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The U.S. SEC (Securities and Exchange Commission) has filed charges against the Centra Tech ICO (Initial Coin Offering), claiming that the legendary boxer, Floyd Mayweather promoted a token sale, which was allegedly a sham security offering.

According to the SEC complaint, the co-founders of Centra ICO are involved in the ICO fraud and made material misstatements as well as omissions that were intended to trick the investors whereas, the Centra ICO was also an “unregistered securities offering.”

ico fraud

SEC Ceases ICO

According to the Securities and Exchange Commission, Centra only pretended to have relationships with major financial institutions and lied about it. The major financial institutions which sent Centra several cease-and-desist letters are:

  • Visa
  • Bancorp
  • Mastercard

In addition to that, some of the executives showed in Centra’s advertising materials were also fake. The co-director of SEC’s Division of Enforcement, Stephanie Avakian stated:

“We allege that Centra sold investors on the promise of new digital technologies by using a sophisticated marketing campaign to spin a web of lies about their supposed partnerships with legitimate businesses.”

Furthermore, he added:

“As the complaint alleges, these and other claims were simply false.”

The Securities and Exchange Commission originally subpoenaed Centra in the month of February as part of its wide-investigation into ICOs.

Centra ICO Dependence

The Centra ICO is quite well-known because of its use of celebrity endorsements to advertise its product. Floyd Mayweather, who is known as a legendary boxing champion and has made paid-endorsements for numerous ICOs, had worked a lot on the promotion of the token sale on various social media platforms and got more than 5,600 like and 1,500 retweets. DJ Khaled was also hired by Centra for the promotion of the ICOs; however, no celebrity was named in the summons.

Steve Peikin also stated:

“As we allege, the defendants relied heavily on celebrity endorsements and social media to market their scheme…. Endorsements and glossy marketing materials are no substitute for the SEC’s registration and disclosure requirements as well as diligence by investors.”

The SEC has also cautioned that some of these ICO endorsements by celebrities might be illegitimate especially if the parties don’t make any obligatory public disclosures. On the other hand, Mayweather’s tweet promoting the token sale, such as, doesn’t specify that it is a paid advertisement.

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Is Buying Ethereum a Good Move – Top 10 Reasons to Buy Ethereum in 2017

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Ethereum is one of the leading cryptocurrencies in the digital world. In fact, it’s the second most popular cryptocurrency after Bitcoin. The technology used to develop Ethereum algorithms is same as Bitcoin, and this is the main reason why these two function in a pretty much similar way.

Now, the question that comes to the mind is: if both Bitcoin and Ethereum are similar in nature, what makes the purchase of Ethereum more sensible over the purchase of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies?

In this article, we have discussed 1o reasons why buying Ethereum over makes more sense. Let’s give them a read!

Reasons to Invest/Purchase Ethereum Over Bitcoin In 2017:

  1. Quick Transactions:

The Bitcoin network has recently gained the reputation of being slow. According to the news coming out of Bitcoin community, this is due to the increased volume of transactions on the network. The slow confirmation time has left the Bitcoiners extremely annoyed and agitated. On the other hand, Ethereum offers transactions that are much faster. For an insight, the average Ethereum transaction time is 12 seconds in comparison to 10 minutes of a Bitcoin transaction.

  1. Smart Contracts:

‘Smart Contracts’ is a unique feature of buy Ethereum. It is basically an exchange mechanism which holds the precise records and assists two untrusted parties to make a direct exchange. These Smart Contracts reside in Blockchain and are autonomous to third party influence.

  1. Ethereum Is Open Source:

Ethereum algorithms are open source, which means any programmer/developer can access the code without having to go through permissions regarding the improvement of the code. The biggest advantage of Ethereum’s being an open source is that it allows the collaboration of projects between different sectors of industry that are based on Ethereum. As a result, the projects become seamless and more Integrative with each other.

  1. No Third Party Involvement:

Using Ethereum allows you to avoid dealing with third parties such as banks, lawyers, etc. The transactions do not depend on any intermediaries. The only thing they are dependent on is the Ethereum network.

