$1.8 Million Crypto Heist Mastermind Admits Guilt, Declines to Snitch

A New Jersey male has admitted stealing cryptocurrency worth almost two million dollars using the old-fashioned way – kidnapping and issuing threats of violence.

In the Manhattan Supreme Court, Louis Meza confessed to kidnapping an unnamed friend and then stealing his Ether cryptocurrency holdings worth US$1.8 million. Specifically, Meza admitted second-degree kidnapping and first-degree grand larceny. Meza’s sentencing is scheduled at the end of this month and the 35-year-old man is expected to receive a jail time of 10 years as well as half a decade of post-release supervision.

According to the New York Post, Meza’s new-age heist met its match in the form of New Jersey’s investigators.

“Louis Meza orchestrated a 21st-century stick-up. Then 21st-century investigators brought him swiftly to justice, securing a landmark conviction in an undeveloped area of the law,” Cyrus Vance Jr., the Manhattan District Attorney, said in a statement.

The Three Amigos

As previously reported by CCN, Meza conducted the crypto-heist with the assistance of three co-defendants – Darrel ‘Bishop’ Colon, Allen ‘Joke’ Nunez and Cesar ‘Fuego’ Guzman. After Meza learnt of his friend’s vast cryptocurrency holdings he hired the three to assist him in kidnapping the crypto millionaire.

According to prosecutors, Meza held a meeting with the crypto millionaire on November 4 last year in Times Square before he insisted that his old friend take an Uber back to his home in Manhattan. Conveniently, the crypto millionaire was directed to a waiting minivan being driven by Joke. Bishop, meanwhile, was hiding in the back seat.

‘Your Password or Your Life’

As the vehicle approached Uptown Manhattan Bishop pounced and using a BB gun, demanded that the crypto millionaire hand over his valuables including his house keys and the password to his cryptocurrency wallet. These were then given to Meza and Fuego.

Moments later, per evidence obtained from video surveillance cameras, Meza gained entry into crypto millionaire’s apartment and stole a box which allegedly contained the hardware cryptocurrency wallet with the Ether holdings. Meza then transferred the digital assets worth more than US$1.8 million at the time to his wallet. The crypto millionaire was eventually able to escape and report the incident to the police.

Under the plea agreement that Meza inked with prosecutors, Meza will not only serve time in jail but he will also forfeit 84 bitcoins and 269,000 SALT lending tokens. However, Meza declined to cooperate against his co-accused in the plea agreement. Fuego, Joke and Bishop were indicted in June this year and their case is still ongoing.


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Author: Mark Emem
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How will Futures Affect Ethereum? The Community Try to Guess

With bitcoin futures being just nine months old, one major marketplace now appears to move to the next step by launching futures contracts based on ether. The news has sparked a discussion within the community, with many people wondering what this could mean for the price of ether.

Futures contracts, also referred to as futures, are standardized exchange-traded financial derivatives that provide an agreement between a buyer and a seller to buy or sell an asset at a predetermined price on a predefined date.

Each futures contract represents a specific amount of the underlying asset and futures can be either cash settled or come with physical delivery. In the case of ether futures, the underlying asset would be the digital currency ether.

Now, some argue that a futures market undeniably leads to greater adoption, more legitimacy in the eyes of mainstream investors, and the possibility of exchange traded funds (ETFs) being listed sometime in the future. Others, however, urge caution, noting that the price of bitcoin has been going down more or less continuously since bitcoin futures were launched late last year. Bitcoin’s fall from almost USD 20,000 is directly tied to the launch of a futures market, according to research from the San Francisco Federal Reserve published in May.

Speaking with Business Insider, Tom Lee, head of research at Fundstrat Global Advisors, explained that the introduction of a futures market means that more traders will get an opportunity to speculate that the price of ether will fall by short-selling ether futures contracts.

Further, Lee suggested that by making a new asset available for short-sellers, some of the negative traders may move away from shorting bitcoin futures as they move into ether, thus easing some of the selling pressure that has suppressed the price of bitcoin this year. According to Lee, that could translate into higher bitcoin prices towards the end of 2018.
Whether the logic holds up or not remains to be seen, but Tom Lee is nonetheless known as a bitcoin bull who as recently as last week reaffirmed his USD 20,000 bitcoin price target for the end of the year.

Citing “a person with knowledge of the situation,” Business Insider wrote in a recent article that the Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE) is currently waiting for additional clarifications from regulators at the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) in the US. Once that is sorted out, the CBOE is ready to launch futures contracts possibly as soon as December this year, according to the source.

The same person also said that the futures contracts would be based on the price of ether at the Gemini Exchange, the cryptocurrency exchange owned by the famous Winklevoss twins. That’s the same underlying market as CBOE’s current bitcoin futures contracts are based on.

