A new proposal wants to take decentralization a step further by decentralizing the private keys themselves.
Trusting trustless bot with your crypto private keys
Tide, a non-profit privacy advocate, claims to have developed a decentralized technology, which gives rise to a trustless bot or Delegated Automated Trustee (DAT) on the blockchain.
According to an announcement on Aug. 5, DAT can act as the custodian of a crypto-key, manage access to personal data or enable automated trading bots to access funds without having access to a full key.
Essentially, the key protecting the data or crypto-assets is divided into several pieces and split between a group of nodes. No single node has access to or knowledge of the whole key, or the authority to act on its own. This makes malicious access to your key virtually impossible.
However, the nodes can act in a swarm to perform functions utilizing the key. The user can specify the parameters upon which this authority can be given.
The trustless bot can manage access to personal data, perform decentralized authentication and password or key recovery. Business processes which require ongoing access to crypto-assets, can be granted such access immediately, as long as it falls within defined criteria.
Tide co-founder, Michael Loewy, gave Cointelegraph some examples of the form these criteria can take:
“In the context of the Tide ecosystem those instructions may be a set of rules determining which data fields I’m prepared to trade with certain types of organizations — for example, I don’t want any contact details traded with political organizations. That same concept can also be applied to advanced crypto trading — for example, social trading where my instructions may be to follow or mirror the trades or a peer or expert trader.”
Privacy as a service
Existing centralized solutions which address such situations can be vulnerable, and current automated trading bots require access to your private keys. However, the trustless DAT allows trading bots to run on decentralized exchanges without giving up this information, providing an extra level of security.
One of the benefits of decentralized exchanges is that the user maintains control of their funds and private keys. Using an ordinary bot with full access to those keys reintroduces a central point of attack. As the DAT is trustless, this risk is mitigated.
Maintaining the secrecy of your private keys is essential, as anyone discovering them can get access to your crypto. This is one of the issues facing parties wishing to act as cryptocurrency custodians. The DAT may well be one solution which keeps overall responsibility in the hands of the user, whilst maintaining access for approved functionality.
Cryptocurrency market: ETH and XRP show signs of life
- XRP looks to post daily gains for fourth straight time.
- Bitcoin continues to move sideways above the $7,500 mark.
- ETH adds around 2% on Sunday following the Istanbul hard fork.
After staying relatively quiet on Saturday, major cryptocurrencies are posting modest gains on Sunday but they continue to have a hard time gathering enough momentum to move out of their recent ranges.
Top-three coins price overview
Bitcoin (BTC/USD) erased 0.5% on Saturday and was last seen adding 0.5% on Sunday at $7,550. For the week, the pair remains on track to post gains for the second straight week. Despite today’s recovery, technical indicators don’t suggest that the pair has started to gather bullish momentum. The Relative Strength Index (RSI) on the daily chart stays flat near the 50 mark. Supports for BTC are located at $7,450 (20-day MA), $7,080 (December low) and $6,500 (Nov. 25 low). The initial hurdle aligns at $8,000 (Fibonacci 38.2% retracement of October 25- November 25 drop) ahead of $8,500 (Fibonacci 50% retracement of October 25- November 25 drop) and $8,750 (100-day MA).
Although Ethereum (ETH/USD) stayed surprisingly quiet following the highly-anticipated Istanbul hard fork, the second-largest cryptocurrency gained traction in the second half of the day and was last seen trading at $151, up 2.4% on the day. With today’s rebound, the daily RSI moved above the 40 mark for the first time in December, suggesting that buyers are looking to take control of the price action. $154 (20-day moving average) could be seen as the first resistance before $160 (former static support/November 29 high) and $175 (100-day moving average). On the downside, supports are located at $143 (December 4 low) ahead of $132 (November 25 low) and $124 (March 4 low).
