EUROPEAN BITCOIN EXCHANGE 2GETHER HACKED FOR $1400000

EUROPEAN BITCOIN EXCHANGE 2GETHER HACKED FOR $1400000

Tuesday, 4 August, 2020 at 04:35 GMT

Chief executive officer Ramon Ferraz Estrada said over the course of several tweets on Monday that the breach of July 31 affected crypto investment accounts and exposed user private keys.

A separate announcement later expressed the exchange’s doubts over reimbursing the stolen funds, citing a lack of financial capacity. Instead, company officials offered customers the bourse’s native 2GT token as full compensation.

“In the two days following the attack, we’ve been working on finding the funds needed to cover all positions,” said 2gether in the statement.

“More specifically, and until a few minutes ago, we’ve been working with an investment group with which we sadly haven’t been able to reach an agreement,” it added.

On July 31, hackers allegedly spirited away €1.18 million ($1.4 million) from the trading platform’s cryptocurrency investment coffers – the equivalent of 27% of 2gether’s overall funds. No further detail has been revealed about how exactly the attack happened.

“We want to compensate the amount of stolen cryptocurrency (26.79% of your position before the attack) with a volume in 2GT equivalent to the issuance price of 5 cents,” the exchange pleaded.

“On top of that, we commit to keep looking, at top capacity and as soon as possible, for additional funds to make up for every single one of your cryptocurrencies,” it said. 2gether’s token allows for in-house exchange transactions only.

The exchange is planning an Ask-Me-Anything (AMA) session on Reddit to attend to customer queries while additional updates, perhaps particularly on the unclear reimbursement timeline, will be shared on social media.

This is the second European platform to lose money to cybercriminals in a matter of weeks following the theft of 336 BTC, or $3 million, at UK-based Cashaa early July.

Cashaa said that the hacker attacked one of its Blockchain.com wallets, which is used to store BTC and make transfers from the exchange. The attacker is believed to have implanted malware into one of the exchange’s computers....

ETHEREUM’S 5TH ANNIVERSARY

ETHEREUM’S 5TH ANNIVERSARY

Monday, 3 August, 2020 at 09:31 GMT

Last week, the Ethereum blockchain platform celebrated its fifth anniversary. Ethereum has seen incredible adoption and is an integral part of the crypto space. The plarform is now taking its first steps towards leaving behind the Proof-of-Work (PoW) blockchain network it currently functions on to launch a Proof-of-Stake (PoS) test with Ethereum 2.0.

What does the milestone mean for the blockchain industry? Why has Ethereum become one of the most successful platforms in the world? How has Ethereum impacted cross-sectoral enterprises, and what might the next five years hold in store? The below set of expert comments hone in on enterprise adoption and data sharing, capital markets, digital assets, areas for improvement, and why Ethereum is a developer’s paradise.

Adam Traidman, CEO of BRD – the most secure cryptocurrency wallet, and maker of Blockset, an enterprise-grade blockchain data integration platform said:

“Ethereum is one of those game-changing projects. I can tell you firsthand that Ethereum is the most requested chain, right up there with Bitcoin, that companies ask Blockset to support, likely due to its capabilities of building private chains. The mission and capabilities extend well-beyond financial services. Being a Turing complete blockchain shows the full potential of DLT and digital computing; it’s about more than just digital currency.

Any success we see on Ethereum today is just the beginning. I see the future having large companies moving some of their business off of expensive, proprietary databases to Ethereum’s public ledger and/or creative flavors that private chains can introduce. Data sharing between companies, the transparency of data, and the automation of functions and agreements is a real, desired use-case, and major reason for the success we see today in Ethereum.”

Eran Haggiag, Co-Founder and Executive Chairman at Clear, said:

“Over the past five years we have seen Ethereum move from a playground for crypto and ICOs towards a more mature financial infrastructure through DeFi. Now, we are seeing enterprise Proof-of-Concepts maturing into production networks. Looking to the future, in the next five years, I believe DLT will become a pivotal infrastructure facilitating cross-company financial applications, identity management, and traceability – something most companies won’t be able to operate without.

