Launching a Website on the Bitcoin Cash Network Is Now a Reality

Launching a Website on the Bitcoin Cash Network Is Now a Reality

On September 29, Bitcoin Cash enthusiast Donald Mulders wrote an interesting post on the social media network Yours.org. The post detailed that he was attempting to host a website on the Bitcoin Cash (BCH) chain using the Bitdb 2.0 application. Following the write-up, and with a little help from the BCH developer Unwriter and a tool called Cryptograffitiweb, Mulders’ on-chain hosted website ‘Bitcoin Cash Hoarder’ can now be seen on any browser.

Also read: Markets Update: Digital Asset Consolidation and Accumulation Continues

Hosting a Simple HTML Website on Bitcoin Cash

Launching a Website on the Bitcoin Cash Network Is Now a Reality
Donald Mulders.

Over the last few months, there have been many projects tied to the BCH chain and the developer Unwriter has created quite a few of them. Earlier this week we reported on Unwriter’s autonomous database called Bitdb 2.0, a platform that takes a bitcoin transaction and files it in a structured readable document or in Donald Mulders’ case HTML code. The platform inspired Bitcoin Cash enthusiast Mulders to attempt to host a simple HTML website that’s tethered to the BCH chain. In the post, Mulders says he can do a little HTML coding and mess with other people’s structured code, but he admits he isn’t a fluent programmer just yet.

“I started playing around with an idea to see how far I could take it — The idea is to host a simple HTML website on the bitcoin cash blockchain that easily could be viewed in a browser so that even my own mother is able to view it as if it was just an ordinary website,” Mulders details.

He continues:

Imagine if someone could publish sensitive information without the need for organisations such as Wikileaks, readable as a website for anyone in the world — This way anyone could publish information anonymously without endangering themselves or any middleman.

Launching a Website on the Bitcoin Cash Network Is Now a Reality
Donald Mulders’ code on Cryptograffiti.info

Bitcoin Cash Hoarder: A Website Served From Bitcoin — Written in 5 Minutes

Mulders then created an extremely simple website in HTML with the classic Snake game in javascript and uploaded the code using the site Cryptograffiti. After that, Mulders wanted to extract the data from the BCH chain so it could be displayed in a website and used Bitdb to query the code he uploaded. However, the experiment came to a halt when he just couldn’t get the site to work on a traditional browser. All Mulders could do was make the HTML code visible and store it as an HTML file on his computer and open it that way. After seeing the post on Yours, the creator of the Bitdb application, Unwriter, decided to help Mulders finish the process.

“I actually went ahead and wrote a simple web app that successfully renders this,” explains Unwriter. On Twitter, the developer explains there’s a chance the website content may change because it loads from the first transaction from that address — Nonetheless it is still the first website hosted on the BCH chain in this manner.   

And here it is… A website served from Bitcoin — Written in 5 minutes, with 59 lines of code.

Launching a Website on the Bitcoin Cash Network Is Now a Reality

The website can be viewed on any web browser at the Bitcoin Cash Hoarder address and the HTML website’s source code can be found at the Cryptograffitiweb Github repository. BCH community members seemed to like the idea on the Reddit forum r/btc and the developer of the website Cryptograffiti also complimented the work Unwriter and Mulders accomplished. After messing around refreshing the site and using different browsers, sometimes the game loads and sometimes it doesn’t so this particular website is far from perfect. But the implications of an uncensorable webpage hosted on the BCH network are huge.

What do you think about the Bitcoin Cash Hoarder website and the idea behind it? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comment section below.


Images via Shutterstock, Bitcoin Cash Hoarder, and Donald Mulders Yours.org page.


Want to create your own secure cold storage paper wallet? Check our tools section. 

The post Launching a Website on the Bitcoin Cash Network Is Now a Reality appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Source: Bitcoin News




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BTC: 36% in Circulation Lost, 23% Held by Speculators, US Tax Authority Monitoring

BTC: 36% in Circulation Lost, 23% Held by Speculators, US Tax Authority Monitoring

Two research firms released compelling data on the state of Bitcoin Core (BTC). Chainalysis revealed 36% of BTC in circulation is lost, likely lost, or unmined. The percentage of BTC held by speculators is 22%, while investors accounted for a steady 30%. The United States government, and especially its Internal Revenue Service (IRS), reportedly account for 20% of spending ($5.7 million out a collective total of $28.8 million) for monitoring on-chain transactions through firms like Chainalysis, according to researchers at Diar.

Also read: US Regulator Moves to Sanction Plexcoin’s Lacroix and Paradis-Royer

BTC Investors and Speculators Have Held Their Positions Over the Summer

Chainalysis recently updated their year-long study of the bitcoin core (BTC) money supply, Spring to Spring, 2017 to 2018. Initial findings of that previous period “revealed long-term investors sold approximately $24 billion of bitcoin to new speculators between December 2017 and April 2018, with half of this activity occurring in December alone. This unprecedented injection of liquidity served as a fundamental driver behind the price decline during the same period,” Chainalysis maintained. Obviously, when those who once held a financial product sell, the price falls and can do so dramatically.

