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Microsoft Patch Tuesday includes fix for actively exploited zero-day

Microsoft addressed nearly 40 vulnerabilities including and actively exploited zero-day, in its December 2018 Patch Tuesday release. Several of the issues were rated critical or important and or dealt with remote code execution flaws in Windows including one vulnerability that was actively being exploited in the wild. “One of the most important flaws is a Windows Kernel Elevation of Privilege vulnerability (CVE-2018-8611), which has been exploited in the wild by attackers,” Satnam Narang, senior research engineer at Tenable told SC Media. “While this vulnerability requires an attacker to have an established presence on the vulnerable system, security teams should prioritize it in their patching cycles.”  Chris Goettl, director of product management, security, for Ivanti, agreed describing the flaw as allowing an attacker to execute an elevation of privilege enabling them to run arbitrary code in kernel mode. “This vulnerability exists in all currently supported WindowsOperating systems from Windows 7 to Server 2019,” Goettl said. “Exploitation has been detected on older OSs already, but the Exploitability Index is rated as a 1 for Windows 10 and Server 2019.” Microsoft also addressed issues in its Internet Explorer and its Edge browsers as well as in a flaw in PowerPoint which were all likely to be exploited by threat actors. The post Microsoft Patch Tuesday includes fix for actively exploited zero-day appeared first on SC Media.
SC Media

Bitcoin Takes A Giant Step Back, As Crypto Markets Edge Into Green Arrows

Wild gyrations continued today for the cryptocurrency markets. Most of it was good news, as most of the top ten coins headed into green arrows. Bitcoin was back over the magic $4,000 mark on heavy trading volume, rebounding from Monday’s setback to rise three percent over the last 24 hours. Ether, XRP, Litecoin and Stellar Lumens were also on the rise. Still embroiled in its raging battle over the mid-November hard fork was Bitcoin Cash, down more than three percent, and EOS, continuing to melt and down 3.5 percent.

Future Digital Award Winners Announced for Payment, Security and Retail Innovation

Companies at the forefront of new developments in payments, fraud prevention and retail have been honoured in this year’s Juniper Research Future Digital Awards. The awards are given to companies that Juniper believes have made significant progress in their sector during the previous year, and are now poised to make considerable market impact in the future. The final batch of award winners and runners-up in each category were as follows: PAYMENT INNOVATION WINNERS Payment Innovation of the Year (Judges’ Choice) Winner – Visa, B2B Connect Best Digital Wallet Winner – Nordea, Nordea Wallet Highly Commended – Google, Google Pay Best Mobile Money Offering Winner – Mahindra Comviva and Cassava Smartech, EcoCash (mobiquity Money) Highly Commended – Orange, Orange Money Best Consumer Payment Innovation Winner – Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Global Digital Disbursements Highly Commended – Klarna, Klarna Best B2B Payment Platform Winner – Saxo, Saxo Payments Banking Circle Virtual IBAN Highly Commended – Finacle, Finacle Payments Connect FRAUD & SECURITY INNOVATION WINNERS Fraud & Security Innovation of the Year (Judges’ Choice) Winner – Accertify, Dynamic Risk Vectors Best Payment Authentication Platform/Solution Winner – IDEMIA, Cloudcard+ Highly Commended – Accertify, Dynamic Risk Vectors Best Cybersecurity Platform Winner – Webroot, Webroot Highly Commended – FireEye, FireEye RETAIL INNOVATION WINNERS Retail Innovation of the Year (Judges’ Choice) Winner – Amazon, Amazon Go Best Retail Payment Innovation Winner – Amazon, Amazon Go Highly Commended – Visa, On Card Biometrics Best In-Store Technologies Winner – Amazon, Amazon Go Highly Commended – Kroger, Kroger Edge Bank of America Merrill Lynch collects Consumer Payment Innovation Award “We are delighted to receive this industry recognition from Juniper Research for our B2C payments product, Digital Disbursements,” said Dean Henry, Head of Innovation, Global Transaction Services at Bank of America Merrill Lynch. “An increasing number of companies value the convenience and cost effectiveness of sending low value payments digitally. Domestic volumes of our product have increased 115% over the last 12 months and international payments are seeing similar growth trends.” IDEMIA takes Best Payment Authentication Platform prize Nathalie Oestmann, SVP Strategic Marketing and Innovation of IDEMIA Financial Institutions BU, stated: “IDEMIA is thrilled and honoured to receive this JUNIPER Research Best Payment Authentication Solution Award for its biometrics and mobile-based Strong Customer Authentication solution, Cloudcard+. Our ambition is to enable financial institutions to strike the perfect balance between digital security for banking and an optimal payment services user experience through the mobile channel. Used by millions of end-users, Cloudcard+ has been adopted by major banking groups to comply with PSD2 requirements for Strong Customer Authentication.” Mahindra Comviva triumphs in Best Mobile Money category “Mahindra Comviva is delighted to be recognised by Juniper Research for our world leading mobile money platform mobiquity Money”, said Srinivas Nidugondi, SVP and Head, Mobile Financial Solutions, Mahindra Comviva. “We believe mobile money solutions that cater to the necessities of the people on the ground have the power to bring financial revolution in emerging markets. EcoCash in Zimbabwe is one such service, which has replaced cash and is helping in alleviating the cash problem and accelerate financial inclusion in the country. The award is powerful endorsement of our efforts in bringing innovative fintech services to the forefront” The awards were decided by a panel of expert judges based on a number of criteria including: product features and user benefits; innovation; commercial partnerships; commercial launches; certification & compliance; and, potential future business development. The post Future Digital Award Winners Announced for Payment, Security and Retail Innovation appeared first on The Fintech Times.
The Fintech Times

