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Turkish Hackers Steal $80,000 Worth of Cryptocurrency

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According to Turkish media, 14 people have informed authorities about their compromised cryptocurrency wallets. The coins have been transferred to other wallets and subsequently sold for fiat. Investigators discovered the hackers had stolen “bitcoins worth 437,000 Turkish lira” (over $80,000), the Daily Sabah reported.

The cybercrime combatting division identified some of the suspects by tracking a new phone number they used to register on the trading platforms where they exchanged the cryptocurrency. The thieves moved the money through numerous accounts to cover their tracks, the Hürriyet newspaper detailed.

On Oct. 26, agents from the unit detained 11 people at different addresses in Istanbul during joint raids with Polis Özel Harekat, the special operations department of the Turkish police. Currently, 10 of the accused remain in custody. Policemen also seized 18 mobile phones and SIM cards, 22 memory sticks, six laptops, three hard disks, a tablet, two driver’s licenses, and a fake identity card.

During the investigation, police officers tracked the suspects who tried to withdraw the fiat money from various banks and ATMs. Their attempts have been recorded by multiple security cameras. Investigators are also looking for more victims of the hackers.

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Virtual Currency Payment Gateway, Coinify, Activates BitcoinSV

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Bitcoin SV

Online merchants can now accept BSV, the only cryptocurrency based on the original Bitcoin protocol, via the leading virtual currency payment provider, Coinify. Whether the merchant wishes to accept BSV directly or have that changed to local currency, Coinify can facilitate those options.

BSV is the only cryptocurrency that has proven scalability of huge transaction volumes, vital to the success of mass adoption. With their goal of building an international virtual currency payment infrastructure, Coinify’s cooperation will further BSV’s vision to become a viable global currency.

Coinify provides cutting-edge and compliant virtual currency products that allow businesses to accept payments both online and in retail stores.

Jimmy Nguyen, Founding President of the bCommerce Association, commented: “As somebody who has used Coinify personally, I think it’s a huge step forward in the development of BSV that such a respected payment portal has added the original Bitcoin to its portfolio.

He added: “Of course, it also means it will be much easier for sales teams to offer ‘flick of the switch’ BSV solutions to online merchants.”

Coinify’s CEO and co-founder, Mark Højgaard stated: “Virtual currencies need to have widespread merchant adoption to really ignite on a mainstream level, and we believe that the simplicity and flexibility of our payment product range makes this possible. Adding BSV as a virtual currency helps us ensure we have the most comprehensive range of options for both merchant and customer.”

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Coinme Now Offers the Ability to Buy Bitcoin at Coinstar Kiosks

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“We’re excited to team up with Coinstar to give consumers a convenient and easy way to buy Bitcoin during the course of their daily routines,” said Neil Bergquist, Coinme Cofounder, and CEO. “Bitcoin is now accessible at your local grocery store via Coinstar kiosks, and this offering will make it even easier for consumers to participate in this dynamic new economy.”

Founded in 2014, Coinme was the first state-licensed Bitcoin ATM company in the U.S. and now handles millions of dollars (USD) in transactions each month. The company is deploying a global crypto ATM network and also offers a vertically-integrated digital wallet and Private-Client services for individuals and institutions.

“Coinstar is always looking for new ways to offer value to our consumers when they visit our kiosks, and Coinme’s innovative delivery mechanism along with Coinstar’s flexible platform makes it possible for consumers to easily purchase Bitcoin with cash,” commented Jim Gaherity, Coinstar CEO.

Coinstar owns and operates over 20,000 fully automated self-service coin-counting kiosks in nine countries, with thousands in the U.S. market that can be enabled to accept Bitcoin transactions.

There are just four simple steps to purchase Bitcoin at a Coinstar kiosk, powered by Coinme:

  1. Go to a select Coinstar kiosk, touch “Buy Bitcoin,” review and accept the transaction terms, and enter your phone number.
  2. Insert U.S. paper money into the cash acceptor (any amount up to $2,500).
  3. Receive a voucher with a Bitcoin redemption code.
  4. Visit www.coinme.com/redeem to create a Coinme account or sign in to your existing account to claim your Bitcoin.

Only U.S. cash is accepted for purchase, and coins cannot be used for Bitcoin transactions. To find a kiosk location, visit www.coinme.com/kiosks or www.coinstar.com.

To learn more, visit www.coinme.com/coinstar and www.coinstar.com/bitcoin.

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Taiwan Indicts Bitcoin Traders for Violations of Banking Act

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Seven people who were arrested on June 13, last year, for allegedly operating a fraudulent cryptocurrency investment scheme were officially charged with violating multiple banking and business related laws on Friday, according to prosecutors.