The latest findings, however, include data through August, and conclude “that bitcoin investors and speculators have held their positions over the summer.” Chainalysis combined their existing knowledge of on-chain activity with their previous money supply work. Interestingly, they appear to be mirroring tactics and methodology employed by the Federal Reserve, the US central bank. “The Federal Reserve,” researchers noted, “for example, tracks various measures of U.S. dollar money supply and their relationships with important economic variables, including GDP growth and inflation.”

BTC: 36% in Circulation Lost, 23% Held by Speculators, US Tax Authority Monitoring

The nascent crypto-economy is often considered obscure, difficult to monitor in any effective manner. This is largely due to the heavy mathematical nature of cryptographic currencies. Chainalysis believes one key to growing the space is to bring daylight, so to speak, to the money supply and resulting trends.

“For emerging financial systems, such as the crypto-economy,” they explain, “building an understanding of the underlying economic signals is a key factor in empowering participants to make more informed decisions. People are simply less likely to stay in, and are less well served by, a market that appears random and based on hype. If we can identify and monitor clear signals —and those signals are logical— more people will feel comfortable investing. That’s where data can play an important role.”

BTC: 36% in Circulation Lost, 23% Held by Speculators, US Tax Authority Monitoring

Maturation and the Taxman is Coming 

The firm has so many data sets that it can rather easily determine which wallet addresses are investors, which are speculators, and even the amount of lost coins. Speculative investors are determined through liquidity and “services for transactions.” Un-liquid coins, ones not mined or simply lost or held, offer a sharp contrast from which researchers are able to “categorize the money supply into monetary aggregates known as M0, the most liquid category, through M3, the least liquid.”

The previous study found dumping from new speculators and investors (long-term investors sold $30 billion worth of bitcoin), which, of course, crashed the price at the end of 2017. Since that calendar window, however, a few things have changed. Taking the data further, through last month, “reveals marked stability in each of the monetary aggregates … [All] the monetary aggregates have been extremely steady over the summer months. Specifically, the amount of bitcoin held for speculation (M0) has remained stable between May and August at around 22% of available bitcoin. Similarly, the amount of bitcoin held for investment remained stable during the summer at around 30%,” the study notes.

BTC: 36% in Circulation Lost, 23% Held by Speculators, US Tax Authority Monitoring
US government agency spending on blockchain analysis (Diar)

The crypto market, then, appears to be maturing, toughening as weaker hands left when the going got rough. Indeed, researchers emphasize, “the market seems to have recalibrated after the entry of so many new market participants with different beliefs and expectations than those who held bitcoin prior to 2017.” Chainalysis concludes on an up note, “As such, the first challenge of adoption — getting cryptocurrency into people’s hands— has been overcome, but we are now waiting to see what the next stage of adoption looks like.”

Lastly, researchers at Diar have determined a tripling of spending at firms such as Chainalysis who obviously monitor on-chain transactions. Analysis is particularly valuable to regulators and tax collectors seeking to enforce know-your-customer (KYC) and anti-money laundering (AML) laws. Using a very comprehensive digital trail left from every transaction ever recorded on the BTC chain, law enforcement agencies can, with help, determine quite a lot. Out of $28.8 million spent by U.S. government agencies on investigations, $5.7 million has been invested in blockchain analysis firms to date, Diar details. Chainalysis has deals with government agencies totaling $5.3 million, with its largest contract being the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) at close to $1.6 million. The IRS has the largest portion of government spending on blockchain monitoring, with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) second, according to Diar.

What do you think about the state of BTC? Let us know in the comments below. 


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Diar, Chainalysis. 


At Bitcoin.com there’s a bunch of free helpful services. For instance, have you seen our Tools page? You can even look up the exchange rate for a transaction in the past. Or calculate the value of your current holdings. Or create a paper wallet. And much more.

The post BTC: 36% in Circulation Lost, 23% Held by Speculators, US Tax Authority Monitoring appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Source: Bitcoin News




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Cointracking keeps track of all your coins automatically. Many exchanges and wallets supported

 

Crypto Behind Bars: Arrests Making Headlines Across the Globe

From soap actors to former lawmakers, Cointelegraph takes stock of some of the most illustrious arrests of the figures behind crypto’s high crimes and misdemeanours this year.

Gone are the days when shady dealings in crypto were perceived as immune to the clutches of law enforcement.

Illicit crypto proceeds can be shuttled between wallet addresses at the click of a mouse, and their obfuscation behind the multiple strings of numbers and letters of wallet addresses can create a dizzying — if not impenetrable — cryptographic maze for authorities to navigate.

But the criminals themselves present a more concrete target, and as they interface with everything from crafty code to unwieldy hardware to ‘traditional’ firearms, there has been some success in 2018 in nabbing some of the year’s darkest — and most imaginative — offenders.

From soap actors to former lawmakers, Cointelegraph takes stock of some of the most illustrious arrests of the figures behind crypto’s high crimes and misdemeanours this year.

