Čvc 31

Vitalik Buterin: ‘There’s Too Much Emphasis on Bitcoin ETF’

Vitalik Buterin, co-founder of the world’s second largest cryptocurrency by means of market capitalization, Ethereum, noted that the community is placing too much attention towards Bitcoin ETFs. Instead, he reiterated on the importance of creating ways of facilitating smaller, retail investments into the market.


Following the recent Bitcoin ETF saga, the co-founder of Ethereum outlined that the public is placing too much emphasis on cryptocurrency exchange-traded-funds (ETFs), when, instead, the focus should be on making means for smaller investments.

Why Not Both?

Buterin makes the case that Bitcoin ETFs are better for “pumping price,” while offering tools for small-time investments in the cryptocurrency market would streamline quicker actual adoption.

However, it’s also worth noting that by drawing a line of the kind, Buterin is also tapping into the two use cases of the world’s first and foremost cryptocurrency. As some users have pointed out, both BTC and ETH can function as investments and mediums of exchange. As such, a potential ETF would play an important role reinforcing the former, while the means for small-time cryptocurrency purchases would facilitate the latter.

Needless to say, Buterin’s tweet has received a fair amount of attention. The overwhelming majority of people, though, are seemingly sharing the belief that both are equally necessary for the success of the industry, in general.

The Race for Bitcoin ETFs Heats Up

ETFs: a Hot Topic

Bitcoin ETFs have become a widely discussed topic in the past few days. CBOE Global Markets filed an application for a VanEck/SolidX commodity-backed Bitcoin ETF on June 2. As Bitcoinist reported, it has fairly high chances of getting approved. Unfortunately, according to legal expert Jake Chervinsky, the SEC is likely to take its time and come up with a formal decision in early March 2019.

In the meantime, a Winklevoss-proposed rule change was met with swift disapproval from the SEC. The Commission refused to allow the listing of the Winklevoss Bitcoin Trust on the Bats BZX Exchange.

Bitcoin (BTC) 00 has also been quite dynamic. Over the past week, the world’s first and foremost cryptocurrency rallied to a two-month high upwards of $8,300. Following the announcement of the SEC regarding the disapproval of the Winklevoss-backed Bitcoin ETF, the price took a substantial dive, losing over $400 in a matter of minutes. The price has since recovered.

What do you think of Buterin’s opinion on Bitcoin ETFs? Don’t hesitate to let us know in the comments below!


Images courtesy of the Bitcoinist Archives.

Share
Čvc 30

Nasdaq Increases Exchange Customers and Looks to Police Crypto

Nasdaq Inc’s SMARTS trade surveillance technology is now employed by five cryptocurrency exchanges, according to reports. Last week it held a closed-door meeting to help improve the profile of cryptocurrencies in global markets.


According to Bloomberg reporting, Nasdaq Inc recently organized a meeting between its experts and cryptocurrency exchanges. Confirmed in attendance were representatives from Gemini, the exchange launched by Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss in 2016. In April 2018, Gemini contracted Nasdaq Inc in order to utilize its SMARTS trade monitoring technology.

Preventing Market Manipulation

Security and preventing manipulative trading must be key considerations for the Gemini exchange as it helps to provide a market price of bitcoin for Cboe Global’s bitcoin-based futures. Providing tangible price points for bitcoin is a critical consideration in whether the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) take the step from allowing bitcoin-based futures, to finally approving bitcoin-based exchange-traded funds (ETFs).

Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss' Winklevoss Bitcoin Trust, alongside Cboe Global, have had bitcoin-based ETF applications pending with the U.S SEC for most of 2018.

Winklevoss Bitcoin Trust, alongside Cboe Global, have had bitcoin-based ETF applications pending with the U.S SEC for most of 2018. The Winklevoss application has now been rejected twice. Cboe Global has been working hard to answer the U.S SEC’s concerns over the market valuation of bitcoin and its volatility. If the U.S SEC approve a bitcoin-based ETF, in what could be a critical move for cryptocurrency credibility, the Cboe Global ETF is likely to be the first.

More Exchanges Hire Nasdaq

Nasdaq’s SMARTS technology monitors real-time trading activity and raises alerts with the exchange if it discovers unusual trading activity. Bloomberg reports indicate Nasdaq Inc is now working to protect five cryptocurrency exchanges, but Nasdaq is yet to confirm who three of the new customers are. SBI Virtual Currencies is one exchange now also using Nasdaq Inc’s services.

