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An ether wallet had received hundreds of thousands of dollars around two weeks ago. Unfortunately, those funds were later hacked form different wallets due to the negligence on the user’s end. If only a few security measures had been taken, some of those funds could actually be protected from the hacker.

How it happened

Maximum of funds were stolen from a user holding 973 ethers. What caused this hack was the fact that the user had a rooted android phone. Rooted Android phones are similar to jailbroken iPhones, which means that new applications can be installed but they have no security assurance that the apps are not malicious. That being said, such an app must have been installed on to the device providing the hacker access to your phone. On gaining access to the device, the hacker used an exploit to retrieve the backup phrase to Jaxx wallets. This exploit has not been fixed since Jaxx is a hot wallet, which means that coins are kept here for frequent use and not storage.

 

Ways to increase the security of your funds

Crypto security experts have provided a few tips on how you can maintain the security of your wallets and funds.

  1. Do not use public Wi-Fi even after using VPN.
  2. Be sure to turn on 2-FA for all your user accounts, with google authenticator.
  3. Do not store your private key unencrypted.
  4. Never access your funds from a rooted device.
  5. Do not install applications on your device that are not trustworthy.
  6. Keep a look out for phishing scams. Your private key should only be known by you.
  7. Bookmark your sites. Some fake sites are known to have URLs similar to the actual portals and could steal your personal info.
  8. If you possess a large sum of funds, split it amongst separate wallets to ensure that not all your money could be lost due to some blunder.
  9. Cold wallets are to be preferred over hot wallets and exchange wallets for storage.

 

Story Credits: coinidol.com

Image Credits: coinjournal.com

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Bitcoin – puzzling rise of the bitcoin

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Bitcoin info: An insane rise in the value of the bitcoin is providing a new discussion to the technology world.

A number of people are really wondering about the origin of it, they are puzzled by this phenomenon? surprise how it is physical? how they withhold on it? how bitcoin works? or whether a new bubble like this, is on its way?

Whereas others count that the currency change brings the sans regulations.

If we look back, one Bitcoin was at the value of $0.003 in 2010. Whereas, its value in 2017 raises to $2500. Clearly, means that one bitcoin is equal to the 2500 US dollars. By multiplying the perspectives bitcoin’s value is 879,999 times.

 So, which thing people buy in actual????

On another side, people think about the hoarding of the bitcoins.

One of the trader’s point of view is, “Of course, you can spend bitcoins to purchase items at places where they are accepted. But a lot of traders are buying on speculation because the supply of bitcoin is limited”.
All we know that there is 21 million total supply of the bitcoins and 70% are mined already from the internet. And, a sharp increase of the bitcoin is associate it with “bubble” word.

Billionaire Mark Cuban already admit that it has a worth, it has a value in blockchain technology. And named it as a bubble early in this month.

Few of them relate this bitcoin hype to the “Tulipmania. A well-known episode in Dutch history 1636-1637.  Where the value of tulip bulb was pushed by the gamblers to rapid heights.

Unfortunately, the bubble burst and bulbs price crashed. The main reason for this crash was, no existence of the fundamental value of a bulb.

But, in the case of the bitcoin, you are free to spend your coin and get goods and services. This scope is continually expanding. Traders of the bitcoin are the well-wisher of this technology and claims that bitcoin’s attractiveness directly lies in its potential.

Furthermore, it is possible that fiat money also doesn’t have original value but it is controlled by the different sources. That is a reason for long-term investment.

Japanese government legalized the bitcoin, it is a live example that cryptocurrencies are making their ways into the mainstream.

Bitcoin is not only one cryptocurrency, which is available with the limited supply. In fact, there are more than 900 digital currencies available on the internet. Whereas, cryptocurrencies are basically decentralized digital money, which is not created by any government or central bank.

Additional tag: Bitcoin stock market

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Microsoft Is Not Accepting Bitcoin Anymore

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On the r/Bitcoin subreddit, it’s all about Microsoft and Bitcoin, as the tech giant apparently stopped accepting the leader cryptographic money, as per numerous top threads. One focuses on Microsoft following Steam’s footsteps in never again accepting Bitcoin. The talk comes from a Bleeping Computer article that claims the software and hardware monster halted Bitcoin payments.

On a top thread, an r/Bitcoin administrator stickied a post expressing different clients tried to discover the Bitcoin payment choice, however, were not able. His remark notes he trusts it’s “evident that little retail payments don’t bode well for Bitcoin at this moment,” and that despite the fact that everything points to the talk being valid, it is still unverified as there was no official explanation on Microsoft’s end.

