The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has issued a warning about fraudulent investment schemes involving cryptocurrencies. The regulator notes that some investors may have fear of missing out (FOMO) given the rise in prices of some crypto assets in recent years.
SEC Warns Investors of Crypto Scams
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s Office of Investor Education and Advocacy (OIEA) and Division of Enforcement’s Retail Strategy Task Force (RSTF) issued an Investor Alert on crypto investment scams last week.
The notice explains that “Fraudsters continue to exploit the rising popularity of digital assets to lure retail investors into scams, often leading to devastating losses,” adding:
Some investors may have FOMO [fear of missing out], given the rise in price of some digital assets in recent years, that they will miss an opportunity to become very wealthy.
The notice outlines some warning signs of a scam. “Guaranteed high investment returns … with little or no risk” is a classic warning sign of fraud. Fraudsters may even post bogus historical returns on their websites to show high investment returns, the SEC detailed.
Another sign is that sellers are unlicensed or unregistered. The SEC stated that “Unlicensed, unregistered sellers commit much of the securities fraud targeting retail investors in the U.S.”
In addition, fraudsters often fabricate investment returns to entice investors. The SEC also warned that “If an investment ‘opportunity’ sounds too good to be true, it probably is.”
Lastly, the notice warns of “fake testimonials.” The SEC emphasized that investors should never rely solely on testimonials when making an investment decision, elaborating:
Fraudsters sometimes pay people – for example, actors to pose as ordinary people turned millionaires, social media influencers, and celebrities – to tout an investment on social media or in a video.
What do you think about this SEC warning about crypto scams? Let us know in the comments section below.
PRESS RELEASE. TALLIN, ESTONIA -The most interesting event of this fall is the listing of DBX tokens, that will be available around the world at the beginning of the season.
The long-awaitedlisting of DBXwill take place on 7 of the world’s most famous exchanges. The good news is that you can buy, sell, and exchange tokens right now. Someone has already purchased them during the presale.
Next, you can see the complete list of cryptocurrency exchanges, where the cryptocurrency will be available:
DBX DIGITAL ECOSYSTEM
BitMart (from September 10, 2021), among the top 20 largest exchanges on the planet;
Lbank (from September 15, 2021), Chinese exchange, known all over the world ;
WhiteBit (from September 20, 2021), licensed exchange in Estonia;
Latoken (from September 25, 2021), a platform that is included in the top-10, due to the turnover since 2019
Probit (from September 30, 2021), one of the largest exchanges in Europe, winner of many awards.
More info about DBX
It is the newest digital ecosystem among the peer-to-peer decentralized financial networks. Due to anonymous instant transactions, our cryptocurrency does not have a central authority or server, functioning as an intermediary. Users can do everything by themselves.
Benefits of DBX
Investors can rely on this cryptocurrency thanks to a completely decentralized system that was created based on the maintenance of records in a distributed blockchain. This happens throughout the whole process, so that everything written prevents coin counterfeiting or double-spending. Besides, investors have the opportunity to make anonymous transactions.
What are the advantages of DBX over other cryptocurrencies?
Return on investment. From the very first day you can increase your investment portfolio. This benefit is available thanks to the monthly Masternode savings.
Project growth. This ecosystem is expanding all the time. The reason is that the safety of investments depends on the number of projects created.
Asset growth possibilities. You can greatly increase your investment assets thanks to the digital ecosystem.
Risk diversification. DBX can provide risk diversification for all customers around the world. It is easy to quit the DBX, while this decision will not affect your fiat currencies at all.
Convenient management. Manage your assets via an e-wallet.
Do not forget about the launch of DBX tokens on 7 exchanges from September 1 to October 5. Bitforex will be an online service for IEO. https://www.dbx.so
This is a press release. Readers should do their own due diligence before taking any actions related to the promoted company or any of its affiliates or services. Bitcoin.com is not responsible, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any content, goods or services mentioned in the press release.
