30.10.2020

Bitcoin Startup Purse to Shut Down After 6-Year Run

Purse offered discounts of up to 5 percent at Amazon by connecting Amazon gift card holders and cryptocurrency investors. Users could buy gift cards at discounted rates using bitcoin or bitcoin cash, according to Purse’s website.

Bitcoin startup Purse will shut down after six years in the space, according to an email sent to customers Thursday and confirmed by CoinDesk.

“We’ve made the very difficult decision to dissolve the company,” the email states. “We’re grateful for the opportunity afforded by our supporters to build products and infrastructure for the cryptocurrency community.”

“It was a business decision, nothing funky going on,” Purse support manager Eduardo Gómez said in a Twitter DM. Purse will disclose more information in a forthcoming blog post, he added.

Purse will continue to facilitate services until June 26 but signups will cease Thursday. Additionally, the startup’s “Shop and Earn” functionality will be disabled next week on April 23 and open orders that have not been matched will be canceled, the email states.

As CoinDesk previously reported, Purse was once an active developer in the Bitcoin community. The firm proposed a third scaling solution called “Bcoin” during the 2017 debates that spawned Bitcoin Cash. The Bcoin specification was never adopted, however.

Gómez said the decision to wind down the company was not related to the recent move by Amazon to slash commissions on its affiliate program.

Canadians Get US Jail Time for Stealing 23 Bitcoin in Twitter Scam

Two Canadian nationals have been sentenced to two years in a U.S. jail for stealing bitcoin from an Oregon resident through a Twitter scam.

Karanjit Singh Khatkar, and Jagroop Singh Khatkar, from British Columbia, Canada, were sentenced on March 17–24 months in federal prison with three years supervised release for conspiring to commit wire fraud and money laundering involving bitcoin (BTC).

According to a U.S. Department of Justice Attorney’s Office press release Tuesday, in a case that was investigated by the FBI, the two defendants sought to trick victims into thinking they were discussing customer service matters with representatives from Hong Kong-based crypto exchange HitBTC.

In October 2017, the two defendants used a Twitter account with the handle @HitBTCAssist to pose as HitBTC staff to manipulate one victim into handing over 23.2 BTC (worth $118,000 at today’s prices) from a HitBTC wallet to Karanjit Khatkar’s wallet on the Kraken exchange.

The Khatkars also convinced the Oregon resident to hand over information that could be used to compromise the victim’s accounts including email as well as exchange account details.

Within days of the theft, the Khatkars split the bitcoin proceeds and proceeded to spend the liquidated cryptocurrency on a lavish lifestyle involving luxury cars and casinos.

On December 16, 2019, the Khatkars pleaded guilty to the charges and were ordered to pay $142,349 in prepayment restitution during a change of plea hearing. A further $42,162 was awarded at sentencing, bringing the total figure to $184,511.

coindesk.com

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