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Meet the Technician Who Unlocks Forgotten Crypto Wallets

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Benjamin Powers

Bitcoin, while down from its all-time high, is still well above its previous highs over the past few years. And with any exponential rise in the price of BTC, the number of frantic people with bitcoin stashed somewhere in a crypto wallet protected by a password they’ve long since forgotten – well, that’s increased exponentially as well. 

This where “Dave Bitcoin,” comes in. The pseudonymous co-founder of Wallet Recovery Services helps people recover access to password-protected wallets, and with each bitcoin bull run, his inbox starts to fill up. 

“These days because of the price rise and just the increased interest, we get around 50 to 70 requests daily,” he said. (For our interview we connected over a web chat service that doesn’t require user accounts, just a unique URL. Dave cares about his privacy and prefers an “ephemeral WebRTC conversation.”)

Wallet Recovery Services

Dave and his co-founder are equal partners of the company. They developed the software their company has used since 2013 as a hobby. 

The proprietary software is essentially a brute force attack on your crypto wallet; it tries millions of passwords in quick succession. Run on Linux nodes hosted on AWS, the algorithms the software uses try a multitude of permutations of whatever potential password customers think might be associated with the wallet. This often works because unfortunately, people tend to reuse passwords, despite a host of reasons to not do so. 

Early in their hobby days, Dave and his partner were posting in the Bitcointalk forum, offering their crypto wallet recovery services as something they were trying out. 

“It was an excuse for us to learn about the tech and stuff like that,” said Dave. “And then what we’ve done is, over the years, we’ve developed our own software that lets us try variations of passwords based on the customer’s guesses, and then added support for many different kinds of wallets over time.”

Day-to-day in a bull run

Even amid a bitcoin boom, Dave’s day-to-day might be recognizable to a lot of people – he spends a fair amount of time just answering questions via email from people who need help figuring out how to regain access to their crypto wallet.

“They’d be like, ‘Hey, I did a job once for someone two years ago and they paid me in bitcoin,’” said Dave. “’And I never really cared for it. But now I know I have bitcoin, but I don’t know how to get to it. Can you help me?’”

He then evaluates those queries and helps people figure out whether their quest to reclaim their neglected bitcoin is possible. For example, if your seed phrase is lost, there isn’t a way for you to access your funds. He’ll be clear about that, warning prospective customers that if someone says they can get their funds back in that situation, they’re scammers. 

He says that at times customers know their bitcoin is a lost cause. They’re really just looking for confirmation. 

The inadvertent HODL

While there has been a ton of renewed interest in crypto recently and with a lot of focus on the whales holding huge treasure troves, most people who reach out to Dave don’t have high-value crypto wallets. 

“For many of our customers, whether it’s a few ether or .05 bitcoin, this amount of money could make a big difference in someone’s life. So we put a fair amount of effort into all wallets, regardless of their size,” said Dave. 

Some people come to them years after thinking their wallets were lost because they didn’t know services like this existed. As for others, it may be that Dave’s software has now had time to catch up to the problem. As the software gets better, the company may revisit wallets they were unable to access in the past. 

“Whenever we add more stuff to our software, we’ll go back and have a test by trial, testing ‘pass or fail’ on wallets every once in a while from, say, five years ago,” he said. “Sometimes [the software] finally solves it and we’ll email the customer and it’s, like, it’s a great surprise for them. Some have said that this actually ended up being a good thing for them or they would have sold it much earlier.”

Let’s call it the inadvertent HODL. 

The crypto wallet risk

The fact of the matter is people who use Wallet Recovery Services are entrusting the company not to steal their cryptocurrency once they manage to hack into the wallet. But as Dave points out, the company has a long string of positive reviews; after all, the only way it could continue to exist is by maintaining its good reputation. 

Dave also said he tells customers to change their passwords (because they usually use variations of the ones they give him) once he runs his tests.

Wallet Recovery Services takes 20% of the holdings of the crypto wallet as payment if they successfully access it.

“Historically, our success rate rate is about 35%,” he said. “So there’s a 65% chance we won’t get anything out of the wallets that we work on, which we spend time and resources on.”



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How Could It Affect Bitcoin?

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While the COVID-19 pandemic has slowed down markets worldwide, especially the US stock market, several investors and traders went after alternative assets and options that could provide them a better store of value.

