A former administrator from the now-defunct Silk Road marketplace is recounting his story in a tell-all book and movie deal. After being arrested in 2013, darknet moderator Curtis Green was involved in a bizarre conspiracy with corrupt Silk Road investigators and was later told to fake his own death.
Also read: Tales From A Dead Man: Curtis Green on Silk Road, Ulbricht
A Kilo of Cocaine and Half a Million Dollars of BTC
The Silk Road marketplace, launched in Feb. 2011, was the first darknet market (DNM) that allowed the buying and selling of illicit narcotics. On Friday, a Salt Lake City media publication interviewed former Silk Road administrator Curtis Green about his involvement with the first DNM. Green says he can publicly discuss the subject now after selling his movie rights and publishing his book called The Silk Road Takedown. According to reports, Green’s memories and the Silk Road backstory has been turned into a Coen Brothers screenplay.
Green was involved in a shady conspiracy that complicated the Silk Road (SR) investigation because law enforcement faked his torture and had Green pretend he was dead for a year. Before his arrest, Green worked as a salaried administrator making thousands of bitcoins in revenue by issuing accounts and passwords to SR users. When U.S. bureaucrats started talking about the darknet in Congress, several three-letter agencies began to search for the creator of the Silk Road, an anonymous figure called the Dread Pirate Roberts (DPR). According to Green, when law enforcement officials acquired his Utah address, someone sent a kilogram of cocaine to his house.
The former SR moderator said he didn’t know the cocaine was being delivered and unknowingly took the narcotics into his home. Not long after opening the package of powder, Green was arrested and told the police everything he knew about the darknet marketplace. Moreover, Green gave the investigators vendor passwords and credentials to major dealers selling wares on the market. A couple of days later, about $500,000 worth of BTC was stolen from SR vendors and staff due to Green’s leaked information handed to police.
“I feel terrible,” Green told KSL Broadcasting during his interview in Salt Lake City. “There’s terrible guilt — I really wish I hadn’t gone to the Silk Road.”
Fake Torture and a Phony Death Plot
Following the cocaine bust and stolen bitcoins, Green explained that U.S. law enforcement officials told him that DPR wanted the administrator “beat up.” So they decided to fake-torture Green and used a phony waterboarding technique to make it look like he was bruised and beaten. Green then claims the agents told him DPR wanted him dead and asked him and his wife to perform a fake death. Under instructions from federal agents, the former SR administrator and his wife created a bogus death photo using a can of red soup. Green says he pretended he was dead for close to a year and never left his house in Utah.
Green: ‘Bad Agents Were My Get-Out-of-Jail Card’
It was only after Ross Ulbricht was arrested in San Francisco that Green and the public found out about the two rogue special agents who stole BTC from the investigation. Federal Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) agent Carl Force and U.S. Secret Service veteran Shaun Bridges were convicted of stealing thousands of bitcoins from the case and are now in prison. According to testimony in court, back in April of 2013, the father of Carl Force passed away and Force decided to create an SR account called “Death from Above.” Following the new profile creation, the agent used the account to attempt to extort DPR. Force’s legal representation, criminal defense lawyer Ivan Bates, explained that during this time Force was drinking a lot and had significant mental health problems. Later Green plead guilty for the cocaine delivery, but was let off the hook by federal prosecutors because he helped law enforcement officials and because of the part he played in the Bridges and Force scandal.
“Two people that are deceitful criminals and here they were part of the government,” Green opined during his interview. The former SR administrator continued:
The bad agents were my get-out-of-jail card, to be honest — They put me through a year’s worth of — ‘hell’ is not even a term befitting what they did.
Meanwhile, Ross Ulbricht is serving a double life sentence for his involvement with the darknet market and his family continues to fight for his freedom. The blatant corruption involved with the Silk Road investigation gives the Ulbricht family reason to believe the whole case was rife with manipulation.
The Ulbrichts have also created a petition to U.S. president Donald Trump asking for Ross to receive clemency. So far the document has garnered over 100,000 signatures. Green says his life will go on and emphasized to the Salt Lake City media publication that he “can’t go back and change it.” The former darknet administrator added: “All I can do is apologize, make sure I don’t make the same mistakes twice and move forward.”
What do you think about Curtis Green’s tale regarding U.S. investigators asking him to fake his own death? Let us know what you think about this story in the comments section below.
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Today’s edition of The Daily covers everything from hardware wallets to fake volume on cryptocurrency exchanges. But to kick-start proceedings, we’ve got the first report on a survey in which a surprising proportion of freelancers express an interest in being paid in cryptocurrency.
Also read: Swiss Crypto Valley Association Leadership Steps Down After Governance Review
US Freelancers Express Interest in Crypto Payments
P2P platform Humans.net has commissioned a survey into the payment preferences of American freelancers. It quizzed 1,100 U.S. citizens to determine their amenability to being paid in bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies, with 18 percent expressing a clear preference for digital currency payments over fiat currency. Among those questioned were self-employed professionals such as tutors, designers and developers.
