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Category Archives: Bitcoin

Bitcoin Price: Which Countries Have the Biggest Premiums? – Cointelegraph

Posted: October 15, 2019 at 7:47 am

Up until early 2018, major cryptocurrency markets the likes of South Korea and Japan demonstrated high premiums for Bitcoin. At the 2017 peak, when the Bitcoin price was trading at around $20,000 in the U.S. spot market, Bitcoin was being traded in South Koreas cryptocurrency exchange market for around 26,000,000 Korean won, equivalent to about $22,000. This difference is now known as the Kimchi premium.

Since then, starting with the introduction of various regulatory frameworks by South Korea to reduce regional premiums that included the prohibition of trading cryptocurrencies with foreigners in the local market, premiums in major markets have declined substantially.

Still, due to the lack of supply and the relatively high demand in some markets, Bitcoin is being traded at a premium in certain regions some higher than most.

Following the prohibition of cryptocurrency trading by the Peoples Bank of China, local banks in China were ordered not to work with local Bitcoin exchanges to prevent individuals and businesses from trading digital assets. Over time, the government of China also ordered payment processors such as AliPay to stop processing Bitcoin exchange-related transactions, according to report form Chinese blockchain publication 8BTC.

But reportedly, individual investors have continued to invest in Bitcoin after the ban. The imposition of a ban on cryptocurrency trading by China forced investors to move over to neighboring countries like Hong Kong, essentially initiating trades in a peer-to-peer manner.

On the over-the-counter (OTC) trading platform of OKEx, for instance, investors can trade Bitcoin using Tether (USDT), a stablecoin backed by the U.S. dollar, and then sell the USDT for the Hong Kong dollar. The premium on Bitcoin emerges when investors exchange USDT that they use to buy or sell Bitcoin for HKD, similar to most peer-to-peer OTC markets. On OKEx, USDT is being traded at around $1.02 to $1.04, which indicates a premium ranging from 2% to 4%.

Most fiat-to-crypto exchanges in Japan and South Korea more or less follow the price trend of the U.S. spot market for Bitcoin. On Upbit and Bithumb, two of the biggest cryptocurrency exchanges in South Korea, Bitcoin is being traded at 9,900,000 Korean won, equivalent to $8,365. On Coinbase, Gemini and Kraken, Bitcoins price, as of Oct. 12, 2019, is hovering at around $8,345, indicating a slight premium of less than 0.25%.

While South Korea remains a relatively small market in comparison to Japan, the U.S. and Hong Kong, the prohibition on foreigners trading cryptocurrencies has eliminated a large portion of the demand for cryptocurrencies. In the 2017 bull market, the majority of large-scale trades in the South Korean market are said to have come from Japanese and Chinese investors and miners, decreasing the supply of exchanges.

The Japanese exchange market is also showing a slight premium of 0.2% and has seen most of its premium decline in the past two years. For spot or brokerage buys, which involve a direct wire transfer or a transaction through a payment processor directly to the exchange, there is a premium of 3.59%. On BitFlyers brokerage, the price for Bitcoin buys is estimated to be 936,621 Japanese yen, which is equivalent to $8,635 nearly $300 higher than the global average spot price.

The cryptocurrency exchange markets of Malaysia, the Philippines and Thailand are mostly dominated by brokerages such as Coins, which is the largest exchange in the Philippines and was acquired by the largest ride hailing app in Indonesia called Go-Jek. Coins, which has more than 5 million users in the Philippines alone, enables users to buy or sell Bitcoin based on precalculated price like BitFlyers brokerage, which also typically sees a premium of over 3%.

On Coins.ph, the Philippines arm of Coins, Bitcoin has a buy price of 440,280 pesos, around $8,530, indicating a premium rate of 2.2%. BuyBitcoin.ph, the second most widely utilized brokerage in the Philippines, has a buy price of 443,300 pesos, showing a premium close to around 3%. On Coins.th, the Thailand arms of Coins, the buy price of Bitcoin is hovering at 256,637 baht, or $8,425, a premium of less than 1%.

