An American bitcoin trader has been arrested in the Philippines for allegedly killing his girlfriend and dumping her body in a river.

Well-known bitcoin trader and Californian native Troy Woody Jr. was arrested together with Brooklyn native Mir Islam over the murder of Tomi Michelle Masters, according to the Daily Mail. The two are accused of suffocating Tomi, who hailed from Indiana, with a plastic bag before stuffing her body in a box and dumping it in Manila’s Pasig River.

Tragic End of Vacation

bitcoin trader philippines

CCTV footage that has been released shows the two men loading a huge box into the back of a ride operated by Asian taxi-hailing service and Uber-competitor Grab. While the two have confessed to dumping the body in the river, they both accuse the other of the murder, per the head superintendent of Mandaluyong City Police Custodial Facility, Igmedio Bernaldez:

We have yet to establish the motive. The three were here on vacation. If you ask the boyfriend, he will point to his friend as the killer. But if you ask the other suspect, he will say it was his friend who killed her. They are being questioned and the home they were staying at is being searched for evidence.

The suspicious behavior of the two was reported to the police by the cab driver. When the police searched the river, they found Tomi’s body which was wound in duct tape and covered in scratches. A post-mortem indicated that she died of suffocation, according to police. Troy and Tomi had been sharing an apartment in Manila after they moved to the Philippines from California.

According to friends, Tomi and Troy had a falling out earlier this month, and this emanated from Tomi’s desire to return to Indiana where she originally was from. Per Tomi’s father, Shawn Masters, Islam was of the view that if Tomi left for Indiana, Troy would follow her and consequently disrupt their ventures:

Islam needed TJ — he was the brains behind whatever it was they were doing.

‘Early Crypto Investor’

After their arrest, the two men indicated that they were both chief executive officers of Delaware-registered cryptocurrency trading firm known as Luxr LLC. On Twitter where he has more than 17,000 followers, Troy’s profile simply reads “Early Crypto Investor.” Troy’s following on Instagram is many times larger at 250,000, and in both accounts, he has documented a taste for luxuries including Swiss watches, Christian Louboutin shoes, and Dom Perignon champagne.

One of the cryptocurrency trades that Troy celebrated last year was buying Litecoin at US$50 and selling it at US$80 managing to turn a profit of US$24,000 in 11 days.

Besides trading bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, Troy is also believed to be a core member of online mischief-making group UGNazi alongside Islam. Two years ago Islam received a 12-month prison sentence for crimes that included swatting (calling police with false information in order for SWAT teams to raid homes of particular targets), cyber-stalking, and exposing the privileged personal data of his victims online.

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South Korean electronics giant Samsung is apparently seeking a trademark in the United Kingdom for a cryptocurrency wallet, according to a Dec. 27 filing with the U.K. Intellectual Property Office.

In the “Classes and terms” section of the application, Samsung cites such developments as “Computer software for use as a cryptocurrency wallet; Computer software for cryptocurrency transfer and payment using blockchain technology; Computer application software for smartphones, namely, software to allow users to transfer cryptocurrency based on blockchain technology and pay via 3rd party’s application software.”

The application follows rumors — subsequently refuted by Samsung —  that the company has plans to include a cryptocurrency cold wallet on its Galaxy S10 smartphone. Samsung filed three European Union trademark applications for blockchain- and cryptocurrency- related software on Dec. 10.

Earlier in December, Cointelegraph reported that major smartphone manufacturer HTC integrated decentralized browser Brave on the HTC Exodus 1 phone, “the first native blockchain phone” with support for multiple blockchains, including Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH) networks.

Last month, blockchain-focused electronics supplier SIRIN Labs launched its first blockchain-based smartphone called FINNEY. Based on both Android and SIRIN’s open-source operating system, SIRIN OS, the FINNEY phone offers a cold-storage crypto wallet and provides encrypted communications.

