Bad Code Has Lost $500 Million of Cryptocurrency in Under a Year
Feb13

Bad Code Has Lost $500 Million of Cryptocurrency in Under a Year


Bad Code Has Lost $500 Million of Cryptocurrency in Under a Year



Security

Cryptocurrency can be lost in a variety of ways, from hacking to forgotten passwords and failed flash drives. But in dollar terms, one of the biggest causes of crypto losses is bad code, and it’s not usually the fault of the coin’s developers. Instead, third parties, including shoddy smart contract developers and shady exchanges, are to blame for losses that have reached half a billion dollars in the last seven months.

Also read: Cryptocurrency Exchange Bitgrail Suspends Operations After ‘Losing’ $170 Million of Nano

Bitgrail Gets Railed for Dodgy Code

Last week, news.Bitcoin.com reported on the demise of Bitgrail, which contrived to lose $170 million of nano cryptocurrency. While the precise sequence of events that caused the catastrophic collapse of the exchange with the assets of thousands of customers is still being confirmed, poor code is being blamed. As reported at the time:

There are rumors that Bitgrail became insolvent following a withdrawal bug that was discovered by some users and then shared in Discord and other chat groups, causing the wallet balance to gradually diminish. One user explained: “There was a bug on Bitgrail where if you placed two orders you got double balance added to your account. You could then withdraw while the orders were up and steal the coins. You had negative balance in the end but you could just make a new account.”

Bad Code Has Lost $500 Million of Cryptocurrency in Under a Year

In the aftermath of the incident, this theory has been bolstered by allegations that a bug was indeed responsible, and not in nano’s code, but in Bitgrail’s. One source asserted: “There was a bug, on the withdraw page. But this check was only on java-script client side, you find the js which is sending the request, then you inspect element – console, and run the java-script manually, to send a request for withdrawal of a higher amount than in your balance. Bitgrail delivered this withdrawal. How many people did this? Who knows.”

There was another bug, you could request a withdrawal to your address – from another user-id, from another user-account. That would cause the other users balance to have “missing funds” or “negative balance”. Bitgrail bomber solved this bug by manually entering the “correct” numbers in his database. This is what you get for using a PHP website coded by same skill-level as CfB of IDIOTA.

Even the Best Cryptocurrencies Aren’t Immune to Poor Code

The cryptocurrency most commonly associated with catastrophic bugs is ethereum. That’s not due to its underlying code, but on account of the smart contracts that can be built on top of the ethereum framework. First there was the DAO, which led to ethereum being forked right out the gate, and then there was the Parity bug that caused 150,000 ETH to be stolen, followed by the other Parity bug that caused $168 million of ETH to be locked up.

In the past couple of weeks, ethereum bugs have surfaced once more, albeit on a smaller scale. Proof of Weak Hands (PoWH) was a joke scamcoin which turned into an actual scamcoin after a bug led to the loss of 900 ether worth $1 million that had been sent to the contract address. The developer then disappeared after receiving death threats from investors aggrieved to discover that the joke Ponzi they were buying into was even less legitimate than it had seemed.

Bad Code Has Lost $500 Million of Cryptocurrency in Under a Year
After a smart contract bug led to the loss of 900 ETH, the PoWH website looked like this in the days afterwards

PoWH has since spawned a new scamcoin called ethpyramid which is for “strong hands only”. To the question “Is Ethpyramid secure?” the site responds “Yes. Our dev team put a lot of time into refining and testing this contract to make sure your tokens are safe. Internal functions of the contract are not accessible to the end user.” There’s also PoWH420, “the world’s dank autonomous and self-sustaining 420 pyramid scheme”.

Bad Code Has Lost $500 Million of Cryptocurrency in Under a Year
PoWH 420

Even if joke coins and their joke developers are taken out of the equation, it’s evident that cryptocurrencies are only as strong as their weakest link. While altcoins such as ethereum and nano have undoubted potential, like every other crypto they’re hostage to bugs lurking in wallets, smart contracts, and exchanges. One bad line of code is all it takes.

