Ledger Wallet And Shopify Face Class-Action Suit After Rogue Employee Leaks User Data

Crypto wallet provider Ledger and its e-commerce partner Shopify are in for a tough year.

Both firms are defendants of a class-action lawsuit filed against them following the aftermath of a phishing attack that saw a quarter-million of their customers’ details exposed online.

The lawsuit, which is the first of many, was filed by law firm Roche Freedman for John Chu and Edward Baton in California on April 6.

Shopify’s Employee Stole Customer Details

According to the 43-page document, the complaints allege that the defendants had been negligent in their duties of safeguarding customer’s personal details between April and June 2020.

The plaintiffs also ask for commensurate compensation for the damages incurred from the data breach and have asked the court to grant all relief allowed by law, including injunctive relief.

According to John Chu, he saw BTC and ETH worth over $267,000 stolen from his digital wallet, and Baton said that he lost $75,000 worth of XLM through phishing scams.

The duo claims to have been deceived by correspondence from the defendants.

Ledger and Shopify later identified the leak’s source as one of Shopify’s employees who shared full customer names, email, phone numbers, and shipping address on the database sharing website RaidForums. Following this, customers said they got strange calls and were threatened by unknown persons.

Ledger CEO Pascal Gauthier tweeted to reassure customers of the safety of their funds. He also assured that no hardware wallet was affected by the attacks.

Even though it’s been almost a year, the plaintiffs insist that the companies failed to notify affected customers or admit the full scope of the breach.

Speaking to The Block, Kyle Roche said the investigation had begun since the news of the breach became public knowledge. He said experts in the data security and cryptocurrency fields were consulted before any action was taken against the defendants.

In a July 2020 blog post, Ledger tried unsuccessfully to explain the breach admitting that only 9,500 users were affected by the attacks.

It published another blog post in the opening weeks of 2021, notifying customers about the changes they will be initiated in a bid to protect client’s data better. The cold storage wallet provider also admitted that its earlier number of affected customers was way off and said that the culprit leaked roughly 272,000 customer data.

It said it was creating a 10 BTC bounty fund for information that could lead to the culprits’ arrest.

Roche Freedman Is Crypto’s Bane

Even as the adoption of crypto has grown in a little over a year, many issues have cropped up. One of the most prevalent being malicious attacks that led to losses of digital assets by crypto owners.

US law firm Roche Freedman has been quite active in the past year as cases of retail investors seeing their crypto assets stolen due to the negligence of their service provider have grown.

In a report by investigative outlet OffshoreAlert, Roche Freedman filed 11 class-action lawsuits against 42 defendants. According to the filing, the listed parties were said to have allowed the investing public to trade unregulated cryptocurrencies.

The affected parties included popular exchanges like Binance, TRON, KuCoin, BitMEX, and others. Their company chiefs were not left out, with Binance founder Changpeng Zhao (CZ), Brendan Blumer, Dan Larimer, Vinny Lingham, and BitMEX co-founder and former CEO Arthur Hayes made the list.

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Author: Jimmy Aki

Crypto Wallet Ledger Opens Business Unit Dedicated to Institutions

Crypto Wallet Ledger Opens Business Unit Dedicated to Institutions

Ledger, popular for the provision of crypto cold wallets, has announced Ledger Enterprise Solutions’ launching to serve institutional clients.

The newly formed division will offer crypto custodial services for institutions such as Tesla and MicroStrategy, which have embraced Bitcoin in the recent past.

The new division will also provide consulting services to its clients and has already employed 50 people in different categories. Ledger announced that it would employ 60 more people before the end of the year.

Jean-Michel Pailhon will lead the division as the vice president in charge of Business Solutions. Pailhon will be joined by Alexandre Lemarchand, who was recently appointed a vice president in sales and partnerships. In addition, Ledger Enterprise recruited Alex Zinder, the ex SDX developer, the VP in charge of engineering, and Laurent Castillo, ex Thales engineer, the VP in charge of technical architecture. Pailhon explained,

“Ledger Enterprise Solutions represents our company’s investment in the future of broad-scale financial adoption of cryptocurrencies and other digital assets by enterprise-class businesses. Our mission is to enable the digital assets industry to become a multi-trillion dollar industry.”

