The Daily: EU Budgets €1M to Monitor Crypto, Wyoming Mulls Fintech Bank

The Daily: EU to Spend €1M to Monitor Crypto Space, Wyoming Mulls Bank for Fintech Firms

The European securities and markets watchdog ESMA has dedicated over 1 million euros to finance the monitoring of developments in the crypto sector. Also in The Daily this Saturday, Wyoming legislators are working on a bill that would facilitate the provision of banking services to crypto and blockchain companies, and according to a new survey, Wall Street institutions are more optimistic about bitcoin than crypto community members active on social media.     

Also read: Empty ETH Blocks, Bitcoin Populism, Crypto Flip-Floppers Exposed

ESMA Saves 1 Million Euros for Oversight of the Fintech Industry

The Daily: EU to Spend €1M to Monitor Crypto Space, Wyoming Mulls Bank for Fintech FirmsThe European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) has set aside over one million euros that it intends to spend on monitoring activities related to cryptocurrencies and financial technologies. According to its Annual Work Program for 2019, the watchdog plans to closely follow trends in the crypto and fintech industry in order to identify problems and risks that may arise from financial innovations. The authority also wants to provide recommendations to market participants and consumers in that regard.

ESMA is responsible for ensuring compliance with the requirements of the Markets and Financial Instruments Directive of the European Union. Some of them concern the providers of instruments such as contracts-for-difference (CFDs) and binary options. The marketing and distribution of CFDs among retail investors is currently banned in the EU. Recently, the agency announced its decision to extend the restrictions applied to a number of financial derivatives, including CFDs, until the end of January.

Wyoming Bill Envisages the Creation of a Bank for Crypto Companies

The Daily: EU to Spend €1M to Monitor Crypto Space, Wyoming Mulls Bank for Fintech FirmsWyoming, one of the U.S. states with a generally crypto-friendly attitude, is working on another interesting project in support of the fintech industry. Members of the State Legislature have teamed up with financial experts to draft a legislation that would set the stage for the creation of a financial institution tasked to provide services to blockchain and crypto companies.

The group has been preparing a draft law to address the lack of adequate access to secure and reliable banking services these businesses are currently facing. According to the authors – senators, representatives and finance executives – this has so far hampered the development of blockchain services and products in the marketplace.

If adopted, the new bill would create conditions for the establishment of “special purpose depository institutions” (SPDIs). An SPDI can be licensed as a money transmitter in Wyoming and provide exchange services for both cryptocurrency and fiat funds. The bank-like organization would have to open a branch in the state and operate within the federal banking system.

According to the draft, this institution would be obliged to maintain a 100% cash reserve to match digital money accounts. Businesses would be required to hold a minimum balance of $100,000 in either fiat or cryptocurrency.

Institutions Think Bitcoin Has Bottomed, Survey Finds

The Daily: EU to Spend €1M to Monitor Crypto Space, Wyoming Mulls Bank for Fintech FirmsInstitutional investors are more optimistic about cryptocurrencies than members of the crypto community active on Twitter, according to a new survey conducted by Fundstrat. 25 institutions have been polled and their answers have been compared to the opinions of 9,500 users of the microblogging platform, CNBC reported.

Responding to the question, “When do you think bitcoin will bottom?”, 44% of the Twitter users said it had already hit its low, Fundstrat managing partner and head of research Tom Lee revealed. At the same time, 54% of the representatives of Wall Street financial institutions questioned in the survey believe the worst period for bitcoin prices is over.

According to Lee, institutional investors are more optimistic about the future levels of the price of BTC – 57% said bitcoin core would rise anywhere from $15,000 to “the moon” by the end of 2019. Only 40% of the polled Twitter bloggers, however, shared the same prediction.

