Bitcoin SV Experiences Blockchain Reorganizations, Possibly Due to Unwieldy Block Size

Bitcoin SV Experiences Blockchain Reorganizations, Possibly Due to Unwieldy Block Size

The Bitcoin Satoshi Vision (BSV) blockchain is struggling with its large block size following a series of block re-organizations, cryptocurrency exchange BitMEX tweeted on April 19. In the post, BitMEX reveals that on April 18 its BSV node “experienced 2 block re-organizations. First a 3 block re-organisation, followed by a 6 block re-organisation.” BitMEX provided a diagram in the post: Bitcoin SV block reorganization. Source: BitMEX Blockchain re-organization is a situation when two miners discover a block simultaneously in a blockchain which causes a temporary forking in the network, with the situation resolved when a miner finds the next block as their chain has the more work out of two forks. The block which caused the fork becomes “orphaned,” and is changed with the block from the fork with more blocks. Block re-organization occurs when the network is too slow to reproduce blocks efficiently. In the comments to the tweet, BitMEX explains that it detected two valid competing chains, with a split occurred at block 578,639. BitMEX’s node reportedly followed the chain on the left until block 578,642, which further leapt to the right. In about an hour the chain reportedly jumped back to the left side. BitMEX notes that no double spending took place. When asked what it could possibly mean, BitMEX outlined several variants, saying that the Bitcoin Cash SV network is not reliable for payments, the block size limit is too large and network latency is too high. Most recently, BSV has had difficulties on cryptocurrency exchanges, with some announcing they would delist the coin. Major crypto exchange Binance stated that as of April 22, it will delist and cease trading on all trading pairs for BSV. Binance explained that it only delists a coin after another in-depth review, noting “[w]e believe this best protects all of our users.” A few days later, United States-based crypto exchange Kraken also decided to delist BSV. In an official press release, Kraken said that BSV had “engaged in behavior completely antithetical to everything we at Kraken and the wider crypto community stands for.”

Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple, Bitcoin Cash, Litecoin, EOS, Binance Coin, Stellar, Cardano, TRON: Price Analysis April 19

Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple, Bitcoin Cash, Litecoin, EOS, Binance Coin, Stellar, Cardano, TRON: Price Analysis April 19

The views and opinions expressed here are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Cointelegraph. Every investment and trading move involves risk, you should conduct your own research when making a decision. Market data is provided by the HitBTC exchange. The recovery in crypto prices has led to an increase in over-the-counter (OTC) demand for Bitcoin and altcoins. This surge in volume was cited by Binance’s CFO as one of the reasons for its strong Q1 performance. Another platform being watched closely is the yet-to-be-launched Bakkt. Anonymous sources told Bloomberg that the United States Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) is reluctant to approve the Bitcoin futures because Bakkt intends to hold user assets. However, as the CFTC recognizes state bank and trust licenses, Bakkt might seek a New York BitLicense to launch its bitcoin futures. This is likely to increase the possibility of a green signal by the CFTC for the project. The crypto and blockchain space is attracting investment from both venture capitalists and the government. Compared to the $2.5 billion in investments by venture capital firms in 2018, the space has already seen investors pump in $850 million in 2019. At this pace, this year’s total investment is likely to top that of last year. Similarly, the U.S. federal government’s blockchain spending is expected to increase from $10.7 million in 2017 to $123.5 million by 2022. We also like the way the community has been quick to respond to the Notre Dame tragedy. BTC/USD Bitcoin (BTC) has continued to move up at a snail’s pace. This shows that the bulls are nervous to buy aggressively at higher levels. But if the digital currency rises above $5404.82, it might attract some buying and short covering. The target levels to watch on the upside are $5,674.84 and above it to $5,900. The uptrending moving averages and the RSI close to the overbought zone suggests that the bulls are at an advantage. Our bullish view will be invalidated if the BTC/USD pair turns down from the current levels and plunges below $4,914.11. Such a move will signal profit booking and short initiation by the aggressive bears. The traders can trail the stop loss on the remaining long positions to $4,800.…

