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Blockchain Voting Systems Are Untrustworthy, MIT Cybersecurity Experts Say

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Amidst the ongoing discussions of the results of the presidential election, a group of researchers has come up to disapprove of blockchain voting as an alternative for trusted democratic elections.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (MIT) researchers published a report on November 16 cautioning against reliance on blockchain voting technology as a way of promoting greater turnout in an election. According to them, using the system would not improve the integrity of voting but instead increase the risk of hackers tampering with the way elections are carried out.

Sunoo Park, Neha Narula, Ronald L. Rivest and Michael Specter, the institution’s cybersecurity team, asserted that it is highly unlikely that political elections would rely on blockchain for the foreseeable future. According to them, voting in person, mail-in ballots, and other software-independent methods are more reliable and, therefore, would stay for a long time. Potential lack of ballot secrecy – due to blockchain’s traceable nature – and inability to audit in case the race is contested are some of the concerns the researchers emphasized.

Researchers Suggest that Blockchain Can Compromise Elections

Rivest, an MIT professor, who was the report’s senior author, explained that the risk of nation-scale election failures being undetectable would greatly increase with blockchain replacing the current election systems. Meaningful assurance that votes were counted at the time they were cast would dwindle with the increase in turnout.

“I haven’t yet seen a blockchain system that I would trust with a county-fair jellybean count, much less a presidential election,” the researcher continued to distrust blockchain voting.

The use of blockchain technology in a democratic voting process differs from the use in financial transactions in that financial institutions usually compensate victims using various ways in the latter when losses occur due to fraud or hacks. If they are crypto exchanges, tokens would be frozen, and if they are credit card companies, funds would be reimbursed after the hack, according to the teams’ argument. Once an election is compromised due to the failure of democracy, there is no reassurance that voters will be made whole again.

The MIT team also explained that blockchain-based voting is vulnerable to “serious failures.” Physical access is necessary for one to destroy a mail-in ballot, but hackers can just use a single point of attack to remove or alter millions of votes with a blockchain-based voting system. Therefore, authorities would be forced to hold an entirely new election if the results are unreliable when hackers attack votes.

Blockchain Voting Was Deployed despite Its Vulnerability

A couple of countries are trying to integrate blockchain technology into their voting process bring about various challenges. For instance, users and third parties were able to decipher votes during Vladimir Putin’s term limit before the official count started in Russia’s blockchain-based voting system, thereby compromising ballot secrecy.

Researcher Michael Specter, in a different MIT team, in February, found out that Voatz, a blockchain-based voting app, had various security vulnerabilities. In spite of that, the Republican and Democratic parties went ahead to use the app for voting at their conventions this year.

Rivest supported the deployment emphasizing:

“Democracy – and the consent of the governed – cannot be made contingent on whether some software correctly recorded voters’ choices.”

Due to social isolation caused by the pandemic, many American voters chose to vote by mail. As a result, intense debates have been triggered concerning the current American electoral system’s legitimacy and veracity. Some are proposing a proposed “mobile” voting based on blockchain as a way to ease elections. 

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James Lovett is a talented crypto enthusiast who finds pleasure in sharing more knowledge on fintech, cryptocurrency as well as blockchain and frontier technologies. He likes to keep himself furnished and updated with the latest innovation in the crypto industry, blockchain technology, Internet of Things (IoT) and other technologies. As a result, he tries to furnish ardent crypto supporters with the latest news on blockchain and distributed-ledger technologies. Indeed, Blockchain and Cryptocurrency is changing the world as we know “one block at a time”. As a hobby, he also trades in small amounts of cryptos every now and then.
An author with experience writing for tech, digital, and cryptocurrency blogs!



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ContextLogic (WISH) Stock Price Still Low, Has 50% Upside

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In the recent past, ContextLogic (WISH) stock has been referred to by market watchers and analysts as the next short-squeeze target.

ContextLogic Inc (NASDAQ: WISH) is the company that’s linked with Wish Mobile, a popular shopping app. The good thing is that the company is not only meme-based but it also addresses emerging and current needs of the e-commerce market. The company confesses that performance, particularly logistics revenue, has been growing impressively. The revenue growth has been increasing gradually but the stock, with a target price of $20, is definitely a buy.

