Korean Government Launches Investigation into Crypto Hacks

Korean Government Launches Investigation into Crypto Hacks

Following the alleged hacks of South Korean crypto exchanges, the government has formally launched an investigation into the cause of the hacks. The authorities will also perform security checks on all crypto exchanges’ systems.

Also read: Yahoo! Japan Confirms Entrance Into the Crypto Space

Government’s Response

Korean Government Launches Investigation into Crypto HacksThe South Korean government announced on Wednesday, June 20, that it has formally launched an investigation into the cause of the alleged security breaches at two crypto exchanges, Bithumb and Coinrail. At the time of this writing, Bithumb is the country’s second-largest crypto exchange by volume, behind only the Kakao Corp-backed Upbit, according to Coinmarketcap. Coinrail is the country’s seventh largest crypto exchange.

The government’s notice states:

The Ministry of Science and Information and Communication Technology (hereinafter referred to as ‘Science and Technology Ministry’) and the Korea Internet & Security Agency (KISA) said that they are investigating the cause of the accident caused by the virtual currency leak that occurred in Coinrail and Bithumb.

So far, the authorities have not confirmed that the two exchanges were hacked. Coinrail announced on June 10 that it was hacked with an estimated loss of approximately $40 million. Just 10 days later, on June 19, Bithumb revealed that approximately $31 million worth of its cryptocurrencies was stolen.

Investigating Security Breaches

In its announcement, the Korean government explained:

As soon as a company reports a hacking incident, a KISA accident investigation worker is quickly on the scene and is investigating. In cooperation with the police, the agency will analyze and respond to the cause of the accident.

Korean Government Launches Investigation into Crypto HacksThe Science and Technology Ministry inspected the level of information security of 21 cryptocurrency exchanges from January to March this year. After discovering that “most companies have security weaknesses,” the ministry suggested some additional measures aimed at boosting the exchanges’ security systems.

According to the ministry, 17 companies had a “system access control deficiency” while 16 had “insufficient network isolation.” 17 were found to have “abnormality” in their “monitoring system” and 18 had poor security management of crypto wallets and cryptographic keys. Furthermore, 10 companies needed “crypto security management” and 12 companies had inadequate firewall and security systems.

Korean Government Launches Investigation into Crypto HacksWhile the authority confirmed that Coinrail has not implemented additional measures, Bithumb said during the investigation process that it “plans to check the implementation of the recommendations for complementary measures,” the government described.

The ministry says it will encourage the 21 crypto exchanges that were inspected to implement additional measures by the end of the month and will review their security measures again afterwards, reiterating:

We plan to check whether the improvement measures for security vulnerabilities have been completed.

Furthermore, all newly identified crypto exchanges will also be inspected, the ministry informed, clarifying that upon confirmation of a new crypto dealer, security checks will be conducted.

What do you think of the Korean government launching an investigation into the cause of the alleged hacks? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock and Pixabay. Editor’s Note: Some statements have been translated from Korean.


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License Needed for Crypto Trading, Circulation, and Settlement in Cambodia

License Needed for Crypto Trading, Circulation, and Settlement in Cambodia

Three Cambodian government bodies have jointly announced that the propagation, circulation, buying, selling, trading, and settlement of cryptocurrencies without obtaining a license are illegal activities. The agencies have also outlined four main risks associated with crypto trading or investing.

Also read: Yahoo! Japan Confirms Entrance Into the Crypto Space

License Needed

The National Bank of Cambodia (NBC), the Commission of Cambodia, and the General-Commissariat of National Police jointly made a statement regarding the legality of crypto activities in the country. It was signed on May 11 but published on Tuesday, June 19.

License Needed for Crypto Trading, Circulation, and Settlement in Cambodia

“Competent authorities have recently observed that cryptocurrencies such as Kh Coin, Suncoin, K Coin, Onecoin, Forex coin and other similar cryptocurrencies have been propagated, circulated, bought, sold, traded and settled actively in Cambodia,” the trio wrote, adding:

Competent authorities clarify that the propagation, circulation, buying, selling, trading and settlement of cryptocurrencies without obtaining license from competent authorities are illegal activities.

The authorities emphasized that “Any person or legal entity” engaged in any of the above activities without a proper license “shall be penalized in accordance with applicable laws.” However, the statement does not mention bitcoin or any crypto with a large market cap.

Regulators Outline Crypto-Related Risks

The statement continues to explain that the aforementioned crypto-related activities are not regulated by the authorities and “will cause potential risks to the public and society.”

License Needed for Crypto Trading, Circulation, and Settlement in CambodiaThe trio named four specific risks. Firstly, “The issuance of cryptocurrencies is not backed by collateral,” they wrote. Secondly, “Investment in cryptocurrencies may incur losses due to the volatility of its face value.” Then they claim there is a risk of “cybercrime and loss of funds due to the system being hacked.” Lastly, not only is there “no customer protection mechanism” with cryptocurrencies, but the regulators also noted the risks of money laundering and financing of terrorism since “the user of cryptocurrencies is an anonymous person who has no identity or historical records.”

License Needed for Crypto Trading, Circulation, and Settlement in CambodiaThe Cambodian Securities and Exchange Commission previously warned citizens of the risks of trading or investing in cryptocurrencies. In December, the NBC “reconfirmed its stand not to recognize digital currency bitcoin being introduced by some businesses in Cambodia,” the national press agency, AKP, wrote.

The central bank released a resolution in December to all banks and microfinance institutions in the country to ban the trading of cryptocurrencies including bitcoin, the Phnom Penh Post described, adding that, as a result:

Many of these financial institutions prevent customers from using their accounts to buy or sell digital coins or tokens.

What do you think of this statement by the three government bodies? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock and the Cambodian government.


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Craig Wright Referenced as Satoshi in Chinese University Textbook

Craig Wright Referenced as Satoshi in Chinese University Textbook

According to reports a Chinese economics textbook that’s used in some of China’s leading universities states that the notorious Dr. Craig Wright is Satoshi Nakamoto, the creator of Bitcoin. The university textbook authored by Frederic Mishkin calls Wright an “Australian geek” who invented the cryptocurrency bitcoin almost ten years ago.

Also Read: “I Am the Real Satoshi” Claims Hawaiian Man After Filing Bitcoin Cash Trademark

Dr. Craig Wright is Referenced as Satoshi Nakamoto in a Chinese University Textbook

Dr. Craig Wright is an interesting man, and he is well known for publicly identifying himself as the creator of Bitcoin not long ago. Multiple news publications and key members of the Bitcoin community such as Gavin Andresen and Jon Matonis say that Wright has signed messages using Satoshi Nakamoto’s keys. Although during that time, and even now, that topic has been a contentious issue amongst the cryptocurrency community, and since then Wright has stopped discussing the claim.

Craig Wright Referenced as Satoshi in Chinese University Textbook
Not long ago Dr. Craig Wright publicly identified himself as Satoshi Nakamoto.

However, Wright has remained very noticeable within the crypto-ecosystem and now works as the chief scientist for the blockchain firm Nchain. Wright is also a staunch supporter of the decentralized currency bitcoin cash (BCH) and believes it is the ‘true bitcoin’ that’s intended to be a peer-to-peer currency, as opposed to a store of value.

Now, this week the journalist Jasmine Solana discovered a Chinese economics textbook that states Dr. Craig Wright is Satoshi Nakamoto. The economics textbook, “The Economics of Money, Banking, and Financial Markets (sixth edition),” was written by an American economist and writer Frederic Mishkin.

Craig Wright Referenced as Satoshi in Chinese University Textbook
Image and translation via Coingeek journalist Jasmine Solana.

The Economics Textbook Calls Wright an ‘Australian Financial Geek’ While Another Individual Recently Claimed to be the Creator of Bitcoin

The book was originally written in English and has been translated to Chinese, and on page 11 the authors say Wright is an “Australian financial geek” who created the peer-to-peer electronic cash network. The textbook was approved and translated by the Wuhan University Press, and one of China’s largest educational institutions the Department of Finance of the Economics and Management School (EMS) uses the text.

There are other school textbooks worldwide like universities such as Princeton, MIT, and other well-known colleges that reference the creator, but only identify him/her/group as a pseudonym called ‘Satoshi Nakamoto.’ Lately, Wright and his company Nchain has been releasing a series of academic papers on certain subjects like ‘selfish mining’ and other technical topics. Alongside this, the London-based firm has launched a programmers’ toolkit called Nakasendo built primarily for BCH developers.   

