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Denial of Electricity Service Could Become Next Geopolitical Weapon

With electricity expected to account for a large share of the world’s energy use by 2050, the stakes are high. Denial of Electricity Service Could Become Next Geopolitical Weapon

Forty-eight years ago, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) unsheathed an energy weapon in the form of an oil embargo, causing shortages in the U.S. and elsewhere that affected global politics and economies long afterward.

Now, as the world increasingly moves to electricity to power everything from communications to transportation to industry, it could be that denial of electricity service becomes the next energy weapon.

We’ve already had a glimpse of what modern geopolitical conflict in an increasingly electrified world might look like. In late 2015, hackers breached the information systems of a Ukrainian electricity distribution company and remotely switched off 30 substations, leaving several hundred thousand people without power for several hours.

The incident grabbed headlines only briefly but was touted as the first known cyber hack against electricity assets. Following a similar attack in Kyiv in 2016, then-Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko accused Russia of waging a cyberwar against Ukraine.

With more than half of world energy use expected to come from electricity by 2050, according to the International Renewable Energy Agency, denial of electricity service has the potential to be a potent weapon. Smart devices and the Internet of Things—which refers to physical objects embedded with sensors and software that can exchange data with each other and other systems over the internet, often to take autonomous actions—expand the surface area for hackers to attack.

A particularly worrisome area are supervisory control and data acquisition software systems, known as Scada systems, that are increasingly being used to remotely monitor and control industrial infrastructure, including electrical networks. A hack into such systems could be extremely dangerous.

As the ransomware attack on the pivotal Colonial Pipeline that transports refined products along the U.S. Eastern Seaboard highlighted earlier this month, nations will have to focus more intently on how to keep cyber intruders out of their energy infrastructure. One way will be to beef up investment in technologies and expertise to reduce vulnerability to attack.

But a key danger is that without diplomatic effort at a detente regarding the use of cyber tools against civilian populations, countries could engage in a sort of hacking arms race, betting that the ability to retaliate in kind might thwart a denial-of-electricity attack from happening in the first place.

In the 1970s, then-U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger suggested an alliance of U.S. allies develop a large strategic oil stockpile to prevent the use of denial of oil shipments as a geopolitical lever. The effort was successful in curbing petro-power. Countries may have to rethink how to mimic that effect in a world of electrification.

In the case of the U.S., one option might be for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to store equipment to build micro- and mini-grids of solar and battery storage, enabling them to respond quickly to provide backup services for critical infrastructure in the event of an attack.

Tesla was able to do something like that in Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria when it installed equipment to restore power for a critical hospital facility on the island. Another option would be to mothball retired fossil-fuel generation in a way that would allow it to be brought back online as reserve power in the event of a hack on operating generation.

Silicon Valley increasingly is looking to build close-looped renewable-energy systems ​that can be cordoned off from the electricity grid ​in times of disruption, to​ ensure services that power its energy-hungry data centers​ don’t get cut off. That might become a new standard for certain kinds of businesses. Already, some grocers in climate sensitive regions such as Houston are following suit.

Like the oil weapon, the electricity weapon will work only if governments and companies are unprepared. As we move to the digital age, having the ability to protect your power (pun intended) will be the new currency of state supremacy.

Updated: 6-7-2021

Ford Has Seen The Future of Home Charging—And It’s Bi-Directional

WHEN I LOOK at the 2022 Ford F-150 Lightning, I see infrastructure. Some versions of the all-electric F-150 pickup will be able to export up to 9.6 kW of electricity to owners’ homes during service interruptions—enough to last three days, on average, says Ford. To do so, the truck needs to be connected to the Ford Charge Station Pro, an 80-amp device that supports bi-directional charging.

There it is: Bi-directional charging—technology that allows battery-electric vehicles to supply power to the home and, further upstream, to the grid—has the potential to transform the way Americans consume, share, generate and move by electricity, while saving billions in public money.

The utilities crisis in Texas and the wildfires in northern California illustrate a common vulnerability of current infrastructure: Power generation facilities are remote from population centers they serve, relying on thousands of miles of transmission lines and substations, down to the last dismal mile of transformers on wooden poles.

Bi-directional charging addresses these vulnerabilities on three time scales: First and most immediately in the interests of consumers, the technology could help prevent loss of life in weather crises or national disasters. Plugged into the Charge Station Pro device, the F-150 Lightning would act like a Tesla Powerwall on wheels.

Tesla cars do not, as yet, support bi-directional charging—after all, that’s what the Powerwalls are for. But as the national rolling stock transitions to electrification, the wisdom of Ford’s approach will become self-evident. It will make no sense for houses to be dark while days’ worth of electrical power are just sitting in the driveway.

As V2G technology matures, it will be possible for large numbers of BEVs to provide cloudlike energy storage, charging up earlier in the day and surging power during the so-called “duck curve” of demand (5-9 p.m., local), when electrical equipment is most stressed.

V2G-enabled BEVs could also improve resiliency by fostering microgrids—local service areas with some percentage of their own generation, storage and distribution. The state of California is requiring utilities to increase energy storage systems, such as battery farms, at a cost of several billion over the next decade.

But maybe Ford has a better idea?

Updated: 7-12-2021

Cyberattacks And Ransomware: How Can We Protect Our Energy Infrastructure?

The ransomware attack that brought down the Colonial Pipeline highlighted the industry’s vulnerability. We asked experts to weigh in on how the U.S. can bolster its defenses.

A ransomware attack forced the largest U.S. fuel pipeline to shut down for six days in May and led to gasoline shortages across several Southeastern states. In its wake, U.S. officials have sought to bolster the defenses of an industry that for years has had fewer cybersecurity rules compared with other critical infrastructure sectors.

The Transportation Security Administration, which has regulatory authority over pipeline cybersecurity, recently issued a directive that would require pipelines to quickly report attacks to a cybersecurity division of the Department of Homeland Security. The Biden administration also has ordered agencies to improve their efforts to detect attacks and to strengthen their partnerships with private industries, and several cybersecurity-related bills are moving through Congress.

Meanwhile, Joseph Blount, chief executive of Colonial Pipeline Co., the target of the May attack, has defended his decision to pay ransom of $4.4 million in cryptocurrency to the attack’s perpetrators, saying he needed every tool at his disposal to restore the 5,500-mile pipeline’s systems.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation for years has advised companies not to pay when hit with ransomware, a type of code that takes computer systems hostage for payment, because it supports a booming criminal marketplace. The Justice Department said last month it recovered about $2.3 million worth of the cryptocurrency.

The attack on Colonial Pipeline showed the vulnerability of the nation’s vast energy infrastructure and has spurred debate over how the U.S. and the oil-and-gas industry can better protect critical infrastructure against assaults.

The Wall Street Journal spoke with three experts in oil-and-gas cybersecurity about how companies, regulators and policy makers can advance the security of the nation’s energy infrastructure. Jim Guinn is global managing director for cybersecurity in energy, chemicals, utilities and mining at Accenture Security.

