Archive February 2019

Millions of dollars worth of Bitcoin lost after CEO of company dies

QuadrigaCX is one of Canada’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, and investors are panicking over $250 million in lost crypto-currencies. Gerald Cotten, the company’s former CEO, died February 5, 2019 and was the only person with access to the private keys holding the funds. Without these keys, the Bitcoins and other cryptos will be inaccessible.

Did a Mt. Gox Trustee Cause the Bitcoin Crash in 2018?

Did a Mt. Gox Trustee Cause the Bitcoin Crash in 2018?

The post Did a Mt. Gox Trustee Cause the Bitcoin Crash in 2018? appeared first on Cryptocurrency exchange: buy/sell/trade bitcoin & altcoins | iCE3X.
Mt. Gox, the now-defunct cryptocurrency exchange has reportedly liquidated ~$312 Million worth of Bitcoin (BTC). These events occurred from February 2018 up until June 2018, with the funds moving through BitPoint, a Japanese cryptocurrency exchange. GoxDox, an organization made to assist the Mt. Gox creditors, recently got involved.
New Information about Mt. Gox
GoxDox published a photo of a bank account statement. It shows the alleged transactions sent from the BitPoint exchange to the Mt. Gox trustee run by Nobuaki Kobayashi on February 5, 2019.

If this report by GoxDox is, in fact, accurate; then this trustee did whatever was necessary to disregard Kraken CEO Jesse Powell’s suggestions. Jesse explicitly told this trustee to refrain from selling any of the company’s Bitcoin (BTC) assets.
He also said that if absolutely necessary; then this trustee must liquidate any remaining Bitcoin assets on an over-the-counter (OTC) cryptocurrency trading platform. This would be the best way to minimize any impact it could have on Bitcoin’s valuation.
Thus, it’s entirely possible that both the trustee and anyone else dealing with this Mt. Gox case didn’t know what to do when presented these circumstances. As a result, they prematurely liquidated a vast portion of the organization’s assets in order to move forward with their declaration of bankruptcy.
Did This Cause the Bitcoin Price Crash?
GoxDox claims that the Mt. Gox trustee initially began selling the cryptocurrency exchange’s Bitcoin assets during early 2018. From early February up to June, the trustee sold tens of millions of dollars in bitcoin per week. Researchers claim that frequent wire transfers supposedly came from BitPoint’s bank account, and sent to that of the Mt. Gox trustee. This is a clear indication of the trustee’s intent to obscure these transactions in the event of BitPoint seeing a security breach.
As a result, it’s possible the trustee was planning for public backlash in the event he got caught selling BTC. The reason for this is when someone sells large amounts of Bitcoin, the price of BTC is at a significant risk of falling.
It seems fair to conclude that the reason for sending frequent wires was to prevent counterparty risk. A hack at BitPoint could expose the MtGox Estate to a loss and the trustee didn’t want to get Goxxed. It follows that the trustee would have instructed BitPoint to wire JPY [Japanese yen] over as soon as he had it. This way, MtGox Estate assets wouldn’t be exposed to any hacking incident at BitPoint.
Based on the information sourced by GoxDox, the trustee received 3,822,436,400 Yen on May 2, 2018. From that point onward, on intervals of 1 – 4 days the trustee continued to receive tens of millions of dollars from BitPoint.
Bitcoin from 2018 to 2019

Pay attention to the image above. During the month of February 2018, the trustee began selling BTC assets on a pubic cryptocurrency exchange. Jesse Powell, CEO of Kraken; affirmed that the company (that was hired to track Mt. Gox’s lost coins) advised the trustee not to dump millions of dollars worth of Bitcoin (BTC) into the market. They state:
We were explicit about not dumping a large amount of coins on the market. Unfortunately, it looks like the trustee made their own decision or was taking advice from elsewhere — maybe whatever exchange they dumped those coins on. We had zero knowledge of these sales happening until it was announced at the recent creditors’ meeting.
Be that as it may, the correction of the cryptocurrency market during January 2018 could have been entirely unaffected by the Mt. Gox situation. Though, it isn’t hard evidence due to the lack of info present in the leaked bank statement. Thus, some analysts suggest that when the CME Bitcoin Futures market opened is when the price crashed.
In light of this, the San Francisco Federal Reserve claims; that the time in which the price of Bitcoin began to decline aligns with the initial release of the CME Bitcoin Futures market.
The rapid run-up and subsequent fall in the price after the introduction of futures does not appear to be a coincidence. It is consistent with trading behavior that typically accompanies the introduction of futures markets for an asset
Bubble coming to an end?
Many people claim that the short-term bubble of Bitcoin’s price during 2017 around this time was not caused by any specific factors.
However, from February onward, many traders believe that the random liquidation of a large number of bitcoin assets had a significant impact on the short-term trend of BTC.
Consequently, the trustee went under heavy scrutiny from industry experts, including GoxDox researchers. GoxDox state that the Mt. Gox creditors must demand an explanation from the trustee in order to clarify the reason for the dismissal of the advice given by Kraken.
Simple possession of a crypto license is not suitable criteria for selecting an expert. A non-expert judge’s approval does not equate to a sound plan. Reliance on an appeal to authority is never a substitute for good judgment.
Where does Mt. Gox Go From Here?
Cryptocurrency investor and Co-Founder of Blockchain Capital recently uncovered his ambitious plan to revive Mt. Gox, and pay all the creditors of the exchange. Despite the exchange being said to have around $1.2 billion worth of bitcoin; the liquidation of over $300 million worth of Bitcoin makes it hard to tell precisely how much BTC the cryptocurrency exchange currently has.

