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Kenyan Entertainment Blog Caught Mining Monero Using Visitor Browsers

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Kenyan blog caught mining monero

On September 27, Nairobi Wire, a famous entertainment blog in Kenya, found itself at the center of attention after it was discovered that they were mining cryptocurrency using their visitor’s computers through a program called Coin-Hive.

Coin-HiveCoin-Hive is a service that makes it possible for people to mine the anonymous cryptocurrency Monero (XMR) directly from a visitor’s computer through the insertion of a JavaScript code within the code of the intended website.

The Pirate Bay First to Use Coin-Hive

This is not the first case where a well-known website has been exposed for such. A couple of days ago, filesharing platform Pirate Bay was caught hijacking its visitors’ browsers for the purpose of mining cryptocurrency. In a statement released by Pirate Bay shortly after the news broke, the company said that it was experimenting with eliminating ads from its website while also finding an alternative way to generate revenue.

On the 18th of September 2017, the same day that Pirate Bay came under attack, Memeburn found itself in the same mess. Memeburn is a multimedia digital publishing house that pays attention to everything digital in the emerging markets. In response to the fiasco, Memeburn pulled down their website and issued a statement through their Facebook page stating that, “we found that a mining tool dubbed Coin Hive was using the website to mine cryptocurrency.” In their defense, they claimed to not have known about it and that they discovered it after “a complaint from a user with regards to high CPU usage when visiting Memeburn.”

Barely a week after Pirate Bay’s admission of mining cryptocurrency using their visitors’ browsers, CBS’ ShowTime found itself in the same rocky situation. ShowTime is an on-demand video streaming service. It is, however, unlikely that for a big corporation like them would intentionally place codes to mine cryptocurrency especially since they charge their users to access their content. It is still unclear on whether ShowTime’s case was intentional or was as a result of their website being hacked as they refused to comment on the matter when contacted by The Register.

Nairobi Wire’s Response

Since the unearthing of the JavaScript code by Coin-Hive on Nairobi Wire’s site, the number of users who have come out to authenticate these allegations has only been on the rise with some claiming that they had gone through the same incident three days before the unearthing. Although Nairobi Wire pulled down the code after it was discovered, some users had already taken screenshots which were circulated on various social media platforms.

In a response to the story published by Techweez about Nairobi Wire mining cryptocurrency through their visitors, they sent a direct message to Techweez via Twitter stating:

“We had already stated on Wednesday that the script was unauthorized. We pulled it down immediately we learned of it. i.e. Tuesday night. We have confirmed that no other mining script is currently running. Between Tuesday and Thursday last week, we had outsourced some maintenance work to an outside developer. It has been our tradition to outsource a big chunk of our design/maintenance work. This means giving outsiders -sometimes foreigners access.”

The response went ahead to say, “We have thus concluded that the said script was installed sometime last week, by our external developer. Nairobi Wire never benefited in any way, and we have now cut links with that particular developer. Our policy of NOT having non-obstructive ads, like pop-up/under remains. This is designed to provide a smooth experience throughout. The mining script falls under ‘obstructive’ ads since it greatly slows down computers and/or can even be damaging to the CPU. We have no plans to use mining scripts now or in the future. If that changes, our readers will be informed and given an option to opt out.”

Business Daily, a leading business publication newspaper owned by Nation Media Group, had also been accused of using Coin-Hive to mine cryptocurrency via the Techweez Forum. And even though the code had already been removed, screenshots of the code on their website had already been captured.

The contentious issue with the above-mentioned cases involving large companies is that they failed to seek their visitors’ permission before mining cryptocurrency using their CPU power. Moreover, only Pirate Bay admitted to having run the code intentionally. With ads being a major pain when consumers are getting access to content on different websites, we are sure they wouldn’t mind letting go of a trifling percentage of their computer’s CPU power if it meant getting an ad-free experience.

With ads being considered a nuisance by many Internet users, there could definitely be a market for this type of revenue generating business model for online publications, provided visitors grant sites permission before giving up some of their CPU power in exchange for an ad-free web surfing experience.

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South African Cryptocurrency Exchange Introduces Tether (USDT) Trading

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AltCoinTrader
Image by AltCoinTrader.co.za

In a move to attract foreign investors and drive down bitcoin’s price in South Africa, AltCoinTrader, a Johannesburg-based cryptocurrency exchange has introduced Tether (USDT) trading.

BTC/USDT on AltCoinTrader

AltCoinTrader introduced the trading pair BTC/USDT in July. Tether (USDT) is a cryptographic asset that is backed by US dollars and thus acts as the equivalent of “cash” in the cryptocurrency markets. USDT is a particularly popular asset during a bear market as it can act as a safe having when other cryptocurrencies are losing value. Moreover, USDT allows investors to hold de facto dollars but in digital format, which adds liquidity to the markets.