Given that the respondents were drawn from across the gig economy and were not prescreened for cryptocurrency interest, the 18 percent statistic can be taken as evidence of growing interest in bitcoin. An additional 11 percent of those surveyed stated that they would like to receive partial payments in cryptocurrency, making a total of 29 percent of freelancers who would be happy to receive crypto.
Ellipal and Ledger Wallets Get an Upgrade
The software that powers cryptocurrency hardware wallets is regularly updated to incorporate new features and coin additions. Ellipal, whose wallet we reviewed a few weeks back, has just had its firmware refreshed. “The Cold Wallet 2.0,” which ships from Hong Kong, now supports XRP, DGB, LTC, DASH, ETC, USDT and CMT, in addition to existing cryptos BTC, BCH and ETH. The accompanying Ellipal smartphone app has also been upgraded, with an improved UI and a new digital assets overview page. Meanwhile, Ledger has updated its Nano S wallet to support monero (XMR).
Storecoin Launches Governance Peer Review
It’s not uncommon for cryptocurrency projects to seek peer review of their technical papers. Zero-fee payment protocol Storecoin has narrowed in on a highly specific facet of its forthcoming blockchain however — governance. In addition to establishing a Governance Peer Review & Working Group, the project is soliciting community feedback on the trade-offs it has proposed in order to settle upon a workable system of governance.
“We believe that the only governance model that can function at global enterprise scale without returning to centralization or descending into the volatility of mob rule is a checks-and-balances based system,” concludes its public peer review document.
Coinbit and GDAC Accused of Manipulating Volume
Coinbit and GDAC, two South Korean exchanges that launched during the summer, have joined the growing list of Asian platforms that Crypto Exchange Ranks (CER) accuses of fake volume. Inflating trading figures is a way that some exchanges game the system, placing them higher in Coinmarketcap’s top 100 exchanges by reported volume. Coinbit currently places fourth, with around $600 million of cryptocurrency supposedly traded in the past 24 hours, while GDAC occupies the 53rd spot.
“Since GDAC’s trade fees are 0 percent the exchange redistributes its tokens ‘based on contribution for buy orders’ and calls it a ‘Purchase Contribution Air Drop,’ but the principle is the same as trans-fee mining,” explains CER. It also notes that in mid-November, Coinbit claimed the top spot on Coinmarketcap by reported volume, placing it ahead of Binance and Bitmex. Transaction fee mining exchanges remain highly controversial, with CER having previously taken platforms like Bitforex and Fcoin to task for similar practices. When Coinmarketcap’s exchanges are ranked by adjusted volume rather than reported volume, it’s no surprise that Coinbit and GDAC fall out of the top 100.
What are your thoughts on today’s news tidbits as featured in The Daily? Let us know in the comments section below.
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Rather than round up a series of stories from the deep web, this week we’re focusing on just the one. The tale, concerning Silk Road’s most enduring mystery, is so labyrinthine it warrants recounting in full.
Also read: 5 Opsec Errors That Caused Cryptocurrency Users to Lose Everything
‘Redandwhite’ Indicted in Black and White
Silk Road is a saga that just won’t end. Every few months, a new prosecution or a trove of freshly discovered clues adds further intrigue to the deep web’s most notorious drugs marketplace. Despite the conviction of Ross Ulbricht in 2015, there remains a number of questions concerning his stewardship of Silk Road. One of the most puzzling pertains to the murder for hire charges that Ulbricht was indicted for, despite evidence showing that no assassinations were ever carried out. The arrest of James Ellingson, 42, by Canadian authorities last month, however, has shed some light on the matter.
If the allegations are proven true, Ulbricht was duped and defrauded multiple times by Ellingson, who operated under several pseudonyms on the Silk Road marketplace. While numerous opsec errors Ulbricht made would likely have led to his arrest anyway, Ellingson, or ‘redandwhite’ to use one of his personas, played a pivotal role in consigning Ulbricht to life behind bars and ruining Silk Road for the thousands of buyers and sellers who had conducted business with minimal friction up until then.
One Man With a Multitude of Handles
In 2013, redandwhite contacted Dread Pirate Roberts (DPR), as Ulbricht was known, offering to solve a problem with another user, Lucydrop. Lucydrop was blackmailing DPR by threatening to release compromising information on thousands of Silk Road vendors. Ulbricht consented to redandwhite murdering Lucydrop, by which point DPR had information that would lead to redandwhite’s arrest years later. As Canadian court documents released earlier this month explained, “Redandwhite communicated with and received bitcoin payments from Mr. Ulbricht, in connection with purported attempts to begin selling narcotics on the Silk Road. A laptop recovered from Mr. Ulbricht contained a file labelled “save_red,” which housed multiple photographs referenced in the communications.” They continued:
The photographs were sent by redandwhite and consisted of packaged drugs and Canadian currency. Some of the photographs showed a man in front of a building holding an envelope with a numerical code. Based on a comparative analysis with Mr. Ellingson’s driver’s license, authorities have identified him as the person in the photograph.
