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| June 18, 2019

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Researcher Archives -

Defense Admits Illinois Student Killed Visiting Researcher

June 13, 2019 |

“Brendt Christensen killed Yingying Zhang,” the defense attorney said in his opening statement Wednesday, “and nothing we say or do during this phase of the trial is intended to sidestep or deny” that fact. Zhang was a visiting Chinese researcher at the University of Illinois, the Chicago Tribune reports, and…

Researcher Poses Theory About Da Vinci’s Genius

June 2, 2019 |

As an artist, mathematician, and inventor, Leonardo da Vinci was without doubt a master. But “his contemporaries could never understand or forgive his lack of discipline,” write researchers in the journal Brain . Indeed, as da Vinci jumped from task to task, he left plenty of works unfinished—even his famed…

Researcher Claims to Have Sleuthed $90M of Quadrigacx Funds

March 1, 2019 |

A new research report links a trail of 12 wallets holding Quadrigacx funds worth $ 90M of ethereum to Kraken, Bitfinex, and Poloniex exchanges. With Kraken confirming that it no longer holds any active Quadriga wallets, the onus is now on the other two exchanges to confirm or deny that the coins are still in their accounts.

Also read: Quadrigacx Cold Wallet Was Stored in a Safety Deposit Box

The Canadian Crypto Drama Continues

Quadrigacx (aka “the curious case of Cotten’s coins,” as Kraken calls it) doesn’t cease making the news. $ 190M of user funds have disappeared, $ 150M of which has seemingly been lost in an unretrievable crypto abyss, with conspiracy theories aplenty to match the unfolding real-life mystery of an unseemly death and even more unseemly funds displacement. The latest research doesn’t quite solve the puzzle. To the contrary, it might even add to the complexity surrounding the case.

James Edwards, CEO of crypto research and consulting platform Zerononcense, has released a research report detailing the trail he followed to locate the ethereum exit points from Quadrigacx-controlled — thus internal, non-customer-owned — wallets.

Spread across 12 wallets, totalling 649,708 ETH paid into three market-leading exchanges, Edwards speculates that Quadrigacx CEO Cotten might have used these exchange as backup storage for Quadriga funds. At the time of transfer to some of the world’s top exchanges (Kraken, Bitfinex, and Poloniex), these coins were valued at $ 100,490,150 and are now worth $ 90.3M. This ties into the affidavit made by Cotten’s wife, Jennifer Robertson, that Cotten might have stored company funds on other exchanges.

Researcher Claims to Have Sleuthed $  90M of Quadrigacx Funds
Incoming transactions on Quadriga’s Bitfinex hot wallet

More Questions Rather Than Answers

However, whether the funds are still in these accounts remains uncertain. Wallet activity ceased on December 8, 2018, one day before Cotten’s alleged death on December 9. Kraken has already stated that it holds none of Quadrigacx’s funds and, to the contrary, is offering a $ 100k bounty to anyone forthcoming with information leading to the whereabouts of the missing funds. This leaves only Bitfinex and Poloniex to confirm or deny the continued existence of the respective amounts transferred to their exchanges.

It’s not 100 percent evident that the funds in question form part of Quadriga’s own wallets as opposed to that of their users, although Edwards — with a corroborating statement from Kraken head Jesse Powell — is fairly convinced, saying there’s “a 99% chance” it is a wallet owned and controlled by Quadriga.

According to Powell:

“If he [Kraken Customer] is sending from his accounts at other exchanges, he almost certainly does not have control of the sending address.” CEO Taylor Monahan also previously released a research pile analyzing Quadriga’s ETH movement:

Show Us the Money or This Doesn’t Mean Much

Edwards draws his report to a close stating that “this report should serve as a helpful addition to the Quadrigacx narrative, rather than a conspiratorial piece that speculates on whether the exchange or its owners have been honest.” But does it?

The Quadrigacx case brings to light the significance of entrusting one’s crypto assets to an exchange. A single person entrusted with safeguarding the private keys holding 115,000 customers’ funds. An exchange relying on other exchanges to store funds instead of keeping them in cold storage. A trail that doesn’t quite answer any questions, but instead leaves a hot mess even hotter. Thus, speculation of gross incompetence, elaborate money laundering — or both — continues.

Unless Bitfinex and/or Poloniex can positively confirm that Quadrigacx funds are still available — and thus retrievable — this latest twist in the tale leaves the victims of the Canadian exchange no closer to a happy ending.

