Google Bans Cryptocurrency Mining Apps from Play Store

After banning cryptocurrency mining extensions from its Chrome Store earlier in the year, Google has now outlawed apps on its Play Store that engage in similar activity. In a new update to its developer policies, the tech giant has indicated that apps which are used to mine cryptocurrencies will be prohibited henceforth. However, the Mountain … Continued

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The quantum meltdown of encryption

The world stands at the cusp of one of the greatest breakthroughs in information technology. Huge leaps forward in all fields of computer science, from data analysis to machine learning, will result from this breakthrough. But like all of man’s technological achievements, from the combustion engine to nuclear power, harnessing quantum comes with potential dangers as well. Quantum computers have created a slew of unforeseen vulnerabilities in the very infrastructure that keeps the digital sphere safe.

The underlying assumption behind nearly all encryption ciphers used today is that their complexity precludes any attempt by hackers to break them, as it would take years for even our most advanced conventional computers to do so. But quantum computing will change all of that.

Quantum computers promise to bring computational power leaps and bounds ahead of our most advanced machines. Recently, scientists at Google began testing their cutting edge 72 qubit quantum computer. The researchers expect to demonstrate with this machine quantum supremacy, or the ability to perform a calculation impossible with traditional computers.

Chink in the Armor

Today’s standard encryption techniques are based on what’s called Public Key Infrastructure or PKI, a set of protocols brought to the world of information technology in the 1970’s. PKI works by generating a complex cipher through random numbers that only the intended recipient of a given message, the one in possession of the private key, can decode.

As a system of encoding data, PKI was sound and reliable. But in order to implement it as a method to be used in the real world, there was still one question that needed to be answered: how could individuals confirm the identity of a party reaching out and making a request to communicate? This vulnerability left the door open for cybercriminals to impersonate legitimate servers, or worse, insert themselves into a conversation between users and intercept communications between them, in what’s known as a Man-in-the-Middle (MITM) attack.

The industry produced a solution to this authentication problem in the form of digital certificates, electronic documents the contents of which can prove senders are actually who they claim to be. The submission of certificates at the initiation of a session allows the parties to know who it is they are about to communicate with. Today, trusted third party companies called Certificate Authorities, or CAs, create and provide these documents that are relied upon by everyone from private users to the biggest names in tech.

The problem is that certificates themselves rely on public-key cryptographic functions for their reliability, which, in the not too distant future, will be vulnerable to attack by quantum machines. Altered certificates could then be used by cyber criminals to fake their identities, completely undermining certificates as a method of authentication.

Intel’s 17-qubit superconducting test chip for quantum computing has unique features for improved connectivity and better electrical and thermo-mechanical performance. (Credit: Intel Corporation)

 

Decentralizing the Threat

This isn’t the first time we’ve had to get creative when it comes to encryption.

When Bitcoin creator Satoshi Nakamoto, whose true identity is still unknown, revealed his revolutionary idea in a 2008 white paper, he also introduced the beginnings of a unique peer-to-peer authentication system that today we call blockchain. The brilliantly innovative blockchain system at its core is an open ledger that records transactions between two parties in a permanent way without needing third-party authentication. Blockchain provided the global record-keeping network that has kept Nakamoto’s digital currency safe from fraudsters. Blockchain is based on the concept of decentralization, spreading the authentication process across a large body of users. No single piece of data can be altered without the alteration of all other blocks, which would require the collusion of the majority of the entire network.

For years, blockchain and Bitcoin remained one and the same. About five years ago, innovators in the industry began to realize that blockchain could be used for more than just securing cryptocurrency. Altering the original system designed for Bitcoin could produce programs to be applied in a wide range of industries, from healthcare, to insurance, to political elections. Gradually, new decentralized systems began to emerge such as those of Ripple and Litecoin. In 2015, one of the original contributors to the Bitcoin codebase Vitalik Buterin released his Ethereum project also based on blockchain. What these new platforms added to the picture was the ability to record new types of data in addition to currency exchanges, such as loans and contractual agreements.

