This week’s summary of various cryptocurrency news and developments:
The Chinese province of Sichuan is becoming the country’s bitcoin mining capital
According to the China Money Network, bitcoiners keep on trying to move to mountainous regions where mining equipment can naturally be cooled down without the need for additional resources. This has led to an exponential growth in mining centers in the Chinese province of Sichuan, which according to the local publication saw more than 20 companies, and 10,000 mining machines move in. The province, with a population of roughly 200,000, is a great place to mine the cryptocurrency, as it has low population density, which helps avoid noise complaints, a cold climate that helps cool down the machines, and cheap electricity, thanks to its hydroelectric power plants.
Bitfinex mitigated a “severe DDoS attack”
Prominent cryptocurrency exchange Bitfinex published a tweet in which it claims it was targeted by a severe DDoS (Distributed Denial-of-Service) attack. The exchange managed to mitigate the attack in less than one hour, according to a status page it set up, which allowed users to keep on trading soon after it was attacked.
Bitfinex has, in the past, been knocked offline by DDoS attacks, and has suffered a high-profile heist in which 120,000 bitcoins were stolen. The way it managed to mitigate the attack apparently shows the exchange has improved its security
The Bitfinex platform is under severe DDoS attack. We are working to return to normal operations ASAP
— Bitfinex.com (@bitfinex) February 21, 2017
LocalBitcoins reached a new all-time high, as Chinese trading volume surges
Data from Coin.Dance shows that the popular peer-to-peer trading platform LocalBitcoins recently reached a new all-time high with over $24 million in transactions, as the Chinese trading volume substantially increased, data from the same source shows. It seems that Chinese traders decided to respond to the People’s Bank of China’s regulations, which forced several exchanges to freeze cryptocurrency withdrawals, by flocking to the LocalBitcoins marketplace.
It’s important to note that the platform is blocked in China. As a LocalBitcoins staff member wrote:
“We’re already technically blocked in China as our site uses, among other things, Google’s re-captcha system. As all Google resources are blocked in China you can’t log in to our site from mainland China unless you use a VPN.”
Bank of Canada claims digital currencies need regulation to succeed
The Bank of Canada seems to be looking into getting more involved with digital currencies, as it recently published a report, written by two employees and a scholar from the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, where it claims digital currencies, such as bitcoin, need regulation to succeed. The report, dubbed Canadian Bank Notes and Dominion Notes: Lessons for Digital Currencies, examines a period in Canada, when the country had government-issued and other non-uniform notes issued by individual banks in circulation, in an attempt to learn from the past. The document, however, contains several technical flaws: for example, it concludes it is possible to counterfeit bitcoins.
Some news outlets speculate the Bank of Canada is making these mistakes as it has developed its own private currency, named CAD-Coin. This, however, didn’t go down well with bitcoin enthusiasts.
The European Union wants to end geo-blocking for digital currency users
According to a recently published proposal, the European Parliament committee has proposed measures that seem to indicate the end of geo-blocking of citizens in member states who use digital currencies. According to European lawmakers, geo-blocking is currently seen as the last obstacle stopping the EU from obtaining a cohesive digital common market, dubbed the Digital Single Market. Geo-blocking has recently become an issue as businesses have been refusing to deal with customers from areas known for high levels of cybercrime. This prejudice against users based on their location, according to some, affects innocent people who unjustly lose access to goods and services.
Danish police claim to have developed software that allows them to track bitcoin transactions
According to the Berlingske, a local publication, Danish police have developed software that allows law enforcement officials to trace bitcoin transactions, which reportedly attracted interest from the FBI and Interpol. The Danish National Police Cyber Crime Center (NC3) is reportedly the department responsible for developing the software, which already led to the arrest of individuals who bought methamphetamine, ketamine, and cocaine via darknet markets through the mail.
Bitcoin just hit a new all-time high, as total market cap comes close to $19 billion
Data from CoinMarketCap shows us that bitcoin has hit a new all-time high this week, as one bitcoin was worth as much as $1,200 on February 24. At the time of press, one bitcoin is worth $1,170 according to the same source, and the total market cap if of $18,9 billion. This just shows bitcoin can overcome any difficulty it faces, as seemingly nothing has been able to stop the cryptocurrency’s growth lately.
Dash just overcame Monero and became the 5th largest cryptocurrency
Dash was affected by a huge price surge that nearly doubled its market cap, according to data from CoinMarketCap. Dash now has a total market cap of $183 million, and it is currently closing in on Litecoin, whose market cap is of $191 million. According to what Eric Sammons, a consultant for Dash told CoinTelegraph, the rise in value reflects people’s faith in the future potential of the digital currency.
Reports indicate that, at some point, Dash was above Litecoin. At the time of press, Dash was below Litecoin and above Monero.