Due to Increased Demand, Social Trading Platform Firm eToro Now Supports DOGE

Bitcoin may have brought cryptocurrencies to the limelight, but altcoins seem to be enjoying media attention in recent weeks.

The unprecedented surge in the value of small-cap cryptocurrencies has brought an influx of investors who have called for their listing on popular trading platforms.

The latest is meme-based cryptocurrency Dogecoin (DOGE) which enjoyed great fame following its bullish run in April.

In a few weeks that saw Dogecoin post over 300% increase in value, calls have continued to grow for the meme token to be listed on major crypto exchanges in the US.

The first response is coming from popular brokerage company eToro.

eToro US Lists DOGE

Israeli online brokerage firm eToro announced the listing of parody-based cryptocurrency Dogecoin on its U.S platform.

The listing will see Dogecoin join a host of other popular digital assets like Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), as well as, BCH, XRP, TRX, ETC, ADA, DASH, LTC, EOS, MIOTA, XLM, NEO, XTZ, ZEC, LINK, and UNI on the eToro US platform.

The brokerage firm with over 20 million active global users noted that this step was taken due to growing client demand for the meme coin to be listed.

eToro’s decision comes at a point in time when it witnessed remarkable rallies. It’s known as one of the most highly sought-after digital currencies.

It has also received backing from popular figures like Tesla’s Elon Musk and Shark Tank investor Mark Cuban.

Both men have contributed immensely to the continued success of Dogecoin.

At one point, Musk described DOGE as his favorite crypto.

This saw the price of the digital asset climb 20% with a further 10% when he confirmed his appearance on the popular tv show Saturday Night Live.

Cuban has been quite vocal too.

He has spent the better part of 2021 talking about cryptocurrencies and their potential to revolutionize the financial landscape.

In a recent tweet, he compared Bitcoin and gold as stores of value, noting that both are more or less financial religions in how they are used.

He also noted that BTC is easy to trade, create, and store with minimal delivery issues.

Also, Bitcoin allows for the transfer of value domestically and cross-border in contrast to gold which he said can be a hassle.

He also spoke on the decentralized platform Ethereum, which he said is far better, cheaper, and faster in authenticating financial transactions in a trustless manner through smart contracts than conventional financial institutions.

Cuban did not forget to speak about DOGE in his series of tweets. According to the billionaire investor, Doge may become a usable currency if more companies accept the digital coin in exchange for products and services.

Businesses Jumping on DOGE

Top on the list of companies adopting Dogecoin is NBA franchise Dallas Mavericks. The Mavs have since accepted Dogecoin as a form of payment for tickets and online merchandise. The solution was done in partnership with crypto payment provider BitPay.

Other businesses jumping on the Doge train have been consumer electronics company Newegg, Air Baltic, and Canada-based internet service provider EasyDNS.

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Author: Jimmy Aki

New Ripple Scam Targeting Ledger Wallet Users Has Drained Over 1,150,000 XRP ($297k)

Phishing scams targeting crypto users seem to be far from over as per an update by XRP Forensics, which says close to 1,150,000 XRP tokens have been stolen in a new scam. This particular one targeted Ledger wallet users and went to the length of sending security update emails to unsuspecting XRP token holders.

According to the update by XRP Forensics on Nov 5, there has been an uptick in XRP stolen reports, most of which it attributes to this scam. The team which handles analytics on the XRPlorer has since urged the community to stay alert to minimize the attackers’ opportunity window,

“We also see an uptick in reports of stolen XRP as a result of this scam. Stay alert!”

Like in the old phishing scam tricks, the attackers have made a substitute homoglyph of the letter ‘e,’ making the Ledger website wallet appear real on the first interaction. Victims were forced into downloading an update while, in the real sense, the attackers were directing them to the fake website to drain XRP balances in their Ledger wallets.

Despite recent collaborative efforts to stop such attacks, the hackers managed to withdraw all the compromised tokens by sending them to the Bittrex exchange in five transactions. At the time, the exchange could not seize the funds, resulting in the loss of around 1,150,000 XRP tokens from Ledger wallet users. At the time of publishing, that is worth about $297k.

Notably, the hardware wallet provider had fallen victim to a data breach back in July, where the data of around 9,500 clients was compromised. While they acted fast to patch the vulnerability, Ledger had already been exposed to a considerable amount of damage. The hackers now seem to be getting ahead of the game with a combination of phishing scams accompanied by legit-looking emails.