In October, Samsung’s production wing, Samsung Foundry, launched a new production process of its 7-nanometer (nm) Low Power Plus (7LPP) process node, which could reduce its energy consumption by up to 50 percent. The chip could purportedly have positive implications for crypto miners usings Samsung’s hardware, as energy costs prove to be a critical factor in the industry’s profitability.

This post is credited to cointelegraph

Blockchain could make its way into disaster relief operations from the United States Department of Defense, the organization revealed in a press release Dec. 21.

During a presentation hosted by the Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support’s Continuous Process Improvement (CPI) office in Philadelphia earlier this month, officials reviewed how blockchain technology could help emergencies responses.

Efforts to provide aid following Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico were used as a case study.

“We think there’s a lot of potential [in blockchain],” CPI management analyst Elijah Londo commented, quoted in the press release:

“Where do we want to be as an organization in shaping and influencing where the [Department of Defense] goes with blockchain?”

The technological improvements would target centralized aspects of the current system, notably areas of logistics that depend on multiple centralized entities. Data sharing under such circumstances is an area ripe for innovation.

Also under review are “transaction processing and in-transit visibility of shipments.”

“This is where I can see where blockchain would have been a big help,” Construction and Equipment deputy director Marko Graham continued:

“Flowing [materiel [sic’ specifications and tracking data] from the manufacturer buying the raw materials to…getting the transportation and getting it on the barges.”

The broader U.S. defense setup has targeted blockchain’s benefits for several years, involving everything from blockchain workshops to a cryptographic chat platform.

This post is credited to cointelegraph

Japan is one of the largest crypto hubs across the globe. Along with the United States, it’s the only country that enforces some sort of licensing structure for companies looking to enter the crypto space, and as it turns out, most companies are looking to get a piece of that action.

According to Japan’s Financial Services Agency (FSA), approximately 190 new cryptocurrency firms are seeking entry to Japan’s digital asset market. Four months ago, that number stood at only 160, suggesting an increase of roughly 30 companies in a relatively short period.

Japan’s Crypto Scene Is Expanding

The FSA has issued a statement, explaining:

“Including preliminary consultation/ inquiries regarding registration, more than 190 operators are expressing their intention of market entry.”

This presents an interesting scenario in the sense that most companies are showing interest in being part of a legit enterprise. Japan’s FSA has sworn to become far more involved in the nation’s crypto arena following the Coincheck debacle that occurred last January. More than $500 million in crypto funds were stolen, and the exchange was widely criticized for its utilization of hot wallet over cold storage tactics.

The FSA then began working with Coincheck and competing exchanges to update their security protocols. The organization also began issuing warnings to exchanges advising them to cooperate with its new licensing structure and explaining that those who refused would face the possibility of shutdown.

There are roughly 16 licensed cryptocurrency exchanges in Japan including GMO Coin and SBI Virtual Currency. All cryptocurrency exchanges must register with the FSA before opening their doors for public trade.

The fact that Japan is being strict with crypto-based businesses and operations, yet so many companies want in suggests that these enterprises strongly desire regulation and a sense of legitimacy. Among the companies looking to perform crypto-related business in Japan are Yahoo!, Daiwa Securities Group, Money Forward Inc., Yamane Medical Corp., Avex Inc. and Samurai & J Partners.

The FSA Is Always Watching

In addition, the FSA has also given approval to Coincheck (following an extensive audit), Lastroots and Everybody’s Bitcoin as cryptocurrency dealers. This gives them and companies like them the opportunity to operate in Japan’s primary crypto sector while their applications are still under review.

Coincheck has slowly been reintroducing its services to customers after it was obtained by the Monex Group just a few months ago.

Are we likely to see other companies banging on Japan’s cryptocurrency doors? Post your thoughts and comments below.

This post is credited to livebitcoinnews

Blockchain Cuties, one of the most popular crypto collectible games today, is officially launching on Tron Arcade on December 28, making it the first full-features gaming dApp to launch on the platform, BlockTribune reported on December 25, 2018.

Blockchain Cuties Collectibles Game Launches on Tron Arcade

Blockchain Cuties, a crypto collectible game that rose to popularity for being the first Gaming Dapp to achieve interoperability and simultaneous gameplay across multiple blockchains, is officially launching on Tron Arcade.

