The history of cryptocurrency is fraught with people losing their coins, whether through carelessness, greed, bad luck, or some combination of the above. Some ignored the first rule of crypto: “never leave your crypto on an exchange.” When their exchange failed, their crypto went with it. Others were negligent with their storage solutions, misplacing old hard drives, using software wallets on malware-ridden PCs, forgetting the passwords to hardware wallets. Some were greedy and lost their coins to a Nigerian Crypto Prince or a Ponzi scheme. And some were just plain unlucky. These unfortunate tales remind us to be careful with our crypto, and underscore the need for new solutions to storing crypto safely.submitted by Saifu-Lola to saifu [link] [comments]
Buying cryptocurrency used to be a risky prospect. There weren’t many exchanges, they often required you to deposit fiat via a third party, you certainly couldn’t use your credit card, and there was hardly any regulation. It was considered unwise to leave your cryptocurrency on the exchange after you bought it. Many people today feel safe buying some crypto on Coinbase or Binance, without transferring it to a personal wallet, but in those wild years you absolutely wanted control of your private keys. If the exchange had the keys, you were trusting your crypto to the reputation of a small company, located who-knows-where, that made its revenue by exchanging speculative, unregulated digital currencies between anonymous traders. One such company was Mt. Gox.
Mt Gox was a Tokyo based Bitcoin exchange. Led by CEO Mark Karpelès, who was also majority shareholder and lead developer, Mt Gox expanded quickly. Founded in 2010 and bought by Karpelès in 2011, Mt. Gox quickly dominated the Bitcoin market, responsible for 70% of BTC volume in 2013, with 1.1 million active accounts. But despite the outwards success, there were some signs that all was not well internally. Karpelès refused to allow any updates to the exchange software, without approving changes to the source code, meaning needed updates could languish for weeks. In June, 2011 the exchange lost $8.75 million in Bitcoin to a cyberattack, and the site went offline. According to friends of Karpelès who flew in to help get Mt. Gox back online, Karpelès seemed surprisingly relaxed about the affair, even taking the weekend off.
Mt. Gox was brought back online, but soon after US Federal agents seized $5 million from the company’s US account, and former business partner CoinLab sued for $75 million. Karpelès seemed more focused on creating a Bitcoin Cafe in the Mt. Gox building than on addressing these many issues. After an internal memo was leaked disclosing the disappearance of 850,000 BTC (worth about $460 million at the time), Mt. Gox collapsed into bankruptcy. It is still in bankruptcy proceedings today.
One might be tempted to dismiss the failure of Mt. Gox as a lesson learned by the crypto community, a mistake that wouldn’t be repeated. Sadly, exchanges continue to lose their customers’ crypto with startling regularity. A less spectacular but much more recent loss was $150 million of Nano stolen from exchange Bitgrail in February. Bitgrail’s management blamed the Nano blockchain software for the theft, but has refused to release any evidence. Nano, for its part, has vigorously defended itself against Bitgrail’s claims, showing that the missing Nano was stored in a hot wallet (one that is accessible online) instead of a cold wallet, which would have been more protected. Whoever’s to blame, if you had Nano on Bitgrail, it’s gone. Similarly, if you had any crypto on Korean exchange Youbit, you’re down 17%, which was stolen in a hack in December. Or if you used Bitconnect, you’ll find your Bitconnect tokens became nearly worthless after the company shuttered in January.
“Dozens of exchanges have failed since the creation of Bitcoin, taking many small fortunes with them. This should serve as a reminder to never leave your cryptocurrency on an exchange; however there are other ways to lose your coins,” according to Saifu co-founder Evgeny Vigovsky.
In October of 2017, a new cryptocurrency was created called Bitcoin Gold. Bitcoin Gold is a fork of the Bitcoin blockchain. This meant that anyone who owned Bitcoin was now entitled to an equivalent amount of Bitcoin Gold. Many were eager to claim their share, and some found a Bitcoin Gold online wallet called mybtgwallet.com. This helpful site offered to assist users claim their Bitcoin Gold, instructing them to enter their wallet’s seed or private key. The seed is a series of words, usually 24, that can be used to recreate a wallet if it’s lost or corrupted. Giving someone your wallet seed or private keys is akin to giving them the keys to your safe deposit box, and the victims of mybtgwallet found their wallets were quickly emptied of whatever cryptocurrencies they held. More than $3 million in Bitcoin was stolen.
