Amazon loses control of cloud services in MyEtherWallet-linked hijack

Amazon loses control of cloud services in MyEtherWallet-linked hijack

Amazon has lost it. At least it did for a couple of hours Tuesday morning. An unidentified hacker was able to exploit a known bug in Internet routing protocols to compromise Amazon’s cloud servers, ultimately stealing about $150,000 in Ether (ETH), the cryptocurrency backed by Ethereum.

The hack took advantage of a weakness of a part of the Internet’s Domain Naming Service (DNS) protocols and allowed the hackers to mimic the cryptocurrency website MyEtherWallet.com. The attack began at around 6:00 AM PST and approximately 1,300 IP (Internet Protocol) addresses were targeted. The addresses reportedly belong to Amazon’s DNS, Route 53.

Amazon refuted the claims. In a statement obtained by Ars Technica, the e-commerce company said, “Neither AWS nor Amazon Route 53 were hacked or compromised. An upstream Internet Service Provider (ISP) was compromised by a malicious actor who then used that provider to announce a subset of Route 53 IP addresses to other networks with whom this ISP was peered. These peered networks, unaware of this issue, accepted these announcements and incorrectly directed a small percentage of traffic for a single customer’s domain to the malicious copy of that domain.”

The hack centers on the Border Gateway Protocol (BGP), part of the DNS system that correlates website names to IP address destinations. The BGP allows network operators the ability to send large amounts of Internet traffic from one location to another. Although it is considered to be a critical component of the Internet, it relies on open DNS systems that rely on a “trust factor” whereby entities are assumed to be who they say they are. The bug has been around for years, but no patch has yet to be created.

Last year there were two BGP-based attacks. The first occurred in April and involved traffic from Symantec, MasterCard and Visa. The second took place in December, and impacted Facebook, Apple, Microsoft and Google.

This latest attack was traced to a server in Russia by security researchers. $150,000 is a substantial amount to lose, it’s nothing compared to what was revealed to be held in the destination wallet. The researchers determined that the hacker’s wallet contained $17 million worth of digital currency.

Note: Tokens on the Bitcoin Core (segwit) Chain are Referred to as BTC coins. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is today the only Bitcoin implementation that follows Satoshi Nakamoto’s original whitepaper for Peer to Peer Electronic Cash. Bitcoin BCH is the only major public blockchain that maintains the original vision for Bitcoin as fast, frictionless, electronic cash.
MyEtherWallet falls victim to DNS attack

MyEtherWallet falls victim to DNS attack

Client-facing Ethereum wallet MyEtherWallet has become the latest victim of a DNS attack. Users of the service reported missing funds, which have been confirmed by third party sources, as a result of the hijacking of their servers—a factor security experts have attributed to the risks of providing access to funds from a centralised source.

Initial reports began emerging on Tuesday, with users reporting suspicious behaviour around their MyEtherWallet accounts. The platform does not hold any cryptocurrency itself, but by providing a centralised interface for users, it is subject to the same risks that affect any website—the risk of a hack to the DNS servers, which can compromise the website and the details of those who have interacted with it.

While initial reports were confirmed by MyEtherWallet, panic only started to properly set in with the emergence of a post on Reddit. According to the user affected, who was confronted with an error when logging on to the site, his gut feeling was that something was amiss.

“Even though every part of my body told me not to try and log in, I did. As soon as I logged in, there was a countdown for about 10 seconds and A tx was made sending the available money I had on the wallet to another wallet.”

According to third party services, the wallet address linked to the scam has already conducted some 180 scam transactions, totalling as many as 215 ETH worth over $134,000 based on current trading prices. After several hours, MyEtherWallet announced that “everything is now back to normal.”

In a statement on Reddit, the MyEtherWallet team said the attack was not due to a lack of security on the platform, but “hackers finding vulnerabilities in public facing DNS servers.”

“This redirecting of DNS servers is a decade-old hacking technique that aims to undermine the Internet’s routing system. It can happen to any organization, including large banks,” the statement read.

According to analysts at rival firm MyCrypto, the only way to protect against this type of hack is to use a hardware wallet, or to run this type of platform in the offline environment, thus preventing the risk of a DNS hijack.

