Justin Sun Offers $1 Million Bounty in Exchange for Twitter Hackers

Justin Sun, one of the highly successful and popular tech entrepreneurs of recent times, known for founding TRON and heading BitTorrent, recently announced a bounty of $1 million for anyone who helps him find his Twitter account. Recently, hundreds of Twitter accounts of celebrities and popular figures were hacked by the anonymous hacker(s). Even though the accounts are retrieved now, it is not yet known as to who is responsible for such a large scale hack. 

Justin Sun says that he would readily give $1 million to the person or the group involved in causing this wide-scale Twitter hack. Justin Sun added that TRON is working closely with Twitter to analyze and resolve the issue and fill in the gaps that caused this incident. He added that the company is highly responsible for all the Twitter accounts it maintains, and are vigilant when it comes to handling and operating the accounts, safely and securely. Sun said that this event clearly highlights the fact that our society needs to incline towards using reliable software and services that are decentralized. 

On July 15, a large portion of Twitter accounts, including that of the famous personalities, business figures, public figures, and many major businesses, including that from the crypto space, were hacked. It is not yet clear as to who is responsible for this incident. Not only the businesses and people from the Crypto space were targeted, but Microsoft’s co-founder Bill Gates and Tesla’s founder Elon Musk’s Twitter accounts were also hacked. The hacks range from various kinds of false partnership announcements to hoax BTC giveaway and more. 

Some other popular names whose Twitter accounts were hacked, included Kanye West, Joe Biden, Mike Bloomberg, Jeff Bezos, and more. An advanced cryptocurrency tracking firm named Whale Alert provided data on how much the hacker(s) were able to collect through the mass Twitter hack that occurred on July 15. The firm revealed that even though it can be undoubtedly termed the hack of the year, the hacker(s) was only able to gather $58,000 so far. It is time and time reiterated by the crypto experts that when dealing in cryptocurrencies, the use of cold wallets or a smartphone is essential. It would ensure comprehensive security for the cryptocurrencies and prevent it from getting easily stolen by the hackers. 

The Justin Sun account was retrieved soon after it was hacked, but his company, TRON’s twitter account, is yet to be recovered. Twitter support said that even though it is not yet clear as to who is responsible for hacking 130 Twitter accounts on July 15, it is clear from the data currently available that it was a well-planned social engineering hack. Twitter has currently started an internal investigation as it was clear that the hack of such a scale is not possible without internal and restricted access. Moreover, additional security features and layers are being worked upon that the company plans to implement soon to protect its users’ security and privacy. 

South Korea Could Issue A Crypto Capital Tax As High As 20%

South Korean Parliament has submitted a bill for crypto profits to be taxed up to 20%.

A private member’s bill is recently put forward to increase the Capital Gain tax on crypto incomes that could be as high as 20%. It will also apply to all kinds of blockchain mining operations and ICOs. Whenever someone sells and gains on cryptocurrencies, they need to file return within two months from the last day of closest half. For non-residents, the cyptocurrency exchange withholds the tax.

Historically, South Korea has been one of the most active crypto trading and mining countries in the world. However, the authorities have been very reluctant to impose taxes or regulate digital assets because this would legitimize the sector as a whole. With the Crypto Transaction Bill’s decision, the nature of cryptocurrencies will foster a growing discussion with true value.

Yang Kyung Sook, a reputed and influential representative of South Korea’s Democratic Party, proposed reclassifying cryptocurrencies and other digital assets as “commodities” instead of ‘currency.’ He specifically explained that classifying the crypto assets as ‘goods’ or ‘commodities,’ instead of currency, is because of investors’ behavior. He believes that due to this, these assets qualify for a capital gain tax.