Suzanne Lemieux is manager for operations security and emergency-response policy for the energy trade group American Petroleum Institute. Chris Bronk is associate professor of computer information systems and information system security at the University of Houston. Here are edited excerpts of the conversation:

WSJ: How can companies and the government make the energy industry more resilient against cyberattacks?

MS. LEMIEUX: We need to have a better information-sharing process from government agencies to private companies. There’s a lot of intelligence coming through right now that just doesn’t make its way to private-sector operators who need it to make better defenses for their systems.

We’ve seen a security directive from TSA that requires incident reporting. We want to make sure there’s a process in place on the government side to anonymize and share that information back with the sector so that we know what the current threats are. It takes months to declassify things. We need to really improve how they’re postured to share with the private sector.

MR. BRONK: There’s been a real mania about cyber intelligence, and a lot of emphasis on information sharing. But the fundamental issue is getting the intelligence community to move information around. Declassifying intelligence and rapidly kicking it out to entities that don’t have the capacity to process classified information is just impossible.

It’s not going to get better. When the Ukraine power-grid hack happened in 2015, we waited months for Homeland Security to give us a finalized assessment, and it was essentially something that other smart people had put together long before.

If an industry wants to protect itself, it’s going to have to adopt an industrial-related set of activities. This has to be the kind of event that an organization prepares for regularly, that it drills on.

WSJ: For oil-and-gas pipelines, there’s no equivalent to the North American Electric Reliability Corp., or NERC, which regulates parts of the utilities sector’s cybersecurity and imposes fines on companies that do not meet certain standards. Should the U.S. government create a similar body to ensure oil and gas companies have minimum standards?

MS. LEMIEUX: The oil-and-gas industry is very different for many reasons from the electric sector. The utilities don’t have the antitrust issues and the competitive markets that we have in the oil-and-gas industry.

There’s a very long supply chain in oil and gas, a lot of different company structures, from individual owner operators to integrated companies, and lots of complexity that we see as much more difficult to cover with one standard or one regulation. We would not want to see a monolithic approach to this, because it just wouldn’t work.

TSA does have regulatory authority to regulate pipeline cybersecurity. They have chosen in the past to do it through guidelines, which the industry worked on with them. We’re hearing that the TSA is going to issue a second directive, and that some of these directives will have fines if you’re found in violation.

There’s a misconception that operators won’t take steps to protect against cyber threats unless they are mandated to by regulators. That overlooks the fact that companies across all industries have a business incentive to protect their data and operations from malicious actors.

MR. BRONK: The TSA directive is not a radical piece of regulation. It basically says, consult with the federal government. When you look at the grand struggle for having capacity to do cybersecurity in the federal government, TSA is just really far down the ladder. The question is whether it will create something that looks a lot like NERC’s critical-infrastructure-protection plan.

That’s up to Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, who is focused on infrastructure renewal. There aren’t teeth there. But with each of these incidents, the capacity for rule-making and regulation will increase.

The industry has had an incredible aversion to regulation. The oil-and-gas industry was born out of the breakup of Standard Oil. Government changed the industry radically and I think that probably left a deep mark on the culture of the companies that were the successors to Standard Oil.

MR. GUINN: There need to be standards that we adhere to, for the minimum security control. Everybody should have a baseline. If you achieve resilience beyond that, you should be incentivized for it, not penalized. If this turns into an audit exercise, you will be less successful.

WSJ: What else can U.S. agencies do to improve public policy on energy cybersecurity?

MR. GUINN: An integrated energy company can deal with wind, solar, oil and gas, refining, pipelines, trains and terminals. If you look at all of that, how many different agencies are you having to respond to if you have a material situation? The Department of Energy, Homeland Security, the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, the Coast Guard.

There are so many that there is confusion. Every dollar you spend on coordination across all those agencies is $1 you could have spent to become more cyber resilient. I would love to see there be just one entity that can help the energy industry.

WSJ: Why are ransomware attacks against the energy industry increasing?

MR. GUINN: Because many organizations are paying the ransoms. Our threat-intelligence team’s report on the energy industry, meaning everything outside of utilities, found that when you compare the full year 2020 to the first five months of 2021, there was a 42% increase in publicly known ransomware attacks against energy companies. It went from 19 last year to 27 from January to May.

We have energy moving from 10th-most-targeted industry last year to No. 4 this year. Once an industry starts paying, attacks increase. In the year since the pandemic started, in March 2020, we saw eight out of 10 operational technology cybersecurity programs canceled, reduced or deferred. They know they have to have cyber resilience. But when commodity prices get so distressed, so fast, you have to make a business decision about what spending you could stop. That’s a perfect storm.

Denial of Electricity Service Could Become Next Geopolitical Weapon

WSJ: What’s your stance on whether companies should or should not pay the ransoms?

MR. BRONK: Many of these ransoms are a rounding error for companies. It’s like that Austin Powers scene where Dr. Evil says “we’re going to hold the world ransom for $1 million,” and everyone is like, that’s not very much money. The ransomers are going where the payouts are. And these ransomers have gotten pretty businesslike. The outcome of paying the ransom and getting the keys to unlock your stuff has gotten a lot better. But still, every ransom that gets paid is legitimizing this illegal business activity.

MR. GUINN: When you’re dealing with critical infrastructure, every business needs to make the determination if they would pay. When you ask energy companies, do you have a cyber incident response plan, the answer is usually yes. But do you have a strategy and business imperatives laid out for what will trigger you to pay? Most say no.

You don’t want to be faced with that decision in the throes of an actual event. You need to tabletop it. You need to exercise it. You need to debate it internally. You need to be able to figure out what your protocols would be to determine whether you would or would not pay.

Updated: 9-17-2021

U.S. To Target Crypto Ransomware Payments With Sanctions

Biden administration hopes to disrupt digital finance infrastructure that facilitates ransomware cyberattacks, a threat traced to Russia.

The Biden administration is preparing an array of actions, including sanctions, to make it harder for hackers to use digital currency to profit from ransomware attacks, according to people familiar with the matter.

The government hopes to choke off access to a form of payment that has supported a booming criminal industry and a rising national security threat.

The Treasury Department plans to impose the sanctions as soon as next week, the people said, and will issue fresh guidance to businesses on the risks associated with facilitating ransomware payments, including fines and other penalties.

Later this year, expected new anti-money-laundering and terror-finance rules will seek to limit the use of cryptocurrency as a payment mechanism in ransomware attacks and other illicit activities.

The actions collectively would represent the most significant attempt yet by the Biden administration to undercut the digital finance ecosystem of traders, exchanges and other elements that cybersecurity experts say has allowed debilitating ransomware attacks to flourish in recent years.

Senior officials have said ransomware attacks this year have grown more severe than ever and represent a serious threat to critical infrastructure, including power operators, hospitals and banks.

The Treasury Department declined to comment and the people familiar with the matter declined to specify the targets of sanctions. But to effectively disrupt illicit crypto transactions, Treasury would need to target the digital wallets that receive ransom transactions, the crypto platforms that help exchange one set of blockchain coins for another to obscure the culprits and the people that own or manage those operations, according to analysts who specialize in such transactions.

