Archive for the ‘cryptocurrency’ Category

Exhume dead cryptocurrency exec who owes us $250 million, creditors demand

December 17th, 2019
Stock photo of a gravedigging machine in front of a headstone.

Enlarge (credit: elycefeliz / Flickr)

In late January, the wife of a cryptocurrency-exchange founder testified that her husband inadvertently took at least $137 million of customer assets to the grave when he died without giving anyone the password to his encrypted laptop. Now, outraged investors want to exhume the founder's body to make sure he's really dead.

The dubious tale was first reported in February, when the wife of Gerry Cotten, founder the QuadrigaCX cryptocurrency exchange, submitted an affidavit stating he died suddenly while vacationing in India, at the age of 30. The cause: complications of Crohn's disease, a bowel condition that is rarely fatal. At the time, QuadrigaCX lost control of at least $137 million in customer assets because it was stored on a laptop that—according to the widow's affidavit—only Cotten knew the password to.

Widow Jennifer Robertson testified that she had neither the password nor the recovery key to the laptop. The laptop, she said, stored the cold wallet—that is, a digital wallet not connected to the Internet—that contained the digital currency belonging to customers of the exchange. In addition to at least $137 million in digital coin belonging to more than 100,000 customers, another $53 was tied up in disputes with third parties, investors reported at the time.

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Posted in Biz & IT, cryptocurrency, Dead, exchange | Comments (0)

Official Monero Site Hacked to Distribute Cryptocurrency Stealing Malware

November 20th, 2019
What an irony — someone hacked the official website of the Monero cryptocurrency project and quietly replaced legitimate Linux and Windows binaries available for download with malicious versions designed to steal funds from users' wallets. The latest supply-chain cyberattack was revealed on Monday after a Monero user spotted that the cryptographic hash for binaries he downloaded from the

Posted in cryptocurrency, cryptocurrency malware, cyber security, hacking news, Monero, monero cryptocurrency | Comments (0)

Official Monero website is hacked to deliver currency-stealing malware

November 20th, 2019
Image of ones and zeros with the word

(credit: Pixabay)

The official site for the Monero digital coin was hacked to deliver currency-stealing malware to users who were downloading wallet software, officials with GetMonero.com said on Tuesday.

The supply-chain attack came to light on Monday when a site user reported that the cryptographic hash for a command-line interface wallet downloaded from the site didn't match the hash listed on the page. Over the next several hours, users discovered that the mismatching hash wasn't the result of an error. Instead, it was an attack designed to infect GetMonero users with malware. Site officials later confirmed that finding.

"It's strongly recommended to anyone who downloaded the CLI wallet from this website between Monday 18th 2:30 AM UTC and 4:30 PM UTC, to check the hashes of their binaries," GetMonero officials wrote. "If they don't match the official ones, delete the files and download them again. Do not run the compromised binaries for any reason."

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Posted in Biz & IT, cryptocurrency, malware, website hack | Comments (0)

Facebook launches Libra Association—and says 180 companies could join

October 15th, 2019
Closeup of smartphone with icons photoshopped.

Enlarge (credit: SARINYAPINNGAM / Getty Images)

Shrugging off defections by a number of high-profile partners, the Libra Association held its first formal meeting on Monday. The 21 companies that still support the cryptocurrency project formally ratified the Libra Association's governing documents in Geneva.

Facebook created Libra, but the company hopes Libra will become larger than any single company. Officially, Facebook—via its cryptocurrency subsidiary Calibra—is just one of the association's 21 members, with each member having equal voting rights.

Facebook has said that it hopes to expand the organization's membership to more than 100 organizations by the time the Libra payment network launches in 2020.

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Posted in cryptocurrency, Facebook, Libra, Libra Association, Policy | Comments (0)

Visa, Mastercard, Stripe, and eBay all quit Facebook’s Libra in one day

October 12th, 2019
Visa, Mastercard, Stripe, and eBay all quit Facebook’s Libra in one day

Enlarge (credit: Getty / Aurich Lawson)

Facebook's embattled Libra project suffered a major blow on Friday as four payment processors—Stripe, Visa, Mastercard, and Mercado Pago—withdrew from participation in the Libra Association, the Geneva-based group Facebook created to develop the virtual currency. eBay also announced its resignation Friday. eBay's former subsidiary, PayPal, quit the group last week.

The timing is not a coincidence. The Libra Association is scheduled to hold its first official meeting on Monday. At that meeting, members will be asked to make binding commitments to the project. So for members who weren't prepared to commit to the project, Friday was a good day to get out.

But this is an awkward development for Facebook. When the company introduced Libra earlier this year, it said it hoped to grow Libra's membership from 27 companies to more than 100 by the time the Libra network launched in 2020. Instead, the association's membership has fallen to 22 companies.

