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Smell Something Fishy? The CFTC Will Pay You to Report Crypto Scams

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Nestled in the exhibition room at this year’s Consensus conference, the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) had a message for conference goers as they weaved in and out of booths representing various projects and startups in the space: “Be on the lookout for virtual currency fraud” and if you see it, let us know.

CFTC Booth at Consensus 2019

“The Whistleblower Office of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) is issuing this alert to inform members of the public about how they may make themselves eligible for both financial awards and certain protections while helping stop [sic] fraud and manipulation relating to virtual currencies,” a handout from the booth reads.

The CFTC has long classified bitcoin as a commodity, and the document states that the CFTC considers all “virtual currencies [as] commodities under the Commodity Exchange Act (CEA).”

This same act gives the agency regulatory power to prosecute virtual currency fraudsters. Since the 2017 price run-up, crypto scams have been on the agency’s radar and it’s been keen to keep investors privy to project warning signs. In cooperation with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, the CFTC has cracked down on illegal bitcoin brokers and dealers, as well as fraudulent crypto consultants and token rackets like My Big Coin.

In the whistleblowing briefing document, the CFTC uses My Big Coin and CabbageTech as textbook examples of scammy behavior. Among other red flags it warns potential whistleblowers against pump-and-dump schemes, wash/insider trading, unregistered derivatives platforms and “supervision failures or fraudulent conduct (e.g., creating or reporting fictitious trading) by virtual currency exchanges.”

If you notice any of these behaviors in practice, “you don’t have to be an ‘insider’ … to be a whistleblower,” the document reads. It continues to tell readers that they can tip off bad actors through the agency’s website, asking that they provide as much information on the alleged scams and orchestrators as possible (this includes “identifying information” like social media profiles, screenshots, bitcoin addresses, email addresses, etc.).

Anyone whose whistleblow ends in more than $1 million in sanctions against such companies are entitled to 10 to 30 percent of the monetary penalty.

A CFTC representative declined an interview, telling Bitcoin Magazine that each employee must be cleared by the agency to go on record. Bitcoin Magazine did learn that this was the CFTC’s first year at Consensus and that the agency has been making its rounds through the crypto conference circuit over the past year.

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Dutch Bank ABN AMRO Abandons Wallie Custodial Bitcoin Wallet Citing Risk Concerns

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Dutch bank ABN AMRO abandoned its plans to launch a custodial bitcoin (BTC) wallet dubbed “Wallie” because of risk concerns, according to a report published on May 20 by tech news outlet The Next Web.

Per the report, the bank’s senior press officer, Jarco de Swart, said in an email to the outlet that the bank decided not to continue its plans after it “concluded that cryptocurrencies because of their unregulated nature are at the moment too risky assets for our clients to invest in.”

The rumors concerning alleged tests of the wallet first started spreading in January. Still, according to The Next Web, the bank had actually just asked 500 of its customers if it should develop the wallet and if so, how. Owler estimates the bank’s annual revenue to be $10.3 billion, and reports that the firm has 18,720 employees.

As Cointelegraph reported in November last year, major oil companies BP, Shell and Equinor have united with large banks — including ABN AMRO — and trading houses to launch a blockchain-driven platform, Vakt, for energy commodity trading.

Last week, Alexandre Kech, CEO of Onchain Custodian, predicted that collaboration between crypto and traditional custodians will grow.

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TRON Price Prediction Today: Daily (TRX) Value Forecast – May 20

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Tron-Surpasses-1-Billion-In-Trading-Volume-Reaching-New-Highs-In-Over-12-Months

Tron-Surpasses-1-Billion-In-Trading-Volume-Reaching-New-Highs-In-Over-12-Months

  • The short and medium-term outlook is in a bearish trend.
  • Traders may consider selling at key areas.

TRX/USD Medium-term Trend: Bearish

• Supply zones: $0.04000, $0.05000, $0.06000
• Demand zones: $0.01000, $0.00900, $0.00800

TRON is in a bearish trend in its medium-term outlook. After bullish exhaustion at $0.03319 in the supply area, the bears took control of the market. The cryptocurrency is in an ascending channel a correction pattern for downward price continuation.

The bulls manage a push to $0.02880 as the high of yesterday market before exhaustion and the bears stage a return.

The bearish 4-hour opening candle at $0.02830 sustained the bearish momentum with the cryptocurrency down at $0.02703 in the demand area.

