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Σάββατο 30 Σεπτεμβρίου 2023

Bitcoin, Ethereum Technical Analysis: Profit Takers Swoop in to Send BTC, ETH Lower

Bitcoin, Ethereum Technical Analysis: Profit Takers Swoop in to Send BTC, ETH Lower

Bitcoin consolidated to start the weekend, as traders moved to secure gains following recent highs in the market. The global market cap was largely unchanged on Saturday, trading 0.06% lower at the time of writing. Ethereum also declined, after a one-month high on Friday.

Bitcoin

Bitcoin retreated from a ten-day high on Saturday, as bulls opted to secure profits from recent gains.

BTC/USD slipped to a low of $26,721.76 earlier in the day, which comes less than 24-hours after peaking at $27,075.94.

The move comes as bulls were unable to sustain a recent breakout above a ceiling at the $27,100 level.

Zooming into the chart, a failed break of the 58.00 resistance level on the relative strength index (RSI), also contributed to the downturn.

At the time of writing this, price strength is now tracking at 56.24, which is marginally above a ceiling of 55.00.

Bulls will likely make another run towards $27,000 this weekend, despite today’s price consolidation.

Ethereum

Ethereum (ETH) has been on a bull run this week, climbing to a one-month high during Friday’s session.

These gains have since been erased, with ETH/USD falling to a low of $1,657.68 earlier in the day, after hitting a high of $1,681.79 the day before.

The move has pushed the 10-day (red) moving average on the cusp with a crossover with its 25-day (blue) counterpart.

Although momentum is firmly bullish, a ceiling of 61.00 on the RSI could act as a hurdle for traders looking to take ETH towards $1,700.

Currently, the index is tracking at 60.01, with ethereum hovering slightly below the $1,680 price region.

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Is today’s consolidation solely due to profit-taking? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.



from Bitcoin News

Hashgraph Association in Blockchain Adoption Drive Partnership With Tunisia-Based Dar Blockchain

Hashgraph Association in Blockchain Adoption Drive Partnership With Tunisia-Based Dar Blockchain

The Hashgraph Association and Dar Blockchain recently said they will be working “to nurture projects, facilitate growth, and profoundly shape the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) technology landscape.” The two entities said they hope to achieve the set objectives via meetups, hackathons, and university groups.

Shaping the MENA Region Technology Landscape

The Hashgraph Association, a non-profit organisation promoting the use and adoption of the Hedera network, recently said it had entered into a partnership with the Tunisia-based Dar Blockchain. Through this collaboration, Hashgraph Association and Dar Blockchain said they hope “to nurture projects, facilitate growth, and profoundly shape the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) technology landscape.”

According to a press statement, the two entities hope to achieve the set objective via meetups, hackathons, and university groups. In addition, the two groups said they will be publishing a monthly podcast.

Commenting on their organization’s decision to partner with the Hashgraph Association, Mohamed Mnif and Jaafar Saied, both co-founders of Dar Blockchain, said:

By providing training sessions that dive into the Hedera Network, and setting up chapters in local universities to connect students from different backgrounds, Dar Blockchain and The Hashgraph Association will lay the foundation for the true realization of DLT [distributed ledger technology].

The duo added that their organization’s partnership with the Hashgraph Association also underlines the former’s commitment to empowering the MENA’s next generation of innovators.

For his part, Kamal Youssefi, the president of the Hashgraph Association, insisted that the collaboration will prove instrumental in accelerating the adoption of DLT in the region.

Meanwhile, the press statement revealed that the four hackathons which are set to start in October will be “a sourcing phase for an upcoming incubation program tailored for the North African community.” Besides the hackathons, the Hashgraph Association and Dar Blockchain will also offer tailor-made training sessions and foster the growth of communities and enterprises.

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What are your thoughts on this story? Let us know what you think in the comments section below.



from Bitcoin News

Buenos Aires to Bring Blockchain-Based Digital ID to Millions of Citizens

Buenos Aires to Bring Blockchain Based Digital ID to Millions of Citizens

The city of Buenos Aires has announced that it will roll out a blockchain-based, privacy-focused digital ID wallet starting in October. The Quarkid project, previously known as Tangoid, will allow its users to download a “self-sovereign” wallet to hold their birth and marriage certificates, with more digital documents to be added later this year.

Buenos Aires to Roll Out Blockchain-Based ID Program

The City of Buenos Aires government announced the deployment of a digital, blockchain-based “self-sovereign” ID project for its citizens. The wallet, called Quarkid, formerly known as Tangoid and scheduled to be operating by last January, will supposedly allow its users to exert full ownership of their data, granting only trusted and permissioned third parties access.

The Quarkid wallet will use Zksync Era, a zero-knowledge (ZK) Ethereum L2 (Layer 2) protocol, as its base, allowing the use of this kind of mathematical proof for privacy and confidentiality purposes. Quarkid was co-created by Extrimian, an Argentine institutionally focused blockchain services company, which aims to extend this service to the whole country.

On the significance of this move, Extrimian CEO Guillermo Villanueva stated:

This is a monumental step towards a safer and more efficient future for government services in Latin America. Quarkid creates a closer relationship between a government and its citizens while also bringing digital identity practices and security standards to Latin America.

Document Availability and Future

The first phase of the rollout of Quarkid will start in October, with the government of Buenos Aires allowing citizens to claim basic documents, including birth and marriage certificates. However, later this year, in November, citizens of Buenos Aires will be able to claim documents like proof-of-income and academic verification using their Quarkid wallets. At the end of this year, the government will design a roadmap to expand its services to more than 2.5 million citizens.

Diego Fernandez, Secretary of Innovation of Buenos Aires and one of the supporters behind the idea of digital identity, explained that with this innovation, the city would “set the standard for how other countries in the region should use blockchain technology for the benefit of their people.”

Furthermore, Quarkid hopes to extend its implementation to all 45 million citizens in Argentina eventually. From there, it aims to use this experience as a launchpad for a potential collaboration with the market in Latin America.

What do you think about Quarkid and the adoption of digital identity in Buenos Aires? Tell us in the comments section below.



from Bitcoin News

Sam Bankman-Fried Trial: A Colossal Legal Showdown Starts Next Week

Sam Bankman-Fried Trial: A Colossal Legal Showdown Starts Next Week

A calendar has been set for the upcoming trial of United States v. Bankman-Fried, with jury selection beginning October 3, 2023. The FTX founder, Sam Bankman-Fried, was denied temporary release from prison but will be allowed to use an “air-gapped,” internet-disabled laptop for note-taking in the courtroom. In the coming month and a half, the public will likely hear testimonies from FTX senior personnel such as Zixiao (Gary) Wang, Caroline Ellison, Nishad Singh, and Ryan Salame.

The Bankman-Fried Trial Kickoff

Next week, the co-founder and former FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried is set to face trial following charges leveled by the U.S. government. The litany of accusations against him includes wire fraud conspiracy, wire fraud, commodities fraud conspiracy, securities fraud conspiracy, and money laundering.

