Prime Suspect in $24 Million Bitcoin Scam Arrested in Thailand

Prime Suspect in $24 Million Bitcoin Scam Arrested in Thailand

Thai citizen Prinya Jaravijit, who allegedly defrauded a Finnish investor of $24 Million worth of Bitcoin (BTC), has recently been detained in Suvarnabhumi Airport in Bangkok, the Bangkok Post reports Friday, Oct. 12. According to newspaper, Jaravijit arrived in Bangkok on a flight from South Korea en route from the U.S., where he allegedly spent two months after his brother’s detention in connection with the same crime. Shortly after the arrest Jaravijit, who was wanted on charges of conspiracy to defraud and money laundering, was delivered to local police where he was questioned. His lawyers are reportedly preparing to apply for bail. As per the Bangkok Post, in January Finnish investor Aarni Otava Saarimaa along with his Thai business partner Chonnikan Kaewkasee complained to the Thai Crime Suppression Division (CSD). They claimed that Jaravajit along with six other suspects had duped them into investing $24 million worth of BTC into a scheme involving three companies and gambling-focused crypto token Dragon Coin (DRG). However, Saarima and Kaewkasee never received any dividends from the so-called investment, proof of investment in DRG, nor were they invited to a shareholder’s meeting. CSD states that the funds were withdrawn from their BTC wallets, converted into baht and then spent by the alleged fraudsters. As Cointelegraph previously reported, the case came to public attention when soap-opera actor Jiratpisit “Boom” Jaravijit — Prinya’s younger brother — was detained  in August. In October, the Thai Money Laundering Office confiscated funds worth $6.4 million from Jaravijit’s family and other people connected to the case, and is preparing to charge the suspects with fraud. Following the detention of his brother, Prinya Jaravijit reportedly fled to the U.S. to avoid charges. He was ordered to return to Thailand by Oct. 8, but failed to do so. The Thai Foreign Ministry then revoked his passport which made his further stay in the U.S. illegal.

Blockchain Startup Blockstack Unveils Plan to Decentralize Itself

Blockchain Startup Blockstack Unveils Plan to Decentralize Itself

Web 3.0 developer Blockstack has rolled out out a roadmap to decentralize its structure on Friday, announcing its plan to develop a number of entities that will collectively form a wider distributed community. Co-founders Ryan Shea and Muneeb Ali wrote in a blog post that the company wants to ensure that its corporate governance is decentralized, similarly to how its blockchain platform and app network functions. “We’re determined to forge new paths and put in place governance structures that accomplish the goal of a robust and decentralized ecosystem,” they wrote. However, the process to execute this goal will take time. As such, the first step Blockstack’s founders will take is to create a non-profit foundation, a U.S.-based entity and a Hong Kong-based entity, to begin contributing to the ecosystem alongside the existing Blockstack PBC and its venture capital wing, the Signature Fund. Each new entity will remain independent of the others. Shea will leave Blockstack PBC to run the U.S. entity, while Larry Salibra will launch the Hong Kong company. Ali will remain in charge of the existing company. That being said, they contend they’ll all be part of the greater Blockstack ecosystem. “Our goal with all the above entities is to not have any overlap in control and to ensure that each entity can have its independent management and voice. The upcoming Stacks blockchain connects the entire ecosystem with individuals and entities having a shared interest in the success of the ecosystem,” Shea and Ali wrote. The two added: “Decentralization is not a binary step.” Network image via Shutterstock The leader in blockchain news, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups.

Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple, Bitcoin Cash, EOS, Stellar, Litecoin, Cardano, Monero, TRON: Price Analysis, October 12

Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple, Bitcoin Cash, EOS, Stellar, Litecoin, Cardano, Monero, TRON: Price Analysis, October 12

The views and opinions expressed here are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Cointelegraph.com. Every investment and trading move involves risk, you should conduct your own research when making a decision. The market data is provided by the HitBTC exchange. In 2017, Bitcoin (BTC) was being projected as an alternative to gold. Many believed that with its unique properties, the leading digital currency would replace the precious metal as a preferred choice of investment when the markets enter a risky environment. However, during the recent drop in the stock markets, cryptocurrencies were also sold aggressively. Does this mean that digital currencies will not be considered as a safe haven investment in the future? Not likely. There have been many instances in the past when gold has faced aggressive selling along with the more risky assets. In 2008, even though gold was in an uptrend, it was initially sold off along with the other asset classes, only managing to find its footing in the last quarter of the year. It’s too early to say that virtual currencies are not a safe haven investment and are doomed. Those who don’t understand the significance of the new technology are mostly the ones who continue to criticize it. Others, including governments and a number of large corporations, are exploring options to use blockchain technology in various fields. Several prominent Universities’ endowments are investing millions of dollars into cryptocurrency funds. After the recent steep fall on crypto markets, do the chart patterns predict an even deeper fall, or a sharp rebound? Let’s find out. BTC/USD Bitcoin nosedived Oct. 11, breaking below the support at $6,341. Though we would have expected a retest of the critical support zone at $5,900–$6,075.04, the bulls are currently attempting a pullback. If the bulls close (UTC time frame) above $6,341, the BTC/USD pair will again try to break out of the downtrend line of the descending triangle. The bulls will have to scale a slew of overhead resistances before the trend changes. A rally above $6,831.99 will indicate the start of a new uptrend. A break of the $5,900 mark will trigger a number of stops, resulting in a sharp fall. Currently, the moving averages are flat, with…

