New Email Extortion Scam Targets Google’s AdSense, Demands Bitcoin

A new extortion scam targeting website owners serving banner ads through Google’s AdSense program has begun circulating the Internet. The malicious scheme demands Bitcoin (BTC) in exchange for preventing an attack, which would purportedly lead to the users’ AdSense account suspension.

The email-based extortion scheme was reported by security news and investigation blog KrebsOnSecurity,

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Bakkt to the Senate: How Loeffler Became One of Crypto’s Most Influential

Since the 2017 mania, every year in the crypto and blockchain space has been increasingly eventful. 2019 was no exception: Along with Facebook’s Libra project and China’s digital yuan endeavors, Intercontinental Exchange’s digital assets platform Bakkt was finally launched. Its CEO, Kelly Loeffler, ensured a smooth start for the exchange, then swiftly left her business to pursue a political career by the end of the year.

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Japan Uneased by Chinese CBDC, Plans on Digital Yen in ‘2 to 3’ Years

China continues to pull ahead in the central bank digital currency race as more details on its secretive digital yuan project intermittently surface. As a result, more countries are beginning to worry about the potential implications.

Over the past few weeks, a number of Japanese lawmakers have publicly expressed their preference for a CBDC controlled by the Bank of Japan.

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Price Analysis Feb 14: BTC, ETH, XRP, BCH, BSV, LTC, EOS, BNB, XTZ, ADA

Interest in Bitcoin (BTC) has surged significantly after its rally above $10,000 and if the bulls can sustain the price above this psychological level, it is likely to attract further attention. While it is difficult to pinpoint the exact reason for this resurgence, a host of factors such as the China coronavirus scare, the upcoming Bitcoin halving,

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Coinbase Fails to Top CryptoCompare’s Exchange Rankings due to 2019 Flash Crash

Coinbase, one of the most popular platforms in the United States, missed out on the number one spot in a ranking of crypto exchanges due to a 2019 Bitcoin (BTC) price glitch.

The major U.S. crypto exchange and wallet service did not get to the top of the latest CryptoCompare’s crypto Exchange Benchmark rankings because its institutional trading arm Coinbase Pro experienced a major Bitcoin price flash crash in October 2019.

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Egyptian National Bank Turns to Blockchain to Boost Remittance Business

Another major financial institution has partnered with blockchain-based payments firm Ripple.

The National Bank of Egypt has signed a cooperation agreement with Ripple to establish new channels for inward remittances, according to a Feb. 11 report from local daily news site Youm7. 

The agreement reportedly makes the National Bank the country’s first to venture into the blockchain sector. 

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Crypto Fraud Now Exposing Legacy Banks to Compliance Issues, Reports CipherTrace

The nature of cryptocurrency fraud is shifting away from exchange hacks, and toward Ponzi-style frauds, pyramid schemes and exit scams. A massive 533% rise in the value of such crimes means that as misappropriated funds are laundered, the traditional banking system is increasingly exposed to risk under upcoming Financial Action Task Force (FATF) rules.

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Price Analysis Feb 10: BTC, ETH, XRP, BCH, BSV, LTC, EOS, BNB, XTZ, ADA

A report by investment management firm VanEck shows that Bitcoin can greatly improve the “risk and return reward profile of institutional investment portfolios.” The research shows that even a small allocation to Bitcoin in a portfolio mix of 60% equity and 40% bonds enhanced the cumulative return. 

The best portfolio return was seen with an investment of 3% in Bitcoin,

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Chinese Insurance Firms Use Blockchain to Process Coronavirus Claims

Insurance firms in China use blockchain to manage coronavirus-related claims amid the outbreak. English-language local news outlet South China Morning Post reported on Feb. 9 that this month Chinese online mutual aid platform Xiang Hu Bao added the coronavirus to the illnesses eligible for the maximum one-time payout of around $14,300 (100,000 yuan).

Blockchain used for insurance claim processing

Xiang Hu Bao is not an insurance policy,

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Alexander Vinnik Claims Injustice While Now Fighting Charges in France

After spending 30 months in detention, Greek authorities have finally extradited the Russian national and alleged Bitcoin (BTC) money launderer Alexander Vinnik to France. Prosecutors in France are charging Vinnik, operator of the defunct BTC-e crypto exchange, with multiple counts of money laundering, extortion and conspiracy.

Vinnik also has pending extradition requests from both Russia and the United States.

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Chinese Startup Donates $14K to Fight Coronavirus While Launching a Blockchain Data Platform

Chinese startup FUZAMEI has rolled out a philanthropy-focused blockchain-based platform for tracking and managing data.

Dubbed “33 Charity,” the platform is designed to boost the transparency and efficiency of businesses’ internal processes, including charitable organizations, according to a press release published on Feb. 7. The platform appears to be a shared network where organizations can register,

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French Food Company Looks to IBM’s Blockchain Network for Better Sourcing

IBM Food Trust blockchain platform has onboarded one more French manufacturer seeking to enhance transparency of product provenance and supply chain.

The Avril Group, a vegetable oil, eggs and protein manufacturer, and the owner of brands Matines and Lesieur, has begun using IBM Food Trust network to ensure traceability of its products,

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US: IBM Leads Top Patent Assignees With Patents in AI and Blockchain

Tech giant IBM cemented its patent leadership in the United States, with over 9,000 received patents, including in artificial intelligence (AI) and blockchain, in 2019.

