Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image

| January 24, 2019

Scroll to top

Top

Wallet Archives -

Falcon Private Bank Launches Crypto Wallet With Support for Direct BTC and BCH Transfers

January 21, 2019 |

Falcon Private Bank Lauches Crypto Wallet with Support for Direct Transfers of BTC and BCH

Switzerland’s Falcon Private Bank has introduced a cryptocurrency wallet as well as support for direct transfers of BTC, BCH, ETH and LTC for private and institutional investors. The bank said investors can now directly transfer cryptocurrencies to and from its own “segregated Falcon wallets.” They can also convert their digital coins into cash.

Also read: Chile to Start Taxing Cryptocurrency Earnings in Second Quarter of 2019

‘Fully Bankable Blockchain Assets’

Falcon Private Bank Lauches Crypto Wallet with Support for Direct Transfers of BTC and BCHIn a press release published on Jan. 21, Falcon claimed that its latest offering “makes blockchain assets fully bankable.” The Zurich-based bank also claimed to provide secure storage thanks to its “proprietary custody solution.”

“Clients can place trading orders conveniently through e-banking or a dedicated relationship manager,” said Falcon. “Digital assets are included in portfolio statements as well as in tax reporting documents.”

The bank stated it had developed a process that ensures full compliance with Switzerland’s anti-money laundering and know-your-customer laws and regulations. It claimed to have a multi-level protection that covers hardware, software, and transaction processes. “Our custody solution has been audited and reviewed by independent providers,” Falcon detailed.

Martin Keller, chief executive officer of the Swiss private bank, commented:

Falcon has … demonstrated its expertize … in the digital assets space by merging traditional private banking services with innovative financial solutions.

 Progressive Switzerland Allows Crypto Firms to Flourish

Founded in 1965 as Ueberseebank, Falcon Private Bank is Switzerland’s 26th largest foreign-controlled bank by total assets. The bank has more than $ 15 billion worth of client assets under management and has offices in Abu Dhabi, Dubai, London and Zurich.

It was licensed as a bitcoin asset management company by the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA) in July 2017. However, the bank has reportedly set its minimum bitcoin investment threshold at two million Swiss francs ($ 2 million), cutting off many Swiss citizens from investing through it.

Falcon Private Bank Launches Crypto Wallet With Support for Direct BTC and BCH Transfers

Switzerland has taken a progressive stance toward cryptocurrencies by legalizing their use and formalizing crypto transactions in a range of different contexts. But some crypto projects still struggle to open bank accounts, and cryptocurrency-focused bankers and investors still complain about a relative lack of regulatory clarity, as it remains unclear whether cryptocurrencies can be considered legal tender in certain contexts.

Switzerland sees virtual money and blockchain technology as strategic innovations in global finance. It is therefore determined to maintain and expand the jobs it has to offer in the field. The country’s tax regulator views cryptocurrencies as assets that should be subject to wealth taxes and declared on annual tax returns.

What do you think about Falcon Bank’s new offering? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock.


Express yourself freely at Bitcoin.com’s user forums. We don’t censor on political grounds. Check forum.Bitcoin.com

The post Falcon Private Bank Launches Crypto Wallet With Support for Direct BTC and BCH Transfers appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Bitcoin News

Indonesian Unicorn Go-Jek Acquires Majority Stake in Filipino Crypto Wallet

January 20, 2019 |

Indonesian unicorn Go-Jek has announced a partnership between the company’s payments platform, Go-Pay, and Filipino cryptocurrency wallet Coins.ph. Local media has reported that the deal will see Coins.ph continue to run as usual, despite Go-Jek now owning a majority stake in the company.

Also Read: Executives of Korean Exchange Sentenced to Jail for Faking Volumes

Go-Jek Announces Partnership With Coins.ph

Go-Pay, the payments platform of Indonesia’s largest on-demand service platform, Go-Jek, has announced that it has entered into a partnership with Filipino wallet provider Coins.ph.

Indonesian Unicorn Go-Jek Acquires Majority Stake in Filipino Crypto Wallet

While specific details regarding the deal have not been officially disclosed, Manila Standard reported that the deal will include a “substantial acquisition” of shares by Go-Jek, giving the country a majority stake in Coins.ph. Citing two undisclosed industry sources, Techcrunch has reported that the deal saw Go-Jek pay $ 72 million for the shares.

Launched in Jakarta in 2011, Go-Jek now comprises Indonesia’s largest on-demand multi-service platform, with Krasia estimating the company’s most recent funding round to have boosted Go-Jek’s valuation to between $ 8 billion and $ 10 billion. More than half of all transactions processed by Go-Jek are conducted through Go-Pay.

Coins.ph has grown to support a customer base of over 5 million in less than five years of operating, with the company claiming to have processed 6 million cryptocurrency transactions during the month of December 2018.

