Ethereum co-founder Charles Hoskinson believes that bitcoin is about to achieve big things.
Hoskinson: BTC Will Reach $100,000
Via Twitter, Hoskinson posted his beliefs that bitcoin could easily reach $100,000 in the coming years. This arguably puts him up there with the likes of venture capitalist Tim Draper, who has stated that bitcoin is likely to hit the six-figure mark by the time 2023 rolls in.
Hoskinson’s words are intriguing in that he is the co-builder of arguably bitcoin’s biggest competitor Ethereum (ETH), which stands as the number two largest cryptocurrency by market cap. Ethereum, in addition, often boasts smart contracts abilities, which allow it to tokenize its network, build other coins and serve as host to a wide array of decentralized apps (dApps).
In his message, Hoskinson says:
Bitcoin’s price is going down… Remember everyone, after the FUD, news trading and manipulation clears out, we still have a global movement that’s going to change the world. We will see $10,000 BTC again, and welcome $100K. Crypto is unstoppable. Crypto is the future.
What’s interesting is that Hoskinson’s message is arriving when it is. Just last week, many of us would have likely seen Hoskinson’s words and dismissed them outright. After all, the cryptocurrency was on the verge of hitting the $6,000 range. Bitcoin had ultimately lost more than $2,500 over the past two weeks, and November was once again marking new lows for the cryptocurrency.
However, as of late, BTC seems to be on a slight roll. Just a few days ago, the currency jumped in price by more than $500 and added approximately seven percent to its overall value. Bitcoin appeared on the verge of repeating its end-of-year 2018 behavior, but now it seems the currency is working hard to turn itself around and avoid the past.
Thus, perhaps we can take Hoskinson’s words to heart and believe that BTC, despite the ugly drops its incurred as of late, will somehow revamp its present status and build up its presence in the crypto industry.
Among the other serious BTC price predictions to meander throughout the space this year include those of Tim Draper, who as explained earlier, stated that the cryptocurrency was likely to reach $250,000 by the time 2023 emerged. In addition, Tom Lee of Fundstrat fame and a consistent “short-term” bull has stated that the currency would end the year at an even $40,000, though with only one month to go before 2020 appears, it doesn’t look like that prediction is set to come true.
Not All Predictions Strike Home
BTC would have to incur a jump of roughly $32,500 over the next four weeks for Lee’s words to become a reality.
Aside from his work on Ethereum, Hoskinson is also the co-founder of the Cardano blockchain, another digital currency in the top 20.
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A federal court is asking the founder of Telegram – Pavel Durov – to testify in the Security and Exchange Commission’s (SEC’s) case against the encrypted messaging service’s latest initial coin offering (ICO) of its new cryptocurrency known as the “gram.”
Telegram Is Trapped in a Big Legal Battle
Telegram has garnered almost $2 billion through the sale of its new gram token, which has been going on since 2018. Overall, the company has done well. The trouble is the SEC is saying they failed to register the token as a security, and a lawsuit has since unfolded. Telegram is asking a New York federal court to dismiss the suit and the charges, claiming that the gram does not share the same properties as other securities.
However, it looks as if for the time being, the suit is being permitted to go forward. Official court documents explain:
Telegram has agreed to stipulate that it will not make any offers, sales or deliveries of its expected cryptocurrency, called ‘Grams,’ in order to maintain the status quo until this court can resolve the legal issues at the heart of the matter.
This means that despite all the money the company has made over the past two years through the token sale(s), investors and customers will not be able to cash in on their grams given that Telegram is not permitted to deliver the tokens until after the court hearing is complete. Thus, it’s not just Telegram that’s suffering through the legal process. More than likely, its customers are having a rough time waiting to get what they’ve initially paid for.
At press time, the hearing is slated to conclude in February of 2020, meaning users still have about three months to go before they can garner their coins. Originally, Telegram had told its investors that their grams would be delivered as early as the end of October, meaning they’re already a month short of expectations.
Back in July, the gram was exploding in price, and all seemed well for the company. However, aside from the current legal proceedings, the encrypted messaging platform has also been hit with various security issues, including a new form of crypto malware that potentially made its way into specific Telegram-based chat groups.
