Using hardware to help your GDPR password policy

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Using hardware to help your GDPR password compliance

GDPR compliance is a huge area for many businesses. Especially those firms who hold sensitive data and have a number of remote staff. Many small businesses fall down in simple areas of IT security as they don’t have the resources to cope with the latest cyber threats. Staff are vulnerable to phishing attacks, social engineering or malware such as keyloggers.

A member of staff may not even have realised they’ve been hacked, and their password usually becomes the focal point of any data breach. In small businesses it’s unlikely that data is segregated on a permissions basis and that may mean that they entire scope of the companies data is vulnerable to a breach.

In order to prevent these attacks many small businesses are taking a more stringent approach to data protection and passwords have been identified as a high risk area. Many businesses have been implementing new password structures with greater strength to brute-force attacks or phishing. These are generally complicated alphanumeric passwords which are case sensitive often including special characters. Changes like this can often leave staff annoyed and confused, especially when using characters such as the “top hat” ^ .

A robust measure would also reset the passwords regularly with a 3 month period not uncommon. Such changes may also be met with resistance and it would not be uncommon to see staff writing these down on pen and paper and sticking them by their machine. Such actions clearly make the data protection worse not better!

A potential solution?

As we access the majority of our data through a web browser and many other businesses will do so where they operate a remote desktop environment, password managers have been a solution. Services such as lastpass have been used extensively but they offer a significant single point of failure, the master password. This may eliminate the need for remembering multiple complex passwords, but the onus is still on the user to remember and regularly update this master.

All online passwords are vulnerable to hacking, but hardware wallets are not. Originally designed to store cryptocurrency, the Trezor device was built and designed to ‘be your own bank’. That level of security is now used to protect passwords and could be the ultimate way to manage your password security, whilst removing the burdensome memory exercises.

How does it work?

When you setup your wallet you are given a secure 24 character seed word and create a pin number. Once your wallet is created it’s time to configure your password manager. This links your Trezor to a dropbox or google drive account, this is where your Trezor will store your encrypted passwords. The level of encryption means that even if someone else gains access to that data, it is completely useless to them. Secure.

You will create and store your passwords as required and from the password manager screen you can login to any services you require. In order to access the password manager you must have your Trezor plugged in & have entered your pincode. A manual button push is then required when logging into the service, the hardware device confirming that you are happy to decrypt that part of the data.

Your Trezor acts as a manual key to your online world and it will only work if you they know the pin code. It’s a fantastic, easy piece of security.

What if I lose my Trezor?

Remember the 24 character word we mentioned at the start? You store this offline and usually use something robust to protect this data such as a Billfodl. This is your recover method and with that data you can recreate the account on any other Trezor.

This physical aspect of a digital world removes a great deal of risk & offers a great deal of protection, especially when the fines for a data breach are so punitive. As the devices can be reconfigured and transferred to new members of staff the costs of setting up and maintaining this security program are miniscule, with the hardware (including the backup solution) costing less than £200 per person.

Get your Trezor Here

Cryptocurrency UK Tax treatments

By | Blog | 17 Comments

The aim is to educate you for your meeting with a professional advisor to ensure the correct advice is given, and the fees kept low.

Welcome to the tax guide for Cryptocurrency gains. This article is written by a Chartered Accountant and has been reviewed by various experts for accuracy and consistency but it is not to be treated as professional advice. 

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It’s been a long time coming but we’ve finally had some guidance from HMRC in the form of guidance & answer questions about Cryptotaxation. We are proud to say that their advice matches our own and lays a good foundation for the correct treatment of Crypto currencies on your tax return. If you would like to view the guidance in full click the link below.  

HMRC Guidance

Definitions

Read our section of definitions for better understanding of the technical terms used

What are disposals?

What constitutes a disposal for tax purposes

Reporting to HMRC

What, when and how do you report to HMRC.

Frequent Trading

What constitutes frequent trading and will you trigger income tax rates.

Speculative gains

What Cryptocurrency gains aren’t taxable

Losing  and Spending coins

What are the consequences for last or spent crpyto.

How to deal with Forks

The tax treatment for coins received in a Hard Fork

Record keeping for HMRC

Recording gains and transactions for HMRC

Mining and Staking Coins

How are mining and staking taxed and at what rates?