Already, the division has recruited various clients, including Crypto.com, Bank Frick, BitStamp, Komainu, Nexo, among others.

Komainu, a digital asset custody, is a joint venture with Nomura and CoinShare in June last year. Last week the firm raised $25 million in Series A funding.

The crypto assets custody sector has become a hot cake with numerous institutions entering the crypto space. Ledger joins other custodial services providers in offering enterprise custodial services such as BitGo, Fireblocks, Anchorage, and PayPal’s owned Curv.

Pailhon explained that as more firms continue recognizing cryptos in their balance sheet, there will be a rise in demand for enterprise custodial services. He said,

“As more companies apportion significant parts of their balance sheets to blockchain-based holdings, we recognize the drastic need for enterprise-grade solutions for holding and securing digital assets.”

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Author: Joseph Kibe

Ripple Rolls Out XRP Ledger Updates to Boost Software Efficiency

Ripple Labs has rolled out new upgrades to its asset’s ledger to improve functionality. The company continues to deal with the fallout of the SEC’s probe into its affairs.

Top blockchain company Ripple Labs continues to make progress with its XRP asset and other affiliated projects despite the looming lawsuits against it.

In a recent update, the company has announced operational developments that will improve its XRP Ledger’s efficiency.

Improved Speed, Reduced Bandwidth

Yesterday, the Silicon Valley firm published a press release confirming the launch of version 1.7.0 of its XRP Ledger. In the release, Ripple confirmed that the updates would go a long way in bolstering the ledger’s security, efficiency, and operational decentralization.

RippleX, Ripple’s open payment integration platform, has been working to improve the XRP Ledger’s resources and compatibility with various server configurations.

David Schwartz, Ripple’s technology chief, was given the most credit for this, following his work to reduce several caching layers. With his move, the payment platform has reduced execution time and memory by 50 percent.

Along with the optimizations, the latest update will also provide enhanced proposal routing, and transaction validation, and validator manifests, which will improve visibility into operators’ work across the XRP ecosystem.

There is also the introduction of forward ledger replay, which will enhance security on the XRP Ledger and improve server synchronization with the rest of the network. This way, the Ledger can reduce bandwidth and work faster.

On its plans, Bharath Chari, a member of the XRP Ledger Foundation, explained that they would be working to support the broader XRP ecosystem even more. For now, their focus will be on expanding the validator list and enhancing the XRP Ledger’s core code.

MoneyGram Joins the Movement to Ditch Ripple

The recent updates show that Ripple Labs isn’t entirely giving up on XRP yet. The company has had a bit of a rough patch over the past few months, following a lawsuit from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) that accused it of organizing an illegal securities offering in its XRP Initial Coin Offering (ICO) back in 2013.

Since the SEC suit came out, Ripple Labs has been faced with significant industry pushback as exchanges, investment firms, and more distanced themselves from it.

Another pushback came earlier this week as payment processor MoneyGram, one of Ripple’s high-profile partners, suspended trading from its end. In its quarterly outlook, MoneyGram reported that it doesn’t plan to see any benefits from its Ripple market development fees in Q1 2021. Due to litigation from regulators, it has chosen to close all Ripple trades for the time being.

The MoneyGram partnership is one of Ripple Labs’ crown jewels. Ripple purchased 10 percent of the company in 2019, while MoneyGram incorporated its on-demand liquidity (ODL) tool to make quicker and safer cross-border transactions. While the relationship appeared rosy, Ripple did sell off a chunk of its MoneyGram shares last November 2020.

Asides from suspending its asset, the payment processor has also reiterated that it never used the ODL tool for direct customer transfers or forex transactions. With MoneyGram further distancing itself from Ripple amid its SEC lawsuit, the blockchain company is finding itself further in need of supporters.

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Author: Jimmy Aki

US Department of Education Is Exploring Blockchain-Based Solutions to Store Student Records

The U.S Department of Education is exploring blockchain technology, intending to “rethink” how distributed ledger technologies can be incorporated into the education system.

In current global pandemic times, various U.S. government departments are exploring blockchain technology to finding solutions regarding transparency, safe record-keeping, and decentralized information sharing. The U.S. Department of Education (Office of Educational Technology) became the latest department to join the bandwagon funding the “Education Blockchain Initiative (EBI).”

