WannaCry ransom exchanged via ShapeShift.io

In times of total networking, bank robberies give way to a more effective way of obtaining money: Ransomware. WannaCry is one such ransomware that for months exploited security vulnerabilities on computers around the world to encrypt drives against the will of their users. The players behind WannaCry apparently wanted to secure their loot.

We reported on the devastating incidents with the WannaCry ransomware. Countless computers worldwide were infected, the attackers first demanded a ransom in Bitcoin, later also in the (almost) anonymous digital currency Monero. The ransom was supposed to be the key to decrypt the affected drive. Security experts advised patience, as some of these encryptions could be solved by other means.

Even computers of the British Ministry of Health were affected, and the general public might not even be aware of the extent. 300,000 computers in over 150 countries were victims of this attack.

The frequency of these Bitcoin trader attacks is increasing

The address with the booty on the Bitcoin trader blockchain is known. On Wednesday, a Twitter review reported that payment had begun from the hacker’s address. The hackers tried to exchange their captured Bitcoins for Monero via the Swiss exchange service ShapeShift.io. The first payout amounted to around 7.34 Bitcoin, which is currently slightly more than 20,000 US dollars. Monero’s market capital is currently US$650 million, with an XMR token currently priced at US$43.

The digital currency is becoming more and more popular, not least because darkweb marketplaces like AlphaBay were ultimately undermined by the open nature of the public blockchain, like Bitcoin.

Crypto trader reaction

But the supposed escape in Monero seemed easier for the crypto trader than expected. The team behind the crypto trader review reported on Wednesday that the transaction would violate the terms of use of ShapeShift.io.

“As of today, we are blacklisting all addresses associated with the WannaCry hack that are known to our ShapeShift team, in accordance with our policy, if the service conditions are not met. We will monitor the situation closely and block any other addresses associated with it.”

According to its own information, ShapeShift is now working with law enforcement in this case.

Mexico: Western Union loses value – Bitcoin booms

After Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto cancelled the meeting with the new US President Donald Drump, the share price of the payment provider Western Union promptly fell by several percentage points – less nationally sensitive payment systems such as Bitcoin, on the other hand, met with growing popularity.

Following Trumps’ announcement to start building the US-Mexico border wall and finance it with a 20% tariff on Mexican imports, Peña Nieto cancelled the planned meeting of the two heads of state. The conflict between the two closely rooted trading partners triggered an economic shock wave that did not leave the well-known remittance service provider Western Union unscathed.

Bitcoin profit as Safe Haven for Weakening Peso

Following the cancellation of the Trump meeting, the already weak peso fell by more than 1 percent against the US dollar. Read more about it here: https://www.geldplus.net/en/bitcoin-profit-review/ Investments in digital currencies like Bitcoin profit can help investors mitigate these negative effects.

Marco Montes Neri, co-founder of the cross-border payment service provider Saldo.mx, says the technology is not yet “mature” for a mass-market safe haven, but at the same time stressed the importance of digital currencies as a non-state foundation:

“Reality shows that the acceptance is not yet so advanced that governments intervene to create clarity or the company has the possibility to invest large parts of its assets in digital currencies. This shows us how important it will be in the future to think about replacing traditional national economies with cluster economies. National economies are increasingly becoming a threat to businesses.”

Jose Rodriguez of Bitso, the Mexican digital currency exchange, sees Bitcoin as a haven for Mexicans to escape the depreciation of the Mexican peso: “If the announced measures actually take effect, many Mexicans will look for alternative currencies. The past has already shown us that Bitcoin, for example, is a popular place of refuge in times of economic instability and political problems. Bitcoin gives people back the freedom to move their money freely”.

Interest in digital currencies and Bitcoin profit on the rise in Mexico

In response to the economic Bitcoin profit problems Mexico is facing now and in the future, alternative currencies are becoming increasingly popular, according to Rodriguez: Is Bitcoin Profit a Scam? Read This Review Before You Sign Up!

“People see Bitcoin as an opportunity to preserve value. Over the past two years, the peso has lost 50% of its value against the US dollar. Any new Trumps announcement could reduce Mexican income and push the peso further into the basement.”

Since the US elections, interest in Bitcoin has increased. The trading platform Localbitcoins has already recorded a strong increase in trading volume on the Mexican market. Also the trading platform Bitso already profited from the Trump slogans:

“People inquire about Bitcoin in forums and communities. They want to know how they can process or invest in international payments via Bitcoin. Conventional transfer methods are heavily taxed or even completely discontinued.”

