Ripple price failed once again to break the $0.3200 resistance and declined sharply against the US dollar.The price broke the key $0.3125 and $0.3100 support levels to move into a bearish zone.There is a major bearish trend line formed with resistance at $0.3110 on the hourly chart of the XRP/USD pair (data source from Kraken).The pair is currently correcting higher, but it is facing a solid hurdle near the $0.3100 pivot level.Ripple price declined heavily and turned bearish against the US Dollar and bitcoin. XRP/USD may consolidate in the short term and upsides are likely to remain capped near $0.3100 and $0.3120.Ripple Price AnalysisThere was another attempt by ripple price to clear the $0.3200 resistance against the US Dollar. The XRP/USD pair failed to gain momentum, resulting in a sharp bearish reaction. The price started a significant decline and broke the $0.3150 and $0.3140 support levels. The decline was such that the price even broke the key $0.3100 support level and the 100 hourly simple moving average. A new weekly low was formed near the $0.3000 level before the price started an upside correction.Buyers pushed the price above $0.3050 and the 23.6% Fib retracement level of the last drop from the $0.3199 high to $0.3005 low. There was even a break above the $0.3080 resistance, but the price faced a strong resistance near the $0.3100 level. The stated $0.3100 level acted as a support earlier and now it is preventing gains. Besides, the 50% Fib retracement level of the last drop from the $0.3199 high to $0.3005 low is also near the $0.3100 resistance. More importantly, there is a major bearish trend line formed with resistance at $0.3110 on the hourly chart of the XRP/USD pair.Therefore, the price is likely to face a strong selling interest near the $0.3100 level. The next key resistance is near the $0.3125 level since it coincides with the 100 hourly SMA. On the downside, an initial support is near the $0.3060, below which the price could revisit the $0.3000 support level.Looking at the chart, ripple price moved into a bearish zone, with a close below $0.3100 and the 100 hourly SMA. In the short term, there could be range moves between $0.3060 and $0.3125 before the price makes the next move. On the downside, if buyers fail to defend the $0.3000 support, the price may slide towards the $0.2920 support.Technical IndicatorsHourly MACD – The MACD for XRP/USD is slowly moving into the bullish zone.Hourly RSI (Relative Strength Index) – The RSI for XRP/USD is currently moving higher towards the 45 level.Major Support Levels – $0.3060, $0.3040 and $0.3000.Major Resistance Levels – $0.3100, $0.3120 and $0.3125.
Archives for March 21, 2019
ETH price failed to break the $139 resistance and declined sharply against the US Dollar.The price broke the key $134 support level to enter a bearish zone.A new connecting bearish trend line is formed with resistance at $139 on the hourly chart of ETH/USD (data feed via Kraken).The pair is likely to struggle near the $135 and $136 levels if it corrects higher in the near term.Ethereum price declined sharply below key supports against the US Dollar and bitcoin. ETH settled below $136 and the 100 hourly SMA, which is a short-term bearish sign.Ethereum Price AnalysisThere was another attempt by ETH price to climb above the $139-140 resistance area against the US Dollar. The ETH/USD pair failed to surpass the $140 resistance and later started a downside move. There were range moves above $138 before sellers took charge and pushed the price below $136 and the 100 hourly simple moving average. There was a break below a connecting bullish trend line at $138 on the hourly chart, opening the doors for more losses.As a result, there was a sharp decline and the price tumbled below the $134 support level. The price traded towards the $132 support and settled below the 100 hourly simple moving average. Recently, it corrected higher above the $133 level and the 23.6% Fib retracement level of the last drop from the $140 swing high to $132 low. Buyers even pushed the price above the $134 level, but upsides were capped by the $136 resistance. Besides, the 50% Fib retracement level of the last drop from the $140 swing high to $132 low acted as a resistance.It seems like the previous support area near $136 is acting as a solid resistance. Therefore, the price may consolidate in the short term before it makes another attempt to clear the $136 level. On the upside, the next resistance is near $137 and the 100 hourly SMA. Moreover, there is a new connecting bearish trend line is forming with resistance at $139 on the hourly chart of ETH/USD.Looking at the chart, ETH price clearly moved into a bearish zone below the $136 support and the 100 hourly SMA. If buyers struggle to push the price back above the $136 and $137 levels, there is a risk of more downsides. An initial support is near $134, below which the price may revisit the $132 swing low.ETH Technical IndicatorsHourly MACD – The MACD for ETH/USD is about to move into the bullish zone.Hourly RSI – The RSI for ETH/USD declined below the 50 level and it is currently below the 40 level.Major Support Level – $132Major Resistance Level – $137
ConsenSys spin-out BlockApps is working with Bayer Crop Science, the controversial agricultural giant formerly known as Monsanto.