Back in June, a high-ranking official at the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) said that trading of ether did not violate law, thus suggesting that any regulatory hurdles should be easily overcome by the CBOE.


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Author: Fredrik Vold
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How’s Ethereum Doing In the Shadow of Bitcoin?

In the past couple of weeks (dare we say, months?), all eyes have been fixed on Bitcoin. A lot has been going on around the world’s most popular cryptocurrency, with talks about ETFs, calls for regulation, as well as constant chit chatter about the famed ‘institutional money’ moving in – these are just some of the reasons why bitcoin has been stealing the limelight lately.

At the same time, bitcoin’s little brother Ethereum, once considered the best candidate for The Flippening, is now in the shadow of his older sibling’s fame. With prices on a downfall in the last three months (from 833 USD in early May, to 479 USD at the time of writing), problems with scaling and consequently, transaction prices, some are starting to turn their backs on Vitalik Buterin’s brainchild.

Ethereum price chart:

Source: coinmarketcap.com

With voices betting against Ethereum growing louder, the community stands firm, believing in the project and in the people on it, and behind it.

So, what is going on, exactly?
Tetras Capital, a New-York based crypto hedge fund, has shorted ether. It argues that “the market and technology is still far too immature”, that “ETH lacks the crucial characteristics required for a dominant store of value (SOV)”, that Ethereum has issues on “both technical and decentralization fronts”, as well as that the “commoditization of capital raising is already eating away at the main source of genuine ETH demand”. Long story short, “current price is still significantly overvalued”, it concludes.

Tech startup Socialcast, as well as Hidden Hand Capital, are also jumping on the same bandwagon. The argument – the network’s inability to handle more than 15 transactions per second.
“Ethereum has an incredible talent pool of developers,” Forbes cites Tim Young, founder of Hidden Hand Capital. “In the long term, I think they’ll solve a lot of scaling challenges. But in the short term, there’s a disconnect between the price and underlying technology.”
Alex Sunnarborg, the founding partner of Tetras, agrees, saying, “Just because something is a good idea doesn’t mean it’s a good investment.”

But that’s just one side of the coin. CoinFund, and its founder Jake Brukhman, disagrees, saying Ethereum is seeing “a ton of improvements” and that transactions will speed up in due time. “As a blockchain technology, Ethereum still remains the largest ecosystem of technologies, tools and developers.”

Reddit, as usual, is boiling over with discussions. The community disagrees with ETH sceptics, saying other networks don’t have scaling issues because they don’t enjoy the adoption Ethereum is currently seeing. You need people, if you want the network to be clogged, right?

“This reasoning for shorting could be applied to any coin,” one commenter stated. Another reminded the community that a similar thing happened a year ago, when ETH’s price fell from 420 USD to 130 USD.

“So accumulate, HODL and relax. The herd will come stampeding back, not a matter of if, but when.”


Here at Dollar Destruction, we endeavour to bring to you the latest, most important news from around the globe. We scan the web looking for the most valuable content and dish it right up for you! The content of this article was provided by the source referenced. Dollar Destruction does not endorse and is not responsible for or liable for any content, accuracy, quality, advertising, products or other materials on this page. As always, we encourage you to perform your own research!

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Author: Sead Fadilpasic
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Declining Cryptocurrency Prices Are Making Graphics Cards Affordable Again

The falling price of ether has pushed down graphics card prices.



About a year ago, graphics card prices started to go crazy. Then in early 2018, things got even crazier. The price of a Radeon RX 570—a mid-range graphics card popular for cryptocurrency mining—soared from under $200 in April 2017 to over $450 in February 2018. Over the same period, a high-end RX 580 soared from around $230 in April 2017 to as much as $540 in February 2018.

But since then, graphics-card prices have been falling steadily, according to data collected by PC Part Picker. An RX 570 fell to around $350 by the end of April. And you can now get one for a bit more than $300. An RX 580 now goes for around $330.

When I visited my local Best Buy back in January, the store was asking for $529.99 for a Radeon 580 with 8GB of memory—and the store didn’t even have them in stock at that price. By late April, the same card was available from Best Buy’s website for $419.99. Now, the same card is selling for $339.99.

These cards still have room to fall—they’re still well above the prices of early 2017. But the steady downward trajectory suggests that the insane price increases of late 2017 and early 2018 are over.

A similar pattern can be seen with Nvidia’s GeForce graphics card lines, according to data from PC Part Picker. Nvidia’s high-end GeForce GTX 1080 graphics card peaked at more than $800 in February. It has since fallen to around $600—about the same price as it sold for in early 2017. Similarly, a GeForce GTX 1070 has fallen from around $700 to around $500 over the last five months—just slightly above the $450 or so these cards fetched before the cryptocurrency boom began in mid-2017.

