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| September 19, 2018

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Hoaxer Who Got NYT to Publish His Fake Obituary Is Really Dead

September 18, 2018 |

An infamous professional prankster who once went to great lengths to get his own fake obituary published in the New York Times is now actually dead, the Times reports, noting in its headline that it has the news “on good authority.” Alan Abel, who has been called “America’s greatest hoaxer”…
Newser

Owner of company that wrote fake TripAdvisor reviews may be first to get jail time

September 16, 2018 |

TripAdvisor, one of the world’s biggest travel review sites, wants the world to know that it won’t turn a blind eye to fake reviews.

To get that point across, the Needham, Mass.-based site commended the nine-month jail sentence and $ 9,300 fine imposed on the owner of an Italian company who provided…


L.A. Times – Business

For First Time Ever, Fake Reviews Get Guy Sent to Jail

September 13, 2018 |

For what is believed to be the first time, a person has been sent to jail for writing fake reviews online. The Italian man ran a company called PromoSalento, which sold hotels fake reviews, and in what’s being widely hailed as a landmark ruling this week a court in the…
Newser

Librarian Makes Fake Bomb Threat In Order to Make Flight

August 21, 2018 |

A librarian has been jailed after calling in a fake bomb threat so he wouldn’t miss a flight. Per Reuters , Jacob Meir Abdellak, a Frenchman living in London, called in the hoax eight minutes before his Norwegian Airlines flight was slated to leave Gatwick Airport after staff wouldn’t let him…
Newser

On a New Continent, Accusations of ‘Fake News’

July 29, 2018 |

“Fake news” is at it again, this time on a different continent, reports the AP . Zimbabwe’s main opposition leader says the ruling party has conducted a “fake news” campaign against him with the help of foreign technicians ahead of Monday’s elections. Nelson Chamisa, head of the Movement for Democratic Change…
Newser

TMZ

Tyron Woodley Rips Conor McGregor, Fake Mobster and Terrible Role Model

July 26, 2018 |

Tyron Woodley is going in on Conor McGregor — saying his “larger than life mobster” image is a front … and he’s sick and tired of watching the guy act like a fake, tough guy. We spoke with the UFC welterweight champ about Conor’s plea deal in…

TMZ.com

How Coinmarketcap Incentivizes Exchanges to Report Fake Volume

July 18, 2018 |

How Coinmarketcap Incentivizes Exchanges to Report Fake Volume

Bitforex, a cryptocurrency exchange that scarcely scraped the top 100 by trading volume until recently, has been accused of generating false trades on a mammoth scale. Crypto Exchange Ranks, which pulls in open source data from exchange APIs, has published a report in which it accuses Bitforex of creating fake volume and Coinmarketcap (CMC) of being complicit in the scam.

Also read: Powerful Cryptocurrency Firms on the Road Towards Becoming Banks

Bitforex, Coinmarketcap and the Case of the Fake Volume

How Coinmarketcap Incentivizes Exchanges to Report Fake Volume
Everything about Bitforex looks off – including its logo

Fake trading volume, defined as buy and sell orders designed to artificially create the impression of demand, are a running motif in the cryptocurrency world. For as long as anyone can remember, various exchanges have been accused of wash trading and inflating their volume. It’s the equivalent of a half-empty airliner placing its passengers in window seats to give the impression that the plane is full. Creating fake volume may sound like a relatively minor transgression, but it can have major ramifications for traders.

“Cooking the books” by falsifying activity lures traders into signing up for an exchange that may be untrustworthy, insecure, and far less liquid than it looks. Any exchange that is willing to create false volume may have few qualms about committing more egregious crimes against its users. Until recently, Bitforex was a little-known exchange, languishing around 70th in the world by trade volume. It now stands at 12th according to data provided by Coinmarketcap, with 24-hour volume of $ 227 million.

How Coinmarketcap Incentivizes Exchanges to Report Fake Volume

Crypto Exchange Ranks calls out Bitforex

In a detailed and compelling blog post, Crypto Exchange Ranks outlines its case for Bitforex having generated fake volume. Aside from the fact that Bitforex’ trade volume has multiplied by almost 100x in recent weeks, and now stands at more than 10x that of established exchanges like Kraken and Kucoin, there’s its modest social media presence that includes less than 2,000 Twitter followers. The Singapore-based exchange does have 65,000 Telegram followers, but much of this can be attributed to the usual spate of bots coupled with airdrop token chasers.