Google Searches for Leading Cryptos Hit New Lows

The Daily: EU to Spend €1M to Monitor Crypto Space, Wyoming Mulls Bank for Fintech FirmsGoogle Trends has detected that the general interest in cryptocurrencies continues to decrease. According to the available statistical data from the most popular search engine, the number of searches for the two leading digital coins by market capitalization, bitcoin core (BTC) and ethereum (ETH), has dropped to its lowest in the past 18 months. Compared to the highest score for the period (100), registered in December 2017, the frequency of searches for ‘bitcoin’ has gone down to just eight in the first week of October, 2018. The situation with ‘ethereum’ is pretty much identical. The findings coincide with a relative stabilization of crypto prices and a drop in investor activity.

What are your thoughts on today’s news tidbits? Tell us in the comments section below.


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Venezuela’s Petro Copied Dash, Claims Ethereum Developer

Venezuela’s Petro Copied Dash, Claims Ethereum Developer

An Ethereum developer is claiming the state-backed petro (PTR) cryptocurrency, a plaything to Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, has taken substantial amounts of its newly published whitepaper from Dash (DASH). Indeed, at least at first glance, it does appear there are close similarities between the altcoin and the world’s first national cryptocurrency.   

Also read: Bitcoin Cash Speaker Series II Brings Leading Bitcoiners Together

Venezuela’s Newly Published Whitepaper Appears to Have a Great Deal in Common with Dash

Readers familiar with altcoin dash will recognize its salient features: instant send, masternodes, consensus combination, an X11 mining algorithm, and so on. That these elements have found their way into the recently published Petro whitepaper caught the attention of at least one keen reader, Ethereum developer Joey Zhou.

Venezuela’s Petro Copied Dash, Claims Ethereum Developer
Joey Zhou

The coincidences appeared to be so strong in his reading and subsequent comparison that Zhou took to Twitter, announcing “Lol Venezuela’s new Petro token is a blatant dash clone (at least the whitepaper, page 11).” He then linked to a graph that’s prominent in both the whitepaper (page 13 in the PDF) and the Dash Github.

Under the heading “Technical Description” (Section 11.6, “Staking o Tenecia”), the petro whitepaper seems to propose a consensus algorithm combination of Proof-of-Work (PoW) and Proof-of-Stake (PoS), which is similar to that of dash. Petro begins by allocating 85% of its rewards to “Nodos Maestros,” or masternodes, with the remainder left to users. But to be fair, Dash’s breakdowns are not nearly as skewed.  

Venezuela’s Petro Copied Dash, Claims Ethereum Developer
The offending image found by Mr. Zhou. Compare it to dash’s Github svg.

Masternodes, Instant Send, X11 Mining =
Highest Form of Flattery?

Sunacrip, the self-proclaimed autonomous entity that oversees all of Venezuela’s cryptoasset-related matters, features prominently in the Petro whitepaper. Though Petro supposedly has masternodes, a key part of dash governance, Sunacrip is given a lot of relative power. For example, it is allowed to change the consensus for the network’s “convenience.” Yet the whitepaper claims masternodes will “make decisions in the network and support transactions carried out by themselves.”

Venezuela’s Petro Copied Dash, Claims Ethereum Developer

Whether it’s straight plagiarism or a friendly open-source lifting might depend on who is judging the whitepaper. However, if petro were to be so “blatant,” as Mr. Zhou claimed, dash would be a logical choice. Venezuela has a history with dash, and as recently as this summer the world’s 12th-largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization caught a double-digit price bump, apparently due to a rush of Venezuelans racing to escape notorious hyperinflation.

An even deeper dive into petro shows what appears to be a pattern when it comes to dash similarities. Indeed, both instant send and X11 mining have been woven into petro, which are also critical features of dash. Described as “most important” to petro are “the instantaneous sending (less than five seconds) of the transactions, which represents an innovative advance with a significant impact compared to existing cryptocurrencies.” That sentence omits, of course, the most famous crypto using masternodes, dash.

Do you believe Venezuela copied dash, or are the similarities in its petro whitepaper simply a coincidence? Let us know in the comments below. 


