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Dow Futures Collapse as Coronavirus Outbreak Infects U.S. Military

An American soldier stationed in South Korea becomes the first member of the U.S. military to contract the COVID-19 coronavirus.

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March’s Free PS Plus Games – There’s Good News & There’s Bad News

According to an advertisement on Polish site GRYOnline.pl, next month’s PlayStation Plus games are Shadow of the Colossus and Sonic Forces.

The post March’s Free PS Plus Games – There’s Good News & There’s Bad News appeared first on CCN.com

Major Steam Search Upgrade is Terrible For Your Bloated Game Library

Steam’s shiny new search features should now make it easier than ever to sort through the piffle and find games worth playing.

The post Major Steam Search Upgrade is Terrible For Your Bloated Game Library appeared first on CCN.com

Volatility and Liquidity: How Bitcoin Compares to its Crypto Competitors

CoinDesk contributor Willy Woo presents an in-depth look at how bitcoin competes against other cryptocurrencies on two important attributes.

Coinbase Wallet Adds Support for Short and ‘Human-Friendly’ Cryptocurrency Addresses

Coinbase Wallet Adds Support for Short and “Human-Friendly” Cryptocurrency Addresses

One of the scariest features of transacting with cryptocurrency, for many new users, is correctly inputting the long hexadecimal addresses involved. Various individual projects and larger collaborations have tried to tackle this anxiety-inducing issue in different ways, so that bitcoin adoption can grow. The latest venture to try and take on this challenge is Coinbase.

Also Read: Coinbase Wallet Removing Mobile Dapp Browser to Comply With Apple

Send Crypto Directly to @Username on Coinbase Wallet

San Francisco-based cryptocurrency trading platform Coinbase has introduced a new way for its wallet app users to send each other crypto using short, human-friendly addresses. Every Coinbase Wallet user has an associated username (like @example), that can now serve as an address so they can easily receive transfers from other users of the app instead of their full-length crypto address.

This new feature is compatible with all the currencies already supported by Coinbase Wallet, including bitcoin, bitcoin cash, litecoin, ethereum, ethereum classic, ripple’s XRP, stellar lumens, dogecoin, and all ERC20 tokens. For anyone with privacy concerns, the wallet app has been upgraded with a new privacy toggle in the settings menu so you can keep your username private and prevent other users from searching for it.

“Wallet users often tell us how cumbersome it is to deal with long and nonsensical crypto addresses like 0x89136a83664fa0673930be34463e444260775dc or 3GVBSgLLLjAoNRKxw5hm7kANN2P2mEQJy. They also tell us how stressful it is to send money with the fear of having copied and pasted addresses incorrectly,” explained Sid Coelho-Prabhu, Product Lead for Coinbase Wallet. “Human readable addresses help fix these problems.”

Coinbase Wallet Adds Support for Short and 'Human-Friendly' Cryptocurrency Addresses
Short Addresses on Coinbase Wallet

Ethereum Name Service With Multi-Currency Support

The Coinbase Wallet is also integrating the Ethereum Name Service (ENS), which means users can now send crypto to .eth addresses. ENS supports not only payments of ETH but also BTC, BCH, LTC, and many others including all the currencies currently supported by Coinbase Wallet.

ENS is an open source project managed by a non-profit organization, supported mostly by grants from the Ethereum Foundation as it didn’t hold an ICO and has no investors. Its developers see it as a key component of the emerging decentralized web. Over 50 wallet teams have expressed support for integrating ENS into their apps.

The developers of the Coinbase Wallet app believe that these improvements will make cryptocurrency much easier to use and thus help drive adoption by a more mainstream audience. Coelho-Prabhu added: “There are now services that let you associate a short human readable name with your crypto addresses. We’re pleased to integrate them into the Coinbase Wallet experience. Users can now easily send money to friends and business partners like they do with traditional payment apps, albeit globally and in crypto.”

What do you think about the Coinbase Wallet adding support for short and human-friendly addresses? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock and Coinbase Wallet.


