Crypto Fundraising to Aid Canary Warf and Isle of Dogs

What can I do to prevent this in the future?

If you are on a personal connection, like at home, you can run an anti-virus scan on your device to make sure it is not infected with malware.

If you are at an office or shared network, you can ask the network administrator to run a scan across the network looking for misconfigured or infected devices.

Remaining Anonymous: Which Crypto Privacy Solution Works Best?

What can I do to prevent this in the future?

If you are on a personal connection, like at home, you can run an anti-virus scan on your device to make sure it is not infected with malware.

If you are at an office or shared network, you can ask the network administrator to run a scan across the network looking for misconfigured or infected devices.

3 Reasons Why the Crypto Market is Flashing Green Today

Prices across the crypto space are moving into positive territory. Bitcoin is up five percent over the past twenty four hours and many alt coins are breaking weekly highs. Several factors are at play which are pushing up these values.


FEAR OF FIAT INFLATION IS PUSHING PEOPLE INTO CRYPTO

Last week, politicians across the globe went to great lengths to promise massive bailouts and stimulus programs designed to help alleviate the pain of increasing unemployment, and economic recession. The public felt relief, yet economists quickly pounced. Experts asserted that these moves were all but certain to cause massive inflation and much more financial pain down the road.

For days now the criticism of these bailouts has built. Most notably, analysts have made clear that the decision by the U.S. Federal Reserve to print USD $2 Trillion will significantly devalue the Dollar.

Not surprisingly, a greater number of investors are moving their assets into cryptocurrencies, which have a fixed supply and cannot be manipulated by a central bank. This activity reinforces the notion that the public increasingly trusts Bitcoin and alt coins to hold their value during times of economic stress.

PEOPLE ARE LOOKING FOR CRYPTO DEALS

In mid-March crypto investors liquidated millions of dollars worth of their holdings in a scramble to acquire quick cash. Most feared the work stoppages related to the growing economic meltdown.

It has now become obvious that this sell-off created deals aplenty across the blockchain space. With Bitcoin below $7k for the first time in months, the temptation to buy is very strong. The same can be said of many altcoins, some of which have not been this low in over a year.

PLATFORM FUNDAMENTALS REMAIN STRONG

Regarding Bitcoin, there has never been much doubt that 2020 would be a strong year. Before the onset of the COVID-19 crisis, the crypto market recovery was in full swing. Importantly, the block reward halving promised to drive prices much higher. These factors have not changed, and optimism is growing that the flagship cryptocurrency may end the year on a very strong note.

In fact, many cryptocurrencies, Bitcoin included, are experiencing very solid network strength. For example, the growth of decentralised finance (DeFi) is pushing Ethereum activity to new levels. Even lesser alts such as Chainlink, VeChain, and Stellar are experiencing notable increases in real world application. It thus stands to reason that investors will take notice.

The overall crypto market will no doubt remain volatile in the days ahead. Nevertheless, today’s market demonstrates that on a core level it remains healthy

Why do you think the crypto market has turned bullish today? Add your thoughts below!


Images via Shutterstock, Twitter @MrWWolfe 

Using Bitcoin in Zimbabwe, Part 3 of a Six-Part Documentary Podcast Series

After three weeks of listening, recording and talking bitcoin (BTC) in Africa, podcaster Anita Posch is back in part 3 of her six-part documentary podcast series. Presented in audio and full written transcript below.

Listen/subscribe to the CoinDesk Podcast feed for unique perspectives and fresh daily insight with Apple PodcastsSpotifyPocketcastsGoogle PodcastsCastboxStitcherRadioPublicaIHeartRadio or RSS.

In the first and second part of this six-part series you heard about the difficult living situation, the hyperinflation and about the multi-currency world that Zimbabweans have to live with since many years. In this – the third part – you will hear from two early bitcoin (BTC)  adopters based in Harare. We speak about the different use cases for bitcoin, how it can be exchanged to U.S. dollar and RTGS [the Zimbabwe dollar], what the obstacles and pros are, about regulation and what the two online entrepreneurs want to tell people outside of Africa.

Bitcoin in Africa: The Ubuntu Way Part 3: Using Bitcoin in Zimbabwe

Hello again my dear listener. Whether you are a regular subscriber of my show or a new listener, it does not matter, I am glad that you are here. If you are new, please take some seconds of your time to subscribe to the Bitcoin & Co. podcast on your podcast player now. If you are a fan already, please consider writing a recommendation on Apple or Google podcast or wherever you’re listening to help other people to find my show.

In the first and second part of this six-part series you heard about the difficult living situation, the hyperinflation and about the multi-currency world that Zimbabweans have to live with since many years. In this – the third part – you will hear from two early bitcoin (BTC)  adopters based in Harare. We speak about the different use cases for bitcoin, how it can be exchanged to U.S. dollar and RTGS [the Zimbabwe dollar], what the obstacles and pros are, about regulation and what the two online entrepreneurs want to tell people outside of Africa.

After the interviews I will answer a listener’s question about the possibilities for rural communities to use bitcoin. If you, too, have a question, feel free to visit the episode page at https://bitcoinundco.com/en/africa3. There you will find an audio recorder to record your question.

This podcast special and my trip to Africa would not have been possible without my sponsors and supporters. Thanks to my sponsors: LocalBitcoins.com the person-to-person bitcoin exchange site founded in 2012: LocalBitcoins allows you to trade directly with another person. This makes the process customizable, lean and fast, as there is no corporate overhead. You can get your bitcoins instantly. For every trade, LocalBitcoins.com offers escrow protection to ensure the bitcoins and both traders are safe.  

Thanks to SHIFT Cryptosecurity, manufacturer of the hardware wallet BitBox02,
Peter McCormack and the whatbitcoindid podcast, whatbitcoindid, manufacturer of the Card Wallet and many thanks to several unknown private donors, who sent me Satoshis over the Lightning Network.

This special is edited by CoinDesk’s Podcasts Editor Adam B. Levine and published first on the CoinDesk Podcast Network. Thank you very much for supporting the Bitcoin in Africa series with your work.

Thank you also to CoinDesk Podcast Network, for donating several gotenna devices to set up a mesh network in Zimbabwe, to stakwork.com – the place to earn bitcoin over the Lightning Network and to Team Satoshi, the decentralized sports team for supporting my work.

This special is also brought to you by the Let’s Talk Bitcoin Network.