The advantages of the blockchain concept quickly became apparent. By 2017, nearly fifteen percent of all financial institutions in the world were using blockchain to secure aspects of their operations. The number of industries incorporating decentralized systems continues to grow.

Digital security key concept background with binary data code

Saving PKI

The best solution for protecting encryption from our ever-growing processing power is integrating decentralization into Public Key Infrastructure.

What this means essentially, is that instead of keeping digital certificates in one centralized location, which makes them vulnerable to being hacked and tampered with, they would be spread out in a world-wide ledger, one fundamentally impervious to alteration. A hacker attempting to modify certificates would be unable to pull off such a fraud, as it would mean changing data stored on enumerable diversified blocks spread out across the cyber sphere.

Decentralization has already been proven as a highly effective way of protecting recorded data from tampering. Similarly, using a blockchain-type system to replace the single entity Certificate Authority, can keep our digital certificates much safer. It is in fact one of the only foreseeable solutions to keep the quantum revolution from undermining the foundation of PKI.

 

The Daily: Blackrock Probes Market, Coinbase to List Securities, Bitpay Gets a Bitlicense

The Daily: Blackrock Probes Market, Coinbase to List Securities, Bitpay Gets a Bitlicense

In today’s edition of Bitcoin in Brief we cover the news that the world’s largest asset manager Blackrock is examining the crypto market, Coinbase is approved to list security tokens, and Bitpay got a New York Bitlicense. Additionally, the BCH exchange rate is now displayed directly on Google.

Also Read: UK Mosque Collects Four Times More Donations in Crypto Than Fiat

Blackrock Examining Crypto Market

The Daily: Blackrock Probes Market, Coinbase to List Securities, Bitpay Gets a BitlicenseBlackrock, considered to be the world’s largest asset manager with over $6 trillion in assets under management, is probing the crypto market. Reports have popped up yesterday that the NYSE-listed company has created a ‘working group’ to explore how it can take advantage of the hot new alternative investment instruments.

Larry Fink, chairman and CEO, subsequently denied in an interview that the company is setting up any crypto trading capabilities or that Blackrock received demand for it from its clients. However, he did confirm that the company is studying the performance of cryptocurrencies to be prepared for the eventuality in the future. “When it becomes more legitimatized, when it has a true open nature of it that you can identify who the players are on both sides, that’s when we’ll probably look at it,” Fink said.

Coinbase Approved to List Securities

There has recently been a race among crypto companies to acquire licenses to offer securities in the US, with firms such as Coinbase, Circle and Uphold buying up regulated assets. Now the former says that the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) have approved its takeover of Keystone Capital, Venovate Marketplace and Digital Wealth, the three entities that Coinbase sought for their licenses. The next step for the company is integrating its own technology into the new subsidiaries, and training up its staff to comply with American securities brokering regulations.

Bitpay Gets a Bitlicense

BitpayThe Daily: Blackrock Probes Market, Coinbase to List Securities, Bitpay Gets a Bitlicense, the digital asset service provider based in Atlanta, Georgia, received a Virtual Currency License from the New York Department of Financial Services (DFS). This ‘Bitlicense’ enables businesses based in the state to leverage Bitpay to accept BCH and BTC for purchases from users globally, and local residents to be able to make purchases with the service.

“This is an important milestone for BitPay to secure the virtual currency license from the New York Department of Financial Services and be the first non-exchange to do so,” said CEO Stephen Pair. “New York state has one of the strictest policies around businesses involved in cryptocurrency and working through the approval processes to obtain a License was important to BitPay. We believe this hard work will pay off as New York presents significant business opportunities for BitPay.”

“DFS welcomes BitPay to New York’s expanding and well-regulated virtual currency market,” said Superintendent Maria T. Vullo. “We continue to work to support 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.” In total, DFS has now approved ten firms for bitlicenses and charters.

