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Updated: 25 min 13 sec ago

Coca-Cola and the U.S. State Department Teams Up To Reduce Forced Labour Using Blockchain

2 hours 12 min ago

Coca-Cola is joining forces with the U.S. State Department and three other organizations — Bitfury Group, Blockchain Trust Accelerator (BTA), and Emercoin — to launch a blockchain-based project that aims to create a secure registry for workers to fight the use of forced labor worldwide. This is the State Department’s first major blockchain project, and serves to reinforce the technology’s growing application for social and humanitarian causes.

The initiative is set to use blockchain’s distributed ledger technology to create a secure, decentralized registry for workers and their contracts, according to BTA, a non-profit organization involved in the project that focuses on real-world applications of blockchain to deliver social impact. Bitfury Group, a U.S. tech company, with help from Emercoin, will build the blockchain platform for this project.

As for the State Department, the agency will provide expertise on labor protection. “The Department of State is excited to work on this innovative blockchain-based pilot,” Deputy Assistant Secretary Scott Busby said in an email to Reuters.

Food and Beverage Companies: Forced Labor

Recently, food and beverage companies have been facing increased pressure to address the risk of forced labor in countries where they obtain sugarcane. A study released last year by KnowTheChain (KTC), a partnership founded by U.S.-based Humanity United, showed that most food and beverage companies fall short in their efforts to solve the problem. According to the International Labor Organization, nearly 25 million people work in forced-labor conditions worldwide, with 47% of them in the Asia-Pacific region.

To combat this issue, Coca-Cola is playing a major role as part of a pledge to conduct 28 national studies on labor and land rights for its sugar supply chains before 2020. And while this blockchain project is still young, it appears likely it will still represent an improvement over a modern employment system that frequently lets companies abuse workers with relatively little consequence. 

Despite Coca-Cola certainly taking a step in the right direction, the project already faces some limits. As noted by Busby, while blockchain can help persuade companies and governments to respect work contracts, it can’t actually force them to respect those contracts.

Also, blockchain’s digital nature raises some implementation questions, like how do you ensure that workers can access the necessary information when many of those affected might not even have the access to a smartphone or computer?

The post Coca-Cola and the U.S. State Department Teams Up To Reduce Forced Labour Using Blockchain appeared first on NewsBTC.

Paypal Files Patent Application: Company Looking to Get Involved in Virtual Currencies

4 hours 25 min ago

According to an application with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, PayPal wants to speed up crypto transaction processing times and has filed a patent for a faster cryptocurrency payment system.

Since PayPal kicked off in 2002, the company has dominated the online payment scene — but they face increasing competition: in the last couple years cryptocurrency payment solutions have proliferated the market. These decentralized platforms demonstrate that if PayPal doesn’t make some moves forward, it will likely face stiff competition and begin to lose its foothold in the global payments arena.

“Expedited Virtual Currency Transaction System”

Perhaps attempting to preempt the inevitable rise of cryptocurrency-based payment solutions rivalling its own, PayPal filed its patent application for an “Expedited Virtual Currency Transaction System” on March 1st.

Decentralized cryptocurrencies accomplish the ultimate ambition of PayPal: to transact quickly and inexpensively across borders. While PayPal must rely on partnering financial institutions and payment processors to provide their service (which add costs and time to transactions) distributed networks that run cryptocurrencies are likely starting to look like a better alternative.

Remember, PayPal’s has an inherent fee structure in which customers and merchants alike face 5% charges per transaction for the privilege of using the platform, among other arbitrary rules designed to keep everything aboveboard.


PayPal CEO Dan Schulman recently spoke about the opportunities and obstacles related to cryptocurrency-based payment solutions. Schulman touched on the level of volatility and inconsistent regulations in the growing space, saying, “Regulations need to be sorted out along with a whole number of other things. It’s an experiment right now that is very unclear as to the direction it will go in.” 

In other comments made last month, PayPal CFO John Rainey discussed the risk that companies accepting Bitcoin may suffer: “Given the volatility of Bitcoin right now, it’s not a reliable currency for transactions because if you’re a merchant and you have a 10% profit margin, and you accept Bitcoin, and the very next day Bitcoin drops 15%, you are now underwater on that transaction.” Rainey also indicated that he thinks it will be “years down the road,” before Bitcoin becomes ubiquitous.

Looking Ahead

Judging by their recent quotes, the two most senior executives at PayPal are cognizant of ongoing regulation efforts, Bitcoin’s innate flaws, and their own platform’s weakness versus cryptocurrency alternatives. And though the comments made by Schulman and Rainey within the last month are true, that doesn’t mean they contrast with plans for their patent. Looking ahead, there are several ways that PayPal could use cryptocurrency technology while both ignoring Bitcoin and staying ahead of ongoing regulatory efforts.

One option is that PayPal might create a type of cryptocurrency exchange service, whereby those with any type of cryptocurrency can use the platform to send and receive payments easily, with all settlement and exchange done behind the scenes. Another (perhaps more probable) alternative is that PayPal will create its own centralized cryptocurrency — similar to what Ripple has done.

Either way, PayPal will finally be able to escape the clutches of its service providers, reach across borders where it’s currently not active, and provide clients with a cheaper, faster way to merge their physical and digital finances. However, the company has stiff competition and will need to act fast, as it’s already far behind the curve.

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Investor: Adoption of Cryptocurrency as P2P Cash is Key For Next Bull Market

8 hours 37 min ago

Ari Paul, CIO and managing partner of cryptocurrency hedge fund BlockTower Capital, took to Twitter to share his thoughts on what might drive the next bull market: adoption as P2P cash, institutional portfolios, privacy, and marketing.

Hedge Fund CIO Ari Paul Explains Next Bull Market In Bitcoin

Ari Paul explained his views of how the adoption of cryptocurrency will unfold. As a reminder, it should be acknowledged that he placed, on behalf of his cryptocurrency hedge fund BlockTower Capital, a $1 million bet that Bitcoin will hit $50,000 in 2018.

The Bitcoin investor started off by disregarding mass user adoption as a short-term driver for the bull market. For most cryptocurrency use cases, mass user adoption is still years off: “Less than 10 million people “use” crypto today, and aside from use as “digital gold” or “payment rail”, other use cases won’t have meaningful traction for 18+ months at fastest.”