The sanctions are expected to single out specific targets, rather than blacklist the entire crypto infrastructure where ransomware transactions are suspected of taking place. Nonetheless, the action will be intended to deter others from continuing their activities.

The administration scrambled to tackle the issue after high-profile attacks in the spring, all traced back to criminal groups believed to reside in Russia. Those attacks prompted the shutdown of a major U.S. fuel pipeline, disrupted a top meat supplier and infected scores of smaller and midsize organizations. Hacker payment demands have grown steadily larger and now routinely can reach into the millions or tens of millions of dollars.

With hackers demanding payments largely denominated in cryptocurrencies, the attacks have sparked debate between fintech proponents and policy makers over how to protect the market against criminals, terrorists and other bad actors without smothering its growth or creating long-term national security problems.

To help shape the market, lawmakers and regulators are crafting new rules, including new Treasury Department reporting requirements for international cryptocurrency transactions and for transactions that are conducted outside of central exchanges. The rules are aimed at enhancing transparency, which some security officials argue will deter transactions by individuals who want their illicit activities to stay hidden.

Treasury and other regulating agencies also have been levying penalties and sanctions against individuals and companies facilitating illicit finance through the crypto markets as a warning to others. A warning in October 2020 by Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control cautioned victims of attacks and those acting on behalf of victims against making ransomware payments, saying they could violate U.S. laws.

More recently, the Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency issued similar warnings. “Paying a ransom may embolden adversaries to target additional organizations, encourage other criminal actors to engage in the distribution of ransomware, and/or may fund illicit activities,” CISA said in an advisory in late August.

Sanctioning a cryptocurrency exchange that handled ransomware payments, for example, couldn’t only disrupt that firm’s ability to do business, but also spook other cryptocurrency platforms into avoiding such transactions or bolstering their compliance programs.

Ari Redbord, a former senior Treasury security official, said the Biden administration has so far worked with the private sector to harden cyber defenses as bad actors have taken advantage of the speed and cross-border reach of cryptocurrency. “An action of this kind would be an aggressive, proactive approach to going after those who facilitate ransomware payments,” he said, referring to the expected sanctions.

Any sanctions levied by the administration would “most likely be designed to go after those illicit actors themselves, not cryptocurrency or the technology itself, which is simply the payment mechanism,” said Mr. Redbord, now head of legal and government affairs at the blockchain intelligence firm, TRM Labs.

The administration has focused enforcement efforts on the primary sources of the attacks, which both private sector and government analysts say are in Russia and former Soviet satellite nations where Moscow exerts strong political influence.

Crypto analytics firm Chainalysis said the digital paper trail of blockchain transactions associated with ransomware payments shows most were paid into accounts in the former Soviet Union states of Eastern Europe.

The Biden administration also has been seeking to internationalize the struggle against ransomware. That collaboration follows from a vow late last year by the leaders from the Group of Seven wealthiest democracies to collectively act against ransomware, citing the crypto payments in particular.

Though many U.S. officials, including President Biden, have said the Kremlin may not be directly involved in ransomware campaigns, they blame Russian President Vladimir Putin for allowing those groups to permissively operate within his country.

“There is no indication that the Russian government has taken action to crack down on ransomware actors.”
— Paul Abbate, FBI Deputy Director

At a meeting between the two leaders in July, Mr. Biden warned that he would take “any action necessary” to defend the U.S. against ransomware emanating from within Russia’s borders.

The summit was followed by bilateral talks between senior U.S. and Russian officials, But those negotiations have yielded little progress, senior administration officials say.

“There is no indication that the Russian government has taken action to crack down on ransomware actors that are operating in the permissive environment they have created there,” FBI Deputy Director Paul Abbate said Tuesday at an intelligence conference.

Treasury in late 2019 tied Russian intelligence to a company, Evil Corp., that private-sector analysts have since tagged as the creator of two major ransomware programs. Treasury officials said Evil Corp.’s leader, Maksim Yakubets, worked for Russia’s premier intelligence service, the Federal Security Bureau. Mr. Yakubets couldn’t be reached to comment.

The cybersecurity firm CrowdStrike Inc. in March said a wealth of digital evidence suggests the Evil Corp group, now known as Indrick Spider, is responsible for developing the WastedLocker and Hades ransomware programs.

Former U.S. security officials say one of the pieces of evidence suggesting Russian government involvement is code within the programs that prevents them being used on operating systems located in Russia and the former Soviet Union states.

Analysts say that by blacklisting key financial interlocutors in the region, the administration wouldn’t only lock targets out of the Western financial system, but also be signaling its frustration at Moscow and warning others face the same fate if they continue to handle such transactions.

Updated: 9-8-2021

Why Hackers Love Smart Buildings

When all of a building’s systems are online, the cybersecurity risks become much greater.

Buildings are getting smarter, and that opens them up to a host of new cybersecurity risks.

In recent years, building managers increasingly have relied on internet connections and computer networks to manage pretty much any part of a building you can think of—including elevators and escalators; ventilation, heating and air conditioning systems; office machines like printers and conference-room audiovisual equipment; security and fire-safety systems; and appliances like refrigerators and coffee makers.

These smart technologies can make buildings more efficient and monitor maintenance and repair needs, allowing building operators to address problems proactively, rather than fixing malfunctions as they occur. During the pandemic, they have made it easier to monitor airflow and people’s movements within buildings.

Smart buildings “satisfy a lot of things that we’re trying to do in real estate,” says Jason Lund, a managing director at commercial real-estate services company Jones Lang LaSalle. He says, among other things, it allows building managers to create more-sustainable and greener buildings, deal with Covid risks more effectively, and maximize space more efficiently.

“All of those things being managed technologically is a good thing,” Mr. Lund says. “The backside of it is that all of them become hackable.”

The problem isn’t just that hackers can gain access to any one building-management system. The real danger is if they are able to gain access to a single system—say, lighting—and then find their way from there into many or all of the building’s other systems, whether those systems are linked to a common network or not.

“They can control lights, they can control air flow, they can control the elevators—anything that you can think that a building does can be exposed,” says Fred Gordy, director of cybersecurity at Intelligent Buildings, a smart-building consulting and advisory firm. “We had a particular case where it was a hospital group” whose systems were attacked for a ransom, he says, “and they were unable to do anything with the systems, so they had to cancel surgeries [and] send people away.”

Mr. Gordy says the number of ransomware attacks on the firm’s clients grew 600% in 2020. In 2019, he says, “our customers that were attacked represented 100 million square feet in commercial real estate. In 2020, our customers that were attacked represented 1.8 billion square feet of commercial real estate.”

What’s more, hackers who infiltrate building-management systems might also be able to work their way into a company’s corporate communications and databases, where they can loot the company’s proprietary information or hold it for ransom.

Getting In And Around

So how does all this happen? One way hackers commonly gain initial access is to steal the login credentials—or obtain the stolen credentials from a third party—that a vendor uses to upload invoices to the building manager’s billing system, says Mr. Lund.

