Archives August 2020

The Blockchain Paradox: Decentralization through Centralized Institutions

The potential of blockchain technologies has been well reported to decentralize regulation over our financial system. It’s one of the key elements of the new technology’s roots, with digital currencies blockchain network bearing a nod to the 2008–2009 economic meltdown The Times Chancellor on the verge of a second bank rescue.

While never explicitly explained by the founder of Bitcoin, the idea emerges from the title of a report in the London Times that describes institutions being bailed out by the Uk government. The U.S. Office of the state governor’s latest decision to enable national central bank liquidity in the U.S. to offer guardianship facilities for digital currencies is just another major endorsement of the validity of crypto. It is expected to trigger a competition across banking firms engaged in the development or get safe options for detention.

This centralization tends to be at odds with Nakamoto’s dream and the initial cypherpunks for a fair and inclusive financial environment. Reviewers decry the demise of the open utopia of cryptocurrencies when governments around the world linear relationships. Yet the case is much more complicated than this black and white interpretation makes it feasible. More than organizations that are inherently opposed to crypto’s political values, I will suggest that they are key to achieving such a dream. Centralized entities’ entrance into the crypto economy does not in itself constitute a threat to crypto electric principles. Although popular confidence in centralized structures in places like the U.S. could be at a record low, these organizations are not necessarily malicious or fraudulent by definition.

The same counterargument refers to autonomous organizations: they do not produce entities who are intrinsically reliable or socially accountable. Multiple controversies concerning wallet attacks in the blockchain sector, digital currencies offering fraud, and questionable ventures show quite. Indeed, this is nothing more than the case. The mainstream acceptance of blockchain will provide enormous benefits to the blockchain community as a whole it is a crucial move in the sector’s transformation that will dramatically expand the penetration from a small pool of tech-savvy consumers to genuinely global population developing markets that the fragmented symmetric encryption-industry is unable to accomplish in its present state. To be sure, the main aim here is indeed decentralization and economic progress. Very decentralized power also stems from the origins of centralization, so a process of centralization of power is first required to achieve this next step in the business.

Industry Summoning On The US Regulator To Open the Valves On Crypto Capabilities Of Banks

There are numerous crypto organizations and nonprofits who have written to the chief banking manager of the US so that the banks can own more power to handle crypto.

Responding for a request for comment on plausible mandates put by the OCC (the Office-of-the-Comptroller-of-the-Currency), there are several leading crypto participants to have written asking the manager for enlarging the access it allows to control crypto and make the usage of blockchain technology. Progress in the field of Blockchain technology helps a lot to expand the crypto currency market.

Blockchain Sponsored Transfers and Fresh Stablecoins Competing Against USD

Silvergate Bank is known to be one of the leading ones in blockchain-backed financial facilities. It wrote to the Office-of-the-Comptroller-of-the-Currency(OCC) for making the promotion of blockchain as it is a more methodical procedure for banks to transfer cash between accounts of the clients along with sending money to each other.

The Blockchain Association, a cryptocurrency influencing group, hailed the stablecoin project examples. Thus, it made a central portion of its elucidation that OCC gives an allowance to banks for making settle payments as well as welcome deposits in the form of USD stablecoins that matches requirements of the OCC.

A Brand New Perception for Banks

Various quality aimed and biddable cryptocurrency brands working in the US faced unjust lockout of primary financial facilities. The result for which the US clients faced unfair risks developed by the deficiency of access in the cryptocurrency business to guarded financial services. OCC came up with a request and based on which the office played up banking elasticity saying that the Federal banking method is effectively acquainted with and ably placed for change and it is being a sign for this system from its establishment.

The Office-of-the-Comptroller-of-the-Currency(OCC) is actually an office of the US Treasury which holds the accountability for controlling the chartered banks of the nation. The OCC has observed an entire acceleration of leaning towards crypto as Brian Brooks took the power in his own hands as the acting head of the office. It was just two weeks before when the OCC had at last given access to the banks in order to custody strong suits of cryptocurrency. Tight from that time, Brain Brooks has pursued with showing his interest in blockchain like a pathway of making payment methods more modernistic.

