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Over 10,000 People Have Downloaded Fake Cryptocurrency Apps

December 6, 2017 |

Over 10,000 People Have Downloaded Fake Cryptocurrency Apps

The open web can be a dangerous place for cryptocurrency users. Phishing, trojans, and social engineering all come with the territory, ensuring that even the savviest of bitcoin-holders must remain alert. Within the walled gardens of Apple and Google’s app stores, however, there’s an assumption that if a mobile app has been vetted and downloaded in the thousands, it must be safe. That assumption couldn’t be further from the truth, as scores of users have discovered to their peril.

Also read: Peer-to-Peer Bitcoiner Gets Year in Prison for Being Unlicensed

Fake Apps with Real Consequences

Neither the Google Play or App Store is immune from its share of fake, spammy, or fraudulent apps. But it is Android users who tend to suffer most at the hands of unscrupulous developers. One of the most egregious apps, which has hoodwinked thousands of users, is simply named Poloniex. Despite purporting to be the “Poloniex ® Offical App” [sic] of the popular cryptocurrency exchange, it is nothing of the sort. Its description boasts of such features as “Possible powerfull [sic] exchange BTC or altcoins.”

Over 10,000 People Have Downloaded Fake Cryptocurrency Apps
Seems legit. Isn’t legit.

For users only taking a cursory glance at the app before hitting “Download”, it is easy to be taken in by the familiar logo and screenshots from the trading platform. A close inspection reveals a string of typos, suggesting that all is not right, an assessment which is borne out by the app’s average rating of just one star, based on 162 reviews.

The average web user might think twice before clicking on a suspicious email link, but will scarcely scrutinize the top result that appears in an app store. Judging by the hundreds of disgruntled comments, the “Poloniex ® Offical App” does nothing more than steal users’ account credentials followed by their coins.

Over 10,000 People Have Downloaded Fake Cryptocurrency Apps

Who’s to Blame?

Over 10,000 People Have Downloaded Fake Cryptocurrency Apps
Screenshots of the fake app, complete with typos.

The Poloniex app is by no means the only fraudulent one of its kind – there are at least five apps bearing the Poloniex name on Google Play alone. One of the reasons why Poloniex has been so easy to impersonate is because the exchange lacks its own official mobile app. This leaves a void which scammers have been only too happy to fill. If Poloniex was to issue its own app, as most of its peers from Coinbase to Bitfinex have done, it would eliminate or hide most of the imitations in one fell swoop.

It would also help if Poloniex did more to distance itself from third-party apps; its Twitter account hasn’t passed comment on the matter since early 2016, and thousands of users have since been duped. The blame game doesn’t stop there though: Google Play also deserves criticism for not weeding out these apps and, to a lesser extent, users should be more alert to the signs that such apps are blatantly fake.

Estot Vigilans

“Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty – power is ever stealing from the many to the few.” Those words were written by Wendell Phillips over a century ago, but they apply equally today. Scammers will try every possible attack vector to find a vulnerable target; there’s even been reports of fake telephone support purporting to be from Coinbase and Kraken. These hoaxes, which typically emanate from India, are merely an updated version of the Windows telephone support scam.

Over 10,000 People Have Downloaded Fake Cryptocurrency Apps

While the cryptocurrency space attracts its share of chancers, this problem is not isolated; over one million people downloaded a fake version of Whatsapp from the Google Play store, while Bankbot malware, which steals passwords and 2FA details, has been deleted twice by Google, only to show up again, most recently under the name of ‘Crypto currencies market prices’.

Stay Safe and Think Before You Click

https://www.htbridge.com/news/security-cryptocurrency-mobile-apps.htmlUsers seeking to install a mobile app for their preferred cryptocurrency exchange, ticker or wallet would be advised to click on links from the official exchange, ticker or wallet site rather than risk stumbling upon a fraudulent version within an app store. Even when clicking on legitimate links, however, it pays to be cautious.

One security company recently inspected the 90 most popular Android cryptocurrency apps, which have millions of downloads. Their findings? 94% used outdated encryption, 66% didn’t use encryption at all and 44% used hard-coded passwords stored in plain text.

While Apple’s ecosystem isn’t entirely squeaky clean, the bulk of the issues with fraudulent or poorly coded apps emanate from Android. Cryptocurrency holders who cherish their security may decide the safest bet is to reserve their trading for desktop and keep their cell phone for price checks.

Who do you think should bear the blame for users installing fraudulent apps? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock.


