A bitcoiner has handed over his precious coins for piles of counterfeited fake euros according to the Associated Foreign Press (AFP).
They say an unnamed South Korean met an unnamed Serbian this July to sell $2.3 million dollars worth of bitcoin.
The two apparently had previous discussions over a potential investment in a company, but the swindler then moved this discussion to the fake deal.
They met in a hotel in Nice, France, with the South Korean handing over the bitcoin, to only later realize the paper he was given was fake money, crude, photocopied €500 notes.
A criminal complaint was filed, with the Serbian man then arrested at a top-end hotel in Cannes living in luxury and walking around with a €100,000 watch.
He was charged with fraud and for being part of an organised crime network, his lawyer Gerard Baudoux told AFP.
With the lesson being that while you can’t fake bitcoin, don’t assume the same of silly printed paper which can be photocopied to look the same, at least in high pressure situations or when under the influence of a confidence trickster.
Counterfeited money can actually be a big problem, with around $200 million taken out of circulation in US every year.
For developing countries it can be even worse, with counterfeited money operations sometime run by hostile governments to destabilize the economy.
That’s first by increasing money supply through inflation, and second by in effect making people be out of pocket as at some point it is realized the money is fake and can’t be spent any longer.
That’s one problem cryptos do not have in any way. It is impossible to copy a bitcoin. A network of thousands of nodes validates every transaction, so any copy or fake crypto money is instantly rejected at the moment it attempts to pass hands.
Article corrected as it previously mentioned it was fake dollars when in this case it was fake euros.