If you like my work and the Bitcoin & Co. podcast, please take a minute to share it with your friends on social media and subscribe to the feed in your podcast player. You’ll find the subscription links at: bitcoinundco.com/en/subscribe

Internet Marketer and Trader  

I am an internet marketer. I’m also an online entrepreneur. So I do affiliate marketing, as well I do trade bitcoin, as all trade other currencies. So I’m also formally employed, but for now I enjoy doing online business, that is trading bitcoin as well as other currencies. 

How did you start that business? I mean, have you been in school and studied that or did you learn everything by yourself?

Internet Marketer and Trader  

No, I learned everything by myself just from peers. I think back in 2015 when there were bitcoin hypes mainly in Zimbabwe, currently in Zimbabwe at that time, we could trade using USD. So that’s when I got to know about bitcoin, but it was not educational. It was not formally education. Yeah. 

Somebody told you about bitcoin or did you research it by yourself and find it? 

Internet Marketer and Trader  

Actually, there was somebody who told me about it. Then I went on and research more about it. And how, what is it, how it was started, the history of bitcoin, the history of crypto currencies and so on.

Yes. Okay. And when did you start trading with bitcoin?

Internet Marketer and Trader  

I can say I started trading big in 2016/17. That’s when I started trading, like online trading.

Do you have platforms here in Zimbabwe to do that? Or do you do this on other platforms?

Internet Marketer and Trader  

No, not in Zimbabwe? Yes, there was one company in Zimbabwe that whereby you can withdraw USD when you have bitcoin, but it wasn’t supported. It’s not like there was support like government support or there was no support. So they come and closed because of other things. Mainly regulation.

Yeah. But how do you do it then?

Internet Marketer and Trader  

Okay. In Zimbabwe, like, we do have peers down in South Africa, in the U.K., in every way. So how it said bitcoin is when you do have bitcoin say in your BTC wallet you can then give somebody who wants to trade in bitcoin, we exchange like peer-to-peer, you send to each other then the person can give you hard currency.

Okay, so you know these people already or do you find them on platforms like LocalBitcoins.com or other platforms?

Internet Marketer and Trader  

Mainly I started knowing those people through hypes, if you know what I’m talking about, you know, those network marketing companies that said you can donate bitcoin then you can receive bitcoin; so many people, so many things. But then we met under bad circumstances with bitcoin, where people can, actually their bitcoin can get stolen. After you, you’re given promises that you’re going to get something if you donate, say, $10 worth of bitcoin you’re going to get $100 more, so usually after something bad happens mostly in Zimbabwe. That’s how people get to know about bitcoin, “Ah, this bitcoin is bad, this one this one, but no. Then I started researching more about it; now we know people are genuine who said between genuinely only because there are no companies actually that’s really trade bitcoin in Zimbabwe. Yes they were but they are not open enough to trade bitcoin openly because there’s no regulation around that. That’s that cryptocurrency issue. So that’s how we know it in so many groups now on WhatsApp, in Telegram, also on Facebook. Yeah, bitcoin groups, whereby people now know this is a bad company, this is a good company where you can join bitcoin.

Yeah. Okay and if people here would like to get bitcoin how to proceed? I mean, can they earn it in a way or do they buy it for RTGS? How is this working?

Internet Marketer and Trader   

Okay, let me say in Zimbabwe, when you want to trade bitcoin into RTGS that’s actually, we do it the longer way. As traders what we do is we do have bitcoin in my wallet; besides the peer-to-peer I take the bitcoin to my Skrill account. Then if you put into Skrill you can take it to your FCA account, which is a USD-funded account. So it’s actually a longer process for us to then access the RTGS, you understand? Yeah, so we prefer peer to peer. Here in Zimbabwe it is actually easier and no charges, because the longer route when you get your money into the bank, then the bank charges are exorbitant. Yeah. No one would like that and you get your bitcoin also in RTGS, you will not withdraw in resistance. So there is so much regulation. Yes, there’s so much regulation and around that withdrawal of bitcoin in Zimbabwe. So we prefer peer-to-peer.

Which other use cases do you see for bitcoin here in Zimbabwe besides trading?

Internet Marketer and Trader   

I think it’s easier because in Zimbabwe, you know, we do have a currency issue. We are a multi-currency economy. So I think if we introduce bitcoin, the easier for everyone because you can trade in a currency that’s in bitcoin, which is a cryptocurrency that you know. It’s something solid. Yeah, so I think it’s through ease of doing business.

Do you think that people know already that bitcoin is more solid than maybe their own currency here?

Internet Marketer and Trader   

For some of us, we’ve really researched about it. We know even the volatility around bitcoin. We have been there, we know just like any other currency in the world that bitcoin can go up and go down. So we are not afraid. We’re not afraid to trade in bitcoin ,you’re not afraid to actually buy in bitcoin. There was another time that I was in South Africa, I actually used my, you know, there was a company that I joined like a multi-level marketing company, IML, which teaches you how to trade, they will give you a card a bitcoin card, you apply for the card, actually, then you can actually swipe using the card. So, we can also do that in Zimbabwe. I think it will, the ease of doing business also, it can solve the cash shortages, and the much-needed foreign currency can come also to Zimbabwe. Yeah.

Okay. And how do you see the future here in Zimbabwe for bitcoin?

Internet Marketer and Trader   

What I think is Africa is the future. So, we are still a …land when it comes to innovations, new innovations like bitcoin, we have to actually there is room for growth, there is room for growth. I would not lie because I would like to say maybe 75 percent of the adult population, they don’t know about it. So if people get to know about it, get awareness about it, I think it’s actually a huge market.

But I think not many people can afford the internet here. So that might be a problem or because I think having a phone or having a mobile plan is very expensive for the big part of the people here because they are unemployed and they live day by day. 

Internet Marketer and Trader  

Yeah. Most people is, just the economic situation. But there were times like back in 2014, 2015. Things were actually better. It’s actually a phase which we believe is in Zimbabwe, we believe things are going to be okay. It’s only an economic situation in Zimbabwe, that is, everything is actually expensive. Besides internet, food is expensive, everything is expensive at the moment, but we believe probably if the right decisions are made, then I believe Zimbabwe can go far. Yeah.

Do you follow technical advancements in bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies, or are you a user mainly? 

