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Just a couple years ago, Tor was something known only by tech-geeks. However, since leaks about the surveillance strategies of US and UK spies have arisen, Tor has become a target of criticism, accusations of promoting a “dark web” of pedophiles, drug dealers, and arms traders.

 

What is Tor?

The Tor project is a non-profit association that allowed users to browse the internet anonymously. It is intended to stop individuals – including government organizations and partnerships – from knowing of your location or learning about your browsing traditions.

The Tor network conceals your identity by moving your traffic across various Tor servers while encrypting the traffic. This makes it almost impossible for anybody to recognize the source of the data or region of the web client.

Tor’s software package, the Tor browser bundle can be downloaded easily and does not require any setup procedure. Although, you’ll experience a much slower internet than usual due to the number of relays your data goes through.

 

Who created Tor?

It was originally developed by the US Navy and received 60% of its funding from the State Departments and Department of Defense, along with several other backing bodies.

When it was initially launched in 2002, the project’s main focus was on securing every internet users’ privacy from corporations over governments.

Related: How to use Tor browser on iPhone

Who uses Tor?

Tor users fall into four main groups:

  • Normal users looking to just keep their browsing activities concealed from websites and advertisers
  • Cyber-spying concerned users that do not want their personal information to be tracked by any corporation.
  • Journalists and activists in countries with restrictions on the internet.
  • Whistleblowers can leak information to journalists while maintaining their privacy and having the freedom to express their true opinions.

 

The dark side                

Regardless of all its perks, everything has its drawbacks as well. It is important to be fully aware of what you click on while browsing with Tor. While many sites are socially acceptable or legal for that matter, others are known for having disturbing content. Stumbling upon such a web page showcasing criminal behavior or anything of that sort could land you in serious trouble.

Additionally, along with cloaking your identity Tor is also able to host websites, which means these sites are only accessible by people on the Tor network. These are known as criminal sites or in more obvious words “the dark web”.  The FBI and NSA have tracked down many of such sites, promoting disturbing content, drug purchases, illegal arms trading and much more.

Related: What are top 5 Proxies to access .Onion sites without Tor Browser?

What’s next?

We’re in an era of free-flowing data available to us with just a click of a button. Moreover, the internet is expanding on a daily basis and its depths are still unknown. With Tor becoming more widely used by internet users, the FBI and NSA have become more persistent in attempting to crack the network. In the end, it all depends on the user and for what activities they use Tor.

 

Image credits: i-novice.net

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Bitcoin Mining in Russia: Why Chinese Bitcoin Miners Are Moving to Russia?

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Everyone knows that China was considered as a hotbed of mining operations, however, the Chinese government cracked down on the cryptocurrency as a whole and recently someone made a bet that Russia is the best place to establish a mining venture. Let’s find out if it’s true or not.

Mining in Russia:

According to Kommersant (a nationally distributed daily newspaper in Russia), many electric power stations in Russia have been acquired by an investor just for bitcoin mining. It is claimed to be the first time ever someone bought a whole power station for such a gamble in a huge and natural resource ironic country.

One power station is located nearby the Russian Republic of Udmurtia, whereas the other one is located on the western slopes of Middle Ural Mountains, in the Perm region. According to the newspaper report, these amenities will be used in the creation of bitcoin mining farm and data centre.

Bitcoin Mining in Russia

Bloomberg reported that development of bitcoin mining will require almost 100 million dollars. An investment plan has been presented by a Russian company named “Russian Miner Coin”, to gather 100 million dollars, so the investors can buy Ethereum or Bitcoin, and acquire almost 18% of the mining benefit that is generated by the company.

According to a report, the buyer of these power stations is a businessman, Aleskey Kolesnik, who has also circuitously confirmed the acquisition. But he also said that the cryptocurrency process will only start after the approval of Russian government, to make it completely legal.

Alexandar Drozdenko (Governor of Leningrad) said that a huge portion of the older power plant will be left abandoned after the completion of these new power plants.  Cryptocurrency mining will require huge processing areas and cheap electricity, and both of these facilities can be provided by the nuclear power plant.

Chinese Miners Moving to North:

At this time, China owns 80% of the mining cores in the world, which makes it the leader of pool mining. Iceland is the second largest one with 5% of the global mining power. The third one is Japan with almost 3% of mining power.

It seems like Chinese miners are getting prepared for an exodus from their homeland. Cold weather and cheap electricity are required for efficient mining. However, it’s believed that government of Russia will be more honest than others in accommodating bitcoin mining operations in their region.

A global panel of cryptocurrency miners was organized where people from different fifteen countries explained to ministers how these cryptocurrencies are formed and discussed various approaches to mining regulation.

Many Russian politicians think that bitcoin can help the country to evade Western economic sanctions. Also, 100 million dollars will allow Russia to get an environment-friendly mining equipment. However, at this time bitcoin mining and its transactions are not regulated. The country is working on the legalization of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. Plus, the trading cryptocurrencies will be also authorized and the new law as a whole would take place after few months.

Bitcoin mining in Russia is being criticized at the moment by mainstream media, labelling it as a waste of energy, however, Russian ministers don’t share the same views.

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Bermuda Is Considering to Become the Very First Country for Regulating ICOs

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Blockchain Task Force was launched last year by the Finance Minister of Bermuda, David Burt. It encompassed an Authorized and Regulatory Working Group which would make sure that the country is creating a blockchain-friendly environment for concerned startups. After four months, Burt came up with another creative idea, which was to make certain that Bermuda is regulating ICOs for the first time in blockchain history.

