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  • Geebo 7:42 am on July 24, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: bitcoin, , , Libra coin,   

    Scammers have gotten out ahead of Libra’s launch! 

    Scammers have gotten out ahead of Libra’s launch!

    If you’re unfamiliar with cryptocurrency it’s essentially a form of digital currency that is not centralized through any bank or nation. Bitcoin is the most notorious of these cryptocurrencies. Since Bitcoin is decentralized its value has wildly fluctuated over the years. While there are those who have made a virtual fortune through trading BitCoin the cryptocurrency craze seems to be on a downswing as many competing cryptocurrencies looking to copy Bitcoin’s relative success have flooded the market. One of those cryptocurrencies is set to be launched by Facebook which they have dubbed Libra. While Libra is some time away from launching, that hasn’t stopped scammers from trying to take advantage of speculators by fraudulently using the Libra name.

    According to reports, a wave of scammers has gotten out ahead of Libra’s launch claiming to be official sellers of Libra. Unfortunately, Facebook’s own platforms such as Instagram, Messenger, and Facebook itself are being used to perpetrate these scams. However, in Facebook’s defense, these scams have also spread to Twitter, YouTube, and the web at large with a number of websites claiming to be affiliated with Libra. Some phony outlets are even claiming to give discounts on millions of Libra coins. As you’ve probably guessed, these scams are designed to only take your money and give you nothing in return.

    Investing in cryptocurrency is like investing in any other financial market. You should only do it if you can afford to lose the money you invest as not all investments turn into profits. That’s not even taking into account that Libra seems more like a way to spend money globally rather than an investment type of cryptocurrency. So if you’re actually interested in using Libra once it launches, you’ll have to wait until 2020 before you can purchase any. No matter what someone online tries to tell you.

     
  • Geebo 8:00 am on May 14, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: bitcoin, , Flexa, , SPEDN   

    Is cryptocurrency ready for retail? 

    Is cryptocurrency ready for retail?

    Even with its volatile fluctuations in value, it seems that cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin are here to stay. It seems that cryptocurrency is no longer just the method of transaction on the dark web as it continues to gain more mainstream acceptance. Cryptocurrency enthusiasts have long dreamed of a day where they can use their Bitcoins or any other number of cryptocurrencies, to purchase everyday items such as their morning coffee or a pizza. That dream is now becoming a little bit closer to reality.

    15 retailers in America have signed up for an app called SPEDN that is said to allow users to spend their cryptocurrency in brick and mortar stores. Some of the retailers that will begin accepting cryptocurrency are Bed Bath and Beyond, Ulta, Barnes & Noble, Baskin Robbins, Crate & Barrel, Express, GameStop, Lowe’s, Nordstrom, and Regal Cinemas. SPEDN is attached to the Flexa global payments network.

    However, what remains to be seen is how these retailers will be able to keep their cryptocurrency stockpile secure. Retailers are not the most secure companies as a number of them have been subject to massive data breaches that exposed customers’ information. Since cryptocurrency has been known to be stolen through nefarious electronic means will consumers turn against cryptocurrency once a large amount of it has been stolen from one of these retailers? While a good idea in concept maybe cryptocurrency isn’t ready for retail just yet until the security aspect of it can be addressed.

     
  • Geebo 9:48 am on May 1, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: bitcoin, , , ,   

    Couple falls for Bitcoin laundering scam 

    Couple falls for Bitcoin laundering scam

    An anonymous couple in Colorado have had their identities stolen and assets seized after they applied to what they thought was a work at home job. The couple started working for a company called Golden Potatoes that was said to be headquartered in Portland, Oregon. The couple was told to open bank accounts so they could receive payments from supposed customers who were buying potatoes from the company. The couple would deposit the payments in the new bank accounts then purchase Bitcoin to send to their bosses. The couple was told they could keep 5% of all deposits. This wasn’t your typical wire fraud or fake check scam either as the couple were making actual money from the transactions.

