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SEC Cybersecurity Compliance Preparation

October is National CyberSecurity Awareness Month, but global criminals are active every month of the year. In fact, The FBI is cautioning against the ‘Other’ Coronavirus Crisis, Cybersecurity & Privacy Risks and Scams. The SEC recognizes that registrants are faced with new operational, technological, commercial, and other challenges and issues due to COVID-19. Ethical-Advisor has partnered with […]

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BlockBank offre son expertise en matière d'intelligence artificielle au secteur des cryptomonnaies

BlockBank vise à élargir la base de connaissances des utilisateurs et à renforcer leur pouvoir décisionnel. Le secteur des cryptomonnaies, bien qu’il regorge d’occasions de réaliser des profits importants, comporte aussi des inconvénients. Investir dans ce secteur entraînera de grands risques, compte tenu de sa complexité et de la volatilité de son marché. En tant […]

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BlockBank bringt KI-Beratung in die Krypto-Industrie

BlockBank zielt darauf ab, die Wissensbasis des Benutzers zu erweitern und seine Entscheidungsfähigkeit positiv zu beeinflussen. Der Kryptowährungsraum ist zwar voller Möglichkeiten für signifikante Gewinne in Bezug auf den Profit, hat aber auch seine Nachteile. Eine Investition in diesen Bereich ist mit großen Risiken verbunden, wenn man die Volatilität des Marktes und die Komplexität der […]

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Art reimagined: NFTs are changing the collectibles market