Due to the conservative nature of many enterprises, most of these networks are now permissioned, choosing DLT technology based on different parameters, resulting in multiple DLTs for different networks. By enabling a DLT-agnostic infrastructure, cross-network connections can be rapidly created and application providers can write an application once, and easily deploy it anywhere. Enabling seamless migration between DLTs, infrastructure that is DLT-agnostic will create the path to future move into public networks like Ethereum or integration with them for payment and other DeFi applications.”

Nick Cowan, CEO of the Global Stock Exchange (GSX) Group, a capital markets ecosystem geared towards enhancing the interoperability of traditional financial structures through its integrated proprietary blockchain technology solutions said:

“One of the core reasons behind Ethereum’s success is its innate malleability. Much like how the rise of Web 2.0 powered a groundswell of momentum from a technological standpoint, Ethereum’s emergence was the battering ram for the ascent of blockchain more broadly. Bitcoin ignited a transformative spark as a breakthrough solution to the transference of value. Ethereum has added fuel to the flames of blockchain innovation.

Blockchain’s use-cases extend into almost every industry and sector, with many of those innovations leaning on Ethereum as a foundational layer. Many have taken inspiration from Ethereum, which has contributed significantly to the growing traction of blockchain, as a mass adopted tech solution. From our own experience in the capital markets, blockchain will power a major step forward in the evolution of the Financial Markets Infrastructure (FMI), removing barriers to entry and improving the lifecycle of trading for securities. Even if adaptations of Ethereum, or better solutions present themselves, I feel Etherum will continue to have a prominent seat at the table given its stellar track record to date.”

Dan Gunsberg, CEO of HXRO, the platform bridging the gap between the crypto markets and the gambling space, said:

“Since its launch, Ethereum has been the most prominent and foundational building block of most decentralized applications in the digital asset space. Its success has been predicated on the ease at which both hybrid and fully decentralized autonomous systems, applications, and organizations can operate utilizing its framework. The real beauty of Ethereum is that it is the ultimate laboratory for innovation across an almost infinite spectrum of market segments.

Anyone with an idea has the ability to become an entrepreneur, quickly put their idea into practice, then offer it to a global community that collectively decides whether or not the innovation has merit, provides value, or solves a problem. I think we are well past answering the question of whether or not Ethereum will play a significant role in a decentralized future. 

Its community of developers is making the most of its first mover advantage. We are at the point at which layer 3 technologies are just beginning to permeate the everyday lives of those who live outside of our current ecosystem.  This next 3-5 year push into building user-first, market infrastructure layers will be critical in cementing its place as the hegemon in what is a fast-accelerating decentralized world.”

Philippe Bekhaz, CEO of Stablehouse, a market leading payment and FX exchange platform serving stablecoin issuers, merchants, end users, and traders, said:

“Ethereum has been the main rails for some of the largest ICOs and most recently been rails to the largest stablecoins that have unleashed the DeFi wave (decentralized finance). Ethereum’s ecosystem is second to none and while fees are becoming a serious problem, ongoing efforts have been made to scale ethereum into a faster and cheaper network via PoS system.”

Ashish Singhal, CEO and Co-founder and CRUXPay and Coinswitch.co, two Indian crypto ventures propelling the accessibility of cryptocurrencies worldwide, said:

“Bitcoin, the predecessor of Ethereum, had just one primary function – payments. Ethereum, on the other hand, is capable of making payments and also hosts a ton of different use cases on top of its blockchain, namely dApps and DeFi, through smart contracts. Ethereum is a developer paradise. A key reason for Ethereum’s popularity and growth is because it in a way operates as a company with someone like Vitalik Buterin acting as a CEO of the Ethereum foundation. This brings in efficiency and direction in the ecosystem with Ethereum foundation able to release funds for projects it considers most vital for its growth.

A futuristic DLT ecosystem would ideally operate in a more decentralised manner (consensus algorithm) with better transaction speed and ability to accommodate other DLTs. Ethereum is actively working towards a more efficient consensus algorithm focusing on better speed and greater decentralisation. At this rate it does seem that Ethereum would comfortably lead the pack of futuristic DLTs.”...

