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Bitcoin Scams

Money Launderers Still Prefer Fiat Over Crypto: Study

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The world of cryptocurrencies has long been touted as one that is “perfect for laundering” and ideal for fraud schemes. However, a new study emerged in the latest cryptocurrency news, showing that money launderers are actually (still) more keen on using fiat rather than cryptocurrencies – when laundering money.

Even though the number of detractors has substantially increased over the years, the money launderers are apparently moving in the same direction – they prefer fiat over crypto when laundering. The study has shown that things are far from what they seem or what they are illustrated like on the many best cryptocurrency news sites.

Carried out by the cryptocurrency intelligence firm Messari, the new research shows that contrary to public consensus among the crypto detractors, fiat currencies are still used more as the currency of choice for money launderers, scammers and hackers on the Dark Web.

Citing sources from both the United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime and the popular blockchain analysis firm Chainanlysis, the report found that the ratio of Dark Net money laundering operations carried out with fiat currencies compared to the ones using crypto assets is at a staggering rate of 800:1 (in favor of fiat, of course).

The research was carried out in light of the criticism coming from Mr. Steve Mnuchin, who is the Secretary of the United States Treasury.

As an earlier press conference showed, Mnuchin echoed the sentiments of the President Donald Trump, stating that “Cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin have been exploited to support billions of dollars of illicit activity like cybercrime, tax evasion, extortion, ransomware, illicit drugs, and human trafficking.”

And while the top regulators think that money launderers are more keen on crypto, the facts showed the very opposite. As the research notes, it seems that crypto is the lesser of two evils. And while there are definitely cases with money laundering using crypto, fiat currencies are still the preferred method of choice.

In numbers, we can refer to the coming altcoin news showing that JPMorgan Chase was recently seized with $1.3 billion worth of cocaine on it. In contrast, only around $500 million in crypto assets has been spent by criminals since the beginning of this year.

And while crypto assets are definitely dangerous for the financial system, painting the picture of criminals using them and only them is definitely something taken out of the blue.

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Bitcoin Scams

Cryptojacking Code Found In 11 Open (And Infected) Libraries

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Thousands of open libraries have been infected by a new type of a cryptojacking code which aims to initiate malicious mining. The latest cryptocurrency news show that the code was already found in 11 open source code libraries written in Ruby which have been downloaded thousands of times so far. According to the industry news outlet Decrypt and its reports on August 21, the cryptojacking code has been added to the 11 open source Ruby libraries distributed on the RubyGems platform. The report also features that the infected libraries were downloaded more than 3,500 times. The altcoin news note that the hackers reportedly downloaded the software, infected it with the malware (using the cryptojacking code) and re-posted it on RubyGems. The malicious code was first noticed by a GitHub user who posted on the network reporting the issue on August 19. The user also pointed out that when executed, the library downloaded even more code from the test hosting service Pastebin - triggering malicious mining. The cryptojacking code and malware also sent the address of the infected host to the attacker alongside the environment variables which may have included credentials. As some users pointed out, RubyGems contributors should enable two-factor authentication on their accounts mostly because of potential compromises and infecting many other system. As the best cryptocurrency news sites reported, five of the libraries which were infected were cryptocurrency-specific, meaning that there were names like doge-coin, bitcoin_vanity, coin_base and blockchain_wallet spread around. The last two were the most downloaded, with coin_base having more than 424 downloads while blockchain_wallet had 423. However, this cryptojacking code is nothing new in the world of viruses and infected mining. As we recently reported, the cybersecurity company Varonis has discovered a new cryptojacking virus which is dubbed "Norman" - that aims to mine the cryptocurrency Monero (XMR) and evade detection without the user knowing what's happening in the background. A report published on our site earlier this year has also shown that cryptojacking is prime example of a shift towards discreet cyberattacks - something that is trending right now. So far, we have seen so many variants of pieces of malware which are spreading or being loaded.
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Bitcoin Scams

The Biggest Crypto Heists (And How Much Was Stolen)