The Chinese textbook news also follows the recent claim from a Hawaiian man who has attempted to trademark the words ‘Bitcoin Cash.’ An individual named Ronald Keala Kua Maria from Hawaii says he is the ‘real’ Satoshi Nakamoto and has been purchasing domains and IP rights, including an attempt to trademark the BCH name.

What do you think about Craig Wright being identified as Satoshi Nakamoto in the Chinese textbook? Let us know your thoughts on this subject in the comment section below.


Images via Shutterstock, Pixabay, and Coingeek.  


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A Hands On Review of the New Card-Shaped Hardware Device Coolwallet S

A Hands On Review of the New Card-Shaped Hardware Device Coolwallet S

This week news.Bitcoin.com received the new Coolwallet S — the cryptocurrency hardware wallet shaped like a credit card. As we previously reported, the interesting digital asset storage card started shipping last month so we decided to give the wallet a hands on review.

Also read: North Carolina Banking Bill Passes — Adds Virtual Currency License Requirements

Testing Out the New Credit-Card Shaped Hardware Wallet

Last month we reported on the Coolwallet S hardware wallet launched by the Taiwanese financial-tech company founded by Michael Ou. The wallet is different than other wallet’s we have reviewed in the past like the Keepkey, Ledger nano, and Digital Bitbox because the Coolwallet is shaped like a traditional credit card. On June 20 our new Coolwallet arrived from Taiwan and when we observed the package the box was sealed very nicely. In fact, the Coolwallet’s packaging was sealed so tight you need a tool like a pocket knife to open the box, which is also sealed with special Coolwallet branded foil tape.

A Hands On Review of the New Card-Shaped Hardware Device Coolwallet S
The Coolwallet S comes tightly sealed with tamper-resistant tape.

On inspection, the product was not touched by any third parties and when opened, the box kind of resembles a jewelry box with a quote from Michael Ou on the revolutionary aspects of blockchain technology. The box comes with the Coolwallet itself which is basically a card that’s roughly 85×53 mm with rounded corners, and has a display on the backside. Just below the screen is the cards command button which has a clicking feel when pressed. Below that are two very small metal circles that are used to charge the battery and the card had some charge when it was delivered. The box also comes with the card’s charger, a USB connection, directions, a blank seed card, and a Coolwallet sticker.

A Hands On Review of the New Card-Shaped Hardware Device Coolwallet S
Packaging and battery charger.

The first thing we did was connect the USB wire to the card’s charger and plugged the card into the thin slot. This powered up the card and it then asks to pair with your mobile phone. You need to download the Coolwallet app from the Google Play store or Apple’s App Store to get the wallet platform and pair the card. After opening the app the phone will see the card and show you the serial number on your phone’s screen. The serial number for our Coolwallet X is blocked out for privacy, but it is at the top left corner next to the card’s screen. When pairing the app it will ask for a code which is shown on the card’s screen and after typing it into the app, the two should pair. Coolbitx states that the messages sent between the mobile phone and card use encrypted Bluetooth settings. 

A Hands On Review of the New Card-Shaped Hardware Device Coolwallet S
After pairing with a mobile phone the wallet asks to ‘create’ a new wallet or ‘restore’ an existing wallet. After hitting create you can choose between a 12, 18, and 24 length seed.

After pairing with your mobile phone you can either create a new wallet or restore an existing one. If you choose to create a new wallet you can choose between a 12, 18, and 24 length seed, but this seed is not your typical mnemonic phrase. Coolwallet uses numbers rather than words and asks you to write them all down in concession. After that, it asks you to add all the numbers up, and you must type in the sum to finish verifying the seed. This method is an interesting way of recording a seed as most others use randomized words.

A Hands On Review of the New Card-Shaped Hardware Device Coolwallet S
Coolwallet holds the following coins BTC, LTC, XRP, ETH, BCH, EOS, JAYZ, USDT, and WETH.

After the seed is verified, the mobile wallet loads and you are brought to the main interface which shows all the wallets and the sum of total assets. After the wallet was set up it was time to load the card. At first we did try to load some BTC dust ($2.00 USD) from the Digital Bitbox we reviewed a few months ago but unfortunately, with BTC fees rising again, the Swiss-made Bitbox would not send the funds. Following the attempt, we decided to load up the card with bitcoin cash (BCH) and sent multiple fractions to the new Coolwallet for about 0.0000111 BCH or less per transaction.

A Hands On Review of the New Card-Shaped Hardware Device Coolwallet S
Coolwallet S shows the balance on the card depending on the coin you are viewing.

After the funds were accessible, we decided to send a few transactions out of the wallet. Using the send screen you can toggle to whatever coin you feel like sending, and all you do is fill in the receiving address field, and set the amount. You can also adjust the fee settings and type the fee manually if you want to set a lower fee as well. We found the lowest fee settings for bitcoin cash on the Coolwallet was too high, and had to manually adjust the fee to below the one U.S. cent threshold. After pressing the send button when all the fields are complete, the app asks you to turn on the card. When the card is turned on the app syncs with the phone and you are asked to verify the send function using the button on the card. After pressing the button three times the transaction will send as the card acts as a second-factor authentication for the application.

We found the app and card worked very well except for the fee settings section for bitcoin cash as it was set too high. Another thing we noticed is that it takes a touch longer for the app and card to sync funds and transaction history after performing an action, but it’s not unbearable. Charging the card doesn’t take long and the charge lasts for an extremely long time as the system shuts down when it’s not being used. As for the cards’ shape and how bendable the card is without hurting the device is a great feature. It’s easy to hide in your back pocket, in your physical wallet, or anywhere you can hide a small credit card. Size is a plus because the wallet is definitely more concealable than Trezor or Ledger models, and other hardware wallets that are even larger than those two products.

Lastly, Coolbit has just partnered with the decentralized exchange Joyso, which means users will soon be able to trade ERC-20 tokens within the wallet using the hybrid decentralized exchange (HEX). The Coolwallet S is a bit more expensive than other hardware wallet models as the card goes for $189 USD (duo set $299) but the card’s size advantage and the ability to tether to both iOS and Android mobile has its benefits.

What do you think about the new Coolwallet S hardware wallet? Let us know in the comment section below.


Images courtesy of Jamie Redman, and Coolwallet


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Korean Government Details Regulatory Plans After Multiple Crypto Exchange Hacks

Korean Government Details Regulatory Plans After Multiple Crypto Exchange Hacks

Following multiple hack reports, the South Korean government explains how it will strengthen the regulatory framework for cryptocurrency exchanges. A bill has already been submitted which imposes multiple new obligations on crypto exchanges.

Also read: Yahoo! Japan Confirms Entrance Into the Crypto Space

Korean Government’s Solution

Following recent reports of multiple security breaches at cryptocurrency exchanges, the South Korean government has revealed the details of the new bill to regulate crypto exchanges, local media report.

Korean Government Details Regulatory Plans After Multiple Crypto Exchange Hacks
Choi Jong-ku.

On Tuesday, June 19, South Korea’s second largest crypto exchange, Bithumb, posted a notice on its website and tweeted that about 35 billion won (~US$31 million) worth of cryptocurrencies was stolen. However, the exchange promptly removed the notice and deleted its tweets about the theft shortly afterward. The Bithumb incident came just 10 days after the country’s seventh largest crypto exchange, Coinrail, claimed that it was hacked on June 10, with the damage estimated at approximately $40 million.

Choi Jong-ku, Chairman of the country’s top financial regulator, the Financial Services Commissions (FSC), commented on the Bithumb news on Wednesday. He was quoted by Newsis saying:

In order to prevent this, we need to make the [crypto] transaction system stable and strengthen the protections of the traders by virtual currency handling businesses.

He explained that an amendment bill to the Act on Reporting and Using Specified Financial Transaction Information has already been submitted to the National Assembly in order to achieve this.

Crypto exchanges are currently “in the blind spot” of the Korean regulators, Newspim wrote, adding that they are “expected to be monitored by the financial authorities through the ‘report system’.” The publication elaborated, “This will block illegal money laundering using virtual currency exchanges and enhance the rules for transactions with commercial banks in cooperative relations such as opening virtual accounts.”

The Revised Bill

Korean Government Details Regulatory Plans After Multiple Crypto Exchange HacksAccording to the proposed bill, the government “will define a virtual currency exchange as a virtual currency handling business,” the publication described, noting that the obligation to prevent money laundering will be imposed on all crypto handling businesses.

“If the bill passes the National Assembly, a virtual currency exchange must be obliged to report to the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) as a virtual currency handling business and be regularly supervised by the FIU,” the news outlet detailed. If the authorities find any illegal activities, then the Financial Supervisory Service (FSS) and the FIU will inspect and investigate them.

