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bitcoin (2)

Gold Level Contributor

Bitcoin cash outs arrive at 16,000 ATMs in the UK

Cryptocurrency holders can now cash out their bitcoin at 16,000 ATMs across the UK thanks to a collaboration between East London-based Cryptocurrency company BitcoinPoint and independent cash machine opwerator Cashzone.

With interest in bitcoin surging, user-friendly processes to securely buy, sell and use cryptocurrency have long been a hurdle to widespread adoption.

BitcoinPoint has been working to break down these barriers with a mobile app that makes it possible to buy and sell bitcoin at a network of agents, from Bureaus de Change to newsagents, as well as online through an instant bank transfer solution via Open Banking.

“When we started the service early 2018, there was not enough emphasis on making it easier for people to simply buy £5 of bitcoin,” says BitcoinPoint CEO and former Credit Suisse VP Benoit Marzouk. “Since registering on a crypto exchange could be a complex process for non-tech savvy people, the scarce availability of bitcoin ATMs made accessibility of bitcoin problematic.“

The company, which has so far handled 20,000 transactions online and in store, believes the collaboration with Cashzone will finally deliver on the potential for mass adoption that will allow bitcoin to compete on a level playing field with fiat currencies.

To withdraw cash, bitcoin holders download the app, enter the amount desired to be withdrawn, scan a QR code, and receive an SMS message with a pin code to be entered at the ATM — no card or bank membership is required and the transaction is processed within seconds.
Originally posted by
Finextra | December 23, 2020

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Silver Level Contributor

Image: Unsplash

A group of hackers known as “Darkside” has surprised the world by donating a portion of the proceeds from ransomware attacks to two charities, the BBC reported Monday, adding that the group is relatively new on the scene. Darkside hackers claim to have extorted cryptocurrencies worth millions of dollars from companies.

Claiming that they now want to “make the world a better place,” the group donated 0.88 BTC, worth about $10,000, from their ransomware proceeds to two charities: The Water Project and Children International. The Water Project works to improve access to clean water in sub-Saharan Africa while Children International fights poverty and helps children in need.

The Darkside hacker gang posted the tax receipts for its 0.88 BTC donations in a blog post on the dark web on Oct. 13. The hackers claim that they only attack large, profitable companies with ransomware and would not attack hospitals, schools, governments, or charities.

Experts question the hackers’ motive. “What the criminals hope to achieve by making these donations is not at all clear,” said Brett Callow, a threat analyst at cyber-security company Emsisoft. “Perhaps it helps assuage their guilt? Or perhaps for egotistical reasons they want to be perceived as Robin Hood-like characters rather than conscienceless extortionists.” He elaborated:

"Whatever their motivations, it’s certainly a very unusual step and is, as far as I know, the first time a ransomware group has donated a portion of their profits to charity."

However, when the donation comes from crime proceeds, the law says it must be rejected. Both charities have said that they will not accept the BTC donations, but the problem is that they have no way of returning them. The hackers used a U.S.-based service called The Giving Block, which is used by 67 different non-profits worldwide, to make the donations. The company says that the money was sent through a mixer.

Philip Gradwell, Chief Economist at blockchain data analytics firm Chainalysis, commented: “If you walked into a charity shop with an anonymous mask on and donated £10,000 in cash, then asked for a taxable receipt, questions should probably be asked – and it’s no different.”

Originally published by
Kevin Helms | October 21, 2020



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