Peter Thiel and Bitmain Invest in EOS Publisher

Block.one, the company behind the development of EOS, has announced the closure of its latest strategic investment round. Paypal co-founder Peter Thiel has led this round, along with other investments from Bitmain, Louis Bacon, and Alan Howard. “As Block.one prepares to announce its future plans, we’re excited to welcome key strategic investors aligned with our values of creating a more secure and connected world,” said CEO Brendan Blumer. “The EOSIO protocol is a great example of blockchain innovation. Its performance and scalability can meet the needs of demanding consumer applications and will pave the way for mainstream blockchain adoption,” commented Jihan Wu of Bitmain.

Bitcoin Cash Is Now on Google

What do you do when you want to check the current price of BCH? Now you can just enter ‘bitcoin cash’ on Google and the search engine will display the exchange rate as the top result.

The Daily: Blackrock Probes Market, Coinbase to List Securities, Bitpay Gets a Bitlicense

And last but not least, Robinhood has announced that after BCH and LTC, it has now added for trading on its Crypto app the lovable shiba meme-based cryptocurrency, Dogecoin.

What do you think about today’s news tidbits? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.


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Verify and track bitcoin cash transactions on our BCH Block Explorer, the best of its kind anywhere in the world. Also, keep up with your holdings, BCH and other coins, on our market charts at Satoshi’s Pulse, another original and free service from Bitcoin.com.

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The Daily: Google Founder Is a Crypto Miner, Elon Musk Impressed by Scambots

The Daily: Google Founder Is a Crypto Miner, Elon Musk Impressed by Scambots

In today’s edition of Bitcoin in Brief we cover why Google founder Sergey Brin has become a crypto miner, and why Elon Musk is impressed by crypto scambots on Twitter. Additionally covered are a new response from Fcoin regarding recent allegations and a $100 million venture capital fund for blockchain startups in Israel.

Also Read: Opera Browser Introduces a Built-in Cryptocurrency Wallet

Google Founder Is a Crypto Miner

The Daily: Google Founder Is a Crypto Miner, Elon Musk Impressed by ScambotsSergey Brin, one of the two founders of Google and current president of its parent company Alphabet, took part in a blockchain conference in Morocco a few days ago and revealed that he is a crypto miner. With a net worth of over $50 billion, Brin has no need for an extra income, but he started mining to further his son’s knowledge about the technology and got hooked himself. “A year or two ago my son insisted that we needed to get a gaming PC,” Brin said. “I told him If we get a gaming PC we have to mine cryptocurrency. So we got an ethereum miner on there and we’ve been making a few pennies and dollars since.” He added: “That definitely got me interested and I started to study the technology behind it and found it to be fascinating.”

Elon Musk Impressed by Scambots

The founder of Tesla and Spacex, Elon Musk, knows how to recognize great tech when he sees it. Twitter is infested by scams that automatically reply to messages by high profile accounts with promises of giveaways while mimicking them in every possible way. This phenomena has spread from just crypto influencers to even people such as the original Captain Kirk, William Shatner. Musk has taken note of this and he seems to be very impressed with the scammers. He said: “I want to know who is running the Etherium (sic) scambots! Mad skillz …” The geniuses behind these might want to reach out to Musk to seek work on getting humans to Mars, developing a self-driving car, or even preventing an AI takeover of the Earth. Sounds more challenging than taking money away from fools, no?

Fcoin Denies Fake Volume Bots

Speaking of bots, Fcoin, which was previously pilloried for slowing the ethereum network, has came under fire from critics with new accusations of employing bots to drive up its exchange volume. The team denied this to us, saying: “Just like Bitcoin cannot control miners’ activity, FCoin cannot control the mining activity of the community. With that said, FCoin doesn’t encourage bot-trading on the platform. The ‘Trans-Fee Mining’ model is designed in a way that it eliminates such possibilities…FCoin doesn’t hire or own bots to increase the trading volume. As far as fake volume is concerned, FCoin cannot indulge in such practices. It simply doesn’t make any sense to create fake volume and use our own funds to reimburse the 100% transaction fee.”

