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The Canadian mortgage broker’s customer base remains open on the Internet

A Canadian mortgage broker’s database containing the personal information of thousands of people has been exposed online, according to security researchers.

Access to a database owned by Toronto-based 8Twelve Financial Technologies was briefly restricted after the company was notified by researcher Jeremy Folwer and staff at Website Planet, which offers resources for website builders.

According to a report released today, the database contains names, phone numbers, email addresses, physical addresses, and more. including 717,814 records on thousands of Canadian residents with home mortgage loan information. Many of the notes appear to be mortgage loans from people looking to buy a home, refinance, get a home equity loan or buy an investment property, the report says.

“We immediately issued a responsible disclosure notice, and 8Twelve acted quickly and professionally by restricting public access within hours of our discovery,” the researchers said.

ITWorldCanada Rick McLaughlin, chief marketing officer of 8Twelve Financial, requested an interview with an official to explain how the incident occurred. No response was given to the press.

The company has two lines of business: For mortgage lending, 8Twelve Mortgage, the company’s website says, negotiates with 65 lenders to find the best mortgage rates in Toronto’s North York area; and 8T Capital, which offers short-term loans.

This apparent breach of security controls is the latest in a string of unsecured corporate databases discovered on the Internet. Often, these misconfigured files are uploaded to cloud storage sites like Amazon AWS, where creators temporarily host them or intend to perform data analysis, then forget to password protect the files or ensure they are not publicly accessible. internet.

The vendor’s SecurityTrails blog notes that some of the most common database mistakes involve using Elasticsearch, a database for storing and analyzing large volumes of data. Elasticsearch only binds to localhost by default, which the article notes is safe enough. But, he adds, to make Elasticsearch usable in an organization, database administrators often make the mistake of connecting Elasticsearch to a public network interface without a firewall.

An excellent tool for finding open databases is the Shodan search engine, which finds everything connected to the Internet. As mentioned in a 2017 article on open databases in Wired, if you want to find all MongoDB databases connected to the public internet, just type “MongoDB” into Shodan. Not all databases found will contain sensitive personal information, but some may.

According to Website Planet, the database includes:

  • 717,814 records. The database contained one folder called “applicant” and five folders called “application”;
  • applicant’s names, emails, work, home and mobile phone number. Some records contain physical addresses, state or province. Information found in records may be considered Personally Identifiable Information (PII) because most of the information may relate to a specific individual;
  • In a random sample of 10,000 records, the term “email” returned 18,382 results. Each record shown consisted of two email addresses; accompanied by an appropriate person from 8Twelve agents, one of whom belongs to the applicant. Almost all common email services appeared in the data, particularly Gmail (13,695 results) and Yahoo (3,406), along with Outlook, iCloud, AOL and a smaller number of other email providers.
  • Mortgages from many Canadian provinces are collected in multiple folders labeled “Product” (which we assume means “production”). The records showed where the leads came from: Facebook ads, referral, website, etc. Campaign ID numbers are also recorded in applicant files, which we believe are for the purposes of internal tracking of sales and marketing effectiveness.
  • information that applicants provide about their financial situation in the form of credit scores, bankruptcy, savings, financial and other information to begin the loan application process. For credit evaluation purposes, mortgage agents may be required to determine an applicant’s creditworthiness by disclosing the above financial information to an independent credit reporting agency or other source.
  • records also include 8 Twelve employees’ names, email addresses, and internal records of a potential loan or customer indicating whether the applicant is creditworthy.

It is not known how long the unprotected database was open to the internet.

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Unbanked and Mastercard to Accelerate Cryptocard Adoption within Web3 Organizations in Europe – Press Release Bitcoin News

PRESS RELEASE. Unbanked, a leading provider of white-label cryptocurrency card issuance and program management services for Web3 companies, is partnering with Mastercard to accelerate the issuance of DeFi cards in Europe, it was announced today.

Mastercard and Unbanked have already established their footprints in the UK and Europe and have strengthened relationships with leading Web3 organizations to launch card applications with a focus on innovation in the payments space. Through this initiative, Unbanked and Mastercard are committed to enabling the issuance of cryptocurrency-enabled card applications focused on simplicity, security and consumer protection.

“At Mastercard, we believe in offering consumers and businesses a choice in how they want to pay and get paid. This initiative with Unbanked is proof that we are working to accelerate the issuance of crypto cards and strengthen options in the market, knowing that they are provided with the safety, security and protection they expect from our network. Christian Rau, Senior Vice President of Fintech and Crypto Enablement, Mastercard Europe.

Unbanked worked with the Litecoin Foundation to offer Litecoin Card to US residents for more than two years. Li in partnership with Unbanked and MastercardThe tecoin Card program will be available to residents of the UK and Europe – reaching approximately 84% of the European population. Litecoin is one of the oldest and most widely used cryptocurrencies globally and was specifically designed to provide fast, secure and inexpensive payments using the unique features of blockchain technology.

