This week in the world of Altcoins: The Altcoin market is still suffering, Benebit ICO exit scam may be the largest yet, Visa CEO states they will not process cryptocurrency, SEC chairman warns of crackdown on errant ICOS, a boasting crypto blogger is beaten and robbed, and IOTA and Stellar wallets are hit by hacks.
IOTA and Stellar wallets are hit by hacks
Recently, in the ever-changing world of Altcoins, IOTA wallets have been hit by hacks mounting up to $4 million. A feature of the IOTA wallets relied on users being sensible and creating their own keys for their wallets, but many have been using online key generators instead. This has handed hackers the opportunity to spoof the services and generate compromised keys.
Popular wallet provider, BlackWallet, has also faced a hacking crisis; their systems were compromised and allowed up to 670,000 Lumens (XLM) – the currency of the Stellar network – to be removed from a large number of wallets. The hack altered transactions, so that every time more than 20 Lumens were transferred, they went straight to the hackers’ wallets. No surprise that as soon as the hackers received the money, it was withdrawn. At the time of the hack the Lumens were worth $440,000 but at the moment their value is closer to $360,000. This, of course, is no consolation to the victims.
Boasting crypto blogger beaten and robbed
Pavel Nyashin, a 24-year-old crypto blogger from St. Petersburg, is in the news this week after an incident involving theft, assault, and damage to private property. Pavel is a slightly controversial figure in the crypto scene, running a regular blog on which he boasts how much money he is making via cryptocurrencies. He even goes so far as to post pictures of himself surrounded by ludicrous amounts of hard cash.
Pavel was hospitalized after being beaten with a pistol in an assault carried out by a gang who are described as the ‘Santa Claus Gang’. They were attracted by his online presence due to his lavish postings of his earnings. The gang broke into his house, assaulted Pavel, and trashed his home as well as stealing an estimated $428,000 in Rubles. Pavel said that he heard the gang talking and that they had originally intended on drugging and kidnapping him, but instead settled on stealing a large chunk of Pavel’s net worth.
SEC Chairman warns of crackdown on errant ICOs
Jay Clayton, Chairman of the SEC (US Securities and Exchanges Commission), has made his position on blockchain bandwagoners very clear in a recent statement regarding ICOs. His stance was clear, advising extreme caution around cryptocurrency and Initial Coin Offerings.
“If an opportunity sounds too good to be true, or if you are pressured to act quickly, please exercise extreme caution.”
Clayton mentioned that not a single ICO has been registered with the SEC, and that any trading of cryptocurrencies should be done with a considerable amount of care. These comments come in the same month that Bitcoin experiences a dip. Just a few weeks ago it was close to hitting $20,000; now, however, it is hovering around the $10-$11,000 mark. Clayton’s advice for new investors entering into the cryptocurrency sphere is simple: be vigilant, apply common sense to the examination of all ICOs, and to demand clear answers from the project owners.
Visa CEO states they will not process cryptocurrency
Visa, like many financial organizations, is skeptical about the use and global adoption of Bitcoin and cryptocurrency. Numerous ICO startups have had their business models disrupted by the removal of Waveshare as a member of the Visa Network. The CEO of Visa, Alfred Kelly, recently stated in an interview with CNBC that they won’t be processing anything to do with cryptocurrencies, making their position on crypto quite clear:
“We at Visa won’t process transactions that are cryptocurrency-based. We will only process fiat currency-based transactions.”
Benebit ICO exit scam may be largest yet
Benebit ICO has pulled the wool over their investors’ and external contractors’ eyes collectively, performing an exit scam that has left the investors without funds and a selection of employees unpaid. Benebit ICO is a recent enough ICO that gained sizable traction on social media due to the loyalty benefits program advertised across their channels. They were a highly-regarded ICO and received a respectable score of 4.1 out of 5 on ICOBench.
Upon further investigation into their ICO, a user discovered that all of the team photos had been lifted from a public source, and the LinkedIn accounts were fake. The website has been closed down, leaving Telegram users talking to extremely confused community managers. People involved in the ICO are still trying to figure out exactly what happened: puzzling, to say the least. It is estimated that anywhere from $800,000 to $4 million has been stolen from investors.
Altcoin markets still suffering
Last weekend, Ethereum and most of its Altcoin counterparts staged what appeared to be a slight recovery and pulled back an average gain of 15%. The stronger players held, but as the week began, they started to slip slightly back to where they had been. At the moment, they are holding steady and are showing some signs of growth and will hopefully stay on that track for a while. The charts from the past 24 hours are mostly green but no one can be sure where they will stand another 24 hours from now.
Ethereum reached just over $1,100 at the weekend before returning back to the $1K mark. Ripple is currently selling for $1.30 at the moment, and Stellar is at 56 cent. IOTA has suffered as of late and is only trading at $2.54 for now. No one can tell you where the next few days will take us, but we hope to see a bit more growth for the poor old Altcoins.