The charges are associated with FTX’s collapse after the once-$32 billion crypto empire failed in November 2022. Bankman-Fried is the only one named in the lawsuit and on September 28, the trial’s calendar was set.

Bankman-Fried will kick off his week with jury selection, slated to commence on Tuesday, October 3, 2023, with the trial unfolding on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday. Following a pause for Columbus Day, proceedings will resume on October 10, continuing each business day thereafter.

Sam Bankman-Fried Trial: A Colossal Legal Showdown Starts Next Week

A brief hiatus is scheduled for October 23, 24, and 25, yet the court will reconvene on the 26th and 27th. Currently, the trial agenda extends through November 9, 2023, though there’s potential for an extension.

Throughout the trial, Bankman-Fried will have the privilege to use an “air-gapped,” internet-disabled computer for note-taking during his hearings. A technological consultant will orchestrate the “air-gap” procedure and disable the laptop’s network connectivity.

This arrangement, including the authorization to utilize an air-gapped computer, comes after Bankman-Fried’s legal counsel petitioned the court for the temporary release of the FTX co-founder for the trial. Judge Lewis Kaplan, however, rebuffed the request, ensuring Bankman-Fried’s continued stay behind bars.

Bankman-Fried certainly has a hefty load of explanation ahead, a task he embarked on before his arrest in the Bahamas during a comprehensive media tour. As the trial unfolds, he may find himself up against the testimonies of four former colleagues — specifically Caroline Ellison, Gary Wang, Nishad Singh, and Ryan Salame.

Ellison, once at the helm of Alameda Research, entered a guilty plea to federal fraud charges in December 2022. Wang, a co-founder of FTX, admitted to fraud alongside Ellison. Nishad Singh, a former engineering director at FTX, succumbed to similar charges, tendering a guilty plea in February 2023.

Ryan Salame, the former co-CEO of FTX Digital Markets, acknowledged guilt in September 2023. The 30-year-old founder, Bankman-Fried, could face a lengthy 115-year prison term if convicted.

He’s presently held at Brooklyn’s Metropolitan Detention Center (MDC), where it’s been reported he’s had challenging interactions with both fellow inmates and correctional officers. Bankman-Fried’s case is shaping up to be one of the largest corporate missteps since the Bernie Madoff trial.

What do you think about the upcoming trial involving the FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried? Share your thoughts and opinions about this subject in the comments section below.



from Bitcoin News

Παρασκευή 29 Σεπτεμβρίου 2023

Non-Regulation of Web3 Space Making ‘Mainstream Adoption Harder’ Says AGG’s Jack Vinijtrongjit

Non-Regulation of Web3 Space Making 'Mainstream Adoption Harder' Says AGG's Jack Vinijtrongjit

According to Jack Vinijtrongjit, the co-founder and CEO of the Web3 infrastructure company AAG, more prospective users will be drawn to decentralized finance (defi) and non-fungible tokens (NFTs) if tools that help them avoid falling prey to scammers are developed and deployed. Vinijtrongjit argued that the need for such tools will even become “more crucial” if and when the much-talked-about widespread adoption of Web3 becomes a reality.

Onus on Industry Participants

While he acknowledged the key role that education can play in making Web3 a safer space for new users, Vinijtrongjit insisted that the onus for solving this problem rests on the shoulders of industry participants. He told Bitcoin.com News that this is especially true at the latter stages of mainstream adoption of emerging technologies.

Turning to the regulation of Web3 or the lack thereof, the AAG co-founder said he concurred with those who believe that a lack of regulation makes mainstream adoption harder. In written responses sent via Telegram, the co-founder also suggested that the non-regulation of the space is particularly challenging for regulated enterprises seeking to be exposed to digital assets or NFTs.

Vinijtrongjit also explained why his company has eliminated the need for private keys or seed phrases and how this can help make life much easier for new users. Below are the AAG co-founder’s answers to all the questions sent.

Bitcoin.com News (BCN): When new users start interacting with defi, Web3 or NFTs, they sometimes make mistakes or fall prey to scams. Besides educating such users, what else do you think needs to be done to stop them from making such mistakes or falling for scams?

Jack Vinijtrongjit (JV): You’ve mentioned education, which is hugely important, of course. The more that people can understand the technologies they use and the risks they’re faced with, the better. But you asked what can be done to prevent problems, such as scams, besides educating individuals. The answer to that, of course, is that we need preventative measures. The tools we use need to be able to identify and mitigate problems without giving users the chance to — or handing them the responsibility of — potentially making fatal errors. This is only going to become more crucial as the kind of widespread adoption often talked about becomes a reality.

When you’re in the early adopter phase we’re currently in, many users are going to have a high level of technical proficiency and may be more cognizant or forgiving of issues such as scams. But it’s unfair to expect that every user is going to have that same level of understanding, or willingness to put in the time to learn to avoid these problems. And why should they have to? The industry needs to solve this problem. Especially since, as technologies enter the latter stages of mainstream adoption, the threshold for adoption becomes lower and products that win therefore have to remove as many hurdles as they can. Encouraging education on the part of users is good, but it shouldn’t be a crutch used for putting the onus on users to solve their own problems.

BCN: Your wallet known as Metaone is said to have eliminated the need for private keys and seed phrases. What is the reasoning behind this move?

JV: Not everyone is a security expert; nor should they have to be. Early adopters have used private keys and seed phrases because, frankly, they didn’t have a choice. Now they do. That’s what we’re doing at AAG: eliminating the need for these private keys and seed phrases, while still offering users a level of control and ownership of their digital assets. It’s still self-custody: only the user has access to their assets. I believe this is the way of the future.

BCN: While the elimination of private keys and seed phrases is likely to bring forth positive results as you say, some might argue that this goes against the very essence of decentralization. What would be your response to this?

JV: Why does it go against decentralization? The foundation of decentralization is that you have ownership and control of your assets. You are the only one who can access them. That remains true regardless of whether a wallet uses seed phrases or not.

BCN: Even though the industry has got many things right there is still a lack of useful things that can be done at the consumer level. What are some of those useful things that would get users hooked on Web3 solutions?

JV: Back in the early days of the personal computer, there were a few applications – like VisiCalc on the Apple II – that were considered “killer apps,” meaning applications that were so compelling that they alone would get you to pay up to buy a computer. I think we’ve long since moved past this. Look at the apps on your smartphone and compare them to the ones on mine: Everyone has their own killer app today that makes these devices compelling.

We’re no longer in a monoculture. The same is true in Web3. There are different tools that are going to appeal to individuals. Tokenizing real estate, carbon credits or CRM for retail, all of these could prove to be killer apps for certain markets or users. With that said, I think we’re still in search of that “ChatGPT moment” that makes this mainstream and gives people a reason to care. It has to be something that people do daily. For that reason, in my opinion, some of the most interesting tools in this space have to do with commerce. That could be a game-changer for both people and brands.

