Turbulent Crypto Markets Expected – 87K Worth of Bitcoin Options Set to Expire on Friday

Turbulent Crypto Markets Expected - 87K Worth of Bitcoin Options Set to Expire on Friday

Markets are expected to be volatile this week, as a great number of bitcoin and ethereum options are set to expire this Friday. Data shows more than 87,000 bitcoin options will expire and 77% of the action is held on the Deribit exchange.

U.S. stocks dropped hard on Monday, as the Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped more than 700 points during the stock market’s afternoon trading sessions.

Meanwhile, bitcoin (BTC) took a hit on spot markets dropping over 4% in value. A number of other cryptocurrencies like ethereum (ETH -8%) lost even bigger percentages on Monday. However, crypto analysts are eying this Friday’s crypto options expiries, as there’s a large number of derivatives contracts across Deribit, Okex, Ledgerx, CME Group, Huobi, Bakkt, and Bit.com that will expire.

Turbulent Crypto Markets Expected - 87K Worth of Bitcoin Options Set to Expire on FridayData from Deribit shows there are over 87,000 BTC options that are set to expire this Friday. The exchange also details that 67k worth of those options (77%) are held on Deribit. Moreover, 459k worth of ETH options are set to expire on the same day and 414k or 90% is also held on Deribit.

The other three competitors, that pale in comparison to Deribit’s numbers, include; CME Group, Okex, and Ledgerx respectively.

Turbulent Crypto Markets Expected - 87K Worth of Bitcoin Options Set to Expire on Friday

On Monday morning (ET), Deribit’s Head of Risk and Product, Shaun Fernando, spoke about BTC’s volatility and the coin’s price action this month. “In the month of September, we have seen the BTC price trading between USD $10k and $12k,” Fernando said.

“The 1 month ATM volatility hit a high of 70% before falling to its level of 46% and we have seen volatility in the skew.”

Fernando further added:

The Deribit Index is currently trading more than 2.5% below the settlement of nearly 4 hours ago which could suggest some interesting realised vs implied strategies. If the trend carries, expect a run on vol. If we bounce back, we could see some interesting moves around the 11k strike where over 10% of the Sep open interest is stacked.

The researchers from Skew.com spoke about the cryptocurrencies implied volatility as well on Twitter. “Some capitulation in bitcoin,” Skew wrote. Options market as trading remains rangebound, one-month implied vol

There’s been a number of occasions where crypto derivatives produced volatile crypto spot markets, while other times expiry dates can be lackluster.

What do you think about the number of BTC and ETH options that are set to expire on Friday? Let us know what you think in the comments section below.

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5 Major Banks Exposed for Moving Trillions for Mobsters, Onecoin, and Drug Cartels

According to the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ), five major global banks have been exposed funneling trillions of dollars in criminal funds in the recently leaked FinCEN Files. The massive leak is 2,100 documents spanning from 2000 to 2017 which shows fraudulent funds flowed almost effortlessly through JPMorgan, HSBC, Standard Chartered Bank, Deutsche Bank, and Bank of New York Mellon.

The world’s regulators are supposed to be regulating the ‘tainted’ dollars that flow through the financial system and the United States has a number of financial regulation entities. However, the recently leaked FinCEN Files indicates that Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) and other regulators rarely prosecute the world’s banking cartel.

The FinCEN Files is the perfect example of the corruption between the American bureaucracy’s regulators and the world’s leading banks.

2,100 documents implicate New York Mellon, JPMorgan, HSBC, Deutsche Bank, and Standard Chartered in facilitating a number of sketchy financial transgressions. The documents were revealed to 108 news organizations in 88 countries and the ICIJ and Buzzfeed broke the story.

“$2.4 trillion in illicit funds are laundered each year,” the story notes, “but authorities detect less than 1%.” So far the leaks sent to ICIJ and Buzzfeed have uncovered over $2 trillion in fraudulent funding that was processed by the world’s leading banks. Moreover, the investigative journalists have found even more evidence and the tallied number of illicit funds continues to climb.

The leak is quite large and investigative journalists from the ICIJ and other members of the media are still uncovering these financial crimes. The journalist Alicia Tatone says that there are many cases where U.S. regulators warned these five banks, but they continued to process illicit funds for criminals.

“JPMorgan, the largest bank based in the United States, moved money for people and companies tied to the massive looting of public funds in Malaysia, Venezuela and Ukraine, the leaked documents reveal,” Tatone notes. There is also a significant list of “confidential clients” that are often associated with “mobsters, fraudsters or corrupt regimes.”

The FinCEN Files indicate that over the last decade, the five major financial institutions have no problem dealing with the world’s shadiest characters.

The same American bank moved over a billion in USD for someone they claimed to not know in London, while the individual ultimately turned out to be on the FBI’s 10 Most Wanted list.

“In all, an ICIJ analysis found, the documents identify more than $2 trillion in transactions between 1999 and 2017 that were flagged by financial institutions’ internal compliance officers as possible money laundering or other criminal activity — including $514 billion at JPMorgan and $1.3 trillion at Deutsche Bank,” Tatone writes.

Files show HSBC allowed fraudulent organizations to move billions while Deutsche Bank is accused of moving funds for terrorists and drug cartels. Interestingly FinCEN and the Treasury Department did not respond to a bulk of questions sent by ICIJ and various journalists.

Despite being threatened with fines and sometimes even getting paltry fines much smaller than the transactions processed, the banking cartel did whatever it wanted with no shame. A former financial crimes prosecutor and U.S. Justice Department official, Paul Pelletier, told ICIJ during the investigation that the banks “operate in a system that is largely toothless.”

After being caught so many times, Deutsche Bank who settled $258 million with the Federal Reserve and promised to clean up its act, continued to participate in moving criminal funds. Year after year, the FinCEN Files reveal how Deutsche Bank helped shady individuals and fraudulent shell companies proliferate.

The Bank of New York Mellon (BNY Mellon) is accused of helping the “Cryptoqueen” and the Onecoin crypto Ponzi move $137 million in 29 transactions.

The FinCEN Files show that the Bank of New York Mellon (BNY Mellon) helped the Onecoin crypto Ponzi move roughly $137 million. Back in 2017, BNY Mellon flagged the 29 Onecoin transactions but U.S. regulators did nothing. According to a spokesperson from BNY, the bank detailed to ICIJ that the institution takes financial regulation seriously.

When members of the ICIJ sent questions to Deutsche Bank they declined to answer questions about certain individuals like Ukrainian business tycoon Ihor Kolomoisky.

The report written by Alicia Tatone says that Deutsche Bank told ICIJ they are aware of the bank’s “past weaknesses” and “We are a different bank now,” Deutsche Bank stressed. In fact, all five banks have responded to the FinCEN files since they were leaked this past weekend, and most of the banks pass the blame to financial regulators.

It is interesting the world’s banking cartel never gets in trouble for money laundering, dealing with drug cartels, hired murderers, and associating with known mobsters. Besides Bernie Madoff, not one major bank CEO has been jailed to-date, and the only reason why Madoff was burned was because he robbed the elite.

Meanwhile, law enforcement officials and financial regulators were told by Donald Trump to “go after bitcoin” in 2018 or asked to dismantle the decentralized network in 2012. Localbitcoins traders are arrested and thrown in jail for “illegal money transmission” and the IRS continues to be very focused on ordinary citizens paying their digital currency taxes.

What do you think about the FinCEN Files? Let us know what you think in the comments below.

The post 5 Major Banks Exposed for Moving Trillions for Mobsters, Onecoin, and Drug Cartels appeared first on Bitcoin News.

5 Major Banks Exposed for Moving Trillions for Mobsters, Onecoin, and Drug Cartels

According to the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ), five major global banks have been exposed funneling trillions of dollars in criminal funds in the recently leaked FinCEN Files. The massive leak is 2,100 documents spanning from 2000 to 2017 which shows fraudulent funds flowed almost effortlessly through JPMorgan, HSBC, Standard Chartered Bank, Deutsche Bank, and Bank of New York Mellon.

The world’s regulators are supposed to be regulating the ‘tainted’ dollars that flow through the financial system and the United States has a number of financial regulation entities. However, the recently leaked FinCEN Files indicates that Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) and other regulators rarely prosecute the world’s banking cartel.

The FinCEN Files is the perfect example of the corruption between the American bureaucracy’s regulators and the world’s leading banks.

2,100 documents implicate New York Mellon, JPMorgan, HSBC, Deutsche Bank, and Standard Chartered in facilitating a number of sketchy financial transgressions. The documents were revealed to 108 news organizations in 88 countries and the ICIJ and Buzzfeed broke the story.

“$2.4 trillion in illicit funds are laundered each year,” the story notes, “but authorities detect less than 1%.” So far the leaks sent to ICIJ and Buzzfeed have uncovered over $2 trillion in fraudulent funding that was processed by the world’s leading banks. Moreover, the investigative journalists have found even more evidence and the tallied number of illicit funds continues to climb.

The leak is quite large and investigative journalists from the ICIJ and other members of the media are still uncovering these financial crimes. The journalist Alicia Tatone says that there are many cases where U.S. regulators warned these five banks, but they continued to process illicit funds for criminals.

“JPMorgan, the largest bank based in the United States, moved money for people and companies tied to the massive looting of public funds in Malaysia, Venezuela and Ukraine, the leaked documents reveal,” Tatone notes. There is also a significant list of “confidential clients” that are often associated with “mobsters, fraudsters or corrupt regimes.”

The FinCEN Files indicate that over the last decade, the five major financial institutions have no problem dealing with the world’s shadiest characters.

The same American bank moved over a billion in USD for someone they claimed to not know in London, while the individual ultimately turned out to be on the FBI’s 10 Most Wanted list.

“In all, an ICIJ analysis found, the documents identify more than $2 trillion in transactions between 1999 and 2017 that were flagged by financial institutions’ internal compliance officers as possible money laundering or other criminal activity — including $514 billion at JPMorgan and $1.3 trillion at Deutsche Bank,” Tatone writes.

Files show HSBC allowed fraudulent organizations to move billions while Deutsche Bank is accused of moving funds for terrorists and drug cartels. Interestingly FinCEN and the Treasury Department did not respond to a bulk of questions sent by ICIJ and various journalists.

Despite being threatened with fines and sometimes even getting paltry fines much smaller than the transactions processed, the banking cartel did whatever it wanted with no shame. A former financial crimes prosecutor and U.S. Justice Department official, Paul Pelletier, told ICIJ during the investigation that the banks “operate in a system that is largely toothless.”

After being caught so many times, Deutsche Bank who settled $258 million with the Federal Reserve and promised to clean up its act, continued to participate in moving criminal funds. Year after year, the FinCEN Files reveal how Deutsche Bank helped shady individuals and fraudulent shell companies proliferate.

The Bank of New York Mellon (BNY Mellon) is accused of helping the “Cryptoqueen” and the Onecoin crypto Ponzi move $137 million in 29 transactions.

The FinCEN Files show that the Bank of New York Mellon (BNY Mellon) helped the Onecoin crypto Ponzi move roughly $137 million. Back in 2017, BNY Mellon flagged the 29 Onecoin transactions but U.S. regulators did nothing. According to a spokesperson from BNY, the bank detailed to ICIJ that the institution takes financial regulation seriously.

When members of the ICIJ sent questions to Deutsche Bank they declined to answer questions about certain individuals like Ukrainian business tycoon Ihor Kolomoisky.

The report written by Alicia Tatone says that Deutsche Bank told ICIJ they are aware of the bank’s “past weaknesses” and “We are a different bank now,” Deutsche Bank stressed. In fact, all five banks have responded to the FinCEN files since they were leaked this past weekend, and most of the banks pass the blame to financial regulators.

It is interesting the world’s banking cartel never gets in trouble for money laundering, dealing with drug cartels, hired murderers, and associating with known mobsters. Besides Bernie Madoff, not one major bank CEO has been jailed to-date, and the only reason why Madoff was burned was because he robbed the elite.

Meanwhile, law enforcement officials and financial regulators were told by Donald Trump to “go after bitcoin” in 2018 or asked to dismantle the decentralized network in 2012. Localbitcoins traders are arrested and thrown in jail for “illegal money transmission” and the IRS continues to be very focused on ordinary citizens paying their digital currency taxes.

What do you think about the FinCEN Files? Let us know what you think in the comments below.

