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Netherlands’ AFM Warns of Firms Showing Signs of Boiler Room Fraud

Netherlands’ AFM Warns of Firms Showing Signs of Boiler Room Fraud

As regulatory bodies from around the globe continue to take stern measures to identify and arrest investment-related illegal activities, more and more cases of fraud are emerging out. On Monday, Netherlands’ financial regulator Autoriteit Financiële Markten (AFM) has issued a warning against the unauthorized activities of a cryptocurrency boiler room that has been offering investments in the country without complying with Dutch financial legislation.

The watchdog has blacklisted BTCbrokerz on suspicion of running a so-called boiler room scam, selling nonexistent cryptocurrencies to investors. The company is also offering leveraged trading products that reference crypto coins and other asset classes, namely CFDs on stocks, commodities, indices, FX and much more based only on its so-called CRYPTO Exchange.

Boiler rooms use sophisticated tactics to approach investors, offering to buy or sell shares in a way that will bring a huge return. But victims are often left out of pocket – sometimes losing all of their savings or even their family home.

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The AFM released a list of other operators which are swaying investors by making false claims while calling their fake products to be transparent for investors to trade. Today’s warning is the latest initiative in its efforts to clamp down on companies engaging in fraudulent activities.

In an update on its website, the regulator defined boiler room scams as a type of fraud that involves contacting customers unsolicited, often by telephone, offering to sell them little-known shares or exotic financial products. Although the boiler rooms often claim to be authorized service providers with professional websites and forms to fill out, they are in reality swindlers that offer fictitious or worthless shares or products.

Based on this, the AFM strongly advises against responding to any offers of financial or recovery services made by the companies listed above and against transferring money to any account number they might mention.

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World’s Top 10 Crypto Companies Hold 830,433 Bitcoin

World’s Top 10 Crypto Companies Hold 830,433 Bitcoin

According to the data compiled by a financial comparison platform Bankr.nl, the top 10 companies hold 830,433 bitcoin, currently worth approximately $15 billion. Grayscale is at the top with 509,581 BTC.

The platform released a report on Monday that shows the dominance of leading firms. The mentioned companies are holding nearly 4% of the total bitcoin supply. A total of 6 out of the top 10 companies are from the US.

US companies include, Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (509,581 BTC), Block.one (140,000 BTC), MicroStrategy (38,250 BTC), Galaxy Digital Holdings (16,651 BTC), Stone Ridge Holdings Group (10,889 BTC) and Square inc. (4,709 BTC).

The top 10 list includes companies from the UK, Switzerland, Canada and Germany. UK-based CoinShares and Switzerland-based, the Tezos Foundation holds 69,370 BTC and 24,808 BTC, respectively.

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As of writing, the combined value of bitcoin holding of the top 10 companies exceeds $15 billion.

“The accumulation of Bitcoin by the highlighted companies spells good fortunes for the asset in regards to the elusive mainstream adoption. It is worth noting that, currently, the future price of Bitcoin remains debatable, but the companies demonstrate that holding Bitcoin is less risky than not having any,” the official report states.

Institutional Adoption

In recent months, US-based investment firms and technology companies have taken significant measures to increase bitcoin holding. Finance Magnates reported today that Wall Street’s leading asset management firm, Guggenheim Partners filed with the SEC to seek 10% investment exposure in Grayscale Bitcoin Trust, an amount roughly equal to $500 million as of now. The recent flurry of investments in digital assets indicating that the companies will keep accumulating crypto assets in the future to take advantage of the limited supply.

“The acquisition of a significant amount of Bitcoin is an indicator that institutions are moving towards holding Bitcoin instead as opposed to cash-settled futures. Overall, the integration of institutional investors into the crypto ecosystem and their interest in holding is a positive sign for the asset’s prospects as another form of currency,” the report cites.

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Ethereum Price Analysis for August 7th – ETH Still Eager to Grow

Ethereum Price Analysis for August 7th – ETH Still Eager to Grow

By Dmitriy Gurkovskiy, author at RoboForex Blog

By Friday, August 7th, the ETH seems to gave lost its absolute confidence in further growth but its overall mood remains positive. This promises a chance of growth after the pause. Today the ETH is generally trading at 396 USD.

On H4, the uptrend of the ETH has passed the level of 38.2% Fibo related to the preceding long-term declining wave. Technically speaking, there is a correction forming on the chart after swift growth. After the correction and a breakaway of the high at 415.26 USD, the next goal is likely to be 50.0% Fibo (455.05 USD). However, for now, after a divergence on the MACD, an impulse of declining has corrected the previous growth to 38.2% Fibo. The next wave of growth is testing the area near the high but the market seems to be preparing another wave of decline.

ETH price analysis chart

ETH price analysis chart

On H1, wait for a decline to the support level and 368.45 USD. If this level is broken away, this will confirm the formation of another wave of decline. The aims of the decline might be 50.0% (315.50 USD) and 61.8% (292.20 USD). However, judging by the dynamics of the Stochastic, the quotations might equally rise and test the high.

ETH price chart

ETH price chart

Adam Back, the head of Blockstream, states that the ETH, along with other altcoins, demonstrates a range of features that make it look like a crypto pyramid. Simultaneously, the financier who the market thinks to be the creator of the ETH – Satoshi Nakamoto – is sure that behind each altcoin there is a personality comparable to the father of financial pyramids Charles Ponzi.

