How Regulation Will Unlock A New Crypto-Boom

Regulation is quickly becoming a hot topic in the crypto-world.
The unregulated, “Wild West” environment of the crypto market left investors wide open to fraudsters, scammers, and shady firms out to make a quick buck.
The technology of blockchain and Bitcoin is here to stay. But to bring value to investors, it’s going to need tighter rules and more responsible companies with their eyes on the future.
The crypto market, worth $450 billion, won’t disappear overnight. The next step will be figuring out how to establish rules, expectations and regulations for making the market work smoothly.
And one company is positioned to meet that need: Hashchain Technology Inc. (TSX:KASH.V; OTC:HSSHF)
This is a blockchain company that can do it all: mine coins, diversify investment in a variety of different crypto-currencies, and navigate the crypto marketplace.
But KASH is going a step further: it’s working on proprietary methods and new technologies to make compliance with new regulations easier.
At a time when state agencies are cracking down on the free-for-all within the crypto world, KASH is set to making earnings from crypto-currencies regulation.
Here’s five reasons to take a strong look at Hashchain Technology Inc.:
#1 Order to Chaos
Last year, Bitcoin and blockchain was on everyone’s mind. The value of crypto-currencies was shooting through the roof, and everyone wanted in on the action.
Major papers ran multiple stories trying to explain what cryptos were, how the blockchain worked to facilitate crypto transactions without middle-men, and investors were offered dozens of opportunities to buy into new cryptos through initial coin offerings (ICOs).
Now, the view is a bit different.
Governments, banks and investors are all worried that the frenzy over Bitcoin and other cryptos was fed by fraud.
South Korea and China began considering bans on crypto mining, which is immensely energy-intensive and difficult to monitor. South Korea specifically wants to start licensing crypto-currency exchanges to bring trading under closer surveillance, in order to prevent fraud.
Authorities in the U.S. are worried about crypto-currencies being used to launder money, and want investors to start ponying up their taxes.
The crypto-currency Bitcoin has been accused of acting as a Ponzi scheme. Coinbase, the popular crypto market hub, has even been subpoenaed by the IRS to get information on its customers.
Both political parties have now called for tighter crypto regulations.
While a full ban on mining isn’t being seriously considered, it’s certain that the crypto marketplace is going to come under greater control in the coming months and years.
#2 The KASH Way
Hashchain Technology Inc is ready.
The company sees regulation of crypto-currency as the logical next step for the industry, and it’s taking steps to meet the new business conditions.
The company, which began as a crypto-currency miner, has acquired the assets of Node40, a blockchain technology and accounting software firm, for $8 million and stock consideration. The acquisition indicates KASH (TSX:KASH.V; OTC:HSSHF) is diversifying beyond its mining strategy.
The Node40 software, called Balance, reports transactions from major crypto-currency exchanges. Individuals on the blockchain trigger taxable events when they buy and sell crypto, but until now, no one was charting these events in a way that ensured regulatory transparency. The potential for fraud was huge.
With Balance at its disposal, KASH is providing tools to investors and regulators to account for transactions, providing up-to-date information on the crypto marketplace.
“The acquisition of the NODE40 Business,” said CEO Patrick Gray in the company’s press release, “is an important next step of creating a global blockchain technology company.”
Regulation is the company’s “niche,” and it’s what makes KASH “different from everyone else,” Gray told Oilprice.com.
#3 Mining for Crypto Gold
Outside of its new approach to crypto regulation compliance, KASH (TSX:KASH.V; OTC:HSSHF) is a mining company with a fresh approach to the crypto marketplace.
The company currently has 870 rigs, with further acquisitions set to bring KASH to a total of 8.4 MW of crypto-currency mining capacity by the end of Q2 of this year.
What does it mean to “mine” bitcoin? Well, companies like KASH use massive amounts of computer processing power to verify bitcoin transactions, and gets paid in  new “coins” which can then be bought and sold on the crypto market.
Even with the booms and busts in the price of Bitcoin, the profits from crypto mining can be immense.
Where gold mining only yielded an 11 percent return last year, investment in certain crypto-currencies can yield returns as high as 20,000 percent.
And KASH doesn’t put its eggs all in one basket. The company plans to diversify its crypto-mining operation, from the major coins like Bitcoin, Dash and Ethereum to a host of smaller coins, which have the potential to bring significant returns.
That means that KASH can profit from the market, regardless of the ups and downs, and as mining difficulty increases for any particular crypto, the company plans to maximize profits by shifting its mining power to different types of crypto-coins.
When KASH scales up from its humble beginnings, it has plans to be one of the biggest crypto mines in the business. And its close appreciation of regulation means it’ll be in an excellent position to work with government agencies who may start cracking down on the more undisciplined crypto firms.
With a small market cap, KASH could be set expand quickly.
#4 Quality Leadership
Hashchain Technology Inc. (TSX:KASH.V; OTC:HSSHF)has a solid leadership team that will guide it through the transition in the crypto marketplace.
CEO Patrick Gray has already achieved tech success: his first start-up was sold to Xerox for $220 million. He was a recipient of Business Review’s “40 Under 40” award and he’s raised millions in start-up capital from investors.
Behind Gray, who provides the strategic vision for the company, there’s CTO Sean Ryan, co-founder of NODE40 and a blockchain expert. CCO George E. Kveton is a “lifelong dealmaker” with 20 years of experience in Fortune 500 companies. He’s signed deals in Israel, China and Silicon Valley.
The team at KASH aren’t the millennial millionaires who caught the media’s attention when Bitcoin took off last year – these are professional tech innovators, blockchain specialists and crypto-currency insiders who are taking the crypto revolution to the next stage, and are doing so in a responsible way.
#5 The Next Stage in Currency Evolution
While the price of Bitcoin may have dipped, the crypto-currency revolution has only just begun.
Investors learned that crypto-currencies are super volatile, prone to dramatic booms and busts, and offer plenty of opportunity for fraud.
But that hasn’t stopped innovators from continuing to develop the market. Branded corporate coins are starting to take off, and blockchain technology has been introduced in real estate, banking and shipping.
There are signs that even Wall Street is taking crypto-currencies more seriously. The price of Bitcoin, which sank below $6,000, has now jumped back above $10,000, suggesting that interest is still very strong.
Regulation won’t kill cryptos. Instead, it will make them more reliable and more secure from fraud.
KASH (TSX:KASH.V; OTC:HSSHF) is ready to take advantage of the need for order in the crypto market.
The company’s acquisition of Node40 means it’s positioning itself on the forefront of the regulatory swing in the crypto market, and the company’s mining vision truly sets it aside from the competition.
KASH is prepared for the next phase, and investors should take notice.
Other companies looking to revolutionize their industries:
 