“Lots of anti-phishing folks in the community and on our team are attempting to collect information about what happened to MEW, as well as attempting to get in touch with their team to assist in any way we can. Moral of the story: use a hardware wallet or run offline,” MyCrypto tweeted.

The news will be concerning for any user of the MyEtherWallet service, with those who have logged in over the last couple of days at the most significant risk of being compromised.

Note: Tokens on the Bitcoin Core (segwit) Chain are Referred to as BTC coins. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is today the only Bitcoin implementation that follows Satoshi Nakamoto’s original whitepaper for Peer to Peer Electronic Cash. Bitcoin BCH is the only major public blockchain that maintains the original vision for Bitcoin as fast, frictionless, electronic cash.
AI for governance: Can governments be replaced with decentralized intelligence?

Implants, biometrics or wearables: What is the ultimate wallet of the future?

A column exploring blockchain-related possibilities in the far future.
 Here, we look at blockchain technology in conjunction
 with other developing technologies. 
 Disclaimer: this post may be closer to science fiction than fact.

Consolidating wallets and identification systems into one digital wallet is something some start-ups are already starting to work on. Today, cryptocurrency wallets are largely desktop, hardware drive, or mobile-based. But with several other technologies developing simultaneously, it’s hard not to think how these devices may become obsolete in the near future.

So what comes after—what emerging technologies do we know of that may replace what we have now?

  1. Chip Implants

This payment option is one of the most popular contenders in this race and is also a very common sci-fi detail. In fact, the concept of network-enabled chip implants has survived decades of science fiction and has been featured in shows and movies, including Andrew Niccol’s In Time (2011), and the Outer Limits, “Stream of Consciousness (1997).”

The concept is both badass and terrifying at the same time. And the most interesting thing is that this may actually become a reality soon. In 2016, a company aptly named Dangerous Things launched a product called xNT Tag, an implantable chip that can facilitate NFC transactions, including financial transactions like cryptocurrency payments.

This is the kind of stuff dystopian movies are made of. Unsurprisingly, the product has not obtained government approval and comes with a stern warning:

“This kit definitely contains dangerous things,” they wrote on their website.” Use of this device is strictly at your own risk.”

Still, Dangerous Things reached their $8,000 goal within a week of launching their Indiegogo fundraiser, and ended up with nearly four times that amount at $30,619, an indication that some are for it. Although most people would probably prefer a more medically established and “trust-worthy” source for something as sensitive as chip implants.

But here’s one argument against chip impants: as we all know, where money goes, crime follows. Will muggers start chopping off body parts to get the money? This is a gruesome thought. Although a simple multi-signature mechanism could deter such a modus—requiring passphrases for transaction confirmation in addition to the implants. But even with this in place, some may still try—God forbid you run across an ill-informed mugger.

Although highly convenient—not to mention superbly suave—another downside to chip implants is the fact that people will be reluctant to insert a device into their body, even if it’s just right under the skin. But assuming that a person is okay with this, there lies the question of privacy—can it be subjected to abuse, particularly in tracking individuals?

This would, of course, be a gross violation of rights. But it is worth noting that phones can already easily be monitored now (and can be tracked quietly in the background even when apps are inactive). But unlike phones, one would have to cut himself before an implant can be ditched.

Last month in Hong Kong, I asked Shyft Network’s CEO Bruce Silcoff—who himself is working on a blockchain-based universal ID system to help unbanked people gain access to financial services—what he thinks of an utterly dystopian possibility where it’s mandatory for humans to be implanted with such a chip upon birth. This was one of the worst case scenarios I could think of. And even he thinks it’s a scary thought.

“There are a few companies that have been working on a consolidating both the payment side and the identity side into one wallet. What does that look like—whether it’s a wearable, whether it’s embedded in you—I think that almost scares me a little bit if it’s embedded in you.”

“If we ever get to a day where government tells you, ‘you gotta put a chip in your body,’ that’s a problem,” he adds. Silcoff says there are ways for the government and society to work in harmony for a balance between freedom and regulatory obligations.

“There’s a fine line between freedom and convenience or advancement in technology,” Silcoff says. “as long as it’s up to the consumer—the individual person, to choose the form that they’re comfortable with—that they have their freedom of choice.”