https://twitter.com/search?q=mt%20gox&src=typd

But it’s not possible (in the situation of Mt. Gox at least) to repay all of the creditors by liquidating the company’s BTC assets. Thus, Brock Pierce, a man claiming to have bought Mt. Gox for 2 BTC in 2014 from Jed McCaleb and mark Karpeles recently decided to reopen the exchange and pay all creditors using the equity of the company.
The first step in doing this had Pierce condemning the work of the Mt. Gox trustee, preventing him from liquidating anymore of the company’s holdings with his new authority over the company. According to GoxRising’s official statement, a British Virgin Islands-based company established to oversee Mt. Gox:
Acknowledging that the Mt. Gox trustee had done a laudable job of managing an unwieldy estate, the group suggested that the inherent limitations on the trustee’s discretionary powers as a fiduciary, prevented him from maximizing creditor returns going forward.
During the North American Bitcoin Conference (TNABC), Brock Pierce expanded on his points, stating that the company intends to revive Mt. Gox via a unified Civil Rehabilitation Plan. There is a law in Japan that forces lenders of any company to change the terms of a loan. Thus, in the upcoming months, the company is due to pay out $1.2 Billion worth of BTC to creditors as quickly as possible, then begin to continue operations.
A $16 Billion Hurdle
Technically, Mt. Gox is currently able to distribute all $1.2 Billion in bitcoin holdings within the next two months, then rush the whole process of obtaining a license from Japan’s Financial Services Agency in order to continue operations as a regulated cryptocurrency exchange.
However, the blockchain incubator CoinLab has reportedly filed a $16 Billion claim against Mt. Gox, claiming they breached a contract with the company. Prior to this, CoinLab filed a $75 million lawsuit until just 2 weeks ago when they bumped it up to $16 billion.

Even with a compromise, if these claims see court approval, a significant portion of Mt. Gox’s bitcoin’s holdings could be lost. Jesse Powell, Kraken Ceo expressed his disappointment in CoinLab following the filing of the complaint.
I’m disappointed to hear that this lawsuit is responsible for holding up payouts, and that any judgment for CoinLab would be treated on par with the depositor victims. I think people are having a hard time getting their heads around the $75m+ claim; given that common perception is that CoinLab never performed and owes $5m+ back to MtGox. If the deal had been carried out; it might be CoinLab on the hook for the shortfall of client deposits.
The main problem with this lawsuit is that it’s not against the exchange itself. Instead, the lawsuit is against the creditors of Mt. Gox.
This lawsuit today is not CoinLab vs. Mt. Gox, but CoinLab vs. the MtGox customers, now [current] creditors, who have done nothing to deserve being involved in this,
Thus, if this lawsuit powers on, it will be the creditors with Mt. Gox’s $1.2 Billion bitcoin holdings that will have to settle the lawsuit for $16 billion.
Could This Mt. Gox Revival Affect the Price of Bitcoin?
In the event that the $16 billion lawsuit filed by CoinLab is the only hurdle in the way of settling the creditors’ funds, it’s entirely possible that the creditors will receive their portion of the Mt. Gox bitcoin assets by the latter half of 2019.
In these situations, the distribution of funds primarily depends on the result of a court hearing or the settlement of this lawsuit. The outcome of the case could affect the number of Bitcoin assets that the creditors get back.
It’s in the hands of the individual / retail traders to do what they want with their bitcoins after this case is settled. Thus, there is a possibility that the creditors could sell their new Bitcoin holdings on the open exchange market, which could have a similar effect to what we saw in February last year.
However, it’s highly unlikely that the creditors would do such a thing. Dumping their newly obtained BTC assets on the open exchange market in the short term would do no good for the value of these assets. Especially during a period in which BTC is showing resilience in it’s new ‘low price valuation’ being down by over 80% since it’s ATH.
What do you think about Mt. Gox coming back? Do you think it will affect the price of Bitcoin in the future? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!
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Are We Being Scammed by Bitcoin.com?

Are We Being Scammed by Bitcoin.com?

The post Are We Being Scammed by Bitcoin.com? appeared first on Cryptocurrency exchange: buy/sell/trade bitcoin & altcoins | iCE3X.
What is Bitcoin? Bitcoin is a cryptocurrency that reached a somewhat miraculous price in 2017. In that very same year, the number of transactions for this cryptocurrency steadily began to increase. However, Bitcoin still has very low scalability. With only 7 transactions per second, Bitcoin is competing against Visa, able to process 24,000 transactions per second. Is Bitcoin.com truly an advocate for BTC though?
Bitcoin (BTC) VS Bitcoin Cash (BCH)
With arguments over the scalability of Bitcoin sweeping the crypto space, the community split into 2 groups. One group believes that Bitcoin doesn’t even need high scalability. The other believes that Bitcoin’s scalability needed improvement. Consequently, this conflict in ideas gave birth to Bitcoin Cash (BCH) in August of 2017. Thus, Bitcoin.com essentially diverged into 2 different cryptocurrencies. 1 Being Bitcoin (BTC), the other, Bitcoin Cash (BCH).
It is important to note that Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash are two entirely different cryptocurrencies. If you buy BCH and transact it thinking you have BTC, you risk losing all of your money and vice versa. It’s extremely common for newcomers to the crypto world to mistake Bitcoin for Bitcoin Cash. Although they resemble the same thing, they are in fact completely different digital assets.
Are Bitcoin.com Misleading People?
Bitcoin.com is simply taking advantage of newcomers to the crypto space. Differentiating between Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash can be difficult if you’re new to cryptocurrency. They have similar logos, similar names, and even similar colour schemes. Roger Ver is one of the people who believe Bitcoin Cash is the superior cryptocurrency. He is also the owner of ‘Bitcoin.com’ and the Twitter handle @Bitcoin. On both of these channels, they market Bitcoin Cash as the superior implementation of the Bitcoin protocol, which would result in newcomers buying BCH thinking they were buying BTC.

despret attempt of fraud marketing by bitcoin(.)com @rogerkver pic.twitter.com/M9eep1UwtZ
— MoneyTrigz (@moneytrigz) November 23, 2018

Roger Ver’s love for Bitcoin Cash is no new information. Many people suspect he is the reason for the Bitcoin Cash and Bitcoin SV Hash Wars. Once the Hash wars ended many more people in the crypto space became aware of Roger Ver. The Bitcoin.com app has been accused of misleading people (as can be seen in the screenshot below).

