Kidnappers Demand $10M in Monero Ransom for Norwegian Millionaire’s Wife

The wife of one of the wealthiest men in Norway has been missing and is allegedly a victim of kidnappers. The perpetrators have reportedly demanded the ransom to be paid in Monero (XMR). 
$10M in Monero for Ransom
Anne-Elisabeth Falkevik Hage is the wife of Tom Hagen – one of the richest men in Norway. She has been missing since late October in 2018 and the police fears that she’s fallen victim to a kidnapping.
According to a local newspaper Romerikes Blad, someone who is claiming to be the kidnapper of Anne has requested a ransom in the staggering amount of 9 million euros or a little bit more than $10 million to release the woman.
The alleged ransom is as high due to the wealth of Anne’s husband – Tom. He is reported to have an estimated fortune of about $200 million, which is roughly around 1,7 billion Norwegian krone. This makes him the 172nd richest man in the country. His fortunes are reportedly coming from electricity speculation.
The kidnapper has supposedly requested for the ransom to be paid with Monero (XMR).

1% of Monero’s Market Cap
Interestingly enough, the demanded ransom represents a little bit more than 1 percent of the cryptocurrency’s total market capitalization. According to CoinMarketCap, XMR is currently sitting on a market cap of about $900 million – a far cry from its all-time high of near $5 billion at the beginning of 2018.
XMR is widely regarded as one of the most private and anonymous cryptocurrencies. Perhaps that’s the reason for which the kidnapper has supposedly requested the ransom to be paid using it in particular.
Some government officials have expressed their concerns regarding cryptocurrency-related crime. Live Bitcoin News reported that the City of London Police is exploring ways to educate fraud investigators on Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies and how they can be used for illicit activities.
What do you think about the case of the kidnapped millionaire’s wife and the Monero ransom? Don’t hesitate to let us know in the comments below!
Images courtesy of Shutterstock
The post Kidnappers Demand $10M in Monero Ransom for Norwegian Millionaire’s Wife appeared first on Live Bitcoin News.

NEO is Becoming the Most Developer-friendly Blockchain for Smart Economy Vision

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NEO is Becoming the Most Developer-friendly Blockchain for Smart Economy Vision
Hundreds are expected to attend the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Seattle between February 16-17th to listen to more than 40 speakers and view more than 30 projects across 20 separate exhibits.
In addition, NEO will host a one-day workshop that will introduce developers to the fundamentals of NEO blockchain development. With support for multiple programing languages such as C#, Python, and JavaScript, NEO aims to be the most developer friendly smart contract platform.
NEO founders Da Hongfei and Erik Zhang will open the event giving visitors insight into NEO’s promise of a Smart Economy and plans for platform growth over the next 12 months.
The rest of the opening day will focus on topics such as platform architecture, innovation, the regulatory landscape, and the transition to a Smart Economy.
Scheduled speakers include Miha Kralj, managing director of the world’s largest consulting company Accenture, who will talk about the big trends in blockchain, and Dr Chris Berg of the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT), who will discuss crypto-economics and its role in the future of the global economy.
Another confirmed speaker is Joseph Williams, Governor Jay Inslee’s ICT industry sector lead & State of Washington ICT economic development director. Williams will give visitors an insight into how regulators view the development of blockchain.
Day two of NEO DevCon will shift gears and take a deep dive into technical blockchain topics such as consensus mechanisms and decentralized storage, as well as explore a range of decentralized application (dApp) use cases, patterns and practices.
Co-founders of the NEO Saint Petersburg Competency Center, Sergei Liubich and Anatoly Bogatryrev, will present research progress on their NEO based distributed decentralized storage platform.
The Coelho brothers and founders of NeoResearch, Igor and Vitor, will discuss how high performance computing can advance consensus mechanisms and how the NEO blockchain can be used as a problem solving network.
Representatives from ecosystem projects such as Neon Exchange, Moonlight, Blacat and Archon will also share insights on dApp development and their contributions to the Smart Economy.
Erik Zhang, founder of NEO, said:
“We’re excited to have such a high profile list of speakers at DevCon 2019.  The future for blockchain, and for NEO in particular, is bright. The market is emerging out of an extended downtrend, but the fundamentals of the technology on which we’re building the smart economy of tomorrow are stronger than ever. Over the next 12 months and beyond, we’ll be working to make our platform even better, to further decentralize our network and begin to push out the dApps and experiences that will aid greater adoption and understanding of blockchain.”
Development Workshop
NEO DevCon will also feature a workshop for participants who are interested in learning to work on NEO’s developer-friendly platform.
The workshop will guide developers through how to set up a NEO development environment, design a smart contract, deploy to the blockchain, and interface with a smart contract.
It aims to give participants all the skills required to start building their own dApps on the NEO platform.
NEO DevCon will be held at the Hyatt Regency Hotel, Seattle, February 16-17th.
Early bird tickets are on sale now for $149 and are available until January 15th. Full price tickets will be $299.
More information can be found at devcon.neo.org.
NEO is Becoming the Most Developer-friendly Blockchain for Smart Economy Vision

