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Pay Attention to These 7 Bitcoin Scams
Bitcoin – the possible Pandora’s Box of the currency world – has never been short of controversy. Whether it be aiding the black market or scamming users out of millions, bitcoin is no stranger to the front page.
Still, the jury is out on the legality and usefulness of bitcoin – leaving it in a proverbial grey area. Bitcoin’s price has fluctuated throughout its history, falling and rising, currently hovering near $10,000. Perhaps you’ve found bitcoin while it looks to be on the rebound and find yourself interested in it as an investment.
However, there have been several legitimate bitcoin scams that have become infamous, and you need to know about them – but, what are the top 7 bitcoin scams? And how can you avoid them?
What Is a Bitcoin Scam?
For most cases, it may be pretty obvious what a scam is – but with bitcoin, and cryptocurrency in general, things become murkier. Bitcoin itself is an unregulated form of currency that essentially is a mere number that is only given value because of an agreement. It’s basically like a moneybag with a lock on it – the code of which is given to the recipient of the bitcoin (an analogy drawn by Forbes in 2020).
Bitcoin scams have been famously criminal and public in nature. With no bank as a middleman in exchange, things become more complicated; so hackers and con men have had a heyday.
Top 7 Bitcoin Scams
There have been (and undoubtedly will be) nearly countless bitcoin scams, but these frauds make the list of the top 7 worst bitcoin scams to date. Take note.
1. Malware Scams
Malware has long been the hallmark of many online scams. But with cryptocurrency, it poses an increased threat given the nature of the currency in and of itself.
Recently, a tech support site called Bleeping Computer issued a warning about cryptocurrency-targeting malware in hopes of saving customers from sending cryptocoins via transactions, reported Yahoo Finance.
“This type of malware, called CryptoCurrency Clipboard Hijackers, works by monitoring the Windows clipboard for cryptocurrency addresses, and if one is detected, will swap it out with an address that they control,” wrote Lawrence Abrahams, computer forensics and creator of Bleeping Computer.
The malware, CryptoCurrency Clipboard Hijackers (which reportedly manages 2.3 million bitcoin addresses) switches addresses used to transfer cryptocoin with ones the malware controls – thus transferring the coins to the scammers instead. And, according to Asia Times, even MacOS malware has been connected to malware scams involving cryptocurrency investors using trusted sites like Slack and Discord chats – coined “OSX.Dummy.”
2. Fake Bitcoin Exchanges – BitKRX
Surely one of the easiest ways to scam investors is to pose as an affiliate branch of a respectable and legitimate organization. Well, that’s exactly what scammers in the bitcoin field are doing.
South Korean scam BitKRX presented itself as a place to exchange and trade bitcoin, but was ultimately fraudulent. The fake exchange took on part of the name of the real Korean Exchange (KRX), and scammed people out of their money by posing as a respectable and legitimate cryptocurrency exchange.
BitKRX claimed to be a branch of the KRX, a creation of KOSDAQ, South Korean Futures Exchange, and South Korean Stock Exchange, according to Coin Telegraph.
BitKRX used this faux-affiliation to ensnare people to use their system. The scam was exposed in 2020.
3. Ponzi Scheme – MiningMax
“Ponzi bitcoin scam” has got to be the worst combination of words imaginable for financial gurus. And, the reality is just as bad.
Several organizations have scammed people out of millions with Ponzi schemes using bitcoins, including South Korean website MiningMax. The site, which was not registered with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, promised to provide investors with daily ROI’s in exchange for an original investment and commission from getting others to invest (basically, a Ponzi scheme). Apparently, the site was asking people to invest $3,200 for daily ROI’s over two years, and a $200 referral commission for every personally recruited investor, reports claim.
MiningMax’s domain was privately registered in mid-2020, and had a binary compensation structure. The fraudulent crypto-currency scam was reported by affiliates, resulting in 14 arrests in Korea in December of 2020.
Korea has long been a leader in technological developments – bitcoin is no exception. However, after recent controversy, it seems as though this is changing.
“But a lot of governments are looking at this very carefully,” Yoo Byung-joon, business administration professor at Seoul National University and co-author of the 2020 research paper “Is Bitcoin a Viable E-Business?: Empirical Analysis of the Digital Currency’s Speculative Nature,” told South China Morning Post in January. “Some are even considering putting their currencies on the blockchain system. The biggest challenge facing bitcoin now is the potential for misuse, but that’s true of any new technology.”
