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So, what’s a decentralized system? In simple words, we can say that a decentralized system works with no servers and each member is permissible to execute transactions. But in the case of the blockchain, each member must have to do some system-tasks as well, such as; storing transactional data.

cryptocurrency Security

Fork: Even a group of members can run an alternate-version of reality, which is called “fork.” The fork works by the similar regulations as the original decentralized system – though it might have a diverse state.

Let’s enlighten you about the hierarchical nature of cryptocurrency security!

First Layer – Tokens and Crypto Coins

  • One of the first and foremost thing in the crypto world is your cryptocurrency security.
  • Whenever you choose a cryptocurrency, you take all the perils and risks related to the protocol.
  • If someone can recognize and utilize protocol flaws, they can compromise the whole network, even including you; it won’t be much important which exchange/wallet you are using.

In the first layer, you can find two different types of currencies which include, the coins (Bitcoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash etc.) and all ICO-issued tokens such as; MOBI or EOS.

What is the Difference?

Well, the difference is in the technical features. Each coin is either an independent network protocol or just a copy of some of it. When you research a crypto protocol from a security stance, make sure to find out if it can be centralized.

Let’s take an example!

In the case of Bitcoin, it’s now centralized around four major mining pools which also means that if all of them collaborate, they can possibly compromise the whole network.

Another advice! Whenever you look for proof-of-stake crypto, make sure to have a look at the genesis. This is also quite imperative, as whoever keeps the preliminary and initial stake can vote for transitions, as well as the network will be also trusting those who have higher stakes. If we take an example of NEO, a PoS network of China, which is same as Ethereum, was distributed 50/50 amid its ICO sales and developer community – unlike Ethereum distribution. Also, the NEO token distribution makes sure that no major stakeholder from the exchange platform or the developing side has enough stake to compromise the whole network.

Tokens

  • Now if we talk about tokens, all of them are based on a smart-contract aspect of few of the coins, which means their reliability and security is first based on the parent cryptocurrency – only subsequently on the smart contract’s code that issued it.
  • Mostly, all ICO coins (tokens) are based on Ethereum and just some of them are issued by smart contracts.
  • Also, it is imperative to point out that Ethereum got hacked a few years ago due to the DAO protocol hack – later hard forked and rolled back to the state. This also shows that the founders of Ethereum probably have a time machine as it looks like they have the ability to go back in time – yet again if it’s required.

Second Layer – Exchanges

One thing that everyone must understand about the exchanges is that they are written in custom-code with infrastructure security and has got nothing to do with blockchain. If we talk about an exchange, it is just a standard centralized web service arrayed in a data centre. That’s why whenever we talk about the exchanges, we always mention reliability and trust.

Almost every month we hear news about the data breaches and security events that occur because of exchanges.

Examples

Here are some latest examples!

  1. Back in December 2017, $63 million in cryptocurrency was stolen from NiceHash by hackers.
  2. At the beginning of this year, January 2018, more than $500 million in cryptocurrency was stolen from Coincheck by hackers.
  3. In February 2018, almost $195 million in cryptocurrency was stolen from BitGrail by hackers.

The hype around cryptocurrencies is due to the number of data breaches. Many exchanges have recently started their business – without investing in proper security measures. Simultaneously, if someone steals tokens/crypto coins from an exchange successfully, it’s nearly impossible to do anything about recovering it.

Third Layer – Wallets

Well, the third layer is linked to your personal security in the crypto world and you must’ve heard a lot about it before.

When you select a wallet for cryptocurrencies, you’ll have two options:

  1. Hot Wallet
  2. Cold Wallet

Hot wallet Vs Cold Wallet

  • The hot wallet is just like an account in exchange or in simple words, it is a website-based wallet.
  • In the case of a hot wallet, your tokens/coins are under the control of your wallet provider.

Whereas, a cold wallet can be a hardware, software or just a paper.

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Blockstream-Bring Privacy to All Blockchain Assets

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On a blockchain platform, all the participants are free to check the transactions. This transparency level provides the much security to the users. Basically, it is a public verification process, where the cheating percentage is fall to its minimum level or zero. Unfortunately, it is not also good in privacy matters.

To improve the privacy terms, confidential transactions are its potential solution. Whereas, these transactions hide the transacted bitcoin which is using in test environment and academia.

A number of bitcoin core developers discover the confidential assets. These transactions are categorically designed for the bitcoin.  Confidential assets carry a level to any blockchain asset such as ownership paper, stock etc.

Blockstream engineer Gregory Sander says, “With Confidential Assets, we can generate multi-asset transactions where both the amount and the asset type itself are encrypted”.

Confidential asset

Basically, confidential assets are not a new born concept in the technology world. It is increasing in two ways.

The first part of this puzzle is planted on confidential transactions, which was introduced by the current Blockstream CEO Dr. Adam back. Blockstream developers Gregory Maxwell, Dr. PIETER Wuille and mathematician Andrew Poelstra further work on this and expand it to blockchain’s alpha sidechain.

According to these transactions, only receiver and sender will come to know the transacted amount. A public verification process, that is the rest of the world-where the transactions were created between the sender and the receiver. But the transacted amount is masked.