$100 Million for Blockchain Startups in Israel

The Daily: Google Founder Is a Crypto Miner, Elon Musk Impressed by ScambotsIsrael might not be the most welcoming of cryptocurrency environments, but its specialized tech and cryptographic talent continues to attract venture capital. Benson Oak, an investment bank which raised over $5 billion for young technology companies such as AVG, has announced it has already secured $25 million in commitments for a new $100 million fund. Benson Oak Ventures is said to be focused on Israeli startups, with an emphasis on blockchain technologies. Managing partner Robert Cohen said: “I believe that there are great entrepreneurs in Israel who are leading the platforms of the future, with creating and disruptive use of blockchain technologies. I moved to Israel six years ago, and with a passion to build companies, I have established Benson Oak Ventures as a new platform to provide financial and operational capital to the best entrepreneurs in Israel and around the world.”

What do you think about today’s news tidbits? Share your thoughts in the comments section below. 


Images courtesy of Shutterstock.


Verify and track bitcoin cash transactions on our BCH Block Explorer, the best of its kind anywhere in the world. Also, keep up with your holdings, BCH and other coins, on our market charts at Satoshi’s Pulse, another original and free service from Bitcoin.com.

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Ledger Sold 1 Million Crypto Hardware Wallets in 2017, Attracts Investors in Samsung and Google

Leading hardware crypto wallet manufacturer and developer Ledger sold more than 1 million hardware wallets in 2017, recording a profit of $29 million. In an interview with Forbes, Ledger president Pascal Gauthier stated that the lack of secure platforms which users can utilize to sign transactions on the immutable public blockchain led the demand for … Continued

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Billionaire Google Co-Founder Sergey Brin is an Ethereum Miner

Sergey Brin, President of Google’s parent company Alphabet Inc., appeared on the panel on emerging technologies at the ongoing Blockchain Summit in Morroco. At his last-minute surprise appearance at the summit, Brin revealed that he is mining Ethereum with his 10-year old son. He also stated that the concept of zero-knowledge proofs is “really mind-boggling”. … Continued

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Youtube Dragged Into Bitconnect Class Action Lawsuit for Failure to Protect Victims

Youtube Dragged Into Bitconnect Class Action Lawsuit for Failure to Protect Victims

Youtube has been dragged into a class action lawsuit against Bitconnect for failure to protect its users from being exposed to the scam’s videos. This case might be used by Google and others to justify their bans on crypto ads, arguing that their algorithms can not distinguish between legitimate projects and frauds.  

Also Read: No Insider Trading, Market Manipulation and Misleading Ads – Malta’s New Crypto Law

Youtube to Blame for Bitconnect?

Youtube Dragged Into Bitconnect Class Action Lawsuit for Failure to Protect VictimsYoutube has been added as a defendant in a class action lawsuit against Bitconnect recently, evident by publicly available documents filed with the Southern District Court of Florida. According to the lawsuit, the Google-owned video platform failed to protect or warn its users from Bitconnect affiliates’ promotional material, which reached over 70,000 hours and 58 million views on Youtube.

“Several of the Affiliate Promoter Defendants had partnerships with YOUTUBE pursuant to which the BITCONNECT Defendants disseminated fraudulent and harmful content unsuspecting victims across the globe. YOUTUBE was negligent in failing to warn those victims of the harmful content for which YOUTUBE compensated their creators and publishers,” the document alleges. Another segment reads: ”In short, aided by YOUTUBE’s negligent failure to warn, the BITCONNECT Defendants defrauded tens of thousands of investors by capitalizing on the general public’s excitement for virtual currencies and by luring unsuspecting investors into purchasing unregistered securities and participating in pyramid/Ponzi schemes.”

Youtube Dragged Into Bitconnect Class Action Lawsuit for Failure to Protect Victims

“Wide-Reaching Ponzi Scheme”

Youtube Dragged Into Bitconnect Class Action Lawsuit for Failure to Protect VictimsAs we reported earlier this year, the original complaint has been filed by Charles Wildes, Francisco Doria, Aric Harod, Akiva Katz, James Gurry, and Ronald Nelson – represented by the law firm of Silver Miller – made on behalf of all Bitconnect customers. The plaintiffs stated that Bitconnect’s former $2.5 billion market capitalization was “built through the use of fraudulent means,” in particular “a wide-reaching Ponzi scheme that defrauded investors, made a mockery of state and federal securities laws, and employed an army of social media mercenaries who were paid to bring more unsuspecting victims into the fraud.”