Richard de Sousa, a partner at AltCoinTrader, said:

“The trading pair is quite important because it allows people to buy bitcoin without using rands.”

Due to the dynamics of supply and demand, bitcoin tends to trade at a six to seven percent premium in South Africa. The exchange is expecting the valuation gap to narrow over time by giving opening the market to foreign investors through its USDT introduction.

USDT Trading May Drive Down High BTC Prices in South Africa

Image by AltCoinTrader

Image by AltCoinTrader

South Africa has very tight currency regulations, which make bringing money into the country and, even more so, taking money out of the country very difficult. This is also felt by bitcoin investors who want to purchase bitcoin on South African exchanges.

Thanks to the USDT option, however, non-South African investors can now also take part in BTC trading on South African exchanges, which should lead to a decline of the high premium that South Africans currently pay for buying bitcoin due to the arbitrage opportunities that are now available to international cryptocurrency investors.

AltCoinTrader’s De Sousa added that although it would take a while to catch on, investors who will see the arbitrage opportunities and take them could profit. This, in turn, should benefit everyone, including “the man in the street”, because the price of bitcoin in South Africa would drop closer to international prices.

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EOSToolKit.io – Your Complete EOS Tool Suite

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EOSToolKit

The EOSToolKit is an all-in-one suite that allows the EOS community to gain access to the unique features available on the EOS Blockchain. We have rolled our many great features to the community over the last two months. We have gathered more feedback from the EOS community and added even more features to suit your needs. You Spoke and we listened! 

Now you can also enjoy these new functions on the EOSToolKit with a slick new GUI makeover as well.

GenerEOS

Existing Features:

  • Balance Check
  • Account Creation
  • Premium Name Bidding
  • Name Auction Tracking
  • Proxy Setup
  • Staking/Unstaking
  • RAM Buy/Sell
  • Permissions Management
  • Transfer EOS

EOSToolkit.io is a web-based application developed with Scatter signing so you can trust that your private key is kept safe and secure at all times. If you’d prefer to review the code yourself you can find Scatter here and the EOSToolkit here.

New Features:

  • Airgrabs
  • Testnet Support
  • Referendum voting
  • Voting Portal
  • Proxy Integration
  • Account Information Bar

Airgrabs

The Airgrab featured on our EOSToolkit allows users to manually register for airdrops.  This allows dApp developers to save costs associated with RAM by allowing users to use their own RAM to claim airdrops. 

GenerEOS

  1. Head over to http://eostoolkit.io/
  2. Attach Identity with Scatter (see here for tutorial)
  3. Enter your creator account name and account name (usually the same) – this can be found in your scatter identity.
  4. Click the Airgrab tab on the left-hand side of the toolkit.
  5. Select the token you would like to Airgrab.
  6. You will need to make sure that you have enough RAM in your account to perform the Arigrab action.
  7. Airgrabbed tokens are not instantaneously received.  You will need to wait for the issuer to airdrop the tokens depending on the date they have specified.

Testnet Support

Now that the Testnet is supported on the EOSToolkit you are able to switch networks and test smart contracts before you deploy them on the mainnet. 

  1. Head over to http://eostoolkit.io/
  2. Attach Identity with Scatter (see here for tutorial)
  3. Enter your creator account name and account name (usually the same) – this can be found in your scatter identity.
  4. Select the Scatter dropdown
    EOSToolKit
  5. Select Change Network
    EOSToolKit
  6. Review the networks and endpoints and select the one you want
    EOSToolKit
  7. Approve the new network on Scatter (if you haven’t used it before)
    EOSToolKit
  8. If you haven’t used this network before, add new identities in Scatter and attach them like you normally do
  9. Confirm you are on the new network
    EOSToolKit
  10. Enjoy using the EOSToolKit with your Testnet account!

Referendum Voting

EOSToolKit

We have also included in our toolkit an added function to allow users to submit proposals and vote on-chain. This means that community members can submit proposals on the EOS blockchain and conduct votes on them. This is a vital component in bringing referendum voting to the masses and we will continue to build out this portal to make it easier for all users in the ecosystem.

Voting Portal

EOSToolKit

We are also excited to release our voting portal which will now let you vote for your favourite Block Producers on the EOS Blockchain. Currently, we have arranged them based on their vote percentage. With our Portal, you are able to vote for a total of 30 Block Producers Candidates. We encourage the community to vote for an entire 30 to support their trusted Block Producer candidates. 

