Čvn 13

Factors That Will Push Bitcoin’s Price Higher Are Gathering Steam

· June 12, 2018 · 10:30 pm

The hacking of exchanges and relentless attacks from financial powers have, in the short run, adversely affected the price of Bitcoin. However, once the news about these adverse effects fades, investors will be able to turn their focus to several bright ongoing developments.


What Doesn’t Kill Bitcoin Makes It Stronger

The recent spate of crypto exchange hacks, ongoing regulatory issues, and reports of an investigation into possible price manipulation have sent the price of Bitcoin – and nearly every other cryptocurrency – tumbling. Despite these setbacks, the growing consensus is that, given Bitcoin’s inherent resiliency, developments taking place in both technical and financial arenas will enable Bitcoin’s value to retake its ascending trajectory with even greater intensity.

For example, frequent exposure to hacking will eventually make Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies immune to such attacks. As Forbes put it, hacking may be adversely affecting Bitcoin in the short term, but in the future, the cryptocurrency will rise stronger as a result. In this regard, Christian Ferri, President and CEO of BlockStar, declared:

As in every technology, hacking will be painful for some in the short term; but it will be a major driver in strengthening the crypto ecosystem, making it more secure, which is key for mass adoption.

Moreover, giant financial actors, including exchanges and big banks, are investing heavily and hiring talent to build Bitcoin trading capabilities.

For example, NASDAQ is planning to launch a futures market for cryptocurrencies. In fact, the stock exchange has already joined forces with Gemini, a digital asset exchange, to improve market surveillance to detect market manipulation and fraudulent trades. Additionally, a NASDAQ-powered cryptocurrency exchange platform – DX.Exchange – will be launched sometime this month.

In parallel, The New York Times reports that ICE, the parent company of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), is working on its own online trading platform that will allow large Wall Street investors to trade cryptocurrencies.

Goldman Sachs is already ahead of the curve, having begun offering clients the ability to trade Bitcoin futures via one of its New York desks last month. According to The New York Times:

Goldman will begin using its own money to trade Bitcoin futures contracts on behalf of clients. It will also create its own, more flexible version of a future, known as a non-deliverable forward, which it will offer to clients.

Bitcoin Transactions Becoming Cheaper and Faster

Bitcoin Transactions Becoming Cheaper and Faster

On the technical side, Bitcoin has already advanced significantly in solving a key issue – scalability. Technological improvements that include SegWit, Lightning Network, and Atomic Multi-Path Payments over Lightning, and now Bitcoin Core 0.16.0, are already solving the issue of scalability and transaction fees costs.

Recently, Bitcoin enthusiasts celebrated the launch of Bitcoin Core 0.16.0, which among novel features, introduced full support for SegWit. Prominent Bitcoin exchanges, such as Coinbase and Bitfinex immediately started to implement SegWit and, as a result, transaction fees are now lower and faster, thus facilitating near-instantaneous low-value Bitcoin payments. At the present time, nearly 40% of all Bitcoin transactions are processed using SegWit.

In addition to SegWit, many exchanges are using a new technique to increase efficiency – batching transactions. Batching further increases the efficiency of Bitcoin transactions by over 75 percent by clustering multiple outputs into a single transaction.

For a digital currency that has “died” 300 times and counting, Bitcoin’s future is looking pretty bright, indeed. Innovative techniques are making Bitcoin transactions more efficient, and its exposure to hacking attempts will make it stronger. Lastly, major financial institutions are becoming increasingly interested in trading Bitcoin. These are crucial factors that are amalgamating to drive Bitcoin’s value to new highs.

What do you think are the main factors that will eventually drive Bitcoin’s value higher? Let us know in the comments below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock

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Dub 29

Dubai Police Catch 10-Man Gang Responsible for Bitcoin Robbery

· April 29, 2018 · 4:00 pm

The Dubai police have arrested a 10-man gang that stole AED7 million (about $1.9 million USD) from a prospective bitcoin buyer. The arrest comes less than 48 hours after the police received a report of the robbery incident. Police authorities say recently integrated artificial intelligence (AI) technology in the police force helped with the timely arrest of the gang.