The non-fungible token (NFT) industry has exploded in 2021 as millions of dollars worth of cryptocurrencies continue to be traded for these blockchain collectibles every single day. This week, Bitcoin.com News chatted with the popular American rapper Ja Rule about NFTs as he has partnered with James Cropcho and Robert Testagrossa to build a marketplace called flipkick.io.
Ja Rule Speaks About NFTs and Bitcoin, Fyre Festival, and the NFT Marketplace Flipkick.io
Yesterday, Bitcoin.com News spoke with recording artist Ja Rule, who is well known for his chart-topping albums and songs like the number 1 hit “Always on Time” (featuring Ashanti) in 2002. The musician is now involved with non-fungible tokens and helped form a unique NFT marketplace with serial entrepreneur Robert Testagrossa and engineer James Cropcho. Flipkick.io is a full-service NFT marketplace that caters to artists, celebrities, and creators who want to monetize their work with physical NFTs.
I’ve been off my NFT’s for couple days what I miss???
Ja Rule told our publication that’s a big difference when he discussed his fascination for NFTs and how Flipkick.io offers its NFT experience. In addition to the NFT space, Ja Rule delved into other subjects such as cryptocurrencies like bitcoin and ethereum.
Moreover, a couple of hosted NFT artworks listed on Flipkick.io were tied to the infamous Fyre Festival theme and Ja Rule spoke candidly about the subject. While the Fyre Festival was a fiasco he said, there was a “silver lining” in the end. The rapper also believes cryptocurrencies are just the next progression of economics and he believes the NFT space will someday be a multi-billion dollar industry.
Bitcoin.com News (BCN): When did you first hear about non-fungible tokens (NFTs)?
Ja Rule: You know it’s hard for me to put a date on that, I don’t really know the date. It was early in the year and I haven’t been on NFTs for that long. My first introduction into it was with NBA Top Shot. I started collecting Top Shot NFTs and I didn’t even realize they were NFTs at the time.
I just thought they were like the new digital sports cards. You know, that type of thing. I started collecting those because I collect regular sports cards. That was like the next obvious progression for sports cards and so I started collecting those and then a friend of mine let me know that what I was collecting was actually NFTs. He told me that ‘you already been collecting them – NBA Top Shots are NFTs.’
So then, I went further down the rabbit hole and got on to Opensea and the rest is kind of history. Once you get on Opensea everything unfolds.
BCN: In addition to NFTs, what do you think about the rise of digital currencies like bitcoin?
Ja Rule: I love bitcoin, I love ethereum, I love cryptocurrencies and decentralization and I think that it’s the next obvious step in economics. It’s going to be an interesting next five or ten years.
BCN: Are you exposed to digital assets like bitcoin or ethereum?
Ja Rule: I hold a little bitcoin, ethereum, solana, and cardano. I actually have my own cryptocurrency, it’s really a social token that I have with a company called ICONN. I haven’t launched it or anything yet but I guess this is going to be my coming out party because I just mentioned it. I have my own currency, I just haven’t launched it yet but it’s definitely ready to go.
The thing with cryptocurrencies is it has to have utility. So I am building out that utility for ICONN which also has a live-streaming platform, ICONN Live. It’s in the App Store now and you can download that and that will be one of the ways you can use [the] ICONN [token] as well.
BCN: How did you get involved with the Flipkick market concept?
Ja Rule: Man, Flipkick.io is such a great idea. So as I got into NFTs I noticed a dope project and the whole angle was something different, which I really loved. The angle of taking physical works of art and authenticating them in a similar way NFTs are authenticated on the blockchain but with a chip. We have a patent pending on our technology, and when I say ours it’s because I’m part of the company.
It’s just a smart thing to be able to authenticate physical artworks cryptographically and let these amazing artists be able to enjoy the fruits of their work and it was never possible before in the past. So I really applaud what Flipkick is as far as the physical NFT space.
BCN: There are a few Flipkick.io-listed NFTs tied to the subject of the Fyre Festival. Curious as to what you think about these Fyre Festival NFTs that are listed? For instance, one NFT is a picture of the cheese sandwich that sold for $80K — What do you think about that sale?
