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NewsWatch: Spring is here again — and that probably means a reinvigorated U.S. economy

MARKETWATCH FRONT PAGE Ah, spring. Blooming flowers, flowering trees — and a more vigorously growing U.S. economy. That’s been a recurring pattern since the U.S. emerged from the cauldron of the 2007-2009 Great Recession. And it looks like it might happen again. See full story. Disney launches $6.99 streaming service, but will Netflix fans go…

NewsWatch: Spring is here again — and that probably means a reinvigorated U.S. economy
MARKETWATCH FRONT PAGE

Ah, spring. Blooming flowers, flowering trees — and a more vigorously growing U.S. economy. That’s been a recurring pattern since the U.S. emerged from the cauldron of the 2007-2009 Great Recession. And it looks like it might happen again. See full story.

Disney launches $6.99 streaming service, but will Netflix fans go for it?

The Mickey Mouse media megalith makes a big splash with a little price. See full story.

Greenlane IPO: 5 things to know about the closest thing to a U.S. cannabis company to go public on Nasdaq

Greenlane Holdings Inc. plans to raise roughly $98 million through an initial public offering on the Nasdaq, which would arguably make it the closest thing to a U.S. cannabis company available for trade on a major U.S. exchange. See full story.

Lawmaker demands IRS hand over Trump tax returns by April 23

Democratic chairman of House Ways and Means Committee says law unambiguously requires handover of returns after administration missed April 10 deadline. See full story.

Don’t look now, but bitcoin is showing signs of life

In a revival of sorts, digital assets are back on the rise. By late 2018, even the staunchest bitcoin aficionado wondered if the end was ever insight to a brutal bear market that wiped more than $500 billion off the total value of all cryptocurrencies. See full story.

MARKETWATCH PERSONAL FINANCE

’Travelers stand to win here, by getting two vacations in one.’ See full story.

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Moonday Mornings: Binance to resume deposits and withdrawals after $40M Bitcoin hack

It’s time for Moonday Mornings, Hard Fork’s wrap-up of the weekend’s top cryptocurrency and blockchain headlines. Here’s what happened. 1. Binance says it will resume deposits and withdrawals on its platform on Tuesday. The cryptocurrency exchange had suspended the functions following an attack in which hackers stole over $40 million worth of Bitcoin. 2. The…

Moonday Mornings: Binance to resume deposits and withdrawals after $40M Bitcoin hack

It’s time for Moonday Mornings, Hard Fork’s wrap-up of the weekend’s top cryptocurrency and blockchain headlines.

Here’s what happened.

1. Binance says it will resume deposits and withdrawals on its platform on Tuesday. The cryptocurrency exchange had suspended the functions following an attack in which hackers stole over $40 million worth of Bitcoin.

2. The figureheads of the fake cryptocurrency scheme, OneCoin, are being sued. Brother and sister duo, Konstantin Ignatov and Ruja Ignatova are facing a class action law suit for their involvement in the scam which was “based completely on lies and deceit,” ZDNet reports.

3. A Bitcoin BTC fueled ransomware attack hit the Baltimore City government last week. Despite being cleaned of the ransomware, hackers are allegedly still accessing the infected computers, ZeroHedge reports. The Federal Bureau of Investigation is now investigating the attack.

4. The creator of the Bitcoin treasure hunt Satoshi’s Treasure is claiming nearly 60,000 people are following the global challenge, CoinDesk reports. One player has already claimed the first prize, and didn’t even have to go anywhere to claim it.

And finally.

5. William Shatner is putting William Shatners on the blockchain. The former Star Trek actor is joining Mattereum, a legaltech firm, to document the authenticity of science collectibles and memorabilia from a range of franchises on the blockchain.

That’s another weekend’s headlines for you. Live long and prosper.

Published May 13, 2019 — 07:58 UTC

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Amazon granted patent for Bitcoin-style system to fight DDoS attacks

Cryptocurrency rumor mongers are likely to be dancing today as Amazon has successfully filed a patent for a Bitcoin-styled Proof-of-Work system. But don’t get ahead of yourself, it doesn’t look like the Seattle-based ecommerce giant will be accepting Bitcoin for payments. Despite first being filed in December 2016, Amazon’s patent application was granted earlier this…

Amazon granted patent for Bitcoin-style system to fight DDoS attacks

Cryptocurrency rumor mongers are likely to be dancing today as Amazon has successfully filed a patent for a Bitcoin-styled Proof-of-Work system. But don’t get ahead of yourself, it doesn’t look like the Seattle-based ecommerce giant will be accepting Bitcoin for payments.

Despite first being filed in December 2016, Amazon’s patent application was granted earlier this week and appears to outline a system that uses Proof-of-Work to prevent distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks.

“One way to mitigate against such attacks is to configure a service such that requests to the service incur some sort of expense, thereby providing a disincentive to participating in the attack,” the application reads.

Planting a Merkle Tree

Amazon proposes to use Merkle Trees to present a Proof-of-Work challenge and make it too costly for a series of computers to perform a DDoS attack.

But what’s a Merkle Tree? In short, Merkle Trees are cryptographic tools where blocks of data are manipulated to give them a unique identifier also known as a hash.

These hashes are then manipulated again to create a parent hash. Parent hashes are always a combination of two or more child hashes. It’s layers on layers of hashed data.

Since computing power is required to build a Merkle Tree, performing such hashes could get very costly in terms of time, electricity, and resources. In turn, this makes DDoS attacks economically unfeasible.

In the case of Amazon’s patent, imagine having to construct a Merkle Tree before you’re allowed to access a website hosted on one of its servers. To an individual the cost might be insignificant, but to an organization trying to carry out a DDoS attack – which might involve many hundreds of computers – it could become prohibitively expensive.

Amazon’s Merkle Tree

Merkle Trees are also used in Proof-of-Work blockchains like Bitcoin as part of its consensus mechanism. But for now that’s as close as Amazon will get to Bitcoin.

Indeed, with this news it seems Amazon is still of the “blockchain, not Bitcoin” mantra. Earlier this month, the web giant said that AT&T, Accenture, and Nestlé are all using its cloud-based blockchain tools.

Read next:

South African voters fear mobile political campaigns will steal their personal info

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