Popular Journalist Gets Scammed On Bitcoin

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Michael Lotfi is a Persian, American political analyst and adviser living in Nashville, Tennessee where he works as the executive state director for the Tenth Amendment Center. Lotfi graduated in the top 5% of his class with top honors from Belmont University, an award winning, private university located in Nashville, Tennessee.
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Ben Swann, a popular Emmy award winning journalist, recently had a troubling experience during a bitcoin transaction through the Mt. Gox exchange. The online currency exchange is based out of Japan and has recently had run ins with the American federal government. In fact, the feds have seized more than $5 million from the exchange. Furthermore, the exchange is currently involved in a $75 million lawsuit.

Swann says he attempted to trade some bitcoins in for cash and waited for weeks to receive the money. Eventually, he contacted customer support. However, Swann didn’t get the answer he wanted. Swann was told that there was no timeline for when he’d receive his money. Swann ended up purchasing back the coins at a loss in fear of losing it all.

Swann tells The Liberty Paper in an interview:

“My overall experience with bitcoin has been terrific.  I believe that bitcoin is in many ways the best example of free market capitalism in the world today.  The beauty of the free market is the free exchange between parties but lets be clear, capitalism isn’t all sunshine and lollypops.  In the free market, there are risks, challenges and difficulties.

Today, I better understand the risks of dealing with bitcoin and companies like Mt. Gox. My failure to fully understand who I was dealing with and assuming that the company would operate competently was my mistake. It is a lesson that has cost me both time and money.  If you are new to bitcoin, I hope that through my mistakes, others can avoid a similar situation. Mt. Gox has proven themselves, in my case, to be incompetent or unwilling in the part of the process that allows me to withdraw my funds after they have been converted from bitcoin to dollars.  Mt. Gox and the rise in bitcoin value, to me, best represent the best and worst of the bitcoin “free market” at the same time.”

Swann’s experience parallels many others. The official Mt. Gox  Facebook page hasn’t been updated in months. Yet, users are flooding the page and online forums with concerns over their transactions.The story is typically the same. Bitcoin holders attempt a transaction in order to exchange their bitcoins for cash on the Mt. Gox exchange, but never get the cash. Most troubling, the bitcoin holder is now out of pocket and must purchase back their coins at a loss.

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14 comments for “Popular Journalist Gets Scammed On Bitcoin

  1. May 4, 2014 at 7:21 am

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  2. December 2, 2013 at 3:12 pm

    I’ve done several transactions through Coinbase (buying and selling) and had no problems at all.

  3. John Reef
    December 2, 2013 at 12:08 am

    That’s complete trash about btc-e.com. They are even worse! I had 2 successful wire transfers to MtGox but had NO luck with btc-e.com. I went to my bank and they are now doing a trace (which I had to pay for) to see where the money is at. 3 weeks and waiting btc-e.com… disgusting.

  4. December 1, 2013 at 4:27 pm

    WHy didn’t he use Coinbase? I cashed out there about a week ago and received my money only a few days later

  5. Robert Humphreys
    December 1, 2013 at 3:34 pm

    Sorry Ben but that’s your own fault. I would never trade my bitcoin for cash. That’s what make the demand for go down

  6. December 1, 2013 at 6:03 am

    D0nny@msn is a piece of poop who loves to lie about BTC businesses warning don’t do business with him.

  7. settheline
    November 30, 2013 at 5:05 pm

    Scammed? Everyone knew MtGox was having liquidity issues, that’s why it was trading at a premium vs other exchanges like Bitstamp. The only scam here is the US gov’s attack on MtGox.

  8. texan23
    November 30, 2013 at 3:37 pm

    Btc-e is the site I trust. Everyone knows Mt Gox sucks.

  9. November 30, 2013 at 2:27 pm

    I have my holding in MTGox and I’m going to try getting the proceeds from one of my BitCoins in USD. If I have a problem with that withdrawl, I’m going to transfer my Bit Coin holding to another marketplace (like LocalBitiCoins.com) to make sure I can transfer to USD at another exchange/marketplace.

  10. November 30, 2013 at 10:02 am

    they are being attacked by the government. i like ben but he is silly for trying to use them in the first place. they have an excuse for being slack

  11. November 30, 2013 at 5:10 am

    Simple solution. Transfer your BTCs to localbitcoins.com then sell them there to an individual. A bit more of a hassle but you get your money.

  12. November 30, 2013 at 3:35 am

    If you’re in the US I’d recommend Coinbase. MtGox is notorious for being laggards in paying fiat. That said, I haven’t “cashed out” any bitcoins (I prefer to spend them directly) so my experience with that side of things is limited.

  13. November 29, 2013 at 10:19 pm

    I’d say the fact the Mt Gox is so awful, yet people continue to use it, shows that bitcoin trading is far from becoming a free market. It may be free in the sense of being far less regulated than other currency transactions. But in order for bitcoin users to benefit from that freedom, we need more exchanges, and more competition to ensure that payments are made promptly and with minimal fees.

  14. November 29, 2013 at 9:45 pm

    Watch out for those bitcoins for virtual VISA/MASTERCARDS for shopping. BTCinstant is one such company.. it’s an unregulated market. They can scam you and claim you’re making up false claims. Very sketchy behaviour. There are better services to use that have a positive web reputation. @BTCinstant are cougars looking for newbies to take advantage of. Total bitcoin thieves.

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