With Blockchain technology growing exponentially, more and more people are putting their money in this field since it’s one of the most exciting innovations of our time. It uses the Blockchain technology that also powers cryptocurrencies- the digital alternative to traditional money (or the euros, the dollars, the yen, the pounds, etc.)
One sector that is also benefiting from this technology is finance, and especially the lending side of the industry. It is as a result of blending lending and cryptocurrency that the crypto-lending practice was born.
In a nutshell, crypto-lending is the process of lending digital assets through crypto exchanges or different lending sites with an interest rate.
For the last few years, crypto lending has massed some significant amount of attention and is now increasingly becoming a mainstream conversation in banking as well as institutional investors.
Crypto-assets, or as commonly known cryptocurrency, emerged in 2018 by a pseudonymous person named Satoshi Nakamoto, who invented Bitcoin. With the new invention, more cryptocurrencies were created, including Litecoin and Namecoin, with Bitcoin leading the pack.
By 2017, Bitcoin value had soared to $1,000 and by the end of that year; it was worth a whopping $20,000. However, the value dropped almost by half since then and by the end of 2019, Bitcoin was worth around $10,000.
Cryptocurrency lending works just like p2p lending, by connecting borrowers to lenders via an online platform. Instead of money, crypto lending trade on cryptocurrencies via a crypto lending platform.
Lenders on crypto lending receive their assets once the borrower repays the loan. Most of the loans are also backed by physical assets like real estate, while others allow users to take loans backed by intangible assets like cryptocurrencies.
Crypto lending can differ, depending on the platform, but what remains constant is the core concept. A lender makes its assets available to loan at a certain rate.
Users usually lend their cryptocurrencies for two main reasons: first, for personal use and second, for margin lending. With the later, once the lender’s funds are available, a borrower who believes a certain coin will increase in value will request to lend a part of the funds availed by the lender. In a few days’ time, the borrower will then pay back the borrowed cryptocurrencies along with the interest rate.
This type of lending works for individuals who have reserves of cryptocurrencies that they are not intending to use them any time. You can lend Ether, Bitcoin, or Altcoins and start making profits.
The below list comprises the leading platforms that offer cryptocurrency lending services. If you are thinking of trying out this type of lending, these platforms may provide you with the best starting options.
This European-based FinTech develops one of the most trusted p2p cryptocurrency markets on the Komodo platform, with several financial services such as crypto-lending administration. Other products offered by the platform include Vleppo Value Matrix, which is a valuation database for determining a potential market value for unlisted crypto assets. The platform also has Vleppo Research, which provides insights on various crypto coins as well as digital assets listed as collateral to determine a maximum lending value that matches the asset’s apparent risk.
A VLX token is also another financial service offered by Vleppo and it encourages stakeholders to generate revenues via the site without liquidizing their assets.
This platform offers Blockchain-backed loans with Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ethereum, and Dogecoin as collateral. SALT is a short form of (Secured Automated Lending Platform.
Nexo is powered by Credissimo and offer a prospect to make quick crypto loans, allowing crypto-asset owners to sue their holdings as collateral, and then access loans in cash form. This way, crypto-asset holders can obtain cash while retaining the ownership of their crypto assets.
Powered by the Ethereum Network, this platform is very much decentralized compared to other platforms that offer crypto lending services. It offers zero-fee p2p lending through smart contracts, which allows the lender and the borrower to decide on the key details of the loan without involving a third party.
Crypto Lending is focused mainly on margin lending. It offers aid on margin lending at Poloniex, Bitfinex, and Quione. The platform also offers funding at Bitmex.
The platform offers its services using a technology called a lending bot, which helps lenders earn interest on their digital assets.
Before we go any further, it is important to inform you that the crypto lending platform is categorized into centralized or decentralized. Whichever category you chose will be influenced by its pros and cons.
Centralized platforms usually allow lenders and borrowers to agree on the essential details of the terms of the loan, but the transfer of loans, as well as its management, is done by the platform. The interest rate normally varies between 1% and 5%.
Decentralized on the other hand eliminates the use of a third party in the handling of the loan.
The first thing to look for as an investor is a collateral offered against the loan. Usually, the collateral should worth more than the value of the loan, normally in the form of a cryptocurrency such as Bitcoin and Ethereum.
Most platforms will enforce a maximum LTV (loan-to-value) ratio of up to 60%, meaning the borrower will receive a loan that is less than 60% of the collateral value they have offered.
Due to their volatility, cryptocurrency collateral may change in value any time, which can lead to loss of investment in the part of the lender.
Supercomputers hacked across Europe to mine cryptocurrency
Multiple supercomputers across Europe have been infected this week with cryptocurrency mining malware and have shut down to investigate the intrusions.
