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Antivirus Security Software & Internet Security –

Software downloads are available from for all your software needs, from applications to utilities. Hundreds of programs can be downloaded and you can avoid the cost of shipping with just a few clicks of the mouse. It usually only takes a few minutes, depending on the speed of your computer, to have your program of choice on your computer and ready to use.

We have over 500 application software downloads to choose from. This includes music downloads, children’s interests, instructional software, office tools, legal forms, and many more. One of the best helps for office work, whether for a small office or a large corporation, is the availability of templates for everyday tasks. We have a large selection of software with hundreds of different types of templates that you can start using in just a matter of minutes.

Some of the most popular software downloads right now are our security and utilities software. The threat of viruses and spyware is growing every day. You must have adequate protection to safeguard the integrity of your computer. Instant use of downloadable software is crucial if you suspect you have been invaded by a virus. You can immediately start the process of removing the intruder and protecting your system from future attacks.

Digital imaging and editing is a favorite pastime as well as a great occupational tool. Photographers, designers, and many other occupations utilize the help that is available from some great software for enhancing, editing, and printing digital images. Whatever your need for software might be, you can buy online at low prices at

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Cryptocurrency price plunge worse than bursting of dotcom …

Cryptocurrency prices that reached dizzying heights in late 2017 and into 2018 have plunged back to earth this year, bolstering the arguments of skeptics that the scorching hot market for digital money was an economic bubble due to burst.

According to Bloomberg News, the MVIS CryptoCompare Digital Assets 10 Index has fallen 80 percent from its January high — worse than the Nasdaq Composite index’s 78 percent peak-to-trough plunge following the dotcom-stock bust in 2000.

Bitcoin, the most widely used cryptocurrency, started the year priced above $17,000. It recently changed hands on $6,261, a drop of more than 60 percent, according to CoinDesk.Rival cryptocurrency ethereum recently traded at $173.25, down nearly 90 percent from its January high of $1,414.90. The total value of the top 100 cryptocurrencies tracked by CoinMarketCap, once nearly a trillion dollars, was pegged most recently at $188.5 billion, near its all-time low of $187 billion.

To be sure, fans of cryptocurrency have claimed that, much like the early Internet, digital money is an idea that will catch on eventually. They also note that prices have rebounded from steep sell-offs in the past. Indeed, there likely are bitcoin holders still in the black from the 1,500 percent price increase they experienced in 2017.

Bitcoin, which was first proposed by a person or persons who used the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto in 2009, has gained popularity among some investors as an alternative to conventional, or “fiat,” currency. The digital version is “mined” electronically by solving complicated mathematical equations. Converting cryptocurrency into “real” money can be tricky since it isn’t widely accepted.

Some of the leading figures in the investing world, including Warren Buffett, who likened bitcoin to “rat poison,” and JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon, have urged investors to avoid the cryptocurrency market. The view, however, isn’t unanimous on Wall Street.

In a recent interview with CNBC, Mohamed El-Erian of Allianz Capital noted that the underlying blockchain technology behind cryptocurrencies, has some long-term potential and that bitcoin itself could be a buy if it falls below $5,000.

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US takes first step toward a quantum computing workforce …

Quantum computers promise to transform computer security, finance, and many other fields by solving certain problems far faster than conventional machines. To unlock that potential, the US government has just passed a bill to foster a viable quantum computing industry.

Christopher Monroe ofthe University of Maryland told the audience at EmTech, a conference organized by MIT Technology Review, that the US needs a new generation of engineers, schooled in the quirks of quantum physics as well as the principles of computer engineering, to help create quantum computers that can tackle real-world problems.

That is why Monroe helped draft the National Quantum Initiative Act, a bill just passed today that would establish a federal program for accelerating research and training in quantum computing. The act will release $1.275 billion to help fund several centers of excellence that should help train many quantum engineers.

Monroe is also the cofounder of IonQ, one of several startups now racing to develop usable quantum computers. It is hard for these companies to find engineers to help them develop and commercialize scalable systems. We need quantum systems engineers, Monroe said. We need that workforce.

Quantum computers operate in a totally different wayfrom conventional machines.In an ordinary computer, bits of information are represented using either a 1 or a 0. But in the quantum realm, matter behaves in bizarre ways. Quantum bits, or qubits, created and manipulated using superposition and entanglement, can perform certain types of calculation very rapidly on vast amounts of data.