A Nasdaq spokesperson confirmed to Bloomberg that the meeting took place, but not its content or attendees, saying only that future meetings may also be on the agenda. Topics discussed included the future regulation of cryptocurrencies, and what tools and surveillance methods are needed to police cryptocurrency trading effectively.

Nasdaq’s prominence and expertise as a global trading giant means involvement in cryptocurrencies is to be expected. Nasdaq has partnered with DX to offer a powered cryptocurrency exchange which uses some of Nasdaq’s trading platform technology.   

The meeting may have a two-fold effect, increasing Nasdaq’s involvement while also helping to boost the security and credibility of the exchanges seeking input from trading experts.

Will Nasdaq’s involvement boost institutional interest? Tell us your thoughts in the comments below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock

Share
Čvc 29

Binance Partners With Libra Credit to Offer Loans to BNB Holders

Binance Labs has invested in cryptocurrency loans company Libra Credit who will offer fiat and cryptocurrency loans to BNB holders using their coins as collateral. 


The latest venture by the investment arm of the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, Binance, will take advantage of a growing demand for the liquidity of crypto-assets. Binance Labs is a social impact fund which incubates and invests in cryptocurrency and blockchain projects.

Libra Credit is branded as a decentralized digital asset financial services platform, and it has a primary focus on lending. Its initial coin offering (ICO) with the coin (LBA) ended May 5, 2018, having raised $26 million. Libra is planning to launch both a desktop lending platform and a mobile application for borrowers.

Cryptocurrency Loan Market Grows

This latest partnership is one of a growing number of cryptocurrency loan services appearing. The loans enable cryptocurrency investors to use their coins as collateral in the same way as a property is used in conventional borrowing. Lenders can still take advantage of increases in the value of their coins and retain final ownership but can borrow other currencies, including fiat, to use for further projects.

Earlier this week Mike Novogratz’s merchant bank Galaxy led a $50 million round of funding for the cryptocurrency lender BlockFi, which provides loans of up to $10 million against Bitcoin and Ethereum investments.

CoinLoan, an Estonian startup,  also launched a loan service, this time connecting users who wish to become either lenders or borrowers and securing the transaction between matching and agreeing participants.

Bitcoinist interviewed P2P lending platform INLOCK back in June 2018, to understand how its platform allowed cryptocurrency investors to continue to HODL while also unlocking their funds.

Bitcoinist interviewed P2P lending platform INLOCK back in June 2018, to understand how its platform allowed cryptocurrency investors to continue to HODL while also unlocking their funds.

Further Expansion From Binance

Binance is quickly expanding its massive share of the cryptocurrency market. Business Korea this week reported the exchange plans to enter the South Korean cryptocurrency market.

Despite a rocky start to 2018 for cryptocurrencies, Binance is on track to make net profits of up to $1 billion dollars USD this year. The disclosed exchange confirmed profits of $300 million in the first six months of 2018.

The cryptocurrency-backed loans market could be enormous, given the market capitalization of cryptocurrencies, and the few barriers for borrowers who often don’t need to provide the credit history and earnings information conventional lenders require.

What is your opinion on cryptocurrency-backed borrowing?


Images Courtesy of Shutterstock.

Share
Čvc 28

Huge Wind Farm to Power Bitcoin Mining Will Be Built in North Africa

As Bitcoin mining becomes more expensive and is criticized as being detrimental to the environment, several initiatives are being put forward to reverse this situation. The latest move comes from Brookstone Partners, which involves building a 900-megawatt wind farm in Morocco dedicated to mining Bitcoin.


Bitcoin Mining To Minimize Carbon Footprint

Critics have always argued that Bitcoin mining is a threat to the environment. They point out that cryptocurrency mining consumes huge amounts of electricity, often citing the fact that the Bitcoin network consumes more power than the Republic of Ireland.

Bitcoin Mining To Minimize Carbon Footprint

Indeed, Digiconomist estimates that Bitcoin consumes more power than some countries, such as the Czech Republic, Chile, and Austria.

Moreover, Bitcoin energy consumption continues to grow relentlessly. By the end of 2018, the Bitcoin network could be using over 125 terawatt-hours per year, as the chart below forecasts. A terawatt is a unit of power that equals one trillion watts:

2018 Bitcoin Energy Consumption Forecast

However, Bitcoin’s biggest problem is its carbon footprint. According to Digiconomist:

Bitcoin’s biggest problem is not even its massive energy consumption, but that the network is mostly fueled by coal-fired power plants in China. Coal-based electricity is available at very low rates in this country. Even with a conservative emission factor, this results in an extreme carbon footprint for each unique Bitcoin transaction.

