Top British Banks Stock Up On Bitcoin For Cyber Ransoms

 

Several of London’s largest banks are stocking up on Bitcoin in order to pay off cyber criminals who threaten to bring down their critical IT systems, say IT experts. The banks are now coming to terms with the view that it is cheaper to pay off criminals than risk ferocious cyber attacks on a high scale.

According to a Guardian report, paying ransoms with Bitcoin seems the better way to go because even though senior police officers have been made aware of the practice, the police do not have the resources to deal with the significant growth in the number of cyber attacks.

Dr. Simon Moores, who is a former technology ambassador for the UK government and chair of the annual international e-Crime Congress, did not identify the banks buying up Bitcoins, but stated in the report:

“From a purely pragmatic perspective, financial institutions are now exploring the need to maintain stocks of Bitcoin in the unfortunate event that they themselves become the target of a high-intensity attack, when law enforcement perhaps might not be able to assist them at the speed with which they need to put themselves back in business.”

He added that big companies are now starting to worry that an attack is no longer an information security issue but a board, shareholder and customer confidence issue.

New model of ransom-based attacks

He predicted that the situation was becoming critical particularly as he believes that the rollout of connected smart devices will allow for the harnessing of devastating computer power that can no longer be repelled by existing IT security systems.

“What we are seeing is the weaponization of these [hacking] tools. It becomes a much broader issue than businesses ever anticipated. Once it goes above a terabit, that wipes out any protection. No current protection systems can deal with that sort of flood.”

It is estimated that there are between 7bn and 19bn devices connected to the IoT at the moment. Conservative predictions suggest an increase to up to 50bn within five years.

A new model of ransom-based attacks could be on the horizon, motivated to pay off threats for fear of infrastructure-wide customer outages, adds the director of IT at Plixer, a malware incident response company, Thomas Pore. He stated:

“An infrastructure outage, such as DoS [denial of service], against a service provider impacting both the provider and customers may prompt a quick ransom payoff to avoid unwanted customer attrition or larger financial impact.”

Kim Dotcom Explains How Megaupload 2.0 Will Take Bitcoin To The Moon

Bitcoin is coming off a rough week in the community and in the press, but you know what they say: “Thank God it’s Friday!”

Count me among the many who are looking for a much better story to stew over besides another Bitcoin theft, and Kim Dotcom comes to the rescue, just in time for the weekend.

This morning, on Twitter, Kim revealed much more about his upcoming Bitcoin-based Megaupload 2.0 release, so let’s see what’s coming for the New Year.

The launch date has been set

Today, Kim set a launch date for Megaupload 2.0 of January 20, 2017. It will come with many interesting little features like offering a white-label option, so you can tie into their hosting service while adding your own domain name for free.

Capture obscure files that aren’t on your server, but that you are linking to and want to add to your Megaupload account. For those who favor increased privacy, or even anonymity, Dotcom tweets that he has you covered.

That is great for the proletariat, but what is there for the Bitcoin lover in you? Dotcom says Megaupload additions can be linked to Bitcoin microtransactions. Think YouTube with Bitcoin as the payment modality.

If you upload files that are popular downloads, it sounds like you can earn some ‘digital gold.’ This should help Bitcoin prices more than triple after the first year, according to Kim Dotcom.

Bitcache, a potential Bitcoin wallet

Dotcom is coining a term within Megaupload 2.0 called Bitcache, a potential Bitcoin wallet for your Megaupload account.

He believes this Bitcache design is a new solution to Bitcoin’s current blockchain limitations. His tweet states that he is targeting 100,000,000 Bitcache wallets for the program.

European Union Wants to Surveil not Regulate Bitcoin

European Union Wants to Surveil not Regulate Bitcoin

 

The European Parliament’s Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee (ECON) held a public hearing on Monday, January 25th 2016 on virtual currencies and the role of regulators.

The role of virtual currencies in abetting illegal activities such as money laundering and terrorism funding was the central idea discussed during the meeting.

The ECON policy-makers took a balanced and careful consideration of the impact of virtual currencies and crypto-technologies, taking into account both the advantages and underlying risks of using the technology.

