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Notorious Cryptocurrency Scams and How to Avoid Them

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Cryptocurrency thefts, scams hit $1.7 billion in 2018 according to Reuters new York

People lost their Cryptocurrencies after it was stolen from exchanges and after being scammed  which was a massive increase of more than 400 per cent from the figures recorded In 2017 to about $1.7 billion, according to a report from U.S.-based cybersecurity firm CipherTrace

The growth of blockchain and cryptocurrency over the past nine years has changed the way the world looks at transactions and this has made a massive attraction for scammers and criminal who have tweaked their schemes to suit cryptocurrency making people run into heavy losses. There move has to be aided with the fact that Cryptocurrencies are decentralised virtual peer-to-peer currencies. This means that the currency exists online only and is not controlled by a bank, treasury or country, making it free from regulation and government over sight.

Whether or not you believe cryptocurrency is the “IT”, we can both agree to the fact that frantic investments attract crafty individuals seeking to prey on trader greed. That is, the prospect of quick riches can blind some people to the risks and enable crooks to lure them into scams with dubious products and services. Here are some of the most notorious cryptocurrency scams and how to avoid them.

  • Social media give away fraud

Anyone can be prey to hackers, even legitimate coin issuers. Sometimes notable figures in the crypto space such as Vitalik Buterin or Andreas Antonopoulos, and many others that offer giveaways are impersonated. You cannot trust Facebook or Twitter accounts, especially unverified accounts. If a person claims to belong to an ICO or to be its founder, think twice before you reply to their offer or make a contribution. Whenever you read “Send 2 or 3 ETH to this address and receive up to 20 ETH in return”, that is a pure scam. Crypto is money and nobody is giving away good money for free. If someone is truly promising you a tenfold reward, be realistic – it is too good to be true? Before you actually send money to the person, make sure the source is real and trustworthy. You could also look through the company’s website, read comments about it from reliable sources, and, most importantly, try to make contact with real employees on Telegram or other social media channels to figure out what is truly going on.

  1. Fake Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs)

ICOs are a means of raising funds for newly launched cryptocurrencies. Investors in ICOs receive tokens in the new cryptocurrency. Over the past year, Investors have pushed billions of dollars into more than 1,000 ICOs. While many ICOs are legitimate, a large number have no real business plans or technology behind them. In a recent study, 80% of the ICOs conducted in 2017 were described as scams. The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) recently filed fraud charges against two ICOs, stating that they were sold on the basis of fraudulent claims. China has also banned the sale of ICOs, and many individuals familiar with fraud have described Initial Coin Offerings as the biggest scam ever. Fake ICO scams can be found here.

  1. Fake websites

Phishing attacks are very common cryptocurrency scams. The main strategy is imitating popular exchanges by purchasing web domains and Google ads. This fake website may look similar to the original, but once you type in your credentials, it directs you to a special platform to proceed with your contribution. Fake webpages can be identified by the appearance of tiny dots beneath the URL characters. Also, the absence of “Secure” and “https” markers before the website’s URL can be a warning sign of a fake site. It is often advised to type the exchange URL directly into the address bar yourself. Also, ensure you enable some sort of multifactor authentication for all your accounts. This may seem too much, but adequate security demands extra measures.

  1. Ad scams

We should take caution of ads leading to phishing sites. Recent examples of such ads include Google Ads to cloned exchanges and Reddit ads to Trezor hardware wallet sale offers. Its common practice to always bookmark the legitimate URL and not to visit other URLs even if they look similar. Chrome extensions like Metamask block phishing sites.

  1. Fraudulent Emails

Scammers often send emails announcing fake ICOs, enabling them to steal a significant amount of money. It is not quite difficult to impersonate a real cryptocurrency issuer, it’s important to have this in mind and remain sceptical of emails concerning ICO.

If you do receive any of such email, pull up any previous emails received from the company and compare the layout and signatures. Also, be on the lookout for grammatical errors and ensure that the email address has been verified by the official website.