The most astonishing revelation to have emerged from the case is that Ellingson appears to have been the cause of and purported solution to DPR’s problems, donning many different hats to extort DPR multiple times over. As All Things Vice blog summarizes, “DPR had apparently paid bitcoin worth around $650,000 … to a slick-talking shyster and opened himself up to charges of conspiracy to commit five new murders that had never taken place. Tony76 [one of redandwhite’s previous Silk Road accounts] first robbed hundreds of Silk Road customers to the tune of six figures in April 2012, scammed them again for a similar amount under the name Lucydrop in 2013, then attempted to blackmail Dread Pirate Roberts with customers’ addresses he had gathered while selling as Tony76 and Lucydrop. When that failed, he extracted the money out of Silk Road by pretending to be a hitman, carrying out the murders of himself and his alter egos.
Given the level of deception he was up against, both from Ellingson and from law enforcement, whose chief investigating officers committed a litany of crimes including blackmail and extortion, Ross Ulbricht never stood a chance. A few bad apples from the criminal and law enforcement fraternities were all it took to seal Ulbricht’s fate.
What are your thoughts on Ross Ulbricht’s conviction and on this latest twist in the Silk Road saga? Let us know in the comments section below.
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Economy & Regulation
Uganda will seek to regulate crypto assets to prevent criminals from exploiting digital currencies to scam citizens. This comes as thousands of Ugandans have fallen victim to a number of Ponzi schemes, including the D9 Club, which promised to pay members in bitcoin. Minister of State for Finance (Planning) David Bahati said the government has now finalized a bill on national payments, which will be tabled in parliament for approval in December.
Also read: Venezuela Approves Law Granting Legal Effect to the Petro
Legislators Call for Regulation
“In October, Cabinet approved the National Payment System Bill. We intend to bring it to parliament next month so that it caters for all these forms of digital financial transactions,” Bahati told the Ugandan parliament on Nov. 21. He was responding to concerns by lawmakers over the lack of regulation in the eastern African country’s growing cryptocurrency industry, which has spawned several counterfeit bitcoin schemes.
Bahati did not provide specific details about how the proposed law will be applied. Earlier, Mathias Mpuuga, a member of parliament (MP), took the finance minister to task, demanding an explanation about the existence of unregulated cryptocurrency dealers, such as one Telex Free, a pyramid scheme accused of allegedly fleecing Ugandans out of hundreds of thousands of dollars. He alleges that the scheme defrauded some Ugandan legislators as well.
“There are several agencies posing as cryptocurrency dealers such as ripcoin, namecoin and bitcoin. The challenge is that while this is taking place, there is no legal framework for supervising these players,” Kampala-based daily The Independent quoted Mpuuga as saying.
He exhorted the government to see unregulated virtual currency brokers as “a potential bomb” that warrants state intervention to help protect individual investors.
If there is no law but you are aware there are agencies operating in the country, who must answer should a problem arise? Can government at least tell the country (who) the cryptocurrency dealers operating (are).
Pyramid Schemes Rising
In Uganda, the adoption of cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology continues to grow. In October, Binance — the world’s biggest digital asset exchange — opened its first fiat-to-crypto trading platform in the country, reportedly amassing 40,000 sign-ups during its first week of operation.
That’s despite warnings by the Bank of Uganda against the use of unregulated digital currencies such as bitcoin. The country of 44 million people hosts blockchain conferences and is home to a number of associations, ostensibly with support at Cabinet level.
But Bahati said the government has not “officially approved” cryptocurrencies. He told parliament:
The central bank issued a statement that bitcoin and all related currencies are not under their control. We are cautioning the public to be aware that government has not officially approved such currencies. Government will next month present a bill to this effect.
His statement will be of little comfort to those who have lost money in shady bitcoin schemes such as the D9 Club. The Ponzi scheme, now collapsed, posed as a sports trading company, promising members hefty weekly payouts in bitcoin on initial investment of between $250 and $2,000.
For many Ugandans, joining cost an arm and a leg, as MP and lawyer Odonga Otto knows all too well. “I am currently privy to a case in court of one of the pyramid schemes called D9 that has defrauded many Ugandans, including some MPs, yet there is no legal regime in which people can claim their money,” Otto said.
It is unclear how much money Ugandans have lost in the scheme.
