Úno 23

Get Rid of Your Passwords – REMME Announces Alpha Release of its Distributed Public Key Infrastructure (PKId) Protocol

· February 23, 2018 · 11:00 am

Ukrainian company REMME has recently released the alpha build of its REMME Core 0.1.0 protocol, which hopes to eliminate human error in the cybersecurity domain by getting rid of passwords entirely.


Password management is no joke. Despite the ever-expanding advances made in cryptography over the years, poor password discipline remains the greatest weakness to modern computer systems. Besides phishing attacks and easily guessable passwords, users have even been shown to give up their passwords for a bar of chocolate.

Even the mightiest cybersecurity systems have been brought to their knees by a single weak password. Case in point: Equifax notoriously lost the Social Security numbers of 143 million Americans in September last year for simply using the embarrassingly default password combo of ‘admin/admin’ in one of their online employee portals.

And yet, humans are getting no better at protecting their own credentials. Considering the average person can now be expected to maintain at least dozens of accounts spread across social media, chat apps, gaming platforms, email, and even work accounts, it’s little wonder that over 80% of people reuse their passwords. The most readily-available fix is to implement a password manager, though studies show that very few people actually use them.

Making the Password Obsolete

Making the Password Obsolete

The long-term solution? Bypass the password entirely.

That is what the REMME project is hoping to achieve with the recent alpha release of their Access Management solution. A Ukrainian company started in 2015, REMME intends to make passwords obsolete by migrating the authentication process on to the blockchain, thereby eliminating human error from the equation. This is being done using their distributed REMME Public Key Infrastructure protocol (PKId) along with a set of Access Management DApps built on top of it.

REMME’s Core 0.1.0 Alpha release currently offers developers access to the core functionality of the protocol, which includes access to the architecture and high-level logic of working with SSL/TLS certificates. It comes with a command-line interface (CLI) for developer’s seeking quick access to the protocol’s central features, such as issuing and revoking certificates and transferring REM tokens between users. The basic elements of working with the company’s REM token have also been integrated.

The protocol’s release comes hard on the heels of the company’s REM token public ICO on February 13th, which raised 19,343 ETH. The token sale has already reached its hard cap of $20 million USD  and tokens are currently locked until February 25th at 14:00 UTC.  The project has already come to the attention of several companies including Ukrinmash, a part of the State Concern Ukroboronprom, a large, state enterprise tasked with managing Ukraine’s military-industrial complex.

REMME’s efforts earned it recognition at the Microsoft Blockchain Intensive held by Microsoft Ukraine in June 2017. The team won first place at the event’s blockchain-themed hackathon, where they used REMME authentication technology, IPFS protocol, and the Ethereum blockchain to build a traffic collision awareness and reporting system. As a result, they made off with a $10,000 project grant, an invitation to the VivaTechnology conference in Paris, and a business, legal, and marketing consulting contract from Ernst & Young Global Limited, a professional services company based in London.

The project began in 2015 following a series of cyber attacks which rocked several large Ukrainian companies. By early 2016, the first closed beta version of the product was released on the Emercoin blockchain. This was followed by a second version on top of the Bitcoin blockchain in 2017.

The team’s next goal is to develop inter-blockchain token migration for the protocol’s next release. This will allow the REM token, which is currently released on the Ethereum platform, to be used on their custom REMME blockchain. Public testing is slated to begin later this year, with a public release set before the end of the year.


Are we entering a new age of cybersecurity? Will REMME finally get rid of the terrible password practices that have come to define most major data breaches? Let us know in the comments below!

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.

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Úno 17

Chicago Trader Steals Over $2 Million in Bitcoin and Litecoin Cryptocurrency

· February 17, 2018 · 10:30 am

A Chicago trader is facing up to 20 years in prison for stealing over $2 million in Bitcoin and Litecoin cryptocurrency from his employer.


