Crypto Hardware Wallet Trezor Brings Privacy to its Users with CoinJoin & CoinControl

Crypto Hardware Wallet Trezor Brings Privacy to its Users with CoinJoin & CoinControl

Cryptocurrency hardware wallet, Trezor is bringing privacy to its users through CoinJoin.

CoinCoin is a trustless method that combines multiple Bitcoin payments from multiple senders into single transactions making it difficult for outside parties to determine the origin of the coins. Trezor tweeted,

“We always strive to advance your privacy! CoinJoin will obscure the sources and destinations of your transactions.”

However, some are concerned about the fact that cryptocurrency exchanges like Binance and Paxos Global actually discourage the use of the bitcoin mixing services and, in the past, have flagged consumers who have made use of these services. For Trezor, the heart of the matter here is,

“Do you want to use a service that blocks your transaction because you care about your privacy?”

Another step towards maximizing Trezor users’ privacy also includes a CoinControl feature that puts the user in complete charge of compiling their transactions.

When sending BTC to someone, this feature allows you to control which of your addresses sends the coins and, even more specifically, which unspent outputs will be sending inputs.

“In the future, the combination of Tor Switch, CoinControl, and CoinJoin will guarantee you the top level of privacy and security, respected by our customers.”

Besides privacy, Tezos (XTZ) also announced that they are also bringing full node support to its wallet this year. Users will be able to connect their own full node, which allows them to fully validate transactions and blocks and help the network to the Trezor hardware wallet.

In the first stage, they will implement Electrum API integration which will be then followed by Bitcoin Core.

Another addition includes the Trezor Suite Mobile app for Android, which will have most of the Trezor Suite features “bringing accessibility and user experience to the whole new level.”

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Author: AnTy

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

Popular Ethereum Wallet, MetaMask, Rolls Out V2 Token Swapping Feature for Smartphones

Popular Ethereum Wallet, MetaMask, Rolls Out V2 Token Swapping Feature for Smartphones

MetaMask has finally rolled out the token swap feature for iOs and Android phone users.

The company said that users can now swap tokens inside their mobile wallets using the Swaps feature.

MetaMask Brings DeFi Closer With New Add-on

MetaMask token swaps are achieved with a combination of data from automated and professional market makers and individual decentralized exchanges (DEXs).

The Swap feature includes slippage protection, fewer appeals, and reduced gas fees. On its website MetaMask stated,

“Instead of searching for the best prices between DEXs, MetaMask aggregates this information in a user-friendly interface so that users have access to the greatest liquidity, the largest selection of tokens, and the most competitive prices. The mobile version of Swaps comes with the same fees of 0.875% as the desktop version, which is automatically factored into each quote.”

Mobile users who want to access the new swaps feature would need to update or download the mobile app.

Once inside, users can tap on the new ‘Swap’ button to choose the tokens they want to exchange, select a quote, and then swap. MetaMask charges 0.875% for each swap completed.

Owned by ConsenSys, MetaMask is a popular Ethereum (ETH) wallet that was originally available as an extension for Chrome and Firefox. The company has seen its swaps feature grow substantially alongside its non-fungible tokens (NFTs).

Growing Revenue from Token Swaps

Token Swaps has helped MetaMask grow its revenue substantially over the past few months.

According to reports released by the crypto metrics platform in February, Dune Analytics, users reportedly swap between $11 million and $15 million worth of Ethereum-based tokens daily. This level of activity generates about $95,000-$131,000 in fees each day.

The MetaMask token swaps feature was announced for the first time in October 2020. The Swaps feature was first launched for its web wallet on Chrome and Firefox browsers.

Swaps basically combine data from multiple decentralized exchange aggregators, professional market makers, and individual DEXs to ensure MetaMask users always get the best price with the lowest network fees.

Before the MetaMask Swaps feature, users had to navigate many DEXs to compare prices and swap tokens. This didn’t always yield the best price for every trade, as each aggregator performs differently under different circumstances.

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Author: Jimmy Aki

Ethereum Wallet, Gnosis Safe Launches SafeSnap to Enhance Decentralized Governance in DeFi

Ethereum Wallet, Gnosis Safe Launches SafeSnap to Enhance Decentralized Governance in DeFi

Gnosis, a multi-sig wallet provider, is partnering with Snapshot to launch SafeSnap, a platform that enhances decentralized governance by allowing on-chain execution of off-chain votes.

In a document released on Tuesday, Gnosis, Gnosis Safe’s creator, a trusted Ethereum and ERC-20 tokens custodian, announced the launch of SafeSnap, in partnership with Snapshot, a decentralized governance platform. The new feature enables the decentralized execution of crypto governance protocols by bringing off-chain votes back on-chain.