One use case I think is immediately understandable concerns the secondary market for physical goods. NFTs solve the friction that accompanies our current paradigm, in which an item has to be physically mailed to real authenticators to prove that it is genuine. By using NFTs, once an item has been authenticated it can be safely stored in one location and then traded as many times as you want, with all of those transactions stored on the blockchain – proving both authenticity and ownership. That’s a win for both the consumer, for the reasons I articulated; for the brand, which can claim a royalty fee for every trade; and also for the environment.

BCN: Your company is said to be building products to bridge the gap between Web2 and Web3. Can you tell us about these and how they could help users and enterprises transition to Web3?

JV: AAG is building an ecosystem of products focused on ushering businesses and users into the world of Web3. If we have an overarching goal, it’s to make Web3 access as simple, straightforward and, yes, as pain-free as the Web2 tools people are already using. We’re trying to eliminate the challenges that might halt adoption – for instance, Metaone wallet eliminating seed phrases and private keys, or our blazing fast and gas fee-less L2 blockchain on Oasys, called Saakuru. We’re also advising businesses on how to experiment and implement Web3 solutions in a way that is fast, effective and, critically, doesn’t cause disruption to their business.

BCN: Recently, there’s been a lot of chatter about gamifying the user experience. Do you believe that a gamified user experience could help Web3 apps boost engagement and make the transition easier for new users?

JV: I’m a big believer in gamification. Web3 lends itself very well to gamification because Web3 is also about incentivization. Every network has some kind of token or reward structure. People get rewarded for participating – and participating earlier, because the rewards are maximized. Those are the key tenets of gamification.

Gamification is a great way to increase engagement and, ultimately, to bring in more users. Recently, AAG launched Tomoone, an NFT-based game that’s designed to educate MetaOne users about the possibilities of Web3 through a fun, interactive experience. By taking care of your Tomo virtual companion and keeping it happy, users get to learn about using a crypto wallet, exploring Dapps, and minting NFTs. It’s just one illustration of how we’re exploring gamification in this space – but I think it’s a very, very rich terrain to explore.

BCN: Do you believe that the lack of regulations is hurting the growth and adoption of Web3? If yes, how would clear regulatory frameworks help shape the future of Web3?

JV: The way I see this is that, for some people, the idea of a Wild West environment free from regulation is going to be very exciting. But it’s going to make mainstream adoption harder. For example, right now we’re seeing a lot of discussion from the SEC about whether certain cryptocurrencies qualify as securities or utilities. That could have a significant impact on their valuation and may put off investors.

The lack of regulation is also making it tougher for enterprise users, because they see an area that could be subject to regulation, or where certain rules are undecided, and steer clear of Web3 altogether as a result. Clarifying these rules is therefore very important. For that reason, I don’t view well-implemented regulation as being a negative. It just needs to be created in collaboration with the people familiar with this space to ensure that it provides guidance and standards that help build Web3 in a constructive manner, rather than stifling innovation. But “perfect” can be the enemy of “good” – meaning that, on balance, it’s better to have regulatory frameworks that can evolve if they turn out to be ill-suited, rather than having none at all because it’s considered to be too complex.

Editor’s note: Non-custodial wallets with seed phrases and private keys in the user’s exclusive control allow assets to be maintained even in the case of loss of a device or shutdown of one particular wallet service. As such, users should do their own research before using any service where the mechanics of crypto ownership are not made clear, and/or private keys are not in their exclusive control.

What are your thoughts about this interview? Let us know what you think in the comments section below.



from Bitcoin News

US Spy Agency Plans to Launch Generative AI Tool to Amplify Intelligence Gathering

US Spy Agency Plans to Launch Generative AI Tool to Amplify Intelligence Gathering

Reports indicate that the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency is poised to unveil a generative artificial intelligence (AI) tool, akin to Openai’s Chatgpt, to significantly enhance investigative efforts. Randy Nixon, the head of the CIA’s Open-Source Enterprise division, explained that this innovation will empower users to effortlessly trace back to the original sources of the information they are amassing.

CIA Eyes Generative AI Technology

The CIA is on track to unveil a generative AI chatbot, echoing the capabilities of OpenAI’s Chatgpt or Anthropic’s Claude. The spotlight on AI has intensified in 2023, and the U.S. government’s intelligence arm is gearing up to launch its distinct AI asset. This tool, however, will remain off-limits to U.S. bureaucrats and the general populace, with Nixon emphasizing its stringent adherence to privacy laws.

“We’ve gone from newspapers and radio, to newspapers and television, to newspapers and cable television, to basic internet, to big data, and it just keeps going,” Nixon told Bloomberg on Thursday. “We have to find the needles in the needle field.”

In the span of the past eight months, generative AI has soared to prominence, with dominant players raising billions of dollars to propel this technology forward. It has seamlessly integrated into various sectors of society, including the realms of finance and the burgeoning cryptocurrency ecosystem. Yet, the ascent of this technology has bureaucrats and regulators on edge, prompting plans to institute regulations.

In July, Gary Gensler, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission chairman, acknowledged the potential of employing AI for market surveillance and enforcement. The CIA’s AI tool is slated to fortify the broad 18-agency intelligence alliance across the United States. When it comes to the CIA’s AI capabilities, Nixon underscored an expansive horizon, stating, “Our collection can just continue to grow and grow with no limitations other than how much things cost.” Nixon added:

The scale of how much we collect and what we collect on has grown astronomically over the last 80-plus years, so much so that this could be daunting and at times unusable for our consumers.

What do you think about the CIA developing a generative AI chatbot to help with intelligence gathering? Share your thoughts and opinions about this subject in the comments section below.



from Bitcoin News

Venezuelan Crypto Watchdog Sunacrip Extends Restructuring Period; Community Asks for Clarity

Venezuelan Crypto Watchdog Sunacrip Extends Restructuring Period; Community Asks for Clarity

The Venezuelan government has officially announced the extension of the restructuring period for Sunacrip — the national cryptocurrency watchdog — by six months more due to the link of its former head with a corruption scheme. Asonacrip, a national crypto association, is asking Sunacrip to open communication channels with the community affected by its actions.

Venezuelan Government Extends Sunacrip Intervention by Six Months

The Venezuelan government has announced the extension of the restructuring of Sunacrip, the cryptocurrency watchdog of the country, by six months more. The executive order, which extended the intervention, also ratified each member of the restructuring board in their charges. Sunacrip will now have until next March to complete its restructuring processes.

Sunacrip was intervened in March due to the arrest of its former head, Joselit Ramirez, who was arrested due to alleged links with a corruption scheme where the institution would have served as an intermediary to process crude oil payments to avoid sanctions. Reports estimated that damages caused to the Venezuelan treasury could reach up to $20 billion, in a case that has been called the “Pdvsa-Crypto” scheme.

Due to this intervention, Bitcoin miners have also been disconnected from the power grid by Corpoelec, the state-owned electricity company, and national exchanges have reportedly paused their operations. However, there has been no official announcement coming from Sunacrip’s restructuring board on any planned upcoming measures, leaving the crypto community in regulatory limbo.