Clearing the Misconceptions

Sean Ennis, Senior Economist at OECD spoke in favor of virtual currencies. He said that while many governments may have ruled virtual currencies out because of their possible use in illegal activities, virtual currencies are more secure in many ways than paper value; the negatives of virtual currencies being much weaker than the use of cash.

He also added that the EU could learn lessons from how Britain has maintained lower regulatory requirements for peer-to-peer lending, enabling the fledgling sector to innovate and grow much faster than in the rest of Europe.

Sian Jones, founder of EDCAB said:

“Blockchain delivers trust in an otherwise trustless realm. It is the ability to provide an incontrovertible single source of truth that cannot be altered or corrupted.The potential of this trust mechanism has not been missed by the public sector or private sector.”

She also added Cryptography offers a lot of transparency and as opposed to popular beliefs it is not anonymous but pseudo-anonymous, only having the appearance of being anonymous.

Monitor not Regulate

One of the policymakers at the hearing said: “As regulators, European Union is watching carefully whether there is a need to closely regulate Bitcoin and whether it can be used to fund terrorism or money laundering. After the Paris-attacks in last november, we want to ensure that virtual currencies are not used to fund terrorism.”

Olivier Salles, a senior financial officer at European Commission of the EU said that there are risks associated with virtual currencies like price volatility, platform stability, and cyber risks like theft and hacking, and added that he was in favor of monitoring these developments instead of proposing new rules.

Jeremy Miller from Magister Advisors said on the regulation of Blockchain technology:

“They are putting in regulatory capital, they are already registered with the regulators, by and large. If the companies and the activities are already regulated, I don’t know what it means to regulate the technology”.

The public hearing was a part of the process of preparing a report of the ECON committee. It remains to be seen what recommendations will the final report propose, if any.

Expert Talks

CoinTelegraph talked to Sian Jones of EDCAB, who was one of the speakers at the public hearing for comments. She had also talked to us earlier, telling us about what to expect from this hearing.

She said:

“Interestingly, there were no regulators at yesterday’s hearing. The policy-makers on the panel and the legislators on the parliamentary committee seemed, largely, not to want to rush into legislative action and risk stifling innovation. However, the hearing is just the start of a process and we shall have to wait a few months to see what recommendations, if any, are made in the report. Of course, EDCAB will be continuing dialogue with all political groups and interested MEPs during the committee’s deliberations.”

When asked what to expect from the final report of the hearing, she added “Experience of EU institutions has taught me not to predict the outcome of reports. I think amendments to European anti-money regulations are likely. Harder to predict are systemic and consumer protection responses. The possibility of preventive measures is still a possibility. I do expect some recommendations in the final report.”

Rothschild Family Dumps U.S. Dollar For Gold & ‘Other Currencies’, Bitcoin?

 

Some believe that the global economic climate is getting worse by the day, with the collapse of Cyprus, Greece (Grexit), Argentina, Venezuela, Zimbabwe in our rearview mirror. The potential implosion of Italy, Spain, and others looking to vacate the European Union appear to be on deck.

These are trade winds, or economic tea leaves to be read. Do you believe what the mainstream media’s eyes and ears are telling you? I say get all the information, from all sides, to make an educated decision that will affect your financial future, because it looks like the future is about to get affected in a major way.

This article will drop some nuggets out of “The Information Age” you may have missed while “The Olympics” were going on, and it may help someone in the weeks and months to come.

I thought there was enough here to collect and present as noteworthy, if still merely speculative ‘bro-science’ from around the globe. Call it fear-mongering, ‘broscience,’ or conspiracy theorist junk food for the mind (I vote ‘broscience’ myself. My broscience always works out, sometimes.)

It could turn into nothing, or it could mean everything. If you plan on being around for the rest of the year, it is probably worth some attention. And yes, it could easily affect Bitcoin’s economic future, as well.

Mogul Movement

Let’s begin with the crux of the subject. The Rothschild family, currently led by Lord Jacob Rothschild, recently announced that they are moving out of the U.S. Dollar, the global reserve currency, into gold and ‘other currencies.’

Lord Jacob Rothschild explains in the semi-annual RIT Capital Partners report:

“Our significant US Dollar position has now been somewhat reduced as, following the Dollar’s rise, we saw interesting opportunities in other currencies as well as gold, the latter reflecting our concerns about monetary policy and ever declining real yields.”

