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Showing posts with label security. Show all posts
Showing posts with label security. Show all posts

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Bitcoin growing as a currency as UK company to use it as payment at 27 airports

One of the biggest debates in recent weeks as the value of Bitcoin skyrockets to nearly $2000 per coin is whether the crypto-currency is really a medium of exchange, or simply a security that allows one to store their wealth in a decentralized digital wallet.  And while the argument has been strongly on the side of it being a security thanks to Chinese and Japanese investors using it simply as a way to find an alternative to their own devaluing currencies, on May 19 a British company is pulling Bitcoin back onto the currency side of the ledger by allowing its use at all 27 UK airports for extraneous payments such as short and long-term parking.

SkyParkSecure, an airport parking provider in the United Kingdom, is now accepting bitcoin for payments at a number of airports across the region in cities including London, Liverpool, Glasgow and Belfast. 
Are you a frequent flier in and around the UK? A parking provider will now take your bitcoin. SkyParkSecure will automatically convert the fiat pricing of a parking ticket into Bitcoin for quicker and seamless payments directly from your cryptocurrency wallet. 
Based in the North-West of England in Blackpool, SkyParkSecure doesn’t own or operate car parks but acts as a booking platform for airport parking and a host of other travel services including hotels and lounges. The parking provider claims to have facilitated over 1.6 million bookings on its website and ropes in customers with discounted rates. 
Now, SkyParkSecure has laid claim to becoming the first independent UK travel company to accept bitcoin for airport parking. - Crypto Coin News

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

At $1700 per coin and climbing, is Bitcoin this year's best performing currency, or best performing investment?

It took barely 48 hours for Bitcoin to jump from $1600 per coin to over $1700, but that is exactly what took place as of this morning on May 9.  But at the same time there was an interesting caveat that also took place that begs the question of whether Bitcoin should be considered the best performing currency to date in 2017, or instead the best performing security (investment).

If Bitcoin is supposed to be a currency that runs in competition to the dollar, yen, euro, etc..., then by all monetary logic it should be moving in opposition to each individual currency that it is priced in.  However when Bitcoin jumped to over $1700 earlier today, it did so when the dollar had strengthened by over 100 bps on the dollar index, meaning that it was moving in tandem, rather than in opposition to the dollar.

Those are the actions of a security rather than than a currency.

Bitcoin Chart:


Dollar Chart:


Another interesting thing to ponder is who exactly is buying Bitcoin right now?  We know from public reports that investors/entrepreneurs like the Winklevoss Twins own between $10 - 25 million worth of Bitcoin as they bid to put the crypto-currency into a financialized ETF, and Billionaire Michael Novogratz has stated that he has put 10% of more of his wealth into both Bitcoin and Ether coin.

So perhaps the question that has to be asked is not if Bitcoin is a currency versus an investment, but what is the market itself saying Bitcoin is based on its price movement, and how it is relating to all the world's currencies it is denominated against.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Cyber hacker group going after Bitcoin wallets to break their encryption and steal currencies

Over the past right years there have been a number of cyber hackers who have either sought to provide whistleblowers a way to disseminate information, or even worse, to hack into any number of monetary and banking systems in order to steal large sums of money.

In the sovereign world the biggest case of cyber-theft came when hackers broke into the SWIFT system and stole nearly $100 million from the Indonesian government.

But a new cyber group is going after a different type of game, and the now stated goal of the aptly named, Large Bitcoin Collider, is to blitz the encryption of digital Bitcoin wallets to break their 'impenetrable security' in order to steal any digital currency kept in those wallets.

Image result for bitcoin wallets can be hacked
A group called the "Large Bitcoin Collider" claims it can smash open bitcoin wallets by using a so-called brute force attack, which directs mass amounts of computer power at individual wallets in order to guess their private keys. 
The project, which has been underway for months, relies on a distributed network of computers (similar to bitcoin itself), and invites anyone to participate—those who do could potentially share in the proceeds of the wallets cracked open. 
A "trophy list" on the home page of Collider (an apparent reference to the Hadron Collider) suggests the group has successfully opened over a dozen wallets, though only three had any bitcoin in them. It's unclear if the group is motivated by financial gain or the cryptographic challenge of smashing wallets—the answer is probably both based on the site's webpage and outside observers. - Fortune
On the surface this hacker group appears to be less interested in money, and more interested in causing havok for individuals who believe their Bitcoin is secure in an online wallet.  And since anything online can eventually be hacked by someone with enough time, tools, and skill, the answer to this is to take your Bitcoin wallet offline, and keep your currency stored in a more secure 'Paper wallet'.