Internet Marketer and Trader  

Yes, I tried to follow but nowadays I’ve decided to stay, let me stay in one lane, because there were so many bitcoins coming. There were a lot even in Zimbabwe. There was Zimbocoin, if you have heard about it, there is this Zimbocoin. So there were so many cryptocurrencies. I’ve been following people who brought so many other cryptocurrencies but I decided no, let me stay in one lane, because like I told you, how I got to know bitcoin, most people in Zimbabwe, they got to know through bad experiences. Well, then people went to the newspaper and said, I lost money in bitcoin. So it was mostly bad publicity about bitcoin. But that’s why I said I follow the news. Yes, this is developing, it is going up, it is going down, also litecoin (LTC).  There are many bitcoin and cryptocurrencies that are coming. But let me say, I decided to just follow one path.

Yeah. So you’re interested in other cryptocurrencies but as I understand it, you have your trust more in bitcoin than in any other. 

Internet Marketer and Trader

Yeah, exactly. Yeah. Also litecoin and I also tried zimbocoin, you know, the local one.

Okay and what happened with zimbocoin?

Internet Marketer and Trader

They are still crowdfunding.

I mean I always see the problem with these new coins or tokens is that you have a leader, then you have a company, you have a group of people who is behind it. Yeah, you don’t have that with bitcoin. You know, it was like a genius, immaculate birth.You know, and nobody can get hold of anyone and use those coins. I mean, it can’t be seized, it can’t be frozen. I mean, the company can..

Internet Marketer and Trader

..close Yeah. Yeah, these traces, you can trace somebody, if you lose money you can trace it down to someone. But with bitcoin that wasn’t, we believed, it was a belief that Satoshi brought a bitcoin. But it’s one belief we didn’t know. You know, we couldn’t even trace it back to him, you know? Yeah. So it was just a belief in everything, yeah.

And we all don’t know who the founder of Bitcoin is. 

Internet Marketer and Trader

Yes. It’s a belief. Yeah, yeah.

Do you think that if the bitcoin price is rising again, then the hype comes, that there will be another bunch of new people coming into bitcoin also in Zimbabwe?

Internet Marketer and Trader

I think so. In Zimbabwe, oh, let me say we take risks. Yeah, we take a lot of risk. So we jump into anything especially the internet, the online entrepreneurs in Zimbabwe. I’ve been in so many groups of in online entrepreneurs they, they follow each and every hype especially if somebody says this is working and your mentor probably says this is working; you jump in and then if it fails, it fails. You know, because we have first a lot of losses, a lot of sad insurance losses, so much that we take any risk now. Yeah.

Talking of risks, I mean, everybody knows not your keys, not your coins. You should hold your own private keys for your bitcoin. Do you have something like hardware wallets here in this country? Can you buy hardware wallets here?

Internet Marketer and Trader

Not that I know of. Hardware, no. So somebody tried it here in Zimbabwe but I think it died a natural death, it wasn’t successful. We do not ..have you said hardware? Not in Zimbabwe. Not that I know of.

So you basically use your computer or your smartphone for a while, actually.

Internet Marketer and Trader

You know, a lot of online entrepreneurs, internet entrepreneurs. Yes. And are there also a lot of developers here? People who are doing programming and stuff?

Internet Marketer and Trader

Yes, yes, yes, there are. People that [do] web development. Like languages, like programming languages? Yeah. There are a lot of them actually have universities and colleges that teach all of that.

Do they work internationally, like living here and work for companies abroad?

Internet Marketer and Trader

Yes, most people usually relocate. But there are online entrepreneurs that I know, say we do have a common website, Afriblocks, if you have heard about it. It’s actually an innovation, whereby I think it solves an unemployment issue in Zimbabwe, whereby web developers, people with so many skills, web designers, graphic designers, also writers, they have so much skill here but these high unemployment rates, so it’s actually solving that issue. So I know a lot on that platform actually. Particularly on that platform. We do have a group of people who have done so many jobs outside internationally, but they are here in Zimbabwe.

And do you know how they get paid? Do you think they use bitcoin?

Internet Marketer and Trader

Yes. Actually, I did a job, I think two twice or three times, I was paid through bitcoin. Yeah, it’s easier, there are no charges whatsoever. Just receive your bitcoin. That’s it, and you withdraw  using the methods that I told you, like peer-to-peer.

Sounds very easy, actually.

Internet Marketer and Trader  

Yes. Actually easy. Very.

Because I think many people have, like, a problem to touch it because they think it’s difficult or they cannot imagine that it’s only a virtual thing. You know, many people want to have a paper note.

Internet Marketer and Trader    

Exactly, they are used to the old times. Yeah, yeah. This 21st century we have drones now. So the old times, the old times are gone.

Do people ask you, how do you use bitcoin? Can I do it, too?

Internet Marketer and Trader   

Yes, my friends actually, my friends. This is exactly what is it, I don’t understand; most of the times I send them information. I send them PDFs to read. They don’t read at their own risk. So when initially they ask me what is this bitcoin, I send them information. 

Can you send them videos, too? Or are the internet connections so bad that they can’t view YouTube videos for instance?

Internet Marketer and Trader    

Yeah, for YouTube. Most people, they don’t use YouTube because of how expensive internet is. But fortunately for me, I do have access to cheap data, actually free data. So I get to do a lot of things, I get to discover a lot of things.

What would be better ways for people here to produce educational material for them? Because in Europe and in the U.S., everybody has YouTube, you know, because there’s no such thing as a problem with internet connection. Okay, and what would be a form of learning material for people here that would be easy, consumable, too, because you’re just as … if I understood, you said you sent them PDFs but they don’t read them or do they?

Internet Marketer and Trader   

Maybe they just do not, but maybe the easier form is to send information. In Zimbabwe, usually most people use WhatsApp and Facebook. If you post a video on Facebook, probably a five-minute video, people look into that. So it should be short videos [or] first use Facebook or WhatsApp also. Yeah, people they do use WhatsApp.

Do people here also use Twitter?

Internet Marketer and Trader  

Yes, they do. But here in Twitter they say it’s for the nerds for, like, the upmarkets. Twitter, they say, is not, like, for everyone. Not everyone is on Twitter. 

Yeah, I understand what you mean. It’s the same in Austria. Not everybody’s on Twitter. And what would you say? Should foreign people like me or companies do differently in Africa or what could we learn from you?

