The Daily

The Daily: Wallet Hacking Debate Heats Up, Bitcoin-Based Patreon Alternative Emerges

To kickstart the weekend, we’ve curated a handful of short but compelling stories from across the crypto sphere. First up, we’ll revisit the fallout from Wallet Fail’s demonstration of hardware wallet cracking. We’ll then move on to a Patreon alternative that’s powered by cryptocurrency and a viral tweetstorm about everything that’s allegedly wrong with Ethereum.

Also read: Blockchain Company Buys Spanish Soccer Club, Cementing Crypto-Sports Connection

More Hardware Wallet Manufacturers Respond to Hacking Claims

As we reported yesterday, a team known as Wallet Fail have captured attention after demonstrating how to crack several cryptocurrency hardware wallets. Ledger and Trezor, the manufacturers whose devices were exploited at the 35C3 conference, were swift to issue rebuttals and reassurances, emphasizing the impracticality of an attacker implementing one of Wallet Fail’s methods in the wild. Since we reported on the story, a number of other hardware wallet companies have also responded to the presentation.

The Coldcard hardware wallet

“Keepkey did not have prior knowledge of this vulnerability through our responsible disclosure program,” tweeted the wallet manufacturer, but explained that “The Keepkey dev team is working on a fix.” They then stressed that “all users should make sure their physical device is in a safe place, as the attacker must have physical access to be successful.” Coldcard, meanwhile, pointed out that its own device wasn’t referenced in Wallet Fail’s presentation, and used the opportunity to boast that, unlike the competition, its own wallet doesn’t fail. The Wallet Fail team, for its part, has denied allegations that it didn’t disclose the vulnerabilities it found to manufacturers in advance of its presentation:

Just to clarify, we disclosed this “non-vulnerability” to @LedgerHQ 161 days ago. https://t.co/5TqTPeGVfU

— WALLET.FAIL (@walletfail) December 28, 2018

Bitcoin-Based Patreon Alternative Tallycoin Takes Off

In the wake of widespread controversy over Patreon liberally banning content creators, a bitcoin-based alternative has begun to gain traction. Tallycoin takes the model popularized by Patreon and Gofundme and adapts it for P2P cash in the form of BTC. Unlike Patreon, which charges 5 percent, Tallycoin takes zero fees, with all funding going directly to the creator’s bitcoin wallet. Regular BTC and Lightning Network payments are accepted, and while the user interface is simple, the platform demonstrates the potential for a censorship-resistant Patreon alternative.

Tuur Demeester’s Anti-Ethereum Rant Goes Viral

On Friday, prominent bitcoiner Tuur Demeester embarked on a 50-strong Twitter rant about everything he deemed to be wrong with Ethereum. From scaling to decentralization and from use cases to monetary supply, he left no stone unturned, describing the project as “at best a science experiment.” “I agree with Ethereum developer Vlad Zamfir that it’s not money, not safe, and not scalable,” he continued.

1/ People often ask me why I’m so “against” Ethereum. Why do I go out of my way to point out flaws or make analogies that put it in a bad light?

— Tuur Demeester (@TuurDemeester) December 28, 2018

Demonstrating that there are two sides to every tweetstorm, Bryant Eisenbach issued a point-by-point rebuttal of Demeester’s lengthy indictment on Ethereum. While Adamant Capital founder Tuur Demeester’s rant caught plenty of flak from Ethereum proponents, Bitcoin maximalists such as Jimmy Song were swift to endorse his critique. The thread also prompted intense discussion on the Ethereum subreddit where a few feathers were rustled.

Kraken Launches BCH and XRP Margin Trading

Finally, margin trading for bitcoin cash and ripple has been enabled on Kraken. The U.S. cryptocurrency exchange now enables retail and institutional clients to obtain leverage on both coins, with the borrowing limit depending on the level of the account in question. Bitcoin cash can be traded with up to 3x leverage and ripple with 5x.

We have enabled margin trading for Bitcoin Cash (BCH) and Ripple (XRP)! The addition expands our margin offering to 8 assets. Read more on our blog: https://t.co/DSBaMBdOR7

— Kraken Exchange (@krakenfx) December 29, 2018

What are your thoughts on today’s news tidbits as featured in The Daily? Let us know in the comments section below.

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