‘North Korea may have up to $210m worth of Bitcoin’ – International expert

North Korea is renowned for many, many things, but until now, cryptocurrency investment wasn’t one of them.

However, that might be all about to change as an international expert has said that the country has made an absolute mint from Bitcoin recently.

Former US National Security Agency officer, Priscilla Moriuchi, told reporters that the politically isolated country took in more than $200 million in digital cryptocurrency transactions in 2017.

Ms Moriuchi, made this claim during an in-depth interview with Radio Free Asia. She also discussed the subject with Vox.com, where she stated that she has reason to believe that these coins are being liquidated and the resulting cash is being used to support North Korea’s military.

She said: “I would bet that these coins are being turned into something – currency or physical goods – that are supporting North Korea’s nuclear and ballistic missile programme.”

She estimated that the regime took in 11,000 Bitcoins in 2017, which would have been worth around $210 million at the currency’s peak value.

This revelation comes after unconfirmed reports of a state-sponsored hacking regime, which is focusing on cryprocurrencies.

According to a report of the incident on the Daily Telegraph, North Korea’s government continuously deny any criminal doings but the evidence points towards genuine activity from Pyongyang.

The report read: “Pyongyang consistently denies all hacking allegations. However, cyber security experts and defectors have claimed that promising students are handpicked from prestigious universities to join Bureau 121, the hermit kingdom’s shadowy cyberwarfare agency.”

Many believe North Korea is attracted to cryptocurrency because of its lack of traceability and loose regulations.

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Bitwala to relaunch as a crypto-first bank… Sign-up now

“Change is good” is a sentiment that Bitwala is definitely getting behind, as they have announced their intentions to re-launch as a crypto-first bank.

The award winning firm is now allowing potential customers to sign-up to a waiting list for their new offering, with the first accounts expected to open in the middle of this year.

Their move comes in the wake of high demand for crypto-friendly banking – which many believe there is currently a deficit in. Bitwala, who had to suspend their regular services in January due to regulation changes, intend to fill this gap in the market.

Bitwala were unable to reveal which bank they’ve partnered with but stated that its an “established German bank”.

Users will have full control of their private keys and thus will not be the holdings of Bitwala or the partner bank, this means the 100,000 Euro protection scheme will not cover cryptocurrencies but Euro deposits only.

Bitwala stated that users will be able to make transfers in and out of their account via SEPA transfer, making the selling and purchasing more flexible. Most of the established cryptocurrency exchanges are partnered with banks in Poland who are also on the SEPA network opening a quicker transfer time.

We asked Bitwala if they were anticipating any problems with users transferring funds in and out of the account, which is a common problem with banks blocking users from purchasing cryptocurrency.

“The foundation that we’ve built with our partner bank is very solid and based on German banking law, so we don’t expect any problems. This is not to say that we will not comply with the rules. Our partner bank and we are working very closely with regulators to ensure that all KYC and AML measures are in place.”

Co-founder and CEO of Bitwala, Jörg von Minckwitz said:

“Our founding vision has always been to bridge the gap between traditional and crypto economies. We believe that traditional banking was and has always been the weak link of the whole process, and we are looking forward to build an account that will tackle these very weaknesses.”

All new accounts that they open will come with a German IBAN and will be regulated by The Federal Financial Supervisory Authority of Germany (Bundesanstalt für Finanzdienstleistungsaufsicht).

Up until January Bitwala was a digital payment processing system that worked using blockchain technology. It made a name for itself through simplifying complicated processes and making them more accessible to as many individuals and companies as possible.

We have no doubt that von Minckwitz will hope to keep these values in place as they move to the next stage of their development in the crypto economy.

Users will only be able to sell and buy Bitcoin at present but more cryptocurrencies are planned for the future.

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AI Startup Neuromation.io Sells 60M NTK In Just 8 Hours

Neuromation continues to establish itself as a global AI on blockchain industry leader by exceeding all expectations

Tallinn, January , 2018 – Neuromation, an award-winning distributed computing and synthetic data platform for deep learning applications, has sold out of its issued Neurotokens (NTK) after just 8 hours of public sale.

