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IronKey User Has Two Guesses Left to Access or Lose $220M in Bitcoin



With just two guesses left to decide his fate with the hard drive, the user has put it in a secure facility.

Stefan Thomas, a German-born programmer, has been left in a very difficult situation after failing to guess his private keys in 8 attempts to access his Bitcoin. Thomas has 7002 Bitcoins which is around $220M in a small hard drive also called IronKey.

Users of this drive have up to 10 attempts to enter their private keys to access their assets or lose them forever. According to reports, Thomas wrote down the password of the IronKey on a piece of paper but unfortunately lost it some years ago.

When talking about how he ended up taking 8 wrong guesses, Thomas said that he desperately thinks about some letter combinations when he goes to bed, and after coming out with what he thinks could be the right one, he walks straight to his computer to try his luck. The frustration of trying to get access to a lost account is very common among people who share a similar fate. Brad Yasar, an entrepreneur in Los Angeles who lost access to his Bitcoin wallet after trying all the possible formulas spoke about how exhausting it can be.

“Through the years I would say I have spent hundreds of hours trying to get back into these wallets,” he said.

Yasar mined thousands of Bitcoins in the initial stage of the technology which could have changed his life completely. After uncountable attempts to guess the right password, Yasar has now put the hard drive containing the digital assets into a vacuum-sealed bag to prevent himself from being reminded that his current financial status is just a fraction of what he could have got.

Thomas in his interview disclosed that an early Bitcoin fanatic dashed him the 7002 Bitcoins after being impressed with an animated video entitled “What is Bitcoin?”, created in 2011. Interestingly, his love for Bitcoin has to do with the decentralized nature that makes It function outside the interference of government and central banks.

With just two guesses left to decide his fate with the hard drive, Thomas has put it in a secure facility. Thomas did this to hope that cryptographers may probably come out with a new way of cracking complex passwords in the future. He also put the IronKey in the facility for the sake of his health.

“I got to a point where I said to myself, ‘Let it be in the past, just for your mental health,” he said.

Just like Thomas, many other people whose stories may not have gotten to the mainstream media are nursing the same wound. It was reported that 20% of Bitcoin in circulation is not accessible. The reason could be that the owners have lost their private keys, or they have not been touched for a long time, or they belong to Satoshi Nakamoto. Bitcoin aims to make people manage their funds by removing middlemen from transactions. Unfortunately, the difficulties in accessing the assets due to lost private keys make it hard to conclude whether the whole idea is necessary.

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Excellent John K. Kumi is a cryptocurrency and fintech enthusiast, operations manager of a fintech platform, writer, researcher, and a huge fan of creative writing. With an Economics background, he finds much interest in the invisible factors that causes price change in anything measured with valuation. He has been in the crypto/blockchain space in the last five (5) years. He mostly watches football highlights and movies in his free time.

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Ripple Faces Another Lawsuit in Florida




Ripple has already faced a similar case filed against it by the SEC, which alleges that the XRP token is a security and not a crypto asset.

Ripple Labs is facing another imminent lawsuit as the crypto firm has been sued by Tyler Toomey, an XRP investor based in Florida.

According to this new lawsuit, Toomey alleges that the payment protocol company broke laws guiding securities in Florida with its failure to properly register with the financial authorities of the state and selling its XRP token to retail investors without any form of restriction.

The lawsuit filed in Florida accuses Ripple Lab of generating funds through its token sales to cover its operational cost. It was able to achieve this by selling the assets to various retail investors while also controlling its supply and liquidity.

Toomey acknowledges the fact that the crypto company was already facing a similar case filed against it by the Securities and Exchange Commission of the United States (SEC), which alleges that the XRP token is a security and not a crypto asset. However, he goes a step further when he says Ripple knew that the token was a security but deliberately chose to mislead investors that it was not.

Brad Garlinghouse, the CEO of Ripple, is an individual defendant in the law case. Garlinghouse was said to have sold almost $150 million worth of XRP between 2017 and 2019 and also lured more investors to the asset through different interviews he granted where he hyped up the token and predicted that its market cap could reach “trillions of dollars.”

The plaintiff lost over half of his investment in the XRP tokens between when he purchased them on Nov. 24, 2020, and his sale on December 7 and December 28, 2020.

Ripple and Its Lawsuits

Tyler Toomey lawsuit is not the only impending lawsuit that Ripple is facing. The crypto firm is also facing a class-action lawsuit that was filed against it by Bradley Sostack in 2018. At the same time, the firm is preparing to face the SEC lawsuit that is set for pre-trial by February.

Tetragon, a leading asset manager, has also filed a lawsuit against the crypto firm as it is looking to redeem its equity in Ripple. The asset manager had led a funding round in December 2019.

Due to the lawsuit filed by the SEC, the price of the XRP token tanked and major crypto exchanges like BitStamp and Coinbase have delisted the asset from their platform.

You will recall that Coinspeaker reported that XRP is believed to be controlled by Ripple because it had 100 billion units pre-mined unlike other crypto assets like Bitcoin.

Ripple has, however, denied any wrongdoing against the authorities with the firm saying it was going to stand up against the SEC on behalf of the crypto industry. The firm has also, at different times, demanded that the authorities clarify the regulations guarding the crypto space.

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Oluwapelumi is a believer in the transformative power Bitcoin and Blockchain industry holds. He is interested in sharing knowledge and ideas. When he is not writing, he is looking to meet new people and trying out new things.

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Crypto Market Cap Must Reach $2T for Bitcoin ETF to Be Approved




Catherine Wood also praised the newly nominated head of SEC Gary Gensler is “very pro Bitcoin”.

The CEO of Ark Investment Management Cathie Wood has said that financial regulators in the United States will not assent to a Bitcoin exchange-traded fund unless the overall market capitalization of the crypto industry hits $2 trillion. This was made known in an ETF Trends Big Ideas event.