With all of the perceived misinformation, the community took action. Class action to be precise. The last straw for the community; was when Bitcoin.com changed the words ‘Bitcoin’ to ‘Bitcoin Cash’ and then changed the words ‘Bitcoin Cash’ to ‘Bitcoin’.  With thousands of people furious at these deceptive changes, a user (MoneyTrigz) took action into his own hands, setting up a class action lawsuit against the website.
Class Action Lawsuit
Following the chaos those changes made; a Telegram group was made in order to organize any potential victims of Bitcoin.com and create a base of operations. Just 2 days following the creation of this group; a website was made, giving people information on all the accusations regarding Bitcoin.com and Roger Ver. A few days after the lawsuit started to gain traction; Bitcoin.com was seen reversing many of the controversial changes they made on the website.
However, this Class Action Lawsuit didn’t get very far. MoneyTrigz announced to the Telegram group that he was going to be shutting down the lawsuit due to receiving a low volume of donations. With only less than $4,000 worth of donations, there wasn’t enough money to fund a controversial legal battle such as this one. Lawsuits of this kind often cost tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars. As a result, MoneyTrigz refunded all 33 transactions he received. He claims:
Due to lack of donations we decided to cancel the initiative and refund the 33 transactions received a total of 0.39btc, we are happy at least we were able to make an impact with bitcoincom changing 90% of its dis-information campaign which was accomplished on our own dime and awareness with help from the media.
Bitcoin Cash (BCH)
While it’s true that there is controversy surrounding Bitcoin Cash, we do believe it is a good cryptocurrency. Many people have a firm belief in the future of Bitcoin Cash, which is why the Bitcoin Cash hash wars took place. During a period of disagreement within the Bitcoin Cash community, the coin forked, creating Bitcoin Cash SV. While lots of commotion came around following this, the root of it was just 2 similar beliefs that ended up colliding.
Both Bitcoin (BTC) and Bitcoin Cash (BCH) are perfectly fine cryptocurrencies, but being told you’re buying one thing when you’re actually buying the other, isn’t good. If Bitcoin Cash is to grow, it should grow naturally, not forced down people’s throats. People have been comparing Bitcoin vs Bitcoin Cash for a while, but we believe both cryptocurrencies serve their own purpose.
Conclusion
With many people (the Telegram group in particular) upset with the outcome of the lawsuit; MoneyTrigz emphasized that without the correct funding, the case can’t go any further. However, I believe this situation is a glass half full. While Roger Ver may not have seen any real consequences following this suit, it did apply pressure. The looming lawsuit forced Bitcoin.com to at least change up the website to make it less deceiving. It’s definitely still deceptive though.
One user in the telegram spoke on the matter, saying:
Mate, you’ve done a fantastic job. Bitcoin.com changed [their] website, so even if it doesn’t go further at least you’ve put the fear in them.
What do you think of this? Is Roger Ver simply clever at marketing? Has he actually done anything wrong in the y he uses Bitcoin.com? Let us know in the comments below!
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The New Gold is Bitcoin, yet It Seems Mining Bosses Still Exist

The post The New Gold is Bitcoin, yet It Seems Mining Bosses Still Exist appeared first on Cryptocurrency exchange: buy/sell/trade bitcoin & altcoins | iCE3X.
Bitcoin is the New Gold. Bitcoin has matured over the last decade to become the defacto digital equivalent to real gold. It has the same economic properties as gold, yet it has an advantage in terms of ease of transfer.
Why is Bitcoin a new form of gold, you ask?
Many people see Bitcoin as the new gold. It is a controversial issue because the perspective which both sides use is important in order to get context around the subject. “Bitcoin is the new gold” proponents believe that its properties of scarcity, divisibility, fungibility and the ease of transfer, make Bitcoin the natural option to replace the US dollar as world reserve currency (which in turn replaced the gold standard in 1971). In contrast, the naysayers argue that cryptocurrencies have no real use case, except that it is like the tulip craze of the 1600s.
What is Gold Really used for?
Measuring wealth. For as long as we humans have recorded history, Gold has been the defacto symbol of wealth. It is used to symbolise wealth and also to transfer wealth. Furthermore, we measure wealth and even create wealth through derivative products.
Unlike Gold, Bitcoin cannot be confiscated or taken from you without your consent.
The Gold Standard
The whole world used Gold until as recent as 1971 to measure the value of FIAT currency. The US dollar is now our “world reserve currency”.  As a result, the United States has an unbalanced degree of power and influence over the world economy. This is a problem. To have a central entity with a small select group of people who decide for the masses with no counterbalance is a BIG problem.
We object to Gold as the world reserve currency for two reasons {neither of which can really be used as a credible justification for not using the Gold Standard}:

Scarcity
Gold deposits are unfairly distributed around the world and some governments will have an unfair advantage in terms of accessibility. This, however, did not stop Britain or America (Anglo-American…) from building a behemoth mining conglomerate.
Divisibility
Some argue that we would not have enough gold in the world to sustain a world economy (we would not have enough gold in order to divide at current market rates) – (uhm… de-value FIAT currency against gold and you solve that problem).

The Mining Bosses
Where there is wealth, there is greed. Unfortunately, gold deposits are unevenly distributed across the globe. Different governments have official mining policies which vary. Furthermore, small groups control these markets which are fragmented across the globe. Companies build whole “other” layers of economies on top of the gold mining industry.
The disparity in distribution causes a situation of the have’s and the have not’s. A breeding ground for corruption, labour abuse and just about every other form of economic abuse where the privileged become yet more privileged and the masses have zero economic mobility.
We all know who the biggest benefactors or “mining bosses” in the mineral mining industry are. We will not discuss this here. {They deserve (and have) blogs of their own, which are dedicated to their pillaging}.
So who are the “Bitcoin Mining Bosses”?
With Bitcoin, you solve the problem which we identify as uneven distribution of the asset. Bitcoin is open to anyone. This does cause an issue, namely that it is easy to manipulate an uneducated market. We have always taken the approach of regulating markets to keep out bad actors, but this requires autonomous control of the said market. No single one entity can control bitcoin.
Ponzi Scheme Owners & Brokers
They are simply confidence tricksters. If bitcoin is the new gold, then we can equate them to “gold prospecting certificate” brokers hanging around pubs and bars waiting for the next fool to ride into town, seeking his fortune.
If its sounds to good to be true, it usually is
Forked Token Supporters
Many tokens are simply forks or derivatives of a predecessor. We have two sides to the coins.
Firstly we have legitimate attempts at improving a coin; so far none of these implementations has been able to mount a challenge in terms of FIAT valuation. The best performer, BitcoinCash, could only manage a rate of 5:1 against Bitcoin during the last peak (Dec ’17).
Secondly, there are imitations. Many see BitcoinCashSV as such a coin because it does not have the perceived pedigree of the original implementation of Bitcoin. {“Bitcoin Cash SV is the new Gold” does not roll off the tongue now, does it?}
Consequently, there are coins which are difficult to classify. They come in different forms and have different attributes, yet when seriously questioned on a technical and economic level do not appear to have substance, are usually not limited in supply and are not decentralized at all. SAFcoin, for example, has very little explanation of its value proposition. On the other hand, we have some who wrongly believe the Ripple Token XRP, will be in use by the banking industry in the near future.
Co(i)n-check
What do all these groups have in common? They all liquidate their positions in favour of Bitcoin. Fresh investors who come into the crypto space and are likely to fall foul of a crypto scam or two, invest FIAT money into bitcoin which they subsequently convert to other tokens. The creators or marketers behind the derived token will now convert the BTC to FIAT. Moreover, they stifle the Bitcoin market and leave new investors holding a bag of potatoes.
Bitcoin is Better New Gold
If you hold bitcoin as an investment, it is a risk, yet it is a calculated risk. It could make you rich, just like the first gold miners in the Wild West of America.
Top Ten Tips to Keep your Coins from the Mining bosses 

