New offerings bolster GCash

Most fintech [financial technology] companies in the Philippines battle for the most convenient products, but it is high time for everyone to start talking …

New offerings bolster GCash

September 15, 2019

GCASH, an electronic-cash services provider backed by Globe Telecom Inc., continues to expand its reach in the local cashless economy by introducing new services to attract more users.

In this regard, GCash recently expanded its partnership with Puregold Price Club Inc. to allow its users to load their account via a barcode in all the listed supermarket operator’s branches.

“You put the amount that you want on the GCash app, then we generate the barcode and you [hand over] your cash and it’s done,” Globe President and Chief Executive Officer Ernest Cu said at the service’s launch in Taguig City on Tuesday.

For his part, Puregold President Vincent Co said there were 65 Puregold stores — out of 354 across the country as of 2018 — with exclusive lanes for GCash.

The e-wallet is operated by Mynt, which is a partnership between Globe, its parent firm Ayala Corp., and Ant Financial.

“Puregold and GCash have been longtime partners in providing useful innovations to Filipinos. By tapping Puregold checkout counters as cash-in points, we encourage more people to discover and enjoy the convenience of going cashless,” Fred Levy, Mynt’s chief commercial officer for transfers, said in a statement.

On Wednesday, GCash also unveiled its Customer Protect program that offers up to P100,000 as compensation for unauthorized financial transactions using GCash on the Messenger or GCash Mastercard platforms.

“It’s actually elevating the financial landscape. Most fintech [financial technology] companies in the Philippines battle for the most convenient products, but it is high time for everyone to start talking about security. If you are able to provide this platform you should be able to back it up and protect users, as well,” GCash Risk Policy Lead

Louie Miguel Santos said.

Beware, Bitcoin QR Generator Scammers on the Loose, Warns Researchers

Researchers from ZenGo, a cryptocurrency wallet provider, published a worrying report late last month claiming that there are, in fact, a plethora of …

Next time you plan on using one of those Bitcoin QR generator websites to simplify your cryptocurrency transactions, just take a moment to verify its authenticity first. Chances are you’re about to fall prey to a scam.

Researchers from ZenGo, a cryptocurrency wallet provider, published a worrying report late last month claiming that there are, in fact, a plethora of fake Bitcoin QR scam generating websites out there ripping unsuspecting users of their precious Bitcoins.

bitcoin qr scam

4 of the top-5 Bitcoin QR Generators on Google Are Fake

This is perhaps the most alarming bit to have come out of the report as the researchers found that four out of the top-five search results against the keyword “Bitcoin QR Generator” turned out to be scams.

For the uninitiated, a Quick Response code — or simply QR code — is a type of matrix barcode commonly used for storing data in a machine-readable optical label. These codes come handy in Bitcoin transactions by enabling users to quickly generate a QR code for their Bitcoin wallet and share it with the payer. This is much more time-efficient and less error-prone as compared to having to manually type a complicated wallet address.

The scam highlighted by the ZenGo researchers in their Aug 29 report is simple yet highly effective. It generates a QR code at the request of the unsuspecting victim without displaying any suspicious behavior whatsoever.

However, the QR code thus generated links itself to the scammer’s Bitcoin wallet instead of the victim’s, which means any payment made using the QR code shared by the victim is actually deposited in the wallet of the scammer.

Security researcher and ZenGo co-founder Tal Be’ery added:

“[..]the scammers do not even bother with generating their fake QR themselves, instead they shamelessly call a blockchain explorer API [..] to generate the QR for their address.”

bitcoin paper wallet

Just How Successful Are These Scammers?

The ZenGo research team studied the Bitcoin public addresses associated with these scam QR generating sites and found that they have collectively duped people of Bitcoin worth about $20,000.

One of these addresses saw 21 transactions over the course of two months, accumulating 0.58 BTC in that period.

The researchers, however, say that this could be just the tip of the iceberg as the scam is likely to be far more menacing considering that scammers probably periodically switch to different wallets to avoid raising suspicion.

Some of these scam websites also walk the extra mile to avoid detection just in case the victim becomes suspicious. For example, Tal Be’ery noted that a few of these scammers copied their own wallet address to the victim’s clipboard.

“[..] If victims verify the QR code by pasting the value in the clipboard, thinking it’s the address they previously copied to get a QR for, it will match.”

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How to Stay Safe From Bitcoin QR Generator Scams?

To steer clear of these scammers, ZenGo advises users to stick to only trusted websites to generate their Bitcoin wallet QR codes (instead of using random sites found on Google search).

Besides, users are advised to verify the newly generated QR code using a wallet app before sharing it with peers. For added protection, ZenGo also recommends using a trusted Threat Intelligence Service to avoid questionable websites and services.

What about you, though? Did you ever come across any scammy services that tried duping you of your Bitcoin stash? If you did, share your experience in the comments below along with any advice you might have for fellow users.


Images are courtesy of Shutterstock, Twitter.

As a trusted news outlet in the blockchain and cryptocurrency industry, BeInCryptoalways strives for the highest journalistic standards and adheres to a strict setof editorial policies. BeInCrypto is an independent website with authors and managementthat may personally invest in cryptocurrencies or blockchain startups.

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The Barcode: What people REALLY think of Plymouth’s mega new leisure complex

The Barcode, Plymouth’s newest leisure complex, will have a Cineworld cinema with IMAX screen, Paradise Island Adventure Golf course and a …

With the Barcode set to open next month, Plymouth people have been sharing their views on what they think of the building and what they expect from the new development.

The Barcode, Plymouth’s newest leisure complex, will have a Cineworld cinema with IMAX screen, Paradise Island Adventure Golf course and a variety of restaurants.

While many local people are excited for the development, saying it will ‘modernise’ the area and give us more things to do in the city centre, others are disappointed in its appearance and question whether the development is really aimed at local people.

We asked local people what they thought.

Find out what Plymouth people REALLY think of the Barcode in the video above

‘It’s excellent’

Local man Keith Oxenham is looking forward to the new development and thinks it will update and modernise the area.

He said: “It’s excellent, it’s modern, it will be nice.”

Plymouth Live asked local people what they think of the new development ahead of its opening Pictured: Keith Oxenham (Image: Penny Cross / Plymouth Live)

“It’s a good idea, an upgrade, you can’t have the old stuff, this is excellent,” he added.

‘It’ll keep kids off the streets’

Kyle White, 23, from Plymouth, thinks the Barcode will keep children off the street and give young people something to do.

Kyle said: “It’ll be a good thing, it’ll keep trouble off the streets, it’ll keep kids off the streets.”

Plymouth Live asked local people what they think of the new Barcode development. Pictured: Kyle White (Image: Penny Cross / Plymouth Live)

Kyle says he’s mostly looking forward to the cinema. He said: “It’ll be a better cinema, hopefully not as expensive as the other one.”

Not everybody is impressed, though.

Susan Stoker, from Plymouth, likes that there is different architecture around the city, but doesn’t think the Barcode is designed for local people.

Susan said: “I really like the different architecture in the city. I don’t have a problem with this architecture, I like the juxtaposition of the whole thing. However, in these particular times of austerity, I don’t think they [Plymouth City Council and the developers] have thought about local people.

Plymouth Live find out what people think of the new development ahead of its opening. Pictured: Susan Stoker and Lesley Chrysanthou (Image: Penny Cross / Plymouth Live)

“It’s for business and money-making. It’s not giving something to the city.”

Susan also questioned how long the development would remain popular – and remain open – and suggested the money spent could have been spent elsewhere.

She said: “I don’t think it’s going to benefit the people of Plymouth. It’s a very poor city, it won’t be for the people of Plymouth. [The money should be spent on] an airport [that] would benefit the city.”

Lesley Chrysanthou added: “I think it’s ugly, it’s off-putting, it’s not in harmony with the rest of the city.”

Dan Lee, 23, from Wadebridge doesn’t think he’ll visit the Barcode.

Plymouth Live find out what people think of the new development ahead of its opening. Pictured: Dan Lee from Wadebridge. (Image: Penny Cross / Plymouth Live)

He said: “I prefer an old-school cinema, with old-school seats in a nice old building, Wadebridge Cinema is really good for that.

“These new cinemas are alright, the picture and all of that is really good and the sound quality is really good.”

The Barcode will open next month next to Drake Circus in Plymouth City Centre.

To find out more click here.