Once they’ve gained access to a billing system, or gotten into the building manager’s computer system through any other internet-connected point, hackers have many ways of broadening their access.

One of the most common is to use whatever information they have found to create convincing phishing emails that prompt employees or other vendors to reveal login and password information for other systems.

One way to cut down on that risk is to link all the various building services to a single network that can be monitored and controlled by cybersecurity experts, says Adam Stark, senior technology consultant for smart buildings and smart workplaces at JLL. But that network—and everything on it—remains vulnerable if it isn’t sufficiently protected.

Hackers can move around a network like this by taking advantage of weak safeguards in place for the various systems and devices connected to the network, says Ron Cirillo, vice president of cybersecurity and service excellence at Oxford Properties Group.

“There’s a lot of very lazy work that went into designing authentication methods and identity-management methods” at many buildings, he says, citing weak passwords as one example, particularly for what might be considered relatively unimportant devices whose vulnerability to hackers might be overlooked.

“It has been my experience that operators do not tend to think of these smart devices—your coffee maker, for example—in the same way that they would think of a server or desktop computer,” Mr. Cirillo says. “As such, they will often neglect to change a factory default password, or if they do change it, they will often assign poor passwords and/or assign all devices the same password to keep it simple.”

Systems that are clearly essential also often aren’t well protected, he says, and so are easy prey for a hacker who has broken into a network.

For instance, a hacker using the guest Wi-Fi in a shopping mall could find a building-management system on the same network, and “if that building-management system is using a factory default password, you could Google the password and you could sit in a mall food court and take over the air conditioning or the lighting,” he says.
Setting up barriers

Cybersecurity experts cite what they call network segmentation as crucial to keeping hackers from running amok once they’ve gained access to a computer network. Segmentation simply means building barriers into a network so that someone who has access to one system can’t easily gain access to other systems on the network.

“We logically segment every system, so in other words that if you are the air-conditioning vendor you can log into the air conditioner using our privileged access-management system, but you’re not able to route to, say, the lighting system, or the overall building-management system,” says Mr. Cirillo.

“The challenge is that putting that kind of network segmentation in place requires hiring skilled network engineers, and it requires time and effort,” he says.

Requiring multifactor authentication for anyone to access any part of the network is another basic step that goes a long way toward thwarting attacks and keeping them from spreading, the experts say.

But, of course, even with the most conscientious controls in place, no system is invulnerable. A breach is always possible “because the human-being side of it is one of the hardest to monitor,” says Mr. Lund, pointing to the risks from phishing emails, stolen user credentials and uncancelled login access for departed employees.

Updated: 9-16-2021

Bitcoin Ledger As A Secret Weapon In War Against Ransomware

“While it may at first seem like cryptocurrency enables ransomware, cryptocurrency is actually instrumental in fighting it.”

Ransomware, malicious software that encrypts computers and keeps them “locked” until a ransom is paid, is the world’s fastest-growing cyber threat, according to Coinfirm.

Recent attacks on critical national infrastructure, like the Colonial Pipeline incursion that crippled oil and gas deliveries for a week along the U.S. East Coast, have set off alarms. Ransom payments are almost always made in Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies.

But while many were shaken by May’s Colonial Pipeline attack — the Biden administration issued new pipeline regulations in its aftermath — relatively few are aware of that drama’s final act: Using blockchain analysis, the FBI was was able to follow the ransom payments fund flow and recover about 85% of the Bitcoin paid to ransomware group DarkSide.

In fact, blockchain analysis, which can be further enhanced with machine learning algorithms, is a promising new technique in the battle against ransomware. It takes some of crypto’s core attributes — e.g., decentralization and transparency — and uses those properties against malware miscreants.

While crypto’s detractors tend to emphasize its pseudonymity — and attractiveness to criminal elements for that reason — they tend to overlook the relative visibility of BTC transactions.

The Bitcoin ledger is updated and distributed to tens of thousands of computers globally in real time each day, and its transactions are there for all to see. By analyzing flows, forensic specialists can often identify suspicious activity. This could prove to be the Achilles’ heel of the ransomware racket.

An Underused Means

“The blockchain ledger on which Bitcoin transactions are recorded is an underutilized forensic tool that can be used by law enforcement agencies and others to identify and disrupt illicit activities,” Michael Morrell, former acting director of the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency, declared in a recent blog, adding:

“Put simply, blockchain analysis is a highly effective crime fighting and intelligence gathering tool.[…] One expert on the cryptocurrency ecosystem called blockchain technology a ‘boon for surveillance.’”

Along these lines, three Columbia University researchers recently published a paper, “Identifying Ransomware Actors in the Bitcoin Network,” describing how they were able to use graph machine learning algorithms and blockchain analysis to identify ransomware attackers with “85% prediction accuracy on the test data set.”

Those on the frontlines of the ransomware struggle see promise in blockchain analysis. “While it may at first seem like cryptocurrency enables ransomware, cryptocurrency is actually instrumental in fighting it,” Gurvais Grigg, global public sector chief technology officer at Chainalysis, tells Magazine, adding:

“With the right tools, law enforcement can follow the money on the blockchain to better understand and disrupt the organization’s operations and supply chain. This is a proven successful approach as we saw in January’s ‘takedown’ of the NetWalker ransomware strain.”

Whether blockchain analysis alone is enough to thwart ransomware incursions or whether it needs to be joined with other tactics, like bringing political/economic pressure to bear on foreign countries that tolerate ransomware groups, is another question.

Unmasking Criminals?

Clifford Neuman, associate professor of computer science practice at the University of Southern California, believes that blockchain analysis is an underutilized forensic tool. “Many people, including criminals, assume Bitcoin is anonymous.

In fact, it is far from being so in that the flow of funds is more visible on the ‘public’ blockchain than it is in almost any other kinds of transactions.” He adds: “The trick is to tie the endpoints to individuals, and blockchain analysis tools can sometimes be used to do this linking.”

A valid means for unmasking ransomware attackers? “Yes, absolutely,” Dave Jevans, CEO of crypto intelligence firm CipherTrace, tells Magazine. “Using effective blockchain analytics, cryptocurrency intelligence software” — the sort his firm produces — “to track where ransomware actors are moving their funds can lead investigators to their true identities as they attempt to off-ramp their crypto to fiat.”

David Carlisle, director of policy and regulatory affairs at analytics firm Elliptic, tells Magazine: “Blockchain analysis is already a proven valuable technique for enabling law enforcement to disrupt the activities of these networks, as the Colonial Pipeline case made clear.”

Within days of the May 8 ransom payment by Colonial Pipeline, Elliptic was able to identify the Bitcoin wallet that received the payment. Further, “It [the wallet] had received Bitcoin payments since March totaling $17.5 million,” recounts law firm Kelley Drye & Warren LLP. Elliptic was helped by the fact that the malefactors had used no “mixers” to further obscure their trail. Carlisle adds:

“The underlying transparency of Bitcoin and other crypto assets means that law enforcement can often glean a level of insight into money laundering activity that would not be possible with fiat currencies.”

