Bitcoin Virus ‘Has Infected 30% Of Russian Devices’: Putin Advisor

Bitcoin Virus ‘Has Infected 30% Of Russian Devices’: Putin Advisor

 

Russia’s chief presidential advisor on the Internet

has stated a Bitcoin mining virus has infected up to 30 percent of Russian computers. Speaking in interviews with RNS and RBC, Herman Klimenko said that although infection rates varied by region and device, it involved at least 20 percent of machines. “In regions with lower bandwidth instances are reduced, but we’re looking at 20 to 30 percent of devices being infected – iPhones and Macs are less prone,” he commented.

The figures, if true, are alarming, yet Klimenko’s assessment has already come under public criticism. Speaking to RBC in light of the findings, Internet Ombudsman Dmitry Marinichev called them “rubbish.” “These viruses appear for example on devices of users who have given permission for them to start running,” he said, adding the issue was not about Bitcoin mining but stolen credit card details and similar characteristics. Klimenko, meanwhile, also chimed in on the motives of the hackers behind the recent international WannaCry cyberattack. “In the case of WannaCry, the perpetrators managed to accrue around $50-100,000,”

he told RNS.

“I’m therefore convinced the perpetrators of WannaCry were children because they do not understand where they can earn money in the Internet sector.”

Earlier this month, Russian research lab Group-IB warned of a domestic Android virus circulating consumer devices which would gain access to and empty any associated bank accounts.

Bitcoin, Altcoins Meet London Art As ‘Gray’ Artsy Nets $50 Million
 

 

London’s “tradition-bound” Cork Street art empire is getting an innovation injection

as customers meet Bitcoin and even Monero as payment options. As the BBC reports Tuesday, one gallery, Dadiani Fine Arts, has begun accepting cryptocurrency in what its owner describes as an “intuitive” move. "This is not a demand-driven decision at all, it's intuitive based on the way things are going," Elena Dadiani told the publication. With the global art market worth around $60 bln and average purchase amounts high, the benefits of additional payment channels are obvious. The gallery is not stopping at Bitcoin; Ethereum, Ethereum Classic, Dash, Litecoin, and soon Monero will also be featured. "For me, the Blockchain is going to be the biggest thing since the Internet,” nonetheless hinting she intends to convert at least part of the payments to fiat currency as a matter of course.

Like Blockchain, meanwhile, the art industry itself is undergoing rapid change. Artsy, the online art marketplace seeing huge expansion, this week announced the closure of a $50 mln funding round, something already causing suspicion in a manner strikingly similar to some recent Ethereum-based ICOs. “The news has left many in the industry with two questions,” industry news resource Artnet reports describing the platform as a “gray market.” “First, since Artsy has chosen to keep its actual valuation pitch-black to the public, how much is the company really worth? Second, and just as important, how is that valuation justifiable?”

Chuck Reynolds


Marketing Dept
Contributor

Please click either Link to Learn more about -Bitcoin.

Delaware Governor Signs Blockchain Legislation Into Law

 

The governor of the US state best known as the home

to a majority of the country's incorporated businesses has officially signed a bill making it explicitly legal for those entities to use blockchain for stock trading and record-keeping. After weeks of anticipation, Delaware governor John C. Carney Jr. signed the bill on Friday, effectively bringing closure to an effort that began in May 2016 when his predecessor, Jack Markell, launched an initiative to promote blockchain efficiencies in government.

First publicized in March this year and introduced formally in May, the bill, which amends Delaware's General Corporation Law, saw a swift passage by state lawmakers. The move further comes weeks after it passed a key vote in the state legislature, a milestone advocates sought to label as "historic" given the state's history and the increase in experimentation that could result from legal certainty. Just how impactful could the law be? Industry analysts suggest that by giving the greenlight to experimentation, the law could make it possible for the custodianship, issuance, redemption and trading to take place on a distributed ledger.