THE IMPACT OF INFLATION ON CRYPTO ADOPTION

THE IMPACT OF INFLATION ON CRYPTO ADOPTION

Sunday, 2 August, 2020 at 05:36 GMT

By simple definition, inflation is an increase in the price level of a selected basket of goods and services produced in an economy. The inflation rate is a concept that measures the percentage change in the prices over a certain period of time. Inflation impacts the purchasing power of a nation’s currency, higher inflation means a decrease in purchasing power. Rising prices affect the cost of living, the cost of financing, and the cost of doing business in a particular country.

Some countries are battling with hyperinflation, Venezuela ranked number 1 with a skyrocketing inflation rate of 19,906% in 2019, according to the latest data released by Statista. Zimbabwe came at the second spot with an inflation rate of 255%. Argentina ranked third with a 53% inflation rate. A higher inflation rate had a negative impact on their respective currencies. The Venezuelan Bolivar depreciated more than 1000% in less than a year against the US dollar. Argentinian Peso depreciated around 50% in the last 1 year.

Hyperinflation and a weak national currency opens the door for digital innovation, and what’s better than the cryptocurrencies? For all those people who don’t know what crypto is all about, it all started with a research paper in 2008 when Satoshi Nakamoto published a paper with the title “Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System”. Nakamoto developed Bitcoin as a peer-to-peer version of electronic cash to allow payments to be sent from one party to another without the involvement of a third party.

Bitcoin, also known as the “Digital Gold” gained popularity with the time and many cryptocurrencies emerged after Bitcoin with specific purpose and usability. Ethereum, Tether, XRP, and Bitcoin Cash to name a few. As of writing, the overall market cap of cryptocurrencies stands at around $310 billion. One Bitcoin is now worth more than $10,000 as the market cap of Bitcoin alone is around $200 billion.

So, the question here is that what’s the relation between inflation and cryptocurrencies? Well, inflation is helping crypto adoption significantly. (John Boyd, Ross Levine & Bruce Smith 2001) published a research paper in 2001 with the title of “The Impact of Inflation on the Financial Sector” and discovered that the inflation rate of above 15% caused a significant drop in financial sector performance and pushed investors to find other investment alternatives.

Back then, there were only two options for those investors, Gold and the US Dollar (also known as safe-haven assets), but now the popularity of Bitcoin and other crypto assets is causing a rapid adoption of cryptocurrencies in the countries suffering from high inflation rate.

Venezuela


Venezuela’s national currency, the Venezuelan Bolivar depreciated by more than 1000% against the US Dollar in less than a year. The inflation rate in the country is skyrocketing and that helped non-traditional investment tools to take center stage. Crypto adoption in Venezuela is booming, according to the latest report, there are more than 20,000 businesses in Venezuela accepting crypto as a mode of payment including a Burger King branch in the capital city of Caracas.

Hyperinflation makes it difficult for local shops and merchants to store Venezuelan Bolivar, thus making cryptocurrencies a much more stable medium of exchange. Data from LocalBitcoins, a peer-to-peer bitcoin marketplace shows that the trading volume of Bitcoin in Venezuela touched an all-time high in July 2020.

Argentina


Argentina suffered from a high inflation rate of 53%, weak economic policies, political turmoil, and debt default accelerated the currency depreciation. Argentinian Peso, the national currency of the South American nation lost more than 50% of its value in 1 year. Weak Peso helping crypto adoption in the country.

Bueno Aires, the capital of Argentina and the most visited city in South America is not just another tourist hotspot, it’s gradually becoming the Bitcoin hotspot as more than 100 merchants in Bueno Aires now accept Bitcoin. There are 11 Bitcoin ATMs in the city. Bitcoin trading volume in Argentina reached a record high this month.

Inflation played a major role in crypto adoption, most of the countries suffering from rapid inflation reported higher trading volumes in Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. Depreciation of national currency encouraged investors and even small businesses to store value in crypto assets in order to hedge against the devaluation of local currency. The growing popularity of crypto assets during these difficult times shows a roadmap to even greater adoption in the future....

HOW BLOCKCHAIN IS CHANGING THE JOB MARKET

HOW BLOCKCHAIN IS CHANGING THE JOB MARKET

Friday, 31 July, 2020 at 05:37 GMT

Blockchain technologies have enabled job creation across many industries. Even more interesting, however, is the scalability of jobs enabled by blockchain technology, specifically within the gig economy.

