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Hyundai Digital Asset Company (Hdac) paid to air a television commercial for its blockchain solution-based services during this year’s World Cup in Russia. And while it was only a little over half a minute, it’s something of a first. The crypto community generally wow’d at the ecosystem’s arrival, its maturity, in having the idea put in front of tens of millions of people (maybe even billions). However, is this really an advancement, or is it just another cynical corporate ploy to exploit a little understood technology?
Millions are Exposed to Blockchain Technology During World Cup
With a good old fashioned blow out in evidence on the pitch, 2018 World Cup fans watching on television around the world were confronted with perhaps something slightly more interesting, the word ‘blockchain’. Zug, Switzerland’s Hyundai Digital Asset Company paid to air a 35 second spot highlighting its products through their use of technology underpinning cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin.
“Hdac Technology is building the future with the blockchain solution,” the spot immediately highlights at the screen’s bottom. The scene opens to a modern family, maybe one in the not too distant future. They’ve holographic imagery in service to basic needs; even a little girl can use them with confidence. The family leaves, and rather suddenly home appliances begin communicating, calculating, working for their masters while they’re away. “Hdac Technology platform is smart and secure, thanks to the blockchain solution,” the ad concludes.
In corporate speak, this genre is known as the Internet of Things (IoT). The appliances are demonstrating how “a interconnected smart household will operate,” according to its press release. The coming world is interconnected digitally, and somehow blockchain is relevant. English-speaking viewers of ITV and Eurosport are the primary targets of the vignette, and Hdac promises to have replays of it during the length of this year’s tournament.
As bang for the buck goes, running a spot during the World Cup at the very least exposes the product or services to tens of millions, as surely was the case during more recent later-bracket matches with so much at stake tournament-wise. Estimates of viewership, along with overall World Cup awareness around the world, include nearly half the human population.
Trillion Dollar Company Meets Blockchain Hype
Of course, Hyundai the international giant is a well-known brand. It’s subsidiary, Hdac, is less so. It was founded last year by the nephew of the parent company’s current CEO. Evidently, blockchain is key to their ultimate success, or so it would seem. “The technology can be applied to smart factories, smart homes, smart buildings, and various industries,” Hdac’s website reads. Machine to machine transactions “for mutual contracts and operation between IoT devices are implemented to bring a platform where rational consumptions and transactions are possible,” Hdac stresses dizzyingly.
Indeed, Hdac even jumped onboard the initial coin offering bandwagon, raising a quarter of a billion dollars with its DAC token presentation in late 2017. As a welcome to the wild world of corporate crypto its mining pool was promptly hacked. The company scrambled to address the issue, having to at one point cease all withdrawals. It also settled on verbiage claiming to accept no liability due to the pool being “decentralized.”
Ads like theirs can run $ 300k per airing, and Hdac has scheduled 80 spots throughout the tournament. The ad is noticeably weak on real details, and everything about it points to potential and the future. Critics say that’s because blockchain use cases are few and far between in actual applied, practical, everyday implementation. For crypto space veterans it is also far from clear exactly how blockchain is even relevant to appliances and the like, much less how an old, rather clunky tech speeds up innovation (blockchain is simply a glorified database). Its lone use case, so far as anyone can tell, is by acting in conjunction with a cryptocurrency.
Still, there might be something to airing related crypto tech at mainstream audiences. Much of what passes for discussion on the subject in popular media involves nefarious characters. At least in the Hdac attempt a family is front and center. For now, there is potential and the future, both slippery linguistic escape hatches by design, and the obligatory ICO token … which might explain the dog’s confusion.
Is blockchain tech outside of cryptocurrencies just hype? Let us know in the comments section below.
Images via Pixabay.
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Searches continued Sunday night for victims of heavy rainfall that hammered southern Japan for the third straight day, killing dozens and forcing 2 million to flee their homes, the AP and CNN report. Death tolls vary between around 50 and 85, while the Japanese broadcaster NHK says at least 58…
Anthony Bourdain was thought to have been worth about $ 16 million at the time of his death by suicide, but new legal filings reveal the TV chef was actually worth just $ 1.21 million, Page Six reports. That amount includes $ 425,000 in cash and savings, $ 35,000 in a…
2018 might not be the best year for crypto investors so far, but a lot of wealth is still in the hands of long-term holders. The latest example of this comes from Silicon Valley where some people are using bitcoin to buy millions worth of expensive timepieces, diamonds and other luxury items.
