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July 2006

Bitcoin Fraud | Two New Cases Circulating the Media

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Bitcoin fraud

Bitcoin fraud

New cases of Bitcoin fraud are back circulating the media. Back in May, the NYPD warned the public about Bitcoin scams, but that hasn’t stopped incidences of fraud from occurring. In the news this week, we have learned of two new Bitcoin fraud cases: one involves a Pennsylvania resident, and the other, interestingly enough, involves Queen Elizabeth II. Well, kind of.

Here’s everything we know.

Bitcoin Fraud: The Most Recent Cases

The first case of Bitcoin fraud dates back to July of last year, but it’s just now making its rounds in the media. According to sources, the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission, otherwise known as the CFTC, has charged a man in Pennsylvania for a $7 million Bitcoin fraud. The CFTC’s press release stated the following:

“The complaint alleges that bitcoin was never delivered to the customers and customer funds were not safeguarded as promised. This case is brought in connection with the CFTC Division of Enforcement Virtual Currencies Task Force.”

The second case of Bitcoin fraud occurred this month. According to Forbes, the most recent instance involved fraudsters posing as Queen Elizabeth II. As far as Bitcoin fraud goes, this one takes the cake for creativity. The fraudsters reportedly posed as the Queen, physically sending letters allegedly to be from Buckingham Palace to recipients, asking for a Bitcoin donation to fund a quick Brexit.

ITPro spoke with Paul Ridden, CEO of a United Kingdom-based technology company, who said he received the letter, sharing it on LinkedIn. “I think it’s an attempt to be different,” he explained. “In a corporate world, one of the things we’re always trying to protect against is these social engineering attacks and I guess coming in on paper, it’s perhaps trying to come through a door that’s not protected… As a tech firm ourselves, we’re reasonably aware of what’s going on—so, nobody’s going to be sending any Bitcoin off to them.”

>> Ripple’s Xpring Acquires Logos Network to Build XRP DeFi Products

Thoughts?

Do you have any thoughts on the two most recent cases of Bitcoin fraud? When something increases in popularity, we have to expect that people will take advantage of it. The worry, however, is that cases are occurring more frequently, and they are becoming more creative in an attempt to look more credible.

Featured image: PixaBay

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Tether (USDT) Dominance Persists Amidst Mainstream Adoption

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Tether

Tether

Tether (USDT) popularity in the cryptocurrency space is unmatched. Immediate data indicates it is the most widely used stablecoin by virtue of trading volume. In November, for instance, USDT accounted for as much as 79% of Bitcoin trading between fiat or stablecoins. Likewise, a total of 9.69 million Bitcoins were exchanged in favor of the Tether stablecoin.

Popularity

The popularity stems from the fact that Tether is one of the most stable cryptocurrencies, given that it is pegged to the US dollar. USDT popularity and trading volume are expected to continue rising as cryptocurrency mainstream adoption continues to gain traction. Likewise, the stablecoin looks set to benefit from increased usage in derivatives such as crypto exchanges like Okex, which has already unveiled USDT futures.

The stability aspect brought about by stablecoins should continue to benefit the broader cryptocurrency market. Gone are the days when people shunned the market on fear of the high levels of volatility as well as the lack of liquidity. With the likes of USDT being pegged on stable assets such as the US dollar, investors are now able to use stablecoins to hedge against market volatility.

Headwinds

While USDT looks set to continue dominating the stablecoin landscape, it has had to contend with a fair share of challenges. There were ownership concerns in 2017 after it emerged that Bitfinex and Tether Ltd might be backed by the same owners, for example.

>> Bitmain Co-Founder Starts Legal Battle to Regain Control

Tether has also had to contend with supply concerns amidst fears in 2017 that there might have been a large supply of USDT relative to demand.

Uncertainty continues to surround Tether. The Commodity Futures Trading Commission has asked for proof to show if there is sufficient US dollar backing the 2.3 billion Tether coins in circulation. While Tether has provided a financial audit, inconsistencies have cropped up, especially with ties to Tether holdings.