Blockchain industry growth and potential


Today blockchain and cryptocurrency are synonymous to most people. Throw the term “Bitcoin” into the mix and many people probably can’t properly define all three terms or properly differentiate between them. As a result, the general public sees the volatile Bitcoin and cryptocurrency price fluctuations and thinks the whole blockchain industry is unstable or otherwise “risky.”

Yet while cryptocurrency prices fluctuate, the investment and development activity in the blockchain industry is continually increasing. This blockchain investment and development does not just impact a few industries. Blockchain technologies are being used in consumer products, the financial sector, healthcare and pharma, IoT, supply chain, manufacturing, gaming, and even governments.

With so many applications for so many different industries, the upside potential of the blockchain industry is huge.

Blockchain impact on the job market


One often-overlooked benefit of the massive investment in blockchain technologies is the impact on the job market. Payroll is the largest single cost of most businesses, accounting for up to 70% of total business costs. As worldwide spending on blockchain reaches $11.7 billion in 2022, the number of jobs created in the blockchain industry will reach an all-time high.

The impact of the blockchain industry is already clearly visible, creating jobs in hardware and software development, auditing, security, economics, marketing, consulting, asset management, funds, and many more.

Many of these job functions already exist in other industries but the blockchain industry has very specific needs and attributes, and these job functions needed to be adapted to fit this new “wild west” blockchain world.

While some existing companies have adapted and added blockchain to their service offerings, this adaptation has led to thousands of new companies that focus specifically on blockchain.

New jobs enabled by blockchain technologies


Even more interesting than jobs created in the blockchain industry are the new jobs enabled by blockchain technologies. Numerous jobs and ways to make money exist now that are only possible because of blockchain technologies, and that number will only continue to increase as the technologies further develop.

The most interesting and game-changing possibilities in job creation are the possibilities for the gig economy. Technology has already turned the gig economy into a common term. And now blockchain technologies enable the creation of potentially limitless micro jobs in the gig economy thanks to the ability to facilitate micropayments, cross-border transactions, and decentralized systems.

These jobs can range from the quick and simple: product testing, surveys, watching videos, even walking, to the creative or complex: mining, content creation, and development. Below are some of the current companies creating jobs in the gig economy....

HERE’S WHAT BITCOIN’S RISING CORRELATION WITH GOLD MEANS

HERE’S WHAT BITCOIN’S RISING CORRELATION WITH GOLD MEANS

Thursday, 30 July, 2020 at 05:14 GMT

The Bitcoin market has finally broken out of its consolidation phase and surged past its important resistance at $10k. As the world’s largest crypto hovers just over $11k, it was also moving close to the precious monetary metal – gold.


Gold’s qualities have often been compared to that of Bitcoin, and the digital asset has been termed as digital gold for mirroring certain qualities. One of these qualities was of being a safe haven asset, which would not waver due to global economic activities. Recently, gold reached an all-time high over the past week, while Bitcoin’s safe-haven narrative was being questioned upon its month-long consolidation. This surge in BTC’s market reinforced its safe-haven narrative.

While the market has been noting nominal interest rates for the foreseeable future and inflation expectations still moderate, but with the potential to rise, holding non-yield producing assets such as gold and Bitcoin is increasingly attractive, noted a recent report from CoinMetrics. There has been a growing trend of people using Bitcoin as a call option on inflation, but the coronavirus and its monetary and fiscal response have increased the uncertainty in the future path of monetary policy, inflation, and growth, all of which are supportive to Bitcoin’s prices. At present, the correlation between gold and Bitcoin approaches its all-time high, a level that was last seen in March.

According to the chart, the correlation between the two assets has normally oscillated around zero while reaching brief moments of high positive and negative correlation. Currently, the correlation was at a high positive and it can be sustained, it might act as an indication in a shift in Bitcoin’s response to geopolitical and macroeconomic developments.
As the largest crypto marches higher each day and its balances on exchanges fall, the following weeks will be crucial to assess the direction of the price trend for Bitcoin....



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