Discover more from Token Dispatch
Lonely and scammed 🙇🏻♂️
Elderly folks are getting "pig butchered." 1 in 3 seniors feeling blue in 2023. A third of US investors like AI financial advice. What's Fed's "toilet paper"? VeChain and SingularityNET join forces
This is The Token Dispatch, you can hit us on telegram 🤟
You’ve heard of farm-to-table, but have you heard of farm-to-fraud?
Dubbed “pig butchering,” crypto scams are wriggling into the lives of vulnerable elderly Americans, reeling in $1 billion last year alone.
The Heart of the Issue: The sad truth?
A surge in senior loneliness. With over a third feeling all alone in 2023, it's no wonder these schemes find success.
These scammers play the long game. They'll pretend to be young, charming, and chatty, wooing their prey over weeks or months. Once trust is gained, they dangle the lure of lucrative crypto investments. By the time victims realise they've been duped, their savings are often already gone.
The American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) has issued an alert for those over 50, advising caution against digital relationships that pivot to high-return investments.
In 2022, romance scams shot up to a staggering $1.3 billion in reported losses.
Mode of operation
Initiate contact: Scammers scout for victims online, often masquerading as youthful and attractive, supported by fraudulent images.
Kindle romance: Victims receive regular messages, intensifying the illusion of genuine interest and commitment.
Money talks: As trust solidifies, victims are lured into "investing" in crypto. Luxury images and tales of a fictional wealthy "uncle" only serve to enhance the trap.
Show false profits: Victims are led to sham sites which purportedly confirm their growing wealth.
Demand more: Under the guise of taxes or other fees, victims are tricked into pouring in even more money.
The Loneliness Data: University of Michigan’s data shows that 34% of adults aged 50-80 felt isolated in 2023. While this is an improvement from the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s still a marked increase from 2018.
Now wonder why they trust AI more
The Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards did a little digging with over 1,100 adults this past July.
And found out: About 33% of US investors trust AI for their financial advice and are willing to act on it without seeking a secondary opinion.
71% distrust financial advice from social media.
51% distrust advice from generative AI tools (e.g. ChatGPT, Google Bard).
Comfort with AI Advice:
31% are comfortable using AI advice without another source to verify.
52% would act on AI advice verified by a financial planner.
46% would act on social media advice verified by a financial planner.
62% of Gen X & Boomer investors are "very satisfied" with AI advice.
38% of Millennial & Gen Z are "very satisfied" with AI advice.
8% of under-45 investors would fully trust AI-only advice.
15% of older investors would fully trust AI-only advice.
Over half (52%) believe AI and social media will supplement advice from advisors in the next 3-5 years.
Arthur Hayes, BitMEX co-founder.
"Bitcoin has a finite supply, and therefore as the denominator of fiat toilet paper grows, so will Bitcoin's value in fiat currency terms."
Hayes suggests that the Federal Reserve might be doing Bitcoin a favour without even realising it. Even with the Fed's efforts at quantitative tightening, Hayes hints that they might be accidentally tossing more money into the system.
In his recent blog, Hayes quipped about the Fed's monetary juggling act, suggesting that Bitcoin could be the unsuspecting beneficiary. As traditional currencies wobble, Hayes playfully dubs them "fiat toilet paper."
So, in layman's terms? Bitcoin might just get a shiny boost.
Hayes points out that the Fed's moves, like their tweaks in the Reverse Repo Program and Interest on Reserve Balances, might be backfiring. He reminisces about the 1980s Fed moves, led by Paul Volcker, noting that back then, they had a different groove.
A bit of give and take: By Hayes's math, even though the Fed's been tucking away $80 billion monthly, other actions seem to be sneakily slipping nearly that much right back in. His estimate? About $23 billion finds its way back into the party each month.
Hayes predicts the Fed might soon change their tune, especially if the US Treasury starts scouting for new dance partners for its debt.
