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Ethereum devs reschedule Constantinople hard fork for late Feb

Ethereum core developers have now said they will activate the proposed Constantinople upgrade in late February. The upgrade was delayed earlier this week following a code audit, which revealed that the fork would introduce security issues affecting Ethereum’s smart contracts, potentially resulting in the theft of users’ funds. As previously reported by Hard Fork, the initial delay was announced on Tuesday – less than 24 hours before the hard fork was due to take place.   This latest change of sc...
Tags: Startups, Ethereum, Cryptocurrency, Constantinople, Vitalik, Hard Fork


ShapeShift forced to ‘help’ police with 60 cryptocurrency inquiries last year

Prominent cryptocurrency exchange service ShapeShift has disclosed the number of times it been forced to give up information about its users to international authorities. In a blog post, ShapeShift revealed it has “assisted” law enforcement agencies with 60 different inquires last year, 30 percent of which came from the United States. A significant number of enquiries made by authorities from Germany, the UK, and France were also recorded. The FBI and the SEC were noted as the most common US age...
Tags: Startups, UK, France, Germany, US, Fbi, United States, SEC, Cryptocurrency, Blockchain, ShapeShift, Hard Fork


Bitcoin con artists charged with $51M investment scam

In Taipei, a group of Bitcoin con artists have been charged with running an elaborate cryptocurrency scam that defrauded local and foreign investors out of millions of dollars. Authorities formally charged a 47-year-old man surnamed Lin, along with six accomplices, with violating Taiwan‘s Banking and Multi-Level Marketing Supervision acts with a fake Bitcoin investment scam, reports FocusTaiwan. Since October 2016, police say Lin and co. attracted $51 million from over 1,000 Taiwanese investors....
Tags: Startups, China, Taiwan, Taipei, Cryptocurrency, Blockchain, Lin, Hard Fork, Multi Level Marketing Supervision


Blockchain sharding made so simple your dog would understand

Welcome to Hard Fork Basics, a collection of tips, tricks, guides, and advice to keep you up to date in the cryptocurrency and blockchain world. Scaling blockchain is becoming one of the technology’s great mysteries. Does anyone know how to do it? Can it even be done? Some seem to think so, but of course, it won’t be simple. There are numerous “solutions” being offered by various developers, researchers, and academics. One such solution being explored is known as “sharding.” In this article Hard...
Tags: Startups, Cryptocurrency, Blockchain, Hard Fork


SAP’s new blockchain project helps weed out counterfeit drugs

SAP has launched a blockchain-based supply chain tracking system to allow drug wholesalers to authenticate pharmaceutical packaging returned by pharmacies and hospitals. That should help them weed out counterfeit drugs from their supply chain. SAP says it hopes to eventually expand the use of distributed ledger technology to cover a broader range of pharmaceutical supply chain processes. According to the company, its blockchain-based solution helps customers comply with the US Drug Supply Chain ...
Tags: Startups, Sap, Blockchain, Hard Fork


Bitcoin Cash has failed to make use of its 8MB block size, analysts say

In 2017, a veritable civil war was fought between camps of Bitcoin believers: those who sought to keep its “block size” at 1MB, and those who wanted to increase it. Those looking for bigger blocks found themselves rallying behind a then-new cryptocurrency – a “hard fork” of Bitcoin called Bitcoin Cash (BCH) – whose premise rested on re-creating Bitcoin to mine 8MB blocks. The idea was (and still is) that larger blocks technically allow for more transactions to be confirmed at once, as you can fi...
Tags: Startups, Bitcoin, Cryptocurrency, Blockchain, BCH, Hard Fork


Cryptocurrency mining malware has become self-aware (kinda)

A common form of cryptocurrency mining malware has evolved and is now able to switch off security services to continue mining without being detected. Security researchers at Palo Alto Networks’ Unit 42 discovered that the malware used by cryptojacking group “Rocke” is able to gain administrative privileges to Linux-based cloud servers and uninstall vital security programs. This means the malware can go on illicitly mining coins undetected. Typically, if a piece of malware were to uninstall cloud...
Tags: Startups, Cryptocurrency, Blockchain, Hard Fork, Palo Alto Networks ' Unit


Bitcoin theft victim sues AT&T for $224M after SIM-swap bungle

Nicolas Truglia, the infamous cryptocurrency con-man already arrested for stealing $1 million in digital assets, is now being sued for a further $81 million by another one of his victims. Court documents allege Truglia worked with a crew of 25 unnamed individuals to steal $24 million in cryptocurrency from Michael Terpin, an early Bitcoin investor, reports the Register. Terpin is also reportedly suing AT&T for $224 million, citing gross negligence that led to his financial loss. In total, Trugli...
Tags: Startups, Cryptocurrency, Blockchain, Hard Fork, Terpin, Michael Terpin, Truglia, Nicolas Truglia


