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Bitcoin: Why You Need It

Most people know little about Bitcoin. It’s a brand, like the internet was in the late 1990s that created great excitement in a small fanatical audience but confusion, indifference and often hostility in the mainstream and establishment.

“I don’t need email,” people said, while many would look blank and not know what it was. It wasn’t until the social media floodgates opened that the mainstream piled in. Now all the marvelous benefits and distractions of being connected are taken as read.

The benefits of crypto are not well understood or even considered beyond the possibility of a life change rising in value for coins that an investor might ride to riches. This may well be the future for Bitcoin so to start a list of reasons why you should hold some Bitcoin must start with:

1)  A lottery ticket to a ride that some see having a 1,000% upside.

It could happen. There are only going to be 21 million bitcoins (BTC), many of which like Roman gold coins are already lost forever. If bitcoin was to be worth just half of the gold in the world it would be  about $200,000 a coin. If all the BTC was worth $1 trillion then the price would be north of $50,000.

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With BTC currently at $7,400 and the ability for people to buy tiny amounts, there is a fun dividend in actually holding.

2) Blockchain is “the next big thing.”

If you want to catch that wave when it lands, you need to know a bit about it. Buying crazes on the basis of zero knowledge is the short cut to the poorhouse. Owning bitcoin and going through all the stages to “get” crypto will position you perfectly for the day “crypto IPO” hits. That day will come and it will be big. Owning bitcoin will position you to take advantage of that boom.

3) Portfolio diversification is crucial.

Everyone should have a little gold, for example, to buffer the roller coaster of other financial instruments. Bitcoin and gold are very similar in as much as they are havens. “Physical” bitcoin however is easier to store, faster to sell and has much greater upside if you are laying in assets for what you see as being extremely volatile times in the future. If you are not in the “bullets and corn beef” legion, the gold, silver and bitcoin are must haves, with bitcoin the king if you feel you might have to jump on a plane to safety. It’s easy to travel with bitcoin; with gold bars and sacks of silver, not so much.

4) Bitcoin is currently a great hedge especially for equities.

This is because for now at least, bad news for equities is good news for bitcoin. That bad news is currently the China trade war. The trade war is bad for equities and there is a clear link to moves in BTC and emergent good/bad news on the trade negotiations. Bitcoin sends the signal then the news appears, which one would imagine is because of the insider news flow in crypto-hungry China.

5) Bitcoin is useful money.

You can buy things with bitcoin, and with bitcoin debit cards you can use it to buy things anywhere that takes Visa/Mastercard. While this can prove expensive, a bitcoin debit card is another off ramp for holders wishing to spend their profits. Bitcoin is also a useful currency for B2B and while currently niche, bitcoin use for international payments is quickly expanding when products need to be bought quickly and the vendor needs to establish transfer of funds fast to cut out delays. For large sums bitcoin beats credit cards hands down as a bitcoin transaction can’t be reversed unlike a credit card payment that is always vulnerable to charge backs. Transfers can take days to materialize, so for anything that’s a “rush job” bitcoin is the best possible way to pay if the vendor takes BTC.

Every investor should buy some bitcoin, even if it’s just $1. It is always best to be too early to a financial phenomenon than too late and it turns out the bitcoin story is still in its early chapters.

If you are an investor, it was obvious you need to hold equities, bonds, gold and cash. That is still true but these days, you need to hold a little crypto, because it is a new positive sum financial instrument. If you don’t have Bitcoin, the world won’t end, but you will be less diversified and more at risk than an investor that does hold some. Bitcoin will continue to be the ‘kingpin’ of the emergent blockchain industry and everybody needs a little bit of exposure to that in the same way as they needed a little Amazon in 2002.

Forbes CryptoAsset & Blockchain Advisor cuts through the hype and identifies real investor opportunities in the emerging world of blockchain and crypto assets. Click to learn more.

Clem Chambers is the CEO of private investors website ADVFN.com and author of 101 Ways to Pick Stock Market Winners and Trading Cryptocurrencies: A Beginner’s Guide.

In 2018, Chambers won Journalist of the Year in the Business Market Commentary category in the State Street UK Institutional Press Awards.

Follow me on Twitter. Check out my website.

I am the CEO of stocks and investment website ADVFN . As well as running Europe and South America’s leading financial market website I am a prolific financial writer. I wrote a stock column for WIRED – which described me as a ‘Market Maven’ – and am a regular columnist for numerous financial publications around the world. I have written for titles including: Working Money, Active Trader, SFO and Technical Analysis of Stocks & Commodities in the US and have written for pretty much every UK national newspaper. In the last few years I have become a financial thriller writer and have just had my first non-fiction title published: 101 ways to pick stock market winners. Find me here on US Amazon. You’ll also see me regularly on CNBC, CNN, SKY, Business News Network and the BBC giving my take on the markets.

