Bitcoin & Cryptocurrency

SEC Blocks Wall Street Plans for Bitcoin ETFs and Mutual Funds

SEC Blocks Wall Street Plans for Bitcoin ETFs and Mutual Funds

In a staff letter released last January 18, the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) told Wall Street trade groups that cryptocurrency-based investment products are not yet compliant with SEC regulations. SEC Director of Investment Management Dalia Blass said that the agency recognizes the potential benefits of cryptocurrencies. However, there are still outstanding questions on how these digital currencies and related products would satisfy the requirements of the Investment Company Act of 1940. The SEC also expressed their concern with regards to the liquidity and volatility of cryptocurrency, the nature of blockchain technology and forks, as well as the risk […]

South Korean Officials Caught Using Crypto Regulation Knowledge for Insider Trading

South Korean Officials Caught Using Crypto Regulation Knowledge for Insider Trading

Last Thursday, South Korea’s Financial Supervisory Service revealed that some employees had been trading cryptocurrencies and sold their holdings before the government’s announcement of the new regulatory rules. Both FSS Governor Choi Heung-sik and Chief of the Office of the Prime Minister, Hong Nam-ki confirmed the information and called for a thorough investigation into the matter. The Korean Public Service Ethics Act strictly prohibits public officials from stock trading to prevent misuse of internal information that they possess. However, cryptocurrency is currently not covered by the act as it is not defined as a financial asset or currency. Source: Bitcoin […]

Switzerland Sets Up Blockchain Oversight Working Group

Switzerland Sets Up Blockchain Oversight Working Group

A working group tasked to look into oversight of blockchain technology and initial coin offerings has been recently been established by Switzerland’s State Secretariat for International Financial Matters. The task force is expected to submit its findings and recommendations to the government at the end of the year. Last Thursday, the Finance Ministry said that by forming the group, they are only seeking to increase legal certainty, ensure technology-neutral regulation, and maintain the integrity of the financial center. The group will also include the Federal Office of Justice, as well as financial watchdog FINMA who will also look into crowdfunding […]

World’s Largest Botnet Used to “Pump and Dump” Cryptocurrency

World’s Largest Botnet Used to “Pump and Dump” Cryptocurrency

The security researcher behind MyOnlineSecurity blog recently confirmed that the world’s largest botnet, Necurs, is being used to “pump and dump” an obscure cryptocurrency called Swisscoin. The botnet was used to send spam emails to drum up interest in the altcoin. Spammers who have bought the coin in advance will then sell it off after the spam campaign drives it up in value. Conrad Longmore and Virus Bulletin also reported that the Necurs spammers had sent spam runs usign subject lines as: This crypto coin could go up fifty thousand percent this year Let me tell you about one cryptocurrency […]

Ethereum Mining Rigs Attacked by New Satori Variant

Ethereum Mining Rigs Attacked by New Satori Variant

Earlier in January, a security researcher from Qihoo 360 Netlab identified attacks from a new variant of the Satori botnet attacking Claymore Ethereum mining rigs. Li Fengpei said that the botnet, which is a variant of the heavily modified version of the Mirai IoT DDoS malware, replaces the owner’s mining credentials with the attacker’s. Li however said that the infection rate is much slower and does not target IoT and networking devices. The new variant has been named Satori.Coin.Robber in a report published by Netlab, and it is said that the botnet developer has already made stolen around 1.01000710 ETH. […]

BitConnect Crashes, Shuts Down Exchange

BitConnect Crashes, Shuts Down Exchange

Earlier this week, controversial cryptocurrency service Bitconnect announced the closure of its lending and exchange platform amidst warnings and legal action from US regulators. The anonymously-run service listed the reasons for the closure in a statement, blaming bad press, DDos attacks, and cease and desist letters from US securities. The company assured its investors that it will still be supporting the BitconnectCoin and will still be providing API access to merchant websites. However, the value of the coin has already dropped to around 90%, from around $330 to under $20.     Source: ZDNet

$400,000 Worth of Lumens Stolen via Compromised BlackWallet

$400,000 Worth of Lumens Stolen via Compromised BlackWallet

Last weekend, around $400,000 in Stellar Lumens were stolen by an unknown threat actor who compromised the DNS server connected to BlackWallet’s domain. The attacker was said to have used a code injection exploit which transferred the contents of a user’s wallet over to the attacker’s if it contained at least 20 Lumens. Logging into BlackWallet’s domain triggered the exploit, and even though warnings were already issued over the weekend, some users still had their funds stolen and funnelled into cryptocurrency exchange Bittrex. The creator of BlackWallet apologized for the problem and said that he is already talking to his […]

Germany Pushes for Global Rule on Bitcoin

Germany Pushes for Global Rule on Bitcoin

Last Monday, Germany’s Bundesbank board member Joachim Wuermeling said that any regulation on Bitcoin must be enforced on global scale and not just on a national or regional level, since digital money is not limited by borders. Wuermeling added that effective regulation of cryptocurrency is only achievable with international cooperation. A number of measures has recently been taken worldwide against Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, with China embarking on a major crackdown where the government shut down initial coin offerings, exchanges, and mining activities. South Korea is currently mulling tighter regulations on trading, while the EU agreed on stricter rules to […]

Bitcoin Supply Down to Last 20%, 4.2 Million Coins Left

Bitcoin Supply Down to Last 20%, 4.2 Million Coins Left

Last January 13, it was reported that 80% of all Bitcoins, which amounts to 16.8 million coins, in existence had already been mined. This leaves only 4.2 million until the cryptocurrency’s 21 million supply cap is reached. At present, miners get 12.5 BTC for every block mined. However, Bitcoin’s protocol increases the difficulty which means the reward is halved every 210,000 blocks. The next halving is set to take place around June 2020 where rewards will be brought down to just 6.25 BTC per block. Experts believe that Bitcoin’s value will significantly increase due to scarcity once the supply cap […]

Conflicting Reports on South Korean Cryptocurrency Ban Shakes Up Markets

Conflicting Reports on South Korean Cryptocurrency Ban Shakes Up Markets

Last Thursday, conflicting reports from South Korea on a possible ban on cryptocurrency was said to have contributed to a massive sell off driven by FUD (fear, uncertainty, doubt). Reuters had initially reported that the country’s Justice Minister, Park Sang-ki, revealed the planned ban in a press conference. However, South Korea-based Cointelegraph reporter Joseph Young tweeted that the South Korean Ministry of Strategy and Finance did not agree with the decision, citing local sources. Young also clarified that the “raids” of authorities on local exchanges reported by Reuters and other mainstream media outlets were highly exaggerated and were in fact […]