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Four Out of Five Top Bitcoin QR Code Generators are Scams: Report

Cryptocurrency wallet ZenGo wrote the findings in a blog post published on Aug. 29. Reportedly, when researching prior to implementing QR Code …

Four out of the first five results presented when querying Google for a “bitcoin qr generator” lead to scam websites.

The findings

Cryptocurrency wallet ZenGo wrote the findings in a blog post published on Aug. 29. Reportedly, when researching prior to implementing QR Code support in their wallet, ZenGo learned of the prevalence of scam QR Code generators. The company explains how the alleged scam works:

“These sites generate a QR code that encodes an address controlled by the scammers, instead of the one requested by the user, thus directing all payments for this QR code to the scammers.”

QR codes are a way to share data (in this case public keys) in a visual way that can be scanned with devices featuring a camera — usually a smartphone. Such codes are believed by many to be the most convenient way to share a wallet address when in-person — in retail transactions, for example — since it avoids the need to type long strings of seemingly random characters.

Successful scams

During their investigation, ZenGo researchers found out that some of those scams have gone as far as also changing the addresses contained in the clipboard to the scam address. Some, on the other hand, personalized the scam address to be of a similar format to the one provided by the user. Lastly, the company notes that those scams are also successful:

“Summing up the balances of the scammy addresses we had observed, we found out about scams worth about $20K. We assume they are just the tip of the iceberg, as scammers probably change their addresses to avoid detection and blacklisting.”

As Cointelegraph reported in July, the South Korean Justice Ministry estimates that cryptocurrency-related crimes have caused 2.69 trillion won (about $2.28 billion) of financial damage between July 2017 and June 2019.

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Austrian Telecom Giant A1 to Trial Ether, XRP, Litecoin, Dash, XLM Payments

The telecommunications giant will accept Dash, Ether (ETH), Litecoin (LTC), Stellar (XLM), and XRP, according to Austrian news outlet Futurezone.

A1 Telekom, one of the largest mobile network operators in Austria, is reportedly planning to take cryptocurrency payments at some of its store locations.

Established in 1881 and headquartered in Vienna, A1 currently serves around 2.1 million fixed (home) lines and 5.1 million mobile connections throughout the European nation. The company will be testing crypto payments at various store locations in Austria.

Giant Austrian Telecom Provider to Take Dash, Ether, LTC, XLM, XRP Payments

The telecommunications giant will accept Dash, Ether (ETH), Litecoin (LTC), Stellar (XLM), and XRP, according to Austrian news outlet Futurezone.

A1’s management will also be trying out other transaction processing platforms such as Alipay and WeChat Pay toward the end of this month. At present, Futurezone mentioned at least seven local store locations that will take crypto payments.

Commenting on the need for a reliable digital payment platform, Markus Schreiber, A1’s business marketing head, stated:

“Cash is a discontinued model. With our pilot operation in the A1 shops, we will test demand and acceptance of digital currency in Austria.”

A1 will be working with banking service providers including Concardis, Ingenico, and Salamantex, in order to process digital currency payments. Price fluctuations of cryptocurrencies will be absorbed via the banking solutions architecture, Futurezone noted.

According to A1, its new payment option is meant for both local residents and tourists.

Europeans Not So Eager to Accept Cryptos?

While it may seem that local businesses and individuals are interested in using cryptos, a recent survey from Austria’s ING bank reveals that there are many people who’re not quite comfortable with conducting peer-to-peer (P2P) digital currency transactions.

ING bank surveyed around 15,000 people throughout the US, Australia, Europe, and more than 1,000 Austrian residents. Notably, the results of the survey revealed that most of the crypto skeptics were from Austria, as only 13% of the respondents from the country held positive views regarding blockchain-based digital currencies.

According to ING, the overall interest in Bitcoin may be declining, rather than getting stronger. Surprisingly, only 20% of Austrians think that cryptos are the currency of the future.

Despite ING’s survey suggesting that Austrian citizens might not be too keen to use digital currencies, YOUNIQX Identity AG, a subsidiary of Austria’s passport manufacturer, announced in July that it has developed a crypto hardware wallet solution, called the Chainlock Card.

The wallet was created in response to the increasing number of incidents involving exchange fraud and various hot wallet vulnerabilities, the company said.