Ja Rule: Yeah that’s an interesting story. Well, my painting that I sold, I wanted to get rid of it and get it out of my house, because I have a whole new chapter in my life. That subject doesn’t define me. I wanted the bad juju out of my house. I sold my painting as an NFT which was great. Then the cheese sandwich photo is a very interesting story, because the guy that actually took that picture of the cheese sandwich — This is a guy I should have animosity toward.
Because he took a picture of a cheese sandwich, and that was a false narrative to what was being served at the festival. It became like the ‘big joke’ and like reality to a lot of people. Like this is what they were serving on this disaster and then you see the documentary, and the woman is sitting there saying she lost money because she fed all these people, saying this and that, and how she cooked amazing food. It’s like which one is it? Were we serving cheese sandwiches or serving this woman’s amazing food? I don’t know which one it was, because I wasn’t there, obviously.
But I’m smart enough to know that if people were being served a cheese sandwich, there would be more than just one picture up. So he came to us with the picture and at first I was against it, because I was like ‘we’re not the Fyre Festival, we’re an auction house.’ We did my painting and it got the company press. It helped kick off the Flipkick company and it is a physical piece of art and a beautiful piece of art, regardless of what it represents. The art [Tripp Derrick Barnes] painted is amazing.
So he deserves to have his art displayed and sold like anybody else. He didn’t know this was going to be a disaster when he painted that work of art. The cheese sandwich story is such an amazing story, because this man brought us this cheese sandwich picture and he wanted to sell it and the rights to the picture, because of all the hoopla and whatever Fyre was. At first, I said ‘let’s not do this,’ but then we learned that… and that James and Test (Flipkick.io co-founders James Cropcho and Robert Testagrossa) said that the guy is trying to sell the picture because he needs a new kidney.
This changed everything. I said ‘ok I get that’ lets put the picture up and hopefully this guy can sell it and save his life.
He then put the picture up on flipkick.io and it didn’t sell. I said ‘ya know Test, this is bigger than just the picture,’ and Test was like ‘Ya know Ja, I agree.’ I said we should buy this picture and save this guy’s life, and that’s just what we did. So I actually own the cheese sandwich picture and Flipkick owns the cheese sandwich picture. The silver lining behind the whole Fyre Festival fiasco is that this man’s life was able to be saved from that picture. I think that’s something people should understand when they look at Ja Rule and say that I wanted to scam people — No, I’m not that guy.
No, I’m that other guy, ya understand, the kind of guy that would save a man’s life by buying a picture that tried to destroy my life. That’s the guy I am.
I hate when people talk about that incident like I’m such a bad guy, and they don’t even know me or know much about the incident. Whenever people talk about the Fyre Festival, I let them know that I was cleared of all wrongdoing. It wasn’t something that was, for me, intentionally done to be a disaster. And that the guy [Billy McFarland] is serving time for his mistakes. Billy’s in jail and he stood up for everything that he did. He let it be known that Ja Rule didn’t do this and he stood up for that. With that being said, the cheese sandwich picture sold and saved a life, and at the end of the day, there is a silver lining out of that whole fiasco.
BCN: A vast number of hip-hop artists, rappers, and other celebrities have been jumping into the NFT industry. Why do you think famous musicians and artists are getting into NFTs?
Ja Rule: I think people are really getting into NFTs because of what it is. Here’s the best way I can explain it and I’m going to give credit to my man Carlos Gill who said this to me the other day and I said that’s a very interesting perspective of NFTs. He said ‘It’s like the stock market, country club, and community all in one.’ It’s everything when you look at what NFTs are.
Its investment, it’s an amazing sense of community, and a driven space that’s a really great time for NFTs and what they are becoming. It’s really changing people’s lives.
BCN: A number of people believe that Bitcoin and NFTs are meant to decentralize the systems that have been corrupted by abusive third parties. What does Ja Rule think about decentralization?
Ja Rule: I like decentralization, I like the fact that people can move their money in different ways. This is a currency that people can use across all forums. Not just in America, but in every country and it’s like the world currency for everyone.
I like the fact that [bitcoin is] decentralized and that’s what I think really makes bitcoin what it is.