Unsurprisingly, this has come at the same time that ether, the currency of the Ethereum network, has been on a steady downward trajectory.

Ether is only the second-most valuable cryptocurrency, worth far less than bitcoins. But bitcoin mining isn’t economical with graphics cards because the bitcoin mining market has long been taken over by energy-efficient ASICs. So for the last year, the value of graphics cards has been largely driven by the value of ether.


Here at Dollar Destruction, we endeavour to bring to you the latest, most important news from around the globe. We scan the web looking for the most valuable content and dish it right up for you! The content of this article was provided by the source referenced. Dollar Destruction does not endorse and is not responsible for or liable for any content, accuracy, quality, advertising, products or other materials on this page. As always, we encourage you to perform your own research!

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Author: TIMOTHY B. LEE
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Google Lists Ethereum (ETH), Litecoin (LTC) and Bitcoin Cash (BCH) in Currency Converter

Figuring out how much your crypto is worth in cold, hard cash can be a cumbersome process.



When it comes to Bitcoin, Google has made the process easy for many months, with a handy crypto-to-cash converter that shows up when you search the word “Bitcoin.”

As for Ethereum and the other altcoins, Google has been far less accommodating, until now.

Google has launched the same feature for Ethereum’s currency Ether (ETH), as well as Litecoin (LTC) and Bitcoin Cash (BCH). Google displays the converter automatically when you search for Litecoin and Bitcoin Cash.

Litecoin

Bitcoin Cash

Ether


Here at Dollar Destruction, we endeavour to bring to you the latest, most important news from around the globe. We scan the web looking for the most valuable content and dish it right up for you! The content of this article was provided by the source referenced. Dollar Destruction does not endorse and is not responsible for or liable for any content, accuracy, quality, advertising, products or other materials on this page. As always, we encourage you to perform your own research!

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Author: Daily Hodl Staff
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Crypto Exchange Coinrail Reopens With Offers To Recover 11 Cryptocurrencies

South Korean exchange Coinrail has resumed service after it was hacked last month. The exchange has offered users some options to recover their cryptocurrencies. Eleven cryptos were stolen, some of which have been fully recovered and are now available for trading and withdrawals. However, some coins were not recovered.



Services Resumed

Coinrail reported that it was hacked on June 10 with an estimated damage of about 45 billion won (~US$40 million). The exchange suspended trading after the hack as it tried to recover lost coins. Coinrail resumed service on July 15, announcing:

“We have completely revamped the existing security system that exposed the vulnerability, and have upgraded the overall security level.”

The cause of the hack was not disclosed by the exchange when it resumed trading, Sedaily noted. “KISA [The Korea Internet & Security Agency] is in the process of finalizing the investigation, but it is still being analyzed, and details of the incident cannot be disclosed,” the news outlet quoted a KISA official saying. Coinrail claims that its new security system “complies with KISA security guidelines.”

11 Cryptocurrencies Affected

A total of eleven cryptocurrencies were stolen, Coinrail revealed. They are dent (DENT), tradove b2bcoin (BBC), ether (ETH), jibrel network (JNT), bitcoin (BTC), kyber network (KNC), storm (STORM), tron (TRX), pundi x (NPXS), aston (ATX), and nper (NPER).

Funds in DENT, BBC, and ETH have been fully recovered; customers can start trading and withdrawing them. “Recovery [is] in progress” for JNT, the exchange detailed.

The remaining seven cryptocurrencies have not been fully recovered, including BTC.

Cryptocurrencies that are not stolen or in the recovery process “can be immediately withdrawn and traded,” the exchange clarified, adding:

“The amount of cryptocurrencies that have not been recovered cannot be withdrawn or exchanged until the recovery is complete.”

Recovery Options

The exchange has come up with two recovery plans for the coins that have not been recovered. However, these plans have been criticized as being inadequate.

The first plan is for the exchange to purchase cryptocurrencies directly to recover damages. Coinrail says it will “pay back the unrecovered cryptocurrencies by gradually purchasing the cryptocurrencies with the profit from the service operation.”

The second is for Coinrail to issue its own RAIL tokens to affected customers. “Unrecovered cryptocurrencies can be exchanged at a rate of ‘1 RAIL = 0.72 KRW,’” the exchange noted. However, the price of RAIL “fell about 72.2 percent in about half a day [to 0.2 KRW] after Coinrail officially resumed trading at 8 pm on the 15th,” Sedaily described.


Here at Dollar Destruction, we endeavor to bring to you the latest, most important news from around the globe. We scan the web looking for the most valuable content and dish it right up for you! The content of this article was provided by the source referenced. Dollar Destruction does not endorse and is not responsible for or liable for any content, accuracy, quality, advertising, products or other materials on this page. As always, we encourage you to perform your own research!
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Author: Kevin Helms
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