A (real) digital currency for Africa

Cryptocurrency is a buzz word lately. This ideology of creating a currency not owned by the government or by anyone is fascinating to say the least, and seems to be a good move towards creating one currency for the world.

What is cryptocurrency? according to a simple Google search

A digital currency in which encryption techniques are used to regulate the generation of units of currency and verify the transfer of funds, operating independently of a central bank.

The most notable cryptocurrency to date would be Bitcoin, you may have heard of it. Back to the main point of why I am writing this. There has been an increase in new businesses offering a safe and guaranteed cryptocurrency. This has been happening in Africa as well. So I decided to put a spotlight on a new platform by the name of Pipcoin.

This is the first of a 3 part series looking into Pipcoin. Pipcoin is a platform for people to sign up and start trading using the cryptocurrency created by the creators of Pipcoin. So it will be used as a payment option for on line transactions and people can also trade the “coins” by buying and selling them for a higher value based on supply and demand. I personally don’t think Africa is quite ready for this, but what do I know?

This is an example of what 1 Bitcoin is worth as of 30 April 2016

BitcoinValue

So I decided to look at the website for more information, this is what I have to say about my findings so far.

  1. The first thing that caught my eye when searching is that there are 2 websites for it. There is the pipcoinsa site that gives you information about Pipcoin and what it is, then there is an official website for registration. I have no idea why this was done, maybe someone might give me a solid logical reason in the comments.
  2. The counters  for donations, causes, investment and participation on the official website keep starting on a specific amount when reloading the web page and keep increasing at a predictable rate. What does this mean? you might ask, well, it means those numbers are wrong and misleading. Those values do not portray the truth.These are the numbers after opening the site up for about 40 minutes
    PipcoinCounters
  3. For a cryptocurrency for Africa, nothing visual on their website screams Africa. The images in the gallery leave a lot to be desired if they are to portray this as something made for Africans. I would guess those are stock images(but, that is a Google search for another day).
  4. The about us information is a vague description of the skills the team who created the platform possesses. There is no mention of the CEO, founder, or any of the developers in order to give the technology credibility. To be fair, there is more information on the founders in another tab somewhere.
  5. Because I am so fair, I found this snippet to stronger solidify the line above

    How ever the inception of the idea can be credited to David Schwartz and the inception of the algorithm and mathematics behind to Ref Wayne, a 21 year old South African who is behind the creation of most high-tech forensic software as well as trading platform(Forex Metatrader), it is without chance that the creation of Pipcoin is water-proof and crack-free.

    The first thing I want look at are the names David Schwartz whom I don’t know, but will soon. And Ref Wayne, whom is a self proclaimed Billionaire at 21. I guess I have my research cut out for me, but anyway. I will leave you with this, I am fully capable of not underestimating what a person can do. With that out of the way, how can Ref Wayne, someone who states he dropped out of school and made his money through trading be the same guy who designed a highly mathematical intensive algorithm used in a cryptocurrency at the age of 21? I don’t know.

    Secondly, Pipcoin is water-proof and crack-free? Is that an invitation I see?

  6. Where is the company based? the information I could find in the contact us page is an American phone number, I wonder why. I recently noticed there is a South African based number for WhatsApp on the official site(let the chatting begin).
  7. There are a few “other-platforms” that are listed on the website, these include mydeposit241, malwandle and keptfund upon checking these out, it does not seem like they are credible in any way. But let us not judge. Then again, MMM is one of the websites listed on the site, and we know the current MMM issue (hint : it is collapsing, South Africans should stop denying it).
  8. I decided to regiser on the website(seeing that the Android application only has a login functionality…face-palm!). And after I was done, to my surprise when I get my registration information is that my password was shown as clear text(no, this information was not sent to my email, it was displayed on the website after I completed registration). This I would guess means the password(or any other information) is not encrypted when stored in the database or even in requests made by the browser(cough cough crack-free). My question then is, if people can make a cryptocurrency which requires a lot of skills in terms of security, how does their website not enforce any serious security measures?
  9. Finally, from a web developer perspective, it pains me to see they have icons(glyphicons) for links to Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn that do not do anything but just reload the page. Which makes me suspect the use of a template to create the website, which is fine, but if they only updated the Facebook link and did not remove the other icons they did not use is just depressing.
    There is also this gem..All right then
    PipcoinRightReserved

All in all I am already under the impression this is just a scheme to take money from people. Where is the development team that is working on this. And people are oblivious to signs just because this is labeled as a sure way to make money. For now I will let you, the reader decide, as I still have more research to do before I can conclude the series.

I was not wronged in anyway by people affiliated with Pipcoin, I just found an interest in it because I had initially wanted to research about Ref Wayne. So I will be fair in my analysis and my findings.

This is to be continued…

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  • hmm fake written all over that, keep on preaching my nigga