4. Fake Bitcoin Scam – My Big Coin
A classic (but no less dubious) scam involving bitcoin and cryptocurrency is simply, well, fake currency. One such arbiter of this faux bitcoin was My Big Coin. Essentially, the site sold fake bitcoin. Plain and simple.
In early 2020, My Big Coin, a cryptocurrency scam that lured investors into sinking an alleged $6 million, was sued by the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission, according to a CFTC case filed in late January.
The CFTC case further details that the suit was due to “commodity fraud and misappropriation related to the ongoing solicitation of customers for a virtual currency known as My Big Coin (MBC),” further charging the scam with “misappropriating over $6 million from customers by, among other things, transferring customer funds into personal bank accounts, and using those funds for personal expenses and the purchase of luxury goods.”
Among other things, the site fraudulently claimed that the coin was being actively traded on several platforms, and even mislead investors by claiming it was also partnered with MasterCard, according to the CFTC case.
Those sued included Randall Carter, Mark Gillespie and the My Big Coin Pay, Inc.
5. ICO Scam – Bitcoin Savings and Trust and Centra Tech
Still other scammers have used ICO’s – initial coin offerings – to dupe users out of their money.
Along with the rise in blockchain-backed companies, fake ICOs became popular as a way to back these new companies. However, given the unregulated nature of bitcoin itself, the door has been wide open for fraud.
Most ICO frauds have taken place through getting investors to invest in or through fake ICO websites using faulty wallets, or by posing as real cryptocurrency-based companies.
Notably, $32 million Centra Tech garnered celebrity support (most famously from DJ Khaled), but was exposed for ICO fraud back in April of 2020, according to Fortune. The company was sued for misleading investors and lying about products, among other fraudulent activities.
The famous DJ wrote his support in a caption on Instagram back in 2020.
“I just received my titanium centra debit card. The Centra Card & Centra Wallet app is the ultimate winner in Cryptocurrency debit cards powered by CTR tokens!” Khaled wrote.
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission even issued a warning in 2020 about ICO scams and faux investment opportunities, brought on by a slew of celebrities who promoted certain ICOs (like Paris Hilton and Floyd Mayweather Jr. to name a few).
“Any celebrity or other individual who promotes a virtual token or coin that is a security must disclose the nature, scope, and amount of compensation received in exchange for the promotion,” the SEC wrote in an Investor Alert in 2020. “A failure to disclose this information is a violation of the anti-touting provisions of the federal securities laws.”
Another example is Bitcoin Savings and Trust, which was fined $40.7 million in 2020 by the SEC for creating fake investments and using a Ponzi scheme to scam investors. According to Coin Telegraph, Trenton Shavers, the organization’s leader, allegedly scammed investors into giving him 720,000 bitcoins promising a 7% weekly interest on investments – which he then used to pay back old investors and even fill his personal bank accounts.
6. Bitcoin Gold Scam – mybtgwallet.com
Nothing catches the eye of the naïve quite like the promise of gold – bitcoin gold, of course.
That is exactly what mybtgwallet.com did to unsuspecting bitcoin investors.
According to CNN, the bitcoin gold (BTG) wallet duped investors out of $3.2 million in 2020 by promising to allow them to claim their bitcoin gold. The website allegedly used links on a legitimate website (Bitcoin Gold) to get investors to share their private keys or seeds with the scam, as this old screenshot from the website shows.
Before the scam was done, the website managers (slash scammers) was able to get their hands on $107,000 worth of bitcoin gold, $72,000 of litecoin, $30,000 of ethereum, and $3 million of bitcoin, according to CNN.
Bitcoin Gold, the site’s wallet used in the scam, began investigating shortly after, but the site remains controversial. Still, firm released a warning to bitcoin investors.
“It’s worth reminding everyone that it will never be truly safe to enter your private key or mnemonic phrase for a pre-existing wallet into any online website,” Bitcoin Gold wrote. “When you want to sweep new coins from a pre-fork wallet address, best practice is the same as after other forks: Send your old coins to a new wallet first, before you expose the private keys of the original wallet. Following this basic rule of private key management greatly reduces your risk of theft.”
7. Pump and Dump Scam
While this type of scam is certainly not relegated to just bitcoin (thank you for the education, “The Wolf of Wall Street”), a pump-and-dump scam is especially dangerous in the internet space.
