Ripple. Why Is It Promising and How It Differs from Others

Today the world of digital currencies is not only about Bitcoin. Indeed, world`s first cryptocurrency still remains the most popular and significantly dominates on the market. However, among more than 1500 other virtual coins there are some rather interesting and attractive alternatives. One of these would certainly be Ripple.

Though Ripple was launched in 2012, the project itself is actually older than Bitcoin. Yet in 2004 Ryan Fugger developed an initial protocol of a decentralized network for global exchange and money transfers. The aim was to provide easy and fast transactions. Today it’s four seconds comparing to minutes with Ethereum, hours with Bitcoin and days with many traditional systems. On Ripple’s official website it is mentioned that “in a world where three billion people are connected online, cars drive themselves and appliances can communicate, global payments are still stuck in the disco era”. The reason for that lies in the infrastructure of global payments that was created before the Internet and hasn’t changed a lot since then.

So what’s Ripple’s solution? It’s as much as connecting banks, payment services, digital asset exchanges and other financial institutions to provide quick and secure opportunity to send money worldwide. Ripple is actually a global agent that enables people to store and send any kind of currency or just any kind of value that at least a group of people demand. In Bitcoin Magazine Vitalik Buterin writes that Ripple`s initial idea was based on a chain of trust where all debts are between people who have an established trust relationship and so trust each other to pay back as needed. By using such a chain of trust, money can change hands even between people who do not know each other at all.

Today Ripple is a universal payment system that allows making transactions with any currency. Project`s cryptocurrency called XRP is an “agent-currency” in the network. Today it’s world’s third digital coin by market capitalization, and, unlike its “colleges”, it costs less than a dollar. XRP do not require mining, all 100 billion coins were issued when the project was launched. They are gradually becoming available by means of smart contracts.

Who stands behind the project? There are Jed McCaleb, founder of MtGox exchange, bitcoin-developer Stefan Thomas, and Chris Larsen – Ripple`s CEO. Nearly a half of all XRP transactions are made in South Korea, where the coin is actively traded on Coinone and Bithumb exchanges.

Ripple cooperates with banks and financial institutions that are interested in its fast transactions and low fees. The project is trying to seamlessly democratize and advance the whole system of international payments. This is a universal platform for currency exchange and global transactions, and traditional financial sector is ready to cooperate with it.

So, Ripple has accomplished a lot and is fairly promising. It’s definitely not just another cryptocurrency, but probably a very efficient solution for those who want to enjoy all crypto-advantages – security, anonymity, smart contracts, etc. – but don’t want to deal with Bitcoin volatility and uncertain legal nature.

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Malware From The Pirate Bay May Hijack Website To Steal Crypto

The movies downloaded from The Pirate Bay bring a malware to the user’s computer. That was the conclusion reached by a security researcher, with the nickname  0xffff0800 in Twitter. He told that when he downloaded a movie ‘The Girl In The Spider’s Web’ from TPB, a .LNK shortcut with CozyBear malware got to his computer.

However, the Cozy Bear malware is just a decoy, the real thing that brings damages is Powershell commands. Once the malware reaches the computer, it carries out malicious actions, like disabling Windows Defender and installing viral extensions in Firefox and Chrome browsers. Moreover, it edits the appearance of the website on the user’s computer.

The movie is an application itself which links the computer to the external malicious servers.

Source: Bleeping Computer

Moreover, the newly installed viral extensions can modify the JavaScript code and add some advertisements to the main page, like it is shown below.

Source: Bleeping Computer

What is the most dangerous is that the malware can edit the appearance of the web page and add or change the information without the user’s awareness, this ability allows the malware to steal the crypto. For example, if the user open Wikipedia page on a compromised system, he/she is likely to see the message saying “Wikipedia now accepts donations in form of bitcoin” and a ‘DONATE’ sign. All the donations will go to the hacker.

Source: Bleeping Computer

In addition, the malware is able to change crypto wallet addresses provided on the pages. Unfortunately, you will not even notice how the hacker stole your money.

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Cryptocurrency Prices Today, January 18: Cryptocurrencies Are Relatively Stable

Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple, Bitcoin Cash, EOS, Litecoin, Cardano, Stellar, IOTA, Dash, Monero: Cryptocurrency prices

According to the Coingecko online platform, Bitcoin (BTC) added 1% over the past 24 hours. The price at the time of writing is $3611 per coin.

Cryptocurrencies are demonstrating both slight increase and decrease:

Bitcoin Cash added 0.61% over the past 24 hours and costs $129 per coin;

Ripple grew by 0.21% and costs $0.32;

EOS increased by 2.72%, and its price is $2.51;

Litecoin gained 1.1%, and its value is $31;

Cardano added 1.62%, and its cost is $0.046;

Stellar gained 2.44% and costs $0.10;

IOTA increased by 5.41%, and its cost is $0.31;

Dash grew by 2.21%, and its price $72;

Monero became more expensive by 0.35% and costs $45.