  1. Biometric Identification and Payments

I asked some friends at Coin Crunch, a team conducting Podcasts and Youtube videos where they review cryptocurrency projects and interview founders. And while many are putting their bets on implants, Coin Crunch’s Danny Fries has his money on biometrics—another popular contender in the race.

“I think it will be a bio recognition app as a primary security layer—fingerprint, facial recognition, and voice,” Fries says. “The benefits being that (1) you don’t have to remember your key and (2) the above three are entirely unique to individuals.”

“The main dangers I see are that facial / voice can be faked with some new tech… this will probably get worse as tech gets better. Example: (Lyrebird, a voice-cloning synthesizer),” Fries says. `

“One possible solution would be to combine a simple safeword / traditional memorable password with the voice recognition part,” he adds. Coin Crunch is a community of intelligent blockchain investors and technologists that focus on big picture ideas and the groundbreaking tech of new crypto projects, releasing content regularly on Youtube, and have had their fare share of technology assessments.

Fries’s bet is actually quite a viable horse: it may be easier for a biometrics-based system to gain widespread acceptance, having already been widely implemented in other applications. Another benefit that comes to mind is “distress detection,” which may be handy in identifying theft and hostile situations. This has been studied by researchers from the University of British Columbia.

If biometrics can go so far as to detect “distress” at a time when a transaction is being initiated, maybe it can trigger an alarm for authorities to monitor something that could potentially be a case of kidnap for extortion—something that may become dreadfully common these days.

  1. Wearables

They don’t have the same sci-fi appeal that implants and biometrics do but wearable devices have an edge over other technologies: they’re not as intrusive as implants, and are already a far more common and easily accepted thing these days.

One disadvantage to wearables is that compared to the first two, there is a better chance of misplacing this device, although there are ways to locate a missing device using mobile phones. Stealing such wallets can be so easy for expertly dexterous, sleight-of-hand bandits, but again, multi-sig features can be a life-saver.

With so many developing technologies, the room for speculation is wide open. What do you think is the ultimate wallet of the future? Are there any technological developments worth watching and putting on the list?

Let us know your views in the comments below.

Cecille de Jesus
@the_Scientress

Jonald Fyookball: Electron Cash users 'go online with a watching-only wallet'

Jonald Fyookball: Electron Cash users ‘go online with a watching-only wallet’

Electron Cash lets users keep private keys—no need to download entire blockchain.

There are several wallet options out there for cryptocurrency holdings. The choice depends on what your funds are for: long-term holders prefer offline or “cold” wallets; active traders keep them in live wallets, usually exchanges—they can easily trade between cryptocurrencies but are more vulnerable to attack.

Electron Cash—a light wallet specifically for Bitcoin Cash (BCH), however, employs a different game plan: a hybrid between hot and cold, restricting online access so the signature part of the process is done offline.  “Your private keys are encrypted and never leave your computer,” their website reads. “Keep your private keys offline, and go online with a watching-only wallet.”

Its creator, Jonald Fyookball, who has been actively reviewing and assessing protocol proposals and developments in Bitcoin—including issues surrounding the scaling debate, has become a prolific member of the community and a household name for those immersed in the space.

In an email interview with CoinGeek, Jonald Fyookball expounds more on how this works.

“Most casual users think of “spending a transaction” as a single maneuver, but you can break it down into 3 distinct steps.  First the transaction is created by specifying the inputs and outputs.  Second, it is signed using the private key(s).  And third, it is broadcast to the network,” he wrote.

“You can think of offline signing as a process where the user does steps 1 and 3 on their online computer and does step #2 (the actual signing with a private key) using an offline computer.  So you create the transaction, save it (either as a file or a QR code), transfer it to an offline machine where you sign it, then copy the signed transaction back to an Internet-connected computer for broadcasting.  This way, the machine with the private keys never has to touch the Internet.”

He adds that Electron Cash gives users the full security benefits of keeping their own private keys—unlike cryptocurrency exchanges, without requiring them to download the entire blockchain history—something common to several Bitcoin clients that ultimately discourages other users and pushes them back to lighter wallet options. If you’ve ever tried a wallet that requires downloading all the nodes, it’s a gruelling and frustrating task that heats up your computer and eats up quite a bit of your bandwidth.

