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Bitcoin and other crypto scams tied to human trafficking in Asia

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A raid by Cambodian authorities on a casino hotel freed two alleged hostages and exposed a range of crimes, including crypto gambling and crypto scams, as reported on a local news website. The raid took place within a region called the “China Project” and several detained suspects and the two hostages were from China.

According to a 2021 report by Crypto Head, China was the sixth most targeted country in terms of crypto breaches. In addition to this, the most targeted currency was Bitcoin.

Far from being an isolated incident, human trafficking forms a large part of organized crime in Cambodia. These cases involve perpetrators and victims from different Asian countries. Of late, crypto crimes have also been on the rise. There have been multiple reports recently about victims of human trafficking being forced to lure men and women into investing in Bitcoin and other crypto scams.

The reason for Cambodia’s popularity amongst organized crime masterminds could be due to its poor enforcement of online gambling bans. Another factor could be its regulation of unlicensed cryptocurrency, not being stringent when compared to that in China.

Further, according to the aforementioned Crypto Head report, the most rewarding crypto crime was fraud, with a loss of more than $14 billion since 2011.

Nowhere to go

Due to corrupt institutions and the decentralized nature of crypto, poverty-struck survivors of human trafficking forced to run Bitcoin scams in Cambodia were unlikely to find justice. For many, returning home alive was their only priority.

A regional trend

Looking at this from a different perspective, it is noteworthy that Southeast Asian countries ranked high in cryptocurrencies usage, according to a Statista survey. Furthermore, Cambodia’s neighbor, Vietnam recorded the second highest rate of cryptocurrency usage, with 21% of respondents saying they had used or owned cryptocurrency. The country is also seeing a burgeoning demand for crypto mining equipment. For migrant workers in South East Asia, finding a way to save on remittances has spurred an interest in crypto-based options.

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Source: https://ambcrypto.com/bitcoin-and-other-crypto-scams-tied-to-human-trafficking-in-asia/

Blockchain

Cryptoeats Disappears After Raising £500K From Token Sale

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Cryptoeats, a company that reportedly raised 8 million in a Series A funding round to build a crypto-based Ubereats alternative, disappeared after launching its token. According to estimations, the startup might have taken more than £500K from investors after the launch of its official token dubbed “eats.” The alleged scam was promoted by UK influencers and manufactured related apparel, and even hosting a launching party in London.

Cryptoeats Initiative Vanishes After Token Launch

Cryptoeats, a company that proposed to build a crypto-based Ubereats alternative, vanished from the internet just minutes after launching its official token. The company, which had an official website and claimed to have raised funds to build their proposal, stated it had run a public beta of the service, partnering with food chains like Nando’s and McDonald’s.

Furthermore, the startup claimed it had already onboarded more than 100,000 customers, who have signed up to download the app and use it on launch day. But the developers of eats, the native token of the platform, emptied the wallet holding the funds coming from the initial token sale, stealing more than £500K from investors, according to reports. Soon after this, all of the social media accounts of the startup disappeared, along with its website.

Cryptoeats Looked Legit

Cryptoeats worried about looking legitimate before disappearing. The company first outed a PR statement where it claimed it had raised $8 million in its series A funding round in 2020. The PR statement, that was published on October 16, declared the company was “set to take a large slice of the $16.6 billion delivery app market.” The statement was issued using Globenewswire and was featured on Yahoo Finance’s website, but both references have been eliminated now.

At a local level, Cryptoeats also did its work bringing U.K. influencers to promote the new initiative among their fanbase. Joey Essex, a reality TV celebrity that promoted Cryptoeats, stated to local media he lamented the situation. Essex stressed:

I’m fuming. This company used my name to dupe lots of people into investing money. It’s disgusting and I feel bad for anybody in that situation.

But Essex was not the only local celebrity that promoted Cryptoeats. Lots of other influencers attended a launch party last week in London, where Cryptoeats apparel was shown and worn by some of the assistants.

What do you think about the whole Cryptoeats fiasco? Tell us in the comments section below.

