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$100K Crypto Donation to Amazon Rainforest Charity Blocked By BitPay

A large donation to a non-profit working to protect the Amazon rainforest and the environment has been blocked by compliance rules at crypto payments firm BitPay.

The charity, Amazon Watch, took to Twitter on Friday to appeal to BitPay to let the $100,000 payment through.

BitPay responded in the Twitter thread, saying:

“Hi! We will escalate this issue ASAP to see if the donor can be contacted. In the meantime, if you wish to upgrade your approved volume to accept donations of this size, please go to your merchant dashboard Settings > Approved Volume.”

Amazon Watch said it had tried to increase its approved volume, but was requested to go through a further compliance process via email.

The donation comes as the Amazon is being ravaged by thousands of fires, many reported to have been lit on purpose by farmers and loggers after Brazil’s controversial president, Jair Bolsonaro, relaxed environmental rules after coming into office last October.

Bolsonaro has claimed he isn’t responsible, pointing a finger at NGOs against all the evidence.

By: https://www.coindesk.com

Crypto

Crypto Investor’s Case Against AT&T Over $24M SIM Hack Can Proceed, Judge Rules

Cryptocurrency investor Michael Terpin can move forward with his case against mobile operator AT&T over his claims the firm was in part responsible for a SIM-swap hack that robbed him of holdings worth $24 million.

In August 2018, Terpin initiated the case against AT&T alleging that an employee, named as Jahmil Smith, had been bribed by a “criminal gang” to assist the fraud, which passed control of the investor’s SIM card to the hackers. Terpin alleged that while he was on the telco’s hotline trying to regain access to his phone, his cryptocurrencies were stolen by the gang.

In the latest document from the case, filed on Monday, Judge Otis Wright II at the U.S. District Court in the Central District of California denied much of AT&T’s most recent motion to dismiss the case.

The court had found in July that while Terpin had sufficiently alleged that the hack was “reasonably foreseeable,” he had not shown proximate cause because he did “not connect how granting the hackers/fraudsters access to [his] phone number resulted in him losing $24 million.”

With the investor allowed leave to amend the complaint, Wright found that Terpin has now sufficiently alleged proximate cause between AT&T’s conduct and the theft.

AT&T had also contended that Terpin did not provide facts to support his claim that two-factor authentication (2FA) was involved in the crime because his cryptocurrency wallets may or may not have used 2FA – an extra level of security that sends a code to a related cellphone number to allow account access.

However, in denying the firm’s motion to dismiss, the judge said, “Mr. Terpin alleges sufficient facts for the Court to reasonable infer the hackers may have used 2FA methods to glean Mr. Terpin’s personal information from various accounts, such as email or cloud storage.”

AT&T had also attempted to have Terpin’s tort claims for financial losses thrown out by contending that they are barred by economic loss doctrine, which sets out that parties entering a contract should be able to anticipate any potential losses resulting from a breach of the agreement.

However, if there is a “special relationship” between the parties, tort claims can be made if one party breaches the contract.

Judge Wright found that since Terpin was required to share personal information with AT&T “with the understanding that AT&T would adequately protect it,” he had sufficiently made a case for there being a special relationship.

On points where Judge Wright did not rule against AT&T in the motion, Terpin has been given 21 days to file an amended complaint to address any deficiencies.

Terpin is suing AT&T for $23.8 million in compensation, as well as $200 million in punitive damages.

In a press release on Tuesday, Terpin announced that he will file a second amended complaint before the court’s deadline to support his request for punitive damages. He plans to demonstrate “how AT&T was both knowledgeable of, and responsible for, an ongoing sequence of cryptocurrency thefts due to SIM swaps dating back to well before Terpin’s hack,” the release states.

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From Monero to Zcash: Privacy Coins Aren’t Working (Yet)

A core ideology in the cryptocurrency space is a consistent commitment to privacy. But until privacy coins deliver easy-to-use, efficient solutions at scale, privacy will remain a privilege reserved for the crypto-savvy.

For individuals seeking to reject government or other third-party surveillance in their financial and business dealings, end-to-end encryption is a must. However, privacy coins universally lack a comprehensive approach that can aid users in performing other necessary functions like private messaging, file sharing, and data messaging.

Monero is routinely seen as the gold standard of the privacy niche, and for good reason. It’s the longest running of the major contenders, boasts the largest market cap, and has successfully protected XMR transactions from unwanted eyes for years. But that hasn’t stopped Monero users from being identified and reprimanded, over and over again.