If bitcoin is the new Gold, you need to treat it as such
Store your own Private Keys.
There is no such thing as investing bitcoin to make more bitcoin. Buy bitcoin from an exchange and withdraw it to your own wallet.
Backup your Private Keys.
Bitcoin has a limit in supply, increased adoption and use translate into scarcity. Scarcity = higher value.
Not your keys, not your coin.
Bitcoin is not a database or a payment mechanism
Control the private keys, you and you alone control the coin
Bitcoin is an experiment, do not invest more than you can afford to lose if it all goes wrong
Keys, Keys, Keys. Make sure you backup your keys
Nobody can confiscate your bitcoin.

Conclusion
Regardless of what perspective you decide to look at Bitcoin from, it still looks like Gold in the right light. The difference is, Bitcoin does a better job at being gold than gold itself. As it’s digital, there’s no need to pay a small military unit in order to move thousands of Bitcoins (as there would be for moving thousands of gold bars). Sending Bitcoin across the border is almost free. Imagine sending a few kilos of Gold over the border.
What do you think of Bitcoin? Out of Gold and Bitcoin, which would you rather invest in? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!
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Digital Gold: Bitcoin Better at Being Gold than Gold Itself?

Digital Gold: Bitcoin Better at Being Gold than Gold Itself?

The post Digital Gold: Bitcoin Better at Being Gold than Gold Itself? appeared first on Cryptocurrency exchange: buy/sell/trade bitcoin & altcoins | iCE3X.
Apparently, Bitcoin (BTC) lost its value proposition as digital cash. As a result, investors all over the world have searched high and low for a way to determine this world-renowned cryptocurrency. However, this search hasn’t yet uncovered any definitive results or conclusions yet. Thus, a discussion has developed regarding Bitcoin’s status as either a second coming of gold stocks or a digital Store of Value. Is Bitcoin really the digital gold it’s coined as?
Bitcoin is More of A Tech Stock Than Gold?
According to the UK-based pro-gold market organization the World Gold Council, BTC has still got some work to do before it can truly be the digital Store of Value that many bitcoin maximalists paint it to be. In a report by MarketWatch on the matter, the World Gold Council stacked the performance of Gold, Nasdaq and Bitcoin.
By utilizing this limited data set, this council noted that; despite global stock markets experiencing their worst quarter since 2009, the cryptocurrency markets took an even harder dive than the stock market. As a result, the World Gold Council determined that in 2018;
Cryptocurrencies behaved like risky assets and fell while gold rallied

Following this, the self-proclaimed “market development organization for the crypto industry” stated that the price action Bitcoin displayed is why analysts deem Bitcoin a tech stock. Subsequently, they cited the 0.69 positive correlation between Bitcoin (BTC) and Nasdaq. The result of this led the firm to tout the opinion that all cryptocurrency investors should ‘reassess their reasons for investing in cryptocurrency assets.’
They even stated that the Bitcoin (BTC) price collapse in Q4 was “one of the few periods in which true market stress occurred since the financial crisis”, in an attempt to back their inflammatory claim. Essentially, they’re hinting that these “digital gold” arguments surrounding bitcoin are baseless.
Investor Interest Increases
In a poll conducted by Gabor Gurbacs of VanEck on Twitter as well as a post-mortem by Jan Van Eck; many Bitcoin (BTC) holders are turning to buy gold assets instead. In addition to this, he revealed his firm, CBOE and SolidX will be retracting their Bitcoin funding application. Van Eck states that the tides have changed in the cryptocurrency market. He claimed:
Interestingly, we just polled 4,000 crypto investors and their number one investment for 2019 is actually gold. So gold lost to bitcoin and now it’s going the other way
Tim Seymore, CNBC contributor and Chief Investment Officer at Seymour Asset Management (SAM), also echoed Van Eck’s viewpoint. All while noting that while gold is definitely a Store of Value, the lack of Liquidity in the bitcoin markets, as well as the price action, is what shows that it’s not as similar to the precious metal.
But of course, a vast number of prominent crypto pundits disagree with these viewpoints.
Digital Gold
Recently, the Winklevoss twins (founders of the Gemini exchange) did an ‘Ask me anything’ on Reddit. During this AMA, they revealed their theory on cryptocurrency investments.
Tyler explained that both his and his brother’s “thesis on Bitcoin’s upside remains unchanged” despite the current bear market environment, ravaging all cryptocurrencies throughout 2018. For anyone that missed the memo, their thesis is basically that “Bitcoin is better at being gold than gold itself”
While you can’t melt bitcoin down into jewellery, you can definitely hold it as a store of value, much like gold.
The popular crypto proponent and anti-establishment commentator Max Keiser commented on this situation. In a tweet, he noted that Bitcoin is a “peer-2-peer electronic gold system” that also allows for online payments, far more than just an electronic cash ecosystem.

Satoshi’s true vision based on his writings and cypherpunk history.
Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic GOLD System
A peer-to-peer version of electronic GOLD would allow online payments to be sent directly from one party to another without going through a financial institution.
— Max Keiser, tweet poet. (@maxkeiser) January 29, 2019

Conclusion
At the end of the day, many people all over the world consider Bitcoin (BTC) the new gold. This topic is often controversial due to the differing perspectives used by both sides. With Bitcoin quickly maturing over the last decade, it has the same economic properties as gold. What makes it better, amongst other things, is the advantage of ease of transfer.
What do you think of Bitcoin in its current state? Do you think it’s a worthy rival to gold? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!
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How to Be Scammer-Proof When Sending Selfie Submission to Verify Your Identity?

