Cloudflare CEO Concerned about Growth of Ransomware Attacks in the Crypto Space

Cloudflare CEO Concerned about Growth of Ransomware Attacks in the Crypto Space

In an interview on CNBC’s ‘Mad Money,’ hosted by Jim Cramer, Cloudflare CEO Matthew Prince called out crypto exchanges stating these firms “are becoming a popular target for cybercriminals.” According to Prince, cryptocurrency exchanges need to focus more on securing customers’ funds to prevent the rising cases of hacks and ransomware attacks.

Explaining the rising number of hacks on cryptocurrency exchanges, Prince said that money is the primary motivation, similar to bank robbers choosing banks.

“The old adage is, Why do bank robbers rob banks? It’s because it’s where the money is.”

“One of the biggest places that cyber attackers are going after right now is the various cryptocurrency exchanges and other cryptocurrency parts of the universe.”

Over the course of the year, the cryptocurrency ecosystem attracted attention to the rising number of ransomware attacks. Chainanalysis reported over $81 million in ransom was paid by victims by May 2021. Notably, the Colonial Pipeline hack in May raised concerns in the industry. The hackers disrupted fuel supply to some parts of the US East Coast, demanding a $5 million ransom – payable in BTC.

In June, Russian ransomware group REvil infiltrated over 200 companies across the globe via software supplier Kaseya, using its technology management software to spread the ransomware via the cloud. The hackers encrypted one of Kaseya’s tools with infected files, paralyzing hundreds of companies. The hackers then demanded a $70 million ransom, paid in BTC, to negotiate about decrypting the files.

These ransomware attacks have caused considerable debate in the crypto security space and the role that blockchain-based digital currencies play in the rising ransomware attacks. Despite the increasing ransom attacks, some crypto analysts believe blockchains actually help authorities track and arrest hackers easier due to the public nature of Bitcoin’s transactions, which are broadcasted on the network.

San Francisco-based Cloudflare is a web security infrastructure provider that protects companies from online attacks. Its key proposition service provides security to companies to prevent distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks, which are common on crypto exchanges.

O0n the question if Prince would hold his cryptocurrencies on an exchange protected by Cloudflare, he said, “the company is giving a front-row seat to [its consumers] to prevent the evolving cyber threats they face. The company stays ahead of the curve through innovations that prevent any new forms of ransomware and hack attacks from affecting them.

“We’re proud of the fact that we’ve kept the cryptocurrency customers that are ours secure and safe and helped augment the additional protections that they have in place.”

“I’d feel safe using any of the cryptocurrency exchanges that use Cloudflare today.”

Apart from technically dealing with hackers, the US government is also fighting the rising cases of ransomware attacks. In June, the U.S. President’s national security advisor called on the G7 countries to unite and fight against the consistent ransomware attacks on national sites.

In a briefing from the White House press, Jake Sullivan, selected as Joe Biden’s national security advisor, called on the regulation of the cryptocurrency ecosystem as it represents “the core of how these ransomware attacks are carried out.”

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Author: Lujan Odera

Bitcoin & Gold Spike and Stocks Hit Record High while Dollar Weakens on Powell’s Dovish Speech

While the Fed governor isn’t concerned about the “eye-popping price increases” in the housing market, saying, “I don’t think any of this is financial excess,” Christopher Waller sees crypto as odd assets. He’s “not going to bet Financial Stability Policy on crypto assets.”

Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell didn’t disappoint investors at the much-awaited event of the month as he delivered a dovish speech at the Jackson Hole Symposium on Friday.

Powell did say that he would like the central bank to start reducing its $120 billion a month asset purchases from “this year,” but only to add that investors should not read it as a signal to an imminent hike in interest rates.

“The timing and pace of the coming reduction in asset purchases will not be intended to carry a direct signal regarding the timing of interest rate liftoff, for which we have articulated a different and substantially more stringent test,” Powell said in his speech.

In response, both the S&P 500 and Nasdaq hit record highs indicating investors were happy with the Fed chief’s speech. While investors would have some time to adjust to the absence of more liquidity in the coming month, Powell was pretty clear in signaling that there was no rush to tighten policy.

“Powell understands that tapering will happen, but it’s not going to happen sooner than later,” said Kim Forrest, chief investment officer at Bokeh Capital Partners in Pittsburgh.

Treasury bond yields edged lower, and the dollar weakened to fall to 92.68, while a week back, it was at a nine-month high at 93.57.

Gold, labeled as a safe haven, meanwhile hit 3-weeks highs on Friday, having its best weekly gain since May on the back of no clear timetable for tapering US stimulus spending.

Much like other risky assets, including commodities and oil, cryptocurrencies also went higher.

