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| August 20, 2018

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Congo opposition leader Katumbi blocked from returning home

August 4, 2018 |

Congo opposition leader Moise Katumbi has been blocked from entering the country to register as a candidate in December’s long-delayed presidential election, a spokesman said Saturday, as a dramatic attempt to drive in from neighboring Zambia appeared to fail.
FOX News

The Weekly: Musk Bots Blocked, US Crypto Candidate, a Herd of Institutional Investors

July 29, 2018 |

The Weekly: Musk Bots Blocked, US Crypto Candidate, a Herd of Institutional Investors

In this week’s daily editions of Bitcoin in Brief, we reported about Twitter blocking ETH scambots mimicking Elon Musk, a US presidential candidate who accepts crypto donations, the expected arrival of a ‘herd of institutional investors’ and much more. The most commented-on article during the week covered the latest development of the ongoing legal battle in the Ross Ulbricht case.

Also Read: The Iranian Government Is Preparing to Launch Its Own Cryptocurrency

TCAP Explores Market

The Weekly: Musk Bots Blocked, US Crypto Candidate, a Herd of Institutional InvestorsOn Monday, we reported on another indication that mega banks are looking to enter the crypto dealing market. TP Icap plc (LSE:TCAP), one of the largest connectors between banks’ traders in the financial, energy and commodities markets, has set up a ‘working group’ to explore how it should approach cryptocurrencies. The crypto working group includes some of TP Icap’s most senior executives. Additional stories included: Hashflare stoping its SHA-256 cloud mining contracts, encrypted email service Tutanota integrating cryptocurrency support and Huobi launching a new service for companies that wish to offer a white label exchange of their own.

A ‘Herd of Institutional Investors’

The main story on Tuesday was that Michael Novogratz expects more financial institutions to be coming into the crypto space soon. A “herd of institutional investors” is headed towards cryptocurrencies, the prominent hedge fund manager said in a speech at Blockchain Week Korea. Other headlines included an upcoming crypto-custody service meant to answer increasing demand from high-net-worth and institutional clients in Hong Kong, and a study which reveals that about 30% of Brazilians are interested to invest funds in cryptocurrencies in the near future.

Crypto Crime Blotter

The Weekly: Musk Bots Blocked, US Crypto Candidate, a Herd of Institutional InvestorsIn Bitcoin in Brief on Wednesday, we covered a number of stories related to crime from around the cryptosphere. These included an exchange operator that plead guilty to securities fraud for trying to hide that hackers stole approximately 6,000 bitcoins from his venue, a scammer that was fined over $ 1.9 million for bitcoin and binary options fraud, London City police academy adding a cryptocurrency course for teaching cops on anti-money laundering related purposes, and a new type of bitcoin-demanding ransomware attack against porn viewers in Israel.

Skrill Launches Crypto Trading

On Thursday, we reported that Skrill, the online payments service formerly known as Moneybookers, has enabled its wallet users to instantly buy and sell cryptocurrencies, including BTC, BCH, ETH and LTC, using more than 40 supported fiat options. The new service is available in over 30 countries and the company plans to roll it out to additional markets and extend the service to its mobile app and Paysafe’s Neteller digital wallet in the next few months. In other news: The White Company, a concierge and luxury marketplace, surpassed $ 100 million in cryptocurrency sales and transactions; Bitmex, an exchange offering cryptocurrency trading with very high leverage, reported more than 1 million BTC traded on the platform in the 24-hours period closing July 24; and AMD suffered a decline in GPU mining related sales in Q2, 2018.

Musk Bots Blocked

The Weekly: Musk Bots Blocked, US Crypto Candidate, a Herd of Institutional InvestorsThe big news on Friday was that Twitter is now finally automatically locking any unverified account that changes its display name to Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla and Spacex. This only came after Musk recently pointed out the impressive skills of the scammers who are designing bots to mimic high profile people like himself and flood the social network with fake ETH giveaways. In other news, an “anonymized” currency that can fluctuate wildly does not deserve to be considered as a medium of exchange, according to Mastercard President and CEO, Ajay Banga, who called cryptocurrency “junk.”

