Interpol Creates Digital Currency to Study Crypto Crime

Interpol’s cybercrime research facility, the Global Complex for Innovation (IGCI), has created its own digital currency in a bid to combat cryptocurrency-fuelled crime.

The IGCI team, which includes members from Singapore’s police force, will use its in-house virtual currency to study scenarios of cryptocurrency use and misuse in a specially designed simulation training game.

(Via CoinDesk)

First Licensed Digital Currency Broker-Dealer

The former bitcoin trading division of SecondMarket, has relaunched under the new name Genesis Trading in bid to become “the partner of choice for large institutional buyers and sellers” in digital currency trading, while creating an identity of its own from this specification. Genesis Trading, which claims to be the first fully licensed digital currency-centric broker-dealer in the US, has executed trades for more than 800,000 bitcoins since 2013.

“We have been working toward this launch for a long time and this is a very exciting day for our entire team,” said Brendan M. O’Connor, CEO of Genesis Trading, adding: “Our goal is to become the partner of choice for large institutional buyers and sellers who are beginning to recognize the economic potential of digital currency.”

Talking to the Financial Times, O’Connor said that the idea was to capture large hedge funds and private investors that have shown interest in bitcoin trading.

(Via The CoinTelegraph)

Bitcoin and the competition

Photo: Thomas Trutschel/Photothek via Getty Images

Bitcoin is the digital currency exchanged online that has taken a bad rap. News abound of the currency being used for nefarious ends, such as drug running, illegal gun sales, human smuggling and terrorist activities. In the past couple of years, the value of the currency has been on a roller coaster ride, making millionaires of some and paupers of many investing in the currency. Now Bitcoin is undergoing a bit of a renaissance, with its values seemingly stabilized but still retaining the notoriety for its use online.

British financial authorities, in a recent Reuters report, have announced its open support for the digital currency. It is now opening its doors for the open trade and use of Bitcoin, albeit under a slew of regulatory edicts to protect users of Bitcoin. With Bitcoin gaining legitimacy in some financial areas, some others have chosen to tread a path to improve on what bitcoin had started.

Bitcoin uses software linked together via the Internet. This network determines the rules and principles that verify the transactions, thus there is no single controller of value or volume, unlike what central financial authorities have in countries and nations.  Now, with the cryptocurrency rules, which Maziers instituted, the use of computer generated financial services would become more widespread and more secure.

(Via The Big Bag)

Digital media, privacy and consumer trust collide

The growth of digital media has been accompanied by increasing concern over consumer privacy. Is surveillance really the future for digital media? What are other viable business models? How are businesses managing consumers’ fears around data collection? To what extent do consumers care if their data is handled responsibly? In the digital age who should own consumer data?

In the video highlights above, watch BBC News technology reporter Rory Cellan-Jones debate these crunch issues with panel:

Emma Carr, director, Big Brother Watch
Blake Cahill, global head of digital and social marketing, Philips
Matt Adams, chief media officer, iProspect
John Enser, partner, Olswang

(Via The Guardian)

It’s time to do a digital spring cleaning

Spring cleaning may have you sifting through your closets and crawling through the storage spaces in your home, but tech experts say you should add digital cleaning to your to-do list.

“Just like our homes get crowded with things in the winter, sometimes our digital lives get crowded,” Michael Kaiser, executive director of the National Cyber Security Alliance, told CBS News’ Hena Daniels. Kaiser says a digital spring cleaning can protect your online information all year long.

The first step: Change your passwords.

Next: Are you using all those apps on your phone? If not, get rid of them.

“They may have security flaws in them,” he cautioned. “So if you are not going to use apps any longer just get rid of them and clean them out.”

Another tip: Clean up your online reputation. Delete old photos and posts that are no longer flattering and could give important people — like potential employers — the wrong impression. While you’re at it, refresh your friends list, making sure people are still relevant to your cyber world.

And finally, don’t ignore those update notifications for your software. They couldfix a security flaw.

Software companies often issue updates to their products to guard against known issues that allow hackers to invade your computer. “If you haven’t made that update to your system, you, in fact, will be vulnerable to the bad guys,” said Kaiser.

By taking control of all aspects of your digital world, you will have a safer and more secure online life.

(Via CBC News)

What age is right for a digital identity?

Image by Master OSM 2011 Flickr CC

To share or not to share, that is the question. Facebook has put this dilemma to parents this week, with the launch of a new “scrapbook” feature, which allows parents to create a profile tag for a child.

Facebook noticed that parents were tagging each other on photos of their children. But the photos being shared make it hard for parents to manage photo collections. By creating a page for the child, these photos can be marshalled into one location. It’s a profile page for children in all but name, managed by parents. Currently under 13s are not permitted their own profile.

As boundaries between the online and offline worlds have begun to merge, we need to start grappling with how we treat our digital presence. Putting aside digital naysayers, there’s an increasing feeling that if it’s not online, then it doesn’t exist. And the same applies to people. Like all technologies, the online world is as good as your interaction and use of it, with positives ranging from establishing social connections, generating business, engaging in activism and trading in digital currency. There are grey areas such as when universities and employers check websites and social media to learn more about prospective candidates. That’s great if they are viewing a carefully crafted online CV, but historic tweets or long forgotten Facebook photos can come back to haunt future life.

Just as parents are responsible for teaching children how to conduct themselves in public in a socially suitable manner, and how to keep themselves safe, parents need to understand that offering digital guidance and education to children is an important element of their parenting duties. How to create a profile, how to manage it, how to interact in the digital space and how to maintain safety, security and reputation should not be left to chance nor excused through parental ignorance.

(Via The National)

Why you need to love Blockchain and Bitcoin

Most people following developments in Bitcoin are familiar with the often repeated mantra proclaiming that blockchain is an innovative technological breakthrough.

The blockchain is a peer-to-peer public ledger maintained by a distributed network of computers. There is no central authority, and no need a trusted third party to process and verify transactions. Eliminating the need for third party intermediaries while maintaining a system that is completely secure, trusted, and verifiable is why the blockchain shines as a technologically innovative medium of exchange. To accomplish this, the blockchain must record transactions in a manner that allows anyone to objectively determine how much value has transferred just by observation.

People are loving blockchain technology because of its use in areas beyond transferring money value, so called “Bitcoin 2.0” functions. But can blockchain technology exist as a medium to exchange financial value without Bitcoin, or any native currency component?

(Via The Cointelegraph)

Facebook to host The New York Times content on its app

Image News Talk Florida

The New York Times reported the paper will give up some of its website traffic to the social-media giant, a move that some media observers call a power shift in digital publishing landscape. Under the proposed deal, Facebook would host content from prominent news outlets such as The Times, National Geographic and BuzzFeed directly inside the Facebook app.

“What’s popular in social media tends to be big, national news, happy, engaging stories, whimsical stories,” says Anatoliy Gruzd, director of the social media lab at Ryerson University’s Ted Rogers School of Management. “If the focus is only on creating what’s popular for social media, that kills diversity of news.”

(Via CBC News)