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Google Bans Obfuscated Chrome Extensions to Cryptojackers’ Woe

Technology behemoth Google announced it will be taking crucial steps to ban any browser extensions that could potentially be targeting internet users’ digital assets. According to a recent press release, the company announced some of their upcoming plans to provide Chrome user’s with even more privacy and security when adding extensions to their browsers. And,

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Chrome Extensions Will Soon Protect Against Miners and Hackers

Chrome Extensions to Ensure Protection Against Miners and Hackers

Google has announced a number of upcoming changes concerning the development of new extensions for Chrome. Users of the web browser will soon benefit from improved security and better protection against malware including hidden miners and tools used to steal cryptocurrency.

Also read: A Guide to Building Your Own Crypto Mining Rig

Google Introduces Changes to Make Chrome Extensions Safer

Chrome Extensions to Ensure Protection Against Miners and HackersRecognizing how important it is for users to be able to trust that the extensions they install are not only performing well but also safe and preserving their privacy, Google has recently taken steps to improve the detection of malicious add-ons to its popular browser using machine learning techniques. Now the company has announced new changes intended to make all Chrome extensions trustworthy by default which means, among other things, successfully preventing cryptojacking and hidden mining.

According to a blog post, starting from Chrome 70, users will have the option to restrict the access of different extensions to a custom list of sites. In addition, they will be able to configure extensions to ask for confirmation when they attempt to gain access to a certain page. Host permissions allow extensions to automatically read and change data on websites, which has led to malicious misuse in many cases, the company said and added:

Our aim is to improve user transparency and control over when extensions are able to access site data. In subsequent milestones, we’ll continue to optimize the user experience toward this goal while improving usability.

Google further detailed that in the future, extensions requesting powerful permissions will be subject to additional compliance review. The team that’s preparing the changes is also closely examining extensions using remotely hosted code. Addressing the developer community, Google says: “Your extension’s permissions should be as narrowly-scoped as possible, and all your code should be included directly in the extension package, to minimize review time.”

Chrome Extensions to Ensure Protection Against Miners and Hackers

Two-Step Verification for Chrome Web Store Developer Accounts

According to another change in the rules governing the review process for new extensions, one that has been introduced already, Chrome Web Store will no longer allow extensions with obfuscated code. The new policy, that applies to all new extension submissions, pertains to code within the extension package as well as any external code or other resource fetched from the web.

Chrome Extensions to Ensure Protection Against Miners and HackersGoogle notes that existing extensions with obfuscated code can continue to submit updates over the next 90 days. However, they will be removed from the Chrome Web Store in January if they are not fully compliant with the new requirements. The company claims that 70% of the extensions it currently blocks contain obfuscated code. Many of them are either malicious or violating the applicable policies.

Other changes that concern extension developers include the introduction of mandatory enrolment in two-Step verification for their accounts. The measure is expected to improve their security and protect them against hijacking. Google also plans to introduce additional security, privacy, and performance enhancing changes in 2019 as part of the next extensions manifest version. Manifest v3 will include more narrowly-scoped APIs, decreasing the need for overly-broad access. It will also feature simplified control mechanisms for user-granted permissions.

What do you think about the changes to the Chrome Browser? Tell us in the comments section below.


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Brave CEO Tells Senate that U.S. Needs GDPR-Style Data Privacy Rules

The chief executive of cryptocurrency-funded web browser Brave has penned a letter to the U.S. Senate calling for legislators to adopt data privacy regulations comparable to those recently implemented in Europe. Brave CEO Calls for a U.S. GDPR Writing in the letter dated Sept. 28 and addressed to the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science,

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Google Fraud Fighter Explains Risks Involved in Boasting About Owning Bitcoin

People need to rethink before bragging about owning a lot of bitcoin in a public forum, as this might give way for scammers to target them, says a Google executive, who fights email frauds and abuses. Speaking to CNBC, Mark Risher said that there has been an increase in attacks against people who hold cryptocurrencies in

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Despite Ban, 25 Google Play Apps Found to Cryptojack Users

Despite Ban, 25 Google Play Apps Found to Cryptojack Users

Sophoslabs has published a report in which the company claims to have identified at least 25 Android apps published on the official Google Play store that contain script facilitating the ‘cryptojacking’ of users’ computing resources.

