BitMEX Donates $400,000 to Cyber Security Organisation

BitMEX invests in cyber security News

BitMEX Donates $400,000 to Cyber Security Organisation


BitMEX parent company HDR Global Trading Limited has become a partner of nonprofit Shadowserver Foundation. HDR will sponsor the nonprofit by offering $400,000 over the next four years.


BitMEX Operator Becomes Member of Shadowserver Industry Alliance

Shadowserver Foundation is an organization that collects and analyzes data on malicious activity on the Internet. HDR has become a member of the nonprofit’s industry alliance aimed at improving the Internet security.

Shadowserver was established in 2004 and has been supported exclusively by charitable donations and sponsorships. The organization brands itself as one of the leading Internet security reporting resources. It conducts investigations on malicious activity and offers free public services for the Internet community, supporting Internet service providers (ISPs) to identify and remove malware infections.

The reports and services provided by Shadowserver are used by 107 national computer emergency response teams (CERTs) in 136 countries, over 4,600 vetted network owners, and over 90% of the Internet (by IPv4 space and ASN).

BitMEX co-founder and CTO Samuel Reed commented:

Shadowserver is an extremely highly regarded player in the botnet defence community. They work tirelessly and make a tangible difference to ensure the Internet is more secure for all users. Cross-industry collaboration is going to be essential to the future security of the Internet at large, and not least the cryptocurrency industry. We’re keen to play our part championing security over the long term by supporting such a brilliant organisation.

HDR’s Help Comes at the Right Time

BitMEX’s parent decided to sponsor Shadowserver when it needed it the most. At the end of February, the nonprofit’s largest US sponsor, Cisco Systems, told the organization that it could no longer support it. As a result, the Internet security organization has called for help. Besides, it is planning to establish the Shadowserver Industry Alliance, which will be announced soon. HDR is already a member, but the alliance will include other founding anchor members too.

The foundation released several posts on its official website, calling for financial support. On the article reads:

The Shadowserver Foundation urgently needs your financial support, to help quickly move our data center to a new location and continue being able to operate our public benefit services.

BitMex sponsors Shadowserver

While it is not clear whether HDR’s funds will be used for transferring the data center, BitMex parent’s funds will contribute to Shadowserver survival.

What do you think about BitMex parent’s move? Share your thoughts in the comments section!


Images via Shutterstock, Shadowserver.org

Bitcoin Investment Vastly Higher Than Assumed, New Data Suggests

Bitcoin Crash Could've Been Predicted 3 Days Early, Here's How Bitcoin Price

Bitcoin Investment Vastly Higher Than Assumed, New Data Suggests


The debate over Bitcoin’s market strength continues, yet one analyst has released data indicating that investment in the flagship cryptocurrency has been considerably more substantial than previously thought. If true, it indicates that Bitcoin’s price could soon rise dramatically.


MILLIONS ADDED TO THE BITCOIN MARKET EACH DAY

PlanB has made several observations recently, most notably regarding the remarkable correlation between Bitcoin’s stock-to-flow ratio and its price. Most recently he explains that for Bitcoin to have maintained a value of USD $7k since October 2017, $400 million per month has been invested.

He has tweeted:

To clarify his statement, miners add 1,800 new Bitcoins to the total supply every day, most of which are sold. If each Bitcoin is worth $7k, then just over $400 million per month of new investment has flowed into the market since October, 2017 just to keep the price from plummeting.

With this fact in mind, after the block halving takes place an additional $200 million will be added every day to Bitcoin’s market value should investor interest remain unchanged. Notable, however, is the fact that a rapid increase in price would likely draw in new investors as well, causing the price to spike even higher.

Such a large amount of new fiat moving into Bitcoin should have been more apparent. However, a number of factors could explain how it has gone unnoticed. For example, nobody knows the number of Bitcoins permanently frozen due to issues such as lost keys or wallet passwords. Also, the large amount of notoriously inaccurate exchange data could easily obfuscate Bitcoin’s true market cap.

