Amazing! Such a major milestone. Wishing you all the luck!
Posts made by fonzie
RE: [IMPORTANT] Announcement of Vite Pre-Mainnet and Node Upgrade Notice
RE: SwissVite launches the VCP airdrop - Get VCPs by voting for SwissVite.org SBP!
Nice! Our community gets another way to get their hands on the VCP tokens! Good to see the SBPs incorporating it into the rewards structure. I hope more follow N4Q and SwissVite!
Malware Shellbot is Now Capable of Shutting Down Other Miners
The Shellbot cryptojacking malware has gone through an update and come out with some new capabilities, technology news website TechCrunch reported on May 1.
Per the report, these findings come from Boston-based cybersecurity firm Threat Stack. The company claims that Shellbot, which was first discovered in 2005, has received a major update.
The original Shellbot was capable of brute-forcing the credentials of SSH remote access services on Linux servers protected by weak passwords. The malware then mines privacy-focused monero (XMR). Threat Stack claims that this new-and-improved version is capable of spreading through an infected network and shutting down other miners running on the same machines.
Threat Stack apparently uncovered the new iteration of Shellbot on the Linux server of an unspecified United States company. While it is still unclear how the malware is delivered, the researchers identified three components and found the script used to install it.
The command and control server of the malware is an Internet Relay Chat (IRC) server, which attackers can use to deliver commands and check the status of an infected server. Shellbot was reportedly making about $300 a day, a figure that stands to grow as the malware spreads. Sam Bisbee, chief security officer at Threat Stack, told TechCrunch that the potential of the virus does not end there:
“They are fully capable of using this malware to exfiltrate, ransom, or destroy data.”
As Cointelegraph reported last week, cybersecurity company MalwareBytes declared illicit crypto mining against consumers — also known as cryptojacking — “essentially extinct.”
Just days later, American software security firm Symantec found a spike in a new crypto mining malware that mainly targets corporate networks.
Washington State Law Recognizes Blockchain Records as Legally Valid and Enforceable
The United States state of Washington has passed a bill that recognizes and protects the legal status of electronic records pertaining to distributed ledgers like blockchains. The bill, substitute senate bill 5638, was signed into effect by Governor Jay Inslee on April 26.
The original version of the bill had its first reading by the Washington state legislature on January 25, 2019. The bill has now passed with 96–1 and will go into effect in late July.
The new law has a clause which prevents discriminating against electronic records which have in some way been part of a distributed ledger:
“An electronic record may not be denied legal effect, validity, or enforceability solely because it is generated, communicated, received, or stored using distributed ledger technology.”
The bill also provides legal definitions for the terms “blockchain” and “distributed ledger” that can be referred to moving forward.
The Tennessee legislature made a similar move in March 2018, when Governor Bill Haslam signed a bill that “‘recognizes the legal authority of blockchain technology and smart contracts in conducting electronic transactions,’” according to its summary.
As Cointelegraph previously reported, Ohio has recently introduced a bill that also is related to the use of distributed ledgers. In this instance, House Bill 220 aims to allow the government of Ohio to implement blockchain-aided solutions. For instance, blockchain could allow the state government to readily track and share identifying information, such as car titles and licenses.
Fractional Reserve Stablecoin Tether Only 74% Backed by Fiat Currency, Say Lawyers
The company behind USD stablecoin Tether (USDT) only has enough cash to back three-quarters of its increasing supply, its lawyers confirmed in documents released on April 30.
As part of an ongoing legal process involving the New York Attorney General, Zoe Phillips of law firm Morgan Lewis said that at the time of writing, 74% of Tether’s reserves had USD and equivalent backing.
The figure falls short of previous promises given by Tether executives, specifically that every USDT token had full fiat backing, something a bank statement appeared to confirm in December last year.
“In fact, Tether’s reserves of cash and cash equivalents alone (without the line of credit) would cover approximately 74 percent of the outstanding amount of tether,” Phillips wrote.
The legal battle stems from claims that cryptocurrency exchange Bitfinex, which shares its CEO with Tether, used reserves to plug holes left from a problematic outsourcing agreement earlier in 2018.