  1. Compared to Traditional Banking, The Security Is Much Higher:

Our traditional banking system creates transactions on a monthly basis. The code of these transactions is stored in a bank’s computer and there are validations and approvals by the central authority. On the other hand, the code for Ethereum transactions is stored on participating computers. These computers forward this code to the network’s nodes – making the transaction environment secure.

  1. Ethereum Virtual Machine:

If you remember, we discussed ‘Smart Contracts’ in the earlier part of the article. The Smart Contracts needs a specialized environment to function: Ethereum Virtual Machine is that environment! The EVM gives all the projects running on Ethereum network a common base and provides them with a standard set of instructions. Some of the major programming implementations of EVM are Ruby, Java, C++, Python, and Haskell.

  1. No Transaction Fees!

Due to the availability of EVM for Ether transactions, all the account objects reside in a common execution environment. The communication between these accounts takes place via transactions. The code gathered from these accounts helps confirm/ignore a transaction. If the code is correct, the transaction will be confirmed. Else, it will be ignored. Since all of this is the responsibility of network, no transaction fees are needed.

  1. Ethereum Is Highly Stable:

One of the biggest advantages of Ethereum is that it is highly stable, has organic growth, and does not have massive spikes in price fluctuations. Besides, Ether provides the common folk with a low-cost alternative to other cryptos. Moreover, despite having encountered a number of cyber-attacks, the Ethereum blockchain still remains in huge demand to the customers. All thanks to the high stability!

  1. The Transactions Are Immune to Frauds:

Ethereum transactions are fraud less. The decentralized nature of Ethereum allows no tempering or data loss while using the network. Moreover, the network does not allow anyone – even a programmer or data miner – to destroy the record of a transaction that has already happened.

  1. Transactions are Permissionless:

Ethereum transactions are permissionless as there is no central node in the network. Everyone can make a transaction on the network. All they have to do is install the software and they are good to go.

Wrap Up:

These are the top 10 advantages of Ethereum. In conclusion, the currency offers some unique advantages and, is perfectly safe to use, or to make an investment. If you are looking to start a crypto venture, Ethereum is the best option to take off. Good luck!

Tags: why buy ethereum, bitcoin vs other cryptocurrencies

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Goldman Sachs – “Most Cryptocurrencies Will End Up Hitting Zero”

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According to Goldman Sachs, the cryptocurrency markets will not recover from their present correction. On 5th February, Steve Strongin (Goldman Sachs head of investment research) said, the high correlation between several cryptocurrencies makes him really anxious. Some currencies that do not survive are expected to trade to zero due to the lack of intrinsic value.

Strongin is worried about the possibility that maybe one or a few of the existing cryptocurrencies could ascend from the speculative bubbles, just like the crypto equivalents of Google or Amazon. However, he said that he doesn’t think that most of the coins will ever recuperate to their all-time highs.

There have been many questions arising like, is there any cryptocurrency that’ll be like Google or Amazon? Or are they going to end up just like the other now-defunct search engines? Strongin said that this doesn’t mean that the prices of cryptocurrency cannot increase at all because they are in a speculative bubble at this time. But at the same time he said, that most of the cryptocurrencies might bounce back to their all-time highs, but some of them are never going see their current peaks ever again.

most cryptocurrencies will end up hitting zero

This clearly shows that the speculative bubble is coming to its end and rather than as a collective asset class, investors are going to start judging the cryptocurrencies from their individual merits as a lot of casual retail investors are already familiar with it. It also seems like the ICO (initial coin offering) success will suddenly come to its end.

Strongin said that the winners-take-most sight of the market is not very unique to Goldman Sachs. On Wednesday, the founder of DCG (Digital Currency Group) Barry Silbert, offered the same remarks at “Yahoo Finance All Markets Summit: Crypto” with explicably more positive stance on the entire industry.

According to Silbert, a huge majority of crypto-assets are facing a binary outcome. They are either going to become extremely valuable or they are going to become worthless. He added, this is why Grayscale Investments (a DCG portfolio company) launched its newest product, a fund related to crypto-asset investment and it holds the market cap (weighted positions) in the most major five cryptocurrencies and balances it again quarterly to imitate market movements.

