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Foxconn is making Sirin Labs’ $1,000 blockchain phone for cryptocurrency geeks

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Sirin Labs made the news last September when it unveiled a blockchain-powered phone and PC that would act as secure wallets for your cryptocurrency fortune. It’s now found a manufacturer in Foxconn, the Taiwanese firm that builds iPhones for Apple. The $ 999 Finney phone will let you store and shop with virtual currencies like Bitcoin, and allow you to earn tokens by sharing your mobile data connection with people around you; it also promises enhanced security thanks to its open-source Android-based Sirin OS. Bloomberg reports that a physical switch will activate coin-related services, and that users will eventually be able…

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Google will no longer accept Chrome extensions that mine cryptocurrency

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Starting today, Google’s Chrome Web Store will no longer accept extensions that mine cryptocurrency. The company says there had been a rise in “malicious extensions” over the past few months which appear to be useful, but are actually embedding hidden cryptocurrency mining scripts that run in the background without consent, consuming valuable computing resources. Google says existing extensions will be delisted from the Chrome Web Store in late June, though extensions with blockchain-related purposes “other than mining” will still be permitted.

Google had previously allowed cryptocurrency mining in extensions as long as it was the extension’s single purpose and the user was informed about the process. However, Google said that around 90…

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Google bans cryptocurrency mining extensions in the Chrome Web Store

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In an effort to prevent malicious sites from using your computer’s processing power to mine cryptocurrency without your knowledge, Google is blocking all extensions that include mining scripts in the Chrome Web Store. The danger with such scripts is that they can hog your system resources, and cause your computer to slow down and overheat. Plus, they’re easy to bake into browser extensions that may be designed and described as something innocuous and useful to you, like automatically muting tabs with sound. Google says it previously allowed extensions that mined currency, as long as they were designed specifically for the…

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Telegram is down for many users – go talk cryptocurrency somewhere else

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No, it’s not just you: Telegram is down for many users across the board – so you might have to move your cryptocurrency and blockchain discussions to another platform for the time being. The popular encrypted messenger has confirmed it is struggling with server downtime due to a power outage. The issue is affecting users in Europe, Middle East, and certain parts of Asia. It seems that Russia and countries from the Commonwealth of Independent States (like Kazakhstan, Armenia, and Moldova) are most severely affected. Telegram has been struggling with intermittent downtime for a couple of  hours now, but it is worth…

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Criminals Stole Billions And Laundered it in Cryptocurrency

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For some cybercriminals, cryptocurrency is appealing because it’s somewhat anonymous. But as one group recently learned, perhaps it’s not quite anonymous enough to avoid law enforcement.

Starting in 2013, hackers targeted major banking institutions by fooling them into downloading ATM-hacking software. The software instructed ATMs to spew cash at will, which mules then picked up and transferred into criminal accounts, and later into crypto wallets. In the end, hackers stole over €1 billion ($ 1.2 billion).

The international law enforcement agency Europol recently apprehended four members, including a key “mastermind” of the plot, who was arrested in Spain. Europol has not released where the criminals are being held.

In the past, criminals could rely on the fact that transactions in cryptocurrencies were semi-anonymous, and besides, law enforcement wasn’t well-versed enough in the technology to find criminals fast enough.

But even though transactions are anonymous, each one is still recorded on a public digital ledger. It’s not that hard to trace any given transaction back to the wallets used to launder money. Indeed, a study published earlier this year found that it’s relatively easy to retroactively track black-market bitcoin transactions to existing public accounts, even when the transactions were conducted several years ago or on sites that no longer exist, like Silk Road.

That’s exactly what happened in this case. Sources told Spanish newspaper El Mundo that the cryptocurrency ledger was one of the ways Europol agents tracked down and identified the group’s leader.

Granted, most law enforcement agencies still aren’t savvy enough to track down criminals this way (though there are rumors that the U.S. Marshals are one of the few, and are already profiting from of their cryptocurrency seizures).