Many Filipinos Lack Access to Basic Financial Services

The two companies have their eyes set on the Filipino market, where 77 percent of adult citizens do not have bank accounts. While few citizens have access to financial services, nearly 70 percent of Filipino citizens use mobile phones – a confluence of demographics that many analysts believe makes the Filipino market ripe for widespread cryptocurrency adoption.

Indonesian Unicorn Go-Jek Acquires Majority Stake in Filipino Crypto Wallet

Ron Hose, the founder and chief executive officer of Coins.ph, stated: “In just a few years, our team has been able to build a scalable service extending financial services to millions of Filipinos … Together we have a tremendous opportunity and by leveraging Go-Jek’s resources and expertize, we can give Filipinos even more convenience, choice, and access to the services they want.”

Aldi Haryopratomo, the chief executive officer of Go-Pay, stated: “We are excited to work with Coins.ph, a company that shares our ethos of empowering communities by bringing more people into the digital economy. Consumer transaction behavior in Indonesia and Philippine share many similarities, and together with Coins.ph, we hope to have similar success in accelerating cashless payments in the Philippines.”

What is your response to Go-Jek’s acquisition of a majority stake in Coins.ph? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!


Images courtesy of Shutterstock


At Bitcoin.com there’s a bunch of free helpful services. For instance, have you seen our Tools page? You can even lookup the exchange rate for a transaction in the past. Or calculate the value of your current holdings. Or create a paper wallet. And much more.

The post Indonesian Unicorn Go-Jek Acquires Majority Stake in Filipino Crypto Wallet appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Bitcoin News

Review: HTC’s Exodus 1 Is an Impressive Phone With a Basic Crypto Wallet

January 16, 2019 |

HTC's Blockchain Smartphone Can Be Ordered With Bitcoin

After weeks of delays and hundreds of frustrated customer messages in its Telegram channel, HTC finally shipped its “blockchain phone” on Jan. 14. The HTC Exodus 1 promises an array of features for cryptocurrency users, but the manufacturer couldn’t keep its promise to ship the devices in December. With the phones finally rolled out, news.Bitcoin.com unboxed one of the semi-transparent devices and put it through its paces.

Also read: These Developers Claim They Can Crack Any Hardware Wallet

The Exodus 1 Is a Big Phone With Grand Aspirations

There’s no mistaking the Exodus 1 when it slips out of its protective wrapping and into the palm of your hand. Even if you’ve hands like baseball mitts, you’ll struggle to operate this phone with one paw. Thankfully it’s got a feature called Edge Sense 2 which enables one-handed convenience by shrinking the visible screen when you double tap on the side of the phone. At 157 x 74 x 9.7 mm, 188 grams, and $ 750, the Android O-powered Exodus 1 is a phone that’s as hard on the pocket as it is on the wallet. For that $ 750, however (or rather its BTC, LTC, or ETH equivalent), you’re getting a whole lot of smartphone.

Review: HTC's Exodus 1 Is an Impressive Phone With a Basic Crypto Wallet
Big phones come in big boxes

While this review will focus on the cryptocurrency elements of the phone, we’ll start with the basics. Given that you’ll be using the Exodus 1 as a smartphone a lot more than you’ll be using it to send or receive crypto, it’s imperative that you can abide what it has to offer when compared to flagship Android phones such as the Goggle Pixel 3 ($ 799) or the Samsung Galaxy S9 ($ 720). The Exodus 1’s features include:

  • 6.0” Quad HD+ display with 18:9 aspect ratio
  • 3500mAh battery
  • 12MP + 16MP main camera with high quality zoom
  • 8MP+8MP dual front camera with natural bokeh
  • 4k/60fps 3D audio recording quality
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 processor
  • 6GB – DDR4x RAM
  • 128GB storage

The Exodus 1 has twice as much internal storage as the Galaxy S9, the same processor, and same resolution cameras. The Exodus 1’s battery is the same size as the larger S9+ and has the same 6GB of RAM, while both phones are of similar dimensions. Samsung’s S9 and S9+ are both 1.2mm slimmer than the HTC however. The Google Pixel 3 only has 4GB of RAM, a smaller battery and the same processor as the Exodus 1. The Pixel 3 does have some things in its favor though: its main camera, while lower resolution, is arguably better than the Exodus 1’s, it’s slimmer, at just 7.9mm, it has an eSIM, which some users may prefer, and runs a newer version of Android.

Review: HTC's Exodus 1 Is an Impressive Phone With a Basic Crypto Wallet
Unboxing the Exodus 1

With the Exodus 1, you’re getting a phone that can match Samsung and Google’s leading models pound for pound in most areas. Aside from being a little bulkier, there’s not much between the handsets performance-wise. The question, then, is whether the HTC’s exclusive feature – a built-in cryptocurrency hardware wallet, with the key stored in a secure enclave – justifies choosing the Exodus 1.