Thus, to address the issues of increasing electricity costs and environmental damage and to build computing centers powered by environmentally clean, utility-scale renewable green energy, Brookstone Partners founded Soluna.

Mining Bitcoins Using Clean, Low-Cost Renewable Energy

The planned giant 900-megawatt wind farm to mine Bitcoin will be built in North Africa, Bloomberg reports. The site chosen for the farm is at a remote Moroccan location, in Dakhla, on the edge of the Sahara Desert, by the Atlantic Ocean. According to Soluna’s website:

Soluna aims to address this problem by building computing centers powered by environmentally clean, utility-scale renewable green energy. Our mission is to power the crypto-economy with clean, low-cost renewable energy. To do this, we are building a blockchain infrastructure and mining company that owns its own renewable energy resources.

Brookstone is a private equity firm with its headquarters in New York. It specializes in strategic acquisitions, add-on acquisitions, and growth capital. The firm also focuses on middle market investments in public and private companies.

Bitcoin enthusiasts are encouraged to learn about Brookstone Partners’ initiative, which involves converting wind energy into valuable electrical energy to mine cryptocurrencies. Wind is considered the cheapest energy source available.

How do you think using alternate energy sources such as wind will impact Bitcoin mining? Let us know in the comments below!


Images courtesy of iStockPhoto, Digiconomist, Bloomberg/@business

Share
Čvc 27

Now You Can Buy A Texas Mansion With Bitcoin

The sellers for a newly listed mansion in the city of Highland Park, Texas are open to taking Bitcoin for payment. The listing is just another example of a rapidly expanding cryptocurrency real estate market attracting buyers from across the world.


Many industries have been expressing interest in cryptocurrencies, but those in the real estate world are paying particularly close attention. Using digital currencies like Bitcoin in real estate transactions keeps growing in popularity even as the cryptocurrency market has hit rough waters in 2018.

Neeraj Agarwal of Coin Center, a cryptocurrency focused think tank, says digital currency are a good tool to carry out real estate transactions with since they are a way to “send large amounts of money pretty easily with relatively low fees and little interference from middlemen.”

A Booming Crypto Real Estate Market

Unsurprisingly, real estate transactions with cryptocurrencies are increasing in number. As of mid-July, a total of 20 homes have been bought with Bitcoin across the globe. Realtor Stephan Burke believes 25-30% of real estate sales will be carried out with cryptocurrency in five years.

One of the newest real estate listings where the seller will take Bitcoin is located in Highland Park, Texas. The 9,281 square foot house is listed at $9,975,000 and comes with five bedrooms, 5.3 baths, a swimming pool, and a underground climate controlled garage with an elevator to the guest suite.

According to Burke, those using Bitcoin to buy and sell real estate are smart people who are able to see the future.

A Flurry of Change For Home Buyers

Ever since Sothby’s International Reality said in September 2017 they successfully brokered one of the first Bitcoin real estate sales in the United States, the worldwide housing market was forever changed.

A real estate company in Spain sold an apartment in Barcelona for Bitcoin in January, the first time the cryptocurrency was used as legal tender for a real estate transaction in the European country. A couple in British Columbia said in the same month they would take Bitcoin in exchange for their five-bedroom mansion on Vancouver Island.

In June, people had the opportunity to use cryptocurrency to bid on a 16th century Italian Renaissance mansion with an estimated value of $44 million dollars. Nestled in the heart of Rome, the house was built by famed architects Giacomo Della Porta and Girolamo Rainaldi.

And in early July, an agent in Newark said on Facebook they successfully sold a property for Bitcoin, a first in the state of Delaware.

A growing number of real estate agents are recognizing how digital currencies are changing the real estate market, and many think transactions with Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are here to stay.

Joe Onyero of Properbuz, a social media real estate platform, says it makes sense to use digital currency to eliminate middlemen since it can currently take a lot of time to buy a property due to all the different parties involved in a transaction.

Additionally, real estate websites like Open Listings are making it easy for people to plug in search terms like “bitcoin” to find property that can be bought with digital currency.

Do you think cryptocurrency has a future in the real estate world? Would you ever buy property with a digital currency like Bitcoin? Let us know in the comments below!


Image courtesy of Open Listings, Shutterstock.

