Just in time for the 2016th (incidentally, the number of blocks in Bitcoin's shorter metric of elapsed time) year of the fiat calendar, Bitcoin added a new digit to its difficulty decimal, now equal to 103,880,340,815 (an increase of 11.16% over the previous value, placing hashrate estimates over 690 PH/s.). While such increases used to be noteworthy, they pale in the shadow of the last leap (December 18th's 18.14% increase, to 93,448,670,796), leaving thin-margined miners nervously wondering whether they'll ever make good on the forecasts of yesteryear. Continue reading
Debian founder Ian Murdock reportedly died after an altercation with police. Murdock reported on social media having been beaten by police. Some of his tweets suggested that he may have been sodomized by a female officer of the San Francisco County Sheriff's Department (archived). His last public communication was the assertion he would not be committing suicide until he could recount the police brutality incident in a blog post. Murdock's authorship of the tweets cannot however be authenticated. Murdock's current employer Docker is handling his remaining worldly affairs. Reliable information on the end of Murdock's life is unlikely to ever become available.
Paxful, a website that claims to do "peer to peer" matching of Bitcoin buyers and sellers, issued a desperate plea on their blog (archived) threatening to move to an altcoin as they get priced out of Bitcoin. Because Paxful specializes in facilitating very small trades any pricing of transaction fees in an actual market obliterates their market niche, and Bitcoin is definitely moving towards a healthy market for block inclusion fees. Paxful claims to: Continue reading
It was after Juniper burned a vulnerability in its products used to support NSA and GCHQ spying, and after independent researchers discovered the nature of the back door (archived) that Glen Greenwald, formerly of the Guardian, revealed that this vulnerability was in a stash of disclosures he received more than two years ago from Edward Snowden. Greenwald's reveal came six days after Juniper disclosed the existence of the backdoor and a day after independent researches began presenting serious evidence indicating the backdoor was born in the USA. Continue reading
Cointelegraph brings us news that a web platform advertising itself as an "escrow service" has been put up for auction (archived). In this press release, the service BTCrow advertises a claims it is the first and most trusted platform while further disclosing it has been sold before. Of course trust isn't a transitive property and attaches to people rather than platforms so any remaining users of the BTCrow service would be well advised to escape the platform while they still can.
The Bitcoin network will see two significant milestones pass on the Bitcoin blockchain. The first is the mining of the 15 millionth coin leaving only a maximum of 6 million more Bitcoins to be acquired through subsidy for mining new blocks. The 14 millionth coin was mined back in March and represented two thirds of all Bitcoin to ever exist having been mined. The second milestone is the imminent commitment of the hundred millionth Bitcoin transaction to the blockchain.
In late 2012 Coinbase was cultured by startup incubator, YCombinator on a plate of Thayer-Martin agar with the "mission" of "Becoming the Paypal of Bitcoin." The company seems to have had some success on the surveillance side of their mission by tracing user transactions and a slew of ex-customers who claim to have been banned with minimal explanation – a problem Coinbase seems to have despite their penitent userbase. Of special note here is Coinbase's security outsourcing that frequently results in vulnerabilities. Continue reading
Today it was declared that the United States Department of "Justice" would cease to share value acquired through asset forfeiture and other forms of theft with local "law enforcement" agencies under the Equitable Sharing Program (archived). The program allowed local gangs incorporated as "law enforcement" agencies choose to partner with the DO"J" and receive federal assistance in seizing assets alleged to be connected with drug activity, even in spite of the demonstrable criminal innocence of parties from whom the assets were stolen. Through the Equitable Sharing Program local partners could receive up to 80% of the proceeds of their joint larceny. The Do"J" blames budget cuts for forcing its hand in suspending the program and insists the suspension will be temporary. It is unknown how many other perks presently enjoyed by local "law enforcement" gangs for cooperating with federal agencies will find themselves eroded in the near future.