US academics say their shardy blockchain will be 10X faster than Visa

US academics are working together to create a new and improved cryptocurrency in a bid to rival Bitcoin. According to Bloomberg, professors from seven US colleges (including MIT, University of California, Standford University, and Berkely) are looking to create a digital currency capable of processing thousands of transactions a second without sacrificing the basic principle of decentralization. The project is run by Distributed Technology Research (DTR), a non-profit organization established by...
Tags: Startups, US, Bloomberg, Bitcoin, Cryptocurrency, BERKELY, Hard Fork, Pantera Capital Management LP, MIT University of California Standford University, Distributed Technology Research DTR


Bitcoin ransomers arrested for kidnapping in South Africa

Police in Mpumalanga, South Africa, have arrested two suspects who demanded a Bitcoin ransom following the kidnapping of a teenage boy and the attempted kidnapping of a 13 year-old girl. The kidnappers demanded just over $100,000 (1.5 million rand) worth of Bitcoin in exchange for the safe return of the teenage boy who was snatched in May last year. The boy was returned to his family a few days after the kidnapping, it was not disclosed whether the ransom had been paid, Times Live reports. Thank...
Tags: Startups, South Africa, Cryptocurrency, Blockchain, Hard Fork, Mpumalanga South Africa, Times Live


ICOs banked $13B with ‘little work, accountability, or transparency,’ report

To date, Ethereum‘s process of initial coin offerings (ICOs) has earned token founders an estimated combined profit of $12.8 billion, made entirely of digital assets they created out of thin-air. The research arm of BitMEX has tracked the $24 billion worth of tokens issued by blockchain startups in its history, just, you know, to see where it all went. “Based on our methodology, it appears as if ICO teams have profited by almost $13 billion from this ICO process,” wrote BitMEX. “In our view, thi...
Tags: Startups, Cryptocurrency, Blockchain, Hard Fork


Ford drives cobalt supply chain transparency with IBM blockchain

Ford has become the latest company to jump on the blockchain pilot bandwagon. The American car manufacturing giant is conducting a blockchain trial in a bid to trace cobalt, found in the lithium-ion batteries used by electric cars, from a Chinese-owned mine in the Congo. Ford is using decentralized ledger technology to ensure that none of the cobalt mined is linked to human rights abuses. South Korean cathode maker LG Chem and China’s Huayou Cobalt are also participating in the pilot. The projec...
Tags: Startups, China, Ford, Ibm, Blockchain, Linux Foundation, LG Chem, Hard Fork, Congo Ford


Oil behemoths join Shell and friends on energy trading blockchain

The centuries-old, paper-based trading process of the oil and gas industry was overhauled last year, courtesy of the blockchain and an industry consortium originally including Shell, BP, ABN Amro, ING, and Societe Generale. The industry platform, called VAKT, announced yesterday that a host of new petrochemical and oil giants – including Chevron, Total, and Reliance – are joining the likes of Shell and jumping aboard the energy trading platform, Reuters reports. Traditionally, the buying and sel...
Tags: Startups, Shell, Cryptocurrency, Blockchain, Reuters, Societe Generale, Hard Fork, Shell BP ABN Amro ING, Vakt, Chevron Total and Reliance


Ethereum devs delay Constantinople hard fork due to security fears

Core Ethereum developers have delayed the scheduled Constantinople upgrade after a code audit revealed the proposed software updates introduced dangerous security vulnerabilities to Ethereum smart contracts. The Ethereum Foundation announced the change of plans late Tuesday, less than a day before a maintenance-centric “hard fork” was originally set to take place. “Out of an abundance of caution, key stakeholders around the Ethereum community have determined that the best course of action will b...
Tags: Startups, Cryptocurrency, Blockchain, Constantinople, Ethereum Foundation, Hard Fork, Hudson Jameson


An introduction to Bitcoin and cryptocurrency mining pools

Welcome to Hard Fork Basics, a collection of tips, tricks, guides, and advice to keep you up to date in the cryptocurrency and blockchain world. When Satoshi Nakamoto published the Bitcoin whitepaper, the concept of mining was pretty simple. Due to the relatively low level of complexity of Bitcoin‘s proof-of-work algorithm, at the time, mining could be done using a laptop. However, as Bitcoin became more popular, it required greater levels of computing power to successfully mine the cryptocurren...
Tags: Startups, Cryptocurrency, Blockchain, Satoshi Nakamoto, Hard Fork, Hard Fork Basics