Do you think Bitgrail was brought down by a withdrawal bug or is there more to this story? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, and PoWH420. Katie Webster assisted with this article. 


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Dublin Cafe Sells Coffee for Cryptocurrency
Feb13

Dublin Cafe Sells Coffee for Cryptocurrency


· February 13, 2018 · 7:00 am

Customers in Dublin can now pay for their morning coffees or afternoon snacks in cryptocurrency at the newly-opened Crypto Cafe on Aungier Street.


Coffee, Cakes, and Crypto

Started by Nash Basel, the Crypto Cafe aims not only to be a place where customers can conveniently pay with cryptocurrency, but also a central hub for crypto enthusiasts looking to socialize and talk shop over coffee and cakes. The cafe features a screen displaying live cryptocurrency prices and plays host to local cryptocurrency gatherings.

Crypto Cafe

Currently, Basel’s cafe only accepts Litecoin and Ethereum payments — citing high transaction fees for the exclusion of Bitcoin payments. Customers can easily scan the Cafe’s QR code at the register and send their preferred cryptocurrency directly from their private wallets, though Basel admits that the vast majority of his customers, thus far, have opted to pay with cash.

Basel encourages  virtual currency users to hodl their coins and opt for cash payments when the market is down, explaining that it’s better to buy coffee with crypto when at a profit. He explained to The Irish Times:

When you’re winning [on cryptocurrency investments] you’re spending, as the coffee might be less than €1 at the time; but if you’re losing 50 per cent, the coffee might cost you €6.

Luck of the Irish

Basel first started investing in cryptocurrency roughly half a year ago and has largely funded the Crypto Cafe with profitable investments made in the volatile market. In fact, he savvily sold his investments just before the steep market correction began in January, telling The Irish Times, “I got a bit lucky.”

Litecoin

Basel is currently keeping his cryptocurrency coffee payments locked up in Litecoin or Ethereum, rather than converting them to fiat currencies, citing his belief that the market will almost certainly continue to rise. He also sees many cryptocurrencies becoming more and more widely accepted as time progresses, explaining:

It definitely will be a standard currency; it’s gotten too big already to ignore.

Basel also owns Jerusalem, a restaurant on Camden Street in Dublin. However, the restaurant does not take payments of virtual currencies.

The Crypto Cafe in Dublin follows in the footsteps of other cryptocurrency-focused cafes, including ones in Singapore and Prague.

Would you like to see more cafes and shops start to accept cryptocurrency as viable payments? Would you prefer to pay in Bitcoin, Litecoin, or Ethereum? Let us know in the comments below!


Images courtesy of Pixabay and Bitcoinist archives.

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The Diversified Blockchain Investment of 2018
Feb13

The Diversified Blockchain Investment of 2018


Cryptocurrencies exploded in 2017, minting billionaires and transforming entire industries, and now the standard investor can get involved.

Cryptocurrencies are minting new millionaires faster than any other asset class in history. Blockchain, the backbone of cryptocurrency and expected to become the biggest market disrupter we have ever seen, is creating incredible wealth for some investors and generating massive returns.

A $1,000 investment in Bitcoin in 2010 would have earned you $35 million by mid-2017, although that would have dropped back a bit since then. FOMO (fear of missing out) is an epidemic at this point, but most investors don’t understand crypto… or the blockchain… or even how to invest in these new assets.

But those who missed the first crypto run up are dying to get in on the most exciting market sector of our time can now do it in their portfolio.

How? Global Blockchain Technologies Corp. (CSE: BLOC; OTC: BLKCF) is a publicly traded blockchain “hedge fund” and “incubator” that you can purchase with a few clicks in your online brokerage account.