After the matter was exposed, a number of prominent people on the platform have called out Youtubers for promoting Bitconnect, including Pewdiepie. Now the accusations go deeper than that, blaming the platform itself, which might have chilling consequences for sharing crypto content on social networks if accepted by the court.

Youtube Dragged Into Bitconnect Class Action Lawsuit for Failure to Protect Victims

Should media platforms like Youtube be blamed for the content scammers upload? Share your thoughts in the comments section below. 


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Verify and track bitcoin cash transactions on our BCH Block Explorer, the best of its kind anywhere in the world. Also, keep up with your holdings, BCH and other coins, on our market charts at Satoshi Pulse, another original and free service from Bitcoin.com.

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HTC Layoffs Won’t Impact Production of ‘World’s First Blockchain Phone’

Smartphone manufacturer HTC’s recently-announced round of layoffs will not affect the development or production of the HTC Exodus, which the firm has said will be the “world’s first native blockchain phone,” CCN has learned. This week, the Taiwan-based company announced that it would be laying off 1,500 employees – nearly 25 percent of its global … Continued

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Associations Challenging Crypto Ads Ban to Proceed with Lawsuit

Associations Challenging Crypto Ads Ban to Proceed with Lawsuit

Facebook’s recent decision to partially lift the ban on crypto ads will not stop a planned legal action against the measure. Crypto associations and businesses from several countries announced earlier this year their intentions to sue internet giants imposing such restrictions. The claimants want to proceed with filing the lawsuit, despite the policy update.

Also read: Study Links Social Media Posts to Bitcoin Prices

Class Action Against Giants Will Be Filed

The class action lawsuit against a number of international IT-corporations will be filed in court, despite the change in the advertising policy of Facebook, confirmed Yuri Pripachkin, president of the Russian Association of Cryptocurrencies and Blockchain (RACIB). His organization, along with counterparts from other countries in Europe and Asia, accuse companies like Facebook and Google of banning the ads of cryptocurrencies and ICOs as part of a cartel agreement. Approached by Russian media, Pripachkin said:

We will continue [preparing the lawsuit] since they did not cancel the restriction on ICOs. We’ll press on to the end. We will slightly correct our legal position.

On Tuesday, Facebook announced its decision to allow some crypto ads from pre-approved advertisers, as news.Bitcoin.com reported. Product Management Director, Rob Leathern, posted the updates to the company’s “prohibited financial products and services policy”, stating that the changes will come into force on June 26. However, he also noted that Facebook will continue to prevent ads promoting coin offerings.

Associations Challenging Crypto Ads Ban to Proceed with LawsuitIn March, the Eurasian Blockchain Association (EBA), of which RACIB is a cofounder, announced intentions to challenge in court the restrictions imposed by companies like Facebook, Google, and Twitter. The move was initially supported by the other two founding members of EBA, the Korea Venture Business Association (KOVA) and the Chinese Association of Cryptocurrency Investors (LBTC).

In April, representatives of crypto communities in Switzerland, Kazakhstan, and Armenia joined the effort. The plan is to file the lawsuit in a U.S. jurisdiction – New York and Wyoming were mentioned. The legal costs are to be covered by voluntary donations.

Russians Unhappy with Facebook’s Ban on ICO Ads

According to RACIB’s president, the joint efforts of the crypto and blockchain associations from several countries have influenced Facebook’s latest decision. “Our lawyers are preparing the lawsuit, they [Facebook] have recognized this in advance and understood they had a legally incorrect position. So in order to avoid the international trial with RACIB and the Swiss cryptocurrency association, they’ve chosen to back down,” Yuri Pripachkin suggested, quoted by Moscow News Agency.

Associations Challenging Crypto Ads Ban to Proceed with LawsuitThe decision to proceed with filing the lawsuit is not surprising. The lifting of the ban by Facebook does not concern ads of Initial Coin Offerings. RACIB has been actively pushing for the adoption of favorable ICO regulations in Russia. Token sales conducted by Russian projects have raised over $300 million USD last year and the association wants to make sure these companies are not seeking better conditions elsewhere.