Internet Marketer and Trader  

Okay. As Africa, I think, we as a developing continent, there are a lot of things that are in the developed countries that are not here. So I can say for Zimbabwe culturally, people are willing to learn. Most people here, they believe in good things. They have hope. So I think in Africa they are hardworking, so much that if you bring something innovating, something good that can solve unemployment, youth problems, energy problems, I think in Africa you can learn the goodness of the heart of the people of Africa. That’s number one, that I guarantee them. Yes, there are instances that prove otherwise. But generally, people from Africa are hardworking, and they believe in innovations, they usually hope for the best things to happen here in Africa. So, I think if there are innovations that can solve money problems, because in Zimbabwe it has been about money. It has been about currency through the past decade, it has been about … we do not have a Zimbabwean dollar. We’ve gone through so many currencies, are the only nation that has used billions as a nation. So, cryptocurrencies coming to Zimbabwe. I think it’s an innovation that can really change a lot, but how are you going to learn from us? Maybe you have just to see.

Do you think that bitcoin can help communities here?

Internet Marketer and Trader   

Yes, it can, it has the success of an innovation, I think it helps the community. I think if bitcoin, there is investment in knowledge, there is investment in awareness, there is investment in the, like, free knowledge about it, then people can can really come through to invest in bitcoin. T hey can come through to even use it. Bitcoin is a good thing but there is need for us to preach the good about it.

What I hear is it would be great or it could be a possibility to support African nations, African people in education about cryptocurrencies. 

Internet Marketer and Trader     

Exactly, so like, how to mine. We know there is mining but I do not know exactly.

Internet Marketer and Trader      

No. Electricity is expensive, we are not able to do that for now.

I also always think that countries like Zimbabwe are a much better place for bitcoin usage because you have that bad money. 

Internet Marketer and Trader    

Yes, we do have a currency problem. It’s been more than a decade actually with the currency problem. So it’s a multi-currency system, which we can as well introduce the bitcoin.

Yeah. But do you think that government will regulate that, like, forbid it or regulate it down? Like they did with with this one platform?

Internet Marketer and Trader 

I think the government, it’s only, let me say from my observation, is the government only deals with reviews. If people come with complaints and if there are good reviews about it, you see, it’s helping us to do this, is helping us to do that. I would like to think the government would have no obligation to stop it. If there are good reviews about it, if it’s actually helping the communities, if it’s actually helping … I think the government would have no obligation to stop such an innovation.

Is there anything you want to say to us other people – like not-from-Africa people?

Internet Marketer and Trader 

Let me say, Africa is the future. That’s my go-to points. But because what I can say is there is a lot that needs to be happening in Africa. There is a lot of development, whether in the health system, in the energy sector, in the money sector, the economic sector, there are a lot of things that are yet to happen. So what I can say is, if there are investors out there, Africa is the place to be. If they are architects, Africa is the place to be right now. Because if you have seen our roads, if you have seen our buildings, there is still a lot that needs to happen, still a lot that needs to happen here in Africa. So, we as Africans, we are looking into the European countries, but mainly to acquire the knowledge because we need to do that in Africa. Only, we do not have the capacity to do that, we do not have the money to do that. We do not have probably the most knowledge that we may need to to achieve certain things. Also, is Africa I say I think the people here, there is some willingness here that I’ve seen. I’ve been in other African countries, South Africa, Uganda, Kenya. There are countries that are developing. But if there is more investment in Africa, I think Africa would be abe a better place than it is now. Because there is room for improvement. There is a lot that can happen here. So, look,  Africa, it’s where the future is. Africa is the place to be!

Yeah, thank you for this. That’s a nice ending. Thank you very much for your time and bye bye to Okay, bye.

And now a short word from my sponsors:

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And how did you get into bitcoin or how did you find bitcoin?

Well, you know, when I actually started, I started somewhere in 2011 and it all started with questions. You know, you just wonder, how do people generate income online, and then I’ve spent a lot of time doing a lot of research and a little failing as well. And a little bit of making money in the process and somehow I came across bitcoin because one of the companies that I was actually doing affiliate marketing for, they wanted to send me my money through bitcoin. So the other methods were not really working. So that’s when I developed interest in using between that’s how I found about bitcoin.

Okay, so maybe you can explain when you earn in bitcoin, do you use bitcoin then here for daily stuff? Or do you have to exchange it into Zimbabwean dollar or U.S. dollar? How do you do that?

Okay, so if I earn bitcoin say I promote something on the internet, I get paid in bitcoin, I cannot walk into a shop or any company to buy using bitcoins, because a few companies here actually accept bitcoin – if none, maybe zero companies actually accept bitcoin as a form of payment. So what I then do is I go to some websites, I look for someone who needs bitcoin, and they send me the U.S. dollars. That’s what I do.

Okay, so these websites are exchanges then? Yes. Like, which ones are available here in Zimbabwe?

The ones that are available in Zimbabwe is LocalBitcoins. You can actually use that one to exchange bitcoin for cash, and there is another one which is called AirTM. I also go there and say, hey, I’ve got bitcoins, can you send me some money so this is like a marketplace for people when it’s between those people.

It’s from people to people to peer.

Yes, peer-to-peer, peer-to-peer.

And do you have the feeling that there are other colleagues, a few other entrepreneurs who

Yes. So the thing is, I can safely say that I’m one of the early adopters in terms of using bitcoin in Zimbabwe. And since I started using between some few years back, comparing that to now, I realized that there is more and more people that are looking for information about bitcoin in Zimbabwe, that are starting to use bitcoin that are starting to appreciate bitcoin so the numbers are actually growing and looking the years to come, the numbers actually going to expand. Yeah.

What are the problems for people here when they want to use bitcoin?

Okay, there’s quite a number of problems when it comes to using bitcoin and I’ll just mention a few. One of them is awareness. Like, are people well educated about what bitcoin is and how it works? Because the moment someone has bitcoin and internet money, and then they equate scam, okay? They think of losing money and stuff like that. That’s how most people relate between to, but bitcoin is beyond that. So one thing that I see people lack is awareness education, what is bitcoin? How it works? Where did it come from, and stuff like that.

And what’s the difference to other forms of cryptocurrencies or maybe to Facebook Pay?

