Ransomware May Threaten the Future of Bitcoin

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Bitcoin has jumped in price again. Following a near two-week excursion down south, bitcoin has hit a detour and is now hovering at $581 as of press time. That’s a near $10 rise since our previous price piece. However, the price is still down overall. Although many factors may be contributing to bitcoin’s slight slump, many seem to believe that ransomware poses a particularly nasty threat to the currency’s future.   Bitcoin-Related Ransomware on the Rise In one of our more recent articles, bitcoin’s competition with the U.S. dollar was presented as a potential reason behind the coin’s continual stoop. A recent analyst says that bitcoin is now holding its ground, and is “poised for more gains” in the coming weeks. The source states: “Bitcoin price earlier this past week traded a few points lower against the US Dollar. Later, it started trading in a range. While trading in a range, there was a crucial contracting triangle pattern formed on the 4-hours chart of BTC/USD. Once the range pattern completed, there was an upside move. The BTC bulls managed to break the highlighted contracting triangle pattern and took the price higher. The recent upside move looks convincing due to two reasons. …


8 Major Bitcoin Debit Cards: How Private and Anonymous Are They?

admin Bitcoin Affiliate Programs, Bitcoin ATM / BTM Machines, Bitcoin Bank, Bitcoin Credit Cards, Bitcoin Debit Cards, How I Use Bitcoin, Virtual Bitcoin Debit Cards 0 Comments

CoinTelegraph contacted the eight major providers of Bitcoin debit cards with the question: Can Bitcoin debit cards really be private or anonymous? Below are the results, categorized by region and level of disclosure required. Financial privacy: Bitcoin vs. banks One of the main advantages of using Bitcoin over traditional funding methods is privacy. When a Bitcoin transaction is sent, its record is permanent and public on the blockchain, but not tied to any particular identity. Many users, such as those who frequented the Silk Road, prefer Bitcoin for exactly this reason: it’s anonymous and private. However, one of the major challenges of using Bitcoin is the limited number of merchants and services that accept it as payment. Enter Bitcoin debit cards, a product that takes Bitcoin and converts it into currency for use at traditional merchants. The challenge with Bitcoin debit cards is that, by and large, they tend to require the same level of financial disclosure of traditional financial institutions. While this is still an advantage over banks, which can shut down the account of a customer at any time under any pretense (especially under pressure from government), it still does not constitute financial privacy. Full identification (US) Coinbase Coinbase has …


Will 2016’s $300 Million Blockchain Startup Bubble Burst?

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Startups powered by Bitcoin and Blockchain technology raised $290 million during the first six months of this year, resembling the dot-com bubble of the late 1990s. According to a report by Juniper Research, venture capital investment raised by companies employing either Blockchain technology, or Bitcoin directly, amounted to more than a quarter of a billion dollars. About a third of this was raised by three companies: Circle, a social payment provider, which raised $60 million; Distributed Asset Holdings, a distributed ledger solutions provider, which raised $50 million; and, of course, Blockstream, the sidechain developer, which raised $55 million. Lee Gibson Grant of the Drachmae Travel Club sees investments flowing into Blockchain startups as more and more people become aware of the technology’s capabilities. He says to CoinTelegraph: “The Blockchain space is typical of new technology coming onto the market. This early stage sees many startups and experiments, which will provide proof that the technology is applicable in specific, practical use cases. Once identified, there will be consolidation into leaders within those areas at first, and progressively more capital will flow into those entities. Over time the investments will be billions of dollars, and will create new businesses and many new employment …


How is Bitcoin Actually Stolen? Theft Prevention

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The successful US$65 million dollar hacking attack launched on the Bitfinex trading platform left the community to question the security measures of the multi-signature technology implemented by the exchange. It also triggered a relatively simple yet important argument; how is Bitcoin actually stolen? To begin with, let’s tackle the fundamentals of the security breach of Bitfinex. As demonstrated by the infographic provided by Bloomberg below, the major factor behind the Bitfinex trading platform’s vulnerability was its improper implementation of the multi-signature technology and of the BitGo software. In theory, BitGo is the second authenticator behind Bitfinex to sign and approve each transaction initiated in the Bitfinex trading platform. Thus, when a user sends or broadcasts the transaction to the Bitcoin Blockchain, Bitfinex first approves it with their version of the private key and BitGo then provides a second authentication to approve the transaction. Bitcoin is stolen when private keys are compromised However, after the hackers managed to get hold of the private keys held by Bitfinex, BitGo automatically signed all suspicious transactions, due to the weak and vulnerable implementation of Bitfinex. Considering this fact, Bitcoin is actually stolen from users when the private keys of user funds are compromised. Private …


Integrity Chain – A Public Proof Blockchain Service for Everyone – FREE FOR ALL

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New IC-­STAMP content integrity service is free for moderate usage Integrity Chain today announced the launch of its IC­-STAMP service, a leading-edge application of blockchain technology for the general public. The free service delivers public proof for the time and contents of private files by embedding their unique cryptographic fingerprint in the blockchain. By using only a browser and email, users no longer face the barriers of specialized knowledge, complex tools or obscure cryptocurrencies. Tampering with the past is now history. “Blockchain technology has enormous potential as a public ledger, partly by providing an unalterable ‘arrow of time’ which we utilize to establish integrity,” said Eric Schorn, Co-­Founder of Integrity Chain. “However, broad adoption is severely limited by the large amount of complexity involved. Our vision is that of simplification and thus usability for a mainstream audience.” “Services like IC­-STAMP that leverage blockchain approaches offer several advantages -­ cost, simplicity and flexibility among them -­ compared to legacy and proprietary offerings for content security and integrity. Their adoption is set to accelerate,” commented Peter Harris, Principal at Lighthouse Partners, a consulting firm that focuses on business applications of blockchain and other disruptive technologies. Integrity Chain’s IC-­STAMP service can be used …


So, You Want to Use a Blockchain for That?

admin Bitcoin Law, Bitcoin Lifestyle, Bitcoin News, Blockchain, BlockChain Technology Opinions, Crypto News, Peer-to-Peer, Smart Contracts 0 Comments

Antony Lewis is a bitcoin and blockchain consultant and blogger, who previously served as the director of business development at bitcoin exchange itBit.  In this article, Lewis attempts to break down some of the more misunderstood questions circulating among institutions seeking to adapt distributed blockchain tech for alternative uses. There are good reasons and bad reasons to use blockchains. In conversations with people considering blockchain use cases, I have noticed common confusions arising from certain words. At issue, is that they were initially used in a narrow context (usually to describe bitcoin’s blockchain), and are now being interpreted more generically for other blockchains, in cases where they may no longer apply. In this post, I hope to untangle some of these common misconceptions. Theme: Blockchains are secure Writing data Bitcoin has specific security features for writing data due to the burden of proof-of-work consensus. That is, in order to add blocks of transactions to the blockchain, you have to validate all the transactions within the block (easy) and then perform repeated calculations (called hashing) to find a magic number that makes your block valid and acceptable to the other participants according to the rules of the network (easy, but computationally expensive, therefore …