Major Indian Company TCS Launches Cryptocurrency Trading Solution

Tata Consultancy Services or TCS, a leading IT company based out of India, is all set to launch its own cryptocurrency trading platform for financial institutions such as to banks that will make it easier for its customers to invest safely in cryptocurrencies. Tata Group is a large multinational company that conducts businesses across many countries around the world. It is also listed on two Indian stock exchanges BSE and the NSE.

TCS recently announced the launch of ‘Quartz Smart Solution for Crypto Services which will give the cryptocurrency market in India the much-needed boost. The new product is aimed towards banks and investment service providers to offer their clients a platform for cryptocurrency trading. It will allow their clients to diversify their investments through cryptocurrency trading and other digital assets.

The new platform by TCS supports stable coins, cryptocurrencies, different digital currencies that are linked to fiat currencies, public blockchain networks, and also multiple trading venues. The main advantage that TCS’s new platform will provide to the financial institutions is to provide them with an opportunity to make payments through digital currencies leading to lower transactional costs and easier liquidity options.

TCS is currently spread over 46 countries and has 448,000 consultants working for the company. In the last year, the company generated revenues of about $22 billion alone. Financial institutions will be able to integrate the Quartz platform with their existing systems and also messaging networks. 

 Apart from Quartz Smart Solution, there will be other solutions offered on its Quartz Smart Ledgers solutions. One of them is Devkit, smart contract development kits that can be used along with blockchain technologies. Another one is the Gateway that allows the integration of the blockchain networks with the existing applications of the financial institutions. The last one is the Command Center that will allow monitoring and administering of the complete cryptocurrency ecosystem. 

The Global Head of Quartz, R Vivekananda, commented that digital assets and cryptocurrencies are the future and will become part of the entire investment and hedging portfolios for investors. He further added that many progressive financial institutions want to provide more investment options to their clients, and their Quartz platform will be able to provide a secured and scalable solution for the trading, storing, and also the transfer of cryptocurrency and digital assets.

Quartz hosted an event on 15th July with its partner Techex Digital on the topic of ‘The New Age Crypto World.’ There were plenty of topics discussed during the event, such as the benefit of investing in crypto-assets and the way cryptocurrencies are changing the financial industry altogether. The panelists at the event also spoke about the decrease in the use of cash and what the future holds for digital currency. There were many other topics that were discussed as a part of increasing awareness about cryptocurrency investments.    

With the growing demand for cryptocurrencies increasing in India, the Indian government is looking to bring out a regulatory framework for the same. Many other trading platforms are being launched in India and also the global crypto exchange, Binance was also joined to the IAMAI or the Internet and Mobile Association of India. 

Defending Bitcoin’s Integrity in the Great Twitter Hack

How Secured is Bitcoin?

Bitcoin transactions are highly susceptible to scams and major frauds. Though they are useful, bitcoin should be only kept and managed through wallets, that the user can control. Bitcoins transactions are virtual, and this is the primary reason, for so many deceitful activities and scams around it. These scams are hard to trace, monitor, and investigate. Bitcoin itself is safe and secure, only when stored in the user wallet.

The Colossal Twitter Scam

Bitcoin came to the limelight in recent times, and this time it is for a massive fraudulent activity. On 13th July 2020, reportedly 130 high-profile Twitter accounts were hacked by external parties to execute a terrific bitcoin rip-off. There was a hacking executed through Twitter, where top-notch accounts of Joe Biden and Bill Gates misleadingly tweeted requesting for bitcoins. Fortunately, such fraud transactions were blocked successfully. Cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase jammed millions of pounds worth of bitcoins getting transferred to the scammer’s accounts.

How Bitcoin’s reputation got scared?

