Bagel-loving 84-year-old lady foils sextortionists’ $1,400 Bitcoin con

An 84-year-old woman in the US has been targeted by Bitcoin sextortionists after she signed up to Panera, a well-known restaurant brand in the US , to get a free bagel for her birthday.

Arlene Kaganove told NBC 5 she had applied for a “MyPanera” reward card to get a free everything bagel on her next birthday.

“I am always signing up for whatever comes free on my birthday,” she said. “Never anticipated it would lead to extortion letters.”

After she signed up for the program , unsuspecting Kagonove began getting several threatening emails . “They say they have been watching me watch porn,” Kaganove said. “Which I find… hilarious.”

The emails claim the sender had recorded Kaganove watching porn and requested she hand over $1,400 in Bitcoin to get hold of the recording .

“They told me I have very good taste in porn so I thought that was nice,” Kaganove chuckled.

Clearly displaying a good sense of humor , Kaganove said there was just one problem. Had they managed to record her doing any such things, the scammers would have seen “a little old lady cursing at the computer because it’s not doing what I want it to do.”

Based in Chicago, Kaganove has two master’s degrees in chemistry as well as a law degree . And, unfortunately for the criminals , she didn’t bite.

She thinks she was targeted after she signed-up for the Panera rewards program , as the scammers cited her username and password in their emails .

Panera has acknowledged that its website was hacked and customer data was leaked last year. The data included customer names, emails , physical addresses, and dates of birth.

The company claims fewer than 10,000 customers were affected.

“No MyPanera Rewards account passwords were exposed during the April 2018 incident,” Panera said in a statement. “We also went over our forensic records from last year and confirmed that Arlene’s account was not accessed improperly.”

But, Kaganove wants to make sure no one else falls victim to the scam: “If they are sending six [letters] to me, they are sending a lot more to people … I am sure someone is sending them money.”

Blockstream takes on Bitmain with new Bitcoin mining centers (and it’s already getting flak)

Blockstream, the blockchain infrastructure firm that sent a Bitcoin satellite into space , has entered the cryptocurrency mining space .

The company revealed details about its Bitcoin mining data centers in Quebec, Canada and Adel, Georgia earlier this week.

Currently, Blockstream is working with customers including Fidelity Center for Applied Technology and LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman. However, it is looking to open up the facilities to smaller-scale miners sometime in the future .

“We began our Bitcoin mining operations back in 2017 motivated by widespread concern that mining decentralization was declining. At the time it appeared that parties involved in ASIC manufacture, hosting, and pool operations were becoming a centralizing force and holding back Bitcoin from reaching its full potential,” Blockstream said in blog post .

The company ‘s new mining facilities boast a combined 300 megawatts worth of energy capacity, a number which hasn’t gone unnoticed by some industry commentators.

Soon after the news surfaced, Tim Swanson, a long-standing member of the community, was quick to share his thoughts.

Blockstream says its Bitcoin mining efforts currently account for 1 percent of Bitcoin ‘s global hash rate.

The company also said it is looking to launch its first mining pool, which will leverage the BetterHash protocol, which allegedly allows individual miners to decide which Bitcoin transactions will be included in newly mined blocks.

Blockstream’s announcement comes after 85 percent of the world’s total Bitcoin supply was mined earlier this month, meaning there are just over 3,000,000 coins left to mine, until the network reaches the maximum stipulated of 21 million coins.

Court lets Craig Wright wait for keys to ‘his’ $8.5B Bitcoin stash to be delivered

Craig Wright, the man desperate to convince the world that he is Bitcoin’s creator, may have something to celebrate in his ongoing lawsuit against the Kleiman estate if the so-called “bonded courier” shows up. Basically, things are getting weird.

Court documents shared by CoinDesk details how a US district judge has called several previously established facts into question .

Judge Reinhart — who Wright insulted during a recent interview — had deemed it a fact that the Kleiman estate retained a 50/50 stake in Wright’ s assets and intellectual property.

However, court documents show that Justice Bloom has said the facts are unsettled. Previously, the hearing centered around the amount and whereabouts of Wright’ s Bitcoin stash, meaning his partnership with the late David Kleiman was beyond Reinhart’s remit, Bloom says.

She also notes the amount of Bitcoin owned by Wright “remains unknown, or at the very least, still at issue.”

The bonded courier

The lawsuit began in February 2018 after Dave Kleiman’s brother Ira filed a suit over the rights to a significant stash of Bitcoin .

Ira, who is suing for approximately 1 million BTC ($8.5 billion), claims Wright seized his brother’s Bitcoin and his intellectual property as part of a fraudulent scheme after Dave passed away in 2013.

The latest development comes after Craig Wright was deemed to be in contempt of court after failing to provide a comprehensive list of his Bitcoin stash before the end of 2013.

Wright has long told the court that he is unable to access the cryptocurrency holdings because he doesn’t know the Bitcoin public addresses.

He claims to have deposited the Bitcoin , mined between 2009 and 2010, into a blind trust , which has now expired.

Wright claims he is unable to decrypt the file until he is given access by a bonded courier who will apparently arrive in January 2020.

“The court questions whether it is remotely plausible that the mysterious “bonded courier” is going to arrive, let alone that he will arrive in January 2020 as the defendant now contends. However, given that the Defendant maintains that he should at least be afforded this opportunity, the court will indulge him this much,” reads the court filing.

“In the event this occurs, and further if the Defendant produces his list of Bitcoin Holdings as ordered by the Magistrate Judge , then this Court will not impose any additional sanctions other than the ones discussed above,” it continues.

Wright now has until February 3 to file a notice with the Court “indicating whether or not this mysterious figure has appeared from the shadows.”

Hunter Jones

Hunter Jones

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