Ari Paul noted that adoption of cryptocurrency as cash will drive the market upwards in the mid-term. He pointed to real adoption of cryptocurrency as P2P cash for its technological viability and its potential to go ‘viral’ thanks to big-budget marketing.

Moreover, Ari Paul believes that third-party custody, banking relationships, index funds, and more trusted exchanges, “will support gradual adoption of Bitcoin and maybe other “Coinbase coins” in institutional portfolios”. The “digital gold” momentum will not include “anything that’s ICO’ed in the last 2 years.”

Then, the crypto influencer argued that Bitcoin will find much growth in demand as individuals fight for their privacy in a world that increasingly embraces surveillance states. Ari Paul foresees inevitability in the power of privacy in the cryptocurrency world:

If Bitcoin is adopted *because* it supports anti-money laundering measures by investors, that opens the door for a specifically non-AML competitor.

Finally, Ari Paul recognized that the easy money obtained by so many cryptocurrency projects, some sitting on $200 million in capital and others over $1 billion, should be able to drive the bullish market.

“Unlimited budgets coupled with the world’s best marketers produce amazing results”, he wrote on Twitter. “They can create at least pumps, and with smart consumer applications maybe some real adoption.”

Ari Paul and his crypto hedge fund are still nine months away from the option contract expiry. It is certainly possible to have the Bitcoin price surpass the $50,000 mark. In 2017, the currency reached twenty times its worth from January to December. If $50,000 is reached in 2018, the bet will pay out on a 30 to 1 odds.

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Bitcoin Continues to Fall to $7,600 Despite Technological Improvements

9 hours 7 min ago

Things are evolving in an interesting direction where Bitcoin is concerned. Even though the price is declining rapidly, there are positive changes on the horizon.It is always important to put things into the right perspective.

An Intriguing Year for Bitcoin

It has been a  wild rollercoaster ride for Bitcoin, to say the very least. It is not the first time we see a total cryptocurrency market near or just below $300bn. Albeit the current trend isn’t exactly positive, there is no real reason for despair either. A lot of positive changes have occurred in the past twelve months, albeit most have gone by unnoticed.

More specifically, a year ago, we also had a market cap of $300bn, give or take. At that time, Bitcoin was in far worse shape than it is right now. With no scaling in sight, hardly any working projects, and no regulatory attempts, the future looked very uncertain. In fact, some people were quite certain the Bitcoin price wouldn’t evolve in a positive direction from that point onward.

The reality often works in different and mysterious ways. Bitcoin’s all-time high value is just over $19,000.We now also have a scaling solution in place, with more improvements on the way. We also have some positive regulatory measures in place as we speak. Bitcoin is legal and Japan, South Korea is fine with self-regulation by exchanges, and Europe will maintain a hands-off approach. All of these developments are positive, yet the price trend remains bearish.

Speculators Don’t Care About Technology

It is evident the people influencing the Bitcoin value don’t care about these developments. Cryptocurrencies have always been subject to price manipulation first and foremost. That trend will not slow down anytime soon either. Despite the overall market cap growth, this is still a pretty small industry. Even the Bitcoin futures will not necessarily impact this manipulative aspect in a positive manner either.

In fact, any positive technical developments may result in more bearish pressures. Any positive news gets the average person excited, which will trigger sell-off by Bitcoin “whales” accordingly. This doesn’t mean we will not see a new all-time high BTC price later this year, though. Anything and everything remains possible in the world of cryptocurrency.

With proper Bitcoin scaling and regulatory measures on the horizon, interesting things are bound to happen. Speculators can only keep the value down for so long until the floodgates open properly. More and more people are demanding exposure to this new form of money. With a limited supply of BTC to go around, the future still looks bright. Even though speculators only want quite profits, the long-term perspective still looks pretty solid, all things considered.

The post Bitcoin Continues to Fall to $7,600 Despite Technological Improvements appeared first on NewsBTC.

“Vaporware” ICO Tokens are Already Trading Below Their Initial Offering Price

10 hours 7 min ago

The initial coin offering (ICO) industry finds itself in a bit of a pickle. On the one hand, the SEC is cracking down on illicit securities offerings. On the other hand, the prices of ICO tokens are crashing hard. This is not a great development for the industry as a whole.

The ICO Tokens Are Crashing in Value

Buying into an initial coin offering is always a certain risk. The perceived value of these tokens may not necessarily reflect their actual value. As of right now, close to half of all ICO tokens are trading at a lower price. More specifically, they are valued below the initial offering price. This doesn’t please investors in the slightest, yet it is not exactly a surprising trend.

"40% to 50% of ICOs are currently underwater – trading at a price lower than the initial offering price." – @ccatalini #MITBitcoinExpo2018

— Jameson Lopp (@lopp) March 17, 2018

A lot of these tokens are priced at a value which is pulled out of thin air. For example, ICO tokens can be worth $1, because the company wants to sell X amount of tokens at that price to raise Y amount of money. That doesn’t mean said token is actually worth $1 now, or in the future. It is the price investors will pay to get their hands on new ICO tokens accordingly. Some more thought needs to put into how these tokens are valued.

With around half of all ICO tokens trading below ICO price, a very worrisome situation ensues. Reclaiming the lost value will not be easy whatsoever. All markets have turned ultra bearish right now. Stopping this gushing wound from bleeding will be very difficult. As such, most of these ICO tokens will continue to lose value as investors are cutting their losses.

The Growing List of Empty Promises

Even without a bearish cryptocurrrency market, most ICO tokens wouldn’t be in a good place right now. With so many projects “promising” great things, it’s only normal investors lose patience. The vast majority of initial coin offerings have no working code or a product. While MVPs are usually unveiled within six months, people active contribute money to projects which can be labeled as “vaporware“.

All of this makes one wonder how ICO tokens need to be valued from day one. Projects with no working code or product have, on paper, a value of $0. As such, their tokens should be valued at $0 as well. Unfortunately, that is not how ICOs work these days, and ICO tokens will receive an arbitrary value at all times. This situation is unsustainable in the long run, though.

For now, we will have to wait and see what the future holds for all of these tokens. Right now, things are not looking great. Even projects with a working product or code are suffering from the massive cryptocurrency onslaught. Turning this ship around will not happen anytime soon either. Everyone is looking for quick profits or ways to cut losses. The long-term perspective is not a priority for most ICO investors and speculators by any means.