How to Be Scammer-Proof When Sending Selfie Submission to Verify Your Identity?

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Nowadays, KYC requirements often mean you need to send your personal identification to a cryptocurrency exchange and other finance-related businesses in order to use their services. While this is done in an attempt to keep you safe, it does come with risks. Keeping your identity safe when sending a selfie submission or anything alike is very important. Thus, in this blog post, I’ll be explaining how best to keep safe when sending your personal information online.
What’s The Need For Identity Verification?
There are many different use cases for Identity Verification. While many people may think it’s intrusive at first, once you understand why it’s necessary and how to keep safe whilst doing it, there are little to no problems. In fact, more often than not, it works in your favour as this method of verification is both fastest and easiest. So what are the different use cases for identity verification?

KBA (Knowledge-based authentication) Replacement
KYC & AML Compliance
Verifying users
High-Risk Transactions
Fraud Detection
User Onboarding

Staying Hacker Proof
Knowledge-Based Authentication was an authentication process used commonly before selfie submissions became common practice. Users were required to ask at least one ‘secret’ question that the user only knows. Thanks to a consistent flow of data breaches and personal identification being stolen, there’s probably a good chance cybercriminals won’t have a hard time finding a user’s security questions. With selfie identification, even if your password isn’t as secure as it should be, the extra layer of security keeps you far safer online.
As a result, Selfie submission aids in keeping your account more secure. Identity fraud is very common in South Africa, and all over the world too. It’s easy for someone to steal or forge an ID / Passport document and use it to open an account. Sending a selfie submission along with it ensures that your account is your own. Establishing an identity is critical for many high-risk electronic transactions involving any access to customer information, or simply the movement of funds to other parties. Thus, these types of transactions require higher levels of identity assurance as they are at greater risk of fraud, account attacks or even money laundering.
How Do I Send the Correct Verification?
When sending your personal identification documents initially:

Take a clear picture of your identity document, where every single detail is readable without any blur
Take the photos somewhere brightly lit
Turn flash off to avoid glare on your documents
Make sure the details on your iCE3X profile match the details on your legal document
Make sure that your legal document has at least 3 months validity left on it
Do not take a picture of a picture

When sending your selfie submission, we need:

Your face
Your ID
A handwritten note saying iCE3X and the date

A simple mockup of what we are looking for looks something like this:

Conclusion about Selfie Submission
Sending selfie submissions is quick and easy. Once you know what you’re doing, you’ll be verifying and securing your most important online accounts with ease. Keeping your account secure is highly important, especially when dealing with money. Follow this guide and you’ll be even safer when inputting information online.
Have you been staying safe online? If so, let us know how in the comments below!
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What Do These New Crypto Regulations Mean For South Africa?

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The South African Reserve Bank (SARB) released a consultation paper in early January, focusing on the regulation of crypto assets within the country. But what do all the new regulations mean for people using cryptocurrency in South Africa?

New Crypto Regulations For SA

At this time, SARB’s consultation paper has no mention of the intention to ban cryptocurrencies. In fact, it appears as though some robust regulations will be coming our way. Bridget King, director at Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr states:

The majority of the regulators’ consultation paper highlights the perceived risks associated with crypto assets, including yet to materialise threats, like the potential for crypto assets to infringe on central banks’ historically exclusive right to issue money and control the money supply, which may lead to the monetary policy transmission mechanism becoming less effective,

One of the main reasons for this is simply the fact that cryptocurrency assets are difficult to regulate. Cryptocurrency assets operate globally. As a result, they often don’t fit within a certain specific defined economic ecosystems.

This means that a unified international regulatory approach is essential. Should each country impose different levels of regulations, then crypto assets will migrate towards jurisdictions that are less stringently regulated, resulting in most countries regulations being ineffective.

How These Crypto Regulations Will Work

According to Bridget King, SARB envisions their proposals to be implemented through the issuing of policy instruments that will be done by an appropriate regulatory body. She shed light on this point, stating:

The first of these proposals is the registration of ‘crypto asset service providers’ at a central point, the objective of which, according to the regulators, is to specifically gain further insights from market participants,

This registration requirement could serve as the basis for the formal authorization and designation as a registered/licensed provider for crypto asset services operating in South Africa in the future.

In short, the new crypto regulations will affect all entities performing the following crypto-related activities, requiring them to go through a registration process.

This Will Affect:

Any Cryptocurrency asset trading platforms (and any entities that aid in the facilitation of crypto asset transactions) that provide intermediary services for the purchasing and selling of any crypto assets. This also includes the use of cryptocurrency vending machine facilities.Cryptocurrency trading platforms that convert, exchange or trade fiat currency or anything else that holds value into cryptocurrency assets.Crypto asset trading platforms that trade, convert or exchange crypto assets into fiat currency or other value; Trading platforms that trade, convert or exchange crypto assets into other crypto assets, crypto asset digital wallet providers;Crypto asset safe custody providers (ie a platform that safeguards, stores, holds or maintains custody of crypto assets belonging to another party)Crypto asset payment service providers (ie all payment services provided when using crypto assets as a medium of exchange); andMerchants and service providers accepting payment in crypto assets.

The South African Reserve Bank’s details regarding the registration process for the new crypto regulations will release sometime in 2019.

South Africa Wants to Mandate Registration of Crypto Service Providers https://t.co/HiIJkQRjbA pic.twitter.com/lSqtVojAeN— Bitcoin News (@BTCTN) January 17, 2019

The regulators have indicated that they expect the registration process to be implemented by the first quarter of 2019. However it is unclear at this stage when exactly SARB will publish its policy paper regarding the registration. Given where we already are in 2019; it is unlikely that the registration process will be implemented before the end of the first quarter of 2019 Bridget King

On the completion of registration, the regulators will then turn their attention to assess whether crypto asset activities will fit into existing regulatory frameworks; or whether amendments can be made to existing laws and regulations to bring the relevant activity within the supervisory ambit of the regulators.