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Hodler’s Digest, November 5-11: Star Trek’s Captain Kirk Defends ETH Decentralization, While Fake Elon Musks Overrun Twitter
Coming every Sunday, the Hodler’s Digest will help you to track every single important news story that happened this week. The best (and worst) quotes, adoption and regulation highlights, leading coins, predictions, and much more — a week on Cointelegraph in one link.Top Stories This WeekElon Musk Impersonators Flood Twitter With Fake Crypto GiveawaysAlthough impersonators on Twitter pretending to be famous celebrities offering crypto giveaways are many, this week saw an influx of these crypto pretenders posing as Tesla CEO Elon Musk. After compromising verified accounts with the blue check mark, scammers would change the name and picture to appear to be Musk, asking in comment threads for people to send them small amounts of crypto in exchange for more crypto sent back in a fake “giveaway.” According to news reports, one fake Musk account received around $170,000.China’s Central Bank Scrutinizes Crypto Airdrops, Questions Their LegalityThe People’s Bank of China (PBoC), the country’s central bank, has begun to scrutinize crypto airdrops, which is refers to as “disguised” Initial Coin Offerings (ICO). This week’s report from the bank notes that the entity is strictly anti-ICO and crypto trading, noting the high risks of financial fraud and pyramid schemes. The report notes that “airdrops” are potentially evading the regulation concerning the public token sale model, adding that they capitalize on speculation in the market to drive their own profits.Star Trek’s William Shatner Tweets Thumbs up in Support of Vitalik ButerinWilliam Shatner, the former Captain Kirk on popular American television show Star Trek, tweeted a thumbs up at Ethereum (ETH) co-founder Vitalik Buterin this week. The celebrity’s tweet led to backlash from crypto Twitter trolls that criticized the Ethereum network’s supposed centralization, leading Shatner to quote ERC standards in response. The 87-year-old Shatner then received kudos from other crypto Twitter participants for his seemingly in-depth knowledge of the network.Apple Apparently Briefly Removes Crypto Podcast Reportedly Ranked #4 in InvestingThe podcast “Off the Chain,” hosted by Morgan Creek Digital partner and crypto analyst Anthony “Pomp” Pompliano has apparently been removed from the U.S. iTunes store this week. According to a tweet from Pompliano, the podcast was ranked 4th in the “investing” category before it was “mysteriously” taken down. The episode, which contained an interview with “Bitcoin Maximalist” Murad Mahmudov about the current worldwide monetary system, is available by press time.Joseph Lubin Thinks Blockchain Will Take “A Little Longer” to Develop Than the InternetIn an interview this week, Ethereum co-founder Joseph Lubin said that blockchain will “probably take a little longer” to develop than the Internet, because it is “much more complicated. Lubin, who is also the creator of ConsenSys, noted that blockchain is developing similar to the web, due to its exponential growth and the “hundred of projects” to date. Lubin also said that DLT will be able to “permeate society more than the Internet” and make way for Web3.0.Most Memorable Quotations“His viewpoints don’t take into account the fact that the code has to be audited by an auditing firm and approved by consortium or it doesn’t get accepted. He thinks it exists in a bubble.That’s why we have ERC-20, ERC-721… ERC-1701”— William Shatner (Captain Kirk), defending the Ethereum network’s decentralization“We are NOT tolerant. We will not capitulate. We will not surrender. We will not negotiate. We will not end,” — Craig Wright, speaking about his own Bitcoin Cash (BCH) faction before the upcoming hard forkLaws and TaxesThai Revenue Department Plans to Use Blockchain to Track Tax PaymentsThailand’s Revenue Department is planning to track payments using blockchain and machine learning, utilizing the tech to verify the validity of taxes paid as well as increasing the speed of the tax refund process. The machine learning use will help to expose tax fraud and support more transparency, as a digital tax collection system based on modern technologies is a stated goal of Thailand’s government.French Parliament Finance Committee Adopts Amendments to Crypto Tax BillThe Finance Committee of the lower house of France’s parliament has adopted regulations this week that would ease taxes on cryptocurrency sales. The Finance Committee of the National Assembly has submitted a draft of the government finance bill for 2019, specifying that the tax on crypto sales will be equal to capital income tax. If the amendments to the budget are accepted in the hearings scheduled for next week, the rate will be reduced from 36.2 percent to 30 percent starting Jan. 1, 2019.US Judge Ends Freeze on Charlie Shrem’s Assets Amidst Winklevoss LawsuitA U.S. judge has ruled this week to end the freeze on Charlie Shrem’s assets in a lawsuit brought against him by the Winklevoss twins. The twins alleged in their lawsuit that Shrem took part of their $250,000 investment in his now-defunct exchange BitInstant to buy 5,000 Bitcoins (BTC). Shrem’s lawyer has said that his client is innocent, and that the claims have “no basis in fact or law.” According to the Winklevoss’ lawyers, the freeze should continue as Shrem possess $12 million in crypto, real estate holdings, and other assets. However, at present time only $10 in assets have been identified.Thailand’s Securities Regulator Promises to Certify One ICO Portal in NovemberThe general secretary of the Thai Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) said