Now, the purpose is not to condone criminal behavior, or argue over what constitutes a crime – criminals should be arrested. But the fact that individuals using Monero for illicit purposes are routinely uncovered and detained suggests that XMR isn’t adequately serving its users. By tracking on-ramps in and out of Monero, channels of communication, web activity, and so on, Monero users can forfeit their anonymity even if they use the coin exactly as intended.

The recent Monero website hack, in which a malicious actor planted a coin stealer on the site, proves that anyone can be tampered with, despite how knowledgeable they are of crypto. Centralized solutions in use alongside Monero and other privacy coins aren’t perfect, as the massive, recent NordVPN hack highlights.

And if we take a step further back, how accessible is Monero itself to the average individual? Despite over a decade of existence, cryptocurrency across the board is incredibly inaccessible for the average individual. XMR and coins like it carry an even larger learning curve. Realistically, what percentage of the population is equipped to properly utilize Monero and supplementary services to adequately protect their anonymity? I’d argue the figure is well below 1%. And with the ongoing trend of exchanges delisting the “purely privacy” coins, that figure may continue to dip lower still.

For privacy coins to carry out their intended purpose, they need to build out comprehensive, user-friendly applications that average Joe can wrap his head around.

Opal Coin: Before Its Time

A holistic approach to privacy isn’t a foreign concept to the niche. Once upon a time, there was a little known privacy coin by the name of Opal. Launched in 2014, Opal was situated as a suite of privacy utilities that were all housed in the Opal wallet. Alongside hidden addresses and shielded transactions typical of most privacy coins, you could also partake in on-chain private messaging. From a single location, you could negotiate dealings and settle transactions in a completely decentralized, secure manner.

Unfortunately, this philosophy wasn’t widely regarded as necessary for the privacy space. Although there were other intended features to encompass within the wallet, development largely dried up within the next year as the team and community pursued different ventures. For all intents and purposes, Opal and “holistic privacy” were good as dead.

Broadening Utility

Either in response to Monero, or as a reflection of the growth of the industry as a whole, there are a number of competing privacy coins that do emphasize greater utillity. Zcash is perhaps the most appropriate example. Like Monero, Zcash is sufficiently private for users looking to deal in encrypted currency transactions.

However, Zcash broadens the scope of its “transactions” through the incorporation of private smart contracts. Smart contracts are the industry standard for the nuanced transaction of data on-chain. When applied to a privacy coin, this means users can deal in much more than just units of currency: they can store files, lock currency, establish escrow, alongside more nuanced potential applications like decentralized autonomous organizations.

Zcash also employs “flexible privacy”. Users can opt for public transactions, which may be necessary for auditing and compliance purposes. They can similarly verify activity through zk-SNARKs without revealing contents. In order for privacy coins to see legitimate usage at the global scale, they must encompass these broader functionalities.

Overcoming the Impossible Trinity

There is currently an “impossible trinity” of utility, sufficient privacy, and scalability that privacy coins across the boards are succumbing to. Most projects are building out under the preconceived notion that only two of these qualities can be appeased.

Monero is sufficiently private and scales well enough, but lacks utility for more comprehensive use per the possibilities suggested above. Grin has taken the same approach. Verge is quick and offers several features, but does so at the sacrifice of the adequacy of the privacy it encompasses. Zcash is pushing towards utility, and many will agree ZEC is sufficiently private, but the resources required for various privacy activities, like contracts, suggests the network won’t succeed at worldwide scale.

Enigma is one project looking to overcome this “impossible trinity” at the application layer. The functionality of Enigma reflects the ability to use “secret contracts” across existing blockchain networks. In essence, this will allow users to transmit and interact with data on-chain in a secure, untraceable manner.

Essentially, Enigma is providing the “privacy” for networks that otherwise embody utility and scalability. As major chains like Ethereum and Bitcoin continue to improve and evolve, the impact Engima enables as its underlying chains become more capable similarly grows.

At the protocol level, Beam is also taking on a more comprehensive approach. Like Grin, Beam is constricted by its MimbleWimble architecture, which confines network activity as solely currency transactions. Unlike Grin, however, Beam has placed ample resources and capital to broaden the utility and usability of the project.

While Grin continues to be very barebones, with users relying on a spartan command line wallet, Beam is putting a major emphasis on usability. They’ve built interactive wallets on a number of platforms, and atomic swap capabilities provide users more autonomy in bringing funds on-and-off Beam, without as much reliance on exchange offerings. Additional features like tokenized assets in the pipeline, combined with interoperability initiatives, further expand the utility of the coin.

Lastly, a newer contender, Stegos, has an ambitious bottom-up approach that may prove fruitful for the broader niche. Like Grin and Beam, Stegos utilizes aggressive transaction pruning for a far more lightweight, scalable blockchain. But beyond that, Stegos approach is a direct opposite: instead of completely restricting the functionality of transactions, Stegos expands network activity to broaden transactions as a system for fast data messaging.