“Electron Cash gives you the best of both worlds because you control your own private keys but you also don’t have to download blockchain.  You can restore your wallet from a secret seed so that you don’t need to back up your wallet file as long as you have the seed.  There’s also other cool features like coin control.

We’re working right now on new versions for devices we haven’t covered in the past such as the iPhone.”

Coin Control, mentioned above, is a feature that enables users to pick and mix coins from your balance will be used for your next transaction, and which addresses they will be coming from. Consolidating small amounts you received, say as change for previous transactions, helps reduce fees and adds a layer of privacy/anonymity to your transactions. When asked what inspired him to create the wallet—which is free for all to use, Fyookball says it was a decision made around the time of the fork, and that the wallet is in fact, a “fork” itself.

“As many people know, Electron Cash is a fork of the popular Electrum wallet.  This was my favorite wallet as a BTC user, and I wanted to recreate the same wallet experience and make that available on Bitcoin Cash.  

I was in close communication with those in the community that decided to initiate the BCH fork from BTC, and decided having this wallet available was important for the launch, so I got involved.  I’m glad we were able to make that happen.”

Electron Cash has also opened up a bug bounty program for devs who want to help the community by putting the wallet’s code to the test. Interested white hat hackers can take their chance at the bug bounty, currently worth $2,000. The communication platform of choice for this is still Github.

“We usually use Github as a handy interface between the Electron Cash developers and the wider community,” Fyookball wrote.

Note: Tokens in the SegWit chain are referred to as SegWit-Coin BTC (inaccurately called Bitcoin Legacy or Core by many) and SegWit Gold (SWG) and are no longer Bitcoin. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is the only true Bitcoin as intended by the original Satoshi white paper.  Bitcoin BCH is the only public block chain that offers safe and cheap microtransactions.
Crypto vlogger alleges theft of $2M during live show

Crypto vlogger alleges theft of $2M during live show

There’s strange, and then there’s strange. In an example of the latter, a cryptocurrency vlogger named Ian Balina was recently the target of a hack on his wallets, resulting in an apparent loss of digital assets worth around $2 million. It all happened during a livestream while Balina was discussing an initial coin offering (ICO), but several issues stand out that are making some wonder if it all wasn’t just a ruse to gain a little attention, as well as free publicity.

Balina has his own YouTube channel with about 116,000 subscribers. Coincidentally, Balina’s video stream was set against a backdrop that was titled, “Are Your Crypto Assets Safe?” During the show, a viewer left a comment, “Ian, did you know that somebody transferred all your tokens from your account?” No one seemed to take notice, not even Balina, and there was no mention of how the viewer could have known that the hack was being conducted at that moment (strange entry number one).

About 20 minutes later, Balina’s feed suddenly went dark and when it returned a few hours later, he explained that it had been due to a power outage. He resumed the show as if nothing had happened, as any good host would do, only to make an off-the-cuff mark a while later that he had been signed out of his Google Sheets profile. He continued the show without any further comment on the subject (strange entry number two).

Advance a few more hours, and Balina is now on his Telegram channel, begging for help from the cryptocurrency community. Balina said, “Hey Crypto Family, I need you now more than ever.  I had to end today’s live stream abruptly because I am being hacked.” He went on to say that he wasn’t worried about getting the money returned to him—he only wanted to see the hackers caught (strange entry number three). Losing $2 million in a matter of seconds would be enough to turn almost anyone into Rambo.

Balina, after another break, returned to his Telegram account to post his theory on how the hack could have occurred. Although it has since been deleted, the post read, “This is how I think I got hacked. My college email was listed as a recovery email to my Gmail. I remember getting an email about it being compromised, and tried to follow up with my college security to get it resolved, but wasn’t able to get it handled in fast manner and gave up on it thinking it was just an old email. I kept text versions of my private keys stored in my Evernote, as encrypted text files with passwords. I think they hacked my email using my college email, and then hacked my Evernote.”

There are certainly a number of questions that the whole scenario raises. How did the individual know that the wallets were being hacked? How could anyone be so nonchalant over losing $2 million? Why does anyone use Evernote?