Speeding up First Contentful Paint while loading web fonts using @font-face

One of the major concerns with loading web fonts using the @font-face rule is the increased load time. With the increased load time, the text to which the font has been applied takes longer than usual to appear on the page — that’s not good for the User Experience.We don’t want our users to wait for the content considering the fact that is already available but just isn't visible to their eyes. The modern browsers come with a mechanism called “Flash of Invisible Text” or “FOIT ”. Chrome and Firefox render invisible text for 3-seconds, if the font is still not available, they use system font as a fallback and swap once the web font is ready. The problem is more severe in Microsoft Edge and Safari browsers, the former uses a system font as a fallback and the latter waits until the font is ready with no fallback as an option. With that, the time required for the First Contentful Paint takes a toll.This can be very useful for demographics with slower internet connections, especially on mobile devices.Below is a demo page with FOIT in action as observed in the second frame where the text is completely invisible. Also, notice the metrics. It takes 1.7s to achieve the First Contentful Paint.The metrics and the impact of FOIT can be severe on a complex webpage or an application.Thankfully, there is a very simple fix to overcome this issue. And it can be achieved by just adding a few lines of code to your CSS. We now apply a technique called “Flash of Unformatted Text” or simply, “FOUT” to mitigate this issue. This allows us to display the text the moment it is ready in the DOM with a system-native font as a fallback before the custom font is loaded.Unformatted text (left). Text using the custom font (Right).font-display to the rescue! 🎉Adding font-display: swap; to your @font-face rule will tell the browser to use the fallback font provided in the font-family property until the custom font is available and applied to the text. In the below example, the “sans-serif” is used as a fallback until the “WildCoorg” custom font is available.https://medium.com/media/5671b33461781649724f867f6f6de08d/hrefThis significantly improves the overall load time with an almost 100% reduction in First Contentful Paint and First Meaningful Paint as well. As observed in the below Lighthouse report, you can notice that the text is already visible to the user in the second frame, unlike FOIT.The font-display property currently has full support by major browsers excluding Internet Explorer and Edge. Hopefully, it should soon be supported on all browsers. Until then, we can leverage this to improve the UX for users with modern web browsers.This can be very useful for demographics with slower internet connections, especially on mobile devices. The sooner the content is visible to the user, better the user experience. Additionally, the lighthouse reports yield you a better performance rating for your site.If you like the post, share it with your team and friends. I’m @Gigacore on Twitter. Find the complete list of my articles over here.Speeding up First Contentful Paint while loading web fonts using @font-face was originally published in Hacker Noon on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

