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Clickbait Media Uses Bitcoin and Russia to Pump Headlines Again

January 16, 2019 |

Clickbaiting Telegraph Uses Bitcoin and Russia to Pump Headlines Again

In the past week or so, a number of publications, including cryptocurrency websites, but also “reputable” mainstream outlets, have given stage to a “Kremlin economist” with a bold prediction – Russia will invest billions in bitcoin to tackle U.S. sanctions, possibly triggering a new bull run as early as next month. The claim was quoted in multiple reports, although never double-checked or substantiated.

Also read: Russia Not Ready for the Petro, Proposes Plan to Aid Venezuela Without It

Moscow Said to Dump Billions Into Bitcoin

The statements came from Vladislav Ginko, a lecturer at the Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration (Ranepa). Last week he told the Australian online edition Micky that new U.S. sanctions will push Moscow to diversify its cash reserves and there are limited options by which they can do so. One of them is to replace part of the $ 466 billion saved by the Central Bank of Russia with cryptocurrency. He insisted that Russia’s elite is also being forced to dump U.S. assets and currency and “invest hugely into bitcoins.” The expert economist stated categorically:

U.S. sanctions may be mitigated only through Bitcoin use.

Ginko further suggested that the first wave of significant Russian government investment into bitcoin, “worth billions of dollars,” could come within the next few weeks. “I believe that Russia will start diversifying its reserves with bitcoin in February, when the U.S. Congress will introduce new sanctions,” he said. The economist also shared his opinion that the Russian government is not against cryptocurrencies and noted that President Putin has referred to fintech as a key driver of the country’s economy.

Clickbait Media Uses Bitcoin and Russia to Pump Headlines Again

Toward the end of the interview, Vladislav Ginko admitted that much of his work recently has been focused on persuading Russian officials that bitcoin is the best way to alleviate the effects of tough U.S. sanctions and prove to various stakeholders of Russian society the need for investing central bank money into the “heavily oversold bitcoin.”

Some ‘Exclusive’ Reports

The report was promoted by the Australian media outlet as exclusive, although Ginko has been actively spreading his views and forecasts on social media and in conversations with many journalists. A number of other crypto and mainstream media outlets, including Fortune, have quoted Micky’s report. However, Britain’s Daily Telegraph newspaper has published its own article, posting additional information – again, unconfirmed by an official government source from Russia.

The Russian expert is quoted as saying that Moscow is ready to invest as much as $ 10 billion in the world’s most popular cryptocurrency as part of its de-dollarization efforts and in order to prevent interruptions of U.S. dollar payments for Russian oil and gas. Another unverified claim by Ginko, which has been quoted by The Telegraph, is that the cryptocurrency industry now accounts for 8 percent of Russia’s GDP.

In the meantime, Micky has come out with another article on the same topic, claiming to have obtained documents from Australian crypto OTC brokerage Lupo Toro reportedly showing “large and unusual increase in the volume of OTC bitcoin purchases placed by Russian nationals.” The so-called “Moscow Files” have been published under a title starting with “The Putin Pump?”

Clickbaiting With Bitcoin

Crypto prices did not see much pumping during a bearish 2018, but this didn’t diminish the spate of hyperbole-laden headlines. The cryptocurrency is a very convenient target for alarmists, attention-seekers, and clickbaiters. Bitcoin does not have a CEO and can’t complain about fake news, so the mainstream media simply doesn’t care about the actual facts. In this particular example, Russia’s Billions, Shift to Bitcoin, Ditching the Dollar, and Putin’s Pump have been an irresistible choice of words for many online editors. A reply to Barry Silbert’s tweet linking The Telegraph’s article sums it all up very well:

This is what happens when journalism becomes shitposting. ANY PROOFS? What’s wrong with reporters these days?