Finally

Your approach to the security of your investment will determine your success in it, as there are a lot of ways cryptocurrency can benefit your business as long as you proceed with a reasonable degree of scepticism and care. Despite the growing number of fraudulent projects, there are numerous prestigious projects and groups that make investing in cryptocurrency worthwhile. It is a surety that fraud is prevalent wherever big money is involved, and these scammers tend to use more or less the same tricks, each adapted to fit new scenarios.

Thus whenever you are visiting a new website, see something that looks too good to be true, or you are accessing information using your private details, be cautious.

Security measures are fundamental: Trust only authentic websites and cryptocurrency exchanges, and be suspicious of crypto mobile apps and all emails promoting an ICO.

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Renowned Basketball Team Owner says that he Sees Bitcoin and Gold as the same.

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A billionaire and owner and owner of the Dallas Mavericks professional basketball team Mark Cuban, had issued a statement saying that be dislikes hold as a form of investment and basically sees Bitcoin and Gold as the same thing.

Cuban had said this in an interview with Kitco News on August 9. He also made reference to the Bitcoins as having a definite supply which in his view was awesome and adds more to its value.

 

“They’re both collectables. The value is based off supply and demand. And the good news about Bitcoin is there’s a finite supply that’ll ever be created.”

 

He expressed his deeply rooted prejudice for the precious metal while and expressed totally, his view of it. He specifically said that:

 

“Hate with extreme prejudice is not enough. Hate with double-extreme prejudice with an ounce of hot sauce.”

 

Gold Vs digital gold

It is still unclear how the term “digital gold” which refers to Bitcoin had gained this much recognition in the space. However going back in time in a bid to retrace its origin, we could legitimately make reference to a time when The New York Times journalist Nathaniel Popper published his book “Digital Gold” back in 2015. And seeing that Bitcoin had successfully rivalled the precious metal, the name stuck.

We could see now that in 2019, the response has been seen by experts as to whether or not they should Bitcoin should be seen as Gold o the digital world. The head of communications at the Zcash Foundation, Sonya Mann, made reference to its finite supply as well as demand and supply factor, from her remark it had seemed that she happens to be more optimistic about the digital currency than Cuban:

“Bitcoin is deflationary by nature, due to the capped 21 million supply and the clever incentive structure that has reliably safeguarded its inviolability. The emergent order governing Bitcoin, as both a software product and a phenomenon, is undeniably path-dependent, attributable in large part to Satoshi Nakamoto’s design decisions. There is no guarantee that BTC will increase in value, but past trends and the underlying supply-demand dynamics suggest that it’s a reasonable long-term prediction.” She had said.

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The Key Roles Asset Diversification plays in the World of Cryptocurrencies

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It is more common today to find crypto-asset holders who have little or no idea on how to diversify their portfolios. Diversification is very important if you are to develop a winning cryptocurrency portfolio. Over the years many people have failed as crypto traders because they do not have a real strategy. For something as highly volatile as cryptocurrencies, investors shouldn’t be without a good diversification plan.

How to best to diversify your cryptocurrency portfolio

For the sake of precision, in this article, we’ll be talking about a few distinct approaches to diversifying your cryptocurrency portfolio and grow your assets. Basically, we’ll be covering the following methods;

  1. Proper allocation of your assets
  2. Taking advantage of Proof of Stake protocol and Master nodes
  3. Investing in cryptocurrency banks to earn interest
  4. Trading cryptocurrencies on Exchanges

Proper asset allocation

In order to enhance diversification, it is important to invest in a vast variety of cryptocurrency assets. There is an old saying that is quite popular “any man who plans to succeed does not put all his eggs in one basket”. One of the biggest issues in asset allocation is knowing to choose which cryptocurrencies to invest in and how to spread your investment across each one of them. Some of the questions that pop up when we are faced with these issues are, “Which crypto-assets should I invest in?”, “where should I put more of my money in A or B”?. In as much as this can turn out to be a huge setback, it is more advisable to invest a larger ratio of your assets into large-capital cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum because they are more stable. These assets tend to retain value better when the market dips. Small-town coins are less stable, but they are also great for growth. Your portfolio can receive a huge boost if you pick the right coin, but it could also receive a big blow if you make a bad choice. You can diversify your portfolio by spreading your risk across multiple small-town and limiting your exposure to them.