this week that “at least one” ICO “portal” will be able to operate legally in the country in November. Rapee Sucharitakul said that they “might” starting approving ICO offerings in December, noting that five such “operators” are currently under consideration by the Finance Ministry. Thailand’s legislation requires that the Thai SEC vet crypto entities like ICOs, exchanges, and “digital asset operators” who wish to operate in Thailand.AdoptionWallet Provider Blockchain.Com to Airdrop $125 Mln in XLM After Adding Stellar SupportCrypto wallet provider Blockchain.com will now support altcoin Stellar (XLM), accompanied by an airdrop of $125 in XLM to its user base. The provider noted that the large airdrop is a “great way to drive decentralization and adoption for new networks,” noting that crypto airdrops allow consumers to “test, trade, and transact” newer crypto assets without need to mine or invest in them first. The choice to add support for Stellar was driven by the scalability of the token’s network, as well as its ability to create custom tokens that represent “real-world or virtual goods and services.”Decentralized Network Bancor Partners With EOS for Cross-Blockchain Trading With ETHDecentralized liquidity network Bancor said this week that it had partnered with EOS in order to allow for cross-blockchain swaps between Ethereum and EOS-based tokens. Bancor has now expanded to the EOS blockchain, using its DApp BancorX for the conversation. Bancor noted that the cross-blockchain DApp was built in collaboration with LiquidEOS, Bancor’s EOS “Block Producer.” According to the press release, this conversion DApp paves the way for “vastly more blockchain” to be included in cross-blockchain trading.Trading Platform eToro Releases Crypto Wallet Supporting Bitcoin, Three AltcoinsGlobal crypto and fiat trading platform eToro has released its own cryptocurrency wallet this week with support for Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum, and Litecoin. The platform noted that they plan to add a “whole host of additional functionality” including additional crypto and fiat tokens, crypto-to-crypto conversion, and fiat deposits. eToro currently supports 14 total cryptocurrencies on its platform and has more than 10 million registered users.Major Crypto Wallet Coinbase Launches Support for Basic Attention TokenCrypto exchange and wallet Coinbase announced this week that it would add support for a rollout of full trading of the Basic Attention Token (BAT) for its Android and iOS apps. As per the announcement, Coinbase customers can now buy, sell, send, receive, and store BAT on the platform, except for initially those residents of New York. Last week, Coinbase had noted the addition of inbound transfers of BAT to Coinbase Pro, specifying that the token would undergo four listing stages until it reached full access.Mergers, Acquisitions, and PartnershipsPort of Valencia Integrates Maersk and IBM’s Blockchain Shipping PlatformThe Port Authority of Valencia, Spain, has joined IBM and Maersk’s blockchain ecosystem, the TradeLens platform, which aims to apply blockchain tech to global supply chains. According to the announcement, the port has integrated into the platform as “Early Adopters,” meaning that the port will be a part of the platform’s early development. There are currently more than 20 participants in the TradeLens ecosystem, which has already reportedly processed 154 million “data-sending events.”Deloitte Partners With Identity Management Startup for Digital ID System“Big Four” accounting firm Deloitte has partnered with identity management firm Attest Inc. in order to create a blockchain-based digital identity system. The Chicago-based Attest offers a shared identity platform that allows its clients to conduct transactions, including its governmental customers, which can provide identity services to citizens. The partnership plans to develop a digital identity offering for government-compliant identifiers to be used for existing products, including a cryptographically secured identity storage wallet.South Korea’s Bithumb Partners With E-Commerce Giant Qoo10 for Crypto PaymentsSouth Korea’s leading virtual currency exchange Bithumb announced a partnership this week with Asian e-commerce fim Qoo10 to create a cryptocurrency payment service. Qoo10, which covers Asian markets including Singapore, Hong Kong, China, and Indonesia, will work with the Bithumb Cache system to purchase products through Qoo10. The two companies will use both the Qoo10 settlement service and the cache system, which is a password settlement service that allows Bithumb customers to convert their funds for use in payments with their password.Nine Major Shipper Operators Launch Blockchain-Based Global Business NetworkNine major terminal operators and shipping companies have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to develop an open digital platform based on DLT. The MoU is aimed at forming a consortium of shipping operators to develop the Global Shipping Business Network (GSBN), noting that the software solution will be provided by Hong Kong-based shipping and logistics firm CargotSmart. The new alliance includes such shipping giants as PSA International, a Singapore-based company and one of the world’s largest port operators, and Shanghai International Port Group, leading operator of ports in China.Funding RoundsMajor Mining Provider Bitfury Raises $80 Million in Closed Funding RoundBitcoin mining infrastructure provider Bitfury raised $80 million this week in a closed funding round led by European venture capital fund Korelya Capital. Other participants in the funding round included South Korean Internet