Bře 22

UK’s New Taskforce Means Cryptocurrency is Here to Stay

· March 22, 2018 · 12:30 pm

The United Kingdom is ready to release the hounds on the cryptocurrency market, with a task force set to investigate both the benefits and the risks of digital currencies.

Taking Cryptocurrency to Task

Britain’s department of finance, the Treasury, unveiled its task force readied to weigh the pros and cons of cryptocurrencies.

The United Kingdom’s interest in investigating cryptocurrency stems from the desire to not fall behind their geopolitical and economic rivals. UK Finance Minister Philip Hammond stated:

I am committed to helping the sector grow and flourish, and our ambitious sector strategy sets out how we will ensure the U.K. remains at the cutting edge of the digital revolution.

However, the no-longer-interested-in-being-European country hasn’t been particularly pro-cryptocurrency, and that’s not likely to change. Rather, it’s likely more interested in co-opting blockchain technology for its own traditional financial institutions. Said Hammond:

As part of that, a new task force will help the U.K. to manage the risks around crypto assets, as well as harnessing the potential benefits of the underlying technology.

The task force includes the Bank of England and the Financial Conduct Authority — neither of which has shown support to Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies in the past. Earlier this month, Bank of England Governor Mark Carney — who has a long history of anti-cryptocurrency rhetoric — stated:

The short answer is: [cryptocurrencies are] failing. Cryptocurrencies are poor stores of value. Over the past 5 years, the daily standard deviation of Bitcoin was 10x that of sterling […] This extreme volatility reflects that the cryptocurrencies have neither intrinsic value nor external backing.

Whether the task force’s conclusions match Carney’s sentiment remains to be seen.

Building Bridges

Australia coat of amrs

Britain’s new cryptocurrency task force is but one part of the sovereign state’s financial technology strategy, which also includes penning a deal with Australia. The two countries’ “fintech bridge” will afford British firms the ability to sell their products and services in Australia, while both countries work together on crafting policies and regulation on digital currencies, blockchain technology, and fintech.

After signing the deal, Britain’s Innovate Finance and Australia’s Fintech Australia will advise the governments of both countries in matters relating to financial technology. Innovate Finance’s Charlotte Croswell claimed the “fintech bridge” is an “excellent opportunity” for both countries.

What do you think of the UK’s new cryptocurrency task force? Do you expect more FUD, or perhaps a little bit of FOMO? Let us know in the comments below!

Images courtesy of Wikipedia Commons, Pixabay, Shutterstock

Show comments

Bře 21

Altcoin Bear Market ‘Over’, Bitcoin ‘Less Miserable,’ Tom Lee Declares

· March 21, 2018 · 1:30 pm

Fundstrat Global Advisors’ Tom Lee has declared the altcoin bear market “is over” and urged investors to buy Bitcoin.

Tom Lee: Investors ‘More Comfortable’ With Bitcoin

In a note to investors which he followed up live on CNBC’s Fast Money segment, the firm’s head of research said investors were becoming “more comfortable” with Bitcoin as an asset.

Cryptocurrencies began rallying this week after the ongoing G20 Summit produced positive regulatory noises from the outset.

Tom Lee

“I think the headlines were less draconian than many people were worried about, but that’s really been the case every time there’s been a regulatory event,” Lee told CNBC.

The reality is I think Bitcoin is starting sit away from the line[…] I think investors are comfortable that Bitcoin is likely to viewed as a commodity; whether regulations change around security tokens and registration, Bitcoin sits in its own sphere.

Bitcoin Misery Index Perks Up At $9k

Altcoins had felt the pressure from Bitcoin’s downward trend, showing a delayed response after BTC/USD began falling late December but with many assets subsequently falling more steeply.

According to observations from Lee and his team, this trend bottomed out around March 20, and could now point to new upside, subject to a similar delay to the initial descent.

