Kvě 04

Gift Off Noted US$290k Monthly Turnover In Bitcoin

Source: bitcoin

Bitcoinist_Bitcoin Turnover Gift Card

Bitcoin is a booming business in the United Kingdom, assuming one knows how to play their cards right. Gift Off, a company specializing in selling gift cards for Bitcoin, recorded an all-time high turnover in February of 2016.

Also read: Credits Brings Blockchain-as-a-service To UK Public Sector

Gift Off Turnover Is Impressive

Cryptocurrency enthusiasts in the United Kingdom will have heard of Gift Off before, as this Norwich-based online shop sells gift cards in exchange for Bitcoin payments. Up until this point, the company has sold close to GBP2.1m worth of gift cards, of which over GBP200k was processed last month.

Considering how Gift Off is focusing on various gift cards, it seems there is a growing demand for buying these cards with Bitcoin. Plenty of Bitcoin users are on the lookout for gift cards, especially when it comes to everyday shopping purposes. HS Samuel, one of the available options,  is not exactly your run-of-the-mill store, but they have an appeal to Bitcoin users who are looking to buy rings and jewelry.

This is not the first venture for Gift Off co-founder Rusty Nash, as he sold Amazon gift cards in exchange for Bitcoin in the past. However, that business model was not as scalable as he wanted it to be, which is why he went into business as Gift Off. Interestingly enough, Amazon now supplies gift cards to this UK company at a discount, allowing for higher profit margins.

Given the limited number of use cases Bitcoin offers to the average consumer, there is a significant opportunity when selling gift cards in exchange for Bitcoin. To cover the costs of obtaining the cards itself, Gift Off converts their Bitcoin at one of the many UK exchanges, converting the necessary funds to Pound Sterling.

The success of this Norwich-based company has not gone by unnoticed, as Gift Off is currently rounding up investments, which has resulted in over GBP30,000 being raised so far. It is impossible to deny the success this business has had so far, and projections indicate yearly revenue could increase by as much as 130% compared to 2015.

What are your thoughts on the success of this company? Would you run a similar business in your country? Let us know in the comments below!

Source: EDP24

Images courtesy of Gift Off, Shutterstock

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Gift Off Noted US0k Monthly Turnover In Bitcoin

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Kvě 02

New Ransomware Strains No Longer Want Your Bitcoin

Source: bitcoin

Bitcoinist_Lansing Board of Water and Light

Most people around the world are well aware of the potential effect ransomware could have on their computer. But in some cases, the effects are far more dire, as a Michigan municipal utility had to shut down all of their services. However, instead of asking for a Bitcoin ransom, the Internet criminals want gift cards.

Also read: UniChange Giveaway: Free Virtual Bitcoin Debit Card

Ransomware Developers Moving Away From Bitcoin?

Although the world of ransomware is constantly evolving, several features and properties have remained the same through the past few years. One of those properties was how ransomware victims would have to pay a fee in Bitcoin, as internet criminals felt this was the best way to  receive anonymous payments online.

As it turns out, that situation is coming to change, albeit internet criminals are becoming far more aggressive with their attacks. A utility company in Michigan was recently infected with malware, which was spread through a malicious email attachment. Due to this infection, the company was forced to shut down all of their internal systems, as well as the customer assistance phone line.

It appears as if there is a new form of ransomware making the rounds, which does not want victims to pay in Bitcoin. This comes as quite a surprise, considering how crypto-ransomware has been quite the profitable business for internet criminals in recent years. Moreover, the installed antivirus on the utility company’s network was unable to detect the malware, as only three types of software are currently capable of doing so.

What is rather surprising is how ransomware developers are currently looking to get victims to pay in gift cards, rather than Bitcoin. Although a gift card does not necessarily include personal information of the recipient, these codes are easier to track than Bitcoin payments ever have been. Cards from Amazon and iTunes seem to be among the favorites, for the time being.

But there is also a good reason as to why internet criminals would like to obtain these gift cards, as they can be easily resold on the Internet. This removes any form of leaking information regarding the involved parties altogether, as the recipient who uses this gift card will be the one getting flagged in the databases.

What are your thoughts on ransomware developers preferring gift cards over bitcoin for ransom payments? Let us know in the comments below!

Source: NetworkWorld

Images courtesy of Shutterstock, BWL

The post New Ransomware Strains No Longer Want Your Bitcoin appeared first on Bitcoinist.net.

New Ransomware Strains No Longer Want Your Bitcoin

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