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Staffers Probed for Bitcoin Mining Saga

Samantha Mitchell



Bitcoin Mining Saga

The US state of Louisiana is reported to have been probing a group of former workers, who are alleged to have participated in a Bitcoin mining saga. The former officials of the office of the attorney for the state of Louisiana were reported to have used the official resources for purposes of mining this leading virtual coin.

Under Carpet Probe

Up to the time this article was made, senior officials in the said office hadn’t come out to make any public remark concerning the incident. This was based on a report that was done by the Tribune News Service on the 2nd of March 2018.

But despite that, sources have revealed to the media house that the Louisiana Bureau of Investigation has started asking those who were around that certain location questions. This was after coming across hardware that they thought must have been used for the alleged Bitcoin mining.

Speaking to the news outlet, an unidentified source said that their main worry was that the so-cold Bitcoin mining might have interfered with their computer systems. Even though a number of staffers in that office have denied their involvement in the said activity, the investigation is ongoing to prove otherwise.

Bitcoin is mined in a high-energy sensitive process where new coins are minted after a period of time.

The Latest Investigation

If the probing process confirms that the former staffers took part in that process, this would be the latest probe that has been done concerning alleged Bitcoin mining using public resources. But there are incidents in the past where public officers have been caught mining virtual currencies using public office resources.

The latest one came to a culmination in January 2017. This was when a former staffer of the Inspector General’s Federal Reserve Office was fined a total of $5,000. He had been caught mining this largest digital coin on a server that belonged to the Central Bank of the United States of America. The crime took place between 2012 and 2014. It, however, came to a conclusion in the first month of 2017, when the officer was fined $5,000 for the crime.

Later on, in the same year {2017}, a Department of Education officer for the city of New York was sanctioned for mining Bitcoins. He committed the “crime” using the computers belonging to the organization between March and April of 2014.

Smartphones Could be Used to Mine Bitcoins

As all these happen, an established cybersecurity company has warned that a smartphone could be hacked without the owner’s knowledge and used to mine the digital coins. The Czech Republic-based company known as Avast, has stated that the hackers could even use other tools such as the security cameras to mine this precious currency.

Speaking at the Mobile World Congress, which was held on 28th February 2018 in Barcelona, Spain, Avast, stated that there is an increased potential for such hacks. This is based on the fact that there would be more than 20 billion devices that would be connected to the Internet in 2020. By the close of 2017, there were around 8.4 billion devices that were connected to the Internet.

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Google Is Working On Its Own Blockchain Technology

Samantha Mitchell




Reports are emerging that Google is working on its own Blockchain technology. The technology in development hopes to boost Google’s cloud business. Google also hopes to put in use, the glorified technology in creative ways. The search engine company will face off fierce rivals right from its launch.
One of the ways Google hopes to utilize the Blockchain technology and digital ledgers is in securing the recording of transactions and in processing data over the Internet. This usage comes in handy in Google’s operation of reassuring customers that they are performing their task of protecting their information when it is stored in their giant network of computer servers powering its cloud-based services.

Google Entrusts Alphabet Inc.

The task of developing this technology is being entrusted to Alphabet, Google’s subsidiary. According to one of the officials, the unit is in the stages of developing Google’s own digital ledger that users and third parties can use to verify and post transactions. He, however, doesn’t give a timeline of its launch, though he adds that the company’s cloud services are what differentiate them from their rivals. The official also says that the company would provide a white label version that companies can use to run on their own servers.

Recent studies by the CB insights shows that Alphabet Inc. was still the leading investor in the field in 2017 despite massive pressure from Citi group Inc. and Goldman Sach Group Inc.

Several people have confirmed these developments by Google’s infrastructure group. Persons familiar with the company have in fact admitted that the unit has been in an active process of analyzing Blockchain protocols in recent months while reporting to the cloud’s Chief Diane Greene. The sources have however declined to be named citing that the company was unprepared to make statements on the same.

The sources also added that it was way too early for the company to validate the rumors officially. They, however, confirmed that Google was in its process of exploring blockchain potential usage.

Cryptocurrencies are empowered by digital ledgers. Their databases are regularly updated across computers over the Internet. Every entry is confirmed by their machines that are part of private and public networks. What many people do not know is that there are a variety of digital ledgers, and on the other side, Blockchain is only one.

Risks and Opportunities

Google is diving in a sea of challenges and opportunities. The distributed network of computers running digital ledgers eliminates the risk of holding information centrally. By adopting this decentralized approach to storing data, Google risks losing its status of being the largest information holder to new online services offering the same.

Even in light of this, the Internet pioneer is still very experienced in embracing new technology. It is reported that the search engine company analyzed HyperLedger consortium technology. The company is still yet to make up its mind on the type that will enable it to run millions of transactions efficiently.

Whenever there is a paradigm shift in technology, there exists an opportunity for new giants to emerge while at the same time giving incumbents the chance to adopt new approaches. The rise of the Internet and mobile taught people the hard way. So, don’t be surprised when you see Google, the incumbent spending unbelievable amounts onto the technology.

