Cryptocurrency News With URL like www.wired.com

A 'Blockchain Bandit' Is Guessing Private Keys and Scoring Millions
Last summer, Adrian Bednarek was mulling over ways to steal the cryptocurrency Ethereum. He's a security consultant; at the time, he was working for a client in the theft-plagued cryptocurrency industry. Bednarek had been drawn to Ethereum, in particular, because of its notorious complexity and the potential security vulnerabilities those moving parts might create. But he started instead with the simplest of questions: What if an Ethereum owner stored their digital money with a private key'the unguessable, 78-digit string of numbers that protects the currency stashed at a certain address'that had a value of 1?

Watch Wired Get Rich Quick With Our Sleek Bitcoin Miner | WIRED
We've set up own little digital mint in the corner of our office, and you too can share in the magic of Bitcoin mining, thanks to our BitCam. It's a live feed of the Bitcoin miner that the folks at Butterfly Labs shipped us last week. This small black box, which looks like a beefed-up Roku and burns as much energy as a light bulb, was built to do one thing: run hashing algorithms with the hope of winning Bitcoin's cryptographic lottery. Bitcoin transactions don't get logged by a central bank. It takes a peer-to-peer army of miners to watch everything happening on the network and then package that into blocks of transactions. To add an incentive for the people running these computers, the network is programmed to run a kind of lottery every 10 minutes. The winner gets 25 Bitcoins. That's Bitcoin mining.

?I Forgot My PIN?: An Epic Tale of Losing $30,000 in Bitcoin | WIRED
The Trezor: January 4, 2016: 7.4 BTC = $3,000 In January 2016, I spent $3,000 to buy 7.4 bitcoins. At the time, it seemed an entirely worthwhile thing to do. I had recently started working as a research director at the Institute for the Future's Blockchain Futures Lab, and I wanted firsthand experience with bitcoin, a cryptocurrency that uses a blockchain to record transactions on its network. I had no way of knowing that this transaction would lead to a white-knuckle scramble to avoid losing a small fortune. My experiments with bitcoin were fascinating. It was surprisingly easy to buy stuff with the cryptocurrency. I used the airBitz app to buy Starbucks credit. I used Purse.io to buy a wireless security camera doorbell from Amazon. I used bitcoin at Meltdown Comics in Los Angeles to buy graphic novels.

Thought Bitcoin Was Dead? 2016 Is the Year It Goes Big | WIRED
Bitcoin was going to change the world until it wasn't. But now it is again. Oh sure, you've heard this before. Back in 2013, everyone was sure bitcoin was the next big thing. Then the world's largest bitcoin exchange, Mt. Gox, imploded, and everyone was sure bitcoin was dead. Pundits tend to think that way: you're It, or you're not. The reality of it is a little different. Despite the travails of Mt. Gox'and the Silk Road, the online drug bazaar that relied so heavily on bitcoin'the digital currency never went away. Today, it's thriving like never before. And some say this is the year it finally reaches the mainstream.

What Is Blockchain? The Complete WIRED Guide | WIRED
Depending on who you ask, blockchains are either the most important technological innovation since the internet or a solution looking for a problem. The original blockchain is the decentralized ledger behind the digital currency bitcoin. The ledger consists of linked batches of transactions known as blocks (hence the term blockchain), and an identical copy is stored on each of the roughly 200,000 computers that make up the bitcoin network. Each change to the ledger is cryptographically signed to prove that the person transferring virtual coins is the actual owner of those coins. But no one can spend their coins twice, because once a transaction is recorded in the ledger, every node in the network will know about it.

The Inside Story of Mt. Gox, Bitcoin's $460 Million Disaster | WIRED
From a distance, the world's largest bitcoin exchange looked like a towering example of renegade entrepreneurism. But on the inside, according to some who were there, Mt. Gox was a messy combination of poor management, neglect, and raw inexperience. Its collapse into bankruptcy last week and the disappearance of $460 million, apparently stolen by hackers, and another $27.4 million missing from its bank accounts came as little surprise to people who had knowledge of the Tokyo-based company's inner workings. The company, these insiders say, was largely a reflection of its CEO and majority stake holder, Mark Karpeles, a man who was more of a computer coder than a chief executive and yet was sometimes distracted even from his technical duties when they were most needed. "Mark liked the idea of being CEO, but the day-to-day reality bored him," says one Mt. Gox insider, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

Blockchain Can Wrest the Internet From Corporations' Grasp
As the internet has evolved over its 35-year lifespan, control over its most important services has gradually shifted from open source protocols maintained by non-profit communities to proprietary services operated by large tech companies. As a result, billions of people got access to amazing, free technologies. But that shift also created serious problems. Chris Dixon is a general partner at Andreessen Horowitz, a venture capital firm that invests in crypto and other technologies. Prior to being an investor, he founded the tech companies SiteAdvisor and Hunch. Millions of users have had their private data misused or stolen. Creators and businesses that rely on internet platforms are subject to sudden rule changes that take away their audiences and profits. But there is a growing movement'emerging from the blockchain and cryptocurrency world'to build new internet services that combine the power of modern, centralized services with the community-led ethos of the original internet. We should embrace it.

