As Cryptocurrency Market Is Growing Rapidly, Malware Too Joins the Party

Though the cryptocurrency market is growing at a rapid pace, the related activities have also been seeing hectic activities, especially the malware. The world is seeing a plethora of fresh digital coins hitting the market in the current year despite fluctuations in the value of the listed virtual assets currently. As the acceptance level of the digital currency is also increasing around the world, modern malware is also emerging thus attacking computer systems globally. That leaves sometimes hijacking to mine taking advantage of the victim’s available resources.

Malware Is proliferating

There is a huge opportunity for crypto-malware, and this would not be a surprising factor. Though the cryptocurrencies offer a specific level of anonymity and even profit, the sector is possibly facing the worst of malware, Forbes reported. The latest trend of crypto-jacking malware is to use the device of end user so that they could produce digital currency on visiting an infected site. The world has already seen more than $1 billion is stolen from the virtual currency in the current year alone despite most of the virtual assets price dropped from last year end.

The risk is increasing as more and more websites adapt the practice of mining cryptocurrency through visitors rather than running ads to fund their businesses. For instance, The Pirate Bay, a famous torrent web portal, ran a bitcoin-miner as an alternative to ads. This has resulted in the user’s electricity usages and central processing units to considerable levels and at the same time degrade the device’s performance level. Incidentally, revenue from advertising is also showing weakness. Bitcoin is one of the most popular digital assets that were generated through mining.

It is not an easy task of mining since it requires specialized rigs with specialized hardware apart from the significant amount of power. There are also different types of algorithms using to mine cryptocurrency, and some of them consume more computing power compared to the rest. However, malware could allow criminals to print money directly for the first time.

The days of a conventional type of accessing a computer through compromising event has gone, i.e., either through plugins or third-party applications. This was also evident when over 5,000 websites of Australian and other government websites were hijacked. Currently, hackers make use of a browser-injected mining Javascript to mine digital coins.

Unwilling Participants

During the process, users would not be aware that they were participating in the mining of a virtual currency once the hackers load a compromised web portal. It would not be easy for users to detect the malware since the code runs in the background only. This is a double-edged sword for cybercriminals. Users could not find out when the system is running since it runs only when the user is on the web portal.

However, the latest research by Jerome Segura came out with a simple technique that enables the continuance of mining despite the window of a compromised website being closed. The adopted trick is to create a pop-up hidden window and hide it from the view of the user sizing to fit under the taskbar.…

How much has been Stolen in Cryptocurrency in the Current Year, is it Easy to Steal?

Carbon Block thinks that it is easy for cybercriminals to steal cryptocurrency pointing out the enormous offerings and marketplaces to select. The world crypto community is worried about the growing number of thefts of digital coins from either the exchange or the wallet. The cybersecurity firm’s findings could be surprising to genuine traders and investors since the first half of the current year has seen about $1.1 billion loss from the theft. That suggested how hackers are better equipped to use the malware to make a quick buck of money.

Dark Web

Carbon Block disclosed that dark web is used by cyber criminals that would enable big-scale digital currency theft. The company pointed out that there are as many as 12,000 marketplaces currently apart from 34,000 offerings in respect of stealing of digital coins. The criminals could select anyone from them so that it could be used to attack the specific computing system without much difficulty. This suggested that malware is growing at a much faster rate than the virtual currency to make a killing.

The cybersecurity firm’s Security Strategist, Rick McElroy, stated that he was surprised by the ease with which criminals could commit cybercrimes such ransomware without any great skill on technology. He believes that the criminals need not have to be big nefarious groups and that anybody could commit the crime easily. Interestingly, what is more, concerning is the fact that there was even customer service as the average costs of malware are $224. The study indicated that the marketplace economy had reached $6.7 million, according to a report on CNBC. Significantly, the dark web could be accessed only from special software, and that allows users to remain in anonymous states. Therefore, it is largely untraceable for others.