ENTIRE BLOCKCHAIN SPACE COULD SOON CHANGE

A key takeaway from this observation is the fact that the impact of the reward halving will not be trivial. Removing 900 BTC per day from production will reshape the market dynamics that have governed Bitcoin’s value for the past four years.

Likewise, the last major bull run saw massive gains in the altcoin market. Platforms such as Ethereum and Ripple became much more valuable, and emerged as legitimate challengers to Bitcoin’s hegemony. Much has changed over the last three years, and the next big wave of investment could radically alter the role these cryptocurrencies play in the overall space.

There has recently been some concern over the lack of institutional investment in the crypto space. Nevertheless, given how much individual interest clearly exists, there is no question that the retail market remains strong.

Importantly, much more investment in the value of existing Bitcoins is all but certain to soon take place. Such a move could transform Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies from objects of speculation into tools for real-world use.

What do you make of PlanB’s latest findings? Add your thoughts below!


Images via Shutterstock, Twitter @100trillionUSD

Microsoft Warning – Hospitals Vulnerable to Bitcoin Ransomware

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Microsoft Warning – Hospitals Vulnerable to Bitcoin Ransomware


Microsoft has issued a chilling warning that many hospitals in the United States are at risk of bitcoin ransomware attacks right now amid the coronavirus pandemic.


Bitcoin Ransomware Attackers Target Hospitals

The giant software company said that “dozens” of hospitals are using vulnerable gateways and that this makes them easy targets for the REvil ransomware that is currently scanning the internet for these types of flaws. Last year, REvil ransomware distributors netted $287,000 in just 3 days from launching this kind of attack.

On Wednesday, Microsoft delivered warnings to the hospitals on its list that appear to be particularly at risk. On the company’s blog, its threat protection intelligence team wrote about healthcare organizations being particularly susceptible during the COVID-19 crisis. The article says that the company has identified several dozens of such hospitals and gives advice on how to act to avoid an attack.

This, the company stated was “a first-of-its-kind targeted notification” letting these establishments know about their vulnerabilities and the bad actors that are currently trawling the web. 

Microsoft Warn of Increasing Cyber Threats

We have already seen increased cyber threats during the COVID-19 crisis in the form of social engineering. Many unfortunate victims have downloaded apps claiming to provide information about the virus and instead steals their personal data.

However, Microsoft pointed to evidence that a more dangerous and sophisticated threat was lurking that could throw hospitals into chaos in their hour of need. A Microsoft spokesperson told SearchSecurity:

We’re seeing not just a rise in COVID-themed typical phishing/malware lure emails, but an uptick in the attempted compromise of legitimate services, such as healthcare and technology providers. Attackers are masquerading as these trusted entities using their services as a relay to get to users. We have seen attackers with many motivations utilize these human-operated ransomware style vulnerabilities, including to target hospitals.

However, with the right action at the right time, these types of attacks are preventable. Hospitals must ensure to patch their VPN vulnerabilities so as to not fall victim to both COVID-19 and REvil ransomware. A Microsoft spokesperson said:

We recommend to hospitals that they prioritize patching any open VPN and gateway vulnerabilities, as attackers are actively taking advantage of them as people work and access information remotely.

Are you surprised that bitcoin ransomware attackers are targeting hospitals during this global pandemic? Let us know in the comments below!


Images via Shutterstock

Nintendo Switch Game Pulled Over Cryptojacking Concerns

Nintendo Switch Game Pulled Over Cryptojacking Concerns News

Nintendo Switch Game Pulled Over Cryptojacking Concerns


Over the weekend rumors erupted that ‘Cooking Mama: Cookstar’ secretly ran cryptojacking malware while being played on the Nintendo Switch. Developers have denied the rumors, yet Nintendo has pulled the game from its eShop.


