Is the blockchain vulnerable to hacking by quantum computers?

Postquantum cryptography is not a threat just yet, but crypto exchanges are going to have to deploy quantum-resistant technologies in the next few …

There’s a lingering fear among crypto investors that their bitcoin might get swooped by a hacker.

That’s not very likely, but it’s not impossible either, particularly once quantum computing gets into the wrong hands. Last year Google’s quantum computer called Sycamore was given a puzzle that would take even the most powerful supercomputers 10 000 years to solve – and completed it in just 200 seconds, according to Nature magazine.

That kind of processing power unleashed on the bitcoin blockchain – which is a heavily encrypted ledger of all bitcoin transactions – is a cause for concern.

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The encryption technology used by the bitcoin blockchain has proven itself robust enough to withstand any and all attacks. That’s because of its brilliant design, and ongoing improvements by an ever-growing community of open-source cryptographers and developers.

A report by research group Gartner (Hype Cycle for Blockchain Technologies, 2020) suggests blockchain researchers are already anticipating possible attacks by quantum computers that are perhaps five to 10 years away from commercial availability. It’s a subject called ‘Postquantum blockchain’ which is a form of blockchain technology using quantum-resistant cryptographic algorithms that can resist attack by future quantum computers.

The good news is that quantum-resistant algorithms are likely to remain several steps ahead of the hackers, but it’s an issue that is drawing considerable attention in the financial, security and blockchain communities.

Postquantum cryptography is not a threat just yet, but crypto exchanges are going to have to deploy quantum-resistant technologies in the next few years, before quantum computers become generally available.

Phishing is probably a bigger threat

In truth, you’re far more likely to be hit by a phishing scam, where identity thieves use emails, text messages and fake websites to get you to divulge sensitive personal information such as bank account or crypto exchange passwords.

As a user, you should be using LastPass or similar software to generate complex passwords, along with two-factor authentication (requiring the input of a time-sensitive code before you can access your crypto exchange account). Most good exchanges are enabled for this level of security.

There are many sad stories of bitcoin theft, but these are usually as a result of weak security on the part of the bitcoin holder, much like leaving your wallet on the front seat of your car while you pop into the shop for a minute.

Like all tech breakthroughs, quantum computing can be used for good and bad.

On the plus side, it will vastly speed drug discovery, molecular modelling and code breaking. It will also be a gift to hackers and online thieves, which is why financial services companies are going to have to invest in defensive technologies to keep customer information and assets safe.

Most crypto exchanges invest substantial amounts in security. The vast majority of crypto assets (about 97%) are stored in encrypted, geographically-separated, offline storage. These cannot be hacked.

The risk emerges when bitcoin are moved from offline (or cold storage) to online, such as when a client is about to transact.

But even here, the level of security is usually robust. A further level of protection is the insurance of all bitcoin that are stored in online systems. They also have systems in place to prevent any employee from making off with clients’ assets, requiring multiple ‘keys’ before a bitcoin transaction is authorised.

There have been hacks on crypto exchanges in the past (though not on the blockchain itself), and millions of dollars in crypto assets stolen. In more recent years, this has become less common as exchanges moved to beef up their security systems.

In 2014 Mt.Gox, at the time responsible for about 70% of all bitcoin transactions in the world, suffered an attack when roughly 800 000 bitcoin, valued at $460 million, were stolen. In 2018, Japan-based crypto exchange Coincheck was hit with a $534 million fraud impacting 260 000 investors.

As the value of bitcoin and other crypto assets increases, the incentive for hackers rises proportionately, which is why problems such as quantum-enabled thievery are already being addressed.

Read: Moneyweb Crypto glossary

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Ethereum Gets Comfortable over $500 as Altcoins Move

Ethereum had a bullish weekend. It pushed above the previous 2020 high of $489 on Friday morning and quickly proceeded above $500. This chart …

Ethereum had a bullish weekend. It pushed above the previous 2020 high of $489 on Friday morning and quickly proceeded above $500.

