How to avoid getting duped by a bogus initial coin offering

How to avoid getting duped by a bogus initial coin offering

  • 271 initial coin offerings have appeared so far in 2018, according to Coindesk. In 2017, there were 340.
  • In the last several years, investors have poured more than $12 billion into ICOs.
  • Red flags include promising high investment returns and accepting credit cards for investors to buy in.

"There's a real chance the [Securities and Exchange Commission] or another regulator won't be able to recover your investment, even in cases of fraud," said Lori Schock, director of the SEC's Office of Investor Education and Advocacy.

An ICO involves the sale of digital coins or tokens, which are typically used to fund a project that involves blockchain technology. In simple terms, this technology — which underlies bitcoin and its crypto brethren — ensures that all transactions using it are secure. Some ICOs are pitching either a new cryptocurrency (i.e., the next bitcoin wannabe) or could be exchangeable for one that is planned by the ICO's promoters. Others might give investors the right to use the coins toward a product or service that

will be offered.

"There's a real chance the [Securities and Exchange Commission] or another regulator won't be able to recover your investment, even in cases of fraud." -Lori Schock, Director of the SEC's Office of Investor Education and Advocacy

While not all of these digital assets are considered securities — regulators have said it depends on the specifics of each ICO — many meet the definition of a security and therefore are subject to U.S. securities laws. Already this year, 271 of these offerings have appeared, according to Coindesk. That's on top of more than 340 in 2017. In the last several years, investors have poured more than $12 billion into ICOs. However, the SEC says no ICOs have been registered to date.

Rather, the SEC's Cyber Unit — which has only been around since last September — has brought several fraud cases against operators of ICO offerings. Just this week, the agency announced that it has obtained a court order to shut down an alleged ICO scam that pulled in $21 million in investor money. In total, the SEC alleges $600 million has been raised in fraudulent schemes.

State securities regulators also have been busy. During the first three weeks of May alone, the North American Securities Administrators Association's "Operation Cryptosweep" resulted in nearly 70 inquiries and investigations and 35 pending or completed enforcement actions related to ICOs or cryptocurrencies. Additionally, other investigations into potentially fraudulent conduct are under way, and that's on top of more than a dozen enforcement actions previously undertaken by state regulators.

Even if a particular ICO is held with good intentions, there's no way of ensuring you'll ever see a return on your money. In fact, as is the case with any investment, you could lose all of it. Worse, you face the risk of criminals being behind the ICO and absconding with your money. And if the perpetrators are located overseas, the task of tracking down your investment could be impossible.

"The currency might be virtual, but the pain is real," Schock said. Both federal and state securities regulators have been engaged in public outreach to warn investors about the risks associated with ICOs and cryptocurrencies. The SEC even created its own bogus website to show investors what an ICO scam could look like.

Here are some of the big red flags to watch for.

Promise of huge returns

Generally speaking, investing comes with no promises. So if you're looking at an ICO that is pledging a certain return on your investment, you probably should walk away. "There are no guarantees when it comes to investing,"

Schock said. "A guaranteed return is a major red flag."

"There are no guarantees when it comes to investing. A guaranteed return is a major red flag." -Lori Schock, Director of the SEC's Office of Investor Education and Advocacy

 

Credit cards welcome

If you're invited to use your credit card to buy into the ICO, be very wary. Most licensed and registered investment firms don't let their clients use credit cards to buy investments or fund an account. Remember, too, credit card debt typically comes with interest charges if you can't pay off the balance immediately. So that investment could cost you more than anticipated. "If you don't have the money to buy it outright, you certainly can't afford to go into debt for it," Schock said.

 

The deal will disappear

Often, scammers will use high-pressure tactics to create a sense of urgency in the deal."Anything that pushes you to take action now, or discounts that disappear or countdown clocks … those are red flags of fraud," Schock said.

What else you should do

Even if the ICO's white paper — which details the investment and has become a standard with ICOs — looks legit and makes sense to you, don't let that be the end of your due diligence. Look into the people behind the offering. Scam ICOs have included pictures and bios of nonexistent workers. Make sure you can independently confirm that the executives listed are real people with credentials. Additionally, don't let a celebrity endorsement — real or fake — draw you in. The SEC has warned that it could involve a paid promotion, and that the person pitching the ICO might have little understanding of what they're recommending.

Article Produced By
Sarah O'Brien

Personal finance reporter

Sarah O'Brien reports for CNBC's personal finance team.
https://www.cnbc.com/2018/05/30/how-to-avoid-getting-duped-by-a-bogus-initial-coin-offering.html

 

E. Sue Bennett

What is airdrop coin? Don’t miss a single coin airdrop

What is airdrop coin? Don’t miss a single coin airdrop!