MyEtherWallet is a popular online wallet for Ethereum and other tokens built on the Ethereum blockchain. The wallet is free to use, and as far as online wallets go, it’s secure, requiring users to take steps to protect themselves. In December, the MyEtherWallet iOS app hit the #3 spot on the App Store in the finance category. Unfortunately for the thousands of users who bought the app for $4.99, this app was just another scam. MyEtherWallet doesn’t have an app (and Apple doesn’t allow wallet apps on the App Store). Suspicious users alerted the MyEtherWallet team, who alerted Apple. Two days later, Apple responded and removed the app from the app store.
Less colorful but more insidious, there are a plethora of malware that targets cryptocurrency wallets. These programs run quietly in the background, searching for wallet software on your computer and uploading your credentials. A particularly nasty bit of malware was the Pony botnet, discovered in September 2014. The Pony botnet used a trojan virus to compromise about 700,000 accounts, including email accounts, website login credentials, and other sensitive information. Bitcoin totalling 335 were stolen from 85 different wallets; those Bitcoin are worth about $2.7 million today.
Some classic scams have been updated for cryptocurrencies, including a variation on the Nigerian prince con, harnessing social media to attract victims. In the classic Nigerian prince scam, the victim would receive an email from a Nigerian prince who needs help to move his wealth to the United States. The prince needs someone to deposit a check for him, then wire out the funds. They pay the wire fee but get to keep part of the funds from the deposited check. Typically the victim’s bank informs them that they’ve deposited a bad check well after they’ve wired out the funds for the “Prince.”
In the new variation, scammers impersonate well-known figures of the tech world like Elon Musk or John McAfee, often on Twitter. They use a name similar to the celebrity, and their picture. They claim to be giving away cryptocurrency to the first 100 people to respond to the tweet, but there’s a catch; respondents need to send a small amount of crypto to pay for the “fees.” Naturally, the scammer just keeps these small bits of crypto and does not send anything in return. Here’s “Elon Msk” giving away some free Bitcoin:
Thankfully, crypto security is steadily improving. The rise in value and mainstream adoption have attracted established cybersecurity players, and innovative new storage solutions are being created with increasing frequency. Our firm Saifu has developed its own crypto storage hardware in partnership with Thales. “Users’ crypto keys are stored in Thales hardware security modules, which cannot be accessed remotely. Even if we were ever hacked, our customers’ cryptocurrencies are protected. As it becomes safer and easier to buy and use cryptocurrencies, we believe mainstream adoption will skyrocket. The crypto revolution is just beginning,” Vigovsky, the Saifu co-founder, says.
post link: https://71republic.com/2017/12/23/the-iota-of-china-how-iot-chain-itc-is-securing-the-internet-of-things/
Today, the internet is all around us. Constantly updating and transacting, it lives in many of the things we interact with on a daily basis and will only grow in use case and market size heading into the future. By the year 2020, experts assert that IoT (Internet of Things) will consist of close to 30 billion interconnected objects with a total market cap expected to swell over $8 trillion dollars. Coined by Kevin Ashton, the British technology pioneer and co-founder of MIT’s infamous Auto-ID Center, IoT is a term that defines the connection between all objects from a cup of coffee, to the table it sits upon and the house you live in. By 2025 almost ever object is expected to be an intellectualized ‘smart network’ tied to a stream of data requiring each their own IoT operating system that relays and synchronizes networks in a fast and cost-effective way. The Singapore based startup IoT Chain (https://iotchain.io/) aims to be the go-to platform for this massive new ecosystem of virtualized physical reality. Dubbed “a high-security lite IoT OS,” IoT Chain (or call sign $ITC) seeks to provide a safe, secure platform that protects against Botnet attacks of user data while lowering the prohibitive cost of centralized architecture by utilizing blockchain technology.
Currently, trading on the Singapore exchange Huobi (Huobi ITC/BTC) and the Chinese exchange OKEX (https://www.okex.com/), ITC has maintained strong volume and stability for investors since its introduction to the market in early December. After raising $15 million dollars in a private fundraising round this Fall, IoT Chain’s market cap (IOT Chain Marketcap) has already X3 in value and is currently hovering around $50 million dollars. The industry standard at the moment, IOTA, has a current valuation of close to $12 Billion dollars proving both the need for platforms in this space and also the sizeable market that looks set to greatly expand in the coming decades. ITC’s circulating supply is 50 million tokens with another 50 million locked-up to prevent extreme price fluctuations. Recently, IoT Chain announced a partnership with Acute Angle Cloud one of the leaders in the globally distributed cloud computing field and also reached a strategic cooperation with Adzar Energy to work on building a clean energy market using the blockchain.