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Bitcoin Price Weekly Analysis – BTC/USD to Retest $6,000

16 hours 9 min ago
Key Points
  • Bitcoin price is under heavy selling pressure as it tumbled below the $8,000 support against the US Dollar.
  • There is a crucial contracting triangle forming with support at $7,400 on the 4-hours chart of the BTC/USD pair (data feed from Kraken).
  • The pair may extend the current decline and it could even break the $7,400 and $7,000 support levels.

Bitcoin price is poised to extend declines below $7,000 against the US Dollar. BTC/USD’s correction towards the $8,000 and $8,500 levels are likely to be capped.

Bitcoin Price Bearish Trend

There was hardly any relief for bitcoin price as it failed to hold a major support at $8,400 against the US Dollar. The price declined and broke the $8,000 and $7,800 support levels. Earlier, there was a correction initiated from the $8,397 swing low. BTC price corrected and moved towards the $9,800 level where it faced sellers and started a fresh decline.

It fell and broke the last swing low of $8,397, opening the doors for more losses. It even traded below the 1.236 Fib extension of the last upside wave from the $8,397 low to $9,888 high. These all are bearish signs, which suggest further downsides in the near term. It seems like the price may test or it could even break the 1.618 Fib extension of the last upside wave from the $8,397 low to $9,888 high. There is also a crucial contracting triangle forming with support at $7,400 on the 4-hours chart of the BTC/USD pair.

Sellers could gain further control if there is a break below $7,400. The next major support is at $7,000. However, in the mentioned case, the price may extend declines and bitcoin could test $6,000. On the upside, the $8,000 level is a key resistance, followed by $8,400.

Looking at the technical indicators:              

4-hours MACD – The MACD for BTC/USD is moving in the bearish zone.

4-hours RSI (Relative Strength Index) – The RSI is currently reaching the 30 level.

Major Support Level – $7,400

Major Resistance Level – $8,400


Charts courtesy –Trading View

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Ethereum Price Weekly Analysis – ETH/USD Tumbles Below $560

17 hours 59 min ago
Key Highlights
  • ETH price was under immense bearish pressure and it declined below the $560 support against the US Dollar.
  • There is a major bearish trend line forming with resistance at $575 on the 4-hours chart of ETH/USD (data feed via Kraken).
  • The pair may continue to slide and it could even break the $500 level in the near term.

Ethereum price declined sharply during the past few days against the US Dollar and Bitcoin. ETH/USD could continue to move down below the $500 level.

Ethereum Price Decline

This past week, a major downside move was initiated from the $750 swing high in ETH price against the US Dollar. The price declined and moved below the $700 and $600 support levels. The decline accelerated recently and sellers succeeded in pushing the price below the $560 support. ETH price is now trading well below the $600 level and the 100 simple moving average (2-hours).

The recent low was formed at $508 and it seems like the price may even not correct in the short term. An initial resistance is around the 23.6% Fib retracement level of the last decline from the $738 high to $508 low. Moreover, there is a major bearish trend line forming with resistance at $575 on the 4-hours chart of ETH/USD. The pair remains at a risk, and if there is a correction from the current levels, the $575 level could act as a major resistance.

On the downside, the recent low of $508 is a tiny support. It seems like the price may test the $500 level in the near term. A break below the $500 level could really put buyers under a lot of pressure. In the mentioned case, below $500, the price could move into a medium term downtrend with chances of more losses.

4-hours MACD – The MACD is placed well in the bearish zone.

4-hours RSI – The RSI is currently near the oversold levels.

Major Support Level – $500

Major Resistance Level – $575


Charts courtesy – Trading View

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Bitcoin Cash Price Weekly Analysis – BCH/USD Remains at Risk

19 hours 9 min ago
Key Points
  • Bitcoin cash price struggled to recover and moved below the $950 level against the US Dollar.
  • There is a crucial bearish trend line forming with resistance at $975 on the 4-hours chart of the BCH/USD pair (data feed from SimpleFX).
  • The pair remains at a risk of more declines and it could even break the last low of $867 in the near term.

Bitcoin cash price is under pressure below $975 against the US Dollar. BCH/USD may continue to decline towards $850 and $800 support levels.

Bitcoin Cash Price Downtrend

This past week pushed bitcoin cash price in a bearish zone below $1,000 the US Dollar. There was a sharp downside move and the price settled below the $1,000 level and the 100 simple moving average (4-hours). There was a decline towards the $850 level and a low formed at $867. A recovery was initiated and the price moved above the 23.6% Fib retracement level of the last decline from the $1,160 high to $867 low.

However, the upside wave was protected by the $1,050 level. Moreover, the 61.8% Fib retracement level of the last decline from the $1,160 high to $867 low acted as a hurdle. At the moment, the price is trading lower and is well below the $950 level. On the upside, there is a crucial bearish trend line forming with resistance at $975 on the 4-hours chart of the BCH/USD pair. It seems like the pair may continue to decline and it could even break the $900 level in the near term.

Further below $900, the last low of $867 could be tested. Moreover, there is a risk of a test of $850, which is a major support zone.

Looking at the technical indicators:

4-hours MACD – The MACD for BCH/USD is once again moving in the bearish zone.

4-hours RSI (Relative Strength Index) – The RSI for BTC/USD is now well below the 50 level.

Major Support Level – $850

Major Resistance Level – $975


Charts courtesy – SimpleFX

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Monero Is the Favorite Cryptocurrency of Cyber Criminals, Study Finds

Sat, 03/17/2018 - 15:44

A study found that cybercriminals launder $80-$200 billion a year and are moving away from Bitcoin as Monero offers greater anonymity.

Cybercriminals Launder Up To $200 Billion Each Year, Says Report

Virtualization technology-focused security firm security firm Bromium announced the findings of an independent study into the macroeconomics of cybercrime. “Into the Web of Profit,” a report released by the company, concludes that cybercriminal proceeds make up an estimated 8-10 percent of total illegal profits laundered globally, which amounts to $80-$200 billion each year.

Additionally, the report found that virtual currencies are now the primary tool used by cybercriminals for money laundering. Monero, a cryptocurrency that provides greater anonymity, is becoming criminals’ favorite as they move away from Bitcoin.

