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Experts reveal the steps to take to avoid a cryptocurrency scam during the upcoming bull run




In 2023, it is estimated around $2 billion was lost by investors to scams, rug pulls and hacks. Although the technology is becoming more secure and stable and many users are more aware of the tricks used to steal assets, there are still ways for thieves to extract your crypto if you aren’t careful.

Experts at Smart Betting Guide have provided a guide on the best ways to keep your crypto safe in 2024.

1. Do not store your password and seed phrase on the Cloud

For many people, the best and most convenient way to access crypto is through an exchange or a crypto wallet. Cryptocurrency wallets store users’ public and private keys while providing an easy-to-use interface to manage crypto balances. These exchanges require you to create an account with a password, and wallets give you extra security through the use of a seed phrase. Seed phrases are a sequence of random words that store the data required to access or recover cryptocurrency on blockchains or crypto wallets. Hackers will often attempt to steal these in order to gain access to your crypto and steal it.

It is vital that these passwords and phrases are not stored in the cloud or on a device that could potentially be hacked. Instead, write these down, or get them engraved on a metal card (to protect against water damage or fire) and store them somewhere secure within your property.

Finally, no crypto protocols or their customer support staff will ever ask for this information from you, so if someone asks for it they are trying to steal your crypto.

2. Use a hardware wallet instead of an exchange

If you want to ensure your crypto is completely protected, a hard wallet is the best choice. This is a device such as a USB thumb drive that securely guards a crypto user’s private cryptographic keys in offline or “cold” storage, ready to be used online to complete a crypto transaction whenever you are ready. These are much safer than keeping crypto on an exchange; like with the FTX collapse, users lost billions of dollars of crypto stored in their wallets. Hardware wallets ensure that your crypto is safe from hackers and exchange collapses alike.

Pros: Cannot be accessed by anyone online and is completely secure from online attacks, also prevents loss of crypto from exchanges collapsing

Cons: Could be lost or damaged physically, rendering the crypto useless (although some come with backup features now)

3. DYOR – Do your own research

A rug pull is a scam where a cryptocurrency or NFT developer hypes a project to attract investor money, only to suddenly shut down or disappear, taking investor assets with them. These scams can often be well disguised, which makes them very difficult to spot. Many may be advertised across social media and entice investors through the promise of making lots of money. This is why it’s important to do your own research before investing your money in any cryptocurrency or NFT.

Here are the things to look out for when thinking of investing in a new or unknown crypto:

– Developers

Investors should consider how credible the team behind the project are. Are they known in the crypto community, and do they have a good or bad track record? Be sure to check the legitimacy of social media accounts. Have they just been created, or is there a clear history that the person is who they say they are? Anonymous developers are a red flag, and any projects are approached with caution. Anonymous developers are a red flag and any projects approached with caution.

– Whitepaper

It is important to check the quality of the white paper, this is a document that explains the purpose of a project and how it works. For a cryptocurrency, the whitepaper is a guide to its technology, features, and goals. If the whitepaper seems vague or doesn’t offer a valued use case or tokenomics then it could be a potential risky investment.

– No liquidity locked

One of the easiest ways to distinguish a scam coin from a legitimate cryptocurrency is to check if the currency is liquidity locked. With no liquidity lock on the token supply in place, nothing stops the project creators from running off with the entirety of the liquidity.

Investors should also check the percentage of the liquidity pool that has been locked. A lock is only helpful in proportion to the amount of the liquidity pool it secures. Known as total value locked (TVL), this figure should be between 80% and 100%.

– No external audit

It is now standard practice for new cryptocurrencies to undergo a formal code audit process conducted by a reputable third party. One notorious example is Tether, a centralised stable coin whose team had failed to disclose that it held non-fiat-backed assets. An audit is especially applicable for decentralised currencies, where default auditing for DeFi projects is a must. However, potential investors shouldn’t simply take a development team’s word that an audit has taken place. The audit should be verifiable by a third party and show that nothing malicious was found in the code.

4. Verify fake apps and fake crypto exchanges

These are a very popular type of scam and target many investors, however new investors are more likely to be impacted by these as they may be unsure on what to download. These fake apps can be used to steal money, cryptocurrencies or seed phrases and passwords. The best way to avoid these scams are:

Never search for crypto apps directly from an app store. Always find the direct download link or redirect link to the app store from the company’s official website or whitepaper.
Check for the number of app downloads and number of reviews – if these are low this is a red flag
Check the developer of the app, this should be verifiable and come from the official company. Check for spelling mistakes and also other apps made by the developer.

5. Extra security measures

Finally, there are some basics that should be adhered to which can protect your day to day date and accounts as well as your crypto.

Never click links on emails you are unsure of where they originate from.
Set up Two Factor Authentication (2FA), this means hackers would need your phone to hack you even if they have all your other account details.
Don’t click popups or links that come up on the internet or social media
Be cautious of any messages you receive from people who say they can ‘make you money fast’. These have become popular across social media and utilize fake accounts to try and get your money.

A spokesperson from Smart Betting Guide commented: “Hacks, scams and rug pulls not only pose a threat to individual investors but cast a shadow on the broader narrative of cryptocurrency as a revolutionary force in finance. They erode trust, stifle innovation, and impede the progress towards a more inclusive and decentralized financial future. Therefore, the task at hand goes beyond personal security; it is a shared responsibility to fortify the foundations upon which the future of finance stands.”