Hundreds of books and conspiracy theories have been created about the Rothschild family and just how wealthy and powerful they are. With alleged connections in everything from the Bank of England to M16, to The Bilderberg Group, suffice it to say it is common knowledge that the rumored trillionaire family could buy and sell billionaire Donald J. Trump and not even notice the transaction.

So when a Rothschild says they have reduced their position in the U.S. Dollar, it is a big deal worth noting, or even taking advantage of. ‘Follow the money,’ right?

Jeff Berwick of The Dollar Vigilante surmises that the Rothschilds are looking to get ahead of the downward trend curve, and cash out before a global collapse, and use gold to pick up the pieces. I know it’s hard to imagine a bunch of banking interests colluding and timing a market exit, only to capitalize on the aftermath, but here are Berwick’s thoughts in the video below:

 

George Soros, another Trump-trampling magnate, who’s Soros Fund Management LLC is loaded with an estimated $30 billion in investment capital, is also moving in on gold. In his emailed opinion sent to the Wall Street Journal, the “continued weakness in China will exert deflationary pressure, a damaging spiral of falling wages and prices, on the US and global economies.”

Deflation, or the restriction of the money supply, can have devastating short-term effects in the fiat currency-based economy. Deflation is the solid foundation that Bitcoin is built upon due to the fact that Bitcoin is not debt-based but value-based through the solid economic principles of supply and demand.

This is truly how ‘sound money’ is created, yet this is not how national and global economics are handled anymore since the age of central banking has lead us to this point.

What point is this? The point where the world’s central banking system has tried to print their fiat currency into oblivion to get ahead of their debt crisis, and it has failed. The point where negative interest rates, which many said would never happen just 2-3 years ago, are now becoming the norm.

The point where China is hedging the bets and is looking to establish their own digital currency, while also buying and mining every piece of gold in existence. They are rumored to have as many as 10000 tons of gold. Their BFF and fellow BRICS bank member, Russia, is also bullish on gold, having tripled their holdings since 2005.

American bank runs and end of USD Global Reserve Status?

What could be the fallout of a shift to negative interest rates? Jim Willie of GoldenJackass.com states that a run on the banks could be one scenario. Since the “bail-in” concept debuted in the Cyprus collapse of 2013, and it may cost depositors money to store their fiat currency in banks going forward, why wouldn’t savers ‘cash-out?’

The real rate of inflation is closer to 5% than the stated 1-2%, so you’re losing money, anyway. Why lose 25 basis points to 1%, risk a bank “bail-in,” lose money to inflation and the opportunity costs that could await them in gold, silver, or Bitcoin? At what point will bank investors get the picture and say ‘Enough?’

This movement by the Rothschilds, Soros, and others is a clear sign of greater value in gold over the U.S. Dollar. Willie also speculates that the Chinese banking interests are negotiating with the BIS, the Bank for International Settlements, the central bank of central banks, on a revaluation of gold into a $5000 per ounce neighborhood.

According to Willie, a treaty between them could switch international contracts from a U.S. Dollar exchange to gold, which would have major ramifications on USD and gold values, further eroding the global reserve status of the U.S. Dollar, if not ending it altogether.

Gold values are already up over 25% in 2016, the first year it has shown YTY growth since 2010. Bitcoin is up over 33%, after rising over 36% in 2015, when it was the best-performing currency on the planet. is Bitcoin one of the ‘other currencies’ the Rothschild family is investing in? Most probably not, but they seem like the types that like to bet on a winning horse, and Bitcoin is out-performing gold versus the U.S. Dollar.

Now if the Rothschilds and the Soros fund know that gold will begin to replace the USD in global trade in the very near future, and they might, that would explain the move, but what ‘other currencies’ was Lord Jacob referring too? I didn’t know gold, or possibly silver, is a currency? Who uses them as currency? Bitcoin is at least a currency, and I would argue it is better money than the U.S. Dollar, which the Federal Reserve will tell you themselves is currency, not money.

Bitcoin is still on the table as an investment play until I see otherwise. Who doesn’t like 30+% returns? Much more, if the USD gets devalued?

Where does this leave us?

