CoinShares CSO Demirors Urges Calm Among Bitcoin Investors as Prices Slide 12 Percent

‘Weird and strange’ trading around hard forks means the current volatility in crypto markets is nothing unusual, says CoinShares CSO.

Institutions “taking money off the table” was a major factor contributing to Bitcoin’s (BTC) and altcoins’ sudden price drop, the CSO of CoinShares told CNBC Nov. 14.

Speaking on the network’s Fast Money Segment, the cryptocurrency exchange-traded products firm’s Meltem Demirors said volatility was a given in the run-up to the Bitcoin Cash (BCH) hard fork.

“Any time there are hard forks things tend to trade weird and strange, so I think people are trying to take some risk off the table,” she explained.

Markets began tumbling Wednesday, Cointelegraph reported at the time, with losses continuing at press time to see Bitcoin shed over 12 percent against the U.S. dollar.

While many social media commentators were quick to blame events surrounding Bitcoin Cash, Demirors also noted that upcoming changes in the short term would likely improve the situation.

“There are a number of exciting events coming up,” she said, highlighting the launch of Intercontinental Exchange’s (ICE) – the operator of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) – Bakkt platform due Dec. 12 and Fidelity Investments’ crypto-custody service in January.

Turning to altcoins, Demirors meanwhile noted the lack of trade volume meant that even the larger assets by market cap were “in the midst of a liquidity crisis.”

“I think now we’re at a point where projects are running out of money… we’re going to see consolidation and some of these assets will inevitably get marked to zero,” she added.

The ongoing market turbulence has seen Ripple (XRP) displace Ethereum (ETH) as the largest altcoin once again Wednesday, holding its place by press time, repeating a switchover that has occurred several times this year.

Source: Coin Telegraph




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Bitcoin ATMs Most Common Scam Payment Method in Australia

Bitcoin ATMs Now Most Common Scam Payment Method in Australia

The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) has warned taxpayers to be “on high alert” for phone scammers demanding payment through bitcoin ATMs. It said payments via BTC cash machines have now overtaken iTunes vouchers as the most common method of scam payment reported to the tax authority.

Also Read: IMF: Central Banks Could Issue Digital Currency

Tax Month November Is Prime Time for Fraudsters

Around one million Australians are due to pay their taxes to the ATO on Nov. 21. In a statement on Wednesday, ATO assistant commissioner Kath Anderson said fraudsters are growing increasingly sophisticated. They hope to exploit vulnerable people, often using aggressive tactics to swindle people out of their money or personal information, she lamented.

Bitcoin ATMs Most Common Scam Payment Method in Australia

“November is a prime time for scammers as they know lots of people have tax bills to pay. Be wary if someone contacts you demanding payment of a tax debt you didn’t know you owed,” Anderson warned.

She added that the tax collector “will never ask you to make a payment into an ATM or via gift or prepaid cards such as iTunes and Visa cards, or direct credit to be paid to a personal bank account.” If uncertain about the legitimacy of a call, Anderson advised taxpayers to “hang up and call us.”

 Bitcoin Scams on the Rise

Incidents of bitcoin scams are on the rise throughout the world. In November last year, police in Canada said more than 40 people had lost 300,000 Canadian dollars (U.S. $228,000) to phone scammers, who compel victims to make bitcoin ATM deposits on the threat of arrest for tax default.

Bitcoin ATMs Most Common Scam Payment Method in Australia

Similarly, a Canadian woman suing for $48,125 sent to a phone scammer over a bitcoin ATM lost her court case in October. A judge of the Charlottetown Provincial Court ruled that the fiat money deposited by the woman into the teller machine belonged to Instacoin ATM Canada Inc., owners of the digital cash dispensing unit.

In Australia, scammers have made off with $1 million Australian dollars (U.S. $720,000) since the beginning of July after fooling people over tax according to the ATO. During the period, the tax body attended to more than 28,000 reported cases of scam attempts.

Anderson, the tax office assistant commissioner, stated that ATO officials would never demand immediate payment of a debt, use aggressive or rude behavior, or threaten taxpayers with arrest. She said:

That’s just not how we do business. We understand that it can sometimes be difficult to pay tax bills on time, so we urge anyone who is worried about paying to contact us as soon as possible as there are a range of ways we can help.