Another top thread on Reddit claims Microsoft does still acknowledge Bitcoin payments, and that shills are simply endeavoring to fill the subreddit with fear, uncertainty, and doubt (FUD). Per this thread, Microsoft enables clients to include a predetermined measure of dollars to their balance utilizing Bitcoin, so the tech giant does indirectly acknowledge the top digital currency.

So, Does Microsoft Still Accept Bitcoin Or Not?

Chatting with Microsoft’s client support, we were told the organization no more acknowledges Bitcoin as a payment option. Eminently, the organization has apparently chosen to quit accepting the crypto money since July 2017.

image credits: ccn.com

Given the unsatisfactory answer we were given, we pressed the issue and were linked to an individual from the Higher help from Microsoft’s Accounts and Billing group. He affirmed Microsoft has quit accepting Bitcoin because of “different issues we are getting with respect to it.” When pressed, he uncovered that “we have no other information on why Microsoft quit accepting Bitcoin payments besides the problems in processing the payments.”

Not The First Time:

This isn’t the first time Microsoft stopped accepting Bitcoin. The tech giant put the breaks on digital currency payment in 2016, soon after the organization’s move started making headlines, it apologized for what it deemed “inaccurate information,” and revealed that Bitcoin payments would still be accepted.

Microsoft initially began accepting Bitcoin by means of BitPay in December 2014. At the time, the move was met with huge fanbase, as the organization joined the ranks of other substantial organizations like Dell, Newegg, and TigerDirect in accepting Bitcoin.

 

Story credits: ccn.com

Image: Google images

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Overstock & Square Shareholders Are Also Hurt by A Plunge in Bitcoin’s Prices

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Bitcoin Shareholders
Bitcoin’s price has plunged near $10,000 on Tuesday. Companies that have tied their whole wealth to cryptocurrency are also thrashed along with their investors. On Tuesday, Payments Processor Square, which announced the plans to allow for some Bitcoin selling and buying, lost almost $90 million market value. Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey’s company also ended at a regular trading value, $15.1 billion.

 

In the meanwhile, the e-commerce company that allows customers to pay in cryptocurrency, fell by 11%. It ended the day with a loss of almost $200 million and $1.8 billion market capitalization. According to Bloomberg’s report, China is also working on its regulations for app-based and other online cryptocurrency services that are similar to its exchanges.

Square and Overstock aren’t the only companies that experienced these disastrous results. In a past few months, some smaller companies have also announced plans to move into the blockchain space. In some cases, they use the word “blockchain” to get some of the sufficient investor interest for anything even vaguely related to cyrptocurrencies and they’ve also tied themselves to the volatility in cryptocurrency prices.

On Tuesday, shares of Riot Blockchain, once a + firm dubbed Bioptix, shed 17% and Chanticleer, an owner of some Hooters locations, shed 4%.

Eastman Kodak, best known for their cameras, fell 8%. At the end of the month, the company has announced plans to offer a cryptocurrency under the name of KodakCoin, initially sending shares up by 60% on the day of the announcement.

Shares of Long Blockchain (Long Island Iced Tea) shed 2%. On Tuesday, the one-time drink maker declared his plans to merge with a U.K.-based firm, Stater Blockchain, which focuses on developing and organizing globally accessible blockchain technology solutions in the financial markets.

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Investors Are Worried After a Sudden Drop in Bitcoin Price

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After a series of ups and downs, bitcoin’s price went to its top. However, it plunged to less than half of that value later. The unexpected changes are now compared to the dot-com bubble and are highlighting the speculative nature of investing in cryptocurrency. Investors are worried due to bitcoin investment

The price of bitcoin fell below $10,000 for the first, on December 1. At one point, it fell below $9,300 on one exchange. The price later rose back to almost $12,000, however, the investors and economists are still not sure how long the price will stay there. It is also said that the recent skim was due to the fear of crackdowns in the cryptocurrency markets.

South Korea has suggested a ban on the trading of cryptocurrency, although no plans are settled yet. Also, same news has been reported about China.

Bitcoin is a decentralized digital currency, as it is the largest and well-popular digital currency, that is globally bought and sold in exchanges.

According to Timothy Lee (senior reporter at Ars Technica), it is not based on dollars. The value of bitcoin floats against other cryptocurrencies, in the same way the euro and dollar glide against each other. Users say that bitcoin has got a very effective system for authenticating transactions, as it is based on a revolutionary technology.

