Twitter comes under fire from McAfee

John McAfee, the bitcoin buccaneer, has grabbed the headlines again this week, but this time it is in a good cause rather than a self-serving one.

Earlier this week Ryan Smith at CCN revealed that a scammer was impersonating John McAfee on Medium. He wrote, “The so-called “McAfee Crypto Extravaganza” promises mouth-watering 10x returns — if and only if — you deposit a small amount of Bitcoin or Ethereum in the attacker’s wallet first.”

CCN alerted McAfee’s wife Janice to the scam and she posted on Twitter that it was a fraud. It was clear that the scammer had gone to some lengths to create two cleverly crafted phishing sites and the fraudulent pages even go so far as to fake Bitcoin transactions and mimic BTC block explorers.

It wasn’t long before John McAfee stepped up to add his view of the situation, and he took aim at Twitter for what he sees as its lax approach to bitcoin scams.

McAfee told CCN: “This happens three or four times a day where people pretending to be me on various platforms, attempt to scam people using a variety of scams. On my Twitter account everyone of my tweets are peppered with comments from people pretending to be me and attempting to get people to send Bitcoin or Ethereum in exchange for a larger amount. I no longer bother to report them to Twitter because I never get a response.”

You can understand his anger and frustration. As Ryan Smith commented, “Twitter has the paradoxical reputation of being both incredibly resourceful and annoyingly frustrating. Influencers find it increasingly difficult to wade through the information swamp only to interact with their genuine followers.”

And as CCN reveals, scammers will even use Pope Francis for an “Official BTC Giveaway”. Although, if anyone believes the Pope is giving away bitcoin, perhaps they also think that the moon is made of green cheese.

Over a year ago, Jack Dorsey, a big bitcoin supporter and one of the co-founders of Twitter, promised he’d take action to reduce the problem. But as CCN says, the problem seems to have got even worse. CNBC Crypto Trader host Ran Neuner recently challenged Jack Dorsey to stop wasting resources on a new user interface and do something to stop the exploitation of novice crypto users on Twitter.

Twitter may still be the leader in short form content, as Ryan Smith points out, but should another platform emerge that is scam-free, then Twitter may find its sizable community of crypto followers deserting it for a safer harbour.

How can I make sure that my children will inherit my bitcoin?

I’ve just been reading an interesting article by Jamie Hopkins at Forbes. In it he explores the tricky question of “What happens to my bitcoin when I die?” The likelihood is that the majority of retail bitcoin owners are of an age when they don’t think too much about the end of life, but then again, even if we are feeling in perfect health, it is best to be prepared.

Hopkins points out that digital assets are a booming business, and we’ve seen a strong revival in their fortunes this year. As he says, as of June 2019 over $335 billion is invested in cryptocurrencies.

What happens to all this wealth in the case of the owners’ demise, or inability to manage their investment portfolio? Hopkins says that while crypto has made doing business easier, it has made estate planning more difficult. In the case of digital assets, “traditional methods of writing a will and letting the executor find all the assets won’t work moving forward.”

There are some legal rules for digital asset owners to follow, at least in the USA. The Revised Uniform Fiduciary Access to Digital Asset Act (RUFADAA) establishes the rules and regulations surrounding digital account ownership. Americans should study these rules and update their wills and trusts accordingly, Hopkins advises. And crypto owners will need to ensure that whoever is handling their estate has access to their digital assets.

One of the issues is that the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) in the USA doesn’t accept that cryptocurrencies are currencies. They tax them as they would your physical belongings.

Under the RUFADAA rules, online management systems are atop the hierarchy over any other form of instruction about an account. Hopkins explains, “So, if you set up a beneficiary designation on your online account, it would take precedence over account instructions listed in your will, trust or power of attorney documents.”

Crypto owners need Terms of service agreements (TOSAs) because they dictate account control past the original owner. When you sign up for an account at a crypto exchange, you usually sign a TOSA: “This would control account access in the event of death or incapacity if no other actions were taken.”

But what anyone owning bitcoin really needs to do is plan in advance so that your heirs have access to your crypto accounts. However, there is a snag: “ account access doesn’t equate to account ownership.” And as Hopkins adds, “Perhaps even more frustrating is that the service provider or custodian of the online account or digital asset doesn’t need to grant the fiduciary account access.”

But Hopkins does have some useful suggestions about the actions you can take now to ensure your heirs can benefit from a crypto inheritance:

· Track personal keys

· Monitor online exchanges

· Consider moving funds to a hard wallet

· Update legal documents

· Track all digital assets, passwords and locations

· Track valuation of assets

As digital assets grow in popularity, more of us will have to think about them as an inheritable asset. I for one want my children to benefit, and therefore it is my responsibility to make sure that they do.

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