Decentralized governance protocols have taken off with the rise of the DeFi ecosystem in the past year. However, the high gas fees on Ethereum have made it expensive to vote for proposals on-chain hence the rise of off-chain voting protocols such as Snapshot. However, the use of off-chain projects comes at the expense of decentralization.

The Snapshot governance proposal voting process is conducted off-chain with the duty to execute the proposal lying solely on the goodwill of team members and multi-sig key holders. SafeSnap aims to remove this centralization by automatically executing the proposal as soon as the “off-chain voting” closes.

SafeSnap aims to offer decentralized execution of crypto governance proposals. Several top DeFi governance protocols, including Yearn finance, SushiSwap, Synthetix, and Balancer, have already announced their support for the governance protocol.

Stefan George, a Gnosis co-founder and CTO believes the new feature will allow users to reduce high gas fees witnessed on Ethereum while maintaining decentralization in the proposal’s execution.

“The ability to execute DAO vote outcomes in a decentralized way, without taking the whole process on-chain and incurring the resulting gas fees, has been a difficult one to solve.”

Gnosis Safe will tally the off-chain voting from non-custodial multi-sig wallets and use Reality.eth, formerly Realitio, to broadcast the result on the main blockchain.

Once verified on the off-chain platform and resolved on Reality.eth, the proposal will have a 24 hour cooldown period before it is broadcasted to be executable by any participant on the blockchain.

The company boasts over $19.4 billion worth of ETH and ERC-20 token value in its Gnosis Safe Multisig wallet, including Metamask and hardware wallets. According to a BEG report in January, this makes it the fourth largest ETH custodial wallet operator.

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Author: Lujan Odera

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

Top Chinese Bank Launches Testing for a Digital Yuan “Hardware Wallet” Card

Top Chinese Bank Launches Testing for a Digital Yuan “Hardware Wallet” Card

  • Top Chinese bank launches testing of its “hardware card wallet” for the digital yuan.
  • The card is currently testing Dongcheng District – targeting the elderly.
  • Beijing residents testing the CBDC can also use the wallet to pay for healthcare services.

A local news report, Xinhua Net, confirmed that the Postal Bank of China has launched its biometric hardware wallet card for the digital yuan. The card is still in its testing phase to provide Dongcheng District residents with the ability to pay and transact using the central bank’s digital currency.

The hardware wallet provides users with biometric security to spend their digital yuan using a one-tap system on selected stores. Once the transaction is complete, the card’s ink screen window displays the transaction amount and the wallet balance.

The new card focuses on giving the elderly a more efficient way to use the digital renminbi given the challenges they face with smartphones, Chen Yuejin, Chairman of the Postal Bank of China, said.

“With this card, it is much more convenient to enter and exit public places, and you can pay with just one touch. It is especially suitable for the elderly who have difficulty using smartphones.”

China is the leading country in testing and piloting projects supporting its digital yuan. In the past two years, the government has launched several pilot projects on its CBDC in Beijing and Shenzhen – recently disbursing over $3 million in ‘red envelopes’ to over 50,000 people, the largest pilot yet.

The expedited process of piloting the digital yuan forces central banks around the world to look into launching their own CBDCs to avoid falling behind with China. Despite several analysts touting the digital yuan to replace the dollar, Martin Chorzempa of Peterson Institute for International Economics’ believes there is a long road ahead still.

He believes Chinese electronic payment services lay the toughest roadblock for the digital yuan to become internationalized. Chorzempa said,

“A lot of people talk about (the digital yuan) being a driver of renminbi internationalization.”

“I think they have to beat Alipay and WeChat Pay in China before, I think, that they can make a dent in the U.S. dollar.”

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Author: Lujan Odera

MyEtherWallet Provides Easy Access to dApps With DappRadar Integration

  • Popular Ethereum wallet app MyEtherWallet (MEW) has provided an upgrade that decentralized application (Dapp) users will find welcome.
  • Earlier this week, the company announced that it had inked a partnership to provide easy access to Dapps on its mobile app, essentially allowing it to capture several growing crypto markets.

Easy Access to Over 2,000 Apps

A press release explained that MEW had partnered with top dApp analytics site dAppRadar on the initiative. Thanks to the partnership, MEW users will be able to access over 2,000 dApps on their MEW browser.

The new feature will allow MEW users to track applications across several sub-industries, including decentralized finance (DeFi), non-fungible tokens (NFTs), and more. It will also allow users to track their portfolios across apps and easily tap into the new wave of crypto-based financial services.