Asonacrip Asks for Communication and Clarity

Asonacrip, a national nonprofit cryptocurrency organization, is asking for more clarity and communication from Sunacrip regarding the legal situation of cryptocurrency mining and other activities in Venezuela. In a statement issued on September 25, the organization states that Sunacrip’s silence “puts in jeopardy thousands of jobs, the international credibility of Venezuela, and the compliance of the rules that the country pioneered in the region.”

Asonacrip called Sunacrip to establish communication channels to allow registered, legal Bitcoin miners to continue operating, given that they are not linked to illegal activities.

Humberto Quevedo, president of Asonacrip, explained that Sunacrip had requested Bitcoin miners last month to register again and submit the documents required by law to operate a Bitcoin mining operation. Nonetheless, the institution has not allowed miners to restart operations yet.

According to reports, some miners are considering relocating their operations to more cryptocurrency-friendly countries, like Paraguay and El Salvador.

What do you think about Sunacrip’s restructuring period extension and its possible consequences? Tell us in the comments section below.



from Bitcoin News

Binance Ending Operations in Russia — Crypto Exchange to Focus on 100+ Other Countries

Binance Ending Operations in Russia — Crypto Exchange to Focus on 100+ Other Countries

Crypto exchange Binance is closing down all exchange services and business lines in Russia. The company has entered into a sales agreement with Commex. A Binance executive explained that operating in Russia is not compatible with the company’s compliance strategy. “We remain confident in the long-term growth of the Web3 industry around the world and will focus our energy on the 100+ other countries in which we operate,” he emphasized.

Binance Fully Exiting Russia

Cryptocurrency exchange Binance announced Wednesday that it will fully exit Russia. According to the announcement: “ has entered into an agreement to sell the entirety of its Russia business to Commex.” According to its website, Commex is “a centralized cryptocurrency exchange backed by top-tier crypto VC.”

Binance added that to “ensure a smooth process for existing Russian users, the off-boarding process will take up to one year.” Noting that the financial details of the deal will not be disclosed, the crypto exchange stressed:

It is important to note that with this sale, Binance fully exits Russia.

“Unlike similar deals from international companies in Russia, Binance will have no ongoing revenue split from the sale, nor does it maintain any option to buy back shares in the business,” the cryptocurrency exchange clarified.

On Thursday, Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao (CZ) provided some clarifications regarding the sale of Binance’s Russian operations to Commex. He wrote on X: “Commex does not service U.S. or EU users. They have IP and KYC blocks. This is a term we asked for in the deal … Their design, APIs, etc are similar to Binance. We asked for this to ensure a smooth user experience.” CZ further said: “I am not their UBO [ultimate beneficial owner], nor do I own any shares there. The deal does not have any buyback options.”

Noah Perlman, Binance’s chief compliance officer, described:

As we look toward the future, we recognize that operating in Russia is not compatible with Binance’s compliance strategy.

“We remain confident in the long-term growth of the Web3 industry around the world and will focus our energy on the 100+ other countries in which we operate,” Perlman opined. According to Binance’s website, the crypto exchange is available in over 100 countries globally. However, only 45 countries are specifically mentioned.

Binance explained that “A portion of Russian KYC’d new user registration will immediately be redirected to Commex and will scale up over time.” The exchange continued:

Over the next several months, Binance will sunset all exchange services and business lines in Russia.

What do you think about Binance closing down all of its crypto exchange services in Russia? Let us know in the comments section below.



from Bitcoin News

Binance Advises Paysafe Users to Convert Euro Balances to Tether

Binance Advises Paysafe Users to Convert Euro Balances to Tether

Crypto exchange Binance has issued a recommendation for customers using the services of Paysafe for euro (EUR) transfers. The crypto trading platform is advising users to convert their euro balances to tether (USDT) or withdraw them to bank accounts after the payment processor suspended deposits and withdrawals in the common European currency.

Binance Urges Traders to Take Action Amid Paysafe Suspension of EUR Transfers

The world’s largest exchange for digital assets, Binance, issued a notice calling on users of Paysafe Payment Solutions to take “appropriate actions” in relation with the payment company’s decision to stop processing euro deposits and withdrawals for Binance customers.

In June, the U.K.-based payment processor announced its decision to cease offering its embedded wallet solution to Binance across Europe. It was expected to drop support for bank transfers of euros to and from Binance via the Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA) in late September.

On Thursday, Binance suggested that Paysafe users convert EUR balances in their accounts on the exchange to USDT before Oct. 31, 2023. In the meantime, they can continue to withdraw their euro balances from Binance accounts to their bank accounts, the platform added.

Binance also detailed the services affected by Paysafe’s “sudden decision.” Euro deposits by Paysafe were suspended on Sept. 25. Starting from Sept. 28, users will be unable to buy crypto with, or sell crypto for euro balances, the exchange said while noting:

Please be assured that users can continue to buy crypto using EUR with their credit/debit cards.

Also effective from Thursday, all Paysafe users will not be able to trade EUR spot trading pairs and they were “strongly advised” to cancel open orders on such pairs. Binance also terminates Spot Trading Bots services on EUR/USDT and EUR/BUSD trading pairs for Paysafe users.

The change concerns two other services — Binance Convert has been set to reduce only mode, which allows traders to convert euro to crypto through market orders but not the other way around, and Auto-Invest EUR plans of Paysafe users have been paused.

assured customers that all funds are secure while all other crypto-related services remain unaffected. “We are working to integrate new fiat channels onto Binance soon, as in line with our mission to provide a seamless crypto experience for all users,” the company added.

Paysafe’s move is just one of the challenges that the world’s leading crypto exchange has had to deal with in the past few months. Binance has been under increased pressure from regulators in Europe and the U.S., where its local arm lost banking support, market share and jobs as a result and had to announce a transition to crypto only trading.

Do you think Binance will find a new partner for euro transfers? Tell us in the comments section below.



from Bitcoin News

Πέμπτη 28 Σεπτεμβρίου 2023

S21 Miner Makes its Debut at WDMS for the First Time, with BitFuFu Among the First Public Online Sales Platforms

PRESS RELEASE. September 28, 2023 – The 2023 Global Digital Mining Summit (WDMS) concluded successfully in Singapore, exploring the future trends and investment opportunities in the Web 3.0 mining ecosystem. During the event, Bitmain unveiled its latest high-hashrate miner, the S21, and commenced accepting pre-orders.

As Bitmain’s exclusive cloud mining partner, BitFuFu platform has opened the S21 miner pre-purchase. The S21 miner boasts an impressive energy efficiency rating of only 17.5 J/T, significantly enhancing mining efficiency. Furthermore, the S21 miner offers a hashrate of up to 200 T/TH, marking a new performance peak and solidifying its position as one of the world’s most powerful BTC miners.

BitFuFu is introducing an attractive product package, combining mining machine purchases with hosting services:

The platform supports purchases starting from just one miner, offering an integrated service of machine procurement and hosting by BitFuFu, which includes transportation, customs clearance, and installation with no waiting times, all managed by dedicated personnel for swift mining.

Access high-quality mining farm resources in North America with a single click, backed by a professional operations and maintenance team ensuring machine uptime.

