Cambridge Study: Bitcoin's 'Death' is 'Greatly Exaggerated', Verified Crypto Users Have Doubled

The University of Cambridge Center for Alternative Finance has published the results of a study which concludes that speculation or predictions about the “death” of bitcoin (BTC) are “greatly exaggerated.”

Researchers at Cambridge University have also reported that the number of verified cryptocurrency users doubled during the first three quarters of 2018. Despite the extended digital asset bear market, there are now 35 million verified crypto users worldwide. Other findings from the study revealed that most of the people involved in the cryptoasset space are retail investors as institutional investors have not yet made substantial investments in the volatile asset class.

Cryptoasset Benchmarking Study By Cambridge

The report, titled “2nd Global Cryptoasset Benchmarking Study”, revealed that “diversification has increased, with a rise in cross-segment expansion.” Specifically, 57% of crypto-related firms have started offering “integrated services”, including “multi-coin support” which has increased “from 47% of service providers in 2017 to 84% today.”

Many studies published earlier found that digital currency mining had become increasingly centralized. However, the geographical concentration of mining may not be as big of threat, or problem, as previous reports have suggested. According to the latest studies, a large share of the power required by crypto mining facilities is being sourced from regions producing renewable energy.

The Cambridge study also found that the crypto market is maturing as more regulators throughout the world are beginning to understand how to regulate cryptoassets. Many self-regulatory organizations have now been established by key players in the crypto space, the Cambridge report noted.

Crypto Market Cap Still "Exceeds Jan 2017 Levels"

Despite the considerable drop in digital currency prices, which has seen the market capitalization of all cryptoassets fall from an all-time high of over $800 billion to presently just above the $100 billion mark, the Cambridge report mentioned:

Statements proclaiming the death of the cryptoasset industry have been made after every global ecosystem bubble. While it is true that the 2017 bubble was the largest in Bitcoin’s history, the market capitalization of both Bitcoin and the cryptoasset ecosystem still exceeds its January 2017 levels.

“Prior to the start of the bubble”, the speculation of “the death of the market” and the industry has been “greatly exaggerated”, the report concluded. Considering there are now more crypto users than ever before and many new blockchain startups have been launched this year, the worst case scenario might be that the future expansion plans of cryptoasset ecosystem participants will, “at most, be delayed”, according to Cambridge University’s research study.

'Big Spender' Bitcoin Wallet Exploit Is an 'Issue With BTC Itself', Says BCH Supporter

Michael LaVere
  • Crypto security firm ZenGo has identified a double-spend exploit dubbed "BigSpender" which affected popular bitcoin wallets.
  • Exploit allows an attacker to cancel a bitcoin transaction without the receiving user knowing. 

A crypto security firm has identified a double-spend exploit targeting popular bitcoin wallet providers. 

According to a report by ZenGo, the security firm has discovered a double and multiple spend wallet exploit for bitcoin dubbed “BigSpender.” The report claims the exploit allows an attacker to cancel a bitcoin transaction but still have it appear in a victim’s vulnerable wallet. 

The report reads, 

The core issue at the heart of the BigSpender vulnerability is that vulnerable wallets are not prepared for the option that a transaction might be canceled and implicitly assume it will get confirmed eventually.

As CryptoGlobe reported, ZenGo found that a user’s balance would be increased following an unconfirmed incoming transaction, without a subsequent decrease in the event the transaction being double-spent. The firm outlined how an attacker could use the exploit to cancel transactions of sent bitcoin while still receiving goods and services in return. 

The security firm tested nine popular cryptocurrency wallets and found BRD, Ledger Live and Edge to be vulnerable to the exploit. All three companies were notified by ZenGo of the threat and subsequently updated their products. However, the firm noted that “millions” of crypto users may have been exposed to the attack prior to the update. 

Bitcoin Cash supporter Hayden Otto told Cointelegraph the exploit is particularly concerning for bitcoin-accepting merchants. 

He said, 

The technique is facilitated by RBF (replace by fee), a so-called ‘feature’ added at the protocol level by the Bitcoin Core developers.The issue exists if you use BTC. Wallet software can only make some trade off, which results in a worse BTC user experience, in order to try to protect BTC users.

Otto claimed the exploit was derived from “an issue with BTC itself” and had little to do with wallet software. 

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