Bitcoin SV Price Analysis: BSV/USD Trends of January 09–15, 2019

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Bitcoin SV Price Analysis: BSV/USD Trends of January 09–15, 2019
Key Highlights:

The bears took over the Bitcoin SV market;
on the short-term bullish momentum turned bearish on January 3;
the downtrend may continue.

BSV/USD Price Medium-term Trend: Bearish
Resistance levels: $92, $100, $107
Support levels: $85, $80, $73On the medium –term, BSV/USD is on bearish trend; as predicted last week, $92 price level was broke down and the BSV price was moved down towards the previous low. The Bulls lost the pressure after the Bitcoin SV price retracement on January 2.
It has no momentum to break out the resistance level of $100.The bears took over and pushed the crypto to break down the former support level of $92. BSV price declined towards $85 support level but unable to penetrate the level, the coin commenced the sideways movement within resistance level of $92 and $85 support level.
The Relative Strength Index period 14 is above 50 levels horizontally placed but flat showing no direction indicates consolidation scenario on the 4-Hour chart. Bitcoin SV price is trading below the two EMAs in which the 50-day EMA is above the 21-day EMA which connotes bearish pressure and sell signal. The breakdown of the support level of $85 with the strong bearish candle closed below the level will make the coin to have its target at $80 support level.
BSV/USD Price Short-term Trend: Bearish
BSV/USD is on the bearish trend on the short-term outlook. The Bitcoin SV price was on the bullish trend last week and the price was topped at $100 resistance level. Strong rejection with the formation of strong bearish engulfing candle returned the coin to the south. The bearish momentum bottomed the coin around $85 demand level since then the coin has been fluctuating within $92 and $85 price range.
Currently, the coin is on the two EMAs with the 21-day EMA and the 50-day EMA closed to each other as a sign of consolidation. However, the Relative strength index is above 50 levels with the signal lines pointing to the north which indicates the buy signal. Should the bulls increase their momentum and were able to penetrate the $92 resistance level, carry out retest successfully, the coin will rally to the previous high of $100 price level.
Bitcoin SV Price Analysis: BSV/USD Trends of January 09–15, 2019

LTO Network Offers Unique Multi-Layer Architecture and Will List Soon on BitMax.io

