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Category Archives: Cryptocurrency

Top 4 Cryptocurrencies Suffering From Slow Block Times – The Merkle

Posted: February 26, 2017 at 10:53 pm

If there is one thing a lot of people would like to change about bitcoin, it is the rather long time in between blocks being generated on the network. This is also why various outcomes are so popular, as they process transactions a lot quicker. Interestingly enough, Bitcoin is not the only cryptocurrency to suffer from very long block times. In fact, there are at least four other well-known currencies, which suffer from this problem.

Similarly to bitcoin, NameCoin is another SHA-256 cryptocurrency using the same proof-of-work algorithm. It also has a total coin supply of 21 million coins, and a difficulty retarget mimicking the one of bitcoin. The similarities dont end there, though, as Namecoins block time is 10 minutes as well. Unfortunately Namecoin never become a mainstream success, even though it is still popular among the early cryptocurrency adopters.

There seems to be a trend among older SHA-256 coins, as quite a few of them have a 10-minute block time. PeerCoin is a bit different than NameCoin, though, as it combines both proof-of-work and proof-of-stake. Moreover, PeerCoin has no fixed coin supply and a much lower mining difficulty compared to other popular SHA-256 coins.

It is worth noting Peercoin offers a one-block mining difficulty retarget, which is rather unusual. Then again, this block reward of over 65 coins per network block is rather high, which may be part of the reason why Peercoin never became much of a success either. Without scarcity and clear use cases, there is not much use for Peercoin, even though it still holds a value of roughly US$0.31 per coin.

BitBar is the odd one on this list, as this altcoin never amounted to much. Whether that is due to the developer abandoning the project, or just a project that failed to capitalize on bitcoins hype, is a discussion for a different day. We do know Bitbar has a 10 minute block time, which makes it one of the slowest cryptocurrencies to date. Ten minutes is rather long for a Scrypt-based cryptocurrency, though, as those coins usually generate new blocks within three minutes or less.

Contrary to what most people would like to believe, bitcoin is not the slowest cryptocurrency in the world right now. That title goes to Quatloo, a rather obscure altcoin targeting the sci-fi enthusiasts around the world Although this currency has a specific appeal to this group of users, it never became a big success by any stretch of the imagination.

With a block time of 22.25 minutes, Quatloo transactions take ages to confirm. For a Scrypt-based proof-of-work cryptocurrency, that block time was the undoing from day one. Although Quatloo is still being mined as we speak, its community remains rather small and it appears that will not change anytime soon.

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Canadian EDC’s Blockchain Crowdfund Scores $0.5m In Equibits Cryptocurrency Sales – Forbes

Posted: February 25, 2017 at 2:54 pm


Forbes
Canadian EDC's Blockchain Crowdfund Scores $0.5m In Equibits Cryptocurrency Sales
Forbes
Equibit Development Corporation (EDC), a Canadian-based startup behind the Equibit blockchain and applications that is building a decentralized securities platform, has sold over US$500,000 of equibits since launching its crypto coin offering at the

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Cloudflare’s Cloudbleed Has Cryptocurrency Platforms Taking Precautionary Measures – newsBTC

Posted: at 2:54 pm

The recent Cloudbleed memory leak issue has forced cryptocurrency exchanges to issue safety instructions to its users. Read more…

Cybersecurity is one of the major concerns of the cryptocurrency industry. As the cyberthreats increase, online platform operators are flocking to performance and security solutions providers like Cloudflare to ensure that their websites are protected from DDOS and other attacks. But what happens when something goes wrong with the service that is meant to protect digital property worth millions of dollars?

A recent issue with Cloudflares edge servers created a sense of panic among many cryptocurrency exchange operators. Some of them have asked their users to take precautionary measures by changing their login credentials and resetting two-factor authentication for their accounts.Cloudflare reported the recent memory leak issue, known as Cloudbleed in its recent blog post.

According to the blog, Cloudflare was informed of the issue by Tavis Ormandy from Googles Project Zero. Ormandy reported the security problem with Cloudflares edge servers, which he discovered while investigating corrupted web pages. The company offering more details about the incident said,

our edge servers were running past the end of a buffer and returning memory that contained private information such as HTTP cookies, authentication tokens, HTTP POST bodies, and other sensitive data. And some of that data had been cached by search engines.