IMHO, something is clearly afoot in the global economic markets, and the Rothschilds would know it, and move on it, well before the markets at large. You know what they say, “Follow the money.” If, or when, the U.S. Dollar moves to its true inherent value, which is zero, as noted financial expert Robert Kiyosaki has stated before, will you be able to buy food with a gold bar? Will you be able to get a gold bar to begin with?

It is estimated that, in the U.S., less than half of a percent of American’s investment accounts have exposure to precious metals, and even less to Bitcoin. Everybody is on the same ship, counting their dollars, and watching the rigged stock markets. When that boat sinks, and it will, what will be in your (digital) wallet?

Personally, I’m expecting the unexpected this October. Between the massive ramp up of military drills and weapons testing, the ascension of Donald Trump in the Presidential election polls, the end of the economic fiscal year and Super Jubilee Year, which ties in with last year’s Shemitah, only five weeks away, and the announced movement by kings makers like George Soros and Jacob Rothschild, something big is coming, and we are being kept in the day about what it is. Too many stars are in alignment to ignore.

Now, this all may be nothing, or it could be a bunch of financial tea leaves that may lead to prosperity, or a doomsday scenario. I’m hoping nothing much comes of this, but I fear the worst. This may help someone in the weeks and months to come. At least you have some alternative information from those darned “conspiracy theorists.”

We all know what the mainstream media will tell you. ‘Trump is bad. Hillary Clinton is healthy. Watch the Olympics!’ They also told you to buy gold for the last 5 years, and it has lost value each of the last five years, so the MSM don’t seem like a sound investment resource to me.

BTW, if major players are now moving out of the U.S. Dollar, and are making a point to say so, this will lead to some level of devaluation in the markets. This will be a net boon to Bitcoin investors, worldwide, regardless, as a lower USD value will spike Bitcoin values in comparison. So what affects the USD value is important to monitor for all holders of Bitcoin.

Top 10 traits

Source: Rosland Capital LLC

During the dog days of summer, it might be wise for you to stock up on the bear market in Bitcoin, before ‘the bulls’ return from Martha’s Vineyard next month. September and October are always a bulling time of year for speculators.

Meanwhile, the financial elite are getting ready to implode the failing central banking system, while they buy gold and ‘other currencies.’ Now, not 3-4 years ago, may seem like the optimum time to make a move into Gold, Silver, and Bitcoin.

IMO, something big is coming in the near future, and the elite are getting ready for it. Go and do likewise, gents. Follow the money. Or not. Either way, consider yourself warned.

Disclaimer: Keep in mind this may be the ramblings of a Bitcoin madman, and this Op-Ed piece does not reflect the views of CoinTelegraph. Viewer discretion is advised.

Bitcoin Can Rise to $2000 in January 2017

 

A Saxo Bank ‘Outrageous Prediction For 2017’ says that the spending binge of a Donald Trump presidency could create ideal conditions for the price of Bitcoin to test $2,000 by next year, as the possibility of the US dollar skyrocketing could force emerging markets to seek alternatives.

It projects that the Trump regime’s fiscal spending binge may increase the circa $20 trillion of US national debt and potentially triple the current US budget deficit from approximately $600 bln to $1.2-1.8 trillion or some 6-10 percent of the US’s current $18.6 trillion economy.

This may cause inflation to skyrocket, forcing the federal reserve to accelerate its hikes and the USD dollar to soar, creating a domino effect in emerging markets and forcing people worldwide to look towards alternative forms of currencies and payment systems not tied to central banks.

The report adds:

“If the banking system, as well as sovereigns such as Russia and China, move to accept Bitcoin as a partial alternative to the USD and the traditional banking and payment system, then we could see Bitcoin easily triple over the next year going from the current $700 level to +$2,100 as the Blockchain’s decentralized system, an inability to dilute the finite supply of Bitcoins as well as low to no transaction costs gains more traction and acceptance globally.”

China to exceed growth expectations

On Dec. 1, China restricted the importation of gold in order to prevent capital leaving the country. The country still plans to regulate the importation of gold to avoid the Chinese yuan from leaving the country.

As a huge determinant of the eventual quasi-synchronization in price between Bitcoin and the yuan, the Chinese trading volume will correlate with the price of Bitcoin in the coming weeks even as the Chinese central bank and authorities struggle to recover the value of the yuan which has fallen 5.8 percent against the dollar already this year.