Dr. Mike McGuire, Senior Lecturer in Criminology at Surrey University and author of the report, said:

“It’s no surprise to see cybercriminals using virtual currency for money laundering. The attraction is obvious. It’s digital, so is an easily convertible way of acquiring and transferring cybercrime revenue. Anonymity is also key, with platforms like Monero designed to be truly anonymous, and tumbler services like CoinJoin that can obscure transaction origins. Targeted organizations must do more to protect their customers.”

The study also found that in-game purchases and currencies are spurring a rise in gaming-related laundering, as China and South Korea become hotspots for gaming-currency laundering; PayPal and other digital payment systems are employed by cybercriminals to launder money; and digital payment systems laundering often involves the use of micro-laundering techniques where multiple, small payments are made so laundering limits aren’t triggered.

Gregory Webb, Chief Executive Officer of Bromium, commented: “We invested in this research to instigate a meaningful conversation about how to disrupt the economic systems and poor security practices that enable cybercrime around the world; frankly because it’s far too easy for them.”

“Today it is easy for hackers to infect machines, steal data, and hold businesses and individuals for ransom or sell stolen IP because enterprise defenses are not fit for purpose. It is equally easy for them to wash that money and convert it into cash – and the rise in the use of unregulated, virtual currencies is making this even easier. We need to attack the problem in a different way. Law enforcement, the cybersecurity industry and both the public and private sectors need to be vigilant about disrupting cybercrime. Protecting applications that access sensitive data is an absolute requirement. We need a whole new approach to cybersecurity or these figures will continue to increase over time.”

While cryptocurrencies have become more popular within the cybercrime industry, it remains unclear whether the impact of digital currencies is large enough to attract the attention of regulators, given that the majority of criminal operations globally are still funded by fiat money, or cash.

The post Monero Is the Favorite Cryptocurrency of Cyber Criminals, Study Finds appeared first on NewsBTC.

After a Slow Start, Bitcoin Will Hit Its Prime in the Years to Come

Sat, 03/17/2018 - 14:00

A lot of things can change over the course of nine years. In the Bitcoin world, we have seen major changes as well. While there is still work to be done, these are still the early stages of cryptocurrency in general. Adoption will only increase moving forward, as the best has yet to come.

The Bitcoin Story so Far

It has become evident Bitcoin has seen some interesting changes. Things have evolved in an interesting direction compared to nine years ago. It is safe to say the currency has come a very long way since the initial release. What started out as a niche project has turned into the world’s leading cryptocurrency. Moreover, cryptocurrency is now a phenomenon which can’t be ignored any longer.

As of last year, banks finally started showing an interest in Bitcoin. With a few institutions venturing into the world of Bitcoin futures, the tone is set. Other institutions even publicly acknowledge Bitcoin is a threat to their business model. All of this further confirms the best is yet to come for the world’s leading cryptocurrency.

At the same time, some problems have remained. Bitcoin still lacks scaling, it’s not the most technologically-advanced solution, and it is losing traction among early adopter merchants. However, that doesn’t mean people will stop using Bitcoin as a payment method all of a sudden either. In fact, it seems now is a good time to stop thinking about Bitcoin as just an investment vehicle.

What Comes Next for BTC?

The big question is how this industry will evolve over the next nine years. Right now, there is so much focus on the Bitcoin price, people tend to miss out on the big picture. Over one in two Square merchants is willing to experiment with BTC payments. That is an extremely positive signal for the cryptocurrency industry as a whole.When the merchants pay attention to BTC as a currency again, big things will happen eventually.

Survey Shows: Over 50% of Square merchants is ready to accept #Bitcoin. Think #Bitcoin adoption is slowing down? Think again. Adoption of Technology in the US including #Bitcoin:

— Blockchainlife (@Blockchainlife) March 17, 2018

Moreover, the world’s leading cryptocurrency is maturing in the technology department as well. Scaling is becoming less of an issue with SegWit adoption on the rise. Add the Lightning Network to this trend, and things will only get better from here on out. Additionally, Rootstock is nearing completion. This project will bring smart contract technology to the Bitcoin network.

Additionally, we see the public perception of this cryptocurrency change as well. Adults are becoming aware how BTC can be a part of everyday life without too many problems. The global and borderless nature of this currency has a lot of potential when used properly. The industry also continues to create jobs left, right, and center, which should not be overlooked either. This is still the early stage of development, and a lot of things will change in the years to come.

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Coincheck Cryptocurrency Hack Goes Unpunished Despite Money Being Launderred

Sat, 03/17/2018 - 13:00

Cryptocurrency thefts are nothing new these days. A lot of hackers have successfully attacked exchanges in the past The recent Coincheck exchange shows how easy it is and launder the money accordingly. It also highlights exchanges have work to do when it comes to fighting these problems.

Coincheck Hack Laundering Issues

It is safe to say laundering cryptocurrencies still poses a problem. Especially when dealing with large amounts, there are a fair few issues to take into account. The recent Coincheck hack, for example, shows how difficult this job can be. With $500m in stolen NEM to be cleaned up, there is a lot of work to be done. Doing so on the open market is pretty much impossible without raising red flags.

Most exchanges and the NEM Foundation keep close tabs on the stole funds. Doing so should effectively prevent the hackers from laundering the stolen funds accordingly. Even so, Nikkei reports how close to $80m worth of stolen NEM has been laundered through regular exchanges. That seems pretty much impossible, given all of the flagged addresses. Moreover, it is not mentioned with exchange has been used in this regard.

Converting NEM to BTC can only be done on a handful of exchanges right now. It seems more likely the funds were funneled through the darknet in many different ways. While the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department has 100 officers on the case, very little progress has been made so far. The Coincheck hack still remains a mystery which goes by unsolved. Something will need to change in this regard sooner rather than later.

Cryptocurrency Theft Still Goes Unpunished

The bigger problem is how there have been dozens of exchange hacks in the past. Very few of those cases were ever solved. Coincheck’s incident is no different in this regard, as no suspects have been identified at this point in time. There are concerns North Korean hackers may be involved, but nothing has been confirmed at this point. This situation is unacceptable, as there is no improvement in sight as of right now.

Letting hackers go by unpunished is not the right way forward. Unfortunately, there are no real repercussions for thefts like these. While exchanges have flagged the stolen funds, it seems the hackers can still convert it to other cryptocurrencies without problems. Although no evidence has been provided by Nikkei or its “unnamed sources”, there is probably some truth to these claims. After all, tracking down cryptocurrency transactions still pretty difficult for most law enforcement agencies.

