Google announced yesterday (Dec. 23) it is testing out a new way for users to gain access to their Google accounts without needing to type out a password.
With the new login method, a push notification is sent to a user’s smartphone and access is then authenticated by a response to the message. The password-free login option requires that users only enter their email address when attempting to sign in to their Google account before the authentication notification is sent. Upon approving the login attempt, users will be provided access to their account.
“We’ve invited a small group of users to help test a new way to sign in to their Google accounts, no password required. ‘Pizza,’ ‘password’ and ‘123456’ — your days are numbered,” a Google spokesperson toldTechCrunch, confirming that the new experience is in the works.
The password-less push is not a new trend; passwords for digital accounts have become almost as ubiquitous as the devices they’re used to access, and the statistics paint a scary picture.
According to Entrepreneur, the three most common passwords in 2014 were, shockingly, “123456,” “PASSWORD” and “12345.” It’s clear that passwords aren’t the strict security measure they were intended to function as.
In October, Yahoo announced that it would be doing away with passwords for users with Yahoo Mail accounts on iOS and Android. Instead of forcing users to remember complex and cryptic codes, Yahoo is instituting a new Yahoo Account Key service that will use smartphones to verify users’ identities and grant account access.
Dylan Casey, vice president of product management at Yahoo, explained in a statement that the new service is a natural extension of what Yahoo has been doing and what consumers want.
“Passwords are difficult to remember, and secondary sign-in verification is inconvenient and confusing,” Caseysaid. “Earlier this year, we launched on-demand passwords using an SMS code. We’re now taking a major leap towards a password-free future with the launch of Yahoo Account Key, which uses push notifications to give users simple and secure access using their mobile device.”
Bitcoin’s Christmas Gift? A Better Looking 2016ByPosted on
As expected, 2015 was a turbulent year for bitcoin, with prices fluctuating between its 2015 low of $177.28 (Jan. 14) to its peak of $465.50 (Dec. 15).
But bitcoin’s boost toward the tail end of 2015 could mean a better 2016 for the digital currency that’s been garnering so much attention lately. With the rumors swirling that bitcoin’s creator has been discovered, that’s kept prices high, and some in the industry peg that bitcoin will have a strong start in 2016.
But what else is attributing to this projection? A Reuters piece digs into the slow growth in the money supply as being one that could give bitcoin’s price a boost. Citing the supply-and-demand theory, there’s some who’ve speculated that this could push bitcoin’s price up.
For example, Daniel Masters, cofounder of Jersey-based Global Advisors’ bitcoin hedge fund, believes that bitcoin could jump back around the 2013 all-time high of $1,100. His projections also have bitcoin surging all the way up to $4,400 eventually, according to Reuters.
But that may be far-fetched as many across the financial ecosystem have already called for bitcoin’s demise.
Still, what he attributes to the rise of bitcoin is the rising acceptance of digital payments and companies that have embraced bitcoin as a legitimate payment method. There’s also been an immense amount of attention given to the blockchain — the technology that powers bitcoin transactions.
Masters also suggests that the production rate in the bitcoin mining industry could also give bitcoin’s price a 50 percent boost from today’s price. Because bitcoin is still in its early stages, he believes its true potential has not been realized.
“If OPEC [Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries] came out tomorrow and said, ‘In six months’ time, we’re going to halve oil production,’ the oil price would instantaneously react. But the bitcoin market is still in its infancy, and I don’t think that factor is discounted into the price fully,” he told Reuters.
Bobby Lee, CEO of leading Chinese bitcoin exchange BTCC, was quoted as saying that bitcoin could surge as high as $3,500 by the summer of 2016. The value of all bitcoins in circulation today is $6.5 billion.
“Today, the worth of bitcoin is $1 per capita in the world [population],” Lee said in an interview. “For such an innovative, decentralized digital asset, I say, ‘Boy, are we undervaluing it.’ But it takes a while for people to realize that.”
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