“There has been a lot of anticipation from the Litecoin community as to when more countries will be available, so everyone at the Litecoin Foundation is very excited about the expansion of the Litecoin Card to residents of the UK and Europe,” said Charlie Lee. Litecoin. “Unbanked has been a fantastic partner in providing an LTC-enabled card program within the US when others could not, and the Litecoin Foundation looks forward to working with them to further expand access.”

The Unbanked platform supports many of the biggest players in the Web3 industry, allowing companies to create a personalized branded experience for their user base. White label card issuance, crypto wallets, bank accounts, etc. Unbanked can be installed through the API and connected to the mobile or web interface. Unbanked’s internal compliance ensures that all partners achieve full compliance and verification, ensuring their users and payment system.

“I am delighted to be working with Mastercard to launch crypto card applications in the UK, Europe and beyond,” said Ian Kane, Co-Founder and CEO of Unbanked. “Mastercard is very forward-thinking when it comes to digital assets, so it’s a great achievement to bring them together with the Litecoin Foundation to enable consumers to use Litecoin in their everyday lives.”

About Unbanked

Unbanked is a global fintech solution built on blockchain. Based on the idea that financial access and control is a basic human right, Unbanked expands the utility of cryptocurrency for investment and everyday purchases by combining traditional enterprise, fintech and banking systems with blockchain infrastructure. The company has a suite of highly customized financial products that enable the banked, unbanked and unbanked alike to create a financial experience as unique as their life. More information about Unbanked can be found at Unbanked.com.

About Mastercard (NYSE: MA)

Mastercard is a global technology company in the payments industry. Our mission is to connect and empower an inclusive, digital economy that benefits everyone, everywhere by making transactions safe, simple, smart and accessible. Using secure data and networks, partnerships and passion, our innovations and solutions help individuals, financial institutions, governments and businesses realize their greatest potential. Our decency quotient, or DQ, drives our culture and everything we do inside and outside of our company. With connections in more than 210 countries and territories, we build a sustainable world that opens up invaluable opportunities for all.

About the Litecoin Foundation

The Litecoin Foundation is a non-profit organization created to promote Litecoin for the benefit of society by developing and promoting cutting-edge blockchain technologies. Registered in Singapore, the Litecoin Foundation team consists of full-time and volunteer support from around the world. For more information, visit https://litecoin.net.

This is a press release. Readers should do their due diligence before taking any action regarding the promoted company or any of its affiliates or services. Bitcoin.com shall not be liable, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use or use of any content, goods or services mentioned in the press release.


Bitcoin.com is your go-to source for all things cryptocurrency. Contact the Media team at ads@bitcoin.com to discuss press releases, sponsored posts, podcasts and other options.

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Tech stocks extend post-Fed rally, Dow futures lag

U.S. stocks were mixed on Thursday, highlighted by gains in tech stocks after the Federal Reserve’s latest rate hike and ahead of another earnings package from the tech industry’s biggest players.

The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite (^IXIC) was up more than 3% in midday trading. The S&P 500 (^GSPC) added 1.3%, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average (^DJI) declined 0.3%.

The yield on the 10-year US Treasury note fell to 3.358% on Thursday morning. The dollar index increased by 0.12% to 101.33 dollars

Major U.S. stock averages closed higher on Wednesday after the Federal Reserve raised its expected interest rate by 25 basis points, marking another slowdown in its campaign to fight inflation. Positive comments from Chairman of the Board Jerome Powell on the inflation situation lifted the markets.

The Fed’s decision follows recent economic data showing more evidence of slowing inflation in the past few months, although Powell stressed the Fed’s campaign is far from over.

WASHINGTON, DC – FEBRUARY 01: Federal Reserve Board Chairman Jerome Powell speaks during a news conference after the Federal Open Market Committee meeting on February 01, 2023 in Washington, DC. The Federal Reserve announced an increase in the interest rate by 0.25 percentage points to a range of 4.50-4.75 percent. (Photo: Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images)

The macro picture was mixed on Wednesday, with the latest ISM manufacturing PMI declining and missing consensus expectations. Meanwhile, private payrolls reports added 106,000 jobs in January, below the 170,000 expected by economists.

The next major event on the macroeconomic front is Friday’s January jobs report, which is important for investors to further assess whether there is evidence of softening in the labor market.

The jobs report for December showed that the labor market remained strong as employers added a strong 233,000 jobs over the month and an average monthly gain of 375,000 over the past year.

The number of Americans who filed new jobless claims fell to 183,000 in the week ended Jan. 28, down from 195,000 expected by economists, the Labor Department reported on Thursday.

On the earnings front, Meta Platforms ( META ) reported fourth-quarter results after a call that beat revenue expectations, while expenses fell by $5 billion. It also announced a $40 billion share buyback. Shares of the social media giant surged more than 23% in midday trading on Thursday.