Bitcoin users also point out that the currency is not tied to government’s whims anBitcoin Investmentd according to them, it’s a good thing. Recently the price dropped, and that may not be a good thing for those investors who are trying to figure out what crash actually means for the cryptocurrency’s future.

Recently many cryptocurrencies have shown the same swipes. According to David Kotok (Cumberland Advisors chairman and chief investment officer), almost 20 years ago, the technology and the new internet stocks accomplished valuation of $7 trillion, just because of speculation. The prices of shares used to be very high and after they collapsed, investors got badly miffed. And apparently, the same thing is going to happen with these cryptocurrencies.

Same rise and fall in the price of bitcoin was seen by the investors in December.  After China announced that it was banning all the banks that were trading cryptocurrencies, bitcoin fell by 40 percent just within days after hitting a record price of almost $1,150.

There’ve been dramatic ups and downs in cryptocurrency’s price last year. Bitcoin had the value around $900 at the beginning of 2017, however, its value got tripled within few months. According to Kotok, cryptocurrencies are highly speculative and investing money in cryptocurrencies is a speculative thing to do.  There’s a chance that you may make a profit, but Kotok has seen many people who invested their money into bitcoin and now they’re having loads of trouble in getting their cash back when they try to sell it.

According to some analysts, the cryptocurrency is trying to find an impermanent price floor, but according to a CNBC report, Citigroup analysts think that the price of bitcoin would plunge again to half of its current value. According to Ars Technica’s Lee, it’s still going to be unpredictable. She thinks it’ll go more up and then it’ll crash again. So, no one knows how far down it’ll decline.

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The blockchain immutability myth

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The blockchain immutability myth

Immutability…. We use this word in daily routine to signify a thing, which can never change. Whereas, in the blockchain, this word is referring to the worldwide transactions. Which is adjust by the participants. Here, the basic approach is, once the block blockchain transactions are complete, it cannot replace or reverse by other transactions.

So, the theory goes. Because

Saint Augustine states, “The highest good, than which there is no higher, is the blockchain. And consequently it is immutably good, hence truly eternal and truly immortal.”

Two prominent examples are,

  1. Under certain conditions, through some necessary adjustment transactions, history can change itself. Here, the question is arises, it easy to bring new changes in the content of the blockchain? Is it really easy?
  2. According to cryptocurrency advocates, immutability achieves only in case of decentralization of economic mechanism. Which is not proper fall at the private sector of the blockchain. Because, they totally depend on the collective behavior of a known group of validators, who are not trustworthy.

Above two circumstances are totally wrong. Because in blockchain there is no immutability thing exist. The proper question is,

Under which circumstance the blockchain will or will not change? And,

Do those conditions match with the problem, we are trying to solve?

Instead, the chain’s behavior depends on the network of a computer system. Before we get into the detail of how we ‘ll summarize the basics of blockchain first.

Brief discussion on Blockchain  

A blockchain system is running onto the different set of nodes. Which may be in control of different companies. There is no individual node who control the others. While nodes are connecting with each other through a proper network. These nodes generate and propagate transactions and rapidly spread to other nodes via digital operations in some kind of database.

Every new upcoming transaction is verified by an independent node. Following are some terms of verification;

1.it is totally in obedience of blockchain rule and regulations.

2. it is completely a digital structure

3. If any transaction passes the test of nodes. It will enter to the local list of not confirm transactions means directly in the memory pool. While others will enter in the orphan pool. In addition, pass transactions will be forward to its peers.

With some intervals, a node which contains the set of as-yet unconfirmed transactions on the network generates a new block. Each block contains the hash (32-byt). Therefore, by creating a little block chain, each block includes the timestamp. Accordingly, link to the previous block via its hash.

Validation Process

Blocks move and verified by nodes across the network like transactions. For the acceptance by the nodes, a block must contain proper transactions including no conflict with other ones. Whereas, with the confirmation of the test, it is entering into the local blockchain and transactions are confirm. Any transaction which conflict with others will discard immediately. Whether they are in memory pool or orphan pool.

Participation of the chain, make the strategy to ensure the generation of blocks.   This ensures indicates that any kind of node. whether it is an individual or a group has no ability to take hold of the blockchain’s content.

Authentication and testing

Proof-of-work a public blockchain allow its users to generate block who has the ability to solve the tricky and fiendishly mathematical puzzle. Whereas, to prevent minority control in private blockchains, blocks are signed by authorized members. In order to create a lawful chain, a product needs to legalize validator by using mining diversity.

