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The first accuser to testify at Bill Cosby’s retrial, Heidi Thomas, described the comedian Wednesday as “a serial rapist” as she parried with his lawyers, while second accuser Chelan Lasha tearfully confronted the comedian over a 32-year-old assault allegation: “You remember, don’t you, Mr. Cosby?” The courtroom dramatics prompted mistrial…
After seeming to be outright hostile to incorporating Cashaddr, a way to distinguish easily between bitcoin core and bitcoin cash addresses, popular hardware cold storage wallet company Trezor confirmed its integration is on the way.
Cold Storage Wallet Maker Trezor to Integrate Cashaddr for BCH
Twitter bitcoin cash advocate, Jason Elliott, began tweeting to hardware, cold storage wallet makers as to when their users could expect integration of Cashaddr, a bitcoin cash (BCH) ecosystem adopted standard for addresses to help limit confusion. Within the thread, Bach N. of Trezor responded, affirming Cashaddr to be in development for Trezor. His response came complete with a Github link, which appeared to confirm the tweet.
The Github leads to a Trezor MCU started the beginning of this year. Jochen Hoenicke is the developer/author of Cashaddr #285. It has three commits, and includes Satoshi Labs’ Pavol Rusnak as a repository participant. Though it stops at the end of February, the most detail comes around the middle of that month.
“This needs to be done outside the firmware for cashaddr support,” Mr. Hoenicke explains, “Webwallet: compute cashaddr addresses from xpub. Note that only the last step from hashed public key to address needs to be changed. The webwallet checks that the address the Trezor returns is as expected. This check should also allow 1.. addresses so that it works with older firmware (so we don’t have to deploy both at the same time); allow cashaddr as send to address. The firmware supports both and both use SPENDADDRESS. The only difference is the confirmation message given to the user; the transaction format did not change at all.”
If true, it’s an interesting turn of events in the mini-drama surrounding the issue. Summer of last year, just prior to the fork creating bitcoin cash, it was Mr. Rusnak who warned through Github, “I suggest to change the address version to something different, so it is obvious the address is a Bitcoin Cash address. (It can start with C for example). Don’t forget to change also address version for P2SH!” It would turn out to be fateful advice, advice that, for whatever reason, was not initially followed.
Ideology Aside, Trezor Usually Yields to Customers
Recognized as a lead developer of bitcoin cash, Amaury Séchet (otherwise known as deadalnix), responded to Mr. Rusnak’s warning, “Agreed. I have a plan to change the address format. Changing the address format is expensive, so I would like to investigate various other option than just changing the prefix before settling on something. I would also have to convince other in the space that this is a good address format,” and eventually Cashaddr became that option.
Trezor, as soon as two weeks ago, responded to long time Reddit user u/normal_rc on the popular bitcoin cash forum, r/btc, about how the company was just outright refusing to add the address change. In response, the Trezor cofounder tweeted “This mess was made by bad architectural decision of [BCH] team. We warned them, they knew about the issues and they decided to ignore it. I refuse any responsibility for it. Cashaddr support is in standard development process and it’ll be ready when done.”
Though it reads as hostile, it does leave the door open to eventual implementation. Combined with the even more recent acknowledgment and Github activity, bitcoin cash users continue to have reasons to be hopeful about the coin’s future prospects.
Do you have a favorite aspect of crypto history? Let us know in the comments!
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This week the U.S. Treasury Department issued guidelines on how the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) could add cryptocurrency addresses to the country’s sanction list.
Cryptocurrency Addresses to be Added to the U.S. Sanctions List
The U.S. government may soon have the ability to add cryptocurrency addresses to the Specially Designated Nationals (SDN) List. Coincidently the oversight advice happened on the same day President Trump signed an executive order banning the Venezuelan petro (PTR). The petro is mentioned among a variety of digital assets including BTC, ETH, LTC, NEO, XMR, and XRP.