Security incidents have been reported in the UK, Germany, and Switzerland, while a similar intrusion is rumored to have also happened at a high-performance computing center located in Spain.
The first report of an attack came to light on Monday from the University of Edinburgh, which runs the ARCHER supercomputer. The organization reported “security exploitation on the ARCHER login nodes,” shut down the ARCHER system to investigate, and reset SSH passwords to prevent further intrusions.
The bwHPC, the organization that coordinates research projects across supercomputers in the state of Baden-Württemberg, Germany, also announced on Monday that five of its high-performance computing clusters had to be shut down due to similar “security incidents.” This included:
- The Hawk supercomputer at the High-Performance Computing Center Stuttgart (HLRS) at the University of Stuttgart
- The bwUniCluster 2.0 and ForHLR II clusters at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT)
- The bwForCluster JUSTUS chemistry and quantum science supercomputer at the Ulm University
- The bwForCluster BinAC bioinformatics supercomputer at the Tübingen University
Reports continued on Wednesday when security researcher Felix von Leitner claimed in a blog post that a supercomputer housed in Barcelona, Spain, was also impacted by a security issue and had been shut down as a result.
More incidents surfaced the next day, on Thursday. The first one came from the Leibniz Computing Center (LRZ), an institute under the Bavarian Academy of Sciences, which said it was disconnected a computing cluster from the internet following a security breach.
The LRZ announcement was followed later in the day by another from the Julich Research Center in the town of Julich, Germany. Officials said they had to shut down the JURECA, JUDAC, and JUWELS supercomputers following an “IT security incident.”
New breaches also came to light today, on Saturday. German scientist Robert Helling published an analysis on the malware that infected a high-performance computing cluster at the Faculty of Physics at the Ludwig-Maximilians University in Munich, Germany.
The Swiss Center of Scientific Computations (CSCS) in Zurich, Switzerland also shut down external access to its supercomputer infrastructure following a “cyber-incident” and “until having restored a safe environment.”
None of the organizations above published any details about the intrusions. However, earlier today, the Computer Security Incident Response Team (CSIRT) for the European Grid Infrastructure (EGI), a pan-European organization that coordinates research on supercomputers across Europe, has released malware samples and network compromise indicators from some of these incidents.
The malware samples were reviewed earlier today by Cado Security, a US-based cyber-security firm. The company said the attackers appear to have gained access to the supercomputer clusters via compromised SSH credentials.
The credentials appear to have been stolen from university members given access to the supercomputers to run computing jobs. The hijacked SSH logins belonged to universities in Canada, China, and Poland.
Chris Doman, Co-Founder of Cado Security, told ZDNet today that while there is no official evidence to confirm that all the intrusions have been carried out by the same group, evidence like similar malware file names and network indicators suggests this might be the same threat actor.
According to Doman’s analysis, once attackers gained access to a supercomputing node, they appear to have used an exploit for the CVE-2019-15666 vulnerability to gain root access and then deployed an application that mined the Monero (XMR) cryptocurrency.
Making matters worse, many of the organizations that had supercomputers go down this week had announced in previous weeks that they were prioritizing research on the COVID-19 outbreak, which has now most likely been hampered as a result of the intrusion and subsequent downtime.
These incidents aren’t the first time that crypto-mining malware has been installed on a supercomputer. However, this marks the first time when hackers did this. In previous incidents, it was usually an employee who installed the cryptocurrency miner, for their own personal gain.
For example, in February 2018, Russian authorities arrested engineers from the Russian Nuclear Center for using the agency’s supercomputer to mine cryptocurrency.
A month later, Australian officials began an investigation into a similar case at the Bureau of Meteorology, where employees used the agency’s supercomputer to mine cryptocurrency.
Author: Catalin Cimpanu
Bitcoins and Cryptocurrency: an overview
Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are a form of digital money that can be exchanged directly, person-to-person, without the need of a third party or bank intermediary. It is a technological breakthrough that allows everyone to be their own bank. It is not controlled by any group or government, so it can’t be manipulated, devalued, confiscated or shut-down.
In this presentation, you will learn about bitcoin and why it is important. You’ll get an understanding of how bitcoin and cryptocurrencies work, and how to get started with bitcoin yourself. It will also clear up some of the misinformation about bitcoin being reported in the media. You don’t need to be a technical person; the class is designed for beginners.
Lindsley Medlin is an international executive with more than 30 years of experience building and running businesses. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Economics and an MBA in Marketing, both from Rutgers University, as well as a Graduate Marketing Certificate from the SMU Cox School of Business in Dallas, Texas. Additionally, he is a Certified Blockchain Professional™ who has studied bitcoin in depth, and is the Founder of the NJ Blockchain Center. Mr. Medlin is a published author, speaker and consultant.
