Crypto Millionaire Lost 5,500 Bitcoins in Alleged Investment Scam 3398

A 22-year-old cryptocurrency millionaire has lost more than 5,500 bitcoins in an alleged investment scam in Thailand – one that drew public attention due to the alleged involvement of a Thai film actor.

According to a media report from Bangkok Post on Monday, a group approached and solicited Finnish businessman Aarni Otava Saarimaa in June 2017 over investment in several Thai stocks, a casino in Macau and a new cryptocurrency called Dragon Coin.

The group claimed that upon issuance, Dragon Coin could be used at the casino, the report said. They also brought Saarimaa to the Macau casino in order to demonstrate the legitimacy of the project. Saarimaa, who bought into the scheme, transferred a total of 5,564 bitcoins to the group, the report indicted.

Having seen no returns months after the investment, Saarimaa filed a complaint to Thailand’s Crime Suppression Division (CSD) in January, together with his local business partner who believed the investment plan was a scam.

The CSD subsequently launched an investigation and alleged in the report that the group did not make any investments for Saarimaa, but instead liquidated all the bitcoins into Thai baht and deposited the funds into seven bank accounts.

Although it is unclear when the group sold the bitcoin assets, the CSD said the fraudsters made off with nearly 800 million baht, or around $24 million.

Following a months-long investigation, the CSD also suspected that the Thai film actor Jiratpisit “Boom” Jaravijit was involved in the plan and arrested him last Wednesday.

The CSD further alleged that the actor’s sibling Prinya Jaravijit is suspected to be the “ringleader” of the scheme and has left Thailand for the U.S. via South Korea. The CSD is now collaborating with authorities in the U.S. to track down the primary suspect, the report stated.

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Popular BTM Operator Bitcoin of America Wins Silver in 11th Annual Best in Biz Awards 8139

Bitcoin of America has been named a silver winner in the Company of the Year – Midwest category in Best in Biz Awards, the only independent business awards program judged each year by prominent editors and reporters from top-tier publications in North America. Bitcoin of America is a popular virtual currency exchange, registered as a money services business with the United States Department of Treasury (FinCEN)(RegNum). Apart from ensuring a fast and hassle-free transaction, their customer support makes them the best in the industry.

Bitcoin of America has demonstrated rapid growth. In June of this year, Bitcoin of America’s Chief Financial Officer reported record company growth. In January, the company had a total of 630 Bitcoin ATMs. To date, they have seen a 138.095% increase in their number of locations. They even hit a major achievement of 1500 plus BTMs. Bitcoin of America has also seen enormous growth in their number of employees. In just one year their team grew over 32 percent.

Bitcoin of America also added new products, services, and even updates to their BTMS. In May, they announced the launch of their new universal kiosk. The kiosk combines the capabilities of a traditional ATM with a Bitcoin ATM. The universal kiosk is known to offer 3 different functions. The first is the traditional ATM feature where customers can dispense cash from a debit card. The second function is being able to buy bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies with cash. The last is that customers can sell crypto in return for cash. This is huge for business owners. These universal kiosks are bringing stores additional revenue streams, while also saving floor space. They also announced that Ethereum would be available for customers to purchase from any of their locations.

Besides offering cryptocurrency services to customers, Bitcoin of America has helped hundreds of businesses across the United States. Bitcoin of America offers a host program for store owners who are interested in cryptocurrency or are just looking to earn extra income. They take care of their host locations by providing them with passive income, increased foot traffic, and marketing. They even handle customer support and any maintenance/installation services.

As Digital Currencies Gain Popularity, FPA and RIA Digital Assets Council Announce Education-Focused Partnership 24383

According to the RIA Digital Assets Council, 80% of financial advisers receive questions from clients about bitcoin, but only 8% can adequately explain digital assets. As cryptocurrency becomes more mainstream, now is the time for financial planners to build competency in this asset class. To support financial planners, the Financial Planning Association® (FPA®) and RIA Digital Assets Council (RIADAC), a digital assets educational source for financial planners, announced a strategic partnership to provide education on the application of blockchain and digital assets.