It doesn’t get any easier than this, but it does get better:

The company, Global Blockchain Technologies Corp., is the brainchild of the same man who co-created the $100 BILLION dollar Ethereum project, Steven Nerayoff. Not only are they investing in crypto projects (as one expects a private equity fund to), but they are also incubating blockchain companies.

Again…

You don’t need to know anything about Bitcoin… blockchain… or have your own crypto investing system… Because you can add Global Blockchain to your portfolio with just a few clicks, and let the only publicly traded crypto investment team do the work for you.

This is a stock not many people know… but will soon.  Here’s why…

5 Reasons to keep a close eye on Global Blockchain Technologies right now:

#1 How Blockchain Works (for YOU)

Tech heads can explain how the blockchain works until they’re blue in the face, but for many would-be investors, it still seems complicated. Knowing that helps, but this fact helps even more: You don’t need to be a blockchain expert to reap the rewards.

Global Blockchain has put together a core team that aims to be “incubating” 12 or more new digital currencies every year. This means that Global Blockchain will be providing the funding for these new currencies in return for an equity stake and a significant percentage of the founders’ tokens. And it isn’t just any team: There is some serious blockchain power at work here.

Again, this is all headed up by the Nerayoff, the co-creator of Ethereum.

If you’ve been living under a rock, it’s time to crawl out: Ethereum has gained over 357,000 percent since its launch, with Nerayoff as its advisor. He was also a senior advisor to the Lisk Cryptocurrency project which now has a market cap of over 2 billion dollars. And he’s not alone:

  • Global Blockchain’s Rick Willard is the co-founder of the Silicon Valley Blockchain Society and an advisor to Luxembourg on blockchain initiative.
  • Kyle Kemper is the executive director of the Blockchain Association of Canada.
  • Jeff Pulver has consulted and invested in 350 startups.
  • Michael Terpin is the managing partner of the first blockchain incubator in the world and founded Marketwire, which sold to Nasdaq in 2006 for $200 million.

Bottom line? Let the experts do everything for you.

You don’t have to conquer the blockchain, figure out how to “mine” any coins by solving math problems with a computer “rig” or even try to wade through the risky sea of 1,400 cryptocurrencies or questionable ICOs. But you will get exposure to what could turn out to be the top tokens…

#2 Average Gains of Top Tokens Will Blow Your Mind

Large-cap cryptocurrencies, or tokens, like Bitcoin, Ethereum and Ripple will continue to lead the crypto space for now. And the path to leadership has been unbelievably rewarding.

Bitcoin gained over 1,300 percent last year; Ripple gained a whopping 36,000 percent, and Ethereum gained over 9,000 percent. That means that if you had made a $1000 investment at the beginning of last year in Ripple (which is only around $1 per coin compared to Bitcoin’s $10,000+), your investment would have increased half a million by year’s end.

#3 Diverse Investment Flanks Crypto on All Sides

 But it’s not just about getting exposure to the potentially top tokens…

Global Blockchain’s strategy goes beyond that.  In fact, it’s key attraction is exposure to even bigger potential gains. Not only does it give you exposure only to the top trading tokens, but also early-in, exclusive access to the tokens that are expected to trade in the future. It invests in large-cap, small-cap and pre-ICO/ICO tokens all at the same time.

 The returns on investment for small-cap tokens have been extraordinary, and this is just a snapshot of some of the top 25:

 (Source: Cryptocurrencychart.com)

And beyond this, there is huge potential for future growth. So far this year, some small-caps have been outpacing large-cap gains:

(Source: Coindesk.com) (NOTE: “Price Today” in chart above refers to an article from Coindesk.com dated January 4, 2018, after market close).

These are the precisely the types of tokens Global Blockchain is targeting. Bitcoin is the ‘gateway drug’ to other cryptocurrencies, and to Bitcoin-sized returns for early-in investors. But Global Blockchain’s team have special insight because of their connections in the industry.

Exposure gets even juicier through Global Blockchain with access to pre-ICO and ICO tokens. ICOs (initial coin offerings—the crypto world’s answer to the initial public offering, or IPO) exist in a murky world that is difficult to navigate without the expertise of people like Nerayoff and his core team.