However, Cloudflare has clarified that the customers SSL private keys were not compromised by the bug as the service always terminates SSL connections through an isolated NGINX instance. The memory leaked by the Cloudbleed bug could have contained private information which was cached by search engines. The issue seems to have gone unnoticed for almost a week, affecting 1 in every 3.3 million HTTP requests made through Cloudflare.

BTC-e, the Bitcoin exchange and betting platform has suggested a series of measures to its users to prevent any undesired aftermath incidents. The advisory issued by BTC-e is as follows,

1) You should change your account password before 16:00 (GMT +3) on 26.02.2017. If you fail to do so, your password will be reset automatically. If you enabled 2-factor authentication between the 12th and the 20th February 2017, we strongly recommend you disable and re-enable it again.

2) You should re-create your API keys (info, trade, btc-e code withdraw & coupon) before 16:00 (GMT +3) on 26.02.2017. If you fail to do so, all your keys will be blocked automatically.

3) Cloudflare explicitly mentions that SSL certificates were not leaked. However, we will change SSL certificates for btc-e.com and btc-e.nz within the next several days to provide additional security.

It is always a good idea for users to review and reset their credentials at regular intervals. Irrespective of whether one is using BTC-e, its APIs or not, they should try to follow the suggestions as applicable to ensure that they are not affected on a later date.

READ MORE:Is Bitcoin Industry Too Dependant on CloudFlare?

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PascalCoin Is A Cryptocurrency With a Deletable Blockchain – The Merkle

Posted: at 2:54 pm

Every now and then, cryptocurrency developers come up with a rather intriguing concept. PascalCoin is a great example of one such project, as this cryptocurrency offers a deletable blockchain, effectively solving one of the data storage problems bitcoin has been facing for several years now. It is time we take a closer look at this altcoin, as it shows a lot of promise.

It is not difficult to see why PascalCoin has been seeing a boost in popularity as of late. Although the project was announced in August of 2016, it looks like its potential is finally coming to fruition After all, PascalCoin is the first cryptocurrency that does not require a blockchain of historical operations to be downloaded by the end user. Despite this odd function, there is no way to double-spend ones coins.

Rather than using the blockchain as found in the bitcoin ecosystem, PascalCoin makes use of a technology called SafeBox. This hash mechanism is modified every time a new block in generated by the PascalCoin blockchain. SafeBox is updated with the new block operations, after which it generates a new Safebox hash. Even if the blockchain up to that point were to be deleted, there is still a proof of all transactions and wallet balances.

Controlling the Safebox hash is of the utmost priority for the PascalCoin team. A total of five new accounts arecreated per network block, which effectively helps to keep the hash size as small as possible. For those who want to find out more, it is well worth checking out the projects white paper on GitHub. By removing the need to download and store an entire blockchain, the PascalCoin developers could be onto something.

Other than the SafeBox feature, PascalCoin focuses on being a cryptocurrency that can appeal to the masses. It offers quite a few similarities to how bank accounts work, with easy to remember account names instead of wallet addresses. This is another intriguing development that makes cryptocurrency more approachable by the average person on the street. It remains to be seen whether or not PascalCoin can achieve its goal, though.

Looking at the PascalCoin trading charts, it is evident this cryptocurrency has become the new hot commodity among altcoin traders. That being said, the fact its blockchain can be deleted and its convenient wallet addresses are the only proper features for the time being. There are no merchants or platforms accepting PascalCoin as a payment option, indicating this altcoin still has a long way to go before it can rival bitcoin.

One final thing that sets apart PascalCoin fro other altcoins is how it seemingly favors mining with an NVIDIA GPU. Most altcoins use algorithms which make using an AMD graphics card far more convenient. PascalCoin is doing things a bit differently, although a new miner for AMD cards was released not too long ago. An intriguing take on things, although it remains to be seen whether or not PascalCoin will still be relevant a few months from now.

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BitConnect Cryptocurrency Exhibits Steady Growth – newsBTC

Posted: February 24, 2017 at 5:58 pm

BitConnect, the young cryptocurrency is showing steady growth within a month of its successful ICO. BitConnect Coin (BCC)is following on the path of the crypto heavyweights like Bitcoin and Ethereum as it showcases significant growth within the digital altcoin community. It continues the trend of the exponential rise as set by the two cryptocurrencies since 2015. The upcoming feature additions to BCC throughout 2017 are further expected to boost its value.

