Bitcoin Daily: Russia Central Bank Mulls Digital Currency; FB Crypto Under Fire

Economist Nouriel Roubini has called out Facebook’s soon-to-be announced cryptocurrency, GlobalCoin, saying it is not really crypto.

“It has nothing to do with blockchain. Fully private, controlled, centralized, verified and authorized by a small number of permissioned nodes. So, what is crypto or blockchain about it? None,” he said in an interview with CoinDesk.

Though he noted that the specifics of the project are still unknown, Roubini explained that GlobalCoin probably won’t use common blockchain technologies. “Why would they?” he said.

In other news, malicious apps have managed to get around Google’s security-enhancing measures, accessing one-time passwords (OTPs) and SMS-based two-factor authentication (2FA), as well as some email-based 2FA systems.

“The apps impersonate the Turkish cryptocurrency exchange BtcTurk, and phish for login credentials to the service. Instead of intercepting SMS messages to bypass 2FA protection on users’ accounts and transactions, these malicious apps take the OTP from notifications appearing on the compromised device’s display. Besides reading the 2FA notifications, the apps can also dismiss them to prevent victims from noticing fraudulent transactions happening,” Lukas Stefanko of ESET wrote in a blog post.

Russia’s central bank might one day launch its own digital currency. Chairwoman Elvira Nabiullina said that, while such a project “cannot be realized immediately,” the bank is looking into it. She added that the digital currency must ensure “reliability and continuity,” as “technologies must be mature, including technologies of distributed registries,” according to CoinDesk.

However, she isn’t sure people are ready to give up cash. “It will be more convenient; it is electronic money for people, for citizens. Are we ready, as a society, to refuse cash?” she asked

A cryptocurrency Ponzi scheme in South Africa is generating R2 million ($135,000 USD) every day. According to The Citizen, “Bitcoin Wallet” promises returns of 100 percent in 15 days. Yet, the Financial Services Conduct Authority (FSCA) said it cannot confirm the scheme’s license registration.

“The certificate is fraudulent. The font used on the name is not our font. The NCRCP Number used belongs to a different registrant. Name of branch — not the [National Credit Regulator (NCR)] format. The certificate is not signed. The issue date and expiry dates are incorrect, our expiry date is [July 31] each year,” said Lebogang Selibi, media relations officer at the NCR.


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