Son Sung-eun, FIU’s Director of Planning and Cooperation Team, was quoted saying:

We could not afford to let virtual currency centers become a hotbed for money laundering.

The proposed amendment also obligates all financial companies to “preserve financial transaction data and information related to the implementation of obligatory transaction reporting, high cash transaction reporting, customer confirmation, etc. for five years.”

Penalties and Punishments

Sanctions will be imposed on any crypto businesses in violation of or failing to comply with the financial regulators’ rules. They include “recommending the dismissal of officers at the same level as banks and securities companies, suspending business operations, warning of institutions, and corrective orders.”

FIU manager Kim Ji-woong explained one particular disciplinary measure:

The defendant’s fines will be charged at 30 million won [~$27,077] if the virtual currency provider does not go through the customer verification process or does not check or report suspicious transactions.

Hong Sung-ki, Vice Director of Virtual Currency Countermeasures, was quoted by Hankyung reiterating that the enactment of this bill “does not mean that virtual currency exchanges are legally recognized and absorbed into the system.”

What do you think of the Korean government’s plans for crypto exchanges? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock and the Korean government.


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North Carolina Banking Bill Passes — Adds Virtual Currency License Requirements

North Carolina Banking Bill Passes — Adds Virtual Currency License Requirements

The state of North Carolina has pushed the passage of House Bill 86 and some digital currency advocates and firms like Coinbase believe the bill makes the state more friendly towards cryptocurrency businesses. At the moment North Carolina’s House Bill 86 has been presented to Governor Roy Cooper and awaits his signature.

Also read: Major Korean Crypto Exchange: $31 Million Vanishes

North Carolina House Bill 86 Includes Money Transmission Changes and Licensure Guidelines in Regard to Virtual Currencies Passes Unanimously

North Carolina Banking Bill Passes — Adds Virtual Currency License Requirements On June 14, 2018, North Carolina’s general assembly unanimously ratified House Bill 86 which adds new language to the state’s permissible investments and statutory trust under the Money Transmitters Act. The bill’s final revision includes legal definitions concerning virtual currencies like bitcoin and other tokens. North Carolina’s legislation also requires the licensure of businesses that work with cryptocurrency activities. Furthermore, the state’s Commissioner of Banks Ray Grace can request data from the licensed cryptocurrency firm at any time. North Carolina House Bill 86 states:   

If the licensee possesses virtual currency as permissible investments under this Article, the Commissioner may at any time request that the licensee verify, in a manner acceptable to the Commissioner, aggregate virtual currency transmission obligations outstanding and virtual currency held as permissible investments, including virtual currency stored offline.

Coinbase Believes North Carolina’s Bill ‘Helps Cryptocurrency Companies Comply With the Letter of the Law’

North Carolina Banking Bill Passes — Adds Virtual Currency License Requirements
Coinbase executive Mike Lempres

Commissioner Grace had also helped write the revised edition which included virtual currency definitions and licensee requirements. The firm Coinbase applauded the passage of House Bill 86 and formally thanked the banking commissioner, representatives Tim Moore, Dan Bishop, Jon Hardister, Bill Rabon, Stephen Ross, Jason Saine, and Jeff Tarte for helping bolster the legislation.

“Passage of House Bill 86 exemplifies how regulators and legislators can work together to foster innovation by either licensing cryptocurrency money transmissions or exempting cryptocurrency from money transmission laws,” the Chief Legal and Compliance Officer at Coinbase, Mike Lempres said last Thursday.

By helping cryptocurrency companies comply with the letter of the law, leaders in both states are paving the way for the economic and social benefits of this new technology to flourish within their communities.           

The firm also complimented the state of Wyoming for recently passing its blockchain and cryptocurrency legislation after it had issues with the state prior to the passage of Wyoming’s guidelines. A while ago Coinbase suspended its services to Wyoming residents and the firm said at the time that the state’s Division of Banking made Coinbase operations impractical. As both North Carolina and Wyoming change their money transmissions laws the state’s look like they may see more business operations due to the legislative changes.

What do you think about North Carolina’s House Bill 86? Do you think more states will adapt virtual currencies into their laws? Or do you think these regulations are bad for cryptocurrencies in general? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below.


Images via Pixabay, Wiki Commons, North Carolina Emblem, Coinbase, and Medium. 


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France Warns of Several Unauthorized Cryptocurrency Platforms

France Warns of Several Unauthorized Cryptocurrency Platforms

France’s financial markets regulator has issued a new warning against unauthorized platforms offering cryptocurrency investments. The regulator has added four websites to its list of blacklisted domains offering crypto investments without authorization.

Also read: Yahoo! Japan Confirms Entrance Into the Crypto Space

French Regulator’s Warning

France Warns of Several Unauthorized Cryptocurrency PlatformsThe French financial markets regulator, the Autorité des Marchés Financiers (AMF), on Monday warned “the public against several companies proposing atypical investments without being authorized to do so.”

The AMF is an independent public authority responsible for ensuring that savings invested in financial products are protected. According to Law no. 2016-1691 on transparency, no investment offer can be directly marketed in France without a registration number or prior approval by the AMF.

France Warns of Several Unauthorized Cryptocurrency PlatformsAlongside Monday’s warning, the regulator also published a list of four “new unauthorized websites offering atypical investments.” The four websites are bitoraxe.com, solutioncrypto.com, solution-crypto.com, and connect-coin.fr. At the time of this writing, connect-coin.fr is already offline. The other three are still live but solution-crypto.com redirects all traffic to solutioncrypto.com.

The AMF previously published a list of 15 websites offering crypto investments without authorization. The regulator maintains three lists of unauthorized websites – one for forex products, one for binary options, and one for other goods including diamonds, wines, and cryptocurrencies. The agency started keeping track of blacklisted sites in July last year and began including crypto sites in December.

AMF Concerned About Crypto

The AMF has been tracking losses in cryptocurrencies through its Epargne Info-services center, which receives investment complaints and claims. During the AMF’s annual report presentation last month, Chairman Robert Ophèle said:

During the first four months of the year, out of the more than 4,000 requests processed by our Epargne Info-services center, 700 concerned crypto-assets with nearly 250 claims or reports reporting more than € 9 million (~US$10.43 million) in losses.

He added that cryptocurrencies have taken over binary options and highly leveraged contracts for difference (CFDs) as the most pressing problem.

France is currently creating a legal framework for initial coin offerings (ICOs), which is expected to be finalized next year. The agency started clamping down on bitcoin derivatives in February. In April, the country slashed the tax rate on crypto capital gains from 45% to 19%.

What do you think of the AMF warning investors of these unauthorized platforms? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock and AMF.


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The Anonymous Bitcoin.org Owner Accuses BTC Mining Pools of Centralization

The Anonymous Bitcoin.org Owner Accuses BTC Mining Pools of Centralization

There’s been a lot of controversy over the past few weeks stemming from the anonymous Twitter handle and co-owner of Bitcoin.org, ‘Cobra Bitcoin.’ The well-known BTC community member has been at the forefront of contentious subjects for many years now, and this week Cobra is claiming that one man has control of more than 51 percent of the BTC network.

Also Read: Freedom of the Press Foundation Now Accepts Five Cryptocurrencies

The Infamous Snake Twitter Handle ‘Cobra Bitcoin’ Claims Bitmain Controls 80 Percent of the BTC Hashrate

The notorious Cobra is at it again stirring up controversial conversations on Twitter, and begging the BTC community to change the protocol’s proof-of-work (PoW) consensus algorithm. Cobra believes mining pool centralization has taken over the network. Cobra’s tweets specifically target the Chinese firm Bitmain Technologies and the company’s CEO Jihan Wu. This is not the first time Cobra has initiated the subject of mining centralization as he has brought the topic up many times over the years, alongside BTC core developer Luke Jr, another staunch advocate of a PoW change. On June 18 the co-owner of Bitcoin.org shared a pie chart of the mining pools processing blocks on the BTC network and stated:

Bitcoin simply can’t be censorship resistant long term if the hashing power is controlled almost entirely by one entity — You can’t build ‘digital gold’ on something that can be shut down by one man, and needs rapid massive coordinated response amongst *everyone* to counter.

The Anonymous Bitcoin.org Owner Accuses BTC Mining Pools of Centralization
This is the pie chart the Twitter handle Cobra shared on June 18, 2018.

Prior to Cobra’s tweet showing the hashrate distribution pie chart, the anonymous individual started tagging big pools that he suspects are directly connected to Bitmain and its CEO Jihan Wu.      