Foiled supercomputer Bitcoin heist in Russian nuclear no-man’s land

Russia

In February, Russian security agents scored a coup against a group of nuclear engineers at a top-secret nuclear warhead facility who tried to use one of the country’s most powerful supercomputers to mine Bitcoin (BTC).

The engineers worked at the Federal Nuclear Center in the western city of Sarov — formerly one of the Soviet Union’s closed-off cities, unmarked on historic maps and shrouded in secrecy.

As one of the Soviet “closed administrative territorial entities,” Sarov was then known as Arzamas-16, and was the center of research and production for the first Soviet atomic bomb and hydrogen bomb under Joseph Stalin. Special permits are still required today for ordinary Russians to visit it.

With such a stellar off-grid history, you’d think the Bitcoin-hungry nuclear engineers might have suspected that connecting the site’s supercomputer — a 1 petaflop titan with a capacity for 1,000 trillion calculations per second — to the internet might draw just a little attention.

As soon as the engineers tried to bring it online, the security department was alerted and was able to foil the scientists, who were peremptorily handed over to the Federal Security Service (FSB).

Tatiana Zalesskaya, the head of the press service for the research institute, told the Interfax news agency that that the attempt was a “technically hopeless and criminally punishable offense.”

A criminal case was reportedly duly opened against them.

Contentiously, it has been alleged that the radioactive polonium-210 used to kill ex-FSB agent Alexander Litvinenko in London in 2006 was produced in Sarov, which houses a plant that is said to be the “world’s only commercial producer of the substance,” according to evidence presented before a court in the United Kingdom.

Sarov’s rogue scientists are not the only ones to have thought of using former Soviet military spaces for crypto mining. The Ice Rock Mining firm has plans to — legally — set up mining operations in a former Soviet bunker located in a cave in Almaty, Kazakhstan.

Caught in the headlights: Thai actor “Boom” arrested on set for alleged crypto fraud family affair

Boom

This summer, reports emerged tied to the story of a Finnish millionaire allegedly fooled by a Thai crypto investment scam — to the tune of Bitcoin worth 797 million baht ($24.62 million) at the time.

According to the Thai Crime Suppression Division (CSD), the 22-year-old Finn, identified as Aarni Otava Saarimaa, claimed he had been lured into investing his Bitcoin into several companies, a casino and the gambling-focused crypto token Dragon Coin.

Saarima’s business partner, the Thai businessman Chonnikan Kaeosali, reportedly first approached the CSD in January this year, outlining how the pair had been drawn to purchase shares in three firms — Expay Group, NX Chain Inc. and DNA 2002 Plc — that were purported to be investors in Dragon Coin. He said they had first been approached in connection with the affair by a local Thai group back in June 2017.

The fraudsters are said to have taken their would-be victims around a Macau-based casino where they claimed the gambling-focused token would soon be used. Saarima subsequently transferred his crypto but never saw returns, shareholder papers nor any proof of investment in Dragon Coin.

As the CSD’s investigations unfolded, they identified a group of nine suspects — three of whom were revealed to be a group of siblings from the Jaravijit family. The suspects are said to have swiftly sold the crypto for local fiat currency, dispersing the spoils between various bank accounts.

It was the arrest of one of the siblings this summer — a dapper 27-year-old soap-opera star known as Jiratpisit “Boom” Jaravijit — that first brought the case to public light.  

On Aug. 9, Boom was taken into custody on money laundering charges in the midst of filming at the Major Cineplex Ratchayothin in Bangkok’s Chatuchak district. Local media noted it was the day after the star’s birthday.

It was alleged that the actor had colluded with his siblings to launder the swindled money, after investigations revealed they had bought 14 plots of land worth 176 million baht ($5.44 million).

Boom’s brother, Prinya Jaravijit, is said to have been the ringleader of the scheme, having reportedly received a tip-off from a Thai banker about the wealthy Finn and then setting the heist in motion. Prinya has reportedly fled to South Korea, while Boom’s sister is said to have made contact with the CSD to turn herself in.

The CSD has sought arrest warrants for a further six suspects and frozen a total of 51 different bank accounts in addition to the siblings’ land.

Boom was temporarily released on a 2 million baht ($61,827) bail bond on the condition that he would not leave the country, having argued that his arrest on set in a public place was ample proof he had not been intending to flee.

Earlier this month, another Jaravijit sibling turned himself in to deny the fraud charges, while police met two further suspects: Prasit Srisuwan, a well-known stock trader, and Chakris Ahmad.

Boom’s parents, Mr. Suwit and Ms. Lertchatkamol, have also been questioned after police traced that 90 million baht ($2.78 million) had been transferred to their accounts. Both have denied involvement.

India: Former ruling party lawmaker nabbed “fast asleep” on a construction site

india

As news of the many-tentacled Bitconnect investment heist continues to unfold globally, recent developments have unearthed a web of kidnappings and extortions allegedly tied to Bitconnect investors in the wealthy state of Gujarat.  