                                                    

On this crypto site, you’ll find all the latest airdrops to create money from thin air. Maybe not thin air, but without spending a dime. Because these days you can find dozens of active crypto airdrops at the same time. And tons of people, like you, are looking to get themselves some free coins and tokens. So I decided to aggregate all the coin airdrop info I could find out there. And put them all on this airdrop alert site for you to enjoy!

What is a crypto airdrop? What is airdrop coin?

First of all, let’s focus on the airdrop cryptocurrency meaning. What does airdrop mean? Maybe you’re a newbie in the crypto world. And it’s better to know what you’re dealing with… So, a crypto airdrop, coin airdrop or cryptocurrency airdrop, is a limited time event created by coin projects to promote their crypto-currencies. How? By distributing tokens or coins to early adopters, for free. In other terms, projects airdrop coin.

While there aren’t many requirements to get free airdrop coins 2018, you may have to work a little (create a post, like a page etc.). Or even to share some personal information (share your Facebook profile or give access to your contact list). Also you may need to be active in the crypto-community. Indeed, some crypto-airdrops are restricted and noobs can’t get in…

In addition, you may require some coins from a specified blockchain in your wallet. Most likely for bitcoin airdrop or ethereum drop, because they’re the most popular out there. But a free coin airdrop can be done on any blockchain. However, ethereum is dominating the cryptocurrency giveaway industry, with their ERC20 and ERC223 tokens. And that’s very convenient, to have all your airdrop coins in the same wallet! Here are all the listed ethereum airdrops.

And this brings me to the best part: You can receive free coins anytime, without even knowing about it! Indeed, some platforms give away tokens to people holding some of their coins, just like that. Therefore, I’d recommend you to hold a little bit of the most popular coins in your portfolio. And enjoy as many freebies as possible! Also, don’t worry too much about the requirements now. Because I’m not only offering an airdrop tracker, with a list of airdrops. But I’ll also explain how to get free tokens for all upcoming airdrops!

Why do people give away free coins via airdrop cryptocurrency?

Now you know what is airdrop coin. But why would projects give away free cryptocurrency air drop? A coinairdrop is a win-win situation: On one hand, you get free tokens crypto which could worth something in the future. And on the other hand, blockchain projects raise awareness for their crypto-projects during their ico airdrop. Because it’s free advertising for them, giving away tokens that are worth next to nothing. And that way, they’re able to create a community around their coin. Indeed, if you give someone a coin, he or she’ll likely get involved, to get some money out of it.

Also, giving away some tokens cause the new currency to appreciate. Because if you have a token, you’re inclined to give it more value than if you hadn’t heard of it. Furthermore, it’s a mean to create a customer database for a cheap price. And I don’t need to remind you the saying: If you’re not paying for it, you’re the product! Because these projects collect all the data they can in exchange of a few worthless tokens…

Finally, it seems there’s a new trend of digital currencies which don’t require mining coins. And this is an interesting concept, when we see how much energy and computer power is needed to mine bitcoins. So users don’t mine coins, they generate them during a Token Generation Event (TGE). And sometimes projects distribute all their tokens during a crypto airdrop campaign!

Coin airdrop: How does an airdrop cryptocurrency work?

Coin-airdrops are a brand new method to distribute free tokens in the cryptocurrency community. As a result, there isn’t any standard set of rules yet. And each blockchain team can request whatever they want from their backers. But always beware of scammers! Legit coin airdrops will never require you to share your private keys. And if you find one that does, please report it to the community. Because unscrupulous people are definitely behind it.

While I’ll give you as much details as possible for each coin airdrop, you may have to get in touch with the developer directly. If you need specific coins during a cryptocurrency airdrop, the dev team will make a photo of the corresponding blockchain. And only the people holding the crypto-currency in their wallet at that time will be able to get the free tokens crypto. While you may get the tokens automatically, you may also be requested to claim airdrop tokens on the project’s website.

If the free coin airdrop is linked to a social media network, you’ll have to share or retweet a post with a link of the project. And you may need a certain amount of followers to be eligible… Also, some teams request an access to your contact details and list of friends!

I received airdropped coins: What next?

You’re all excited because you got some free coins. But what now? Are you a millionaire yet? Not really… And after a coin airdrop, there’s nothing much to do. Because nobody has heard of the new crypto-currency… And it’s not even available in any exchange, yet. While you can exchange coins with other early adopters, your solutions are too limited. And despite the value the project announces, it’s really worth nothing.

