· To investigate the undiscussed taboo elements of the underhanded tactics that online accounts perform.
· To realise the “Do’s & Don’ts” of engagement with such online tactics.
· To learn how to protect yourself against compromised learning resources and how to find genuine information to help yourself progress in the world of cryptocurrency.
Since the creation of Bitcoin in 2009, the world of cryptocurrency was initially viewed by many of the masses (general public and mainstream media) as a “ponzi-like” pyramid scheme, that was little more than a scam. In 2017 the masses were attracted to cryptocurrency, in what can only be described as a monumental bull run. This was marketed by those in positions of power as a “get rich quick” arrangement, with very little risk involved.
Unfortunately for many, this could not have been further from the truth, with many inexperienced “noobs” (an informal term used for new inexperienced people) losing out financially.
Moving into a broader view of life, such as the behaviour of human beings, wherever there is potentially money, markets and power, there is corruption and fraudulent behaviour. So in realisation of this, the subject of dishonesty in cryptocurrency should not be viewed as a total surprise.
From a personal perspective, the author has, and continue to witness, many dishonest tactics from people with as little influence as you or I, and are simply taking advantage of the inexperienced “noobs”. In this article the author hopes to provide information and identify ways that you can use to protect yourself against dishonest information outlets.
The modern world of technological advances has seen commonly utilised information outlets change drastically over the past twenty or so years. From the 1990’s where people mostly frequented with newspapers, fast forward to present day, where people are using social media to gain informal and easy to digest information. Cryptocurrency information has grown on social media outlets such as Twitter (Crypto Twitter or CT, as it is affectional referred to by participants), YouTube, Medium, Discord, Telegram and Reddit to name but a few.
There are many great sources of free information available on these platforms, however there is just as much bad or dishonest information available, and knowing how to filter the genuine from the dishonest, could be a money saving skill to have.
To breakdown the sources of bad information sources into sub-categories:
· False information provided by scammers
· Bias information skewed by the source, to benefit their own position in a more positive light
· Information channelled through underhanded tactics, therefore affect its credibility
False information provided by scammers
As it was mentioned in the introductory of this article, wherever there is potentially money, markets and power there is corruption and fraudulent behaviour. The rise of uncensored information published on Social Media, has allowed scam artists or scammers, with an easy outlet to access large numbers of people. It only takes scammers to gain the trust of a small portion of these people to make a substantial amount of money. So how do they do it?
One such tactic is paid groups. This article definitely is not saying that all paid groups are a scam, but is identifying this as a mechanism that scammers frequently use. The first thing to realise about paid groups is it is a way for the group holder to make money. Now, if this is a reputable trading group whereby the participant is providing time to train others, and is supplementing their trading profits with a safe income from a paid group, so be it. Again, from a personal perspective, the author does not believe in paid groups, as there is enough free and beneficial information out there. Many of these paid groups have been around two years and under, therefore it is recommended to have patience and train yourself as they have done.
Scammers often market paid groups in an unrealistic way. “Get rich quick” statements should immediately ring alarm bells. Trading calls posted just after the event is a common tactic of scammers. Others copy information from free Technical Analysis Charts published on Twitter and publish them as their own on platforms such as Discord, where access can be limited by the channel controller. It is on such platforms such as Discord, where the channel controller can limit access for a fee, this is how the “paid group” mechanism works.
Requests for Cryptocurrency to be sent to others
Be wary of an account that may ask you for anything of financial benefit to them. Scammers have frequently gained people’s trust, whereby they may promise something in return for sent cryptocurrency, and the unfortunate victim believes in them and sends the scammer effectively free cryptocurrency. Remember, nothing comes from free in this world, be vigilant!
“A private key is a sophisticated form of cryptography that allows a user to access his or her cryptocurrency. A private key is an integral aspect of bitcoin and altcoins, and its security make up helps to protect a user from theft and unauthorised access to funds.” (Investopedia).
The holder of their private key must always keep this to themselves, if this is to be comprised a scammer can access all of the holders cryptocurrency and take this without trace. An example of this springs to mind — an social media account mistakenly posted their private key last year and had close to $30,000 worth of cryptocurrency stolen. The party who was believed to be responsible for stealing the cryptocurrency, subsequently deleted their social media account.
