Bitcoin Thieves No Longer Just an Online Threat, How to Stay Safe

Cryptocurrencies, as the product of the digital realm, have always existed in the ether – no pun intended – meaning that physically there was nothing to hold, or to lose/have stolen. The threat for Bitcoin users when it came to getting fleeced of their digital currencies always existed online, leaving savvy …
Google Alert – bitcoin

Bank of America Acknowledges the Threat Posed by Cryptocurrency (news.bitcoin.com)

For all the inroads that bitcoin has made on the current financial system, it has yet to threaten their ascendancy. The CEOs of Paypal, Visa, and other legacy payment systems may have been monitoring the rise of cryptocurrencies, but they have not been losing sleep over them. Now, in a frank report to the SEC, Bank of America has acknowledged a range of threats that could affect its hegemony – and one of them is cryptocurrency.
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Bitcoin

PSA: The biggest threat to Bitcoin at the moment is BitPay

A few weeks ago BitPay made a change to their payment window, which has far reaching implications.

They do not show a Bitcoin address anymore at all, you only get a link like this: "bitcoin:?r=https://bitpay.com/i/*****************". This is called BIP70 standard. How this works from a technological side, is that your wallet no longer sends the transaction directly to the Bitcoin network, but to BitPay, and then BitPay decides whether to publish the transaction to the network, or reject it (please feel free to correct me if I am wrong and/or is I have oversimplified things). By doing this, BitPay literally becomes the gatekeeper deciding which transactions are "correct", based on political whims. This already means that BitPay invoices can be paid only with several wallets, as most wallets do not support BIP70 at the moment. While there is nothing wrong with BIP70 per se, what is wrong is that BitPay has made this mandatory.

While I do not have any solid proof that BitPay is using this to blacklist addresses / transactions at the moment, it is inevitable that sooner or later they will be forced to not only blacklist some addresses, but more likely to only accept payments from whitelisted addresses. The argument is very simple – up until now, there was no technological way to "reject" a Bitcoin transaction. Now, BitPay has implemented a method to do exactly that. Since the method already exists, the governments will no longer accept the excuse that it is impossible, and will force BitPay (and other Bitcoin payment processors) to implement blacklisting / whitelisting. The worst case scenario would be allowing to only accept payments made using centralized wallets with mandatory KYC.

This greatly hurts the fungibility of Bitcoin. The reality is, that most merchants accept bitcoins via BitPay and other Bitcoin payment processors. If I can not use my bitcoins to pay the majority of the merchants, then they are worth less than "untainted" bitcoins.

What we, as a community, can do to fight this?

  1. Develop and promote privacy / fungibility improvements for Bitcoin. In my opinion, weak fungibility is currently Bitcoin's biggest problem / risk.

  2. Boycott BitPay and any other Bitcoin payment processors implementing mandatory BIP70.

  3. Promote other, socially responsible, pro-Bitcoin payment processors. Contact the stores which use BitPay, and ask them to switch to another payment processor. Explain your reason why you will no longer purchase from them until they switch their processor.

A list of recommended Bitcoin payment processors:

CoinGate – https://coingate.com/accept-bitcoin

Coinpayments – https://www.coinpayments.net

CoinsBank – https://coinsbank.com/merchant

Why some other payment processors are not recommended:

Coinbase – did not integrate SegWit yet, purposefully spammed the network (no transaction batching) to create a transaction backlog and raise the fees: http://bitcoinist.com/mempool-coinbase-spamming-bitcoin/ , supported SegWit2x attack: http://segwit.party/nya/list/

Coinify – supported SegWit2x attack, planned to call "the chain that will have the most hash power" as BTC: https://support.coinify.com/News/NewsItem/View/47/coinify-statement-on-segwit2x-hard-fork

Gocoin – supported SegWit2x attack: http://segwit.party/nya/list/

submitted by /u/shadowrun456
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Bitcoin – The Currency of the Internet

Bitcoin price THREAT: Fears bitcoin will crash as Merkel and Macron propose regulation

Bitcoin prices suffered a crushing blow this week after South Korean regulators threatened to ban crypto trading, plummeting $ 83billion (£59.8billion) in value between Monday and Thursday alone. Bitcoin investors now fear further regulation in Europe could adversely impact prices, which were trading …
Google Alert – bitcoin

Bitcoin is under threat from hackers as its price surges – but they can be stopped

If you purchase Bitcoin through an online exchange and choose to store them there too, your security lies in the hands of whichever service you use. If the exchange is hacked – something that isn't uncommon – the currency you own could be stolen. That's because the exchange will hold users' private …
Google Alert – bitcoin