Brazil’s Congress Set to Undertake Deep Probe of the Country’s Cryptocurrency Market

Cryptocurrency news website Cointelegraph, reported that Brazililian lawmakers have overwhelmingly voted to approve a resolution to launch an investigation into the country’s cryptocurrency market.

Congressman Aureo Ribeiro, instigated the request to formally task the Parliamentary Inquiry Commission (PCI) to conduct the probe. The request came as a result of the widespread proliferation of cryptocurrency related fraud transpiring in Brazil. Congressional support for Ribeiro’s resolution is overwhelming, as the document was signed by 234 Congressmen, which exceeded the required minimum of 63 votes.

According to Cointelegraph, the approved resolution specifically named cryptocurrency operators Atlas Quantum and its CEO Rodrigo Marques, Trader Group and Zero 10 among many others, as needing thorough investigation.

The growing number of complaints put forward by people coming from all over Brazil, indicated that the proliferation of cryptocurrency-related fraud throughout the country, has reached epidemic proportions.

Congressman Ribeiro, who also authored a bill proposing for the regulation of Brazil’s cryptocurrency operations, wrote in the resolution that

”The lack of regulation and vigilance over the crypto market in Brazil presents potential risks to investors and users, as its operations combined with high levels of anonymity, abstraction, cross-border transactions and other peculiarities inherent to the cryptocurrency technology.”

The Brazilian congressman also explained in the resolution, why Atlas Quantum, once purported as the biggest cryptocurrency company in Brazil, calls for a deep probe.

The Main Problem with Atlas Quantum

Homegrown Brazilian cryptocurrency company Atlas Quantum, is currently facing financial problems and legal issues.

Last September 18, 2019, Atlas Quantum released a video to present itself as a robust company with more than $54 million in bitcoins to its name. However, Atlas made further claims that the exchange company HitBTC has frozen 1,862 BTC ($15.3 million) and over $5.4 million in stablecoin Tether (USDT) that Atlas allegedly maintains in three crypto accounts.

On October 05, 2019, HitBTC denied Atlas Quantum’s claim by informing investors that the said crypto-investment company does not have any value stuck in the HitBTC platform. HitBTC further stated that the video released by the alleged Atlas Quantum team is fake, as exchange company noted the non-standard placement of amounts to show the purported balances of Atlas Quantum’s account.

Moreover, HitBTC asserts that it has not received any request for assistance in connection with the supposed frozen accounts. .

The video came at a time when numerous investors expressed fears that the crypto-investment company will not be able to fulfill its obligations to meet all requests for withdrawals. The case attracted wide media coverage, to which Atlas Quantum responded by presenting an audit report allegedly attesting to the veracity of the amount of Bitcoins and other altcoins held by the beleaguered company.

The audited statement though is regarded as contentious, as many of Atlas’ investors doubt if Atlas Quantum has sufficient cryptocurrency resources to honor its commitments.

Cryptocurrencies – Does It Have An Effect On The Global Market

Binance withdraw is an option to take as it is one solution for global crypto exchange providing a platform for trading and exchanging over a hundred cryptocurrencies. Since 2018, Binance is regarded as one of the largest crypto exchange in the globe with regards to the volume of trading.

Platforms like this have been created as cryptocurrencies have become tremendously popular because of the potential gains it offers, however the volatility of cryptos includes the risk of losses as well. For instance, Bitcoin increased from around $1,000 to over $19,000 in 2017 prior to dipping to over $3,000 in the onset of 2019. In 2017, ICO or Initial coin offerings raised over $3.7 billion with a succession of new digital currencies entering the cryptocurrency market.

The Responses

The response to digital currencies has been unenthusiastic among financial institutions as well as central banks. Although there are several bodies that have supported cryptocurrencies, numerous central banks continue to be careful taking into consideration the tremendous volatility of the market. Moreover, concerns with capital control as well as tax evasion have directed to several widespread issues.

  • United States Federal Reserve

Jerome Powell, chairman of the U.S. Federal Reserve, deems that technical concerns persist as well as governance and risk management are crucial prior to digital currencies becoming mainstream.