The post 5 Major Banks Exposed for Moving Trillions for Mobsters, Onecoin, and Drug Cartels appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Publicly Listed Energy Firm Equinor Exploits Gas Flaring in North Dakota to Mine Bitcoin

Publicly Listed Energy Firm Equinor Exploits Gas Flaring in North Dakota to Mine Bitcoin

Just recently, the firm Arcane Research recently revealed a number of screenshots from the publicly traded energy firm, Equinor. The pictures show the multinational company leveraging natural gas flaring to power bitcoin mining operations. In recent years, using the unorthodox gas flaring scheme to mine bitcoin has become more prominent worldwide.

The Norwegian state-owned multinational energy company Equinor (NYSE: EQNR) has recently announced joining the crypto economy, as the firm has partnered with Crusoe Energy Solutions to mine bitcoin. Equinor is a well known, publicly listed firm that is headquartered in Stavanger, but has operations in over 30 countries today.

According to information obtained by Arcane Research, Equinor’s collaboration with Crusoe in North Dakota is aimed at reducing flaring from oil operations via bitcoin mining.

Natural gas flaring has been an integral part of the world’s energy systems today, as it helps bolster the exploration and processing of oil from shale. To some observers, flaring is considered wasteful and undesirable to the environment, but it helps to ensure safety when using a flare during production testing after people drill a gas well or if shale oil is hydraulically fractured.

Publicly Listed Energy Firm Equinor Exploits Gas Flaring in North Dakota to Mine Bitcoin
Equinor leverages Crusoe’s digital flare mitigation technology (DFM) in North Dakota.

Flare gas systems are oftentimes a method of controlling wasted gas that cannot be efficiently processed or captured. However, in recent years firms like Upstream Data and Greenidge Generation are using the excess gas to mine bitcoins instead of wasting precious energy.

Publicly Listed Energy Firm Equinor Exploits Gas Flaring in North Dakota to Mine Bitcoin
The Equinor flaring operation tied to bitcoin mining.

“Mining cryptocurrency requires a lot of electricity to power computers, while a valuable commodity is wasted, and carbon emissions are created when we flare,” Lionel Ribeiro the project’s leader said of the Equinor and Crusoe Energy Solutions partnership. Ribeiro continued by adding:

By connecting these inverse pains, we can satisfy both needs with no cost to market expense. It is a disruptive and scalable solution and shrinks the gap between the source of energy production and the final energy consumption while reducing our carbon footprint.

Crusoe Energy Solutions is based in Denver Colorado, and the company offers a system called “digital flare mitigation technology” or DFM. In December 2019, Crusoe saw $70 million funneled into the company, as Bain Capital and KCK Group led the equity funding round. The firm says that its digital flare mitigation infrastructure is a “scalable and flexible” service.

“[The] modular and portable systems are designed for the scale and throughput demands of the modern shale industry,” the company’s website details. “DFM systems are capable of processing up to millions of cubic feet of natural gas per day or as little as 50,000 cubic feet of natural gas per day. Systems operate effectively across a wide spectrum of gas compositions ranging from 750-2500 mmbtu/mcf.”

Publicly Listed Energy Firm Equinor Exploits Gas Flaring in North Dakota to Mine Bitcoin

Crusoe also says the system boasts a significant amount of emissions reduction by utilizing “built-in emissions control technology and catalytic converters.” The DFM can “significantly reduce NOx, CO, VOC and methane emissions compared to flare exhaust streams,” Crusoe highlights.

The recent announcement details that flared gas being used for Equinor’s bitcoin mining is the byproduct of extracting oil from the Bakken oil field located in the U.S.

Since the year 2000, the Bakken Formation or basin has seen a massive boom in oil production. Horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing is a common business in the 200,000 square miles (520,000 km2) North Dakota basin.

Hans Jakob Hegge, the U.S. country manager for Equinor says the company must make bold choices in order to bolster cost-effectiveness and energy efficiency these days.

“Innovation remains a fundamental strategic pillar in achieving our climate roadmap ambition,” Hegge said. “[Equinor] must be bold in our approach to employing new technologies to improve business efficiency.”

What do you think about the Norwegian energy firm’s move to leverage gas flaring bitcoin mining solutions? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below.

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Over 40 Bitcoin Forks Are Down More Than 98% Since 2017’s Forking Fiesta

Since the summer of 2017, more than 44 forks of the Bitcoin network were created and so far many of them have lost considerable value and are near worthless. To-date only a few of the forks that stem from Satoshi’s creation have remained relevant during the last three years.

There are three branches of Satoshi Nakamoto’s codebase that have commanded top positions within the top fifteen coins in the crypto coin market economy. Bitcoin (BTC), Bitcoin Cash (BCH), and Bitcoinsv (BSV) have all been top contenders for quite some time. Between the price, onchain activities, and community size only these three branches have data worth calculating.

Over 40 Bitcoin Forks Are Down More Than 98% Since 2017's Forking Fiesta

Out of the $335 billion market cap stemming from all 7,600+ crypto assets, BTC captures 58% of the valuation, while BCH commands 1.2%. BSV’s market cap dominance on Sunday, September 20 is 0.83% Meanwhile, over 40 other Bitcoin network forks that were born after August 2017, have lost significant value during the last two years.

In 2017, just before the all-time price highs in the crypto economy, a great number of individuals and organizations decided to create forks from the BTC network. That year if you participated in the crypto economy, you surely heard about all the forks, snapshots, and airdrops that took place during the 12-month timeframe.

Each and every one of them had a unique name tied to the word “bitcoin,” and they all offered some benefits that BTC does not offer network participants.

This included bitcoin zero (BZX), micro bitcoin (MBC), bitcoin clean (BCL), bitcoin gold (BTG), classic bitcoin (CBTC), bitcoin cloud (BCL), big bitcoin (BBC), bitcoin atom (BCA), bitcoin interest (BCI), bitcoin smart (BCS), bitvote (BTV), bitcoin private (BTCP), and bitcoin rhodium (BTR).

BTG charts on September 20, 2020.

The list goes on and on and most all of these coins besides the top three branches have shuddered in value during the last two years. Before launching these forks the creators told the public that every fork had a special purpose.

For instance, bitcoin gold (BTG) was supposed to make bitcoin mining decentralized by trying to bring CPU mining back to the codebase. Essentially, BTG changed BTC’s consensus algorithm from SHA256 to Equihash but quickly learned that the chain was far less secure.

Just like the Ethereum fork (ETC), bitcoin gold has been 51% attacked on various occasions since it was born. A recent study shows that a single BTG whale controls more than half the supply and the 51% attacks have caused the coin to get delisted from prominent exchanges.

Bitcoin gold is down 98.32% from the coin’s all-time high of $484 three years ago. The crypto asset has 898 KH/s of hashrate securing the chain but the cloud mining operation Nicehash controls 52.24% of the BTG hashrate on Sunday, September 20, 2020.

BTCP charts on September 20, 2020.

Another BTC fork project called bitcoin private (BTCP) told the public the coin’s benefits would be privacy features called zk-snarks. BTCP is down 98.8% since it’s ATH at $$86 two years ago and today the cryptocurrency is swapping for $0.10 a pop.

GOD charts on September 20, 2020.

A BTC fork called bitcoin god (GOD) created by the well-known Chinese cryptocurrency investor, Chandler Guo, is down 99.9% since the coin’s ATH on January 13, 2018.

“Bitcoin God (GOD) will be forked off the main bitcoin chain at the block height of 501,225, which will happen on December 25th to be symbolic of me giving candy to all bitcoin holders,” Chandler Guo said via Twitter. Unfortunately, even though Chandler Guo shot for Christmas day, the fork at block height 501,225 happened two days later on December 27, 2017.

BCD charts on September 20, 2020.

One of the early BTC forks born on November 24, 2017, called bitcoin diamond (BCD) is down 99% since the cryptocurrency’s ATH. Data shows that BCD’s highest price point was the day after it was born at block height 495,866.

At this time (11/25/17), BCD traded for $99 per coin and has steadily declined in value ever since that day. Interestingly enough, BCD is still worth $0.57 per coin and on Saturday, September 19, BCD saw a million dollars in trade volume. The bitcoin diamond trade volume globally is much larger than GOD’s $24 worth of swaps during the last day.

Each and every BTC fork, snapshot, and airdrop that is still trading on exchanges for a small amount of value can still be acquired today. However, most major cryptocurrency exchanges do not support these small market cap BTC forks unless they have decent liquidity.

Smaller crypto trading platforms, however, do still support these coins and it’s possible to still trade them for a fraction of value. Although, news.Bitcoin.com has reported on various occasions on how obtaining forked assets can be a “long and annoying process.”

What do you think about the large list of Bitcoin network forks that have seen massive losses in value since the all-time price high? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below.

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Report: Blockchain Patents ‘Skyrocket’ in 2020, Alibaba Owns the Most Crypto Patents

Report: Blockchain Patents 'Skyrocket' in 2020, Alibaba Owns the Most Crypto Patents

A study from the team at Kisspatent shows that Alibaba Group is the largest blockchain patent holder in 2020 capturing 10x the number of patents held by IBM. The report notes that blockchain patents “are skyrocketing” this year and so far in 2020, there’s been more distributed ledger technology and cryptocurrency patents published than all of 2019.

It seems distributed ledger technology and cryptocurrency solution patents are becoming a thing again in 2020. A few years ago various reports said that Bank of America (BoA) and the firm Nchain were gobbling up all the patents applied to digital assets and blockchain technology.

Times have changed in 2020, and both companies have slid down the ranks as far as top blockchain holders are concerned this year.

Report: Blockchain Patents 'Skyrocket' in 2020, Alibaba Owns the Most Crypto Patents

Kisspatent’s latest study shows that Alibaba Group was the top company this year with successful blockchain patent filing and IBM jumped significantly. Alibaba Group is the top blockchain patent holder while the Chinese multinational technology company is followed by the financial institution BoA.

While Alibaba and IBM were the top two blockchain patent filing contenders in 2020, Alibaba outpaced IBM by 10x the number of patents. Moreover, this year has already seen “3 times more blockchain patents published than in 2018.”

Report: Blockchain Patents 'Skyrocket' in 2020, Alibaba Owns the Most Crypto Patents

Behind IBM, is Mastercard, Nchain, and Walmart respectively in terms of blockchain patents held. The Kisspatent research noted that the list of top blockchain patent holders was not really represented by distributed ledger-specific firms.

“Blockchain-only companies are not filing for patents, Fortune500 companies are,” Kisspatent researcher Dr. D’vorah Graeser notes. Interestingly, the firm Nchain, the infamous company that the self-proclaimed Bitcoin inventor Craig Wright works for, is a “the only pure blockchain company.”

Kisspatent highlights that Nchain’s claims are based on numbers said in a press release, but “[the number] could include many that haven’t published yet, plus they may be counting international applications filed in multiple countries as separate patent application filings,” Graeser says.

Graeser’s list seems incomplete as it does not include firms like Reechain, Webank, and Tencent. Chinadaily.com shows that these three Chinese firms are top blockchain patent holders.

According to the regional publication’s estimates, IBM has 240 blockchain patents, Rechain 279, Webank 282, and Nchain has 402 patents total. Chinadaily.com’s list shows Tencent has a significant number of distributed ledger patents with 724 to-date. Alibaba Group is still king with a whopping 1,505 blockchain patent filings.

What do you think about the top blockchain patent holders in 2020? Let us know what you think in the comments section below.

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Market Outlook: Bitcoin Breaks $11K, Whales Refuse to Sell, Downside Risk Remains

Market Outlook: Bitcoin Breaks $11K, Whales Refuse to Sell, Downside Risk Remains

The price of bitcoin jumped above the $11k threshold on Saturday morning and into the afternoon, after hovering above the $10,900 range the day prior. The entire crypto-economy of 7,600+ coins has gained 2.29% during the last 24 hours touching $344 billion.

Bitcoin (BTC) markets have surpassed key levels above the $11k mark on Saturday, as the cryptocurrency has seen close to $4 billion in global trade volume. A number of people are watching the current price range and believe the $11,000 region is a key zone to watch. One trader explains that BTC has a number of price hurdles ahead to remain bullish in the short term.

“Seeing a lot of people bullish on [bitcoin (BTC)] in the short term, but unless it gets above $11,100 and then $11,500— I think there’s still [a] real risk of short term downside,” @Dirkcryptodiggy tweeted.

