‘Gold Is Superior to Bitcoin,’ Say People Who Sell Gold

‘Gold Is Superior to Bitcoin,’ Say People Who Sell Gold

The folks that sell gold are a bit upset by Grayscale’s Drop Gold advertising campaign. In particular, GoldMoney.com, is going to great lengths to convince the investing public that the yellow metal is “superior” to bitcoin, not the other way around as the Grayscale ads claim. The precious-metals company has created an infographic and white paper that aim to convince us gold isn’t so bad. GoldMoney.com founder Roy Sebag has quite a lot to say on the matter. His white paper begins by calling out Barry Silbert, founder of Grayscale parent Digital Currency Group: The DropGold advertorial campaign has, in my personal view, been poorly conceived, and–as I have repeatedly stated via social media–is so preposterous in its nature as to be akin to uttering phrases like “drop Oxygen” or “drop Copper.” In short, I believe this campaign will not age well, and that it runs the risk of ultimately undermining the ideals and objectives of the cryptocurrency community, which, for the most part, are well-meaning in their desire to reorient society towards a return to the principles of sound commodity money which have underscored and amplified the proliferation of human cooperative societies from time immemorial until the very recent past (with Richard Nixon’s historically unprecedented and ostensibly temporary suspension of the Gold standard in 1971). To be even more explicit, I am sympathetic to the broad vision of the cryptocurrency community and feel that Grayscale and Mr. Silbert, through these actions, have made a critical error in judgement that is neither representative of the community nor beneficial to its core objectives. Sebag goes on to argue that far from being weightless as suggested in the Grayscale ads, bitcoin actually weighs more than gold. After all, it is hosted on heavy servers! Courtesy of GoldMoney Further, he tells us that gold has implicit utility – as a thing used to create more bitcoin! Courtesy of GoldMoney “Bitcoin needs gold to exist,” writes Sebag. “Gold doesn’t need Bitcoin to exist.” While Sebag is splitting hairs here – after all, bitcoin, as a digital asset, is invisible, tasteless, and odorless while gold is a physical object you can wear around your neck – his point is simply that we shouldn’t yet discount gold as a valuable asset.…

The Land of the Free: Why Decentralization Matters in the Crypto Republic

The Land of the Free: Why Decentralization Matters in the Crypto Republic

On May 30, Tezos implemented the amendment Athens A, as the result of a voting process that involved its baker nodes (the Tezos equivalent of “miners”) from Feb. 28 to May 30. Although the actual relevance of the upgrade was quite small (see below), the Tezos community underlines that the test was a milestone. The smooth shift to Athens A indeed demonstrated the capability of Tezos to evolve without forking, thanks to the features of proposal/selection/voting/test/implementation this blockchain itself encompasses. On the very same day, another fast-growing young company backed by a cryptocurrency, Iota, announced an important step toward total decentralization, substituting its Coordinator mechanism with the new Coordicide tool. Coordicide will perform the same functions of its predecessor, ensuring transaction security and preventing double spending. However, the new protocol will allow the peculiar Iota block creation process to work in a fully decentralized and permissionless manner. The debate over what constitutes the most suitable approach to the exchange business and the declarations of some big companies about decentralized exchanges (DEX) — both for or against it — only add to the fact that the topic of decentralization is still a paramount concern as crypto involves more people and use cases. The evolution of cryptocurrencies as a business increases the amount of interest it generates. As in any business, this involves issues relating to power distribution. But such questions are difficult to answer in a simplistic way. Benevolent dictators Bitcoin (BTC) defines itself as a peer-to-peer (p2p) network, as per the title of its white paper; the new electronic cash would work in a trustless manner — the 2008’s foundation document states — thanks to the consensus of the honest nodes that “control a majority of CPU power.” The dream of money created by the people and for the people, freely circulating across the national borders, and untouchable by the rapacious economic monopolies was very appealing during the years following a dramatic financial crisis, which some may argue left the world suspicious toward governments and traditional financial actors. However, while Bitcoin evolved from being a “cypherpunk” plaything to a relevant business entity, many concerns about its actual decentralization and “internal democracy” arose. In autumn 2016, for instance, two researchers — De Filippi from Harvard University…