Addressing the Parliament, Yang said that, so far, no income tax was imposed on the virtual assets, and they were only recognized as a function of money. Recently these are being traded as commodities with actual property value. He added that after considering various aspects, like the recognition of digital assets with commodity value, the government’s attention and taxation of these cryptocurrencies have become very necessary. Soong Tae-Yoon, a Korean Yonsei University Economist, critically warned that taxing the cryptocurrency market may slow down the technology’s emerging capabilities.

However, the Financial Services Commission submitted data according to which, an average of US $1.10 billion make up the average cryptocurrency trade per day. Additionally, an average of 6.33 million US dollars crypto tradings took place in the first five months of 2020.

Many countries, including Japan and the United States, are taxing the cryptocurrencies because the sums being traded are huge, and the revenue can be incredible on taxation.

Therefore, after years of continuous discussions and deliberations about the virtual assets, the South Korean Government is all set to announce the taxing income’s final details to be generated from crypto transactions.

In April of 2020, South Korea’s central bank announced its intention to develop the Central Bank Digital Currency system, like other countries in the world. The bank made a six-man panel, including lawyers, focused on Fintech and professors of commercial laws to launch this process. The committee will be reviewing all the potential regulatory issues impeding this novel project with some additional staffing from the Bank of Korea’s legal policy office.

The committee has started working from early June with a timeline of May 2021. This committee’s work will play a crucial part in the 22-month project timeline set to launch CBDC.

HyperMate – The best hardware wallet of cryptocurrency

Today the craze for bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies is reaching sky high because millions of people are making great use of this electronic currency for numerous purposes. Though this concept of using digital currency came into existence in the year 2009, it gained high popularity in recent years. By seeing the demand for cryptocurrency, experts are coming up with many new options in the digital currency world to make it convenient for the people to use this electronic currency.

HyperMate is one of the best hardware wallets invented by experts to make cryptocurrency usage more convenient. Developed by HyperPay, a multi-ecological digital wallet, HyperMate adds bitcoin cash and has Litecoin Multi-Sig Support. BTC, ETH, BCH, LTC, HC, and ERC20 are some of the supported hardware multi-signature currencies of this hardware wallet (HyperMate).

How to operate HyperMate

One can connect HyperMate to a mobile phone via Bluetooth, which has to be conducted in HyperPay App. This app is the famous payment gateway of MENA and plays a major role in offering payment processing solutions for businesses of all sizes. This is proven as one of the best hardware wallets that we would ever need. The main concept of this app is to help both users and service providers to access, exchange, and make fund transaction. 

HyperPay App supports both Android and iOS. The best thing about this HyperPay App is it helps in conducting HyperMate without any problems like network risks and many others. To generate a payment in the HyperMate app, one needs to pair a mobile device with HyperMate and select the coin type that you want to spend and follow the instructions accordingly.

Why HyperMate added Litecoin multi-sig function support

HyperMate, one of the best and highly secure crypto hardware wallets, is looking to realize multi-signature within the cryptocurrency world. There are two different types of multi-signatures available in the cryptocurrency industry, namely, non-hardware multi-signature and hardware multi-signature, where the private key security is not guaranteed, which may cause danger.

Though multi-signature helps users to use the private key, it may get hacked. Though the cryptocurrency concept came into existence long back yet, there is no proper security yet. So to solve such problems and make it safe and secure for the customers to use their wallets without any hacking problem, HyperMate added Litecoin multi-signature function support to assist and ensure safety.

Process of using multi-sig function wallet

Multi-sig is a digital signature scheme that is highly used by cryptocurrency users, where it allows a group of users to sign a single document. It adds the best security for cryptocurrency transactions. The process of using a multi-sig wallet is very simple on HyperMate, where one needs to create a multi-sig wallet by setting a number of members. Once the wallet is created, it has to be generated and wait for other members to join. Once all the members are added system automatically generates a multi-sig address and sends it to all the members. To make transactions, simply connect to HyperMate, enter pin code, and when the signatures are fulfilled by all the members, the system will automatically pack the transaction and send it.

