Opinions

Cryptocurrencies this Week: Growing by Success Shrinking by Scams

According to a news report, Thai police arrested actor Jiratpisit “Boom” Jaravijit after a fraudulent complaint lodged against him. The 27 years old was alleged of tempting a foreigner to invest about 797 million baht, that is roughly $24 million, in cryptocurrency.

At the time of arrest, Jiratpisit was occupied with shooting of his film in Cineplex Ratchayothin that is located in Chatuchak district. According to the Criminal Court, he was charged with money laundering and that’s why his arrest warrants were issued. Until now, the actor has denied all charges against him.

The report further elaborates that Jiratpisit is one of the seven people who is suspected of being involved in this fraud. The investor who was scammed told that he was manipulated in investment plans. He was told that his money would be invested in cryptocurrency Dragon Coin. As instructed by the Jiratpisit and his group, he transferred bitcoin of $24 million worth to their accounts. Unfortunately, even after doing as told, he was still not owning any shares in the claimed company. The Crime Suppression Division (CSD) reported that criminals withdrew bitcoin from their e-wallets and later converted it in to Baht. Therefore, confirming the claims of the victims and discarding the claims by criminals, who stated that they never received any bitcoin and didn’t offer anyone investment plans in the first place.

CSD has taken action of this case and also ordered arrest warrants for Jiratpisit’s elder brother and sister, who accompanied him. Ever since the hype of bitcoin, many unfortunate events related to scams have been increasing exponentially. This sad incident from Thailand is not the only news so far. This week, South Korean Police was also in action to prevent a similar cryptocurrency scam.

South Korean Police raided an office of a firm, Shinil Group. The local firm was buying the trust of investors by claiming that it found remains of Dmitrii Donskoi, a Russian warship that disappeared in 1905 during the Russo-Japanese War. The firm released a clip of ship and further tried to sell the rumor that ship had about 200 tons of gold i.e $116 billion worth. It started issuing a cryptocurrency based on the value of shipwreck which was at 200 won and was expected to reach at least 10,000 won in future. Finally Interpol and Police intervened after the widespread of the perception that Shinil was running nothing but a scam. Shinil’s chief has been banned now from leaving country and is included on Interpol’s Red Notices.

In the era where digital currency has blossomed and people have tried their best to use success to their use, cyber criminals have also claimed their share by disrupting many processes and procedures.

A news report published recently told that Tokyo-based security software manufacturer, Trend Micro, was able to find a malware on dark net which aimed to disrupt particularly bitcoin ATMs. The idea of publishing the report was to explain how easy it was to buy that malware and use it for profits.

The report explained that bitcoin ATM was connected to a exchange, unlike a regular ATM which is connected to a Bank account. Therefore, bitcoin ATM didn’t posses any verification methods and used mobile numbers for identity confirmations. So was the case, that cyber criminals immediately took action and created malware to exploit the loose ends.

The malware found by Trend Micro was capable of allowing frauds of BTC equivalent of up to 6,750 U.S. dollars, euros, or pounds. And it could be bought only for $25,000. Regarding cyber crimes, Trend Micro stated:

As long as there is money to be made — and there is quite a bit of money in cryptocurrencies — cybercriminals will continue to devise tools and to expand to lucrative new ‘markets.’ As the number of Bitcoin ATMs grows, we can expect to see more forms of  malware targeting cryptocurrency ATMs in the future.

Mankind has always been progressing growth through evolution. The evolution brought by blockchain technology and digital cryptocurrencies in 21st century has seen highs and wonders. But unfortunately the ones who were not contributors in the process, have made sure that they themselves end high by exploiting the highs of blockchain and cryptocurrencies.

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Fatir Malik

Electrical engineer by profession, turned into blockchain developer. Fatir contributes regularly with his insights about latest developments in fintech sector. Email: fatir@blockpublisher.com or contact the editor at editor.opinions@blockpublisher.com

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