Crypto Currency

Crypto exchange mistakenly sends 103 bitcoin to wallet it’s locked out of

When it comes to cryptocurrency, things can always get worse.  Earlier this month, news broke that QuadrigaCX, a Canadian cryptocurrency exchange, lost access to $190 million worth of customer crypto after the founder died — taking sole knowledge of the account passwords to the grave.  Now, it looks like it screwed up again. According to…


When it comes to cryptocurrency, things can always get worse. 

Earlier this month, news broke that QuadrigaCX, a Canadian cryptocurrency exchange, lost access to $190 million worth of customer crypto after the founder died — taking sole knowledge of the account passwords to the grave. 

Now, it looks like it screwed up again. According to a preliminary report filed by Ernst and Young, which is acting as a court-appointed monitor for the company, QuadrigaCX sent a so-called cold storage wallet 103 bitcoin (worth more than $460,000)afterit had been locked out. 

Essentially, because founder Gerald Cotten died, no one — not QuadrigaCX and not its customers — can retrieve the majority of the crypto held by the exchange. It looks to be lost forever. 

This news, it should be noted, became public following a Jan. 31

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Crypto Currency

Save 60% off tons of online courses in honor of Presidents Day weekend

Oh Presidents’ Day, the one day of the year when you can score mattresses at rock-bottom prices. We’ve decided to shake things up for 2019 and swap sleepy time for brain fuel: online courses, bundles, and e-learning packages.  Take your pick from this selection of hot courses and learn something new before Memorial Day comes…


Oh Presidents’ Day, the one day of the year when you can score mattresses at rock-bottom prices. We’ve decided to shake things up for 2019 and swap sleepy time for brain fuel: online courses, bundles, and e-learning packages. 

Take your pick from this selection of hot courses and learn something new before Memorial Day comes around.

Machine Learning and Data Science Certification Training Bundle ($1,600 value)

Haven’t you heard? The world revolves around machine learning and big data now. If you want to get in on the fun, this bundle breaks down the most head-scratch-inducing concepts into digestible lectures, allowing you to gain a deeper understanding of things like TensorFlow, Neural Networks, Clustering In R, and a whole lot more. Lost already?

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AWS Certified Architect Developer Bundle 2019 ($984.93 value)

Word on the street is that Amazon Web Services (AWS) pays the bills for their namesake retailer, Amazon (duh). This set of courses will expose you to the inner workings of the popular cloud solution so you can leverage it in your own projects, and maybe use your newly-acquired knowledge as a springboard into a career in cloud computing.

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The 2019 Blockchain Developer Mastery Bundle ($842 value)

The hype surrounding Bitcoin may have died down, but that doesn’t mean it’ll stay quiet for long. In the meantime, you’ll want to have the skills to make it big in blockchain. This bundle will not only help you learn to invest and make a profit in cryptocurrency, but you’ll also discover how to build your very own virtual currency.

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Supercharged Brain Training Bundle ($597.98 value)

It’s no secret that the brain is the most powerful organ in the human body, so it’s only right that you unlock its full potential. This four-pronged course is packed with neurologically-proven strategies that can help you recalibrate your brain to become more focused, productive, and adaptive.

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Complete SEO Certification Training Bundle ($979.92 value)

Get your website on the coveted first page of Google’s search engine with the help of this SEO-centric bundle. Across eight courses and over 200 lectures, you’ll master keyword research, conversion rate optimization, content marketing, leveraging Google Adwords, and a whole lot more.

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The Complete UI and UX Design Master Class Bundle ($399.92 value)

Want to learn what makes beautiful and user-friendly websites tick? With this course, you’ll master the fundamentals of User Interface (UI) and User Experience (UX) design. Through 46 hours of expert instruction, you’ll learn everything from wireframing and designing a responsive website to managing a productive workflow. You’ll even get tips on how to kickstart a freelance career in design.