Thailand had a dominant spot exchange called BX Thailand, but the local Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)-approved exchange shut down on Sept. 30, citing a low level of volume. The closure of popular exchanges could result in a larger price discrepancy in the short term as volumes shift to brokerages. However, over the long term, the gap should close.

On exchanges that have been operating for years in South America, the price of Bitcoin closely matches that of the U.S. spot market, even on brokerages that have fixed buy and sell prices. On ChileBit, the Bitcoin price is being traded at around $8,374, with a 0.34% premium and on FoxBit in Brazil, the Bitcoin price is trading at $8,440, with a 1% premium. The premium of brokerages and spot exchanges in South America in general with the exception of a few countries such as Venezuela and Argentina is close to zero.

The low premium may indicate a low demand from local investors as Chile, Brazil and other bigger markets in South America are not known to have large-scale mining centers that provide liquidity to the global Bitcoin exchange market.

Apart from small cryptocurrency exchange markets with relatively low liquidity, strictly regulated products that are often utilized by institutional and accredited investors to invest in the Bitcoin market consistently demonstrate substantially higher premiums.

The Bitcoin Investment Trust (GBTC), for instance, which oversees close to $2 billion in assets and enables institutional and accredited investors to invest in Bitcoin through a regulated OTC exchange in the U.S., has a share price of $9.81. Each share of GBTC represents 0.00097368 BTC, which would imply that around 1,200 shares are equivalent to the price of 1 Bitcoin.

Based on the $9.81 share price of GBTC, each Bitcoin bought through the Bitcoin Investment Trust would be worth more than $10,000. Based on the current price of Bitcoin at $8,300, GBTC indicates a premium of over 20%.

Investors pay higher premiums for products like GBTC and exchange-traded products (ETPs) because they rely on third parties to secure their Bitcoin holdings. In recent months, GBTC has been trying to enable users to invest in Bitcoin at face value without the substantial premium by operating a private placement window. Whether this will decrease the premium of GBTC remains uncertain.

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Bitcoin Price: Which Countries Have the Biggest Premiums? - Cointelegraph

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Bitcoin Could Soon Incur Major Volatility as Bears Gain Upper Hand – newsBTC

Posted: at 7:47 am

Bitcoin (BTC) has failed to garner any significant buying pressure after facing a sharp influx of selling pressure yesterday that sent it reeling to the lower-$8,000 region which is where it was able to find enough support to halt its drop and stabilize its price.

Analysts are now noting that multiple indicators signal that the crypto is positioned to incur notable volatility in the near-term, which could mean that the direction that BTC will trend for the coming few months will soon grow clear.

At the time of writing, Bitcoin is trading down just over 1% at its current price of $8,300, which marks a notable retrace from its recent highs of $8,900 that were set last week when BTCs bulls quickly pushed the crypto towards this price level, which is where it found significant resistance that sparked a short-term downtrend.

This downtrend was perpetuated yesterday when bears quickly pulled the rug out from beneath BTC and sent it to lows of roughly $8,100 before it rapidly climbed back towards its current price levels.

In the near-term, it is highly probable that Bitcoin and the aggregated crypto markets will soon incur notable volatility, as BTC is currently forming spinning top candles within the middle of its tight Bollinger Bands both signs that a big movement is imminent.

$BTC #Bitcoin Todays spinning top falls right in the middle of the bands- When volatility hits we could see $7900 to the downside or $8600 to the upside, so prepare accordingly, Big Cheds, a popular cryptocurrency analyst on Twitter, explained in a recent tweet.

Despite the bearish price action as of late, it is important to note that there are still analysts who anticipate an upwards movement for Bitcoin in the near-term, with Mayne explaining in a recent tweet that he believes BTC could target $8,600 next.

$BTC: Expected a test of $8150 and we got it. Preemptively long expecting another bullish week. Will compound above the weekly open/monthly open ($8278 & $8300), he said while pointing to the below chart.

If Maynes analysis does prove to be accurate and Bitcoin is able to break above $8,600, this could mark a bullish break that sparks massive volatility that favors the cryptocurrencys bulls.