Okay. So, um, I would say that most African countries we are still developing in terms of understanding how the internet works and all that. So right now we’re actually living in an era whereby some of our African nations of some of our African people, they don’t even use the credit cards, they don’t even use Facebook Pay, they don’t even use PayPal. Okay. Okay. And there is this thing again, that is called bitcoin on top of what they don’t know, that they’re supposed to use. So there is a little bit of a gap in terms of knowledge. Some people use Visa cards, yes, for those that use Visa cards and Paypal mostly they understand they are quick to understand what Bitcoin is, is all about.

What do you think are the use cases for Bitcoin here in Africa, or in Zimbabwe? 

I foresee if I can walk into the future. I see a lot of people actually taking the bitcoin method because of, number one, our inflation rate. Okay, so what I mean is normally human beings, they are good at defense mechanisms. Like, if I take a knife and cut your hand, you’d want to grab a cloth and try and cover that so that you heal fast. So if people get to a place whereby they’re not comfortable, they try and look for solutions, okay. So, with our inflation rate, some of the people can actually use bitcoin as a method to save money like, okay, if I have my hundred dollars, instead of keeping it in the bank, I’d rather keep it in the bitcoin value. I see people doing that. I also see people using bitcoin in terms of international, international easy money at freedom in terms of you know, the world is going digital. There’s sometimes where you do work and you want to get paid your money and maybe the easiest way would be bitcoin. So I see a lot of people using bitcoin in the future.

Are there a lot of other cryptocurrencies around that are used here?

The most common one is bitcoin…

..and you mean BTC because we also have other bitcoins, we have bitcoin cash (BCH),  we have bitcoin SV (BSV), but you mean bitcoin?

BTC Yes, BTC the other currencies, though people use them, but not that much. But it’s, it’s, it’s BTC? Yeah, yes. Yes.

Okay. And today when we think of the usage today I have heard that there was an exchange here, colleagues, and it has been shot cown by the government because of regulation. How is regulation here in Zimbabwe towards bitcoin?

Okay, you know, the thing is my feeling about that I’m just going to share my, my personal feelings in terms of, in terms of that case. Number one, I used to use Golix. Okay. And when government gave an announcement, I actually read their announcement in terms of what they’re, what they’re doing some work and so on both sides. And see. That’s my analysis. Golix was a good initiative. Okay. Golix was a good initiative initiative. But let’s look at the people that are using bitcoin without the knowledge of how bitcoin works. Okay. So during that time, there was a lot of activities, online scams that were happening in Zimbabwe. Okay, part of the people that used bitcoin in Zimbabwe, they used them in online schemes, online investment programs. So some of the investment programs don’t end well. Okay. So on if you think he wants to invest in a certain business for some daily returns, weekly returns or monthly returns, and the investment is asking for bitcoin. And I searched on the internet and look for users between Zimbabwe I find out this Golix, I buy my Bitcoin I do my investment. And then I lose my money in bitcoin, the next thing that I do is, I go to the police and report my case that hey, I am actually, I’ve actually lost my money and the police would question: How did that happen? And the police I would say that it happened through bitcoin. And just because the bitcoin transaction is – the true identity is not traceable. Now, getting into the shoes of the government handling those issues every day. Like a lot of people losing bitcoin, that person loses bitcoin, that person loses his bitcoin at the end of the day, the government is there to protect his people. So only think of a lot of cases that are reported of people who lost money in bitcoin and the government cannot protect you for the money that you have actually lost. So that’s when the government issued a statement that if you want to participate in bitcoin, if my memory serves me, well, the statement says that if you want to participate in cryptocurrency, just know that you’re doing it at your own risk. If you lose money, then it’s up to you. So the government issued the statement, and then that actually affected the operations of, of Golix. That’s how I can actually comment on that case.

So you don’t think that is It’s about government control that they don’t want people to send bitcoin or money from here to other countries well, or into bitcoin, you know,

Well, I wouldn’t no, because at the end of the day, if you look at the features of bitcoin, no one can really stop anyone to use bitcoin. Okay, so our, you know, their reason, what was their motive? But in my case, like I’ve explained, at the same time, there are people in Zimbabwe that are losing bitcoin through bitcoin investments. So at times I cannot answer for the government. Yeah. What, why they made that decision. But my feeling is that, yeah, there can be a lot of cases to answer in terms of people that have been scammed through bitcoin. Yeah.

Yeah. Or through other people who used bitcoin for this scam. 

I created a bitcoin course that explains the between basics for our people so that they understand in our own language.What I mean by that is okay. When you search for information on the internet, if you’re searching from Zimbabwe, you set out to use bitcoin so you get a lot of results. Like you get someone who is in America explaining what bitcoin is, and someone in Zimbabwe explaining what bitcoin is, just because someone is searching in Zimbabwe, they would prefer to hear the person who’s in Zimbabwe what they say about bitcoin. So when I’m saying about in my language, I’m just saying getting people to understand bitcoin from a Zimbabwean perspective.

What’s the difference in the Zimbabwean perspective to our, or the western world? What would you say? What is the cultural difference? 

There is no cultural difference because the lessons are conducted in English so everyone will understand. Yeah, but there are some use cases that you learn from the western world that don’t apply here.

Okay, and which is, which ones are that?

If you want to buy bitcoin with a credit card, it’s almost impossible to do that in Zimbabwe. So you can listen to a western video saying, hey, if you wanna buy bitcoin, go to this website, use your PayPal account, use your credit card, use a Visa card, and stuff like that. But when you come to do that in Zimbabwe, it won’t work. It won’t work that way. So that’s what I mean. So I’ll be explaining what works in Zimbabwe, other methods of doing stuff. Yes. Other methods of doing stuff in Zimbabwe. Yeah, that’s what I explained.

So what’s the recommended way to get to have bitcoin here in Zimbabwe?

Well people they have good different ways to get bitcoin. I noticed to some certain extent, I just don’t know everything and I just don’t know what everyone is doing to get bitcoin but there are people that are doing online forex trading. Those people they’ve got access to bitcoin.

There are people that are doing anything to do with online stuff. They can actually get paid their money in, in bitcoin. And other people are investing, are doing online investments and people do quite different things. Like in my case, I do some sort of work online, my affiliate marketing that I do, I just prefer to get paid in bitcoin. That’s what I do. It may be different from someone else. Myself, I do affiliate marketing with others, I really don’t know what they do to get bitcoins. Yeah, yeah.

Other any things that are missing here that we we and I mean, the western world in that way could support you like that more people might use bitcoin, maybe you are more people are educated, or what do you think is needed, that people not only feel the pain, but maybe also proactively realize, okay, there’s something I can use it.

