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A judge in California ruled Thursday that U.S. authorities cannot force people to unlock technology with fingerprint or facial recognition, even with a search warrant.
Samourai Wallet has announced that, due to the Google Play Store’s “new extremely restrictive policies,” a number of security features are being removed from the wallet. The developers have applied for an exemption to the new rules, but Google has rejected their request.
Google’s New Policies
Developers of privacy-enhanced mobile BTC wallet Samourai announced on Monday that they have been forced to disable a number of security features due to the Google Play Store’s new policies. They wrote:
It is with great sadness that we are disabling the following features within Samourai Wallet as of version 0.99.04 – which will be released tomorrow – due to new extremely restrictive policies Google has decided to introduce in their effort to become more of a ‘walled garden’ experience.
The three features being disabled are called “Stealth Mode,” “SIM Switch Defense,” and “Remote SMS Commands.”
Samourai detailed that they applied for an exemption to the new rules. The self-proclaimed privacy activists explained to Google that “removing such functionality would cause users who rely on those features to be less secure and more exposed.” However, the tech giant still rejected their application.
The developers noted that Google does not care about any of the security benefits the wallet offers, adding:
Samourai Wallet would have been removed from the Google Play Store had we not complied with this dictate.
Three Hardcore Security Features Gone
The three soon-to-be missing features have been part of Samourai Wallet since its first release in 2015. They are optional settings that are turned off by default. According to the developers, “To this day no other wallet has enabled these types of features, and now it is very likely no other wallet will, thanks to the heavy hand of Google.”
One of the three features to be removed — SIM Switch Defense — Samourai described as a feature that alerts “users to the fact that their SIM card was being hijacked due to extremely poor opsec by their network carrier.” It accomplishes this by stealthily sending an SMS message to a trusted mobile number when the phone’s SIM card has been changed.
Another feature to be disabled is Stealth Mode which gives users a way to hide their wallet app from attackers who have physical access to their smartphones. Enabling the feature requires granting the app access to make undetected outgoing calls. The developers tweeted on Monday:
Many users in South America who use this feature are now at risk, thanks to @Googleplay
The last feature Google has a problem with is Remote SMS Commands which “allows users who lost their device to remotely erase their bitcoin wallet to prevent further loss of their bitcoin stash,” the wallet developers described. “@Googleplay has killed that as well.”
Bypassing Google’s Restrictions
The Samourai team said that they “hope to bring these features back somehow in the future in the Google Play Store.”
Meanwhile, they expect to resume offering all features “via alternative distribution methods such as direct download and F-Droid in the coming months.” F-Droid, the most popular alternative Android app marketplace, has fewer restrictions than the Google Play Store but its install process can be too complicated for some users. Samourai developers further wrote:
In the coming months we will expand our distribution model to include self-hosted APK [Android install package file] downloads and inclusion in the open source F-Droid app store. These versions will all include the Stealth Mode, Remote SMS, and SIM Switch Defense features.
In the meantime, Samourai developers have advised users to disable stealth mode prior to updating to the new version.
What do you think of Google’s new policies which force Samourai Wallet to remove these security features? Let us know in the comments section below.
Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Twitter, and Samourai Wallet.
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The post Google Play Store Forces Samourai Wallet to Remove Security Features appeared first on Bitcoin News.
Ifinex, the operator of Bitfinex and Ethfinex, is planning to briefly restrict access to the crypto trading platforms on Jan. 7 while migrating data to its new servers in Switzerland. Also in The Daily on Sunday, Indian exchange Koinex has updated its security features and Huobi’s mining subsidiary is preparing to launch a new trading platform dedicated to an altcoin.
Ifinex Switches From AWS Cloud to Own Servers
Hong Kong-based cryptocurrency exchange Bitfinex and its subsidiary Ethfinex will temporarily halt trading on Monday, Jan. 7, 2019. The two platforms will be offline for three to seven hours, during which time their operator, Ifinex, will complete the migration of all data to new servers. Account holders will not be able to access their wallets and all features will be inaccessible for the duration of the upgrade.
In an announcement, Ifinex revealed it’s switching from AWS cloud services to a self-designed infrastructure. The exchanges will now be using its own dedicated servers in a data center located in the Swiss Crypto Valley. The hardware is suitable for high-volume trading and the company tweeted that the move aims to “significantly enhance platform speed, security and performance.” Ifinex further explained:
The last stage in this process necessitates taking Ifinex trading platforms offline, meaning that Bitfinex and Ethfinex account holders will be unable to trade or access their wallets during the transition.
The operator also noted that the change will bring some benefits to users. For example, the combination between selected hardware and new order submission gateways can potentially double the speed of processing. Ifinex also claims the bare-metal servers are inherently more secure as they are running dedicated custom hardware and are not reliant on a third-party cloud service.
Koinex Introduces Security Updates
India’s leading crypto exchange Koinex has unveiled new security features for its customers. The trading platform explained on Medium that the additional layers of security applied to the accounts will provide greater protection for users’ funds and add new functionalities. Koinex also promised to release more security updates in the future.