Share
Čvc 26

Bitcoin Price Surge Due to Increased Trading Volume in Asia, Says Experts

A couple of experts have recently provided compelling evidence that shows that the Asian market had a prominent role to play in the recent Bitcoin price surge. Also, the current economic standoff between the United States and China is positively enhancing Bitcoin’s pedigree as a hedge against economic uncertainties.


The Return of the Far East Bitcoin Bulls

In the wake of the recent Bitcoin price surge, many analysts have tried to come up with a reasonable explanation to explain the price movement. Some experts lean towards a short squeeze. Others believe that rumors of an impending positive BTC ETF decision from the SEC drove the market hype.

However, two analysts; Mati Greenspan of eToro and Clem Chambers of ADVFN, believe that a trading volume spike in the Asian market caused the BTC price rally. In a series of tweets, Greenspan, a senior analyst at eToro highlighted an increase in volume in both Japanese and Korean markets at the time of Bitcoin price surge above $8,000.

Perhaps even more profound is the fact that the trading volume in the American for that same volume remained reasonably constant. The effect of rising market enthusiasm in the Asian market also played a prominent role in the bull rally of late 2017 which saw Bitcoin almost eclipse the $20,000 mark.

Trade War and Currency Devaluation

For Clem Chambers, the CEO of ADVFN, the July 19 price BTC price surge was occasioned by wealthy Chinese scrambling to secure their money in Bitcoin in preparation for the impending currency devaluation. China’s continuing trade standoff with the United States and the decision to devalue its currency might enable the current price surge to hold.

Commenting on such a possibility, Chambers said:

If the trade wars go into meltdown, then bitcoin will ‘moon’ because huge amounts of Chinese currency will be swapped for BTC as the yuan-denominated super-rich move to be hedged from the wealth privations of devaluation. Bitcoin, not gold, is and will be the asset they will run to first.

The situation in China throws up another interesting angle for the emerging Bitcoin narrative. Many experts have likened top-ranked cryptocurrency to gold. The present apparent willingness of affluent Chinese to save their wealth in the BTC might be a testament to BTC’s status as ‘digital gold.’

Do you think rising trading volume in Asia caused the recent Bitcoin price spike? Is BTC better than gold as a hedge against uncertain market economic conditions? Keep the conversation going in the comment section below.


Images courtesy of Twitter (@MatiGreenspan), Coinmarketcap, Shutterstock

Share
Čvc 25

Founder of Two Closed Cryptocurrency Services Pleads Guilty to Federal Charges

The operator of two now-defunct cryptocurrency services – BitFunder and WeExchange – has pleaded guilty on charges of securities fraud and obstruction of justice.


Jon Montroll, 37, also known as Ukyo, has pleaded guilty to securities fraud and obstruction of justice in front of the U.S. Magistrate Judge James Cott in Manhattan according to Reuters.

Shadow Brokers Threaten Release of Further Hacking Tools

Sneaky Moves

According to the prosecutors, Montroll, who is from Saginaw, Texas, operated the cryptocurrency storage and exchange service WeExchange Australia PTY LTD. He also operated BitFunder.com – a platform which allowed users to sell virtual shares of businesses for bitcoins.

The prosecution stated that in the interim between 2012 and July 2013, at the least, the defendant deceived investors in WeExchange by taking their bitcoins, selling them for fiat currency and eventually spending them on personal expenses.

Going further, in July 2013, Montroll also solicited investments in a security which he conveniently called Ukyo.Loan – a derivative of his screen name, Ukyo. He promised investors that they would be able to earn daily interest and that they could redeem their respective shares at any given moment.

It All Came Crashing Down

The prosecutors stated that in 2013, hackers managed to succeed in withdrawing roughly around 6,000 bitcoins from the WeExchange platform. Needless to say, this left Montroll unable to pay what he owed to his investors in Ukyo.Loan, BitFunder, and WeExchange.

However, Montroll failed to disclose the hack and kept on soliciting investments. Moreover, he lied under oath in 2013 and in 2015 about the precise moment when he had learned about the hack and about additional matters.

Ukyo’s case is far from being the only one involving major cryptocurrency-related frauds. On July 13, a Greek court ruled to extradite Alexander Vinnik, who was accused in a $4 billion BTC money laundering scheme, to France.

What do you think of Montroll’s pleading? Let us know in the comments below!


Images courtesy of Shutterstock

Share
Čvc 24

London Police Proactive Against Alleged Cryptocurrency Money Laundering

After a warning from European law enforcement agency Europol earlier this year that billions of pounds are being laundered through cryptocurrencies, City of London officials have decided to take matters into their own hands. 