The S&P 500 heavyweights — Amazon ( AMZN ), Apple ( AAPL ), Alphabet ( GOOG ) — are set to report quarterly results on Thursday after the bell. All were up at least 3% in Thursday’s trading.

Merck & Co. ( MRK ) posted better-than-expected fourth-quarter earnings but forecast softer near-term earnings, sending shares lower on Thursday. The company reported adjusted earnings of $1.62 per share, down 10% from the same period last year, but above consensus estimates of $1.54 per share. Merck said revenue rose 2% to $13.83 billion, versus forecasts of $13.67 billion.

Separately, Eli Lilly ( LLY ) reported a stronger-than-expected fourth quarter on Thursday and raised its full-year profit forecasts. Eli Lilly said adjusted earnings for the quarter were $2.09 per share, versus the consensus estimate of $1.78. Revenue fell 8.75% to $7.3 billion from last year, slightly missing expectations of $7.33 billion.

Overall, the earnings season appears to have improved in the fourth quarter, noted Andrew Tyler of the US Market Intelligence team at JP Morgan. But he said the question remains: “Will investors follow the soft landing story and the current rally?”

The tech results come as layoffs in the sector have become apparent over the past few months, as firms come to terms with slowing growth after posting record profits during the pandemic. According to a report by Challenger, Gray & Christmas Inc., the total number of tech jobs cut in the past month was 41,829, the highest among industries.

Elsewhere in the markets, shares of Carvana ( CVNA ) surged as much as 33% early Thursday, pushing the online used car retailer’s year-to-date gain to more than 280%.

Meanwhile, abroad, the Bank of England followed the US Fed in raising interest rates by 0.5% to 4%, the highest level in 14 years. An increase of 3.5% was widely expected by economists. It is the 10th consecutive rate hike as the bank tries to tame record high inflation.

The European Central Bank, the central bank of the 20 countries that share the euro, raised interest rates by another half percentage point to 2.5%, in line with market expectations. The ECB said the next rate hike would be of the same size.

Dani Romero is a reporter for Yahoo Finance. Follow him on Twitter @daniromerotv

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Billionaire Venture Capitalist Tim Draper Says Bitcoin And Artificial Intelligence Could Make SL Paradise For Global Entrepreneurs – Breaking News

  • He insists Sri Lanka can replicate the success of El Salvador and Estonia, which have used the latest technologies to transform their nations.
  • Draper came to SL to engage with key stakeholders in government, including President Ranil Wickremesinghe and the local startup ecosystem.

By Nichel Fernando
Billionaire venture capitalist Tim Draper is proposing Sri Lanka adopt bitcoin as its currency, while enabling the adoption of cross-industry artificial intelligence (AI) via 5G to position the country as a haven for global entrepreneurs.

Tim Draper

“My advice to Sri Lanka is that you have been pushed into a corner by the press, you need to repaint yourself as a place of entrepreneurs and technology. My best suggestion to the president was to think in terms of attracting entrepreneurs to the country. How do you attract entrepreneurs to the country? This is by encouraging them to come and make their lives really interesting and exciting while they are here. If there was 5G everywhere, if there was bitcoin as a currency, if you had a degree in artificial intelligence, the government is starting to say that we will start using artificial intelligence everywhere we go and change our country, which is digitized and digitized. , is honest.

Amazing things can happen,” he said. He said this while participating in a panel discussion titled ‘From Troubled Nation to Startup Nation’ organized by Hatch, an award-winning Sri Lankan co-working space, start-up incubator and accelerator, in Colombo on Tuesday. Hatch has entered into a strategic partnership with Draper Startup House, a global network of spaces connecting resources for entrepreneurs.

As part of the partnership, Draper came to Sri Lanka to engage with key government stakeholders, including President Ranil Wickremesinghe and the local startup ecosystem. Draper insisted that Sri Lanka can replicate the success of El Salvador and Estonia, which are using the latest technologies to transform their nations.
“It will change every industry in the world. Why don’t you go ahead and say that we are a country for AI; we are a country that will make it easy for everyone.

Then you will attract everyone. El Salvador was not a very interesting country for anyone. Then they adopted bitcoin as a national currency. Then people started flooding there. Estonia was not very interesting either. Then virtual residency program, digital identity, digital voting, digital parking, etc. they created If you are known for something in the world and hang this banner, everyone will come to your country,” he elaborated. In particular, he emphasized that it makes sense for a country like Sri Lanka, which has seen its fiat currency lose 80 percent in value in six months, to adopt decentralized bitcoin as its official currency.

