02.21.18 Your morning briefing
The information you need to start your day, from PaymentsSource and around the Web:
More shade for bitcoin: Many financial establishment figures have trashed bitcoin over the past few months, a group that got larger as Bank of England Governor Mark Carney said bitcoin has "pretty much failed" as a currency. CNBC reports Carney said bitcoin is not a store of value because of its volatility, and "nobody" uses it as a medium of exchange. Bitcoin got its start as an alternative payment option, but has mostly been an investment vehicle, particularly over the past two years.
Some support for bitcoin: For the past few days South Korea has been walking back rumors that it will ban bitcoin trading, and Engadget reports the government has made a formal announcement that South Korea will continue to support "normal" cryptocurrency. South Korea, the world's third largest cryptocurrency market, in late 2017 banned ICOs and anonymous cryptocurrency accounts, sparking talk of further tightening.
Fake flight, real malware: Flight Sim Labs, which builds features for the Microsoft Flight Simulator series, has apologized after it installed malware in its own software, reports Polygon. The malware allowed Flight Sim Labs to access personal data from some users as a hedge against piracy, according to the company, which said it would never knowingly violate consumer trust — but added the fight against piracy sometimes requires "drastic measures."
Swift hacks come back: An Indian bank reports crooks hacked its connection to the Swift messaging system and made three fake transfers worth about $2 million. The Register reports the transactions were made before Feb. 7 and were caught by the bank's reconciliation process. The hacks are similar to a series of attacks through the Swift network over the past couple of years, resulting in the network updating its security.
From the Web
Tandem launches a credit card that offers cashback and no fees when spending abroad
TechCrunch | Tue Feb 20, 2018 - Tandem, the U.K. challenger bank that recently acquired the banking arm of the famous Harrods department store partly in order to get its banking license back on track, has launched its first banking product: a credit card that offers cashback on every purchase and no exchange fees when spending abroad. The new card is designed to work with Tandem’s Personal Finance Manager (PFM) app, which you plug into your existing bank accounts and credit cards to get spending insights and set budgeting goals to help you better manage your money.
Young Brits 'lack cyber-security awareness'
BBC News | Wed Feb 21, 2018 - More than 52% of Britons aged 18-25 are using the same password for lots of online services, suggests a survey. By doing so they make it easy for hackers to hijack accounts, warned the UK government's Cyber Aware campaign. The danger was acute because of the sensitive data people typically send via email and other accounts, it found. About 79% of the 2,261 respondents of all ages said they had sent bank details or copies of passports and driving licences via messaging systems. "Your email account is really a treasure trove of information that hackers won't hesitate to exploit," said Det Insp Mick Dodge, national cyber-protect co-ordinator with the City of London police in a statement. The danger of identity theft was significant, he said, because many people who sent personal information via email rarely deleted it. Bank statements, electronic copies of signatures and other important documents could all be sitting in lists of sent emails, said Det Insp Dodge.
How long can cryptocurrencies like bitcoin shine?
ABC News | Tue Feb 20, 2018 - At its inception in 2009, a bitcoin could be purchased for less than a penny. Since then, the price has grown exponentially, hitting an all-time high of $19,783 in December. The cryptocurrency has experienced extreme volatility recently, leaving skeptics to question its sustainability. “Bitcoin wasn’t built to handle the volume of transactions that people are trying to do with it,” Grant Sabatier, who runs Millionaire Money, an investment blog, told “Nightline.” Its volatility makes it difficult to use as currency and is probably better used as a store of value, like gold, he added. Sabatier, who made more than $1 million in bitcoin, has been advising people against putting their money in the cryptocurrency. “If you only have $1,500 [to invest], this is not the best place to put your money,” Sabatier said. “This is speculative … it's gambling. You could lose money. You could make money. But, overall, you need to have a more conservative, better investment strategy for the long term.“
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Standards bodies unite on PIN security
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