$3.1 Billion Stole from Crypto Investors So Far in 2019

$3.1 billion in cryptocurrency has been stolen thus far in 2019. The crime has made a large amount of money last quarter although it is still less than the previous quarter. The cybercrime against exchanges has reached an exponential amount.

 

Cryptocurrency crime made good money last quarter, although less than in the first quarter of 2019.

Cybercrime against exchanges amounted to $125 million in Q2 compared to $356 million in Q1, according to an initial release of CipherTrace’s Q2 2019 Cryptocurrency Anti-Money Laundering Report. Aggregate crypto losses reached $4.3 billion this year on the back of one particular exit scam, “Plus Token.”

Given that CipherTrace’s price estimations are set at the time of initial reporting, current valuations would be much higher.

Included within Q1 is the QuadrigaCX exchange collapse which CipherTrace labelled an exit scam. Investors lost $195 million.

CipherTrace further claims 2019 may be the “Year of the Exit Scam,” with $3.1 billion stolen through exits and another $874 million in misappropriated funds. These numbers, CipherTrace notes, are only preliminary with numerous other allegations under investigation.

An unconfirmed exit scam by South Korean exchange and pyramid scheme Plus Token is included in the estimates. Investors are suspected to have lost as much as $2.9 billion. The details around the exit scam have yet to be established, however.

In total, investors, users, and exchanges have lost almost $4.3 billion from illicit activity year to date.

CipherTrace notes that illicit funds will soon come under more intense scrutiny following the Financial Action Task Force’s (FATF) recent Travel Rule. The rules mandate personal information for both the sender and receiver of funds for transfers over $1,000.

 

Source: https://www.coindesk.com/exit-scams-swindled-3-1-billion-from-crypto-investors-in-2019-report

Crypto Spending on Real Estate 2019

BitPay has connected with yet another firm, a luxury condominium complex in Orlando, Florida. There has been a huge jump in different real estate companies accepting cryptocurrency transactions. If this trend continues, 2019 will see astonishing growth with cryptocurrency in the real estate market.

A luxury condominium complex in Orlando, Florida, is the latest firm to partner with BitPay to provide bitcoin payment processing for real estate transactions.

Announced August 6, the Grove Resort & Water Park will accept bitcoin for purchases of their 878 resort-style condo residences. Yet, the relatively small update hides a larger story – BitPay is becoming somewhat of an established name in the real estate market.

In 2017, the company processed nearly $20 million in real estate development and real estate sales. Following the bottoming out of the cryptocurrency market in 2018, this figured dropped to around $6 million, according to BitPay’s chief commercial officer, Sonny Singh.

In the first two quarters of this year, however, the company says it has already processed over $5 million in real estate transactions. Singh said BitPay is in line to double its real estate business year over year, as in 2018 the company processed $2.7 million in direct real estate transactions with “around twice as much via escrow companies and law firms acting as escrows.”

BitPay, the world’s largest processor of bitcoin with about $1 billion in yearly business, acts as a payment processor for home buyers. The firm exchanges bitcoin into U.S. dollars and transfers the funds to an escrow agent on behalf of the buyer.

Singh said the company performed its first real-estate transaction through California-based real estate agent Piper Moretti about four years ago. Since then, the company has processed “millions” in real estate transactions for corporations and individuals, with 2019 looking like its top year to date.

According to Singh, the average price of a home purchased through the exchange is around $1 million. “These are not $30,000 houses,” he said.

The company has standing relationships with a number of developers and real-estate agents including Magnum Real Estate and JetRE, which deal in Manhattan properties. It also processes real estate transactions in some of the world’s most expensive housing markets, including Dubai.

About 79 percent of BitPay’s real estate transactions happened abroad, though 34 percent of the dollar value came from domestic U.S. buyers.

Latest partner

For their part, Grove Resort condos sell from $330,000 to $595,000, for a property five minutes outside Disney World.

In recent months, David D’Ambrosio, a director at the resort, said there’s been an uptick in potential clients from China, Turkey and Brazil inquiring about cryptocurrency purchases.

“It was easy to determine the potential market available,” said D’Ambrosio, suggesting that “bitcoin hodlers” were looking for a way to diversify their portfolios.

D’Ambrosio said his company contacted BitPay because the firm “has done a couple of billion in transactions, and at least a few million in real estate just in Florida and Southeast U.S.”

BitPay charges a 1 percent processing fee and settles within seconds, whereas a bank wire charges around 5 percent and could take several days to come in, according to Singh. D’Ambrosio said, depending on the circumstances, Grove Resort “as developers could help contribute towards that [processing fee], we could help pay for the title fee.”

 

Source: https://www.coindesk.com/bitpays-crypto-based-real-estate-business-is-expanding-this-year