McElroy disclosed that a criminal could get customer support for any tips after logging in. He believes that thefts can come from anywhere and anybody. That include crime groups that are keen to extort exchanges, as well as, companies and organized cartels. However, it is the highly trained engineers, who are not employed, are the culprits as they look for additional cash.

The official said that “You have nations that are teaching coding, but there are no jobs. It could just be two people in Romania needing to pay rent.” The current year witnessed fresh buyers into the cryptocurrency since most of the digital coins witnessed unimaginable returns last year.

Crypto Is Not Protected

The study also showed that cryptocurrency is neither protected nor insured by a third party. McElroy indicated that banks usually provide the tools and that users are required to know as to how to use them. However, in the case of digital currency case, a number of people are not aware and use cloud wallets resulting in failure to secure their money.

In the current year, exchanges were the biggest target of cybercriminals. The segment represented 27 percent of the total attacks. Some exchanges like Mt.Gox has even filed for bankruptcy protection after it lost 750,000 bitcoins of users apart from 100,000 of its own.…

CFTC Commissioner believes Cryptocurrency will become part of National Economy

Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) Commissioner, Rostin Behnam, believes that the cryptocurrency market is here to stay and that it would be a part of the day-to-day national economy. This would happen one day if not immediately. He also termed the digital currency as a “technical revolution” that could reshape the digital transaction in the world. His comments assumed significance as the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) had termed the virtual currency as securities. The market is also witnessing significant changes in most of the prices.

Challenges Faced

The CFTC Commissioner was speaking in the BFI Summit at the United Nations where he discussed the challenges faced by it. That was because the agency was involved in regulating the industries that are linked with the promising blockchain technology. He did not want to denigrate the technology just as a tool for criminals.

On the other hand, he showered praises for its capacity to transform the financial sector favorably. He thinks that cryptocurrency could well become a part of the economic practices anywhere in the world. He believes that the virtual currency could reproduce every part of the planet.

The CFTC Commissioner termed the current technology revolution as a modern mirage. Aside from that, Behnam thinks that the privately-issued and decentralized digital currencies would replace the physical form of fiat currencies in several parts of the globe. This excluded central bank-supported virtual currencies.

He believes that the virtual currency could get attracted from small economies for their survival. Such currencies would be outside the conventional monetary intermediaries such as international organizations, or banks, or government, or ministries or investors. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) too expressed the opinion that the digital coin would stay and that innovation should be encouraged.

Cautious Optimism

However, the CFTC Commissioner expressed his cautious optimism about an equitable wealth movement to the billions of people who were ignored by the powers from corrupt gatekeepers. “There are 6.8 billion cell phones in the world, almost one for every person on the planet. Here is our chance to put money directly into the hands of those who need it, without bribery, rake-offs, graft, and shakedowns. Virtual currencies could transform the economic and social landscape. It could mean a massive, and equitable, shift of wealth.”

He thinks that technology could witness transformational changes without any need for military take-over or political or religious creed or civil war.

Benham has also issued a warning that the transformation could turn dystopian if powerful economies are allowed to have distribution means of control of the cryptocurrency. That would only result in corrupt actors trying to make use of the technology for their own gain whereas those suffering from violence and poverty would see their wealth draining. This could only lead to a bleak future for them. His underlying statement is very clear, i.e., encourage the innovation and the new age digital currency. Though there could be issues, such thing could be sorted out as the industry is in its nascent stage only. The market was gaining significant transaction only most recently after stupendous returns last year.…

What makes Susquehanna International Group to invest quietly in Crypto assets?

There may be any number of views on cryptocurrency and the clamor on bitcoin, which is a leading coin in value table, among the financial institutions. However, Susquehanna International Group (SIG) is not worried about the pessimism expressed by either Warren Buffett or Jamie Dimon of JPMorgan. As a result, the company is making investments in the crypto assets quietly through its operations included other financial instruments too like stocks or exchange-traded funds or options. The company might obviously think that the virtual currency provides a wider allocation of their funds.