In theory, a quantum machine with just a few hundred qubits should be able to run calculations that would be inconceivable using traditional hardware.

In practice, though, it is devilishly tricky to scale these systems up, because they are terribly sensitive to interference. Quantum computers were first proposed decades ago, but research on the technology has progressed at a glacial pace.

Startups and big tech companies are currently racing to develop more powerful quantum computers. IonQ is building its computers using ions trapped with electric fields. Several others, including Google, IBM, and Rigetti, are developing quantum computers using superconducting circuits. Rigetti recently demonstrated a new quantum cloud service (see Running quantum algorithms in the cloud just got a lot faster).

Monroe said the new national plan should also help the US compete internationally. China is pouring billions of dollars into its own quantum computing projects. The international picture is especially significant because these technologies promise to be useful for breakingbut also securingcommunications channels.

Within five years, quantum computers would be capable of calculations that could never be run using conventional hardware, Monroe predicts. But it remains unclear precisely how useful theseearlysystems will be, since they will only be capable of certain types of computation.

Figuring out how to use these machines will then be up to the quantum software engineers. When we build them, they will be useful for something, Monroe said.

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China bet big on quantum computing. Now the … –

The US House of Representatives unanimously passed a bill Thursday to help it match China in quantum computing capabilities. Quantum computers promise to be orders of magnitude faster than the traditional computers we use today.

The bill was passed shortly after the Center for New American Security, a Washington, DC-based think tank of former Pentagon officials, warned in a new report China’s focus on quantum technologies could help it to surpass the United States military.

Traditional computers store data as a binary digit, like a light switch that’s on or off. Quantum computing relies on qubits, which can be in many positions at once.

This creates new possibilities for more powerful computers, and quantum advocates speak excitedly of new options such as more secure communications and improved cancer treatments.

“Quantum may be the compute technology of the next 100 years,” Jim Clarke, the director of quantum hardware at Intel told CNNMoney earlier this year. “This is something like a space race, it comes around once in a generation.”

Related: China leads the world in drones. US companies want to change that.

Intel, Google and IBM are among several American companies that are developing quantum technologies. But China stands out globally for its energy and investments.

“They have a quantum satellite no one else has done, a communications network no one else has done, and workforce development program to bring new Chinese quantum engineers online,” said Paul Stimers, founder of Quantum Industry Coalition, which lobbies on behalf of the American makers of quantum technologies. “You start to say, that’s worrisome.”

US stealth technology, a long-running military edge, could become obsolete due to quantum technologies, the Center for New American Security researchers caution. It could also become hard to keep an eye on China, and more difficult to guard sensitive US information.

For the first time in recent history, the United States faces the danger of being surprised by technologies another country possesses, Elsa Kania, one of the report’s authors, told CNNMoney. But predicting how powerful quantum technologies will become, and how fast they will do so is difficult, she added.

Congress isn’t alone in embracing quantum computing. In June, the White House announced a new subcommittee in the National Science and Technology Council to coordinate quantum information science research and development.

There’s significant hype in the quantum computing industry, and reasons to be overly concerned with possible dangers. A world-changing quantum computer is likely 10 years away, according to Clarke. Today, there are no guarantees quantum technologies will succeed. Qubits fail a lot, and they need to be kept at extremely cold temperatures a fraction of a degree above absolute zero.

China has launched a quantum satellite, but its abilities are extremely limited when compared with the superpowers quantum advocates expect the technology will one day perform.

“The satellite is absolutely useless in terms of doing anything right now, but it demonstrates a capability right now that’s fairly impressive,” Stimers said.

CNNMoney (Washington) First published September 14, 2018: 4:30 PM ET

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5 Common Encryption Algorithms and the Unbreakables of the Future

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While security is an afterthought for many PC users, its a major priority for businesses of any size. It has to be when the Ponemon Institute tells us that security breaches are costing companies millions every year.

Even if you dont have millions to lose, protecting what you do have should be a high priority.

There are several forms of security technology available, but encryption is one that everyday computer users should know about.

Encryption is an interesting piece of technology that works by scrambling data so it is unreadable by unintended parties. Lets take a look at how it works with the email-friendly software PGP (or GPG for you open source people).