EBI is designed to help identify and evaluate ways that blockchain technology can improve data flow among educational institutions and employers while empowering individuals to translate educational outcomes into economic opportunities.

The project, launched by the American Council on Education (ACE), aims to find blockchain-based solutions to enhance the network and communication between and among students, learning institutions, and employers.

According to a statement from ACE, the EBI aims at identifying and evaluating new ways blockchain can improve the flow of data to institutions, students, and employers. Projects launched through the EBI will restore data control to the learner, “empowering them to control their identity and leverage the skills learned,” the statement further reads.

ACE is an organization that lobbies and creates “inclusive, dynamic, and resilient” public policy across postsecondary education centers to better the students. In line with finding blockchain solutions, the organization launched the ‘Blockchain Innovation Challenge’ in 2020 to overhaul the education and employment systems in the U.S.

Louis Soares, chief learning and innovation officer of ACE, stated the challenge would help the undeserving and minority students affected by the current COVID-19 pandemic. The solutions being created will also enhance student enrollment, improve the transfer of credits, and communicate between institutions and employers. Soares said in a statement,

“This includes finding new approaches to credentialing (and hiring) that leverage the potential of emerging technologies to improve communication among education and training organizations.”

Phase 1 winners of Blockchain Innovation Challenge announced

To pace up developments in the education space, the Blockchain Innovation Challenge is making awards totaling $900,000 in two phases. The awards target teams and projects that “put forward bold ideas to reorient the education and employment ecosystem” to improve information transfer across students, institutions, and employers.

On Feb 11, four Phase 1 winners were announced, including teams from Nebraska, Texas, Arizona, and Utah.

One of the winning projects, “Student 1”, collaborating with the Nebraska Department of Education and Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services, created learner records for a third of all Nebraska students involved with multiple behavioral, judicial, or state educational services.

Other winners include Texas Woman’s University, which is partnering with the University of Texas- Arlington to build a “shared credentialing platform” that enhances sharing educational records across institutions and training facilities.

A similar project, UnBlockEd, led by the University of Arizona and Georgia Institute of Technology, Fluree, and the John N. Gardner Institute, is developing an open and decentralized transfer exchange that will enhance credit transfer articulation for students transferring schools.

Powered by Fluree is the Lifelong Learner project, also sponsored by the Utah Department of Education. The project is developing a digital wallet to allow teachers to store and share information, including their credibility scores, licenses, and exemplars of practice with human resource departments and other management systems.

Still a long road ahead

While these blockchain developments move ahead to provide innovative solutions in the education industry, practical integration to real-life situations remains challenging. Brian Platz, co-CEO of Fluree, mentioned in a statement.

He explained that blockchain developments suffer from the supply-demand rhetoric across the education space. He noted that building a data-sharing platform and digital credentials is currently not in demand as employers rarely ask for them.

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Author: Lujan Odera

ConsenSys Quorum, an Ethereum-backed Ledger Protocol, Teams Up With China’s BSN

Situated in New York, and renowned as Ethereum’s globally-known ledger protocol, ConsenSys has announced that it will be partnering with the China-based Blockchain Service Network (BSN), bringing the enterprise ledger, Quorum, to China.

What sets this partnership apart from others is down to i. As part of this partnership, Quorum will be made available across 80 different cities within China; all of which operate as public city nodes of BSN’s network. Quorum was previously developed as an open-source protocol layer for enterprise applications. Quorum was also used early on by the investment giant JP Morgan.

Charles d’Haussy, ConsenSys’ Director of Strategic Initiatives, cited China’s rapid growth in importance as a hub for strategic innovation and enterprise blockchain technology:

“China is a great example of where enterprise blockchain is a strong play… What Ethereum is doing with ConsenSys Quorum is connecting people who are essentially migrating from the permissioned chain to the global chain.”

For Quorum, the announcement represents an interesting change in fortunes. From being designed as a high-security, privacy-centric blockchain solution by JP Morgan, it fell into relative obscurity for some time, before being re-housed by ConsenSys. Even now, Quorum is a name that is synonymous with the bank and investment entity, even in d’Haussy’s mind.

