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Andreas Antonopoulos: The Price of Losing Privacy

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$2 Billion BTC Now on Ethereum’s Blockchain

More than $2 billion in bitcoin is now locked in smart contracts and DeFi protocols on ethereum’s network, with the majority swapped for Wrapped BTC.

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The rising price of Bitcoin has coincided with a surge in migration of BTC to Ethereum’s blockchain. 

According to data compiled by Dune Analytics, more than $2 billion worth of Bitcoin is now on the Ethereum network. Ethereum-based Bitcoin accounts for nearly 0.7% of the total 21 million max supply for Bitcoin, and these 150,049 bitcoins are equivalent (at the time of writing) to 4.7% of the market cap of Ethereum.

Investors moving Nitcoin to Ethereum’s blockchain has exploded over the past month, rising from 80,000 BTC ($1 billion) in mid-September, and coincided with a general price rise for cryptoassets. 

Wrapped Bitcoin (WBTC) accounts for nearly 80% of the market share, with a market capitalization of $1.6 billion. Users are able to lock Bitcoin into smart contracts on ethereum’s blockchain in exchange for WBTC. 

The surge in decentralized finance (DeFi) interest has also led to an increase in Bitcoin investment. Users have invested nearly $11 billion in DeFi contracts, including the use of synthetic Bitcoin, to participate in yield-farming protocols. 

Featured Image Credit: Photo via Pixabay.com

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Huawei’s New Phone Mate40 Will Have a Wallet For China’s Digital Currency

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Multinational technological giant Huawei announced today that its newly-launched smartphone has a built-in wallet that will allow users to store, send, and receive China’s national digital currency.

Announcing the features of the Mate40 series in a Weibo post, the company said that the device is the first smartphone that supports the digital yuan via a hardware wallet.

The Chinese giant said in the post that users would enjoy hardware-level security while being able to control and protect their anonymity. Users can also conduct dual transactions using the new device, meaning they can also send and receive payments offline.

According to Huawei, the device guarantees a new safe and convenient payment experience for users.
To celebrate the launch of the smartphone, the company said it is giving out a free Mate40 Pro to the Weibo user who shares the post the most until November 6, 2020.

Huawei Partners China’s Central Bank

Huawei has been an active player in the blockchain industry, and the company continues to develop its blockchain capacities.

In November 2019, Huawei signed a strategic partnership with the digital currency research unit of the People’s Bank of China. After conducting a massive airdrop for the digital yuan last month, the country is now close to fully launching the new currency.

Samsung Leads Blockchain Smartphones

Meanwhile, Huawei is not the only company exploring new generation blockchain smartphones with built-in crypto wallets. The likes of LG and crypto exchange Houbi have also ventured into the blockchain smartphone market, with Samsung taking the lead.

Samsung released its first crypto-friendly phone in 2019, which provided support for BTC, ETH, and ERC-20 tokens. Since then, the South Korean multinational electronics mogul has been expanding its phones’ interaction with cryptocurrency and blockchain services.

In May, the company partnered with US-based crypto exchange Gemini to allow users to connect to the Gemini mobile app without having to log in again. In July, Samsung added Stellar and Decentraland to its Blockchain Keystore wallet.

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Source: https://cryptopotato.com/huaweis-new-phone-mate40-will-have-a-wallet-for-chinas-digital-currency/

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UK Citizen Allegedly Used Bitcoin to Facilitate ISIS Members Prison Breaks

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A 27-year old British citizen had appeared before a local court because of allegations that he had used Bitcoin to send money to help ISIS members escape Syrian prison camps. The man, Hisham Chaudhary, has reportedly been a member of the Islamic State for over four years.

Terrorist Prison Breaks Funded By Bitcoin

According to the Dailymail coverage, Chaudhary has been an accepted member of the Islamic State since early 2016 – an infamous terrorist organization banned under UK law since 2014.

Some of his responsibilities within the group included gathering and transferring funds abroad to assist captured ISIS militants to escape from prison camps in northern Syria, controlled by the Kurds. Chaudhary’s preferable currency was Bitcoin. He acquired and sent an undisclosed amount of BTC to facilitate the transactions and remain hidden from authorities.

The charges against the 27-year-old also include compiling and disseminating a terrorist publication called The Wholesome Fruit In The Virtues And Etiquettes Of Jihad last year.

In total, Chaudhary faces seven charges. Four of them are against the terrorist publication, one for his association with the organization, and two counts of entering a funding arrangement. However, he hadn’t plea to the charges during his video appearance at Westminster Magistrates’ Court.

Crypto Connections With Terrorist Group Rise

Bitcoin’s involvement with terrorist organizations has been spiking in the past few months. Reports surfaced in early August that the US Department of Justice (DOJ) had seized over 300 cryptocurrency accounts linked or operated by three notorious groups – al-Qaeda, Hamas, and again – ISIS.

US law enforcement agencies followed the funds to the accounts on the Bitcoin blockchain, as everything is recorded on the network. They saw millions of dollars worth of transfers from fundraising campaigns and anonymous donation ending in the wallets.

Acting US Attorney Michael Sherwin commented that “these individuals believe they operated anonymously in the digital space, but we have the skill and resolve to find, fix, and prosecute these actors under the full extent of the law.”

Additionally, French authorities arrested 29 people allegedly operating a sophisticated network of funding jihadists and al-Qaeda members with digital assets. The police found evidence that the accused purchased cryptocurrency coupons in France. They transferred the details by secure messaging to jihadists in Syria, who retrieved the funds through digital asset platforms.

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Source: https://cryptopotato.com/uk-citizen-allegedly-used-bitcoin-to-facilitate-isis-members-prison-breaks/

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