Ark Invest and 21Shares are joining the rush to launch ether ETFs👇🏻
VeChain + SingularityNET
Blockchain firm VeChain and AI firm SingularityNET have partnered to use AI technology to reduce carbon emissions. The collaboration will merge VeChain's enterprise data with SingularityNET's AI algorithms to automate manual processes and provide real-time data.
SingularityNET founder Ben Goertzel believes that blockchain and AI can solve problems where traditional approaches have failed. The partnership aims to identify new ways to optimise carbon emission output and minimise pollution. Other companies in the crypto industry, such as Hive Blockchain and Polygon, have also integrated AI technology into their operations.
Years before doctors do
Researchers have used artificial intelligence (AI) to detect signs of Parkinson's disease up to seven years before clinical diagnosis. The study analysed retinal scans from over 150,000 patients and identified common characteristics that could indicate the onset of the disease.
AI has been making significant advancements in the medical field, including restoring mobility to quadriplegics, predicting cancer treatment outcomes, and deciphering protein interactions. This latest development could provide patients with several years of advance notice for early detection and intervention of Parkinson's disease.
TTD Coinbase 🧿
What's up in the world of Coinbase?
🍁 Northern Venture
Coinbase, a prominent US crypto player, is spreading its wings into Canada, and it's shaking hands with the bigwigs of Canadian banking.
Why? To strengthen crypto's foothold in the country.
Lucas Matheson, who's at the helm of Coinbase's Canada chapter, is actively in discussions with top-tier Canadian banks to rally support.
And guess what? Canada seems to be warming up. Coinbase has earned its pre-registration badge there.
“We have five banks that have the majority of Canadians banking with them and so one of the things that I’m working on in Canada is working closely with tier one banks to start banking crypto and start supporting our industry,” Matheson said.
🔄 Decentralise all the way:
Coinbase has its eyes set on decentralising the Base network. No single point of control; that's the plan. To turn this vision into reality, they're partnering with the brains at Optimism Collective and OP Labs.
The aim? Make the network robust against failures. The Base squad is also pondering on establishing a security council. The goal is clear: security + decentralisation.
⚡ Base's roaring start
Just a fortnight after its launch, and Base already integrated with 140+ systems. $261 million in value has been bridged, overshadowing other layer-2 networks. Big names are hopping onto the Base train. Chainlink, wallets, 1inch, Friend.tech, and even Arkham Intelligence are on board. Base's rapid adoption? Credit goes to its state-of-the-art layer-2 offerings and the strong backing by Coinbase.
TTD WWF 💁🏻♂️
Mastercard & Binance hit pause on crypto card in select nations.
What do we know
Mastercard puts a pin in its crypto card partnership with Binance for Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, and Bahrain, as per Reuters.
The termination, slated for Sept. 22, won't throw a wrench into Mastercard's other crypto card endeavours.
The collaboration, which began with much fanfare, let users transform cryptocurrency into regular currency and enjoy up to 8% cash back in crypto based on their buys. For sellers, it was business as usual with fiat currency, while consumers got to flex their crypto muscles for payments - all in the spirit of expanding crypto's footprint.
Argentina was the trailblazer, rolling out the Binance crypto card program in August 2022. Given its steep inflation, many Argentinians were scouting for novel payment avenues, making crypto a promising prospect.
As of now, Mastercard is keeping mum and hasn't engaged with media queries from The Block.
TTD Surfer 🏄
Dropbox has discontinued its unlimited storage plan due to some users utilising the service for resource-intensive activities such as crypto mining.
The parent company of Prime Trust, a crypto custodian, has lost $8 million in client and treasury funds through investments in TerraUSD.
Rapper Earl Sweatshirt has released a surprise album in collaboration with The Alchemist via Gala Music.
If you like us, if you don't like us .. either ways do tell us✌️
So long. OKAY? ✋
The Token Dispatch is a daily newsletter that takes you on a 4-5 minute drive through the wild west of the Crypto World. Daily in your email inbox @13:00 GMT. Almost always.