Russia does seek ways to decrease its dependency on the U.S. dollar. It has increased its holdings of the euro, Chinese yuan, Japanese yen, and has discussed the introduction of a common digital currency within the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) and BRICS. But according to one real government official, Moscow is not looking at bitcoin. Elina Sidorenko, chair of the crypto working group in Russia’s parliament, recently noted that “there’s not a bit of common sense” in Ginko’s statements.

“The Russian Federation, like any other country in the world, is simply not ready today to somehow combine its traditional financial system with cryptocurrencies … The implementation of this idea in the next at least 30 years is unlikely to be possible,” she commented. Sidorenko believes the only way to use digital assets at the state level would be to create an international cryptocurrency as a unit of account between countries. A convertible “cryptoruble” has its supporters in the Moscow corridors of power as well – it fits in Russia’s “Sovereign Democracy” concept better than any decentralized crypto.

Clickbait Media Uses Bitcoin and Russia to Pump Headlines Again

Another telling statement recently came from the chairman of the parliamentary Financial Markets Committee, Anatoly Aksakov. No one is going to ban Bitcoin in Russia, he said. His main concern was that if crypto holders are pushed against the wall by the state, they will revert back to investing in the U.S. dollar. The legislation on digital financial assets the State Duma is about to adopt on second reading in February will simply not mention cryptocurrency at all – a decision that reflects Putin’s own admission that “cryptocurrency is something that goes beyond national borders.”

It seems that anyone who thinks Russia will fully embrace Bitcoin doesn’t know Russia very well, and anyone who thinks Russia will completely ban Bitcoin doesn’t know Russia enough. In the end, Russia may decide to treat Bitcoin like Snowden: we didn’t want you here but since you’ve come, you can stay and do your thing. And of course, we don’t want you to harm the interests of “our American partners.”

‘Misunderestimating’ Russia

Misunderstanding, underestimating, and most often misinterpreting Russia remains a common mistake, as the following video humorously conveys:

Sadly, the case of “Kremlin economist” Vladislav Ginko won’t be the last time that mainstream media is badly wrong about Russia – or about Bitcoin.

Do you think Russia will invest in bitcoin, and if so, do you expect Moscow to officially admit it? Share your thoughts on the subject in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock.


OP-ed disclaimer: This is an Op-ed article. The opinions expressed in this article are the author’s own. Bitcoin.com does not endorse nor support views, opinions or conclusions drawn in this post. Bitcoin.com is not responsible for or liable for any content, accuracy or quality within the Op-ed article. Readers should do their own due diligence before taking any actions related to the content. 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 information in this Op-ed article.

The post Clickbait Media Uses Bitcoin and Russia to Pump Headlines Again appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Bitcoin News

CNN

Zimbabweans say social media blocked in wake of violent protests

January 16, 2019 |

Zimbabweans said they were unable to access social media Tuesday after protests erupted over a sharp increase in fuel prices was announced by the government.
CNN.com – RSS Channel – World

Crypto Impersonation Scammers on Social Media Raked in Millions in 2018

January 15, 2019 |

Crypto Luminary Impersonation Scammers on Social Media Raked in Millions in 2018

Over the last two years, as cryptocurrencies gained mainstream attention, scammers have become far more prevalent. One particular social media scam that can be found on prominent websites like Twitter, Facebook and Instagram is the impersonation of well-known crypto industry executives and blockchain luminaries. Unfortunately even a verified account means nothing these days and these giant corporations have allowed fraudulent acts to flourish giving criminals the opportunity to rake in millions.

Also read: Analysis: Using Technical Indicators to Trade Crypto in 2019

Rampant Crypto Impersonation Continues to Plague Social Media Channels

We’ve heard all about the milestones in 2018 and all the crazy cryptocurrency market action but one thing that happened and pulled in record revenues last year was social media impersonation. Miscreants were allowed to flourish in great number, creating phony Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook profiles. They have copied profiles such as Vitalik Buterin, John McAfee, Elon Musk, Barry Silbert, Erik Voorhees, and many more. They have even cloned businesses such as the Binance Exchange, and other major cryptocurrency infrastructure providers.

