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07 Sep 2015
I just got this most peculiar spam, sent from mostly email provider Sendgrid. It sure looks like a Bitcoin Ponzi scheme to me.
It purports to guarantee a 15% per month return on Bitcoin investments. That is an impossible rate of guaranteed return for a real investment, and typical of what Ponzi schemes offer. It claims the deposits are FDIC insured, but the FDIC only insures dollar denominated bank deposits, and this is neither a bank nor a dollar deposit.
The purported sender, Pantera Capital, is a reasonably well known Bitcoin venture capital company in San Francisco, but note the bit at the bottom where it claims to be in Iceland.
This spam was sent to an address I gave to Bitpay, a company that handles online commerce payments in bitcoins. (I was looking to see if it was worth doing for my small sideline domain registrar. It wasn't.) Bitpay and Pantera both happen to be in the Bitcoin biz but are otherwise unrelated. Did someone steal my address from Bitpay? Was Bitpay dim enough to sell their customer list?
The [FirstName] and [Wallet} codes were actually there in the spam, and the QR codes turn into strings like bitcoin://[Wallet]?amount=0.5. Looks like the crooks weren't very good at mail merge. Just as well.
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