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RockYou2021 Continues Disturbing Data Breach Trend

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This week did not get off to a good start for those tasked with corporate cybersecurity as one single breach saw more than half of the number of passwords stolen. In all of 2020 swiped in one swoop.

On June 7, what many believe to be the largest password file ever stolen was placed on a popular hacker forum. The 100-gigabyte file contained 8.4 billion password entries. Its size tops the Compilation of Many Breaches (COMB) leak from February containing 3.2 billion email and password combinations. Yesterday’s leak was named RockYou2021 in a homage to the 2009 RockYou data breach where fraudsters stole more than 32 million passwords from the social app which were stored in plain text.

Together RockYou2021 and COMB’s 11.6 billion stolen entries are nearly 80 per cent of the number stolen in all of 2020, OneSpan director of security solutions Will LaSala said.

“With breaches this year including the COMB Data Leak of 3.2 billion credentials and now the RockYou2021 data leak of 8.4 billion passwords, I estimate the figure to be closer to 25 million leaked credentials floating around on the dark web at the moment,” he warned.

LaSala explained the main threat posed by these leaked credentials is mostly on web and mobile applications along with the platforms they run on. Those platforms have security holes and backdoors which hackers use stolen credentials to compromise.

“We know hackers follow the money trail and we especially encourage consumers and organizations to closely monitor their financial and banking applications,” LaSala advised. “Technologies such as multi-factor authentication can help protect accounts from stolen credentials, while technologies such as application shielding can help protect applications from being attacked by malicious actors, even if the device itself is compromised.”

Companies can protect customers in several ways, LaSala said. Begin by making sure all risk analytics technologies are current. They should also look at real-time transactions across applications and channels and check for anomalies and patterns that could signal an imminent attack

“Hackers often comb dark web forums for leaked credentials, which they use to launch ransomware attacks, and it is crucial that consumers and organizations implement these important security measures to protect high value accounts,” LaSala said. “Consumers shouldn’t rely on password checker tools as the data isn’t likely up to date and untrustworthy. They should also avoid ‘strong password’ generators; the passwords generated are often unreliable, easy to hack, and can be stolen at a moment’s notice with little to no indication that it has been compromised.”

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Source: https://www.crowdfundinsider.com/2021/06/176404-rockyou2021-continues-disturbing-data-breach-trend/

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Gemini Adds DeFi, Infrastructure Data Management Crypto Tokens: ALCX, ANKR, FTM, MIR, API3, DDX

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The team at digital asset firm Gemini notes that they are adding trading support for a new set of decentralized finance (DeFi), infrastructure, and data management tokens.

Gemini is adding Alchemix (ALCX), Ankr Network (ANKR), Fantom (FTM), Mirror Protocol (MIR), API3 (API3), and DerivaDAO (DDX). All of these crypto tokens are now supported for deposits and custody on the Gemini exchange.

As noted by the Gemini team, trading for ALCX, ANKR, FTM, and MIR will “soon follow, with API3 and DDX remaining available only for custody.” The announcement confirmed that trading will first open on the platform’s API/FIX and ActiveTrader™ app for USD trading pairs. It will then open on their Gemini Mobile App and official website “on a rolling, token-by-token basis for USD, GBP, EUR, CAD, AUD, HKD and SGD pairs.”

With the launch of these crypto tokens, Gemini will be offering trading and custody for 45 different digital assets, with an additional 13 cryptos “available for custody.”

Gemini’s management says they are pleased to confirm that they’re the first regulated platform in the US and the UK to offer trading and custody support for FTM and ALCX tokens.

Gemini adds that as they continue to expand their list of supported tokens, they also look forward to adding more DeFi, infrastructure, and data management tokens that are able to “help drive the crypto ecosystem forward and further support the scalability and utility of blockchain networks.”

Here’s a summary of the new tokens added by Gemini:

DeFi Tokens

Alchemix (ALCX)

ALCX token is “an ERC-20 token used to govern and incentivize liquidity for the Alchemix protocol.” Its primary use cases are “governing the Alchemix decentralized autonomous organization (DAO) and rewarding network participants for providing liquidity.” Alchemix is an innovative, hybrid DeFi application that “allows for the creation of yield-backed synthetic assets.” With its unique ability “to provide collateral that can also generate yield, Alchemix can offer a self-paying loan that has effectively no risk of liquidation.”

This product, “Vaults”, is “the centerpiece of the Alchemix ecosystem and uses Yearn.finance as a building block for yield on underlying assets like DAI, with support for ETH and others coming soon.”

