Four Out of Five Top Bitcoin QR Code Generators are Scams: Report

Four Out of Five Top Bitcoin QR Code Generators are Scams: Report

Four out of the first five results presented when querying Google for a “bitcoin qr generator” lead to scam websites that generate false qr codes.

Four out of the first five results presented when querying Google for a “bitcoin qr generator” lead to scam websites.

The findings

Cryptocurrency wallet ZenGo wrote the findings in a blog post published on Aug. 29. Reportedly, when researching prior to implementing QR Code support in their wallet, ZenGo learned of the prevalence of scam QR Code generators. The company explains how the alleged scam works:

“These sites generate a QR code that encodes an address controlled by the scammers, instead of the one requested by the user, thus directing all payments for this QR code to the scammers.”

QR codes are a way to share data (in this case public keys) in a visual way that can be scanned with devices featuring a camera — usually a smartphone. Such codes are believed by many to be the most convenient way to share a wallet address when in-person — in retail transactions, for example — since it avoids the need to type long strings of seemingly random characters.

Successful scams

During their investigation, ZenGo researchers found out that some of those scams have gone as far as also changing the addresses contained in the clipboard to the scam address. Some, on the other hand, personalized the scam address to be of a similar format to the one provided by the user. Lastly, the company notes that those scams are also successful:

“Summing up the balances of the scammy addresses we had observed, we found out about scams worth about $20K. We assume they are just the tip of the iceberg, as scammers probably change their addresses to avoid detection and blacklisting.”

As Cointelegraph reported in July, the South Korean Justice Ministry estimates that cryptocurrency-related crimes have caused 2.69 trillion won (about $2.28 billion) of financial damage between July 2017 and June 2019.

U.S. Dep. of Energy Grants $200,000 to Blockchain Company to Secure Grid

U.S. Dep. of Energy Grants $200,000 to Blockchain Company to Secure Grid

U.S. Department of Energy grants $200,000 to blockchain company Factom to help secure the power grid.

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), is granting nearly $200,000 to blockchain company Factom to help protect the national power grid.

Blockchain to improve grid reliability and resilience

On July 12, the U.S. Department of Energy awarded the funds. The overall objectives of the grant proposed to design a system to improve grid reliability and resilience through the use of blockchain technology. The abstract reads:

“Electric grids are quickly evolving with advanced monitoring and information management as well as communication through connected devices. Although the number of devices and sensors coming online is increasing exponentially, the same vulnerabilities remain in data integrity at the source and during transport. The overall objectives of this proposal is to design a system to improve grid reliability and resilience through the use of blockchain technology.”

Security out-of-the-box via blockchain technology

The proposed approach includes validating and securing devices on the grid that aren’t infected with malware and developing a technology to improve the security of everyday devices used by consumers and providing a cost-effective means to secure any device can out-of-the-box via blockchain technology.

Factom is participating in the U.S. government-funded trial of the blockchain technology to protect the national power grid. TFA Labs, an internet-of-things security startup, is validating those devices on the grid through the use of Factom protocols.

Coindesk reported that the first phase will last until March when TFA aims to have a prototype ready. In case this trial gets to phase two, TFA Labs will collaborate with device manufacturers and could get close to $1 million in funding from the DOE.

Bitcoin is using less energy

Relatedly, Cointelegraph reported that despite record hash rates, Bitcoin (BTC) energy consumption is becoming rapidly more efficient. Data from aggregator Statista accessed on Sept. 5 showed that despite more computing power being dedicated to Bitcoin mining, less electricity is required to fuel it.

Poloniex Exchange Will Upgrade XRP Wallets Monday, Limiting Activities

Poloniex Exchange Will Upgrade XRP Wallets Monday, Limiting Activities

U.S.-based cryptocurrency exchange Poloniex will upgrade its XRP wallets on Monday, resulting in temporarily limited services on the exchange.

U.S.-based crypto exchange Poloniex took to Twitter today to announce the upgrade of its XRP wallets, which will result in withdrawals and deposits being suspended for several hours.

What will change?

