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Do you think Bitcoin is decentralized? I guess 95% of you will say YES but after this little analysis, I think that number will be lower. First of all, I am not hating on Bitcoin, I love BTC because without BTC, market would collapse. However, I was just curious whether Bitcoin is really decentralized? As I said, most of you will say ” Yeah, it is “, I would say so too but after giving it a few hours of thinking I am not sure if it is decentralized or not.

Why?

To understand this whole review, first you have to know what mining means. Mining is a process where we use special algorithms to find solution on how to confirm transaction. Without mining, transaction won’t be confirmed, price will slump and all bad stuffs would come. So, without mining, there would be no Bitcoin.

Let’s Suppose If there are 1 million miners, Bitcoin will be decentralized because none of them is able to control Bitcoin.  And here is the biggest problem, there are a lot of miners but there are also mining pools. They are huge. For example, AntPool and BTC.com are the biggest at the moment with percentage of 16.9% and 15% respectively and total 31.9%. So only 2 mining pools are almost one third or all mining power. 3rd one is BTC.top with 13.3%, 4th is SlushPool with 12.4%. These 4 pools have total mining % of 57.6 (Dated: 11 December 2017). So, they are mining more Bitcoins than all others together.

Still think that BTC is decentralized?

What would happen if they decide to cooperate and decide to stop mining or something like that? Bitcoin will encounter a HUGE price inflation. These problems wouldn’t be unresolvable but enough to make big correction that would last for few months if not years. What would happen if they decide to make their own version of BTC and stop supporting current BTC? As we have seen Power of Forked Bitcoin Cash and some glimpse recently when it touched ATH of $1758 back in November.

This is a big problem for BTC. Main idea was to create decentralized money but, for me, result is not same as the idea. They are able to manipulate and make huge money and grow every single day.

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Bitcoin Mining – An Italian Bank’s Server Was Hijacked

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That was the time when you had the option to snip your company’s server power and mine bitcoin for yourself.

British cyber security

During last week presentation, British cyber security professionals had some discussion to tell about the sneaky and illegal mining of the bitcoins. In January 2015, Darktrace considers a possible interference in Italian bank’s system.

The firm exposes that the data is diffuse from one of the bank’s server to the European crime association. Director of the Darktrace Dave Palmer declares in Al summit, “It was a fairly well known European criminal botnet.” He says “The data was not customer data; it turned out to be a fairly buggy implementation of bitcoin mining software.”

The hijacked Italian bank was revealed speedily. It was inactivated within half an hour of it beginning to mine bitcoin. Palmer says, “I don’t think they made very much money out of it.”

2014 was the prime time for the criminal bitcoin mining activities. Palmer says, “It was super fashionable to have coin mining going on alongside sending spam from botnets.” According to the Palmer, bank server case was rare in the history, because these activities’ victims are laptops or desktops mostly.

Darktrace didn’t have the complete data of the mining malware. But Palmer says, “felt like it was a daily occurrence.” In that case, the company perceived 24 such cases in last six months across 24,000 monitoring sites. He says, “It has really dropped off.”

 

Palmer’s Experience

Although, mature cyber criminals steal computing power for mining in that days. It was common among the employees calmly mining from corporate laptops. Palmer says, “We’ve seen normal employees running these services on their workstations overnight.” Accordingly, “No surprise; people do all sorts of things like peer-to-peer file sharing and hosting Tor nodes [infrastructure for the anonymized network that’s part of the dark web], so I bet there is a load of coin mining stories all over the place.”

In addition, Few employees took their digital currency passion a step too far. Darktrace has found the same server covered by company’s staff in data center mining bitcoin non-stop. The severs advantage from superior cooling systems and consistent power supply at data center. Palmer says, “We found employees had procured some servers, [and] had hidden them under the data center false flooring.” And, “They were ‘off-the-record’ servers that no one recognized, mining coins 24/7.”

Those days of secret Bitcoin mining is now over. In addition, too much computing power is needed to mine bitcoin. Now, thousands of the servers are stored in huge warehouses. In addition, processing power increased by 770-fold since 2014, leaving the little chance for cyber criminals. Palmer says, “I think we have seen the last of successful coin mining.”