**IMPORTANT! BY READING OUR CONTENT YOU EXPLICITLY AGREE TO THE FOLLOWING. PLEASE READ CAREFULLY**
 
Forward-Looking Information
Certain disclosure in this release, including statements regarding the performance of the Company’s current and ordered Rigs, and expectations regarding future operations may constitute forward-looking statements. These include that KASH will dramatically increase operations,  that the 5,000 Rigs will be successfully ordered and delivered, the 5,000 Rigs will perform as expected by management and the timing, installation and performance of KASH’s current and ordered Rigs will be consistent with management’s expectations; that mining capacity will increase to 8.7 MW; that KASH will utilize its committed Montana facility space and increase capacity to mine 20 MW;  that KASH will hold a diverse portfolio of cryptocurrencies through mining and otherwise; and that KASH’s software can become part of a regulatory push for regulation of cryptocurrencies.  The forward-looking statements in this release are subject to numerous risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause future results to differ materially from those expressed or implied in such forward-looking statements. Such risk factors may include, among others, the risk that the 5,000 Rigs will not be successfully ordered or delivered from the manufacturer or, if delivered, not when expected by management, and the risk that the Company’s current and ordered Rigs will not perform as expected by management or that expected capacity is not achieved; that KASH may not earn cryptocurrencies through mining and may not be able to purchase them;  risks related to changes in cryptocurrency prices, and the profitability of mining them; that cryptocurrencies will not increase in use as expected; the under-estimation of personnel and operating costs; that KASH will not receive required regulatory approvals for building new facilities, using power, or other aspects of its business; that cryptocurrency regulators don’t accept KASH’s accounting and other solutions; the availability of necessary financing; permitting of businesses that KASH intends to invest in; general global markets and economic conditions; uninsurable risks; risks associated with currency and cryptocurrency fluctuations; risks associated with competition offering better or cheaper solutions, attracting away employees or using tactics to drive out competition; risks associated with changes in the financial auditing and corporate governance standards applicable to cryptocurrencies; risks related to potential conflicts of interest; the reliance on key personnel; capitalization and liquidity risks including the risk that the financings necessary to fund continued development of KASH’s business plan may not be available on satisfactory terms, or at all; the risk of dilution through the issuance of additional common shares of KASH; the risk of litigation; the risk that KASH’s management and advisors may not contribute as much as expected to the company’s success; the risk and the risk that cyber-crime may severely damage the value of any or all of KASH’s investments. There may be many other factors that cause results not to be as anticipated, estimated or intended. Accordingly, readers should not place undue reliance on forward-looking information.
DISCLAIMERS
PAID ADVERTISEMENT.
 This communication is not a recommendation to buy or sell securities. This communication is for entertainment purposes only. Never invest purely based on our communication. Gains mentioned in our newsletter and on our website may be based on end-of- day or intraday data. In most cases we are paid by the issuer or a third party to profile the issuer. In this case, Hashchain Technology Inc. (“KASH”) is paying to Safehaven.com eighty thousand US dollars for this article and certain banner ads. We have not investigated the background of KASH. The third party, profiled company, or their affiliates may liquidate shares of the profiled company at or near the time you receive this communication, which has the potential to hurt share prices. Frequently companies profiled in our alerts experience a large increase in volume and share price during the course of investor awareness marketing, which often end as soon as the investor awareness marketing ceases. The investor awareness marketing may be as brief as one day, after which a large decrease in volume and share price is likely to occur.
We do not guarantee the timeliness, accuracy, or completeness of the information on our site or in our newsletters. The information in our communications is not researched or verified in any way whatsoever to ensure the available information is correct.
DISCLOSURE. Safehaven.com, Advanced Media Solutions Ltd, and their owners, managers, employees, and assigns (collectively “the Company”) does not make any guarantee or warranty about what is advertised above. The Company is not affiliated with, any specific security.
SHARE OWNERSHIP. The owner of Safehaven.com owns shares of this featured company and therefore has an additional incentive to see the featured company’s stock perform well. The owner of Safehaven.com will not notify the market when it decides to buy more or sell shares of this issuer in the market, but will not trade on material information that has not been disclosed to the public. The owner of Safehaven.com will be buying and selling shares of this issuer for its own profit. This is why we stress that you conduct extensive due diligence as well as seek the advice of your financial advisor or a registered broker-dealer before investing in any securities.
NOT AN INVESTMENT ADVISOR. The Company is not registered or licensed by any governing body in any jurisdiction to give investing advice or provide investment recommendation. ALWAYS DO YOUR OWN RESEARCH and consult with a licensed investment professional before making an investment. This communication should not be used as a basis for making any investment.
INDEMNIFICATION/RELEASE OF LIABILITY. By reading this communication, you agree to the terms of this disclaimer. You further warrant that you are solely responsible for any financial outcome that may come from your investment decisions.
PAST PERFORMANCE IS NOT INDICATIVE OF FUTURE RESULTS. Investing is inherently risky. Don’t trade with money you can’t afford to lose. This is neither a solicitation nor an offer to Buy/Sell securities. No representation is being made that any account will or is likely to achieve profits or losses similar to those discussed on this web site.

