New Bot Enables Millions to Send and Receive Cryptocurrencies on Facebook Messenger

A company is giving Facebook users a way to securely send and receive crypto through Messenger — all while keeping sensitive information private.

Lite.IM says its bot currently supports four cryptocurrencies: Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin and its own native currency, ZTX.

The company says it is “driven by a vision of what the world might look like if the founding ideals of the cryptocurrency revolution were actually realized” — a place where anyone can enjoy financial freedom irrespective of their technical skills or the region of the world where they reside.

A presence on Facebook Messenger is the latest milestone for Lite.IM. Its service was first made available through Telegram, along with old-fashioned text messages. Zulu Republic, the company behind the Lite.IM project, said that support for text messages has been essential in fulfilling its ambition, as it means “anyone with even the most basic mobile phone” can manage their crypto, with or without access the internet.

Faster than Facebook

The launch on Facebook Messenger means that Lite.IM is more ahead of the curve on crypto payments than Facebook is. Toward the end of last month, Cointelegraph reported on rumors that the social media giant was preparing to create a cryptocurrency for money transfers — geared toward users of Facebook-owned WhatsApp.

In a recent blog post, the team behind Lite.IM said: “With each new update, Lite.IM becomes more and more of a user-friendly cryptocurrency powerhouse, moving us closer and closer to widespread adoption. We’re proud to be bringing the world’s most popular cryptocurrency to the combined 2.5 billion users of Facebook and Telegram, not to mention all those who lack dependable internet access that can now manage Bitcoin via SMS messaging.”

Of course, Facebook has been in the doldrums of late amid ongoing concerns about how the data of its customers is used. Lite.IM says it has taken action to address any concerns that would-be users might have, stressing that chat records are never stored by the company. And with secure password forms and advanced private key encryption, third parties like Facebook are blocked from seeing any sensitive information that could lead to funds being compromised.

Updates on the way

Lite.IM says that “a ton of new features” are going to be released in the not-too-distant future, which will see its bots deployed on new platforms and with support for a greater number of cryptocurrencies.

In explaining its rationale for choosing social messaging as an outlet for crypto, Zulu Republic argues that such platforms are where the online world is heading — with usage, especially among younger generations, experiencing growth that far outpaces traditional social media companies.

The company believes that harnessing the widespread adoption of existing platforms can help aid the adoption of cryptocurrencies overall. Its team says that, instead of creating brand new services, greater reach and momentum can be achieved by offering compatibility with the services that people already use on a daily basis. Not only could this prove advantageous for someone who owes their friend $5 for a pizza they shared the night before, but it could prove life-changing for those who rely on remittances — offering an understandable avenue for completing remittances while dramatically reducing the fees they have to pay for a service.

Lite.IM says research shows that the typical consumer only uses about nine apps per day, meaning it is crucial to connect with them directly in the environments where they are already spending most of their time. The project says this could also address the “massive user experience problem” that the crypto world is currently experiencing.


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Author: Connor Blenkinsop
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The countdown: The top three most remarkable ICOs in 2018

When it comes to initial coin offerings (ICOs), we tend to hear many of the negatives – about how risky they can be, how projects can target easy prey using them as scams, and how they are often wildly unregulated – but they’re not all bad.

Sometimes a fantastic project just needs a little help in the money department and a coin offering is a great way to get that extra support. And sometimes that extra support comes in the form of many, many dollars worth. Here we take a look at three of the biggest token sales this year.

The DAO

The ICO sale for the DAO (Decentralized Autonomous Organisation) project brought in $152 million USD worth of ether in May 2016 and then carried with it a whole lot of scandal.

The project, set to a craft a decentralized blockchain version of a venture capital fund, hoped to offer a way in which new projects could be built on Ethereum’s blockchain.

It turns out that with great money comes great controversy, and one month after the crowd sale began, things started to unravel. It was found that there was a major compromise in the security of the DAO’s system which let in a hacker who made off with close on one-third of the sponsored funds.

