By Yimian Wu May 29, 2018
Police in Jinan, Shangdong province has arrested a gang of more than ten suspects involved in a RMB300 (US$46.8 million) million pyramid scheme that masked itself as a blockchain project, in yet another scam case reported by local media.
Similar to many earlier cases disclosed by local police across the country, the suspects told members that by paying different levels of membership fees, they could obtain different amount of original shares and dividends of their blockchain-based peer-to-peer platform.
The continued discoveries and arrests of crime groups using the name of blockchain reflects the level of enthusiasm on the part of small investors to participate in the blockchain hype, despite repeated warnings from police and governments.
More at: Chinese Police Bust $47M Pyramid Scheme Masked As Blockchain Project – China Money Network
By Ashish Bhatnagar May 24, 2018
Cryptocurrency networks seem to be on the target of some organized criminals these days. It was only two days ago when I reported that Japanese cryptocurrency Monacoin suffered from a selfish mining attack recently, and yesterday there was the news of Verge suffering from a DDoS attack. However, the worst doesn’t seem to be over yet, as now news has broken about a 3rd major altcoin that suffered from double spending attack. This brings the number of coins suffering from cyberattacks within this week to 3.
The altcoin we’re talking about is Bitcoin Gold. With a market cap of $795 million as of now it’s 24th largest cryptocurrency in the world. However, that sort of scale didn’t stop hackers from taking over 51% of its network for a double-spending attack. Let me tell you what happened in detail.
More at: Hacking Continues: Now Bitcoin Gold Suffers from Double Spending Attack With Exchanges Losing As Much As $18 Million – Crypto-News India
Another cryptocurrency project has been busted by law enforcement in China for allegedly soliciting money from investors with fraudulent claims.
According to Guangdong Daily, a provincial government organ in China, police in Shenzhen arrested six individuals Monday who allegedly defrauded 3,000 Chinese investors out of $47 million by selling a cryptocurrency they claimed was backed by a commodity.
The six suspects formed a firm based in Shenzhen called PEB, which beginning in January 2017 issued a blockchain-powered token dubbed Pu’er Coin, according to the report.
The project’s website says buyers of the token are entitled to hold a contract representing ownership of a certain amount of the Pu’er Tibetan tea the firm has in stock, which it claims to be worth billions of dollars.
While the token can be subsequently exchanged in a secondary market called Jubi.com, another website claims the contract can also bring a 12 percent annual return if investors choose to lock their funds for 12 months.
According to the police investigation, though the firm had only a “very limited amount of the tea in stock,” it promised high short-term returns to investors in social media promotions and roadshows at high-end hotels.
More at: Tea Tokenizers Arrested in China for Alleged $47 Million Crypto Fraud – CoinDesk
By Amy McNeilage March 7, 2018
Two Bureau of Meteorology employees are reportedly being investigated by police for mining cryptocurrency on their work computers.
The Australian federal police questioned the IT workers at the bureau’s Docklands headquarters in Melbourne on 28 February, the ABC has reported.
An AFP spokesman confirmed a search warrant was executed at a business premises in Docklands on 28 February, but was unable to make further comment, as “the investigation is ongoing”.
More at: Bureau of Meteorology employees investigated for mining cryptocurrency at work – The Guardian
By Nikhilesh De March 5, 2018
The U.S. Marshals are set to auction off nearly $25 million worth of bitcoin later this month.
The government agency announced Monday that it will put approximately 2,170 bitcoins on the auction block, with the sale planned for March 19. Would-be bidders must submit a $200,000 deposit and complete the registration requirements by March 14 to participate, according to the Marshals Service.
This month’s auction will consist of 14 separate blocks, with two blocks of 500 BTC, 11 blocks of 100 BTC and one block accounting for 70 BTC.
According to the release, the bitcoins were confiscated in “connection with various federal criminal, civil and administrative cases,” ranging from federal trials to Drug Enforcement Agency actions.
The provenance of most of the seized bitcoins is listed online
, which notably mentions that some of the coins involved were traced to the case involving Shaun Bridges
, the ex-Secret Service agent who was sentenced to prison after being accused of stealing funds during the Silk Road investigation.
More at: US Marshals to Sell $25 Million in Bitcoin at Auction – CoinDesk
By Coin Idol March 5, 2018
One of the biggest thefts ever recently happened on the Icelandic cryptocurrency market. 600 powerful computers that mined Bitcoins and some other digital currencies were stolen. 11 suspects have been arrested so far in connection with this nefarious incident.
“This is a grand theft on a scale unseen before. Everything points to this being a highly organized crime,” –reported Olafur Helgi Kjartansson, the police commissioner on the southwestern Reykjanes peninsula, where two of the burglaries took place.
This crime was already named the “big Bitcoin heist” by the country’s mass media. It was also mentioned, that the thieves might use the stolen fintech equipment to make a large amount of money by mining cryptocurrencies.
More at: Thieves have appropriated 600 Bitcoin mining computers worth $2 mln in Iceland – Coinidol.com
By Rahul Namblampurath March 1, 2018
Microsoft co-founder and the world’s former richest man Bill Gates has raised concerns about cryptocoins being used for financing criminal and other illegal activities. During a Reddit ask me anything session (AMA) on February 27, 2018, he squarely blamed cryptocurrencies for causing death in a fairly direct way. His remarks were in reply to a question asked by another Reddit user on Gates’ thread.
Microsoft Visionary Criticizes Bitcoin
Gates did explain why he really thinks cryptocurrencies are bad though. He said that cryptocurrencies help in hiding the identity of those who do want to disclose their finances to the government. Gates said, “The main feature of cryptocurrencies is their anonymity. I don’t think this is a good thing.” He then went on to add that, “the government’s ability to find money laundering and tax evasion and terrorist funding is a good thing.”
However, his main concern is that these cryptocurrencies can be very easily used for buying drugs. Gates then went on to add that blockchain and cryptocurrency technology is a technology that is causing deaths. He said, “Right now cryptocurrencies are used for buying fentanyl and other drugs, so it is a rare technology that has caused deaths in a fairly direct way. I think the speculative wave around ICOs and cryptocurrencies is super risky for those who go long.”
More at: Bill Gates’ Three Attributes of Bitcoin: Risk, Volatility, and Death – BTCMANAGER