According to a recent survey of 10,000 European residents, 63% believe that cryptocurrencies will still be around in 10 years. However, polled respondents were not so confident about bitcoin core (BTC) lasting over the next decade as only 49% of participants believe BTC will be around.
63% of 10,000 Polled Europeans Believe Cryptocurrencies Will Still Exist in 10 Years
Japanese cryptocurrency exchange Bitflyer was recently licensed to operate in the European Union, and on April 24 the company’s European arm published a poll of 10,000 residents from various countries to find out how popular digital currencies are today. The survey was sent to residents from Norway, France, Belgium, Germany, and other regions while the researchers also parsed the responses by country. The biggest question on the survey asked participants if they believe cryptocurrencies will still exist in 10 years. Out of the entire lot of respondents, 63% think cryptos will still be around within the next decade.
Residents from Norway seem extremely positive as 73% believe that digital currencies will continue to trend in the future. This is followed by those in Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Spain, Denmark, and Germany who voted above the 60th percentile. Respondents from Belgium, the U.K., and France showed stronger pessimism (59% or lower) toward cryptocurrencies lasting over the next 10 years. Andy Bryant, COO of Bitflyer Europe, said the poll results indicate that people are looking past the prior cryptocurrency hype and digital assets have become more established.
“It’s very easy to forget just how new cryptocurrencies still are; we’ve only just celebrated bitcoin’s 10th birthday, so for the majority of consumers to believe in crypto’s future is without a doubt an achievement,” Bryant stated after publishing the poll.
Lack of Confidence in BTC Dominance
As for the coin with the largest market capitalization today, bitcoin core (BTC), Europeans are less confident in its existence going forward. Only 49% of all the European respondents think BTC will exist 10 years from now. When separated by country, Italy (55%), Poland (53%), Spain (51%), the Netherlands (51%), and Norway (50%) expressed the most confidence in BTC. The poll also shows that Denmark (49%), Belgium (45%), the U.K. (43%), and France (40%) are the least optimistic about BTC’s future. Only 7% of all the European respondents believe that BTC will still exist as “an investment” in the next decade.
Respondents in Poland are positive BTC will still exist as an investment in the next decade but only 11% of them feel this way. This is followed respectively by Italy (9%), Belgium (9%), Germany (8%), the Netherlands (7%), Norway (6%), Denmark (6%), Spain (6%), France (6%), and the U.K. (4%). The poll indicates that a good portion of Europeans think digital assets will do well in the next 10 years in regard to the cryptoconomy as a whole. On the other hand, respondents showed considerably less optimism in BTC over the next decade, and BTC market dominance is also a good indication of the declining popularity of the digital asset.
BTC’s market dominance plummeted after staying above 78% for seven years. The decline took place on March 6, 2017, and BTC dominance has been wavering between 33-56% since Jan. 8, 2018. Furthermore, the Bitflyer poll capturing the opinions of 10,000 unique individuals from various countries across the European Union is a nice data set in regard to the sentiment toward cryptocurrencies in 2019 and beyond.
What do you think about Bitflyer Europe’s poll with 10,000 unique respondents detailing their opinions about BTC and cryptocurrencies going forward? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below.
Image credits: Shutterstock, Pixabay, Coinmarketcap.com, Coinlib.io, and Bitcoin.com. Survey source: Bitflyer Europe.
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As Dream dies and Wall Street exits, a string of new darknet markets (DNMs) has emerged to take their crown. The majority of these have only been operational for a matter of weeks, and have launched at a time when trust in DNMs is running low. The success or failure of these marketplaces will be pivotal in shaping the darknet’s crypto-powered economy in the months to come.
Just as sunrise follows sunset, the death of a darknet market inevitably begets the birth of another. In the past month, Deepdotweb has added half a dozen markets to its DNM list, the majority of which are very new. Names like Cryptonia, Empire, Nightmare, and Yellow Brick Road may not be household names yet, and are unfamiliar to even the darknet’s greatest devotees. Any one of these markets has the chance to become the new Dream or Wall Street, but that will take time and trust.
Wall Street, the darknet’s leading DNM, following the voluntary shutdown of Dream, is confirmed to have pulled an exit scam, making off with millions in vendors’ funds. In less than a week, DNM users will find out whether the onion address that has been cited as the forthcoming home for Dream’s successor will resolve to a working marketplace, or simply a federal seizure notice. For customers who can’t wait that long to find out, there is mercifully no shortage of alternative DNMs to service their needs. News.Bitcoin.com decided to put a few of them to the test.
New Heads on the Darknet Hydra
As the legend goes, for every head the hydra loses, two new ones take its place, and so it seems to be on the darknet. The loss of Dream and Wall Street has spurred four new DNMs, bringing the total of recently launched markets to six. The first of these, Cryptonia, promises two-of-three bitcoin multisig, a wallet-less escrow system, two-factor authentication, strong anti-phishing measures based on public key cryptography, and EXIF metadata stripper for images.