The basic idea is that investors hype up (or “pump up”) a certain bitcoin – that is usually an alternative coin that is very cheap but high risk – via investor’s websites, blogs, or even Reddit, according to The Daily Dot. Once the scammers pump up a certain bitcoin enough, skyrocketing its value, they cash out and “dump” their bitcoin onto the naïve investors who bought into the bitcoin thinking it was the next big thing.
Bittrex, a popular bitcoin exchange site, released a set of guidelines to avoid bitcoin pump-and-dump scams.
While “stackin’ penny stocks” may sound like an appealing way to earn an extra buck (thanks to its glamorization by Jordan Belfort), messing in bitcoin scams is nothing to smirk at.
How to Avoid Bitcoin Scams
With the inevitable rise of bitcoin in current and coming years, it is becoming increasingly important to understand and be on the lookout for bitcoin scams that could cost you thousands. As more people become interested in Bitcoin, more people are also likely to try and pull off a scam.
There is no one formula to avoiding being scammed, but reading up on the latest bitcoin red flags, keeping information private, and double checking sources before investing in anything are good standard procedures that may help save you from being duped. Cryptocurrency can be a confusing topic even for the experienced Bitcoin enthusiast, so the more you read up on the world of Bitcoin, the more prepared you can be. After all, knowledge is power.
Beware of These 5 Bitcoin Scams
Bitcoin’s meteoric rise in prices in 2020 awakened mainstream interest in the original cryptocurrency. But the rise in interest has not been without consequences. One of the downsides of new investors entering the market is the increase in the number of scams, frauds, and stories of retail investors who lose their coins to shady ventures. From ICO scandals to wallet theft and fraud, regular consumers can fall prey to crime easily.
It may seem as though it’s the Wild West for investors, but it doesn’t have to be. While there are certainly risks in the market, the opportunities may be irresistible for some. However, being cautious is always a must, and there are clear signs of scams that investors can look for. By avoiding these traps, users can better their chances of success and protect their investments. These are some of the most common scams and how they can be avoided.
- Bitcoin investors can increase their odds for success by identifying common scams, such as Ponzi schemes, fake ICOs, and fraudulent exchanges.
- One common scam, exposing bitcoin users to theft, is the sale of a hardware wallet with a compromised pre-configured seed phrase, which allows hackers to steal funds.
- Since bitcoin exchanges are unregulated, fraudulent exchanges can trap investors with the promise of unrealistic prices and heavy discounts on use.
- Websites featuring fake ICOs instruct users to deposit funds into a compromised wallet through their site, resulting in the theft of funds.
Hardware Wallet Theft
For users who are concerned with security and privacy, a hardware wallet—a physical device that stores their private keys—is an increasingly popular option. Usually, as small as keychain USB drives, these wallets offer an offline way to help crypto investors protect their bitcoin even further. However, there have been reports that some of them have built-in vulnerabilities that open them to hackers that could easily steal all a user’s holdings.
This is far from the only issue, however. According to Ofir Beigel, the owner of 99Bitcoins.com:
One scam entails selling hardware wallets to users with a ‘pre-configured’ seed phrase hidden under a scratch card. The new user is told that he should scratch the card . and set up the wallet with the compromised seed.
This creates a backdoor that allows hackers to drain funds once a wallet is activated. These scams are becoming more common, but they can easily be avoided by only accepting wallets from trusted sources.
Despite their decentralized nature, most cryptocurrencies are still bought and sold at exchanges. While this makes it easier to find the coins investors desire, there is still no regulatory body overseeing these exchanges in many countries. Thus, many investors have been left penniless when the exchanges they signed up for turn out to be traps. In December of 2020, several South Korean exchanges were exposed, leading to promises of stiffer regulations by the country’s authorities.
These scams are not hard to spot but can be costly if not avoided. One of the biggest red flags is the promise of unrealistic prices. Exchanges that promise heavy discounts on bitcoin use this strategy to lure in unsuspecting victims.
Additionally, users can check exchanges’ URLs. Web addresses should always begin with HTTPS, a sign that traffic is encrypted. Visiting unsecured websites is a bad idea, but alert investors can avoid losing thousands by looking for the right signs.
One of the best results of the cryptocurrency boom has been the rise of the initial coin offering as a way for companies to raise capital. With thousands of new blockchain-based companies entering the market with unique ideas and exciting projects, users can now back their favorite businesses easily. However, this massive explosion of ICO opportunities has inevitably raised the specter of fraud.