The company is led by CEO Xie Zhuopeng, a blockchain professional who has been engaged in the smart hardware field for half a decade. Their CFO, Zhao Tan, holds an MBA from MIT China and was the former Asia Pacific CFO of Kerry where he oversaw the hedging of millions of dollars across foreign exchanges. ITC’s advisory team consists of Liang Ran, co-founder of RippleFox and Ji Xinhua, an expert in credit card encryption and winner of first prize for Shanghai’s science and technology advancement award. They are backed by large investments from some of China’s strongest blockchain incubators including FBG Capital (funders of OmiseGo & 0X Decentralized Exchange) and Link Capital Finance boasting over 40 years of experience specializing in developmental finance. Other partnerships include Shanghai High Flying Electronics, Shenzhen Galaxywind Network, Shanghai BeTiger Network and Telink Semiconductor.
IoT Chain has identified two major challenges to the IoT market that they intend to solve. First, ITC tackles issues of security to objects within the IoT ecosystem. ITC’s whitepaper highlights the effects of The Botnet of Things or a massively connected network of computers which are capable of utilizing DDOS (Direct Denial of Service) to shutter popular websites and internet-based applications around the world. With smart hardware filling our homes in the coming century, the implications of malevolent botnet networks used against the community or individual user becomes a looming concern. This past year we witnessed major outages to the influential and gigantic American websites Twitter & Netflix with the trend set to continue heading into 2018. To combat this, IoT Chain has adopted asymmetrical encryption that keeps data from being cracked even if it is collected. Further, all of the nodes in ITC are equal helping to protects users’ privacy. Secondly, the ITC team points to the high cost of centralized architecture that is currently keeping the Internet of Things from achieving mainstream adoption. Similar to issues faced in the growing field of A.I. and throughout the greater blockchain space, these platforms must be able to function with speed and efficiency or else risk poor adoption from the public. IoT Chain promises scalability and a massive node network to meet the demands of data storage in a convenient and cost-efficient through the blockchain.
2018 looks to be a big year for IoT Chain as their roadmap outlines several key events that should boost ITC’s valuation and establish their platform as a major player in the greater cryptocurrency space. Their main-chain testing stage has already begun and a wallet client looks to be ready for Q2 of 2018. They expect their main-chain wallet to be finished by May and then will begin work on their DAG network with the final main net coming online after NYE of 2018. From an investment standpoint, IoT Chain is relatively unknown in the West and has yet to make it to Western markets although the asset is currently rumored to land on Binance. In terms of competitors, IoT Chain features the lowest market cap of all DAG networks and is considerably cheaper than similar platforms. ITC is currently valued at $50 million vs. StreamR at $170m, ByteBall $400m, RailBlocks $460m and of course, Iota at $13 billion.
You can find more information about IoT Chain on their growing telegram group (IoT Chain Telegram) that already features close to 4,000 users with barely any coming from the Americas or Europe. I believe the IoT Chain team possess the relevant experience and resources to corner a substantial part of the IoT marketplace. Chinese investors have shown a tendency towards sovereignty with companies and products from the region and IoT Chain should be no different. Where NEO is the Asian counterpart to Ethereum, so too can IoT Chain become the IOTA of China. When investors outside China learn about this platform, I expect to see a sharp rise in price and at the current value of $50 million dollars I think the risk/reward is highly in favor of the investor and anticipate this platform will soar in value when it eventually finds its way into Western markets in the early months of 2018. The future of society is manifesting in front of our eyes and the demand for low-cost architecture to connect devices and stimulate functionality grows rapidly every day. When we get there we will want to ensure the safety and security of those devices and the data they collect. IoT Chain looks to be one of the investment opportunities of next year and the time to invest is soon before the token finds its way onto exchanges with higher volume and new wallets. As always, I highly recommend researching the asset fully and formulating your own opinion before investing but recognize the huge upside that this platform represents. So you tell me… IoT Chain, the IOTA of China?
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