GAME TAKEN DOWN HOURS AFTER RELEASE

Concerns that ‘Cooking Mama’ secretly mines crypto began after a user posted the claim on Reddit. Others noted that playing the game causes the Switch to heat up and significantly drains the battery. The game had been removed from Nintendo’s online store only hours after release on March 26th. Mods on Reddit have since removed the post.

 The game’s developer, 1st Playable, has denied the rumors, stating:

 As the developers we can say with certainty there is no cryptocurrency or data collection or blockchain or anything else shady in the code. The Nintendo Switch is a very safe platform, with none of the data and privacy issues associated with some mobile and PC games.

Interestingly, when ‘Cooking Mama: Cookstar’ was first announced, the press release noted that it would include blockchain technology. However, the developers have addressed this statement on Twitter, noting that they were not made aware of this claim:

Some analysts have now stepped forward asserting that the game does not contain cryptocurrency-related functions. SimonTime, a software engineer, has tweeted:

The ‘Cooking Mama’ franchise dates to 2006, and has included many titles. It has been made available on many Nintendo devices as well as iOS. Rumors of crypto malware notwithstanding, the game’s quick removal from the eShop indicates that there was clearly some problem with this most recent release. No doubt a better explanation as to why this happened would help restore the game’s reputation.

CRYPTOJACKING BECOMING MORE COMMON

Cryptocurrency mining malware is a growing concern. Its most commonly found on websites, where it secretly engages in background mining during user visits. More sophisticated versions install themselves on apps and in toolbars, and can mine indefinitely on victim’s machines. The appearance of secret miners on other devices, such as video game consoles, would thus not be surprising.

Although extremely difficult to prevent, some crypto advocates have suggested that this problem can be fought by seeking to legitimize the practice. For example, restricted media content could be made available to individuals in return for voluntarily allowing limited mining to take place. The same could be applied to video games.

For now, vigilance is the best means to fight cryptojacking, as the problem is unlikely to disappear any time soon.

Do you think cryptojacking will threaten the gaming industry? Add your thoughts below!


Images via Shutterstock, Twitter @itssimontime @1stplayable

 

Crypto Industry Not ‘Immune’ to Global Crisis, PwC Says

pwc Crypto News

Crypto Industry Not ‘Immune’ to Global Crisis, PwC Says


A new report from PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) showed that crypto-related fundraising and mergers and acquisitions (M&As) tumbled last year, but that doesn’t mean the crypto market is extinguishing.  


Long Awaited Institutional Investors Don’t Come In

It seems that the crypto industry cannot attract investments from institutional investors, as many had hoped. Professional services giant PwC said that the number and value of crypto fundraising and M&As showed a steep decline last year. The value of crypto-related M&As sank 76% to $451 million in 2019, from over $1.9 billion in the previous year. The amount of funds raised fell 40% to $2.24 billion.

The cryptocurrency space couldn’t attract mainstream investment even though Bitcoin surged in the second and third quarters of 2019. It peaked at over $13,500 in July.

The cryptocurrency community has hoped for rapid adoption Bitcoin and the crypto market in general once institutional investors came in.

Crypto Outlook is Gloomy as Well

Given the current COVID pandemic, the report authors argue that the cryptocurrency market will not attract mainstream investment any time soon. The high volatility caused by the coronavirus panic and the economic collapse do not bode well for the emerging space.

Henri Arslanian, PwC’s head of global crypto, was cited by Bloomber as saying:

The crypto industry is not immune to the global headwinds and the number and value of crypto fund-raising and M&A deals may be impacted in 2020.

Cryptocurrency-oriented firms’ main source of funding come from traditional and crypto-oriented venture capital (VC) funds, family offices, and incubators. The authors predict that more investors from Asia and the Middle East would drive the market this year. The report reads:

We expect to see more APAC and EMEA based family offices looking at the market turbulence as a good time to invest in promising crypto companies.

Is It Really that Bad?