BitConnect coin is an open source, peer-to-peer, community driven decentralized cryptocurrency that allows people to store and invest their wealth in a non-government controlled currency, and even earn a substantial interest on investment.

BCC has experienced few ups and downs since the completion of BCCs initial launch following the ICO. There was a drop in its demand and value soon after its release as is the case for any new digital or physical product. Being a cryptocurrency that is providing real value to the market, BCC has recovered to emerge bigger and stronger than ever.

BCCs chart shows a more than two-fold increase in its price during the recent weeks. Due to an increase in the BitConnect Coin mining activity, the cryptocurrency platform had to increase its mining difficulty to levels much higher than that of any other scrypt-based coin in the altcoin market. Consequently, the exchange volume has been exhibiting significant growth in anticipation of the new features that are going to be included later this month.

The BCC cryptocurrencys demand and price are expected to further increase as the platform prepares to launch the much awaited BitConnect application for Android and iOS devices. The latter half of the year will also see the cryptocurrency undergoing more innovation and also the inclusion of new convenience features. The BCC mining process will stop yielding new coins by the end of 2017.

BitConnect Coin connects its users socially and financially to a secure, protected community of investors and lenders. BCC owners can also connect with the community to increase the value in their respective wallets as the cryptocurrencys price increases. They also get an opportunity to earn interest.

BitConnect hasbecome the worlds fastest growing online Bitcoin community. It has risen from being a concept in Q1 of 2016 to a top 100K website on Alexa in less than one year.

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More bang for your Bitcoin as cryptocurrency hits record high price – Computer Business Review

Posted: at 5:58 pm

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Bitcoin defies the doubters and climbs to $1,186, marking a new price record.

Bitcoin has reached a new record high price of $1,186, surpassing the previous all-time high reached during the Bitcoin-mania of 2013.

After Bitcoin reached the previous record high price of $1,165, the price plummeted to half the figure when Mt. Gox, one of the most substantial Bitcoin exchanges shutdown.

The closure of the exchange came about following the loss of hundreds of thousands of Bitcoin at the expense of its users. After this point the price of the digital currency has been continuously unstable.

Bitcoin was stabilised at $250 in 2015, and has increased at a consistent, steady rate since this point. One month ago Bitcoin was trading at $885, and at $736 the month prior.

The price began to pick up more rapidly following the devaluation of the Yuan due to India and Chinas removal of high valuation bank notes.

One of the most influential factors behind the growing price of Bitcoin has been the election of President Donald Trump.

Comparable to Brexit, the election of Trump brought uncertainty to the market and led to the reaction of moving money into Bitcoins. The reason that this action was taken is because Bitcoin is uncorrelated from other capital market assets

The awareness of digital currencies has also grown in recent times, with financial services pursuing the implementation of fintech such as Bitcoin and Blockchain. Mark Carney spoke recently on the future of the financial services, and the transformative impact that fintech is likely to have.

Bitcoins profile has also been raised by recent news surrounding cyber security, in which ransomware is being used increasingly to charge victims sums of money in Bitcoin

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Top 6 Most Traded Cryptocurrencies in 2017 Thus Far – The Merkle

Posted: at 5:58 pm

Though were only just under two months into 2017, the cryptocurrency market has been quite eventful. Today we are taking a look into the trading trends of cryptocurrencies since the beginning of the year. While some of the top traded coins on the list may be expected, there are a few projects that might surprise you! These are the 6 most frequently traded coins of the past 30 days.

6. Pascal Coin (PASC)

Researching for this article is the first time Ive encountered Pascal Coin. This is rather embarrassing, especially considering that Pascal Coin has a 30 day trading volume of about $63 million. This coin aims to make cryptocurrencies more accessible to the layman, touting simplified addresses and user friendly UIs. Per coin it is rather cheap as well, trading at around 22 cents per coin.Its selling point is the fact that it does not require the use of a blockchain.Unlike other cryptocurrencies, if you delete Pascalcoins blockchain it would still work due to the way the hashes work.

5. Tether (USDT)

Tether is trading at about a dollar per coin and has maintained months trading volume around $67 million. Tether is an interesting concept that looks to bridge the worlds of crypto and fiat. These tokens as they call what is essentially an altcoin, are able to be traded between peers, but it remains pegged to fiat currencies such as USD. Their use of blockchain technology assures security for the transactions and the coin hopes to keep each token fungible to the US dollar for stability reasons.