Crypto Luminary Impersonation Scammers on Social Media Raked in Millions in 2018
A fake Elon Musk account scamming Twitter users for ETH on a Donald Trump tweet. Notice that another phony Elon account had liked the tweet and a fake Vitalik profile as well.

The swindlers usually present a “giveaway promotion” asking a user to send 1 ETH in return for 10 ETH but these addresses never see any outgoing transmissions. Other copycat chisellers actually pretend they are well-known individuals and message people directly asking for money in exchange for phony services. All of the major social media platforms have been riddled with impersonation scammers and even when provided with evidence of wrongdoing and proof of a verified account these corporations have yet to produce results.

Crypto Luminary Impersonation Scammers on Social Media Raked in Millions in 2018
A phony John McAfee profile scamming for ETH on Twitter.

Last February, social media cryptocurrency community member impersonators were making $ 5,000 a night in ethereum on Twitter. By the summer of 2018, it was recorded that millions of dollars worth of digital assets were taken from impersonation scams. On June 9 John Backus reported that 468 known scammer addresses collected 8,148 ETH which was worth $ 4.9 million at the time.

Crypto Luminary Impersonation Scammers on Social Media Raked in Millions in 2018
Vitalik Buterin begs the cryptocurrency community not to trust impersonators.

One particular person sent $ 18,000 to a fake Erik Voorhees account. Even the Maltese Prime Minister was impersonated by scam peddlers last August. Lots of Good Samaritan crypto users have flagged some of the known addresses with a message that says “Fake Phishing.” The CEO of Bitcoin.com and other members of the company (including the author of this post) have been impersonated by scammers on social media platforms like Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.

Crypto Luminary Impersonation Scammers on Social Media Raked in Millions in 2018
Bitcoin.com’s CEO Roger Ver shares a list of copy cat impersonators who fraudulently use his name and profile pictures still to this day.

Verified Accounts and Evidence Does Nothing As Fraudulent Twitter, Facebook and Instagram Profiles Continue to Scam for Millions

After submitting screenshots of these malicious scoundrels in action and even sending in identification, these companies still do not delete these accounts. Last summer I had submitted daily complaints to Twitter concerning impersonators and evidence of the wrongdoing and all the platform did was send an auto-response.

Crypto Luminary Impersonation Scammers on Social Media Raked in Millions in 2018
Even though Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey (a Bitcoin supporter and Lightning Network investor) promised to get rid of these scams they haven’t stopped and impersonation is still rampant on the social media platform.

In fact, it takes weeks and help from multiple friends reporting these impersonators or otherwise, the social media giants will do nothing. Even at the end of 2018, after Twitter CEO promised users the platform would crack down on these accounts, they continued to be prevalent. Wired columnist Nicole Kobie explained the situation in great detail on Nov. 17 stating:   

Verified Twitter accounts – including Google’s G-Suite and Matalan – are getting hacked and pretending to be Elon Musk. The bitcoin scams are making thousands but why can’t Twitter do anything about them?

Instead of dealing with obvious fraudulent activities, even when users verify their accounts, the social media giants have spent millions on annoying cosmetic updates, censoring and deplatforming right-wing pundits, and sold people’s profile data to firms like Cambridge Analytics. A portion of crypto investors lost significant sums of money after last year’s digital asset market volatility, and alternatively, copycat social media profiles did extremely well scamming people.

What do you think about the fraudulent impersonation scams on social media platforms? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below. 


Images via Shutterstock, Twitter, and Bitcoin.com’s CEO Roger Ver. 


