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ProtonMail Goes Open Source, Launches Mobile Apps

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ProtonMail released version 2.0 of its encrypted email service and announced that ProtonMail is now open source. The ProtonMail apps for iOS and Android are scheduled for release later today.

The core ProtonMail cryptography code has been open source from the beginning, and now the webmail interface is open source as well. The ProtonMail code repository is available on GitHub.

“This means all the ProtonMail code that runs on your computer is now available for inspection,” notes the ProtonMail website. “We hope that by opening up our platform, we will encourage additional contributors to help us make ProtonMail the world’s most secure email service.”

ProtonMail also launched a public bug bounty program.

The World’s Most Secure Email Service

ProtonMailThe development of ProtonMail started at CERN – just like the development of the Web itself – in response to growing concerns about governments spying on peaceful citizens’ email. “I am very concerned about the privacy issue, and I was wondering what I could do about it,” ProtonMail Co-Founder Andy Yen posted to a CERN Facebook group. Then ProtonMail started growing like wildfire and raised first $550,000 with crowdfunding, then a $2 million seed round from Charles River Ventures and FONGIT.

TechCrunch reports that, according to Yen, open source is an important component for pro-privacy services, coupled with having a solid financial base. “For privacy services, trust is very important as users are trusting us with their data, and potentially their lives. This is why we have now open sourced our web client in addition to our cryptography,” said Yen. “However, trust involves more than just open sourcing. Users also need to know that we have the expertise, personnel, and financial resources to continue to protect their data into the future. We have institutional backers, and this will allow us to successfully carry out our development.”

ProtonMail encrypts and decrypts all data on-the-fly on the client side, which means that emails between ProtonMail users are never stored and therefore the government can’t force their release. Another important feature is that ProtonMail, a Swiss company with servers located in secure data centers in Switzerland, is protected by privacy-friendly Swiss laws.

Encrypted email is but a first step. “We are scientists, engineers, and developers drawn together by a shared vision of protecting civil liberties online,” notes the ProtonMail website.

Our goal is to build an internet that is secure and protects privacy.

Everyone can apply for a ProtonMail account without releasing personal information. Interestingly, the sign-up procedure – like ProtonMail itself – works well over Tor. 500,000 users in the waiting list have been invited to open a ProtonMail account to date.

I was lucky enough to get early access and so far I am very pleased with the system, which seems an ideal compromise between security and usability. I plan to start using ProtonMail as primary email service, because using strong encryption and privacy measures by default is one of the little things that we all can do to protect the free Internet.

To make encrypted email even more usable, the ProtonMail apps for iOS and Android are scheduled for release today, August 20. I will be impatiently waiting to download the app, and report here in the comments.

ProtonMail Apps

Images from ProtonMail.

Important: Never invest (trade with) money you can't afford to comfortably lose. Always do your own research and due diligence before placing a trade. Read our Terms & Conditions here. Trade recommendations and analysis are written by our analysts which might have different opinions. Read my 6 Golden Steps to Financial Freedom here. Best regards, Jonas Borchgrevink.

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Giulio Prisco is a freelance writer specialized in science, technology, business and future studies.




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ICO

ICO Analysis: Serenity

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During the past few decades, internet connectivity and technological advancement evolved rapidly to satisfy a large spectrum of the digital consumer crowd up to and including finance. The demand for online stock exchange, currency trading and investing has led to the development of thousands of online brokerage platforms and systems all over the globe. However, the lack of regulations when it comes to security and protection exposes the current online market with almost 90% of the platforms being unregulated. This environment attracts ‘scammers’ and creates unhealthy manipulative situations in the sphere, impacting both traders and companies that are involved in the digital markets. Here comes Serenity with an attempt to change that for good.

Serenity’s financial services promise to create an independent marketplace based on smart contracts, where trading records will be transparent and monitored by a blockchain based platform. Blockchain guarantees transparency and lack of affiliation in order to secure traders from misuse of their funds by centralized exchange markets.

In addition to a secure trading environment, Serenity will allow users to buy, sell and exchange CFDs, futures, cryptocurrencies and even shares for cryptocurrencies all in a decentralized fashion, recorded and monitored by the blockchain in order to avoid the possibility of counterfeiting.

Over the last decade, the online trading process has not changed at all. Forex based exchanges attract popularity due to the lack of regulations while at the same time putting traders’ funds at risk since most of these platforms are not transparent (as we have observed, they can influence their users’ actions, freeze their accounts or deny a withdraw request at any time). Only 10% of the online broker companies have a license to provide intermediary services in the financial sector due to the complicated and expensive procedure that can cost from $200,000 to several millions per company, a sum most are not willing to pay. Serenity plans to radically change that approach by creating a transparent regulatory system powered by the modern blockchain technologies.

