Category: Bitcoin

May 24, 2019 Off

CoinBits launches as a passive investment app for bitcoin

By Jill T Frey

Erik Finman is a twenty-something bitcoin maximalist as famous for his precocity as he is for his $12 bet on the currency a few years ago.

Now, Finman, who built his first company while still in high school, is launching a new startup called CoinBits, which allows users to passively invest in bitcoin.

The idea, according to Finman, is to democratize access to the currency by letting everyday folks invest nominal sums through well-known mechanisms like roundups on transactions made with a credit or debit card or through regular transactions from a customer’s savings or checking account to bitcoin through CoinBits.

Every transaction also helps Finman’s own bitcoin holdings grow, and makes the young entrepreneur a little wealthier himself through his bitcoin holdings.

Users can make one-time investments of $10, $25, $50 or $100 through the web-based platform and can establish a level of risk for their holdings.

Finman’s … Read the rest

May 24, 2019 Off

Crypto exchange Binance prepares to add margin trading ‘soon’

By Jill T Frey

Binance, the world’s most prominent crypto exchange, says it is close to adding a much-anticipated margin-trading feature to its service following weeks of speculation.

The company tweeted confirmation of the upcoming feature in a screenshot that subtly teases the imminent arrival of margin-trading options. Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao (pictured above) first revealed the feature was headed to Binance during a live stream following a hack earlier this month that saw Binance lose around $40 million in Bitcoin.

TechCrunch understands that margin trading has been beta tested among select users. A Binance representative declined to comment on the specifics, but did confirm that margin trading will be available on Binance.com “soon.”

Margin trading, which lets traders use their balance as collateral to super-size their buying power, is seen by many as an important growth vector for … Read the rest

May 17, 2019 Off

‘Crypto exchange’ Goxtrade caught using other people’s photos on its staff page

By Jill T Frey

Alleged cryptocurrency exchange Goxtrade bills itself as a “trusted platform for trading bitcoins,” but its staff page is filled with photos of people pulled seemingly at random from the internet.

The alleged exchange, which claimed to debut in 2017 yet its website is only a little more than a week old, used photos taken from social media profiles and other company websites not associated with the company.

Bizarrely, the alleged exchange didn’t bother to change all of the names of the people whose photos it used.

Amber Baldet, co-founder of Clovyr, a prominent figure in the blockchain community, and listed in Fortune’s 40 Under 40, was one of the people whose name and photos appeared on the site.

“Fraud alert: I am not a developer at Goxtrade and probably their entire business is a lie,” she tweeted Friday.

Nearly all of the names are accurate but have no … Read the rest

May 10, 2019 Off

Binance pledges to ‘significantly’ increase security following $40M Bitcoin hack

By Jill T Frey

Binance has vowed to raise the quality of its security in the aftermath of a hack that saw thieves make off with more than $40 million in Bitcoin from the exchange.

The company — which is widely believed to operate the world’s largest crypto exchange based on trading volumes — said today that it will “significantly revamp” its security measures, procedures and practices in response. In particular, CEO Changpeng Zhao wrote in a blog post that Binance will make “significant changes to the API, 2FA, and withdrawal validation areas, which was an area exploited by hackers during this incident.”

Speaking on a live stream following the disclosure of the hack earlier this week, Zhao said the hackers had been “very patient” and, in addition to targeting high-net-worth Binance users, he suggested the attack used both internal and external vectors. That might well mean phishing, and that’s an area where Zhao … Read the rest

May 3, 2019 Off

How German and US authorities took down the owners of darknet drug emporium Wall Street Market

By Jill T Frey

The major darknet marketplace known as the Wall Street Market has been seized and its alleged operators arrested in a joint operation between European and U.S. authorities. Millions in cash, cryptocurrency and other assets were collected, and the market shut down. How investigators tied these anonymity-obsessed individuals to the illegal activities is instructive.

The three men accused of running Wall Street Market (WSM), one of the larger hidden service markets operating via the Tor network, are all German citizens: Tibo Lousee, Jonathan Kalla and Klaus-Martin Frost; several vendors from the market have also been charged, including one who sold meth on it by the kilogram.

The investigation has been ongoing since 2017, but was pushed to a crisis by the apparent attempt in April by WSM’s operators to execute an exit scam. By suddenly removing all the cryptocurrency held in escrow and otherwise stored under their authority, the alleged owners … Read the rest

May 1, 2019 Off

AWS opens up its managed blockchain as a service to everybody

By Jill T Frey

After announcing that they were launching a managed blockchain service late last year, Amazon Web Services is now opening that service up for general availability.

It was only about five months ago that AWS chief executive Andy Jassy announced that the company was reversing course on its previous dismissal of blockchain technologies and laid out a new service it would develop on top of open source frameworks like Hyperledger Fabric and Ethereum.

“Customers want to use blockchain frameworks like Hyperledger Fabric and Ethereum to create blockchain networks so they can conduct business quickly, with an immutable record of transactions, but without the need for a centralized authority. However, they find these frameworks difficult to install, configure, and manage,” said Rahul Pathak, General Manager, Amazon Managed Blockchain at AWS, in a statement. “Amazon Managed Blockchain takes care of provisioning nodes, setting up the

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