2 Reasons Cardano (ADA) Could Be Listed on Coinbase Before Stellar (XLM)

Out of the five digital assets Coinbase announced it had interests in listing back in mid-June, three have been listed. These are the cryptocurrencies of Ox (ZRX), Basic Attention Token (BAT) and most recently, ZCash (ZEC). Only two remain on the list: Stellar (XLM) and Cardano (ADA). With two cryptocurrencies remaining from the list, the odds that one will be the next one listed by the exchange can be compared to the proverbial coin toss: it could go either way. Cardano (ADA) has An Edge Over Stellar (XLM) But for many crypto traders, Cardano seems like the digital asset most likely to get its ticker on the trading platform. The following three reasons could be why this is so. Similarities between XLM and XRP that has not been listed on Coinbase since January Cardano’s plans for a purely transparent and decentralized platform Similarities Between XLM and XRP The back-end protocols for both XRP and XLM are consensus protocols. Looking at the coins that have been listed on Coinbase, we find that they are all Proof-of-Work protocols including ZCash. It is with this simple observation that we can formulate the loose theory that the reason Coinbase did not list XRP was because of the type of integration involved with its ledger. The same can therefore be concluded with XLM. Another similarity between XRP and XLM is that both the Ripple company and the Stellar foundation hold a large chunk of the coins respectively. Such ownership and/or control over a digital asset, can cause Coinbase to skip XLM for ADA that has more of its coins in circulation with traders/holders. Cardano’s Plans for a Purely Transparent and Decentralized Platform With the Bitcoin Cash Hash Wars not a forgotten event in the crypto-verse, the volatility associated with one or more parties having control over a mining network or its coins, can be seen as a cause for concern for many investors. Looking at both XRP and XLM, we have the Ripple company and the Stellar foundation holding a considerable amount of coins respectively. Although the likelihood of each dumping these coins into the markets are slim, it is probably a cause for concern for many institutional clients Coinbase is trying to attract. Cardano on the other hand, has an ADA distribution audit report available online. It clearly explains how the pre-sale of ADA was undertaken between September 2015 to January 2017. This is the type of transparency an investor looks for when looking for a coin to invest. In terms of decentralization, we find that the Shelley project that is due for completion in 2019, will ensure that there will be proper delegation and incentives to keep the network as decentralized as possible. In conclusion, we have seen Coinbase list ZCash (ZEC) just yesterday thus stimulating talk around the crypto-verse as to which between ADA and XLM will be next. We have then explored the case of ADA being next on Coinbase based on the key factors of decentralization, transparency, integration onto the Coinbase trading platform and the circulating supply of each asset in relation to the total supply. Which digital asset do you believe is next on Coinbase after ZCash (ZEC)? Will it be Stellar (XLM) or Cardano (ADA)? Please let us know in the comment section below.  Disclaimer: This article is not meant to give financial advice. Any additional opinion herein is purely the author’s and does not represent the opinion of Ethereum World News or any of its other writers. Please carry out your own research before investing in any of the numerous cryptocurrencies available. Thank you. The post 2 Reasons Cardano (ADA) Could Be Listed on Coinbase Before Stellar (XLM) appeared first on Ethereum World News.
Ethereum World News

Will the Foundation for Interwallet Operability (FIO) Help Scale Crypto?