On Sept. 5, the crypto exchange took to Twitter to explain that it will upgrade its XRP wallets to further enhance the user experience. Once the upgrade is implemented the base reserve deposit requirement of 20 XRP to create a new address will no longer be needed. In addition, deposit confirmations have been reduced from 12 to 2, which will reduce deposit times from 20 minutes to about 15 seconds. 

Poloniex will reimburse users affected by flash crash losses

On Aug. 13, Cointelegraph reported that Poloniex announced a scheme to reimburse users affected by a flash crash in May, which led to total losses of around 1,800 Bitcoin (BTC). The cryptocurrency exchange pledged to repay daily trading fees (in BTC) to impacted lenders until their losses were fully recovered.

Some users were displeased with how Poloniex generalized the loss, with some users claiming the leading cryptocurrency exchange stole their funds because they didn’t have active margin loans on the day of the crash. Cointelegraph reached out to affected lenders on Reddit for their views, to which Reddit user geopo321 responded:

“If Poloniex were operating in any regulated financial space, they would not be allowed to get away with this. They are simply taking advantage of the fact that there are no regulations or standards for them to abide by set by the industry. Instead of keeping payback as a high priority, they have pretty much deemed it as the lowest priority and taken the minimum amount of steps to try and appease affected parties.”

Please note, there is no confirmation if the respondent was indeed affected.

Waves Platform and The Abyss to Jointly Launch Blockchain-Based Games Marketplace

Waves Platform and The Abyss to Jointly Launch Blockchain-Based Games Marketplace

Blockchain platform Waves and game distribution platform The Abyss will jointly launch a blockchain-based marketplace of digital goods and in-game items.

Open source blockchain platform Waves and blockchain game distribution platform The Abyss will jointly launch a blockchain-based marketplace of digital goods and in-game items.

In a blog post published on Sept. 5, The Abyss revealed its collaboration with the Waves Platform, aimed at the development of a blockchain-powered marketplace of tradable goods and in-game items. The marketplace will enable users to purchase items with Abyss Tokens and sell them to other users.

Waves blockchain-integrated tokens

The integration of Abyss Tokens with Waves blockchain will allow game developers to incorporate Abyss Token operations directly into their Waves-based games. Commenting on the development, Sasha Ivanov, founder and CEO of Waves Platform, said:

“We recognize the huge potential of the $100+ billion gaming sector as a major use case for blockchain which perfectly fits with current gameplay mechanics and trading of goods. We strongly believe that the gaming industry will be an enthusiastic adopter of blockchain, and partnership with The Abyss will drive its widespread use.”

Earlier collaborations

This spring, The Abyss announced a partnership with Epic Games to allow developers on the platform access to the Unreal Developers Network. At the time, a The Abyss spokesperson commented on the partnership in an email sent to Cointelegraph:

“The program is aimed at attracting more gaming studios and titles to The Abyss platform, as well as supporting Unreal Engine developers in cryptocurrency adoption. More specifically, they will be able to accept ABYSS tokens both for game and in-game purchases in legal and easy-to-use way.”

In late June, Waves introduced an upgrade to its blockchain that enables decentralized applications on the platform, which will purportedly enable developers to perform calculations  necessary for use cases on the Waves blockchain.

OKCoin’s Fiat-to-Token Trading Now Available in 7 More US States

OKCoin’s Fiat-to-Token Trading Now Available in 7 More US States

San Francisco-based cryptocurrency exchange OKCoin has expanded its fiat-to-token trading services in seven more US states.

San Francisco-based cryptocurrency exchange OKCoin will now offer fiat-to-token and token-to-token trading services to residents of seven more US states.

OKCoin expands services in the United States of America

On Sept. 5, OKCoin, one of the top cryptocurrency exchanges by adjusted volume, announced that its trading services are now available in 7 new US states: Arkansas, Iowa, Kentucky, Mississippi, Pennsylvania, Utah and Wisconsin, which are added to an already extensive list of areas of operation in the US.

Expanding into Europe

Cointelegraph reported in early June that OKCoin had decided to launch its services to non-United States customers, who from that moment were able to deposit and withdraw euros, as well as participate in euro spot trading for cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), and Bitcoin Cash (BCH). Apart from expanding its trading services in Europe, OKCoin opened an office in Malta.