“The altcoins don’t really rally until mid-August, mid-September,” he forecast, adding that ‘altcoin’ for Fundstrat meant cryptocurrencies outside the top 50 by market cap.

In terms of buying Bitcoin, however, Lee hinted now was the time. Using his Bitcoin Misery Index, which Bitcoinist previously reported on earlier this month, he told viewers that Bitcoin’s score was still within the ‘buy zone’ below 27 out of 100.

At the time Lee issued the index, that score was just 18. “It’s still in the zone of misery, but of course it’s less miserable,” he added.

Lightning Network Is Happening! First Physical Item Purchased on LN

Technical upgrades such as a Lightning Network production beta last week have contributed to broader positive sentiment on Bitcoin meanwhile, with Weiss upgrading its rating for the cryptocurrency from C+ to B-.

BTC/USD was holding support around $9000 on major exchanges as of press time March 21.

What do you think about Tom Lee’s altcoin forecast? Let us know in the comments below!

Images courtesy of Shutterstock, CNBC.com

Show comments

Bře 20

4 Ways Criminals Are Trying to Cash out Their Bitcoin

· March 20, 2018 · 2:30 pm

Due to the increased spotlight on cryptocurrency, criminals are finding it more difficult to cash out their Bitcoin for fiat, but they are finding ways to do so.

A common media portrayal is that of a criminal who plies their trade on the Dark Web and amassing a fortune in Bitcoin. It is true that the daddy of cryptocurrency can be used for all manner of illicit transactions, but an interesting phenomenon is now occurring. While some criminals have amassed a veritable fortune in bitcoins, they are finding it increasingly difficult to cash out the cryptocurrency to fiat. However, they are finding some ingenious ways to do so.


A Hard Knock Life

A recent report by Vice highlights this issue that criminals are having. People who conduct illicit business on the Dark Web, such as selling stolen information or malware, are making some serious money, but they are facing obstacles in converting that digital wealth into actual fiat currency.

The main reason for this problem is that cryptocurrency is the victim of its own success. The massive surge in value towards the end of 2017 shone a very bright spotlight upon the cryptocurrency sphere, catching the attention of law enforcement and regulatory bodies.

The increasing acceptance of cryptocurrency has led to more regulations being put into place, such as exchanges requiring verifiable information from its users. Law enforcement has also become more adept at infiltrating the seedy underbelly of the crypto sphere, not to mention keeping a sharp eye on large-scale transactions.

Some Savvy Criminals

This increased scrutiny has led criminals to try to cash out their Bitcoin. Swiss bankers have reported being contacted and offered a 10% payment if they could facilitate large-scale transfers; offers that they have, so far, rejected.


However, criminals can be an ingenious lot at times. A few methods for cashing out their bitcoins were revealed to Vice. One such method is using Western Union. An online drug dealer says he uses services that will automatically transfer cryptocurrency to accounts belonging to Western Union. Then he uses another person to pick up the fiat.

Probably the safest way to cash out is to sell the Bitcoin to a trusted person in the real world. A malware seller tells Vice that he regularly sells cryptocurrency to a local person a few times per week, who then leaves a bag of cash on their porch a few hours after the crypto is transferred. Another method is to work with a company that charges pre-paid debit cards with cryptocurrency. Criminals note that the card issuer does not know what is being used to charge the card as another company handles that. If the card requires some documents, fake ones can be procured on the Dark Web.

Law enforcement notes that another viable option for criminals is to use a bank in Eastern Europe. Regulations dealing with cryptocurrency are much more lax in that particular region. In fact, Europe is currently known as a weak link when it comes to money-laundering and cryptocurrency. Even now, such enforcement is not high on the EU list of priorities, which is something that cybercriminals are very aware of. In addition, criminals are now moving away from Bitcoin and into other cryptocurrencies that are far more private.

Do you think criminals will always find a way to cash out their cryptocurrencies? Let us know in the comments below.

Images courtesy of Pexels, Pixabay, and Bitcoinist archives.