Also Read: Google Bringing Back Crypto Ads in US and Japan

25 Apps Containing Mining Malware Identified on Google Play Store

Despite Ban, 25 Google Play Apps Found to Cryptojack UsersSophoslabs claims to have discovered 25 apps on the official Google Play store that contain cryptojacking code within them.

report published by the company asserts that the apps in question have “been downloaded and installed more than 120,000 times.”

The apps accused on containing cryptojacking code are LHDS Vendors – which is published by Taste of Life Group, Mobeleader from Abser Technologies S.L., Palkar by Palpostr.com, Dizi Fragmanları İzle from Oguzhan Kivrak, Helper for Knight Game from Evgeny Solovyov, Game Viet 2048 from Thanhtu Media, Trance Droid by Happy Appys, A Paintbox For Kids by Uwe Post, Afterlife: RPG Clicker CCG by Levius LLC, Dominoes Games from Fun Board Games, Info Guru Pendidikan by Cakrawala Pengetahuan, Lighton by Buyguard, Tapbugs and Dreamspell – both published by Riccotz, and 11 apps published by Gadgetium – all of which comprised “preparation apps for standardized tests given in the [United States].”

88% of Cryptojacking Apps Contain Coinhive Implementation

Despite Ban, 25 Google Play Apps Found to Cryptojack Users22 of the 25 apps identified by Sophoslabs were found to contain an implementation of Coinhive’s code.

Lighton and Mobeleader were found to hosting mining scripts on their own servers – “presumably to thwart firewalls or parental controls/reputation services that might block Coinhive’s domain by default.”

A Paintbox for Kids was found to be running Xmrig – “an open source CPU miner that can mine several cryptocurrencies in addition to XMR.”

Cryptojacking Apps Discovered in Spite of Ban

Despite Ban, 25 Google Play Apps Found to Cryptojack UsersThe discovery of the apps comes in spite of the Google Play Store’s July ban on “apps that mine cryptocurrency on devices.”

The ban followed several other undertaking perceived to comprise a crackdown on crypto across Google’s platforms – including the prohibiting of cryptocurrency mining extensions from the Chrome Web Store in April, and the banning of advertising content relating to “cryptocurrencies and related content” from Google’s platforms in March.

This week, Google showed the first signs of softening its stance on cryptocurrency since launching its crackdown, announcing that “The Google ads policy on financial products and services will be updated in October 2018 to allow regulated cryptocurrency exchanges to advertise in the United States and Japan.”

Do you think that scammers will continue attempting to publish cryptojackers on Google’s Play Store despite the company’s ban? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!


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Google Bringing Back Crypto Ads in US and Japan

Google Bringing Back Crypto Ads in US and Japan

Google has announced that regulated cryptocurrency exchanges will be allowed to advertise on its platforms in the United States and Japan starting in October. This removes some of the restrictions the company placed on crypto ads in June.

Also read: 160 Crypto Exchanges Seek to Enter Japanese Market, Regulator Reveals

Some Crypto Ads Will Be Allowed

Google has posted a notice on its website regarding changes in its cryptocurrency ads policy, stating:

The Google ads policy on financial products and services will be updated in October 2018 to allow regulated cryptocurrency exchanges to advertise in the United States and Japan…Advertisers will need to be certified with Google for the specific country in which their ads will serve.

The company considers “financial products and services to be those related to the management or investment of money and cryptocurrencies, including personalized advice.”

Google Bringing Back Crypto Ads in US and JapanGoogle explained that “Advertisers will be able to apply for certification once the policy launches in October,” noting that “This policy will apply globally to all accounts that advertise these financial products.”

