Quantum Threat

quantum computers

IBM has just come out with the world’s very first commercially available quantum computer known as the Q System One.  For those of you who aren’t familiar, quantum computers think a bit differently than the PCs and smartphones we have now and are much better at solving complex mathematical problems. The release of this new computer instantly piqued the interest of some members in crypto who asked: “does this new quantum computer threaten bitcoin?” The answer

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Two Alleged Ethereum ‘Scam Forks’ Appropriating Users’ Private Keys, Report Finds

Ethereum Nowa and Ethereum Classic Vision are reportedly appropriating the private keys of users trying to redeem the allegedly forked coins.

Altcoins Ethereum Nowa (ETN) and Ethereum Classic Vision (ETCV) are reportedly appropriating the private keys of users trying to redeem their allegedly forked coins. The suspected scam was covered in a report sent to Cointelegraph by the Guarda Wallet development team on Jan. 11.

The official website of the Ethereum Nowa project — which doesn’t contain a white paper — describes the process that users are supposed to engage in to obtain ETN. According to the website, the user should first send ETH to an address, and then export the private key and redeem the cryptocurrency using the dedicated online tool.

A user on Ethereum block explorer Etherscan has commented on the aforementioned address, asserting that the address is engaging in a “scam [hard] fork/airdrop” after warning “Don’t send anything here.” The tool to claim the coins appears to be a clone of the well-known online Ethereum (ETH) wallet MyEtherWallet (MEW), featuring the original logo, website title and page under a different domain.

The main difference compared to the original MEW interface is that all the options that let the user chose how to access the wallet are greyed out, other than the one allowing the user to paste in their private key. Furthermore, some browsers flag the tool as a “Deceptive Site.”

The Guarda Wallet team wrote that, analyzing the code, they found out that the private key is not only being processed by the tool, but also being sent to a remote server. According to the Guarda report, Ethereum Nowa “is a way for the thieves to get your private information and gain access to your wallet.”

Ethereum Classic Vision’s hard fork, according to the project’s white paper, is happening today (Jan. 11) at 20:00 GMT. The website contains links to a downloadable Windows and Linux wallet alongside a web tool. Near the “Claim fork” button, the website states:

“Regardless of which authorized wallet you use to hold your ETH, your free ETCV will be initially sent to the official Ethereum Classic Vision wallet. While we are currently in negotiations with a number of popular wallets, at the moment of the fork we will not be able to send ETCV to those wallets due to certain differences in the algorithms used.”

The Guarda Wallet team noted that while this project looked more solid than ETN, after closer examination, they reportedly found that the ETCV team also appropriated the private keys of the users:

“The analysis on the code performed by our team has shown that the piece of code provided actually sends your private key data on the Ethereum Classic Vision servers, masking it as an API token.”

As Cointelegraph recently reported, a Maltese actor and two hosts of a local TV show have notified the police after a fake news piece indicated that they are involved in a Bitcoin investment scheme called Bitcoin Revolution.

Furthermore, the same day, news broke that the Twitter account of a Belgian non-profit was evidently hacked and made into a fake affiliate account of United States crypto exchange Coinbase.

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Bitcoin Price Drops Further As Circle CEO Says ‘Core’ Crypto Assets ‘Undervalued’

Circle CEO Jeremy Allaire has said he believes “core” cryptocurrency assets are undervalued as the Bitcoin price tumbles closer to $3500. Allaire: ‘Markets Are Oversold’ In a Reddit ‘Ask Me Anything’ session January 10, Allaire, whose company famously decoupled itself from Bitcoin in 2016, also forecast less correlated trading in altcoin markets. “My general perception is that the markets have been oversold and that some core assets have decoupled from their usage, which suggests they

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Vinny Lingham Forecasts Bitcoin Price for Two Months Trading Between $3,000 and $5,000

Bitcoin could yet break below its 2018 bottom of $3,130, the Civic CEO has warned.

Vinny Lingham, CEO of blockchain identity platform Civic, has revised down his short-term Bitcoin (BTC) price prediction on Jan. 11, telling financial news network Cheddar that the cryptocurrency could fall below $3,000.

In an interview, Lingham, who had previously forecast BTC/USD to trade between $3,000 and $6,000 in the coming months, said the market would either “breakout or breakdown.”