giant Naver Group, Asian institutions Macquarie Capital and Dentsu Japan, and Mike Novogratz’s Galaxy Digital. The funding round comes several weeks after rumors circled that Bitfury was considering an IPO.Winners and LosersThe crypto markets are seeing mixed signals, with Bitcoin trading for around $6,404.13 and Ethereum at $211 by press time. Total market cap is around $212 billion.The top three altcoin gainers of the week are Traco, Pedit, and the Internet of Things. The top three altcoin losers of the week are Simmitri, empowr coin, and OBXcoin.For more info on crypto prices, make sure to read Cointelegraph’s market analysis.FUD of the WeekTurkish Police Arrest 11 in Reported Hack of Crypto Wallet AccountsThe Cybercrime Department of the Turkish National Police arrested 11 suspects this week while investing the alleged hack of crypto accounts, with victims reporting more than $80,000 in losses. 14 individuals so far have reported crypto wallet hacks to local prosecution authorities, noting that their Bitcoin had been transferred to other wallets. Police have since seized two fake identity cards, as well as a number of devices allegedly used in the hacks such as 18 mobile phones and SIM cards, 22 memory sticks, from the hackers. The investigation notes that it found the suspects by tracking new SIM cards registered to exchanges by the hackers.Texas Regulator Issues Emergency Cease and Desist to Australian Cloud Mining CompanyThe Texas State Securities Board has issued an emergency cease and desist order this week to Australian cloud mining firm AWS Mining PTY LTD for selling unregistered securities. AWS Mining, along with many of its employees, are charged with violating the Texas Securities Acts by convincing Texas residents to purchase AWS’ unregistered cloud mining power contracts promising a “200 percent passive return on every investment.” The cease and desist notes that AWS did not follow through on its promised profits to investors, as well as failed to register as a securities broker-dealer.Swiss Financial Regulator Recommends Banks to Set Crypto Risk Coverage at 800%The Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA) said in a report this week that banks and other financial institutions could calculate risk coverage for cryptocurrencies at 800 percent of their current market value. The confidential letter, seen by a local Swiss news outlet, noted that the recommendation for a flat risk weight at 800 percent are to “to cover market and credit risks, regardless of whether the positions are held in the banking or trading book.” The news outlet reports that 800 percent is at the upper end of the range, meaning that FINMA sees crypto as a volatile asset.US SEC Charges EtherDelta Founder With Operating Unregistered Securities ExchangeZachary Coburn, the founder of crypto token trading platform EtherDelta, has been charged by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) with operating an unregistered securities exchange. EtherDelta has operated as a secondary marketplace for trading ERC20 tokens, letting users buy and sell digital assets using an order book and smart contracts on the ETH blockchain and placing a total of more than 3.6 million orders (some involving those considered securities) over an 18-month operating period. Coburn neither denied nor admitted the findings, but agreed to pay $300,00 in unlawful profits, as well as $13,000 in prejudgement interest and a $75,000 penalty.Chinese Mining Giant Bitmain Sues Unknown Hacker for $5.5 Million Crypto TheftChina-based BTC mining firm Bitmain has sued an anonymous hacker for the reported theft of crypto work about $5.5 million from Bitmain’s account on Binance this April. As stated in the U.S. court documents, the “John Doe” hacker used stored Bitcoin after taking over Bitmain’s Binance account to manipulate the price of altcoin Decentraland (MANA) and then abscond with the profits. Bitmain notes that the hacker was able to steal $5.5 million in digital assets, including about 617 BTC. The documents also note that the hacker carried out transactions between BTC and MANA from Bitmain’s wallet and their own, completing the theft by transferring BTC from their Bitmain account into a digital wallet on Bittrex.Prediction of the WeekTim Draper Maintains Bitcoin Prediction of $250,000 by 2020Venture capital investor Tim Draper said this week that he still believes that Bitcoin will experience 40 times returns and reach $250,000 by 2022. Although his initial prediction was for the coin to hit this price point in April of this year, Draper said that the industry merely needs to make it so that “Bitcoin could be used to buy Starbucks coffee” and the world will “open up.” Draper also added that he didn’t trust “political currencies” that are “determined by some weird political party,” adding that he sees a future with blockchain and smart contracts taking on a more prevalent role in states.Best Cointelegraph FeaturesMorgan Stanley Report Shows Strong Institutional Investment for BitcoinAt the end of October, multinational investment bank and financial services firm Morgan Stanley released a report on how Bitcoin has been a new “institutional investment class” since 2018. The report, which shows a relatively bullish outlook for 2018, brings attention to the stablecoin phenomenon, noting that not all stablecoins active currently will survive.The SEC Stops Accepting Public Comments on Bitcoin ETFs, Takes Time to Make DecisionLast week, the cryptoverse buzzed with misinformation that the U.S. SEC was finally going to make a decision about Bitcoin ETFs. However, last week’s deadline concerned a close to the acceptance of public comments, leaving the SEC to