The Treasury calls a cryptocurrency wallet “a software application (or other mechanisms) that provides a means for holding, storing, and transferring digital currency.” The report also describes a virtual currency and an address:
A [Digital Currency Address] is an alphanumeric identifier that represents a potential destination for a digital currency transfer.
OFAC May “Alert the Public” About Suspect Digital Currency Identifiers
Additionally, the agency issued guidance to those who have identified SDN owned wallets and addresses and ask them to report the news to OFAC immediately. Further, the Treasury says that the market itself, businesses, and cryptocurrency exchanges should work together to keep an eye on suspect addresses that might be on the SDN list.
“The digital currency address field on the SDN List provides the unique alphanumeric identifiers (up to 256 characters) for digital currency addresses and identifies the digital currency to which the address corresponds,” explains the OFAC report.
OFAC will use sanctions in the fight against criminal and other malicious actors abusing digital currencies and emerging payment systems as a complement to existing tools, including diplomatic outreach and law enforcement authorities — To strengthen our efforts to combat the illicit use of digital currency transactions under our existing authorities, OFAC may include as identifiers on the SDN List specific digital currency addresses associated with blocked persons.
The Treasury’s OFAC guidance does not go into great detail on how they will block these wallets and addresses or enforce the sanctions. According to the report, OFAC may “alert the public” about suspect digital currency identifiers.
What do you think about the Treasury adding cryptocurrency wallets to the SDN list? Let us know in the comments below.
Images via Shutterstock, OFAC, Pixabay
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Earlier this week the creators of cashaddress.github.io announced the stable release of ‘Vanitygen Cash,’ a vanity-themed BCH address maker. Vanitygen Cash is a fork of the original Vanitygen protocol originally designed for BTC but here it has been created for the Bitcoin Cash network.
Vanity Addresses for the Bitcoin Cash Network
Now bitcoin cash enthusiasts can create custom addresses with a protocol called Vanitygen Cash (VGC). The VGC software was developed by the programmers who made the website cashaddress.github.io a cash address format translator. VGC is a command-line vanity bitcoin cash address generator. This means a user can create a more custom address with an individuals name, a business brand, or pretty much any words rather than the traditional cryptically random addresses. Further, more personalized addresses like QuArterbackMHzqnDPRSfiZ5GXJ8Gk9dbjO using VGC can be generated offline. The VGC compiled binaries for operating systems such as Windows, Mac, and Linux can be found at developer’s releases.
Unique but Random
Basically, VGC accepts an alphanumeric input pattern or list of patterns and produces a unique personalized address with private keys. The software’s searching is entirely probabilistic and there are various factors involved with any given pattern. This includes the amount of time to find the pattern, the complexity, the speed of the computer and believe it or not downright luck. For instance, for more complex wording the generator depends on a more probabilistic outcomes which can be entirely random.
To use Vanitygen Cash simply extract the operating system platform and choose to open the software. Next, you use your computer’s command prompting tool to utilize the VGC protocol in order to create a custom address. Traditionally older vanity addresses started with the number/character 1, so for example, you can generate a prefix like “1Jamie,” 1Friend,” or something more unique.
However, the Vanitygen Cash readme explains that the first character for custom BCH addresses should be the letter Q, and the second character should be either p, q, r, or z. The longer the prefix the longer it will take for your computer’s chip hardware to generate a random cash address. Basically, the VGC platform brute forces a pattern within the random generation process. It’s also a good idea to briefly read up on how to use a command line and go over the VGC platform’s readme file before getting started.
Record a Memorable Event on the Bitcoin Cash Blockchain
A vanity address can be used for a multitude of things like if you have a public bitcoin cash address displayed on your website then a more personalized address may be more fitting. The vanity address can be printed on business cards and many other types of marketing concepts. Simple stories can be written within the bitcoin cash blockchain using simple words and custom addresses. You can document something that happened in history or announce something in a novel manner using the generator. For instance, you could write about a memorable occasion, record your child’s name and birth date, even ask someone to marry you on the bitcoin cash blockchain.