Okay. So, what I’ve seen, what I’ve seen the western world doing, I’ve seen the western world expanding their businesses into other countries into different countries using bitcoin because in countries where there are cash restrictions, they can actually expand they’ve been expanding their business and accepting bitcoin as a form of payment. So what it simply means is, let’s say I need this service from another country, I can pay that service with bitcoin.

The point is a business can actually be set up and accept Bitcoin as a form of payment..

Is there anything that you would like to tell people in other parts of the world about bitcoin or about anything? Yeah. What do you want to tell people?

Okay, basically, I have good two messages maybe to our people in African nations. Bitcoin comes with great rewards and it comes with a huge risk at the same time, and you should understand them and be prepared for them. Okay? What I mean is, someone can actually buy bitcoin to hold and they’re just hoping for it to keep on increasing, but one of these days it loses value and that’s a risk that you have actually taken. And you can buy bitcoin today and tomorrow, the value goes up. That’s a reward that you’ve actually gotten. So you should be ready for both the risk in the reward and you should actually understand them. And another thing that I would say is before you use bitcoin make sure you educate yourself with the basic knowledge of how bitcoin works before you start doing anything with regards to the bitcoin. And then to the western world: My message is, well, people need awareness and understanding of what Bitcoin is, so that they start appreciating it. I would say that’s it.

Okay, great. Thank you very much.

And now a short word from my sponsors:

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So now you have heard from two bitcoin pioneers in Zimbabwe – I am going to answer a question from a listener of my podcast.

Hello Anita, I wanted to ask a very basic question. I’ve only just stumbled upon your visit to bitcoin, your bitcoin experience in Zimbabwe, in Harare, and Botswana? Now, I just wondered if you could please just help me to understand how this can be applied in a very basic, basic fashion in a rural area where there is difficulty getting commodities, but there are a lot of industrious people who are very industrious in the sense of farming. How can this bitcoin be of a unifying monetary system for everyday use. Please can you respond to that? Thank yo

Hello, thanks for your thoughtful question. Yes, I can see some use cases of bitcoin for communities in rural places, too.

For instance you can use it as a store of value.

Although I understand that it might be difficult to save, when people need all the income they have for food and basic things, the community could save money for the longer term with it. You  do not have to buy a whole bitcoin to save it, you can start with a fraction of a bitcoin. If your local currency is more volatile than bitcoin or is in inflationary mode, then this could be an idea to save your money in the long term. 

Another use case is sending money inside and outside of the countryto buy machines or for remittances. Bitcoin is a global money, there are no borders or restrictions for sending or receiving it. If the community needs new machines or a borehole, then it is possible to pay for that abroad with bitcoin. If the community wants to sell its products, it can receive bitcoin, too. There is no bank approval needed, you’ll have less transaction costs and the payment is settled much faster than in the traditional banking system. 
You could use bitcoin inside the community as a medium of exchange. Or you change it to USD, or to airtime for your phone with a service like Bitrefill bitrefill.com or you exchange directly to local currency with another person over a platform called LocalBitcoins.com. As I assume that people in rural communities currently exchange money like USD, Rand or Pula to local currencies, too I am sure people will find a way to exchange bitcoin as well.

The basic things you need for a start:

  • An internet connection to install the wallet and for the moment in which you want to send bitcoin and for a short moment to see if you have received bitcoin.
  • Install a bitcoin wallet like the Blockstream green wallet on a mobile phone. https://blockstream.com/green/
  • Write down the password for the wallet on a piece of paper. It’s 12 or 24 English words (called “seed” or “backup,” you’ll get that inside the wallet software).
  • Write down the words in the given order
  • Store this paper safely! Do not cut it in pieces and store the pieces in separate places. You then have more places to look after and to secure.
  • The person who knows the seed can access the funds. That is why it is so important to store it safely and with a person in the community that you fully trust. There are ways to secure funds to be administered for more than one person at the same time, called multisignature. But I would recommend that for experienced users only.

You are ready to go. For receiving your first bitcoin you’ll send someone your bitcoin address. You can find that inside your bitcoin wallet. The other person uses it to send bitcoin to you. That’s it. It works the same way round. If you have funds in your bitcoin wallet, you only need the bitcoin address of the receiver and can send the money.

I hope my answer is helpful for you. You can ask me anything you want on the episode page at https://bitcoinundco.com/en/africa3 and I will answer in the next episodes.

In the next episode you will hear the complete interview I did with the teacher from Harare. You have heard her already in episode 1 and 2. We will talk about how bitcoin could be adopted in Zimbabwe and what else is needed to make Zimbabwe rise and shine again.

If you like my show please subscribe to it in your podcast player and share the episode on social media. 

If you are a german speaker and want to start using bitcoin, then I recommend my book to you – it gives you a comprehensive jump start into becoming a bitcoin user, with recommendations and safety tips. You can buy it on Amazon or if you prefer to pay with bitcoin and lightning drop me a message at hello (at) anitaposch.com. 

I am currently looking for new sponsors, so pls feel free to send me a message, too.

For new updates and education regarding the use of bitcoin please follow me on Twitter @anitaposch and subscribe to my newsletter at anitaposch.com/newsletter – posch with a c.

Music: “Start with yes”, Delicate beats, editing by Adam B. Levine and the Coindesk podcast network,  Idea, content and production: yours truly Anita Posch

Listen/subscribe to the CoinDesk Podcast feed for unique perspectives and fresh daily insight with Apple PodcastsSpotifyPocketcastsGoogle PodcastsCastboxStitcherRadioPublicaIHeartRadio or RSS.

Binance to Launch Its Own Cryptocurrency Mining Pool

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Binance to Launch Its Own Cryptocurrency Mining Pool

binance-to-launch-its-own-cryptocurrency-mining-pool

eading cryptocurrency exchange Binance is set to launch its own mining pool in the near future.

The move was first reported on by Russian news outlet Coinlife. Reacting to reports the company’s CEO Changpeng Zhao ended up confirming the move in a tweet, where he added that Binance will offer users a series of financial products that will include savings, loans, staking, and ways to earn.

Coinlife reported, citing sources familiar with the matter, that Binance has already hired specialists to work on the new cryptocurrency mining pool. CoinDesk cited Jakhon Khabilov, head of the Sigmapool mining pool, saying Binance is offering “generous” referral bonuses while reaching out to miners in China.

