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Cryptocurrencies

After being spooked by the massive digital tokens crackdown, cryptocurrencies got another pushback by the feds recently. The Securities and Exchange Commission in the U.S has decided to gun down all the cryptocurrencies, especially Ethereum under regulatory scrutiny to whether consider it as security or commodity. After a remarked high range in digital currency world, this bull to bearish reversal is the result of investor anxiety gushes over the squabble between Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and Commodities Futures Trading Commission (CFTC).

ethereum icos

The second most popular digital currency after Bitcoin in the charts, Ethereum is considered under the category of security will have hard consequences. Not only for Ethereum cryptocurrency, but all digital currencies crowdfunded through ICOs, that is Initial Coin Offerings.

Coming under increased regulatory scrutiny by the U.S government, all these cryptocurrencies are viewed as securities due to their speculative nature all around. Regulators have already declared bitcoin as security. But undermining the liquidity of this second popular cryptocurrency can prove out to be disastrous for it and also the cryptocurrency economy. Though the basic mechanism working behind these two digital currencies is not merely same, but they contribute majorly to the cryptocurrency world.

Initial coin offering

Until the mid-2017, selling transaction of these tokens was not much of an exhausting task. A team would emerge through these blockchains and present their purpose of tokens in a ‘white paper’. They would then arrange an Initial Coin Offering Service, ICOs where they would offer coins to nearly anyone who would exchange them for cash or Bitcoins.

The main idea or theory behind this ICO was to fund and support the construction of that newly emerging online service. But later in a few cases, these ICOs were proved to be scams. Absconding of these organizers created an upthrust, where SEC fired a warning claiming that tokens sold in ICO may be considered as securities and their declaration will be mandatory. SEC values Ethereum similar to any public Company who strives every act to value their stock.

Now the developers are concerned that due to the fact that Ethereum ICOs investors bought the tokens in hope that their value will increase in the near future, it could be classed as security. But the plethora of issues is not that straight and easy here.

Ethereum co-founder denies

The whole dilemma was observed and addressed by the co-founder of Ethereum, Joseph Lubin in a conference. He says that the scrutiny doesn’t upset him. According to him and the developers, this does not meet the requirements of security and doesn’t have to be regulated, therefore. There were no concerns about the potential issues about the cryptocurrency. he further said, he never considered and identified the system as security ever.

The Howey Test

A case resided between the SEC and WJ Howey Co in 1946. In this case, the foundation to determine the event to be a commodity or a security was set. It is now known as the Howey Test.

In simpler terms, Howey Co. sold a part of their citrus farm to some investors. Their idea behind it was to gain profits from the operations performed on the farm. It was considered as a securities contract by the judge explaining that the scheme focuses on the idea to obtain profits from the efforts and labor of others.

Basically, in simpler terms, this test helps to determine if a transaction or profit is obtained solely by the hard work and labor of one party and not by the other party, combined in an agreement. This Howey Test has been greatly talked and argued about in the regard of these cryptocurrencies and ICO. As the basic phenomena in Ethereum ICOs reside the same. The investor expects profits primarily from others hard work and efforts.

Securities classification arguments

According to wall street journals, the future of the cryptocurrencies is under debate, whether it would be identified as security or not. Commodities and securities under which the legislation falls are regulated by different authority bodies. They are regulated and operated in different markets and agencies. These differences will greatly affect the investors, sellers, and buyers in the cryptocurrency market.

Despite all the fuss and controversy about the issue, a lot of experts are very positive and hopeful about the future and growth of Ethereum cryptocurrencies. Many have come up suggesting that Ethereum and such cryptocurrencies may be considered as unregistered securities after a continues refusal by the founders of them being never entertained as security. The growing market capitalization of Ethereum cryptocurrency has shown that this is not going anywhere this soon!

