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Hong Kong securities regulator has once again warned the public about Initial Coin Offering investment. The deputy chief of Honk Kong SFC (Securities and Futures Commission), Julia Leung, repeated the previous concerns of perils related to ICOs, in a speech which took place on Friday.

While emphasizing that the interests of regulators lie in protecting the investment of public first, Leung said:

“While we acknowledge that innovative technologies such as blockchain have the potential to improve efficiency and financial inclusion, that does not entitle anyone to conduct fundraising from the public in violation of securities law.”

Obscurity for Investors

As Leung is the chair of the SFC’s Fintech Advisory Group, she claimed that it would be difficult for an average investor to decrypt the extreme-technical-content and obscurity of few projects that are in quest of fundraising, as she stated that it was more suitable for proficient investors from VC funds instead. Her remarks then drew the attention to projects that claim to use blockchain technology as a “slogan” to vow high-tech claims without any innovation to fulfil those promises.

Julia Leung also added:

“Many of these fundraisings are dubious, if not downright frauds. The issuers escape the scrutiny of the police or securities regulators because of their cross-border nature and the way the crypto assets are structured to fall outside any regulator’s perimeter.”

Warning Against ICOs

These comments pursue an earlier statement, in which guidelines were provided for ICO issuers that must be followed ahead of fundraising operation. Certain ICOs could be considered as securities as well, according to Leung. Since the scrutiny, the regulator has issued a warning letter to almost seven exchanges along with domestic presence, prompting them not to trade cryptocurrency tokens as it sees them as securities without a license.

The regulator said:

“The SFC will continue to closely monitor ICOs and will not tolerate any violations of the securities laws of Hong Kong.”

Seeing growing public interest, the authorities of Hong Kong launched a “public awareness campaign” at the beginning of this year to enlighten general public about the Initial Coin Offering investment and cryptocurrencies by using, articles, advertisements, and infographics.

In her speech, Leung also pointed out the volatility of bitcoin price and added:

“Many millennials who subscribe to digital tokens in ICOs5 understand that there is no intrinsic value in the tokens but are betting on the rapid rise of the token value in the secondary market.”

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A Short Story of Scaling – The Master Mind of Bitcoin Drama

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It’s safe to say that everyone knew consensus was going to be extremely hard.

Dating back to earliest forums and boards, the Bitcoin community has always been pondering on how to expand the Bitcoin network to keep up with the work load and accommodate a larger number of transactions. However, it wasn’t until the year 2014 this idea got the spotlight.

Since then, there has been a heated, non-stop debate which, at best, has showcased the creativity of developers working on the project and, at worst, the damage that a non-stop debate can cause to the scientific pursuit.

Now, the experts look back to major stories in an attempt to recognize what could be a notable milestone that shaped the narrative.

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How to Set Up a Bitcoin Mining Rig w/ BITMAIN ANTMINER U2 & CGMiner

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Connecticut Resident Pleaded Guilty to Bitcoin Phishing Scheme

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35-year-old Michael Richo of Wallingford, Connecticut, finally confessed to stealing $365,000 in Bitcoin in Hartford Federal Court on Tuesday. According to a release from the US Department of Justice, through a phishing scheme, he posted malicious links programmed to appear as a replica of very popular dark market websites.

Richo accepted that he stole more than 10,000 usernames and passwords and used this data to supervise the bitcoin balance and accounts of victims. He then sold his victims’ assets on Bitcoin exchange platforms for US dollars.

He was previously arrested last October on charges of wire fraud, identity theft, and computer fraud. Eventually, he gave in and was pleaded guilty and is scheduled to be sentenced in September.

The charges are meant to carry a maximum sentence of 30 years of imprisonment.

 News credit: coindesk.com

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Beginner’s Guide to Tor

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Just a couple years ago, Tor was something known only by tech-geeks. However, since leaks about the surveillance strategies of US and UK spies have arisen, Tor has become a target of criticism, accusations of promoting a “dark web” of pedophiles, drug dealers, and arms traders.

 

What is Tor?

The Tor project is a non-profit association that allowed users to browse the internet anonymously. It is intended to stop individuals – including government organizations and partnerships – from knowing of your location or learning about your browsing traditions.

The Tor network conceals your identity by moving your traffic across various Tor servers while encrypting the traffic. This makes it almost impossible for anybody to recognize the source of the data or region of the web client.

