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Cybersecurity Conference CyberCrimeCon 2018

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Cryptocurrency-Hacker

Group-IB, an international company that specializes in preventing cyber attacks, hosted a two-day cybersecurity conference CyberCrimeCon 2018 on Oct. 9 and 10. This year’s event brought together over 1500 experts from all over the world, including the representatives form INTERPOL, cyber police from different countries, cybersecurity companies, banks, government organizations, crypto industry. The event featured more than 30 reports and presentations. Over 100 international journalists attended the conference.

Global paradigm shift in cybersecurity

Ilya Sachkov, Group-IB CEO and founder, claimed that defense is an outdated strategy. Switching the focus from defense to hunting cybercriminals is a major trend of global cybersecurity market. «The main idea is to turn the tables and become a hunter, not a victim. You got to be a few steps ahead of cyber criminals and proactively prevent threats at early stages,» — highlighted Ilya Sachkov. This paradigm is embodied in Group-IB’s new cutting-edge solution aimed at multi-layered protection against targeted attacks.

CyberCrimeCon 2018

Raymond Cao, Digital Crime Officer at INTERPOL, speaking at CyberCrimeCon 2018 urged all the countries to develop cross-border cooperation, public-private partnership in order to combat cybercrime «Due to the borderless nature of cybercrime, it provides a perfect environment for cybercriminals to conceal their physical identities,» said Cao. «Therefore, if [Interpol] member countries are not coordinated properly, they will only visualize the part under their jurisdiction.»

CyberCrimeCon 2018

Annual Hi-Tech Crime Trends Report 2018

Dmitry Volkov, Group-IB CTO, presented an annual report Hi-Tech Crime Trends 2018, which analyzes global cybercrime trends and provides a forecast on future cyber threats. Group-IB experts estimated that in H2 2017-H1 2018 cyber attacks caused $49.4 million of damage to Russia’s financial sector. Every month, 1-2 banks lose money as a result of cyber attacks, and the damage caused by one successful theft is, on average, $2 million. Dmitry Volkov identified four hacking groups — Cobalt, MoneyTaker, Silence, Lazarus, — that pose a real threat to the financial sector. Banks are also among the main targets of state-sponsored hacker groups, specialized in sabotage. The top three countries of origin of the most active state-sponsored hacker groups are China, North Korea and Iran, while Asia Pacific was the target of most attacks carried out by hackers from multiple countries in the H2 of 2017 and H1 of 2018.

CyberCrimeCon 2018

According to Group-IB Brand-Protection, the online market for counterfeit goods in Russia has increased by 23% in a year and totaled more than $1.5 billion in 2017, compared to $1.2 billion in 2016. Fraudsters use their websites to sell household appliances and computer equipment, clothing and footwear, jewellery, accessories, cosmetics, medicinal products, and much more, often at hugely discounted prices — up to 80% off. According to Group-IB’s data, every fifth counterfeit product was bought online. On average, Russians spend $78 per year on counterfeit goods.

Cyber threats for crypto industry

CyberCrimeCon 2018 had a separate crypto industry session. Group-IB experts discussed in details the trends and threats for crypto currency market. In 2017 and 2018 hackers’ interest in crypto currency exchanges ramped up. A total of 14 crypto currency exchanges have been attacked, suffering a total loss of $882 million. At least five attacks have been linked to the North Korean hackers from Lazarus state-sponsored group. ICOs are another hackers’ target: approximately 56% of all money siphoned off from ICO were stolen through phishing attacks. Group-IB experts predict that the biggest miners may become the target not only of cybercriminals, but also of state-sponsored groups.

CyberSchool: Group-IB announced the center for advanced cybersecurity education

Group-IB announced the opening of CyberSchool — the center for advanced cybersecurity education. CyberSchool offers a variety of hands-on education programs tailored for wide range of people with different levels of cybersecurity qualifications and skills — from school and university students to cybersecurity experts. Group-IB experts already work with the leading international and Russian universities, such as King Mongkut’s Institute of Technology Ladkrabang, Lomonosov Moscow State University, Saint Petersburg State University, Bauman Moscow State Technical University, National Research University — Higher School of Economics and many others.