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Federal Reserve Governor talks about Crypto-Market Volatility

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According to the Federal Reserve Governor, Lael Brainard, the central bank is examining the intense volatility of cryptocurrencies, especially Bitcoin, however, she doesn’t think that virtual currencies stance a present threat to financial stability of US.

These remarks were made by Brainard on 3rd April, during a speech at Stern School of Business in New York. She alerted investors to be careful about speculative asset classes, like; cryptocurrencies.

Brainard said:

“One area that the Federal Reserve is monitoring is the extreme volatility evidenced by some cryptocurrencies…. For instance, Bitcoin rose over 1,000 percent in 2017 and has fallen sharply in recent months. These markets may raise important investor and consumer protection issues, and some appear especially vulnerable to money-laundering concerns.”

“As in other highly speculative markets, individual investors should be careful to understand the possible pitfalls of these investments and the potential for losses. But it is less clear how the valuations of cryptocurrencies currently could pose a threat to financial stability. Nonetheless, we will continue to study them,” Brainard continued.

Risk Factors

According to Brainard, the perils related to the banking sector and traditional asset classes like bonds and stocks are balanced by the past standards due to the modifications that were introduced after the financial crisis of 2008.

She also said:

“Credit growth is robust, and banks are registering strong profitability relative to their international peers.”

Jerome Powell Views

The opinion of Lael Brainard on cryptocurrencies resounded the thoughts of Jerome Powell, who is the Federal Reserve chairman.

In November 2017, Powell said:

“I have nothing against bitcoin… We generally look at some of the risks of cryptocurrencies associated with money-laundering and those sorts of issues, but we’re not broadly opposed or supportive of alternative currencies.”

Latest comments from the Federal Reserve follow the price swings of bitcoin and other digital currencies, that sustained momentum for few weeks. However, during the past four weeks, the price of bitcoin plunged more than a few times.

Although these inconsistent fluctuations in the price of Bitcoin have scared some investors, cryptocurrency “preachers” still remain bullish, as they say, that the recent slump in the market is momentary, and only the result of “sharp regulatory scrutiny” in major markets such as South Korea.

Bitcoin Prediction

The Former COO of Skype, Michael Jackson said:

“Regulators seem open-minded and are now working to eliminate the risks for consumers…. So, I see no reason why bitcoin shouldn’t fulfil its dream. And if it does, then recent price falls will appear trivial.”

Jackson earlier said that the price of bitcoin could shoot up to $1 million, as he believes that its value as a payment method is irrefutable.

 

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Why Audi Is Also Interested In Blockchain?

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Thanks to Bitcoin and all the related cryptocurrencies, blockchain startups no more a mystery. All those who are somehow related to the crypto market know that the blockchain technology is infact a decentralized technology that keeps the record of digital transaction and has so far its use been specific for the crypto transactions. To be more precise and accurate we can state that a global network of computers uses blockchain technology to jointly manage the database that records Bitcoin transactions. Blockchain is considered to be invincible because it can continuously replicate itself on multiple computers and databases.

So far Blockchain had been used in case of cryptocurrency transactions only but with the passage of time its use expanded for example in determining identity of digital assets, smart contracts, digital voting and distributed storage etc. Porsche can be considered a pioneer who for the first time decided to utilize Blockchain technology in car manufacturing. Let us see how they did it.

First Use of Blockchain in Automobile industry

With the help of  Berlin-based XAIN, Porsche has become the very first automobile manufacturer to successfully test blockchain in its cars. Blockchain technology based digital processes are both secure and super fast than anything that has come before. Test which was carried by the manufacturer of Porsche included locking and unlocking of the vehicle via an app, access authorisations and encrypted data logging. It is a part of further planning to improve autonomous driving functions of Porsche with the help of Blockchain technology.

What is the Plan of Audi?

For the time being Audi is planning to use Blockchain technology for its physical and financial distribution processing. In short Audi is just making an innovative effort to make its global supply chain more transparent and foolproof. For this purpose the car manufacturer also released a Proof-of-Concept (PoC) of its Blockchain system last year. As a result of positive feedback the manufacturer has now decided to advance the project beyond the PoC stage.

