What happened to Initiative Q's crypto

Initative Q: Fraud or the new Bitcoin?

Simply enter your name and email address and you're richer - or not? What is behind the new online hype Initiative Q

A gift of $ 13,000 just for registering with your name and email address - doesn't that sound tempting? Or rather dubious? This is the question that more and more Swiss people are asking themselves, who find invitations from Initiative Q in their e-mails: a company that has set itself the goal of introducing a new, modern currency.

Literally $ 13,000 isn't promised to potential attendees when they provide their details. But for their registration alone, the company rewards them with 13,000 units of the said currency, which should simply be called Q and should be worth around one US dollar per piece. Additional Qs can be earned by the new user acquiring additional users within a certain time frame: “The sooner you register, the greater your reward”, the Q initiative advertises on its website. An appeal that over four million people from over 180 countries are said to have complied with - and which at the same time creates great skepticism.

2,000,000 people from 180+ countries have signed up! With enough support a modern payment system could become popular globally. Still, millions more need to join to launch. We adhere to our privacy policy and will not sell personal data, even if this effort does not succeed. pic.twitter.com/dhXz0rpUSv

- Initiative Q (@InitiativeQ) October 30, 2018

Much ado about ... not much

So far, the cyber currency, of which 20 trillion units will initially be put into circulation, has been one thing above all: a major marketing coup. In fact, the supporters cannot buy anything from the Qs they have collected; whether they will ever be able to redeem their Qs is still in the stars.

Because before Qs are even created, the Q initiative first wants to recruit enough people who would use them at all: “A payment system is only useful if it is used by a certain number of buyers and sellers. Reaching this critical mass of users is the big challenge because people will initially hesitate to try the new payment system, ”the website explains. "This hurdle is the reason why previous attempts to introduce a new system have been little or no success despite the better functionality."

Central - and therefore better?

As soon as a - so far unnamed - number of participants has been reached, Initiative Q plans to build an app that users can use to pay both online and in shops, secured by modern encryption technology and multi-factor verification. The fact that the implementation plans are vague at this point, however, raises alarm bells among experts: "Initiative Q is not the new Bitcoin," said Shidan Gouran, President of Global Blockchain, in an interview with "Forbes". "In fact, the concept is quite questionable because it seems deliberately mysterious."

The Inititive Q wants to differentiate itself from crypto currencies such as Bitcoin on its website by not relying on the blockchain process. Although technically this is considered to be forgery-proof, it is decentralized and therefore cannot be regulated, criticizes Saar Wilf, founder of the Q Initiative and the only team member of the company who is named on the company's side. Instead, an independent committee, elected by the members and shareholders of the Q network, should ensure a stable currency. The question of how exactly this would work and to what extent it is more tamper-proof, however, remains as open as the question of where a Q actually gets its value from.

(Not) a pyramid scheme

No wonder that Wilf has to put up with one main question at the moment: Whether the Q Initiative isn't just a big pyramid scheme. No, contradicts the company, after all, with a pyramid scheme, prospective buyers must, by definition, invest money in order to become part of the system. Financial expert Michaela Hönig, professor of business administration at Frankfurt University for Applied Sciences, is still not convinced by the argument that entry into Initiative Q is free: “The big business on the Internet is data. Many users underestimate that, ”she warns in“ Die Zeit ”.

The group also defends itself against this: "The data of our users will never be used in this way, if Initiative Q should fail, we will destroy our database," promise the initiators. "Our data protection regulations prohibit this and we would risk huge financial losses if we were to be sued for infringement." Initiative Q instead calls for the project to be seen as a free lottery ticket.

A free lottery ticket, from which one should not expect a rain of money in the next few years: “While the company behind the system tries to justify its existence and marketing campaign with big promises, it lacks two decisive factors - an actual product and regulatory control ", Summarizes Mike Rymanov, CEO of the Digital Securities Exchange for" Forbes ". «Before it becomes a viable option for investors, Initiative Q must ensure that it meets all legal requirements in all necessary levels of responsibility. That can and will take years ».

Bitcoin scam: this is how crypto criminals want your money
Gallery: Bitcoin Fraud: This is how crypto criminals want your money

Bitcoin and other digital currencies are considered the gold of the internet. And as with all objects of value, many fraudsters are after the coveted crypto-coins ...

Image: ccn.com

For users and investors, this means that they first have to find out about the opportunities, possibilities, but also the dangers of dealing with digital currencies. Here are the nastiest tricks of the Bitcoin bandits:

Image: Getty Images

Anyone who wants to trade in cryptocurrencies buys and sells them on online platforms. Well-known providers are, for example, Coinbase or Binance. But the online "safes" of these exchanges are not always perfectly secured:

Image: Shutterstock

And because cryptocurrencies are inherently secure, fraudsters often manipulate the biggest weak point: the human user. And this is how they are duped:

Image: Getty Images

For example, watch out if someone offers you help with setting up your accounts. Never send coins to addresses that you have not generated or verified yourself. Fraudsters often branch off entire programs in this way to their own accounts.

Image: screenshot

It is smart to move your crypto-coins from the online exchanges to a “hardware wallet”. This avoids the risk of hacking the online platform. But even here there are stumbling blocks:

Image: Ledger Nano

Check exactly from whom you are buying your wallet (the Ledger Nano S in the picture) and only obtain it from reputable buyers or the distributor himself.

Image: Ledeger Nano

It has already happened that sellers have prepared their wallets and enclosed incorrect instructions. Instructions, with the instructions of which the buyer then unconsciously opened the door to the fraudsters to pull off the stored bitcoins.

Image: imgur

And classic scams also find their way into the crypto community: when a provider promises huge profits with zero risk, caution is always required.

Image: Screenshot Bitconnect

This is what happened with “Bitconnect”: an organization from the USA that operated according to the snowball system. Only that Bitcoin was used instead of remedies or beauty products. That went well until the Bitcoin price corrected downwards. With that, Bitconnect also disappeared - and the credits of naive users.

Image: Screenshot Youtube

One last classic should not be missing: senders of spam messages have also jumped on the Bitcoin bandwagon and are now using the names of cryptocurrencies instead of “Viagra” to arouse users' curiosity. The process remains the same: do not click any links, do not read, delete immediately.

Image: Screenshot Bluewin

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