Mirror Protocol (MIR)

MIR is “a utility and governance token that powers the Mirror Protocol. We support the Ethereum (ERC-20) version of MIR, which is a multi-chain asset.” MIR “purchased on Gemini can be withdrawn to Ethereum compatible wallets and swapped to the native version of MIR using a bridge.”

MIR has various use cases “including protocol governance and rewarding liquidity providers on the platform.” Holders of MIR can also “engage in yield farming on other DeFi platforms by staking MIR tokens.”

In the future, users will be able “to use MIR tokens as collateral to mint mAssets and a variety of derivative products.” Mirror Protocol is a DeFi protocol “powered by smart contracts on the Terra network that enables the creation of synthetic assets called Mirrored Assets (i.e., mAAPL, mTSLA, etc.).” These mAssets “mimic the price behavior of real-world assets and give traders price exposure without the burdens of owning or transacting real assets.”

Infrastructure Tokens

Ankr Network (ANKR)

ANKR is an ERC-20 token that “powers the Ankr Network. Its use cases include being a mode of payment for services on the Ankr platform, such as node deployment and API services, participation in on-chain governance, and serving as insurance for network participants.” Ankr Network “provides Web3 infrastructure for easy, accessible, and affordable deployments of a broad range of blockchain nodes, APIs, and decentralized cross-chain staking infrastructure.”

It is “designed to lower entry barriers for retail and enterprise clients and developers who want to contribute to blockchain ecosystems.” To increase adoption and contribution to various blockchain ecosystems, Ankr has “teamed up with a range of notable partners over the years, including but not limited to companies like Avalanche, Binance, Blockstack, Compound, Covalent, Celo, Curve, Elrond, Harmony, Oasis, Polygon, Skale, and many more. You can see the ANKR price and more information by following the link.”

Fantom (FTM)

FTM powers the Fantom network, and is “used for staking, on-chain governance, and as payment for network fees.” We support the Ethereum (ERC-20) version of FTM, which is a multi-chain asset. FTM “purchased on Gemini can be withdrawn to Ethereum compatible wallets and swapped to the native version of FTM using a bridge.”

When interacting with the Fantom network, “users pay gas fees (or transaction fees) in FTM tokens.” The Fantom network is a smart-contract platform that “allows developers to write, compile, and deploy smart contracts the same way they can on Ethereum.” It runs on a directed acyclic-graph-based distributed ledger and is “integrated with the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM) and the Web3JS stack.”

It “uses an asynchronous Byzantine Fault-Tolerant (aBFT) Proof-of-Stake (PoS) consensus mechanism called ‘Lachesis.’”

DerivaDAO (DDX)

The DDX token is an ERC-20 governance and utility token “with various use cases. DDX allows token holders to participate in the governance of DerivaDAO from day one with their token holdings (or delegated voting power) to determine the evolution of the exchange.”

DDX can also be “used to pay reduced trading fees on the platform, and the token is staked (or bonded) by operators who run price feeds or matching engines.” Lastly, DDX holders can “stake the token to receive increased referral payouts from traders they have referred to the platform.”

DerivaDAO is the decentralized autonomous organization (DAO) that “governs DerivaDEX, a Coinbase-backed decentralized exchange (DEX) for derivative contracts built on Ethereum.” It features an open order book and on-chain settlement, and “leverages off-chain price feeds, matching engines, and liquidation operators to enable fast and efficient transactions of synthetic assets.”

Data Management Tokens

API3 (API3)

API3 is an ERC-20 utility token. API3 is a “collaborative project that delivers traditional API services to smart contract platforms in a decentralized and trust-minimized way.” Token holders must stake their assets in API3’s insurance collateral pool “to participate in the protocol’s governance.” The collateral pool “protects against issues that may arise from any disruption caused by the data distribution.”

When a user receives erroneous data, the collateral pool “gets slashed and the user receives the slashed funds as compensation.” API3 is “governed by a decentralized autonomous organization (DAO), namely the API3 DAO. API3’s code is open source, and its operations are transparent.”

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Coinsmart. Beste Bitcoin-Börse in Europa
Source: https://www.crowdfundinsider.com/2021/06/176733-gemini-adds-defi-infrastructure-data-management-crypto-tokens-alcx-ankr-ftm-mir-api3-ddx/

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Dutch Banking Challenger Bunq to Acquire €160M in Capital at €1.65B Valuation, Deal Includes SME Lending Platform Purchase

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Dutch banking challenger Bunq has reportedly committed to a €160 million round at a €1.65 billion valuation. Bunq will also be acquiring a small business lender as part of the transaction.