Although the Bitcoin investment scheme would have been in violation of the law even if successful, the scheme in question was also a fraud that promised investors large-yield returns of up to 355 percent after a year of investment in the cryptocurrency, prosecutors pointed out.

However, most investors did not see any returns after February 2018 and returns stopped altogether after April 24 the same year, prosecutors said.

Among the seven charged, a 47-year-old man surnamed Lin (林), established an office in Taichung’s West District to attract investors from Taiwan and China, according to the indictment filed by Taichung District Prosecutors Office.

Lin attracted investment from Fuzhou, Shanghai and Wuxi cities, as well as Pingtan County in Fujian Province, the indictment showed.

Since October 2016, the group has attracted about US$51 million in investment, the Investigation Bureau under the Ministry of Justice (MJIB) said in June last year, adding that more than 1,000 people in Taiwan have been defrauded.

After examination of witness testimonies, bank accounts and other evidence, Lin and six accomplices were officially charged with violating Taiwan’s Banking and Multi-Level Marketing Supervision acts, according to prosecutors.

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Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates Announces on New Cryptocurrency

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The Executive Committee of the Saudi-Emirati Coordination Council held its first meeting in Abu Dhabi with the participation of all 16 members from both sides to follow up on the execution of the joint initiatives outlined in the Strategy of Resolve.

The strategy includes areas of collaborations and sets forth the joint vision of economic, social and military integration between the two countries.

The committee, headed by Mohammad bin Abdullah Al Gergawi, Minister of Cabinet Affairs and The Future, from the UAE side, and Mohammed bin Mazyad Altwaijri, Minister of Economy and Planning, from the Saudi side, announced the launch of seven strategic initiatives that reflect the bilateral integration in the fields of services and financial markets, tourism, aviation, entrepreneurship, customs and security, among others. The committee is tasked with ensuring the implementation of the joint initiatives.

The Saudi-Emirati alliance is one of the strongest economic alliances in the world. The combined sovereign wealth funds of the Kingdom and the UAE are ranked second in the world. The two countries rank eighth globally in terms of exports of goods and services according to the World Bank data. The market capitalisation of listed companies in the two countries is the 17th globally, and the two countries have an oil reserve accounting for about a quarter of the world’s total stock, which amounts to 24.3 percent.

The seven announced initiatives are: Saudi-Emirati Pilot cryptocurrency The first of its kind joint pilot cryptocurrency was launched during the meeting. The cross-border digital currency will be strictly targeted for banks at an experimental phase with the aim of better understanding the implications of Blockchain technology and facilitating cross-border payments. The virtual currency relies on the use of a distributed database between the central banks and the participating banks from both sides. It seeks to safeguard customer interests, set technology standards and assess cybersecurity risks. The project will also determine the impact of a central currency on monetary policies.

Facilitated flow of traffic at the entry ports This initiative facilitates the flow of traffic at the entry ports between both countries and at customs outlets through the adoption of the fast track system and the application of the “Authorised Economic Operator” framework. The initiative will contribute to smoother operations between customs and commercial establishments, and facilitated trade between the two countries. The number of companies listed in the Authorised Economic Operator is 41 from Saudi Arabia and 40 from the UAE.

Joint platform to support SMEs The establishment of a joint platform that allows registered Saudi and UAE SMEs to benefit from the government procurement allocations from both countries and to compete on terms of reciprocity on federal government procurements.

Financial Awareness Programme for Children The Financial Awareness Programme for Children aims to promote the basic financial concepts youngsters between 7 and 18 years old. The programme will enable them to simulate the business world to learn about saving and smart spending, as well as understand the culture of entrepreneurship through customised training courses.

A joint exercise to test the supply security system The joint training exercise is aimed at testing the supply chain security systems in the vital sectors of the two countries during a crisis or natural disasters, and to identify the points of improvement and develop an implementation plan accordingly. The joint exercise will contribute to building a mechanism for direct communication and control of risks between the relevant units in both countries during emergency times, as well as the sharing of expertise, knowledge and experience on supply chain security and risk management.

Enhancing the travel experience of People of Determination The initiative seeks to enhance the experience of travellers from the People of Determination category by ensuring the compliance of disabled-friendly airports in both countries. The initiative will also standardise travel procedures and regulations for accompanying members. Other elements outlined in the initiative include the training of airport crew to implement adequate standards that guarantees People of Determinations all their rights.

Common Market for Civil Aviation The Saudi-Emirati common market for civil aviation aims to achieve comprehensive integration and cooperation in the civil aviation sector in vital areas including air navigation, safety and security, and investigation of air accidents. The common aviation market is considered to be an advanced stage of economic integration as both countries combined have the largest economies in the region.