The crypto economy had a decent day on Saturday gaining 2.29% during the last 24 hours. However, digital currency trade volume on the global level has dropped by 23% this weekend.

Data from the blockchain analytics firm, Cryptoquant shows that BTC whales are possibly waiting for better prices. Cryptoquant’s CEO, Ki Young Ju discussed the situation concerning ‘BTC whales’ on Thursday.

“Exchange Whale Ratio hits the year low—the fewer whales moving to exchanges, the less dumping, and makes [a] higher BTC price,” Ki Young Ju said.

The Cryptoquant chart shared by the company’s CEO Ki Young Ju on Thursday shows fewer whales are moving to exchanges.

“Exchange Whale Ratio is the relative size of the top 10 inflows to total inflows by day of each exchange,” the analytics firm CEO added. “I used the weighted average for all exchanges.”

Meanwhile, the very next day, Cryptoquant’s Telegram channel alerts noted “unusual miner outflows” with 632 BTC in aggregated outflows from miners on Friday. The data shows a majority of the BTC miner outflow stemmed from the mining pool called Poolin. The mining operation Poolin is the network’s top mining pool with 18.9% of BTC’s global hashrate.

BTC’s total SHA256 hashrate on Saturday is a whopping 140 exahash per second (EH/s). Since August 23, 2020, the bitcoin (BTC) hashrate jumped 27.27% from a low of 110 EH/s, to today’s all-time high (ATH).

The top six crypto assets in the digital currency economy on September 19, 2020, at 5:15 p.m. (ET).

Furthermore, BTC dominance, the metric that measures bitcoin’s (BTC) market capitalization against the valuations of the rest of the crypto market economy is over 58%. Bitcoin (BTC) is up 6% during the last seven days and 19% for the last 90 days.

Ethereum (ETH) is trading for $385 per coin and is down 0.7% for the last seven days but is still up 68% for the last 90 days. Bitcoin cash (BCH) is trading for $233 per BCH and is up 1.2% this week and 1.14% for the 90-day span.

The biggest gainer on Saturday was a coin called kambria (KAT) which jumped 50% during the last 24 hours and sashimi (SASHIMI) saw a 42% gain today. Swerve (SWRV) was the weekend’s biggest loser suffering a loss of 36%, while pillar (PLR) dropped 27% in value.

What do you think about this week’s market action and bitcoin (BTC) spiking over the $11k mark? Let us know in the comments section below.

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Ethereum’s Gas Spike Forces Coinbase Pro to Pass Network Fees to Customers

Ethereum's Gas Spike Forces Coinbase Pro to Pass Network Fees to Customers

While Ethereum network fees have jumped to new highs this year, the popular cryptocurrency exchange, Coinbase Pro, announced that the trading platform would be passing network fees onto customers. The move followed the exchange listing Uniswap’s native token UNI, an airdrop that saw miners collect close to $1 million in gas in less than an hour.

The decentralized finance (defi) ecosystem has seen significant demand in 2020, but it has also contributed to the Ethereum (ETH) network’s rising fees. Ethereum miners are collecting a massive amount of revenue from gas payments, as miners are capturing between $700k to $850k per hour or 700 gwei per transaction.

ETH fees have touched an all-time high in 2020 and defi lending applications, yield farming, and decentralized exchange swaps (dex) have bolstered high fees.

The centralized exchange (cex), Coinbase Pro announced on Thursday that network fees will now be passed down directly to their customers.

“Starting today, Coinbase Pro will pass along network fees directly to our customers,” the exchange tweeted. “These fees (sometimes referred to as “gas fees” on the ETH blockchain) are paid directly to crypto miners that process transactions and secure the respective network,” the San Francisco-based exchange further added.

Meanwhile, on social media, a number of people got upset about the announcement, while others said that alternative blockchain networks were more beneficial. “Once again, this showcases the use case for low fee transaction blockchains like Bitcoin Cash (BCH),” the BCH proponent David Shares tweeted to Coinbase Pro in response to the fee announcement.

A few other individuals expected the move and said that any profitable company would do the same.

“A lot of people seem upset at this but it just makes sense to me,” one individual wrote. Transactions are actually getting expensive now and they’re running a business so that’s why they have to up their prices.”

Coinbase Pro detailed that in the past, the San Francisco firm absorbed the network fees for the customer. “Historically, Coinbase Pro has absorbed these fees on behalf of our customers. However, as crypto has begun to gain broader adoption in applications like defi, payments, and other projects, networks have gotten busier,” the company’s followup tweet said.

Additionally, Coinbase detailed that the company does not charge people for transferring funds between two different Coinbase accounts. “To ensure a smooth experience for our customers and reasonable transaction processing times, Coinbase Pro will charge a fee based on our estimate of the network transaction fees that we anticipate paying for each transaction,” the company concluded.

What do you think about Coinbase Pro passing on network fees to customers? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below.

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East Asia Dominates World’s Onchain Crypto Activity, Europe and North America Trail Behind

East Asia Dominates World's Onchain Crypto Activity, Europe and North America Trail Behind

Crypto activity continues to flourish worldwide, according to a new cryptocurrency adoption index published by the blockchain intelligence firm Chainalysis. The researchers compile onchain digital currency retail value transferred, onchain crypto deposits, peer-to-peer exchange volume, and other types of methodology.

Chainalysis recently published a new report called the “2020 Geography of Crypto,” a study that examines 154 countries and the flourishing cryptocurrency adoption in these areas. The company created a crypto adoption index from the large list of nation-states and only 12 countries had very little traction compared to the rest.

Nation-states that ranked the lowest in the adoption index include Afghanistan, Algeria, Cape Verde, Chad, Fiji, Laos, Libya, and Mongolia.

The top ten countries are ranked by four individual metrics that are combined to create the official ranking. The top country, as far as onchain value received, onchain retail value received, number of onchain deposits, and peer-to-peer trade volume is the Ukraine.

East Asia Dominates World's Onchain Crypto Activity, Europe and North America Trail Behind

This country is followed by Russia, Venezuela, China, Kenya, U.S., South Africa, Nigeria, Colombia, and Vietnam respectively. “Cryptocurrency is truly global,” the Chainalysis report notes. “Developing countries have high grassroots cryptocurrency activity,” the study adds.

Chainalysis continues by adding:

Venezuela is an excellent example of what drives cryptocurrency adoption in developing countries and how citizens use [crypto] to mitigate economic instability— Venezuelans use cryptocurrency more when the country’s native fiat currency loses value to inflation.

The study emphasizes that the wealth preservation tactic is leveraged in Africa and East Asia as well. Moreover, peer-to-peer cryptocurrency exchanges are essential to digital currency adoption in developing nations, Chainalysis highlights.

In the section that covers Africa, the blockchain intelligence firm says both remittances and currency devaluation is what’s driving crypto adoption throughout the large continent. The study notes that major cryptocurrency trading platforms now look at Africa as an “opportunity.”

Chainalysis details that in Africa regions like Kenya, Nigeria, and South Africa have been seeing more adoption than other areas throughout the continent. Central & Southern Asia and Oceania (CSAO) is also covered in the Chainalysis study and researchers say growth is “already strong.”

East Asia Dominates World's Onchain Crypto Activity, Europe and North America Trail Behind

The CSAO area is seeing a number of cryptocurrency regulations adopted within a variety of countries. CSAO is the fifth-most active region worldwide when it comes to cryptocurrency activity and it’s seen over $41 billion sent and $40 billion received during the last 12 months.

East Asia is the world’s largest crypto market, in terms of crypto activity, capturing 31% of all the digital currency transactions in the last year. Crypto addresses stemming from East Asia accounted for $107 billion received.

East Asia Dominates World's Onchain Crypto Activity, Europe and North America Trail Behind

East Asia’s cumulated data is 77% larger than the crypto activity in Northern and Western Europe. East Asia is dominated by “pro traders” and “stablecoins,” the Chainalysis report highlights. Stablecoin usage in East Asia is “off the charts” in comparison to other regions worldwide.

East Asia Dominates World's Onchain Crypto Activity, Europe and North America Trail Behind

Eastern Europe has the fourth-largest crypto activity rating globally, and it also contains the top two countries represented in the Chainalysis’ crypto adoption index: Ukraine and Russia. “Eastern Europe shows a strong grassroots-level of cryptocurrency adoption,” Chainalysis notes.

One reason Russia and Ukraine take the cake, as far as cryptocurrency activity is concerned, is because adoption has come “amidst regulatory uncertainty.” For instance, Chainalysis says that Ukraine has zero crypto regulations, but the government just started monitoring crypto activity.

East Asia Dominates World's Onchain Crypto Activity, Europe and North America Trail Behind

Latin America is smaller in terms of onchain activity, and cryptocurrency adoption is low in contrast to the aforementioned regions. Latin America saw $25 billion in crypto assets sent and $24 billion received in the one-year timeframe.

In any 30-day span, Latin America represents 5% to 9% of the crypto activity aggregate on any given month, Chainalysis emphasizes. Even though Chainalysis says the region is one of the “hottest markets,” it also holds the second-lowest growth rate from the regions the researchers studied.

East Asia Dominates World's Onchain Crypto Activity, Europe and North America Trail Behind

The crypto forensics firm says the Middle East is a smaller digital currency ecosystem, and the region is the second-smallest worldwide. According to the “2020 Geography of Crypto” study, Turkey captures the most crypto activity in the Middle East. Out of the 154 countries Chainalysis studied, Turkey ranks 29th in the crypto adoption index.

Chainalysis mentions that Turkey is a strong crypto adopter due to the Turkish lira falling in value. The fiat currency crisis was sparked by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s authoritarianism and Turkey’s mountains of private foreign-currency-denominated debt.

East Asia Dominates World's Onchain Crypto Activity, Europe and North America Trail Behind

Toward the end of the report, Chainalysis touches on North America (the United States & Canada), which captures “conservative buy-and-hold” investors, and institutional investors as well. North America accounted for $52 billion sent and the same value received during the course of the 12-month span.

“North America is the third most active region by cryptocurrency volume moved onchain, just behind Nothern & Western Europe (NWE) and well behind East Asia,” Chainalysis says. Addresses stemming from North America accounted for 14% of all the crypto activity studied during the company’s research.

Chainalysis further notes:

North America also hosts a growing class of institutional investors conducting even larger transfers of cryptocurrency.

Additionally, Chainalysis highlights that a number of the global regions have formed crypto alliances. “North America and Nothern & Western Europe (NWE) form a quasi-common market, plus heavy trade with East Asia,” the “2020 Geography of Crypto” findings detail.

East Asia Dominates World's Onchain Crypto Activity, Europe and North America Trail Behind

NWE has a “strong professional market” but also a “surprising” amount of illicit activity. As far as crypto activity is concerned, NWE is the second-largest territory behind East Asia. The NWE region accounts for 17% of all the crypto transactions worldwide.

NWE exhibits similar characteristics to North America in terms of institutional and professional traders. However, NWE’s crypto activity is also “largely driven by ransomware and darknet markets.”

The 130-page study shows that crypto adoption and activity has grown exponentially in certain regions. A number of other countries and the regional bureaucrats are just becoming aware of cryptocurrency technology, and are falling behind the eight-ball in comparison.

Today in 2020, East Asia is the crowned king of crypto activity worldwide with NWE following behind the region. The report concludes with an interactive crypto index table that shows all 154 countries’ Chainalysis studied during the year.

What do you think about East Asia’s crypto dominance and the “2020 Geography of Crypto” study? Let us know what you think in the comments section below.

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Bitcoin Unlimited Launches Two-Option Voting App Powered by Bitcoin Cash

Bitcoin Unlimited Launches Two-Option Voting App Powered by Bitcoin Cash

On September 16, the Bitcoin Unlimited development team launched a new application called Votepeer. The software is powered by the Bitcoin Cash network and allows anyone to set up a transparent two-option voting process.

This week a couple of Bitcoin Unlimited (BU) developers released a new voting protocol called Votepeer. BU software engineers, Dagur and Jørgen Svennevik Notland, revealed the initial version of Votepeer, which can be located at the website voter.cash.

“Votepeer is powered by Bitcoin Cash and allows anyone to easily set up a two-option vote using the simple and transparent voting protocol,” the project announcement details. “Participating, verifying, and tallying can be done through the SPV (Simple Payment Verification) technology in use in most bitcoin cash wallets and therefore does not require a full node.”

