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Loki Messenger – Taking Private Messaging to a New Level

With ever-increasing threats to our online privacy, a secure, private messaging system is a virtual necessity. Unfortunately, all of our current systems are vulnerable in one way or the other. The world needs a genuinely secure private messaging system. In this article, we look at Loki Messenger, a secure private messaging system that has huge […]

Loki Messenger – Taking Private Messaging to a New Level was originally found on Blokt – Privacy, Tech, Bitcoin, Blockchain & Cryptocurrency.

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With ever-increasing threats to our online privacy, a secure, private messaging system is a virtual necessity. Unfortunately, all of our current systems are vulnerable in one way or the other. The world needs a genuinely secure private messaging system.

In this article, we look at Loki Messenger, a secure private messaging system that has huge privacy potential. Loki Messenger is the first service on Lokinet, a decentralized, end-to-end encrypted messaging and payments network.

Without going in too deep (Loki details get really technical, really fast), we’ll look at what makes Loki Messenger into a better private messaging service.

Once we get through that, we’ll give you a demonstration of the current beta version of Loki Messenger.route

Ready to learn about what could be the future of private messaging? Let’s start.

Introduction to Loki Messenger

So what exactly is Loki Messenger? According to the projects README file at GitHub:

“Loki Messenger allows for truly decentralized, end to end, and private encrypted chats. Loki Messenger is built to handle both online and fully Asynchronous offline messages. Loki Messenger implements the Signal protocol for message encryption. Our Client interface is a fork of Signal Messenger. All communication that passes through Loki messenger is routed through Lokinet.”
Loki Messenger

Loki Messenger

In other words, Loki Messenger takes advantage of some of the best existing private messaging technology and adds, even more privacy and security through its use of Lokinet.

Lokinet’s Service Nodes, “act as both federated servers which store messages offline, and a set of nodes which allow for onion routing functionality obfuscating users IP Addresses.”

What Makes Loki Messenger Better?

With competitors like Telegram, Viber, Signal, and WhatsApp, you might be wondering why the world needs another end-to-end encrypted, private messenger app. There are three big reasons why we think Loki Messenger has a shot at becoming the private messaging app of the future:

  • Loki Messenger is Decentralized
  • Loki Messenger is Untraceable
  • Loki Messenger is Hack Resistant

Loki Messenger is Decentralized

What do Telegram, Viber, Signal, and other leading encrypted private messaging apps have in common? They are all centralized. This means that there are central servers to hack, and even physical offices for the authorities to visit with subpoenas (and assault weapons) in hand when they want to snoop on someone.

Centralized vs. Decentralized

Centralization is a huge vulnerability. Here are some recent examples of the problem:

  • After the 2019 Sri Lanka Easter bombings, the Sri Lankan government shut down access to Viber, SnapChat, WhatsApp, and other messaging services within the country. In all, this country has shut down messaging apps at least three times.
  • In June of 2019, the CEO of Telegram, Pavel Durov, said they experienced a “state actor-sized” cyber attack. Without revealing details, he indicated that the attack likely came from China and was related to the protests in Hong Kong.
  • While WhatsApp messages are end-to-end encrypted, according to this story and others, messages are stored unencrypted in the mobile app. Those unencrypted messages can also be backed up on cloud servers physically located in the United States (5 eyes country), where a simple subpoena can gain access. Adding to privacy fears, the WhatsApp Privacy Policy states that it can share data about you with Facebook, which purchased WhatsApp in 2014.

A decentralized messaging app has many advantages. Withou3mt a center, the network is resistant to attempts to shut it down (Think Torrenting, Bitcoin, Tor, etc.). Additionally, there is no one to wave that subpoena at, demanding that they turn over the data on some user.

Loki Messenger relies on Lokinet’s private and decentralized messaging services. The Lokinet network uses a chain of proxy servers connected by onion routing to pass messages. The state of the network is maintained in the Lokinet blockchain, making that information available to every user. The user chooses the route their messages will follow through the network, eliminating the need for a trusted (central) authority in the system.

