Amid IRS bounty and competitor progress, Monero developers ship a major update

First announced in September, Monero developers today went live with a network update featuring a new version of its node software, codenamed ‘Oxygen Orion.’ The product of 30 contributors, the update promises significant improvement across nearly all aspects of the privacy-focused cryptocurrency’s performance.  The highlight of the new update is the compact linkable spontaneous anonymous group (CLSAG) feature. According to the Monero blog, CLSAG will reduce transaction sizes by 25% and improve transaction times by 10% while maintaining transactional privacy. The developers wrote:  “CLSAG enables smaller and faster transactions with…

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DeFi carnage, Chef Nomi’s admission and $625K prize to crack Monero

Coming every Sunday, Hodler’s Digest tracks every important crypto news story from the previous week. Essential reading for all Hodlers!   Top Stories This Week   DeFi goes boom as top tokens crash by 50% — But enjoy a sudden rebound It was an industry that looked like it was overheating for some time, and finally, at least for a short while, it appeared that the DeFi bubble had well and truly burst. Half a dozen major DeFi tokens shed half their fiat value, and the sell-offs erased the gains…

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The IRS offers a $625,000 bounty to anyone who can break Monero and Lightning

The United States Internal Revenue Services (IRS) has offered a bounty of up to $625,000 to anyone who can break purportedly untraceable privacy coins like Monero (XMR) as well as trace transactions on Bitcoin’s (BTC) Lightning Network.  The official proposal, published last week, says the IRS will accept submissions in the form of working prototypes until September 16. If accepted, applicants will receive an initial payment of $500,000. This grant will allow applicants to develop their prototype into a working concept over the next eight months. Once the pilot test…

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Telecom Argentina S.A Hit by Major Ransomware Attack, Criminals Demand $7.5M Worth of Monero

Telecom Argentina S.A has been hit by a ransomware attack and the cyber-criminals are demanding $7.5 million paid in the privacy coin monero. The Spanish language site, elperiodista.com quotes anonymous employees stating that the attack started last Wednesday. Initially thought to be a small IT problem, the cyber-attacks have reportedly crippled the company’s IT systems. Employees also told the publication that the company has advised workers not to open any files or emails. In a July 18 Twitter post by one user, Alex Kruger, the cybercriminals are threatening further action…

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Sodinokibi Crypto Ransomware Switches from Bitcoin to Monero to Hide Money Trail

A kind of ransomware — a malware that encrypts user data and asks for a ransom to restore access to it — switched from Bitcoin (BTC) to Monero (XMR) to better protect the hackers’ identities. According to an April 11 report by cybersecurity news outlet BleepingComputer, using Monero will make it harder for law enforcement to track ransom payments to the hackers behind Sodinokibi. As the article mentions, Europol strategy analyst Jerek Jakubcek explained during a February webinar how anoncoins influence legal investigations: “Since the suspect used a combination of…

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