Users can search for specific dApps, and the partners believe that iOS users will be able to view rankings and critical metrics for the applications from later this year.

Currently, these metrics are only visible through web browsers within the MyEtherWallet app. They will most likely include numbers like active users, total value locked, periodic trading volumes, and more. In the announcement, Kosala Hemachandra, MEW’s chief executive, explained:

“Our dedication to bringing DApps to all of our users, no matter how they choose to access them, reflects our belief that wallets can, and should, become the hub where the entire Ethereum DApp ecosystem comes together.”

Gas Fees Reach New Highs

The move is sure to provide easier interaction across the Ethereum blockchain. MEW remains a top figure in the Ethereum ecosystem, and most dApps run on the Ethereum blockchain too. Considering that many of these users are interwoven, easy access between one Ethereum-based service and another should consolidate Ethereum’s influence in the decentralized space.

As for the Ethereum network itself, it continues to deal with the problem of rising gas fees, something that continues to threaten its dominance in the DeFi space primarily. According to data from YCharts, the average gas fees hit an all-time high of $17.50 per transaction on Wednesday, beating the previous record of $17.43 that was set exactly a month before.

The rise forced immediate reactions, with top crypto exchange Liquid announcing that it would have to suspend Ether withdrawals due to the gas hike.

As for the DeFi space, things are getting direr. Many DeFi projects require the execution of smart contracts, and there are now reports of fees associated with protocols running into the thousands of dollars.

It’s been widely reported that large transactions on Synthetix cost as high as $1,100, while simple swaps on exchanges like SushiSwap and UniSwap went as high as $75.

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Author: Jimmy Aki

Hack A Cryptocurrency Wallet Filled With Bitcoin to Get Hired By A Cybersecurity Firm

Hack A Cryptocurrency Wallet Filled With Bitcoin to Get Hired By A Cybersecurity Firm

Red Balloon Cyber Security Company is using a unique way to get their next recruits. The company asks prospective candidates to crack an encrypted hard drive before they are offered the opportunity to work with the security firm.

According to the company’s description, anyone with “the skills and passion” to crack the hard drive will be offered 0.1337 Bitcoin (BTC) or about $4,900 as of press time.

Any applicant who decrypts the hard drive and claims the BTC funds is asked to buy a ticket to travel to New York for the recruitment process.

“You have to do a somewhat unusual technical interview: unlocking a hard drive with Bitcoin,” the cybersecurity firm stated.

A Unique Recruitment Method that Brings Result

The Chief executive officer of Red Balloon, Ang Cui, commented on the strange recruitment process by saying that his company is one of the very few firms that use it to recruit its workforce.

According to him, the firm is taking such a method because it is a small company and doesn’t have enough human resources to spend on sorting and going through each resume. So, the idea is to use a smart and effective method to recruit a specialized tech expert group.

The Recruitment Method Records a 1% Success Rate

Cui added that the security firm has sent out the test invitation to anyone interested in the advertised position. He also said only very few persons could scale through the interview, pointing out that the success rate was just 1%.

Red Balloon added 6 people to its workforce, making it 29 employees presently working in the firm. The cybersecurity firm was founded in 2011 and had been using this strange interview method to recruit some of its workers for some time.

A crypto enthusiast recently claimed that he received such invitation and instructions to get back Bitcoin five years ago on Twitter.

Some others also said Red Balloon had been known to use such a recruitment method. Some of them said as part of the Decon Hacker Conference in 2017; the security firm asked programmers to decrypt hard drives with Bitcoin.

Last month, Red Balloon security appointed David Doggett as a senior strategist for its industrial market. As a team senior, his recruitment method was probably not through the hard drive cracking task.

The security firm claims it’s a leading developer of firmware-based security systems that protect embedded devices, including automation systems and electrical systems, from different potential cyber-attacks.

The company’s flagship product, Symbiote Defense, is a defense system designed for embedded devices.

Red Balloon has lots of other products that help customers keep their security systems safe from unwanted exploitation. This explains why the firm uses the unique method of hard drive encryption to recruit its new workforce.

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Author: Ali Raza

Gnosis Safe Is Now The 4th Largest Ethereum Wallet Address; Adds 1.5M ETH In A Day

Crypto Custodian, Gnosis Safe Is Now The 4th Largest Ethereum Wallet Address; Adds 1.5M ETH In A Day

Gnosis Safe added over 1.5 million Ethereum tokens in a single day. The value of the ETH and ERC20 tokens stored soared to $2.3 billion, making the firm the fourth largest custodian of ETH.