During the meeting, the Joint Supply Chained Security Cooperation Programme was signed between the Kingdom and the UAE. Saif Sultan Mubarak Al-Ariani, Secretary General of the Supreme Council for National Security, signed on behalf of the National Emergency, Crisis and Disaster Management Authority in the UAE, and Mohammed Al Tuwaijri, Minister of Economy and Planning on behalf of the National Risk Unit in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The programme aims to enhance the coordination in the areas of security and safety and to enhance readiness in cases of crises and disasters.

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Huobi Japan Opens Fully Licensed Exchange

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Huobi Group is proud to announce that, thanks to its merger with BitTrade, Huobi Japan has relaunched itself as a fully regulated exchange under Japan’s Financial Services Agency (FSA).

“This is an important milestone for us,” said Leon Li, Huobi Group Founder and CEO. “Firstly, because the Japanese market is a very important one to us and, secondly, because working with regulators is a longstanding priority for Huobi Group. We’re proud to say that Huobi Japan now has one of the first 17 licenses issued under the FSA’s ground-breaking regulatory regime.”

“We are extremely pleased to once again be offering our services to the Japanese trading public,” said Huobi Japan CEO Haiteng Chen. “We’re looking to continue to grow our presence here while offering top-notch digital asset trading services in Japan.”

Huobi Japan currently offers Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), Bitcoin Cash (BCH), Litecoin (LTC), Ripple (XRP), and Monacoin (MONA) – all with the stability and safety that Huobi is well known for. In addition to 24/7 customer service by email and a dedicated and highly qualified team ensuring its operation and security around the clock, the Huobi Japan exchange features specialized distributed architecture, a Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack countermeasures system, and A+ ranked SSL certification (the highest available).

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Bitcoin Whales Resurfacing May Mean Rough Seas Are Ahead for Traders

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Overlooked amid a resumption of digital-asset market volatility is a resurgence of activity by anonymous owners of long-dormant Bitcoin accounts that suggests more dramatic price swings lie ahead. Starting in October, a large number of holders who hadn’t touched their Bitcoins for between six months and more than 2-1/2 years began moving their coins, according to analytics provider Flipside Crypto. The trend has continued since the start of the new year, with so-called digital wallets that have been active in the last 30 days now holding about 60 percent of the circulating supply, the Boston-based firm found.

“It’s definitely a big shift,” Eric Stone, head of data science at Flipside, said in an interview. “There’s more potential than usual for price swings.”

The supply of active Bitcoins has risen 40 percent since last summer, according Stone. Similar wallet activity preceded large price swings in 2015 and 2017. Two years ago, the uptick foreshadowed the surge that took the coin’s price to a record high of almost $20,000 toward the end of the year. Bitcoin has since slumped to around $3,650.

The concentration of ownership is what makes the activity so potentially market moving. Often referred to in the industry as whales, about 1,000 addresses control 85 percent of all Bitcoins, and include many early investors that have remained relatively inactive during the stratospheric price surge and collapse of the past two years.

“We’ve definitely seen that many long-time holders of Bitcoin are becoming active,” said David Balter, chief executive officer of Flipside.

“The fact that those wallets have been recently active leads us to believe they could soon be active again,” Stone said. “Put another way: We have no reason to expect them to remain stagnant for another 2-plus years.”

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Virtual Currencies To Go Down as ‘Load of Nonsense,” Says ECB’s Hansson

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Crypto currencies will probably die as a “complete load of nonsense,” according to European Central Bank policy maker Ardo Hansson.

“The bubble has already started to collapse and maybe we should just see how far this collapse goes, and what is left when we’ve reached a new kind of equilibrium,” the Estonian central-bank governor told a conference in the Latvian capital of Riga. “I think we will come back a few years from now and say how could we ever have gotten into this situation where we believed this kind of a fairy-tale story.”

Still, Hansson warned that authorities may need to focus on investor-protection aspects “if grandmothers start investing in that,” and highlighted concerns that crypto currencies can be used for illegal activities. Financial-stability issues may arise if links between virtual assets and the regulated financial sector are starting to increase, he added.

While Hansson has voiced similar views earlier, the country’s financial watchdog warned recently that it views companies providing services linked to crypto assets as a new source of money-laundering risks. The nation’s police issued almost 500 licenses to crypto-currency exchange providers in a year, and more than 440 licenses to companies offering a wallet service. A frontrunner in digital services, Estonia is still reeling following the $235 billion dirty-money scandal that has engulfed the country’s branch of Danske Bank A/S.

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Bitcoin Mining Chip Maker Canaan Considers U.S. IPO

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Canaan Inc., China’s second-biggest maker of Bitcoin mining hardware, is considering listing in the U.S. after shelving plans for a Hong Kong initial public offering, people with knowledge of the matter said.

