Switzerland’s financial watchdog has cracked down on operations of “E-Coin”, an alleged ‘fake’ cryptocurrency scam.
The Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA), the country’s financial markets regulator and watchdog has revealed the closure of three separate companies involved in issuing “E-Coin”, alleged by the authority as a fake cryptocurrency.
In an announcement, the watchdog revealed that ‘Quid Pro Quo Association’ had developed and begun issuing E-Coins since 2016. The company, working with Digital Trading AG and Marcelo Group AG, also launched an online trading platform for the E-Coins to be traded and transferred. Since 2016, the three companies raked in some 4 million Swiss francs (approx. $4.1 million) from hundreds of Swiss investors.
The authority wrote:
Via this platform, these three legal entities accepted funds amounting to at least four million Swiss francs from several hundred users and operated virtual accounts for them in both legal tender and E-Coins.
More at: Switzerland Shuts Down ‘Fake’ Cryptocurrency Scheme”E-Coin” – Cryptocoins News
JP Morgan Jamie Dimon has labelled Bitcoin a fraud that will eventually ‘blow up’ at a banking conference in New York.
In an astonishing tirade against the flagship digital currency, Dimon said that it was only fit for use by drug dealers, murderers and people living in locations like North Korea. He also said that he would immediately fire any employee at the investment bank that he found to be trading in Bitcoin.
The Guardian quotes Dimon as saying:
“The currency isn’t going to work. You can’t have a business where people can invent a currency out of thin air and think that people who are buying it are really smart.
“It is worse than tulip bulbs. Don’t ask me to short it. It could be at £20,000 before it happens, but it will eventually blow up. Honestly, I am just shocked that anyone can’t see it for what it is.”
More at: JP Morgan labels Bitcoin a ‘fraud’ – The Block
Website claims that fake news stories are being circulated by the banks to stop the rise of digital currencies
The future of Bitcoin could be under threat because of fake news stories being peddled by the banking sector, a leading website has claimed.
News site Coingeek.com, which has recently been acquired by billionaire Calvin Ayre, claims the banks are trying to sully the industry in order to restore the “normal status quo of economics”.
More at: Banks spread fake news stories about Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies to ‘restore the status quo’ – Mirror Online
Reasons to sit out the first wave cryptocurrency craze.
Burger King recently launched its own crypto-currency WhopperCoin in Russia. It’s a glorified loyalty punch card, where every rouble spent on a burger translates into one coin. Amass 1,700 whoppercoins, and get a free Whopper.
This is just one more piece of evidence that cryptocurrency such as bitcoin and ethereum is in its Napster stage. Napster, for those who don’t remember, was an early music-sharing application created in the late 1990s that granted users access to a gargantuan library of music. Then came the LimeWires and Kazaas. It was free! It was cool and sometimes, downloaded files would come with a wicked computer virus.
To be sure, the promise of bitcoin is hard to ignore, especially when it keeps shooting the lights out. Bitcoin Investment Trust (GBTC) is trading at a greater than 100% premium to its net asset value and charges a whopping 2% fee, but investors keep piling in. Last year to the day, GBTC had $94.5 million in assets. Today it has $772 million in assets.
It’s important for investors to keep in mind that it is still early days for cryptocurrency, which means there are a lot of duds and scammers in the mix. Despite the SEC’s protests, initial coin offerings just keep coming. The Atlantic reported that scammers are profiting from the digital coin rush, drawing the uninformed into Ponzi schemes. And the threat of getting hacked is forcing crypto issuers to turn to bank vaults. So maybe, its best to sit out the first wave craze.
More at: WhopperCoins, Scammers, and State-Backed Crypto – Barron’s
As if the risk over so-called “initial coin offerings” wasn’t high enough. Now, the Securities and Exchange Commission is warning investors of a new peril: companies that tout an upcoming “ICO” to inflate the price of their shares, and cash out when suckers buy in.
In case you’re unfamiliar, ICOs involve a company selling digital currency (a.k.a. coins or tokens) to the public in order to finance a new blockchain-based software application. While the tokens can be used within the application (when and if it’s finished), many people are treating them as a speculative investment.