Art has been serving as the ultimate source of inspiration to many people throughout all of history. In the era of cryptocurrencies and the digitized world, trends change faster than ever. For years, numerous artists have tried stepping into rapidly advancing playgrounds and grabbing their slice of pie, but now their time has truly come.The NFT fever has quickly taken over the industry, turning digital artists and popular meme creators into rich celebrities. It’s hard to estimate when this euphoria will run out of steam, but before the hype train stops, we’ll surely see more market records and thrilling experiments in this area.Related: NFT trading cards: A new way to own collectibles or an asset bubble?From a few pennies to a fortuneThe market cap of nonfungible tokens, or NFTs, shows fast-moving developments, growing nearly tenfold between 2018 and 2020. The path from niche forums to the oldest auction houses was incredibly fast. Christie’s has recognized the trend in advance, launching one successful NFT sale after another. Different artworks and collectibles have born six-digit price tags — and more. The latest groundbreaking world record led to over $69 million being paid for a JPEG file by the artist Mike Winkelmann, also known as Beeple. Could this have been predicted a few decades ago?The globally recognized auction house has plans to put nine rare CryptoPunks NTFs up for auction for an upcoming sale on May 11. “For the first time, 5,184 pixels’ worth of a revolutionary NFT project will go up for auction at a traditional auction house,” the auction house exclaimed. The estimated total sale price is between $7 million and $9 million, but it may well turn out to be much higher, since one of these tokens already sold for $7.5 million in March. CryptoPunks is a prime example of the current boom in the NFT market. The project was initiated by Matt Hall and John Watkinson, founders of New York-based software company Larva Labs, when they created 10,000 images of people in 24×24 pixels. It’s hard to believe that the project’s founders distributed these NFTs to members of the crypto community just for free. Half a year later, the cost has surged to several thousand dollars, and today, these collectibles are already being sold for millions. What causes people to buy unconventional pixel digital art for the price of a garage full of luxury cars? The hype is caused by the role of cryptocurrencies rising globally and the fact that these limited editions still represent some of the first collectibles on the crypto market.Tatiana Stiskina, an art historian and art adviser, explained the motives:“I have decided to buy a CryptoPunk even before Christie’s announced their sale May 11. So my husband and I bought it on the day when Christie’s announced the sale. CryptoPunks is an even deeper symbol not only of cryptoart, but of the tech industry, as they are generated using an algorithm. It is the algorithms that are worshiped by the people who gave us everything related to Hi-tech and DeFi.” Unraveling the story behind NFT’s popularityWhat makes NFT items so desirable and special? Blockchain is the groundbreaking technology that changes almost everything it touches. The record of ownership can’t be faked, and NFTs can’t be copied and pasted. Empowered by distributed ledger technology, such tokens are nonreplicable and cannot be substituted, having only a single owner at a time. Due to their interchangeable features and fungibility, despite being called “nonfungible,” NFTs are liquid and can be purchased or sold on Ethereum-based markets.Related: The chicken or the egg: Why NFTs could be fungible after allCryptoPunks are some of the first NFTs, launched back in 2017 on the Ethereum blockchain. These tokens use the ERC-721 protocol standard, which means they are unique and cannot be replaced by another, hence their nonfungible nature. Why are some tokens worth pennies while some increase in value to tens of thousands of dollars, and others yet are worth millions? The price is valued based on rarity analyses of specific attributes that the crypto art and community respect. However, although CryptoPunks have been pioneering the space, there are other examples that can eclipse their success. Like every additional, highly lucrative opportunity, this field has become overcrowded with the sharks that want to capitalize on the moment by defrauding consumers and collectors. When you keep in mind that the total value of NFT transactions quadrupled to $250 million last year, this trend doesn’t surprise anyone.Related: NFTs and US taxes: What you should know A glimpse into the futureThere are no estimates on how long the anchor of NFTs will continue to appeal to wealthy investors. Some suggest that the bubble will burst faster than the initial coin offering fever ended. Right now, perhaps a fresh outlook combined with decent taste can make a difference and change things. A new ship must arrive at the NFT’s blockchain harbor that could promise such changes. Last week, the crypto community went crazy about a new NFT collectible project — The Bored Ape Yacht Club, a collection of 10,000 Bored Ape NFTs living on the Ethereum blockchain — of unique digital collectibles, which sold out on the primary market. This is an exciting project that is trying to include gamification and community elements, and it will be interesting to see what comes next. Ksoids project — which debuted on April 22 as an NFT project — skyrocketed to the first position in the charts on OpenSea just after a few days. Over 900 of the total 1,000 sold out, so some are still available to buy at auction. Ksoids are algorithmically unique creatures, whose breath of fresh air and creativity in its finest did not go unnoticed by digital art enthusiasts, collectors, fans and investors, declaring it to be a true indie project. Ksoids are the first generative art of 3D characters that not only create a world of their own but also help protect ours. 20% of each sale will be donated to the Orangutan Outreach, a nonprofit organization dedicated to protecting orangutans in their native habitat.The latest NFT collection from Larva Labs was the talk of the crypto community in the last few days — the public sale being over within hours. The Meebits, 20,000 unique 3D voxel characters, are created by a custom generative algorithm registered on the Ethereum blockchain. According to data from Dune Analytics, Larva Labs made a staggering $72,976,613 from the public sale.Related: What you should know before buying or selling an NFT in the USBehind the boom for digital collectiblesIn a highly speculative market, every new record becomes less impressive than the previous one. There will always be people willing to pay astonishing amounts of money for experimental ideas just for curiosity or to stand out of the crowd.Some high-profile investors regard NFTs as a way to diversify their crypto portfolios and create new kinds of elite clubs, and most of the new market participants hope that digital art will cost a fortune sometime in the future. The only obvious thing is for the market to further mature and progress, and for professionals to step in and set benchmark quality examples.The views, thoughts and opinions expressed here are the author’s alone and do not necessarily reflect or represent the views and opinions of Cointelegraph.Alexandra Luzan is a Ph.D. student researching the connection between new technologies and art at Ca’ Foscari University in Venice. For about a decade, Alexandra has been organizing tech conferences and other events in Europe dedicated to blockchain technology and artificial intelligence. She is equally interested in the relationship between blockchain tech and art.

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As Bitcoin’s payment options grow, BTC true future role up for debate