“Bitmain claims they don’t control the majority of the hashing power behind Antpool, BTC.com and Viabtc and other pools,” states Cobra.

These claims and this hashing power needs to be audited, to verify how much is independently owned — Suspect 80%+ of BTC hashrate is Bitmain.

Cobra Accused of Throwing Stones from a Glass House  

The Anonymous Bitcoin.org Owner Accuses BTC Mining Pools of Centralization
BTC.com’s business operations VP, Alejandro DeLaTorre.

This specific statement led to a response from BTC.com’s business operations VP, Alejandro DeLaTorre, who scoffed at Cobra’s claims. Following the response, Cobra asks DeLaTorre if he can confirm “how much of the hashing power on BTC.com is owned by Bitmain?” DeLaTorre decides to respond by bringing up another point of centralization, which concerns Cobra’s control over the domain Bitcoin.org, and the recent changes the site has made banning companies that once supported the New York Agreement.

“Can you explain me to why the BTC.com wallet is no longer welcome on Bitcoin.org? While we followed all the community guidelines and more?” DeLaTorre asks the co-owner of the website (the other co-owner of Bitcoin.org is Theymos, the owner of r/bitcoin and bitcointalk.org).

All the wallet requirements have been met — Where does it state anything about NYA? If you’re going to play politics at least be transparent about it and reflect it on the requirements.

Not the First Time a Large Pool Controlled a Great Deal of BTC Hashrate — Ghash.io Surpassed 51% Several Times in the Summer of 2014    

Cobra’s following Twitter posts later that day continue to claim that Bitmain is in full control of the BTC hashrate, and he believes other mining pools cannot compete with the Beijing company’s power.  

“We have waited years for this competition that never arrives — Halong hardware is 1% of the network hashing power, and they don’t sell anything anymore,” Cobra explains. “It seems nobody can compete with Bitmain on cost per J/THs — They will continue to dominate long term, with nothing to stop them,” he adds.

The solution is to change the PoW, and end their monopoly, or to at least soft fork in a new algorithm alongside the existing SHA-256. This algorithm is at present a total failure.

At the moment, according to statistics from Blockchain.info, BTC.com, and Bitcoinity, data shows BTC.com’s pool currently has around 28-29 percent of BTC’s network hashrate at the time of publication.

The Anonymous Bitcoin.org Owner Accuses BTC Mining Pools of Centralization
June 13, 2014

The last pool that grew significantly large when it processed more than 51 percent of the BTC network in the summer of 2014 was Ghash.io. The mining pool Ghash.io surpassed the 51 percent mark a couple of times that year, and held that number for more than half a day on June 16, 2014. However, at the time the pool promised to stay honest and since then the Ghash.io pool had split up into multiple factions. Nothing major ever happened like Bitcoin Gold’s recent 51 percent attack, except a whole lot of FUD spread in MSM headlines that year.

The Anonymous Bitcoin.org Owner Accuses BTC Mining Pools of Centralization
Bitcoin Core developer Luke Jr has also been advocating for a hard fork to change BTC’s proof-of-work algorithm. Luke has created a poll for people to vote on the subject on Twitter. 

As far as Cobra and his recent statements, the snake-like character has relentlessly pushed for a PoW change for quite some time, and due to his bi-polar like statements its difficult for many to take his words seriously. However, his control over Bitcoin.org has allowed his voice to stir up controversial conversations once again.

What do you think about the infamous Cobra Bitcoin character and his recent statements? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below.


Images via Pixabay, Wallpaper Abyss, and Blockchain.info.  


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What Causes Ripple Hype? Cory Johnson Gives His Opinion

What causes Ripple hype

Even with its many price fluctuations, there’s been a lot of Ripple hype. What causes Ripple hype? Cory Johnson gives his two cents and we give ours.

Latest Ripple News | XRP Price Analysis 

In 2017, XRP increased in value by roughly 32,000%. So far in 2018, XRP has dropped by 75%. However, the fascination around the digital asset remains. More on that later, though!

Today, XRP is changing hands at $0.543. The coin is 2.80% higher on daily basis. At press time, Ripple (XRP) has a market cap of $21.32B, and a 24-hour ...

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Hacked Korean Crypto Exchange Unveils Plan to Restart Service Amid Controversies

Hacked Korean Crypto Exchange Unveils Plan to Restart Service Amid Controversies

South Korean cryptocurrency exchange Coinrail has unveiled its plan to resume service despite surrounding controversies. The exchange reportedly removed a key part of its terms of service right before it was allegedly hacked, arousing suspicions.

Also read: Yahoo! Japan Confirms Entrance Into the Crypto Space

Service Could Resume Around July 15

Hacked Korean Crypto Exchange Unveils Plan to Restart Service Amid ControversiesSouth Korea’s seventh largest crypto exchange, Coinrail, reported that it was hacked on June 10. The damage is estimated to be around 45 billion won (~US$41 million).

Hacked Korean Crypto Exchange Unveils Plan to Restart Service Amid Controversies
Coinrail’s notice.

On its website, the exchange states that 70% of its total coins have been safely moved to cold storage. In addition, “about 80% of the coins that have been confirmed to be leaked have been frozen/ withdrawn/ redeemed or equivalent…while the remainder is under investigation with investigators, related exchanges, and coin developers,” the exchange wrote, adding that the coins stolen are NPXS, DENT, BBC, ATX, JNT, and NPER.

Coinrail tweeted on Monday that it is in the process of restructuring its business in order to resume service around July 15. The exchange elaborated:

Coinrail will resume service before July 15 if it is determined that the service is ready to resume…We are constantly preparing a number of measures to recover the damaged coins and we will be reporting progress on the restoration measure at the end of June.

Unhappy Customers

Hacked Korean Crypto Exchange Unveils Plan to Restart Service Amid Controversies
Notice outside Coinrail’s office. Photo by Informant.

Coinrail says, “We are setting up a recovery plan with various stakeholders such as coin developers,” Sedaily detailed, noting that some customers are skeptical and do not believe that Coinrail will resume service on that date.

On Monday, about 50 customers visited Coinrail’s headquarters in Gangnam, Seoul, EKN conveyed. However, there was a notice on the exchange’s front door advising customers that they will not be able to visit the exchange’s office.

Hacked Korean Crypto Exchange Unveils Plan to Restart Service Amid Controversies
Customers outside Coinrail’s office on June 18. Photo by Informant.

Removal of User Compensation Clause

Hacked Korean Crypto Exchange Unveils Plan to Restart Service Amid ControversiesPrior to the alleged hack, the exchange reportedly removed a clause from its terms of service regarding user compensation.

Sedaily explained “the controversy over the revision of the terms [of service].” The news outlet detailed, “Coinrail has been suspected a week before the [alleged] hack” of removing the terms of service pertaining to the company’s standard indemnification provisions. This caused some to suspect that the exchange is trying to avoid responsibility for damages caused by the hack, the publication elaborated. However, Coinrail explained:

We have been working to strengthen the responsibility of the company in accordance with the government’s policy with the revision of the terms of the contract.

In April, the Korean Fair Trade Commission (FTC) examined the terms of use of 12 cryptocurrency exchanges. The agency found a total of 14 unfair terms and recommended corrections. While the country’s largest exchanges such as Bithumb subsequently changed their terms of service to comply, Coinrail removed its related terms of service, the publication revealed.

Recently, Chosun reported that some banks detected suspicious activities and closed the Coinrail’s accounts in April. However, the exchange maintains that they were only unused virtual accounts and there was no hacking evidence detected, Hankyung noted.

What do you think of Coinrail’s situation? Do you think the exchange will reopen soon and compensate customers? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Informant, and EKN.


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All Regulated Japanese Exchanges to Prohibit Insider Trading and Privacy Coins

All Regulated Japanese Exchanges to Self-Prohibit Insider Trading and Privacy Coins

The association comprising of 16 government-approved cryptocurrency exchanges in Japan has reportedly provided a sneak peak of its self-regulatory rules. The focuses are on banning insider trading and preventing exchanges from listing privacy coins.

Also read: Yahoo! Japan Confirms Entrance Into the Crypto Space

Insider Trading Banned

The Japan Virtual Currency Exchange Association (JVCEA) has given a sneak peak of the draft self-regulatory rules it has been working on, “in an effort to step up consumer protections and improve transparency,” Nikkei reported on Monday. The main focuses of the new regulations are on “insider trading and the trading of new currencies that cannot be traced easily,” the publication detailed, adding:

The proposed rules explicitly ban insider trading. Word has leaked previously that a major exchange would start handling a new currency, which led to a surge in the currency’s value and left many suspecting market manipulation. Such activity would represent a clear violation of the new rules.