The Next Stage Of The Crypto-Boom

Cryptocurrencies have officially returned to a full-blown-frenzy.
Everyone is trying to get a piece of the crypto-pie. Corporate coins, government coins, and even commodity coins are flooding the market on every level, and investors are scrambling to sift through the madness.
But not all coins are created equal. Knowing which cryptocurrency is worth the investment can be tricky.
Adding to the confusion are companies making big promises to investors with no more than a whitepaper and a dream.
Assets are important in this race. It doesn’t matter if a company is planning to build a billion-dollar crypto-mine or wants to build a portfolio of hundreds of cryptocurrencies – if they have nothing, there’s no reason to invest.
Savvy investors are looking to companies with skin in the game, companies like HashChain Technologies (TSX:KASH.V, OTCMKTS:HSSHF).
Not only does HashChain already have mining rigs, they’re building up an array of assets within the space, beginning with the acquisition of Node40 which is poised to revolutionize the sector.
And the best part? Investors can gain exposure to HashChain’s stunning array of assets with a single call to their stock broker.
But HashChain’s promise doesn’t stop there…
Here are 5 reasons HashChain Technologies (TSX:KASH.V, OTCMKTS:HSSHF) is poised to take over the crypto-world.
#1 – Cryptos Have Huge Upside Potential

Over the past year, cryptocurrencies have seen incredible gains, with the sector averaging 20,000 percent price increases.
The mind-blowing growth of the crypto-sector has minted its share of millionaires, even leading Forbes to publish the very first “Crypto-Rich List.”

