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Here’s Where $800 Of Bitcoin Buys You $10,000 Cash

Researchers from cloud security-as-a-service provider Armor’s Threat Resistance Unit (TRU) have been taking a deep dive into a dozen dark markets and forums. Analysis of the data compiled from trawling these English and Russian-speaking criminal marketplaces has been published in the annual Armor Black Market Report. As well as the usual tracking of the prices for stolen credit cards, bank account credentials and Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) for-hire operators, there was one surprising new trend: a Bitcoin to cash conversion scheme that offers criminal buyers the opportunity to buy cash for pennies on the dollar. Paying $800 (£647) in Bitcoin gets you $10,000 (£8,095) in cash.

The Black Market Report

The Armor Black Market Report is the result of researchers from the Armor TRU trawling through underground internet markets and criminal forums. These “dark markets” are notorious for selling just about anything that can be stolen online, from personal and financial data to illicit services such as articles of incorporation for creating shell companies, the distribution malicious spam and even hackers for hire who will scrub your credit history.

The TRU research team analyzed and compiled data from twelve dark markets and criminal forums visited between February and June 2019. It came as no surprise to me that they found cybercriminal after cybercriminal selling credentials for as yet “unhacked” Windows remote desktop (RDP) servers. These are often used by ransomware actors looking for an entry point into corporate networks. That these credentials were being sold for as little as $20 (£16) was unexpected though. The cost of entry, quite literally, to the ransomware threat sector has never been cheaper.

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Neither, for that matter, has the cost of cold, hard cash. The TRU researchers found that, partly to get noticed in a crowded market and partly to offset the risk of monetizing stolen banking and credit card accounts, entrepreneurial threat actors are selling cash for between 10 and 12 cents on the dollar. This isn’t, as you might have guessed, a case of criminal philanthropy.

Instead, it’s a method for criminals to offload the risk of monetizing stolen account credentials by transferring the funds available rather than taking possession of them. It’s still money laundering, and it’s illegal, but it puts the most significant weight of risk onto the buyer.

Here’s how the buy cash for Bitcoin scheme works

The seller offers bundles of cash in various amounts, from $2,500 (£2,020) to $10,000 (£8,095) in exchange for a pre-paid fee in Bitcoin. That fee varies between 10% and 12%. Which means that $10,000 of cold cash can be bought for $800 in Bitcoin.

The buyer makes the payment and then chooses how they would like to collect the cash. This can be a straightforward transfer of funds to a bank or PayPal account or wired via Western Union. As well as getting a significant return on their illicit investment, the purchaser no longer has to worry about monetizing online bank account or credit card credentials. It’s a turn-key service; there’s no risky logging into compromised accounts, no money mules to worry about, just the (totally illegal) collection of cash.

“For those scammers who don’t possess the technical skills and a robust money mule network to monetize online bank account or credit card credentials, this is an offer that can be very attractive,” Chris Hinkley, head of Armor’s TRU team said, “the threat actors are still selling financial account and credit card credentials outright, but this clever service gives them an additional channel for monetizing the large amounts of financial data available on the underground.”

Money mules served well by dark market documentation

One of the other interesting things to come out of this analysis was the fact that cybercriminals are selling articles of incorporation and sole proprietorship papers on the dark market. Not shocking, but interesting. While the cash for Bitcoin transactions gets rid of the money mule requirement, there are still plenty of people who adopt that role, and these papers are aimed at them. A money mule is someone who transfers stolen money between accounts in exchange for a fee of between 10% and 20% of the value. For a money mule to be successful, they need to open business bank accounts that don’t trigger fraud alerts on larger transfer volumes. To open these accounts, they need an Employer Identification Number (EIN) assigned by the U.S. Internal Revenue Service, and that’s where the documentation to create shell companies enters the equation. The documentation does not come cheap, however. Sole proprietorship papers complete with EIN were found on sale for $1,611 (£1,298), and Articles of Incorporation with EIN were $811 (£653).

Follow me on Twitter or LinkedIn. Check out my website.

I’m a three-decade veteran technology journalist and have been a contributing editor at PC Pro magazine since the first issue in 1994. A three-time winner of the BT Security Journalist of the Year award (2006, 2008, 2010) I was also fortunate enough to be named BT Technology Journalist of the Year in 1996 for a forward-looking feature in PC Pro called ‘Threats to the Internet.’ In 2011 I was honored with the Enigma Award for a lifetime contribution to IT security journalism. Contact me in confidence at davey@happygeek.com if you have a story to reveal or research to share

Source: Here’s Where $800 Of Bitcoin Buys You $10,000 Cash

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How Paxful Places The Best Bitcoin Buying & Selling System Platform In the Crypto World

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On Paxful you buy bitcoin from other people in real-time. Trading happens online via live chat. Paxful Vendors can earn six figures from the comfort of their home and many do. Once payment is made and verified by the seller, the bitcoin will be released to your wallet. We’ve built a feedback and reputation system on the advice of the very best traders in the space. Use the simplest bitcoin wallet on earth. You can’t make a mistake and know exactly where to go next.

More than 300 payment options

Your customers can pay using any payment option our vendors accept. Our vendors convert customer payments to bitcoin which your bitcoin payment processor converts to cash to your bank account. Payment options are divided into 4 main groups

A simple button that makes it super easy for your users to pay with bitcoin, perfect for sites already accepting bitcoin. It saves them the trouble of copying and pasting bitcoin addresses and amounts and takes payment straight from their Paxful wallet making it easier for you to get paid! See the video below to see how it works..

Easy for newbies

Want mainstream users? Better make it easy! Our system is battle tested with the 2nd biggest classifieds ads site on the internet.

Mobile friendly

PAY WITH PAXFUL eliminates copying and pasting. You’d surprised how many can’t copy and paste long bitcoin addresses or decimals, especially on mobile.

Instant bitcoin

Other ways to buy bitcoin take 4-6 days. With Paxful it’s instant, which means more business for you.

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Cut support in half

Doing 24/7 phone support for newbies taught us that sending bitcoin is even harder than buying it for most people. We fix that.

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Gift cards

Amazon, OneVanilla, Target, Walmart and other major brands.

Cash

Western Union, Moneygram, Bank of America and cash deposits to other banks.

Online wallets

Paypal, Skrill, Neteller, Serve to Serve transfer and other major online wallets.

Debit/credit cards

Any debit/credit cards are used by our vendors own payment processors.Your buyers have the option of paying anyway they can without the risk of a bank card. Win!Paxful vendors convert all forms of payment to bitcoin. They charge a margin for this service and also provide live chat support. Win! You, the merchant can now accept every form of payment on earth and get paid with zero chargeback risk. Win!

Paxful is primarily an online bitcoin marketplace, but it offers businesses the option of adding a “Pay with Paxful” button to their e-shops. With this option, customers from all around the world can make purchases using the bitcoin in their e-wallets, rather than exchanging currency through a more traditional option.

You can become a Paxful Partner by adding a Virtual Bitcoin Kiosk to your blog, website, app or social media page. As a Paxful Partner, you can earn 2% of your sale through your Virtual Bitcoin Kiosk.

Source: https://paxful.com

 

 

Blow To Bitcoin As Top Accountants Make Serious Facebook Warning

bitcoin, bitcoin price, Facebook, libra, image

Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies have been largely ignored by the world’s regulators over the last ten years, with only some small attempts to protect investors from wild bitcoin price swings and dodgy crypto exchanges.

The bitcoin price, up some 200% so far this year, has somewhat recovered after a terrible 2018 largely due to interest in bitcoin and cryptocurrencies from some of the world’s biggest tech companies, including social media giant Facebook which unveiled its planned libra cryptocurrency project last month and is scheduled for release some time in 2020—if the sandal-hit company can convince regulators of its merits.

Now, forensic accountancy firm BTVK has warned the bitcoin and crypto “wild west” could be coming to an end, with global regulators closing in on bitcoin and cryptocurrency exchanges as a result of the spotlight brought by Facebook’s libra project.

“Laws are in development as we speak,” Alex Hodgson, senior consultant at BTVK, told the Telegraph newspaper following the release of its report into bitcoin and cryptocurrencies. “Facebook has well-publicized issues in the past, and in response to that [regulators] are going above and beyond.”