The good news, Balina announced on Twitter, is that he has “recovered the PundiX tokens the hacker left in the wallet.” The rest, however, is somewhere out there.

Note: Tokens in the SegWit chain are referred to as SegWit-Coin BTC (inaccurately called Bitcoin Legacy or Core by many) and SegWit Gold (SWG) and are no longer Bitcoin. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is the only true Bitcoin as intended by the original Satoshi white paper.  Bitcoin BCH is the only public block chain that offers safe and cheap microtransactions.
Why one cryptocurrency wallet is getting under everyone’s skin

Why one cryptocurrency wallet is getting under everyone’s skin

Could this be the future of payments? While most of us currently use leather-bound wallets to carry our fiat, and cell phones to carry our cryptocurrency, a new wallet is in the works that could make both of them obsolete. Near-field communication (NFC) wallets the size of a grain of rice are becoming all the rave because of their usefulness and installation location—under the wallet owner’s skin.

The wallet, a subdermal microchip, is capable of storing up to 888 bytes, or about 26 encrypted cryptocurrency keys. It is surgically implanted—similar to the identification chips inserted in pet animals—just below the surface of the skin. When someone wants to pay with their cryptocurrency, all the user has to do is scan the chip with his or her NFC-capable smartphone to decrypt the keys and complete the transaction.

If a user needs to change the key, the device can be removed and subsequently replaced with other keys. Since the devices are encrypted, it isn’t possible to simply scan it to extract the code.

One of the first to receive the implant was Martijn Wismeijer. The Dutch crypto investor and crypto ATM installer had two chips installed, one in each hand, for two of his wallets. In an interview with IBTimes, Wismeijer said, “I did it because I wanted to experiment with strong bitcoins using subdermal implants because that’s what I thought would be the Holy Grail of contactless payments.”

Wismeijer said that the process was virtually painless. He had it done at a body piercing studio and, after his story broke, at least 50 other individuals have followed suit.

The process is approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the United States. Those that consider making the switch to a sub-skin wallet are cautioned, however, that there have been studies linking NFC chips to cancer.

Cryptocurrency security is one of the most often-discussed topics in the industry. With investors reporting that they have lost as much as 23% of their currency due to theft or fraud, and are not able to get it back, this solution might be a way for users to keep their assets covered.

Note: Tokens in the SegWit chain are referred to as SegWit-Coin BTC (inaccurately called Bitcoin Legacy or Core by many) and SegWit Gold (SWG) and are no longer Bitcoin. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is the only true Bitcoin as intended by the original Satoshi white paper.  Bitcoin BCH is the only public block chain that offers safe and cheap microtransactions.
Mycelium readies full Bitcoin Cash support

Mycelium readies full Bitcoin Cash support

Mycelium was one of the first cryptocurrency wallets to hit the market in 2008. Since its inception, the wallet has focused on SegWit-Coin BTC (also known as Bitcoin Legacy or Core), and offers five different account types—Hierarchical Deterministic (the wallet address changes often), Bit ID (an open protocol), Single Address, Watch-Only and Hardware, which is used for offline hardware wallets. Having said all that, the SegWit-Coin BTC-only wallet has finally decided to open up, and will soon offer support for Bitcoin Cash (BCH).

A user on the popular forum website Reddit first pointed out the pending upgrade.  The user, “LuxuriousThrowAway,” started a thread about the subject, including a link to the app in the Google Play Store. The description of the app reads, “Mycelium Bitcoin Cash Module is a technology preview of the new modular architecture. The module introduces limited Bitcoin Cash (BCH) accounts support, which allows to discover BCH on your BTC accounts and instantly exchange it to BTC so far. Full BCH support is coming soon.”

Other Reddit users began to respond, with one pointing out that the app had already been in the store for some time, but that it didn’t work. Another user pointed out that using it required using the mycelium full version wallet, and that, for now, users could only sell BCH for SegWit-Coin BTC. Several others showed their surprise that mycelium still existed.  Virtually all participants in the thread agreed that the inclusion of BCH was a good thing, but that mycelium implementation method of modularization was a little clunky.