US Crypto Candidate

On Saturday, we reported that Democrat Andrew Yang’s campaign has begun accepting crypto donation for the 2020 US presidential election. The announcement released by his team to “our crypto donors” reads: “We currently accept Bitcoin and anything on the ERC20 standard.” It also comes with instructions on how to donate cryptocurrency and notes that the maximum for individual donations is set at the fiat equivalent of $ 2,500. We also reported that Kickico experienced a security breach, with 70,000,000 KICK stolen – equal to $ 7.7 million. According to an announcement from the company, Kickico restored full control over the its smart contract and will return all stolen Kickcoins to their holders.

No Murder-for-Hire Indictment in Silk Road Case

The most commented-on article during the week covered the latest development of the ongoing legal battle in the Ross Ulbricht case. The Maryland district US Attorney filed a motion to dismiss a 2013 three-count indictment against the online marketplace Silk Road operator which included murder-for-hire allegations. Join the discussion.

The Weekly: Musk Bots Blocked, US Crypto Candidate, a Herd of Institutional Investors

This Week in Bitcoin Podcast

Catch the rest of this week’s news in the This Week in Bitcoin podcast with host Matt Aaron.

What other stories in the Bitcoin world caught your attention this week? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

The post The Weekly: Musk Bots Blocked, US Crypto Candidate, a Herd of Institutional Investors appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Bitcoin News

Kentucky’s Medicaid Work Rule Blocked by Federal Judge

June 30, 2018 |

A federal judge has blocked Kentucky’s work requirements for Medicaid and has ordered the Trump administration to reconsider the program, reports the AP . US District Judge James E. Boasberg ruled the Trump administration did not adequately consider whether the work requirements and other changes would help the state give its…
Newser

Release of Graphic Cobain Death Photos Blocked

May 17, 2018 |

A conspiracy theorist who thinks the government killed Kurt Cobain has once again failed to persuade judges that graphic photos of the Nirvana frontman’s death should be released. A Seattle court of appeals ruled against Richard Lee this week, saying the photos were exempt from Washington state’s Public Records Act…
Newser

Upset His Bill Was Blocked, Lawmaker Punches Colleague

May 17, 2018 |

Two Louisiana lawmakers say they regret getting into a bar fight over legislation. Rep. Stuart Bishop says Sen. Norby Chabert punched him several times at a downtown Baton Rouge bar, but he didn’t strike back. They left before police arrived, and no arrests were made, the AP reports. The News-Star…
Newser

Defeated Malaysian Leader’s Exit by Private Jet Is Blocked

May 12, 2018 |

Malaysia’s Immigration Department said Saturday that former scandal-ridden Prime Minister Najib Razak and his wife are barred from leaving the country, shortly after he announced plans for a short holiday. A leaked flight manifesto shows Najib and his wife Rosmah Mansor were due to leave on a private jet on…
Newser

After Telegram, Viber May Be Blocked, Russian Minister Says

May 4, 2018 |

After Telegram, Viber May Be Blocked, Russian Ministers Says

Viber may be treated like Telegram if security services are not able to obtain its encryption keys, Russia’s telecom minister said. The app offers end-to-end encryption, and is the most popular messenger in several Eastern European countries. Recently, its CEO, Michael Shmilov, said the company would not be able to hand over the keys.

Also read: Six Alternatives to Telegram for Cryptocurrency Communities

“Can’t Give What We Don’t Have”

After Telegram, Viber May Be Blocked, Russian Ministers SaysRussian authorities may try to block Viber if the Federal Security Service (FSB) does not gain access to its encryption keys, according to comments made by the Russian Minister of Communications and Mass Media, Nikolai Nikiforov. “This matter concerns the FSB which has the powers to implement an order to provide the encryption keys. If the security services have problems with acquiring the keys, they can turn to the court and obtain a similar decision,” Nikiforov said, quoted by ITAR-TASS.

