CategorySecurity

A Disc That Keeps Bitcoins Now Worth $280 Million

The British programmer, who accidentally threw out a hard drive with Bitcoin on it, again called on the local city authorities to allow him to look for it at the location of the landfill.

James Howells, a 35-year-old IT engineer from Newport, Wales, says he discarded the device while cleaning his home in 2013. He claims that he had two identical laptop hard drives and that he mistakenly connected the one that contains the cryptographic “private key” needed to access and spend his Bitcoins.

After all these years, Howells is still convinced that he will be able to recover Bitcoins. Although the outer part of the hard drive may be damaged and rusty, he believes that the glass plate inside is still intact.

There is a good chance that the board inside the plant is still intact,

he told CNBC.

Data recovery experts could then rebuild the drive or read the data directly from the board.

Howels says he had 7,500 Bitcoins that would be worth over $280 million at today’s prices. He says the only way to get back to him would be through the hard drive he threw in the trash eight years ago.

But he needs the permission of the local council to search for landfills that he believes contain lost hardware. The landfill is not open to the public and disturbing the property would be considered a criminal offense.

He offered to donate 25% of the total amount, worth about 70.8 million dollars, to the “Covid Relief Fund” for his hometown if he manages to dig a hard drive. He also promised to finance the excavation project with the support of an unnamed living fund.

But the Newport City Council has so far rejected his requests to inspect the landfill, citing environmental and funding concerns. And it doesn’t look like local officials will leave soon.

As far as I know, they have already turned down the offer

said Howells.

Without even hearing our action plan or without being given the opportunity to present our mitigation to our environmental problems, they simply keep saying no every time.

A council spokesman told CNBC that he had been “contacted several times since 2013 about the possibility of finding a piece of IT hardware said to contain Bitcoins”, and the first was “several months” after Howells first realized the drive disappeared.

The Council has told Mr Howels on several occasions that excavation is not possible under our permit, and excavation alone would have a huge impact on the environment.

he said to CNBC.

The cost of excavating the landfill, storing and treating the waste could cost millions of pounds – without any guarantee that it will be found or that it is still in good condition.

It’s not hard to imagine why Howells would want to save the equipment. Bitcoin prices have risen in recent months, reaching a high of close to $42,000 last week before a sharp withdrawal.

The New York Times reported on Tuesday that the developer in San Francisco was locked with 7,002 Bitcoins – today worth about 267.8 million dollars – because he forgot the password needed to unlock the small hard drive that contains the private key of the digital wallet.

What is DeFi? – Decentralized finances

Decentralized Finance(DeFi) is the merging of traditional banking services with decentralized technologies such as blockchain. DeFi can also be called Open Finance because of its inclusive format. Most importantly, the DeFi community seeks to create alternatives to every financial service currently available.

These services include items such as savings and checking accounts, loans, asset trading, insurance and more. DeFi continues to play an important role in the evolution of the financial sector for many reasons.

First, DeFi expands the functionality and reach of money. Since you only need a smartphone to participate in the DeFi sector, there is huge potential for expanding the global economy.

Accordingly, analysts see this sector as one of the most important currently in development in the crypto space. This commitment to the development of the DeFi ecosystem is easy to recognize. Most importantly, DeFi is the fastest growing sector in the blockchain.

According to recent reports, DEFI tokens are consistently outperforming their counterparts. In addition, as this time period marks the beginning of this phase of integration, the market now has a unique opportunity to see a whole new industrial boom.

What are Dapps(decentralized apps)?

DeFi is highly dependent on Dapps. To understand DeFi’s capabilities, you need to understand the concept behind Dapps. Dapps are programs designed to operate within decentralized networks. These networks can be blockchains, Tor networks or Distributed Ledgers Technologies (DLT).

A key component of these protocols is their decentralized nature. There is no central authority, corporation or agency that oversees and approves the business functions of these applications.