Take a Trip to Zion

Review: HTC's Exodus 1 Is an Impressive Phone With a Basic Crypto Wallet
Zion crypto wallet

Zion is the name of the wallet app that comes pre-loaded on the Exodus 1 and, while limited in functionality, it works just fine. It is beyond the scope of this reviewer to determine whether the “secure enclave,” separated from the rest of the phone’s operations, makes Zion more secure than the average crypto wallet app. “Theoretically” is the likeliest answer, though that’s probably a matter for the Wallet Fail team to resolve. The Zion wallet supports BTC, LTC, ETH, some ERC721 tokens, and ERC20s such as BAT, the latter the native token of the Brave browser, which also comes installed.

Sending and receiving cryptocurrencies is easy, and the UX is reasonable. The collectibles section of the wallet is less scintillating though; import a Cryptokittie and all you’ll get is a small thumbnail of the cat, with no ability to view it full-screen or read its “cattributes.” It’s all very meh. From a privacy perspective, the Zion wallet isn’t great either. There’s no ability to create new addresses, for instance, so you’re stuck with the same three wallets for BTC, LTC, and ETH unless you chose to create an entirely new 12-word seed and install a fresh wallet.

Review: HTC's Exodus 1 Is an Impressive Phone With a Basic Crypto Wallet
Crypto collectibles viewed in the Zion app

The social recovery option, enabling you to select trusted friends to help restore the wallet in the event of phone loss, is a welcome touch. While this presents an additional attack vector, it’s a trade-off cryptocurrency users may be willing to make in return for having access to crypto on the go. There are clear drawbacks to owning a blockchain phone of course. The very fact that you have one suggests you have crypto stored on it, which instantly makes you a target. If you’re lazy and have enabled fingerprint access to your wallet, a physical attacker or law enforcement could gain entry without too much trouble.

A Solid Phone That’s Likely to Get Better

iPhone owners are unlikely to swoon over the Exodus 1, but if you’re an Android user who’s due an upgrade, the mere act of switching to a new handset running a current OS and that’s fully equipped with the latest spec makes the Exodus 1 a pleasure to use. Features such as squeeze force, which will open the camera or shrink the screen when you grip or tap the side of the phone, are very nifty. Edge Sense will also ensure the phone doesn’t time out when held in your hand, and the rear fingerprint sensor is responsive and well positioned.

The biggest drawback to the Exodus 1 – the lackluster cryptocurrency wallet – could and likely will be improved through software updates. Even if advanced features were to be added, and the number of supported cryptocurrencies was to increase, however, you’re unlikely to hold much funds in the Zion wallet. Secure enclave or otherwise, it’s debatable whether the Exodus 1’s wallet is any more robust than the leading crypto wallet apps it’s competing against.  

Review: HTC's Exodus 1 Is an Impressive Phone With a Basic Crypto Wallet
The back of the Exodus 1 is fully transparent

While a little industrial in places, the Exodus 1 is a significantly slicker device than Sirin Labs’ “Finney” blockchain phone and can stake a claim for being the leading smartphone in what is still a very small vertical. Whatever the fate of the Exodus 1, it’s likely this won’t be the last time we see a hardware manufacturer targeting the crypto crowd. In fact, with Samsung’s trademark filings suggesting it’s thinking of following suit, blockchain phones could soon go from being niche to the norm.

What are your thoughts on the Exodus 1 phone? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock.


Disclaimer: Bitcoin.com does not endorse nor support this product/service.

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 is 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.

The post Review: HTC’s Exodus 1 Is an Impressive Phone With a Basic Crypto Wallet appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Bitcoin News

The Daily: Critical Bug Found in Beam Wallet, Wirex Adds Another Cryptocurrency

January 11, 2019 |

The Daily: Critical Bug Found in the Beam Wallet, Wirex Adds Another Cryptocurrency

In Friday’s edition of The Daily, we cover the news about a vulnerability found in the Beam Wallet days after the launch of the Mimblewimble-based coin. Also, crypto card provider Wirex has added waves to its list of supported cryptocurrencies, and digital asset exchange Exmo has registered an increase in the number of Belarusian users following Binance’s move to restrict their access to its platform.

Also read: Trust Wallet Adds BCH, 35,000 Merchants Get Access to Crypto Payments

Critical Vulnerability in the Beam Wallet

The Daily: Critical Bug Found in Beam Wallet, Wirex Adds Another CryptocurrencyThe developers of Beam, a new privacy-centric coin based on the Mimblewimble protocol, have found a critical vulnerability in their Beam Wallet. The bug affects all previously released wallets in both the desktop and the CLI version, the company behind the project announced on Twitter. The problem has been fixed and Beam said in a post on Medium it’s currently working with providers to upgrade their systems.

In another tweet, the Beam dev team asked all users to stop currently running Beam Wallets immediately. However, according to the message, they should not delete the wallet’s database, as the bug does not affect wallet data, secret keys or passwords. Instead, they need to uninstall the wallet, download it again from the website beam.mw/downloads and install the new application.

Beam was launched on Jan. 3, becoming the first coin based on Mimblewimble, a protocol originally developed in 2016 to improve the scalability of the Bitcoin network and enhance the privacy of its users. The cryptocurrency is already available for trading on the decentralized platform Bisq which promised to also add Grin, another Mimblewimble coin expected to launch on mainnet by the end of this month.