A Boost From Machine Learning?

Machine learning (ML) is one of those emerging technologies, like blockchain, for which novel use cases seem to be discovered weekly. Can ML assist too in the war against ransomware?

“Absolutely,” Allan Liska, a senior intelligence analyst at Recorded Future, tells Magazine, adding further: “Given the large number of malicious transactions occurring at any given time and the increasing sophistication of some ransomware groups, money laundering capabilities manual analysis has become less effective — and machine learning is required to effectively track tell-tale signs of malicious transactions.”

“Machine Learning is very promising in fighting crimes,” Roman Bieda, head of fraud investigations at Coinfirm, informs Magazine, but it requires a huge amount of data to be effective.

It is relatively easy to acquire Bitcoin addresses, which are available in the millions, but a dataset upon which a learning model can be trained and tested also requires a certain number of “fraudulent” Bitcoin addresses — i.e., confirmed ransomware actors. “Otherwise, the model will either mark a lot of false positives or will omit the fraudulent data as a minor percentage,” says Bieda.

Say you want to build a model that will pull out photos of dogs from a trove of cat photos, but you have a training dataset with 1,000 cat photos and only one dog photo. An ML model “would learn that it is okay to treat all photos as cat photos as the error margin is [only] 0.001,” notes Bieda. In other words., the algorithm would just guess “cat” all the time, which would render the model useless, of course, even as it scored high in overall accuracy.

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Mike Novogratz And Andreas Antonopoulos On The Bitcoin Crash

Amid Market Downturn, Number of People Owning 1 BTC Hits New Record (#GotBitcoin?)

Fatburger And Others Feed $30 Million Into Ethereum For New Bond Offering (#GotBitcoin?)

Pornhub Will Integrate PumaPay Recurring Subscription Crypto Payments (#GotBitcoin?)

Intel SGX Vulnerability Discovered, Cryptocurrency Keys Threatened

Bitcoin’s Plunge Due To Manipulation, Traditional Markets Falling or PlusToken Dumping?

Countries That First Outlawed Crypto But Then Embraced It (#GotBitcoin?)

Bitcoin Maintains Gains As Global Equities Slide, US Yield Hits Record Lows

HTC’s New 5G Router Can Host A Full Bitcoin Node

India Supreme Court Lifts RBI Ban On Banks Servicing Crypto Firms (#GotBitcoin?)

Analyst Claims 98% of Mining Rigs Fail to Verify Transactions (#GotBitcoin?)

Blockchain Storage Offers Security, Data Transparency And immutability. Get Over it!

Black Americans & Crypto (#GotBitcoin?)

Coinbase Wallet Now Allows To Send Crypto Through Usernames (#GotBitcoin)

New ‘Simpsons’ Episode Features Jim Parsons Giving A Crypto Explainer For The Masses (#GotBitcoin?)

Crypto-currency Founder Met With Warren Buffett For Charity Lunch (#GotBitcoin?)

Witches Love Bitcoin

Bitcoin’s Potential To Benefit The African And African-American Community

Coinbase Becomes Direct Visa Card Issuer With Principal Membership

Bitcoin Achieves Major Milestone With Half A Billion Transactions Confirmed

Jill Carlson, Meltem Demirors Back $3.3M Round For Non-Custodial Settlement Protocol Arwen

Crypto Companies Adopt Features Similar To Banks (Only Better) To Drive Growth (#GotBitcoin?)

Top Graphics Cards That Will Turn A Crypto Mining Profit (#GotBitcoin?)

Bitcoin Usage Among Merchants Is Up, According To Data From Coinbase And BitPay

Top 10 Books Recommended by Crypto (#Bitcoin) Thought Leaders

Twitter Adds Bitcoin Emoji, Jack Dorsey Suggests Unicode Does The Same

Bitcoiners Are Now Into Fasting. Read This Article To Find Out Why

You Can Now Donate Bitcoin Or Fiat To Show Your Support For All Of Our Valuable Content

2019’s Top 10 Institutional Actors In Crypto (#GotBitcoin?)

What Does Twitter’s New Decentralized Initiative Mean? (#GotBitcoin?)

Crypto-Friendly Silvergate Bank Goes Public On New York Stock Exchange (#GotBitcoin?)

Bitcoin’s Best Q1 Since 2013 To ‘Escalate’ If $9.5K Is Broken

Billionaire Investor Tim Draper: If You’re a Millennial, Buy Bitcoin

What Are Lightning Wallets Doing To Help Onboard New Users? (#GotBitcoin?)

If You Missed Out On Investing In Amazon, Bitcoin Might Be A Second Chance For You (#GotBitcoin?)

2020 And Beyond: Bitcoin’s Potential Protocol (Privacy And Scalability) Upgrades (#GotBitcoin?)

US Deficit Will Be At Least 6 Times Bitcoin Market Cap — Every Year (#GotBitcoin?)

Central Banks Warm To Issuing Digital Currencies (#GotBitcoin?)

Meet The Crypto Angel Investor Running For Congress In Nevada (#GotBitcoin?)

Introducing BTCPay Vault – Use Any Hardware Wallet With BTCPay And Its Full Node (#GotBitcoin?)

How Not To Lose Your Coins In 2020: Alternative Recovery Methods (#GotBitcoin?)

H.R.5635 – Virtual Currency Tax Fairness Act of 2020 ($200.00 Limit) 116th Congress (2019-2020)

Adam Back On Satoshi Emails, Privacy Concerns And Bitcoin’s Early Days

The Prospect of Using Bitcoin To Build A New International Monetary System Is Getting Real

How To Raise Funds For Australia Wildfire Relief Efforts (Using Bitcoin And/Or Fiat )

Former Regulator Known As ‘Crypto Dad’ To Launch Digital-Dollar Think Tank (#GotBitcoin?)

Currency ‘Cold War’ Takes Center Stage At Pre-Davos Crypto Confab (#GotBitcoin?)

A Blockchain-Secured Home Security Camera Won Innovation Awards At CES 2020 Las Vegas

Bitcoin’s Had A Sensational 11 Years (#GotBitcoin?)

Sergey Nazarov And The Creation Of A Decentralized Network Of Oracles

Google Suspends MetaMask From Its Play App Store, Citing “Deceptive Services”

Christmas Shopping: Where To Buy With Crypto This Festive Season

At 8,990,000% Gains, Bitcoin Dwarfs All Other Investments This Decade

Coinbase CEO Armstrong Wins Patent For Tech Allowing Users To Email Bitcoin

Bitcoin Has Got Society To Think About The Nature Of Money

How DeFi Goes Mainstream In 2020: Focus On Usability (#GotBitcoin?)

Dissidents And Activists Have A Lot To Gain From Bitcoin, If Only They Knew It (#GotBitcoin?)