Worst Cryptocurrencies of 2018 Have Left Some Heavy Bagholders

Worst Cryptocurrencies of 2018 Have Left Some Heavy Bagholders

Markets and Prices Tales of woe are easy to come by in the current market, in which most altcoins are faring multiples worse than bitcoin. Investors that have avoided the following projects, however, can draw some solace. Also read: US Court Issues Emergency Order Halting a Planned Initial Coin Offering This Year’s Underperforming CoinsHave Fared Worse Than You Think It’s easy to find underperforming altcoins from the past 10 months of largely bearish market action. Echelons easier, in fact, than finding the handful that have weathered the storm and have appreciated in value or, at the very least, have outperformed bitcoin. Taking a magnifying glass to 2018’s altcoin dunces makes for a productive exercise; not to revel in the misfortune of others, but for educational purposes. “I bought the ‘dip’ a dozen times this year,” one Redditor complained recently. “Went down after each time.” Another remarked: “I’ve lost 95 percent of 25k and have been buying all the way down.” The “hodl” meme that prospered in 2017, helping traders through “China bans bitcoin” FUD and other negative news cycles, has largely been abandoned now that hodling has been proven to be a disastrous strategy for anyone heavily invested in altcoins. The BTFD (Buy the F– Dip) meme has also waned, as traders have learned that in many cases the dip is often merely a precursor to a series of even lower dips. Lesson 1: There’s a Big DifferenceBetween a 90% and a 95% Loss Wanchain (WAN), one of the more established cryptocurrency projects, is down 90 percent from its all-time high (ATH). The helpful break-even multiple column provided by Onchainfx shows that WAN would need to do a 10x to reach its previous ATH. Icon (ICX) is down 95 percent in comparison. On paper, it may sound like ICX has fared only marginally worse than WAN, and yet it would take a 20x multiple for icon to reach its former peak of $12.04 per token. The worst performers of 2018 by break-even multiple, according to Onchainfx Lesson 2: Don’t Trust theMarket Cap of Forked Coins Market cap, or the number of coins in circulation multiplied by price per coin, is a notoriously crude yardstick, but it’s particularly bad when it comes to forks. Coins like bitcoin…

Ex-Coinbase Executive Adam White Joins ICE’s Crypto Platform Bakkt, Sources Say

Ex-Coinbase Executive Adam White Joins ICE’s Crypto Platform Bakkt, Sources Say

Former head of institutional platform group at Coinbase crypto exchange Adam White is reportedly joining Intercontinental Exchange’s (ICE) platform Bakkt. ICE’s new hire was revealed by anonymous sources familiar with the matter cited by news outlet The Block on Oct. 12. White left Coinbase in early October, declining to comment on his decision. However, a spokesperson of Coinbase then said that the company was “extremely sad to see him go.” As per The Block’s source, Bakkt has now hired White as its Chief Operating Officer. The crypto trading platform Bakkt was first announced in August by the Intercontinental Exchange, which is also the operator of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE). It has been developed in partnership with Microsoft and Starbucks. As Cointelegraph previously reported, White has been working for Coinbase for almost five years and was its fifth-ever employee, joining the team at the time it gathered in a one-bedroom apartment and Bitcoin (BTC) was trading at around $200. While White was working for Coinbase, the company deployed a series of services targeted at big institutional clients, such as custodian services and an index fund. The exchange, which was recently valued at $8 billion according to some reports, has made a number of high-profile hires in the past months. For instance, this October Coinbase welcomed a board member of the Charles Schwab bank Chris Dodds, and in September it hired Fannie Mae’s former General Counsel Brian Brooks as its new Chief Legal Officer. Moreover, this summer a former Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft employee Tim Wagner joined Coinbase as vice president (VP) of engineering.