 

Wirex Adds Support for Waves

The Daily: Critical Bug Found in Beam Wallet, Wirex Adds Another CryptocurrencyThe popular online bank and crypto debit card issuer Wirex has added another coin to its list of supported cryptocurrencies. Users of the Wirex platform in the European Economic Area (EEA) can now buy, store, convert and spend waves with their Wirex Visa cards, the U.K.-based company announced in a blog post. The service also supports bitcoin core (BTC), litecoin (LTC), ripple (XRP) and ether (ETH).

“The introduction of the waves wallet to Wirex is an exciting development for both crypto-investors and our globetrotting Wirex Visa card users,” co-founder Pavel Matveev commented. “For travel, welcoming waves to your portfolio means that you can enjoy a wider choice of currencies to exchange from and store,” his partner Dmitry Lazarichev added.

Last month Wirex completed the introduction of Iban support for all EUR accounts. EEA users can now fund their account by bank transfer and receive euro payments. The fintech startup also raised the funding limits for account holders in the EEA to £15,000, €16,000 and $ 20,000. The company is now planning an expansion into North American markets.

Belarusian Traders Migrate From Binance to Exmo

The Daily: Critical Bug Found in Beam Wallet, Wirex Adds Another CryptocurrencyThe analytics department of Exmo, the largest cryptocurrency exchanges in Eastern Europe, has detected a six-fold increase in the number of registered users from Belarus in December, crypto news outlet Let Know reports. Exmo’s team attributed the influx of new traders to Binance’s decision to restrict access to its platform for the residents of a number of countries under sanctions, including Belarus.

In late November, Binance, which is currently the largest digital asset exchange by daily trading volume, informed its Belarussian users that its services will no longer be available in their country. In correspondence to customers from Belarus, the exchange urged them to read the latest version of its Terms of Use. Under the new ToU agreement, traders acknowledge and declare they are not on any trade or economic sanctions lists, such as those prepared by the U.N. Security Council and the Office of Foreign Assets Control of the U.S. Treasury Department (OFAC).

Since its launch five years ago, Exmo has registered 1.5 million users. According to the report, its daily trading volume reaches $ 40 million. The exchange, which supports trading pairs with fiat currencies such as the Russian ruble and the Ukrainian hryvnia, is currently 56th in Coinmarketcap’s volume rankings, with a daily volume touching $ 20 million.

What are your thoughts on today’s news tidbits? Tell us in the comments section.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Beam, Wirex.


At Bitcoin.com there’s a bunch of free helpful services. For instance, have you seen our Tools page? You can even lookup the exchange rate for a transaction in the past. Or calculate the value of your current holdings. Or create a paper wallet. And much more.

The post The Daily: Critical Bug Found in Beam Wallet, Wirex Adds Another Cryptocurrency appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Bitcoin News

Review: Wasabi’s Privacy-Focused BTC Wallet Aims to Make Bitcoin Fungible Again

January 9, 2019 |

Review: Wasabi’s Privacy-focused BTC Wallet Aims to Make Bitcoin Fungible Again

Privacy is relative, but by many people’s reckoning, bitcoin could use greater anonymity. The Bitcoin Core protocol hasn’t changed much over the past decade, but the tools used to forensically inspect it have. In a bid to reclaim some of that eroding privacy, a number of fungibility-enhancing tools have been released by open source developers. Wasabi’s desktop BTC wallet incorporates a number of these to good effect.

Also read: Report Claims Central Banks Are Cautious About Issuing Their Own Digital Currencies

A Little Wasabi to Heat up the Privacy Battle

Review: Wasabi’s Privacy-focused BTC Wallet Aims to Make Bitcoin Fungible AgainPseudonymity isn’t easy in an age of enhanced surveillance, increased KYC/AML checks, and ever-improving forensics tools. It also isn’t helped by poor opsec practices, such as recycling wallet addresses due to laziness. Wasabi Wallet makes it easier for privacy-minded bitcoiners to protect their identity while still benefiting from the superior security, liquidity, and adoption that the BTC network holds over other cryptocurrencies.

In a Reddit AMA on Jan. 7, Wasabi co-founder “nopara73” spoke cogently about the importance of privacy and of its need to operate at “the highest layer, which directly interacts with the user.” Espousing the mantra that “anonymity loves company,” Wasabi utilizes Chaumian Coinjoin, making it the first BTC wallet to trial the coin-shuffling tech. In addition, the non-custodial wallet incorporates a number of other features, including Tor connection, that are designed to keep users cognizant of the importance of privacy and the steps they can take to heighten this.

A Wasabi Wallet Walkthrough

While available for Mac, Windows, and Linux, Wasabi does not offer a mobile wallet – and as “nopara73” acknowledged in his AMA, it’s unlikely to get one anytime soon. For technical and fungible reasons, Wasabi Wallet is bech32 only, which should only present a problem when receiving funds from an exchange that has yet to adopt this address format. If you’re using Wasabi, however, you’re probably not the sort to be loading your wallet with funds sent from a centralized exchange.

