Liquid Security Issue is Acknowledged by Blockstream, Patch Coming Soon

Crypto Reddit is currently paying very close attention to a recently discovered bug in the Liquid protocol. Some even claim that Blockstream knew about it and potentially put it there purposefully. 

It has been an interesting week for the Blockstream team.

Blockstream Will Fix the Liquid Security Issue

Facing allegations over a bug in the Liquid protocol is never fun.

Blockchain developer James Prestwich disclosed the security issue on Twitter.

According to Blockstream, they knew about the problem, yet the fix was delayed due to external factors.

In the post, Prestwich seems to indicate that the bug would put all funds on Liquid in potential danger.

Moreover, he claims that the bug was present for at least 19 months.

In an official response, Blockstream acknowledges that a fix is in development with the help of the Liquid Federation.

Moreover the issue itself should not pose any real problems, as emergency backup keys for all funds have never been accessed. 

Blockstream confirms that public communication regarding this Liquid matter could have been handled a lot better.

Moving forward, that situation will change to avoid any misconceptions or conspiracy theories from popping up.

A public Blockstream Help Center will be launched next week, which provides accessible information on Liquid and its current security model. 

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DeFi Platform Balancer Notes a Security Incident

Despite ongoing growth in the DeFi industry, security concerns remain in place today. Balancer, a project gained traction last week, has gone through a security incident over the weekend. 

Balancer is one of the DeFi projects gaining a lot of attention lately.

A Major Security Incident for Balancer

This is in line with how all DeFi projects are evolving as of late.

Cryptocurrency enthusiasts want to make money at all costs, and passive income is always the best option.

For Balancer, a recent security incident does raise a lot of questions.

An attacker drained funds from 2 pools containing tokens with transfer fees.

According to the blog post, this was made possible thanks to a flash loan from dYdX, and using Wrapped Ethereum.

It is a security incident that took the Balancer team by surprise, as they weren’t aware of this attack vector. 

For now, it does not appear as if this will have that big of an impact on the platform.

Balancer as a platform will undergo some changes, as new security measures need to be put in place.

It is also worth noting that the previous 2 audits of Balancer did not highlight this problem either.

A third audit will occur in the near future, as well as an internal review of the platform. 

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Cash is King Among US Citizens During COVID-19 Crisis

For many years now, there have been numerous efforts to ensure that using cash is no longer an option. Keeping that in mind, one has to wonder why Americans are hoarding cash as of late.

Ongoing financial concerns regarding COVID-19 have forced the hands of central bankers.

US Citizens are Hoarding Cash

Instead of working toward a sustainable solution, they have all issued piles of cash.

Pumping this money into the financial system is done to reboot the economy during tough times.

This time around, however, it seems to have a very different effect.

Volatility in financial markets has not diminished by any means.

Moreover, American citizens now hold more cash than they have done in recent years.

Considering how this trend is more apparent compared to the year of the most recent financial crisis, it tells quite an interesting story. 

Figuring out what this money will be used for exactly, is a different matter altogether.

More and more businesses are trying to dissuade customers from using cash altogether.

If it cannot be spent there, it seems unlikely that it will be deposited into bank accounts again.

Hoarding the money for a rainy day may prove to be the most viable option.

At the same time, that will hamper any recovery for the US economy as well.

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China’s First Real Blockchain Test Focuses on Allocating Public Resources

It is a well-known fact that China wants to go all-in on blockchain technology. Launching a public resource bidding platform based on this technology is one way of pushing that agenda. 

Various blockchain projects are under development in China today.

Using Blockchain to Allocate Public Resources

If everything goes according to plan, many more will be added to this list over the coming years.

One project is currently of great interest, as it highlights the potential of distributed ledgers.

Following successful internal testing, this public resource bidding platform is expected to go live very soon.

For governments, public resource bidding is a sensible way to allocate large amounts of resources to companies working on specific ventures. 

For now, the project is known as Kunyilian, albeit that name may be subject to change.

It is built on top of Tencent’s BaaS system and should have ample throughput to accommodate all needs.

Given how there are over 30,000 potential bidders in the province of Kunming alone, speed and efficiency will prove crucial.

Chinese companies are currently pouring a lot of money and resources into blockchain development.

If these efforts fail to pay off, it may very well be the end of the entire distributed ledger hype altogether.