North Dakota Securities Regulator Issues Cease and Desists Against 3 ICOs

North Dakota Securities Regulator Issues Cease and Desists Against 3 ICOs

North Dakota’s securities watchdog is again taking action against ICO projects it alleges are operating illegally in the state. On Thursday, Karen Tyler, commissioner of the North Dakota Securities Department, issued cease and desist orders against three companies for offering “unregistered and potentially fraudulent securities in the form of ICOs.” The regulator alleged in a news release that the companies – Crystal Token, Life Cross Coin and Advertiza Holdings – had placed fraudulent statements on their websites with claims of excessively high returns, insufficient disclosures and misrepresentation of facts. The agency said none of the firms are registered to offer securities in the state. Furthermore, Advertiza allegedly falsely claimed it had filed with the SEC, while Life Cross Coin’s website is operated from a Berlin IP address “associated with ransomware, trojans, and identity fraud.” “The continued exploitation of the cryptocurrency ecosystem by financial criminals is a significant threat to Main Street investors,” said Tyler, adding: “In formulaic fashion, financial criminals are cashing in on the hype and excitement around blockchain, crypto assets, and ICOs – investors should be exceedingly cautious when considering a related investment.” This is not the first time the department has taken action against companies promoting ICOs in the state. Last month, it issued orders against BitConnect, Magma Foundation and Pension Rewards Platform. Actions are also increasingly occurring at a federal level in the U.S., with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announcing just yesterday that it is suing an ICO project and its operator for falsely claiming to have received approval from the agency. The SEC also asked a U.S. district court to enforce a subpoena on Wednesday as part of a probe into alleged pump-and-dump tactics that involved claims of a $100 million ICO. North Dakota flag image via Shutterstock The leader in blockchain news, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups.

Markets Update: Heavy Selling Across Leading Markets, ZRX Rallies

Markets Update: Heavy Selling Across Leading Markets, ZRX Rallies

Market Updates The cryptocurrency markets appear to be consolidating following the significant sell-off that transpired on Thursday. The event saw BTC produce the largest percentage red daily candle posted since Sep. 5, driving losses across most major markets. ZRX was the most notable exception to the bearish price action that erupted through most cryptocurrencies, rallying significantly following the announcement that Coinbase Pro would be launching three ZRX pairings. Also Read: Win $100 of Bitcoin Cash in Bitcoin.com’s Paper Wallet Design Contest BTC Consolidates Within Triangle as Inter-Exchange Spreads Extend BTC experienced a sharp sell-off yesterday, shedding nearly 6% against the dollar in little over an hour as it fell from roughly $6,630 to $6,250 on Bitfinex, and 7.35% as the market fell from $6,530 to a low of $6,030 on Bitstamp. BTC/USD – Bitfinex – 1H Despite the bearish move, the range of price action for BTC continues to consolidate and tighten within a long-term triangle formation, with many traders anxiously awaiting a significant move to break the triangle and establish a short-term direction for price action. As of this writing, there is a significant spread in the price of BTC across various exchanges, with BTC trading for $6,330 on Bitfinex, $6,223 on Bitstamp, and $6,278 on Binance. BCH Drops by 16% BCH lost approximately 16% of its value when measured against the dollar yesterday, falling from $516 to $434 on Bitfinex, and from $510 to $428 on Bitstamp. BCH/USD – Bitstamp – 1H As with BTC, BCH is trading for a roughly 1% premium on Bitfinex. However, the majority of leading BCH markets by volume appear to be in unison, with BCH for approximately $451 on Bitfinex, and $446 to $447 across most leading exchanges as of this writing. When measuring against BTC, BCH fell by 11% yesterday, dropping from 0.08 BTC to 0.0692 on Bitfinex. As of this writing, BCH is trading for 0.07115 BTC. BCH/BTC – Bitfinex – 1H ETH Slips Below $200, XRP Bounces Strongly ETH lost more than 15% against the dollar yesterday, slipping from $226 to approximately $190 on Bitfinex, and is now trading for around $195. ETH/USD – Bitstamp – 1H When measuring against BTC, ETH lost approximately 10% as it fell from 0.034 BTC to 0.03. As of…