Bitcoin is a decentralized digital currency that enables near-instant, low-cost payments to anyone, anywhere in the world. Bitcoin uses peer-to-peer technology to operate with no central authority: transaction management and money issuance are carried out collectively by the network. Read all about it at wiki.Bitcoin.com.

The post Over 10,000 People Have Downloaded Fake Cryptocurrency Apps appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Bitcoin News

Deep Web Roundup: Aero Sinks and the Ghost of Trade Route Rises

December 6, 2017 |

Deep Web Roundup: Aero Sinks and the Ghost of Trade Route Rises

Welcome to the second edition of Deep Web Roundup in which we collate the most intriguing stories from the darker side of the net. Despite not attracting as many headlines as it did in its 2013 heyday, the deep web is still a hub of paranoia, P2P trading, and pioneering privacy features. Anyone interested in preserving their anonymity on the net could learn a lot from the darknet’s more cautious practitioners.

Also read: How to Protect Your Bitcoin and Your Privacy When Passing Through Customs

Firefox is Borrowing Privacy Features From Tor

Deep Dot Web has reported on the extent to which Firefox has been incorporating features from the Tor browser. Given that Tor contains 95% of Mozilla’s code, that’s not surprising. It’s interesting though to see features such as blocking of HTML5 canvas fingerprinting trialed in Tor before migrating to Firefox. This type of fingerprinting can be used to track users as they browse the web, but Tor’s developers have found a way to curtail that.

Zcash, the Not-So-Private Coin

Thought your cryptocurrency transactions were private cos you’d been using zcash? Turns out there’s a one in three chance you’re wrong. If you want to maintain your privacy on the deep web – or anywhere else for that matter – monero looks like a safer bet. The coin has soared to almost $ 250 today, buoyed by news that it can now be used to purchase the music of more than 40 major recording artists. The real benefit of privacy coins, it transpires, is having the freedom to anonymously purchase Mariah Carey albums.

Deep Web Roundup: Aero Sinks and the Ghost of Trade Route Rises

Goodbye Aero, You Won’t Be Missed

Deep Web Roundup: Aero Sinks and the Ghost of Trade Route RisesIn the maiden edition of our Deep Web Roundup, we reported on Aero marketplace’s ongoing customer support issues. It turns out those issues were just as taster of what was to come, for days later the marketplace disappeared without a trace. The usual theories regarding hacks, law enforcement, and exit scams abound.

The truth is, it doesn’t really matter what happened: the fact is another deep web marketplace is gone, taking with it vendor and buyer funds. If the umpteen similar incidents from this year haven’t already hit home, Aero’s demise is evidence that you shouldn’t leave funds in a marketplace for any longer than it takes to make a purchase with them – and even then you’re taking a risk.

Despite a succession of shutdowns and scams, demand for deep web marketplaces remains higher than ever. Reuters reports that prior to their demise, there were 350,000 products for sale on Alphabay and Hansa, with European intelligence agencies noting that the average lifespan of a darknet marketplace is now under a year.

The Ghost of Trade Route Emerges Through the Fog

Deep Web Roundup: Aero Sinks and the Ghost of Trade Route RisesTrade Route is long gone, though like an echo from the past, time-locked multi-sig addresses from the marketplace began to give up their contents this week. There have been reports of some time-locked transactions now being accepted on the bitcoin network, though the majority aren’t due to be unlocked for another month. It’s a small crumb of comfort for the vendors who lost out when the market pulled an exit scam – or possibly a very large crumb, given the mammoth gains that bitcoin has made since Trade Route vanished in October.

In related news, someone’s gone to the trouble of setting up a clearnet marketplace to promote their darknet wares. The whole operation looks extremely sussed, and extreme caution is advised. Nevertheless, the operators of White Shadow Marketplace have even set up social media accounts. Don’t bank on “the biggest and safest Darknet Tor Onion Marketplace” being around for long – on either side of the web.

Deep Web Roundup: Aero Sinks and the Ghost of Trade Route Rises

White Shadows and Dark Markets

Finally, a recent study has confirmed that the vast majority of bitcoin transactions are for legitimate purposes. Nevertheless, there are still illicit means of spending the web’s preeminent digital currency for those who are so inclined. In the last couple of weeks, a 133-year-old painting entitled Chief Ngatai-Raure, which was stolen from a New Zealand art gallery, has gone up for sale on the deep web. The site selling the red hot canvas? None none other than the aforementioned White Shadow Marketplace. It’s a small web.

