Should You Own Bitcoin Or Gold? That’s Easy

Gold bugs are rarely, if ever, bearish on gold. To them, it’s the only real currency in a world of money-printing central banks endlessly devaluing their fiat (that is, paper) currencies. There are few people who believe so fervently as gold bugs.

But bitcoin fanatics come pretty close. These folks believe that this decentralised digital currency is the ultimate means of easily transferring value without the need for centralised entity, intermediary, or central bank. Bitcoin is a libertarian dream.

Now, given that gold bugs and bitcoin fanatics share a common desire – a completely independent store of value – and a common enemy (central banks), you’d think they might be the best of friends. But they’re not.

In fact, they’re more like dogs and cats – or chalk and cheese. They don’t mix well, at all.

I know this because I’m privy to a private mailing list that’s run by an old family friend who’s a consigliere of one of Hong Kong’s wealthiest families. He, along with a couple dozen business and financial gurus and veterans, some with names you recognise, share their investment ideas and opinions on all things related to global finance and investing.

And recently the topic of cryptocurrencies and bitcoin came up. After watching carefully thought-out emails travel back and forwards within the group, I drew a few conclusions.

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Central Banks Are Driving Many to Cryptocurrencies

Two years ago, Bitcoin was considered a fringe technology for libertarians and computer geeks. Now, Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, such as Ethereum, are gaining mainstream adoption. However, mainstream adoption has been propelled by financial speculation instead of by demand for a privately minted and deflationary medium of exchange. After the Fed’s rate hike this week, Bitcoin and alternative cryptocurrencies, such as Ethereum and Dash dropped in value instantly. Bitcoin, for example, dropped by approximately 16% in value while other coins dropped by approximately 25%. However, Bitcoin’s price recovered to the previous high within 18 hours.

The reaction of the cryptomarket to the Federal Reserve announcement provides evidence that cryptocurrencies are seen as a safe-haven investment during times of significant fiat currency dilution. As I wrote for Forbes Austria in April, this is why the demand for Bitcoin is going up in countries that are demonetizing their fiat currencies, such as India and Venezuela. Following the demonetization of the 500 and 1,000 rupee banknotes in November of last year, the price of Bitcoin on India’s largest Bitcoin exchange, Unocoin, shot up to $818 while American exchanges quoted the exchange rate as $709 per Bitcoin. Similarly, Surbitcoin, Venezuela’s largest Bitcoin exchange, saw an increase from 450 accounts in 2014 to over 85,000 in 2016.

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Is The People’s Bank Of China Manipulating The Bitcoin Price?

China’s dominance of the bitcoin network is incredibly concerning to the digital currency’s techno-libertarian purists, who fear that the concentration of mining power in the world’s second-largest economy is threatening to subvert bitcoin’s democratic nature. With more than half of the network’s hashing power resting in their hands, giant Chinese mining pools like AntPool, Bitmain and the other massive bitcoin-mining conglomerates can effectively monopolize control over the bitcoin blockchain.

Given bitcoin’s stated aim – to bypass the authority of central banks and governments and return control of the world’s money supply to individuals – many have noted the incongruity between the currency’s democratic aspirations, and the Chinese government’s apparent willingness to tolerate, and even nurture, the country’s bitcoin industry.

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The Real Creator Of Bitcoin Is Likely The NSA


Bitcoin has surged to all time highs, urging us to compose this article on a hot trending topic that we’ve wanted to compose for a long time.  Our parent company, Elite E Services, is primarily a FX algorithm development company – so we get asked about Bitcoin quite a bit.  Life is a deteriorating asset so let’s get right down to it.  Who created Bitcoin, and why?  Before we get started just a quick note to all those that haven’t read Splitting Pennies – which is a great primer for those interested in Bitcoin and where it will go next.

The creator of Bitcoin is officially a name, “Satoshi Nakamoto” – very few people believe that it was a single male from Japan.  For more detailed analysis about who is Satoshi Nakamoto see this article and the official Wikipedia entry.  In the early days of Bitcoin development this name is associated with original key-creation and communications on message boards, and then the project was officially handed over to others at which point this Satoshi character never appeared again (Although from time to time someone will come forward saying they are the real Satoshi Nakamoto, and then have their posts deleted).