According to Back, the problem of the ETH, as of many other altcoins, is the distribution of assets. At the same time, he says that Ethereum and Ripple are rivals in a contest for being the most important fraud scheme.

Why are we talking about fraud at all? Back comments that as long as 70% of the initial altcoins have been mined by their creators, the mining schemes are non-transparent and can never become transparent.

However, the ETH rate is hardly influenced by such comments: general market moods are much more important, and they are satisfactory.

Disclaimer

Any predictions contained herein are based on the author’s particular opinion. This analysis shall not be treated as trading advice. RoboForex shall not be held liable for the results of the trades arising from relying upon trading recommendations and reviews contained herein.

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Crypto-Focused Educational Web Show Sponsored By Ukrainian Government

Crypto-Focused Educational Web Show Sponsored By Ukrainian Government

A new web series has been released by the Ukrainian Ministry of Digital Transformation, of all things. This series is dedicated to the education of the country’s citizens regarding blockchain technology, cryptocurrencies, and Bitcoin (BTC) in particular.

The Big Push For Crypto Literacy

The show itself saw its premiere on Wednesday, and was developed with collaborations with firms like Hacken, Binance, and Crystal Blockchain. The entire series itself stands as part of the “Diia.Digital Education” program enacted by the government of Ukraine.

The show itself boasts eight episodes, ranging from 6 to 12 minutes in length. The show itself sets out to explain the fundamentals of blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies. Andriy Onistrat, a former banker and now an entrepreneur, stands as the host of the show, with the main idea behind it being to interview various guests that work within the blockchain industry.

Questions Both Easy And Difficult

The first episode is already out, and publicly available on YouTube. The episode focuses on introducing cryptocurrencies as a concept, highlighting the unstoppable, permissionless transaction ledger behind it. The concept of supply auditability were given special considerations.

Onistrat compared this to the National Bank of Ukraine, who could always print out the Hryvnia to increase the supply, highlighting how this isn’t so easy for cryptocurrencies. The first guest of the series was Ivan Paskar, which stands as the Marketing Manager for Binance’s Ukrainian operations. Paskar gave an explanation regarding Bitcoin and how it maintains an auditable, immutable supply.

The pair discussed more complicated ideas, as well, going into some detail regarding smart contracts, Ethereum, and decentralized exchanges. While the show itself is developed to be friendly to beginners, Onistrat threw in some more complicated questions, as well. A prime example would be the conflicting ideas within centralized crypto exchanges.

Cryptocurrencies were built originally on the ideals of freedom and decentralization, but as the world started to adopt and regulate it, identification requirements and traceability have become a new norm. Onistrat asked Paskar these questions.

Ukraine Working Hard For New Digital Age

Should viewers completely go through all the episodes in this series, they will receive a certificate of completion. While not particularly useful, the initiative itself is sound, as the Ukrainian government is making a hard push to increase the digital literacy within its country.

The Ministry already boasts a number of informative shows: One is dedicated on how to be a YouTube blogger, while the other is titled “Digital Lessons for Teachers.”

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Chinese Police Seize over $4.2 Billion from PlusToken Proceeds

Chinese Police Seize over $4.2 Billion from PlusToken Proceeds

The Chinese police have seized more than $4.2 billion worth of cryptocurrency assets in its crackdown against the PlusToken scheme, a recent local court ruling revealed.

According to a report by The Block, the Jiangsu Yancheng Intermediate People’s Court ruled against the perpetrators of the multi-billion dollar crypto scam on November 19, but details of that were brought to the public domain on Thursday.

The court has convicted 15 people associated with the scheme so far, sentencing jail time between 2 to 11 years, along with fines between $100,000 to $1 million. Earlier this year, local media reported that the Chinese police nabbed 27 masterminds of the crypto scam.

Though the blockchain analytics companies were estimating the value of the seized assets from the Ponzi scheme, this is the first time an official figure of the seized PlusToken-related crypto assets came out.

The police seized 194,775 BTC, 833,083 ETH, 1.4 million LTC, 27.6 million EOS, 74,167 DASH, 487 million XRP, 6 billion DOGE, 79,581 BCH, and 213,724 USDT from 7 convicts during their crackdown. Current total market value of these assets tops $4.2 billion.

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However, the seized assets are below the market estimation of the size of the massive Ponzi scheme.

An $11 Billion Crypto Scam

Over 2.6 million investors fell for the fraudulent crypto scheme, across 3,293 layers during its operation between April 6, 2018, and June 27, 2019, the court detailed. Though the majority of the victims are concentrated in China and South Korea, PlusToken has made a global impact.

Furthermore, the court ruling revealed that the scheme swindled the victims, gaining 314,000 BTC, 117,450 BCH, 96,023 DASH, 11 billion DOGE, 1.84 million LTC, 9 million ETH, 51 million EOS, and 928 million XRP.

Earlier media reports showed that the fraudulent crypto scheme hoarded over 50 billion yuan (around $7.6 billion). With over $11 billion, the present market price of all digital currencies absorbed by PlusToken dwarfs this estimate.

Though the Chinese court detailed that the seized assets will be processed, and gains will be forfeited to the national treasury, the details of that were unfurnished.

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