As we look back upon the past year, we would like to acknowledge those who have helped us shape our business. It’s been an exciting year for us all and we hope that 2019 has been just as memorable for you, your colleagues and your loved ones. We wish you all the best in the upcoming new year and look forward to working with you in the years to come.
In celebration, our office will be closed Tuesday, December 31, 2019 and Wednesday, January 1, 2020. Our Customer Support and Verification departments will be unavailable on these dates. Please allow additional processing time for deposits, withdrawals and e-currency exchanges during this time period. If you require assistance, you may leave a Support Ticket for us at any time and we will promptly respond to your inquiry when our office reopens on Thursday, January 2, 2020.
We would like to express our sincerest appreciation for the trust you have placed in us. May 2020 bring you 12 months of success, 52 weeks of laughter, 365 days of fun, 8760 hours of joy, 525600 minutes of good luck, and 31536000 seconds of happiness. From everyone at SolidTrust Pay, Happy New Year!
During the holiday season, our thoughts turn gratefully to those who have made our success possible. It’s in this spirit that we say thank you for your continued support. When we at SolidTrust Pay think of all the benefits of being in our business, we quickly think of our relationships with great customers like you. Thank you for giving us the chance to do what we love.
In celebration of the holiday season, our office will be closed December 24, 25 and 26, 2019. Our Customer Support and Verification departments will be unavailable on these dates. Please allow additional processing time for deposits, withdrawals and e-currency exchanges during this time period. If you require assistance, you may leave a Support Ticket for us at any time and we will promptly respond to your inquiry when our office reopens on Friday, December 27, 2019.
From all of us at SolidTrust Pay, we would like to wish you and your loved ones a very Merry Christmas. This special time of year brings no greater joy than the opportunity to express to you our season’s greetings and good wishes. May the holiday season fill your home with joy, your heart with love and your life with laughter.
The holidays should be a time of giving and good cheer, not of worry and woe. But for an increasing number of us, the joys of spending the season with our family and close friends are eclipsed by a nefarious act – online fraud. Last year, fraud attempts increased by 22% during the holiday season, with 43% of online identity theft occurring during the November-December shopping season. Despite increased public awareness and policing task forces, fraud continues to cost taxpayers billions of dollars each year.
Staying Safe Online
To protect yourself from online threats, it is vital that you create strong passwords, install the latest malware and virus protection software, ignore emails from senders you don’t know and only access trusted websites. For added protection, you can sign up to receive email or text “transaction alerts” from your bank to keep track of your online purchases. These tips will help ensure that your personal and financial information remains secure and out of reach from cybercriminals.
Targeting the Vulnerable
If you follow these simple steps, you can dramatically reduce your chances of falling victim to online threats. However, scammers have become more sophisticated with their attacks, and are increasingly turning their attention to the most vulnerable among us – the elderly. Earlier this month, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) released a new report indicating that elders face an increased threat to their financial security by both domestic and foreign actors. During the 6 month study period, documented incidents of elder financial exploitation increased dramatically from 2,000 cases per month in 2013 to nearly 7,500 cases per month in August 2019. The report further revealed that the average financial loss reported by elderly victims rose during the same period of time.
In the United States, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) reported that older Americans who were exploited by fraudsters suffered an average loss of $34,200 in 2018. The CFPB called the problem “widespread and damaging,” and when it analyzed government reports of suspicious online financial activity, it discovered that they involved more than $6 billion in attempted and actual losses between 2013 and 2017.
Common Online Scams
The majority of elderly victims were targeted by scams in which they were requested to send money overseas. Three major scam categories were identified in FinCEN’s report:
1) Romance Scams: Scammers successfully establish a romantic relationship with their victims and then request money for nonexistent hardships. Fraudsters may also request money to visit the victim, and once they receive the funds, they often sever communication.
2) Emergency or Person-in-need Scams: Fraudsters prey on their victims’ emotional vulnerability by claiming to be a loved one in need of money to help with an emergency.
3) Prize or Lottery Scams: Scammers coerce their victims into sending money under the guise of an import tax or fee in order to receive their prize or lottery winnings.
What You Can Do
A family member who has been targeted by online criminals may be too emotionally invested in the scammer’s web of deceit to recognize that they are being financially taken advantage of. For this reason, you can play a vital role in protecting your loved one from harm. First, look for warning signs that they may be a victim of an online scam. Pay close attention to any lifestyle changes that are out of the ordinary. For example, if your outgoing grandparent suddenly becomes withdrawn, that’s a sign something could be wrong. Also, look for any suspicious financial activity. If you can, periodically review your loved one’s financial statements and ask about any unusual transactions.