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The appeal of crypto has grown, the latest cryptocurrency news show. This has presented a lot of opportunities for scammers to part naive investors from their money. This year has been no exception as many cryptocurrency and blockchain experts named it "the year of the exit scam." This is why today, we are listing the biggest crypto heists that have been discovered by various researchers. But before we do that, let's give you our two cents on spotting an exit scam. Most of the biggest crypto heists and exit scams have tell-tale signs that investors should look out for. First, they have inconsistent or misleading information behind the project. Second, they usually fake online credibility. And most important, you should always check for user reviews before investing in any form of crypto. Now, let's list the biggest crypto heists done so far:
  • $2.9 Billion Plustoken Scam That Could Be Largest Scam Ever
We are starting the list with a famous case. An estimated loss of around $2.9 billion was identified after Chinese police uncovered an alleged Ponzi scheme involving the South Korean wallet provider and exchange PlusToken. Although more is being uncovered about PlusToken, the mystery is all around the key events and there is analysis in the altcoin news about the case.
  • Pincoin's Case Which Scalped Investors Out Of An Alleged $660 Million In Tokens
On April 9 last year, two ICOs including iFan and Pincoin were operating under the umbrella of one tech company based in Vietnam. They both went silent after reports showed that 32,000 investors were scalped out of an alleged $660 million in tokens, as Tuoi Tre News reported. Victims are still featured on the best cryptocurrency news sites, claiming the damages amount to roughly 15 trillion Vietnamese dong ($660 million) in token sales. This makes the Pincoin case one of the biggest crypto heists ever.
  • QuadrigaCX Made Investors Lose $195 Million In Crypto
The death of the 30-year old CEO of the exchange QuadrigaCX shook the crypto world - not only because he was the head of the largest exchange in Canada - but also because he had full control of the passwords and keys to accounts rendered all the assets on the exchange forever inaccessible. The losses amounted to more than $195 million of stolen cryptocurrency, which makes QuadrigaCX one of the biggest crypto scams too. However, the death of the CEO is still a mystery and there is an ongoing investigation by the FBI on the entire case.  
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Bitcoin Scams

Mike Tyson: ‘I Am Not Involved With Fight To Fame Or Their Website’

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The legendary American boxer Mike Tyson is in the latest cryptocurrency news for denying the news putting forward his support for a blockchain based platform for fighters that is dubbed Fight to Fame, which is potentially a fraudulent scheme. Tyson published a tweet on August 14 in which he said that he is not part of it. The full tweet reads:
“I am not involved with Fight to Fame or their countdown website, nor will I be involved with anything related to Fight to Fame now or in the future. Any media reporting my current involvement isn’t accurate.”
As reported on many best cryptocurrency news sites before, Mike Tyson will serve as a founder and chairman of the sports and competition committee for allegedly blockchain based sports project Fight to Fame. The project also considered issuing a so-called Tyson Token as well as a token sale in early June. This spring, the cryptocurrency research and analysis firm Cointelligence released the results of its research in the project in which they call the CEO Shi Jianxiang and the project Fight to Fame is "a total fraud" - a statement which went viral in the altcoin news. In contrast to this, Cointelligence revealed that Shi is wanted by Interpol as well as the Chinese regulatory authorities “on charges of fraud and illegal fundraising that caused losses to investors of more than 10 billion yuan [about $1.5 billion]”. However, all of this was later confirmed by Mike Tyson and his wife and manager Lakiha Tyson, who told the technology focused media outlet Modern Consensus that the famous ex-boxer and professional had negotiated working with the project several years ago. However, he later made “very clear [they] ... are not involved with Fight to Fame.” Lakiha Tyson also said that the current mishap is due to an “incautiously signed but very preliminary agreement” with Fight to Fame’s founder Shi Jianxiang, who initially offered Mike Tyson a casting position in a Hong Kong martial arts film. Later on, Lakiha Tyson approved the agreement and amended the clause specifying that as a “partner and co-founder Mike Tyson will cooperate fully with UCMPA,” as well as  hand-wrote “as per agreed in writing at a later date.” She said:
“We had no idea that this was a way to launch this Tyson Token. We didn’t agree to this. I was fuming at this point.”
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Bitcoin Scams

Chinese Ponzi Scheme Caused The Latest Bitcoin Sell-Off

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Chinese Ponzi scheme was the reason for the latest Bitcoin-sell off according to the Primitive founder Dovey Wan as we are reading in the latest cryptocurrency news today. The PlusToken Ponzi scheme scammed more than 200K BTC and 800K ETH and are now hitting hard on the exchanges. What started in the middle of 2018, PlusToken was a classic Chinese Ponzi scheme offering high-yield investment returns. There four about four layers of membership structure offering some increasing dividends. By the start of 2019, there were more than 10 million members. The entire team of the scheme was caught by the police two months ago and will now stay in jail for many years according to Wan. However, the $3 billion of cryptocurrency they scammed out of members has not been recovered yet. Many of the Bitcoin wallet addresses which were used are not believed to be multi-sig which leads to speculation that some of the key holders remain at large. The security audit company Peckshield has been monitoring some money-flow activities from the PlusToken wallets and has found that since early-July, more than 1000 BTC has gone into Bittrex and Huobi and some of the funds were moved into small batches of 50 and 100 bitcoins per batch. Some reports even claim that the Chinese traders noticed that someone was also consistently dumping 100BTC batches into Binance and they believe they are related to PlusToken. According to Wan as we have red in the altcoin news previously, there are three reasons why the exchanges didn’t pay attention. One of the main reasons is that the scam has not been known outside China and maybe South Korea. The Chinese exchanges did not act because the case has been closed officially by the Chinese police. The police also didn’t work with the exchanges because the exchanges are officially banned in China. Now, both Chainalysis and Peckshield are monitoring the coins involved in the scam but the exchanges now also got involved. There is little that can be done about the tokens that were already cashed out but the exchanges are able to freeze the income tokens relating to known scams.
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