Whereas, in confidential transactions are masked in a programmed way that public verifier will able to perform a certain type of math on them.  If they cancel out the transaction, anyone is capable to add up the committed amount on the sending end. And, add up all amounts on receiving end. In addition, if they don’t cancel, means no amount was created out. In that way, a public verifier will fail to know how much was transacted. They have the idea that system wasn’t cheated.

The second part of the puzzle is quite new, which boost up the masking to assets themselves. Confidential assets include blockchain based assets not only bitcoin.

Sanders says, “While the sender and receiver would know that, say, a gold certificate was transacted, a public verifier would only know that ‘some asset’ was transacted — in ‘some amount”. “And if multiple assets are transacted at once, the public verifier would see that multiple types of ‘some assets’ changed hands, and he can verify that no ‘some assets’ were created out of thin air. But he would still not know what was transacted exactly, or how much of each ‘some asset”.

Projects

Confidential assets advanced in two different projects.

For one, it may be associated with the existing sidechain such as a liquid. This is an organize blockchain fix to the bitcoin. Where the blocks confirm by the service provider. which permits the transactions at little cost without troubling the main blockchain. Exchanges use this to let the customers move the bitcoins among different accounts without confirmation from the blockchain. Confidential assets allow to move the fiat currency as well.

In addition, Blockstream start a teamwork with Japanese IT company Digital Garage.

Sanders explains, “Digital Garage is working on a loyalty points blockchain” and “This means that all types of companies can issue their loyalty points, and customers can use them or trade them atomically for other assets using market makers. Privacy is huge here because you do not want to be showing the whole world how many points are outstanding on your books”.

Furthermore, confidential assets sidechain is a private decentralize exchange. This elementary setup can expand to mediators that act. Sanders says, “For the Digital Garage demo we have implemented a trustless, blinded swap of multiple assets through peers already. If we can deploy fiat currency on the blockchain, we can make similar arrangements between Bitcoin and U.S. dollar, euro or yen”. Blockchain use case complexity matrix

 

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Darknet Market Exit Scams – How Can You Avoid Them As A User?

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Darknet marketplaces are known to have accepted cryptocurrencies since quite some time now. With the majority of platforms accepting Bitcoin while others experimenting with Ethereum and Monero. However, the darknet markets are in for a bit of trouble as many portals are disappearing overnight in what’s being referred to as “exit scam.”

Here we’ve outlined three most recent incidents of to clear this point.

EVOLUTION:

The Evolution marketplace is one that made several headlines on the media, as it was one of the largest darknet marketplaces worldwide. In March 2015, over 40k bitcoins kept in escrow were stolen and they’ve never been retrieved ever since. The coins were worth around $12 million but no one is certain if they were stolen by the administrator or someone who hacked into the platform. Nonetheless, it is still one of the biggest exit scams since 2015.

OASIS:

Oasis is one of the first darknet markets to support payments made with Monero. Although, this portal went totally dark in 2016 when many users were scammed right before the platform vanished. The result was loss of at least 150 bitcoins while the amount of XMR was never disclosed. While everyone believed that Oasis could’ve been one of the main black markets on the deep web today.  Unfortunately, that was not the case which gives everyone on the darknet a warning when it comes to trusting such marketplaces.

EAST INDIA COMPANY:

With a reputation that was usually fluctuating, East India Company was known to be one infamous darknet market before it disappeared in early 2016. To start off with, it was hacked back in August 2015 and lost around 30 bitcoins. It did take them a while to get back on feet as the users gradually made their way back. It was in January 2016, when the platform became inaccessible for a few days, which lead to users having their wallets drained and no response from the admins. No one knows as to how much funds were stolen from the market but it was one of the biggest exit scams over the last couple of years.

Now, if you’re hesitant towards trusting a darknet market but are still curious to know more of the deep web then we’ve got a safer option for you.

A Solution Against Exit Scams – BERMUDA:

Opposite to all the aforementioned markets, Bermuda is there to stay. Despite of being relatively new in the darknet world, Bermuda has got all the attributes to provide the darknet users with a platform where everything – from kids’ toys to adults’ stuff, and prescriptions medications – is available.  Moreover, Bermuda is firmly against the sale of stuff such as:

  • Assassinations or any other services which may be intended to cause harm to others.
  • Live action stuff/hurt/murder audio/video/images
  • Weapons of mass destruction: chemical, biological, explosives, etc.
  • Child pornography
  • Weapons
  • Poisons

Trading a potion/all of the above-mentioned stuff is what primarily causes the law and enforcement to ban most the darknet markets. On the other hand, Bermuda has it stated in its market policy to never become part of any activity that promotes the prohibited stuff.

Now, one might think: “If Bermuda only deals in regular stuff, why go on the deep web? Why not just your normal browsers/search engines?”

Well, the majority of online buyers prefer to stay anonymous and buy the desired stuff without revealing their identity. But sadly, this is not possible on surface web marketplaces such as Amazon, eBay, etc. So, to achieve that anonymity, they head to dark marketplaces.