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Telegram and the SEC Settle on a $18.5 Million Fine

Telegram is one of the companies that saw its token sale being investigated by the SEC. It now seems both parties have come to an agreement to settle this matter once and for all.

The SEC has been on Telegram’s case for some time now. 

SEC – Telegram Spat is Finally Over

Its TON token sale has been of great interest.

Following a lengthy court struggle, it now seems that the matter can be put behind us.

Telegram will take the responsibility for the full $1.22 billion disgorgement.

A fee by the SEC has been levied as well to the tune of $18.5 million.

For Telegram, it is also pertinent to notify SEC officials if a  new digital currency will be issued in the next few years.

Based on the current sentiment, a new digital currency seems rather unlikely. 

The fee has to be paid within 30 days.

Investors who bought the TON token need to be reimbursed as well over the next four years. 

With all of this out of the way, it remains to be seen how investors feel. 

It is likely that some of them will take legal action against Telegram in the months to come.

This issue is far from fully over, that much is certain. 

Image(s): Shutterstock.com

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New York may Finally Ease up on Crypto Regulations

New York has always been a tough region for cryptocurrency firms. Strict and somewhat unnecessary regulation have made this a region to avoid.

After many years of complaints, that situation may finally come to change.

Is New York Getting Rid of the BitLicense?

Following ongoing industry growth, cryptocurrencies have remained prominent and important.

Ensuring companies active in this space can thrive across the US needs to be the number one priority. 

Finding a solution to the BitLicense conundrum is a challenging task. 

A new report seems to confirm that the NYDFS is proposing a new approach.

Less strict licensing rules should help draw crypto firms to New York state.

While not put in motion yet, the NYDFS wants to gather public feedback before making any decisions. 

Simplifying the process of obtaining the BitLicense is direly needed.

With just five companies successfully obtaining one every year, it is clearly a failed form of regulation.

Requirements were too high, especially in terms of paperwork and money to be paid.

Which changes will be introduced – if any – remains unclear at this stage.

Unifying regulatory measures for crypto assets in the US remains in high demand.

For now, however, it will remain a state-by-state affair, by the look of things. 

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Brazil’s Central Bank Officially Bans WhatsApp Payments

Being able to choose one’s favorite payment method should be a breeze in this modern day and age. If the central bank of Brazil has a say in the matter, choices will remain limited forever. 

Several payment options exist all over the world.

No More WhatsApp Payments in Brazil

Mobile solutions are incredibly popular, primarily where younger generations are concerned.

In Brazil, one of those mobile solutions is now officially banned by the central bank. 

No one will be able to use WhatsApp payments moving forward, unless a workaround is found. 

WhatsApp’s payment feature across the entire of Brazil has been suspended indefinitely due to “antitrust concerns”.

This decision is made after both Visa and Mastercard requested Brazil’s central bank to stop payments and money transfers through this mobile app. 

All in all, WhatsApp payments haven’t been around all that long in Brazil.

The feature was only introduced earlier this year by parent company Facebook. 

What this means for the future of WhatsApp payments globally, remains to be determined.

The offering is very popular in other countries, primarily in India.

For small business owners in Brazil, this is another setback in their quest to build an online presence.

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CoinGecko Rewards Loyal Users With Candy Loyalty Points

Engaging the cryptocurrency community for more than two minutes at a time is anything but straightforward. CoinGecko has introduced a new type of reward system that aims to reward users for coming back to the site every day. 

CoinGecko has become the leading crypto data aggregator today.

A Smart Business Decision by CoinGecko

Ever since Binance acquired Coinmarketcap, people have been looking for alternatives. 

Finding an independent source is not easy, but CoinGecko checks all of the right boxes in this regard. 

To reward users, the platform has created a new system called Candy.

It is a loyalty point system awarded to users logging in at CoinGecko’s website every day.

In that regard, it is not necessarily unique.

However, the loyalty points will give users access to specific rewards.

While the Candy balances are not transferable, they can be used for certain rewards.

This includes store vouchers for CG, as well as getting access to the DeFi book, and several unique NFTs. 

Existing users don’t need to perform anything special to receive these loyalty points, other than signing in and claiming them.

New users will be able to start accumulating Candy as well, and reap the rewards accordingly. 

