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Saturday, 14 December 2019

The Great Crypto Experiment Continues

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It wasn't a year for regulatory clarity, huge investments or mass adoption. Yet crypto still progressed.

via CoinDesk https://www.coindesk.com/the-great-crypto-experiment-continues

Change Won’t Happen With Chairman Clayton Around: Kristin Smith

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A lobbyist surveys current attitudes towards blockchain in Washington D.C.

via CoinDesk https://www.coindesk.com/change-wont-happen-with-chairman-clayton-around-kristin-smith

Change Won’t Happen With Chairman Clayton Around: Kristin Smith

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A lobbyist surveys current attitudes towards blockchain in Washington D.C.

via CoinDesk https://www.coindesk.com/__trashed-6

Lessons From the First Digital Gold Boom

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Long before crypto, there was digital gold. The boom of the mid-1990s has echoes for today.

via CoinDesk https://www.coindesk.com/lessons-from-the-first-digital-gold-boom

Meet Crypto’s New Best Friend: Fiat

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Fiat and crypto are not enemies. They are complementary in any effective trading ecosystem.

via CoinDesk https://www.coindesk.com/meet-cryptos-new-best-friend-fiat

Myths and Realities: Sentiment Analysis for Crypto Assets

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Jesus Rodriguez, CTO of IntoTheBlock and chief scientist of AI firm Invector Labs, delves into the complications and nuances of crypto sentiment analysis.

via CoinDesk https://www.coindesk.com/myths-and-realities-sentiment-analysis-for-crypto-assets

Friday, 13 December 2019

Proof of Love Ep. 41 Anita Teresa

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In the era of the #MeToo Movement, sex and relationships at work have become a taboo subject. Integrative health and sexuality educator and founder of the Sex and Medicine Summit Anita Teresa join us on this episode of #ProofofLove to answer some tough questions such as:

How do we approach sexuality in the workplace?

What are some ways to distinguish between flirting and harassment?

How do we create better environments to bring up touchy subjects?

Is it ok to date in the workplace in this day and age?

How can a company implement a more modern policy concerning dating and relationships in the workplace?

We investigate the recent cases of Harvey Weinstein and Jeffrey Epstein and the cultural conditioning of women to stay silent, the need for setting clear boundaries, and the steps people can take to have conversations and develop compassion and empathy for the opposite sex.

About the Guests:

Anita Teresa Boeninger is a New York-based integrative health & sexuality educator with a background in Clinical Social Work, Mind-Body Therapies, Performing Arts, and Somatic Movement Education. She was a Heath Educator in the Department of Integrative Health Programs at NYU Hospital for nearly five years, and is the founder of The Sex & Medicine Summit, an education platform reaching tens of thousands of health and wellness professionals globally.

During her tenure at NYU Langone Medical Center (NYULMC), she innovated an extensive array of staff wellness education, corporate wellness (for clients of NYULMC), and administered a pre-surgical preparation program to thousands of patients. She continues to collaborate with experts in the field of neurobiology, sex therapy and mind-body integration.


Do you have a burning question, or a show idea for us? Please email us at tatiana@proofoflovecast.com!


More Info:

TatianaMoroz.com

CryptoMediaHub.com

https://www.embodiedintel.com/

https://www.facebook.com/sexandmedicinesummit/

Friends and Sponsors of the Show:

https://www.celsius.network.com/get-the-app/ use code LOVE

https://www.Vaultoro.gold/tatiana

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Remember, this is a new show, so if you like it, please be sure to tell 3 friends! Leave a good review on Itunes, and be sure to follow us on our socials!

*You have been listening to Proof of Love. This show may contain adult content, language, and humor and is intended for mature audiences. If that's not you, please stop listening. Nothing you hear on Proof of Love is intended as financial advice, legal advice, therapy or really, anything other than entertainment. Take everything you hear with a grain of salt. Oh, and if you're hearing to us on an affiliate network, the ideas and views expressed on this show, are not necessarily of the those of the network you are listening on, or of any sponsors or any affiliate products you may hear about on the show.



via The Let's Talk Bitcoin Network https://letstalkbitcoin.com/blog/post/proof-of-love-ep-41-anita-teresa

Accenture Picked to Build Sweden’s E-Krona Digital Currency Pilot

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Sweden has picked Accenture to handle its e-krona digital currency pilot.

via CoinDesk https://www.coindesk.com/accenture-picked-to-build-swedens-e-krona-digital-currency-pilot

Highest in 2 Years: 65% of Bitcoin Hash Power Is in China, Report Finds

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For all of bitcoin’s promise of being the world’s first decentralized, peer-to-peer cryptocurrency, 65 percent of the total hash power resides in China, according to a recent report by CoinShares Research.

via CoinDesk https://www.coindesk.com/highest-in-2-years-65-of-bitcoin-hash-power-is-in-china-report-finds

Why the ECB Is Getting in on the Stablecoin Game

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Discussing the ECB's recent comments on stable coins, the resurfacing of some prominent 2017 token projects, and a debate: is crypto for criminals?

via CoinDesk https://www.coindesk.com/breakdown-why-the-ecb-is-getting-in-on-the-stablecoin-game

VeChain Foundation Hacked for $6.5M in VET Token Theft

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A VeChain buyback wallet containing 1.1 billion VET was compromised by an unknown hacker, the firm said Friday.

via CoinDesk https://www.coindesk.com/vechain-foundation-hacked-for-6-5m-in-vet-token-theft

Bitcoin App Bottle Pay Shuts Down Over Impending EU Money-Laundering Laws

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Bottle Pay is shutting down, citing the EU's new AML rules, which could compel crypto wallet providers to collect KYC info from users starting next month.

via CoinDesk https://www.coindesk.com/bitcoin-app-bottle-pay-shuts-down-over-impending-eu-money-laundering-laws

It’s Time to Walk-the-Talk on Decentralized Governance

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Truly decentralized governance needs to take input from all stakeholders, which requires strong personalities to share the podium.

via CoinDesk https://www.coindesk.com/its-time-to-walk-the-talk-on-decentralized-governance

ChainReaction Podcast: Matic's Sandeep Nalwail: Leveraging Plasma To Top Layer-2 Scaling Projects

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Host Tom Shaughnessy of Delphi Digital is joined by Sandeep Nailwal, the co-founder and COO of Matic Network. On this episode we discuss how Matic is using Plasma and proof-of-stake based sidechains to scale Ethereum, how he thinks the landscape of dozens of layer-2 scaling projects will shake out, building on Matic, Bitcoin's lightning network and so much more. Matic Network's token recently crashed on FUD and while this episode was recorded before the news, its a deep dive into the project itself. The audio came out a little low on this episode, apologies on that.

Resources:

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To help support the show, please hit the subscribe button on iTunes so we can keep bringing you episodes like these!

To access the insights package of Delphi's leading crypto research, visit DelphiDigital.io on your device and sign up using coupon code CHAINREACTION

Disclosures:‚This podcast is strictly informational and educational and is not investment advice or a solicitation to buy or sell any tokens or securities or to make any financial decisions. Do not trade or invest in any project, tokens, or securities based upon this podcast episode. The host may personally own tokens that are mentioned on the podcast.‚Tom owns tokens in ETH, BTC, XTZ, LEO, DCR and STX.



via The Let's Talk Bitcoin Network https://letstalkbitcoin.com/blog/post/chainreaction-podcast-matics-sandeep-nalwail-leveraging-plasma-to-top-layer-2-scaling-projects

‘Request for Exhumation’: QuadrigaCX Creditors Ask for Proof That Cotten Is Dead

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Creditors of QuadrigaCX have asked the Royal Canadian Mounted Police to exhume and conduct an autopsy of the failed exchange’s founder, Gerald Cotten.

via CoinDesk https://www.coindesk.com/request-for-exhumation-quadrigacx-creditors-ask-for-proof-that-cotten-is-dead

MARKETS DAILY: Russian Drugs and The Most Illegal ICO Ever?

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With bitcoin recovering after four straight days of decline we're talking about what may be the most illegal ICO ever, tokens for Mongolian taxi fares, Bitmain’s Texas hedge and one "suicidal" startups surprising success...

via CoinDesk https://www.coindesk.com/markets-daily-russian-drugs-and-the-most-illegal-ico-ever

German Bank Launches Digital Assets Unit to Offer Custody Products

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Berlin-based solarisBank has opened a subsidiary to offer a white-labeled custody product to nonbanks interested in offering crypto products.

via CoinDesk https://www.coindesk.com/german-bank-launches-digital-assets-unit-to-offer-custody-products

Hodl Hodl Launches Exchange API

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Hodl Hodl has launched the first part of the exchange’s API today, December 13, 2019.