Say I want to send you a private message, so I encrypt it using either one of these programs. Heres the message:


Once encrypted, the message literally becomes a jumbled mess of random characters. But, equipped with the secret passcode I text you, you can decrypt it and find the original message.

Come on over for hot dogs and soda!

Whether its in transit like our hot dog party email or resting on your hard drive, encryption works to keep prying eyes out of your business even if they happen to somehow gain access to your network or system.If you want to learn more about how encryption helps protect business data,you can read our article on how encryption aids cloud security.

The technology comes in many forms, with key size and strength generally being the biggest differences in one variety from the next.

Triple DES was designed to replace the original Data Encryption Standard (DES) algorithm, which hackers eventually learned to defeat with relative ease. At one time, Triple DES was the recommended standard and the most widely used symmetric algorithm in the industry.

Triple DES uses three individual keys with 56 bits each. The total key length adds up to 168 bits, but experts would argue that 112-bits in key strength is more like it.

Despite slowly being phased out, Triple DES still manages to make a dependable hardware encryption solution for financial services and other industries.

RSA is a public-key encryption algorithm and the standard for encrypting data sent over the internet. It also happens to be one of the methods used in our PGP and GPG programs.

Unlike Triple DES, RSA is considered an asymmetric algorithm due to its use of a pair of keys. Youve got your public key, which is what we use to encrypt our message, and a private key to decrypt it. The result of RSA encryption is a huge batch of mumbo jumbo that takes attackers quite a bit of time and processing power to break.

Blowfish is yet another algorithm designed to replace DES. This symmetric cipher splits messages into blocks of 64 bits and encrypts them individually.

Blowfish is known for both its tremendous speed and overall effectiveness as many claim that it has never been defeated. Meanwhile, vendors have taken full advantage of its free availability in the public domain.

Blowfish can be found in software categories ranging from e-commerce platforms for securing payments to password management tools, where it used to protect passwords. Its definitely one of the more flexible encryption methods available.

Computer security expert Bruce Schneier is the mastermind behind Blowfish and its successor Twofish. Keys used in this algorithm may be up to 256 bits in length and as a symmetric technique, only one key is needed.

Twofish is regarded as one of the fastest of its kind, and ideal for use in both hardware and software environments. Like Blowfish, Twofish is freely available to anyone who wants to use it. As a result, youll find it bundled in encryption programs such as PhotoEncrypt, GPG, and the popular open source software TrueCrypt.

The Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) is the algorithm trusted as the standard by the U.S. Government and numerous organizations.

Although it is extremely efficient in 128-bit form, AES also uses keys of 192 and 256 bits for heavy duty encryption purposes.

AES is largely considered impervious to all attacks, with the exception of brute force, which attempts to decipher messages using all possible combinations in the 128, 192, or 256-bit cipher. Still, security experts believe that AES will eventually be hailed the de facto standard for encrypting data in the private sector.

Cyber attacks are constantly evolving, so security specialists must stay busy in the lab concocting new schemes to keep them at bay. Expert observers are hopeful that a new method called Honey Encryption will deter hackers by serving up fake data for every incorrect guess of the key code. This unique approach not only slows attackers down, but potentially buries the correct key in a haystack of false hopes. Then there are emerging methods like quantum key distribution, which shares keys embedded in photons over fiber optic, that might have viability now and many years into the future as well.

Whether its protecting your email communications or stored data, some type of encryption should be included in your lineup of security tools. Successful attacks on victims like Target show that its not 100 percent bulletproof, but without it, youre offering up convenient access to your data. Find some tools that give you a piece of mind and stick with em!

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HIPAA Compliant Cloud Hosting Services –

What is HIPAA Cloud?

Businesses that handle sensitive data requiring regulatory compliance often have computing needs which make them ideal candidates to benefit from the cloud. Medical practitioners covered under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA ) and the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act must have confidence in the availability and security of their IT systems not just because they are required to by law, but because their delivery of critical services depends on it.

In previously discussing private and public cloud hosting solutions, we defined cloud computing roughly as the use and storage of data and programs over the internet, enabled by virtualization, as a scalable and elastic service. Atlantic.Nets HIPAA Compliant Cloud Hosting offering is an environment specifically engineered for HIPAA compliance within the Atlantic.Net Public or Private Cloud. It provides secure and compliant IT system access to internal, remote, and mobile employees to allow them to concentrate on service delivery.