4. Monero (XMR)

Monero is a privacy centric altcoin that boasts impressive security and anonymity. With a trading volume of just under $100 million for the last thirty days, it has some weight to it and has seen a resurgence in popularity. Due to its innovative way of rendering blockchain analysis useless Monero is at the fourth spot on our list.

3. Litecoin (LTC)

A little under half of the 30 day trading volume of ETC, we find Litecoin with $161 million. Again, this is a rather obvious contender for the top spots trading wise. With a reasonably low barrier to entry and high trading volumes to keep it relevant, Litecoin is a great way to get started in the cryptocurrency game.

2. Ethereum (ETH)

Ethereum is also no stranger to leaderboards such as this. ETH enjoys a significant lead over its other blockchain (ETC) with ~$12 dollars a coin and $352 million in the last 30 days of trading. While there is an astonishing disparity between this and Bitcoin, $352 million worth of trading is nothing to scoff at, especially considering its position as the second most traded of the past thirty days.

1.Bitcoin (BTC)

It should come as no surprise to even the newest cryptocurrency user that Bitcoin is still king when it comes to worth and trading volume. With a staggering volume of $3.8 billion tradedwithin the last thirty days alone and a current value of $1170.33 per coin, Bitcoin continues to flaunt its dominance in the market and make those who are hodling rather cheerful.

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Top 5 Cryptocurrencies Under Development By Central Banks – The Merkle

Posted: at 5:58 pm

In most cases, imitation is the ultimate form of flattery. For Bitcoin, that is not always the case, even though many projects aim to imitate the cryptocurrencys success to date. Various central banks are working on creating their own cryptocurrencies, none of which are decentralized or subject to a free market. Below is a list of such coins which may see the light of day sooner than people think.

As the name would suggest, Citicoin aims to become a bitcoin rival developed by none other than Citibank. Citigroup claims they have built this digital currency based on blockchain technology, although most of the specifics remain unclear to this very day. Judging by the name, it appears Citicoin will only be usable for internal transaction between customers of this particular bank. That has not been confirmed by Citigroup, albeit not much has been heard from this project since July of 2015.

When this collaborative project between UBS, Deutsche Bank, Santander, and Bank of New York Mellon was announced in 2016, the world was taken a bit by storm. Four of the worlds largest banks openly admitted they envy bitcoin and its technology. All four institutions have been researching the technology and decided to create their own cryptocurrency, going by the name of Utility Settlement Coin.

Considering how all of these banks are a member of the R3 blockchain consortium, the move to develop their own cryptocurrency seems a bit strange. Then again it is believed the Utility Settlement Coin project will launch in 2018, albeit no specific date has been announced so far. It remains to be seen if such a project can survive and what type of blockchain it will use, though.

Not to be confused with the previous entry, SETLcoin is a project developed by the Goldman Sachs Group. A patent for SETLcoin was filed back in 2014, which labels it as a cryptographic currency for securities settlement. This type of cryptocurrency will not be a competitor to bitcoin by any means, as it focuses on one specific niche. Goldman Sachs wants to facilitate the exchange of assets over a peer-to-peer network, yet its capabilities are seemingly limited at this point.

The Bank of England, together with various computer scientists, feel they have cracked the code to dethrone bitcoin as the top cryptocurrency. Under the RsCoin banner, the cryptocurrency will be used for P2P transactions all over the world. It would allow the BoE to keep a tight grip on the money supply and would no longer allow for the creation of money out of thin air. Then again, with no fixed coin supply, value can still be created out of nothing. An intriguing type of cryptocurrency to keep an eye on.

One of the more worrisome cryptocurrency projects in development goes by the name of RMBCoin. This cryptocurrency, developed by the Peoples Bank of Chinaaims tobecome the new national digital currency in time. However, users will not have full control over their digital wallet, similar to how bank accounts are not controlled by the customer either. Not much else is known about RMBCoin, as there is no white paper, release date, or comprehensive list of specifications available today.