At A Refugee Camp In Iraq, A 16-Year-Old Syrian Is Teaching Crypto Basics

Bitclub Scheme Busted In The US, Promising High Returns From Mining

Bitcoin Advertised On French National TV

Germany: New Proposed Law Would Legalize Banks Holding Bitcoin

How To Earn And Spend Bitcoin On Black Friday 2019

The Ultimate List of Bitcoin Developments And Accomplishments

Charities Put A Bitcoin Twist On Giving Tuesday

Family Offices Finally Accept The Benefits of Investing In Bitcoin

An Army Of Bitcoin Devs Is Battle-Testing Upgrades To Privacy And Scaling

Bitcoin ‘Carry Trade’ Can Net Annual Gains With Little Risk, Says PlanB

Max Keiser: Bitcoin’s ‘Self-Settlement’ Is A Revolution Against Dollar

Blockchain Can And Will Replace The IRS

China Seizes The Blockchain Opportunity. How Should The US Respond? (#GotBitcoin?)

Jack Dorsey: You Can Buy A Fraction Of Berkshire Stock Or ‘Stack Sats’

Bitcoin Price Skyrockets $500 In Minutes As Bakkt BTC Contracts Hit Highs

Bitcoin’s Irreversibility Challenges International Private Law: Legal Scholar

Bitcoin Has Already Reached 40% Of Average Fiat Currency Lifespan

Yes, Even Bitcoin HODLers Can Lose Money In The Long-Term: Here’s How (#GotBitcoin?)

Unicef To Accept Donations In Bitcoin (#GotBitcoin?)

Former Prosecutor Asked To “Shut Down Bitcoin” And Is Now Face Of Crypto VC Investing (#GotBitcoin?)

Switzerland’s ‘Crypto Valley’ Is Bringing Blockchain To Zurich

Next Bitcoin Halving May Not Lead To Bull Market, Says Bitmain CEO

Tim Draper Bets On Unstoppable Domain’s .Crypto Domain Registry To Replace Wallet Addresses (#GotBitcoin?)

Bitcoin Developer Amir Taaki, “We Can Crash National Economies” (#GotBitcoin?)

Veteran Crypto And Stocks Trader Shares 6 Ways To Invest And Get Rich

Have I Missed The Boat? – Best Ways To Purchase Cryptocurrency

Is Chainlink Blazing A Trail Independent Of Bitcoin?

Nearly $10 Billion In BTC Is Held In Wallets Of 8 Crypto Exchanges (#GotBitcoin?)

SEC Enters Settlement Talks With Alleged Fraudulent Firm Veritaseum (#GotBitcoin?)

Blockstream’s Samson Mow: Bitcoin’s Block Size Already ‘Too Big’

Attorneys Seek Bank Of Ireland Execs’ Testimony Against OneCoin Scammer (#GotBitcoin?)

OpenLibra Plans To Launch Permissionless Fork Of Facebook’s Stablecoin (#GotBitcoin?)

Tiny $217 Options Trade On Bitcoin Blockchain Could Be Wall Street’s Death Knell (#GotBitcoin?)

Class Action Accuses Tether And Bitfinex Of Market Manipulation (#GotBitcoin?)

Sharia Goldbugs: How ISIS Created A Currency For World Domination (#GotBitcoin?)

Bitcoin Eyes Demand As Hong Kong Protestors Announce Bank Run (#GotBitcoin?)

How To Securely Transfer Crypto To Your Heirs

‘Gold-Backed’ Crypto Token Promoter Karatbars Investigated By Florida Regulators (#GotBitcoin?)

Crypto News From The Spanish-Speaking World (#GotBitcoin?)

Financial Services Giant Morningstar To Offer Ratings For Crypto Assets (#GotBitcoin?)

‘Gold-Backed’ Crypto Token Promoter Karatbars Investigated By Florida Regulators (#GotBitcoin?)

The Original Sins Of Cryptocurrencies (#GotBitcoin?)

Bitcoin Is The Fraud? JPMorgan Metals Desk Fixed Gold Prices For Years (#GotBitcoin?)

Israeli Startup That Allows Offline Crypto Transactions Secures $4M (#GotBitcoin?)

[PSA] Non-genuine Trezor One Devices Spotted (#GotBitcoin?)

Bitcoin Stronger Than Ever But No One Seems To Care: Google Trends (#GotBitcoin?)

First-Ever SEC-Qualified Token Offering In US Raises $23 Million (#GotBitcoin?)

You Can Now Prove A Whole Blockchain With One Math Problem – Really

Crypto Mining Supply Fails To Meet Market Demand In Q2: TokenInsight

$2 Billion Lost In Mt. Gox Bitcoin Hack Can Be Recovered, Lawyer Claims (#GotBitcoin?)

Fed Chair Says Agency Monitoring Crypto But Not Developing Its Own (#GotBitcoin?)

Wesley Snipes Is Launching A Tokenized $25 Million Movie Fund (#GotBitcoin?)

Mystery 94K BTC Transaction Becomes Richest Non-Exchange Address (#GotBitcoin?)

A Crypto Fix For A Broken International Monetary System (#GotBitcoin?)

Four Out Of Five Top Bitcoin QR Code Generators Are Scams: Report (#GotBitcoin?)

Waves Platform And The Abyss To Jointly Launch Blockchain-Based Games Marketplace (#GotBitcoin?)

Bitmain Ramps Up Power And Efficiency With New Bitcoin Mining Machine (#GotBitcoin?)

Ledger Live Now Supports Over 1,250 Ethereum-Based ERC-20 Tokens (#GotBitcoin?)

Miss Finland: Bitcoin’s Risk Keeps Most Women Away From Cryptocurrency (#GotBitcoin?)

Artist Akon Loves BTC And Says, “It’s Controlled By The People” (#GotBitcoin?)

Ledger Live Now Supports Over 1,250 Ethereum-Based ERC-20 Tokens (#GotBitcoin?)

Co-Founder Of LinkedIn Presents Crypto Rap Video: Hamilton Vs. Satoshi (#GotBitcoin?)

Crypto Insurance Market To Grow, Lloyd’s Of London And Aon To Lead (#GotBitcoin?)

No ‘AltSeason’ Until Bitcoin Breaks $20K, Says Hedge Fund Manager (#GotBitcoin?)

NSA Working To Develop Quantum-Resistant Cryptocurrency: Report (#GotBitcoin?)

Custody Provider Legacy Trust Launches Crypto Pension Plan (#GotBitcoin?)

Vaneck, SolidX To Offer Limited Bitcoin ETF For Institutions Via Exemption (#GotBitcoin?)

Russell Okung: From NFL Superstar To Bitcoin Educator In 2 Years (#GotBitcoin?)

Bitcoin Miners Made $14 Billion To Date Securing The Network (#GotBitcoin?)

Why Does Amazon Want To Hire Blockchain Experts For Its Ads Division?

Argentina’s Economy Is In A Technical Default (#GotBitcoin?)

Blockchain-Based Fractional Ownership Used To Sell High-End Art (#GotBitcoin?)

Portugal Tax Authority: Bitcoin Trading And Payments Are Tax-Free (#GotBitcoin?)