Despite media claims suggesting that the bubble has burst, cryptocurrencies still have tremendous upside potential, and HashChain (TSX:KASH.V, OTCMKTS:HSSHF knows it.
Cryptographically secure, transparent, and globally available, cryptocurrencies are poised to give cash a run for its money.
Even governments are racing to get in on the action. Arizona is already preparing to accept tax payments in bitcoin, and other states are sure to follow suit.
But right now, there are so many cryptocurrencies drowning the market, it is difficult for investors to gain their bearings. It’s true – the cryptocurrency does matter. Each coin serves its own purpose, runs on its own technology, and ultimately, these factors will determine a coin’s value and impact on markets.
That’s where HashChain (TSX:KASH.V, OTCMKTS:HSSHF) comes in.
In addition to mining DASH, bitcoin and bitcoin cash, three of the markets’ most innovative and top performing coins, HashChain is carefully considering other coins to pursue in the future. And with the mind-blowing gains seen in 2017, investors can expect the potential exposure to these expertly chosen cryptos to pay off.
#2 – Mining that Matters
2017 was certainly a good year to be a cryptocurrency miner. Profits hit the $2-billion mark for bitcoin miners at beginning of 2017, but by the end of the year, during the surge in prices across the board, total profits generated soared to $50-billion. That’s a 2500 percent increase in profitability is just one year.
Investing in a crypto-miner is a lot like investing in traditional miners, except crypto-miners have a much larger profit potential.
Gold mining, for example, only returns an average 11 percent, while cryptocurrencies are seeing huge returns, averaging 20,000 percent.
Currently, HashChain (TSX:KASH.V, OTCMKTS:HSSHF)  is operating 100 dash mining rigs in their Vancouver location, which enjoys cheap and environmentally sustainable electricity from nearby hydropower dams, and another 770-brand new bitcoin mining rigs are being set up at this very moment.
But HashChain’s ambitions don’t stop there.
Using cash on hand and profits generated from mining, HashChain is planning an aggressive expansion strategy, aiming to grow into a 40MW operation, consisting of approximately 26,500 mining rigs by the end of the first quarter 2019. And, in the process, begin mining other hand-selected cryptocurrencies, as well.
What’s the point of mining other currencies if Dash and bitcoin are performing so strongly, you might ask?
Over time, mining difficulty increases, leading to smaller profits and less return on investments.
HashChain is looking towards the future. Understanding that both the popularity of coins and the profitability of coins could change at any time, they are looking to avoid the inevitable before it becomes necessary. Not only do they aim to dodge the bitcoin bullet but capitalize on the potential growth of up and coming cryptos.
This could make HashChain one of the largest and most diverse crypto-miners on the planet.
HashChain Technologies, according to CEO Patrick Gray, gives investors the opportunity to profit from a volatile market, “that they can’t take advantage of themselves.”
In addition to HashChain’s huge mining operation, they will be running a Dash masternode. These masternodes are essential in the Dash ecosystem. They perform specialized transactions like InstantSend and PrivateSend, which set Dash aside from other cryptocurrencies.
Most importantly, the masternodes earn 45 percent of each block reward split between all nodes, providing the owner of the masternode a 7 percent yearly return on investment – a steady source of income for the owner.
#3 – Wall Street Exposure
As the cryptocurrency craze reaches a full-blown frenzy, Wall Street has definitely taken notice. Institutional investors, however, have favored more traditional platforms over investing directly in cryptocurrencies.
Blockchain pivots and cryptocurrency adoption by listed companies have proven to be huge investor magnets, with some companies surging by nearly 400 percent after adding “blockchain” to their name.
And these aren’t all small companies.
Retail giant Overstock.com saw a 30 percent boost in share prices after announcing an ICO for one of its blockchain subsidiaries, and Kodak, a household name in the United States, saw its share price nearly triple after announcing the KodakCoin.
The most surprising, and maybe even humorous pivot, however, was Long Island Iced Tea’s name change. After renaming itself to Long Blockchain and announcing the potential acquisition of new blockchain projects, its share prices soared by 183 percent.
New crypto and blockchain companies are exploding onto the market, as well. OTC listed First Bitcoin Capital saw an insane increase of 6000 percent YTD before trading was temporarily suspended by the SEC.
It’s clear that investors have been infected by the Fear Of Missing Out – but they’re still not quite sold on the loosely regulated nature of cryptocurrencies.
That’s why HashChain (TSX:KASH.V, OTCMKTS:HSSHF)  is poised to garner a lot of attention in the coming months.
With plans to build a diverse mining ecosystem, HashChain will allow investors to gain exposure to the growing crypto-space without getting burned if one currency takes a nosedive.
#4 – Bringing Order to the Crypto-Space
In a recent report, it was revealed that almost no one is paying taxes on cryptocurrency earnings.
It’s estimated that over 7 percent of the population in the United States has made taxable gains on their cryptocurrency holdings, yet only 0.04 percent of U.S. tax filers actually reported any earnings or losses to the Internal Revenue Service. And it’s almost understandable.
The process to calculate cryptocurrency earnings is beyond difficult. With cryptos reaching all-time-highs in late 2017, followed almost immediately by 50-80 percent losses the very next month, would-be taxpayers simply do not know what they owe.
Even tax professionals are struggling to keep up.
But, HashChain (TSX:KASH.V, OTCMKTS:HSSHF) is already looking toward the future.
With its recent acquisition of the assets of Node40, a blockchain solutions company, HashChain is at a particular advantage in the space. Node40 offers the most sophisticated crypto-tax software on the market.
In such a complicated sector, it can be hard for investors to track their gains and losses, but with Node40’s software, users simply enter their blockchain addresses and the program does the work for them.
The software tracks, adds value to, and totals each cryptocurrency transaction on a user’s blockchain, which will dramatically simplify the entire process.
With this revolutionary software, HashChain has a leg up on its competition.
This acquisition not only puts HashChain ahead of the pack, it brings regulation into the hands of the crypto marketplace rather than from pressure from governments.
#5 – The Crypto Dream Team
HashChain Technologies (TSX:KASH.V, OTCMKTS:HSSHF) is special. They have some of the brightest minds in the game, and with years of experience in the sector and hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of deals under their belt, it is fair to say that the team is battle tested.
Patrick Gray, the CEO of HashChain, is a computer whiz who has mastered the art of the deal. Primarily involved in the tech industry, Gray knows the space through and through.
Patrick’s very first startup successfully sold for over $200-million, and that was just the beginning. Since then, he has been involved in a number of high-profile deals, and with his extensive tech know-how, investors would follow him to the end of the earth.
Sean Ryan is another expert in the field. As CTO of both HashChain and Node40, he is widely regarded as an industry leader in the development of blockchain infrastructure services and cryptocurrency accounting. Under Ryan’s technical guidance, HashChain is prepared to scale significantly to meet the demands of the growing blockchain industry.
HashChain’s Chief Strategy Officer, Perry Woodin is a cryptocurrency guru. As a Dash board member, one of the top cryptocurrencies in the market, Woodin is as connected as they come.
Not only that, he has changed the way people invest in and profit from blockchain-based networks.
As the founder of Node40, Woodin created an entirely new way to incentivize network participation that is set to revolutionize the entire sector. His experience in data management, and his app development expertise makes him a prized asset in HashChain’s already stacked arsenal.
With this tech dream team, the possibilities are endless.
**IMPORTANT! BY READING OUR CONTENT YOU EXPLICITLY AGREE TO THE FOLLOWING. PLEASE READ CAREFULLY**
 
Forward-Looking Information
Certain disclosure in this release, including statements regarding the performance of the Company’s current and ordered Rigs, and expectations regarding future operations may constitute forward-looking statements. These include that KASH will dramatically increase operations,  that the 5,000 Rigs will be successfully ordered and delivered, the 5,000 Rigs will perform as expected by management and the timing, installation and performance of KASH’s current and ordered Rigs will be consistent with management’s expectations; that mining capacity will increase to 8.7 MW; that KASH will utilize its committed Montana facility space and increase capacity to mine 20 MW;  that KASH will hold a diverse portfolio of cryptocurrencies through mining and otherwise; and that KASH’s software can become part of a regulatory push for regulation of cryptocurrencies.  The forward-looking statements in this release are subject to numerous risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause future results to differ materially from those expressed or implied in such forward-looking statements. Such risk factors may include, among others, the risk that the 5,000 Rigs will not be successfully ordered or delivered from the manufacturer or, if delivered, not when expected by management, and the risk that the Company’s current and ordered Rigs will not perform as expected by management or that expected capacity is not achieved; that KASH may not earn cryptocurrencies through mining and may not be able to purchase them;  risks related to changes in cryptocurrency prices, and the profitability of mining them; that cryptocurrencies will not increase in use as expected; the under-estimation of personnel and operating costs; that KASH will not receive required regulatory approvals for building new facilities, using power, or other aspects of its business; that cryptocurrency regulators don’t accept KASH’s accounting and other solutions; the availability of necessary financing; permitting of businesses that KASH intends to invest in; general global markets and economic conditions; uninsurable risks; risks associated with currency and cryptocurrency fluctuations; risks associated with competition offering better or cheaper solutions, attracting away employees or using tactics to drive out competition; risks associated with changes in the financial auditing and corporate governance standards applicable to cryptocurrencies; risks related to potential conflicts of interest; the reliance on key personnel; capitalization and liquidity risks including the risk that the financings necessary to fund continued development of KASH’s business plan may not be available on satisfactory terms, or at all; the risk of dilution through the issuance of additional common shares of KASH; the risk of litigation; the risk that KASH’s management and advisors may not contribute as much as expected to the company’s success; the risk and the risk that cyber-crime may severely damage the value of any or all of KASH’s investments. There may be many other factors that cause results not to be as anticipated, estimated or intended. Accordingly, readers should not place undue reliance on forward-looking information.
 