The post Experts reveal the steps to take to avoid a cryptocurrency scam during the upcoming bull run appeared first on HIPTHER Alerts.

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Supply Chain Finance Market Forecast to Reach $9.4 Billion by 2029: Increasing Emphasis on Sustainable Sourcing




Global Supply Chain Finance Market

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Web3 Startups Raise Nearly $1.9B in Q1 2024 Despite Overall Downtrend in Crypto VC Interest




Venture capital funding for cryptocurrency and blockchain projects has seen a notable resurgence in the first quarter of 2024, marking its first quarterly rise since 2021. Crunchbase data released today indicates that Web3 startups secured nearly $1.9 billion in funding across 346 deals during this period. This represents a substantial 58% increase from the previous quarter, offering a glimmer of hope amidst the ongoing downward trend in overall crypto VC interest.

The recent surge in funding can be attributed to investors adopting a more long-term perspective on Web3, as opposed to the hype-driven “tourist investors” predominant in recent years. Chris Metinko, the author of the report, notes that investors are shifting their focus to the AI sector, indicating a change in investment strategy. There is a growing interest in supporting the foundational infrastructure of the decentralized internet, rather than solely concentrating on crypto wallets and lending platforms, which attracted significant investments during the peak period of 2021 to 2022.

While large funding rounds were relatively uncommon in Q1, several notable investments stood out. Exohood Labs, a company integrating AI, quantum computing, and blockchain, secured a remarkable $112 million seed round at a valuation of $1.4 billion. EigenLabs, an Ether token “restaking” platform, raised $100 million in a Series B round led by a16z crypto. Additionally, Freechat, a decentralized social network leveraging blockchain technology, secured $80 million in a Series A round. These investments, among others, contributed to the increase in valuations and the emergence of four new Web3 unicorns in Q1.

Despite the recent progress, the future trajectory of Web3 remains uncertain. Metinko suggests that the next few quarters will be pivotal in determining the industry’s direction. While investors anticipate a rebound in investment as the decentralized internet evolves, it may take another year for venture capital activity to stabilize after the exuberance of 2021. Factors such as the approval of U.S. spot Bitcoin exchange-traded funds and the upcoming Bitcoin halving could also influence the market, given the rising prices of Bitcoin and Ether.

A noteworthy example of significant funding in the Web3 space is Monad Labs’ recent successful funding round, which secured $225 million led by Paradigm. Monad Labs is a layer-1 blockchain compatible with Ethereum, offering faster transaction processing. This funding round harkens back to the golden era of crypto funding in 2021-2022, when L1 solutions attracted substantial investments.

Earlier this year, Balance, a digital asset custodian based in Canada, announced that it had once again reached $2 billion in assets under custody (AUC) amidst the recent market recovery. Similarly, Korea Digital Asset (KODA), the largest institutional crypto custody service in South Korea, has experienced remarkable growth in crypto assets under its custody, expanding by nearly 248% in the second half of 2023.

Analysts at Bernstein Research project that crypto funds could reach an impressive $500 billion to $650 billion within the next five years, representing a significant leap from the current valuation of approximately $50 billion. This forecast underscores the growing optimism and potential for substantial growth within the crypto industry in the coming years.


The post Web3 Startups Raise Nearly $1.9B in Q1 2024 Despite Overall Downtrend in Crypto VC Interest appeared first on HIPTHER Alerts.

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ASIC cracks down on blockchain mining firms




Three blockchain mining companies – NGS Crypto, NGS Digital, and NGS Group – along with their directors, Brett Mendham, Ryan Brown, and Mark Ten Caten, are facing legal action from the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) for allegedly operating without a license, in violation of Australia’s Corporations Act. ASIC initiated legal proceedings against these entities on April 9, citing concerns about their non-compliance with financial regulations and their solicitation of Australian investors.

According to ASIC, the NGS companies promoted blockchain mining packages with fixed-rate returns to Australian investors, encouraging the transfer of funds from regulated superannuation funds to self-managed superannuation funds (SMSFs) for conversion into cryptocurrency. Approximately 450 Australians invested a total of around USD 41 million in these packages, raising concerns about potential financial losses.

The legal action filed by ASIC alleges that the companies violated section 911A of the Corporations Act, which prohibits companies from providing financial services without a valid Australian Financial Services Licence (AFSL). ASIC is seeking interim and final court orders to prohibit the NGS companies from offering financial services in Australia without an AFSL.

ASIC Chair Joe Longo emphasized the importance of investors carefully considering the risks before investing in crypto-related products through their SMSFs. Longo stated that ASIC’s actions send a message to the crypto industry about the regulator’s commitment to ensuring compliance with regulations and protecting consumers.

In a separate development, the Federal Court appointed receivers for the digital currency assets associated with the NGS companies and their directors to safeguard these assets amid concerns about the risk of dissipation. Mendham was also issued a travel restriction order, preventing him from leaving Australia.

While a court date for the proceedings has not been set, ASIC’s investigation is ongoing, with the regulator continuing to gather evidence and build its case. It is worth noting that the investigated companies share a similar name with NGS Super, a legitimate Australian pensions provider, leading to potential confusion among investors. NGS Super clarified that it is not involved in selling cryptocurrency or related products and has taken legal action to protect its trademark and members’ interests.


The post ASIC cracks down on blockchain mining firms appeared first on HIPTHER Alerts.

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