Say Goodbye To Anonymous Trading

South African regulators also suggest that cryptocurrency asset service providers should comply with the Financial Intelligence Centre Act (FICA) in addition to these new crypto regulations.

Among other things, these new provisions would require South African cryptocurrency asset providers to do the following:

Register with the FIC in order to conduct due diligence of clients. This also includes performing monitoring and file reports on any unusual or suspicious crypto transactions, as well as cash transactions of R25,000 and over.Apply a risk assessment style approach in order to meet FICA’s requirements. Some of these include; the ability to distinguish different categories of risk, and apply high levels of due diligence when dealing with riskier clients.Ensure complete compliance with FICA or risk facing remedial action. This may include administrative sanctions

Upcoming Monitoring Systems

South African regulators have also proposed to monitor:

The total and overall market capitalisation of cryptocurrency assetsThe number of retailers and merchants that accept cryptocurrency as a payment method. Both in South Africa and internationally.The volume of cryptocurrency assets being bought and sold via cryptocurrency asset vending machines.

King follows this, stating:

Furthermore, the regulators propose very careful surveillance of the crypto asset trading platforms by monitoring, amongst other things, the flow of funds from fiat into crypto and vice versa; the services offered; the trading volume of crypto assets; the number of customers; the governance mechanisms and record-keeping of transactions etc,

In order to implement such intricate monitoring, regulators will either need extensive access to all trading platforms operating within it’s jurisdiction, or will need to impose trade reporting requirements on all cryptocurrency platforms in the future.

How exactly the Regulators plan to monitor the trading platforms remains to be seen,

What do you think about these new crypto regulations? Do you think they’ll hurt or benefit the crypto space in South Africa? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!
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How Bitcoin Got Struck By Lightning

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Scalability has always been a huge concern for Bitcoin users. In fact, when bitcoin was first proposed in a whitepaper by Satoshi Nakamoto back in 2008; this concern was still upheld. Does the Bitcoin Lightning network prove as a solution to this issue?

The Scalability Dilemma

Bitcoin’s lightning network has been quietly scaling for mainstream use for some time now. Many people have been unsure if the Bitcoin Lightning Network is ready for mainstream use.

Since Bitcoin was first released, scalability has always been a cause for concern. Infact, one of the first public comments on the Bitcoin whitepaper also shares this concern. James A. Donald, the first person to publicly give an opinion on Bitcoin stated:

The way I understand your proposal, it does not seem to scale to the required size

10 years since Bitcoin’s launch, scalability is still an issue. So what exactly is scalability? Throughout Bitcoin’s existence, it has only been able to process around 7 transactions per second (TPS). At first, this was more than enough as the bitcoin network was still small. But now, with people transacting large amounts of BTC daily, this is no good for real global adoption.

Over the years, many people in the Bitcoin and cryptocurrency community have come up with hundreds of different proposals with suggestions on how best to improve the scalablity of BTC. Be that as it may, as it stands; an overall resounding consensus is yet surface. This is one of the main reasons we have many different Bitcoin-like networks that branched out from the original Bitcoin network.

However, there has been one solution currently undergoing testing that has the potential to solve this issue. This is the Lightning Network.

The Bitcoin Lightning Network

Once upon a time, the quickest and most efficient method of long-distance communication was to send a telegram. In order to do this, you’d have to go to your local post office and fill out a form. The price you’d pay for a message was entirely dependant on how many letters were in it. From there, they would telegraph the message to the closest telegraph office to your destination. Then, a post man would deliver the telegram to it’s final destination.

Essentially, in order to send a simple short message; many people were involved, and it would cost a pretty penny. This pretty much sums up Bitcoin in its current state. In other words, the Bitcoin Lightning Network is like having someone you talk to on speed-dial. Press 1, and your friends phone instantly starts ringing.

Bitcoin is like gold, a good store of value, more expensive to move. Lightning is like cash, its value is linked to gold, but it’s faster and cheaper to move– Francois Harris

The Bitcoin Lightning Network adds an additional layer to the Bitcoin blockchain, enabling users to create their own payment channels between two parties. These channels exist for however long they’re required. As they’re only set up between two people, transactions are almost instant, and fees are practically non-existent as they’re so low.

What’s Next?

Originally, The Bitcoin Lightning Network was made specifically for Bitcoin (BTC) transactions. However, Lightning Labs is currently working on developing its technology in order for it to support a range of cryptocurrencies. Some of these include; Litecoin (LTC), Ripple, ZCash (ZEC), and Ethereum (ETH).

(img here)World map of the nodes running on the Lightning Network

The Lightning Network has been steadily growing since it’s initial launch. In a community event called “The LN Trust Chain”; people were passed an invoice, told to add a few satoshis then send it on. One of the most popular people to receive this torch was Jack Dorsey, Co-Founder and CEO of Twitter.

Cool example of #BitcoinTwitter experimenting on the Lightning Network.🔥⚡️Torch received, now passing along to @starkness! #LNtrustchain https://t.co/YVMAv62fCN— jack (@jack) February 5, 2019

Currently, the Bitcoin Lightning Torch holds around 3 Million satoshis (around $100) after only starting out as an experiment. The goal of this experiment was to spread the awareness of the Bitcoin Lightning Network whilst also making sure that it’s robust and works with ease.

Just last month, the Bitcoin Lightning network passed its milestone capacity of over $2 Million worth of bitcoin. It also hit an all-time high capacity of 646 BTC tokens (Approx. $2.2 Million)

Conclusion

The Bitcoin Lightning Network is definitely one of the most promising developments to enter the cryptocurrency space in a while. With instant Bitcoin payments between 2 users, scalability becomes less of a problem as the network grows. Could this be the catalyst for the next jump in Bitcoin’s Valuation?

Have you used the lightning network? If so, what did you use it for? Have you played any LN games? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!
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Top 10 Trending Cryptocurrency Attacks Be Awared! Be Prepared! Be Careful!