Alejandro de la Torre, vice president of popular mining pool Pooling, noted that exchanges can be motivated to enter the cryptocurrency mining space as it’s the cheapest way for them to add liquidity to their platforms.

Binance’s move follows the footsteps of its competitors OKEx and Huobi, which launched their own cryptocurrency mining pools un August and September respectively. As CryptoGlboe reported, OKEx’s Pool has even taken a stance in EOS’ security and stability after topping the EOS Block Producer (BP) rankings.

Last month, Binance announced the launch of its own cryptocurrency-backed Visa debit card. The card, called “Binance Card,” will initially be available in Malaysia before rolling out to the rest of the world, and can be topped up with Bitcoin (BTC) or Binance Coin (BNB) that users hold in their Binance accounts.

Featured image via Pixabay.

Digital Custodian Anchorage Adds XRP Storage for Institutional Customers

Digital custody provider Anchorage has added custodial support for XRP, the company announced in a Thursday blog post.

XRP is the third-largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization, and is best known as the crypto used by Ripple for cross-border payments. Prior to Thursday, XRP was the only top-three cryptocurrency not supported by Anchorage, which specifically caters to institutional investors.

Anchorage began supporting XRP on its website formally on Wednesday, its website showed.

“As the third largest digital asset by market cap, XRP appeals to a number of our institutional clients, which include VC funds, family offices, hedge funds, and other large-scale crypto investors,” Diogo Monica, president of Anchorage said. 

In a press release, Anchorage said that “an ecosystem of institutions” are already holding XRP.

XRP joins 18 other digital assets already supported by Anchorage. Monica said that Anchorage is willing to add custodial service for any digital asset that meets the bar. 

“Anchorage has always aimed to support every asset that meets our standards of quality and security, and XRP does both. Particularly during these uncertain times, we’re proud to be growing our list of supported assets and improving operational efficiency for our institutional clients,” he said.

Disclosure Read More

The leader in blockchain news, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups.

Interview: Demand Is Exceeding Our Capacities Thirtyfold — Aroosh Thillainathan

Northern Data AG is one of the leading players in the high-performance computing (HPC) market and is building the world’s largest HPC facility in Texas.

Based on contracts already signed, the stock-market-listed company (German Stock Exchange, XETRA: NB2, ISIN: DE000A0SMU87) has recently issued guidance for the year 2020, with sales expectations in the region of EUR 120 million to EUR 140 million, and EBITDA expectations from EUR 45 million to EUR 60 million. The tremendous upsurge in demand for HPC, which has been turbo-charged by the corona crisis, has accelerated Northern Data’s growth beyond precedent. We spoke with CEO Aroosh Thillainathan.

Q: Mr. Thillainathan, in a few days you will be commissioning the world’s largest data center in Texas. How does a comparatively unknown listed company from Germany come to own a data center like this, in the USA of all places – the home market of the IT giants?

Aroosh Thillainathan (AT): Our holding company is indeed based in Germany, but we are a truly international player. We have our roots in the blockchain business. Blockchain was the first commercial application of HPC and, over the past seven years, this niche market has given us valuable experience in how to scale the use of high-performance computers in a cost-effective and energy-efficient way. For example, the highly specialized chips needed for blockchain applications have extreme electricity and cooling requirements – we needed to address these challenges many years ago, while our competitors in the HPC sector are only uncovering them now. The reality is that, only three years ago, there were no large-scale applications for HPC outside of blockchain. Autonomous driving and artificial intelligence weren’t a significant market back then. So, while Amazon and Google might have deep pockets, they don’t have the same knowledge we do.

Q: You offer solutions for high-performance computing. What exactly does high-performance computing mean?

AT: High-performance computing (HPC) represents the future of computing. HPC offers many times the computing power that normal desktop PCs generate. We are talking about thousands of high-performance computers processing billions of units of data in real time. As a result, HPC can be used for tasks that would be impossible for regular computers or would take an impractically long time to complete. In recent years, HPC has mainly been used in scientific contexts to run complex models. Recently, however, more and more practical fields of application have been entering the market, making HPC a massive growth market. The application areas are exploding.

Q: What are the potential applications of HPC?

AT: These include artificial intelligence, autonomous driving, blockchain technologies and the life sciences sector. In the field of life sciences in particular, HPC and its immense computing power is revolutionizing the discovery and development of new drugs and therapies.

Q: Does this mean that you are benefiting from current issues, such as the coronavirus pandemic?

AT: In two respects, actually: First, due to time pressures, pharmaceutical companies and research institutions around the world are using HPC to perform epidemiological and bioinformatical calculations and simulations that would take months or even years on traditional platforms. What’s more, the COVID-19 pandemic is also causing a massive overload of existing data infrastructure. As a result of this, streaming services like Netflix and Amazon Prime have already been forced to significantly reduce their data rate – and thus transmission quality – in order to avoid overloading the networks. So, demand for our HPC solutions and capacities is skyrocketing.

Q: What are the particular challenges involved in HPC?

AT: Due to the extreme computing power, HPC systems require many times more electrical energy and cooling than current computer systems. This presents enormous challenges for the entire IT industry, since the existing infrastructure of conventional data centers is in no way prepared to meet this increased need for power and cooling. Today, data centers consume power in the low double-digit megawatt range and are usually located in locations where they compete with established industry for energy supplies. In Texas, we’re building a capacity of 1.0 gigawatt – or 1,000 megawatts – by the end of the year, and from there we will scale up to 3.6 gigawatts. By way of comparison: Frankfurt am Main is the leading data center location in Europe, with more than three dozen operators sharing the market. But the entire Frankfurt am Main metropolitan area – along with industry, including the chemical plants in Höchst and the international airport – weighs in at a peak load of around 800 megawatts. The network capacities in Frankfurt would not even be enough to realize HPC projects of our caliber. Not to mention that the cost of electricity in Frankfurt is several times higher than at our locations in Texas or Norway.

Q: What HPC solutions does Northern Data offer that other vendors do not? Or, more succinctly: what is your USP?

AT: We have a wide range of unique and leading hardware and software solutions for HPC. For example, we have modular high-tech data centers that can be deployed practically anywhere in the world, so we can go wherever energy is available in abundance and at low cost. In addition, as mentioned before, in Texas we are building the largest data center in the world, where we will be able to offer HPC on a whole new scale. We’re doing so with our proprietary software which uses AI to control and operate hundreds of thousands of high-performance computers in parallel. Large-scale HPC is incredibly complex to do reliably, but we have cracked it. This is one of the reasons why we have been signing contracts with large blue-chip corporations.