The Token

The SRNT token, the native currency of the Serenity financial platform, will be used to purchase, sell, exchange and withdraw digital assets within the platform that will consist of a pool of brokers. After the token sale, the user is free to transfer their SRNT into external exchanges in order to trade them for possible pairs of digital assets which the platform might not support at the moment.

At the pre-ICO, the SRNT token will have a 50% discount and then a 40% to 10% discount during the public sale that will run until March 7.

According to a spokesman for the company, the total token supply will be 400,000,000 SRNT. Anything that will be left behind after the prementioned deadline will be burned. As for the circulating supply, it is not yet fixed and it will be composed after the token sale.

The spokesman tells us that 3% of the funding will be used for bounty rewards and 12% is reserved for the team. As for the rest, we must wait for further official announcements that will take place after the token sale.

Team

At first glance, we can already see a professional team with years of experience in the field. In  words, Serenity is not just another cryptocurrency platform made by GitHub coders.

Project co-founder Stanislav Vaneev is the CEO and founder of Grand Capital, an international level financial services company that has a monthly turnover of $6 billion USD and serves over 300,000 clients worldwide. Anton Vasin (co-founder & COO), has more than a decade of experience in the forex sphere and is also the head of risk hedging department. Denis Kulagin (CEO) is a marketing expert for multiple forex companies in China, Indonesia, Vietnam, and India. Vasiliy Alexeev (CTO) is the man behind UpTrader, a global provider of software for brokers. His ten years of experience are also focused on marketing and product development for various Forex companies.

The list goes on and from what we can see here, Serenity has a legit team with solid financial background and not just a ‘collage‘ of individuals that want to enter the blockchain game.

Verdict

In general, more than 6,000 brokers provide online exchange services using MetaTrader platforms. According to industry statistics, around 4 million traders use their platforms on a daily basis. As mentioned before, only a small percent of these companies are actually regulated and can guarantee a risk-free relationship.

Serenity is the first cryptocurrency focused exchange market that will be regulated and at the same time provide traders the ability to invest in broader options such as CFDs and futures.

Of course, regulations could mean that anonymity will be gone, which was the main reason people invested in cryptocurrencies in the first place. At the same time, this is important for professional traders who make a living out of official and licensed exchange markets. Don’t forget that regulations are unavoidable and they are necessary to establish a trusted relationship between governmental institutions and the crypto sphere.

Risks

  • Taking a look at the Serenity whitepaper can leave more questions than answers, as we had to personally seek assistance from the team in order to understand their token system and other core features. It is not an easy model to understand. -3
  • We still don’t know what 85% of the total funds will be used for and how the distribution benefits the investor or trader on an immediate scale. -3
  • Many new cryptocurrency-focused markets ‘pop up’ every couple of months, but none of them can actually compete with already established titans like Binance, Bitfinex, Bittrex etc. The Serenity team looks great but they will have to prove their unique approach with actual numbers before the end of the year. -1

Growth Opportunity

  • After multiple cases, including the recent DDOS attack on Binance and the attack on the Japanese exchange market Coincheck, a transparent and professional market is needed as soon as possible. This gives Serenitt a golden opportunity to make.a big difference. +4
  • Platforms like Bitfinex already set a minimum deposit of $10,000 USD for new accounts and it is most likely that more exchanges will follow with similar internally generated ‘rules’. If cryptocurrency platforms want to stay under the radar and have a nice flow with their respective governments, they will eventually have to be regulated. Serenity solves that issue from the outset. +3
  • Most online cryptocurrency exchange markets give you the option to exchange between several preset pairs of cryptocurrencies and only with other cryptocurrencies supported by each individual platform respectively. Serenity gives users the option to change their cryptocurrencies into fiat, CFDs or even futures all inside one platform. +4

Disposition

The Serenity team might have some good contacts in the forex scene and Mr. Vaneev’s own Grand Capital has already 300,000 active users that would possible join the new venture, but we must not underestimate “traditional” cryptocurrency markets like Binance which managed to raise 6 million active users in a matter of months.

Serenity can really be a revolutionary step in combining cryptocurrencies with traditionally regulated markets but we must not forget that people choose cryptocurrencies in order to avoid regulations and transparency.

A score of 4 out of 10 is reserved for Serenity, based on present facts.

Investment Details

  • Type: Crowdsale
  • Symbol: SRNT
  • Pre-Sale: Concluded
  • Public Sale: January 25th-March 7th, 2018
  • Payments Accepted: ETH (KYC Required)

Disclaimer: The writer has no position in Serenity at the time of writing.