now make their decision on the nine BTC ETFs on their own. Cointelegraph delves into the possibilities for the SEC’s decision, as well as looks into the root of where this deadline confusion came from.Blockchain Advocates Storm Governors’ Mansions and Retain House Seats in US Midterm ElectionsThe U.S. saw midterm elections that week that led to the Democratic Party taking back the House, leaving the Republicans still in control of the Senate. Amidst the party lines, the governorships in both California and Colorado were won by crypto- and blockchain-friendly candidates Gavin Newsom and Jared Polis respectively. Beyond his strong blockchain policy push in his state, Polis (also the first openly gay elected governor), co-founded and co-chaired the Congressional Blockchain Caucus, a bipartisan group of Members of Congress. Electorally, the Caucus has done exceptionally well in the midterms: both of the co-chairs and 10 out of 12 regular members who stood for reelection retained their seats. window.fbAsyncInit = function() FB.init( appId : ‘1922752334671725’, xfbml : true, version : ‘v2.9’ ); FB.AppEvents.logPageView(); ; (function(d, s, id) var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s); if (d.getElementById(id)) return; js = d.createElement(s); js.id = id; js.src = “//connect.facebook.net/en_US/sdk.js”; js.async = true; fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs); (document, ‘script’, ‘facebook-jssdk’)); !function(f,b,e,v,n,t,s) if(f.fbq)return;n=f.fbq=function()n.callMethod? n.callMethod.apply(n,arguments):n.queue.push(arguments); if(!f._fbq)f._fbq=n;n.push=n;n.loaded=!0;n.version=’2.0′; n.queue=;t=b.createElement(e);t.async=!0; t.src=v;s=b.getElementsByTagName(e); s.parentNode.insertBefore(t,s)(window,document,’script’, ‘https://connect.facebook.net/en_US/fbevents.js’); fbq(‘init’, ‘1922752334671725’); fbq(‘track’, ‘PageView’);
Several verified Twitter accounts have been hacked to impersonate Elon Musk today, Nov. 5, with one reportedly collecting almost $170,000.After compromising verified accounts, scammers changed the profile name and picture in order to pose as the Tesla CEO. Scammers would then post in comment threads started by the real Elon Musk, so as to give the impression of legitimacy. Some of the scam tweets said that Elon Musk was conducting “the biggest” crypto-giveaway in the world for those who use “Bitcoic” (read Bitcoin), and provided a link to “participate” in the giveaway.Screenshot of compromised Pathe UK account. Source: Business InsiderTo skirt Twitter security measures, scammers subtly changed one of the characters in the name, while still maintaining a display name that appeared to be “Elon Musk” at a glance, preculding Twitter from automatically flagging the account.Hackers reportedly compromised several different accounts, including those of film production firm Pathe U.K. and U.S. politician Frank Pallone Jr.Daily Beast reporter Lachlan Markay reported that sources on Pallone’s campaign confirmed the account was hacked, albeit without any political goals saying, “Just looks like a Bitcoin Scam.”If you fall for this you deserve to be scammed tbh pic.twitter.com/RKjd90UsBt— A source close to Lachlan Markay (@lachlan) November 5, 2018He subsequently added that one of the BTC wallets used in the scams received $158,256 and that the payments “are still coming.” At press time, the address referred to by Markay had a final balance of 26.38 BTC ($168,930).Pathe U.K. later confirmed that it had recovered control of its account and deleted the fake Elon Musk tweets.Other high-profile individuals in the crypto and tech space have been similarly impersonated. In April, founder and CEO of Telegram Pavel Durov tweeted a warning, telling his followers that the messaging app was experiencing downtime due to its server clusters overheating. Durov’s tweet drew attention to fake crypto giveaway scammers who posed as the Telegram CEO and claimed to offer crypto to users as a “thank you for [their] support.”In January, Twitter saw an influx of Litecoin (LTC) founder “Charlie Lee” impersonators, with multiple imposters posing as the LTC creator and promoting a fake LTC giveaway. Most of the scammers were using Twitter handles with names very similar to the real Charlie Lee, @SatoshiLite, such as @SatoshiLitez and @SatoshiLitee_.In September, Elon Musk asked Jackson Palmer, the creator of Dogecoin (DOGE), to help him combat “annoying” cryptocurrency scammers on Twitter. Palmer replied almost immediately, urging Musk to reach out to him using direct messages. Later on, the creator of Dogecoin sent Musk a script that could purportedly solve the problem. window.fbAsyncInit = function() FB.init( appId : ‘1922752334671725’, xfbml : true, version : ‘v2.9’ ); FB.AppEvents.logPageView(); ; (function(d, s, id) var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s); if (d.getElementById(id)) return; js = d.createElement(s); js.id = id; js.src = “http://connect.facebook.net/en_US/sdk.js”; js.async = true; fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs); (document, ‘script’, ‘facebook-jssdk’)); !function(f,b,e,v,n,t,s) if(f.fbq)return;n=f.fbq=function()n.callMethod? n.callMethod.apply(n,arguments):n.queue.push(arguments); if(!f._fbq)f._fbq=n;n.push=n;n.loaded=!0;n.version=’2.0′; n.queue=;t=b.createElement(e);t.async=!0; t.src=v;s=b.getElementsByTagName(e); s.parentNode.insertBefore(t,s)(window,document,’script’, ‘https://connect.facebook.net/en_US/fbevents.js’); fbq(‘init’, ‘1922752334671725’); fbq(‘track’, ‘PageView’); //platform.twitter.com/widgets.js
A trick to Fortnite, a very popular video game, has been found to be malicious code designed to steal the details of a coin purse login.
