It has been 5 months since the WannaCry ransomware took down thousands of computers across the globe, and yet, the hackers behind it have not been found. the ransomware infected computers over the network by encrypting files and asked victims to pay between $300 to $600 in bitcoins (a cryptocurrency) to decrypt the files for future use.
The attackers further concealed their identity by converting the bitcoins into another virtual currency called Monero -an open source private untraceable currency that is considered to be more anonymous than the bitcoins as it require no account details to sign up. Monero can be used for making purchases in the deep web (part of web which cannot be detected by any standard search engine).
More than 3,00,000 computers were attacked in over 100 countries, the worst hit was Britain’s national health service, affecting 36 hospitals across the country. Globally companies that were affected include Nissan motors,FedEx , China National Petroleum, Renault SA, Hitachi, Sberbank of Russia and Russian interior ministry. Most of the companies were using the older version of Windows Software thus the threat around WannaCry ransomware increased, India was the third worst hit country.
Incidents were reported from some part of Kerala and Gujarat, in Odisha a government run hospital was affected, The West-Bengal electricity distribution company and the Southern Railway divisions suffered glitches.
The damage could have been worse had Marcus Hutchins , a 22-year old cyber security researcher, not activated a kill switch. His ‘accidental ‘ discovery stopped the attack from further spreading, he named his ‘kill switch’ contrary to WannaCry ‘WannaHappy; researchers were able to work on recovering the data to some extent.
As per the bot watching the bitcoin wallets tied to the ransomware attack , as on May 22 the perpetrators collected 48.86 bitcoins- estimated to be worth $104,436. According to IBM and Ponemon Institute’s Cost of Data Breach Study 2017 , the average cost of data breach for Indian companies surveyed is ’11 crore ; whereas, globally, the average cost of data breach in 2017 is $3.62 million.
The experts said “the main motive was not extortion of money but something more. An attack of such high caliber , was designed to asses the preparedness , and the impact of what such an attack could create”. perhaps the worst is yet to come and the world should be ready for it.
How to mine bitcoins in India? Is bitcoin legal in India?
Bitcoin has gained a lot of popularity nowadays, everyone is talking about bitcoins.All this attention is especially because it’s price has gone through the roof! Though there are still a lot of people who are unaware of cryptocurrencies, and how they work.
What is Bitcoin?
Bitcoin is a cryptocurrency and a payment system worldwide.It is the first decentralized digital currency, as the system works without a central bank or single administrator.It was invented by Satoshi Nakamoto in 2009.It is an open source software. This means, that no person, company or country owns this network just like no one owns the Internet.
The system is peer-to-peer, that is, users can transact directly without an intermediary like a bank, a credit card company.Transactions are verified by network nodes and recorded in a public distributed ledger called the blockchain.
What is Bitcoin mining?
Just like anyone can join the Internet, anyone can help to verify and record payments into the blockchain. This process is called mining.In mining, users offer their computing power.Miners are rewarded with newly created bitcoins and transaction fees.
Currently, miners receive 12.5 bitcoins every 10 minutes. This halves every 4 years. The next halving will happen in mid-2020.
How to mine Bitcoins in India?
Now the question is, how you can mine bitcoins in India? There are mainly two ways by which you can mine bitcoins-
1.MINING BY OWN HARDWARE
Bitcoin mining can be done by a personal computer, tweaked a bit especially for cryptocurrency mining.It requires basic software and some specialized hardware.
When mining began, regular PCs were fast enough to generate bitcoins. That’s the way the system was set up and it was easier to mine in the beginning.It becomes harder to mine as more bitcoins are generated. Over the last few years, miners have had to move on to faster hardware in order to keep generating new bitcoins.
It was found that graphics cards were more efficient in executing these tasks than the conventional CPU processors.So that multiple GPUs are assembled together are used to mine.
New faster hardware is being created by various mining start-ups at a rapid rate dedicated to mining only and with a price tag of full mining rig starting with approx $3000.
The software required to mine is very straightforward and easy to use and is open source, meaning free to download and run.
A miner needs a bitcoin wallet which is an encrypted online bank account. The problem is, as in most bitcoin scenarios is that, a lot of wallets are unregulated and are more prone to attacks.Late last year, hackers stole some $1.2 million worth of the currency from the site Inputs.io. When bitcoins are lost or stolen they are completely gone, just like cash. With no central bank backing your bitcoins, there is no possible way to reimburse your losses.