Most 24-year-olds would be quite happy to be attached to a new cryptocurrency unit for a major financial entity. That’s not a bad career path for someone who previously worked as a cryptocurrency trader in South Korea before joining Consolidated Trading LLC to become an assistant bond trader in July 2016. A new department looking to dive into the burgeoning crypto world is a great stepping stone for moving up. That is unless that person is a degenerate gambler. Such is the case of Joseph Kim, who stole over $2 million in Litecoin and Bitcoin cryptocurrency from his employer.

Chicago

Stealing Begins Almost Immediately

The cryptocurrency group was created by Consolidated in September 2017, and Joseph Kim joined the unit sometime during that month. He had his own personal cryptocurrency accounts, which he informed his employer of, and he was told to cease all personal trading to avoid a conflict of interest.

However, Kim transferred 980 litecoins (worth $48,000) on a weekend shortly after joining the new unit. When a supervisor found out, Kim said he transferred the coins to a “personal digital wallet for safety reasons” due to issues he was having with Bitfinex, the cryptocurrency exchange in Hong Kong. He then said that the coins had been transferred to a Consolidated wallet (which was untrue).

In November, the trader then sent 55 bitcoins (value of $433,000) from Consolidated into an unknown account. When confronted on this transfer, Kim said that the transfer had been blocked and that he was taking steps to unblock it. He later sent back 27 bitcoins into the corporate account, leaving 28 in his possession.

The Sizes Get Bigger

Eventually, Kim transferred 284 bitcoins (worth $2.8 million) from the company’s account into a personal wallet. He later sent back 102 of those coins into the Consolidated account, after which he then transferred the remaining 182 coins into a different account. Of that last amount, Kim lost a portion of it by personally trading.

Cryptocurrency gambling

When eventually confronted over all the transfers, Kim admitted to investing in short future positions using 55 bitcoins. He continued stealing cryptocurrency from the company to cover his margin calls, losses, and personal investments. After being arrested, Kim said that he was a degenerate gambler and admitted to converting the stolen Litecoin into Bitcoin for investment purposes.

Eventually, Consolidated managed to recover roughly 144 bitcoins from Kim’s various personal wallets. The financial company lost about $603,000 overall from the rogue trader’s gambling addiction.

In an email to his superiors at Consolidated, Kim said:

It was not my intention to steal for myself. I was perversely trying to fix what I had already done. I can’t believe I did not stop.

Investment gambling is real, and cryptocurrency is just a new avenue for some to indulge in the practice. The US Attorney has charged Joseph Kim with wire fraud, which could net him up to 20 years in prison. Kim has also made history, of a sort. He’s the first person in Chicago to be charged with wire fraud in regards to cryptocurrency.

Do you think that we’ll see more cases of traders pilfering cryptocurrency to fuel their gambling addiction in the future? Let us know in the comments below.


Images courtesy of Pixabay and Bitcoinist archives.

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Úno 15

Ripple Signs Major Deal with Saudia Arabia’s Central Bank

· February 15, 2018 · 10:30 am

Ripple, the third largest cryptocurrency by market cap, has been on a tear lately, and it has now signed a significant deal with Saudi Arabia’s central bank.


Ripple Rapidly Gaining Traction

Ripple continues to make inroads into the traditional financial sector. It has recently announced a massive deal with the UAE Exchange and a major partnership with Lianlian International. Additionally, Banco Santander is set to roll out Ripple payments in Q1, and just today came the news that Western Union will begin testing XRP transfers.

Ripple XRP

According to reports, Saudi Arabia’s central bank has penned a deal with the San Francisco-based cryptocurrency company, which aims to help banks in the oil-rich kingdom settle instantaneous cross-border payments using blockchain software. Specifically, Saudi Arabia will utilize xCurrent, Ripple’s enterprise software solution facilitating such payments with end-to-end tracking.

Saudi Arabia’s deal with the cryptocurrency company is the first such blockchain-utilizing pilot program launched by a central bank. Dilip Rao, Ripple’s global head of infrastructure innovation, says:

Central banks around the world are leaning into blockchain technology in recognition of how it can transform cross-border payments, resulting in lower barriers to trade and commerce for both corporates and consumers.

