British watchdog The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) issued a warning earlier this week, alerting potential investors to the dangers of cryptocurrency scams. The FCA's warning noted that cryptocurrency investment scams, together with scams involving stocks and bonds and foreign exchanges, accounted for nearly 85 percent of all scams, totaling £197 million, or $255 million, reported in 2018. Recently, the FCA has been ramping up enforcement in response, revealing in December 2018 that it was investigating 18 firms over cryptocurrency use. According to CipherTrace, in 2018 $1.7 billion was obtained through illegal means, including thefts from cryptocurrency exchanges and fraudulent ICOs.
Recently, a Romanian hacker group known as Outlaw was pegged for responsibility with an uptick in Monero mining malware. In other recent news, Zcash released a report detailing its remediation of a vulnerability in the Zcash cryptocurrency that would have enabled the creation of counterfeit Zcash. Their analysis indicated that the vulnerability was not successfully exploited.
A recent report from an Israeli blockchain intelligence firm claims to have identified proof that bitcoin donations were being made to Hamas. According to the report, some of those donations were even made from well-known exchanges located in jurisdictions that list Hamas as a terrorist organization.
For more information, please refer to the following links:
- FCA warns public of investment scams as over £197 million reported losses in 2018
- UK Financial Watchdog: $255 Mln Lost in Crypto-Related, Other Investment Scams in 2018
- New Instance of Monero Malware Sees Cryptojackers Target Linux Users
- Zcash Counterfeiting Vulnerability Successfully Remediated
- Report: Analysts Identify Trail of Bitcoin Donations to Gaza's Ruling Group Hamas
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