In May, Google announced restrictions on ads relating to “Cryptocurrencies and related content (including but not limited to initial coin offerings, cryptocurrency exchanges, cryptocurrency wallets, and cryptocurrency trading advice).” This policy went into effect in June. According to Cnbc, Google’s parent company, Alphabet Inc., gets roughly 86 percent of its total revenue from advertising. The firm earned more than $54 billion in ad revenue in the first half of this year.

Google’s Current Crypto Ads Policy

Google Bringing Back Crypto Ads in US and JapanGoogle’s Advertising Policies section explains that some financial products are restricted “Due to the inherent complexities and risks involved” in their trading. The company noted that the information will be updated once the new policy goes into effect.

Currently, restricted products include “Ads for cryptocurrencies and related content” and “Ad destinations that aggregate or compare issuers of cryptocurrencies or related products.” For example, “Ads for initial coin offerings, ads promoting the purchase or sale of cryptocurrency, cryptocurrency wallets, cryptocurrency trading advice” are prohibited, the firm wrote. Furthermore, ads about “Cryptocurrency trading signals or investment advice; aggregators or affiliate sites containing related content or broker reviews” are also prohibited.

Other Platforms’ Crypto Ads Policies

Google Bringing Back Crypto Ads in US and JapanSome other major platforms have similar policies regarding cryptocurrency advertising. After banning them in January, Facebook started allowing some types of crypto ads in June.

Twitter’s ads policy page currently lists “Cryptocurrency ICOs” and “Cryptocurrency token sales” under “financial services and related content” that Twitter permits the promotion of “with restrictions.”

Microsoft’s policy page for Bing ads currently states that advertising for “Cryptocurrencies and cryptocurrency related products including, but not limited to initial coin offerings, cryptocurrency exchanges, and cryptocurrency wallets” are not permitted.

What do you think of Google bringing back some crypto ads? Let us know in the comments section below.


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Google Unbans Crypto Ads, Will Work With Regulated Firms in US and Japan

Google, the $828 billion search engine behemoth, has unbanned crypto-related ads, allowing regulated companies to utilize its platform to advertise their products. In March, Google executive Scott Spencer stated that cryptocurrency investments have potential to cause harm in financial markets, leading the search giant to ban crypto ads. He stated: “We don’t have a crystal … Continued

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Google’s blanket ban of cryptocurrency ads ends next month

Google is rolling back its ban on cryptocurrency advertisements – following a similar move made by Facebook earlier this summer, CNBC reports. Google in March was among the first of the major platforms to announce it would no longer run ban cryptocurrency ads, due to an abundance of caution around an industry where there’s so much potential for consumer harm.

Facebook, Twitter, and even Snapchat had also banned cryptocurrency ads, for similar reasons.

But Facebook moved away from its blanket ban this June, when it said it would no longer ban all cryptocurrency ads, but would rather allow those from “pre-approved advertisers” instead. It excluded ads that promoted binary options and initial coin offerings (ICOs), however.

Google is now following suit with its own policy change. The update was announced today, we’ve confirmed.

Google’s policy still bans ICOs, wallets and trading advice, CNBC reports, citing Google’s updated policy page which points to a list of banned products.

But the October 2018 policy update says that “regulated cryptocurrency exchanges” will be allowed to advertise in the U.S. and Japan.

To do so, advertisers will have to be certified with Google for the specific country where their ads will run, a process that begins in October. The policy will apply to all accounts that advertise these types of financial products, Google says.

Banning cryptocurrency ads on the part of the major platforms was a good step in terms of consumer protection, due to the amount of fraud and spam in the industry. According to the FTC, consumers lost $532 million to cryptocurrency-related scams in the first two months of 2018. An agency official also warned that consumers could lose more than $3 billion by the end of the year, because of these problems.