BCN: NFTs are expected to be a multi-billion dollar business in the next few years with exponential growth. Do you think that it will grow that valuable?
Ja Rule: I do think that will happen. I think the space is really, really small right now. There’s not a lot of people into NFTs and a lot of people are intrigued and want to know more about it. But it’s still very new and a very young space but it’s growing. A lot of celebrities, a lot of people are getting into it because I think they like the sense of community. Being a part of something. It’s like someone came up with an idea to start these small communities to get wealthy within these groups. Like a secret society. I think that’s what people are getting into.
For me, I love art. First and foremost I love collecting art and there are some NFT projects where I don’t even read the roadmap before I buy the art. Because I don’t care, I love art and love what I bought. For me, art is in the eye of the beholder. What I like, you may not like. What I see as valuable, you may think is garbage. It’s subjective and so is music so it kind of goes hand in hand and for me, it’s the same thing.
What do you think about the Bitcoin.com News interview with Ja Rule? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below.
Authorities in Iran are continuing their crackdown on unauthorized cryptocurrency mining as electricity demand remains high. The country’s power utility company has so far closed down more than 5,300 illegal mining facilities, seizing an enormous amount of coin-minting machines.
Power Utility Confiscates More Than 216,000 Mining Units From Unlicensed Miners in Iran
Preventing blackouts remains a priority in Iran where electricity consumption is still higher than usual. Cryptocurrency miners, the majority of which are operating without authorization, have been blamed for electricity shortages throughout the summer. The hot weather this year led to increased use of air conditioning while limited rainfall negatively affected hydropower generation.
The Iran Power Generation, Distribution and Transmission Company, Tavanir, is constantly tracking down illegal mining operations across the country. According to a recent report by the utility, the number of crypto farms the state-run entity has closed down has reached 5,380.
Tavanir also revealed it had seized 216,758 pieces of mining hardware, the English-language business daily Financial Tribune reported, quoting ISNA news agency. Its estimates show that the unlicensed facilities have a combined electricity consumption equal to that of 800,000 households, or two million people.
The power distribution company has previously claimed that illegal miners consume 2,000 megawatts of electrical energy daily. However, this figure was recently rejected by the Ministry of Industries, Mining and Trade which described it as “highly exaggerated” as such an amount would equal the power usage of 3 million mining devices.
Iranian government recognized cryptocurrency mining as a legal industrial activity in July, 2019. Authorities in Tehran introduced licensing for mining companies and the permits are issued by the Ministry of Industries. According to Tavanir, 56 authorized crypto mining farms need a total of 400 megawatts of electricity.
In May of this year, Iran imposed a temporary ban on all cryptocurrency mining to reduce its power deficit. Then, in August, Tavanir announced the restrictions will be removed for licensed miners on Sept. 22 in view of an expected decline in power demand towards the end of summer.
While the licensing regime has allowed dozens of mining entities to operate legally in the Islamic Republic, the government has raised their electricity rates to match export prices. Since April, authorized miners are charged 16,574 rials ($0.39) per kilowatt-hour, four times the initial tariff. At the same time, illegal crypto farms use subsidized energy intended for households and other industrial sectors.
Iranian power generating facilities produce approximately 60,000 megawatts of electrical energy from a total installed capacity of over 85,000 megawatts. According to Tavanir, the country’s power deficit amounts to at least 5,000 megawatts a day.
Do you think cryptocurrency miners are responsible for power shortages in Iran? Share your thoughts on the subject in the comments section below.
Switzerland’s stock exchange SIX has won regulatory approval to launch its long-awaited bourse for digital assets. This authorization enables the exchange “to go live with a fully regulated, integrated trading, settlement, and custody infrastructure based on distributed ledger technology for digital securities.”
SIX Digital Exchange Greenlighted to Launch
SIX Digital Exchange (SDX) announced Friday that it has formally obtained two licenses from the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA) “to operate a stock exchange and a central securities depository for digital assets in Switzerland.” The announcement states:
This authorization enables SDX to go live with a fully regulated, integrated trading, settlement, and custody infrastructure based on distributed ledger technology for digital securities. With these licenses, SDX can now offer the highest Swiss standards of oversight and regulation.
