New Monero-Mining Malware Targets Android Devices, Thousands Infected

New Monero-mining malware ADB.Miner has infected 7,000 Android devices, including smartphones and TVs, cybersecurity researchers report.

Researchers from Chinese Cybersecurity company 360Netlab has discovered a new Android-based cryptocurrency mining malware that infects vulnerable Android devices to mine cryptocurrency, as reported in a blog post from the firm on Feb. 6. 

As 360Netlab reports, the ADB.Miner worm scans can affect any kind of Android device, including smartphones, tablets, and television sets. The malware infects the device to mine Monero (XMR) coins and sends all acquired funds to a single wallet. 

According to 360Netlab’s blog post, the cryptocurrency mining worm ADB.Miner has been actively infecting devices since Feb. 5, managing to infiltrate 7,000 Android devices, mainly in China and South Korea. The researchers emphasize that the ADB.Miner’s spreading speed is high, the number of scanned devices doubling every 12 hours. 

The malware is being spread using the publicly accessible Android Debug Bridge (ADB) on an opened port 5555, which is normally closed. At the current stage of the research, the the security specialists claim that they “have no idea about how and when this port was opened”.

Last week Cointelegraph reported about another case of malware mining Monero, the Smorinru botnet, which has managed to mine over 9,000 Monero coins since May 2017. Previously, on Jan. 26 Monero-mining malware attacked users’ PCs via online ads serving Coinhive code, which affected large number of users and websites worldwide.

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Blockchain and Energy – Two Peas In a Pod

Blockchain technology is reforming the global energy industry with innovative ideas, applications and processes.

Blockchain technology is the underlying framework upon which most cryptocurrencies operate and it has become one of the most important technological advances in the 21st century.

Simply put, a Blockchain is a secure system that stores information. This is typically done in individual blocks which are encrypted, together forming a chain of secure data.

Bitcoin’s Blockchain pioneered the technology as a transactional system. Its Blockchain is an electronic accounting ledger, with each block holding a finite amount of transactions made with the cryptocurrency. It is completely decentralized, with transactions verified by a worldwide network of miners.

Here is where the issue of energy enters the picture. The truth is, cryptocurrency mining uses a lot of energy. That has put a spotlight on mainstream power production, which is mostly unclean and unsustainable.

This has led to a new wave of Blockchain technology that looks to provide applications and innovations to the way we use energy and how we go about providing efficient data and transaction systems in the sector.

By the numbers

According to a research done by the event and consulting company Solarplaza, of the 90 companies included in its analysis, over 50 percent of Blockchain projects working within the energy space are based in Europe. The top three countries include the US, Germany and the Netherlands.

Peer to peer trading projects account for the most use cases, while around 50 percent of these projects are using the Ethereum Blockchain.

As an indicator of just how new this movement is, over 70 percent of these projects were formed between 2016 and 2017 – and one in four of the projects are planning an initial coin offering or token sale.

P2P, utility, cryptocurrency, platforms, E-Vehicles

The majority of these companies have peer-to-peer Blockchain systems that offer a plethora of industry related services.

A number of projects are offering decentralized energy trading services. The likes of LO3 Energy, which developed the Brooklyn Microgrid which enables the community to buy energy through the platform. Producers of solar energy can sell excess green energy to other consumers connected on the platform.

This is just one example of a multitude of ground-breaking offerings by companies providing platforms for people, businesses and industries to trade energy. It’s interesting to note energy giants BP, Shell and Statoil are part of a consortium developing an in-house Blockchain platform form energy commodities trade.

Blockchain technology is also reforming energy utilities functions.

A number of companies have pioneered Blockchain platforms. WEF award winners Electron set up platforms for energy meters, from user registrations to meter data privacy. A number of other utility-based projects are offering customers platforms that track energy consumption and provide cheaper energy prices available on the grid.

This includes the likes of IBM, who teamed up with TenneT to create a pilot platform using Blockchain technology to balance supply and demand of electricity to ensure a supply of electricity.

Of course, a number of cryptocurrencies have been created to facilitate energy trading platforms. A straightforward use case is Spectral energy’s Juliette coin, which is used by residents in an Amsterdam community to pay for electricity.