Two different validator nodes can generate conflicting blocks when both have the same previous points. However, fork happens. While different blocks are seen by nodes and leading them to have the different opinion about the chain’s history. These forks are resolved on the arrival of new blocks on branches by a blockchain software.

Shorter branch’s node spool back its last block and replay these two blocks on the longer one. Unfortunately, if you are unlucky and both branches will extend. Then the conflict will be resolved by the third and so on. In addition, with the increase in fork’s length, the probability of a fork persisting drops increases. After a small number of the blocks, it can be reduced to zero in private blockchain.

Here, the most important thing to remember is, each node is controlled by a particular person. Where blockchain has not authority to ask some changes in transactions. The main purpose of the chain is to help in sync. But, if participants want to change the rule, no one has authority to stop them.

That is why we need to stop asking about the immutability of blockchain. Because the answer is “no”. Arguably, we consider the conditions under which it needs changes.

 

 

The blockchain immutability myth

Public chain’s mutability

Let’s start with the above mention two examples. We will take the start with the claim that authorization process. Which used in blockchain cannot bring true immutability by public chains. e.g.

Ethereum blockchain faces a devastating situation in June 2016. “the DAO”, loophole found by someone. In which, $250 million were invested and start draining its speed. Which distract the both investor and creator’s intentions. After few days, the ethereum software updated to prevent from hackers. It was publicly supported by Vitalik Buterin that ethereum users will control their own computer system. As a result, a large number of users, blockchain comes with the new name and rules is ethereum. Whereas, minority reject this idea and keep going with ethereum classic. There were more choices for names like ethereum compromise or ethereum pure. Whatever, democracy is the democracy, and everyone has their own rights voice. In addition, ethereum is ten times more than ethereum classic.

Now, we will take a common way, in which blockchain’s immutability will be dilute. Recall that mining of bitcoin and ethereum uses proof of work scheme. Where you get a reward for solving a tricky puzzle. In addition, this reward increases the potential of the users and they solve the relating issues more efficiently. Network continually adjust the rate of block creation. In addition, 10 minutes in bitcoin or 15 seconds in

Immutability of blockchain

Bitcoin has faced the factor difficulty of 350,000x from last 5 years. Today, bitcoin mining is on hardware devices with cheap electricity and in cold weather. Antminer S9 mines the block 10,000 faster than a desktop system. Which burns 10 times more electricity than a system with cost $1089.

To undermine the immutability of bitcoin blockchain, you need to install more mining capacity, then the other network creating 51% attack first. Secondly, through proper testing and approval, mine your own secret branches. Finally, at desired time, release your secret branch to the network anonymously. Then, the whole process of a transaction will be without any scams or hacking issue. It is not easy to install a huge program. It needs a lot of money and electricity as well. And a common man or country who has the shortage of both. Unfortunately, are not able to adopt this way for immutability of bitcoin blockchain.

Let’s estimate the cost of a 51% attack which reverses a year of bitcoin transactions. At the current bitcoin price of $1500 and reward of 15 bitcoins (including transaction fees) per 10-minute block. Miners earn around $1.2 billion per year ($1500 × 15 × 6 × 24 × 365). Reasonably, they are not losing money. So, the total expense should be in the same range.

Rewriteable private chains

Now, let’s have a ride to private blockchains. Which was established for the needs of government and well-reputed organizations. According to the organization’s perspective, immutability is the commercial, legal and regulatory non-starter. Because it allows attacking the network anonymously. whereas, immutability can also be ashore in good behavior of other institutions. With whom, they have authority to sue or sign a contract. It is a bonus because private blockchains are less costly to run. Since blocks need just a node’s approval and digital signature. When a number of validators follow the rules. As a result, you get cheaper and stronger immutability than other digital currencies offer. Furthermore, the percentage of immutability may decrease when participants in chain decide to do so together.

Immutability is nuanced

People who don’t like the traditional banking system and government’s currency are perfect to use proof of work blockchain. Whose immutability rely on economic terms instead of participants. It may be an expensive operation. when parties agree to live with government or wealthy actors and bringing down the network. Accordingly, they believe that cryptocurrency technology and its value continue to grow and it will get more secure.

Finally, for most permission blockchain use cases. We probably don’t want validator nodes to be able to easily and cheaply substitute old blocks in the chain. As Dave Birch says “the way to correct a wrong debit is with a correct credit”. Rather than pretending that the debit never took place. Nonetheless, for those cases where we do need the extra flexibility, chameleon hashes help make blockchains a practical choice.

Good luck!

 

 

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