In this case, the attackers circulated an email that resembles official communication from the Ripple team. This information hinted at a community support program and incentive program as part of a financial recovery strategy and over 5 billion XRP tokens up for grabs. However, the catch is that the attackers require users’ wallet addresses and private keys to be registered.

Note: Don’t ever give up your private keys. They are called Private keys for a reason.

XRP has had its fair share of phishing scams, with roughly 6 million XRP being lost in 2019 while this year’s figure stands at 3 million. The firm has attempted to counter this challenge and recently filed a lawsuit against YouTube for not taking action against malicious actors impersonating Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse. Going by these stats, XRP tokens appear to be a favorite gem for phishing scammers.

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Author: Edwin Munyui

MakerDAO Faces Another $28 Million Class Action Lawsuit Over Black Thursday Meltdown

The Maker Foundation’s troubles don’t seem to fade away, as it faces a class-action lawsuit after its protocol malfunction on March 12th. This meltdown contributed to a massive fall in the crypto market, which saw a 50% fall in the price of Bitcoin, for example.

A group of investors has filled another class-action lawsuit against the Maker Foundation and its associate in the Northern District Court of California. The class-action lawsuit aims to obtain more than $28.3 million in damages.

The lawsuit alleges that the Maker Foundation, along with Maker’s Ecosystem Growth Foundation, the DAI Foundation and the Maker Foundation both intentionally downplayed the risks involved with Collateralized debt positions (CDPs). Resulting in investors losing $8.5 million on March 12th. The complaint states:

“While misrepresenting to CDP Holders the actual risks they faced, The Maker Foundation neglected its responsibilities to its investors by either fostering or, at the very least, allowing the conditions that led to Black Thursday, all after actively soliciting millions of dollars of investment into its ecosystem.”

The main plaintiff in the case – Peter Johnson – will be represented by Harris Berne Christensen LLP, has filed three counts, which include: negligence, intentional misrepresentation and negligent misrepresentation in connection with the losses incurred by the investors.

MakeDAO has not tried to downplay the incident and has promised to look into the issue and address all the queries as directly as possible. However, they denied commenting on any of the lawsuits filed against the firm.

[Also Read: Top 11 Crypto Companies Face NY Class Action Lawsuit for ‘Unlawful Selling Of Securities’]

The Black Thursday Mayhem

The DeFi ecosystem works on top of the Ethereum ecosystem, where Ether is used as the main digital asset for collateral in the MakerDAO protocol, and DAI stablecoin is minted against the collateralized Ether.

On March 12th, just like any other asset, Ether’s price dropped suddenly and significantly leading to congestion on the Ethereum network. This simultaneously liquidated thousands of Collateralized debt positions (CDPs) on the DeFi platform.

Johnson has alleged that the project’s white paper assured investors that their collateral would be returned in case of a 13% drop. However, that did not happen, and a majority of these CDPs were completely liquidated contrary to assurances.

He further claimed that not just MakerDAOs Defi protocol, but its products including the popular decentralized application, Oasis claimed 13 percent penalties, being the highest strike for liquidation.

The complaint also mentions the Maker Foundation’s recent push for attracting investment through these CDPs in the form of educational efforts in association with the crypto exchange – Coinbase.

“The Maker Foundation and other third-party user interfaces informed users that, because their CDPs would be significantly overcollateralized, liquidation events would only result in a 13 [percent] liquidation penalty applied against the remaining collateral, after which the remaining collateral would be returned to the user,”

Johnson asserts that these advertisements for CDP investment intentionally excluded the risk involved with CDPs, which led to a personal loss of $200,000 in ETH.

Maker Foundation Call For Compensation of Liquidation Losses

The investors might have filed the lawsuit against the Maker Ecosystem for not revealing the risks associated with CDPs. However, the Maker community is working on partial compensation of losses for investors.

The foundation also conducted a governance poll on April 13 which led to the decision of partial refunding. Another governance poll in the coming week could decide the mode of currency through which the refunding will be initiated.

Johnson also revealed that he was aware of the refunding governance vote, but said that he was skeptical whether the vote would result in any form of real compensation.

Here is the full document:

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Author: James W

Hackers Take Over Amazon Ring Camera, Demanding 50 Bitcoin Ransom While Setting Off the Alarm

  • The hackers infiltrated the Ring doorbell to make it seem as though they were outside of the couple’s home.
  • Tania Amador was threatened by the hackers, who said she would be “terminated” if she didn’t comply.