Bitcoin Unlimited Launches Two-Option Voting App Powered by Bitcoin Cash

The announcement published on the bitcoin cash (BCH) powered blogging platform read.cash, explains that the new release concludes the initial phase of BUIP129. During the second phase, BU developers will study more in order to “make anonymous voting possible.”

“The third phase of the project is to build the technology into an easy-to-use app and release it publicly for general use,” the announcement notes.

“Hopefully, we can make online elections safer,” Jørgen Svennevik Notland said. “We are currently in research and development mode, open-sourcing our tools and apps as they mature, and a paper. Our current research item is to figure out how to make the election process in the two-option Voterpeer smart-contract anonymous.”

Bitcoin Unlimited Launches Two-Option Voting App Powered by Bitcoin Cash

The developer also detailed that individuals who are interested in contributing to Votepeer can reach out via Keybase.io. The engineers also said that the team released voter.cash now so the project can locate partners who will benefit from this type of voting technology.

“We look forward to all the interesting ways the cryptocurrency community can use this technology to supercharge their governance processes,” the BU devs concluded.

On social media and crypto oriented forums, BCH proponents seemed to like the Voterpeer project and the blockchain voting concept. The release comes 47 days prior to the U.S. Presidential election between Donald Trump and Joe Biden on November 3. Already, thanks to the vast number of mail-in ballots this year due to Covid-19, many Americans think the vote will be an utter calamity.

A few members of the BCH community discussed governments leveraging a platform that utilizes blockchain technology. Meanwhile, a few other crypto supporters recommended ideas to the BU team that could allow the protocol to execute building out a multi-choice voting process.

What do you think about the Votepeer project released by BU software developers? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments below.

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Defi Economy Rebounds: Total-Value Locked Jumps 28% Capturing Close to $9B

Defi Economy Rebounds: Total-Value Locked Jumps 28% Capturing Close to $9B

,The total-value locked (TVL) in decentralized finance (defi) economy has recaptured much of the value lost during the Sushiswap fiasco last week. At the time, the defi TVL tumbled down to $6.8 billion from the $9.6 billion high on September 8, suffering a loss of close to -29%. Since then, however, the rise northbound has been parabolic, as the defi TVL has climbed 28% so far, with locked value rising to $8.75 billion on Thursday morning (ET).

Last week, the anonymous creator of Sushiswap caused an uproar within the decentralized finance (defi) community after cashing out some tokens meant for the project’s future development.

At that time, the total-value-locked (TVL) in defi was inching toward the $10 billion realm, when it crossed $9.6 billion on September 8. Although, the TVL shed a decent amount of value after the Sushiswap incident and the price of ethereum (ETH) tumbled by 30%.

Defi Economy Rebounds: Total-Value Locked Jumps 28% Capturing Close to $9B
Defipulse.com stats show the total-value locked (TVL) hovering around $8.75 billion on Thursday, September 17, 2020.

Today, according to defipulse statistics the current TVL on Thursday, September 17 is $8.75 billion with the defi lending platform Aave capturing 15.3% of the TVL dominance. This is followed by the defi platforms Maker, Curve Finance, Uniswap, and Sushiswap.

On Thursday morning (ET), the crypto community has been discussing Uniswap’s UNI token, which saw 60% of UNI’s genesis supply allocated to Uniswap community members. Since the launch, Coinbase Pro announced UNI support on the exchange and the crypto platform Binance also listed the token a few hours after the release.

Defi Economy Rebounds: Total-Value Locked Jumps 28% Capturing Close to $9B
The top six projects in the decentralized finance (defi) space include Aave, Maker, Curve.fi, Uniswap, Sushiswap, and Balancer.

The Uniswap team says 21.51% will be reserved for future employees and developers with a four-year vesting period. 17.80% of the UNI supply will be distributed to investors with a four-year vesting timeframe as well.

The UNI launch announcement notes that the token will be leveraged for a governance treasury and governance will have access to the allocation on October 18. Uniswap’s governance token airdrop contributed to ethereum (ETH) miners capturing a lot of money in transaction fees.

Defi Economy Rebounds: Total-Value Locked Jumps 28% Capturing Close to $9B

“Following Uniswap Protocol’s announcement of the UNI token today, Ethereum saw a massive surge in miner fees,” the data analytics firm Glassnode tweeted. “Almost $1M USD in fees were spent in a single hour. This is a new record high (anomalous tx fees earlier this year excluded).”

Last Saturday, the Yearn Finance (YFI) token touched an all-time high reaching $43,678 after Coinbase Pro announced listing the defi crypto asset.

Defi Economy Rebounds: Total-Value Locked Jumps 28% Capturing Close to $9B
Defi users since news.Bitcoin.com’s defi report at the end of August shows the number of unique addresses over time grew by 17.78% from 388,011 users to 457,012 users on September 13.

The token has been very popular among the yield farming community and notoriety for YFI’s price per token surpassing bitcoin (BTC) in value. Although YFI has lost -27.34% since the Coinbase listing announcement and the token is currently swapping for $31,736 per coin.

Defi Economy Rebounds: Total-Value Locked Jumps 28% Capturing Close to $9B
Decentralized exchange (dex) platforms saw $5.2 billion in global swaps during the last seven days.

Since news.Bitcoin.com’s recent study on the defi economy on August 29, the total defi users over time jumped 17.78% from 388,011 users to 457,012 users on September 13. Defi-based decentralized exchange (dex) action has seen $5.2 billion in global swaps during the last seven days.

Dune Analytics data shows dex volumes during the last 24 hours was around $645 million. Uniswap is still the top dex in terms of volume exchanged capturing over 60% of the week’s trade volume.

With this week’s defi TVL rebound closing in on the highs it saw last week, it goes to show that the defi economy isnt letting up any time soon.

Meanwhile, ethereum (ETH) has regained much of the coin’s losses at the crypto asset trades for $383 per ether at the time of publication. Since last week’s report concerning 68 new whales joining the ETH network, the large concentration of ETH holders added another 1% to the aggregate tally.

What do you think about the defi ecosystem regaining momentum this week? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below.

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‘You Are Not Anonymous on Tor’ – Study Shows Privacy Network Offers Superficial Anonymity

'You Are Not Anonymous on Tor' - Study Shows Privacy Network Offers Superficial Anonymity

Privacy advocates are growing leery of the Tor network these days, as recently published research has shown a great number of network’s exit relays are compromised. Furthermore, on September 15, the Hacker Factor Blog published a new Tor report that shows IP addresses being uncovered. The paper called “Tor 0-day” says that it is an open secret among the internet service community: “You are not anonymous on Tor.”

For years now, a great number of digital currency proponents have utilized Tor and virtual private networks (VPNs) to stay anonymous while sending bitcoin transactions. The Tor Project was released 17 years ago in 2002, and it has always claimed to obfuscate internet traffic for the end-user.

Essentially, the software written in C and Python leverages a volunteer overlay network consisting of thousands of different relayers. The very basics of this network are meant to conceal a user’s activity on the internet and allow for unmonitored confidential communications.

However, since Covid-19 started and during the months that followed a number of individuals have exposed a few of Tor’s weaknesses. One Tor vulnerability exposed in August is the large-scale use of malicious relays.

A paper written by the researcher dubbed “Nusenu” says 23% of Tor’s current exit capacity is currently compromised. Nusenu also warned of this issue months ago in December 2019 and his research fell on deaf ears. Following Nusenu’s critique, another scathing report called “Tor 0-day” details that IP addresses can be detected when they connect directly to Tor or leverage a bridge.

The paper “Tor 0day” stresses that it is pretty much an “open secret” between those who know, that users “are not anonymous on Tor.” The research is part one of a new series and a follow up will publish data that describes “a lot of vulnerabilities for Tor.” The hacker describes in part one how to “detect people as they connect to the Tor network (both directly and through bridges)” and why the attacks are defined as “zero-day attacks.”

Further, the blog post shows the reader how to identify the real network address of Tor users by tracking Tor bridge users and uncovering all the bridges. The study shows that anyone leveraging the Tor network should be very leery of these types of zero-day attacks and what’s worse is “none of the exploits in [the] blog entry are new or novel,” the researcher stressed. The Hacker Factor Blog author cites a paper from 2012 that identifies an “approach for deanonymizing hidden services” with similar Tor exploits mentioned.

“These exploits represent a fundamental flaw in the current Tor architecture,” part one of the series notes. “People often think that Tor provides network anonymity for users and hidden services. However, Tor really only provides superficial anonymity. Tor does not protect against end-to-end correlation, and owning one guard is enough to provide that correlation for popular hidden services.”

Moreover, the blog post says that the next article in the series will be a brutal critique of the entire Tor network. It doesn’t take too much imagination to understand that in 17 years, entities with an incentive (governments and law enforcement) have likely figured out how to deanonymize Tor users.

“Someone with enough incentive can block Tor connections, uniquely track bridge users, map exit traffic to users, or find hidden service network addresses,” the first “Tor 0-day” paper concludes. “While most of these exploits require special access (e.g., owning some Tor nodes or having service-level access from a major network provider), they are all in the realm of feasible and are all currently being exploited.”

The paper adds:

That’s a lot of vulnerabilities for Tor. So what’s left to exploit? How about… the entire Tor network. That will be the next blog entry.

Meanwhile, there is another privacy project in the works called Nym, which aims to offer anonymity online but also claims it will be better than Tor, VPNs, and I2P (Invisible Internet Project).

Nym’s website also says that Tor’s anonymity features can be compromised by entities capable of “monitoring the entire network’s ‘entry’ and ‘exit’ nodes.” In contrast, the Nym project’s ‘lite paper’ details that the Nym network “is a decentralized and tokenized infrastructure providing holistic privacy from the network layer to the application layer.”

The Nym project recently initiated a tokenized testnet experiment with over a 100 mixnodes and users will be rewarded in bitcoin.

Nym utilizes a mixnet that aims to protect a user’s network traffic and mixes are rewarded for the mixing process.

“The intensive but useful computation needed to route packets on behalf of other users in a privacy-enhanced manner—rather than mining,” the lite paper explains. Furthermore, Nym is compatible with any blockchain as the “Nym blockchain maintains the state of credentials and the operations of the mixnet.”

The Nym team recently invoked a tokenized testnet experiment and is leveraging bitcoin (BTC) for rewards. The announcement says that a great number of people set up mixnodes and they had to close the testing round because it had gone over 100 mixnodes. Although, individuals can set up a mixnode to be prepared for the next round, the Nym development team’s website details.

What do you think about the Hacker Factor Blog’s scathing review concerning Tor exploits? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below.

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Hydra’s ‘Complex Drug Delivery System’ in Russia Overshadows Western Darknet Markets

On September 14, the blockchain analysis firm Chainalysis reported on the infamous Russian darknet marketplace (DNM) known as Hydra and noted the DNM is Eastern Europe’s “sixth-largest service by volume in the region.” Moreover, the report also reveals that Hydra has created a “complex drug delivery system” inside Russia and throughout various countries in Europe as well.

Russia’s Hydra Market: The 6th Largest Crypto Service by Volume in Eastern Europe

At the end of August, the darknet marketplace (DNM) community said goodbye to the Empire Market, which unexpectedly decided to exit scam on August 22. News.Bitcoin.com reported on the aftermath and how DNM patrons scrambled to find alternatives.

On Monday, Chainalysis published a report about the cryptocurrency market action in Eastern Europe this year, and the company’s finding touched upon the Russian DNM called Hydra.

The darknet marketplace Hydra was launched in 2015 and it ran alongside the notorious Russian Anonymous Marketplace (RAMP). However, Hydra catered it’s main focus on drugs and RAMP disappeared in late 2017. Reports highlight that after RAMP’s departure, “Hydra witnessed an increase in user registrations and vendor activity.”

The long-standing darknet marketplace, Hydra, is the sixth most popular crypto service in terms of volume in Eastern Europe according to Chainalysis statistics.

Hydra’s Dropgangs and Dead Drops

Besides drugs, Hydra also allows vendors to sell other types of wares like digital goods, SIM cards, and other miscellaneous items.

Hydra grew extremely popular after the fall of the Russian darknet market RAMP. Hydra has a focus on drugs but also sells digital goods and SIM cards as well.

The Chainalysis report notes that these days, the DNM Hydra, is currently Eastern Europe’s “sixth-largest” crypto service by volume in the region. Moreover, Chainalysis details that Hydra uses a very involved scheme for deliveries.