The new API release will allow any website or application to display offers from Hodl Hodl, best known for its peer-to-peer (P2P) structure that allows it to operate without holding user funds. This will help the bitcoin exchange’s offers to gain greater exposure, which might translate into more trading activity and increased demand for the listed bitcoin. Furthermore, Hodl Hodl users will be empowered to create, edit and update their offers through the API, so they don’t necessarily have to open the exchange’s website in order to benefit from its features.

“The API was developed due to the high demand from OTC [over-the-counter] brokerage desks. It will allow other services such as wallets and different types of aggregators to include Hodl Hodl in their offering. Obviously, this will increase our popularity,” Hodl Hodl CEO Max Keidun told Bitcoin Magazine.

Hodl Hodl API Integrates Wallets, OTC Desks and Aggregators

In addition to these features, a list of countries, currencies and payment methods supported on the exchange will also get published. The information was already available to everyone who visited the Hodl Hodl website, but the new open-sourcing makes it more accessible and easier to integrate into applications.

Bitcoin and Lightning wallet BlueWallet and Venezuelan bitcoin exchange rate calculator Yadio are the first two services to integrate Hodl Hodl’s API. As a way of increasing use and extending functionality, other wallets, aggregator websites and even automated trading applications can easily find beneficial uses for Hodl Hodl’s code.

“Our ideal partners are those who understand the value proposition of Hodl Hodl,” said Keidun. “I think the main use cases for our API are OTC trading desks, bitcoin wallets and aggregators. For example, our first integration is Yadio — a bitcoin price discovery platform from Venezuela. They were only using LocalBitcoins data, but now they will be able to use our data as well by displaying our offer list.”

As for the BlueWallet integration, Keidun envisions more users accessing Hodl Hodl in more ways.

“Basically, BlueWallet users will be able to buy/sell Bitcoin through the mobile app interface,” he said. “This will allow us to increase Hodl Hodl usage vie mobile phones. Some OTC desks are currently in [the] process of doing the integration as well.”

In October 2019, the exchange released the escrow API. Thanks to this previous open-sourcing, developers who possess no prior knowledge of Bitcoin or Lightning can build new financial tools and services. 

Following this most recent exchange API release, Keidun hinted at future improvements in user experience. 

“In January or February 2020 we will roll out very important changes to our platform, which will completely change our users’ experience and interaction with Hodl Hodl,” he said.

The post Hodl Hodl Launches Exchange API appeared first on Bitcoin Magazine.



via Bitcoin Magazine https://bitcoinmagazine.com/articles/hodl-hodl-launches-exchange-api

4 Minute Crypto - Tone Vays Says Its Time to Pray

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Tone Vays believes that Bitcoin is working on breaking its crucial support, saying that this is not good for the price would be an understatement, and proclaimed that it is time to pray.

CONTACT INFO

YouTube Channel

SUPPORT

Gary is available to keynote or emcee your Bitcoin/Crypto event. Please email GaryLeland@gmail.com for additional info.

DISCLAIMER: This article should not be taken as is, and is not intended to provide, investment advice.



via The Let's Talk Bitcoin Network https://letstalkbitcoin.com/blog/post/4-minute-crypto-tone-vays-says-its-time-to-pray

Can ‘Dogfooding’ Altcoins Find Real Users in 2020?

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Dogfooding - or using your own product - is normal among crypto startups. Is it indicative of a lack of real demand?

via CoinDesk https://www.coindesk.com/can-dogfooding-altcoins-find-real-users-in-2020

New York Attorney General Calls Bitfinex’s Legal Stance ‘Deeply Perverse’ in New Filing

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In a sharply worded brief, the New York Attorney General's Office has criticized the exchange's tactics in its case involving the Tether stablecoin's backing.

via CoinDesk https://www.coindesk.com/new-york-attorney-general-calls-bitfinexs-legal-stance-deeply-perverse-in-new-filing

What DeFi Needs Next Year: Three Priorities

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DeFi took off this year but it remains a small deal in the scheme of things. Here's how that changes.

via CoinDesk https://www.coindesk.com/what-defi-needs-next-year-three-priorities

‘New Risks’: Swiss Government Skeptical on Central Bank Digital Currency

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A digital Swiss franc would do more harm than good and bring financial risks, according to the nation's government.

via CoinDesk https://www.coindesk.com/new-risks-swiss-government-skeptical-on-central-bank-digital-currency

Bitcoin’s Best Ally Is Just Time: Pompliano

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Pomp talks Libra, why bank-issued coins are scary, and why this time is both different and not different.

via CoinDesk https://www.coindesk.com/bitcoins-best-ally-is-just-time-pompliano

Bitcoin Risks Deeper Drop After Shallow Price Bounce

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Bitcoin is again looking weak, having charted a lackluster bounce from two-week lows in the last 24 hours.

via CoinDesk https://www.coindesk.com/bitcoin-risks-deeper-drop-after-shallow-price-bounce

This Token Project Offered to Shut Down. Its Market Cap Shot Up $10M

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Should DigixDAO completely dissolve its treasury or keep making grants to enhance the ecosystem? That's the question for token holders to decide.

via CoinDesk https://www.coindesk.com/this-token-project-offered-to-shut-down-its-market-cap-shot-up-10m

Stablecoin Startup Terra Expands to Mongolia With Taxi Payment Service

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Terra is partnering with a Mongolian taxi company to let residents pay for rides using a stablecoin.

via CoinDesk https://www.coindesk.com/stablecoin-startup-terra-expands-to-mongolia-with-taxi-payment-service

Thursday, 12 December 2019

US Authorities Allege SIM Swapping Thief Bought Music Royalties, Jewelry, With Crypto

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Court documents allege that Pennsylvania resident Anthony Faulk hijacked a crypto company executive's phone, stealing crypto and using the proceeds for an expensive watch, music royalties, jewelry and a house.

via CoinDesk https://www.coindesk.com/us-authorities-allege-sim-swapping-thief-bought-music-royalties-jewelry-with-crypto

Cryptocurrency Is Still the World’s Best Performing Asset Class This Year

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Large-cap cryptocurrencies had a phenomenal year and remain one of the greatest investment success stories of the decade.

via CoinDesk https://www.coindesk.com/cryptocurrency-is-still-the-worlds-best-performing-asset-class-this-year

Russia’s Largest Darknet Market Is Hawking an ICO to Fund Global Expansion

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Here’s one token sale that’s almost certainly illegal, and not just under securities laws.

via CoinDesk https://www.coindesk.com/russias-largest-darknet-market-is-hawking-an-ico-to-fund-global-expansion

Review: Scorpion Case Is a Hardware Wallet Carrier That Over-Delivers on Protection

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With self-sovereignty comes great responsibility. Being your own bank can be scary. After all, there’s a reason banks became a feature of modern society: they control the custody of assets, assume the risk of these assets and insure them for their customers. 

This is why most Bitcoiners hold security as the highest virtue. If you want to be your own bank, you need to make sure you’re taking every step necessary and available to secure your bitcoin from theft, seizure and damage. In this regard, no measure is too extreme. There is no such thing as being too secure.

This is why Ragnar Lifthrasir of Guns n’ Bitcoin created the Scorpion Case. Hardware wallets (with the added security buff of multisignatures) offer best-practice custody for your average user, but this may not be enough. In the event of a fire or natural disaster, if these wallets are destroyed (and the seed phrase backups destroyed with them), you can kiss goodbye to your hard-earned satoshis.

The Scorpion Case is meant to mitigate against physical damage and even assault — in addition to its padded interior that houses your hardware wallet, it also comes with molds to hold a handgun, two magazines and a knife (if this sounds paranoid, well you just haven’t considered every attack vector).

To see if the Scorpion Case is up to snuff, I ran it through a number of stress tests. These included: blunt force testing, waterproof testing, fire testing and bulletproof testing. 

Now, Lifthrasir’s company, Guns n’ Bitcoin, only advertises the Scorpion Case’s resilience against physical and water damage. It says nothing about fire, let alone firearm, resistance, but I wanted to test it all the same. I wanted to see just how sturdy this case was and if you can trust your hardware with it.

I would find that the Scorpion Case can take one hell of a beating. 

The Specs

Before we go over the stress tests, let’s start with the basics.

We burned, drowned, smashed and shot Guns n’ Bitcoin’s Scorpion Case for bitcoin hardware wallets so you don’t have to.
Source: Guns n’ Bitcoin

The case weighs in at 2.2 pounds with a 12.6-inch long, 9-inch wide and 4.4-inch high exterior. Its case shell is made of NK-7 polypropylene, a common industrial resin that is made to be both lightweight and sturdy. Guns n’ Bitcoin’s website advertises a water immersion resistance of up to 3.28 feet and heat resistance of 140 degrees Fahrenheit. 

Internally, the case is lined with closed-cell PEF foam on the bottom and a convoluted lid foam on the top to insulate hardware. Its molds can house a pistol, multiple hardware wallets, USB hookups and pistol ammo magazines. 