Saudi Arabia’s partnership with the virtual currency company comes after Gulf regulators have expressed concerns over Bitcoin and the cryptocurrency market’s lack of regulation. Thus, Ripple has, unsurprisingly, proven itself to be an attractive offer.

Ripple Shoots Up After AMEX Deal and Secret US Bank Meeting

Unlike Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies that are largely founded on the premises of deregulation and decentralization, Ripple has openly marketed itself as a blockchain solution for traditional financial institutions. In turn, the cryptocurrency has long come under criticism for undermining what some consider to be the very foundations of cryptocurrency and blockchain technology.

Drawing further skepticism from investors is the fact that the vast majority of XRP tokens are owned by Ripple’s parent company, thus making it technically capable of regulating the price of said tokens.

XRP saw highs around $3.84 on January 4th but has since fallen as low as $0.59. It is currently trading at $1.12.

In December, UAE central bank governor Mubarak Rashed al-Mansouri also told Reuters that the central banks of both Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates are working together in hopes of issuing a digital currency that would help facilitate cross-border transactions between the two countries.

What do you think of Ripple’s efforts to continually sign major deals with financial institutions? Do you think Ripple undermines cryptocurrency’s foundations? Let us know in the comments below!


Images courtesy of Shutterstock and Bitcoinist archives.

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Úno 14

Sp8de: The First Blockchain-Based Casino ICO with Jackpot Rounds

· February 14, 2018 · 10:30 am

Have you ever walked into a casino, only to walk out frustrated, feeling that you got cheated? Have you ever wanted to gamble at the convenience of your own home, without having to interact with people? Sp8de might be the answer for you.


Sp8de – Casino on Cardano

Similar to many new ICOs and blockchain projects, Sp8de aims to utilize the power of blockchain and cryptocurrency to revolutionize a specific market; in this case, casinos and gambling. However, unlike many other ICOs, Sp8de isn’t based on Ethereum. Instead, it will be based on Cardano, which, at time of writing, is the 5th largest cryptocurrency by market cap.

According to Sp8de, Cardano was chosen over other proof-of-work cryptocurrencies (e.g. Bitcoin or Ethereum) because they believe that POW coins cannot scale transaction-wise. For them, proof-of-stake is a much better option.

Ouroboros, the underlying proof-of-stake protocol beneath the Cardano blockchain, relies on generating unbiased entropy. This is extremely useful for projects like Sp8de – gambling platforms can use these randomly-generated numbers to ensure that their games are provably fair.

Sp8de is a protocol and a blockchain-based platform with features that are tailored for the growing blockchain gambling industry. Sp8de will be built on top of Ouroboros, which will equip it with the ability to generate fresh unbiased randomness for casino games. The transparent nature of the blockchain will also allow it to provide provably fair and completely decentralized games.

Initial Coin Offering – with Jackpots!

Sp8de has just concluded its presale last week, on February 8th. The ICO is divided into five stages: the pre-sale and four sale rounds, with each round having a different number of tokens available, different price per token, different likelihood of winning the lot that each token brings to its owner, and the number of lots reserved for participants.

Sp8de ICO Jackpots

Every Jackpot is essentially an airdrop of tokens. Every token sold during a sale preceding a jackpot will have a chance of winning a jackpot during the subsequent jackpot phases. This means that early participants will have a chance to win in multiple jackpot rounds. Participants of the 4th sale phase will only get one shot at winning the last jackpot.