Bloomberg’s rhetoric that the crypto space is becoming less relevant because institutional investors don’t rush into the market is a bit misleading. To begin with, Bitcoin was not designed for Wall Street investors in the first place. Secondly, now that the Fed is unleashing its money printing potential at a full scale, the best thing one can do to protect against the imminent economic crisis and devaluing fiat money is to buy genuine safe-haven assets like Bitcoin.

Do you think that the lack of funding from institutional investors is a big problem for the cryptocurrency market? Share your thoughts in the comments section!


Image via Shutterstock

Bank of Korea Begins Central Bank Digital Currency Rollout

South Korea digital currency News teaser

Bank of Korea Begins Central Bank Digital Currency Rollout


Talk of CBDCs may have taken a back seat for many world central banks right now. Yet, despite claiming there was no reason for one just a couple of months ago, the Bank of Korea has unveiled a 22-month pilot plan.


Bank of Korea About Turn on Digital Currency

It seems as if the Bank of Korea has done an about-turn on the importance of a CBDC. Despite its skeptical stance in early February, bank execs have now decided to adjust their plans for the issuance of a Korean CBDC. It will be following steps similar to those laid out by Japan and the United States according to the Korea Times report.

Rather than take a full-steam-ahead approach to a national digital currency, the Bank of Korea (BOK) has been rather more concerned about how a digital WON would destabilize the financial system in the country.

Whether the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and looming economic threat are factors at play are uncertain. But for now, the BOK is ready to try out tests over 22 months to see how well a digital currency can replace paper money. Among other factors, the bank will be checking the technical issues encountered during the pilot.

Korean Approach Reflects Stance of Major Developed Countries

This approach by the BOK looks a lot more like that of other world powers including the United Kingdom, Japan, the U.S., and Canada. A BOK official commented:

The U.S. and Japan had had no plans to issue a CBDC in the near future, but they changed their stance recently to enhance research in the emerging area.

South Korea is not the only large economy to begin taking digital currencies seriously. In fact, the bank joins in with at least six major Western banks that have formed a joint research group in January of this year.

The main player on the Asian continent is China, who announced that developing a CBDC was a top priority last year. Although, no date for its launch has been given as of yet. The BOK official added:

The BOK also decided to remain proactive in the rapid shift in payment environments here and abroad, so we are going to set up the CBDC pilot system and check technical and legal issues surrounding its introduction here.

While the commitment to a pilot project is a step forward for South Korea, the central bank maintained that the shift would not happen in the near future. This is because there is still a heavy reliance in the country on cash for many payment service markets.

What do you make of South Korea’s new plans to launch a central bank digital currency? Add your thoughts below!


Images via Shutterstock

Bitcoin Follows Pre-Bull Run Pattern That Sent Amazon Stocks Soaring

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Bitcoin Follows Pre-Bull Run Pattern That Sent Amazon Stocks Soaring


Now here’s an interesting pattern if you like a little TA. Bitcoin trader and analyst Loma drew an extremely interesting parallel between Amazon and Bitcoin. Will Bitcoin follow this Amazon bull market setup and break $20K in the next couple of years? Let’s take a look.


Bitcoin Looks a Lot Like Amazon Pre Bull Market

Loma adds a disclaimer to his tweet. He says:

Takes a big hit of hopium

While the patterns are uncannily similar, it’s like comparing oranges and apples. Amazon is a publicly listed company that’s been one of the hottest tech stocks of the century. The company boasts more than 156 million Amazon Prime members around the world–that’s more than the entire number of Bitcoin wallets in existence right now.

Moreover, take a closer look at the chart and you’ll see that Loma has been optimistic in his straight-arrow for Bitcoin. Amazon stock didn’t go up overnight, it made incredible gains but not always in a straight line–and over the course of a couple of years–not in one month. He also went to comment in the feed below:

This is how it’s done. Unactionable shitposts disguised as fractals LFG

Of course, there was a fair share of comments on his tweet. The Bitcoin camp that will do anything to get their daily dose of hopium applauded. Some skeptical-minded traders pointed out that the analysis conveniently missed part of the fractal.