Do you think deep web developments have any effect on the price of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock.


Keep track of the bitcoin exchange rate in real-time.

The post Deep Web Roundup: Aero Sinks and the Ghost of Trade Route Rises appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Bitcoin News

Australian Vault Provider Says Securing Bitcoin in Safety Boxes Is Trending

December 6, 2017 |

Australian Vault Provider Says Securing Bitcoin in Safety Boxes Is Trending

The price of bitcoin has become extremely valuable these days as one BTC is roughly $ 12K right now. This has led to bitcoin enthusiasts keeping their coin on hardware and paper wallets. However, some bitcoin proponents are taking bitcoin security to the next level by using companies that focus on securing people’s assets like gold and cash.

Also read: South Korea Launches Cryptocurrency Task Force to Spearhead Regulations

Bitcoin Being Kept In Custodial Vaults Is Becoming a Trending Pattern

Australian Vault Provider Says Securing Bitcoin in Safety Boxes Is TrendingOne of Australia’s leading private vault and safety deposit box operators, Guardian Vaults, says they are protecting people’s cryptocurrency assets within its safe vault locations more often. Guardian Vaults has been seeing a trend of customers who want to secure their bitcoin hardware and paper wallets with the business for extra security. The company explains that traditionally customers keep cash, gold bullion, and passports inside the vaults but they expect more safety deposit box demand to hold vast bitcoin holdings.  

Guardian Vaults says that anyone can set up a custodial safety deposit box in as little as 30 minutes. The firm doesn’t just use traditional boxes housed in cement and guarded by armed guards. The Melbourne based company uses technology like biometric hand scanners, facial recognition protocols, access codes, and dual key boxes housed in bedrock. The firm has seen a lot of demand this year as the company has added 5,000 more boxes to its 28,000 boxes housed between its Melbourne and Sydney locations. The company believes hardware and paper wallets serve a great purpose, but safety deposit vaults provide an added layer of security. Guardian Vaults explains;   

Since not many people want to keep their future millions under the mattress; or their cold wallet in the cupboard — we advocate storing your cold wallet device in a safety deposit box within a secure vault.

Australian Vault Provider Says Securing Bitcoin in Safety Boxes Is Trending
Guardian Vaults Sydney location.

Individuals and Bitcoin Businesses Are More Cautious Than Ever Before

Some boxes range from $ 35,000 to $ 250 per year depending on what kind of security and vault storage you expect. Further, those who house their bitcoin with the Melbourne company are also issued a $ 10,000 insurable interest per unit under Guardian Vaults’ policy and further insurable interest can be added.  

Bitcoin proponents and cryptocurrency businesses have been utilizing a more secure means of holding bitcoins these days. Just recently news.Bitcoin.com reported on Fortress the extreme cold storage solution. Unconventional means of security is being utilized by exchanges like Coinbase and Xapo as well. Xapo’s Swiss Alps facility is encased in steel slabs that emulate a Faraday cage concept just in case an electromagnetic pulse (EMP) happens. Guardian Vaults’ is betting cryptocurrency cold storage held in secure vaults will continue to be a trend as bitcoin grows more valuable.

What do you think about storing bitcoin with a safety deposit box provider? Let us know what you think in the comments below.


Images via Pixabay, and Guardian Vaults. 


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The post Australian Vault Provider Says Securing Bitcoin in Safety Boxes Is Trending appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Bitcoin News

More Bitcoin Fork Clones on the Way: Bitcoin God Will Be Born on Xmas Day

December 6, 2017 |

Symbolic Bitcoin Clones: Bitcoin God Will Be Born on Xmas Day

It seems forking bitcoin has become a new cryptocurrency obsession lately as a myriad of bitcoin clones are joining the economy. Now two more bitcoin fork ‘snapshots’ seem to be on the horizon, called “Bitcoin God” and “Bcash”.

Also read: Bitcoin-Based Ethereum Smart Contract and Sidechain Rival RSK Launches

Chandler Guo Wants to Give a Symbolic Gift by Launching ‘Bitcoin God’ on December 25

Symbolic Bitcoin Clones: Bitcoin God Will Be Born on Xmas Day
Chandler Guo

We continue to hear about new bitcoin snapshot clones called diamond, rubies, gold, lightning, and now there’s allegedly a ‘Bitcoin God’ network coming. A network snapshot is basically a clone of the bitcoin blockchain taken at a precise block height. This means the new chain shares the exact same history as the legacy blockchain, up until that specific time. From there the new blockchain splits off and records its own transactions and blocks mined going forward. Further, the new network can have entirely new characteristics like bitcoin gold’s equihash consensus mechanism; which is different than bitcoin’s proof-of-work (PoW).  