Purchasing 100 or more S21 miners at once qualifies for the lowest price of 14.8 U/T.

Buyers of S21 miners will enjoy up to 240 days of free mining power fees.

This campaign is conducted in collaboration with Antpool, securing maximum transaction fee discounts for miner users.

Now, with only a small deposit, you can pre-order the S21 miner. BitFuFu will contact you before shipment to arrange payment of the remaining miner cost. Depending on your purchase method, miners will be shipped in the first or second quarter of 2024. Pre-order users will have their S21 miners shipped to their specified location, while pre-order users opting for hosting services will have their S21 miners shipped to BitFuFu‘s mining facility partner for installation and operation.

For more information and details on pre-ordering the S21 miner, please visit the official BitFuFu website or contact our dedicated advisors.

BitFuFu Official Website: www.bitfufu.com

 

 

 


This is a press release. Readers should do their own due diligence before taking any actions related to the promoted company or any of its affiliates or services. Bitcoin.com is not responsible, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any content, goods or services mentioned in the press release.



from Bitcoin News

Protocols Must Deploy “Asymmetric Countermeasures” to Counter Code Vulnerability Exploiting Hackers — Spherex CEO

Protocols Must Deploy "Asymmetric Countermeasures" to Counter Code Vulnerability Exploiting Hackers — Spherex CEO

While both attackers and smart contract auditors are motivated to find vulnerabilities in code, according to Eyal Meron, the co-founder and CEO of Spherex, the former “is always more incentivized as the protocol’s total value locked (TVL) grows.” To overcome this challenge, Meron told Bitcoin.com News that decentralized protocols will need to put in place what he called “asymmetric countermeasures.”

Human Error and Smart Contract Vulnerabilities

The Spherex boss also suggested deploying an exploit prevention solution as another way protocols can prevent attackers from using errors in code to steal digital assets worth millions. Meron, a senior veteran of the elite Israeli 8200 cyber unit, nevertheless admits that most smart contract vulnerabilities are often the result of human error which in many cases is “inevitable.”

One common error, which according to Meron is almost impossible to detect, often occurs when developers “overlook how every code line affects the contract depending on the different states it might be in.” It is these errors that criminals often take advantage of before successfully siphoning digital assets worth millions of dollars. Many players in the Web3 space including Meron insist that when users lose funds through such incidents the entire industry suffers.

Meanwhile, in his written answers sent to Bitcoin.com News, Spherex’s chief product officer Ariel Tempelhof touched on how the collaboration between blockchains and onchain security providers can help turn the tide against code exploiters and other cyber criminals. He also offered his thoughts on some critics’ contention that an exploit prevention solution may eventually be used as a censorship tool.

Below are both Eyal Meron and Ariel Tempelhof‘s answers to all the questions sent to them via Telegram.

Bitcoin.com News (BCN): Smart contract vulnerabilities are often caused by human errors. What are some of the common mistakes developers make that give hackers an opportunity to look for and exploit weaknesses in smart contracts?

Eyal Meron (EM): There are a lot of common mistakes that, in our eyes, stem from the fact that a deployed smart contract is a state machine that grows exponentially with the code base and transaction volume. Due to this, human errors are inevitable, both on the developers’ part and the auditors’. The most common mistake is to overlook how every code line affects the contract depending on the different states it might be in (which is honestly impossible).

BCN: Once deployed, smart contracts become immutable and the vulnerabilities become a permanent part of the code. Therefore before they are deployed smart contracts are audited and in some cases, multiple times. However, it appears that has not helped to bring down the number of exploits. In what ways do the existing solutions for smart contract protection like auditing fall short?

EM: The fact that protocols are being audited multiple times proves that audits are best-effort and not enough. Audits are like playing on the attacker’s court. Both parties look for vulnerabilities in the code while the attacker is always more incentivized as the protocol total value locked (TVL) grows, while the auditors have limited resources. Protocols need to put asymmetric countermeasures in place to win this race.

BCN: Your company Spherex recently launched an exploit prevention solution for smart contracts called Spherex-Protect. Can you tell us how it works and whether blockchain protocols or applications have to compromise on decentralization to make it work for them?

EM: Sure, Spherex-Protect is essentially the missing piece in the Web3 security paradigm. Instead of looking at what’s wrong in your code, we look at how your protocol operates and make sure this line of operation stays the same. The protection is actually being done on-chain which has two important properties: The protection is verifiable – everyone (the protocol owners and customers) can look at the protection code and understand how it works.

The protection can be completely decentralized – The owners of the protection can be configured. It could be Spherex, the protocol owners, the assigned security council, the DAO, or completely revoked.

In that sense, Spherex-Protect is the most decentralized Web3 security a protocol can have. Moreover, this platform was planned with modularity and openness in mind. Everyone can write protection modules for the ecosystem to be audited and verified by the whole community.

BCN: How does Spherex differentiate between legitimate user transactions and suspicious ones and what happens to a suspicious transaction — including the false positive detections — once it is flagged?

Ariel Tempelhof (AT): This has been a year-long research by our research team. Finding the best way to distinguish between malicious and legitimate transactions, during transaction execution while maintaining a very low gas footprint.

We look at multiple data points, accessible from the contract itself, and gather them during the execution of the transaction. Those might be gas consumption, storage changes, input parameters, etc. When enough data is gathered, a decision is made whether to allow the transaction or revert it. The results were astonishing, we were able to prevent most of the hacks we’ve analyzed while maintaining a <0.1% false positive rate.

Once a transaction is reverted, it is further analyzed by our off-chain module to produce a recommendation of what to do with transactions sharing the same aspects in the future. Of course, it’s up to the protection manager to decide whether to accept the recommendation or disregard it.

BCN: How do you see smart contract security and threats evolving in an increasingly multi-chain future?

AT: A chain is not just a set of blocks, it’s a whole ecosystem of protocols that work together. As most blockchains would like to single themselves out as one of the most secure blockchains out there, they would have to implement a security baseline for the whole ecosystem to adopt. Spherex has already started collaborating with blockchains to incorporate chain-wide security countermeasures in place.

On another note, multi-chain means multiple bridges connecting them. Bridges, as we all know, are the most prone-to-be-hacked protocols out there. SphereX-Protect has already shown great success in preventing even the most sophisticated bridge hacks introduced in recent years.

BCN: Though they have their downsides including smart contract vulnerabilities, blockchain transactions are supposed to be irreversible by design. What’s the possibility of this ability to block or revert blockchain transactions being used as a censorship tool in the future?

AT: The exploit prevention solution is designed not to be used as a censorship tool. The data points we’re looking at are intrinsic to the protocol and are not affected by the entity sending the transaction. Applying such censorship, in our eyes, is futile since changing addresses is very easy on the blockchain.

What are your thoughts about this interview? Let us know what you think in the comments section below.



from Bitcoin News

The Scalability Solution: Understanding Layer One vs. Layer Two Blockchains

The Scalability Solution: Understanding Layer One vs. Layer Two Blockchains

Layer one (L1) and layer two (L2) blockchains offer different approaches to scaling distributed ledger networks. While developers of L1 blockchains focus on improving the base protocol, L2 programmers have moved transactions off-chain to enable faster and cheaper transactions.