Earlier this month, a former Member of the Legislative Assembly (MLA) for India’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) was remanded in custody for allegedly conspiring with local police to kidnap and extort Bitcoin from a Gujarati Bitconnect investor.

In February, a Surat-based builder by the name of Shailesh Bhatt had charged into the Home Minister’s office in the Indian state of Gujarat, alleging that 10 district cops had kidnapped and extorted him for 176 BTC, worth 9.45 crore* rupee (around $1.31 million).

*A crore rupee denotes 10 million and is equal to 100 lakh rupee in the Indian numbering system (1 lakh rupee denotes 100,000)

The band of 10 was alleged to have comprised not only rank-and-file constables but even a superintendent and a local Crime Branch Inspector.

Bhatt, who is said to have been known for his penchant for Bitcoin trading, claimed he had been duped by one of his business aides, Kirit Paladiya, into thinking that the authorities were keeping him under close watch for his crypto dealings.

He alleged he had been lured by a phone call from his local Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), where he was allegedly beaten in a “torture room” and asked by a CBI official to pay a cash ransom.

Two days later, he claimed he was kidnapped during a meeting with his aide Paladiya near a fuel station, where he was whisked off to a local farm house. There, he said, “[the police officers] beat me up inside a room and threatened to kill me […] if I did not hand over my Bitcoins.”

Bhatt then accused Paladiya of double-crossing him in cahoots with his influential uncle, the former BJP MLA Nalin Kotadiya, who he claimed had been the one who pressured him into paying the ransom.

Bhatt has himself been subsequently accused of being a wolf in sheep’s clothing. He has become embroiled in a case pertaining to an alleged earlier extortion of a staggering 1.55 billion rupee ($215 million) worth of crypto and cash at gunpoint — including around 2,400 BTC — from two colleagues of well-known local Bitconnect promoter Satish Kumbhani.  

However, Indian authorities nonetheless believed there is some weight behind the accusations against the former lawmaker Kotadiya, first issuing an arrest warrant against him in mid-May.

Kotadiya has repeatedly hit back against the allegations, notably via a WhatsApp video — reposted on Youtube in late April — in which, attired in pink, he claimed he had duly informed authorities about the Bitcoin heist and attributed the full blame for the extortion scandal and conspiracy to Bhatt.

Moreover, he threatened to leak evidence that would implicate even more local politicians in the scandal, saying that Bhatt was protecting them and therefore attempting to “fix him” in the case.

Nonetheless, by mid-June, a local sessions judge declared Kotadiya a “proclaimed offender” (absconder) and demanded he appear before the court within 30 days.

As Kotadiya continued to elude the clutches of law enforcement throughout summer, he was finally nabbed after four months in hiding on Sept. 10. He was reportedly found “fast asleep” on the second floor of a railway quarters still under construction, after a local contractor gave police the golden tip-off.

“When we [eventually] found him, he was sleeping on a mattress and there was just an earthen pot of water in the room.”

As Cointelegraph has reported, Kotadiya’s alleged embroilment has been a political gold mine for the opposition party, the Indian National Congress (INC), who allege that further members of the ruling BJP have used the Bitconnect scam to launder undeclared “black” money.

“The finger of suspicion of this massive scam of illegal cryptocurrency directly points to several top Bharatiya Janata Party leaders and a mastermind — an absconding BJP leader and former MLA Nalin Kotadiya […] Who are the top BJP leaders against whom Kotadiya has damning evidence? We demand an impartial Supreme Court-monitored judicial investigation.”

As of press time, the time of Kotadiya’s custody is up, yet the alleged evidence he claims to wield is yet to have been made public.

Iceland’s Bitcoin miner heist: A high-gliding fugitive and suspect hardware in Tianjin

miner

This year, what has been described as one of Iceland’s “largest criminal cases in history” has seen an outlandish set of twists and turns, leading all the way to the northern Chinese city of Tianjin.

In February, news broke of a series of unprecedented thefts, involving powerful computing equipment that had been stolen in a “highly organized” Bitcoin mining heist. Three burglaries were reported to have taken place in December 2017 and a fourth in January.

The burglars had allegedly swiped 20 million krónur (around $180,000) worth of equipment — 600 graphics cards, 100 power supplies, 100 motherboards, 100 memory discs and 100 CPU processors — from a house in the municipality of Reykjanesbær.

They had also allegedly broken into data centers across both Reykjanesbær and Borgarbyggð, with a total of 600 computers stolen from both places, worth 200 million krónur (almost $2 million). The whereabouts of the equipment, including the computers — said to have been used for Bitcoin mining — remained untraceable, even as authorities monitored energy consumption for suspicious increases.

Police are said to have initially arrested eleven suspects — two of which were ordered to remain in custody, after the Icelandic IT firm Advania produced incriminating surveillance footage taken at the data center in Reykjanesbær. The authorities soon recovered most of the stolen equipment, yet the 600 computers remained elusive. Both suspects were reported in local media as being “uncooperative.”

Then, on April 17, one of the detainees escaped at 1 a.m. from his custody in an “open” (low-security) prison, just a week before authorities were due to move forward with an indictment.