The well-known Chinese cryptocurrency investor Chandler Guo has revealed he is launching a bitcoin-based fork that will use the ticker ‘GOD.’ Guo details the project is coming December 25 and explains there will not be a premine.

“Bitcoin God (GOD) will be forked off the main bitcoin chain at the block height of 501225, which will happen on December 25th to be symbolic of me giving candy to all bitcoin holders — The total amount will be 21 million — No pre-mine,” explains Chandler Guo via Twitter.

After Guo made the announcement, one of the investor’s Twitter followers asked him if the fork was a joke, or if it was real. Guo replied by detailing the fork was “real” and has tweeted about bitcoin god a few times since he announced the project.

Is Someone Creating a Bitcoin Clone Called ‘Bcash’?

Symbolic Bitcoin Clones: Bitcoin God Will Be Born on Xmas DayFurther, there have been talks about another bitcoin fork that may spring up in the near future. Just recently someone noticed a Github repository is being worked on for a forked token called ‘Bcash.’ The repo was initiated on December 1, but the project was initially announced this past August, a few days after the bitcoin cash hard fork.

“Bcash is a new cryptocurrency that uses the existing Bitcoin ledger combined with Zcash privacy technology,” explains the Github repository.

The person or group behind the bitcoin/zcash clone does have a Twitter handle as well but has only tweeted twice. The developer who claimed to be creating the token is an early cryptocurrency developer who goes by the name “Freetrade.” The developer said he had launched blockchains like Protoshares, Memorycoin, Hodlcoin, and other projects within the space. The developer emphasizes in his announcement that Bcash is not associated with bitcoin cash and the project is an entirely different network in the making. Freetrade explains:

There are a number of scammers trying to cash in on the Bcash name. Be very cautious of anyone using the ‘Bcash’ name at this time. Bcash is not available for purchase or sale at this time.

Of course, the cryptocurrency community doesn’t know what to make of these new bitcoin snapshot projects. Although some bitcoin cash supporters seem pleased there is another token being created that will use the name Bcash, which also may essentially remove the disliked name from the BCH community. BCH supporters have also recently created a website called “What Is Bcash” that is dedicated to informing people that some individuals are deploying the word Bcash as a “social attack.”

What do you think about Bitcoin God and Bcash and all the other upcoming snapshot bitcoin forks? Let us know what you think about the many new bitcoin forks happening these days in the comments below.


Images via Shutterstock, Github, and Twitter. 


Do you like to research and read about Bitcoin technology? Check out Bitcoin.com’s Wiki page for an in-depth look at Bitcoin’s innovative technology and interesting history.

The post More Bitcoin Fork Clones on the Way: Bitcoin God Will Be Born on Xmas Day appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Bitcoin News

Your Stupidity, Your Responsibility

December 6, 2017 |

Your Stupidity, Your Responsibility

One way of looking at the title of this article is that I am proposing a harsh world in which fools are triumphantly preyed upon by unabashed predators, but another way of looking at it is that creativity cannot occur in an environment in which stupidity is restrained. 

Also read: Japan Increases Lead – Approves Another Four New Cryptocurrency Exchanges

Your Stupidity, Your Responsibility

Creativity itself is nothing more than controlled stupidity. To be creative you must generate lots of ideas and be prepared to discard most of them. If you can do many mental experiments quickly then you can be creative because eventually you will accidentally make a new idea that you like. The initial spark of inspiration looks like stupidity to other people at first because the value of the idea cannot be understood according to the conventional wisdom. Thus, any attempt to protect people from their own stupidity will also restrain genuine creativity and will prevent good ideas from emerging.

Good investors know that it is their responsibility to understand what they are buying because no one can be relied on to serve their own interests better than they. A good investor must be intelligent. But he does not need to reveal his intelligence to anybody. The only way to make money is to know something that other people don’t. A good strategy, if you have a good secret, is to draw attention away from yourself. So “your stupidity, your responsibility” means that I’m not after your secrets and I don’t expect you to reveal them until you’re ready. You are free to act like a moron around me. Maybe I’ll tell you if I think you’re doing something stupid, but I don’t stop you from destroying yourself. Maybe you really know what you’re doing and I just don’t understand it.