What Are Layer One Blockchains?

Layer one or L1 refers to a base blockchain protocol like Bitcoin or Ethereum. These networks operate on a decentralized ledger secured by proof-of-work (PoW) mining or proof-of-stake (PoS) staking. L1 chains such as Bitcoin and Ethereum offer unparalleled security. However, during peak times, both of these chains grapple with sluggish transaction speeds and steep fees.

Developers from several L1 networks are working to improve layer one scaling through methods like increasing block size, sharding, and introducing proof-of-stake consensus. However, substantial layer one upgrades require coordination among node operators and can take years to implement. Some blockchains intend to use L2 protocols as either a temporary or long-term solution.

What Are Layer Two Blockchains?

Layer two or L2 solutions take advantage of the security of an existing layer one blockchain while enabling faster and cheaper transactions off-chain. Then the data is summarized and settled on the L1, but that’s not always the case.

Here are some key L2 solutions:

Lightning Network for Bitcoin

Bitcoin’s Lightning Network (LN) is a second-layer scaling solution designed to facilitate faster, low-cost transactions on the Bitcoin blockchain (L1). It operates on top of Bitcoin’s base layer, allowing for instant payments by circumventing the need for block confirmations.

Transactions on the Lightning Network occur off-chain in payment channels between users. Only channel open and close transactions are recorded on the Bitcoin blockchain. Participants can transact multiple times within these channels, reducing congestion and fees on L1.

Critics target LN for its prevalent use of custodial wallets, as these demand users place trust in third parties to handle their money. Moreover, the off-chain method poses a risk: if nodes lack proper backup, it could trigger an irrevocable loss of funds.

Loopring and ZK-Rollups for Ethereum

Loopring uses zero-knowledge rollups (ZK-rollups) to batch hundreds of transactions off-chain and generate a cryptographic proof verifying their validity. This proof is submitted to layer one (Ethereum), avoiding the need to process each transaction on-chain.

Polygon ZKEVM also uses ZK-rollup technology to offer high throughput Ethereum transactions with lower fees. On the risk side, some believe that relying heavily on ZK-rollups can introduce centralization risks as validators and sequencers become key to the system.

ZK-rollups are also complex both in terms of their theoretical underpinnings and implementation. This complexity can lead to potential vulnerabilities if not implemented correctly or thoroughly vetted.

Optimistic Rollups

Optimistic rollups like Optimism and Arbitrum offer similar throughput improvements by processing transactions off-chain. However, they take a different approach than ZK-rollups for settling data on layer one.

While ZK-rollups cryptographically prove validity, Optimistic rollups assume transactions are valid and only settle/dispute transactions on layer one if needed. This requires a separate fraud-proof process.

Optimistic rollups are also complex and just like ZK-rollups the tech can lead to unforeseen vulnerabilities or bugs. Another critique is the delay in withdrawals from an Optimistic rollup back to the main chain.

Starknet and Validium

Starknet leverages Stark proofs to validate transactions off-chain for later settlement on Ethereum. Validium platforms like Boba Network also move contract execution off-chain but don’t settle back to layer one.

Starknet and Validium critiques include complexity, trust assumptions, and computational intensity. Moreover, relying on specific entities for off-chain data storage can lead to centralization, potentially making the system more vulnerable to attacks or manipulation.

The Scalability Trilemma

No solution offers speed, security, and decentralization in equal measure. Layer two aims for transaction speed without sacrificing the security of layer one. However, some believe decentralization is lost by moving computations off-chain.

Others insist the ideal long-term solution likely combines layers one and two. Meanwhile, numerous crypto enthusiasts remain firmly rooted in the belief that only L1s hold significance in the onward journey.

In summary, layer two platforms offer a different path to scalability by handling transactions off-chain, while some still benefit from the robust security model of layer one. To some this balance of speed and security makes layer two solutions appealing for blockchain adoption.

While some dismiss L2s as a complete waste of time or deem them entirely pointless, the discourse stretches on. Yet, through years of discussion, work continues to enhance both layers to achieve the optimum blend of scalability, security, and decentralization.

What do you think about the differences between L1 and L2 blockchain technology? Share your thoughts and opinions about this subject in the comments section below.



from Bitcoin News

US Authorities Seize Crypto Linked to Pig-Butchering Scam Held at Binance

US Authorities Seize Crypto Linked to Pig-Butchering Scam Held at Binance

U.S. authorities are seeking to recover cryptocurrencies linked to the popular pig-butchering crypto scam. “Law enforcement was able to trace cryptocurrency involved in the fraud and money laundering to two Binance accounts, where it was seized,” the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Massachusetts has revealed.

US Continues to Crack Down on Pig-Butchering Crypto Scam

The United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Massachusetts announced Tuesday that it has filed “a civil forfeiture action to recover cryptocurrency alleged to be the proceeds of a ‘pig-butchering’ fraud scheme targeting a Massachusetts resident and involved in money laundering.” The announcement details:

Specifically, the government seeks to forfeit 412,543.555 tether (USDT) and 100.896 Binance coin (BNB) seized from two accounts located at Binance.com, a cryptocurrency exchange and custodian.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office added: “Collectively, this cryptocurrency has a current estimated value of around $434,000.”

The announcement explains that an investigation began into a pig-butchering scheme targeting a Massachusetts resident in early 2023. “In a pig-butchering scheme, scammers obtain funds from victims using manipulative tactics. The scammer establishes a level of trust with a victim in online communications and then entices the victim into investing in a fraudulent cryptocurrency scheme. Often the victim is enticed to make additional payments, before realizing they are a victim of fraud,” the U.S. Attorney’s Office described.

The announcement adds:

Law enforcement was able to trace cryptocurrency involved in the fraud and money laundering to two Binance accounts, where it was seized.

“The complaint alleges that the defendant’s cryptocurrency is traceable to proceeds of wire fraud and was involved in money laundering. A civil forfeiture action allows third parties to assert claims to property, which must be resolved before the property can be forfeited to the United States and returned to victims,” the Attorney’s Office noted.

Several U.S. authorities have warned about the pig-butchering crypto scam. The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has issued multiple alerts about the growing prevalence and popularity of this scam across the country.

In September last year, the Delaware Department of Justice’s Investor Protection Unit issued a cease and desist order against 23 entities and individuals involved in this type of scam. The order also froze the accounts allegedly holding cryptocurrencies belonging to the victims. In November last year, U.S. authorities seized seven domains used by a group of pig-butchering scammers. In April this year, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) seized cryptocurrency worth $112 million linked to a pig-butchering crypto scheme.