The claims, which both Bitfinex and Tether are in the process of refuting, mark the latest in a series of issues both companies have faced regarding the transparency of their operations.
Bitfinex, for example, has previously faced accusations it was insolvent, which it publicly denied.
While Phillips does not see problems with Tether’s current reserve ratio, her language runs in sharp contrast to a project which previously marketed itself as the antithesis of fiat-based fractional reserve banking.
“This sort of ‘fractional’ reserving arrangement is similar to how commercial banks work. No bank holds in liquid cash more than a small percentage of depositors’ money,” she continued. Phillips added:
“The funds are invested. The markets clearly remain confident in tether, as it currently trades just shy of $1 dollar per U.S. Dollar tether — even after the Attorney General’s highly inflammatory and misleading public application. Any suggestion that tether holders face liquidity risk is unsupported speculation.”
According to an affidavit seen by cryptocurrency news outlet CoinDesk, Stuart Hoegner, general counsel for Tether and Bitfinex, corroborated the 74% backing figure.
As Cointelegraph reported, Bitfinex is rumored to be mulling a so-called initial exchange offering (IEO) to raise funds.
CoinMarketCap to Remove Exchanges From Calculations If They Don’t Provide Mandatory Data
Crypto market cap tracker CoinMarketCap (CMC) will remove exchanges from its calculations if they fail to provide mandatory data by June, the firm wrote in its sixth anniversary blog post on May 1.
CoinMarketCap, a major source of data about all traded digital currencies, has made a series of announcements to celebrate its sixth birthday today.
As such, CMC has announced a brand new alliance called the Data Accountability & Transparency Alliance (DATA) in order to provide “greater transparency, accountability, and disclosure from projects in the crypto space.”
A broad number of exchanges have already joined the new alliance, including Binance, Bittrex, OKEx, Huobi, Liquid, UpBit, IDEX, OceanEX, Gate.io, KuCoin, HitBTC and Bitfinex, with more partners expected in the future, the announcement states.
As a part of its transparency initiative, CoinMarketCap will also now require all the crypto exchanges to provide mandatory API data that includes their live trading data and live order book data. Stressing that the condition will be mandatory, CMC wrote that any exchange that does not provide this mandatory data will be not be included in the price and adjusted volume calculations on the site.
The exchanges now have a 45-day grace period to send the required data, while changes will come into effect on June 14, 2019, CoinMarketCap noted.
Apart from the DATA alliance announcement, CMC also introduced new features such as CoinMarketCap Block Explorers, CoinMarketCap Shop, API Revised Plans and CoinMarketCap Mobile Apps.
The new announcement comes on the heels of the recently sparked controversy around CMC’s volume statistics. On March 20, crypto index fund provider Bitwise Asset Management released research claiming that 95% of the volume on unregulated exchanges is likely to be fake or non-economic in nature. Following the analysis, CMC officially announced plans to rearrange the rankings of member exchanges.
Fundstrat’s Tom Lee Predicts New All-Time Highs for Crypto by 2020
Fundstrat Global Advisors founder Tom Lee has predicted that cryptocurrency prices will hit new historic highs by 2020. Lee delivered his comments during an interview with CNBC on April 28.
In the interview, Lee forecasted that bitcoin (BTC) has not completed its upward movement and will likely reach new all-time highs around 2020 based on “11 signs that historically only take place in a bull market.” Lee thusly reiterated his previous prognosis made earlier this month, when he said that “a bull market is likely starting.”
Lee explained that three out of those 11 signs — blockchain, technical indicators and trading volumes — indicate that the crypto winter has seen its end. In January, Lee’s team observed that trading volumes on the blockchain turned positive at an annual rate, while the second sign popped up in April, when BTC closed above its 200-day moving average.
The third sign, trading volumes, is connected with over-the-counter brokers, who are “really important in terms of how institutional investors trade crypto.” According to Lee, activity levels based on the number of customers increased by 60% to 70%.