Now if you create something that you want me to buy, then you must be intelligent and impressive and you must open yourself up to my inspection and satisfy my demand for utter perfection. I do not have to do anything to impress you at all. If you are expecting me to make an investment decision in your favor, I expect to be able to act as stupid as I want without feeling like you are attempting to take advantage me. An intelligent investor reveals his knowledge when he is ready and not before.

One very offensive thing I saw which motivated me to become more involved in the scaling debate was when I saw my friends try to dismiss Roger Ver by saying that he is stupid. I have no particular opinion on whether Roger Ver is stupid, but he has the power to sell, and that is the ultimate power. You have to build something that investors like or else. Investors do not have to prove themselves to be intelligent. The ultimate determination of whether Bitcoin is successful is whether people want to buy it, and that means the investors have the final say. If you are trying to sell me something and you treat me like you don’t take me seriously just because I’m acting stupid, then I don’t think you know what you’re doing.

I was with this indignation, that I was inspired to appear in a debate with Richard Heart and act like I didn’t care about what happened. I did not prepare at all and I got high just before it started just to make it as dumb as possible. I know this video may not appear to be all that interesting but it was kind of a big day for me because it was the day that I just decided that it was fine for me to go out in public and act totally unimpressive. I do not need to win debates. If you want me to invest my bitcoins in your plan, then you must be intelligent and impressive whereas I do not. The person who owns the bitcoins is the one with the power and it is pointless to debate with someone who is pretending that he has power because he can appear intelligent in a debate.

If you are a Bitcoin investor and you feel like you are sick of being treated like a baby and you want to feel more powerful, I would encourage you to go out and act like a complete idiot at the next Bitcoin meetup you attend. That will liberate you. You will then feel free to demand to be listened to without having to measure up to anybody’s standards.

What do you think about the idea that your stupidity is your responsibility? Let us know your opinions in the comments below. 


Images via Pixabay and New Line Cinema’s Farrelly brothers film ‘Dumb and Dumber.’


At news.Bitcoin.com all comments containing links are automatically held up for moderation in the Disqus system. That means an editor has to take a look at the comment to approve it. This is due to the many, repetitive, spam and scam links people post under our articles. We do not censor any comment content based on politics or personal opinions. So, please be patient. Your comment will be published.

The post Your Stupidity, Your Responsibility appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Bitcoin News

Peer-to-Peer Bitcoiner Gets Year in Prison for Being Unlicensed

December 5, 2017 |

Peer-to-Peer Bitcoiner Gets Year in Prison for Being Unlicensed

“Detroit Man Sentenced to a Year and a Day for Operating an Unlicensed Bitcoin Business”, boasts Department of Justice U.S. Attorney’s Office, District of Maine, in a press release dated December 4. An action involving many different agencies and bureaus over two states resulted in the arrest, plea, and jailing of Sal Mansy for not registering his peer-to-peer bitcoin sales and profit with the requisite agency.

Also read: US Government’s New Cyber Unit Files its First Charges Against “ICO Scam”

Peer-to-Peer Bitcoin Sales and Profit Targeted

Localbitcoins is a peer-to-peer exchange allowing buyers and sellers of cryptocurrencies to safely trade, and generally to get rid of or ahold of fiat paper. Increasingly, this service in particular is being targeted by U.S. federal law enforcement authorities who, in spite of lawmakers’ pronouncements about bitcoin not being a currency, are invoking currency statutes to prosecute bitcoiners.

Detroit’s Sal Mansy is the third such case. Mr. Mansy was investigated for a year as he exchanged bitcoin through Localbitcoins. The Department of Justice, US Treasury Department, Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, U.S. Immigration & Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations, and the Saco Police Department were set upon Mr. Mansy as a result.

Peer-to-Peer Bitcoiner Gets Year in Prison for Being Unlicensed

Mr. Mansy is said to have trafficked in 2,400,000 USD worth of bitcoin during a two-year stretch, beginning summer of 2013. Over a one-year period, through June of 2015, agents traded with Mr. Mansy two times in slightly more than 6 bitcoin then worth roughly 2,000 USD in total.

Their yield?

They were able to pin exactly one count of violating “18 U.S.C. § 1960 by unlawfully operating an unlicensed money transmitting business, in this case, a business dealing in the virtual currency Bitcoin,” court documents claim.

As a result, he faced upto five years in prison and a quarter of a million dollar fine.