The most malicious ransomware demanding crypto to watch out for

Cyberattacks have become very common these days. Not only big companies but even individuals are at risk as attackers demand money for not exposing private data. You will be surprised to know that several companies ended up paying millions of dollars in the last year to have their important files secured after it was taken away by malware attackers. Those who use various digital payment options need to be more careful while using any platform as these fraudsters are technically smart and able to hack a device through which they can move to the secured data of the users and play with it as they wish.

During this coronavirus pandemic, things are taking a new turn as most companies are not in a position to pay the ransom. In this situation, attackers are getting smart and demanding payment in bitcoins and other cryptocurrencies to avoid detection. As many individuals have started working from home, it has also become difficult for attackers to get hold of big company data. For the authorities also it is not that easy to nab such scammers as in most cases they are not local. They operate from other states or countries and have various ways to penetrate the system, and hence for experts also it proves tough to keep them at bay. 

Let us check some of the most notorious ransomware demanding cryptocurrency payments in recent times.

WastedLocker ransomware

This was created by the infamous Evil Corp that has been active in cybercrimes for a decade. They are now targeting database services and cloud services by disrupting backup applications in the system. In this situation, the victims will not be able to recover their files even while having a backup in the system. The only way to prevent this situation is to have an offline backup of your critical data. The team was earlier involved in various large crimes involving major financial institutions.

DoppelPaymer ransomware

They target the important files and encrypt them in your system. Later they demand ransom to decrypt the files. This was developed by INDRIK SPIDER, and they were recently involved in an attack against the City of Torrance in the United States. They managed to steal about 200 GB of data and demanded 100 bitcoin in ransom. Apart from that, they had also attacked the information technology system of Alabama and asked for $300000 bitcoin. The city’s email system was brought down due to this attack.

Dridex ransomware

This malware is notorious for stealing bank credentials of victims, and they usually target the Microsoft Word macros or the entire Windows system. The problem with this malware is that it can be easily executed through email attacks, and many people become vulnerable to such attacks during the pandemic as they work from home and use personal computers that are not secured with firewalls and other safety measures.

Ryuk malware

This is well known for targeting hospitals and healthcare centers. They use spam emails to target computers and steal important data. Many attackers have successfully used this malware to extract bitcoins as ransom from various hospitals.

These are some of the most notorious malware programs that are demanding bitcoins and other cryptocurrencies as ransom in recent months. The trend is likely to continue as attackers find it easy to handle bitcoins and other cryptocurrencies. They cannot be traced in this way, and this offers them complete protection in the long run. However, in recent weeks, it is noticed that many victims are not paying the ransom, and this has forced the attackers to auction such data in the market.

U.S. Supreme Court Limits SEC’s Ability to Fine Crypto-Based Scammers

In a historic ruling by the United States Supreme Court recently, it has limited the powers governed by the United States Securities and Exchange Commission to impose punitive fines on the private cryptocurrency and blockchain-related firms. The historical intervention by the U.S. Supreme Court is unprecedented and has come as a breather in the blockchain sector. While the U.S. Supreme Court has not curtailed the ability to impose punitive fines completely, it has primarily created a threshold on the fines that can be imposed.

The setting for the ruling came from the case of Liu vs. SEC. In the Supreme Court’s ruling, it mentioned that the Securities and Exchange Commission could not impose a punitive fine that exceeds the profits that these companies make from any sort of illicit and illegal activities. The appeal was made in the Supreme Court by a couple based in California, namely Xin Wang and Charles Liu. The couple has been fighting a legal battle with the SEC since 2016. Initially, the SEC sued the California-based couple in the Federal Court. Still, eventually, the case was further pushed down to lower courts to sort out other legal issues associated with the case legally.