The release latches come with pinholes added to a padlock, and the hinges are underpinned by stainless steel.

We burned, drowned, smashed and shot Guns n’ Bitcoin’s Scorpion Case for bitcoin hardware wallets so you don’t have to.
Source: Guns n’ Bitcoin

Retailing for $88, the Scorpion Case is a bit pricier than other NK-7 polypropylene cases of its size, though Guns n’ Bitcoin is running a 30 percent off sale for the holidays that brings the price in line with other options.

With these specs in mind, let’s beat this sucker up.

Scorpion Case Stress Test One: Blunt Force and Sharp Force

For my first test, I bludgeoned the Scorpion Case with the blunt side of a splitting maul, and then I flipped the case to its other side to test its resistance to the axe end of the maul.

Guns n’ Bitcoin says that the case is built to withstand a category one impact under Air Transport Association (ATA) specification 300 — that is, it conforms to standards set by the ATA for hard case designs and impact resistance.

This basically means that the case is meant to withstand moderate trauma. It doesn’t, however, say anything about being resistant to heavy blows from something like a sledgehammer. With this in mind, the case exceeded my expectations from test one.

The first swing with the sledge end of the maul left a dent, and I was pleased to see that the hardware wallet I inserted into the case before testing was unscathed. Now, I have no way of measuring the PSI of the swing, but I came down with all my strength on the case and it withstood the test.

We burned, drowned, smashed and shot Guns n’ Bitcoin’s Scorpion Case for bitcoin hardware wallets so you don’t have to.
The sledgehammer hit left a faint dent in the middle of the case.

Next, I swung with the axe. To be expected, the resin cracked under this pressure (I anticipated this because, again, the case makes no guarantees against this kind of trauma), but it did not shatter. And once again, the hardware wallet was still intact. 

So, all of that to say, in the rare event that someone takes a sledgehammer to your Scorpion Case, it’s going to hold up for at least the first few swings. Additionally, if your house were to come toppling down, I’d imagine your hardware would remain safe under the rubble.

When it comes to impact resistance, the Scorpion Case performed very well under pressure. 

We burned, drowned, smashed and shot Guns n’ Bitcoin’s Scorpion Case for bitcoin hardware wallets so you don’t have to.
The axe blow split open the back of the case.

Scorpion Case Stress Test Two: Water 

For this next test, I ran the case under running water, back and front, for about ten seconds. 

Boring compared to an axe attack, I know, but it had to be done and, to be honest, there’s not much else to report. It’s as watertight as advertised, and even with the crack in the back from the axe blow, a negligent amount of moisture pooled behind the PEF foam but did not seep into the foam itself or run anywhere near the hardware wallet, which remained completely dry.

Regretfully, I didn’t think to do an immersion test, but given that no water breached the case under an open faucet, I would venture to bet that it’s good down to at least 3.28 feet as advertised and maybe even more. At the very least, if it’s exposed to rain or some leakage in its storage space in your house, you have nothing to worry about.

Scorpion Case Stress Test Three: Fire 

Once again, Guns n’ Bitcoin does not advertise its case as being fire resistant (only heat resistant up to 140 degrees Fahrenheit).

Still, I couldn’t help but to push the limits. So, using isopropyl alcohol and an old t-shirt (after a failed attempt at setting it ablaze with a molotov cocktail — yes, feel free to laugh), I exposed the underbelly to fire for about a minute.

The end result: The case withstood the flame but left the exterior’s plastic carbuncled with heat damage and melted off bits of the rubber-lined handle. It also fused the bottom and the top lip of the case, so I couldn’t open it with my bare hands afterward (the latches were unscathed, though).

We burned, drowned, smashed and shot Guns n’ Bitcoin’s Scorpion Case for bitcoin hardware wallets so you don’t have to.
Post-fire damage to the back of the case.

The flame-licked resin fusing together is of little surprise, especially considering the heat would have been well above the 140 degree Fahrenheit mark (~1000 degrees Fahrenheit). That said, the hardware wallet was undamaged (as I would figure out after the next test) and the case’s shell was only bubbled over with heat damage, not burnt through from the test.

It wouldn’t survive a house fire, but it’s not supposed to anyway.

Scorpion Case Stress Test Four: Firearms 

This final test took the case to the extreme, well beyond what Guns n’ Bitcoin claims it can withstand.

For the first firearms test, I unloaded two 2 and 3/4 inch, 1 ounce birdshot shotgun rounds from a 20-gauge shotgun into the case from a distance of roughly 15 yards. Both of the shots blew the case wide open, thereby splitting the fused lid.

But the hardware wallet was still largely intact. The only deformity came from a crack caused by one of the pellets from the birdshot. I was shocked to see that it wasn’t completely shredded. In fact, the BB that did hit it was one of the few that actually penetrated the case. The NK-7 polypropylene absorbed most of the blow, and most of the BBs were embedded in the exterior casing. 

We burned, drowned, smashed and shot Guns n’ Bitcoin’s Scorpion Case for bitcoin hardware wallets so you don’t have to.
The case after getting pumped with two rounds of birdshot and multiple .223 rounds.

For the final test, I put the Scorpion Case up against an AR-15. Now, for those of you who are unaware, an AR-15 is essentially a semi-automatic, civilian version of the M16, one of the U.S. military’s most ubiquitous rifles. It shoots a 5.56 NATO round (and/or .223 Remington round, depending on the manufacturer) and can penetrate steel.

So naturally, it cut through the Scorpion Case like butter. I unloaded roughly 10 rounds into the case from 15 yards. The final two rounds, which entered the case from its bottom side just between the hinges, chipped two significant pieces of casing off. The hardware wallet, still, was undamaged, but if it had been in the path of one of the bullets, it would have been torn to bits.

We burned, drowned, smashed and shot Guns n’ Bitcoin’s Scorpion Case for bitcoin hardware wallets so you don’t have to.
The only discernible damage on the hardware wallet following these stress tests was a chip from one of the BBs fired into it on its bottom lip.

Conclusion

It basically took an AR-15 to really bust up the Scorpion Case. While the 20-gauge blew the case open, the exterior still absorbed the vast majority of the birdshot and kept the wallet safe — and the latches still worked after this test, too. A shotgun from relatively close range would be enough to damage the case, but it probably wouldn’t be enough to break all of the hardware it houses. 

We burned, drowned, smashed and shot Guns n’ Bitcoin’s Scorpion Case for bitcoin hardware wallets so you don’t have to.
The interior of the case after the final test.

Overall, the Scorpion Case performed admirably under all of the stress tests. It’s impressively resistant to both blunt and sharp force trauma and is as watertight as you’d need. It’s not completely flame retardant, but even so, it resisted the fire well enough to keep it from eating a whole through the casing (prolonged exposure would still probably turn the thing into a hard, resinous lump, but Guns n’ Bitcoin isn’t making any promises there, and it was still incredibly resilient under the ~1000 degrees Fahrenheit I subjected it to).

My only regret is that I pushed the case to its limits and effectively destroyed it over the course of the tests. The fire and firearms really pushed it over the edge, but — if I can stress this one final time — even under these extreme conditions the hardware wallet escaped intact and is still operational. 

We burned, drowned, smashed and shot Guns n’ Bitcoin’s Scorpion Case for bitcoin hardware wallets so you don’t have to.
The back of the case following its trials.

If you’re a Bitcoiner and looking for a solid case to protect your hardware, the Scorpion Case is top of the line — it under promises, over delivers and provides a sturdy, all-in-one option to hold all of your hardware wallets and your pistol (self-sovereignty in a box).

If you’re interested, you can purchase it for 30 percent off at Guns n’ Bitcoin just in time for the holidays.

The post Review: Scorpion Case Is a Hardware Wallet Carrier That Over-Delivers on Protection appeared first on Bitcoin Magazine.



via Bitcoin Magazine https://bitcoinmagazine.com/articles/review-scorpion-case-is-a-hardware-wallet-carrier-that-over-delivers-on-protection

Mining Giant Glencore to Trace Cobalt Using ‘Responsible Sourcing’ Blockchain Consortium

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Glencore, one of the world’s largest cobalt producers, will use a Hyperledger Fabric blockchain to responsibly source its supply chain.

via CoinDesk https://www.coindesk.com/mining-giant-glencore-to-trace-cobalt-using-responsible-sourcing-blockchain-consortium

Kraken Job Ad Hints at Plan to Build Special-Purpose Wyoming Bank

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The cryptocurrency exchange has opened up a position for someone to oversee operations for the firm’s future Wyoming SPDI bank charter.

via CoinDesk https://www.coindesk.com/kraken-job-ad-hints-at-plan-to-build-special-purpose-wyoming-bank

Development Group: Southeast Asian Consumers Too Bullish on Crypto?

