Ian Balina, a popular cryptocurrency evangelist, was in the midst of a standard livestream on his YouTube channel on Sunday night when a viewer asked, "Ian, did you know that somebody transferred all your tokens from your account?" With $US2 million ($2.6 million) worth of cryptocurrency gone from his wallet, Balina claims he was hacked. But the strangeness of the situation has the community questioning his story.
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A few weeks ago, Jordan Belfort - the notorious "Wolf of Wall Street" and convicted financial scam artist - warned the entire internet not to get into sketchy cryptocurrency-backed startups. Specifically, he warned that initial coin offerings, a form of almost completely unregulated investment vehicle where crypto-backed startups offer blockchain-based "tokens" in exchange for things of real value like cash, were the "biggest scam ever, such a huge gigantic scam that's going to blow up in so many people's faces".
Thanks to a string of screw-ups and bugs, an unsuspecting developer recently took possession of an estimated $US300 million ($391 million) worth of the Ethereum cryptocurrency by accident. In an attempt to give back the money, however, the poor guy ended up locking up the funds permanently. In effect, that money is just gone.
Cryptocurrencies are risky as hell. A new competitor in the blockchain currency world, Ethereum, has recieved a lot of attention recently for its ridiculous gains in value. Many feared that a flash crash last week was a sign of shady dealings on the exchange, but the company behind it is reassuring investors that they will be paid back in full.