Have you encountered the pig-butchering crypto scam? Let us know in the comments section below.



from Bitcoin News

Τετάρτη 27 Σεπτεμβρίου 2023

Amazon to Invest up to $4 Billion in AI Firm Anthropic

Amazon to Invest up to $4 Billion in AI Firm Anthropic

Amazon, the worldwide tech behemoth, has announced that it will invest up to $4 billion in Anthropic, an artificial intelligence (AI) firm that has developed Claude, a generative AI assistant. As part of this strategic partnership, Anthropic will train its models on top of Amazon silicon, and Anthropic will make its models available through Amazon Bedrock.

Amazon to Pour up to $4 Billion Into AI Model Company Anthropic

Amazon, one of the leading tech companies in the world, has announced a strategic partnership with artificial intelligence (AI) firm Anthropic that includes an investment of up to $4 billion in exchange for a minority stake in the company.

According to a press release issued by Amazon, Anthropic will now use Amazon Web Services (AWS) as its primary cloud services provider. Anthropic will also use Amazon-produced silicon, including its Trainium and Inferentia chips, to “build, train, and deploy its future foundation models, benefitting from the price, performance, scale, and security of AWS.”

Anthropic has positioned as a rival for Openai since earlier this year when it debuted Claude, an AI assistant with capabilities that contend with Chatgpt, one of the most popular AI chatbots in the market. Recently, it announced Claude Pro, a paid subscription model directed to heavy users of Claude.

In May, the company took advantage of the AI buzz in the market, raising $450 million in a series C funding round led by Spark Capital with participation from Google, Salesforce Ventures, Sound Ventures, Zoom Ventures, and others, to grow its product offering and support businesses using Claude based solutions.

More Details

Anthropic, founded by former Openai employees, announced that organizations will be able to harness Claude by using Amazon Bedrock, a cloud service that allows customers to access AI models. Amazon AWS customers will use Claude to “incorporate generative AI capabilities into their work, enhance existing applications, and create net-new customer experiences across Amazon’s businesses.”

Amazon will ease the deployment of these models via Bedrock, letting customers worry about fine-tuning Claude’s capabilities for their specific needs.

Dario Amodei, co-founder and CEO of Anthropic, stated:

Since announcing our support of Amazon Bedrock in April, Claude has seen significant organic adoption from AWS customers. By significantly expanding our partnership, we can unlock new possibilities for organizations of all sizes, as they deploy Anthropic’s safe, state-of-the-art AI systems together with AWS’s leading cloud technology.

What do you think about Amazon’s investment in Anthropic? Tell us in the comments section below.



from Bitcoin News

Binance Reopens Registrations in Belgium, Restores Services

Binance Reopens Registrations in Belgium, Restores Services

Cryptocurrency exchange Binance is now accepting new registrations of Belgian users following an interruption caused by regulatory actions against it. In June, the trading platform was ordered to cease providing crypto exchange and custody services in the EU country.

Binance Returns to Belgium 3 Months After Pausing Services Under Regulatory Pressure

The world’s largest crypto exchange by daily trading volume, Binance, has resumed operations in Belgium, one of the European countries where it faced a regulatory crackdown in the past few months. This year the exchange found itself under increased scrutiny from authorities on both sides of the Atlantic.

“Great news for our Belgian community,” Binance tweeted on Monday, announcing it has reopened registrations. In another post through its Belgian account on X, formerly Twitter, Binance said it has restored access to products and services for Belgian customers who have accepted its new Terms of Use.

The positive development comes after in late June, Belgium’s Financial Services and Markets Authority (FSMA) said it ordered the leading cryptocurrency exchange to “cease immediately all offers of virtual currency services in Belgium.”

The regulatory body accused Binance of “providing exchange services in Belgium between virtual currencies and legal currencies, as well as custody wallet services, from countries that are not members of the European Economic Area” (EEA).

The FSMA also warned the crypto behemoth that a failure to comply with the prohibition may lead to its prosecution under the Belgian law on the prevention of money laundering and terrorist financing as well as the country’s criminal code.

The financial authority also acknowledged that crypto activities remain largely unregulated outside the scope of these applicable laws until the EU’s new Markets in Crypto Assets (MiCA) legislation enters into force in January 2025.

While looking for a solution, Binance announced at the end of August that it had found a way to continue to provide services to Belgian residents — through its Polish entity. At the time, the exchange insisted that Binance Poland could serve customers from Belgium in compliance with local regulatory requirements as it’s a registered virtual assets service provider (VASP) in an EU member state.

has been dealing with heightened pressure from financial regulators around the world, including lawsuits filed by the U.S. securities and commodities commissions. In Europe, the exchange withdrew its license applications or canceled its registrations in several countries, including the Netherlands, Germany, Cyprus, and the U.K.

Do you think Binance will be able to return to other European markets and provide services under local regulations? Share your thoughts on the subject in the comments section below.



from Bitcoin News

Bankman-Fried’s Lawyers Seek Another Attempt at Temporary Release

Bankman-Fried's Lawyers Seek Another Attempt at Temporary Release

Lawyers for Sam Bankman-Fried are making another attempt to have the disgraced FTX founder temporarily released from jail before his October trial, claiming he needs better access to prepare his defense properly.

Lawyers Cite Bankman-Fried’s Indispensable Knowledge for Complex Trial Preparation

In a letter to U.S. judge Lewis Kaplan filed Monday, Sam Bankman-Fried’s attorneys argued that the current restrictions on meeting with their client at Manhattan’s Metropolitan Detention Center (MDC) are “not workable” for a case this complex.

“This case is highly technical and complex, and we need our client to help us understand the facts and explain many of the issues,” lawyers state in the letter. “He alone knows the facts which are also critical in preparing his defense. Unfortunately, his knowledge and insight cannot be replicated by third-party experts as they are not familiar with the underlying facts and cannot provide the necessary help.”

Bankman-Fried’s lawyers say they need more time with him outside of jail in the evenings and weekends to go over each day’s testimony and exhibits. They claim that Bankman-Fried has indispensable knowledge of the facts that outside experts lack.

The lawyers further proposed strict conditions for Bankman-Fried’s release, including private security, no computers or phones, and a gag order prohibiting him from speaking with anyone but his lawyers and family. Bankman-Fried’s legal council says:

[A] security guard will remain with Mr. Bankman-Fried in the temporary residence throughout the evening and will ensure that Mr. Bankman-Fried does not have access to any computers, cell phones, the Internet, television, or any electronic devices. Mr. Bankman-Fried will not be permitted any visitors in his temporary residence.

This marks the third attempt to have Bankman-Fried released after Kaplan revoked his $250 million bail in December over concerns he could still access funds and flee. Kaplan has repeatedly denied requests for release, while acknowledging the challenges of preparing for a complex trial.

In their latest letter, the defense team notes this does not prevent them from applying again. They argue having insufficient access to Bankman-Fried could raise appellate issues. The lawyers say detaining Bankman-Fried during the trial will leave them little opportunity to confer outside of mornings.

If found guilty of fraud and money laundering, Bankman-Fried could serve a staggering 115 years behind bars. The jury selection kicks off on October 3, and the trial is anticipated to span anywhere from six weeks to several months.