“As one of the largest darknet markets in the world, Hydra has built out a complex drug delivery system in Russia and other Eastern European countries,” the Chainalysis report notes.

“Couriers receive delivery orders in a manner similar to Uber drivers and drop off packages in discrete locations broadcast to buyers later so that neither party ever has to see each other or make an in-person exchange. No other regions are comparable in terms of darknet market revenue or sophistication of operations,” the Chainalysis Eastern European study concluded.

Eastern Europe captures the most DNM value according to data stemming from the recent Chainalysis report.

In another study, Darkowl.com says Hydra has been operating since the Silk Road days and in 2016, the DNM “resurfaced” with a new onion URL. “Hydra prefers serious Russian drug vendors, only allowing sellers who are willing to pay ‘rent’ for their shops and requiring a monthly payment of over $100 USD for use of the service,” Darkowl.com writes. “This [method] reduces the likelihood of vendors who are actually scammers or law enforcement utilizing the site for entrapment and exploitation.”

On September 15, Filtermag.org published an article that interviewed a number of drug users from Russia to see how they were dealing with the Covid-19 pandemic. A few of the individuals interviewed leveraged the thriving DNM economy in Russia, and specifically discussed Hydra’s involved delivery operations.

Russian speaking participants must pay a fee to be a customer but vendors also pay fees to administrators to join Hydra as well. A study written by the EMCDDA and Europol indicates that Hydra’s main operators rake in 6x the commission than DNM operators tending to English speaking residents.

One user named Sasha said that Hydra and the deep web was beneficial toward obtaining drugs during the pandemic. Sasha explains that a number of Hydra vendors are leveraging “geotagged” locations so people don’t even have to meet.

“During the epidemic, a very cool function of delivery appeared on Hydra,” Sasha said in her interview. “To use it, you need to pay five thousand rubles [$67], but the ‘treasure’ (drugs) is placed as close as possible to the place you indicated. The pleasure is not cheap, but perhaps such a trend is outlined in connection with the pandemic and lockdowns.”

Russian Darknet Towers Over Western Counterparts

In a 2019 research study of the Russian DNM Hydra, estimates show the marketplace caters to over 400,000 regular customers and has over 2 million registered users to-date. No one is exactly sure just how large Hydra is but it only allows Russian speaking participants. Despite this barrier to entry, Hydra still manages to eclipse the aggregate number of DNMs catering to Western users by a longshot.

In the Chainalysis study published this week, the research notes that Eastern Europe dominates with the most DNM activity, in terms of DNM value sent to a specific region. Eastern Europe is followed by Western Europe, Central & Southern Asia, East Asia, and Latin America. Estimates from a joint publication by the EMCDDA and Europol, indicates that Hydra’s main operators rake in 6x the commission, in contrast to DNM operators catering to the Western Hemisphere.

What do you think about the Russian darknet marketplace Hydra? Let us know what you think in the comments section below.

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Report: Market Valuation of 14 Banking Giants Shed $635 Billion This Year

Report: Market Valuation of 14 Banking Giants Shed $635 Billion This Year

The world’s largest banks lost a considerable amount of market valuation amid the Covid-19 pandemic, according to a new report that estimates financial incumbents lost $635 billion. Between December 2019 and August 2020, the market caps of 14 major banking institutions lost upwards of 30-50% during the time period.

A newly published report written by Buyshares and the researcher Justinas Baltrusaitis, shows that during the first half of 2020, the world’s banks lost a considerable amount of market capitalization. Buyshares data shows that 14 select “major global banks” lost a combined total of $635.33 billion in market capitalization this year.

The biggest loser was Wells Fargo, which lost roughly -56.26% during the time period. Spain’s Banco Santander came in second place, losing -46.16% of its aggregate valuation.

Stats show that while Japan-based Mizuho Financial Group only lost 11%, the American bank, JP Morgan Chase saw a -30.16% drop in value in H1. The major losses from all 14 banks worldwide were significant drops, the Buyshares report highlights.

Report: Market Valuation of 14 Banking Giants Shed $635 Billion This Year

But researchers also stress that it “could have been much worse if there was no intervention from central banks.” Financial incumbents curbed disaster by receiving massive stimulus from the Federal Reserve. Additionally, the research says that regulators easing restrictions on liquidity, reserves, and capital “proved beneficial.”

Data shows that American banks took the largest hits, but JP Morgan Chase still has a decent market cap ($305.44 billion) today. Chinese banks followed American banks and both groups saw the biggest losses in February, as the start of the pandemic began to shake markets.

Report: Market Valuation of 14 Banking Giants Shed $635 Billion This Year

Meanwhile, the American banking cartel and the nation’s wealthiest 1% have been accused of fleecing $50 trillion from the bottom 99% during the last few decades. The accusation stems from a working paper written by Kathryn Edwards and Carter C. Price from the RAND Corporation called “Trends in Income.”

According to Price and Edwards calculations, during the course of four decades between 1975 through 2018, the estimate was around $47 trillion at the end of the year. The estimate crossed the $50 trillion zone in early 2020 and the disparity grew by $2.5 trillion per year.

The wealth disparity has stemmed from America’s political class (bureaucrats), a few generational demographics (statists), and the modern-day money changers (U.S. banks and the Fed).

Robert Kiyosaki, the author of the best-selling book “Rich Dad, Poor Dad,” recently tweeted about the wealth inequality and said crypto-assets like bitcoin will help younger generations improve the situation.

“Boomers had it easy,” Kiyosaki said. “Plenty of jobs-low cost real estate-rising stock market. Millennials have it hard. 9/11, 2008 real estate crash, [and] now Covid-19. Good news. Millennials [are] tech-savvy. Boomers [are] not. Bitcoin-block chain-digital currencies give millennials head start into the future.”

At press time, the market capitalization of all 7,600+ digital currencies is around $336 billion. The 14 banks that lost market cap saw losses close to 2x the size of the crypto economy. Still, JP Morgan Chase’s valuation is just a touch less than the crypto economy’s entire market capitalization.

Despite the banker’s losses, not many people on social media and forums (if any at all) are too concerned with the world’s megabanks after they have been given a lifeline of dollars from the Fed.

What do you think about the 14 banks losing $635 billion in market cap in 2020? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below.

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Presidential Candidate Brock Pierce Served With Lawsuit for Alleged ICO Fraud

Presidential Candidate Brock Pierce Served With Lawsuit for Alleged ICO Fraud

Former Disney child actor and U.S. Presidential candidate, Brock Pierce, was served with a lawsuit during a political campaign event held on Monday. The class-action lawsuit was filed in May and it claims the defendants, including Pierce, sold unregistered securities during the EOS initial coin offering (ICO).

Last May, a class-action lawsuit on behalf of any person who purchased or received EOS tokens during the June 2017 ICO was filed against a number of firms and company executives behind the EOS project.

The lawsuit named Brock Pierce, but also Block.one cofounders Daniel Larimer and Brendan Blumer are named as defendants too in the matter. The complaint says that Pierce alongside other Block.one leadership is “accountable for duping global investors in what may be the biggest of all crypto frauds.”

Presidential Candidate Brock Pierce Served With Lawsuit for Alleged ICO Fraud
Brock Pierce at the campaign event in NYC on Monday, September 14, 2020.

Moreover, the court filing details that Block.one operated in Hong Kong and the state of Virginia, but it is registered in the Cayman Islands. Even though the startup did not register with the U.S. Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) or seek exemption from registration, it still sold 900 million EOS tokens.

The class action accuses the company and executives of “aggressively marketing to investors in the United States and other countries.” Ultimately the plaintiffs believe EOS “left investors with an unregulated asset that became virtually worthless.”

Meanwhile, on Monday the former child actor and now crypto billionaire, Brock Pierce, held a campaign rally in New York City. Later in the day, a video of the rally surfaced from the CEO of Typhon Capital Management, James Koutoulas, who is a member of the plaintiff’s counsel in the EOS class-action lawsuit.

In the video, Pierce is served with the court subpoena while he is greeting a number of political supporters in New York. Koutoulas tweeted about the entrepreneur being served during his rally.

“Our team served Brock Pierce for securities fraud at his rally in NYC,” Koutoulas said. “Pro tip- when you’re trying to avoid getting served for a multi B fraud case, maybe lay off outlandish presidential campaigns.”

Koutoulas further added:

As we progress in holding this conman accountable, feel free to reach out if you lost money after buying eos in the ICO or on exchange.

Pierce’s official Twitter account and campaign did not release a statement in response to the securities fraud allegations. Instead, Pierce thanked everyone for coming out to the campaign event in NYC later in the day. He also said he was “glad to see that [his] candidacy is being taken so seriously,” when his campaign story was featured on the front page of the New York Post.

Brock Pierce is also well known in the cryptocurrency space and his campaign website also details how he has raised billions of dollars during the crypto ecosystem’s early days. Pierce is also running against the hip hop star, Kanye West, who is campaigning for POTUS against the Republican incumbent Donald Trump and Democrat challenger Joe Biden as well.

Block.one was already in trouble with the SEC last year and the organization settled with the U.S. regulator for $24 million or 0.6% of the $4 billion ICO funds. “Institutional funds that were lied to by Block.one have a duty to all their investors – large and small – to take action against fraudsters and con artists,” said Koutoulas.

What do you think about Brock Pierce being served with a lawsuit against the EOS initial coin offering (ICO)? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below.

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Macroeconomic Trends Boost Bitcoin and Gold, US Dollar Index Shows Bearish Double-Top

Macroeconomic Trends Boost Bitcoin and Gold, US Dollar Index Shows Bearish Double-Top

According to a number of reports and commentary from financial analysts, the world is “drowning in U.S. dollars” after the Federal Reserve decided to pump billions of dollars into the hands of 14 central banks via liquidity swaps. Moreover, recent technical analysis shows the dollar’s trade-weighted index chart indicates the USD might be in for a gigantic slide in value in the near future.

As members of the U.S. Federal Reserve plan to convene this week, both gold and bitcoin (BTC) markets have started to climb in value ahead of the meeting. Bitcoin prices rose over 4% during the afternoon’s trading sessions and gold jumped 0.76% as well. The price of one ounce of fine gold is $1,956.24 at the time of publication.

Macroeconomic Trends Boost Bitcoin and Gold, US Dollar Index Shows Bearish Double-Top

Meanwhile, after a brief upswing in value, the U.S. dollar has started to show signs of weakness again after losing massive amounts of value this year. One financial commentator believes the “world is frozen in response to the deluge of U.S. dollars.”

According to an article written by the business analyst, Stephen Bartholomeusz, “the world has been drowning in U.S. dollars” via “liquidity swaps with 14 central banks.”

“The combination of the access to dollars, the extent of the monetary policy stimulus in the U.S. and the Fed’s recent decision to hold U.S. rates at their current negligible levels – negative in real terms – has seen the U.S. dollar depreciate about 9.3 percent against the basket of its major trading partners’ currencies since March 19,” Bartholomeusz wrote. “That’s its weakest level for more than two years.”

Bartholomeusz added:

A weak dollar exports deflation elsewhere. It helps US exporters be more competitive (albeit while harming importers in an economy with a structural trade deficit) and therefore one that imports more than it exports) while damaging the exports and growth prospects of economies elsewhere.

In addition to Bartholomeusz’s ominous outlook, the U.S. dollar index (DXY) could see a sharper fall in the near future according to a technical analysis report published on Monday. The DXY technical analysis explains that charts show a “bearish, M-shaped chart pattern containing two peaks and a trough.”

Macroeconomic Trends Boost Bitcoin and Gold, US Dollar Index Shows Bearish Double-Top
U.S. dollar currency index on September 14, 2020.

If the dollar’s trade-weighted index dips another 5% the pattern will be confirmed the author notes. The pattern is traditionally dubbed the “bearish double-top” and they are typically followed by a strong decline in value.

“The most notorious double-top for the dollar came in 2001-2002, in the aftermath of the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States, and was followed by a 33% fall in the currency through 2004,” the analysis details. “[The USD] then rallied for about 11 months before continuing its slide to record lows in 2008.”

When the members of the Fed meet on Tuesday and Wednesday, a number of analysts and economists think the meeting will fuel bitcoin and precious metals like gold. The cofounder of Gold Bullion Int. (GBI) and DTAP Capital, Dan Tapiero, championed the two assets after U.S. commercial real estate markets have started to show signs of pending disaster.

