Bře 20

4 Ways Criminals Are Trying to Cash out Their Bitcoin

· March 20, 2018 · 2:30 pm

Due to the increased spotlight on cryptocurrency, criminals are finding it more difficult to cash out their Bitcoin for fiat, but they are finding ways to do so.


A common media portrayal is that of a criminal who plies their trade on the Dark Web and amassing a fortune in Bitcoin. It is true that the daddy of cryptocurrency can be used for all manner of illicit transactions, but an interesting phenomenon is now occurring. While some criminals have amassed a veritable fortune in bitcoins, they are finding it increasingly difficult to cash out the cryptocurrency to fiat. However, they are finding some ingenious ways to do so.

money

A Hard Knock Life

A recent report by Vice highlights this issue that criminals are having. People who conduct illicit business on the Dark Web, such as selling stolen information or malware, are making some serious money, but they are facing obstacles in converting that digital wealth into actual fiat currency.

The main reason for this problem is that cryptocurrency is the victim of its own success. The massive surge in value towards the end of 2017 shone a very bright spotlight upon the cryptocurrency sphere, catching the attention of law enforcement and regulatory bodies.

The increasing acceptance of cryptocurrency has led to more regulations being put into place, such as exchanges requiring verifiable information from its users. Law enforcement has also become more adept at infiltrating the seedy underbelly of the crypto sphere, not to mention keeping a sharp eye on large-scale transactions.

Some Savvy Criminals

This increased scrutiny has led criminals to try to cash out their Bitcoin. Swiss bankers have reported being contacted and offered a 10% payment if they could facilitate large-scale transfers; offers that they have, so far, rejected.

cybercriminal

However, criminals can be an ingenious lot at times. A few methods for cashing out their bitcoins were revealed to Vice. One such method is using Western Union. An online drug dealer says he uses services that will automatically transfer cryptocurrency to accounts belonging to Western Union. Then he uses another person to pick up the fiat.

Probably the safest way to cash out is to sell the Bitcoin to a trusted person in the real world. A malware seller tells Vice that he regularly sells cryptocurrency to a local person a few times per week, who then leaves a bag of cash on their porch a few hours after the crypto is transferred. Another method is to work with a company that charges pre-paid debit cards with cryptocurrency. Criminals note that the card issuer does not know what is being used to charge the card as another company handles that. If the card requires some documents, fake ones can be procured on the Dark Web.

Law enforcement notes that another viable option for criminals is to use a bank in Eastern Europe. Regulations dealing with cryptocurrency are much more lax in that particular region. In fact, Europe is currently known as a weak link when it comes to money-laundering and cryptocurrency. Even now, such enforcement is not high on the EU list of priorities, which is something that cybercriminals are very aware of. In addition, criminals are now moving away from Bitcoin and into other cryptocurrencies that are far more private.

Do you think criminals will always find a way to cash out their cryptocurrencies? Let us know in the comments below.


Images courtesy of Pexels, Pixabay, and Bitcoinist archives.

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Bře 12

Controversial Monaco Debit Card Progresses After 2 Years Of Delays

· March 12, 2018 · 1:30 pm

Controversial Bitcoin debit card issuer Monaco has finally begun closed beta testing after almost two years of development.


MCO Token Spikes After Months Of Tracking Bitcoin

Originally founded in June 2016, Monaco promises cryptocurrency spending at “perfect interbank exchange rates” but faced controversy after failed deals and drastic reworking of its product offering late last year.

Now, the company’s MCO token has regained some of the ground it lost since the time of Bitcoin’s own all-time highs in December, reaching $9.10 on Coinmarketcap. It had previously reached almost $19, before dropping to lows of $4.75 February 6 – also in line with Bitcoin.

Commenting on its sponsorship of the ongoing Money 20/20 event in Singapore, Monaco CEO Kris Marszalek described the unveiling of new products in light of the beta announcement as “revolutionary.”

“Together, they form a complete suite of revolutionary financial products and position Monaco as the first global financial institution built on blockchain, as well as, a destination platform for anyone interested in cryptocurrency,” he said.

A promotional video about the features will be seen by “100 million plus people in 2018,” Marszalek added on Twitter.

Dodgy Visa Partnerships And Price Crashes

Monaco’s path to release has been troublesome. In October 2017, Bloomberg ran a piece in which it debunked the company’s repeated claims it had a partnership with Visa.

While Visa finally approved Monaco’s offering to Singaporean residents in November, Monaco had said the partnership had been in place since May.

At the same time, a sudden change to the card’s roadmap saw a key feature in the form of smart asset contracts disappear, causing MCO to crash 40%.

The events led to a round of suspicion among cryptocurrency users, with accusations appearing online the product contained elements of a scam.

The cryptocurrency debit card industry as a whole remains a challenging environment this year. On and off-ramps into Bitcoin via exchanges are becoming increasingly cost-effective thanks to SegWit implementation, while cardholders continue to pay heavy premiums for the convenience of spending coins under the guise of legacy payment instruments.

What do you think about Monaco? Let us know in the comments below!


Images courtesy of Shuttesrtock, Monaco

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Zář 17

Floyd Mayweather Fights in Bitcoin’s Corner

· September 17, 2017 · 3:30 pm

Boxing champion Floyd Mayweather has been spotted spending Bitcoin in California’s Beverley Hills proving that despite the coins recent bad press, that Bitcoin really has legs.


Floyd Mayweather caused more buzz in the cryptocurrency world when he posted a photograph of himself on Facebook and Twitter proudly sporting a Titanium Centra Card in a Beverly Hills shoeshop a few days ago.

Titanian Centra is a debit card for Bitcoin, Ethereum, and other cryptocurrencies. They are raising funds via an ICO, which is due to launch in 28 hours (at the time of writing) which according to their website promises to:

Allow real-time conversion of all supported cyrptocurrencies to give the user the ability to spend their assets in real time anywhere in the world that accepts Visa or Mastercard.

Floyd Mayweather’s Recent ICO Endorsements

This is not the first time that Floyd Mayweather has taken to social media in order to promote and speak out about Bitcoin, ICO’s and other cryptocurrencies. He posted on Instagram and tweeted the following just last month in the lead-up to his infamous and potentially final boxing bout with Connor Mcgregor:

Other ICOs he has promoted in the past were for sporting event and finance predicting company Stox and the Hubii Network. The Stox ICO raised $33 million dollars in just 34 hours and the Hubii network, a media tech and content company, hopes to raise $50 million with their ICO.

Other Celebrity Bitcoin Endorsements

Steve Wozniak

Gwyneth Paltrow, Steve Wozniak, Sir Richard Branson and Paris Hilton have all previously spoken out about their interests in the world of cryptocurrency and blockchain technology. The Woz admitting that he uses Bitcoin where he can, such as for hotels, whereas Paltrow is actively advising and mentoring Bitcoin entrepreneurs.

As the list of Bitcoin-endorsing celebrities grow, will we start to see increased trust and interest from a more mainstream audience of potential investors?  Let us know in the comments below.


Images courtesy of Twitter, Instagram, Wikimedia Commons

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