The public sale along with the preliminary sales period resulted in 60 million Neurotokens sold for a total of 50 million USD at the time of the final sale. The contributions were collected in Etherium, Bitcoin, and other major altcoins. Participants from 89 countries registered on the platform during this period, highlighting Neuromation’s global reach.

The issued Neurotokens will be used by companies on Neuromation AI marketplace platform for settlement between contracted parties.

“Thanks to Neuromation’s global reach we’re closer than ever to implementing our vision of democratization of AI industry.” said Maxim Prasolov, Neuromation’s Chief Executive. “Granting Let’s Enhance with computing power was our first step toward this goal and our next will be donating 10% of token sale proceeds as grants toward AI start-ups and neural network researchers”.

In addition to giving back to the AI community as a whole, Neuromation will use funds raised to build its platform which will quickly become the chosen destination for AI services for the cost conscious organizations including small and medium enterprises.

The platform’s first version is slated to be available at the end of first quarter 2018.

About Neuromation: Neuromation is a tech company headquartered in Tallinn, Estonia. Its Neuromation platform is designed for the AI ecosystem and offers a much-needed solution to the industry by uniting market resources, the scientific community, and related parties in an all-in-one, user-friendly marketplace. For more information visit https://neuromation.io/.

Interview requests : Daria Posrednikov, daria@neuromation.io

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trade.io Announces Historic Partnerships & Introduces Tiered Structure Further To Community Demand

01 December 2017, Zug Switzerland. Highly anticipated upcoming ICO trade.io has made three major announcements this week, which have strengthened its positioning as one of the leading ICOs to invest in, for 2017.

The company has launched an historic partnership with The University Of Nicosia.

Two post-doctoral seats, funded by trade.io will focus on advanced research in Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT).  The research will have a specific focus on side-chains and cross-chain interoperability, as well as smart token corporate governance best practices and implementation.

trade.io has partnered with HitBTC.

HitBTC is one of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges, exceeding upwards of half a billion in daily volume, and operating since 2014. Once listed on the HitBTC exchange, the Trade Token (listed as TIO) will trade against the counters Bitcoin (BCT) and Ethereum (ETH).

The company has introduced a four-part tiered pricing structure

Further to overwhelming demand from the community a tiered pricing structure is now in place:

7-14 December: 1 ETH = 900 Trade Tokens

14-21 December: 1 ETH = 800 Trade Tokens

21-28 December: 1 ETH = 700 Trade Tokens

28 December – 4 January: 1 ETH = 600 Trade Tokens

On this, CEO Jim Preissler commented: “Our community has spoken. You have been asking us to extend the low Trade Token price for the ICO.  The strength of trade.io lies in our community, your voice acts as a directing force for strategic decisions.  With this in mind, our board has agreed to extend the low pricing by adding a tiered structure, giving early movers a bigger incentive to contribute and also to allow more time for such contributions”

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Crypto broker LH-Crypto has collected $2,500,000 during the pre-ICO

 

Today has started the ICO of the project LH-Crypto, the first Forex broker that will work fully on the cryptocurrency. During the Pre-ICO was collected $ 2 555 426 and was determined the price of the token LHC and it is $0.128.

According to the mechanism of the sale of the tokens, every week the tokens LHC will become more expensive – so on the ICO  the price of the token was $0.1352 (5% higher than  pre-sale price). During the second week of the sale the price of the token will increase in comparison with the pre-ICO by 10%, during the third by 15%, and finally in the last week of sale by 21%. Thus, the company motivates investors to invest at an earlier stage. However, in the case of the crypto-broker it is really beneficial as early investors participate in the program Early Bird. Here, as elsewhere, those who buy tokens at the beginning pay less and those who buy in the end – pay more, that’s just the smart contract is set up so that with higher prices in the next step the difference is divided between the early participants.

All the project investors receive a guarantee of return of the token at +20% annually: if the tokens’ value will not be equal to “nominal + 20%”, the company will pay the missing funds into personal account of investors. This amount can be used for trade or immediately withdrawn.