Review: Wasabi’s Privacy-focused BTC Wallet Aims to Make Bitcoin Fungible Again
Setting up Wasabi Wallet

Despite the slew of advanced features that Wasabi packs, the wallet is no harder to operate than any other desktop client. The interface is easy to grasp, the onscreen prompts are intuitive, and the setup process is no more convoluted than that of any other desktop BTC wallet such as Electrum. After noting down your 12-word seed, you’ll be given the option of importing an existing wallet or creating a new one. I went for the former option and, after creating a bech32 address, sent some bitcoin there for test purposes.

Review: Wasabi’s Privacy-focused BTC Wallet Aims to Make Bitcoin Fungible Again
Wasabi enforces a new address each time you need to receive funds

One neat thing about Wasabi is that it rates the privacy level of each transaction; in this case my test send scored poorly due to reuse of the sending address. It is little touches like this which help to subtly reinforce the many ways in which bitcoiners can enhance their privacy and increase the fungibility of their coins.

Enhanced Privacy for Those Who Need It

For users interested in optimizing their privacy when using Wasabi, the project’s Reddit page is a good place to start. Popular posts include video tutorials on anonymizing bitcoins with the aid of the open source wallet. It’s fair to say that many of Wasabi’s earliest adopters have been privacy advocates, libertarians, and anyone else with a distaste for the insidious KYC that’s enshrouded the cryptocurrency landscape.

Each time you prepare to receive funds into your Wasabi wallet, you’re forced to create a new address to give to the sender. Then, when it comes to sending funds from Wasabi, there’s the option of selecting which of your multiple addresses you wish to despatch coins from. Alternatively, you can queue your BTC in Coinjoin, where it will be masked through mixing it with other transactions. The more users who queue their coins, the greater the anonymity enjoyed by everyone, so there’s an incentive for mass participation.

Review: Wasabi’s Privacy-focused BTC Wallet Aims to Make Bitcoin Fungible Again
Transactions are rated for privacy

Wasabi won’t be for everyone or for every instance of sending or receiving bitcoin. As a wallet for hodling, however, and for periodically sending or receiving BTC, it acquits itself very well. After using Wasabi for a few days you’ll be more mindful of the various ways in which privacy can be increased. Should you then return to using your regular bitcoin wallet, don’t be surprised if you feel naked, deprived of the comforting cloak of Wasabi’s transaction obfuscation tools. Wasabi Wallet isn’t the last word in bitcoin privacy, but it’s a solid start. Expect to be hearing a lot more about this non-custodial wallet in 2019.

Have you tried Wasabi and if so what was your experience of using it? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock and Wasabi.


Disclaimer: Bitcoin.com does not endorse nor support this product/service.

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 is 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.

The post Review: Wasabi’s Privacy-Focused BTC Wallet Aims to Make Bitcoin Fungible Again appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Bitcoin News

Google Play Store Forces Samourai Wallet to Remove Security Features

January 8, 2019 |

Google Play Store Forces Samourai Wallet to Remove Security Features

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.

Also read: Indian Supreme Court Moves Crypto Hearing, Community Calls for Positive Regulations

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.

Google Play Store Forces Samourai Wallet to Remove Security FeaturesThe 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.”

Google Play Store Forces Samourai Wallet to Remove Security FeaturesOne 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

Google Play Store Forces Samourai Wallet to Remove Security FeaturesThe 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.


Need to calculate your bitcoin holdings? Check our tools section.

The post Google Play Store Forces Samourai Wallet to Remove Security Features appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Bitcoin News

Ledger Unveils Bluetooth-Enabled Hardware Wallet

January 7, 2019 |

Ledger Unveils Bluetooth-Enabled Hardware Wallet

Hardware wallet manufacturer Ledger has unveiled its newest cryptocurrency wallet. The Ledger Nano X is Bluetooth-enabled and can hold up to 100 different cryptocurrencies at a time. A mobile app is also being launched for both iOS and Android to pair the device to smartphones.

Also read: Indian Supreme Court Moves Crypto Hearing, Community Calls for Positive Regulations

Newest Ledger Wallet

Ledger Unveils Bluetooth-Enabled Hardware WalletLedger unveiled its new cryptocurrency hardware wallet on Sunday at the annual Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas. The company then wrote on its website on Monday:

The Ledger Nano X is Bluetooth enabled. Connect it to your smartphone with Ledger Live Mobile app and safely transact anywhere. All Bluetooth communications are encrypted end-to-end to protect against any security threat.

Ledger Unveils Bluetooth-Enabled Hardware WalletThe new wallet has been redesigned and can be pre-ordered starting on Monday. It is priced at $ 119 and is expected to start shipping in March. The company will also launch a mobile app, the Ledger Live Mobile, for both iOS and Android platforms.