“The digitalization of financial markets continues apace, and while the final shape of the market is still evolving, this is an important milestone in providing institutional investors with a safe and robust infrastructure,” said Thomas Zeeb, SIX’s global head of exchanges.
The company explained that it expects the platform to create a global exchange network for digital assets with an international customer base expanding to include banks, issuers, insurance firms, and institutional investors.
SIX officials said that the platform will initially begin trading in bonds, noting that stocks and exchange-traded funds (ETFs) could follow.
What do you think about SIX Digital Exchange getting regulatory approval? Let us know in the comments section below.
The leader of a cryptocurrency scheme that swindled over $30 million from investors has pleaded guilty to fraud, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) said. He now faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.
Leader of $30M Crypto Scheme Pleads Guilty to Fraud
The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) announced Wednesday that Michael Ackerman has pleaded guilty to wire fraud. The Justice Department described that Ackerman is the leader of a “fake cryptocurrency investment scheme.” He “orchestrated a multimillion-dollar cryptocurrency investment scheme” and “admitted to causing victim losses of more than $30 million.” The DOJ elaborated:
Ackerman, 52, of Sheffield Lake, Ohio, pled guilty today to one count of wire fraud, which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.
According to court filings, in or around 2017, Ackerman and others started a purported cryptocurrency investment fund and recruited hundreds of investors. “The fund was an investment club that allowed its members to contribute U.S. dollars, which the investors were told would then be used to invest and trade in bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies,” the DOJ noted.
Ackerman was the fund’s chief trading officer; he personally controlled the fund’s primary trading account on a cryptocurrency exchange. He claimed that the fund’s proprietary trading algorithm was earning about 15% in profit for investors each month.
By December 2019, he claimed that the fund investment pool, which consisted of about $37 million in original investor contributions, had grown in value to about $315 million. However, “In reality, the primary trading account used by Ackerman had an account balance that never exceeded approximately $5 million,” the DOJ said.
Furthermore, the Justice Department detailed: “Instead of investing and trading on behalf of the fund, Ackerman stole at least $9 million in investor contributions and used them to bankroll a lavish lifestyle that included his purchase of multiple pieces of real estate, hundreds of thousands of dollars of Tiffany jewelry, vehicles, travel, and personal security services.” The DOJ concluded:
Under the terms of his plea, Ackerman agreed to make restitution of at least $30,667,738.79. Ackerman also agreed to forfeiture of $36,268,515, including the millions of dollars in cash, real estate, and jewelry that were fraudulently obtained from victims or bought with victim funds.
What do you think about this case? Let us know in the comments section below.
The governor of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), Shaktikanta Das, has once again expressed concerns regarding the impact of cryptocurrencies on India’s financial stability.
Crypto Presents ‘Serious Concerns’ to RBI
The Indian government is currently awaiting the Cabinet to take up the crypto bill. However, the country’s central bank, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), still has major concerns about cryptocurrencies. Governor Shaktikanta Das reportedly said Wednesday:
We have serious, major concerns on cryptocurrency with respect to financial stability, [and] have conveyed the same to government of India.
This is not the first time the RBI chief has voiced concerns regarding cryptocurrencies. In June, he similarly said: “We have major concerns on cryptocurrency, which we have conveyed to the government. With regard to advice to investors, well, central banks don’t give any investment advice. It’s up to each investor to make his own appraisal, to do his own due diligence and take a very careful call with regard to his own investments.”
India’s finance minister, Nirmala Sitharaman, said in July: “The Cabinet note is ready. We have to see when the Cabinet can take it up and consider it so that then we can move it.”
However, the Economic Times reported last week that the Indian government is still working on how to regulate cryptocurrencies and is planning to treat them as commodities and regulate per use cases.
This week, the chairman of India’s Parliamentary Standing Committee on Finance, Jayant Sinha, said India’s crypto legislation will be “distinct and unique” due to the country’s unique circumstances. It will not follow countries such as the U.S., Japan, or El Salvador which recently adopted bitcoin as legal tender.