  • European Central Bank

Vitor Constancio, former VP of the European Central Bank, described Bitcoin a “tulip” pertaining to the bubble in the Netherlands in the 17th century. Additionally, a lot of other governors have voiced out comparable skepticism.

  • Bank of England

Mark Carney, Governor of the Bank of England, described cryptocurrencies as part of a finance “revolution” wherein it made the central bank one of the technology’s governmental proponents.

  • Bank of Japan

The Bank of Japan does not envisage a cryptocurrency market.

  • People’s Bank of China

The People’s Bank of China supposes that situations are “ripe” to accept and welcome cryptocurrencies, however the central bank would want complete control. Moreover, authorities are tightening up on the nation’s cryptocurrency ecosystem.

Bearing of Crypto on Global Investments

In terms of transactions that are frictionless and controlling of inflation, cryptocurrencies have numerous benefits, however a lot of investors are including these digital currencies as assets to their expanded and wide-ranging portfolios. To be specific, the market which is non-correlated in nature makes digital currencies a probable border against risk, akin to valuable metals such as gold. Numerous products that are exchange-traded via cryptocurrency have surfaced for this reason.

Conversely, several experts are concerned and fearful that a collapse in the cryptocurrency can have an undesirable bearing on the wider market, like how securities that are backed by mortgage set off a worldwide financial crisis. However, it’s good to note that the entire capitalization in the market of every digital currencies is beneath that of numerous public corporations. This means that it might not have a significant impact or bearing on the global markets.

What Drives The Economy Of A Country?

When individuals find themselves in a financially tight situation, they constantly fall back on financial institutions, like banks, as well as lending companies, such as American Pride who offer settlement loans for vehicular accidents, to aid them in this time of financial need. Truth is, millions of individuals across the globe get loans only to be capable of paying basic household expenditures such as utilities and other bills.

The way of life of Americans is established on debt. These credits which amount to billions of US dollars have given a lot of Americans the opportunity to own and be blessed with vehicles, appliances, furniture, stylish apparels, healthcare, vacations, as well as other small procurement.

Consumer Spending Drives the Economy’s GDP

The growth and progress of the economy is driven by consumer spending which is a major factor as it frequently contributes to over half of the GDP of the nation. It’s imperative for businesses and companies, whether small or big scale, to be capable of generating new employments and flourish. If this happen, more people will be able to spend for services and goods, therefore more money will circulate.

Taking out a loan is an individual’s own personal approach to help the economy as well as the overall system. Money will be generated and will be returned back to the nation by means of consumer spending, such as purchases of goods and services as well as other expenses. Hence, a market of consumer finance that is stable and appropriately-regulated has macroeconomic as potentials that would greatly be beneficial to the general economy of the nation. Furthermore, it likewise brings microeconomic advantages by making accessible to individuals reliable as well as inexpensive loans, especially for those with poor or no credit history.

Why Some are Fearful of Taking Out Loans

However, there is a minor stigma that frames the concept of loans. Individuals are fearful of the idea of borrowing money, with ostensibly heavy rates of interest as well as underhanded lenders. But, the truth is, people only tend to mistrust or have doubts about things that they don’t own, and getting a loan isn’t any different. Nonetheless, by merely repaying the loan promptly, you’ll get out of exorbitant interest costs as well as cyclical problems on debt. Loans depend on the reliability, integrity, and honesty of both the borrow and the lender.

Although taking out a loan could do the country good, there is a downside to it, particularly in terms of debt. Debt could be risky for the economy as well. For instance, if the economy goes through a crisis or collapse, a lot of people may find themselves jobless or unemployed which would therefore cause them to have defaults or the incapacity to settle debts.

Ponzi-Scheme and Other Investment Scams on the Rise in the Cryptocurrency Market

Many cryptocurrency owners are forgetting the primary advantages of using digital money for their transactions, which is that of circumventing the red tapes and charges imposed by traditional financial institutions.