Bitcoin went past $49,400 thanks to Powell and is currently hovering around $49k, while Ether is also hovering around $3,250.

SOL, which has a market cap of $27 bln, hit new ATH at $94.36 a few hours back has climbed above Polkadot to claim 8th spot. DOT, a 26.7 bln coin, is meanwhile trading at just above $26, down 47% from its mid-May peak.

The total cryptocurrency market cap is now back at $2.17 trillion.

Tapering has been a hotly debated topic in recent months with a lack of consensus among Fed officials. Robert Kaplan of Dallas, James Bullard of St Louis, and Esther George of Kansas City, and Philadelphia’s Patrick Harker are in favor of “sooner rather than later,” unlike Raphael Bostic of Atlanta division who is concerned about the Delta variant’s impact.

On Friday, Fed Governor Christopher Waller also spoke in favor of moving with paring the purchase “this fall” if there’s one more good job report in the 850,000 to 1 million range.

While concerned about the “eye-popping price increases” in the housing market, Waller said a lot of it is fundamentals with millennials coming off the sidelines for the first time in a decade, adding, “I don’t think any of this is financial excess.”

While “the financial system works fine. There’s gonna be the odd assets of people employed to look at, particularly crypto assets, but I’m not going to bet Financial Stability Policy on crypto assets.”

During the speech, Powell also noted that “more progress” has been seen in the jobs market, but this is now coinciding with “the further spread of the Delta variant,” and also there’s much ground to cover to reach maximum employment.

“If a central bank tightens policy in response to factors that turn out to be temporary … the ill-timed policy move unnecessarily slows hiring and other economic activity and pushes inflation lower than desired. Today, with substantial slack remaining in the labor market and the pandemic continuing, such a mistake could be particularly harmful,” he said.

Overall, the policy is well-positioned, Powell said, adding, the Fed, as always, is prepared to adjust.

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Author: AnTy

Head of Italy’s Stock Market Watchdog Concerned About ‘Savings,’ Calls for ‘Proper Oversight’ of Crypto

The Head of Italy’s Stock Market Watchdog Concerned About ‘Savings,’ Calls for ‘Proper Oversight’ of Crypto

Italy’s Companies and Exchange Commission President Paolo Savona is urging the government for clear regulation as the lack of it can damage the way the market operates, he said.

Like other officials, Savona is also calling for more regulation, arguing cryptocurrencies could facilitate illegal activity such as tax evasion, money laundering, and the financing of terrorism.

Additionally, the technology behind them prevents private and public entities from properly tracking and surveilling the markets. The head of Italy’s stock market regulator said on Monday as he presented the watchdog’s yearly report,

“Without proper oversight, there could be a worsening in market transparency, the basis of legality and rational choice for (market) operators.”

He further noted there were some 4,000-5,000 cryptos in circulation without any form of real regulation. And the push to introduce technological innovation led to a minimization of the effects that a lack of clear rules on the exchange can cause as such leading to the “intertwining of traditional and virtual assets,” which could induce liabilities towards daily savings.

“If we add to this Consob’s recent own experience in closing down in Italy hundreds of websites illegally gathering savings, the picture that emerges is worrying.”

According to Savona, cryptocurrencies could even undermine central banks’ ability to conduct monetary policy.

“If it takes too long at a European level to come up with a solution, (Italy) will have to take its own measures.”

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Author: AnTy

Financial Institutions ‘Should be Concerned’ of Competition from Crypto/DeFi Businesses: Mark Cuban

Financial Institutions ‘Should be Concerned’ of Competition from Crypto/DeFi Businesses: Mark Cuban

Billionaire Mark Cuban is talking about yield farming now, which is a core feature of most decentralized finance (DeFi) projects.

He explains how instead of starting a business and then hoping to make enough revenue like in the traditional world, in the crypto/DeFi space, they sell tokens to raise capital, reward Liquidity Providers and validators, and build communities that replace layers of bureaucracy.

This makes it “a model for future technology businesses and possibly all businesses,” he said.

When it comes to the valuation of these projects, Cuban shares he looks for current revenues, growth rates, defensibility, the strength of the community, and if they can continue to grow as fast or faster than the crypto industry as a whole.

Crypto is also decentralized in its governance where no one owns majority control, not only because of the ethos of DAOs but also because it doesn’t involve the

“ABSOLUTE STUPIDITY of our regulators forcing some of the most impactful and innovative entrepreneurs of this generation to foreign countries to run their businesses.”

The Brilliance of Crypto/DeFi

In a blog post on Sunday on the Dallas Mavericks site, Cuban talked about the DeFi project Polygon (MATIC) in which he recently invested.