In the same capacity that an amount of tokens can be sent, users can similarly send messages, like Opal, alongside media, data, and whatever else. The team is looking to create a one-stop mobile app that will allow users to participate in encrypted, on-chain messaging, and interact with network dapps. This is only possible because the network is lightweight enough for smartphones to act as full nodes, which enables them to whichever functionalities are available for desktop alternatives.

An Innovative Future

The above coins, along with other initiatives that make up the privacy players of the current generation of “blockchain 3.0”, suggest that the usability solution in the niche is a matter of “when,” rather than “if”. The future should be private. Down the road, everyone will be able to maintain complete digital anonymity through the utilization of privacy coins.

How far out we are will only be revealed with time. All will depend on when projects across the board shift their approach to focusing on how to build a platform that can do it all properly. The current philosophy of figuring out the best way to do what is possible through existing infrastructure is a fruitless endeavor.

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Cryptocurrencies Price Analysis: Bitcoin SV, Bitcoin Cash, Tron, Tezos, Cardano

  • The crypto market is witnessing another red day with BTC coming close to $9k and Ethereum going down below $250. 
  • Other altcoins like a ripple, litecoin, stellar lumens are also facing major pricing corrections.
  • The overall market capitalization of the crypto market is $261,960,794,560 with the 24H volume traded of $167,182,822,367. The market dominance of BTC is somehow rising and has reached to 64.1%.
Source: Coin360

Bitcoin SV (BSV) Price Analysis 

bsv

BSV is facing heavy pricing corrections with -12.47% overall loss in the market. The current price is of $235.47 with the market cap of $4,308,193,472 and the 24H volume traded of $2,847,800,674.

BSV was showing tremendous positive performance in this month before the crypto market went red. It touched $380 mark with no resistance in between the momentum.

But the sharp rising rally resulted in major pricing corrections which forced BSV to go below $300 mark which hasn’t been good as it is on its critical support level of $230.00 now.

BSV has been one of the most volatile crypto assets this year. A further downfall below $200 which indicate that BSV bears are here for a stay.

Bitcoin Cash (BCH) Price Analysis

bch

Bitcoin Cash is also on the downside in today’s market. It is facing an overall loss of -7.94% which has brought the current price to $338.49. The market capitalization is of $6,194,029,339 and the 24H volume traded is $5,408,499,165.

The downtrend forced BCH to go below the major level of $350.00 which was proved to be a major support level for the crypto assets during the downtrend for the past few days.

The break has indicated that BCH might continue to fall and reach another critical support level of $300. But, closing above $350.00 may provide BCH the needed positive boost.

Tron (TRX) Price Analysis 

trx

The market forces have affected Tron also as it is facing an overall loss of -10.80% in today’s market. Tron started today’s market with a level of $0.019 and went to $0.016. This was the lowest level for Tron in this month.

However, it acted as a support level for the altcoin and bounced back which brought the current price to the level of $0.017. The market capitalization is of $1,159,151,006 and the 24H volume trade is of $1,812,604,462.

Tron has been provided regular fundamental support by its community and CEO Justin Sun. However, the market forces can put more impact on the altcoin as compared to fundamentals.

Any further downfall below the level of $0.016 will indicate more downfall for Tron. However, if it manages to surpass the level of $0.020, it can be a positive sign for bullish momentum.

Tezos (XTZ) Price Analysis 

xtz

Tezos is again on a downward shift in today’s market. It is facing an overall loss of -10.14%. But the main concern for the altcoin has been breaking the major resistance of $3.00.

At the starting of the month, Tezos broke this resistance where it was having bullish momentum. But the negative momentum starting in the market since the past few days back forced tezos prices to go below the major resistance level.

Today also, it made a failed attempt to cross $3.00 mark which brought the current price to $2.69. The market capitalization is of $1,885,671,952 and the 24H volume traded is of $232,712,821.

If tezos manages to surpass the major resistance of $3.00, we can expect a positive momentum from thereon. But if the downfall persists for the altcoin, any price drop below the critical support level of $2.20 will indicate a sustainable downtrend.

Cardano (ADA) Price Analysis 

ada

Cardano is also on the negative momentum in today’s market. It is facing an overall loss of -7.47%. The current price is $0.052 with the market cap of $1,367,719,602 and the 24H volume traded of $176,195,992.

After going down below the major support level of $0.058, it is expected that bears will sustain for Cardano. However, if it manages to surpass the level of $0.06, it can be treated as a positive sign to start another bullish momentum.

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