“I think you’re seeing signs that fundamentals are improving, technicals are improving, and now there’s real activity by, essentially, crypto hodlers. [...] So I think […] a 2.5 standard deviation move for bitcoin would take it to $14,000. I’m not saying that’s where it’s going to go, but that’s the magnitude of move that would be a catch-up.”
Earlier in April, Lee said that the “Bitcoin Misery Index” (BMI) — which Lee designed with the aim of informing investors of how “miserable” BTC holders are based on the coin’s price and volatility — recently hit its highest figure since June 2016. He suggested that this could be a mixed signal, also noting that “the main takeaway is that BMI reaching 67 is further evidence the bear market for Bitcoin likely ended at $3,000.”
In February, Fundstrat released its 2019 crypto outlook, describing incremental improvements that will purportedly support higher prices for cryptocurrencies. Fundstrat mentioned that the overall interest in crypto might be stimulated by Binance’s recent decision to support credit card crypto purchases, along with the rumors that major companies like Bitfury and Bitmain might consider conducting initial public offerings.
ICE’s Bakkt Announces Acquisition of Digital Asset Custody Company
Intercontinental Exchange (ICE)-lead institutional cryptocurrency trading platform Bakkt has аcquired a crypto custodian service, the firm announced on April 29.
In a blog post, Bakkt announced a number of new measures in its apparent effort to stimulate regulatory feedback, including the acquisition of Digital Asset Custody Company (DACC).
While DACC’s native support of 13 blockchains and 100+ assets is designed to “serve as an important accelerator,” the entire DACC team will also be joining Bakkt, as former Coinbase exec and new Bakkt COO Adam White wrote in the blog post on Monday.
In the same announcement, White revealed that Bakkt has filed an application with the New York Department of Financial Services to operate as a trust company, which will enable the firm to serve as a Qualified Custodian for digital assets.
Specifically, Bakkt said that the company is planning to launch physically-delivered bitcoin (BTC) futures, with contracts set to be traded on ICE Futures US (IFUS) and cleared on ICE Clear US (ICUS), a federally regulated exchange and clearinghouse regulated by the United States Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC).
Recently, on April 18, Bloomberg reported that the ICE was considering acquiring a New York BitLicense to launch bitcoin futures, citing anonymous sources familiar with the matter.
CEO of Bakkt, Kelly Loeffler, reportedly claimed that the firm is not changing its strategy, but is clarifying its role within the industry, as Fortune reports. Loeffler told Fortune:
“There is no pivot. From the ground up what ICE has been building for two years is the safest version of a custody solution for digital assets.”
ICE, the operator of 23 major global exchanges, including the New York Stock Exchange, had announced it will launch the Microsoft cloud-powered “open and regulated, global ecosystem for digital assets” Bakkt in August 2018.
Originally set to be launched in January 2019, Bakkt subsequently delayed the launch due to the ongoing consultations with the U.S. CFTC. In early February, ICE CEO Jeff Sprecher declared that he expects Bakkt to launch later in 2019.
Consumer targeted cryptojacking is essentially extinct research
Illicit crypto mining — or cryptojacking — against consumers “is essentially extinct,” declares a report released by cybersecurity company MalwareBytes on April 23.
Per the report, after in-browser miningservice CoinHive shut down in early March — when the team claimed that the project had become economically inviable — cryptojacking against consumers has sharply decreased. At the same time, the number of such attacks targeting businesses increased from the last quarter.
Furthermore, MalwareBytes also notes that bitcoin (BTC) holders who use Electrum wallets on a Mac have lost over $2.3 million in stolen coins to a Trojanized version of the wallet in Q1 this year.
Cryptojacking is the use of a computing device for mining cryptocurrency without the knowledge of the device’s owner. Common effects experienced by users are slowdown, more heat generation and shorter battery life. Arguably, the cryptocurrency which is seemingly preferred for such attacks is privacy-centric coin monero (XMR), thanks to the ability to mine it on lower-tier hardware.
As Cointelegraph reported in May last year, a researcher claimed at the time that the Coinhive crypto mining script had been detected on more than 300 government and university websites worldwide.
Earlier this week, United States-based cybersecurity firm Symantec found a spike in a new crypto mining malware that mainly targets enterprises.