The Chinese company, which was earlier targeting to raise about $1 billion, is discussing the possibility of selling shares in New York as soon as the first half, according to the people. Deliberations are at an early stage, and there’s no certainty they will lead to a transaction, the people said, asking not to be identified because the information is private.

Bitcoin has fallen 79 percent from its record high in December 2017, making it more difficult for cryptocurrency companies to attract stock-market investors and less profitable for miners to generate new coins. Bitmain Technologies Holding Co., the largest maker of specialized mining chips for the industry, and smaller rival Ebang International Holdings Inc. also filed for Hong Kong IPOs last year.

Beijing-based Canaan, founded in 2013, sells computer equipment under the “Avalon” brand with fast customized chips that win digital coins by solving complex math problems. It reported 1.31 billion yuan ($191 million) of revenue in 2017, according to a Hong Kong exchange filing in May.

Morgan Stanley, Deutsche Bank AG, Credit Suisse Group AG and CMB International Capital Ltd. were joint sponsors of Canaan’s proposed Hong Kong listing, the filing shows.

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Paytomat Adds Bitcoin Diamond (BCD) to Supported Currencies

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Bitcoin Diamond

Bitcoin Diamond (BCD) will be the newest addition to Paytomat’s point-of-sale (POS), wallet, and settlement system (including both crypto-to-crypto and crypto-to-fiat settlements). This follows the November 2018 announcement of BCD & Paytomat’s collaboration to release the BCD Pay Wallet for iOS and Android, due for release in January 2019.

Paytomat has a rapidly growing user base across Europe, with presence in countries such as GeorgiaItalySpain and the Netherlands, in addition to its native Ukraine. BCD and Paytomat’s partnership will help to increase BCD’s accessibility and usability in many areas of the world, making this an important milestone for BCD’s path to mass-market adoption.

Known for its fast transactions, low fees, high security, and affordable coin prices, BCD is designed to make everyday transactions practical. Now that Paytomat has added BCD to its ready-to-install cryptocurrency point-of-sale system, any e-commerce or brick-and-mortar business can also accept BCD as payment with minimal effort and initial investment.

Furthering its mission of adoption, BCD is also being added to the Paytomat Wallet, a convenient multi-coin tool that allows for storage and management of assets all in one secure app. Customers can now hold BCD and other crypto assets all in one place and make instant payments at their selected stores, while receiving current fiat value updates for each crypto.

BCD and Paytomat share a goal of bridging the gap between retail and cryptocurrency. With the practicality of BCD and convenience of Paytomat’s suite of technologies, accepting cryptocurrency payments is quickly becoming a reality for a large number of traditional and e-commerce merchants around the world.

In 2019, BCD aims to continue establishing partnerships with leading cryptocurrency organizations to increase brand awareness and encourage adoption.

About Bitcoin Diamond (BCD)

Bitcoin Diamond is a Bitcoin fork that was created to solve the slow transaction confirmations and high threshold requirements of Bitcoin. Through BCD Pay, business owners are able to offer their products to a global market without needing to absorb expensive fees from international payments. Furthermore, with BCD Pay, business owners do not have to worry about costly chargebacks from indecisive or fraudulent customers.

Earlier this year, BCD debuted BCD Bazaar, an international marketplace that gives customers access to a wide range of products from across the world by accepting payments in Bitcoin Diamond (BCD) or Bitcoin (BTC).

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Irish Government Gives Green Light to Anti-money Laundering Bill

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Irish Government has approved tougher laws to tackle money laundering, including the use of cryptocurrencies in funding terrorism. The main purpose of the Criminal Justice (Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing) (Amendment) Bill 2019 is to give effect to the fifth EU money laundering directive and strengthen existing legislation.

The proposed law includes restrictions on the use of “virtual currencies for terrorist financing and limiting the use of pre-paid cards” and improves safeguards for financial transactions to and from “high-risk third countries”.

If the Bill passes, banks and other financial institutions will be required to carry out stricter due diligence before taking on new clients. Credit and financial institutions will also be prevented from creating anonymous safe deposit boxes.

The Bill also gives new powers to the Garda and the Criminal Assets Bureau to access bank records when investigating money laundering.

“The reality is that money laundering is a crime that helps serious criminals and terrorists to function, destroying lives in the process,” Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan said in a statement on Thursday.

“Criminals seek to exploit the EU’s open borders and EU-wide measures are vital for that reason. Ireland strongly supports the provisions in the fifth EU money laundering directive. ‘’

The Minister said the Government is building “a very robust legal framework and further developing vital expertise within An Garda Síochána.

“My message to criminals is clear: those engaging in corruption or money laundering in Ireland will not get away with their crimes.”

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