If you find yourself lost in the fray of the dozens of different blockchain wallets and exchanges, you’re not alone. Many people have to navigate the winding paths between storing and sending their cryptocurrency, and the lack of interoperability between wallets adds another element of complexity. Since there’s a relatively high barrier to cryptocurrency usage, many token holders opt to simply sit on their tokens instead of using them for what (most of) them were intended for – to be spent and traded. Most digital wallets are more like digital vaults as opposed to true digital wallets that simply serve as a means to facilitate transactions. That’s the issue the Foundation for Interwallet Operability (FIO) is looking to tackle. FIO recently launched a decentralized, open-source blockchain protocol that enables users to send and receive tokens form any FIO enabled wallet with an enhanced user experience. Participation in FIO is open to all wallets and exchanges and it currently includes Shapeshift, KeepKey, Coinomi, BRD, Edge, and MyCrypto. The protocol is being developed by Access Venture Partners incubated Dapix, Inc. We connected with Founder & CEO David Gold. Gold is an 11+ year venture capital veteran and can trace his roots to being an entrepreneur in the dot-com era. Your past is peppered with a number of successfully incubated projects while as Managing Director of Access Ventures Funds. What factors made you decide to branch away from angel investing and take on the role of CEO of Dapix? To clarify, Access Venture Partners is a diversified early stage technology venture capital fund versus an angel fund. I jumped in to lead our blockchain investment efforts a few years back at Access. I quickly found myself feeling similar to how I did during the early dot com days… I saw the huge potential that blockchain could have if it achieved its vision of enabling the exchange of value to be as easy, fast and decentralized as the exchange of information is today. But I also saw how bad the current technology was from a usability standpoint… just like those early days of the internet (Mosaic web browser on dial-up with text only pages was pretty awful!). I began researching projects that were attempting to improve the user’s experience with blockchain. Finding nothing compelling I started thinking about how to solve the problem, which is where the concept behind Dapix and the FIO Protocol was formed. We incubated the company out of Access and when we began recruiting a CEO, I felt so passionate about the potential around solving this critical problem for the blockchain ecosystem I decided to jump in and return to my operator roots to run the company. What milestones are being assessed to know when it is best for Dapix to transfer the protocol to the FIO Foundation? The technology being developed by Dapix will be transferred completely to the Foundation when the mainnet is launched and FIO tokens minted. That likely will be during our beta test period. What are the plans for the FIO token distribution leading up the mainnet as well as after its launch? The FIO token is a utility token with it’s first envisioned uses being registration of FIO Addresses and small transaction fees to high volume business users (think ecommerce sites) for the higher volumes they are running on the protocol and the enhanced FIO Data they will want to utilize… everyday users won’t see any transaction fees as each FIO Address comes bundled with a meaningful volume for each year. FIO tokens will likely initially enter the market during the beta test period. The specifics of how the tokens will enter the market are being worked out with legal council to ensure compliance with various rules. Could you expand on the role the FIO foundation will have after Dapix hands over the reigns? Specifically, what does the relationship between individual members and the FIO foundation look like when it comes to decision making and software changes? The FIO Protocol is a Delegated Proof of Stake blockchain. Block producers will be voted on by token holders directly and indirectly via elective proxy of their vote. Block producing nodes will vote on software changes/upgrades in order to approve them for implementation. The Foundation’s role will include funding, both internally and externally, projects that can enhance the FIO Protocol. In addition, the Foundation will organize the flow of FIO Improvement Proposals (FIPs) from the community and provide research and assessment of the potential value of those proposals as a service to the block producing nodes and community to help them evaluate those proposals. Human-readable public addresses seem pretty appealing when compared to their current state. Will FIO addresses function similar to a DNS in that each public address will also have its own unique human-facing version too? Close but not exactly. If each public address had its own unique human-facing version that would mean that every token/coin in a users wallet could have a different human-facing version. That’s one of the reasons why a blockchain specific solution to usability won’t work. FIO Addresses are human readable wallet addresses that work identically for every single token or coin in the user’s wallet or exchange account. Since FIO doesn’t require the blockchain’s themselves to change in any way, FIO Addresses work immediately with every token/coin including brand new ones that are created. Is there any concern/thought about the possibility that FIO addresses could create a secondary naming market, not unlike those surrounding domain names? Not a concern… definitely in our thoughts. Secondary markets are not a bad thing as they create the ability for the value represented to be exchanged between parties. In fact, FIO Addresses themselves are non-fungible tokens so they are automatically self sovereign and can be traded in a completed decentralized manner. The FIO Protocol will provide a transfer smart contract to enable parties to safely sell their FIO Address for FIO tokens and utilize that smart contract to obviate any need for a third party escrow. Delegated Proof of Stake can be seen as a more democratic version of a traditional POS consensus. However, DPOS require more intimate participation from token holders in order to be sure the best delegates are validating transactions. How do Dapix and the FIO Foundation intend to foster commitment required by the community? Great question… The reality is the more broadly held a token becomes, the greater the portion of holders who have no idea who to vote for as a block producer and, in fact, probably don’t even care to invest the time to think about it. They simply don’t care. The FIO Protocol will enable wallets and exchanges to have FIO tokens that are held by their users in their products proxied to them for voting. Users will be able to change that setting… but if you imagine blockchain becoming fully mainstream, the reality is that most won’t care to do so. So, it will be the wallets and exchanges that then have a louder voting voice on block producing nodes and FIO is a purpose built protocol to solve interwallet operability (versus a general use platform like ETH) so wallets and exchanges should have a louder voice. Those entities will be well informed and involved in FIO so they will make knowledgeable votes on block producers. Users, in turn, will mostly vote by deciding which wallets and exchanges they want to use to hold their FIO tokens (although, again, users could choose to vote directly and not proxy their vote to the wallet or exchange). Furthermore, what measures will be in place to ensure that delegates are acting in the best interest of the community after they have been elected to the position? If by “delegates” you mean the block producing nodes, they will continually be at risk of being voted out of their position as a block producer. If by delegates you mean the entity to which a vote is proxied, most of those will end up being users proxying their FIO token vote to the wallet or exchange they are using and those entities have a huge interest in ensuring the FIO Protocol works well and can continue to be a trusted decentralized solution. Thanks! The post Will the Foundation for Interwallet Operability (FIO) Help Scale Crypto? appeared first on CoinCentral.
Coin Central