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Bitcoin Could Soon Incur Major Volatility as Bears Gain Upper Hand - newsBTC

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Researchers find Bitcoin sextortion malware also mines Monero – The Next Web

Posted: at 7:47 am

Analysts have reportedly discovered the source of the sextortion emails thatve plagued the internet since last yearthe ones that demand Bitcoin BTC or else theyll leak videos of you masturbating to kinky pornography.

Reason Cybersecurity researchers dubbed the malwareSave Yourself, as recipients typically receive the bogus emails from senders like SaveYourself@856.com.

The emails state that dangerous malware has infected the recipients machine, but Reason found this isnt the case.

Instead, the firm discovered the malware forcing devices to act as blackmail proxies isalso secretly mining privacy-focused cryptocurrency Monero, with all funds generated going directly the attackers.

The firm was clear to point out that receiving the Bitcoin sextortion email doesnt automatically mean infection, just that the recipientsemail address hasbeen exposed in a password dump.

Researchers ironically found, however, that many sites offering products to supposedly remove theSave Yourself malware were actually peddling malware.

It is very possible that the malware author has gathered and combined several viruses and modified them to suit their own needs, said Reason.

To date, analysts found more than 110,000 users have been infected with theSave Yourself malware.

Reason reported that the malware is designed to remain under the users radar. In particular,Save Yourself only uses 50 percent of the infected machines CPU to mine Monero, so as not to raise suspicion.

The malware can also reportedly read clipboard data and replace Bitcoin wallet addresses with its own, presumably to redirect cryptocurrency transactions to the attackers.

Save Yourself is also said to compromise any executable found on the target machine to ensure automatic infectionany time the user runs such files.

The desired executable will then run as it should, so the user wont suspect that theres anything wrong, said Reason. Nor will anything look suspicious when analysing the sample since at first glance, it will look like known software (icon, signature, strings, functionality).

The firm noted that most anti-virus solutions should detect and clear the malware. As well, major email providers are automatically protecting users against the sextortion emails.

Hard Fork previously reported, though, that the attackers are pivoting, now demanding Litecoin instead of Bitcoin so as to dodge email filters.

Want more Hard Fork?Join usin Amsterdam on October 15-17 to discuss blockchain and cryptocurrency with leading experts.

Published October 14, 2019 15:12 UTC

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Bitcoin continues to struggle to get over the $8,700 price hump – Decrypt

Posted: at 7:47 am

Bitcoin is having a pretty good week. A bullish trend, which began on Monday, has seen the price of Bitcoin recover from its monthly low of $7,762 two weeks ago.

During the last four days, Bitcoin has climbed, but its met strong resistance near the $8,700 per coin mark.

This is a key zone, because it marks the EMA 200 line (the Exponential Moving Average of the last 200 days, which gives an approximation of what the actual price of BTC should be if we consider its performance in the previous months.

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Yesterday, a gentle bullish push that started at $8,180 sparked optimism in traders and hodlers. The bulls expected it to cross the EMA200 as confirmation of a trend that could lead BTC to at least a zone near $9,500.

And, in fact, it didbut not for long.

At 3:00 UTC, the bulls broke that barrier for a few minutes, but soon tired out. Almost immediately, the price corrected to below $8,500 per bitcoin, according to TradingView.

Currently, Bitcoin is priced at about $8,555 and is having difficulty taking off. Although this may seem discouraging for traders in the short term, the truth is that these small corrections serve to balance the markets. A trend without corrections increases its risk over time.

Zooming out, Bitcoin still remains in a downward channel. Most analysts believe that before talk of any possible rally can begin, Bitcoin must first break the resistance of this channel located near a price of $9,500.

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Bitcoin continues to struggle to get over the $8,700 price hump - Decrypt

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SpaceX and Bitcoin Both Aiming for the Moon in Q1 2020 – BeInCrypto

Posted: at 7:47 am

The first three months of next year could be huge for both SpaceX and, by inference, the price of Tesla stock and Bitcoin. Both of them will be looking skywards in early 2020, with Elon Musks company teaming up with NASA for a first manned mission and Bitcoins mining reward getting cut in half.