“Quorum was very much associated with JPMorgan, but there was also this open-source software which was available to many developers. It may not have been apparent, but there was this large audience of enterprise users, and we are now bringing to this ecosystem other products and applications from ConsenSys.”

In contrast, Blockchain Service Network (BSN) was a relatively new initiative; having been established by Red Date Technology, a blockchain-based software company, along with China’s UnionPay, China Mobile, back in April 2020. Comprised of UnionPay and China mobile, BSN consists of a number of cloud environments and portals within China. What makes BSN such a valuable initiative comes from its connections to the Chinese government; being backed through the National Development and Reform Commission.

Simply put, BSN has been rapidly positioned as a major blockchain initiative within the country’s ‘Digital Silk Road,’ with BSN has deployed over 108 public city nodes in China. Over 88 cities and public cities are connected to this ecosystem as nodes across the world.

For BSN, this partnership would enable it to “substantially accelerate” its rollout to more cities worldwide, according to Red Date Technology CEO and Executive Director of the BSN Development Association,

“After the launch, BSN will include Quorum in BSN’s training programs in 2021 to substantially accelerate the enterprise adoption of blockchain technology and Ethereum-based solutions in China.”

In order to ensure global application, Red Date’s CEO added that the partnership would include longer-standing interoperability between the two blockchain protocols. Permissioned blockchain solutions, d’Haussy explained, represented the best start to any technical journey including large firms, but that it would very much be a long-term undertaking.

But d’Haussy continued on to say that small and larger-scale suppliers lack the connection they once did, and are more receptive to blockchain technology as a means of re-establishing that same connection.

“China’s industries, which are a global network of large and small suppliers, are not integrated as they were in the past… They are jumping on coordination tools such as blockchain.”

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Author: James Fox

IOHK Expands Project Catalyst, Updates Cardano’s Daedalus Wallet for Ledger App; ADA Pumps

IOHK Expands Project Catalyst, Updates Cardano’s Daedalus Wallet for Ledger App; ADA Pumps

2021 has kicked off nicely for Cardano and its partners with the launch of Project Catalyst, and the release of the much-awaited Cardano’s native wallet, Daedalus.

Input-Output Honk Kong, the company behind the Cardano blockchain, has announced the launch of the Daedalus native wallet. According to the announcement, the wallet will provide support for the Daedalus Ledger hardware wallet with additional functions to improve scalability.

One important feature is the search function for staking pools. The feature enables users to find stakes using their ID and an added verification section labeled as the “Delegation Wizard.” The verification feature links a stake pool to a social media profile or a website, which shows that the stake pool is trustworthy.

The past weeks have been particularly busy for the IOHK team and their project manager Volodymyr Hulchenko as they try to improve the new Daedalus functions.

Apart from Ledger, there is now support for Trezor on Cardano’s native wallet. Additionally, the team is still working to deploy Cardano’s full decentralized finance capabilities.

Project Catalyst enters phase 3

With the improved Daedalus, IOHK also launched a $500,000 fund that will take care of the next phase of the Project Catalyst. This is coming after the conclusion of “fund 2”, which saw the submission of proposals on every aspect including the expansion of Cardano to West Africa and further improvements on the platform. In the Fund 2 project, $250,000 was allocated to community-based projects centered on making Cardano more scalable.

But with Project Catalyst, the community is trying to set up the world’s largest decentralized innovation fund, as over 1,600 registered community members ready to vote. This project has overtaken other similar projects, including Ethereum’s top 100 DAOs and the Dash project.

Project Catalyst will empower registered users

According to the developers, Project Catalyst was launched as the first stage of the Voltaire roadmap, which is designed to ensure best-in-class governance in Cardano.

With the right governance, it will enable a proper shape of blockchain to its users. It empowers any user who has signed up to catalyst with the authority to bring ideas and offer suggestions for further project growth. Ada holders who are registered on Catalyst are also empowered to vote on funding proposals for the continuous evolution of Cardano as a community as well as a platform.

According to the Cardano developers, the project will sustain the Cardano system as well as accelerate its development.

