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World Economic Forum: Cybersecurity Threatened by Poor Security, Not Hackers

World Economic Forum_ Cybersecurity Threatened by Poor Security, Not Hackers

The World Economic Forum (WEF) has produced a report claiming that data security breaches are more frequently the result of poor company security rather than because of clever hackers.

Although blockchain-based companies are targeted by hackers, the report found that exploitation of data was more often down to lax cybersecurity measures being implemented. It cited a major case in the breach of retail giant Target affecting 41 million consumers, which resulted in the firing of senior staff.

Other major companies were cited in the report regarding lax data protection security including United States Government Office of Personnel Management and Sony Pictures Entertainment — not the first involving that company — which also resulted in sackings at management level.

The WEF suggested that cybersecurity needs to become a priority and it should be led from the top, claiming that only 5% of the top 100 companies have a dedicated cybersecurity leader, and such leadership should be introduced to all blockchain and crypto companies with the power to instigate new measures in order to tackle security problems.

Last year, Japan was hit by a spate of in-browser cryptojacking from the spread of malicious software through emails or by other means. The malware was programmed to bleed the user’s processor to facilitate mining. The other predominant threat was through a popular script called Coinhive, which offered a JavaScript miner for the Monero Blockchain.

Earlier this year a large scale hack affecting 30 companies and a breach of 841 million records, inclusive of 450,000 records from cryptocurrency brokerage firm Coinmama, were posted on a dark web registry.


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Mixed Bitcoin Messages From Davos World Economic Forum

Bitcoin was the talk of the town in Switzerland last year when the world’s movers and shakers assembled at Davos for the 2018 World Economic Forum, but this year the cryptocurrency demands a far less prominent position at the table.

The comparison is startlingly obvious. From getting a fair degree of attention a year ago at the 2018 Conference, albeit on the way down even then, the cryptocurrencies are less liable to attract the attention of delegates this year, particularly given the current trials of leaders from the US, UK, and France all entangled in their own domestic issues, some of them shared.

Angel Versetti, CEO of blockchain-based company Ambrosus observed: “While last year, people were talking about crypto and blockchain anywhere and everywhere, this year there is comparatively little discussion around it.”

Hardly surprising given Trump’s domestic battle and government shutdown, May’s Brexit squabbles and Macrons’ sea of yellow vests. The subject still comes up though, some fairly hopeful of a market revival, some less, like the advisor to the Bank of England, Huw van Steenis who said that cryptocurrencies weren’t on the list of priorities at this year’s summit, “I’m not so worried about cryptocurrencies,” he commented not unexpectedly, “They fail the basic tests of financial services, they’re not a great unit of exchange, they don’t hold value and they’re slower.”

Not the case at all, according to Jeremy Allaire — CEO of Circle, the Goldman Sachs-backed payments and tech company as he argues that fintech will be dependent on decentralized technology moving forward:

“Crypto is fundamental to the future, and so crypto computing, which is what these blockchain platforms really are, they’re open computing platforms — we need tamper-proof, resilient, decentralized infrastructure if we want society to survive the digital age.”

Allaire went on to argue that Circle was also a huge supporter of central-bank digital currencies, suggesting that the private sector will be the leader in setting the pace for the creation of these centralized crypto assets. However, Jeff Schumacher, founder of BCG Digital Ventures was less optimistic during a CNBC panel discussion as he mentioned, “I do believe it [cryptocurrency] will go to zero,” adding, “I think it’s a great technology, but I don’t believe it’s a currency. It’s not based on anything.”

Next year could be an embarrassment for some of these commentators if Bitcoin hits its expected heights this year as Wall Street comes on board.

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John McAfee: Crypto Frees Employees from “Subtle and Refined Slavery”

The founder of software company McAfee Associates has suggested that blockchain and crypto have given new freedoms to the working community whom he sees as “hired slaves”.

Giving an interview at the recent CoinsBank Blockchain Cruise event, John McAfee claims that blockchain is creating a “permissionless” society, freeing employees from a system of a “subtle and refined slavery”.

McAfee asserts that the current status quo is one which restricts the individual from fulfilling the requirements of enforced regulations at every step, arguing that a largely decentralized society would enable employees to fulfill their potential. He argues, “We live in a system of permission. Every legislation, every law, every regulatory agency, every regulatory body, is designed to control our thoughts or actions or movements.”

He gave the example of cryptocurrency as an illustration of how a new found financial freedom can be utilized by removing middlemen who profit from the established systems put in place by large institutions:

“If you want to send Bitcoin, Ethereum or Monero, who do I have to ask? Only the peer… We are creating a permissionless society… We are not slaves for our jobs, we are not slaves to the government, we are slaves to the entire system.”

McAfee’s views are shared by many and have become the driving force behind cryptocurrency adoption on both an individual, and more gradually, at a governmental level, as more nations begin to review outmoded and restrictive methods of conducting financial services. The adoption of blockchain technology is far-reaching and is beginning to make an impact in all sectors across the globe. A new World Economic Forum (WEF) report indicates that blockchain has the influence to transform the global trade industry:

“Paper-based, manual processes, some created centuries ago, lead to complexity and delays, introduce errors and risks, and stand in the way of reliable, real-time information gathering and tracking required for credible financing decisions.”

Michele Orzan, digital leader of WEF Europe, maintains that it is government services which could benefit the most from blockchain, followed by public and civic leadership. This would have a major impact on solving social issues globally, as can already be seen by numerous projects on the African continent where lives are being changed for the better, through social projects backed by blockchain.


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World Economic Forum: Next Decade Could See Blockchain Add $1 Trillion in New Trade

A joint report led by the World Economic Forum (WEF) details how the blockchain industry has the potential to add UDS 1 trillion in new trade to the global market.

Published Thursday, ‘Trade Tech – A New Age for Trade and Supply Chain Finance‘ comes as a collaborative effort from WEF, the supply chain and transport industries, and the System Initiative on Shaping the Future of International Trade and Investment.

The paper provides an overview of trade and supply chain finance, framing the discussion with the presumption that international trade and global value chains are ”critical” in discerning the wealth of nations and easing geopolitical tensions. It continues to highlight the importance of applying ”smart tools and technologies” in order to reduce obstacles preventing small and medium-sized businesses and emerging markets from conducting trade.

One of the solutions the paper provides is a blockchain one; the forward reads “Distributed ledger and other technological innovations promise groundbreaking advances in trade and supply chain finance by reducing costs and ease of use”.

Blockchain has already become a popular method for companies to track the movements of their products, with the decentralized technology being praised for its efficiency and immutable nature.

The report discusses the lengths to which distributed ledger technology (DLT) can help close the trade finance gap of USD 1.5 trillion by bringing in new trade, citing that USD 1.1 trillion of new trade can be established because of the barriers DLT can lift. Some USD 0.9 trillion in ”traditional” trade is expected to move to DLT and utilize the improved, cheaper services.

The paper also acts as a warning for governments not to fall behind on technological innovations, reading: “With some governments already starting to make these moves, the laggards will become increasingly disadvantaged.” It suggests that eventually utilizing DLT is unavoidable.


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