Will Bitcoin surpass the $10,000 psychological trading on western exchanges today?
Asian markets have already seen BTC hit as high as $10,086 according to CoinMarketCap. It first began it's creep over the line on several South Korea-based cryptocurrency exchanges last night. However, the CoinDesk Bitcoin Price Index, shows the cryptocurrency is trading just below the mark today.
by Whit Gallimore
Another phishing site has emerged impersonating the cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase.
Phishers impersonating exchanges are going for round two. ETHNews recently reported that an emailer from firstname.lastname@example.org sent false "new device" alerts to users in a bid to get access to their Coinbase accounts.
Now the entity behind email@example.com may be at it again with a new message. This morning, November 21, 2017, at 8:21 ETHNews received an email from the known scam address firstname.lastname@example.org claiming that a nonexistent Coinbase account required identity confirmation.
Ironically, the phishing attempt uses the prevalence of phishing in the ecosystem to prompt users to verify themselves. Hovering over the link in the email reveals that it is connected to www.briansings.com which redirects to http://coinbasê.com (IT IS HIGHLY ADVISED USERS DO NOT VISIT THESE WEBSITES). Note the circumflex above the "e" in the latter URL, denoting a French language character, as opposed to the actual website for the cryptocurrency exchange, www.Coinbase.com.
See an image of the scammer's message below:
The scam email. Source
Anyone who receives a similar message is warned to be certain it did not originate from the known scam address email@example.com. As always, users are reminded to manually enter websites into address bars instead of relying on links, particularly if those links come from emails of questionable origin. It's also a good idea to test bookmarks to make sure they haven't been compromised.
By Jeremy Nation, Writer ETHNEWS.com
Tether's treasury wallet was robbed of over $30 million worth of tokens.
On November 21, 2017, an announcement was released by the Tether team declaring that an unknown hacker managed to usurp $30,950,010 worth of Tether tokens (USDT). The statement reads, "Yesterday, we discovered that funds were improperly removed from the Tether treasury wallet through malicious action by an external attacker. Tether integrators must take immediate action … to prevent further ecosystem disruption."
Tether said that the stolen USDT has been flagged and is now irredeemable, and it believes the attacker is holding the stolen USDT in the following address:
Users are urged not to accept USDT from this address or any address downstream from it.
Tether said it has taken steps to suspend the Tether.to backend wallet service temporarily while it performs an investigation of the attack to ensure it does not happen again. A new build of Omni Core software will be provided to users in a bid to freeze the USDT in the above-referenced address. Tether said that the software will issue a change to the consensus protocols that Omni Core clients currently utilize; indicating that the fix "is effectively a temporary hard fork."
"We strongly urge all Tether integrators to install [the Omni Core upgrade] immediately to prevent the coins from entering the ecosystem. Again, any tokens from the attacker’s address will not be redeemed. Accordingly, any and all exchanges, wallets, and other Tether integrators should install this software immediately in order to prevent loss:
The announcement went on to assert that "after the protocol upgrades to the Omni Layer are in place, Tether will reclaim the stolen tokens and return them to treasury." It also said that issuances of USDT haven't been affected by the attack, maintaining that the Tether reserve still fully backs all USDT. "The only tokens that will not be redeemed are the ones that were stolen from Tether treasury yesterday. Those tokens will be returned to treasury once the Omni Layer protocol enhancements are in place."
It didn't take long for members of the community to dig around and posit hypotheses of who the culprit of the hack might be. One user put together a fairly extensive timeline that breaks down the incident beginning at a wallet address that transaction logs show was used to take 19,000 BTC from Bitstamp in 2015, according to the user’s research. After this actor sent fractional amounts of BTC to other addresses in what might have been tests to ensure the hack would work, around 10:53 a.m. on November 19, 2017, a series of transactions transferred 30,950,010 USDT and 5 BTC out of Tether’s treasury address. Eventually, the sum of these funds came to reside in the wallet address implicated in the company's official announcement.
In an interesting twist, according to a user who posted these findings, the culprit implicated in both the Tether hack and Bitstamp incident of 2015 appears to be the owner of another wallet that was used to steal 8500 BTC from Huobi in 2015, although this detail remains unsubstantiated. However, if this cyber sleuth is correct, the address associated with the alleged Huobi theft is linked to the sale of small amounts of BTC on Localbitcoins, a site that helps people connect with one another to trade, buy, and sell crypto. So, it may be possible for Localbitcoins to access logs from 2015 that are related to the wallet addresses and thus identify the hacker.
by Jeremy Nation, Writer, ETHNEWS.com
Gold becomes shoppers' new digital way to pay after app launch
Released Monday, the app — also called Glint — allows users to link a Mastercard debit card to their phone, which then lets them buy physical gold bullion that is stored in a Swiss vault.
Jason Cozens, the company's chief executive and co-founder, said Monday that central banks' quantitative easing policies and the collapse of some banks have made many people realize that traditional accounts are not a risk-free option.
"Since the financial crisis, people are starting to understand that purchasing power of their money isn't safe," he said.
On its website, Glint says that once either a currency or gold is linked to a Mastercard, customers can buy "anything from a coffee to a car." The company adds that users can also select the precious metal to make peer-to-peer payments.
