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July 2019

Bitcoin Fraud | Two New Cases Circulating the Media

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.”

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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.

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Bakkt Futures Trade Volume Soars 800% After Slow Start



The Bakkt Futures trading volume for Bitcoin (BTC) has gained almost 800% in just one day after a slow start to life for the long-awaited futures contract trading platform headed by the Intercontinental Exchange (ICE).

Bakkt Volume Reaches All-Time High

A bot account on Twitter, which tracks the number of contracts traded on Bakkt, reported this morning that 224 BTC futures were traded on August 9, an eye-watering increase of 796% from the previous day. October 8’s volume of 25 BTC was coincidentally the lowest figure recorded since the platform went live on September 22. However, Bakkt’s volume is still a considerable distance off its closest rival, the Chicago-based CME Group, but it is a sign of better things to come.

Sluggish Start

The launch of Bakkt was arguably the most highly anticipated event in the crypto world this year. However, the platform underwhelmed massively in its first week of trading, with just 623 futures contracts being exchanged for a total value of just over $5 million USD. In comparison, CME traded over 4,000 contracts on September 27 alone, at a total value of $165 million USD. Bakkt had been touted as an entry point for legacy financial institutions into crypto trading, given its close associations with legacy institutions like the New York Stock Exchange.

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Bakkt and Bitcoin Closely Linked

Naturally, trading activity on Bakkt is closely linked to Bitcoin’s value and vice versa. The slow uptake of the platform coincided with a downward spiral in BTC value, as it crashed from over the $10,000 USD mark to below $8,000 USD during Bakkt’s opening weekend, with many analysts blaming the exchange’s poor launch. However, the roles have reversed, and now Bitcoin is firmly in the driving seat. With BTC’s value rallying over the last few days, it’s no surprise to see activity on Bakkt soar.

It’s still early days for the trading platform, but today’s activity clearly shows a new relationship in crypto that will be curious to watch the next time BTC takes one of its wild swings as we all know it is prone to.

Featured Image: DepositPhotos © grejak

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Ripple to Enhance Transparency in XRP Volume Reporting



According to a Bitwise report, there is foul play in the crypto industry because it is unregulated, which makes exchanges culpable to manipulation as some even inflate their trading volumes. The Bitwise researchers have discovered that up to 95% of trading volumes are fraudulent. This is where Ripple steps in.

Ripple Working to Enhance Accuracy

The crypto firm is working with reliable partners in the industry to understand the scale and scope of the problem and evaluate its XRP volume reporting. Going into Q2 2019, the company is likely to take a cautious approach in reporting XRP sales. The aim is to enhance transparency, and based on these proposals, the target XRP sales for the quarter are likely to decline to below ten basis points

In a blog post on June 3, Ripple discussed how the industry can do better in terms of accurate reporting. The blog cites various industry reports, including the recent Bitwise report to the SEC, the report by Data Accountability & Transparency Alliance, and one by Blockchain Institute. All these reports cite inaccuracy in reporting as the main problem the cryptocurrency industry is facing as some companies exaggerate their volumes.

Inaccurate Reporting May Hurt the Industry

Ripple further explains in the blog post why it is choosing to act now. The cryptocurrency firm states that it believes in trust and transparency, without which there cannot be mainstream adoption of cryptocurrencies or blockchain technology. Ripple further asserts that for an emerging market that is seeking mainstream adoption, transparency and trust are essential components.

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There is already skepticism regarding cryptocurrencies because of their unregulated nature and the allegations of inaccurate reporting will deepen the problem; therefore working on improving accuracy in reporting will be beneficial to the whole industry. Ripple is currently looking at the bigger picture, and by instituting changes, it is trying to ensure there is longevity in the crypto market.

XRP is down 4.9% in the last 24 hours, and more losses should be expected. With these developments, bears will have a field day, and the resulting sell-off might see XRP lose $0.34.

Featured image: DepositPhotos © adriantoday

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Bitcoin (BTC) Price Continues to Shine: Hits $13K Mark



Bitcoin (BTC) is showing no signs of slowing down after an impressive start to the year. After a 250% plus rally, the flagship cryptocurrency has hit the $13,000 level, capping a 40% plus spike over the past week. Given the strength of the upward momentum, Bitcoin price could be on its way to the $14,000 mark. Investors will no doubt be waiting to see if it will make a run for all-time highs of $21,000 again.

Bitcoin Price Catalysts

The recent rally in Bitcoin price can be attributed to many factors; key among them is the move by Facebook to launch its own cryptocurrency. Facebook venturing into the cryptocurrency sector has once again affirmed crypto mainstream adoption.

The tech giant has unveiled its crypto, dubbed Libra, thus joining other mainstream outlets that have taken note of the crypto spectacle. JP Morgan launching its JPM Coin also continues to fuel crypto’s mainstream adoption push.

Weakness on the greenback is another factor that is having an impact on Bitcoin price, consequently fuelling an upswing in price. The dollar has come under immense pressure in recent weeks amidst expectations that the Federal Reserve will cut rates next month.

Bitcoin Safe-Haven Status

Growing uncertainties about the health of the global economy, as well as soaring geopolitical tension, has seen Bitcoin gain a sort of safe-haven status. Just like gold, people are increasingly betting on Bitcoin as a safe haven asset as focus shifts from other investment assets.

>> JPM Coin: JP Morgan’s Crypto is Ready for Trials with Corporate Clients

In addition, one cannot dispute the fact that the recent price spike could be as a result of aggressive buyers opening big positions. In recent months, institutional activity around the crypto has increased in response to the unveiling of products that makes it possible to invest in cryptocurrencies. Cryptocurrencies have emerged as a strong investment for institutions looking to diversify investment portfolios.

Investors becoming more aware of cryptocurrencies are another factor that should continue to fuel Bitcoin price, as it is the largest and most popular in the sector.

“The growing acceptance of crypto has led experienced traders and other large investors who weren’t yet comfortable with crypto to enter the market,” said CEO of cryptocurrency fund BitBull Capital, Joe DiPasquale.

Featured image: DepositPhotos © nevarpp

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