Saxo Bank notes that China is expected to exceed growth expectations in the coming years, adding that the country’s current slowdown has been predictable due to elevated investment levels of around 50 percent of GDP while total debt has swollen to an unsustainable 237 percent of GDP.

Through massive stimulus from fiscal and monetary policies, and by opening up capital markets even more, the country successfully steers a transition to consumption-intensive growth surpassing current expectations and reaching eight percent growth in 2017.

Remember Kim Dotcom?

Trump’s ascendancy will be confirmed in January – a time in which Kim Dotcom hopes to launch his Megaupload 2.0.

Saxo’s projected three-fold increase in the current price of the digital currency – currently at $760 – is similar to Dotcom’s prediction that Megaupload and its potential Bitcoin wallet Bitcache system could take the price of Bitcoin to $2000, based on the claim that the file sharing product would overcome Bitcoin’s scaling problems.

The anonymous cloud sharing, anti-surveillance, video hosting, Bitcoin-caching online service, that will serve the equivalent to the population of the Philippines (approximately 103 mln), is slated for a release in late January. Let’s hope he can pull it off.

India is ready for Bitcoin

Bitcoin’s price increased following the recent demonetization of the Indian rupee. Following this, there were suggestions that the government could be planning a ban on the importation of gold as the precious metal reached two-year highs in November. This, coupled with the growing awareness of Bitcoin in the world’s second most populated country and the Indian government’s resolve to work on Bitcoin and the Blockchain framework before 2018, could push it to a tipping point.

In its Payment and Settlement Systems in India: Vision-2018, the Reserve Bank of India notes that it will be monitoring framework for new technologies/innovations in order to “ensure that regulations keep pace with the developments in technology impacting the payment space, the global level developments in technology such as distributed ledgers, Blockchain etc. will be monitored and regulatory framework, as required, will be put in place.”

This will improve the country’s payments ecosystem, it says, which has been evolving dynamically with the advancements and innovations taking place, particularly in the area of FinTech.

In a chat with Cointelegraph, a spokesperson for Zebpay agrees that there’s been no talk of Bitcoin without the mention of India lately and this will continue for a little longer because Bitcoins are the new game changers in the era of cashless economy offering billions of Indians the ability to go cashless using digital currencies.

The spokesperson says: “We skipped the landline generation and have a modern mobile phone infrastructure. Similarly, India has the potential to skip the plastic money generation and build a modern financial infrastructure on this revolutionary technology.”

For Coinsecure CEO Mohit Kalra, India is rising to Bitcoin and 2017 seems promising for its adoption and usage.

Kalra says:

“In terms of use, we are hoping to see more merchants start accepting Bitcoin in India. Demonetization and going cashless can definitely help boost adoption rates across merchants, businesses and individuals alike!”

Bitcoin Year in Review. The Top 10 Bitcoin News Stories of 2016

Bitcoin Year in Review: The Top 10 Bitcoin News Stories of 2016

 

2016 has been a very exciting year, typified by a near constant demand for bitcoin wallets, a near doubling of its global market price, and the Bitcoin halving this past summer.

2017 looks like it can be the Bitcoin’s best year ever, but before we put 2016 into the history books, let’s review where we’ve been this year before we step into Year Nine of the decentralized digital currency age. Feel free to use this as a Bitcoin historical reference for where the community has been, through the years.

Here are the top ten most-viewed and shared stories of 2016, not according to us, but according to you, the readers of Cointelegraph. We’ll start with the tenth-most popular story and end at number one. So let us begin with the always popular subject of Bitcoin’s price potential, and a story from not too long ago.

Bitcoin can rise to $2000 in January 2017

It seems like just yesterday this article was being shared because it basically was. On December 9th, “Bitcoin Can Rise to $2000 in January 2017” was written by Olusegun Ogundeji focusing on the Saxo Bank prediction of a $2000 USD Bitcoin price in 2017.

This forecast was based on the recent election of Donald J. Trump as the 45th President of the United States and their forecast of his fiscal spending creating a super-strong dollar, which could create international markets to adjust and move investment elsewhere.

Five Reasons Why Bitcoin Value Must Increase In the Future

Evander Smart wrote the op-ed article “5 Reasons Why Bitcoin Value Must Increase In Future” in July about the upside potential the Bitcoin market can bring for 2017. Bitcoin is really designed to win for investors, over the long run, and this article highlights what is working in the Bitcoin investor’s favor.