According to Malwarebytes Labs, the malicious program was discovered on October 2.
According to a study by a cyber security company headquartered in California, one of the many obscure videos posted on YouTube, "Data theft malware disguised as a cheat tool"
The YouTube account that propagates files via URL in the description has more than 700 subscribers and has seen over 2,200 reports.
Once clicked, you can go to the page asking visitors / potential victims to subscribe to your YouTube account via the link and download counterfeit tools.
As far as malicious files were concerned, there were 1,207 downloads and 1,207 downloads too many at the time of writing. "
The team was designed to steal user PC data from the autocomplete text of the browser to the Steam session, which ultimately leads to bad information. Russian Federation speech.
For concerns about cryptocurrency users, find the data associated with the Bitcoin wallet. One image provided in the report specifically identifies data related to the Electrum purse by malware.
Malicious code itself is not new, but the company warns that it can still harm people who install malicious code.
"Combined with the excitement of the new Fortnite content, we can later perform stolen data and much cleanup."
Fortnite image through Shutterstock
CoinDesk, a leader in block-chain news, is a media outlet that pursues the highest standards of journalism and adheres to strict editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of the Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and block-chain startups.
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Goldman Sachs Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Martin Chavez said that recent reports about the company abandoning its plans to open a cryptocurrency trading desk are “fake news,” CNBC reported September 6.At the TechCrunch Disrupt Conference in San Francisco, Chavez reportedly said that reports about the company’s intentions for a crypto trading desk were unfounded:”I never thought I would hear myself use this term but I really have to describe that news as fake news.”Rumors that Goldman Sachs planned to establish a crypto-focused unit by the end of 2018 were initially reported by Bloomberg in December last year. However, on September 5, Business Insider reported that unnamed sources said the firm is scrapping crypto trading desk plans due to an unclear regulatory environment in the crypto industry. Chavez suggested that the excitement over a potential trading desk may have been premature. CNBC quotes him saying:”When we talked about exploring digital assets […] it was going to be exploration that would be evolving over time. Maybe someone who was thinking about our activities here got very excited that we would be making markets as principal and physical Bitcoin, and as they got into it they realized part of the evolution but its not here yet.”While Goldman has been clearing and providing liquidity for Bitcoin-linked futures contracts from the CBOE and CME, Chavez said there needs to be a reliable custody solution before the bank can proceed with physical Bitcoin (BTC). He stated:”Physical bitcoin is something tremendously interesting, and tremendously challenging. From the perspective of custody, we don’t yet see an institutional-grade custodial solution for Bitcoin, we’re interested in having that exist and it’s a long road.”Chavez noted that the company is working on a type of Bitcoin derivative, non-deliverable forwards, which are over the counter derivatives settled in U.S. dollars. The reference price is reportedly the Bitcoin/USD price established by a group of exchanges.The price of Bitcoin and other digital currencies plummeted following the news about Goldman Sachs cancelling plans for a trading desk, with total market cap dropping by $12 billion in an hour. All of the top 100 coins experienced losses over the last 24 hours. BTC is trading around $6,479, having lost more than 6 percent on the day. At press time, total market capitalization is around $206 billion, according to Coinmarketcap. window.fbAsyncInit = function() FB.init( appId : ‘1922752334671725’, xfbml : true, version : ‘v2.9’ ); FB.AppEvents.logPageView(); ; (function(d, s, id) var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s); if (d.getElementById(id)) return; js = d.createElement(s); js.id = id; js.src = “//connect.facebook.net/en_US/sdk.js”; fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs); (document, ‘script’, ‘facebook-jssdk’)); !function(f,b,e,v,n,t,s) if(f.fbq)return;n=f.fbq=function()n.callMethod? n.callMethod.apply(n,arguments):n.queue.push(arguments); if(!f._fbq)f._fbq=n;n.push=n;n.loaded=!0;n.version=’2.0′; n.queue=;t=b.createElement(e);t.async=!0; t.src=v;s=b.getElementsByTagName(e); s.parentNode.insertBefore(t,s)(window,document,’script’, ‘https://connect.facebook.net/en_US/fbevents.js’); fbq(‘init’, ‘1922752334671725’); fbq(‘track’, ‘PageView’);
CoinMarketCap described the difficulty of providing volume data on Thursday, but added new features to reduce it
Ethereum (ETH) – We’ve all seen it, the pinned posts from most cryptocurrency leaders on Twitter stating that they “are not giving away or accepting digital assets.” Mostly, it revolves around the world’s second largest cryptocurrency Ethereum [ETH], but it has made its way to other digital tokens as well.
As a public announcement, I will never ask you to send me ether, ada or any other asset. These are scams and if you fall for them, then you will lose your money. Please use commonsense and critical thinking!
— Charles Hoskinson (@IOHK_Charles) March …
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