HIPAA compliance is based on satisfying a set of requirements, including the Privacy Rule, the Breach Notification Rule, and the Security Rule. Healthcare companies will also be concerned with the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act, which regulates the electronic transmission of health information. HIPAA compliance failures can result in jail time, and more frequently, result in fines of thousands or even millions of dollars for a covered entity (CE), such as a health care provider, health plan, or health data clearinghouse. What makes a solution HIPAA compliant is a series of plans, measures, and commitments underpinned by enhanced security features.

HIPAA compliance requires that a set of data security standards and capabilities be met, but does not specify certain technical means to meeting them. According to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services , provisions in a Service Level Agreement (SLA) between a covered entity and a HIPAA-compliant cloud provider may address HIPAA concerns, including: system availability and reliability, back-up and data recovery, how data will be returned to the customer after the service, security responsibility, and limitations of data use, retention, and disclosure.

The main security features of Atlantic.Net HIPAA Cloud are its fully managed firewall solutions and advanced intrusion detection system (IDS). An IDS provides real-time threat monitoring, based on a continually-revised threat database, which is used to identify threats within the system based on their patterns or signatures. The firewall controls and protects access to the perimeter of the cloud and tracks a variety of metrics, such as the response rate for network gateways. Network security professionals take care of the monitoring, updating, and other tasks necessary to the firewall and IDS’s management, removing a significant source of potential risk, frustration, and man-hours from the healthcare organization.

In addition to our fully managed firewall and IDS, Atlantic.Net also includes fully-encrypted Virtual Private Network (VPN) access to all of a business hosted servers. This helps satisfy the requirement that all data transmitted to a server with Protected Health Information (PHI) is sent over a secure and encrypted network.

While Atlantic.Net manages the firewall and other elements that combine to provide HIPAA compliance, customers can choose to manage their own host servers, and retain full visibility into their system or have Atlantic.Nets expert engineers manage their servers, freeing up internal company resources to focus on core business directives.

The potential for multi-million dollar fines and jail time for not implementing HIPPAA/HITECH compliance makes it essential for all covered entities. The global market for IT services in support of healthcare is expected to grow from $134 billion in 2016 to $280 billion in 2021, with the majority of revenue in North America, according to MarketsandMarkets research.

HIPAA compliance delivered through Atlantic.Nets HIPPA Cloud solutions provides all the benefits of the cloud, including availability, scalability, cost savings, access to expert engineeers, along with a strong added security or compliance benefits.

As an Atlantic.Net HIPAA Cloud customer ShareSafe Solutions provides software-as-a-service (SaaS) to healthcare companies for secure, HIPAA-compliant communication and information sharing. ShareSafe Solutions delivers integrated communication between office terminals and mobile devices through the cloud, protecting against breaches with biometric identity authentication and other technologies. The company required a robust cloud to maintain instant communication, without compromising on security. It chose Atlantic.Net for support from skilled engineers, and was rewarded for that decision with swift mitigation of multiple DDoS attacks.

In addition to its fully managed firewall solutions and robust intrusion detection systems, Atlantic.Net HIPAA Cloud features highly available infrastructure, an encrypted virtual private network (VPN), a robust log management system, and a choice of Windows or Linux servers. It is all backed by an available Business Associate Agreement (BAA) which establishes parameters for Atlantic.Net’s use of protected health information (PHI).

Atlantic.Net’s HIPAA solution is third-party audited, and backed by a 100 percent network and hardware uptime service level agreement (SLA). Our data centers are certified, with state-of-the-art redundant systems, power, and physical security.

Having secure infrastructure and meeting planning and documentation standards for compliance are important for satisfying HIPAA requirements. The real value of Atlantic.Net HIPAA Cloud Hosting, however, is our extensive experience surpassing the minimum standards for compliance, security, and availability, backed by our expert team of engineers. Atlantic.Net HIPAA Cloud gives healthcare organizations and CEs an IT environment that provides compliant, high-performance networking, and the service to help healthcare organizations use it to the maximum benefit for their business.

