Daily Archives: September 2, 2018

Future Firefox Browsers Will Block Cryptojacking Malware

In a move to help improve security in the crypto-sphere, Firefox has announced that all future versions of its web browser will automatically block crypto-jacking malware.

Cryptomining scripts that mine cryptocurrencies unknown to the owner of the device will be prevented from autorunning. While it may be a relatively small number of people that experience this themselves, a growing number of incidents have been reported this year. Firefox is providing a secure solution against this, which will help rid the cryptocurrency industry of the arguably undeserved stigma it has received due to negative media reports of incidents such as crypto-jacking.

The decision was made as part of Firefox’s anti-tracking initiative that goes live in the following few months. The aim is to target the negative impacts of unchecked online tracking. Future web browsers will protect users by default from this, and offer users more advanced controls over what information of theirs is shared with third parties.

In addition to blocking crypto-jacking malware, the initiative plans to prevent noticeable effects such as what it describes as ”eerily-specific targeted advertising”, as well as those that users are unable to spot such as unchecked data collection that can lead to major security breaches. Firefox cited a study that indicates a total of 55.4% of time spent loading a web page is actually spent sending information to third parties.

Opera also offers this service

The popular web browser Opera added a similar anti-crypto-jacking function to its desktop adblocker update in December last year, adding that in January it plans to include this feature in its mobile application also.

Opera has become an increasingly popular web browser of choice as earlier this month it announced plans to integrate a cryptocurrency wallet into its desktop web browser supporting a wide variety of tokens. Charles Hamel, Product Lead of Opera describes the integration as a key step in “making cryptocurrencies and Web 3.0. mainstream.”

 

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Bitcoin News Radio Show, 1st September 2018

Listen to the 1 September 2018 Bitcoin News Radio Show below.

In this edition of the BitcoinNews.com daily radio show, we again mention the accelerating Dogecoin rally. Hear about how Ethereum has drastically reduced block rewards, and how that’s bad for miners. Learn about how blockchain and crypto are flourishing in terms of job growth. We discuss an artist who sold all of their paintings for crypto.

Follow the Bitcoin News Radio Show on Anchor, iTunes, SpotifyGoogle PodcastsStitcherRadio PublicPocket Casts, Overcast, Castbox, and Breaker. We broadcast a new episode every day, covering the most important topics in the crypto, Bitcoin, and blockchain world!

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Russian Police Swoop on 22 Crypto ATM’s Across the Country

The Russian Police have seized 22 Bitcoin ATMs in 9 different cities across the country by orders from the country’s Central Bank.

The machines located mostly in shopping malls, stores and restaurants across the country are operated by Bbfpro. The company’s manager said there were no warnings from the police prior to the seizures, but that the authorities said that the machines will form part of an ongoing police investigation set to last for at least six months.

Cryptocurrencies are still not legally accepted in the vast country, although President Putin has flirted with the idea in the past of looking into the possibility of a state-owned crypto, principally to avoid trading sanctions. A statement on a government website in November last year, released when Bitcoin was skyrocketing, outlined the government’s position at that time when a local businessman attempted to install two ATM’s in Kazan:

“Currently, the legal status of crypto-currency in the Russian Federation is not defined. The provision by Russian legal entities of services for exchanging “virtual currencies” for rubles and foreign currency, as well as for goods (work, services) is considered as potential involvement in the implementation of questionable transactions in accordance with the legislation on combating the legalization (laundering) of proceeds from crime, and the financing of terrorism.”

This hasn’t stopped the Russians from continuing the installations of Bitcoin ATMs, with 43 operating in the country until the police swooped in this week. In terms of world rankings, the US has the most number of installed Crypto ATMs, with 1721 machines currently in use, out of which 151 are located in New York City. Europe is led by Austria with 160 machines currently in use, followed by the UK with 124. The latest machine was installed in the UK, in the sleepy town of Kingsbridge, Devon just last week. France only has 2 active Bitcoin ATMs.

Although the Russsian Central Bank has not given any detail on why it ordered the seizures of Bbfpro’s ATMs, an official has indicated that the regulator carries out “systematic work to identify and counteract illegal activities in the financial market,” meanwhile, no indication of illegal activity has been reported.