However, most the dark markets are involved in illegal trades in addition to selling the routine stuff and most of the time end up getting axed by the government. This ultimately leaves the clients with very limited and often inconsistent options.

Bermuda’s goal is to address this issue and provide dark-web users with a platform that won’t ever go down or get axed by the government so they have a marketplace on their fingertips every time they need to buy some stuff. Some of the key features of Bermuda are:

  • Payments through both Bitcoin and Fiat are available
  • Incredibly fast support
  • Disabled JavaScript and easy html5 design for an easy on-site navigation
  • Free vendor ships;

And much more! Visit the site at  http://bermudagslgcoamz.onion/ and get registered right now for an amazing dark market experience.

You can also put forward your queries to Bermuda through Reddit’s DM feature at /r/Bermudator.

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Famous Bitcoin Trader Claims the Currency Will Hit $15,000 in 2017.

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The price of Bitcoin climbed above $3,500 and at the moment it is standing a little above $4,200. While some people are doubtful towards this gradual increase in value, Veteran trader masterluc says otherwise. He’s made a prediction that Bitcoin will be worth $15,000 by the end of 2017.  He claims that this bull run will continue into 2019 where the price will top out anywhere in between $40,000 and $110,000.

Masterluc is said to have a history of being right in his predictions, and many experts agree that the rise will continue for a while longer, which could have some major consequences for paper money.

Bitcoin recently celebrated its market cap crossing over $50 billion as it tripled the price of gold. Predicting the future of the digital currency is not an easy task especially when its reign shows no sign of ending.

 

News Credits: futurism.com

Image Credits: bloomberg.com

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Is It Possible for the Blockchain Technology to Survive Without Cryptocurrencies?

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Recently, there’ve been many fluctuations in the price of Bitcoin and altcoins. Bitcoin was once traded at $20,000, but the recent slump in the cryptocurrency prices made the top-cryptocurrency to drop to almost $6,000, however, it has now recovered and is now priced above $10,000. Ups and downs in the price of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies have been one of the most usual characteristics of the cryptocurrency market trend.

Will All Cryptocurrencies Fail?

Yves Mersch, who’s a member of ECB highlighted, that the wild fluctuations in the price of virtual currencies mean that businesses evaluation could find a large and detrimental break between their accurate and optimum price. There’s another negative prediction for Bitcoin which has come from a well-known investor, Warren Buffet. He says that cryptocurrencies are plunging, plus, he also highlighted, that he’d never invest in any of the cryptocurrencies. According to Buffet, all cryptocurrencies will come to a bad end.

blockchain technology

Many other critics have also listed their opinions on this recent slump in the price of cryptocurrencies, in which most of them predicted a miserable future for all of the cryptocurrencies. But the problem arises when some of the critics firmly condemn the idea of cryptocurrencies and at the same time, they have a soft side for the “blockchain”.

CEO of Netcoins, Michael Vogel doesn’t really share the same views that the recent crash in the price of Bitcoin and other altcoins indicates technology’s failure. He also highlighted, that seeing the growing phase of cryptocurrencies, the current instability should be considered as normal.

According to Vogel, these slumps are a part of “strong-trading” and he even contends that it’s almost impossible to separate cryptocurrencies from Blockchain. He thinks that cryptocurrencies and blockchain are intimately linked to each other, and both these technologies are mainly intended for huge success.

 Analysis:

According to Auxesis Group’s Kumar Gaurav, Bitcoin has got the same value for everyone who are investing in it and also notes, that while this pullback frightened the new-comers or made its sceptics feel inveterate, everyone who is familiar with the Bitcoin’s history knows that it shouldn’t be a surprise at all and such situations always recover quickly.

Cryptocurrency Blockchain Technology:

Cryptocurrency blockchain technology can help in achieving better efficiency, which doesn’t have anything to do with the cryptocurrencies. The Indian Finance Minister recently acknowledged blockchain’s latent that there’s a need of cryptocurrency, however, interests have shifted away from these cryptocurrencies to tokens in the past few years.

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Throwback to When a Savage Police Chief Asked to Receive his Entire Salary in Bitcoins

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Throwback Thursday: Kentucky Police Chief Asks to be Paid in Bitcoin

Vicco, Ky., is a town that’s known to be one of the smallest of the smallest towns, with a population of just around 330 people. But hey, don’t judge a town by the number of its inhabitants, right? Well in 2013, that was definitely the case here since that did not keep a Police Chief named Tony Vaughn away from the trends of the internet and rising cryptocurrencies.

Considering back then Bitcoin was still gradually growing and beginning to stabilize, it was a story that gave the currency quite a boost and hopes of becoming a payment method one day. Luckily, the city commission approved of this and after standard federal and state reductions in US dollars, Vaughn had received the bitcoins in his personal account.

Fast forward four years and Bitcoin has earned and is still earning a lot of fame and popularity as major investors have accepted the cryptocurrency as a means of payment. Also, let’s not forget the endless amount of altcoins following right behind. One can safely say that we are, as a matter of fact, entering a world of digitization.

 

Story Credits: cnet.com

 

 

 

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