CyberCrimeCon 2018

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Technologies

Brave is the Default browser on Obscure HTC Crypto-phone

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Stablecoin

The good news for Brave: its ad-blocking web browser is now the default option for surfing the net on a phone from a major phone maker, HTC. The bad news: it’s the HTC Exodus 1, a niche product aimed at cryptocurrency fans who’ve grown scarcer with bitcoin’s plunging value.

Chief Executive Brendan Eich, co-founder of Brave and previously Firefox maker Mozilla, revealed the partnership in a tweet over the weekend. “We are very happy to have Brave as default browser & to be working with HTC on their Exodus phone,” he tweeted.

Brave declined to detail the business or technical aspects of the partnership. But deals like it can be important for promoting browsers that typically generate revenue based on how much traffic they send to search engines. Indeed, Google doesn’t have to share search revenue generated by the Chrome browser, which is the default on many Android phones.

The Exodus 1 is designed to work with a variety of cryptocurrencies and their related blockchain underpinnings, including bitcoin, Ethereum Project and Dfinity, according to Phil Chen, HTC’s “decentralized chief officer.” His title is a nod to the founding principles of cryptocurrency, the idea that transaction processing can be accomplished with a network of computers independent of central authorities like banks.

That idea has been appealing to so-called crypto-anarchists who are skeptical of banks and governments. And for a time it appealed to a broader population excited by bitcoin’s surging value. That mainstream excitement has evaporated along with the value of bitcoin. Today a bitcoin is worth $3,477, down $15,060 a year ago.

Brave uses the cryptocurrency foundations itself to handle payment accounting for an online advertising system it’s building. In testing scheduled to begin this year, its basic attention token (BAT) will be used to send advertisers’ payments to Brave and to Brave users who opt into the system. The company also plans partnerships with publishers that will send advertisers’ payments to publishers, Brave and Brave users.

The BAT payment system, called Brave Rewards, already lets Brave users fund the websites they visit, as well as YouTubers and Twitch videogame streamers. Brave supplies BAT to browser users to fund those donations. To receive BAT payments, those publishers must register with Brave’s system, after which they can convert BAT to ordinary money.

Brave intends BAT to be a “utility token” rather than a general-purpose cryptocurrency, but you can buy BAT on cryptocurrency exchanges. BAT’s value hasn’t fallen as much as bitcoin’s, dropping from about 17 cents a year ago to 14 cents today.

Brave has about 4.7 million users on Android, iOS, Windows, MacOS and Linux devices, the company said.

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Blockchain

Digital Asset Security Startup Trustology Raises $8m

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Paxos

Former UBS blockchain lead Alex Batlin has raised $8 million in seed funding from Two Sigma Ventures and ConsenSys for his new startup developing technology and services to help private and institutional clients secure digital assets.

Batlin, who also led blockchain innovation work at BNY Mellon and was a founding member of the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance and R3, has put together a team of former banking and technology execs for Trustology.

The company, which was incubated at ConsenSys and is now onboarding beta clients, is hoping to cash in on the growing institutional interest in digital assets, promising to help protect them.

Its first product, TrustVault, combines private key protection against cyber and physical threats with low latency execution by safekeeping private keys and control code inside tamper proof, programmable hardware security modules hosted in secure data centres, with encrypted backups in the cloud.

The seed funding will be used to develop new capabilities like smart accounts with programmable controls, support additional asset classes and expand operations internationally.

Says Batlin: “Trustology’s unique blend of people, process, and key management technology offers industry defining digital asset security with speed of access and unrivalled ease of use.”

Joseph Lubin, founder, ConsenSys and co-founder of Ethereum, adds: “Trustology represents a profound technological piece that will move the needle noticeably on institutional adoption of digital assets. And the world class Trustology team has the pedigree to drive these discussions.”

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Blockchain

BitMart Announces Strategic Partnership with Tron

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Sci-Tech Report

In an effort to reach a consensus in the blockchain community, BitMart Exchange will be listing Tron (TRX), one of the largest blockchain-based decentralized operating systems in the world.