Meanwhile, the RBI said it plans to unveil a digital rupee model by the end of the year and launch in phases.
What do you think about the concerns voiced by the RBI governor? Let us know in the comments section below.
On Friday, Grayscale Investments, the world’s largest digital currency asset manager in terms of assets under management (AUM), revealed that three trusts have been filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in order to become SEC reporting companies. The three trusts include individual crypto asset products such as the bitcoin cash trust, the litecoin trust, and the ethereum classic trust, which will join three other Grayscale trusts that are already SEC reporting companies.
Grayscale’s BCH, LTC, ETC Trusts to Join Three Other Products as SEC Reporting Companies
Grayscale Investments has detailed that three individual crypto trusts are moving forward with their product growth cycle. The company announced on Friday that the Bitcoin Cash Trust (OTCQX: BCHG), Litecoin Trust (OTCQX: LTCN), and the Ethereum Classic Trust (OTCQX: ETCG) have been registered with the SEC in a new filing. The Form 10 registration will effectively convert the trusts into SEC reporting companies and eventually, Grayscale hopes these trusts will become exchange-traded funds (ETFs).
The digital currency asset manager stated that the trusts’ “product development pipeline” was described in a blog post Grayscale published last April. The blog post, called “Grayscale’s Intentions for a Bitcoin ETF,” mostly discusses the firm’s bitcoin (BTC)-based trust, but the firm further says the company will “ultimately convert each product into a digital currency ETF.”
Grayscale commanding six crypto trusts with SEC reporting status is a milestone, according to Craig Salm, Grayscale Investments’ vice president of legal operations. “This milestone reflects Grayscale’s continued commitment to offering transparent investment vehicles that voluntarily exceed standard reporting requirements, meet a heightened level of disclosure, and are subject to additional regulatory oversight,” Salm explained in a statement sent to Bitcoin.com News.
“As we await regulatory approval for a Bitcoin ETF, we remain focused on providing investors with opportunities to access the digital currency ecosystem through Grayscale’s secure, trusted family of products,” he added.
As SEC reporting companies, the LTC, BCH, and ETC trusts will need to file additional reports and provide more financial statements. The trusts must follow all the rules under the U.S. Exchange Act (SEA) and file a Form 8-K.
The three trusts that were previously granted SEC reporting status include Grayscale’s Bitcoin Trust, Ethereum Trust, and the Digital Large Cap Fund. Grayscale products are handled by the MSRB-registered and FINRA/SIPC member Genesis Global Trading, Inc.
At the time of writing, Grayscale Investments is also waiting to see if the U.S. regulator will approve the firm’s bitcoin (BTC) ETF filing. Furthermore, Grayscale is among a dozen prospects that are attempting to get SEC approval for a bitcoin exchange-traded fund.
What do you think about Grayscale announcing that LTC, BCH, and ETC trusts are becoming SEC reporting companies and aim to be ETFs in the end? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below.
Law enforcement in the Russian republic of Tatarstan have made new arrests in connection with the crypto Ponzi scheme Finiko. Two women detained this week are believed to have attracted millions of dollars to the pyramid. The now collapsed Finiko lured investors from a number of countries in the post-Soviet space and around the world, including Germany and the U.S.
Female Influencers Detained in Ongoing Finiko Investigation
Police in Kazan, Tatarstan’s capital city, have arrested two women for their involvement in the massive crypto pyramid Finiko, Realnoe Vremya reported. Lilia Nurieva, founder of a real estate agency who joined the Ponzi scheme, and Dina Gabdullina, a high-ranking Finiko executive, were taken into custody after investigators summoned them for questioning earlier this week.
The two detainees have allegedly enticed numerous investors to send over $10 million to the scam through multi-level marketing, for which Nurieva achieved the status of a so-called “10th star” in the financial pyramid, while Gabdullina was given the post of vice president. Both have been charged with participating in large-scale fraud as members of an organized crime group operating between Dec. 1, 2018 and July 28, 2021.