Show comments

Bře 19

Ovato to Revolutionize the Loyalty and Rewards Industry

· March 19, 2018 · 1:45 pm

According to data from CoinSchedule, initial coin offerings (ICOs) have raised almost $3 billion year-to-date, which includes Telegram’s pre-sale that targeted $850 million. It seems that 2018 will become another record year for the ICOs. If you missed the recent crowdfunding events, don’t worry – the most interesting ones are still to come.

One of the exciting projects that we want to discuss today is Ovato, a decentralized ecosystem used to create and monitor social media-oriented advertising campaigns. The blockchain-based system will involve merchants, social media influences, and customers. It will revolve around Ovato Coin, with the ticker OVT, which is currently released via a multi-stage ICO.

The Ovato Coin will be used for loyalty and rewards programs, charity, and other use cases focused on the merchant-client relationships.

The OVT token can enjoy a guaranteed success given that it will be distributed on top of Bitovation, a California-based Ovato subsidiary that helps clients get rebates in Bitcoin. Currently, Bitovation is already working with 950 US-based brands.

How Will Ovato Coin Be Used?

How Will Ovato Coin Be Used?

Prior to explaining the specific use cases of Ovato, we should stress the fact that this token can be used the same as any other cryptocurrency out there, such as Bitcoin. OVT will provide users with immediate settlement so that the latter ones could pay with Ovato or transfer it to someone else in exchange for goods, services or other digital currencies.

However, Ovato wants to address the multi-billion dollar loyalty rewards market, so it will have many similarities with the way Bitcoin is used under the Bitovation project. In other words, brands and agencies will use Ovato’s system to conduct marketing campaigns, while brand influencers and loyal clients will earn OVTs by supporting brands or regularly buying goods. Eventually, they will be able to use OVT tokens to pay merchants or convert them to fiat money.

Ovato-based loyalty programs will ultimately encourage brand recognition among consumers, which is expected to trigger the establishment of clear habit patterns that favor both the company and its loyal customers. It’s a win-win situation for all the parties involved.

Besides the mentioned use cases, the Ovato token will be applied in charity programs. Today, 90% of the donations don’t reach their destinations. This is a sad statistic that exposes the centralized charity agencies. A significant portion of non-for-profits’ failure is the result of inefficiencies. Donations with Ovato will be transparent and secure thanks to the blockchain technology.

Ovato ICO

To achieve its goal, the Ovato team calculated that it needed to raise $30.35 million via a public token sale event, which already started on February 28 with its pre-sale period.
The ICO event was split into more periods as follows:

  • 96-hour pre-sale – this four-day period came with a 70% discount of the OVT token. Thus, investors could buy coins at a price of only $0.60. Just 1 million tokens were available for this crowdfunding stage. The investors had to buy at least 1000 tokens at once.
  • Lot A token sale – this is the current phase that ends on March 26, so you can jump in and buy OVT tokens now, as they come with a 50% discount. Accordingly, can buy OVTs at a price of $0.95 per token. 5 million tokens will be offered during this stage.
  • Lot B token sale – the third stage will succeed the Lot A phase and will end on April 17. Investors will be able to buy OVT tokens at a price of $1.50, which suggests a discount of 25%. 7 million tokens will be sold then.
  • Lot C token sale – this lot is scheduled for the period between April 18 and May 9. You will be able to buy OVT tokens for $1.75, which means a 12.5% discount. A hard cap of 6 million tokens is planned for this stage.
  • Lot D token sale – finally, the Lot D phase will start on May 10 and will keep live until the last day of the month or until the target amount is raised. 2 million OVTs will be distributed at the full price of $2 per token.

Investors can buy OVT tokens by paying with Ethereum, Bitcoin, Litecoin, and Dash. Note that Ovato is an ERC20-based token created on top of Ethereum via Solidity programming language. Thus, you will be able to hold your tokens on any ERC20-compatible wallet.

