Coinbase users hit with unauthorized charges

Coinbase users hit with unauthorized charges, Visa takes blame

Several complaints regarding multiple charges on Coinbase customers’ credit and debit billing statements have made waves on Reddit and other social media platforms, prompting the cryptocurrency exchange company to investigate and issue an official statement.

At r/Coinbase, users complained that they’ve lost amounts ranging from a random hundred dollars to multiple charges amounting to $17,000. While some of the users were merely worried, some users based in the U.S. have taken to calling for a class action lawsuit, filing official complaints to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).

In the wake of these complaints, Coinbase immediately issued a response via a Twitter thread. In the official statement, Coinbase said that the erroneous credit and debit charges were the result of Visa’s reversal and recharging of transactions. Visa has since issued a joint statement (published through the Coinbase blog) with its partner payments processor Worldpay, which handles all Coinbase transactions in Visa’s network. In the statement, Visa admitted responsibility and cleared Coinbase of any liability regarding the matter.

The issue had precedence, given how over the previous months, “large banks and card issuers requested that card networks change the MCC for purchases of digital currency,” according to Coinbase, adding that “Visa changed the MCC for digital currency purchases to a code that allows large banks and card issuers to charge consumers additional fees.”

MCC, or merchant category code, is a standard used to classify a certain business or purchase based on the kind of service it renders. In the U.S., merchant category codes are mandated by the Internal Revenue Service to determine how the purchases are taxed.

While all the charges to Coinbase users appeared to be valid and legitimate, they were duplicated without authorization from the user. The duplications (or multiple charges, in some cases) appeared to be caused by faulty code between Visa’s network and Worldpay’s payment facility.

The two companies assured Coinbase users that all reversal transactions have been issued and should reflect on their credit and debit card accounts within the next few days. It’s worth noting that Coinbase has faced issues with unauthorized charges and fund mishandling before, but the exchange company has resolved these professionally. At the time of writing, several users are still posting at r/Coinbase, complaining that their issuing banks still won’t accept their requests for refunds.

Note: Tokens in the SegWit chain are referred to as SegWit1X (BTC) and SegWit Gold (SWG) and are no longer Bitcoin. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is the only true  Bitcoin as intended by the original Satoshi white paper.  Bitcoin BCH is the only public block chain that offers safe and cheap microtransactions.
Crypto mining interferes with extra-terrestrial research

Crypto mining interferes with extra-terrestrial research, scientists say

These days, it’s not just gamers who are getting less access to much needed graphics hardware due to cryptocurrency miners hoarding equipment. Scientists researching on the possibility of extra-terrestrial life are having a hard time, too.

In a report by BBC Technology, Berkeley SETI Research Center’s chief scientist Dan Werthimer said, “We’d like to use the latest GPUs and we can’t get ’em.”

Modern scientific research often relies on vast amounts of computing power, and graphics processing units (GPUs) are critical to rendering scientific data. From graphical simulations to deep learning in neural networks, GPU components help scientists and researchers accelerate their analytics with multiple threads and parallel computing capacities.

“At SETI we want to look at as many frequency channels as we possibly can because we don’t know what frequency ET will be broadcasting on and we want to look for lots of different signal types – is it AM or FM, what communication are they using?” said Werthimer.

An earlier report by CoinGeek.com examined how GPU shortages and price spikes were caused by the rising demand for cryptocurrency mining hardware, leaving gaming enthusiasts to struggle with finding GPUs available at fair prices. The SETI Research Center currently owns three powerful computing hardware in several observatories across the world. With most of its data rendered by volunteers pooling their own equipment to increase the project’s processing power for analyzing radio telescope data, the shortage in GPUs has adversely affected SETI’s field of research.

“This is a new problem, it’s only happened on orders we’ve been trying to make in the last couple of months,” Werthimer said, noting that while the project had the necessary funds, purchasing new equipment to upgrade their research capacities has been difficult due to the shortage.

“We’ve got the money, we’ve contacted the vendors, and they say, ‘we just don’t have them,’” he said.

Radio astronomers have also been affected by this trend. Aaron Parsons, a scientist who created a radio telescope called Hydrogen Epoch of Reionisation Array (HERA) for a research observatory based South Africa, said their project is suffering as GPU costs doubled in 2017.