Donation up to 1,000 BTC to developers of BTC, BCH, and BSV

As Cointelegraph reported yesterday, OKCoin pledged to dedicate up to 1,000 BTC to the development of Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash and Bitcoin SV (BSV). The initiative, called ‘Let’s Build Bitcoin Together,’ is asking crypto enthusiasts to go to the OKCoin platform and cast their vote for the project they would like to receive a donation.

Startup Tests New Ethereum Sidechain Following Coinbase Investment

Startup Tests New Ethereum Sidechain Following Coinbase Investment

Offchain Labs, an enterprise-focused blockchain startup, has launched an Alpha version of its Ethereum scaling solution with new investment from Coinbase.

Following investment from Coinbase Ventures, Offchain Labs has opened up the Alpha version of its Ethereum (ETH) scaling solution, dubbed Arbitrum.

Enterprise-focused blockchain startup Offchain Labs said that their solution will enable processing speed of more than 500 transactions per second for Ethereum applications, industry-focused news outlet Crypto Briefing reported on Sept. 5.

Arbitrum has reportedly secured new investment from Coinbase Ventures, the investment arm of major American cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase.

Faster than Ethereum

Deploying Arbitrum, developers can build smart contracts on Ethereum’s Solidity code. However, unlike regular Ethereum decentralized apps, such smart contracts are compiled by the new solution’s compiler. Both code and transactions are executed off-chain through sidechains or state channels, with Arbitrum claiming to be eventually much faster than Ethereum.

In early April, Offchain Labs raised $3.7 million in a seed round led by crypto hedge fund Pantera Capital. With the investment, Offchain aimed to solve major problems associated with enterprise blockchain implementations by bringing more scalability and privacy. At the time, Offchain co-founder Ed Felten said:

“We’re working to build a platform for smart contract development that provides what we think developers want, a combination of scalability so that you can scale to more transactions per second, more users, and to contracts that have more code and still have more data in them.”

Yesterday, Fred Wilson, a financier and co-founder of venture capital firm Union Square Ventures, revised his bullish opinion on Ether. Wilson acknowledged that the underlying Ethereum network is experiencing problems. He wrote:

“Ethereum, as many of you know, confounds me. It has shown the way to so many important things; smart contracts, programmable trust-free computing, potentially proof of stake, and a lot more. But it remains hard to build on, scaling issues abound, and many developers are looking elsewhere.”

Crypto Giant Binance Launches Token Airdrop Following JEX Acquisition

Crypto Giant Binance Launches Token Airdrop Following JEX Acquisition

Major crypto exchange Binance plans to begin a token airdrop as part of their recent acquisition of crypto-asset trading platform JEX.

Major cryptocurrency exchange Binance plans to launch a token airdrop as part of the company’s acquisition of JEX, a crypto-asset trading platform.

In a Sept. 5 announcement, Binance again revealed the acquisition of JEX, which will now operate under the name Binance JEX as an independent team within the Binance ecosystem. Following the acquisition, Binance is going to convert ERC-20 JEX tokens into native Binance Chain-based BNB (BEP2) ones.

Distribution of 200 million tokens

Binance will then distribute all 200 million unlocked JEX team tokens to all BNB holders on The official announcement reads:

“Starting from 2019/10/06, Binance JEX will conduct a monthly airdrop of JEX tokens to BNB holders equivalent to 30% of the profit generated by Binance JEX in each respective month. […] Binance will record all users’ lowest BNB balance each day between 2019/09/06 0:00 AM (UTC) to 2019/10/06 0:00 AM (UTC) and calculate a total BNB holding ratio for each user at the end of the total holding period.”

Binance launched its mainnet Binance Chain in late April. At the time, Binance said it would be releasing more BEP2 coins as more users convert their ERC-20 BNB to its native BEP2 BNB, while the proportional amounts of ERC20 BNB will be burned while “keeping the total supply across both networks constant.”

According to the exchange’s announcement later in June, BEP2 token will be traded on Binance and will also be available on its decentralized counterpart Binance DEX. This asset is one of a series of cryptocurrency-pegged tokens which the company intends to launch on Binance Chain.

Futures trading?