ICOs are sort of the “wild west” of the cryptocurrency world and are best left to the connected experts in the crypto space… and Global Blockchain knows the difference. After all, they are ICO masters with Ethereum and others to back them up.

#4 Way Beyond Coin: A Major Blockchain Upside

Even tokens and ICOs doesn’t represent the entire game here: Global Blockchain is also building a portfolio of startups focused on blockchain-based services. That means acquiring … and tokenizing software that could further benefit blockchain.

 

kodak one, global blockchain

One of the first projects they invested in that gained international exposure was Kodak One, a blockchain solution for this age-old company that needed serious resuscitation. The result? The stock price of Kodak jumped an astounding 321 percent.

And then there’s their partnership with Overstock.com (NASDAQ: OSTK) and its tZero subsidiary.

Blockchain—and its rewards—are only limited by the imagination.

Every industry in the world is about to be upended by blockchain, and the gaming industry is just one of them: Exciting things are afoot as Global Blockchain plans to tokenize gaming platforms too. And with a game like Second Life having a virtual economy of $500 million, there is plenty of opportunity for an ‘incubator’ looking to bring the best blockchain startups to the market.

We have seen big announcements from Global Blockchain over the past weeks.

#5 Expect Announcements from Global Blockchain

Headed up by Ethereum’s co-creator, Global Blockchain is aiming to become a multi-billion dollar crypto hedge fund and incubator… And you can’t get this kind of market exposure anywhere else.

So, judging by the past few weeks of announcements, not only can you expect a series of announcements on portfolio purchases, ICO investments, and blockchain acquisitions…

But you can also expect series of announcements on exclusive token deals you can’t get access to through any other instrument.

A couple clicks with your online broker, and you’ve got a piece of the crypto universe hand selected by some of the brightest and most connected minds in crypto.

The potential in this current US$64 million market cap company is truly unparalleled for diversity in this industry. The time to pay attention is now because over the coming weeks, with each new announcement, this company could become an industry darling.

In short: Global Blockchain should be on the radar of anyone who wants intelligent exposure to the crypto space.

Honorable Mentions:

Veeva (NYSE: VEEV) Veeva is one of the most prominent cloud services providers out there, focusing specifically on the pharmaceutical sector. The company’s cloud platform for the world’s pharma companies is more popular than ever before.

After rallying to an all-time high last July, its share price has fallen a bit since. While its bigger brother ‘Salesforce’ has a stronger cash flow, Veeva has seen some healthy profits lately. Analysts now argue that the company might be ‘expensive’, but worth it. With an expected growth rate of 24% this year, it looks like investors will be rewarded for their patience.

Sony Corp (ADR) (NYSE: SNE) is a tech heavyweight. From TVs to video games, Sony covers anything and everything media-related. The company’s infamous Walkman was in the hands of every young person throughout the 1980s and 1990s. But Sony’s biggest hit was arguably the PlayStation gaming console.

With over 100-million units sold, the original console sparked a new wave of gaming. The incredible success continued with the PlayStation 2, 3, and the current series, the PlayStation 4. Sony’s PlayStation 4 is now a multi-platform entertainment device, with the ability to stream movies and music, play Blu-ray and DVDs, purchase and play video games, and even browse the web.

Sony’s partnerships and innovative technology make it an appealing investment for those looking for a company with longevity. Sony isn’t going anywhere and is sure to continue its entertainment dominance for years to come.

Raytheon Company (NYSE: RTN) is an emerging tech company specializing in defense and other government markets. Raytheon’s major selling point is its strong command of cybersecurity. While its specialty is in government-centric markets, Raytheon also develops products, services, and solutions in various other markets.

Raytheon reach is far reaching and its potential market share is huge. Smart investors are looking toward cybersecurity firms early. With the recent high-profile attacks, and likely more to come, cybersecurity companies will be the saving grace of the tech boom.