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Many southeast Asians consumers are interested in establishing or increasing their crypto investments, according to the OECD, but also admit to not really understanding them.

via CoinDesk https://www.coindesk.com/development-group-southeast-asian-consumers-too-bullish-on-crypto

Decentralizing the Web Is More Necessary Than Ever

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Galen Wolfe-Pauly says the bear market gives developers time and space to do what they do best.

via CoinDesk https://www.coindesk.com/decentralizing-the-web-is-more-necessary-than-ever

Hold Tight, Here Come the Blockchain Wars

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Prepare for a shakeout of blockchain projects in 2020 and the start of network-on-network conflict.

via CoinDesk https://www.coindesk.com/hold-tight-here-come-the-blockchain-wars

Orchid (OXT) is launching on Coinbase Pro

https://ift.tt/2qMXt3N

On Friday, December 13 after 10am PT, transfer OXT into your Coinbase Pro account ahead of trading. Support for OXT will be available in Coinbase’s supported jurisdictions, with the exception of New York State. Additional regions may be added at a later date. Per previous launches, transfers will open during business hours, Pacific time.

On Friday, December 13 after 10am PT, we will begin accepting inbound transfers of OXT to Coinbase Pro. We will accept deposits for at least 12 hours prior to enabling full trading, which will occur during business hours, Pacific time.* This will provide Coinbase customers the ability to purchase OXT to buy decentralized VPN services on the Orchid app. Once sufficient supply of OXT is established on the platform, trading on the OXT/USD order book will start in phases, beginning with post-only mode and proceeding to full trading should our metrics for a healthy market be met. Support for OXT will be immediately available in Coinbase’s supported jurisdictions, with the exception of New York State. Additional jurisdictions may be added at a later date.

Founded in 2017 on the principle that the internet should be more open and more accessible to everyone. Orchid offers a decentralized VPN (virtual private network) service that connects individual internet users to a global pool of bandwidth providers. These providers can stake Orchid tokens to share their surplus bandwidth, acting as network nodes. The list of nodes is stored in an Ethereum smart contract that is decentralized and accessible to anyone around the world. Payment for bandwidth is done entirely with an ERC-20 token called OXT. To use Orchid, users need OXT, the Orchid app, and a Web3 crypto wallet. You can download the Orchid app here.

Please note that OXT is not yet available on Coinbase.com or via our consumer mobile apps. We will make a separate announcement if and when this functionality is added.

The Stages of the OXT Launch

There will be four stages to the launch as outlined below. We will follow each of these stages independently for each new order book. If at any point one of the new order books does not meet our assessment for a healthy and orderly market, we may keep the book in one state for a longer period of time or suspend trading as per our Trading Rules.

We will send tweets from our Coinbase Pro Twitter account as each order book moves through the following phases:

  1. Transfer-only. Starting on Friday, December 13, customers will be able to transfer OXT into their Coinbase Pro account. Customers will not yet be able to place orders and no orders will be filled on these order books. Order books will be in transfer-only mode for approximately 12 hours. We will communicate the exact timing for this phase via Twitter closer to the date.
  2. Post-only. In the second stage, customers can post limit orders but there will be no matches (completed orders). Order books will be in post-only mode for a minimum of one minute.
  3. Limit-only. In the third stage, limit orders will start matching but customers are unable to submit market orders. Order books will be in limit-only mode for a minimum of ten minutes.
  4. Full trading. In the final stage, full trading services will be available, including limit, market, and stop orders.

One of the most common requests we receive from customers is to be able to trade more assets on our platform. Per the terms of our listing process, we anticipate supporting more assets that meet our standards over time.

You can sign up for a Coinbase Pro account here to start trading. For more information on trading OXT on Coinbase Pro, visit our support page.


Orchid (OXT) is launching on Coinbase Pro was originally published in The Coinbase Blog on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.



via The Coinbase Blog - Medium https://blog.coinbase.com/orchid-oxt-is-launching-on-coinbase-pro-704644b8d22d?source=rss----c114225aeaf7---4

Ride ‘Em, Cowboy: Bitmain’s Marketing Gambit Ups Its Texas-Sized Position on Bitcoin

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Bitmain's new strategy of giving put options on bitcoin to buyers of its miners amounts to a "Texas hedge" – doubling down on risk, not offsetting it.

via CoinDesk https://www.coindesk.com/ride-em-cowboy-bitmains-marketing-gambit-ups-its-texas-sized-position-on-bitcoin

Security Token Offerings Are (Finally) Set for Takeoff in 2020

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After teething problems in 2018 and 2019, the market for security token offerings is ready for growth in 2020.

via CoinDesk https://www.coindesk.com/security-token-offerings-are-finally-set-for-takeoff-in-2020

TokenSoft Scores SEC Transfer Agent Registration to Build ‘Automated Investment Bank’

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Crypto startup TokenSoft has obtained a key regulatory seal of approval as it seeks to build an investment bank for the age of tokenization.

via CoinDesk https://www.coindesk.com/tokensoft-scores-sec-transfer-agent-registration-to-build-automated-investment-bank

MARKETS DAILY: Billion Dollar Returns Removed From Libra White Paper

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With markets continuing their decline, we're hunting for billion dollar returns and the Libra Investment Token in a major revision to the Libra white paper.

via CoinDesk https://www.coindesk.com/markets-daily-billion-dollar-returns-removed-from-libra-white-paper

Planned $1.1B Sale of .Org Angers Many Open Source Crypto Developers

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The potential sale of the .org top-level domain could mean higher costs for open source crypto projects.

via CoinDesk https://www.coindesk.com/planned-sale-of-org-angers-many-open-source-crypto-developers

Jimmy Song Killing the Hopes and Dreams of S***coin Bagholders - WBD174

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Location: Austin

Date: Friday, 23rd Nov

Project: Jimmy Song Consulting

Role: Bitcoin Educator, Developer and Entrepreneur

Bitcoiners regularly criticise altcoins; so much so that the term 'œshitcoin' has become synonymous with anything which isn't Bitcoin. From the centralised nature of these projects to premines, often Bitcoiner will identify altcoins as a poor investment with some going as far as calling everything that isn't Bitcoin a scam.

Why are these projects still able to raise $millions in funding and why are investors so divided in their opinions? Are Bitcoiners right that Bitcoin is the only use for a blockchain or are they just toxic and close-minded? Are multicoiners right that this is a new wave in decentralised technology or holding a bias due to their bag holding?

How are inexperienced investors meant to navigate this minefield?

There are nearly 5000 cryptocurrencies with many claiming to have the superior-tech to Bitcoin; whether that's faster block times or cheaper transactions, Turing complete smart-contracts or environmentally friendly consensus mechanisms. But at what cost? The key trade-off with blockchain technology is decentralisation, where Bitcoin outperforms every other cryptocurrency in the market on almost every measure.

So if decentralisation is key and Bitcoin is king, why do altcoins continue to attract investors despite apparent risks? Is it all down to marketing and the centralised foundations, creators and businesses and are they all doomed to fail?

In this interview, I talk to Jimmy Song; Bitcoin educator, developer and author. Following his recent article 'œOn Altcoin Valuation', we discuss why altcoins are a poor investment, the misuse of blockchain and why shitcoins rely on marketing to grow.

This episode is also on:



via The Let's Talk Bitcoin Network https://letstalkbitcoin.com/blog/post/jimmy-song-killing-hopes-dreams-of-scoin-bagholders

2019: The Inflection Point for Data Privacy

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Americans have had enough of companies monetizing our personal data. Smart companies will react.

via CoinDesk https://www.coindesk.com/2019-the-inflection-point-for-data-privacy

ECB Should Be 'Ahead of the Curve' on Digital Currency-Lagarde


By Reuters via NYT Business Day https://ift.tt/2LNdtdm

Bitcoiners Are Building a Sidechain Version of Ethereum’s MakerDAO

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The bitcoin community may soon have its own version of ethereum’s flagship decentralized finance (DeFi) platform.

via CoinDesk https://www.coindesk.com/bitcoiners-are-building-a-sidechain-version-of-ethereums-makerdao

Equilibrium’s Stablecoin Now Has $17.5M in Insurance That Pays Out Automatically

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Equilibrium will hold 6.5 million EOS tokens in reserve as an insurance policy for users should its stablecoin lose its peg.

via CoinDesk https://www.coindesk.com/equilibriums-stablecoin-now-has-17-5m-in-insurance-that-pays-out-automatically

Dutch Bank ING Reportedly Working on Crypto Custody Tech

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Netherlands-based banking multinational ING is developing technology for the custody of crypto assets, according to Reuters sources.

via CoinDesk https://www.coindesk.com/dutch-bank-ing-reportedly-working-on-crypto-custody-tech

Binance Adds 167 Fiat Payment Options Through Integration With P2P Exchange Paxful

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Binance has teamed up with peer-to-peer bitcoin exchange Paxful to enable users to purchase bitcoin with 167 fiat currencies.