Q: How quickly can you scale your business?

AT: Very quickly – but not as quickly as demand is skyrocketing.

Q: Who are your customers?

AT: Our first customers for the Texas facility are large multi-billion-dollar corporations. Our customer pipeline is mostly comprised of very large corporates because – from the customer’s point of view – these projects involve total budgets in the triple-digit millions.

Q: How do you expect the HPC market to develop in future?

AT: The HPC market has been in its infancy for the past few years but is currently skyrocketing across a range of diverse application areas. The demand for HPC exceeds supply many times over. To give you a feeling for this: According to our calculations, in the next 18 to 24 months, the demand for HPC capacity in blockchain computing alone will be thirty times higher than the resources we can build up in a year. And there is no player on the market that is currently building more capacity than we are. The fact that the market is exploding in many different areas is also illustrated by a statement by Eric Yuan, CEO of Zoom Video Communications, in an interview last week. When asked if he ever expected that a pandemic could change the way people work digitally today, he replied, “If I had known that, we would have reserved a hundred times more capacity.” That hit the nail on the head. We live in data-intensive and CPU-intensive times; demand is quite simply exploding.

Q: How is this development reflected in your figures?

AT: Only a few days ago, we published our guidance for 2020. In the current year, we expect revenues of EUR 120 million to EUR 140 million with EBITDA of between EUR 45 million and EUR 60 million. This is a very conservative estimate because it just includes contracts we have already firmly concluded. So, this is just an initial flavor of what we can expect in the coming years. After all, our data center is only just going into operation, and the rest of the year will also be marked by the ramp-up of capacity. We plan to have completed 1 gigawatt of capacity in Texas by the end of 2020 and can expand to up to 3.6 gigawatts on the site. Preparations for expansion at other important locations in Canada and Scandinavia are in currently in full swing.

Q: How much turnover do you make per gigawatt?

AT: Between EUR 400 and 500 million with a gross profit margin of 40 to 50 percent. This is because we can achieve an unprecedented level of automation thanks to the proprietary artificial intelligence we programmed. Our software takes care of operation, control and maintenance activities for the hundreds of thousands of high-performance computers. This enables us to deploy just 20 full-time employees per gigawatt and keep our fixed costs extremely low.

Q: Where do you see your company in the years ahead?

AT: We are in an extremely fast-growing market and have the opportunity to further expand our leading position in the coming years. The tremendous demand from our blue-chip customers give us a solid basis and sufficient tailwind to build up a multi-billion-euro business in the HPC segment that will become a global leader in this emerging industry. This is what I have been working towards for years. Together with my colleagues, I have had to overcome many technical obstacles in recent years and solve many challenges that initially seemed quite unsurmountable. Our current successes show me that we are on the right track. My goal is to seize this opportunity with our team and let our shareholders join us on an unprecedented journey to success.

 

Spain’s Tax Authority Sending Notices to 66,000 Cryptocurrency Owners

Spain's Tax Authority Sending Notices to 66,000 Cryptocurrency Owners

Spain’s Tax Authority Sending Notices to 66,000 Cryptocurrency Owners

The Spanish tax authority has reportedly started sending notices to about 66,000 cryptocurrency owners in the country. This number represents a massive increase from the 14,700 tax letters the agency sent to crypto owners last year. The letters will continue to be sent until the end of June despite the coronavirus crisis Spain is facing.

Also read: 2x Bitcoin — Wanna Double Your BTC to the Moon? Forget About It

Tax Authority Sending Letters to Crypto Owners

Despite the coronavirus pandemic and rising death toll, the Spanish tax authority, the Agencia Estatal de Administración Tributaria (AEAT), has started a campaign to send out tax notices to remind residents of their tax obligations. According to Europa Press:

[The Spanish tax authority] plans to quadruple the notices to taxpayers with cryptocurrency … going from 14,700 notices last year to about 66,000 in the campaign that started this Wednesday.

Spain's Tax Authority Sending Notices to 66,000 Cryptocurrency Owners
The Spanish tax authority, the Agencia Estatal de Administración Tributaria (AEAT), is reportedly sending out letters to 66,000 crypto owners this year, a 349% increase from the number sent in the previous year.

The campaign started on Wednesday, April 1, and will continue through June 30 regardless of the coronavirus pandemic situation, the publication conveyed. The campaign will also see the number of tax letters sent to residents with real estate rental income increase from 700,000 to 1.5 million this year and from 2.17 million to 2.32 million for those with accounts abroad.

Crypto Regulation and Taxation in Spain

While cryptocurrencies are not legal tender in Spain, the country currently has no specific regulatory framework for them, explained Global Legal Insights, a publication that specializes in providing information on legal, economic and policy developments.

Spain's Tax Authority Sending Notices to 66,000 Cryptocurrency Owners
Profits from the sale of cryptocurrencies are subject to capital gains tax of between 19% and 23%. Cryptocurrencies are not legal tender in Spain but the country does not yet have a regulatory framework for them.

Sales of cryptocurrencies are subject to capital gains tax at a variable rate of between 19% and 23%, the publication detailed, noting that the higher rate applies to gains in excess of 50,000 euros ($54,594). Meanwhile, the exchange of cryptocurrencies into euros and vice versa is exempt from value-added tax (VAT).

Spain is not alone in wanting to tax crypto owners; other countries that have done the same include the U.S., India, and Australia.

What do you think about Spain sending tax letters to 66,000 crypto owners? Let us know in the comments section below.

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Coinbase Invests $1 Million in DeFi Projects UniSwap and PoolTogether

What can I do to prevent this in the future?

If you are on a personal connection, like at home, you can run an anti-virus scan on your device to make sure it is not infected with malware.

If you are at an office or shared network, you can ask the network administrator to run a scan across the network looking for misconfigured or infected devices.

Binance Announces CoinMarketCap Acquisition, CZ Gives the Scoop

What can I do to prevent this in the future?

If you are on a personal connection, like at home, you can run an anti-virus scan on your device to make sure it is not infected with malware.

If you are at an office or shared network, you can ask the network administrator to run a scan across the network looking for misconfigured or infected devices.