Each jackpot will consist of a large sum of SPX tokens that will be awarded to a winner. Each jackpot phase will have multiple lots of prizes:

  • Jackpot I: 10 Jackpots each of 28,888,888.80 SPX. A total of 288,888,888 SPX on February 15, 2018, 9:00 AM UTC
  • Jackpot II: 28 Jackpots each of 13,888,888.86 SPX. A total of 388,888,888 SPX on February 23, 2018, 9:00 AM UTC
  • Jackpot III: 100 Jackpots each of 8,888,888.88 SPX. A total of 888,888,888 SPX on March 3, 2018, 9:00 AM UTC
  • Jackpot IV: 888 Jackpots each of 2,127,127.13 SPX. A total of 1,888,888,888 SPX on March 11, 2018, 9:00 AM UTC

To ensure that everybody gets the same shot at winning and no one is luckier than others, tokens won from a jackpot will not increase one’s chances of winning in a subsequent round.

Sp8de ICO and Jackpot Rounds

Not all tokens are created equal – tokens sold in the same phase can have different multipliers attached to its probability of winning the jackpot. A more detailed mathematical explanation is available in the Sp8de Whitepaper. Unsold tokens will be partially allocated to the jackpots and to the Sp8de Foundation, which will use them for further development and promotion of the project.

For more information about Sp8de, please visit sp8de.com.

What are your thoughts on Sp8de’s platform and unique ICO? Is Cardano a better blockchain choice than Ethereum? Let us know what you think in the comments below.


Images courtesy of Sp8de

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.

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Úno 02

Diversify They Said: Bitcoin’s Drop Sparks Double Pain For Altcoin Holders

· February 2, 2018 · 8:30 am

Bitcoin has proven its worth in a fresh market downturn as altcoin assets across the board dramatically overtake its losses.


Bitcoin Steadiest Top-50 Asset

A glance at Coinmarketcap’s top fifty cryptocurrency asset prices Friday reveals even Ether (ETH) to have lost around 7% more than Bitcoin’s 15.5% daily minuses.

Ripple shed 31%, Bitcoin Cash 20% and Cardano 37%, putting it just behind Ardor’s 39% as the top fifty’s biggest loser as of press time.

The only asset to buck the trend in the top one hundred assets is Digix DAO, which in an unlikely opportunistic growth spurt appreciated 90% in the last 24 hours.

As mainstream media once again raced to celebrate the popping of the Bitcoin ‘bubble,’ cryptocurrency industry insiders showed no signs of panic.

In what has become a common sequence of events for 2018, fresh downward corrections are being met by tips to “buy low” concerning Bitcoin, its lesser fall making it the ideal holding currency for purchasing even lower altcoins.

Meanwhile, investment platform BankToTheFuture creator Simon Dixon led forecasts of where Bitcoin’s price bottom would eventually appear, considering $7300 as the site of a future upward correction.

Korea Ditches ‘Kimchi Premium’ Arbitrage

Downward selling pressure had been mounting through last week for Bitcoin. Regulatory overhauls in South Korea, reiteration of government stance in India and the misrepresentation of both in the mainstream press led to an  infiltration of ‘fake news’ which appeared to frighten markets.

The flurry of media speculation produced fertile ground for naysayers, with popular monitoring site 99bitcoins now containing almost 250 Bitcoin ‘obituaries.’

At the same time, conditions in jurisdictions which contributed to negative sentiment are showing signs of marked improvement.

South Korea, which had previously been famous for mismatched crypto prices and associated arbitrage opportunities, has reinvented its landscape as new regulations deliver changes.

Data from Bloomberg and CryptoCompare shows the price of a bitcoin in the country now de facto matches global averages.

What do you think about crypto markets’ current performance? When will Bitcoin bottom out? Let us know in the comments below!


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Twitter

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Led 26

Katy Perry Showcases Her Crypto Claws

· January 26, 2018 · 7:00 am

Katy Perry is the latest celebrity to jump on the cryptocurrency bandwagon, recently posting an image of her crypto-inspired nails.


You know a particular thing has hit the mainstream when you see celebrities flocking to be associated with it. In their never-ending quest to stay in the public eye and remain relevant, they’ll glom onto the latest trends and hold on for dear life. The latest example is Katy Perry, who has definitely jumped onto the Bitcoin and digital currency bandwagon. She recently posted an Instagram image of her cryptocurrency-themed nails.