The tokens will be distributed as follows: 50% for the pre-sale and ICO, 14% for the team, 16% for affiliate marketers and advisors, 15% for the distribution partners, and 5% for bounty.

The Final Note

The loyalty and reward markets currently estimated at $65 billion and are expected to reach $100 billion by 2020. This is a vast territory that has to be addressed with innovative technologies, such as blockchain.

Ovato might enjoy a guaranteed success given that it’s one of the first startups to apply the distributed ledger technology in this huge industry. It wants to reduce the loyalty program costs by 87% and also ensure the transparent and secure manner of processes.

Besides, Ovato is targeting the $400 billion charity industry, which struggles with several problems caused by the way traditional agencies handle their programs.

If you want to become part of Ovato’s success, make sure you participate in its public token sale at the earliest stage possible, so that you could enjoy generous discounts.

Don’t hesitate to check Ovato’s whitepaper here.

Images courtesy of Ovato

Bitcoinist does not endorse and is not responsible for or liable for any content, accuracy, quality, advertising, products or other materials on this page. Readers should do their own research before taking any actions related to the company.

Show comments

Bře 18

Gift Cards and Paxful Offer Economic Options to the Global Unbanked

· March 18, 2018 · 1:00 pm

The global unbanked have been frozen out of most economic ecosystems, but Paxful is changing this through the selling of gift cards on their cryptocurrency exchange.

The rich and elite have a lot of options when it comes to economic decisions. They can invest in gold, stocks, bonds, precious gems, artwork, real estate, automobiles, and cryptocurrency. The only snag they face is the wait to convert the value of one asset into another, but such a problem is a minor one indeed. By contrast, the unbanked are essentially locked out of most economic ecosystems due to having to physically hand over fiat for goods and services. Even getting involved in cryptocurrency is an issue for the unbanked, but Paxful is offering an unexpected gateway: gift cards.

Even Cryptocurrency Has Obstacles for the Unbanked

The number of individuals with a bank account has increased over the last few years, but the problems facing the unbanked and underbanked still exist. In the United States alone, there are 10 million households that are either underbanked or unbanked. Worldwide, the total number of the unbanked is two billion souls. As such, they do not have access to a financial institution in any manner.

As one can imagine, this puts severe limitations on an individual’s economic freedom. All transactions have to be made face-to-face and in cash. This situation puts the unbanked at the mercy of those who would economically exploit them as they have no other options. What good is it to know that an item costs 60% less online if you’re unable to purchase anything online?

Cryptocurrency is viewed as an outlet of economic freedom for people, but even this has some obstacles for the unbanked to face. Almost every cryptocurrency exchange requires the use of a financial account (checking account, debit card, credit card, etc.) as well as identifying documents in order to use it. The unbanked do not have access to these items, which means they would normally be locked out of engaging in the cryptocurrency sphere. Fortunately, Paxful is working hard to make a difference by offering the unbanked hundreds of options to engage in the virtual currency sphere without the need of a bank account.

iTunes gift cards

Gift Cards Offer Economic Access

The humble gift card that a person can buy at any small shop or gas station offers access to the global economy via cryptocurrency. Paxful hosts the fourth busiest Bitcoin wallet by volume, but their status is often ignored due to the low amount of their transactions. People aren’t normally sending hundreds or thousands of dollars per transaction on Paxful, but the p2p network embraces this reality as their goal is to offer an economic lifeline to the developing world.

The number one gift card used by the unbanked on Paxful is iTunes. Last week, a total of $6,635,517 was converted into cryptocurrency via iTunes gift cards, with an average transaction amount of $97. The second most traded card on the Paxful platform is the Amazon gift card. This card featured an average amount of $84 per transaction, and the total volume for the last week was almost $2.5 million. Rounding out the top five payment methods on Paxful are the eBay gift card, the Walmart gift card, and the Best Buy gift card.