As per the case proceedings files, the SEC order Liu and Wang to cough out nearly $27 million in punitive fines for illegally and unethically duping foreign investors. The couple was accused of pocketing the funds that it received from the investors in the name of building a cancer treatment center. The Supreme Court, in its ruling, also mentioned that any fine imposed should solely be calculated and imposed on the basis of benefitting the victims and must not be taken to account for punitive damages. The SC ruling is applicable for all defendants irrespective of whether they belong to the crypto sector or not. The ruling by the Supreme Court is considered a pivotal victory considering SEC has been particularly strict with the crypto firms.

The decision was passed by the Supreme Court after an 8-1 vote and was anchored by Justice Sonia Sotomayor. The only dissenter in the vote was the conservative Justice Clarence Thomas, who claimed that imposing punitive fines is not an authorized solution in such cases.

In the last year itself, the Securities and Exchange Commission has collected nearly $1.5 billion in punitive fines and penalties. Of the fines collected by SEC, over $1.2 billion went to the investors who were duped in such fraudulent operations. The argument made by Liu and Wang circled around the fact that Congress has never authorized the SEC to impose disgorgements, which makes imposing fines is unruly by itself. It is well-known that SEC has been quite strict in the crypto sector. The regulations by SEC have stifled the growth of many crypto-based firms as well as promising Initial Coin Offerings. Many crypto-based investment opportunities have taken a hard hit due to SEC supervision and regulations.

The hard-line approach by SEC to counter and monitor any fraudulent activities in the crypto space has made even the legal activities move slowly. In April, the SEC charged another Houston based couple, who were accused of running a fraudulent operation and defrauding their investors of over $500,000. While the couple, pastor and his wife, ran many fraudulent operations, one of it was a crypto-based offering that was allegedly backed by packaged water business. The amount charged by SEC included not only the amount they collected but also the interest and the civil penalties. The final amount of punitive fines imposed came out to be much higher than the amount of fraudulent operation collected.

It is what is changed in the recent Supreme Court ruling. In other words, the SEC won’t have the authority anymore to impose a fine of more than $500,000 on the couple, which equals the amount they stole from their investors. The collected amount would go back to the investors. Also, the ruling ensures that in case any amount of water has been offered back to the investors for their money, such an amount would be deducted from the sum fined. The court ruling has provided some relief to the crypto space and would certainly help curb the hard-line approach of SEC it has been maintaining for a while now.

Will Trump’s Social Media Executive Order Help Against Crypto YouTube Bans?

The president of America, Donald Trump is known for his outspoken nature. He is often seen making comments about the latest happenings around the world. While US elections were taking place, he made a tweet that was soon deleted by Twitter.

Trump posted those tweets on the voting and ballots and hashtag was fact-check. This led to the deletion of this tweet that said, “Get the facts about mail-in ballots”. After the deletion of his tweet, Trump posted another tweet.

According to Twitter, his tweet could lead to corruption and fraud. To which Trump did not agree and mentioned in his tweet as well. Trump made it clear in his tweet that Twitter is interfering with the 2020 Presidential Election.

Crypto YouTubers Have Also Been Banned Recently

This is not the first time a social media platform has targeted an internet entity. The crypto YouTubers have also become the target of social media censorship. There are many YouTube channels and videos that were banned and flagged over the last six months.

YouTube has started to ban many successful and popular crypto channels. Many influencers were banned from the platform in December 2019. One such example is Ivan on Tech. Once he received a flag, it immediately made him alert and he shifted his videos on the private mode.

Another popular crypto content maker was Chris Dunn. Chris Dunn’s channel had more than 210, 000 subscribers. He suddenly noticed that YouTube has deleted every video that mentioned Cryptocurrency. According to YouTube, it was harmful to its users and mentioned the sale of unregulated goods. He was stunned at this and his anger exploded through a tweet on Twitter.

In the first quarter of 2020, another series of a ban was imposed on some popular crypto YouTubers. This time it hit a trading YouTuber, Tone Vays. One of the most common reason to ban such channels was links to external links that mentioned exchanges.