This chart study analyzes the current situation for altcoins like Ethereum relative to the broader cryptocurrency market.

Click here to view the related idea and chart analysis on TradingView.

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A Coronavirus Vaccine Can’t Stop These 2 Hot Growth Stocks From Soaring

Twilio (NYSE:TWLO) and NVIDIA (NASDAQ:NVDA) are two such companies whose novel coronavirus-related gains seem sustainable in a …

A potential novel coronavirus vaccine from Pfizer and/or Moderna could bring an end to the pandemic and help get the world back to normal if it is finally approved and successfully administered globally. But the news of a potential vaccine (or vaccines) could spell trouble for certain stocks that have benefited from shelter-in-place orders and lockdowns across the globe.

Even if a potential vaccine turns into reality, there are some companies that could continue to benefit from the opportunity created by the COVID-19 crisis. Twilio(NYSE:TWLO) and NVIDIA(NASDAQ:NVDA) are two such companies whose novel coronavirus-related gains seem sustainable in a post-COVID world. Let’s see why.

NVDA Chart

NVDA data by YCharts

1. Twilio is riding the wave of a rapidly changing contact center industry

As the novel coronavirus pandemic raged across the globe, governments were forced to issue shelter-in-place orders to break the chain of transmission. This led organizations to shut down their offices, and that included physical call centers where hundreds of employees would sit and attend to customer queries.

But the need to remain in touch with customers was still there, especially considering more people were studying or working from home. Just imagine that your internet connection is not working, and you need to get in touch with a service provider that’s thin on customer support resources as people are unable to work from the office. This is where Twilio stepped in.

Hand drawing stock chart return.

Image source: Getty Images

The cloud communications specialist saw a sharp spike in demand for its solutions, which enable companies to move their contact center operations into the cloud, allowing customer service associates to work remotely using their laptops and an internet connection. Not surprisingly, many corporations turned to Twilio in a bid to remain connected with customers.

However, the pandemic simply accelerated a trend that was already in motion. Twilio was growing at a rapid rate even before the novel coronavirus arrived thanks to the adoption of cloud-based contact centers. The company’s revenue shot up 75% in 2019 to $1.13 billion on the back of a fast-swelling customer base, higher spending by existing customers, and the acquisition of SendGrid.

It is on track to clock a 47% increase in revenue in 2020, which is impressive considering that its 2019 numbers were boosted by the SendGrid acquisition. Twilio’s growth could accelerate next year, as it has now moved into a new business that complements its existing offerings with the $3.2 billion acquisition of Segment, a customer data platform provider.

More importantly, Twilio’s addressable market is anticipated to expand in the wake of the pandemic. A third-party survey of contact centers in the U.S. carried out by ContactBabel reveals that only 14% of customer service agents were working remotely at the end of last year. The number jumped to 71% by the middle of April 2020, leading to a spike in the number of contact centers using the cloud.

The huge cost savings of a cloud-based contact center are likely to encourage organizations to move away from physical call centers. Twilio estimates that more than half of the 15 million contact center seats will be in the cloud by 2025, compared to just 17% before the COVID-19 crisis, indicating that this hot growth stock may still have more upside to offer.

2. NVIDIA has switched into a higher gear

The novel coronavirus pandemic has been a tailwind for NVIDIA in more ways than one. The chipmaker has seen a huge jump in demand for its graphics cards, which are used for various applications, including video gaming and data centers.

Interest in video games has spiked big time in 2020 as people confined to their homes have been looking for ways to keep themselves entertained. NVIDIA’s gaming business has benefited from this trend, as the company’s latest results indicate. The company’s gaming revenue was up 37% year over year in the third quarter of fiscal 2021 to $2.27 billion, accounting for almost 48% of revenue.

But this could be the beginning of a new growth spurt for NVIDIA, as the company recently launched a new generation of graphics cards that bring about big gains in performance at attractive price points. As a result, NVIDIA could be at the beginning of a huge upgrade cycle that could see millions of customers on older graphics cards upgrading to new ones.