Over the past 24 hours, Ethereum added 0.66%. The rate of the coin is $123.

The total market capitalization is $122 billion. Bitcoin accounts for 52.4% of the total volume. In monetary terms, this is $64 billion.

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BitPay Transactions Surpasses $1B in 2018, B2B Payments Records 225% Increase

BitPay is a US-based bitcoin payment provider which has recently announced its financial results of the past year. The company has processed over $1 billion in transactions alone. Moreover, its B2B payments record 225% increase in compare to 2017.

The main reason of such a lift-off is that Bitpay added a lot of new clients, like Dish Networks, HackerOne, and the State of Ohio, as well as many other law firms, data center providers, and IT vendors.

The CEO of BitPay, Stephen Pair, commented on this development:

“BitPay’s B2B business continues to grow rapidly as our solution is cheaper and quicker than a bank wire from most regions of the world. To process over a $1 Billion for the second year in a row despite Bitcoin’s large price drop shows that Bitcoin is being used to solve real pain points around the world.”

BitPay mostly supports Bitcoin transactions, however, it also supports payments with Bitcoin Cash, Gemini, and Paxos. During that year a lot of companies had to lay off their employees due to the market situation, yet, Bitpay conversely increased its manpower by 78 percent in the past year.

In addition, BitPay is attractive to the investors, in 2018, it raised $40 million in Series B funding round taking the total raised capital to $70 million.

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Is Bank of America Going to Cooperate with Ripple?

As we all know, the crypto market is still in a deep recession. The collapse of cryptocurrencies at the end of last year negatively influenced all coins, however, some of them suffer less than others.

One of such coins was Ripple. Not only did it manage to outrun Ethereum in the rating, its blockchain platform keeps being implemented widely by the world’s largest companies in various spheres.

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Ripple: 13 Financial Institutions Have Joined RippleNet, Surpassing 200 Customers All Over The World

Recently, there appeared rumors on the Internet, saying that the second largest financial institution, Bank of America, might be considering forming a partnership with Ripple Labs and incorporating the blockchain technology into its system, according to Fintech News.

Currently, the bank is using SWIFT technology for international transactions, which proved to be quite inconvenient, slow and insecure.

It is still unclear whether Bank of America wants to fully apply Ripple technology or create a similar app, but its main intention is to let the customers make transaction between various banks in a safer and easier way.

Neither of the sides have officially commented on the matter so far.

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Cryptocurrency Prices Today, January 17: Cryptocurrencies Are on the Border of the Red and Green Zones

Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple, Bitcoin Cash, EOS, Litecoin, Cardano, Stellar, IOTA, Dash, Monero: Cryptocurrency prices

According to the online platform Coingecko, Bitcoin (BTC) lost 0.8% over the past 24 hours. The price at the time of writing is $3582 per coin.

Some cryptocurrencies slightly decreased, others added in price a little:

Bitcoin Cash lost 2.6% over the past 24 hours and costs $126 per coin;

Ripple dropped by 1.1% and is $0.32 in rate;

EOS added 0.34%, and its price is $2.44;

Litecoin decreased by 2.66%, and its value is $30;

Cardano grew by 1.3%, and its cost is $0.044;

Stellar fell by 1.73% and costs $0.10;

IOTA lost 3.42%, and its value is $0.29;

Dash dropped by 0.52,% and its price is $71;

Monero became more expensive by 1.21% and costs $45.

Over the past 24 hours, Ethereum lost 2.17%. The exchange rate of the coin is $121.

The total market capitalization rose to $121 billion. Bitcoin accounts for 52.4% of the total volume. In monetary terms, it is $63 billion.

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Crypto Exchange Bittrex Partners With Bitsdaq To Conquer Asia Market

One of the biggest US-based cryptocurrency exchanges, Bittrex, announced that it was partnering with Bitsdaq to open a special trading platform in Asia. This platform will provide different digital assets to the Asian investors.

Moreover, Bitsdaq will operate on Bittrex technology and will be built based on Bittrex’s experience in the blockchain.The platform will allow users to trade various digital tokens, including tokens a available on the Bittrex exchange.

The Chairman and CEO of Bitsdaq, Ricky Ng, said:

“We are honored to bring Bittrex’s extensive cryptocurrency options to the Asia market.….It takes a unique combination of advanced technology and financial expertise to launch an efficient, reliable and secure platform for trading digital assets in Asia. We found the ideal partner to help provide a safe environment for our customers and the entire community.”

In accordance with the statement, the Bitsdaq platform will control a lot of things connected to the management of the platform, such as customer support, marketing, sales and customised development. In addition, it will take care of customer operations.

The day of the launch is yet to be announced, though customers can pre-register for an account on Bitsdaq’s website.

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