Every Friday, Alianza Blockchain broadcasts a show through its social networks to share valuable information with the Bitcoin, crypto and blockchain community. On this occasion, the Alliance talked about cryptocurrency scams and how people can avoid them.
Recently, a report published by Group-IB showed that cryptocurrency scams are still present on the Internet and social networks. The cybersecurity company has identified more than 2000 registered domains to be used as fake promotional websites.
Similarly, according to Group-IB, he assured that crypto scams on YouTube increased by 335% in the first half of 2022. The report states that the 63% of new fraudulent domain names were registered with Russian registrars.
Faced with this worrying reality, it is important that cryptocurrency users learn to identify methods to protect themselves and avoid falling into the trap of scams. For this reason, the Blockchain Alliance has created a new program dedicated exclusively to sharing keys to avoid falling into the traps of criminals in the crypto world.
The broadcast on Friday, September 23, 2022 had the participation of Rodolfo Andragnes, CEO of Apptivalo and president of the NGO Bitcoin Argentina; Daiana Gómez who is also part of the NGO Bitcoin Argentina; Javier Bastardo of Satoshi Venezuela; and Alianza Blockchain member Mauricio Tovar.
On JPMorgan CEO’s Statements: “Bitcoin and Crypto are Decentralized Ponzi”
Diana Gomez: One of the things in general when they tell me they want to get into the crypto world, my recommendation is to understand bitcoin which is the most secure, the most decentralized, and then learn other things. If you understand Bitcoin, you will have certain economic principles and guidelines to avoid a scam. It would be great if Jamie Dimon could tell me what characteristics of a Ponzi are reflected in Bitcoin.
Xavier Batard: Jamie Dimon has always had unfavorable views against Bitcoin because a banker in the Bitcoin scheme of things misses the point of his business, despite the fact that the bank also offers cryptocurrency trading services for its wealthier clients. So we say Is it a Ponzi, but are you selling the Ponzi? That does not make sense.
It’s not a Ponzi because there’s no one offering you a promise of future profit, there’s no real incentive for us users that’s tied to more people getting into bitcoin.
Rodolfo Andagnes: How should we understand the news we read? There are interests that oppose it. Regardless if Jamie Dimon is also the owner of JPMorgan, what he says may matter to people in the industry, but somehow the most important thing is to understand the interests and to say what are the elements that refer to the Ponzinone of the conditions are met.
What are the most common features of these cryptocurrency scams or Ponzis?
Xavier Batard: Whether they are forcing you or that one of the conditions for you to receive money from this product is that you bring people. If they tell you that crypto requires you to bring three people, and those people each bring three others, in order to participate.
Another key element is the promise of unsustainable profit over time. People come to the crypto world looking for money, and the reality is that no market can offer exacerbated profits for long. So, if they offer you 100%, 80%, or even 30%, you have to be careful because it is not possible.
That the person is very interested in your involvement in the project. That is to say, talk to you, send you WhatsApp, write to you by email.
Diana Gomez: All or the vast majority are the solution to Bitcoin, they present themselves as the new Bitcoin, and try to create fear of not being part of the project. See the age of the projects and see if it came out of nowhere, if it starts to be seen in many places and is touted as the ninth wonder of technology, alarm bells should be raised.
Currently, there are many tools such as Sniffer that allow you to easily capture and audit a token’s contract and see, for example, how much supply it has, if the token has liquidity, if the contract officials can change the rules or if it requires community consensus. These tools were created based on scams that already existed.
There is a reality and it is that these schemes use a very strong discourse of the ostentation of luxury, they sell you messages like “Achieve Financial Independence, Reach Your Goals”. These are problems that arise in countries in deep economic crisis like Argentina or Venezuela, because not only is there a frustrated expectation of income and consumption, but there is also a material need to progress.
Mauricio Tovar: Another characteristic is that they say they are Satoshi Nakamoto, who claim to be the creator of Bitcoin and can never prove they really are.
Xavier Batard: When a promoter of one of these types of projects is closed to critical observations of the project, it can also be a sign because you don’t want us to expose things that are probably already known about this type of project, like In the case of OneCoin, you couldn’t write anything bad about them because you received emails or threats.
Rodolfo Andagnes: If they talk about being platinum, Golden or something similar, and claim to have achieved these levels with the amount of funds they invest. I understand when they talk about Ponzi, but the difference is in what you offer and how you offer. There is no promise of anything, in scams there are promises that are not kept.
There are scams that use the original Bitcoin narrative, what do you think?
Xavier Batard: When you see bitcoin with a last name, you are probably facing a scam. Scams have a broken promise. Plus Token, which is one of the biggest scams in Asia, which has also moved major capitals by taking advantage of certain facilities provided by the swap, offered Bitcoin returns and all products offered were allegedly Bitcoin. If you need to intermediate your access to Bitcoin, it is also very likely that you will face a scam because Bitcoin is without intermediary.
Mauricio Tovar: These scams are getting harder and harder to spot. They will log everything, they respect everything that is supposedly established by law, they gather articles when you go to Google, why is this company not a scam? It’s hard for people to access the information to find out why it’s not a scam, because they identify how they find it and find a “solution”, they are very adept at scamming.
Xavier Batard: What’s left is learning, if I fell for a scam, even knowing how the technology works, there is a range in which you can be scammed. This is why we make this type of program and we try to appeal to you to inform you well.
Rodolfo Andagnes: I think it all depends on where you place your trust. In the case of Bitcoin, there is very little chance that the code will be modified, that what is written will be falsified, that someone will show you a balance that is not valid. You trust certain things that go beyond economics. In the vast majority of other models, I hope this is backed by an institutional model, but I can’t verify anything.
I think the big difference is in my ability to audit what I see. Not all projects that start and go wrong are scams, but in the long run it’s all about trust. What you learn in Bitcoin is to trust certain pillars. If someone comes up with a project that promises me they’ll have a giant community, I say, it’s not sustained over time because it doesn’t allow me to audit what’s going on.
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