Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao (CZ) has warned that Google search results are still promoting crypto phishing and scamming websites.
Despite Google’s strict policies on crypto marketing for its ads service, scammers have still been slipping through the cracks over the past few years. At times, scam websites have even been displayed higher than legitimate crypto and blockchain projects.
In an Oct. 27 tweet, CZ warned that when searching CoinMarketCap on Google, phishing sites with an “ad” tag were showing up in front of the actual website.
“This affects users adding smart contract addresses to MetaMask using these phishing sites. We are trying to contact Google for this, and in the meantime alerting users about this through social channels,” he said.
Google displays phishing sites when users search CMC. This affects users adding smart contract addresses to MetaMask using these phishing sites. We are trying to contact Google for this, and in the meantime alerting users about this through social channels. pic.twitter.com/3q4860Jl4H October 27, 2022
CoinMarketCap is one of the most commonly used crypto data aggregators on the market and was acquired by Binance for an undisclosed fee back in April 2020. Given its popularity, a lot of traffic could be directed toward these scam ads.
In some cases, phishing websites can be hard to spot, as they generally use copycat URLs to trick people that aren’t paying attention into clicking. For example, one of the websites CZ highlighted was spelled “coinomarketcaap.”
In April this year, blockchain security firm SlowMist uncovered a Terra-related phishing scam in which bad actors were using Google Ads to run copycat websites utilizing Achor Protocol and Astroport branding.
According to SlowMist, the promoted websites ranked ahead of the actual sites people were searching for and went on to swipe around $4.31 million worth of Luna Classic (LUNC) from 52 addresses between April 12 and April 21.
In November 2021, the research arm of cybersecurity firm CheckPoint also published a report warning that around $500,000 was stolen by scammers who used Google Ads to promote phishing sites that mimicked crypto wallet providers MetaMask and Phantom.
Google’s ads service has been a topic of keen interest this week after parent company Alphabet firm highlighted in its Q3 earnings call that spending on search advertising from financial and crypto firms was down quarter over quarter.
“We did see a pullback in spending by some advertisers in certain areas in search ads. For example, in financial services, we saw a pullback in insurance, loan, mortgage, and crypto subcategories,” said Philipp Schindler, chief business officer of Google. The firm appears to have no qualms about accepting ad payments from scammers, however.
Elon Musk reportedly finalized his $44 billion takeover of social media platform Twitter on Oct. 27 and has started his tenure at the company by cleaning house at the upper executive level.
According to sources from multiple outlets, CEO Parag Agrawal, chief financial officer Ned Segal and head of legal and policy Vijaya Gadde are reported to have been sacked, with Musk accusing them of misleading him over the number of spam accounts on the platform.
Agrawal and Segal were “escorted out” of the company’s headquarters when the deal closed, according to Reuters sources.
the bird is freed October 28, 2022
Musk had previously attempted to back out of the deal to buy Twitter in July, accusing the company of making “false and misleading representations” regarding the number of spam and fake accounts.
With the deal now closed, Musk looks to change the platform into a bastion of free speech, change the algorithms to prevent political echo chambers, and remove all fake and spam accounts.
In an open letter to Twitter advertisers on Oct. 27, Musk further reiterated his motivations for buying Twitter, saying it is important for the “future of civilization to have a common digital town square” free from political polarization.
He added he purchased the platform “to help humanity, whom I love” and penned his aspirations for Twitter to become the “most respected advertising platform in the world.”
Musk is aware of the “meme-ability” of the prolonged deal and was filmed walking into Twitter’s San Francisco headquarters on Oct. 26 carrying a sink, tweeting “let that sink in” while also changing his Twitter bio to “Chief Twit.”
On Oct. 20, The Washington Post reported Musk planned to cut up to 75% of Twitter’s staff, but a report from Bloomberg days later disclosed that Musk told Twitter staff on Oct. 26 during his visit that the statements were false and he doesn’t plan to sack any staff. However, those at the top of the Twitter tree have just found out otherwise.
The ride-sharing industry is poised for another paradigm shift, with Web3 protocols allowing new companies and drivers to bid for rides using a matching algorithm, according to the Decentralized Engineering Corporation (DEC) — the company behind the Solana-based protocol TRIP that enables mobility-based applications.
According to DEC, on the TRIP platform, companies and riders can collaborate and compete in a shared marketplace. The protocol also rewards the most active participants with a stake in its governance for both drivers and customers.
The first service set to operate on TRIP is Teleport, a decentralized ride-sharing application planned to be launched in December and run by parent company DEC. On Oct. 27, DEC announced a $9 million seed round co-led by Foundation Capital and Road Capital.
DEC CEO and Teleport co-founder Paul Bohm told Cointelegraph that Web3 technology, including TRIP, will compete to replace “closed platforms run by corporate monopolies with decentralized protocols that are open source, competitive, and fair for everyone."
Bohm stated that the additional funding will be used to “launch TRIP permanently in specific cities.” It will also help the company achieve its decentralization milestone.
By using a blockchain-based solution, riders using the TRIP ecosystem can pay using USD Coin on Solana and fiat currencies through Apple Pay, while drivers will be able to accept the stablecoin as payment straight to their bank accounts or have it deposited into their wallet.
“By turning ride-sharing into a protocol, Teleport is building what we couldn’t build at Uber in 2010, and what Uber should be building today,” said Ryan McKillen, a former Uber employee and one of the investors who joined the seed round. Additional investors included Thursday Ventures, 6th Man Ventures, 305 Ventures and Common Metal.
The market size for ride-sharing is expected to grow to $344.4 billion by 2030, according to Precedence Research. Data from Statista shows that Uber is the most popular ride-sharing app in the world, with 93 million people using the application on a monthly basis.
This Daily Dose was brought to you by Cointelegraph.