Rothschild Family Dumps U.S. Dollar For Gold & ‘Other Currencies’, Bitcoin?

In August, this article by Evander Smart reviews the Rothschild family, one of, if not the, wealthiest families in the world, announcing that they are moving out of the U.S. Dollar, the global reserve currency, into gold and ‘other currencies.’

Why did their family leadership feel the need to make a public declaration against the holding of the U.S. Dollar? A very public move like this could change the financial markets significantly, at least in the short-term.

Uber Switches to Bitcoin in Argentina After Govt Blocks Uber Credit Cards

More and more emerging markets are showing a genuine interest in Bitcoin, and it has helped many people and businesses in real-world conditions. This article written by Joël Valenzuela goes over an authoritarian move, the Argentinian government stopped Uber from using credit card companies. This caused the company to begin to use Bitcoin instead. Argentina has been a hotbed of Bitcoin demand and adoption, in recent years.

Bitcoin Can Reach $10,000 or Even $1 mln, Chandler Guo Explains How

Chinese Bitcoin mining magnate Chandler Guo’s opinion carries a great deal of weight, according to the demand for this article by Olusegun Ogundeji from mid-November. Guo was speaking at the University of Cambridge in a roundtable discussion about Bitcoin and its capabilities, and he shared a way that Bitcoin can go “to the moon.”

One Coin, Much Scam: Swedish Bitcoin Foundation Issues Warning Against OneCoin

Fun Fact: The most-viewed article in Cointelegraph history was about OneCoin that’s been described as a persistent digital currency scam, and this article by Joseph Young made the top five for the year. Apparently, OneCoin gained enough traction inside of Sweden to force the Swedish Bitcoin Foundation to take action against it.

Hackers Track HashOcean Mining Company

At the top of the news stories for 2016, you will start to find a common thread, and that thread is the heist that was HashOcean, once one of the largest and most respected cloud mining operations in the history of Bitcoin. In the aftermath of this blow to the global Bitcoin community, Olusegun Ogundeji covered how the online hacking community went after the digital trail of HashOcean, post-heist, in an effort to track the owners of this operation.

Japan Officially Recognizes Bitcoin and Digital Currencies as Money

No one saw this coming. Japan has had a star-crossed relationship with Bitcoin going back many years, through the history of Tokyo-based Mt. Gox, which folded in early 2014. Since then, Bitcoin demand has skyrocketed in just the last two years to the point where the Japanese government approved the use of Bitcoin as money, on par with the Japanese Yen itself. Shivdeep Dhaliwal reported on this major vote of confidence from the most unexpected of sources.

HashOcean Responds, Cites a Hack, Ready to Resume Usual Payout

The top two were reported on by Olusegun Ogundeji and deal with the same unfortunate subject, the dissolution of HashOcean. This article focuses on the response, later discredited, by the company itself at the end of June 2016. After five days that the user site was out of commission, the corporate leadership made an announcement on their Facebook page, taking no responsibility for the issue.

Major Bitcoin Miner Disappears Along with Millions of Dollars Worth of Bitcoin

Welcome to the top Bitcoin news story of 2016, and the #2 article in Cointelegraph history, the reveal that HashOcean is no more. One day, everyone woke up to screens at HashOcean’s domain reading ‘403 Forbidden CloudFlare-nginx’ and “Hashocean.com is PARKED.” The site would never operate again, nor has any real resolution come to pass when it comes to the Bitcoins lost and who was ultimately responsible.

Full disclosure: I was one of the estimated 700,000 who was hustled out of a Bitcoin mining stake. Fortunately for me, I was in the final stages of testing the site and lost less than $100 USD in the heist. Our best wishes to all those affected by this scam, which seemed to have been over three years in the making. Hopefully, this did not dampen anyone’s enthusiasm for Bitcoin. Just because there are scams within the Bitcoin community does not mean that Bitcoin itself is a scam. This should not need to be explained much further.

I hope you have enjoyed this trip down “Memory Lane” and will continue to join and support Cointelegraph in reporting all the Bitcoin news for 2017 and beyond. Happy Holidays!

