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FinTech Journal: Article

Bitcoin and Nanocrime | @CloudExpo #FinTec #Blockchain #Bitcoin #Ethereum

Is Bitcoin nothing more than a digital vehicle for nanocrime?

Bitcoins are a digital cryptocurrency and have been around since 2009. As a substitute for legal tender, they are becoming a rage for investors and others but because there is no government agency auditing or performing regulatory oversights, you wonder if it is the perfect breeding ground for electronic nanocrime?

Since the introduction of the Bitcoin, some competitors have emerged and the whole segment of cryptocurrencies are defined as Altcoins. Altcoins include: Dogecoin, Ethereum, Feathercoin, Litecoin, Monero, Novacoin, Peercoin, and Zetacoin. Some of these cryptocurrencies are considered improvements on the original Bitcoin algorithm structure, and they are gaining some traction as well.

Some financial experts and analysts, including Warren Buffett and Ben Stein, are leery of the overall cryptocurrency market. Is it because it doesn't fit into their more traditional due diligence framework when reviewing investments? Or, is it something that they realize needs a whole new set of analytic and regulatory tools that are currently not available?

"Stay away from it. It's a mirage basically," Buffett said on CNBC in 2014. Is it overbought and close to a bubble today? You may think you are getting into it on the big surge up, but it could make a huge correction just after you buy into it.

Ben Stein in a very recent interview on FOX Business was also less than enthusiastic on Bitcoin as well, "If you don't know what something is, I would be very, very cautious putting my money into it.....I think it is the bubble of bubbles." The interview can be seen here: ( http://www.frontpageindex.com/2017/12/ben-stein-on-bitcoin-i-would-be-very.html )

For now, Bitcoin seems to be the Altcoin segment leader. Recently, it has skyrocketed in value to over $17,000 apiece, but it fluctuates daily. Ethereum has hit $1,000 per coin. All of this has happened in a very relatively short period of time.

The big question from a financial technology infrastructure standpoint is, "Are all these "Altcoins" a better electronic solution for traditional financial transactions or do they launch a whole new set of financial and security problems to deal with and solve?

If you are an investor or you are in charge of any development or operations of financial clouds dealing with transactions, you better understand the whole concept of cryptocurrencies, the digital access to them, and the idea of replacing third-party (entrusted transactions) before you jump into them.

Some central banks are questioning the legitimacy of the Bitcoin craze. The reason? They could have a lot to lose being edged out of the middleman position they hold. Some speculators are also looking to see what the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) comes out with as an online platform for Bitcoins (or the other Altcoins).

Many speculators are looking at the Bitcoin craze as a fast way to make money. Reality is, it's more likely you probably missed the window for a "big killing", but are just in time to get wiped out with your last-minute investment to join up. Also, as with every online application, there is a good possibility there will be scams going on with various approaches to steal Bitcoins as well as sell phony ones.

Cyberdefenses to Avoid a Dark Cloud
We need to be well aware of security deficiencies which are out there in any online application. When we look at cryptocurrencies and their cyberdefenses, what are some of the issues with Bitcoin and the other Altcoins?

  • It cannot be overseen or regulated by any one administrator, like a government or bank. (https://www.investopedia.com/articles/investing/032615/can-bitcoin-be-hacked.asp )
  • Currently, there is no government regulation on them which also means there is no government safeguards over them.
  • Although many are looking at Bitcoin to put money into, it would be wise to tell everyone to proceed with caution.
  • Regular central banks are watching it and deciding whether or not to make them illegal (Criminalize them) and therefore make them worthless and eliminate them as competition.
  • ICOs (Initial Coin Offerings) are something most have no idea as to what it means and how you utilize it.
  • Where is the "Stamp of Approval" or "Stamp of Legitimacy" on some of these Bitcoin websites (how do you know you are not dealing with a scammer?)
  • There is malware already on the Internet including cryptojacking malware.