3% of American Retirees Own Some Bitcoin, While 33% Have No Idea What Bitcoin Is: Survey

3% of American Retirees Own Some Bitcoin, While 33% Have No Idea What Bitcoin Is: Survey

About 3% of American retirees claimed to own some bitcoin (BTC) in a new survey released by precious metals-focused magazine Gold IRA Guide on April 17. In April, Gold IRA Guide conducted a survey asking 1,000 American retirees over 50 years old about their thoughts on investing in major cryptocurrency bitcoin. According to the survey results, 56.7% of respondents were aware of bitcoin, but were not interested to invest, while 2.7 percent claimed that they already owned some bitcoin. Around 3.5 percent said that they would like to invest in bitcoin, but did not know how to start, while 4.5 of retirees expressed interest in investing in bitcoin, but decided to keep an eye on it instead of going forward on the matter. With that, a large fraction of American retirees appeared to not even know what bitcoin is, with 32.9% of respondents having answered that they “have no idea what bitcoin is.” American retirees about investing in bitcoin. Source: Gold IRA Guide Earlier in April, Cointelegraph reported that 2% of citizens of Russia have invested in bitcoin, based on a survey by the oldest polling institution in post-Soviet Russia. Recently, trade publications Global Custodian and The Trade Crypto released a joint study that found that 94% of endowments have been allocating to crypto-related investments throughout 2018.

Without a True Two-Way Peg No ‘Real’ Sidechain Exists, Says Drivechain Creator

Without a True Two-Way Peg No ‘Real’ Sidechain Exists, Says Drivechain Creator

On April 17, the founder of the Drivechain project, Paul Sztorc, published a new blog post concerning the validity of today’s so-called ‘production sidechains.’ Sztorc has declared on multiple occasions that true sidechain technology hasn’t been invented yet and even Blockstream’s Liquid protocol, dubbed “the first production sidechain,” in a critical sense is not a ‘real’ sidechain. Also read: Statistics Show Bitcoin Cash Is a Strong Contender After Crypto Winter Paul Sztorc Questions the Validity of the Supposed ‘First Production Sidechain’ Over the last year, there’s been a lot of discussion concerning sidechain technology and the conversation intensified when Blockstream released its Liquid protocol. The project is considered to be a sidechain that’s interoperable with the BTC network, but since the day it was launched has been criticized for its method of consensus called ‘federated distribution.’ Critics believe the federated distribution model is not really ‘peer to peer’ as it relies on a large group of exchanges and fancy multi-signature technology in order to provide trust. There have been many criticisms aimed at Blockstream’s Liquid project.Because of the injected orthogonal trust Blockstream created, Liquid critics believe there’s nothing new or exciting to a consortium of exchanges acting as the custodians for an entire sidechain system. Paul Sztorc is a critic of Liquid and he’s also the creator of an alternative sidechain project called Drivechain. On Wednesday, Sztorc wrote a blog post that questions the validity of Liquid being a ‘real’ sidechain, adding that a recent quote from Blockstream developer Greg Maxwell solidifies his argument. “Blockstream markets Liquid as ‘the first production sidechain,’” Sztorc details, sharing multiple links where this statement is highlighted on the web. “But I think that something in that phrase has to be false. Either Liquid isn’t a sidechain; or else (if sidechain is redefined) then Liquid isn’t ‘the first’ of that thing.” RSK chief scientist Sergio Demian Lerner stated in 2015 that a federated peg with multi-sig is the best they have right now. This is still the case to this day. The reason Sztorc feels Liquid is not really a sidechain is because a two-way peg is a fundamental feature of sidechain technology and since Liquid never invented a two-way peg technique, Sztorc has “never seen it as a real…