Bitcoin cash supporters are pleased to see the forked version of Vanitygen applied to the BCH chain as a good variety of businesses, infrastructure providers, and forked protocols are coming to the BCH network in great number over the past two months. Vanity generated addresses are cool and distinct from traditional addresses and some of them are so unique nobody can reproduce them. Moreover, the Vanitygen Cash software can make color text addresses as well.
What do you think about the Vanitygen Cash fork? Do you like the idea of customized addresses? Let us know what you think about this protocol in the comments below.
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Images via Pixabay, Vanitygen Cash Github, and Bitcoin.com.
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Hardware wallet manufacturer Ledger, which sold over one million devices last year, has alerted its users to a major attack vector that’s recently been discovered. Although there are no reported cases of the attack being successfully deployed, the threat itself is very real. Today, Ledger urged users of its cryptocurrency wallets to take steps to avoid falling prey to the address spoofing attack.
Beware the Man in the Middle
Hardware wallets are regarded as one of the safest means of storing bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. The USB cold storage devices eliminate the sort of attack vectors synonymous with being connected to the web. But to send funds or issue a receiving address, a hardware wallet has to be plugged in to an internet-enabled device, and researchers have discovered a vulnerability that affects Ledger devices at this stage. A newly published report reveals the way the MiTM attack would play out. It explains:
The attack, if executed, would leave the victim unaware at first that anything was the matter. To prove the the vulnerability is real, the report’s authors have posted a proof of concept that demonstrates the attack in action. The severity of the attack is heightened by the fact that, with Ledger’s wallet software stored in the AppData folder, it is relatively easy for malware to modify the receiving address. As the report notes, “All the malware needs to do is replace one line of code…this can be achieved with less than 10 lines of python”.
A Solution of Sorts
To avoid succumbing to this attack, there is a means of verifying the receiving address is correct, as the report explains, and as Ledger acknowledged in a tweet earlier today:
This solution, while effective, is not failsafe in that it’s reliant on the user remembering to follow this procedure every time they transact. As the report points out, “A proper solution would be to [force] the user to validate the receive address before every receive transaction, just like the wallet [forces] the user to approve every send transaction”.
That’s the system that Trezor now uses with its hardware wallets, mandating the use of 2FA simply to access the receiving address. It is hoped that Ledger will follow suit in updating its devices to adopt this methodology. Hardware wallets are still significantly safer than leaving funds stored on a centralized exchange, but no solution is entirely foolproof, as the Ledger case demonstrates.
Do you think this vulnerability is cause for concern and do you think Ledger should enforce 2FA to resolve it? Let us know in the comments section below.
Images courtesy of Shutterstock, and Ledger.
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Pope Francis began a challenging, three-day tour of Chile, a country where changing social mores and public anger over a sex-abuse scandal have reduced the Catholic Church’s influence in recent years.
WSJ.com: What’s News Europe
The bitcoin cash community moved one step closer to having their own address format today with the release of Bitcoin ABC 0.16.2. The full node implementation of BCH includes a switch to a proprietary address format to distinguish it from bitcoin core. It is hoped that this will eliminate issues of BCH being sent to Segwit BTC addresses in error and help further distinguish bitcoin cash from the rest of the cryptocurrency market.
Moving to a New Address
As news.Bitcoin.com reported two weeks ago, the bitcoin cash community is gearing up for “Change the Address” day, which is scheduled to take place on January 14. That’s when the address format proposed by Bitcoin ABC developer Amaury Séchet will be adopted. Today, those plans were formalized with the release of Bitcoin ABC 0.16.2. It includes a number of improvements to the bitcoin cash protocol, but the most notable is the addition of Cashaddr.