Too Many Security Problems
The malware – known as Masad Stealer – went through various Telegram channels to see if it could potentially find passwords, cryptocurrency addresses and other data that would allow hackers to replace with their own. Thus, any bitcoin, Ethereum or Monero funds the users may have been garnering at the time would inherently be pushed through to a new address controlled by the hacker, ensuring they received the funds instead of the intended party.
Aside from Durov, vice president Ilia Perekopsky is scheduled to testify in London regarding the case on December 16.
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Researchers at the hacking group Bad Packets are doing a widespread scan of the internet to see which pages, sites and channels are potentially using the sandbox software Docker as a means of mining cryptocurrency.
Bad Packets: Good Solutions
Malicious actors are running rampant in the cryptocurrency world. We’ve seen this recently through the hack of popular South Korean crypto exchange Up Bit, which was robbed of nearly $50 million in ether funds just last Wednesday. It wasn’t a pretty sight, but the executives of the company are assuring customers that they will not feel the losses. They are currently working to tally up the amounts lost. Once this is done, they will refund all affected customers and ensure their money is returned.
Of course, this was a theft performed on a cryptocurrency exchange, which is a completely different situation. The software in question allows hackers to potentially download malicious code onto visitors’ computers that then allow them to mine cryptocurrency through their devices without their knowledge or consent. It’s basically a form of crypto jacking, which has become a very popular method for hackers to garner crypto funds that aren’t theirs.
The hackers can utilize the person’s device to mine digital currencies. Usually, the targeted coin is Monero, which is popular amongst hackers and black-market players for its quasi-anonymous properties. All the while, the hacker is turning in a profit while the victimized user is getting nothing minus the extremely high energy bills that they’re likely to receive each month.
The present scan being done by Bad Packets will include as many as 59,000 separate IP addresses which may (or may not) have the code necessary to ensure crypto jacking efforts in the future. The goal is to first see which pages are hiding the code, then decide how best to remove it.
According to the hacking group’s co-founder and lead researcher Troy Mursch, this kind of scan is done all the time without our knowledge. However, what makes this instance unique is its size. Never has a scan of this magnitude occurred prior. It will encompass the entire internet system, whereas before, such scans would only monitor certain pages or a specific number of sites.
Let’s Look at the Whole Picture
Nevertheless, its an ambitious feat that Bad Packets seems intent on accomplishing, and with illicit cryptocurrency mining occurring ever so often, one can’t help but respect the organization for taking matters into its own hands.
Arguably the largest illicit cryptocurrency mining software, at one time, existed in Coin Hive, which has been on the decline over the past six months. However, one source reports that approximately one million separate crypto jacking attempts are halted daily, suggesting that the method is still one of the most prominent amongst cyberthieves.
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Coinspeaker Ethereum Member Suddenly Arrested in the U.S. for Consulting North KoreansThe United States Attorneys in New York, together with the FBI agents, went on to issue a criminal complaint charging Virgil Griffith, Ethereum Foundation member. He is suspected of helping North Korea to prepare better measures of defense against the infamous U.S. sanctions.Not only the guy decided to travel to North Korea at his own expense, he was moving in the “vacation” style. He also delivered some tech presentations with consulting while he was in the country. He taught the locals about the ways of subverting the capitalist plans by using blockchain tech. As soon as Griffith arrived at the airport, agents seized him. Virgil was sent to Los Angeles, where he was immediately put under arrest. He would be waiting there till the federal court hearings take place a few hours later.The U.S. Attorney General Geoffrey Berman stated:“As alleged, Virgil Griffith provided highly technical information to North Korea, knowing that this information could be used to help North Korea launder money and evade sanctions. … In allegedly doing so, Griffith jeopardized the sanctions that both Congress and the president have enacted to place maximum pressure on North Korea’s dangerous regime.”It appears that the American powers do not see the dangers in their own decisions within the country. In cases like the Ross Ulbricht one, for instance, we have a huge number of young people hating the government after they find out the exact details of the Ross case. Griffith must be a very