Three Localbitcoiners in a Row, Two from Michigan

This is the third case in a row now of this nature, and two are from Michigan. Detroit and the word blight are almost synonymous these days, so federal law enforcement’s targeting of Mr. Mansy is doubly curious: he appeared to be one of few residents making things happen financially in Detroit. Go figure.

Mr. Mansy used his company, Tv Toyz, to store his bitcoin profits, triggering all manner of allegations of money laundering, fraud, and lack of money-service business license. Mr. Mansy will service a year and a day (an oddly snide sentence to probably catch attention), and has been ordered to pay 118,000 USD in cash and bitcoin. He’ll serve an additional three years of supervised release.

Peer-to-Peer Bitcoiner Gets Year in Prison for Being Unlicensed

News.bitcoin.com scoured court documents for accusations of fraud such as purchasing illegal items through gains etc but came up with nothing. Mr. Mansy will now be considered a felon and give up four years of life for bitcoin “transactions without registering his money-service business with Fincen (the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, a branch of the U.S. Treasury Department),” as it is “against federal law for a money-service business to exchange or transfer Bitcoin without registering,” authorities are insisting.

This year saw at least two other cases: Bradley Stetkiw, also of Michigan, profiled in these pages, was arrested after trading with agents within the Localbitcoins platform; and Jason Klein, who authorities insist also ran an unlicensed money business. Both men are awaiting their sentences.

What do you think of prosecuting such bitcoiners? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Pixabay, Fincen, Locabitcoins, Kevin Bauman.


Bitcoin Games is a provably fair gaming site with 99% or better expected returns. Try it out here.

The post Peer-to-Peer Bitcoiner Gets Year in Prison for Being Unlicensed appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Bitcoin News

TD Ameritrade, Ally Invest to Offer Exchange Traded Bitcoin Futures

December 5, 2017 |

TD Ameritrade, Ally Invest to Offer Exchange Traded Bitcoin Futures

With two of the most respected exchanges in the US about to launch bitcoin futures, CME and Cboe, American brokers now have little excuse not to offer the instruments. A few of the major players have already revealed their positions regarding retail trading clients, while most still remain on the sidelines. 

Also read: Cboe Beats CME to the Market, Will Launch Bitcoin Futures December 10

TD Ameritrade, Ally Invest to Offer Exchange Traded Bitcoin FuturesBoth TD Ameritrade (NASDAQ: AMTD) and Ally Invest (NYSE: ALLY) have publicly stated that they plan to offer access to bitcoin futures trading as soon as they become available to them. Together these two brokers serve over seven million retail US traders, Ameritrade with 6,950,000 funded customer accounts and Ally with 250,000.

“What’s exciting to us about it is it provides a two-sided market,” JJ Kinahan, chief market strategist TD Ameritrade said. “With natural buyers and sellers, that helps to put a more reasonable volatility on the product.”

“Ally Invest customers have specifically expressed interest in the futures product the Chicago Mercantile Exchange is planning to launch that is based on bitcoin,” said Rich Hagen, president of Ally Invest. “If the CME does launch this product, Ally Invest plans to offer it to current and new futures customers immediately.”

Maybe in the Futures

TD Ameritrade, Ally Invest to Offer Exchange Traded Bitcoin FuturesPossibly the most surprising announcement came from Fidelity Investments whose spokesman told Bloomberg they don’t have any plans yet to offer access to the instruments for their clients. Fidelity was the first major US broker to allow clients to track their bitcoin, ether, and litecoin holdings on its web portal. Considering that they now have regulatory cover to offer an actual form of trading, with CME and Cboe handling the compliance issues, it is likely just a matter of time until they jump on board.

The other major US brokers have either not had enough time to process the rapid developments, or are just waiting to see what will happen with Ameritrade and Ally before making any move.

What does brokers offering bitcoin futures trading mean for investors? Tell us what you think in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock.


Do you like to research and read about Bitcoin technology? Check out Bitcoin.com’s Wiki page for an in-depth look at Bitcoin’s innovative technology and interesting history.

The post TD Ameritrade, Ally Invest to Offer Exchange Traded Bitcoin Futures appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Bitcoin News

South Korea Launches Cryptocurrency Task Force to Spearhead Regulations

December 5, 2017 |

South Korea Launches Cryptocurrency Countermeasure Task Force to Spearhead Regulations

South Korea’s government has established a new task force to regulate bitcoin and other cryptocurrency trading. Taking over the effort from financial regulators, the Ministry of Justice has now been put in charge of the task force to establish and implement cryptocurrency regulations.

