It was quite a roller-coaster week for Bitcoin and Blockchain. Twitter hack targeting several high-profile accounts with hackers masquerading as celebrities, politicians, crypto exchanges, and crypto news-outlets, among others, and asking people to send bitcoins with the promise of returning double the coins has grasped the world this week. This news and many more from the eventful week here.
Twitter Hack and Bitcoin
A couple of days back, Twitter encountered a massive security breach when a large number of their verified high-profile accounts were hacked. The coordinated hack attacked high-profile accounts, including those of Elon Musk, Barack Obama, Joe Biden, Jeff Bezos, and tweeted out a fake bitcoin deal. Despite Twitter taking down such tweets, they kept popping up, resulting in Twitter suspending tweets from all verified accounts for over two hours. Twitter later released a statement informing that the breach is believed to be a coordinated social engineering attack by people who exploited some of its employees who have access to administrative tools. The bitcoin address consolidating the spoils from this attack was discovered to have sent bitcoins to BitPay and Coinbase earlier. The hackers have left copious amounts of breadcrumbs leading from and to several exchanges, which is assumed to be of significant benefit in tracing them. Incidentally, 14 of the victims can still get back their bitcoins, as their transactions have not yet been confirmed by the miners due to low transaction fees.
Bubba Wallace and Bitcoin
Jack Dorsey, the CEO of Twitter, was in the news earlier this week as well. He tweeted about the new deal with Darrel Bubba Wallace, the African-American NASCAR driver, which will have Bubba sport a Bitcoin and a Cash App logo on his Chevrolet Camaro NASCAR car. Cash app is a mobile payment platform from Square, also founded by Dorsey.
Atari “waxing” its Blockchain interests
Atari has partnered with WAX Blockchain and will be using Blockchain to create non-fungible tokens representing their classic video games. WAX Blockchain has garnered support from many prominent entities such as Google and Microsoft, and celebrities such as William Shatner, who have joined the WAX advisory board. Atari, on the other hand, has also shown tremendous interest in Blockchain in the last two years.
Tokenized digital works and Digital marketplace underpinned by Blockchain is fast-growing. These Blockchain-based marketplaces are luring many prominent people across the globe. A well-known British artist Terry Flaxton will sell a 4K video project on the blockchain-based digital art market Makerspace, while the comic book artist, Jose Delbo of the Wonder Woman fame, will sell a digital comic book and a digital Superman drawing on the same platform.
AI with Blockchain for monetizing personal data
Kneron, an edge AI solutions provider, has launched a Blockchain platform where AI, combined with the strengths of distributed ledger tech, will be used to create personal-private networks. The data collected by the edge AI-enabled sensors in devices such as cameras and microphones will be available on the Blockchain platform. Owners of the collected data will be able to create digital assets out of their data, which they can then monetize by selling them to the organizations.
Diamonds on Blockchain
One of the lingering problems with the diamond market is the near impossibility to resell diamonds without steep discounts. The difficulty in establishing the clean transfer of ownership, among others, dissuades the setting up of the secondary markets. Icecap founder and CEO Jacques Voorhees plans to solve this problem by tokenizing the diamonds as non-fungible assets.
Mainstream interests in cryptocurrencies
In some more news on the recent surge in mainstream interest in crypto, Paypal has affirmed that it is developing crypto-assets capabilities in a letter to the European Commission. At the same time, Fidelity has invested in bitcoin mining firm Hut 8 and now owns a 10.6 percent stake in the company.
Bureaucrats and Blockchain
Blockchain and crypto-assets continue piquing the interests of bureaucrats across the globe. The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) announced this week that they are ready to launch a multi-currency payments network, Project Ubin. According to the official announcement, this network will provide an interface for seamlessly connecting with other Blockchain platforms and enable cross-border payments and foreign currency exchange. Meanwhile, the Bank of England governor, Andrew Bailey, revealed that the central bank is deliberating on a central bank digital currency (CBDC), which according to him, will have a significant impact on payments and society. On the other hand, the U.S. Army, along with the Cybercrimes Unit and FBI, are looking for a cloud-based solution to track illicit cryptocurrency activities such as fraud, money laundering, and extortion. At the same time, South Korea is mulling over levying a capital gains tax on the cryptocurrencies, and the tax rate is expected to be as high as 20 percent.
Financial Action Task Force (FATF) mandates the cryptocurrency companies to comply with its data and identity sharing requirements. The FATF’s travel rule requires the transaction originator to share the Personally Identifiable Information (PII) and KYC information with the beneficiary for all virtual asset transactions above $1000. Shyft Network is launching a Blockchain-based solution to enable the crypto firms to share sensitive information. This solution is dubbed as a decentralized version of the SWIFT network.
And finally, Roaming with Blockchain
Spain’s Telefónica, Deutsche Telekom, and U.K. firm Vodafone have finalized a trial for Blockchain-based automated roaming discounts settlements. These firms emphasize that using Blockchain for multi-party settlement will expedite the process due to increased transparency, resulting in faster revenue recognition.