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On 27th March, a public statement was issued by Bitfinex, in which it stated that the platform won’t be supporting the “oil-backed” Petro token, which was launched in February by the Venezuela government.

Bitfinex

Bitfinex is a Hong-Kong based crypto exchange trading as well as currency-storage platform, which was established in 2014 and since then, it’s been the largest platform for Bitcoin.

crypto exchange

Bitfinex Blog Post

On Bitfinex, the statement was posted:

“The government of Venezuela (“GOV”) has recently introduced the Petro token (“PTR”), which purports to be a cryptocurrency backed by oil.”

In this blog post, which was posted on 27th March, the world’s number four crypto-exchange by trade volume (24-hour), clearly explained their decision, stating the fact that recently, the US had banned all of its citizens from buying Petro cryptocurrency, as well as other Venezuelan digital currencies similar to Petro that could be introduced anytime in future. It was written by the exchange that it perceives the coin as it has limited utility.

“We have never had plans to include the PTR or similar tokens in the Bitfinex trading platform. In light of the U.S. sanctions and the other clear sanctions risks of dealing in these products, Bitfinex will not list or transact the PTR or other similar digital tokens.”

According to the Bitfinex team, the limitations are not only applicable to the US clients, but also to the consumers of the platform. They are also linked to all of the activities on the platform, like;

  • Deposits
  • Financing
  • Trading
  • Withdrawals

The platform also further added that regardless of location, all of its employees and contractors are also banned from transacting in the Petro. This news from the crypto-exchange Bitfinex follows the latest exploratory work by “Time magazine” that connects the Petro cryptocurrency to the Russian government.

There is a huge bank of indications to advocate that this digital currency issued by Venezuelan is a Russian experiment in sanction dodging. According to Time Magazine, Russia have been considering to use cryptocurrency to dodge the sanctions globally, however, they decided to assess the idea in a state, when there’s very little to lose.

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Beginner’s Guide to Tor

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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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Why Audi Is Also Interested In Blockchain?

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blockchain startups

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 Bitcoin Become World’s ‘Single Currency’?

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Due to a number of reasons cryptocurrencies are becoming intensely popular form of internet money. The main reason for that can be no other than the fact that unlike conventional currency cryptocurrencies are safe, anonymous and completely decentralized. Moreover, their flow totally depends upon the market demand. Due to the Blockchain technology and the so much complicated code system, it is also impossible to counterfeit them.

bitcoin single currency

Views of Twitter CEO about the Future of Bitcoin

In an interview with The Times, Jack Dorsey, the CEO Twitter presented his views that there are chances that Bitcoin will become world’s single currency in the future. When asked for the time frame, Dorsey said that it may take further ten years. He further exclaimed that no matter how much time may take, but a day will come when the world will ultimately have a single currency, and the name of that currency will probably be Bitcoin according to him.

Role of ‘Square’ in Promoting Bitcoin

Jack Dorsey is also the CEO of world famous payment service Square, with this regard he has a keen eye for online transactions and the internet money flowing from one place to another. Jack Dorsey is personally very much interested in the rise of Bitcoin. According to one of his previous statements, his company Square will try its best to focus on options to interact with Bitcoin via their Cash App. Jack Dorsey believes that it will become a “transformation technology” for the internet technology.

Level of Jack Dorsey’s Trust in Bitcoin

Being a personal investor of Bitcoin, Dorsey believes that time will soon come when cryptocurrency especially fractions of Bitcoin would be used for buying simple things like coffee and other everyday purchase. Not only Bitcoin, Dorsey has also invested in ‘’Lightning Labs’’, which is working hard day and night to make the use of bitcoin much more faster and easier. Last week, Lightning Labs, released its first Bitcoin ready LN implementation. Due to this implementation free and frequent Bitcoin transaction has come closer to reality.

When asked about the scaling issues faced by Bitcoin right now, making it “slow and costly,” Dorsey answered that though it is a fact right now but with the passage of time new solutions will resolve that problem too. He further explained that when more and more people would have an easy access to Bitcoin, things would start to improve gradually.

The acceptance of Bitcoin by companies like Square, has probably led to future investment opportunities in it, further fueling its journey to become a single currency worldwide.

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Crypto Fraud Cases: CFTC Is Stepping Up Against Market Manipulation

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Commodity Futures Trading Commission is making a quick move to declare its jurisdiction to police scam in the cryptocurrency trading. Jack B. Weinstein, a Judge of the Eastern District of New York, favoured the CFTC and affirmed its definition of cryptocurrency as a commodity. A notice of supplemental-legal-authority was given to My Big Coin Pay Inc, which is a crypto-services company that got charged with deception and misuse of funds in January.

cryptocurrency trading

This ruling was basically the outcome of a distinct crypto fraud case that CFTC is pursuing against a crypto-trading-scheme known as CabbageTech. Mentioning from that ruling, the notice directs My Big Coin Pay that;

Virtual currencies ‘fall well-within…the [Commodity Exchange Act’s] definition of commodities and the Commission has the standing to exercise its enforcement power over fraud related to virtual currencies sold in interstate commerce.”

The SEC (Securities and Exchange Commission), the IRS, and the CFTC, all have a different meaning of cryptocurrencies at this time and have selected them as securities, property, and commodities individually.

Now for My Big Coin Pay, the Commission asserts that the stable and related parties; Randall Crater and Mark Gillespie embezzled over $6 million from their clients, as well as by transferring funds of customers into their private accounts and later, spending their funds on purchasing their luxury goods and personal stuff.

cryptocurrency tradding

Many novel cases have been also filed by the CFTF in the past months, which includes three linked to virtual-currency fraud. These cases were the first ones that were brought to the commission since it allowed the launch of bitcoin commodities contracts, the past month. The notice also revealed how CFTC is working hard to establish legitimate precedent and potentially provides a vision of how it will endure regulating the industry.

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