via CoinDesk https://www.coindesk.com/binance-adds-new-fiat-currency-options-through-integration-with-p2p-exchange-paxful

Bitcoin Eyes Minor Price Bounce After Hitting Two-Week Low

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Bitcoin has potential for a small price bounce after hitting two-week lows early on Thursday.

via CoinDesk https://www.coindesk.com/bitcoin-eyes-minor-price-bounce-after-hitting-two-week-low

Cryptopia’s Liquidator Claws Back $7.2M, But Identifying Crypo Ownership a ‘Mammoth Task’

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The liquidator for the collapsed New Zealand-based crypto exchange Cryptopia now has $7.2 million on balance for potential user refunds. Finding out who's owed what, though, is proving a tough task.

via CoinDesk https://www.coindesk.com/defunct-cryptopias-liquidator-claws-back-7-2m-but-identifying-crypo-ownership-a-mammoth-task

Volcker Might Have Said Yes to a Digital Dollar – If He Knew What It Was

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What would the late former Federal Reserve Chair Paul Volcker have thought about digital currencies issued by central banks?

via CoinDesk https://www.coindesk.com/volcker-might-have-said-yes-to-a-digital-dollar-if-he-knew-what-it-was

Wednesday, 11 December 2019

Netherlands Plans to Punish Crypto Scammers With Up to 6 Years in Jail

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The Dutch government is about to get tougher with fraudulent schemes involving banking apps and cryptocurrencies.

via CoinDesk https://www.coindesk.com/netherlands-plans-to-punish-crypto-scammers-with-up-to-6-years-in-jail

Weekly Bits #8: The Decentralization of Bitcoin Mining

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The bitcoin mining industry has always been dominated by China, but a growing trend of operations opening up in North America raises interesting questions about the decentralization of the practice. Listen to this week's episode as Cassie Clifton, host of the What's Halvening? Podcast and all-around mining expert, talks to Peter about the future of Bitcoin's most critical sector.

Resources

Bitcoin Mining in North America: A New Gold Rush in the New World

Twitter

@PeterChawaga

@bitcoincass

@BitcoinMagazine

@TheLTBNetwork



via The Let's Talk Bitcoin Network https://letstalkbitcoin.com/blog/post/weekly-bits-8-the-decentralization-of-bitcoin-mining

What the Wild History of Digital Currency Tells Us About The Future

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An interview with Finn Brunton, the author of two books about the cultural history of digital currencies.

via CoinDesk https://www.coindesk.com/what-the-wild-history-of-digital-currency-tells-us-about-the-future

Op Ed: IRS Doesn’t Get Cryptocurrencies: Here’s Why

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After five long years, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) in the U.S. finally decided to release additional guidelines in October 2019 regarding crypto taxes. While the guidelines have brought some measure of relief by clearing up some important ambiguities, many say they’ve left more confusion behind. So what is the problem here really? Is it the fact that cryptocurrencies are a whole new asset class that regulatory authorities like the IRS have a hard time understanding? Or is it that the nature of certain crypto transactions is so complex that the existing tax framework is simply inadequate? 

Coin Splits: The Root of All Evil?

The IRS has finally talked in detail about “hard forks” — or Coin Splits as we like to call them at Bitcoin Magazine — and their tax implications, a subject that was ignored in previous guidelines and policy papers. It states that the “constructive receipt” of any new coins as a result of a hard fork will constitute taxable income. The IRS has built this entire guideline around the framework that crypto from the newly forked currency is “airdropped” into customers’ wallets, and this airdrop constitutes a realization event and is, therefore, liable to taxes. This means that the IRS treats coin splits like an event where a corporation distributes shares of another corporation to its shareholders, which is obviously a taxable event.

However, this takes away from a complete understanding of what a coin split/hard fork really is. While the IRS visualizes forked coins as “airdrops after a fork,” the technical reality is quite different. There is no actual airdrop of forked coins to customer wallets; in fact, the ledger is simply copied. 

What this means for practical purposes is that users do sometimes end up receiving forked coins they have no intention of ever using. Under the new guidelines, however, these users still have to pay tax on the receipt of such forked coins, which can be quite confusing. In many ways, a hard fork actually resembles a stock split or stock dividend, which doesn’t lead to a taxable event in most cases as the investor has merely subdivided their shares. So many experts were banking on this definition to be taken into account by the IRS while coming up with the guidelines, which simply didn’t happen. 

IRS Makes Crypto Mainstreaming a Little More Challenging 

Another disappointment that came from the guidelines was that the IRS clearly rejected the demand for exempting crypto transactions below a certain threshold from Capital Gains Tax. This means that people who spend their cryptocurrency on day-to-day expenses like bill payments and cups of coffee will have to keep paying crypto taxes on these transactions. The capital gain/loss, in this case, will be “the difference between the fair market value of the services you received and your adjusted basis in the virtual currency exchanged.”

This raises some questions about the potential for crypto to become mainstream in the future. The guideline will continue to discourage casual spending of crypto because most people wouldn’t want to take on more hassle come tax season. It may also discourage businesses from receiving crypto in exchange for everyday goods and services and could even become a hindrance toward crypto realizing its true potential as an alternate currency.

Specific Identification Can Reduce Your Tax Burden in a Big Way

It’s not all ambiguity and disappointment, however. With this guideline, the IRS has finally said that taxpayers can use both FIFO (First In First Out) and Specific Identification to calculate their cost basis. Specific Identification simply means that taxpayers can identify the coin they are disposing of and then use the acquisition cost of that particular coin to calculate their capital gains on the transaction. 

How This Works to the Taxpayer’s Advantage

So let’s say Person A buys 1 BTC in May 2019 at $2,000 and another in October 2019 at $3,000. They then sell the currency they purchased in October at $3,500. They now have an option — they can use either $2,000 as the cost-basis (based on the FIFO principle) or they can use $3,000 based on Specific Identification. In this case, it would make sense to use Specific Identification as the capital gain would be only $500 as opposed to $1,000 under FIFO. 

Now let’s suppose the May 2019 crypto was purchased at $4,000 instead of $2,000. In this case, it would make more sense for Person A to use FIFO to calculate their cost basis. Instead of a $500 gain, they would be able to book a capital loss of $500 instead. 

As you can see, this kind of flexibility gives taxpayers some room to plan their taxes systematically and minimize their tax burden. 

The Bottom Line

While there are some positives to this guideline, primarily around Specific Identification, other provisions, like the ones on hard forks, raise a lot more questions than they answer. As governments across the world start doubling down on crypto taxation and potential tax evaders, they will have to take much stronger steps to make sure that they’re creating guidelines that are unambiguous, comprehensive and technically sound.

This is an op ed by Robin Singh. Views expressed are his own and do not necessarily reflect those of Bitcoin Magazine or BTC Inc.

The post Op Ed: IRS Doesn’t Get Cryptocurrencies: Here’s Why appeared first on Bitcoin Magazine.



via Bitcoin Magazine https://bitcoinmagazine.com/articles/op-ed-irs-doesnt-get-cryptocurrencies-heres-why

Podcast: Chainalysis’ Chief Economist on the Data Behind Blockchain Forensics

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“It has been a year of success, but something not talked about enough in cryptocurrency is what it takes to build a business,” said Philip Gradwell, the chief economist at blockchain forensics firm Chainalysis, on the latest episode of the Bitcoin Magazine Podcast. “We provide software for compliance and investigations, but underneath it all, we’re a data company trying to understand how value flows between different entities. That looks kind of like information provision — Bloomberg. But, it’s hard to find a comparison for what we do in the traditional world because blockchains allow for new types of analysis that were not previously possible.”

The work of blockchain analysis companies such as Chainalysis isn’t always welcomed by privacy advocates. However, if you’re a Bitcoiner who cares about the future of the industry, this work is always worth watching.

There tend to be two great narratives that we hear about in how these companies affect Bitcoin.

One is that they bring more transparency and, in turn, increase Bitcoin’s adoption and legitimacy. The other is that they are leveraging data from the Bitcoin blockchain to provide better surveillance for corporate entities and nation-states at the expense of financial privacy.

Coming to the end of what appears to be a successful year of growth, Chainalysis cut 20 percent of its workforce back in November 2019. This episode of the Bitcoin Magazine Podcast features an interview with Gradwell, talking about what exactly is gleaned from blockchain analysis products, why they are seeing so much growth in the Asia-Pacific region, why his firm had to let go of 39 employees and whether it is putting resources into tracking off-chain transactions.

Follow Gradwell and Hollerith on Twitter and read more here:

The following content is for informational purposes only. You should not construe any such information or other material as legal, tax, investment, financial or other advice. Nothing contained in this presentation constitutes a solicitation, recommendation, endorsement or offer by BTC Media, The Let’s Talk Bitcoin Network, or any third party service provider to buy or sell any securities or other financial instruments.