Equity Markets on a Blockchain: Delaware's Potential Impact

Noelle Acheson is a 10-year veteran of company analysis and the author of CoinDesk Weekly, a custom-curated newsletter delivered every Sunday, exclusively to CoinDesk subscribers.Last week, Delaware passed amendments to state legislation that, once signed into law by the end of July, will give corporations registered in the state the right to issue and trade shares on a blockchain platform.While this may on the surface sound like a small modification, it is a big deal. Companies and exchanges around the world have been investigating how distributed ledgers could help with issuance, execution and settlement (some have even issued shares on a blockchain). However, they have been doing so under a cloud of regulatory uncertainty, unsure of whether the stakeholders – including the relevant governing bodies – would allow the innovations to take hold.

For the first time, businesses will be able to experiment with new processes knowing they have the protection of the law. This is likely to pave the way for the entire life cycle of a share – the issuance, custodianship, trading, shareholder communication and redemption – to be enacted on a blockchain. The result could be a reframing of the global securities network, one of the cornerstones of our modern capitalist economy. The equity infrastructure used in most markets today evolved around paper-based issuance, and essentially has the same conceptual backbone as in the 17th century. Processes are complex, involving several steps, each with fees. Centralized clearing creates systemic risk by presenting a single point of failure, and since in most jurisdictions legal ownership rests with the transfer agents, true ownership can be obfuscated – in turn, this can violate rules that limit shareholdings. Furthermore, a paper-based system – even a digitized one – is vulnerable to fraud, and centralized databases can suffer security breaches.

Settle for less

With a blockchain system, investors and issuers can interact directly with each other, in theory cutting out brokers, custodians and clearing houses, thus reducing transaction costs. Settlement can happen within hours instead of days, releasing funds and lowering carrying fees. Legal ownership would be restored to investors and companies, and would be more transparent. Dividends and stock splits could be automated, reducing cost and error.

Also, a distributed ledger platform would remove the single point of failure risk, help make proxy voting more transparent and accurate and make it easier to manage cap tables as well as collateralisation. There are disadvantages. Transparency, for one: not all investors want their positions to be visible. Error resolution is another: mistakes happen, and on an immutable ledger, how do you fix them? What’s more, counterparty risk doesn’t go away, it just shifts. But as work on services and solutions picks up in the light of regulatory approval, so will the development of solutions.

Share the benefits

That this milestone was reached in Delaware is significant. The state is 49th in the nation in terms of size and 45th in population, but it boasts two-thirds of US listed companies and 85% of IPOs. It has more registered legal entities than it has residents. This is due to its relatively flexible business legislation and tax framework, and to its reputation for being a standards bearer in corporate law. What’s more, the recent amendment is part of a larger initiative to streamline corporate and governmental processes. The Delaware Blockchain Initiative, launched over a year ago, commits the state’s government to incorporating blockchain technology in the handling of official documents such as land titles, birth and death certificates, professional licenses, collateral claims and company filings.

So, here we have the US state with the largest concentration of registered corporations, and a reputation for supporting innovation, offering businesses the chance to test a new form of financing and governance. While adoption will probably be slow, at least at first, the pace is likely to pick up as the benefits become even more apparent. Other jurisdictions could follow suit to avoid losing a chunk of their domiciled businesses. And the structure of financial markets could start to gradually, but fundamentally, change. While the Delaware amendment won’t create a market revolution overnight, it does raise a question which highlights the systemic importance of the move: Will traditional equity markets still exist 10 years from now?

Chuck Reynolds


Marketing Dept
Contributor

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Bitcoin is booming because a split in the cryptocurrency has been narrowly averted

Bitcoin is booming because a split in the cryptocurrency has been narrowly averted

 

Bitcoin has risen as much as 28% over the past 24 hours,

driven by news that an imminent split in the cryptocurrency has been narrowly averted. The price of bitcoin nearly hit $3,000 late on July 20, within spitting distance of its all-time high, set last month. The remarkable rally took place as bitcoin’s miners coalesced around one of several competing proposals that would increase the number of transactions that can be processed on the network. The issue has gained urgency in recent months, because one of the measures, known as Bitcoin Improvement Proposal 148 (BIP 148), would lead to a split in the cryptocurrency on Aug. 1 if implemented.