Loki Messenger is Untraceable

Many messenger apps use end-to-end encryption to protect the messages that flow through them. But they can be vulnerable to adversaries powerful enough to monitor when messages enter and leave the network.

Over time, such an adversary can even do statistical analysis of the messages flowing through the network. Helping them to identify which users are communicating with each other, when certain users are online, and other potentially useful information.

Loki Messenger is Untraceable

Lokinet addresses this kind of problem by functioning as a mixnet communicating through onion routing. A mixnet passes messages through one or more mixes. A mix receives messages from multiple sources, then sends them on to their destinations in random order. Doing this makes it harder to analyze the flow of messages through the mixnet.

Lokinet connects the mixes in the network using onion routing. The onion routing protocols connect multiple mixes in a chain. Each mix only knows which node in the network sent a message to it, and which node in the network it must send the message to. Thus it ensures that no single mix knows both the original sender of a message and the final recipient.

Even if one of the mixes in the chain is compromised, there is no way for it to trace the entire route of the message.

In addition, Loki Messenger does not require the user to register with a telephone number, and a user’s real IP Address is never exposed to the network. Together, these features make the Loki Messenger untraceable (In theory).

Loki Messenger is Hack Resistant

While it is likely that no network in the world is totally hack-proof, Loki Messenger comes close, thanks to the characteristics of Lokinet. Lokinet uses Service Nodes to provide much of its scalability and networking functionality. Service nodes are paid for their services using Loki, the Lokinet’s native cryptocurrency. But Service Nodes must also stake a large amount of Loki for the privilege of being a Service Node.

Loki Messenger is Impervious to Hacking

The requirement of a large stake makes the type of hack called a Sybil attack, more unlikely. The Lokinet team defines a successful Sybil attack as one that seizes control of at least 30% of the entire Lokinet. To do this, an attacker would need to stake large amounts of Loki on each of the servers it controls. This would drive up the price of Loki, making the attack progressively more expensive.

In addition to the protection provided by Lokinet, Loki Messenger itself uses several techniques to prevent attacks. Deniable Authentication (DA) protects against man-in-the-middle attacks. Perfect Forward Secrecy (PFS) ensures that a new encryption key is used for each message, limiting the damage done if an attacker does somehow get access to a key. In such a case, the attacker would only be able to decode a single message.

Now we’re ready to take a look at Loki Messenger in action.

Note: Don’t forget that this is a project under active development, so what you see here reflects the state of the beta on September 25, 2019.

Creating a Loki Messenger Account

If you are familiar with cryptocurrencies, you may notice that creating a Loki Messenger account looks a lot like creating a cryptocurrency wallet:

Loki Messenger initial Registration Screen

The seed phrase is automatically generated by Loki Messenger and is necessary to recover your account if you lose access to it. Or if you move your Loki Messenger account to another device.

Once you register your seed, you create your optional username and password:

Create a Username and Password

Hit Save and you are ready to roll.

As you can see, the Loki Messenger window looks a lot like any other messenger app. It does, however, have a couple of differences.

Loki Messenger Main Window

First, notice the long random string of characters below the username on the top left. That is the user’s public key. Sharing this public key is how users connect. For maximum privacy, users would be advised to share these keys offline, preventing snoops from getting a copy of them.

Once a user has someone’s public key, they can send a friend request, which can be either accepted or declined:

Loki Friend Request

Online Messaging

If both parties are online, communication is relatively straightforward. Their messenger apps can resolve each other’s public keys and create an onion-routed path through Lokinet for live chatting. All without exposing their IP Address, telephone number, or any other personally identifiable information (PII).

Online Message

Messages appear in the chat window as you would expect.

If you hover over a message, a “three-dot” icon appears. Clicking that displays a menu of options for that specific message, as shown above.

Offline Messaging

Offline messaging, where the intended recipient of a message is not currently online, is more complicated. It depends on groups of Service Nodes called Swarms. Every Loki Messenger user belongs to a Swarm. Swarms are groups of Service Nodes that can store messages offline.