SecureWorks Corp (NASDAQ: SCWX) SecureWorks Corp is a company specializing in intelligence-driven information security solutions. Clients are protected from cyber-attacks including hacking, ransomware, and the like. The company’s solutions enable its clients to strengthen their defenses in order to prevent security breaches and detect malicious activity in real time. SecureWorks Corp is definitely a great pick for those looking to invest in cybersecurity.

Pure Storage Inc (NYSE: PSTG) Data platforms are also a key asset in protecting companies against cyber-attacks. Pure Storage, Inc is a data platform focused on delivering fast, optimized and cloud-capable solutions for its customers while keeping data security as a top priority. This is another company about which investors can be optimistic.

The Descartes Systems Group Inc. (TSX: DSG): Descartes is a Canadian technology company specializing in supply chain management software, logistics software, and cloud-based services for logistics businesses.

The company is becoming a giant in the tech industry with its visionary leadership and futuristic projects.

Its market cap of over 2.5 billion is evidence of just how big a player this giant is in the space, and should give investors confidence in its ability to take advantage of the coming developments in the technology market.

Kuuhubb Inc. (TSX: KUU.V): While its headquarter is in Helsinki, Finland, Kuuhubb operates in the U.S. and Asian market. This international company is active in the acquisition and development of lifestyle and video game applications. It looks for undervalued but proven applications and extracts long-term growth for its shareholders.

In the market of technological incubators, this is one of the companies to watch, using expertise to spot value in a market that has seen considerable growth in recent times. The recent drop in its stock price points to the possibility of it being oversold, a promising sign for potential investors.

Mogo Finance Technology Inc. (TSX: GO): The FinTech sector is one of the hottest sectors for investors right now, but finding the right company can be tough. Moho may well be one of those company, taking a new approach to unsecured credit. It provides loan management and the ability to track spending, stress-free mortgages and even credit score tracking. The online movement to assist users with finances is one of the fastest growing out there, and Mogo is one of the best in the space.

Its software analyzes clients financial habits instantly, reducing the notoriously arduous process of underwriting loans. The overhead for this company, as with many new FinTech companies in the space, is remarkably low, meaning more upside for investors and more liquidity for dealing with other issues.

Labelled as the Uber of finance, this stock may not have the most attractive story in the market, but there are undoubtedly profits to be made here.

EXFO Inc (TSX:EXFO): The long-term growth potential for this tech company is hard to argue with. It has come a long what since its inception in 1985, when it was producing testing products for optical networks. It has acquired and built products including 3G, LTE, IMS, and others.

Its new baseband unit offers operators a faster revenue stream and reduces cost, two advantages that can prove priceless in this competitive environment.

The telecom industry is undoubtedly a space to watch, and with product production and acquisition EXFO looks like a steady bet. With a steady growth over the last six months and a market cap of $239 million.

Power Financial Corp (TSX:PWF): Power Financial Corp is not new to the industry, having been founded in 1984 and creating a market cap of over $23 billion. This giant has the added bonus of providing investors with a nice dividend to hold the stock, giving shareholders financial upside while the company moves to take advantage of the latest opportunities in the space.

Power Financial Corp operates three segments: Pargesa Holding SA, Lifeco, and IGM. It is these holdings, which span the United States and Europe, that this giant grew its dominance in the financial services sector.