Do you attach any significance to the findings of this report? Let us know in the comments below.

Images courtesy of Shutterstock and Zerononcense.

Verify and track bitcoin cash transactions on our BCH Block Explorer, the best of its kind anywhere in the world. Also, keep up with your holdings, BCH, and other coins, on our market charts at Satoshi’s Pulse, another original and free service from

The post Researcher Claims to Have Sleuthed $ 90M of Quadrigacx Funds appeared first on Bitcoin News.

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Ex-Google researcher says stopping leaks now company’s top priority, engineer had nasty message for leakers

December 9, 2018 |

A former senior Google employee who resigned in protest over the company’s plan for a censored search engine in China has said that despite the numerous controversies surrounding the tech giant, preventing leaks is now the “number one priority” of its leadership. 
FOX News

Crooked Researcher Avoids Jail, but Must Play the Piano

October 11, 2018 |

A former prominent neurological researcher at Yale and New York University avoided prison time Wednesday for stealing research funds, but a judge said he must play piano for indigent elderly people in Connecticut to make amends, per the AP . The unusual sentence for Dr. Alexander Neumeister was handed out Wednesday…

Top Cancer Researcher in Hot Water Over Financial Ties

September 9, 2018 |

One of the world’s top breast cancer researchers is taking heat after a New York Times and ProPublica report revealed he failed to list his financial ties to big pharma in major publications and elsewhere. Dr. José Baselga reportedly did not follow established guidelines for reporting such ties in articles…

Researcher: Stop Worrying About Bitcoin’s Environmental Impact

August 21, 2018 |

Researcher: Stop Worrying About Environmental Impact of Mining’s Energy Intensity

A common mainstream media trope is that Bitcoin mining will soon use so much electrical power it could lead to an environmental catastrophe. We’ve often provided examples of how this is a false narrative, and now an independent energy researcher is saying the same. She points to miners migrating to locations with abundant renewable energy and highlights that the banking system is far more wasteful.

Also Read: The Daily: Crypto Self-Regulatory Organization, 100 BTC Whistleblower Reward

Don’t Worry, Be Happy

Researcher: Stop Worrying About Environmental Impact of Mining’s Energy IntensityDr. Katrina M. Kelly-Pitou PhD holds dual roles at the University of Pittsburgh as a Research Associate in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, and as Manager of Strategy and Business Development for the Center for Energy. On Monday her article titled “Stop worrying about how much energy bitcoin uses” appeared on The Conversation, a not-for-profit outlet for content sourced from academics and researchers. In it she takes to task the notion that mining is inherently energy wasteful and thus dangerous to the environment.

Regarding the oft-cited estimation that mining used 30 terrawatt hours in 2017 – as much as Ireland – she explains: “This is a lot, but not exorbitant. Banking consumes an estimated 100 terrawatts of power annually. If bitcoin technology were to mature by more than 100 times its current market size, it would still equal only 2 percent of all energy consumption.” She believes this maturing process is inevitable, as happened with previous energy-intensive new technologies such as data centers and computers, saying: “Over time, all of these have become more efficient, a natural progression of any technology: Saving energy equates to saving costs.”

Ask How, Not How Much

Researcher: Stop Worrying About Environmental Impact of Mining’s Energy IntensityThe researcher states that electricity usage can increase while still maintaining a minimal impact on the environment, and suggests that the source of power is what’s important. “Not all types of energy generation are equal in their impact on the environment, nor does the world uniformly rely on the same types of generation across states and markets,” she explains, adding that, “perhaps people should quit criticizing bitcoin for its energy intensity and start criticizing states and nations for still providing new industries with dirty power supplies instead.”

Specifically, she points to miners migrating out of coal-dependent China, and into areas with cheap renewable sources such as hydroelectric power in Oregon and geothermal-rich Iceland. For another example, we reported earlier this year about a Japanese electricity company that uses excess solar power for mining.

Do you think mainstream media estimates of Bitcoin’s environmental impact have been overstated? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

Images courtesy of Shutterstock.

Verify and track bitcoin cash transactions on our BCH Block Explorer, the best of its kind anywhere in the world. Also, keep up with your holdings, BCH and other coins, on our market charts at Satoshi’s Pulse, another original and free service from

The post Researcher: Stop Worrying About Bitcoin’s Environmental Impact appeared first on Bitcoin News.