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Ultimate YouTube Master Class Bundle ($995 value)

Have you always dreamt of becoming a YouTube star? (Don’t worry, your secret is safe with us.) This master class will teach you the secrets to clinching YouTube success. It’s packed with lectures that run the gamut from starting a channel to video production to creating ads. With this training, you’ll acquire the skills to build a veritable brand and make money on the largest video-sharing website in the world.

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Ultimate YouTube Master Class Bundle — $11.60
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The Complete Learn to Code Master Class Bundle ($1,370.95 value)

There’s never been a better time to make good on your promise of learning how to code. This nine-pronged training package will get you to grips with the most popular programming languages including HTML, CSS, Python, Java, and C++, and guide you through completing drills and projects to consolidating your newly acquired knowledge and skills. By the time you finish, you should have what it takes to embark on a coding career track.

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The Complete Learn to Code Master Class Bundle — $15.60
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Graphic Design and Adobe CC Certification School ($1,197 value)

If you’ve always wanted to dabble in digital design but don’t have the skills to turn your ideas into tangible a

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Crypto Currency

Personal Data Collection: The Complete Wired Guide

staying in and watching a movie, generate mountains of information, treasure to be scooped up later by businesses of all kinds.Personal data is often compared to oil—it powers today’s most profitable corporations, just like fossil fuels energized those of the past. But the consumers it’s extracted from often know little about how much of their…


staying in and watching a movie, generate mountains of information, treasure to be scooped up later by businesses of all kinds.

Personal data is often compared to oil—it powers today’s most profitable corporations, just like fossil fuels energized those of the past. But the consumers it’s extracted from often know little about how much of their information is collected, who gets to look at it, and what it’s worth. Every day, hundreds of companies you may not even know exist gather facts about you, some more intimate than others. That information may then flow to academic researchers, hackers, law enforcement, and foreign nations—as well as plenty of companies trying to sell you stuff.

What Constitutes “Personal Data”?

The internet might seem like one big privacy nightmare, but don’t throw your smartphone out the window just yet. “Personal data” is a pretty vague umbrella term, and it helps to unpack exactly what it means. Health records, social security numbers, and banking details make up the most sensitive information stored online. Social media posts, location data, and search-engine queries may also be revealing but are also typically monetized in a way that, say, your credit card number is not. Other kinds of data collection fall into separate categories—ones that may surprise you. Did you know some companies are analyzing the unique way you tap and fumble with your smartphone?

All this information is collected on a wide spectrum of consent: Sometimes the data is forked over knowingly, while in other scenarios users might not understand they’re giving up anything at all. Often, it’s clearsomethingis being collected, but the specifics are hidden from view or buried in hard-to-parse terms-of-service agreements.

Consider what happens when someone sends a vial of saliva to 23andme. The person knows they’re sharing their DNA with a genomics company, but they may not realize it will be resold to pharmaceutical firms. Many apps use your location to serve up custom advertisements, but they don’t necessarily make it clear that a hedge fund may also buy that location data to analyze which retail stores you frequent. Anyone who has witnessed the same shoe advertisement follow them around the web knows they’re being tracked, but fewer people likely understand that companies may be recording not just their clicks but also the exact movements of their mouse.

In each of these scenarios, the user received something in return for allowing a corporation to monetize their data. They got to learn about their genetic ancestry, use a mobile app, or browse the latest footwear trends from the comfort of their computer. This is the same sort of bargain Facebook and Google offer. Their core products, including Instagram, Messenger, Gmail, and Google Maps, don’t cost money. You pay with your personal data, which is used to target you with ads.

Who Buys, Sells, and Barters My Personal Data?

The trade-off between the data you give and the services you get may or may not be worth it, but another breed of business amasses, analyzes, and sells your information without giving you anything at all: data brokers. These firms compile info from publicly available sources like property records, marriage licenses, and court cases. They may also gather your medical records, browsing history, social media connections, and online purchases. Depending on where you live, data brokers might even purchase your information from the Department of Motor Vehicles. Don’t have a driver’s license? Retail stores sell info to data brokers, too.