In fact, Dapps needs very little human intervention. Instead, these platforms integrate advanced smart contracts to simplify their business systems. Smart contracts are pre-programmed protocols that are launched upon receipt of crypto-data at their address. Smart contracts are most important for performing a large number of different tasks, from customer approval to payment.

There are more DeFi applications today than ever before. These applications already save business and time and money for customers. In fact, DeFi platforms have started to appear in almost every financial sector. As the DeFi sector expands, it is important to understand what the characteristics of all DeFi Dapps have in common.

Here are the most common Dapps properties

The DeFi application should be open source. Open source coding refers to the fact that the coding is public. In this way, anyone can revise it and confirm its functionality, security and capabilities. Open source is much more stable and secure than private code because of this interaction in the community. In addition, it provides more trust in the platform, because users can be sure that there is no hidden malicious encryption in the background.

DeFi provides the world with a new level of transparency. Because most DeFi applications run on public blockchains such as Ethereum, all transactions are publicly available. In fact, all blockchain activities are public. The main difference in this approach compared to a traditional bank account is that the accounts are not directly linked to anyone. Instead, accounts are pseudo-anonymous and contain only a numeric address.

Although accounts are not directly linked to anyone’s name, researchers can specifically determine who owns them if necessary. Programs like block researchers can help people track and monitor decentralized coin transactions that are not focused on privacy. Dapps is an extension of the way developers envision financial platforms.

Anyone from all over the world can participate in DeFi platforms

All you need is a smartphone with Internet access and you can enter the DeFi community in minutes. Accordingly, DeFi Dapps have the opportunity to provide non-banks around the world with access to financial services for the first time in history. This openness is a major upgrade of the current banking system, leaving about 40% of the world’s population without any form of banking.

It is important that when you think of the non-banking population, it is easy to imagine a village somewhere in the tropics or the desert, but the reality is much different. For example, a recent study found that 25% of U.S. households are left without bank funds.

In these locations, DeFi has an immediate effect. The DeFi sector operates without a door guard. As such, anyone can develop a DeFi application and offer it to the world. In addition, anyone can participate in DeFi Dapps without worrying about approval.

This strategy is far from today’s financial system that requires potential users to go through countless systems of regulatory verification before they can participate in the global economy. Another pillar of the DeFi community is interoperability. Interoperability is crucial because it ensures that, as more developers enter the space, all previous work is not lost. Instead, users can stack their DeFi products.

Fighting Fraud in the Bitcoin Industry

BACKGROUND

Blockchain usage and applications increased exponentially in recent years and experts are also calling it to be the 4th industrial revolution. That’s pretty great! Right? But that’s not coming this easy. With more and more users and service providers there come more and more black sheeps, trying to sabotage the network for their own benefits and scamming users on the network.

FRAUDS

There have been seen some frauds that really trapped users and got them really bad damages. Some of them are,

Ponzi scheme

Ponzi scheme or more commonly pyramid scheme is one of the biggest monetary frauds schemes. It generates money for earlier investors from the later ones and the cycle goes on and on. This seems like affiliate marketing but in the end the later investors are on loss. To the investors it seems like the sales or operations are making the profit but lesser they know that only the new investors are generating the funds earlier ones.

Fake ICOs

ICO or initial coin offerings are a way for companies to generate capital. With the boom of blockchain more and more companies are offering ICOs and customers can now easily back their favourite businesses. But there are fake ICO websites of fraudulent companies that look really like the authentic ICOs and are looting innocent consumers.

Centra Tech for example, was sued in the US in 2017 for lying about their team, misleading investors and scamming them.

Exchange Scams

Despite being online there are many crypto coins run by exchanges and since there are no or less monitory bodies for crypto exchanges they are the best to loot people. They lure customers with their prices and profits and when they sign up to these exchanges they are left with nothing but regrets. In December 2017, there exposed a large number of such exchanges in South Korea and people were left with monetary loss only.