Bbfpro has sought legal representation to fight against the seizures, claiming that Russia does not actually prohibit the acquisition of cryptocurrency and that the company itself follows all legal requirements by payment of government taxes and verification of user identities.

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Bitcoin News Radio Show, 31st August 2018

Listen to the 31 August 2018 Bitcoin News Radio Show below.

In this edition of the BitcoinNews.com radio show we discuss a massive Dogecoin rally brought on by the launch of Dogethereum. Hear about how rap superstar Eminem has referenced Bitcoin in a newly released song, and about how Ethereum futures trading is about to launch on CBOE. Learn about Satis Group’s long term crypto forecasts, and how an investigative report found the Petro cryptocurrency isn’t backed by any oil and is untradeable.

Follow the Bitcoin News Radio Show on Anchor, iTunes, SpotifyGoogle PodcastsStitcherRadio PublicPocket Casts, Overcast, Castbox, and Breaker. We broadcast a new episode every day, covering the most important topics in the crypto, Bitcoin, and blockchain world!

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Thailand Follows Asian Trend Towards Crypto Adoption With Real Vigour

Thailand’s government is surging forward with its plans to keep up with Asia’s cryptocurrency drive as it continues to promote crypto products in the South East Asian country.

The Asian blockchain jobs and employment market is booming with a 50% increase in industry roles since 2017. UK-based specialist professional recruitment consultancy Robert Walters reports that startups and established corporations in Asia are on a recruitment drive, with many crypto industry positions now becoming more appealing to those from more conventional sectors.

Thailand clearly has no intention of being left behind in this Asian digital technical renaissance. Regulators in Thailand are liberal in their dealings with crypto exchanges, and exchange licenses are available without being at the same time prohibitive due to over legislation. This year has seen a real impetus in the Thai’s charge towards making Fintech development a priority.

In early April 2018, Thailand’s Ministry of Finance released plans to tax cryptocurrency trading and investments. After a cabinet meeting in late March, Thai Finance Minister Apisak Tantivorawong responded to a letter sent by digital asset associations calling for the Deputy Prime Minister and government to “rethink the enforcement of a royal decree to regulate digital asset transactions — particularly the withholding tax, as it could be an obstacle to startup fund-raising.”

It was with a swiftness rarely seen in the west that Thailand showed this enthusiasm for crypto in June when regulators issued a number of new licenses with the SEC inviting applications from other trading institutions to apply. The regulator went on to clarify the position of potential ICO’s by dividing them into discrete categories;  investment tokens, utility tokens, and cryptocurrency.

It is suggested that such clarification of guidelines and rules for conducting ICOs by the SEC will at least bring Thailand into line with its East Asian competitors such as Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan as it develops its crypto space with an enthusiastic eye on its fintech future.

Recently the Bank of Thailand (BoT) said that it has plans to initiate a CBDC which would be primarily aimed at internal bank transactions called Project Inthanon.

The BoT is partnering with eight financial institutions on the CBDC project – including Bangkok Bank Public, Krung Thai, Siam Commercial Bank, Standard Chartered Bank and HSBC. The bank has suggested that the CBDC could cater for domestic wholesale funds transfers, third-party funds transfers, and cross-border transactions, along with some further applications.

Confirmation last month from Thailand’s government that the Thai Bond Market Association (TBMA) is currently developing a state-run token to ensure payments and the clearing of corporate bonds, is yet another statement of intent that Thailand is serious about a future with cryptocurrency.

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Crypto Related Twitter Account Being Sold for Millions of USD?

A crypto related Twitter account with 82,000 followers, @Crypto_Bitlord, says they were approached to sell their account for 672 Bitcoins which is roughly USD 4.7 million. The account owner states that they are now the 5th crypto Twitter that has agreed to sell their account for large amounts of Bitcoin.

Got an offer to sell this account for 657 $BTC and I just couldn’t refuse, not in this bear market.

The person seems to be coming after big accounts. I’m the 5th to sell up now.