The post Podcast: Chainalysis’ Chief Economist on the Data Behind Blockchain Forensics appeared first on Bitcoin Magazine.



via Bitcoin Magazine https://bitcoinmagazine.com/articles/podcast-chainalysis-chief-economist-on-the-data-behind-blockchain-forensics

Bitcoin and Gift Cards Are Powering a Million Dollar Remittance Market in Africa

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It was my junior year of college when I had my formal introduction to Bitcoin. On that bright but brisk autumn day in 2015, my buddies and I ventured into the lone drug store in the parish-pump, truckstop town that accompanied my woodland-tucked university. 

Being one of the only convenience stores in town, most students and locals frequented this CVS for their typical pharmaceuticals or basic staples. My friend, though, had one item on his shopping list: a $50 Amazon gift card. He paid in cash, kept the receipt and we went on our way. 

The cashier that day had zero inkling that my friend was using the gift card to buy bitcoin — less still that he was using it to buy bitcoin to buy drugs on the dark web. 

Purchasing gift cards with cash and trading them for bitcoin has long been one of the most anonymous ways to purchase the cryptocurrency. When I was in college, it was also the way to buy drugs on the dark web. No other method was as surefire to mitigate the risk that the transaction would be traced back to you. At its core, gift cards-to-bitcoin trading was the only way to circumvent capital controls and transaction surveillance to interact with the internet’s black markets. 

Today, this is still the case, except the trading is happening at a larger scale and servicing a different (and much more important) market: remittances.

The Paxful Effect 

Founded in 2015, Paxful has become a remittance hub for West Africans generally and Nigerians specifically. These payments are underpinned by gift cards, which, as data scientist Matt Ahlborg of the Bitcoin research project UsefulTulips details in a recent blog post, is two-thirds of Paxful’s USD volume.

“It’s hard to tell [what percentage is remittances],” Paxful CEO, Ray Youssef, told Bitcoin Magazine. “Our users are very creative, especially people in Africa and Western Africa. A lot of the gift card trading is used for remittance.”

Ahlborg dove into the complexities of the use case in his article “Paxful is the Most Important Bitcoin Company You Aren’t Paying Attention to.” It typically works like this: An African immigrant will purchase gift cards out of the country (typically from the U.S.) for cash; they will send a picture of this gift card and proof of purchase to a friend or family member back home; the recipient makes a trade on Paxful, selling the gift card (typically at a discount) for bitcoin; they then take this bitcoin and trade it for their local currency and transfer this into their bank account. 

There are specific rules of engagement and trade-offs, however. Typically, gift card purchasers want the cards to be paid for in cash and demand a copy of the receipt before initiating the trade. This is meant to reduce the risk of fraud, the same risk that makes gift cards trade at a discount. 

In his research, Ahlborg highlighted that Paxful has seen a steady uptick in volume throughout 2018 and 2019, while other Western exchanges have seen declining volume. This is likely because Paxful’s peer-to-peer model, which provides escrow services that allow users to directly trade cryptocurrencies, fiat and gift cards, accommodates edge cases that other exchanges do not.

“Paxful is able to onboard financially disconnected citizens of developing countries on a level that non-P2P [over-the-counter] exchanges like Coinbase simply cannot,” Ahlborg wrote in the article, adding that “Paxful services trades in more than 70 currencies around the world and has made much of its traction in geographic regions that many bigger exchanges have not.”

The Hustle 

And it has gained traction particularly in Nigeria. According to IP addresses logged from gift card trades, Ahlborg estimated that Nigerians account for “likely 50 percent or more” of Paxful users who trade gift cards. If this is true, that would mean that, of the roughly $65 million in gift card trades processed through Paxful in October 2019, $32.5 million of them came from Nigerians.

Ahlborg’s research found that Ghana also stokes significant volume, something Youssef corroborated in our talk. Youssef, who sometimes works customer service and interfaces with traders directly, chalked the predominance of Nigerian users up to their “legendary hustle” and told Bitcoin Magazine that “pretty much all of Western Africa is following Nigeria’s lead at an increasing rate.” Every week, Paxful escrows roughly a quarter of a million trades for African users.

The Nigerian people’s uncanny hustle may explain why they’re leading the charge among their peers. In his post, Ahlborg pointed to capital controls as being the main driver of gift card remittances. From 2017 to 2018, the government fixed the Nigerian naira’s exchange rate with foreign currencies and mandated that Western Union comply with its rate rather than black market or official rates from other countries. 

This is why some Nigerians turned to alternative solutions like Paxful. Even though these traders take a 30 percent haircut when selling gift cards for bitcoin — that is, the folks buying the gift cards buy them at 70 cents on the dollar due to the risk of fraud — they would still get a better rate than if they were going through traditional remittance rails. 

The gap between the government’s rate and the real exchange rate has narrowed, but even so, gift card trading hasn’t abated — it’s continued to grow by leaps and bounds. Even if it’s less cost effective now, there are still reasons to leverage the solution, not the least because it is quicker, less of a hassle and (for those who don’t live near a Western Union) a more accessible option.

“I always wondered why someone would take a 30 percent loss when they can use Western Union. It turns out that it’s worth it because it’s nearly instant … according to them, the Western Union price is well over 24 percent, and they still have to go through all the hassle of picking it up. It’s worth it for the convenience and the speed,” Youssef told us. 

In some instances, at least, it’s not just about convenience but still about cost effectiveness, too. For Chinese immigrants living in Nigeria — or Nigerians conducting business with the Chinese — getting money out of the country is even more laborious and price gouging. Youssef said it takes at least a week, and senders could lose anywhere from 50 to 60 percent of the currency’s value in the process. This is no doubt a major reason why Paxful sees $50 million dollars in trades flowing between China and Nigeria weekly. 

Time for Plan B

“This remittance method is a plan B when plan A fails or is unavailable,” Ahlborg said in our correspondence. He believes that Nigerians are probably leveraging the option for remittances less and less now that they can get a comparable or better deal at Western Union. There are also some, he cautioned, who need to offload gift cards they obtained illegally, like those procured through so-called “romance scams.”

Still, the gift card market is filling a much needed niche for those, as Matt Ahlborg put it, without a reliable plan A to get money into the country. When he founded Paxful almost five years ago, Youssef never envisioned that his company would grow up to service a multi-million remittance industry. But he’s heeded the use case and is doing his best to learn from those who use Paxful to this end.

“It blows my mind every single day,” he said. “It’s educated me, too. Everything we know about peer-to-peer finance — the reason we’re using the term — is because of everything the people from Africa have shown us.”

That phrase — peer-to-peer — gets worn out in the Bitcoin space, though in Paxful’s case, it’s the secret behind its success. It’s why, even as LocalBitcoins (which used to offer gift card trades but no longer does) services a remittance market in Latin America, Paxful has been able to spread its roots in Africa. Since all trades are peer-to-peer, a gift card market organically blossomed on the platform. 

This market became necessary for greasing the region with the liquidity and resources necessary for giving the population exposure to bitcoin as a medium of exchange. 

“We started out three years ago in Africa. There was no bitcoin in Nigeria. We were asking ourselves how we were going to create this economy in Africa, and we had to go through Nigeria because it’s the biggest economy in Africa and it’s the hub of Western Africa. So we had to solve the problem of liquidity, so we settled on a digital asset that they could export and that was gift cards,” Youssef said, adding with a laugh that they even thought about using other goods “like cocoa beans and animal skins.”

“We didn’t think of any of this ourselves. We are literally watching our users and listening to them and trying to smooth out the process. We’re just following their lead,” he continued.

Youssef firmly believes that gift cards are “one of the only ways unbanked people can get bitcoin,” claiming that 95 percent of Paxful’s support is devoted to gift card trades. This is why, even as the company is bombarded by legal letters from retailers requesting that they stay their gift card trading, Paxful won’t budge. They’re legally permitted to trade them, Youssef told us, and until the exchange can find a better method to onboard unbanked users, he doesn’t “really see another choice if we want to accomplish our mission.”

Of course, there are still pitfalls and imperfections to this makeshift banking method. Fraud is a constant concern, as evidenced by the discounted rates gift cards trade for on the exchange. And as Ahlborg pointed out, the gift card remittance route is really only a plan B when plan A isn’t available or becomes less optimal. 

All said, Paxful has found a way to penetrate a new frontier for bitcoin adoption, even if the final goal is fiat at the end of the trading line. With a discernible dominance in market share in the African sphere of trading, Paxful seems to have found an answer (even if temporary) on how to begin to bank the unbanked through an unlikely tool in gift cards. It’s a bit of a stopgap solution, but for now, at least, it’s demonstrating that bitcoin can be delivered to environments that need it most — and that the cryptocurrency performs best under pressure. 