In an August 2020 paper “Is bitcoin money?” Peter Hazlett and William Luther wrote that there exists only “a small corner of the internet where transactions are routinely conducted with Bitcoin serving as the medium of exchange.” But that corner may be growing into a room, or even a house now. “Demand for Bitcoin has certainly grown over the last year,” co-author Luther, assistant professor of economics at Florida Atlantic University, told Cointelegraph in a recent conversation. “As new users find themselves with Bitcoin, and existing users find themselves with more Bitcoin, it’s only natural that more people will consider using it to make payments.” Others see a recent rise in crypto payment options. “Definitely,” Joanna Wasick, a partner at law firm BakerHostetler, told Cointelegraph, adding: “More people are owning cryptocurrencies, and more companies are accepting them — sometimes even at an incentive over fiat. There’s also an influx of exchanges and payment platforms facilitating these kinds of transactions. I don’t think that happens without a demand.”This past week, eBay was reported to be exploring crypto payment options, including NFT auctions, while PayPal was said to be discussing the development of its own stablecoin. Elsewhere, Switzerland’s Canton of Zug began recently accepting tax payments in Bitcoin (BTC) and Ether (ETH). “There have certainly been some major announcements from mainstream financial services companies in the past several months that point to the momentum of viewing crypto as a payment option,” Kristin Smith, executive director at the Blockchain Association, told Cointelegraph, citing Visa, PayPal — and from the crypto world — BlockFi. Still too volatile?Not all believe that Bitcoin is viable as a medium of exchange, though. Aswath Damodaran, professor of finance at New York University’s Stern School of Business, told Cointelegraph: “I don’t see it, and the reasons are simple: It is an incredibly inefficient currency, with transaction costs overwhelming the benefits.” These inefficiencies are likely to multiply, too, as BTC moves closer to its 21-million limit. “It is also far too volatile for people to trust it,” he added — though he doesn’t rule out other cryptocurrencies as potential payments options. St. Louis Federal Reserve president James Bullard noted that in the 19th century –– before the American Civil War –– it was common for private United States banks to issue their own notes, a practice analogous to today’s cryptocurrencies, in his view. “They were all trading around [i.e., the banknotes], and they traded at different discounts to each other, and people did not like it at all.” People want a uniform currency like the U.S. dollar, said Bullard. Because Bitcoin has yet to find widespread use as a means of exchange, growing numbers have suggested that its proper role might really be as an alternate store of value, like gold. But Luther, for one, doesn’t think this makes much sense, telling Cointelegraph:“I don’t understand those who say Bitcoin is better suited as a store of value than as a medium of exchange. An asset can only function as a store of value if it is expected to have a positive price in the future. And it will only have a positive price in the future if it has some use in the future.”To say that Bitcoin can be a store of value today, and possibly a medium of exchange one day — though maybe not — could be putting the cart before the horse. In Luther’s view: “Bitcoin is expected to function as a medium of exchange in the future — that its price fluctuates today as people expect it to be more or less useful as a medium of exchange in the future.” Moreover, he believes that “conditional on its usefulness as a medium of exchange in the future, it might serve as a store of value as well.”Meanwhile, Bitcoin remains the most used crypto payment platform, according to BitPay, which processes some $1 billion annually in crypto payments. In March, Bitcoin accounted for 72% of BitPay’s crypto payments (by number), far ahead of Bitcoin Cash (BCH) (14%) and ETH (10%), which ranked second and third, respectively.BTC may be good enoughThere are indeed valid reasons why crypto partisans continue to use BTC for transactions — even while other crypto platforms may be faster with lower fees. “I don’t like spending my Bitcoin, but I know that as soon as I say those words ‘just send me your Bitcoin address’ the transfer will get done quickly and cheaply,” said Quantum Economics founder Mati Greenspan in a recent newsletter, further adding:“I know for a fact that my analyst will be happy to receive Bitcoin, and that I have a Bitcoin stash that I can feasibly use to pay with. However, if I tell him, ‘Hey, let me send you some XLM,’ the response probably won’t be enthusiastic because it would probably require him to spend time and energy researching wallets and exchanges.”Bitcoin today occupies a somewhat unusual role as a “niche medium of exchange,” according to the Cato Institute’s Lawrence White in a blog post. “It is better than other media for making some payments that, even if for legitimate purposes, might be censored if routed through payment systems controlled by national governments and central banks.” A grassroots human rights organization in Belarus, for instance, has used the BTC network to transfer money to striking workers — in a way that the government cannot stop. Others expect that BTC will achieve mainstream acceptance as a payments option. Bill Zielke, chief marketing officer of BitPay, told Cointelegraph that “crypto is already a