Transactions made in Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are notoriously complicated to trace due to the fact that users can generally generate unlimited numbers of wallets without providing any identifying information. Nevertheless, law enforcement agencies seem to have no trouble tracking down cybercriminals dealing in cryptocurrencies — as evidenced by the recent indictment of Russian intelligence officers who used Bitcoin to fund their interference with the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

Earlier this year, Europol officials arrested 11 individuals and identified 137 others allegedly involved in a large-scale network for laundering drug money with cryptocurrencies as a part of its Tulipan Blanca operation. The agency warned that there is currently three to four billion pounds ($4.1 to $5.5 billion) worth of digital currencies being laundered in Europe alone, though little evidence was provided to back this claim.

In contrast, the Hong Kong Financial Services and Treasury (FSTB) admitted in its “Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing Risk Assessment” report that it sees no evidence of Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies being used to launder money or fund terror organizations whatsoever.

Still, accusations of crime in the cryptocurrency world persist.

The Deputy Governor of the Bank of England, Sam Woods — who is candidly wary of cryptocurrencies — wrote letters to the executives of financial institutions claiming (without evidence) that digital currencies “appear vulnerable to fraud and manipulation, as well as money-laundering and terrorist financing risks.”

London Police Getting Proactive

To stay ahead of the future generation of cybercriminals, the City of London Police Department is implementing a new cryptocurrency fraud course at their Economic Crime Academy beginning this fall, according to The Telegraph. A City of London Police spokesperson commented:

On successful completion of this course, participants will understand how to detect, seize and investigate the use of cryptocurrencies in an investigative context… It will be the first of its kind and has been developed in response to feedback from police officers nationally who felt there wasn’t enough training available in this area.

While Bitcoin cannot be blamed for financial transgressions any more than SMS can be blamed for infidelity, a select bunch of computer literate criminals has taken a liking to the new technology and it is to the advantage of law enforcement agencies and financial authorities around the world to keep their staff educated on the latest blockchain trends — whether they are being used to clean dirty money or not.

What do you think of the new programs to educate officials about digital money laundering? Will they be useful, or will the technology evolve quicker than they can adapt? Let us know in the comments below! 


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Bitcoinist archives.

Share
Čvc 23

Gary Gensler: From CFTC Chair to Blockchain and Cryptocurrency Educator

Gary Gensler was chairman of the U.S Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) between 2009 and 2014, right after the global financial crisis. Today, Gensler is part of MIT’s Digital Currency Initiative, lecturing students on blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies.


Gensler was instrumental in dealing with some of the cleanup from the global financial crisis of 2008. He implemented new regulation whilst at the U.S CFTC for the unregulated swaps market which played a central role in the crisis. His work at the U.S CFTC was successful and the new oversights were implemented in advance of other regulators taking actions to mop up after the crisis.

Teaching Blockchain and Cryptocurrency at MIT

After leaving the CFTC Gensler became finance chairman for Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign and bid. Gensler has now joined the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Sloan School of Management and lectures on blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies.

Bullish on Blockchain

In a recent interview with The Wall Street Journal, Gensler confirmed he is “bullish” when it comes to blockchain, describing it as mimicking the distributed nature of society. However, his past work at the CFTC has left him with a “sober” eye on fast-growing financial technology.

Despite not being directly involved in U.S politics right now he has agreed to help both Republicans and Democrats in matters of cryptocurrency regulation.

Regulators Need to Bring Clarity

Regulators Need to Bring Clarity

Speaking at the MIT Technology Review’s Business of Blockchain conference in April 2018, Gensler said that government officials needed to look to regulate the larger cryptocurrencies as well as new ICO tokens.

“The SEC and regulators need to bring clarity,” said Gensler, many cryptocurrencies “are operating outside of U.S. laws.”

Gensler was quoted in a subsequent debate over Ripple describing it as a “noncompliant security” due to its centralized distribution model.

The CFTC is Better Placed to Regulate the Sector

Last week, July 19, 2018, Gensler spoke at U.S Congressional hearings on cryptocurrencies and blockchain technologies giving five reasons why he believes blockchain technology can make a real difference in the financial sector.

Gensler said blockchain lowers costs and risks and can give stability and prevent illicit activities if regulated. But, the U.S Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and U.S CFTC have a role to play as the ICO market is ripe with scams and fraud and there are gaps in U.S law, especially when it comes to exchanges.