“We’ll be able to weather it but it is coming out of our contingency budget,” said Parsons.

Recently, major GPU companies like Nvidia have tried to mitigate the demand caused by cryptocurrency mining by asking its retailers to prioritize gamers over miners. Such changes in the GPU market are bound to affect not just the computer gaming industry and scientific research, but also critical industries such as advertising and media.

Seth Shostak, a scientist from the SETI Institute founded by Carl Sagan, said: “Using GPUs for SETI is certainly something we’ve been investigating for a long time,” noting that “When it comes to finding the aliens, the more computer (computing) power you have, the quicker you can do the search.”

To paraphrase Voltaire: with great computing power comes great responsibility. SETI researchers and radio astronomers are at the forefront of uncovering possible evidence of extra-terrestrial life forms. GPU shortages may not last long as the overall market adjusts, but cryptocurrency enthusiasts building clusters of mining rigs must be responsible enough to limit their impact on crucial (and controversial) scientific research.

Note: Tokens in the SegWit chain are referred to as SegWit1X (BTC) and SegWit Gold (SWG) and are no longer Bitcoin. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is the only true  Bitcoin as intended by the original Satoshi white paper.  Bitcoin BCH is the only public block chain that offers safe and cheap microtransactions.
eBay drops PayPal for European rival Adyen

eBay drops PayPal for European rival Adyen

Early this year, e-commerce corporation eBay named payment service company Adyen as its primary payments processor. As a partner of BitPay, Adyen will pave the way for cryptocurrency payments on eBay’s globally-recognized platform.

This signal boost for cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin Cash in a global e-commerce platform such as eBay comes at the height of cryptocurrency’s popularity and internet-fueled hype. Scott Cutler, eBay’s SVP for Americas, said the e-commerce site is “not quite there yet” when it comes to cryptocurrency adoption, but the management is “seriously considering it as these cryptocurrencies become more mainstream.”

“This is a trend that everybody is talking about, but sadly, at eBay, we don’t currently accept Bitcoin [BTC] as a form of payment,” he said.

eBay’s partnership with Adyen means the end of PayPal as a payment method on e-commerce website. PayPal has been a wholly owned subsidiary of eBay from 2002 until 2014 when it was divested from eBay’s portfolio of acquisition before officially becoming an independent company in 2015. Adyen, which is based in Amsterdam, specializes in facilitating mobile-first e-commerce and point-of-sale payments for businesses. The company is listed in Forbes’ “Fintech 50 2018: The Future of Payments,” a list of leading companies which the publisher claims are helping evolve the way businesses accept payments.

In the digital age, e-commerce has matured to a point of stability and strength. Transitioning to bCommerce is the next logical step for online merchants, and Bitcoin Cash will help ease this transition with lower processing fees and instant payment confirmations, all performed on the blockchain.

BitPay says Adyen will open payments through cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin Cash to more merchants and help spread its adoption for e-commerce. Currently, Adyen supports over 180 currencies and 250 payment methods. A tweet from @Bitcoin welcoming the announcements received appreciative tips served by @tipprbot, a Bitcoin Cash bot that automates tips from BCH users on Twitter and Reddit.

In an interview with Bloomberg, PayPal CFO John Rainey said eBay’s move was “completely anticipated,” because it was a “natural evolution” of their partnership. According to Rainey, eBay represents 13% of their payments volume. It’s interesting to note that Max Levchin, PayPal’s co-founder, is positive about cryptocurrencies, saying “It’s a brilliant mathematical idea, fantastic technology, an interesting commodity to speculate on.”

eBay’s deal with Adyen will be fully implemented after the e-commerce site’s agreement with PayPal expires in 2020.

Note: Tokens in the SegWit chain are referred to as SegWit1X (BTC) and SegWit Gold (SWG) and are no longer Bitcoin. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is the only true  Bitcoin as intended by the original Satoshi white paper.  Bitcoin BCH is the only public block chain that offers safe and cheap microtransactions.
Dark web users dissatisfied with BTC

Dark web users dissatisfied with BTC, looks to other cryptocurrencies

A recent study by threat intelligence company Recorded Future suggested that the sluggish performance and mounting costs of legacy Bitcoin, or SegWit1x (BTC), transactions have pushed even criminals lurking in the dark web to abandon the cryptocurrency in favor of other cryptocurrencies like Dash, Litecoin, and Monero.