Why does Paxful allow so many different gift cards to be used on their cryptocurrency exchange? The answer is that it fulfills their goal of offering economic choices and freedom to people throughout the world, especially in regions that often lack stable financial structures. An unbanked person can easily venture into the crypto sphere and take full advantage of the global economic system just by wandering into a corner store, buying a popular gift card, and then exchanging it on the Paxful platform.

gift cards

Keeping Opportunity Alive

Gift cards are the doorways to a new economic reality for millions and millions of people across the globe. This is why Paxful works hard to keep them available for conversion on the platform, despite any difficulties they may bring. A particular case is the iTunes gift card. This card chews up a lot of the support staff’s time due to some issues, but Paxful refuses to drop it. As Ray Youssef, the co-founder of Paxful, notes:

We are the only p2p crypto service that deals with iTunes gift cards, why? All the others stopped supporting them because of the absolutely massive headache and near impossibility of proving proper account balances on iTunes gift cards. We have chosen to keep iTunes gift card support because it is still how the unbanked of Africa get their bitcoins. We refuse to abandon these unbanked users as the whole idea of bitcoin and Paxful is to help them.

In the end, it’s often the little things in life that make a big difference. Such is the case with the humble gift card. Paxful allows the selling of such cards on their platform as a means of allowing those with no access to the global financial network a way in. Allowing the unbanked to retain their dignity while allowing them to explore financial opportunities is a tremendous gift.

What do you think about Paxful enabling the unbanked to use gift cards to access the cryptocurrency market? Let us know in the comments below.

Images courtesy of Flickr/@401(K) 2012, YouTube/@Paxful, Pixabay, and Flickr/@arvind grover.

Bitcoinist does not endorse and is not responsible for or liable for any content, accuracy, quality, advertising, products or other materials on this page. Readers should do their own research before taking any actions related to the company.

Show comments

Bře 17

Despite Recent Volatility, Majority of Financial Experts Remain Bullish on Cryptocurrency

· March 17, 2018 · 2:00 pm

Despite recent market volatility and declining valuations, more than half of investors exposed to cryptocurrency plan on purchasing more over the next year.

Undeterred Optimism

Research conducted by international communications agency Citigate Dewe Rogerson has revealed that 56 percent of cryptocurrency investors are planning on purchasing more digital assets over the next 12 months.

Meanwhile, 31 percent of cryptocurrency investors are planning on holding all or selling some of their digital assets, while 8 percent plan on dumping it all.

Bitcoin volatility

Recent weeks have seen the prices of cryptocurrencies plummet. At press time, Bitcoin (BTC) is trading at $8,346.50, which is well off its all-time high of over $20K. Likewise, Ethereum (ETH) is trading at $608.65, Ripple (XRP) at $0.68, Litecoin (LTC) at $164.10, and Cardano (ADA) at $0.17 — all significantly lower than their peaks a few months ago.

Nevertheless, financial professionals reported optimism to Citigate. 54 percent noted that they expect the valuations of cryptocurrencies to rise over the next 12 months, citing increased regulation and adoption as positive drivers in price. On the other hand, 32 percent expect a drop. The same percentage of respondents also expect a “dramatic” increase in cryptocurrency valuation from now until 2021.

Citigate Dewe Rogerson executive director Phil Anderson told City A.M.:

At the start of the year, the market capitalisation for cryptocurrencies was around $800bn (£577bn), but by 2021 over half of the financial professionals (59 per cent) we interviewed expect it to be over $1 trillion, while 15 per cent anticipate it to be more than $2 trillion.

Tenfold Return in Bitcoin Over Three Years

This positive sentiment mirrors that of others in the financial industry — like Bitwise Asset Management Vice President of Research and Development Matt Hougan, who stated last month his belief that cryptocurrency is a multi-trillion dollar opportunity. Hougan explained:

The road between now and trillions of dollars will be extremely rocky … we could get there in a few months. We could get there in a few years. We could go down 50% before we get there … [but] I think the pathway to a trillion dollars eventually is fairly certain. How we get there is going to be volatile and uncomfortable. I think we’ll get there pretty soon, though. I wouldn’t be surprised if we ended the year with an accumulated market cap over a trillion dollars.