New Malware Campaign Spreads Trojans Through Clone Crypto Trading Website

New Malware Campaign Spreads Trojans Through Clone Crypto Trading Website

Twitter user and malware researcher Fumik0_ has discovered a new website that spreads cryptocurrency malware, according to a report by Bleeping Computer on June 5. According to the report, the host for transmitting these viruses is a website that imitates the website for Cryptohopper, a website where users can program tools to perform automatic cryptocurrency trading. When the scam site is visited, it reportedly automatically downloads a setup.exe installer, which will infect the computer once it runs. The setup panel will also display the logo of Cryptohopper in another attempt to trick the user. Running the installer is said to install the Vidar information-stealing Trojan, which further installs two Qulab trojans for mining and clipboard hijacking. The clipper and miners are then deployed once every minute in order to continuously collect data. The Vidar information-stealing trojan itself will attempt to scrape user data such as browser cookies, browser history, browser payment information, saved login credentials, and cryptocurrency wallets. The information is periodically compiled and sent to a remote server, after which the compilation is deleted. The Qulab clipboard hijacker will attempt to substitute its own addresses in the clipboard when it recognizes that a user has copied a string that looks like a wallet address. This allows cryptocurrency transactions initiated by the user to get redirected to the attacker’s address instead. This hijacker has address substitutions available for ether (ETH), bitcoin (BTC), bitcoin cash (BCH), dogecoin (DOGE), dash (DASH), litecoin (LTC), zcash (ZEC), bitcoin gold (BTG), xrp, and qtum. One wallet reportedly associated with the clipper has received 33 BTC, or $258,335 at press time, via the substitution address ‘1FFRitFm5rP5oY5aeTeDikpQiWRz278L45,’ although this may not all have come from the Cryptohopper scam. As previously reported by Cointelegraph, a YouTube-based crypto scam campaign was discovered in May, luring in victims with the promise of a free BTC generator. After users ran the alleged BTC generator, which was automatically downloaded by visiting the associated website, they would be infected with a Qulab trojan. Then, the Qulab trojan would attempt to steal user information and run a clipboard hijacker for crypto addresses.

President of Brazil Jair Bolsonaro: ‘I Do Not Know What Bitcoin Is’

President of Brazil Jair Bolsonaro: ‘I Do Not Know What Bitcoin Is’

The president of Brazil, Jair Bolsonaro, has stated that he does not know what bitcoin (BTC) is, and endorsed the suspension of a project that would create a crypto for indigenous people to use, Cointelegraph Brazil reported on June 4. Bolsonaro supported the Minister of Women, Family and Human Rights, Damares Alves in the termination of a project worth $44.9 million Brazilian reals ($11.5 million) between the National Indian Foundation (FUNAI) and the Federal Fluminense University (UFF), which promoted the creation of a cryptocurrency for indigenous people to use. Bolsonaro delivered his comments during an interview with Ratinho’s SBT show on June 4. After saying that the Minister acted properly in blocking the project that “wanted to teach the Indian to use bitcoin,” the president was asked by a show participant if he knew what bitcoin was. Bolsonaro replied: “I do not know what bitcoin is.” Shortly after the speech, Bolsonaro rectified his statement and said that bitcoin was a “virtual currency.” The project offered by FUNAI and the UFF will purportedly neither receive financing and support, nor integrate bitcoin. Over his career, Bolsonaro has made several controversial statements regarding indigenous people in Brazil, and promised to roll back protections on their lands. As previously reported, the government suspended the project in early January claiming that the contract was issued improperly and lacked technical analysis, such as a detailed description of the project. The contract for the project was allegedly signed directly between FUNAI and UFF, instead of through a legal bidding process. Moreover, the government said that the contract had been approved too quickly and entailed considerable expenditure. In late May, the President of the Chamber of Deputies of Brazil, Deputy Rodrigo Maia ordered the establishment of a commission to consider cryptocurrency regulation in the country. The commission will be composed of 34 members in accordance with the House Rules of Procedure.

P2P Bitcoin Exchange HodlHodl Launches Lightning Network Support

P2P Bitcoin Exchange HodlHodl Launches Lightning Network Support

Non-custodial peer-to-peer (P2P) bitcoin (BTC) exchange HodlHodl announced Lightning Network support in a Medium article published on June 5. The announcement claims that now “everyone is able to buy bitcoins and receive them directly into their Lightning wallet & sell bitcoins directly from their Lightning wallet.” The post also notes that the platform has previously tested Lightning Network support on the test network. The company reportedly only implemented Lightning Network support after successful testing. The post further highlights that the actual procedure will not be much different when compared to the usual HodlHodl transaction: “The only difference is that for the contract lifetime we hold funds in our Lightning wallet which protects both buyer and seller from scams, and the contracts become cheaper, faster and simpler. ” Lastly, the company notes that the implementation will not affect the rest of the platform, and that the regular bitcoin on-chain multisignature contracts used on the platform will still be non-custodial. As Cointelegraph reported yesterday, P2P crypto exchange LocalBitcoins — HodlHodl’s major competitor — has officially confirmed the removal of trading in local fiat currencies. LocalEthereum, the similarly-named platform catering to ether (ETH) traders, announced it had removed cash transaction fees as a direct response to LocalBitcoins’ action.