More disguised and almost clue less frauds are the mixture of multiple scams. Like for say, a fake ICO with a Ponzi scheme is going to damage more people and will be really hard to be found and avoided.

PREVENT FRAUDS

There are companies making the payment processing more secure, that result in less fraud chances and more user trust. One of such companies is CoinTandem, a subsidiary of Tech ViewOU run by Yotam Namir, Robert Provorov, providing some of the best services for crypto trades. Some of which are,

Standalone Exchange

For every transaction on the platform, customers are required to use their authenticated bitcoin wallet, making the transactions more secure and traceable.

Enhanced KYC protocol

Their enhanced KYC (know your customer protocol) ensures top tier security. It checks and 100% clarifies who is using the system and asks for digital signature as proof.

No Cartels

They ensure that the buyer is not buying the coins as a face for some third party and is the sole owner of the wallet they are buying in.

First step to prevent frauds is to accept that cyber-crimes are crimes too. Guys at CoinTandem have realised this and are working with state-of-the-art fraud prevention technology and are acing it.
https://lp.cointandem.com/

Is Bitcoin safe?

Many people are convinced that digital coins will “change” the world and they are freaked out about the prospect of investing in Bitcoin, the cyber currency. Before you “lose your head”, however, you must first ask: is it safe?

Bitcoin is decentralized

What makes Bitcoin more secure than any other transaction system? Bitcoin is a decentralized payment protocol. So, the transaction system is not managed by a central location, but by millions of users in the network. Their computers are also known as nodes in the Bitcoin world.

In addition to the nodes, the Bitcoin network also consists of miners. These are users who use high-speed computers and video cards to solve cryptographic puzzles and add transactions to the blockchain. At the same time, that’s the great thing about Bitcoin: it is managed by everyone.

Do you want to influence Bitcoin’s transaction system? Then you need access to more than half of all computers in the Bitcoin network. This is also known as a 51% attack. The Bitcoin network is currently so extensive that this is almost impossible.

No one can change blockchain transactions

The design of the blockchain is another characteristic of Bitcoin that has to do with the security of Bitcoin. All Bitcoin transactions are recorded on the blockchain. A new transaction block is added every ten minutes.

This new block is connected to the preceding block which is connected to the previous block. Each block also contains some information from the prior block.

But what makes this chain so secure? The further you go back in the chain, the more difficult it will be to manipulate the blockchain. That would mean that you would still have to manipulate all blocks afterwards. And all this while the Bitcoin network is already working on the current chain. Alone, it is impossible to compete with the thousands of nodes in the network. If you want to do that, you’re always behind the times.

Security is also your task

Bitcoin is based on security. But you can also take measures to use the Bitcoin network securely. Below we give you some tips so that you can use Bitcoin as safely as possible.

Preferably use a wallet

This is the safest way to store your Bitcoin. A hardware wallet ensures that access to your bitcoins remains offline and encrypted. This way, only you have access to your own bitcoins.

Many people keep their bitcoins on a cryptocurrency exchange or on an online wallet. It’s just a lot less certain. An exchange is a central party. What if the stock exchange will be hacked? Then there is a good chance that your bitcoins will be lost. The private keys of your bitcoins are stored online on an online wallet. This also increases the risk of losing your bitcoins. A hardware wallet is therefore a wiser choice!

Keep your backup sentence offline

Whether you’re using an online wallet or a hardware wallet, it’s always a good idea to keep it offline. A backup sentence is a random concatenation of 12 to 24 words. Sometimes this is also called a seed phrase.

With this backup set you can always reach your bitcoins. Even if you lose access to hardware wallet. Or, for example, if you lose your login or password for your online wallet.

We also strongly recommend that you write this backup set on a piece of paper. In other ways, you can make it easy for hackers to reach your wallet. For example, you took a photo of your 24 words? Then a malicious person can still get to your bitcoins as soon as they have access to your phone.

Source: https://www.avg.com/en/signal/is-bitcoin-safe

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