How all of this will play out, remains to be seen. The Coincheck hack needs to be resolved pretty soon. Affected customers will be reimbursed very soon as well. This will happen at nearly three times the current NEM price, which is rather interesting It seems the exchange will resume its trading activities in the near future as well. These are all positive developments, but people want to know who is responsible for this hack in the first place. Right now, it seems we will never know the truth, which is a big problem.

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Institutional investors to shine light on the best ICOs

Sat, 03/17/2018 - 08:05

ICOs are big money and big news these days. From virtually nothing a few years ago to raising $5.6bn last year a totally new form of financing has truly arrived on the scene. This success has brought its fair share of pretenders, with “scam ICOs” becoming increasingly prevalent.

How can investors protect themselves from scam ICOs – some answers have been proposed by one successful blockchain entrepreneur. First – it’s necessary to truly understand that an ICO has a strong day-to-day core executive team. Second – transactions in the ICO should be transparent, as today only a few ICOs actually show you all the incoming transactions during the tokensaleso this should be of paramount importance. Thirdly – discounts and special offers during a tokensale that seem too good to be true are generally just that – too good to be true. But even three simple rules aren’t enough for the shark tank of ICOs in early 2018.

What might shine the path for “smart money” in the new world of crypto is the expertise of the old world of institutional investors when such funds highly selectively decide to support an ICO. Such investments have thus far been few and far between but that fact could well change this year.

The core concept of a truly valuable ICO is investment in a decentralized network (rather than investing in a traditional corporation) and there is no reason why VCs wouldn’t be interested in such moves.

Part of the attraction may lie in the fact that there is so little value to be found in traditional centralized companies. Tech IPOs were rare in 2017. Snap’s IPO raised almost $20bn last year, and paid its CEO $638 million. As Snap is clearly not some revolutionary technology, the lesson is clear – there is too much money chasing quite few quality companies in the traditional sector. The logical consequence of this is clear – VCs will move into new sectors such as crypto, augmented reality and virtual reality looking for value beyond the fantastical valuations at Snap and elsewhere.

Which ICOs will be the ones to attract “old world” moneyand conservative private equity firms like Carlyle, Fortress, Ardian, Mangrove? Surely one of traditional investors’ most important criterions will be projects which are built upon the foundation of real world use cases where decentralized networks solve the shortcomings of traditional business models. With venture capital funds sitting on over $120bn in available funds for investment and traditional sectors such as metals & mining still underperforming, a hunt for yield is surely underway in technology.

This change in attitude is possibly best exemplified by JP Morgan Chase Chairman and CEO Jamie Dimon who went back on his comments where he slammed Bitcoin as a “fraud”, to say that, in fact, he is a strong believer in blockchain(the technology behind the cryptocurrency).Dimon put it well, saying “[ICOs] you have to look at individually” .

In 2018, institutional investors are sure to be looking at individual ICOs for value many times greater than offered by Snap and the like.

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Working Business-Backed “GIFcoin ICO” Is Live – Join the Revolution & Earn Impressive ROIs!

Sat, 03/17/2018 - 08:03

After a successful, sold-out private sale, the 1st phase of GIFcoin’s ICO started on March 16, 2018. The token sale brings a massive opportunity for investors to leverage upon the fastest growing gambling market and earn impressive ROIs. GIFcoin’s Gambling Investment Fund (GIF), is a platform backed by an already functioning website —, embedded with all popular industry features including casino, live casino, sports betting, IN-Play betting, eSports and virtual sports.

About GIFcoin

The recently launched ICO of GIFcoin invites investors to participate in a real token, backed by a real project, and managed by an industry expert and experienced team. The investors have been showing great interest to participate in the existing moneymaking business characterized by a long-term sustainable growth. GIF token holders are entitled to earn 80% of the VitalBet’s annual profits every year.

Why Should You Invest in the Gambling Industry?

The gambling industry is one of the fastest growing industries in the world, reaching more than $500 billion in 2017, where sports betting alone is accounted for $220 billion. The industry, with an existing growth rate, is believed to achieve an annual growth rate of 3.3% by 2020, according to experts. The sports gambling, in particular, has been projected to reach new heights due to an increasing access of population to the internet, and legalization of online sports betting in many countries including the U.S.A.

What Makes GIFcoin Unique on the Market?

Unlike the majority of other ICO campaigns, GIFcoin is backed by a real, working betting website – The revolutionary project offers investors the exclusive opportunity to earn a share of the gambling industry’s enormous profits by participating in its ICO and buying GIF tokens. The GIFcoin team has been negotiating with the largest cryptocurrency exchanges to feature GIFcoin immediately after the ICO has finished. GIFcoin tokens will be sent immediately to the investors’ ETH Wallet.

About GIF Tokens’ Distribution

The GIFcoin is an ERC20 token and a smart contract system built on the Ethereum Blockchain. A total of 300,000,000 GIF tokens have been generated, including 10,000,000 sold out in a Private Sale, and 260,000,000 being offered in the ICO. Another 20,000,000 will be shared between the founders of the GIF token, while the remaining 10,000,000 will be generated for advisory, bounty, and PR pools. The unsold GIF that will be created for sale during the ICO will be destroyed. GIF tokens are not mined by users or any other companies.


Benefits for the Early Investors

The Team, consisting of seasoned professionals in online betting, sports affiliate marketing, Blockchain development, branding, marketing, odds, and eSports, has announced the following bonus structure for the early investors. The earlier you invest; the more bonus you will earn:

  • Stage 1 – 60% bonus
  • Stage 2 – 40% bonus
  • Stage 3 – 30% bonus
  • Stage 4 – 20% bonus
  • Stage 5 – 15% bonus
  • Stage 6 – 10% bonus
  • Stage 7 – no bonus

ICO Details

The token price set during the first stage of the ICO is 1 ETH = 10,000 GIF + 60% bonus, with cryptocurrencies being accepted are ETH, BTC, and LTC. The company has set the Soft cap at 5,000 ETH and the Hard cap at 24,000 ETH, with a minimum purchase limit of 0.5 ETH until stage 5. The platform has no maximum purchase limit in place for the ICO participants.

To know more about the platform, participate in its going-on ICO, and earn 60% bonus, please visit You can also access its official White Paper and Lite Paper, or connect to the team via Telegram, Bitcointalk, Facebook, Twitter, Medium,

For more queries, please email at .