Crypto Surpasses Credit Cards
Stephen Silver Fine Jewelry, a Silicon Valley-based ultra-high-end watches and jewelry boutique which implemented cryptocurrency payments back in 2014, reports that crypto transactions have grown to 20% of sales in the past year, helping the company close expensive sales. The company accepts payments in cryptocurrencies such as BTC, BCH and XMR, but only from authorized and approved Bitpay wallets. It started doing so as an easier and more secure alternative to wire transfers, providing much faster transfer times than the old legacy systems.
“Cryptocurrency has surpassed the volume of retail credit-card purchases in the company in a very short time period,” CEO Stephen Silver said. “We’ve created revenue that the company would not even enjoy without being able to accept cryptocurrency…. Large sums of money are where we are finding cryptocurrency to be a huge advantage.”
Indispensable Tool at Cradle of Innovation
The company has been monitoring the development of cryptocurrency for years, “Given that Stephen Silver Fine Jewelry is based in Silicon Valley, the cradle of innovation,” president Jared Silver told diamonds industry publication Rapaport News. “In 2014, we felt it had matured to the point that we could bring the technology into our store.” The company also pays its willing suppliers with cryptocurrency, however “this would be contingent on the supply chain adopting the technology,” he added.
At the bottom line, accepting cryptocurrencies is now an “indispensable” payment method according to the jeweler. The average crypto deal is close to seven figures, and the company can offer no limit on the amount it will accept per sale, since bitcoin transactions are irreversible unlike credit cards. The president also revealed that the company recently received a million-dollar cryptocurrency payment.
Is bitcoin a perfect match for buying expensive luxury items? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.
Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Stephen Silver Fine Jewelry.
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 Silicon Valley Whales Buy Diamonds in the Millions With Bitcoin appeared first on Bitcoin News.
Two and a half miles of walking, two failed attempts to cash a $ 15 check, one toy left behind at a checkout counter and $ 14 in fees for financial transactions that ordinarily wouldn’t cost me a dime.
That was my tally after a recent, frustrating morning in Hollywood spent standing in lines, filling…
Turkey’s so called “national” crypto, Turcoin, has turned out to be a classical example of a Ponzi scheme, local media reported. The founders of the “alternative” digital currency are believed to have fled the country with millions of dollars collected from defrauded investors. The company behind the Turkish token stopped distributing dividends earlier in June.
‘National, Alternative, Rivaling Bitcoin’
Turcoin, presented as a “rival to the global virtual currency bitcoin,” has been exposed as just another Ponzi scheme, after the executives of the project suddenly disappeared, according to local press reports. The Turkish altcoin, advertised as a national alternative digital currency, was launched by the Istanbul-based company Hipper A.Ş. founded by Muhammed Satıroğlu and Sadun Kaya last year.
In what sounds like a familiar scenario, every new participant in the network was supposed to bring more revenue to the person who signed them up. And as it happens with most financial pyramids, Turcoin crumbled as soon as growth grounded to a halt amid rising suspicions.
Hipper hit the headlines in Turkey with a lavish gala organized to promote the cryptocurrency last year. The event was attended by many Turkish celebrities, Hürriyet recalls. The company has also reportedly given away about 20 luxurious cars to the token’s early adopters.
The project suddenly stopped paying bonuses in early June. Since then, desperate investors have been trying to reach its Istanbul office without much success. “I am ruined. I don’t know what to do,” a 38-year-old man, who bought Turcoins worth 560,000 TL, almost $ 120,000 USD, told the daily. Hipper’s website is still online, currently offering “Cloud mining rental services.”
Billion Turkish Liras – Gone?
According to Sabah, the executives of Hipper have left Turkey with 1 billion TL stolen from thousands of defrauded investors. Many of them were lured with promises of monthly incomes of 250 TL (~$ 52) in return for an investment of 1,500 TL (~$ 315), the newspaper reported. Angry members of the scheme have raided the company’s office in the northwestern province of Kocaeli after their calls remained unanswered.