Featured image courtesy of Shutterstock. 

 

Important: Never invest (trade with) money you can't afford to comfortably lose. Always do your own research and due diligence before placing a trade. Read our Terms & Conditions here. Trade recommendations and analysis are written by our analysts which might have different opinions. Read my 6 Golden Steps to Financial Freedom here. Best regards, Jonas Borchgrevink.

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Cybersecurity

5 Best VPN for Torrenting that Guarantee You True Anonymity

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Heard the news about several people across the globe getting legal notices from HBO over suspicions of downloading pirated version of Game of Thrones episodes? Well, this truly captures the essence of why people are looking for guaranteed anonymous VPN torrents services that help them use torrents and P2P networks for file sharing like it used to be back in 2010! Now, we’re not promoting the act of piracy in any way, and intend this guide to serve the readers as a list of dependable VPN options for remaining anonymous on the web. Apart from anonymity, these VPN services are known to enhance download speeds, which makes the user’s web browsing experience more fulfilling. On with the top 5 VPN tools for torrenting:

Express VPN – The One Stop Shop for all Your Web Anonymity Requirements

Express VPN is among the most renowned names in the VPN market, with more than a hundred servers operating from more than 75 countries across the globe, offering coverage like no other VPN. It offers P2P support, supports multiple devices, is compatible with all major operating systems, and does a lot more than just maintaining complete anonymity as you use it to download all you can from torrent based download networks. Express VPN leverages PPTP, L2TP-IPSec, SSTP, and OpenVPN (UDP, TCP ports) protocols to deliver complete protection to users.

ExVPN

Express VPN does not cap your maximum download speed, which makes it particularly useful for web users specifically looking for a VPN to help them with downloading. BitTorrent users can use this tool without any concerns as it’s optimized for the portal. Also, the zero activity logging policy of this tool means that your web browsing sessions, torrent downloading, and P2P file sharing – all remain 100% anonymous, in every sense. Express VPN is fully compatible with iOS, Android, Mac, Windows, Linux, and other operating systems. Plus, it offers a 3—day money back guarantee if you feel dissatisfied with the experience.

PureVPN – A Wholesome Anonymous Torrenting Option

PureVPN is another VPN recommended for web users with dedicated requirement of torrent downloading and P2P networking. The service uses more than 500 VPN servers spread across 140+ countries – that’s mind blowing. With optimized torrent VPN servers and no restrictions on bandwidth and download speeds, Pure VPN is a ‘pure’ and no holds barred tool for web users. It supports VoIP, P2P, and secure file sharing, which makes it a multi utility, super secure, and fully anonymous web browsing option.

PureVPN

PureVPN offers anonymity by using protocols such as PPTP, L2TP/IPSec, OpenVPN, and IkeV2. It works on most devices and operating systems. It effectively bypasses all web surveillance and snooping, hides all your personal information and geo-location details, and cloaks your IP address as you experiment with different torrent servers and P2P file sharing networks.  Other noteworthy features include 5 multi logins, advanced data encryption for additional security, and responsive customer support.

VyprVPN – Amazing Reach, Whopping Number of Servers, and No Download Speed Restrictions

 VyprVPN has 700+ servers and more than 200,000 IP addresses to offer, more than any torrent user can ask for, to keep identities safe and secured from access by surveillance agencies and web snoopers. VyprVPN’s server reach encompasses 48 countries, across 5 continents, covering most of the globe. It bypasses all speed and bandwidth restrictions of P2P file sharing, and hence surfaces as a specialized VPN for torrent users. This tool uses protocols such as Chameleon, OpenVPN, L2TP, and PPTP to offer web anonymity to P2P network users.

Vypr

What makes VyprVPN a certain feature for any top 5 VPN list is the customer support it offers, in the form of 24×7 live chat and email. Zero activity logging means that even the service provider has no record of your web browsing activity. VyprVPN is compatible with iOS, Windows, Linux, and Android, apart from other mainstream operating systems.

NordVPN – No Holds-Barred P2P File Sharing and Torrent Downloads

NordVPN has made a name for itself because of the stellar download speeds (no-restrictions) it allows you to achieve during P2P file sharing. Its servers operate across 48 countries, delivering flexibility to torrent users. Using NordVPN, you can browse anonymously from 6 devices simultaneously. Also, you can use BitCoin to make payments to NordVPN, which effectively means that your identity also remains hidden from the service provider.