Forward-Looking Information

This news release contains "forward-looking information" within the meaning of applicable securities laws. Generally, any statements that are not historical facts may contain forward-looking information, and forward-looking information can be identified by the use of forward-looking terminology such as "plans", "expects" "intends" or variations of such words or indicates that certain actions, events or results "may", "could", "would", "might" or "will be" taken, "occur" or "be achieved". Forward-looking information includes, but is not limited to the rate of cryptocurrency and blockchain technology adoption and the resultant effect on the growth of the global cryptocurrency and tokens market capitalization; Global Blockchain Technologies Corp.’s (“BLOC”) anticipated ability to reduce risk for investors and give investors exposure to a broad cross-section of the blockchain ecosystem; BLOC’s projected asset allocations, business strategy and investment criteria, including the anticipated contributions of BLOC’s incubator program; the expected strengths and contributions of BLOC’s management and advisors; and the rate of cryptocurrency adoption and the resultant effect on the growth of the global cryptocurrency market capitalization. Readers should be aware that BLOC has no assets except cash from a recently completed financing and its business plan is purely conceptual in nature: there is no assurance that it will be implemented as set out herein, or at all. Forward-looking information is based on certain factors and assumptions about BLOC believed to be reasonable at the time such statements are made, including but not limited to: statements and expectations regarding the adoption and growth of the global cryptocurrency and tokens market capitalization; BLOC’s ability to reduce risk for investors and give investors exposure to a broad cross- section of the blockchain ecosystem; BlOC’s ability to acquire a basket of cryptocurrency assets and pre-ICO and ICO financings on favorable terms or at all, successfully create or incubate its own tokens and ICO's, and execute on future investment and M&A opportunities in the cryptocurrency space; BLOC’s ability to capitalize on the skills and expertise of its management and advisors; and such other assumptions and factors as set out herein. These forward-looking statements are subject to known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause the actual results, level of activity, performance or achievements of BLOC to be materially different from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking information, including but not limited to: risks related to changes in cryptocurrency prices; the estimation of personnel and operating costs; that BLOC will receive required regulatory approvals; the availability of necessary financing; permitting of businesses that BLOC intends to invest in; general global markets and economic conditions; uninsurable risks; risks associated with currency fluctuations; risks associated with competition faced in securing experienced personnel with appropriate industry experience and expertise; risks associated with changes in the financial auditing and corporate governance standards applicable to cryptocurrencies and ICO's; risks related to potential conflicts of interest; the reliance on key personnel; financing, capitalization and liquidity risks including the risk that the financings necessary to fund continued development of BLOC's business plan may not be available on satisfactory terms, or at all; the risk of dilution through the issuance of additional common shares of BLOC; the risk of litigation; the risk that BLOC’s management and advisors may not contribute as much as expected to the company’s success; the risk and the risk that cyber crime may severely damage the value of any or all of BLOC’s investments. There may be many other factors that cause results not to be as anticipated, estimated or intended. Accordingly, readers should not place undue reliance on forward-looking information. We undertake no obligation to update forward-looking statements if these beliefs, estimates and opinions or other circumstances should change, except as required by law. Investors are cautioned against attributing undue certainty to forward-looking statements.

BLOC has no assets except cash from a recently closed financing and this article is based on the business plan of BLOC which at this point is purely conceptual in nature. There is no assurance that the business plan will be implemented as set out herein, or at all.

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article do not represent the views of NewsBTC or any of its team members. NewsBTC is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied in Sponsored Stories/Press Releases such as this one.



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United Bitcoin May Be the Most Controversial Fork to Date
Feb13

United Bitcoin May Be the Most Controversial Fork to Date


United Bitcoin Maybe the Most Controversial Fork to Date



News

Back on December 12 the well-known developer Jeff Garzik launched a Bitcoin Core (BTC) based fork called United Bitcoin (UBTC) after Segwit2x failed. At block height 498,777 the snapshot took place, and the UBTC network began just like the rest of the forks in existence, but claiming the tokens is far more complicated than one would think.

Also read: The 65 Percent Price Dip Has Made ‘Bitcoin Whales’ A lot More BTC

The Promises of United Bitcoin

United Bitcoin Maybe the Most Controversial Fork to DateA few months ago we reported on the UBTC project created by Jeff Garzik, his partner at the blockchain company, Bloq, chairman Matthew Roszak, and Bitbank Group’s Songxiu Hua. The team says it plans to create a credit currency system pegged against various fiat currencies alongside a native smart contract feature. The entire network is modeled after the bitcoin core blockchain prior to December 12, and all active wallet holders are able to receive UBTC at a 1:1 rate. The catch is inactive wallets will go towards the UB Foundation to support innovative blockchain development.