Bunq’s latest investment round was joined by an unnamed UK-based private equity company.

As reported by Dutch news outlet Het Financieele Dagblad, Bunq’s management recently agreed to the deal – which is a considerable increase from the Fintech’s previous €10 million round back in 2018, which was from company Chief Executive Ali Niknam.

Bunq managed to reach  €1 billion in user deposits, earlier this year, which is roughly double what the the digital banking platform reported in 2020. The company is now offering financial services in all EU nations as well as the United Kingdom.

Niknam had been hinting or suggesting for a fairly long time that the Fintech was focused on acquiring additional capital. Niknam has notably invested around €100 million of his own assets into the firm during the past 7 years.

The Het Financieele Dagblad confirmed that Bunq’s round is awaiting customary regulatory clearance as the financial regulator in the Netherlands will have to officially approve the transaction, which includes Bunq’s plans to purchase an SME lending platform from the private equity company.

It’s worth noting that Bunq has never provided clear details on the actual size of its European client base. The company has not offered detailed statements on its turnover or whether it has become a consistently profitable venture.

As covered last month, Mastercard announced that it named European challenger bank Bunq the first European issuer to launch Mastercard’s True Name feature across Europe to support transgender and non-binary communities. According to Mastercard, the feature enables cardholders to leverage their chosen name on their card offerings, removing a pain point for many in the LGBTQIA+ community.

As reported in December 2020, Bunq had managed to grow its mortgage portfolio by 400% within six months. Bunq began offering mortgages to Dutch clients in July 2020.

The digital bank had teamed up with third-party broker, asset manager NN IP, in order to provide these new investment options. NN IP would provide the loans via Bunq’s app, with the digital banking platform diverting approximately €100 million in customer deposits to assist with funding the initiative.

Coinsmart. Beste Bitcoin-Börse in Europa
Source: https://www.crowdfundinsider.com/2021/06/176842-dutch-banking-challenger-bunq-to-acquire-e160m-in-capital-at-e1-65b-valuation-deal-includes-sme-lending-platform-purchase/

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Fintech Shrap, Provider of Change Card and App for Replacing Coins, Launches Pilots in the UK

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A newly launched change card and app developed to replace coins by Fintech firm Shrap has introduced its pilot program – with the first two testing initiatives currently underway in Rochford in Essex and Denny in Scotland as part of the United Kingdom’s Community Access to Cash Pilots.

As noted by the company’s management:

“Think of Shrap like your coin jar… But when you want to use the change you have collected, there is no need to bag up coins and take them to the bank. Or pay high fees at a coin-cashing machine. Or ever deal with the coins at all, for that matter. Conveniently store your change, spend it, or withdraw it to your bank account. Using Shrap will ALWAYS be free of charge and anonymous.”

With a considerable decline in cash usage across the UK – especially after the global COVID-19 outbreak – the overall cost of supporting the infrastructure needed to sort out, transport and distribute cash is no longer practical.

Shrap’s management noted that they plan to make cash a lot more efficient and accessible by eliminating the requirement for coins – which includes low domination coins – most of which are only used a few times or just once.

When using cash at a retail shop, the business may provide change via a Shrap card. Clients are able to keep their change on the card – or Shrap’s mobile app – and can then make small payments to their friends or at local stores, anonymously and for no extra cost. Companies are supposed to maintain a “float” on the platform, with change provided via the mobile app or through an EPoS integration.

Shrap is regulated by the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and generates revenue by accruing interest on the cash that it holds.

Natalie Ceeney CBE, Chair of the Community Access to Cash Pilots, stated:

“One of the biggest risks to cash is its continued acceptance by businesses, and the biggest driver of cash acceptance is the cost and hassle of handling it. We are excited to be working with Shrap across several communities, trialling an innovative solution that enables businesses to continue accepting cash but without the expense and hassle of handling coins. Removing the need for coins in a cash transaction is another step to help us keep cash sustainable.”

Coinsmart. Beste Bitcoin-Börse in Europa
Source: https://www.crowdfundinsider.com/2021/06/176844-fintech-shrap-provider-of-change-card-and-app-for-replacing-coins-launches-pilots-in-the-uk/

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[Dandelion Energy in Wired] Your house could be a geothermal power station

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The way we heat and cool buildings is broken. In the US, temperature control accounts for more than half the average home’s annual energy consumption, which makes up over 12 per cent of the country’s greenhouse gas emissions.

Read more here.

Coinsmart. Beste Bitcoin-Börse in Europa
Source: https://blog.ourcrowd.com/your-house-could-be-a-geothermal-power-station/

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