The price rallied as bitcoin’s miners began broadcasting their support for a less radical proposal, BIP 91, in increasing numbers yesterday. This proposal avoids the so-called “hard fork” by stopping short of altering the hard-coded limit on transaction capacities that is the bone of contention within the bitcoin world, while offering slightly enlarged transaction capacity. The threshold for activating BIP 91 is 80% of all the processing power on the bitcoin network. That was achieved in the early hours of July 21. Currently 97% of the processing power on the network, which is largely controlled by miners, is voting in favor of BIP 91.

But it’s not settled yet. Although enough miners have signaled support for their preferred proposal—a process akin to broadcasting a preference over the network—enough of them must now run the software that implements this proposal within the next two and a half days. Failure to maintain a simple majority of the processing power, also called the hash rate, would mean BIP 91 does not activate. This would put the bitcoin world back at square one, with just a week to go before the potentially destabilizing hard fork on Aug. 1.

There are also still signs that the fundamental disagreement that led to this showdown—a “civil war,” as some call it—is far from resolved. The fight is between bitcoin’s miners and the influential programmers who contribute to bitcoin’s open-source code, known as the “core developers.” The core devs say bitcoin is at risk of being controlled by a cartel of miners who, by virtue of their huge investments in processing power, are able to dictate what changes are made to the code—anathema to bitcoin’s decentralized founding ethos. But the miners, and other heavy users, like payment processors, point out that the bitcoin network could be abandoned if it doesn’t enlarge its limited capacity soon.

The architect of BIP 91, James Hilliard, a miner himself, told industry publication CoinDesk: “This is where mining centralization makes things easier, because I can just message everybody on WeChat and help them if needed.” That may be so, but it won’t comfort the parts of the bitcoin world concerned with centralization of the cryptocurrency, even if the current fix to bitcoin’s problems goes according to plan.

Chuck Reynolds


Marketing Dept
Contributor

Please click either Link to Learn more about -Bitcoin.

Thousands of Japanese Retailers, Restaurants May Halt Accepting Bitcoin

Thousands of Japanese Retailers, Restaurants May Halt Accepting Bitcoin

 

More than 5,000 retail stores and restaurants in Japan may stop accepting Bitcoin

as a form of payment starting Aug. 1, 2017. This possibility could push through if Bitcoin payment processors will halt their services.

Bitcoin payment processors plans

The retailers and restaurants accept Bitcoin through payment processors bitFlyer and Coincheck. The latter is also partnering with Recruit Lifestyle in order to expand its operation and accept more than 260,000 additional stores across Japan as clients. BitFlyer, however, has announced that it could stop Bitcoin deposits and withdrawals, along with its payment services from July 31 to Aug. 2. Coincheck has separately announced that it will temporarily halt Bitcoin deposit and withdrawal starting Aug. 1.

The company says:

“On Aug. 1, 2017, we may temporarily suspend Bitcoin deposit and withdrawal for Coincheck exchange and payment services to protect users assets…The resume date is unspecified, but we expect several hours to several days. Also, if we decide that a Bitcoin fork will not take place on Aug. 1, 2017, 12 am, the suspension of services will not happen.”

Japanese companies likely to be affected

The move by the government of Japan to recognize the cryptocurrency Bitcoin as a legal tender in the country has led to the increase in the number of stores and retailers which use it in their operations. Among them are restaurant chain Heichinrou, eyeglass retail chain Meganesuper and the electronics retail group Bic Camera.

Post-split

The plans by the payment processors and the various Japanese establishments were triggered by impending developments in Bitcoin platform. These include the planned scaling for Segregated Witness (SegWit) and the possible split of the platform. The plans to temporarily halt Bitcoin payments, however, are expected to have limited effects on the operations of the retailers and restaurants as their businesses are mainly transacted in cash or credit cards.

