There is no time when the Bitcoin price isn’t a hot topic. Whether it’s surging or sinking, the leading cryptocurrency is the most popular topics of all in the crypto space.
With the recent surge to over $8,000 Bitcoin got into the eyes of many investors, traders and experts who are having another say on the cryptocurrency’s future. According to analysts, there may be a sudden surge in demand from institutional investors, making the price of Bitcoin grow a lot by the end of this year.
A couple of days after the billionaire venture capitalist and SpaceX investor Tim Draper said that Bitcoin price is likely going towards $250,000 by the end of 2022, we are all curious to see what the short-term growth will be.
Speaking of which, the mid-term is what is more interesting for many analysts. One of them is the Wall Street analyst and Fundstrat founder Tom Lee, who stated that the Bitcoin price will achieve $25,000 by the start of 2019. He also said that this is a major correction, noting:
“We still feel pretty confident that bitcoin is a great risk-reward and we think it could reach $25,000 by the end of the year,”
The Bitcoin price recorded a 15% increase in only 3 days – rising from $6,900 to $8,000. If the momentum is being kept, Lee’s predictions may turn out true and overcome the previous all-time high.
At this point, the major breakdown happens with the question – does Bitcoin have the potential to evolve into a major currency that is used by millions of users, merchants, retailers, restaurants, cafes, and businesses?
If this is possible, then the mid-term price prediction is more than likely to happen – and the long-term goals of $250k are definitely something that could happen (even sooner than 2022). In the end, we are about to see what happens with the current regulation going on.
3 Big Ways Blockchain Helps In Preventing Fraud
Let’s face it – blockchain is one of the most emerging technologies in the 21st century. It was originally developed to prevent fraud in the digital currency exchanges – but was later on discovered as a ‘mind-blowing’ technology that serves endless protective and even disruptive use cases in many industries.
However, if we focus on blockchain in its full light, we will see that it is designed to prevent and combat fraud in the best way possible – cutting the “middle man” altogether. Below are the three best ways in which blockchain does the following.
Smart Contracts As The New Technology Putting Escrow To Shade
The first way in which blockchain helps combating fraud is the smart contract technology. The use of smart contracts lets sellers of anything combat fraud with blockchain technology. Wondering how?
It’s simple – smart contracts allow both the buyer and the seller to create “if/then” scenarios in the contracts in which one step of the process won’t be fulfilled until the one before it has been verified as complete. Goodbye Escrow, right?
A Smarter & Tighter Supply Chain
The second way in which blockchain prevents fraud is the supply chain. In a global economy that is massive nowadays, blockchain narrows things down – and ensures that every label and every statement behind the label stays correct.
Goodbye, Identity Fraud
According to research, identity fraud cost consumers more than $16 billion last year alone – not to mention the headaches and sleepless nights for many. Blockchain makes a lot of things better in this view – introducing the more personalized and more secure digital IDs in a new generation.
The development would be a true game-changer on many levels – combating fraud with a ledger that is constantly reconciled – and one that can only be updated when verified by both parties of users.
All in all, blockchain is a new and emerging technology that can be used in every industry and in many different scenarios. The long and short of it is that it can serve as an objective that is trustworthy, a third-party mediator in any interaction, deal or partnership that you can imagine.
In the end, blockchain is designed to ensure trust and transparency – even among those who don’t trust each other.
Football Legend Luis Figo Is The Newest Celebrity Behind An ICO
The Portuguese football veteran and a true legend in the sport, Luis Figo, is one of the latest athletes who decided to officially promote an initial coin offering (ICO). The football star who is the winner of the 2000 Ballon d’Or and the 2001 FIFA World Player of the Year has become an ambassador for Stryking Entertainment, the company behind the platform Football Stars.
Stryking is a company that seeks to tokenize fantasy sports as well as bring more value to them. Luis Figo found this as the perfect opportunity for collaboration. In a statement along with the official announcement, he said:
“When I heard about Football-Stars for the first time I immediately liked the idea. Football becomes more and more data driven with detailed statistics about all aspects of the game – this is what Stryking’s platform utilizes to create a compelling fan experience. I am happy to support the experienced team at Stryking and spread the word about their platform that allows fans to engage with the teams and players they are backing.”
