Eastern Metal Securities Fraudster Gets Extradited from Thailand for Having Victimized Investors of Over $11 Million in BTC

On Monday, November 18, 2019, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) reported on a case that involved victimizing investors. In particular, it was found that Swedish Citizen, Roger Nils-Jonas Karlsson and his firm, Eastern Metal Securities, were able to trick investors of $11 million combined.

Having arrested the fraudster in June 17, 2019, the original complaint was supposedly filed months earlier (i.e. March 4, 2019). Apparently, he has been defrauding investors as early as 2006, where he alongside individuals including Steve Heyden, Euclid Deodoris, Joshua Millard and many others, used websites to advertise shares, one example being their “Pre-Funded Reversed Pension Plan”.

The aforementioned plan was sold at $98 per share “in exchange for an eventual payout of 1.15kg of gold per share.” To keep investors’ confidence boosted, Karlson had guaranteed 97 percent return on initial investments if the gold payout was not achieved.

Since the investigation took place, the government looked into Karlsson’s case only to find that there was no way that the culprit would be able to pay such a return. Said amounts Karlsson was able to raise was supposedly sent to his personal account, where all funds were then spent on real estate in Thailand.

This isn’t a first for him, as he was supposedly involved in another website called www.hci25.com – attempting at luring in more investors a second time. When he was asked about payouts from some investors, he simply responded that it would have, “a negative effect on financial systems throughout the world.”

As for the investments made by investors, Karlsson supposedly advised said individuals to make payments in Bitcoin. So far, his endeavor resulted in nearly 3,575 victims.

This isn’t the first case of its kind, as just last week, OneCoin’s Founder was caught taking part in fraud and money laundering-related activities with a non-existing crypto, and the most recent RECoin and Diamond creator, who was involved in two fake initial coin offerings. Both cases led to swiping hundreds of thousands and millions from investors. This goes to show that fraudulent cases are surely to be caught one way or another!

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Author: Nirmala Velupillai

Binance Is Surpassing Huobi Exchange Volume in China: New TokenAnalyst Report

  • Token Analyst recently reported on BTC transactions between exchanges this year.
  • The data revealed that more transactions exist from Binance to Huobi than vice versa.

One of the most popular and well-known cryptocurrency exchanges is Binance, and they’ve remained highly active this year with their volume and work on the expansion. The exchange, based in Malta, has been looking into potentially trading on other trading markets, coinciding with the efforts of the exchange to create a solid place in the industry.

China has seen a lot of activity in the cryptocurrency industry recently, and it seemingly has increased demand for cryptocurrency, based on reports from Token Analyst. In the report, the researchers found that a major portion of the cryptocurrency volumes had moved from Huobi wallets to Binance. Of those exchanges, 259,000 BTC was moved through 48,000 transactions. On average, a transaction was worth approximately 5.4 BTC.

The Huobi exchange was founded in China, and it predominantly serves the Asian market. With the massive outflow to Binance, it is possible that the exchange is losing a lot of their outflow in the Chinese market, which is instead moving to Binance.

Despite this movement, the second-largest “interflow” involved transactions from Binance to Huobi. With over 44,000 transactions, 137,000 BTC was transferred. Since there is an apparent reverse movement of Bitcoin, the report implies that Huobi is still maintaining some kind of hold on the Asian market. Huobi has announced recently that their exchange has major expansion plans to involve smartphones, hoping to secure some of the OTC markets.

Binance has a clear advantage over the Singapore-based exchange, based on the data shown in the report. With more BTC leaving Binance and reaching OTC exchanges and institutional platforms, there could be more movement to come, and Binance’s stronghold in the global cryptocurrency market isn’t likely to loosen anytime soon. Still, domestic exchanges have been banned in China for quite some time, and investors have been limited in their global exchange options for trading.

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Author: Krystle M

China’s Crypto Mining Giant, Canaan, to offer an IPO in November in the US

Unconfirmed reports have reported that Canaan, a Chinese mining giant for crypto, aims to list in the US market as a publicly-traded company in November 2019.

According to the source that is aware of the matter, this Avalon miner producer will be issuing 126 million shares, and the firm is said to have a valuation of $1.5 billion. The issuance of shares will be brought to an end this Oct. 20.

Canaan is said to have applied to offer an IPO with the SEC. Sources have it that the company has completed all the necessary procedures to issue an IPO, and it would be valued at around $2 billion to $3 billion. However, this would be dependent on the specific results of inquiry from investment institutions.