An analysis of 150 of the most prominent Darknet message boards, marketplaces and illegal service platforms revealed a shift from mostly BTC transactions to a more diversified environment. The second oldest cryptocurrency next to BTC was Litecoin, which was established in 2011 as a “light” version of BTC. According to the study, it currently accounted for 30% of all Darknet market transactions. This was closely followed by Dash, first released in early 2014 under the name “XCoin” and later renamed “Darkcoin” only to be rebranded to its current name which is a portmanteau of “digital cash.”

At the third spot in terms of usage was Bitcoin Cash, a cryptocurrency that continued the original vision of the Satoshi Nakamoto white paper. It accounted for 13% of all Darknet transactions, according to the study. However, it’s interesting to note that the study only mentioned Bitcoin Cash once, noting that the revelation on the cryptocurrency’s share in trades came “unexpectedly” given Bitcoin Cash’s dominance in more legitimate platforms—a stark contrast to the transactions that circulate under the radar at Darknet marketplaces.

While the study suggested that Litecoin would become the “next dominant dark web currency,” it’s quite obvious why Bitcoin Cash would never lead in the dark web: Bitcoin Cash offers some of the best features for legitimate businesses and independent merchants.

In terms of network design, Litecoin has mostly piggybacked from the established infrastructures of BTC, while Dash was forked from Litecoin’s v0.8.6.2, adding protocols from BTC’s v0.9.3 before fully switching to its codebase in early 2015. As a DAO (decentralized autonomous organization), Dash maintains a Core development team similar to the BTC’s Bitcoin Core. The difference, however, was that Dash has an independent, self-funding, self-governing model, unlike the Bitcoin Core’s subsumption to Blockstream Inc.

The study further suggested that “the cryptocurrency diversification trend will only intensify, and [BTC] will lose its place as a dominant payment method in the dark web in the next six to 12 months” eventually being displaced by Litecoin and Dash, or Monero, which was more dominant in English-speaking countries whose criminal populace tend to be more security-oriented. Monero has also been found to be the preferred cryptocurrency of hackers who leverage anonymity for their campaigns.

These findings on how criminals lurking in the shadows of the Darknet use cryptocurrencies indicated the possibility that Bitcoin Cash may be abused by negative elements, although Recorded Future’s statistics showed that while some tech-savvy criminals prefer Bitcoin Cash for its low-cost and faster-than-lightning features, majority of users from the dark web hesitate or altogether avoid it because its integrity on a public blockchain may lead to their lawful apprehension. Nevertheless, in light of recent cybercriminal activity, the Bitcoin Cash community would be well advised to refuse involvement with illegal and fraudulent entities and networks.

Note: Tokens in the SegWit chain are referred to as SegWit1X (BTC) and SegWit Gold (SWG) and are no longer Bitcoin. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is the only true  Bitcoin as intended by the original Satoshi white paper.  Bitcoin BCH is the only public block chain that offers safe and cheap microtransactions.
Water utility hit by crypto mining malware

Water utility hit by crypto mining malware

Radiflow, a security firm specializing in SCADA (supervisory control and data acquisition) servers, has reported an attack on the network of a water utility provider based in Europe. The disclosure established a precedent in industrial-scale data control systems and critical infrastructures, given the nature and intent of its execution: cryptocurrency mining.

“This is the first instance of such a cryptocurrency miner that we have seen in an industrial site,” said Radiflow CEO Ilan Barda. Often labelled as “cryptojacking,” attacks such as these have been growing in number in relation to the hyperactive markets that cryptocurrencies have fueled since their inception almost a decade ago.

“We found malware on the utility’s server that was mining Monero cryptocurrency,” said Yehonatan Kfir, CTO at Radiflow.

The CTO explained that Radiflow’s disclosure is only an initial assessment, as the investigation is still ongoing. Thus far, the investigation has determined that the mining software has been installed into the water utility’s network protocols for over three weeks before it was identified and mitigated. As a matter of protocol, Radiflow has not disclosed any particular facility’s location, only revealing that’s somewhere in Europe.