According to the company, the official launch of Blockchain Cuties on TRON is scheduled for December 28, 2018, making it the first full-featured gaming dapp to launch on the platform.

When Cuties launches on TRON, they will again become the first gaming Dapp to build cross-chain functionality for three different networks, Tron explained in a Medium post. The company noted that this type of operability could help blockchain games realize their potential in delivering a new gaming experience.

Despite being a crypto collectible game at its core, Blockchain Cuties aims to provide a unique experience to its users. There are many strategic elements to the game itself, as each Cutie has a has a unique genome that serves as an analog for human DNA. Arguably the most exciting part of the metagame is to decode the breeding system to create the most valuable and appealing Cutie.

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Tron Arcade has started a pre-sale to prepare for the official launch of the game, where users can buy the Cuties version of the company’s mascot Tronbeary. The pre-sale also features a Cutie version of Justin Sun, Tron’s CEO, with his patented pineapple sneakers.

Tron Actively Trying to Break into Gaming

While blockchain gaming isn’t a new phenomenon, the industry has had a tough time penetrating the lucrative gaming industry for quite some time.

With many of the most popular blockchain networks being too slow to support thousands of users that these games would bring, some industry leaders have focused on building stand-alone systems that would be used only for games.

Tron’s Mainnet managed to solve the issues networks such as Bitcoin and Ethereum had when faced with a large scale gaming operation – scalability. To do that, the Tron Foundation launched the Tron Arcade earlier in November and dedicated a $100 million fund that would be used to improve the company’s gaming blockchain.

Tron’s founder and CEO, Justin Sun, commented on the matter in a November press release, saying:

“Tron strives to tackle existing issues faced by the gaming industry by leveraging the open, transparent, and immutability of blockchain technology. Tron Arcade will play a crucial role in encouraging developers to join in our mission and provide the best blockchain gaming experience to users around the world.”

This post is credited to btcmanager

Crypto education is growing by the day, and now Seoul, South Korea has become the latest center for a degree in bitcoin.

The Seoul School of Integrated Sciences and Technologies – known as Assist – has announced that it will be offering a new master’s degree program devoted to both blockchain and cryptocurrencies. The degree will offer students educational courses in blockchain technology, crypto-economics, and token sourcing. The school is also claiming this degree program as the first MBA blockchain certification for any business graduate school.

Crypto Graduates Exit with Pride

An official announcement reads:

“The mission of Assist business school’s crypto MBA program is to remedy the lack of academic research and systematic education currently available in the industry, despite a high level of social interested in the blockchain and cryptocurrency.”

Assist has also stated that students interested in the degree program will be required to take specific courses dealing with bitcoin, Ethereum and EOS – three of the top five cryptocurrencies in existence today. Students will also be tested on general cryptology, deep learning, smart contracts capabilities and system dynamics mechanisms.

The crypto-economics division of the degree program will consist primarily of microeconomics, macroeconomics, theories on current financial trends, behavioral economics (to cover bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies’ price movements), game theory and mechanism designs.

Courses in management mechanisms, strategic statistics, digital marketing strategies, digital financial accounting, dApp planning, crypto funds and whitepaper composition (for students interested in creating their own altcoins or blockchain projects) must also be completed.

If anything, the degree sounds relatively demanding, though this isn’t the first university-accredited training offered on blockchain and crypto. New York University (NYU), for example, has been offering a course entitled “Law and Business of Bitcoin and Cryptocurrencies” since the fall of 2014. Students who take the course are expected to compose a 15 to 20-page term paper on a crypto-based subject of their choosing to pass the class.

Other schools are taking things even further. Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) is currently in the process of developing its own cryptocurrency. It also offers two separate blockchain courses entitled “Blockchain Fundamentals” and “Cryptocurrencies, Blockchains and Applications.”