“Soon you will be saying why am I working in my own government fiat currency? Why do I want a rupee here? It has decreased by 80 percent in six months. Why do I want this? Of course, bitcoin took a big hit, but it’s not that bad. They will say that I prefer a currency that will increase in value over time, rather than a currency that is guaranteed to lose value next year.” He said decentralized virtual currencies like bitcoin have the potential to prevent a future economic crisis caused by excessive money printing and reckless financial spending. “In most countries, there is usually someone who prints too much money, mismanages the economy, spends money recklessly, or creates terrible inflation. If you have a decentralized currency, you don’t understand this, because if you push it down somewhere, it opens up somewhere else. It’s global, it’s transparent, it keeps perfect records, it’s a faster way to send money and everything is better. I believe that the next revolution, bitcoin and then artificial intelligence, has greater potential than the internet has ever had.” In addition, he noted that by replacing fiat currency with bitcoin, the government could increase tax collections while reducing corruption and unnecessary spending.

“Bitcoin has opened up a number of interesting markets. Blockchain keeps perfect records. Only a few governments have recognized this, but as soon as the government recognizes this, they will receive their taxes without auditors, accountants, bookkeepers, transfer agents or anything else. It keeps perfect records, so it avoids corruption. It’s just a blockchain. Then there are smart contracts. If you’re doing a legal transaction with a smart contract, then you don’t need a lawyer. We’re making a deal and it’s in the software, that’s the deal,” he added.

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US weekly jobless claims fall to nine-month low; productivity gains momentum

  • Weekly jobless claims fell by 3,000 to 183,000
  • Pending claims fell by 11,000 to 1.655 million
  • Output accelerated to a 3.0% pace in the fourth quarter
  • Unit labor costs grew by 1.1%

WASHINGTON, Feb 2 (Reuters) – The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits fell to a nine-month low last week, as the labor market held steady despite higher borrowing costs and rising fears of a recession this year.

An unexpected drop in weekly jobless claims reported by the Labor Department on Thursday fueled cautious optimism that the economy may be in recession or merely experiencing a shallow and brief recession. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell told reporters on Wednesday that “the economy can return to 2% inflation without a really significant slowdown or a really big increase in unemployment.”

“One day soon, economists will have to reverse those calls for a recession in 2023 because the labor market refuses to retreat from the lowest unemployment rate in decades,” said Christopher Rupkey, chief economist at FWDBONDS in New York.

Initial claims for state jobless benefits fell to a seasonally adjusted 183,000 in the week ended Jan. 28, the lowest level since April 2022. This is the third consecutive weekly decline in applications. Economists polled by Reuters had forecast 200,000 claims for the final week.

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Unadjusted claims fell by 872 last week to 224,356. Kentucky, California and Ohio saw notable declines in filings, offsetting increases in Georgia and New York.

Claims are down this year, consistent with a continued tight labor market. On Wednesday, the government said there were 11 million jobs at the end of December, and 1.9 jobs for every unemployed person.

“The labor market has yet to respond meaningfully to the rapid rise in interest rates,” said Rubeela Farooqi, chief U.S. economist at High Frequency Economics in White Plains, New York.

Outside of the technology industry and interest-rate-sensitive sectors such as housing and finance, employers have refrained from laying off workers after struggling to find workers during the pandemic, but also because they are optimistic economic conditions will improve later this year.

A report from the Institute for Supply Management said on Wednesday that producers “indicate they will not significantly reduce head count as they look ahead to the second half of the year.”

Stocks were trading higher on Wall Street. The dollar rose against a basket of currencies. US Treasury yields fell.


On Wednesday, the US central bank raised its policy rate by 25 basis points to a range of 4.50-4.75% and promised “sustained increases” in borrowing costs.

The claims report showed that the number of people receiving benefits fell by 11,000 to 1.655 million in the week ending Jan. 21, after the first week of aid to hire advocates. This is called continuing claims, which partially revised the increases recorded in the previous two weeks.

The claims data is unrelated to the January employment report, which is scheduled to be released on Friday, as it falls outside the survey period. Nonfarm payrolls rose by 185,000 jobs last month, according to a Reuters poll of economists.

In December, 223 thousand jobs were created in the economy. The unemployment rate appeared to have risen to 3.6% in December from a more than 50-year high of 3.5%.

A surge in layoffs in the technology sector in January added to job cuts. A separate report Thursday from global outsourcing firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas showed job cuts announced by US-based employers rose 136% to 102,943. This is the highest January reading since 2009.

The technology sector accounted for 41% of the job cuts, with 41,829 layoffs. Retailers cut 13,000 jobs, while financial firms planned to cut 10,603 jobs.

Unemployment claims and Challenger layoffs

“It is difficult to fully reconcile the seemingly conflicting messages from the jobless claims data and the Challenger job cuts data,” said Daniel Silver, an economist at JPMorgan in New York. “One possible explanation for the recent discrepancy is that people are being laid off but not applying for unemployment insurance. This could be because people can easily find a new job or because severance payments are delaying their eligibility for unemployment benefits.”

