One of the agents charged with stealing bitcoins from Silk Road will plead guilty; the European Banking Authority believes a 51% attack is Bitcoin’s biggest threat; universal wallet Coinomi integrates with Shapeshift API and more top stories for June 18.
Elliptic Announces a Breakthrough in Bitcoin Anti-money Laundering
Bitcoin analytics and security firm Elliptic has announced a technological breakthrough in bitcoin transaction monitoring and compliance. The platform that the company has given the name The Bitcoin Big Bang is an interactive visualization that plots the emergence and interconnectivity of the key players in Bitcoin since 2009.
Kevin Beardsley, Elliptic:
"We’ve managed to create an interactive visualization of the historic and real-time flow of the bitcoin ecosystem. The idea being that the underlying technology can deliver a whole suite of ground-breaking real time AML compliance products."
Ex-U.S. Agent to plead guilty for Silk Road Bitcoin Theft
Shaun Bridges, one of two former U.S. agents charged with diverting money seized from Silk Road to their private coffers will plead guilty and give up all the money he collected during the investigations.
EBA: 51% Attack as Bitcoin’s Biggest Threat
Dr. Dirk Haubrich, head of consumer protection and financial innovation at the European Banking Authority (EBA), has said that Bitcoin’s biggest threat is the 51% attack. This is a situation where some mining pools might grow to control more than a half of all bitcoin mining and thus have the power to manipulate the system.
“We want to make sure there is integrity in a virtual currency system. So we want someone to be responsible for the integrity of the scheme.”
Coinomi integrates with Shapeshift API
Coinomi Wallet users can now quickly convert between supported altcoins within their wallets without having to leave the Android application. This is after the Android multi-coin open source wallet integrated the ShapeShift.io API. The latter offers instant Bitcoin and altcoin exchange service without needing to register or share you personal information.
Coinomi Founder & CEO, George Kimionis:
"We are very excited about this API integration as for the first time users holding more than one coin in their wallet will be able to seamlessly convert from one coin to another without having to leave their wallet app but also to spend their altcoins where only bitcoin payments are accepted without having to convert their coins manually."
Bitcoin XT is not effective in preventing double-spending attacks of fast payments
According to a white paper that four experts published online on computer security, Bitcoin XT is not effective in preventing double-spending attacks for fast payments.
The authors of the document include: Arthur Gervais, a PhD student in the Institute of Information Security in Zürich, Ghassan O. Karame, Senior Researcher in the Security Group of NEC Research Laboratories in Germany, Hubert Ritzdorf, doctoral student in the System Security Group and Prof. Dr. Srdjan Capkun, a Professor in Computer Science.
Part of the abstract reads:
“In this paper, we show that current scalability measures adopted by Bitcoin come at odds with the security of the system […]”
Ledger Hardware Wallet Integrates U2F Authentication
Ledger, a smart chip-based Bitcoin hardware wallet, has unveiled the next generation of its wallet. The new hardware will be compatible with Fido Alliance’s external dongles.
Of U2F authentication, a Ledger spokesperson tells Medium:
“[It] uses Elliptic Curve Cryptography (on Bitcoin neighbor curve secp256r1) to replace the typical OATH-TOTP validation by a cryptographic challenge performed by a hardware token [dongle]. It is designed to prevent against phishing [...] and protects user privacy by mandating a different key generation per website account.”
Stripe to Challenge Swedish Rival Klarna in Nordic Countries
Stripe, a San Francisco-based payment startup that was started in 2011, has announced plans to expand to Sweden, Denmark, Norway and Finland. This will put it in direct competition with Sweden's billion-dollar FinTech startup Klarna. Stripe made headlines in February when it opened up bitcoin payments for all of its users.
Stripe's co-founder John Collison said:
"We're really excited about expanding more into Europe. We really believe that we're just at the beginning. The barriers for businesses from payments are coming right down, and we want to see more of it."
European court: Websites liable for users’ comments
The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR), seating in Strasbourg, has ruled that an Estonian news website is liable for comments its readers made. This position puts on spot the future of websites such as Reddit and how the decentralized internet could maintain free speech as authorities ramp up efforts to increase control over information.
"The 'extreme' nature of the comments which the court considered to amount to hate speech, the fact that they were published on a professionally-run and commercial news website, as well as the insufficient measures taken by Delfi to weed out the comments in question and the low likelihood of a prosecution of the users who posted the comments."
Technical Glitch Delays RBS Customer Payments
A technical glitch has caused a delay in payment to customers of the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS). About 600,000 payments could not reach respective beneficiaries’ accounts.
Statement from RBS:
“We are aware of an issue with our overnight process which has resulted in some of our customers not having credits or direct debits being applied to their accounts. We are working to get this resolved as quickly as possible and apologize to customers for the inconvenience caused.”