But for ad-dependent platforms like Facebook and Google, there’s so much money to be made here. It’s clear they wanted to find a way to let some of these advertisers back in. Google parent Alphabet makes around 86% of its total revenue from ads, CNBC noted, and booked over $54 billion in ad revenue in the first half of the year.

Google has not yet responded to a request for comment.

PR: Last Chance to Contribute to Modex Tech ICO

Last Chance to Contribute to Modex Tech ICO

This is a paid press release, which contains forward looking statements, and should be treated as advertising or promotional material. Bitcoin.com does not endorse nor support this product/service. Bitcoin.com is not responsible for or liable for any content, accuracy or quality within the press release.

The Modex ITO closes this Monday, on September 24t (6:00 pm CET). This is your chance to sign up and support the company developing the world’s First Multi-Protocol Smart Contract Marketplace with comprehensive dev tools, meant to help developers make smart contracts event smarter.

Modex, the world’s first App Store for the Blockchain and one of the few ITOs with a functional product on the market, is the go to place for developers looking to monetize their blockchain programming skills and increase their revenue, as well as companies in need of blockchain development services and ready-to-buy smart Contracts.

Built by the team behind the award-winning peer-to-peer mobile payments app Moneymailme, Modex is a smart contract marketplace for developers to upload and sell their products, after they have been carefully vetted and audited.

The Modex ITO will last until the 24th of September, or until its cap is reached. The Modex ITO is currently open and accepting contributions from all supporters of the smart contract marketplace.

Early indications of enthusiasm for the platform is clear, as over 800 blockchain developers (https://www.modex.tech/developers) from all over the world have registered to join the community and the Modex team is already onboarding clients for their smart contracts.

By identifying a list of key use cases for smart contracts to prioritize in order to both attract development talent and seed the marketplace with strategic smart contracts, Modex is set to bridge the gap between businesses and blockchain developers, based on real-world needs.

The Modex token is based on ERC20. After the ITO, Modex will be issuing Modex tokens that can be used to pay platform service fees, make smart contract purchases and gain access to a complete suite of APIs for decentralised transactions.

“Blockchain technology is one of the biggest game changers at the moment, because we can use it to secure trust in just about anything – from financing, holding assets, healthcare records, smart certificates, verification of products and even election and voting records. Modex is set to revolutionise the future as the opportunities for smart contracts uses are endless, bringing a huge leap forward for everyone and a huge opportunities.”, states Modex’s CEO Mihai Ivascu.

Serial social-impact and blockchain entrepreneur, with over 10 years of experience in project management, FinTech, software development and start-up consulting, Modex’s Founder and CEO was awarded by Forbes 30 Under 30 in 2017 for being one of the brightest young entrepreneurs and leaders in IT & Tech.

“Although most companies already recognize the value proposition of blockchain technology, a significant number still struggle to implement it. Modex aims to bridge the gap between businesses and developers, in order to vastly accelerate global adoption of the blockchain.”, explains Ivascu.

Designed to serve both businesses and developers, the Modex marketplace will incorporate significant advantages for consumer adoption, enterprise cost savings, developer tools, community trust & engagement, all centered around the smart contract ecosystem.

The Modex team of 50 experts and advisors is made out of professionals with high level experience in developing banking and financial software, formers from Google, Oracle, Temenos, JP Morgan, Deutsche Bank, E&Y, as well as a committed and skilled team of marketing pros and successful startup entrepreneurs. Microsoft strategist Adrian Clarke, the latest tech advisor to join Modex ahead of the ITO. Formula E 2017 World Champion, Lucas Di Grassi, also supports the Blockchain startup Modex and has now become brand ambassador of the company.

Modex Website: https://www.modex.tech/
Contact Person: Mihaela Becheru
Contact Email: mihaela@modex.tech

Contact Email Address
vlad@daoagency.io

Supporting Link
https://contribute.modex.tech

This is a paid press release. Readers should do their own due diligence before taking any actions related to the promoted company or any of its affiliates or services. 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 content, goods or services mentioned in the press release.