Ex-Bitmain CEO Jihan Wu Set to Launch Crypto OTC Platform Next Month: Report

Ex-Bitmain CEO Jihan Wu Set to Launch Crypto OTC Platform Next Month: Report

Ex-Bitmain CEO Jihan Wu could launch his newest venture next month, according to a report by The Block on June 5. One unnamed source told the website that the crypto services startup, called Matrix, “will be the biggest over-the-counter (OTC) desk and asset manager overnight.” Matrix’s OTC offering is likely to be boosted by its close ties to bitcoin (BTC) mining company, Bitmain. The new business will reportedly offer custody and lending services to the Beijing-based giant, receiving a liquid pool in return. Another of the four unnamed sources told The Block that such high levels of liquidity could result in lower crypto prices, giving Matrix a competitive advantage in Asia. The Block notes that speculation remains over whether Wu will serve as chairman or CEO of the new company — as well as over whether Matrix would be allowed to operate in China, which has a history of clamping down on the cryptocurrency industry and crypto trading. Last November, Wu was reportedly demoted from being a “director” at Bitmain to a “supervisor.” Bitmain is one of the biggest players in the cryptocurrency industry due to its huge mining capabilities, and Wu continues to hold a 20.5% stake in the business.

EU: Malta Needs to Improve Readiness to Respond to Cryptocurrency Crime

EU: Malta Needs to Improve Readiness to Respond to Cryptocurrency Crime

The European Union has told Malta it needs to improve the resources it has to fight potential financial crime as a result of cryptocurrency popularity, local daily news outlet Malta Today reported on June 5. In a letter to member states advising how to spend EU funds, the European Commission flagged Malta’s burgeoning cryptocurrency sector as a potential weak link in the fight against financial crime. “The Commission, in its recommendations to member states for the use of EU funds, said that the size of Malta’s financial and gaming sector, and the efforts to attract crypto-currency operators required an effective anti-money laundering enforcement,” Malta Today summarized. Additionally, possible conflicts of interest in government should be addressed regarding corruption, while tax obligations should also be reassessed. “Furthermore, the police’s Economic Crimes Unit is currently understaffed,” the Commission added. It continued: “In this context, it is important to couple a strengthened legislative framework with timely and thorough implementation.” Malta continues on its path to create a haven for cryptocurrency and blockchain businesses. As Cointelegraph reported, some of the industry’s biggest names, including exchange Binance, have made the country their home under the government’s highly-publicized “Blockchain Island” plans. At the same time, authorities are getting to grips with controlling the sector, creating both vetting structures and releasing information for consumers, such as the risks associated with crypto asset investment. Silvio Schembri, Junior Minister for Financial Services, Digital Economy and Innovation within the Office of the Prime Minister of Malta, wrote a dedicated article for Cointelegraph last month in which he discussed the current state of the “Blockchain Island” project.

‘Gold Is Superior To Bitcoin,’ Say People Who Sell Gold

‘Gold Is Superior To Bitcoin,’ Say People Who Sell Gold

The folks that sell gold are a bit upset by Grayscale’s Drop Gold advertising campaign. In particular, GoldMoney.com, is going to great lengths to convince the investing public that the yellow metal is “superior” to bitcoin, not the other way around as the Grayscale ads claim. The precious-metals company has created an infographic and white paper that aim to convince us gold isn’t so bad. GoldMoney.com founder Roy Sebag has quite a lot to say on the matter. His white paper begins by calling out Barry Silbert, founder of Grayscale parent Digital Currency Group: The DropGold advertorial campaign has, in my personal view, been poorly conceived, and–as I have repeatedly stated via social media–is so preposterous in its nature as to be akin to uttering phrases like “drop Oxygen” or “drop Copper.” In short, I believe this campaign will not age well, and that it runs the risk of ultimately undermining the ideals and objectives of the cryptocurrency community, which, for the most part, are well-meaning in their desire to reorient society towards a return to the principles of sound commodity money which have underscored and amplified the proliferation of human cooperative societies from time immemorial until the very recent past (with Richard Nixon’s historically unprecedented and ostensibly temporary suspension of the Gold standard in 1971). To be even more explicit, I am sympathetic to the broad vision of the cryptocurrency community and feel that Grayscale and Mr. Silbert, through these actions, have made a critical error in judgement that is neither representative of the community nor beneficial to its core objectives. Sebag goes on to argue that far from being weightless as suggested in the Grayscale ads, bitcoin actually weighs more than gold. After all, it is hosted on heavy servers! Courtesy of GoldMoney Further, he tells us that gold has implicit utility – as a thing used to create more bitcoin! Courtesy of GoldMoney “Bitcoin needs gold to exist,” writes Sebag. “Gold doesn’t need Bitcoin to exist.” While Sebag is splitting hairs here – after all, bitcoin, as a digital asset, is invisible, tasteless, and odorless while gold is a physical object you can wear around your neck – his point is simply that we shouldn’t yet discount gold as a valuable asset.…