Bitcoin Going Hollywood

In her Instagram post that’s captioned “$—CrYpTo ClAwS—$,” Katy Perry sports some eye-catching fingernails. Her nails are embossed with the symbols of some of the most popular cryptocurrencies out there.

Naturally enough, we see Bitcoin taking center stage on one hand. Her thumbs boast the popular Ethereum cryptocurrency, and her remaining digits feature the likes of Litecoin, Stellar, and Monero.

This isn’t the first time Perry has flirted with cryptocurrency. Back in November 2017, she posted an image of her talking to investor Warren Buffett. In the post, she says that she’s asking Buffett his thoughts on cryptocurrency. (Hopefully, she did not follow his advice.)

Celebrities and Crypto

However, Katy Perry is certainly not the first celebrity to jump on board the crypto bandwagon, and she definitely won’t be the last. Floyd Mayweather was one of the first celebs to tout crypto by hyping the Stox ICO. He later pushed digital currencies by posting an image of him holding a Titanian Centra debit card, which is a card for various cryptocurrencies, while in an upscale shoe store.

The saddest case of a celebrity tying themselves to Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies is Paris Hilton. She hyped the ICO of a marketing platform called LydianCoin. However, she quickly deleted any endorsements after people pointed out that the person behind the project had been convicted of domestic assault.

Chances are that we’ll continue to see celebrities pushing themselves onto the crypto scene. Some may have a legitimate interest, but the majority will probably be doing it for the publicity. However, one wonders how many crypto projects will pay for celebrity endorsements in the future. ICOs raise a ton of cash, some of which could be used to hire a famous spokesperson.

What do you think about Perry’s crypto claws? Will we see more celebrity endorsements of cryptocurrency in the future? Let us know in the comments below.


Images courtesy of Instagram/@katyperry, Twitter/@FloydMayweather, and Wikimedia Commons.

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Led 20

Weiss Ratings to List Cryptocurrencies

· January 20, 2018 · 7:00 am

As the cryptocurrency and blockchain industry moves into the mainstream, more companies and organizations will need to start taking notice to keep up with the latest technology. The latest to acknowledge the ever-growing presence of digital currencies is Weiss Ratings.


In a notice on their website, the independent financial ratings agency announced that they were going to issue letter grades on cryptocurrencies. The company, founded in 1971, claims to be America’s only 100% independent ratings agency covering stocks, ETFs, mutual funds, insurance companies, banks, credit unions, and now virtual currencies. It currently rates over 55,000 institutions and investments.

Altcoins Rated

According to the announcement, the crypto ratings will be released on January 24th and include Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple, Bitcoin Cash, Cardano, NEM, Litecoin, Stellar, EOS, IOTA, Dash, NEO, TRON, Monero, Bitcoin Gold, and many others.

It is a first for a financial ratings agency which claims that ratings are based on a “groundbreaking model that analyzes thousands of data points on each coin’s technology, usage, and trading patterns.

Weiss Ratings founder Martin D. Weiss stated:

Many cryptocurrencies are murky, overhyped and vulnerable to crashes. The market desperately needs the clarity that only robust, impartial ratings can provide. We’re proud to be the first to bring that benefit to investors — to help them cut through the hype and identify the few truly solid cryptocurrencies. Our ratings are based on hard data and objective analysis. But they’re bound to create controversy, including some grades that may come as a surprise to some people.

Business technology

Fair and Balanced

According to the blurb on its website, Weiss claims to be unlike other rating agencies that focus mostly on larger companies that can afford to pay them large fees. The agency covers all companies, large or small, as long as they report sufficient data for them to analyze. Its independence and accuracy has been noted by the US Government Accountability Office (GAO), Barron’s, The Wall Street Journal, and The New York Times, among others.