WISH: Just a Meme Stock?

In the recent past, ContextLogic (WISH) stock has been referred to by market watchers and analysts in WallStreetBets Forum as the next short-squeeze target. Two other meme-based stocks, GameStop Corp (NYSE: GME)and AMC Entertainment Holdings Inc (NYSE: AMC) have also done well and become popular on the forum. However, analysts suggest that caution should be observed when dealing with WISH as it may turn out to be another short target. For its total outstanding shares, WISH’s interest ratio, which is a bit low, currently stands at 4%.

ContextLogic became a public-listed company in 2020 with the price of its stock valued at $24 each. However, the initial public offer (IPO) didn’t perform as expected leaving investors disappointed. When the stock started trading, the opening price was $22.75 and even went as high as 32.85 but then started trading low and lower in the following months. The lowest WISH traded was $7.52 before it started drawing attention from WallStreetBets. ContextLogic executives however believe that the company has a lot to offer other than the WallStreetBets mentions and attention.

Client Acquisition and Retention

Being an E-commerce portal, ContextLogic has gained from the pandemic situation. In FY 2020, WISH’s sales increased by 34%. Another 75% sales increase was gained in the first quarter of 2021. The increased downloads of the WISH shopping app were the cause of the improved revenue. Currently, the app has 100 M and above active users each month in over 100 countries.

In 2020 alone, ContextLogic bagged an extra 17M users, and the trend has been growing since. With the discovery and a discount-based experience, WISH is sure to retain its customers for a long time to come. Additionally, the shopping experience is further boosted by the gaming elements that have been embedded on the platform. According to WISH’s market research team, 70% of the company’s sales are impulsive and do not at all involve any search query. Also, 90% of the company’s sales are done via the WISH app.

In this digital age, most people do their shopping online and via mobile applications. From 2019 to 2024, the e-commerce market (global) was expected to increase from $3.4 trillion to $6.3T, and most of the transactions were to be done via mobile apps. This was believed to be possible because most online shopping platforms integrate AI into their businesses, making the shopping experience process safe and secure.

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Patrick is an accounting & economics graduate, a Cryptocurrency enthusiast, and a Blockchain technology fanatic. When not crafting informative pieces on any of the above subjects, he will be researching on how the Blockchain technology can transform the world, particularly the financial space.



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Hedgeye Analyst Develops Model Validating S2F with $1M Bitcoin Price Target

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Besides this predictive Bitcoin tool, Hedgeye also has a quantitative Bitcoin dashboard called the “Bitcoin Trend Tracker.”

Hedgeye analyst Josh Steiner has developed a model in which he drew on the fundamental analysis of the Stock-to-Flow model of Bitcoin (BTC) in comparison with other factors, to project a $1 million price for Bitcoin before the end of this decade. Hedgeye Risk Management is an investment research and financial media company based in Stamford, Connecticut, and specializes in market analytics through the quantitative study of industries in which they operate.

The Steiner developed fundamental analytics model focuses on Bitcoin, the world’s first and largest digital currency by market capitalization. In the past decade, BTC has toppled its own records and attained over $1.2 trillion valuations back in April when it hit an all-time high price above $64,000. While unfavorable market conditions – including harsh regulations and energy consumption FUD – have dragged the prices down, investors are still looking for avenues to get in on the train. Hedgeye gives the quantitative basis that can help all classes of investors make the right investment push, and mitigate risks.

The Hedgeye Analysis Prediction $1M Price for Bitcoin Per the S2F Model

The Stock-to-Flow model factors in the rate at which an asset is released into the market against its existing supply. When the United States real estate niche is considered based on this model, the S2F ratio is pegged at 93x. The total supply of new housing units is about 1.5 million units annually, against a total of 140 million.

Gold has an S2F ratio of approximately 72x as roughly 2.75 tonnes are mined annually against 200k tonnes in current circulation. When Bitcoin is put into perspective, the current S2F ratio is pegged at 54x atop 344,000 mined coins annually, against an 18.6 million total supply. Unlike real estate and gold which has an almost static S2F for many years now, Bitcoin’s S2F model is expected to grow over time.

Drawing on the 4-year halving event, Bitcoin’s S2F ratio is expected to increase 10-fold every 12 years. This will bring the Stock-to-Flow model to 1000x by 2036, and to 10,000x by 2048. This exponential increase is poised to impact the price of the asset in a corresponding manner. Steiner developed the publicly accessible power regression relationship y=1.3268×2.4769, a quantitative relationship that predicts Bitcoin’s price in relation to the S2F model.

“Every 10-fold increase in Bitcoin’s Stock-to-Flow ratio, which will happen every ~12 years going forward, has produced a ~1,000-fold increase in Bitcoin’s price. And that hasn’t happened once, but twice,” according to a description of the effect of the relationship.

Based on this projection, Bitcoin is on track to attain a price of $1 million by 2030, $10 million by 2039, and by $100 million by 2057.

Other Hedgeye Products

Besides this predictive Bitcoin tool, Hedgeye also has a quantitative Bitcoin dashboard called the “Bitcoin Trend Tracker.” This tracker provides exhaustive, daily quantitative analytics on a range of cryptocurrencies and Exchange Traded Funds. This tool is useful for both retail and institutional investors. The dashboard breaks down the price, volume, and volatility among several other metrics of each asset it tracks.

This and more tools brandished by the Hedgeye team seek to give investors a similar resource available to traditional market players, all for an informed and productive investment engagement.

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Benjamin Godfrey is a blockchain enthusiast and journalists who relish writing about the real life applications of blockchain technology and innovations to drive general acceptance and worldwide integration of the emerging technology. His desires to educate people about cryptocurrencies inspires his contributions to renowned blockchain based media and sites. Benjamin Godfrey is a lover of sports and agriculture.



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Founders of Africa’s Crypto Investment Firm Flee to UK with 69,000 Bitcoins Worth $3.6B

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Since both the founders have gone missing and are not returning any calls, the investors have involved Hanekom Attorneys, the South-Africa-based law firm, to manage the chaos.

Two brothers and founders of Africa’s crypto investment firm AfriCrypt have gone missing following an alleged hack that jeopardized their clients’ accounts and wallets. 20-year old Ameer Cajee and 17-year-old Raees Cajeee have reportedly shifted the collective investor fund from an account at Johannesburg-based First National Bank (FNB) before retreating to the United Kingdom.

Africrypt, a currency exchange service founded in Johannesburg, South Africa, has gone on to become one of Africa’s largest and most successful AI trading companies in only a few years. It was established in 2016, by the child prodigy Raees Cajee. Ever since its commencement, the firm has seen an astronomical growth connecting banks, payment providers, and digital asset exchanges.

In April, the investors of Africa’s crypto firm Africrypt were mailed about the alleged ‘hack’ that had put the customers’ crypto-assets in a compromising situation. To handle the unpleasant circumstances, the platform was set to shut down, following the freezing of all the accounts. The sponsors were requested not to report the same to authorities, claiming that this might ‘delay the process of retrieval’.

Since both the founders have gone missing in action and are not returning any calls, the investors have involved Hanekom Attorneys, the South-Africa-based law firm to manage the chaos. According to the law firm, the financial reserve was placed through an array of tumblers and mixers, making it effectively untraceable. Since almost 69,000 bitcoins worth $3.6Bn have gone missing, the attorneys have cautioned several international exchanges about the reported scam, to watch out for any Bitcoins being converted.

Making matters worse is the fact that South Africa’s Finance Sector Conduct Authority cannot initiate a legal inquiry since cryptocurrency has not lawfully been regarded as a financial product in the country. If the money is not reclaimed, this incident will go down as the greatest cryptocurrency scam in history.

The event reminds us of Canada’s QuadrigaCX exchange case of 2018 when Gerald Cotten, the founder of Quadriga Fintech Solutions died on a trip to India. Since Cotten held the password to customers’ offline cold wallets, the company lost around $250 million owed to its 115,000 customers. The company was declared bankrupt in 2019, ceasing all the operations immediately. This event, however, will effortlessly eclipse the money lost in the Canadian exchange.

A different class of sponsors/investors have started liquidation activities against Africrypt.  The purported theft has also been communicated to the Hawks, South Africa’s Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (DPCI). This special division exclusively targets organized crime, economic crime, and corruption.

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