Also read: Japan Increases Lead – Approves Another Four New Cryptocurrency Exchanges

Cryptocurrency Countermeasure Task Force

South Korea Launches Cryptocurrency Countermeasure Task Force to Spearhead RegulationsOn Monday the South Korean government established a “virtual currency countermeasure task force” to “promptly review measures to strictly regulate virtual currency transactions,” reported The Asia Times.

This is the second task force set up by the government. The first was smaller and only involved financial regulators. It also made little progress to create a regulatory framework for cryptocurrencies and has been inactive since September, Maekyung Media described.

In an effort to speed up regulation, “the ministries agreed to jointly set up a government-wide measure to strictly regulate virtual currency transactions under the supervision of the Ministry of Justice,” the publication added. The new task force’s first meeting was also held on Monday to reevaluate domestic and foreign cryptocurrency market trends and their future countermeasures.

“Related agencies have expressed serious concern about the recent rise in virtual currency speculative trading and the continued increase in virtual currency-based offenses,” the news outlet wrote and quoted the government announcing:

We agreed that the Ministry of Justice will be the main ministry and will set up and implement the regulatory measures through consultation between the related ministries.

Legal Status of Cryptocurrency in Korea

While there is currently no law to protect cryptocurrency investors in South Korea, the government is actively discussing the legal framework for cryptocurrencies. The ministries were quoted at the meeting by The Korea Times:

Virtual currency cannot be viewed as a financial product or money. While virtual currency trading is claimed to be safe and thus the future money, blockchain technology only guarantees secure transactions and does not guarantee value.

South Korea Launches Cryptocurrency Countermeasure Task Force to Spearhead RegulationsIn order to protect investors, the government is pursuing regulations to ensure that cryptocurrency exchanges meet certain requirements. For example, they must deposit client investments in banks or other reputable institutions and must inform customers of investment risks in detail. In addition, the punishment level for multi-level crimes involving digital currency transactions will be greatly increased, the publication detailed.

“We will make regulations for the protection of investors rather than making virtual currency exchange regulations,” the finance minister said at the meeting.

Do you think South Korea will introduce cryptocurrency regulations soon? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock and the South Korean Ministry of Justice.


Need to calculate your bitcoin holdings? Check our tools section.

The post South Korea Launches Cryptocurrency Task Force to Spearhead Regulations appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Bitcoin News

Bitfinex Slaps a Lawsuit on Its Nemesis as the Tether Squabble Gets Ugly

December 5, 2017 |

Bitfinex Slaps a Lawsuit on Its Nemesis as the Tether Squabble Gets Ugly

Bitfinex has come out fighting after weeks of being on the backfoot. The bitcoin exchange, which has parried stinging accusations from the anonymous critic Bitfinex’ed, has had enough and called in the high-priced lawyers. Steptoe & Johnson is the company tasked with tracking down anyone perceived to have libeled the Hong Kong-based exchange – and it’s got one particular Twitter account firmly in its sights.

Also read: Bitfinex Faces Further Scrutiny Over Tether Liquidity Concerns

Bitfinex v Bitfinex’ed

Bitfinex Slaps a Lawsuit on Its Nemesis as the Tether Squabble Gets Ugly
The Twitter avi for Bitfinex’ed.

Amidst mounting questions as to the solvency of Bitfinex and accusations of wash trading using tethers – tokens pegged against the U.S. dollar – the twittersphere has had a field day. Much of the speculation has been spearheaded by Bitfinex’ed, an account which has been a constant thorn in the side of the world’s largest bitcoin exchange.

It’s now been suggested by Bitfinex – and confirmed by its nemesis – that Bitfinex’ed is facing a lawsuit. Stuart Hoegner, legal counsel for Bitfinex, released a statement saying:

To date, every claim made by these bad actors has been patently false and made simply to agitate the cryptocurrency ecosystem. As a result, Bitfinex has decided to assert all of its legal rights and remedies against these agitators and their associates.

This was followed up with a PR blitz in which one of the exchange’s partners posted an op-ed conceding that Bitfinex has been poor at communication. The piece makes comparisons between the cannabis and cryptocurrency industries in terms of the difficulty of obtaining banking arrangements, before taking aim at Bitfinex’ed, stating, perhaps disingenuously:

An anonymous online Twitter user who throws allegations around without ever revealing his or her own identity. As a communications professional myself, I know that whenever someone tosses allegations and attacks behind the veil of anonymity, one has to examine their motives.