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Cecilia Paolino-Uboldi, Director & Global Head of Commercial Affairs at Slotguru joins Zerocoin – Crypto Currency for Online Gambling

Sat, 03/17/2018 - 07:00

Meet Cecilia Paolino – Uboldi a Strategic Advisor toZeroEdge Bet

Cecilia Paolino is currently the head of commercial affairs at SlotGuru and is excited for her role as a key advisor in everything from cryptocurrency and Blockchain technology, to business strategies, new technologies and so much more. With close to two decades of experience in the online gambling and gaming industries, we feel that Cecilia is a wonderful addition to our team of top advisors here at ZeroEdge.

Cecilia’s insatiable passion for seeing companies succeed in developing and growing their unique ideas or brands is an invaluable asset to ZeroEdge, and with her unique set of skills and experiences, we believe she is more than capable of advising on the best technologies in various aspects of our dynamic 0% house edge gaming concepts. Cecilia originally hails from Uruguay and has lived all over the world in her various roles and professional capacities. She speaks no less than six international languages and can communicate on just about any level you could think of, business, technological, social and of course, gaming.

ZeroEdge.Bet – Revolutionary online gambling platform with 0% house edge games

ZeroEdge is a unique concept set to revolutionize the way you gamble online. Currently, all online casino games come with a house edge, i.e. the advantage that the casino has over you, which varies between 1% to 10% or more, depending on the game. ZeroEdge’s solution – offer games with 0% house edge and give players a completely fair chance of winning. In other words, playing at ZeroEdge.Bet is literally free, you don’t have to pay anything to the casino like it’s with traditional online casino sites.

The most amazing part is that Zerocoin value increases as more people join the world first 0% edge gambling platform. It is all achieved by creating a closed-loop economy in which high demand for 0% games drives Zerocoin’s value up. This model is also known as Metcalfe’s law which was originally invented in 1993 and can be seen in the actual Bitcoin’s price growth. Zero Edge offers a unique gambling model which potentially could revolutionize the $70 Billion gambling industry. Players won’t be losing money but instead earning from the increasing Zerocoin value.

We have made a survey & asked hundreds of people about their gambling preferences & experiences.  The main finding was that 99 % of them stated that they would choose 0% house edge games to play if such games were available. High demand for the world’s first 0% house edge games will increase the Zerocoin value exponentially. An important task for us will be to educate the players and raise their attention to this beneficial concept.

Zerocoins (ZERO) will be available to investors during an upcoming ICO. Visit to find out more.

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Gawooni Games Ecosphere Announces Decentralized, Blockchain-Based Platform

Sat, 03/17/2018 - 06:00

GAWOONI utilizes the foundational business model already established by game developers. GAWOONI is an international game developer and it has managed to create the very first ecosphere for gamers and serves both B2B as well as B2C clients.

GAWOONI is a well-known name in the Asia-Pacific region. It is well recognized in the Indian, Chinese and Indonesian markets. Its primary focus is to emerge in the South Asian and South American markets. It aims to revolutionize the gaming industry through their ecosphere for gamers which functions on the basis of the in-built tokens and coins which are currencies in the games ecosphere. This one currency can be utilized by gamers in all games and activities involved in the game. The games developed by GAWOONI and games from third parties joining the ecosystem will also be listed. Additionally, the platform will invite its users to new gaming experiences. The users can give their valuable input to new games and test them before the games are launched.

Games To Be Published By Gawooni

Two games have already been developed and they are ready to be published. The games are called “Tuk Tuk Rush” and “Jungle Rush”. “Tuk Tuk Rush” is set to be announced while working hand in hand with the Tourism Authority of Thailand since the country is portrayed in an interactive way in the game. The game is already being followed by loyal gamers in the industry on Facebook. More than 70,000 gamers in Thailand are keeping themselves updated with news related to a game such as date of launch and updates in the game via Facebook. The games are available on both mobiles as well as PCs. There are other games which are going to be published in the future as well. Let’s get a more in-depth analysis of the games to be published.

  • Tuk Tuk Rush

A ride in a Tuk Tuk is always an unforgettable experience. Anyone who has had the privilege to visit Thailand knows these vehicles function similar to mini taxis, as it recklessly weaves through congested streets. A Tuk Tuk ride is a lot of fun and GAWOONI wanted to convey this exact excitement to its gamers through the game. In the game, the player is allowed to create a unique individual Tuk Tuk and experience the land of Thailand. As the game progresses, the player will get to discover more than 40 sites in the country of Thailand. It is probably the first time that a game is combined with an interactive travel guide.

  • Jungle Rush

Jungle Rush explores endangered animals; it is a great initiative by the developers of the game to increase the wildlife protection awareness. The game features 10 endangered species.  GAWOONI has teamed up with several animal welfare associations around the world because of this particular game.

  • Casino Rush

An interactive slot machine game developed by GAWOONI. One of the main advantages of this game is that the coins won can be utilized by the players for other games prevalent on the GAWOONI gaming platform.

Benefits Gawooni Participants Are Subjected To:

  • Tremendous third-party cooperation offers; which include blockchain based set-ups or Artificial Intelligence, Augmented Reality as well as Virtual Reality solutions.
  • A utility token (GWON) and a coin that opens up doors to several opportunities and offers more than a one-dimensional in-game payment solution.
  • A reliable list of endorsements and references.
  • One of the few platforms that cater to both B2B and B2C clients.

On the basis of the above-mentioned points, it can be concluded that GAWOONI is set to achieve great heights in the gaming industry.

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NEO, EOS, LTC, Monero, Lumens: Technical Analysis March 17, 2018

Sat, 03/17/2018 - 01:41

Be it a brief altcoins recovery or not, this is exactly what the cryptocurrency market needs. From Lumens, NEO, LTC, Monero and even EOS, there is reliever and a pause of this relentless bear pressure.

Our focus today goes to Lumens and while it is generally bearish, the response at $0.20 or the 78.6% Fibonacci retracement level has been awesome.

Let’s have a look at these charts:

XLM/USD (Lumens) XLM/USD Bittrex 4HR Chart for March 17, 2018

While there is obvious reaction at around $0.20, Lumens swing sellers can literally pull off their short plug and what for a rebound of prices. Referring to yesterday’s forecast, our sell zone is set at or around recent highs of $0.30.

If prices do react and strong bear candlestick prints in the direction of the bearish break out pattern clear in the weekly chart then we can proceed with our previous projection and load shorts.

