Crypto Currency

2018 was crypto’s year of reckoning, but there’s hope ahead

2018 has been a tough year for cryptocurrencies.  As I write these lines, the prices of major cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, XRP, and Ethereum are the lowest they’ve been in over a year. The price decline, which started roughly in January, has been relentless: The cryptocurrency market cap shrunk from its all-time high of about…


2018 has been a tough year for cryptocurrencies. 

As I write these lines, the prices of major cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, XRP, and Ethereum are the lowest they’ve been in over a year. The price decline, which started roughly in January, has been relentless: The cryptocurrency market cap shrunk from its all-time high of about $830 billion to just over $100 billion. The sentiment on crypto-related chats, groups, and subreddits is grim: Everyone expects the prices to fall further. Some vocal critics, like Nouriel Roubini, are gloating over what they see as annihilation of the crypto bubble. 

Perhaps even worse than the falling prices is the uncertainty over where crypto’s headed next. Bitcoin (and its derivatives) failed to become the new money (or even new gold), and it doesn’t look like that’s changing anytime soon. Ethereum’s vision of becoming a global, decentralized computer is plagued by obstacles and likely many months away, and the ICO craze that fueled its growth appears to be over, at least for now. And numerous cryptocurrency projects, even well-funded ones like ConsenSys and Bitmain, are laying off staff due to the cryptocurrency market’s decline.

And yet, there’s hope ahead. 

While the cryptocurrency bubble appears fully deflated on most charts, if you look closely, the prices of Bitcoin and Ethereum are still far, far above than what they were just two years ago. 

Total market capitalization of cryptocurrencies.

Total market capitalization of cryptocurrencies.

Image: coinmarketcap.com

In May 2017, the value of Ethereum and Bitcoin soared, propelling the total market cap of crypto to $80 billion. And back then, the experts were mostly in agreement: That sort of growth isn’t sustainable, and the entire space is likely in a bubble. The bubble kept growing, but to be fair, there was no sane reasoning behind that growth except greed and the type of reckless optimism that borderlines with madness. 

This could, of course, mean that the prices could plummet even further. But if you look at the cryptocurrency space as an exciting, new technological playground instead of a big casino, you’re probably well aware that even the current prices aren’t earned. Cryptocurrency might one day disrupt finance, online betting, gaming, logistics, and content creation, among other industries, but none of that has happened yet. 

The sentiment

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Crypto Currency

‘Fortnite’ vulnerability put millions of accounts at risk

It turns out that for the millions of people playing Fortnite, there was more than just a Victory Royale at stake.  On Jan. 16, internet security firm Check Point Research disclosed a vulnerability in the popular online video game that could have allowed malicious actors to take over practically any Fortnite account — all a…


It turns out that for the millions of people playingFortnite, there was more than just a Victory Royale at stake. 

On Jan. 16, internet security firm Check Point Research disclosed a vulnerability in the popular online video game that could have allowed malicious actors to take over practically anyFortniteaccount — all a player had to do was click a malicious link. 

“By discovering a vulnerability found in some of [Fortnite owner] Epic Games’ sub-domains, an XSS attack was permissible with the user merely needing to click on a link sent to them by the attacker,” explains the report. “Once clicked, with no need even for them to enter any login credentials, their Fortnite username and password could immediately be captured [by] the attacker.”

Epic Games confirmed the now-patc

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Crypto Currency

The sad story of a lonely alleged SIM swapper who stole millions

You probably shouldn’t feel sorry for Nicholas Truglia. It’s just that his story is so pathetic. The 21-year old Manhattan resident was arrested last November and extradited to California in December. There, he’d face 21 felony counts relating to accusations of SIM swapping his way to a million dollars worth of stolen cryptocurrency. While Truglia’s…


You probably shouldn’t feel sorry for Nicholas Truglia. It’s just that his story is so pathetic.

The 21-year old Manhattan resident was arrested last November and extradited to California in December. There, he’d face 21 felony counts relating to accusations of SIM swapping his way to a million dollars worth of stolen cryptocurrency. While Truglia’s fate remains unclear, details of his life leading up to the arrest have begun to emerge thanks to a lawsuit filled by a separate alleged victim, and oh man is it a wild ride. 

As Krebs on Security reports, a lawsuit filed by Michael Terpin — a cryptocurrency investor and self-described “thought leader” — against Truglia claims he lost over $23 million after Truglia SIM swapped him and drained his crypto accounts in January of 2018. That document, and a supporting affidavit by one of Truglia’s former friends, tells the story of a cash-flush young man who saw himself as untouchable. 