Bitfinex Slaps a Lawsuit on Its Nemesis as the Tether Squabble Gets UglyThere are very valid reasons why an individual such as Bitfinex’ed may wish to preserve their anonymity. Nevertheless, regardless of the merits of both parties’ case, the fact is that the gloves are now off. In its statement announcing the hiring of Steptoe & Johnson, Bitfinex said: “In recent months, certain parties and their associates have made false and unsubstantiated claims against Bitfinex, engaging in potential market manipulation activity that is dishonest and unlawful.”

Readers who have been following the long-running spat will be aware that these are the very same accusations that Bitfinex’ed has leveled against Bitfinex.

So What Happens Now?

Bitfinex’ed has launched a donation address to help fund its defense of the lawsuit it’s facing. It currently contains around 1.4 BTC, 1 BTC of which came from a single donor.

Bitfinex Slaps a Lawsuit on Its Nemesis as the Tether Squabble Gets Ugly

In all likelihood, the case will never come to pass for a variety of reasons. Libel or slander cases are notoriously difficult to prove, especially when the alleged defamatory comments were made on a platform such as Twitter which is largely protected by free speech amendments. Even if Bitfinex were to successfully take its nemesis to court, it would need to lay bare its own operations to prove the accusations to be false.

Bitfinex Slaps a Lawsuit on Its Nemesis as the Tether Squabble Gets Ugly
British comedy duo Steptoe & Son. Not to be confused with Bitfinex lawyers Steptoe & Johnson.

The company also has nack for filing and then retracting lawsuits, having done similar against Wells Fargo earlier this year. Some commenters see the hiring of Steptoe & Johnson as evidence of Bitfinex trying to deter mainstream media outlets – which have greater legal obligations than anonymous social media commenters – from investigating its dealings.

There is a case for saying that the lawsuit – regardless of whether it transpires – suits both parties. Bitfinex can silence future dissenters who may be tempted to emulate Bitfinex’ed and start slinging mud. Bitfinex’ed, in return, can portray itself as the victim of a witch hunt whilst boosting its bitcoin balance. Regardless of how this case plays out, one thing that seems further away than ever is the truth. Until Bitfinex publishes the long-overdue audit of its accounts, speculation will continue.

Do you think Bitfinex will follow through with their supposed lawsuit against Bitfinex’ed? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock.


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PR: trade.io Announces Historic Partnerships & Introduces Tiered Structure Further to Community Demand

December 5, 2017 |

trade.io Historic Partnerships

This is a paid press release, which contains forward looking statements, and should be treated as advertising or promotional material. Bitcoin.com does not endorse nor support this product/service. Bitcoin.com is not responsible for or liable for any content, accuracy or quality within the press release.

Highly anticipated upcoming ICO trade.io has made three major announcements this week, which have strengthened its positioning as one of the leading ICOs to invest in, for 2017.

The company has launched an historic partnership with The University Of Nicosia. Two post-doctoral seats, funded by trade.io will focus on advanced research in Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT). The research will have a specific focus on side-chains and cross-chain interoperability, as well as smart token corporate governance best practices and implementation.

trade.io has partnered with HitBTC, one of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges, exceeding upwards of half a billion in daily volume, and operating since 2014. Once listed on the HitBTC exchange, the Trade Token (listed as TIO) will trade against the counters Bitcoin (BCT) and Ethereum (ETH).

The company has introduced a four-part tiered pricing structure, further to overwhelming demand from the community.

7-14 December
1 ETH = 900 Trade Tokens

14-21 December
1 ETH = 800 Trade Tokens

21-28 December
1 ETH = 700 Trade Tokens

28 December – 4 January
1 ETH = 600 Trade Tokens

On this, CEO Jim Preissler commented: “Our community has spoken. You have been asking us to extend the low Trade Token price for the ICO. The strength of trade.io lies in our community, your voice acts as a directing force for strategic decisions. With this in mind, our board has agreed to extend the low pricing by adding a tiered structure, giving early movers a bigger incentive to contribute and also to allow more time for such contributions”

Contact Email Address
helen@trade.io
Supporting Link
trade.io

This is a paid press release. Readers should do their own due diligence before taking any actions related to the promoted company or any of its affiliates or services. Bitcoin.com is not responsible, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any content, goods or services mentioned in the press release.

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