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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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How to Secure Your Bitcoin Wallet – Killer Tips for Beginners

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How to Secure Your Bitcoin Wallet

A Bitcoin wallet is a software program to store your coins. It’s pretty similar to the traditional bank account in many ways: it stores your bitcoin assets, is protected by a certain mechanism and allows no access to a third party. The only difference between the two is that one stores traditional currency while the other stores the digital currency that is Bitcoin.

Since Bitcoin is the most popular and valuable form of cryptocurrency, the hackers are always trying to sneak into the wallets and steal your assets. This ultimately makes it necessary for the users to keep their wallet as secure as possible.

In this article, we have discussed some killer ways to help you enhance your wallet security. Give them a solid read.

How to Secure Your Bitcoin Wallet?

Avoid Online Services:

How to Secure Your Bitcoin Wallet

As a bitcoin user, you will come across many services offering to store your coins online. It’s a big no-no! these services don’t provide sufficient security or insurance like a bank. Moreover, many events have been recorded in the past where these services suffered security breaches which saw their users lose millions in USD. If you are seeking the maximum security, go with the cold storage wallets.

Smaller Amounts for Daily Use:

How to Secure Your Bitcoin Wallet

Always carry smaller Bitcoin amounts with you. A Bitcoin wallet address is similar to having a traditional wallet. If you don’t keep a thousand bucks in your wallet, you would want to have the same approach for your bitcoin wallet address. Ask any Bitcoin expert and they will tell to carry smaller amounts for daily uses – and keep the rest in a safer environment such as a server, mobile or a computer.

Always Keep a Backup of Wallet:

How to Secure Your Bitcoin Wallet

Do not, I repeat, do not forget to keep a backup of your wallet. The computers we use are always vulnerable to the failure. Plus, we can’t rule out the human mistakes either. Any of this happens and your coins are gone for good. So, make sure to have a backup computer, hard drive, USB, etc. where you can access your coins in case they are lost.

Go Encrypted:

How to Secure Your Bitcoin Wallet

Encrypting your bitcoin wallet address is another important factor to keep your coins secured. The encryption allows you to set a password on your smartphone/wallet for anyone trying to steal your coins. While setting up a password, make sure it’s strong and not based on generic words. Use random combinations of words, symbols, and letters for the maximum strength.

Always Use an Updated Version of Wallet:

How to Secure Your Bitcoin Wallet

Never use an outdated version and always keep your wallet updated. This is because the older versions are more vulnerable to theft and lack the stability. On the other hand, newer versions include useful features which prevent you from security risks and tackle the problems of various severity.

Conclusion:

These are some techniques that can help you protect your Bitcoin wallet from theft, hacking and other risks. Apart from these, there is multi-signature encryption and offline wallets that you can use to protect your coins. Good luck.

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Future of Crypto – State of DEXs, ICOs And Blockchain Technology

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Blockchain Predictions For 2018

Due to the abrupt increase of ICOs, Ethereum and the whole cryptosphere also went high in price exponentially last year. In 2017, there were several projects that got hacked because they had bugs in the code of their smart contract, numerous scams also came out, as well as few startups also showed up, which failed to deliver on their roadmaps.

Telegram is a popular social messaging app and is considering to launch a token sale. It is said that this token sale would become one of the biggest ICO token sales.

  • The leaked whitepaper of Telegram explains that it seeks to add a crypto micro-payment functionality to its chat platform.
  • Also, it is going to present an innovative and new scalable multi-blockchain network under the name “TON” (Telegram Open Network).
  • For accomplishing this, the project will try to raise $1.2 billion through an ICO.

Telegram Whitepaper

  • The Telegram’s whitepaper is potential to resolve all the important issues that Bitcoin and Ethereum are facing at this moment including, scalability and interoperability, and present a network that will handle millions of transactions each-second.
  • However, the problem is that the company doesn’t tell precisely how it is going to make this work.
  • In the 132 pages of text, specifications regarding how TON will overcome challenges related to building a huge and scalable architecture cannot be found anywhere.
  • Although developers are not too much overwhelmed, unprofessional investors might find the notable potentials of TON appealing.

 

Generally, reasonable regulations are going to serve well for the blockchain space in this long run and lastly, startups will halt taking money recklessly – only because they can and will instead concentrate on developing advanced technology.

Decentralized Exchanges and Scalability Issues

  • The adoption and implementation of decentralized exchanges haven’t been elevated until now, though it seems like they’ll turn out to be fairly mainstream in 2018.
  • With SEC regulations approaching, this probably also has centralized exchanges rattling.
  • To find token liquidity somewhere else, people will have to consult DEXs (Decentralized Exchanges).
  • It is expected that projects like EtherDelta will become popular this year as people are slowly repelling from Bittrex, Coinbase, etc.
  • At the same time, this doesn’t mean that centralized exchanges will be forgotten instantly – they are still world’s more expedient than any other operating or soon-to-be-launched DEX. However, they are probably going to mislay a huge amount of their market share this year.

 ico token sales

Lightning Network

It’s believed that payment channels including Lightning Network will also become a trend soon.

  • This promising technology allows people to open a bidirectional payment channel and transact through it without paying any fee.
  • Fees are required but only for opening or closing a channel and appears to be a potential solution to the scalability problem of Bitcoin.
  • It can assist other blockchains, as well.
  • Projects like Raiden Network already exist since they seek to achieve chain payment channel functionality to Ethereum.

