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1  Bitcoin / Legal / Cryptojacking Malware Devs Sentenced to 20 Years in Prison on: December 10, 2019, 12:44:58 PM
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Two members of the prolific Romanian hacker gang Bayrob Group were sentenced to two decades in U.S. prison apiece after their malware mined crypto on 400,000 infected computers.

Group leader Bogdan Nicolescu and co-conspirator Radu Miclaus were sentenced to 20 and 18 years respectively after being found guilty on 21 different counts of wire fraud, money laundering aggravated identity theft and other crimes, a press release announced Friday. The gang was also accused of developing malware which mined bitcoin and monero using their host computers' processing power.

Tiberiu Danet, a third Bayrob Group member, pleaded guilty in Nov. 2018 to eight charges. His sentencing is scheduled for Jan. 8.

From its founding in 2007 to its members’ apprehension and eventual extradition in late 2016, the Bayrob Group, which operated out of Bucharest, Romania, ran a sprawling hacking and malware operation. They deployed trojan malware in seemingly mundane emails from well-known companies and groups, but when victims attempted to download attachments apparently from Norton, the IRS and Western Union, their computers instead became infected with the Bayrob botnet, according to an indictment.

https://www.coindesk.com/cryptojacking-malware-devs-sentenced-to-20-years-in-prison


How the authorities went about getting these guys to pay for their actions remains unknown but its still sending a message that someone is watching and people can be made to pay for whatever they do in the crypto sphere...
2  Economy / Economics / How Blockchain will change construction- Harvard Business Review on: July 27, 2019, 08:40:53 AM
Saw this and decide to share to the consumption of the teeming blockchain enthusiasts on the forum. The article really touched several aspects in which you can click on the link to have a broader view of specifics being referenced to.

The good news however, is that blockchain is here to stay and the regulation is equally coming real fast and won't be surprised if accounting bodies would begin to issue standards and interpretation in this regard.

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Blockchain technology is among the most disruptive forces of the past decade. Blockchain’s power to record, enable, and secure huge numbers and varieties of transactions raises an intriguing question: can the same distributed ledger technology that powers bitcoin also enable better execution of strategic projects in a conservative sector like construction, involving large teams of contractors and subcontractors and an abundance of building codes, safety regulations, and standards?

“Increasingly, we are thinking more carefully about when and where we need to compete and what can we share and collaborate on,” said David Bowcott, global director of growth, innovation, and insight in Aon’s global construction and infrastructure group. Using blockchain to automate the contractual processes and paperwork underpinning these complex projects could save money, free-up valuable resources, and speed up project delivery. (Unless otherwise noted, quotes are from interviews we conducted as part of our research.)

Blockchain-enabled real-estate development projects
In commercial real estate, Amsterdam-based HerenBouw is applying blockchain to a large-scale development project in Amsterdam harbor. According to Propulsion Consulting founder Marc Minnee, HerenBouw’s objective was to set up a blockchain-enabled project management system to make the building development lifecycle more efficient. Minnee’s blockchain application for HerenBouw focused on registering transactions at legally binding moments, where accuracy and an audit trail are essential. “Blockchain provides a platform for clearly cascading work products down the chain and holding everyone accountable for completing key tasks,” Minnee said.

The system’s benefits include timely information, unambiguous communication, and fewer mistakes. “Stakeholders have a clear and evenly distributed incentive to register these facts on-chain: either you won’t get what you ordered or you won’t get paid,” said Minnee. They also develop trust, which reduces friction in their mutual business processes. “Stakeholders spend more time discussing creative design and building method options.”

Blockchain pilots in construction achieve liftoff
Aon, global risk advisor to the construction industry, estimates that 95 percent of building construction data currently gets lost on handover to the first owner. Briq, a California-based blockchain firm, is demonstrating the potential to capture and secure a construction project’s documentation in a blockchain ledger that parties can navigate and give to the owner as a deliverable.

