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John McAfee: Allegations of Crypto Pump n’ Dump Scheme ‘Overblown’

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In brief

  • The Antivirus software mogul found himself cornered by allegations of foul play by both the Department of Justice and the US SEC.
  • Currently in a Spanish prison, McAfee is expected to defend himself when he’s extradited to the US.
  • McAfee says the allegations are overblown.

John McAfee, the 75-year-old billionaire cybersecurity mogul who fell off the rails into a life of drugs, parties and crypto, today criticized allegations brought against him by US regulators while he awaits trial for tax evasion, fraud and money laundering.

McAfee, currently stuck in a Spanish prison, awaits extradition to the US. There, he’ll face charges for tax evasion, and, as of this week, securities fraud and money laundering.

The securities fraud claims spring from McAfee’s promotion of cryptocurrency projects from December 2017 through October 2018. FBI Assistant Director William Sweeney said in a statement that McAfee’s tweets, along with those of his crypto team, amounted to a $13 million “pump-and-dump scheme.”

McAfee addressed the allegations today on Twitter. “The [US Securities and Exchange Commission’s] allegations are overblown,” he said. “My team evaluated every promotion based on management, business plans and potential. No one could have foreseen the altcoin market crash.

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McAfee said that Docademic, the failed crypto project he said he shilled the most, best expresses his belief in the coins he promoted. “Even as it crashed I held every single coin allocated to me. I never sold a single coin. I believed in the company to the very end,” he said of the healthcare blockchain project.

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As Decrypt reported in 2018, McAfee denied claims that he was executing a swift pump n’ dump and threw his former CEO, Jimmy Watson (also named in the indictment) under the bus. “All I can say is ‘Laugh my fucking ass off,’” said McAfee.

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He continued: “Where are the specifics? Who asked for their money back? Dude, i will rip you a new asshole in court if you dib’t unclude hard data to support thwse hiksrioys statements. I could use the money yoy’ll be paying me (sic).”

New York attorney Audrey Strauss is unconvinced by McAfee’s years of protestations. She said in a statement that McAfee and his team promoted the coins to his hundreds of thousands of followers “through false and misleading statements to conceal their true, self-interested motive.”

 

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Binance

Binance proposes a real-time token burning mechanism to boost BNB value

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  • Binance has proposed the BEP-95 aimed to burn a percentage of transaction fees as a deflationary measure.
  • BEP-95 will occur alongside the quarterly token burn and well after the 100 million token supply is achieved.

Binance Smart Chain (BSC) is taking further steps to incorporate an additional deflationary mechanism to increase token valuation. As announced today, Binance (BNB) is introducing a new Binance Evolution Protocol (BEP) known as BEP-95. The BEP stands out from the network’s occasional token burns since it introduced a real-time burning mechanism.

According to Binance, a fixed portion of gas fees collected by validators in each block will be sent to the burn address. The ratio initially set at 10 percent, is adjustable according to changes proposed by the Binance community. BSC validators get to vote on community proposals, where voting power is based on staked BNB.

For a proposal to be reviewed by the validators, it has to receive a minimum deposit of 2,000 BNB (mainnet). All BNB is returned to holders after the finalization of the voting process. A proposal that wins is that which gathers 50 percent of the total voting power on the mainnet. Binance notes that voted-upon parameters are implemented immediately.

Details of Binance BEP-95 token burning mechanism

BEP-95 became relevant as it speeds up the BNB token burn, and makes the network increasingly decentralized. The BNB supply cap is about 168 million tokens and Binance intends to burn until 100 million tokens remain in circulation. This will take about 5-8 years to complete, according to Binance. The network’s most recent quarterly burn wiped out over 1 million tokens, worth about $639 million, from circulation.

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However, the latest update from its blog now says the BEP-95 burn “will continue functioning” even after the above target is attained. With the burn, Binance expects the intrinsic value of the BNB token to increase in tandem with demand. The network notes that validators and delegators may receive fewer tokens from staking, but the “fiat-denominated value of their rewards may increase.” Moreover, BNB has multiple use cases that benefit all holders of the token.

Currently, BEP-95 is in the draft stage and the network is yet to give a specific date for its implementation.

Several blockchains use the crypto-burning mechanism to create token scarcity and a subsequent increase in token value. Ethereum, for instance, uses the EIP-1559 for this purpose. 

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BNB price action

BNB, the fourth-largest cryptocurrency by market cap, was trading at $494 at press time, according to our data. The token has gained 0.8 percent in the day, and 4.8 percent week-over-week. Similar to other digital assets, BNB has rallied fueled by the Bitcoin-led gains. Crypto investor and YouTuber Lark Davis expects “good things” for the BNB price following its launch of a $1B growth fund.

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Crypto Exchange

Google warns crypto investors of Youtube scams amidst high hacking

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  • Google warn crypto investors to be weary of Youtbe scams.
  • Google says hackers impersonate crypto influencers to run scams on YouTube.
  • YouTube, a hotbed for crypto scams.

Google’s Threat Analysis Group has warned crypto investors to beware of cryptocurrency scams on Youtube as phishing and impersonation on the video-sharing platform surges.

The Google group noted that a group of hackers is taking over Youtube, rebranding popular Youtube channels of well-known crypto or tech companies. “The channel name, profile picture, and content are all replaced with cryptocurrency branding to impersonate large tech or cryptocurrency exchange firms,” the group said, adding that hackers would live stream videos promising crypto giveaways in exchange for “initial contributions.”

According to the Google group, if these hackers don’t rebrand, they sell pages to the highest bidder depending on how many subscribers the channel has. They note that fake Youtube pages sell anywhere from $3 to $4,000.

The Google group notes that a group of hackers recruited in a Russian-speaking forum are actors behind the campaign.

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Crypto investors should be warned as YouTube remains a hotbed for crypto scams

The video-sharing platform so many times has been used as a tool to dupe unsuspecting crypto investors. In December, American crypto exchange Gemini exposed two fake YouTube channels that were pretending to be from the exchange.

“These scam accounts are not our company. We have reported these accounts to YouTube,” Gemini tweeted.

Funny enough, it was not the first time Gemini was being impersonated on Youtube.

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Crypto scams have been well perpetrated on the platform that the video giants ban crypto content on its platform. Authorities in the UK also warned young crypto investors with campaigns on Youtube and TikTok against being victims of crypto scams.

The cycle of crypto scams across all platforms is one that may never end. As much as crypto exists, crypto scams would remain a thing. The rise in crypto scams recently has been attributed to the surge in price and adoption of cryptos globally. It is safe to say that with crypto prices going up and more people, corporate organizations adopting cryptos, more scammers will be threatening the burgeoning space.

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Binance

Binance’s Trading Volume Hits $100 Billion in Just One Day

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Binance continues to see unprecedent trading activity while attempting to sail through regulatory hurdles

Binance’s daily volume hit an eye-popping $100 billion on Oct. 20, according to a tweet by CEO Changpeng Zhao.

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The leading crypto exchange recorded this crucial milestone on the day Bitcoin, the largest cryptocurrency, reached a new all-time high of $67,276.

Despite introducing stricter measures for users due to severe regulatory scrutiny, Binance enjoys a comfortable lead over other crypto exchanges in both spot and derivatives trading, according to data provided by CoinMarketCap.

Eerier this month, the trading platform also announced a $1 billion ecosystem fund.         

Meanwhile, the decentralized finance sector is catching up with centralized behemoths. The total value locked in DeFi protocols has hit $100 billion for the first time.

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