FBI Outline Key Features of Scam ICOs, Warns Investors to Be Vigilant

The United States Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has outlined what it believes to be the consistent threads running through fraudulent initial coin offering (ICO) schemes. The Bureau’s perspective was shared in an interview with Netherlands-based financial news site the Paypers on Feb. 19. According to the FBI, the key strategies of scam offerings include misrepresentations of their directors’ professional experience, an engineered false impression of how much traction the ICO has garnered in the industry, and unrealistic promises of prospective returns on tokens: “Like any investment product, rates of…

India Targets Cryptocurrency Crime аs Part оf Cyber Security Offensive

Cryptocurrency crime forms one focus of a dedicated cybercrime lab launched by Indian authorities this week, Indian daily news outlet The Hindu reported on Feb. 19. As part of efforts to step up the fight against internet-based adversaries, India’s Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh inaugurated the cyber forensic lab and Cyber Protection Awareness and Detection Centre (CyPAD), which will be operated by police in Delhi. Within the lab, there will be a special unit focused on cryptocurrency, following years of problems involving scammers using the emerging phenomenon to commit crime.…

Japan’s Number Two Bank by Assets Completes R3 Blockchain-Based Trade Finance Trial

Japan’s second-largest bank by assets, Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation (SMBC), has completed a proof-of-concept (PoC) using blockchain consortium R3’s Marco Polo trade finance platform. A press release confirmed the PoC completion on Feb. 18. SMBC, which is the only Japanese bank participating in Marco Polo, said it had partnered with Japanese multinational Mitsui & Co. to enhance efficiency in trade processes. “[The] PoC was conducted between SMBC and Mitsui & Co. which aims to improve productivity in its trade operations, by testing modules such as Receivable Finance and Payment Commitment…

Bitmain IPO Document Reportedly Reveals $500 Million Q3 Losses

Bitcoin (BTC) mining giant Bitmain could have made losses of around $500 million in Q3 last year, industry magazine CoinDesk reported on Feb. 19, citing a company document. Bitmain, which is currently attempting to launch an initial public offering (IPO) under the auspices of the Hong Kong Stock Exchange (HKEx), submitted a report into its earnings in line with listing requirements. According to the publication, that report indicated that for 2018 as a whole, excluding Q4, revenue was $3 billion and profits $500 million. This contrasts with previous figures for…

Alleged Bitcoin Mining Scam Reported in Thailand

Victims of an alleged cryptocurrency mining scam have filed claims against the suspected perpetrator with the Technology Crime Suppression Division in Thailand, the Bangkok Post reports on Feb. 18. Per the report, 30 people have filed a complaint with police, stating that they were fooled into an alleged investment scam called “CryptoMining.Farm.” This purportedly led the loss of 42 million baht ($1.34 million). Local authorities reportedly suspect that a total of 140 individuals were affected by the scam. CryptoMining.Farm, which has offices registered in both Bangkok and Chiang Mai, supposedly…

Blockchain Startup Takes on Mainstream Crowdfunding Sites to Cut Number of Failed Projects

A new blockchain platform is vowing to take on established crowdfunding sites — and argues that their lack of accountability means greater numbers of projects fail to deliver what they promised. Pledgecamp says its approach involves offering transparency through the form of smart contracts — and ensuring that entrepreneurs and the platform they host their projects on are equally invested in a campaign’s success. One of the startup’s features is known as Backer Insurance. Instead of funds being released in full as soon as a target is met, project creators must…

Owner of Indeed and Glassdoor Job Search Engines Invests In Privacy Coin Project Beam

Japanese employment information services company Recruit Co., Ltd. has invested in a blockchain-focused company Beam Development Limited, according to an announcement published on Feb. 18. Per today’s press release, Recruit has invested in Israeli blockchain startup Beam Development Limited. The investment was made through Recruit’s $25 million fund called RSP Blockchain Tech Fund Pte. Ltd. The latter is focused on investing and acquiring shares in blockchain and cryptocurrency companies. Beam is a privacy-oriented crypto project that purportedly secures transactions by enabling transaction data to be verified by a specified third…

Blockstream Publishes Schnorr-Based Test Code for Bitcoin Blockchain Upgrade

The Schnorr-based multi-signature scheme MuSig, a test code for a potential upgrade to the Bitcoin (BTC) blockchain, has been released by blockchain tech firm Blockstream, according to an announcement published on Feb. 18. Last January, four Bitcoin developers released a paper outlining how Schnorr multi-signatures (‘multisig’) could help scale the Bitcoin blockchain, saying that the technology could reduce its transaction size and “improve both performance and user privacy in Bitcoin”. In the paper, the developers state that MuSig is designed as “a protocol that allows a group of signers to…

Major Chinese University Launches Blockchain Research Center

One of the most selective universities in China, Fudan University, has opened a blockchain research center, according to an announcement published on Feb. 15. Per the announcement, Fudan University established the Shanghai Blockchain Engineering Technology Research Center in collaboration with Zhongan Online Property Insurance Co., Ltd. and Shanghai Zhongren Information Technology Co., Ltd. The center will purportedly carry out basic research on blockchain technology, demonstrate its application, as well as provide associated talent training. The establishment of the Shanghai Blockchain Engineering Technology Research Center will further promote the development and…

Bitcoin Unable to Solve Problems of Traditional Payment Systems

An official from Spain’s central bank, the Bank of Spain (BDE) believes that Bitcoin (BTC) is unable to resolve the problems faced by major payment systems. BDE’s Deputy General Director for financial innovations and market infrastructure, Carlos Colesa, gave his opinion on the leading cryptocurrency in a report published on Sunday, Feb. 17. The study dubbed “Bitcoin: a solution for payment systems or a solution in search of a problem?,” is marked as an “occasional paper,” according to Cointelegraph en Español. This  means that the Bank of Spain does not…