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

The post Crypto Impersonation Scammers on Social Media Raked in Millions in 2018 appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Bitcoin News

Sean Hannity: To obstruct Trump’s agenda, Democrats and the media have to pretend borders don’t matter

January 11, 2019 |

Speaker Pelosi, Chuck Schumer, this is not a manufactured crisis. These are real statistics, real people, real lives and many deaths. This is about life and death.
FOX News

Pelosi, Schumer spark laughs on social media for ‘angry parents’ rebuttal to Trump address

January 9, 2019 |

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif, and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., triggered plenty of laughs on social media Tuesday night for their rebuttal to President Donald Trump’s address from the Oval Office.
FOX News

With Deplatforming on the Rise, Onchain Social Media App Memo Shows Promise

January 7, 2019 |

With Deplatforming on the Rise, Onchain Social Media App Memo Shows Promise

Last year the Bitcoin Cash (BCH) community welcomed a BCH-based social media network called Memo.cash. Since then Memo has gathered a lot of traction with hundreds of profiles and thousands of onchain updates and conversations posted to the BCH chain.

Also read: Crypto-Friendly Statesman Takes Over Swiss Presidency

Memo’s Uncensorable Posts Continue to Grow

In April last year, news.Bitcoin.com reported on the social media platform Memo.cash, a decentralized app powered by blockchain technology. The platform gives anyone the ability to create a profile, post messages, and send and receive tips as well. Nearly every action on Memo is recorded on the BCH chain using an OP_Return transaction. After the BCH blockchain split on Nov. 15, the creator of Memo decided to open the platform to users of both sides of each chain and now there is a Memo SV version of the site as well. Existing users who haven’t logged on since the fork can use the same login credentials for the SV section of the platform.

As Deplatforming Rises, Onchain Social Media App Memo Shows Promise
Memo feed 1-6-19.

Since we first reported on Memo, there was another social media platform for the BCH chain called Blockpress, but the application has been defunct for quite some time. Memo, on the other hand, has continued to grow with users and content is being shared constantly. For instance, Memo’s feeds are broken down into six sections, which comprise ranked, polls, threads, top, new, and archive posts. Similarly to Twitter, when writing a new memo users can utilize 217 characters per post. If an individual decides to create a poll, then they have to first create a question (209 characters) and then add two options (184 characters per option) for people to choose.

As Deplatforming Rises, Onchain Social Media App Memo Shows Promise
Memo users can embed tweets.

Memo users can post text, videos, pictures, and even embed tweets from Twitter on the application. Moreover, individuals can search the index of registered users by perusing a list of profiles that are also sectioned into different criteria like most followed and  oldest, which shows the first Memo accounts created. The most followed Memo profile is the creator of the platform, with 777 followers, and the first account registered belongs to a user named Jason who has 142 followers.

Poster.cash and Unwriter’s Bitdb

Then there’s Poster.cash, a Bitdb-powered Memo extension protocol built by the software developer Petar Mitchev. The Poster application allows users to utilize most of Memo’s actions, which are performed in-browser. Poster provides infinite scrolling and the ability to track certain keywords as well.

As Deplatforming Rises, Onchain Social Media App Memo Shows Promise
Petar Mitchev’s project Poster.cash.

Similarly to the Memo protocol, Poster also gives users the choice to toggle between the BCH and SV network depending on their preference. Because Poster is powered by the developer Unwriter’s Bitdb network, it works as a serverless application. Mitchev gave props to Unwriter for creating the Bitdb and Bitsocket applications and noted, “I still can’t believe I wrote an actual serverless Memo implementation — And it works so nice.”

As Deplatforming Rises, Onchain Social Media App Memo Shows Promise
Popular topics on Memo.cash.

Overall, Memo continues to see lots of people posting uncensorable media and the extensions people have built around the protocol have made Memo’s ecosystem more robust. Of course, with the application serving both networks, there’s a fair bit of arguing between both camps when scrolling through the last few weeks of Memo posts. The Memo application also supports hashtags and many people add their favorite tags to posts. Popular hashtags at the moment are bitcoin cash, BCH, BCHPLS, roblox, and hashwar.

