The system works by watching your USB ports for a certain brand of USB key. Atfield uses a magnetic breakaway cable that would disconnect if someone pulled the laptop away from him and then wrote some simple code that works on Linux or Mac OS to trigger an action when the USB key suddenly disappears. In other words, when the cable is yanked away, the computer will lock itself down.

Operational security, or opsec, is key if you’re doing anything on crypto exchanges and this new trick – essentially a DIY hack – can make you a bit safer in a crowded cafe.

Created by software engineer Michael Altfield, the tool, called BusKill, uses a simple USB key and a few lines of code to activate your laptop’s lockdown process, or, in an emergency, a full disk wipe.

“Let’s consider a scenario: You’re at a public location (let’s say a cafe) while necessarily authenticated into some super important service (let’s say online banking). But what if – after you’ve carefully authenticated – someone snatch-and-runs with your laptop?” wrote Atfield. “Maybe you can call your bank to freeze your accounts before they’ve done significant financial harm. Maybe you can’t.”

Replace “bank” with “decentralized exchange” in this scenario and you get a general idea of this tool’s value.

There are a few situations on which this sort of opsec could come in handy: Remember, the Silk Road’s Ross Ulbricht’s laptop was yanked away from him as he was arrested, allowing agents access the device. Further, we can imagine far less controlled situations in which someone drags your laptop off a cafe table and runs off into a crowd.

Ultimately, a little opsec like this might suggest paranoia, but, as William S. Burroughs said, “Sometimes paranoia’s just having all the facts.”

Bybit Enables Two-Way Margin Trading With Perpetual Contracts Quoted in Tether

Singapore-based cryptocurrency exchange Bybit is adding tether (USDT) perpetual contracts to its suite of derivative products.

The contracts, going live Wednesday, will use the world’s largest stablecoin by market cap as both the quote and settlement currency for two-way trades, enabling traders to hold both long and short positions at the same time and with different levels of leverage.

All profits, losses and account balances will be denominated in USDT, making it clearer and easier for traders to make investment decisions using USDT, the firm says. Using a stablecoin also removes the volatility brought by non-pegged cryptocurrencies.

The USDT perpetual contracts attempt to replicate the underlying spot markets using increased leverage. Similar to Bybit’s existing perpetual contracts denominated in bitcoin, the USDT contracts will have no expiry date, and the price will be attached to the underlying index.

With other contracts, a trader must hold account balances in multiple currencies because profits and losses are denominated in the currency underlying the contract. If they receive a margin call, it means filling their margin using the relevant asset underlying the contract.

With the new USDT perpetuals, the process is more simplified for traders wishing to utilize cross-margin to make use of unrealized profit on their account. That profit can be used as a top-up margin for other existing positions as well as across other contracts, Bybit says.

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