Tron is a well-known blockchain-based content delivery, storage and streaming platform. The Tron protocol offers base public blockchain support of high throughput, high scalability, and high availability for all decentralized applications in the ecosystem. Moreover, TRON uses invaluable feedback and constructive ideas from the blockchain community to improve the DPoS mechanism which avoids current PoW mechanisms’ high energy consumption, low efficiency and low TPS.

Tron aims to build an ecosystem that everyone can participate in and benefit from with the Tron network. Its wide variety of affiliated DAPPs not only render users reduced costs, but also improved convenience in daily life and financial return. By deploying their DAPPs on TRON, developers can expand their scope of business and bring publicity to their values and beliefs. Witnesses support the functioning of TRON network and gain remuneration for their effort. In short, everyone can devote themselves to the construction and get reward for their commitment.

On July 24th, TRON acquires the major P2P platform operator BitTorrent Inc. Once transmitting 40% of daily internet traffic, BitTorrent remains its status as the world’s largest decentralized protocol. According to the CEO and co-founder of the TRON Foundation – Justin Sun, the two platforms will be wholly integrated regarding a new project- Atlas. The blockchain project currently is working towards developing a custom token that will drive BitTorrent network. As the network will be working more efficiently, Tron promises faster download speed and a clear incentive to enable users to be part of it.

TRX token can be used to vote for super representatives and obtain bandwidth in Tron network. From the successful launching of TRX 20 token based on Ethereum’s protocol to the migration of Mainnet Odyssey 2.0, Tron is moving towards one of the mainstream public blockchains over the world. So far, TRX has been flooded with a million transactions on a daily basis. On top of this, it has also been listed on an array of top exchanges in Turkey and United Kingdom.

“Public chains give developers and users access to the network with only one entrance and are based on one set of standards.” Said Sheldon Xia, Founder & CEO of BitMart. “As BitMart’s long-term vision is to help reach a consensus in the blockchain community, our partnership with Tron will undoubtedly facilitate us to achieve this ambition based on our shared goals.”

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Business

TokenPlus Launches Leading Arbitrage Trading Platform

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Austrian Government

BitPhare, a fintech company specializing in blockchain technology and digital asset management, has launched TokenPlus, a leading cross-exchange automated arbitrage mechanism designed for the cryptocurrency market. TokenPlus features 24/7 automated hedging functionality to help investors capitalize on getting the best rate for their tokens.

Superior Execution and Ease of Use:

  • Provides over 60% annualized rate of return, surpassing industry average
  • Any level investor can easily utilize the platform without any prior arbitrage experience, and quickly benefit from an online set-up and subsequent login process
  • Upon registration, a free server is allocated to each user

Comprehensive Full-service Offering:

  • With support from nearly 20 top global exchanges and 500+ cryptocurrencies, users can choose from either bilateral and triangular strategies providing the most optimal level for success
  • Available in Chinese, English, and Korean

Market Monitoring and Strategic Advisory:

  • Monitors the markets and execute transactions, automatically
  • Provides multiple charts showing statistical analysis of market monitoring and profitability
  • Offers strategy recommendations and analysis of its progress to help users find opportunities and make appropriate decisions

Risk Control and Security:

  • Integrates a set of risk-control strategies within the system to mitigate potential transactional issues in the event of any errors on the exchange side
  • Partners with Jon Wick Security Lab to ensure a reliable user experience

Cipher Tang, CEO of BitPhare, said, “After seeing unprecedented growth and success of our TokenPlus platform on a local scale, we are excited to expand our product offering on a broader level and allow users to benefit from our arbitrage service to grow their digital assets with ease.”

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Business

CLS’s DLT Payment Netting Service Goes Live With Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley

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Morgan Stanley

CLSNet brings a bilateral payment netting service to over 120 currencies, optimizing intraday liquidity, improving operational efficiency, and reducing risk. Built in conjunction with IBM, it is the first global FX market enterprise application running on blockchain in production

CLS today announces that CLSNet, a standardized, automated bilateral payment netting service for over 120 currencies operating on a distributed ledger technology (DLT) platform, is now live with Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley. Six additional participants from North America, Europe and Asia, including Bank of China (Hong Kong), have committed to joining the service, with a steady onboarding of several other market participants planned in the next few months.