On the Google Play Store, mycelium has been downloaded 500,000 times and has a rating of 4.1 out of 5. There have been a total of 33 reviews, with the more recent ones giving the wallet three stars or less. Hopefully, the inclusion of BCH is an indication that the wallet developers are back on track, and will be implementing more features in the not-too-distant future.

Note: Tokens in the SegWit chain are referred to as SegWit-Coin BTC (inaccurately called Bitcoin Legacy or Core by many) and SegWit Gold (SWG) and are no longer Bitcoin. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is the only true Bitcoin as intended by the original Satoshi white paper.  Bitcoin BCH is the only public block chain that offers safe and cheap microtransactions.
Ledger investigates wallet’s sudden lack of Bitcoin Cash support

Ledger investigates wallet’s sudden lack of Bitcoin Cash support

The Ledger team has resolved the reported sudden lack of Bitcoin Cash support on its wallet.

On Wednesday, a Ledger spokesperson confirmed to CoinGeek that “this issue has now been resolved.”

“Recent updates to Bitcoin Cash infrastructure resulted in Ledger customers seeing inaccurate balances displayed on their BCH Wallets. As a result of Bitcoin Cash infrastructure changes, Ledger software was temporarily unable to acquire balance and transaction information from the Bitcoin Cash blockchain. This issue has now been resolved. Customers do not need to take any action, and BCH balances will be updated automatically. We apologise for any inconvenience,” the spokesperson said.

On the Reddit forum /r/ledgerwallet, users complained that they have been unable to access their funds on the Ledger wallet for the past two days due to technical problems. Some users reported encountering problems with their transactions if they use BCH as currency, while others are completely shut out of their balances.

According to a Reddit user who wanted to transfer from Coinbase to Nano S, transfers involving SegWit-Coin BTC, LTC and ETH went through just fine but the BCH transaction did not work although the QT Code was scanned accordingly for funds to be received. The user complained that after 36 hours nothing had happened. The situation has created consternation amongst Ledger Wallet users who have taken to social media to voice their concerns.

Ledger Wallet initially addressed the incident in a tweet and also posted an “Active Incident” report after the degraded performance of BCH transactions. The report, which was lodged on April 9 at 7:10 a.m. UTC, noted that “the new version of Bitcoin ABC (Bitcoin Cash node) breaks compatibility with our parser.” This resulted in incorrect result balances on the Ledger Wallet, according to the team.

Ledger maintained that all funds were safe and can still be accessed in emergency situations using the software wallet Electron Cash.

Despite the immediate response, users still hit out at Ledger over the company’s inordinate amount of time it took for the problem to be solved. Nicolas Bacca, CTO of Ledger, addressed the issue, saying:

“The team is still investigating. I’m not following this closely, but if invalid data was fed into our parser it could be necessary to reparse the whole chain which will take a few days. Thanks for your patience, and feel free to open an issue on Electron Cash github if it isn’t working properly… for any blogger trying to misquote me—this means that another team is working on it as fast as they can, but not myself.”

Meanwhile, CEO Eric Larchevêque assured its clients that Ledger’s entire infrastructure engineering team “is working on fixing the outage since we have been aware a day ago.”

The incident report previously stated: “Our main servers are now synced and running. We’ll run on a degraded infrastructure the time for us to ensure that everything is fine (next 12 hours). Once we’re sure that everything is running smoothly, we’ll apply our patches to Ledger blockchain explorer and the BCH daemon before we sync the rest of our infrastructure.”

Note: Tokens in the SegWit chain are referred to as SegWit-Coin BTC (inaccurately called Bitcoin Legacy or Core by many) and SegWit Gold (SWG) and are no longer Bitcoin. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is the only true Bitcoin as intended by the original Satoshi white paper.  Bitcoin BCH is the only public block chain that offers safe and cheap microtransactions.
Abra wallet adds support for Bitcoin Cash

Abra wallet adds support for Bitcoin Cash, other cryptocurrencies

Another wallet has taken the decision to embrace Bitcoin Cash. Abra now supports the cryptocurrency, adding to the continued acceptance of the fourth most popular digital coin. The Abra app is available for both Android and iOS devices.

Anyone with a bank account can use the Abra app. Users can connect their Abra account with a bank account, an American Express card or even a cryptocurrency wallet. There are no transaction fees to exchange currency through Abra, except for the fees charged by American Express. All other transactions are completely free.