“An entire asset class redefined almost overnight by [Covid-19],” Tapiero tweeted. “Total value of all U.S. commercial real estate is $16 trillion. Now entering the largest bear market since the late 80s? 50% price drop wipes out $8 trillion. Major econ drag/knock-on effects [are] huge. Rates stay 0%, + Gold and BTC.”

A recent report published by Pacific Investment Management Co. (Pimco) also explained that the U.S. dollar value drop is just starting and there is “room for the world’s reserve currency to weaken against emerging markets.” Many emerging markets worldwide have advanced the use of crypto assets and decentralized finance (defi) markets.

What do you think about the world drowning in U.S. dollars and the predictions about a major USD decline? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below.

The post Macroeconomic Trends Boost Bitcoin and Gold, US Dollar Index Shows Bearish Double-Top appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Bitcoin Options Traders Bet the Price of BTC Can Touch $36K by December

Bitcoin Options Traders Bet the Price of BTC Can Touch $36K by December

This past weekend, data shows the most active bitcoin options contracts were calls for $28k, $32k, and $36k by the year’s end. This means a number of options traders are betting the price of bitcoin will exceed the all-time high (ATH) the decentralized currency touched in December 2017.

On September 14, researchers from the data analytics firm Skew.com tweeted about an unusual number of call options for December 2020 that are well above the 2017 ATH.

“[December 2020] $28k, $32k, [and] $36k calls among the most active bitcoin options contracts yesterday,” Skew tweeted. All of these calls are well above the mid-December 2017 ATH, which saw BTC touch $19,600 per coin.

Bitcoin Options Traders Bet the Price of BTC Can Touch $36K by December
Chart Skew.com shared on Twitter on Monday, September 14, 2020.

The new open positions took place on the crypto-financial derivatives platform Deribit. The action took place after $570 million (notional) of BTC options contracts expired on Deribit on August 28.

There were 752 open positions for $36k, 462 contracts for $32k, and 230 for $28k. Additionally, some $9k and $9,750 calls were set for the end of September. Responding to Skew’s December calls tweet, one individual wrote:

Without opining the possibilities to this, it will be entertaining to revisit at the end of the [fourth] quarter.

Essentially, bitcoin options are crypto-derivatives products that provide a person or group with the right, but not obligation to buy and sell the BTC at a predetermined strike price, while also leveraging an expiry date. In these examples, set well above BTC’s prior ATH, a strike price is set and the expiry ends in December 2020.

In the August 2020 Deribit newsletter, the exchange said “even though competition has been picking up, Deribit remains the leader with ~79% of the total BTC Options OI held.”

Bitcoin Options Traders Bet the Price of BTC Can Touch $36K by December
Chart Skew shared on September 10, 2020.

Sharing a chart of the total BTC Options OI by expiry positions two days before the weekend, Skew said the traders are “Gearing up towards a pretty chunky bitcoin options expiry at the end of the month.”

“Already $750 million in open interest outstanding,” the crypto analytics firm Skew further tweeted.

The bitcoin data and insights researcher from Ecoinometrics has also been discussing bitcoin options markets stemming from CME Group.

While studying a number of markets and CME’s derivatives action, Ecoinometrics said that he doesn’t believe market sentiment has turned. “I don’t think so,” the blog post notes.

“If you think from a technical perspective what we are getting right now is Bitcoin flipping a former resistance level at $10,000 to become a support. From May to the end of July, Bitcoin was desperately stuck below $10k. But for [seven] days now $10,000 is holding strong.”

As far as the CME Bitcoin options market, the post highlights that “calls continue to dominate the scene with [five] calls for every [two] puts.”

The post further adds:

[It is] pretty clear option traders are buying puts on the front month to protect themselves or benefit from what they might perceive as a short term drop. But for the long term, the bullish sentiment is pretty much unchanged.

Monday’s BTC spot markets have been on a tear, rising more than 4% during the afternoon (ET) trading sessions inching toward the $11k zone again.

The jump in value has happened amid a number of uncertainties and macroeconomic events like the upcoming Federal Reserve meeting scheduled for Tuesday and Wednesday. Investors may be eying other unsettled events like the U.S. election and the country’s tumultuous dollar.

What do you think about bitcoin options traders betting on BTC prices surpassing 2017’s ATH? Let us know what you think in the comments below.

The post Bitcoin Options Traders Bet the Price of BTC Can Touch $36K by December appeared first on Bitcoin News.

The Moss Piglet Dilemma: Paypal Bans Payments to Merchants Using the Word ‘Tardigrade’

The popular payment provider Paypal has been known for cutting off a number of merchants and organizations over the years. This week, the public found out that Paypal has been censoring merchants that sell items related to the name “tardigrade” just because a Balkan arms dealer uses the same name. The story shows just how beneficial censorship-resistant money is today and how centralized monetary systems are ultimately doomed.

Ever since Paypal came out in 2001, the payment platform has seen broad use and a great number of users worldwide leverage the system. However, the payment processor is a centralized system, and over the years it has been known for restricting services to certain individuals and organizations.

For instance, Paypal censored the web portal Wikileaks and this invoked the nonprofit organization to start accepting bitcoin (BTC). Last year, Paypal shut off ties to workers leveraging the adult web portal Pornhub and 100,000 performers were left stranded. Now the most trafficked adult website worldwide accepts bitcoin (BTC) and litecoin (LTC) for payments.

Archie McPhee’s Paypal support response screenshot and some of the water pig or tardigrade themed ornaments he sells.

On September 11, Paypal once again was caught censoring merchants over the use of the name “tardigrade.” Basically, a tardigrade is an eight-legged micro-animal and people also call them “moss piglets” and “water bears.” The funny little water bears have a global fanbase and people collect all types of tardigrade merchandise.

On Twitter, the Seattle-based gift salesmen, Archie McPhee, complained that Paypal was censoring his tardigrade-themed products. The problem is there is a known Balkan arms dealer called Tardigrade Limited, and Paypal has blocked all payments to anything tethered to the word. This means any tardigrade merch that mcphee.com sells is banned by Paypal due to an algorithm that flags the name even if it is tied to moss piglet ornaments.

“Just an FYI— Paypal is currently blocking all transactions containing the word “tardigrade” in the product name or description,” McPhee tweeted. “We’ve contacted them and they told us we should just stop using the word tardigrade.”

McPhee said he changed the name on the page to “Water Bear Ornament” but he said it was a “terrible solution.” “You can still purchase all our tardigrade items with a credit card through Shopify, but not through Paypal,” McPhee stressed.

The gift salesmen continued:

If we can’t use the word ‘tardigrade’ in the text on the page, tags, or in the URL, how can customers find it? This is not limited to Archie McPhee. This is ALL OF PAYPAL. And they give a message that the USER is violating their agreement. It’s scaring customers away.

Screenshot shared by Archie McPhee on Twitter.

It’s a shame that merchants have to deal with such absurd rules and a mega-company like Paypal can’t even fix the system’s algorithm to give these sellers a better solution. McPhee also highlighted another merchant who was experiencing the same issues trying to sell plush tardigrade merchandise. Other types of merchants explained how Paypal censored them for dealing with sanctioned countries or other types of arbitrary decisions.

“Our transactions for Cuban coffee were blocked by Paypal,” one merchant replied to McPhee’s tweet. “We buy green beans from UK importers, roast and sell in the UK, and are not subject to Cuba sanctions. We had to omit Cuba from the title, but could use it in the description which isn’t passed to Paypal. Then we quit using [Paypal], they suck.”

Crypto proponent John Moriarty responded to McPhee’s Twitter thread as well, and he suggested using digital currencies instead. “Maybe then people should ‘just stop using’ Paypal— Direct crypto payments can’t be censored because there is no third party,” Moriarty wrote to the tardigrade salesman.

A number of Archie McPhee’s moss piglet or tardigrade-themed products.

For years now, companies like Paypal and other payment processors have censored a number of businesses, organizations, and individual merchants. Simply for trying to make a living, accepting payment for activism, or being located in a sanctioned country, centralized processors can destroy people’s livelihoods.

However, ever since Satoshi Nakamoto created Bitcoin, the world has had access to censorship-resistant funds that can be sent to anyone and bypass any border in a permissionless fashion.

Individuals, nonprofit organizations, sex workers, whistleblowers, journalists, and a myriad of other types of people have been barred from a variety of payment processors, as other firms like Visa and Mastercard have censored as well. McPhee and many other people should learn about digital currencies and how easy it is to accept crypto for payments.

One thing is for sure, blockchains like Bitcoin remove unnecessary third-party actors who have to either follow regulatory guidelines or have arbitrary opinions. The autonomy of crypto payment networks will never stop micro-animal gift sellers from selling cute moss piglets and stuffed tardigrades.

What do you think about Paypal censoring the tardigrade merchants over the name? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments below.

The post The Moss Piglet Dilemma: Paypal Bans Payments to Merchants Using the Word ‘Tardigrade’ appeared first on Bitcoin News.

NFT Economy Grows Exponential: $1M in Non-Fungible Token Sales Last Week

NFT Economy in 2020 Grows Exponential: $1M in Non-Fungible Token Sales Last Week

While a number of people are focused on decentralized finance (defi), the non-fungible token (NFT) industry has also exploded in demand in 2020. Last week, NFT sales soared nearing a million dollars in volume, as the blockchain-based Sorare fantasy soccer card game saw over $221,000 in sales during the last seven days.

When Satoshi Nakamoto created the blockchain, the innovative technology allowed for permissionless money, but also a number of tokenization features as well. One idea called the non-fungible token (NFT), also known as a ‘nifty,’ has gathered a lot of steam since the verifiable digital scarcity concept was first introduced.

This year, the popularity of NFTs has jumped considerably, as the concept is seeing a massive amount of funds flowing into the industry.

The top ten non-fungible token platforms this weekend according to nonfungible.com.

Data from nonfungible.com shows that during the last seven days, there were 9,353 sales total and $988,649 in NFT trade volume. The average U.S. dollar price for a single NFT according to statistics is $105 this week.

Project history chart according to nonfungible.com.

The three biggest players in the NFT realm this week include Sorare, Cryptopunks, and Superrare. The fantasy soccer game Sorare allows players to collect “limited edition digital collectibles” while also managing a team, has seen $221,052 in sales this week.

Cryptopunks, the project with “10,000 unique collectible characters with proof of ownership stored on the Ethereum blockchain,” saw $182,619 in volume last week. Then the Superrare digital artworks marketplace sold $93,733 in the last seven days.

The fantasy soccer game Sorare sold $221,052 in NFT collectibles last week.

Superrare has sold rare digital artwork in 178 countries worldwide, there’s been over $565,000 earned by collectors and $1.8 million earned by artists to date. Trending artists include _totemical, godfreymeyer, sveneberwein, coldie, and giantswan.

A lot of sales during the week stemmed from Foam Signal, Decentraland, Makersplace, Axie Infinity, The Sandbox, Cryptokitties, and the Ethereum Name Service as well.

Superrare artists have earned $1.8 million since the platform’s inception. The painting in the feature cover photo of this story is artwork by primal_cypher on Superrare.

On Twitter, the virtual land investor, @Dclblogger, discussed how the metaverse was growing and how “NFTs are catching fire.” In a thread, Dclblogger tweeted about 25 industries that are being disrupted by the non-fungible token ecosystem.

“Art— Huge growth industry for NFTs,” the virtual land investor said. “We’ve seen pieces go for $50,000+ and certain artists sell out $100,000+ in a single day. Superrare alone reports $2.3M [in] transaction volume. Virtual Land— Another Monster Industry; build virtual conferences, games, defi banks, art galleries, etc. Over $50 million worth of transaction volume so far.”

Topps digital Garbage Pail Kids trading cards on the Wax blockchain.

The Twitter thread written by Dclblogger also mentioned a number of other NFT innovations including games that allow people to collect extensible items like skins, weapons, and clothes. Collectibles like Cryptokitties and Cryptopunks have sold for thousands of dollars and NFT trading cards as well.

For instance, the well known trading card firm Topps worked with the Wax blockchain project and created the infamous Garbage Pail Kids (GPK) cards in digital form using NFT technology.

The thread also mentioned fantasy sports rewards, domain names, state tokens, digi-physical goods, and more. Additionally, NFT marketplaces have grown in recent months with platforms like Makersplace, Opensea, Superrare, and Nifty Gateway. A great number of well known designers and artisans have been leveraging these NFT markets and established crypto artists as well.