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The post Coinbase Wallet Adds Support for Short and ‘Human-Friendly’ Cryptocurrency Addresses appeared first on Bitcoin News.

S.Korea Coronavirus Cases Hit 1,250 but JPMorgan Warns of 10,000 Peak

South Korea just announced 115 new confirmed cases of coronavirus, taking the total tally to a 1,261, as the epidemic spreads to more cities.

The post S.Korea Coronavirus Cases Hit 1,250 but JPMorgan Warns of 10,000 Peak appeared first on CCN.com

US Prosecutors Unseal Charges Against Alleged Silk Road Advisor

The US government has unsealed charges against a former high-ranking employee of the Silk Road, the now-defunct dark market.

Next Step Mobile Surveillance: How You Walk, Your Heartbeat – Why Bitcoin Matters to Combat Government Privacy Invasion

Next Step Mobile Surveillance: How You Walk, Your Heartbeat – Why Bitcoin Matters to Combat Government Privacy Invasion

It may sound like something from a dystopian cyberpunk movie, but payment providers could soon be validating transactions by the way users walk, their heartbeat, veins, and more. Mastercard has recently revealed they “have been testing heartbeat, vein technology, and the way people walk to authenticate people.” The high tech proposal, designed to fight hackers and increase convenience, could be a serious issue for people viewing such measures as unnecessary and invasive, where Bitcoin solves many of the challenges facing online finance already.

Also read: Wikileaks Gathers $37M in BTC Since 2010 – Over $400K Sent After Julian Assange’s Arrest

Mastercard to Map Your Walk

Mega payments provider Mastercard recently revealed to financial news outlet Marketwatch that “We are working with transport organizations where your face or gait will authenticate you.”

While facial recognition software is becoming more and more widely utilized in security, and the field of biometrics continues to evolve rapidly, most everyday people still haven’t considered that something like their gait, or style of walking, could be a means of identification. The tech will ostensibly be able to utilize CCTV, amongst other means, for allowing services such as boarding of public transport.

The president of cyber and intelligence solutions for Mastercard, Ajay Bhalla, told the news outlet:

The way you hold your phone, which ear you use, and how your fingers touch the buttons are all unique to you. We have been testing heartbeat, vein technology, and the way people walk to authenticate people.

For those that think they’ll be able to outsmart this type of tech if it falls into the wrong hands or is abused, they may want to think again. As coronavirus fear grips China and residents are required to wear masks for protection, Chinese AI startup Sensetime has already announced the rollout of new tech which can read 240 facial key points, allowing identification of individuals even if they’ve donned a mask.

Source: Reuters

Demonizing and Ignoring Bitcoin

The Mastercard exec also told Marketwatch that “The world is changing at a fast pace. Hackers are figuring out how to attack individuals to get their credentials.”

This narrative of payments becoming increasingly electronic and the need for greater online security is not new. In fact, the United States Federal Reserve announced last summer they are developing a new, fast and secure payments system called Fednow. Federal Reserve Board Governor Lael Brainard stated at the time, “Everyone deserves the same ability to make and receive payments immediately and securely, and every bank deserves the same opportunity to offer that service to its community.”

MasterCard: your personal stalker

“The way you hold your phone, which ear you use, and how your fingers touch the buttons are all unique to you.We have been testing heartbeat, vein technology,and the way people walk to authenticate people”#PrivacyFirst https://t.co/ZrZzF7vIHh

— Olga Ukolova [LNP/BP] (@OlUkolova) February 14, 2020

The thing is, we’ve already got that. It’s called bitcoin. Not able to be hacked if stored non-custodially, and not subject to centralized censorship at a protocol level, Satoshi’s creation is one of the most secure payment networks there is. Further, transactions can be obfuscated for greater privacy.

The real issue at hand becomes apparent when a critical common thread between narratives from China, the Fed, and companies like Mastercard emerges: the promotion and cultural whitewashing of unmitigated, highly invasive surveillance.