In September, Binance is planning to launch a futures trading platform. Binance CEO, Changpeng Zhao indicated at the time that while there is yet no exact launch date for the new “Binance Futures” trading platform, a simulation test version was expected to launch within a few weeks.

Co-founder of LinkedIn Presents Crypto Rap Video: Hamilton vs. Satoshi

Co-founder of LinkedIn Presents Crypto Rap Video: Hamilton vs. Satoshi

LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman teamed up with Youtubers to release a battle rap between Alexander Hamilton and Satoshi Nakamoto.

Reid Hoffman, co-founder of LinkedIn, decided to let Alexander Hamilton, one of the founding fathers of the United States, face-off against Bitcoin (BTC) creator Satoshi Nakamoto in an epic crypto-rap-battle video.

Cryptocurrency debate between actor-rappers playing Hamilton and Satoshi

On Sept. 5, Hoffman released a new hip-hop rap battle video which shows Alexander Hamilton, the founder of the United States financial system and central bank, fighting in rap-battle-style for the merits of centralized currencies against the mysterious Bitcoin creator Satoshi Nakamoto.

Hoffman said that he was inspired by watching the musical “Hamilton” and that he was particularly struck by the two “Cabinet Battle” songs. Hoffman said:

“I was particularly struck by his two “Cabinet Battle” songs, and the way he used battle rap to express the opposing viewpoints that informed the issues and debates underlying fundamental moments in America’s development. Since then, I’ve been intrigued by the idea of using battle rap to explore some of the most polarizing issues that characterize our own era.”

This style of debate will be familiar to many fans of YouTube, especially to those who have seen the channel Epic Rap Battles of History (ERB), where two characters go back and forth rhyming out key points in an attempt to take down the opponent. 

The co-founder of LinkedIn added that he hopes the video gets more people talking about crypto and its evolving role in global commerce. He concluded:

“Since I believe that informed, civil, and open-minded debate ultimately leads to more innovation and adaptation, I hope the debates continue.”

Cameos from dozens of cryptocurrency pioneers

The 6-minute long hip-hop video includes dozens of cameos from industry’s pioneers such as Charlie Lee, creator of Litecoin (LTC); Zooko Wilcox-O’Hearn, co-founder of Zcash (ZEC); Reid Hoffman himself and many others.

Hoffman took to Twitter to ask his followers who won the debate: Alexander Hamilton or Satoshi Nakamoto? The winner was clearly Satoshi Nakamoto, with 72% of the 6050 casted votes.

Hoffman received Lightning Torch Relay

Cointelegraph reported in February that Hoffman had become the latest participant in the Lightning Torch Bitcoin transaction relay and became the 224th person to “hold” the Torch. Before him, Twitter co-founder and CEO Jack Dorsey also passed the Torch, as did many other high-profile figures in crypto and finance.

Paxful Joins Forces With CoinLogiq to Bring Crypto ATMs to Columbia and Peru

Paxful Joins Forces With CoinLogiq to Bring Crypto ATMs to Columbia and Peru

Global peer-to-peer Bitcoin marketplace Paxful and Colombia-based blockchain company Coinlogiq, will bring 45 new crypto ATMs to Colombia and Peru.

The global peer-to-peer Bitcoin (BTC) marketplace, Paxful, and Medellin-based blockchain company, CoinLogiq, are joining forces to bring 20 new crypto ATMs to Colombia and, later, 25 to Peru.

Colombians will have access to 20 new ATMs

In a press release shared with Cointelegraph on Sept. 5, Paxful announced that it is joining forces with CoinLogiq to bring 20 new ATMs to several points of interest to the main Colombian cities such as Bogota and Medellín.

The partnership between the two companies will reportedly encourage people to withdraw digital currencies in the area of Medellin and other cities in Colombia and will offer customers the ability to buy Bitcoin using different payment methods, such as online transfers, gift cards and other more traditional methods like cash and credit and debit cards.

Colombia is experiencing a crucial moment for its cryptocurrency industry. Due to the clear interest Colombians have in adopting digital currencies, the Republic Bank is already part of the Distributed Ledger Technology initiative to assure greater security and tranquillity to the growing rate of cryptocurrency users.