The service has been developed for, and in collaboration with, buy-side and sell-side institutions. CLSNet has been designed to standardize and increase the levels of payment netting in the FX market for trades not settling in CLSSettlement. By standardizing and automating the calculation of payment netting, CLSNet can reduce costs for market participants and increase liquidity in FX markets. The service also supports compliance with certain principles of the FX Global Code of Conduct.

Commenting on the launch, Alan Marquard, Chief Strategy and Development Officer, CLS, said, “We are excited to be launching CLSNet, the first service of its kind to be operated on a DLT platform. Further, this offering demonstrates how we are using our unique, trusted position at the center of the FX market to solve industry challenges.

“A standardized and automated payment netting process will lead to improved intraday liquidity, reduced cost, improved operational efficiencies and ultimately support business growth.”

Currently, a lack of standardization and automation introduces risk and operational inefficiencies for market participants. A limited number of participants currently net with each other on a regular basis, however these processes often have manual intervention and are not fully standardized or scalable. The impact of limited payment netting is exacerbated by the high settlement costs associated with emerging market currencies, despite their increased relevance for FX market participants.

Further, there are many FX market participants that do not net the payments in respect of FX trades, instead choosing to settle on a gross basis. These gross payments have full exposure to settlement risk, resulting in higher intraday liquidity demands and causing institutions to hold more capital.

CLSNet was built in conjunction with IBM and runs on the Linux Foundation’s Hyperledger Fabric blockchain framework. CLS’s collaboration with IBM has produced valuable insights into the benefits that DLT can bring to post-trade processes. CLS will use the knowledge and experience gained from building this service on DLT architecture as it looks to create greater efficiencies and reduce costs for clients.

Adam Josephart, Managing Director, Fixed Income Division, Morgan Stanley, said, “CLSNet will deliver the standardization and automation needed for non-CLS settled transactions. We are delighted that Morgan Stanley is one of the early adopters of the service.”

Barry Lo, General Manager, Bank-wide Operation Department of Bank of China (Hong Kong), said, “We take great pleasure in participating in CLSNet, which will enhance operational efficiency in trade matching and payment netting for non-CLS settled currencies such as CNH, and strengthen our risk management. This underscores our strong commitment to driving Fintech innovation and represents a major step forward in the application of new technology in our businesses.”

“Since we first pioneered the use of blockchain in the FX market nearly three years ago, IBM has been working hard with CLS on the development and deployment of CLSNet as the first post-trade production deployment of blockchain technology in a global market utility,” said Marie Wieck, General Manager, IBM Blockchain. “With CLSNet now in production with two of the world’s largest banks, for a major market function, it is a testament to the ongoing maturity of blockchain technology and the value that it can deliver in practice.”

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Altcoins

BitTorrent Accepts TRON, Binance and Bitcoin Cryptocurrencies for Pro & Ads Free Products

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Oracle

BitTorrent, Inc., the company behind the world’s most popular P2P communications protocol and products, namely BitTorrent and µTorrent, today announced that customers can pay for its popular Pro and Ads Free products in TRX, BNB, and BTC. With the help of CoinPayments.net, a leading integrated payment gateway provider for cryptocurrencies, BitTorrent introduces decentralized currencies into one of the world’s largest decentralized applications.

“BitTorrent joins a growing list of online companies whose products and services accept TRX as payment,” said Justin Sun, Founder of TRON and CEO of BitTorrent. “With BitTorrent’s over 100 million users, the move helps increase the use of TRX in online marketplaces while giving consumers more options to unlock value from BitTorrent’s premium products.”

Holders of the leading cryptocurrencies can purchase one-year subscriptions of BitTorrent or µTorrent products, including Ads Free and Pro for Windows. Pro includes anti-virus and anti-malware screening, file converting and playability in HD. Users can visit bittorrent.com or utorrent.com to learn more.

About BitTorrent

Founded with a leading peer-to-peer sharing technology standard in 2004, BitTorrent, Inc. is a consumer software company based in San Francisco. Through a suite of distributed technologies that scale efficiently, BitTorrent enables users to send large files over the internet through its popular peer-to-peer sharing protocol, enabling legitimate third party content providers to connect with users.