South Korea’s Crypto History

South Korea has had something of a mixed relationship with cryptocurrencies throughout 2018. South Korea was (and still is) a major crypto and blockchain hub, accounting for nearly 25 percent of the world’s crypto transactions at one point.

Unfortunately, fundraising methods such as initial coin offerings (ICOs) are banned within the country thanks, in part, to ongoing fraudulent activity and the thieving of investor funds. The nation has also been criticized in the past for its overall lack of digital asset regulation as of late.

Is this a degree program you’d want to be a part of? Post your comments below.

This post is credited to livebitcoinnews

A 20-year-old Hong Kong University student is looking to revolutionize the crypto space.

Kenta Iwasaki says the cryptocurrency arena has stagnated in recent months, and he’s looking to do something about it. Among the projects he’s currently leading is a $50 million fundraising effort for a cryptocurrency-driven marketplace known as Perlin, based on his own unique blockchain design.

The Crypto Space Needs to Change

He comments:

“There really needs to be something new, a new flavor to what you can do with cryptocurrency. Otherwise, the technology will be wasted on basic coin exchange.”

Iwasaki has been building software since he was eight years old. He’s already established himself as an entrepreneur, selling the software he designs for thousands of dollars online each month. His latest focus, Perlin, he says will provide a new way of valuing cryptocurrencies and how companies source Cloud-based computing power.

The company is also looking to make users a little money in the process. Smartphone owners have an opportunity to lend out their computing power to developers starting crypto businesses. Users provide their phones’ power in exchange for the company’s digital asset “Perl.” Customers who lend out their power can earn anywhere between $1 to $3 in crypto every six hours. Iwasaki is looking to have roughly 50,000 phones connected to the Perlin network by the end of 2019.

Iwasaki says the advantage to Perl is that it is tied to something that never loses its value. Like stable coins, which are tied to fiat currencies like the yen, USD and the euro, Perl is hooked to computing power, which people and businesses will always need. This makes it less vulnerable to pump-and-dump schemes and volatility.

A study released by Tel Aviv University, the University of Tulsa and the University of New Mexico on December 18 suggests that nearly 5,000 individual pump-and-dump schemes took place between January and July of this year, though most of them involved relatively obscure or smaller altcoins.

But he believers Perl has its benefits:

“Even if suddenly people stopped trading, stopped using the exchange to buy and sell, it would still have a fixed value. It wouldn’t just die off as a cryptocurrency.”

Building the Business Even Further

Iwasaki is adamant that bad actors and volatility give cryptocurrencies a “bad name,” and prevent people from exhibiting trust in blockchain technology like they should.

In the future, he mentions he’d like to boost Perlin enough that it’s able to provide free internet service to residents of third-world or developing nations.

Do you see Perlin as a revolutionary venture in the crypto marketplace? Post your comments below.

This post is credited to livebitcoinnews

Meet Jane.

She lives in Alabama in the United States, and she is 21 years old. In her spare time, Jane enjoys traveling around the West Coast. This summer, after a hard year in college, she decided to travel through California.

Jane was having fun in L.A. when she suddenly started to have breathing problems. Some of the people passing by called 911, and an ambulance rushed out and took her to the hospital. By the time she arrived in the emergency room, Jane was struggling to get enough air to breath.

Soon, she was diagnosed with an acute respiratory failure, and treatment started. But the problem was that Jane couldn’t tell the doctors anything about her medical history.

Since her sole focus was to get some air, she had difficulties speaking. “Are you using any medications? Do you have any chronic disease? What allergies do you have?” None of the members of her family could tell the medical team either – they weren’t there.

Everything about her medical condition was written in her medical record, which was in her local hospital in Alabama. But the doctors here in LA didn’t have access to it. They knew nothing about her medical history.

You’ve guessed it – Jane was in quite the predicament.

I think you’ll agree with me when I say that something like this can happen to anyone, not just to Jane.

Let’s face it – healthcare today faces some serious problems. Fragmented data and lack of interoperability and secure links are just some of them. Obtaining and sharing medical records is insecure, slow, and often incomplete.