HashOcean Responds, Cites a Hack, Ready to Resume Usual Payout

 

 

 

 

After “Is It Down Right Now” reported non-activity on the website of HashOcean for more than five days, major Bitcoin miner whose unresponsiveness has triggered disappointment at cloud mining efforts with suggestions that its investors have been scammed has finally made a public show.

In a post on its new Facebook page, HashOcean claims its domain and previous Facebook page were hacked:

“Sorry for inconvenience. Last night we got attacked by hacker which somehow can access our domain and posted our domain for sale. Now, we already take anything under our control and nothing affected our mining operation. Daily payout will be executed as usual.”

Regular payment soon

In another post, the company says miners should rest assured that their usual payout will resume soon:

“Because hackers attack our domain we need transfer all database and keep this in safe.

We guarantee you the full refund if you don’t like our service operation for any reasons. You need to inform our service desk about your desire to have your invested funds back. You will get them on your balance in 72 hours and in 24 hours funds will be transferred on Bitcoin-wallet.

You can take your hardware, 180 days after power purchasing. You need to send request for hardware delivery on the current page. Our specialists will call you to specify delivery details. For each 700 KH/s purchased powers you will get one video card AMD (ATI) Radeon R9 280X Gigabyte WindForce (GV-R928XOC-3GD).

If you have any questions, please contact our Service desk.
+1 650-603-5816* – 24-hr phone support for English-speaking users.
* Support service time to process only a small portion of calls.
For a guaranteed answer recommend ask questions via email.
Contact : HashOcean@consultant.com – service desk in English.”

HashOcean is not a scam

Some respondents on the Facebook page claim they have logged into a cloned Hashocean website hashocean.co.uk and seek for a reset of their original Hashocean account details.

HashOcean warns users on their need to be careful with their account details on fake websites claiming to be from the mining company. It promises a 48-hour return to service with an emphasis on the whole episode no being a scam.

HashOcean’s post says:

“The company didn’t have anything related to us. HashOceanS Be carefull. We are trying to solve all the current issues. Many people started to claim that we were scammers/scammed 700,000 user! We would like to let you know that the domain is the only case, because the domain was transferred to another account, in case we changed the domain,we will transfer all the users/powers, We are Working Hard to get everything Back Normal in the next 48Hours, Keep Calm & Daily payout will be executed as usual.”

The landing page of HashOceanS.com, which HashOcean claims it is not related to, shows it already has 13K likes on Facebook.

An instant message to HashOcean on Facebook seeking a comment was not replied as at the time of submitting the story for publication.

 

Swiss Town Zug Continues Allowing Bitcoin Payments for Municipal Services

The Swiss town of Zug has decided to continue accepting bitcoin payments for municipality services following a pilot that launched in July 2016.

First announced in May, the picturesque lakeside town of Zug, also known as “Crypto Valley” for its embracive approach to Fintech, revealed a pilot program wherein it allowed bitcoin payments from its public for city services. A payment of up to 200 Swiss francs ($195 USD) in bitcoin was to be allowed. The pilot launched on July 1 and was scheduled to last until the end of 2016. At its conclusion, the City Council was to decide if Bitcoin or other digital currencies were a feasible, attractive payment option for its citizens.

“With Bitcoin, we’re sending a message,” said Zug mayor Dolfi Müller in July after the program began. “We win Zug want to get out in front of future technologies.”

Now, the city authority has revealed that it will continue to accept bitcoin payments beyond the pilot program that ends in December 2016. The decision was made at a City Council meeting last week.

In roughly translated statements, Müller said:



It was an important experience for us to install and test the technology for bitcoin payments. We were able to put a sign for Fintech companies to express that they were welcome herein Zug. We have [also] triggered an international media frenzy which lasted until last week.

The media coverage had been significant in May. It made for a telling example of open-minded acceptance of the innovation. Quite possibly for the first time ever, the administration of a town of nearly 30,000 inhabitants, was to begin accepting bitcoin as currency for payments for city services.

Lake Zug and the city of Zug

How successful was the pilot? Only a dozen customers wanted to pay with bitcoin since the commencement of the pilot in July, the Zug authority said. However, the attention and press coverage garnered from around the world was a “positive experience” for the City Council, noting that the pilot, despite its low turnout in participants, was entirely “worth it.”