The fugitive, Sindri Thor Stefánsson, fled the country on a passport bearing another man’s name, boarding a passenger plane to Sweden that was embarrassingly revealed to have been carrying Iceland’s prime minister.

Stefánsson subsequently released a statement claiming he had been “legally allowed” to travel on the day he boarded the plane to Stockholm, as his custody ruling expired April 16 and a judge had requested 24 hours to consider its renewal. This, according, to him, left a brief interim during which the warrant for his custody was legally invalid.

He vowed to return home “soon,” telling reporters he would be challenging his two-and-a-half-month custody at the European Court of Human Rights.

Days later, he was arrested in central Amsterdam, after a photo published on Instagram with the hashtag #teamsindri allegedly gave him away, according to media outlet Iceland Monitor. Police at the time did not confirm this was the case.

team

Allegedly incriminating Instagram snap of Stefánsson in Amsterdam: Source: Iceland Monitor

Despite #teamsindri reportedly briefly trending across Icelandic Twitter, the case last month came to a head when a judge charged Stefánsson — alongside six others — with the theft of the 600 computers. While Stefánsson’s charge has been confirmed as theft, it remains unclear what role the other six defendants are charged with as having in the incident.

Just days after Stefansson’s Amsterdam stint, police in the northern Chinese city of Tianjin seized 600 computers used to mine Bitcoin, after abnormal electricity usage attracted the attention of the local power grid operator. Local media outlets reported the case as being the “largest power theft case in recent years,” but it notably also drew the attention of authorities back in Iceland, who suspected the exact number match of suspect hardware was more than just an uncanny coincidence.

Icelandic police subsequently reached out to Chinese authorities to try to link the two cases, yet no results have been reported since then.

“One of the best out there”: A teenage SIM-swapping crypto hacker with a taste for luxury cars

Car

Last month, Californian police nabbed a hacker who allegedly stole Bitcoin worth over $1 million via a series of so-called ‘SIM-swapping’ heists — also known as ‘port-out scams.’ The 19-year-old suspect, identified as Xzavyer Narvaez, is said to have specialized in stealing cell phone numbers and using them to hijack online financial and social media accounts tied to those numbers.

A SIM-swap attack results in the victim suddenly losing all service, with any incoming calls or text messages redirected to the attacker’s device. As many firms use automated messages or phone calls to handle customer authentication, SIM swaps can be a goldmine in deft hands.  

Prosecutors allege that Narvaez used his ill-gotten crypto proceeds to purchase luxury goods, including a $200,000 high-performance McLaren sport car, which were tracked through records obtained from Bitcoin payment provider BitPay.

According to cybercrime blog Krebs on Security, the investigators interviewed several alleged victims of Narvaez, one of whom claimed he was robbed of $150,000 in crypto after his SIM was hijacked.

Between March and June 2018 alone, Narvaez’s account on crypto exchange Bittrex reportedly saw a flow of a staggering 157 BTC. He subsequently faced charges on four counts of using personal identifying information without authorization; four counts of altering and damaging computer data with intent to defraud or obtain money, or other value; and grand theft of personal property of a value over $950,000, according to court documents.

VICE’s parallel investigations traced Narvaez’s impressive “credentials” in the SIM-swapping underworld, with one source telling the magazine that he was considered “one of the best […] out there.” VICE’s source provided screenshots of Narvaez’s former Instagram account, which allegedly featured euphoric photos of his fresh, 2018 snow white McLaren, accompanied by the caption “live fast, die young.”

Narvaez is said to have come under the radar of law enforcement following the arrest of one Joel Ortiz, described as “a gifted 20-year-old college student from Boston” who was charged this July with using SIM swaps to swipe over $5 million in crypto from 40 different victims.

A redacted “statement of facts” in the case obtained by Krebs revealed that records obtained from Google had traced that a cellular device used by Ortiz to commit SIM swaps had at one point been used to access the Google account identified as Xzavyer.Narvaez@gmail.com.

In an unrelated case this July, Florida police reportedly arrested a 25-year-old, Ricky Joseph Handschumacher, who was accused of being part of a multi-state, cyber-fraud SIM-swapping ring that operated over the course of two years.

The gang of nine — scattered across different states — was initially tracked in February, when a “worried mom” overheard her son talking on the phone impersonating a telecoms firm employee. The group is alleged to have “routinely paid” employees at cell phone companies to assist in their schemes and to even have discussed a plan to hack accounts belonging to the CEO of the high-profile Gemini Trust company — namely those of Bitcoin billionaire Tyler Winklevoss.

Handschumacher himself posted multiple flashy purchases — including a pickup truck, multiple all-terrain vehicles and jet skis — on his public Facebook profile. Subpoenas to Coinbase revealed he had sold 82 BTC through his account, “virtually all” of which were not purchased on the platform.

As law enforcement closed in on this host of spry and unabashed millennial SIM swappers, in August, a U.S. investor filed a $224 million lawsuit, taking on telecoms giant AT&T. Michael Terpin accused the firm of alleged negligence, claiming that $24 million in crypto was stolen via a “digital identity theft” of his cell phone account.