DISCLAIMERS
PAID ADVERTISEMENT. This communication is not a recommendation to buy or sell securities. This communication is for entertainment purposes only. Never invest purely based on our communication. Gains mentioned in our newsletter and on our website may be based on end-of- day or intraday data. In most cases we are paid by the issuer or a third party to profile the issuer. In this case, Hashchain Technology Inc. (“KASH”) is paying to Safehaven.com eighty thousand US dollars for this article and certain banner ads. We have not investigated the background of KASH. The third party, profiled company, or their affiliates may liquidate shares of the profiled company at or near the time you receive this communication, which has the potential to hurt share prices. Frequently companies profiled in our alerts experience a large increase in volume and share price during the course of investor awareness marketing, which often end as soon as the investor awareness marketing ceases. The investor awareness marketing may be as brief as one day, after which a large decrease in volume and share price is likely to occur.
We do not guarantee the timeliness, accuracy, or completeness of the information on our site or in our newsletters. The information in our communications is not researched or verified in any way whatsoever to ensure the available information is correct.
DISCLOSURE. Safehaven.com, Advanced Media Solutions Ltd, and their owners, managers, employees, and assigns (collectively “the Company”) does not make any guarantee or warranty about what is advertised above. The Company is not affiliated with, any specific security.
SHARE OWNERSHIP. The owner of Safehaven.com owns shares of this featured company and therefore has an additional incentive to see the featured company’s stock perform well. The owner of Safehaven.com will not notify the market when it decides to buy more or sell shares of this issuer in the market, but will not trade on material information that has not been disclosed to the public. The owner of Safehaven.com will be buying and selling shares of this issuer for its own profit. This is why we stress that you conduct extensive due diligence as well as seek the advice of your financial advisor or a registered broker-dealer before investing in any securities.
NOT AN INVESTMENT ADVISOR. The Company is not registered or licensed by any governing body in any jurisdiction to give investing advice or provide investment recommendation. ALWAYS DO YOUR OWN RESEARCH and consult with a licensed investment professional before making an investment. This communication should not be used as a basis for making any investment.
INDEMNIFICATION/RELEASE OF LIABILITY. By reading this communication, you agree to the terms of this disclaimer. You further warrant that you are solely responsible for any financial outcome that may come from your investment decisions.
PAST PERFORMANCE IS NOT INDICATIVE OF FUTURE RESULTS. Investing is inherently risky. Don’t trade with money you can’t afford to lose. This is neither a solicitation nor an offer to Buy/Sell securities. No representation is being made that any account will or is likely to achieve profits or losses similar to those discussed on this web site.

Four Questions For: Ben Rothke

What do you consider to be the biggest challenges facing cybersecurity today?
Some of the challenges are: not enough information security staff.  This is compounded in part by firms being unwilling to pay information security professionals market rates.
Solutions are being rolled out before adequate security review.  Think IoT.
Complexity of systems combined with interconnectivity of many systems leads to myriad avenues for attack. Remember, an attacked only has to find one opening. The owner of the system has to protect every opening.
Will hackers eventually shut down hospitals, break into our medical devices and inflict physical harm on people?
 Eventually? Actually, this is old news. In the last few months Hollywood, CA Presbyterian Medical Center paid $17,000 in bitcoin to ransomware hackers, MedStar Health reported malware had caused a shutdown of some systems at its hospitals in Baltimore, and Methodist Hospital and Prime Healthcare both had phishing-based ransomware attacks. There are many reasons why hospitals are the perfect targets for ransomware and other types of attacks. Hospitals have long build applications with an emphasis on speed an available, as opposed to security. That makes sense, as an emergency room physician shouldn’t have to search for their SecurID token to use the defibrillator.  The downside to that is the easy access approach to defibrillators often translates into easy access to master patient databases.  For a large medical center, that means that millions of records are at risk due to lax information security controls.
Balancing ease of use and strong security controls is a challenge, but acutely so in the medical field.
As to medical devices, some of the manufacturers thought their information security people were as smart as their pharmaceutical engineers. The reality was at times not like that and medical devices were produced without effective security controls.
The following horror story is not atypical: when I was at British Telecom Professional Services, we had proposed a large project to assist a cardiac device manufacturer with their product. Bruce Schneier was with BT at the time and was in a speaking tour of Europe. We arranged that Bruce would stop there and give them an hour-long briefing on the importance of medical device security. They completely misunderstood his message and thought they could do it on their own.
Considering all of the hacks into our governments’ and political organizations’ servers, how likely is it that we will see our voting systems successfully hacked?
I wrote a piece in 2001 titled: Don’t Stop The Handcount; A Few Problems With Internet Voting.
The same problems that existed then, exists now. Considering we can’t keep guns and drugs out of maximum security prisons, it’s ridiculous to think the US Government could deploy a voting system that isn’t highly vulnerable to attack.
It is actually a difficult task, to create a voting system to support hundreds of millions of users, in tens of thousands of physical locations, managed by people who often have little to no technical background. It’s not that a tamper resistant voting system can’t be developed. It’s just that we won’t see it for at least a decade
What is there to be positive about (in regards to cybersecurity) in the face of security threats, cyber warfare and government hacks?
In the past, security was all about fear, uncertainty and doubt.  Now, hardly a day goes by without a story in the Wall Street Journal or Financial Times about information security. That makes the job of selling security much easier.
Many more universities are offer computer security training for computer science graduates, so the book of that with computer security training is much greater.
Security awareness is also required for standards and requirements like ISO/IEC 27001 and PCI DSS, so the trickledown effect means that the information security awareness level is going up for the rank and file employees.
ben-rothke
 