With the 9,626 patents secured, IBM became the company that received the most patents in the U.S.ever and the leader on the list for the 27th consecutive year,

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Bitspark Shuts Down Amid Restructuring, Coronavirus and Protests

Hong Kong-based blockchain remittance startup Bitspark has abruptly announced its closure, citing internal restructuring issues.

On Feb. 3, Bitspark co-founder and CEO George Harrap officially announced the platform’s plans to shut down its services on March 4, 2020.

According to the statement, Bitspark users will be able to withdraw their cryptocurrencies from Feb.

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IBM Offers Blockchain Solution for Casual Labor Contracts

Tech giant IBM is developing a new blockchain product that will automate the reconciliation of casual labor contracts.

Technology news site CIO reported on Feb. 3 that IBM considers the blockchain particularly well-suited to tackling the pain point for businesses of resolving discrepancies across thousands of casual work contracts.

A casual work contract — sometimes known as a contingent work contract — is a non-permanent employment relationship,

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Top 5 Cryptos This Week (Feb 2): ETC, LTC, ADA, MIOTA, ZEC

Several major altcoins have outperformed Bitcoin in January 2020. However, with the reward halving just over three months away, Bitcoin might play catch up. During the previous two halvings, Bitcoin rallied just before and after the event. Weiss Ratings believes that history will repeat itself in the upcoming halving and the only question is how high can the rally extend.

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Top 10 Books Recommended by Crypto Thought Leaders

At the end of 2019, Cointelegraph collected an interesting and sometimes unexpected selection of books from people without whom the world of cryptocurrency and blockchain would be completely different.

Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss, Changpeng Zhao, John McAfee, Grigory Klumov and the Cointelegraph team shared the most interesting books that they read in 2019.

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Price Analysis Jan 31: BTC, ETH, XRP, BCH, BSV, LTC, EOS, BNB, ADA, ETC

Morgan Creek Capital CEO Mark Yusko believes that Bitcoin should be a part of every investment portfolio. The performance analysis of the past five years shows that even portfolios that only held 1% of their total investments in Bitcoin managed to outperform their competitors. Bitcoin offers a ten-to-one downside capture, which makes it one of the most asymmetric assets that Yusko has ever seen.

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As the WEF Warms Up to Crypto, Its Head of Blockchain Talks Empowerment

The 50th World Economic Forum is over, and Cointelegraph was happy to cover the most important highlights from the event and reflect on the role of crypto in Davos discussions. 

The person who knows more than anyone about the potential that our favorite technology could have on the WEF community is its head of blockchain and decentralized ledgers.

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Largest Japanese Consulting Firm to Launch New Cryptocurrency Index

Leading Japanese consulting firm Nomura Research Institute (NRI) partnered with cryptocurrency investment solution provider Intelligence Unit (IU) to launch a tradable cryptocurrency index.

According to a press release published on Jan. 29, the new index’s name is NRI/IU Crypto-Asset Index and it is meant for use by financial institutions. The index also draws data from crypto index platform MVIS and major cryptocurrency data platform CryptoCompare.

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LocalBitcoins Quietly Suspends Accounts in Multiple Regions Without Notice

Popular Bitcoin (BTC) exchange platform LocalBitcoins is allegedly suspending user accounts with little fanfare, citing an “enhanced due diligence process.”

Finland-based LocalBitcoins, one of major global peer-to-peer (P2P) crypto exchanges, has reportedly suspended user accounts in some countries in Africa, the Middle East and Asia without warning, with some users being unable to withdraw their Bitcoin,

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Major Swiss Banking Firm Julius Baer Launches Services for Cryptocurrencies

Major Swiss private banking and wealth management group Julius Baer has launched a digital assets trading and custodial service via a partnership with regulated crypto-specialist Seba.

Julius Baer announced its new digital assets offering on Jan. 21, the result of its 2018 minority equity stake acquisition and later partnership with crypto startup Seba Bank AG in February 2019. 

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Indian PM Awards Crypto App Creator as Supreme Court Deliberates on Ban

India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi awarded young entrepreneur Harshita Arora, the developer of a cryptocurrency price tracking application, amid an ongoing battle in her home country over the status of cryptocurrency.

In a tweet on Jan. 24, Modi said that Arora’s “passion towards science, technology and human welfare are clearly visible.” She received the Bal Shakti Puraskar 2020: an award recognizing youth’s contributions in the fields of social service,

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CV Summit United Blockchain Leaders and Enthusiasts in Davos

If you wanted to go deep on blockchain at the World Economic Forum, you needed to attend the conference’s side events.

Perhaps the largest of these crypto-friendly events was CV Summit, an all-day conference organized by CV Labs. The Switzerland-based organization (operated by CV VC) endeavors to offer crypto entrepreneurs whatever resources they need to succeed,

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Travel Platform Travala Expands Payment Options With XEM

Travala, a service that lets its users pay for hotel stays with digital currency, has expanded its crypto payment options by adding support of NEM (XEM) tokens.

The NEM Foundation and Travala.com announced the integration of XEM with the travel company’s platform, according to a blog post published by Travala on Jan.

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