All Regulated Japanese Exchanges to Self-Prohibit Insider Trading and Privacy Coins
Representatives of the JVCEA.

Privacy Coins and Other Restrictions

Previously, news.Bitcoin.com reported that the country’s top financial regulator, the Financial Services Agency (FSA), had pressured exchanges to drop privacy coins. Nikkei soon reported that the agency intended to introduce a rule banning them. Subsequently, Coincheck delisted XMR, DASH, and ZEC.

According to the news outlet, the JVCEA has also introduced its own rules on privacy coins, stating:

The association also wants to prohibit exchanges from accepting new currencies that cannot be traced to previous sellers, since such currencies could easily be used for money laundering and are hard to monitor. Highly anonymous coins like Monero, Dash and Zcash could be forced out of the mainstream.

In order to prevent another Coincheck incident, crypto exchanges must better protect customer assets and report audit results to the association. “Customers’ private keys, which are needed to complete transactions, must also be managed offline to minimize hacking risk,” the publication described.

Furthermore, “exchanges will be required to keep their quoted rates from widely deviating from the prevailing market rates. Exchanges would also need to introduce circuit breakers to halt trading should a currency’s value suddenly surge or plunge.”

Strict and Costly Compliance All Around

Following the hack of Coincheck in January, the FSA has tightened its oversight of crypto exchanges including imposing stricter registration requirements and on-site inspections.

All Regulated Japanese Exchanges to Self-Prohibit Insider Trading and Privacy CoinsThe agency has handed out a number of business improvement orders as well as suspended a few exchanges. Out of the 16 registered exchanges, only two were issued business improvement orders – GMO Coin and Tech Bureau. Prior to the Coincheck hack, Japan had 16 “deemed dealers” or those exchanges which were allowed to operate while their applications are pending. However, since the FSA started strengthening its rules, eight of them have indicated that they will withdraw their applications.

All Regulated Japanese Exchanges to Self-Prohibit Insider Trading and Privacy Coins
Taizen Okuyama.

The JVCEA was established in March, also in response to the Coincheck hack, in order to regain public trust in the crypto industry. The association consists of the 16 government-approved crypto exchanges. The chairman and president of the organization is Taizen Okuyama of Money Partners. Bitflyer CEO Yuzo Kano is the Vice Chairman, along with Bitbank President Noriyuki Hiroeno. The other two directors are SBI Virtual Currencies’ Yoshitaka Kitao and GMO Coin’s Tomitaka Ishimura.

In addition to the JVCEA, Japan already has two older associations: the Japan Blockchain Association (JBA) and the Japan Virtual Currency Business Association (JCBA).

According to the news outlet, the JVCEA has drawn up nearly 100 pages of self-regulatory measures which could be costly for crypto exchanges to comply with. An official at one exchange was quoted saying:

We’re being subjected to rules almost as tough as the Financial Instruments and Exchange Act.

What do you think of the association’s self-regulatory rules? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock and the JVCEA.


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Financial Services Provider Square Acquires New York Bitlicense

Financial Services Provider Square Acquires New York Bitlicense

The company Square announced on Monday the firm has been granted the Bitlicense from the New York Department of Financial Services (DFS). The firm and its ‘Cash App’ are now legally allowed to operate and utilize cryptocurrency solutions in the state of New York.

Also Read: Cryptocurrency Brokerage Service Genesis Global Granted Bitlicense

Square Has Obtained the New York Bitlicense

 Financial Services Provider Square Acquires New York Bitlicense
The Square Cash App was offered to most U.S. states this past February and now the company can operate in the state of New York. Users can purchase and sell Bitcoin Core (BTC) from within the app.

Square, Inc. is a payment processor and financial services provider that was launched in 2010. The San Francisco based company was founded by Jack Dorsey (also the CEO of Twitter) and Jim McKelvey back in 2010 and the firm has been staunch bitcoin supporters for quite some time. Back in November 2017, the company announced it was implementing in-app BTC buy/sell Options for certain select customers. A few months later in February of 2018 Square rolled out the BTC service for all users. Since then the revenue derived from the cryptocurrency in-app services has added around $8Bn USD to Square’s overall valuation according to data collected last May. Now this week, Square has been granted the official Bitlicense money-transmitter approval from the DFS.

“DFS is pleased to approve Square’s application and welcomes them to New York’s expanding and well-regulated virtual currency market,” explained the Financial Services Superintendent Maria T. Vullo during the announcement on Monday.

DFS continues to work in support of a vibrant and competitive virtual currency market that connects and empowers New Yorkers in a global marketplace while ensuring strong state-regulatory oversight is in place.

Square Joins Eight Licensed Cryptocurrency Operations in New York

According to the DFS, the regulators have conducted a review over Square’s business model which includes anti-money laundering guidelines, Know-Your-Customer (KYC), and cybersecurity policies. Moreover, the DFS states the newly licensed Square will be under supervision. The New York regulatory agency has granted the Bitlicense to Circle, Gemini, Coinbase, XRP II, Paxos (formally Itbit), Bitflyer, Xapo, and more recently Genesis Global Trading Inc.

“We are thrilled to now provide New Yorkers with Cash App’s quick and simple way to buy and sell bitcoin,” said Brian Grassadonia, Head of Square’s Cash App service.

Square and the New York State DFS share a vision of empowering people with greater access to the financial system and today’s news is an important step in realizing that goal.

Now New York residents will be able to utilize the Cash App in the state as the region was one of the few states where the cryptocurrency option wasn’t incorporated until today.

What do you think of Square receiving the New York state Bitlicense? Let us know in the comment section below.


Images via Shutterstock, Square, and Pixabay.


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Freedom of the Press Foundation Accepts Cryptocurrency Donations

Freedom of the Press Foundation accepts cryptocurrency donations

As of this Monday, June 18, 2018, the Freedom of the Press Foundation accepts cryptocurrency donations. But what tokens is it accepting?

Freedom of the Press Foundation Accepts Cryptocurrency Donations

The non-profit helps journalists to report on issues such as the “mismanagement, corruption, and law-breaking in government.” The foundation has announced that it is accepting Bitcoin (BTC), Bitcoin Cash (BCH), Ethereum (ETH), Litecoin (LTC), and Zcash (ZEC).

The foundation hopes to add more cryptocurrencies in the future, but currently, donations can be made to the digital wallets that have been added to the Freedom ...

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As Korean Crypto Exchanges Step Up AML Compliance, Banks Are Failing

As Korean Crypto Exchanges Step Up AML Compliance, Banks Are Failing

As the South Korean government steps up its anti-money laundering (AML) oversight, major crypto exchanges in the country are voluntarily complying while banks are reportedly failing to meet the guidelines for compliance. South Korea has also been discussing ways to boost crypto-related AML measures with the U.S.

Also read: Yahoo! Japan Confirms Entrance Into the Crypto Space

Government Concerned About Bank’s AML Compliance

As Korean Crypto Exchanges Step Up AML Compliance, Banks Are FailingSouth Korea’s AML directives currently do not apply to cryptocurrency exchanges directly. The government has made banks responsible for monitoring and reporting any crypto-related money laundering activities.

In an effort to comply with the country’s AML directives, most major South Korean banks have been adding compliance officers.

NH Nonghyup Bank, for example, “recently created an independent unit exclusively to handle compliance-related issues,” the Korea Times reported on Friday, adding that the bank increased the number of its employees working in that unit from 16 to 23. Nonetheless, the Joongang Daily noted on Saturday:

Despite the effort, Korea’s financial watchdog, the Financial Supervisory Service [FSS], warned that the bank has not sufficiently improved its internal control system.

Collaborating with the US

South Korea has also been collaborating with the U.S. to boost AML measures relating to cryptocurrencies. The Korea Times described:

U.S. Treasury Secretary Sigal Mandelker has discussed with FSC Vice Chairman Kim Yong-beom how to boost anti-money-laundering measures especially related to crypto-assets in addition to international cooperation measures.

As Korean Crypto Exchanges Step Up AML Compliance, Banks Are FailingHowever, the U.S. has found Korean banks’ AML measures to be inadequate. South Korea’s top financial regulator, the Financial Services Agency (FSC), said Friday that the New York Department of Financial Services (NYDFS) “has notified the financial regulator of its plan to investigate Korean banks [with operations in New York] that are suspected of failing to meet compliance guidelines.”