The multinational corporation is collaborating on several BlockApps pilot projects, CoinDesk has learned, although the firm declined to specify how many. The projects began as proof-of-concept implementations in 2018.
Michael Pareles, the global digital strategy manager of Bayer’s Crop Science division, told CoinDesk that Bayer’s plan is to partner with BlockApps to “increase our applications of blockchain, both in our operations and in our industry.”
BlockApps CEO Kieren James-Lubin said his startup’s aim is to graduate several clients out of production mode and into “live” services in 2019 as it consecutively raises a Series A round.
BlockApps originally emerged from ConsenSys in 2016 with over $3 million in funding from both the Brooklyn venture studio and outside investors such Fenbushi Capital, which at the time included fund advisor and ethereum creator Vitalik Buterin. James-Lubin’s father, ethereum co-founder Joseph Lubin of ConsenSys, remains involved in BlockApps to this day.
According to James-Lubin, the 20-person startup garnered “more than seven figures” in 2018 and expects to earn almost double that amount in 2019 as production goes live. A source with knowledge of BlockApps financials, who asked to stay anonymous for legal reasons, said the startup also earned almost $2 million last year primarily through licensing deals and a few consulting contracts.
Blockskye, a startup that manages inventory and booking within the travel industry, is one BlockApps client that has already transitioned beyond the proof-of-concept stage.
CEO Brook Armstrong told CoinDesk that BlockApps’ software has become “the ultimate backend” for order processing across roughly a dozen directly participating companies.
By leveraging an open system with multiple airlines and hotels, Armstrong said Blockskye is often able to save more than $43 worth of distribution costs per ticket. He aims to expand this corporate network to thousands of travel companies by the end of 2021.
“We are focused on getting as much money on the blockchain as soon as possible,” Armstrong said.
Unlike many ConsenSys companies, BlockApps generally avoids tokens and is open to offering software services beyond the scope of blockchain technologies.
“Blockchain is a tool and not the destination,” James-Lubin said. “We describe ourselves as more of a business network company these days.”
If BlockApps offers a successful model for how other ConsenSys companies might spin out of the parent incubator, it also presents a harbinger of what the ConsenSys “mesh” could actually mean.
Lubin is still a significant shareholder, owning BlockApps equity the way he does for most ConsenSys startups, which has been a point of contention for some. (ConsenSys did not respond to requests for comment and James-Lubin likewise declined.)
Although James-Lubin now considers his startup fully independent from ConsenSys, he said his team interacts with ConsenSys on a weekly basis and shares mutual clients.
“They are on our board. They provide a sounding board when we need help,” James-Lubin said, adding his startup is no longer a part of ConsenSys but has developed a “business partnership” collaborating on contracted projects with his father’s conglomerate.
According to a ConsenSys spokesperson, so far BlockApps is one of nine startups to “spin out” of the central venture studio, including the decentralized exchange AirSwap. The spokesperson said another dozen companies are expected to “spin out” of the Brooklyn-based studio in 2019.
