Surveys Suggest Bitcoin Still Has Enormous Growth Potential

Surveys Suggest Bitcoin Still Has Enormous Growth PotentialA recent survey conducted by HSBC polling 13 developed nations indicates that the majority of citizens still have not heard of blockchain technology, with only 41% of respondents indicating familiarity with the technology underpinning bitcoin. Also Read: Malaysian Bitcoin Users Divest Carefully Into LTC and ETH HSBC’s Report Adds to a Growing List of Surveys

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Surveys Suggest Bitcoin Still Has Enormous Growth Potential

A recent survey conducted by HSBC polling 13 developed nations indicates that the majority of citizens still have not heard of blockchain technology, with only 41% of respondents indicating familiarity with the technology underpinning bitcoin.

Also Read: Malaysian Bitcoin Users Divest Carefully Into LTC and ETH

HSBC’s Report Adds to a Growing List of Surveys That Indicate Bitcoin and Blockchain Technology Is Still in Its Early Years of Development

A recent survey conducted by HSBC showed that 59% of consumers had not heard of blockchain technology. Of the 41% of respondents who were familiar with the technology underpinning bitcoin, 80% stated that they did not understand how blockchain technology operates.

HSBC Survey Suggests Bitcoin Still Has Enormous Growth Potential

The survey polled 2,000 HSBC customers from the United Kingdom, in addition to 1,000 participants from Canada, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Mexico, Singapore, the United Arab Emirates and the United States respectively.

HSBC’s report adds to a growing list of surveys that indicate bitcoin and blockchain technology is still in its early years of development, with early-majority adoption still yet to be seen.

A survey conducted by Cambridge University this year determined the current number of unique active users of cryptocurrency wallets is estimated to be between 2.9 and 5.8 million. Despite representing just 0.04 – 0.05% of the global population, this data indicates that the bitcoin userbase has at least doubled in just two years. With such a tiny percentage of citizens actively engaged in the bitcoin community, 40% of citizens being aware of blockchain technology evidences the enormous growth potential of cryptocurrency.

Despite the Recent Media Coverage, Majority Still Unfamiliar With Bitcoin and Blockchain Technology

Monex, Inc., Tradestation Securities, Inc., and Monex Boom Securities (H.K) Limited released a survey this month that polled retail investors holding accounts with China, Japan, and the United States respectively. The results showed that only 3% of Japanese and US retail investors are actively investing in cryptocurrency, with 10% of Chinese investors reporting that they were investing in cryptocurrency. 20% of Chinese and US-based retail investors reported that they were not at all familiar with cryptocurrency. Nearly all polled Japanese investors had heard of bitcoin and cryptocurrency, likely owing to Japan’s highly publicized liberal legal apparatus surrounding cryptocurrency.

Surveys Suggest Bitcoin Still Has Enormous Growth Potential

Despite the recent spike in bitcoin’s media coverage, it would appear that the majority of people are still unfamiliar with bitcoin and blockchain technology. With consumer polls in developed nations indicating that 59% of citizens are still unfamiliar with blockchain technology and only a small minority of retail investors are actively involved in the Japanese, Chinese and US cryptocurrency markets, it would appear that bitcoin still has enormous growth potential.

Do you think bitcoin is approaching early mainstream adoption, or is bitcoin still in its nascent years? Share your thoughts below!


Images courtesy of Shutterstock and HSBC


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Major Indian Bitcoin Exchange Unocoin Offline After Discovering Major Security Flaw

Unocoin, an industry leader among India’s bitcoin exchanges, went offline on Monday night following the discovery of a serious security vulnerability. Also Read: Indian Bitcoin Adoption Responds to Government Signalling for Regulation The Vulnerabilities Have Surfaced Just Weeks After a Unocoin Customer’s Account Was Hacked Major Indian bitcoin exchange, Unocoin, went offline late Monday night

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Unocoin, an industry leader among India’s bitcoin exchanges, went offline on Monday night following the discovery of a serious security vulnerability.

Also Read: Indian Bitcoin Adoption Responds to Government Signalling for Regulation

The Vulnerabilities Have Surfaced Just Weeks After a Unocoin Customer’s Account Was Hacked

Major Indian bitcoin exchange, Unocoin, went offline late Monday night following the discovering of a significant security flaw. Unocoin CEO and co-founder, Sathvik Vishwanath, is anticipating that Unocoin will return to regular operations by the “end of day Tuesday”. “We identified that there was an issue with the way the files were being stored and are resolving that part. We are also moving the servers to a more secure location,” Vishwanath told the Economic Times India in a recent interview.

The company has stressed that all customer funds are safe, but has mandated that users change passwords upon logging into their accounts. Technical specifications pertaining to the security vulnerability and its discovery have not been publicly disclosed.

The vulnerabilities have surfaced just weeks after a data scientist from Bengaluru had his Unocoin account hacked. The hacking victim, who concealed his identity, reported that upon logging into his account, he immediately received an email with a link for a password reset, and then an email confirming that his password had been changed.

Many Are Speculating That the Discovered Vulnerabilities May Have Been Linked to the Customer’s Account Getting Hacked

Upon realizing that his account was being hacked, the individual then became aware that two transactions had been initiated moving approximately 0.3 and 0.4 bitcoin from his account. The data scientist quickly sent an email to Unocoin, before driving to their local Bengaluru headquarters. Unocoin was able to lock his account and prevent a third unauthorized transaction from occurring, but unfortunately had already processed the first two transactions.