As Korean Crypto Exchanges Step Up AML Compliance, Banks Are FailingThe U.S. regulator has already fined Nonghyup Bank $11 million “for inadequate control and a compliance system against money laundering,” the Joongang Daily conveyed, adding that the NYDFS “will start probes into six Korean banks operating in New York either by the end of this month or next month.” They are “Nonghyup Bank, Woori Bank, KB Kookmin Bank, Shinhan Bank and two state-run banks – the Industrial Bank of Korea and the Korea Development Bank,” the publication detailed, elaborating:

Since penalties from the New York DFS would damage the reputation of Korea’s financial industry in general, local financial regulators are also working to encourage the banks to strengthen their control and compliance systems.

The list includes banks that are providing real-name services to crypto exchanges: Nonghyup Bank, Shinhan Bank, and the Industrial Bank of Korea. They are responsible for ensuring that the crypto accounts they service are AML compliant.

Crypto Exchanges Voluntarily Complying

As Korean Crypto Exchanges Step Up AML Compliance, Banks Are FailingIn South Korea, the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) is responsible for money laundering prevention and illegal fund flows, including terrorist financing. The FIU collaborates with the FSS to ensure that banks are adhering to AML rules. Both agencies report to the FSC.

Crypto exchanges are currently not directly regulated by the FIU or the FSS, but the regulators have proposed bringing them under the two agencies’ jurisdiction.

Meanwhile, the largest crypto exchanges in the country are voluntarily upgrading their AML and internal control systems. Bithumb has blocked 11 countries from using its platform and reduced withdrawal limits for accounts that are not using the real-name system. The Kakao-backed Upbit has adopted Thomson Reuters’ system for the same purpose. 23 crypto exchanges have also agreed to comply with the self-regulation standards set by the Korean Blockchain Industry Association.

What do you think of how the South Korean government, banks, and crypto exchanges handle AML measures? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, NYDFS, and the Korea Times.


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This Village Decided to Launch Japan’s First Municipal ICO

This Village Decided to Launch Japan's First Municipal ICO

A village in Japan has announced its decision to launch an initial coin offering in order to secure funds for creating a sustainable region. This will be the first time in Japan for a municipality to use a token sale to raise funds.

Also read: Yahoo! Japan Confirms Entrance Into the Crypto Space

Local Government Launching ICO

This Village Decided to Launch Japan's First Municipal ICOA village in Japan has decided to issue an initial coin offering (ICO) which it describes as “Japan’s first decision to issue a regional ICO by a local government.”

Nishiawakura Village is in Okayama Prefecture, which is located in the southern part of Japan’s Honshu island. The prefecture is largely known for its rural landscapes, feudal castles and art museums. With 95% of the area covered in forest, the village has a population of approximately 1,500. In the early 2000s, the village refused to merge with Mimasaka City when municipalities nationwide consolidated, wanting to remain economically independent.

According to the village’s announcement:

In order to promote the creation of a sustainable region in the future, as a means for small local governments to secure new financing resources and to build up regions through upfront investment, tokens issuance, and the creation of virtual currencies, we will introduce fundraising through an ICO for the first time as a municipality in Japan.

Village’s Coins

This Village Decided to Launch Japan's First Municipal ICOThe village’s tokens will be called Nishiawakura Coin (NAC) and will be issued by the Nishiawakura Village Token Economy Association. The NAC coins will carry voting rights which allow their holders to participate in decision making relating to local ventures, the village explained.

“We plan to advance according to the revised fund settlement law…in line with the self-regulation rules on the management and finance by the Japan Virtual Currency Exchange Industry Association,” according to the announcement. This industry association was established in April and consists of 16 government-approved crypto exchanges. The revised fund settlement law went into effect in Japan last year, legalizing crypto as a means of payment. The village added:

The funds procured will carry out business development, etc. in collaboration with Nishiawakura Village, and will develop a sustainable community.

Currently, Japan has no specific law for ICOs, but the regulators have recently been discussing a specific regulatory framework for them. In February, the country’s top financial regulator, the Financial Services Agency (FSA), issued a warning to an unregistered ICO for allegedly conducting business without a license.

What do you think of this Village in Japan launching an ICO? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Okayama-iju, Turns, and Nishiawakura Village.


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The Reasonable Network

The Reasonable Network

This article is my advice on how reasonable people can have a public discussion that is strong enough to avoid being derailed by trolls, no matter who they are. I believe the key is the conviction that if there were such a thing as a reasonable public discussion, everyone else would depend on the conclusions that it arrived at. Thus, everyone taking part in the discussion will tend to prefer to follow the rules over anything that might serve a conflicting interest.

Also read: Markets Update: SEC Adds a Brief Market Spike — But Will It Last?

If you are someone who prefers the Reasonable Network, then you are looking for people who also prefer the Reasonable Network. You must look at what they prefer and see that they prefer to be reasonable. You don’t need to bug him or manipulate him. You just have to let him show you that he prefers reason.

I am not going to define precisely what I think reasonableness is because I would want people to develop their reasonableness test based on everything they know rather than just what is in this article. However, I will say that I think that a person’s ability to repeat an intellectual position to his discussion partner is a test that is so easy to administer and evaluate, and simultaneously such a good indicator that I recommend it as the first step in any evaluation of another person’s reasonableness.

You, of course, don’t want to waste people’s time, especially your own, so I think you should be able to find the best one-sentence version of your position and look for people who appear to be capable of reporting your position back to you. He does not have to get everything right, but you should believe that he is interested in getting it right. I think it is good to let a person talk for a bit after you give them your test and see if they say anything on their own that shows that they have understood basic things about it. If they do not do this, I think that there is nothing wrong with asking them to repeat your position back to you, just to make sure they got it. Someone who is good at discussions may do this without being prompted because he knows he can’t possibly have a reasonable discussion without understanding the basics of the other person’s position.

The Reasonable Network
“He does not have to get everything right, but you should believe that he is interested in getting it right.”

No matter who you are and what you think, it is relatively easy to see whether someone can correctly repeat back what someone else said, if such an event were recorded publically. Furthermore, I think it is hard to argue that there is anything unfair about my reasonableness test and it is easy for you to argue publicly that someone has passed it. Remember, we are talking about a public discussion, so everything that is said should be something that can potentially have a lot of attention drawn on it. You want to be able to behave according to rules that you can defend later, in case anything that you do attracts attention. I believe that my reasonableness test is something that people with many divergent viewpoints could agree on, if they all wanted to have a reasonable discussion.

It is easy to show that someone has passed the test, but there are many reasons that someone might fail it. I would say that it is hard to show that someone has genuinely failed the test, or in other words, shown that they are uninterested in a reasonable discussion or unable to have one. Someone who does not pass the test is not necessarily someone who does not want a reasonable discussion. I think it is important to differentiate between people who cannot pass the test and people who simply have not. People can have many reasons to choose not to pass your reasonableness test. You must pass their reasonableness test at the same time as they are passing yours, so if you won’t say anything that demonstrates a grasp of whatever they have said to you, they might not bother to say anything. I think the reasonableness test should be based on what people have actually said in the current conversation and they should not expect one another to be familiar with who they are or their prior work as part of the reasonableness test. This ensures that both people are engaging with one another regardless of who they are.

On the other hand, someone who makes the same mistake several times in a row and who does not correct his version of your position after you have given him feedback about his response is someone who doesn’t want a reasonable discussion. If he failed because he is stupid, then you don’t need to talk to him anymore. If he failed because he is a troll, then you might see some variety and inventiveness in his failures. In that case, he is testing you to see how easily you can tell that he is a troll. I think it is ok, if you feel like it, to engage with trolls who have a sense of humor, but they should be doing at least something that you find entertaining, and if not, you should not let yourself respond to any of their lures.

The Reasonable Network
“It may be necessary to prove that you are a troll before you can begin to assess another person’s reasonableness.”

A troll who is failing your test in a way that is a very obvious joke is telling you that there is something wrong with your reasonableness test. For example, let’s say that some ideology or religion has taken over your brain to the degree that you have forgotten how to evaluate other people for reasonableness, then a joke may be a way of drawing your attention to some way that you are excluding thinking people from your network. For example, perhaps your reasonableness test is too big. I think that you should not expect people to have to repeat more than a one-sentence version of your position, and if you are in an ideology or religion, it is often impossible to explain your position in one sentence.

On the other hand, in the event of an environment in which there is a lot of thought-control, in other words, there is social punishment for expressing certain ideas, then it may be necessary to prove that you are a troll before you can begin to assess another person’s reasonableness. You want to be talking to someone first who is able to play with social conventions and who is creative with the way that he expresses forbidden thoughts as jokes or in terms that are cryptic so that few will notice.