Blockchain industry

David Burt Views About Blockchain-Related Issues

A statement was published on the official website in which talked about the global developments of blockchain-related matters and also the felonious activities that have been recorded in such areas. While discussing this issue, Burt noted that there’s no doubt that these violations have already existed but the technology behind these advances could unsettle traditional methods without any difficulty.

This is the main reason why it has become so essential for the government to deliver an authorized framework because it will make sure that people are not crossing the bounds of the specified regulations while making advancement in their projects. It’s been stated that:

ICOs have been used to enhance existing product and service offerings and to develop and implement new ones, all without the added costs and burdens of having to hire expensive middlemen to arrange transactions … Bermuda has an opportunity to become a global leader in the Fintech space by being one of the first countries in the world to specifically regulate ICOs. “

ICOs: Limited Trading

Few adjustments will be made in the current Bermuda Laws and a bill will be drafted after that. The finance minister will concede permission to ICOs, and after that, they will be permitted to work legally. But for passing this step, ICOs must have to provide details about the people who are handling the project, roadmaps, hard cap, soft cap, future product development and information of the digital asset.

What should be the next step of Bermuda?

Even though many countries have imposed strict rules and have banned such activities, Burt still suggests that Bermuda should leave its comfort-zone and accept technological revolution there. The parliament of the country is requested to have a discussion on this subject immediately, though, the statement hasn’t specified any date. Burt also highlighted the opportunities that have been set down by blockchain industry and stated:

“We will not stand in the shadows and watch it pass us by.”

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Top 10 Blogs and Websites on Bitcoin and Blockchain Technology

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Whether you’re entering into the Bitcoin community for the first time, or are a long-time stan of the digital currency, you’ll identify there are several platforms that tend to stand out and provide the best information on the digital world.

Below is a list of top bitcoin blogs that we found incredibly composed and sufficiently detailed.

  1. CryptoCoins News

    The CryptoCoins News covers all cryptocurrency related or particularly, Bitcoin related topics. They produce well-composed articles explaining the trends, price movements, version updates regarding Bitcoin and other digital currencies.

  2. Coindesk

    CoinDesk is one of the best platforms for news, prices, and information on Bitcoin, blockchain technology, and other digital currencies. In my opinion, this site has got everything. They’re known to cover all trends, price movements, technologies, companies and people in the bitcoin and digital currency world.

  3. Cointelegraph

    The Cointelegraph brings you the latest news, analysis, and predictions of Bitcoin and the blockchain technology. CoinTelegraph stands out from all its competitors, with custom art attached with every article they post. Be sure to bookmark this page.

  4. NEWSBTC – Bitcoin News, Price, Analysis

    NewsBTC is a Bitcoin news service that deals with cryptocurrency news, technical analysis and forecasts for Bitcoin and many other digital currencies. Users looking for daily price analysis and latest Bitcoin headlines should definitely have this site in their favorites.

  5. Reddit – Bitcoin

    It’s a community on the Reddit platform that is dedicated to Bitcoin. Users from around the world come together to have discussions on the “internet of money” and help educate newbies as well.

  6. Bitcoin.org Blog

    This is the official blog of Bitcoin. The site perfectly outlines all one needs to know about Bitcoin and its functionalities. It’s even got a list of words essential in the Bitcoin vocabulary. Fresh content is added every single day, the blog part of the website continues to attract a lot of eyeballs.

  7. 99 Bitcoins

    99 Bitcoins is a site for all things Bitcoin, from guides on buying bitcoins to mining and wallet reviews, it’s one of the best. They deliver well-detailed and researched articles and news, proving their dedication to the

  8. Blockchain.info

    Blockchain.info is both a Bitcoin wallet and blog. How great is that? Not only do you get to secure your bitcoins but you can browse through news as well every time you log in to check your balance.

  9. The Coinbase Blog

    Coinbase is an exchange platform as well as a blog. It provides data on the most recently mined blocks in the Bitcoin blockchain. A great site to get bitcoins with a debit card, and multiple online wallets for your digital currency.

  10. Bitcoinist.net

    Bitcoinist provides up-to-date news and insightful analysis on everything Bitcoin. It’s a highly trusted and well-known source dedicated to providing legit content for the Bitcoin technology. 

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Bitcoin & Ethereum Drive Cryptocurrency Market Cap Above $150 billion

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Bitcoin and Ethereum’s Gains

It only took a few hours for Bitcoin to shoot back up from $3,894 to $4,264.26 on Wednesday, which caused the total market capitalization of the entire cryptocurrency world to surge above $150 billion.

It’s opposite team mate, Ether, also rose on Wednesday, marking the highest it’s ever been since June. These two unknowingly, drove the market cap of the digital currencies insane.

In particular, at the moment Bitcoin’s market capitalization is around $69.8 billion, which makes it twice as large as Ethereum, its closest rival.

However, Bitcoin has been a tad bit volatile lately, suffering from a 10% drop after it had crossed $4000 earlier. These fluctuations were an after effect of the scaling issue that was recently undertaken by the network. This is intended to increase the transaction sizes in the blockchain network. This new protocol is known as Segregated Witness, which is said to solve the scaling matter.

Related: Bitcoin drops below $4000

 

On the other hand, Ether rose to $324.07, its highest since June 23. It’s known to have doubled since its last low hit in mid-July. Overall, its performance has been well in 2017, as it is up more than 4000%, which brings its market cap to around $30.1 billion.

These recent increases in Bitcoin and Ether have brought together the total market cap of all digital currencies above $150 billion.

 

News Credit: marketwatch.com

 

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