Tim Draper Acquires 10% of Anti-Email Spam Blockchain Project Credo

 

Bitcoin investor Tim Draper has purchased a 10 percent share of Credo,

a project that aims to eliminate spam emails. Draper invested ahead of Credo’s scheduled public initial coin offering (ICO). Credo is an initiative of the company BitBounce.

Draper’s credentials as an investor

Draper is widely-known in the cryptocurrency market as an aggressive investor in the leading digital currency Bitcoin. He has already bought a large amount of Bitcoins from different Silk Road auctions. He also actively participated in various ICO projects involving cryptocurrencies. The Bancor and Tezos ICOs were among the successful digital currency projects that were supported by Draper.

Draper’s decision to invest in digital currencies is mainly driven by his desire to diversify his portfolio of investments. Even though there are significant risks in investing in cryptocurrency ICOs, Draper has shown his willingness to take them as long as the projects’ proponents can successfully convince him on the feasibility of their proposals.

Operational concept

The concept of the Credo project is to use tokens as a payment method for an email service provided by BitBounce. The BitBounce email service allows users to send direct email messages to the leaders of various industries. The service also includes incentives to ensure that the recipients of the emails will answer them. This project appears to be a sound one as BitBounce already has more than 7,750 active users of its email service so far. The company also appears to be processing more than 42,000 emails per day.

On its way to yet another successful ICO?

It is not yet certain if the Credo project will be successfully launched, survive and turn profits in the near future. The support and endorsement of well-known investors like Draper, however, is a proof of its sound concept. Let us wait and see if Draper’s public support of Credo will result in the success of the project’s scheduled ICO.

Chuck Reynolds


Marketing Dept
Contributor

Please click either Link to Learn more about -Bitcoin.

Utility Settlement Coin Creator to Open-Source Modular Blockchain Software

 

The company behind the Utility Settlement Coin project,

one of the first designed to enable central banks to utilize distributed ledger tech, is preparing a coming-out party of sorts. After working in almost complete secret on what founder and CEO Robert Sams calls "foundational technology," venture-backed blockchain startup Clearmatics will soon begin a rather unusual roll-out of new offerings for the open-source community. In a new exclusive interview, Sams said he plans to share the first of several waves of software with the financial sector before the year’s end.

He told CoinDesk:

"We view the technology – the actual source code – in a very modular way, and we think that not only is this a space that definitely, firmly belongs in the open-source domain, the approach to the development of the software needs to be more modular."

While little is being revealed about the technology itself, Sams contrasted his platform with bitcoin, which relies on an unspent-transaction model, and ethereum, which uses an account-based system. Instead, Sams said the yet-to-be named software will be "tightly coupled" implementations of various components, distributed consensus algorithms and networking stacks. He compared the modular architecture to the various components of the Linux operating system, saying the software would be coupled with standards for how users implement the solution. "You'll see over time less and less discussion about this or that platform," said Sams. "And more and more discussion … on how to put these components together to conform to a set of standardizations."

Twin projects

While Sams acknowledged that his work with the Utility Settlement Coin, his most well-known project, "informs" the soon-to-be-revealed open-source code, he made explicit that they are distinct from each other. Last year, Clearmatics unveiled a Utility Settlement Coin consortium comprised of BNY Mellon, Deutsche Bank, Santander and ICAP – since rebranded as NEX. Sams said the group recently completed the second phase of its work to help central banks and other financial infrastructure providers capitalize on blockchain, but that the results would remain proprietary.

While the Utility Settlement Coin project is largely focused on the business logic required to help legacy financial infrastructures increase efficiency using blockchain technology, Sams said the open-source work itself will largely consist of technology and an early version of related standards.

Sams concluded:

"The open-sourcing of Clearmatics is not the open-sourcing of Utility Settlement Coin."

Chuck Reynolds


Marketing Dept
Contributor

Please click either Link to Learn more about -Bitcoin.