Bitcoin ‘Failed Safe Haven Test’ After 7% Drop, Peter Schiff Gloats (#GotBitcoin?)

Bitcoin Dev Reveals Multisig UI Teaser For Hardware Wallets, Full Nodes (#GotBitcoin?)

Bitcoin Price: $10K Holds For Now As 50% Of CME Futures Set To Expire (#GotBitcoin?)

Bitcoin Realized Market Cap Hits $100 Billion For The First Time (#GotBitcoin?)

Stablecoins Begin To Look Beyond The Dollar (#GotBitcoin?)

Bank Of England Governor: Libra-Like Currency Could Replace US Dollar (#GotBitcoin?)

Binance Reveals ‘Venus’ — Its Own Project To Rival Facebook’s Libra (#GotBitcoin?)

The Real Benefits Of Blockchain Are Here. They’re Being Ignored (#GotBitcoin?)

CommBank Develops Blockchain Market To Boost Biodiversity (#GotBitcoin?)

SEC Approves Blockchain Tech Startup Securitize To Record Stock Transfers (#GotBitcoin?)

SegWit Creator Introduces New Language For Bitcoin Smart Contracts (#GotBitcoin?)

You Can Now Earn Bitcoin Rewards For Postmates Purchases (#GotBitcoin?)

Bitcoin Price ‘Will Struggle’ In Big Financial Crisis, Says Investor (#GotBitcoin?)

Fidelity Charitable Received Over $100M In Crypto Donations Since 2015 (#GotBitcoin?)

Would Blockchain Better Protect User Data Than FaceApp? Experts Answer (#GotBitcoin?)

Just The Existence Of Bitcoin Impacts Monetary Policy (#GotBitcoin?)

What Are The Biggest Alleged Crypto Heists And How Much Was Stolen? (#GotBitcoin?)

IRS To Cryptocurrency Owners: Come Clean, Or Else!

Coinbase Accidentally Saves Unencrypted Passwords Of 3,420 Customers (#GotBitcoin?)

Bitcoin Is A ‘Chaos Hedge, Or Schmuck Insurance‘ (#GotBitcoin?)

Bakkt Announces September 23 Launch Of Futures And Custody

Coinbase CEO: Institutions Depositing $200-400M Into Crypto Per Week (#GotBitcoin?)

Researchers Find Monero Mining Malware That Hides From Task Manager (#GotBitcoin?)

Crypto Dusting Attack Affects Nearly 300,000 Addresses (#GotBitcoin?)

A Case For Bitcoin As Recession Hedge In A Diversified Investment Portfolio (#GotBitcoin?)

SEC Guidance Gives Ammo To Lawsuit Claiming XRP Is Unregistered Security (#GotBitcoin?)

15 Countries To Develop Crypto Transaction Tracking System: Report (#GotBitcoin?)

US Department Of Commerce Offering 6-Figure Salary To Crypto Expert (#GotBitcoin?)

Mastercard Is Building A Team To Develop Crypto, Wallet Projects (#GotBitcoin?)

Canadian Bitcoin Educator Scams The Scammer And Donates Proceeds (#GotBitcoin?)

Amazon Wants To Build A Blockchain For Ads, New Job Listing Shows (#GotBitcoin?)

Shield Bitcoin Wallets From Theft Via Time Delay (#GotBitcoin?)

Blockstream Launches Bitcoin Mining Farm With Fidelity As Early Customer (#GotBitcoin?)

Commerzbank Tests Blockchain Machine To Machine Payments With Daimler (#GotBitcoin?)

Bitcoin’s Historical Returns Look Very Attractive As Online Banks Lower Payouts On Savings Accounts (#GotBitcoin?)

Man Takes Bitcoin Miner Seller To Tribunal Over Electricity Bill And Wins (#GotBitcoin?)

Bitcoin’s Computing Power Sets Record As Over 100K New Miners Go Online (#GotBitcoin?)

Walmart Coin And Libra Perform Major Public Relations For Bitcoin (#GotBitcoin?)

Judge Says Buying Bitcoin Via Credit Card Not Necessarily A Cash Advance (#GotBitcoin?)

Poll: If You’re A Stockowner Or Crypto-Currency Holder. What Will You Do When The Recession Comes?

1 In 5 Crypto Holders Are Women, New Report Reveals (#GotBitcoin?)

Beating Bakkt, Ledgerx Is First To Launch ‘Physical’ Bitcoin Futures In Us (#GotBitcoin?)

Facebook Warns Investors That Libra Stablecoin May Never Launch (#GotBitcoin?)

Government Money Printing Is ‘Rocket Fuel’ For Bitcoin (#GotBitcoin?)

Bitcoin-Friendly Square Cash App Stock Price Up 56% In 2019 (#GotBitcoin?)

Safeway Shoppers Can Now Get Bitcoin Back As Change At 894 US Stores (#GotBitcoin?)

TD Ameritrade CEO: There’s ‘Heightened Interest Again’ With Bitcoin (#GotBitcoin?)

Venezuela Sets New Bitcoin Volume Record Thanks To 10,000,000% Inflation (#GotBitcoin?)

Newegg Adds Bitcoin Payment Option To 73 More Countries (#GotBitcoin?)

China’s Schizophrenic Relationship With Bitcoin (#GotBitcoin?)

More Companies Build Products Around Crypto Hardware Wallets (#GotBitcoin?)

Bakkt Is Scheduled To Start Testing Its Bitcoin Futures Contracts Today (#GotBitcoin?)

Bitcoin Network Now 8 Times More Powerful Than It Was At $20K Price (#GotBitcoin?)

Crypto Exchange BitMEX Under Investigation By CFTC: Bloomberg (#GotBitcoin?)

“Bitcoin An ‘Unstoppable Force,” Says US Congressman At Crypto Hearing (#GotBitcoin?)

Bitcoin Network Is Moving $3 Billion Daily, Up 210% Since April (#GotBitcoin?)

Cryptocurrency Startups Get Partial Green Light From Washington

Fundstrat’s Tom Lee: Bitcoin Pullback Is Healthy, Fewer Searches Аre Good (#GotBitcoin?)

Bitcoin Lightning Nodes Are Snatching Funds From Bad Actors (#GotBitcoin?)

The Provident Bank Now Offers Deposit Services For Crypto-Related Entities (#GotBitcoin?)

Bitcoin Could Help Stop News Censorship From Space (#GotBitcoin?)

US Sanctions On Iran Crypto Mining — Inevitable Or Impossible? (#GotBitcoin?)

US Lawmaker Reintroduces ‘Safe Harbor’ Crypto Tax Bill In Congress (#GotBitcoin?)

EU Central Bank Won’t Add Bitcoin To Reserves — Says It’s Not A Currency (#GotBitcoin?)

The Miami Dolphins Now Accept Bitcoin And Litecoin Crypt-Currency Payments (#GotBitcoin?)

Trump Bashes Bitcoin And Alt-Right Is Mad As Hell (#GotBitcoin?)

Goldman Sachs Ramps Up Development Of New Secret Crypto Project (#GotBitcoin?)

