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View: Why cryptocurrencies must cut deals with states to survive

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By David Fickling

On February 18, 1522, a second-hand clothing dealer named Geronimo Bambarara invented a new type of warehouse clearance in the crowded Rialto district of Venice.

Instead of selling his goods directly for money, he decided to take part in a raffle among customers. In exchange for a 1 Lira ticket, you can win more than 1,000 times this amount in cash or take home carpets, fabrics made of gold, fabric, amber or animals. The promotion was a success. Within a week, the numbers that had their chances resembled the crowds at the religious feast of Ascension, according to a contemporary diary writer: “Currently nothing is being done in this Rialto neighborhood except putting money in the lottery.”

It didn’t last. Just 10 days after the start of the game, frightened Venetian authorities banned private lotteries. Her next step was predictable as well. After eliminating a lucrative private company, the city turned it into a public one and began issuing tickets to increase government revenue.

This is a lesson in how cryptocurrencies can perform in the years to come as wider usage increases the potential for negative public consequences.

Bitcoin falls and rises by double-digit amounts within a few hours and has largely given up the pretext of being able to challenge the greenback as a currency. Even the hyperinflationary Venezuelan bolivar and the Zimbabwean dollar show lower price volatility. However, as evidenced by the $ 1.7 trillion invested in digital currencies, crypto remains immensely popular as a speculative investment, just like Bambarara lottery tickets five centuries earlier.

If Bitcoin and its ilk are to survive an era where their drawbacks are becoming increasingly apparent – from carbon emissions to ransomware attacks – they must find a way to betray their libertarian roots and do their own deals with the state.

Gambling and the financial state are closely linked. It is no coincidence that the first modern lotteries arose in Venice, the city that issued the first government bonds. Much of the Venetian economy revolved around speculation about the fate of shipping companies. A central plot point of Shakespeare’s play “The Merchant of Venice” occurs when one of the ships of the eponymous merchant “crashed into the narrow sea” and caused him to default on a loan.

The gambling craze spread across Europe as incomes rose and was often frowned upon by religious authorities but tolerated or co-opted by governments. When the world’s first casino opened at the Ridotto in Venice in 1638, it was approved by the ruling Grand Council to regulate and oversee the numerous private card clubs that had sprung up. So many fortunes have been made and lost at the gaming tables that the inventor of the basset, the game of poker played in the Ridotto, is said to have been banished to Corsica as a punishment.

None of this put players off. Italian artist Caravaggio, Flemish Theodoor Rombouts, and French Georges de la Tour all painted celebrated scenes of the card game and often emphasized the amount of cheating. There was clearly a good market for such scenes as both art and gambling were popular pastimes for the wealthy in 17th-century Europe. This situation also has parallels to the current enthusiasm for NFT art.

The same pattern played out in Northern Europe. Before it was financed by issuing government bonds, British government debts were paid off through lotteries and tontines at the end of the 17th century. An early attempt to consolidate these bonds and pay off them with proceeds from the slave trade resulted in the formation of the South Sea Company, which led to one of the first major speculative financial bubbles.

The lesson from all of this is that the modern state can be remarkably tolerant of people who make and lose wealth as long as it gets some benefit from it. This can take the form of a cut in revenue; a degree of control over otherwise chaotic risk-taking; or even the capital allocation functions of the financial markets. However, where these benefits are lacking, governments grow impatient with the chaos of unrestrained speculation and go tough.

What is unique about cryptocurrencies is the way their resistance to the combination of traditional political and financial power is written into their code. Bitcoin is “very attractive to the libertarian point of view,” wrote its pseudonymous creator Satoshi Nakamoto in a 2008 post. Anonymous and separate from the state-sanctioned banking system, crypto received one of its early boosts as an undetectable way to buy illegal drugs online. To date, its most useful function, aside from a simple gamble on price, is the currency for illegal activities.

This allergy to government control fundamentally sets it apart from the many other speculative activities that have been tolerated over the centuries, bringing wealth to a lucky few and bankrupt others. For digital libertarians, this has long seemed to be a key feature of the technology. However, as the social and economic cost of tolerating crypto increases, it can look more and more like a mistake.