Recently though, not a few have been lured into investing their virtual money into Ponzi-schemes and other similar investment scams using the blockchain technology.

Enticed by the prospect of amassing cryptocurrency without having to mine or earn them as profits in conventional trade transactions, victims easily forget that fraudulent investment schemes can easily circumvent an unregulated financial system.

Ponzi-schemes are the most viable because scammers need only to promise cryptocurrency owners profitable returns. Over time, millions of cryptocurrency owners were lured into becoming members by using the Plus Token app, which they were led to believe as legitimate e wallets.

Unknowingly, Plus Token was also transferring small amounts of digital money to e wallets created for purposes of laundering the money collected from members.

Although Plus Token members may have seen increases in their e-wallet balances, there was no guarantee that such increases were real or had been entered in the blockchain system.

In a real-money Ponzi scheme, profits given to subscribers do not come from real investments, but are only skimmed from contributions of new members. In the blockchain platform, this can be verified only by those who are savvy enough to decrypt the blockchain transactions entered by Plus Token.

How the Plus Token Ponzi Scheme was Unraveled

.Legitimate blockchain-based ewallet operators have actually given warnings about the incredulity of the idea of paying out profits just for using a blockchain-based ewallet.

 

Still, the number of Plus Token memberships reached 10 million in July 2019, which was the same time that Dovey Wan, founder of a legitimate cryptocurrency investment firm called Primitive Ventures, took notice that Plus Token was gradually but continuously selling off cryptocurrencies in small batches.

Ms. Wan immediately tweeted warnings about the Plus Token activities, whilst urging cryptocurrency exchange operators to blacklist the site. She also furnished them with ewallet addresses that appeared to have been beneficiaries of the cryptocurrency sell-offs.

After the alarms were raised and reached proper authorities, six Chinese nationals identified as members of the core team running the Plus Token Ponzi-scheme, were located in the island country of Vanuatu. The South Pacific island country later extradited the six to mainland China.

Token Analyst, a crypto-analytic firm located in London said Plus Token maintained e wallets that they used in laundering money once online mixing services have fused the Plus Token-held cryptocurrencies with other e wallets. That way, details of where the virtual money originated will become obscure.

Online mixing services are actually offering this type of work, which in an unregulated system of financial operation, can do so freely without fear of sanctions.

Other Methods Used by Scammers in Luring Investors to Ponzi Schemes

A promise of profit and fast-talking swindlers are not as effective in order to entice millions of cryptocurrency owners in a short span of time. Other methods are in use in order to make the Ponzi-scheme look truly legitimate;

Use of forum influencers, who take part in the website’s forum to attest to how their digital money has grown since becoming a member.

 

 

Paying recruiters, who also influence potential investors by showing off their newfound wealth at social media sites; when actually, the money they earned were commissions earned for every new member they recruited.

In today’s high tech advancements, there are now sophisticated software that can interact with Telegram, an Internet-based messaging system popular among cryptocurrency users. Tech savvy scammers find legitimate methods of responding to inquiries about ewallet account balances. That way, the lured investor will read what he or she is hoping for: the money promised already appears in one’s account.

Terrorism Caused A Surge In Travel Insurance Demands

Terrorist attacks make a huge impact on the economy and the travel industry as a whole. Nonetheless, this also resulted in a surge of travel insurance attention in the past years.

Terrorism Coverage – Travel Insurance Benefit

Several insurance firms observed increasing attention in travel insurance following a cord of terrorist attacks in France. A policy provider said that from the time Paris had been attacked, travel insurance agencies had been getting a spike of phone calls from vacationers wanting to protect their travels using travel insurance.

The State Division of the United States recently released an international travel advisory regarding the issue of terrorist attacks and the requirement for travel safety precautions. The memo prompted a lot of travelers to buy travel insurance for security.

It was noted that one of the most comprehensive and cheapest travel insurance in Singapore allows customers terminate or disturb their travel plans in case of a terrorist-related incident happens from a particular distance from the destination or when it happens in the destination itself. The trip could be canceled or delayed for some time before arrival.