But this recent bust could signal a shift in the tide. If cryptocurrency is going to become more popular and more widely used, governments will need to develop “white hat” teams that specialize in crimes related to cryptocurrency. Criminals will certainly grow more careful about cryptocurrency laundering using techniques that disguise the wallets they end up in.

The result could be a digital arms race of sorts between crypto criminals and those seeking to bring them to justice — and law enforcement will need to make a huge jump in sophistication to ensure they end up on top.

Disclosure: Several members of the Futurism team, including the editors of this piece, are personal investors in a number of cryptocurrency markets. Their personal investment perspectives have no impact on editorial content.

The post Criminals Stole Billions And Laundered it in Cryptocurrency appeared first on Futurism.

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OnePlus cryptocurrency teaser: Could it be real, or are we being pranked?

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OnePlus has seen both hits and misses when it comes to marketing, but the company has its April Fools’ day gags down to a science. Based on a recently released video, this year’s joke seems poised to offer its own commentary-by-example on one of 2018’s biggest fads: cryptocurrencies. 

We get inundated with an endless stream of marketing-speak filled press releases here at Android Police, so we have a good perspective on the slow evolution of the vocabulary currently in vogue for promoting technology.

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OnePlus cryptocurrency teaser: Could it be real, or are we being pranked? was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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Cryptocurrency News March 22 – futute man

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What even is this article Finding this MarketWatch article a bit puzzling, in that it’s about a potentially very funny topic (people who think Bitcoin can make them gazillionaires and getting mad) but it’s also very short and doesn’t really go into detail beyond people complaining a lot based on a study by a site called “ValuePenguin”(?). Apparently those complaints were about not being able to withdraw money from exchanges. So somehow that means that they’re mad about the currency being lower (?) based on it happening around the time that prices “started to plummet.” I mean, sure, I guess,…

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Trump’s Shady Ban of Venezuela’s Shady Cryptocurrency, the Petro: Pretty Shady

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Venezuela’s economy: Near collapse! $ 150 billion in hock to other countries with a bolívar (its currency) that’s practically worthless, a nearly 30 percent unemployment rate, and a situation where average Venezuelans can’t afford food or medical care. So of course they’re banking on cryptocurrency to save them. And of course that effort just hit a major bump.

On Monday, U.S. President Donald Trump signed an executive order prohibiting Americans from taking part in any transactions involving “any digital currency [issued by, for, or on behalf of the Government of Venezuela]” starting January 9, 2018. That ban includes the controversial petro, the cryptocurrency tied to the value of Venezuela’s crude oil reserves.

How Trump plans to ensure citizens don’t use the crypto — which is, by nature, anonymous — isn’t, how shall we say, clear. However, he did give Steven Mnuchin, the U.S. treasury secretary, the authority to create whatever regulations he’ll need to enforce the order.

Diosdado Cabello, vice president of Venezuela’s United Socialist Party, responded to Trump’s decision via Twitter (translated from Spanish): “Once again, imperialism is mistaken in announcing sanctions and blocks against the brave and dignified people of Venezuela, the treasonous footmen drool with pleasure when our people suffer. Raise the flags of Bolívar and Chávez, we will prevail!”.

This decision by Trump isn’t him having it out for cryptocurrency so much as the larger political and economic complexities of America’s recent relationship with Venezuela…

August 2017: Trump signs an executive order imposing economic sanctions on Venezuela due, ostensibly, to Venezuela’s government engaging in human rights abuses, corruption, and violence. U.S. citizens are barred from lending Venezuela any money. The order also prohibits “any transaction that evades or avoids” the order.

December 2017: Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro announces the petro. “This will allow us to advance toward new forms of international financing for the economic and social development of our country,” he tells the country during a televised announcement. Little’s done to obscure the fact that this is basically a way to skirt the U.S. sanctions and nail down foreign investments. In fact, the only fiat currency not accepted during the pre-sale is the nation’s own: the bolívar.