Are you planning on increasing your cryptocurrency portfolio, or are you looking to simply hold on to what you’ve got? Do you have plans to sell it all? Let us know in the comments below!

Images courtesy of AdobeStock, Bitcoinist archives, and Pixabay.

Show comments

Bře 15

This Controversial Project Could Make A Lot Of People Very Happy Soon

· March 15, 2018 · 2:00 pm

This year has been off to a shaky start. While 2017 was a record year, 2018 has barely lived up to its hype thus far. It’s not entirely hard to see why: one can simply look at the overall market charts for 2017 and see the extreme parabolic run, which eventually had to come to an end.

Bitcoin prices 2017

Much of the price appreciation is being attributed to premiums and arbitrages across different exchanges in different geographies. For example, the “kimchi Premium”, that was realized on cryptocurrency prices on exchanges in South Korea during the greater portion of 2017, which helped to cause excitement and bring more buys to different coins at different times. The arbitrage opportunities also created new volume and helped bring the price appreciations to stable levels and thus reality.

In traditional currency and asset exchanges, this doesn’t happen very much. As assets and currencies aren’t as intertwined globally. Or when they are, as in the case of ForEx, the trading fluctuations aren’t as vast or easily definable by normal people, and many opportunities go overlooked or are passed up by the majority of global investors or speculators. The ease of access and liquidity of cryptocurrency exchanges is revolutionizing free trade of currencies and assets. One project to take it a step further is OptiToken.io. OptiToken is arguing that the economics available currently in cryptocurrency and tokenization are revolutionary, and render traditional currency exchange and transfer mechanisms archaic.

By using three key features, OptiToken seeks to disrupt traditional currency by using Ethereum as a superior transfer protocol.

OptiToken performance vs. Bitcoin

Feature One: Algorithmic Trading

In a given basket of solid and established cryptocurrencies, one can typically find a series of price swings. Cryptocurrency is still in its infancy, it’s liquidity and 24-hour clock makes for constant peaks and valleys. If you study a given set of coins, those with consistent development and a hard-working community, you will find that there are swings which can produce regular opportunities to “squeeze profits” if traded properly. Think whack-a-mole, the idea is to sell on these peaks, not chase the mob and buy when a coin starts moving. Scalping and swing trading is quite common and for good reason.

A lot of traders make plenty of extra money on top of their standard core portfolio without needing to necessarily sell what they have to do so. In certain geo’s this type of operation could be problematic, but not for OptiToken who is a Cayman Island Exempt Corporation, meaning there’s literally $0 tax owed on these otherwise taxable trades in and out of positions. Tax liability and the lack of ability to implement strategies like 1031 like-kind exchanges to off-set these taxable events often cause people to realize the most optimal strategy by simply holding long-term meaning many opportunities must go to waste.

Feature Two: Strategic Buy Pressure

The nature of trades for OptiToken theoretically allows an opportunity to consistently close or exchange positions and account gains. When profitable events occur, the profit is immediately split into 2 parts. 84% is reinvested in the portfolio, while 16% is converted to BTC or ETH and used as direct buy pressure to purchase $OPTI on any exchange it is listed on. Their team recently blogged that, “they won’t entertain sketchy exchanges, they can list us if they want but they shouldn’t expect us to perform operations on their exchange necessarily.” So what exchanges to use? Exchange(s) with strong security, transparent management, and accounting and with sufficient user base. The team says, “exchanges will be openly announced upfront before the fact of course.”