Hackers are becoming more and more bold in their efforts to steal cryptocurrency from unsuspecting investors. A recent attack in Texas, for example, involved a breach of home security cameras by these extortionists, hacking the system to demand cryptocurrency from a couple. According to reports from The Next Web’s Hard Fork, Tania Amador gave her security video to the local news to show scammers demanding 50 Bitcoin from the speaker of her Amazon Ring.

Amador (28) lives in Grand Prairie, located just outside of Dallas, Texas. Speaking with WFAA, she stated,

“I was asleep, and our Ring alarm was going off like an intruder had entered our home. Then we heard a voice coming from our camera.”

The voice said, “Ring Support! Ring Support! We would like to notify you that your account has been terminated by a hacker.” However, that’s not where this scary turn of events ended. The scammers then demanded that Amador pay them 50 Bitcoin, worth about $400,000, adding that she would be “terminated” as well, if she didn’t comply. Adding to their scheme, the hackers managed to infiltrate the Ring doorbell, making it look like the scammers were just outside of the house.

In an effort to stop the scammer, since the couple was unsure of what to do, they removed the batteries from the cameras being impacted. While it would be nice if this circumstance was a one-time attack, it isn’t. Ring has actually been dealing with many disgruntled customers due to concerns over privacy, as there have been multiple reports of hacking on their products from unsavory souls. The process itself is relatively easy for hackers, costing as little as $6 for the software necessary to hack it.

Speaking with WFAA and Amador, the home security company reportedly stated that there was a third-party data breach, leaving account holders of Ring system with their data exposed. However, the company was clear in stating that Ring’s own security had not been compromised or breached directly.

Anyone that has devices connected to their internet in their home should be careful of their own security. More devices leave hackers more opportunities to gain access to your private information, so consumers need to take every effort possible to protect themselves and change passwords frequently.

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Author: Krystle M

State Owned Oil Giant, PDVSA, Requests Venezuelan Central Bank To Test Holding BTC & ETH For Payments

Venezuela has a stash of crypto’s and it does not seem afraid to use them. The only problem is that the country does not seem completely sure about how to use them, also.

As reported by Bloomberg, the central bank of Venezuela recently started tests in order to determine how to use it’s cryptos to boost their national reserves. With inflation that goes beyond 1,000,000% a year, the country is desperate to have some monetary relief.

According to four people with “direct knowledge” of the situation, one of the state-run oil companies in the country, Petroleos de Venezuela SA, wants to pay its suppliers using BTC. The country’s international reserves are running pretty low now and it would be useful to have cryptos as an option.

The main reason why the government is considering this is because of the U. S. sanctions against the country, which isolated Venezuela from global markets and affected its economy. The current political and economic crisis doesn’t help, either.

Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro attempted to create the Petro, a national cryptocurrency, some time ago, but the project utterly failed. Because of this, it would make a lot of sense for Venezuela to start using Bitcoin. Several people outside of the government already do.

Cryptocurrencies were created partly as a way to avoid sanctions, so it is not surprising at all that they would be used on a nationwide basis to avoid sanctions from other governments. Other countries such as North Korea and Iran could follow a similar route, too, as it is harder to track Bitcoin transactions.

The U. S. government could, on the other hand, blacklist wallet addresses, which is already done in some cases. This could get in the way of Venezuela’s plans.

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Author: Gabriel Machado

Czech Republic To Enforce Crypto Regulations Deemed Harsher Than The Ones Issued by the EU

Czech-Republic-To-Enforce-Crypto-Regulations-Deemed-Harsher-Than-The-Ones-Required-by-the-EU

While some countries are friendly to Bitcoin, others seem to hate it. Unfortunately, the Czech Republic is far from one of the friendliest countries with crypto. According to recent reports, the country is about to enforce regulations on the crypto industry which are deemed to be even harsher than the ones required by the European Union.

A local media outlet has recently affirmed that, in order to comply with the European Anti-Money Laundering (AML) laws, the Czech Republic is set to take extreme measures.

For instance, the country will fine in around $20,000 USD for any illegal crypto company, as well as to enforce the regulations from the EU’s Fifth AML Directive. According to this new directive, the countries of the union would need to have a close oversight on wallets and exchanges and ask them to provide more transparency.

The media outlet that reported on this story, Hospodářské Noviny, affirmed that the measure was a bit harsh and that it could get in the way of the competitiveness of the sector, despite the fact that only exchanges who are not regulated will be fined. All exchanges within the boundaries of the law will not need to worry.

The Czech Republic is one among many examples of countries that decided to upgrade the European requirements and to look more closely at crypto companies. Cyprus, for instance, also decided to enforce several obligations which are not stated by international law.