NordVPN

NordVPN uses Automatic Kill Switch, SSL 2048-bit encryption, and no activity logging policy, apart from advanced anonymity protocols to ensure that your personal details are not revealed to any website, web surveillance group, or web snooper, ever. You can reach out to customer support from NordVPN via 24×7 live chat, email, and their Facebook page. No wonders, has quickly gained reputation as a user centric and dependable VPN for torrenting and P2P file sharing.

Private Internet Access – A Niche Tool for Expert Torrent Users

We covered mainstream and well-renowned VPN services till now; we’ll close this list with a more nuanced option – Private Internet Access. This is a bare-bones, yet 100% reliable VPN to keep your torrent downloading and P2P file sharing sessions safe, secure, and anonymous. With a multitude of configuration options, Private Internet Access is what a seasoned web user requires to get the confidence that all his/her web activity is totally protected.

PIA

Options such as 256-bit encryption, kill switch, security tweaks, and dozens of customizations allow you to fully control the level and extent of anonymity you want to achieve as you browse the web. No bandwidth limits, no activity logging, DNS leak protection, IPv6 leak protection – all make Private Internet Access the expert torrent user’s VPN of choice.

In the wake of DMCA notices being served to several users across USA, UK, and Australia, the utility of world-class VPN software to help maintain one’s web anonymity while downloading torrents and accessing P2P file sharing networks is at a peak. We hope this list of 5 super reliable and well-designed VPN tools helps you keep safe and secure as you enjoy web browsing and networking with zero restrictions.

Featured image from Shutterstock.

Important: Never invest (trade with) money you can't afford to comfortably lose. Always do your own research and due diligence before placing a trade. Read our Terms & Conditions here. Trade recommendations and analysis are written by our analysts which might have different opinions. Read my 6 Golden Steps to Financial Freedom here. Best regards, Jonas Borchgrevink.

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Cybersecurity

The Department of Defense Is about to Enhance Its Deep Web Search Engine

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ISIS

A lot of people have never heard of Memex. Memex is a deep web search engine developed by DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency), the agency that created the ARPANET, which served as a basis of the internet we use nowadays.

Memex is a deep web search engine that doesn’t quite work like Google or Bing. DARPA sees Memex as a set of search tools intended for government use, unlike commercial search engines as the ones mentioned above. This deep web search engine powers domain-specific searches that then show sophisticated infographics as results. According to Tech Times, this new search engine can crawl 90 to 95% of the deep web.

The current goal is to battle human trafficking and slavery-related content. In the future, it’ll also be useful to take down drug traffickers, terrorists, and pedophiles. Per the International Labor Organization, almost 21 million people are victims of forced labor worldwide, leading to a private economy of $150 billion in profits a year.

Memex was already successfully used in the past. In 2014, a sex trafficker named Benjamin Gaston was sentenced to 50 years in prison after he was found guilty of several crimes. Among them were sex trafficking, kidnapping, sex abuse and rape.

The deep web search engine is about to grow stronger

According to Venture Beat, the security and intelligence company IST Research has acquired Rescue Forensics. IST Research has worked with DARPA for years now, and the acquisition is going to help their efforts grow in effectiveness.

Rescue Forensics was acquired for an undisclosed amount, but is known their technology is to be used to improve the Department of Defense’s deep web search engine, Memex. It will be used alongside IST’s Pulse Platform.

Rescue Forensics works with the use of big data, analytics and computer forensics, in order to give law enforcement agencies intelligence they can act upon. They work with over 450 agencies throughout the world.

IST’s Pulse Platform is partly funded by the Department of Defense, and works by looking at phone addresses and emails as well as commonalities such as spacing, used in ads on the deep web and aggregation sites.

According to IST’s founder Ryan Paterson, so far the Pulse Platform has been focusing on extracting information from parts of the world where both security and accessibility aren’t great:

We’re interested in child soldiers, we’re doing work in central Africa right now with the Lord’s Resistance Army, fighting the LRA there, that Kony mission, humanitarian assistance and disaster response, what’s happening in Mosul, in Aleppo

Memex is currently crawling the deep web in search for a specific group of criminals, alongside other solutions such as TraffickCam and The Polaris Project. As the previously mentioned report from Sophos mentions, however, if it keeps on being successful, we might need to rename what is currently the deep web.

Image from Shutterstock.

Important: Never invest (trade with) money you can't afford to comfortably lose. Always do your own research and due diligence before placing a trade. Read our Terms & Conditions here. Trade recommendations and analysis are written by our analysts which might have different opinions. Read my 6 Golden Steps to Financial Freedom here. Best regards, Jonas Borchgrevink.

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4.7 stars on average, based on 4 rated postsCryptocurrency enthusiast, writing about financial freedom and the future of money




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