His complaint alleged that:

“What AT&T did was like a hotel giving a thief with a fake ID a room key and a key to the room safe to steal jewelry in the safe from the rightful owner.”

“Fake news”: OKEx CEO “detained” for alleged fraud

fake news

The most recent high-profile, crypto-related “detention” involves OKEx CEO Star Xu, who was the subject of a host of conflicting media reports — and even one viral dumpling-related anecdote — following his sudden tête-à-tête with Chinese authorities this month.

Xu has robustly hit back at rumors that fraud was the reason for his purported ‘arrest,’ after local media reported that he had faced problems at his hotel from a group of investors in WFEE Coin, a blockchain WiFi sharing project they claimed Xu held shares in.

The allegedly defrauded victims had reportedly contacted Shanghai police, who “summoned” the CEO to a police station on Sept. 10 to “put [him] through a round of questioning to get to the bottom of the rumors,” as tech news source ZeroHedge wrote at the time.

A photograph of a police report about Xu on local news outlet Sina Technology appeared to confirm that the police had been notified at 5:59 p.m. on Sept. 10.

Photo

Image of police report allegedly involving Star Xu’s detention. Source: Sina Technology

At the same time, alternative sources in China claimed the investors were in fact traders incensed by system failures on the OKEx exchange itself. As Bitcoin (BTC) tumbled on Sept. 5, OKEx platform crashes are alleged to have left users unable to close or otherwise salvage their positions, with losses all the more acute in the case of leveraged trades.

Cointelegraph’s own Chinese sources have since thrown some degree of light on what had spiralled into a sordid media affair, substantiating suspicions that much of the hearsay was indeed “fake news.”

The sources have emphasized that Xu was the one who approached the police of his own accord. In their account, on Sept. 10, Xu had arrived at the Shanghai office of OK Group to meet with customers and conduct other business affairs. He had also — incidentally — made an appointment at the office to meet with a prospective personal fitness coach.

There, the first troubles with the disgruntled investors are said to have begun — who are thought to have been a mix of OKCoin and WFEE Coin investors. Some ambiguity remains as to their exact identity — and whether they were indeed railing against problems tied to the OKEx exchange or held Xu responsible for the vicissitudes of the WFEE token, or a mix of both.

Having gotten wind of Xu’s visit to Shanghai, the aggrieved group is alleged to have been responsible for vandalizing the sign at the city’s OK Group office, as appears to be shown in the following photograph:

Photo

Photo showing the apparent vandalization of OK Group’s entrance sign at the Shanghai office

An alarmed Xu is said to have headed back to his hotel, telling his prospective coach to make her way there as well, so as to resume their meeting. The investors are alleged to have then followed the woman’s tracks, suspecting she would lead them to Xu. There, they are alleged to have knocked on the door of the CEO’s room, threatening him.

After four tense hours, Xu is said to have alerted the police. The investors are again alleged to have followed his trail, whereupon Xu called a group of “henchmen” to join him at the police station. At this point, the investors are said to have taken fright and approached the authorities themselves.

In an interview published soon after his release, Xu confirmed he had been held by Shanghai police, seeming to imply he had made the contact on his own initiative:

“In Shanghai, someone reported that I was defrauding. I went to the police station to explain the situation and proved to the police that I did not swindle.”

On Twitter, OKEx COO Cheung also stated that Xu had been encircled by a group in Shanghai, although in his account, the police are said to have arrived to the scene themselves and moved all parties involved to the station. Cheung alleged that:

“While Star was invited to help with the investigation and those people was detained, they raised a fraud complaint against Star. Star stayed to clarify and then left afterward.”

According to Cointelegraph’s sources, no one was witness to Xu’s departure from the station, and it remains unclear how long he spent there.

Xu has stated that while it is “normal” for citizens to exercise their right to make such allegations, he has equally fulfilled his “duty” as a citizen by cooperating with the authorities. In terms of his alleged responsibility for system “abnormalities” on the exchange, Xu has responded that:

“I am not a legal person of OKEx, nor am I a shareholder or a director.”

This point was echoed in Cheung’s parallel tweets, in which the COO stressed that “Star is the founder of OK Group, [and] although we are good friends, he does not run OKEx.” Cheung has added that he felt “disappointed that the story was twisted before the truth came out.

Local news outlet Jiemian has meanwhile reported that seven out of a total of 300 investors who claimed to have “suffered heavy losses” on the OKEx exchange have since reached a form of settlement with Xu. Notably, repeated system failures are alleged to have caused a total economic loss of “around 300 million yuan.”

In his post-release interview, Xu stressed that while leveraged trading is a “neutral tool in itself,” it is “not suitable for ordinary investors” as the potential for accelerated net profits and losses requires “professional knowledge” to manage the risks involved.

As Jiemian noted, while OKEx offers investors the opportunity to add as much as 20 times leverage to their contracts, unlike traditional futures trading platforms, the exchange operates without regulatory oversight.