Blockchain And AI Bond, Explained (#GotBitcoin?)

Grayscale Bitcoin Trust Outperformed Indexes In First Half Of 2019 (#GotBitcoin?)

XRP Is The Worst Performing Major Crypto Of 2019 (GotBitcoin?)

Bitcoin Back Near $12K As BTC Shorters Lose $44 Million In One Morning (#GotBitcoin?)

As Deutsche Bank Axes 18K Jobs, Bitcoin Offers A ‘Plan ฿”: VanEck Exec (#GotBitcoin?)

Argentina Drives Global LocalBitcoins Volume To Highest Since November (#GotBitcoin?)

‘I Would Buy’ Bitcoin If Growth Continues — Investment Legend Mobius (#GotBitcoin?)

Lawmakers Push For New Bitcoin Rules (#GotBitcoin?)

Facebook’s Libra Is Bad For African Americans (#GotBitcoin?)

Crypto Firm Charity Announces Alliance To Support Feminine Health (#GotBitcoin?)

Canadian Startup Wants To Upgrade Millions Of ATMs To Sell Bitcoin (#GotBitcoin?)

Trump Says US ‘Should Match’ China’s Money Printing Game (#GotBitcoin?)

Casa Launches Lightning Node Mobile App For Bitcoin Newbies (#GotBitcoin?)

Bitcoin Rally Fuels Market In Crypto Derivatives (#GotBitcoin?)

World’s First Zero-Fiat ‘Bitcoin Bond’ Now Available On Bloomberg Terminal (#GotBitcoin?)

Buying Bitcoin Has Been Profitable 98.2% Of The Days Since Creation (#GotBitcoin?)

Another Crypto Exchange Receives License For Crypto Futures

From ‘Ponzi’ To ‘We’re Working On It’ — BIS Chief Reverses Stance On Crypto (#GotBitcoin?)

These Are The Cities Googling ‘Bitcoin’ As Interest Hits 17-Month High (#GotBitcoin?)

Venezuelan Explains How Bitcoin Saves His Family (#GotBitcoin?)

Quantum Computing Vs. Blockchain: Impact On Cryptography

This Fund Is Riding Bitcoin To Top (#GotBitcoin?)

Bitcoin’s Surge Leaves Smaller Digital Currencies In The Dust (#GotBitcoin?)

Bitcoin Exchange Hits $1 Trillion In Trading Volume (#GotBitcoin?)

Bitcoin Breaks $200 Billion Market Cap For The First Time In 17 Months (#GotBitcoin?)

You Can Now Make State Tax Payments In Bitcoin (#GotBitcoin?)

Religious Organizations Make Ideal Places To Mine Bitcoin (#GotBitcoin?)

Goldman Sacs And JP Morgan Chase Finally Concede To Crypto-Currencies (#GotBitcoin?)

Bitcoin Heading For Fifth Month Of Gains Despite Price Correction (#GotBitcoin?)

Breez Reveals Lightning-Powered Bitcoin Payments App For IPhone (#GotBitcoin?)

Big Four Auditing Firm PwC Releases Cryptocurrency Auditing Software (#GotBitcoin?)

Amazon-Owned Twitch Quietly Brings Back Bitcoin Payments (#GotBitcoin?)

JPMorgan Will Pilot ‘JPM Coin’ Stablecoin By End Of 2019: Report (#GotBitcoin?)

Is There A Big Short In Bitcoin? (#GotBitcoin?)

Coinbase Hit With Outage As Bitcoin Price Drops $1.8K In 15 Minutes

Samourai Wallet Releases Privacy-Enhancing CoinJoin Feature (#GotBitcoin?)

There Are Now More Than 5,000 Bitcoin ATMs Around The World (#GotBitcoin?)

You Can Now Get Bitcoin Rewards When Booking At Hotels.Com (#GotBitcoin?)

North America’s Largest Solar Bitcoin Mining Farm Coming To California (#GotBitcoin?)

Bitcoin On Track For Best Second Quarter Price Gain On Record (#GotBitcoin?)

Bitcoin Hash Rate Climbs To New Record High Boosting Network Security (#GotBitcoin?)

Bitcoin Exceeds 1Million Active Addresses While Coinbase Custodies $1.3B In Assets

Why Bitcoin’s Price Suddenly Surged Back $5K (#GotBitcoin?)

Bitcoin’s Lightning Comes To Apple Smartwatches With New App (#GotBitcoin?)

E-Trade To Offer Crypto Trading (#GotBitcoin)

US Rapper Lil Pump Starts Accepting Bitcoin Via Lightning Network On Merchandise Store (#GotBitcoin?)

Bitfinex Used Tether Reserves To Mask Missing $850 Million, Probe Finds (#GotBitcoin?)

21-Year-Old Jailed For 10 Years After Stealing $7.5M In Crypto By Hacking Cell Phones (#GotBitcoin?)

You Can Now Shop With Bitcoin On Amazon Using Lightning (#GotBitcoin?)

Afghanistan, Tunisia To Issue Sovereign Bonds In Bitcoin, Bright Future Ahead (#GotBitcoin?)

Crypto Faithful Say Blockchain Can Remake Securities Market Machinery (#GotBitcoin?)

Disney In Talks To Acquire The Owner Of Crypto Exchanges Bitstamp And Korbit (#GotBitcoin?)

Crypto Exchange Gemini Rolls Out Native Wallet Support For SegWit Bitcoin Addresses (#GotBitcoin?)

Binance Delists Bitcoin SV, CEO Calls Craig Wright A ‘Fraud’ (#GotBitcoin?)

Bitcoin Outperforms Nasdaq 100, S&P 500, Grows Whopping 37% In 2019 (#GotBitcoin?)

Bitcoin Passes A Milestone 400 Million Transactions (#GotBitcoin?)

Future Returns: Why Investors May Want To Consider Bitcoin Now (#GotBitcoin?)

Next Bitcoin Core Release To Finally Connect Hardware Wallets To Full Nodes (#GotBitcoin?)

Major Crypto-Currency Exchanges Use Lloyd’s Of London, A Registered Insurance Broker (#GotBitcoin?)

How Bitcoin Can Prevent Fraud And Chargebacks (#GotBitcoin?)

Why Bitcoin’s Price Suddenly Surged Back $5K (#GotBitcoin?)

Zebpay Becomes First Exchange To Add Lightning Payments For All Users (#GotBitcoin?)

Coinbase’s New Customer Incentive: Interest Payments, With A Crypto Twist (#GotBitcoin?)

The Best Bitcoin Debit (Cashback) Cards Of 2019 (#GotBitcoin?)

Real Estate Brokerages Now Accepting Bitcoin (#GotBitcoin?)

Ernst & Young Introduces Tax Tool For Reporting Cryptocurrencies (#GotBitcoin?)

How Will Bitcoin Behave During A Recession? (#GotBitcoin?)

Investors Run Out of Options As Bitcoin, Stocks, Bonds, Oil Cave To Recession Fears (#GotBitcoin?)

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