The most popular social network, Facebook, banned crypto ads in January, followed by the largest global search engine, Google, which introduced restrictions in March. According to Russian media, the biggest search engine in the country, Yandex, has implemented a similar decision, although the company has not officially confirmed that. Microblogging platform Twitter imposed a ban on advertising ICOs at the end of March. It has been reported that Snapchat has also banned advertisements of token sales.

Do you think a class action suit against the ban on crypto ads can successfully challenge the restrictions? Tell us in the comments section below.


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Medium Is the Latest Platform to Start Censoring Crypto Companies

Medium Is the Latest Platform to Start Censoring Crypto Companies

Cryptocurrency, a technology based upon principles of transparency, accountability, and censorship-resistance, is facing further censorship. Blogging service Medium joins a long list of platforms to have clamped down on crypto content together with Facebook, Google, and Mailchimp. As a service that’s meant to support free speech, Medium’s crackdown is all the more mystifying.

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

Medium Wields the Banhammer on Bug Bounties

Medium Is the Latest Platform to Start Censoring Crypto CompaniesMedium is the crypto community’s platform of choice for long reads and thought leadership pieces. It’s a place where the latest thinking on tokenomics, hashing algorithms, blockchain scaling and much more can be found. It’s also where ICOs and other cryptocurrency projects publish details of their crowdsale, bug bounties, and other initiatives for the benefit of their community. In the past week, however, Medium has begun inexplicably suspending the blogs of crypto projects. The reasons for its decision are sketchy, but the suspensions seem to be triggered by content discussing airdrops or bug bounties.

In a post entitled “Status, Medium, and Censorship”, Ethereum-based messaging platform Status wrote, on June 15: “Medium is currently one of the primary communication channels of the cryptosphere. Blockchain-based visionaries, both affiliated with projects and independent free-thinking technologists, have all made Medium a critical part of how they communicate. Recently, we attempted to publish a blog post announcing our latest Bug Bounty Program. The post was immediately suspended, followed by an automated email noting a general violation, without detailing any specifics, and a link to Medium’s recently updated policy regarding cryptocurrencies.”

Medium Is the Latest Platform to Start Censoring Crypto Companies
Status

They continued: “Though we had not violated any of these policies, we re-submitted several revisions that carefully edited out any potential trigger words, like “bounty”, “ETH,” and “SNT”. The post was never successfully published.” Status is not the only project to have been suddenly suspended without warning: this week Blockchain.io’s Medium page also succumbed to the same fate. It’s since been restored, but the most recent blog post, discussing its airdrop, has gone. While Blockchain.io’s Medium blog is hosted on the Medium platform, Status’s is self-hosted on their own domain. In each case, the end result has been the same: sudden suspension.

Creeping Censorship Is an Attack on Cryptocurrency

When Google and Facebook announced that they were calling a stop to ICO ads, few mourned their loss. But when other platforms joined in, including Twitter and, bizarrely, email marketing service Mailchimp, it led to fears that cryptocurrency was facing a concerted global attack. Be it through imitation or collusion, company after company has begun censoring or excluding crypto projects, whilst allowing far more egregious content including affiliate schemes, hate speech, and spam.

Medium Is the Latest Platform to Start Censoring Crypto Companies
Evan Williams

In its terms of service, Medium states that “We can remove any content you post for any reason” but does not specify what sort of content might give the company grounds to exercise that right. There is nothing that explicitly excludes cryptocurrency, airdrops, or bug bounties. Medium was founded by former Twitter CEO Evan Williams. While fellow co-founder and current Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey is extremely bullish on bitcoin, Evans’ only discernible comment on cryptocurrency is a single tweet posted five years ago.

“We worry that the seemingly arbitrary decision to suspend our blog is a sign of a troubling trend,” finish Status. “We’re concerned about the creeping censorship around cryptocurrencies. We want our society to be freer for everyone. We believe the forces of censorship and centralization often are closely bound and we worry when we see the power to freely express ourselves so arbitrarily limited.”