It wasannouncedthat SpaceXsnewCrew Dragon astronaut capsule will be ready for its first manned flight into orbit in the first quarter of next year.

It is a big step for SpaceX a company that Musk has a 54 percent stake in and it could spill over to boost Teslas stocks.

More so, its timing could coincide with Bitcoins own predicted increase in value as it becomes 50 percent more scarce by May 2020.

For Tesla a separate company to SpaceX but one that is also heavily invested in by Musk, who has 20 percent ownership and is the de facto face of the company the advancement to manned space travel is indicative of advancing technology. This is part of the story of Tesla, as well.

The stock of the electric car company may well be down from its earlier highs. What makes it different from other stocks, however, is the fact that Teslas story plays a big role in its performance. Explained John Rosevear, an automotive investor:

Teslas valuation isnt driven by its current financial performance; its driven by investors expectations of future growth a story, in other words. As the story goes, Teslas sales will continue to rise sharply over the next several years as the developed world embraces electric vehicles, until its one of the worlds largest and most profitable automakers.

With Tesla possibly poised to profit early next year from the next step in SpaceXs evolution, Bitcoin will, too, be looking to benefit from a rare occurrence at the start of 2020.

Leading up to the Bitcoin mining reward halving, predictions have been made that the coin could reach as high as$400,000, based on previous iterations of this occurrence.

Well-known trader and financial analyst@Rektcapital recently pointed out interesting price movements before and after the two previous halvings which, he states, are setting up the May 2020 halvening to see a sharp price spike in Bitcoin through Q1.

Bitcoin being more scarce in a few months time has seen the network hashrate andmining difficultyskyrocket. This, in turn, has previously been seen as a good omen for a price surge in the near future.

Will Tesla be able to profit by the work that Elon Musk is doing with SpaceX? Will the electric car companys stock rise in a similar manner as Bitcoins own price is set to rise in Q1 2020? Let us know what you think!

Images courtesy of Twitter.

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SpaceX and Bitcoin Both Aiming for the Moon in Q1 2020 - BeInCrypto

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Renowned Bitcoin Artist Encourages Venezuelan Artists Spread the BTC Word – newsBTC

Posted: at 7:47 am

Perhaps the most well known Bitcoin artist is on a mission to spread the Bitcoin word in Venezuela. Pascal Boyart has been working with the website SatoshiEnVenezula to help artists local to the South American nation monetise their work using the crypto asset.

Boyart is famous for his Bitcoin-inspired murals in his native France. His preferred medium, city walls, make fitting canvases to experiment with the use of permissionless monetary networks.

Pascal Boyart is at the forefront of the cryptocurrency art world. Hes made a name for himself with his enormous murals, inspired by the racket that is central banking and the potential alternative offered by Bitcoin.

Although NewsBTC has featured Boyarts work on numerous occasions in the past, his latest project sees him extend the tools of his craft to his fellow artists for the first time particularly those in Venezuela.

Working with SatoshiEnVenezuela, a group attempting to spread cryptocurrency awareness in the hyperinflation-stricken nation, the artist has produced an extensive guide, which details exactly how local street artists can monetise their own work using Bitcoin and, by doing so, promote the cryptocurrency in the process.

For many Bitcoin advocates, Venezuela appears to represent the ideal circumstances for widespread adoption of the cryptocurrency. The nation has seen its national currency, the bolivar, plummet relative to other fiat currencies in recent years at the hands of reckless government policies.

Despite rising interest in Bitcoin, as evidenced by volume data from LocalBitcoins (provided by UsefulTulips), real usage of the digital currency appears to be isolated for now. Groups like SatoshiEnVenezuela are working tirelessly to promote Bitcoin as a workable alternative to the bolivar for those that have seen life savings dwindle before their eyes but are yet to see real traction.

Efforts to familiarise people with Bitcoin, such as those Boyart has been involved with in the past, could start to reverse this situation. Even artworks not directly critiquing central banking or espousing the virtues of Bitcoin, as many of Boyarts own works do, still contribute to the normalisation of the crypto asset.