brave guy since he is a rare westerner traveling to North Korea for scientific reasons these days.Strangely, the U.S. will try putting this man Virgil to jail for just saying and doing what’s he felt. He just helped those people survive under the old Empire’s unbeatable sanctions and learn something new.Griffith was Traveling despite Official RestrictionJohn Demers, the Attorney’s assistant, says that Virgil Griffith is a U.S. citizen who lived in Singapore. He received a note asking him to abandon his will to travel to North Korea. Because this country is probably the worst enemy of America, sanctions are the best way to keep those people scared. Because it is viable for the Ethereum’s ecosystem, the functionary thought he would be traveling there as a spy and nothing will happen. Although he understood that such an idea isn’t going anywhere good.The document outlines the numerous horrific dangers starting with the funding of the nukes development (they forgot about the bio-weapon this time) and continuing to the standard “a whole world must fear” package items. It reads:“We cannot allow anyone to evade sanctions, because the consequences of North Korea obtaining funding, technology, and information to further its desire to build nuclear weapons put the world at risk.”The Attorney, as well as the FBI agents, somehow decided that Mr. Griffith can horribly damage national security. At the same time, they forget the fact that there’s the Internet over there. Anybody can learn almost anything via the web in a straightforward and fun manner. No matter for what reason, the government is acting as if Griffith is a grand spy, not some Ethereum-related hipster.Vitalik Buterin Wishes Griffith to Enjoy His TripGriffith was mentioning the fact that he plans to travel via his Twitter. Somebody asks him whether it’s a good idea to go to such a “totalitarian” country. And he answers: “Probably not.”Griffith was inviting more people to go with him, citing a minimalistic total cost of 3300 EUR per week. He also said he can’t take Japanese, Israeli, and South Koreans. Buterin wishes him to enjoy the travels.Image courtesy of Michael GreenbergAccording to the documents, he was traveling to a mysterious “Pyongyang Blockchain and Cryptocurrency Conference.” Griffith visited North Korea while knowing that this may cause massive troubles for him. He ignored the possibility of obtaining the OFAC license to do technology-related business in the DPRK.Now, Mr. Griffith may face up to 20 years in prison, but Congress can give him even more.Ethereum Member Suddenly Arrested in the U.S. for Consulting North Koreans
Coinspeaker Governor Kemp Thinks Bakkt CEO Kelly Loeffler is a Promising Senate MemberU.S. Senator Johny Isakson was serving well at his position in United States Senate. However, health issues are chasing the old man: he decided to leave the job and enjoy life. The governor Brian Kemp has the power to elect a new member of the Senate to serve till the special elections. Many people approached him with pitches.President Trump Wanted His Brother in Arms to Acquire the SeatPresident Donald Trump suggested appointing Doug Collins at this position. He is a Republican who has been serving four terms as a congressman. Doug is also known for his vigorous defense of the President’s way of governing.However, governor Kemp will pick the current Bakkt CEO as the next representative, according to AJC. During a press conference that will take place in a week or so, the governor is going to sound out loud his decision.Interestingly, Kelly has sent her application a few hours before the expiration of the deadline set by Kemp. Loeffler could become the second woman that Georgia, the state, is sending to the upper circles of America. Previously appointed woman, Rebecca Latimer Felton, was serving only one day.It is known that Kemp wanted to avoid conflicts and invited Kelly to the White House beforehand. Still, the meeting went in a dramatic way of secrecy, just like in Hollywood movies, according to sources.He himself won the elections in Georgia in 2018, with 50,000 voters. As for Kelly, she appeared in Atlanta in 2002. Loeffler went working to the Intercontinental Exchange, where her dearest one – Jeffrey Sprecher – was working at the time as CEO. In 2014, Loeffler wanted to try and win the local elections to become a Georgian senator, but she left that idea. Kelly is also the owner of the Atlanta Dream sports club.Despite the Market UncertaintyBakkt is something that already influences our markets. It is a brilliant example of how a legal crypto exchange can work. We need to admit that, despite overall uncertainty, Bakkt has shown significant results and is considered one of the most important projects on the 2019 crypto stage.In such conditions, we must theorize on what will happen after Loeffler leaves her position at the company. Whether the new leader sufficiently supply the team with resources and love that they need? Bakkt is a young company built on cryptocurrency sands. It must flow somewhere, and Loeffler was giving the correct direction.What we can