 

#WannaCry Ransomware Exposed As A False Flag Attack On Bitcoin

In this video, software and blockchain developer Vin Armani examines the WannaCry ransomware that the corporate media acted like it was the end of the world. Ultimately it appears to be an amateurish false flag attack on bitcoin. But upon digging into the bitcoin addresses used in the attack, Vin discovers a potentially much more nefarious attack on bitcoin.

Source: #WannaCry Ransomware Exposed as a False Flag Attack on Bitcoin

Another Large-Scale Cyberattack Underway: Experts

A global cybersecurity firm has warned that another large-scale, stealthy cyberattack is underway on a scale that could dwarf last week’s assault on computers worldwide.

 

Another large-scale, stealthy cyberattack is underway on a scale that could dwarf last week’s assault on computers worldwide, a global cybersecurity firm told AFP on Wednesday.

The new attack targets the same vulnerabilities the WannaCry ransomware worm exploited but, rather than freeze files, uses the hundreds of thousands of computers believed to have been infected to mine virtual currency.

Following the detection of the WannaCry attack on Friday, researchers at Proofpoint discovered a new attack linked to WannaCry called Adylkuzz, said Nicolas Godier, a researcher at the computer security firm.

“It uses the hacking tools recently disclosed by the NSA and which have since been fixed by Microsoft in a more stealthy manner and for a different purpose,” he said.

Instead of completely disabling an infected computer by encrypting data and seeking a ransom payment, Adylkuzz uses the machines it infects to “mine” in a background task a virtual currency, Monero, and transfer the money created to the authors of the virus….continue reading

Experts Find Cyber Attack Using Adylkuzz, Another NSA Hacking Tool

The world faced a massive ransomware attack using WannaCry, an NSA hacking tool last week, which affected 150 countries.

While investigating the WannaCry attack, experts found another ongoing cyber attack. The cybersecurity firm Proofpoint said the newly discovered attack, using Adylkuzz, is a lot quieter than WannaCry, but “has likely generated millions of dollars in cryptocurrency for the unknown attackers.” ABC News continued:

According to Ryan Kalember, the senior vice president for cybersecurity at Proofpoint, the attack employed the same hacking tools developed by the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) and leaked to the public by the hacker group Shadow Brokers in April to exploit vulnerabilities in the Microsoft Windows operating system.

“I would say the real-world impact of this attack is going to be more substantial than WannaCry,” Kalember told ABC News. “Ransomware is painful, but you can restore operations relatively quickly. Here, you have a huge amount of money landing in some bad people’s hands. That has geopolitical consequences.”

The firm reported it found attacks from Adylkuzz “dating back to May 2, which would predate the WannaCry attacks, making Adylkuss the first known widespread use of the leaked NSA hacking tools.” Again, no one noticed this attack “because its impact on users is far less noticeable than ransomware.” ABC News continued:

“It takes over your computer, but you probably don’t notice anything other than that the system runs really slow,” Kalember said. “Your computer might be mining cryptocurrency for some very bad people.”

Proofpoint described why the attackers used Adylkuzz:

In this attack, Adylkuzz is being used to mine Monero cryptocurrency. Similar to Bitcoin but with enhanced anonymity capabilities, Monero recently saw a surge in activity after it was adopted by the AlphaBay darknet market, described by law enforcement authorities as “a major underground website known to sell drugs, stolen credit cards and counterfeit items.” Like other cryptocurrencies, Monero increases market capitalization through the process of mining. This process is computationally intensive but rewards miners with funds in the mined currency, currently 7.58 Moneros or roughly $205 at current exchange rates.

Figure 3 shows Adylkuzz mining Monero cryptocurrency, a process that can be more easily distributed across a botnet like that created here than in the case of Bitcoin, which now generally requires dedicated, high-performance machines.

No one knows the attackers behind this attack, but Kalember stated that the “North Korean-backed Lazarus Group – the same hacker group linked to the WannaCry attacks – launched a similar cryptocurrency mining attack in late 2016.”

Microsoft produced patches for PCs “to address the vulnerability exploited by both WannaCry and Adylkuzz.” Proofpoint warned people that if the attacks poisoned their PCs, it can still remain compromised even after installing the patches. The firm encouraged everyone, though, to download the patches.

Source: Experts Find Cyber Attack Using Adylkuzz, Another NSA Hacking Tool

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