Various policies evidently sport various meaning of terrorism. A number of providers may not keep to the globally accepted meaning of terrorism released by the U.S. government, instead, they make their own definition. Most of these travel insurance agencies combine these into their particular travel insurance guidelines.

The United States Terrorism Definition

The U.S. government’s meaning of terrorism differs from those generally set in policies because it particularly differentiates terrorism from a civil disorder or simple riot. Possibly since they have to stick to the trend or merely cautious to supply more reliable reasons for protection. A few travel insurance guidelines do not let their clientele cancellation because of terrorism. Numerous providers dissuade canceling especially if an insurance policy is bought after any release of travel alert.

Make certain that your plan has coverage for “Cancel for Any Reason”. This can serve your very best interest. Even though it is just an elective benefit, you will be provided the chance to terminate approximately two days prior to your planned departure for almost any explanation – possibly even explanations not established in or included in the travel insurance coverage. You may also be reimbursed as much as 75 % of non-refundable travel costs.

One more thing you need to note. Trip termination or interruption only addresses non-refundable travel expenses. You are not covered for costs that could be refunded. For example, if the air travel company gives a coupon for a trip terminated because of terrorism or weather conditions, you may no more claim any kind of benefit coming from your provider aside from other expenses you suffered.

Multi Level Marketing and Pyramid Schemes, Are They Different?

Multi Level Marketing (MLM) and Pyramid Scheme are in some ways different, but share one thing in common. The people who invest during the later part of the marketing operation or pyramiding scheme are the ones who end up empty handed. .

Back in the days when product brands like Tupperware, Amway, Avon, and The Pampered Chef were still popular, a lot of women found those MLM businesses as good sources of supplementary income. Yet the MLMs of before provided support by training sellers free of charge, and allowed members to sell only on consignment;

Why Today’s MLMs are Similar to Pyramid Schemes

The problem with today’s MLMs is that to become a seller, one must buy into the business by paying beforehand, a subscription fee. In return, subscribing members receive goods to sell equal in worth to the value as the subscription fee they paid.

In order to gain quick returns on their initial investment, they are encouraged to recruit members who will be their so-called “downliners” and earn a commission for every new recruit. In the same way, new recruits will invite friends and family members to join the MLM business, so they can also earn commissions.

The initial recruiter creates her own network of members and from every level, stands to gain a commission on each new recruit, down to the latest level of “downliners.” If they get to sell their inventory, the better; as it means they were able to get back their initial investment. In the meantime, if their network of members keep growing, money coming in as commissions from “downliners,” practically poses as profits realized from joining the MLM business.

This system works well for those who joined early on, but hardly compensatory for late joiners, since the market eventually becomes saturated. Even the product they were supposed to sell, will no longer be viable in a saturated market. That is why MLMs purporting themselves as legit businesses eventually operate the way pyramid schemes do.

How Do Pyramid Schemers Scam People?

Pyramid Schemes basically operate in ways similar to MLMs but are different in some aspects. While MLMs sell a particular product, Pyramid Schemes sell “dreams,” usually targeting people who want to strike it big in as little time as possible.

In a get-rich-quick-scheme, participants need only to convince a specific number of new investors, 3 at the least. The 3 recruits will likewise try to convince another set of 3, and so it goes with every new recruit in each level. In the process, the number of new investors multiply at the bottom line, forming a pyramid with the agents and the founders positioned at the top.

Since every recruiter earns a percentage from the money invested by the network of recruits, those at the top has a longer string of money to claim and collect as earnings than those in the middle and bottom levels of the pyramid. In the event that no more new recruits bring in fresh funds, the scheme collapses; leaving many of those at the lower level of the pyramid with nothing to claim at all, not even the money they invested.

Inasmuch as the founders and the agents are aware when their scheme is about to unravel, they have enough time to pack up and disappear. They will lay low for awhile in order to elude any ensuing investigations. Once the furor over the scam dies down, they will once again start a new pyramid scheme in another location.