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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 ( 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

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…

Six Fake Crypto Exchange Sites Busted by Ukraine’s Cyberpolice

June 17, 2018 |

Six Fake Crypto Exchange Sites Busted by Ukraine’s Cyberpolice

The cybercrime combating unit of the Ukrainian police has uncovered a network of fraudulent crypto trading websites. Four people are suspected of offering the fake online exchange services. They have maintained at least six platforms luring cryptocurrency traders with deceptive messages.

Also read: Survey: 13% of Net-Savvy Ukrainians Own Cryptocurrencies

Police on the Lookout for More Fake Exchangers

Officers from Ukraine’s Cyberpolice have exposed an organized group of scammers who created a network of fake online exchangers offering conversion of cryptocurrencies. According to a press release issued by the National Police, a number of sites have been used to deceive and defraud unsuspecting citizens who wanted to trade their cryptos.

“The criminal group consisted of four people […] possessing specialized knowledge and skills in programming,” the NPU’s press service said. They had set up their own CMS-system to manage the websites’ content. The platforms imitated the activities of legitimate online cryptocurrency exchangers, supporting multicurrency conversion, and even displayed fictitious positive ratings and reviews.

The victims were invited to transfer their money to digital wallets registered with forged identification documents under false names of foreign citizens. After receiving some funds through a particular platform, the scammers would close it and open a new one, law enforcement officials explained.

Six Fake Crypto Exchange Sites Busted by Ukraine’s Cyberpolice

So far, Ukrainian police have found at least six fake websites:,,,,, and, Financial Club reports. Most have been taken down already, with one now redirecting to sites with pornographic content. Investigators believe there are more undiscovered websites and have asked the public to report suspicious platforms to

Six Fake Crypto Exchange Sites Busted by Ukraine’s Cyberpolice

Three of the suspects, aged between 20 and 26 years, have been implicated directly in the six established fraud schemes. They are all residents of the city of Dnepropetrovsk. The police have opened criminal proceedings against them under Section 3 of Article 190 (Fraud) of Ukraine’s Criminal Code.

Officers have already conducted authorized searches at the addresses of the suspects. They have seized computer equipment, including flash drives, as well as bank cards and mobile phones that were used by the scammers. The Cyberpolice unit is currently studying the identified websites to determine the size of the fraud.

Six Fake Crypto Exchange Sites Busted by Ukraine’s Cyberpolice

Ukraine’s Booming Crypto Trade

In the last couple of years, Ukraine has been experiencing a growing interest in cryptocurrencies with a rising trend in crypto trading volume. According to the latest reports, the estimated daily crypto-hryvnia turnover on the three major Ukrainian exchanges, Exmo, Kuna and BTC Trade UA, reaches $ 1.9 – $ 2 million USD (~$ 700 million, yearly). The total is likely to be even higher, as at least eighteen other trading platforms and more than 4,000 individual traders are believed to provide exchange services, both online and offline.

A recently conducted survey found that 72 percent of Internet-savvy Ukrainians know what cryptocurrency is and another 23 percent have heard about it. At least 13 percent of those using the world wide web possess digital coins, the poll confirmed. A number of Ukrainian officials have declared owning digital assets on their tax returns.

According to a new report titled “Green Book: Cryptocurrency Market Regulation”, Ukraine is among the top 10 countries in the world in terms of number of cryptocurrency users, while local companies have created 25 new digital coins, raising $ 132 million in less than two years.

Six Fake Crypto Exchange Sites Busted by Ukraine’s Cyberpolice

Cryptocurrencies, however, and the fintech industry as a whole, remain largely unregulated. Three draft laws have been introduced in the Rada since October, with no real progress so far. These are the bill “On the Circulation of Cryptocurrency in Ukraine”, the law “On Stimulating the Market of Cryptocurrencies and Their Derivatives”, and a supplementary draft amending the tax code to cover crypto incomes and profits.

Multiple government officials and institutions have insisted on adopting proper crypto regulations, and Ukraine’s Cyberpolice is one of them. In January, the cybercrime combating department shared its concerns about cryptocurrencies and called on the government to either ban them or legalize them “as soon as possible.”

Do you think regulations can effectively ban fraudulent platforms and support legitimate exchanges? Share your thoughts on the subject in the comments section below.

Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Financial Club, National Police of Ukraine.

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

The post Six Fake Crypto Exchange Sites Busted by Ukraine’s Cyberpolice appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Bitcoin News


Matt Barnes Rips Tristan Thompson: You’re FAKE Tough!