These cases might be happening because the local governments believe that, if they need to make obligatory changes in regulation, they might as well just make them specific to their countries.

[Author Alert] The author’s opinions above are solely based on their own self-conducted research. Assume any and all authors are using, holding, trading and/or buying cryptoassets mentioned as a portion of his or her financial portfolio. Use information at your own risk, do you own research, never invest more than you are willing to lose.

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Author: Nirmala Velupillai

Canadian Crypto Owner Duped Out Of $240,000 In An Employment Scam

Canadian Crypto Owner Duped Out Of $240,000 In An Employment Scam

Crypto scams again seem to be on the rise in 2019 as the currency its use cases and adaptability increases. There seems to be news of a new scam victim in Canada. Scammers stole over $240,000 from the residents of Edmonton.

748 people across Canada lost more than $17 million to online dating scams in 2016, up from $16.7 million in 2015. In Edmonton, city police investigated two high-profile cases in the past year. One of the local victims lost more than $50,000, the second more than $90,000.

Of all the frauds that use romance as a pawn, “catfishing” is the most common. In these cases, the con artist uses a fake identity to charm victims into an online relationship and soon after, begins asking for large sums of money. They use fake profiles and usually come up with elaborate excuses as to why they can never meet in person.

Linda Herczeg, an Edmonton police detective says:

“The use of the internet to do any type of frauds or scams is increasing exponentially because of the ease of it and because of the ability to social engineer.”

Cybercriminals thrive on the buzz. Bitcoin prices reaching new highs make the currency more tempting both for scammers and for their new potential victims. The scams tend to be fairly unsophisticated, either tricking users into installing malicious apps or promising free money in exchange for an initial payment. In the end Bitcoin, just like social media, depends on community-based trust. When certain members of these communities violate that trust, it can ruin a good thing for everyone.

[Author Alert] The author’s opinions above are solely based on their own self-conducted research. Assume any and all authors are using, holding, trading and/or buying cryptoassets mentioned as a portion of his or her financial portfolio. Use information at your own risk, do you own research, never invest more than you are willing to lose.

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Author: Sritanshu Sinha

Latest Maryland Cybersecurity Attack Could Usher In the State’s Need for a Blockchain Governance System

Latest Maryland Cybersecurity Attack Could Usher In the State’s Need for a Blockchain Governance System
  • The stats seem to suggest that close to 78,000 people might have been affected by this newest security lapse.
  • This latest hacking incident is quite similar to what happened in Oregon last month — when a miscreant made his way into the state’s DHS servers and compromised the personal data of more than 500,000 individuals.

Recently, the Maryland Department of Labor released a statement announcing that due to a certain security flaw in their native database ecosystem, they “might” have accidentally released the personal information of more than 78,000 people living within the state’s borders.

Not only that, the agency then went on to reveal that the above-stated breach had taken place earlier this year when nine of its employees fell victim to a phishing attack

As a result of all these unwanted developments, Maryland’s Department of IT launched an immediate investigation into the case. In this regard, a cybersecurity expert involved with incident, claimed that the leaked information had been stored on a legacy database that comprised of data such as:

  • Names of various individuals.
  • Their social security and phone numbers
  • Residential addresses.

Also, it is worth mentioning that a government official assured local citizens that none of their stolen data had been ‘downloaded onto an external drive’. However, anybody with even a little knowledge of such things knows that the information in question is now ‘heavily compromised’.

Last but not least, the state has offered the victims of this theft with a free “2 year credit monitoring service’.

So Where Does Blockchain Technology Factor into All of This?

As many of our regular readers may already be aware of, hacking incidents such as the one mentioned above have increased in number over the past couple of years. This is because government agencies, more often than not, tend to rely on centralized servers that are non auditable and quite easy to penetrate.

Thus, many experts are now starting to turn towards blockchain governance platforms so as to avoid such issues from taking place.

For example, by making use of smart contracts, the possibility of a database being compromised becomes almost negligible. Not only that, it is virtually impossible for a miscreant — no matter how technically skilled he/she maybe — to hack into a blockchain ecosystem and obtain any data contained in it. This is because the information stored within a blockchain is decentralized and does not make use of a third-party organization for its maintenance.

Other Key Data Worth Pointing Out

As things stand, a number of American agencies have started to make use of decentralized ledgers to increase the security of their data pools. In this regard, it is worth pointing out that a few months back, NASA released a study in which it explored the use of blockchain within areas such as air traffic management, authentication, and privacy.

Over the past 12 months or so, a number of companies based in China, the Isle of Man and Estonia have been playing around with blockchain-based technologies.