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Ethereum-Based Brave Already Considered as Viable Alternative to Chrome

The go-to narrative for critics outside of the cryptocurrency space is to claim that decentralized systems and dApps have no active user bases. Ethereum-based Brave Browser is already being considered as a viable alternative to existing browsers like Chrome and Firefox. Popular Science, a widely recognized science magazine, recently listed Brave Browser alongside Firefox and

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Google Security Expert Warns Against Bitcoin Bragging Online

Google Security Expert Warns Against Bitcoin Bragging Online

Mark Risher, Google’s director of product management, Google Identity, account security, and spam & abuse, recently urged cryptocurrency investors not to brag about their virtual currency holdings online.

Also Read: Netherlands’ Largest Bank ING Group Fined $900M for Money Laundering

Google Security Expert Cautions Traders Against Boasting Online

Google Security Expert Warns Against Bitcoin Bragging OnlineIn a recent interview with CNBC, Google security lead, Mark Risher, cautioned crypto traders against boasting of their cryptocurrency portfolio on the internet.

Mr. Risher warned that gloating of one’s virtual riches risks attracting malicious actors such as cyber attackers, citing an uptick in attacks targeting the owners of cryptocurrency wallets. Mr. Risher asserted that many of said attacks can be traced back to a post made by the victim on a public message board – attracting the attention of scammers.

“It could just be a case of mistaken identity or guilt by association. They could be using someone who seems to be low value to pivot toward somebody considered a higher value target, like somebody political in nature. Or maybe they saw that you were discussing Bitcoin on a public message board,” he said.

Increasing Sophistication of Online Scammers

Google Security Expert Warns Against Bitcoin Bragging OnlineMr. Risher also warned that social media has increased the sophistication with which many attackers target their victims through allowing scammers to conduct detailed research into the individuals that they target. “You might think of this generic ‘Dear Sir or Madam, I am contacting you to ask you for a favor,’ but the truth is many of these attackers have done some serious research on their victims,” Mr. Risher said.

Earlier this year, it was reported that cryptocurrency Youtubers were increasingly becoming targeted by malicious actors. Peter Saddington, the host of the Youtube channel ‘Decentralized TV’, recounted being hacked in late 2017, stating: “You have to be very careful about that stuff as a Youtuber. In my early days of Youtube, I used to show my trades. I learned that was not a good idea.”

Mr. Saddington asserts that many Youtubers have “learn[t] the hard way,” stating “We no longer have a bank that we can whine to and say, ‘bank, my mohackney was stolen, give it back to me.’ No. We’re not in that economy anymore. If you lost your Bitcoin that is 100 percent your fault.”

What is your response to Mr. Risher’s recommendations? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!


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It’s the end of crypto as we know it and I feel fine

Watching the current price madness is scary. Bitcoin is falling and rising in $500 increments with regularity and Ethereum and its attendant ICOs are in a seeming freefall with a few “dead cat bounces” to keep things lively. What this signals is not that crypto is dead, however. It signals that the early, elated period of trading whose milestones including the launch of Coinbase and the growth of a vibrant (if often shady) professional ecosystem is over.

Crypto still runs on hype. Gemini announcing a stablecoin, the World Economic Forum saying something hopeful, someone else saying something less hopeful – all of these things and more are helping define the current market. However, something else is happening behind the scenes that is far more important.

As I’ve written before, the socialization and general acceptance of entrepreneurs and entrepreneurial pursuits is a very recent thing. In the old days – circa 2000 – building your own business was considered somehow sordid. Chancers who gave it a go were considered get-rich-quick schemers and worth of little more than derision.

As the dot-com market exploded, however, building your own business wasn’t so wacky. But to do it required the imprimaturs and resources of major corporations – Microsoft, Sun, HP, Sybase, etc. – or a connection to academia – Google, Netscape, Yahoo, etc. You didn’t just quit school, buy a laptop, and start Snapchat.