When a message gets sent to a user that isn’t online, the message gets stored (in encrypted form) on one or more of the Service Nodes in the recipient’s Swarm. When the user comes online, their copy of Loki Messenger queries any node in their Swarm to see if the Swarm is holding any messages for them. If so, the recipient’s copy of Loki Messenger downloads the messages.

If the recipient replies to a message, Loki Messenger then attempts to form a direct connection with the sender as normal.

Additional Features of Loki Messenger

Beyond the basic messaging features that we’ve already looked at, Loki Messenger has some additional features that you will like. They range from usability improvements to privacy enhancements, and include:

  • Disappearing Messages
  • Safety Numbers
  • Changing Username and Nicknames
  • Light / Dark Modes

Disappearing Messages

There are times when you want to send someone a message, but you don’t want it to be a permanent part of the conversation. This is where Disappearing Messages come into play.

Disappearing Messages

Clicking the gear icon in a chat window displays message options for that chat. One of the options in that menu is to set new messages in this chat to disappear after an interval, with options that range from off (turn off disappearing messages) to 5 seconds, up to one week.

After this, any messages will automatically disappear from your chat window and that of the recipient. Loki Messenger makes it clear at the top of the chat window if Disappearing Messages are active and how long they stay visible (See above image).

Safety Numbers

Safety numbers are a set of 12, 5-digit numbers that can be used to verify the security of the end-to-end encryption of the connection with another user.

If the safety numbers that appear in your app match those that appear in the other person’s app, the end-to-end encryption of the connection is secure.

Changing Username and Nicknames

Because Loki Messenger identifies users by their public keys instead of usernames, it allows you to change your username at any time.

Likewise, it allows you to change your nickname for someone you are friends with. This doesn’t affect their username but does change what name you see for them in your app.

I can see changing nicknames to be useful for identifying someone you don’t contact frequently. Changing the name you see in your app, from “Lashana Lynch” to “The New 007”, could make it easier to keep track of who you are talking to.

Light / Dark Modes

App developers are finally moving away from the light-colored text on a black background interface trend. Like many newer apps, Loki Messenger offers both a Light and a Dark mode. I’ve been using the default Light mode throughout this article; here’s what the Dark mode looks like:

Loki Messenger Dark Mode

This is easier on the eyes (my eyes, anyway) and seems like a good option for someone interested in privacy who wants to be a little more subtle while viewing messages.

Conclusion

While it is still too early to say that it will be the private messenger we all use in 2020. Loki Messenger packs a lot of privacy and security features into one package.

We’ll be watching the development of Loki Messenger as it works its way through beta. We’ll also be keeping an eye on the progress of Lokinet, which plans to offer several other privacy-related capabilities soon.

Bonus Tip: Enhance Your Privacy Further With a VPN

If you enjoyed this article and want to improve your privacy instantly, we recommend getting a good VPN service that lets you browse torrent websites and whatever you want, without leaving any logs. If you’re interested, check out our best VPN guide, or go right to our favorite Nordvpn.

For another perspective on Loki Messenger, check out this video:

References

Loki Messenger – Taking Private Messaging to a New Level was originally found on Blokt – Privacy, Tech, Bitcoin, Blockchain & Cryptocurrency.

Source: https://blokt.com/guides/loki-messenger-taking-private-messaging-to-a-new-level

Blockchain

Cryptocurrency Exchange KuCoin Likely Hacked: Reports

A lot of Bitcoin left the exchange all at once. Now, crickets, as the exchange tells customers not to make deposits or withdrawals.

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KuCoin, which touts itself as “the most advanced and secure cryptocurrency exchange to buy and sell Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, TRON, USDT, NEO, XRP, KCS, and more” apparently has been hacked.

At stake is about $150 million worth of tokens that’s been moved to a different address, which on its own wouldn’t necessarily be cause for concern.  However, throughout the day, some users have complained about withdrawal issues

Crypto data company Cryptoquant noticed that a large amount of Bitcoin left the Kucoin wallets quickly and then, just as suddenly, no Bitcoin was leaving Kucoin wallets. “Since 20:00 UTC on September 25th,” it tweeted, “the outflow has continuously been zero.”