Cozens valued the gold market at $8 trillion and said people would be surprised by how many people want to hold or spend gold.
He added that the app was originally aimed at wealthy people looking to store their wealth outside of the banking system, but research showed that there was interest across the financial spectrum.
"Look at a student who grew up during the financial crisis. They have a mindset that says they believe in independence about savings," he said.
Cozens said he expected the app to prove particularly popular in India and Germany.
Over the next few months, Glint will also allow users to hold and spend funds in a variety of currencies, each stored in a U.K. bank.
Users can check exchange rates on their phone before selecting which currency or what amount of gold they will use to make a purchase.
The app was launched in Europe on Monday and will be rolled out in Asia and the U.S. next year. Early investors include a former CEO of the World Gold Council as well as a former chairman of Goldman Sachs in Asia.
The price of gold has risen about 12 percent in value this year and currently sits at just below $1,300 an ounce.
David Reid Blog Writer, CNBC.com
The organizers of a controversial bitcoin software update are suspending their attempt to increase the block size by way of a hard fork.
Known for its strong early support from bitcoin startups and mining pools, the plan, called Segwit2x, or simply '2x,' was to trigger a block size increase at block 494,784, expected to occur on or around November 16th. The goal of the project, according to those involved, was to use the measure to increase bitcoin's transaction capacity, which is today constrained by the nature of the software's rules.
The suspension was announced today in an email written by Mike Belshe, CEO and co-founder of bitcoin wallet software provider BitGo. One of the leaders of the Segwit2x project, he argued that the scaling proposal is too controversial to move forward.
"Unfortunately, it is clear that we have not built sufficient consensus for a clean block size upgrade at this time. Continuing on the current path could divide the community and be a setback to Bitcoin’s growth. This was never the goal of Segwit2x."
"Until then, we are suspending our plans for the upcoming 2MB upgrade," he added.
The note is also signed by companies that originally supported the plan, forged at an in-person meeting in May, including Xapo CEO Wences Casares, Bitmain co-founder Jihan Wu, Bloq CEO and co-founder Jeff Garzik, Blockchain CEO and co-founder Peter Smith and Shapeshift CEO and founder Erik Voorhees.
The group said that it still hopes the block size will be increased further down the line, once there is more agreement from stakeholders.
In statements to the BTC1 Slack group, developer Jeff Garzik said the alternative software would continue to be developed, and that it may support "other chains such as bitcoin cash, litecoin and other bitcoin-family chains."
For more coverage on the hard fork visit Coindesk's guides here.
Article written by Alyssa Hertig with Coindesk
A Bitcoin transaction wastes as much electricity as it takes to power an American home for a week, and legendary coder Bram Cohen wants to fix that. And considering he invented the ubiquitous peer-to-peer file transfer protocol BitTorrent, you should take him seriously.
Cohen has just started a new company called Chia Network that will launch a cryptocurrency based on proofs of time and storage rather than Bitcoin's electricity-burning proofs of work. Essentially, Chia will harness cheap and abundant unused storage space on hard drives to verify its blockchain.
"The idea is to make a better Bitcoin, to fix the centralization problems" Cohen tells me. The two main issues he sees in Bitcoin are in environmental impact and the instability that arises from the few Bitcoin miners with the cheapest access to electricity exerting outsized influence.
Chia aims to solve both.
Bitcoin uses proofs of work to verify the blockchain. That's because it's prohibitively expensive to make a fake blockchain since it wouldn't have as much work demonstrated as the real one. But over time that's given a massive advantage in collecting the incentives for mining Bitcoin to those who operate close to low-cost electricity and naturally chill air to cool the mining rigs.
Chia instead relies on of proofs of space in file storage, which people often already have and can use for no additional cost. It combines this with proofs of time that disarm a wide array of attacks to which proofs of space are susceptible.
"I'm not the first person to come up with this idea" says Cohen, but actually implementing requires the kind of advanced computer science he specializes in.
After inventing torrenting in the early 2000s and briefly working on Steam for Valve, Cohen had been at BitTorrent building a new protocol for peer-to-peer live video transfer. But mismanagement on the business side caused the company to implode. Now it's limping along, and Cohen says "it doesn't need me day-to-day". So while he's still on the board, he left in early August to start Chia Network.
Cohen has teamed up with early Bitcoin exchange Tradehill's COO Ryan Singer and they've raised a seed round for Chia to ramp up hiring. Cohen wouldn't say how much it had raised, laughing that "I'm not sure how much we want to announce right now, but it was a very hot round." The goal is do some early sales of Chia in Q2 2018, with a full launch of its cryptocurrency by the end of 2018, though Cohen says that's a stretch goal.
Cohen is a brilliant technologist, but it will take more than that to convince people to switch over from Bitcoin to Chia. He tells me the plan for Chia is "do some smarter things about its legal status and do a bunch of technical fixes that you can do when starting from scratch."
It's too early to guess how this will all play out, but at least someone is trying to address the ecological impact of cryptocurrency instead of just complaining about it. Cohen seems excited though. "It's technically ambitious and there's a big meaty chunk of work to do. I've done enough raising money and recruiting. Now for the real work."
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