jm + cryptocurrency   7

How $800k Evaporated from the PoWH Coin Ponzi Scheme Overnight
'In 282 lines of code, PoWH Coin managed to give away $800,000 in Etherium.'
etherium  blockchain  coding  powh  4chan  fail  fraud  cryptocurrency  javascript 
6 weeks ago by jm
Steven Bellovin on Bitcoin
When you engineer a system for deployment you build it to meet certain real-world goals. You may find that there are tradeoffs, and that you can't achieve all of your goals, but that's normal; as I've remarked, "engineering is the art of picking the right trade-off in an overconstrained environment". For any computer-based financial system, one crucial parameter is the transaction rate. For a system like Bitcoin, another goal had to be avoiding concentrations of power. And of course, there's transaction privacy.

There are less obvious factors, too. These days, "mining" for Bitcoins requires a lot of computations, which translates directly into electrical power consumption. One estimate is that the Bitcoin network uses up more electricity than many countries. There's also the question of governance: who makes decisions about how the network should operate? It's not a question that naturally occurs to most scientists and engineers, but production systems need some path for change.

In all of these, Bitcoin has failed. The failures weren't inevitable; there are solutions to these problems in the acdemic literature. But Bitcoin was deployed by enthusiasts who in essence let experimental code escape from a lab to the world, without thinking about the engineering issues—and now they're stuck with it. Perhaps another, better cryptocurrency can displace it, but it's always much harder to displace something that exists than to fill a vacuum.
steven-bellovin  bitcoin  tech  software  systems  engineering  deployment  cryptocurrency  cypherpunks 
10 weeks ago by jm
Global ‘Wana’ Ransomware Outbreak Earned Perpetrators [just] $26,000 So Far
As thousands of organizations work to contain and clean up the mess from this week’s devastating Wana ransomware attack, the fraudsters responsible for releasing the digital contagion are no doubt counting their earnings and congratulating themselves on a job well done. But according to a review of the Bitcoin addresses hard-coded into Wana, it appears the perpetrators of what’s being called the worst ransomware outbreak ever have made little more than USD $26,000 so far from the scam.
money  fraud  ransomware  wana  brian-krebs  bitcoin  cryptocurrency  viruses 
may 2017 by jm
Exit Scam Survival Guide : Buttcoin
Bitcoin lols:
Honesty is most important. Be sure to carefully explain that (excluding the mountain of evidence to the contrary) there was no way to foresee the [Bitcoin] exchange hacking. Practice phrases like, "this operation was the most trustworthy exchange running out of a vacant building in Singapore" and "no we can't just call the exchange, they don't have a phone number". If your significant other criticizes your decision to buy cryptocurrencies, be sure to fall back on technical merits of cryptocurrencies. Mention, "it's backed by math" and "[insert cryptocurrency here] didn't fail, people failed".
bitcoin  buttcoin  lol  funny  cryptocurrency  security  exchanges 
august 2016 by jm
Tahoe LAFS accidentally lose Bitcoin wallet with loads of donations in it, get it back
But ECDSA private keys don't trigger the same protective instincts that
we'd apply to, say, a bar of gold. One sequence of 256 random bits looks
just as worthless as any other. And the cold hard unforgeability of
these keys means we can't rely upon other humans to get our money back
when we lose them. Plus, we have no experience at all with things that grow in value by
four orders of magnitude, without any attention, in just three years.

So we have a cryptocurrency-tool UX task in front of us: to avoid
mistakes like the one we made, we must to either move these digital
assets into solid-feeling physical containers, or retrain our
perceptions to attach value to the key strings themselves.
backups  cryptography  bitcoin  cryptocurrency  ecdsa  private-keys  ux  money 
march 2016 by jm
Bank of the Underworld - The Atlantic
Prosecutors analyzed approximately 500 of Liberty Reserve’s biggest accounts, which constituted 44 percent of its business. The government contends that 32 of these accounts were connected to the sale of stolen credit cards and 117 were used by Ponzi-scheme operators. All of this activity flourished, prosecutors said, because Liberty Reserve made no real effort to monitor its users for criminal behavior. What’s more, records showed that one of the company’s top tech experts, Mark Marmilev, who was also arrested, appeared to have promoted Liberty Reserve in chat rooms devoted to Ponzi schemes.

(via Nelson)
scams  fraud  crime  currency  the-atlantic  liberty-reserve  ponzi-schemes  costa-rica  arthur-budovsky  banking  anonymity  cryptocurrency  money-laundering  carding 
april 2015 by jm
Proof of burn - Bitcoin
method for bootstrapping one cryptocurrency off of another. The idea is that miners should show proof that they burned some coins - that is, sent them to a verifiably unspendable address. This is expensive from their individual point of view, just like proof of work; but it consumes no resources other than the burned underlying asset. To date, all proof of burn cryptocurrencies work by burning proof-of-work-mined cryptocurrencies, so the ultimate source of scarcity remains the proof-of-work-mined "fuel".
bitcoin  proof  money  mining  cryptocurrency 
may 2014 by jm

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