Cyber threat grows for bitcoin exchanges 

New data disclosed to Reuters shows a third of bitcoin trading platforms have been hacked, and nearly half have closed in the half dozen years since they burst on the scene.

This rising risk for bitcoin holders is compounded by the fact there is no depositor’s insurance to absorb the loss, even though many exchanges act like virtual banks. Not only does that approach cast the cyber security risk in stark relief, but it also exposes the fact that bitcoin investors have little choice but to do business with under-capitalized exchanges that may not have the capital buffer to absorb these losses the way a traditional and regulated bank or exchange would.

Source: Cyber threat grows for bitcoin exchanges | Reuters

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Bitcoin Blockchain Anti-Piracy Startup Custos Raises Additional Funds

South African startup Custos Media Technologies, a company that uses the bitcoin blockchain to combat media piracy has reached an agreement with the Technology Innovation Agency (TIA) that will see funding of 5.9 million Rand (approx. $400,000) gained by the startup over the next two years.

The technology, seen as a unique way to combat media piracy, works by embedding a bitcoin bounty within a piece of a media. The watermark can then be tracked on the blockchain with the idea of recognizing and identifying infringements when the media leaves the original recipient or buyer of the media.

Source: Bitcoin Blockchain Anti-Piracy Startup Custos Raises Additional Funds – CCN: Financial Bitcoin & Cryptocurrency News

The blockchain future is here. And it needs a few good names

Although the term blockchain might sound like a torture device, you might know it from another source: Bitcoin. Blockchain technology is the foundation and principal innovation of bitcoin, the dark web’s infamous cryptocurrency. Blockchain is also the foundation of Ethereum, which some see as a successor to bitcoin.

So this quick decoding not only reveals that The DAO is a venture capital fund that tracks its money via a blockchain technology — a database — named Ethereum. It also shows how the meanings of these three names are at best confounding and at worst unnerving, evoking big government, immateriality and darkness both individually and as a group.

Source: The blockchain future is here. And it needs a few good names. – Recode

AVC: The Golden Age Of Open Protocols

screen-shot-2016-02-24-at-10-42-13-am-728x369Open protocols are at the heart of many of the most important systems that we have. The Internet works because of TCP/IP. The web works because of HTTP. Email works because of SMTP. These are open systems that developers can build applications on top of. There are plenty of proprietary protocols out there too. But proprietary protocols tend to lock in users and drive value to the owners of the proprietary protocol, like Microsoft, Apple, Google, etc.

One of the problems we have had in tech is that there aren’t large monetary incentives to create and sustain open protocols. If they are open they cannot be easily monetized by traditional means. However, that is changing with the emergence of blockchain technology and crypto-tokens.

Source: The Golden Age Of Open Protocols – AVC

Bitcoin ‘not real money’ says Miami judge in closely watched ruling 

A Miami court judge has sent ripples through the cryptocurrency community in a ruling in which she said bitcoin was not real money.

Defendant Michel Espinoza was on trial for illegally transmitting and laundering $1,500 worth of bitcoins to undercover agents who intended to use them to purchase stolen credit cards. His attorney argued that the charges should be dismissed because, under Florida state law, the cyber-currency could not be considered money. After extended deliberation, Judge Teresa Mary Pooler agreed in a ruling issued on Monday.

Source: Bitcoin ‘not real money’ says Miami judge in closely watched ruling | Technology | The Guardian

OPINION: Blockchain really only does one thing well

No new technology since the dawn of the internet has captured the imagination like blockchain. Designed to run unregulated electronic currency, the blockchain is promoted by many as having far broader potential in government, identity, voting, corporate administration and healthcare, to name just some of the proposed use cases. But these grand designs misunderstand what blockchain actually does.

Blockchain is certainly important and valuable, as an inspiration for brand new internet protocols and infrastructure. But it’s a lot like the Wright Brothers’ Flyer, the first powered aeroplane. It’s wondrous but impractical.

Source: OPINION: Blockchain really only does one thing well

Steemit May Become Killer App As It Looks to Draw 1 Mln Bitcoin Users Yearly

The exponential rate at which Steem grows may put on fast track a solution to the scaling issue that the Bitcoin community faces.

Steem is a digital currency behind Steemit, a decentralized social media platform which rewards posters and voters online. Scaling Bitcoin has become a hot button issue in the community. This is the process to increase block size from its current form in which the network can only support up to seven transactions per second to process more like Paypal achieves with about 100 transactions per second, and as Visa does with about 4,000 per second.

Source: Steemit May Become Killer App As It Looks to Draw 1 Mln Bitcoin Users Yearly