Why do you think Medium has begun censoring crypto content? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, and Medium


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Twitter Experience Worsens, Ether Fake Giveaways Taking Over

Twitter Experience Worsens, Ether Fake Giveaways Taking Over

Fake ether token giveaways are clogging Twitter threads, and seemingly by the second. Targeting well-known ecosystem figures, doppelganger accounts are created, complete with matching avatars. A particularly active post can almost assuredly be counted on to receive seemingly organic calls for participation in free crypto programs hosted by the respective personality. And now they’re incorporating Google+ redirects. And it’s working. And Twitter seems to be either doing nothing about it or is just plain impotent.  

Also read: Crypto and Virtual Reality Meet in Ken Liu’s Science Fiction

Twitter Crypto Celebs Hounded by Fake Giveaways

Ari Paul, investor guru from Blocktower hedge fund fame, was on another multiple tweet philosophical lecture, spaced out and numbered. The topic was a meditation on over the counter and regular exchanges’ impacts on price. It proved so interesting, no personage less than Laura Shin, Forbes journalist, popular podcast host, and ecosystem gadfly attempted a read. She soon came up against what more and more Twitter users are facing: fairly elaborate ether (ETH) come-ons, fake giveaways using mirror’d accounts.Twitter Experience Worsens, Ether Fake Giveaways Taking Over

Ms. Shin’s trademark Valley Girl patois could almost be heard echoing through her corresponding response tweets of disgust and alarm: “Ari wrote an interesting thread, but FYI, @twitter and @jack, my experience reading it was marred by all the spam accounts touting free ETH that made it harder for me to find the real discussion.”

Just a few clicks later, and she discovered another awful truth: she’d been personally compromised. Someone with the account @XaedenJ was using Ms. Shin’s professional reputation and likeness to tacitly approve a 10,000 Ethereum giveaway, and it directs readers to a website asking for payment. The scam even went so far as to create a thread conversation about the giveaway, in effect dialoguing with itself. “If you’re late for this event,” the fake Laura Shin posted below the landing page advert in the thread, “you’ll get your investment back at once!”

A little more digging, and she found the offending scam post garnered a quick 28 likes, which were probably from bots designed for the very purpose. These could seem rather enticing to cryptocurrency noobs, and thus the problem. In utter exasperation, Ms. Shin, the real Ms. Shin, tweeted, “Someone please create a better Twitter. This is ridiculous.” At press time, the offending address, @XaedenJ, was scrubbed by Twitter, taken down permanently, and way too late.  

Twitter Experience Worsens, Ether Fake Giveaways Taking Over
A common auto response certainly not helping Twitter in a branding war.

Over 4,000 ETH Scams Logged, Hundreds Ongoing

Ms. Shin’s platform, her access to movers and shakers within the industry, made it easy for Twitter to recognize the problem and take immediate-ish action. But, again, it was too late. It went out there, and no doubt some were probably lured. It, of course, isn’t just Ms. Shin who is being hounded.

Twitter Experience Worsens, Ether Fake Giveaways Taking Over
Scam landing page.

For whatever reason, ether (ETH) tokens make these sorts of scams very easy. Part of the Stanford Mafia, and cofounder of crypto-related startups Bloom and Cognito, John Backusperformed a quick, back of the envelope calculation about ETH related scams. He found “ETH ‘scam’ giveaways staggering numbers: 8,148 ETH ($4.9M) received (between scams and baits); A fool sent 30 ETH to fake Erik Voorhees […]; Over 4000 scams logged; Almost 700 “ongoing” scams logged.”

He was quick to differentiate scams related to Twitter, roughly 500 of that number derived from the social media site, of the overall thousands of ETH giveaway frauds cataloged. His calculus includes any “kind of scam, including phishing scams that have nothing to do with Twitter,” he typed.  

Twitter Experience Worsens, Ether Fake Giveaways Taking Over
Note how Twitter’s CEO responded over four months ago.