Ripple (XRP/USD) seems to be taking advantage of the upbeat mood surrounding the cryptocurrencies on Sunday. At the moment, the pair is trading at its highest level since November 29 at $0.2330 and is looking to close the fourth straight day higher while adding around 3% on a weekly basis. On the upside, $0.24 (Fibonacci 23.6% retracement of September 16 – September 23 drop) could be the first resistance ahead of $0.2500 (psychological level) and $0.2560 (Fibonacci 38.2% retracement of September 16 – September 23 drop). Supports could be seen at $0.2290 (20-day MA), $0.2110 (December 4 low) and $0.2025 (2-year low/November 25 low).
Buy Presents or a Christmas Trip Using Gift Cards Purchased With Crypto
Gift cards have become a popular payment tool for cryptocurrency users. Plenty of platforms now offer a wide variety of cards which can be purchased with your digital coins. You can use them to buy just about any product or service from major and small retailers, order food and drinks, or book a flight. And with the Christmas holidays approaching, don’t forget their main purpose is to make someone else happy.
Why It Works
For various reasons, crypto enthusiasts in many countries find it hard to obtain a crypto debit card these days. They used to be a sought after payment instrument that expanded the use of decentralized digital currencies in a fiat-dominated world. However, many early offerings have disappeared and while there are new products in the niche, these now often come with more and more strings attached. Although limited to a specific retailer, crypto gift cards are much easier to acquire in comparison to debit cards.
Bridging the gap between the crypto space and the traditional payments universe is undoubtedly an attractive business opportunity for many companies in the digital asset industry. At the same time, retailers that are still uneasy about adding cryptocurrencies to their payment options get additional revenue that would otherwise go somewhere else. Many people who run businesses or are employed in the crypto sector would prefer to spend the cryptocurrency they earned rather than convert it to fiat first.
Buy Gift Cards With Bitcoin
Sending some satoshis to someone you like or love is of course a great gift for any occasion. But money is such a common present that it betrays you might not have a clear idea of what the person you’d like to surprise really likes or wants. If you do know that, however, sending a gift card is a better option. Being able to buy it with cryptocurrency is great too.
The Bitcoin.com store offers you a wide choice of gift cards for major retailers and service providers, from the Home Depot and Macy’s, to Domino’s and Dunkin Donuts, even Uber. These and dozens of other options are sorted in multiple categories, from Electronics, Clothing and Restaurants, to Holiday Gift Ideas. You can buy a card for yourself or send it to a friend. At checkout you’ll be prompted to pay with either bitcoin cash (BCH) or bitcoin core (BTC).
Another platform that lets you buy gift cards with bitcoin is Egifter. You can order cards from over 250 retailers. Both BCH and BTC are supported, along with several other cryptocurrencies like ethereum (ETH), litecoin (LTC) and dash, as well as numerous fiat options like major bank cards and popular payment processors such as Paypal, Skrill, Apple Pay, and Amazon Pay. Those who have an account with Egifter can earn points on most purchases and later claim them for free gift cards.
A website called Ipayyou.io not only sells but also buys gift cards with cryptocurrency. It accepts and pays in BCH, BTC and BSV. The cards you can order are issued by Amazon, Ebay, Best Buy, Starbucks, Uber, and iTunes. They are fully returnable until the recipient logs in to claim them. If you receive a gift card that you don’t really need, you can sell it back to the platform for crypto but a restocking fee may apply.
Swych, a mobile gifting platform in the U.S., entered the crypto market earlier this year. In February, Swych announced it’s starting to accept cryptocurrencies for the virtual gift cards it issues for more than 600 retailers, including Amazon, Best Buy, Target, and many more. In the app, which is available for Android and iOS devices, you can pay with BCH, BTC, LTC, ETH, and ETC, as news.Bitcoin.com reported. If you receive one of Swych’s virtual cards but you don’t want to spend the money in that particular store, a nice feature allows you to swap it for a card you can use with a different retailer.