The United States Senate approved by a 50-49 party-line vote a $1.9 trillion coronavirus stimulus check, a plan already announced by Joe Biden at the beginning of January. This COVID-19 package relief includes the third round of stimulus checks that will be passed to president Biden, with a deadline of March 14 to make changes to the package before Biden gets to it.

What Does the COVID-19 Package Relief Plan Provide?

The COVID-19 package relief will include a series of direct payments to help boost the economy, hit by the coronavirus pandemic in 2020:

  • Americans making over $75,000 per year will receive direct payments of $1,4000.
  • Jobless Americans will receive $300 per week
  • Couples who make over $150,000 will receive $2,900 as a household check
  • One year increase to Child Tax Credits, which is a tax credit check that could be worth up to $2,000, depending on the income of households.

Why Is This Vital for Crypto?

  • Investing in crypto: Americans are one of the most active cryptocurrency advocates in the world. While financial institutions and politicians are still debating and giving uncertain weather for cryptos, a good percentage of the population are trading or investing in them in some way, especially, Bitcoin. If Americans who received the check start using that money to invest in cryptocurrencies, the crypto market would likely see a boost by mid-year.
  • Inflation: Stimulus Checks also mean more money issued —meaning, more money printed. The more money is printed, the higher the inflation as the value of fiat decreases. This is also another vital point for Bitcoin and most cryptocurrencies.
  • Hedge against inflation: While the COVID-19 pandemic has slowed down markets worldwide, especially the US stock market, several investors and traders went after alternative assets and options that could provide them a better store of value.

When institutional investors and companies, like PayPal, Grayscale, and Tesla, started hoarding Bitcoin, many realized that BTC together with several altcoins, changed from just being a medium of exchange to become a better hedge against value decreasing fiat.

While the weather in the US is uncertain regarding cryptocurrencies, this would likely act as a boost for most digital assets, reaffirming the need for better financial methods as changes are taking place in the world, and most economies can’t rely on the same classical methods of printing money every month for citizens.

Back in February, Janet Yellen made several mixed statements about crypto, specifically, Bitcoin, calling it a “special concern” by outlining how crypto-assets are being used for “shady businesses”. Yellen added that Bitcoin and other cryptos can be used for financing terrorism, but a report by Chainalysis highlighted how Bitcoin only accounts for 0.34% of terrorism-related transactions, keeping the US dollar as the preferred currency chosen by terrorists.

In the last 24 hours, Bitcoin has recovered 0.50% in price, trading in volumes of $49k, with a decent bullish index showing demand is still strong.

Bitcoin News, Cryptocurrency news, Market News, News

I’m a finance journalist and copywriter with a keen interest in the fintech field. I have keen on blockchain technology and cryptocurrency and I believe it can reshape the way we see money and financial freedom.



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Ethereum’s London Hard Fork with EIP 1559 Fee Market to Go Live This July

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The EIP 1559 is a welcome move for Ethereum users that standardize the transaction fee across the network and reduces volatility. However, mining pools have placed a strong opposition to it.

As per the latest development, July 2021 is the scheduled period when the Ethereum Improvement Protocol (EIP) 1559 will go live. As per Ethereum’s core developers’ call on Friday, March 5th, five other EIPs along with EIP 1559 are likely to join the London hard fork.

The Ethereum fraternity has been eagerly awaiting the launch of EIP 1559 amind issues of the transaction fee. The ongoing EIP 1559 helps to lower the volatility of transaction fees on the Ethereum blockchain. Besides, it also fixes several ongoing issues with Ethereum’s user experience.

Traditionally, a user sends the gas fee to the miner to include the transaction in the block. However, with the EIP 1559 implementation, the gas fee shall go to the network itself in the form of “burn”. The “burn” is also dubbed as basefee with only an optional tip paid to the miners.

The Ethereum algorithm sets the “burn” fee thereby making it easier for users to pay a fair price. Thus, EIP 1559 replaces the supply/demand auction-style system with a standard rate implementation across the entire network. Ethereum creators are confident that the proposal will be “positive ono the long term price” of Ethereum. They say that a lower and predictable gas fee ensures that Ethereum isn’t only for the rich.

This new proposal has received solid support from users and the creators of Ethereum. However, it has garnered strong opposition from the miners and the mining pools who have been on the receiving end.