There are several ways scammers can separate investors from their bitcoin. One popular method involves creating fake websites that resemble ICOs and instructing users to deposit coins into a compromised wallet. Other times, it’s the ICOs that are at fault.
Centra Tech, for example, a blockchain venture backed by several celebrities, has been sued in the US. The company stands accused of portraying fake team members, misleading investors, and lying about their products. The best way to avoid these scams is close research that involves picking apart the white paper, reviewing the team behind the venture, key board members, and investors. Before making any investment, it’s vital to learn as much about the company as possible to avoid any unpleasant surprises.
Cloud Mining Schemes
Mining is the only way to extract new bitcoins without buying or exchanging them, but it has become an incredibly resource-intensive activity. Due to the unique way new coins are mined, it takes massive amounts of processing power and electricity, and thus money, to mine a coin. However, many companies now offer regular users the ability to rent some server space to mine coins for a set rate.
Some companies offer “lifetime contracts” that keep costs the same and supposedly offer outstanding returns. However, as the difficulty of mining increases, the same investment will return smaller amounts each time. Moreover, some companies make bold claims regarding their returns without being transparent about the true costs and diminishing returns. Others operate Ponzi schemes that can lead to massive losses. It’s vital to look into opportunities and understand the risks and costs associated with mining before investing.
Even in the digital spheres, many multilevel marketing schemes have emerged that offer naïve investors excellent “opportunities” for progressively larger sums of bitcoin. MLMs, as they’re known, are predicated on offering quick returns, but involve taking more money for the promise of even higher profits.
One major company that has been repeatedly outed is OneCoin, whose owners were implicated in several other shady operations. The company offered investors massive earnings, as well as luxury goods and perks for paying more.
However, there is little information on the company outside of its site, and users have left scathing reviews online. It’s important to pay attention to a company’s fine print and ensure that their claims are feasible and real. Avoiding these scams early can protect investors’ wallets.
With the current craze, being vigilant and doing one’s due diligence are a must before investing in bitcoin. The market is also showing signs of maturity, leading to better transparency and clearer rules. Regardless, a smart investor’s first step should always be careful research to ensure their investments are winners.
What to Know About Cryptocurrency
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Cryptocurrency is digital money. That means there’s no physical coin or bill — it’s all online. You can transfer cryptocurrency to someone online without a go-between, like a bank. Bitcoin and Ether are well-known cryptocurrencies, but new cryptocurrencies continue to be created.
People might use cryptocurrencies for quick payments and to avoid transaction fees. Some might get cryptocurrencies as an investment, hoping the value goes up. You can buy cryptocurrency with a credit card or, in some cases, get it through a process called “mining.” Cryptocurrency is stored in a digital wallet, either online, on your computer, or on other hardware.
Before you buy cryptocurrency, know that it does not have the same protections as when you are using U.S. dollars. Also know that scammers are asking people to pay with cryptocurrency because they know that such payments are typically not reversible.
Cryptocurrencies vs. U.S. Dollars
The fact that cryptocurrencies are digital is not the only important difference between cryptocurrencies and traditional currencies like U.S. dollars.
Cryptocurrencies aren’t backed by a government.
Cryptocurrencies are not insured by the government like U.S. bank deposits are. This means that cryptocurrency stored online does not have the same protections as money in a bank account. If you store your cryptocurrency in a digital wallet provided by a company, and the company goes out of business or is hacked, the government may not be able to step and help get your money back as it would with money stored in banks or credit unions.
A cryptocurrency’s value changes constantly.
A cryptocurrency’s value can change by the hour. An investment that may be worth thousands of U.S. dollars today might be worth only hundreds tomorrow. If the value goes down, there’s no guarantee that it will go up again.
Investing in Cryptocurrency
As with any investment, before you invest in cryptocurrency, know the risks and how to spot a scam. Here are some things to watch out for as you consider your options.
No one can guarantee you’ll make money .
Anyone who promises you a guaranteed return or profit is likely a scammer. Just because an investment is well known or has celebrity endorsements does not mean it is good or safe. That holds true for cryptocurrency, just as it does for more traditional investments. Don’t invest money you can’t afford to lose.
Not all cryptocurrencies — or companies promoting cryptocurrency — are the same.
Look into the claims that companies promoting cryptocurrency are making. Search online for the name of the company, the cryptocurrency name, plus words like “review,” “scam,” or “complaint.”
Paying with Cryptocurrency
If you are thinking about using cryptocurrency to make a payment, know the important differences between paying with cryptocurrency and paying by traditional methods.