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LTO Network Offers Unique Multi-Layer Architecture and Will List Soon on BitMax.io
The journey began in 2014 for LTO Network and four years later it is launching with numerous clients and working projects. It will soon be listed on the BitMax.io exchange and bring a new wave of enterprise adoption with a unique token model.
Both LTO Network and BitMax.io advocate transparency and innovation in digital asset trading and will partner up to boost the adoption of blockchain technology. LTO Network has come up with a product that can be integrated into many businesses, enabling entities to collaborate on an equal footing by using Live Contracts.
LTO Network and Live Contracts
LTO Network is a European blockchain project which has taken a hybrid approach. Its architecture consists of multiple, private chains, and a public chain which acts as a security settlement layer. Using more than one layer allows for more customization and scalability.
Governments and multinationals invest billions in automation solutions to make their day-to-day processes efficient, but when it comes to automating processes amongst organizations, a gap exists that LTO Network believes it can fill. Their decentralized workflows, called Live Contracts aren’t dictated by the network but defined case-to-case.
The process of how businesses interact and exchange information is automated, splitting traditional contacts or processes into parts and containing instructions on actions or sequences that need to be executed that both humans and machines can understand. Live Contracts allow organizations to seamlessly integrate blockchain technology and enhance their capabilities, rather than replacing current systems.
Organizations are able to meet data privacy requirements with the private layer that enables data sharing, collaboration and automation of processes. Nodes handle many Live Contracts, and only the nodes of participants in that particular process have access to that private chain. Each party involved in the Live Contract validates the actions of others and secures data submissions. The public chain is used for decentralized workflows and notarizing every type of information.
Live Contracts can be applied in many areas, such as insurance, healthcare, supply chains, and legal contracts. For more than a year, the focus has been on real-world decentralized workflow applications for governments, enterprises and standalone projects. In addition, they can remove operational frictions among entities and have the potential to cut costs significantly.
When it comes to supply chains, plans exist to connect multiple agencies to manage the removal and transportation of waste to and from EU countries, using LTO’s solution to get rid of heavy bureaucracy. Corporate real estate agencies, such as M7, Deloitte, and Merin are currently working with the LTO network to create rental agreement lifecycles as Live Contracts. On insurance, LTO Network is working with DEKRA to develop GDPR compliant automated third-party data-handling.
BitMax.io – a 3rd Generation Digital Asset Trading Platform
BitMax.io has been making an impression in the digital asset trading and exchange world since its launch. Venture capital institutions, such as BitMain, have invested in the company. The team has valuable expertise in areas such as capital markets, technology, and crypto economy.
The emphasis on quality, reliability, and transparency has led to its strong growth trajectory. This global digital asset trading platform offers a wide range of products and services to clients. High performance, low transaction fees, 24/7 global trading, and real-time trade settlements make the platform appealing to its users.
Potential of the Partnership
Cooperation with BitMax.io is another big step for both projects. The CEO of BitMax.io says that BitMax.io and LTO Network will together to tackle both the European and Asian market, with the U.S. following after that. There has always been a gap between European and Asian projects, especially when it came to liquidity. BitMax.io, as a 3rd-generation exchange, has made it possible to close the gap.
In the first quarter of 2019, LTO Network will start migrating its existing clients to decentralized workflows.
LTO Network Offers Unique Multi-Layer Architecture and Will List Soon on BitMax.io

EDCON2019 will Take Place in Sydney on 8-14 April, 2019

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EDCON2019 will Take Place in Sydney on 8-14 April, 2019
EDCON has made quite effects on blockchain tech in the previous years. Till now, EDCON has grown into an anticipated and influential conference series. With the support from the Ethereum Foundation, EDCON2019 will continuously contribute to the Ethereum community.
To improve the communication and integration among the various global Ethereum communities and to promote the development of Ethereum ecosystem, EDCON will continuously focus on enhancing the engagement of global Ethereum communities.
EDCONs were held successfully at ESCP Europe, Paris, France in February, 2017, and at Ryerson University, Toronto, Canada in May, 2018. The EDCON series overall invited nearly 200 speakers to discuss about the development of Ethereum technology, and attracted over 1000 participants, who traveled from all over the world for EDCON! The event is expected to have a even larger scale this time. It will be presented in the form of “EDCON Week”, which covers:

EDCON Hackathon: an event with non-stop creative storming for participants.
EDCON Conference: Core Ethereum development teams will be invited to talk about the latest updates on the Ethereum research and technology; other great minds will share their thoughts on the current trends, projects and applications, as well as their community building and development plans.
EDCON “Having Fun” day: There will be outdoor activities. We hope that this will provide the community members a chance to interact with each other in an informal setting; besides, it would also be great to relax after a week of hacking and sessions.