In a tweet sent out on Thursday, Gnosis Safe, an Ethereum digital assets custodian, confirmed over 1,500,000 ETH (~$1.8 billion) was added to their safe on Jan 14. This brings the total amount of ETH stored on Gnosis wallets to slightly above 2% of the total supply of ETH.

Just a day earlier, the crypto custodian announced they had reached a million ETH stored in their safe after a 600,000 ETH deposit by an unknown account. The latest transaction is also unknown but is widely speculated to institutional money – a bullish indicator for ETH price in the future ETH -1.86% Ethereum / USD ETHUSD $ 1,162.91
-$21.63-1.86%
Volume 35.74 b Change -$21.63 Open $1,162.91 Circulating 114.27 m Market Cap 132.88 b
2 h Fireblocks Introduces Crypto Staking for Institutional Investors; Ethereum, Tezos and Polkadot 4 h Crypto Custodian, Gnosis Safe Is Now The 4th Largest Ethereum Wallet Address; Adds 1.5M ETH In A Day 7 h DeFi Project CREAM Reinventing with Zero Collateral Protocol-to-Protocol Lending Platform
.

According to Etherscan’s ‘Rich List‘ –ranking the top account addresses by value – Gnosis Safe is the fourth largest account with 2.5 million ETH held in the account or 2.18% of the total ETH supply. Only Wrapped ETH deposit contract address (4.59%), Binance ETH address (2.53%), and Ethereum 2.0 deposit contract address (2.19%) have larger amounts of ETH tokens than Gnosis Safe. Back in August of 2020, the wallet had just toppled $1 Billion AUM.

Gnosis Safe is a smart contract powered platform that provides users with a safe and secure multi-signature wallet solution to retail and institutional holders. Individual users will need to sign the transactions from multiple wallets or devices, while institutions can choose to delegate several employees to sign the transactions.

Safe replaced the Gnosis Multisig wallet in 2019, enhancing its infrastructure, security, and users’ functionality. The custodian also launched its iOS and Android mobile apps on its mainnet and Rinkeby testnet platforms.

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Author: Lujan Odera

Reddit User Finds Private Keys to A Forgotten Bitcoin Wallet Holding 127 BTC

Reddit User Finds Private Keys to A Forgotten Bitcoin Wallet Holding 127 BTC

  • Reddit user finds private keys to a wallet holding 127 BTC.
  • The lucky ‘schooling’ man is set to invest the profits made in low-risk investments.

One Reddit user, BitcoinHolderThankU, has raised the curiousness of several crypto fanatics on the app after he claimed that he accidentally HODLed 127 BTC for the past 8-9 years. The user cashed out his gains, totaling $4.24 million, on over the counter (OTC) trading desks and plans to invest the profits on investments in the S&P 500.

Following a flurry of messages and crypto media taking up the story, BitcoinHolderThankU wrote a post to explain the journey of finding the crypto and how to cash out. According to the post, the user found the private key on December 22 when the price of one Bitcoin was roughly $23,000 – a total fortune of $2.92 million at the time.

The user spent the next week figuring out how to safely and securely liquidate the large sum of Bitcoins at the best price with the cheapest fees. While centralized crypto exchanges such as Binance and Coinbase were an option, their daily withdrawal limits hindered the user from selecting them as he wanted a quick exit while the price of Bitcoin was still high.

“Not only would it take forever due to the daily withdrawal limits, but at the time, I was also worried that the price of Bitcoin would suffer a major drop throughout the lengthy liquidation process.”

Finally, he selected an unnamed OTC desk to complete the trade, selling all the BTC for a price of $33,439.02 per coin minus a 0.15% fee, bring him a net total of $4.24 million.

Despite the sale’s profits, the user still faces regret aversion on selling all his 127 BTC. Over the past fortnight or so, the price of BTC doubled from previous all-time highs to trade at $41,000 before retracing to current levels of $34,000, as of writing.

“Looking back at things, I would not have sold all 127 Bitcoins if I were given a second chance,” the Reddit post reads. “Instead, I would’ve sold the majority of them and kept a handful to hold for years to come.”

So what next for the lucky Bitcoin HODLer?

The user plans to reinvest the profits in a “safe, low-risk investment channel” once he completes paying his taxes on the gains. At the moment, he plans to keep the money in S&P 500 till he is done with his schooling. The fortunes, however, will not influence his lifestyle at all, he stated in the post. He wrote, “No expensive luxuries, no new house, no new car, nada.”

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Author: Lujan Odera