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Baltimore’s Crypto Ransomware Attack Reaches $18 Million

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Baltimore’s Crypto ransomware
FO6E3842CAC44 - Baltimore’s Crypto Ransomware Attack Reaches $18 Million

Baltimore’s crypto ransomware attack which started last month on the city’s networks reaches the $18 million point. The total costs of the attack are expected to exceed this limit and in today’s altcoin news we learn more why.

According to Ars Technica, it will take up to $10 million to fund the recovery of the entire IT infrastructure. Also, the officials estimated that the city lost revenues that reach $8 million while the systems were down and damaged. So far, the city spent more than $1 million on new hardware, computer software and everything else needed to improve the infrastructure. Baltimore also hired temporary workers who joined the cleaning of the malware process.

The lost revenues and the cost of the recovery process are much more different than what the attackers are demanding which is about $80,000 in crypto. The people of the city are wondering why the city is not paying off the hackers and save the taxpayers money. However, the deputy chief of staff for operations for Baltimore’s mayor Sheryl Goldstein, the FBI was the one that discouraged the city to pay off the attackers. The city authorities wanted to pay off the hackers since they thought this will save the city and according to Goldstein:

‘’The federal investigators have advised us not to pay the ransom. The data shows you have less than a 50-50 chance of getting your data back if you pay the ransom, and, even if you pay the ransom, you still have to go within your system and make sure they’re out of it. You couldn’t just bring it back up and believe they were gone, and so we would be bearing much of these costs regardless.’’

Baltimore’s crypto ransomware attack damaged the city incredibly. The Mayor of the city Jack Young even tweeted that the Secret Service had also advised against paying the ransom despite the demands from the citizens to pay off the ransom to the hackers. Young, however, noted that ‘’this is not the way we operate and we won’t reward criminal behavior.’’ He also warned that by paying the ransom there is still one possibility left for the hackers to demand more.

As reported in the latest cryptocurrency news, the hackers have been applying pressures to get their demands and have leaked some of the documents that they stole.

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Blockchain News

Electroneum Startup Launches New Services In Turkey

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The Electroneum startup which enables the users to mine their own cryptocurrency on their smartphones is now expanding into the Turkish market by providing services in the country as we are about to see in the blockchain news today.The latest reports show that more than 20 percent of the population in Turkey claims to own cryptocurrency and is currently number one in crypto adoption. This is good news for the Electroneum startup since it is expected to make deals with three of the country’s telecom operators to enable the users to pay for airtime with its native cryptocurrency ETN according to the CEO Richard Ells:
"The whole concept of the airtime thing was to give people an understanding that cryptocurrency has value. In Turkey, you have 20 percent ownership of crypto, but that’s still the richest 20 percent. It isn’t the poorest people who are using cryptocurrency.”
The service that was launched in Turkey last month is now available in Brazil and South Africa. Ells said that Electroneum is using the mobile top-ups to combat the negative attitude that prevails to cryptocurrencies. The research shows that there are more than 25 million unbanked people in Turkey which makes it a very fertile ground for the top-up service. In the next few weeks, the company also plans to launch a new platform that will allow the users to learn share and monetize their digital skills using the ETN  as payment with zero fees. Ells explained that the new platform ‘’AnyTasks’’ will allow for payment by traditional methods such as credit cards and then the remittance takes place in ETN so each person that is unbanked can still be able to sell their digital skills. He added that Turkey’s 3.6 million refugees can also benefit from the new platform which is cost-free:
 “There’s a great need for something of value that’s easily transferable, and easy to store and carry, especially for refugees. It’s a really interesting place for us to be.”
Together with the Non-governmental organizations, the Electroneum startup will set up a complementary platform called the Task School which will contain tutorials on how to get things done on a mobile phone from stop-frame animations and creating animated videos within social media content. Electroneum has strong links to NGOs who have become validators of the native proof-of-responsibility network.
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Blockchain Master’s Degree Now Available In Schools In Malta

