Russians Found One Use for Bitcoin: Hacking the 2016 US Election

Your analysis of the candidates and the issues may have been partially influenced by fake news spread online by Russian hackers. To facilitate all this, the hackers used many modern tools, including Bitcoins, to fund their operation. The hackers allegedly used the funds to purchase the domains, servers, and accounts involved in obtaining and disseminating the stolen materials.

You can read more about this news in an article by Gregory Barber in Wired at https://www.wired.com/story/russian-hackers-bitcoin/.

Comment: Please don’t make the mistake of thinking that Bitcoin is an evil invention. Some politicians are already spreading that bit of “fake news” misinformation in many places.

Many modern inventions, including the telephone, the automobile, social networks, credit cards, and much more can be used for legal and illegal purposes alike. Yet I don’t hear anyone suggesting that we abandon automobiles to go back to the horse and buggy days nor does anyone advocate banning the use of credit cards. Any suggestion of banning any modern invention reminds me about an old parable concerning babies and bathwater.

Introducing Wasabi, a Privacy-Enhancing Bitcoin Wallet

Wasabi is a desktop wallet developed by Adam Ficzor, the maker of HiddenWallet. However, Wasabi is more than just a rebrand of HiddenWallet. As Ficzor explained during his Building on Bitcoin talk, the wallet has been rewritten from scratch to add a variety of new features.

Wasabi prevents blockchain analytics firms and other would-be snoopers from spying on your bitcoin transactions by automatically “mixing” your coins with other users’ funds when you initiate a transaction. This makes it much more difficult for an observer to decipher the sender and recipient of specific payments. Unlike with some mixing services, Wasabi accomplishes all of this without the help of a centralized coordinator, ensuring that there is no single point of failure.

You can read more about Wasabi and its privacy features at: http://bit.ly/2KA95Qa.

Still ANOTHER Facebook Security Problem: Facebook Messenger Malware Is Targeting Crypto Currency Users

If you use Facebook and you also own crypto currencies, your user name and passwords on crypto exchanges may already be known to hackers. Trend Micro said in a blog post that the Chrome web browser’s extensions “were made over” to steal user credentials for Google, MyMonero, and Coinhive. The bottom line is that it promotes a scam that dupes users into sending ether to the attacker’s wallet and drains a computer’s processing power to power clandestine cryptocurrency mining.

This might not be confined to only ether. Check your crypto currency wallets’ balances carefully. While you are at it, change your passwords!

Details may be found in an article by Annaliese Milano in the CoinDesk web site at: http://bit.ly/2KwBWRQ.

The Real Reason to Own Bitcoin

There are numerous advantages to owning Bitcoins, the new and somewhat controversial “crypto currency.” One of the major advantages is to increase one’s privacy. Bitcoins offer greater privacy than do financial transactions made with credit cards or checks.

Of course, the most private transactions are the ones made with cash but cash seems to be rapidly disappearing these days.

To be sure, Bitcoin transactions are not completely private. However, the difficulty of tracing Bitcoin transactions has, so far, stopped commercial companies from spying on your crypto currency transactions in order to send targeted advertising or to use your personal financial transactions for other nefarious purposes.

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Bitcoin Wallets are Under Siege from the ‘Large Collider’ Attack. Luckily, There is an Easy Solution.

This should be a trivial problem for anyone who is properly managing his or her Bitcoins. A group called the “Large Bitcoin Collider” claims it can smash open bitcoin wallets by using a so-called brute force attack, which directs mass amounts of computer power at individual wallets in order to guess their private keys.

A “trophy list” on the home page of Collider (an apparent reference to the Hadron Collider) suggests the group has successfully opened over a dozen wallets, though only three had any Bitcoins in them.

You can read more in an article in the Fortune web site at http://fortune.com/2017/04/15/bitcoin-collider/ although that article appears to be written by someone who doesn’t know much about Bitcoins.

The ‘Large Collider’ Attack appears to only work on Bitcoin wallets that store their information online or in a cell phone or tablet computer. Indeed, there are dozens of such wallets for Android, Apple iOS, Windows, Macintosh, and Linux systems. Online wallets are very convenient to use and are apparently quite popular. However, only a Bitcoin novice will ever store a significant number of Bitcoins in an online or cellphone wallet.

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Bitcoin: The End of Money As We Know It

Bitcoin_logoThe best explanation of Bitcoins I have seen is available as a one-hour video on YouTube. I’ve seen regarding the evolution of money and how Bitcoin fits into the picture.“Is bitcoin the currency of the future? A godsend for criminals? Or a recipe for financial disaster?” the moderator asks early in the video.

The video starts by saying that money is used to accomplish our dreams. But it is also an instrument of destruction, some might say evil. The video does a great job of explaining the benefits and evils of both money and Bitcoins. It also states that “this might be the end of money as we know it.”

The film includes interviews with many well-known Bitcoin and financial personalities like Andreas Antonopoulos, author of “Mastering Bitcoin,” and Alan Greenspan, former chairman of the Federal Reserve.

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