After ‘the DAO hack’, as the scandal became known, the thread started to pull and things fell apart quickly from there and the project dissolved. The incident also raised an alert to the US securities and exchange commission (SEC) which declared that the sale of the DAO coins would be considered as having been issued that of a security. That means the tokens should have been subject to regulation and the endeavor sparked new ICO regulations for US based projects to consider.

It’s easy to note the negative aspects of the DAO project, but one cannot forget the success before the hack and the massive amount of money which was raised before the theft.

bancor protocol

Bancor

Hey, want a protocol which can allow you to release new ‘smart token’ cryptocurrencies easily convertible against reserve tokens? Sounds good, right? Thus enters Bancor.

The project allows that and more – the procedure is designed to lessen issues in trading such as liquidity and price discovery for newly listed tokens. Since the demand for cryptocurrencies increases so does the necessity for a user-friendly trading platform.

Held in June of last year, the ICO for a blockchain project by the company managed to pull in an impressive $153 million USD in Ether.

The prediction market project run by the exchange network allows users on the platform which hold Ethereum coins to “cut out the middleman” when exchanging them for another token listed on the network, reducing unnecessary fees.

The project’s token immediately had an initial success with a spike on its first day – hitting its highest of $4.49 USD before dipping to a low of $1.49 USD trading price.

eos

EOS

Like Bancor, EOS’s ICO was also launched in June of last year but the project has nothing else in common.

The founders developed the project with a legally composed system in mind in order to create a system which can act as a common authority for blockchain disagreements. The platform, often compared to the sought-after Ethereum network, also hopes to tackle the scalability issues seen in its “bigger”, older counterpart and alleviate the congestion we’ve all grown to know and despise.

The project has done impressively well and has attracted a significant amount of attention – and funds – from investors especially based in China, the company’s home nation.

Telegram

Bonus – Telegram

The Mac Daddy of all coin offerings entered the ring in a fashion a little different to the others.

This ICO receives a different light owing to the fact that the public token sale has not – and might not – taken place.

The company initially set an ambitious goal of $1.2 billion USD for its planned project – which will come in the form of a new blockchain dubbed the Telegram Open Network (TON) – and the company’s private token sale has just blown that figure out of the water. Currently, the coin offering (not open to public investors) has collected a staggering $1.7 billion USD in funds for the project. It gained $850 million USD in the first phase of the sale in February of last year and then managed to double that last month.

It would be unfair to hold it in the category of the top public initial coin offerings since it isn’t open to the public, but it’s a coin offering too jaw-droppingly impressive not to mention.


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Author: REBECCA LEIGHTON
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Reports Show Telegram’s Blockchain Project 70% Done

There are some reports that show that Telegram’s blockchain project is 70% done. According to several documents reported by Russian media and The Block, many aspects of the Telegram Open Network (TON) are 90% complete. Taking into account the overall project, it registers a completion rate of 70%.

Telegram Open Network 70% Complete

Telegram informed at the end of the last year that it was going to be working on a Blockchain platform and cryptocurrency. As we reported at that time, the main intention behind this platform is to build a cryptocurrency for the 80 million active users managed by the messaging app.

The report, that was leaked on Linkedin, shows that the virtual machine required to execute smart contracts on TON is ready to be deployed. In order to start the project, the company was able to raise $1.7 billion dollars in a private ICO sale.

Apparently, this Telegram Open Network could be a competitor to Ethereum for launching and executing smart contracts and other dApps. At the same time, it will be playing a key role in the market with other platforms such as EOS or Tron (TRX). Perhaps, this shows that the network is prepared to host more tokens and projects.

The report reads as follows:

“TON Network is the component required for deliver requests (e.g., pro-posted transactions) and propagating newly-generated TON Blockchain blocks through the network.”

Some things such as Overlay networks over ADNL or Broadcast protocols for overlay networks over ADNL are already 100% completed. It seems that the TON Blockchain Block Generation and Validation is the part with the slowest progress. The Validator software is 10% complete and the Fundamental and sample smart contracts are 10% complete.

