Crypto in Africa: New intercontinental payment methods poised to overtake US dollar

The U.S. dollar is reported to be losing its place as the top intercontinental currency in Africa. This is according to SWIFT, the global provider of financial messaging services. African usage of the U.S. dollar dropped from 50% in 2013 to 45.1% in 2017, and this is attributed to citizens switching more to local currencies and mobile payments (possibly including cryptocurrencies) to handle international transactions. It’s difficult to say how much of such payments were made through cryptocurrencies, but the 6.4% of mobile statistics clearly means they were government-approved currencies without actual intrinsic value.

It has been reported that African countries have been gradually adopting blockchain and crypto technologies over the past few years. GSM Association estimates that Africa will likely have 725 million mobile phone subscribers by 2020, which, in turn, can boost cryptocurrency adoption in the region. SWIFT noted that with mobile money and other digital financial services, people can store money securely, spend it effortlessly, and afford the small fees charged by their providers.

The U.S. dollar has been replaced chiefly by the South African rand and the West African franc as the leading inter-country exchange currency in Africa. The franc commands 7.3% of such payments, up from 4.4% in 2013. The rand has moved up from 6.3% to 7.2% in usage. The British pound has spiraled downwards too, from 6.2% to 4.6% of such transactions.

Africa hit by crypto mining USB malware infections

Kaspersky recently published a Lab Review of USB and removable media threats in 2018 that showed Africa as one of the most affected regions by crypto mining-related USB malware infections.

Crypto mining malware have been harnessed by cyber attackers as an effective and persistent distribution vehicle for spreading malware between unconnected computers. The toll on victims has been on the rise, given that emerging markets—where USB devices are more widely used for business purposes—are the most vulnerable to malicious infection spread by removable media. Such markets are especially prevalent in Africa, Asia and South America.

Isolated hits were also detected in countries in Europe and North America. An example is Radiflow, specializing in SCADA (supervisory control and data acquisition), which saw its servers suffer malware infection.

Despite the fact that USB devices are less effective at spreading infection than in the past due to growing awareness of their security weakness and declining use as a business tool, they remain a significant risk that users ought not to underestimate. Attackers still continue to find exploits and some infections go unnoticed for years. USB devices have been around for over two decades and have acquired a reputation of beingvulnerably to cybersecurity threats.

According to Kaspersky Security Network, KSN data, a popular crypto-miner malware detected in drive-roots is Trojan.Win32.Miner.ays/ Trojan.Win64.Miner.all, known since 2014. The Trojan drops the mining application onto the PC, then installs and silently launches the mining software and downloads the requirements that enable it to send any results to an external server controlled by the attacker.

Infections have been reported to grow via removable media unnoticed and continually year-after-year with detections of the 64-bit version of the miner growing by around a sixth, increasing by 18.42% between 2016 and 2017, and expected to rise by 16.42% between 2017 and 2018.

Note: Tokens on the Bitcoin Core (segwit) Chain are Referred to as BTC coins. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is today the only Bitcoin implementation that follows Satoshi Nakamoto’s original whitepaper for Peer to Peer Electronic Cash. Bitcoin BCH is the only major public blockchain that maintains the original vision for Bitcoin as fast, frictionless, electronic cash.

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Block Seoul Day 2: Crypto mass adoption still has ‘too many problems’

Despite his ‘super interesting’ view of cryptocurrency and blockchain, Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales tells delegates at the Block Seoul conference in South Korea that these technologies still have many challenges to overcome before they can be used in real world activities.

“I haven’t seen anything that will suggest that we’re on the verge of seeing mass consumer adoption of cryptocurrencies,” explained Wales, noting that it is too early to say and he is not willing to make a bet on what the world will look like in 20 years.

Wales has found himself speaking in another blockchain-focused event, this time in Seoul, despite criticizing the industry months ago. In his interview with Business Insider in July this year, he admitted that Wikipedia is never going to get involved with cryptocurrencies. Wikimedia Foundation, which owns and curates Wikipedia, accepts donations in BTC since 2014.

Wales joined a strong panel on the future of cybersecurity at the day 2 conference of the Block Seoul 2018. The panel was well-represented by figures from the government, including former New York State Governor David Paterson and former United States Director of National Intelligence David Clapper, as well as entrepreneur Sung Kim, CEO of Neoframe and Coredax.

Moderated by BTCC Founder Bobby Lee, the panel discussed the challenges of cybersecurity within the cryptocurrency and blockchain ecosystem. Paterson, who has earned praises for his efforts made as a governor during the 2008 fiscal crisis, has stated that neither government nor the blockchain community understand each other.