In the interests of journalism, I made a small purchase from Cryptonia and the item arrived three days later, discretely packaged. I paid in BTC, although the site also accepts XMR. The shopping and checkout process was straightforward. Cryptonia sells all the usual darknet vices, but due to its newness, has only a few hundred listings at this time, though the number is growing by the day.
A Quick Tour of the Rest
Agartha is another new arrival. Unlike Cryptonia, it requires a deposit to be made to your marketplace account before you can make a purchase. There are less than 500 listings at present, and thus it’s too early to make an assessment of Agartha’s merits. It looks like it may have potential, however, and notably the site accepts more cryptocurrencies than most – BTC, BCH, LTC, XMR, VTC, and DASH.
Nightmare operates very similarly to Agartha, accepting wallet deposits for six cryptocurrencies including BCH and ZEC. With 24,000 listings for drugs alone, it’s got a significant headstart on the competition, despite having only launched last month. I placed a small order with a vendor who had a high feedback rating, paying with BCH, and the item arrived three days later and was just as described.
Despite repeated attempts, I couldn’t get past the captcha on Yellow Brick Market, and have my suspicions as to the site’s legitimacy, and its Dread forum looks dead. Empire Market accepts deposits in BTC, XMR and LTC. The site has around 20,000 listings and looks like the real deal. I made a small BTC deposit, but have yet to order anything, as there’s a limit to how much journalistic research one can undertake in a week. Finally, we have Core Market, which takes BTC and XMR and looks to have positive feedback so far. Some of these markets will naturally get shut down or exit scam in due course, but as always, more will rise to take their place.
Have you tried visiting any of the new darknet markets? Let us know in the comments section below.
Disclaimer: Bitcoin.com does not endorse or support claims made by any parties in this article. None of the information in this article is intended as investment advice, as an offer or solicitation of an offer to buy or sell, or as a recommendation, endorsement, or sponsorship of any products, services, or companies. Neither Bitcoin.com nor the author is responsible, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any content, goods or services mentioned in this article.
On April 23, the security consulting firm Independent Security Evaluators (ISE) published a document concerning a number of unsound public and private key pairs tied to the Ethereum blockchain. The probability of chance needed to crack 256-bit encryption would take years for hackers to access random private keys. However, ISE recently queried 49,060 ETH transactions which found 732 “weak” public keys, essentially revealing the corresponding private keys.
732 Private Keys and Discovering the Blockchain Bandit
An independent security consulting firm headquartered in Baltimore, Maryland has recently released a new study concerning “weak keys” found on the Ethereum blockchain. The researchers ISE detail that this trend could be detected on any blockchain implementation that uses public key signing based on ECDSA encryption. According to ISE they devised a scheme that can discover private keys that were generated by using either faulty code or defective random number generators (RNG), and a combination of both.
While studying the matter, ISE found an individual or group they dubbed ‘Blockchain Bandit’ who has been pilfering these weak key addresses. ISE claims Blockchain Bandit managed to steal 37,926 ETH valued at $54.3 million by January 13, 2018.
“Even when faced with this statistical improbability, ISE discovered 732 private keys as well as their corresponding public keys that committed 49,060 transactions to the Ethereum blockchain,” explains the study. “Additionally, we identified 13,319 Ethereum that was transferred to either invalid destination addresses, or wallets derived from weak keys that at the height of the Ethereum market had a combined total value of $18,899,969.”
Highly Successful Hacking Campaigns
In addition to the 732 key pairs found, there were 60,286,012 ERC20 based tokens held within these keys. ISE says with 50 million public Ethereum addresses there’s likely to be some weak keys found or a general lack of randomness. One of the biggest would be key truncation which is when the key length of the symmetric 256-bit encryption is generated but only a small subset is used due to errors. All kinds of errors can exist like type confusion, random device or RNG errors, seed re-use, memory reference errors, memory corruption, code logic errors and entropy errors. While querying another region of key space on the chain, the researchers discovered more vulnerable key pairs.
“Scanning this region of the key space yielded 8,920 transactions through 464 private keys,” the ISE paper details. “The total value of transactions using these weak private keys was 28.9456 Ethereum — While transactions are common in this range, there is currently a balance of 0 ETH.”
The ISE paper underscores that the use of weak private key pairs is not a “widespread problem” and it took the researchers 1024 hours total to complete the task. But the researchers note that any similar cryptographic algorithms can be examined for key generation errors which would include networks like BTC, ZEC, XRP, XMR and others. Because these cryptocurrencies are so popular, ISE can envision “highly successful hacking campaigns ongoing to steal these virtual currencies.” If the cryptocurrency network effect continues to grow, ISE stresses that software developers who build infrastructure need to incorporate every defense mechanism available to keep private keys safe. Innovative measures need to be taken to counter successful attackers like Blockchain Bandit and future hacking attempts.
What do you think about the private keys found by ISE due to errors and weak key pairs? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below.
Image credits: Shutterstock, Independent Security Evaluators (ISE), and Pixabay.
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