say for sure is that Kelly Loeffler will not be accusing digital assets of all the sins after she gains a senate seat. Instead, she can become the most active advocate of electronic peer to peer cash that is in use among millions worldwide. Let us stress that cryptocurrency users usually the smart ones, so she will have the opportunity to prove that math professionals can do politics.Loeffler Could Join Thiel and Put a Corruptions Test on the GovernmentAnd in fact, math is politics, where the more significant number you have, the better. So, Loeffler will have a chance to look up all the shady operations made by government representatives. Including her brothers from the cryptocurrency world like Peter Thiel. Peter was named as the member of Trump’s transition team and he could have influenced the President in the same way as he did with Buterin.The woman leading de facto cryptocurrency startup cannot be bad at money laundering. And the better you know the enemy, the faster you can invade, carrying the order into your neighborhood. Considering that white males have turned Senate wild, a woman like Kelly Loeffler, with perfect managing skills, is so needed in the establishment space to clean it out a bit before the cryptocurrencies are landing.Governor Kemp Thinks Bakkt CEO Kelly Loeffler is a Promising Senate Member
According to a new report submitted by Cipher Trace, the cryptocurrency world is plagued with hacks and thievery, resulting in nearly $4.5 billion in stolen digital funds in 2019.
Cipher Trace: The World of Thievery Is Growing
This is slated to be the biggest year for cyberthieves yet, beating out 2018 by several billion dollars. It also seems that over time, thievery in the crypto world has become far more prominent, meaning that even though we’re doing everything we can to advance security measures and boost safety within the industry, we’re simply not doing enough, or our methods are questionable.
Up Bit, for example, is the latest cryptocurrency exchange to fall victim to a cyberattack. The platform – which is stationed in South Korea – has ultimately lost nearly $50 million in ether tokens, though the company has explained that the money lost was stored away in hot wallets. It’s hard to understand why so many exchanges and trading platforms still see hot wallets as valid methods of storage considering they’re not very safe when compared with cold wallets.
Hot wallets were being utilized by Coincheck in January of 2018. Coincheck played host to the largest digital currency theft in history, losing more than half-a-billion in assorted cryptocurrency funds over the course of just a few hours. Again, the money lost was stored in hot wallets. This is not a form of technology that a cryptocurrency exchange storing billions of dollars in crypto can afford to utilize. If your company is that big, cold storage is the best and only answer.
The report by Cipher Trace suggests that the amount stolen in 2018 came to only $1.7 billion. Thus, 2019 has seen a surge in thievery of approximately 150 percent. Dave Jevans, the chief executive officer of Cipher Trace, explained in a statement:
The 150 percent increase in crypto theft and fraud reflects how criminals are adapting for bigger and better scores. Criminals chase money and the money is right here and ripe for the taking. Little attacks are often easy to defend against, but targeted attacks are far more lucrative.
Two large thefts account for the massive surge in the percentage. The first was a multi-billion-dollar Ponzi scheme that occurred at the hands of the crypto exchange and wallet system Plus Token. The second is the $195 million loss which occurred through Quadriga CX, the now notorious and ill-fated Canadian exchange that’s trapped in a class-action suit.
Thieves Are Learning and Adapting
Even without the two biggest thefts and scams, we are still witnessing many multi-million-dollar crimes. There is a relatively consistent increase in criminal activity year over year, and we don’t expect that to change overnight… Today’s attackers are patient and willing to spend more time waiting for a payout… Those responsible are acting carefully, only cashing out small amounts to stay under the radar.
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It’s happened again, folks. Another cryptocurrency hack has taken place in the region of South Korea. This time, the victim is the popular cryptocurrency exchange Up Bit, which has reportedly lost nearly $50 million in Ethereum (ETH) funds.
Up Bit: The Latest Target of Cyberthieves
South Korea, at one time, was one of the world’s largest cryptocurrency hubs. The country was responsible for roughly one-quarter of the world’s bitcoin transactions, though the region has taken on something of a mixed or even hostile attitude towards crypto as of late.
Following in China’s footsteps in 2017, South Korea banned both margin trading and initial coin offerings (ICOs) as a means of keeping investors protected. Over the years, ICOs have gone from being some of the most popular methods for earning capital to among the most controversial.