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Is This a Good Idea? Cancer Researcher Says Yes

May 26, 2018 |

Is your child’s environment as sterile as an operating room? That might not be a good thing, a leading cancer researcher says in a new report. After three decades of research, Mel Greaves , from the Institute of Cancer Research in London, believes that acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) is caused by…

Researcher Spots Huge Holes in Panera Bread’s Online Security

April 3, 2018 |

Being light, airy, and full of holes is a good quality in an English muffin. Unfortunately for Panera Bread, their online security system seems to have similar attributes, According to the KrebsOnSecurity blog, a data breach may have exposed as many as 37 million customer records at the bakery chain…

15-Year-Old Security Researcher Shares Ledger Wallet Exploit

March 21, 2018 |

15-Year-Old Security Researcher Publishes Ledger Wallet Exploit

Hardware wallet manufacturer Ledger has published a firmware update to remedy several security flaws. The exploits were independently found by a trio of white hat security researchers, one of whom, Saleem Rashid, is a 15-year-old British boy. The attack vector he discovered is hardware based, and is not limited to Ledger devices, making it difficult to mitigate altogether via software alone.

Also read: Ledger Addresses Man in the Middle Attack That Threatens Millions of Hardware Wallets

Ledger at Loggerheads with Security Researcher Who Found Flaw

On March 20, Ledger released an update to its firmware, 1.4.1, accompanied by a blog post that promised “a deep dive into security fixes”. It began: “Following a transparent and responsible disclosure process, we are giving a full detailed assessment of the fixed attack vectors that the Firmware 1.4 patches, which were initially reported by three security researchers. As the publication of these technical details might elevate the threat level of non-patched devices, we strongly encourage our users to update their firmware”.

It is the exploit discovered by Saleem Rashid that’s gathered the most attention, both on account of his tender age, and his publication today of a detailed explainer on how he achieved the feat. “An attacker can exploit this vulnerability to compromise the device before the user receives it, or to steal private keys from the device physically or, in some scenarios, remotely,” Rashid explains. “I have demonstrated this attack on a real Ledger Nano S. Furthermore, I sent the source code to Ledger a few months ago, so they could reproduce it.” He also told a security blog that “[Ledger] make it so easy to open the device that you can take your fingernail and open it up [to tamper with it]”.

15-Year-Old Security Researcher Publishes Ledger Wallet Exploit

White Hat Hacker Forgoes His Bounty

Ledger says the security researchers were asked to sign a Bounty Program Reward Agreement as one of the conditions of being remunerated for their efforts, while noting that this doesn’t prevent the researchers from publishing their own reports. The article is worded in such a way as to suggest all three researchers were happy to comply with this agreement, but that’s not entirely true. Rashid actually forwent his bounty reward, explaining:

I have not been paid a bounty by Ledger because their responsible disclosure agreement would have prevented me from publishing this technical report. I chose to publish this report in lieu of receiving a bounty from Ledger, mainly because Eric Larchevêque, Ledger’s CEO, made some comments on Reddit which were fraught with technical inaccuracy. As a result of this I became concerned that this vulnerability would not be properly explained to customers.

The teen researcher is of the opinion that Ledger were seeking to downplay the seriousness of the exploit he’d uncovered. Publishing a full and frank report of how he broke the Ledger wallet, and giving up his right to a reward, hasn’t done his reputation or his Twitter follower count any harm either. Saleem Rashid is clever beyond his years, and his article on the exploit is lengthy but fascinating for anyone with an interest in such matters.

Your Cryptocurrency Hardware Wallet Is Safe

One matter in danger of getting lost amidst all this is the status of Ledger wallets. Cryptography teacher Matthew Green posted a tweetstorm in response to Rashid’s blog, exploring the difficulty of fully preventing hardware-based attacks of this nature. He finishes, reassuringly: “Nothing in the post or thread above means you should freak out about these vulns, or that you should assume other wallets are better. Just be safe.” Ledger users should update to the latest firmware, but there is no cause for alarm. Attacks such as the one demonstrated by Saleem Rashid show the difficulty of creating a device that is immune from all known forms of attack.

Do you think Ledger is guilty of trying to downplay the seriousness of the exploit? Let us know in the comments section below.

Images courtesy of Shutterstock.

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The post 15-Year-Old Security Researcher Shares Ledger Wallet Exploit appeared first on Bitcoin News.

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