significant payment method, as more than a billion in volume occurs annually.” Firms such as Newegg and Apmex, both top 100 merchants, already “see a meaningful percentage of their sales in Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.”A need for greater stabilityHowever, more still needs to happen before Bitcoin and/or other cryptocurrencies achieve widespread adoption as payments options. “Most importantly, cryptocurrency needs to become more stable and stop being a speculative vehicle,” said Wasick, adding: “If I think the value of my Bitcoin is going to go up, I’m not going to use it to buy a car. I’m going to sit on it so I can realize more gains.”Damodaran agreed, as individuals who think about using Bitcoin to purchase items worry that their BTC will be worth 30% more in a day or two. Sellers — e.g., merchants — “don’t want to receive it since they are worried about the exact opposite.” Damodaran added: “For a good crypto to make it, it has to get governments to buy in, some version of a trusted authority to reduce transaction costs and [become] less of a speculative game.” Related: Bitcoin’s upcoming Taproot upgrade and why it matters for the network“The two biggest obstacles, in my view, are the volatility of its purchasing power and the relatively small number of transactions it can handle,” Luther told Cointelegraph while going on to add: “Second-layer solutions have gone a long way toward eliminating the second problem — and will no doubt go further. Of course, that means most on-chain Bitcoin transactions would merely be for settlement.”“There are regulatory issues that we believe would encourage broader adoption, such as adopting a de minimis exemption for cryptocurrency transactions,” added Smith. For example, cryptocurrency transactions of less than $200 might be exempt from taxation.“The regulatory regime needs to change or at least become clearer to people,” said Wasick, in addition to raising a question: “How many people using crypto for payments know exactly what the tax implications are of their payment transactions?”Do people want a uniform currency?But what about Bullard’s contention that people aren’t keen to deal with all these private forms of money. What they really want is a uniform currency, like the U.S. dollar. “Bullard has a point — people generally want a uniform currency,” answered Wasick, but Bullard overlooks some key aspects of cryptocurrencies, she added. They are “decentralized and deflationary — or, at least, non-inflationary — by design.” Fiat, by comparison, created and managed by governments, “is by design inflationary. […] Dollars lose value over time.”Bullard, in Luther’s view, also glosses over some important historical details. Most pre-Civil War banknotes were not discounted, he said — “they typically traded at par.” Only when they circulated far away from the issuing bank were they discounted. Banknotes issued in Chicago, for example, might trade at a discount in New York — but only because it was costly to redeem them. Luther further explained:“Banknote collectors had to bundle them up and ship them back to the issuing bank in order to redeem them for gold. Then, they had to haul that gold back home. And, of course, they risked theft both ways.” Banks would have liked to provide closer redemption options, but regulatory restrictions on branch banking didn’t allow it. According to Luther: “Far from demonstrating an uncompromising desire for a uniform redeemable currency, as Bullard claims, the historical evidence suggests that many redeemable currencies might prevail, even under a poor regulatory regime that makes them perform far worse than they otherwise would.”If BTC can’t make it, could stablecoins prevail?Still, the volatility problem with crypto persists, which is why some believe the solution for crypto as a payment mechanism starts with stablecoins. “We do see use of stablecoins growing,” answered Zielke, adding: “Accepting or paying with stablecoins opens up new possibilities for global businesses that require the stability of the dollar but the security, speed and efficiency of blockchain payments.”“I like the idea of stablecoins,” said Luther. But as is the case with traditional cryptocurrencies, they still need some improvements. “For one, they tend to be stable relative to the dollar, which by definition means they will never be managed better than the dollar.” A second concern is “they typically require one to trust the issuer to manage the supply appropriately — a risky proposition,” said Luther.Related: The way of the stablecoin: A journey toward stability, trust and decentralizationDamodaran was skeptical about the utility of stablecoins, which he described as “solutions in search of problems,” further adding: “Of all the problems in the world, not having a currency that works is not in the top 100 in much of the world.”But it is a problem in some locales, which is why Smith, for one, believes that crypto as a payment option may first catch on widely “in other, non-U.S. jurisdictions,” especially countries that “do not have the same access to payment systems that make internal transactions simple.”Meanwhile, White listed some other current BTC use cases, including “fundraising by activists in Nigeria, Hong Kong and Russia, savings expatriation by people fleeing Venezuela, remittances into Iran, and peer-to-peer transfers within China among people seeking to avoid state financial surveillance.” He concluded: “Such uses — together with forecasts of wider future use — are enough to sustain Bitcoin’s positive market value.”

