Úno 17

Chicago Trader Steals Over $2 Million in Bitcoin and Litecoin Cryptocurrency

· February 17, 2018 · 10:30 am

A Chicago trader is facing up to 20 years in prison for stealing over $2 million in Bitcoin and Litecoin cryptocurrency from his employer.


Most 24-year-olds would be quite happy to be attached to a new cryptocurrency unit for a major financial entity. That’s not a bad career path for someone who previously worked as a cryptocurrency trader in South Korea before joining Consolidated Trading LLC to become an assistant bond trader in July 2016. A new department looking to dive into the burgeoning crypto world is a great stepping stone for moving up. That is unless that person is a degenerate gambler. Such is the case of Joseph Kim, who stole over $2 million in Litecoin and Bitcoin cryptocurrency from his employer.

Chicago

Stealing Begins Almost Immediately

The cryptocurrency group was created by Consolidated in September 2017, and Joseph Kim joined the unit sometime during that month. He had his own personal cryptocurrency accounts, which he informed his employer of, and he was told to cease all personal trading to avoid a conflict of interest.

However, Kim transferred 980 litecoins (worth $48,000) on a weekend shortly after joining the new unit. When a supervisor found out, Kim said he transferred the coins to a “personal digital wallet for safety reasons” due to issues he was having with Bitfinex, the cryptocurrency exchange in Hong Kong. He then said that the coins had been transferred to a Consolidated wallet (which was untrue).

In November, the trader then sent 55 bitcoins (value of $433,000) from Consolidated into an unknown account. When confronted on this transfer, Kim said that the transfer had been blocked and that he was taking steps to unblock it. He later sent back 27 bitcoins into the corporate account, leaving 28 in his possession.

The Sizes Get Bigger

Eventually, Kim transferred 284 bitcoins (worth $2.8 million) from the company’s account into a personal wallet. He later sent back 102 of those coins into the Consolidated account, after which he then transferred the remaining 182 coins into a different account. Of that last amount, Kim lost a portion of it by personally trading.

Cryptocurrency gambling

When eventually confronted over all the transfers, Kim admitted to investing in short future positions using 55 bitcoins. He continued stealing cryptocurrency from the company to cover his margin calls, losses, and personal investments. After being arrested, Kim said that he was a degenerate gambler and admitted to converting the stolen Litecoin into Bitcoin for investment purposes.

Eventually, Consolidated managed to recover roughly 144 bitcoins from Kim’s various personal wallets. The financial company lost about $603,000 overall from the rogue trader’s gambling addiction.

In an email to his superiors at Consolidated, Kim said:

It was not my intention to steal for myself. I was perversely trying to fix what I had already done. I can’t believe I did not stop.

Investment gambling is real, and cryptocurrency is just a new avenue for some to indulge in the practice. The US Attorney has charged Joseph Kim with wire fraud, which could net him up to 20 years in prison. Kim has also made history, of a sort. He’s the first person in Chicago to be charged with wire fraud in regards to cryptocurrency.

Do you think that we’ll see more cases of traders pilfering cryptocurrency to fuel their gambling addiction in the future? Let us know in the comments below.


Images courtesy of Pixabay and Bitcoinist archives.

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Led 07

6 Reasons Your Business Should Be Accepting Bitcoin

· January 7, 2017 · 3:00 am

With over 80,000 companies already accepting Bitcoin payments as of 2014 and that number rapidly growing, business owners can no longer afford to ignore the world’s most popular decentralized currency. So let’s check out six reasons why accepting the virtual currency is a great idea.

[Note: This article was submitted by a guest author]


Multiple Reasons to Accept Bitcoin

Around the world, forward-thinking merchants from small shops to large corporations are joining the Bitcoin trend, with many of them doing so in order to improve cash flow by cutting costs and boosting their bottom line. But, is doing business in Bitcoin a worthwhile endeavor?

We’ve put together a list of some of the main benefits that you could experience from accepting Bitcoin payments.