“I’m pleased FPA has this opportunity to work with RIADAC to build our members’ competency in digital assets, which will allow them to augment their knowledge and better serve clients,” says Patrick D. Mahoney, FPA chief executive officer. “As the leading membership association for CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professionals, we need to be on the cutting edge of supporting our members as they look to sharpen their knowledge and build their competencies. This partnership with RIADAC is consistent with that objective.”

FPA and RIADAC will provide educational programming and a wide range of content to help FPA members understand the complexities of cryptocurriencies and provide expert advice on how this transformational asset class can impact their clients’ financial plans. As an FPA partner, RIADAC’s educational content and thought leadership will be available to FPA members through a variety of channels:

  • RIA Digital Assets Council Certificate in Blockchain and Digital Assets: FPA members will receive a 50% discount when enrolling in RIADAC’s certificate program that provides financial planners practical literacy on blockchain and digital assets and introduces available options for a firm’s investment management strategy. The inaugural class debuts on Apr. 30, 2021.
  • FPA Blockchain & Digital Assets Community: FPA members will engage with dynamic guests and thought leaders from RIADAC in virtual, interactive discussions and exchange ideas with peers in the FPA Connect Blockchain & Digital Assets community.
  • Journal of Financial Planning: RIADAC will regularly contribute thought leadership content to help financial planners understand blockchain and digital assets in FPA’s flagship publication, the Journal of Financial Planning.
  • FPA Annual ConferenceRic Edelman, founder of RIADAC, will present an informative session on blockchain and digital assets at the FPA Annual Conference in Columbus, OhioSept. 22-24, 2021.

“Gaining vital knowledge about this new asset class will help financial planners attract more clients and serve them better,” said RIADAC Founder Ric Edelman. “We’re honored to be partnering with FPA to help financial planners who are committed to serving their clients’ best interests.”

Ric Edelman is known and recognized throughout financial services and his work to bring blockchain and digital assets education and awareness to the financial advisory community is commendable. I am pleased FPA members will have this opportunity to learn from Ric and his team at RIADAC,” says 2021 FPA President Skip Schweiss, CFP®, AIF®.

Over the coming months, FPA and RIADAC will explore additional educational initiatives and thought leadership programs that can benefit FPA members, their clients and the broader financial planning community.

Bitcoin Association launches Introduction to Bitcoin Development online course at Bitcoin SV Academy 22823

Bitcoin Association, the Switzerland-based global industry organisation that works to advance business with the Bitcoin SV blockchain, today announces the official launch of the Introduction to Bitcoin Development course at Bitcoin SV Academy. The course is available free of charge and can be accessed from today at http://bitcoinsv.academy.

Introduction to Bitcoin Development is part of the Bitcoin Development stream of Bitcoin SV Academy and has been designed to equip application developers with the skills, tools and techniques required to build applications on the Bitcoin SV network. The course covers Bitcoin as a data protocol – including reading, writing and advanced functionalities with the Bitcoin ledger, payment protocols, token protocols and smart contracts. At the conclusion of the course, participants will be tested on their knowledge through an online examination, with a course certificate available upon successful completion for those who have demonstrated proficiency and understanding of the subject matter.

Bitcoin SV Academy is an online education platform for Bitcoin which offers academia-quality, university-style courses and learning materials in three distinct streams, Bitcoin Theory, Bitcoin Development and Bitcoin Infrastructure. Developed and run by Bitcoin Association, Bitcoin SV Academy has been created to make learning about Bitcoin – the way creator Satoshi Nakamoto designed it – accessible, accurate and understandable.

The launch of Introduction to Bitcoin Development today follows the successful rollout of Introduction to Bitcoin Theory – the first course to be launched on Bitcoin SV Academy – in December 2020. Later this year, the first module in the Bitcoin Infrastructure stream Introduction to Bitcoin Infrastructure is due to launch, followed by intermediate and advanced level courses across the three streams.