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OroCoin Trading on Cryptocurrency Exchanges – AllCoinsNews.com (blog)

Posted: at 5:58 pm

The team behind OroCoin has successfully completed the launch phase of its cryptocurrency project. Based on the Scrypt PoW consensus algorithm, OroCoin distinguishes itself from others by pegging its block rewards to golds value. Following the successful launch, OroCoin is now trading on several cryptocurrency exchanges, including C-Cex.com, Cryptopia, CoinExchange.io and Nova Exchange.

The OroCoin team, with experience in the cryptocurrency sector, believes it has created a unique and creative concept. They have worked on ensuring that the currency provides value to traders, hoarders and cryptocurrency miners alike. Characteristics of OroCoin include fast confirmation times and quick adjusting difficulty. The difficulty adjustment feature is put in place to ensure profitable mining irrespective of the number of active miners at any point in time.

Horatio J, one of the lead developers on the OroCoin project, said: Oro is Spanish for gold. With this project, we wanted to set a new gold standard in the cryptocurrency space, creating an asset that was fun and profitable for everyone,

The next stage of the OroCoin project is to build and grow a presence within the cryptocurrency community. It will include activities surrounding dissemination of information and building relationships with other cryptocurrency businesses. Additional goals for the development and promotion of OroCoin along with the roadmap is available on the cryptocurrencys website.

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The cybersecurity side of cryptocurrency – CSO Online

Posted: February 23, 2017 at 12:53 pm

The threats are pervasive. The need for action is clear. CEOs and board members must manage cybersecurity risks through proactive engagement.

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In 2014, hackers stole about $350 million in bitcoins from Tokyo’s Mt.Goxexchange. More recently, attackers successfully moved about $60 millionworth of the virtual currency ether from the DAO, or Decentralized Autonomous Organization, to an account controlled by an unknown individual or group. Although most – but not all- of the funds taken in that theft were later recovered, it was another reminder that cybercriminals are targeting cryptocurrencies.

Cryptocurrencies, such as bitcoins and other digital alternatives,have been hailedas representing the future of money and global finance.Bitcoin, the first cryptocurrency,was createdin 2009. Nowadays,hundreds of typesof cryptocurrencies are in use, often referred to asaltcoins(an abbreviation of bitcoin alternative.) New altcoinsgetlaunched every day.

Theresreason for the excitement.The technology lets people and institutions shift funds instantly and without the need fora middleman.Unlike paper currencies controlled by governments, cryptocurrencies arefully decentralizedandoperate independently of central banks. The digital assets work as amedium of exchangeusing principles of cryptography to secure transactions.

These various digital currencies have soared in popularity with amarket capitalizationnow estimated to bearound$13billion.

Butwith regulators and governments still trying to figure out appropriate legal structures and business norms governing cryptocurrencies, cybercriminalsare finding clever waysto exploit that window of opportunity.

Regulators still a step behind the technology

A study funded by the Department of Homeland Security found thatabout33 percentofbitcoin tradingplatformshave been hacked.Whats more, cryptocurrencies now frequently feature as preferred forms of exchange in ransomware attacks.

In late 2015, a U.K. phone and broadband provider calledTalkTalkreceived a ransom demand for 80,000 in bitcoin. Around the same time, three Greek banks werethreatened with dire consequences by an entity calling itself the Armada Collective unless they paid hundreds of thousands of Euros,also in bitcoin. More recently,a number of hospitals in the U.S., such as Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center, have been attacked by hackers who demanded their victims pay ransom, also in digital currencies. The common thread in these and other ransomware incidents: attackers can easily mask theirtrue identitieson cryptocurrency exchanges where they then convert their profits back into traditional currencies.

As cryptocurrencies become more widespread,theresconcern that criminal actors will try to use them to camouflage their illicit activities in other arenas,particularly when it comes tolaundering funds.In late 2015, for instance, Dutch policearrested six peopleon suspicion ofbitcoin-related money laundering.Andearly last year, they arrested another 10 people in connection with a suspectedglobal bitcoin laundering schemevalued at $22 million.

Itspart of a trend thatlaw enforcement agenciesexpect will gather momentum in the new year.Andgiven the lack of independent oversight, criminals already have a head start.

However, none of this is likely enough to derail the popularity of cryptocurrencies. Every new technology suffers through growing pains on its way tobeing acceptedby the mainstream.Theresno reason to believe that cryptocurrencies will be any different.

Charles Cooper has covered technology and business for the past three decades. All opinions expressed are his own. AT&T has sponsored this blog post.

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