Anatomy of a Telegram Scam

Anatomy of a Telegram Scam

As part of our commitment to keeping customers safe and secure, Coinbase stays on top of emerging and trending digital currency scams and threats. Our top priority is to be the most trusted and secure platform in the industry. Digital currency transactions are irrevocable, and this creates an attractive target for scammers and digital thieves. Telegram, the group chat and messaging app, is a popular platform for cryptocurrency enthusiasts to discuss news, trends, and prices with fellow members of their community. Unfortunately, Telegram is also a popular platform for scammers and thieves, in part due to the fact that it’s extremely easy to impersonate another person or organization on Telegram. Coinbase does not provide support through Telegram, nor do we have any authorized groups or channels. The Coinbase Security team has been tracking several threat actors attempting to leverage the Coinbase brand on Telegram for purposes ranging from crypto scams to account takeovers. A few of the more common scam techniques are outlined below. We encourage everyone who uses Telegram to understand the signs that they may be talking to a scammer, whether they’re a Coinbase customer or not, since other exchanges and other cryptoprojects are also targeted. Employment Scams Scammers on Telegram impersonate Coinbase recruiters and executives with fake career opportunities. These scams prey on job seekers, soliciting payment for training materials, mining hardware, or in some cases providing stolen financials for the purposes of money laundering. These job offers will appear very legitimate, with forged offer letters and seemingly astute interview questions. Coinbase recruiters will never contact job seekers via Telegram. All legitimate Coinbase career opportunities are posted on https://www.coinbase.com/careers. If you’re interested in working with world class security professionals or if creating an open financial system for the world sounds exciting, we encourage you to check our career postings. Coinbase recruiters will never ask you to send digital currency to a vendor, pay for training, or use your personal account to submit payments. Coinbase recruiters will only communicate via their official work @coinbase.com email address. Example of a Telegram job recruitment scamGiveaway Scams Impersonations of our executives and brand to perpetuate giveaway scams are becoming increasingly common on Telegram. One channel in particular, titled simply Coinbase, advertises a new giveaway scam almost…

Bitcoin Accounts for 98% of Crypto-Denominated Ransomware Payments, Study

Bitcoin Accounts for 98% of Crypto-Denominated Ransomware Payments, Study

Bitcoin (BTC) continues to account for the lion’s share of crypto-denominated ransomware payments, according to Coveware’s Q1 2019 Global Ransomware Marketplace report, published on April 15. The report — reportedly based upon aggregated ransomware data from cases tackled by Coveware’s Incident Response Team — indicates that in Q1 2019 the ransomware landscape saw a sharp increase in the average ransom demanded by threat actors. The average sum — demanded in exchange for the ostensible delivery of a decryptor tool that can help victims recover data after a ransomware attack — rose 89% from a median $6,733 in Q4 2018 to $12,762 in Q1 2019, the report states. Of these ransoms that were paid in cryptocurrency, 98% were payable in bitcoin. The report outlines that in Q1 2019: “[H]andling cryptocurrency continued to be a major source of friction for victims, and thus the threat actors as well. It is unlikely that ransomware rotates towards a different cryptocurrency anytime soon as they are even more nuanced to procure and handle.” Coveware notes that threat actors have scant need to migrate away from bitcoin to other coins as they reportedly face little difficulty using mixing services to exchange bitcoin for privacy-focused cryptos such as dash (DASH) or monero (XMR). Privacy coins are thus used for only 2% of ransomware payments, according to Coveware’s data, and are largely used later in the process, once the payment has been received and threat actors subsequently attempt to obfuscate the transfer of their ill-gotten funds. GandCrab — a strain of ransomware that accounts for 20% of the market, according to Coveware’s data — was the only prevalent strain where threat actors accept payment in either dash or bitcoin. Moreover, the report notes, GandCrab victims who pay with bitcoin face a 10% additional fee due to the costs incurred by the threat actors’ use of mixing services to anonymize the cryptocurrency after payment. As reported earlier this week, digital payments giant PayPal recently won a cybersecurity patent to protect users from crypto ransomware. In March, Big Four auditor PwC linked Iranian nationals behind the bitcoin ransomware scheme SamSam — which reportedly damaged multiple American companies, government agencies, universities, and hospitals —  to the crypto exchange WEX.

