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Discord Server Dangers

Discord is a chat server, running as an app or through its own web interface.  It grew in popularity as a virtual meeting place for computer gamers but has become a hub to exchange information on NFTs and other cryptocurrency commodities.   Confusingly the various subject groups within Discord are called servers.

A legitimate user might join a NFT Discord server to learn more about trading in NFTs, gain advance notice of forthcoming drops or to publicise their own artwork.  The interface could attract those who spend a lot of time on social media; others would see it as a mess.  On this Monday morning the server NFTY Farm has 64 users online and new posts are coming in faster than the user can scroll back to the top to read them.  Many of these contain images of unremarkable NFTs; the vast majority contain external links.  There is no implication here that the NFTY Farm group has any harmful content but even a well-regulated server such as this is hard for a casual social media organiser to navigate.  Moderators will be pressed to keep on top of harmful posts.  Discord allows the use of Bots as well as human moderators giving some degree of additional protection although the dedicated hacker should be able to fool the Bots.

A server will have administrators who can change just about anything on the group.   This includes changing nicknames, the tag by which users are identified when they post as well as full use of system posting bots.   A hacker could post at will using accounts that appear to be from trusted or regular users.  These posts in turn lead to external sites designed to scam the investor. 

Apart from the relative ease of posting malicious links the Discord system itself was never designed with the high level of security used by financial trading platforms.  Discord chat history is not encrypted and some details of private chat channels are exposed.  Discord does not have to comply with the strict financial rules of dedicated trading platforms.  It is unlikely to be liable for any losses made by following advice from an external site.

There is little to recommend the use of Discord for any activity related to paying out money except to the most savvy social media and security aware user.  There will be advance notice of events that could put the buyer at an advantage.  Even if these come from a trusted source there is no absolute guarantee that this source has not been hacked or the account spoofed.  The majority of Blockchain consumers should stay away from Discord or regard it as a strictly ‘read only’ service.

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