Over the past few weeks, the UBTC team have made some videos detailing their project’s goals to be serious cryptocurrency contender. One particular documentary shows Garzik describing why he thinks UBTC can be a digital asset that engages and unites with the entire cryptocurrency ecosystem. “If I could start with a clean slate what technologies would I include?” Garzik asks an audience during the video. Matthew Roszak says that United Bitcoin will encompass three really important pieces technology, community, and tokenomics by relying on cross-industry innovation.

United Bitcoin: Jeff Garzik's Fork Represents a 'Clean Slate'

One Out of Only Two Miners Controls 70% of the Network’s Hashrate

United Bitcoin: Jeff Garzik's Fork Represents a 'Clean Slate'So far the network has minimal infrastructure and community support. At the time of publication, there are only two miners who are processing UBTC blocks; an unknown entity and the mining pool BW.com. The mining pool BW.com has more than 70 percent of the network’s hashrate. The network’s total hashrate is only 50,811.47 TH/s and block intervals can range from an hour and a half, to occasional sporadic 20-40 minute blocks. The network has an extremely low amount of users as there are only 20 pending transactions right now. Blocks are averaging roughly 20-100 transactions, and most block sizes are well below 1MB even though UBTC has the capacity for 8MB blocks.

UBTC has its own full node wallet client for Linux, Windows, and Macintosh operating systems and the source code is available for review. According to the distribution repository, there will also be a lightweight client release soon. There are three other wallets that support the UBTC protocol. As far as exchanges most of them are based in Asia, and a great majority of them are unknown and exchange very little trade volume besides the exchange Okex. At the moment, according to Coinmarketcap statistics, one UBTC is worth $82 USD.

Required Identity Verification and Claiming Inactive Addresses: United Bitcoin Is the Most Controversial Fork to Date

The most controversial part of the project is the opt-in airdrop feature which basically means a bitcoin holder must give up some form of identification to obtain UBTC. In order to even get started with UBTC, a user must supply a valid email address and a mobile phone number. After this process, the registrant has to have a valid bitcoin address as well to receive the 1:1 distribution. Another contentious issue with UBTC is the Foundation’s claiming of “unused addresses” which means after a period of time inactive addresses will be used for future development. At the moment the team has added a “grace period” which has extended the timeframe so bitcoin holders can claim their UBTC.

Because of the ‘KYC-like’ requirements and the fact that the development team will claim Satoshi Nakamoto’s and the inactive addresses of many whales, makes UBTC one of the most vexed bitcoin forks to date. These two tendentious issues plus the fact that the network has very little infrastructure may have a hard time gaining the crypto-community it hopes to progress.

What do you think about the UBTC project? Would you claim these airdrop tokens knowing you have to tie your identity to the platform? What do you think about the development team claiming inactive addresses? Let us know what you think about this project in the comments below.


Images via Pixabay, United Bitcoin archives, and website.


Do you agree with us that Bitcoin is the best invention since sliced bread? Thought so. That’s why we are building this online universe revolving around anything and everything Bitcoin. We have a forum. And a casino, a mining pool, and real-time price statistics.



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Goodbye Bitcoin Cash? Microsoft: On-Chain Scaling ‘Degrades Decentralization’
Feb13

Goodbye Bitcoin Cash? Microsoft: On-Chain Scaling ‘Degrades Decentralization’


· February 13, 2018 · 1:15 am

Microsoft has concluded that so-called ‘layer 2’ solutions are necessary for Bitcoin to scale and is “collaborating” on the technology.


Microsoft: On-Chain Fails To Meet Capacity Needs

In a blog post on Monday, Director of Program Management at Microsoft’s Identity Division Alex Simons said that layer 2 scaling solutions, which principally involve the Lightning Network, are superior to on-chain scaling.