If you need another mobile service accepting cryptocurrencies for a variety gift cards, you can check out Gyft. The app can be downloaded from Google Play and Apple’s App Store. “Use Bitcoin to shop for hundreds of gift cards. Instant delivery. No fees,” the platform promises. You can use it to buy, send and redeem gift cards from any mobile device. Gyft also lets you keep track of your gift card balances and currently accepts bitcoin core. Walmart, Lowe’s, Cabelas, and CVS are among the supported retailers.
You can also purchase gift cards using dozens of decentralized cryptocurrencies and stablecoins from the payments provider Bidali which is based in Canada. According to the dedicated page on its website, bitcoin cash and bitcoin core are among the supported cryptos. It also lists many well-known places where you can spend your digital money via gift card. The platform accepts coins for mobile top-ups as well.
Bitrefill sells gift cards from around the world for crypto. Its website detects your location and tailors its suggestions to your region. You can, for instance, list the most popular gift cards in the Eurozone countries. If users in the U.S. often buy cards for Google Play and the App Store, those in Europe’s single currency area would purchase cards for Skype, Viber, and Amazon.de. Bitrefill offers prepaid mobile phone refills too, for which it accepts bitcoin core, ethereum, litecoin, dash, and dogecoin.
If you are planning to travel for the upcoming Christmas holidays, several gift card platforms like Gyft, Egifter and Giftoff will offer you the opportunity to pay for services provided by airlines like Delta, Southwest, American Airlines, and Virgin. Using gift cards purchased with bitcoin to cover accommodations is not a problem either. Websites such as Flightgiftcard, Jet2Holidays, and Lastminute sell cards you can use to book flights and make hotel reservations.
Uganda Exchange May Be at the Center of a Crypto Scam
A cryptocurrency exchange in Uganda is taking a lot of flak for potentially stealing users’ money.
Uganda Is Home to a Crypto Scam
The exchange appears to have set up a phony job search in which several people within the country who may have been looking for jobs either in the cryptocurrency or digital tech fields were asked to apply. As part of the application process, they were required to donate more than 20,000 Uganda Shillings (worth approximately $5 in USD).
The trouble is that the exchange was only around for about a month. After receiving a substantial sum from dozens of applicants, the exchange seems to have shut its doors permanently. Thus, everyone who may have applied for a job with the venture is out some cold, hard cash.
The scheme smells like a scam in every way, shape and form. The exchange was known as Dunamis Coins Resources Limited and opened in Masaka Town in Uganda last November.
Africa, which has become something of a controversial region for crypto activity, has either attracted extraordinary blockchain innovation or has led crypto wannabes deep into dark territory. One prime example of Africa’s more “responsible” or positive crypto side is the fact that it was able to attract a social media mogul and crypto enthusiast like Jack Dorsey.
As the CEO of both Square and Twitter, the man who said in 2018 that the world will operate under bitcoin as its only form of currency by the year 2028 explained to the press that he’s recently completed a tour of several countries within the continent and that he’s going to be living there in 2020 for about three to six months to potentially bring more crypto and blockchain business to its many nations.
At the same time, regions like South Africa have often been held hostage by way of cryptocurrency, such as in a recent case involving the city of Johannesburg. The area’s many computer networks recently came under the control of hackers who were requesting a hefty bitcoin ransom in exchange for access to the city websites.
One of the big problems involving Dunamis Coins, according to a neighboring businessman, is that the company was promising 40 percent returns on all investments. This should have been a clear red flag to all who were interested in getting involved. Any company that promises returns is fraudulent because all experienced investors know returns cannot be guaranteed, especially in the crypto world.
Will Help Arrive?
Digital assets are extremely volatile. They can go up as easily as they can go down, and any venture that claims otherwise is likely up to some very shady business indeed.
Many people who were victimized by the potential scam are turning to law enforcement for assistance, though it’s unclear if help will come considering Uganda does not recognize crypto as legal money.