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John McAfee Gives Up on His Own Cryptocurrency Project $GHOST

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Cybersecurity mogul John McAfee recently dropped out of the $GHOST privacy cryptocurrency project. The project was designed as a privacy-first ecosystem.

McAfee backs out

John McAfee is known to make controversial statements and have frequent run-ins with the law as well. When he associated with the project, he called it the “future” of privacy online. However, it seems that he is not completely in agreement with the developers of the currency because of which he is backing out.

John McAfee Gives Up on His Own Cryptocurrency Project $GHOST

In a tweet, he noted,

“I am abandoning the $Ghost project. Management is incapable of making a success of the project. It will, without a doubt fail,” he tweeted yesterday.”

Ghost was earlier touted as a decentralized, privacy first network that would make users ghosts while making transactions. Just a week ago, McAfee started pumping up to $GHOST. It is the native coin of the Ghost network that works on the proof-of-stake algorithm. He wrote, “The world is full of FUD. Believe none of it. $GHOST is the future.” McAfee is running from the US tax authorities at the moment and suggests that he tried to explain the fundamental principles of management to the team at Ghost but they didn’t pay heed. He also apologized to people who followed his advice on the coin.

$GHOST value collapses

After McAfee went public about his issues with the Ghost network, the value of the coin collapsed. $GHOST price went down by over 50% and reached $0.27 from $0.7 after McAfee tweeted his discontent. The developers are still working on the coin and its team released a statement yesterday, saying that the ambitions of creating a privacy-centric, decentralized coins is still the same.

The team said that the project is much bigger than one person, even if that person is a cybersecurity mogul like McAfee. They also noted that he was not involved in the day to day operations of the coin and has never participated in the technology or creation of the network. They did not comment on the reasons why he left the project.

Source: https://insidebitcoins.com/news/john-mcafee-gives-up-on-his-own-cryptocurrency-project-ghost

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Visa Partners With Circle to Integrate USDC for Payments

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Visa, a global financial services company and credit card giant, has partnered with Circle Internet Financial, a leading crypto fintech startup, to integrate the latter’s stablecoin.

Visa Taps USDC for Digital Payments

According to Forbes, on Dec. 2, Visa will be adopting Circle’s USD Coin (USDC) into its credit card platforms. The collaboration between both companies would see the use of the stablecoin to send and receive payments.

Although Visa will not be a custodian to the USDC, Circle will help the financial services giant choose credit that will integrate the USDC into their platforms. The report also noted that 25 crypto companies involved in Visa’s Fast Track program would also be included in the partnership.

Furthermore, Visa plans to roll a credit card in the near future, following Circle’s completion of the company’s Fast Track program. It would enable businesses to seamlessly carry out payments using USDC. Commenting on the proposition, Cuy Sheffield, Visa’s head of crypto, said:

“This will be the first, corporate card that will allow businesses to be able to spend a balance of USDC. And so we think that this will significantly increase the utility that USDC can have for Circle’s business clients.”

Digital Payments Adoption on the Agenda

According to a recent report by CryptoPotato, Visa, and BlockFi, a crypto wallet provider, announced a collaboration to launch a Bitcoin rewards credit card in 2021. The credit card would enable customers to get rewards for their purchases in BTC. BlockFi would use the USDC in Q1 2021.

Sheffield also spoke on the integration of Circle’s stablecoin, saying:

“We continue to think of Visa as a network of networks. Blockchain networks and stable coins, like USDC are just additional networks. So we think that there’s a significant value that Visa can provide to our clients, enabling them to access them and enabling them to spend at our merchants.”

The Visa – Circle partnership is the latest development in the expanding digital payments arena. Fellow payments giant PayPal recently boarded the crypto train, allowing its 346 million users to purchase cryptocurrencies on its platform.

Back in November, PayPal CEO Dan Schulman revealed that cryptos would be an accepted funding source for online payments on its 28 million merchants by 2021. During the ongoing Web Summit in Portugal, Schulman opined that the era of digital payments was imminent.

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Source: https://cryptopotato.com/visa-partners-with-circle-to-integrate-usdc-for-payments/

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Hackers Demand 200 Bitcoin Ransomware After Compromising Leading Israeli Insurance Company’s Sensitive Data

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A notorious hackers’ group called The Black Shadow has compromised one of the largest insurance companies in Israel – Shirbit. The attackers have already released sensitive client documents and have demanded a ransom in bitcoin, which could rise to $4 million by the end of the week.

Israeli Insurance Company Hacked

According to a local media outlet, the first confirmation of the hack came on Monday evening. Representatives of The Black Shadow group posted an initial batch of compromised documents on a Telegram channel.

Shirbit had contacted the National Cyber Directorate and Capital Market Authority to open an investigation. Shortly after, the organizations confirmed the breach and indicated that the hackers have also leaked numerous insurance details, alongside the initial documents.