While inconclusive, the disclosure speculates that the malware was likely acquired through an advertising site or element. This speculation is supported by logs showing that the first contact with the infection was through an HMI (Human Machine Interface) running an old operating system. Limited evidence suggests that the cryptocurrency malware wasn’t able to get past the initial point of infection. Kfir notes the initial findings are uncertain whether it was a targeted attack against this company or against SCADA systems in general.

With the entire crypto space now floating at a valuation of $400 billion in total market cap, attacks based on intentions to gain or mine cryptocurrency have proliferated. A recent example is the vulnerability found on Oracle’s point-of-sale systems. This opened risks to at least 300,000 businesses using the WebLogic server. The hack reportedly sifted $226,000 worth of Monero (XRM), a cryptocurrency leveraged by cybercriminals for its “incognito” features. Recent reports have also highlighted how North Korean hackers have been spreading Python-based injection code via Secure Shell (SSH) channels to mine cryptocurrency.

A report by Cisco’s Talos intelligence research group estimated that unauthorized cryptocurrency mining generates an average of $1.18 million annually, with the trend likely to increase in the coming years. While leading cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin Cash experience a bullish resurgence in Q1 2018, users trading and transacting in the secure network are advised to stay vigilant in relation to such threats and implement security measures on their end.

Note: Tokens in the SegWit chain are referred to as SegWit1X (BTC) and SegWit Gold (SWG) and are no longer Bitcoin. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is the only true  Bitcoin as intended by the original Satoshi white paper.  Bitcoin BCH is the only public block chain that offers safe and cheap microtransactions.
McAfee apologizes to Binance over shutdown FUD

McAfee apologizes to Binance over shutdown FUD

In the wake of Binance’s recent shutdown, cybersecurity researcher and cryptocurrency advocate John McAfee apologized to the company and CEO Changpeng “CZ” Zhao over the former’s involvement in speculative discussions regarding the origins and nature of the alleged hack on the exchange.

McAfee went on Twitter on Sunday, saying: “I would like to apologize to Binance and to CEO Changpeng Zhao for my part in the FUD regarding their outage last week. As a long time cyber security professional, my instincts, coupled with numerous reports which were dubious in nature, overrode my better judgment. Forgive me.”

The FUD regarding Binance’s shutdown includes speculations that the exchange wasn’t able to fully contain the damage of the distributed denial-of-service attack (DDoS) made on their globally distributed servers.

After Binance announced that it is back online, McAfee stated on Twitter that while he wasn’t “trying to spread FUD,” he has “received dozens of reports” similar to his earlier assertion in the thread that he wasn’t able to use Binance. McAfee stated that he was only “trying to understand” the situation, adding that given his experience as security researcher, he knew that “potential hacks are far more easy to solve if investigated immediately. Days later magnifies the task by orders of magnitude.”

The claim made by McAfee was coupled with a screenshot of what appeared to be a message from Binance’s website acknowledging that they were attacked and compromised. In a reply within the thread, McAfee made the following assertion: “There has never been, in the history of hacking, a single f** company that admitted to being hacked without being pushed.”

These allegations were later disproved, with Binance posting a public ledger pointing to their wallet addresses. Anyone looking into the provided wallet address may fact check for its history, current amount, as well as pending and unconfirmed transactions.

An official recap of the incident was posted by Zhao via LinkedIn Pulse, detailing how 1.7% of Binance users were affected by a data corruption. In the same writing, Zhao mentioned McAfee and thanked the cybersecurity researcher for his contributions to how the incident was resolved.

“The real helper was Mr. Mcafee, posting an obvious fake image about us being hacked. Everyone pitched in to help defend us. He united the community for us, and rallied such support, during a time when we needed it the most. Sometimes, things that look negative are actually positive,” said Zhao, who also defended McAfee, saying that the cybersecurity researcher was “completely innocent”, and was merely “asking the wrong questions.”

At a time when fear, uncertainty, and doubt override user confidence in companies and even cryptocurrencies around which communities are built, showing full transparency and accountability over incidents that impact lives is key to sustaining growth and inclusion. While the Bitcoin Cash community is also affected by the recent shutdown, there is also a lesson here on how to face a complaining crowd spreading rumors: stick to the facts, do what needs to be done, and keep on doing what is right for the community.

Note: Tokens in the SegWit chain are referred to as SegWit1X (BTC) and SegWit Gold (SWG) and are no longer Bitcoin. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is the only true  Bitcoin as intended by the original Satoshi white paper.  Bitcoin BCH is the only public block chain that offers safe and cheap microtransactions.

Russian scientists busted for unauthorized crypto mining

After reports of unauthorized use reached Russia’s Federal Security Service, several engineers were arrested at a covert nuclear facility. According to reports, the scientists attempted to connect the facility’s supercomputer to the internet to run a cryptocurrency mining program.

Russian news agency Interfax reported that the arrest involved several top engineers from All-Russian Research Institute of Experimental Physics (RFNC-VNIIEF) whose facility is located at Sarov in the Nizhny Novgorod region. “Indeed, there was an attempt to make unauthorized use of computer facilities for personal purposes, including for so-called (cryptocurrency) mining,” said Tatyana Zalesskaya, head of the Research Institute’s press service.

The Research Institute at Sarov is known for its involvement in creating the USSR’s first nuclear bomb during the Stalin regime. Sarov is a restricted city with residents and visitors placed under travel regulation, with officials releasing permits to anyone going in or out.

Back in 2011, the Russian Federal Nuclear Center based in Sarov was one of the world’s most powerful supercomputers, ranking 12th at the time, rated with 1 petaflop of computing power. Without taking a chip’s internal architecture and other hardware factors such as thermal equivalencies, the Sarov facility’s processors are highly capable of producing a significant amount of hashing power.

However, cryptocurrency enthusiasts are quick to note that CPU speeds almost always vary in performance when compared to GPUs, which have a fundamentally different caching and memory architecture. The computation also differs because hashrates are based on integer operations, while FLOPS (floating-point operations per second) involves approximate, real number representations.

A recent cryptocurrency-related attack on a SCADA (supervisory control and data acquisition) network operating high-end water facilities across Israel, the U.S. and the UK was disclosed by cybersecurity solutions company Radiflow, setting a precedent for industry and government facilities to tighten security. Russian authorities are now actively looking into previously overlooked loopholes in their state-run facilities.

Russia’s low-cost energy reserves have attracted both investors and cryptocurrency mining players, with entire power stations reportedly being sold for the purpose. In the wake of such events, cryptocurrency users from the Bitcoin Cash community would be wise not to be involved with such fraudulent activities. This is because the general public and media may confuse the cryptocurrency for legacy Bitcoin or SegWit1x (BTC), which has been used in such illegal activities as those that took place in the infamous Silk Road arrests in 2014.

Note: Tokens in the SegWit chain are referred to as SegWit1X (BTC) and SegWit Gold (SWG) and are no longer Bitcoin. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is the only true  Bitcoin as intended by the original Satoshi white paper.  Bitcoin BCH is the only public block chain that offers safe and cheap microtransactions.
New Coinbase Commerce plugin lets merchants accept Bitcoin Cash

New Coinbase Commerce plugin lets merchants accept Bitcoin Cash

Coinbase has launched a new plugin that would enable merchants to integrate payments made in crypto to their websites. The plugin is called Coinbase Commerce, and works like embedded payment plugins from PayPal and Stripe.

This new plugin brings wider accessibility for trading goods and making transactions online, with merchants and buyers now able to directly interact with the Coinbase Commerce plugin, even without a Coinbase account logged into the browser. The plugin wasn’t launched to much fanfare, with a simple login page providing no further information. The extended feature, however, isn’t available for new merchants—only existing merchants with verified Coinbase accounts can use the plugin, possibly due to security reasons.

The new plugin follows the standard checkout process for purchasing online goods and services, with features similar to that of Litepay, Bitpay, and UTrust. When a buyer goes through the checkout process, a new window is opened to complete the transaction, which is summarized with cost details and cryptocurrency addresses for the user or buyer to confirm. Scanning a QR code is optional, but also works seamlessly. At the moment, Coinbase Commerce only accepts Ethereum, Litecoin, Bitcoin Cash, and legacy Bitcoin (BTC). Here’s a sample screenshot from trustnodes.com, comparing the plugin with the traditional methods:

New Coinbase Commerce plugin lets merchants accept Bitcoin Cash
Source: trustnodes.com

Previously, fees for Coinbase merchants have indicated a sales limit, with Coinbase support stating that “Receiving bitcoin payments is completely free on Coinbase. If you decide to cash out your bitcoins to a bank account we charge a 1% fee — but only after your first $1,000,000 in sales.” This might be subject to change with Coinbase Commerce, and it remains to be seen if server backlog issues in the BTC network might affect the process’ overall reliability for both merchants and consumers.

User-facing improvements in the Bitcoin Cash ecosystem are steadily making their way into the broader cryptocurrency community. With mass adoption of cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin Cash comes the responsibility of exchanges and services providers like Coinbase to provide clear and adequate information for their users.

[UPDATE] Coinbase Commerce has officially launched. Merchants preferring Bitcoin Cash may now sign up on their platform.

Note: Tokens in the SegWit chain are referred to as SegWit1X (BTC) and SegWit Gold (SWG) and are no longer Bitcoin. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is the only true  Bitcoin as intended by the original Satoshi white paper.  Bitcoin BCH is the only public block chain that offers safe and cheap microtransactions.
Japan’s SBI Crypto mines first Bitcoin Cash block

Japan’s SBI Crypto mines first Bitcoin Cash block

After announcing in late 2017 that it will create a division dedicated to financing and supporting cryptocurrency research and development in a strategic partnership with nChain, SBI Crypto, SBI Group’s division focused on the emerging technology, has mined its first Bitcoin Cash block. The mined block was processed with Bitcoin.com’s mining pool at block height 516918.

SBI Group (Strategic Business Innovator Group) is one of the major players in the financial services sector in Japan. Yoshitaka Kitao, representative director, president & CEO of SBI Holdings, Inc. previously said: “The vision of the original Bitcoin white paper written by Satoshi Nakamoto calls for a peer-to-peer electronic cash system. That is a powerful vision, and SBI Group will devote resources to enable a future world where Bitcoin Cash is used globally for daily payments.”

SBI Crypto was established on August 2017 to anticipate and prepare for Bitcoin Cash mining overseas. SBI Crypto operates under SBI BITS Co., Ltd., a financial technology provider which in turn is a subsidiary of SBI Holdings, Inc. nChain Global and SBI Group’s combined expertise in the financial and technological sector emerges in support of the growing Bitcoin Cash community, growing and linking its ecosystem through on-chain scaling, enabling faster-than-lightning transactions with low fees over reliable confirmation times.

SBI Group’s cryptocurrency ecosystem is currently undergoing development and will feature an exchange platform, hedge fund management, financing and mining, a rating and information service for ICOs and other platforms, payments and remittance services to and from Japan, as well as a derivatives market spread in its portfolio.

The historic milestone arrives in relation to SBI Group’s recent launch of a $450 million AI and blockchain venture capital fund. With established organizations such as SBI Group and nChain working alongside independent developers and community volunteers, the Bitcoin Cash ecosystem is experiencing a major upheaval in terms of utility and adoption, empowering, connecting, and enabling more people worldwide.

Note: Tokens in the SegWit chain are referred to as SegWit1X (BTC) and SegWit Gold (SWG) and are no longer Bitcoin. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is the only true  Bitcoin as intended by the original Satoshi white paper.  Bitcoin BCH is the only public block chain that offers safe and cheap microtransactions.
CoinText launches SMS-based Bitcoin Cash transactions

CoinText launches SMS-based Bitcoin Cash transactions

Connectivity matters in this age of rapid technological advancement. An independent platform called CoinText is pursuing new horizons in cryptocurrency accessibility.

CoinText said their platform will allow anyone with even a simple feature phone or an active SIM card inserted to an SMS-capable device to send and receive Bitcoin Cash. This functionality will work even without an internet connection. This represents a wider accessibility to crypto for to everyone worldwide, even those who don’t understand how smartphone apps work or who have no access to these technologies because of remote locations or marginal economic backgrounds.

According to an instructional tweet by its lead developer Vin Armani, the CoinText wallet works by processing SMS sent to their backend algorithm through an API. After verifying the SMS, CoinText’s backend will then churn out instructions to its API to send out confirmations for both sender and recipient, updating their balances.

CoinText’s secure wallet runs with simple commands such as BALANCE, DEPOSIT, SEND, and WITHDRAW. These, alongside the HELP command which provides further detail, are all sent via SMS. Here’s a screenshot found on Twitter to help illustrate how it works:

CoinText launches SMS-based Bitcoin Cash transactions

CoinText announced the launch of its private Beta test phase on February 6, 2018, with a whitepaper released exclusively to beta testers. Armani, who also leads the CounterMarkets platform, said, “Being able to transact an international currency like Bitcoin Cash over text message with any phone in the world will uncap the vast economic potential for the unbanked,” expressing the platform’s shared vision of connecting people, no matter what level of access they have to technology. Armani notes that with the platform, “Settling transactions directly on-chain allows us to build so many simple useful tools. This SMS wallet is just the start.”

At the moment, however, the independent platform still lacks funding, and its supporters are asking for donations from Bitcoin Cash users to help grow their platform. CoinText’s service is available for beta users in Canada, Australia, United Kingdom, and the United States.

All beta users are given $1 worth of free BCH to test the wallet. Once registered, new users are assigned a Bitcoin Cash wallet assigned through a public key connected to their phone number. CoinText’s server only processes transactions through an algorithm which settles these directly on-chain, hence the platform doesn’t hold any funds from its users.

[UPDATE] Cointext.io has released a public version of their whitepaper. The whitepaper can be download as a PDF file here.

Note: Tokens in the SegWit chain are referred to as SegWit1X (BTC) and SegWit Gold (SWG) and are no longer Bitcoin. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is the only true  Bitcoin as intended by the original Satoshi white paper.  Bitcoin BCH is the only public blockchain that offers safe and cheap microtransactions.
Developer community examines 2 new proposals for Bitcoin Cash

Developer community examines 2 new proposals for Bitcoin Cash

Two new proposals are soon to be implemented into the Bitcoin Cash protocol.

The first proposal, initiated by member 79b79aa8 at Bitcoin Forum. This proposal is standardized as BUIP084, describing a secure method for writing BCH coin splitting instructions. The proposal addresses the lack of a standard instruction set which would enable independent and secure BCH splitting on both hardware and cloud-based wallets. Splitting a cryptocurrency means extracting the portion of a wallet’s existing funds into another wallet. This is peculiar to forks, and is usually performed between cold wallets containing legacy Bitcoin, or SegWit1x (BTC), partitioning its contents into a Bitcoin Cash compatible wallet.

Since the August 1 fork commenced, not all users holding BTC have claimed their Bitcoin Cash. Certain security issues arise from BCH coin splitting, and the proposal seeks to address and mitigate any problems that might arise from the procedure. This helps ensure a smooth and convenient transition from the BTC network to the more robust and secure BCH network. With a 0.25 BCH reward posted for authors of the instruction set, the proposal has since been passed after a vote from Bitcoin Unlimited (BU) officials which commenced on January 15.

The second proposal, standardized as BUIP085, introduces a relaying architecture for participating nodes which would help notify users about possible or actual double spending for transactions on the Bitcoin Cash network. Double spending occurs whenever a transaction’s data signatures become duplicated as a result of a malicious attack to a transaction’s recipient.

With a newly-established network like Bitcoin Cash, there are two possible attack vectors. The first is called a “race attack”, which is done by sending conflicting transaction signatures to a recipient/victim, while the second attack surface, called a “Finney attack”, involves pre-mining a transaction into a single block and then immediately spending the same coins and thereafter triggering a release of the same block, hence invalidating the initial transaction. On older cryptocurrency networks like the BTC and Ethereum, these attacks are mitigated by proof-of-work and proof-of-stake.

According to the proposal’s author, “A double spend can happen within the time from the initial broadcast until the transaction is included in a block,” adding ng that despite blocks clearing within 10 minutes, users of the Bitcoin Cash network have to know whether an unconfirmed transaction is safe and secure within a matter of seconds. BUIP085 protects merchants and BCH recipients who may not be relayed with the information regarding a transaction’s safe confirmation, and thus are vulnerable to double-spent transactions.

Once implemented, this feature will be beneficial to sellers transacting with BCH, helping them learn about and promptly report any fraudulent attempts against them or their business. The proposal’s author, @torusJKL, said the upgrade would “make 0-conf transaction on Bitcoin Cash more safe and will give it broader acceptance.”

These proposed solutions to the evolving needs of a robust network like Bitcoin Cash are necessary and welcome additions to the cryptocurrency’s features. Once properly implemented after tests and community consensus, the proposals would help the Bitcoin Cash community grow further and empower more people towards a future of financial freedom and inclusion.

Note: Tokens in the SegWit chain are referred to as SegWit1X (BTC) and SegWit Gold (SWG) and are no longer Bitcoin. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is the only true  Bitcoin as intended by the original Satoshi white paper.  Bitcoin BCH is the only public block chain that offers safe and cheap microtransactions.
Tether

Tether, Bitfinex critic Bitfinex’ed banned from Twitter

The anonymous critic known as Bitfinex’ed has received an account suspension from Twitter early Wednesday morning, following heated missives between the critic and its subject: Tether and Bitfinex.

However, an update from Bloomberg cites a Twitter spokesperson stating that the suspension was a mistake, with the account restored some 12 hours after it was banned.

While the suspension was active, Bitfinex’ed told The Next Web that Twitter had yet to provide further clarification on the matter, noting that the social media platform only provided a standard link to a page listing reasons for suspensions and what to do in such cases. During the suspension, the long-time critic’s Medium page remained unaffected, with all the writings alleging Bitfinex and Tether of fraudulent activities available for public scrutiny. Coingeek.com has previously published an editorial regarding a pump conspiracy involving the two companies.

Following reports that Tether, working with Bitfinex, has artificially propped up the cryptocurrency market to its record highs late last year by divesting digital tokens out of nowhere, the suspension of Bitfinex’ed’s Twitter account is possibly indicative of a tactical response from the companies in question. In December 2017, Bitfinex was reported to have stepped in with legal muscle by hiring a law firm to mount a defense against its critics.

Once its Twitter account was restored, Bitfinex’ed supported claims that other Twitter accounts critical of Tether and Bitfinex also received suspensions, saying that these were systematic attacks meant to silence critics.

In a Reddit post, a user whose name is a reference to a 1957 novel claimed to be Bitfinex’ed and said: “After Failing to spam my Twitter with 400,000 fake followers, Bitfinex hires bots to mass-report my tweets and accounts.” The post received mixed reactions, with some users claiming that it was them who instigated the suspension as they would like to see the critic become “bitrekt’d” and “stfu.” Other commenters believed the suspension might have been the result of a subpoena filed to Bitfinex and Tether by the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission.

Tether, which now prints Euro tokens aside from USDT, has announced that it has been undergoing external auditing from a New York-based firm. Weeks later, both Tether and Bitfinex were revealed to have severed ties with the auditor, Friedman LLP. The two companies issued a press release citing that with the previous relationship, “an audit would be unattainable in a reasonable time frame.” Tether added that because they were the first company in the cryptocurrency space to “undergo this process and pursue this level of transparency,” there was no other precedent to serve as reference or clarify the extent of its veracity.

The debacle with Tether and Bitfinex continues to unfold, and the cryptocurrency community is shaken with the revelations, while some hodl on with disbelief, given the issue’s potential threat to all cryptocurrencies. With the traditional banking and financial world forming roadblocks to cryptocurrency adoption, Bitfinex’ed’s suspension comes as another divisive event in the brief history of crypto.

Amid this tumult, those in the Bitcoin Cash community remain steadfast with a practical logic to avoid fraud: don’t buy something merely as a digital asset or store of value. Utility is key, keeping funds flowing, usable, and shareable to empower people around the world with peer-to-peer electronic cash—this is where the real value remains.

Note: Tokens in the SegWit chain are referred to as SegWit1X (BTC) and SegWit Gold (SWG) and are no longer Bitcoin. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is the only true  Bitcoin as intended by the original Satoshi white paper.  Bitcoin BCH is the only public block chain that offers safe and cheap microtransactions.