A Bitcoin (BTC) evangelist in Lebanon took their love for Bitcoin to the next level. Said Nassar, an international business engineer, themed his wedding day around Satoshi Nakamoto’s innovation, Bitcoin.
Each and every wedding guest received Satoshis (the smallest denomination of a Bitcoin) as a wedding gift for attending the Nassar family’s special day, while the theme of the wedding was volcanoes–a nod to El Salvador’s Bitcoin bonds, commonly known as the Volcano bonds.
Nassar told Cointelegraph that he put a volcano stand in the wedding and “distributed gifts via the Lightning Network.” Indeed, under every cutlery set for the post-ceremony banquet were instructions to download a Bitcoin Lightning Network wallet to receive 4,000 Satoshis. Worth roughly $0.80 now–due to bearish price action– at the time of the wedding, the gift was worth $1.60.
The link took the wedding guest through to a thorough Youtube video that shows how to set up a wallet and why people should buy Bitcoin. Of the 250 wedding satoshi gifts he gave out, 75 people downloaded wallets and asked Nassar to send over the 4,000 Satoshis–the first time these people received Bitcoin.
At a 30% success rate, his method for promoting Bitcoin adoption is high given that worldwide Bitcoin adoption may only reach 10% by 2030. Plus, Nassar qualifies, “All of them [the wedding guests] saw it and thought about it.”
Nassar is an insatiable Bitcoin advocate. So naturally, his wedding day would be the perfect time to “orange pill” or educate more people about the importance of Bitcoin. He’s the brains behind Lebanon’s first Bitcoin themed escape room and jokes that he has a half hour limit for talking about non-Bitcoin themes when making acquaintances:
“I try to explain monetary policies and what is fiat money to every person I meet longer than 30 minutes.”
Curiously, Twitter user Stackmore also treats weddings as the ideal time to both start a family and start stacking sats. Stackmore has sent Satoshis as wedding gifts for the past five years:
In Nassar’s home country Lebanon, the inflation rate exceeded 200% in January this year. Bitcoin, by comparison, has a fixed supply of 21 million coins, and benefits from a programmed issuance rate that makes the currency deflationary.
Despite calls from top execs to avoid buying Bitcoin in Lebanon, groups such as AlJazeera report that Bitcoin adoption is booming in the country. For Nassar, it’s key to start with family and friends as “Hyperbitcoinzation starts at home.” He has already introduced his nearest and dearest to Bitcoin:
“All my close friends and my family members have bought bitcoin, and my mother is a whole coiner.”
The legal team for Alexander Vinnik, a Russian national recently extradited to the United States for his alleged role at defunct crypto exchange BTC-e, has reportedly been urging officials to consider a prisoner swap.
According to a Monday report from Reuters, a lawyer representing Vinnik called on Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov to conduct negotiations with U.S. officials to bring the accused Bitcoin (BTC) launderer back to his home country. Russian authorities currently have several U.S. citizens in custody under questionable charges, including basketball star Brittney Griner, educator Marc Hilliard Fogel and Paul Whelan, a former Marine detained for allegedly committing espionage.
"The only thing that can save Alexander is for the Russian Federation to enter into negotiations with the American authorities within the framework of the exchange of prisoners between the countries mentioned," a letter from Vinnik’s lawyer, Frederic Belot, reportedly noted.
Vinnik allegedly helped launder roughly $4 billion worth of Bitcoin through his role at BTC-e, one of the world’s largest crypto exchanges at the time, with some of the funds possibly coming from the hack of Japan-based crypto exchange Mt. Gox. Authorities in Greece arrested Vinnik in July 2017, at which point, the governments of France, Russia and the U.S. fought for extradition.
The U.S. Justice Department reported that Vinnik had been extradited on Aug. 4 from Greece to the United States to face charges related to having an unlicensed money service business, conspiracy to commit money laundering, money laundering and engaging in unlawful monetary transactions. According to authorities, BTC-e “facilitated transactions for cybercriminals worldwide and received criminal proceeds from numerous computer intrusions and hacking incidents,” including ransomware attacks and trafficking in drugs.
If convicted of all charges, Vinnik, 43, could reportedly face up to 55 years in prison, making any sentence tantamount to life behind bars. Griner has also been detained since her arrest in February, with many U.S. officials suggesting the Russian government may be using the basketball star as political leverage in response to sanctions following the country’s invasion of Ukraine.
Russia has reportedly been engaging in “quiet diplomacy” with the U.S. following Griner being sentenced to nine years for allegedly holding vape cartridges containing hash oil at the Sheremetyevo International Airport on Aug. 4. However, reports suggested that the U.S. was considering swapping "Lord of War" arms dealer Viktor Bout — and not Vinnik — in exchange for Griner and Whelan. Amid the war in Ukraine, officials between the two countries negotiated the swap of former U.S. Marine Trevor Reed for Russian national Konstantin Yaroshenko, who had been convicted of drug-smuggling charges in 2011.
Three federal agencies in the United States — the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency and the Multi-State Information Sharing and Analysis Center — jointly issued an advisory seeking information to curb ransomware attacks.
As part of the #StopRansomware campaign, the joint cybersecurity advisory alerted citizens of Vice Society, a ransomware-type program that encrypts data and demands ransom for decryption.
The trio anticipates a spike in ransomware attacks, primarily aimed at educational institutions, adding that “School districts with limited cybersecurity capabilities and constrained resources are often the most vulnerable.”
While proactive measures remain vital to counter ransomware, the FBI asked US citizens to report information that helps track the whereabouts of the hackers. Some key information the FBI seeks includes Bitcoin (BTC) wallet information, ransom notes and IP addresses linked to the attacker.
By using wallet addresses, authorities can backtrack illicit transactions on Bitcoin’s immutable blockchain without worrying about the trail going cold.
While Bitcoin enables frictionless cross-border transactions, most attackers prefer using fiat currencies to fund their illicit activities. It was also found that only 0.15% of activity on blockchains in 2021 was crime related, which has been going down consistently year over year.
Moreover, the three federal agencies strongly discourage Americans from paying ransom “as payment does not guarantee victim files will be recovered.” Individuals affected by ransomware attacks can report the details by visiting a local FBI office or through official communication channels.
The Dutch Public Prosecution Service recently tracked down crypto wallets associated with a ransomware attack on Netherland-based Maastricht University (UM).
In 2019, a ransomware hack froze all assets of UM, such as research data, emails and library resources. UM later agreed to pay the hacker’s demand of €200,000 in BTC, which is currently valued at roughly €500,000.
This Daily Dose was brought to you by Cointelegraph.