Otherwise, as we can see, $0.20 is important and being the 78.6% Fibonacci retracement level anchoring on this digital asset’s high low. I mean, with the accumulation and higher highs relative to the lower BB as visible in the 4HR chart, this level can as well be a perfect bull spring board.

However, before we draw conclusions, let’s wait and see what price action has.

XMR/USD (Monero) XMR/USD Bittrex 4HR Chart for March 17, 2018

According to our forecast, Monero is in a bear trend but with recent bullish development in lower time frames, sellers can as well stop shorting at-least for a couple of days.

In the 4HR chart, we can see some nice recovery in prices and with that stochastic buy signal and higher highs testing the middle BB and aiming towards $230, buyers might be angling to reverse recent losses.

But, here’s the thing. The rapid bear surge in the weekly chart means sellers will find favorable opportunities to short with every stochastics sell signal in the 4HR chart.

Those sell zones can be anywhere around $260-our immediate resistance level and the middle BB in the weekly chart according to our recent trade plan.

At the moment though, swing buyers can buy at $220 with safe stops at $200 and aim for $260.

EOS/USD (EOS) EOS/USD BitFinex 4HR Chart for March 17, 2018

While EOS prices are on a short term uptrend, let’s not forget that the general trend in higher time frame is mainly bearish. But nothing’s fixed. Price action changes all the time.

As such, over the short term, EOS bulls can begin looking for long openings in lower time frames and it would be preferable to go long whenever a stochastic buy signal prints.

At the moment, bulls are testing the middle BB. If they break and close above it now that a strong bullish candlestick is clear, we can trade a minor bull break out with targets at $5.8 and $6.2 respectively.

Further appreciation above $6.2 cancels this projection as it means presence of a stochastic buy signal in the daily chart. Tangentially, that could possibly signal shift of momentum despite surging bears.

LTC/USD (LTC) LTC/USD CoinBase 4HR Chart for March 17, 2018

It is likely that LTC prices are turning the corner and even though we are naturally pessimistic about this recovery, taking risks can either lead to more profits or a whopping. After all, that has been the routine in recent days and I prefer the latter.

Therefore, I will recommend buying LTC before the end of the week. Traders can wait for a break above the resistance trend line in the 4HR chart-refer the above attachment-or trade as it is.

Already, if today ends up bullish, a double bar reversal bar and its confirmation would be complete in the daily chart. In that case, stops should be at $150 with targets at this March’s highs of $230 assuming prices blast past $200.

NEO/USD (NEO) NEO/USD Bittrex 4HR Chart for March 17, 2018

As per our previous trade plan, we are still neutral on this pair unless of course there is a strong break out past $75 or the middle BB in the 4HR chart.

Considering price action, chances are that might happen now that there is a bullish engulfing candlestick after periods of brief accumulation.

Aggressive traders can trade with this increasing momentum, buy and place their stops below yesterday’s lows at around $60 on the safe side.


All BitFinex, Bittrex and CoinBase charts courtesy of Trading View

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Asian Altcoin Trading Roundup: Top Cryptocurrency is Bitcoin Cash

Fri, 03/16/2018 - 23:25
FOMO Moments

Markets have remained pretty flaccid over the past few days which is admittedly better than falling further. Bitcoin still cannot gain any traction beyond $8,000 where it currently trades. Altcoins have also been floating around the same levels for the last 2-3 days, and there is no sign of any upward movement in any of them. We can only then look at the one with the largest percent gain on the day and that coin is Bitcoin Cash.

Coinmarketcap is reporting a 6.7% rise on BCH during this morning’s Asian trading session. From $910 this time yesterday Bitcoin Cash jumped to a daily high of $1,053 before falling back to $970. In terms of BTC it is up 5% trading at 11903000 satoshis up from 11361300 sats yesterday. Over the week BCH has been in decline falling almost 10%, the monthly picture is even worse with a slide of almost 40%.

The renewed interest may have come off the announcement that Japanese firm Mikan will be launching a Bitcoin Cash wallet called Yenom later this month. The mobile wallet will be for Android and iOS, it will allow easier access and usage of BCH according to the press release. The wallet, named after ‘money’ backwards has been designed to function only with Bitcoin Cash and will increase its adoption in the Japanese market.

Hong Kong exchange OKEx has the majority of the trade volume with almost 25%, followed by HitBTC and Huobi. Over the past 24 hours volume has increased to $480 million and market capacity is around $16.5 billion which puts BCH at a steady fourth in the charts. Like its big brother, BTC, it has a maximum supply of 21 million with 17 million already in circulation.

Other altcoins showing a little growth this morning include Dash, Iota, VeChain, and DigixDAO. Most of the others are still pretty flat as we enter the weekend.

More on Bitcoin Cash can be found here:

FOMO Moments is a section that takes a daily look at the top 25 altcoins during the Asian trading session and analyses the best performing one, looking for trends and fundamentals.

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Crypto is for “Crooks” and “Dirty Politicians”, According to Visa Exec

Fri, 03/16/2018 - 20:01

One of the top executive’s at global payments processing company Visa has absolutely slammed cryptocurrency and its users. Speaking with the Financial Times, Vasant Prabhu sees Bitcoin and other digital currencies as a tool used by “every crook and dirty politician” around.

Talking Sense, or Talking Scared?

Prabhu told the publication that he’s getting asked more and more about cryptocurrency. This to him signals that the whole space is nothing more than a giant speculative bubble. The Visa executive spoke of his interactions with various retail-investors. He said they were “a real shock” to him:

“The people asking me are the ones who scare the hell out of me… You know, guys like the limo driver to the airport . . . They have no idea what they are doing.”

Evidently, these would-be crypto investors don’t really know what they’re doing. Why anyone would take investment advice from the chief financial officer of a company who has the most to lose from a successful cryptocurrency revolution  is unclear.

It kind of feels similar to asking a turkey what they think of Christmas, or a horse breeder in the 1890s if they’d heard about these “motor cars” everyone’s talking about.

Visa current operates at the centre of the global payments network. They profit greatly from the system. Meanwhile, cryptocurrency is a direct threat to the status quo of the planet’s financial services industry. We therefore shouldn’t be surprised when the likes of Prabhu spout anti-cryptocurrency sentiment at every available opportunity.