“If cryptocurrency markets were like the ‘wild west’ in their early years, that period may be coming to a close as lawmakers look to toughen up the way in which markets are policed,” the report authors wrote. “In the meantime, it would be wrong to assume that investigators are powerless in the world of virtual currencies. They have many tools, old and new, at their disposal which mean that cryptocurrency markets should not be seen as a safe hiding place.”

Facebook is still reeling from a data-sharing scandal that saw many of its most senior executives hauled before governments around the world to answer questions on Facebook’s use of data and its work with third parties, such as Cambridge Analytica.

Earlier this month, U.S. president Donald Trump sent the bitcoin and cryptocurrency industry for a loop when he tweeted his opposition to bitcoin, cryptocurrencies, and Facebook’s libra, suggesting they are all “unregulated crypto assets” that can “facilitate unlawful behavior, including drug trade and other illegal activity.”

Following his comments, other senior U.S. officials echoed his comments, while U.S. senators called Facebook’s libra plans “unacceptable.”

Elsewhere, former International Monetary Fund managing director Christine Lagarde, who is set to replace Mario Draghi as president of the European Central Bank (ECB), earlier this year warned that bitcoin and cryptocurrencies are “shaking the system”—something that could signal a change in the ECB’s approach to bitcoin and crypto.

bitcoin, bitcoin price, Facebook, libra, chart

The bitcoin price has rallied hard this year but global regulators are “closing in.”

In the U.K. bitcoin and cryptocurrencies were placed under the oversight of the country’s banking regulator in January with it expected to issue final guidance sometime over the next couple of months.

Meanwhile, a government panel in India has recommended a ban on all “cryptocurrencies created by non-sovereigns” due to “serious concern [there is a] mushrooming of cryptocurrencies almost invariably issued abroad and numerous people in India investing in these cryptocurrencies.”

The report out of India does support the possibility of a state-issued digital currency in India, however.

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I am a journalist with significant experience covering technology, finance, economics, and business around the world. As the founding editor of Verdict.co.uk

Source: Blow To Bitcoin As Top Accountants Make Serious Facebook Warning

Over 90% of dApps ‘Did Not Record Transactions’, dAppRadar Data Shows | CryptoGlobe

This, according to data from DAppRadar – which was pointed out by Twitter user Kevin Rooke on February 9th, 2019. As Rooks explains in his tweet, 86% of ETH-based dApps had zero users last Saturday, while 93% did not record any transactions. Although there are reportedly around 40 times more developers focused on creating software for Ethereum (when compared to its closest competitors such as EOS and Tron), ETH-based dApps don’t appear to have lived up to expectations. There are about 1,375 “live” dApps built on the Ethereum blockchain, however the number of active users have remained consistently low. According to data from DAppRadar…………….

Source: https://www.cryptoglobe.com/latest/2019/02/over-90-of-dapps-did-not-record-transactions-dappradar-data-shows/

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Bitcoin Cash Transaction Fees Were Less Than a Cent Throughout Most of 2018

The BCH network continues to truck along in 2019 and with it come the cheap and lightning fast transactions supporters talk about all the time. Over the last 10 months, the median average for daily BCH miner fees has not risen above a penny. Typically, a transaction of 236 bytes or less costs the sender around $0.001 to $0.008 on the Bitcoin Cash blockchain…..

Source: Bitcoin Cash Transaction Fees Were Less Than a Cent Throughout Most of 2018 – Bitcoin News

Bitcoin Payments Down 80% in 4th Quarter of 2018: Chainalysis Data – P. H. Madore

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Citing Chainalysis data, Reuters is reporting that Bitcoin retail payments were down 80% in September, and no mention of a rebound was present.

Several things are to blame, including scalability of Bitcoin transactions (and the expensive nature of them as a result) and the volatility of the currency itself. In order to have mass adoption and continued growth in the retail payments sector, more retailers will have to accept the currency. In order for that to happen, market conditions must be met and retailers must see it as an added value.

BitPay has recently taken a number of measures to make its service more attractive to retailers who want the US dollar value of their sales protected. Beyond the base value of allowing retailers to accept Bitcoin and cash out dollars, BitPay has added three “stablecoins” to its arsenal, giving retailers more flexibility and increasing the likelihood that some of them will remain in the crypto market with their money, at least tangentially.
Lightning Network Yet Unproven

There is also the advent of the Lightning Network, which eliminates the problems of high transaction fees, network congestion, and the ceiling on the number of transactions that can be processed. At least in theory. The way payment channels work, a retailer that wanted to be able to process $1 billion in transactions in a given length of time would have to open up a channel that would allow for that.