Ben Rothke, CISSP, PCI QSA is a Principal Security Consultant with Nettitude, Ltd.  He has over 15 years of industry experience in information systems security and privacy.
His areas of expertise are in risk management and mitigation, security and privacy regulatory issues, design & implementation of systems security, encryption, cryptography and security policy development, with a specialization in the financial services and aviation sectors.
Ben is the author of Computer Security – 20 Things Every Employee Should Know (McGraw-Hill), and is also a frequent speaker at industry conferences, such as RSA and MISTI.
Twitter: https://twitter.com/benrothke
Blog: https://www.rsaconference.com/blogs?category=security-reading-room

Blockchain, its new rival, and their future in the enterprise

Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are already starting to shake up the financial services industry. They have also got entrepreneurs thinking about other applications for the blockchain technology that underlies them, including ones that address various processes inside non-financial companies such as contracts, audits and shipping. The digital signatures that certify each transaction and the distributed, write-only online ledger that constitute the core of the blockchain tech have the potential to offer even more security in these and other areas than more traditional approaches used by businesses.
Blockchain isn’t the only game in town either. The Linux Foundation recently revealed that it is leading an open source effort to develop an alternative to bitcoin’s underlying tech. The initiative, which has been dubbed the Open Ledger Project, is being supported by a coalition of leading financial services and tech companies, including Wells Fargo, State Street, the London Stock Exchange Group, Cisco, Intel, VMware and IBM. IBM, which has been a driving force behind the project, is reportedly contributing many thousands of lines of code to it as well as considerable developer resources.
The new kid on the block will have some catching up to do with blockchain, which is already being employed in some innovative ways. Nasdaq OMX, the parent company of the NASDAQ stock exchange, wants to use the tech to oversee trades in the stock of private firms and the Securities and Exchange Commission recently approved a plan by Overstock.com that involves the online retailer issuing stock using blockchain technology. Startups such as Digital Asset Holdings and Coinbase are also looking to profit from growing interest in digital tracking and trading using the new approach.
The firms that gain traction here will get plenty of attention. Investment banking firm Magister Advisors thinks that financial institutions will be spending a total of over $1 billion on blockchain-related projects in 2017. And finance is just one industry where the new technology could drive significant change. In the music world, startups such as PeerTracks and Bittunes are aiming to use it to revolutionize the way music is bought and shared. And in the art world, Verisart is harnessing the blockchain to improve the way art is secured and verified.
Looking at enterprise markets, there is a huge opportunity to apply blockchain technology or other variants in any place that involves swaps, trades or exchanges. One of the most obvious applications is in contractual situations where there is a need for proof that various parties are committed to a transaction. Companies such as Block Notary and Bitproof are developing ways to bind digital signatures into the blockchain and some firms are also experimenting with the technology to create escrow contracts that hold money on account until mutual agreement is recorded.
Another area where I expect to see more activity using blockchain technology is in auditing. Deloitte is one of a number of professional services firms that is experimenting with distributed digital ledgers. Here, transactions can be posted into a blockchain, which would apply a timestamp and act as a repository. Typically, auditors only choose a sample from a set of transactions to check; but using the new approach, it may well be possible to verify a much broader range of transactions securely and cost-effectively. There are a lot of regulatory issues still to be ironed out, but the opportunity to provide certainty with significantly less friction is a compelling one.
There is also a big opportunity to use the technology to improve shipping and supply chain management. An example of a startup here is Thingchain, which is applying a bitcoin-inspired cryptosystem to multiple use cases, including proving the provenance of goods and who owns them.
Many companies are still learning about the potential of blockchain technologies, so it may be some time before we see broad adoption beyond finance. But the potential is significant—and not only in the areas that I’ve outlined above. Entrepreneurs are already exploring enterprise applications that cover everything from patent registration to recording the results of boardroom votes. Expect to see more and more businesses joining the blockchain gang in 2016 and beyond.
Martin Giles is a partner at Wing Venture Capital (@Wing_VC). He was previously a journalist with The Economist.

Wiper thinks messaging apps could be the key to bitcoin payments

Wiper, an ephemeral messaging app that launched in 2014, has a reputation as a Snapchat clone, but it’s actually closer to Line, which uses over-the-top messaging as a platform to sell stickers, games, and other entertainment and services. Taking a kitchen-sink approach to messaging apps, Wiper doesn’t just provide messages you can delete with a push of a button, but also includes free calling, YouTube music playlists, and now, payments powered by the bitcoin protocol.

Payments and messaging are a natural fit. In China, you can add a bank account to a WeChat account. More recently, in the United States, Snapchat introduced Snapcash with Square. But Wiper is eschewing partnerships with financial companies and using the bitcoin protocol instead for transferring money from person to person.