Pastel Network Announces the Listing of PSL on the Bitcoin.com Exchange 19955

Pastel Network, the first truly decentralized and scalable blockchain project designed specifically for rare digital art, has officially announced its pending listing on Bitcoin.com, scheduled for March 5, 2021. Pastel Network is a blockchain for rare digital art (also known as “NFTs”) that is built on the secure, battle-tested codebases of the Bitcoin, Dash, and ZCash cryptocurrency projects. Pastel introduces several important innovations to the world of blockchain art, such as the decentralized storage of art image files natively in the network, as well as a decentralized validation process for registering new artworks that prevents near-duplicate images from being added to the system. Pastel’s novel near-duplicate detection algorithm is based on robust image fingerprints that are generated using state-of-the-art deep learning image models and introduces a new form of digital scarcity which makes pixel patterns themselves “rare.”

Pastel takes a different technological approach than competing digital art blockchain projects, which are primarily built on top of the Ethereum platform. Because Pastel is an integrated platform specifically designed for the application of rare digital art, it has its own native Bitcoin-like currency (called the PSL coin). Having a native currency token makes the Pastel Network’s fees for registering, storing, and trading rare artwork very low, which makes it affordable to artists and collectors all over the world. Furthermore, the system includes a native mechanism based on changes in the mining difficulty of Pastel’s proof-of-work algorithm for maintaining these fees at affordable levels long into the future — even if PSL appreciates significantly in value. This is in stark contrast to Ethereum-based art projects, where the cost to create new artworks is currently hundreds of dollars, creating unnecessary financial risks for artists and making these other platforms out of reach for all but the wealthiest artists and the most expensive digital artworks. Even if an artist can afford to pay these egregious fees, the cost of simply transferring the artworks to users is prohibitively high. Pastel offers digital artists a secure and robust environment for registering their rare digital artworks with very low transactional costs, making digital art accessible to artists from anywhere in the world, and allowing a different business model for artists where they can sell larger numbers of their limited-edition digital art “prints” at a price point of under $5, while still making a healthy profit margin.

At the same time, Pastel allows art collectors and fans to purchase rare digital artworks directly from their favorite artists — with most of the value going to the artist instead of being wasted on unproductive network fees and overhead. This allows fans to participate in the long-term success of their favorite artists, creating a reciprocal relationship that transforms an artist’s fans into partners that have a financial stake in promoting the artist’s work. Furthermore, buyers of rare artworks on Pastel are able to trade their owned artworks with other Pastel users in a decentralized exchange that is native to the platform, all while paying modest trading commissions and transaction fees that are closer to the ~2% charged by payment processors such as Paypal and Stripe than the 15% or more charged by art dealers and auction houses, and other NFT platforms. Pastel Network’s low trading fees will lead to a much more dynamic and liquid marketplace for rare digital artwork that has the potential to radically transform the way art is created and collected. Best of all, the trading fees are sent by buyers and sellers to an unspendable PSL address, thus, “burning” them and removing them permanently from circulation. Over time, this natural deflation will offset the new PSL created through the mining process, making PSL scarcer and more valuable.

As Pastel Network’s founder Jeff Emanuel explains, “Today marks an exciting milestone for our project, which has been under continuous development since 2018 with the singular mission of serving the world’s artistic community. We have created an open platform that frees artists from the restrictions of the traditional art market, with its outrageous commissions and dealer fees, as well as its elitist ‘gatekeeping’ mentality that excludes the vast majority of talented artists around the world from earning a living as an artist. With the listing of Pastel on the Bitcoin.com exchange, as well as the public launch of our wallet software for artists and collectors in the next months, Pastel is now poised to disrupt the NFT space with a radically better network design that solves the high transactional fees and scalability issues that plague existing Ethereum-based NFT marketplaces and platforms.”

Pastel Network originated as a fork of the Animecoin blockchain project originally introduced in 2014. Animecoin was based on a modified version of the Bitcoin code and was fairly distributed with zero “pre-mine” to thousands of users around the world. After the fork, the Pastel team raised over $3 million from Innovating Capital and other blockchain investors to fund the development of the Pastel software and to further the goals of the project through community engagement and exchange listings, culminating in Pastel’s pending listing on Bitcoin.com.