One of Three Chinese Mining Giants

The company has been trying for three years now to seek public investment. If its valuation is confirmed, then it will be among the three biggest Chinese mining machine giants that have ever gone public (Canaan, Bitmain, and Yibang).

The co-lead director of Canaan, Kong Jianping, said that the US securities and exchange platform has a pretty good understanding of cryptocurrency and the blockchain technology. Hence the compliant companies that are working in the crypto space can go public in foreign soil (US).

Before Canaan had filed for an IPO in the US, all the three Chinese mining giants had failed to list in Hong Kong’s IPO. The trio plans to register in the US market, however, as there is a soaring demand for mining machines in 2019.

Canaan’s sales director told 8btc that the company had received intent letters that were demanding 500,000 units of the A11 and A10 latest miners. The number is even expected to go much higher in 2020. Canaan’s road to an IPO has never been smooth. The firm once tried listing on the Shenzhen Stock Exchange in 2016, but the plans failed because the firm did not satisfy all the required requirements.

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Author: Daniel W

North Korea Is Creating, Designing and Implementing Its Own Cryptocurrency

The North Korean government has set out to create its own cryptocurrency. As reported by Vice News, a government representative has recently affirmed that this new crypto would be used to avoid international sanctions and to help in the circumvention of the global financial system, which is currently controlled by the United States, one of the main adversaries of the country.

According to the media outlet, the government has shown interest in cryptos for a long time and has recently decided to bring together several experts to create the asset.

The currency does not have a name yet, but Alejandro Cao de Benos, the official person in the charge of cryptos, has affirmed that it will “like Bitcoin”.

Cao de Benos has affirmed that the process of creating the token is still very early in its development. The team is still studying how to do it. No plans of digitizing the national fiat currency were made, however, so this will be a cryptocurrency, not a digital fiat one.

Vice News reported that North Korea is said to have the necessary expertise to create its own token. In fact, the country is well-known for its talent with the digital world, but not for the most positive actions. Several hackers based in the country have already hacked exchanges, installed cryptojacking malware and more.

What remains to be seen, however, is whether the new token will receive sanctions or not. Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro has created a similar attempt with the national crypto called Petro, but the token has failed to achieve any success, partly because of how the international market ignored it, partly because of the asset lacked transparency. Will North Korea’s new crypto be any different?

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Author: James W

Over 3.5 Millions Accounts Registered on Tron Mainnet As TronWallet Adds Bitcoin Support

Tron CEO and founder, Justin Sun, has just reported that the total number of accounts on the Tron mainnet now exceeds 3.5 million. Moreover, the block height has reached 11984687 with 1073 online nodes.

This wide scale adoption of the network is astonishing given that Tron launched a little over a year ago. Just the other day TronWallet in a tweet said that it was adding Bitcoin to its wallet. As per the tweet the wallet is set to support Bitcoin in the coming days, however, no timelines were given. The tweet read:

Although the Tron foundation seems to be doing pretty well going by the stats, its native coin TRX has plummeted to the 14th position according CoinMarketCap’s top rated cryptos.

Tron does have a functioning mainnet, which many cryptocurrencies do not. It is also a blockchain platform which supports a wide range of decentralised applications (dApps) competing with the likes of other blockchain platforms Ethereum and EOS. In fact, it was found that Tron has surpassed Ethereum and EOS in total dApp users. It may be these factors which are increasing Tron’s popularity.

It may also be due to the ease of using the network. Creating an account on Tron is relatively easy, which may explain the high number of registered accounts. It requires a mere 0.1 TRX to generate a key pair and to extract a public key. It is thus possible that while the network has a large number of real users, they are not completely active.

1 TRX is worth $0.02. Tron might still be struggling because its popularity is a double-edged sword. It receives a major amount of negative publicity due to the antics of Justin Sun, who always seems to be embroiled in controversy.

The most recent of this is the massive failure of his planned lunch with Warren Buffett. Sun donated a staggering $4.5 million to charity to have lunch with the famed crypto-sceptic. After creating a media circus out of the event, the lunch eventually got cancelled due to Sun’s ‘kidney stones’, a claim which is still questioned.

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Author: Joseph Kibe

Monolith Partners with Digix and MakerDAO to Make Tokens Loadable Visa Debit

On Thursday, August 15, 2019, London-based, Ethereum-powered banking alternative, Monolith reported on its recent partnership with smart asset company, Digix (token: DGX) and stablecoin project, MakerDAO (token: DAO). The reason for said alliance stems from the latter two’s aim of getting their tokens loaded on the Monolith Visa debit card.