Although we are living in a digital world, today’s healthcare systems often require patients to obtain and share their medical records as physical paper copies, or they are stored within a single system. These copies may get stolen or lost. You have to keep track of every single piece of paper because you never know when someone will request it from you. And computer systems can get hacked.

Plus, there is always a security problem since patients don’t own their data, and these data can be manipulated. Try to recall some healthcare institutions you’ve visited in the past.

These institutions probably obtained access to your data so they can learn more about your medical history. Once the provider got access to your data, they remained permanently in his possession. And these are just a few problems healthcare is dealing with.

Now, the question is, can we use blockchain technology to improve healthcare system? Yes, we can.

Most of us know that blockchain technology was initially created in order to help the financial industry. Distributed ledgers should ensure that financial transactions don’t rely upon an intermediary – financial institutions like a bank, PayPal, or a credit company.

Today, most of the attention around blockchain is centered on cryptocurrencies, especially Bitcoin. But blockchain slowly started to find applications in other fields like legal, healthcare, economics, education…

More and more companies are seeing potential in blockchain technology and are implementing it in everyday technology.

In the case of the healthcare industry, blockchain can solve one of the biggest challenges in healthcare today: how to transfer patient data around the world and through different systems without compromising its security.

But wait, there is more to that.

Let’s take a look at more problems that blockchain can solve in the healthcare industry:

1. The elimination of third-party intermediary can reduce administrative costs

According to the study published in The New England Journal of Medicine, using data from 1999, about 30% of American health care expenditures were the result of administration.

Today, that would mean that out of the average of about $19,000 that US workers and their employers pay for family coverage each year, $5,700 goes toward administrative costs. These are some serious numbers.

On the other side, blockchain technology uses smart contracts in order to avoid intermediaries, in this particular case, administration. Plus, centralized data storage can bring duplication and errors. Blockchain, a decentralized network, provides immutability and transparency.

2. Keeping patient digital identity private and safe

Using a private key, patients can confirm their identity within different health organizations, and those without a key cannot identify the data. This way, patient’s data belong to the patients, not institutions.

It’s worth mentioning that in today’s healthcare industry, it’s not unusual to see duplicated patient records and incorrect or incomplete medical data.

3. Blockchain enables interoperability among providers

Interoperability (don’t make me say it again) means that different healthcare organizations can securely share patients’ medical records with one another, no matter where they’re located.

For example, let’s say you went to see a doctor at your local clinic, but you still want to ask for a second opinion. Without blockchain technology, that means you have to copy all your documents and your medical record (and you have to be careful not to forget something).

Then, you can go and see another doctor and ask for a second opinion. But with blockchain technology involved, that means that all your data are already within the network and that the other doctor can see them using your key.

This includes not only information about your current state, but also your entire medical history.

I’m sure you’ll agree that this would help our Jane from the beginning of the post.

4. Blockchain can track prescriptions to detect over prescriptions

Prescription of opioids such as fentanyl and pain relievers have become epidemic in the United States. But it’s not a problem only in the USA. Drug abuse is a worldwide epidemic, and the UN estimates that there are 29.5 million people around the world with drug use disorders.

And here is the problem: current prescription tracking systems lack the technology to track prescriptions successfully.

On the other hand, blockchain can make prescriptions traceable and safe. How? By establishing a blockchain-based network of hospitals and pharmacies to track all transactions and prescriptions.

This way, every prescription remains marked and transparent.

Despite all of the benefits that blockchain technology offers, the use of public blockchains in healthcare is still a challenge.

Is blockchain technology perfect? No, it’s not. Blockchain-based applications also face many challenges.

Is blockchain a better solution than the existing technology used in healthcare? Yes, it is. And it’s definitely worth trying.

This post is credited to dailyhodl

If you hail a taxi in downtown London, you could wind up paying for more than just your fare. Pseudonymous cab driver Dave Jenkins is known as the Crypto Cabbie because as he drives passengers around London he provides the ability to purchase BTC.