Every Game This South Korean Startup Makes Has Its Own Blockchain

Every Game This South Korean Startup Makes Has Its Own Blockchain

South Korean blockchain game startup Planetarium is planning to launch a test version of a new decentralized game, Nine Chronicles, later in this month. The role-playing game will store its storyboard and data all on a blockchain. Its own blockchain. This is the first game developed with Planetarium’s game authoring tool which will be officially released as an open source platform this year. Once Libplanet, the authoring tool, is made public by the end of this year, developers will be able to use it to make games as well as blockchains for the games. Planetarium CEO Kijun Seo thinks blockchain game developers are shoehorning games into existing blockchain platforms like ethereum or EOS. Instead, Planetarium suggests that a game should be made and run in an independent and complete ecosystem, which means that if there are ten games, there should be ten different blockchain platforms made for each game. Image via CoinDesk Korea “Decisions about the game are to be determined by the needs of the games, not by the platform. We should define the game first, not the blockchain underneath it,” Seo said. Planetarium expects that its open-source platform will let the users create their own versions of games following the example of the legendary online game League of Legends. An earlier game, Warcraft III, featured a popular custom map made by gamers which led to the birth of League of Legends, Seo noted, adding that blockchain can remove hindrances to such creativity: “When game companies found out that any secondary creation by users’ modding went against their interests, they blocked the private servers that gamers installed or sued the users for violation of copyrights. I believe that decentralized games built upon our open source platform will be able to open a new era for secondary creations.” Planetarium has already attracted seed investment from South Korean venture capital firms and it plans to adopt a dual-license system, encouraging the use of open source code but receiving funds for commercial uses. Originally published on CoinDesk Korea. Translation by Oihyun Kim

Former Mt Gox CEO Mark Karpeles Announces New Blockchain Startup

Former Mt Gox CEO Mark Karpeles Announces New Blockchain Startup

Former Mt. Gox CEO Mark Karpeles is dipping his feet back into the crypto industry as he wants to help Japan become a powerhouse within the blockchain economy. The former CEO of the now-defunct exchange told the media on June 5 about his new venture called Tristan Technologies. Also read: Mt Gox CEO Mark Karpeles Found Not Guilty of Embezzlement Mark Karpeles Is Back in the Crypto Business Statistically speaking, Mark Karpeles was extremely fortunate to have been found not guilty of embezzlement in Japan, which has a 99% conviction rate throughout the land. In March, Karpeles was handed down a suspended sentence of roughly two and a half years and if he stays out of trouble he won’t have to serve time. Now the former Mt. Gox CEO has announced he’s stepping back into the crypto world and revealed his new blockchain startup to media outlets. Regional publication The Mainichi detailed that Karpeles’ new venture called Tristan Technologies aims to utilize his expertise with cryptographic technology. On June 5, Mark Karpeles spoke to the Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Japan 公益社団法人 日本外国特派員協会.According to Mainichi reporters, Karpeles told the press that he wants Japan to be the global leader when it comes to blockchain technology. So he’s established a startup in the country that aims to provide a new operating system (OS) that uses a distributed ledger technology framework and claims to be faster than OS competitors. “Japan used to be engineering superpower in terms of its PCs but right now, taking the cloud for example, it’s the U.S. that dominates,” the former Mt. Gox CEO told the press. “But I still believe in the potential Japan has and I would like to develop that — My love for Japan has not changed.” Mark Karpeles, former CEO of Mt. Gox, says “it’s been a very long road to today” when talking about his situation. He says “I had to start form zero” about his current financial status. He added “I want to make great things in the future again and I’m working toward this goal.” pic.twitter.com/u790drJS3q — FCCJ (@fccjapan) June 5, 2019 Last year, in mid-April, it was reported that Karpeles landed a C-level position as the chief technology officer (CTO) for a firm called London…