Australia's Encryption-Cracking Law Could Impact Global Privacy
Australia's parliament passed controversial legislation on Thursday that will allow the country's intelligence and law enforcement agencies to demand access to end-to-end encrypted digital communications. This means that Australian authorities will be able to compel tech companies like Facebook and Apple to make backdoors in their secure messaging platforms, including WhatsApp and iMessage. Cryptographers and privacy advocates'who have long been staunch opponents of encryption backdoors on public safety and human rights grounds'warn that the legislation poses serious risks, and will have real consequences that reverberate far beyond the land down under.

Bitcoin's sinister plan. Bitcoin is sending out bomb threats
In offices and universities all across the country Thursday, the same threat appeared in email inboxes: Pay $20,000 worth of bitcoin, or a bomb will detonate in your building. Police departments sent out alerts. Workers from Los Angeles to Raleigh, North Carolina, evacuated their cubicles in the middle of the day. All over Twitter, people posted screenshots of the emails, many different versions of which appear to have been blasted out. As of Thursday afternoon, no bombs had been found, and cybersecurity experts largely dismissed the threats as an elaborate hoax. Not all police departments have confirmed it as a scam. But it certainly appears to be a steep escalation of a bitcoin blackmail tactic that took off this summer. In that scheme, victims received an email claiming that a hacker commandeered their webcam while they were watching pornography and would release the resulting photos publicly if the target didn't pay a small amount in bitcoin. It was an obvious lie but one that nevertheless earned its perpetrators half a million dollars. In an apparent attempt to increase the urgency, this wave of attacks swaps out sextortion in favor of fake bombs.

Wired, 2011: The Rise and Fall of Bitcoin
In November 1, 2008, a man named Satoshi Nakamoto posted a research paper to an obscure cryptography listserv describing his design for a new digital currency that he called bitcoin. None of the list's veterans had heard of him, and what little information could be gleaned was murky and contradictory. In an online profile, he said he lived in Japan. His email address was from a free German service. Google searches for his name turned up no relevant information; it was clearly a pseudonym. But while Nakamoto himself may have been a puzzle, his creation cracked a problem that had stumped cryptographers for decades. The idea of digital money'convenient and untraceable, liberated from the oversight of governments and banks'had been a hot topic since the birth of the Internet. Cypherpunks, the 1990s movement of libertarian cryptographers, dedicated themselves to the project. Yet every effort to create virtual cash had foundered. Ecash, an anonymous system launched in the early 1990s by cryptographer David Chaum, failed in part because it depended on the existing infrastructures of government and credit card companies. Other proposals followed'bit gold, RPOW, b-money'but none got off the ground.

Wired in 2011: The Rise and Fall of Bitcoin
In November 1, 2008, a man named Satoshi Nakamoto posted a research paper to an obscure cryptography listserv describing his design for a new digital currency that he called bitcoin. None of the list's veterans had heard of him, and what little information could be gleaned was murky and contradictory. In an online profile, he said he lived in Japan. His email address was from a free German service. Google searches for his name turned up no relevant information; it was clearly a pseudonym. But while Nakamoto himself may have been a puzzle, his creation cracked a problem that had stumped cryptographers for decades. The idea of digital money'convenient and untraceable, liberated from the oversight of governments and banks'had been a hot topic since the birth of the Internet. Cypherpunks, the 1990s movement of libertarian cryptographers, dedicated themselves to the project. Yet every effort to create virtual cash had foundered. Ecash, an anonymous system launched in the early 1990s by cryptographer David Chaum, failed in part because it depended on the existing infrastructures of government and credit card companies. Other proposals followed'bit gold, RPOW, b-money'but none got off the ground.

This Company Wants to Use the Blockchain to Stop Phishing
Phishing just won't go away. Nearly three-quarters of organizations polled by security company Proofpoint saw phishing attacks last year. Sometimes attackers are able to fool even security-savvy users. A company called MetaCert is trying to fight phishing emails with an extraordinarily simple method. The company has spent seven years compiling a database of web addresses known to be used by phishers, and the company and its users are constantly reporting more. Just as important, it also has a database of known "safe" addresses used by the companies hackers like to spoof: banks, payment services like PayPal, and online retailers. MetaCert's software uses those databases to check the links in your email and place a little green shield next to known good links, a little red shield next to known phishing sites, and a gray shield next to unknown sites.

Drop the Batteries?Diamonds and Lasers Could Power Your Drone
Drones have arrived in US airspace, and now they are multiplying. By 2022, 700,000 of the little unmanned aircraft could be exploring American skies, according to the FAA, delivering packages, monitoring traffic, inspecting bridges, and filling other yet to be discovered niches. To do that work, every last one will need electricity to spin its rotors and run its sensors. Most will get it from batteries they take with them to work. Some might pull from the grid directly, using tethers. And, if a Swiss company has its way, some could stay aloft thanks to some help from diamonds. Lasers actually'shot through diamonds. If this sounds like the sort of dilithium crystal setup that powered the Starship Enterprise, well, it's not all that far off. Lasers have long been considered potential solutions for beaming electricity straight to drones, by focusing their light on photovoltaic cells affixed to the small aircraft. Darpa, the US Army, independent research groups, and private companies are all investigating the idea.