Rolling out features like these will help the cryptocurrency community grow and thrive over time. 

Image(s): Shutterstock.com

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Is PlusToken Preparing to Dump Millions of EOS?

Over the past few months, there have been ample concerns regarding the PlusToken Ponzi scheme. It now seems that the people behind this project are cashing out their EOS tokens.

For a while now, PlusToken has been making headlines.

Another PlusToken Plot Twist

Most of the comments confirm that this project being a Ponzi scheme, although that was never fully proven.

With over $3 billion in cryptocurrency under management, fears of a major market sell-off seemed justified.

Unfortunately, it seems as if this team isn’t done dumping their holdings just yet.

Roughly 26 million EOS tokens have been withdrawn from a wallet associated with this project.

Where the EOS funds have been sent to, remains unclear at this time.

If all tokens are to be dumped on the market, it will cripple EOS’ price for a little while.

That being said, there is still no indication that any user assets have effectively been dumped on the market.

For the time being, there hasn’t been any negative impact on the EOS value just yet.

Whether that will change in the near future, is an ongoing debate.

Most accounts associated with PlusToken should be blacklisted across exchanges.

In theory, this will prevent scammers from cashing out any illicit earnings.

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Bittrex Global Users can now Fund Their Account With Mastercard

Cryptocurrency exchanges will help the industry grow beyond its current capacity. Doing so requires accepting common payment methods, and Bittrex Global is doing exactly that. 

It has been a while since Bittrex Global made news headlines.

Mastercard Funding for Bittrex Global Users

Not because the company isn’t working hard, but simply because altcoins haven’t had the most appeal since late 2017.   

Changing that narrative was  a matter of time for the company.

As of today, Bittrex Global will accept Mastercard transactions by users looking to fund their exchange accounts. 

Credit and debit cards are the most common payment method globally.

Accepting them is, in this modern day and age, virtually necessary to play any role of significance. 

For the time being, Bittrex Global will accept this payment method from users in 36 countries.

All transactions will be subject to a 3% processing fee.

Such a high fee is one of the reasons why companies accepting card payments want to find viable alternatives.

Increasing and improving cryptocurrency adoption will require lowering the barriers to entry.

Bittrex Global is setting the tone for other smaller trading platforms to follow in the near future. 

Previously, the company already accepted Visa, debit cards, and USD wire transfers as payment methods. 

Image(s): Shutterstock.com

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Even the New York Fed Doesn’t Know the Meaning of Fiat Money

There are many labels one could attribute to Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. A recent statement by the New York Fed, however, has the crypto community up in arms.

Governments and regulators are often criticized for not understanding cryptocurrencies.

The New York Fed Lost the Plot

Nor do they show that much effort to educate themselves on the matter either.

A recent comment by the New York Fed illustrates this point perfectly.

The agency claims how Bitcoin is just another form of fiat money.

A very interesting, albeit completely incorrect statement.

Fiat currency has ties to governments and banks, whereas Bitcoin doesn’t need archaic institutions to operate.

Once the post was published, negative criticism started coming down quickly.

While the article is an editorial, it further highlights how ignorant these “experts” are regarding Bitcoin.

One can use Bitcoin as fiat currency, although in far more limited fashion.

That is, in a sense that it is a peer-to-peer form of exchanging value for goods and/or services. 

Moreover, some people feel as if the New York Fed is now creating its own narrative by redefining words.

When even financial institutions can’t make any more sense of the current financial ecosystem, it is perhaps time to replace it with something else entirely.

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Kin Will Explore a Third Blockchain for its Cryptocurrency Project

The KIn cryptocurrency project has seen its fair share ups and downs. Not that the project is still going forward of sorts, the switch from a Stellar fork to Solana has been officially approved. 

A lot of people were looking forward to seeing Stellar’s forked blockchain being put to the test.

Another Blockchain for Kin 

A popular project such as Kin could effectively bring a lot of people to the cryptocurrency industry.

Unfortunately, that will not be happening, as the forked version of Stellar doesn’t meet the necessary requirements.

In fact, the transaction limit of the forked blockchain is just 100 TPS.

For Kin, that will not be sufficient, as the project has over 3 million active monthly users.

It is also integrated into several dozen applications that all need to work flawlessly.

By moving to the Solana blockchain, an important step has been taken. 

