Tourists will be deported from Bali for paying for products and services in crypto

Cryptocurrency are not banned in Bali, but paying for products and services with them is prohibited

Bali authorities will fight against foreign tourists. Who pay with cryptocurrency in hotels, restaurants, tourist centers, stores and other places, the Indonesian edition of Antara reported. Cryptocurrencies are not banned in the country, but they cannot be used as a means of payment from 2021.

“Foreign tourists who behave inappropriately. And violate visa restrictions and other regulations and use cryptocurrency as a means of payment, will be severely punished.” This was announced by Bali Governor Wayan Koster at a press conference on tourism development in Bali.

Koster recalled that in Indonesia it is illegal to use currencies other than the local rupiah as a means of payment. Violation of the law is punishable by imprisonment of 1 to 5 years. And also a fine from 50 million rupees ($3.3 thousand) to 22 billion rupees ($1.4 million).

Tourists can be deported, and violators also face administrative and criminal penalties. As well as the closure of commercial premises, bans on payment transactions and other harsh sanctions, Koster said.

Our experts note that cryptocurrency trading is allowed in Indonesia. In January, the country’s government announced plans to launch a national cryptocurrency exchange by the end of 2023.

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Scammers made tens of thousand of dollars on bitcoin pizza day

Scammers took advantage of market participants’ interest in meme cryptocurrencies on “bitcoin pizza day”

Scammers earned tens of thousands of dollars on “bitcoin pizza day. In doing so, taking advantage of market participants’ interest in meme-based cryptocurrencies. The creators of several holiday-themed tokens absconded with the assets of gullible investors.

On May 22, the cryptocurrency community celebrated the 13th anniversary of the first purchase for bitcoins. It happened in 2010, when computer developer Laszlo Heinitz bought two mushroom pizzas for 10 thousand BTC.

According to Dextools, the capitalization of tokens BTCPizza, BPizza, PizzaDay and EthPizza. Which were created during the last week, at their peak reached about $150 thousand.

The creators of BPizza, after the token reached a capitalization of $100k, imposed a 100% sales tax on the coins. This was done to prevent investors from selling them. Issuer EthPizza disabled token sales when the asset’s capitalization reached nearly $40k.

BTCPizza is now labeled as a Honeypot – where fraudsters prescribe in the token’s smart contract the ability to withdraw coins only to certain wallets. PizzaDay plummeted in value to zero after a spike in value followed by a rapid series of sales.

Our experts noted that the desire of investors to buy tokens with no fundamental value. And all this followed a rapid and significant rise in the market capitalization of the meme cryptocurrency Pepe in just a few weeks. Investors are hoping to get lucky, buying tokens that could collapse in value at any moment. And then they complain that they were scammed and media didn’t warn them that it was dangerous. So once again we warn you that you can lose 100% of your investment in such projects.

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Binance admits danger of account forgery through deepfakes

You can still tell the difference between real people and deepfakes in videos. But soon the AI technology will become so advanced that even the human eye will stop seeing the substitution

The deepfakes technology used by cryptocurrencies to bypass verification (KYC) on crypto exchanges. Such as Binance, for example, will become more and more sophisticated. This was warned by Binance’s director of security Jimmy Su, Cointelegraph writes.

The technology behind deepfakes consists of artificial intelligence (AI) synthesizing human images. How it works: the program combines several photos of a person with different facial expressions and makes a video out of them.

Cases when fraudsters use this technology in an attempt to bypass the verification process at the exchange have increased, Su told the publication. According to him, the attackers find photos of the victim on the Internet and use them to create dipfakes.

He explained that the tools have become so advanced. And that they can even properly respond in real time to audio instructions when verifying an applicant.

“Some checks require the user, for example, to blink his left eye or look left or right, look up or down. Deepfakes today are advanced enough to execute those commands,” Su said.

So far, he said, humans can still detect deception. But the AI will evolve to the point where it will be impossible for humans to tell a fake. Su acknowledged that this is a very serious problem and for now he sees the solution only in training users in risk management.

Our experts point out that Microsoft founder Bill Gates said in January. That the development of AI is the most important innovation in recent years. And one of the pioneers of neural networks and artificial intelligence technology, Jeffrey Hinton. Now he has also joined those who see such advances as a danger to humanity. He fears that the Internet will be flooded with fake photos. As well as videos and texts. Which will be created by AI, and the average person “will no longer be able to know what is true and what is not.”