So the rapid growth triggered by the novel coronavirus pandemic in NVIDIA’s gaming business could be here to stay. However, this is not the only catalyst that NVIDIA could carry into the post-COVID period. Its data center business has also received a shot in the arm from the pandemic. The load on data centers increased by huge margins on account of lockdowns instituted to contain the spread of the disease as more people were studying, working, or streaming video from their homes.

As a result, demand for NVIDIA’s graphics cards, which accelerate data center workloads, also increased, as operators had to upgrade capacity and keep downtime to a minimum. Now, investors should note that NVIDIA’s data center business was already in great shape before the pandemic arrived thanks to applications such as artificial intelligence. But the novel coronavirus added to the momentum, and it has paved the way for long-term growth as the market for data center accelerators such as graphics cards is reportedly growing at an annual pace of nearly 50%, according to third-party estimates. Graphics cards are estimated to hold the largest share of the data center accelerator market, paving the way for NVIDIA to sustain its data center growth in the future.

The data center business is NVIDIA’s second-largest source of revenue, with 40% of the total business. So the company’s two primary growth engines seem all set for growth in a post-pandemic world, and remain unaffected by the impact of a potential vaccine — which is why investors should hold on to this tech stock, as it could deliver more upside.

Ethereum – IT Information On-line – HIVE Blockchain Has Entered into an Settlement to Purchase …

Ethereum – IT Information On-line – HIVE Blockchain Has Entered into an Settlement to Purchase GPU.Ones New 50 MW Campus of Knowledge …

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On Behalf of HIVE Blockchain Applied sciences Ltd.

“Frank Holmes”

Interim Government Chairman

For additional data please contact:

Frank Holmes

Tel: (604) 664-1078

Neither the TSX Enterprise Change nor its Regulation Companies Supplier (as that time period is outlined in insurance policies of the TSX Enterprise Change) accepts accountability for the adequacy or accuracy of this information launch.

Ahead-Trying Info

Aside from the statements of historic truth, this information launch comprises “forward-looking data” inside the which means of the relevant Canadian securities laws that’s based mostly on expectations, estimates and projections as on the date of this information launch. “Ahead-looking data” on this information launch contains details about the Proposed Transaction, achievement of combination working hashpower of 1,000 PH/s inside the subsequent 12 months, potential additional enhancements to profitability and effectivity throughout mining operations, potential for the Firm’s long-term development, and the enterprise objectives and goals of the Firm.

Elements that would trigger precise outcomes to vary materially from these described in such forward-looking data embrace, however will not be restricted to, a lower in Ethereum pricing, quantity of transaction exercise or typically, the profitability of Ethereum mining; additional enhancements to profitability and effectivity may not be realized; the Firm may not be capable to enter right into a definitive settlement on phrases that are financial or in any respect or shut the Proposed Transaction; the continuing operation of the digital forex market; the Firm’s capability to efficiently mine digital forex; the Firm may not be capable to profitably liquidate its present digital forex stock, or in any respect; a decline in digital forex costs may have a major damaging impression on the Firm’s operations; the volatility of digital forex costs; and different associated dangers as extra totally set out within the Submitting Assertion of the Firm dated and different paperwork disclosed beneath the Firm’s filings at www.sedar.com.

The forward-looking data on this information launch displays the present expectations, assumptions and/or beliefs of the Firm based mostly on data at the moment accessible to the Firm. In reference to the forward-looking data contained on this information launch, the Firm has made assumptions concerning the present profitability in mining Ethereum (together with pricing and quantity of present transaction exercise); the flexibility to enter right into a definitive settlement and shut the Proposed Transaction on phrases that are financial; worthwhile use of the Firm’s property going ahead; the Firm’s capability to profitably liquidate its digital forex stock as required; historic costs of digital currencies and the flexibility of the Firm to mine digital currencies can be in keeping with historic costs; and there can be no regulation or legislation that may forestall the Firm from working its enterprise. The Firm has additionally assumed that no important occasions happen outdoors of the Firm’s regular course of enterprise. Though the Firm believes that the assumptions inherent within the forward-looking data are cheap, forward-looking data will not be a assure of future efficiency and accordingly undue reliance shouldn’t be placed on such data as a result of inherent uncertainty therein.