The information data brokers collect may be inaccurate or out of date. Still, it can be incredibly valuable to corporations, marketers, investors, and individuals. In fact, American companies alone are estimated to have spent over $19 billion in 2018 acquiring and analyzing consumer data, according to the Interactive Advertising Bureau.

Data brokers are also valuable resources for abusers and stalkers. Doxing, the practice of publicly releasing someone’s personal information without their consent, is often made possible because of data brokers. While you can delete your Facebook account relatively easily, getting these firms to remove your information is time-consuming, complicated, and sometimes impossible. In fact, the process is so burdensome that you can pay a service to do it on your behalf.

Amassing and selling your data like this is perfectly legal. While some states, including California and Vermont, have recently moved to put more restrictions on data brokers, they remain largely unregulated. The Fair Credit Reporting Act dictates how information collected for credit, employment, and insurance reasons may be used, but some data brokers have been caught skirting the law. In 2012 the “person lookup” site Spokeo settled with the FTC for $800,000 over charges that it violated the FCRA by advertising its products for purposes like job background checks. And data brokers that market themselves as being more akin to digital phone books don’t have to abide by the regulation in the first place.

There are also few laws governing how social media companies may collect data about their users. In the United States, no modern federal privacy regulation exists, and the government can even legally request digital data held by companies without a warrant in many circumstances (though the Supreme Court recently expanded Fourth Amendment protections to a narrow type of location data).

The good news is, the information you share online does contribute to the global store of useful knowledge: Researchers from a number of academic disciplines study social media posts and other user-generated data to learn more about humanity. In his book,Everybody Lies: Big Data, New Data, and What the Internet Can Tell Us About Who We Really Are,Seth Stephens-Davidowitz argues there are many scenarios where humans are more honest with sites like Google than they are on traditional surveys. For example, he says, fewer than 20 percent of people admit they watch porn, but there are more Google searches for “porn” than “weather.”

Personal data is also used by artificial intelligence researchers to train their automated programs. Every day, users around the globe upload billions of photos, videos, text posts, and audio clips to sites like YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. That media is then fed to machine learning algorithms, so they

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Crypto Currency

There’s No Good Reason to Trust Blockchain Technology

white paper that first proposed bitcoin, the anonymous Satoshi Nakamoto concluded with: “We have proposed a system for electronic transactions without relying on trust.” He was referring to blockchain, the system behind bitcoin cryptocurrency. The circumvention of trust is a great promise, but it’s just not true. Yes, bitcoin eliminates certain trusted intermediaries that are…


white paper that first proposed bitcoin, the anonymous Satoshi Nakamoto concluded with: “We have proposed a system for electronic transactions without relying on trust.” He was referring to blockchain, the system behind bitcoin cryptocurrency. The circumvention of trust is a great promise, but it’s just not true. Yes, bitcoin eliminates certain trusted intermediaries that are inherent in other payment systems like credit cards. But you still have to trust bitcoin—and everything about it.

WIRED OPINION

ABOUT

Bruce Schneier is a security technologist who teaches at the Harvard Kennedy School. He is the author, most recently, ofClick Here to Kill Everybody: Security and Survival in a Hyper-Connected World.

Much has been written about blockchains and how they displace, reshape, or eliminate trust. But when you analyze both blockchain and trust, you quickly realize that there is much more hype than value. Blockchain solutions are often much worse than what they replace.

First, a caveat. By blockchain, I mean something very specific: the data structures and protocols that make up apublicblockchain. These have three essential elements. The first is a distributed (as in multiple copies) but centralized (as in there’s only one) ledger, which is a way of recording what happened and in what order. This ledger is public, meaning that anyone can read it, and immutable, meaning that no one can change what happened in the past.

The second element is the consensus algorithm, which is a way to ensure all the copies of the ledger are the same. This is generally called mining; a critical part of the system is that anyone can participate. It is also distributed, meaning that you don’t have to trust any particular node in the consensus network. It can also be extremely expensive, both in data storage and in the energy required to maintain it. Bitcoin has the most expensive consensus algorithm the world has ever seen, by far.

