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Bitcoin news today: In an interview in 2014, financial specialist Tim Draper anticipated the bitcoin cost to surpass $10,000 in three years. At the time of writing, the bitcoin cost is at $9839.22 and is in transit of achieving $10,000 before the finish of 2017.

Since 2014, Draper has been a standout amongst the most dynamic investors in the cryptographic money. During the previous three years, Draper has supported both local and global bitcoin organizations, including a $1.6 billion bitcoin brokerage and wallet platform CoinBase, and $160 million South Korean crypto exchange Korbit.

Three years ago, after taking part in different auctions to buy groups of a huge number of bitcoin, Tim Draper Bitcoin concentrated on building the important framework for the bitcoin market to thrive and develop at an exponential rate. His interest in organizations like CoinBase and Korbit played a key factor in the quick development of the US and South Korean bitcoin markets, the second and third biggest bitcoin markets behind Japan.

Apart from the $120 million benefit which he secured from his bitcoin investment of 30,000 BTC in 2014, Draper has been a standout amongst the investors in the bitcoin and digital money division in the course of recent years, finding monstrous success in both direct bitcoin investment and venture capital funding of bitcoin startups.

Draper firmly believes in bitcoin becoming the global currency by replacing the fiat in next few years. As he said in 2014:

“I’m extremely excited for bitcoin and what it can do to improve the world. Bitcoin is similar to traditional currency what internet was for information and communication. Everyone should go out and purchase a bitcoin. Everyone should at least be partially involved in bitcoin because of the fact that it’s a support against the various monetary standards. There’s an entire system being assembled that will make business significantly less demanding with considerably less friction and more secure.”

Bitcoin In 2018:

All through 2017, the market valuation of bitcoin expanded from $10 billion to $160 billion only through the general buyers and easygoing investors. Billions of dollars in institutional cash from flexible investments like Man Group and Fidelity will trigger another surge in the cost of bitcoin for the time being.

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Finance Minister, Wopke Hoekstra Demands ICO Regulations

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On Thursday, a letter was issued to parliament by Dutch finance minister, Wopke Hoekstra, to encourage a global approach to cryptocurrency regulation. The main focus of Hoekstra is on new consumer protections and to start it up, he wants to have a dialogue with credit card companies about potentially introducing stronger protections for those people who prefer to buy cryptocurrency with their credit cards.

According to Hoekstra, by the end of 2019, all local exchange platforms, plus, the cryptocurrency regulation and services would deceptively get registered with the government and should be also obeying their customers necessities. The finance minister also proposed some new regulations in the letter, that could also be helpful in protecting the ICOs (initial coin offering) contributors.

cryptocurrency regulation

Hoekstra highlighted;

“It is being investigated whether investors in ICOs can become just as good protected as investors with a normal IPO or bond issue. The current framework is not sufficient for this.”

In the past, particularly in ICOs, some issues were highlighted by the regulators, making these proposals more noteworthy. Last November, a statement was released by AFM (Authority for Financial Markets) of Netherlands, which is a Dutch version of U.S. SEC (Securities and Exchange Commission) and referred the ICO market to a dangerous-cocktail. Linked with these statements, a ban was proposed by Hoekstra that’d forbid marketing of risky financial products to random customers.

Moreover, Hoekstra also promised to work in the European Union with other countries as well and encourage collective research to discover the market’s cross-border nature. Yet, Hoekstra specified that even inside the Netherlands, more work is required for updating the laws of the country to account for cryptocurrencies and more erratic activities around it.

 

As in the letter Hoekstra wrote;

“The current supervisory framework and instruments are insufficiently tailored to cryptocurrency,”

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$250,000! – Binance Announces Bounty for The Arrest of Hackers

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After the incident of Binance hack, which took place on 7th March, $250,000 are now being offered by the cryptocurrency exchange, “Binance” for arresting the hackers who were involved in the incident. This was announced by Binance on 11th March 2018.

The first person who would give any information about the incident, that’d result in a legal arrest of the hacker will be given the bounty in Binance Coin (BNB), which could be used on the Binance exchange and could be traded as well. According to the announcement, if they find various sources of information related to the Binance hack, that could lead them to the final arrests, then they’d probably divide the bounty between sources.

binance hacked

Binance highlights the importance of an intensive effort to deal with the crime and immoral behaviour in the crypto-community by stating;

“To ensure a safe crypto community, we can’t simply play defense. We need to actively prevent any instances of hacking before they occur, as well as follow through after-the-fact. Even though the hacking attempt against Binance on March 7th was not successful, it was clear it was a large-scale, organized effort. This needs to be addressed.”