YouTube has not banned every crypto-related channel just the ones having external links. Some of the YouTube channels were also restored after a certain period. But the restoration period was not the same in every case. Some of the banned channels are running smoothly today.

Some channels continuously appealed to restore their content but all in vain. For instance, CryptosRus channel’s appeal was sidelined by YouTube even after multiple requests. This channel is still not active on the present day.

Some YouTubers are searching for other platforms to share their content and get paid. There are limited video sharing platforms that also allows its users to monetize their content. This by far the biggest reason for many YouTubers to join this platform.

Trump’s Social Media Executive Order And YouTube Bans

American president Donald Trump has signed Social Media Executive order. This order seems to be a relief for many social media entities who are using the platforms as a means of income.

Trump believes that America is a country where freedom of speech has been a talk of the town since the beginning. We are living in a world where every country has come even closer to each other through social media platforms.

There are a limited number of social media platforms that are being used by the American public regularly. The country relies on such platforms to stay up to date every day. These platforms have to become public-centric.

But a question has arisen in the favor of crypto YouTubers. Is it going to give the famous YouTubers a relief? Of course, it can. The social media executive has removed the authority of platforms to hide, ban, or remove a content that seems harmful.

This order can also be dangerous in the worst scenario of someone using it to spread fake news. But it has given crypto social media influencers an immunity. They can run their content within the limits of the platforms. There will be no over-censorship on any YouTuber as of now.

The blockchain giants, on the other hand, are working on creating a platform where there is no censorship on crypto-related content. Such a platform will be more useful because then crypto content makers will not have to worry about the constant threat of sudden removal of their videos or posts. Hence, it will solve the issue altogether.

China Strips Bitcoin Of Its Cryptocurrency-God Status

The Chinese Center for Information and Industry Development, CCID, has downgraded Bitcoin to12th spot in the cryptocurrency rankings on 18th June 2020, at the 18th iteration of the Global Public Chain Technology Evaluation Index. 

This index ranks the 37 most popular forms of cryptocurrencies by measuring their technical specifications.

Which Is The Top-Ranked Cryptocurrency Today?

CCID has ranked the EOS network as the leader with a lead of 156.1 points. It is followed by the TRON network, with 138.43 points. The number 3 spot goes to the Ethereum blockchain, with 136.4 points. Bitcoin, the first global cryptocurrency, has just managed to get a rating of 106.2 points and 12th place overall.

Looking more closely at how the EOS performed- It managed a score of 24.7 on creativity and scored 20.4 points on applicability. TRON, on the other hand, got 15.5 and 28.4 points respectively on creativity and applicability. The fourth and fifth places in this listing are given to IOST and LSK. While LSK received 119.3 points, IOST managed to get a ranking of 130.3 points, and XRP, another heavyweight crypto like Bitcoin, got labeled at 14th place with only 105 points.

Bitcoin Is No Longer The Magic Internet Money That It Was Branded As For The Longest Possible Time

But there is something very interesting to note here. Bitcoin was even lower in the previous iteration of this ranking system. It stood at the 17th place with a rating of 43 for innovation and a measly 19.9 for applicability at that time!

Many Factors Are At Play Here

But, how much credence should one give to China’s downgrade of Bitcoin, the cryptocurrency that started it all? Experts warn that China is a strange fish, and something sure seems very off here. They also state, without mincing words, that this listing must be taken with a grain of salt. 

We mustn’t forget that The Chinese Center for Information and Industry Development, or CCID, is a Chinese State-owned ranking system. It’s no secret that the CCP has been viciously against Bitcoin. Rumors have also gained ground that Bitcoin is being steadily downgraded because the Chinese can’t control it completely. 

TRON network’s CEO and founder, Justin Sun, had also warned that Chinese authorities had started to become suspicious of the CCID network’s legal status. This had led to an extremely tense relationship between Sun and the Chinese authorities, as one can well imagine.