Update on Meltdown and Spectre

Tl;dr: Yesterday a new class of attacks against modern CPU microarchitectures was disclosed to the public at large. Coinbase has taken and will continue to take measures to keep your funds and your data safe. All customer funds remain unaffected. Please make sure you update your operating systems with the latest security patches and follow browser recommendations (chrome, firefox, IE/Edge) to mitigate the impact of these bugs on your systems.Yesterday a new class of attacks against modern CPU microarchitectures was disclosed. Two specific attacks were released: Meltdown and Spectre. The impact of these vulnerabilities is an attacker who can run code on a computer can potentially gain access to memory space outside the bounds of it’s normal authorization. In the case of Meltdown, this means a piece of malicious software could gain access to kernel or, in the case of some virtualization schemes, host memory. In the case of Spectre, this means untrusted code running in a sandbox (such as JavaScript) could gain access to the memory of its parent process (in the case of JavaScript, that would mean it could read all data in the browser process).So what is Coinbase doing to protect your funds and personal data and what can you do to protect yourself?Coinbase maintains an aggressive vulnerability management program. As rumors of this vulnerability emerged several days ago, we began preparing for a few different potential vulnerability types. Coinbase runs in Amazon Web Services (AWS) and our general security posture is one of extreme caution. Sensitive workloads, especially where key handling is involved, run on Dedicated Instances (instead of shared hardware). Where we do run on shared hardware, we make it more difficult to accurately target one of our systems by rapidly cycling through instances in AWS. Once the disclosure embargo lifted and details became available, we evaluated the impact to Coinbase and we worked closely with AWS to ensure that all of the hosts running our workloads were patched and, as we continue to cycle those workloads, we don’t migrate to unpatched hosts. This effectively mitigates the risk of a cross-VM attack on our systems. We are also patching all of our base operating systems to further mitigate the risk of this vulnerability being used to escalate privilege by an attacker who can gain access through other means.Unfortunately, it is likely that this same class of vulnerability could be exploited by malicious JavaScript running in your browser to steal data from other open or recently open browser tabs. This data might include things like cookie values, credentials, PII or similar. Browser vendors are doing a few things to help mitigate this issue, but not all of those updates are ready yet. Coinbase also follows a number of best practices that limit the potential impact on our users, including the use of HTTPOnly cookies, SameSite cookies and anti-CSRF tokens.However, there are a few actions you should take right now to limit your exposure:Update your operating systems with the latest patches. OS X 10.13.2 seems to contain a fix (although we don’t have official confirmation from Apple). Windows has released an update. The various linux distributions are working through the update process and have released advisories (https://www.bleepingcomputer.com/news/security/list-of-meltdown-and-spectre-vulnerability-advisories-patches-and-updates/ has a good list)Update your browsers. Browsers are continually releasing new features and protections. As a best practice, you should enable automatic updates on your browser. Firefox 57 has mitigations in place. Chrome 64 will have mitigations (release targeted on 23 January), but you can enable Site Isolation (Chrome 63 and later) in the meantime for an effective mitigation. IE/Edge mitigations are available in KB4056890.Use Vaults. Funds to which you do not need immediate access should be placed in a vault. The vault will enforce multi-party approval and a time locked withdrawal process that is resistant to an attacker even if they have full account access.If at any point you believe your account is at risk you should:Protect yourself by locking your account. Click the account lock link we send at the bottom of every password reset, new device confirmation or transaction confirmation message or call phone support at 1 (888) 908–7930 (M-F, 6AM-6PM Pacific time) and press 1.Let us know by filing a ticket, emailing trust@coinbase.com or calling 1 (888) 908–7930 (M-F, 6AM-6PM Pacific time), option 1Update on Meltdown and Spectre was originally published in The Coinbase Blog on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.
The Coinbase Blog

U.S. Stocks Edge Higher Despite Trump Tariff Warning; Crypto Top-Ten Experiences Shake Up

U.S. stocks pulled ahead on Tuesday, as investors shrugged off calls by President Trump for additional tariffs on Chinese goods. Cryptocurrencies faltered after a solid start to the week as bitcoin SV made its debut. Stocks Finish Higher Equities pulled ahead in the final hour of trading, with the S&P 500 Index registering gains of […] The post U.S. Stocks Edge Higher Despite Trump Tariff Warning; Crypto Top-Ten Experiences Shake Up appeared first on Hacked: Hacking Finance.