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RYB Education, Inc. to Report Fourth Quarter and Full Year 2020 Financial Results on Sunday, May 9, 2021 U.S. Eastern Time

BEIJING, May 8, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — RYB Education, Inc. (“RYB” or the “Company”) (NYSE: RYB), a leading early childhood education service provider in China, today announced that it plans to release unaudited financial results for the fourth quarter and full year 2020 on Sunday, May 9, 2021 U.S. Eastern Time. The earnings release will be available on the […]

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What are the chances BTC is actually overtaken by another crypto?

When the famous Satoshi Nakamoto first designed his masterpiece, few could possibly have imagined the almost $63,500 peak that sent investors into a frenzy. Even these days, the first-ever cryptocurrency’s price feels hard to believe at times and investors might be pinching themselves every now and then. Taking a seat alongside Bitcoin (BTC) on the roller coaster, altcoins like Litecoin (LTC), Ether (ETH) and Bitcoin Cash (BCH) joined the ride — and, more recently, DeFi giants Polkadot and Cardano.But for the long haul, looking into the crystal ball, it’s difficult to see the future of a coin shrouded in uncertainty. Ray Dalio raised fair points in his critique of Bitcoin, arguing that uncertainties regarding how governments will react to digital assets supplanting fiat currency in utilization are causes for potential concern down the road. He further argued that the Bitcoin blockchain will soon be outdated, and without any central governance to adapt it to emerging blockchain technology, a superior coin could overtake it.Related: DeFi won’t last long without unlocking Bitcoin’s $250B treasure chestAnd that nails home the point: Bitcoin’s underlying blockchain protocols are very limiting in terms of enabling broader financial applications. It would be unfathomable to operate a massive DeFi ecosystem on top of the Bitcoin blockchain given Bitcoin’s proof-of-work transaction consensus algorithm.Despite its limitations, it’s difficult to predict whether innovative advances in competing coins’ blockchains will be enough to overtake Bitcoin’s success. It all hinges on the utility factor: Will crypto stay a store of value, or will it become a viable alternative for exchanging value?Related: Did Bitcoin prove itself to be a reliable store of value in 2020? Experts answerEmerging blockchain technologies and DeFi’s successSince the dawn of Bitcoin just over a decade ago, the blockchain industry has given rise to hundreds of different projects, with each one aiming to forge a new coin into stardom. Many succeeded in the long term. Ether, the second closest coin in value to Bitcoin, continued hitting new all-time highs throughout April, validating not just the coin’s potential as a store of value asset but also Ethereum’s potential as a blockchain network.Related: Where does the future of DeFi belong: Ethereum or Bitcoin? Experts answerSimilar to Ethereum, a number of projects aimed to emulate the titan that Vitalik Buterin and his associates built, such as Cardano, EOS and, most recently, the hot and popular Polkadot. Each project tries to build off the limitations of the other to varying degrees of success. Hype has been the majority of what’s been delivered to users, as only time will reveal the true validity of these projects.Regardless of the blockchain projects and their creative names, they’ve spurred on an ecosystem of collaborative development. Together, they’ve created decentralized apps, or DApps, that can bring the unbanked out of the doldrums of impoverishment, opportunity to the financially excluded and new investment avenues to the already-savvy. Related: It’s time to put the dukes down and work together for blockchain’s futureThe flourishing of coins and DApps serves up plenty of optimism to many outsiders looking in, offering hope that there is real potential to foster a booming decentralized finance ecosystem — or at least a hybrid of it combined with centralized markets. But it’s all thanks to belief in Bitcoin’s value, which is the fixation point of many investors.Related: Was 2020 a ’DeFi year,’ and what is expected from the sector in 2021? Experts answerBitcoin’s store of value is what’s really on the mindWhat drove the inquisitiveness of investors, developers and crypto enthusiasts alike was the appeal of Bitcoin as a store of value. Against fiat currencies, Bitcoin is deflationary; so, during periods like the COVID-19 pandemic, Bitcoin’s appeal turned white-hot. Related: How has the COVID-19 pandemic affected the crypto space? Experts answerWhile discussions about Ethereum, Polkadot and other blockchain platforms caught the attention of the DeFi world, many outsiders remained numb to them and fixated on the coin prices. And that’s why Bitcoin’s appeal stays as a store of value, for the most part.Related: The butterfly effect: Why DeFi will force BTC to break its 21M supply ceilingMany ordinary retail investors and institutional investors don’t have a firm grasp on crypto’s inner workings. According to a Cardify survey, only 16.9% of crypto investors “fully understand” it, while just over 33% of them have limited or “zero knowledge.” Over 40% of crypto investors are newbies who are riding the hype wave. It’s arguable that the entry barriers to the DeFi world are quite high and literacy is rather hard to attain, but that’s a story for another time.Related: Institutional investors won’t take Bitcoin mainstream — You willMoreover, institutional investors remain wary of the volatility issues facing Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, with ongoing predictions of an imminent bubble — another signal that underlying blockchain technologies are less of a priority. And this is precisely why other coins will not overtake Bitcoin. So long as the mainstream fixation remains pinned to coin value and not underlying blockchain value, Bitcoin will stand atop the cryptocurrency podium. Whether investors can become more literate in the inner workings of the DeFi world will determine how much value investors will find in the underlying technologies of new and emerging coins. For now, Bitcoin is the king of the hill and will likely stay that way for a long time as the price continues to climb and mainstream investors hop on board.This article does not contain investment advice or recommendations. Every investment and trading move involves risk, and readers should conduct their own research when making a decision.The views, thoughts and opinions expressed here are the author’s alone and do not necessarily reflect or represent the views and opinions of Cointelegraph.Ariel Shapira is a father, entrepreneur, speaker, cyclist, and serves as founder and CEO of Social-Wisdom, a consulting agency working with Israeli startups and helping them to establish connections with international markets.