NFT Economy in 2020 Grows Exponential: $1M in Non-Fungible Token Sales Last Week
Three NFT pieces created by Bitcoin Artist, Lucho Poletti, called “Quantitative Hardening,” “Gold With Wings,” and “Freedom Money.”

The Bitcoin Artist, Lucho Poletti, just recently utilized Nifty Gateway for his latest creations called “Gold With Wings,” and “Quantitative Hardening.” Poletti’s limited edition “Gold With Wings” sold six unique NFTs for $900 per piece, while “Quantitative Hardening” had only three pieces for $1,800 per NFT.

NFT technology became popular years ago via Bitcoin’s colored coin technology, and today a large concentration of NFTs are hosted on the Ethereum blockchain. However, other blockchains are attempting to leverage the idea of creating unique, rare, and indivisible token assets. Additionally, NFT creators often leverage the Inter-Planetary File System (IPFS) in order to tie metadata to the asset.

Overall, the non-fungible token (NFT) environment continues to grow and 2020 has shown the industry is becoming far more robust. People are beginning to realize that NFTs can represent nearly anything in the virtual world, and NFTs can even be tied to the real world with concepts like event tickets and raffles.

So far, crypto creators are creating a whole new universe of NFT collectibles, rare art pieces, extensible in-game items, and large virtual worlds. The non-fungible token economy’s growth shows no signs of abating any time soon.

What do you think about the growing NFT economy? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below.

The post NFT Economy Grows Exponential: $1M in Non-Fungible Token Sales Last Week appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Bitcoin Hashrate Ramps to 130 Exahash Amid Next-Generation Miner Shortage

Regional reports from China have highlighted that a number of major Chinese ASIC mining rig manufacturers have sold out of their next-generation model stock. The shrinking supply of high-performance machines may be due to the shortage of 7nm and 8nm chips from TSMC and Samsung.

Bitcoin miners are finding it difficult to obtain next-generation application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC) mining rigs after a number of firms have sold out. Semiconductor goliaths like Samsung and TSMC have been struggling to keep up with the demand that was sparked by the Covid-19 outbreak.

On September 10, financial columnist, Vincent He, detailed that mining manufacturers like Canaan, Whatsminer, and Ebang have “sold out most of their stocks this year.” Furthermore, the report highlights that Bitmain still has leadership issues and delays in delivery.

Rumor has it, Innosilicon might be releasing a next-generation ASIC mining device at the end of 2020 that leverages Samsung’s 8nm chip. Vincent He says that the difficulties right now straining the next-gen mining rig supply, stems from the shortage of 7nm and 8nm semiconductors.

A research paper covering the semiconductor production equipment market notes that the coronavirus pandemic made the industry see exponential growth, as there was “increased demand for semiconductors in diverse applications.” Additionally, the semiconductor industry has seen a transition from traditional wafer producers to those creating Kerfless wafers.

Bitcoin hashrate on September 12, 2020.

Meanwhile, the Bitcoin (BTC) network’s hashrate has been considerably higher than usual, as the seven-day average touched 131 exahash per second (EH/s) this week.

Some of the top machines that are seeing the most profits today include Bitmain’s Antminer S19 Pro, Microbt’s Whatsminer M30S++, Innosilicon’s T3+, and Canaan’s Avalonminer 1166 Pro. These high-powered ASIC machines are leveraging semiconductors between 10nm to 7nm.

The report from China also notes that Microbt and Bitmain have sold a bulk of their stock to mining operations overseas. News.Bitcoin.com has covered a number of publicly disclosed sales invoked by Marathon Patent Group, Hut8, and Riot Blockchain.

Vincent He stresses with the next-gen ASIC shortage, older machines are getting a second life by being sold on secondary markets.

“The second-hand mining machine market is very active,” the author concludes. “Some big miners [are] choosing to sell the previous generation of second-hand mining machines, such as M20S and T17, [and are] gaining a lot of profits.”

What do you think about the shortage of next-generation ASIC bitcoin miners? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below.

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SLP Trading Platform Cryptophyl Plans to Change Into a Noncustodial Defi Exchange

SLP Trading Platform Cryptophyl Plans to Change Into a Noncustodial Defi Exchange

The U.K.-based Simple Ledger Protocol (SLP) exchange Cryptophyl is closing its doors in order to restructure into a decentralized finance (defi) platform. Cryptophyl has revealed the trading platform will officially go offline on September 21 and is asking customers to withdraw before that period.

Just recently the SLP token trading platform Cryptophyl has revealed it will be shutting down in the near future. The website will be taken offline by September 21, 2020, which gives customers ten days to remove funds off the exchange. Maintaining Cryptophyl has been difficult the team notes in a recent blog post and it wants to shift to a noncustodial platform.

“Unfortunately, it has become increasingly difficult for us to maintain a consistent user experience,” the Cryptophyl closure announcement reads. “Maintaining our SLP token infrastructure has become a chore for the team and we’d prefer to focus our energy and resources on our up-coming non-custodial exchange, Detoken.”

News.Bitcoin.com reported on Cryptophyl’s idea to join forces with the Anyhedge project back in April. In the latest announcement, the developers mention the collaboration with the blockchain-enforced synthetic derivatives project for Bitcoin Cash. The announcement highlights that the Detoken launch will be around Q3 2020.

“Detoken will initially offer the first Decentralised Finance product built on Bitcoin Cash, in collaboration with General Protocols. Shortly after, SLP tokens will be added,” Cryptophyl said. The announcement further adds:

SLP tokens listed on Detoken can be traded directly out of your Detoken wallet, with no deposits or withdrawals. Trades are made with zero confirmations: this means no more waiting for the blockchain network to accept your transaction. SLP trading on Detoken will be done using atomic swaps, hence, the process is trust-less: you never need to trust either Detoken or the counterparty in your trade.

Defi has exploded on the Ethereum (ETH) network, and a number of other blockchain projects hope to compete with Ethereum’s lead. Back when news.Bitcoin.com discussed the defi project with the General Protocols team it said Anyhedge tools will be released for testing, alongside the Detoken launch.

Cryptophyl says that with the decentralized exchange (dex), users will “always be in control of their private keys on Detoken.” In addition, the firm also said that for a fee it will list any SLP token on the dex but it will go through a community inspection.

“In order to list a token, a straightforward due diligence criterion must be met, followed by a community vote,” the announcement concludes.

What do you think about Cryptophyl’s restructuring goals? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below.

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The $700 Million Wallet Crack: Bitcoin’s 7th Largest Address Is Under Constant Attack

The $700 Million Wallet Crack: Bitcoin's 7th Largest Address Is Under Constant Attack

During the last two years, hackers have been trying to crack the seventh-largest bitcoin wallet, an address that holds 69,370 BTC or $712 million using today’s exchange rate. According to the CTO of the cybercrime intelligence firm, Hudson Rock, the wallet is being publicized on hacking forums in order to crack the password.

Wallets with a massive amount of bitcoin (BTC) are listed on bitinfocharts.com in a list called the “Bitcoin Rich List.” During the last ten years, crypto proponents have scrutinized this list in order to figure out the owners or record significant transfers.

According to a report published by Vice, the seventh richest BTC address is a target for hackers, as an ostensible wallet.dat file has been passed around hacker forums for 12 to even 24 months. On Twitter, Alon Gal, the Chief Technology Officer of cybercrime firm Hudson Rock explained the situation.

“Get this,” Gal tweeted. “There is a bitcoin wallet with 69,000 bitcoins that is being passed around between hackers/crackers for the past [two] years for the purpose of cracking the password, no success so far. I have the wallet, Google hook me up with a quantum computer please,” the cybercrime intelligence expert added.

The $700 Million Wallet Crack: Bitcoin's 7th Largest Address Is Under Constant Attack
The “Bitcoin Rich List” according to bitinfocharts.com data on September 11, 2020.

Following Gal’s tweet, he was inundated with a number of direct messages on Twitter asking about the wallet. Gal further wrote:

Unless there is a really good reason for me to give you the wallet, you’re not going to get it sorry 40+ [direct messages].

News.Bitcoin.com also discovered that the wallet.dat file has been selling on a number of websites like Bitcointalk.org. The 69,000 BTC wallet file has been seen on Satoshidisk.com, and All Private Keys as well. The website All Private Keys operates a market so individuals and groups can buy certain files in order to crack a number of public bitcoin addresses.

The $700 Million Wallet Crack: Bitcoin's 7th Largest Address Is Under Constant Attack
A screenshot of the wallet.dat file being sold on the web via a variety of websites like Satoshidisk. This advertisement is selling the 69,304 BTC wallet.dat file for $1,050 in bitcoin. News.Bitcoin.com does not recommend obtaining these files as they could be malicious, they likely are phony, and the wallet with $712 million worth of BTC is someone else’s funds.

The file being sold on Satoshidisk.com is selling for 0.08929505 BTC or $1,050 using today’s exchange rate. On Friday, 321 people viewed the Satoshidisk.com listing that allegedly contains the wallet.dat file.

Despite the various attempts to crack the wallet with $712 million worth of BTC, no one has been able to crack it yet. Moreover, Gal explained on Twitter that there is possibly a scheme that allows someone to “forge a wallet,” which means the address might really be empty.

“Someone alerted me that there might be a method to forge wallets, although I don’t know if it is true or if it was applied to this specific wallet,” Gal tweeted. “There is a thriving market for selling uncracked wallets where I know some crackers had undeniable success,” the Hudson Rock CTO wrote.

Of course, many individuals were skeptical of any of the so-called wallet.dat file sales, and the website All Private Keys. Some people assume that all of the sites are basically selling phony keys and wallet.dat files to score BTC.

“How does one know [the marketplace All Private Keys] is not just a scam to get people to send them BTC and in return give them locked empty wallets?” one person asked in Gal’s Twitter thread.

News.Bitcoin.com does not recommend downloading or purchasing wallet.dat files or alleged private keys, as it is highly likely that most of these advertisements are scams. If it’s too good to be true, it probably is.

What do you think about hackers trying to crack this wallet with 690,000 BTC? Let us know what you think of this subject in the comments below.

The post The $700 Million Wallet Crack: Bitcoin’s 7th Largest Address Is Under Constant Attack appeared first on Bitcoin News.

IRS to Pay $625K to Crack Monero, Crypto Proponents Scoff at Contract

IRS to Pay $625K to Crack Monero, Crypto Proponents Scoff at Contract

The U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS) wants to pay a contractor $625,000 if they can crack layer-two privacy schemes and the privacy-centric crypto asset monero (XMR). The tax agency says that the entity has “limited investigative resources” for tracing these types of cryptocurrency transactions.

The United States tax agency wants to obtain a solution to trace the digital currency monero (XMR), alongside “Layer 2 network protocol transactions” like the Lightning Network. The IRS will distribute $625,000 to “one or more contractors” in two phases; $500k will be distributed after the first proof-of-concept, then another $125k following a full examination and launch.

“Currently, there are limited investigative resources for tracing transactions involving privacy cryptocurrency coins such as monero, Layer 2 network protocol transactions such as Lightning Labs, or other off-chain transactions that provide privacy to illicit actors,” the IRS contract offer notes.

IRS to Pay $625K to Crack Monero, Crypto Proponents Scoff at Contract
The intro to the IRS contract for someone to crack monero (XMR) and layer two privacy solutions.

The contractor will provide “weekly status reports of progress” and work with members of the CI Cyber Crimes unit, and Cyber Special Agents.

“All documentation, data, source code, and software developed shall be provided to IRS-CI.” Essentially there are three goals for the contractor to accomplish, which include:

  • Provide information and technical capabilities for CI Special Agents to trace transaction inputs and outputs to a specific user and differentiate them from mixins/multisig actors for Monero and/or Lightning Layer 2 cryptocurrency transactions with minimal involvement of external vendors
  • Provide technology which, given information about specific parties and/or transactions in the Monero and/or Lightning networks, allows Special Agents to predict statistical likelihoods of other transaction inputs, outputs, metadata, and public identifiers with minimal involvement of external vendors
  • Provide algorithms and source code to allow CI to further develop, modify, and integrate these capabilities with internal code and systems with minimal costs, licensing issues, or dependency on external vendors

Of course on social media and forums, the crypto community had something to say about the latest job offer from the IRS. Some people also complimented monero (XMR) for being so elusive to law enforcement’s special task forces.