Tor’s software package, the Tor browser bundle can be downloaded easily and does not require any setup procedure. Although, you’ll experience a much slower internet than usual due to the number of relays your data goes through.

 

Who created Tor?

It was originally developed by the US Navy and received 60% of its funding from the State Departments and Department of Defense, along with several other backing bodies.

When it was initially launched in 2002, the project’s main focus was on securing every internet users’ privacy from corporations over governments.

Related: How to use Tor browser on iPhone

Who uses Tor?

Tor users fall into four main groups:

  • Normal users looking to just keep their browsing activities concealed from websites and advertisers
  • Cyber-spying concerned users that do not want their personal information to be tracked by any corporation.
  • Journalists and activists in countries with restrictions on the internet.
  • Whistleblowers can leak information to journalists while maintaining their privacy and having the freedom to express their true opinions.

 

The dark side                

Regardless of all its perks, everything has its drawbacks as well. It is important to be fully aware of what you click on while browsing with Tor. While many sites are socially acceptable or legal for that matter, others are known for having disturbing content. Stumbling upon such a web page showcasing criminal behavior or anything of that sort could land you in serious trouble.

Additionally, along with cloaking your identity Tor is also able to host websites, which means these sites are only accessible by people on the Tor network. These are known as criminal sites or in more obvious words “the dark web”.  The FBI and NSA have tracked down many of such sites, promoting disturbing content, drug purchases, illegal arms trading and much more.

Related: What are top 5 Proxies to access .Onion sites without Tor Browser?

What’s next?

We’re in an era of free-flowing data available to us with just a click of a button. Moreover, the internet is expanding on a daily basis and its depths are still unknown. With Tor becoming more widely used by internet users, the FBI and NSA have become more persistent in attempting to crack the network. In the end, it all depends on the user and for what activities they use Tor.

 

Image credits: i-novice.net

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3 Reasons To Invest and 3 Reasons Not To invest in Bitcoin

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Owning Bitcoin is the new cool! Those who own Bitcoin have 125% more chance of stealing your girl! Had you bought Bitcoin a couple years ago, you’d be a millionaire by now! This and many other things you’ll get to hear during a Bitcoin discussion. Despite all its cool features, Bitcoin is not a currency that comes from heaven and has its pros and cons.

In this post, we are going to discuss three reasons to buy and three reasons not buy Bitcoin investment.

Get, set, go!

3 Reasons To Buy Bitcoin:

Increased Attention From Major Investors:

Ever since Bitcoin was created, its biggest boosters have been computer geeks. However, the trend is starting to shift as the major investors and financial industry has turned its eye to Bitcoin. A growing number of investors and entrepreneurs have recently joined Bitcoin as they consider it a legitimate asset class such as commodities, bonds, and stocks.

The Number Of Bitcoins Is Limited:

Bitcoin is limited. Yes, it is not your traditional currency which exists in billions or trillions – it’s limited in nature and only 21 million of it will ever come into this world. This is the very reason why Bitcoin is so valuable and has a single BTC being traded at $3456.00 at the time of writing. To your surprise, it’s expected to go even higher.

Some Term Bitcoin As The New Gold:

Those who own and invest in gold do so because it’s an asset whose price is not determined by government. Regardless of the fact that a country is ravaged by war or its improvident national bank keeps on printing excessive cash, the value of gold will remain. Bitcoin has a whole lot of similar qualities. It exists on a decentralized computer network that rises above national fringes, and there is no Federal Reserve-like authority that can downgrade it.

3 Reasons Not Buy Bitcoin:

Core Users Of Bitcoin Are Still Fringe Figures:

Because of obstacles like high transaction fees, slow transaction confirmation, and restrictions on payments through credit/debit cards, Bitcoin’s primary use remains what it has always been: buying drugs and other illicit activities.

The ordinary consumer is still not using it as a payment method, and this is the main reason why Bitcoin is far too less useful than gold in the real world.

Bitcoin Is Highly Volatile:

Bitcoin is highly volatile and has experienced some spectacular crashes over the years. In 2013, for instance, the currency went on to hit $1100 only to fall back to $700 a few months later, and then to $200 in 2015.

While Bitcoin is currently over $3000/BTC, there is no guarantee that it won’t tumble back t0 $2000 or below.

Bitcoin Only Exists On Computers:

This may sound obvious but, Bitcoin is the most intangible form of money in the history of money. It’s basically just a piece of code stored somewhere on the internet and there is no authority in the world you can ask to honor it.

 

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