June 17, 2018 |

Matt Barnes says the REAL reason people in the NBA don’t like Tristan Thompson is because he’s a fake-ass tough guy who’s all talk … no action.  Since Barnes is tight with Draymond Green — who also hates Tristan — we asked him where…

White House Made Fake Movie Trailer for Kim Jong Un

June 12, 2018 |

Another headline-grabbing nugget from the Trump-Kim summit: The White House made a fake movie trailer that President Trump showed Kim Jong Un at the start of the leaders’ historic meeting in Singapore. The four-plus-minute video, which even features the overlay “Destiny Pictures presents” despite the fact that there is not…

Twitter Experience Worsens, Ether Fake Giveaways Taking Over

June 12, 2018 |

Twitter Experience Worsens, Ether Fake Giveaways Taking Over

Fake ether token giveaways are clogging Twitter threads, and seemingly by the second. Targeting well-known ecosystem figures, doppelganger accounts are created, complete with matching avatars. A particularly active post can almost assuredly be counted on to receive seemingly organic calls for participation in free crypto programs hosted by the respective personality. And now they’re incorporating Google+ redirects. And it’s working. And Twitter seems to be either doing nothing about it or is just plain impotent.  

Also read: Crypto and Virtual Reality Meet in Ken Liu’s Science Fiction

Twitter Crypto Celebs Hounded by Fake Giveaways

Ari Paul, investor guru from Blocktower hedge fund fame, was on another multiple tweet philosophical lecture, spaced out and numbered. The topic was a meditation on over the counter and regular exchanges’ impacts on price. It proved so interesting, no personage less than Laura Shin, Forbes journalist, popular podcast host, and ecosystem gadfly attempted a read. She soon came up against what more and more Twitter users are facing: fairly elaborate ether (ETH) come-ons, fake giveaways using mirror’d accounts.Twitter Experience Worsens, Ether Fake Giveaways Taking Over

Ms. Shin’s trademark Valley Girl patois could almost be heard echoing through her corresponding response tweets of disgust and alarm: “Ari wrote an interesting thread, but FYI, @twitter and @jack, my experience reading it was marred by all the spam accounts touting free ETH that made it harder for me to find the real discussion.”

Just a few clicks later, and she discovered another awful truth: she’d been personally compromised. Someone with the account @XaedenJ was using Ms. Shin’s professional reputation and likeness to tacitly approve a 10,000 Ethereum giveaway, and it directs readers to a website asking for payment. The scam even went so far as to create a thread conversation about the giveaway, in effect dialoguing with itself. “If you’re late for this event,” the fake Laura Shin posted below the landing page advert in the thread, “you’ll get your investment back at once!”

A little more digging, and she found the offending scam post garnered a quick 28 likes, which were probably from bots designed for the very purpose. These could seem rather enticing to cryptocurrency noobs, and thus the problem. In utter exasperation, Ms. Shin, the real Ms. Shin, tweeted, “Someone please create a better Twitter. This is ridiculous.” At press time, the offending address, @XaedenJ, was scrubbed by Twitter, taken down permanently, and way too late.  

Twitter Experience Worsens, Ether Fake Giveaways Taking Over
A common auto response certainly not helping Twitter in a branding war.

Over 4,000 ETH Scams Logged, Hundreds Ongoing

Ms. Shin’s platform, her access to movers and shakers within the industry, made it easy for Twitter to recognize the problem and take immediate-ish action. But, again, it was too late. It went out there, and no doubt some were probably lured. It, of course, isn’t just Ms. Shin who is being hounded.

Twitter Experience Worsens, Ether Fake Giveaways Taking Over
Scam landing page.

For whatever reason, ether (ETH) tokens make these sorts of scams very easy. Part of the Stanford Mafia, and cofounder of crypto-related startups Bloom and Cognito, John Backusperformed a quick, back of the envelope calculation about ETH related scams. He found “ETH ‘scam’ giveaways staggering numbers: 8,148 ETH ($ 4.9M) received (between scams and baits); A fool sent 30 ETH to fake Erik Voorhees […]; Over 4000 scams logged; Almost 700 “ongoing” scams logged.”

He was quick to differentiate scams related to Twitter, roughly 500 of that number derived from the social media site, of the overall thousands of ETH giveaway frauds cataloged. His calculus includes any “kind of scam, including phishing scams that have nothing to do with Twitter,” he typed.  

Twitter Experience Worsens, Ether Fake Giveaways Taking Over
Note how Twitter’s CEO responded over four months ago.