Nevertheless, the report does not provide any information related to when the network will be already live. It is possible to see a new update or a beta version of the network before the end of the second quarter in 2019.

Earlier this year, a company called Telegram Open Network Limited was registered in Britain. It called the attention of investors because it was registered under the name Pavel Durov, the founder of the messaging application.

The intention behind this fake registration was to divert funds away from the original Initial Coin Offering. Later on Twitter, the official Telegram Messenger account warned that Pavel Durov did not register any company. At that time, Telegram called this registration a ‘prank or scam.’


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Author: Carlos Terenzi
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Telegram to Debut ‘Test Version’ of Blockchain Platform TON ‘This Autumn,’ Say Investors

Encrypted messenger service Telegram will release a test version of its blockchain-based TON platform “this autumn,” Russian media outlet Vedomosti reports Tuesday, Oct. 16.

Speaking to the publication, investors “confirmed” the authenticity of a circular sent to participants in TON’s Initial Coin Offering (ICO) at the start of September.

In the circular, the company said that the platform’s blockchain component was currently under development, with “70 percent” of the product already finished, the publication claims.

Once in operation, TON will also make use of its in-house cryptocurrency, Gram, and will form a “new way of exchanging data.”

Telegram attracted considerable attention earlier this year when it raised almost $1.8 billion in investments for TON and its current messenger app via two private ICO presales.

Following the success of the fundraising, in May executives subsequently cancelled the planned public phase of the ICO.

At the time, Russian media also speculated that authorities’ attempts to block access to Telegram altogether for the country’s residents was a result of the ICO and plans to release Gram, rather than the official explanation that the service flouted data sharing laws.

CEO Pavel Durov declined to comment when asked by Vedomosti to confirm the TON release timeframe.


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Author: William Suberg
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Bettergram Aims to Become the Crypto Version of Telegram

The Mac build of Bettergram, a desktop version of Telegram, was launched this week. It joins the PC build of the third-party desktop client, and will soon be accompanied by mobile editions. Designed specifically for the crypto community, Bettergram boasts several modifications to Telegram including a built-in cryptocurrency price checker.

 

LIONBIT

Bettergram is Telegram With Bells On

For the past year or so, Telegram has served as the crypto community’s preferred hangout. It’s the hub through which the bulk of the ICO and trading groups flow, and a pivotal part of the cryptocurrency landscape. For all its flaws – frequent downtime; inability to temporarily disable noisy groups; limited customization – Telegram is still the best platform for group conversations. While there are alternative platforms, to date these have failed to match Telegram’s all-round versatility and network effect.

Bettergram is essentially a fork of the Telegram client. It retains the functionality of the desktop client but overcomes some of the niggles users have with Telegram, which has been slow to respond to requests for new features. In particular, users have long expressed a desire to be able to pin more chats, which Telegram caps at five. With Bettergram, up to 50 chats can be pinned and there are four tabs to help filter conversations: favorites, DMs, groups, and announcements. Uploaded images are displayed in-line, rather than as a file, as is the case with Telegram for desktop.

TIP

Bettergram Adds Built-In Cryptocurrency Prices

Perhaps the most useful feature that comes with Bettergram is the ability to view current prices for the cryptocurrency top 10. This can be accessed by clicking on the emoji button in the bottom right of a chat, which opens to reveal four tabs: prices, emoji,tickers, and GIFs. The data comes from Live Coin Watch, and while it is not customizable and is limited in scope, it’s fine for providing a quick market snapshot.

As an open source project, Bettergram’s source code can be inspected and has been independently audited. Nevertheless, users should always be careful when installing third party software, especially when storing cryptocurrency wallets and other sensitive data on the same desktop device. As a precautionary measure, some cryptocurrency holders prefer to keep their crypto on an airgapped or separate device, be it mobile or desktop, that isn’t used for social networking.

Compared to desktop software such as Chrome and Station, Bettergram’s Mac client doesn’t make excessive demands on RAM or CPU. As such, it’s a viable alternative for heavy Telegram users who desire more customization and the ability to check prices on the fly.