The official plan is to distribute the STRYKZ token through ICO. However, the details haven’t been released yet. Meanwhile, Figo joins a growing list of football legends and athletes who have endorsed ICOs so far. Some of them include the retired English football star Michael Owen, the boxing legend Floyd Mayweather, the boxing champion Manny Pacquiao, the Barcelona football star Luis Suarez and others.
Meanwhile, the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) changed the founders of Centra Tex (an ICO promoted by Mayweather too) with fraud. Similar is the case with AriseBank, whose ICO has been endorsed by the retired boxing star Evander Holyfield but also charged with fraudulent activities.
Currently, the SEC hasn’t taken any enforcement action against token sales promoted by celebrities. However, they issued a bulletin stating that these celebrity ICO endorsements may be illegal in some cases.
(Image is taken from CoinCrispy.com)
Cryptojacking Cаmраіgn Uѕеѕ Fіvе-Yеаr-Old Vulnerability to Rаkе in Mоnеrо
A nearly fіvе-уеаr-оld vulnеrаbіlіtу іѕ rероrtеdlу bеіng uѕеd to іnfесt Linux ѕеrvеrѕ with a сrурtо mining mаlwаrе that’s allowing hackers to use thеm to mіnе рrіvасу-сеntrіс сrурtосurrеnсу Mоnеrо (XMR), ассоrdіng tо US-bаѕеd суbеrѕесurіtу fіrm Trend Mісrо.
According to the company’s rероrt, hackers bеnеfіt frоm vulnerabilities in thе Wеаthеrmар Cacti рlugіn. The vulnеrаbіlіtу being еxрlоіtеd іѕ сlаѕѕіfіеd as CVE-2013-2618, аnd іѕ аllоwіng hackers tо gаіn соdе еxесutіоn аbіlіtу оn thе underlying serves. Thіѕ wау, you саn іnѕtаll thе сuѕtоmіzеd vеrѕіоn оf XMRіg, the legitimate аnd ореn-ѕоurсе Mоnеrо mіnіng ѕоftwаrе.
Rеѕеаrсhеrѕ detail thаt the аttасkеrѕ are аblе tо guаrаntее maximum uрtіmе thrоugh thе vulnеrаbіlіtу, bу сhесkіng in оn thе mіnіng mаlwаrе every thrее minutes, іn саѕе anyone ѕhutѕ dоwn thе ѕуѕtеm. Tо аvоіd detection, thе аttасkеrѕ аrе іnѕtruсtіng XMRіg to реrfоrm discreetly, by lіmіtіng thе mаxіmum amount оf CPU resources іt will tаkе аdvаntаgе of tо mіnе.
Nоtаblу a раtсh fоr thе vulnerability has rероrtеdlу bееn аvаіlаblе fоr аbоut fіvе уеаrѕ. Sоmе uѕеrѕ mау still bе unknоwіnglу mіnіng Mоnеrо for thе hackers, despite bеіng able tо еаѕіlу fіx the рrоblеm. Trend Mісrо’ѕ report rеаdѕ:
“It’s аlѕо a сlаѕѕіс case оf rеuѕеd vulnеrаbіlіtіеѕ, as it exploits a rаthеr оutdаtеd security flаw whоѕе patch hаѕ been аvаіlаblе fоr nearly fіvе уеаrѕ.”
The flаw wаѕ іnіtіаllу іdеntіfіеd five уеаrѕ ago, in Aрrіl 2013, in thе Wеаthеrmар рlugіn. Thе ореn-ѕоurсе рlugіn is used by ISPѕ, іntеrnеt exchanges, Fоrtunе 500 companies, and tеlесоm nеtwоrk tо mар nеtwоrk асtіvіtу.
Thе сrурtоjасkіng саmраіgn is mainly tаrgеtіng рublісlу ассеѕѕіblе x86-64 Lіnux servers thrоughоut thе wоrld, wіth thе mоѕt аffесtеd countries being Japan, Tаіwаn, Chіnа, the Unіtеd Stаtеѕ, аnd India.
