BitInfoBot Report 2020-07-26 — Hive

BitInfoBot Report 2020-07-26 — Hive

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Apex Crypto News - How Billion-Dollar Crypto Scams Lure Victims

Apex Crypto News – How Billion-Dollar Crypto Scams Lure Victims

In the past week, reports emerged that some key members of the Onecoin scam were found dead in Mexico.

According to reports, the two Oscar Brito Ibarra and Ignacio Ibarra may have been kidnapped and murdered but the motives behind their murder is unclear.

Onecoin is one of the biggest cryptocurrency Ponzi schemes that creamed off billions from victims even as reports emerged that it was a scam. has extensively covered the story of Onecoin.

While increasing awareness about cryptocurrencies helps to reduce the chances of people falling for scams, it seems this alone may not be enough.

Sophisticated criminals are still able to package scams that will deceive even the smartest investors or individuals that should “know better.”

Besides Onecoin, there a few more crypto scams that took billions from victims. This article looks at some of the biggest crypto Ponzi schemes and how they lured millions without getting caught.

Billion-dollar crypto scams

In 2019 authorities in China apprehended individuals behind Plus Token as they took down one of the biggest crypto Ponzi schemes seen in Asia yet. Reports in the Chinese media suggest Plus Token promoters may have defrauded as much as $3 billion from unsuspecting investors.

A blockchain analysis firm, Chainalysis corroborates the media reports although it settles for $2 billion as the total amount stolen. Chainalysis claims it tracked a total of about 180,000 bitcoin, 6,400,000 ethereum, 111,000 tether and 53 omisego.

Either figure still makes Plus Token one of the biggest crypto scam to date. Although the Ponzi outfit exit scammed, some the stolen funds are still stationed in wallets associated with the scheme, presumably waiting to be cashed out.

In June, reports surfaced that funds associated with Plus Token were moving to exchanges.

Another billion-dollar scam that stole funds from investors is Bitconnect. It is said that in just over a year, the scam had managed to propel itself from an obscure ICO to a crypto project valued at $2.6 billion.

Despite this, Bitconnect still had content with the ignominy of being labeled a scam even at its heyday. Still, promoters undeterred went on to create a media platform to counter negative stories that were circulating.

Finally, after facing relentless media scrutiny as well as growing pressure from regulators, Bitconnect abruptly shut down in January 2018. It blamed the “bad press” for its troubles. Investors lost savings.

Common methods used by scammers

The three billion dollar scams used methods commonly employed by typical large scale Ponzi schemes. Firstly, criminals prey on two inherent human flaws, greed, and lust for “easy” money.

For example, Bitconnect managed to keep new investors coming on board because it promised a rate of return of 0.25% per day.

While this promise might look surreal, it is also true that investors like “passive incomes” that reward with a high return on equity. Many did join and became affiliates of Bitconnect.

Ordinarily, a potential investor must conduct a due diligence exercise and the necessary research before committing to investing.

So while it may seem logical to invest in something that one understands, the reality is scammers count on people not doing any research.

Scammers know that the promise of a “significant return” is enough to attract hordes of new investors. Logic is usually sacrificed.

In-person meetups and crypto education campaigns

Meanwhile, the Plus Token scam, which also used similar tactics to seduce millions of unsuspecting investors, went a step further.

According to a report by Chainalysis, the scam’s ringleaders went the extra mile in their efforts to portray the scam as a legitimate investment business.

For example, Plus Token hosted several in-person meet-ups educating attendees on the company and cryptocurrency as a whole. It also took out ads in supermarkets and other physical spaces.

The Plus Token app itself was another marketing channel.

Perhaps the most brazen act by one member of the Plus Token team has to be the use of photos that feature Prince Charles of England, to bolster the public perception of the scam.

The use of prominent figures is indeed a growing tactic used by other scammers to woo new investors. The recent Twitter donation scam used a tactic known as trust trading to steal funds from unsuspecting individuals.

Supporting the notion that scammers prey on the lure of “high returns and zero risks” is Dmytro Volkov, CTO at

The lure of exceptionally high returns is enough to make investors ignore any negative reports about an investment opportunity they may have heard. In fact, it matters little that the organization in question has been flagged by regulators. As long as it promises big, investors will not be concerned.

Volkov gives an example of Onecoin which appears to be active despite the high profile arrests and court cases that made global headlines.

“Sometimes people even take risks deliberately, despite realizing that there is a danger of dealing with scammers. This is because the potential profit, as they see it, is worth it,” Volkov points out.

Aggressive recruitment of new affiliates

Multilevel marketing (MLM) is another strategy that is common with the three giant Ponzi schemes.

Marketers will shill the business opportunity and aggressively recruit new affiliates. Lies and misrepresentations are employed to entice investors to join. Social media channels are also used to recruit new affiliates.

Incoming affiliates are heavily encouraged to recruit soft targets like friends or family members.