A recent ICO mania has given rise to some blatant ripoffs in which companies take investors money but fail to build the promised blockchain application. But it’s also leading to more indirect scams—such as what the SEC warned about in a notice on Monday—and added to overall concern about ICOs:
More at: Ethereum: SEC Warns of ICO-Tied Pump and Dump Scams – Fortune.com
Blockchain is being trialled to ensure that non-profit organisations are getting the best deal
A network of global charities has begun using blockchain to provide transparency to donations, ensuring that they are used appropriately.
Organisations including Oxfam, Save the Children and Christian Aid are three of the 42 members of the Start Network, which trialled the use of blockchain in humanitarian projects last year. The group has representatives on five continents, and will work on the project with start-up fund management platform Disberse.
Disberse uses blockchain, which records all transactions in a distributed digital ledger, to ensure that less money is lost on inefficient exchange rates, banking fees and currency fluctuations. It will also help charities to fight fraud (in 2012, then-UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said that 30 per cent of all UN development assistance was lost to corruption), by tracking all transactions.
More at: Charities use blockchain for cost savings – V3
Authorities in India have prepared charges against the founder of OneCoin, the digital currency investment scheme widely believed to be fraudulent.
According regional news source The Indian Express, the Economic Offenses Wing of the Navi Mumbai Police has put together a charge sheet – in which allegations are formally laid out – that includes dozens of promoters connected to OneCoin. Those involved are accused of taking thousands of dollars from investors.
Police have been cracking down on proponents of OneCoin for months, dating back to April, when police arrested a group of individuals following a promotional event. India is among a number of countries worldwide in which law enforcement agencies have pursued investigations against OneCoin.
Among those being charged is Ruja Ignatova, who founded OneCoin and has largely been viewed as the public face of the scheme, appearing at events worldwide, including an appearance in May at one in Macau. A group of “nearly 30” people have been charged as a result of the Mumbai police investigation.
More at: Indian Police Prepare Charges Against OneCoin Founder Ruja Ignatova – CoinDesk
Vitalik Buterin wants you to know he is alive. In recent years, after it was discovered just how Orwellian a few Western countries had become as regards digital age communications, people became suspicious that the likes of Julian Assange, Edward Snowden, and others had been disappeared. Buterin plays on this, maybe making a clever nod to regulatory capture, in the following tweet:
The 0x… numbers mentioned in the photograph correspond to this Ethereum block. By doing this, Buterin confirms that he is alive at the time of that block – because that information is not predetermined. In doing so, he also demonstrates a powerful way for activists, protestors, and other dissidents facing government, religious, or other persecution to communicate their own proof of life. Of course, the dark side of this is that the same method is pretty useful in things like kidnapping/ransom cases. The analog version would have been the likes of holding a current copy of the Wall Street Journal beside one’s face.
More at: Vitalik Buterin Uses Ethereum Blockchain To Prove He Is Alive – CryptoCoinsNews
One in four publishers admit they have no way of detecting web traffic that comes from nonhuman sources. The Data & Marketing Association wants to change that by harnessing blockchain technology to combat bot traffic.
The digital advertising industry drove $175 billion in spending in 2016, and marketers want to know the money they spend will bring in a valuable audience. The bad news is that bots regularly drive spam traffic to a huge portion of sites all over the web.
But a new collaboration among the Data & Marketing Association (DMA) and two technology companies—advertising tech startup MetaX and software developer ConsenSys—will help the industry identify and combat ad fraud by using blockchain software, the technology that underpins bitcoin, which enables secure transactions online and can increase transparency and trust.
The product of the partnership, adChain, is an open protocol on the public Ethereum blockchain that aims to connect the digital advertising industry’s disjointed supply chain, according to a DMA white paper.The technology targets bot traffic and ad fraud to deliver transparency, security, and verified impression tracking, a press release notes.
More at: Group Takes Aim at Ad Fraud with Digital Advertising Blockchain Tech – Associations Now