Phishing for Financial Information

Australians with tax bills of under $72,000 have the option to set up a payment plan with the authority, said Anderson, warning people against sharing their personal information with strangers. Since July, about 6,000 taxpayers have given away their personal or financial information to fraudsters through phishing scams.

Bitcoin ATMs Most Common Scam Payment Method in Australia

“Your identifying information like tax file numbers, bank account numbers or your date of birth are the keys to your identity, and can be used by scammers to break into your life if they are compromised,” she warned. Some of the signs that give away scammers include aggressive or abusive behavior, threats of immediate arrest, and requests for payment through bitcoin ATMs or gift cards.

What do you think about the rising incidences of bitcoin ATM tax fraud in Australia? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock.


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The post Bitcoin ATMs Most Common Scam Payment Method in Australia appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Source: Bitcoin News




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Poll: Interest in Crypto as Payment Method Makes Small Inroads Among Moscow Residents

A recent poll of Moscow residents found that, among respondents who use non-cash payment methods, five percent expressed interest in using cryptocurrencies.

Five percent of Moscow residents who use non-cash methods of payment are open to using cryptocurrencies, according to a recently conducted survey, Forbes Russia reported Nov. 13.

The investigation into the e-payment market in Moscow was carried out by Russian payment service Yandex.Money and the Moscow Information Technology Department (ITD). The experts purportedly surveyed 1,000 Moscow residents of various age categories by way of a phone survey.

The experts found that among those Moscow residents who use non-cash forms of payment, one percent also use digital currency, while 5 percent expressed readiness to start using cryptocurrency to pay for their purchases.

Among the most common forms of non-cash payments, 96 percent of respondents said they use bank cards, 40 percent pay for their purchases via mobile bank apps, 32 percent use Internet banking, while 16 percent said that they use e-money.

Ivan Buturlin, head of the analytics department at the ITD, reportedly said that “34 percent of Moscow residents use primarily non-cash methods of payment, wherein 63 percent conduct electronic transactions at least once a day.”

The experts skeptically regarded respondents’ intent to pay with cryptocurrency, suggesting that people simply assumed a more broad usage of high-tech processes in the future.

When asked why they refrain from using cashless payment systems, 40 percent of respondents expressed security concerns, 22 percent said they do not want to pay additional service fees, 11 percent said they did not understand how to use non-cash payment services, while 9 percent answered that they do not know what cashless payment methods are.

“In order for non-cash payments to penetrate into the lives of a larger number of citizens, people should also change their perception to understand that this is a safe method of payment,” stated Ivan Glazachev, CEO of Yandex.Money.

As Cointelegraph previously reported, 93 percent of British citizens have heard of Bitcoin (BTC), but only 4 percent claim to have bought it, per a poll by U.K. market research firm YouGov.

Meanwhile, 55 percent of respondents in a recent German poll claim they have heard of cryptocurrencies, while 77 percent of those who are aware of digital currencies admit they are not likely to invest in them.

Source: Coin Telegraph




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Stablecoins Fetch a Premium as BTC Hits Year Low

Stablecoins Fetch a Premium as BTC Hits Year Low

Officially, Wednesday, Nov. 14 will go down as the worst trading day of the year, as BTC sunk to record lows. Unofficially, there were still green shoots to be found if you knew where to look — mostly to the stablecoin sector. These dollar-pegged assets, normally so resistant to volatility, have been trading at a premium as investors seek sanctuary from the storm.

Also read: Preparing for the Looming Bitcoin Cash Fork

Nov. 14: Bad Day for Cryptocurrency –
Good Day for Stablecoins?

On a day when the the market turns red, any crypto-asset that can produce a profit is generally hailed. But when that asset is a stablecoin whose primary directive is to hold fast, it’s hard to know what to make of things. As the price of BTC reached its lowest point since Oct. 24, 2017 — bringing the rest of the market down with it — the only winners were stablecoins. As demand for these pegged assets intensified, the charts for many of them began to to resemble a classic altcoin pump.