And the main thing of the project is the monthly income which receive holders from operating activities. Regular crediting of funds to client’s personal account with a debit card on the brokerage account carries a high commission, but the transfer of cryptocurrencies doesn’t have such a cost. That’s why the company has decided to save 5% monthly from all incoming payments and at the end of the month to transfer them to the holders of the tokens.

LH-Crypto is  the project of the company Larson & Holz  which is broker with a 13 years of history. Why has a successful international broker decided to enter the cryptocurrency market? First of all, it will allow to solve the problem of mutual settlements with other countries, primarily with China, India, Arab countries, where the currency legislation considerably differs from the European one. Second, the “hype” around cryptocurrency is attracting to the market new and new people. Individuals who are interested in increasing their capital and in speculating. It expands the client base. Thirdly, the use of cryptocurrencies allows to avoid the territorial and legal constraints, including lengthy and complex process for obtaining licenses, and the limits of financial regulators will not have such a large value. And finally, the use of cryptocurrency helps to reduce transaction costs in 6 times up to 1%, which will attract more people.

To participate in the ICO LH-Crypto: https://lh-crypto.io

 

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CanYa will completely change the world’s $2tn ‘gig economy’.

CanYa will completely change the world’s $2tn ‘gig economy’. CanYa will be a fully decentralised, international platform for people to book and pay (or be paid) for both home and digital services. Want to book a local plumber? Use CanYa. Want to get a graphics designer from overseas for your new website? Use CanYa. By providing a meaningful reason to spend cryptocurrencies in the real world, CanYa will help accelerate the mainstream adoption of crypto.

CanYa already has a working platform with thousands of jobs completed. The road map will move the platform to a completely decentralised ecosystem where payments, governance, storage and eventually compute will all become decentralised. It will become a truly international meritocracy for services that is run entirely by those who use the platform. This has never been done before and will revolutionise the way we book and pay for services.

The CAN token is an ERC20 utility token with three clear use-cases which provides a steady and constant demand for the CAN token. Firstly, users can pay for real-world services in CanYaCoins, which utilises the hedged escrow and is trustless, automated and secure. Secondly, service providers can also promote their profiles each month by purchasing CAN tokens within the platform. Lastly, 20% of all tokens are reserved to economically incentivise users to use and share the platform, such as referral rewards, transaction cash-backs and welcome bonuses.

The ICO will also be rewarding participants who contribute to CanYa’s community through its ‘Dolphin Tier’ – an exclusive invite-only pre-ICO bucket with a 40% bonus. Basically, we want to reward the community who believe in the project and have helped us spread the word about CanYa. Only people who help the CanYa ICO will be invited. See more details here: https://goo.gl/JhYRGW

Those who receive an invitation to the Dolphin Tier will be rewarded with an exclusive 40% CanYaCoin bonus and the best responses will win a CanYa Ledger Nano S—there are five to be won every week. The 50 most effective contributors will also receive a limited edition Founders Series coin.

Dolphin Tier

 

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Investers can now bet on the price of Ethereum through Nasdaq

coinsharesJersey-based CoinShares announced today that two Exchange Traded Notes (ETNs) connected to the price of the Ethereum cryptocurrency can now be traded on Nasdaq.

Denominated in both Swedish Kronor and Euro, the ETNs are designed to track the price of Ethereum and are based on the average value of a select group of liquid Euro exchanges.

This comes as no surprise with other providers including XBT issuing similar ETNs for tracking Bitcoin last month and GABI, the first regulated BTC hedge fund combining the two entities to launch CoinShares who have crypto assets of around $300 million. These previous ETN’s were made available to investors through Hargreaves Lansdown.

Investing in cryptocurrencies have been notoriously difficult for everyday investors due to wallet, transaction and exchange complexities however with CoinShares historic NASDAQ announcement non tech-savvy investors will now have full access to the cryptocurrency market.

In the last 18 months at least fifteen cryptocurrency funds have launched and around five crypto-based investment products are currently pending review with regulators in the U.S. and elsewhere.

“Today is a historical moment for Ethereum and ether as an asset; and for the future of crypto-assets. It was a little over two years ago that the bitcoin ETNs began trading – offering investors exposure to bitcoin via an established exchange for the first time. Today, we are able to bring ether to the market and mark another major first. It is important to remember how far and how fast the space has matured in the less than 8 years since this revolution began,” says Ryan Radloff, Co-Principal at CoinShares.