Chemicals image via Shutterstock
Bitcoin’s price action over the past year and a half has been quite the rollercoaster, with many investors incurring nearly instant wealth in late-2017, followed by tremendous losses for those who continued to hold their Bitcoin or other crypto investments.Despite this, those who held and are still holding are doing so either because of a fundamental belief in the technology, or at the very least a belief that the markets will eventually surge back to, or above, their previously established all-time-highs.That being said, recent comments from a prominent analyst about the potential Bitcoin’s price has to surge significantly higher will certainly be reassuring for embattled crypto investors who have been discouraged by the recent market conditions.Bitcoin (BTC) Drops to $4,000 as Support Level is at Risk of Being BrokenAt the time of writing, Bitcoin is trading down over 1% at its current price of $4,015, just a hair above its recently established support level at $4,000.Yesterday, Josh Rager, a popular cryptocurrency trader on Twitter, explained that the lack of buying pressure above $4,000 is likely to lead BTC’s price to $3,500, which may be reached soon if the crypto’s bulls are unable to keep Bitcoin’s price above $4,000.“$BTC Weekly Chart. Gandalf is holding $BTC below the mid $4,200 level. Bitcoin shall not pass the current resistance. So my target for the next drop has an aim at previous support near mid $3,500s,” he explained.$BTC Weekly ChartGandalf is holding $BTC below the mid $4,200 levelBitcoin shall not pass the current resistanceSo my target for the next drop has an aim at previous support near mid $3,500s pic.twitter.com/BGUWMmAl4V— Josh Rager 📈 (@Josh_Rager) March 20, 2019Naeem Aslam, the chief markets analyst at Think Markets U.K., recently spoke about the importance of the $4,000 level, noting that it will set the trend for which direction the markets head next.“Questions are being asked constantly when it comes to Bitcoin’s battle with the $4000 mark. The result of this battle sets the tone for a bullish or bearish trend,” he explained, further noting that this price level has become a “matter of death or life for crypto traders.”Could Bitcoin Surge to $400,000 Next?Although Bitcoin’s instability around its current price levels does seem to be significant in the short term, in the long term it may be very insignificant, as Aslam believes that BTC could eventually surge as high as $400k.“I personally believe that each Bitcoin can go up as much as $400K and if history repeats itself, this number is not a fool’s paradise. This is a simple math calculation: approximate percentage projection of the price which we experienced during the last bull run,” he bullishly explained.Keeping that in mind, for traders who are waiting to buy the bottom, the risk / reward ratio simply doesn’t make sense.Ryan Selkis, a popular figure within the crypto industry, spoke about the absurdity of trying to purchase a bottom when there is such a massive potential upside for BTC in a recent tweet.“I’d be extremely surprised if the bottom wasn’t in for this $BTC bear market. If you’ve been on the sidelines, what are you waiting for if not now? If you’re a long-term bull, the 5 year EV is 25-50x, and you’re going to wait to time an entry that’s 20% more attractive?” He noted.I’d be extremely surprised if the bottom wasn’t in for this $BTC bear market.If you’ve been on the sidelines, what are you waiting for if not now?If you’re a long-term bull, the 5 year EV is 25-50x, and you’re going to wait to time an entry that’s 20% more attractive?— Ryan Selkis (@twobitidiot) March 21, 2019As the market’s price action continues to unfold, traders and investors should keep in mind the massive potential Bitcoin and the entire markets have to surge significantly higher in the next few years.Featured image from Shutterstock.
John McAfee will apparently no longer be working with crypto project SkyCoin in an advisory capacity. Although McAfee has not publicly stated the reasoning behind the dismissal, the lead developer of the SkyCoin project and a blog associated with the SkyCoin community allege that the the termination was brought about by the software developer’s recent comments regarding so-called animal abuse in New Zealand.According to the SkyCoin dev and the blog post, McAfee has been let go over a series of comments he made about having sexual intercourse with, of all things, a humpback whale. McAfee stated last December that he was denied the opportunity to take part in a whale copulating ceremony and thus sought one out to perform the deed by himself.SkyCoin Casts McAfee Back to the OceanYesterday, crypto uber-bull and software developer John McAfee took to Twitter to reveal that he would no longer be providing advisory services to the decentralised web project SkyCoin. The software developer and controversial cryptocurrency figure did not give exact reasoning for his sudden departure, instead stating that those who wanted more information could contact him via Twitter direct message:I am no longer working with or promoting Skycoin. DM me if you want to know the reasons.