The fake Localbitcoins app on Google Play, still live at the time of writing, is indicative of how streetwise the Bitcoin community really is – and can happen again.
Chobanyan sees the status quo – despite security being a key topic of conversation and education for Bitcoin holders – as little improved from banks and fiat currency, due more than anything to the human condition.
“This is a logical evolution of Bitcoin. Now or some other time this would happen,” he continued. “Not so clever people put money in the banks [and] trust them just because they saw an ad on TV. Same here. People ‘pay’ for the knowledge they receive from the hackers.”
Despite the Localbitcoins case being merely the latest attempt to defraud holders of their coins, and the Forensiq publishing a report in July stating that such activity was on the rise across Google Play, Chobanyan sees a more cathartic effect in the long term.
“I think it’s a very good process for humanity as a whole,” he said.
Localbitcoins had meanwhile stated that the offending app “should vanish there any moment,” but while still live, only the 32 mixed reviews from customers are there to raise the alarm to any newcomers.
One such review from November 5 reads:
“BEWARE! WARNING! This app is a Fraud. Local Bitcoins does not have an app! BEWARE. It stole all my bitcoins from my account. It looks like the real thing and walks you through giving it access to your Local Bitcoins account then transfers all of your Bitcoins out and steals them. There is no recourse since once Bitcoins are gone they are gone. I have notified Google Play but the app is still here.”