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Source: https://news.bitcoin.com/cryptoeats-disappears-after-raising-500k-from-token-sale/

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Ripple CEO reinstates SEC bias towards ETH, claiming XRP could’ve been No.2

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It is not news that the ongoing XRP lawsuit has got the better of Ripple’s XRP token. Ripple CEO, Brad Garlinghouse recently questioned the SEC’s bias towards Ethereum, claiming that XRP would’ve been at the No. 2 position instead of ETH if it weren’t for the commission’s partial crackdown. Garlinghouse spoke at the DC Fintech Week virtual conference yesterday, arguing that the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission alleged Ripple’s XRP as unregistered security while granting Ethereum a regulatory free pass, which in turn helped ETH shoot through the roof.

“Within the last few years, XRP was the second most valuable digital asset. As it became clear the SEC had given a hall pass to ETH, ETH obviously has kind of exploded and that clarity has helped.”

XRP secured the position of the second-largest crypto asset by market capitalization during the latter half of 2017. However, the token has dropped down to seventh place while Ethereum stands strong as No. 2. Furthermore, Garlinghouse claims that the SEC’s exclusively aggressive anti-crypto stance to allegedly protect the consumers is in fact anti-investors. Referring to the XRP lawsuit, Ripple CEO emphasizes that “nearly 50,000 U.S. people who hold XRP who are trying to sue the SEC for ‘protecting them’”.

XRP Holders left with bearish and frozen funds

Earlier this week, Attorney Deaton Filed a Letter Motion on behalf of the XRP Holders (Movants) that contended SEC’s extension request, with the main argument concerning the XRP holders’ frozen funds because of the consistent postponement of the lawsuit’s final verdict. During the ongoing bull run, XRP remains considerably bear because of the regulatory crackdown on Ripple. However, the court has overlooked the community’s concern and granted the extension explaining that in lieu of pending motions, extra time will only facilitate both parties to complete pending fact discovery and thoroughly prepare for upcoming expert depositions.

“The lack of liquidity within the United States, coupled with the mass de-listings prevents XRP Holders from trading, selling, transferring, or converting their XRP. It is because of this de facto in place seizure of their property that XRP Holders took the extraordinary step to seek intervention as defendants… Any delay in the underlying action marks yet another day XRP Holders do not have access to their funds.”, wrote Deaton.

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Source: https://coingape.com/ripple-ceo-reinstates-sec-bias-towards-eth-claiming-xrp-couldve-been-no-2/

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Steam Bans Blockchain Games with NFT or cryptocurrencies, Epic Games Welcomes Them

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By Shiela Bertillo

Valve, a video game developer and PC game store, bans all blockchain games that feature non fungible token (NFT) or cryptocurrencies on its video game digital distribution service, Steam. 

The news came from the recently updated Steam distribution onboarding guidelines which specifically states to ban any “applications built on blockchain technology that issue or allow exchange of cryptocurrencies or NFTs.”

Although, Valve nor Steam gave reasons for banning NFTs and cryptocurrencies from the distribution service, the gaming community are given an insight through a series of tweets from SpacePirate, developer of blockchain game Age of Rust, which was priorly distributed by Steam. 

According to SpacePirate, “Steam’s point of view is that items have value and they don’t allow items that can have real-world value on their platform.”

“While I’m disappointed for Age of Rust being removed, the point is more to the fact that blockchain games as a whole are going to be removed. This is a setback for all,” it added.

On the other hand, Steam’s rival Epic Games and its CEO Tim Sweeney stated that they are open to letting games that use blockchain technology and NFTs onto its PC store. In a tweet, the CEO stated that they welcome games that use blockchain technology “provided they follow the relevant laws, disclose their terms, and are age-rated by an appropriate group” and although Epic doesn’t use crypto in their games the firm welcomes “innovation in the areas of technology and finance.”

This article is published on BitPinas: Steam Bans Blockchain Games with NFT or cryptocurrencies, Epic Games Welcomes Them

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Source: https://bitpinas.com/play-to-earn/steam-epic-games-nft/

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