It took a full decade of steady change to make the revolutionary thought that school wasn’t so great and that money was available for all good ideas to take hold. And take hold it did. We owe the success of TechCrunch and Disrupt to that idea and I’ve always said that TC was career pornography for the cubicle dweller, a guilty pleasure for folks who knew there was something better out there and, with the right prodding, they knew they could achieve it.

So in looking at the crypto markets currently we must look at the dot-com markets circa 1999. Massive infrastructure changes, some brought about by Y2K, had computerized nearly every industry. GenXers born in the late 70s and early 80s were in the marketplace of ideas with an understanding of the Internet the oldsters at the helm of media, research, and banking didn’t have. It was a massive wealth transfer from the middle managers who pushed paper since 1950 to the dot-com CEOs who pushed bits with native ease.

Fast forward to today and we see much of the same thing. Blockchain natives boast about having been interest in bitcoin since 2014. Oldsters at banks realize they should get in on things sooner than later and price manipulation is rampant simply because it is easy. The projects we see now are the Kozmo.com of the blockchain era, pie-in-the-sky dream projects that are sucking up millions in funding and will produce little in real terms. But for every hundred Kozmos there is one Amazon .

And that’s what you have to look for.

Will nearly every ICO launched in the last few years fail? Yes. Does it matter?

Not much.

The market is currently eating its young. Early investors made (and probably lost) millions on early ICOs but the resulting noise has created an environment where the best and brightest technical minds are faced with not only creating a technical product but also maintaining a monetary system. There is no need for a smart founder to have to worry about token price but here we are. Most technical CEOs step aside or call for outside help after their IPO, a fact that points to the complexity of managing shareholder expectations. But what happens when your shareholders are 16-year-olds with a lot of Ethereum in a Discord channel? What happens when little Malta becomes the de facto launching spot for token sales and you’re based in Nebraska? What happens when the SEC, FINRA, and Attorneys General from here to Beijing start investigating your hobby?

Basically your hobby stops becoming a hobby. Crypto and blockchain has weaponized nerds in an unprecedented way. In the past if you were a Linux developer or knew a few things about hardware you could build a business and make a little money. Now you can build an empire and make a lot of money.

Crypto is falling because the people in it for the short term are leaving. Long term players – the Amazons of the space – have yet to be identified. Ultimately we are going to face a compression in the ICO and, for a while, it’s going to be a lot harder to build an ICO. But give it a few years – once the various financial authorities get around to reading the Satoshi white paper – and you’ll see a sea change. Coverage will change. Services will change. And the way you raise money will change.

VC used to be about a team and a dream. Now it’s about a team, $1 million in monthly revenue, and a dream. The risk takers are gone. The dentists from Omaha who once visited accelerator demo days and wrote $25,000 checks for new apps are too shy to leave their offices. The flashy VCs from Sand Hill have to keep Uber and Airbnb’s plates spinning until they can cash out. VC is dead for the small entrepreneur.

Which is why the ICO is so important and this is why the ICO is such a mess right now. Because everybody sees the value but nobody – not the SEC, not the investors, not the founders – can understand how to do it right. There is no SAFE note for crypto. There are no serious accelerators. And all of the big names in crypto are either goldbugs, weirdos, or Redditors. No one has tamed the Wild West.

They will.

And when they do expect a whole new crop of Amazons, Ubers, and Oracles. Because the technology changes quickly when there’s money, talent, and a way to marry the two in which everyone wins.

Brave Browser Files GDPR Complaint Against Google, Dumps Search Engine

Brave, the web browser founded by Mozilla pioneer Brendan Eich and funded through an initial coin offering (ICO), has fired two shots across the bow at Google. Brave Files GDPR Complaint Against Google Reuters reports that the company, whose browser blocks obtrusive and privacy-infringing advertisements by default, has filed formal complaints against its much larger … Continued

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