Taking advantage of proof of stake and masternodes

In the early days of blockchain advancement, most cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum made use of the Proof of Work protocol (PoW), but recently, newer cryptocurrencies are beginning to adopt the Proof of Stake (PoS) protocol. This is because PoS doesn’t require specialized hardware as PoW does and it uses a relatively lower amount of electricity. It is much easier to get started with PoS because all you need is a significant number of coins to begin staking. You only need to acquire the minimum amount of coins and run a wallet capable of staking. After a specified period of time, you’ll start generating rewards that will be deposited into your wallet.

Masternodes, on the other hand, can provide better rewards than staking, but they require more resources and time. You’ll likely need to purchase a VPS to host the node and setting them up is not always straightforward because it might require some technical know-how.

It is pretty easy to get started with staking and it’s much easier to make sure you’ll generate a profit than with hardware mining.

Investing in cryptocurrency banks to earn interest

It is no longer new knowledge that there are cryptocurrency banks out there. Although they may not have physical locations like traditional banks, they still offer pretty much the same services a traditional bank would offer.

Cryptocurrency banks are relatively new establishments that will pay you a regular amount of interest for holding your assets with them. It is basically a virtual bank for virtual money. One of the advantages of having crypto banks as part of your diversification strategy is that it’s totally hands-off. The bank does almost everything for you, and then you simply receive your interest in your account.

For those who want to grow their crypto assets without having to deal with the stress of day to day trading on Exchanges, crypto banks are the best option. Crypto banking is one of the few ways to earn cryptocurrencies passively. It works pretty much the same way as HODLing, but you’ll get interested in it.

Trading cryptocurrencies on exchanges

The first thing that comes to mind when people talk about cryptocurrency investing is usually trading on Exchanges (although it is the last on my list). Many people do not have what it takes to trade cryptocurrencies on Exchanges. It is very easy to let sentiments get in the way and this is where you need an iron will to keep you from making costly errors like panic selling or even panic buying into an unwise investment.

Every crypto trader also needs to be aware of the troubles lurking in the trading market, like the many unscrupulous pump and dump groups looking to take your money through misrepresentation and deceit.

If you develop good trading skills and apply smart money growing strategies, you may find exchange trading can be interesting. The constant ups and downs of the cryptocurrency market provide many opportunity windows to make profit. One way to take advantage of the volatility of cryptocurrency is to trade on more than one exchange.

Your Asset is your responsibility

Above all, it is important to know that you are the sole custodian of your own funds when it comes to crypto investments this means you are responsible for the safety of your funds. You shouldn’t keep all your assets in one wallet to prevent theft and cyber hacks, and extra care should be made to carefully choose which exchanges and cryptocurrency platforms to trust with your money.

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Coinbase Expands Its Custody Business As It Acquires Xapo’s Institutional Business

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Image: coinbase

US Cryptocurrency Exchange Coinbase had announced in a blog post few hours ago of the acquisition of Xapo’s institutional business as it expands its crypto custody business. According to Coinbase, the “acquisition caps off a tremendous period of growth and innovation for Coinbase Custody”.

Coinbaase Custody has been able to grow to over $7 billion in custody stored on behalf of over 100 clients in more than a dozen countries. Making it the largest, most globally recognized and most trusted institutional custodian in the world.

According to Coinbase, the goal is to build a “trusted foundation for institutional investment in Bitcoin BTC and crypto assets in general.”

Xapo was founded to address two of the biggest issues with Bitcoin’s success and adoption—accessibility and security. And in less than 4 years it’s become the largest custodian of the cryptocurrency, securing over $10 Billion for its members, according to its website

Xapo’s Institutions was built specifically for the needs of businesses and financial institutions. It provides the same advanced security of Xapo’s industry-leading, secure bitcoin storage platform but with the flexibility needed to organize and manage your corporate accounts with ease.”

 

Based in San Francisco, Coinbase was founded in mid of 2012 as a digital wallet and platform where merchants and consumers can exchange digital currencies such as Bitcoin, Ethereum etc. It currently operates across over 50 countries of the world with a record of about 30 million users trading over $150 billion.

According to Coinbase, this is a legacy they will extend and bring to another step closer to achieving its mission.

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