Bitcoin Weekly 2016 January 14: DD4BC arrests, CoinDesk aquired by DCG, Eternity Wall for Blockchain messages and visualizing 2015 Core development

Bitcoin Weekly 2016 January 14: DD4BC arrests, CoinDesk aquired by DCG, Eternity Wall for Blockchain messages and visualizing 2015 Core development

Good news for the Internet today. Members of DD4BC have been arrested, so perhaps some websites can breathe a sigh of relief. DDoS extortion crews have been on the rise across 2014 and 2015 (and into 2016), and sometimes these groups demand Bitcoin as ransom. Having two less potential members of extortion crews in the world makes it a better place.

CoinDesk has been acquired by Barry Silbert’s Digital Currency Group, and the Consensus 2016 conference for Blockchain technologies was announced.

Bitcoin and Altcoin exchange Cryptsy has become the target of class action lawsuit Citing failure to dispense Dogecoin (amid other complaints of suspended withdrawals).

Looking to leave your mark on the Bitcoin Blockchain? Take a look at Eternity Wall (below) for a very cheap way to set a message in the best equivalent of digital stone the Internet generation has.

Finally, for a little bit of joy about 2015, this Bitcoin Weekly has a video visualization of developer activity on the Bitcoin Core.

Two members of notorious extortion group DD4BC arrested in Europe

Europol, a European Union law enforcement agency, announced this week that agencies from numerous countries acted in concert to capture and arrest members of the notorious DD4BC Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack extortion crew. The action included the police forces of Austria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Germany and the United Kingdom, along with support from Australia, France, Japan, Romania, the United States, Switzerland and INTERPOL.

The extortion crew’s name DD4BC stands for “DDoS 4 Bitcoin,” and under that nom de guerre the group has targeted victims in several countries for DDoS attacks in exchange for Bitcoin ransoms. The group has been in operation since 2014 and is implicated in targeting financial services, Bitcoin exchanges and customers of content network Akamai Technologies, Inc.

Details on the arrests are thin, but it’s known that two suspected members of DD4BC have been arrested and one of them was considered “a main target.”

Network cables

photo credit: 270 002 003 via photopin (license)

CoinDesk acquired by Barry Silbert’s Digital Currency Group

This week CoinDesk, a leading cryptocurrency and Blockchain Internet blog, has been acquired by Barry Silbert’s Digital Currency Group. According to an article in International Business Times, the editorial and business teams will join with DCG’s events platform and move offices to New York.

CoinDesk is an Internet publication commonly cited by Bitcoin Weekly and has been a mainstay of Bitcoin, cryptocurrency and Blockchain reporting since May 2013.

“We are excited to join the DCG family of companies,” said CoinDesk CEO, Jeremy Bonney in a statement. “As the information needs of the blockchain ecosystem grow, CoinDesk will gain the resources and colleagues it needs to better serve readers with the high-quality, independent journalism readers have come to expect.”

According to a statement published by the Digital Currency Group, CoinDesk staff will maintain editorial independence and will work in separate offices from the rest of the group.

The acquisition announcement comes along with the intention to launch the Consensus 2016 conference in collaboration with Coin Center, a leading research and advocacy center focused on blockchain public policy issues. This would make the second annual conference. Confirmed industry speakers attending the conference include Jeremy Allaire & Sean Neville (Circle), Stephen Pair (BitPay), Chris Larsen (Ripple Labs), Elizabeth Rossiello (BitPesa), Greg Schvey (TradeBlock), Bill Barhydt (Abra), Marwan Forzley (Align Commerce), Brian Hoffman (OB1), and Eric Jennings (Filament).

The upcoming Consensus 2016 conference will be hosted at the New York Marriott Marquis, May 2-4, 2016.

RELATED:  Bitcoin Savings & Trust Ponzi scammer Trendon Shavers gets 18 months

Class action lawsuit launched against Cryptsy

Bitcoin and Altcoin exchange Cryptsy (Project Investors, Inc.), which has been troubled for months now, has been targeted by a class action lawsuit, according to an article on Bitcoin.com.

“Plaintiff and the potential Class Members have also been damaged in other and further ways subject to proof at trial. Therefore, CRYPTSY engaged in unfair and deceptive trade practices in violation of section 501.201 et seq., Fla. Stat.”

– Class Action Lawsuit

The exchange has been under scrutiny since last year November when it was struck by an alleged DDoS attack. Shortly thereafter Cryptsy began to suffer rumors of insolvency amidst slow and suspended withdrawals of BTC and LTC.

The class action lawsuit plaintiff Jinyao Liu is suing Cryptsy and its pseudonymous CEO Big Vern for over $5 million USD, alleging that he deposited 84,000,000 Dogecoin (a cryptocurrency Altcoin based on the Internet “Doge” dog meme). At current market value that amount of Dogecoin would be approximately $15,660.96 USD.

Others joining in the class action lawsuit are those who have suffered similar problems withdrawing Altcoins from Cryptsy.

Eternity Wall will write your memories on the Blockchain

The Bitcoin Blockchain is the largest, distributed open ledger on the planet – -to the point that it has been suggested in the same way that the World Wide Web is the name of the web, the Bitcoin Blockchain should be known as the World Wide Ledger. Transactions sent to the Bitcoin Blockchain are indelibly etched into the database and then shared across over 5,500 copies.

While the current major function of the Blockchain is to record and secure Bitcoin transactions; however, small amounts of data can be attached to transactions enabling many other uses.

The website Eternity Wall offers visitors the ability to publish short messages onto the Blockchain — a perfect way to immortalize a romantic missive, a memorial or perhaps just on a lark.

To provide this function, Eternity Wall takes the message on the website, but the message must be signed via a mobile app (because signing a transaction takes a private key and that way the private key never leaves the user’s phone). There are obvious security concerns when using Bitcoins on a mobile phone, but extremely small amounts hardly subject a person to much risk.

“You can’t sign messages through the website, because we shouldn’t know the private key of your Bitcoin wallet. But you can sign messages through our app, since it is client-side and accesses your private key on your smartphone without sharing it with us,” Riccardo Casatta, the Italian software engineer who created Eternitywall.it, told Vice Motherboard.

A single message costs approximately 0.00015 Bitcoins, about 0.06 US dollars, which covers the transaction fee.

Visualized: Bitcoin Core code changes across 2015

Above is three minutes and 30 seconds of visualization showing activity on the Bitcoin Core code by developers. Seen above is the activity of 1929 commits (approximately 5.2 commits per day), 1189 pull requests and 741 merged pull requests by 45 contributors.

RELATED:  Europe gets its first regulated bitcoin exchange-traded instrument

The activity information was pulled from Bitcoin’s Git repository and visualized using Gource.io.

Featured image credit: Dawson/Bloomberg News
Kyt Dotson

Kyt Dotson

Kyt Dotson is a Senior Editor at SiliconAngle and works to cover beats surrounding DevOps, security, gaming, and cutting edge technology. Before joining SiliconAngle, Kyt worked as a software engineer starting at Motorola in Q&A to eventually settle at Pets911.com where he helped build a vast database for pet adoption and a lost and found system. Kyt is a published author who writes science fiction and fantasy works that incorporate ideas from modern-day technological innovation and explore the outcome of living with those technologies.
Kyt Dotson

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