Source: Bitcoin: Why You Need It

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Warning Issued After Malware Is Found To Have Hijacked Bitcoin Blockchain

Bitcoin’s blockchain has been hijacked by a new strain of the Glupteba malware that uses the network to resist attacks, cyber security researchers have warned.

The malware uses the bitcoin blockchain to update, meaning it can continue running even if a device’s antivirus software blocks its connection to servers run by the hackers, security intelligence blog Trend Micro reported this week.

The Glupteba malware, first discovered in December 2018, is distributed through advertising designed to spread viruses through script and can steal an infected devices’ browsing history, website cookies, and account names and passwords with this particular variant found to be targeting file-sharing websites.

However, according to researchers, the new version of the malware can also mine the privacy-specialized monero cryptocurrency and threaten the security of Instagram users’ accounts.

The malware uses the Electrum bitcoin wallet to send bitcoin transactions that the attackers use to gain access to systems.

“This technique makes it more convenient for the threat actor to replace command and control servers,” Trend Micro researchers wrote. A command and control server is the centralized computer that issues commands to an infected network of devices.

The Glupteba malware, first discovered in December 2018, is distributed through advertising designed to spread viruses through script and can steal an infected devices’ browsing history, website cookies, and account names and passwords with this particular variant found to be targeting file-sharing websites.

However, according to researchers, the new version of the malware can also mine the privacy-specialized monero cryptocurrency and threaten the security of Instagram users’ accounts.

The malware uses the Electrum bitcoin wallet to send bitcoin transactions that the attackers use to gain access to systems.

“This technique makes it more convenient for the threat actor to replace command and control servers,” Trend Micro researchers wrote. A command and control server is the centralized computer that issues commands to an infected network of devices.

“If they lose control of a command and control server for any reason, they simply need to add a new bitcoin script and the infected machines obtain a new command and control server by decrypting the script data and reconnecting.”

It’s not the first time the bitcoin blockchain has been taken advantage of by criminals, with German researchers last year discovering child abuse imagery shared via the decentralized network.

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I am a journalist with significant experience covering technology, finance, economics, and business around the world. As the founding editor of Verdict.co.uk I reported on how technology is changing business, political trends, and the latest culture and lifestyle. I have covered the rise of bitcoin and cryptocurrency since 2012 and have charted its emergence as a niche technology into the greatest threat to the established financial system the world has ever seen and the most important new technology since the internet itself. I have worked and written for CityAM, the Financial Times, and the New Statesman, amongst others. Follow me on Twitter @billybambrough or email me on billyATbillybambrough.com. Disclosure: I occasionally hold some small amount of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.

Source: Warning Issued After Malware Is Found To Have Hijacked Bitcoin Blockchain

by Christian Karam & Vitaly Kamluk The blockchain is the public ledger stacking all bitcoin/altcoins transactions. It is constantly growing as “completed” blocks are automatically added to it with a new set of records. The blocks are added to the blockchain in a linear and chronological order. The blockchain has complete information about the addresses and their balances right from the genesis block to the most recently completed block through the mining process. Depending on the crypto-currency and the implementation of its protocols, there would be a fixed open space, where data can be stored, referenced or hosted on the blockchain within encrypted transactions and their records. This very versatile nature of the blockchain offers great opportunities for future innovation especially in decentralized systems. The research focus revolves around the threat of embedding decentralized chunks of malware on the blockchain by either hosting it or referencing it with cascaded pointers. Transactions and data are encrypted throughout the blockchain networks using different versions of public/private key encryption. Could malware survive eternally inside crypto-transactions? A proof of concept will be explained highlighting the concerns revolving around the “abuse and bloating” of the blockchain while comparing it to previous malware hosting and deployment models. In this talk, INTERPOL will frame the scope of this future threat and provide potential solutions for a threat surrounding the blockchain technology.

The Bitcoin Sell-Off Is Back, With Ethereum And Ripple’s XRP Bleeding Hard–Here’s Why

Bitcoin has taken a turn for the worse this week, falling sharply as the cryptocurrency sell-off that had gripped market for months the resumes in force—putting to bed hopes that the worst of the so-called crypto winter bear market is over. The bitcoin price has lost some 6% since the weekend, with ethereum down by 11% and ripple, a common name for the XRP digital token, off by 10% over the same period, according to the latest prices on CoinMarketCap, which tracks most major cryptocurrencies.

Source: The Bitcoin Sell-Off Is Back, With Ethereum And Ripple’s XRP Bleeding Hard–Here’s Why

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