Trend Mісrо researchers managed to dіѕсоvеr two Mоnеrо wallets rесеіvіng thе іll-gоttеn funds, аnd noted thе саmраіgn nеttеd hackers 320 Mоnеrо (roughly $63,000) аѕ оf March 21. Thеу noted, however, thаt thіѕ саmраіgn is connected to оnе that used JеnkіnѕMіnеr mаlwаrе on Windows mасhіnеѕ, and rаkеd іn аt least $3 mіllіоn wоrth of XMR.
Uѕеrѕ саn рrоtесt thеіr mасhіnеѕ bу simply kееріng thеіr ѕуѕtеmѕ patched. Those runnіng Cасtі’ѕ Network Wеаthеrmар рlugіn, rеѕеаrсhеrѕ nоtе, need tо ѕесurе thеіr data аnd kеер іt аwау frоm рublіс ѕеrvеrѕ. Thе fіrm’ѕ rероrt rеаdѕ:
“Dаtа frоm Cасtі should bе рrореrlу kept internal tо thе environment. Hаvіng this dаtа еxроѕеd represents a hugе rіѕk іn tеrmѕ оf ореrаtіоnаl ѕесurіtу. While thіѕ аllоwѕ ѕуѕtеmѕ оr network аdmіnіѕtrаtоrѕ to соnvеnіеntlу monitor thеіr environments, іt also dоеѕ thе ѕаmе fоr thrеаt асtоrѕ.”
Notable cryptojacking vісtіmѕ include Tеѕlа, аnd Stаrbuсkѕ аѕ its Wi-Fi wаѕ fоund uѕіng реорlе’ѕ laptops tо mine. A mаlwаrе саmраіgn аlѕо mаnаgеd to hіjасk mіllіоnѕ оf Android devices to mіnе еаrlіеr thіѕ year.
South Korea Considering Reversal of ICO Ban
South Korea was one of the first major names to adapt cryptocurrency payments. While they aren’t a legal tender in the nation, many online portals, as well as physical stores in the nation allow cryptocurrency payments. A sizable portion of the population is investing into cryptocurrencies – and as a nation, South Korea has been pretty open to this innovative new economic system. While the government wasn’t really hostile towards cryptocurrencies, ICOs were on their radar. Owing to a rise in ICO scams, ICOs were banned in South Korea.
However, if recent reports from the country are to be believed, it appears that South Korea may be working on a plan to reverse this ban on Initial Coin Offerings in the country. However, there will be some strict regulations in place. Reports from The Korea Times, one of the biggest business publications in the country claim that South Korean government may soon allow ICOs and token sales under certain conditions.
As per the publication, a South Korean government official has told them that “The financial authorities have been talking to the country’s tax agency, justice ministry and other relevant government offices about a plan to allow ICOs in Korea when certain conditions are met.”
After ICOs were banned last year, South Korea’s Financial Service Commission (FSC) vice chairman Kim Yong-beom commented that ICOs were causing money to be “flooded into an unproductive and speculative direction.” However, despite their ban on domestic ICOs, South Korean citizens could continue to invest in foreign ICOs. South Korean companies such as Kakao, which intend to raise funds with their own ICO are considering options such as Hong Kong and Singapore to set up their operations.
The government of South Korea banned ICOs in September 2017. This led to a widespread panic and FUD in the markets which slowed down the growth of a number of cryptocurrencies. This decision was announced just a few months after China announced a ban on cryptocurrency exchanges in the nation – leading to a fear that South Korea may soon do the same too. However, that did not happen.
South Korean government officials have been quite strict on cryptocurrencies in the recent past, primarily due to two issues – the anonymous nature of cryptocurrencies and the potential threat of tax evasion that cryptocurrencies pose. The government is taking measures to ensure that anonymous accounts cannot be used for trading and that all cryptocurrency exchanges in the nation need to have their customers comply with a KYC procedure.
The government is also banning foreigners from using domestic South Korean exchanges. These exchanges have attracted many users from beyond the nation because of the price difference that exists between the South Korean cryptocurrency exchange rates and rates elsewhere. The government has forced all public officials in the nation to disclose their cryptocurrency holdings – and has also declared a ruling that public officials can no longer be involved with crypto-trades.
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