Debunking the "myth" of rich wealth in the currency circle,

   Economic Daily·China Economic Net reporter Zhou Lin

  The reporter’s recent investigation found that a small number of financial scams under the banner of “virtual currency can make a fortune” are just using blockchain virtual currency, learning digital currency knowledge, and “risk-free tokens” to induce new users into the group-the vast majority Investors should keep their eyes open and be alert to currency speculation scams.

  "Teachers", "experts" and "coin circle opinion leaders" live teaching, investment value evaluation, and take the lead in getting rich-many investors may be familiar with such virtual currency company "acquisition" methods.

In fact, some WeChat groups that are nominally financial digital currency training and blockchain currency technology demonstrations. Once newcomers are recruited, they will seize the time to "brainwash". A long-planned scam accompanied the "new leeks" to get rich overnight. The dream of speculating coins began.

  "Drumming and passing flowers" game

  "At present, the fund deposit and withdrawal management is so strict, and the real-name system is required everywhere, how can the "rebates" of foreign partners be transferred to my name without leaving a trace?" Xiao Zhang, who works in a foreign trade company in Beijing, recently A "mysterious cow"'s WeChat "suggestion" started with the idea of ​​stealing overseas rebates.

  "Niuren" claimed to be able to tell him the most concealed fund transfer coup: "The virtual currency of our Internet platform can realize cross-border transactions, domestic purchases, inbound and outsourcing, concealed unlimited. This uses advanced blockchain technology, It is safe and anonymous, universal, and can appreciate in value."

  Is it true?

Soon after Xiao Zhang transferred all the rebates from the 7-year cooperation to the Internet platform recommended by "niuren" to purchase virtual currency, the website could no longer be logged in, and the so-called "niuren" WeChat was also nowhere to be seen.

  The regrettable Xiao Zhang finally got the truth from the public security police: it turned out that criminals used the anonymity and decentralization of virtual currency to "launder money."

The virtual currency represented by a certain special currency and a certain token has become one of the tools of criminals, and there are many people who suffer losses like Xiao Zhang.

  Unlike Xiao Zhang, Xiao Li, who just joined the job, always wants to make a fortune, and receives a "dream" call-"Hello, I am the customer service of the token space, and I invite you to join our VIP virtual currency circle. Exchange group and share money-making experience." Xiao Li was finally tempted to join a WeChat group called "Bin Circle Fan Community".

Some "teachers" and "experts" initially used the popular science currency circle information, analyzed the market, and explained the knowledge of "digital currency" to "pave the way" for the later interaction. Xiao Li was convinced, but he invested thousands of yuan in virtual The currency was soon kicked out of the WeChat group by customer service.

  It is not uncommon for lawless institutions like this to "smash hot spots" under the guise of digital currency and carry out financial fraud.

In the opinion of some industry insiders, ordinary investors cannot distinguish between virtual currency and digital currency, and the recent digital currency news continues to make it difficult to debunk related scams.

  Everbright Securities analyst Kong Rong reminded that virtual currency frauds commonly used by criminals have several major characteristics: one is to transfer illegal gains through virtual currency to overseas platforms, exchange them for foreign currency and deposit them in overseas accounts or transfer them back to China; the other is to issue virtual currencies on their own Currency, use similar MLM methods to attract others to raise funds to purchase, and defraud money; third, use virtual currency to pay for gambling on overseas gambling sites that do not require real-name authentication, and hide the source of funds; fourth, use virtual currency to shop for illegal gains and get the goods Sell ​​to get cash, cover up the source of funds.

  Recognize the false attributes of "Li Gui"

  Playing with the concept of digital currency is the most commonly used method in virtual currency scams.

So, what is the relationship between virtual currency and digital currency?

Dong Ximiao, chief researcher of China Merchants Union Finance, believes that the central bank's digital currency is a "bookkeeping currency" other than cash based on clearing methods.

Based on new Internet technologies such as blockchain and digital currency that incorporates an encrypted electronic currency system, it is another form of legal currency issued by the central bank.

In short, it is a digital renminbi whose purpose is to replace cash (banknotes, coins) as China's legal tender, and it is the M0 (cash) in the money supply.

Fearing that banknotes may spread the virus, the new crown pneumonia epidemic has become a catalyst for countries to issue central bank digital currencies.

Currently, central banks around the world are developing digital currencies.

  Digital currency has two characteristics: one is national credit endorsement, which is unlimited and compulsory.

Second, the currency value is stable, which is suitable for all kinds of economic transaction activities.