    It all fell apart when someone was using their identity to allegedly scam people on craigslist. You just knew craigslist had to be involved somewhere didn’t you? Anyway, the scammers were using the couple’s identities to place ads on craigslist claiming to be selling high-end items like cars and ATVs. That’s when the banks got involved believing the couple may have been committing fraud and shut down the accounts. As you can probably expect, not only did Golden Potatoes not exist as a legitimate company, but they also don’t even have a physical location at their purported Portland address. It was all just a scheme to allegedly launder money into Bitcoin.

    Many work at home positions have been the work of scammers for years even before the internet. Not to beat a dead horse, but if it seems to be too good to be true it usually is. Any type of job where your asked to open a separate bank account or deposit money into your own account is not legitimate. No legitimate company would ask employees to do such things unless they were trying to hide money illegally. If you were to fall for one of these scams, you could not only be held liable for any losses your bank my incur but you could potentially be looking at criminal charges while the scammers get away with their now laundered money.

     
  • Geebo 10:00 am on December 12, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: bitcoin, , wallets   

    Beware of fake cryptocurrency wallet apps 

    Beware of fake cryptocurrency wallet apps

    Cryptocurrenices like Bitcoin have been in the news a lot lately. From its volatile increase in value, to people becoming Bitcoin billionaires, to millions being lost in hacks and theft, to people mortgaging their homes in order to buy into Bitcoin have been hogging the headlines for the past few weeks. With cryptocurrency popularity at an all time high, it should come as no surprise that some people are looking to make money off of the cryptocurrency craze in some not so legitimate ways.

    Much like real currency, or analog currency if you will, cryptocurrency needs a place where it can be stored safely and securely. These exchanges or clients are often referred to as wallets.

    Recently, some people have been listing phony wallet apps on the various app stores that appear to be connected to certain cryptocurrencies, but are not official apps. These apps could compromise your personal information including the private keys to your wallet which could result in the loss of your cryptocurrency.

    If you’re looking for a crpytocurrency wallet app don’t go to the app store first. Instead go to the official website of the cryptocurrency exchange of your choice. There, they should have a link to their official app where you then can download it. This goes for many banking and financial apps as well. Don’t trust the app stores to provide the official apps when so many knock off apps exist.

     
  • Geebo 10:19 am on December 8, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: bitcoin, ,   

    Is crytptocurrency the future of classifieds? 

    Is crytptocurrency the future of classifieds?

    Cryptocurrency Bitcoin has been in the news a lot lately. Mostly because since the beginning 2017 it has increased in value from $1,000 to a record high of $17,000 with many people and experts saying that a crash is inevitable. Either way, cryptocurrencies seem like there here to stay. While they haven’t been universally adopted yet as an online payment method one classifieds site has made it easier for their users to accept cryptocurrency.

    Craigslist recently, and quietly, added an option to their ads where sellers can say they’re ok with being paid in cryptocurrency. While many see this as an advance in technology, it can also be seen as yet one more avenue into fraud. Bitcoin exchanges and wallets are susceptible to hacking and there have been several stories in the news where millions of dollars in Bitcoin have been stolen. If these hackers use stolen Bitcoins through craigslist that can almost be seen as a form of money laundering.

    That’s not even taking into account that Bitcoin seems to go against one of craigslist’s core values. Craigslist tries to tout itself as being socially responsible yet the mining of Bitcoins uses so much power that the energy needed to generate one Bitcoin could power nine US homes for a day.

    While it seems craigslist has been bitten by the Bitcoin bug, stick with cash and also use a classifieds site that isn’t filled with a plethora of fraudulent ads.

