This week’s summary of various cryptocurrency news and developments:
Support for a UASF has been building up
Last week, DeepDotweb reported some miners were allegedly engaging in unfair practices that can harm the network, and that was just one more chapter of bitcoin’s seemingly never-ending scaling debate. News of these alleged practices created a movement, as many believe there’s a lot of circumstantial evidence that proves some miners are indeed engaging in unfair practices. The movement is based on a fix that would stop such practices, as SegWit would kill the advantage miners are gaining from AsicBoost, and it even has its own website: it calls for a UASF (User-Activated Soft Fork). Coinkite CEO and co-founder Rodolfo Novak, an advocate for the movement, told CoinDesk:
- “Miners trying to centralize bitcoin is an unacceptable thing. It goes against what bitcoin is supposed to be. This UASF is really like saying, ‘No, we control bitcoin, not you.”
According to the same source, due to the nature of a UASF, bitcoin’s “economic majority” – major economic players such as exchanges and wallets – need to show explicit support. So far, that hasn’t been the case, according to data from Coin.Dance.
Notorious IoT Mirai botnet may be looking into a bitcoin mining venture
The Mirai botnet, designed to find and embed onto IoT (Internet of Things) devices to then engage in DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service) attacks, notorious for an attack that took down major websites such as Reddit, Twitter, and CNN last year, has been found mining bitcoin. According to IBM research team X-Force, there is a new variant of the malware ELF Linux/Mirai that conducted a short-lived bitcoin mining campaign with the use of a special add-on: a bitcoin miner slave. The campaign wasn’t successful as most infected devices aren’t exactly supercomputers.
Although one simple IoT device will never be able to mine a worthwhile amount of bitcoin, if the thousands of infected machines start working in tandem as one large miner, then the botnet could, while idle and waiting for instructions, go into mining mode and make a profit.
Bitfinex withdrew its lawsuit against Wells Fargo
Bitfinex’s parent company, iFinex, filed a lawsuit against Wells Fargo in a federal court in San Francisco late last week, alleging the US banking giant prohibited Taiwan-based banks from completing outbound wire transfers. The exchange was seeking an injunction against Wells Fargo, as wells as more than $75,000 in damages, according to Bitcoin.com. This week, the plaintiffs, which included two British Virgin Islands-based subsidiaries and digital asset transfer firm Tether as well as IFinex, filed a “notice of voluntary dismissal”, effectively withdrawing the lawsuit.
Popular exchange Kraken added Dash to its platform
US-based cryptocurrency exchange Kraken recently added Dash trading to its platform, citing the currency’s recent exponential growth both in price and in trading volume. Dash’s market cap recently went from roughly $48 million to over $500 million at the time of press, its supply is limited to 22 million and there are currently 7,2 million coins circuiting. Traders will be able to trade dash for dollars, bitcoin, and euros, and margin trading is a possibility in the future, according to the exchange.
North Korean hackers allegedly stole 100 million won in bitcoin every month between 2013-2015
According to South Korean news agency Yonhap, North Korean hackers stole over 100 million won (roughly $88,000) in bitcoin per month between 2013-2015 in an effort to increase the country’s hard currency reserves. Choi Sang-myong, a senior official at cybersecurity firm Hauri Inc., alleged that the theft occurred weeks after Seoul shut down operations in Kaesong, a North Korean city that hosted a joint industrial zone. Choi added that South Korea wasn’t the only target, and speculated that the hackers have since moved on to more lucrative operations
Indian government to study digital currency framework
The Indian government recently announced the creation of an interdisciplinary committee that is to study the existing framework surrounding digital currencies, and propose new regulations. The committee includes the Reserve Bank of India (the country’s central bank), as well as representatives from NTI Aayog, a think-tank backed by the government. A report is expected to be delivered within three months. The announcement reads:
- The committee will (i) take stock of the present status of virtual currencies both in India and globally; (ii) examine the existing global regulatory and legal structures governing virtual currencies; (iii) suggest measures for dealing with such virtual currencies including issues relating to consumer protection, money laundering , etc; and (iv) examine any other matter related to virtual currencies which may be relevant
Bitcoin at $1185,9, as adoption grows
This month, Japan recognized bitcoin as a legal payment method and as reported above, India is looking into new regulations. Russia may also be legally recognizing bitcoin in the near future, as Alexei Moiseev, deputy finance minister of the Russian Federation, recently hinted at it this week. A central bank official, however, stated that it is still premature to say bitcoin will be legal in the country in 2018. This, however, has been helping bitcoin’s value, and even though there is a seemingly endless scaling debate going on, the currency is still close to its all-time high, as one bitcoin is worth $1185,9 at the time of press, according to CoinMarketCap.