Feature 3: Strategic Scarcity

This part of the operation can best be compared to a stock buy-back, or, for currencies, a stark rise in interest rates. This operation is price positive, except Opti offers an extra benefit. Instead of just keeping the bought tokens, they will all be sent to a publicly viewable unspendable address and destroyed. Also known sometimes as “blackhole addresses” this is a provably unspendable address utilized solely for burning tokens. Another benefit of cryptocurrency is that these “black hole addresses” are viewable on block explorers, adding a further element of public accounting transparency.

This is a first, it’s possible the project could hit road bumps. It’s also possible it could be responsible for the largest case of FOMO ever, upon opening. There’s no way to know as of now and we’ll just have to wait and see. I know for me I have my popcorn ready. The project is closed to residents of the U.S., China and Cayman Islands, but all other interested people can learn more here or register for their ICO starting April 1st at OptiToken.io or on Telegram.

Will algorithmic trading and a “hyper-deflationary cryptocurrency” like OptiToken lower the barrier of entry into crypto trading for newcomers? Let us know what you think in the comments below.

Images courtesy of CoinMarketCap, OptiToken, iStockPhoto

Bitcoinist does not endorse and is not responsible for or liable for any content, accuracy, quality, advertising, products or other materials on this page. Readers should do their own research before taking any actions related to the company.

Show comments

Bře 14

DADI ICO Investors Become Targets of Phishing Scams Amid Reports of Data Leak

· March 14, 2018 · 1:30 pm

In January of this year, DADI launched an ICO that required investors to undergo KYC (Know Your Customer) verification in order participate in the token sale. Investors were asked to provide personal information (full name, address, DOB, etc…) as well as upload a copy of their photo ID. According to recent reports, nearly all that personal data has been leaked and is now been used by scammers to try and steal people’s coins.

Users Voicing Complaints Censored

Over the past few days, DADI token sale investors have taken to Reddit, Telegram, and Twitter offering up reports of a coordinated phishing attack against those who signed up through DADI’s KYC customer process. The blockchain start-up was the victim of a data leak where user credentials such as names and email addresses were stolen by a team of hackers for use in this attack. In a disturbing turn, the DADI team appears to be silencing any reports of this attack on their social media channels, primarily their subreddit. DADI has publicly denounced the claims, saying any phishing attempt was from a hack on a “third party email marketing vendor” back in January.

Multiple emails from [email protected] found their way into user’s inboxes, attempting to resemble the official [email protected] email. Fake links to popular cryptocurrency websites were included, trying to get people to give up their private keys or passwords and steal their funds. Like the Binance phishing attack that happened earlier this year, the hackers used “punycode” techniques to create the fake internet addresses. Punycode allows for characters with a small dot underneath, the dot usually hidden by the underline many addresses have by default.

But Wait…There’s More!

This isn’t the first time DADI has been in the news for possible wrongdoing. Also in January of this year, the team was called out for plagiarizing huge portions of their whitepaper from other projects, most notably their competitor SONM. DADI responded to this allegation by stating that it was a mistake, and someone forgot to delete the portions from the whitepaper before it was released.

DADI phishing attack

Another blockchain based project and Airbnb competitor Bee Token was hit with a similar phishing attack last month. As more and more money moves into the crypto-currency space, scammers will continuously ramp up their efforts to defraud people of their hard-earned Bitcoins.

Were you involved with the DADI hack? What do you think about user security among scammy ICOs? Let us know in the comments below!

Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Pexels

Show comments

Bře 13

European Central Bank: Bitcoin ‘Not The Answer To Cashless Society’

· March 13, 2018 · 1:30 pm

The European Central Bank (ECB) claimed Bitcoin is “not the answer to a cashless society” March 13 while also casting doubt on bank-issued digital currencies.

Bitcoin ‘Spotlights System Failures’

In an “opinion piece” co-authored by Benoît Cœuré, ECB board member and chair of the Bank for International Settlements’ (BIS) Committee on Payments and Market Infrastructures, as well as chair of the BIS Markets Committee Jacqueline Loh, the bank argues Bitcoin represents a “challenge” due to banks’ failure to provide suitable international remittance options for consumers.