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LayerZero candidate for airdrop with $3 billion valuation

Our experts tell you what you need to know about blockchain interaction technology. And a possible airdrop of the LayerZero project, supported by leading venture capitalists

In April, LayerZero Labs, a company that creates technology to help existing blockchains interact with each other. And announced it had raised $120 million in an investment round led by a16z crypto. This is the cryptocurrency arm of venture capital firm Andreesen Horowitz.

The project, launched less than two years ago, has a total investment of $250 million at the time of publication. This is not the first time for LayerZero the large-scale funding round is one of the largest among cryptocurrency companies in 2023. And LayerZero Labs’ valuation of $3 billion puts it on par with market giants like Coinbase, which has a market capitalization of more than $13 billion.

Along with heavyweights Andreesen Horowitz and Sequoia Capital, more than 30 investors have invested in LayerZero Labs. And including the venture capital units of Samsung, auction house Christie’s, USDC stabcoin issuer Circle, NFT-marketplace OpenSea, cryptocurrency exchange OKX and others. Participation of representatives of different spheres of activity. At the same time, directly or indirectly related to the crypto-business, probably, indicates the demand for solutions of this project. And their subsequent integration into a wide range of services of Web3 segment.

Interaction of different blockchains with each other

LayerZero Labs co-founder and CEO Brian Pellegrino has assembled a team of developers to tackle the problem of insularity of various blockchains. And the crypto-assets and applications that exist on them. He himself calls LayerZero a “messaging protocol” . That is, software code that allows application developers to send data, for example, from Ethereum to Solana.

By “messaging” is meant a variety of scenarios and operations. This includes, among others, converting coins or tokens from one network into coins or tokens in another. Thanks to the so-called bridges that use LayerZero, this transfer is faster. It is also cheaper and more convenient compared to existing solutions – both decentralized and those that involve an intermediary in the form of an exchange or an exchanger.

What blockchain bridges are and why they are needed

In a press release accompanying the April investment round, a16z lead partner Ali Yahya said. That there are already more transactions flowing through LayerZero than all existing bridges in known ecosystems. He added that “there is already no doubt” that the future of cryptocurrencies is “multichain.” That is, the process of interconnecting multiple blockchains and the assets, services and applications that exist on them. LayerZero already uses decentralized crypto exchanges, including PancakeSwap, SushiSwap, TraderJoe and Uniswap.

Pellegrino dropped out of college to become a professional poker player. When the U.S. government banned online poker in 2011, he already had the capital to launch his first startups. While studying computer science in college, he created a fantasy sports website. Which he sold two years after launching. Then his entrepreneurial career continued: he worked with professional baseball teams. And did research on machine learning algorithms and launched another business before LayerZero.

LayerZero Labs now employs 42 people and is co-founded by Ryan Zarick. Employees work from offices in Vancouver and Hong Kong. The company earns money by charging a commission for every interaction with its protocol. But Pellegrino said the significant amount of funding allows the company to focus on more global goals than maximizing profits alone.

Partners plans to continue to dominate the growing field of companies That offer developers ways to transfer data between different blockchains. LayerZero’s competitors include the Cosmos project. In which developers also position it as a protocol by which different blockchains can send and receive data.

“Our goal is to win and capture the whole market in this niche,” Pellegrino told Fortune. He said LayerZero is using investor funds to expand its Web3-gaming presence. It’s also expanding into the Asia-Pacific region.

Possible Airdrop by LayerZero

LayerZero is known not only for in-demand technical solutions and billion-dollar business valuation. Participants of the cryptocommunity consider the project to be one of the main candidates for a major airdrop.

The company itself has not announced the distribution, as well as the launch of its own token in principle. But certain business patterns and a significant amount of venture capital investment act as indirect evidence That LayerZero may follow the example of sensational airdrop projects such as Aptos, Blur, Optimism or Arbitrum. The latter went beyond the cryptocurrency community in terms of hype. When it became widely known that the participants of the giveaway received tokens worth thousands of dollars.

Service developers often don’t announce the token at launch. But similar parameters in doing business, as well as the experience of their competitors, help community members determine. Which projects will decide sooner or later to release their own asset. And which types of activity can be rewarded.

Even before the sensational distribution of tokens from Arbitrum by so-called drophunters, it was LayerZero that was in the list of the most obvious contenders.

It’s easy to find instructions or detailed checklists with a set of project activities in blogs, thematic channels or chat rooms. Who are using LayerZero solutions, claiming airdrop. It even goes so far that even quite large resources publish instructions on how to participate in an unannounced airdrop, such as the OKX exchange blog. Most of them duplicate each other in one way or another. For example, a potential candidate for distribution must be active in social networks of the project. And attract new members, use existing services in the test network, etc.