It’s to the point where a tracking website exists to keep abreast of ETH scams as they happen, are discovered, and end. Appropriately titled Ethereum Scam Database, it’s maintained by My Crypto, and includes a Github reference along with detailed reporting instructions. The project is open source, however “All reports end up in a private Slack to protect people’s privacy. The reports can be read by all team members of [My Crypto] and they can decide whether the report makes it to the blacklist,” they explained.

Twitter Experience Worsens, Ether Fake Giveaways Taking Over

My Crypto recommends “Use cold storage – Buy a Ledger Nano S or a Trezor; Bookmark your crypto sites – Use those bookmarks and only those. Only send funds to trusted addresses – Double-check what address you’re sending ETH to. Look up the address at and check if there are bad reviews; Never trust any discord/slack/telegram/reddit message – Don’t ever fall for messages that say you can get free ETH or that a hack has occurred.”

Do you think such scams hurt the brands of Twitter and ETH? Let us know in the comments. 

Images via the Pixabay, Twitter.

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

The post Twitter Experience Worsens, Ether Fake Giveaways Taking Over appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Bitcoin News

Warriors coach rips NFL’s ‘idiotic’ national anthem policy, calls it ‘fake patriotism’

May 24, 2018 |

Golden State Warriors Coach Steve Kerr accused the NFL of  promoting “fake patriotism” after the football league moved to fine players and personnel who don’t stand for the national anthem.
FOX News

China Has Found 421 Fake Cryptocurrencies

May 19, 2018 |

China Has Found 421 Fake Cryptocurrencies

A Chinese government-backed industry organization has published a report on fake cryptocurrencies. As of April, its monitoring platform has found 421 fake cryptocurrencies, 60% of which are deployed overseas. The Committee has also outlined major red flags of these cryptocurrencies.

Also read: Yahoo! Japan Confirms Entrance Into the Crypto Space

421 Fake Cryptocurrencies

China Has Found 421 Fake CryptocurrenciesThe National Committee of Experts on the Internet Financial Security Technology (IFCERT), a Chinese government-backed industry organization, published the results of its analysis on fake cryptocurrencies on Friday.

China Has Found 421 Fake CryptocurrenciesCiting that “In recent years, virtual currencies represented by bitcoin, litecoin, ethereum, etc. have received continuous attention,” IFCERT pointed out that “some criminals are engaged in financial fraud or pyramid schemes under the cover of virtual currency.” The Committee added that fake cryptocurrencies frequently appear, “causing investors to suffer major losses.”

IFCERT’s National Internet Financial Risk Analysis Technology Platform continuously monitors fake cryptos, the Committee detailed, elaborating:

As of April 2018, the technology platform has found 421 fake virtual currencies, of which more than 60% of fake virtual currency website servers are deployed overseas. Such platforms are difficult to find and difficult to track.

The Red Flags

China Has Found 421 Fake CryptocurrenciesThe Committee outlined some major red flags of these fake cryptocurrencies. Firstly, they adopt “pyramid-based” business models, claiming that their cryptocurrencies will generate high returns.

Secondly, they have no real code, IFCERT described, noting that they either do not have a blockchain or cannot generate blocks for one.

Thirdly, they will not be traded on legitimate cryptocurrency exchanges, “so they often trade on over-the-counter or proprietary exchanges,” the report detailed, adding that:

There is a phenomenon that prices [on these platforms] are highly controlled by institutions or individuals, which tends to cause the illusion of rapid price increase. However, users often cannot conduct transactions or withdraw cash.

IFCERT emphasized that fake cryptocurrencies have no value and are illegal, asserting that “Many of these platforms do not have business premises and business information, and servers are often deployed overseas,” so it will be difficult to recoup any losses for victims.

271 Fake ICOs

On Thursday, the Wall Street Journal independently published its finding after a review of documents produced for 1,450 initial coin offerings (ICOs). The publication “has found 271 with red flags that include plagiarized investor documents, promises of guaranteed returns and missing or fake executive teams.”

Investors have poured more than $ 1 billion into these 271 ICOs, the publication detailed, adding that “some of the firms are still raising funds, while others have shut down. Investors have so far claimed losses of up to $ 273 million in these projects, according to lawsuits and regulatory actions.”

Do you think there are many more fake cryptocurrencies? Let us know in the comments section below.

Images courtesy of Shutterstock and IFCERT.

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

The post China Has Found 421 Fake Cryptocurrencies appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Bitcoin News

Fake Terror Attacks Are ‘Sadistic Comedy’

May 11, 2018 |

A new generation of YouTube stars are staging prank terror attacks in public and angering a few people along the way, the Guardian reports. On Tuesday men stormed a mall in Iran wearing black Islamic State garb and crying “Allahu Akbar”—causing some shoppers to scream in terror —all to…