It’s pertinent to mention that China has been at the forefront in the adoption of blockchain technology as a whole. They have already come up with their own form of cryptocurrency, which they call the DC/EP.

Where Does This Downsizing Leave The Early Bitcoin Converter?

Early bitcoin users bought this currency of the internet for mainly ideological reasons. People used bitcoin because it lets them buy stuff online without needing to use a bank, like drugs for example. People converted to bitcoins as this currency couldn’t be manipulated by governments, by printing more paper currency and was ‘fun’. 

Bitcoin saw an exponential increase in value even though its value was constantly fluctuating. A single bitcoin was worth $4.931 in 2019. And this was significantly higher than other cryptocurrencies that existed then. Major companies like Overstock.com and Microsoft were accepting bitcoin too. And major investors were supporting its growth as it had been around the longest, but coronavirus dented its value much before the Chinese did. 

Today, bitcoin remains as the first financial digital innovation and not magic. Bitcoin is a payment system, and this is something that investors should never lose sight of. It is the message from the Chinese downgrade of bitcoin. Everything else is up in the air. 

How an Art Collective Is Using Blockchain to Protest Police Brutality?

DADA Art Collective is the name of a collaborative and loosely affiliated group of globally renowned visual artists. It teamed up with OpenSea and Mintbase, well-known non-fungible token marketplaces, and a file-storage blockchain named Arweave, to jointly publish the names of the police officers in America who are accused of unethically killing unarmed Black people. The project named No Justice No Peace took off with the help of the founder of DappHero Project, Dennisson Bertram, on June 6. 

Dennis Bertram said that he has always been interested in social justice and communal harmony, and when contacted by DADA Art Collective, he was more than excited to join in. Dennis said that the art collective was already halfway through the process and had already created tokens. Dennis believes that the blockchain technology presents a fascinating platform on how social protests can be done. The representative of the DADA Collective, Judy Mam, said that over ten artists from across the globe contributed to support the Black Lives Matter movement as well as voice much-needed reforms in the law enforcement sector. The contributions included the photos as well as the case statuses of police personnel who are accused of killing black people wrongfully. 

The technology of the Arweave’s blockchain was used in this regard to create a wallet for each victim. The wallet houses tokens that contain a comprehensive set of information about the officers accused in the case. The reflection of the protest can be seen in the fact that the private keys to these wallets holding tokens and records of victims and accused officers have been destroyed. It means that the data cannot be destroyed, modified, repealed, or censored in any form. 

Dennis Bertram says that, in a way, the blockchain technology in itself is a political statement because it is something beyond the control of the government. Many of the protests that happen in the world today are subdued by police brutality and by force. However, blockchain technology is opening a completely new venue for registering peaceful yet innovative and informative protest that not only spreads righteous information but also empowers people and their voices. 

Even though it may seem far-fetched at the moment, it does present the scope of decentralizing human rights or justice as we know it. However, this project does raise a few relevant questions about ethics as it holds immutable digital records for eternity, as it says on the website. In Europe, there is a particular law under the General Data Protection Regulation called ‘right to be forgotten.’ Even in this project, the artists have decided to remain anonymous as there are state laws and jurisdictions that don’t allow them to reveal evidence that can directly or indirectly incriminate law enforcement personnel. 

Judy Mam said that the police officers behind the alleged crimes hadn’t been convicted even after immense community efforts, a claim that is also supported by the research carried out by Bowling Green State University. Judy says that the aim of the project is not only to protest but to present the information and the evidence, immutably, and forever, with the hope that at least some of these police officers would be punished for their brutal crimes. 

One of the crypto enthusiasts from Howard University, Gerald Nash, commented that even though the project seems interesting, it isn’t infallible. There is a possibility that the government may censor information and access to affiliated websites and keyword searches. Also, the dependability of the crypto-structure on participants and incentives makes it vulnerable, especially with Arweave blockchain having only 3,000 members as of now.