Tron CEO, Justin Sun to Ethereum Developers- Migrate to Tron Immediately for Edge

As the crypto market keeps on dropping further and Ethereum drops to about $100 level, Tron founder and CEO Justin Sun calls out ETH developers to migrate their token to Tron as it offers to them numerous benefits. Meanwhile, crypto trader and investor Crypto Squeeze says 2-digit ETH is where you go all in. 2-Digit ETH is where you “Go Fuckn all-in” The world’s 2nd largest cryptocurrency has already lost its second place to XRP as per market cap. When it comes to prices, ETH is 91 percent down from its peak at about $1,400. At the time of writing, Ethereum has been trading at $113 with 24-hours gains of 7.35 percent. However, yesterday it took a serious drop in tandem with Bitcoin just like the majority of the crypto market and fell below $100 to 2 digits. With a market cap of $11.7 billion, it is currently managing the daily trading volume of $2.35 billion. Ethereum November month price chart, Source: Coinmarketcap According to the crypto trader, investor, and Venture Capitalist, Crypto Squeeze, this is the time to go all in as he Tweets, 2-digit $ETH is where u go fucken all-in. Would be an easy 2-3x flip. Cant wait. — Squeeze (@cryptoSqueeze) November 25, 2018 Meanwhile, Tron CEO, Justin Sun is calling out Ethereum developers on Twitter to shift to the Tron network which according to him would provide them with more advantages in comparison to Ethereum, “In bear market, #Ethereum developers should migrate your token to #TRON immediately. 0 transaction fee, no gas in #TRX. Compatible to #ETH, 0 migration cost. 2000 TPS. #TRON dex listing. You can easily increase your token value 100% with High liquidity.” Recently, Sun shared that despite the market being in deep red, Tron network is growing as it moves toward breaking the 2 million transactions per day record while stating that “DAPP is the future and TRON will decentralize the Internet.” In today’s blood bath, we must remember that nothing has ever changed. #blockchain #bitcoin #DAPP is the future and #TRON will decentralize the Internet. Check out #TRON 6 month data, we haven’t seen such amazing increase before. Plz check after 2 years! #TRX $TRX pic.twitter.com/pK3S8pJB9e — Justin Sun (@justinsuntron) November 25, 2018 At the time of writing, Tron has been trading at $0.0121 with 24-hours greens of 5.45 percent. The 11th largest cryptocurrency as per market cap of approximately $800 billion is managing the daily trading volume of $78 million. Tron November month price chart, Source: Coinmarketcap   The post Tron CEO, Justin Sun to Ethereum Developers- Migrate to Tron Immediately for Edge appeared first on Coingape.

Adobe patches critical type confusion bug in Flash Player

Adobe Systems today released an out-of-band security update that fixes a critical type confusion vulnerability in Flash Player, which if exploited could lead to arbitrary code execution in the context of the current user. Designated CVE-2018-15981, the bug was found in versions and earlier of Flash Player Desktop Runtime, Flash Player for Google Chrome and Flash Player for Microsoft Edge and Internet Explorer 11. The flaw is addresses in version of the product. The post Adobe patches critical type confusion bug in Flash Player appeared first on SC Media.
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Crypto Bear Market is So Bad That an ICO is Day Trading its Holdings