The Nano X joins Ledger’s two existing consumer hardware wallets: the Nano S and the Ledger Blue. The former currently retails for $ 59 and the latter $ 269.99. The company claims in its Monday’s announcement that over 1.5 million Ledger Nano S devices have been sold worldwide. The Nano X is only available in one color at present while the Nano S comes in six colors.

About Ledger Nano X

According to Ledger, up to 100 cryptocurrency apps can be installed on the Nano X at the same time. The device also supports over 1,100 assets with more to be added each month. In comparison, the Nano S can simultaneously run up to 18 cryptocurrency applications with support for only 40 assets in total.

Ledger Unveils Bluetooth-Enabled Hardware Wallet
Ledger Nano X

Unlike its predecessor which draws power through a USB cable, the Nano X has a 100mAh built-in battery to power it for wireless use. Several security improvements are listed on Ledger’s website for the latest model, and the company explained that private keys stored on the new device are isolated inside its EAL5+ certified secure storage chip.

With dimensions of 72mm x 18.6mm x 11.75mm, the Nano X is shorter but slightly wider than the Nano S which measures 98mm x 18mm x 9mm. However, at 34g, it is over twice as heavy as the Nano S which weighs 16.2g, Ledger’s website details.

Ledger Unveils Bluetooth-Enabled Hardware Wallet

Navigation on the new model is also improved due to its larger, round buttons on the face of the device compared to two small buttons located at the top of the Nano S. Ledger further described that the new device has “Bigger screen for an improved experience.”

In addition to the wallet itself, the Nano X will come with a USB cable, a getting started leaflet and a recovery sheet.

Ledger Unveils Bluetooth-Enabled Hardware Wallet

What do you think of the Ledger Nano X? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock and Ledger.


Need to calculate your bitcoin holdings? Check our tools section.

The post Ledger Unveils Bluetooth-Enabled Hardware Wallet appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Bitcoin News

The Daily: Cointext Offers Philippines BCH Wallet, Beam Launches Mimblewimble Coin

January 4, 2019 |

The Daily: Cointext Offers BCH Wallet in the Philippines, Beam Launches Mimblewimble Coin

Cointext’s SMS bitcoin cash wallet is now available in the Philippines and we’ve got the details below. Also in The Daily on Friday, the first Mimblewimble coin has been launched by Beam and crypto exchange Binance reintroduces its platform for token sales, Launchpad, which will host the Bittorrent token generation event.

Also read: New York Establishes Crypto Task Force, Novogratz Buys More of Galaxy Digital

Cointext Services Now Available to Filipinos

Cointext, a platform that enables users to transfer cryptocurrency offline using simple text messages, has launched its service in another new market. The SMS bitcoin cash (BCH) wallet is now available in the Philippines, a country with a population of over 100 million people and a large diaspora around the world.

The Cointext wallet allows anyone with even a basic mobile device that supports text messages to send electronic cash to other phone numbers or BCH addresses. What’s more, to receive the money, the recipients don’t even need to download a wallet, install an application, set up an account or have access to the internet.

These features are behind Cointext’s growing popularity in countries where modern smartphones are available to a small portion of the population and the majority of telecom subscribers still use traditional mobile phones. Cointext also appeals to residents of countries that receive a lot of remittances from abroad, from Brazil to Romania.

The Daily: Cointext Offers Philippines BCH Wallet, Beam Launches Mimblewimble Coin

“The ability to send value over SMS is tailormade for the Philippines,” said Cointext founder and CTO Vin Armani, as quoted by Prweb. “Remittances are a big part of the economy and Filipinos are already big adopters of cryptocurrency, especially bitcoin cash.”

Armani added that the country has many cryptocurrency exchanges and that “makes using cryptocurrency for remittances a no-brainer” as it allows easy conversion to local fiat, the Philippine peso. With Cointext, Filipinos will also be able to make cross border transfers at much lower costs, in comparison with traditional services.

With the addition of the Philippines, the number of markets where Cointext is currently available grows to a total of 39. New users in the country can get a Cointext wallet by texting START or SIMULAN to the access number 639221101037.

Mimblewimble Coin Beam Launched

The Daily: Cointext Offers Philippines BCH Wallet, Beam Launches Mimblewimble CoinOn the 10th anniversary of Bitcoin’s genesis block, a new privacy-oriented coin based on its blockchain was launched. Beam, which is issued by an Israeli startup, uses Mimblewimble, a protocol that was originally developed in 2016 with the aim of both improving the scalability of the Bitcoin network and increasing the privacy of its users. Its developers eventually concluded they needed to create a separate Mimblewimble cryptocurrency.

Another project called Grin was the first to start work on a crypto utilizing the protocol. However, Beam became the first to attract venture capital financing to issue a Mimblewimble coin. Grin is now scheduled to launch in mid-January, as news.Bitcoin.com reported last month.

According to an announcement on Medium, Beam’s mainnet release contains the following components for Linux, Mac, and Windows devices: desktop wallet app that includes a CPU miner node, CLI wallet and Beam node. A standalone Opencl miner and a standalone Cuda miner are available for Linux and Windows-based systems.