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Maria Pappas teams up with Candace Jordan and Luxe Bloom on Mother's Day

WHO:              Cook County Treasurer Maria Pappas, Media Personality Candace Jordan and Shelley Rosen, CEO & Founder Luxe Bloom WHAT:           Pappas, Jordan and Rosen accompanied by prominent community leaders will give away more than 500 Ecuadorian roses WHEN:           Sunday, May 9th, 10:30 a.m. until 12:30 p.m. WHERE:         Michigan and Chicago Avenues in Chicago (Northwest Corner of […]

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Ever-Glory To Report First Quarter 2021 Earnings on May 14th, 2021

NEW YORK, May 8, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Ever-Glory International Group, Inc. (the “Company” or “Ever-Glory”) (NASDAQ: EVK), a retailer of branded fashion apparel and a leading global apparel supply chain solution provider, today announced that the Company will report its first quarter 2021 financial results on May 14th, 2021 before the open of trading in […]

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Blockchain tech has a solution to secure your email

The global COVID-19 pandemic has definitely created a clear delineation of remote work: The reliability of a company lies in its email service provider for all forms of communication.Let’s start with the origin of email. Email has been around for more than 50 years and is a formal channel of communication across the world. With more than 3 billion users, it is the most widely used and instantaneous form of communication. The first example of email can be found on computers at MIT in a program called “MAILBOX,” dating all the way back to the 1960s. However, it was only in 1971 that Ray Tomlinson invented and developed electronic mail, as we know it today, by creating ARPANET’s networked email system.Email as a channel of communication is not truly secure It’s estimated that people all over the world send around 320 billion emails every single day. Back in 2019, enterprise cloud-native security firm Avanan revealed in its “Global Phish Report” that one in every 99 emails is a phishing attack, meaning around 300 million phishing attacks were attempted every day in 2019.Back in 2016, IT security firm Hold Security estimated that more than 272 million email records and passwords of email accounts are offered to be purchased on the darknet. A buzzworthy example from this year was when prominent journalist Nidhi Razdan filed a cybercrime cell complaint in January with the Delhi Police in India after she said that she had been the victim of a phishing scam fraudulently offering a position of an associate professor at Harvard University. Another very recent example is when attackers exploited four dangerous vulnerabilities in Microsoft Exchange to get a foothold in the corporate network.Apart from security issues, distractions like email service providers reading, processing and targeting ads to their users is an everyday phenomenon. Have you ever noticed the irony? The moment you create a new email address with Gmail, even before you receive your first email, an unwanted ad is already waiting in your mailbox.In fact, until 2017, Google used its technological capability to scan all emails sent to or from Gmail users to help build detailed profiles of its users, allowing it to target them with highly personalized ads.Even if we set aside all the security and phishing problems for a second, the idea of a clutter-free, spam-free and ad-free inbox is practically impossible to imagine. Keeping the centralized nature of emails in mind and the various issues that come along with it, an email service built on top of a blockchain platform provides solutions to any or all drawbacks that current centralized email services have.Related: The kings of data must utilize blockchain technologyWhat should decentralized email be focused on?Security is of paramount importance when it comes to email. The decentralized nature of blockchain technology will provide the highest level of security when it comes to emails. Peer-to-peer networks are not only next to impossible to break into but also provide the highest level of protection when it comes to data, personal information and passwords.Related: Decentralized identity is the way to fighting data and privacy theftNext comes 100% privacy, which is again possible by realizing cryptographic