Wiper is positioning this feature as a way for people from other countries to send money home. Those payments are called remittances. From Wiper’s blog post:

This promises huge savings for immigrants sending money home and access to tools for the 2.5 billion adults who do not have bank accounts. It will also allow for microtransactions that were previously cost prohibitive, like tipping for media you like.

“If bitcoin is complicated for people who are tech-savvy and used to smartphones, imagine what it’s like for the first-time smartphone buyer,” Wiper CEO Manlio Carrelli said. “But the first-time smartphone buyer is used to the messaging interface.”

Wiper’s bitcoin implementation is fairly elegant. At the bottom of the app, there’s a tab for Bitcoin transactions. Instead of using a person’s inscrutable bitcoin address wallet, you can send bitcoins or fractions of bitcoins to Wiper usernames as part of a chat or through a separate transaction. Wiper lets you send Bitcoin to any wallet ID, even those without an associated Wiper account.

There are a few nice features included, like the fact that Wiper uses a different wallet ID for each transaction, but all wallets are still synced to your Wiper username. On iOS, Wiper uses Touch ID to validate payments. There is also the option to denominate all bitcoin amounts in local currency.

Screenshots-Wiper

There’s just one problem, though. If you don’t already have bitcoins, there’s no way to buy them from Wiper. To upload bitcoins into my Wiper account, I had to transfer them from my Coinbase wallet. On the other end, someone in a country like the Philippines or India might not have an easy way to turn bitcoins from Wiper back into money she can use.

“When you send money to Mom back home, you need to find a place that takes Bitcoin or offload it into local currency,” Carrelli said. “That’s what we’re going to work on next.”

There’s also the issue that bitcoin transactions — even sending the equivalent of $1 to a friend — are permanently and publicly recorded on the blockchain, which seems to be at odds with Wiper’s flagship feature, which is that it can delete all your messages with the push of a button. Your texts might be gone, but your bitcoin transactions will be accessible forever. However, Wiper will delete your transaction history from the app, and since it uses a different wallet ID for each transaction, the hope is that it would be “exceptionally hard to reverse engineer how much bitcoin you have.”

Anybody who’s seriously concerned with security wouldn’t be using Wiper anyway. As of now, you have to take the company’s word that its closed-source communication software is properly encrypted and messages are actually deleted when they’re wiped. Carrelli says that Wiper will release a “whitepaper” from a third-party auditor in the next year.

Still, the concept is simple and alluring. If you’re already using an app to call and message your family back home, why not add an easy way to send them money as well? In this case, despite its downsides, the bitcoin protocol has the advantage of potentially being cheaper than Western Union and similar services, as well as cutting through local regulations.

Wiper wouldn’t share user statistics with me, but it noted that its downloads on Google Play are in the 1-to-5-million range. Carrelli says the app has roughly equal numbers of iOS and Android users, and he also mentioned that Wiper is particularly successful in a few overseas markets like Thailand and Brazil. (According to App Annie, Wiper is the 77th most downloaded app in Thailand, although it climbed to the top spot at one point in December, and it’s currently the 140th most downloaded app in Brazil.)

Wiper has a 12-person team at the moment, based in New York, and it’s been funded by Michael Choupak, the former Intermedia CEO, who has contributed $2.5 million in seed funding.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MM5yX33mewI&feature=youtu.be

Stripe makes its bitcoin pilot available to all US users

After nearly a year of testing bitcoin payments with select customers, Stripe is making the cryptocurrency an option for all of its customers – of at least those with a U.S. bank account. Stripe provides the payment processing for sharing economy apps, online retailers and mobile developers, and they will now be able to add bitcoin to the payment choices on their websites and in their apps with a line of code. Stripe converts all bitcoin transactions into U.S. currency, and it charges a 0.5 percent fee for each transaction.

US to auction 50,000 more bitcoins from Dread Pirate Roberts

Want to be the next Dread Pirate Roberts? You can get started by buying 50,000 bitcoins once owned by Ross Ulbricht (aka the Dread Pirate), who is awaiting sentencing on a litany of charges related to his operation of the Silk Road, a defunct drug marketplace.

On Wednesday, the U.S. Marshals Service announced that it will hold its next civil forfeiture auction on March 5 from 8a.m. to 2p.m. EST. The bitcoins will be auctioned off in 10 blocks of 2,000 bitcoins and 10 blocks of 3,000 bitcoins.

This will be the third such bitcoin auction. The first took place last June when Venture Capitalist Tim Draper bought approximately 30,000 bitcoins seized from the Silk Road, and was followed by another one in December in which a consortium of bitcoin investors bought another stash of 50,000 bitcoins once belonging to Ulbricht.

The new auction comes as the price of bitcoin has fallen precipitously. One unit of the virtual currency once commanded $1,200, but fell to around $600 when Draper won the first auction, and is now bouncing around $230.

The upcoming sale is likely to just about exhaust the U.S. Marshals’ supply of bitcoins. The government seized the currency after the FBI took down Ulbricht with an open laptop in a San Francisco library in 2013.

Ulbricht was convicted in New York this month after he failed to convince a jury that he had passed on the title of Dread Pirate Roberts to someone else — much as the moniker passed from pirate to pirate in the Princess Bride.

Let’s learn about blockname, a decentralized version of DNS

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This weekend brought us a panic about Samsung TVs listening to every word people say in their presence. A little reporting showed that to be overblown, so Kevin Tofel and I discussed how voice recognition worked right now across devices in the smart home such as the Amazon Echo, Ubi and Google’s phones. We also did a deeper dive into what security and privacy should look like with connected devices and what you should be worried about.