Finally, the third element is the currency. This is some sort of digital token that has value and is publicly traded. Currency is a necessary element of a blockchain to align the incentives of everyone involved. Transactions involving these tokens are stored on the ledger.

Private blockchains are completely uninteresting. (By this, I mean systems that use the blockchain data structure but don’t have the above three elements.) In general, they have some external limitation on who can interact with the blockchain and its features. These are not anything new; they’re distributed append-only data structures with a list of individuals authorized to add to it. Consensus protocols have been studied in distributed systems for more than 60 years. Append-only data structures have been similarly well covered. They’re blockchains in name only, and—as far as I can tell—the only reason to operate one is to ride on the blockchain hype.

All three elements of a public blockchain fit together as a single network that offers new security properties. The question is: Is it actually good for anything? It’s all a matter of trust.

Trust is essential to society. As a species, humans are wired to trust one another. Society can’t function without trust, and the fact that we mostly don’t even think about it is a measure of how well trust works.

The word “trust” is loaded with many meanings. There’s personal and intimate trust. When we say we trust a friend, we mean that we trust their intentions and know that those intentions will inform their actions. There’s also the less intimate, less personal trust—we might not know someone personally, or know their motivations, but we can trust their future actions. Blockchain enables this sort of trust: We don’t know any bitcoin miners, for example, but we trust that they will follow the mining protocol and make the whole system work.

Most blockchain enthusiasts have a unnaturally narrow definition of trust. They’re fond of catchphrases like “in code we trust,” “in math we trust,” and “in crypto we trust.” This is trust as verification. But verification isn’t the same as trust.

In 2012, I wrote a book about trust and security,Liars and Outliers. In it, I listed four very general systems our species uses to incentivize trust

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Crypto Currency

A Crypto Exchange CEO Dies—With the Only Key to $137 Million

an affidavit filed in the Supreme Court of Nova Scotia last week, Jennifer Robertson, widow of QuadrigaCX CEO Gerry Cotten, wrote that the company owes its customers $190 million, but can’t access the funds to pay them back. In an unusual setup, Robertson said Cotten was the only person with the cryptographic keys to access…


an affidavit filed in the Supreme Court of Nova Scotia last week, Jennifer Robertson, widow of QuadrigaCX CEO Gerry Cotten, wrote that the company owes its customers $190 million, but can’t access the funds to pay them back. In an unusual setup, Robertson said Cotten was the only person with the cryptographic keys to access $137 million of cryptocurrencies kept in “cold” storage to mitigate the risk of hacks. The remainder is similarly frozen, in cash, by ongoing disputes with a bank and payment processors. The six-year-old company is now seeking protection from its creditors as it attempts to access the lost funds. Robertson’s filing was first reported by Coindesk.

On Tuesday, a Halifax judge granted Quadriga a 30-day stay while it searches for the lost crypto, temporarily shielding the company from lawsuits by customers, some of whom reportedly own millions that are now stranded.

Robertson, who wrote that she has become “significantly more involved in the issues” facing Quadriga since Cotten’s death, says she has his encrypted laptop and USB, which may hold the cryptographic keys to the cold storage funds, but doesn’t have the credentials to log in. She says a search of their Nova Scotia home for her husband’s business records turned up nothing, and attempts to hack the laptop by a security contractor have been unsuccessful. According to the CBC, the hardware will be turned over to an independent court-appointed lawyer.

Robertson revealed Cotten’s death on January 14 in a post on Quadriga’s Facebook page. “Gerry died due to complications with Crohn’s disease on December 9, 2018 while travelling in India, where he was opening an orphanage to provide a home and safe refuge for children in need,” she wrote. Her affidavit says Quadriga’s automated systems continued to accept deposits until January 26, more than a month after Cotten’s death.

Quadriga’s strange tale is just the latest mishap to hit cryptocurrencies. Exchanges, in particular, have been the targets of hackers, racking up billions in losses. To reduce exposure, many custodians of cryptocurrency divide the funds between so-called “hot” wallets, used for day-to-day transactions, and offline “cold” storage, which is much harder for hackers to access.

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