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With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility

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The rise of Bitcoin in value has created a number of millionaires and if its growth continues countless more will join the crowd of these Crypto-winners. At the moment many early adopters who backed Bitcoin for the technology and because they believed in its goal could be sat on a fortune.

It was always likely that some people would cash-out, and they are well within their rights to do so. The marketplace has become flooded with speculators and it’s moved Bitcoin from currency to commodity in a short space of time. The ‘Gold rush’ has seen dramatic price rises in the last few weeks and if growth continues more and more people will reach the heady heights of millionaire status.

Bitcoin promised to change the world, to be the biggest disruptive change since the industrial revolution, but it appears to be falling into the trap of greed, becoming entirely focused on it’s ‘value’ and not on its technology. This wealth is being created and some early adopters hold a huge amount of power in their hands. Do they have a responsibility to further the cause of Bitcoin, or perhaps the world?

Bitcoin Social Responsibility

This week has seen massive price rises, a huge ‘Bitcoin hack’ and one of the most heartwarming stories I’ve read in the BTC arena.  Step forward, Andreas M. Antonopoulos.

Many of you will know of Andreas, either from this week’s news or from his informational talks or youtube channel. For 2 years he has been supporting the rise of Bitcoin, taking a hugely technical topic and allowing it for digestion for the masses.

Roger Ver formerly regarded as Bitcoin Jesus, ‘Bitshamed’ Andreas after he posted a link to his $5 Patreon subscription page by stating that Andreas should be a millionaire by now if he had invested in Bitcoin in its early years, possibly hinting at a lack of belief in the project or some deception about his personal wealth.

He had worked largely for free since the start of his championing and was forced to sell his Bitcoin for rent and to support his family. He believed in the project but knew he had a duty to his family, something that should be supported.

The Bitcoin community rallied around Andreas and in 24 hours a slew of Bitcoin donations reached him. Over 150 Bitcoins had been donated to Andreas, making him a Bitcoin millionaire. One Crypto-Multimillionaire by the handle David Bowie Spears donated a huge 42 Bitcoins to the cause. This unprecedented generosity was followed by a tweet highlighting the simple reasoning.

With Great Power comes great responsibility

This new elite that Bitcoin has created has a role to play not only in the future of Bitcoin, but in the future of the world. The value of Bitcoin could rise to any value, and no-one knows where it will settle. Some early Bitcoin holders could be the richest people on the planet and many will have come from nothing.

They will have the money to change the world and perhaps this class of millionaires will be the ones to do it. Bitcoin has a problem with its large use of energy, perhaps some of this money could be funnelled into clean energy research. Bitcoin was used in poor, 3rd world countries where their own country was far too volatile, perhaps it could be used to solve inequality around the world?

Whatever these millionaires decide to do with their new found wealth, there is a clear opportunity for them to make the world a better place, but will they fall into the usual traps of consumerism?

Loose lips sink ships but weak hands cause dips

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Everybody knows Bitcoin is a volatile investment, or if you don’t, you should. It’s a completely new technology and it’s growing and an unprecedented rate. The old hands are seasoned navigators of these turbulent waters with nerves of steel and giant cojones. Newer investors, especially those coming on board in the last few months have seen huge rises but only minor falls. If you’re new to the market, or even part of the old guard there’s a few things you need to learn.

It’s a wild ride

Like most investments Bitcoin will fluctuate, but as it is a unique investment proposition it is more volatile than any of the investable asset classes. This means the shifts are often quicker and more extreme. Dips happen for a number of reasons, lack of buyers, large sell orders, bad news, loss of confidence, increasing fees, slow transaction speeds, amongst many others. Whilst some should cause genuine concern, many are just staple uncertainties within the market.

The dips are often made worse by Stop-Losses, these are auto-selling devices used by Bitcoin traders to limit their positions and take profits (or stop losses) at a certain level, when these are triggered the prices can drop dramatically. These are made worse by panic sellers, people who see these events as ‘the bubble popping’ hoping to get their capital or profit ‘cashed in.’ Some of these ‘sells’ are people looking to encourage a downtrend, hoping to leverage their profits to buy back in at a lower amount, increasing their holdings.

Hold the Door

Many people entering the market of late will not quite understand the volatility of this asset and may pull the selling trigger, and that could be a poor decision. If you have faith in the technology and its value, you need to keep your hand strong and stay the course.