The wallet now provides support for 20 different digital currencies, as well as 50 fiat currencies. The app allows users to manage all aspects of their crypto investments, including the ability to buy and sell, store or invest and manage the investments.  Abra is a non-custodial wallet where only the user holds the key.

Deposits and withdrawals take place through “Abra Tellers,” which are either businesses or individuals. The tellers can charge a fee, which they can establish as they wish. Unlike some wallets, Abra doesn’t hold the customer’s funds, but just facilitates the transfers. It earns 20% of the fees charged by the tellers.

In a statement, Abra founder Bill Barhydt said, “The Abra app offers a timely mobile experience that provides more access and exposure to these new digital currencies in an easy, quick and safe way. Our goal is to empower customers around the world using their local currencies to freely invest in a wide variety of cryptocurrencies at any time, from anywhere.”

Barhydt founded Abra in 2014. It has its headquarters in Mountain View, California, with an additional office in Manila, Philippines. Barhydt was a former software engineer with Goldman Sachs before coming up with the idea of Abra. It received $14 million in seed funding by RRE Ventures, First Round Capital and Arbor Ventures, as well as backing by American Express and Ratan Tata. Currently, the Abra wallet is available only to customers in the U.S. and the Philippines.

Abra isn’t the only wallet to advance its support for BCH.  The Bread wallet just recently began allowing users with iOS devices to exchange the popular altcoin and, as of today, a new version of the wallet is available for Android devices in the Google Play store that offers full support for the coin.

Note: Tokens in the SegWit chain are referred to as SegWit1X (BTC) and SegWit Gold (SWG) and are no longer Bitcoin. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is the only true Bitcoin as intended by the original Satoshi white paper.  Bitcoin BCH is the only public block chain that offers safe and cheap microtransactions.
Japanese creator of English-teaching app launches Bitcoin Cash wallet

Japanese creator of English-teaching app launches Bitcoin Cash wallet

Japanese Bitcoin Cash (BCH) fans now have a wallet specifically made for them. The Yenom wallet, which will be available for beta testing by the end of March, will only support BCH and will have versions for both Android and iOS. It should prove to be highly successful, given the creator’s previous development projects.

The Yenom wallet is being created Tokyo-based Mikan Co. Ltd. It was founded in 2014 when it launched an application that teaches English words to the Japanese population. Since its release, the application has been downloaded more than two million times. The wallet is now accepting registrations for download and will be inviting users to participate in the beta testing.

Yenom, in case it wasn’t easy to figure out, is nothing more than “money” upside down. In its simplicity, there is a great deal of meaning to the name. According to Mikan, the name “shows the intention of ‘turning over the existing money structure’ through this service.”

While the majority of cryptocurrency trading today is born from speculation, the company believes that, soon, digital currency will become a part of our everyday lives. It feels that cryptocurrencies will be as important as “…water, electricity and the internet.”

In related news, a mobile BCH wallet was recently announced for traders in South Africa. CentBee, based in Johannesburg, anticipates launching their wallet to the mainstream in the near future. Currently, the wallet is available only for alpha testing on the Google Play store, with beta testing scheduled to begin in April. After the Android beta tests begin, the company will launch a version for iOS devices.

Centbee is a BCH payment company that was founded in 2016. According to the company’s cofounder, Angus Brown, “We provide an intuitive Bitcoin Cash mobile wallet to send and receive Bitcoin Cash easily to friends and family, and to spend at real-world merchants.” Brown developed CentBee with Lorien Gamaroff, a leading South African blockchain expert. He has addressed groups such as the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation on blockchain-related topics. Centbee recently signed a partnership agreement with nChain, a blockchain development company, to help grow its business.

Note: Tokens in the SegWit chain are referred to as SegWit1X (BTC) and SegWit Gold (SWG) and are no longer Bitcoin. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is the only true  Bitcoin as intended by the original Satoshi white paper. Bitcoin BCH is the only public block chain that offers safe and cheap microtransactions.
Ledger to Ledger transfers are now possible – Radar Relay

Ledger to Ledger transfers are now possible – Radar Relay

This move will bring startup Radar Relay a substantial market advantage.