How the Alleged Bitcoin Robbery Occurred

According to the details released by the police, the gang lured two brothers looking to buy bitcoin. The 10-man gang was led by a GCC national and other members are of Asian origins. The two brothers had apparently been trying to find bitcoin sellers when they came across the gang.

The alleged thieves convinced the brothers that they had bitcoin to sell and set up a meeting. In the interim, the gang reportedly tricked a shop owner into obtaining his shop on the pretext of inspecting it in lieu of purchase. As it turns out, the shop owner was looking to sell the shop.

the bitcoin robbers

The alleged 10-man gang

Having obtained the shop for the evening, the gang laid an ambush for the brothers. Some members of the gang were in the shop while the others stood sentry outside. As soon as the brothers entered the shop, they were waylaid by the gang members.

According to Lt. Colonel Al Joker, the director of the Dubai Police Criminal Investigation Department (CID), the gang was armed with guns and sharp objects. They managed to subdue the brothers and steal the money before subsequently fleeing the scene. The robbery occurred in the Al Muraqabbat area on April 25.

A Word of Caution for Prospective Bitcoin Buyers

Commenting on the swift arrest of the gang, Major General Abdullah Khalifa Al Merri, the Commander-In-Chief of Dubai Police, praised the efforts of his men. He also commended the fact that they were able to track down the criminals despite the lack of physical evidence at the crime scene. The police chief also reserved praise for the Analysis Center and its use of AI in tracking down the gang.

Major General Abdullah also sounded a note of warning to prospective bitcoin buyers. He urged them to patronize official channels when buying cryptocurrency to avoid falling prey to robbers. The money has since been returned to the brothers.

The recovered money

The money recovered by Police

Cryptocurrency related theft isn’t only limited to the cyberspace. Being valuable assets, people have been targeted by robbers on account of their crypto holdings. In February 2018, news broke out of a robbery that resulted in the theft of 18 bitcoins in Taiwan.

What are your thoughts on bitcoin robberies? Do you think they are as serious as cyber-based cryptocurrency hacks? Please share your views in the comment section below.


Image courtesy of the Gulf News, the Dubai Police, Shutterstock

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Pro 19

Youbit Exchange Files For Bankruptcy As Hackers Wipe 17% Of Assets

· December 19, 2017 · 4:30 am

South Korean exchange Youbit has announced it is filing for bankruptcy after hackers stole 17% of its net assets.


‘Very Sorry (Again)’

In an announcement on its homepage since reported by various news outlets, the relatively unknown exchange, which is not to be confused with the similarly-named Yobit.net, said it had made “every effort” to stay afloat.

A previous hack in April saw 4000 BTC covertly leave Youbit’s books, an episode from which the exchange never fully recovered.

“I am very sorry to inform you again with the sad news,” the announcement reads.

After the accident in April, we made every effort to strengthen security, recruit personnel, and reduce hot wallet storage… In the meantime, due to the hacking of our company at 4:35 in the morning, funds have been lost from your wallet.

A Wild West Of North-South Korean Hackings

The news comes amid increasing reports of malicious activity involving South Korean Bitcoin exchanges perpetrated by North Korean entities.

Claims hackers have stolen millions of dollars in cryptocurrency over an extended period are circulating in the mainstream press, while even the South’s biggest exchange Bithumb has been left shaken by losses this year.

Youbit has said it will go through a formal bankruptcy procedure to minimize customer fallout, but that balances would still auto-adjust to a fraction of their former worth, with the aim to refund once formal proceedings are over.

“Through various measures such as the sale of cyber comprehensive insurance (3 billion [won]) and the operating rights of the company, the loss to members is expected to be lower than 17%… I will make every effort to minimize this,” the announcement continues.

Only a day earlier, Blockchain CEO Peter Smith warned CNBC viewers that the time was ripe for another major hack in the Bitcoin space.

“We see attacks and breaches about every six months – major breaches – so we’re probably due for one in the next month or two,” he told the network.

What do you think about Youbit’s filing for bankruptcy? Let us know in the comments below!


Images courtesy of Shutterstock

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