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Bitcoin CEO Predicts Bitcoin To Become A Global Single Currency

Samantha Mitchell




Twitter and Square company CEO Jack Dorsey recently endorsed the Bitcoin Cryptocurrency, predicting it to be a future and single global currency. The billionaire trusts that the Cryptocurrency will dominate the Internet, widen its worldwide usage and overtake the dollar in importance to become a global Internet currency in only a decade or less.

This news has been positively received by Bitcoin users who have seen the currency push up by almost 1% as at press time to approximately $9,089 per coin. The coin’s market capitalization has ascended to over $153.9 billion as well. The previous year has seen massive success for Bitcoin, which saw its early adopters turn into billionaires in a matter of months; a success 2018 is yet to reveal-we shall see why.
The currency, which is the most popular right now, was created in 2009. Blockchain technology enables it to exist in the form of computer code strings in an un-editable public ledger. Bitcoin’s 2017 success saw the booming of rival Cryptocurrencies in the market.


Dorsey acknowledges that the currency will sure face intimidating technical challenges before it is predicted widespread. He also admits of the slow and costly nature of the coin at the moment but quickly enlightens that as time flies; more technological advances will make the system more approachable. More people will then acquire the currency in addition to the currency’s already massive base.
Does he mean it?

By Dorsey’s action in the past few weeks proves that he means business. He is among a list of contributors for the Lightning Network, a Lightning Labs product, working on technology to make the Bitcoin network cheaper and instant.

Only recently, the network launched the 0.4-beta, which coincided the seed-financing round. The event, which saw $2.5 million raised attracted high profile crypto and financial figures including Lite coin creator Charlie Lee, ex PayPal’s David Stock and Jackeline Rese and Jack Dorsey, both or Square Capital.
In addition to his funds support, Dorsey’s other company Square also announced its support for the Cryptocurrency. The company recently announced plans to extend support to bitcoin by facilitating the consumer to merchant payments via the currency.

Rough Times for Bitcoin

The billionaire’s attitude towards Bitcoin is divergent to the recent happenings in the crypto industry. Only last week, Facebook updated a policy that will see its network ban all crypto related adverts on its site, citing possible scams to its users as the reason behind. The ban will take effect beginning June 2018. This was only weeks after Google announced the same for similar reasons.

It was anticipated that Twitter would follow suit, especially in the wake of the implementation of new advertising policy early next month-April. The news of Twitter’s CEO support for bitcoin has certainly halted these anticipations. It will be interesting to note the developments.

2018, so far, has not been kind for the Bitcoin Cryptocurrency. Especially considering the boom in December 2017 that recorded an upsurge of nearly $20,000, what followed was plummeting of prices and February recording as low $6300 low. As at press time, the price was sitting at nearly $9,000. There is hope.

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NSA Developed A System To Identify Bitcoin Users-New Leaked Document

Samantha Mitchell




According to some classified documents by whistleblower Edward Snowden, the National Security Agency can locate any sender or receiver of Bitcoin from anywhere around the world. The Intercept reports that the documents further revealed that the agency’s OAKSTAR program worked on an urgent call targeting Bitcoin users back in 2013.

The intercept is a publication devoted to adversarial journalism and was founded by Glenn Greenwald, Jeremy Scahill, and Laura Poitras in the aftermath of Edward Snowden’s disclosure of mass surveillance back in 2013.

The report seems to prove some conspiracy theories right. There have been extensive rumors and fantasies of existing spying in the booming digital currency. The fact that Bitcoin provides a nest for get-rich-quick spectators and offers discretions to financial transactions; it would be expected for the government to raise eyebrows.

Governments naturally have interests in the control and movement of money. The conspiracy theorists believed that there would be no way they would sit back and watch as they lose authority. And it seems like they were right.

How the NSA Managed

Well, according to additional documents supporting the expose, the NSA created a system for gathering, examining and processing raw digital traffic. They did this with the help of a program disguised as an anonymizing software VPN called the MONEYROCKET.

Bitcoin A Top Priority

The internal NSA reports that though the agency was interested in the surveillance of most of the competing Cryptocurrencies, bitcoin was the #1 priority.

But it was not just about tracking down users. The report further indicates that the whole OAKSTAR program went beyond analyzing public transaction ledgers, commonly known as Blockchain.
A supporting document further reveals that the agency went further and collected intimate computer user details. Passwords may have been obtained, Internet history examined, and unique device identifications gathered.

The report cites a memo sent to analysts on discussions to track IP addresses, timestamps and network ports as methods to identify Bitcoin targets

Wanted More Data

It did not stop there; the agency went ahead to verify user identification. A memo dated March 29 enquired whether analysts had validated and retained users. The memo exposes the surveillance power of the agency and ability to predict the technology used by Bitcoin in its operation in preparation to curb it. With the data collection tools on its hand and the kind of information available, putting a name to a Bitcoin user was very easy

Not Only Bitcoin

There have been proofs that the surveillance did not just target bitcoin. For example, Liberty reserve, bitcoin’s predecessor was subjected to the same monitoring and charges put up against it. Evidence against the Cryptocurrency is suspected to have been collected by the agency using the same tools and tactics as revealed in these document’s leaks.

The Cryptocurrency was then shut down and the founder arrested on charges of money laundering resulting in a 20 years jail sentence.

The surveillance of Cryptocurrencies is a cause for concern for those who value them for their anonymity and decentralization.

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