algorithms, asymmetric key systems and hashing functions. To achieve perfection here, one has to ensure that the best possible combinations are taken into consideration and implemented.Related: DPN vs. VPN: The dawn of decentralized web privacyThe constant influx of unwanted emails at all hours of the day can be taken care of easily, and a “clutter-free inbox” can be provided using smart contracts. The inbox experience goes several notches up when these possibilities can also be integrated with smart contracts.There could be a possibility to create a one-time email address to share with strangers, which could later be completely erased. The option of creating a fixed-time email address, from a duration of one day to several months, is also a possibility. This powerful feature makes it much easier to choose a reliable provider, without having the almost-permanent digital footprint of an email address.Work-life balance actually becomes a reality if one does not receive any work email alerts from 9 am to 5 pm. However, in several industries (including crypto), this is likely not possible, so the duration can further be customized and personalized, catering to the needs of the business.Auto prioritization of emails is under one’s discretion, along with the ability to delete unread emails. Via smart contracts, email built on top of a blockchain network can easily control access to any employee’s emails by providing them only to the person/s in charge. Moreover, the inbox would be protected from unwanted advertisements, data mining, monitoring, tracking or profiling.How should the blockchain solution look to make this solution succeed?In order for the above features to be a reality in a decentralized system, the blockchain should be:Scalable: Blockchains today are not scalable. On the Ethereum blockchain, only 15 transactions can be validated per second. This means that it is in no way able to handle millions of emails a day. Hence, the blockchain should inherently have the capability to handle millions of transactions per day with almost instant validations.Sustainable: Blockchains consume much more energy than any system present. For example, the Ethereum blockchain consumes 1.02 kilowatt-hours per transaction. This means for a single day if 1 billion emails are exchanged, the Ethereum blockchain would consume 1.02 terawatt-hours. The energy consumption of the blockchain should be so light that it has to compete or be comparable with centralized systemsSecure with absolute privacy. Even though blockchains are secure, they are prone to 51% attacks, where malicious nodes occupy 51% or more of the network. The cryptographic algorithms, asymmetric key mechanisms and hashing functions provide the highest level of encryption. Security is inherently built inside privacy mechanisms. Having said that, not all blockchains are capable of or configured to provide email services. Scalability, sustainability and security should be carefully considered when choosing a blockchain protocol. Most, if not all, blockchains meet one or two of the three main requirements, with a few exceptions.All of these issues could vanish when using email on top of a blockchain, but keep in mind that the grass is only truly green when all three criteria — security, scalability and sustainability — are met.The views, thoughts and opinions expressed here are the authors’ alone and do not necessarily reflect or represent the views and opinions of Cointelegraph.Vishnu Priya Mishra is a blockchain enthusiast with six years of experience in advertising and marketing. She has worked with brands such as Burger King, Xbox and Ziff Davis in brand and community building. She manages marketing and PR at Uniris.Nilesh Patankar is a seasoned technologist with over 25 years of experience in the payments domain. He has managed global programs for Mastercard and Barclays. He was also the chief technology officer of Payback, the largest coalition loyalty program in India serving over 100 million users. Nilesh is a co-founder and chief operating officer of Uniris.Akshay Kumar Kandhi is the head of innovation, research and development at Uniris, where he is at the forefront of research in blockchain and biometrics. He has a degree from Ecole Polytechnique in France.

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Reeling from post-hack price slump, Easyfi reveals community compensation plan