In the community, it’s simply called holding or ‘Hodling’ on Reddit. The market will always be driven by the investors and its stakeholders. Trading Bitcoin is a risky business and many fingers have been burnt with people often selling low and buying high, the wrong way to make a profit.

The simplest strategy for Bitcoin in recent years is to hold your nerve and hold your Bitcoin, set your targets and sell when you’re ready. Only ‘Cash-out’ when you want to.

The Wolves are coming

Bitcoin is a unique investment in a number of ways, a major one is that it was available to the public prior to any of the financial institutions or trading houses. For the first time in history Joe Bloggs was able to tread where JP Morgan could not, and they’ve been spitting feathers about it.

Unfortunately, that time is coming to an end. Wall Street will begin trading in Bitcoin futures on the 10th of December and it could produce levels of uncertainty never before seen in Bitcoin. The futures will allow these bankers to ‘short’ the value of Bitcoin, making a bet that it’s price will fall, and they won’t have to ever buy a single Bitcoin.

Large short positions will likely be broadcast through media, hoping that this new class of tech investors lose their nerve, panic sell and cause huge drops. The way down is often quicker than the way up, and they will be able to make profits from scare tactics and weak hands.

These bankers do not care about the principal’s, the technology, or the algorithms Bitcoin is based on, they just want to make money.

However, it may not be that easy. Bitcoin has crashed before and many have underestimated the power of the HODL.

What are Futures

Futures are a way for trading houses and investors to bet on the prices movements in assets without ever requiring to own the assets. It may seem complicated but it’s rather simple.

I open a contract to ‘buy’ (make a bet) that 100KG of Steel will be worth $100 on January the 1st. At that date, I must pay $100 for that ‘steel’ but I will never receive it because a trading house doesn’t really want steel, so it will be cash settled (paid in cash).

If that 100KG of steel is worth $110 at 1st of January, I’ve made a profit of $10 as I’ve bought that Steel below market price. If it’s worth $90 then I’ve lost $10.

So what does that mean for Bitcoin? I here you ask.

It is possible that Investment Banks will take large short positions seeking to drive the price down. They will not be allowed to dump bitcoins to drive down the price artificially, but if stories and FUD (Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt) spread through the media then they could seek to trigger a panic sell by other means.

Wall Street has no bounds, no ethics and Bitcoin holders may be subject to the strongest market forces they will ever feel.

Wall Street and futures take Bitcoin from the investment shadows and into the burning attention of the wolves. Get your pitchfork out and protect those flocks.

Quick Guide: Buy bitcoin in 5 minutes

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Before you decide to purchase bitcoin we have a disclaimer. Bitcoin is currently on a massive upswing and there is likely a bubble forming. This doesn’t mean the coin is worthless but it means you should not buy recklessly. Bitcoin is still in the very early stages and as such it is very volatile, it is a very high-risk asset and you should not buy more than you can afford to lose. If you have decided that you still wish to purchase a stake, we have the quick guide buy below. In order to get a free $10 worth of Bitcoin use our invitation to Coinbase here.

Join Coinbase
1

Sign Up to Coinbase

Create your free account in a matter of seconds with the most popular Bitcoin purchase site.
2

Verify your identity

Do this by taking a photo of a drivers licence or photo ID
3

Add Debit Card

Adding a Debit Card allows you to make an instant purchase
4

Purchase your coins

Simply buy the amount of Bitcoins you want. If you buy $100 you will get an extra $10 of bitcoins with the links below.

Santa Claus switches to Blockchain

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Over the past 12 months, we decided that The North Pole needs greater transparency and process for the Naughty or Nice list. Blockchain is a must for Xmas 2018.

St. NicholasSanta Claus

Santa sued for wrongful assignment of Naughty status

It’s been a busy year for everyone involved with Blockchain and with Cryptocurrency and we’ve been working with a fat man named Santa on a project for next year.

With the ever-expanding population, the increasing cost of ink and the number of naughty and nice transactions children are completing a new solution is required if he’s to ensure every child get’s a present on Christmas.

Santa is keen to improve transparency after a number of successful appeals by those kids having received coal accidentally. The old paper-based system was run by an Elf who went rogue, editing the naughty or nice list without the approval of St. Nick. He was caught deleting the good deeds from kids he didn’t like and with no backup ledgers, it was a mistake that couldn’t be fixed.