Monday, March 20, 2017

The empire strikes back as IRS expands hunt for Bitcoin users who don't report capital gains taxes

Sovereign governments around the world have instituted a number of different programs and processes to deal with the rise of crypto-currencies, and the use of ones like Bitcoin to function outside their controlled monetary systems.  In China for example, new guidelines were put in place for Bitcoin exchanges that now require identity checks and monitoring of all transactions.

But the U.S. has chosen a different path, and it stems from a ruling in 2014 by the U.S. district court of jurisdiction in Southern New York where judges determined that Bitcoin was an security rather than a currency, and as such was to be treated like an investment requiring the filing of capital gains taxes on the holder's tax returns.

And while little actual investigation or pursuit of individuals failing to file their Bitcoin profits with the IRS has taken place over the past two to three years, that appears to be changing now with the government's monitoring of exchanges like Coinbase and their ramping up of their intention to go after individuals who do not report their Bitcoin capital gains profits on their annual tax returns.

Image result for bitcoin government
The Internal Revenue Service revealed new details about its investigation into tax evasion related to bitcoin, filing court documents that suggest only a tiny percentage of virtual currency owners are reporting profits or losses in their annual returns. 
The new documents, filed Thursday in San Francisco federal court, come in the midst of a closely-watched legal fight between the IRS and Coinbase, a popular service for buying and selling bitcoins that hosts over a million customer accounts. 
The dispute began last year when the IRS issued a sweeping summons for Coinbase to turn over a vast amount of customer data, including every customer account as well as detailed transaction records. 
Coinbase claimed the IRS demands are illegally broad and refused to comply, which in turn led the IRS to file a federal lawsuit last week to enforce the summons. - Fortune

Friday, June 17, 2016

Why gold over Bitcoin, bank accounts, or the Fed? Security.

A few months ago, Indonesian hackers broke into the most powerful bank in the world and made off with between $80 and $180 million dollars.  And according to numerous sources, this is not the first time the Federal Reserve has seen their operations broken into by cyber-thieves.

So while banking systems and individual accounts are never fully protected from theft or hacking (just ask the 100 million who have experienced identity theft in one form or another), the cypto-currency community has always promoted the idea that holding your wealth in currencies such as Bitcoin alleviates these potential threats.

Until today.

Bitcoin's largest crypto-currency competitor Ethereum was hacked recently and upwards of $60 million in digital money was stolen from accounts using this block-chain.


As Cryptcoinnews reports, Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin has asked digital currency exchanges to “pause” ether and activity on the decentralized autonomous organization, or DAO, activity following a hack of the DAO smart contract address. As a reminder Ethereum is the blockchain platform that enabled the DAO’s creation. 
The DAO is currently being drained of ethers in a still-ongoing breach (as of this morning) to the unknown attacker’sETH address. The ongoing hack and possible theft, deemed as an “attack” on the DAO by Vitalik Buterin, has the co-founder of Ethereum issue a plea seeking digital currency exchanges to pause ether (ETH) and DAO transactions.
Thus we have the most powerful bank, and the second biggest crypto-currency, proven un-secure despite the fact that each are shielded with some of the best firewalls and anti-hacking measures in existence.

Which leaves us with the one form of money that is not subject to cyber-hacking or identity theft... that of physical gold and silver.

What's in your wallet?

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Is your bank account safe? Cyber-hacking on financial institutions increasing in 2015

On May 20 it was confirmed that cyber-hackers had broken into one of the district banks of the Federal Reserve, validating what many experts predicted will be a massive increase to state sponsored and rogue lone wolf electronic break-ins of banks and businesses in 2015.
The St. Louis Federal Reserve website was hacked in April, causing a large portion of website traffic to be re-routed to a spoofed site and potentially placing clients at risk to malware infiltration which could lead to secure data on their own systems being compromised.
 
Read more on this article here...