ElectriCChain has created SolarCoin, which is a reward-based cryptocurrency for a network of affiliated solar power generators. For every MWh of electricity produced, you get one SolarCoin, which is roughly worth $0.50.

A number of online energy platforms will also be present at the conference in Amsterdam. Many of these platforms offer global networks to create better communication between energy producers.

They also offer a variety of applications that allow the industry to monitor energy production and consumption – for consumers and producers. There are platforms that offer supply chain solutions for energy commodities like oil and gas. Some offer platforms for consumers to browse the cheapest available energy options available in their country.

Four projects in the report are directly aimed at the electric vehicle industry using Blockchain to help users manage and pay for charging stations and more specific needs like car sharing and rental.

To top it off a number of projects are providing people with cutting-edge opportunities thanks to Blockchain technology. The Sun Exchange is an example of this. The project enables people to own solar panels in ideal locations around the world. The panels are then leased out, with the owners paid income in cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin.

Blockchain2Business

While the list of energy projects involved into Blockchain becomes too long to list in one article, people that have a keen interest in Blockchain projects reforming the way we look at energy have now an interesting platform to participate in.

In order to unite energy companies and Blockchain solutions providers, this February, Solarplaza organized its first Blockchain2Business conference in Amsterdam. A host of Blockchain companies that are pioneering the sector, from energy production to tokenization of energy, was brought together, as well as those who want to know more about opportunities offered by Blockchain.

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Now Blockchain Technology Is Making It Possible to Make New Connections at Scale

The world we live in is driven by connections. A single introduction can completely change your life. Just think about how you met your spouse, your best friend, or how you found out about your last job opportunity.

It probably didn’t seem like such a big deal at the time of your initial meeting, but it’s likely that many single connections in your life that you didn’t think much of at the time have acted as huge catalysts for big changes.

How Can We Make More Valuable Connections?

The problem is, these high-impact connections are few and far between. For every major connection you make, hundreds more fall by the wayside and remain unpursued.

Traditionally, the primary way we have gone about making connections has been through offline matchmaking and recruitment agencies.

More recently, we have seen a huge shift to centralized online services, such as Match.com or LinkedIn.

While it is true that these methods do often lead to success, they are generally far less effective than real-life, informal matchmaking done through friends and trusted parties.

In general, making connections and meeting random people using online profiles is associated with a much higher level of risk than making connections through mutual friends or acquaintances.

The Current Problem With Making Connections Online

The biggest risks with meeting people online can largely be traced back to the huge deficit of trust between parties.

Fake profiles, false information, and flakiness has created huge barriers that mean online relationships generally take far longer to develop than those made in person.

When it comes to online dating, these problems are often magnified even further. Less than 25% of online daters find a relationship, and over 42% of woman have reported harassment. Regardless of how you choose to view them, these statistics do not appear promising.

However, with the intervention of trusted intermediaries, it is likely that many of these problems could be solved – or at least, greatly reduced.

A Brand New Way of Making Connections is Upon Us…

Social referrals made by trusted parties very often lead to the best matches.

PonderApp is a new decentralized matchmaking platform designed to revolutionize how people meet.

The platform uses fun game mechanics and financial rewards to motivate its user base and encourage people to take part.

Humans are almost certainly better at predicting compatible than machines, and by investing social capital and thought into who they predict would be good matches, many of the trust problems we currently face will be resolved.

From this, it’s easy to understand why one of the main applications for this platform is the world of online dating.

However, it can apply to practically any industry – especially those where trust is absolutely critical – such as business partnerships, roommates, or babysitting.

Ultimately, the application has the potential to be a globally transformational platform and is designed to help its users make some of the most important decisions of their lives – from whom to marry, to which job to take, to whom they should partner with when undertaking their next business venture.

You’ll Even Be Rewarded for Playing Matchmaker

Even if you’re not looking for love, you can still get involved.

In fact, your role might be the most important of all – and you’ll even be rewarded for it!

Once a match has been suggested, the users involved will be able to view each other’s profiles. If they decide they like each other and want to pursue the match further, they’ll each contribute $10 as a ‘success fee’.

