Zcash develops atomic trades between Zcash and Bitcoin

Atomic trades remove the need for a single point of trust for trades between different cryptocurrencies
12 September 2017   1986

Zcash team recently reported on the news about Atomic Trades development. 

We are excited to announce that we have been working on a command-line tool that executes atomic trades between Zcash t-addrs and Bitcoin addresses. Several people have come up with XCAT protocols. Loosely speaking, they all rely on a mechanism where for one side to obtain their coins, a secret must be revealed that will enable the second party to also redeem their coins. There are many variants of this basic idea.
 

Zcash team

The current version requires the user to run Bitcoin and Zcash full nodes, but a light-client version is in progress. 

What is Atomic Trades?

Cross-chain atomic trades (for which we have coined the acronym “XCATs”) remove the need for a single point of trust for trades between different cryptocurrencies. They rely on clever protocols that automatically exchange funds across two chains only if both participants hold up their end of the deal, and refund both participants otherwise. 

The problem of atomic cross-chain trading is one where (at least) two parties, Alice and Bob, own coins in separate cryptocurrencies, and want to exchange them without having to trust a third party (centralized exchange).

A non-atomic trivial solution would have Alice send her Bitcoins to Bob, and then have Bob send another cryptocurrency to Alice - but Bob has the option of going back on his end of the bargain and simply not following through with the protocol, ending up with both Bitcoins and the altcoin.

Chinese Miners to Fall Victims of Ransomware

Looks like ransomware came together with "improved" firmware, that should "overclock" device
21 January 2019   79

In China, a ransomware spreads, victims of which are Bitcoin miners. The damage from its activities is measured in tens of thousands of dollars. This is reported by Trustnodes.

The virus infects miners, released by Bitmain, and requires you to send 10 bitcoins, otherwise threatening to cause overheating of the device.

The problem is solved by formatting the SD card of the infected device, however, as Trustnodes notes, the whole process can take up to four days, while malicious software rapidly spreads to the other miners.

Compromised device
Compromised device

Probably, the virus comes with an "improved" firmware for miners. Some owners install such firmware to “overclock” their ASIC devices and improve their performance.

The first messages about the virus refer to August last year. In particular, Antminer S9, T9 and even L3 + for Litecoin were attacked. Over time, the malware has been improved. Now its distributor himself can decide when to display a message requesting a ransom. One miner also said that one night the address to which the 4,000 devices belonging to him sent the mined cryptocurrency was changed to the address of the hacker, which brought him $ 8,000.