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Posted in bitcoin, Blockchain, cryptocurrency, Facebook, Libra, Policy | Comments (0)

Judge savages self-proclaimed bitcoin inventor Craig Wright

August 28th, 2019
Craig Wright, right, arrives at federal court in West Palm Beach, Florida, on June 28, 2019.

Enlarge / Craig Wright, right, arrives at federal court in West Palm Beach, Florida, on June 28, 2019. (credit: Saul Martinez/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Australian Internet personality Craig Wright claims he is bitcoin inventor Satoshi Nakamoto. A lot of people don't believe him. But one person who does believe him is Ira Kleiman, the brother of deceased technologist Dave Kleiman. According to possibly forged emails published by Gizmodo in 2015, Wright and Kleiman worked together to develop and launch bitcoin in 2008 and 2009.

Those documents suggested that Wright and Kleiman collaborated to mine hundreds of thousands of bitcoins in 2009 and 2010. That would make Ira Kleiman the heir to a multibillion-dollar fortune. So last year, Kleiman sued Wright, seeking his share of the Nakamoto bitcoins.

Kleiman and Wright have been battling in a Florida courtroom ever since. In a Tuesday ruling, federal Magistrate Judge Bruce Reinhart savaged Wright for repeatedly misleading the court and generally wasting everyone's time.

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Posted in bitcoin, craig wright, cryptocurrency, dave kleiman, fraud, Ira Kleiman, Policy, Satoshi Nakamoto | Comments (0)

Donald Trump blasts Facebook’s Libra, demands strict regulation

July 12th, 2019
Donald Trump speaks at the White House on July 11, 2019.

Enlarge / Donald Trump speaks at the White House on July 11, 2019. (credit: Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Donald Trump is not a fan of Libra, Facebook's proposed cryptocurrency, the president made clear in a series of tweets on Thursday evening.

"Facebook Libra’s 'virtual currency' will have little standing or dependability.," Trump tweeted. "If Facebook and other companies want to become a bank, they must seek a new Banking Charter and become subject to all Banking Regulations, just like other Banks."

Trump is the latest—and most high-profile—public official to raise doubts Facebook's cryptocurrency plans. On Wednesday, Federal Reserve chairman Jerome Powell warned that "Libra raises many serious concerns regarding privacy, money laundering, consumer protection and financial stability."

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Posted in cryptocurrency, Donald Trump, Facebook, Libra, Policy | Comments (0)

There’s a big problem with Facebook’s Libra cryptocurrency

July 11th, 2019
There’s a big problem with Facebook’s Libra cryptocurrency

Enlarge (credit: Getty / Aurich Lawson)

Mark Zuckerberg is known for his boundless ambition. He's had a longstanding fascination with Caesar Augustus, the Roman emperor who (in Zuckerberg's words) "established 200 years of world peace." So having conquered social networking, Zuckerberg has his eyes on something bigger: reshaping the global financial system.

Payment services from rivals like Apple and Google essentially offer an improved user interface for conventional credit card networks. Facebook, in contrast, is aiming to use blockchain-like technology to build a new payment network from scratch, complete with its own currency.

Facebook has assembled an impressive roster of launch partners for its Libra project. Visa, Mastercard, and PayPal are backing the effort. So are Uber and Lyft, as well as several venture capital firms and non-profit organizations.

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Posted in bitcoin, Blockchain, cryptocurrency, Facebook, Features, Libra, Policy | Comments (0)

Computer from NASA’s Apollo program reprogrammed to mine bitcoin

July 9th, 2019
DSKY unit of the Apollo Guidance Computer in the National Air and Space Museum. Shirriff used a different unit that belongs to a private collector.

Enlarge / DSKY unit of the Apollo Guidance Computer in the National Air and Space Museum. Shirriff used a different unit that belongs to a private collector. (credit: Tamorlan)

Among the many technological breakthroughs of NASA's Apollo project to land a man on the Moon was the Apollo Guidance Computer that flew onboard Apollo spacecraft. In an era when most computers were refrigerator-sized—if not room-sized—the AGC weighed only about 70 pounds. It was one of the first computers to use integrated circuits.

A team of computer historians got its hands on one of the original AGCs and got it working. A member of the team, Ken Shirriff, then decided to see if the computer could be used for bitcoin mining.

Mining is a key part of the process for maintaining bitcoin's shared transaction ledger, or blockchain. To win the right to add a block to the blockchain, you have to solve a difficult problem: finding a block whose SHA-256 hash starts with a minimum number of zeros. The only known way to accomplish this is by brute force: miners create a block with a random nonce and compute its hash value. If the hash value doesn't have enough leading zeros, the miner changes the nonce and tries again.

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Posted in Apollo program, bitcoin, cryptocurrency, Policy, science, space | Comments (0)