$10 million has been allotted by Binance in cryptocurrency funds for the upcoming bounty rewards against any kind of hacking on the Binance exchange. In addition to that, other exchanges from all around the world have been also invited by Binance exchange, according to every Binance statement to follow suit, as they added;

binance hacked

“Protecting your funds is and has always been our highest priority!”

After perceiving unauthorized and irregular transaction activities in the accounts, users notified Binance that their security is being violated. The meticulous way how the hackers used the site still remains unclear, even though on 8th March, trading activities of Binance were resumed. Many users have speculated that compromised API keys is the only reason that could explain how the hackers evaded Binance’s two-factor verification system.

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PayPal vs Bitcoin: Why has PayPal Filed a Patent?

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On 5th March, it’s been reported that a patent has been filed by PayPal in order to speed up cryptocurrency transactions by eradicating the confirmation period of payments. However, it’s been claimed by many Bitcoin experts that this is already possible through the current technologies in the cryptocurrency industry.

Basically, the main purpose of PayPal patent is to improve the whole procedure of settling cryptocurrency payments between both buyers and traders on retail or e-commerce platforms. To avert each transaction from being broadcasted to the public Blockchain, users’ secondary wallets will let the unique private keys of both buyers and sellers to be transferred privately.

bitcoin patent

The PayPal patent read;

“In order to be sure that the Bitcoin transaction will ultimately result in a transfer of Bitcoins to the payee, the payee must wait until the mining process confirms the transaction before transferring goods and/or services to the payer. In many transaction situations, a 10-minute wait time will be too long for payers and/or payees, and those payers and/or payees will instead choose to perform the transaction using traditional payment methods rather than virtual currency. Issues like this have slowed the adoption of virtual currencies despite their advantages.”

What’s Peter Todd’s Response?

According to a Bitcoin developer, Peter Todd, PayPal is attempting to patent a technology that is already present in the cryptocurrency industry. In 2016, Opendime was created by a former Bitcoin marketplace “Coinkite”, and is a hardware Bitcoin wallet with multi-signature bank-grade security. It lets users transfer Bitcoin with inner private keys, allowing them to utilize Bitcoin like fiat money, such as the US dollar.   However, compared to Ledger and Trezor, Opendime structurally differs from other hardware wallets as it cannot be reused. Opendime is basically a USB stick as it can only be used once and has to be destroyed to use the funds that are stored inside, which allows it to be used as cash.

PayPal’s technology encourages its users to transfer the whole wallet or private key linked with a predefined amount of a cryptocurrency and the procedure of transferring bitcoin payments through Opendime, which is just like PayPal.

The patent explains:

“The systems and methods of the present disclosure practically eliminate the amount of time the payee must wait to be sure they will receive a virtual currency payment in a virtual currency transaction by transferring to the payee private keys that are included in virtual currency wallets that are associated with predefined amounts of virtual currency that equal a payment amount identified in the virtual currency transaction.”

Is It Really Possible for PayPal’s Technology to Improve Cryptocurrency Payments?

PayPal’s technology could let the cryptocurrency payments to be processed between both buyers and traders quickly by eradicating hefty transaction fees only if it’s executed at large commercial scale.

Yeogieottae, which is a major hotel booking platform in South Korea has recently partnered with the country’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, Bithumb, to allow cryptocurrency payments. Even in Japan, the biggest sellers have started to accept Bitcoin payments for a while.

However, on the other hand, a problem could occur while transferring private keys if the settlement occurs in a centralized manner. PayPal patent clearly explained that for carrying out the process of settling payment, it could depend on a payment service provider device as it could lead to a centralized system, managing the transfer of private keys.

Owen Williams revealed the findings of GDPR last week, which disclosed that PayPal shared complex financial information of its consumers with over 600 entities. The centralization of cryptocurrency payments and private keys could direct to susceptibilities and data selling if this technology by PayPal’s can exploit non-custodial wallets and allow both users and traders to endure in full control of their private keys during the whole process.