A special “Protection Mode” is now automatically activated after signing in. It prevents any withdrawals of digital assets for the first 10 minutes of each session. During that time, users can lock their account if they suspect it has been compromised. However, clients will be able to start trading immediately after they log in and the mode does not restrict P2P fiat withdrawals of the Indian rupee.
Koinex developers have also introduced an additional verification step for cryptocurrency withdrawals. Now each withdrawal request will have to be confirmed over email, which users can do by following a verification link they will receive to their registered email address.
The notification email sent to account holders after they sign in now has a “Lock My Account” link that allows them to block any transaction if they suspect fraudulent activity. The link will take users to a security page, where they’ll be able to lock their account and delete any open orders. When an account is locked, all crypto withdrawal requests that have not been confirmed by email are cancelled automatically.
Huobi Pool to Launch EOS-Dedicated Exchange
Huobi Group announced that its crypto mining subsidiary, Huobi Pool, is preparing to launch a new digital asset exchange in the first quarter of 2019. The platform will be focused on EOS and will allow users to trade the coin against a number of other cryptocurrencies. Commenting on the announcement, Huobi Pool’s chief executive officer Cao Fei stated:
As an EOS super node, Huobi Pool has placed its ecological development high on its list of priorities. Launching this EOS exchange is simply the next logical step in our support.
In the past few months, Huobi Pool has been working closely with the EOS community. The company has taken part in the building of an EOS testchain called the Crypto Kylin Testnet, which can be used to evaluate EOS-based projects.
Singapore-based Huobi group is a major crypto company that operates the third largest cryptocurrency exchange by daily trading volume, Huobi. It has been expanding its business recently in a number of sectors and markets.
Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Koinex.
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The post The Daily: Bitfinex Schedules Exchange Downtime, Koinex Adds New Security Features appeared first on Bitcoin News.
Last October, news.Bitcoin.com reported on a new Bitcoin Cash (BCH) payment processor called Gateway.cash. Since then the Gateway developers have added a variety of features to the BCH platform like instant web-sockets, custom audio, and client-side callbacks for real-time applications.
After the BCH Split Organizations Like Gateway.cash Have Emphasized ‘We Will Compete’
After the Bitcoin Cash split, the Money Button and Yours.org creator Ryan X Charles told his Twitter followers his apps would be following the BSV network. Four days later on Twitter, Charles said: “I look forward to seeing the ABC competitors to Yours and Money Button — Best of luck to you all.” Not too long after the post, a new Bitcoin Cash blogging website was launched called Honest Cash and the payment processor Gateway responded to Charle’s tweet.
“Hi, Gateway.cash will be a Money Button competitor for Bitcoin Cash and is now released open-source — The project is led by Ty Everett and he is looking for contributors,” the Gateway organization stated responding to Charles on Nov. 19.
New API Enhancements
Since the Gateway bitcoin cash-powered payment button and the processing application launched, the developer has added a slew of new features to the application program interface (API). Added enhancements include callback URLs, native currencies, custom audio sounds, client-side callbacks for real-time applications, instant web-socket payments, direct deposit to an address, and more. The Gateway developers have also published specifications for the Gateway.cash API which gives platform examples, useful descriptions and annotations. The documentation explains that the API can be hosted over HTTP or HTTPS with the user’s current URL as the basepoint. The website’s API documentation is quite extensive with examples shown on the right side of the screen and the Gateway API specifications page welcoming the user by stating:
Welcome to the Gateway.cash API — You can use our API to create and manage merchant accounts, make and receive Bitcoin Cash payments, keep track of invoices and more.
Open Source Community Pitches In
When news.Bitcoin.com first reviewed Gateway back in October, the button feature worked well and also offered a QR code so any wallet could pay the button. In contrast to the Money Button, there were no issues using the Safari browser as the application worked well in every browser tested. With the latest developments, the Gateway team and lead programmer Ty Everett have been offering the community bounties so the open-source community can contribute to the Gateway project.
Other well known developers have been helping the Gateway project like the BCH programmer Ftrader and Flowee the Hub have given the Github repository some assistance. “The first PR by a community member has been merged,” detailed the Gateway team. “Big thanks to Flowee the Hub for being the first contributor to Gateway.”
The Gateway project has explained on social media channels and forums that the developers are extremely grateful to the Bitcoin Cash development community.
“Thank you for contributing — Open-source is the future of software and Bitcoin Cash is the future of money,” the Gateway project explained on Twitter.
What do you think about the Gateway.cash project? Let us know what you think about this payment button and processing platform in the comments section below.
Disclaimer: Readers should do their own due diligence before taking any actions related to the mentioned company or any of its affiliates or services. Bitcoin.com and the author are not responsible, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any content, goods or services mentioned in this article.
Images via Shutterstock, Twitter, Gateway.cash, and Pixabay.
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The post Bitcoin Cash Payment API Gateway.cash Adds a Variety of New Features appeared first on Bitcoin News.
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