“Despite its many faults, bitcoin has put the spotlight on an old failing of our current system: cross-border retail payments,” they write.

…These payment channels are generally much slower, less transparent and way more expensive than domestic ones. Improvements here are the best way of rising to the bitcoin challenge.

ECB: ‘Jury’s Out’ On Central Bank Cryptocurrencies

The ECB has signalled a conspicuously hands-off approach to digital currency beyond its control in 2018.

Last month, chair of its Supervisory Board Daniele Nouy told mainstream media regulation of the phenomenon was “not exactly very high on its to-do list” and that EU banks’ involvement with cryptocurrency was “very, very low.”

This came despite the institution presiding over member states in which the ‘War on Cash’ is highly advanced, notably Sweden, where consumers have even voiced concerns over inclusivity.

Cœuré had forecast increasing interaction at an international level, saying during January’s World Economic Forum 2018 that he expected lawmakers to “focus very much on” cryptocurrency going forward.

While Blockchain remains a sphere of major interest for the EU, the financial aspects of cryptocurrency – whether decentralized or so-called central bank digital currencies (CBDC) – appear to hold less promise for the ECB.

“Still, it is not yet clear whether CBDCs for consumers and businesses are necessary or desirable. In other words, the jury is still out, and the answer will clearly differ country by country,” Cœuré and Loh concluded.

Beyond the EU’s borders, other countries are indeed successfully issuing CBDCs, notably Venezuela and the Marshall Islands, with Turkey and Iran showing interest in following suit.

What do you think about the ECB’s opinion on Bitcoin? Let us know in the comments below!

Images courtesy of Shutterstock

Show comments

Bře 12

Controversial Monaco Debit Card Progresses After 2 Years Of Delays

· March 12, 2018 · 1:30 pm

Controversial Bitcoin debit card issuer Monaco has finally begun closed beta testing after almost two years of development.

MCO Token Spikes After Months Of Tracking Bitcoin

Originally founded in June 2016, Monaco promises cryptocurrency spending at “perfect interbank exchange rates” but faced controversy after failed deals and drastic reworking of its product offering late last year.

Now, the company’s MCO token has regained some of the ground it lost since the time of Bitcoin’s own all-time highs in December, reaching $9.10 on Coinmarketcap. It had previously reached almost $19, before dropping to lows of $4.75 February 6 – also in line with Bitcoin.

Commenting on its sponsorship of the ongoing Money 20/20 event in Singapore, Monaco CEO Kris Marszalek described the unveiling of new products in light of the beta announcement as “revolutionary.”

“Together, they form a complete suite of revolutionary financial products and position Monaco as the first global financial institution built on blockchain, as well as, a destination platform for anyone interested in cryptocurrency,” he said.

A promotional video about the features will be seen by “100 million plus people in 2018,” Marszalek added on Twitter.

Dodgy Visa Partnerships And Price Crashes

Monaco’s path to release has been troublesome. In October 2017, Bloomberg ran a piece in which it debunked the company’s repeated claims it had a partnership with Visa.

While Visa finally approved Monaco’s offering to Singaporean residents in November, Monaco had said the partnership had been in place since May.

At the same time, a sudden change to the card’s roadmap saw a key feature in the form of smart asset contracts disappear, causing MCO to crash 40%.

The events led to a round of suspicion among cryptocurrency users, with accusations appearing online the product contained elements of a scam.

The cryptocurrency debit card industry as a whole remains a challenging environment this year. On and off-ramps into Bitcoin via exchanges are becoming increasingly cost-effective thanks to SegWit implementation, while cardholders continue to pay heavy premiums for the convenience of spending coins under the guise of legacy payment instruments.

What do you think about Monaco? Let us know in the comments below!

Images courtesy of Shuttesrtock, Monaco

Show comments