The moment governments decide that the harassment and destabilization of digital currencies is too great, they will forbid financial institutions from converting them into fiat currencies as vigorously as the US sanctions its geopolitical enemies. That possibility, once a long way off, seems increasingly likely in an era when America’s $ 5 million in crypto fuel supplies can be held hostage.

By establishing a relatively efficient payment system for illegal activities, digital currencies have drastically reduced the cost of crime. This is not the kind of challenge the modern state can take lying down. If crypto fails to find a way to make its peace with the governments it was set up to bypass, it will eventually be crushed.

Cryptocurrency

McAfee Sees Ransomware-as-a-Service, Cryptocurrency and Internet of Things Threats Surge in Q1 2021

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SAN JOSE, California – (BUSINESS WIRE) – McAfee Corp. (Nasdaq: MCFE), the device-to-cloud cybersecurity company, today has its McAfee Threats Report: June 2021, which investigated cybercriminal activity related to malware and the evolution of cyber threats in the first quarter of 2021. In the quarter, cyber adversaries shifted from widespread, low-return ransomware campaigns to less customized ransomware-as-a-service (RaaS). Campaigns targeting larger, more lucrative organizations. A proliferation of 64-bit CoinMiner applications drove the growth of cryptocurrency-generating coin-mining malware by 117%. In addition, an increase in the growth of new Mirai-based malware flavors led to an increase in malware targeting Internet of Things systems (55%) and Linux (38%).

“Criminals will continue to evolve their techniques to combine all the tools that will enable them to maximize their cash flow with the minimum of complications and risk,” said Raj Samani, McAfee Fellow and Senior Scientist. “We first saw them use ransomware to force small payments from millions of unique victims. Today we see Ransomware as a Service, which supports many players in these illegal activities that hold organizations hostage and extort massive sums of money for the criminals. ”

Every quarter, McAfee assesses the health of the cyber threat landscape based on in-depth research, investigative analysis, and threat intelligence collected by the McAfee Global Threat Intelligence cloud from over a billion sensors across multiple threat vectors around the world.

Ransomware

Ransomware declined 50% in the first quarter, in part because attackers shifted from broad campaigns targeting many targets with the same samples to campaigns targeting fewer, larger targets with distinct samples. Campaigns that use some type of ransomware to infect many victims and extort payments from them are notoriously “noisy” as hundreds of thousands of systems will detect and block these attacks over time. By launching unique attacks, RaaS partner networks enable attackers to minimize the risk of detection by large corporations’ cyber defenses and then cripple them and blackmail them into high ransomware payments. This shift is reflected in the decline in known ransomware family types from January 19, 2021 to 9 in March 2021.

Despite the high profile attacks by the DarkSide RaaS group uncovered in the second quarter of 2021, REvil was spotted the most in the first quarter, followed by the RansomeXX, Ryuk, NetWalker, Thanos, MountLocker, WastedLocker, Conti, Maze and Babuk tribes.

Coin miner malware

While prominent ransomware attacks have drawn attention to how criminals are using ransomware to monetize their crimes with payments in cryptocurrency, a 117% increase in the prevalence of cryptocurrency-generating coin-mining malware in the first quarter may represent a sharp spike 64-bit CoinMiner applications are returned.

Instead of locking victims’ systems and holding them hostage until cryptocurrency payments are made, the coin miner malware infects compromised systems and silently produces cryptocurrencies by using the computing power of these systems for the criminals who designed and launched such campaigns . The advantage for cyber criminals is that neither the perpetrator nor the victim need to interact. While the victim’s computers may run slower than usual due to the coin miner’s workload, victims may never realize that their system creates monetary value for criminals.

“The insight from the ransomware and coin miner trends should not be that we have to restrict or even ban the use of cryptocurrencies,” continued Samani. “If we have learned anything from the history of cybercrime, criminals defy defenders’ efforts by simply improving their tools and techniques, bypassing government restrictions, and staying one step ahead of defenders. If efforts are made to restrict cryptocurrencies, the perpetrators will develop new methods to monetize their crimes and they only need to be a few steps ahead of governments to continue benefiting. ”

Threats & Victims

General malware threats. In the first quarter of 2021, the volume of new malware threats averaged 688 threats per minute, an increase of 40 threats per minute from the fourth quarter of 2020.