— John McAfee (@officialmcafee) March 20, 2019Many were on hand in the comments to remind McAfee of the SkyCoin tattoo he had previously had done. To one such respondent, McAfee alluded to some potential foul play behind closed doors at SkyCoin:“I’ll keep it [the tattoo] as a reminder that no matter how old I get, I still get scammed by unscrupulous people with pie in the sky plans. They almost drove me to violence.”McAfee’s announcement yesterday was suitably vague with many, presumably mostly SkyCoin bag holders, questioning the sudden departure from the decentralised web project. Fortunately, representatives from SkyCoin have helped to fill in some of the gaps within the story.The first resource detailing the reasoning for McAfee’s supposed termination as adviser comes from the SkyCoin community (known as the Sky Fleet) blog. The post details that McAfee had to be removed from his position as SkyCoin adviser following comments he made via Twitter in December 2018.In the post, the author, Lawrence Qholloi, states that the lead developer of the SkyCoin project goes by the name “Synth”. Synth, presumably along with other SkyCoin developers, supports the version of events detailed in the blog:We had to sever our relationship with McAfee after his irresponsible tweets about whaling fucking.— Synth (@NotSkycoinCEO) March 21, 2019In the comments section of the Tweet, Synth supported this initial statement and that of the Sky Fleet blog post:“Our corporate partners do not want SkyCoin associated with animal abuse.”The blog also details the opinion of supposed individual on the SkyCoin development team. This person wished to remain anonymous:“His [McAfee’s] drug fueled [sic] demanding demeanour [is] not meant for business”.The Tweets by McAfee referenced by Synth and the blog can be seen below:Tried ro join a secret Maori Whale Fucking club but the discrimination against elderly, bearded, Tagalog speaking white men, which runs rampant in New Zealand, caused them to mistake me for a well known tech personality, and i was soundly thrashed. Tried on my own and failed.— John McAfee (@officialmcafee) December 31, 2018There was considerable backlash from many following this comment. Given the wording of the Tweet, it does seem like McAfee made his whale comments in jest. However, based on how eccentric McAfee can be, the truth is anyone’s guess. The software developer did go on to offer the following as a rebuttal to those who had called him out for making comments referencing cruelty to animals:Enough of the “Whale Fucking is non-consensual” bullshit. A Humpback Whale weighs 70,000 pounds, is fifty feet long, can dive more than a quarter mile and can crush ships with a single swipe of its tail. If a human manages to fuck one, you damn well better believe it’s consensual— John McAfee (@officialmcafee) December 31, 2018From McAfee’s vague statement on the matter, we may infer that he left because he was led to believe the team was more competent than they in fact were. Meanwhile, from SkyCoin team, it seems that the case is more about distancing themselves from a potentially divisive character in the crypto community. The real truth behind the dismissal is anyone’s guess.However, one Twitter user did offer a third interpretation of events, which referenced some of the “paid shilling” McAfee has done for various crypto projects in recent years:Is it because everything you promote turns to shit?— 😇 Shillex 😈 (@shill_ex) March 20, 2019 Related Reading: Bitcoin Price (BTC) Undervalued By Nearly $34K According to Infamous DicklineFeatured Image from Shutterstock.
Jared Rice Sr., founder of crypto bank AriseBank, pleaded guilty to one count of securities fraud Wednesday in federal court
The Dallas News reported Thursday that Rice, who was arrested last year, admitted to scamming investors out of $4.2 million by selling AriseCoin tokens and promising that customers would receive Visa credit cards and accounts insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC).
Neither the cards nor the FDIC accounts existed, though Rice accepted both crypto and fiat during his ICO, which the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) halted in January 2018.
According to his plea agreement, the U.S. government and Rice have agreed that the defendant should spend 60 months in prison. He faces a maximum sentence of 20 years, a $5 million fine, three years’ supervised release, restitution and forfeiture.
The plea deal is dependent on federal judge Ed Kinkeade, of the U.S. District Court, Northern District of Texas, signing off on the 60-month sentence.
The FBI arrested Rice last November, after the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Northern District of Texas charged him with three counts of securities fraud and three counts of wire fraud.
Rice has already settled a civil charge with the SEC, paying $2.7 million in disgorgement and another roughly $190,000 in penalties. His former chief operating officer, Stanley Ford, settled similar charges with an identical monetary fine.
Neither admitted or denied the SEC’s charges, though both have agreed to lifetime bans from serving as officers or directors of public companies, as well as a lifetime ban from participating in digital securities offerings.