According to Wood, she doubts if the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) would feel comfortable with the leading crypto asset unless the “flood of demand” for Bitcoin is satisfied. She noted that the crypto industry currently has a market cap of $1 trillion, this has to double before the authorities can accept a Bitcoin ETF. Currently, Bitcoin has a market cap of over $600 million which is bigger than the market cap of financial institutions like MasterCard and Visa.

During her presentation, she predicted that Bitcoin price could continue to rise especially if the current institutional adoption of the asset should continue. The Ark CEO cited MicroStrategy’s Bitcoin-first treasury policy and said if other top companies were to put only 1% of their assets in Bitcoin, then the value of the asset could rise by up to $40,000. Microstrategy’s CEO Michael Saylor has remained bullish about the crypto industry and has maintained his insistence on allocating his company’s assets into the crypto coin.

She furthered this view by saying if these institutions were to allocate between 2.5% and 6.5% of their assets to BTC, then we can expect the asset value to be as high as $500,000.

Wood Believes that New SEC Chairman Is Good for Bitcoin and Crypto Industry

Wood also went on to praise the head of SEC Gary Gensler newly nominated by President Biden. She said that the digital currency professor is “very pro Bitcoin” which is very good news for the crypto industry generally.

Gensler who made his name during his stint as the Chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) previously is well renowned for his knowledge and positive disposition towards decentralization and digitization of finance. He labels himself to be “a little bit center minimalist on Bitcoin.” While he is more pro blockchain technologies and smart contracts.

In an earlier interview with Yahoo Finance, the Ark CEO, has said that many large companies have been asking for her opinion about the possibility of investing in Bitcoin as an hedge against inflation. She added that we could see the entrance of more tech companies who are more comfortable with the technology putting their funds into the crypto industry.

Since the beginning of last year, we have witnessed the entrance of major tech companies and other top financial institutions entering into the crypto industry. Analysts have tied the entrance of these new institutional investors to the rise in value of the crypto asset.

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Oluwapelumi is a believer in the transformative power Bitcoin and Blockchain industry holds. He is interested in sharing knowledge and ideas. When he is not writing, he is looking to meet new people and trying out new things.

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Despite Growth on Other Blockchains, DeFi Is Still Ethereum’s Forte




Ethereum has a major DeFi lead in several key metrics, including the overall number of DeFi apps, number of DeFi users, number of DeFi developers, and total value transacted through DeFi apps.

As the race for decentralized finance (DeFi) supremacy heats up, Ethereum is still leaps and bounds ahead of the pack, and it doesn’t look like that’s about to change any time soon. In the last few months, a wide variety of other blockchains have seen DeFi development activity skyrocket, with platforms like TRON, Cardano, EOS, Algorand, KAVA, and several others seeing a surge in the number of DeFi-related apps launched.

But as of yet, none have managed to come close to Ethereum’s success – despite many claiming to offer advantages over the platform, such as lower fees, better scalability, or better development tools.

Here we take a look at an often-overlooked reason why this may be.

DeFi Is About Community

Photo: Pixabay

Although several next-generation blockchains have appeared in recent years, many of which offer impressive scalability, speed, interoperability, and more. None have managed to overtake Ethereum as a hub for decentralized finance.

This is because DeFi is as much about new, exciting technologies and opportunities as it is about community. Though it is true that Ethereum sometimes suffers from high fees and delays during peak times, it also has by far the largest community in the cryptocurrency scene (barring Bitcoin).

Over the past six years, Ethereum has been gradually growing its community, including fervent developers, node operators, and general enthusiasts, giving it a solid foundation for the rapid uptake of new, innovative protocols and tools.

Because of this, Ethereum has a major DeFi lead in several key metrics, including the overall number of DeFi apps, number of DeFi users, number of DeFi developers, and total value transacted through DeFi apps. As a result, a single Ethereum DeFi app (Uniswap) has more transaction volume and total value locked (TVL) than all other DeFi apps on all other blockchains combined.

Uniswap trading volume exceeds that of all other DeFi apps (on other blockchains) combined. Photo: Coingecko

Uniswap trading volume exceeds that of all other DeFi apps (on other blockchains) combined.

This not only means DeFi apps on Ethereum have a drastically higher chance of success than those on competing blockchains, but they also have a better chance of receiving investment, generating community code contributions, and earning recognition – since there is always a legion of vocal, passionate community members to draw from.

If DeFi was a race, then Ethereum is inches from the finish line.

Leveraging the Community

Other projects that have already built a strong community likely have some understanding that this community is an essential part of their success. This is why many of them build on Ethereum.

Take NewsCrypto as an example. As a community-centric platform for analyzing crypto markets and improving trading performance, NewsCrypto has managed to develop a substantial community of its own.

Despite originally launching the NewsCrypto Coin (NWC) token on the Stellar blockchain, it recently launched it on the Ethereum blockchain as an ERC-20 token. This allowed it to list to token on Uniswap, opening the doors to DeFi to its hundreds of thousands of users – something that could not be done on Stellar.

With that said, Polkadot stands out as one of Ethereum’s biggest potential rivals. Though the platform is still arguably in its early days of development and only launched its mainnet recently (mid-2020), the number of upcoming DeFi launches on the platform number in the hundreds.

Not only this, but it also has a staggering community behind it, which may help it succeed where other platforms have failed.

But for now, it remains Ethereum vs everyone else.

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Julia Sakovich

Having obtained a diploma in Intercultural Communication, Julia continued her studies taking a Master’s degree in Economics and Management. Becoming captured by innovative technologies, Julia turned passionate about exploring emerging techs believing in their ability to transform all spheres of our life.

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