Fund 2 voting has ended, and the organizers are still compiling the results. The winning team will be given the funds to assist them in bringing their proposals to fruition.

IOHK rolls out a native client for Ethereum Classic

In a related development, IOHK is celebrating the conclusion of the Mantis project, which offers more exposure within the Cardano ecosystem. The project also expanded to a new client Mantis for Ethereum Classic.

According to IOHK, the project will be a more useful, secure, and reliable alternative to infrastructure providers, wallet users, and developers.

Along with the rest of the cryptocurrency market, Cardano’s ADA has enjoyed massive gains. Reaching a 24 hour high of $0.356 while flipping both Bitcoin Cash and Litecoin to hit 5th in market cap. ADA is currently up 83% YTD.

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Author: Ali Raza

Compound to Release a New Cross-Chain Protocol with CASH Token Next Year

Compound Finance has released a new Compound Chain project — “a distributed ledger capable of transferring value & liquidity between peer ledgers.”

The team is currently building a testnet implementation, which is expected to be released in the next quarter. The project will also be bringing other popular DeFi projects like Polkadot, Solana, Quorum, and Celo into the protocol.

Designed to complement the Ethereum contracts, it would be controlled by COMP governance and extend DeFi network effects.

COMP, the $694 million digital asset, is currently trading at $158, up 40.4% in the past 30 days but down 36% YTD. The white paper reads,

“The Compound Chain is designed from the ground up to enable bridging value between its connected ‘peer’ chains.”

The Compound Chain will have CASH as its native unit of account, created through borrowing, much like MakerDAO’s DAI. CASH will be borrowable against any supported asset as collateral.

This CASH unit will be used to pay traction fees on the Chain, and interest would be paid to the CASH holders.

The value of one CASH is set at one US dollar, but through governance, it would later begin to track an alternate index, such as a basket of currencies.

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Author: AnTy

The XRP Ledger Foundation Launches To Accelerate XRPL Adoption And Development

The XRP Ledger Foundation, a non-profit, announced its official launch on September 24. The Ledger Foundation would be responsible for supporting the development as well as accelerate the adoption of the XRP Ledger across the globe.

The non-profit organization has received multiple grants from several organizations, including the remittance firm, Ripple and content moderation firm, Coil, and the crypto wallet service provider GateHub. The XRP Ledger Foundation also hopes to raise more funds in the near future from other stakeholders of the decentralized space.

The XRP Ledger has grown in popularity within the banking and financial industries, which make use of the ledger for facilitating instant cross-border transactions at a minimal fee.

The XRP Ledger Foundation aims to expand and accelerate the adoption of its dedicated ledger while also improving the underlying technology behind it. Apart from working on the XRP ledger, the foundation would also create a unique node list, support community-based initiatives, and help the developers to strengthen the ecosystem.

The key role of the foundation also includes securing capital for its developers. Wietse Wind, one of the most prominent XRP developers, which is also a member of the Fund’s board, suggested that they have already paid developers who would exclusively work for the XRPL.

The foundation would also work to create a dedicated XRP community fund, with the sole purpose would be to bring formal engagement to the community.

The announcements made by the foundation met with great enthusiasm from the community. David Schwarz, Ripple’s CTO, commented that Ripple is committed to supporting the growth of XRP ledger, and the foundation would further their goal in enhancing the ecosystem.

David Schwarz said:

“We and the community have worked over the past 8 years to dramatically increase the decentralization, performance, and feature set of the XRP Ledger and remain committed to its future growth and innovation.”

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Author: Rebecca Asseh

Ledger Launches Support For Algorand (ALGO) Staking On Its Software App, Ledger Live

  • Crypto hardware wallet manufacturer, Ledger, is launching support for the Pure Proof-of-Stake (PPoS) platform, Algorand.
  • The announcement sent to BEG further states the software application will support Algorand’s Standard Assets (ASA) management.

Ledger wallet users will now be able to “securely hold, transact, manage, and stake ALGO” on Ledger Live directly on their desktops or smartphones. ALGO becomes the fourth coin to create its staking pool on Ledger following successive additions of staking coin, Tezos (XTZ), Tron (TRX), and Cosmos (ATOM).

Ledger now supports over 1500+ crypto tokens and 27 crypto coins on its platform.