How successful the migration will be, remains to be determined.

A throughput of 60,000 transactions per second is a vast improvement, but there’s more to blockchains than their TPS.

If the network meets all of the security requirements, the move will be finalized fairly soon.

This marks the second migration to a different blockchain, as the initial currency was supposed to run on Ethereum.

Image(s): Shutterstock.com

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The Federal Reserve Suddenly Dislikes Central Bank Digital Currency Idea

Creating a central bank digital currency has become a priority for many institutions. Not everyone is in favor of this approach, including some members of the Federal Reserve. 

There are no proven benefits to a central bank digital currency at this time.

Fed Dislike Central Bank Digital Currency Ideas

It may help a country to go cashless, but there is no reason for people to adopt this currency over existing payment methods.

During a recent meeting by the Federal Reserve, another drawback was highlighted.

A central bank knowing every payment by everyone at any given time is nothing to look forward to.

When even one of the world’s biggest central banks questions this approach, the narrative changes immediately. 

The US has never been an active proponent of a central bank digital currency either. 

Other countries, such as England, France, and China have already shown a keen interest in such a concept. 

Whether there is a first-mover advantage to creating a CBDC, remains to be determined.

Some in the Bitcoin community have an interesting take on this stance by the Fed.

They consider it to be a matter of transactional privacy, which the Federal Reserve will openly oppose at all times. 

Not being able to get involved in dastardly deeds can hamper the functionality of any central bank.

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WisdomTree Trust Files for a Bitcoin ETF Tied to Futures Contracts

Bitcoin ETFs have not been too successful in passing their biggest hurdle: the SEC. Despite virtually no chance of being approved ,it appears that WisdomTree is trying its hand at another ETF proposal. 

One has to commend any company attempting to launch a Bitcoin ETF in the past, present or future. 

A Different Type of Bitcoin ETF

None of these proposals have ever been approved by the SEC, and it seems unlikely that this streak will be broken in the near future.

WisdomTree Trust, on the other hand, still believes in its chance to have a Bitcoin ETF approved in the near future.

More specifically, the company has proposed a vehicle that invests a maximum of 5% of its assets in CME Bitcoin futures contracts. 

This latter part is very intriguing, primarily because no one else has ever proposed anything like this.

By not actively holding Bitcoin itself, WisdomTree Trust may have come up with a solution capable of passing the SEC’s judgment.

That being said, it is always risky to submit a proposal tied to Bitcoin, regardless of which form it effectively takes.

Leave it up to the SEC to come up with a reason – often a solid one – to not approve such a filing. 

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60% of the BTC Supply Consists of Dormant Bitcoin

Given the limited supply of Bitcoin, one would assume that all coins are being moved on the network regularly. That is no longer the case, as the amount of “dormant” BTC has hit a new high.

The longer coins remain dormant, the more bullish speculators tend to get.

Dormant Bitcoin Statistics

In Bitcoin’s case, there haven’t been this many dormant Bitcoin on the network in the past four years.

Roughly 60% of the current circulating supply is not changing address or hands. 

A remarkable statistic, considering how volatile Bitcoin tends to be every single day.

Its price fluctuations have become stuff of legend over the years, yet there aren’t that many BTC to openly trade, according to Glassnode.

With more people seemingly holding their coins firmly, one would expect the price to rise.

Especially with Grayscale buying up more BTC than the amount of Bitcoin being mined every day. 

Even so, the world’s leading cryptocurrecy isn’t moving in a firm upward direction as of yet. 

It seems doubtful that the amount or dormant Bitcoin will change the overall market sentiment for the better.

Looking at the bigger picture, it is a very prominent turn of events that deserves a lot more attention.

Image(s): Shutterstock.com

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Zoom Aids China’s Government in Censoring Specific Content

During the COVID-19 pandemic, virtually the entire world has turned to online communication tools and software. Zoom is by far the most popular offering on the market, although it too will bend the knee to China’s government like anyone else. 

A lot of things are happening behind the scenes of Zoom.

Even Zoom Won’t Oppose Chinese Censorship

Not long ago, the company confirmed that its free users would never benefit from end-to-end encryption.

A missed opportunity to make an impact, as this level of encryption should be made available by default to everyone.

In another turn of events, the company has bent the knee to China’s government.

