Is Bitcoin’s Slow Dominance of the Internet a Good Thing?

Back in 2008 when Bitcoin was first conceived and began making its entry into the world of currency, there was a great deal of speculation as to whether or not this digital currency could (or would!) take the power of finances away from central banks around the world that have always held the keys to wealth. Over the past 8 years Bitcoins have surged in value from their humble beginnings at a value of $0.01 per coin to over $1200 per coin in 2013 and then back down again to just about half that value where they are currently valued at. Even though this currency is highly speculative, there are those who question whether their slow dominance of the Internet is a good thing – or not. Here are some thoughts on the issue.

Difficult to Use without Being Valued against other Bitcoins

As a peer to peer currency that is really valued by supply and demand, it should also be realized that there are only so many Bitcoins that will ever be made. The supply is finite, which to some, gives them value because of the old ‘supply and demand’ rule of finance. When it comes to wagering on online games such as poker, it becomes difficult to use them as a currency because it is difficult to break them down into smaller units that can be used as a wager and also, hard for ultimate values to be assessed as the value is even more volatile than many of the leading currencies on the market. It is far easier to use a major currency against another major currency than it is a digital currency against a major currency. In short, they are not yet fully understood by the masses and computations are highly complex. Too complex for the average financial transaction online.

The #1 Concern – Digital Anything Is Open to Hackers

Then there is the concern that since Bitcoins are a digital currency, hackers can literally take over a person’s supply with no one being the wiser as they can also create bogus Bitcoins that may be passed as authentic. The current level of online security appears to be inadequate to keep up with the type of security needed for digital currency so the slow dominance of the internet in this regard is actually a good thing. The longer it takes for this particular currency to gain in popularity and use, the longer cyber security teams will have to find ways to secure sites that accept Bitcoin payment.

In the end, the faster anything at all gains dominance over a market, the quicker it can come tumbling down. When people like online gamers are wagering bets, the money they are playing with needs to have real value. There is nothing ‘tangible’ about an online game as there would be such things as ordering articles from an online merchant and with the hopes of winning, that money being wagered becomes all the more important. It’s just that – a wager, a bet. With nothing to say that other digital currencies won’t hit the market, lowering its value and no sure way to protect against hackers at this time, slow dominance is indeed a very good thing.

 

 

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Why The Bitcoin Market Is Hitting All-Time Highs

The Bitcoin market has never been stronger and despite pressures from a number of countries like Russia and the US to strictly regulate and refuse to recognize the cryptocurrency, Bitcoin’s value has soared. In fact, the Bitcoin price soared to a record high of $1,800 earlier this month, although some reports are suggesting that it is beginning to slip slightly. People are beginning to worry about the blockchain disrupting trade finance, but with the rise in value we could see Bitcoin becoming a more stable digital currency. With Bitcoin prices having increased by around 81% since the start of 2017 the market is showing some serious strength. Here, we’re taking a look at why the Bitcoin market is reaching such an extensive high.

Comments From The Minneapolis Federal Reserve President

One of the main factors behind the sudden surge in price on Tuesday 9th May was the comments made from the President of the Minneapolis Federal Reserve, Neel Kashkari, about the blockchain technology as a whole. He stated that the technology is more interesting and has more potential than Bitcoin itself. His comments are beginning to be a pinnacle in the industry and is marking yet another influential policy maker who is warming up to the technology. After his comments, the Bitcoin actually rose by 6%.

Availability Of Information

The internet is a huge source of information on a number of topics, but very slowly a number of major news sources and social media channels are beginning to focus on the Bitcoin currency. This has led to a growing interest in the digital currency, as people are able to understand more about how the Bitcoin can benefit them. This is not only through general information, but also with informative sites like Bitcoin Casino Pro who provide in-depth reviews on Bitcoin casinos – which are one of the main things that people spend their Bitcoins on due to their anonymity and fast transaction speeds. The more people understand the value of the Bitcoin and what they are used for, the more people will turn to invest in the digital currency, further boosting its market value.

China’s Currency Devaluation In 2015

Back in November 2015, there was a surge in the value of the Bitcoin which was influenced largely due to China’s currency devaluation. The devaluation took place in order to help mitigate any inevitable capital outflows and stabilize the economy. While China generally ban the Bitcoin currency, all it would take was a number of Chinese citizens to invest in the Bitcoin, even by just a small fraction for the crypto currency to bubble into another all-time high. Speculation of this was quickly confirmed when reports suggested that Bitcoin price was influenced mainly by Chinese exchanges back in 2015 and this could have had an impact in the rise in the Bitcoin value that we have seen throughout 2017 too.

However, China has also begun to clamp down on the Bitcoin, and looking to ban or at the very least strictly regulate the currency – both for trading and the exchanges themselves. In fact, China’s Central Bank has even warned investors against looking to the currency. While at first glance this may seem like a negative suggestion, the scrutiny that China is putting on the crypto currency (which is similar to Russia’s current stance) could lead to stricter regulations, further helping to steady the market. A more stable Bitcoin market means a potential gateway for investments which will ultimately boost the value of the Bitcoin.