$10 of this will be rewarded to the matchmaker, and $10 will be retained by Ponder.

Each user will initially start with $20 loaded onto their account for free. Once this has been spent, they won’t be able to communicate with their new matches until they either pay money to the app or are rewarded for matchmaking other users.

Should the matched couple eventually choose to marry one another, the matchmaker will be rewarded with $1,000. This will largely be funded by proceeds from the token sale.

So if you’re tired of swiping left, or you think you have a good eye for creating matches and you want to get rewarded for it, PonderApp might just be your thing.

 

The post Now Blockchain Technology Is Making It Possible to Make New Connections at Scale appeared first on NewsBTC.

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Ripple’s Global Financial Network Partners With China-Based Payment Provider

LianLian, a Chinese payment services provider, and RippleNet have announced a partnership designed to speed up transactions between China and RippleNet users in the US and Europe.

LianLian International, a China-based payment services provider, has partnered with RippleNet in order to offer faster and less expensive cross border transactions to their customers across the US, Europe, and China, according to a Feb. 7 announcement on Ripple’s blog.

RippleNet is Ripple’s decentralized global network, made up of banks and other financial institutions, that handles the real-time confirmations of financial transactions.

Brad Garlinghouse, CEO of Ripple, tweeted that Ripple “just opened the door to the largest e-commerce market in the world”:

While Ripple (XRP) is often referred to as a cryptocurrency and is listed on CoinMarketCap, the token is centralized and its source code is owned privately by Ripple, while a cryptocurrency by definition is decentralized and outsider-verified.

LianLian will use Ripple’s centralized software payment solution, xCurrent, which is tailored to work with financial institutions by allowing banks to confirm payment details in real time before each transaction and after each delivery.

LianLian already lists PayPal and Apple as their strategic partners, serving marketplaces like Amazon, Ali Express, and Ebay. In reference to the Ripple partnership, Arthur Zhu, CEO of LianLian, said:

“With RippleNet, we will further enhance that experience and increase our market share by offering customers instant, blockchain-powered payments across the 19 currencies that we currently support. We look forward to working with Ripple to power payment flows between China and RippleNet members in new markets.”

Ripple has partnerships with over 100 financial institutions, most recently partnering in mid-January with Moneygram to speed up fiat payments.

The RippleNet and LianLian partnership comes at a time when China has been increasing crypto regulation, removing crypto-related ads on social media and search engines and banning foreign exchanges on top of the earlier domestic exchange restrictions.

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Forbes Publishes ‘First-Ever’ Richest People In Cryptocurrency List

Forbes has published the “first-ever” list of the “crypto elite”, those that have made more than $350 mln from crypto so far.

Forbes, known for its “World’s Billionaires List”, published a list of the richest people in cryptocurrency for the first time, Tuesday Feb. 6.

The goal of publishing such a list, according to Forbes Editor Randall Lane, is to

“[provide] a snapshot of a pivotal moment, part of the transparency needed to pull crypto away from its provenance as the favorite currency of drug dealers and into the adolescence of a legitimate asset class.”

While compiling a list of the world’s traditional billionaires is a relatively straightforward task, calculating the exact amount of wealth of the world’s richest crypto tycoons is more difficult.

Cryptocurrencies are by definition a decentralized, encrypted payment system that began outside of the traditional global financial system. The “newly minted crypto rich,” as described by Forbes staff writer Jeff Kauflin, “live in a strange milieu that blends paranoid secrecy with ostentatious display.”

The Forbes “Richest People in Cryptocurrency” list is broken up into five categories: “idealists, builders, opportunists, infrastructure players and establishment investors.” In order to make the Forbes list, one must have accrued over $350 million.

Instead of static numbers, the net worths of the people on the list are listed in ranges, calculated based on the “estimated holdings of cryptocurrencies (a few provided proof), post-tax profits from trading crypto-assets and stakes in crypto-related businesses.”

Forbes acknowledges that they could have left some people off the list and that their estimates may be “wide of the mark.”

The list contains 19 people. One can click on each member of the list on Forbes’s website in order to see a short bio and an estimated crypto net worth.