Featured image: DepositPhotos © artefacti

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Green Growth Brands’ Share Buyback Has Shareholders Excited

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27.3 Million Share Buyback Expected to Add Significant Value to Shareholders

Green Growth Brands Inc. (CSE:GGB) (OTC:GGBXF), a company that has been at the forefront of every major financial publication after announcing a hostile takeover bid of Aphria in December, has recently announced a buyback of 27,300,000 common shares held by GA Opportunities Corp. The shares will be repurchased for an aggregate consideration of C$89 million.  Peter Horvath, CEO agreed on a ‘friendly resolution’ as he backed off the Aphria bid.


Analysts Have Upped Their Price Target For
Green Growth Brands To $6.50 On Strong CBD Strategy
Get Their Latest Press Releases Delivered To Your Inbox


“We are pleased to be buying back 27,300,000 shares owned by GA Opportunities significantly below the market price and the expected sale of our toehold position of 3 million shares of Aphria, all of which will benefit our shareholders”

 The buyback also represents a significant reduction in outstanding shares and from a financial perspective, the buyback benefits investors by improving shareholder value, increasing share prices, and increase shareholder confidence[1].

“We are bringing our offer to an end on good terms with Aphria and are excited to turn our focus to our CBD personal care and retail cannabis businesses. We are actively continuing to review other partnerships and M&A opportunities to accelerate the build-out of our company”, says Horvath.

BREAKING NEWS: Horizons ETFs Management (Canada) Inc. to launch Horizons US MJ Index ETF.  Green Growth Brands Inc. (CSE:GGB) (OTC:GGBXF) makes the list as one of its potential investments comprising of 3.85% of their portfolio.

Since going public in November 2018, Green Growth Brands Inc. (CSE:GGB) (OTC:GGBXF) has acquired a highly profitable dispensary in Las Vegas called The+Source, and profitably sells its products in both its own and third-party stores across multiple states. [2]

On December 5, 2018, the company was awarded seven new licenses to operate dispensaries in Nevada. In total, the company now has eight dispensary licenses in the state and has announced plans to acquire the sister location of The+Source Las Vegas, located in Henderson, Nevada.

Green Growth Brands Inc. (CSE:GGB) (OTC:GGBXF) retail dispensaries are not limited to Nevada.  The company has licenses to operate dispensaries and cultivation sites in Massachusetts and recently announced a definitive agreement to acquire one in Arizona, making it a true Multi-State Operator.

Green Growth Brands Inc. (CSE:GGB) (OTC:GGBXF) plans to open 400 sales locations by the end of 2019, with 300 kiosks in malls and the balance inside retail chains such as DSW Designer Shoe Warehouse stores throughout the US.  Right now, staff can open four to six kiosks per week, and about 100 locations should be open by the end of June.  Openings will begin in Kentucky, Indiana and Tennessee and will expand to 34 states.

With one test kiosk in DSW, the numbers were fantastic, hemp-based product sales were $65,000[3].  “There’s so much opportunity in a topical product,” Horvath said. “That’s where our product development strength is; let’s stay there.”

“DSW is the number one full line adult footwear specialty retailer in North America,” said Peter Horvath, in the announcement[4]. “They have revolutionized shopping for shoes and accessories, and we are thrilled they chose to partner with our company, allowing us to introduce a new product category to their customers.”

“The Agreement, and the deepening relationship with DSW, is the first step in our strategy to expand sales of personal care hemp-derived products through external partnerships, in mall-based hemp-derived product shops, and through a growing number of stores and online,” added Horvath.

Green Growth Brands Inc. (CSE:GGB) (OTC:GGBXF)  inked a deal with one of the largest mall operators in the US,  Simon Property Group Inc., for its Seventh Sense Botanical Therapy brand. The partnership will place them in 108 prime locations across the country.  Peter Horvath, CEO says he’s not worried about the struggles of malls, and we’re talking about going into the 200 or 300 best.”

“There’s only 1,000 good malls, and we’re talking about going into the 200 or 300 best”

GGB Beats Apple and Tiffany on One Key Metric

The success of, The +Source, demonstrates Green Growth Brands Inc. (CSE:GGB) (OTC:GGBXF)’s  strong retail acumen. The productivity of the dispensary based on forward-looking annualized revenue is approximately $20,185 per square foot—compared to an industry average of less than $2,358 per square foot. The Nevada dispensary generated $3.1 million in the last quarter of 2018.  From strictly a revenue-per-square-foot statistic, Green Growth Brands Inc. (CSE:GGB) (OTC:GGBXF) is in a league of its own.