80% of White Respondents Are Aware of Bitcoin Compared to 66% of Hispanics and 61% of Black Respondents, New Study by SimpleMoneyLyfe 21173

The research, which analyzed exclusive survey results and public databases, also discovered that males are more aware of Bitcoin than females, and 67% of Millennials favor Bitcoin over gold. The data encompasses results from November 2019 to January 2021 – making it the most comprehensive cryptocurrency study to date. Moreover, our data hits on topics that resonate with consumers, academia, and the private industry. The results shed light on a new narrative that has not been covered – one that reveals rampant disparity.

This SimpleMoneyLyfe Study also analyzed several other factors related to cryptocurrency and the broader blockchain industry.

Here is a quick snapshot of what our industry-leading research reveals:

Cryptocurrency Criminal Activity: Just 0.34% of Crypto’s Transaction Volume was Used for Criminal Activity. This equates to roughly 10 billion dollars.

Bitcoin Hoarders are Prevalent: 2% of Crypto Wallets Control 95% of all Bitcoin. This includes numerous governments, financial institutions, and early Bitcoin investors/miners.

Male vs Female Bitcoin Awareness: According to another survey, 78% of male survey respondents reported being aware of Bitcoin, while only 71% of females were aware of this particular digital asset (18+ or Older).

Massive Blockchain Investments: As blockchain is accepted and utilized across different industries, the U.S. is poised to remain at the forefront of innovation. It is projected to spend $4.2 billion on blockchain solutions.

Complete Study Results: https://simplemoneylyfe.com/cryptocurrency-statistics

Simplemoneylyfe.com is a leading financial website that covers the blockchain, financial, and credit industries. We simplify complex financial topics into digestible (action-oriented) information.

Oasis Pro Markets LLC Receives U.S. Regulatory Approval for its Digital Security Alternative Trading System 21198

Oasis Pro Markets (“Oasis”), a regulated broker-dealer, announced today that it recently received approval from FINRA and the Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC) for its Digital Security Alternative Trading System (“ATS”).

Oasis is the first US-regulated ATS allowing Subscribers to trade digital (“blockchain”) securities and make payment for those digital securities in digital cash (i.e., Stablecoins such as USDC and DAI and, when available, central bank digital currencies (“CBDCs”) or fiat. Oasis’s ATS is authorized to allow its Subscribers to:

  1. Trade both registered and unregistered securities on the ATS
  2. Trade digital securities OTC
  3. Trade both equity and debt in digital form through the use of a blockchain
  4. Invest in initial private offerings that can be recorded on a blockchain

Approval for the ATS comes after working closely with the SEC and FINRA to ensure the platform offers legally compliant, regulated trading of digital securities.  Expected ATS launch date is Q2 2021.

“Obtaining approval with the world’s leading financial regulatory bodies has the potential to unleash a tremendous market opportunity; it advances investor protections, and coupled with digital cash, has the potential to unlock trillions of dollars of value in the digital securities space,” said Pat LaVecchia, CEO and Co-Chairman, Oasis Pro Markets. “Moving quickly with a regulation-first mindset, digital cash for digital security, and a deeply experienced team is a tremendous competitive advantage, and the only way to ensure that digital securities trading is viable long-term within the U.S. financial system.”

Oasis’s ATS provides access to liquid private and public digital security markets, via a secure interface that offers a range of custodians and digital security investments.  The ATS focuses on

  1. Institutional Quality Interface
  2. Overall Low Cost of Trading
  3. Liquidity with leading Market Makers
  4. Regulatory Protections
  5. Robust Technology

“Oasis’s ATS is set apart from other trading systems by the ability to accommodate Stablecoins and enable a more accessible, liquid, and transparent market for privately offered digital securities. We have worked tirelessly to deliver a low friction, digital security trading platform with streamlined onboarding and the type of volume that will excite issuers of securities and subscribers alike, whether accredited or institutional investors,” added Joseph Quintilian, Co-Chairman, Oasis Pro Markets.

“The only responsible path to successful financial industry adoption of blockchain’s advantages in digital securities trading, is through registered entities acknowledging the unmatched benefits and credibility that is provided by a regulated financial system,” said LaVecchia.