Other data was published along with the list, like the average age of crypto’s richest compared to the age of Forbes 400 wealthiest Americans (42 vs. 67), and the average daily price volatility in January 2018 for Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), and Ripple (XRP) compared to Apple, Proctor & Gamble, and gold.

When creating the list, Lane spoke with Joe Lubin, the founder of Consensys, about other crypto tycoons’ potential concerns about releasing such data. Lubin, who Lane referred to as the “statesman of cryptocurrency”, said that he and his peers weren’t looking for public attention. Lubin also questioned how Forbes could arrive at any accurate numbers, and brought up the issues of potentially targeting these people for theft. However, Lane adds that Lubin and his “crypto elite” peers did recognize the list’s importance.

Kauflin writes that Forbes,

“firmly believe we made the world a better place by shining a light on the invisible rich. Just as crypto has evolved from the days of the Silk Road drug site and the Mt. Gox digital hijacking, fortunes of this magnitude should never be allowed to lurk in the shadows.”

CryptoWeekly, a cryptocurrency newsletter, released a comparable list of the top 100 most influential people in the crypto community. Their list is factored not by net worth, but by the research and technological contributions a person has made in the world of crypto.

Among those who were left out of Forbes’ richest in crypto rankings, but included in the CryptoWeekly influential list, are important crypto players like Litecoin founder Charlie Lee, Bitcoin investor Roger Ver, and crypto pioneer Nick Szabo, among others.

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Cryptocurrency Regulation ‘Not High On To-Do List’ Says European Central Bank

Regulating cryptocurrency is not a priority for the European Central Bank due to “very low” banking involvement, it says.

The European Central Bank (ECB) has moderated its stance on cryptocurrency regulation Wednesday, Feb. 7, describing it as “not exactly very high on its to-do list” in a brief interview with CNBC.

The ECB’s Chair of the Supervisory Board Daniele Nouy added that although she had “no clue” whether new regulatory moves on crypto would come from Europe in the future, involvement of ECB-regulated banks in the sphere was “very, very low”.

We scrutinize the issue in a regulatory perspective, we are ready to do something if it was needed, but so far it’s not exactly very high on our to-do list,” she told the network.

The comment come ahead of an increasingly-anticipated G20 Summit this coming March in Argentina, where cryptocurrency regulation will form a major topic of discussion, according to a growing number of sources, including the ECB.

During last month’s World Economic Forum (WEF), board member Benoit Coeure said he “expected” the international community to “focus very much on” the issue at the upcoming event in Buenos Aires.

Despite the calls for an international regulatory effort on crypto spearheaded notably by French economy minister Bruno Le Maire in December, Europe’s umbrella bureaucracy appears less interested in direct intervention of its own.

We are not observing a systematically relevant holding of digital currencies by supervised institutions,” ECB president Mario Draghi told the European Parliament in Strasbourg Monday, quoted in various news outlets. Draghi added:

“Actually, credit institutions… are showing limited appetite for digital currencies, like Bitcoin.”

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Crypto Experts Predict 2018 Bull Run: Bitcoin To $50k, Overall Market Cap To $1 Trln

After a few days of the market dipping and then recovering today, several crypto experts gave favorable predictions about Bitcoin and the overall market to CNBC.

Following a volatile few days in the crypto markets this week, with Bitcoin (BTC) dipping below $7000 for the first time since November, several crypto experts have predicted an overall bull run. Experts told CNBC today, Feb. 7, that the total market cap of all cryptocurrencies could reach $1 trillion and that BTC itself could hit $50,000 by the end of this year.

Jamie Burke, CEO at Outlier Ventures, Europe’s first Blockchain-based incubator, told CNBC that the predicted bull run will be followed by a general settling down of the market:

“We believe after February the market will likely go on a bull run comparative if not greater than last year potentially reaching the trillion-dollar mark before a proper crypto winter sets in where the market becomes more focused on proper market fundamentals.”

Thomas Glucksmann, head of APAC business at Gatecoin, sees regulation, the introduction of institutional capital, and technological advances like the Lightning Network as the main factors in rising cryptocurrency prices. He told CNBC over email:

“There is no reason why we couldn’t see bitcoin pushing $50,000 by December.”