As a result of the significant coverage, the council is also looking into other electronic payment platforms such as ApplePay and Swiss-based digital wallet, Twint.

Furthermore, blockchain applications will also be explored for the public sector, the municipal authority stated, continuing to roll out the welcome wagon for bitcoin- and blockchain-related companies.

The announcement also stated:


In addition, digitization and e-government will be central issues for the city administration in the coming year.

Dutch Bank ABN AMRO Launches Blockchain Pilot in Commercial Real Estate



Dutch bank ABN AMRO has launched a blockchain application called Torch to help facilitate real estate transactions and exchange information.

Developed in partnership with IBM, the blockchain application is a sweeping ledger that will be accessible by every party involved in a real estate transaction. Such as, buyers and sellers, landlords and tenants, ABN AMRO – as a bank, notaries, appraisers; the Land Registry Office and the Chamber of Commerce which is the country’s business register; as well as other regulators.

Announced late last week, all of the above parties will – each in their own capacity – engage in a decentralized ledger that will make for more efficient record-keeping and access of information.
A Blockchain Real Estate Ledger in Work

Torch will be rolled out in an application, wherein commercial real estate clients financed by ABN AMRO can enter their lease contracts for properties. The contract can then be validated by the client’s relationship manager. An appraiser could also value the property via Torch, with a bank employee sending details of the property. The appraiser then uses the same ledger to share the valuation report with the client or the bank.

Commercial real estate information, records and agreements could soon be shared on a blockchain.

Torch will also facilitate sharing of additional information from the Land Registry Office and the Chamber of Commerce. Further, the Dutch Central Bank will also have access to Torch and all of the above information, as the country’s financial regulator.

ABN AMRO has its reasons for picking blockchain technology as the core infrastructure for what could lead to a transformative change in the way information is recorded and accessed in commercial real estate.

The bank stated:

The potential of blockchain lies in the fact that trust is built into the technology’s design. In addition, it makes transactions programmable by means of so-called smart contracts.

In the Thick of It

The third-largest bank in the Netherlands has notably shown its fervor for blockchain development and applications in the past. In mid-2016, the bank partnered another financial institution Rabobank to research and explore the technology in a number of banking processes including cross-border payments, risk modelling and mortgages.

More recently, the bank announced a new partnership with the Delft University of Technology to quickly develop applications before mid-2017. As a part of the partnership, ABN AMRO staff will specifically attend blockchain application courses at the university to learn more about the innovation.

ABN AMRO is among thirty founding members of the now-100-strong Hyperledger initiative, an open-source blockchain project led by the Linux Foundation.The bank has also invested in prominent New York-based commercial blockchain startup Digital Asset Holdings (DAH) as a part of a $50 million funding round.

There are other examples of blockchain applications in real estate. A notable recent announcement revealed that the Kenyan government was already testing a pilot which sees land transactions and its details recorded on a blockchain developed by tech giant IBM.

Bitcoin Price at an Ominous Point

Bitcoin continues to make higher highs and higher lows, which is indicative of a market that remains in a bull trend. However, I am beginning to question the advance. There are a number of reasons to embrace a bit of caution.

Here is the daily chart:



 

This setup was well respected by pricetime at the 1ST, 3RD and 4TH arc pairs. Note how price was turned away by the 3rd and 4th pairs.



Noting that, the fact that the 5th arc pair is now very close gives one pause. The 5th arc pair is often a trend-stopper.

Let’s look at a long-term setup on the 8-hour chart:

 

Here on this setup, we can see we are a few bars from the 4th arc pair. This pair does not often represent the resistance of the 5th, but should not be overlooked.

Next, let’s look at a close-up of this chart:

 

The asset is in an ascending pennant, which is often, counter-intuitively, a bearish pattern.

So, each of these charts is approaching resistance, and we see evidence of a bearish chart pattern. Lets look at an 8-day chart:

 

Here we see that pricetime is in a very ominous place. It is simultaneously at the end of the 1st square, the top of the 2nd square, and kissing the 2nd arc of the 2nd pair.

This long trade suddenly looks much too risky for my blood. I have closed my longs and have adopted a bearish stance, looking for signs that a reversal may begin. As I have often stressed, we don’t need to rush into such a position. Wait for confirmation…

Happy trading!