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Trial Of Zuckerberg – A Watershed Moment For Facebook

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Early this year, Facebook cryptocurrency news turned really bad when Facebook started to ban all sorts of cryptocurrency advertisements. Soon Google and Twitter followed Facebook and also did the same thing. No doubt it was a disheartening step for the crypto industry, moreover it was not the way how Facebook routinely works. All these restrictions were an effort to prevent scams and protect its users from crypto based frauds, according to Facebook. On the other hand Facebook was itself not following the rules and regulations which could fulfill the ethical requirements.

founder of facebook

We all know that Facebook has a long list of power abuse, even its platform is infested with alot of suspicious industries including abusive and misleading political articles and porn  stories of all sorts. Even, Facebook has been declared an unsafe place for our younger generation according to many critics, in that scenario, Mr. Zuckerberg is in no position to dictate others about what is ethically best for its users. Recently Facebook has been involved in the interference of Russian elections and the ultimate Cambridge Analytica scandal, according to which it leaked the confidential data of its users without their permission. Due to this irresponsible behaviour, Zuckerberg had to give testimony to Congress. This was not an ordinary testimony and was comprised of a set of strict questions by various Congressmen and the answers delivered by the founder of Facebook. For your interest we have summed up this conversation in the form of following brief article.

The Social Responsibility of Facebook

First of all the recent public blunders of Facebook were brought under discussion, the Cambridge Analytica scandal and the controversy around Russian trolls’ attempts to manipulate the US domestic political discussion being on the top of the list.

In short the Facebook–Cambridge Analytica data scandal involves the collection of personally identifiable information of up to 87 million Facebook users. The Cambridge Analytica started work on it in 2014 and from that time began collecting the set of informations. Facebook helped in all that procedure and provided the data of its users to the Cambridge Analytica. The scandal played a significant role in the incitement of public discussions on ethical standards of Facebook.

Response of Zuckerberg

Mark Zuckerberg apologized for his irresponsible and non professional attitude which gave rise to the situation with Cambridge Analytica, calling it a “breach of trust.” He also assured the Congressmen to make all the necessary changes in Facebook policy to prevent similar mishaps in the future.

 

Mark Zuckerberg also admitted that it was his personal mistake that he didn’t do enough to prevent the data breach and no other person from his organization was involved in it.

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Monero Security – 3 Main Techniques Behind Monero Anonymity Explained

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Along with being accessible through networks such as Tor and I2P, Monero implements various cryptography techniques to unlock an extensive level of security and privacy:

1. Untraceable Stealth Address

As we all know, reusing the same address for bitcoin transactions is a common privacy issue of Bitcoin. Receiving or sending multiple transactions to the same address can allow anyone who knows your address to track its activity. Thus, bitcoin is not a tool that should be used on the darknet, especially for privacy purposes.

On the other hand, Monero has no such privacy concerns. Monero’s blockchain is secured in such a way that only the sender and receiver are able to identify the destination address. Only a unique cryptographic hash is provided, to each and every transaction that can be decoded by just the send or receiver to disclose the real address. These encrypted addresses are called “stealth addresses.”

Related: Bitcoin’s current price

2. Unique Separated Transaction Units

When you send XMR to any address, it arrives as several separate payment units. Basically, each unit would appear on the Monero blockchain as being transferred to its appointed and distinct stealth address. This process is applied to the sender as well as the miners when any fees are paid to them. This makes tracking of any transactions far more complicated.

3. Undetectable Ring Signature Payments

Ring Signatures is another technique that adds up to the cryptographic system behind Monero’s blockchain.

Just to be clear, similar to Bitcoin, Monero also consists of a public and private key in order to engage in buying or selling of XMR.

For example, if you are to send 18 XMR to a shop, the XMR get sub-divided into 10,5 and 3 XMR streams, these flow into distinct Monero addresses of the ship.  The private key that authorizes any 10, 5 and 3 streams sent across the network, becomes a possible signatory to the transaction. The number of possible signatories is dependent on the “mixing depth” you set. As your transaction splits into units, ring signatures guarantee that transactions can’t be stalked back to any system’s IP address.

In the end, it’s almost impossible to track or identify Monero users

These 3 techniques provide maximum privacy and prevention from roaming trackers. Monero’s code ensures the anonymity of every user and leaves barely any possibility of a linkage to take place.