High profile cases like this have been tried through the Fairy Tale Courts this season with the North Pole unable to win a single case. The Fairy Godmother sympathise with St. Nick but rebuked him for allowing such trust to be placed in the hands of one individual.

It’s time for the Naughty or Nice list to modernise. Step Forward Santa Koins.

(The elf in question is currently awaiting trial at the North Pole high court, sentencing is expected early next year).

The Candy Koin Blockchain

Every child is entitled to register with the Candy Koins blockchain and receive 50 free Candy Koins to be stored in their own Stocking (a virtual wallet). These are given out freely by Santa as every child gets a fresh start after Christmas, where a hard fork and chain reset will occur.

Santa’s elves and the child’s parents will keep an eye on their behaviour and whenever they are nice, they will submit a payment request to Santa, and he will send them a Candy Koin.

If they are naughty they will have to send a Candy Koin back to Santa. Throughout the year all the good deeds and the bad will be recorded in this public ledger.

Santa is keen to use Blockchain technology as it will provide him with an immutable list for giving the correct gifts to children. The public ledger will also allow parents and children to keep track of how Santa is rating them and can improve their behaviour if needed.

There is no market cap for Candy Koins as the amount given is solely at the discretion of Santa, he’s a firm believer that there can always be more goodwill.

Cloudbet Review

By | Bitcoin Sportsbook Reviews | No Comments
Pros
  • Zero fee betting
  • Mobile Casino
  • Live betting + Live Games
  • No Geo-Restrictions
Cons
  • Insecure Licence
Summary

Cloudbet is one of the biggest names in the bitcoin betting market. It’s the arguably the most well known name in the bitcoin betting industry having operated as a sportsbook and a  casino since 2013. It’s the main sportsbook in this arena, but provides really high quality Casino services.

Rating

Excellent

Overall

90%

Range of Games & Services

90%

Bonus and Offers

100%

Banking

85%

Support

85%

Sign Up BonusSign Up offer

m฿ 5,000

Match Bonus100% match bonus up to ฿5 free

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Nitrogen Sports Review

By | Bitcoin Sportsbook Reviews | No Comments
Pros
  • Extensive Sports coverage
  • Competitive odds
  • Fast Transactions
  • Good Casino offerings
Cons
  • No Licence Information
  • No Sign-Up Bonus
Summary

Nitrogen is owned by a Company based in Costa Rica. It’s relatively new cryptocurrency gambling site which mainly offers sports betting. It was one of the more prominent Sportsbooks in the market but offers good Casino offerings to those interested in a broad range of gambling.

Rating

Good

Overall

70%

Range of Games & Services

70%

Banking

90%

Support

100%
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Betcoin.ag Bitcoin Casino Review

By | Bitcoin Casino Reviews | No Comments
Pros
  • 3D Graphics & Games
  • Litecoin & Ethereum accepted
  • Impressive user interface
  • Multiple Currencies accepted
  • Ethereum Casino
Cons
Summary

Betcoin.ag offers a wide range of gambling services for the most die-hard Casino user. The ability to deposit and bet in multiple currencies makes it an ideal choice for any Crypto user with diverse holdings. It has good looking games, especially the 3D offerings with a good sign up bonus to match.

Rating

Excellent

Overall

90%

Range of Games & Services

95%

Bonus and Offers

80%

Banking

95%

Support

90%

Sign Up BonusSign Up offer

m฿ 1,000

Match Bonus100% match bonus up to ฿1 free, minimum deposit m฿ 1. Bonus needs to be wagered 35 times within 30 days before withdrawal.

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BitStarz Bitcoin Casino Review

By | Bitcoin Casino Reviews | No Comments
Pros
  • Seamless cross platform play
  • Mobile Friendly
  • Provably Fair
  • Good user experiences
  • Different Currency Accepted
Cons
  • Video Poker not available
  • No Phone Support
Summary

BitStarz has a great reputation and a huge range of great games. They accept multiple currencies which make it very user friendly and they’ve a good sign up bonus.

Rating

Excellent

Overall

90%

Range of Games & Services

90%

Bonus and Offers

85%

Banking

95%

Support

90%

Sign Up BonusSign Up offer

m฿ 1,000

Match Bonus100% match bonus up to $100 or ฿1 + 20 free spins for nine consecutive days.

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