The minister was confronted with a question about the future of Viber after Russian authorities have been trying to block Telegram since April 16, following a decision by the Tagansky District Court of Moscow from April 13. So far, their attempts have been unsuccessful but the messaging service, widely used within the crypto community, has been experiencing issues while trying hard to circumvent imposed restrictions.

In March, the chief executive officer of Viber Media, the operator of the messenger, told RBC that Viber would not be able to fulfill a request to hand over the encryption keys. Michael Shmilov said the company cooperates with law enforcement agencies in many countries but stressed that it would not do certain things. And, handing over encryption keys is one of them. “We cannot give them something that we don’t have. They can ask the users for their keys. We can’t see them, and we don’t stored them,” he explained.

End-to-End Encryption Offered

Viber was launched as an instant messaging and voice over IP service in 2010. The software was originally developed by the Israel-based Viber Media, which was bought by the Japanese company Rakuten in 2014. Last year the corporate name was changed to Rakuten Viber. The company is currently based in Luxembourg.

After Telegram, Viber May Be Blocked, Russian Ministers SaysThe messenger, which claims to have 900 million users, is very popular in Eastern Europe and is the top messaging app in countries like Belarus, Moldova, and Ukraine. In Russia, it’s currently the second most popular application, after Whatsapp. According to a survey conducted by the Russian Modern Media Research Institute in January, Facebook owned Whatsapp has a share of 59% of the Russian users, while Viber is used by 36%. The messenger of the Russian social network Vkontakte is third, with 32%. Telegram is used by 19% of the Russians, and Facebook Messenger – by 14%.

According to the company’s website, Viber uses end-to-end encryption by default for text messages, in both private and group chats, and also for voice calls – a feature that was introduced as standard setting in 2016. It claims it doesn’t have access to conversations and does not store delivered messages on its servers. Keys to encrypt/decrypt data are kept only on client devices, according to Viber’s privacy policy.

What’s Next, Whatsapp?

After Telegram, Viber May Be Blocked, Russian Ministers SaysThe clampdown on private messaging in Russia started when the country’s telecom regulator, Roskomnadzor, tried to restrict access to Telegram by blocking IP addresses used by the app. Despite some interruptions in its services, authorities have not been able to completely prevent the use of the massager. Roskomnadzor blocked about 20 VPN and proxy services which offering access to Telegram servers.

IP-addresses of ordinary Internet users may be blocked as a result of the conflict between the messenger and the regulator, warned Dmitriy Marinchev, Russia’s Internet Ombudsman. “Sooner or later, Telegram may switch to a peer-to-peer network and Roskomnadzor will have to block all their users’ IPs,” he explained.  Marinchev added that everything now depends on how far Telegram will go in rewriting its software.

After Telegram, Viber May Be Blocked, Russian Ministers SaysSkype is a messenger which started as a peer-to-peer and client-server system, features that were part of its appeal. After changing hands several times, however, the platform hasn’t kept much from the original P2P concept. In 2011, Skype was acquired by Microsoft which transformed it into a centralized service based on MS’s cloud computing platform Azure. Leaked documents revealing mass surveillance of global communications showed that the company had granted American intelligence unrestricted access to Skype. This year, the messenger announced it is going to offer end-to-end encryption for audio calls, text and multimedia messages through Private Conversations. The feature, however, will not be set as a default option and won’t be available for video chats.

The measures against Telegram have created difficulties for many Russians, even including those who are not using Telegram. Large Internet companies – including search engine, Yandex, and social media networks, Vkontakte, and, Odnoklassniki – have been affected. In April, Russian Viber users also complained about interruptions. According to the company, the issues were related to the blockade of Telegram. On May 1, Viber announced it had restored full access to its platform. Russian media have been asking the question “What’s next?” hinting about the most popular messenger in the country – Whatsapp. It uses end-to-end encryption for calls and messages in its latest versions.

Which messenger do you most often use for private conversations? Share your thoughts on the subject in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock.