The Visa executive hadn’t finished lambasting cryptocurrency just yet though. He recounted hearing non-financial people talking about investing in Bitcoin. This to him was a telling sign of things to come:

“This is the ultimate thing that you hear about when you have a bubble, when the guy shining your shoes tells you what stock to buy.”

What Vasant Prabhu, Jamie Dimon, and the rest of their legacy payment industry chums fail to recognise is that historical paradigm shifts frequently begin with a speculative mania. Cryptocurrency seems to be following that trend perfectly too.

Such transformative technologies begin with everyone but the enlightened core claiming they’re dangerous or stupid. Like how people said the internet would only be used for child porn and other nefarious uses back in 1994. Eventually the narrative changes and the masses get excited. This leads to a speculative bubble that inevitably bursts – just like the dot-com bubble around the turn of the century.

Eventually, all the ridiculous and over-hyped projects crash to zero. This leaves the truly revolutionary ideas standing, gaining value through their utility rather than simply wild speculation. Examples like Amazon, eBay, and Facebook highlight this. We don’t need to tell you that these companies are some of the largest financial powerhouses on the planet today.

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NBA Draft Prospect Jonay Porter is Also a Crypto Fanatic

Fri, 03/16/2018 - 17:14

One of the NBA’s latest prospects is Jontay Porter. The 18-year-old has high hopes for the future. Firstly, of course, he’s wanting to be picked in June’s draft. Secondly, he’d love to help his team, the Missouri Tigers, win the NCAA Tournament that they’re competing in. Finally, he’s hoping for a big rebound off the court – in the cryptocurrency market.

An Enterprising Young Mind

In a recent interview with the Kansas City Star, the young NBA hopeful spoke of his interest in cryptocurrency and how he himself was invested in Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ethereum, Ripple, and Tron. He told the publication about how he approached putting together his diverse crypto portfolio:

“I did my own research, obviously; that’s what you should always do if you’re investing… I’m obviously not going to put all of my money in cryptocurrency.”

He started by buying $300 worth of Bitcoin. This was followed by smaller purchases of more crypto assets using his student-athlete allowance.

Unfortunately, the Tigers’ leading rebounder was forced to cash out some of his investment. He explained to the Star how he had been bought a used SUV by his parents. Owing them the money back and with no way to pay it yet, he was forced to sell half of his crypto assets. He was, however, careful to keep some skin in the game as he’s optimistic of a rebound in the markets:

“I was kind of sad, because [the market] was about to bounce back. But my mom needed it right away.”

Missouri Tigers’ assistant coach and father of the budding basketball star turned investor, Michael Porter Sr., told the publication about his son’s inquisitive mind. He said, “he’s  always been a thinker.” Meanwhile, Lisa Porter, the teenage athlete’s mother added:

“He had the gumption to just do it… All my other kids would really debate over it.”

From a young age, Jontay had an inquisitive mind and sought ways to turn that into financial gain. In the Sixth Grade, he started dismantling, repairing, and jail-breaking his iPhones. This transformed into something of a business. He’d advertise his repair services for cracked screens and the like on CraigsList. He always made sure to undercut the local businesses offering the same services in his town.

Of course, Jontay Porter isn’t the first athlete to embrace cryptocurrency. The US Winter Olympic luge team famously declared that they’d accept Bitcoin donations for their medal challenge this year. Unfortunately, Olympic rules prohibited the team from wearing any Bitcoin branding on their official uniforms. This is a real shame too as the event was held in crypto-loving South Korea and had the whole world’s eyes upon it.

All of us at here NewsBTC are hoping that Jontay Porter is successful in his bid to make the big time as an NBA star. He’ll certainly become one of the higher-profile proponents of Bitcoin if he does. Hopefully, he won’t be shy about plugging his investment interests in his post-match press conferences too!

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FTC Halts Activities of Four Floridians Involved in Crypto-Related Chain Referral Schemes

Fri, 03/16/2018 - 16:17

At the request of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida has halted the activities of four individuals who allegedly promoted deceptive money-making schemes involving cryptocurrencies. These schemes falsely promised participants they could garner huge returns by using cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin or Litecoin to enroll themselves and others.

In a complaint, the FTC alleges that four defendants — Thomas Dluca, Louis Gatto, Eric Pinkston, and Scott Chandler — promoted the chain referral schemes called Bitcoin Funding Team, My7Network, and Jetcoin. Using YouTube videos, social media, and conference calls, the defendants promised big rewards for small payments of Bitcoin or Litecoin. The FTC alleges, however, that the structure of the schemes ensured that few would benefit — and that, in fact, the large majority of participants would fail to recoup their initial investments.

Bitcoin Funding Team, My7Network, and Jetcoin

Two of these schemes — Bitcoin Funding Team and My7Network — required people to use Bitcoin or Litecoin to pay for the right to recruit others into the schemes. There was no product or service to sell, people were simply told to pay in and recruit other people into the program. Supposedly, the more cryptocurrency people paid in, the more they would make. The FTC alleges that these programs were “illegal chain referral schemes.”

“This case shows that scammers always find new ways to market old schemes, which is why the FTC will remain vigilant regardless of the platform – or currency used,” said Tom Pahl, Acting Director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection. “The schemes the defendants promoted were designed to enrich those at the top at the expense of everyone else.”

The FTC alleges that a fourth defendant, Scott Chandler, promoted Bitcoin Funding Team and another deceptive cryptocurrency scheme, Jetcoin. Similar to the other two, Jetcoin also promoted a recruitment scheme but also promised investors a fixed rate of return on their initial Bitcoin investments as a result of Bitcoin trading. In a series of promotional calls, Chandler claimed Jetcoin participants could double their investment in 50 days. In reality, the FTC complaint alleges, the scheme failed to deliver on these claims and ceased operation within two months of launching.

In its complaint, the FTC charged that the defendants violated the FTC Act’s prohibition against deceptive acts by misrepresenting the chain referral schemes as bona fide money-making opportunities and by falsely claiming that participants could earn substantial income by participating in the schemes. As requested by the FTC, the court has issued a temporary restraining order and frozen the defendants’ assets pending trial.

These types of complaints have been popping up much more frequently as of late. This year has seen the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission hitting cryptocurrency and blockchain based technology companies with subpoenas and demands for information in a widespread effort to control fundraising and weed out bad players. The CFTC has also been issuing warnings against similar crypto-related fraud schemes called pump and dumps.

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