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| October 19, 2018

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Rock Used as Doorstop Actually Worth $100K

October 6, 2018 |

A Michigan man curious about a rock he’d used for decades as a doorstop now knows its secret: it’s a meteorite worth $ 100,000, the AP reports. In fact, the nearly 23-pound hunk of iron and nickel is the sixth largest meteorite found in Michigan, according to the Smithsonian Museum…

Facial recognition technology used at airports had 85% match rate during tests

September 29, 2018 |

The U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency is expected to complete a 30-day test next month of the use of facial recognition technology to screen international travelers at Los Angeles International Airport.

But an audit by the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Inspector General found…

L.A. Times – Business

Analysts Suspect Cryptocurrencies Used to Evade US Sanctions in North Korea

September 27, 2018 |

Analysts Suspect Cryptocurrencies Used to Evade US Sanctions in North Korea

During an interview earlier this week, two Washington-based financial intelligence analysts explain that North Korea is using cryptocurrencies to evade US sanctions. The intelligence researchers Lourdes Miranda, and Ross Delston say the Pyŏngyang region is actively trading established digital assets to avoid US financial sanctions that have been imposed since the fifties.

Also read: Developer Paul Sztorc Launches the First Version of Drivechain

US Financial Intelligence Analysts: Cryptocurrencies Give North Korea More Ways to Circumvent US Sanctions

Analysts Suspect Cryptocurrencies Used to Evade US Sanctions in North KoreaAccording to two financial intelligence analysts based in Washington, North Korea has been participating within the cryptocurrency economy. There are numerous sanctions against the country that are largely attributed to its nuclear weapons program. The United States has imposed financial sanctions against North Korea since 1950 which restricts the country from trading with the US under the Trading with the Enemy Act of 1917. In an interview with the Asia Times, financial researchers Ross Delston and Lourdes Miranda say Pyŏngyang and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) use cryptocurrencies to skirt these sanctions.

“Cryptocurrencies have the added advantage to the DPRK of giving them more ways to circumvent US sanctions,” Delston and Miranda explain in a joint statement.

The researchers add:   

They can do so by using multiple international exchangers, mixing and shifting services – mirroring the money laundering cycle – to exploit international financial institutions that have correspondent banking relationships with the United States.

Analysts Suspect Cryptocurrencies Used to Evade US Sanctions in North Korea

Breaking Down the Linear Pattern of Transactions With Other Established Blockchains

The intelligence analysts statements follow recent reports alleging that the DPRK obtained 11,000 BTC either through mining or hacking practices in 2017. Further, last year North Korea had also been accused of hacking South Korean cryptocurrency exchanges. Last month, reported on possible bitcoin mining activity and digital asset exchange developments in DPRK. The Washington analysts Delston and Miranda state that DPRK miners likely “transfer the cryptocurrencies into multiple European wallets that appear to come from legitimate sources.”

“The money laundering can begin by mixing, shifting and exchanging cryptocurrency into US financial institutions,” the two explain during the interview. Moreover, the researchers detail the DPRK also breaks down “the linear pattern of transactions” by converting to ethereum and litecoin.   

Delston and Miranda further emphasize:

To obscure the origin of DPRK-mined cryptocurrencies, DPRK could transfer its cryptocurrency from multiple European-based wallets and use multiple mixing services in order to purchase bitcoin – the most popular and legitimate cryptocurrency.

Will Sanctions Increase the Demand for Cryptocurrencies?

There also has been a lot of reports of other sanctioned regions like Iran using cryptocurrencies to bypass global trade laws. Even reports stemming from the Gaza Strip indicating Palestinians may be using digital currencies as well. The statements from the financial intelligence analysts and recent reports of cryptocurrency action in North Korea further solidifies the idea that nation states and their citizens can avoid sanctions using digital assets.

What do you think about North Korea using cryptocurrencies to evade US sanctions? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comment section below.

Images via Shutterstock.

Now live, Satoshi Pulse. A comprehensive, real-time listing of the cryptocurrency market. View prices, charts, transaction volumes, and more for the top 500 cryptocurrencies trading today.

The post Analysts Suspect Cryptocurrencies Used to Evade US Sanctions in North Korea appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Bitcoin News

United Airlines tested a new boarding process at LAX; now it’s being used worldwide

September 22, 2018 |

After a 30-day testing period at Los Angeles International Airport, United Airlines has expanded a new boarding procedure that is designed to reduce passenger confusion.

“The boarding process was one of the top areas customers told us they wanted improved,” said Sarah Murphy, United vice president…

L.A. Times – Business

When your prescription drug is tainted with a chemical ‘used to make rocket fuel’

September 7, 2018 |

Wayne Pearl, like millions of people with high blood pressure, takes the widely prescribed generic drug valsartan.