Hardware wallets, or cold wallets, have been the safest way to keep cryptocurrency funds to date. Even if you connect it to an infected computer, there’s just no way (that we know of) for hackers to get to your funds. This makes hardware wallets such as Ledger the go-to choice for cryptocurrency enthusiasts when it comes to safeguarding tokens they’re holding long-term.

There was just one problem: if one wants to trade or transfer, they would still have to take the funds out of the Ledger and send them to an online exchange or wallet. From here, funds will be just as susceptible to whatever attacks or compromise the exchange will suffer (if it does). The computer being used to access the exchanges and wallets can also be compromised as well.

But now these problems are taken care of.

Decentralized exchange startup Radar Relay has created the solution that would probably effectively make their breakthrough into the highly competitive and already crowded blockchain industry. In a Medium post yesterday, the startup has announced that they are now supporting Ledger hardware wallets.

Yep. You can now transfer directly from one Ledger wallet to another—no need to move your funds to online wallets or exchanges. Just connect your Ledger and follow the usual steps to sync it with your computer, and use Radar Relay to set gas prices and send funds. A tutorial is also included in their Medium post for anyone interested.

This is the first time direct transfers between physical wallets has been made possible. Consequently, the move has been received positively, with Radar Relay hitting 10,000 Twitter followers as of yesterday. Although now, users are lamenting a different but well-connected problem: Ledger wallets keep running out. Ledger VP of Engineering Fred de Villamil says they’re trying their best to keep up with demand.

Ledger to Ledger transfers are now possible – Radar Relay

Note: Tokens in the SegWit chain are referred to as SegWit1X (BTC) and SegWit Gold (SWG) and are no longer Bitcoin. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is the only true  Bitcoin as intended by the original Satoshi white paper.  Bitcoin BCH is the only public block chain that offers safe and cheap microtransactions.
KeepKey wallets now support Bitcoin Cash

KeepKey wallets now support Bitcoin Cash

The hardware wallet provider KeepKey is officially supporting Bitcoin Cash (BCH) in its latest production client. Existing KeepKey users will automatically acquire the update within the software. KeepKey advises users to make sure they are using the latest firmware version and client to be able to securely store Bitcoin Cash.

The updated version also provides additional features such as overrides for etherscan API calls, an enhanced accommodation for ShapeShift transactions without fees, as well as user interface improvements for buttons that now have icons and hover help texts. The production client is downloadable through Chrome’s webstore, with a version number of v4.5.12.

After reaching maturity through alpha tests, the previous beta client (4.5.11) that has served as a test to accommodate Bitcoin Cash is now deprecated and KeepKey advises its users to replace it with the latest version, wherein it is now an integrated feature for the wallet. KeepKey hardware wallets are designed with anodized aluminum cases and polycarbonate front panels, with 3.12-inch OLED screens to complement its software.

Users who still have unclaimed Bitcoin Cash from the fork in August last year may acquire their BCH with the KeepKey Wallet software. They simply have to open their SegWit1x (BTC) account and note the Bitcoin Cash value listed at the bottom of its interface. A “paper airplane” button next to the balance displayed allows users to send it to other crypto assets supported by KeepKey. Below is a screenshot provided from KeepKey’s announcement:

KeepKey wallets now support Bitcoin Cash

Using the KeepKey wallet solely for Bitcoin Cash unlocks all the features, and creating an account only takes three steps in the updated client software. Here’s an image provided by the KeepKey team to illustrate:

KeepKey wallets now support Bitcoin Cash

With a Bitcoin Cash account, KeepKey users will be able to send, receive, exchange with ShapeShift, and track the transaction listing for their accounts. The company shared its hopeful outlook about the new version’s features enabling Bitcoin Cash, saying that they “strongly recommend all current beta users move to our production client.” KeepKey also invited their advanced users to work with their support team to improve the client’s quality, with a new beta client for a higher level of tests already in the works.

Note: Tokens in the SegWit chain are referred to as SegWit1X (BTC) and SegWit Gold (SWG) and are no longer Bitcoin. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is the only true  Bitcoin as intended by the original Satoshi white paper.  Bitcoin BCH is the only public block chain that offers safe and cheap microtransactions.