Category Archives: Bitcoin News

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Istanbul Cryptocurrency Firm Loses $2.47 Million, Hackers In Custody

Istanbul Cryptocurrency Firm Loses .47 Million With Hackers In Custody

An undisclosed cryptocurrency exchange in Istanbul, Turkey was hacked this week of a reported USD 2.47 million.

The company was attacked by a group which has now been detained by Turkish authorities after a nationwide investigation across 8 provinces, and so far has only recovered USD 256,000 of the stolen funds.

The exchange alerted the authorities at the time, reporting that a large amount of Bitcoin, Ethereum, and XRP had been stolen. The Istanbul Cybercrime Branch Officer later clarified that two companies had been targeted in a theft which amounted to 13 million Turkish lire (USD 2.47 million). The stolen funds had been transferred from both companies’ wallets into wallets in the hackers’ possession.

It transpires that hackers had been using the ‘Player Unknown’s Battlegrounds’ (PUBG) online video game as a means of communication. It is clear that the compromised security of both companies could have been avoided if the necessary security measures had been incorporated into their trading systems, an issue which often befalls smaller exchanges, despite warnings from regulators.

Most larger exchanges have far better security, which makes the success rate of such hacks uncommon, limited to smaller exchanges without rigid security procedures. However, the recent misfortunes of QuadrigaCX prove that no measures are completely infallible after CEO Gerald Cotten died having moved funds from the company hot wallet into cold storage for security purposes, protecting his clients’ funds from potential hackers.

The now insolvent crypto exchange QuadrigaCX was left unable to access USD 190 million of funds stored in the cold storage due to the CEO having sole responsibility for the private key.

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Ripple’s Brad Garlinghouse Slates JPMorgan’s JPM Coin as Lacking Innovation

Wall Street banking giant JPMorgan’s announcement of its new stable coin JPM Coin, has Ripple’s boss Brad Garlinghouse criticizing its “closed network” lack of innovation.

JPMorgan says it sees potential in using digital coins to reduce risk and enable instant transfers, despite JPMorgan’s chief executive Jamie Dimon criticizing Bitcoin since it emerged as the industry’s flagship cryptocurrency.

The bank says it has always “believed in the potential of blockchain technology”. “We are supportive of cryptocurrencies as long as they are properly controlled and regulated,” says Umar Farooq, JPMorgan’s head of Digital Treasury Services and Blockchain. The new JPM coin will be transferable between client accounts at the bank, who will then be able to redeem them for US dollars pegged at parity with the coin.

With the arrival of JPM, the volatility of Ripple’s XRP is brought into question and certainly draws obvious comparisons, to which Garlinghouse has reacted by saying there is nothing innovative about JPMorgan’s final arrival into the cryptocurrency space, arguing:

“As predicted, banks are changing their tune on crypto. But this JPM project misses the point – introducing a closed network today is like launching AOL after Netscape’s IPO.”

His comments very much echo the sentiments illustrated in an article he wrote two years ago called “The Case Against BankCoin,” in which he argued that banks should be using XRP as the obvious independent digital asset, claiming they offered “universality” which bank coins did not:

“It goes back to the fundamentals of what makes digital assets unique and special – they’re universal currencies, meaning anyone can use them as units of value anywhere in the world. That universality gives digital assets global reach and the ability to settle much faster than traditional assets.”

Clearly, Ripple’s executives would argue that users of XRP also has the added option to speculate, holding on to the currency in the hope of trading later at a higher value; compared to bank coins which will only have a fixed settlement value based on parity with the US dollar.

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13% of Online Shoppers Going Crypto With 700% Growth since 2013

A recent survey has pointed to the increase in online shoppers using cryptocurrency for electronic payments, reporting growth of 700% since 2013.

According to Kaspersky Labs, 13% of shoppers have used cryptocurrency for making payments online, their recent survey of 12,000 customers in 22 different countries has shown, and the trend is clearly upwards. Kaspersky commented:

The majority of retailers are now happy for us to use whatever payment method we prefer in order to stop us from going elsewhere. From credit card transactions and bank transfers to cryptocurrency, subscriptions, and loyalty points, we can pay for goods and services in more ways than ever before.”