No Stranger

According to btcmanager.com report, the company is already engaged in bitcoin trading. On top of this, the company disclosed that since 2015, it has a separate desk known as digital asset desk to take care of the operations of virtual currency. This apart, the desk is also credited for conducting millions of dollars of private deals of digital coins. The company appears to be in the advanced stage of its footprint in the space since it is planning to extend its virtual currency offerings to more than 500 clients around the world.

Earlier, there were reports that suggested that Barclays and Goldman Sachs Group were planning to provide cryptocurrency trading desk to their clients. However, it was subject to the sufficient interest from its customers. These two companies might have probably been waiting for the regulators to come out with their final regulations so that they could plan. That also suggested that there was no unanimity among the financial services provider on the question of launching trade desk for digital coins. That is primarily because only recently JPMorgan CEO, Jamie Dimon, advised traders to be “beware” of virtual currencies and bitcoin in particular.

Bitcoin was shunned once in the past, and the digital coin is shaking up every segment, be it trading institutions or regulators or banks or governments. Obviously, traders were lured by the surge in prices of bitcoin over a period of time. The virtual currency has witnessed 21,900 percent increase in value since 2015.

Though Goldman Sachs is planning to launch its own bitcoin trading desk, Susquehanna is already in the game. Therefore, the company is not worried about the new entrant since its trading desk is backed up with a lot more money. The early entrants stand to gain in the space that is gaining traction despite initial hiccups.

Speculative Vehicle

The volatility in the prices of bitcoin did attract traders and investors as they are hoping to make massive profits in the process. However, there are also supporters who are not keen on the move. That is because they consider the peer-to-peer payment model as a speculative vehicle.

Susquehanna head for cryptocurrencies, Bart Smith, said, “The firm believes that Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies inspired by it are likely to have a wide array of uses, but for now, he said, Bitcoin’s best bet is to challenge gold as a scarce commodity that can be moved around more easily.” In any case, space is set to attract more players.…

Russian rating agency thinks that Digital Coin is to gain traction like money

Russian Analytic Credit Rating Agency (ARCA) has come out with its conclusion that the country is yet to see the traction of digital currency like that of money. That meant that digital coin could not be used as a means of payment. Naysayers of digital currency will cheer this news and the importance given to it currently. This could also come in handy for pessimists to point out the reality of the virtual currency even as the regulators are tightening their noose around the market.

Does Not Perform Fully

The Russian rating agency pointed out that the digital currency does not perform fully any of the functions of money currently. One of the primary reasons for its failure is the too high exchange rate volatility that is comparable with the food prices volatility. Therefore, the agency has concluded that it would be tough to enable the virtual currency to be as efficient as money for payment means, cointelegraph reported. However, this cannot be taken at the end of the road. That is because of the hopes that once the regulatory tightening process is over, there would be resetting of the market.

Another key factor brought by the report is the costs involved in the use of cryptocurrency. The agency is categorical that the usage of any virtual currency does not reduce the costs of the transaction in the economy. This was mainly due to its inefficiency in energy and the lack of economies of scale in the cybersecurity provision. Aside from these, the low speed of entries in the register also increases the cost of transactions. As a result, the value of any possible advantage in the intermediaries in settlements gets reduced.

The report also brought out another key factor of comparing digital coins with that of fiat currencies that has its own intrinsic value. As far as the cryptocurrency is concerned, its market value is established mainly on investors’ expectations to sell the virtual coins at a higher price in future. On factors to boost the digital coin usage, the report wanted “toughening of sanctions against the backdrop of growing foreign policy and external economic tensions.”

Interestingly, during a live question and answer with the public yesterday, the Russian President Vladimir Putin, spoke about the negative side of the virtual currency though ambiguously. However, he promised to see as to how cryptocurrency could be used to escape sanctions in the international financial activity. This is an obvious reference to the Western sanctions that are currently in place.

Unlike To Be Widespread

The rating agency expressed its doubt on the widespread use of digital currency in Russia. Its contention is that it involves high investment risks apart from the tough approach to regulation by the regulator and the lack of readiness among the companies to accept the virtual currency as payment means in return for the services and goods.…