This week’s summary of various cryptocurrency news and developments:
Darknet market AlphaBay down for over +90 hours
AlphaBay, one of the most popular darknet markets out there, has been down since Tuesday night. The online marketplace’s moderators, after over a day, informed users on Reddit that servers were being updated and that the marketplace would soon be back online. So far, AphaBay is still down, and users currently need to watch out for phishing scams and false vendors.
Users are now suspicious something else might have happened. It’s been over 70 hours and, several main stream media media outlets addressed that issues and according to the New York Times, a Canadian newspaper recently published a report in which it claims authorities in Quebec “targeted people involved in online black markets”. Moreover, users pointed to a suspicious 1,479 Bitcoin withdrawal from an alleged AlphaBay address, meaning an exit scam is also a possibility. There’s also the possibility of the marketplace being targeted by a Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack. On AlphaBay’s subreddit, the latest update seems to be “keep waiting.”
Class action lawsuit filed against Kraken over Ethereum flash crash
A group of five Ethereum traders recently filed a class action lawsuit against Kraken over an Ethereum flash crash that occurred on May 7. The traders, counseled by attorney David C. Silver of the Silver Law Group, saw their positions liquidated at the time of the crash and couldn’t do anything about it, as Kraken was allegedly being hit by a Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack at the same time, and did not suspend trading. The traders claim a combined loss of 3,414.08669 Ether, worth $328,844 at the time. At press time, that same amount of Ether would be worth over $800,000. The plaintiffs allege negligence, breach of contract, and unjust enrichment as Kraken chose not to suspend trading.
At the time of the crash, Ethereum prices plummeted from over $90 to about $26. Traders complained their positions had been unfairly sold, and some even argued the market was being manipulated. Kraken then released a statement in which it argued an investigation found no evidence of market manipulation or of a coordinated attack.
South Korea to regulate and legalize Bitcoin and Ethereum
According to various news outlets, a Korean lawmaker and member of the country’s ruling Democratic Party, named Park Yong-jin, is currently reviewing the Electronic Financial Transaction Act, which will now require cryptocurrency trading companies to retain capital of at least $436,000, as well as implement strict AML and KYC systems.
According to CoinTelegraph this won’t be a problem, as the country’s biggest exchanges are backed by billion dollar corporations and venture capital firms. Moreover, these exchanges are already well-known for their strict verification processes, and as such integrating strict AML and KYC systems is certainly not going to be a challenge.
Bithumb, South Korea’s largest Bitcoin exchange, has been hacked
According to reports South Korea’s biggest Bitcoin exchange by trading volume has been hacked, and personal data belonging to about 3% of its members, roughly 31,000 users, has been lost. Reports suggest the hack was possible due to an employee’s personal computer being compromised. This computer was used by hackers to steal user data, which was then used by « to call customers and request their Google Authenticator codes, as hackers claimed they were required to execute withdrawals.
Japan ended its 8% consumption tax on Bitcoin and other digital currencies
According to Bitcoin.com, Japan has ended its 8% consumption tax on Bitcoin and other digital currencies, as the “Cabinet Order for Partial Revision of the Order for Enforcement of the Consumption Tax Act” went into effect this month. Even though the consumption tax was abolished, other taxes such as capital gains tax, corporate income tax, and personal income tax remain.
According to BitFlyer CEO Yuzo Kano, the abolishment of the consumption tax has three major implications. It will allow Bitcoin users in the country to send Bitcoin abroad without having to deal with a premium, and it will also have a psychological effect on people, making Bitcoin look more like a “real currency”. Lastly, it will enable exchanges to have access to global markets:
- “Bitcoin exchanges will be able to buy Bitcoins abroad. This is very important since resident exchanges have been taxed for buying virtual currencies (BTC and altcoins) from non-residents. Japan will finally have access to global markets.”
Bitcoin at $2.520.05, as most cryptocurrencies plunge
At press time, one Bitcoin is currently worth $2,520.05, as the cryptocurrency’s current market cap is of $41.41 billion, according to data from CoinMarketCap. Bitcoin’s dominance is now at 44.2% as most cryptocurrencies in the top 100 are down by 5-20% with a few exceptions, such as BitConnect, which is up by 0.39%.
Ethereum at $241.94, as it struggles to recover
Ethereum previously hit an all-time high of about $400 this year and now seems to be struggling to even get back to the $300 mark, as various problems are seemingly haunting the cryptocurrency. At press time, one Ether is worth $241.94, and the cryptocurrency’s total market cap is of $22.5 billion.