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Lower Transaction Fees

If you’re hoping to reduce costs, accepting Bitcoin payments is definitely worth trying since per transaction fees for accepting this currency tend to be cheaper than those for conventional credit or debit cards. According to Adam White, Coinbase’s director of business development and strategy, this is the one main reason why many smaller businesses are joining the bitcoin payment trend. On average, small businesses tend to pay higher credit card fees than the bigger companies, since they lack the scale needed to negotiate the cheaper rates. Because of this, Bitcoin is often an easier and cheaper alternative.

Get Paid Quickly

Getting paid on time is important for businesses of all sizes, but no more so than for small businesses, which often rely on prompt invoice payments in order to maintain a positive cash flow and stay afloat. Along with using an invoice factoring company such as BlueVine to keep the payments coming in, accepting Bitcoin payments can actually make it easier for clients to make prompt payments.

Unlike credit card payments, which are often kept on hold for up to a week or more in case a chargeback is requested, Bitcoin payments tend to arrive in merchants’ bank accounts within just a couple of days, meaning that you could have access to your money a lot faster.

Avoid Chargebacks

One of the biggest advantages of Bitcoin for merchants is that payments made with this currency are final, meaning that there are no chargebacks or returns, unlike when dealing with regular credit and debit card payments. Credit card chargebacks occur when the cardholder disputes a purchase that they have made with the card, often due to reasons such as the item being defective, or perhaps they were a victim of credit card fraud. Either way, credit card chargebacks are both inconvenient and costly to merchants, with a fee set at around $5-15 each.

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Prevent Fraud

Bitcoin is gaining more and more popularity as an online currency as when a customer pays a company using Bitcoin, they are able to do so without divulging any personal details such as their name, address, date of birth, etc. Unlike when paying with a debit or credit card when this kind of personal data must be given in order for the transaction to be successfully processed, when paying with Bitcoin, customers can do so completely anonymously, giving them a practically fool-proof layer of identity protection that no other payment method can offer.

Accept International Payments

If your company has been putting off accepting international payments simply due to expensive cross-border transaction fees, accepting Bitcoin as a payment method could be the answer to your problem. Although going global is great for business, many small independent consultants and online retailers are unable to sell their services or products internationally due to a high cost that they are unable to afford. But, Bitcoin breaks down all these obstacles and borders with much lower transaction fees, allowing businesses to trade internationally and accept payments from anybody, in any part of the world, at just a click of a button. 

Customer Satisfaction

Last but not least, accepting Bitcoin as a payment method could lead to increased levels of client and customer satisfaction. With Bitcoin rapidly growing in popularity, it will be unsurprising if over the coming years, businesses will be expected to accept this currency as default. Offering your clients and customers the option to make payments with Bitcoin allows you to give them more choice, and therefore more control over the way they make payments and interact with your business. And, the added layer of protection from fraud and identity theft offered by Bitcoin can make this payment method a very attractive one to online customers who want to be as safe as possible.

If you’re not currently accepting Bitcoin as a payment method, there are many reasons to think about making and accepting transactions in this increasingly popular digital currency.

Will your business accept bitcoin? Why or why not? Let us know in the comments below!


Images courtesy of Shutterstock

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Dub 21

Mounting Credit Card Fraud Forces Giant Food Policy Change

Source: bitcoin

Bitcoinist_Giant Food

Credit card fraud remains one of the biggest financial threats to consumers all over the world. Giant Food, a grocer in the Washington area, has stopped accepting credit card payments when buying gift cards or prepaid debit cards.

Also read: FBI Used Invalid Warrant To Infect Tor Website With Malware

Giant Food Prefers Less Credit Card Payments

It does not happen often retailers stop accepting one of the more popular payment methods in the world today, but Giant Food saw no other options. The grocer has been dealing with massive amounts of fraudulent credit card transactions by customers buying prepaid debit cards or gift cards to use at the store.

In fact, the store has put a clear sign at the checkout warning customers credit card payments are no longer accepted for gift and prepaid debit cards. To buy these items, consumers must pay in cash or use bank pin-based debit. This policy change went into effect in March of 2016 but has gone by unnoticed by the media for some unknown reason.