Why Bitcoin Is Plunging (This Time)
The price of bitcoin dropped another 10 percent Tuesday, extending a decline that has sent the virtual currency down 33 percent in the past month and 46 percent in the past year. Boom and bust cycles are par for the course for bitcoin. So far this year, there have been only three days where the S&P 500-stock index dropped more than 3 percent, with the worst being a 4 percent drop in February, says Duke University finance professor Campbell R. Harvey. In contrast, there are seven days where bitcoin dropped more than 10 percent with the worst being 16 percent, also in February. Just for perspective, the 16 percent is the equivalent to a plunge in the Dow of 4,000 points'that would get some attention.

Bitcoin Will Burn the Planet Down. The Question: How Fast?
Max Krause was thinking of buying some bitcoin, as one does. But Krause is an engineer'mostly he works on modeling greenhouse gas emissions from landfills'so his first step was to run the numbers. He looked at price, of course, but also how fast the world's bitcoin miners create new bitcoins and the ledger that accounts for them. And he looked at how much electricity that would seem to require. I thought, man, this is a lot of energy, Krause says. I thought, it can't be true that people are using this much energy. But it is. Krause's calculations aren't just back-of-the-envelope noodling, cryptocurrency blog trolling, or white-paper crossfire. His calculations of how much energy'and planet-warming carbon emissions'the top four cryptocurrencies might be responsible for appears in an article in the journal Nature Sustainability today, joining a growing canon of peer-reviewed and rigorous work trying to put numbers to a problem the cryptocurrency world has been grappling with for years: How much energy blockchain-powered currencies consume, and how much does the answer matter

SingularDTV's Prospect movie, going big screen, in selected Regal theaters and 2019 premier on SingularDTV's streaming platform.
Last summer, the actor Jay Duplass found himself in the middle of a lush forest in Washington state, his body struggling under the weight of a giant space-helmet. The actor was filming scenes for the sci-fi drama Prospect, in which he plays a planet-scavenger hoping to get rich. Duplass' otherworldly get-up'like nearly all of the film's costume and props'had been designed and hand-made by a team of earthbound artists. But while his beat-up headgear looked cool, wearing it was "a goddamn nightmare," the actor says. "It was heavy. Those helmets are not designed to be worn all day, or walked around in. It messed my neck up for a good six months."

I wish I had went all in then
Bitcoin, world's most popular digital currency, had a roller coaster ride today after the federal government shut down the Silk Road, an online marketplace where millions of bitcoins were swapped for drugs and black market products over the past two years. As news of the Silk Road shutdown spread, bitcoin values took a tumble, initially dropping by about 20 percent, or close to $500 million by mid-morning, Pacific time. But values soon crawled back. On the Bitstamp exchange, for example, bitcoins dropped from about $125 to $90, before climbing back to $115 at midday. On the slightly inflated Mt. Gox exchange, values went from $140 to 109, before jumping back to $128.

Exactly 5 years ago Wired wrote "The world?s most popular digital currency really is nothing more than an abstraction. So we?re destroying the private key used by our Bitcon wallet." The loss is currently worth $124,453.58
We've set up own little digital mint in the corner of our office, and you too can share in the magic of Bitcoin mining, thanks to our BitCam. It's a live feed of the Bitcoin miner that the folks at Butterfly Labs shipped us last week. This small black box, which looks like a beefed-up Roku and burns as much energy as a light bulb, was built to do one thing: run hashing algorithms with the hope of winning Bitcoin's cryptographic lottery. Bitcoin transactions don't get logged by a central bank. It takes a peer-to-peer army of miners to watch everything happening on the network and then package that into blocks of transactions. To add an incentive for the people running these computers, the network is programmed to run a kind of lottery every 10 minutes. The winner gets 25 Bitcoins. That's Bitcoin mining.

Ex-Googler Gives the World a Better Bitcoin (2013 news/interesting)
Charles Lee was a software engineer at Google, spending his days hacking networking code for the search giant's new-age operating system, ChromeOS. But in his spare time, he rewrote Bitcoin, the world's most popular digital currency. Early one October morning two years ago, Lee unleashed his project, Litecoin, onto an online universe that was still coming to terms with its more famous progenitor, and though Litecoin is still firmly rooted in the Bitcoin code base, it has found a place in the world, showing just how strong the appetite is for a new breed money. Bitcoin has had an extraordinary run this year, but if you'd sunk your money into Litecoin instead of Bitcoin on January 1, it would have done better. Since then, Bitcoin jumped from just over $13 to its current value of more than $115. Back in January, Litecoin was trading in the $0.07 range. Today, it's worth close to $2.40. In other words, while it took 200 Litecoins to buy a Bitcoin in January, today it takes only 50.

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