Every day, the crypto market is on the verge of entering darker territory, and as prices continue to plunge, many cryptocurrencies have become the victims of sudden sell-offs. An initial coin offering (ICO) called Substratum has even taken to day trading its present ether holdings to make up for potential losses. In a YouTube video, a figure named Justin from the Substratum network announces that the company is opening the doors to a token swap set to begin on Monday, December 17. The smart contracts for the company will begin then and batch transactions will start happening over the Ethereum network. Old Crypto Becomes New Crypto Prior to this date, executives will be moving any remaining Ethereum tokens in their crowdsale wallet over to a new wallet. If a person’s tokens are on Binance, the switch will be occurring natively through the exchange. Thus, customers will not need to worry. If a customer’s tokens are locked up in a wallet for an airdrop, they too will not need to take any steps. The move from the present wallet to the new wallet will occur on its own time. All older tokens will become frozen and unusable while the new tokens will be transferred into customers’ wallets. The company is also moving from two decimal places to 18 decimal places, which representatives claim will make transactions faster and more efficient. The smart contract has been fully audited by Quantstamp; furthermore, 120 million old tokens have been burned thus far. They will not be coming over through the transfer but will rather disappear into what Justin calls “the ether.” These tokens are set to disappear completely. The transfer will not be done within a set timeframe. The transfer is indefinite and will last until all customers’ wallets have received their new tokens. Predicting What the Future Holds Substratum now has a full-time trader on staff, who has suggested that Ethereum is going to be continually tested over the coming months. The bear market is not letting up and he has stated that Ethereum could fall to as low as $60. Executives are not necessarily looking to cash out. Instead, they will be trading only a portion of the Ethereum they possess, which they claim will give them the chance to “trade up” and potentially earn a little revenue before the crypto market falls any further. Once the market becomes bullish again, Justin claims in the video that Substratum will be in a better place and will be able to create newer (and better) products. Do you foresee the market getting even worse before it gets better? Post your comments below. Image courtesy of Shuttershock The post Crypto Bear Market is So Bad That an ICO is Day Trading its Holdings appeared first on Live Bitcoin News.
Live Bitcoin News

States Take Cryptocurrency Regulation Into Their Own Hands As US Federal Government Focuses On Blockchain

States Take Regulation Of Cryptocurrency In Their Own Hands, As US Federal Government Focuses On Blockchain Technology The regulation of cryptocurrency has been an ongoing problem for the United States (US). They have managed to outline particular processes involved with blockchain technology and have many trials that examine the way that it works in their industries. However, the fact that even government authorities have different classifications for the same token groups makes it hard to know how to handle them. As a result of the confusion, any states are working to become the friendliest places for cryptocurrency. Ohio even made an announcement recently that they would allow their residents to cover taxes with the use of crypto payments. In the meantime, the authorities are still in a state of confusion with defining and regulating the assets that clearly are in demand for residents. The ones making the most noise about the lack of organization of the federal policies aren’t stakeholders or even enthusiasts; these concerns also involve academics. Carol Goforth, a professor at the University of Arkansas, recently noted that there are presently four different regulators within the federal government that oversee how digital assets are dealt with, from their categorization to their issuance, and further. These four entities are the: Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) Internal Revenue Service (IRS) The CFTC sees crypto assets as commodities, though the IRS shares a similar view in calling them property. The FinCen, which is run by the Treasury Department, regulates them with the same rules as fiat currency, but the SEC sees them much differently as securities. Professor Goforth expressed her skepticism that the regulatory entities would work together anytime soon, leading her to encourage the coordination between them for a more nuanced approach. As she puts it, her version of the rules would force the federal government to deal with each cryptocurrency as it is introduced, specifically identifying them by their functionality and the motivations of users. This is a path that at least one instance shows is happening within the federal regulators. The CFTC publicly requested details on the functionality of Ether and the Ethereum Network on December 11th. The document has 25 different questions that deal with the platforms purpose, functionality, scalability, and more. However, the effort to address a single asset by the CFTC isn’t necessarily a sign that the industry is turning towards the idea that the professor had in mind. None of the other regulators have taking this move and are holding on to the regulatory measures that they already have in line. Still, there’s always a chance that congressional legislators will make some changes in their framework. Darren Soto and Ted Budd, who are both US Representatives, brought in two bills on December 6th that will help with the improvement of regulatory framework and reduce the risk of price manipulation. These bills are called the Virtual Currency Consumer Protection Act of 2018 and the U.S. Virtual Currency Market and Regulatory Competitiveness Act of 2018, respectively. These two bills offer specific regulatory changes that could be made for the process to be smoother for exchanges, users, and everyone else involved. The first bill discusses that many situations that can arise in the market for price manipulation. The other requests an in-depth study that aims to improve the “burdensome regulations that may inhibit innovation.” Warren Davidson, the representative of Ohio, spoke at a conference in Cleveland where he noted his intent to bring in a new bill that would create a new asset class for tokens. As such, the regulation of initial coin offerings (ICOs) would become significantly less difficult. A week later, Davidson suggested a crowdfunding event to help with the creation of the US-Mexico border wall, which would include the use of blockchain and “wall coins.” Even though there appears to be a significant lack of clear regulations regarding cryptocurrency, blockchain technology is already being applied to daily operations. The use of this ledger with supply chain logistics is easily its biggest application, and federal authorities are looking to use it for food safety as well, especially considering the recent E. coli outbreak. The Department of Homeland Security announced their intention to use the technology as a way to protect their own activities. Their three subsidiaries are working together for a clear record of documentation that will help with fraud, counterfeiting, and forgery. The defense authorities for the federal government recently established an app that would help the members of the armed forced to learn how to use blockchain technology for the supply chain as well.
Bitcoin Exchange Guide