BBC News website spoofed by Bitcoin scammers

Scammers have found a new way to use seemingly legitimate BBC News websites to mine Bitcoin. The scam, identified by researchers, was first discovered in the first week of January. Scammers created what appeared to be a legitimate email containing a “Display Message” button, which rerouted users to an affiliate website tasked with generating Bitcoin based on page views. According to My Online Security, the “Display Message” was not visible for Outlook clients, while Mac users found themselves se...
Tags: Startups, BBC News, Cryptocurrency, Hard Fork


Anonymous Bitcoin miners are taking over the network

The world’s most popular cryptocurrency is a now a little bit more decentralized, thanks to the waning influence of Bitmain and the return of the anonymous Bitcoin miner. Blockchain research unit Diar has published new data revealing exactly who has been validating the Bitcoin network. Analysts determined that mining pools either owned by or heavily tied to Bitmain (Antpool, BTC.com, and ViaBTC) are now validating far less Bitcoin blocks than this time last year. In fact, it is “unknown” anonymo...
Tags: Startups, Bitcoin, Cryptocurrency, Blockchain, Bitmain, Hard Fork, Diar


Long-serving cryptocurrency exchange forced offline, hackers blamed

One of the internet’s longest serving digital asset exchanges, Cryptopia, claims to have been hit by a debilitating hack. After a full day of unscheduled maintenance outages, the NZ-based cryptocurrency exchange posted an official statement, explaining it had suffered “a security breach which resulted in significant losses.” According to Cryptopia, both New Zealand police and its high tech crimes unit are jointly investigating the matter, which they are treating “as a major crime.” pic.twitter.c...
Tags: Startups, New Zealand, Cryptocurrency, Blockchain, Nz, Hard Fork, Cryptopia


Israel shipping giant opens its blockchain after successful trial

Israel‘s largest shipping firm is opening up its blockchain to all of its clients of specific trades following a successful trial. Shipping firm Zim took the decision to roll out its blockchain for electronic bills of lading (eBLs) following a successful trial last year, TradeWinds reports. For those not in the shipping biz, which I think is most of us, an eBL is a manifesto of a ship’s cargo which is given to the master or captain of the vessel as part of the ship’s legal documentation. Reports...
Tags: Startups, Israel, Cryptocurrency, Blockchain, Zim, Hard Fork


Bittrex launches peer-to-peer trading service for high rollers

The United States-based cryptocurrency exchange Bittrex has just launched an over-the-counter (OTC) trading desk which will see cryptocurrency traders deal directly, rather than through an exchange. The trading desk will support just under 200 cryptocurrencies, and will guarantee pricing for trades over $250,000, Coindesk reports. The OTC platform went live yesterday evening at 6pm UTC. Bittrex is not the first company to provide such a trading desk. Late last year, Coinbase quietly launched its...
Tags: Startups, United States, Cryptocurrency, Blockchain, Hard Fork, Bittrex


How Spain’s Iberdrola is using blockchain tech to push renewable energy

Iberdrola, one of Spain’s main energy companies, has completed a blockchain pilot to track renewable energy more accurately than it ever could before – resulting in losses being slashed in half. The trial was carried out in cooperation with Kutxabank, a bank with an equity shareholding in Iberdrola. The energy giant used the Energy Web Foundation, an open-sourced and scalable blockchain solution to monitor the renewable energy delivered from two wind farms and one power station to the bank’s off...
Tags: Startups, Spain, Blockchain, Insider, Basque Country, Iberdrola, Hard Fork, Energy Web Foundation, Cordoba Iberdrola


HSBC leans on blockchain tech to process $250b worth of fx transactions

Global bank HSBC has processed more than 3 million foreign exchange (fx) transactions using blockchain technology.  According to a report, the transactions, completed over the past year, were worth $250bn. If previous statements are anything to go by, HSBC likely used a permissioned (aka private) blockchain to carry out the transaction. Private blockchains are typically preferred by regulated financial entities such as HSBC because they provide a workaround the fact that the anonymity of partici...
Tags: Startups, Hsbc, Blockchain, Hard Fork