Simons writes:

While some blockchain communities have increased on-chain transaction capacity (e.g. blocksize increases), this approach generally degrades the decentralized state of the network and cannot reach the millions of transactions per second the system would generate at world-scale.

He later continues:

To overcome these technical barriers, we are collaborating on decentralized Layer 2 protocols that run atop these public blockchains to achieve global scale, while preserving the attributes of a world class DID (decentralized identity) system.

The post marks what is likely Microsoft’s most direct pledge yet on the future of public blockchains, including Bitcoin.

The computer giant’s description of on-chain scaling options as “degrading decentralization” in particular places it in opposition to Bitcoin hard forks offering bigger block sizes, specifically Bitcoin Cash.

The fork has long attracted criticism from some of Bitcoin’s earliest proponents, with computer scientist Nick Szabo calling the network “centralized sock puppetry” last year.

The resources it will now employ to further development of layer 2 remains unknown.

Lightning Network Passes Bitcoin Cash Node Count

Lightning Network Passes Bitcoin Cash Node Count

“We are humbled and excited to take on such a massive challenge, but also know it can’t be accomplished alone,” Simons continues.

“We are counting on the support and input of our alliance partners, members of the Decentralized Identity Foundation, and the diverse Microsoft ecosystem of designers, policy makers, business partners, hardware and software builders.”

The Lightning Network had already made considerable advances this year, debuting its first mainnet release and growing rapidly to incorporate almost 2000 nodes as of February 13 – more than the Bitcoin Cash network.

The highly-anticipated layer 2 technology would serve to make Bitcoin transactions cost fractions of a US dollar cent and complete almost instantaneously.

What do you think about Microsoft’s appraisal of layer 2 scaling solutions? Let us know in the comments below!


Images courtesy of Lightning Network Explorer, Pexels

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Coinbase Introduces a PayPal-like Merchant Solution for Cryptocurrencies


Making cryptocurrency payments more convenient to use is a difficult task. Consumers often struggle to find platforms or shops accepting this form of payment. Store owners are not too convinced whether or not such payments offer them any benefits. Coinbase has come up with a solution which may resolve some of the concerns. Their new merchant service is very similar to PayPal and provides a lot of convenience.

The new Coinbase Commerce platform is pretty appealing for merchants. They can seamlessly integrate cryptocurrency payments on their online platform. In many ways, it seems tor example a PayPal checkout option, but for establishing cryptocurrencies. Payment options accepted include Bitcoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, and Litecoin. These are all the major currencies supported by Coinbase at this time. Moreover, this new solution no longer requires buyers to have an account with the cryptocurrency company either.

Coinbase Commerce is an Intriguing Solution

Making the whole ordeal of dealing with cryptocurrency more convenient is a smart decision. Coinbase is seemingly intent on rivaling BitPay when it comes to processing cryptocurrency payments. More competition among payment processors can only be considered to be a good thing. Not only will it give retailers more options, but it also makes it more convenient for customers to make purchases. No longer needing a Coinbase account is definitely a step in the right direction.

For now, the new Commerce service is not open to new signups. This seems to indicate a version of the platform was either leaked or simply demoed to the public. Some merchants are apparently using this new service as we speak, which is rather interesting. It is possible this is all part of a private beta test, but the company remains rather quiet on that front. With its seamless integration, this Commerce option will certainly prove to be enticing to e-commerce players.

What is rather interesting is which coins as prioritized. Rather than using an alphabetical order, Coinbase Commerce lists Ethereum as the first option. It is a bit unclear why that is the case, but it may be subject to change. Even so, the checkout process for all four currencies appears to be identical and very convenient. Payments can be made by copying the wallet address or scanning a QR code. Whether or not this solution can compete with PayPal, is a different matter, though. Credit cards are still far more convenient and commonly used than cryptocurrencies.



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