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2018’s Best "Cloud Hosting" Providers | 100% Real Reviews

The late Steve Jobs once said, I dont need a hard disk in my computer if I can get to the server faster. The year was 1997, the Internet itself was only in its infancy, and here was the Apple Co-Founder and longtime web industry leader talking about our future in the Cloud.

That term and this idea of storing and hosting data on a connected network of virtual machines rather than hard disks has grown in popularity since, just as Steve predicted: Carrying around these non-connected computers is byzantine by comparison. Here we cover all the questions one could possibly have about the concept of cloud server hosting from the cloud infrastructure to the cost and features to look for and beyond.

Alright, so first: What is a cloud server, and how does it differ from your run-of-the-mill physical servers?

Cloud servers are just virtual machines (VMs) that run on whats called a cloud computing environment. Rather than having a physical hardware server, which is susceptible to hardware fail, cloud-hosted servers communicate over a network of connected servers theyre all online, but none of your data is stored on your hard drive. Cloud-based servers are software-independent, making them a highly available alternative to on-premise servers, especially if youre in need of resources on demand.

Your cloud host is just the service provider connecting you to this software-independent server network.

The Cloud is known for giving us the ability to send, store, and retrieve data in massive quantities, from anywhere in the world, at any given point in time. As such, there are several benefits of cloud hosting, but like anything else, those perks come at a cost.

Now, for the downsides: Most of these disadvantages can be offset by strategic use of public and private cloud environments (more on this further down).

To quote Steve again, Managing a network like this is a pain in the butt, but for those in need of on-demand resources only when you need them and always where you are this can be a solution with an awesome cost-to-stability ratio.

Its important to realize that there are several cloud-based services out there apart from web hosting services. Backing up your files online (e.g., Dropbox, Google Cloud, etc.), web applications, and other as-a-Service offerings (SaaS, Paas, IaaS) make up what we call cloud computing. In short, cloud computing just means a bunch of computers are sharing processing power and data with multiple devices.

Cloud service providers are not necessarily the same as your cloud hosts, like the folks listed on this page. This can seem convoluted at first because those computing jobs are done on cloud server networks, but think of it this way: You can can sign up for many various Internet-based resources and not have a website hosted on a server in the Cloud. Just because you need cloud-based storage, for example, doesnt mean you are shopping for cloud hosting. Get it?

To recap, cloud computing providers might offer any or many of the following:

There are plenty other specific examples of services, but the ones listed above are some of the more well-known representations of the as-a-Service models of cloud computing. Much like the web hosting end of things, the benefits of cloud computing include fast access to tons of data whenever, wherever.

Yes much like web hosting services can be broken down into shared, vps, and dedicated options, the Cloud is divided: public and private. Here, well also get into whats called hybrid hosting and how cloud hosting fits in with its commonly confused sidekick, VPS hosting.

The main difference between the public and private cloud sectors is the latter means the hardware, storage, and network are all allotted to a single tenant one client or company. In contrast, a multi-tenant environment, or the public cloud, means that you can buy a slice of a cloud computing environment and share space with other customers.

The Google Cloud platform, Amazon EC2, and Rackspace are all examples of public clouds and the perks include pay-as-you-go pricing, getting to set up and manage your own servers, and no contracts. Private clouds, on the other hand, offer the advantages of PCI/HIPAA compliance, high-level security, and hardware customization. You can also breed hybrid deployments via the private cloud, which cant be done in the public cloud.

Put simply, hybrid hosting is using a mix of public and private hosting environments i.e., ideal for those who want to harness the security of the private cloud while capitalizing on the economical benefits of public cloud resources.

For more on this, check out our guide to getting started with hybrid hosting.

Finally, virtual private server (VPS) hosting versus virtual machine (cloud) hosting know the difference. While a VPS is a physical server thats been partitioned into multiple hardware slices each acting as independent server environments, a cloud server is running on a network of connected machines. A VPS is still subject to hardware failure, whereas a cloud web server will just transfer data to another machine without the owner experiencing downtime or data loss.

To be clear: A VPS can be hosted in the Cloud, making it a cloud VPS, but not all cloud servers are VPSs. To see the top VPS hosting plans, including many leading cloud options, check out our VPS reviews.

The best cloud hosting providers are going to help you capitalize on all the advantages of cloud hosting instant provisioning; scalable, on-demand resources; and flexible hardware options for a reasonable cost.