More specifically, the government asked Zoom to shut down accounts of activists bringing attention to the Tiananmen Square massacre. 

China’s government has attempted to censor any free speech regarding that horrific incident for as long as people can remember. 

That approach has not changed in the slightest, and Zoom has agreed to suspend the accounts in question.

In the eyes of China’s government, raising awareness for this massacre is an illegal act.

As it turns out, most participants in these Zoom-based events also originate from China.

None of the accounts hosting the activism were located in China, however, raising ample questions as to why the company agreed to this request. 

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BitPay now Offers a Crypto Payment Card in the US

Several years ago, crypto debit cards were very easy to come by. Today, things have changed significantly, although new entrants are throwing their hat into the ring once again.

BitPay is best known for being  a Bitcoin payment processor.

The BitPay Card is Available

Rather than sticking with that business, the company has decided to explore a few different options.

One such venture comes in the form of issuing a prepaid debit card.

Rather than going with Visa, BitPay has opted to provide a Mastercard-branded payment option.

An interesting choice, although more competition among card issuers is always a good thing.

As part of this new venture, the card will be known as BitPay card.

Users will prefund their card with cryptocurrency, and it can be converted to fiat, which is then “put on” the card to spend. 

It is also one of the few cards to become available to clients in the United States.

Combined with the mobile application, users can fund their card through Bitcoin, BCH, Ethereum, XRP, and  a few stablecoins.

Limits-wise, there is a $25,000 balance limit and withdrawals are capped at $6,000 per day. 

All cards are provided through Metropolitan Commercial Bank, headquartered in New York City. 

Image(s): Shutterstock.com

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Sex Robots With Artificial Intelligence are Wanted in Times of COVID-19

Many companies and businesses struggle to remain afloat during the COVID-19 pandemic. One industry that thrives more than ever before is the AI-driven sex robot segment, as demand for these “machines” is heating up.

As more and more people are forced to stay at home, they seek alternative ways to get through the day.

Sex Robots Provide Valuable Comfort

For some, it’s about doing community work or finding a new hobby.

Others spend over $10,000 on a sex robot powered by artificial intelligence. 

Business is booming for a lot of companies, including Realbotix, Green Earth Robotics, and so forth. 

Advances in AI play a crucial role in this unexpected market growth. 

Rather than talking to a tin can, the robots have become more lifelike and can even be considered to be on par with Alexa’s capabilities. 

Whether this sudden growth will lead to more open-mindedness toward sex robots, remains to be seen. 

Unlike what some may think, these creations can walk and move, albeit rather stiffly.

More progress is expected to be made in the coming years. 

Interestingly, the robots don’t consider themselves to be a “competitor” to human companionship. 

Sex robots are maturing and evolving, and perhaps much quicker than anyone could have anticipated.

Image(s): Shutterstock.com

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Stolen Bitfinex Money is on the Move Again

Over the years, there have been multiple cryptocurrency hacks and thefts. Some of these ventures have been resolved successfully, whereas others go dormant and suddenly note follow-up activity. 

The year is 2016 when cryptocurrency exchange gets hacked.

Illicit Bitfinex Funds Find a new Home

During this incident, the company notes a net loss of over $72 million in Bitcoin.

Although the theft didn’t amount to much afterward, the funds were never recovered.

Earlier this week, an account moved nearly $200,000 in Bitcoin from the hacker’s wallet to a different address.

Several such transactions were completed in quick succession, adding up to nearly $4 million. 

Unlike what most people expected, the money is still sitting in the new wallets without being touched.

None of the funds have been moved to exchanges or other trading platforms at this time.

Converting stolen crypto funds to cold hard cash is a very difficult task, as the origin of the money can be traded rather easily.

It is not the first time that stolen Bitfinex funds are on the move.

Several transactions have taken place in recent months, although none of them resulted in BTC being dumped on the open market.

That situation may come to change at any given moment, however. 

Image(s): Shutterstock.com

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Ethereum User Spends Over $2.5 Million on Transaction Fees

There is always one development in the cryptocurrency world that might not make too much sense at first glance. Paying an Ethereum transaction fee of over $2.5 million certainly is rather unique, but primarily costly. 

Transaction fees are an integral part of most cryptocurrency networks.

