Saturday 2019-01-19




By Hlengiwe Ndlovu | 2018-07-12

THE largest cryptocurrency, Bitcoin has recorded a downward spiral lately as it traded at E72 260 (US$6 355) yesterday which is a far cry to its over E220 000 price in December.

The continued plunging of Bitcoin comes in the wake of startling data published by dead coins, an online cryptocurrency tracker, which demonstrates how over 800 digital currency brands have simply vanished between 2014 and now.

Bitcoin’s peers, Ethereum, Ripple and Litecoin also plunged by more than four per cent, according to South African news outlet Finance24.

Dead coins declared all 800 cryptocurrencies as either being dead, parody, scam or hack. At Eswatini, the cryptocurrency craze is not promising to fizzle out anytime soon as many people with the hope of making quick fortunes view digital currencies as an ideal conduit, which they can use to reap excessively high amounts of money.

This is despite media reports in March, which showed that a group of locals were scammed over E200 million in a BTC Global scam where they had invested their money.

 In South Africa, a similar BTC scam fleeced gullible investors of over E1 billion.

The South African police’s serious economic crimes unit had to be roped in to investigate the case which involved a super ‘shy’ character identified as Mark Twain who reportedly acted as a liaison between investors and BTC, the same company implicated in the Eswatini scam. Twain reportedly facilitated ‘good’ Monday payments for investors, before vanishing away when people least suspected.

He was described by South Africans as a ‘super shy’ character who prefers not to post his pictures on social media.

social media

Finance24 reported that South African victims had been claiming for months in social media support groups that the whole BTCGlobal idea was an elaborate Ponzi scheme and that the ‘super shy’ BTC founding trader, Twain, was an alias and not a real person.

United Kingdom newspaper DailyMail described the vanishing of over 800 cryptocurrency brands as a sign that the digital currency bubble is about to burst.

Even Bitcoin, the well-known cryptocurrencyoften viewed as the standard bearer for digital money, shockingly fell by 70 per cent from its record high of over E220 000 (US$20 000) in December last year.

Bitcoin is the cryptocurrency with the largest following in the country. The allure of quick fortunes in the cryptocurrency market has been likened by Daily Mail to the dotcom bubble at the turn of the 2000s.

Meanwhile, early this year Standard Bank Chief Executive Mvuselelo Fakudze openly shared his skepticism of cryptocurrencies when he advised people to consider investing in time-honoured institutions like banks, stock exchanges and the property market.

He described cryptocurrencies as being suspicious in the sense that one never knows who their money goes to. Another critic of cryptocurrencies is Warren Buffet, one of theworld’ssuccessful and respectable businessmen. Buffet was quoted warning against an imminent fall of the cryptocurrency bubble. In an interview with CNBS, he referred to Bitcoin as ‘probably rat poison squared’.

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