Many other experts have also warned the investors on cryptocurrencies. Nouriel Roubini, who’s a well- known economist said on Tuesday, that the price of bitcoin would also crash to zero. Warren Buffett also said in a recent interview that cryptocurrencies are definitely going to have a bad ending.

 

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What Are Some Top-Notch Bitcoin Debit Cards?

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Some Top-Notch Bitcoin Debit Cards

Bitcoin debit card is a handy way to bridge the gap between the world of bitcoin and traditional financing. The users can buy bitcoin with debit card or load it with bitcoins; which they can later spend at places/stores that accept credit card.

A downside of bitcoin debit card is that the users can’t spend bitcoins directly. However, it does allow them to store balance in bitcoin.

For those asking what are some top-notch Bitcoin cards and how to make Bitcoin transactions through a debit card, this post is the perfect place to be at. Here we have discussed some top-notch debit cards that you can use to make bitcoin transactions. So, let’s get started with knowing how bitcoin debit cards work.

SpectroCoin Visa Debit Card:

A prepaid Bitcoin debit card. SpectroCoin can be used at any ATM across the world. The card is funded instantly so the users don’t have to worry about exchanging bitcoins in advance.

Some highlights of SpectorCoin are:

  • All the franchises that accept Visa/Master card as a form of payment also accept SpectroCoin. This includes physical shops, ATMs, PayPal, online sites, etc.
  • Available in both virtual and physical form. Virtual cards take only a few seconds to create and can be used to spend bitcoins anywhere around the globe. On the other hand, physical ones take up to 1-4 weeks. These cards can also be used to pay with bitcoins throughout the world.
  • SpectroCoin cards can be instantly loaded from SpectroCoin wallets.

Xapo Debit Card:

Xapo was one of the first debit cards introduced to the market. However, it has yet to make an appearance in the US markets and is currently available only in European countries.

The card takes up to 1-4 weeks to be delivered with the initial cost of $20 and an annual fee of $12.

Coinbase / Shift Card:

Shift is the first bitcoin debit card available to the residents of the US. Using shift card costs no money. However, the purchase price of Shift card is $10.

BitPay Visa Debit Card:

The only Bitcoin debit card that is available in all 50 US states. BitPay costs $9.95 to purchase and takes around 10 days to arrive.

BitPay can be used in person, online and ATMs that accept Visa card.

Cryptopay Debit Card:

The most established bitcoin debit card with 23000 cards already issued. The card is pretty simple to use and allows users to spend bitcoins anywhere around the globe.

The card can be purchased both online and offline and is issued in two forms – virtual and physical.

One of the paramount benefits of Cryptopay is that it doesn’t require the users to provide personal information – giving them complete anonymity to make transactions. Bitcoin users dig this!

Costs range between £15.00, €15.00, $15.00 and £2.50, €2.50, $2.50 depending on user’s location.

Conclusion:

These are some most reliable and widely used bitcoin debit cards to make bitcoin transaction(s). All the cards are pretty easy to purchase, cost extremely low and make bitcoin transactions easier than ever. You can also find more information on their official websites.

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SEC Uncovers A Case Of Fraudulent ICO

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No doubt cryptocurrencies have become notoriously volatile as various governments and financial organisations are imposing restrictions regarding the sale and purchase of fraudulent ico. On the other hand it is also a fact that continuous boom in the cryptocurrency market is the main reason behind the birth of some alarming situations regarding its investment and fundraising options. With an increase in the popularity of Initial coin offering and cryptocurrencies, many top social networking websites have recently banned advertisements related to all sorts of activities related to this specific market. Recently Facebook, Google and Twitter are on the top of the list among the sites which have prohibited ads related to cryptocurrencies. Not only that but the US Securities and Exchange Commission has also issued a strict warning according to which celebrities can no more endorse ICOs without proper announcement. Even a country like India has officially announced that Bitcoin is no more than an illegal tender within its borders.

ico fraud

some massive frauds and illegal activities related to the digital tokens have also become a reason for such restrictions. One of such recent fraudulent activities was reported by the US security exchange commission against two co-founders of a supposed financial services start-up for organizing a deceptive initial coin offering.