As for the WFEE connection, OK Blockchain Capital (OKBC) — a strategic partner of OKEx and a subsidiary of OK Group — has publicly refuted the allegations that Xu had any shares in the project, tweeting on Sept. 12 that:

“The rumor that OK Group founder Star Xu [is] a shareholder of WFEE is fake. Mr. Xu has no equity relationship with WFEE and its company.”

OKBC has further clarified its own relationship with WFEE, stating that “OKBC is one of the institutional investors of WFEE.” WFEE reportedly “acquired OKBC’s and several other capitals’ investments […] when it was still the prime partner of WeShare WiFi — a global leading WiFi sharing company.” The firm added that it had not been notified of subsequent changes to the WFEE white paper, as OKBC “neither participates in” WFEE’s operations, nor in its “results.”

OKBC has also pointed to the fact that OKEx had warned its users of the potential risks posed by WFEE in August and included WFEE in their first “Token Delisting/Hiding Guideline [sic].”

So… what of the dumplings?

Amid the flurry of “twisted” media reports, one viral anecdote alleged that the band of investors had brought a hungry — and short-of-cash — Xu some sustenance, namely dumplings, as he underwent questioning at the police station. The story, despite its oddity, appears to have had some traction. Cointelegraph’s Chinese sources, for their part, dismissed it out-of-hand as an unthinkable and breathless piece of confected hearsay.

Source: Coin Telegraph




My current recommendations:

HashFlare for automated Bitcoin cloud mining - Currently ROI in around 60 days only

Bitclub Network allows you to buy mining shares with daily payouts

CCG Mining now offers open end contracts. Bitcoin, Ethereum, Zcash, Litecoin and others

Cointracking keeps track of all your coins automatically. Many exchanges and wallets supported

 

New POS Terminal by Pundix Allows Nigerians to Make Purchases in Bitcoin

New Pos Terminal by Pundix Allows Nigerians to Make Purchases in Bitcoin

Indonesian cryptocurrency and payments company Pundix has introduced a point of sale terminal at a shop in Nigeria, allowing people in the West African country to make purchases using cryptocurrency, including bitcoin. The move is seen as key to scaling up cryptocurrency adoption and development in Africa’s biggest bitcoin market.

Also read: Payments Platform Wirex Launches Iban For Spanish and French Users, Doubles Account Limits

Payments Go Crypto in Nigeria, powered by Pundix

A Nigerian importer and distributor of agriculture products has installed a point of sale payment system that is underpinned by cryptocurrency such as bitcoin (BTC), in what the owners claim ‘is a first in Africa.’

New Pos Terminal by Pundix Allows Nigerians to Make Purchases in Bitcoin

In addition to using conventional currency, shoppers at Joetech Systems Ltd can now pay for goods and services on the XPOS terminal using bitcoin and three other virtual currencies, including ethereum. Payment is completed within seconds.

The terminal has been launched in partnership with Indonesian cryptocurrency and payments company Pundix, which has shipped or is in the process of shipping up to 5,000 XPOS devices to several countries including Colombia, the UK, Korea, Hong Kong, Switzerland and Brazil.

Terminal Supports Transactions via Mobile Wallets and Bank Cards

The payment system works more or less in the same way as the traditional POS system, only that the terminals connect to the blockchain and settlements are made via virtual currency. Pundix, the XPOS maker, says the device supports transactions through mobile wallets and bank cards.

Michael Lawal, business development manager at Pundix, explains how the new payment platform works, at Joetech Systems Ltd in Nigeria. “I have 0.01 BTC and I am going to make a transaction of 200 Naira (Nigerian currency),” Lawal said, in a video demonstration, on September 28.

New Pos Terminal by Pundix Allows Nigerians to Make Purchases in Bitcoin

“The cashier provides three options – to pay either with cash, XPass card or XWallet. If you are paying with Xwallet you will need to scan a QR code. I am going to use XPass card and pay using BTC.

“Once you choose your payment option, the cashier automatically calculates the rate of conversion using current market rates to the local currency, which is Naira. You have two seconds lock in period to safeguard the consumer and the merchant,” he said.

As the machine issues a receipt within seconds of initiating the transaction, signalling success, Lawal declared: “That was the first live transaction in Africa, it happens in Nigeria. Blockchain adoption is very possible. We will continue to collaborate and partner with people who believe in the true adoption, scalability and speed of blockchain.”

Ezenwa Ndukwe, managing director of Joetech Systems Ltd, had not responded to our request for comment at the time of going to press. Pundix co-founder and chief executive officer, Zac Cheah tweeted that the “first XPOS went live in Nigeria…”

New Pos Terminal by Pundix Allows Nigerians to Make Purchases in Bitcoin

Uncertainty in Africa’s Biggest Bitcoin Market

With a population in excess of 185 million, Nigeria is not only Africa’s most populous nation but also the continent’s biggest bitcoin and cryptocurrency users. Nearly $260 million worth of bitcoin has been traded by Nigerians on just one exchange, localbitcoins.com, according to a report by the platform earlier this year. However, issues of regulatory uncertainty continue to cast a shadow over the future of cryptocurrency in the West African country.

