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Cryptocurrency investment scams on the rise in York Region – NewmarketToday.ca

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Increased incidents of online investment scams are being reported in York Region, police said. 

“Fraudsters have been targeting victims through messages on social media, unsolicited email, dating sites and online advertisements,” York Regional Police said in a media release. 

The victims are then presented with an investment opportunity with the fraudsters in many cases claiming to be cryptocurrency traders and promising large returns. 

Police warn that they will often use fake names or impersonate companies to look legitimate. 

YRP said the scammers will send people friend requests on social media, then reach out to build their trust. They’ll ask victims to download an app and get them to invest money through that app or transfer funds, which police say victims likely will never see again. 

“If someone is asking you to send cryptocurrencies, be very cautious. These online investments and investors are not [licensed] or regulated in Ontario,” YRP said. 

People are advised to research any potential investments online, talk with friends and family about them, or speak with a financial advisor. 

“If a situation feels suspicious, trust your instincts never invest in something you do not fully understand or with people or businesses that you cannot confirm are legitimate. Do not receive money transfers or deposits from unknown persons,” police said.  “We encourage citizens to share fraud prevention tips with friends and family, especially seniors or newcomers to Canada, who are frequently the targeted victims of frauds and scams.”

According to YRP Det. Sgt. Glenn Wright, “There is a large increase in crypto investment frauds the last few months, particularly in “app based” schemes.” 

He said the amount of money lost is increasing and called it “extremely concerning.” 

“The use of application-based platforms by organized crime appear to be targeting our Chinese community particularly hard,” Wright said. 

He advised people to be risk adverse and when investing in something to only invest what they can afford to lose. 

Anyone who has been the victim of fraud and lost money can report it to the YRP Financial Crimes Unit online at https://www.yrp.ca/en/online-reporting/Report-a-Crime.asp or by calling 1-866-876-5423, ext. 6627.

Victims of fraud who didn’t lose money can report it to the Canadian Anti-Fraud centre at https://antifraudcentre-centreantifraude.ca/ or by calling 1-888-495-8501.

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Bitcoin is over $66,000. Here are 3 questions to ask yourself before you invest – CNBC

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Bitcoin, the largest cryptocurrency by market value, hit an all-time high on Wednesday, surging above $66,000. Its previous record of $64,899 was set in mid-April.

This surge comes after the first U.S. bitcoin futures exchange-traded fund made its market debut on Tuesday.

With all the hype, investors may feel tempted to buy in on the fear of missing out, or “FOMO.”

“A lot of people who have yet to get into the space or really learn more about it are going to be bombarded with a lot of noise right now,” Douglas Boneparth, certified financial planner and president of Bone Fide Wealth, tells CNBC Make It.

But before investing in bitcoin or any other cryptocurrency, it’s important to step back from the noise and excitement and first understand what it means to invest in a digital asset, he says.

To do that, Boneparth recommends asking yourself three questions.

1. Why am I investing?

First, assess why you want to invest in the first place.

If you’re just afraid of missing out, then you should probably pause before moving forward. It’s important to truly understand bitcoin, cryptocurrency or any asset prior to investing in it.

“‘Educate before allocate’ is a phrase that me and my friends are using,” says Boneparth, who has invested in bitcoin since 2014.

Taking a step back may be difficult, especially now as bitcoin hits an all-time high, but it’s worth taking some time to research what it is, how it operates and what the risks are before parting with your money.

2. Can I handle volatility?

Next, consider how well you handle extreme swings in price, since bitcoin is a notoriously volatile asset. “That’s not easy to handle for most investors,” Boneparth says.

For some people, the volatility “may be OK, that may coincide with your appetite for risk and your own risk tolerance and investment time horizon,” Boneparth says. “But, you still got to live with it.”

Other investors may prefer something more stable.

But regardless of your tolerance level, financial experts warn that the volatility makes bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies a riskier investment than something like a low-cost index fund, which should be kept in mind.