Often, when solutions like bitcoin are presented as viable options to the authoritarian class, the response is the same: users of bitcoin are criminals, because who else would want to use money that isn’t centrally controlled? U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin has even gone as far as making the absurd claim that U.S. dollars are not used for criminal activity, stating:

I don’t think it’s been successfully done with cash. I’ll push back on that. We’re going to make sure that bitcoin doesn’t become the equivalent of Swiss-numbered bank accounts.

Anti-money laundering narratives have become the central focus for global financial regulators, and are putting more and more users of crypto out of business and out of wealth. All this when the latest report from state-connected blockchain forensics group Chainalysis shows that less than 1% of crypto usage centers on darknet market activity.

Contrasted with governments’ nasty track records of money laundering, drugs and human trafficking, debasement of currencies, and outright murder euphemized as ‘collateral damage’ in warfare — all financed mainly by the fiat shitcoin known as USD — bitcoin appears to be about as threatening as a toy poodle. It’s important to remember, though, that it does have teeth.

Regarding crypto’s threat to centralized systems like Fednow, former congressman from Texas, Ron Paul, remarked in August: “This will be bad for consumers and real-time entrepreneurs but good for power-hungry Federal Reserve bureaucrats who will no doubt use Fednow to help ‘protect’ the Federal Reserve’s fiat currency system from competition from crypto currencies.”

Why Bitcoin Matters to Fight Surveillance

Biometrics provides some great opportunities for security and convenience, affording free market actors cutting edge solutions for their businesses and everyday lives. When it comes down to brass tacks, however, less invasive payment solutions such as bitcoin are not favored by lawmakers, as they’ve stated explicitly that the decentralized and immutable nature of crypto threatens the very stability of the global economy itself.

According to a research opportunity posting from the U.S. Office of the Director of National Intelligence: “Many cryptocurrency enthusiasts predict that either a global cryptocurrency or a national digital currency could undermine the U.S. dollar … The U.S. should prepare for scenarios that threaten to undermine the U.S. dollar as the world reserve currency and determine how those scenarios could be overcome, protecting our status in the global economy.”

The real question about all the surveillance coming down the pike is an easy one. Namely, whether these measures will be voluntarily assented to, or whether they will be forced on people. For example, will someone still be able to open a bank account or board a train if they don’t want their vascular tissue analyzed? It’s an uncomfortable reality most don’t want to look at, but ultimately, when it comes to ensuring compliance the state has but one tool, and it ain’t reasoned verbal persuasion.

Bitcoin is very different from any Fednow service, digital Yuan, or Mastercard payment system because the user — and not some third party — controls it. That’s what really seems to get the goat of lawmakers. How far people will go to fight for this financial privacy bitcoin affords them remains to be seen, but let’s hope the shift is more of a philosophical one than is brutal.

What are your thoughts on Mastercard’s proposed verification systems? Let us know in the comments section below.

Op-ed disclaimer: This is an Op-ed article. The opinions expressed in this article are the author’s own. Bitcoin.com is not responsible for or liable for any content, accuracy or quality within the Op-ed article. Readers should do their own due diligence before taking any actions related to the content. Bitcoin.com is not responsible, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any information in this Op-ed article.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Reuters, fair use.


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The post Next Step Mobile Surveillance: How You Walk, Your Heartbeat – Why Bitcoin Matters to Combat Government Privacy Invasion appeared first on Bitcoin News.

$10,000 Free Cash: Hong Kong’s Handout During Coronavirus Crisis Explained

Desperate times call for desperate measures, and Hong Kong is bumping up its spending to help its residents as coronavirus fears intensify.

The post $10,000 Free Cash: Hong Kong’s Handout During Coronavirus Crisis Explained appeared first on CCN.com

Xbox Teraflop Tweet Confirms No One Cares About Xbox Series X Specs

Microsoft explains what a teraflop is after confirming the Xbox Series X specs, suggesting that gamers don’t care about the information.

The post Xbox Teraflop Tweet Confirms No One Cares About Xbox Series X Specs appeared first on CCN.com


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