SurBTC leaves SegWit2x agreement

Yet another cryptocurrency exchange, Chile's SurBTC, leaves SegWit2x agreement
12 October 2017   902

Yet another cryptocurrency exchange leaves SegWit2x agreement.

This time this is the Latin American Bitcoin exchange, SurBTC, refused to support SegWit2x just a month before the planned November hardfork. 

The company claims that the new hardfork could be unsafe and is not supported by the Bitcoin Core developers. Indeed, has just published a “blacklist” of websites that continue to support the SegWit2x hardfork, arguing that storing any BTC on such services is strongly not recommended. 

We’ve always loved SegWit and we see a small increment (2mb) in the size of the block as a good idea as it would relieve pressure, lower fees and give some time to other more definitive scaling alternatives such as the Lightning Network to develop. Nevertheless, we can’t pretend to be bitcoin “scaling experts”. We don’t believe in trying to force a change bitcoin’s core developers don’t feel safe with.

Agustin Feuerhake
SurBTC team

The company also highlights that they haven’t seen proper support and they "don’t like what they currently see on the btc1 code repository in terms of technical considerations and open source collaboration".

SurBTC argues to be defending the interests of a growing Latin American user community that feels strongly against a new contentious hardfork. Thus, if the hardfork does happen, the exchange could eventually list both assets but will allow for sure its users to at least withdraw both. Due to practical reasons, SurBTC will continue to list BTC, and they will incorporate B2X (or the names that catch on among the industry) later.

NSA Tracks BTC Users, Snowden Says

According to the documents from former NSA agent, BTC transaction monitoring is one of the main priorities of the agency
21 March 2018   218

The US National Security Agency monitors actions in the bitcoin blovkchain in order to identify users of crypto currency. This is reported by The Intercept, which received a set of documents from a former employee of the NSA Edward Snowden, according to which the monitoring of BTC transactions is one of the main priorities of the agency.

They also say that the work of the NSA in this direction may not be limited to analyzing the blockchain and include the detection of crypto users.

The published document indicates that the NSA has become more likely to collect passwords of bitcoin users, data about their activity on the Internet and the identity of their devices.

According to the report, the NSA monitors bitcoin users from 2013 through a program code-named OAKSTAR, as well as the MONKEYROCKET program, which is the OAKSTAR project. The data collected over the years can allow the NSA to accurately identify participants in crypto-currency transactions.

For information on bitcoin users, the NSA can use XKeyScore, a powerful system for monitoring Internet activity, which became known in 2013, when Snowden revealed information about the surveillance of the NSA.

The document says that the information collected by the Agency is stored in the file "Provider user full.csv", and details of identification of time stamps and Internet addresses of users for the purpose of determining their location are given.