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The winning bidder for a Banksy painting that self-destructed during an auction last week has decided to go through with the purchase, auctioneer Sotheby’s said Thursday. The auction house said a female European collector was the successful bidder, agreeing to pay $ 1.4 million for “Girl With Balloon.” But just…
For an artist that’s known for his stunts, this could be Banksy’s most perfect art world prank.
CNN.com – RSS Channel – World
Banksy, the anonymous British street artist famous for his political spoofs, pulled a £1 million prank on a buyer of one of his works.
WSJ.com: What’s News Europe
Newsweek is saying it could be Banksy’s “most jaw-dropping trick yet,” and it would be hard to find anyone who disagrees. It happened Friday night at a Sotheby’s auction in London, when the enigmatic street artist’s 2006 Girl With Balloon painting was sold off for $ 1.1 million to a…
We all know the 2000 presidential election between George W. Bush and Al Gore was contentious, but few knew how Dubya’s dad really felt about his opponent … until now. Moments in Time is selling a letter the ex-POTUS wrote to his friend and former…
A second firm is in talks to potentially acquire Chicago-based newspaper chain Tronc.
California-based newspaper chain McClatchy is in “early stage” discussions to buy Tronc, owner of the Chicago Tribune and other major newspapers, a source familiar with the negotiations said Friday.
Medici Ventures, a blockchain/crypto specific division of Overstock.com, has acquired Bitsy.com in an effort to finally merge the worlds of online retail with decentralized, digital cash facilitated by the Bitsy’s new biometric wallet. The Crypto Winter, assuming it ends at some point, might be best defined by what companies in the space did to prepare for the future, to consolidate and increase relative positions as others retreated.
Overstock’s Medici Acquires Bitsy
Overstock CEO Patrick Byrne announced, “Bitsy sets a new standard for cryptocurrency wallets. It is a game-changer because it gives users the freedom that bitcoin has always promised. This new Bitsy wallet has extraordinary advantage in convenience versus anything currently on the market. In addition to setting a new standard for cryptocurrency wallets, integrating with Bitsy will allow Overstock to take the next step in its cryptocurrency journey by allowing the company to offer bitcoin for sale directly from the retail website.”
As the press release elaborated, in addition to its acquisition, Bitsy “has commenced the limited beta launch of a digital wallet service that creates a simple, secure, and convenient bridge between traditional fiat currencies and cryptocurrencies.”
Indeed, Bitsy has an interesting niche when compared to crypto banks and exchanges. They do not hold clients’ keys, and are therefore able to avoid liability when it comes to matching buyers and sellers. The company is at once keen to insist they comply with the myriad of anti-money laundering (AML) regulations, but won’t ever involve themselves in censoring transactions for less than strictly illegal activity. Having such a company, often referred to as a ‘bridge,’ further allows frictionless international crypto transfers in accordance with Overstock’s plans, something centralized, more established exchanges avoid at all cost.
It’s just the latest company to be scooped up by Medici, of which terms were not immediately disclosed. In the last couple of years, it has gobbled up firms in the ecosystem such as Ripio, Tzero, and Bitt. Overstock’s very visible CEO, Mr. Byrne, has been a vocal, full-throated supporter of everything crypto, earning the community’s trust even though the online retailer’s business is helped in only fractions of a percent by being crypto friendly. Overstock accepts “dozens of cryptocurrencies,” the company insisted, and “plans to use the Bitsy service to offer bitcoin for sale on the Overstock website.”
Your Face is Your Key
Overstock’s move looks to be an overt play into the heart of the ecosystem. Bitsy’s latest wallet configuration has as a selling point or marketing ploy known as biometric markers, basically substituting for keys. A face and a fingerprint, that combination, is claimed by the wallet service to be so unique as to supplant the laborious recording and storing of keys.
Its recovery plan is reportedly through a multi-key generation process, allowing a third party to help clients who have wallet issues, coin issues for whatever reason. The company stresses the fact it does not have keys and therefore no access to them, and this, in Bitsy’s reckoning, saves it from one central point of failure with regard to hacks. In other words, users who forget or lose a password will no longer view such as the end of the world.
Bitsy might also fit well with the above mentioned group of crypto companies making up Medici holdings. An early promise of BTC was the giant remittance market, but that hasn’t seemed to have materialized in the way early proponents hoped. The combination of Ripio, Bitt, and Bitsy, Medici insists, could offer lower cost ways to move money internationally, thereby helping even the traditionally unbanked.
President of Medici Jonathan Johnson explained, “Bitsy and the work it is doing dovetails perfectly with Medici Ventures’ goal of investing in companies that are democratizing capital by eliminating middlemen and re-humanizing commerce.”
Would you use a biometric wallet? Would you buy crypto from Overstock.com? Let us know in the comments section below.
Images courtesy of Shutterstock.
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The post Overstock to Offer Bitcoin for Sale After Acquiring Bitsy.com Biometric Wallet appeared first on Bitcoin News.
Malta is not worried about crypto companies operating while their applications for licenses are still pending as the loophole does not mean they are free from obligations under the current regulations, officials from the island nation commented. Also in The Daily, a €3 million palazzo in Valletta has been put up for sale and the owner takes only cryptocurrency, a project aims to turn a Great Barrier Reef island into a crypto micro-economy, and a hotel in Perth cuts third parties out of the booking process using cryptocurrency.
Malta Taking Calculated Risk by Fast-Tracking Approvals for Crypto Firms
Malta, which is working hard to create one of the most crypto-friendly climates in Europe, has given fintech companies moving to the island a whole year to become fully licensed under the recently adopted legislation. Nevertheless, a high-ranking official in Valletta has denied claims that the loophole would open the door for crypto firms to abuse the regulatory framework.