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Altcoins

Napston Launches 100% Automated Cryptocurrency Trading Platform based on Proprietary Distributed Artificial Neural Networks Technology

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Napston

Cryptocurrency trading is all set to become safe and profitable like never before, with the recent launch of a fully automated crypto trading platform by Napston. This groundbreaking trading platform is based on a proprietary technology called Distributed Artificial Neural Networks that has been programmed to accurately predict the market by utilizing the processing power from thousands of independent sources.  

Napston is pleased to announce that their new, fully automated cryptocurrency trading platform has recently gone live. Built around the company’s proprietary Distributed Artificial Neural Networks, Napston creates an opportunity even for the inexperienced crypto enthusiasts to earn a decent passive interest on their Bitcoin and Ethereum holdings.   

Since the creation of bitcoin in 2009, over three hundred different cryptocurrencies have been launched. As a result of the extreme volatility of the crypto market, trading of cryptocurrencies has emerged as a lucrative alternative for the traders around the world. However, this can be an extremely complex and risky proposition without a trustworthy trading platform. 

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Napston entered the cryptocurrency space in 2013, long before it became mainstream. Over the last five years, the company has been through all the uncertainties and fluctuations of this evolving market. During this phase, Napston was serving only the larger corporate and high net worth individual customers, helping them properly structure and trade their cryptocurrency portfolios. They have spent a high percentage of profits to build the proprietary Distributed Artificial Neural Networks technology. This advanced technology has now formed the foundation of Napston’s automated crypto trading platform. 

A DANN is a network of nodes, just like neural networks in the human brain. They are programmed to predict the market with a high degree of accuracy. This accuracy, however, depends entirely on the processing power available. This problem has been addressed by utilizing the computing power generated by a large and highly distributed network of computers. 

Some of the most lucrative trading benefits offered by Napston are 

  • Up to 1.5% per business day without actually doing any trades
  • Instant withdrawals
  • Referral incentives over 20%, up to 10 levels
  • Get started in 30 seconds
  • Full transparency and detailed reporting
  • State-of-the-art security across the platform
  • Full compliance

Napston is currently offering three attractive trading packages that can be purchased with Bitcoin and Ethereum. Generous referral commissions are also up for grabs. Mentioned below are the three packages at a glance. 

  • Starter: Minimum $100 in Bitcoin, 1% per day, for 150 days, 3 level referral system
  • Advanced: Minimum $1000 in Bitcoin, 1.25 % per day, for 150 days, 5 level referral system
  • Expert: Minimum $5000 in Bitcoin, 1.50 % per day, for 150 days, 10 level referral system

“Our just launched trading platform is only about helping you earn the profit on your otherwise dormant Bitcoins or Ethereum without breaking a sweat yourself, “ said a senior spokesperson from Napston. “We believe there’s serious demand for that and the customers who have already joined us prove that vision.” 

To find out more, please visit https://www.napston.com/

About Napston: Napston is a just launched cryptocurrency trading platform built on a proprietary technology called Distributed Artificial Neural Networks. This 100% automated platform is dedicated to helping individuals earn a decent passive interest from their dormant Bitcoin and Ethereum holdings with minimum skill and effort. Napston currently offers three trading packages, offering 1.5% per day and over 20% referral incentives. 

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Technologies

Coinbase-backed Startup Launches $799 Home Crypto Miner

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Crypto Miner

Until a few years ago, you could mine Bitcoin with a laptop. Today, the process is more like running a factory: it requires specialized chips, hot and noisy mining rigs, and enough electricity to power a small city.

That’s why the arrival of a device called the Coinmine One is intriguing. The makers of the device (pictured above), which sells for $799, are pitching it as an easy-to-use home mining system you can control with an app.

The device uses ordinary GPU chips and isn’t powerful enough to mine Bitcoin. It can, though, currently mine four other cryptocurrencies—Ethereum, Ethereum Classic, Monero and Zcash—and has its own operating system, which will let owners add other currencies in the future.