It remains to be seen how developers will react to this, if they actually arrange an airdrop. One way or another, from a financial point of view they benefit from any interaction with the protocol. Both from a really interested in the project, and from another “airdrop hunter”.

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Ledger could always access the private keys of users

Ledger, a company that makes hardware cryptocurrencies, said it had always been able to install firmware on the devices that would allow customer passwords to be extracted. This message was later removed

Protecting its new product, hardware cryptocurrency wallet maker Ledger caused a scandal in the cryptocurrency community. With its statement that it has technically always been able to get users’ keys giving access to their crypto-assets.

Tweet 1

“Don’t worry about us holding a gun to your head the whole time. And see? It’s not like you’re dead, so there’s no problem with us continuing to hold a gun to your head,” Ledger commented on Ledger’s social media statements.

The company soon deleted its message. But it had already made its way around the web. Ledger later wrote that her words were misunderstood. And there are layers of protection and control in the firmware of its devices to ensure that no hacker (even internal) can introduce malicious firmware.

In response to this, one user noted that when he bought a Ledger device, he was not buying “layers of control”. He was simply buying a cold wallet in which the seed phrase could not leave under any circumstances. Never before has a real-time company ruined its reputation like this, another commenter stated.

Protection from critics

Ledger tried to protect its new lost key recovery tool Ledger Recovery, announced on May 16, from criticism from the cryptocurrency community with its firmware statements. The tool allows you to create a backup copy of a seed phrase. And that will help restore access to the Nano X cryptocurrency wallet in the event that a secret phrase is lost.

The new service breaks the seed phrase into three fragments. Which in encrypted form store three different sides. As Wired reported in February. Those firms would be crypto company Coincover, Ledger itself. And backup service provider EscrowTech.

If a key is lost, the owner of the wallet will have access to its backup by authenticating themselves. The Ledger Recover service will be paid for and voluntary.

The Ledger tool has been very badly received by the cryptocurrency community. The main complaint of users is that the company positioned its cold wallet as a way to autonomously store cryptocurrencies. That is, access keys could only reside on it and not be allowed to leave it.

By adding the ability to upload keys, albeit in encrypted form, Ledger set a precedent. Which completely contradicts its initial claims. According to critics, the new tool reduces the security of the device, making it vulnerable to scammers.

“This is a terrible idea, do not enable this feature,” wrote Polygon Labs Director of Information Security Mudit Gupta.

Also Ledger says this backup option will be popular. That’s because the possibility that assets could become inaccessible simply because a key is lost is a deterrent to investing in cryptocurrencies.

“That’s what future customers want. It’s a way for the next hundreds of millions of people to really move to cryptocurrencies,” Ledger CEO Pascal Gauthier was quoted by CoinDesk.

Our experts point out that at the end of March it became known that Ledger attracted funding of up to $100 million. Gauthier said that the company will use the funds received to develop its business, expand its network of distributors. As well as increasing production and improving products.

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Dogecoin network transactions rise to an all-time high

After the Dogecoin blockchain was able to issue NFT and other tokens, the daily transaction volume increased more than 20 times

The daily number of transactions in the Dogecoin network grew to an all-time high. This happened after the appearance of a new token standard DRC-20. This standard allows NFT and other tokens to be issued in the blockchain of the leading meme cryptocurrency.

On May 16, according to the BitInfoCharts platform, the number of transactions in the Dogecoin blockchain exceeded 719,000. This is not only the highest number for the DOGE coin network. But also for the first time exceeds the maximum values for the Bitcoin network, where a similar standard BRC-20 was recently launched.

The BRC-20 and DRC-20 protocols were modeled after the ERC-20 for Ethereum. These are protocols that allow other tokens to be created “on top of” the blockchain in a single network-compatible way. Prior to this generalized standard, a separate blockchain had to be created for each token. ERC-20 is the most widely used standard today for creating new tokens.

On May 9, the DRC-20 standard was launched on the Dogecoin network. And it allows the creation of a token tied to each indivisible DOGE unit. And which is called Elon ( in honor of the most famous fan of the meme cryptocurrency, Elon Musk). There are 100 million Elons in one Dogecoin coin. Also these tokens can be issued in the form of NFT or other cryptocurrency.

Similar to tokens in the Bitcoin network called Ordinals, this standard has already been nicknamed Doginals.

Compared to the daily average of 20,000-30,000, the daily volume of transactions in the Dogecoin network has increased more than 20 times since May 9. This increased activity could lead to network congestion. Which is not designed for a large number of transactions, and to increase transaction fees.