Despite the tight labor market, wage inflation is slowing and may continue to do so, as the Labor Department’s third report showed that labor productivity accelerated to the fastest annual rate of 3.0% in a year after rising 1.4% in the fourth quarter. in the third quarter.

Productivity decreased by 1.5% compared to a year ago and by 1.3% in 2022. However, the main reason for this was the distortions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Productivity increased by 5.1% from the fourth quarter of 2019.

As a result, unit labor costs – the cost of labor per product unit – increased by 1.1%. That was the smallest gain since the first quarter of 2021 and followed a 2.0% growth rate in the third quarter. While unit labor costs rose 4.5% from a year ago, they were down from their peak of 7.0% in the 12 months to the second quarter of 2022.

Labor costs and productivity

“The bottom line is that even with rising unemployment and questionable job stability, the labor market no longer appears to be a significant source of inflationary pressure,” said Paul Ashworth, chief North American economist at Capital Economics in Toronto. .

Reporting by Lucia Mutikani; Edited by Andrea Ricci

Our standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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AT&T plans to bring Fiber Internet to Charleston and Greenville

South Carolina Broadband Office Announces Plans to Bring Strong Broadband with AT&T Fiber to More than 9,000 Customer Locations in Charleston and Greenville

The plans call for AT&T Fiber with speeds up to 5 Gig to help bridge the digital divide

The South Carolina Broadband Office announced a project with AT&T* to expand AT&T Fiber to more than 9,000 additional customer locations in Greenville and Charleston.

AT&T in Greenville has been selected to install AT&T Fiber to nearly 2,500 customer premises in a $12.3 million project.

In Charleston, the plan calls for AT&T Fiber to be delivered to about 6,900 customer locations in a $10.5 million project.

“For South Carolina to remain competitive, especially in our rural areas, we must ensure that high-speed Internet is available to every South Carolinian. Governor Henry McMaster. “Thanks to the partnership between the South Carolina Broadband Office and our private partners like AT&T, we continue to make great progress, ultimately improving the quality of life for thousands of South Carolinians.”

The plans call for residents and businesses to get access to the fastest internet possible, reaching speeds of 5 Gigabytes.1 and 25X faster download speed2 and more download bandwidth than cable.3 Faster speeds and increased bandwidth mean customers can connect multiple devices simultaneously, stream multiple entertainment sources, quickly upload content to social media and experience ultra-low latency for high-end gaming.

Extensive planning and engineering work for this project will begin immediately. The construction of the network is expected to be completed by the end of 2024.

“Bringing fast and reliable AT&T Fiber to Greenville and Charleston is a great example of how we’re helping bridge the digital divide through public-private partnerships,” said AT&T South Carolina President Jane Soseby. “With AT&T Fiber, we’re connecting more South Carolinians with blazing-fast internet that will help advance education, telemedicine and entrepreneurship in the Palmetto State.”

AT&T has extensive experience deploying fiber optics in South Carolina. In fact, today more than 400,000 locations in the state have access to AT&T Fiber.

Residents and businesses can learn more about AT&T Fiber at att.com/fiber and sign up to receive notifications when service becomes available at att.com/notifyme.

AT&T is working to further bridge the digital divide by rolling out AT&T Fiber through public-private partnerships in communities across the country and encouraging adoption and offering affordable internet solutions.

One of those ways is to participate in the federal Affordable Connection Program (ACP). ACP provides up to $30 per month (up to $75 per month on responsible tribal lands) to eligible households to reduce the cost of broadband service and may be applied to AT&T Fiber when available. Or use it correctly Access from AT&TIt offers speeds up to 100Mbps for $0 after ACP benefit is applied. Once ACP has confirmed your eligibility, call 866-986-0963 or visit us online to review your options and book service. Make sure you have your ACP program ID handy when doing this.

About AT&T in South Carolina

From 2019 to 2021, AT&T is investing nearly $800 million in its wireless and wireless networks in South Carolina to expand coverage and improve connectivity in more communities. This investment has improved reliability, coverage and overall performance for residents and businesses. It’s also enhanced critical communications services for South Carolina’s first responders using the FirstNet® network.

To be the Best Broadband Provider

Whether you’re at home, at work or on the go, we’re on a mission to be America’s best broadband provider. We do this by connecting the most reliable 5G network4 With the fastest growing fiber internet in America5, so you get a seamless experience from a single provider. Being the best communications provider also means serving the critical mission of America’s first responders. FirstNet®, built with AT&T, is the only purpose-built, nationwide wireless broadband communications platform dedicated to the public safety community.

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Despite the headwinds in the market, Bitcoin Mining is growing rapidly

Bitcoin according to the latest information, mining has never been so difficult.