Gavel image via Shutterstock
The volatile price action in the crypto markets over the past year and a half has proved to investors that despite each major altcoin having (mostly) unique features and use-cases, their prices are still extremely influenced by the overall market price action, and especially that of Bitcoin.Now, a recent research report conducted and published by cryptocurrency exchange Binance gives a significant amount of insight into how correlated various cryptocurrencies are with Bitcoin, other altcoins, and the US Dollar, and highlights an interesting trend developing in the first few months of 2019 and over the past year.Altcoin to Bitcoin Correlation Slowly FadingThe report, which was released March 20th by Binance Research, takes a deep dive into the correlations between multiple time periods and multiple cryptocurrencies in terms of returns, and highlights the “elements that may influence the strength and direction of these correlations.”Analysts and investors alike have long viewed the notoriously high correlation between nearly all cryptocurrencies as a sign of the market’s immaturity, as only seldomly do individual altcoins move on their own accord regardless of the overall market conditions.The report importantly notes that the correlation of returns between various altcoins and Bitcoin over the past three months has been fading significantly.“The correlation of cryptoasset returns based on BTC prices (i.e., Bitcoin-adjusted returns), highlights significantly lower correlations among cryptoassets relative to correlations among the same coins in USD returns,” the report explains.With this in mind, it does, in fact, appear that the 2018 Bitcoin price crash – which sent virtually all cryptocurrencies spiraling downwards – has led to a lower correlation amongst cryptocurrencies – especially in terms of monetary returns – which could mean that future price cycles (including both bull runs and bear crashes) will not cause the entire markets to move as one, with individual altcoins moving on their own accord. If this trend continues to develop, then this would be a sign of a rapidly maturing market.Furthermore, although the Bitcoin / altcoin correlation has been fading significantly over the past three months, the trend actually started last year following the crypto market crash.“Correlations of cryptoasset returns in BTC terms in late 2018 were much lower compared to late 2017,” the report explains.Altcoin to USD Return Correlation Increasing Although most cryptos are slowly beginning to move on their own merit, separate from how Bitcoin moves, their returns in terms of USD have been gradually increasing.“Correlation between cryptoasset returns in USD terms actually increased when comparing the same two periods,” the report explains, adding that this correlation has “coincided with the rise of stablecoins pair dominance during 2018 and is in line with the overall decline in the contribution of BTC pairs to total industry trade volume.”The entrance of a myriad of new stable coins into the crypto markets has had an obvious effect on the market dynamics, as traders are no longer forced to trade altcoins against Bitcoin.As more exchanges offer direct USD trading pairs, and more stable coins enter the markets, it is likely that trading altcoins against Bitcoin will become increasingly rare, which will likely perpetuate the current return decorrelation trend, which could ultimately help the markets grow in maturity and reduce the magnitude of market movements.Featured image from Shutterstock.
When BlockFi began offering interest-bearing accounts earlier this month, it seemed to have struck gold. Giving people a place to securely store their bitcoin or ether is paying off for the company and crypto holders. An impressive 10,000 people have signed up for accounts. Almost all of them, roughly 90%, are retail investors.
As the prices for cryptocurrencies have fallen considerably, enthusiasts have pumped more than $35 million in deposits into BlockFi accounts.
From Beta To A Hit
The company announced the private beta launch of the BlockFi Interest Account (BIA) in January. Account holders receive 6 percent annual interest paid monthly in cryptocurrency. Interest earned in BIA compounds monthly, delivering 6.2 percent APY.
Join CCN for $9.99 per month and get an ad-free version of CCN including discounts for future events and services. Support our journalists today. Click here to sign up.
BlockFi claims that since the program rolled out from beta on March 5, it has accrued more than $10 million in assets from retail, corporate and institutional crypto investors. Large accounts are pulling the average balance up to about $40,000.
Worth The Risks?
Even with the outpouring of support, some do not like the risks associated with the product, and safety is a key concern.
Why I’m afraid of BlockFi Bitcoin savings accounts + other daily news via /r/Bitcoin https://t.co/ACOPONZihq
— Blue⚡🔦🕹️ (@CoyotlCompany) March 21, 2019
However, there are factors that allegedly mitigate certain risks. The company explains:
The ability to self-custody large amounts of value with Bitcoin is one of the unique qualities of blockchain technology and something that will always be the preferred method of storage for many in the community.