  What is virtual currency?

There is no unified concept in the industry. It is generally believed that this is an electronic or digital product, such as Q currency, Bitcoin, etc.

Dong Ximiao believes that virtual currency is not currency in nature, but a virtual commodity.

Because of the lack of sufficient credit support, virtual currency cannot assume the functions of legal tender and cannot be used as currency in the market. Citizens’ investment and transaction of virtual currency are not protected by law.

At present, various countries have different regulatory rules and standards for virtual currencies, but most countries regard virtual currencies as some kind of private sector products.

  Pan Helin, Executive Dean of the Institute of Digital Economy, Zhongnan University of Economics and Law, said: “Virtual currency refers specifically to virtual currency based on blockchain technology. Its use as currency is still controversial, and it is more positioned as a commodity abroad. , Bitcoin and other virtual currencies are more classified as futures."

  There are no actual redemption channels and asset guarantees behind most privately issued virtual currencies. Therefore, in fact, the issuance of virtual currencies based on blockchain technology is generally regarded as a kind of financing, and the risk is very high without credit protection.

But one thing is that due to the greater demand for international non-public currency circulation channels, Bitcoin has obtained certain payment guarantees in the field of private coinage with first-mover advantage. This makes Bitcoin, although it is a private coinage, has been recognized by some markets and become a kind of The actual payment method, but whether it will be sustainable in the future is still uncertain.

  Risk prevention and control start with no luck

  In fact, there is no "guilty" in the blockchain technology that virtual currency claims to use.

Jinniu Financial Network analyst Gong Manlin believes that blockchain technology is like a complete, distributed, anonymous, and non-tamperable ledger.

This ledger can be freely transferred between users, which not only improves the safety of use, but also increases the efficiency of information dissemination, and can help various industries to improve the level of technical security-even if it is not applied in the currency field, there are currently many applications in other financial fields. Case.

  So, why do criminals focus on the application of blockchain technology-virtual currency?

One of the answers is that virtual currencies are unsecured and have high price elasticity.

In layman's terms, the rise and fall of virtual currency prices almost all depends on the "face" of the Internet platform, and the cost is extremely low.

  Let’s take a look at a real case: In 2016, Zhang registered a “×× Blockchain Holding Company” overseas and used WeChat marketing to trick the public into buying “virtual currency” and producing “virtual currency” mining machines.

At the beginning, he defrauded funds by giving investors a certain amount of rebate, pulling down the line, charging entry fees, and layered commissions.

Internet banking, mobile banking, etc. are mostly used for fund exchanges, and fraudulent funds are quickly used to purchase real estate and vehicles.

The case involved about 160,000 victims, with an amount of more than 200 million yuan, and Zhang’s own investment was almost negligible.

  How to prevent virtual currency scams?

The majority of investors should first pay attention: virtual currency investment and trading are not protected by law. Anyone who tries to cross the red line should not have a fluke. “Money laundering” through virtual currency, investing in virtual currency to get rich overnight, illegal fundraising through virtual currency, etc. Will be severely punished by law.

  In response to some illegal institutions under the banner of blockchain and financial innovation, they promote so-called “virtual currency”, “virtual assets” and “digital assets”, rent overseas servers to build websites, and claim that they have obtained investment quotas for overseas high-quality blockchain projects and can act on their behalf Investors should maintain a high degree of vigilance for behaviors such as investing in high-yield financial products and claiming "high-yield and low-risk" financial products. These behaviors are most likely to be suspected of virtual currency fraud.

  Pan Helin said that virtual currency has no collateral and is privately issued. There is no security guarantee, but it has price flexibility and can rise very high.

It is worth noting that the price fluctuations of privately issued virtual currencies basically follow the pyramid structure, which is also called "Ponzi scheme" and "Drumming to spread flowers."

Today, a large number of virtual currency companies still exist because the current definition of virtual currency is still vague. In particular, Bitcoin has become a de facto currency, which has misled many investors.

However, people’s understanding of new models is sometimes gradual. Letting it develop first to see if it is feasible is also a way to deal with new technologies.

  For curbing the chaos in the currency circle, Pan and Lin formulated two "prescriptions": one is to completely prohibit virtual currency without a guarantee system, and to prohibit private use of virtual currency financing, etc.; the other is to characterize private coinage as equity financing, and It is categorized as an investment product, and guarantees and redemption guarantees must be provided.

However, at present, investor suitability education in my country is still not very mature. Therefore, a certain amount of investor education is very necessary first, and the development of related fields must not be rushed.

Zhou Lin