Here at Dollar Destruction, we endeavour to bring to you the latest, most important news from around the globe. We scan the web looking for the most valuable content and dish it right up for you! The content of this article was provided by the source referenced. Dollar Destruction does not endorse and is not responsible for or liable for any content, accuracy, quality, advertising, products or other materials on this page. As always, we encourage you to perform your own research!

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Author: Kai Sedgwick 
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Cryptographic Experts Reveal Security Issues in Telegram Passport

Virgil Security, Inc., a cryptographic services provider, has published a report which raises concerns regarding the security of Telegram Passport.

Telegram Passport is the latest feature introduced by the messaging app last month. It allows users to upload personal identification documents such as passports, identity cards, and drivers licenses to be stored in the Telegram cloud. These documents are encrypted so that users can verify their identities on third-party services without exposing their personal data.

Virgil, however, thinks that this feature is not secure at all.

LIONBIT

Firstly, Telegram uses Secure Hashing Algorithm 2 (SHA-512), which is cryptographically weak. Virgil explains that in order to secure passwords, it should take a hacker more time to guess each password.

“It’s 2018 and one top-level GPU can brute-force check about 1.5 billion SHA-512 hashes per second.”

Salting is a way to include random data in a password; , however, even that won’t help in SHA-512’s case. Only a strong password will keep a users’ account safe from brute force attacks.

Virgil added that employment services website LinkedIn was hacked in 2012 since it used SHA-2’s predecessor, SHA-1. The attack exposed the passwords of 8 million LinkedIn users. Next year, online marketplace LivingSocial, which also used SHA-1, lost 50 million passwords in a similar attack. Hence, it is surprising that Telegram decided to use such a weak password protection system.

Secondly, Telegram claims that it encrypts user data and then sends it to the cloud. The data is then decrypted and re-encrypted to confirm the user’s identity on the third-party service. The data obtained is not completely random and uses SHA-2 once again. In addition to that, the app doesn’t include the option of a digital signature, and “the absence of digital signature allows your data to be modified without you or the recipient being able to tell.”

On its official blog post, Telegram wrote that the service was end-to-end encrypted and used a password only the user knew. However, this research show that the loopholes present in the codes makes the user vulnerable to hackers. Some of the alternatives provided by Virgil include SCrypt, BCrypt, Argon2, BrainKey and Pythia.

In August 2016, hackers exposed the phone numbers of 15 million Iranian Telegram users. Back then, a user authentication system that used SMS to complete the process resulted in the attack. Since Passport holds sensitive information, it may already be targeted by hackers. It is now up to Telegram to handle the situation and improve the security of this “high profile product”.


Here at Dollar Destruction, we endeavour to bring to you the latest, most important news from around the globe. We scan the web looking for the most valuable content and dish it right up for you! The content of this article was provided by the source referenced. Dollar Destruction does not endorse and is not responsible for or liable for any content, accuracy, quality, advertising, products or other materials on this page. As always, we encourage you to perform your own research!

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Author: Habiba Tahir
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The Wait for Grams: Why Telegram Might Just Cancel Its Public ICO

The average crypto enthusiast isn’t likely to get their hands on grams – Telegram’s crypto token – anytime soon.

While half of the ambitious $1.2 billion the messaging giant hoped to raise was supposed to come from an ICO open to public investors, recent SEC filings confirm Telegram has already raised $1.7 billion from two private sales. Now, sources with knowledge of the deal believe the company is likely to scrap its public sale altogether.

The reason? Raising money from the public could be way more trouble than it’s worth.
For one, Telegram’s blockchain, called the Telegram Open Network (TON), hasn’t been built yet. (To be clear, no one has received any grams.) As such, Telegram is selling what basically amounts to IOUs for future grams under the Simple Agreement for Future Tokens (SAFT) framework.

That means – as displayed by the company’s SEC filings – the company is selling a security, which cannot be sold to non-accredited investors (except under some exemptions).