CoinLogiq’s role

Ray Youssef, CEO and co-founder of Paxful stated that he is proud to be working together with Coinlogiq. He added:

“Latin America has real heroes in the CoinLogiq crew. They genuinely care and are focused on real use cases. This is what makes bitcoin real and a part of people’s daily lives. We are proud to work with them,”

CoinLogiq CEO, Dwayne Golden Sr. shared his hopes that the alliance with Paxful will encourage more such relationships for other global leaders within the crypto community. He continued by saying:

“I am now even more convinced that mass adoption will not happen without the influence of the kind of synergy that can now exist as a result of this Paxful and CoinLogiq joint venture.”

Magdiela Rivas, Paxful’s Manager for Latin America, added that this partnership will also be responsible for installing another 25 crypto ATMs in Peru.

80% of Colombians open to investing in crypto

Cointelegraph reported on Aug. 16 that according to a recent survey commissioned by Paxful, an astounding 86.5% of Colombians are familiar with cryptocurrency and 80% are open to investing in the digital asset class.

Close to 86% added that they are convinced that crypto-specific regulation would be necessary in Colombia.

Bitcoin Price Corrects While Gold Sees Worst Daily Drop in 2.5 Years

Bitcoin Price Corrects While Gold Sees Worst Daily Drop in 2.5 Years

After failing to break $10,800, Bitcoin continues to see red, while gold sees the worst daily percentage drop in over 2.5 years.

Thursday, Sept. 5 — after failing to break $10,800 price point, Bitcoin continued to hover around $10,500, while most of the top 20 coins saw major losses.

Market visualization | Source: Coin360

Market visualization | Source: Coin360

After hitting an intraday high of $10,761, Bitcoin has seen a notable decline and continued fluctuating around $10,500 for most of the day. At press time, Bitcoin is trading at 

$10,528, down around 1% over the past 24 hours at press time. Still, Bitcoin is up more than 10% over the past 7 days as, according to some, the major cryptocurrency entered the early phase of the next bull cycle recently.

Bitcoin’s dominance continues to grow, having broken 71% rate of market share earlier today. At press time, Bitcoin’s dominance percentage accounts for 70.9%, according to data from CoinMarketCap.

Bitcoin 7-day price chart | Source: Coin360

Bitcoin 7-day price chart | Source: Coin360

Ether (ETH), the second cryptocurrency by market cap, is down over 2.8% over the day. Trading at $173, the top altcoin is still up around 2% over the past 7 days at press time.

Ether 7-day price chart | Source: Coin360

Ether 7-day price chart | Source: Coin360

XRP, the third top cryptocurrency by market cap, tumbled 1.7% to trade at $0.26, staying nearly flat over a 7-day period at press time.

Ripple 7-day price chart | Source: Coin360

Ripple 7-day price chart | Source: Coin360

Binance Coin sees notable gains

Only four out of top-20 coins by market cap are seeing growth at press time, with Binance Coin (BNB) surging the most. The native coin of major global crypto exchange Binance is up more than 7.2% to trade at $23. Earlier today, Binance announced that it was launching a new USD-backed stablecoin, Binance USD (BUSD), in partnership with digital asset trust company Paxos.

In contrast, Tron (TRX) is seeing the biggest losses among the top 20 at press time, down 4.7%. On Sept. 1, crypto industry commentator Josh Rager accused Tron founder Justin Sun of buying 5,000 to 6,000 Twitter followers a day.

Total market capitalization has dropped slightly from $268 billion in the beginning of the day to $266 billion at press time, while daily trade volume also dropped around $1 billion to account for $50 billion at press time, according to CoinMarketCap.

Gold is at worst daily decline in 2.5 years

Meanwhile, gold prices have reportedly seen the worst daily percentage decline in more than 2.5 years today, down more than 2% over the day, according to CNBC. At press time, spot gold trades at $1,518 per ounce, down 2.1%, while United States gold futures dropped 2% to trade at $1,528.

Earlier today, Veteran frontier markets investor Mark Mobius claimed that in order to have any value, a cryptocurrency should be backed by gold. Previously, Mobius suggested that cryptocurrencies can potentially trigger the surge of the price of gold, arguing that the rise of faith in Bitcoin and crypto will increase the demand for the hard asset.

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