Month: January 2019

How Bitcoin Could Help Iran Undermine U.S. Sanctions

The Treasury’s move came after the Justice Department had indicted two other Iranians on charges of having used ‘‘Samsam’’ ransomware in a sophisticated scheme of attacks on American hospitals, government agencies and the city of Atlanta. The two men, Faramarz Shahi Savandi and Mohammad Mehdi Shah Mansouri, are now wanted by the F.B.I. and are thought to be hiding in Iran.

During the attack on Atlanta, one of the most serious cyberattacks against a major American city, the pair broke into its computer systems and held the data hostage, eventually ransoming it for about $51,000 worth of Bitcoin. They made around $6 million in Bitcoin from the attacks, prosecutors said.

When the hackers wanted to exchange their Bitcoin for Iranian rials they contacted two local traders through WhatsApp. The traders, Ali Khorashadizadeh, 29, and Mohammad Ghorbaniyan, 31, exchanged some into rials.

When on Nov. 28 a friend told Mr. Ghorbaniyan his name was in the news, he thought it was a mistake. He discovered that the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control had placed him and Mr. Khorashadizadeh under sanctions, as well as the Bitcoin addresses they had used. Those addresses had been linked to their websites, making their names traceable.

“Please let it be known that, like every trader or bank, I have no knowledge how my clients get their money,” Mr. Ghorbaniyan said. “I just trade. I’m not a hacker. I have nothing to do with those guys.”

By the next week, however, Mr. Ghorbaniyan was back in business, using a new — this time anonymous — Bitcoin address he created in five minutes. “Perhaps my name remains sanctioned, but we don’t use names online,” he said.

Mr. Ghorbaniyan said his only mistake had been making his Bitcoin address public. “Basically, Treasury just Googled me,” he said. “I’m not making the same mistake again.”

Read more at www.nytimes.com

Ravencoin (RVN) Review – A P2P Blockchain for Asset Exchange & Creation

Ravencoin Key Information
Name Ravencoin
Ticker RVN
Total Supply 21,000,000,000
Initial Price $0.026
Category Computing
Website URL Go to Ravencoin.org
Resources Read Ravencoin WhitePaper

A free and open-source platform built on a fork of Bitcoin, Ravencoin was developed as a blockchain and platform for the free peer-to-peer transfer of assets. Launched on January 3, 2018, the coin is both mineable yet ASIC resistant, with a messaging and voting system embedded into its…

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Albania and Cryptocurrency, Not a Sensible Combination – Exit

Over the past few months there have been multiple reports that the Albanian government are considering making the country a “crypto-friendly” jurisdiction.

Various posts on crypto-news websites have spoken of the government mulling over crypto-regulation in a bid to become a regional hub for the controversial industry. The official line is that they hope to create new jobs and diversify investment opportunities in the industry.

Despite having previously and recently issued warnings…

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Ugandan firm uses blockchain to trace coffee from farms to stores

KAMPALA (Reuters) – An Ugandan company has started using blockchain, the technology behind virtual currency Bitcoin, to certify shipments of coffee to try to meet growing demand from consumers for more information about where products have come from.

FILE PHOTO: A worker displays washed and fermented coffee beans as they dry on coffee beds at the Tilamo cooperative of Shebedino district in Sidama, Ethiopia November 29, 2018.. REUTERS/Maheder Haileselassie/File Photo

Carico Café Connoisseur said the move could help to boost farmers’ incomes, as consumers are usually prepared to pay more for goods that can been traced back to their origins.

Blockchain works by providing a shared record of data held by a network of individual computers rather than a single party. Its supporters say this makes it hard to tamper with, and so a secure way to track goods along the supply chain

Carico Café Connoisseur CEO Mwambu Wanendeya told Reuters a blockchain-certified shipment of one of its coffee products, Bugisu Blue, arrived in South Africa last month. He declined to give the size of the shipment, but said it was several tonnes.

Uganda is Africa’s largest coffee exporter followed by Ethiopia, according to the International Coffee Organisation, and has some of the world’s highest quality beans. It predominantly cultivates the robusta variety, but also has extensive fields of arabica trees.