Some of the top features we look for in determining the best hosting services for cloud customers:

When it comes to premiere customer support, SSD speed boosting, and managed servers, InMotion is particularly great at all of the above.

You can pay anywhere from $15 to more than $50 a month on a reputable cloud hosts server.

Lets review: With hosts like InMotion or Bluehost, youre getting immediate provisioning and deployment of super scalable cloud resources, a bunch of processing power, and industry-leading expert support in the pricing ballpark of $15 a month. This is as cheap (and as highly valued) as cheap cloud hosting gets, folks. You get your moneys worth.

Yes, free cloud hosting is a thing, but it mostly comes in the form of a free trial. You have to sign up with a credit card, you get a taste of the awesome resources for 60 days or so, and then you have to pay for anything you use thereafter.

I cant communicate to you how awesome this is unless you use it final words from Steve, and truer words could not have been said of cloud platforms. For those whose businesses need highly available, on-demand cloud computing power, those who cant afford hardware failure, and those who like the idea of paying for a service by the hour, the Cloud is awesome. Whats more, the top cloud hosts can have you launched and live in minutes may the force of the Cloud be with you.

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Iran, North Korea and Venezuela turning to cryptocurrency …

Countries including Iran (leader Hassan Rouhani left), North Korea (Kim Jong-un center) and Venezuela (Nicolas Maduro) are turning to cryptocurrencies to circumvent U.S. sanctions

America’s rivals are increasingly turning to bitcoin-style cryptocurrencies after their economies were brought to their knees thanks to crippling U.S. sanctions, experts have warned.

Iran, North Korea, Russia and Venezuela are all investing in the technology in an attempt to counter American economic might and an expert says these nations are forming alliances through the technology.

A form of digital money, cryptocurrency uses encryption to secure transactions and control the creation of new units. It uses cryptography, a form of secret coding originating from the Second World War, to process transactions securely. Its major appeal is it is untraceable.

U.S. sanctions work by placing bans on dealings and transactions with persons, nations and companies.

These prohibitions are often enforced with the help of mainstream financial institutions.

But cryptocurrencies do not operate within this established system. In fact, bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies were invented in part to sidestep the existing regulated financial system.

This means nations like Iran using or controlling such a currency would allow it to bypass certain measures, such as a ban on buying U.S. dollars or even facilitate arms deals.

In May, the United States pulled out of a deal to lift sanctions against Iran in return for curbs on its nuclear program a plan President Donald Trump has repeatedly blasted.


Soon after, Mohammad Reza Pourebrahimi, the head of the Iranian Parliamentary Commission for Economic Affairs, spoke about cryptocurrencies as a way for countries to avoid U.S. dollar transactions – as well as a possible replacement of the SWIFT international payment system.

And Alireza Daliri, a senior science and technology official of Iran’s Presidential Office, said: We are trying to prepare the grounds to use a domestic digital currency in the country.

This currency would facilitate the transfer of money (to and from) anywhere in the world.

It can help us at the time of sanctions.

Darren Parkin, editorial director of cryptocurrency news website Coin Rivet, described how the adoption of cryptocurrencies is helping to push economic alliances between these states.

He pointed to the example of Iran and Russia working together to overcome the sanctions that affect them both.

He told Fox News: The problem the U.S. has is if they are dealing with fiat currency (currency that a government has declared to be legal tender) they can monitor the effect of the sanctions.


But if countries use cryptocurrency they have fallen below the radar of what the U.S. can see.

They’re being pushed underground.

Venezuela also reportedly received help from Moscow when it was hit with sanctions, leading to food shortages, soaring prices, a healthcare collapse and a crime spree.

In February the South American nation launched a new cryptocurrency called petro that Nicolas Maduro, the socialist leader of Venezuela, described as ‘kryptonite’ against the power of the U.S. government.

An anonymous executive at a Russian state bank claims the Kremlin oversaw the creation of the petro after President Vladimir Putin signed off on it last year.

In February Venezuela launched a new cryptocurrency called petro; an anonymous executive at a Russian state bank claims the Kremlin oversaw the creation of the petro after Putin (pictured) signed off on it last year(AP)

The source told Time: People close to Putin, they told him this is how to avoid the sanctions.

This is how the whole thing started.