Ernst & Young: New ICO Report

The auditing firm Ernst & Young has published an update on its ICO analysis from 2017. In this year’s report they analysed the progress and return of the 372 ICOs. The conclusion is – modest.

The ICO investment volume shows the most positive development. This is already higher than the total volume in 2017 in the first half of the year. In contrast, however, the return is clearly negative. The majority of the ICOs analysed (approx. 94 percent or 132 ICOs) are in the red. Approximately one third of them (approx. 43 ICOs) even fell by more than 90 percent.

One possible reason for this poor performance is the lack of market maturity. Although this year around ten percent more ICOs have an operational product (or prototype) than in 2017, 70 percent are still in the idea stage.

The trend towards Bitcoin code review

But even ICOs with functioning products are not necessarily positive for investors as seen here https://www.geldplus.net/en/bitcoin-code-review/. Because many projects increasingly rely on fiat currencies as a payment alternative. As a result, they devalue their tokens. Seven of the 25 Bitcoin code reviewmarket-ready ICOs accept US dollars in addition to their own utility tokens. Digipulse is taking the most extreme step. In August, the company announced its delisting; as of 15 December, the DGPT token will no longer be tradable. The price has levelled off at zero since the announcement.

Another extreme can also be seen in the profits. The top 10 ICOs generate 99 percent of all net earnings. Not surprising is the sector distribution: the narrow majority of the highest-yielding ICOs are blockchain platforms.

Conclusion and outlook of the Bitcoin code scam

As is usual with young technologies, many experiments fail like this http://www.onlinebetrug.de/bitcoin-code-scam. And ICOs are no exception. However, their lack of market maturity is worrying, especially as they have raised a lot of capital. It seems, according to the auditors, that ICO investments are even riskier than traditional venture capital. One of the reasons for this is the lack of product development. Based on this, analysts expect private investors to withdraw from Bitcoin code scam ICO investments and more qualified investors (e.g. funds) to replace them.

Although the report does not address this, the reasons for the lack of product development are helpful in assessing returns more accurately. The true causes are likely to remain unexplained. Probably, however, is a combination of fraud and misjudgement by companies. For example, many ICOs have underestimated complexity and overestimated demand. And possibly the time-to-market for blockchain companies is also simply longer than a year. An indication of this is the (relatively) good return on investment of blockchain platforms. Because many applications depend on scalable blockchains, they are forced to wait and are unable to bring their products to market.

Ernst & Young will publish another follow-up report later this year. Maybe by then, scaling solutions like Liquid will show first successes and give blockchain applications the necessary basis to bring their products to market.

DASH – An interview about digital cash

Director of Finance Ryan Taylor in an interview with BTC-ECHO. In this interview, DASH looked into the cards and depicted the origin, present and future of the crypto currency.

DASH is one of the currencies of which crypto aficionados have already heard. We have already reported on the currency. It is a crypto currency, which controls the further actions of the developers with a decentralized governance system, ultimately a DAO (decentralized autonomous organization). Furthermore, DASH enables instantaneous transactions and is a system that promises anonymity and fungibility – enough reasons for an interview!

The Director of Finance of DASH, Ryan Taylor, was kind enough to answer some questions that were burning under our nails. And so we don’t want to keep on skirmishing. So, here we go…

DASH – What is that?

Hello Ryan. Tell us a little about how you came to crypto currencies and finally to DASH!

Like so many others, my first contact with digital currencies was Bitcoin. As an economist with a focus on payment solutions, I was immediately enthusiastic about the idea behind Bitcoin. Despite all the enthusiasm, I could also find some weaknesses in the system.

That’s why I started looking at alternatives to Bitcoin at the beginning of 2014. I focused on those that weren’t just a gimmick or proof of concept, but solved real-life problems.

This led me to DASH, a crypto currency that could solve many of the problems crypto currencies have to do with. I just had to be involved – this currency had and has incredibly disruptive potential! So I came to DASH. After we got to know your background a little bit and now arrived at DASH.

Can you say something about the background of this crypto currency?

Gladly! Evan Duffield Evan Duffield started DASH in January 2014. The original intention was to create a testing ground for ideas that could improve Bitcoin.

The original ideas revolved around privacy, which is still one of DASH’s primary associations today. Over time, the project grew and so did our expectations.

With DASH, we have a pioneering position within the industry in a number of places: we were the first to offer truly spontaneous payments, we were the first to expand the concept of financial rewards so that not only the miners benefited from a stable network, and finally we were the first to create a crypto currency that regulated itself through decentralized governance.

In the next step, “DASH Evolution”, we want to make crypto currencies even easier to use.