  1. Head over to http://eostoolkit.io/
  2. Attach Identity with Scatter (see here for tutorial)
  3. Enter your creator account name and account name (usually the same) – this can be found in your scatter identity.
  4. Be sure that you have EOS staked (You need this to vote)
  5. Select the Vote Producer Tab.
  6. Select your trusted Block Producer Candidates and hit Vote

Proxy Integration

EOSToolKit

We have added a Proxy Information Table to allow proxies to register their accounts and provide some background information about themselves. You can then select your favourite proxy from the table and assign your vote to them directly from the toolkit.

The Table includes the following details:

  • Account name
  • Proxy Name
  • Proxy Slogan
  • Proxy Social Media Accounts
  1. Head over to http://eostoolkit.io/
  2. Attach Identity with Scatter (see here for tutorial)
  3. Enter your creator account name and account name (usually the same) – this can be found in your scatter identity.
  4. Click the manage voting tab and select Proxy Information
  5. Carry out research about the proxy by checking their account, social media, and background information
  6. Select the Proxy that you would like to vote on your behalf

For more information on proxy voting check out our article explaining how to become a proxy.

Account Information Bar

We added an account information bar to allow users to quickly access their current account details. This includes a brief summary of their EOS and token balance as well as RAM, CPU, NET, and Refunding. Once connected onto scatter your account details will be auto-populated on the top bar of the EOSToolKit.

EOSToolKit

More updates coming soon!

We are also working on an Airdrop turnkey table which will allow anyone to send us a token.  This will allow us to immediately list it on our database so that the community get find all the airdrops in once place.

Remember to use these great features you must install Scatter with your desired EOS Account. We hope the EOS community enjoys these tools and allows them to perform actions on the EOS Blockchain much more easily.  We would love to receive feedback on the features within the toolkit or suggestions on the features you would like to see added. We value your feedback and will keep working hard to be the number 1 online EOS Wallet.

This guest post was contributed by Tom Fu, a partner at GenerEOS.

*Readers should do their own due diligence before taking any actions related to the mentioned company, product or service. BitcoinAfrica.io is not responsible, directly or indirectly, for any loss or damage caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any content, product or service mentioned in this guest post.*

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“Bitcoin Gold Wants to Bring Mining Back to the People as per Satoshi’s Original Vision” – An Interview with BTG’s Community Manager for Africa

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Bitcoin Gold Africa

Bitcoin Africa had the pleasure to interview Richard Boappiah Asamoah, Bitcoin Gold’s community manager for Africa, via Telegram to find out more about Bitcoin Gold’s efforts on the continent.

Bitcoin Gold (BTG) was created in late 2017 as a hard fork of bitcoin (BTC) with the aim to “make bitcoin decentralised again” through the enablement of GPU mining. The digital currency has a market capitalisation of over $400 million and one BTG coin is currently worth around $25.

What is bitcoin gold’s plan for Africa?

Bitcoin Gold Africa

There are several initiatives underways. One that I can publicly share at this point is e-commerce. BTG has grown fond of the idea of expanding the current state of the African economy through the promotion of digital payments by establishing BTGpay. Basically, payments with bitcoin gold.

We also plan on promoting blockchain-related programs through local partnerships and want to expand our ambassador program. BTG plans to support this by providing sponsored meetups and local development proposals led by various appointed ambassadors across Africa. Hackathons, scholarships for students, developer conferences and other meetup events are on our list for this.

Is the focus of bitcoin gold on creating wealth for its users through GPU mining or does the BTG community aim for its currency to eventually replace bitcoin?

Bitcoin gold is a friendly fork and has no intention of replacing bitcoin but instead aims to develop itself in its own way to bring mining back to the people as per Satoshi’s original vision.

How do you tell bitcoin gold’s story to the masses who are just now getting accustomed to bitcoin?

We inform people that bitcoin gold is a fork of bitcoin, which means that bitcoin gold’s developers took the code base of bitcoin and developed it in more friendly direction by making mining decentralised again.

Why bitcoin gold? Like all other cryptocurrencies, BTG is built on a technology known as the blockchain, which allows transparency for day-day transactions as well as providing us with low fee digital payments and a secure way of paying and getting paid without any geological restriction. Also, bitcoin gold is planning to implement the BTG lighting network, which will tackle issues of blockchain scalability providing millions of transactions within seconds.

What countries in Africa are your efforts primarily focused on?

At the start of the ambassador program, we plan to target crypto hotspots who are well versed in digital payments. This includes the likes of Kenya, Ghana, Nigeria, South Africa, Uganda. Subsequently, we plan on conquering the continent as a whole.

The ambassador program is scheduled to start soon.

How can Africans interested in BTG get involved in the bitcoin gold Africa community?

Africans interested in joining the bitcoin gold community can get involved by linking up with us on Telegram, on Twitter, and in the bitcoin gold forum.

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