According to Cryptoquant CEO Ki Young Ju, that spike is a telltale sign of a hack. If it were merely a systems issue, outflows would go straight to zero without a spike.

Yet KuCoin apparently is maintaining it’s just a systems issue. At least one admin message on KuCoin’s Telegram channel indicates that users should not withdraw or deposit funds at the moment, “given the situation.” It claims that “transactions are simply pending.”

According to data from CoinMarketCap, KuCoin, based in Singapore is the 16th-most-popular crypto spot exchange when taking into account trading activity, traffic, and volume. It’s responsible for $112 million in volume over the last 24 hours.

(This article will be updated as more information becomes available.)

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Crypto Price Analysis & Overview September 25th: Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple, Chainlink, and Tezos

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Bitcoin

Bitcoin dropped by a total of 3% over the past seven days of trading as it reached the $10,600 level today. The cryptocurrency briefly pushed above the $11,000 mark last Friday but could not sustain this level as it broke beneath it during the weekend. On Monday, BTC saw a precipitous 7.5% fall as it dropped from $10,910 to reach as low as $10,200.

Bitcoin continued to head lower on Wednesday as it reached $10,140 before the buyers regrouped to initiate a rebound, which happened yesterday. During the rebound, BTC managed to break back above the 100-days EMA and reach as high as $10,760 – where it ran into resistance at the bearish .382 Fib Retracement.

The coin has dropped slightly from there to trade at $10,600 today.

Looking ahead, if the bulls can continue above the $10,760 level, higher resistance lies at $10,900 $11,000, and $11,200. Added resistance is expected at $11,340 (bearish .618 Fib Retracement), $11,500, and $11,600.

On the other side, the first level of support lies at $10,430 (100-days EMA0. This is followed by support at $10,330, $10,140, and $10,000.

btcusd-sep25
BTC/USD. Source: TradingView

Ethereum

Ethereum suffered a steeper 11.3% price decline over the past week as it reached the $346 level today. The coin was trading above $380 last Friday but started to drop lower during the weekend. On Monday, Ethereum fell from $365 to reach as low as $335 (100-days EMA).

The price decline continued on Wednesday, which saw ETH drop as low as $320. Luckily, the bulls regrouped for a rebound on Thursday in which ETH managed to reach the $252 resistance (bearish .236 Fib Retracement). It also produced a bullish engulfing candle, which is a strong bullish signal.

Moving forward, if the buyers can break the $352 level, resistance lies at $364 (2019 high), $382, $390, and $400.

On the other side, support is first expected at $336 (100-days EMA). Beneath this, support lies at $320, $306, and $300.

ethusd-sep25
ETH/USD. Source: TradingView

Ethereum also struggled against Bitcoin this week as it fell from 0.035 BTC to reach as low as 0.0311 BTC yesterday. The coin had found support yesterday at the .618 Fib Retracement, which allowed it to bounce higher to the current 0.0326 BTC level.

Looking ahead, if the bulls push higher, the first level of resistance lies at 0.033 BTC. Above this, resistance is located at 0.0337 BTC (March 2019 Support), 0.0347 BTC, and 0.0352 BTC.

On the other side, the first level of support lies at 0.032 BTC. This is followed by support at 0.0315 BTC (100-days EMA), 0.0311 BTC (.618 Fib Retracement), and 0.030 BTC.

ethbtc-sep25
ETH/BTC. Source: TradingView

Ripple

XRP witnessed a 5.5% price fall this week as the coin dropped from $0.25 to reach as low as $0.22 yesterday. The cryptocurrency managed to rebound from there to get as high as $0.24 today. However, the market is facing resistance at the 100-days EMA and must pass this to continue higher.

If the bulls break $0.24, the first level of resistance lies at $0.251 (bearish .382 Fib Retracement). Following this, resistance lies at $0.261 (bearish .5 Fib Retracement), and $0.271 (bearish .618 Fib Retracement).

