International Authorities Bust Cryptocurrency Fraud Cartel

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Cryptocurrency Crime

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.

Wall Street Journal Explores Criminal Side of Cryptocurrency

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Cryptocurrency Crime

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.

HomePod Review, Cook Interview, Crypto Tax Haven, Music in Ear of Beholder, App Picks - Pop.0 Ep.30

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In this TMO video podcast, Bryan Chaffin and John Kheit discuss Apple’s new HomePod after 10 days of use, Apple CEO Tim Cook’s FastCompany interview, Wyoming wanting to become a Crypto Tax Haven, and how music influences really are in the ear of the beholder. They also offer a couple of app picks. (WARNING NSFW: PROFANITY & RANTS)

Coinbase Updates iOS App to Simplify Signup, Improved Identify Verification for iPhone X

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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.

Coinbase Updates iOS App to Simplify Signup, Improved Identify Verification for iPhone X