Directors of bogus Ugandan cryptocurrency startup charged after 4,000 investor complaints

After appearing in court this week, the full impact of a Uganda-based cryptocurrency scam is starting to reveal itself.

Following its collapse last year, Ugandan police have logged 4,000 complaints against cryptocurrency startup Dunamiscoins Resources Ltd.

Two directors of the company, Samson Lwanga and Mary Nabunya, appeared in court on Monday this week. They were charged with 65 counts of obtaining money under false pretense and conspiracy to commit a felony, The Observer reports .

Prosecutors allege the pair operated their illicit cryptocurrency-based scam between February 14, 2018 and December 3, 2019.

According to the report, Lwanga and Nabunya managed to obtain more than $37,000 (140,050,000 Ugandan shillings) by promising dozens of investors unrealistic returns.

Previous reports claimed the Dunamiscoins scam has managed to con more than 10 billion Ugandan shillings (ca. $2.7 million) out of its victims.

The pair reportedly recruited hundreds of people into their fake cryptocurrency scheme, which like many others, promised unrealistic returns on investments.

What’s more, Dunamiscoins set up offices and hired a number of local citizens in Masaka Town who, after being asked by the firm, also invested in the company.

However, a month later in December, the offices closed unexpectedly leaving people out of work. In some cases, employees hadn’t even completed their first day.

The two directors have reportedly said they are willing to refund victims. The only problem however, is that their bank accounts are frozen by the country’s Financial Intelligence Authority — so they claim.

The suspects pleaded not guilty to the claims and are due to be questioned again later in the month. They remain in custody until then.

But with the growing numbers of complaints against the collapsed firm, a lot of questions remain unanswered.

The latest claim to Satoshi Nakamoto is the stupidest one yet

For years, Faketoshis have been fighting to claim the Bitcoin throne, trying to make us all believe they were responsible for the cryptocurrency ’s creation.

But things took a different turn this weekend after an unknown person(s) decided it was time to reveal their identity as the ‘real’ Satoshi Nakomoto in a three-part blog post series .

Possibly exhausted by peoples ’ previous attempts to do the same, and having noticed several significant inconsistencies in the person’s writing , it didn’t take long for Bitcoin Twitter to react and call Faketoshi’s claims into question.

Here are a few examples of what Faketoshi 2.0 got wrong and how.

1. The writing style

Several people have conducted a stylometric analysis of Nakamoto ‘s writing in an attempt to identify Bitcoin ‘s creator.

And while I’m no expert , I can tell you the first blog of Faketoshi’s upcoming trilogy wasn’t written by the same person or persons.

Now, compare that to an extract from Bitcoin’s white paper .

Despite the differences in tone (the Bitcoin white paper is more formal), it’s glaringly obvious that the use of grammar greatly differs.

Faketoshi’s blog post is written in run-on sentences, whereby two or more main or independent clauses are linked together without a transition or correct punctuation.

In contrast, the white paper is well- written , structured, and hosts eloquent technical explanations about Bitcoin ‘s peer-to-peer network .

2. Cyberpunks vs cypherpunks

On another note , it didn’t take long for Bitcoin enthusiasts to notice Faketoshi’s incorrect use of ‘cyberpunks’ versus the correct ‘cypherpunks.’

Nakamoto first shared Bitcoin ‘s white paper on the cryptography mailing list, to which a lot of cypherpunks were subscribed to.

If you’ve followed Bitcoin for a while you’ll be familiar with ‘Hal Finney,’ a well-known developer , cypherpunk, and early Bitcoin adopter (and tester) who exchanged several emails with the real Nakamoto.

Finney received the first-ever Bitcoin transaction from Nakamoto and he’s been cited as the cryptocurrency ‘s true creator, something he fervently denied before his death in 2014.

The mistake has now been corrected.

3. Another telling typo

In its blog, Faketoshi says Bitcoin ‘s name was created after taking some of the letters from the Bank of Credit and Commerce International (BCCI), which is itself ironic given the cryptocurrency was created in a bid to bypass mainstream finance altogether.

Previous iterations of Nakamoto’s work depict someone who actively pursues accuracy in their writing , so, it’s quite striking that Faketoshi mislabeled an image BBCI instead of BCCI.

This has seemingly been corrected, but it’s still an incredibly telling oversight given that BCCI was allegedly integral in Bitcoin ‘s creation.

Aware of the ridiculousness of the claims, Litecoin founder Charlie Lee made a joke at Faketoshi’s expense.

4. Contradictions about name

In the blog, Faketoshi explains how the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto came about, albeit not without clear contradictions.

As you can see in the Tweet above, Faketoshi says Finney was the one who came up with Nakamoto as the surname.

Then, further down in the post, Faketoshi does a u-turn and writes “ When deciding on an alias surname, I wanted a master numerological name which had two Mercury numbers (5) associated with it.”

Do you see where I’m going with this?

5. Hosting plan

It didn’t take long for citizens to conduct their own detective work, either.

Redditor CryptoCrunchApp pointed out that this Faketoshi hadn’t really invested in a good web hosting plan and pondered why this was the case , given that the real Nakamoto holds billions in Bitcoin .

Seems unnecessarily thrifty, don’t you think?

For the love of Satoshi, just stop it!

Nakamoto’s existence and identity have historically been shrouded in mystery and it’s fair to say that if Bitcoin ‘s real creator( s ) were to reveal their identity , I doubt they would hire a PR firm to do so and turn the big reveal into a media circus. This latest reveal is completely out of character .

Another chunk of the Bitcoin stolen from Bitfinex has mysteriously moved

Another chunk of the 119,756 Bitcoin stolen from cryptocurrency exchange Bitfinex has been mysteriously moved.

Twitter-based transaction monitor @whale_alert signaled the transfer late yesterday, when the hackers’ wallet suddenly transferred just over 30 BTC ($351,000) to a fresh, previously unused Bitcoin address.

In 2016, hackers succeeded in stealing 119,756 BTC from seminal cryptocurrency exchange Bitfinex. Back then, that loot amounted to just $350 million, but today it’s worth more than $1.3 billion.

Pretty much all of the stolen Bitcoin had remained “missing” since then, but US law enforcement did manage to retrieve a tiny portion of the pilfered Bitcoin earlier this year (22.66 BTC, which at the time was worth $104,000).

Even more curiously, $1.37 million of the stash was strangely shifted in June. At the time, Hard Fork reported that Bitfinex had denied any role in the spooky transfers, despite having hinted that these kinds of movements were possible in its UNUS SED LEO token white paper.

Hard Fork has reached out to Bitfinex once more regarding this latest movement, and will update this piece should we hear back.

Hunter Jones

Hunter Jones

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