Commencing this very same day, Monolith users will be able to load Digix and MakerDAO coins onto their cards via the former’s mobile app. Said loading can be used towards paying day-to-day transactions, whether this is to pay, send or receive funds.

As a way to celebrate the trio’s involvement, Digix is offering the first 1,000 users who activate their Monolith card with 0.1 grams of Gold in DGX tokens. Digix is a firm that used blockchain technology to create DGX, a token that represents 1 gram of gold stored in recognised precious metals vaults in Canada and Singapore.

This move is especially big for Monolith, as the firm can watch its contributions grow within the e-payment space. This is mainly due to its debit card being accepted anywhere Visa typically does, with high anticipation for coverage in the time to come along with newer partnerships.

According to the CEO of Monolith, Mel Gelderman, there has been a “fantastic response from [their] beta users and are now ramping up for growth.” Gelderman further added that

“Rebranding to Monolith helps us achieve our mission of democratizing finance and bringing the Token economy to everyone while providing a unique service to our customers.”

It seems like the reason for picking Digix and MakerDAO stems from their accredited nature. More specifically, he said,

“MakerDAO and Digix are some of the most recognized and earliest Ethereum-based projects. For TKN holders, these partnerships mean that DAI, DGD and DGX are now eligible for usage in the TKN Asset Contract.”

The CEO of Digix, Kai C. Chng mentioned that the partnership was forced by nature, emphasizing that it is due to the commonality between the duo, i.e. bringing together blockchain assets and “democratizing access to cryptos”.

Cointelegraph also reported on this matter, in which CEO of MakerDAO, Rune Christensen’s viewpoint on said endeavor was disclosed. In particular, the CEO was quoted saying:

“Monolith’s solution provides a powerful way for token holders to extend the usefulness of their crypto-holdings […] Their cards create a critical bridge from the world of DeFi (decentralized finance) to the more traditional world of retail.”

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Author: Nirmala Velupillai

Coinbase’s Password Vulnerability May Have Affected 3,500 Customers

Coinbase has recently reported that the company found a vulnerability in its system that affected the passwords of some users. According to the company, some passwords were stored in a plain text file on the company’s servers.

The information was not accessed by any outside source at any time, but around 3,500 customers had their passwords stored in a less than secure way up until recently. The glitch may have affected only 0.1% of the clients but was relevant enough to be disclosed.

How has this happened, in the first place? According to the company, due to a very specific error in the procedure. The registration form would simply not be loaded correctly and the attempt to create the account would fail. However, the log of the failure would be sent to the company.

According to Coinbase, the error would happen when JavaScript was not properly loaded during the inscription.

This meant that the name, information, and password of the person would be still in an unprotected place after the person succeeded in creating the account. Over 90% of the time, the customers retried and used the same password again, which caused the vulnerability.

After discovering this possible vulnerability, Coinbase looked at the other files present on the company’s database to see if another one could be problematic. Fortunately, no others were found at the time of this report.

According to a recent post, the company completely fixed the problem and excluded the file with sensitive information. All accounts that may have possibly be affected also were prompted to create new passwords in order to protect their assets.

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Author: Gabriel Machado

Large Scale Dusting Attack on Litecoin (LTC) Users: Binance

A large scale dusting attack has been suffered by Litecoin users, reported Binance on August 10.

A dusting attack is a new kind of malicious activity where scammers and hackers try and break the privacy of the cryptocurrency users by sending tiny amounts of coins to their personal wallets.

Attackers track down the transaction activity of these wallets by performing a combined analysis of several addresses to identify the individual or the company behind each wallet.

One of many transactions affected shared by Binance is,

https://chainz.cryptoid.info/ltc/tx.dws?36359475.htm

Dust is a tiny amount of coins or tokens — so small that most users don’t even notice, such as 1 satoshi (0.00000001 BTC) in the case of Bitcoin.

Binance explains that within crypto exchanges dust is also the tiny amounts of coins that “get stuck” on users’ account after trading orders are executed. These really small amounts of coins are not tradeable but Binance users can convert them to BNB.

As crypto users do not pay much attention to these tiny amounts, scammers began “dusting” a large number of addresses by sending a few satoshis to them. After dusting multiple addresses, scammers analyze various addresses to identify which belong to the same wallet.

First it started with Bitcoin, these attacks are now also happening with other cryptocurrencies.

