Bitcoin

Bitcoin Daily: Russian Agents Arrested For Bitcoin Fraud; VW Launches Blockchain Battery Pilot

Two Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) agents have been charged for their alleged involvement in a bitcoin extortion scam.

According to Hard Fork, Sergey Belousov and Aleksey Kolbov, who worked as anti-fraud agents, are being charged with allegedly using their power to blackmail Erast Galumov, the former director of media firm Izvestiya, for 65 million rubles ($1 million). They also demanded 65 million rubles ($1 million) from Galumov’s son, Alexander.

Erast Galumov is allegedly the leader in a 43 million ruble ($675,000) fraud case, an accusation his lawyers have denied.

Both Kolbov and Belousov have pleaded guilty, but authorities believe there could be another 15 agents involved in this extortion.

Volkswagen is partnering with Minespider on a blockchain pilot that will track its battery supply chain from the point of origin to the factory.

Volkswagen hopes the technology will allow it to access more comprehensive data so that it can prove a component’s authenticity and that it has been ethically sourced.

“Minespider came about due to increasing awareness and scrutiny of conflict funding and other human rights abuses in the mineral supply chain,” Nathan Williams, Minespiders’ CEO, told Hard Fork.

Williams added that a few more pilots will be announced in the coming months, including one that involves a “consortium of Fortune 500 companies.”

“This [the pilot with Volkswagen] is the first step to proving that supply chain participants can work together to achieve greater transparency,” he noted. “As a totally new and emerging field, we expect to learn a lot more about the challenges and requirements of the industry and what is needed to get this adopted at scale.”

In other news, one of Meghan Markle’s close friends is the victim of a hacking.

A hacker accessed the email list of designer Misha Nonoo’s fashion company, sending out messages and threatening to publish all clients’ photos if they did not send $583 to a bitcoin address.

“It pains me to say that over the weekend a hacker gained access to our email list and sent out an aggressive email to many of you, using scare tactics to try to access information,” Nonoo wrote in an email to customers, according to Hard Fork. “We were alerted to the hack minutes after it occurred and quickly moved to disable our accounts to prevent any further access to email distribution while we investigated the source and extent of the hack. We are mortified that such an attack could happen and are treating it incredibly seriously.”

And the Bittrex exchange has denied allegations that it allowed two accounts from North Korea to trade on its markets.

The denial comes after a document issued by the New York State financial authorities revealed that the exchange did not adequately screen its users. But Bittrex claims the accounts were mistakenly identified.

“After reviewing the two alleged accounts provided to us on Thursday, we informed NYDFS that Bittrex had previously investigated these users in Oct. 2017. South Korean residents mistakenly selected North Korea in our country dropdown menu, but we determined through country identification, physical and IP addresses that ALL were from South Korea,” the exchange wrote on Twitter.

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