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In a recent report published by CipherTrace, around $1.7 Billion was lost to crypto scammers and hackers. For some perspective, this is 3.6x more money than what was stolen in 2017. Clearly, these cryptocurrency attacks are growing in popularity. So what should we be looking out for?
A Report on Cryptocurrency Attacks
According to the report published by CipherTrace, $950 Million was lost due to hacked cryptocurrency exchanges. The majority of this figure comes from the attack on Japanese cryptocurrency exchange Coincheck, losing over $500 Million worth of NEM during early 2018.
In addition to these scams, research has found that many investors and exchange users lost up to at least $725 Million worth of crypto assets during 2018. Many of this was due to exit scams, fraudulent ICOs, exchange hacks (both real and fake), and even Ponzi schemes. For those that don’t know, exit scams are a bold play of confidence in which the promoters of a cryptocurrency ICO or any other crypto project eventually fails to launch. OR, the executives of a cryptocurrency exchange will cough up an excuse to say why they can’t return any of their users’ assets.
While all of this information may seem daunting, CipherTrace believes that this criminal activity in the crypto space is slowing down due to impending crypto regulations.
Cryptocurrency criminal activity continues to evolve and accelerate. Fortunately, pending global legislation will hamstring many criminals, global gangs, and terrorist groups by greatly reducing their opportunities to launder. These tough new laws will drive bad actors to not only innovate but also flock to jurisdictions with weak regulatory oversight, as we have shown in earlier research. CipherTrace’s blockchain intelligence and anti-money laundering technology helps exchanges, financial services firms, regulators, and law enforcement work together to create trust in the crypto ecosystem
CEO of CipherTrace, Dave Jevans.

Top 10 Trending Crypto Attacks
According to CipherTrace. There are 10 main types of cryptocurrency attacks we could be seeing more of in the future. Here’s what they are so that you know what to look out for:

CNI Weekly Tech Tip: Receiving suspicious emails with unknown attachments? Steer clear to avoid infecting your computer with a virus such as #Cryptolocker.#ITsecurity #Virus pic.twitter.com/CoNZywBEqz
— Creative Network Innovations (@CNIweb) January 31, 2019

Crypto Dusting:
This is a new form of blockchain spam. It works by eroding the reputation of the recipient by sending crypto tokens from known crypto mixers. Crypto mixers are often used to launder dirty crypto assets, thus, receiving any crypto from these services is never a good look.
‘Next Gen’ Crypto Mixers:
The rise of crypto scams has consequently made many of the bitcoins in on the market dirty. Thus, there are mixers used to exchange dirty tokens for freshly minted coins. In essence, they work by cleaning money through various cryptocurrency exchanges.
SIM Swapping:
This is a method of identity theft. Attackers take advantage of this method by essentially taking control over a users mobile device in order to steal their credentials to access their crypto holdings. This is one of the main reasons we push 2-Factor Authentication as SMS is Not Secure.
Evading Sanctions:
Many nations across the globe are using cryptocurrency in an attempt to circumvent sanctions promoted by many different countries. Some examples of this are the Iranian, Venezuelan and Zimbabwean governments.
Datacenter-Scale Attacks:
There have been recent discoveries of takeover attacks that work by mining for cryptocurrency on a huge scale. They have been discovered in many data centers across the world, including Amazon Web Services (AWS). Were the Bitcoin Hash Wars a result of this?
Email Extortion/Bomb Threats:
Recently, we have seen mass-customized campaigns for phishing emails, all made by crypto scammers. These cryptocurrency attacks use old passwords and spouse names/family member names and demand Bitcoin. We also saw a spike in bomb threat extortion attempts in December.
Crypto Ransomware:
Ransomware has become a highly popular cryptocurrency attack recently. Hacks like CryptoLocker work by infecting a user’s computer, then encrypting all of the user’s files making them inaccessible. If the user ever wants to use their computer system again, they’ll have to pay an amount of Bitcoin within 48 hours or have all their files deleted/encrypted for eternity.
Decentralised Stablecoins:
Stablecoins have been growing in popularity in the past few months. These are coins with a stabilized value; designed for use as hard to trace (anonymous) private cryptocurrencies. Many criminal organizations and hackers use these coins to transact stolen crypto funds with ease.
Shadow Money Services (MSBs)
There are many unlicensed MSBs around that allow the banking of cryptocurrency without any host financial institutions knowing anything about it. Thus, banks fall victim to yet another risk they are unaware of.
Conclusion
While cryptocurrency attacks can be scary to hear about all the time, they’re not hard to avoid. In fact, if you keep your wits about you, you’ll be able to traverse the crypto space without running into a scammer and losing any money easily. Many of the scammers in the crypto space rely on people being uninformed in order to pull off their scams.
If you know what to look for, being able to determine if you’re about to walk in a scam or a legit opportunity is easy.
What do you think of cryptocurrency scams? Have you ever fallen victim to one? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!
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Crypto Scammers: Why You’re One Too