An Ethereum layer 2 solution, Polygon basically provides tools that enable transactions using their Ethereum/Solidity smart contracts to take place as quickly and inexpensively as possible while still being able to bring in more money than they spend noted the Shark Tank investor. MATIC 4.62% Polygon / USD MATICUSD $ 1.55
$0.074.62%
Volume 1.62 b Change $0.07 Open $1.55 Circulating 6.29 b Market Cap 9.75 b
10 h Financial Institutions ‘Should be Concerned’ of Competition from Crypto/DeFi Businesses: Mark Cuban 3 d Polygon And 0x Team Up to Devote $10.5 Million Into Attracting New Users & Developers 6 d Layer-2 Scaling Solution Polygon Records Continued Growth, But May Not Bring Fees Down on Ethereum
ETH 2.65% Ethereum / USD ETHUSD $ 2,581.97
$68.422.65%
Volume 27.78 b Change $68.42 Open $2,581.97 Circulating 116.29 m Market Cap 300.26 b
5 h Ethereum (ETH) Price Trading Analysis June 14; Market Outlook Is Slightly Bearish, Here’s Why 9 h ETH/BTC Continues its Descent as Fees Drops Under $3, ConsenSys Launching MetaMask Institutional 10 h Long-Term Chart Clearly Shows Bitcoin Still in an ‘Uptrend’ But Biggest Macro Headwinds Looms Over Price

However, blockchain-based businesses diverge quickly from traditional software, and instead of building their businesses exclusively on a cloud computing platform, their businesses are decentralized.

Cuban finds it “brilliant” that here third parties like validators or miners put up their own capital to provide resources to support the network platform in exchange for rewards in the token of that network, which are created at “a near zero cost,” unlike centralized businesses in the traditional world where they would have had to raise millions and more.

“Where a crypto based business competes with a traditional business, the crypto business may have a significant cost of capital and cost of operations advantage. There are a lot of financial institutions that should be concerned.”

DeFi businesses like Polygon build their transaction volumes and fees by having enough widely and heavily used applications. And one-way projects like Polygon try to create a network effect is via DeFi based businesses.

Regulators Need to be Supportive

Here, Cuban talks about decentralized exchanges (DEX) whose “brilliant” part is liquidity providers (LPs) that put up the capital.

He has been actually testing out Polygon’s DEX QuickSwap, where he is a small LP where he is earning a percentage of the transaction volume for a particular pool. Cuban also provides liquidity on Bancor Network, where he gets rewards in the native BNT token. QUICK -4.01% QuickSwap / USD QUICKUSD $ 486.06
-$19.49-4.01%
Volume 5.29 m Change -$19.49 Open $486.06 Circulating 159.75 K Market Cap 77.65 m
BNT 2.70% Bancor / USD BNTUSD $ 4.06
$0.112.70%
Volume 61.97 m Change $0.11 Open $4.06 Circulating 210.11 m Market Cap 853.86 m
10 h Financial Institutions ‘Should be Concerned’ of Competition from Crypto/DeFi Businesses: Mark Cuban 3 w Cryptocurrency Exchange ShapeShift Reveals Gas Fee Mitigation Functionality With FOX Token Rewards 3 w DEX’s Record A New ATH in Volume; Decentralized Exchanges Hit First $100 Billion in May

“Have enough LPs and the exchange is far more capital efficient than a similar traditional exchange business and I get to make some money.”

Cuban also covered AAVE, which “looks like a bank” but is nowhere even close to it; rather, he described it as

“a completely automated, permissionless platform where there are no bankers, no buildings, no toasters, no vaults, no cash, no holding your money, no forms to fill out, no credit ratings involved.”

While all of these features make crypto the future, not every crypto blockchain or DeFi project will work. Not to mention, “crypto is brutally competitive,” still Cuban says he will choose crypto over traditional businesses.

But Cuban has issues with the regulators with “politicians shitting on the innovations crypto is fostering,” unlike the early days of the internet when innovation and entrepreneurs were supported.

“Hopefully this changes quickly or we will lose the next great growth engine that this country needs.”

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Author: AnTy

Vitalik Buterin: EIP1559 Will Make Ether “Ultrasound Money,” Scaling is “Coming Very Soon” too

Ethereum co-founder isn’t concerned at all about the chain split due to the proposal. Also, a PoS chain is already here and running; it just doesn’t have sharding because the priority is currently the merge.

Ether is seeing some red today, much like the broad crypto market. Still, it is trading above $1,750, up nearly 140% YTD. However, the big thing is the upcoming upgrade, EIP 1559, that the market believes isn’t priced in yet.

The proposal is facing some pushback from miners, some of them even come together to attack the blockchain, but the market isn’t really concerned. This is because of the multi-billion decentralized finance (DeFi), especially the stablecoins, which collectively now surpass 56 billion in supply, built on the second largest network, as shared by Arthur of DeFianceCapital on “UpOnlyTV” recently.

Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin isn’t concerned either, as he explained on The Tim Ferriss’ Show.

When asked by AngelList founder Naval Ravikant who is bullish on crypto and DeFi, if there’s a possibility that some miners and people will stay on Eth1 instead of Eth2, Buterin said, “the risks are much lower.”

Buterin attributed being very open about proof-of-stake and sharding from the first day as the big part of the reason. Not to mention, the market has gone through it already with Ethereum Classic (ETC). He said,

“Why stay on the chain where the core developers and lots of people are eagerly expecting a proof-of-stake change if you can just move on to a platform already that accepts your values? So I think that was one of the factors that did actually end up making the Eth2 transition a bit more secure.”

According to him, Ether is all about having more scalability which is going to deliver great environments for Ethereum users and everyone is roughly on board with the idea.

More Direct Connection Between Users & ETH’s Value

Ethereum Improvement Proposal 1559 was accepted a week back to be included in the London hard fork scheduled for July.

“It basically creates this more direct connection between people using the Ethereum blockchain and ETH having some value,” described Buterin.

He further explained that the proposal redesigns how the transaction fee market works, which means the majority of fees, instead of going to the miner or corporate who creates the block, would get burned. “It would just literally get deleted out of existence.”

“If demand to use Ethereum is high enough, then there would actually be more ETH being destroyed than is being created,” says Buterin adding, it would make Ether “ultrasound money” to Bitcoin’s sound money.

Before the London hard fork, however, the Ethereum Proof-of-Work (PoW) is undergoing a mainnet upgrade, called Berlin, on April 14, 2021.

A backward-incompatible fork will require updating the software to continue to follow the mainnet. As such, stakers are required to upgrade their Ethereum PoW nodes before April 14, 2021, and if you run the Pyrmont testnet, you must upgrade your Goerli nodes before March 17, 2021, shared developer Danny Ryan.

PoS is Already Here and Running Stable

While EIP-1559 would cement Ether’s economic value within the Ethereum platform, the big thing that would change the network and the market is eagerly awaiting is ETH 2.0, which will give the network 100 times improvement over the current processing.

While the Beacon Chain, Phase 0 has been launched with 3.2 million ETH deposited for staking, the full transition will take time. This multi-step approach is taken to “give proof-of-stake sometime to prove itself before the entire ecosystem is asked to upgrade over,” said Buterin.

Talking about the ETH 2, Buterin said, “there’s already a proof-of-stake chain. It does not yet have sharding, but the proof-of-stake system is running. The thing that has not yet happened is the event that we call the merge,” where the existing activity on Ethereum will be fully moved over from the proof-of-work chain to the proof-of-stake chain which would make PoW irrelevant.

The PoS not only exists but has been running stable ever since its launch, and “at some point fairly soon, we are going to actually go and merge all of the proof-of-work activity onto it,” he added.

As for sharding, Buterin said there are prototypes of parts of it, but they are prioritizing the merge rather than sharding because of rollups which still provide 100x factor scaling. Buterin said,

“So rollups are coming very soon, and we’re fully confident that by the time that we need any more scaling of that, sharding will have already been ready for a long time by then.”

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Author: AnTy

Millionaire Philanthropist Bill Pulte is Giving Away Bitcoin to People in Need

  • Bill Pulte buys the dip says he isn’t concerned about the price
  • Crypto, according to him can help the world’s poorest, especially those who are “unbanked”

Millionaire philanthropist and “Inventor of Twitter Philanthropy” Bill Pulte “recently bought 11 bitcoins” and further “bought more Bitcoin” on Dec. 18, the day BTC price dropped to almost $6,400 before surging past $7,300.

However, he isn’t concerned about the price as he wrote, “I’m much more concerned with the utility of Bitcoin and blockchain technology than price.”

Pulte is known for giving money, food, and more to people in need and this time he is giving away Bitcoin. This according to him is the way to crypto adoption and also a way to get rid of scams in the space.

In the past few days, he has talked about cryptocurrencies a lot stating that “Cryptocurrency can help the world’s poorest…especially those who are “unbanked” … as a philanthropist, I therefore want to promote adoption.”

That’s why Africa is his next step which Jack Dorsey, Twitter and Square CEO believes “Africa will define the future (especially the bitcoin one!).”

While urging people to use Twitter to help everyone, Pulte said he would be giving away Bitcoin to people in need in Africa.

He has already started sending Bitcoin to those working on ending homelessness in their community.

Bitcoin, the best investment of the decade, is designed to use peer-to-peer technology to facilitate payments. It is a decentralized digital currency that doesn’t have a central authority and doesn’t need any intermediaries.

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Author: AnTy