The stochastic oscillator signal points down at 47% while price is between the two EMAs. These suggest downward momentum with more candle opened and closed below the two EMAs due to increased pressure by the bears.

$0.02655 in the lower line of the channel and a subsequent break may occur in the medium-term.

TRX/USD Short-term Trend: Bearish

The cryptocurrency is in a bearish trend in its short-term outlook. The double-top10 formation at $0.02870 in the supply area favour the bears in the short-term. Confirmation to the downward movement occurred at the bread of the two EMAs by the large bearish candle at$0.02830.

TRXUSD is currently down at $0.02697 in the demand area with $0.02550 in the demand area is the initial bears’ target. This was confirmed by the signal of the stochastic pointing down at % in the oversold region coupled with price below the two EMAs.

The views and opinions expressed here do not reflect that of BitcoinExchangeGuide.com and do not constitute financial advice. Always do your own research.

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Game Changer for Bitcoin? VanEck ETF Decision Tomorrow –  All You Need to Know

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One of the events the entire cryptocurrency community has its sights turned to is the VanEck/SolidX Bitcoin ETF proposal. It was published in the Federal Register back on February 20th, giving the SEC a legal timeframe of 90 days to make a further decision. This means that the Commission must come up with a decision tomorrow, May 21st.

May 21st – An Important Date for Bitcoin

The saga around VanEck/SolidX Bitcoin ETF proposal has been going on for quite a while now. Last year, their application was withdrawn after being delayed on multiple occasions by the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). However, shortly after that, the application was submitted again, reigniting hope among those who believe that a Bitcoin ETF would catalyze a further increase in the price of the cryptocurrency, as well as further adoption.

The new application was filed with the Federal Register on February 20th, giving the SEC a binding term of 90 days to come up with a decision to approve, deny, or delay it. Interestingly enough, another Bitcoin ETF application was also filed with the Register on February 15th – that of Bitwise. The SEC delayed its decision on the latter, while even deciding to use the full 90 days term to make up its mind on the application of VanEck and SolidX. This is why May 21st is an important date to expect.

According to famous legal expert among the cryptocurrency community, Jake Chervinsky, however, the chances of a delay or denial are much higher than the chances of approval.

He bases his merit on the fact that the SEC is unlikely to approve the first-ever Bitcoin ETF without taking the full 240 days period that it legally can. Moreover, he also finds it rather unusual that the Commission didn’t delay the VanEck Bitcoin ETF together with that of Bitwise.

The lawyer also cited some of the reasons for the delay of the application of Bitwise, which include:

  • The nature of the market for Bitcoin
  • The efficiency of that market
  • The susceptibility of that market to manipulation
  • How the market is similar to markets for other commodities
  • Reports that a large percentage of reported volume is fake

Chervinsky pointed out that if VanEck has any chance of approval, then the SEC “would need to delay & aks all these same questions to them as well.”

What Does This Mean For Bitcoin?

While it’s anyone’s guess how a potential approval of a Bitcoin ETF would impact Bitcoin’s price and whether it would surge, the majority of the cryptocurrency community is undoubtedly sure of it.

According to Josh Roger, a well-known cryptocurrency trader and investor, the different scenarios will have different impacts on the price.

The upcoming VanEck ETF decision could certainly have a serious impact on BTC price.

Denial = Pull back the current price regardless of how good it looked this weekend.

Approval = push the price to new yearly high and create mass FOMO buying.

Delay = Expected & likely little change.

Be the first to know about our price analysis, crypto news and trading tips: Follow us on Telegram or subscribe to our weekly newsletter.


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Game Changer for Bitcoin? VanEck ETF Decision Tomorrow –  All You Need to Know

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One of the events the entire cryptocurrency community has its sights turned to is the VanEck/SolidX Bitcoin ETF proposal. It was published in the Federal Register back on February 20th, giving the SEC a legal timeframe of 90 days to make a further decision. This means that the Commission must come up with a decision tomorrow, May 21st.

May 21st – An Important Date for Bitcoin

The saga around VanEck/SolidX Bitcoin ETF proposal has been going on for quite a while now. Last year, their application was withdrawn after being delayed on multiple occasions by the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). However, shortly after that, the application was submitted again, reigniting hope among those who believe that a Bitcoin ETF would catalyze a further increase in the price of the cryptocurrency, as well as further adoption.

The new application was filed with the Federal Register on February 20th, giving the SEC a binding term of 90 days to come up with a decision to approve, deny, or delay it. Interestingly enough, another Bitcoin ETF application was also filed with the Register on February 15th – that of Bitwise. The SEC delayed its decision on the latter, while even deciding to use the full 90 days term to make up its mind on the application of VanEck and SolidX. This is why May 21st is an important date to expect.