One of his followers also said:

Almost everyone’s forgetting about the massive accumulation pattern that follows, there’s a reason certain individuals are in ghost mode why others are in a tweetstorm. Pay attention, we got a long way to go but the bottom is in for sure.

Nevertheless, this comparison shows that Bitcoin appears to be on the right track towards reclaiming it’s previous all-time high price of $20,000. Right now, a huge amount of uncertainty among traders is preventing a clear breakout in either direction, but if the leading asset can hold on to the $7,000 support this week it may help boost sentiment.We almost certainly will go to $20K and beyond, but it won’t be in a straight line, and it’s unlikely that it will be in the coming weeks.

Do you think Bitcoin will continue to follow Amazon’s pre-bull market pattern?


Images via Shutterstock, Twitter @aaronlauyy @LomahCrypto

How Bitcoin has Maintained it’s Value Compared to Gold and Stocks?

Three weeks ago, as global commodities markets crashed, Bitcoin’s price tumbled more than 40% over the course of a few days. In the face of this collapse, critics derided the flagship cryptocurrency for its apparent inability to hold its value in a crisis. In response, analysts are now presenting data demonstrating that Bitcoin has, in fact, been a stronger safe-haven asset than stocks and gold.


Bitcoin Has Held Up Well During The Current Crisis

Analyst Willy Woo has posted a chart comparing the performance of the S&P 500, gold, and Bitcoin over the past five years. Whereas BTC’s remarkable rise in value during this time is well-known, this comparison reveals that the cryptocurrency’s recent drop in value is vastly less significant during this time frame.

Woo has tweeted:

Critics may point to the fact that more recent investment in Bitcoin has been far less profitable. However, the fact remains that consistent investment in Bitcoin over the course of the past few years has been a smart move. More notably, Bitcoin’s recent price drops have not been any more painful than those of gold or stocks. In fact, the U.S. stock market has now returned to 2015 levels, whereas Bitcoin is exponentially more valuable.

Writing on Medium, Sylvain Saurel compares Bitcoin to the stock market and gold over the past twelve months. In his analysis Bitcoin again proves to be by far the best investment choice. The stock market, as represented by the Dow Jones and S&P 500, has lost much of its value. Gold, the traditional safe haven, is up 25%. Bitcoin, on the other hand, is up 35% since this time last year and appears ready for a major breakout.

Cryptocurrencies Are Risky Yet Technically Sound

Bitcoin critics typically assert that the cryptocurrency has no sound backing, and gains its value only through investor interest. This claim is only true to an extent, as Bitcoin also acquires value through its utility. Blockchain architecture enables BTC to be sent anywhere in the world without centralized intermediaries. It can also be kept extremely secure via cryptography alone. It is these features that create use cases that have yet to be matched by traditional assets.

Simply put, BTC and other blockchain platforms create a new asset class that is increasingly proving to hold utility in real-world applications. Even Bitcoin’s staunchest critics now recognize that distributed ledger technology works, and promises to make the world a much more secure and efficient place.

It is thus not surprising that investment in BTC has proven to be profitable. It is also reasonable to assume that as blockchain adoption grows, so too will the value of the crypto space.

What do you think about Bitcoin’s value retention especially in these times? Share your thoughts below. 


Images via Shutterstock, Twitter: @woonomic

Will Bitcoin Price Hit $70,000 Post Halving?

Many analysts asserted that 2020 would be a strong year for the Bitcoin market long before the current global economic crisis began. Most notably, the flagship cryptocurrency was expected to jump after May’s block reward halving. New data now suggest that these predictions are still on-track.


Data And Public Sentiment Point To Major Bitcoin Gains

Analyst PlanB continues to stand by the assertion that Bitcoin’s stock-to-flow ratio points to extremely high gains after the halving. This metric is determined by comparing present inventory to production and is a common tool used to gauge the value of hard commodities such as precious metals.