Stablecoins Fetch a Premium as BTC Hits Record Low for the Year
TUSD/BTC on Binance

On Binance, trueusd (TUSD) reached $1.07, with paxos (PAX) not far behind at $1.05. The two coins were the biggest gainers out of all 158 assets on Binance, up almost 15 percent, while most of the market nursed deep double-digit losses. TUSD was the sixth-most popular asset on Binance on Nov. 14, with volume of 2,650 BTC. On other cryptocurrency exchanges, it was a similar story, with the Gemini dollar (GUSD) passing $1.03.

Stablecoins Fetch a Premium as BTC Hits Record Low for the Year
TUSD, on the right, appears as the largest green square on the grid.

The Tether Premium

One pattern that has emerged during times of deep market losses is for BTC to trade at a premium on tether-based exchanges. This so-called “risk premium,” attributed to the mistrust some traders have in tether (USDT), even during times of extreme volatility, sees BTC trade for as much as $300 more per coin than on exchanges that aren’t wholly reliant on USDT. Tether’s relative volatility over the past month, slipping from its dollar peg to as low as $0.88 at one point, has prompted traders to seek out ways to profit from flipping USDT. A guide to trading tether, published today, advised:

It’s an important cryptocurrency to understand as it facilitates trading and access to some of the most liquid currency pairs in the crypto markets … It’s also an important linkage between different exchanges, allowing for arbitrages between fiat and non-fiat exchanges more efficiently due to its relatively stable price.

Most dollar-pegged stablecoins were trading at over $1 at the time of writing, but there have been a couple of exceptions. Bitusd, which is only tradable on the Openledger DEX, flash-crashed to $0.83 earlier today, and was sitting at $0.97 prior to publication. Dai, meanwhile, was trading at just under a dollar, having gone as low as $0.97. For the more liquid stablecoins, however, which boast a significantly larger market cap than the likes of dai, today’s buying pressure has created a premium. While most traders are closely eyeing the BTC and BCH tickers, they may as well be watching a stablecoin such as TUSD or GUSD. When the stablecoin spike finally flattens out, the worst should be over.

Do you think BTC will plunge lower still or is this the bottom for 2018? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock and Coin360.io.


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The post Stablecoins Fetch a Premium as BTC Hits Year Low appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Source: Bitcoin News




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Four Fake Cryptocurrency Wallets Found on Google Play Store

A security researcher has found four fake cryptocurrency wallets on the Google Play Store.

Malware researcher Lukas Stefanko has found four fake cryptocurrency wallets on the Google Play Store that were trying to steal users’ personal data, according to a blog post published Nov. 13.

The apps were posing as cryptocurrency wallets for NEO, Tether and an extension for accessing Ethereum (ETH), MetaMask. They were purportedly designed to phish users’ mobile banking credentials and credit card information.

Stefanko classified the wallets into two groups, wherein the fake MetaMask app was a “phishing wallet” and the other three apps were “fake wallets.” Once the phishing app is installed and launched, it requests the user’s private key and wallet password.

In a video attached to the blog post, Stefanko explained his research into the “fake wallets,” noting the example of the fake NEO app dubbed “Neo Wallet”, which had over 1,000 installs since its launch in October.

The fake crypto wallets reportedly did not create a new wallet through generating a public address and a private key — which are needed to securely send and receive digital currency — but only displayed the attacker’s public address with no user access to the private key. Thinking that the app generated their public address, users would deposit their funds to that wallet, but were unable to withdraw them as the private key belonged to a cybercriminal.

Stefanko noted that the apps were developed using the Drag-n-Drop app builder service, which does not require specific coding knowledge from the user. This means that nearly anyone is able to “develop” a simple malicious app to steal sensitive personal data, “once the Bitcoin (BTC) price rises,” according to Stefanko.

The analyst states in the post that he reported the fake apps to the Google security team, after which the wallets were subsequently removed.

Just yesterday, Cointelegraph reported that the official Twitter account of Google’s G Suite was supposedly compromised to promote a Bitcoin (BTC) giveaway scam. Scammers reportedly spread a message luring users to participate in a fraudulent 10,000 BTC giveaway.

Source: Coin Telegraph




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