The conference is expected to attract 1000+ attendees, and possibly 100+ worldwide founders and developers for EDCON2019.
For more detailed information and partnership possibilities. please visit the website https://www.edcon.io/
EDCON2019 will Take Place in Sydney on 8-14 April, 2019

Illegal Selling of Non-existent National Cryptocurrency ‘e-krona’ Flourishes in Sweden

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Illegal Selling of Non-existent National Cryptocurrency ‘e-krona’ Flourishes in Sweden
Sweden is known to be one of the most progressive countries in the aspect of digital assets and technologies.
In November, it was stated that Sweden could become the first-ever cash-free society. Meanwhile, the usage of cash in Sweden is very low already. According to official forecasts, 50% of retailers in Sweden will not be working with cash by 2025. Some banks have already ceased handling physical cash which represents some problems for certain groups of the population such as elderly people who are not accustomed to digital payment solutions.
Nevertheless, this governmental policy has created new chances for fraudsters to make money out of thin air.
Non-existent National Cryptocurrency
Though Sweden’s Riksbank has voiced the idea of launching the country’s digital currency ‘e-krona’, at the moment this idea still remains just a plan. But there are already some individuals and companies trying to sell this “new” digital version of the national currency.
In this context, the country’s reserve bank has warned the society that their project to launch the ‘e-krona’ is not concluded and all the initiatives to sell it at the moment are fraudulent.
In its statement, the bank explains that they haven’t made any decisions on issuing e-kronas yet and asks people to be cautious and to inform the central bank if they face with some offers to purchase this non-existent national currency.
The bank’s statement reads:
“On certain websites and in social media, claims have been made that it is possible to purchase e-kronas. The Riksbank has also been contacted by individuals describing how they have been called by companies claiming to be selling e-kronas on behalf of the Riksbank.”
E-Krona Project
The project was mentioned for the first time in 2017. At that time it was noticed that the levels of physical cash usage in Sweden were declining. Since 2009, the circulation of cash had decreased by 40% and the government began thinking about alternative means of payment.
The name for the new digital currency was chosen to be one of the most important new words of the year in 2018. This list is prepared by linguistic experts annually and contains words and terms that were created, imported or became popular in this or that particular year.
In spring 2018, the Riksbank stated that they were not ready to launch the e-krona project at the moment and that this digital currency would arrive in three or four years. But it was also said that it’s strongly believed that cryptocurrency would never fully replace physical one even in the future.
“Although it may appear simple at first glance to issue e-krona, this is something entirely new for a central bank and there is no precedent to follow”, explained Riksbank’s deputy governor, Cecilia Skingsley.
Illegal Selling of Non-existent National Cryptocurrency ‘e-krona’ Flourishes in Sweden

QashBack Platform Will Soon Revolutionize Traditional Retail & Services Industries

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QashBack Platform Will Soon Revolutionize Traditional Retail & Services Industries
Online reviews systems are nothing new. However QashBack, a technology firm from Singapore, is looking to transform the traditional retail and services industries by introducing the world’s first decentralised reputation management platform that offers transparent interaction and solid data security to consumers, retailers and advertisers.
QashBack aims to release its platform, which makes use of artificial intelligence, data analytics and blockchain Smart Contracts, in the second quarter of this year. According to publicity material, the QashBack platform is set to ‘revolutionise the online reviews market as it leverages the characteristics of blockchain technology’.
QBK tokens (QashBack’s native cryptocurrency) are given as rewards to the platform’s users for writing reviews, irrespective of their bias. The developers believe it will drastically reduce the polarisation that plagues current online review systems. Once a consumer has granted permission, retailers can reward them with QBKs to incentivise participation in contests as well as encourage them to check out advertisements or sign up for marketing promotions.
By leveraging blockchain technology, QashBack is able to acquire real, factual consumer reviews, due to blockchain’s guarantee of authenticity and immutability. QashBack uses the Ethereum blockchain, which records all transactions. This has the benefit of making them totally transparent and self-executing. In addition, they cannot be removed or edited.
Qashback is targeting multiple markets in Southeast Asia, such as wellness/beauty, healthcare, food and beverages, travel, entertainment and education. The company has already started doing deals in the region – earlier this year QashBack became partners with Oriental Mace Group Berhad, creators of the mobile app, MyBeauty. MyBeauty gathers together over 1000 beauty service providers and beauty product suppliers geared toward the Malaysian tourism sector.
The partnership is supported by the Malaysian government and comes under its strategy for national tourism. In terms of integration between QashBack and Oriental Mace’s app, consumers and retailers will conduct transactions in QBK tokens, with users rewarded when they view advertisements or submit reviews.
Qashback plans to mint one billion QBK tokens. On December 10th, 2018, 10% of this amount (one hundred million tokens) was made available for public sale. An opening value of US$0.40 per token has been set and the company hopes that its public Token Generation Event will generate US$36 million. Additionally, the private sales held in July aimed at high net-worth individuals and institutional investors raised over US$14 million.
Funds raised will be ploughed back into further research and development, enabling increased market penetration as well as further expansion of the business. From January 5th, 2019, the QBK token will be listed on the UDAX Hong Kong cryptocurrency exchange, with other major exchanges set to follow later on.
With online review systems already a fact of life for modern shoppers, QashBack is tapping into a potentially lucrative market with its incentivised reputation management platform. Time will tell how big a hit the added transparency and security that come from using blockchain technology and the reward-based interaction are with consumers and merchants, but if things go well for the platform, both parties stand to benefit.
QashBack Platform Will Soon Revolutionize Traditional Retail & Services Industries