Criminals obtaining stolen credit cards tend to target groceries and other smaller retailers more often than not, so it makes sense Giant Food is preventing these types of purchases all of a sudden. Moreover, with the number of credit card phishing attempts on the rise, a lot of criminals resort to embossing their own cards, which are then cashed out through grocery stores such as Giant Food.

Laundering money with stolen credit cards has become a lot easier throughout the years. Converting a card into a gift card effectively launders money, as the gift card can be resold for cash or any other payment method. This type of criminal activity is often conducted by street gangs, as it is one of the easiest ways to get quick and clean cash.

Some people might argue the EMV chip should prevent these types of fraudulent activity, and there is a certain merit to that statement. However, as Krebs on Security mentions, most of the Giant Food cashiers will swipe a chip-based card, negating the additional security. Unfortunately, far too few retailers allow for chip transactions, regardless of whether or not they have the necessary terminal installed.

Bitcoin transactions would make a lot more sense as they negate credit card fraud entirely. But at the same time, it would require a fair bit of staff training to get cashiers up to speed on how Bitcoin transactions work. Moreover, consumers would have to embrace the payment solution as well, which will be the biggest hurdle to overcome.

What are your thoughts on grocery stores falling victim to large-scale credit card fraud? Let us know in the comments below!

Source; Krebsonsecurity

Images courtesy of Giant Food, Shutterstock

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Mounting Credit Card Fraud Forces Giant Food Policy Change

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Úno 07

How The Blockchain Will Change Real Estate

Source: bitcoin

Bitcoinist_Ownership

Blockchain technology can be used for a wide variety of real life purposes, ranging from finance to databases and transferring ownership. One area often overlooked in this regard is the real estate market, even though this industry stands to gain a lot from distributed ledgers. Transparency, removing the risk of fraud, and speeding up the process associated with buying or selling a property can all be achieved through the blockchain. The main question is: who will be the first to jump on this innovative protocol?

Also read: Alibaba to Possibly Use Blockchain Tech for Alipay Service

Everything Goes Smoother On The Blockchain

It goes without saying that buying or selling real estate can be a very tedious and painstaking process. Not only is there a ton of administrative work to deal with, but there is always the chance of a buyer or seller backing out of the deal at the last moment. Furthermore, why are these real estate prices at the level they’re at that time? Some more transparency would help clear things up, and the blockchain can provide exactly that.

The biggest hurdle to overcome is speeding up the real estate process in general. Rather than making an appointment, waiting for the agent to show up, filing and verifying paperwork, and signing contracts, a smoother experience is needed. While all of these tasks will still need to be completed, there is a notable amount of time to be gained from using distributed ledger technology.

Administration could eventually become the downfall of our society as we know it. Even though it is important to create records of every meeting and transaction taking place, we are now living in a digital age. Time is money, and a lot of time is wasted on archaic administrative processed, which are utterly complicated and cumbersome.

One thing most people tend to overlook is how the real estate business is subject to fraud. There is an excellent reason both buyer and seller use an escrow service provider when dealing with such large sums of money. Despite precautions, the fraud rates cost the real estate industry several million per year, mostly due to forged documents and duplicated notary stamps.

Embracing The Blockchain One Step At a Time

The blockchain provides a technology that is incorruptible, as the transfer of funds is logged in real-time, and ownership can be transferred in a matter of minutes.  Replication of digital ownership certificates is not possible, effectively reducing the fraud rates to as close to zero as humanly possible. Additionally, this protocol would allow for consumers to create a digital identity to speed up the mortgage process and transfer of ownership.

That being said, the change to a blockchain-based solution in the real estate business will not happen overnight. While the technology offers some exciting prospects for the future, streamlining such an innovative protocol with a very administration-based industry will take several years. Nonetheless, there are interesting prospects on the horizon for distributed ledger technology.

What are your thoughts on the future of blockchain technology in real estate? Let us know in the comments below!

Source: TechCrunch

Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Red River

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How The Blockchain Will Change Real Estate

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