What do you think about Bankman-Fried’s lawyers requesting that he be released before trial? Share your thoughts and opinions about this subject in the comments section below.



from Bitcoin News

Central Bank Digital Currency a Threat to Financial Stability — Nigerian Central Bank Study

Despite the role it has played in narrowing the financial inclusion gap, the e-naira central bank digital currency still poses a risk to financial stability. In addition to bolstering the financial inclusion rate, the central bank claimed that the CBDC would “widen the size and stability of banks’ deposit base.”

Nigeria’s Financial Inclusion Rates

According to a new Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) study, the country’s nearly two-year-old e-naira central bank digital currency (CBDC) poses a risk to financial stability. This is despite the fact that such a digital currency can potentially help improve Nigeria’s “financial inclusion rate from 64.1 percent recorded in 2021 to the 95.0 percent target for 2024.”

Launched in late October 2021, the e-naira, which was championed by former CBN governor Godwin Emefiele, has not been widely received by the Nigerian population. As previously reported by Bitcoin.com News in August 2022, there were fewer than one million downloads of the e-naira app some twelve months after the CBDC was launched.

Many observers have argued that the number of downloads versus Nigeria’s 130 million plus adults may be an indication of the public’s less than lukewarm response to the CBDC’s launch. However, the Nigerian public’s apparent snub of the e-naira has not stopped the CBN from promoting it or offering incentives to prospective users.

Stabilizing the Banks’ Deposit Base

The deepening of financial inclusion is one of the key advantages the CBN has repeatedly highlighted when making the case for the CBDC. Similarly, in its report titled “Economics of Digital Currencies,” the CBN again discusses how the unveiling of the e-naira USSD code for non-smartphone users has helped to increase the number of e-naira transactions. In addition to bolstering the financial inclusion rate, the central bank claimed that the CBDC would “widen the size and stability of banks’ deposit base.”

Central Bank Digital Currency a Threat to Financial Stability — Nigerian Central Bank Study.

However, despite these and other benefits that a CBDC will likely bring, the CBN states in the report that the conversion of bank deposits to e-naira may pose risks to the stability of the banking system. To back this argument, the report points to the number of bank deposit conversions since the introduction of the CBDC.

“Since its inception, bank deposit conversion to e-naira has exhibited an average monthly growth of 78.3 percent and totaled about N1.66 billion [$2.1 million]. Furthermore, e-naira in circulation as a ratio of average banking system liquidity has averaged 0.1 percent, reaching highs of 0.2 percent in each of the months of May and August 2022,” the CBN report noted.

According to the central bank, the e-naira can also negatively affect banks’ overall profitability via reduced non-interest income. A CBDC also comes with increased cyberattack risks, the CBN report said.

What are your thoughts on this story? Let us know what you think in the comments section below.



from Bitcoin News

Τρίτη 26 Σεπτεμβρίου 2023

BBB Warns of Rising Crypto Scams on Tiktok — ‘They May Resort to Scare Tactics’

BBB Warns of Rising Crypto Scams on Tiktok — 'They May Resort to Scare Tactics'

The U.S. Better Business Bureau (BBB) has issued a warning about a surge in “money-flipping” crypto investment scams on Tiktok. “They may ask for fees several times,” the BBB cautioned, adding that if you question them, “they may resort to scare tactics, telling you that if you don’t pay, you’ll miss out on the giant return or that they can take legal action.”

Crypto Scams on the Rise on Tiktok

The U.S. Better Business Bureau (BBB) recently issued a warning about the rising number of cryptocurrency investment scams on Tiktok. Founded in 1912, the BBB is a private, nonprofit organization focused on advancing marketplace trust. According to the bureau:

Money-flipping cons have long been popular on Instagram and Twitter. But as Tiktok’s popularity grows, so do the con artists. Watch out for this Tiktok scam, which promises to turn a few hundred dollars worth of cryptocurrency into thousands in no time.

The BBB explained that when browsing Tiktok videos, you may come across some showing a pile of cash, with creators claiming that they amassed this wealth within a matter of days through cryptocurrency investments. They then offer to assist you in achieving similar returns for a nominal fee, with certain individuals even guaranteeing to triple your money in less than a week.

“They will ask you to send money — usually a few hundred dollars — through a digital wallet service like Paypal, Zelle, or Venmo. They may even ask you to purchase the cryptocurrency and send it to them. Then, they ‘invest’ their money in the stock market, which allegedly starts multiplying immediately,” the BBB detailed.

Noting that the scammers will try to extend their con as long as possible, the bureau cautioned:

They may ask for fees several times, always promising you will get much more back than you spend. If you question them, they may resort to scare tactics, telling you that if you don’t pay, you’ll miss out on the giant return or that they can take legal action.

Have you come across crypto scams on Tiktok? Share your experience with us in the comments section below.



from Bitcoin News

Hong Kong Securities Regulator Says It Now Publishes Names of Entities Seeking Crypto Trading Licences

The Hong Kong securities regulator has said it now publishes a list of firms seeking to operate crypto trading platforms in the region. Julia Leung Fung-yee, the CEO of the Securities and Futures Commission (SFC), said divulging the names of applicants is intended to help placate an investing public recently ruffled by the Jpex incident.

Pacifying Hong Kong Crypto Users

Hong Kong’s securities regulator has said it will now reveal the names of companies seeking to run crypto platforms that target retailers from the region. Julia Leung Fung-yee, the CEO of the Securities and Futures Commission (SFC), reportedly said the decision was made to pacify the public.

According to a report in the South China Morning Post, the regulator’s decision is viewed as a departure from the regulator’s longstanding stance of not divulging the applicants’ names. The announcement of the changes came just a few days after the crypto exchange Jpex was forced to halt operations.

At the time, a Bitcoin.com News report said the trading halt was then followed by the arrests of multiple people and greater scrutiny of the region’s crypto sector. In a subsequent statement, the SFC said the JPEX incident had highlighted the importance of regulating crypto trading platforms.

Importance of Disseminating Information to Users

The Hong Kong regulator also said the dissemination of information to crypto users via its alert list, warnings, and educational efforts can help investors better understand the risks associated with crypto assets. The regulator added:

The SFC will explore with the Police to set up a dedicated channel to share information on suspicious activities of and breaches by VATPs [virtual asset trading platforms] and to investigate the JPEX incident to bring the wrong-doers to justice.

Meanwhile, when discussing the SFC’s move to reveal the names of the applicants, Fung-yee however insisted being on the list does not mean they are compliant. As shown on the SFC website, only two companies, OSL Digital Securities and Hash Blockchain are licensed to operate as crypto platforms. The SFC said four other entities have applied for the same license. The four are HKVAX, Hkbitex, Hong Kong BGE Limited, and Victory Fintech Company Limited.

What are your thoughts on this story? Let us know what you think in the comments section below.



from Bitcoin News

Economist Peter Schiff: US Dollar Near ‘Historic Crash’ — ‘Forget Soft Landing, It’s Crash and Burn’

Economist Peter Schiff has warned that the U.S. dollar is “on the verge of a historic crash.” He stressed that there won’t be a soft landin...