You don’t have the same legal protections when you pay with cryptocurrency .
C redit cards and debit cards have legal protections if something goes wrong. For example, if you need to dispute a purchase, your credit card company has a process to help you get your money back. Cryptocurrency payments typically are not reversible. Once you pay with cryptocurrency, you only can get your money back if the seller sends it back.
Before you buy something with cryptocurrency, know a seller’s reputation, where the seller is located, and how to contact someone if there is a problem.
Refunds might not be in cryptocurrency .
If refunds are offered, find out whether they will be in cryptocurrency, U.S. dollars, or something else. And how much will your refund be? The value of a cryptocurrency changes constantly. Before you buy something with cryptocurrency, learn how the seller calculates refunds.
Some information will likely be public .
Although cryptocurrency transactions are anonymous, the transactions may be posted to a public ledger, like Bitcoin’s blockchain. A blockchain is a public list of records that shows when someone transacts with cryptocurrency. Depending on the cryptocurrency, the information added to the blockchain can include information like the transaction amount. The information also can include the sender’s and recipient’s wallet addresses — a long string of numbers and letters linked to a digital wallet that stores cryptocurrency. Both the transaction amount and wallet addresses could be used to identify who the actual people using it are.
As more people get interested in cryptocurrency, scammers are finding more ways to use it. For example, scammers might offer investment and business “opportunities,” promising to double your investment or give you financial freedom.
Watch out for anyone who:
- guarantees that you’ll make money
- promises big payouts that will double your money in a short time
- promises free money in dollars or cryptocurrency
- makes claims about their company that are not clear
Cryptojacking is when scammers use your computer or smartphone’s processing power to “mine” cryptocurrency for their own benefit, and without your permission. Scammers can put malicious code onto your device simply by your visiting a website. Then they can help themselves to your device’s processor without you knowing.
If you notice that your device is slower than usual, burns through battery power quickly, or crashes, your device might have been cryptojacked. Here is what to do about it:
Close sites or apps that slow your device or drain your battery.
Use antivirus software, set software and apps to update automatically, and never install software or apps you do not trust.
Do not click links without knowing where they lead, and be careful about visiting unfamiliar websites.
Report fraud and other suspicious activity involving cryptocurrency, or other digital assets to:
HashFlare Review: Is This Cloud Mining Platform Legit?
By: Ofir Beigel | Last updated: 11/14/19
HashFlare is a cloud mining service with a somewhat shaky history and a shady reputation. In this post, I’ll examine the company in-depth and tell you what you need to know before signing up to it.
HashFlare Review Summary
HashFlare is a cloud mining company that used to supply various mining contracts. Recently it seems to have gone out of business. This review breaks down the math, in order to prove that cloud mining with HashFlare isn’t a wise investment.
That’s HashFlare in a nutshell. If you want a more detailed review keep on reading, here’s what I’ll cover:
1. Cloud Mining in a Nutshell
Cloud mining is the process of “mining from afar”; Instead of buying a Bitcoin miner, storing it, configuring it, and cooling it (which costs a lot of money and consumes time), you “rent” a miner and have someone run it for you. You then split whatever profits that miner makes with the service provider.
My main criticism about cloud mining companies is that the majority of them are just Ponzi schemes in disguise.
They take your money, but they don’t actually buy and run miners for you. They just keep on paying you from new users that come onboard until all of a sudden, they disappear (as can be seen here, here, and here).
However, not all cloud mining companies are complete scams. Some are just bad investments.
Not long ago, I reviewed one of the most popular cloud mining platforms around: Genesis Mining. I tried to establish whether it would be a profitable investment instead of just buying Bitcoins and holding them (aka hodling).
The bottom line was that the company seemed legit (i.e. they were actually mining), but I doubted whether it would be a good investment, considering the alternative of just hodling, a strategy that has proven to be profitable over 92% of the times.
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2. Hashflare Overview
HashFlare is a company owned by another company of crypto experts called HashCoins. While in the past you could actually see who the team members were on the “About” page, the company has since removed any personal information about who runs the company. Luckily, the Internet never forgets.
The website seems to have launched its services somewhere around the beginning of 2020, and since then it has grown immensely. The current rough estimate is that the site has around 1 million visitors each month.
The company itself, Hashflare LP, was registered in the United Kingdom in late 2020. HashCoins or Hashcoins OÜ was founded in 2020 in Tallinn, Estonia.