That is how Aniekan Fyneface, crypto, and blockchain blogger from Nigeria, joined an infamous Ponzi scheme. Fyneface says he lost all his investment when the MMM Ponzi scheme collapsed in Nigeria.

Fyneface explains that in times of economic recessions, Ponzi schemes such as MMM and Onecoin were seen as legitimate income sources by many Nigerians. This perhaps explains the high number of people that still join Ponzi scams in that country.

However, Fyneface is also convinced that greed is a factor.

Associating legitimate cryptos with scams

In the meantime, Fyneface reveals another tactic employed by MMM scammers to lure unsuspecting victims.

“It is important to note that as bad as MMM was in Nigeria, it gave me and many Nigerians our first exposure to bitcoin. People were able to provide help with not only the Nigeria Naira but they could this with bitcoin which is denominated in US dollars,” explains Fyneface.

Associating scams with financial innovations helps to mask any telltale signs that might give away the con. MMM’s association with bitcoin helped to keep the scam going much longer.

Unless investors start learning these common tactics there will be no shortage of new scam victims.

What other methods do scammers use to lure new victims? Tell us your views in the comments section below.

Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only. It is not a direct offer or solicitation of an offer to buy or sell, or a recommendation or endorsement of any products, services, or companies. does not provide investment, tax, legal, or accounting advice. Neither the company nor the author is 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 this article.


Wings Price Tops $0.10 on Exchanges (WINGS)

Wings Price Tops $0.10 on Exchanges (WINGS)

Wings logoWings (CURRENCY:WINGS) traded 19.8% higher against the U.S. dollar during the one day period ending at 18:00 PM ET on July 25th. One Wings token can currently be bought for about $0.10 or 0.00001077 BTC on major cryptocurrency exchanges. Wings has a total market capitalization of $10.14 million and $654,586.00 worth of Wings was traded on exchanges in the last day. During the last seven days, Wings has traded 81.3% higher against the U.S. dollar.

Here is how similar cryptocurrencies have performed during the last day:

  • Coin (CRO) traded 1.9% higher against the dollar and now trades at $0.15 or 0.00001553 BTC.
  • Huobi Token (HT) traded up 1.2% against the dollar and now trades at $4.25 or 0.00043860 BTC.
  • Acash Coin (ACA) traded up 0% against the dollar and now trades at $0.0789 or 0.00000864 BTC.
  • Maker (MKR) traded 0.9% higher against the dollar and now trades at $520.37 or 0.05375990 BTC.
  • Ampleforth (AMPL) traded 12.7% higher against the dollar and now trades at $2.62 or 0.00027087 BTC.
  • Aave (LEND) traded 1.2% lower against the dollar and now trades at $0.30 or 0.00003143 BTC.
  • Basic Attention Token (BAT) traded 1.1% higher against the dollar and now trades at $0.26 or 0.00002706 BTC.
  • IOStoken (IOST) traded down 0.3% against the dollar and now trades at $0.0396 or 0.00000526 BTC.
  • What cryptocurrency will become the main one in a year?
  • OKB (OKB) traded up 1.3% against the dollar and now trades at $5.51 or 0.00056935 BTC.
  • Kyber Network (KNC) traded 0.4% higher against the dollar and now trades at $1.57 or 0.00016218 BTC.
  • Wings Token Profile

    WINGS is a token. Its launch date was April 25th, 2017. Wings’ total supply is 100,000,000 tokens and its circulating supply is 97,259,638 tokens. The Reddit community for Wings is /r/WingsDAO. Wings’ official Twitter account is @wingsplatform and its Facebook page is accessible here. The official website for Wings is

    Buying and Selling Wings

    Wings can be purchased on these cryptocurrency exchanges: . It is usually not currently possible to buy alternative cryptocurrencies such as Wings directly using US dollars. Investors seeking to trade Wings should first buy Ethereum or Bitcoin using an exchange that deals in US dollars such as Coinbase, GDAX or Gemini. Investors can then use their newly-acquired Ethereum or Bitcoin to buy Wings using one of the aforementioned exchanges.

    Receive News & Updates for Wings Daily – Enter your email address below to receive a concise daily summary of the latest news and updates for Wings and related cryptocurrencies with’s FREE CryptoBeat newsletter.


    Author: Justin Carski

    For Some Reason, Wash Trading Happens on Decentralized Exchanges Too

    For Some Reason, Wash Trading Happens on Decentralized Exchanges Too

    Decentralized exchanges are generally liked for their transparency and lack of custody, reducing the trust requirements in their operators.

    Many centralized exchanges have been caught in a peculiar type of manipulation used to inflate their trading volumes. This was first highlighted by the Bitwise Report released in March 2019, which analyzed trading patterns on some of the platforms to conclude that up to 95% of reported Bitcoin trading volume at the time was essentially fake.

    One of the ways to inflate volume is the practice of wash trading, where a single entity acts as both the maker and taker of an order, essentially trading with itself. While wash trading mostly just benefits the exchange by inflating its reported statistics, incentive schemes like transaction fee mining have been used by some exchanges to reward users for wash trading.