The post Bitcoin and Gift Cards Are Powering a Million Dollar Remittance Market in Africa appeared first on Bitcoin Magazine.



via Bitcoin Magazine https://bitcoinmagazine.com/articles/bitcoin-and-gift-cards-are-powering-a-million-dollar-remittance-market-in-africa

Bitcoin & Co. Smuggler: A Cryptoanarchists View on Bitcoin, Democracy, Dark Nets and Privacy

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The Bitcoin & Co. podcast is a bitcoin-only show that's focusing on the why of Bitcoin. Why is it important for humanity, what are the implications from a privacy perspective, how are we able to grow this space together, what are the visions of the people who drive the Bitcoin space. I want to look behind the scenes and take you with me on this journey.

Sometimes my guests are rather critical about bitcoin, which I think, is a good thing. Bitcoiners tend to be full of hopium and forget to look for possible downsides. But only with critical thinking, things can be improved. Today's guest is Smuggler, a cryptoanarchist I met at the Hackers Congress in Prague. We had a wide-ranging conversation about cryptoanarchy, privacy, technology and democracy and he shares some '" at least in the Bitcoin space '" unpopular opinions about Bitcoin. He also shares some methods to escape mass surveillance on your phone and computer. I think it is a great conversation, which is why it is longer than usual.

We talk about:

  • Nation States, corporations, politicians and power
  • Cryptography and dangers of technology
  • His vision of the future
  • Alternatives to the state and the market
  • Bitcoin governance
  • Where Bitcoin sucks
  • Scrit Cash
  • Privacy and mass surveillance
  • Pseudonomous societies
  • Dark nets and the dark web
  • Anonymity and civility
  • How to be not mass surveillanced
  • IP intelligence


via The Let's Talk Bitcoin Network https://letstalkbitcoin.com/blog/post/bitcoin-co-smuggler-cryptoanarchists-view-bitcoin-democracy-dark-nets-privacy

4 Minute Crypto - Kraken Finds A Way to Break Into A Popular Hardware Wallet

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A security research team at Kraken which is a crypto exchange has found a way to gain access to seeds from the widely used KeepKey hardware wallet.

CONTACT INFO

YouTube Channel

SUPPORT

Gary is available to keynote or emcee your Bitcoin/Crypto event. Please email GaryLeland@gmail.com for additional info.

DISCLAIMER: This article should not be taken as is, and is not intended to provide, investment advice.



via The Let's Talk Bitcoin Network https://letstalkbitcoin.com/blog/post/4-minute-crypto-kraken-finds-a-way-to-break-into-hardware-wallet

Chain Reaction Podcast - Luke Martin: The Truth About Technical Analysis and The Bitcoin Thesis

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Host Tom Shaughnessy of Delphi Digital is joined by Luke Martin, an analyst, trader and host of the Coinist podcast. Luke has gained a massive following for his keen ability to spot trends and opportunities early, especially in crypto. On this episode we dive into his story of leaving graduate school for crypto, the merits of technical analysis, the BTC thesis and so much more. Luke is an incredible guy, and this episode is worth the listen.

Resources

Follow Tom on Twitter @Shaughnessy119

Sponsors:

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Disclosures:‚This podcast is strictly informational and educational and is not investment advice or a solicitation to buy or sell any tokens or securities or to make any financial decisions. Do not trade or invest in any project, tokens, or securities based upon this podcast episode. The host may personally own tokens that are mentioned on the podcast.‚Tom owns tokens in ETH, BTC, XTZ, LEO, DCR and STX.



via The Let's Talk Bitcoin Network https://letstalkbitcoin.com/blog/post/chain-reaction-podcast-luke-martin-technical-analysis-the-bitcoin-thesis

China's Bitcoin Miners Scoop Up Greater Production Power-Research


By Reuters via NYT Business Day https://ift.tt/2P8ZPTM

Never Mind Adoption, This was a Year of Steady Infrastructural Progress

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As the blockchain stack matures, we’ll look back on 2019 as the start of the blockchain adoption journey.

via CoinDesk https://www.coindesk.com/never-mind-adoption-this-was-a-year-of-steady-infrastructural-progress

New York Regulator Details Changes to Contentious BitLicense

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The New York Department of Financial Services has outlined a new approach to approving what coins crypto exchanges can list in the Empire State.

via CoinDesk https://www.coindesk.com/new-york-regulator-details-changes-to-contentious-bitlicense

Australia’s Stock Exchange Backs $35M Round for DLT Survivor Digital Asset

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Digital Asset has raised $35 million in Series C funding, signaling a comeback for the seminal enterprise blockchain startup.

via CoinDesk https://www.coindesk.com/australias-stock-exchange-backs-35m-round-for-dlt-survivor-digital-asset

Bitfury Invests in Shyft Network to Build Decentralized Identity Products

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The Bitfury Group has made what it calls a “strategic acquisition” in decentralized credential provider Shyft Networks as it prepares to build out government-facing identity products.

via CoinDesk https://www.coindesk.com/bitfury-invests-in-shyft-networks-to-build-decentralized-identity-products

2019 Saw the End of Blockchain Tourism

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2019 saw a shift from dabbling in blockchain (just to make the trip) to applying the technology to solve problems.

via CoinDesk https://www.coindesk.com/2019-saw-the-end-of-blockchain-tourism

SEC Taking ‘Measured’ Approach to Digital Asset Regulation, Jay Clayton Tells Senate Committee

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The chairman of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, Jay Clayton, says his agency is taking a "measured" regulatory stance on "promising" blockchain tech.

via CoinDesk https://www.coindesk.com/sec-taking-measured-approach-to-digital-asset-regulation-jay-clayton-tells-senate-committee

This Year Proved Asia Is Ahead in Crypto-Blockchain Adoption

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From mobile payments to regulation, Asia was quicker to take advantage of fintech technology.

via CoinDesk https://www.coindesk.com/2019-proved-that-asia-is-ahead-in-crypto-blockchain-adoption

Bitcoin Is Closing on Historically Strong Price Support

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Battered bitcoin may soon see solid support from a historically strong moving average price support. That could attract technical buyers.

via CoinDesk https://www.coindesk.com/bitcoin-is-closing-on-historically-strong-price-support

Here’s a New Banking Tool for Vetting Crypto Exchanges

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The blockchain forensics firm is now offering banks a product that aims to provide up-to-date risk profiles of more than 200 of the largest crypto exchanges around the world.

via CoinDesk https://www.coindesk.com/heres-a-new-banking-tool-for-vetting-crypto-exchanges

China’s SEC May Soon Have a Crypto-Savvy Department Chief: Report

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China's securities watchdog is reported to be hiring Yao Qian, the former head of the central bank's digital currency initiative, as the chief of its new tech regulation bureau.

via CoinDesk https://www.coindesk.com/chinas-sec-may-soon-have-a-crypto-savvy-department-chief-report

Is Greece Cracking Down on Tax Evasion or Taxing Anonymity?

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Credit cards and bank transfers – and their incumbent surveillance features – are no longer payment options for Greek citizens, they are obligations.

via CoinDesk https://www.coindesk.com/is-greece-cracking-down-on-tax-evasion-or-taxing-anonymity

Tuesday, 10 December 2019

TTS235 David Skarica and Gabriel Kurman from LABitConf

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On a special two-part episode of The Tatiana Show, Tatiana sits down with Gabriel Kurman from the Latin American Bitcoin and Blockchain Conference and also David Skarica, founder of the online newsletter Addicted to Profits from the island of Eleuthera, Bahamas.

First up is a chat with Gabriel Kurman from the Latin American Bitcoin and Blockchain Conference in Montevideo, Uruguay. Now in its 7th year, Tatiana and Gabriel talk about LABitConf's evolution since its beginnings in 2013 and how the Bitcoin ecosystem has grown in the Latin American Community. The conference will be held December 12 and 13, 2019 with between 90 and 100 participants giving lectures and participating in panels.

A recent recon trip to Eleuthera, Bahamas for the upcoming Crypto Cares event is the setting for Tatiana's conversation with David Skarica, the founder of the online newsletter Addicted to Profits.

A native Canadian and fellow liberty lover, David became interested in Libertarianism and precious metals at a young age after reading the works of Doug Casey and James Dale Davidson. He started attending investment conferences and wrote a book called Stock Market Panic. After investing in some junior mining companies, he moved to the Bahamas in 2005 and settled on the island of Eleuthera in 2013.

Get some insight into the island life and David's thoughts on the market and whether we are in a bubble, and his opinions of politics in America and his homeland Canada.

He also gives us a sneak peak into his new venture which will be called Profits in Paradise, a mixture of travel and lifestyle on how to live and work from your dream location.

Tatiana and David provide some details for the upcoming Crypto-Cares event in Eleuthera January 5-12,2020. It will be a multimedia event with live music and a free educational workshop focusing on the challenges the Bahamas have faced due to the damage by Hurricane Dorian.