Eric Jennings, CEO of Filament.

Eric Jennings, CEO of Filament.

Then we shifted gears to our guest, Eric Jennings, the CEO of Filament, a company building sensor modules for industrial customers. What’s most interesting about Filament isn’t the sensors, but it’s plan to try to create a decentralized version of the internet of things for those sensor modules to run on. So while it offers a cloud, Jennings and I dove deep into how Filament is building a series of technologies that includes the blockchain, Telehash, BitTorrent and new effort called blockname to create a decentralized network for IoT. It resembles, but is different from IBM’s similar efforts. So tune in to learn more. It’s pretty awesome.

Hosts: Stacey Higginbotham and Kevin Tofel
Guests: Eric Jennings, CEO of Filament

  • The truth about Samsung’s connected TVs and your privacy
  • What you should really worry about in the smart home when it comes to security and privacy
  • More on building a decentralized internet of things with block chain and Telehash
  • What role could BitTorrent play in this decentralized stack?
  • Introducing blockname, a way to build a decentralized version of DNS

 

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Ross Ulbricht found guilty of masterminding Silk Road

His attorneys admitted early on in the trial that Ross Ulbricht had created the Silk Road, the online drug bazaar that was busted by the FBI in October 2013 when Ulbricht was arrested. However, the defense strategy of claiming Ulbricht founded the site before passing it on to other operators (even accusing defamed MtGox CEO Mark Karpeles) didn’t work.

On Wednesday, a jury found Ulbricht guilty of charges related to the operation of the online drug website, including computer hacking, money laundering, drug trafficking, criminal enterprise and aiding and abetting the distribution of drugs over the internet. While the prosecution did bring up the murder-for-hire plots, where Ulbricht had solicited help from the Hells Angels to kill a Silk Road user FriendlyChemist, Ulbricht did not face any murder solicitation charges in the trial, according to Bloomberg, and there has been no evidence that the murders ever took place.

Throughout the trial, the prosecutors in the federal courthouse in Manhattan sandbagged the defense with mountains of evidence linking Ulbricht to Dread Pirate Roberts, the moniker used by the founder of the Silk Road. Ulbricht was arrested in October 2013 at a San Francisco library, with his laptop open and logged into the network. The prosecutors also brandished Ulbricht’s personal journal, where he wrote about starting the Silk Road and various life events, and compared them to chats from Dread Pirate Roberts (unsurprisingly, there was quite a bit of overlap). Even bitcoin transactions, a network that has long touted its anonymity, were able to be traced from the Silk Road to Ulbricht’s accounts.

The defense, on the other hand, had their only two witnesses thrown out by the judge. Ulbricht’s initial trial confession of founding the site seemed to only surprise his family, who had remained steadfast in their campaign for his innocence and funded much of his trial from donations.

It was a fast turnaround for the case, with the trial lasting less than a month and the jury only heading to deliberation on Wednesday morning before returning a guilty verdict later in the day. The FBI arrested Blake Benthall for being the alleged operator of Silk Road 2, the successor online market, in San Francisco on November 2014.

This story was updated several times as more information became available.

After key engineer leaves, what will happen to Reddit Notes?

A company changing its project outline for a year isn’t surprising, nor is laying off staff — except when that project was the one to give $5 million in equity back to Reddit’s fervent user base.

After promising to give its users a bit of the company (and tapping cryptocurrency as the vehicle to do the job), Reddit has appeared to change its mind about having the project on its agenda in 2015. The social site’s lead cryptoengineer, Ryan Charles, was let go last Thursday and all job openings for other cryptocurrency engineers have been removed from the job board as of Monday.

When Reddit raised a $50 million Series B round in September, it pledged to give 10 percent of it, or $5 million, back to its user base. The company had already hired Charles to be their lead engineer on the project, and its lead investor, Sam Altman, was excited about the experiment in distributing equity. Altman told me at the time that “You can in theory create a currency and have each coin be backed by one share of a company. Some day later, when the company goes public in the future, each coin can be traded for a share.”

In December, the project was officially launched as Reddit Notes. The vague details of the plan included awarding 950,000 Reddit Notes to users in a random lottery in Fall 2015. However, by letting go of the lead engineer who was working on that project, it’s hard to tell what the status of the project is now — and whether any Reddit Notes will make their way digitally into the hands of Reddit users this fall.

Reddit said Reddit Notes are still going to happen. Project manager Daniel Lim was not made available for comment, but the company said in a statement: “We will be issuing redditnotes; our research leads us to want to wait until the law and technology around cryptocurrency are further along before deciding exactly how. We want to make sure we can give the community the full value of the equity when they receive it in the future, and today we haven’t been able to find a way to do that within existing regulations.” (Those are the same words Reddit co-founder and chairman Alexis Ohanian said to Fortune and posted on Hacker News).

Charles, though, told Fortune that his departure means that Notes is over. (I’ve also reached out to Charles for elaboration and will update if I hear back.)

On Hacker News and Reddit, where Charles has been conducting Q&As, he also hinted that a larger plan to build a cryptofinancial system is now on the backburner: “The reddit wallet, should it have existed, had absolutely enormous potential. The goal was to make it really easy for redditors to have and transact in digital assets, particularly bitcoin, dogecoin, and reddit notes, as well as any other assets using whatever protocol we ultimately used for reddit notes (probably colored coins or sidechains). Consider the implications of making p2p payments possible on the world’s largest pseudonymous communication platform. It had the potential to play a large role in the global economy. It is a tragedy that this opportunity will now be missed (or at least substantially delayed).”