Blockchain-Powered City by 2020? Dubai Wants to make it Happen

Over the last decade, Dubai has almost always been used as a reference to the billionaire lifestyle. Yachts, private planes, jets, god knows how many stars-hotels and all that jazz. The city is one of the most desired tourist destinations due to the luxury and futuristic outlook. That alone is not enough and there are currently short-term plans to turn Dubai into the world’s first blockchain-powered city.
Dr. Aisha Bint Butti Bin Bish is the director-general of Smart Dubai. He believes that the city is in a great position to become a blockchain and crypto epicenter. In the near future, that would turn Dubai into the world’s first, fully-integrated blockchain smart city.
The Global Blockchain Challenge is organized by Smart Dubai. This blockchain-themed competition is aimed at finding the most innovative blockchain startups from the entire world and if deemed appropriate, present them compelling offers to develop and grow in Dubai.
Dr. Aisha Bint Butti Bin Bish is highly optimistic about Dubai’s potential for crypto-related businesses:
“The city has established itself in record time, as not only a global tourist destination, but as a preferred destination for innovators and entrepreneurs in the Blockchain industry. With our leadership’s guidance, the emirate has become synonymous with embracing avant-garde technologies ahead of time. By fully utilizing them, we create an advanced, connected and seamless urban experience for our residents and visitors.”
Attracting the newest and most innovative blockchain startups is something not only Dubai should be working on. Dubai’s current venture is also part of a larger plan called the Dubai Blockchain Strategy 2020. As the name suggests, the plan focuses on making Dubai the first blockchain-powered city in the world. The plan was announced by both Smart Dubai and the Dubai Future Foundation.
Every year, more projects can help create the first blockchain-powered city
The Global Blockchain Challenge’s next round will be held at the Future Blockchain Summit between April 1st and 2nd. Startups who pass the preliminary stage will be invited to train in Dubai with the Dubai Future Accelerators (DFA) and will receive a mandatory introduction to the UAE culture.
The $45 000 prize pool, which will be split between the top 3 spots with $20 000 going to the winner and $150 00 and $10 000 will be split between the runner-up and third-place respectively. The 3 top spots will also be allowed to sell and implement their products in Dubai.
Last year’s Challenge attracted over 8000 contestants, 130 crypto-related startups and over 140 speakers. This year promises the same if not more of everything.
Most experts seem remain sceptic that Dubai will become a fully blockchain-powered city in less than 1 year. Even so, the economic ambition and resources will without a doubt give them a head-start when it comes to blockchain tech innovations.
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Gold Backed Crypto Exchange Offers Safe Haven for Crypto Investors

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Gold Backed Crypto Exchange Offers Safe Haven for Crypto Investors