Crypto Scammers: Why You’re One Too

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Not all the people who end up pulling off cryptocurrency scams are amoral businessmen or investors. Many crypto scammers are just plain old con artists and fraudsters. When you go to the market to buy a hat, you get a hat. When you send money to buy Ethereum (or any token for that matter) you could end up with a worthless ETH token eventually.
A Brief Overview of Crypto Scams
Many cryptocurrency scams are done by convincing other Bitcoin or cryptocurrency traders to not take advantage of the true value proposition of Bitcoin. They tell people that even though they shouldn’t trust any third parties, that this guy is ok and you can trust him (*cough cough* Mt. Gox *cough cough*)
Other crypto scammers convince their victims to play ‘investment games’ that always end up being Ponzi Schemes. Howdy, Bitcoin Savings and Trust. A funny investment game that ended up being a scam, was Ponzi.io. While scams are never usually a funny thing, I think we can all agree that anyone that fell for this kinda had it coming.
If you’re thinking no one could have possibly fallen for that, you’re wrong. The Bitcoin address owned by the guys at Ponzi.io (1ponziUjuCVdB167ZmTWH48AURW1vE64q) managed to earn almost 350 BTC with this scam.
Malice..
The worst of them all, are the ones that are malicious. Many scammers have resorted to using malware and even ransom in order to get their hands on crypto tokens. An example of this would be CryptoLocker. They infected people’s computers by encrypting their files making them inaccessible to the user unless they paid a ransom for the private key within 48 hours.
Crypto scammers like this have been known to resort to blackmail. For example, on September 8th, 2014, a hacker managed to get access to Satoshi Nakamoto’s email account and used it to deface the Bitcoin sourceforge page. In addition to this, it is rumored that he also found the real name of Satoshi Nakamoto. Be that as it may, all that a vice article managed to get out of him was is that he did it for “The Bitcoins, obviously… (But) don’t forget the lulz.”
Also, don’t forget how many celebrities have had their nude photos leaked just for some bitcoin. Crypto scammers have no rules when it comes to acquiring more bitcoin. Everyone is familiar with how these people think. You may not have outright defrauded or hacked someone, but I’m sure you’ve taken advantage of someone’s short-term thinking at least once in your life.
The Vendors Too?
Finally, sites like Newegg, *insert better web links or even sponsors as other sites here* and other major retailers have begun accepting Bitcoin. Now everyone can spend their Bitcoins! Right? Not quite… Let’s think this through.
It’s definitely true that merchants have every reason to accept Bitcoin and cryptocurrency as a method of payment. There are many benefits that come with accepting cryptocurrency in your store. In fact, BitPay even offers 0 fees for crypto payment processing. As well as feeless payments, merchants also lose the risk of getting chargebacks once they start accepting crypto. For some vendors, import/export is important and they have international clients. Accepting cryptocurrency would make these cross border payments much easier and far cheaper.
In addition to this, vendors can pass all of their savings onto their customers, or decide to increase their profit margins. The decision to hold onto their Bitcoin / Crypto assets as they accrue could see them earn more gains as the price of Bitcoin increases over time. After all, Bitcoin has a supply cap of 21 Million. If adoption increases globally, there will only be a few Bitcoins to go around. As a result, they will increase in value.
Vendors are in a good position. They’re able to save some money on running their business, and they can accrue bitcoins with retail goods, just as people purchase bitcoin with fiat currency.
Crypto Adoption 101: By Newegg
Shoot, if I had a store of my own, I’d probably try to convince people to use bitcoins; stating that spending bitcoins in my shop is good for Bitcoin as a whole. Far better than you saving your coins and simply speculating. I mean hey, “Bitcoin could become worthless overnight” and “its future depends on it”. To be honest, I may even say things like:
[My] shoppers are among the first wave of Bitcoin users and we’re thrilled to accept the cryptocurrency as a form of payment. Just like you, we also believe Bitcoin can be the future of digital currency. But if you’ve been saving it and hoping it will make you rich one day, you’re better off spending it if you want it to succeed.
Ok, by me, I’m really talking about Newegg. I still can’t forgive them for their blog post; “Why Saving Your Bitcoin is Not a Good Idea”. TLDR; Because you’re not spending it at Newegg.
You wanna know which merchants are the real scammers? The ones that sell the bitcoins they get straight away. These people scam you out of bitcoins they don’t even want.
But it’s still a good thing
While merchants adopting crypto for the wrong reasons has it’s downsides, it’s not all bad. In other words; if you’re a HODLer, merchant adoption is a great thing. With more people using and transacting with Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies, demand goes up. When the Bitcoin network grows, the value does as well. Consequently, more miners will be able to re-enter the fray as a price increase would make mining profitable again.

This is what it's like trying to time the markets. 'Tis easier, safer, and less stressful to HODL. pic.twitter.com/Eq4NNyqnfX
— Jameson Lopp (@lopp) January 16, 2018

Essentially, adoption means more users on the network. this makes for increased demand for Bitcoins, thus, making the price of Bitcoin rise due to its limited supply.
Regardless, this probably wouldn’t convince a HODLer to spend their bitcoins. What it actually means, is that he can spend those bitcoins. High demand for cash exists partially due to the uncertainty the uncertainty of future needs. Thus, the HODLer of this ‘cash’ believes they will eventually run into a currently unknown opportunity in the future that will better satisfy their needs than any of the opportunities that are currently present to them.
In the event that an opportunity arises that the hoarder believes benefits him far more than what the same cash can earn him in the future, he will be able to seize it.
HODLers are Crypto Scammers…?
The average HODLer is in a constant battle with themselves in order to lower their time preference as much as possible. This is the only way to optimize their crypto holdings. Many of my friends and I joke about starving to the current intense deflation. Though, I’d be lying if I said I didn’t wish I’d skipped a few lunches at my school lunch cafeteria to buy Bitcoins at $10 when I was able to.
While it’s true HODLers are excited when the Bitcoin prices increase, they are also happy when the prices go lower. Just months ago, you were able to buy a Bitcoin on iCE3X for $8,000. Now, we’re only asking for $3,450. Whatever the price is, the HODLer always thinks, “suckers”.
These guys are in it for the long game. HODLers have a simple plan. Buy low, sell high, but to buy anything at all, sell some highest. These people will do anything to bank more Bitcoins and crypto assets. For them, there is nothing that excites them more than a shmuck giving up the goods after being convinced that a Bitcoin is only worth $[x < moon].
To be honest, hoarders are potentially the most dangerous crypto scammers on the planet. Despite vendors and other crypto scammers being somewhat outright with their desire to acquire your bitcoins, HODLers aren’t always as explicit. People can prove they have the private key to some bitcoins, but they can’t prove they do not.
In light of this, it’s entirely plausible that some vociferous skeptic with a bold assertion against crypto is an evil villain, manipulating the market demand, and the price as a result.
…And You Should Be Thanking Them

HODLers are what gives money value.

How to Win the Game
The crypto space is at arms, we are in a state of total war. Everyone who is holding bitcoin is attempting to accrue more by scamming other people out of theirs by convincing them it’s not worth looking into.
Shoot, at this point, everyone who doesn’t have any Bitcoins was either scammed out of them or was scammed from even looking into it. That’s right, if you have bicoins, you’re a crypto scammer too. It takes a certain level of know-how and the desire to know more about its future, but not having them or spending them is to be without one or the other.
If you’re holding bitcoins, take a breath every time you decide to send some to another person. Ask yourself; does this person truly deserve the untold amounts of your future wealth for pouring you a beer? You may just tap in to that will power that makes us HODLers stay strong.
Hyperbitcoinization is coming, and it’s not a force to be trifled with. Even a marginal bitcoin holding right now could be a significant constitution to the majority of a Bitcoin hodler’s portfolio. When this day comes, there’s no going back. There will be a day where you will likely never see your Bitcoin balance move a decimal point move to the right ever again.
What will your next move be?
The term “Scammer” is used as a heuristic, not as an accusation.
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