A Rather Excessive Ethereum Fee

In the case of Bitcoin, there have been ample concerns over skyrocketing fees,

Ethereum, during times of congestion, has its own high fees to worry about.

One recent incident, however, has attracted a lot of attention.

One user paid a fee of nearly 10,700 Ether despite only spending 0.55 Ether in the transaction itself.

According to the user, this was a “mistake”, although it is one very expensive lesson to learn.

Issues like these will not result in excess money spent to be refunded automatically.

Once it is validated on the network, there is no way to ‘reverse” the transaction any longer.

One can only hope that the miner or pool processing the high fee will return it to the original owner.

For now, it remains unclear if that will happen, albeit there is a good possibility that this will be the outcome.

Sending a transaction requires users to properly check and verify all information before submitting it.

Without doing so, things can clearly get very costly. 

Image(s): Shutterstock.com

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Never Borrow Money to Gamble on Altcoin Investments

During the 2017 and 2018 cryptocurrency/ICO craze, some people went to great lengths to invest in these markets. For some, it has paid off well, whereas others now stare down a gaping hole of debt that may never be repaid in full.

Borrowing money to invest in financial markets is always asking for trouble.

Never Loan Money to Invest or Gamble

Whether it is cryptocurrencies, stocks, bonds, treasuries, precious metals, or otherwise, one should never gamble with borrowed money. 

Unfortunately, the 2017 price spike of cryptocurrencies attracted a lot of attention.

So much even that multiple people borrowed money to make investments.

In the case of this Reddit user, things have not gone according to plan by any means.

Not only is there a major loan waiting to be paid off, but there is no money coming in to pay for anything.

The user has, allegedly, lost both his job and his marriage due to the cryptocurrency investments and their negative returns throughout 2018 and 2019. 

Making monthly payments of 8,194 in local currency to repay a 48-month loan is no easy feat by any means.

Investing in altcoins is never a smart decision either, as they tend to be even more volatile than Bitcoin itself.

A valuable lesson can be learned from this individual, and how borrowed money should never be used for gambling of any kind. 

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Chainalysis Confirms Neither ZCash nor Dash are Private, but is Anyone Really Surprised?

Various cryptocurrencies claim to be private, or at least provide some privacy-oriented solutions for its users. A new report by Chainalysis confirms that both Dash and ZCash should not be classified as such, albeit that isn’t a big surprise anymore.

Providing privacy in the cryptocurrency world isn’t as easy as most may think,

Chainalysis Confirms the Lack of Privacy

If these features are not built in at the protocol level, they serve no real purpose.

The new report by Chainalysis confirms as much.

The team looked at both Dash and ZCash to determine how private their transactions really are.

As it turns out, the possibility to mix transactions doesn’t provide better privacy compared to Bitcoin.

In fact, the use of PrivateSend on the network is less than 0.7% of all transactions.

Dash hasn’t advertised itself as a privacy coin for a while now, as the focus has shifted to payments, which it seems to be far better suited for.

For ZCash, obfuscation through zk-SNARKS is powerful, but it is not a foolproof method.

Chainalysis confirms they can track transaction values and at least one address for 99% of all network transactions.

Few transactions are completely shielded, simply because the protocol doesn’t enforce proper encryption of transaction data. 

Image(s): Shutterstock.com

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Lack of Real-world Use Cases Prevents Smart Contracts From Moving Beyond Stablecoins and Ponzi Schemes

To some people, it would appear as if Ethereum’s smart contract and dApp industry is thriving. Others see the space being dominated by transparent Ponzi Schemes and a stablecoin, hinting at little innovation.

The actual use cases for smart contracts remain somewhat limited.

Smart Contracts Remain a Niche Industry

More specifically, smart contracts have tremendous potential, assuming someone can develop a project that will gain traction.

So far, that has proven much easier said than done. 

Looking over Ethereum’s dApp and smart contract statistics, things are not looking overly convincing.

The top 4 projects ranked by value and volume are Tether’, a Scam, and two Ponzi Schemes. 

Not necessarily a list that will get speculators and onlookers excited by any means.

One also has to wonder why this situation is in place

It is not an issue native to Ethereum either.

Any blockchain with smart contract functionality will attract these types of dApps and projects.

Building real applications that serve a purpose in everyday life is an ongoing challenge. 