Coinmine is the brainchild of Farb Nivi, an entrepreneur who says he has built computers since he was a kid, and industrial designer Justin Lambert, who helped a line of smartwatches called Pebble. The company has raised $2 million from prominent names in the cryptocurrency realm, including Coinbase Ventures, Arrington Ventures, and Coinbase chief technology officer Balaji Srinivasan.

I wanted to see the mining device in action so Nivi came by Fortune’s office to provide a demo. He pulled a Coinmine One out of a large backpack, plugged it into a wall and displayed an app that shows how much cryptocurrency it is mining.

The most notable features of the Coinmine are that it’s quiet and that it uses no more electricity than a vacuum cleaner, according to Nivi. It also has an attractive design with an Apple-style aesthetic, which is a marked contrast from the clunky devices normally used for mining.

For aspiring miners, the device also requires a degree of trust: an owner must rely on Coinmine to collect the currency the device mines. The company stores the output in wallets on its corporate servers, taking a 5% cut.

According to Nivi, the appeal of the device is two-fold. First, it provides a hassle free way to earn cryptocurrency. Secondly, he predicts people will use it to get in on the ground-floor of new currencies that arrive on the market since they will be able to mine them directly rather than buying them.

“With automatic updates, MineOS also gives access to new crypto networks like Bitcoin Lightning, Grin, Dfinity, and Filecoin. This feature ensures users do not miss out on powering the next important crypto network,” said the company in a release.

Nivi also thinks more cryptocurrencies will follow the path of Monero, which now updates its protocol so as to thwart those who try to mine it with specialized ASIC chips. Such chips, which are today essential for mining Bitcoin, are single purpose and able to mine far more efficiently than general purpose GPU chips.

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Technologies

Cryptocurrency Mining Malware Targets Linux Systems

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cryptocurrency-mining

With the popularity of cryptocurrencies, it is no surprise that cybercriminals continue to develop and fine-tune various cryptocurrency-mining malware. Indeed, this kind of threat is one of Trend Micro’s most consistently detected malware, affecting a wide range of platforms and devices.

We recently encountered a cryptocurrency-mining malware (detected by Trend Micro as Coinminer.Linux.KORKERDS.AB) affecting Linux systems. It is notable for being bundled with a rootkit component (Rootkit.Linux.KORKERDS.AA) that hides the malicious process’ presence from monitoring tools. This makes it difficult to detect, as infected systems will only indicate performance issues. The malware is also capable of updating and upgrading itself and its configuration file.

Interestingly, the permission model in Unix and Unix-like operating systems like Linux make it tricky to run executables with privileges. We construe that this cryptocurrency-mining malware’s infection vector is a malicious, third-party/unofficial or compromised plugin (i.e., media-streaming software). Installing one entails granting it admin rights, and in the case of compromised applications, malware can run with the privileges granted to the application. It’s not an uncommon vector, as other Linux cryptocurrency-mining malware tools have also used this as an entry point.

 

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Technologies

Company IT Infrastructure Struggling to Keep up with Cryptocurrency

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Company IT

The rise of cryptocurrency means financial firms may have to replace much of their internal IT infrastructure. That was one of the messages delivered at the ScotChain18 conference in Edinburgh this week which explored the effects that the rise of Blockchain will have on commerce.

The not for profit event was hosted at RBS Gogarburn in Edinburgh on Thursday and was organised by data recruiter MBN Solutions and blockchain specialist Spiritus. Jeremy Drane of crypto systems firm Libra said: “There’s an assumption by some companies that their current infrastructure will accept crypto and blockchain.

“We have been educating customers in what are the minute differences between data structures that don’t allow your systems to work and that it is better to buy new than repurpose your old software.

“It is hard for people to accept that as new data structures come along their old systems won’t work with it.”

ScotChain18 featured a broad range of speakers from across the cyptocurrency industry. Deloitte’s Risk Advisory Leader for Fintech and RegTech Kent McKenzie explained the regulation challenges that blockchain poses governments around the world while Apolline Blandin of the Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance told the audience of the framework her organisation was creating to standardise the process structure of cryptocurrency.

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