Fake negative reviews are a cheap way to screw up darknet drug marketplaces

In The Network Structure of Opioid Distribution on a Darknet Cryptomarket, (Sci-Hub mirror), a paper presented today at the American Sociological Association meeting in Montreal, social scientists Scott W. Duxbury and Dana L. Haynie lay out their findings on using fake bad reviews to disrupt the darknet drug-trade. Read the rest

A new, dubious "smart" cryptocurrency for prostitution

"Lust" is an initial coin offering based on the Ethereum blockchain platform, designed for prostitutes and their customers to exchange money for sexual services. Read the rest

Global Wannacry payout: $140,000 -- a superweapon in the hands of dum-dums

The Wannacry worm burned through the world's unpatched IT systems, hitting more than 80 countries in 24 hours, taking down hospitals, airlines, banks and logistics companies, until a hidden killswitch was able to halt its spread. Read the rest

Linux worm turns Raspberry Pis into cryptocurrency mining bots

Linux.MulDrop.14 is a Linux worm that seeks out networked Raspberry Pi systems with default root passwords; after taking them over and ZMap and sshpass, it begins mining an unspecified cryptocurrency, creating riches for the malware's author and handing you the power-bill. Read the rest

More anti-money laundering measures hit China as top three Bitcoin exchanges freeze withdrawals

Bitcoin's spiking prices have been driven almost entirely by Chinese money-launderers trying to beat the country's currency controls -- controls that have tightened so much that it's tanking the world's real-estate markets as offshore buyers abandon their deposits and disappear. Read the rest

China's capital controls are working, and that's bursting the global real-estate bubble

More news on the Chinese crackdown on money-laundering and its impact on the global property bubble: the controls the Chinese government has put on "capital outflows" (taking money out of China) are actually working, and there's been a mass exodus of Chinese property buyers from the market, with many abandoning six-figure down payments because they can't smuggle enough money out of the country to make the installment payments. Read the rest

98% of Bitcoin trading volume over the past six months was in Chinese Renminbi

In case you were wondering why Bitcoin experienced a crazy spike recently: China's economy is a hyperinflated bubble, poised to burst and the Chinese central bank is depreciating the Renminbi -- so China's wealthy are getting their cash out of the country as fast as they can, using any means necessary: suing themselves, spending huge whacks of cash while on vacation, and converting it to Bitcoin (this is especially urgent now that the Canadian real-estate money laundry is shutting down) -- this is just the latest salvo in the Chinese capital flight story. Read the rest

Bitcoin not real money according to judge

You can save it, you can buy things with it, you can watch its value fluctuate, but according to a Miami court judge, "bitcoin has a long way to go before it is equivalent of money."

Judge Teresa Mary Pooler ruled yesterday that defendant Michael Espinoza, who was charged with laundering bitcoins, was not guilty, and then declared that bitcoin isn't money. According to The Guardian:

Defendant Michel Espinoza was on trial for illegally transmitting and laundering $1,500 worth of bitcoins to undercover agents who intended to use them to purchase stolen credit cards.

His attorney argued that the charges should be dismissed because, under Florida state law, the cyber-currency could not be considered money. After extended deliberation, Judge Teresa Mary Pooler agreed in a ruling issued on Monday.

Read the full story here.

Image: btckeychain/Flickr Read the rest

Free Bitcoin textbook from Princeton

The Princeton Bitcoin Book by Arvind Narayanan, Joseph Bonneau, Edward Felten, Andrew Miller and Steven Goldfeder is a free download -- it's over 300 pages and is intended for people "looking to truly understand how Bitcoin works at a technical level and have a basic familiarity with computer science and programming." Read the rest