Free and open to all; no registration needed.
Author: Added by Montclair Radiology
Standards | CryptoCurrency Certification Consortium (C4)
CryptoCurrency Security Standard (CCSS) is a security standard that helps secure all information systems that make use of cryptocurrencies. By standardizing the security techniques and methodologies used by cryptocurrency systems around the globe, end-users will be able to easily make educated decisions about which products and services to use and with which companies they wish to align.
A draft of the standard has been published to GitHub in order to gather wider feedback from the cryptocurrency security industry. The published standard uses Jekyll which makes it easy for the data to evolve separately from the presentation of the standard.
The standard is maintained by the CCSS Steering Committee. The committee’s mission is to ensure the standard continues to remain up-to-date with industry best practices and remain neutral. Current CCSS Steering Committee members are (in alphabetical order): Dirk Anderson, Petri Basson, Mike Belshe, Stefan Beyer, Jameson Lopp, Joshua McDougall, Michael Perklin, Ron Stoner, and Joe Ventura.
Author of “Mastering Bitcoin”, CTO of Third Key Solutions
CEO of Ciphrex
CISO of ShapeShift
CIO of AlphaPoint
CEO of Gem
If you would like to make a donation to C4 to help support the CCSS initiative, you may send bitcoins to: 3NE4uoPiUrRycqUGeRqmswHbXFnikKpXnT
So strongly and metaphysically did I conceive of my situation then, that while earnestly watching his motions, I seemed distinctly to perceive that my own individuality was now merged in a joint stock company of two; that my free will had received a mortal wound.
It was a humorously perilous business for both of us. For, before we proceed further, it must be said that the monkey-rope was fast at both ends; fast to Queequeg’s broad canvas belt, and fast to my narrow leather one.
Source: crypto consortium .org
How to Get Rich in Cryptocurrency a Little at a Time
Author’s Disclosure: I own a little Bitcoin (BTC) and a little Basic Attention Token (BAT). I am a Brave Publisher and use the Brave Browser to earn BAT (affiliate link).
If you want to fund your own crypto wallet and invest, you can usually use a bank account or debit/credit card. I use Coinbase and Uphold. When I started my cryptocurrency journey, I downloaded Coinbase and used it to save a little extra money into a US dollar account (USD).
Using the USD account, I can buy other currencies. I have checked out the offerings on Coinbase and Uphold. Other wallets will have other cryptocurrencies and markets on which to trade currencies.
When I signed up as a Brave publisher and started using their browser, I began to earn a little Basic Attention Token. Brave sends BAT to my Uphold wallet. Brave requires users to set up an Uphold wallet if they want to transfer their earnings from viewing ads.
Who knows what will happen with Bitcoin? It has gone up and down since I have been watching it. But, I have noticed if you are willing to stay in for the long haul, you can end up winning. It is the same theory as dollar-cost averaging in the stock market.
You will be dollar-cost averaging if you are funding your cryptocurrency through your BAT earnings via Brave. Since they are funding your wallet monthly, with their ad viewing payouts, you will already be set up to systematically invest.
If you are funding your wallet yourself, you can also systematically invest and hold.
Another disclaimer: I am not a financial advisor and cryptocurrency can fluctuate, so do your research before investing your money. If you want safety and a savings account, you can always buy a USD stable coin or other similar instrument. It is actually cheaper than saving money in a regular bank, from my observations.
Like all investments, you are probably hoping for a win. Sometimes, certain investors want losses, but that is a story for another time.
With crypto, you have the chance to seeing a moonshot. That is when a cryptocurrency takes off and the chart rises like a rocket ship travelling to the moon, or beyond.
BTC had this back in 2017 when it shot up. It later went down. In January 2019, it was low. Today it is back up relatively high. If you had been been dollar cost averaging over that time, you would have bought more BTC when the prices were low and less when they prices rose. The hope is that the prices continue to rise, even though they might saw tooth up and down while progressing ultimately upward.
Bitcoin has halved, as per its plan to limit the total amount of coins available. The universe doesn’t run out of coins until sometime in 2100, if I remember correctly, so you should have plenty of time to see what might happen before then.
The thing that makes it cool, is that analysts are predicting bull and bear markets. Who knows what will happen. Sometimes, it is fun to have uncertainty. Uncertainty increases the payout when investments produce returns.
If you are investing to pay for retirement or your kids’ college, go for something more conservative, like an index fund, 529, or bonds. Talk with your financial advisor since I’m an not one.
Author: 🦄 Chris Hedges