And I did it. I’m my own bank, government, regulator.”

He started issuing paper kolions in 2014, but they were banned by a Russian court in 2015. So he started working on a cryptocurrency version, and in April 2017 raised $500,000 in an initial coin offering (ICO).

Unlike bitcoin, Shlyapnikov’s cryptocurrency can’t be mined using a computer. The digital tokens can be bought using a range of other cryptocurrencies, or earned through a process called “plowing” — helping the residents of Kolionovo with farming and construction work.

It’s changing the way people do business in the village.

Shlyapnikov, who calls himself an “agro-anarchist” and throws parties honoring Karl Marx, uses the currency to support what he calls the “Kolionovo Ecosystem.”

He has persuaded about a hundred farmers and suppliers in the neighboring villages to use kolions for local trade, making paper money a rarity in the community.

“We now have about $2 million in kolions because its value has jumped since the ICO,” Shlyapnikov says, adding that the currency is backed by a reserve of 500 bitcoins (worth roughly $3.7 million at current prices.)

“This way we can attract real money into the business,” and connect the cryptocurrency with the real economy, he added.

Russia’s economy has returned to growth after being hit by a one-two punch of Western sanctions and plummeting oil prices, shocks that saw the ruble lose half its value since 2014.

Now Shlyapnikov and other enthusiasts are touting cryptocurrency as a way to insulate themselves from Russia’s financial system.

Cryptocurrencies have boomed in the country thanks to good scientific and technical education and some of the cheapest electricity in Europe to power the servers needed to mine them.

Last year alone, Russia had several blockchain projects attracting major funds, the largest ICO being the MobileGo games platform, which raised $53 million.

But it’s still early days for cryptocurrencies in Russia, and the legal environment is shifting. Restaurants and shops were quick to spot the trend and allow customers to “pay” with bitcoin, although the owners must do mirror transactions in rubles to avoid falling foul of the law.

The emerging industry awaits regulations that President Vladimir Putin has ordered the Finance Ministry to introduce by July.

First drafts of the measures suggest that the ruble will remain the only legal form of payment but initial coin offerings and mining will be granted some legal protection.

Putin said earlier this year he wanted Russia to become more open to innovation, warning that “those who ride the technological wave will advance, others will drown.”

The Russian president, however, has also voiced concerns that cryptocurrencies can be used by criminals, so questions remain how tolerant the Russian government will be of such experiments.

“To move forward, we must expand the space for freedom, be a country open to the world, new ideas and initiatives … to cut everything that prevents our people from opening their full potential,” Putin said in March.

Shlyapnikov has more modest goals. He thinks cryptocurrencies could be a way for small and remote enterprises to survive independently from Moscow.

“I don’t want to expand because it will bring obligations I’m not ready for,” the farmer says. “I’m not ready to save the world or even Russia, I want to be comfortable and I want to share this comfort with the community.”

Here at Dollar Destruction, we endeavor to bring to you the latest, most important news from around the globe. We scan the web looking for the most valuable content and dish it right up for you! The content of this article was provided by the source referenced. Dollar Destruction does not endorse and is not responsible for or liable for any content, accuracy, quality, advertising, products or other materials on this page. As always, we encourage you to perform your own research!

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