And, perhaps unsurprisingly, they also paint Truglia as kind of an asshole. 

The now-deleted Twitter profile pic of @erupts, the account allegedly once belonging to Truglia.

The now-deleted Twitter profile pic of @erupts, the account allegedly once belonging to Truglia.

Image: twitter / waybackmachine

“Nick likened himself to Robin Hood who robs from the rich but did not give to the poor,” explained Chris David, former associate of Truglia’s, in the aforementioned affidavit. 

Instead, the documents paint a picture of someone who delighted in giving to himself — in the form of a Rolex, a $6,000-a-month apartment, and a $100,000 stack of cash he kept on his credenza. But that clearly wasn’t enough for him.

According to David, Truglia operated the now-suspended Twitter account @erupts, where he lamented that his wealth didn’t bring him friends, and even bra

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Crypto Currency

Ethereum is about to get a big upgrade. Here’s what you need to know.

Ethereum, the third-largest cryptocurrency by market cap and the most popular platform for decentralized applications (dApps), is getting an upgrade on (roughly) Jan. 16.  The upgrade is called Constantinople and it makes the Ethereum network a bit more efficient, paving the way for bigger changes further ahead. It also brings some important changes for miners…


Ethereum, the third-largest cryptocurrency by market cap and the most popular platform for decentralized applications (dApps), is getting an upgrade on (roughly) Jan. 16. 

The upgrade is called Constantinople and it makes the Ethereum network a bit more efficient, paving the way for bigger changes further ahead. It also brings some important changes for miners on the network. 

Here’s an overview of what, exactly, is happening, and the steps owners of ether should undertake ahead of the fork. 

The answer to the second question is really easy: There’s no need to do anything. The upcoming upgrade, while technically a fork, will very likely be non-contentious, meaning there’s no disagreement on whether it should happen. This means Ethereum won’t split into two separate coins next Wednesday. If everything goes well — and chances are good that it will — your ether holdings will be exactly the same before and after the fork, regardless of whether your ether is located on a private wallet or an exchange. 

And no, ether holders will not be getting a new coin; if you see info about it anywhere, it’s either a scam or a mostly-irrelevant project that’s just trying to get some attention out of the confusion that surrounds every cryptocurrency fork (which is why I’m primarily calling Constantinople an upgrade and not a fork). 

Ethereum node operators and miners will have to update their software ahead of the upgrade; the links can be found here. 

Note that the January 16th date for the upgrade is approximate. The upgrade should happen when block 7,080,000 on the Ethereum blockchain is mined, which is currently approximately Wednesday, Jan, 16, 8pm UTC, but the exact time will shift a little as new blocks aren’t always found in the same amount of time. 

Paving the way for a faster future

With that out of the way, there are still a few things you should know about this upgrade. 

Constantinople consists of five Ethereum Improvement Proposals (EIPs), which are documents explaining a new feature or change in Ethereum’s code. Explaining them in detail might

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Crypto Currency

Attack on Ethereum Classic Highlights a Crypto Weakness

bitcoin is that you don't need to trust the people to whom you send or receive money, because the software makes it technically impossible for anyone to cheat the system. Instead of relying on humans and their flawed judgment, you rely on the laws of mathematics. But a recent attack on the cryptocurrency Ethereum Classic—not…


bitcoin is that you don’t need to trust the people to whom you send or receive money, because the software makes it technically impossible for anyone to cheat the system. Instead of relying on humans and their flawed judgment, you rely on the laws of mathematics. But a recent attack on the cryptocurrency Ethereum Classic—not to be confused with the original Ethereum project—shows once again how hard it is to remove human frailty from digital systems.

Like other cryptocurrencies, Ethereum Classic relies on a decentralized ledger known as a blockchain created and shared by the machines that process transactions on the network. This ledger ensures that no one can spend their virtual tokens twice. Unless, that is, someone could take over at least 51 percent of the machines in the network. That’s what appears to have happened last weekend.

Currency exchange Coinbase said Monday it had detected double spends on the Ethereum Classic platform on Saturday and that it had suspended transactions involving Ethereum Classic. Kraken, another exchange, followed suit with a similar announcement. Coinbase security engineer Mark Nesbitt wrote in a blog post that the company had spotted 12 instances of double spending Ethereum Classic tokens, involving a total value of about $1.1 million.1Ethereum Classic is not as popular as some other cryptocurrencies: It had a total market value of $553.5 million on Friday, according to CoinMarketCap; by comparison, ether, the currency created by the original Ethereum project, had a value of $16.3 billion, and bitcoin a value of $67.5 billion.

Nesbitt told WIRED that Coinbase is “very confident” that the d

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