However, paying in this way still has problems which need to be addressed in the future. In the past, networks were trusted for zero-confirmations, but recent attacks against some of the coins have made vendors less enthusiastic. More coins are now available other than Bitcoin for these kinds of online payments with Bitcoin Cash (BCH) allowing SMS payments, and Verge (XVG) and ReddCoin (RDD) now offering small-scale payment options. Bitcoin’s Lightning network still remains a fast way of settling purchases online.

The profusion of Bitcoin ATMs, often in the most unlikely locations around the world, continues to offer shoppers, who prefer a face to face “trawling” the store option, the opportunity to instantly trade their BTC for cash. Recently New York, one of the world’s major shopping venues has given crypto users the opportunity to purchase Bitcoin using a regular credit card at machines around the Big Apple.

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Aragon Government Invests $13 Million Into Industry 4.0 Development

Earlier this week, local news outlet La Vanguardia reported a USD 13 million fund allocation by the Government of Aragon for the development of emerging technologies, including blockchain.

The source reports that the sum was co-funded by European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and was double the amount initially intended in the original plan, hence, meeting the needs of up to 320 Argonese companies.

According to the news outlet, the specific objectives of the program dubbed Aragón Industria 4.0 under the Strategy of Economic and Industrial Promotion of Aragon 2017-2019 initiative, were designed to explore concepts and applications of emerging technologies in the industry 4.0 such as artificial intelligence, and blockchain technology as well as promote synergistic tech companies’ growth within its industrial sector.

Moreover, small and medium scale enterprises (SMEs) will be given an opportunity through the program to incorporate digitalization into their processes.

Blockchain exploration in Spain has had tremendous successes, and more ambitious prospects for blockchain within the country continue to spring up. Developments had included the proposed use of blockchain in resolving corruption and fraud within its economic system., the exploration of the distributed ledger use case in the logistics industry. In finance, a clear distinction was the successful completion of a USD 150 million syndicated loan through the blockchain. More exploits have covered other areas including agriculture, and the energy industry.

Perhaps this is an opportunity for Spain to mark its territory in the blockchain industry and also in other emerging technologies as it scales up funding into research and development, and attempts an SME inclusion system for the industry.

Other governments and institutes seem not to be slacking in the pursuit of prospects within the blockchain industry. Most nations and non-government related funds have invested large sums for research purposes into the emerging technology of blockchain.

Last year, the Chinese government was reportedly involved in blockchain related funding despite their stance on cryptocurrencies. One specific event that stood out was a USD 1.6 billion investment into startups by a blockchain fund and co-sponsored by the government of Shenzhen.

As nations and tech companies continue to race to become an all-encompassing entity on the subject of blockchain and other emerging technologies, the frontier of blockchain continues to expand while adoption slowly gains traction.

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JPMorgan Introduces Its Own Digital Coin With Institutions in Mind

JPMorgan Introduces Its Own Digital Coin with Institutions in Mind

Major US-based multinational investment bank JPMorgan announced yesterday that it has launched a digital coin that will be backed by the US dollar.

A major breakthrough for cryptocurrencies which had for a long time been blighted in some circles as being untrustworthy, or so would some think. As a matter of fact, JPMorgan was among those in 2017 who ridiculed cryptocurrency and specifically called Bitcoin a fraud. Although its perspective on the subject of blockchain industry as well as properly controlled and regulated cryptocurrencies was that it held promise. Now, it stands as the first major US bank creating a digital coin and one among others in the traditional banking industry to create a real-world application of blockchain technology.

Consequently, this development has aroused some controversial sentiments within the crypto community. According to MarketWatch, Jerry Brito – executive director at Coin Center told the news outlet that the JPM coin isn’t a cryptocurrency but an in-house-built payment sy