Someone who deliberately fails your test in a way that is not an obvious joke is a suspicious person.

There is a bootstrapping problem with the reasonableness network because you cannot reliably pick out reasonable people from a crowd. In a good network where people were genuinely reasonable, you would expect the most prominent people to be reasonable. Unfortunately, you cannot depend on this. I believe it is necessary to be able to pick out reasonable people from a crowd, independent of whether they are prominent.

In public, anyone can transmit anything and there can be very loud signals that do not contain a high originality. You must have something that filters people based on what you can see about them publicly, even if it is not a direct test of reasonableness. You, conversely, should want to be someone who is easily identified as someone who wants to have a reasonable discussion. So you need to transmit a signal that will attract reasonable people to you.

Since reasonable people cannot depend on having any shared ideas that will always stand out in a crowd, I think the best signal of reasonableness is the ability to stand out itself. You should be someone who can stand out in any crowd, not just the one you’re in. In other words, just be some kind of individual. In an environment in which there is a lot of ‘group-think’ and in which individuality is punished, it is easy to design a signal that goes against the crowd. You may have to endure some social punishment to transmit it, but you can try to come up with something that goes over most people’s heads. I think that you just need to believe that having a reasonable discussion is more important than the disapproval of people who don’t want one. I think it is ok if you just want to play some goofy character and you don’t show yourself directly. You just have to be an individual.

I would argue that the ability to go against the crowd is the purest signal of intelligence because it involves identifying a class of behaviors and abstracting something about it. If you are looking at a crowd that’s very unfamiliar to you, then someone who is going against the crowd is the signal that an intelligent person could make which would most easily stand out to you. If you are looking at a crowd and it appears that there are many individuals and you can’t tell who the best contrarian is, then that is a sign that you are looking at a crowd of intelligent people who are able to have a reasonable discussion. If a crowd appears to be many people moving together, then a contrarian among them should be easy to identify.

The Reasonable Network
“If you are looking at a crowd that’s very unfamiliar to you, then someone who is going against the crowd is the signal that an intelligent person could make which would most easily stand out to you.”

A connection in the reasonable network is valuable because once it exists, it is not easy to replace. Thus, you must be someone who can identify signals of reasonableness and maintain good relationships with such signals, no matter where you see them. The only thing that keeps you in the reasonable network is your ability to be reasonable. You have to learn to prefer rational discussions to feeling like you have won the argument or to feeling like you want to be a celebrity, or from whatever other motivation you might have for engaging in the discussion.

In the reasonable network, there is nothing wrong with the existence of celebrities or with wanting to be a celebrity or any kind of important person that you want. It is necessary to withhold judgment somewhat about celebrities whom you have not interacted with. If you do talk to any, you need to get your own sense of how reasonable they really are. The best way to become a celebrity in the reasonable network is to show people that you prefer reasonableness over being personally important.

I think that someone who were to think about the problem that I have attempted to solve here would come up with a roughly similar solution. Therefore, I think that the reasonable network exists already. In fact, it exists everywhere, throughout all ages in history. You just have to find it.

Steps for finding the reasonable network:

  • Express individuality (may require trolling)
  • Prefer other people who are expressing individuality when you open discussions.
  • Prefer what you learn from other people you know who have passed your reasonableness test to what you learn from anyone who transmits information without interacting with you.  
  • People you have not met but who appear to be able to pass the reasonableness test publicly should be preferred as sources of information over those who do not.

What do you think about having a public conversation strong enough to derail trolls? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comment section below.

This is an Op-ed article. The opinions expressed in this article are the author’s own. Bitcoin.com does not endorse nor support views, opinions or conclusions drawn in this post. Bitcoin.com is not responsible for or liable for any content, accuracy or quality within the Op-ed article. Readers should do their own due diligence before taking any actions related to the content. Bitcoin.com is not responsible, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any information in this Op-ed article.


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Markets Update: SEC Adds a Brief Market Spike — But Will It Last?

Markets Update: SEC Adds a Brief Market Spike — But Will It Last?

Cryptocurrency markets are steadily coasting along after suffering from some volatile low swings last week. Over the past 24 hours, most cryptocurrencies are still in the red nurturing losses between 1-3 percent, and a few are in the green by a few percentages. At the time of publication, the price of bitcoin cash (BCH) is hovering around $850 per coin. Meanwhile, bitcoin core values are meandering just above the $6,500 region.

Also read: William Shatner Joins Bitcoin Mining Project, Admits He Doesn’t Quite Get It

SEC Announcement Adds Second Wind Into the Cryptocurrency Market Sails

Since last week’s ‘Bloody Sunday’ cryptocurrency market have seen some slight recovery but not by much. Markets were dropping pretty low up until the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) revealed cryptocurrencies that are decentralized are not securities. After the SEC’s head of the Division of Corporate Finance, William Hinman, made these statements digital asset markets saw a small rally and this push has kept markets from drawing lower, at least for a short period of time. The overall market valuation for all 1600+ cryptocurrencies is currently worth around $280Bn USD and 24-hour trade volume for the entire lot of digital currencies is $10.8Bn.

BCH Market Action

Bitcoin cash markets have steadily held above the $840 – $855 region over the past few hours with around $303Mn in 24-hour trade volume. Just like before last week’s dump, trade volume is pretty flat and action has simmered down over the past day. The top exchanges swapping the most BCH today are Okex, Exx, Hitbtc, and Bitz. Bitcoin core (BTC) currently represents 48.8 percent of the trades swapped with BCH today. This is followed by tether (USDT 28.8%), USD (13%), KRW (4%) and ETH (2%). As of this writing, one BCH is equivalent to 0.1309 BTC, and bitcoin cash is the fifth highest trade volume.

Markets Update: SEC Adds a Brief Market Spike — But Will It Last?

BCH/USD Technical Indicators

The daily and 4-hour charts on Bitfinex show that BCH bulls have some resistance ahead in order for the markets to progress upwards. The two Simple Moving Averages (SMA) on the 4-hour BCH/USD chart show the short-term 100 SMA is above the long-term 200 trendline.

Markets Update: SEC Adds a Brief Market Spike — But Will It Last?

The two SMAs recently crossed hairs and this indicates a move to the upside could be in the cards. Both the Relative Strength Index (RSI) oscillator (54) and the MACd show deep consolidation and a touch of uncertainty. Looking at order books shows BCH bulls have some solid resistance past the $870 mark and some more between $900 – $950. On the backside, stronger foundations have been built up over the past few days and BCH bears will see some pit stops around $825 and $775.

Markets Update: SEC Adds a Brief Market Spike — But Will It Last?

BTC Market Action

As mentioned above, bitcoin core markets have been hovering just above the $6,500 territory for most of today’s trading sessions. Trade volume over the past 24 hours for BTC is around $3.1Bn and the overall market capitalization today is $111Bn. The top five exchanges by BTC trade volume on June 16 are Bitfinex, Coinbase, Bitstamp, Kraken, and Neraex. The Japanese yen today is dominating BTC trades today by over 71 percent. This is followed by tether (USDT 14.3%), USD (9.1%), KRW (1.6%), and the EUR (1.3%). Currently, BTC dominance amongst all the other markets is 39.9 percent.

Markets Update: SEC Adds a Brief Market Spike — But Will It Last?

BTC/USD Technical Indicators

4-hour and daily charts for GDAX and Bitstamp’s BTC/USD markets show quite a bit of consolidation as well. We can see from this chart that the two SMAs have also crossed paths with the 100 SMA just above the 200 SMA trendline. This indicates the path of least resistance will be towards the upside, but much like the BCH/USD 4-hour chart the gap is small, and the two could easily cross again.

Markets Update: SEC Adds a Brief Market Spike — But Will It Last?

RSI levels are the same as well (52) and the MACd looks to be heading southbound soon. The current resistance zone for BTC bulls is between $6650 and $6775 (20 and 50 MA) at press time. On the back side, bears will meet resistance between 6400 and 6200 and significant foundational buy support beyond that. If things were to go into the sub-$6K region, the $5K region will likely hold for a very long time. However, at any time between this vantage point and that theoretical region, we could see a strong impulse leg upward.

Markets Update: SEC Adds a Brief Market Spike — But Will It Last?