Binance Launchpad to Host Bittorrent Token Sale

The Daily: Cointext Offers Philippines BCH Wallet, Beam Launches Mimblewimble CoinBinance, currently the largest cryptocurrency exchange by daily trading volume, is reinstating Launchpad, its platform dedicated to token sales. Launchpad was initially introduced in August of 2017 with the Bread and Gifto sales. The exchange has just announced that Binance Launchpad will be featuring new projects in 2019.

According to the release, Launchpad will start with two projects: Bittorrent and Fetch.ai. “Further announcements for each upcoming project launch will be made in the coming weeks,” the exchange added.

Verified Binance users will be able to buy the tokens using bitcoin core (BTC), ethereum (ETH) and binance coin (BNB). Residents of the U.S., China and South Korea won’t be able to participate due to regulatory restrictions.

Bittorrent recently announced its new digital coin which will be offered through a token sale conducted on Binance Launchpad. The Bittorrent token (BTT) will be based on the protocol developed by Tron, which acquired Bittorrent last summer.

What are your thoughts on today’s news tidbits? Tell us in the comments section.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Smartmockups, Beam.


Make sure you do not miss any important Bitcoin-related news! Follow our news feed any which way you prefer; via Twitter, Facebook, Telegram, RSS or email (scroll down to the bottom of this page to subscribe). We’ve got daily, weekly and quarterly summaries in newsletter form. Bitcoin never sleeps. Neither do we.

The post The Daily: Cointext Offers Philippines BCH Wallet, Beam Launches Mimblewimble Coin appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Bitcoin News

The Daily: Wallet Brings Bitcoin to Facebook, Fortnite Store Accepts Crypto

January 2, 2019 |

The Daily: Wallet Brings Bitcoin to Facebook, Fortnite Store Accepts Crypto

In this edition of The Daily, crypto wallet Lite.im, which is integrated with popular messengers, has added support for BTC. Also, the online store selling Fortnite merchandise now accepts monero and esports company Unikrn has launched a crypto betting platform using technology from Bittrex.  

Also read: Best Selling Authors Introduce Bitcoin to Followers

Crypto Wallet Lite.im Adds Support for BTC

The Daily: Wallet Brings Bitcoin to Facebook, Fortnite Store Accepts CryptoLite.im, a cryptocurrency wallet that allows users to transact via Facebook Messenger, Telegram and SMS, has recently announced it’s adding support for bitcoin core (BTC). The service launched in August last year with three coins – ethereum (ETH), litecoin (LTC), and its native token, ZTX.

To take advantage of the service, users communicate with a chatbot which can send and receive digital assets on their behalf and provide information about current balances and transaction history. The platform manages private keys on behalf of users, encrypted and protected with a password.

Although this format is not the most secure way to store and transfer digital money, the wallet may appeal to frequent users of the popular messaging apps. Its developers, from Zulu Republic, have previously stated their main goal is to help spread the use of cryptocurrencies.

The announcement published on Twitter and Medium followed recently resurfaced rumors that Facebook is planning to launch its own stablecoin for payments and transactions within its ecosystem. Telegram, the most popular messenger in the crypto community, has been developing a token called Gram for its TON network, and a company called Cointext offers an SMS BCH wallet to users in a growing number of markets.

Fortnite Online Store Accepts Cryptocurrency

The Daily: Wallet Brings Bitcoin to Facebook, Fortnite Store Accepts CryptoThe merchandise store of the popular video game Fortnite has added a cryptocurrency to its payment options. The platform, Fortnite Retail Row, has started accepting payments in the privacy-centric coin monero (XMR). No official announcement has been made yet but the news was shared by gamers on Reddit and by Monero developer Riccardo Spagni on Twitter.

Fortnite, which was released by Epic Games in the summer of 2017, now has millions of players around the world. A poll conducted among teenagers in the U.S. last year listed the game’s virtual currency, V-bucks, among the most favored Christmas gifts, along with cryptocurrency, fiat cash and gift cards.

Fortnite’s online store accepts monero through Globee. The payments processor supports transactions in a number of cryptocurrencies including bitcoin core (BTC), ethereum (ETH), litecoin (LTC) and ripple (XRP). However, monero is currently the only coin available as a payment option for the Retail Row products.

Unikrn Enables Crypto Bets on Cybersports

The Daily: Wallet Brings Bitcoin to Facebook, Fortnite Store Accepts CryptoEsports company Unikrn has recently launched a new service that allows users to place cryptocurrency wagers on cybersports events. The betting platform, called Umode, supports online crypto bets on competitive tournaments of popular skill-based video games such as Fortnite, Dota 2 and League of Legends.

“The system allows users of any skill level to place a bet and play a fair match using the games’ built-in matchmaking rankings,” Unikrn CEO Rahul Sood explained for Games Beat. Sood is also the founder of gaming PC company Voodoo.