3. How much can I afford to allocate?

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From casino to sports: Canada’s gambling journey

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Gambling was originally present in Canada amongst native people, quickly becoming cemented into the cultural history of the country. The earliest recognised game that involved a fairly primitive form of gambling – although not with money – was Slahal. This was a traditional stick game, using two different kinds of sticks that were split between the two teams, as well as ten scoring sticks. The sticks were exchanged in the place of currency, with the team with the most scoring sticks ending as the winner. What’s more, Slahal is still alive today and features regularly in traditional festivals across the country, for example, at Vancouver’s Summer Live festival.

Card games have remained the most popular forms of gambling, whether it’s Poker or Blackjack. During the Klondike Gold Rush, the game of Faro had a big boom in North America, but left Canada when the gold rush subsided, although arguably the love for card games remained.

Read on as we talk regulations, the move online and beyond.

Regulations

The Canadian Criminal Code was enacted in 1892, dictating laws and deciding what kind of behaviours would be permitted across the country. In terms of gambling, the Code tolerates it, but only under certain conditions. An amendment was made in 1910 that allowed occasional games of chance where the profits would be used for charitable events and activities. As well as this, games were also sometimes permitted at agricultural fairs and exhibitions.

These laws around gambling remained relatively unchanged until the 1970s, where it was decided that individual provinces would have the authority to license and regulate gambling for themselves.

In particular, Quebec, Ontario and Alberta have created their own corporations and commissions to regulate casino gameplay. The latter operates as the Alberta Gaming, Liquor and Cannabis (AGLC) commission, working to regulate the selling and consumption of alcoholic beverages, recreational cannabis use, and gambling. The policies and rules that the AGLC put in place went on to maintain the fairness and security of all gambling activities, whilst also working to maximise the financial return and potential benefits of gaming.

Going online

The AGLC have taken things one step further, and even gone on to create their very own regulated online casino. The site was developed in 2020 and is called Play Alberta, in which all money that’s made by the site is then funnelled back into the community via Alberta’s General Revenue Fund.

This way of regulating casino gaming helps keep the pastime safe and fair – but how? Well, this site in particular works alongside GameSense to keep all players well-informed before placing their bets, and within their set budget.

Sports betting

As well as casino gaming, Play Alberta has also begun to offer sports betting, which has arguably become equally as popular amongst Canadian gamers. This has been a long journey for the nation, with the federal government only granting provinces the right to legalise single-game wagering in 2021.

The province of Ontario has had a long history of pushing for sports betting to come into fruition, so they are expected to be the first to incorporate sports into the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) gaming laws.

With the annual betting habits of Canadians already estimated to surpass a value of US$10 billion – you can only imagine how the industry will grow with singular sports betting also entering the market! What sports will you be looking to bet on first?

 

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Bitcoin edges off all-time high but momentum for more gains this year seen intact

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 Bitcoin fell slightly in Asian hours on Thursday, a day after marking an all-time high on optimism around the launch of the first U.S. bitcoin futures ETF.

The world’s largest cryptocurrency was last down 1.3% at $65,184 after hitting a record $67,016 on Wednesday, but still above a previous peak of $64,895 seen in April.

“We think its going to go higher and we can get to 80 or 90,000 by the end of this year easy, but that won’t be without volatility,” said Matt Dibb, COO of Singapore-based Stack Funds.

In the past few days, he said, traders were starting to pay high rates to borrow to buy bitcoin futures, “and that’s a sign that we could be a bit overextended, and there could be a pullback to come.”

He added he anticipated traders would rotate out of bitcoin and into major ‘altcoins’ – other cryptocurrencies.

Ether, the world’s second largest cryptocurrency, rose 1% to $4,203 and there were also sharper gains in smaller tokens.

Market players say the latest wave of buying has been supported by the launch of the first U.S. bitcoin futures-based exchange-traded fund (ETF) with investors betting this will open a path to greater investment from both retail and institutional investors.

Existing bitcoin exchange-traded funds and products have seen sharp inflows since September.

Average weekly flows to bitcoin funds totalled $121.1 million in October, up from $31.2 million a month earlier, data from London-based CryptoCompare shows.

The three months prior to September had seen outflows following steep losses for bitcoin in May and June.

 

(Reporting by Alun John; Editing by Edwina Gibbs)

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