3. HashFlare Services
Up until July 2020 the company continued to offer different mining contracts, however, today it seems that no more new contracts are available for purchase.
This review was written initially in mid 2020. I will leave the info unrevised for your consideration.
HashFlare Mining Contracts
HashFlare allows you to buy three different types of cloud mining power (also known as Hashrate). Sha256 is used mainly for mining Bitcoin, Scrypt can be used for mining Litecoin, and ETHASH is used for mining Ethereum and Ethereum classic.
For the purpose of this review, I’ll focus only on Bitcoin cloud mining, but the same process can be applied to any other mining algorithm.
4. Is HashFlare Profitable?
The most efficient miner today for mining Bitcoin is the Antminer S9 (true for mid 2020, today there’s the Antminer S17). It produces
13 Th/s of mining power.
Buying the equivalent of this on HashFlare would cost you $1,040 per year. Buying the actual miner would cost you
This actually makes sense because if you bought just the miner, you’d have additional expenses on electricity, cooling, and storage. However, the actual miner doesn’t charge anything after a year, and HashFlare does.
Using a Bitcoin mining calculator, I found that 13 Th/s in a “vacuum environment” (meaning no electricity costs, no mining pool fees, etc.) will produce $222 each month.
Seems pretty profitable – I’ll probably break even within five to six months. However, I haven’t calculated the MEF (maintenance and electricity fees) yet.
The MEF is linear and equals 0.0035 USD per every 10 GH/s of SHA-256. This means that for 13 Th/s, it would cost $4.55 daily or $136.5 monthly. So each month, we’re actually making $85.5.
A simple calculation of HashFlare profits would be something like this:
$85.5 *12 – $1,040 = -$14 per year
Wait, what? I’m actually losing money each year?
Payments are made to HashFlare in USD, but payouts are received in BTC. In the example above, I treated the Bitcoin exchange rate as constant. If this is actually the case, then yes, I’ll lose money.
However, if the BTC price rises, then we could say that I paid less but the payouts were worth more. Or could we?
Hashflare profitability if BTC goes up
As price goes up, more people start mining Bitcoin. This means that it becomes more difficult to turn a profit, and income is actually reduced.
So while I’m earning more dollars (since each BTC payout is worth more), I’m making less BTC in total. There’s a strong correlation between price and mining difficulty, so I assume that they cancel each other out.
Hashflare profitability if BTC goes down
The funny thing is that even when Bitcoin’s price drops, difficulty can still increase. As you can see in the graph below, there have been only a handful of occasions on which the network’s difficulty has dropped, and some of these cases weren’t even related to price (e.g., one drop is attributed to miners switching over to Bitcoin Cash when it came out).
But here’s the real interesting part, which isn’t unique to HashFlare and can be found in almost every cloud mining company. If you look at their terms of service, you’ll find the following:
5.2. The Contract Term for HashFlare.io Cloud Machines is unlimited by default, unless stated otherwise. The Contract is valid while profitable, until expired or until terminated (refer to section 13), whichever comes first.
13.1. Without limiting any other rights we have, we may suspend or terminate access to your Account, the Website and/or the Service, nullify your Account Balance and/or hold the ability to withdraw mined funds if you breach any of these Terms of Service.
This basically means that if the price drops to a point at which you’re not making money at all, your contract will be terminated. Bitcoin has seen 80% price drops in the past, and that could seriously affect profitability.
HashFlare Isn’t a Good Investment
Considering the above, it seems that no matter what happens to Bitcoin’s price, HashFlare isn’t a very wise investment. Indeed, on July 2020 HashFlare announced that that it is stopping its mining services and shutting down hardware on current SHA-256 contracts due to difficulty generating revenue.
The alternative, hodling, makes a lot more sense in my opinion. In this case, if Bitcoin goes up, you’re making a profit, and if it drops, you still have your coins. No one can “terminate” your bitcoins in the same way your cloud mining contract can be terminated.
5. Public Opinion and Reviews
While I have my mind made up about HashFlare, I make a habit of cross-checking with additional online reviews. However, since HashFlare has a referral program (i.e. you get paid for every customer you bring onboard), reviews should be taken with a grain of salt.
It seems like there’s a wide array of negative reviews about the company. Additionally, review site TrustPilot states that their customised software has discovered a large number of fake positive reviews on HashFlare and it has since removed them.
Most negative reviews complain about profitability, and some complain about the site being a complete Ponzi scheme, including the use of fake customer reviews as seen below and having virtually no customer support.