How Coinmarketcap Incentivizes Exchanges to Report Fake Volume
Bitforex’ claimed trade volume according to its website

Bitforex claims in its Twitter bio to be licensed in the EU, but there is no evidence to support this; in fact its website states that the platform is licensed in the Seychelles and Philippines. The site also includes such bold claims as having 1.8 million users, to be attracting 15,000 new users a day, and to have amassed $ 1.5 billion of trade volume, taking it as high as number five on Coinmarketcap’s exchange rankings.

Bit Who?

Crypto Exchange Ranks isn’t buying Bitforex’ claims, writing “We see that the number of UU [unique users] of BitForex is 29K. In turn, Kucoin has 889K unique users. Kraken has 666K unique users. KuCoin’s number of UU is 30 times higher than that of BitForex, Kraken’s number of UU is higher by 23 times.” It concludes:

As we have already discovered through SimilarWeb, the exchange receives the bulk of the new traffic through the referral source — CoinMarketCap; thus, the platform immediately attracts attention. Here’s the explanation: creating and implementing marketing and communication strategies and building a community in an organic way is more expensive than forging trade volumes.

While CMC is unlikely to be abetting Bitforex, in publishing the exchange’s figures without question, it is unwittingly complicit in the deception. Other crypto comparison sites have been less eager to report the sort of inflated figures produced by the likes of Bitforex, regardless of what the data pulled by API might say. With its shoddy web design, poor English, and almost certain fake volume, Bitforex does not inspire confidence. But until Coinmarketcap makes a stand against blatantly falsified volume, exchanges will be incentivized to cheat the system and lure in gullible traders eager to try out the next big platform.

Do you think Bitforex’ trading volume is real? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Coinmarketcap, and Bitforex.


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

The post How Coinmarketcap Incentivizes Exchanges to Report Fake Volume appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Bitcoin News

Crowdsale KYC is Fueling a Black Market for Fake ID

July 12, 2018 |

KYC for Crowdsales is Fueling a Black Market for Fake IDs

KYC for crowdsales was meant to add oversight and legitimacy to a largely unregulated space. Instead it’s left investors susceptible to data breaches, identity theft and blackmail. Given the hazards, it’s understandable that some ICO investors have resorted to buying fake ID.

Also read: A BCH Fueled Version of Patreon is Coming This August

KYC Has Created a Thriving Black Market for Fake IDs

Buying fake ID is a rite of passage for teenagers desiring to be sold alcohol. But a new market for fake ID has sprung up on the web, whose buyers crave nothing more illicit than admittance to the latest crowdsale. Know Your Customer (KYC) requirements, which are now widespread, were designed to screen out US and Chinese investors, and to dispel the notion that ICOs are unregulated. But rather than bolstering the industry’s reputation, they’ve created an unholy mess.

KYC for Crowdsales is Fueling a Black Market for Fake IDs
A typical Telegram message offering fake ID

Dedicated Telegram channels specialize in the buying and selling of fake IDs, complete with all the tools an investor needs to pass crowdsale KYC: passport scan, selfie, scanned bank statement; the works. Usually sourced from Russia, these can be bought for as little $ 50 – and it’s not just Americans and Chinese who are buying them. Investors who reside in countries that permit ICOs have also been snapping up fake IDs as a means of protecting their own identity.

Blackmail, Data Loss and Doxxing

With 80% of this year’s ICOs trading below their public sale price, investing in crowdsales is a risky businesses. Throw in mandatory KYC, and those risks are significantly heightened. A number of projects have been compromised through the hacking of the third party handling their KYC, while others have had their mailing list leaked. In each instance, investors have been susceptible to being doxxed, and there have been reports of blackmail.

KYC for Crowdsales is Fueling a Black Market for Fake IDs

Once hackers have obtained the email addresses of investors, they will either attempt to socially engineer them; sell the addresses on the black market; or claim to have filmed the victim watching online porn, threatening to send the video to their friends and family if they don’t pay a ransom. Given these hazards, purchasing a fake ID to pass KYC seems like the lesser of two evils. Tezos forcing KYC on its community one year after they’d invested, essentially holding their tokens to ransom, has further fueled the demand for fake IDs.

Most cryptocurrency investors accept, albeit reluctantly, that KYC is a requisite for trading on centralized exchanges. The case for forcing KYC on crowdsales is harder to justify. Given the hassle and hazards involved, it’s no wonder many investors prefer to wait and pick up tokens on IDEX, where there’s no verification and coins can often be bought at half the price.