The second piece of software needed for Bitcoin mining is the mining software itself.One of the most popular software available is GUIMiner.When launched, you don’t need to do anything the program begins to mine on its own and it looks for the magic combination that will open that padlock to the block of transactions. The program keeps running and the faster and more powerful a miner’s PC is, the faster the miner will start generating bitcoins and start getting back their investment made for the hardware.
If you don’t want to buy all these expensive hardware and worry about setting it up and all, then cloud mining for you.It is gaining a lot of popularity nowadays as it is a great option for mining.
Some companies like Hashflare, Genesis and Bitconnect have set up so-called farms to collectively mine cryptocurrencies for individuals unable to assemble their own machines, for a fee.Individuals can now spend as low as $2 to start mining, and these companies assure fixed returns every month which makes it a great option.
Is Bitcoin legal in India?
Even as economies like Japan and Russia move to legalize the use of Bitcoins, India, despite being at the cusp of a digital revolution is yet to officially recognize the cryptocurrency.
As per now, we can say that Bitcoin is neither legal nor illegal in India.
BARRIERS TO SUCCESS IN 3D PRINTING
The market in 3D printing is growing day by day with new startups each month. This industry holds the potential to capture the major market in the coming future in the automobile, aerospace, jewelry, architecture, medical, foundry, the electronic industry as well as in the market of production of household items.
But there are certain limitations to the great success, faced by the 3D printing industry today, the barriers which should be broken by the industry in the near future to build their empire strong and competitive. So let us take a leap from the world of words to the real world and see what are the challenges faced by the 3D printing industry today which must be overcome.
Scale and Size
In 3D printing, only one item is produced at a time. To print multiple objects at a time you will need multiple machines working simultaneously like a DNC machine. The cost of a single 3D printing machine is much higher than a CNC machine working on the same material. All this means due to the restriction of high initial cost only one object can be produced at a time. Multiple items cannot be simultaneously produced on a 3D printer, this is not the only limitation with respect to scale and size. Another limitation is the size of the product or the object being printed.
If the polymer is produced, the majority of 3D printers which are present today can only print items measuring up to 1 cubic yard and only 1 cubic foot if the metal is used as the printing material.
3D Printed Objects May Require Heavy Duty Post Processing
If anyone has seen 3D printing live, will know that the finishing quality of the printed objects is not that good. These products cannot be used directly by the consumer without processing done on it. Also, the problem isn’t only the lack of surface finish or polish, it is more about the dimensional accuracy produced by these 3D printing methods.
3D Printing Belies Economies of Scale
The most advantageous benefit of 3D printing, the sword of this king is the fact that this process allows maximum customisation potential. Unfortunately, this same fact carries one of the more potent disadvantages of 3D printing. That is the absence of economies of scale.
In simple language economies of scale is the cost advantage gained by the manufacturers when they increase the size and scale of the manufacturing system. This means to improve the profit margins, a manufacturer can mass produce them. So, decreasing the cost per item he has to put in and increasing the profit.
Large Scale Adoption Will Result In Significant Job Loss
Let us take for example, in a factory two type of scrap material exit the belt. A worker separates the two and places them in two different containers. If now the company engineer automates this system by placing some kind of separating machine at the exit, then the owner can remove this worker, resulting in the loss 0f job by the poor worker. So an innovation in the present technology or the process ends up taking away jobs amongst the masses.
This has happened throughout the human history. It happened when industries automated their processes, the same happened during the Industrial Revolution, during the Digital Revolution, and surely will happen in the future too. The machine operators will lose their jobs with the development and availability of 3D printers.
3D printing is also known as additive manufacturing, which means building in additive fashion i.e. layer by layer addition of material from the ground up. While the technology is a major process breakthrough, there is a very limited number of materials today which allows 3D printing.
Some materials in which 3D printing is done are – ABS plastic, polyamide, epoxy resins, steel, wax, titanium and some more. The list seems interesting but very limited.
How small can you go in 3D printing? If you’re using a typical desktop 3D printer (or an industrial Stratasys FDM printer), the nozzle is about 0.35 mm in diameter. This means the sharpest outside corner that can reproduce is also .35mm in diameter, we cannot produce dimension less than this. On other precise systems, you could reasonably expect this figure to be around 0.116 to 0.175 mm in diameter.
Cost of Buying and Setting up A 3D Printer Is Very High
The cost factor is the biggest disadvantage of 3D printing. Yes, it is true that over its whole life a 3D printer pays for itself more than once, but the initial cost still remains something which needs to be put in once, at a time. Since the initial cost is such a high, the risk of setting a costly business comes free of cost.
For example, the top end 3D printing devices can cost between $300,000 and $2 million. Even the consumable items can end up costing a very high price ranging from $100 to $200 for every pound of material consumed.
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