We put some questions to CoinShares in a short interview:

What type of investors do you hope to attract with the ETH ETNs?

Product is for any investor who has qualified access to Nasdaq Stockholm.

Can you give us an estimated $ price of what you think Ethereum will trading at by 2018?

No price target right now – though we did a valuation model in our latest Ethereum research which may be helpful

Do you plan to trade on other exchanges such in currencies such as £ or $ ?

Cannot comment on future plans of that nature, apologies

What other cryptocurrencies do you have in mind? are you open to other ETNs with other currencies?

We delivered this product because the market had been requesting it since last year. We will follow market demand for future products as well.

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UK regulatory body issues ICO warning

The UK’s financial regulatory body has issued a press release warning consumers about the risk of investing in Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs).

ICOs are very high-risk, speculative investments.

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) said ICOs are very high-risk and that anyone investing should be prepared to lose their entire stake.

The FCA does not have the power to regulate a high majority of ICO’s as they fall outside of their legal boundaries, but some may be conducting regulated activities including the exchanges selling the tokens.

If you are not aware of how ICO’s operate they work similar to normal crowd funding events but instead of investors paying in fiat they are paid for with a token or coin e.g Ethereum or Bitcoin in return for a project token.

It has been estimated that around £1bn in fiat has been invested into ICO’s so far and this number is growing exponentially.

The FCA’s warning issued today swiftly follows the People’s Bank of China who have allegedly issued similar warnings and have recently “banned” some ICO’s although experts say this ban was temporary.

You should be conscious of the risks involved and fully research the specific project if you are thinking about buying digital tokens.

As with any ICO’s we recommend carrying out your own independent research to ensure the legitimacy and that it’s worth risking your own money. Common red flags include no whitepaper, unverifiable team members (missing Linkedin profiles or social profiles), projects in the very early stages without any prototype. ALl in all the best policy is to just use common sense when assessing each project and remember if something sounds too good to be true then it probably is.

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WannaCry: Hackers start to move stolen Bitcoin

WannaCry Bitcoin on the move as hackers cash out

Bitcoin linked to the infamous WannaCry malware attack which held thousands of computers ransom around the world is now on the move according to security experts.

Since the attack three Bitcoin wallets have been sitting idle with roughly 52 Bitcoin, but as of today they have been split into multiple tiny amounts and distributed to various other wallets and exchanged for a more anonymous cryptocurrency, a common tactic used by hackers to disguise and obfuscate trail. At this stage it is not yet known if the coins movement is related to the perpetrators or a law enforcement agency.

wanancry

Victims were asked to pay between $300 and $600 to get their systems back.
According to various security firms the Bitcoin has been exchanged for Monero on a swiss-based cryptocurrency exchanged named ShapeShift which facilities such transactions with minimal if none AML or KYC checks for small amounts.

Monero is the choice cryptocurrency for anyone looking to remain completely anonymous as it offers superior privacy and tumbling features. The link between the two currencies will be almost completely untraceable allowing the perpetrator to use the laundered Monero without any red flags.

Many people are still blaming the NSA for the thousands of victims computers being held ransom due to the 0day exploit used in the WannaCry attack originating from leaked NSA skyware.

It’s safe to say that despite the best efforts of security experts and government agencies it is likely the trail will now go cold.

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Storj partners with FileZilla

Atlanta-based Storj Labs announced today it has partnered with popular open source FTP client FileZilla to bring drag and drop file uploading to the masses.

FileZilla is one of the most popular FTP clients rocking around 100 million downloads per year, lightyears away from its high school project foundations.

Over the last couple of months Storj’s future looked far from bright with a prominent member of the team leaving the company, but in a recent blog post the firm made changes to the executive team which settled investors. Amidst the internal storm, the firm have quietly been developing a highly requested feature to bring drag and drop uploads to users, the partnership with FileZilla opens the distributed cloud storage that to an additional 15 million monthly users.

The feature is currently still in BETA testing but interested users can join the Storj community chat https://community.storj.io/ for access to the group.

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