But don’t despair yet. Because it becomes interesting when the new crypto arrives in the exchanges. And that’s when you know the real price of what you received. However, most backers usually want to sell their coins, to get “real” money. So the price may not be up to your expectations… Anyway, you don’t have to sell your free crypto coins, you can hold them for a later use.

How to keep your new free coins safe?

First of all, you need a wallet, to be able to receive, hold and send the newly minted crypto. While you can find many web-based wallets, a.k.a. hot wallets, I recommend you to use a hardware wallet. Trezor is the original and most secure cold wallet. And it’s compatible with most airdrop free tokens!

And you must keep secret your private keys to your coins & tokens. Otherwise they’re not yours. Period. While you can share your crypto address, you must never share your private key! If you do, you can say goodbye to your coins. Finally, remember that this is your best airdrop alert website! So don’t forget to register to my newsletter, or to subscribe to my Telegram channel, my Facebook page or my Twitter account. And you won’t miss a single airdrop crypto!

Article Produced By
Coin Airdrops

https://coinairdrops.com/

E. Sue Bennett

South Korea’s National Assembly Makes Official Proposal to Lift ICO Ban

South Korea’s National Assembly Makes Official Proposal to Lift ICO Ban


Nearly eight months after a blanket ban on initial coin offerings (ICOs),
 
South Korea’s National Assembly has reportedly made an official recommendation to allow domestic ICOs in the country. According to a report by Business Korea on Tuesday, the 300-member national legislature has made an official proposal to allow domestic ICOs in the country by preparing and adhering to relevant investor protection provisions.

The National Assembly’s special committee on the fourth industrial revolution even accused the government of ‘neglecting its duty’ in responding to the blockchain sector, the report suggests. The much-publicized ICO bans by Korea and China before it has seen an exodus of domestic companies going to friendlier jurisdictions in Singapore and Switzerland to conduct ICOs.

Discussions on blockchain and ICOs between the National Assembly and the government will ‘accelerate’, the report suggests. More pointedly, the National Assembly has put forward a legislative and policy proposal to recommend allowing ICOs. The committee on the 4th industrial revolution also called on the government to form a task force comprising of both public officials and private experts to “improve transparency of cryptocurrency trading and establish a healthy trade order.”

It further stated:

“The administration also needs to consider setting up a new committee and building governance systems at its level in a bid to systematically make blockchain policy and efficiently provide industrial support. We will also establish a legal basis for cryptocurrency trading, including permission of ICOs, through the National Assembly Standing Committee.”

The legislative effort first came to light earlier this month when a group of lawmakers led by Rep. Hong Eui-rak of the Democratic Party of Korea – the ruling government – began drafting a bill to legalize the launch of new ICOs in the country. “The bill is aimed at legalizing ICOs under the government’s supervision[…],” he said at the time. “The primary goal (of the legislation is helping remove uncertainties facing blockchain-related businesses.”

The embracive turn follows recent remarks from the new chief of Korea’s financial watchdog who has chosen to put the spotlight on the “positive aspects” of cryptocurrencies while suggesting authorities will relax cryptocurrency curbs in what is among the world’s largest crypto trading markets.

Article Produced By
ICO News

https://www.ccn.com/south-koreas-national-assembly-makes-official-proposal-to-lift-ico-ban/

 

 

E. Sue Bennett

Markethive Announces Head of Chief Financial Office – Alexander Logie

Markethive Announces Head of Chief Financial Office – Alexander Logie

 

 

 

 

 

Alex Logie has 30 years of financial experience including 12 years as Executive Vice President of Citibank; Co-Founder & CFO of Crane Capital, a boutique private equity and venture company sold to Bear Stearns; Treasurer of a small venture capital funds-of-funds; Founder & CEO of Mercury Capital, a Toronto Stock Exchange listed capital pool corporation; CEO of Hong Kong based Baron Asset Management; and former Advisory Member of the Canadian Venture Capital Association.  Alex is also the CFO of Electric Universe Ltd, Markethive's incubator.

E. Sue Bennett

TAAS: Transportation as a Service

I found this great article written by Graham Rapier and published on businessinsider.com, outlining how the future of transportation is providing a subscription service.  Transportation as a Service…that could make JUST ONE company alone $1 BILLION…

GUESS WHAT??!!

Markethive's incubator The Electric Universe is piloting this right now in Costa Rica…

Markethive will be the renewable energy source behind this (and more)!

Find out more on Sunday, May 6, 2018 @ 8am Central Time

E. Sue Bennett