“The reality is it’ll probably trade sideways between $3,000 and $5,000 for another month or two while it’s trying to find which way to go,” he said, adding:

“When it finds that direction, there’ll be a breakout or a breakdown.”

Lingham was speaking after Bitcoin lost its support at $4,000 to drop around $250 in a matter of minutes on Thursday.

The renewed volatility had followed several days of flat movements, cancelling out gains made earlier in the week.

Altcoins had reacted more intensely to Bitcoin’s move, the top twenty assets by market cap losing up to 11.3 percent in the 24 hours to press time on Friday.

Civic’s own CVC token, like many from the initial coin offering (ICO) boom of 2017, currently trades well below its issue price, but it is not a problem for the company, Lingham told Cheddar.

“We’ve been very mildly affected,” he said, “we took our ICO proceeds and held them in cash, so we’ve been less affected than everyone else in the space — the people who held onto Bitcoin and Ethereum at very high prices.”

Other sources warning about incoming Bitcoin lows meanwhile include veteran trader Tone Vays, who in December claimed a bottom could fall below $1,300.

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Japanese Regulators Grant Cryptocurrency Exchange License to Coincheck

Japan’s Financial Services Agency has issued an operating license to Coincheck, which lost $530 million due to a hack last year.

Japan’s finance regulator, the Financial Services Agency (FSA), has granted full permission for cryptocurrency exchange Coincheck to continue operating in the country. Cointelegraph Japan reported on the development on Jan. 11, quoting an official communique.

Coincheck, which was hacked in January 2018, losing altcoin tokens worth $530 million at the time, now joins the slowly increasing number of officially sanctioned exchanges serving the Japanese market.

The step is a milestone for the exchange and for online broker Monex Group, which bought Coincheck for a nominal $33.5 million in April.

Since the interim period, developers have slowly returned functionality to users and organized refunds of stolen coins.

Japan has sought to implement a licensing scheme over the past year in the wake of unease about exchanges’ security setups. Despite heightened legislation, smaller-scale hacks have continued, with fellow platform Zaif losing around $20 million last September.

On Friday, Cointelegraph also reported on a government investigation into crypto exchange security in South Korea, which found satisfactory compliance in less than a third of platforms.

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Crypto Hedge Fund Manager Disputes Augur Metrics of $2 Mln, Claims Only $100,000 at Stake

Reactions to the Augur’s latest weekly report follow Jimmy Song highlighting low user numbers.

Blockchain-based prediction market Augur is reportedly significantly overestimating its usage, a founding partner of cryptocurrency hedge fund Tetras Capital claimed on social media on Jan. 10.

The latest criticism of the project, Alex Sunnarborg took Augur to task following publication of its most recent weekly report showing the amount of money circulating within its markets.

Specifically, the report claims around $2 million is currently involved in wagers set up by users. Sunnarborg, however, notes the figure includes wagers which have already closed.

“Augur metrics showing ~$2 (million) ‘total money at stake’ include markets that have already ended,” he tweeted, adding:

“If we exclude markets that have ended there is (less than $100,000) total money at stake on Augur.”

The largest wager still active is a bet on the market cap of Ether (ETH) overtaking that of Bitcoin (BTC) by the end of this year.

As Cointelegraph reported, cryptocurrency figures have pointed out an apparent discrepancy in Augur’s user numbers versus the amount the company raised in its 2017 initial coin offering (ICO).

In a blog post last month, Bitcoin developer Jimmy Song alleged that based on an average daily user base of just 25, each participant was worth $3.65 million of the ICO market cap.

“Amazingly, this is one of the success stories for an altcoin/ICO!” Song commented, while noting that Augur had produced better results than other ICO projects which failed to bring a product to market.

At the same time, the CEO of cryptocurrency trading platform BitMEX forecast a renaissance for ICOs within the next 18 months, countering the 2018 bear market which saw some tokens lose more than 90 percent of their value.

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South Korea Government Approves Seven out of 21 Cryptocurrency Exchanges’ Security Policy

Of a total of 21 exchanges, the majority still had notable problems meeting South Korean authorities’ 85 security criteria.

Some of South Korea’s biggest cryptocurrency exchanges have passed a government security audit, but the majority could be exposed to attacks, local tech news outlet ZDNet reported on Jan 10.