So it was with more than a little concern that he recently learned the Chinese supplier of the drug’s active ingredient for years had been hiding the fact that its product was contaminated…

L.A. Times – Business

School Resource Officer Used Taser to Wake Student

September 7, 2018 |

A school resource officer in northeast Ohio who decided using her Taser was the best way to wake up a sleeping student has been suspended and could face criminal charges. Officer Maryssa Boskoski didn’t actually jolt the student with thousands of volts of electricity, News5 reports, but she activated the…

Papa John’s founder launches website to regain control of pizza chain after he used a racial slur

August 23, 2018 |

Papa John’s International Inc.’s founder, blocked from the pizza chain’s headquarters amid a deepening dispute with the rest of the board, is betting that franchisees and workers will have his back.

John Schnatter, who resigned as chairman last month, took out a full-page ad in the company’s hometown…

L.A. Times – Business

On-Chain BCH Used in a Submarine Swap for Off-Chain BTC

August 10, 2018 |

On-Chain BCH Used in a Submarine Swap for off-Chain BTC

This week an individual revealed he had completed the first trustless swap by trading on-chain bitcoin cash (BCH) for off-chain bitcoin core (BTC) using Alex Bosworth’s submarine swap protocol.

Also read: Illegal Activity No Longer Dominant Use of Bitcoin: DEA Agent

On-Chain Bitcoin Cash Submarine Swapped for Off-Chain BTC

The decentralized cryptocurrency bitcoin cash (BCH) was traded over the Lightning Network this week for off-chain bitcoin core (BTC). According to an individual on Reddit named u/Darkdeepths, he says he’s been fortunate to see Bosworth’s submarine swap testing and decided to test the protocol himself. The submarine swap protocol is an atomic on-chain and off-chain trading platform created by Bosworth that allows a person to use on-chain funds to pay for an off-chain Lightning invoice. Users can test the protocol with testnet coins and the process was recently used by Jason Wong for an on-chain litecoin (LTC) transaction traded for an off-chain BTC transaction. The Reddit user Darkdeepths decided to utilize bitcoin cash for the experiment two days ago.

On-Chain BCH Used in a Submarine Swap for off-Chain BTC
Darkdeepths BCH for BTC submarine swap.

“I’m trustlessly swapping On-Chain BCH for Off-Chain BTC,” explains Darkdeepths. “I am fortunate enough to get a look at some of the cool submarine swap technology that Alex Bosworth is building — I decided I wanted to test turning some of my on-chain BCH to Lightning Network BTC.”

I created a Lightning wallet on and generated the Lightning invoice there. Alex already had channel capacity, so all I needed to do was enter the invoice and pay the script that he provided. His service also returned a payload with a redeem script and a block height after which I could claim a refund (in case things went south).

On-Chain BCH Used in a Submarine Swap for off-Chain BTC
Concepts like Plasma and Atomic Swaps have become more popular over the last year.

Atomic Swaps and Plasma Trading May Invigorate the Concept of Decentralized Exchanges

A few Bitcoin Cash proponents seemed to like the idea that on-chain BCH was swapped trustlessly for off-chain BTC. Darkdeepths experiment was a top post on the bitcoin-cash focused forum r/btc on August 9. Furthermore, Darkdeepths said he may try to reverse the process during his next test.   

“It was pretty exciting executing the swap with real assets,” Darkdeepths says.   

Thinking of trying the reverse soon (requesting BCH-on-chain for my BTC-on-LN). should work when the swap is initiated from either side of the trade.

Ideas like these make it possible for people to realize the possibilities of trustless trading and truly decentralized exchanges. Ideas like atomic swaps, and plasma are making it possible for traders to swap cryptocurrencies without a third party involved and many decentralized exchanges are basing their models on some form of cross-chain swaps.

What do you think about the individual who successfully swapped an on-chain BCH transaction for some off-chain BTC? Do you think concepts like these will be helpful for decentralized exchanges? Let us know your thoughts on this subject in the comment section below.

Images via Shutterstock, Pixabay, and Alex Bosworth’s Submarine Swap site. 

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The post On-Chain BCH Used in a Submarine Swap for Off-Chain BTC appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Bitcoin News

FBI told FISA court Steele wasn’t source of report used to justify surveilling Trump team, docs show

July 22, 2018 |

On at least four separate occassions, the FBI told the  Foreign Intelligence Surveillance (FISA) court that it “did not believe” DNC-funded ex-spy Christopher Steele was the source behind a Yahoo News article implicating former Trump aide Carter Page in Russian collusion.
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