11.21.18 Your morning briefing

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The information you need to start your day, from PaymentsSource and around the Web:

The blockchain smartphone arrives
HTC has finally shown off its blockchain phone, the Exodus 1, which missed its planned debut at the TechCrunch Shenzhen conference this week.

The device, which can be purchased for around $800 worth of bitcoin, has a number of security and blockchain-related features, including a micro operating system that runs on top of Google's Android, allowing for the secure storage of cryptocurrency wallet keys, TheNextWeb explains.

TechCrunch is so far the only news outlet to have physically handled the phone, and notes that the device is otherwise "a pretty bog standard piece of HTC hardware," distinguished primarily by a clear shell and the Exodus branding. Notably, TechCrunch was not allowed to see or photograph the phone's micro OS.

Battle of the bad guys
While it may be all too common to learn that an e-commerce site has been infected by malware from credit card thieves, it's less common to witness two rival fraud gangs to compromise a single site.

Umbro Brasil was the victim of one gang that used plaintext JavaScript to hijack payment card details and another that used a more sophisticated JavaScript method that actively thwarted the efforts of the first group, Ars Technica reports.

The more advanced code replaced the last digit of a stolen card number with a random digit, rendering the first group's haul unusable, the article said.

Apple AI
Apple has reportedly purchased Silk Labs in an unannounced deal to add artificial intelligence to lightweight consumer devices like cameras, The Information reports.

The deal reportedly took place earlier this year, and while the article didn't list a price, it noted Silk Labs had only about a dozen employees and $4 million in funding.

Silk Labs' AI tech allows devices to process data without sending it to the cloud, The Verge explains.

Heartless hackers?
Hackers exploited a bug in Make-A-Wish International's website to deploy software that forces visitors to mine the cryptocurrency Monero, Wired reports.

The hack took advantage of a known vulnerability in Drupal, the open-source content management system Make-A-Wish and many other organizations used.

It's possible that the hackers didn't actively target Make-A-Wish, Wired noted; the charity was likely caught up in an automated process hackers used to scan for vulnerable websites.

From the Web
Sweden’s Push to Get Rid of Cash Has Some Saying, ‘Not So Fast’
The New York Times | Wed November 21, 2018 - The financial authorities are asking banks to keep peddling notes and coins until the government can figure out what going cash-free means for young and old consumers. The central bank, which predicts cash may fade from Sweden, is testing a digital currency — an e-krona — to keep firm control of the money supply.

The Great Cryptocurrency Scam
Forbes | Wed November 21, 2018 - Bitcoin is in deep trouble. There are investigations about price manipulation, and the use of Bitcoin for payments is down 80% according to Reuters. As poorly as Bitcoin has done in 2018, Bitcoin is the best of a sordid lot.

France's Casino buys 5 percent stake in fintech firm Lyf Pay
Reuters | Tue November 20, 2018 - Casino said on Monday it had bought a 5 percent stake in fintech company Lyf Pay as part of the French retailer’s bid to gain a foothold in the European mobile payments business. Lyf Pay aims to build a mobile payments system in Europe to rival Apple Pay, which has been developed by U.S. firm Apple, and Alipay, which is offered by China’s Alibaba’s.

More from PaymentsSource
Why the digital generation is shopping in stores
Millennials may have earned the reputation for doing all of their shopping on smartphones and tablets so they can pay from wherever they are, but a growing body of research suggests that most prefer shopping in brick-and-mortar stores.

How to keep mobile shopping from becoming a gift for fraudsters
Black Friday and Cyber Monday up the ante for payment crime, but there are steps retailers and payment companies can take, according to OneSpan’s Will LaSala.

Regional payment networks face new threats from global rivals
New payments technology and rising demand for services are expanding the scope and reach of most of the world’s leading domestic payment schemes. But challenges from Visa and Mastercard loom large.

Fraud detection’s slow speed and silos can’t keep up with emerging threats
Using machine learning to analyze payment data, the latest technology automates workflow and decisions, making fraud detection quicker and more efficient, writes Steven Goddard, product manager for risk at The ai Corporation (ai).

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