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), which has previously cautioned against buying and selling cryptocurrency, this week reiterated its warning. “We have not seen any country where cryptocurrency is regulated,” Godwin Emefeile, governor of the CBN, told a meeting in Lagos. “We are not at home with cryptocurrency because there is no issuing authority…”

What do you think about what’s going in the Nigerian cryptocurrency space? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock and Pundix


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The post New POS Terminal by Pundix Allows Nigerians to Make Purchases in Bitcoin appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Source: Bitcoin News




My current recommendations:

HashFlare for automated Bitcoin cloud mining - Currently ROI in around 60 days only

Bitclub Network allows you to buy mining shares with daily payouts

CCG Mining now offers open end contracts. Bitcoin, Ethereum, Zcash, Litecoin and others

Cointracking keeps track of all your coins automatically. Many exchanges and wallets supported

 

SEC, CFTC, FBI Take Action Against Bitcoin-Funded Securities Dealer 1Broker

SEC, CFTC, FBI Take Action Against Bitcoin-Funded Securities Dealer 1Broker

Three U.S. agencies have taken action against international bitcoin-funded securities dealer 1pool Ltd., aka 1Broker. The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) says 1Broker violated federal securities laws. The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) says it violated the Commodity Exchange Act. Meanwhile, the company says it is working on letting customers withdraw their funds.

Also read: 160 Crypto Exchanges Seek to Enter Japanese Market, Regulator Reveals

SEC’s Action

SEC, CFTC, FBI Take Action Against Bitcoin-Funded Securities Dealer 1BrokerThe SEC announced Thursday that it has filed charges against Marshall Islands-registered 1pool Ltd., aka 1Broker, and its Austria-based CEO, Patrick Brunner, “for allegedly violating the federal securities laws in connection with security-based swaps funded with bitcoins.” The agency explained:

Investors could open accounts by simply providing an email address and a user name – no additional information was required – and could only fund their account using bitcoins.

SEC, CFTC, FBI Take Action Against Bitcoin-Funded Securities Dealer 1BrokerThe SEC alleges that an undercover special agent with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) “successfully purchased several security-based swaps on 1Broker’s platform from the U.S. despite not meeting the discretionary investment thresholds required by the federal securities laws.” The commission further alleges that Brunner and 1Broker failed to transact these swaps “on a registered national exchange, and failed to properly register as a security-based swaps dealer.”

The SEC’s complaint “seeks permanent injunctions, disgorgement plus interest, and penalties.”

CFTC’s Action

On the same day, the CFTC filed a civil enforcement action against 1pool Ltd. and Brunner, stating:

The CFTC’s complaint charges the defendants with engaging in unlawful retail commodity transactions, failing to register as a Futures Commission Merchant (FCM), and supervisory violations for failing to implement procedures to prevent money laundering as required under federal laws and regulations.

SEC, CFTC, FBI Take Action Against Bitcoin-Funded Securities Dealer 1BrokerFrom at least February 2016, the defendants “offered or engaged in unlawful retail commodity transactions in the form of ‘contracts for difference’ (CFDs) that had as underlying assets commodities,” the CFTC alleges. However, these transactions are not conducted in accordance with the Commodity Exchange Act (CEA).

The agency detailed:

The CFTC seeks disgorgement of ill-gotten gains, civil monetary penalties, restitution, permanent registration and trading bans, and a permanent injunction against further violations of the CEA and CFTC regulations as charged.

FBI’s Action

Also on Thursday, the FBI seized the 1Broker.com domain. A notice on the agency’s website states three violations: money laundering, “willfully operating as an unregistered broker/dealer of securities,” and “willfully operating as an unregistered futures commission merchant.” An FBI seizure notice now appears on the 1Broker.com website.

SEC, CFTC, FBI Take Action Against Bitcoin-Funded Securities Dealer 1Broker

1Broker’s Response

Responding to the SEC’s announcement, 1Broker tweeted:

All funds are currently secure and we will fully cooperate with the authorities. If approved by the SEC, we will enable withdrawals for US customers as soon as possible.

The company clarified that the above statement “also applies to non-US customers.” 1Broker further tweeted, “All open positions were closed at the current market prices. Market price movements will not affect your trades from now on,” noting, “Our top priority now is to get the permission from the SEC to process customer withdrawal requests on an alternative domain.”

What do you think of the SEC, CFTC, and FBI taking action against 1Broker? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, SEC, CFTC, FBI.


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

The post SEC, CFTC, FBI Take Action Against Bitcoin-Funded Securities Dealer 1Broker appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Source: Bitcoin News




My current recommendations:

HashFlare for automated Bitcoin cloud mining - Currently ROI in around 60 days only

Bitclub Network allows you to buy mining shares with daily payouts

CCG Mining now offers open end contracts. Bitcoin, Ethereum, Zcash, Litecoin and others

Cointracking keeps track of all your coins automatically. Many exchanges and wallets supported