Last month Vladimir Gutenev, the first deputy head of the economic policy committee of the State Duma, said Russia should conduct transactions in cryptocurrencies linked to the value of gold to frustrate U.S. attempts to thwart deals on Russian weaponry and civilian goods.

“And Im sure that this will be a very interesting option for China, India, and other states as well,” he added.

Meanwhile, Priscilla Moriuchi, a former NSA cybersecurity official, told The Hill North Korea earns an estimated $15 million to $200 million by mining and selling cryptocurrencies.

Pyongyang’s army of hackers is also believed to have stolen cryptocurrency from organizations and individuals throughout the world.

As if states opposed to the U.S. exploiting cryptocurrency was not concerning enough, analysts have warned bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are already being used to secretly move cash between sympathizers and terror cells throughout the world.

Nikita Malik, the author of a recent report by the UK-based Henry Jackson Society about online extremism called Terror In The Dark, said: The authorities must move urgently to increase their knowledge of terrorists activities in cyberspace and their use of technologies such as bitcoin.

By fundraising and making financial transactions online, terrorists and other criminals can avoid interference from financial regulators or other third parties who might otherwise take steps to prevent their operations.

Regulation in this area has to move carefully if we are to balance liberties with guarding against threats to our security but the time has come to deny extremists the space they need online to plan fresh atrocities.

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SEC halts trading in two cryptocurrency products, citing …

NEW YORK (Reuters) – The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission said on Sunday it was immediately suspending trading in two investment products that track cryptocurrencies, citing confusion in the markets over whether the products are exchange-traded funds (ETFs).

FILE PHOTO – High-end graphic cards are installed in a cryptocurrency mining computer at a computer mall in Hong Kong, China January 29, 2018. REUTERS/Bobby Yip/File Photo

The SEC said in a statement that trading in Bitcoin Tracker One and Ether Tracker One would be halted in the United States until at least Sept. 20.

The products promise to track the price of the cryptocurrencies, less fees. They are both listed on a Nasdaq Inc (NDAQ.O) exchange in Stockholm, but trade over the counter in transactions that occur off exchanges within the United States.

It appears … that there is a lack of current, consistent and accurate information, the SEC said in a notice posted on its website. Application materials submitted to enable the offer and sale of these financial products in the United States, as well as certain trading websites, characterize them as Exchange Traded Funds.

The issuer of Bitcoin Tracker One and Ether Tracker One, XBT Provider AB SE0010296574.ST and its parent company, did not immediately respond to emailed requests for comment. Nasdaq declined to comment.

The SEC has taken a strict stance against letting ETFs tracking bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies come to market.

But investment firms have been pushing other types of investments that attempt to make it as easy to trade cryptocurrencies as a regular stock.

Those products are sometimes called ETFs, but that term generally refers to a different and often more stringently regulated product. Some industry experts, including the largest ETF provider BlackRock Inc (BLK.N), have called for regulators to standardize the terms used to describe ETFs and other kinds of investment products.

Virtual currency, including bitcoin and ether, can be used to move money around the world quickly and with relative anonymity, without the need for a central authority, such as a bank or government. A fund holding the currency could attract more investors and push its price higher.

Reporting by Trevor Hunnicutt; Editing by Peter Cooney and Will Dunham

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The reality of quantum computing could be just three years …

Quantum computing has moved out of the realm of theoretical physics and into the real world, but its potential and promise are still years away.

Onstage at TechCrunch Disrupt SF, a powerhouse in the world of quantum research and a young upstart in the field presented visions for the future of the industry that illustrated both how far the industry has come and how far the technology has to go.

For both Dario Gil, the chief operating officer of IBM Research and the companys vice president of artificial intelligence and quantum computing, and Chad Rigetti, a former IBM researcher who founded Rigetti Computing and serves as its chief executive, the moment that a quantum computer will be able to perform operations better than a classical computer is only three years away.

[Its] generating a solution that is better, faster or cheaper than you can do otherwise, said Rigetti.Quantum computing has moved out of a field of research into now an engineering discipline and an engineering enterprise.

Considering the more than 30 years that IBM has been researching the technology and the millions (or billions) that have been poured into developing it, even seeing an end of the road is a victory for researchers and technologists.

Achieving this goal, for all of the brainpower and research hours that have gone into it, is hardly academic.