An ICO works when a startup seeks money to ensure its operations can continue. Thus, the company holds a token offering in which investors provide funds in exchange for a new cryptocurrency that grants them access to the startup’s goods and services. The trouble comes in one of two ways: if the people behind the ICO are fraudulent from the beginning, they will host the event and then run off with the money, ensuring investors are cheated out of what they’ve earned and pledged.
This accomplishes nothing minus the big paychecks the “founders” garner. Paychecks they undoubtedly failed to earn. Investors are inherently left with bruised egos, empty pride and coins they can’t use.
However, not all “bad” ICOs occur through fraud. Some have every intention of earning the money so businesses can start. Sadly, starting a business in today’s economy can be a huge risk, and sometimes, these startups don’t earn the capital they need to stay afloat. Thus, the ICOs, despite their best efforts, don’t produce the money necessary to keep the companies going and they’re forced to shut their doors before they even open.
ICOs can be very up and down in terms of risk, which is why countries like South Korea have arguably ceased to allow them but exchanges still hold great sway within the country. Unfortunately, these platforms don’t always employ the security necessary to keep funds safe.
So Much Money Gone
The hack on Up Bit occurred on Wednesday morning and resulted in $48.5 million in ether tokens being stolen through 17 separate transactions. Many customers of the exchange have reached out to the hackers to see about personally getting their funds back despite executives of the exchange saying that they will not be affected. They simply need time to tally up the total losses and are looking to provide reimbursements over the following two weeks.
It has also been confirmed that Up Bit utilized hot wallets to store the funds, which are less secure than cold storage.
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Well, well. Here’s a bit of good news just as the holiday season is starting to pick up steam. The world’s number one cryptocurrency – bitcoin – has suddenly surged to just under $7,600, incurring a seven percent gain over the past two days.
Bitcoin Is Picking Up Speed
Yesterday was Thanksgiving, meaning everyone was likely trying to avoid two topics at the dinner table: politics and crypto. Both tend to incur some very angry and/ or negative feelings in people, but this season, bitcoin seems to be on the very of a very welcomed turnaround.
This is the exact opposite of what was happening with bitcoin last year during this time, considering the price was trapped at a measly $3,500 throughout November and for the following five months. The currency wouldn’t begin to show recuperation until the month of April 2019. By that time, many enthusiasts had seemingly lost hope and were of the belief that bitcoin would be trapped in the darkness permanently, never to return.
After all, the currency had shed more than 70 percent off its price in just a matter of days.
This looked to be the case this time around. Bitcoin lost more than $2,500 within a matter of weeks, and while the situation wasn’t nearly as bad as the previous year, a trading position of roughly $7,000 or $7,100 was weak in comparison to the coin’s yearly high of roughly $13,600 in July. This means that over the course of four months, bitcoin would have ultimately lost nearly half its value by the time 2020 was ready to show its face.
However, now the currency seems to be embarking on a reverse path. While it’s still too early to tell, all we can really do is sit idly by and hope that perhaps the coin will find comfort and support at a higher level. Of course, anyone who sits around waiting with bated breath for bitcoin to make this decision isn’t fully aware of how crypto works.
Don’t Celebrate Just Yet
Bitcoin can rise just as quickly as it can drop, and we can’t forget that this little rise of more than $500 in just a matter of days could potentially be a fluke. This has happened before, where the currency ultimately incurs a small spike along the way only to come crashing back down all over again.
At the same time, there is always that possibility that the bulls have regained their strength and are pushing forward in the crypto community to see everyone’s favorite coin rise to the top again. Let’s face it: a world with bitcoin in it is far more exciting, and granted the currency can keep up its momentum, we’re likely to see crypto continue to garner the respect and attention it has always deserved.