Bithumb, Coinone and Korbit, in addition to four other major exchanges, satisfied investigators during the audit, which took place between September and December 2018.

Of the tranche of 21 platforms involved, however, the remaining 14 failed to meet the criteria for suitable security procedures.

South Korea previously had one of the world’s most active cryptocurrency trading economies before regulatory upheaval saw consumer habits dramatically change in late 2017.

In the interim, attackers have continually targeted South Korean operators in order to steal funds from users, with even officially secure ones such as Bithumb reporting breaches last year worth tens of millions of dollars.

The latest audit by lawmakers looked at 85 different aspects of security, and found that of those who did not pass, an average of 51 aspects required attention, ZDNet reports.

Last month, a court acquitted Bithumb in a case brought by one investor who claimed he lost funds worth $355,000 in a hack because of the platform.

While no mention of shutdowns as a result of poor performance has surfaced, Seoul has been more draconian on certain other aspects of the cryptocurrency industry, with initial coin offerings (ICO) still facing a full ban under its jurisdiction.

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Atomic Swaps Are Coming to BTCPay This Year, Says Nicolas Dorier [Interview]

Bitcoinist caught up with Nicolas Dorier, a developer of open-source and self-hosted Bitcoin payment processor alternative, BTCPay, who spoke about upcoming features such as atomic swaps, and making BitPay obsolete for businesses that don’t care about handling bitcoin.  ‘Nothing is Unsolvable in the Long Run’ Bitcoinist: In August 2017, you posted one of the most epic tweets aimed at BitPay calling out their lies and vowing to make the company obsolete. Can you reflect on

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Run Bank Run

french bank run

As we know, a number of French cities have been the scene of protest recently. The protesters, distinguished by their yellow vests, have been increasingly creative in their tactics and now seem to have a new plan.  The idea is that if enough people withdraw all their money from the bank at the same time they might be able to force a liquidity crunch requiring government intervention, possibly crashing the Euro, and send a unified message to

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Circle CEO Says More Regulatory Clarity From US SEC Will Help Unlock Crypto Markets

The CEO of Circle says the biggest regulatory hurdle facing the industry today is the lack of clarity over crypto and securities laws.

CEO and co-founder of Goldman Sachs-backed crypto finance company Circle has said the biggest regulatory hurdle facing crypto today is the lack of clarity from the United States securities regulator over how to define various crypto assets.

Jeremy Allaire made his remarks in an AMA reddit thread he initiated on Jan. 10 together with Circle co-founder Sean Neville and other representatives from the firm.

In response to a question over Circle’s efforts to educate regulators like the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) about the crypto industry, as well as specific challenges the company faces, Allaire wrote:

“The biggest and most immediate regulatory hurdle we face is the lack of specific guidance from the SEC on how to classify various crypto assets. We believe many are clearly currencies and commodities, and there needs to be more specificity on what are really securities. This can unlock a lot of market activity, and also clearly enable the growth of a market for crypto-based securities.”

In response to other regulation-focused questions, Allaire also stated Circle’s belief that tax treatment should be differentiated for crypto-to-crypto transactions — noting that France has inched ahead of other countries in pursuing a statutory amendment to this end.

As reported, France’s prospective bill to ease crypto-crypto taxation has notably recently faced a setback in parliament.

Other topics that gained traction on the thread were discussions of privacy-focused altcoins such as Monero (XMR), with many redditors keen to get insights into Circle’s approach to handling scrutiny from regulators and law enforcement into so-dubbed opaque blockchains.

Robert Bench, chief compliance officer and head regulatory counsel for Circle, clarified that while no specific legislation has yet been drafted in the U.S. in regard to privacy coins, Circle may take use of such assets into account for its customers’ risk assessments.

Noting that tackling privacy and Anti-Money Laundering (AML) compliance is high on regulators’ agenda, he added that he “wouldn’t underestimate the ability of smart industry and government participants to find solutions to provide transparency on these coins [in the future].”

As reported, Allaire has recently predicted that Bitcoin (BTC) will eventually be worth a great deal more than now, but stopped short of Bitcoin maximalism, stating:

“I do not think it’s winner-take-all. We have the phrase ‘the tokenization of everything,’ and we think cryptographic tokens are going to represent every form of financial asset in the world. There will be millions of them in years.”

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