Back in April 2017 when BTC reached a former high of $1,300, Glucksmann had commented on the connection between the price jump and the start of the US Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) month-long review of the Winklevoss twins Bitcoin ETF proposal.

The joint SEC and The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) hearings held yesterday, Feb. 6, on their roles in the cryptocurrency sphere may have helped cause the market to see substantial rebound today, Feb. 7.

Glucksmann also wrote that a possible element in market growth going forward could be the release of a cryptocurrency-based ETF, similar to when BTC’s price shot up to $16,800 in Dec. 2017 after the CBOE’s futures launch:

“One possible appetizer for the bulls, or the catalyst for the recovery, will be the release of another cryptocurrency backed instrument listed on a major exchange. There are several candidates in the pipeline, it’s only a matter of time until we have a cryptocurrency backed ETF (exchange-traded fund).”

Utility tokens like IOTA, NEO, and Ethereum are also something to watch in the coming months, CEO of Hercules Tech Mick Sherman told NBC:

“Utility tokens and assets with a working platform and a clear-cut reason for requiring both a blockchain and their own token, are more likely to appreciate in value this year. Some of these cryptoassets will not be used for years, meaning they have no utility value.”

Ran Neuner, host of CNBC’s show CryptoTrader, has pinned his Feb. 1 tweet that predicted Bitcoin hitting $50,000 at the end of 2018:

 

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LianLian International Joins RippleNet to Provide Faster Payments into China

Online retail is massive in China and it’s only getting bigger. In fact, the Chinese e-commerce market totaled $672 billion in 2017 — the largest contributor to the $4 trillion global e-commerce market — and cross-border e-commerce transactions into the country are projected to reach $1.32 trillion in 2018.

In order to support the influx of global payments sent to the Chinese e-commerce market and provide a superior customer experience, LianLian International — a leading Chinese money service company licensed in Hong Kong with 150 million registered users in the region — has joined RippleNet to receive real-time, cross-border remittances, invoice payments and e-commerce payments.

LianLian will use xCurrent — Ripple’s settlement solution that offers end-to-end tracking — to power cross-border transactions between China, the U.S., and Europe.

LianLian joins Ripple’s existing network of more than 100 financial institutions to provide faster, cheaper, and frictionless cross-border payment solutions to its customers.

xCurrent powers cheaper, more efficient transactions

Each year, LianLian processes billions in payments between merchants and consumers including major online retail sites, such as Amazon, Ali Express, and eBay — making it one of the largest money service companies serving China’s massive e-commerce market.

“LianLian International is a leader in payout experience both into and out of China, as evidenced by the large number of our merchants and partners,” said LianLian CEO Arthur Zhu.“

“With RippleNet, we will further enhance that experience and increase our market share by offering customers instant, blockchain-powered payments across the 19 currencies that we currently support. We look forward to working with Ripple to power payment flows between China and RippleNet members in new markets.”

xCurrent is Ripple’s enterprise software solution that enables banks to instantly settle cross-border payments with end-to-end tracking. xCurrent will dramatically increase efficiency, opening the door for a higher volume of transactions between merchants and consumers in China and other markets.

LianLian International a connection into China for RippleNet members

The addition of LianLian also serves as a major gateway into China for other members of RippleNet. With financial institutions already in Japan, South Korea, Thailand, and India on RippleNet, transaction volume between members can occur more efficiently and cost-effectively.

“Cross-border payments related to China’s e-commerce market reached $1.07 trillion in 2017. There is a huge opportunity to make these payments quicker and more cost-efficient,” said Emi Yoshikawa, director of joint venture partnerships at Ripple.

“With RippleNet, LianLian International will now be able to give merchants and consumers quicker, more cost-efficient payments into China, which they weren’t able to before. We also look forward to connecting other RippleNet members to LianLian.”

The addition of LianLian is yet another step forward in Ripple’s mission of furthering the Internet of Value. By connecting and powering cross-border payments between financial institutions such as LianLian and their customers across the globe, Ripple believes it can help money move the same way digital information moves — instantly.