“The regulatory environment is in a weird place with most teams having more questions than answers,” said Anthony Pompliano, a general partner at Morgan Creek Capital Blockchain. “If teams can raise their capital goals in private sales, they’ll continue to do so until there is less ambiguity in regulations.”

This appears to be what Telegram is doing, although it’s been tough to tell exactly what the founders are thinking since they’ve said nothing about the ICO or TON, both of which the white paper details will help facilitate a network of faster payments, file-sharing, decentralized privacy, domain registration and more.

Tech first

This is especially cogent as it relates to the amount of work a legal public sale would entail.
For one, Telegram would have to go through a know-your-customer and anti-money laundering verification process to be able to sell to everyday investors.

For private, known investors that have been identified plenty of times for investment purposes, the verification work is less cumbersome, but for a store cashier who is investing for the first time, it’s more challenging to prove they are who they say they are. And it just has to do it so many more times. This would be no small lift and may not be attractive to a company that already has plenty of money.

Plus, there’s already a secondary market for grams whereby small investors are buying the crypto tokens from whales that got into the private sales, according to Alexander Borodich, an alum of the Mail.ru Group, one of Russia’s largest tech companies, and an angel investor passed on the opportunity to invest in Telegram’s ICO.

As such, he said it’s unclear whether a legit public sale will happen.
The TON technical white paper describes an ongoing token sale that will continue intermittently well into the future. That phase may be a sort of public sale, but one that won’t begin until the protocol launches.
And according to Sid Kalla of the Turing Advisory Group, building the product before selling to the public would be that smart thing for Telegram to do.

Public opinion

Which is another reason Telegram may discard it’s public sale for some time – so it doesn’t have to deal with thousands of people’s unsolicited opinions.

When a company decides to do a public sale, it introduces complexity into its public relations.

That’s why large, publicly traded companies devote whole departments to investor relations, said Stephen Palley of the law firm Anderson Kill. And that’s something young start-up’s may not have bandwidth to manage, he said.

“In this twilight world of ICO crowdfunding, you have a company that’s brand new, it’s a start up … You suddenly have thousands — tens of thousands — of people who feel like they are stakeholders,” Palley continued, adding:

“Do you really want to manage all those people?”

While Telegram is five years old, it’s still a relatively small company that’s so far bootstrapped development of its messaging platform from the founders’ own pockets, which suggests it doesn’t have experience in investor relations.

Kalla agreed, telling CoinDesk, “Since Telegram is trying to solve several hard technological problems (like sharding, say) there may be inevitable delays and setbacks. The private investors are likely more used to such things than the public at large.”

As much as possible

That said, not everyone agrees that Telegram will scrap its public sale so soon.
“I see no motivation for Telegram to call off their public sale,” Joe DiPasquale, CEO of the crypto fund-of-funds BitBull Capital, wrote CoinDesk via a spokesperson. “They seem dead set on raising as much capital as possible … Considering they’re targeting the mass adoption of their user base, I can’t imagine them estranging the masses by cancelling the public sale.”

Although, it would help if Telegram offered some insight into when and where this sale would be launched, since crypto enthusiasts keep getting bilked out of money by Telegram-focused phishing attacks.

DiPasquale’s sentiment isn’t the prevailing one, though.

Even if Telegram needs more money to build, it doesn’t seem like it’s having trouble soliciting from experienced investors through private sales.

Borodich for one predicts that Telegram will raise more money – to boost the total to $2.5 billion – through another private sale before the end of the year. Another source concurred.
Having said that, because there’s been a pullback in the cryptocurrency hype, Kalla said, investors would likely want a lower price point for allocations of grams.
And as such, he said:

“The only reason I see a public token sale making sense if there is investor demand or pressure or any contractual obligation for liquidity.”


 

Here at Dollar Destruction, we endeavour to bring to you the latest, most important news from around the globe. We scan the web looking for the most valuable content and dish it right up for you! The content of this article was provided by the source referenced. Dollar Destruction does not endorse and is not responsible for or liable for any content, accuracy, quality, advertising, products or other materials on this page. As always, we encourage you to perform your own research!

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Author Brady Dale

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