Analysts Have Upped Their Price Target For
Green Growth Brands To $6.50 On Strong CBD Strategy
Get Their Latest Press Releases Delivered To Your Inbox


As the pot and hemp-derived product sectors grow through retail markets and product innovations, it’s worth looking at some comparable metrics in the retail space—in particular, their revenue-per-square-feet of retail space. Keeping this factor in mind, here are some companies that could be seen as comparable to Green Growth Brands Inc. (CSE:GGB) (OTC:GGBXF).

* Planet 13, Apple and Tiffany figures have been converted to CAD using an exchange rate of 1.33
** Last price based on April 15, 2019

Across the entire legal pot industry, the average revenue per square foot is currently $2,358. With Apple leading the way at $7,376, the entire retail sector lags behind averaging only $432 per square foot. Green Growth Brands’ CEO, Peter Horvath, and his team of retail experts and exceptional management team have applied their retail expertise to become the retail industry leaders for this key metric.

Exceptional Management Team with History of Retail Dominance

“The team we’ve put together is arguably one of the top retail teams in any market, let alone pot.”- Peter Horvath, CEO of Green Growth Brands

Stacked with so much retail talent, the Green Growth Brands Inc. (CSE:GGB) (OTC:GGBXF) team is built to be a powerful sales force in any industry, let alone the newly emerging pot industry. At the top, the company’s leaders have each been executives at top level retail brands such as Victoria’ Secret, American Eagle, DSW, and Bath & Body Works, just to name a few.

Here’s a quick look at Green Growth Brands Inc. (CSE:GGB) (OTC:GGBXF) world class brand-building management team:

Peter Horvath, CEO:A master of strategy and execution, Peter has held leadership roles for brands such as Victoria’s Secret, American Eagle Outfitters, DSW, and Limited Brands. Under his leadership, shoe retailer DSW went public on the NYSE with a $1.5 billion IPO. Peter was also responsible for raising CAD$85 million in a private placement to fund Green Growth Brands Inc. (CSE:GGB) (OTC:GGBXF), far exceeding the original target of CAD$55 million. What makes Peter Horvath a truly unique leader is his passion for working directly with employees of all levels. This is not an “ornamental CEO” focused solely on raising capital.

Randy Whitaker, COO: Veteran retail executive Randy Whitaker was brought in to oversee Real Estate, Stores, Shops, and eCommerce for Green Growth Brands Inc. (CSE:GGB) (OTC:GGBXF). He worked with Peter Horvath for many years at Victoria’s Secret, bringing an impressive track record as a world-class operator for both Victoria’s Secret and most recently for Belk, Inc. During his five years as EVP, Store Operations at Victoria’s Secret, Randy Whitaker was responsible for 1,100 stores that delivered US$6 billion in annual revenue while maintaining at US$2 billion operating expense budget.

Ed Kistner, CAO: With 33 years of multi-faceted experience leading retail business, Ed Kistner works with Peter as the right and left hands of the company. Ed has played pivotal leadership roles at DSW and Victoria’s Secret. This level of experience is something very few pot competitors can claim.

Kellie Wurtzmann, CSO: Kellie has managed operations across multiple retail sectors for top retail brands such as Luxottica, Victoria’s Secret, and Virgin Entertainment. Kellie’s big brand experience is a key asset in identifying and supporting business development opportunities for the company.

1

Strong Profitability Per Selling Square Feet

With an Annualized Net Revenue of approximately C$20,185 per square foot, Green Growth Brands Inc. (CSE:GGB) (OTC:GGBXF) has the strongest reported figure in the pot and retail sectors. While the brands and locations of their stores’ growing footprints will all be different, each store will be customer-centric, and well-designed for high-productivity and an intuitive merchandise assortment.

2

Rapid Retail Mall Expansion

Through deep connections made through management’s time with other major retail names, Green Growth Brands Inc. (CSE:GGB) (OTC:GGBXF) has a plan to open up to 400 hemp-derived product shops by the end of the calendar year 2019. This will be powered by a major partnership deal signed with the Simon Property Group, to open hemp-derived product shops in 108 shopping centers.