The post LianLian International Joins RippleNet to Provide Faster Payments into China appeared first on Ripple.

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Why Sidechains Should Matter to Every Blockchain Project

Blockchain technology has proven to be quite appealing to companies all over the world. Some developers are even looking toward the future of this concept. Sidechains can alleviate a lot of stress from the main blockchain by focusing on specific types of information. The main business model of a blockchain won’t work well when it comes to scaling. With a sidechain, scaling concerns are less of an issue, assuming they are implemented correctly.

The concept of sidechains is nothing new in the world of blockchain technology. A few projects already focus on leveraging this new technology. However, there is a big difference between testing the technology and implementing it in the real world. Sidechains may effectively become a necessity if blockchain is ever to go mainstream. With a strong focus on interoperability and scalability, this implementation of blockchain technology will certainly be of great interest.

Sidechains Alleviate Blockchain Scaling Concerns

More specifically, leveraging sidechain technology offers a few benefits. Connecting different blockchains together is not natively supported. However, with sidechains, it is effectively possible for projects to let different chains communicate with one another without any major issues. Any transactions occurring on a sidechain can be picked up by nodes on the main chain to record it. Every sidechain will trust the main chain for cross-chain transactions of any kind.

There are some other benefits to using sidechains as well. Rather than using the main chain to record transactions one after another, sidechains can alleviate the concerns. There is an option to introduce parallel computing in this regard. This also allows for on-demand transaction scaling across the different chains accordingly. It provides a lot more blockchain “capacity” without causing any bloat. With more sidechains, transaction scaling also becomes a trivial matter eventually. On paper, this technology sounds incredibly powerful, for obvious reasons.

The big question is whether or not any projects will pursue this option. Not every use case for blockchain technology warrants the use of parallel chains. At the same time, there is no reason not to look into this option either. With a proper multi-chain interoperable infrastructure, a lot of potential use cases can be unlocked. Whether or not that is the next logical step in the evolution of blockchain, remains to be seen. It is certainly possible we will see a few interesting developments in this regard.

The post Why Sidechains Should Matter to Every Blockchain Project appeared first on NewsBTC.

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Ether into Range Trading

Ethereum chart

Ether failed to stay above $770-$800, as the fundamentals and general sentiment pushed it downwards. As a result, there’s a new downtrend forming since Jan 29, which is strengthening after the coin has sunk below $600, as Dmitriy Gurkovskiy, Chief Analyst at RoboForex, says. Now, there’s not only an important resistance at $770-$800, but also an important bear area, where most sell orders can be found.

Yesterday session, Ether hit a low at $553, and then started its recovery. However, the short term trend is still bearish, while the recovery potential looks quite limited.

The trendline at $770-$800 is likely to prevent Ether from going up in the short term, provided the things come around this way. This means that, in case no negative news is released for Ether, the coin will go range trading within $650-$800. MACD is still looking bearish, but yet it issues some reversal signals.

Ether selloff is somewhat based on emotions, as the investors follow the global drop in bitcoin, which got substantially cheaper over the last few days. Now what is important is whether the sellers are really serious and how they regard the cryptocurrencies in the long term. This should get quite clear in a few days.

Fundamentally, there is little to be changed for digital coins shortly. The process of spreading and recognizing cryptocurrencies within global financial players has slowed down, and chances are it will stop completely. Early this month, several US banks, including Bank of America, JPMorgan, and Citigroup, as well as Lloyds Group, banned buying bitcoins and other digital currencies with credit cards. This hows clearly that the tightening crypto regulation story continues. South Korea went transparent by requiring all traders to get verified through their bank account details. Meanwhile, China is still working on ICO banning project, and India may declare all cryptocurrencies illegal within the domestic finance and payment system. This is getting somewhat tight, and the crypto sector thus becomes less attractive and accessible for new investors.

Ethereum chart

Disclaimer

Any forecasts contained herein are based on the authors’ particular opinion. This analysis may not be treated as trading advice. RoboForex bears no responsibility for trading results based on trading recommendations and reviews contained herein.

The post Ether into Range Trading appeared first on Ethereum World News.

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