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US Officials Commend Blockchain Surrounded by ICO Distress

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On Wednesday, a message was broadcasted by U.S. government officials at the DC Blockchain Summit in Washington-even as securities officials cautioned exchanges who offer ICO tokens trading. James Sullivan (Deputy Assistant Secretary of services at the Commerce Department’s International Trade Administration) remarked during his address;

“We cannot make policy in the abstract” and concluded by saying;

“I would welcome all of you in the audience to reach out … and to hear your recommendations”

There’s no doubt that Sullivan showed support for the use of blockchain inside the trade finance chain, especially for smaller companies with hardly any resources, as he stated;

Blockchain

“The companies that are usually hit hardest by that gap of trade finance are small- and medium-sized businesses”

Attendees who talked to CoinDesk, turned out to be more divergent on the question of blockchain’s use in government and also on the the subject of cryptocurrency regulation, which was the greatest concern at the event as well. Scepticism was also expressed by one of the employees of a major blockchain startup that the U.S. officials would seriously obligate to utilize this tech, conflicting that agencies might be served a lot better, seeing at the advances of tokenization.

Chief data architect of OPM (Office of Personnel Management), Marcel Jemio, alongside Mark Fisk, who’s an IBM Public Service Blockchain partner stated that blockchain could be utilized in order to aggregate government employee information in a more efficient and well-organized way.

Fisk stated;

“I think blockchain in a lot of cases is going to be an enabler of solving the problem, but not necessarily with solving the problem only with blockchain”

Jihan Wu, co-founder of Bitmain also revealed that the bitcoin mining hardware giant wants to invest in startups and looking forward  to make a “private central banks” that utilize cryptocurrencies. Wu thinks that tokens on the market today will eventually come to be viewed as securities under traditional meanings.

CoinDesk was told by conference attendees that they’d definitely appreciate regulation, specifically relating to ICOs, whereas others asserted that these emerging regulations at this time would probably lodge businesses into inflexible models ill-suited for such a quick moving situation. Attendees also showed their concern about the unreliable treatment of cryptocurrencies by the U.S. government, specified that the IRS considers bitcoin as property and the CFTC views it as a commodity.

But at the same time, two members from a cryptocurrency services company said that they believed such dissonance could eventually profit the industry, with the lack of agreement by the SEC, the CFTC and the IRS, eventually imposing further discussion on the finest way onward.  Brian Quintenz, a commissioner for the CFTC, was also seen at the event, firmly encouraging more self-regulation in the cryptocurrency space. Quintenz even told the audience that cryptocurrency platforms should come forward and self-regulate.

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Binance Hack – What Is Confusing Its Users?

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Binance is the largest crypto-exchange by trading volume, however, on 7th March, its users got affected by a hack of third-party software, and as a result, unauthorized transactions were made from their user’s accounts.
Since then, Binance’s CEO, Changpeng Zhao has claimed that the exchange is working normally and the funds of users are safe as well. Many users have shown their concern and complained by using social media platforms; Twitter and Reddit, that without their permission, their altcoins had been converted into Bitcoin and most of them didn’t even logged into their accounts.
binance hacked
There were many posts on Reddit, claiming that hackers have used their bitcoins for buying VIA coins for 0.025 BTC each. Without attracting any attention, hackers managed to withdrew the bitcoins in small amounts. It’s claimed by a Reddit user, Profetu, that Binance’s administration took actions to the complaints of their users by freezing their accounts in one hour. Furthermore, the user suggested;

“The hacker accumulated VIA in advance (from Binance or other exchange and sent to Binance) then he set a huge sell order at 0.025BTC. Then using API made some account sell alts and buy VIA with that BTC, [and then withdrew] BTC.”

Another user wrote;

“Same happened to me. I had 100% USDT worth $1548. Today I logged in so I can buy some xrp, but my account balance is $200 out of $1548, and apparently I bought 5 VIA coins and exchanged my USDT to BTC while I was in the gym?”

Few traders have presented a theory that the attack was linked with compromised API keys which had been requested by Binance’s users to further use inside the range of other applications such as; chart in monitoring services and trading bots. This theory also explains how the attackers have managed to pass over the two-factor authentication. But at the same time, it fails to explain why this attack affected the users who never requested API keys.

A user asked;

“Do you use any trading bots like profittrailer or gunbot? Do you have any API opened for any kind of services?” – Bonnie_channel

Another Reddit user wrote;

“That is what I am wondering! I never gave permission for this API key to be created. That is why I think it’s an issue on [Binance’s] end”.

Later, a tweet was posted by Binance, saying that deposits and withdrawals are now in a working condition and all illegitimate trades have been rebounded. Changpeng Zhao also said that a phishing website has been used by hackers to get the login information and to divert users from the authentic Binance website.

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