Whoever can break this code first may help elevate the cryptocurrency and blockchain industry to a whole new level. 

For now, it seems unlikely that anything major will change, yet one never knows what the future may hold.

Image(s): Shutterstock.com

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Brave Redirected Users to its Binance Referral Link for an Unknown Period of Time

A good controversy in the cryptocurrency industry is never far away. Brave, the browser renowned for its ad blocking and anti-tracking solution, is effectively redirecting Binance users to its own referral links. 

While many users are impressed by Brave, the browser’s source code hides something interesting.

Deceptive Practices by Brave Developers?

It shows that, when users browser the Binance website, they are automatically redirected to a referral link.

For existing users, this won’t matter much.

Newcomers, however, will indirectly sponsor the Brave team’s funds if they sign up for a Binance account and actively use it. 

Why this deceptive effort was in the source code, remains a bit unclear.

It does not affect any other exchanges either, further adding fuel to the fire. 

Such blatant intent to spread a referral link and forcing users to go through it does raise a lot of questions.

An approach like this can set a dangerous precedent, and one that will backfire on Brave sooner or later.

Thankfully, the developers issued an update to remove the referral link altogether.

That said, Brave has been around for over  a year, thus they undoubtedly raised a lot of funds through these deceptive practices.

From a credibility point of view, this is a major blunder by the Brave team, for obvious reasons.

Image(s): Shutterstock.com

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Coinbase Hopes to Persuade the IRS and DEA Regarding its Blockchain Analytics Tool

Coinbase remains one of the biggest gateways to cryptocurrency for both novice and advanced users. It now appears that its in-house developed blockchain analytics software will be made accessible to at least two federal agencies. 

Law enforcement agencies have shown a keen interest in Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.

An Interesting Play by Coinbase

So much even that the IRS is effectively going after crypto holders when it comes to filing taxes.

Making matters even more interesting is how Coinbase wants to offer a helping hand. 

Behind the scenes, the exchange has developed a blockchain analytics service package.

What that entails exactly is unknown at this time.

Documents do confirm that Coinbase is looking for clients willing to give it a spin.

Both the DEA and the IRS are on the radar, as they both stand to gain a lot from 

It is also rumored that signing up the DEA will net Coinbase up to $250,000.

As one would come to expect, this new “surveillance” tool is met with ample criticism.

This primarily stems from Coinbase’s alleged ties to Hacking Team. 

That doesn’t deter US agencies from trying to identify the identity of crypto users, however.

All means are acceptable to achieve this goal, regardless of the cost.

Image(s): Shutterstock.com

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Protestors of the 5G Rollout Turn Their Attention to Telco Employees

It was a matter of time until the people who openly protested the 5G rollout would change their approach. Unfortunately, it seems as if the employees working for telcos – or those who don’t have anything to do with the industry – are now a new target. 

The opinions on 5G mobile connectivity are divided, to put it nicely.

The 5G Drama Continues

Many people see the benefit of faster internet on mobile devices.

Others think that 5G technology will either cause cancer, spread COVID-19, or expect it to be a major surveillance tool by the government. 

So far, none of these theories has proven, and it is unlikely that will change anytime soon.

Even so, the protests against the rollout of this technology will not go away overnight.

Telcos and their employees face harassment on a regular basis right now, including death threats.

In some cases, it even gets violent in the form of razor blades and needles being hidden  in plain sight.

In the UK, over 200 incidents of abuse against telecom engineers have been filed since early April 2020.

What the protestors aim to achieve by going after company workers, is unclear.

Those actions will be even less effective compared to setting 5G infrastructure on fire. 

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Zoom Doesn’t Want Free Users to Benefit From End-to-end Encryption

Zoom has quickly become a go-to solution for video communication during the COVID-19 crisis. Following a recent statement by the company, its popularity may take a serious hit.

Using Zoom can be done without paying for a subscription, albeit paid tiers are also available.

A Potentially Wrong Decision by Zoom

It now appears that the company will focus most of its attention to paying customers, at least where encrypted communication is concerned.

Free users will not be given access to end-to-end encryption, which is a surprising turn of events.

According to Zoom, they will take this route to ensure law enforcement agents can access these calls and information if necessary.

Instead, only professional customers – businesses, schools, and regular paying customers – will be given access to this ‘privilege”. 