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Blockchain master’s degree is now available at the University of Malta where more than 35 students have already enrolled in the program. Let’s check out the study guide in the blockchain latest news today.The ‘’Blockchain Island’’ has now a government authority to certify the distributed ledger platforms and regulations to manage smart contracts including a framework for launching ICOs. The University of Malta is now offering a Blockchain Master’s degree and Distributed Ledger Technology course which began its inaugural semester this October with more than 35 students enrolling in the island’s nation only DLT-specific program which offers these programs as a part of the very few countries which offer the same. This is one of the latest changes in the Malta education system by including blockchain degrees which marks the effort keeping the title as one of the best places for blockchain technology development in the world.The lawmakers in the country started passing blockchain-friendly laws and many high-end industry players such as Binance and OKEx moved their headquarters to the island. In less than one-year crypto companies started moving ashore and more businesses joined later. The master’s program director Joshua Ellul who also heads the Digital Innovation Authority of the country explained that in addition to the 15 companies who have already reached out to the DLT students, there is also a high demand for the government-run blockchain projects, initiatives, and contracts.Last year, the Maltese government granted 300,000 EUR to fund program scholarships. The course will train the students in blockchain law and regulation, finance and blockchain but also information and communications technology. The students will listen to the program for three full semesters and will gain exposure to two other fields. Ellul explained that the academic diversity prioritizes a broad base of knowledge and the Blockchain professionals were also experts in the sector of the industry but very few can tie the other strands together. He explained:
 “We noticed a huge problem between techies and lawyers and business professionals. There was a communication disconnect between us. We thought: ‘this would be the perfect place to have a master’s, one serving the multidisciplinary purposes of the different specializations.''
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HTC Launches First Phone That Runs A Full BTC Node-Exodus 1S

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The Taiwanese electronics giant HTC launches a new smartphone Exodus 1S which makes it possible for its users to run a full Bitcoin node on the mobile. In the blockchain news today we dive in deeper to find out more about the new phone’s features.In line with the previous announcement made on May 2019, HTC launches the Exodus 1S smartphone at the Lightning Conference in Berlin on October 19 and also started selling the first device during the event with the help of the Lightning payment network according to the press release from the company. The latest HTC Exodus 1S smartphone is a lower-cost version of the first HTC blockchain-powered phone Exodus 1 and also recently added support of Bitcoin Cash (BCH). It is currently priced at $233 and also the new device is available to buy using Ether (ETH), Bitcoin (BTC), Litecoin (LTC), Bitcoin Cash (BCH) and Binance Coin (BNB) according to the company’s press release. Apart from featuring send, receive, buy and sell options, HTC offered to lend and borrow options that also claim that the Exodus 1S is the first smartphone that is capable of running a full Bitcoin node.The product will be available at first for the users in Europe, Saudi Arabia, Taiwan, and the UAE while other regions such as Germany and Switzerland will see launches later during the year as the company noted. The Decentralized Chief Officer at HTC Phil Chen, stated that the full nodes are one of the ‘’ most important ingredients in the resilience of the Bitcoin network’’ outlining that by launching the Exodus 1S the company has lowered the entry barrier so every person can run a full node and participate in the global network. Exodus 1 on the other hand, was the first blockchain-powered phone and its launch was announced for a presale in October 2018 and was instantly available in 34 regions including UK, US, and Hong Kong. In the middle of September, the decentralized offline crypto sales company PundiX introduced the blok on Blok blockchain smartphone at the IFA trade show also in Berlin. A while later, the South Korean electronics giant LG announced that they will also develop a blockchain smartphone in response to Samsung’s Klaytin blockchain phone.
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Blockchain Scaling: What Does ‘Vertical’ And ‘Horizontal’ Mean?

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In today's blockchain news, we are focusing on the topic of blockchain scaling - and explaining what is vertical and horizontal scaling. We will cover a lot of the questions concerned with this topic and help you understand it thoroughly.

What is vertical and horizontal blockchain scaling?

In the blockchain scaling world, vertical blockchain scaling refers to the expansion of a network by adding more power and memory to a system and its core processing unit. On the other hand, horizontal scaling involves the addition of more nodes (ex. machines) to the framework of an existing system.When dealing with the topic of scalability, it is important to note that the concept is invoke when someone is looking to increase the transaction capacity of a specific platform.

Does scaling work well with blockchains?

The best way blockchain scaling works is with traditional databases. From a security standpoint, however, scalable blockchains are way more useful and pragmatic. Still, there is a trade-off involved.Since blockchain systems are already distributed networks, it is difficult to increase a network and its overall throughput by simply adding more hardware entities such as miners, nodes or validators.

How is scaling done?

Vertical scaling happens when the efficiency of each individual transaction is improved. Horizontal scaling, on the other hand, is achieved through increasing the platform and its overall throughput capacity.General blockchain scaling improvements are made through the use of a concept known as "layering" where each individual component of a particular system is made to interact with the digital counterparts in some way of sequential and hierarchical way.

When should one use horizontal or vertical scaling?

Pure vertical scaling is limited when it comes to its effectiveness - but it is relatively easier to achieve. Horizontal blockchain scaling is typically used to improve the overall throughput of a system that takes longer to develop.So, for example, if there is an issue with the virtual machine and its local memory not being sufficient to process all of the incoming transaction, a vertical scale might help and fix the problem. On the other hand, if an incoming transaction load cannot be handled by a platform and its existing hardware, employing a horizontal scale will help one rectify the issue.
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