According to the report, Shirbit has many high-profile customers, including government employees. Company CEO Zvi Leibushor said that the safety of its clients is Shirbit’s top priority.

“Shirbit has invested millions of shekels in securing databases and protecting against cyber-attacks and meets all the stringent regulatory requirements in this area.” He added that the firm has invested “all resources and efforts needed for an effective safe and rapid solution to this cyber-attack, whose real goal is to try to harm the Israeli economy.”

Demand Requested In Bitcoin

After releasing a small part of the compromised documents, The Black Shadow reps have contacted the victims to request 50 bitcoins (about $960,000 with today’s prices).

However, in case Shirbit failed to pay the attackers within the first 24 hours, the demand would double to 100 bitcoins. The procedure will repeat and double to 200 bitcoins if another 24 hours pass without payment.

Furthermore, the hackers threatened the insurance company that if it fails to transfer the funds by the end of this week, they will sell all compromised data to other bidders.

It’s worth noting that numerous other Israeli companies and high-profile individuals have recently become victims of similar hacks and demands.

CryptoPotato recently reported that 20 Israeli crypto executives, all clients of the local telecommunications giant Partner, were hacked by stealing their SMS messages.

Another coverage informed that a new type of ransomware attacked called Pay2Key has been executed against several Israeli companies in the second part of 2020. The perpetrators had requested the demand in bitcoins, similarly to the Shirbit hack.

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Source: https://cryptopotato.com/hackers-demand-200-bitcoin-ransomware-after-compromising-leading-israeli-insurance-companys-sensitive-data/

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Bitcoin Price to Hit $36,000 in 2021: Kraken Crypto Sentiment Survey

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From what happened in the last couple of weeks, it appears that the crypto bull market is upon us. Bitcoin has been consistent with its volatility-induced rallies, and this is infusing confidence in investors.

So much, so that VIP clients in Kraken’s latest Crypto Sentiment Survey say that BTC will skyrocket to about $36,000 in 2021. They also feel that ETH could revisit its previous highs of $1500.

Bitcoin And ETH To Trade At Average Prices Of $15K and $549 By 2020 End

The latest Kraken Crypto Sentiment Survey covers investor sentiment for the second half of 2020. The exchange had already conducted a similar survey back in March this year. But then investors were way more optimistic about BTC and ETH price growth by December.

Now, the same respondents have retracted their bullish calls for bitcoin and ether (ETH) this year. According to the latest numbers,

The average bitcoin price target among 309 responses fell -35% surveyover-survey to $14,866, well below February’s average of $22,866. The median price target also retraced -28% from $19,424 to $14,000, and the most commonly cited price target was $15,000, down -25% from $20,000.

With respect to ether (ETH), the average price target among 289 responses was $549, off -32% from the previous survey’s average of $810. The median price target was unchanged at $500 and the most frequently cited price target was $500, up +66% from $300.

At 72 percent, traders and investors (down from 81 percent when the survey was conducted in March) comprised a majority of the survey responses. 18 percent of responses came from Institutions (broker, custodian, family office, hedge fund, lender, market maker, private equity firm, proprietary trading firm, or venture capitalist).

And the rest 4 percent – from crypto service providers (ATM, exchange, lender, payment processor) and miners. As compared to March, the researchers at Kraken anticipated a lower price growth optimism from the said respondents since the year is so close to its end.

The Outlook For 2021 Remains Super Bullish

When asked about how they see bitcoin and ether prices in the next year, respondents didn’t shy away from expressing their mega bullish calls. Survey participants called for an average bitcoin price target of $36,602 in 2021. Some put the median bitcoin price target at $25,000, but a lot of folks (approximately 61 percent) felt if not anything else, BTC will at least hit $20,000.

A small section of respondents reported hopium-induced ultra bullish calls.

Approximately, 8% of respondents provided a price target greater-than-or-equal-to $100,000, roughly 20% of respondents reported a price target greater-than-or-equal-to $50,000…

Survey participants were very optimistic about ETH’s outlook as well in the next year. This sentiment came from the discussions around Ethereum’s network upgrade and the growing popularity of the DeFi ecosystem. Respondents think ETH will trade at an average price of $1454 in 2021. Also, at the same time:

Close to 59% believe that ether will, at least, hit $800. Additionally, 22% of respondents see ether surpassing its previous all-time high of $1,595 set in early-January 2018 and just under 92% see ether, at the very least, trading higher than current price in 2021.

What becomes evident from the aforementioned numbers is that participants in a price prediction survey tend to project bullish figures for a longer-term.

Will Bitcoin(BTC) and ether (ETH) hit the above price targets in 2021? That still remains to be seen.

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Source: https://cryptopotato.com/bitcoin-price-to-hit-36000-in-2021-kraken-crypto-sentiment-survey/

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