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The post After Telegram, Viber May Be Blocked, Russian Minister Says appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Bitcoin News

CNN

Protesters blocked roads in Armenia’s capital. This little boy used his toy cars

May 2, 2018 |

The little boy holds open his arms as he stands, satisfied, in front of a rainbow-colored line of toy cars he’s placed in the middle of a street.
CNN.com – RSS Channel – World

Wikileaks Calls for Global Blockade of Coinbase After Its Shop Was Blocked

April 22, 2018 |

Wikileaks Calls for Global Blockade of Coinbase After Its Shop Was Blocked

Wikileaks announced that Coinbase has blocked its official Wikileaks shop without notice or explanation. The organization will all for a global blockade of the cryptocurrency exchange and payment processor “as an unfit member of the crypto community.”

Also read: Yahoo! Japan Confirms Entrance Into the Crypto Space

Coinbase Quits Wikileaks

Wikileaks Calls for Global Blockade of Coinbase After Its Shop Was BlockedWikileaks announced on Friday that “Coinbase has blocked the official @Wikileaks shop from its platform without notice or explanation.”

The shop sells swag such as clothing, accessories, phone cases, stickers, posters, books, and has recently added Cryptokitties.

The organization also posted part of a letter they claim was sent to them from Coinbase which references the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (Fincen). The letter states that “Coinbase is a regulated Money Service Business under Fincen,” and is “obligated to implement regulatory compliance mechanisms,” adding:

Upon careful review, we believe your account has engaged in prohibited use in violation of our Terms of Service and we regret to inform you that we can no longer provide you with access to our service.

The letter then provides instructions for Wikileaks to withdraw its remaining balance. “We respectfully request that you follow the on-screen instructions presented when you log into your Coinbase account to send any remaining balance offsite to an external address.”

Wikileaks Calls for Global Blockade of Coinbase

In response to Coinbase’s action, Wikileaks announced:

Wikileaks will call for a global blockade of Coinbase next week as an unfit member of the crypto community. Coinbase, a large Californian Bitcoin processor, responding to a concealed influence, has blocked the entirely harmless @Wikileaksshop in a decision approved by management.

Wikileaks Calls for Global Blockade of Coinbase After Its Shop Was Blocked

Wikileaks Calls for Global Blockade of Coinbase After Its Shop Was BlockedBest selling Bitcoin author Andreas Antonopoulos commented, “We have come full circle. Many people’s interest in bitcoin started when Wikileaks was out under an extra judicial embargo by Visa, Mc, Paypal and banks. Now Coinbase has repeated history. Oops.”

He further elaborated, “It’s purely symbolic, unlike the first embargo. Now they have many options. But the symbolism is a pretty poignant reminder of what centralization and banking regulations mean.”

Wikileaks Calls for Global Blockade of Coinbase After Its Shop Was Blocked
Andreas Antonopoulos

Antonopoulos is referring to the 2010 global payments blockade of Wikileaks which led the renegade news service to become one of the earliest and most public champions of Bitcoin. Six days before Satoshi Nakamoto mysteriously left the community, a debate broke out on the Bitcointalk forum between Nakamoto and those wanting Wikileaks to embrace Bitcoin. The event, described in Julian Assange’s book “When Google met Wikileaks,” is largely thought to be one of the reasons that Bitcoin’s creator left the project.

Recently, Coinbase also announced changes to its merchant services. The company will no longer support custodial merchant processing solutions, replacing them with a free, non-custodial solution. One vendor, Cheapair.com, has already announced that it is leaving Coinbase for this reason to seek a different payment processor for cryptocurrencies.

What do you think of Coinbase’s action and Wikileaks’ response? Let us know in the comments section below.

Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Andreas Antonopoulos, and Wikileaks.


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The post Wikileaks Calls for Global Blockade of Coinbase After Its Shop Was Blocked appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Bitcoin News

CNN

Chemical weapons experts blocked from Syrian attack site, UK says

April 16, 2018 |

The UK has accused Syria and Russia of preventing independent chemical weapons experts from entering the city of Douma, hit by a suspected gas attack that Western leaders have blamed on the Syrian government.
CNN.com – RSS Channel – World