Recently Browsing 0 members
No registered users viewing this page.
PayPal will soon give users the ability to manage cryptocurrencies
by João Carrasqueira
PayPal is expanding into the cryptocurrency management market, the company announced today. The move comes in response to increasing interest from consumers and central banks in digital currencies, and it will allow PayPal users to buy, hold, and sell cryptocurrencies within PayPal. What's more, the firm plans to go further by allowing cryptocurrencies to serve as funds for purchases on merchants that already support PayPal payments.
PayPal cites a survey by the Bank for International Settlements, saying that one in ten central banks plan to launch their own digital currency in the next three years. Dan Schulman, president and CEO of PayPal, said:
PayPal will start enabling cryptocurrency management for users in the United States in the next few weeks. To start, users will be able to manage some of the most popular cryptocurrencies - Bitcoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, and Litecoin. PayPal plans to expand the capability to its Venmo service in the first half of next year, and it will also enable cryptocurrencies to be used for payments in early 2021. Cryptocurrency management should also expand to other markets next year.
Through the end of the year, buying and selling cryptocurrencies won't have any cost, and simply holding cryptocurrencies won't carry fees in general. PayPal is also going to provide users with educational content so they can understand how cryptocurrencies work, as well as the risks and opportunities attached to them.
If you live in the United States and you're interested in the feature, you can join the waitlist using this link.
By Ather Fawaz
Global power consumption by Bitcoin mining tops 7 GW, hashrates at 120 EH/s
by Ather Fawaz
Image via Zvelo The increasing ubiquity and adoption of cryptocurrency has led to more people indulging in the process of mining it. According to a recent study by Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance, Bitcoin-related power consumption has reached record highs this year. More than seven gigawatts (7 GW) of power (~63.32 terawatt-hours) are being pulled by the global mining industry. This power is roughly equivalent to that of seven nuclear power plants or 21.8 million solar panels.
Details on global hashrate were published as well. This metric quantifies the total amount of processing power dedicated to the process of mining cryptocurrency. Already, the global industry stands at around 120 exa-hash per second (EH/s) but analysts predict that that number is only meant to increase in the future. In terms of individual countries, China is leading the pack, contributing 65.08% to the average monthly global hashrate, followed by the United States with 7.24% in second position and Russia at 6.90% in third.
Average monthly share of total hashrate by country. Via CBECI Seeing these figures, one would think about the adverse environmental impacts of mining. But the study clarified in the FAQ section that:
Moving forward, for the second phase of the project, Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance plans on launching an interactive geographic map that tracks the location and the energy mix powering Bitcoin mining facilities as that would lead to a more accurate representation of the Bitcoin footprint.
Source: CBECI via Engadget
By Ather Fawaz
Empire Market, a drug dealing behemoth on the dark web has been offline for three days
by Ather Fawaz
It's been three days since one of the most popular darknet marketplaces, Empire Market, went offline. Customers have been unable to access their accounts and the administrators have seemingly gone off the radar without a trace. Sellers are distressed over the loss of funds, and some have even reported being the victims of Dusting Attacks whereby they've received small amounts of bitcoin in an attempt to deanonymize their cryptocurrency earnings.
According to Bloomberg, the Empire Market dealt with drugs, fake documents, malware, etc., and ranked among the most trafficked illicit online marketplaces after the shutdown of sites like Silk Road, AlphaBay, and Hansa. But what exactly caused Empire Market to go offline is unclear.
Bloomberg interviewed Mark Arena, CEO of Intel 471, a cybersecurity firm that tracks darknet marketplaces, who believes that there are two likely reasons for the sudden disappearance. Either the site administrators were arrested by law enforcement agencies or they have scammed customers and went off the radar with escrowed money.
We've seen the former happen with the October 2013 shutdown of Silk Road by the FBI. The latter is also likely because Empire Market operated on the basis of escrowing money whereby anyone wishing to sell makes a deposit, which was held in escrow, giving the administrators control over it. Not only this, but a site moderator who goes by the name 'se7en' has also seemingly deleted his Dread account, and another moderator 'Melbourne' has confirmed that an exit scam is likely. While the exact figure of escrowed money is difficult to gauge, Mark Arena estimates at least 'single-digit millions' to be involved here.
By Ather Fawaz
Twitter claims that a social engineering attack led to the spread of the cryptocurrency scam
by Ather Fawaz
A few hours back, many high-profile Twitter profiles were hacked to spread a cryptocurrency scam. Among the affected accounts were those of Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, SpaceX CEO Elon Musk, and Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos. Under the hack, a tweet was posted claiming that the profile was giving back or doubling the amount of cryptocurrency sent to the account.
Shortly after, Twitter posted that it was investigating the problem. Now, Twitter Support (@twittersupport) has notified us on what it knows about the nature of the attack. The thread also tells us about the actions the site took to mitigate the effects of this hack.
First, the social media giant deemed last night's attack was a 'social engineering attack' to take control of highly-visible accounts by targeting some Twitter employees with access to internal systems. Immediately after the site got to know of this, it removed the malicious tweet and disabled further tweeting from the affected accounts. Interestingly, all verified accounts, affected or not, were unable to tweet. An hour later, Twitter restored this functionality, but it is still limiting access to internal tools as it continues to investigate the hack.
While Twitter's allusion to its employees being targeted does not directly state that one or more of its employees were behind the socially engineered attack, it still raises a few eyebrows at such a possibility. We already have reports hinting at an inside job citing sources from the SIM swapping community and the selling of vanity usernames. Rest assured, we shall continue to update you as the situation unfolds.
By Abhay V
Elon Musk, Bill Gates, and other prominent Twitter accounts hacked for Bitcoin scam [Update]
by Abhay Venkatesh
Many high-profile Twitter accounts were hacked today to spread a Bitcoin scam. The accounts included those of SpaceX CEO Elon Musk and Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates. The tweets (spotted by TechCrunch) that have now been removed by the users claimed that the individuals were “giving back” or “doubling” the number of Bitcoins sent to the account.
Other accounts such as that of Coinbase, CoinDesk, and Binance were also compromised. According to TechCrunch, the scammer’s website was flagged by Cloudflare as a phishing site but was still accessible when clicked on. At the time of writing, the scammers’ site had already collected up to 2.8 Bitcoins, averaging to about $25,700. A spokesperson for Binance, a cryptocurrency exchange platform provider, told the publication that its security team is investigating the breach. Several other companies that the source reached out to did not respond to a request for comment.
Images: Saagar Enjeti (Twitter) It is currently not clear how the accounts were compromised. A statement by Coindesk added that several of the hacked accounts had multi-factor authentication enabled, suggesting that the breach could have been made possible by a Twitter vulnerability. Additionally, the hackers reportedly took over the accounts completely, even changing the email addresses linked to those accounts, making it difficult to reset the passwords and take back control.
A Twitter spokesperson said that the microblogging website is “looking into” the matter. However, it is advised to be careful of any such messages from prominent Twitter users promising returns on Bitcoin donations.
Update: Twitter Support has posted a statement that reads: