U.S. and international law enforcement agencies combined to bust an international cryptocurrency fraud cartel. In total, 20 people were charged, The Next Web reported. 16 of those came from outside the U.S., and 12 of them will be extradited. Assistant Attorney General Benczkowski said that “the defendants allegedly orchestrated a highly organized and sophisticated scheme to steal money from unsuspecting victims in America and then launder their funds using cryptocurrency.”
The criminal conspiracy had defrauded Americans by listing products – usually cars – on online auction websites like eBay and Craigslist, only the item being sold didn’t exist. To make this scam seem more believable, the fraudsters had help from people based in the US. After the victims were convinced to pay, money was sent to the US-based associates who then converted the money to cryptocurrency before sending it on to their predominantely Romanian-based counterparts.
Bryan Chaffin explains how Bitcoin faucets work and which faucets you can trust to pay. [Update: Added a paying faucet and tested all faucets. – Bryan]
Coinstar is planning to sell bitcoin through its machines found in places like grocery stores. It partnered with startup Coinme.
An American businessman who was kidnapped in Costa Rica remains missing, despite the payment of an approximately $950,000 ransom in Bitcoin. William Sean Creighton Kopko, who owns an online gambling platform, was taken in September. Three suspects were arrested in Zaragoza, Spain in November 2018, The Next Web reported. In total, 12 people suspected of involvement in the kidnapping have been arrested by police in Spain and Costa Rica.
After Kopko’s family paid the Bitcoin ransom, the kidnappers stopped communicating with them, went dark, and fled to Cuba. In early November 2018 three suspects returned to Spain which alerted the authorities. The three suspects were later arrested in Zaragoza, Spain after renting an apartment in the city.
eToro has begun the phased introduction of its multi-cryptocurrency wallet to iOS, starting with limited countries.
Mr. Albayrak filmed himself accessing certain accounts and tried to blackmail Apple
What happens if a country like China, Russia, or the United States sets its most powerful super (and quantum) computers on cryptocurrencies?
The Wall Street Journal has an excellent piece exploring the criminal side of cryptocurrency. Long-time readers know I’m a fan of cryptocurrency, but this piece offers excellent insight on the dark side of this technology. Here’s a snippet:
For many criminals, cryptocurrency is less cumbersome than cash. Hackers hold computer systems hostage and demand instant, anonymous payment in bitcoin. Drug dealers sell in dark corners of the internet, obscuring their names and locations. Narcotics traffickers move and launder their profits with clicks of a mouse. “The cases have exploded,” says Gabriel Bewley, a special agent in the virtual-currency initiative at the Drug Enforcement Administration.
I’ve read some really awful attacks on cryptocurrency and Bitcoin in the last few weeks, pieces that are devoid of logic, knowledge, and understanding. What I like about this piece is that it covers this real problem with facts and without hyperbole. If you’re looking for some understanding on this issue, this is a great article to read.
It’s an investment fund that puts its money in the cryptocurrencies supported by Coinbase, currently Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum, and Litecoin.
The anecdote came up when Woz was speaking at The Economic Times of India’s Global Business Summit, and the scam involved a stolen credit card and a reversed transaction.
I had the pleasure of being on MacVoices 18067 with Chuck Joiner this week. He interviewed me about Bitcoin faucets and my take on the HomePod. We also had a rip-roaring argument on Throttlegate, and how it was a self-inflicted communication error on Apple’s part, but it’s cool because in the end Chuck admitted I was right. OK, he didn’t exactly do that, but it’s always good talking with Chuck. Check it out.
Chinese regulators announced plans to block access to foreign exchanges via the Great Firewall, and three major U.S. banks announced a halt to cryptocurrency purchases using their credit cards.
Rumor has it that Apple is going to release a new entry level 13″ MacBook. Bryan and Jeff discuss how it might fit in Apple’s Mac product line, and what they would like to see in such a device. They also talk about Bitcoin mining and why it uses so much electricity, as well as the roles cryptocurrencies could play in our lives.
The price of the world’s biggest cryptocurrency fell below $10,000 Tuesday afternoon, only to immediately rally back to $11,000 moments later.
Microsoft support called the move temporary, a response to high transaction fees and volatility in Bitcoin’s price.
Even at its low of $10,835 on Friday, Bitcoin was still up 10.2% in December. If you look back to January 1st, 2017, when Bitcoin opened at $998, Bitcoin is up a staggering 885% on the year.
So many topics, so little time! In this episode, Bryan and Jeff address a listener question asking about Apple’s management structure. they also discuss whether or not Apple plans to merge iOS and macOS, and the cap the show with a detailed exploration of the exploding world of cryptocurrency, especially Coinbase.
After a debut fraught with problems, Bitcoin Cash trading resumed on Coinbase at some $4,329 Wednesday morning, quickly correcting closer to the rest of the BCH exchanges in the $3,300-$3,500 range.
The moves sent Bitcoin down and Bitcoin Cash up, as investors moved from one cryptocurrency to the other. [Updated with additional details on Bitcoin Cash trading.]
Coinbase updated its iOS app Tuesday, as the company works overtime to beef up its infrastructure in the midst of Bitcoin Mania: 2017 Edition™. The update improved identify verification, “especially for iPhone X.” It also has a simplified sign up, optimized charts, unspecified bug fixes, and more. Coinbase is an online, hosted wallet for Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Litecoin cryptocurrencies, all of which have exploded in popularity. Coinbase features the ability to buy and sell those cryptocurrencies, and the company owns dedicated exchange GDAX. You’ll need a Coinbase account to use the company’s iOS app.