    While self-custody is an important value proposition for DEXes, being based on a blockchain ensures transparency in how the exchanges operate. Every trade is generally recorded in a public database, which makes it easy to detect misbehavior.

    It may come as a surprise then that some DEXes are seeing quite obvious wash trading occur on their platforms.

    The decentralized exchange launched by Binance has at least one pair with fairly easy to detect wash trading.

    The token of the Binance-backed project Travala (AVA) is one of the highest volume pairs for Binance’s token BNB.

    An initial clue into wash trading is its volume chart. One of the tactics used by Bitwise to detect fake volume were their detailed patterns. Normally, tokens will have wild volume spikes between low and high volatility periods, with clearly identifiable peaks as prices move strongly in a particular direction. 

    On AVA/BNB, volume is uniformly high when volatility is low, while during price spikes it actually drops, instead of rising.

    AVA/BNB chart on Binance DEX

    But since it is a decentralized exchange, conclusive proof of the wash trading can be obtained through the block explorer. For example, two accounts can be seen placing orders every minute for about 5 to 30 BNB each, or about $80 to $550. Since the orders are for the exact same amounts and are delayed by at most a few seconds, it is very likely that they accounts are owned by the same entity.

    These two wallets are responsible for about 18,000 BNB ($316,000) of 24 hour volume, out of a reported total of slightly less than 30,000 BNB ($500,000).

    When contacted, a Binance spokesperson told Cointelegraph:

    “Binance DEX is a decentralized platform. Binance has no control on the order flow, in the same way as no one can control the order flow into Uniswap. It is also a transparent network as the link is evidence. We stand with the community to denounce any market manipulation.”

    While the perpetrator could be anyone, it remains unclear why someone would perform wash trading on a platform without any benefit to themselves. Binance did not answer specific questions on what the possible motivation could be. It is worth noting that other pairs on the DEX do not seem to be affected by wash trading.

    On the zkRollup-based DEX Loopring, the wash trading is even easier to see. The platform seems to be allowing the same wallet address to act as both the maker and taker of an exchange transaction.

    The latest snapshot of its trades, captured by Dune Analytics, shows how the majority of the transactions are done by a few wallets trading various assets with themselves, a clear sign of wash trading.

    Loopring DEX transactions

    Loopring DEX transactions. Source: DuneAnalytics

    In an email conversation with Cointelegraph, Loopring’s head of business development, Matthew Finestone, acknowledged the issue, noting that “there is occurrence of self-trading.”

    He explained that there are a variety of actors who may be interested in doing wash trading, including Loopring itself:

    “When it’s us, indeed, it is to bootstrap some liquidity – simply create some initial volume to get the ball rolling. That can be to create a line chart for a new pair, or indeed, just to sustain activity, so organic users can come in and feel welcome. When it’s others, it is for a few reasons, but basically to earn rewards!”

    Finestone noted that Loopring has plans to step its own self-trading down but none to prevent others from doing so:

    “Curtailing it when it is others is effectively censorship. It is us imposing our will about what is/isn’t a good trade. That is definitely something we don’t want to do – especially since it is something we CAN do.”

    Loopring is a layer two-based exchange based on zkRollups, where transactions are processed off-chain but are then settled in compressed batches on Ethereum. Finestone noted that such a solution only guarantees self-custody, though “censoring trades is bad business.”

    He added that Loopring often organizes trading competitions and liquidity mining incentives that could spur others to engage in wash trading. Furthermore, he suggested that part of the activity may also come from projects wishing to boost liquidity for their tokens. “In many cases, anecdotally, it is people spinning up their bots and simply testing their strategies,” he concluded.

    Finestone concluded his thoughts by highlighting that wash trading on decentralized exchanges is still different:

    “DEXes are not impervious to wash-trading. Not at all! It is simply the case that they (or whomever) must pay for this act. Trades that settle on Ethereum cannot be spoofed. They really do settle. They really did pay gas.”

    By contrast, there are no guarantees that wash trading done on centralized exchanges pays fees. If it is an exchange itself that organizes it, it could simply manufacture trades at no cost, he explained.

    “In our case, and all DEXes, it was there, it settled, it just wasn’t the economic intent we all may have wished for,” said Finestone.


    Chainlink Brings FX Rates Data From Top Korean Banks to DeFi

    Chainlink Brings FX Rates Data From Top Korean Banks to DeFi

    Chainlink (LINK) is integrating with CenterPrime to bring a foreign exchange, or FX, rate data feed from the Korean banks to the DeFi space.

    CenterPrime, a Hyperledger based project, has access to the Korean open banking API that streams FX rate data from several local banks. According to CenterPrime’s press release, this is a major milestone for the Korean fintech space. They noted:

    Continue Reading on Coin Telegraph

    Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

    Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.


    BitInfoBot Report 2020-07-26 — Hive

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