Can Bitcoin Be Hacked?
Of course Bitcoin and any other Altcoin can be hacked through their supporting infrastructure. There are also some nefarious things going on to try to make "digital cash" using other people's computers.

Did you know at a Starbucks in Buenos Aires, the public WiFi there actually tried to hook up those who were using their WiFi access to mine digital cash? That was pointed out to Starbucks and they quickly changed the store's WiFi. In a BBC story, the customers' computers were being harnessed for their computer power to mine digital coins: http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-42338754

A new term called cryptojacking refers to that type of malware you can run into when on the Web. Starbucks was only one example. What the cryptojacking malware does is infect your browser and then your computer becomes part of the chained computer power (across multiple unaware users) used to mine coins. When running, it steals power to mine coins. This can be avoided if you have certain Adblockers on your system, but I would say the vast majority of people do not even know this is happening. (see link - http://fortune.com/2017/11/15/the-growing-threat-of-cryptocurrency-mining-malware/ )

A different type of due diligence framework is needed to evaluate the whole transaction process as nanocrime increases. Is Bitcoin for real or is it an elaborate "Bitcon" within a very ominous and spreading dark cloud? Time will tell.


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DXWordEXPO New York 2018, colocated with CloudEXPO New York 2018 will be held November 11-13, 2018, in New York City.

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DXWorldEXPO | CloudEXPO 2018 New York cover all of these tools, with the most comprehensive program and with 222 rockstar speakers throughout our industry presenting 22 Keynotes and General Sessions, 200 Breakout Sessions along 10 Tracks, as well as our signature Power Panels. Our Expo Floor brings together the world's leading companies throughout the world of Cloud Computing, DevOps, FinTech, Digital Transformation, and all they entail.

As your enterprise creates a vision and strategy that enables you to create your own unique, long-term success, learning about all the technologies involved is essential. Companies today not only form multi-cloud and hybrid cloud architectures, but create them with built-in cognitive capabilities.

Cloud-Native thinking is now the norm in financial services, manufacturing, telco, healthcare, transportation, energy, media, entertainment, retail and other consumer industries, as well as the public sector.

CloudEXPO is the world's most influential technology event where Cloud Computing was coined over a decade ago and where technology buyers and vendors meet to experience and discuss the big picture of Digital Transformation and all of the strategies, tactics, and tools they need to realize their goals.

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Financial enterprises in New York City, London, Singapore, and other world financial capitals are embracing a new generation of smart, automated FinTech that eliminates many cumbersome, slow, and expensive intermediate processes from their businesses.

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Cloud computing is now being embraced by a majority of enterprises of all sizes. Yesterday's debate about public vs. private has transformed into the reality of hybrid cloud: a recent survey shows that 74% of enterprises have a hybrid cloud strategy. Meanwhile, 94% of enterprises are using some form of XaaS - software, platform, and infrastructure as a service.

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Companies are each developing their unique mix of cloud technologies and services, forming multi-cloud and hybrid cloud architectures and deployments across all major industries. Cloud-driven thinking has become the norm in financial services, manufacturing, telco, healthcare, transportation, energy, media, entertainment, retail and other consumer industries, and the public sector.

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About DXWorldEXPO LLC

DXWorldEXPO LLC is a Lighthouse Point, Florida-based trade show company and the creator of DXWorldEXPODigital Transformation Conference & Expo. The company produces and presents CloudEXPO, DevOpsSummitFinTechEXPO Blockchain Event, the world's most influential conferences and trade shows.

More Stories By James Carlini

James Carlini, MBA, a certified Infrastructure Consultant, keynote speaker and former award-winning Adjunct Professor at Northwestern University, has advised on mission-critical networks. Clients include the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, GLOBEX, and City of Chicago’s 911 Center. An expert witness in civil and federal courts on network infrastructure, he has worked with AT&T, Sprint and others.

Follow daily Carlini-isms at www.twitter.com/JAMESCARLINI

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