Who Was Behind That ICO Fraud?

The names of the two founders are Sohrab Sharma and Robert Farkas who are behind that ICO fraud. They were running of a cryptocurrency firm by the name of Centra Tech which was also authenticated by champion boxer Floyd Mayweather. The US Securities and Exchange Commission charged the founders of Centra Tech for organizing a fraudulent initial coin offering. All that information was made public in a press release dated April 2.

 

Sohrab Sharma and Robert Farkas, were arrested and charged for raising 32 million dollars in an unregistered investment with the help of so called “CTR Token”. Farkas was fully prepared to leave the country, but was arrested moments before he could board his flight.

How Was This ICO Fraud Discovered?

According to the statement issued by US Securities and Exchange Commission, Sohrab Sharma and Robert Farkas offered a number of financial products on behalf of their company Centra Tech which also included a debit card backed by Visa and MasterCard. It was being claimed by Centra Tech that with the help of this debit card users could instantly convert cryptocurrencies into US dollars and other legal tokens. In fact it was all based on a fraud as no such agreement existed between Centra Tech and Visa or Mastercard.

 

Centra Tech was also alleged for creating fictional resumes and biographies in order to promote its fraudulent company. The company also hired celebrities like champion boxer Floyd Mayweather to promote their initial coin offering.

 

According to a warning issued by the US Securities and Exchange Commission in November last year, the ICOs which involved celebrities could be illegal.

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Bitcoin Escrow Service – Multisignature

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An escrow service provides safer transactions especially since bitcoin transactions are irreversible. It holds the buyer’s coins in escrow and releases them after the satisfaction of both the parties. Escrow protects sellers from fraudulent buyers and likewise, buyers are protected if the seller turns out to be a scammer and doesn’t deliver the goods.

bitcoin escrow service

Bitcoin Multisig

Multisig aka Multi-signature is a technology that takes care of bitcoin wallet address. The basic principle is very simple: more than one person must sign the transaction in order for it to be valid. Bitcoin has a built-in feature that lets you choose as many signatures as you like, and then choose how many signatures in total must be provided for a valid transaction.

Use Bitcoin Multisig for Escrow

How to Use Multisig to Escrow Bitcoin?

The most common use of Multisig would have to be bitcoin multi-sig escrow. Multi-sig escrow provides consumer protection without the need of a central escrow provider to hold the coins on your behalf. Instead, an address is created which requires ‘2 of 3’ signatures from the buyer, seller and a third person who provides arbitration in case there is any disagreement. This address holds the payment until the product or service is delivered, and then can be used to pay the seller or refund the buyer.

Multisig can strongly benefit both individuals and organizations in improving security, establishing access controls, and enabling the delegation of partial trust. The additional signature proves that the transaction process is complete when both parties are aware that the terms of the transaction have met.

Bitcoin Escrow- Specialized Services

There are some specific platforms present for providing bitcoin escrow service to bitcoin users.  When you use one of these services, you are able to choose a third-party arbitrator from a list. If this list isn’t available in the event of a disagreement, they will act as a mediator.

  • Bitrated – Costumers choose from a list of independent arbitrators registered on a platform. After confirmation, the buyer secures bitcoins into a multi-signature address and the payment is secure until two of the participants agree to release them.
  • Escrow My Bits – This Bitcoin escrow service charges 1% escrow fees which provides possible dispute resolution. Storing your funds in a secure 2 of 3 multi-signature transactions where they hold one key.
  • StrongCoin- It’s an online wallet with built-in escrow with 1% fee on bitcoin cryptography. Use this service to buy items as they are able to offer escrow where no single party holds bitcoins. They hold one vote and to release the coins, you require two votes.

While in escrow, coins cannot be stolen unless two of the users also sign the transaction. This is much more secure and is highly recommended for anyone dealing with a large number of bitcoins.

Bitcoin Escrow Service

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