ETH Miners Place a Solid Opposition

Ethereum miners have enjoyed solid revenues recently on the backdrop of the high DeFi activity on the Ethereum blockchain. In February last month, the total mining revenue clocked a massive $1.3 billion with the average transaction fee striking an all-time high of over $37. As per data by CoinMetrics, 50% of the revenue came from fees alone.

The surge in transaction fees and the ETH price has shot up the network has power to more than 100% in a year’s time. Flexpool, a minority mining pool, has launched a marketing campaign against the EIP. It has also received support from majority pools like sparkPool and Ethermine.

Nearly 60% of the Ethereum hash power is currently against the implementation of the new proposal. Interestingly, F2Pool is the only largest pool in favor of the EIP with 10% hash power.

However, mining pools have few options to stop the EIP 1559 implementation. The bigger danger that currently hovers around is the 51% attack on the Ethereum network. However, the chances of this remain unlikely at this moment considering different financial incentives for not attacking the network.

Altcoin News, Blockchain News, Cryptocurrency news, Ethereum News, News

Bhushan is a FinTech enthusiast and holds a good flair in understanding financial markets. His interest in economics and finance draw his attention towards the new emerging Blockchain Technology and Cryptocurrency markets. He is continuously in a learning process and keeps himself motivated by sharing his acquired knowledge. In free time he reads thriller fictions novels and sometimes explore his culinary skills.



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Galaxy Digital Leverages Blockstream Facilities for Bitcoin Mining Operations

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Despite the partnership announcement, Galaxy Digital Mining did not provide specific details on the number of machines deployed for the first installation.

Diversified financial services and investment management company in the digital asset sector Galaxy Digital (TSX: GLXY) said it is now hosting its newly-launched Bitcoin mining operations at Blockstream facilities. The diversified financial services firm noted that its Bitcoin-mining operations would use Blockstream facilities to initially deploy machines in Canada and the US.

CoinDesk said in a report that the partnership between Galaxy Digital and Bitcoin technology company Blockstream occurred less than two months after Galaxy Digital officially launched its mining operations.

In January, Galaxy Digital announced the launch of its miner financial services. At the time, the firm also added that it would begin its own Bitcoin mining business. Notably, providing financial services to Bitcoin miners has been a work-in-progress for Galaxy Digital since October 2020.

In addition, Galaxy Digital selected the former director of Mining at Fidelity, Amanda Fabiano, to head the new mining operations. Along with Fabiano, Galaxy Digital stated that there is a team of vast professionals working to advance the new unit. According to the press release, the new unit will be called Galaxy Digital Mining. The press release examined the functions of the new mining unit:

“…a new business unit committed to providing bitcoin miners with a comprehensive suite of financial services and products. Galaxy Digital Mining will serve as a one-stop financial services platform for miners-drawing the firm’s expertise in trading and risk management, investing and lending, and corporate advisory under one umbrella, tailored to the needs of the mining sector.”

Galaxy Digital Now Hosting Mining Operations Facilities

Now, Fabiano said that the company hopes to continually expand its mining operations. Despite the partnership announcement, Galaxy Digital Mining did not provide specific details on the number of machines deployed for the first installation. According to Fabiano, the financial services firm selected to use Blockchain’s facilities for “operational excellence.”

Blockstream CEO Adam Back also commented on the new partnership with Galaxy Digital. He said that Galaxy Digital has the opportunity to further growth with the Bitcoin technology company.

Earlier this year, Blockstream announced that it had purchased $25 million worth of Bitcoin mining machines from a Chinese manufacturer of crypto mining equipment MicroBT. Blockstream hopes to expand its mining operations with its new acquisition.

Data by MarketWatch revealed that Galaxy Digital stock had grown nearly 60% since the year began. The company’s stock has also spiked 189.68% in the last three months and almost 30% over the past month. With a market capitalization of $1.69 billion, Galaxy Digital stock has jumped 4.56% in the last five days. At press time, GLXY is closed at $17.41, a 5.74% loss over its previous close of $18.47.

Galaxy Digital has also partnered with CI Global Asset Management to launch a Bitcoin Fund in Canada. 

Bitcoin News, Blockchain News, Cryptocurrency news, News

Ibukun is a crypto/finance writer interested in passing relevant information, using non-complex words to reach all kinds of audience. Apart from writing, she likes to see movies, cook, and explore restaurants in the city of Lagos, where she resides.



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