After a devastating hack, a cross-chain decentralized finance (DeFi) protocol has revealed today a temporary compensation plan for token holders and investors impacted by one of the largest exploits in DeFi history. In a Tweet today, EasyFi announced their “Interim Compensation Plan,” a multi-stage process that includes immediate payments, IOU tokens, and incentive programs aimed at victims of the attack. 1/ #EasyFi is releasing a carefully thought out compensation plan for the protocol users on @0xPolygon.We would also like to inform you that we have onboarded new strategic investors & strong backers to help expand the protocol operations & business. https://t.co/Gu7FtLcsnc— @easyfi.network (@EasyfiNetwork) May 7, 2021The hack, which took place 19 April, is considered to be among the largest in DeFi history, with $6 million in stablecoins and 2.98 million EZ tokens worth upwards of $120 million lost at the time of the attack. The hacker was in a complicated position, however, as after exploiting the protocol they owned upwards of 30% of the supply of EZ tokens and there was limited liquidity with which to unload them. The token “hardforked” to EZ 2.0 a week later, rendering the attacker’s remaining tokens effectively worthless. In a Tweet from his personal account, EasyFi founder Ankitt Gaur confirmed that the hack was the result of a “targeted attack on the founder’s machine/metamask to access admin keys and execute the well-planned hack.” This attack vector bears similarities to a 2020 hack on the personal computer of Hugh Karp, the founder of Nexus Mutual, who lost $8 million. An expert from hack and exploit publication Rekt noted that the theft may have been the result of lax security practices, in that a single individual was in possession of the keys to the treasury, as opposed to being secured in a wallet with precautions against this type of hack such as a multisignature scheme or timelocked transactions. In their compensation plan blog post, EasyFi characterizes the attack as “well-planned” and “sophisticated.”Regardless of the cause, the efforts to compensate victims is multifaceted. Per their post, 25% of lost funds will be distributed to users “immediately” in the form of stablecoins, while the remaining 75% will be distributed as “IOU” tokens. The IOU tokens will have “25% discount on spot price of EZ at the time of distribution,” and be redeemable for EZ v2 tokens on a 1-to-1 basis. Hack victims will also reportedly be the recipients of future airdrops from unspecified partners and have access to other incentivized programs still in development. The post also noted that the protocol has worked to attract new venture capital via an “accelerated” fundraising round following the hack — a round that is still ongoing. The token is down 4.7% today to $11.30, and down 33.8% on the week — still reeling from both the hack, as well as from compensated investors possibly cashing in their IOUs. Compensation methods are an increasingly hot topic as hacks and exploits continue to plague DeFi. EasyFi’s multifaceted approach mirrors that of Origin Dollar’s, while other protocols have opted for creative cross-platform treasury magic to mitigate attacks in recent months.

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Texas Agriculture Commissioner Consultant, Todd Smith, Arrested Over Hemp License Scandal

Todd Smith, top political consultant to Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller, was arrested earlier this week over allegations that he schemed to accept money in exchange for state hemp licenses. The claims against him also alleged that he solicited campaign contributions. He allegedly took $55,000, according to an arrest warrant affidavit. In total, all those involved in the scheme are accused of soliciting a total of $150,000 for license guarantees. The group is said to have taken $25,000 up front for these deals. As a part of this, Smith is being charged with third-degree felony theft.  “Todd Smith created by words and his conduct, a false impression of fact that affected the judgment of others in the transactions to obtain a hemp license and/or conduct a survey that was never attempted by Todd Smith,” the affidavit claimed.Miller claimed in response to these allegations that he “had no idea” this was going on, and Smith could not be reached for comment. “That was Todd, between him and his clients,” Miller said regarding the situation. “This matter is being investigated by the Texas Rangers on behalf of the Department of Public Safety in collaboration with the Travis County District Attorney’s office,” Travis Considine, a spokesperson for the Department of Public Safety, said according to a statement. “Our offices will be keeping the community updated as more information becomes available.”Todd Smith Released on BondSmith was arrested this week and taken to the Travis County jail, but then released the next day on a personal recognizance bond, which was set at $10,000.The charges against Smith claim that he used another person as a middle man to help people obtain licenses, but the charges so far don’t name who that person is. Apparently, the middle man would tell those looking for licenses that he was “working directly with senior leadership at the TDA” and  “needed $150,000.00 in cash, with some of the money going toward campaign contributions, in order to receive the ‘guaranteed’ hemp license.”Things came to a head with the scheme, according to the affidavit, when one man looking for a license agreed to the bribe and delivered $30,000 in cash to the middle man. Later, the anonymous, hopeful hemp farmer learned he was not actually guaranteed a license. He called Smith, and Smith then “denied any knowledge but did admit to receiving a $5,000.00 gift from” the middle man in the situation, according to the claims. It is not yet clear who exactly was involved, or the extent of knowledge the different accused individuals had. Hemp licenses became available to interested parties in 2019 when House Bill 1325 was signed into law. This allowed state farmers to grow industrial hemp legally, although they are still not authorized to grow THC-containing cannabis. It is also not clear how long this has been an issue in the Texas hemp industry. This also isn’t the first time Smith has fallen on the wrong side of the law. He was previously called out for blurring lines in his campaign when he allegedly told a San Antonio businessman that donating to Miller’s campaign would get him a Texas Department of Agriculture appointment. Smith also asked the man for a $29,000 personal loan. This series of events does not look good for the current situation. Smith has been on Miller’s team for years, when Miller initially created four assistant commissioner positions to support his own position. Another was given to Smith’s wife, Kellie Housewright-Smith. Salaries for these positions started at $180,000. While the investigation is ongoing, there are many issues of concern so far for Smith, and Miller’s team. Hopefully, with this coming to light, things will be easier from now on for Texas hemp farmers.

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