Bitcoin Supporter Says Crypto is Unconfiscatable as Long as It’s Not in Regulated Exchanges

Bitcoin has many different features, but one of the most important is the fact that users are the real owners of their funds as long as they keep their private keys. However, when users have their funds stored in exchanges, Bitcoin can be confiscated. During a Q&A session during a Tampa Meetup, he said that Bitcoin being non confiscatable applies to exchanges that are not regulated. In general, centralized virtual currency exchanges are not a safe place where to store funds. The company behind the exchange is able to manage the funds as it considers, block some accounts and even experience security issues. If Bitcoin wants to remain non confiscatable, the best what a person can do is to store them in cold storage wallets. No one is able to move the funds from there unless they have the private keys. At the same time, he said that Bitcoin does not have just a single price because there are different markets listing it. He compared the price of Bitcoin (BTC) with Apple stock explaining that Apple’s stock price is determined by supply and demand in just one place. He has also talked about Bitcoin ETF and the fact that to have a stable price of Bitcoin everything needs to sit in one place. He went on saying that having all the BTC in one place is a risk even when it creates a more stable market. For example, he emphasized the fact that if all the BTC are located in just one exchange, hackers might focus only on it. Furthermore, the US government would also have the possibility to confiscate the BTC that users own or trade them. There are several crypto platforms that are regulated, including exchanges such as Coinbase or Gemini. Governments would be able to confiscate the funds that users have on these exchanges, thus deleting one of Bitcoin’s main characteristics. Moreover, he said that Bitcoin being under the control of governments is not positive for the space. A lot of people would completely lose the faith in the popular virtual currency. This is exactly what Satoshi Nakamoto was trying to avoid when it created Bitcoin.
Bitcoin Exchange Guide

Hong Kong Businessmen Targeted by Bitcoin Bomb Threats After Recent USA and Canada Attempts

There have been many different ways to steal funds from individuals in the cryptocurrency market. However, a new methodology has been applied in Hong Kong and other countries such as the United States. According to a recent report released by the South China Morning Post, businessmen in Hong Kong are being targeted by criminals that want to steal Bitcoin from them. These scammers try to steal Bitcoins from victims by threatening them that they will receive a bomb if they don’t send Bitcoins in the time span the scammers provide. One of the affected individuals is Michael Gazeley, the CEO of Network Box. He received a message in his business email with this Bitcoin bomb threat. Furthermore, he said that he had to pay $20,000 if he wanted to avoid receiving a bomb in his office. Gazeley said to the news outlet: “This looks like the third wave of blackmail emails plaguing the world in the past few years… I have never seen something like this, which sounds like cyberterrorism, in my 20-year career in cybersecurity.” Nevertheless, he was 99.99% sure that the message was not worth. Indeed, he mentioned that the email had some typo mistakes and the grammar used was not exactly good. That shows that the main intention is to take a few bucks from some individuals rather than really bombing an office. Hong Kong authorities did not provide further information about this issue, thus it is not possible to know the exact number of companies affected by these threats. This is not the first time that there are Bitcoin bomb threats around the world. A few days ago, as reported by NBC New York. Hoax bomb threats spread asking users to pay in Bitcoin. The New York Police Department (NYPD) informed on Twitter that there was an email circulating that contained a threat asking for a Bitcoin payment. However, they say that they did not find any devices in some of the places where the threat arrived. Please be advised – there is an email being circulated containing a bomb threat asking for bitcoin payment. While this email has been sent to numerous locations, searches have been conducted and NO DEVICES have been found. pic.twitter.com/7omOs13Z7Q — NYPD NEWS (@NYPDnews) December 13, 2018 The NYPD went on explaining that the threats are meant to cause disruption and/or obtain money in a fast way. Although the police will be responding to the calls made by the community, they believe that the threats are likely ‘not credible.’ This is not the first time that there are scammers trying to steal Bitcoin and other virtual currencies from users. Earlier this year, scammers on Twitter were asking for Bitcoin and ETH deposits using fake accounts that stole famous people’s identities.
Bitcoin Exchange Guide
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