Bitcoin has made global headings again because of the current Twitter scam, and this time, the company needs to work harder and pay heed to defend Bitcoin’s truthfulness, and the growth of the cryptocurrency domain has already made.

The synchronized social engineering attack scammed the Twitter accounts of eminent personalities and companies such as Microsoft, Amazon, Tesla, and the U.S. President. Bitcoin accounts of Amazon owner Jeff Bezos, Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates and earlier United States President Barack Obama and 2020 U.S. presidential contender Joe Biden were attacked and were asked for forged transactions. This news spread like a forest fire and in no time every reputed media house like BBC and New York Times highlighted the news, citing it as Bitcoin Scam. This tweaked headline scarred the brand and industry and put all the trust of the Bitcoin users at stake. The repute and faith that Bitcoin grew for itself since its inception in 2009 shook overnight.

Bitcoin Put it Straight and Clear

Bitcoin as a company stood steadfast and headstrong defending this scam and cited all reasons and clarifications publicly to justify how Bitcoin is not a part of this fraudulent activity. It was declared by the company that Bitcoin is not accountable for the scam and Bitcoin did not get hacked. Twitter is an autonomous organization. It possesses all users’ useful information, facts, account details, and statistics in one location. To get admittance to these Twitter accounts, the hackers decoded Twitter’s centralized record and database. So, nowhere Bitcoin as a company stands accountable.

Bitcoin firmly clarified and justified their accountability and assured their customers of the safety and security of their cryptocurrencies with the company.

Plutus, The Crypto Management App, Denies Claims Of Being Hacked

On 9th July, 2020, there was an uproar on Twitter as an Israeli Cyber Security company, Sixgill, claimed that Plutus’s database was compromised. However, Plutus has made it known that, as per their security checks, no data has been leaked by hackers.

Sixgill put up a tweet on 9th July, which read, “Threat actors are sharing a database for the banking app, Plutus, that allows you to manage your #fiatmoney and #cryptocurrencies. #darkerthingsdaily #cryptocurrency #bitcoin #cybersecurity #cyberthreats #databreach #hackers @plutus.”

Sixgill is run by a team of experts in cybersecurity and is a credible source. Their cyber intelligence team has experienced people trained in the Israeli cyber defense industry. They can proficiently navigate through the dark web to find hacking possibilities and have previously alerted several companies of imminent threats.

The screenshot that Sixgill uploaded to Twitter shows that the attackers published 1205 user information, including their passwords to an unidentified website. The passwords were related to the user accounts and were, therefore, “bycrypted.” Sixgill also indicated that the information was being leaked since 7th July. However, they did not issue any further details.

Upon Sixgill’s tweet, Plutus investigated the matter gave a statement to a digital newspaper. They stated that there was no such security threat and that they had not found any evidence of hacking. They further assured their customers that banking with Plutus was safe and that the customers would not lose any crypto or fiat balance.

Plutus is a London-based, crypto management app. It was started in 2015, by Danial Daychopan, and is now being used by thousands of customers all over Europe. The app provides an opportunity for users to buy and sell cryptocurrencies, as well as spend it on shopping apps. They also give the users a Plutus Visa Card for ease of transaction.

Plutus prides itself on being one of the most secure apps in the market. They hold cybersecurity at supreme importance. The app uses a two-factor authentication system, wherein users not only have to enter their ID and password, but they also require a code sent to their phones or email IDss. 

Plutus aims to use crypto and fiat currency for contactless payments. It allows its users to have a non-custodial wallet. Users do not need to keep money in the Plutus wallet. They can make payments to third-party apps using their individual banks or credit/debit cards. It does not save any balance on its servers. Therefore, the company claims that hacking such a wallet is next to impossible as customers get to choose their own bank.

Plutus gives considerable amounts in cashback and rewards called “Plutons” to customers who make payments using this app. Recently, customers who used the Plutus debit card for shopping on the Nike site were given Plutons in the form of rewards. Customers can gain between 3-9% in cashback and reward Plutons on such purchases.