The network’s mining difficulty has reached an all-time high 37.59 trillion hashes After posting a rare increase of more than 10% on January 15th, the highest jump since last November – the only time in 2022 that mining difficulty increased by double-digit percentages.

In addition to the high mining difficulty, from the data CoinWarz Bitcoin’s hashrate, best understood as the network’s computing power, also shows a steady rise over the past three years, despite a brief dip following the May 2021 crash of Terra.

On January 6, 2023, the bitcoin hash rate reached 361.20 EH/s (ExaHashes per second).

Bitcoin hash rate since January 2020. Source: CoinWarz.

Taken together, both hash rate and mining difficulty indicate a strong and growing network.

At the same time, there are plenty of recent signs that the mining sector is suffering from serious headwinds.

Compute North, a data center provider for cryptocurrency miners and blockchain companies, has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy last SeptemberNasdaq-listed Bitcoin miner Basic Science He did the same before Christmas. Thanks to the Argo mining operation, it managed not to year-end contract with multi-party crypto firm Galaxy Digital.

There were also a few miners They dump their Bitcoin reserves to strengthen their balance sheets.

On top of this mess, Bitcoin’s hash price, a term coined by mining platform Luxor that measures Bitcoin’s mining revenue potential, is 43% below its 2022 average. This decline, combined with energy price inflation, means that mining margins for some miners have never been thinner.

However, Bitcoin mining remains a profitable venture for others, and its global reach is growing.

To separate fact from FUD, Open the password spoke to some of the sector’s leaders to understand why it’s business as usual in the mining industry despite collapsing Bitcoin prices and widespread bankruptcies.

Mining difficulty, hash rate: a quick primer

The Bitcoin network calculates how hard it is to mine Bitcoin, or how much computing power is required to earn it, according to the supply and demand of miners every 2016 blocks (about every two weeks).

The more miners deployed, the more competition there is between them to confirm the block (and win the reward), which ultimately makes mining harder and harder.

But as the difficulty increases, if the price of Bitcoin does not rise, miners may face lower profits because they need more computation and electricity to mine the same valuable asset.

However, increasing difficulty also indicates a strong and growing network, so the temperature of the sector cannot be taken from mining difficulty metrics alone.

To hash rate. Simply put, Bitcoin miners attempt to solve complex encrypted puzzles to validate records of transactions called “blocks” that are then added to Bitcoin’s immutable distributed ledger system. Miners are incentivized to do this through block rewards in the form of Bitcoin.

Each attempt to break the encryption generates a unique code called a “hash”. The first miner to submit a valid hash for a candidate block receives a reward and is added to the blockchain. This way, miners are encouraged to confirm their blocks quickly.

The higher the hash rate, the more attempts (or hashes) Bitcoin miners can make to crack the code in one second – this is a clear indicator of the network’s performance.

according to today’s readingsThe Bitcoin network runs at an astonishing 273.76 EH/s, meaning miners earn about 273 quintillion cracking attempts every second.

The condition of the miners

According to experts, the mining economy has a way of separating the wheat from the chaff.

“The short answer is that most of the over-leveraged miners have already left the network, leaving only quality and cheap miners,” said Scott Norris, co-founder of Bitcoin miner LSJ Ops. Open the password. “They’ve seen a lot of these bear markets before, and they have a model and low energy costs that have carried them through it. So we’re not seeing the same amount of network outages as in the past.”

While troubled operations like Argo and Compute North have made headlines, they haven’t shut down any machines yet and are still profitable, albeit with thinner margins.

Marathon Digital Holdings, the the second largest mining company with market capitalization still exists in the world Increases Bitcoin reserves despite his firm severe exposure To calculate north.

Charles Schumacher, vice president of corporate communications, said: “Obviously we’ve had some hiccups to work through, but all of our miners are still working. That site It used to run Compute North which is where most of our operational miners are today. It is now run by Bitcoin Corp of the USA and it is based on a wind farm in Texas. There are 68,000 miners there.”

“Because we’re outsourced, we can run pretty lean,” he said, noting that the company’s total staff is “about 30 people right now.” He also attributed Marathon’s sustainability to “negotiating contracts and what we’re paying for energy, and a big part of that is our energy efficiency. [mining] fleet.”

Marathon has also done a good job of navigating capital markets and raising money at opportune times: “We’ve never been in a situation where we were forced to sell Bitcoin. We’ve indicated to people that our intention is probably to start selling some to cover operating costs. We wanted to make sure our production was up before we started because we didn’t want to go to the stock markets to pay people’s salaries. This should ideally be funded by the business and then we will use external capital for growth.

Marathon is also one of many miners currently deploying long-prepaid rigs. This is a common practice, says Joe Burnett, chief analyst at Blockware.

“Building mining infrastructure can take years. Some of the infrastructure coming online in 2022 and even early 2023 has been funded by re-raised capital in 2021.” Open the password. “That’s because you can’t source energy, build large mining facilities, manufacture, order and ship mining rigs and connect them very quickly.”