HSBC leans on blockchain tech to process $250bn worth of fx transactions

Global bank HSBC has processed more than 3 million foreign exchange (fx) transactions using blockchain technology.  According to a report, the transactions, completed over the past year, were worth $250bn. If previous statements are anything to go by, HSBC likely used a permissioned (aka private) blockchain to carry out the transaction. Private blockchains are typically preferred by regulated financial entities such as HSBC because they provide a workaround the fact that the anonymity of partici...
Tags: Startups, Hsbc, Blockchain, Hard Fork


Surprise – the 3 biggest cybersecurity threats are all cryptocurrency miners

The three most prevalent threats plaguing the internet have been found to be cryptocurrency miners. In its latest analysis of the internet‘s most pressing malware hazards, cybersecurity group Check Point ranked the supposedly neutral Monero-mining script CoinHive in first place – for the thirteenth month in a row, reports ZDNet. Open-source Monero-mining software XMRig was named the second most prevalent, followed by browser-embeddable cryptocurrency miner JSECoin, known as a direct competitor o...
Tags: Startups, Cryptocurrency, Blockchain, Hard Fork


$950K Bitcoin ransom paid but US businessman still missing

An American businesses man is still missing even though his family have paid kidnappers a ransom of nearly $950,000 in Bitcoin. William Sean Creighton Kopko, the owner of an online gambling platform, was snatched whilst in Costa Rica during September last year, TVNZ reports. Police in Spain and Costa Rica have arrested a total of 12 individuals thought to be involved in the kidnapping of the missing American. Despite this, Costa Rican authorities say that the victim is still missing. After Kopko...
Tags: Startups, US, Spain, Cuba, Costa Rica, Cryptocurrency, Blockchain, TVNZ, Kopko, Hard Fork, William Sean Creighton Kopko


Malaysia set to impose harsh new ICO and cryptocurrency laws

The Malaysian government is regulating initial coin offerings (ICOs) and cryptocurrency trading. According to a statement issued by Lim Guan Eng, the country’s Minister of Finance, launching unauthorized ICOs or participating in the exchange of digital goods could result in a 10-year jail term and a $2,4 million (RM 10 million fine). The order, which will acknowledge digital currencies and tokens as securities, will be enforced on January 15 by the Securities Commission Malaysia. In his statemen...
Tags: Startups, Finance, Malaysia, Cryptocurrency, Blockchain, Securities Commission, Lim Guan Eng, Ministry of Finance MoF, Hard Fork


Ryuk ransomware earns hackers $3.7M in Bitcoin over 5 months

A squad of cybersecurity firms have tracked a ransomware threat spreading across the internet known as Ryuk, which has collected over 705 BTC in just five months, estimated to be worth the equivalent of $3.7 million. Using email phishing campaigns to inject tens of thousands of victims with a banking Trojan called TrickBot, ransomers later hand-picked infected machines believed to be owned by large companies or government organizations on which to deploy Ryuk, ZDNet reports. Once the high-profil...
Tags: Startups, Bitcoin, Btc, Cryptocurrency, Blockchain, Ryuk, Hard Fork, Ryuk ZDNet


Danish regulators go after Bitcoin trader’s unpaid tax

Cryptocurrency traders in Denmark will be facing increased scrutiny. It comes after the country’s tax agency was granted permission to begin collecting data relating to cryptocurrency trades made through three exchanges between 2016 and 2018. A statement published on the agency’s website says this is the first time the Tax Authority has been granted access to this information. As a result, exchanges will need to provide information including traders’ names, addresses, total trade amount made in ...
Tags: Startups, Denmark, Cryptocurrency, Tax authority, Hard Fork


Moonday Mornings: Ethereum Classic hackers return $100K worth of stolen funds

It’s another Monday and that means we have another Moonday Mornings for you. Here’s what you need to catch up on from over the weekend. 1. Nine cryptocurrency mining firms have decided to band together and sue a Washington State utility company after it raised electricity costs. The lawsuit claims the energy supplier operated inappropriately when it created a new rate to raise electricity costs, Bitcoin.com reports. The energy provider, Grant PUD, said the new rate is designed to reduce risk and...
Tags: Startups, Washington State, Marshall Islands, Cryptocurrency, Blockchain, Grant PUD, Hard Fork


NASA looks to secure flight data with blockchain tech

NASA is exploring potential use-cases for blockchain technology in a bid to safeguard the privacy and security of aircraft flight data. A research paper, published by aero-computer engineer Ronald Reisman this week, explored the viability of a blockchain network and smart contracts to overcome the aforementioned security issues. Current radar-based air traffic service providers may be able to preserve privacy for military and corporate operations by preventing the public release of information p...
Tags: Startups, US, Nasa, United States, Blockchain, Hard Fork, Ronald Reisman