Handing over the keys to new owner next week and will announce fresh handle 👍

— ฿ITLORD🍭 (@Crypto_Bitlord) August 30, 2018

It seems improbable that someone would pay so much money for a Twitter account. If this was true, perhaps the person buying the accounts intends to use them to promote initial coin offerings (ICOs) and other crypto investments. It is well-known that some Twitter users, like John McAfee, are being paid to promote ICOs. John McAfee says he is paid USD 100,000 to tweet about ICOs to his 800,000+ followers. Considering that though, it doesn’t really make sense that someone would pay USD 4.7 million for an account with 82,000 followers for promotional purposes, instead of just paying USD 100,000 to reach 800,000+ followers.

In a worst case scenario, perhaps the person buying these accounts intends to scam the followers by leveraging the reputations of these well-developed Twitter accounts. That seems unlikely though since it would take some incredibly prolific scamming to make up for the USD cost of the Twitter accounts, and well before that, the account would probably be considered dangerous.

One user, @WhalePanda, says they sold their Twitter account for 1,000 bitcoins, but has already made another account @ProfFaustus to troll Bitcoin Cash enthusiasts. This is obviously a joke since @ProfFaustus is Craig Wright, one of the biggest advocates of Bitcoin Cash.

Same here. Sold mine for 1000 BTC. I like round numbers.
I’ve already been preparing my new account for a while now. It’s @ProfFaustus and it’ll be mostly a satire account to troll BCashers.

— WhalePanda (@WhalePanda) August 30, 2018

Although this is a joke, some people are taking it seriously and illustrates how the initial post from @Crypto_Bitlord could also be untrue even if some people think it’s the truth. Time will tell, @Crypto_Bitlord says they are handing over the account next week and will announce their new account name at that time.

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Taipei Hospital Goes Blockchain in Line With Its “Smart City” Promise

A hospital in the Taiwan capital of Taipei has developed a blockchain powered platform for record keeping, in-line with the government’s latest healthcare policy.

The new Taipei Medical University Hospital’s “Healthcare Blockchain Platform” will support the Taiwanese government’s drive to improve patient referral services and to enable healthcare networks to facilitate patients accessing their records through a mobile app.

Taiwan’s capital had already announced its desire to become a “smart city” earlier this year. It is planning to integrate blockchain to provide pollution sensors and health history tracking to its population. In February, the governor of Taiwan’s central bank, Yang Chin-long, stated that it was also exploring blockchain.

The new project at the Taipei Medical University Hospital involved over 100 clinics which have been using blockchain to improve the transfer of information to patients. The platform will further enhance current systems by enabling patients easy access to their complete medical history, including images. Likewise, hospitals and medical centers will be able to access these same records using smart contracts

Hospital superintendent Chen Ray-jade sees security as another aspect which can be much improved using the blockchain app, suggesting that:

“blockchain technology not only helps to combine electronic medical records with electronic health records from multiple hospitals and clinics, it also incorporates the additional security feature of notification and consent before any transfer takes place.”

The medical profession has taken to blockchain very quickly, recognizing that such data sharing and record keeping facilities offered by new technology are a huge improvement on many of the outmoded paper-driven and digital systems employed in hospitals today,

In Germany, for example, the use of blockchain in national healthcare has been much discussed over the past few years. Dr. Christina Czeschik, physician and specialist in medical informatics, suggests that the current system of electronic health records (EHR) has many disadvantages that blockchain could bypass, such as those centering around economy, risk, and trustworthiness.

She argues that argues that there are “few other industries in which so many different viewpoints and agendas need to be reconciled to achieve a common goal” – which, in this case, is good patient care.

In the US, Mount Sinai Hospital’s New York-based medical school has established a blockchain research center to explore its medical use case applications. The Center for Biomedical Blockchain Research is set to be part of the hospital’s Institute for Next Generation Healthcare. The institute currently hosts 50 specialist researchers studying progressive healthcare solutions, including the application of robotics, artificial intelligence, wearable medical devices, sensors, and genomic sequencing.

With the US reportedly spending near to 20% of its GDP on healthcare, blockchain technology might be called upon sooner than later to streamline and improve services in the industry.

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