Month: January 2020

Fake Bitcoin Investor Group Arrested in Belgium and France

Authorities in France, Belgium and Israel brought down an international network suspected of having stolen €6 million (US$6.6 million) from dozens of victims by luring them into fake bitcoin and other crypto-currency investments, Europol announced Wednesday.


The suspects sold bitcoins and other crypto currencies. (Photo: Flying Logos [CC BY-SA ])The international criminal group, controlled by its Israeli branch, approached victims by phone and promised them profit on investments in bitcoin, gold and diamonds. The group offered its financial services on online platforms and allegedly set up fake companies to launder the money.

More than 85 victims from Belgium and France were lured into the scheme with promisses of 5-35% return on their investment.

The group first cultivated the trust of investors by sending them small gains on their investments. This encouraged the victims to invest more. However, their next payments were then transferred to EU accounts of fake companies and then quickly sent to bank accounts in Asian countries and in Turkey.

The suspects who were operating in France were detained beginning of 2019, while five suspects were arrested and questioned in…


10 Cities That Are Bitcoin Hotspots

Ever wanted to buy something with bitcoin? There are now some 15,000 businesses that accept payment in cryptocurrency around the world, and more than 2,000 of them are in the United States. You can use bitcoin to pay for lunch at Miami’s Pizza Bar, or a play at Portsmouth’s Seacoast Repertory Theater.

Bitcoin is not without controversy, but one fact is indisputable: more and more merchants and venues are willing to accept the digital currency for payment. In this article, we identify which cities are at the forefront of embracing the virtual currency.

Key Takeaways

  • The first bitcoin was mined in 2009; now, thousands of merchants around the world accept the virtual currency for payment.
  • Enthusiasts can purchase bitcoin at thousands of ATMs globally.
  • As the technology capital of the U.S., San Francisco figures prominently on our list of bitcoin hotspots.
  • Several municipal governments are seeking to attract crypto businesses by facilitating bitcoin adoption.
  • El Salvador was the first country to officially make bitcoin legal tender, in 2021.

How to Measure Bitcoin Adoption

To compile this list, we looked at three metrics: the number of merchants accepting bitcoin in each city, the number of bitcoin ATMs available, and population size relative to bitcoin activity. For merchant data, we looked at Coinmap, a collaborative tool for listing and locating businesses that accept bitcoin, and Coin ATM Radar, which shows the location of bitcoin ATMs. We also considered the presence of major crypto businesses and industry leaders.

Here are ten leading cities for bitcoin adoption, as of October 10, 2021:

1. San Francisco

Not surprisingly, the technology capital of the United States figures prominently on our list. San Francisco is home to cryptocurrency trading platforms Coinbase and Kraken. More than a hundred merchants accept bitcoin, from restaurants and bars to hostels and stores. There are 437 bitcoin ATMs in the Bay Area, including 65 in the city of…


Thailand crypto scam prompts government probe

The Department of Special Investigations (DSI) in Thailand has launched an investigation into an alleged cryptocurrency scam, following complaints from a number of victims with losses in excess of THB75 million (US$2.46 million).

The alleged pyramid scheme known as Khung Nong Cryptocurrency Trading became popular with investors in 2018. The scheme has pledged returns in the order of 8% per week, duping countless unsuspecting individuals into parting with their money.

According to Bangkok Post, the scheme has largely affected those living in the south of the country, with numbers of people in Krabi, Trang, Yala, Pattani, and Narathiwat selling assets to invest—including land, vehicles and businesses.

In a classic pyramid scheme structure, those promoting the scheme promised returns of THB8,000 (US$263) per week for every THB100,000 (US$3,286) invested. As a result, the scheme quickly grew in size, attracting growing numbers of victims through a team of recruiters.

Having started in October 2018, the scheme came to an abrupt halt in February 2019, citing a downturn in the economy as the reason it could no longer pay out to its investors.

The case was taken up by human rights activity Phadungsak Tienpairoj, who referred some 20 victims to the Department for Special Investigations. The DSI agreed to take up the investigation, in conjunction with law enforcement in Krabi province.

The scheme is thought to have affected large numbers of victims across the region, with the DSI investigating reports that victims lost millions of baht to the scam.

Noopad Wachedi, from the Koh Lanta district of Krabi was among the victims. She reportedly pledged her land in order to raise money for the investment, at which point she was issued with a cheque from the scheme which subsequently bounced.

According to Noopad, the recruiters had told her the scheme was overseen by state officials. A relative was also drawn into the scheme, and similarly lost money to the alleged fraud.



Taiwan's democracy – Korea Times

Taiwan’s democracy  Korea Times

Bancor’s Airdrop as First Step to Take Blockchain Out of 1997: Interview

Decentralized exchange project Bancor (BNT) is currently in the midst of launching a massive airdrop to all its token holders. Cointelegraph took the occasion to interview Co-founder and Product Architect Eyal Hertzog, and Head of Growth Nate Hindman. The duo shared their thoughts on the airdrop, existing trends in decentralized finance (DeFi) and Bancor’s upcoming transition to a Decentralized Autonomous Organization (DAO).

Engaging the community through an airdrop

In November, Bancor

Read more…

Akon is founding crypto city in Senegal, but where’s the whitepaper?

Grammy-nominated singer Akon’s dream of a crypto city is on the verge of becoming a reality. The project was first announced in 2018, and according to Akon, it’s about to kick off. He took to Twitter recently to announce that he was finalizing plans for the development of his own city.

Akon tweeted:

Akon City is described as a utopian city that the musician wants to build where crypto and blockchain will be the lifeblood of the economy. Previously, he revealed that it would be developed on 2,000 acres in Senegal which he had received as a gift from Macky Sall, the president of Senegal. It’s reportedly only a five-minutes’ drive from one of Senegal’s main international airports.

The futuristic city will run on Akoin, a crypto developed by the star which will be used in all financial transactions. Akoin is a “trusted cryptocurrency with a vision to stimulate and innovate, revenue-generating opportunities that support and empower youth entrepreneurship, economic stability, and growth across Africa and the world,” according to its website.

Moreover, the city will be Senegal’s first Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) city. To this effect, it will fully rely on renewable energy for all its operations.

Crypto City sounds like a real-life Wakanda. However, it’s still too early to tell if it will pan out. For one, Akon is yet to release Akoin’s whitepaper despite claiming to be close to kicking off the development of the project. It was scheduled to be released between Q4 of 2019 and Q1 2020, at least according to the website. Akon also expects to launch a digital wallet, deploy Akoin Foundation Programs, list the token on exchanges, launch a DApp builder for the Akoin blockchain and more by June this year.

While the token and the blockchain platforms are expected…


Dutch Derivatives Exchange Deribit to Move to Crypto-Friendly Panama

Deribit is moving to warmer waters, citing regulatory concerns.

Announced Thursday, the Amsterdam-based crypto derivatives exchange will operate out of Panama as DRB Panama Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of current platform Deribit B.V., beginning Feb. 10. 

The company claimed the Netherlands’ presumed adoption of “very strict” anti-money laundering (AML) regulations applied to cryptocurrency firms spurred the trans-Atlantic voyage.

“If Deribit falls under these new regulations, this…

Read more…

On the fourth day of Hanukkah, archaeologists find hoard of Islamic coins in Israel

News and Partnerships

Life and Culture

Columnists and Opinion

Haaretz Heb and TheMarker, the online English edition of Haaretz Newspaper in Israel, gives you breaking news, analyses and opinions about Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

© Haaretz Daily Newspaper Ltd. All Rights Reserved


Join the Community