PlanB has just tweeted:

Thus, although a prediction of USD $70k may seem outlandish, it would be perfectly in-line with previous gains for the flagship cryptocurrency. Also, there is no doubt that the capital exists to drive Bitcoin this high, as well as the public interest.

In fact, government responses to the impending recession may make Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies even more attractive. A just-published article on HackerNoon asserts that the banks and legacy financial companies are all but certain to receive massive bailouts, just as they did in 2008. However, unlike twelve years ago, the infuriated public has the opportunity to put their assets into crypto, which will boost prices.

Author Mark Helfman writes:

Don’t underestimate the potential for this financial crisis to spur people into buying crypto and building businesses around crypto-based products, services, and processes. People might get so angry that they look for an “out” that doesn’t involve the banks, governments, and corporations.

It is worth noting that Bitcoin was born out of frustration with central banks, and the U.S. government’s willingness to prop up incompetent and corrupt financial institutions. It is safe to assume that a repeat of this cronyism would only drive more investors into the crypto space.

Real-World Adoption Will Push Exponential Growth

Market activity notwithstanding, the development and adoption of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are rapidly taking place. Of particular note is the institutional embrace of blockchain technology by a wide range of industrial sectors. Also, whereas fiat remains strong for purchases, the world is increasingly turning to crypto for remissions and financial transfers.

It is these real-world use cases that will play a key role in driving up Bitcoin’s value. In other words, the central bank-issued fiat must now compete with a new asset class that offers many clear advantages. When placed in this context, predictions of much higher Bitcoin prices are very realistic.

Do you think Bitcoin price will surpass it’s all-time high this year? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.


Images via Shutterstock, Twitter: @100trillionUSD

YouTuber Gets Banned by Western Union for Life, Bitcoin Fixes This

YouTuber Gets Banned by Western Union for Life, Bitcoin Fixes This News

YouTuber Gets Banned by Western Union for Life, Bitcoin Fixes This


A business owner has posted a YouTube video asserting that Western Union inexplicably banned him for life as a result of his dealings in central Africa. Bitcoin fixes this.


Ban Comes Without Explanation

In the video Ben Taylor, a.k.a. Pleasant Green, discusses the establishment of a photography business in Africa that included charity work. He asserts that for over three years he used Western Union to send money to Liberia without incident. However, after attempting to wire funds elsewhere on the continent, the money transfer firm first blocked his transfer and then informed him that he had been banned for life.

Taylor notes that he went to great lengths to prove to the money transfer business that he was not a scammer, and did not work with scammers. Nevertheless, he has been given no explanation as to why he is no longer permitted to use its services.

The author states:

I didn’t want to make this video, but I’ve got to give an explanation to my people who are gonna start to wonder why our business is drying up and why I can no longer employ them, or help them. So now I’m going to be looking into things like Bitcoin and mobile money to keep things going.

In another video posted two weeks ago, Taylor discusses the beginning of the ordeal, which involved attempting to send money to an African woman who published a book in an attempt to raise money for a needed surgery. In this video, he plays a transcript of his bewildering attempts to get answers as to why the transfer was blocked. He also outlines a second equally frustrating encounter with MoneyGram.

Bitcoin Is The Answer

High fees and complex business practices have long been a hallmark of money transfer services. Citizens of underdeveloped nations are most burdened by these issues, as they most frequently rely on these companies for financial services. It is for this reason that cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin are growing rapidly in these regions.

Blockchain architecture enables Bitcoin to be sent rapidly, and without the byzantine processes required by companies like Western Union. Bitcoin’s decentralized architecture makes it open for anyone to use, and transactions cannot be blocked or reversed. Most importantly, Bitcoin can be sent for a tiny fraction of the cost of legacy methods.

Given their advantages, it is only a matter of time before blockchain assets such as Bitcoin achieve mass use. For people that rely on Western Union, that day cannot come soon enough.

Is Bitcoin the de-facto payment and remittance solution? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below! 


Images via Bitcoinist Media Library, Pleasant Green