“Please remember that the Securities and Exchange Commission began in 1934. It began as a result of money that was frittered away in a lot of reckless schemes contributing to the stock market crashed in 1929. So there’s always been a sense that the public needs protection particularly from financial arrangements,” said Paterson. He also said that the government is not fully equipped to really understand every investment opportunity. However, Paterson pointed out that the government recognizes inventions and new technologies and there is always a mission to supporting these.

When it comes to regulation, Clapper believes that there is a case to be made. He said, “If people always behave with altruistic motivations then there wouldn’t be any need for regulation but invariably if there’s an opportunity to illicitly profit from something, people out there are going to take advantage of that.”

Wales added that the very fundamental nature of cryptocurrencies being global is also a challenge. He mentioned that major exchanges, which have experienced massive hacking globally in the recent years, are not necessarily in jurisdictions that have a strong tradition of safe and secure banking.

The session ended with the panelists stating their outlook on these technologies. Clapper thinks that there is a tremendous potential national security implication for blockchain technology that has yet to be exploited. In addition, Paterson sees this era with a positive attitude and stated that this isn’t the first time the U.S. has faced financial challenges. Referring to the days of John Dillinger and Jesse James, he stated, “they kind of got that worked out pretty much and maybe they’ll do it here as well.”

Also watch: Block Seoul Day 1

Note: Tokens on the Bitcoin Core (segwit) Chain are Referred to as BTC coins. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is today the only Bitcoin implementation that follows Satoshi Nakamoto’s original whitepaper for Peer to Peer Electronic Cash. Bitcoin BCH is the only major public blockchain that maintains the original vision for Bitcoin as fast, frictionless, electronic cash.

The post Block Seoul Day 2: Crypto mass adoption still has ‘too many problems’ appeared first on Coingeek.

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Block Seoul Day 2: Crypto mass adoption still has ‘too many problems’

Despite his ‘super interesting’ view of cryptocurrency and blockchain, Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales tells delegates at the Block Seoul conference in South Korea that these technologies still have many challenges to overcome before they can be used in real world activities.

“I haven’t seen anything that will suggest that we’re on the verge of seeing mass consumer adoption of cryptocurrencies,” explained Wales, noting that it is too early to say and he is not willing to make a bet on what the world will look like in 20 years.

Wales has found himself speaking in another blockchain-focused event, this time in Seoul, despite criticizing the industry months ago. In his interview with Business Insider in July this year, he admitted that Wikipedia is never going to get involved with cryptocurrencies. Wikimedia Foundation, which owns and curates Wikipedia, accepts donations in BTC since 2014.

Wales joined a strong panel on the future of cybersecurity at the day 2 conference of the Block Seoul 2018. The panel was well-represented by figures from the government, including former New York State Governor David Paterson and former United States Director of National Intelligence David Clapper, as well as entrepreneur Sung Kim, CEO of Neoframe and Coredax.

Moderated by BTCC Founder Bobby Lee, the panel discussed the challenges of cybersecurity within the cryptocurrency and blockchain ecosystem. Paterson, who has earned praises for his efforts made as a governor during the 2008 fiscal crisis, has stated that neither government nor the blockchain community understand each other.

“Please remember that the Securities and Exchange Commission began in 1934. It began as a result of money that was frittered away in a lot of reckless schemes contributing to the stock market crashed in 1929. So there’s always been a sense that the public needs protection particularly from financial arrangements,” said Paterson. He also said that the government is not fully equipped to really understand every investment opportunity. However, Paterson pointed out that the government recognizes inventions and new technologies and there is always a mission to supporting these.

When it comes to regulation, Clapper believes that there is a case to be made. He said, “If people always behave with altruistic motivations then there wouldn’t be any need for regulation but invariably if there’s an opportunity to illicitly profit from something, people out there are going to take advantage of that.”

Wales added that the very fundamental nature of cryptocurrencies being global is also a challenge. He mentioned that major exchanges, which have experienced massive hacking globally in the recent years, are not necessarily in jurisdictions that have a strong tradition of safe and secure banking.

The session ended with the panelists stating their outlook on these technologies. Clapper thinks that there is a tremendous potential national security implication for blockchain technology that has yet to be exploited. In addition, Paterson sees this era with a positive attitude and stated that this isn’t the first time the U.S. has faced financial challenges. Referring to the days of John Dillinger and Jesse James, he stated, “they kind of got that worked out pretty much and maybe they’ll do it here as well.”

Also watch: Block Seoul Day 1

Note: Tokens on the Bitcoin Core (segwit) Chain are Referred to as BTC coins. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is today the only Bitcoin implementation that follows Satoshi Nakamoto’s original whitepaper for Peer to Peer Electronic Cash. Bitcoin BCH is the only major public blockchain that maintains the original vision for Bitcoin as fast, frictionless, electronic cash.

The post Block Seoul Day 2: Crypto mass adoption still has ‘too many problems’ appeared first on Coingeek.

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