Úno 06

FUD Storm Continues as China Steps Up Pressure Against Cryptocurrencies

· February 6, 2018 · 9:00 am

Following false fears of a Bitcoin ban in India, the FUD storm continues as China looks to completely eradicate cryptocurrency trading—but can they succeed?

Chinese FUD Strikes Again

It’s been a rough month for Bitcoin and the cryptocurrency market. The price of the dominant cryptocurrency has dropped below $8,000, and many altcoins have suffered even more significant losses, following a seemingly endless flood of FUD (Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt) from mainstream media outlets.

Now, it appears the FUD of the day is that China, already notoriously unfriendly towards cryptocurrency, is ready to block all access to cryptocurrency trading websites and initial coin offerings (ICOs) by utilizing its notorious Great Firewall of China.


The troublesome story comes primarily from Financial News, a publication affiliated with the People’s Bank of China (PBOC), which is quoted as stating:

To prevent financial risks, China will step up measures to remove any onshore or offshore platforms related to virtual currency trading or ICOs.

Since then, advertisements for cryptocurrencies have reportedly stopped appearing on both Baidu and Weibo—China’s largest search engine and social media platform, respectively.

Scaling the Wall

Though China continues to be an enemy of cryptocurrency, it remains to be seen whether or not their increased measures have a greater effect than their already-instituted domestic ban.

According to the South China Morning Post, the PBOC-affiliated article admitted that recent attempts to eradicate digital currencies by shutting down domestic exchanges haven’t worked as well as planned, quoting:

ICOs and virtual currency trading did not completely withdraw from China following the official ban … after the closure of the domestic virtual currency exchanges, many people turned to overseas platforms to continue participating in virtual currency transactions. Overseas transactions and regulatory evasion have resumed.

The Financial News’ article also spins the planned ban as being for the protection of the country’s citizens, stating:

Risks are still there, fuelled by illegal issuance, and even fraud and pyramid selling.

China has already banned ICOs and domestic cryptocurrency exchanges, but many eager investors inside the country have found workarounds. According to Donald Zhao, a Bitcoin trader who moved to Tokyo following China’s domestic ban, China’s new regulations might succeed in making it even harder for individuals to circumvent the law:

It is common for people to use VPNs [virtual private networks] to trade cryptocurrencies, as many exchange platforms relocated to Japan or Singapore … I think the new move literally means it would be even harder to circumvent the ban in China … people promoting related business programmes may be arrested.

Still, where there’s a will, there’s a way, and people who really want to trade cryptocurrencies will likely figure out how to do so in secret.


Though stricter regulations in China aren’t going to help the market recover any faster, it’s worth mentioning that other countries are set to benefit. According to Cathay Capital’s Ace Yang:

It’s positive news for Japan and Singapore, because demand for participating in trading is not diminishing and traders have got to go somewhere.

What do you think about China’s claim to increase measures against cryptocurrency trading? Do you think it will have any long-term effects, or is it just another case of FUD? Let us know in the comments below!

Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Bitcoinist archives.

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Čvn 19

How the Verge Totally Misrepresented the DAO, and Bitcoin

Source: bitcoin

Verge DAO

According to The Verge’s Russell Brandom, The recent attack on the DAO is somehow related to the past failings of Bitcoin.

Also read: Technical Analysis: Long-Term Bitcoin Price Corrections to Come?

That’s right: your eyes are not playing tricks on you, I promise that you read that correctly.

I’ve seen my share of tinfoil-hatting on the subject of cryptocurrency and security, but Brandom’s conflation of these two completely different technologies takes the cake. The sheer ignorance required to put pen to paper and excrete a work like his recent article on the subject is astounding, but apparently achievable, as he so readily demonstrates.

For those  of you that aren’t fond of supporting the spread of FUD through ad revenue, I’ve compiled a few highlights:

“To understand how this could have happened, it’s necessary to know a little bit about how Ethereum works. The system is built on the same blockchain that powers Bitcoin.”