Many experts are of the opinion that as we move into the future, blockchain technology will eliminate issues related to third-party security breaches completely.

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Author: Shiraz J

Facebook Libra Cryptocurrency vs Kik KIN Digital Asset: A Look at Two Tokens Side by Side

Facebook-Libra-Cryptocurrency-vs-Kik-KIN-Digital-Asset-A-Look-at-Two-Tokens-Side-by-Side
  • Kik and Facebook seem to have similar interests
  • Both companies want to improve their revenue model

Facebook has recently released the Libra cryptocurrency, which aims at improving Facebook’s presence in the financial system. In order for users to use the new digital asset, they will have to install the wallet Calibra, which is expected to be released to the market in 2020. There have been several backers and partners behind the launch of this digital asset and project, including PayPal, MasterCard or Mercado Libre, among others. Now, there are several analysts trying to understand which are going to be the effects of this announcement in the crypto market and in the largest digital assets.

Facebook’s Libra Vs Kik’s Kin

There is another digital currency that was launched by another messaging application. Tech Crunch wrote an article in which they compare Kik’s Kin, which is also a social network. A short time ago, Kik was in the news due to a current U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) lawsuit that targeted Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs), and Kik ran one in 2017. According to the regulatory agency, Kik’s $100 million ICO was illegal because it was not registered with any agency.

At Creative Destruction Lab’s Super Session, Ted Livingston, the CEO of Kik, said that Kin was originally created to address the challenges that Kik had. Although Kik never achieved the scale of Facebook, it had moments of impressive success in terms of the number of users in the community. One of the main differences that this network has with Facebook is related to the fact that Kik never pursued an aggressive ads-based campaign.

The CEO of Kik explained that Kin made sense because it was an effective and easy way for people on the platform to exchange value. As per Darrell Etherington, the author of the article at Tech Crunch, the major difference between Facebook and Kik is the scale of their companies.

Kik needed a digital currency as soon as possible, this is why they’ve decided to start an Initial Coin Offering and gather funds. Meanwhile, Facebook was able to bring into their network collaborators that were able to work on the digital asset they released. They also have the possibility to keep expanding their business model through advertising.

As the author explains, both Kik and Facebook were searching for a new revenue model other than advertising, which could make their businesses much more sustainable and palatable to consumers.

Facebook will have to prove that their digital currency is able to fulfill the expectations that the market currently has. They might be able to help users around the world have access to financial services and allow them to transfer value as they send or receive a text message. Now it is just time to see which is the effect that Facebook’s Libra is going to have in the space.

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Author: Carl T

Ikigai Founder: Bitcoin’s Beauty Shines in Comparison to Gold, BTC is a Central Bank Insurance Policy

Ikigai-Founder-Bitcoins-Beauty-Shines-in-Comparison-to-Gold-BTC-is-a-Central-Bank-Insurance-Policy

Could any two investments seem more different than precious metals like gold and silver versus digital currencies? One is dug from the ground, forged in flames and hurts like heck when you drop it on your foot. The other is purely digital, created by computers crunching complex equations, existing only in bits and bytes.

Recently, Travis Kling, Founder and Chief Investment Officer of Ikigai Asset Management. Appeared on the WhatBitcoinDidPodcast hosted by Peter McCormack.

Regarding the recent bull run and the generally positive sentiment around cryptos, Kling said:

“The people in the space show an enormously positive vibe with a feeling of a growing sense of maturation year over year. Now that there are fewer charlatans and scammers in the fields it becomes easier for more Bitcoin centric announcements to be made.”

Bitcoin was even purposefully intended to simulate some of gold’s unique natural properties. You even “mine” for new Bitcoin digitally like people mine physically for gold, and the supply is purposely limited. Because they have a lot of similarities, they appeal to many of the same investors. Both can be a store of value and a medium of exchange, however, according to Travis Bitcoin is mostly being used as a store of value.

“Bitcoin has gone through a lot of phases and in my opinion, it is a non-sovereign, hard cap supply, global commodity. In other words it is an insurance policy against central banks even though Bitcoin is not a safe haven right now. The reason why I, like so many others are excited about it is because it has the characteristics it possesses to grow.”

Bitcoin and alt-coins are emerging as a powerful innovation, both as a possible complement to — and, in thus far rare circumstances, a replacement for — cash or precious metals in many applications. As the market comes to grips with cryptos, however, it’s increasingly clear there is a place for each in the world, and none of them — not cash nor gold nor cryptocurrencies — are going away anytime soon.

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Author: Sritanshu S