IoT and Linux devices. A large number of new Mirai malware variants led to an increase in the Internet of Things (IoT) and Linux malware categories in the first quarter. The Moobot family (a variant of Mirai) has been observed to be widespread and responsible for several variants of Mirai. These variants exploit all weak points in IoT devices such as DVRs, webcams and internet routers. Once exploited, the malware is hidden on the system, downloads later phases of the malware and connects to the command and control server (C2). If the compromised IoT devices are connected to their botnet, they can be seized to participate in DDoS attacks.

Industry sectors. McAfee saw publicly reported cyber incidents in the technology sector increase by 54% in the first quarter of 2021. Education and finance / insurance followed, increasing 46% and 41%, respectively, while reported incidents in the wholesale / retail and public sectors decreased 76% and 39%, respectively.

Regions. These incidents increased 54% in Asia and 43% in Europe, but decreased 13% in North America. While reported incidents decreased by 14% in the United States, these incidents increased by 84% in France and 19% in the United Kingdom.

Resources:

Via McAfee Labs and Advanced Threat Research

McAfee Labs and McAfee Advanced Threat Research are a leading resource for threat research, intelligence, and cybersecurity thought leaders. With data from over a billion sensors across key threat vectors – file, web, message and network – McAfee Labs and McAfee Advanced Threat Research deliver real-time threat intelligence, critical analysis and expert knowledge to improve protection and reduce risk.

About McAfee

McAfee Corp. (Nasdaq: MCFE) is the device-to-cloud cybersecurity company. Inspired by the power of collaboration, McAfee creates solutions for consumers and businesses that make our world safer. www.mcafee.com

McAfee® and the McAfee logo are trademarks of McAfee, LLC or its subsidiaries in the US and other countries. Other brands and trademarks may be claimed as the property of others.

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bitcoin price: Top Cryptocurrency Prices Today: Bitcoin, Ethereum tank; Dogecoin gains 10%

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NEW DELHI: The major cryptocurrencies traded mixed on Thursday after this week’s volatility. The mood in the digital token markets remained subdued. Six of the top 10 digital tokens were trading with cuts at 9.30 a.m. IST, while the remaining four, led by Dogecoin, rose between 4 and 10 percent.

After restricting payment channels for trading cryptocurrencies, China is moving towards digital currencies, and its e-CNY could be phased out as early as the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics. The move is likely to be another dent in crypto trader sentiment.

Bitcoin has been one of the most powerful assets in the world over the past few years. However, even the highest-yielding asset has halved its value after the crackdown on China. Despite its worldwide popularity, the Numero Uno crypto token has been a laggard lately.

For the first time since the market restarted in early May 2021, Bitcoin slipped below the $ 30,000 mark and Ethereum broke the $ 2,000 mark. Since then, both cryptos have shown some recovery that could not be sustained.

“The crypto market in general has dropped from $ 1.7 trillion to $ 1.35 trillion in one week, a decrease of about 20 percent. While many attribute the market collapse to negative news about China’s extension of the Bitcoin mining ban, many analysts and traders believe it will only have a short-term impact on the market, “Zebpay Trade Desk said.

“Sentiment remains pessimistic, but we believe that the expiration date of the Q2 options last week of June, valued at $ 2.3 billion, should allow price consolidation as soon as it comes through. We say this because we believe most expectations are already factored in and therefore we see a relatively quiet period in the next few days, “she added.

Charles Hoskinson, the co-founder of Ethereum, has said that Dogecoin is a reasonable target for someone to fix it and make it an interesting cryptocurrency.

Tech View of Giottus Cryptocurrency Exchange

Speckle

Polkadot (DOT) is currently one of the stronger altcoins. Over the past six months, the price, market capitalization, and general reputation of both the coin and the polkadot chain have outperformed other coins during and after slumps. The support levels have shown exceptionally high buying volumes and low selling volumes.