The joint effort between Boyart and SatoshiEnVenezuela describes exactly how artists can work Bitcoin wallet QR codes into their pieces. It features an extensive tutorial that details different methods for including wallet information within artwork, as well as issues the French mural painter has encountered during his own creative journey with Bitcoin, and the importance of publicising the very idea.

The tutorial concludes with an extensive FAQ, in which Boyart explains the permissionless nature of Bitcoin itself. This quality seems to make Bitcoin even more well-suited to the street mural artists craft. Painting a mural is often an anarchic act in itself, which forgoes the need to request permission from whichever authority has jurisdiction over the wall used as canvas.

Related Reading: Is Bitcoin Becoming A Leading Indicator For Gold?

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Mapped: Cryptocurrency Regulations Around the World – Visual Capitalist

Posted: at 7:47 am

Following the unprecedented cryptocurrency boom in 2017, investors and governments alike could no longer ignore the growth of decentralized finance.

The world has become increasingly fascinated with cryptocurrencies and the ways they are enabling greater access, such as being able to send funds to remote places or securing capital for small businesses.

To aid this, cryptocurrency regulations are being slowly introduced into global financial markets. Regulations help to monitor these emerging digital currencies, and to allow for clearer guidelines and a measure of security.

Todays graphic from ComplyAdvantage maps out major regulatory cryptocurrency and exchange landscapes around the world, showing how sentiments towards digital currencies are evolving.

To do this, ComplyAdvantage measured cryptocurrency regulatory environments using their own Light-to-Tight scale, based on the following criteria:

Which jurisdictions have the strictest and most relaxed regulations for cryptocurrencies?

Global attitudes towards the rise of cryptocurrencies have shifted greatly over the past few years. While the term cryptocurrency is a bit of a misnomer, some countries do consider digital currencies legal tender, with many viewing cryptocurrencies as commodities.

Below is a table of the major countries that are pursuing cryptocurrency regulations:

Sources: ComplyAdvantage, HedgeTrade, CoinDesk

Japan has one of the most progressive regulatory climates for cryptocurrencies, widely considering bitcoin as legal tender and passing a law in mid-2017 recognizing cryptocurrencies as legal property. In late 2018, Japan also approved self-regulation for the crypto industry.

By contrast, China currently has one of the most restrictive environments in the world for cryptocurrency. China banned bitcoin transactions in 2013, as well as ICOs and crypto exchanges in 2017though many have found workarounds through sites not yet firewalled.

Cryptocurrency and exchange regulations in the EU are determined by individual member states, and are considered legal across the bloc.

Digital currency offers great promise, through its ability to reach people and businesses in remote and marginalized regions.

Christine Lagarde, Managing Director of IMF

Perhaps unsurprisingly, Switzerland has one of the most open climates for cryptocurrencies and exchanges in Europe. In 2016, the city of Zug, known as Crypto Valley, started accepting bitcoin as payment for city fees. Swiss Economics Minister Johann Schneider-Ammann announced his goal in 2018 to make Switzerland the worlds first crypto-nation.

Both Canada and the U.S. take a similar approach to cryptocurrency legislation at the federal level, as both countries view cryptocurrencies as securities. However, provincial and state regulations differ widely in their taxation requirements of profits from crypto investments.

Regulations throughout Latin and South America run the full legislative spectrum.

Cryptocurrencys journey is the story of a technology rapidly outpacing the laws that govern it.

Governments around the world are keenly aware of this problem. Members of the G20 published a request in June 2019 for a global regulatory framework for cryptocurrencies to be implemented to better manage the benefits and challenges that cryptocurrencies bring.

Regulation for both cryptocurrencies and crypto exchanges is essential for the future of digital financebringing legitimacy to the digital financial market, and making it more attractive for new businesses, established banks, and investors worldwide to more easily conduct business within this emerging ecosystem.

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Bitcoin Will End the Reign of Dictators and Toll Trolls, Says Tim Draper – Cointelegraph

Posted: at 7:47 am

Billionaire investor Tim Draper has stated that he expects Bitcoin (BTC) combined with other technologies to change how governments operate worldwide.

