Crypto Community Watch Program Launched To Catch And "Punish Bad Actors"

  • Econmerce, ICOAlert and other crypto industry participants have created an Crypto Community Watch Program.
  • The program is aimed at obtaining anonymous tip-off information from anyone who is aware of criminal or fraudulent activity in the crypto space.
  • Whistleblowers might receive a reward if their tip-off leads to the arrest or "legal punishment" of the bad actors.

Ecoinmerce, a blockchain-based social e-commerce marketplace, has announced the launch of an “anonymous tip line” called the Crypto Community Watch Program that whistleblowers can contact to alert authorities about suspected criminal activity related to cryptocurrencies.

According to a press release published today, the Crypto Community Watch Program has been created through a collective effort by several crypto-related organizations, in order to clamp down on the large number of scams and fraudulent activities in the crypto industry.

"Cleaning Up" The Crypto Ecosystem

Crypto industry participants including ICO Alert, NewEconomies, Step VC, GZH, and Ecoinmerce have reportedly set up the anonymous tip line to “[punish] the bad actors in the space while rewarding those brave enough to stand up.”

Rex Chen, COO at Ecoinmerce, expressed serious concerns about the increasing number of hacks and scams in the crypto space. Chen remarked, 

“From the recent exchange hacks to the nearly-weekly reports of fraudulent projects taking off with investors’ money, it’s clear that crypto has a problem. Enough is enough. It’s up to the industry first and the regulators second to clean up the ecosystem. If you spend your time hacking, scamming, or intentionally misleading investors, your time is up.”

Rex Chen

100 Bitcoin Reward Pool 

A total of 100 bitcoins, currently valued at approximately $640,000, have been contributed by the crime-fighting group to an escrow account managed by a trusted third-party. The press release noted that the funds will be used to reward people who anonymously report crypto-related scams and fraudulent activity.

An anonymous online form has been provided so that people can report any illegal activity or fraudulent schemes they may come across in the crypto and blockchain business. Whistleblowers will also be able to include their Bitcoin (BTC) payment address in the confidential form, and if their tip-off “leads directly to the arrest or legal punishment of the wrongdoer”, then they will get “a portion of the reward pool.”

According to the press release, all information submitted via the anonymous tip line or online form will be investigated by those participating in the Crypto Community Watch program. Should the program members suspect any wrongdoing based on the findings of their investigation, then the related tip-off information will be forwarded to law enforcement authorities.

In order to maintain transparency and encourage active involvement from all members of the crypto community, the anonymous tip-off reports will be shared publicly on Ecoinmerce’s official website. Moreover, the program members have requested other crypto firms to join them in their effort to crack down on crimes in the space by creating their own watchdog groups.

Many Criminals Recently Arrested

Notably, the Crypto Community Watch program has been launched at a time when authorities have increasingly begun to arrest criminals involved in various fraudulent activities in the crypto industry. As CryptoGlobe recently reported, €2 million in counterfeit currency was handed to a South Korean businessman by a Serbian criminal in exchange for his bitcoins worth $2.3 million.

The fraudulent transaction took place at a 5-star hotel in France, however, local authorities were able track down and arrest the suspect.

In similar news, Divyesh Darji, the Asian head of BitConnect, was also arrested recently due to his alleged involvement in a large scam associated with the failed cryptocurrency.

'Big Spender' Bitcoin Wallet Exploit Is an 'Issue With BTC Itself', Says BCH Supporter

Michael LaVere
  • Crypto security firm ZenGo has identified a double-spend exploit dubbed "BigSpender" which affected popular bitcoin wallets.
  • Exploit allows an attacker to cancel a bitcoin transaction without the receiving user knowing. 

A crypto security firm has identified a double-spend exploit targeting popular bitcoin wallet providers. 

According to a report by ZenGo, the security firm has discovered a double and multiple spend wallet exploit for bitcoin dubbed “BigSpender.” The report claims the exploit allows an attacker to cancel a bitcoin transaction but still have it appear in a victim’s vulnerable wallet. 

The report reads, 

The core issue at the heart of the BigSpender vulnerability is that vulnerable wallets are not prepared for the option that a transaction might be canceled and implicitly assume it will get confirmed eventually.

As CryptoGlobe reported, ZenGo found that a user’s balance would be increased following an unconfirmed incoming transaction, without a subsequent decrease in the event the transaction being double-spent. The firm outlined how an attacker could use the exploit to cancel transactions of sent bitcoin while still receiving goods and services in return. 

The security firm tested nine popular cryptocurrency wallets and found BRD, Ledger Live and Edge to be vulnerable to the exploit. All three companies were notified by ZenGo of the threat and subsequently updated their products. However, the firm noted that “millions” of crypto users may have been exposed to the attack prior to the update. 

Bitcoin Cash supporter Hayden Otto told Cointelegraph the exploit is particularly concerning for bitcoin-accepting merchants. 

He said, 

The technique is facilitated by RBF (replace by fee), a so-called ‘feature’ added at the protocol level by the Bitcoin Core developers.The issue exists if you use BTC. Wallet software can only make some trade off, which results in a worse BTC user experience, in order to try to protect BTC users.

Otto claimed the exploit was derived from “an issue with BTC itself” and had little to do with wallet software. 

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