What do you think about the Memo.cash application for the Bitcoin Cash network? Let us know what you think about this platform in the comments section below.


Images via Shutterstock, Memo.cash, Poster.cash, and Pixabay.


Express yourself freely at Bitcoin.com’s user forums. We don’t censor on political grounds. Check forum.Bitcoin.com.

The post With Deplatforming on the Rise, Onchain Social Media App Memo Shows Promise appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Bitcoin News

Verizon Takes $4.5 Billion Charge Related to Digital Media Business

December 12, 2018 |

Verizon Communications is booking a $ 4.5 billion accounting charge related to its Oath media business, a sign its bet on high-profile internet properties and content several years ago hasn’t worked out as expected.
WSJ.com: US Business

Research Exposes Anti-Bitcoin Bias in Mainstream Media

November 30, 2018 |

Research Exposes Anti-Bitcoin Bias in Mainstream Media

Recent research on the tone and frequency of cryptocurrency coverage in the mainstream media over the past five years suggests that some news outlets appear to be much more biased against Bitcoin than the norm. The results also indicate that overall sentiment has become more negative with time.

Also Read: Coinbase Launches OTC Desk, Huobi Opens Derivatives Market

Price Declines Sparked a Press Frenzy

Blockchain-focused research company Clovr surveyed 7,527 cryptocurrency-related articles from 48 media outlets from January 1, 2013, to July 31, 2018. It used an algorithm to assess the broad sentiment expressed in each article.

The researchers found that the mainstream media didn’t really pay much attention to cryptocurrencies until they started climbing in value. But what these news outlets really liked was to report about price crashes. Even during the great bull run of 2017, coverage spiked during sudden declines in market value. And the downturn from the peak at the end of the year created a “press frenzy” as the number of articles shot up.

Research Exposes Anti-Bitcoin Bias in Mainstream Media

“In the wake of bitcoin’s market cap plunge in the final days of 2017, negative articles multiplied — with cryptocurrencies falling 34 percent in the first month of 2018, cautionary tales of vanished wealth were common,” the researchers note.

Old vs. Young, Left vs. Right

Long-established mainstream brands were particularly harsh with their cryptocurrency coverage, including The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, The Economist and The Financial Times. In contrast, the researchers found that business and financial news outlets that skew toward a younger audience, such as Forbes and Business Insider, had coverage that was consistently above the overall median for positive sentiment.

Comparing American publications by their political leanings, the researchers found that those that skew conservative were considerably more negative in their crypto coverage than those that skew liberal. This was exemplified by Breitbart News, which was found to have published only negative articles — a surprising finding, considering that its former executive chairman, Steve Bannon, has gone on to present himself as a crypto revolutionary.

The report indicates that some publishers became less hostile over time. However, the more common trajectory was for coverage to become increasingly negative, the researchers noted. The average sentiment of Reuters, USA Today and Gizmodo articles became substantially more negative over time, for example. And overall, financial news outlets seemed to be more positive than technology news sites.

Research Exposes Anti-Bitcoin Bias in Mainstream Media

What are the most interesting findings from this research? 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 Research Exposes Anti-Bitcoin Bias in Mainstream Media appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Bitcoin News

Bashing Melania Trump for White House Christmas decorations latest sign of media hypocrisy, critics say

November 27, 2018 |

First lady Melania Trump unveiled the White House’s Christmas décor on Monday and – for the second year in a row – she is being attacked, mocked and even vilified for the presidential mansion’s holiday furnishings, which many critics feel is a sign of widespread hypocrisy.
FOX News

Borderline Gunman Posted to Social Media During Attack

November 10, 2018 |

The man who authorities say shot to death 12 people at a California bar on Wednesday was posting to social media during the attack, according to NBC . TMZ reports that sources say that Ian Long, a 28-year-old former Marine who also died in the attack, had a gun in one…
Newser