A concern that has been raised is that users may not understand the terms based on the ads from BlockFi. In response, the company states:
Our new product does carry risk, which we thoroughly disclose and thoughtfully manage. We think it’s important for people to know and understand the realities of rehypothecation and its role as a financial tool to help grow the cryptocurrency industry.
Ebbs and Flows
In a recent interview, BlockFi’s chief executive Zac Prince cautioned about how the interest rate could change, saying:
We expect the interest rate in the account to be higher in times when prices are falling, and lower when prices are rising because demand to borrow bitcoin is partially driven by market sentiment. We are bullish on the cryptocurrency market and on bitcoin long-term.
This could eventually lead to lower interest rates, but BlockFi can’t guarantee this. Prince has said the launch of the interest-bearing accounts was significant in BlockFi’s goal of becoming the “go-to provider of financial services for crypto investors:”
Lending and borrowing is readily available at the institutional level. The thought is to leverage its relationships and capital markets experience to provide utility and yield on digital assets for crypto investors.
BlockFi offers financial products for cryptocurrency holders worldwide, including those in 47 U.S. states. The company was founded in 2017 by crypto enthusiast Mike Novogratz.
A French street artist, famous for his murals containing hidden crypto prizes, has received his largest donation to date. Pascal Boyart recently checked the Bitcoin address associated with the QR code provided to accept donations for one of his works to find that some anonymous fan had donated a full Bitcoin, worth more than $4,000 at the time of writing.Elated, the artist took to Reddit to share his gratitude for the anonymous tipper and the wider crypto community. Boyart states that this is the largest single donation he has ever received.Prominent Crypto Artist Receives Bumper Bitcoin DonationThere is a growing movement of artists choosing to celebrate cryptocurrency in their work through one means or another. One of these is Pascal Boyart, a crypto-enthusiast and street artist from France.Boyart is known for his politicised murals painted on buildings. In his pieces, he hides Bitcoin prizes for fans of his work to discover. Seed words representing the private key to the wallet holding the prize are incorporated into the paintings and, once put in the correct order, allow one lucky art aficionado pockets the prize.The prize hidden in one of the artist’s most recent works was 0.26 BTC, worth around $1,040 today. The piece chosen to hide it is titled, “Liberté Guidant le Peuple” or “Freedom Guiding the People”. It pays homage to the Yellow Vest protest movement who are opposed to various policies of France’s President Macron. Some factions of the Yellow Vests appear supportive towards Bitcoin and the wider cryptocurrency movement given the general hostility of both groups towards central banks.The seed words hidden are particularly relevant to the cause, as are the order they needed putting in prior to the prize being unlocked:“Banker. Usury. Lie. People. Fight. Hope. Union. Citizen. Lead. Triumph. Yellow. Horizon.”Along with the seed words, Boyart also includes a QR code with the public key to a separate wallet. This is for fans of his work to send him donations using crypto.#StreetArt treasure hunt in Paris with a #Bitcoin puzzle
For the 10th birthday of the genesis block, I painted this frescoe in Paris with a 0,26btc ($1000) puzzle in it.