Do you think KYC makes crowdsales safer or riskier? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, and Telegram.


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

The post Crowdsale KYC is Fueling a Black Market for Fake ID appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Bitcoin News

The Daily: Fake Trezor Website, Floods Take Out Mines, and New Crypto Investments

July 2, 2018 |

The Daily: Fake Trezor Website, Floods Take Out Mines, and New Investments

Among the stories from around the cryptosphere featured in today’s edition of Bitcoin in Brief are a fake Trezor wallet website and floods in China that reportedly took out enough mining farms to make a dent in the global hash rate, as well as a couple of new investments in the field.

Also Read: Cryptojacking Rises as Ransomware Declines, Cyber Security Researchers Find

Fake Trezor Wallet Website

Bitcoin hardware wallet manufacturer Trezor has issued a warning to clients about an appeared phishing attempt against its users. A fake Trezor Wallet website was served to some users who attempted to access  the legitimate address (wallet.trezor.io). The developers explain that they do not yet know which attack vector was used, but the signs point toward DNS poisoning or BGP hijacking. Thankfully, the fake wallet has been taken down by the hosting provider. However, Trezor asks clients to remain vigilant and report all suspicious sites as it is possible that this attack method will be used again in the future.

The Daily: Fake Trezor Website, Floods Take Out Mines, and New Investments
Fake Trezor Wallet website with “Not secure” warning and bad English

Floods Take Out Mines in China

Sichuan province in southwest China is a mecca for cryptocurrency mining thanks to the region’s plentiful and cheap hydro-power electricity. Unfortunately, the same abundance of rivers and rainfalls that give it this advantage, also makes Sichuan prone to seasonal floods. In July, 2013, dozens of people died as a result of large floods and an estimated six million people in the region had their daily lives interrupted in some way. Now, with the return of the floods season, the many local miners are also affected according to reports from the country, mainly due to communication and power outages as well as mining farms being outright under water. By examining the global BTC hash rate it is possible to see that there was a drop in late June, coinciding with the floods, but not to unprecedented levels.

Qiwi Team Launches Crypto Investment Bank

The Daily: Fake Trezor Website, Floods Take Out Mines, and New InvestmentsA team of employees from the Russian payment services Qiwi is reportedly setting up a separate company meant to be a crypto investment bank. The same way that traditional investment banks help startups attract strategic and venture capital investors, a crypto investment bank helps ICOs secure investments from crypto funds. “We help companies go through the stage of fundraising. Monetization is classic: we get our commission after the company with our help raised funds in the market, ” financial director of Qiwi Blockchain Technologies Yakov Barinsky told Kommersant. According to Mr. Barinsky, the company now cooperates with ten such funds, the largest of them is worth about $ 100 million.

Tzero Reaches $ 160M Deal with Hong Kong Investors

Tzero, the crypto subsidiary of Overstock, announced the signing of a letter of intent with GSR Capital, a private equity firm registered in Hong Kong, to participate in its Security Token Offering (STO). GSR will purchase $ 160 million in security tokens pursuant to the Simple Agreement for Future Equity (SAFE), at a price per token of $ 10. Proceeds will be used, among other things, to build the US-regulated security token exchange. Executive Chairman Patrick M. Byrne (the CEO Overstock) said, “Years ago we saw the world-shaking potential of blockchain, and since then we have been methodical in building tZERO into a company that will bring great efficiency and transparency to capital markets domestically and abroad. I truly believe what we are doing is historic and, while there is still much to be done, our success in this STO has given us the resources we need to see it through.”

What do you think about today’s news tidbits? Share your thoughts in the comments section below. 


Images courtesy of Shutterstock.


Verify and track bitcoin cash transactions on our BCH Block Explorer, the best of its kind anywhere in the world. Also, keep up with your holdings, BCH and other coins, on our market charts at Satoshi’s Pulse, another original and free service from Bitcoin.com.

The post The Daily: Fake Trezor Website, Floods Take Out Mines, and New Crypto Investments appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Bitcoin News

CAR Minister Says Tennis Star’s Passport Is a ‘Clumsy Fake’

June 20, 2018 |

Boris Becker’s claim of diplomatic immunity in an ongoing bankruptcy case just went from odd to bewildering. Though the former tennis champ claims his April appointment as a Central African Republic attache to the European Union means he’s immune from bankruptcy hearings in the UK, the CAR appears to be…
Newser