About the Guests:

Gabriel Kurman is a regular speaker at international Blockchain conferences with more than 20 years of experience in corporate finance and private equity. He has been involved in the crypto space since 2013 when he co-founded multiple for-profit and non-for profit Blockchain projects.

In addition to RSK Labs, Gabriel is also the co-founder and CEO of Koibanx, a Blockchain services firm for banks and governments. Prior to that, he worked for Advent International in both Argentina and the United Kingdom where he raised a $1.65 billion fund for LATAM and acquired the LKM Laboratory. Before this, he also worked at and Monsanto in Argentina and USA.

Gabriel holds a Cum Laude Bachelor of Science in Economics (UBA, Argentina) and has a postgraduate degree in Capital Markets and Financial Services (Buenos Aires Stock Exchange, Argentina). He is a member of Bitcoin Argentina and the Bitcoin Latin America Foundation where he co-founded La Bitcoineta project and Blockchain4Humanity, a global Blockchain social incubator.

David Skarica is the founder and Editor of Addicted to Profits, a popular newsletter known for its stellar performance in both up and down markets. Skarica entered the financial markets at a very young age and, at the age of eighteen, became the youngest person on record to pass the Canadian Securities Course.

He is a regular speaker at trade and investment conferences in Canada and is a regular guest on the Business News Network (BNN), Canada's flagship business broadcasting network. His work has appeared in publications such as the Bull and Bear Financial Report, Barron's, Investor's Digest of Canada, and Canadian MoneySaver. Skarica also writes Gold Stock Adviser, an investment newsletter for the conservative media outlet, Newsmax.

More Info:

TatianaMoroz.com

CryptoMediaHub.com

http://addictedtoprofits.net/

https://www.labitconf.com/

https://www.tatianamoroz.com/crypto-cares-bahamas-january-2020/

Friends and Sponsors of the Show:

www.etoro.com

Proof of Love

*You have been listening to the Tatiana Show. This show may contain adult content, language, and humor and is intended for mature audiences. If that's not you, please stop listening. Nothing you hear on The Tatiana Show is intended as financial advice, legal advice, or really, anything other than entertainment. Take everything you hear with a grain of salt. Oh, and if you're hearing to us on an affiliate network, the ideas and views expressed on this show, are not necessarily of the those of the network you are listening on, or of any sponsors or any affiliate products you may hear about on the show.



via The Let's Talk Bitcoin Network https://letstalkbitcoin.com/blog/post/tts235-david-skarica-and-gabriel-kurman-from-labitconf

France’s New ‘Napoleon Bitcoin Fund’ Is Tied to CME’s Cash-Settled Futures

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French asset management firm Napoleon AM has launched a new fund tied to CME's cash-settled bitcoin futures.

via CoinDesk https://www.coindesk.com/frances-new-napoleon-bitcoin-fund-is-tied-to-cmes-cash-settled-futures

Ripple’s Revamped Xpring Platform Looks to Boost XRP Development

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Developers using the platform now have a place to manage and monitor transactions.

via CoinDesk https://www.coindesk.com/ripples-revamped-xpring-platform-looks-to-boost-xrp-development

US Arrests 3 in Alleged Crypto Mining Pool Fraud Scheme

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U.S. authorities have arrested three members of BitClub Network, alleging the mining pool is a long-running Ponzi scheme.

via CoinDesk https://www.coindesk.com/us-arrests-3-in-alleged-crypto-mining-pool-fraud-scheme

UK Court Orders US Judge to Depose Telegram’s Advisor About Token Sale

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U.S. District Court Judge P. Kevin Castel in New York signed an order to Britain's High Court to depose John Hyman, Telegram's chief investment officer.

via CoinDesk https://www.coindesk.com/uk-court-orders-us-judge-to-depose-telegrams-advisor-about-token-sale

Op Ed: Quantum Computing, Crypto Agility and Future Readiness

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Over the past few decades, we have seen almost unimaginable progress in computation speed and power. A watch today is a more powerful computer than the first Macintosh that my parents bought me in 1984 (I was very lucky). The weakest and lightest laptop today is more powerful than the computers that I programmed on during my undergraduate studies in university. Do you remember the days of computers with 64 kilobytes of RAM? Now we count in gigabytes and, soon, terabytes. 

Yes, I know that I’m old (but at least I’m not reminiscing about punch cards and vacuum tubes), but that’s not really the point. The point is to understand where all of these extremely fast advancements in computing power came from. 

The answer is a combination of Moore’s law (stating that the number of transistors on a chip doubles every two years, although this has now slowed down), together with many architectural improvements and optimizations by chip manufacturers. Despite this, the basic way that our most powerful computers work today is the same as in the 1970s and 1980s. Thus, although improvements are fast and impressive, they are all in the same playing field.

Enter Quantum Computing

Quantum computing is a completely different ball game. Quantum computers work in a radically different way and could solve problems that classical computers won’t be able to solve for hundreds of years, even if Moore’s law continues. Stated differently, quantum computers don’t follow the same rules of classical computing and are in a league of their own. This does not mean that quantum computers can solve all computationally hard problems. However, there are problems for which quantum computers are able to achieve extraordinary speedups. 

Some of these problems are closely related to much of modern cryptography, and include the number factorization problem that lies at the core of the RSA cryptosystem, and the discrete log problem that lies at the core of Diffie-Hellman, ECDSA, EdDSA and other cryptosystems (as used in cryptocurrencies and blockchains). 

The big question that still has not been answered, despite what you may have read, is whether or not such quantum computers will ever be built. I want to stress that this is still an “if” and not a “when.” The fact that small quantum computers have been built does not mean that quantum computers at the scale and accuracy needed to break cryptography will ever be built. The problems that need to be overcome are considerable. I am not saying that I don’t think they will succeed; I’m just saying that it’s not a certainty. 

The next big question is: When will such a computer that is powerful enough to break RSA or ECDSA be built? Or maybe more relevant — when do we have to start worrying about this possibility? I personally believe that this is many years away (I will say at least a decade, but I think it will be more like two decades at least).

Google and Quantum Supremacy

Recently, Google’s scientists hailed what they believe is the first demonstration of quantum supremacy. This was widely understood to mean that quantum computers are now already faster than classical ones. And if this is the case, then modern cryptography may be broken very soon, in contrast to the time span that I predicted above. 

However, this claim by Google’s scientists needs to be understood in context. “Quantum supremacy” is a technical term used by the academic community to mean when a quantum computer can do just one thing faster than a classical computer. However, this is really not what we think about when we hear “supremacy,” nor is it really relevant to cryptography and other application domains. In particular, what we are really interested in knowing is when quantum computers will be able to solve hard, important problems faster than classical computers, and when quantum computers will be able to break cryptography. 

Whether or not quantum supremacy was even demonstrated is not absolutely clear (see IBM’s response). However, in any case, this quantum computation has no effect whatsoever on cryptography, blockchains and cryptocurrencies. 

The Need for Crypto Agility

So, what does this mean concretely for us as a community? First, we should rest assured that the cryptographic world is getting ready for any eventuality. In particular, we already have good candidates for post-quantum secure public-key encryption and digital signature schemes, and NIST is working on standardization now. As such, we will not be surprised and unprepared if post-quantum computers that threaten our cryptographic infrastructure become close to reality. 

This does not, however, mean that our actual products and software in use are ready for the post-quantum era, and this is often a really hard problem. The solution to this problem is called crypto agility, and it relates to the ease (or lack thereof) with which cryptosystems can be replaced in existing deployed systems. 

The Value Proposition

There are two main aspects to crypto agility. The first is how easily it is possible to change code so that one cryptosystem is replaced with another. The more the specific structure of the cryptosystem is relied upon in the code, the harder it will be to replace. The second is how to make this change while preserving backward compatibility and without introducing new vulnerabilities that can happen when new and old versions operate concurrently. 

These are (security) software engineering considerations, and there is no general right answer. However, asking your software team what the cost would be to swap out their crypto is a really important first step. 

The good thing about becoming more crypto-agile is that, even if the threat of quantum computing to cryptography never eventuates, it is still a good investment. Cryptosystems, key sizes, modes of operation and more change over time. This is a fact of life and will not change. Being more crypto-agile will enable you to respond faster to such changes and to be ahead of the market when new cryptography is introduced (whether it be for classic security systems or for cryptocurrencies and blockchains). That is always a good thing!

This is an op ed contribution by Professor Yehuda Lindell. Views expressed are his own and do not necessarily reflect those of Bitcoin Magazine or BTC Inc.

The post Op Ed: Quantum Computing, Crypto Agility and Future Readiness appeared first on Bitcoin Magazine.



via Bitcoin Magazine https://bitcoinmagazine.com/articles/op-ed-quantum-computing-crypto-agility-future-readiness