Constantinople Nears: Ethereum’s Next Hard Fork Is On Track for 2018

Constantinople Nears: Ethereum’s Next Hard Fork Is On Track for 2018

Open-source coders backing the ethereum project now say its next system-wide upgrade, Constantinople, is on track for November release. Revealed in a bi-weekly developers meeting Friday, attendees said the upgrade has already been coded into all major ethereum clients, including those by the Ethereum Foundation and U.K. startup Parity, the most popular versions of the software that now moves more than $20 billion in cryptocurrency. As such, developers said during the call that the upgrade is likely to go live this year. Still, a hard date has yet to be finalized, in which an activation time – triggered at a particular block – would be built into the code As previously reported by CoinDesk, Constantinople includes five backward-incompatible changes to the network, ranging from minor code optimizations to more controversial changes such as that of a reduction in mining rewards for each block of transactions. Still, tentative plans to release the upgrade hinge on a smooth release of the Constantinople upgrade onto an ethereum testnet called Ropsten, the primary platform for testing new code, a development scheduled to occur this Sunday. Last week, the test release was delayed due to a bug found within one of Constantinople’s five changes. During today’s developers meeting, however, several ethereum software clients affirmed that they were largely ready to move ahead with testing. “The core developers are excited about the upcoming testnet release of Constantinople,” Hudson Jameson, a communications officer for the Ethereum Foundation, told CoinDesk in a statement following the call. He added: “We are on the right track to hopefully release Constantinople on mainnet less than 1 month after Devcon.” Train tracks image via Shutterstock The leader in blockchain news, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups.

Microsoft Is Pushing New Blockchain ID Products (But There’s Pushback, Too)

Microsoft Is Pushing New Blockchain ID Products (But There’s Pushback, Too)

Microsoft is moving to turn blockchain-based decentralized identity from a lofty aspiration into a business line. In a white paper posted this week, the software giant says it intends to develop two products designed to give consumers greater control of their personal data – long the Holy Grail of many technologists in the blockchain space and adjacent industries. One such product is an encrypted personal data store, or “identity hub,” which is a combination of user’s personal devices and cloud storage that Microsoft would offer through Azure, its cloud computing service. Although few details are provided, the general idea is that consumers could store identity information in this hub and their permission would be required for third parties to access it. This stands in contrast to the status quo, where data is held at countless third parties and regularly obtained without the user’s knowledge, much less consent. The other product Microsoft says it will build is a “wallet-like app” that people could use, among other purposes, to manage these permissions to their data, including the ability to revoke them when desired. Notably – and here’s where blockchain comes in – both of these products would build upon the foundation of decentralized identifiers (DIDs), a specification developed under the auspices of the World Wide Web Foundation (W3C). Seen by many in the ID community as a breakthrough, DIDs do not require a central authority because they are registered, or “anchored,” on a distributed ledger or another decentralized system. This means that unlike traditional identifiers (think of a phone number or a Twitter handle), a DID is always under the user’s control, much in the way a crypto user has domain over her money. Further, the paper reveals that Microsoft is developing an open-source implementation of DIDs that would work as a second layer on top of multiple blockchains. Somewhat like bitcoin’s Lightning Network is meant to allow a high volume of low-value payments in the cryptocurrency, reserving the blockchain for final settlement, the layer two for identity is being “designed for world-scale use,” the paper says. The goal of that project (which Microsoft is referring to internally as “side trees”) is to “establish a unified, interoperable ecosystem that developers and businesses can rely on to build a new…

Coinbase Confirms Shutdown of Crypto Index Fund Product

Coinbase Confirms Shutdown of Crypto Index Fund Product

Crypto exchange Coinbase is shutting down its institutional-investor focused index fund product, a spokesperson told CoinDesk. The spokesperson told CoinDesk that the Coinbase Index Fund – first launched earlier this year – will be formally closed by the end of the month, with customers instead directed to the recently-announced Coinbase Bundle product instead. The news was first reported Thursday by The Block. The spokesperson said: “After assessing demand from retail, accredited and institutional investors, Coinbase has decided to shut down Coinbase Index Fund. We will focus on providing diversified exposure to all investors through Coinbase Bundle.” Unlike the index fund, the bundle is open to all Coinbase customers, with no accreditation required. The minimum required investment is only $25 as well, compared to $250,000 for the fund. “We’ve decided to refocus the resources devoted to managing the Coinbase Index Fund to other parts of the business,” the spokesperson concluded. The Coinbase Index Fund was first announced in March, though it did not go live until mid-June, when product lead Rueben Bramanathan wrote that institutional investors could invest anywhere from $250,000 to $20 million into the product. At launch, the fund exposed U.S.-based investors to bitcoin, bitcoin cash, ethereum, ethereum classic and litecoin, which were weighted by market capitalization. Coinbase also announced its intention to add further assets to the fund should they be listed on any of its trading platforms as well. The confirmation comes a day after Coinbase announced it was adding the 0x Protocol token (ZRX) to its professional trading platform, Coinbase Pro. The exchange only allowed deposits of the token until Friday morning, and launched full trading later in the day. That being said, retail investors cannot yet access or trade ZRX through coinbase.com or its mobile apps. Coinbase said Thursday that the token would be added to these platforms at some future point. Reuben Bramanathan image via Token Summit/YouTube  The leader in blockchain news, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups.