Google’s quantum computer won’t break your Bitcoin

One of the attractive qualities of Bitcoin, as a cryptocurrency, is that it is cryptographically secure from being solved or hacked by the computational power of current computing technology. Theoretically, it will remain safe until a giant leap in computing power is made real, by the likes of quantum computing. A recent breakthrough by Google’s researchers could mean that day is coming soon, but those who know better say there’s still no reason to fear.

The Financial Times recently reported that Google now quantum computer capable of calculating the answer to an equation that would take the most advanced conventional computer 10,000 years to solve. “To our knowledge, this experiment marks the first computation that can only be performed on a quantum processor,” the researchers wrote.

Before anyone goes and declares Bitcoin dead however, the limits of Google’s research has to be understood. This is not a quantum computer capable of solving just any problem. It was built to specifically solve one specific and highly technical problem, and has no use beyond that. The researchers admitted that even by their own estimates, solving practical problems was years away.

So Bitcoin is safe from Google’s computing power, even by their own estimates, for some time to come. But will quantum computing ever be a threat to cryptocurrencies?

According to Dr. Craig Wright, creator of the original Bitcoin and its current form, Bitcoin SV (BSV), it looks unlikely. “Large-scale quantum computing is not in anyway analogous to classical computing,” he wrote in his April 2018 paper “Bitcoin and Quantum Computing.” “In the early days of classical computers, large, expensive machines were required to do simple calculations. Over time and along with developments in technology the economics of classical computing has led to rapid advances and increasingly available computer power.”

But whereas conventional computers have become common place, he expects quantum computers to remain niche. “It is unlikely in fact highly improbable that any small-scale low energy quantum computer will ever exist,” he explains. “For this to be wrong, it is not simply a matter of discovering new technology but that our existing knowledge of physics and particles must be radically misaligned to reality. The result is that quantum computing even if it is possible will remain in the realm of large data centres and government facilities.”

In that way, Google is very much a large data center, and they aren’t even close to cracking the nut of quantum computing just yet. To fear that a rogue actor could suddenly turn quantum computing against Bitcoin is unreasonable.

Google chops all crypto mining extensions from Chrome Store

Google chops all crypto mining extensions from Chrome Store

It’s good news for a lot of Google Chrome users, bad news for developers who don’t know how to play by the rules. All Chrome web browsers that mine cryptocurrencies are now banned from the Google Chrome Web Store. The decision was made in an effort to prevent cryptojacking, the practice of using a target computer for multiple mining operations.

While Google wasn’t opposed to Chrome extensions that mined crypto, it had placed limits on the functionality. Developers had to describe the mining activity, had to agree that the extension’s only purpose was to mine, and the extension could only conduct one type of mining operation. When Google discovered that the vast majority of developers weren’t playing nicely—90% of them, in fact—it decided to pull the plug.

One such extension is, or was, Archive Poster. According to its description, it was a way for users to easily interact with posts on social media platform Tumblr. However, the extension was found to participate in cryptojacking activity, mining the altcoin Monero. It has now been removed from the Chrome Store.

There are many reasons why Google’s decision is necessary. Apart from the deliberate attempts to bypass controls, cryptojacking extensions can slow down computers, increase the amount of electricity that the computer uses and, sometimes, even cause computer batteries to melt from overheating. The entire time, the user is unaware of what’s going on and has never agreed to participate in the mining activity.

In making the announcement of the ban, the company’s Extensions Platform Product Manager, James Wagner, said, “The extensions platform provides powerful capabilities that have enabled our developer community to build a vibrant catalog of extensions that help users get the most out of Chrome. Unfortunately, these same capabilities have attracted malicious software developers who attempt to abuse the platform at the expense of users. This policy is another step forward in ensuring that Chrome users can enjoy the benefits of extensions without exposing themselves to hidden risks.”

Any extensions that are found to have violated Google’s terms will be removed between now and the end of June. Additionally, extensions will be more closely reviewed prior to being added to the store to ensure that they meet the guidelines. The tech giant suggests that all users monitor their computers’ CPU usage to determine if it’s higher than normal, and report any suspicious activity to Google.

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.

source: https://coingeek.com/google-chops-crypto-mining-extensions-chrome-store/

Google prepares own blockchain

Google prepares own blockchain, but not for expected reasons

Blockchains have been shown to have a myriad of functions. Although they were created for cryptocurrencies, they have been used to provide food to the hungry, settle real estate contracts, prevent voter fraud and much more. They have proven to be a highly versatile, highly functional technological platform that will surely find their way into more and more uses. Google has found one already and is currently creating its own blockchain-based distributed digital ledger.

The ledger will be used to secure customer data (perhaps they can share the technology with Facebook), as well as to allow third-party companies to be able to submit and verify transactions. The company has been working on the technology for a few months, taking advantage of its robust cloud service to support the production. Google has yet to make an official announcement about the development, but a spokesperson told Bloomberg, “Like many new technologies, we have individuals in various teams exploring potential uses of blockchain but it’s way too early for us to speculate about any possible uses or plans.”

The enormity of the tech giant gives it a lot of capability to grasp ahold of any new technology. It only makes sense, then, that it would embrace blockchain to maintain its edge. As a means of more securely storing user data, the blockchain will ultimately become an integral part of Google’s suite of products.

Not much is known about where Google is heading with its blockchain plans. It currently is looking into the Hyperledger consortium, but might turn toward a different direction if another platform could be scaled to run millions of transactions. Google currently enjoys a great deal of security for its offerings, but the amount of data it holds needs to be protected to the maximum.

Google has a knack for helping to keep its position on top of technology hill and keep competition to a minimum. In 2017, it maintained its position by investing a large chunk of its revenue into startups that were exploring blockchain and digital ledger technology. It invested more than did Goldman Sachs or Citigroup, two of the leading companies in technological investments. If the company is currently exploring blockchain technology, there’s a very good chance that it’s working on something even bigger.

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.

source: https://coingeek.com/google-prepares-blockchain-not-expected-reasons/

Twitter drops the axe on Bitcoin Cash accounts

Twitter drops the axe on Bitcoin Cash accounts, but it’s not what it seems

Twitter has recently reported that it will follow Google and Facebook in banning advertisements that promote cryptocurrencies. The trio’s move is designed to stop deceptive crypto scams and protect consumers. Twitter has also begun to specifically target Bitcoin Cash (BCH) accounts with no warning and with no explanation.

Some BCH accounts have been restricted, suspended or completely banned by the bird and, while there has been no official—or logical—explanation from Twitter, there is one popular theory regarding the action taken against the BCH accounts. Supporters of legacy Bitcoin (BTC), also known as SegWit Core, may be behind the activity, using a significant amount of bots to report the accounts.

This isn’t just a conspiracy theory, either. Some pieces of evidence exist to back up the claim. For instance, @Bitcoin account was recently suspended by Twitter, despite having a million followers and a positive track record. The account eventually was put back up; however, it became highly plausible to think that Core supporters had worked in sync to have the account suspended.

An alternative theory is raised about the possible source of the account suspensions. Is it possible that the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) could be behind the malevolent acts?  An as-of-yet unconfirmed post on the popular forum website 4chan has a lot of people wondering. According to a TrustNodes report, a poster left a message saying that he works for Google, and that he’s part of a team working on the creation of bots to inject propaganda into Twitter. The poster claimed Google is behind the spate of tweets that have accused Russia of doing precisely what the Google team is doing. Based on the FBI’s strong-arm tactics in convincing Google to ban crypto ads, it’s feasible to make the connection.

Whether or not the theories have validity is difficult to ascertain. However, putting the pieces together, it’s certainly easy to see how the removal of BCH accounts could be the result of malicious intervention. Regardless of the source of the negative action, there is no reason that doesn’t arrive at censorship, and Twitter needs to take a more proactive approach to ensuring that the community remains free to share and discuss ideas, regardless of whether or not they go against popular culture.

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.
Google joins Facebook in banning cryptocurrency ads

Google joins Facebook in banning cryptocurrency ads

As if the situation was not bad enough for cryptocurrencies with problems regarding scams, excessive regulation and a wholesale crash in prices, more bad news proliferated on Tuesday.

This came in the stark announcement by tech giant Google that it would be banning all advertising for cryptocurrencies on its sites starting June. Although this policy might be reviewed, it is another stark warning that the cryptocurrency market continues to face severe challenges to recover from its slump after prices spiked in December 2017.

This restriction for advertising applies not just to Google but also to platforms like YouTube as well as other third party advertising sites which the internet giant sells considerable advertising space. This is another worrying development following the announcement by Facebook that it would also ban all cryptocurrency advertising in order to restrict the number of misleading promotions that were taking storm at that time especially with regards to initial coin offerings (ICOs). Undoubtedly the bad press regarding the huge number of ICO scams contributed to this decision. This development is quite unfortunate for investors who have gone into the market at extremely high prices and who are staring at less than half of their investment at current prices.

There was no explanation from Google on why this decision was taken. The ban applies to all content that relates to cryptocurrencies, ICOs, cryptocurrency exchanges, wallets and trading advice. This will definitely have a huge effect on the way the cryptocurrency market is promoted although the scarcity of such advertising might be beneficial in that it will create scarcity for advice with already experienced players now in the market.

Cryptocurrencies were off to a bad start this 2018, with the total market cap halving after reaching a peak of $810 billion in early December. This peak corresponded with a significant increase in advertising push all across the internet, which has now fallen significantly. In fact, searches for Bitcoin and cryptocurrency on Google have gone down by more than 80% in the past months from their highs in December 2017.

This new ban will undoubtedly have a considerable effect on the number of Initial Coin Offerings, which are more than likely, scams. It could have a positive effect in that it cleans out the market from potentially rogue offerings that have given the nascent industry a very bad name.

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.
Google hosts lecture on cryptocurrencies

Google hosts lecture on cryptocurrencies, blockchain tech

In a bid to attract fresh talent, a Google hiring campaign is cashing in on the cryptocurrency hype by hosting a talk on virtual currencies and blockchain technology.

According to a report by TheNextWeb, Google is set to host a campus lecture at the Polytechnic University of Milan in Italy on March 8. The lecture, titled “Fundamentals and Some Recent Innovations in Crypto-Currencies,” is rumored to be delivered by a Googler, that is, a full-time employee of the search giant. The event’s website, however, did not disclose who exactly from Google will deliver the lecture.

Google’s corporate culture has been the subject of discussions among aspiring applicants and job seekers in the tech sector, with films such as The Intern featuring caricatures of how Google treats its employees with a range of perks and benefits unique to the company.

The talk’s press materials described how “many crypto-currencies have been in the news lately and most people know they can (be) purchased as an asset or exchanged as currency,”  observing how “less well known is how they really work.”

The description shifted perspective to first-person, saying, “In this talk, I’ll review the basic differences between the most popular ones and highlight some interesting innovations in the space, including scripting, privacy and reducing electricity requirements to protect the environment.” After the lecture, there will be a “description of Google jobs and internships,” as well as an overview of the search giant’s interview and hiring process.

The lecture comes at a particularly interesting phase in Google’s expansion of its web and mobile-based platforms. Recently, Google merged its payments services Google Wallet and Android Pay into Google Pay. Could it be that Google is looking to hire young people interested in crypto and blockchain tech? At the moment, this is only a matter of speculation.

Such a move by a company as hugely influential as Google may be an indication of its interest in building or integrating cryptocurrency protocols into its suite of services. Developers looking into integrating with the search engine company’s rich ecosystem may call a Google API on their own apps and use it for payment functionalities with current platforms in the cryptocurrency space.

Such development work requires technical expertise, especially from young people who may bring fresh perspectives on design, programming, and platform management. According to The New York Times report, that there has been a positive spike in blockchain-related courses being placed in official curriculum in the United States, with Carnegie Mellon, Cornell, Duke, MIT, and the University of Maryland already offering graduate-level courses on blockchain and cryptocurrency.

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.
Polish Central Banks admits funding Youtube smear campaign against cryptocurrencies

Polish central bank admits to funding Youtube smear campaign against cryptocurrencies

Yet Poland was one of the first to support Venezuela’s national cryptocurrency.

The Polish Financial Supervision Authority (PFSA) and the Polish central bank, Narodowy Bank Polski (NBP) reportedly spent over 91,000 złoty ($27,100) of taxpayers’ money on a series of smear campaigns to spread FUD against cryptocurrencies. According to a report by Money.pl, the funding went to social media influencers on Youtube and Facebook who were tasked to create content steering users away from cryptocurrencies. Among the paid detractors were Marcin Dubiel, who has almost 940,000 subscribers on Youtube, and Planeta Faktów, which has 1.5 million subscribers.

Both Dubiel’s video titled, “I LOST ALL MY MONEY?!” and Planeta Faktów’s video, “10 differences between money and cryptocurrency that you need to know” gained over 500,000 views since they were published. The videos were reportedly not marked as “paid promotion” and goes against Poland’s own laws.

Google Ireland, Facebook Ireland, and Youtube managing partner Gamellon were also on the payroll, according to Money.pl.

While some financial institutions have instead been trying to join in on the trend (can’t beat them, join them), it’s not surprising that some central banks will maintain their stance of resistance. In fact, the Polish central bank launched a website called “Watch out for cryptocurrencies,” with the domain uwazajnakryptowaluty.pl which was evident in Dubiel’s video hashtag, #uważajnakryptowaluty.

After all, why would they promote an industry that is built to replace them, an industry that is threatening to and can successfully render them obsolete? But what’s baffling is that Poland has been one of the first to support Venezuela’s desperate and questionable leap to a national cryptocurrency in a bid to haul the country out of poverty, agreeing to trade food and medicine in exchange for tokens.

As legislation worldwide moves in hoping to tame the still-wild world of blockchains and cryptocurrencies, it’s clear to see that governments see the advantages and potential of the technology. But it’s hard not to speculate that each territory has its own business agenda behind propaganda. Recently, China has been purging cryptocurrencies out of the country through their Great Firewall, all the while working on their own cryptocurrency. It’s not farfetched to assume allegiances forming between governments and central banks to wipe out potential competition early on.

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.
Canadian regulator calls on Google to ban cryptocurrency

Canadian regulator calls on Google to ban cryptocurrency, ICO ads

A senior Canadian financial regulator has voiced support for the decision of Facebook to ban advertisements for cryptocurrencies and ICOs, and called for Google to do the same.

Noting that regulators were ‘very pleased’ with the decision from Facebook to ban these ads, Jason Roy of the Manitoba Securities Commission said it was now incumbent on other online advertising platforms to take similar steps.

Roy, who also serves as the chair of the Binary Options Task Force in Canada, said regulators were already engaged in discussions with Google about this type of move, reflecting on how “these types of ads are leading people to becoming victims.”

Speaking to the Times of Israel, Roy’s suggestions that Google follow in Facebook’s footsteps with banning ads for cryptocurrencies, ICOs and also binary options, was positioned as an attempt to protect consumers from bad faith actors.

“There’s just been an explosion of different ICOs and new tokens and crazy offerings. You’re seeing ICOs that are raising large amounts of money and there’s nothing behind them in certain cases, but members of the public are so hyped that they’re throwing money at them,” he said.

Facebook’s ban was announced on Jan. 30, and was announced in a blog post penned by Rob Leathern, who said that while Facebook would remain an important platform for discovering cryptocurrencies, it shouldn’t be possible for potentially misleading ads to reach unsuspecting consumers.

“We want people to continue to discover and learn about new products and services through Facebook ads without fear of scams or deception. That said, there are many companies who are advertising binary options, ICOs and cryptocurrencies that are not currently operating in good faith,” according to Leathern.

Comments from Roy and the Manitoba Securities Commission are far from isolated, with increasing efforts at the regulatory level across the world to deal with the rise of cryptocurrencies.

While regulators and lawmakers describe their steps as essential regulation of a potentially risky market, critics of the plans see these efforts as attempts to control or destabilise cryptocurrency markets, and in particular the threat they could pose to the established global financial order.

Still, it remains to be seen whether the regulator’s comments will influence Google to take similar steps to Facebook in outlawing ads for cryptocurrency products.

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.

Warning: phishing scams are stepping up their game

Google search results are being manipulated and fake websites are looking more and more like the legitimate ones.

As blockchain technology strides forward, it has not been spared of malicious, opportunistic entities looking to make quick bucks off investors. The cryptocurrency industry is particularly attractive—with users getting more active in online trading and storing their money in web exchanges, the potential incentives become worthwhile for predators. Initial coin offering (ICO) websites, trading platforms, exchanges, and online wallets are a primary target.

While there is a huge amount of money in the industry, security measures are also sophisticated, and its patrons are (somewhat) wiser. As such, stealing from tight defences requires equally sophisticated swindles—and this is exactly what scammers are on to.

A few months ago, crypto-investment platform Enigma’s followers were duped of 1,492 ETH (then amounting to close to $500,000) before the company launched their ICO after scammers spread Slack messages urging investors to visit a decoy website. Several users have lost money to phishing websites—sites that look like legitimate websites but are actually fake. If you use your credentials to log in through these scam websites, the thieves collect your password and clean out your accounts.

A report by Chainalysis outlines how rampant and utterly worrying cybercrime is, particularly on the Ethereum blockchain: “10% of Ethereum holdings marked for ICO investment lies in the hands of criminals. Chainalysis estimates that there have been approximately 30,000 victims of cybercrime on Ethereum losing on average $7,500 each.”

Much like an evolutionary adaptation race where the predator hikes up its tolerance of its prey’s defences, scammers are stepping up their game to prey on users as well. Scammers can now fiddle with Google results to put their fake website on top of search results, so they can lure people who are looking to log in to their exchange wallets. To complete their scheme, the fake website looks more and more like the legitimate ones.

As a countermeasure, it is best to verify and type in the web addresses of legitimate exchange websites and bookmarking them, instead of clicking at Google search results. To help the community out further, it is also important for users to report phishing websites to Google.

Warning: phishing scams are stepping up their game

Google search results are being manipulated and fake websites are looking more and more like the legitimate ones.

As blockchain technology strides forward, it has not been spared of malicious, opportunistic entities looking to make quick bucks off investors. The cryptocurrency industry is particularly attractive—with users getting more active in online trading and storing their money in web exchanges, the potential incentives become worthwhile for predators. Initial coin offering (ICO) websites, trading platforms, exchanges, and online wallets are a primary target.

While there is a huge amount of money in the industry, security measures are also sophisticated, and its patrons are (somewhat) wiser. As such, stealing from tight defences requires equally sophisticated swindles—and this is exactly what scammers are on to.

A few months ago, crypto-investment platform Enigma’s followers were duped of 1,492 ETH (then amounting to close to $500,000) before the company launched their ICO after scammers spread Slack messages urging investors to visit a decoy website. Several users have lost money to phishing websites—sites that look like legitimate websites but are actually fake. If you use your credentials to log in through these scam websites, the thieves collect your password and clean out your accounts.

A report by Chainalysis outlines how rampant and utterly worrying cybercrime is, particularly on the Ethereum blockchain: “10% of Ethereum holdings marked for ICO investment lies in the hands of criminals. Chainalysis estimates that there have been approximately 30,000 victims of cybercrime on Ethereum losing on average $7,500 each.”

Much like an evolutionary adaptation race where the predator hikes up its tolerance of its prey’s defences, scammers are stepping up their game to prey on users as well. Scammers can now fiddle with Google results to put their fake website on top of search results, so they can lure people who are looking to log in to their exchange wallets. To complete their scheme, the fake website looks more and more like the legitimate ones.

As a countermeasure, it is best to verify and type in the web addresses of legitimate exchange websites and bookmarking them, instead of clicking at Google search results. To help the community out further, it is also important for users to report phishing websites to Google.