Financial ratings for cryptocurrencies will bring more legitimacy to the top performing ones. It is a very positive development in a market that has been shrouded in FUD in recent weeks. With bankers, politicians, and even mainstream media still labeling Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies as “a bubble,” “a Ponzi scheme,” “criminal,” and “fraudulent,” this move is another step towards mainstream acceptance for the industry in general.

Will other financial ratings companies follow Weiss and accept crypto? Add your comments below.


Images courtesy of Pxhere and Bitcoinist archives.

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Led 18

5 Reasons Why January’s Price Slump is Nothing to Worry About

· January 18, 2018 · 6:00 am

With more people entering the crypto markets than ever before, the seeds of fear, uncertainty, and doubt has a greater impact on price volatility. Newbie traders jumping in and out on the whims of social media hype, and then panic selling, causes what happened over the past couple of days. However, looking at historical crypto charts, this January dip is nothing new.


There are a number of reasons why the markets crash in January, and many originate in Asia where the bulk of crypto trading occurs. According to Coinmarketcap, which no longer includes South Korean exchanges, the total market capitalization of all cryptocurrencies fell from $750 billion to $420 billion in four days. At the time of writing, they have since recovered and are on the way back up again, currently sitting at a total of $575 billion.

FUD vs FOMO

Reason #1: A lot of the impetus for crypto price action comes from Asia where the news has not been good in recent weeks. China is constantly trying to quash the entire industry, and South Korea just can’t make its mind up with regulatory hype and clampdown fearmongering emerging on an almost weekly basis. The FUD is as infectious as the FOMO, and panic selling over the past few days has sent all coins into freefall, with some losing as much as 40%.

Looking back on historical Bitcoin charts reveals that a January selloff has happened before, several times in fact. Bitcoin is the gold standard for crypto, and a lot of the altcoins did not even exist back then.


Crash Catalysts

Reason #2: It has been speculated that one factor causing this is the Chinese Lunar New Year, which usually falls in February. It is a time of year when people take time off work and travel to visit family, and for this, they will need fiat, not crypto. Since nations in Asia are responsible for the lion’s share of crypto trading, it stands to reason that this could contribute to the annual selloff.

Reason #3: Another factor could be the end of the tax year approaching where investors are planning to pay their annual taxes. Again this has to be done in fiat, not crypto. While not the only catalyst, it could have some influence over price action.

Reason #4: The ending of the first ever Bitcoin futures contract may also have contributed to traders shorting the asset. Once the big players, such as CBOE and CME, get involved, smaller markets can be manipulated by the institutionalized investors, and we could see more of this action until things stabilize.

CBOE Announces Increased Bitcoin Futures Margins Amid Market Manipulation Worries

Reason #5: As more new and inexperienced traders enter the market, these chart oscillations will amplify. Only when they realize that this is a natural cycle and crypto is not dead will things settle down a little. Since total market investment in cryptocurrencies has jumped over 2500% in less than a year, we are still at very early stages of what could be a game changing industry.

Did you panic sell your crypto or hodl it? Share your experiences below.  


Images courtesy of CoinMarketCap, Bitcoinist archives, and Pixabay.

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Led 17

Bitconnect Shuts Down Amid Crypto Crash

· January 17, 2018 · 6:15 am

Following months of bad press and publicity, lending and exchange platform Bitconnect has announced that it is shutting down. Many had suspected the platform of being a Ponzi scheme, and it had suffered multiple DDoS attacks on the website.


In an announcement on its website, the platform said it was closing the lending operation immediately with the release of all outstanding loans. The notice cited continuous bad press, including two Cease and Desist letters from the securities boards of Texas and North Carolina.

Coin Collapse

Bitconnect has stated that it will refund all active loans at a rate which it calculated from the past 15 day average price.

With release of your entire active loan in the lending wallet we are transferring all your lending wallet balance to your BitConnect wallet balance at 363.62 USD. This rate has been calculated based on last 15 days averages of the closing price registered on coinmarketcap.com.