6. Conclusion – Is HashFlare legit?
If I had to give a short answer, I’d say that while the company might be legit it’s NOT a good investment. There’s a thin line on the web between what constitutes a total scam and what’s considered to be just a bad investment opportunity.
I’m not as deterred by the bad reviews as I am by the simple math that just makes it seem impossible to actually profit with HashFlare.
Perhaps a different coin/algorithm will yield better results – you can use the same process I did for Bitcoin on any other crypto HashFlare offers and see for yourself.
In the past, I heard someone make a very amusing statement that summarizes this review perfectly:
“Cloud mining companies are basically taking your money today so they can slowly give you less of it back tomorrow.”
Personally, I wouldn’t invest my money in HashFlare, but in the end, I encourage you to do your own due diligence. Keep in mind that this post shouldn’t be taken as investment advice, it’s just my own research about another investment option in the crypto universe.
Have you had any experience with HashFlare? I would love to hear about it in the comment section below.
How to Invest in Bitcoin
Thinking of investing in Bitcoin?
This post will outline some things you NEED to know before you buy.
We’re going to explain:
- The basics of investing in bitcoin
- Why it needs to be taken seriously
- How to buy bitcoins (with credit card or bank account)
- How to protect and properly secure your bitcoins if you do decide to invest
Quick Info – Top Exchanges
How to Purchase Bitcoins
Coinbase is the world’s largest Bitcoin (BTC) broker. They represent an easy and fast way for new users to purchase bitcoins. Coinbase supports customers in over 30 countries, including the United States, Europe (besides Germany), UK, Singapore, Canada, and Australia.
Customers in the above-mentioned countries can purchase bitcoins by debit card, bank transfer, SEPA transfer, and more.
We may receive compensation when you use Coinbase. Please visit Coinbase for its exact pricing terms.
- High liquidity and buying limits
- Easy way for newcomers to get bitcoins
- “Instant Buy” option available with debit card
- Purchases made with bank transfer can take up to 5 days to complete
- Coinbase may track how and where you spend your bitcoins
Coinmama allows customers in almost every country to buy bitcoin with a credit or debit card. They charge a 4.9%-5.9% (depends on volume) fee on each purchase.
Customers in Europe can also purchase bitcoins with SEPA transfer for a lower fee.
Want to buy using Coinmama? This step-by-step guide will show you how to use Coinmama.
We may receive compensation when you use Coinmama. Please visit Coinmama for its exact pricing terms.
- Works in almost all countries
- Highest limits for buying bitcoins with a credit card
- Reliable and trusted broker
- Some of the highest fees among credit/debit card bitcoin brokers
Bitpanda is a Bitcoin broker based in Europe.
They have high payment limits and low fees across their wide range of payment methods.
Bitpanda offers customers the option to buy bitcoins with credit card, debit card, SOFORT, Skrill, NETELLER, giropay, eps, SEPA, and Online Bank Transfer.
We may receive compensation when you use Bitpanda. Please visit Bitpanda for its exact pricing terms.
- Some of the lowest fees for buying bitcoins with credit/debit card
- Reliable and trusted broker
- Fees aren’t shown openly on the site but instead included in the buying price
CEX.io Buy Bitcoin Read Review
CEX.io lets you buy bitcoin with a credit card, ACH bank transfer, SEPA transfer, cash, or AstroPay. Purchases made with a credit card give you access to your bitcoin immediately. CEX.io works in the United States, Europe, and certain countries in South America.
We may receive compensation when you use CEX.io. Please visit CEX.io for its exact pricing terms.
- Support for many countries and regions
- Low 0.2% trading fee
- Established and trusted exchange
- Verification process is extensive, requiring much personal information (including a photo) and incurring a long delay
- GBP market lacks liquidity
Why Bitcoin is Gaining Traction
The world is becoming ever more reliant on the internet.
It is no surprise that Bitcoin, a secure, global, and digital currency has claimed the interest of investors.
Bitcoin is open to everyone and provides an exciting opportunity to delve into an entirely new asset class.
Investing in bitcoin may seem scary, but know that it takes time and effort to understand how Bitcoin works.
Note: Bitcoin with a capital “B” references Bitcoin the network or Bitcoin the payment system; bitcoin with a lowercase “b” references bitcoin as a currency or bitcoin the currency unit.
Why Invest in Bitcoin?
It seems silly to some people that one bitcoin can be worth hundreds of dollars.