Their apprehension follows the arrests of Finiko founder Kirill Doronin, an Instagram influencer associated with other Ponzi schemes in the past, and Ilgiz Shakirov, a businessman from Kazan who also rose to the rank of vice president after signing up at least 100,000 investors. Russian authorities have issued international arrest warrants for three of Doronin’s associates as well – Marat and Edward Sabirov and Zygmunt Zygmuntovich.
On Thursday, the Vakhitovsky court of Kazan decided to keep Gabdullina and Nurieva in detention until Nov. 7. That’s despite 31-year-old Gabdullina’s defense asking for house arrest in view of her medical conditions and Nurieva partially admitting guilt while offering her assistance to law enforcement authorities in the ongoing investigation.
Russia’s Interior Ministry Takes Over Finiko Investigation
Meanwhile, the Interior Ministry of the Russian Federation has announced that the officially recognized damages inflicted on Finiko investors exceed 1 billion rubles (almost $14 million). Due to the magnitude of the fraud, the federal department has taken over the criminal investigation into the case. Initial estimates pointed to 250 million rubles in losses (almost $3.5 million).
In the early stages of the investigation, judicial authorities in Tatarstan had acknowledged 80 victims of the crypto Ponzi scheme. According to the ministry, however, the number of applications filed by defrauded investors has already reached 3,300. Among them, besides Russian citizens, are residents of Germany, Austria, Hungary, Kazakhstan, Kirgizstan, the United States, and other countries.
According to a recent report by blockchain forensics company Chainalysis, the Russia-based Finiko, a non-existent entity, has received more than $1.5 billion worth of bitcoin between December 2019 and August 2021. The digital cash came in 800,000 separate cryptocurrency deposits from investors lured with promises of monthly returns of up to 30%. The crypto pyramid collapsed this summer.
Do you think more arrests will follow in the Finiko crypto pyramid case? Tell us in the comments section below.
Localcryptos, the noncustodial P2P cryptocurrency market, has added bitcoin cash to its platform. This is the fifth cryptocurrency the platform has taken on for P2P transactions after having rebranded from Localethereum. The market will leverage the OP_CHECKDATASIG opcode, which presents some advantages. Also, users from Bitcoin.com Local will be able to migrate their reputation to the Localcryptos platform.
Localcryptos Adds Bitcoin Cash
Localcryptos, one of the leading noncustodial cryptocurrency P2P markets, has added support for bitcoin cash transactions on its platform. Now users can deposit, trade, and withdraw bitcoin cash from the Localcryptos platform. This is the fifth cryptocurrency added to the service after its rebrand from Localethereum. Before, the company added litecoin and dash, after bitcoin and ethereum.
Localcryptos declared that to construct the noncustodial experience for bitcoin cash, it used the OP_CHECKDATASIG opcode, which presents a series of advantages and is only available on the Bitcoin Cash blockchain. Localcryptos stated that while the experience is the same for the end-user:
From a programmer’s perspective, the non-custodial Bitcoin Cash P2SH script is more simplistic and intuitive, and it comes with some advantages.
The escrow contracts in the platform make it impossible for Localcryptos to spend the funds, and they can only retrieve the escrowed funds to the buyer or to the seller in the case of a dispute. Bitcoin Cash is especially useful for noncustodial P2P transactions due to its low tx fees, which rarely cross the one-cent barrier.
Bitcoin.com Local Closes Its Doors
Bitcoin.com Local, a bitcoin cash P2P market, will allow users to migrate their trading history and reputation to Localcryptos before closing its doors. The platform announced it is “passing the torch” to Localcryptos, and will allow the transfer of reputation and trading history, so users of the platform won’t have to start from scratch. Bitcoin.com Local didn’t announce the exact date of its closing, but invited users to withdraw their funds from their wallets.
According to the platform, the users will enjoy a better service due to the more diverse and liquid pool of assets that Localcryptos can offer its users. The announcement stressed:
On Localcryptos, you’ll have 40+ ways to pay, all messages are end-to-end encrypted, and trades are facilitated by the same blockchain-powered escrow service.
What do you think about the inclusion of bitcoin cash in the Localcryptos platform? Tell us in the comments section below.