Major Indian Bitcoin Exchange Unocoin Offline After Discovering Major Security Flaw

Many within the cryptocurrency community are speculating that the vulnerabilities discovered by Unocoin may have been exploited by those who hacked the data scientist’s account, although Unocoin has not made a statement addressing said speculation.

Unocoin has seen an increase in transactions, account verification requests and customer support queries following the increased media exposure of bitcoin heading into June. Along with the increase in customer base, Unocoin has also seen an increase in reported wallet hacks – with the company claiming that it saw nine cases last month, more than double the monthly average of just 3 or 4. As a precautionary measure, the company has temporarily reduced its automatic transaction approval threshold to 0.1btc, as opposed to the normal limit at 0.5btc.

Have you ever had your wallet hacked? Share your experience in the comments section below!


Images courtesy of Shutterstock and Unocoin


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A Def Con 25 Demonstration Claims to ‘Break Bitcoin Hardware Wallets’

bitcoin hardwareThe well-known hacker conference Def Con 25 is happening once again at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas on July 27-30. The event schedule has a vast array of hacking exhibits and keynote presentations, but one notable group of Def Con demonstrators on the list claims they will show the audience how to break a bitcoin

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bitcoin hardware

The well-known hacker conference Def Con 25 is happening once again at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas on July 27-30. The event schedule has a vast array of hacking exhibits and keynote presentations, but one notable group of Def Con demonstrators on the list claims they will show the audience how to break a bitcoin hardware wallet.

Also read: Onecoin Operators Get In Trouble Again In Three More Countries

The Cryptotronix Presentation: ‘Helping You Get Started Breaking Your Own Wallet!’

A Def Con 25 Demonstration Claims to 'Break Bitcoin Hardware Wallets'The Def Con conference is one of the world’s biggest hacker conventions held in Nevada every year since 1993. The event hosts a multitude of tracks, demonstrations, and speakers from computer security experts, tech journalists, hackers, and government cyber specialists. This year’s Def Con 25 will have a lot going on as the audience will hear about jailbreaking Android and Apple gear, Opsec techniques, the evolution of DDoS attacks, abusing certificates, drone defense markets, and more.

One demonstration dubbed “Breaking Bitcoin Hardware Wallets” has sparked interest within the bitcoin ecosystem. The 20-minute presentation will showcase Josh Datko, and Chris Quartier of the company Cryptotronix sharing their tools and methods that allegedly can break a bitcoin hardware wallet.

“In this presentation, we will quickly overview fault injection techniques, timing, and power analysis methods using the Open Source Hardware tool, the Chip Whisperer,” explains the Cryptotronix demonstration summary.

We then show how to apply these techniques to the STM32F205 which is the MCU on the Trezor and Keepkey. Lastly, we will present our findings of a timing attack vulnerability and conclude with software and hardware recommendations to improve bitcoin hardware wallets.

A Study In 2015 Extracts a Private Key Using a $70 Oscilloscope

Cryptotronix backs their claims with a study done in 2015 by developer Jochen Hoenicke who was able to extract a Trezor’s private key using a $70 oscilloscope. The tool is an electronic testing instrument which allows the observation of various signals within devices. Many people believe side channel attacks like the one Hoenicke demonstrated are difficult tasks to achieve, but Hoenicke believes they are relatively easy to perform.    

“Side channel attacks are not as difficult as many people think,” details Hoenicke in 2015. “A simple power analysis requires only a simple oscilloscope, and that can hardly be called expensive laboratory equipment. You also need basic soldering skills and deep knowledge of the code that is running.”

A Def Con 25 Demonstration Claims to 'Break Bitcoin Hardware Wallets'
Jochen Hoenicke’s experiment extracts a private key from a Trezor using a $70 oscilloscope tool. 

The 2015 Hardware Wallet Vulnerabilities Were Patched, But Cryptotronix Claims There May Be Additional Side Channel Attacks

Since then Trezor has patched these vulnerabilities found in 2015, and Hoenicke was in contact with the manufacturer Satoshi Labs throughout his investigation. However, Cryptotronix says in their demonstration summary, that although the vulnerability was patched the hardware wallets still do not have a “Microcontroller” and “[They] may be vulnerable to additional side channel attacks.”

Across forums, many bitcoiners are skeptical of the upcoming demonstration that will be taking place in Vegas next month, but stated they would be watching this closely. Some proponents said they hoped Cryptotronix would also release a responsible disclosure first to bitcoin hardware manufacturers before showcasing the hack. Others said research and tools like this might up the stakes so that next generation bitcoin devices can protect themselves in the future.

“Bitcoin hardware wallets help protect against software-based attacks to recover or misuse your key. However, hardware attacks on these wallets are not as well studied,” reveals the Cryptotronix demonstration synopsis.

What do you think about the bitcoin hardware wallet demonstration that will take place at Def Con 25? Do you believe they possess tools that can exploit vulnerabilities found in these wallets? Do you think their research is a good thing so hardware companies can up their security game? Let us know in the comments below.


Images via Def Con 24, Jochen Hoenicke’s blog post, and the Cryptotronix website. 


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