Petro

February 20, 2018: Venezuela launches the private petro presale, during which they supposedly raise $ 5 billion (a figure that’s still unverified). Still, no doubt at least some U.S. citizens picked up petro during the presale, and now, thanks to Trump’s new executive order, those cryptocoins are little more than digital paperweights. During the pre-sale, 38.4 million tokens were up for grabs.

March 20, 2018 (Today): The initial coin offering (ICO) launches, offering up an additional 44 million petro. And U.S. citizens aren’t legally allowed to buy any of them.

“It’s a pretty big blow,” Russ Dallen, the managing director at Caracas Capital, told Bloomberg. “Since most cryptocurrencies are not actually backed by anything real, cryptocurrency speculation is based on the greater fool theory — I can buy this at $ 100 because there is someone who is a bigger idiot who is going to buy it at $ 200. When you take the U.S. out of that equation, you reduce the interest and potential for that speculation.”

In other words, Venezuela’s pool of potential fools got a whole lot smaller thanks to Trump.

Enter Russia, who, according Sources close to the matter, told TIME that Russia helped Venezuela plan the creation of petro to undermine the sanctions. According to TIME, Vladimir Putin himself signed off on the plan in 2017. Maduro then sat two Russian advisers, billionaires Denis Druzhkov and Fyodor Bogorodsky, in the front row during the petro launch in February, thanking them directly for helping in the fight against American “imperialism.” Of course, Russia’s Finance Ministry denied any involvement in the creation of the petro (Venezuelan officials haven’t commented on it).

So was Russia’s play simply a matter of undermining American authority? Was the petro Russia’s way of experimenting with a government-backed crypto without actually attaching itself to one? There are plenty of questions to go around over this, but one particularly glaring one stands out.

In Trump’s first executive order on Venezuela, he specifically prohibited any transactions designed to avoid the sanctions. Venezuela made it clear when they launched the petro that skirting those sanctions was implicit in its creation. So! If Trump knew about the creation of the petro way back in December, why wait until the end of the pre-sale, after Venezuela could sell off nearly half its petro in a crypto-hot market, to issue an executive order banning U.S. citizens from using it? Stateside, the answer’s gotta be worth something more than a few bolivar, if not some peace of mind (or, depending on what that answer is, a complete lack thereof).

Disclosure: Several members of the Futurism team, including the editors of this piece, are personal investors in a number of cryptocurrency markets. Their personal investment perspectives have no impact on editorial content.

The post Trump’s Shady Ban of Venezuela’s Shady Cryptocurrency, the Petro: Pretty Shady appeared first on Futurism.

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Find out which cryptocurrency you are in this 78,3% accurate list

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Remember the days when things were simple? When it was just Bitcoin and everyone thought blockchains were just something toddlers played with? As of March 12, the time of writing, there were 1,556 cryptocurrencies in circulation with a market cap of $ 397,298,831,158. Let that sink in for a moment. Today, we have cryptocurrencies for everything and frankly, it’s becoming a little overwhelming. There are cryptocurrencies for payments, file storage, video games, and building supercomputers. We also have Potcoin — which has a market cap of $ 60 million and sent Dennis Rodman to North Korea, the Useless Ethereum Token — which…

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Cryptocurrency News March 19 – it’s the freakin news

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Ey yo girl what that Litecoin do. Bitcoin cash cab I am a taxi driver in Dublin, Ireland. I always offer my customers their change in Bitcoin. from Bitcoin So, wait, you offer them their change – let’s call it like one pound or fifty pence – in Bitcoin? Isn’t that below the amount of a minimum Bitcoin transfer? Do you make them wait until it arrives? Don’t you get situations where you have someone say “my change didn’t get to me yet”? This doesn’t seem like something that actually happened. Airport shuttle Bitcoin I run a airport shuttle bus…

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