Researchers Say New Lightning Network Attack Could Create ‘Chaos’

A study published on June 29 revealed a way to drain Bitcoin (BTC) wallets’ funds on the Lightning Network by exploiting a bottleneck in the system. According to the “Flood & Loot: A Systemic Attack On The Lightning Network” paper, Jona Harris and Aviv Zohar from the Hebrew University in Israel evaluated a systemic attack on the Lightning Network that allows for the theft of BTC funds that were locked in payment channels. Flooding the blockchain with simultaneous attacks The Lighting Network is used to send payments through intermediary nodes,…

Ethereum Volatility Drops Below Bitcoin’s but ETH Options Are Bearish

Ether (ETH) options implied volatility, a measure of the expected price swings as per the options markets premium, has dropped below Bitcoin’s (BTC) for the first time ever.  This could signal that investors have given up expectations of a price decoupling, or they simply expect ETH price moves to mirror Bitcoin.  In the case of potential catalysts for significant price moves, implied volatility tends to move up whereas an absence of triggers causes volatility to recede, alongside a diminishing premium on options markets. Deribit options implied volatility. Source: Skew The…

Bitcoin as a tool to fight authoritarian regimes: Vladimir Putin critic explains

Sergei Guriev, professor of Economics at Paris’ Sciences Po and a critic of Vladimir Putin, told Cointelegraph how Bitcoin can be used as a tool to combat authoritarian regimes despite having “no fundamental social value”. Unlike fiat currencies, the purchasing power of Bitcoin is not backed by any institution. That is why, according to Guriev, “Bitcoin is a merely speculative instrument without any fundamental value”.  He also pointed out that, unlike company stocks, Bitcoin does not produce or promise to produce cash flow. “Bitcoin is not producing anything of additional…

Qtum Preps for Mainnet Hard Fork With New Testnet Event

Proof-of-Stake, or PoS, blockchain Qtum successfully completed a hard fork of its testnet in preparation for the launch of its mainnet hard fork. According to a statement sent to Cointelegraph, the upgrade went live on the testnet at block 625,000 on June 29. This event officially introduced offline staking in Qtum. Mainnet hard fork to happen in August or at block 680,000 The testnet event – scheduled to start on July 6 – is the last phase before Qtum launches its mainnet hard fork. This is expected to happen on…

Researchers Say Ransomware Attacks on the Rise As More People Work From Home

A study published by cybersecurity firm, Proofpoint, shows an increase in email-based phishing attacks used to deliver ransomware over the last few months. According to the report, first-stage deployments of ransomware are reportedly on the rise and have mostly been targeting the United States, France, Germany, Greece, and Italy. The attacks appear to be capitalizing on the influx of people now working from home amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Research additionally indicates that the ransom demands are very low compared to the amounts usually seen in these attacks. Lower than average…

Class Action Alleges Visa-Acquired Co Was ‘Data Plumbing’ Venmo, Cash App & More

June 25, a new class action was filed in California against fintech startup Plaid, which was acquired by Visa for $5.3 billion earlier this year. The plaintiffs allege that Plaid violated privacy and data protections by accumulating and monetizing financial transactions of millions of users. The complaint alleges that the company accumulated this data by “data plumbing” popular services like Venmo, Stripe, Square’s Cash App and Robinhood. It purports that Plaid knew: “Every dollar you deposit or withdraw, every dollar you charge or pay to your credit card, and every…

Switzerland Won’t Amend Tax Law in Regard to Blockchain in Near Future

Switzerland’s existing tax law is applicable to developments in the blockchain industry, the Swiss Federal Council said. According to the federal authority, Switzerland does not need to amend its existing tax legislation in regard to blockchain and distributed ledger technology, or DLT. No legislative action is necessary regarding blockchain industry In a June 19 meeting, the Federal Council has addressed a report on the need to amend Switzerland’s tax law in response to DLT and blockchain developments. According to the official statement, the existing legislation including income, profit, wealth, capital…

International Authorities Work Together to Take Down Crypto-Funded Child Porn Ring

The Spanish Civil Guard has taken down a dark web child porn ring that used cryptocurrency transactions to pay for content. Multiple individuals across the country were ultimately arrested. According to the Spanish Civil Guard, the “Jekyll” operation captured three people involved in the “Welcome 2 Video” platform, thanks in part to additional support from U.S. authorities. Bitcoin and “anonymous tokens” Users would send Bitcoin and “other tokens or anonymous money transfer services” to access videos on the dark web site. Members were also rewarded for uploading their own videos…

Why VCs Are Betting Big – Cointelegraph Magazine

How healthy is the gaming industry? Fortnite thoughtfully provided a concise answer to that question on June 16th. In advance of the much-anticipated unveiling of The Device, a live event on the game platform, slots were full half an hour early as eager gamers logged in to witness Epic’s latest twist in its flagship game. The number at which participation was capped? Twelve million players in-game. Another eight million had to be content watching the stream. For context, NFL Sunday Night Football on NBC — the highest-rated TV presentation in…