For Zoom, it is crucial that they can work together with the FBI and local law enforcement

It appears that this decision is a direct result of a new bill in US Congress.

That bill aims to penalize those using encryption on social media, including service providers.

From a user point of view, this is a good time to determine whether paying for Zoom is worth it.

After all, the company wants to work with law enforcement, yet it is unclear how this affects paying customers, if at all. 

The post Zoom Doesn’t Want Free Users to Benefit From End-to-end Encryption appeared first on NullTX.

The USDT Supply on TRON Surpasses a Major Milestone

When people think of Tether’s USDT stablecoin, the Ethereum blockchain will be mentioned relatively quickly. However, it seems as if the USDT issuance on TRON is also on the rise, as its circulation amount surpassed $2.5 billion.

It is rather interesting to see how the USDT supply is distributed across different blockchains.

USDT on TRON is on Fire

The original OMNI blockchain has seemingly been surpassed by at least two competitors, at least in USDT issuance volume. 

Ethereum is clearly the go-to chain for this stablecoin, but competition will arise sooner or later.

According to Justin Sun, the issuance of USDT on TRON has surpassed $2.5 billion in terms of circulation amount.

A remarkable milestone, although it validates the choice for TRON as an extra liquidity network.

As such, this news will catapult TRON’s blockchain to a whole new level.

That said, it is a bit worrisome when stablecoins are the main reason for blockchain use these days.

This applies as much to TRON as it does Ethereum. 

None of the dApps on either blockchain come close in terms of volume or transactions.

That is a bit worrisome, albeit the situation will keep evolving at all times. 

The race between TRON and Ethereum appears to be far from over at this point.

Image(s): Shutterstock.com

The post The USDT Supply on TRON Surpasses a Major Milestone appeared first on NullTX.

Firefox Wants to Compete With Brave but it Will Cost Users Money

Brave has often been dubbed to be a much better internet browser compared to Chrome, Firefox, and Opera. The Firefox team is not taking this lying down, however, as their new extension may bring stiff competition to Brave.

There are different ways to reward web publishers and content creators.

Firefox Developers Take an Important Step

As the Brave browser shows, introducing native tipping capabilities is one way of achieving that goal.

More importantly, the browser also prevents advertisements from being displayed unless the end user grants explicit permission.

Firefox is now trying a somewhat similar approach, although with a different long-term goal.

Thanks to a partnership between Mozilla and Scroll, a new Firefox extension has been created.

Known as Firefox Better Web, it prevents tracking on the web and ads from loading.

That latter aspect only applies if one signs up for Scroll, which costs $5 per month.

Furthermore, Scroll only works on select websites.

One interesting aspect is how the plugin will also break cryptomining malware, which has become a major issue in recent months.

The main objective now is to get people to try this extension and Scroll accordingly.

Whether anyone is willing to pay for an experience that Brave provides for free, is a different matter altogether.

Image(s): Shutterstock.com

The post Firefox Wants to Compete With Brave but it Will Cost Users Money appeared first on NullTX.

Firefox Wants to Compete With Brave but it Will Cost Users Money

Brave has often been dubbed to be a much better internet browser compared to Chrome, Firefox, and Opera. The Firefox team is not taking this lying down, however, as their new extension may bring stiff competition to Brave.

There are different ways to reward web publishers and content creators.

Firefox Developers Take an Important Step

As the Brave browser shows, introducing native tipping capabilities is one way of achieving that goal.

More importantly, the browser also prevents advertisements from being displayed unless the end user grants explicit permission.

Firefox is now trying a somewhat similar approach, although with a different long-term goal.

Thanks to a partnership between Mozilla and Scroll, a new Firefox extension has been created.

Known as Firefox Better Web, it prevents tracking on the web and ads from loading.

That latter aspect only applies if one signs up for Scroll, which costs $5 per month.

Furthermore, Scroll only works on select websites.

One interesting aspect is how the plugin will also break cryptomining malware, which has become a major issue in recent months.

The main objective now is to get people to try this extension and Scroll accordingly.

Whether anyone is willing to pay for an experience that Brave provides for free, is a different matter altogether.

Image(s): Shutterstock.com

The post Firefox Wants to Compete With Brave but it Will Cost Users Money appeared first on NullTX.