In a Medium post published on Oct. 10, Draper calls Bitcoin the startup currency and praises its decentralization and borderless nature, saying he believes that BTC will bring the world together:

With Bitcoin, and the decentralization that comes with Bitcoin, geographic borders have become less relevant. No longer are we at the mercy of dictators and toll trolls to grow the world economy. [...] In the long-term I believe with regard to business and economics, we are, more than ever, one world.

Draper also accuses those dismissing Bitcoin of clutching to tribalism, and reiterates the belief that tribalism is dying. He also compares the attempts to retain power to the roar of a falling king:

Tribalism is dying. And like the dying roar of the king of the jungle, we are hearing political leaders beat their chests as they try to cling to the power they once wielded when the world was still only tribal.

Draper also describes the idea of a global health insurance policy that is more effective and efficient than current offerings where the premiums are in bitcoin and the claims are settled to the letter with smart contracts and monitored by artificial intelligence.

He also explains his vision of a pension that does not depend on the decision of political leaders, but instead is simply a form of fixed smart contract. Draper concludes:

Bitcoin brought with it a few fundamental technologies that can accelerate our transformation from a tribal planet to a global one.

As Cointelegraph reported on Sept. 30, billionaire technology investor Mark Cuban, on the other hand, said that he would be happier owning bananas rather than Bitcoin.

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Bitcoin Will End the Reign of Dictators and Toll Trolls, Says Tim Draper - Cointelegraph

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Tim Draper: Bitcoin will change how Governments operate – FXStreet

Posted: at 7:47 am

Tim Draper, a popular venture capital investor, stated that he expects Bitcoin (BTC), among other technologies, to change how governments function worldwide. In a recent medium post, Draper calls Bitcoin the startup currency and compliments its decentralization and borderless nature. He is affirmative of BTC bringing the world together:

With Bitcoin, and the decentralization that comes with Bitcoin, geographic borders have become less relevant. No longer are we at the mercy of dictators and toll trolls to grow the world economy. [...] In the long-term I believe with regard to business and economics, we are, more than ever, one world.

Draper likened governmental attempts to censor Bitcoin as the roar of a falling king.

Tribalism is dying. And like the dying roar of the king of the jungle, we are hearing political leaders beat their chests as they try to cling to the power they once wielded when the world was still only tribal.

Draper also highlights the idea of a global health insurance policy. He believes that the approach is more effective and efficient than current offerings where the premiums are in bitcoin and the claims are settled to the letter with smart contracts and monitored by artificial intelligence.

He also portrays his idea of a pension that does not depend on the decision of political leaders, but instead is simply a form of fixed smart contract. Draper concluded:

Bitcoin brought with it a few fundamental technologies that can accelerate our transformation from a tribal planet to a global one.

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Tim Draper: Bitcoin will change how Governments operate - FXStreet

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Crypto sextortion scammers shifting from Bitcoin to Litecoin and other altcoins – FXStreet

Posted: at 7:47 am

Crypto sextortion and phishing scammers are avoiding detection by email filters by using Litecoin and other popular altcoins instead of Bitcoin. Cofense, a web security platform that specializes in detecting and preventing phishing scams, pointed out a new crypto-based sextortion scam utilizing LTC in its report.

Previous iterations showed a gradual shift away from identifiable patterns and to alternative cryptocurrencies, in an attempt to foil SEG bitcoin-detection rules. The current emails appear to be crafted to contain very few searchable word patterns.

The sextortion scam involves tricking users by claiming that their device is hacked, including their adult-search web history and webcam footage. The scammers then demand a ransom in crypto to avoid information from being released publicly. Cofense stated that many operations aim users from password breaches, giving more authenticity to the initial phishing email.

Cofense also stated that scammers will most likely continue switching the accepted crypto to prolong the scam and avoid phishing detection. They advise users to ignore phishing emails and take careful steps with email addresses that have become a target for scams.

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Crypto sextortion scammers shifting from Bitcoin to Litecoin and other altcoins - FXStreet

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