It’s not just the mining economy and low prices that could affect the sector. Mother nature has recently played an unexpected role in recent volatility.

A mining difficulty jump of more than 10%, as seen last week, is “relatively high,” said Colin Harper, head of content and research at mining company Luxor.

However, the recent rapid growth was not the result of a sudden mass deployment of equipment. Rather, a was low A spell of bad weather in North America It led to a negative correction before Christmas, which suddenly turned into an upward correction.

“When a cold front swept across North America, some miners went out of business because the cold caused operational problems, while others limited their power output to feed the grid in response to power shortages,” Harper said.

When the bad weather ended, those miners came back online, raising the hash rate and causing a huge spike in mining difficulty, Harper said.

“The cold weather took 37 EH/s offline – about 14% of Bitcoin’s hash rate before – leading to a significant slowdown in block times and a 3.59% decrease in the January 2nd mining difficulty adjustment. When the bad weather ended, 37 EH/s came back online,” he said. “Block times accelerated, which led to faster confirmation of blocks, which led to the upward correction we saw on January 15th.”

‘Someone, somewhere’ will always mine Bitcoin

While Bitcoin is currently in a bear market, energy is not.

Industrial electricity prices have increased between 2021 and 2022 16% from last year The price of Bitcoin has almost halved compared to this time last year.

So what price does Bitcoin have to be for mining to stop being profitable? Well, it’s complicated.

“Current levels employ a miner S19j Pro producing a hash rate of 100 terahas per second currently ends up with electricity costs of $0.096/kWh,” Harper said. “If the price of Bitcoin is halved from here, it will be $0.048/kWh.”

In principle, the only way that Bitcoin mining is no longer profitable is if it reaches zero.

“Someone, somewhere has enough cheap power to mine BTC even in the most nuclear bearish conditions,” he said.

And with Bitcoin hovering around the $23,000 level, it seems many miners are getting back into the game.

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Netflix Passcode Security means you have to “check in” at home once a month

New details are emerging about how Netflix plans to implement an upcoming global crackdown on password-sharing, which currently only exists in a handful of countries, including Chile, Costa Rica and Peru.

The lingering question in all of this is how Netflix will prove who’s sharing an account and who’s just traveling or staying in a second home. The verification methodology seems a bit difficult.

In its FAQ pages for regions where password sharing is already live, Netflix explains that you must “register” the device on your home network at least once a month:

“To ensure your devices are connected to your primary location, connect to Wi-Fi at your primary location, open the Netflix app or website, and watch something at least once every 31 days,” the company notes on its support page. ”

So what this means in practice is that if you’re, say, a college student on your parents’ Netflix plan, you’ll travel home once a month, bring your laptop or tablet, “check in” to Wi-Fi, and watch something. On Netflix. If you instead use Netflix on a TV that you can’t take well with you, you’re out of luck, because that’s exactly what Netflix is ​​trying to kill.

As for travel, the FAQ says that a temporary code can be issued for travel, which will allow you to log in for seven consecutive days without being blocked. But obviously, we have to deal with long trips, temporary relocations, household separations, etc. We are in a situation with many complications. The system seems ripe for having accounts that maybe shouldn’t be blocked, and Netflix says you’ll need it if that happens. Contact Netflix directly to have your device unblocked. I’m sure it’s an easy process…

Netflix claims that 100 million people share passwords on Netflix, and they want to convert at least some of them into active users with their own accounts or additions to existing ones. But as hard as it sounds, it’s likely that you’ll just see a lot of cancellations or switches to other services. no there are such systems. Many frustrated customers with Netflix when X or Y device is blocked in X or Y location and they have to call Netflix technical support to resolve it. I wonder what they will lose compared to what they think they will gain.

But if it works? You can see all streaming services are starting to pick up on this, because while they may not say it as openly as Netflix, none of them fundamentally want people to share passwords. We’ll see what happens when this expands.

Update (2/2): Apparently due to widespread backlash over the 31-day sign-up news, Netflix has now removed that section from the FAQ pages where it originally appeared.

This does not mean that politics no longer exists. When asked for comment, Netflix exclusively told Streamable, the story’s original poster: “Yesterday, a help center article containing information only relevant to Chile, Costa Rica and Peru was briefly published in other countries.” We have since updated it.” and “We have no updates to share other than we expect to roll this out more broadly in the first quarter.”

Still, there’s nothing to suggest that Netflix won’t actually widely implement the listed policies, including this 31-day signup or the idea that you can get a 7-day “travel voucher” for Netflix. on the way. The company has repeated this many times will be put that pressure on and now they repeat it again and again in these statements. The only question is how.