As a closing thought, Binance said while Bitcoin blockchain is nearly impossible to hack, the wallets “present a significant point of concern.”

“When a user holds their cryptocurrencies in a personal wallet, they are acting as their own bank, which means there is nothing they can do in case they get hacked or lose their private keys.”

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Author: AnTy

Swissquote Bank Sees Noticeable Reduction in Net Profits Due to Exit of Crypto Trading Business

Swissquote-Bank-Sees-Declining-Net-Profits-In-Crypto-Trading-Business

An online bank based in Switzerland called Swissquote Bank has recently reported that its net profits went down 14.3% this year. The main reason for the decline, according to the executives, is that the year saw a significant drop in crypto trading. Other factors were also cited, but this one was one of the most relevant ones for the losses.

When comparing June 2019 to June 2018, the company affirmed that it was able to have a net profit of $22.55 million in the current years while it profited $26.34 million in the previous one.

It was also reported that crypto trading went down 17.9% during this timeframe, which affected commission income and net fees as well.

When looking at the data, it is important to remember that the crypto market was having a bear market last year. Even with volumes decreasing significantly, the company was still able to perform better in 2018, which can be seen as a very worrisome statistic. This year, the crypto market is doing considerably fine when compared to 2018, although not as well as it did in 2017.

Swissquote started its crypto services back in 2017. It offers its clients the chance to deal with five different tokens: Bitcoin (BTC), Bitcoin Cash (BCH), Ethereum (ETH), Litecoin (LTX) and Ripple’s XRP.

The company has also recently announced a custody service for cryptocurrencies this year, which will be a partnership with another Swiss company called Crypto Storage AG.

[Author Alert] The author’s opinions above are solely based on their own self-conducted research. Assume any and all authors are using, holding, trading and/or buying cryptoassets mentioned as a portion of his or her financial portfolio. Use information at your own risk, do you own research, never invest more than you are willing to lose.

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Author: Gabriel Machado

Fidelity International Is Reported To Have Created a Crypto Brokers Game For Internal Use

Fidelity-International-Is-Reported-To-Have-Created-a-Crypto-Brokers-Game-For-Internal-Use

Fidelity International, a subsidiary of the Boston-based Fidelity Investments that is set in London, has been reported by Forbes to have created an in-house crypto brokerage game. The game is only being used informally by employees and it does not represent an upcoming product.

According to Forbes, the name of the game is The Fidelity Cryptoleague and its goal is the simulation of a trading game in which employees of the company can trade cryptos to see who fares better.

While not an actual product, this initiative certainly seems to be an indicator that there is interest in the crypto market stemming from the company. Because of this, some people could take this game as an indication that the possibility of the company creating crypto products soon is not null.

Obviously, it is not hard to find companies interested in the blockchain now. Most financial companies are, in one way or the other, interested in the blockchain technology and what it is able to do.

This new Cryptoleague game seems like a fun way for the employees to actually sort of participate in the market without having to actually commit to it. It is basically dipping their toes in the crypto ocean, it seems. 1,200 people from the staff of over 8,000 are currently playing the game.

Each player is said to start with $10,000 GBP of virtual money. They have to create their portfolios then and to decide the best way to create a killer portfolio.

A corporate communications associate director at the company called Craig Terrington was interviewed by Forbes. He affirmed that Fidelity International also sees a lot of importance in the blockchain world just as most people are doing now. To him, there are no solid plans for launching crypto products, but the personal interest in the crypto world is undeniable.

He affirmed that the Fidelity Cryptoleague is a simulation game in which people can have fun and learn more about trading crypto tokens. The major winners may even get real-life prizes, so they have an extra incentive to play as well as they can.

Anne Richards, the CEO of Fidelity, has also talked about the game. She affirmed that it was being used to teach people about the technology internally, which is something that is important because the blockchain technology has clearly become an important part of the financial system.

However, she also affirmed that no tangible product is being created using the technology or focusing on crypto trading at the moment. Taken that there is interest enough for this game to exist, we will probably not take a lot of time in order to see something involving this industry from Fidelity International.

Fidelity Investments Is Already Interested In Crypto

Fidelity Investments, the main branch of Fidelity, is considerably more interested in crypto. The company has plans to open up a product that will involve the technology and it has worked to create Fidelity Digital Assets, which is focused on this kind of asset.

It is also reported that Fidelity will be a part of the Libra Association. Libra is the stablecoin that is being created by Facebook and it is set to be one of the largest crypto offerings launched until today.

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Author: Gabriel Machado