Our experts note that the BRC-20 standard in the Bitcoin network became effective in March. And on May 8, fees reached two-year highs due to the excitement with the issue of memcoins on the blockchain of the first cryptocurrency. The popularity of their issuance was boosted by a surge in the price of meme tokens like PEPE and LADYS.


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Hackers stole $15 million in cryptocurrencies through the fake HitBTC cryptocurrency exchange website

A blockchain analyst warned about a fake page of the HitBTC platform, on which scammers use phishing links to empty users’ cryptocurrency wallets

Hackers stole more than $15 million in various cryptocurrencies through a fake website. Which mimics the HitBTC cryptocurrency exchange page. This was reported by a blockchain security analyst at SlowMist. According to the company, scammers are stealing various cryptocurrencies, including bitcoin, Ethereum and USDT. They do this through a fake website that looks similar to the original exchange portal.

Analyst identified and published four cryptocurrency addresses of the attackers. He also explained that he discovered three ways in which hackers gain access to users’ wallets on this site.

The fake page may prompt users to verify the wallet’s connection. After a user clicks the Confirm button, hackers gain access to USDT tokens.

The second option was to go to the page for depositing funds, which is identical to the real page on the exchange. But in the field for the deposit address entered data hackers. In this case, they rely on the fact that the information in the standard fields will not be double-checked by the account owner.

In the third case, the scammers take advantage of the fact that the sidebar to sign the transaction on the site pops up automatically. And with the data already completely filled in, which are also usually not double-checked. When the user clicks on the transaction confirmation button, the hackers gain access to the assets.

Our experts point out that in February of this year, hackers spoofed the website of a major cryptocurrency conference. Where they offered users to connect MetaMask wallets and make a transaction that debited funds. To promote their site, the scammers even paid for advertising on Google. And rose to second place in search for a while.

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ChatGPT creator starts looking for $100 million for Worldcoin crypto project

Startup Worldcoin is creating an iris-based user identification system to access coins. According to the developers, it will allow to distinguish a person from a bot

Sam Altman, the head of artificial intelligence chatbot company OpenAI, is in talks with investors to raise about $100 million for the cryptocurrency project Worldcoin. It was reported by The Financial Times, citing its sources. The developers plan to launch the project within the next few weeks.

Worldcoin was founded by Altman and Alex Blania in 2019. It plans to use eye-scanning technology to identify users.

The developers of Worldcoin say it will solve two problems that have arisen with the development of artificial intelligence (AI) technology. The system will distinguish between humans and bots. And it would also provide a form of universal basic income that could compensate for the job losses caused by the widespread adoption of AI.

The technology scans the iris and from this creates a digital World ID for the user. Which he will be able to use in a wide range of everyday applications without revealing his identity, the company claims. Worldcoin also claims that it will not store iris scans. And it eliminates the risks of losing sensitive data.

The creators of the project promise that once a user creates an ID. He will then be able to get Worldcoin tokens for free. The project, launched in beta, is preparing to roll out the blockchain. And start conducting transactions within the next six weeks.

The group of investors from whom Altman expects to raise $100 million includes both old and new entrants, the publication’s sources said, without naming specific companies. The company’s previous investors include Khosla Ventures and crypto fund Andreessen Horowitz. FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried and Internet entrepreneur Reed Hoffman have also previously funded the project.

In February, the media reported that Altman was in talks to raise $120 million with a project valuation of $3 billion. In both cases, Worldcoin declined to comment on fundraising reports.

Our experts note that despite the general decline in investment in the cryptocurrency industry, AI-related projects are attracting widespread attention from investors. In late March, crypto project raised $40 million to develop artificial intelligence (AI) from investment firm DWF Labs.

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Elon Musk will not lead Twitter. How it will affect cryptocurrencies

Elon Musk will take over as CTO, focusing among other things on the integration of payments into this social network

Elon Musk will leave the post of CEO of Twitter. He announced this in his account on the social network. He has been Twitter’s CEO since the social network’s $44 billion acquisition in 2022.

Musk uses Twitter’s polling interface to get followers’ opinions on the social network’s various policies. Late last year, he launched a poll about whether he should resign as head of the service. By a relatively small margin, most of the votes were positive. Musk joked that he would leave when he “found some crazy person” to replace him. And then he himself will move to the development team.

That “madman” eventually became Linda Yaccarino, head of advertising at NBCUniversal, which owns a network of TV channels and several movie studios. Musk specified that she would start working “in about half a month.” He himself will take over as chairman and CTO of Twitter.

