How Payswap Can Confuse Blockchain Analysts, Benefiting Bitcoin Privacy for All

Although Satoshi Nakamoto’s white paper suggests that privacy was a design goal of the Bitcoin protocol, blockchain analysis can often break users’ privacy. This is a problem. Bitcoin users might not necessarily want the world to know where they spend their money, what they earn or how much they own, while businesses may not want to leak transaction details to competitors — to name some examples. But there are solutions to regain privacy. A new solution was proposed on the bitcoin-dev mailing list this week, by the Bitcoin and Lightning…

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2019 Saw Most Exchange Attacks Ever, With Hackers Becoming More Savvy

As cryptocurrency exchanges beef up their security to defend themselves against cyberattacks, hackers are responding in kind by amping up their techniques — and the data shows that they’re finding success. Cryptocurrency exchanges faced more successful attacks in 2019 than in any other year since bitcoin began trading on public exchanges in 2011, according to data compiled for a recent report from blockchain analytics firm Chainalysis. While the 11 attacks recorded in 2019 nearly doubled those conducted in 2018, the total damage ($282.6 million stolen in cryptocurrency in 2019 versus…

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The Fed Has Pumped $500 Billion Into the Repo Market. Where Does It End?

In September 2019, the interest rate for the overnight money market — a short-term lending market where banks borrow cash from each other to meet reserve requirements at the end of a business day — surged to 10 percent. Banks weren’t willing to lend out capital for the Federal Reserve’s target interest rate of 2 percent. The Fed responded to the cash crunch by financing these so-called repurchasing agreements (repos, for short) directly. It offered the 2 percent interest on these short-term loans (they’re usually paid back in days or…

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Video: Reviewing the Billfodl Multishard

Bitcoin Magazine reviewed the Billfodl Multishard, a two-of-three stainless steel recovery seed storage device that allows you to split your seed into three shards, ensuring that, even if someone finds one part of your phrase, they won’t be able to steal your funds. Each shard allows you to store up to 16 words of your seed phrase, and each unit tells you which 16 out of the 24 total words to load up. Shard One houses words 1 to 16, Shard Two houses words 9 to 24 and Shard 3…

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Review: HTC Exodus 1s, the Full Bitcoin Node Smartphone

When it launched during The Lightning Conference in October 2019, HTC’s Exodus 1s smartphone took on the ambitious mission of endowing Bitcoiners with a device that delivers the security of a hardware wallet and the privacy and sovereignty of a full Bitcoin node.  At a retail price of 219 euro (approximately $245), plus shipping tax, the device is more affordable than a Casa Node and half as expensive as a Ledger Nano X hardware wallet. Weighing less than 6 ounces and sporting a shiny 5.7-inch screen, the HTC Exodus 1s…

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The Kindest Cut: Why the 2020 Bitcoin Halvening Is the Most Important Yet

In May of 2020, bitcoin will see its next halving: the reduction of the reward for successfully mining a block. The Nakamoto white paper specifies that every 210,000 blocks, the reward for successfully mining a block is cut by half. But while these occur roughly every four years (with the estimated reward dropping to one Satoshi on or around the year 2140), the Bitcoin Halvening of 2020 is particularly momentous. At present, the reward for mining a block is 12.5 BTC; in May, the reward for successfully adding a block…

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Remembering Tamás Blummer, Pioneering Bitcoin Developer

Tamás Blummer, a Bitcoin developer since 2012 and founder of several groundbreaking Bitcoin-focused projects, reportedly passed away on January 12, 2019, after a long fight with cancer. Among Blummer’s contributions to the Bitcoin ecosystem were Rust Bitcoin, a project focused on creating a Bitcoin network library written in the Rust programming language; CoinTerra, an early ASIC miner manufacturer; and Bitcoin technology company Bits of Proof, which was acquired by decentralized finance company Digital Assets Holdings, where Blummer served as the chief ledger architect. “RIP @TamasBlummer,” tweeted Adamant Capital partner Tuur…

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Bitcoin Researcher Drums Up Academic Interest in Erlay Protocol

In November 2019, Gleb Naumenko, co-author of the Erlay protocol and Bitcoin researcher at Chaincode Labs, came to London to present at the ACM conference 2019.  The ACM conference is one of the premier conferences on computer and communications security. It brings together “security researchers, practitioners, developers and users from all over the world.” Naumenko’s appearance was a rare recent example of Bitcoin research being covered at a conference focused on broader topics than exclusively cryptocurrency (or “blockchain”).  As Naumenko himself has said, there are numerous benefits to getting individuals…

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Do CoinJoins Really Require Equal Transaction Amounts for Privacy? Part One: CashFusion

Although Satoshi Nakamoto’s white paper suggests that privacy was a design goal of the Bitcoin protocol, blockchain analysis can often break users’ privacy. This is a problem. Bitcoin users might not necessarily want the world to know where they spend their money, what they earn or how much they own, while businesses may not want to leak transaction details to competitors — to name some examples. But there are solutions to regain privacy, like CoinJoin. Some of the most popular mixing solutions available today use this trick, including Wasabi Wallet…

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Wasabi Wallet Launches #BitcoinIsSafe Campaign to Counter Erroneous Antivirus Detections

Recently, Wasabi Wallet users have reported multiple instances in which antivirus programs identify both Wasabi and the newly integrated Bitcoin Core as “system infections.” More specifically, the computer security algorithms for Avira, Bitdefender, Kaspersky and F-Secure (and many other antivirus softwares) confuse full Bitcoin nodes with unwanted cryptocurrency mining programs that run in computer backgrounds and steal processing power (a type of malicious attack whose popularity peaked during the 2017 bull market). In response to this phenomenon, Wasabi Wallet developers have started a social media campaign — distinguished by the…

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