SOURCE: Hive Blockchain Applied sciences Ltd

Oil jumps to highest since early September on latest sign of vaccine progress

Ethereum and Ripple are exploding higher thanks to the growing interest in cryptocurrencies that lifted Bitcoin above $18,000. Shalini Nagarajan. Nov …
  • Oil futures gained to their highest since September 1 on Monday after AstraZeneca announced its coronavirus vaccine was 70% effective at protecting against COVID-19.
  • The shot — developed in partnership with the University of Oxford — showed 90% and 62% effectiveness across two different dosing regimens. It joins Moderna and Pfizer and BioNTech’s promising candidates.
  • The news spurred new optimism for a swift economic recovery and stronger oil demand. West Texas Intermediate crude futures gained as much as 2.2%, to $43.36 per barrel.
  • Brent crude, oil’s international benchmark, rose 2.5%, to $46.07 per barrel, at intraday highs.
  • Watch oil futures trade live here.

Crude oil climbed to its highest price since September 1 on Monday after AstraZeneca announced an encouraging update to the development of its coronavirus vaccine.

The pharmaceutical giant said its shot — made in collaboration with the University of Oxford — was 70% effective at preventing COVID-19 in a trial of more than 20,000 volunteers. The success rate combines data from two dosing regimens that showed 90% effectiveness and 62% effectiveness. The company now plans to submit data for regulatory approval around the world, according to a press release.

The news lifted oil prices as traders grew more optimistic toward a near-term demand rebound. West Texas Intermediate crude futures gained as much as 2.2% on the news, to $43.36 per barrel. Brent crude, oil’s international benchmark, rose 2.5%, to $46.07 per barrel, at intraday highs.

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Read more:Warren Buffett has kept quiet for months. The famed investor compared the pandemic to a ‘hurricane,’ praised the initial federal response, and called for more small-business aid at a recent private event

AstraZeneca’s vaccine progress marks the third positive announcement from companies rushing to bring a viable drug to market. Moderna and Pfizer and BioNTech revealed in recent weeks that their own candidates were 95% effective at protecting against COVID-19. Pfizer applied for emergency-use authorization from the US Food and Drug Administration on Friday, teeing its shot up for distribution in early 2021.

The updates have lifted crude prices throughout the month as investors bet on the vaccines to spur a bounce-back in travel activity. The commodity makes up part of the so-called reopening trade, in which airlines, cruises, hotels, and other industries hit hardest by lockdowns gain on new hopes for a complete economic recovery.

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Still, prospects for a vaccine-fueled rebound continue to butt heads with the third wave of coronavirus infections. The US recorded 150,098 new COVID-19 cases on Sunday, according to The COVID Tracking Project. Deaths neared 250,000, and hospitalizations rose to 83,870.

Read more:Buy these 33 stocks expected to outperform and crush Wall Street’s expectations in 2021, Oppenheimer & Co saysThe uptick in cases and dwindling supply of hospital beds threaten to disrupt the nation’s recovery before vaccines win regulatory approval. Several states have reintroduced restrictions to slow the virus’s spread, leading some economists to lower growth estimates.

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Goldman Sachs cut its fourth-quarter GDP projection to 3.5% from 4.5% on Monday, citing the “rapid and broad-based resurgence of the coronavirus” for its gloomier outlook. The bank’s economists also lowered their first-quarter estimate to 1% growth from 3.5%.

WTI crude traded at $42.89 as of 8:25 a.m. ET, down 30% year-to-date.

Brent crude traded at $45.58, down 35% year-to-date.