In July, the parliament in Valletta approved three bills designed to regulate the sector and enable the establishment of crypto companies in Malta. Many notable players in the industry, including Binance, Okex, ZB.com, and Bitbay, have either opened offices there or have serious plans for when they set foot on the island. Crypto and blockchain businesses have a full 12 months to apply for a license under the new Maltese regulations.
However, the CEO of the Malta Financial Services Authority (MFSA), Joseph Cuschieri, says the clauses that allow unlicensed companies to carry on their activities until they are fully regulated, will not give them free rein to exploit the legal vacuum, Malta Today reports. Cuschieri stressed that crypto firms setting up businesses in the country before securing a license are nevertheless obliged to abide by the local legal provisions.
In a separate statement, Malta’s Prime Minister acknowledged that his government hopes the booming blockchain industry will diversify his nation’s economy. “We’re taking a calculated risk… [by cutting] layers of bureaucracy and offering fast-track approvals for digital players to set up shop on the island,” Joseph Muscat admitted in an interview, according to a report by the Sydney Morning Herald.
€3 Million Valletta Mansion on Sale for BTC
A historic building in the center of Malta’s capital, 860 square meter palazzo worth an estimated €3 million, has been offered on the property market with a crypto price tag. The mansion, which can easily be turned into a hotel or used for offices, can only be purchased with cryptocurrency. The owner selling the property for bitcoin core (BTC) believes there are many affluent individuals in the crypto business community who view Malta as the most attractive place for investment. Quoted by Coinrivet, he says investing in real estate in Valletta is a smart move for anyone looking to establish themselves in the country which is promoting itself as the “Blockchain Island”. The mansion has been put up for sale through a project called Cryptohomes. The team behind it intends to list more properties priced in cryptocurrency in the future.
Tropical Destination to Be Revived as Crypto Micro-Economy
The Great Keppel Island off the coast of Central Queensland, once a popular tourist spot situated at the gateway to the Great Barrier Reef, is now at the heart of a project involving some serious crypto investments. An Australian consortium intends to revive it as a high-tech holiday destination that will offer quality accommodation in a new resort with luxury villas, a golf course, and a marina. The large crypto-backed property deal should also grow into a cryptocurrency micro-economy, claim the people behind it quoted by The Age. The developers from Tower Holdings, owned by Sydney businessman Terry Agnew, hope to fund it through a coin sale, more precisely a Security Token Offering (STO). According to the Australian publication, the $ 300 million project may become the most significant investment along the Great Barrier Reef for years.
Perth Hotel Accepts Cryptocurrency After Relaunch
The owner of a renovated hotel in the Scottish city of Perth has announced that The Lovat will be accepting crypto payments from its guests. Alfredo Alongi believes cryptocurrency can benefit the hospitality industry by removing third parties from the booking process. His hotel is partnering with Incognito, a coin developed by a University of Strathclyde graduate, the Herald Scotland reports. “Cryptocurrency has the potential to boost direct bookings as the transaction exists purely between the customer and the service provider – there’s no middle man and no additional fees for either party,” explains Alongi who is working to revive the business. The Lovat was closed down by its previous owners in January.
What are your thoughts on today’s news tidbits? Tell us in the comments section below.
Images courtesy of Shutterstock.
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The post The Daily: Malta Sees No Issue With Unlicensed Crypto Firms, Valletta Mansion on Sale for Crypto appeared first on Bitcoin News.
Malware aimed at Bitcoin ATMs is being sold in underground markets, according to Trend Micro security researchers. For $ 25,000, malware exploiting a service vulnerability allows users to nab bitcoin price equivalent in euros, USD, or British pounds.
For $ 25,000, Bitcoin ATM Malware is Available on Underground Markets
Senior Threat Researcher at Trend Micro, the firm alerting enthusiasts, Fernando Mercês, explained, “Unlike regular ATMs, there is no single set of verification or security standards for Bitcoin ATMs. For example, instead of requiring an ATM, credit, or debit card for transactions, a Bitcoin ATM involves the use of mobile numbers and ID cards for user identity verification.”
“The user then has to input a wallet address or scan its QR code,” Mr. Mercês continued. “The wallets used to store digital currencies are not standardized either and are often downloaded from app stores, posing another security problem.” Crypto is bought through Near-Field Communication, Europay, and Visa/Mastercard pre-written cards sold to malware purchasers.
Bitcoin ATMs are cresting at something close to 3,500 around the world, and, of course, malware is borderless. This particular strain is limited to languages such as German, English, and Russian. These tongues correspond to where Bitcoin ATMs are mostly clustered, as the devices are not evenly distributed.
Popularity Breeds Criminal Attention
Adoption in German speaking nations runs about 150 devices over 30 locations. For Russian speakers in the Federation and Ukraine, more than four dozen locations house machines with which such malware would be a potential threat. English speaking countries are the most target rich, as between the United Kingdom (171) and the United States (2,166) they house more than 2,300 Bitcoin ATMs.
Researchers stress standardization, the absence of it in fact, is among the biggest problems facing Bitcoin ATM security. Trend Micro claims sellers of the malware have been reviewed more than 100 times, which might mean the information is spreading. Sellers have openly sought to split the malware’s fee among conspirators, offering something akin to a revenue sharing scheme.
Trend Micro concluded, “As long as there is money to be made — and there is quite a bit of money in cryptocurrencies — cybercriminals will continue to devise tools and to expand to lucrative new ‘markets.’ As the number of Bitcoin ATMs grows, we can expect to see more forms of malware targeting cryptocurrency ATMs in the future.”
Would you or have you used a Bitcoin ATM? What was your experience like? Let us know in the comments section below.
Images courtesy of Shutterstock and Trend Micro for insets.
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The post Bitcoin ATMs Targeted by Malware for Sale in Underground Markets appeared first on Bitcoin News.
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