News of the crackdown broke yesterday and people, whether snowbirds living in different parts of the country or people traveling for longer periods, came up with all sorts of extremely valid reasons why it would be a nightmare in practice. The bottom line was that it sounds like more trouble than it’s worth and they’ll probably cancel their subscription. Many of these people aren’t even password sharers, but simply customers who feel their private Netflix experience will suffer from a crackdown.

I don’t think Netflix correctly predicted this would be widespread, but we’ll see if they make any changes before a wider rollout.

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Safer Internet Day is a good time to review security

What are your plans for this coming Tuesday? This is a rhetorical question, but whatever they are, I have one more thing to add. February 7 is Safer Internet Day, when people around the world pause to think and talk about how to make the internet a safer and better place for their families, communities, workplaces and schools. There are both in-person and virtual events in the US and other countries, but even if you don’t attend, you and your family or colleagues can get involved simply by talking about how you can use connected technology more safely. and is a more effective way.

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What is happening with Adani Group? Hindeburg’s allegations of fraud revealed

Gautam Adani dropped out of university and rose to become Asia’s richest man – but now he’s seen his empire rocked by a week of turmoil.

An Indian tycoon has lost his title and tens of billions in personal wealth just days after a US-based short-selling firm accused him of “the biggest fraud in corporate history”.

Adani denied the allegations and accused the short seller Hindenburg of a “calculated attack” on its country.

But the allegations led to bankruptcy for his company and sent shock waves through the markets.

Adani on Thursday scrapped a planned share offering of its flagship company as its conglomerate’s losses topped $100 billion, deepening concerns about a potential wider impact on India’s economy.

Here’s what you need to know:

What are the charges?

Hindenburg Research published a report on January 24 saying Adani Group, one of India’s largest conglomerates, “engaged in a brazen scheme of stock manipulation and accounting fraud for decades.”

The report comes days ahead of a planned $2.5 billion share sale by the conglomerate’s flagship company, Adani Enterprises.

In addition to the accounting fraud, Hindenburg accused the Adani Group of billions of dollars in “dubious dealings with the chairman’s brother Vinod Adani and the offshore labyrinths he used for shareholding.” manipulation.

Hindenburg has a track record of exposing alleged corporate wrongdoing when betting against these companies, a process also known as short selling. Hindenburg disclosed that it has short positions in Adani’s companies through US-traded assets and non-traded derivatives in India. experts said it positioned to take advantage of falling stock prices.

The report, which Hindenburg said was based on interviews with former executives and an examination of thousands of documents, raised concerns about high debt and the performance of senior executives and concluded that seven of Adani’s companies were overvalued.

Gautam Adani’s investments cover almost every sphere of Indian life, making him a household name.Kobi Wolf/Bloomberg via Getty Images

What did Adani say?

Adani’s business hit back at Hindenburg, threatening legal action and accusing him of sabotaging the share sale.

“The report-induced volatility in Indian stock markets is of great concern and has caused unwanted suffering for Indian citizens,” the conglomerate said in a statement last week.

In another 413-page response a few days later, Adani dismissed Hindenburg’s accusations as baseless, calling the short sellers the “Madoffs of Manhattan.”

“This is not just an unprovoked attack on any particular company, but a calculated attack on India, on the independence, integrity and quality of Indian institutions, on India’s development story and ambition,” Adani said in a statement.

Hindenburg responded that only about 30 of those pages addressed the issues raised in his report, and that Adani did not answer 62 of the 88 questions.

“India’s future is being held back by the Adani Group under the banner of India, which is systematically looting the country,” the research team said. “We also believe that fraud is fraud, even if it is committed by one of the richest people in the world.”

Hindenburg Research and Adani Group did not respond to a request for further comment.

How bad was the damage?

Although Adani denied the claims, the report led to a massive sell-off in Adani Group’s listed companies, which lost $107 billion in value, according to Bloomberg.

According to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, Adani himself lost $48.5 billion of his $120 billion fortune, falling from third place to 13th place on the list. He also fell one place behind his rival and Indian tycoon Mukesh Ambani, chairman of Reliance Industries.

The record domestic share sell-off after the report was seen as a measure of market confidence in Adani, which initially had enough investor support to continue on Tuesday. But the conglomerate canceled it on Wednesday citing “market volatility”.

“This decision will have no impact on our current operations, as well as our future plans,” Adani said in a recorded video address aimed at reassuring investors, his first public comments since the crisis began.

Adani said the decision to cancel the share offer was made “to protect investors from potential losses”.

“For me, the interest of my investors comes first, everything else is secondary,” he said. “We will continue to focus on timely execution and delivery of projects,” he said.

But the damage may have been done. Adani group companies have lost nearly half of their combined market value since the Hindenburg report was released on January 24.

“If Adani fails to restore the confidence of institutional investors, the stock will fall freely,” Avinash Gorakshakar, head of research at Mumbai-based Profitmart Securities, told Reuters.

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