Related: Read more about Altcoins

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Don’t be fooled by a Bitcoin Scam

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Don’t be fooled by a Bitcoin Scam

With the rise in the value of Bitcoin, there has been an increase in the number of scams involving the digital currency on social media and websites.

These scams are becoming more prominent since they’re being shared very frequently over the internet. So much so, the ZeroFOX found that the number of Bitcoin scam URLs was shared over 126 million times on social media. It adds, though, that two specific URLs were shared more than 40 million times and two others, which were shared over 10 million times.

To prevent you from suffering a loss or becoming a victim to one of these sites, here are some ways to spot Bitcoin scams:

  • Malware Downloads:

Some websites often promise to give “free coins” to the user if they download a malware app. This app then completely messes up the user’s computer. Several websites even ask the user to fill out fake bitcoin surveys and are used to distribute malware.We advise you to stay cautious when encountering any such URL that is either shortened or not secured with HTTPS connection.

  • Bitcoin phishing impersonators:

Phishing is basically getting a user to enter all their personal information on a malicious site.

A phishing website will have the user enter their private key to see if it exists in their database. Once the private key is phished, the scammer spends from the user’s bitcoin wallet address.

  • Bitcoin-flipping scams:

These scams usually ask users to pay a start-up fee in exchange for money or promise to double their legitimate bitcoin investment overnight. However, their end of the bargain is never held up and the bitcoins are lost immediately.

  • Bitcoin pyramid schemes:

These scams are low initial investments that are multiplied by signing up additional members. Soon enough, when a large group has joined the scheme, the scammer walks away with the investment and the pyramid collapses.

How Can You Protect Yourself?

Just because it’s a digital currency does not mean you can acquire wealth overnight. Even though many of these scams promise to make you rich by just downloading an app or answering a survey.

  • Do not trust anyone that claims to provide you with bitcoins overnight. These sort of bitcoin scams run rampant on social media sites and digital channels.
  • Avoid URLs that advertise bitcoin offers on social media.
  • Be overcautious when dealing with social media accounts of legitimate bitcoin brokers or trading platforms as they are usually impersonators.
  • Do not engage in financial transactions, via direct message on social websites.
  • Be smart when you trust anyone with your personal details. Do not leak out anything that could cause you a loss later on.

If you have already been fooled, then don’t expect to see your bitcoins again. All you can do is learn from your mistakes and make others aware of such situations as well.

Tags: legit bitcoin investment sites

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What Happens With Bitcoin When The Owner Dies?

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An interesting story came out earlier this year when the death of a young Colorado man left his family with the daunting task of sorting out his state. Only for them to discover that their beloved had been investing in bitcoin, a digital currency which cost as low as $13/BTC back in 2013 and recently cruised past the $14,000 mark.

The grieving family was in for a fortune – but only if they could find and access this little crypto treasure.

Bitcoin is a digital currency secured with some unbreakable cryptography, an attribute makes bitcoin a great medium to store wealth. However, there’s one downside to it. When the owner dies, the digital fortune goes off map, rotting behind a piece of code for good. And this is probably the biggest problem for the relatives of those putting resources into this crypto worth about $245,355,661,320 at the time of writing this article.

Bitcoins are stored in a virtual wallet. Every wallet utilizes a string of arbitrary characters called “public key,” visible to anybody, as an address for sending and receiving the digital currency. The “private key” enables the owner to access the wallet’s contents.

In the event that a Bitcoin owner passes away without passing on the private key, his beneficiaries may find his wallet just to realize that they will never access the riches inside. To avoid this, the owner just needs to ensure that somebody gets a duplicate of the private key by recording it or securing it on a hard drive.

But some of these strategies accompany their own particular risks. Suzanne Walsh, a wills and estate attorney with Murtha Cullina, says agents and beneficiaries may fail to perceive a private Bitcoin key for what it is and wind up discarding it.

Putting in a nutshell, the only way for bitcoins to be passed on to someone is if they are listed in a will or the owner discloses the private key to someone they want to have their coins. If neither of the two happens, then bitcoins are susceptible to what attorneys call “probate by truck”— where beneficiaries walk off with the assets by claiming that “he would have wanted me to have it.”

Story credits: fortune.com

 

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