3

Lucrative Retail/Branding Partnerships

Leveraging a previous relationship, Green Growth Brands Inc. (CSE:GGB) (OTC:GGBXF) signed a major deal with DSW to sell hemp-infused personal care products under the Seventh Sense Botanical Therapy brand at 98 select DSW stores throughout the US. The deal taps into DSW’s reach that spans 515 warehouses in 44 states.

4

Leading the Way in Hemp-derived products and Branding

The Seventh Sense brand line from Green Growth Brands is the first to launch, with a rollout through the Simon Property Group hemp-derived product shop deal offering a huge variety of hemp-infused topical beauty products. The company is targeting several different markets through its suite of brands.

5

Exceptional Retail-Driven Management Team

The Green Growth Brands Inc. (CSE:GGB) (OTC:GGBXF) is built around a superior pedigree of retail experience. Led by CEO Peter Horvath, whose experience includes successes with Victoria’s Secret, American Eagle Outfitters, DSW, and Bath & Body Works, company management is experienced and ready to revolutionize the pot retail space and hemp-derived consumer goods.




Analysts Have Upped Their Price Target For
Green Growth Brands To $6.50 On Strong CBD Strategy
Get Their Latest Press Releases Delivered To Your Inbox


[1]https://www.newswire.ca/news-releases/aphria-agrees-to-accelerate-expiry-of-green-growth-brands-bid-and-terminate-its-option-with-ga-opportunities-corp–868799037.html
[2]https://www.greengrowthbrands.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/GGB-Coverage.pdf
[3]https://www.bizjournals.com/columbus/news/2019/02/28/columbus-cannabis-retailer-green-growth-brands.html
[4]https://www.greengrowthbrands.com/press-releases/2019/01/10/green-growth-brands-partners-with-dsw-to-sell-seventh-sense-cbd-products/
[5]https://cannabusinessplans.com/cannabis-dispensary-business-plan/
[6]https://9to5mac.com/2017/07/29/apple-top-retailer-per-square-foot/

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Binance Gets Banned on Weibo as China Continues Crypto Crackdown

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Binance

Binance

Binance has had its official account on Weibo, the Chinese version of Twitter, banned due to unknown violations as the Chinese government tightens regulations on cryptocurrency.

Binance and Tron Blocked on Weibo

Weibo is claiming “violation of law and regulation” as the reason for the ban, but “China’s Twitter” failed to give any additional information on the recent account suspension. Tron, along with Binance, has also been blocked, but Huobi and OKEx, which are two Chinese-based exchanges, remain active on the website. Chinese President Xi Jinping banned Bitcoin back in 2017 but has recently begun embracing blockchain technology.

Bitcoin made gains in recent weeks after President Xi announced that China was to reverse its crypto ban. According to Chinese state media, Xi said that China has a strong foundation and should look to take a leading position in the sector, urging the country to “seize the opportunity,” which could benefit a number of sectors. That makes today’s news of Binance’s blocking on Weibo all the more mysterious, and perhaps points in the direction that China is initiating protectionist policies on Chinese crypto activities by blocking foreign-based exchanges.

Binance Begins Accepting Fiat

Zhu Hongbing, chairman of Singapore Blockchain Technology Foundation, told The China Times that the decision to remove Binance from Weibo is related to the exchange’s recent decision to begin accepting fiat currencies via Chinese payment services such as Alipay and WeChat. Binance founder and CEO Changpeng Zhao, who is originally from Jiangsu in China but established the exchange while in Canada, confirmed last month that it would begin accepting fiat currencies via Alipay, but Alipay retaliated by banning all transactions connected to crypto.

>> Coinbase Card Includes 5 More Cryptos and Launches in 10 Countries

Binance has been attempting to make headwinds in the Chinese media in recent months. In September, the company made an undisclosed investment in Chinese crypto news outlet Mars Finance. Changpeng Zhao said of the investment, “We have large respect for data, news and research firms which support the positive growth of the blockchain industry. We will continue to pursue strategic investment opportunities in our mission to bring crypto further mainstream, increase adoption and accessibility, and help the industry grow sustainably.”

Featured Image: DepositPhotos © Grey82

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