Gensler also believes the U.S CFTC is better placed to regulate cryptocurrency markets.

Do you agree with Gensler? Who is better placed to regulate cryptocurrencies in the U.S, the CFTC or the SEC? Let us know what you think in the comments below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Flickr

Share
Čvc 22

A Shipwreck, a Sunken Treasure, and a Possible Crypto Scam

A South Korean company has claimed to have discovered the 113-year old wreck of the Russian battleship Dmitrii Donskoii, reportedly containing more than $100 billion worth of lost gold. While the matter of who actually has salvage rights remains contested, a cryptocurrency exchange has emerged, offering to “share profits” from the wreck with its users.


A $100 Billion Dollar Discovery?

According to reports by Reuters and The Telegraph, on July 19, 2018, South Korea-based Shinil Group announced that it had discovered the wreck of the Dimitri Donskoii – a Russian Imperial Navy cruiser believed to have been sunk in 1905 after battling Japanese warships.

Under the auspices of Shinil Group, a team of experts from South Korea, Britain, and Canada discovered the wreck on July 15. Through the use of submersibles, the team was able to read the name on the sunken vessel, positively confirming its identity as the Dmitrii Donskoii.

In a statement announcing the find, the company noted:

The body of the ship was severely damaged by shelling, with its stern almost broken, and yet the ship’s deck and sides are well preserved.

The ship is believed to have sunk with 5,500 boxes of gold bars as well as 200 tons of gold coins in its holds – a claim which the Shinil Group says it will prove when it releases footage of the discovery’s findings at a press conference next week.

Shinil Group representative Park Sung-jin spoke with Reuters, saying:

We believe there are gold boxes, and it’s historically proven.

He further described the boxes as “tightly lashed” – an indication that they contain “really precious stuff.”

If the claims bear out, the value of the sunken treasure would be well over $100 billion at current market value.

Discovery of a Lifetime or Cryptocurrency Scam?

Salvage Rights Still Up in the Air

While the identity of the sunken ship may have been confirmed, the issue of who actually has the salvage rights is far from certain. In addition to Shinil Group, there are at least two other contenders vying for the claim. The government-run Korea Institute of Ocean Science and Technology (KIOST) claims to have discovered the wreck in 2003, while the now-bankrupt Don-Ah Construction company claims to have found it in 2001.

Muddying the waters even further, Yevgeny Zhuravlev, head of Russia’s Vladivostok’s military history museum on the Pacific Fleet has said that under international maritime law, the ship belongs to Russia.

A South Korea Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries spokesperson told Reuters that ownership of the wreck would need to be agreed upon by a number of agencies including the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which has reportedly not discussed the issue with the Russian government.

Regardless of who ultimately winds up with salvage rights to the Dimitri Donskoii, if any treasure is found, at least half of it would automatically be handed over to the Russian government. If Shinil Group is found to have been the first to discover the vessel, Park says that the company’s intention is to donate 10% of the remaining treasure to South Korean President Moon Jae-in’s job creation initiatives, as well as helping to fund other inter-Korean development projects.

Discovery of a Lifetime or Cryptocurrency Scam?

In a surprising twist to this already confusing story, two websites have emerged, both with apparent ties to the discovery of the Dimitri Donskoii and its sunken treasure.

The first website is a newly launched cryptocurrency exchange named Donskoi International Exchange, which promises to share the profits from the wreck by giving out Shinil Gold Coins (SGCs) to users of the platform. The second website – which Bitcoinist uncovered during the course of its own investigation – appears to be promoting an upcoming ICO for the aforementioned Shinil Gold Coin. Both websites share logos and a nearly identical design, and both claim to be operating under the Shinil Group.

Interestingly, both websites’ share the same webhost and list the same registrant and administrative contacts in their respective WHOIS data which can be viewed here and here. The address listed for both domain names belongs neither to Shinil Group or the websites’ host, but rather that of a shopping mall in Seoul, Korea.

South Korea’s Financial Supervisory Services issued a statement on the matter which said:

Investors need to be cautious as it’s possible they could suffer massive losses if they bank on rumors without concrete facts regarding the recovery of a treasure ship.

Park told Reuters that Shinil Group is in no way affiliated with the exchange and Bitcoinist has reached out for comment regarding the ICO but has yet to receive a reply.

Do you think the sunken treasure exists? Who will ultimately claim salvage rights? Let us know in the comments below.


Images courtesy of PRNewswire

Share