It’s to the point where a tracking website exists to keep abreast of ETH scams as they happen, are discovered, and end. Appropriately titled Ethereum Scam Database, it’s maintained by My Crypto, and includes a Github reference along with detailed reporting instructions. The project is open source, however “All reports end up in a private Slack to protect people’s privacy. The reports can be read by all team members of [My Crypto] and they can decide whether the report makes it to the blacklist,” they explained.

Twitter Experience Worsens, Ether Fake Giveaways Taking Over

My Crypto recommends “Use cold storage – Buy a Ledger Nano S or a Trezor; Bookmark your crypto sites – Use those bookmarks and only those. Only send funds to trusted addresses – Double-check what address you’re sending ETH to. Look up the address at etherscan.io and check if there are bad reviews; Never trust any discord/slack/telegram/reddit message – Don’t ever fall for messages that say you can get free ETH or that a hack has occurred.”

Do you think such scams hurt the brands of Twitter and ETH? Let us know in the comments. 


Images via the Pixabay, Twitter.


Verify and track bitcoin cash transactions on our BCH Block Explorer, the best of its kind anywhere in the world. Also, keep up with your holdings, BCH and other coins, on our market charts at Satoshi’s Pulse, another original and free service from Bitcoin.com.

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Industry Representatives Criticize Google’s Crypto Ad Ban

Industry Representatives Criticize Google's Crypto Ad Ban

With Google’s ban on cryptocurrency advertising set to formally come into full effect this month, many representatives of the cryptocurrency and investment industries have spoken out against the company’s move.

Also Read: Russian Court Overturns Decision to Block Bitcoin Website

Google Ban Expected to Come Into Effect This Month

Google announced that it would ban cryptocurrency advertising on its platform in March, following numerous anecdotal reports of declining ad performance on the company’s platforms from companies promoting initial coin offerings (ICOs). The move followed the implementation of similar advertising restrictions on Facebook.

The post stated that ads promoting “Cryptocurrencies and related content (including but not limited to initial coin offerings, cryptocurrency exchanges, cryptocurrency wallets, and cryptocurrency trading advice” would no longer be served on the company’s platforms “In June.”

Business Community Criticizes Crypto Ad Ban

Industry Representatives Criticize Google's Crypto Ad BanThe prohibitive policy regarding cryptocurrency adverts has garnered criticism from the community.

Revolut’s head of mobile, Ed Cooper, stated of the ban “Unfortunately, the fact that this ban is a blanket ban will mean that legitimate cryptocurrency businesses which provide valuable services to users will be unfairly caught in the crossfire. A more targeted approach would definitely be preferable: it would seem heavy-handed for example to put a blanket ban on all ads for job postings, anti-virus software or charities just because ads for these products and service are also sometimes used as an entry point by scammers to target consumers.”​

The chief executive of UK-based investment firm Blackmore Group has accused Google of banning cryptocurrency ads due to harboring intentions of developing its own cryptocurrency. “I understand that Facebook and Google are under a lot of pressure to regulate what their users are reading, but they are still advertising gambling websites and other unethical practices. I suspect the ban has been implemented to fit in with potential plans to introduce their own cryptocurrency to the market in the near future and therefore removing other crypto adverts allows them to do it on their own terms.”

Whilst no hard evidence of Google having expressed a desire to develop a cryptocurrency exists, a spokesperson for the company told Business Insider “Like many new technologies, we have individuals in various teams exploring potential uses of blockchain but it’s way too early for us to speculate about any possible uses or plans” in March. In May, Ethereum’s founder, Vitalik Buterin, shared a screenshot of an email from Google’s recruiting department, further fueling speculation that Google may be considering a foray into distributed ledger technology.

Google as “Gatekeeper of Information”

Industry Representatives Criticize Google's Crypto Ad BanGareth Malna, a fintech lawyer at Burges Salmon, has stated that “The decision by Google to act as a quasi-regulator in this context is a potentially troubling development given its vast commercial power.”

“​For Google to step in and block that market may sound like consumer protection, but is potentially overstepping its perceived role as gatekeeper to information,” Mr. Malna said.

Do you think that Google and Facebook will reverse their ad bans targeting cryptocurrency in the near future? Or are the restrictions here to stay? Join the discussion in the comments section below!


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