According to famous legal expert among the cryptocurrency community, Jake Chervinsky, however, the chances of a delay or denial are much higher than the chances of approval.

He bases his merit on the fact that the SEC is unlikely to approve the first-ever Bitcoin ETF without taking the full 240 days period that it legally can. Moreover, he also finds it rather unusual that the Commission didn’t delay the VanEck Bitcoin ETF together with that of Bitwise.

The lawyer also cited some of the reasons for the delay of the application of Bitwise, which include:

  • The nature of the market for Bitcoin
  • The efficiency of that market
  • The susceptibility of that market to manipulation
  • How the market is similar to markets for other commodities
  • Reports that a large percentage of reported volume is fake

Chervinsky pointed out that if VanEck has any chance of approval, then the SEC “would need to delay & aks all these same questions to them as well.”

What Does This Mean For Bitcoin?

While it’s anyone’s guess how a potential approval of a Bitcoin ETF would impact Bitcoin’s price and whether it would surge, the majority of the cryptocurrency community is undoubtedly sure of it.

According to Josh Roger, a well-known cryptocurrency trader and investor, the different scenarios will have different impacts on the price.

The upcoming VanEck ETF decision could certainly have a serious impact on BTC price.

Denial = Pull back the current price regardless of how good it looked this weekend.

Approval = push the price to new yearly high and create mass FOMO buying.

Delay = Expected & likely little change.

Be the first to know about our price analysis, crypto news and trading tips: Follow us on Telegram or subscribe to our weekly newsletter.


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PSA: Bitconnect ‘2.0’ Triggers Countdown to Resurrect Greatest Crypto Ponzi Ever

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By CCN: In 2016 a cryptocurrency project named BitConnect came along offering 1% daily compounded interest for those who purchased and staked its token.

When the BitConnect (BCC) bubble inevitably burst, the owners, as expected, made off everyone’s money. The BCC token price sunk by 99.9%, and a previously $2.5 billion valued project became worthless.

Now, the greatest scam ever sold is back. Enter BitConnect 2.0.

Hey, Hey, Hey: BitConnect 2.0 Arrives for a Second Bite at the Cherry

A website and Twitter profile advertising the arrival of BitConnect 2.0 appeared in the last few days. The website shows a countdown to the rebirth of one of the worst cryptocurrency scams of all time.

Bitconnect countdown

The Twitter profile contains just two posts – one is a link to the new website; and the other is a Binance referral link with the directive ‘Buy Now’.

Of course, there are no BitConnect tokens (either 1.0 or 2.0) hosted on Binance. If we take a look at the domain registrar details for the new website – BitConnect.io – we see some strange peculiarities.

Despite the Twitter post promising a July 1st launch, the website’s domain name is set to expire two weeks before that date. The domain, which differs slightly from the original BitConnect.co website, was registered in 2017.

bitconnect domain

Scamception: A Scam Inside a Scam

All of this adds up to what looks like a scam inside a scam. Assuming the site domain isn’t renewed before the expiration on June 19th, then perhaps what we have here isn’t BitConnect 2.0 at all.

Rather, it appears someone with an old domain name is attempting to squeeze as much money out of their Binance referral link as possible before the site expires. The Twitter profile shows almost 1,000 followers already, despite the first post not appearing until one day ago. However, the new website is also registered in the same geographic location as the original – Panama.

One person who was able to see the funny side of the BitConnect revival was former BCC front-man, Carlos Matos. Famous for his exuberant and dramatic on-stage sale pitch, Matos continues to post memes about the BitConnect saga. Recently he revived his infamous ‘Hey, Hey, Hey…’ slogan to comment on BitConnect 2.0; which he apparently has no part in.

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Matos even posted this meme expressing a skeptical take on the project’s revival.

bitconnect grand theft auto meme

Too Late for Skepticism

Ultimately, the same skepticism would have been useful several years ago, before gullible investors were taken for all they had. From the ICO price of $0.17, the value of BCC tokens shot up to $509.99 in one year – marking ridiculous gains of 299,894%.

bitconnect charts

Of course, those gains were never cashed out. When the exit scam hit in January 2018, the value of BCC dropped like a stone. Data for the token price continued to be tracked up until August 2018, when it held a value of just $0.263786, before being removed from all exchanges.

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