Turbulence in the global markets is nothing new but the cryptocurrency community has faced an unprecedented 18-month period of flux.
The need for a fully decentralised, stable, self-regulated and community-led exchange that can offer investor confidence amidst a chaotic global economy has never been stronger.
Setting the Gold Standard with Crypto’s Founding Principles
With a scalable inter-blockchain and decentralised exchange the GOLD.IO platform is not only self-regulated and led by its stakeholders, but asset linked – offering exchange investors unrivaled portfolio security.
Gold has Always Set the Market Standard and has Benchmarked Traditional Finance for Centuries, So Why Should the Cryptocurrency Market Be Any Different?
As a commodity, it has weathered many a financial storm and continues to do so today. Aside from a little price volatility it has consistently retained its market value, and with an unstable geopolitical, crypto-economic outlook the precious metal can provide a safe port for crypto assets.
In short, a gold-linked and backed exchange offers not only security of your assets but a piece of mind – the world has been through tougher times than we face today, but gold has always survived the course.
GOLD.IO – Providing a Defensive Asset Protection to Your Investments
With a team of over 30 experienced developers, GOLD.IO has simply put a sister chain of the EOS Project which has the mission of creating a Decentralised Exchange (DEX) of smooth inter-block communications that not only eliminates persistent market influences but has the unique benefit of being backed by a commodity asset class.
Combining the proven power of gold as well as a growing community that is not only self-regulated but also stakeholder-led – GOLD.IO is also seeking to develop a fully-fledged Decentralised Autonomous Community (DAC) based on the founding principles of the blockchain. The DAC will serve as regulatory oversight of the exchange with all stakeholders enjoying full voting rights, a say over project development and more importantly the ability to define their profits.
Gold Backed Tokenomics Offers Trading Efficiency & High Liquidity
With global stock volatility at best and a downward trajectory at worse – according to Goldman Sachs the markets are gripped with a fear of what may come in the coming year, a gold-linked exchange, with inherently high liquidity can part-mitigate investor risk.
With no independent or fair exchange yet to provide what GOLD.IO can, the benefits of the platform as a market leader are clear but the real magic comes with the EOISO blockchain system itself – it eliminates third-party manipulation and offers a unique architecture to ensure users remain the custodian of their gold. Join The Power of GOLD!
Join the Gold Renaissance Today!
Gold Backed Crypto Exchange Offers Safe Haven for Crypto Investors

EO.Finance Launches Highest Paying Crypto Referral Program of 2019

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EO.Finance Launches Highest Paying Crypto Referral Program of 2019

Offering 30% of transaction fees for each referral, it is expected to be the highest paying crypto referral program of 2019.
Each user will receive their own unique invite link, which can be shared with friends or via social media, in order to start earning 30% of the companies fees for every transaction made by someone who registered using their unique link.
Furthermore, receive 5% of the fees for each new referral introduced by your own referral, increasing earning potential and adding even more benefits to an already feature packed ecosystem. The fact the ecosystem supports credit and debit card transactions, as well as more than 40 cryptocurrencies means it will be even easier for you to start earning from your referrals.
The EO Referral Program will also extend to EO.Trade following launch, meaning it will be possible to earn from a single referrals transactions across multiple products within the EO ecosystem. It is important to note that the figure of 30% is significantly more than most competitors offer.
Payment will be made in the same currency as was purchased or exchanged. Withdrawal of the profits earned via the program can be made instantly, meaning you can earn immediately from your referral. The profits can also be exchanged into any available currency as desired.
Many will also be pleased to hear that the program also extends to those referred during the crowdsale. Meaning if you referred someone during the crowdsale, to earn from the bounty program on offer – those same referrals will still be active, allowing you to earn the 30% from fees on EO.Finance and EO.Trade.
For website owners and traffic managers promotional materials can be provided, including: banners and videos in different sizes and languages.
EO is European licensed company, those who wish to join the referral program can do so by registering at EO.Finance and following a link https://app.eo.finance/referral
EO.Finance Launches Highest Paying Crypto Referral Program of 2019