 

If we talk about Ethereum and the future of crypto – its future switch to ‘proof of stake’ and after it happens, the user base network will perhaps get divided again. Anyone who owns loads of mining hardware might dislike the idea to drop ‘proof of work’ for clear reasons. On the other hand, there are cryptocurrency enthusiasts who think hard forks have to be avoided, in general. According to them, altering the blockchain in such way is contrary to the main principle of blockchain immutability. Consequently, there’s a chance that we might get a third network by the end of this year – on top of Ethereum and Ethereum Classic.

 

Adoption of Blockchain Technology

  • The blockchain technology can reconsider the supply chains industry.
  • One of the largest retail corporations in the world, Walmart, is utilizing a decentralized ledger to improve the traceability of the product.
  • Nestlé is intensely using blockchain technology to lessen food contamination, as well.
  • Microsoft and IBM are enthusiastically spreading private blockchains for individual and exclusive business use cases.
  • Last year, 57% of big corporations were either considering or utilizing blockchain technology.

This year, large organizations and big financial institutions including payment providers and pension funds will also embrace the blockchain technology.

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A Nightmare for Ledger Wallet Users

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Ledger wallet bitcoin cash is the most used term in crypto industry these days. Ledger wallet is a considered to be a safe way to make your bitcoins secure. In more simple words it is a Nano Bitcoin wallet on a smart card device resembling a USB device. It is connected to a USB port to make safe payments of Bitcoins and protect them.

bitcoin cash news

Since two days the users of this nano device are facing problems in opening it, some have reported that Some users are facing difficulties in making transactions through it while some of the users cannot even see their balance. When such users were contacted, their experiences were terrifying. One of an affected user shared his experience that he had recently transferred all his Bitcoins, Litecoins, Ethereum etc from coinbase to Ledger Wallet, when he tried to send his Bitcoins the transfer was successful with the balance still zero on the wallet. Many other users had a same experience. Latest bitcoin cash news can be checked for such reports in which users have shared their drastic experiences.

Latest Tweet of Ledger Wallet

Ledger Wallet has updated its users that the company is trying to overcome the problem and has also tweeted about the  degraded performance of their wallet in terms of Bitcoin transactions. According to the company’s statement stating the above mentioned issue aroused due to a compatibility problem related to the new version of Bitcoin-ABC (Bitcoin Cash node). To the utmost satisfaction of its desperate users the Ledger company stated that all the funds were safe and sound, they can be accessed any moment with the help of emergency software wallet (Electron Cash).

Nicolas Bacca, the Chief Technology Officer of Ledger further explained that his team is continuously investigating the issue. He also appreciated the patience of his clients and offered them to use the  Electron Cash github in case of any kind of emergency transaction.

How a Nano Wallet Works?

Most of our readers must have heard the name of this kind of wallet for the first time, some might know about it but may not have proper knowledge about its working and technology. For the ease of all such readers we would briefly discuss this information which also make it possible for you to understand the problem faced by wallet users right now.

Anyone can install and use this digital wallet without technical skills. The Ledger Nano technology allows you to backup and restore your precious data even if your Device is lost or stolen. You can use your Ledger Nano on any computer, PC, Mac or Linux. Anyone can install and use it without technical skills.

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Why Is North Korea So Interested in Bitcoin?

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Bitcoin Interest North Korea:

It was observed in 2016, certain actors that seemed to be North Korean were conducting cyber-crime. Their target being banks and global financial institutions. Although, looking at bitcoin investment North Korea, the country’s reputation as a nation that is entirely cut off from the global economy and also a nation that has a government unit dedicated to carrying out illegal economic tasks. This act was possibly carried out to fund the Pyongyang’s elite especially, with them having complete control of their military forces.

A second wave has already begun as these state-sponsored actors are now seeking to steal bitcoins and other digital currencies. It began in May 2017, three South Korean cryptocurrency exchanges were targeted with the intention of stealing resources. According to observations made previously, these actors mostly target personal accounts of employees at these cryptocurrency exchanges using phishing scams. In particular, the attacks used malware called PEACHPIT.

Buy Bitcoin Online North Korea – Activities Conducted by North Korea Against South Korean Cryptocurrency Exchanges in 2017

 

  • April 22 – A South Korean digital currency exchange, Yapizon, had four wallets stolen.
  • April 26 – The US announces an increased economic sanctions strategy against North Korea. These international sanctions could be the reason behind North Korea’s interest in cryptocurrency.
  • Early May – First spearphishing attempt against South Korea is taken.
  • Late May ­– Second South Korean exchange is targeted.
  • Early June – Increased North Korean activity took place with cryptocurrency service providers in South Korea targeted.
  • Early July – Third South Korean digital currency exchange targeted.

 

The Advantage of Targeting Cryptocurrencies:

If they keep this up and plan to take on an exchange itself, they could be able to control online wallets and much more. From moving cryptocurrencies out of online wallets to sending cryptocurrencies to other wallets and even swapping cryptocurrencies for other ones. Since the digital currency realm is still pretty new, several exchanges might have less secure anti-money laundering security measures which make these exchanges a hot-spot for such attacks.

Conclusion:

As the adaptation of bitcoin and cryptocurrencies have increased within the past few years, various nation states have begun to take notice. While many countries are beginning to open new digital currency exchanges or launch their own cryptocurrency, there are some that use it for criminal activities as well. Currently, North Korea is winning over their cyber spying skills but this isn’t long-term either with the advancing cyber powers.

 

Story Credits: fireeye.com

Image Credits: money.cnn.com

 

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