Here’s the public key: 1NqPwPp7hEXZ3Atj77Ue11xAEMmXqAXwrQ Thanks to @alistairmilne for sponsoring this 🙏 pic.twitter.com/F7aIkxmp6t— Pascal Boyart (@pascalboyart) January 7, 2019It has been a couple of months since Boyart completed “Liberté Guidant le Peuple” and the prize was won about a week following its unveiling. The donations for the artwork adorning the side of a Parisian building have been trickling in slowly.That was until a couple of days ago. Boyart checked his wallet to discover that some anonymous tipster had dropped a full Bitcoin in there – worth more than $4,000 at the time of writing. This has taken the total donated to the artist across three different pieces at 1.14 BTC, 5 Bitcoin Cash (BCH), and 1.25 Litecoin (LTC).The elated artist took to Reddit to express his gratitude. His post reads:“Thanks to the crypto community for your generosity, this space is full of suprises [sic] 🤩👍🏻Can’t wait to do more murals to spread crypto!”https://twitter.com/RedditBTC/status/1108350071236636675However, one particularly astute Redditor highlighted a flaw with the logic of asking for donations in such a way. “Medatascientist” posted:“OP there is sth I was curious about these street art donations so I’ll fire away: don’t you get afraid that someone would paint over the QR code overnight and redirect your donations to his/his robbery account? Am I thinking too much about this?”From Boyart’s response, it is obvious that he has considered this as a possibility. The artist stated that he always supplies the same address used on his website too and thus it would be easy to check that funds were going to the correct wallet. Clearly, this somewhat undermines the elegance and simplicity of the mural-side QR donation idea though.That said, Boyart’s piece does exactly what all good artwork should. It challenges the viewer with its astutely political message. It also highlights cryptocurrency’s potential to disrupt the way that even relatively basic financial transactions – such as donating – are performed. Exploration of alternate funding methods is something other crypto-enthused artists have previously attempted too. Related Reading: Bitcoin Artist Explains “Why Bitcoin Matters” Through New BTC SculptureFeatured Image from Shutterstock.
A fake version of Wasabi wallet, probably designed to steal bitcoins, has emerged online at wasabibitcoinwallet.org. (Don’t visit that site.)
Wasabi Lead Developer Exposes Fake Website
According to Wasabi developer nopara73 (the only confirmed identity he has), the site is only trying to assault Windows users. Only the Windows version of the wallet is actually non-legitimate. The rest of the download links on the site direct to Wasabi’s actual Github repository.
The first malware that pretends to be Wasabi: https://t.co/08VrjnrVsr
Notice only the Windows download link points to their own website, the rest is to our GitHub? pic.twitter.com/t7jKViESZ2
— nopara73 (@nopara73) March 21, 2019
Join CCN for $9.99 per month and get an ad-free version of CCN including discounts for future events and services. Support our journalists today. Click here to sign up.
Nopara73 downloaded the off-brand version of the wallet and the anti-virus software he’s using found no problems with it. For him, that makes the issue all the more concerning:
Oh boy. This is going to be messy: pic.twitter.com/0RLUcrztxK
— nopara73 (@nopara73) March 21, 2019
An insecure or compromised Bitcoin wallet can cost someone thousands of dollars. Wasabi is not the first wallet to have a pretender emerge. Fake Electrum wallets have come out in the past, but the community is pretty quick to warn people.
Perhaps The Only Drawback of Open Source Software: Anyone Can Redistribute
The nature of open source software is that anyone can create a clone and change it anyway they want. This is actually the intended effect. The terms of the GNU Public License, however, make it illegal to release a product of the same name.
Therefore, if an open source developer is able to identify someone who does this, they have an enforceable licensing agreement to sue based upon. Unfortunately, open source license based lawsuits are rare.
Nevertheless, open code is viewed as more secure. Vulnerabilities are found quickest when the widest number of people are able to look for them.
Wasabi wallet has grown in popularity. The official website for it is wasabiwallet.io. Wasabi implements native “coin joining,” a strategy to Bitcoin wallets. It is one of the first wallets to do this natively in Bitcoin. The concept is not unlike the privacy features implemented by Evan Duffield into DarkCoin, which later became Dash. According to the Wasabi website, the platform works best when a lot of people are using it.
Wasabi Is Popular For Its Privacy
An in-depth explanation of how Wasabi implements privacy can be found here.
Despite the transparency of the Bitcoin network, it’s difficult to know the actual distribution of wallet usage. Many wallets use a backend like bitcoind or connect remotely to a node, as is the case with most mobile wallets. However, Wasabi is reportedly one of the most popular wallets in Iran, a country where using cryptocurrency is technically illegal although the country launched its own blockchain.
A fake version of a reliable Bitcoin wallet is a serious financial risk, especially if someone is switching wallets and inadvertently imports an existing private key. The effect can be devastating and quick. Fortunately, the news of this fake Wasabi site has spread pretty quickly. It’s unlikely to be the last. The Internet, for all its safeguards and policing, remains very much the wild west.
If it turns out that the false Windows version of the wallet isn’t stealing coins, it could be something much worse: an attempt to de-anonymize Wasabi users.
Open source software has a history of being infected with malware or adware and redistributed.