Within moments of the notice, the BCC token price plummeted from around $180 to $24 amid a general market decline across all cryptocurrencies.

According to TechCrunch, many users will still have suffered severe losses on their fiat, or Bitcoin equivalents, if they had invested in BCC, which is effectively useless now since the platform has shut down.

FANG Stocks Lose Nearly $60 Billion as Bitcoin Claws its Way to the $10k Mark

Condemnation

A number of prominent crypto experts have also labelled Bitconnect as a Ponzi scheme, including Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin and Litecoin’s Charlie Lee who tweeted:

Turns out it was a ponzi after all. Sorry for those that got caught up in this. Ponzis work because people are easily fooled.

Bitconnect was an anonymously run operation that allowed users to loan their cryptocurrencies to the company for large returns of up to 40% per month. A large referral system generated a pyramid scheme on social media, with users plying their referral links for extra commissions.

The loans were in USD but had to be made in BCC, which could be purchased with Bitcoin. As its popularity grew, the token gained value and climbed from $10 in mid-2017 to a high of $435 at its peak at the end of the year.

Bitconnect has stated that they will continue supporting the coin:

Closing the lending and exchange platform doesn’t mean that we will stop supporting BitConnect coin. Closing the lending platform will allow Bitconnect to be listed on outside exchanges giving more options for trading. This is not the end of this community, but we are closing some of the services on the website platform and we will continue offering other cyptocurrency services in the future.

Although with the token’s value approaching the floor, renewed confidence and investment in BCC remains a very forlorn hope.

Did you use Bitconnect and has this affected you? Share your thoughts in the comments below.


Images courtesy of Pxhere and Bitcoinist archives.

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Led 08

Japanese Crypto Girls Coining It In

· January 8, 2018 · 7:00 am

Many countries have shied away from cryptocurrencies and even clamped down on trading and using them. These tend to be the more authoritarian nations such as Russia, China, and Indonesia. Japan, conversely, is embracing the blockchain revolution with open arms and even has a group known as the Virtual Currency Girls who are attempting to bring more awareness to the masses.


Bitcoin is considered legal tender in Japan, the world’s third largest economy. According to JPBitcoin.com, almost a third of all BTC transactions during December were denominated in Yen. In complete contrast to China and South Korea that want more regulation Japan passed a law in April last year legalizing and legitimizing digital currencies and underscoring the need for transparency and financial stability.

Miss Bitcoin

According to India’s Economic Times, Japanese social media icon Mai Fujimoto, aka ‘Miss Bitcoin’, says she invests all of her savings in the digital currency. In a recent interview she told AFP:

I convert all my disposable income into cryptocurrency, I’ve been doing this for nearly a year now. I convert all my savings into cryptocurrency instead of putting them in a bank.

Miss Bitcoin has done very well out of her investments starting out in 2012 when she got her first BTC for 1,200 Yen (about $10);

At the time, I was working with children and creating an online donation platform. And for the first time, I learned how expensive it is to send money abroad. So, I was really impressed when I heard that I don’t have to go through banks if I use bitcoin payment.

Crypto Girl Power

Japanese culture can be quirky, to say the least. An all-girl idol group called the Virtual Currency Girls (Kaso Tsuka Shoju) have also made it big in crypto and strives to extoll its virtues across the country. The group, managed by Cinderella Academy Inc, intends to capitalize on the current wave of crypto mania by offering all tickets to their live performances and fan goods exclusively through digital currencies.

The eight-member team, ranging in age from 15 to 22, each has her own crypto coin persona and, in true Japanese fashion, uses cosplay to promote them. Characters such as Neo, Nem, Ethereum and even Cardano have their own merchandise and are wildly popular with Japanese youth.

Japan always finds its own idiosyncratic way of doing things and promoting crypto through girl groups seems to be the latest craze.

Are internet idols a good way to promote crypto? Add your thoughts below.


Images courtesy of Cinderella Academy Inc, Shutterstock

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