Bitcoin retail transactions generally increase with the ticker price, as the buying power of a single unit goes up dramatically. The continuing relative difficulty of acquisition makes it less attractive to spend coins on a regular basis unless you’re seeing an increase in the amount of things you can purchase. At the same time, the regulatory situation is still murky regarding all types of crypto transactions. In some cases a user might be charged capital gains tax if he spends his Bitcoin to acquire goods or services.

Chainalysis spoke to 17 major Bitcoin payment processors to determine the 80% overall drop (in value, not necessarily BTC transacted). Public data obtained on Coinpayments.net, which processes transactions for dozens of traditional cryptocurrencies, showed that it had seen a drop of 50% in the first half of the year.

Actual Bitcoin transactions have been steady, although not extreme, with a high in January of more than 350,000 on a single day


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Survey: Fifth of Brits Believe Bitcoin Will Be the Currency of the Future – Julie Williams

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Bitcoin as a financial instrument has been in existence for quite a long while (since around 2008). It has revolutionized the way financial transactions are being carried out in many sectors across the globe. This is because it possesses the following properties:

  • It is irreversible: After confirmation, a transaction cannot be reversed, whether by you, me or even the Prince of Wales.
  • It is secure: A Bitcoin address is more secure than any central bank in the world. This is because Bitcoin funds are locked in a public key cryptography system. Therefore, only the owner of the private key can send cryptocurrency.

Bitcoin is having a volatile period, in fact, it’s had quite a year. It moved from a fringe investment to a global sensation in a matter of weeks in November 2017. All these necessitated the question – what is the future of Bitcoin? One thing is certain, cryptocurrency is changing the future of finance.

A survey on the use of cryptocurrency today and in the future in Great Britain was conducted by YouGov. YouGov is an international internet-based market research and data analytics firm which serves industries, governments, and people by gathering data and giving it to those who can act on them.

Below is the result of the survey:

1. Most people know about Bitcoin

93% of those who contributed to the poll were aware of Bitcoin. This is a huge figure when we take into consideration the fact that Bitcoin has only been around for a short while compared to other currencies. It also shows that Bitcoin has made an impact in Britain.

Among the contributors, one out of twenty persons (4%) claimed to understand Bitcoin very well, while almost six times that many claimed to understand it fairly well. Also, young men seemed more likely to claim to understand Bitcoin than the female folks.

2. British men claim to have a better understanding of Bitcoin than women

A large number of men claimed to understand Bitcoin. 39% of men claim to understand bitcoin either “very well” or “fairly well”, compared to just 14% of women who said they felt the same.

3. Young people have a stronger grasp of crypto than older people

Over 2 in 5 of young people that responded to the survey said they understood Bitcoin fairly well, while 16% of those who are older than 55 said they grasped the technology.

4. Young people have invested more in bitcoin than older people

45 respondents aged 18 – 24 claimed to have bought Bitcoin while just 1% of those aged 55 years and above have bought Bitcoin.

5. Bitcoin will be as common as cash or credit card

As already believed by the average crypto enthusiast, 20% of the participants in the survey believe that Bitcoin will be the currency of the future, 80% do not believe or are not very sure, while 43% are certain it won’t be as common as cash or credit card in the future.

Anyway, that’s their take. Where do you stand? Have you heard ofBbitcoin? Have you ever bought Bitcoin? Do you believe Bitcoin is centrally controlled or controlled by the people who own it? Do you think Bitcoin would be as common as credit card or cash in the future? Have your say!

Stop Using “Transactions Per Second:” Bitcoin’s More Than That -Nigel Dollentas

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While bitcoin serves many functions, one its most substantial uses is as a payment system. Typically the metric that has been used to compare Bitcoin to companies like VISA, Paypal, or even newer blockchains that tout higher transaction capacity, is through how many transactions the system can handle, usually seen as transaction per second (tps). An article published on November 10, 2018, argues that not only is the three-four tps rate of Bitcoin fine, but perfectly suitable for the kind of transactions Bitcoin is catered for…………

Read more: https://btcmanager.com/transactions-per-second-bitcoin/

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