If your family member is the victim of an online scam, you should ensure that they terminate all contact with the scammer. You will want to block the scammer’s email address and “unfriend” them from any social media sites. In some cases, changing your family member’s email address and phone number may be necessary if the scammer continues to harass your loved one.
It is also vital that you uncover what personal information has been revealed to the fraudster and seek advice from the local police. If your family member provided the scammer with financial information or they were able to steal funds from their bank account, you should immediately contact your family member’s financial institutions. Depending on the situation, the bank will help you determine the best course of action.
The Importance of Emotional Support
Most importantly, always remember to provide your loved one with emotional support. Victims are often embarrassed or afraid to tell their family when they have a problem. This is particularly relevant for the elderly, who may fear losing their independence or being thought of as incapable or vulnerable. It is vital that you remain patient and supportive and never ridicule your family member. How family, friends and organizations treat the victim directly influences their mental health and how quickly they will emotionally recover from the ordeal.
Digital currencies have become increasingly popular in recent years. CBC News reports that cryptocurrency is big business, “despite only coming into the public consciousness a decade ago with the invention of Bitcoin.” These alternative currencies have slowly entered the mainstream, with Bitcoin invariably leading the way. Introduced by Satoshi Nakamoto, a pseudonym used by the person or persons who developed the world’s first cryptocurrency, to this day, Bitcoin remains the most prominent digital currency. As new cryptocurrencies continue to become more widely used, you can expect Bitcoin to remain the top choice among crypto enthusiasts across the globe. That being said, Bitcoin’s boom is just one of the cryptocurrency trends to watch out for in 2020. Below is our complete list:
1. Bitcoin is predicted to boom
Bitcoin has witnessed record price fluctuations in recent years. It peaked at $20,089 (C$26,710) in December 2017, then plummeted to $3,200 (C$4,255) a year later. In 2019, Bitcoin’s price stabilized, staying near $7,000–$8,000 (C$9,307–C$10,637) for much of the year. However, News BTC notes that the price of Bitcoin is predicted to increase in 2020, ultimately predicted to breach the $15,000 (C$19,944) mark by May. This uptick will be due to Bitcoin’s scheduled halving in May. Analysts are divided as to the long-term effects of this halving. Bitmain co-founder Jihan Wu insists no Bitcoin bull run will follow. But several price modelling results show that Bitcoin’s price will, indeed, go up next year.
2. Altcoins will be more “alt-tractive”
ADN Coins points out that the number of altcoins continues to rise and their functions are starting to go mainstream. That trend will continue in 2020, as “more altcoins will join the fray and take their place in the crypto market.” But these new altcoins will “need to provide another utility that other top altcoins are not hinged on” for them to be truly competitive and disruptive. The top altcoins, at the moment, are those used in payments (e.g., Litecoin, and Bitcoin Cash), DApps (e.g., Ethereum, Tron, and EOS), and crowdfunding (e.g., Binance Coin, which is the most popular in this case).
3. Governments will integrate cryptos
Governments around the world have cautiously started to move towards digital currencies. They will still proceed with caution in 2020 but will be more open to cryptocurrencies. As per the norm, the Canadian government has been progressive to this end. The Bank of Canada is currently leading a working group of global partners to figure out how to best use, integrate, and if necessary, regulate cryptocurrencies.
Even China, which in 2017 banned digital currency in the Mainland, seems to be opening up to Bitcoin, and its underlying blockchain technology. Just this month, the Bank of China (one of the four biggest state-owned commercial banks in the country), posted an in-depth — and at times humorous — infographic about cryptocurrencies. The infographic details Bitcoin’s history and clarifies some of the misconceptions surrounding it (notably, that it can make people wealthy overnight). It has also been rumoured that the Chinese government is developing a Bitcoin supplement to the Chinese Yuan. Such developments are clear proof that governments will be more accepting of cryptos moving forward.
4. Gold-backed currencies will continue to be stable
Stablecoins, specifically gold-backed currencies, are likely to have a strong year, too. Our post, ‘What You Need To Know About Gold-Backed Cryptocurrencies’ discussed how a stablecoin’s value is tethered to a tangible asset class. In the case of gold-backed currencies that asset is gold, which investors have long regarded as a safe haven. 90% of demand for the yellow metal is due to its intrinsic value. This is why gold provides value even as other assets struggle, especially in times of economic uncertainty. Gold-backed currencies will lean on the precious metal more next year as the global economic forecast for 2020 is gloomy. This, in turn, will help give them year-long stability.
As with any asset, investing in cryptocurrencies involves the risk of substantial loss, including the loss of your entire investment. SolidTrust Pay is not an investment advisor or fiduciary and this content is provided for informational purposes only. Before purchasing cryptocurrency, please evaluate your financial situation and personal risk tolerance.