Privacy Crypto Monero Celebrates Its 5th Birthday

Privacy Crypto Monero Celebrates Its 5th Birthday

One of the most popular cryptocurrencies for privacy protection, monero, celebrated five years of existence this week. Launched in April 2014, monero has, since its inception, been entirely crowdfunded. And in tune with this decentralized, grassroots structure, monero is almost entirely developed by volunteers. “Monero is very committed to its decentralized, grassroots structure meaning we took no premine. We don’t take a percentage of the block rewards. There was no [initial coin offering,]” monero contributor Diego Salazar told CoinDesk. Salazar estimated that “depending on people’s time and availability” there is anywhere from 100 to 200 volunteers working on the monero project. Additionally, the project itself, according Salazar, isn’t just about building a blockchain protocol. It’s about re-defining and bolstering a global movement centered around digital privacy. Salazar told CoinDesk: “We’re not just trying to make global internet money. We’re trying to teach people the importance of things like privacy…It’s a very powerful tool and I think it’s a very necessary tool in our day and age.” To this, Italian developer and Monero contributor “SerHack” released a free PDF version of the book “Mastering Monero” in commemoration of the coin’s fifth anniversary. Originally published in late 2018, the book was fully funded by the monero community and teaches non-crypto users the importance of “private and censorship-resistant transactions.” The project’s online community further commemorated the anniversary with events and, in one instance, a celebratory puzzle. While monero is not the only blockchain to boast private on-chain transactions, it is the largest among its kind by market capitalization boasting a $1 billion valuation, according to data from CoinMarketCap. In that five-year span of time, the project has undertaken a series of significant upgrades in a bid to further improve the project, including those aimed at bolstering fungibility and transaction privacy. Minimum ringsize “It’s critically important for the fungibility of monero that we don’t know what source of funds you are receiving,” contributor Justin Ehrenhofer told CoinDesk. “That way you don’t know if you’re accepting funds that were used for any other previous purpose.” From the start, monero aimed to obfuscate fund sources through what are called “ring signatures.” Through ring signatures, transactions are signed by one member of a group of participants (each of whom has private keys), but with…

Local Media: Afghanistani, Tunisian Central Banks Consider Issuing Bitcoin Bonds

Local Media: Afghanistani, Tunisian Central Banks Consider Issuing Bitcoin Bonds

Afghanistan and Tunisia’s central banks are looking to issue a bitcoin (BTC) bond, Hong Kong-based news outlet Asia Times reports on April 17. Per the report, the governors of the two country’s central banks spoke at the annual Spring Meetings of the Boards of Governors of the World Bank Group and the International Monetary Fund in Washington between April 8 and 14. Afghanistan’s central bank governor Khalil Sediq allegedly told Asia Times that the institution is considering issuing a sovereign crypto bond to raise $5.8 billion. The funds would be used for private-sector investment in mining, energy and agriculture. Alongside bitcoin, Sediq reportedly mentioned metal futures (for instance lithium) and pointed out that the country’s mineral reserves are estimated to be worth over $3 trillion. On the other hand, Marouane El Abassi, governor of Tunisia’s central bank and former World Bank official, purportedly declared that the institution is looking into the issuance of a bitcoin bond. According to the report, Abassi also claimed that the country was one of the first to issue a digital currency and already implemented payments through a digital system. Furthermore, Abassi also reportedly lauded bitcoin, blockchain and Hyperledger as a tool for central banks to combat money laundering, manage remittances fight terrorism and limit grey economies. Lastly, the article also notes that Uzbek ambassador Javlon Vakhabov mentioned that Uzbekistan does not rule out the development of a bitcoin bond either. As Cointelegraph reported in September last year, Austria’s government also launched €1.15 billion ($1.35 billion) of government bonds on the Ethereum (ETH) public blockchain. More recently, in March, Germany’s justice and finance ministries have proposed to launch a state-run register to boost the use of blockchain for electronic bonds.