     
  • Geebo 9:31 am on August 17, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , bitcoin, , Rebecca Portnoff, UC Berkely   

    UC Berkeley student develops way to track human trafficking rings through Bitcoin 

    UC Berkeley student develops way to track human trafficking rings through Bitcoin

    Not too along ago, the major credit card companies in the U.S. stopped Backpage from accepting payments through credit and debit cards for Backpage’s sex trafficking ads. Backpage then started accepting the cryptocurrency Bitcoin for placement of their ads. Now, a Ph.D. candidate from UC Berkeley has come up with a system to track human trafficking rings using Bitcoin.

    Bitcoin is not as anonymous as people may think. Anytime a Bitcoin transaction is made, it’s registered in a worldwide ledger that is public information. While the Bitcoin users aren’t identified by name, it is easy to track transactions by an ID number. This is an oversimplification of the Bitcoin process, but technically correct. UC Berkeley Ph.D. candidate Rebecca Portnoff has developed a system for her dissertation where a Bitcoin transaction can be timed with the placement of a Backpage ad. The timing of the Backpage ad can then be used to match the timing of other ads to determine if they’re being placed by the same Bitcoin user which in turn could identify trafficking rings. In a test, the system was able to be 89% accurate in identifying these rings.

    Since Bitcoin can be used for a number of illegal transactions, this could be a huge boon for law enforcement, not just for human trafficking but other illicit crimes as well.

     
  • Geebo 9:02 am on May 23, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: bitcoin   

    Is a rogue state exerting undue influence on Bitcoin? 

    Is a rogue state exerting undue influence on Bitcoin?

    Cryptocurrency Bitcoin is back in the news this week after its advocates celebrated the fact that its value has risen past the $2,000 mark for the first time in its seven-year history. Many claim it’s due to policy changes in Japan and China that have made it easier for traders to buy into Bitcoin. However, could there be a more nefarious reason behind the surge?

    Bitcoin made headlines prior to this due to the WannaCry ransomware attack. The cyber-extortionists asked for $300 to $600 in Bitcoin as he ransom for your encrypted files. While the attack is said to have failed in terms of netting the attackers a king’s ransom, what if that was only part of their plan?

    Security experts are now saying the code within the WannaCry attack traces back to a state sponsored hacking group in North Korea. The hermit kingdom has been in a state of financial distress for decades now with even neighboring China cutting back on support. With so many businesses now attempting to keep Bitcoin on hand in case of another such attack, is this the real reason the price has surged? Without a ‘legitimate’ regulating body Bitcoin is subject to wild price fluctuations which could potentially lead any state-sponsored group to strong-arm the price into rising or falling depending on their needs. Could North Korea be trying to use the surge in Bitcoin to make some money for themselves? It’s not out of the realm of possibility.

     
  • Geebo 9:00 am on May 18, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: bitcoin,   

    Should companies keep Bitcoin on hand in case of ransomware? 

    Should companies keep Bitcoin on hand in case of ransomware?

    In wake of the recent WannaCry ransomware attack, cryptocurrency Bitcoin has been in the news a lot lately. In a nutshell, Bitcoin is a digital form of currency that is almost completely anonymous. While it can be used for legal and legitimate transactions, Bitcoin does have somewhat of a shady reputation since it’s not only used as the method of payment to unlock ransomware, but it’s also been used as the de facto form of payment in dark web black markets like Silk Road.

    The people behind the WannaCry attack have so far claimed close to $100,000 in ransom. That’s not a lot when you consider that they were asking between $300 and $600 for each machine that had become infected that was said to number in the hundreds of thousands. According to NBC News, a number of companies have been stockpiling Bitcoin in order to quickly resolve any ransomware attacks they may become the victims of. Is this good business? Well, yes and no. As mentioned before, there is never any guarantee that the encrypted files will ever be released if the ransom is paid. However, it could be more financially viable for some companies to pay the ransom rather than deploying a battalion of IT workers to hopefully fix the problem. Either way to finding a solution a is a huge gamble and neither of them have any kind of beneficial payoff.

    Paying off ransomware may get your files back, but in the long run it encourages more groups to launch more attacks.

     
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