On the other side, the first level of support lies at $0.235 (200-days EMA). This is followed by support at $0.23, $0.22, and $0.217.

xrpusd-sep25
XRP/USD. Source: TradingView

XRP is also struggling against BTC as it posted a fresh 2-month low at 2165 SAT (downside 1.414 Fib Extension) yesterday. The coin had slipped from 2300 SAT last Friday and continued lower until it hit the 2165 SAT support.

XRP has since bounced higher to reach the 2250 SAT level today.

If the bulls can break 2250 SAT, resistance is first located at 2300 SAT (bearish .382 Fib Retracement). Above this, resistance lies at 2350 SAT (bearish .5 Fib Retracement), 2400 SAT, and 2460 SAT.

Alternatively, support lies at 2200 SAT, 2165 SAT, and 2111 SAT.

xrpbtc-sep25
XRP/BTC. Source: TradingView

Chainlink

LINK saw a substantial 10% price fall over the past seven days, which saw the coin breaking beneath the $10 level and hitting as low as $7.31. There, it found support at a downside 1.272 Fib Extension level, which allowed it to rebound yesterday to reach the $9.90 resistance level today.

If the bulls can break $10, the first level of resistance lies at $10.40. Above this, resistance is found at $11.37 (bearish .382 Fib Retracement), $12, and $12.63 (bearish .5 Fib Retracement).

On the other side, support first lies at $9.00. Beneath this, support is found at $8.67, $8.00, and $7.31.

linkusd-sep25
LINK/USD. Source: TradingView

Against BTC, LINK dropped as low as 0.00072 BTC during the week. It was trading above a 3-month-old rising trend last Friday, but it went on to collapse beneath this support over the weekend. After reaching 0.00072 BTC, LINK bounced higher to get to the current 0.000935 BTC level today. Notice that it has returned to the previous rising trend line, which is now acting as resistance.

Looking ahead, the first level of resistance lies at 0.00095 BTC. This is followed by resistance at 0.001 BTC, 0.00103 BTC (bearish .382 Fib Retracement), and 0.00112 BTC (bearish .5 Fib Retracement).

On the other side, support is first found at 0.00091 BTC. This is followed by support at 0.0082 BTC, 0.00072 BTC, and 0.0007 BTC.

linkbtc-sep25
LINK/BTC. Source: TradingView

Tezos

XTZ saw the steepest price fall on this list as it dropped by 13% over the past 7 days. The coin fell beneath the $2.32 (.618 Fib Retracement) support on Friday and continued lower to crate a new 5-month price low as it reached $1.91. This support held over the past few days, and Tezos rebounded from here yesterday to reach $2.15 today.

Looking ahead, if the bulls break $2.20, resistance is found at $2.32, $2.53 (bearish .382 Fib Retracement), and $2.72 (bearish .5 Fib Retracement).

On the other side, the first two levels of support lie at $2.00 and $1.91. Beneath this, support is expected at $1.74 (.786 Fib Retracement), $1.68, and $1.56.

xtzusd-sep25
XTZ/USD. Source: TradingView

Tezos is suffering further against BTC as it produced a 7-month price low this week after reaching 18,600 SAT. The coin has since bounced from here to break back above 20,000 SAT today.

Looking ahead, the first level of resistance lies at 21,000 SAT. This is followed by resistance at 22,000 SAT, 21,750 SAT, and 24,300 SAT.

On the other side, beneath 20,000 SAT, support lies at 19,380 SAT, 18,600 SATm ad 17,600 SAT (.886 Fib Retracement). Added support lies at 16,600 SAT and 15,600 SAT.

xtzbtc-sep25
XTZ/BTC. Source: TradingView
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Disclaimer: Information found on CryptoPotato is those of writers quoted. It does not represent the opinions of CryptoPotato on whether to buy, sell, or hold any investments. You are advised to conduct your own research before making any investment decisions. Use provided information at your own risk. See Disclaimer for more information.

Cryptocurrency charts by TradingView.


Source: https://cryptopotato.com/crypto-price-analysis-overview-september-25th-bitcoin-ethereum-ripple-chainlink-and-tezos/

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Bitcoin Maintains $10K As Crypto Market Lost $16 Billion in 7 Days: The Weekly Crypto Market Update

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Another action-packed week took place in the crypto field. Unfortunately, the market is currently in decline as the entire capitalization lost around $16 billion over the past seven days.