What makes bitcoins valuable?
Bitcoins are scarce and useful.
Let’s look to gold as an example currency. There is a limited amount of gold on earth.
As new gold is mined, there is always less and less gold left and it becomes harder and more expensive to find and mine.
The same is true with Bitcoin.
There are only 21 million Bitcoin, and as time goes on, they become harder and harder to mine. Take a look at Bitcoin’s inflation rate and supply rate:
In addition to being scarce, bitcoins are useful.
Bitcoin’s sound monetary policy is one of its most important features. It’s possible to see when new bitcoins are created or how many bitcoins are in circulation.
Bitcoins can be sent from anywhere in the world to anywhere else in the world. No bank can block payments or close your account. Bitcoin is censorship resistant money.
Bitcoin makes cross border payments possible, and also provides an easy way for people to escape failed government monetary policy.
The internet made information global and easy to access. A sound, global currency like Bitcoin will have the same impact on finance and the global economy.
If you understand the potential impact of Bitcoin, it won’t be hard to hard to understand why investing in bitcoin may be a good idea.
There is no official Bitcoin price. Bitcoin’s price is set by whatever people are willing to pay. Buy Bitcoin Worldwide’s is a good resource for the current and historical price.
Bitcoin’s price is generally shown as the cost of one bitcoin. However, exchanges will let you buy any amount, and you can buy less than one bitcoin. Below is a chart showing Bitcoin’s entire price history:
When is the right time to buy?
As with any market, nothing is for sure.
Throughout its history, Bitcoin has generally increased in value at a very fast pace, followed by a slow, steady downfall until it stabilizes.
Use tools like Bitcoin Wisdom or Cryptowatch to analyze charts and understand Bitcoin’s price history.
Bitcoin is global and not affected by any single country’s financial situation or stability.
For example, speculation about the Chinese Yuan devaluating has, in the past, caused more demand from China, which also pulled up the exchange rate on U.S. and Europe based exchanges.
Global chaos is generally seen as beneficial to Bitcoin’s price since Bitcoin is apolitical and sits outside the control or influence of any particulate government.
When thinking about how economics and politics will affect Bitcoin’s price, it’s important to think on a global scale and not just about what’s happening in a single country.
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How to Invest in Bitcoins and Where to Buy
The difficulty of buying bitcoins depends on your country. Developed countries have more options and more liquidity.
Coinbase is the world’s largest bitcoin broker and available in the United States, UK, Canada, Singapore, and most of Europe.
You can use our exchange finder to find a place to buy bitcoins in your country.
How to Secure Bitcoins
As with anything valuable, hackers, thieves, and scammers will all be after your bitcoins, so securing your bitcoins is necessary.
If you’re serious about investing in bitcoin and see yourself buying a significant amount, we recommend using Bitcoin wallets that were built with security in mind.
- Ledger Nano X – Ledger is a Bitcoin security company that offers a wide range of secure Bitcoin storage devices. We currently see the Ledger Nano X as Ledger’s most secure wallet. Read more about the Ledger Nano X.
- TREZOR – TREZOR is a hardware wallet that was built to secure bitcoins. It generates your Bitcoin private keys offline. Read more about TREZOR.
Bitcoins should only be kept in wallets that you control.
If you leave $5,000 worth of gold coins with a friend, your friend could easily run off with your coins and you might not see them again.
Because Bitcoin is on the internet, they are even easier to steal and much harder to return and trace. Bitcoin itself is secure, but bitcoins are only as secure as the wallet storing them.
Investing in bitcoin is no joke, and securing your investment should be your top priority.
Should you Invest in Bitcoin Mining?
The Bitcoin mining industry has grown at a rapid pace.
Mining, which could once be done on the average home computer is now only done profitably in specialized data centers.
These datacenters are warehouses, filled with computers built for the sole purpose of mining Bitcoin. Today, it costs millions of dollars to even start a profitable mining operation.
Bitcoin miners are no longer a profitable investment for new Bitcoin users.
If you want a small miner to play around with mining, go for it. But don’t treat your home mining operation as an investment or expect to get a return.
It’s important to understand how Bitcoin works before investing any money.
Bitcoin is still new and it can take months to understand the true impact Bitcoin can have on the world.
Take some time to understand Bitcoin, how it works, how to secure bitcoins, and about how Bitcoin differs from fiat money.
The above information should not be taken as investment advice. It is for general knowledge purposes only. You should do your own research before buying any bitcoins.
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