The new wave of cryptocurrency and ICO coming from the Securities and Exchange Commission regulation has influenced Hollywood celebrities, sports stars and now social media influencers.
2/2 … Social media influencers are often paid promoters, not investment professionals, and the securities they’re touting, regardless of whether they are issued using traditional certificates or on the blockchain, could be frauds.” https://t.co/WzgvPU7Esg
SEC chairmanship claims that any content creator, Youtuber, blogger, ad platform etc. that is paid for endorsing a fraudulent ICO project or startup, or hiding some important details about this project, could be persecuted by the Commission.
The Securities and Exchange Commission came out with a press release, where it recommends the investors to be “skeptical of investment advice posted to social media platforms” and warns them to be careful when choosing the project to invest in.
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has recently published a report showing that romance scams are relentlessly gathering momentum. The number of romance scams has increased in 2.5 times, from 8,500 in 2015 to 21,368 last year, overtaking the number of any other type of consumer fraud.
Romance scams data
The data provided below shows that in 2015 the number of reports did not exceed 10,000, and the total loss was estimated at about $33 million. The situation has been worsening since 2016, when the reported loss accounted for $75 million, two times bigger than in 2015. However, the year of 2018 broke all the records when the total loss comprised over $143 million.
How do scammers lure people?
Romance scammers usually create attractive and convincing personas on the dating sites and apps or social media, like Facebook, for example. They frequently use fake photos and names, but there were cases of assuming the identities of real people. The scammers lure people with their sob stories to convince victims to send them large amounts of money.
Once the romance scammers have people by the heartstrings, they say they need money for medical treatment or for any other quite sad reason. The fraudsters usually explain to victims that they are in the military and stationed abroad, thus, they cannot meet. The report says that most affected are people from 40 to 69, the rate of their losing money to romance scams is higher more than twice in compare to the rate of people in their 20s.
Tips how to not get engaged in a romance scam
Do not send money or anything else to the sweetheart you have never met in person before.
Tell your close friends about your sweetheart. People can become blinded when they are in love, thus, pay attention if your friends or family are concerned.
Do not rush, just take it slowly. Try to ask questions, use a reverse-image search of the profile picture. If something does not match, it is a scam.
Another week has passed, yet Bitcoin still shows quite plain dynamics on the graphics. In fact, its price has not changed significantly since January 10th. Bitcoin price is $3459 at the time of writing.
Since Bitcoin’s price has recently stabilized, many institutional players began changing their attitudes towards cryptocurrency, let us see what the representatives of global companies think.
The Global Market Strategist at JPMorgan, Nikolaos Panigirtzoglou, reckons that due to Bitcoin’s stagnation many big players will return to the industry. The volatility has “calmed down” and it means that investors can give Bitcoin second chance. He also said:
“The stability that we are seeing right now in the cryptocurrency market is setting the stage for more participation by institutional investors in the future. The cryptocurrency market was a new market. It went through a bubble phase [and] the burst.”
In his interview to CNBC, he stated that the cryptocurrency could not grow, because it was not regulated, but now the situation can differ.
Wall Street research firm, Fundstrat Global Advisors, is sure that the cryptocurrency may see new lows soon.
“The price structure for most cryptocurrencies remains weak and appears vulnerable to a pending breakdown to lower lows,” Robert Sluymer, the spokesman of Fundstrat, said.
In addition, Sluymer stated that the price can vary from $4200 to $3100 or ever lower. If it suddenly hits more than $4000, it would mark a 25% increase over today’s prevailing prices. However, Robert emphasized that the technical fundamentals of Bitcoin remain weak, so the price can have downward tendency to the price mark of $3100 or even lower – $2700. The representatives of Fundstrat have also suggested that 250 small-cap coins are at risk, as they all are vulnerable to market jumps.
There are some reasons why Bitcoin price may fall down:
Lunar New Year. During this period, Asian traders have relatively weak activity which may bring consequences to Bitcoin’s rate. The unofficial holidays will last till February 19.
Uncertainty with the US budget. The Congress and the President of the US cannot reach an agreement, this will have influence on financial markets.
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) have published an announcement that they are in search of companies that are involved in analyzing blockchain data.
According to official information, the SEC is looking for both large and small companies. As part of the cooperation, the regulator expects companies to provide data on the “most widely used” blockchain registers based on the volume of transactions in order to “monitor risk and improve compliance” associated with cryptocurrencies.
In addition, the companies will have to provide the Commission with information on how this data is extracted, transformed and verified.
Those who would like to cooperate with the SEC should send an application by e-mail with a brief description of their activities until February 14.
While Iran is finding ways to adopt state-backed cryptocurrency, Singapore is fighting with rumours about launching its own cryptocurrency. The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) announced that the state would not release any cryptocurrency.
“The MAS warns members of the public not to be misled by fraudulent websites that solicit investments in cryptocurrencies using fabricated information attributed to the Singapore Government.”
According to the MAS, scammers try to sell Singaporean cryptocurrency across the web. They create fake articles and news, mentioning respected news outlets, and spread that Singapore is launching a national cryptocurrency. Moreover, they state that the government chose a specific company to trade that cryptocurrency.
People, who are not engaged in cryptocurrency world, and who are not aware about latest news in it, should be extremely careful, as they often become victims of such crimes.
The U.S-imposed sanctions continue bringing trouble not only to China, but also to Iran, so much that the Islamic Republic intends to adopt its own state-backed cryptocurrency today, January 29.
Reportedly, the Iranian government plans to make an announcement regarding to the digital assets at the Electronic Banking and Payment Systems Conference, which takes place in Tehran today. Unfortunately, the financial system was damaged, Iranian financial institutions are not able to conduct transactions and relate with the rest of the world due to the sanctions’ enforcement. From the citizens point of view, the possible variant to avoid a full financial blockage is to adopt crypto.
According to the news outlet Al Jazeera, the cryptocurrency, called Rial, will be rolled out in two phases.
It will be utilized for making payments between Iranian-based commercial banks and other internal organizations in the domestic crypto space.
Public access to the currency to make payments for local goods and services.
We remind you that the sanctions were imposed by the Donald Trump administration due to “malign activities” being carried out by the state. The biggest restriction is inability to use SWIFTsystem. Citizens are unable to make and receive payments for foreign trade activities and a wide range of other international transactions. That is why government deepened into research for other possible variants of conducting the cross-border transactions.
This year, at The World Economic Forum at Davos, one of the most urgent problems, alongside with Brexit and global climate warming, is the role of cryptocurrency in the world. Some important individuals do not support crypto at all, considering the blockchain technology is much more helpful for the world. One of those is PayPal CEO, Dan Schulman. He has given an interview to CNBC recently, where he expressed skepticism towards crypto.
The Wall Street representatives at the Forum also have stuck to this idea – “blockchain, not crypto”. Joseph Young, a leading crypto analyst, compared crypto and blockchain to airplanes and engines, saying “airplanes will go to zero while engines have potential.”
Several blockchain companies do not trust crypto as well. Jeff Schumacher, the founder of BCG Digital Ventures, thinks BTC may fall to zero. He believes that blockchain technologies hold value, but noted that such innovations shouldn’t be applied to currencies.