DOT exactly follows the price action of Bitcoin (BTC). Assuming BTC is trading sideways, DOT is expected to follow technical analysis and trend lines. Currently, the DOT is in a descending wedge, which is a short-term bearish and a long-term bullish pattern. Breaking the triangle can be very bullish and in a few weeks it could even test its ATH resistance if market sentiment holds up.

ETMarkets.com

Main stages

Support: $ 15.4, $ 13.1, $ 10.4

Resistance: $ 17.5, $ 19.6, $ 23.4, $ 26.8

Ripple

Ripple (XRP) has been in the spotlight since its SEC lawsuit and has lost nearly 70 percent of its value since December 2020. Every hearing affects its price history and has been in a declining wedge lately with the potential to drop as low as $ 0.3. However, support will be seen at multiple levels within this wedge – specifically at $ 0.583 and $ 0.455.

However, given the descending wedge, there is a high chance that XRP could break out and recover soon. This also depends on the SEC lawsuit failing in Ripple’s favor.

RippleETMarkets.com

Main stages

Support: $ 0.583, $ 0.455, $ 0.424

Resistance: $ 0.787, $ 0.925, $ 1.063

The time is in UTC and the daily time frame is 12:00 PM – 12:00 PM UTC

(The views and recommendations in this section are the analysts’ own views and recommendations and do not reflect those of ETMarkets.com. Please consult your financial advisor prior to entering into any position in any of the above assets.)

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Lloyds Auctions Australia Sells a Pricey Caravan for Cryptocurrency – Bitcoin News

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Australia’s Lloyds Auctions now accepts major cryptocurrencies for all items offered on its marketplace. Within hours of the announcement, the auction house managed to sell an expensive mobile home (camper / trailer) to a bidder who was happy to pay full price with digital coins.

Australian auction house Lloyds Auctions accepts crypto from bidders

Against the backdrop of volatile crypto markets in the past few days and weeks, investors have been looking for ways to cash out profits or transfer some of their assets elsewhere. Lloyds Auctions, a leading auction house in Australia, has discovered an opportunity to attract some of this funds and offer bidders the ability to pay with cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH).

Lloyds Auctions Australia is selling an expensive caravan for cryptocurrency

Just hours after opening the alternative payment option, Lloyds Auctions was able to sell a custom built trailer valued at $ 75,000 for crypto. “As a longtime sponsor of Lloyds, I didn’t hesitate and couldn’t believe how easy it was for me to pay with cryptocurrency,” the zealous buyer from Zdnet is quoted as saying. “The seller would have received it in cash and never knew the difference!”

Crypto owners want to buy vintage cars and bulldozers

Since the caravan was sold, the auction house has registered growing interest from other crypto owners, especially in its classic car and earthmoving machine auctions. Inquiries have been received, said Lee Hames, chief operations officer of Lloyds Auctions, who also commented:

We have seen people use this to segregate cryptocurrencies and reinvest in real assets. When prices go down, people take some profits off the table and transfer them to something like a vintage car or bulldozer and put them to use.

Lloyds Auctions has also decided that blockchain is the best way to prove possession of a series of negatives that capture moments in Australian history. At the beginning of June, the auction house announced that it would mint a non-fungible token (NFT) for a collection of original glass plate negatives from over 140 years of operation by the Rose Stereograph Company. The highest bidder in the auction also receives the NFT.

Have you bought auction items with cryptocurrency? Let us know in the comment section below.

Tags in this story

Auction house, Australia, Australians, bidders, bids, Bitcoin, BTC, buyers, caravans, cars, crypto, crypto owners, crypto investors, crypto payments, crypto prices, cryptocurrency, ETH, Ethereum, investors, Lloyds Auctions, purchase , Sale, seller

Photo credit: Shutterstock, Pixabay, Wiki Commons

Disclaimer of liability: This article is for informational purposes only. It is not a direct offer or solicitation to make an offer to buy or sell, or a recommendation or endorsement of any product, service, or company. Bitcoin.com does not provide investment, tax, legal, or accounting advice. Neither the company nor the author are directly or indirectly responsible for any damage or loss caused or allegedly caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any content, goods or services mentioned in this article.

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