The Chinese government is building a $10 billion National Laboratory for Quantum Information in Anhui province, which borders Shanghai and is slated to open in 2020. Meanwhile, the U.S. public research into quantum computing is running at around $200 million per year.

One of the reasons why governments, especially, are so interested in the technology is its potential to completely remake the cybersecurity landscape. Some technologists argue that quantum computers will have the potential to crack any type of encryption technology, opening up all of the networks in the world to potential hacking.

Of course, quantum computing is so much more than security. It will enable new ways of doing things we cant even imagine because we have never had this much pure compute power. Think about artificial and machine learning or drug development; any type of operation that is compute-intensive could benefit from the exponential increase in compute power that quantum computing will bring.

Security may be the Holy Grail for governments, but both Rigetti and Gil say that the industrial chemical business will be the first place where the potentially radical transformation of a market will appear first.

To understand quantum computing it helps to understand the principles of the physics behind it.

As Gil explained onstage (and on our site), quantum computing depends on the principles of superposition, entanglement and interference.

Superposition is the notion that physicists can observe multiple potential states of a particle. If you a flip a coin it is one or two states, said Gil. Meaning that theres a single outcome that can be observed. But if someone were to spin a coin, theyd see a number of potential outcomes.

Once youve got one particle thats being observed, you can add another and pair them thanks to a phenomenon called quantum entanglement. If you have two coins where each one can be in superpositions and then you can have measurements can be taken of the difference of both.

Finally, theres interference, where the two particles can be manipulated by an outside force to change them and create different outcomes.

In classical systems you have these bits of zeros and ones and the logical operations of the ands and the ors and the nots, said Gil. The classical computer is able to process the logical operations of bits expressed in zeros and ones.

In an algorithm you put the computer in a super positional state, Gil continued. You can take the amplitude and states and interfere them and the algorithm is the thing that interferes I can have many, many states representing different pieces of information and then i can interfere with it to get these data.

These operations are incredibly hard to sustain. In the early days of research into quantum computing the superconducting devices only had one nanosecond before a qubit transforms into a traditional bit of data. Those ranges have increased between 50 and 100 microseconds, which enabled IBM and Rigetti to open up their platforms to researchers and others to conduct experimentation (more on that later).

As one can imagine, dealing with quantum particles is a delicate business. So the computing operations have to be carefully controlled.At the base of the machine is what basically amounts to a huge freezer that maintains a temperature in the device of 15 millikelvin near absolute zero degrees and 180 times colder than the temperatures in interstellar space.

These qubits are very delicate, said Gil. Anything from the outside world can couple to it and destroy its state and one way to protect it is to cool it.

Wiring for the quantum computer is made of superconducting coaxial cables. The inputs to the computers are microwave pulses that manipulates the particles creating a signal that is then interpreted by the computers operators.

Those operators used to require a degree in quantum physics. But both IBM and Rigetti have been working on developing tools that can enable a relative newbie to use the tech.

Even as companies like IBM and Rigetti bring the cost of quantum computing down from tens of millions of dollars to roughly $1 million to $2 million, these tools likely will never become commodity hardware that a consumer buys to use as a personal computer.

Rather, as with most other computing these days, quantum computing power will be provided as a service to users.

Indeed, Rigetti announced onstage a new hybrid computing platform that can provide computing services to help the industry both reach quantum advantage that tipping point at which quantum is commercially viable and to enable industries to explore the technologies to acclimatize to the potential ways in which typical operations could be disrupted by it.

A user logs on to their own device and use our software development kit to write a quantum application, said Rigetti. That program is sent to a compiler and kicks off an optimization kit that runs on a quantum and classical computer This is the architecture thats needed to achieve quantum advantage.

Both IBM and Rigetti and a slew of other competitors are preparing users for accessing quantum computing opportunities on the cloud.

IBM has more than a million chips performing millions of quantum operations requested by users in over 100 countries around the world.

In a cloud-first era Im not sure the economic forces will be there that will drive us to develop the miniaturized environment in the laptop, Rigetti said. But the ramifications of the technologys commercialization will be felt by everyone, everywhere.

Quantum computing is going to change the world and its all going to come in our lifetime, whether thats two years or five years, he said. Quantum computing is going to redefine every industry and touch every market. Every major company will be involved in some capacity in that space.

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