This utilizes the bech32 codebase and will apply benefits over and above a less confusing wallet address format. For instance, the new address system will make it easier to create QR codes and will pave the way for multi-party smart contracts to be added further down the line. A basic bitcoin cash address conversion tool is already in place, which demonstrates how the new address format will look. Security researcher Dean Pierce has also created his own version, which shows how legacy BCH addresses compare to their new bech32 counterparts.
The new Bitcoin ABC code is available for scrutiny now ahead of its implementation later this month. With the growth of Localbitcoincash, increased merchant adoption and codebase enhancements, 2018 looks set to be a good year for fans of the peer-to-peer cryptocurrency.
What do you think about ‘Change the Address Day’ scheduled for January 14? Let us know in the comments section below.
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Privacy coins are meant to be private: that’s their raison d’être. Without this functionality, they’re just altcoins, and dangerous ones at that for anyone relying on them for anonymity. Verge (XVG) is one of the best known privacy coins on the market, but it risks becoming famous for all the wrong reasons. A new website claims to list the IP addresses associated with hundreds of verge transactions, stripping bare the coin’s claims of anonymity.
Verging on the Ridiculous
XVG has soared in price over the past month, which may owe more to the coin being heavily shilled by John McAfee than its strong fundamentals. Nevertheless, a combination of privacy coins being en vogue and XVG costing mere buttons – or rather satoshis – until recently have also contributed to its rise. Anyone snapping up the coin for its privacy features, however, could be in for a disappointment.
In a recent article on privacy coins, news.Bitcoin.com wrote: “The general consensus is that verge isn’t as private as some of its competitors, so don’t trust it with your life.” That may have been an understatement given that a website is now purportedly listing IP addresses pertaining to verge transactions. The operator of the website is anonymous, which is more than can be said of the transactions it reveals.
The revelatory site currently lists transactions that were conducted via the Verge Core wallet, but the Electrum XVG wallet will soon be added. There’s also the ability to determine transactions which went via a ‘rich list’ address; verge is notorious for having a large number of coins in possession of a handful of ‘whales’. One of these whales spent a cosy weekend with John McAfee before the former software tycoon extolled the virtues of verge, but the pair later fell out over claims that McAfee reportedly wanted millions from Verge and XVGWhale to shill the coin.
These claims are hard to verify, but coupled with the latest disclosures regarding verge’s anonymity, they emphasize the need to be cautious when using privacy coins for their intended purpose.
On its website, the cryptocurrency’s developers claim:
Verge uses multiple anonymity-centric networks such as Tor and I2P. The IP addresses of the users are obfuscated and the transactions are completely untraceable.
In a glossy video posted to the Verge Twitter account on December 20, a voiceover describes XVG as “the only untraceable currency devoted to everyday use”.
Concerns about the veracity of this claim have abounded for some time, with the creation of xvg.keff.org now seeming to confirm as much. Not only does verge fail to provide the privacy that is the coin’s USP, but it arguably provides less privacy than other cryptocurrencies in allowing IP addresses to be recorded.
As the whistleblowing site explains:
Obviously not all of the IPs below will be correct. Some might just be relaying a transaction. The point is that a large amount will be correct due to the Verge network being so small. If your IP appears in the list with a TX you didn’t do, it means you relayed it for someone else. Would you want your IP to be connected to other users’ transactions?
Verge has disputed the accuracy of the site purporting to publish transaction IPs, tweeting:
It is telling however that the development team have yet to issue an outright denial of the site’s claims. Even if a handful of IPs on the list are correct, it is evident that privacy proponents relying on verge are taking a risk every time they transact.
The roadmap for Verge – which began life as Dogecoin Dark – lists branded apparel and RSK smart contracts as next on its to-do list. Before it tackles these tasks, XVG’s development team may wish to return to the drawing board and take a look at their privacy coin’s alleged lack of privacy.
Do you think XVG’s development team have a case to answer, or are these claims unfounded? Let us know in the comments section below.
Images courtesy of Shutterstock, and Verge website.
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