Indeed. ETH uses SHA256 based proof-of-work, all ETH transactions are logged transparently on the Bitcoin blockchain, bitcoin miners are rewarded in ETH upon a successful payout, changes to Ethereum need Bitcoin node consensus, and Vitalik Buterin continues to be one of the primary contributors to the Bitcoin specification.

Here’s an example of an equally accurate statement: ammonia is healthy to drink, because it’s a liquid, just like water.

“In hindsight, it’s easy to blame the developers for not spotting the problem early enough, but the nature of the DAO project put them at a disadvantage. A coder building a web database has decades of code and security standards to draw on, but coding on the blockchain is a completely new field.”

Oh, of course! We all know that traditional stores of personal information, financial services and networks are immune to malicious actors, because the technology they rely upon is older!

How naive of me to assume that an open source, frequently audited technology based on cryptography could have ever been secure when it isn’t based on protocols and standards from the early 80’s.

Regardless of the fact that this assumption about blockchain technologies recklessly ignores the scale of theft and fraud in traditional fintech, it also directly contradicts his previous statement about the DAO developers’ awareness of the vulnerability.

He is in effect claiming that not only are blockchain technologies hopelessly insecure because they are new, (because apparently traditional best security practices cannot transfer to new technologies) but also that the DAO developers, who knew about the bug, and decided not to halt trading, unlike several other similar DAOs, were not negligent.

The attack on the DAO clearly wasn’t a failing of blockchain security. Plenty of other DAOs are fine. The attack was a failing of people. The same people that claimed that the titanic Ethereum-based organization was unsinkable. They failed to address a publicly-known vulnerability properly, and there were consequences to their actions.

“Theft is a long-standing problem for cryptocurrency, particularly for any institution large enough to make a tempting target. In 2014, the foundational Bitcoin exchange Mt Gox was revealed as massively insolvent in the wake of a $400 million theft, an event that resulted in permanent damage to the currency’s reputation.”

I honestly don’t have it in me to mock this one.

Theft is a long standing problem with people, and this issue we collectively have applies to anything worth stealing, not just cryptocurrency.

This line of reasoning also dictates that no one should use knives because “Stabbings have been a long standing problem for knives, particularly with any blade large enough to puncture the skin.” But polearms, bayonettes, hatchets, axes, and the like are safer, because they don’t look like knives.

The Verge Doesn’t Know Much About the DAO, or Digital Currency in General

Brandom Could’ve just as easily used the 145 million account PayPal breach that happened the same year as Mt. Gox, or the $21 billion USD of US credit card fraud that occurred in 2014 alone to make his point about security, but he equates two unrelated thefts, on two distinct cryptocurrencies, because they both show up in the buzzword tag-cloud when you search for the term “blockchain.”

Mt. Gox and the DAO attack did not stem from problems with the underlying technology of cryptocurrency, but failings with the people behind them.

In the case of Mt. Gox, it was trusting the people in charge of the exchange to secure the traditional, web-facing elements of their business properly. For the DAO, it was an issue of trusting the developers to respond promptly to security problems, just like every other competently put together DAO did.

Sure, Bitcoin is an easy target, but that doesn’t excuse the lazy and inaccurate comparisons drawn between Mt. Gox, the DAO attack, Ethereum, and Bitcoin, nor the intellectually bankrupt reasoning behind the comparisons.

Whether they stem from ignorance on the subject of cryptocurrency or sheer lack of due diligence, I’d take anything Russell writes related to the field with a grain of salt moving forward.

I genuinely don’t know which is worse: the ignorant and fallacious assertions made by Brandom in his article, or that the Verge saw fit to print his drivel.

What do you think about mainstream coverage of the DAO incident? Is it accurate? Let us know in the comments below!

Image courtesy of Ethereum.

The post How the Verge Totally Misrepresented the DAO, and Bitcoin appeared first on Bitcoinist.net.

How the Verge Totally Misrepresented the DAO, and Bitcoin