The Top Cryptocurrency Markets

On Saturday, June 16 the second highest valued market held by ethereum (ETH) is up 1.7 percent and one ETH is averaging around $500. Ethereum values over the last seven days are down 14 percent. Ripple XRP markets are down 0.4 percent over the last 24-hours and down 18 percent during the course of the week. One XRP is trading for $0.53 cents per token. The fifth largest market, EOS, is up 0.12 percent and down 23 percent over the last seven days. The EOS token is trading for $10.67 and the currency holds the fourth highest trade volumes today.

Markets Update: SEC Adds a Brief Market Spike — But Will It Last?

The Verdict: Skepticism Remains Strong

The verdict this weekend still leans towards the bearish side taking into consideration the current charts, but mostly, market volumes have been considerably low. The SEC news helped add some positivity to an otherwise extremely gloomy week as far as markets were concerned. Traders are likely to remain skeptical for the time being until some bullish signals appear. The good news is markets have found support once again but where it will take us from here is hard to say.

Where do you see the price of BCH, BTC, and other coins headed from here? Let us know in the comments below.

Disclaimer: Price articles and markets updates are intended for informational purposes only and should not to be considered as trading advice. Neither Bitcoin.com nor the author is responsible for any losses or gains, as the ultimate decision to conduct a trade is made by the reader. Always remember that only those in possession of the private keys are in control of the “money.”


Images via Shutterstock, Trading View, Crypto Compare, and Satoshi Pulse.


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The post Markets Update: SEC Adds a Brief Market Spike — But Will It Last? appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Japanese Police Arrest Coinhive Users for Violating Law Banning Computer Viruses

Japanese Police Arrest Coinhive Users for Violating Law Banning Computer Viruses

Japanese police from 10 prefectures have arrested website operators using Coinhive to tap into the computer power of their site visitors to mine cryptocurrencies without consent. They are accused of violating the law banning the use of computer viruses. Some people have already been fined. The police have been monitoring the Coinhive program since it was released.

Also read: Yahoo! Japan Confirms Entrance Into the Crypto Space

16 People Caught

The police from 10 prefectures throughout Japan have reportedly caught 16 people using mining programs to mine cryptocurrencies using other people’s personal computers, according to local media. The Japan Times reported the National Police Agency saying:

Sixteen people in Japan have been found to have embedded computer programs on their own websites to use personal computers of viewers for cryptocurrency mining without their consent…These people have been accused of violating the law banning the use of computer viruses.

The Asahi Shimbun elaborated, “Three men were arrested on suspicion of illegal use of what were defined as computer viruses, while 13 other men had their papers sent to prosecutors for the same suspicion.” Previously, news.Bitcoin.com reported that the police were investigating the three people whom they have now arrested.

Japanese Police Arrest Coinhive Users for Violating Law Banning Computer VirusesAll of the accused operate their own websites which allegedly had programs installed to use visitors’ computers to mine crypto. The 16 are between the ages of 18 and 48. One is a teenager, seven are in their 20s, four are in their 30s, and the remaining four are in their 40s.

Some of them have already been fined ¥100,000 (~US$904), the Japan Times further revealed, noting that “The most money earned among the 16 suspects was the equivalent of about 120,000 yen ($1,100).”

Furthermore, the publication emphasized, “It is the first time in Japan that a person has been accused by police of using another person’s personal computer through a cryptocurrency mining program without approval.”

Police Keeping an Eye on Coinhive

Japanese Police Arrest Coinhive Users for Violating Law Banning Computer VirusesJapanese police have been monitoring the Coinhive program since it was released in September last year to determine where it has been installed, the publication noted.

Citing that the programs were embedded in adult, music and game websites to mine four cryptocurrencies, including monero and jsecoin, the news outlet wrote:

Of the 16 people, 14 used Coinhive, a program that provides 30 percent of mined cryptocurrencies to the developer and the remaining 70 percent to owners of websites in which the program is embedded.

Hisashi Sonoda, a professor at Konan Law School knowledgeable about cybercrimes, believes that “the sudden arrests may have been somewhat excessive because there are no legal precedents on how to handle the use of such programs,” the Asahi Shimbun conveyed.

What do you think of the Japanese police’s action? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock and Coinhive.


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The post Japanese Police Arrest Coinhive Users for Violating Law Banning Computer Viruses appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Censorship, Bans, and ETH Scams: Twitter Suspends Bitmain’s Official Account

Censorship, Bans, and ETH Scams: Twitter Suspends Bitmain's Official Account

This week the Twitter handle @Bitmaintech was locked down because Twitter administrators claimed the account belongs to a 4-year-old. The Twitter handle’s owner and Bitmain’s head of marketing have complained to the social media company’s support team and Twitter’s CEO Jack Dorsey. The account lockdown marks the second high profile bitcoin-related account that’s been banned from Twitter in just a few months.

Also Read: Study Reveals ASIC Miners Represent 30% of the Equihash Mining Hashrate

The Official Bitmain Tech Twitter Account Has Been Suspended

On June 14 Bitmain Tech’s head of marketing Nishant Sharma tweeted to his followers that the company’s official Twitter account @Bitmaintech had been banned from Twitter. At the moment the Twitter account is completely inaccessible to the public and the Beijing-based company’s active ad campaigns have been paused.   

Censorship, Bans, and ETH Scams: Twitter Suspends Bitmain's Official Account
The official @Bitmaintech Twitter account was locked on June 14, 2018.

Bitmain’s account accumulated thousands of Twitter followers over the past four years and now the account is unable to post or utilize the social media platform in any manner until the case is resolved.          

“The @Bitmaintech account is temporarily inaccessible because apparently, Twitter thinks that the people behind the account are as old as Bitmain i.e. 4 years old,” says Sharma.

It should be back soon (and long before Bitmain turns 13). @Jack help please. Case# 85911059

The Recent @Bitcoin Account Suspension

The account removal comes at an awkward time for the Twitter CEO, Jack Dorsey, who has been asked to address multiple issues tied to the social media platform. For instance, just recently the @Bitcoin account was banned and the topic was very controversial. The account with over 750,000 followers was initially suspended and then the account was restored with a much lower follower count than it had prior to the ban. Some people accused Dorsey of being biased and showing a conflict of interest towards supporters of the Lightning Network (LN) by allowing the banning of the @Bitcoin account. The reason for this speculation is due to Dorsey’s recent investment into the LN project.

Censorship, Bans, and ETH Scams: Twitter Suspends Bitmain's Official Account Censorship, Bans, and ETH Scams: Twitter Suspends Bitmain's Official Account

 Legitimate Accounts Banned, but ETH Bot Impersonation Thrives

Twitter users within the cryptocurrency industry are also dealing with the vast amounts of scamming ETH bots that have cloned nearly every well-known person in the crypto-community. The ETH bots have managed to scam millions worth of ether because Twitter will not remove the fraudulent accounts impersonating digital currency luminaries. So essentially people are pretty frustrated that Twitter has managed to ban and censor legitimate users like @Bitcoin and @Bitmaintech, while allowing fraudulent scammers to run amuck all over the platform.

Censorship, Bans, and ETH Scams: Twitter Suspends Bitmain's Official Account

The case of Bitmain losing it’s official account, because Twitter admins believe it belongs to a four-year-old, seems absurd, but Twitter has been a whacky place lately, and the company hasn’t been very responsive. The issues with Twitter also follows the recent accusations and admissions stemming from other social media platform CEOs abusing their powers. Back in 2016, the Reddit CEO Steve Huffman admitted to editing comments on the pro-Donald Trump subreddit, r/the_donald. This year Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg has been scrutinized for selling user data to Cambridge Analytica. And now Twitter users are complaining about banned accounts and censorship and many of them are pointing their fingers at Jack.   

What do you think about Bitmain’s Twitter account getting banned because admins believe the account belongs to a four-year-old child? Do you think Jack Dorsey and Twitter have a lot of explaining to do? Let us know your thoughts on this subject in the comment section below.


Images via Pixabay, Bitmaintech, the Twitter logo, @bitcoin, @bitmaintech, @laurashin 


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The post Censorship, Bans, and ETH Scams: Twitter Suspends Bitmain’s Official Account appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Crypto Price Manipulation: Are Bitcoin and Ethereum Playing You Dirty?

Crypto price manipulation

There has been a criminal probe into the possibility of crypto price manipulation by the traders of Bitcoin and Ethereum opened up by the United States. It has been reported that the Department of Justice is looking into activity surrounding these two cryptocurrencies. Commodity Futures Trading Commission and other federal prosecutors will look into the evidence to see if any traders in these two markets have manipulated prices through spoofing or wash trading.

Crypto Price Manipulation?

As with anything that can be traded, cryptocurrency prices depend on many factors. One of these is the positive or ...

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