Integration of cryptocurrencies into Twitter social network interface, opinions of Crypto-Upvotes experts

Judging by the history of Musk’s statements, he really does not give up hope of integrating cryptocurrencies into the interface of the social network Twitter. If we take into account his previous global goals to develop a “super-application” X (similar to China’s WeChat). Then it is possible to assume the creation of some ecosystem with internal support of cryptocurrencies. And of which Twitter would be a part, our expert thinks.

But if we consider Twitter separately, at the initial stage Musk could introduce a function of sending money through personal messages. And paying for subscriptions to paid content or Twitter Blue status for cryptocurrency. Any kind of coin could be suitable for these purposes. And so Bitcoin and Dogecoin (DOGE) could potentially benefit from such integration.
Introduction of a payment function in Twitter is one of Musk’s key objectives, according to our experts.
In their opinion, it will turn the social network into a more predictable and stable source of income. It will also add features which are absent in other social networks. And by doing so, it will attract new users and make the social network a more profitable asset in Musk’s portfolio.

Technically, the integration of cryptopayments into Twitter could be done in partnership with a third-party cryptocurrency company. For example, Coinbase, which already has a developed infrastructure – wallets, exchange, business solutions and payment gateways.

Or another option – Musk will buy a payment gateway operator. In any case, the main task is not just to introduce cryptocurrencies. But to allow those who don’t have them to conveniently buy cryptocurrencies and just as conveniently spend them within the social network.

Despite Musk’s plans, the likelihood of introducing cryptocurrencies is still in question. Because of the “witch hunt” by the U.S. regulators, which has already provoked many large cryptocurrency companies to leave for other jurisdictions. Perhaps one of the tasks of the new CEO will be to find a way to find legal loopholes for the safe introduction of cryptocurrencies into Twitter, but this is just our guess.

Influence on cryptocurrency prices

As the head of Twitter, Musk organically joined the cryptocurrency community. Which settled on the platform at the stage of crypto-business birth. Musk participates in Twitter Spaces broadcasts with opinion leaders from the cryptosphere and comments on high-profile news in his personal account.

It’s not uncommon for Musk’s tweets to cause significant spikes in the price of crypto-assets. Which he mentions to them directly or indirectly. The most popular of these is Dogecoin (DOGE). In his May 2021 tweet, Musk said he was working with the developers of Dogecoin to make the system more efficient. This immediately led to a 22% increase in the Dogecoin exchange rate.

In December of that year, DOGE jumped 33%. When Musk announced that electric car maker Tesla would begin accepting the coin as payment for goods at its online store. Typically, such price spikes are fleeting as traders and automated bots start buying up tokens. Which were mentioned by Musk within seconds of his comments on Twitter. And to quickly sell them at a profit afterwards.

Musk gained a reputation as an influencer in the cryptocurrency community long before he bought Twitter. The change of position, will not have a negative impact on this reputation according to our experts. Rather, we can expect a positive impact, as the position of CTO is “more in line with Musk’s role as an eccentric innovator.


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Former Coinbase employee received 2 years in prison for insider trading

Insider who pleaded guilty in a case related to cryptocurrency trading on Coinbase. He and his partners made $1.5 million by buying tokens before listing them on the cryptocurrency exchange

Former Coinbase manager Ishaan Wahi was sentenced to two years in prison for insider trading in cryptocurrencies, Reuters reports. The charge against him was filed last July. And last February, he pleaded guilty and was named in court as the first insider. Who pleaded guilty in a case involving cryptocurrency trading.

While working at Coinbase from June 2021 until April 2022, Wahi provided his brother Nikhil and their acquaintance Samir Ramani with confidential information. This information contained data about cryptocurrencies scheduled to be listed on this exchange.

Based on the information received from Ishaan Wahi, Nikhil Wahi and Ramani worked together to trade 55 different crypto-assets shortly before their listing on Coinbase. The scammers were able to make about $1.5 million from this.

Ishan and Nikhil Wahi were arrested on July 21; Samir Ramani was not reported to have been arrested. Nikhil Wahi pleaded guilty last September. And earlier this year, he was sentenced to ten months in prison.

At the May 9 court hearing, Wahi said he made a huge mistake “that will haunt him for the rest of his life.” At the same time, the assistant prosecutor noted that Wahi’s behavior was not a one-time mistake, his actions were committed over the course of ten months at Coinbase.

Our experts note that the prosecutors insisted that the defendant be imprisoned for more than three years. And the defense asked the court to sentence him no harsher than that of Nikhil Wahi. Judge Loretta Preska eventually sentenced Nikhil Wahi to two years in prison. He will now be sent to Fort Dix Federal Correctional Institution in New Jersey.


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