Limited domestic processing capacity means the country exports nearly all of its beans in raw form.

The blockchain certification means consumers can trace the coffee’s journey by using their smartphones to scan the product’s QR codes or via the certification site provenance.org.

Every step of the beans’ journey – from when farmers drop them off at collection centers to warehousing, inspection by regulators and shipping – is recorded.

“The idea is to give the consumer an appreciation of what happens on the journey and also to ensure that there’s more linkages with the farmer,”…

Read more at www.reuters.com

Beam’s blockchain stopped temporarily due to an incorrect UTXO commitment

Beam, the privacy coin implementing the MimbleWimble protocol, announced via its Twitter that Beam’s blockchain stopped at block 25,709 and that the team is investigating and will release an update. Two hours later, Beam tweeted that the issue was identified and a fix was found. It also reassured the Beam holders that funds were safe. A little more than an hour later, the Beam team committed the fix on Github.

The team released the new binaries here. A blog post described the bug as a “rare scenario [that] resulted from the untypical (yet valid), wallet usage pattern which caused the nodes to fail to mine the next block after height 25709.” The team applied the fix to the flaw in the block construction code, which generated a wrong commitment to the UTXO state.

Users became concerned with the shutdown after Beam found a seemingly unrelated critical vulnerability in the Beam Wallet a few weeks ago. The issue was fixed by uninstalling the wallet and reinstalling the patched version.

Read more at www.theblockcrypto.com

Proposed License Requirements End Anonymous Crypto Selling and Buying in the Netherlands

Pete Hoekstra, the Netherlands’ Minister of Finance, has received official advice that a licensing system should be introduced for crypto services, Dutch media outlet Nederlandse Omroep Stichting (NOS) reports on Jan. 18.

Hoekstra reportedly requested advice about cryptocurrencies from the Netherlands’ Authority for the Financial Markets and the local central bank, De Nederlandsche Bank, at the beginning of last year.

The minister announced that he started working in accordance with the…

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Denmark Looking to Forfeit Taxes related to Cryptocurrency Trading

According to a statement published by the tax agency of Denmark, Monday (Jan 14), cryptocurrency trading will soon be taxed in Denmark. Furthermore, the country’s tax agency is now fully authorized to conduct information requests relating to cryptocurrency trading

New Authority

Seemingly, the Danish Tax Authority has made the move after receiving information from their Finnish counterpart in December 2018.

The Finish authorities heightened their counterpart’s awareness regarding the…

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Denmark Looking to Forfeit Taxes related to Cryptocurrency Trading

According to a statement published by the tax agency of Denmark, Monday (Jan 14), cryptocurrency trading will soon be taxed in Denmark. Furthermore, the country’s tax agency is now fully authorized to conduct information requests relating to cryptocurrency trading

New Authority

Seemingly, the Danish Tax Authority has made the move after receiving information from their Finnish counterpart in December 2018.

The Finish authorities heightened their counterpart’s awareness regarding the…

Read more…

HSBC Aims to Sidetrack CLS With Blockchain Tech

While the cryptocurrency market is looking to find its footing, blockchain technology continues to show promise. UK bank HSBC has stated that it managed to settle over $250 billion worth of FX transactions using distributed ledger technology (DLT).

The announcement from the London-headquartered bank is a testament to the potential for reshaping traditional finance. Traditionally, banks have been relying on the services of CLS for settlement of foreign exchange transactions. HSBC stated that it processed over 3 million FX transactions via its DLT in 2018. This is only a fraction of the company’s massive FX business.

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Proof of Concept

If anything, the successful experiment in which HSBC managed to demonstrate the applicability of blockchain technology in the settlement of FX transactions shows how the future looks.

The traditional go-to…

Read more at www.financemagnates.com

Denmark’s Tax Agency to Collect Information About Bitcoin Traders – Taxes Bitcoin News

Danish tax authorities will soon be going after cryptocurrency traders in the country and beyond. The plan is to collect data from local bitcoin exchanges in order to verify if citizens who have traded digital assets have paid the right taxes. Information about foreign citizens and entities will be shared with other countries.   

Also read: 5 Crypto Exchanges Have Been Licensed in Gibraltar Since…

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