Working on behalf of Minneapolis-based Gardner Builders, Briq developed a “digital twin” of a new office construction with a room-by-room inventory of every asset. “When a product or specification needs to be found in a building, there is finally a place to go to simply search for what is actually in that building,” said Briq CEO, Bassam Hamdy. The blockchain-encoded specifications are granular—paint colors, ceiling fixtures, LED bulbs, door hardware—plus manuals, warranties, and service life in a countdown clock that building owners can monitor....
https://hbr.org/2019/07/how-blockchain-will-change-construction
3  Economy / Marketplace / PWC Announce Blockchain Auditing Service on: September 20, 2018, 05:17:58 PM
"PwC recognizes the obstacles to the technology’s adoption. These include concerns about compliance within companies and organizations, as well as concerns about risk management and corporate controls. While blockchain is often considered tamper-proof, its adoption presents issues similar to that of deploying any information technology

In recognizing such concerns among its own clients who were starting to use blockchain technology, PwC was motivated to develop its new solution. PwC logs transactions on the blockchain and has developed testing criteria and controls. The service will allows user within a company to view, test and monitor transactions on the blockchain in near real time.

One customer is a major stock exchange that needs to verify its blockchain based payment process. Another customer, a digital wallet provider, is using the product to verify its transaction processing. PwC declined to identify these two customers."


Source: https://www.ccn.com/pwc-to-provide-audit-service-for-blockchain-to-stimulate-adoption

Some people might not know about PWC but anybody who have something to do with finance would know that PWC is a big brand that could make something happen. I have been following some of the activities of firms like this for a while and when I see the news I thought to share by itemising what I feel this would mean.

1. For PWC to launch this kind of service, it means they must have identified that there is a market for it already which underscore the importance that blockchain is already being applied in a practical way beyond what we have come to know that its only related to bitcoin and crypto trading.

2. This will further push other Big 4 accounting firms to start laughing their own services. EY I know is already involved in blockchain projects and this is expected to start cascading to other firms in the professional service industry.

3. This is a further testament that this is the real deal and its not going anywhere. The tentacles of PWC in every sector is expected to push this new found service line.
4  Economy / Service Discussion / Discontinuation of Card Services by Visa and MasterCard to crypto currency on: October 13, 2017, 08:40:41 PM
I just read about this article, don't know how true though but its something of concern to me because it seems no one is talking about it and with the three months time line, a sure lot of people might lose their funds. Also, a lot of projects are coming up and they pride themselves as card providers to make you spend your bitcoin. How do they want to pull this off? However, the discontinuance of service is for citizens outside the EEA  what will be the outcome of this? Will there be alternative around this since a lot of population will be shut out.

https://themerkle.com/mastercard-joins-visa-in-removing-cryptocurrency-debit-card-availability-outside-of-the-eea/
5  Bitcoin / Bitcoin Discussion / Bitcoin in South Korea and other Issues... on: September 29, 2017, 03:28:16 PM
"South Korea bans all new cryptocurrency sales
South Korea's financial regulator on Friday said it will ban raising money through all forms of virtual currencies, a move that follows similar restrictions in China on initial coin offerings.
The Financial Services Commission said all kinds of initial coin offerings (ICO) will be banned as trading of virtual currencies needs to be tightly controlled and monitored.
"Raising funds through ICOs seem to be on the rise globally, and our assessment is that ICOs are increasing in South Korea as well," the regulator said in a statement after a meeting with the finance ministry, the Bank of Korea and the National Tax Service.

"Stern penalties" will be issued on financial institutions and any parties involved in issuing of ICOs, the statement added, without elaborating further on the details of those penalties.
The decision to ban ICOs as a fundraising tool was made as the government sees such issues as increasing the risk of financial scams. The decision tracks similar announcements in the U.S. and China where increasing trading volumes of cryptocurrencies are sparking concerns.
It added Friday's announcement doesn't mean the government has implicitly accepted trading of virtual currencies as part of its financial system, and will continue to monitor markets to see additional regulations are needed".

https://www.cnbc.com/2017/09/28/south-korea-bans-all-new-cryptocurrency-sales.html
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