Also read: Only Five Bitcoin Mining Devices Released in 2018 Are Profitable This December

Meet the Crypto Cabbie

This London Taxi Driver Sells Cryptocurrency to PassengersThere’s a taxi driver in London who will not only give you a ride, but might also ask you if you’re interested in purchasing BTC. Dave Jenkins travels with a device that enables people to purchase bitcoins. As he explained in a recent interview, the hardware is manufactured by a company called Fastbitcoins, and allows the Crypto Cabbie to sell BTC for cash before furnishing the buyer with a receipt. Essentially, the service is a voucher system that can be redeemed for BTC after the purchase at certain locations.

Jenkins says dealing with him is much easier for customers than signing up for an exchange or using a crypto ATM in London that might require KYC identification. The Crypto Cabbie reckons he’s the first taxi driver to offer cryptocurrency purchases. “You know, you just turn up, get in the cab, hand the cash over and you’ve got your bitcoin and away you go,” Jenkins explained during his interview. The Crypto Cabbie is good friends with Danny Brewster, the creator of the U.K.-based Fastbitcoins point-of-sale (PoS) terminal company.

This London Taxi Driver Sells Cryptocurrency to Passengers

Hailing a Cab in the Digital World

According to Brewster, he sells the crypto-enabled PoS devices to retail stores and businesses worldwide and is confident of developing his business during the crypto bear market, believing it makes his company stronger. His buddy Jenkins has been accepting BTC for taxi rides since 2017 and doesn’t seem concerned by its drop in value. The Crypto Cabbie explained:

I only care about owning bitcoin itself — Bitcoin to bitcoin, satoshi to satoshi, whatever.

Jenkins noted that to hail his cab in the digital world, individuals can contact his Twitter handle and provide him with a pickup location. While being driven to their destination, passengers can purchase BTC from the taxi driver using pounds, euros, and U.S. dollars. However, Jenkins only sells BTC during his regular shift hours which are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. in London. The cabbie professes to only makes a few cents’ worth of BTC for his efforts but doesn’t sell the coins to make money. Rather, he simply enjoys getting more people into cryptocurrencies. “I don’t feel I’m going to become a millionaire out of it,” the cab driver conceded.

What do you think about Jenkins and his crypto taxi service in London? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments sections.

This post is credited to news.bitcoin

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) wants to know if it’s possible to track transactions conducted using privacy coins. This is according to a pre-solicitation document that was published on Nov. 30 by the DHS Small Business Innovation Research Program. The report also discusses the use of crypto coins like Bitcoin for transactions.

The DHS Suspects Privacy Coins Are Used For Criminal Activity

Due to their anonymous nature, the DHS suspects that privacy-focused coins are used for criminal activity. For this reason, the department is seeking to understand if it can conduct forensic analysis on transactions that involve the anonymous cryptocurrencies.

The document also discusses the use of coins like Bitcoin for transactions. Even though the report focuses on the possibility of tracing anonymous transactions, it notes that there is both commercial and government use for cryptocurrencies.

The document highlights explicitly how platforms like Monero and Zcash put emphasises on privacy and other anonymity features. Two factors that make it difficult to determine where a transaction originates from or how much has been transacted.

The document notes that while both of these features are desirable, there is a compelling desire to trace and understand any transactions and actions on the blockchain that are of an illegal nature.

An excerpt of the document reads:

“This proposal calls for solutions that enable law enforcement investigations to perform forensic analysis on blockchain transactions. This analysis can be approached in any number of ways and may consider different data situation use cases depending on whether additional data from off-chain sources are available.”

Even though the document prominently uses Monero and Zcash as examples, it also seeks a solution that will address other similar projects that will come up in the future. So any proposed solution will have to “provide working approaches to treating newer blockchain implementations.”

For now, the document states that it’s neither a Request for Proposals nor a solicitation, So the agency is not necessarily looking at any solutions for now.

However, interested parties can go ahead and contact topic authors until Dec, 18. Seeking a comment or asking technical questions.

In conclusion, the document notes that the actual solicitation is expected to be released on December 19.

This post is credited to usethebitcoin