“I was only a mediator. Our company, Hipper, does not even have a single dollar in the bank. All the money went to Sadun Kaya’s company in Cyprus,” Muhammed Satıroğlu, one of Hipper’s founders, told Hürriyet. The daily wrote that he owns 49 percent of the company that issued the Turcoins.
Satıroğlu has joined investors in filing a criminal complaint against his partner, Sadun Kaya, who is said to hold 51 percent of the Turkish company and is thought to have fled the country with 100 million TL (~$ 21 million) taken away from about 10,000 people, according to the numbers quoted by Hürriyet. Satıroğlu claims he has not stolen any money and promises to start refunding Turcoin investors as soon as Turkish authorities unfreeze his bank accounts.
Meanwhile, Sadun Kaya, who has reportedly left Turkey, maintains that not he but his partners embezzled most of the money. “Everyone is trying to put the blame on me,” he complained in a conversation with Sabah. Kaya is also chairing the administrative board of Anafis Inc., another company involved in the scheme.
Amidst conflicting reports about the size of the fraud, it’s unclear if Turcoin will turn out to be the country’s biggest Ponzi scheme. The record holder for now, according to the online outlet Ahval, was revealed in March, when authorities in the northwestern province of Sakarya launched an investigation against Çiftlik Bank. Its 26-year-old founder Mehmet Aydın fled to Uruguay after reportedly collecting more than 500 million TL (~$ 128 million USD) from some 78,000 people in just two years.
Do you think authorities should take measures to prevent obvious Ponzi schemes? Share your thoughts on the subject in the comments section below.
Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Ahval, Turcoin.
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The post Turcoin Ponzi Scheme Exposed, Founders Flee with Millions appeared first on Bitcoin News.
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The Tel Aviv District Court has received today an indictment against Halmi Git, a 33-year-old from the Palestinian city of Hebron, for a wide-ranging affair involving the management of forums for the sharing and sale of stolen credit card details. His forums have allegedly involved about 1,300,000 users from around the world, leading to massive fraud.
Stealing Even From the Moon
According to the indictment, the defendant established the forums in 2008 and managed them until his arrest at the beginning of the month. The entrance to the forums was free of charge, but users could purchase a VIP status to receive stolen details of “fresh” credit cards, which are more likely to be still working. Additionally he published manuals and guides that provided information and tools on how to commit various computer offenses, remotely hacking computers and taking over remote computers or servers.
Halmi also allegedly committed crimes of fraud against users of his own forums. The defendant would offer selling cell phones at discounted prices, but once a user transferred him money he would block the user from the site and take his money without providing compensation. He would then publish a message, supposedly in the name of the deceived user, in which he thanked the defendant for providing the cheap mobile phone.
Apparently trying to convince investigators his actions were not motivated by specific malice towards Israelis, many of which were his alleged victims, Halmi is quoted as saying: “We are thieves, from wherever we can take money, we will take it – it does not matter where, from Israel, the US or even the moon, we will reach it and use it.”
1,071 BTC Seized
According to the indictment, the defendant demanded that all payments to him be made through Bitcoin, to make it more difficult to locate him. In addition, Halmi acted consistently to disguise his identity by technological means, made many money transfers between different Bitcoin wallets for the purpose of covering his tracks, used online masking services to distance himself from his various accounts, and recorded parts of his property in the name of his relatives.
The Israeli State Prosecutor’s Office attributes to the defendant money laundering of at least 1,071 BTC, estimated at NIS 31,000,000. During the interrogation, in a precedent-setting move, the defendant’s Bitcoin wallet was seized and the amount found in it was transferred to a police wallet. The State Prosecutor’s Office intends to confiscate all the contents of the defendant’s Bitcoin wallets, if and when he is convicted. The case was investigated by investigators of the Israeli national cyber unit at Lahav 433.
The offenses with which Halmi is charged are: credit card fraud under aggravated circumstances (multiple offenses), receiving a thing fraudulently under aggravated circumstances, providing means for committing a crime, violating the Computers Law and money laundering.
What should be the punishment for such an alleged crime? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.
Images courtesy of Shutterstock.
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