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Social Media Platforms Address Crypto-Manipulation and Scams

The cryptocurrency phenomenon has led to numerous scams on social media platforms. Companies that are claiming “guaranteed investment” and “no risk of losing money” are taking you to be a crypto-fool. There is no such thing as a guaranteed investment. On its face, investment comes with the risk of losing money.

So, how have these scams evolved?

Empty Promises

Initially, scammers would announce giveaways and contests, promising to send certain amounts of crypto (ETH, BTC, or LTC) to the “first 50 people” to respond or provide financial information. This allows scammers to gauge the types of responses they get, and then look to the followers of these individuals. That provides a sort of database for scammers to identify influencers and other popular accounts out there.

Post Manipulation

Next, scammers would create social media accounts similar to verified accounts, belonging to popular crypto-influencers. They would then leave comments on tweets containing high engagements, promising to send certain amounts of crypto to the address(es) provided. As such, individuals would share, re-tweet, and tag others in these posts, causing the scam posts to appear at the top of the page, or very close by the original tweets.

Account Manipulation

Another measure that scammers have taken is mirroring verified accounts. By either buying out verified accounts or changing their profile pictures, account names, and bios, these scammers are luring individuals away from the actual verified accounts they already follow to these “new” accounts designed to obtain highly sensitive financial information and, eventually, control of people’s digital assets.

What Are Platforms Doing To Minimize Scams?

Last week, Twitter announced that it was joining other platforms like Facebook in attempting to minimize fraud and deceptive trade practices by banning accounts that aim to steal individuals’ digital assets and financial information. “We are on it,” said Twitter’s CEO, Jack Dorsey, in reference to addressing cryptocurrency scams.

To that end, Twitter has greyed out accounts under review, with all tweets and pictures hidden. A message in the middle of the screen reads:

Caution: This profile may include potentially sensitive content. You’re seeing this warning because they Tweet potentially sensitive images or language. Do you still want to view it?

The message provides users the option to click “Yes, view profile” or to avoid viewing the account in question.

This move by Twitter is one of many recent efforts to minimize abusive or harmful accounts on the platform. “We’re working to identify accounts as they’re engaging in abusive behavior, even if the behavior hasn’t been reported to us,” said Ed Ho, Twitter’s VP of engineering. “Then, we’re taking action by limiting certain account functionality for a set amount of time, such as allowing only their followers to see their Tweets.”

These efforts aren’t scam-proof, and Twitter recognizes that it may make mistakes when it comes to taking these preventative measures. “We aim to only act on accounts when we’re confident, based on our algorithms, that their behavior is abusive. Since these tools are new, we will sometimes make mistakes, but know that we are actively working to improve and iterate on them [daily].”

Facebook has already begun taking measures against misleading and deceptive trade practices by, for instance, banning ads linked to cryptocurrencies, initial coin offerings, and binary options. However, some ads continue to get through.

With each day come new threats and novel solutions implemented in an attempt to counter those threats. Only time will tell what new threats and defensive strategies are enacted in the future.

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Although the crypto markets are caught in a persisting bear market, blockchain jobs are in a raging bull market, with blockchain developer job growth topping this year’s LinkedIn Emerging Jobs Report. The report, which was released by LinkedIn on December 13th, analyzes the fastest growing jobs in the US, and notes that the blockchain industry was the fastest growing job market in 2018. Crypto Crashed, But Blockchain Still Thriving Although the cryptocurrency markets have faltered throughout 2018 and are currently sitting at their lowest price levels since mid-2017, the blockchain development industry is thriving. The LinkedIn report notes that in the United States, blockchain developer jobs saw 33x growth in 2018, significantly more than the second fastest growing job of machine learning engineers, which grew by 12x throughout the year. The report notes that within the blockchain development sector, the most widely sought-after skills are knowledge and experience with Solidity (smart contracts), blockchain technology, Ethereum, cryptocurrency, and Node.js. Within the market, most of the demand for workers with skills and a knowledge base in the aforementioned technologies stemmed from three main companies, including IBM, ConsenSys, and Chainyard, and three main cities, including San Francisco, New York City, and Atlanta. Although the demand for blockchain developers is incredibly high, the crypto rout has undeniably stagnated this growth, as many companies in the blockchain sector have been impacted by the market crash. ConsenSys, who LinkedIn notes as being one of the biggest blockchain employers, recently underwent a company restructuring that resulted in 13% of the company’s staff being cut. The restructuring, which has been dubbed as “ConsenSys 2.0” by the company’s leaders, will result in more rigorous milestones and will lead to increased focus on the projects with the most long-term potential, while the more experimental and risky projects will be cut. Blockchain Industry Not Going Anywhere Although the blockchain industry may be starting to feel some pressure resulting from the cryptocurrency market crash, it still has a significant amount of growth ahead of it. Recently, MouseBelt, a blockchain and ICO accelerator service, funded UCLA’s first accredited blockchain engineering course, which will start in January of 2019. The course will be for undergraduate students with an interest in computer engineering and will be considered by the university as a 4-credit special topics course. In the past, students have had access to blockchain and cryptocurrency courses through the Anderson School of Management, but this is the first course that is actually being offered by UCLA to undergraduate students. Although the cryptocurrency market’s current situation looks dire, the growth in the blockchain job market and the advent of new blockchain-centric courses from top universities signals that development in DLT tech, which is inexorably tied to crypto, continues pushing ahead and that the best is still yet to come. Featured image from Shutterstock. The post The Crypto Markets May be in a Rout, But the Blockchain Job Market is in Full Swing appeared first on NewsBTC.

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