Legalisation Of Bitcoin In Japan

A major influential factor was the recent decision by the Japanese government to legalize the cryptocurrency, and recognize it as a payment method. This led to more Bitcoins being purchased with yen which has led to a major support network for the cryptocurrency. Alongside the legalization of the Bitcoin in the country, a number of regulations are set to be implemented in order to provide users with a lot more security when it comes to using the technology. This is generally due to the concerns about illegal activities using the pseudo-anonymous crypto currency such as money laundering.

However, amendments to the Banking Act and the addition of section 3, which is tentatively being referred to as the ‘Virtual Currency Act, it is highly likely to see a number of regulations. For example, Bitcoin is classified as an asset, and so any profits from Bitcoin trading will be subject to capital gains tax in the country, but will no longer be subject to consumption tax, which lies at 8 per cent in Japan. Digital exchanges in the country will also have a number of required regulations, including the minimum capital that they need to hold being 10 million yen.

According to the new law, the exchanges will also need to possess an IT system management program which is sufficient enough to protect against issues such as leakage, or loss and damage to any personal funds which the exchanges may hold. In order to protect the users of the exchanges even more, exchanges must also disclose trading name and address, registration number, transaction content, and all fees and costs to their users, showing just how much more secure the Bitcoin and digital currency exchanges are set to be for their users.

This legalisation alone has led to a surge in interest in the crypto currency, with more people seeing Bitcoin as a reliable and regulated digital currency, causing asset managers to jump into the market.

Internal Developments

With the rise in value of the Bitcoin and the increased investor attention, there have been a number of internal developments that are in the process of being carried out in order to help ensure that the Bitcoin maintains its promises of flawless security and usage. One of the initial developments that could potentially be carried out include a way to scale up the system in order to allow it to handle many more transactions. The implementation of the Segregated Witness (SegWit) on the Bitcoin clone currency LiteCoin is an initial step towards this development, meaning we could see much more improvement in the future. If this can be successfully deployed, we are likely to see a huge increase in the value of the Bitcoin in the near future. While there are a number of pros and cons of the Bitcoin, these internal developments could prove a vital step towards market stabilisation.

Winklevoss Proposal

Back in March, The US Securities and Exchange Commission rejected a proposal from the Winklevoss twins, who were looking at a Bitcoin exchange traded fund. Nevertheless, the SEC are considering reviewing this rejection, which could see a further interest from investors in the near future as more developments begin to come to light with the crypto currency. With figures like the Winklevoss twins looking to push Bitcoin into the mainstream, we may see that the rise in value of the Bitcoin isn’t just a temporary thing, and we may begin to see the generally rocky market begin to stabilize with more regulation.

 

WannaCry Malware Is Gone But Still Leaves A Lasting Impression

 

Over the past few years, ransomware has become an enormous problem throughout the United States and abroad. It is also a unique problem that is far different from other types of computer viruses. Unlike other malicious software, ransomware is specifically designed with the intent of forcing the victim to hand over their money. On May the 12th, the world was hit with a cyber-attack unlike anything it had ever seen before. The primary weapon of the attack was the WannaCry ransomware. On the Friday of the attack, the nefarious software infected an estimated 230,000 computers in more than 150 countries.

 

Affected by These Attacks are Groups like The National Health Service in Britain

Of course, most onlookers were more surprised by the groups that fell victim to the attack. The National Health Service in Britain experienced major disruptions. Simultaneously, Deutsche Bahn, Telefonica and even FedEx became victims of the hackers. When these companies found out they have fallen prey to the hackers, they received a warning screen on their computers demanding ransom ranging in price from 300 to 600 dollars. All of the files on the computers were encrypted. While workarounds were eventually discovered, it was originally believed that paying the extortion money was the only way to obtain the decryption code to unlock their files.

A Lasting Impression left Behind.

While the WannaCry ransomware attack has ended, it has undeniably left a lasting impression behind. For starters, the vulnerability, which allowed hackers to install the malicious software on the victims’ computers, was previously identified and utilized by the United States National Security Agency. The NSA used the vulnerability to their advantage and did not alert Microsoft. A hacking collective, The Shadow Brokers, gained access to the NSA’s tools and documents late last year. Originally, the group attempted to auction off the tools used by the NSA. Microsoft became aware of the problem after leaks from the hacking group. This gave the technology company plenty of time to release patches, but obviously not everyone installed the patch in time.

The Impact

After the attack, Kaspersky Lab analyzed the impact and confirmed that Russia, India, Ukraine, and Taiwan were hit harder than other companies. However, the National Health Service were disrupted the most. Vape technology, tablets and smartphones were generally invulnerable to the attack. In fact, it only impacted older Windows computers that had not been upgraded to the Windows 10 operating system and the latest patch. While experts concur that the impact of the attack was relatively low, it could be a sign of things to come in the near future.

For instance, security experts agree that the results could be far direr had the attacked targeted something more dangerous, such as nuclear power plants or railway systems. At the end of the day, WannaCry might be finished, but it could easily return in the future. The Wall Street Journal and others believe the attack could be linked to North Korea. Whether or not that is true, one thing is certain. Cyber security firms will need to take steps to address these security risks and flaws as quickly as possible. Failing to do so could result in something far worse in the future.