The bookmaking service is now live in 41 U.S. states and other markets around the world, Venturebeat and Esportsinsider reported. The company says the platform is based on a proprietary distributed ledger technology, for which a patent is currently pending. It also features technology from U.S. crypto exchange Bittrex.

Unikrn has already acquired a crypto gambling license from the Isle of Man. Sood added that the license allows it to offer spectator betting on esports matches as well as skill-based betting on players’ own gameplay against others.

What are your thoughts on today’s news tidbits? Tell us in the comments section.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Fortnite.


Make sure you do not miss any important Bitcoin-related news! Follow our news feed any which way you prefer; via Twitter, Facebook, Telegram, RSS or email (scroll down to the bottom of this page to subscribe). We’ve got daily, weekly and quarterly summaries in newsletter form. Bitcoin never sleeps. Neither do we.

The post The Daily: Wallet Brings Bitcoin to Facebook, Fortnite Store Accepts Crypto appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Bitcoin News

The Daily: Wallet Hacking Debate Heats Up, Bitcoin-Based Patreon Alternative Emerges

December 29, 2018 |

The Daily: Wallet Hacking Debate Heats Up, Bitcoin-Based Patreon Alternative Emerges

To kickstart the weekend, we’ve curated a handful of short but compelling stories from across the crypto sphere. First up, we’ll revisit the fallout from Wallet Fail’s demonstration of hardware wallet cracking. We’ll then move on to a Patreon alternative that’s powered by cryptocurrency and a viral tweetstorm about everything that’s allegedly wrong with Ethereum.

Also read: Blockchain Company Buys Spanish Soccer Club, Cementing Crypto-Sports Connection

More Hardware Wallet Manufacturers Respond to Hacking Claims

As we reported yesterday, a team known as Wallet Fail have captured attention after demonstrating how to crack several cryptocurrency hardware wallets. Ledger and Trezor, the manufacturers whose devices were exploited at the 35C3 conference, were swift to issue rebuttals and reassurances, emphasizing the impracticality of an attacker implementing one of Wallet Fail’s methods in the wild. Since we reported on the story, a number of other hardware wallet companies have also responded to the presentation.

The Daily: Wallet Hacking Debate Heats Up, Bitcoin-Based Patreon Alternative Emerges
The Coldcard hardware wallet

“Keepkey did not have prior knowledge of this vulnerability through our responsible disclosure program,” tweeted the wallet manufacturer, but explained that “The Keepkey dev team is working on a fix.” They then stressed that “all users should make sure their physical device is in a safe place, as the attacker must have physical access to be successful.” Coldcard, meanwhile, pointed out that its own device wasn’t referenced in Wallet Fail’s presentation, and used the opportunity to boast that, unlike the competition, its own wallet doesn’t fail. The Wallet Fail team, for its part, has denied allegations that it didn’t disclose the vulnerabilities it found to manufacturers in advance of its presentation:

Bitcoin-Based Patreon Alternative Tallycoin Takes Off

In the wake of widespread controversy over Patreon liberally banning content creators, a bitcoin-based alternative has begun to gain traction. Tallycoin takes the model popularized by Patreon and Gofundme and adapts it for P2P cash in the form of BTC. Unlike Patreon, which charges 5 percent, Tallycoin takes zero fees, with all funding going directly to the creator’s bitcoin wallet. Regular BTC and Lightning Network payments are accepted, and while the user interface is simple, the platform demonstrates the potential for a censorship-resistant Patreon alternative.

The Daily: Wallet Hacking Debate Heats Up, Bitcoin-Based Patreon Alternative Emerges

Tuur Demeester’s Anti-Ethereum Rant Goes Viral

On Friday, prominent bitcoiner Tuur Demeester embarked on a 50-strong Twitter rant about everything he deemed to be wrong with Ethereum. From scaling to decentralization and from use cases to monetary supply, he left no stone unturned, describing the project as “at best a science experiment.” “I agree with Ethereum developer Vlad Zamfir that it’s not money, not safe, and not scalable,” he continued.

Demonstrating that there are two sides to every tweetstorm, Bryant Eisenbach issued a point-by-point rebuttal of Demeester’s lengthy indictment on Ethereum. While Adamant Capital founder Tuur Demeester’s rant caught plenty of flak from Ethereum proponents, Bitcoin maximalists such as Jimmy Song were swift to endorse his critique. The thread also prompted intense discussion on the Ethereum subreddit where a few feathers were rustled.

Kraken Launches BCH and XRP Margin Trading

Finally, margin trading for bitcoin cash and ripple has been enabled on Kraken. The U.S. cryptocurrency exchange now enables retail and institutional clients to obtain leverage on both coins, with the borrowing limit depending on the level of the account in question. Bitcoin cash can be traded with up to 3x leverage and ripple with 5x.

What are your thoughts on today’s news tidbits as featured in The Daily? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock.


Need to calculate your bitcoin holdings? Check our tools section.

The post The Daily: Wallet Hacking Debate Heats Up, Bitcoin-Based Patreon Alternative Emerges appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Bitcoin News