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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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Led 14

Pay Up or Else! Indiana Hospital Latest Victim of Ransomware Attack

· January 14, 2018 · 7:15 am

Hancock Regional Hospital in Indiana is the latest victim of a ransomware attack by hackers who are demanding a payment in bitcoins.


Technology is definitely a two-edged blade. The lightning-fast speed offered by the internet allows for people to connect instantly with each other from all over the world. Movies can be streamed, video conferences attended, and online games played due to the innovations made in tech over the last twenty years. On the flip side, such connectivity also allows criminals to target individuals and businesses from anywhere in the world just by the use of some malicious code. The latest example of this is a hospital in Indiana that has suffered a ransomware attack.

Hospital Held Hostage

Hackers making ransomware attacks are becoming increasingly commonplace. Sadly, even hospitals are now being targeted by criminals. Hancock Regional Hospital, located in Indiana, revealed that they had been attacked last Thursday evening.

Hospital employees were aware of the attack immediately. However, hackers were able to affect the hospital’s internal operating systems, email system, and electronic health records. Hospital officials stress that no patient information was compromised. The hackers demanded a sum of bitcoins to release the systems, but the hospital has refused to pay. (The total amount of the demanded ransom has not been released.)

Using Pen and Paper

The hospital initially had an IT incident response company look into the matter, but it turns out the attack was beyond their scope. Now the FBI has been called in.

Fortunately, the hospital is still able to function despite the ransomware attack. However, they are now forced to keep pen and paper records.

The official statement from Hancock Regional Hospital about the hacking attack states:

Hancock Regional Hospital has been the victim of a criminal act by an unknown party that attempted to shut down out operations via our information systems by locking our computer network and demanding payment for a digital key to unlock it. Unfortunately this sort of behavior is widespread in the world today, and we had the misfortune to be next on the list. We are working closely with an IT incident response company and national law enforcement. At this time, we are deep into the analysis of the situation and see no indication that patient records have been removed from our network. In addition to excellent performance by our IT Department, our clinical teams have performed exceptionally well, and patient care has not been compromised. Our doors are open at Hancock Regional Hospital.

A Growing Problem

Hancock Regional Hospital is the latest in a long line of businesses and entities that have suffered a ransomware attack. Credit agency Equifax was hit with a $2.3 ransom demand back in September. Then the Sacramento Regional Transit system was attacked in November, with the hackers demanding a single bitcoin in ransom. Last December saw the county government of Mecklenburg, North Carolina, having their server files held for a 2 bitcoin ransom.

It’s a given that ransomware attacks are going to continue. The fact that every government agency, business, and health care facility are all connected online provides an abundance of victims that hackers can target, no matter where they’re located in the world.

Do you think the hospital should pay the ransomware demand? Will such attacks increase in frequency in the near future? Let us know what you think in the comments below.


Images courtesy of Pixabay, Pxhere, and Bitcoinist archives.

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Říj 28

Law Firms are Opening Bitcoin Wallets in Anticipation of Potential Ransomware Attacks

· October 27, 2017 · 9:00 pm

With the recent rise of ransomware attacks targeting corporations worldwide, law firms are taking what many are deeming ‘appropriate’ preemptive security measures.


WannaCry 2.0

WannaCry 2.0

In the last couple of years, many corporations and businesses have been affected by ransomware, malware and other hacking attacks. This year hackers were able to successfully attack several big corporations and government agencies. In May 2017, hackers were able to infect hundreds of thousands of computers with an advanced malware called ‘WannaCry’. According to cybersecurity experts, the hackers were able to infect over 300,000 computers worldwide. The countries that were the most affected by the attacks were Russia, Taiwan, and Ukraine, however, the attack was also able to infect western countries.

In Germany, the biggest railway operator Deutsche Bank was also a victim of the WannaCry ransomware. The British National Health Service was also one of the major victims of the WannaCry ransomware. WannaCry was able to slip into computers through phishing attacks and malicious files that users downloaded. The advanced ransomware is able to completely encrypt the hard drives of the computer that it infects. After the ransomware successfully encrypts the hard drives and all files, it will ask the victim to pay a ransom in Bitcoin in order to decrypt the hard drive and make accessible again for the victim. IT experts are warning users not to pay the ransom since there is no guarantee that the hard drive will actually decrypt after the ransom was paid.

Prepared for the Worst but Hoping for the Best

Prepared for the Worst but Hoping for the Best

After the devasting WannaCry attack, many corporations and government agencies took major steps in order to upgrade their cybersecurity infrastructure. According to a recent article by Business Insider, several law firms are preemptively preparing for such attacks by opening up Bitcoin wallets.

The president of cybersecurity and IT of LogicForce, John Sweeny, stated that LogicForce will soon open a Bitcoin wallet, in case they become victims of ransomware. Sweeny also stated following regarding the whole situation:

We are predicting there are going to be more sophisticated attempts to intrude at firms that work with highly visible clients whose IP or business information is extremely valuable,

IT experts are advising big corporations and government agencies to invest more in cybersecurity and be more careful with the software that they install in their networks.

What are your thoughts on the WannaCry attack? Do you think that more law firms should open Bitcoin wallets in order to pay the ransom on time? Let us know in the comments below!


Images courtesy of Pixabay

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