Algorand offers users a pure PoS platform, unique from the delegated proof of stake (DPoS) consensus algorithm, whereby users delegate stakers to make the governance decisions. Algorand’s PPoS allows “anyone to participate in the Algorand network proportionally to the amount of ALGOs they have in their wallets.”

Speaking to BEG, Fangfang Chen, COO of Algorand, stated his pleasure at partnering with one of the companies with the “highest standard of crypto security.” Chen further said,

“The Algorand ecosystem has experienced tremendous growth since the mainnet launch last year, and we are proud to work with Ledger, the industry-leading security company, to provide ALGO holders more opportunities to participate in the network while ensuring security and transparency of the whole Algorand economy.”

Additionally, Ledger Live wallet users will also be able to control and manage their Algorand Standard Assets, such as the recently added Tether stablecoin, USDt. Users can also manage the system credits, loyalty points, and “single, unique assets issued on the Algorand blockchain that benefit from the same security, compatibility, speed, and ease-of-use as the ALGO.”

Ledger aims at offering unparalleled security and ease of use to users in comparison to current ALGO-enabled staking platforms. Ledger Live allows users to stake their ALGO tokens on a single app while still storing their private keys on the Ledger hardware wallet – providing freedom without compromising on security.

Ledger is “expanding its tokens and crypto markets” – ALGO being the latest – with more to come, Pascal Gauthier, CEO of Ledger, said. The integration of ALGO on Ledger Live will provide users with a broader array of opportunities “to earn passive income, ensuring the highest level of control and flexibility.”

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Author: Lujan Odera

Ledger Hardware Wallet to Issue Exploit Fix to Prevent Users from Sending BTC on Accident

According to a blog published by Mo Nokhbeh, a crypto software researcher, the Ledger Wallet app is in danger of exploitation due to a vulnerability that has persisted on the platform since 2019. According to Mo, a user can send Bitcoin (BTC) instead of other Bitcoin forks such as the BTC testnets, Litecoin, Bitcoin Cash etc. without their knowledge if even if they had selected the ‘forks’.

To use the Ledger hardware wallet, a user must install the corresponding app on to the USB drive allowing users to hold different types of digital currencies. However, only one app is able to be open at a time to ensure security and total isolation of the apps.

An issue arises with BTC and its corresponding forks for example if your Litecoin app is open and live and you’d wish to send LTC, the wallet will prompt a confirmation of a Bitcoin transaction while the interface presents it as an LTC transaction to a Litecoin address. If you accept the confirmation, a fully valid BTC transaction will be sent out of your wallet instead of the cheaper altcoin forks.

Read More >> Data Breach at Popular Hardware Crypto Wallet Ledger Affects Million; Trezor Fires Shots

Interactions with Ledger

Mo has been vocal to the Ledger team on the vulnerability of their platform, but claims his cries fell on deaf years with the issue persisting for the past year and a half. In a response posted on Decrypt, a spokesperson from Ledger said the delays were mainly due to the communications channels the security researcher used. The spokesperson said,

“The researcher contacted us through many means—mainly Twitter DMs. The appropriate medium for bug bounty remains the dedicated email address [email protected] Due to this, our point of view on this timeline differs, and we are genuinely sorry for the miscommunication.”

However, Nokhbeh denies the claims saying the only time he sent a Twitter DM was recently in June 2020 after a number of failed tries through the official channels.

Read More>> Crypto Hardware Wallet Ledger: ‘Funds are Safe’ After ‘BigSpender’ Vulnerability Found

Solution to the Ledger App vulnerability

In a statement focusing on the possible exploits, Ledger said the vulnerability arose as a tradeoff between security and usability especially for the Bitcoin network. While the external security of the wallets remain solid, Ledger allows Bitcoin forks/derivatives that follow the same derivation path as the top crypto to derive public keys or sign Bitcoin transactions. It reads,

“Some BTC forks use the same derivation path as BTC. If we prevent these forks from using the BTC derivation path, this would simply prevent users from using the Ledger Nano S/X with these forks.”

The statement further states the solution to the issue has been released in a new update warning users when their intended and confirmation transactions do not match.

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Author: Lujan Odera