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Coinspeaker Coinbase Denies Acquisition of Premier Digital Assets Broker Tagomi for $150 MillionUpdate: Though it was informed by media that Coinbase which is one of the world’s largest cryptocurrency trading exchanges had acquired one of the most innovative digital assets brokerage firms Tagomi for the sum of $150 million, the exchange has denied this information.As Coinbase VP of communications Rachael Horwitz noted, all this news is “100% false.”Earlier sources indicated that a deal had already been in the works and it is only recently that both parties decided to finalize the acquisition. Tagomi which is a digital assets brokerage was started by former traders from Goldman Sachs and ex-employees from Union Square. The startup is reported to have raised about $28 million in funding from venture capital investors which include technology investor heavyweights such as Pantera and Morgan Creek. Being a startup within the digital asset space, it appears that Tagomi has what it takes to become a unicorn within the crypto space. Mark Bhagava CEO of Tagomi is well known within and outside the industry for being able to pull the kind of stunts that very few dare to do. Who else would partner with Binance.US strategically on liquidity days before its acquisition? Or who can get the scarcely available Bitlicense from the Department of Financial Services of New York? This indicates that the team at Tagomi is ready for the things that others aren’t doing at the moment and this will serve them along the line. Coinbase as an organization seems to be on a growth curve at the moment. This acquisition also brings quite a bit to the table for the premier cryptocurrency exchange as well. The introduction of the institutional side of its platform Coinbase Prime which is aimed at bringing institutional inflows unto Coinsbase’s platform already indicates that the cryptocurrency exchange is set to blow up exponentially come next year. Already, the fusion of Coinbase Prime and Tagomi will bring massive inflows from all sorts of institutional investors who will be willing to place their funds within the new ecosystem (with the addition of Tagomi as a key player of course). The kinds of institutional investors who will be willing to play hardball include but are not limited to hedge funds, family offices, individual retirement accounts (IRAs) and mutual funds to name a few.This also creates some unexpected activity within the crypto space as moves such as this one will draw in new entrants. It also allows for further inclusion of the crypto space within the wider global financial system as an inclusion with these kinds of events occurring is a compulsory trend. Already, Tagomi has proved this with the recent introduction earlier this year of its lending and borrowing platform which allows institutional clients to borrow cryptocurrency assets just like anyone would borrow stock.If these kinds of innovations continue at Tagomi, Coinbase would have made the acquisition of a lifetime as the exponential returns would far outweigh the cost of acquisition which has made many to hold their breaths at such a sum.Coinbase Denies Acquisition of Premier Digital Assets Broker Tagomi for $150 Million
Coinspeaker Coinbase Secures Patent for Automated KYC SystemThe United States Patent and Trademark Office has awarded one of the most prominent crypto exchanges in the country, Coinbase, a patent that portrays a mechanized framework that identifies and detects non-compliant client accounts on the platform.Filed on Nov. 19, the patent describes the significant improvement made to improve the level of security as regards customer account authorization, thereby explicitly identify the ones associated with dealing in criminal behavior.Coinbase has been known in recent times for always giving high priority to the security of users’ accounts in the crypto world where cyber theft and crypto-jacking has been a thing of repeated occurrence. It appears that Coinbase plans to adopt and implement such a framework in its platform.Removing Non-Compliant AccountsThe patent involves the determination of a “compliance score for each one of the accounts based on the respective factors associated with the respective account.” After that, the system likens the consistency score of account to determine those that fail to comply with the regulatory standards set by the platform as well as regulatory bodies in order to root out rebellious client accounts.It relegates a general compliance score from an assortment of components, as indicated by the patent portrayal, which are focused on client-inputted or executed information such as client’s age, access location, account balance, exchange volume, confirmation history and the number of devices linked to the account.An excerpt from the patent reads:“An investigator may be able to determine whether an account is being used for illicit activities by doing research on the parties of the transaction who receive or send payment and determining whether such parties are regularly involved in illicit activities. It may, for example, be relatively easy to determine that a party sending or receiving payment is in the business of conducting online services that may be illegal.”Although the exchange itself determines other several factors, the compliance enforcer also goes a step further by gauging the degree of “due diligence that has been performed on the respective account,” and any previous history of consistence survey in deciding whether the record is valid or not.According to the patent, the valid records go through untouched while invalid ones are suspended and alluded to law enforcing agents if the transaction involves more than $2,000.The patent also indicates that, as an expert system, the framework figures out how to distinguish from several sets of suitable query sets. The system continually refreshes its compliance model from the information gathered and the previously flagged user accounts. Coinbase Secures Patent for Automated KYC System