Pump and dump schemes
Pump and dump schemes are in which an asset is talked up to drive the price higher, before traders dumping it on the unfortunate, lied to masses for a profit. Scammers use digital platforms such as Telegram or Whatsapp to communicate, where coin traders will gather to plot a scam.
I have seen an example in 2018 of a social media account being found out as a leading member of pump and dump schemes. They have a following of nearly 80,000 accounts on Twitter, and after apologising for misleading and effectively conning others, they have simply rebranded and carried out participating on Twitter shamelessly.
This is tactic is as unscrupulous and as devious as it can get!
Bias information skewed by the source to suit themselves
Bias information is not an out-to-out scam, but it should be viewed as being unreliable. Bias information can take the forms of:
· Undisclosed information, such as a person working with a company or a group of people, but has not disclosing it to the public.
· Comprised trading positions, the person may have strong ties with a coin (such as a losing position), and is baiting others to invest to better themselves
Information channelled through underhanded tactics, therefore affect it’s credibility
The term known as “shilling” (undisclosed shilling) means that the information outlet or person deceives as many people as possible into thinking a coin or token will reach a higher price in the future.
Disclosed shilling is not much better than undisclosed shilling. Disclosed shilling is when a person is paid by a company to promote their token / coin in exchange for money. The major danger with disclosed shilling is the person being paid for shilling a project usually does not care about it and has no understanding in the project’s fundamental or technical aspects. All that the “shiller” is interested in is the financial recompense. This renders the information that they are providing as completely unreliable. If you are in doubt, please ask yourself his, “would a legitimate project have to pay some random social media account to promote them?” As the old saying goes, “cream always rises to the top!”
Multiple undisclosed social media accounts by one person and / or undisclosed group working
A common tactic that the author has witnessed on social media and “Crypto Twitter” in particular, is multiple undisclosed social media accounts by one person and / or undisclosed group working. To break this down further:
Multiple undisclosed social media accounts by one person
If one person is controlling multiple social media accounts, this is perfectly fine, as the accounts may represent differential aspects of a business. The problem is when multiple social media accounts by one person are undisclosed.
There are fraternities of “Crypto Twitter” who control multiple social media accounts to gain people’s trust that they are credible information sources. You can instantly see the paradox that this raises? The utilisation of multiple accounts often promotes each other to build up followers, however this is not being done in an honest manner. Therefore it immediately poses the question, “if they are acting disingenuous here, how reliable is the information that they are providing?”
Undisclosed group working
Undisclosed group working is similar to the above in that, there is nothing wrong with promoting good, reliable information outlets, however if groups are misleadingly promoting each other without disclosure, questions must be raised on their ethics. Would this be a source that you would want to put some of your trust in future?
This article may have struck fear and uncertainty into the reader, however on the contrary, the aim is to provide information and confidence in your own belief system, and not to be easily coerced into falling for misleading behaviour.
If, like the author, that you believe in the fundamentals of cryptocurrency, please continue to contribute positively in this space and let us provide assistance in growing it ethically and positively together.
Although the information outlined can seem like a bit of a minefield, the essentials are similar to any area where there is money, markets or power are to be gained. Corruption and fraudulent behaviour can come in many forms, and hopefully this has now provided you with the tools on how to best filter information for you.
This article concludes with a quote by the influential, historical figure, Mahatma Gandhi “I will not let anyone walk through my mind with their dirty feet.”
Closing Statement by The Author
My work is totally free and is to provide credible sources to help others. If you appreciate the time I have spent and would like to make a gesture of goodwill donation, see my cryptocurrency wallet addresses are:
About Crypto Strong
Crypto Strong is a freelance cryptocurrency content writer, as well as a passionate contributor in Technical Analysis and Charting.
Honesty and integrity are paramount values to Crypto Strong, he continually helps cryptocurrency followers, both new and old, progress in this up and coming industry.
Crypto Strong is passionate about autism awareness and is a fitness enthusiast, also helping many people in both of these fields.
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