Moreover, the management of Audi is further researching on Blockchain in order to improve the process of data transfer and make it more safe and effective.

Interest Shown by other Car Manufacturers

Like Porsche other German car manufacturers such as BMW and Mercedes have also hit the news with announcements of their interest and expected experiments with Blockchain technology. According to authentic reports, BMW is planning to expand its portfolio by partnering with a Blockchain startup. Mercedes Benz has even took a step forward and has announced that it may issue its own cryptocurrency by the name of MobiCoin. According to the initial announcements Mobican will be used to reward drivers for their environmentally cautious driving.

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Will Kazakhstan Ban Cryptocurrencies?

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The National Bank of Kazakhstan has surprised all those who are interested in the crypto business by announcing its sudden plan to ban cryptocurrency in Kazakhstan. In fact Kazakhstan’s central bank has some serious plans to prohibit the use of all kinds of cryptocurrencies. All this information was disclosed in a report published by Sputnik News which is the official news outlet of the Russian government. According to that report all this information was personally revealed by Daniyar Akishev who is the chairman of National Bank of Kazakhstan.

Reasons for ban on Cryptocurrencies?

Daniyar Akishev further added to his statement that the National Bank of Kazakhstan had to take this decision to ban the exchange of digital currencies for the national currency of  Kazakhstan at the moment. The cryptocurrency exchanges and miners operating within  Kazakhstan would also be banned completely and no such activity will be allowed within the borders of  Kazakhstan. When asked about the reason behind that action he stated that the main reason was the vast number of problems associated with the user’s rights. That’s why the country’s central bank wants to prevent its residents from converting the nation’s fiat currency from any sort of crypto exchange within Kazakhstan.

Further Risks Daniyar Akishev Sees

When asked further about the reasons behind that ban Akishev said that he probably sees a lot of problems associated with cryptocurrencies, main reason being the protection of user’s rights. He also stated that the possibility of using cryptocurrency to commit illegal activities is also one of the major reasons behind that ban. The statement of Daniyar Akishev cannot be overlooked as far as the illegal use of cryptocurrencies is concerned. Cryptocurrency has become an ideal way of money laundering and to escape taxation around the world.

It is not the first time that Daniyar Akishev has showed his concern about cryptocurrencies. He had also stated last year in October that the National Bank of Kazakhstan was planning to prohibit activities related to cryptocurrency to protect its residents from the vast risks associated with these transactions. At that time his suggestions were to prohibit the:

  • Exchange of the national currency for cryptocurrencies.
  • activities regarding the generation of cryptocurrencies.

However, it is also a fact that the local community of Kazakhstan is showing extra ordinary interest in cryptocurrencies. According to a survey by Yandex, this interest has become 15-fold as compared to the previous years. According to that survey the citizens of Kazakhstan were showing 10 times more interest in search results related to crypto mining and how to mine.

Do not forget to share your thoughts regarding this ban in the comments section below.

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Bitcoin Exchange Calculator

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Bitcoin is a decentralized crypto money that offers pseudonymity to its clients. In spite of the fact that a Bitcoin has no intrinsic value, it’s turning into an inexorably popular type of digital cash, drawing in venture capitalist attention, from Winklevoss twins to Fred Wilson of Union Square Ventures.

There is a restricted supply of Bitcoins, 21 million to be precise, with 11 million currently available for use. While Bitcoin enables you to keep your identity concealed, the blockchain goes about as an open record of each Bitcoin exchange. Bitcoins can maintain a strategic distance from central banking and global cash wiring charges.

There are a couple of various approaches to obtain Bitcoins. You can mine a Bitcoin, but it becomes difficult when the amount of Bitcoin mining increases. You can likewise set up a wallet by means of Blockchain.info, or through a safe Bitcoin customer like CoinBase, and utilize destinations like BitInstant to load it.

For a simple way to calculate the estimation of your Bitcoin in fiat, check out this Bitcoin exchange calculator designed by BTCwonder.

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