Malware Crypto Ransoms Rose By Almost 90% in Q1: Report

Malware Crypto Ransoms Rose By Almost 90% in Q1: Report

The average cryptocurrency payout for ransomware attacks rose dramatically in the first quarter of 2019, according to a firm that helps victims pay ransoms. In its quarterly report, Coveware said that, while in Q4 last year the average ransom was $6,733, it shot up by 89 percent to $12,762 in the first three months of 2019. The rapid hike in crypto demanded comes thanks to the increasing prevalence of more expensive strains of ransomware – which encrypt victims’ files and demand a payment in cryptocurrency to unlock them – such as Ryuk, Bitpaymer, and Iencrypt, according to the firm. “These types of ransomware are predominantly used in bespoke targeted attacks on larger enterprise targets,” Coveware said. The Ryuk ransomware strain in particular has shot up in prevalence. In Q1, in first and second place, respectively, Dharma and Crysis held their leading positions on the market share table (below), while Ryuk is now in third place. That’s a notable climb, since it was not a top-three placer in the previous quarter.  Ryuk is also targeting larger organizations than other variants, the report says. Not only that but it is demanding far higher ransoms. For example, Dharma requires an average ransom of $9,742, while Ryuk demands $286,556 on average. Bitcoin is still, and is likely to continue to be, the most popular cryptocurrency demanded by bad actors deploying ransomware, Coveware adds, although privacy coins like dash make up around 2 percent of demands. Malware image via Shutterstock

Bitcoin Hovers Over $5,250 as Top Oil Futures See Slight Uptrend

Bitcoin Hovers Over $5,250 as Top Oil Futures See Slight Uptrend

Friday, April 19 — The top 20 cryptocurrencies are reporting mixed movements on the day by press time, as bitcoin (BTC) hovers over the $5,250 mark. Market visualization courtesy of Coin360 Bitcoin is down a fraction of a percent on the day, trading at $5,264 at press time, according to CoinMarketCap. Looking at its weekly chart, the coin is over 3.5%. Bitcoin 7-day price chart. Source: CoinMarketCap Ether (ETH) is holding onto its position as the largest altcoin by market cap, which is nearly $18.2 billion. The second-largest altcoin, Ripple (XRP), has a market cap of $13.9 billion at press time. CoinMarketCap data shows that ETH is up over half of a percent over the last 24 hours. At press time, ETH is trading around $173. On the week, the coin has also seen its value increase by nearly 3.5%. Ethereum 7-day price chart. Source: CoinMarketCap XRP is down nearly 2% over the last 24 hours and is currently trading at around $0.331. On the week, the coin is up a modest 0.6%. Ripple 7-day price chart. Source: CoinMarketCap Recently, Hbus, the operator of the United States-based version of major crypto exchange Huobi.com, launched three trading pairs for XRP. Among the top 20 cryptocurrencies, the coin reporting the most notable price action is binance coin (BNB), which is up 8.8%. As Cointelegraph reported yesterday, Binance has launched its mainnet, Binance Chain, and expects to execute the swap of its native BNB token on April 23. At press time, the total market capitalization of all cryptocurrencies is $179 billion, over 3% higher than the value it reported a week ago. Total market capitalization 24-hour chart. Source: CoinMarketCap In traditional markets, the United States stock market is seeing little movement so far today, with the S&P 500 up 4.58% and the Nasdaq up 0.02% at press time. The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX), on the other hand, has lost a solid 4.05% on the day at press time. Major oil futures and indexes are a slight uptrend today, with WTI Crude up 0.31%, Brent Crude up 0.49% and Mars US up 0.35% at press time. The OPEC Basket is also up 1% and the Canadian Crude Index has seen no price change by press time, according to OilPrices.