The good news for Bitcoin bulls is that BTC managed to maintain itself above the critical psychological and technical support of $10,000. Things were looking rather promising until Monday when the price shot up to about $11,000.

Unfortunately, it was then when Bitcoin’s price took a sharp turn in the wrong direction and tanked to about $10,400. From there, it was a couple of days of sideways action until Wednesday when it dipped even further, calling questions whether or not $10,000 will hold. In the late hours of Thursday, however, Bitcoin bulls woke up and pushed its price to where it currently rests around $10,650.

Elsewhere, on Sunday, Buzz Feed reported that major banking giants such as JP Morgan Chase, Bank of America, Standard Chartered, HSBC, and more, were knowingly facilitating the transfer of up to $2 trillion related to suspicious and even criminal activity. This further supports the narrative that cash is used for illicit activities way more than Bitcoin. After all, $2 trillion is roughly 10x Bitcoin’s total market capitalization.

In another interesting development, the world will finally have its first official Bitcoin exchange-traded fund, though it may not be quite where people expected. It’s a collaboration between Nasdaq and a regulated Brazilian fund manager and will be launched on the Bermuda Stock Exchange (BSX).

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DeFi markets continue to boom as the total value locked in lending protocols surpassed $10 billion this week.

In any case, it’s interesting to see whether or not the hype will continue or if we will soon witness the burst of what many consider to be a DeFi-fueled bubble.

Market Data

Market Cap: $337B | 24H Vol: 105B | BTC Dominance: 58.3%

BTC: $10,613 (+2.46%) | ETH: $344.46 (+2.61%) | XRP: $0.237(+5.3%)

cryptopost_friday_1

World’s First Bitcoin ETF Approved with Expected Launch in Bermuda by End of Year. Nasdaq has collaborated with a regulated Brazilian fund manager to launch the world’s first Bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF). It should go live by the end of the year on the Bermuda Stock Exchange (BSX).

CoinGecko: 23% Participate In Yield Farming, But 40% Can’t Read Smart Contracts. According to a recent report by CoinGecko, 23% of people involved in the cryptocurrency field invest in yield farming. However, 40% of them can’t read smart contracts, leaving them seriously exposed to inherent risks associated with failures in the code.

FEW Brings Out DeFi Risks: Ethereum Proponents Caught Planning to Dump on Investors. Leaked screenshots of a Telegram group chat that includes some of the most popular Ethereum proponents have sparked a tweetstorm in Crypto Twitter. It appeared as if the participants were planning to create a token, airdrop it to themselves, hype it up, and dump it on the community.

Social Capital CEO Chamath Palihapitiya: Bitcoin Is My Best Investment Bet. The popular venture capitalist Chamath Palihapitiya has said that his best investment bet so far has been on Bitcoin. This is despite him having invested in countless successful companies and startups.

Gemini Has Now Opened Doors to Crypto Investors in the UK. The popular US-based Bitcoin trading platform Gemini has officially launched operations for its entire range of services in the United Kingdom. This comes weeks after it received a license from the country’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

Document Leak Suggests Major Banks Facilitated Transfer of $2 Trillion in Dirty Money – 10x Current Bitcoin’s Market Cap. Buzz Feed reported on a major document leak that suggests that major banks have been facilitating the transfer of up to $2 trillion associated with illicit and criminal activities. To put things in perspective, this is roughly 10x Bitcoin’s total market cap.

Charts

This week we have a chart analysis of Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple, Chainlink, and Tezos – click here for the full price analysis.

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Disclaimer: Information found on CryptoPotato is those of writers quoted. It does not represent the opinions of CryptoPotato on whether to buy, sell, or hold any investments. You are advised to conduct your own research before making any investment decisions. Use provided information at your own risk. See Disclaimer for more information.

Cryptocurrency charts by TradingView.


Source: https://cryptopotato.com/bitcoin-maintains-10k-as-crypto-market-lost-16-billion-in-7-days-the-weekly-crypto-market-update/

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