“This is so funny, how desperate the IRS is [and how they] want their cut of your darknet drug money,” said one person on Twitter. “It really must irk ’em to think of all that moolah they could steal if only you didn’t secure your funds through encryption. Monero, keep up the good work,” he added.

Another person wrote: “The odds are better to land a craft on our Sun’s surface… It must be a prerequisite to be somewhat mentally retarded to work for the IRS,” he added. Meanwhile, others also criticized the U.S. tax agency for looking into monero, while they should really look into the felonious operations tethered to the U.S. dollar.

“No need for the IRS to try and figure out the criminal activity that is using USD cash currency in their crimes, (probably 1,000,000,000X that of monero),” one person said.

In fact, the IRS contract was more of a laughing stock to many privacy coin supporters on social media.

“If you can crack Monero why the hell would you settle for $625K, LMAO,” another tweeted.

What do you think about the IRS wanting to crack monero and layer-two privacy-centric transactions? Let us know in the comments section below.

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Despite Warnings from Regulators, the Ethereum Fueled Pyramid Scheme Forsage Thrives

While Ethereum has seen a number of benefits from the decentralized finance (defi) movement and initial coin offerings (ICOs), more recently individuals have been leveraging ether for pyramid schemes and matrix cycler programs. One particular scheme crypto enthusiasts are discussing these days is the gifting pyramid scheme called Forsage.

Following the demise of a number of Onecoin masterminds and the recent charges against Plustoken and Wotoken members, another massive pyramid scheme has been raking in funds. The project is called Forsage and it has attracted a lot of ethereum deposits since it launched in February 2020.

According to the web portal dappstats.com, Forsage is considered “high risk,” but still managed to see $2.8 million worth of ethereum (ETH) in volume during the last seven days. Essentially, Forsage is a matrix cycler program that claims to offer users the ability to make ‘passive income’ by simply signing up more partners.

Dappstats.com and Etherscan call the Forsage contract a “high risk” investment.

At the time of writing, the Forsage website tells the visitor they can invest 0.05 ETH ($18.34) to join, and the more people they sign up, the more money they can allegedly make. The Forsage website cunningly says the operation is a “simple relationship.”

“The more partners, the more of the money collected,” the Forsage FAQ notes. In order to complete the first round of the matrix cycle, the investor must get three referrals in on the Forsage scheme, and from here the ladder continues.

The page also gives an example of one user called “ID 8679” who is allegedly making over $700k, and soon will be a “millionaire.”

However, the Philippines based matrix cycler Forsage is considered a Ponzi scam that could end in a matter of no time. A few crypto proponents have been speculating on the Forsage project and how it has attracted a lot of ETH since it launched.

Chart shared on Twitter by Edward Morra shows the ETH sent to Forsage since it’s inception.

Primitive Ventures founding partner Dovey Wan recently discussed the Forsage pyramid scheme on Twitter. Wan said a lot of the Ethereum network’s liveliness stems from Forsage.

“The ETH price floor is not from a few foodcoin scams or a potential defi vault explosion, sadly is from the liveness of Forsage, the ongoing ETH version Plustoken,” Wan tweeted. “I just checked its activity which is still thriving, feeling comfy,” she added.

The Philippines Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) published a warning about Forsage on July 1, 2020.

Edward Morra responded to Wan’s tweet and also shared a graph showing the amount of ETH sent to Forsage since it’s inception. Morra’s chart shows that the deposits have been slowing down, which could mean an exit could be in the cards very soon.

“It’s pretty scary considering the amount of ETH sent is decreasing for some sustained time now,” Morra wrote. “Meaning this Ponzi will soon stop functioning like all Ponzis.”

Deposits are still flowing into the Forsage matrix scheme. The screenshot was taken on September 10, 2020.

Additionally, the Forsage scheme has continued after the Philippines Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) published a warning about Forsage.

“Forsage, which is headed by Lado Okhotnikov, is not duly registered with the SEC and lacks the necessary license to solicit, accept or take investments from the public or issue investment contracts and other forms of securities,” the warning notes.

The SEC letter highlights:

Active income generated from the compensation plans depends on the number of referrals and/or membership fees gathered while passive income is acquired through spillovers. Aside from lacking the necessary licenses, Forsage’s compensation plan resembles a Ponzi scheme, where investors are paid using the contribution of new investors, according to the SEC.

In a Medium post written by Badmlm the writer notes that all Forsage does is offer an ethereum-based gifting pyramid scheme disguised as “crowdfunding.”

“Pay ethereum to join for the ability to refer other suckers, to get paid ethereum so they can do the same,” the review details.

“People think it’s all legit and some kind of revolutionary way to earn Ethereum daily, because it’s handled with smart contracts on the Ethereum blockchain. Don’t be fooled by all the smoke and mirrors, it’s still an illegal pyramid scheme,” Badmlm concludes.

What do you think about the Forsage pyramid scheme? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments below.

The post Despite Warnings from Regulators, the Ethereum Fueled Pyramid Scheme Forsage Thrives appeared first on Bitcoin News.

6 Members of the Multi-Billion Dollar Plustoken Scam Charged With Fraud in China

Members of the Multi-Billion Dollar Plustoken Scam Charged With Fraud in China

Following the arrest of 109 accused members of the $6 billion Ponzi scheme called Plustoken, six alleged members of the team were prosecuted according to a court filing submitted on Monday. The prosecutors say the individuals are “suspected in organizing and leading criminal pyramid schemes.”

The Plustoken scam was a large heist that managed to gather a large number of crypto assets during the scheme’s short tenure. Essentially Plustoken was a pyramid scheme that pretended to offer high-yield returns after people deposited funds into the system.

The system promised rewards in its native token eponymous token (PLUS) and managed to gather over 200,000 BTC, 26 million EOS, and roughly 789,000 ETH. After the fraudsters racked up all the funds, they left a simple message behind and wrote: “sorry we have run.”

On July 31, news.Bitcoin.com reported on Chinese law enforcement arresting approximately 109 individuals allegedly connected to the Plustoken project.

According to the report, 27 members were reportedly masterminds within Plustoken’s empire which was extremely popular in China and South Korea. Following the mass arrest, a court document from China details that Zhang Qin, Liu Jianghua, Wang Yin, Chen Shaofeng, and Lu Qinghai were named in the indictment.

The formal charges stem from Xiangshui County and Yancheng City prosecutors say the six defendants are “suspected in organizing and leading criminal pyramid schemes.”

Despite the mass arrests, crypto funds from the Plustoken scam have still moved and many people still assume the Ponzi scheme’s kingpin is still on the run. During the scheme’s height before its demise, Plustoken attracted over two million investors.

Reports noted that the Plustoken application allowed people to easily convert KRW or renminbi into a myriad of digital assets.

While BTC, EOS, and ETH were the most popular, Plustoken scammers allowed for the conversion of crypto assets like litecoin (LTC), and dogecoin (DOGE) as well. Back in May, regional reports detailed that key members of the Wotoken project (a similar scam) were indicted in Yancheng City.

Wotoken scammers are allegedly connected with the Plustoken Ponzi ringleaders and that scheme managed to steal $1 billion in digital assets. The Wotoken scheme was not as sizable as Plustoken’s four million members but still managed to swindle 715,000 victims.

What do you think about Yancheng City prosecutors formally charging six members of the Plustoken Ponzi scam? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below.

The post 6 Members of the Multi-Billion Dollar Plustoken Scam Charged With Fraud in China appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Noncustodial Bitcoin Cash Client Zapit Demos In-Wallet SLP Dividends Tool

During the last week, Bitcoin Cash proponents have been discussing Zapit, the noncustodial BCH wallet that also supports Simple Ledger Protocol (SLP) tokens. Zapit’s team recently revealed on Twitter that developers have been working with a new dividends tool built into the mobile wallet.

Zapit is a bitcoin cash (BCH) wallet that was released on the Google Play store roughly five months ago. The wallet also supports SLP tokens and the team aspires to “build the best on and off-ramp to cryptocurrencies from traditional finance.”

According to the Google Play store description, the client is still in beta and is “powered by a noncustodial escrow.”

Additionally, Zapit leverages the cashaccounts protocol, which allows the wallet’s owner to send bitcoin cash (BCH) to other Zapit users by simply entering their username. Zapit also registers a new cashaccounts name with either an existing name or a new one.

The developers have also added a referral program that rewards users with the firm’s custom SLP token ZAPT.

On September 5, the Zapit team’s Twitter account announced that the wallet’s latest update 0.1.8.6 is now live. Further, the team detailed it was working on a new dividends tool that disperses coins to a number of individuals.

“We have been working on a new dividends tool that’s built right into the wallet and it’s highly customisable and automated,” Zapit detailed. “We are coordinating with a few token projects to demo the tool,” the announcement added.

The Twitter thread continues by showing a demo of the new tool. “Here is a demo of sending a BCH Dividend to ZAPT holders with custom options,” the team said. “The total supply is re-calculated based on the total tokens held by the addresses that will receive the dividend instead of the total supply of the token.”

In the demo, the Zapit developers sent an airdrop of ZAPT to 900 addresses spread over 50 transactions. Bitcoin.com also offers a dividend tool at mint.Bitcoin.com and among the myriad of services offered via tools.Bitcoin.com.

What do you think of Zapit’s dividend tool demo? Let us know in the comments section below.

The post Noncustodial Bitcoin Cash Client Zapit Demos In-Wallet SLP Dividends Tool appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Bitcoin Obituaries Lists Another Crypto Eulogy, 2020 BTC Deaths in the Single Digits

Bitcoin Obituaries Lists Another Crypto Eulogy, 2020 BTC Deaths in the Single Digits

The infamous “Bitcoin Obituaries” has seen another addition to the long list of deaths since bitcoin’s oldest death on December 15, 2010. According to the list of articles with 382 deaths to-date, bitcoin was declared dead again on September 4, 2020.

Ever since Satoshi Nakamoto released the decentralized network, a number of people have doubted bitcoin and over the years some individuals have deemed the project “dead.”

Famous people, journalists, economists, luminaries, and many more have written long-winded essays on why the cryptocurrency is sure to fail. The website 99 Bitcoins maintains a list of “Bitcoin Obituaries” collected over the years and so far there’s been 382 deaths in total.

This past weekend the crypto economy slid in value considerably, as a number of digital currencies lost between 15-35% during the last seven days. Out of the top ten coins in terms of market capitalization, binance coin (BNB) staved off the market rout by only losing 12% and bitcoin (BTC) lost a touch over 16%.

The rest of the top ten crypto assets lost a much larger percentage, as coins like ETH and DOT lost close to 30%. Despite this, another bitcoin obituary was listed on September 4, when BTC dropped to $10,500 per coin.

The death stems from the web portal Newsbtc and it was written by Uri Shalev who titled the article: “Bitcoin is Worthless in Long-term.” Shalev says that even Warren Buffet won’t go near the crypto asset and BTC must be a bubble.

“In contrast, bitcoin or other digital currencies are very likely worthless in the long term, and those are the kind of assets that investing legend Warren Buffet won’t touch,” Shalev writes. “It’s these latter kinds of assets that have a greater chance to be in bubble territory because they don’t generate cash flow to support their valuations.”

Of course, most crypto proponents understand that bitcoin is not dead and the digital asset has seen much bigger losses than a mere seven-day 16% cut. In fact, the “Bitcoin Obituaries” list has gotten lighter over the years, as 2020 has only seen three deaths total with Shalev’s piece included.

2017 saw the greatest number of bitcoin deaths with 124 that year, but it dropped to 93 in 2018. The bitcoin obituary metric then chopped in half in 2019, as last year only saw 41 deaths.

2020 has been a crazy year, in general, with the faltering global economy and Covid-19 outbreak that plagued the world. Despite this tumultuous year, 2020’s death list, at least so far, is much lighter than most years and could compare to 2010, 2011, 2012’s single-digit numbers.

What do you think about bitcoin’s latest ‘death’ and the catalog of bitcoin obituaries over the years? Let us know what you think in the comments section below.

The post Bitcoin Obituaries Lists Another Crypto Eulogy, 2020 BTC Deaths in the Single Digits appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Bitcoin Obituaries Lists Another Crypto Eulogy, 2020 BTC Deaths in the Single Digits

Bitcoin Obituaries Lists Another Crypto Eulogy, 2020 BTC Deaths in the Single Digits

The infamous “Bitcoin Obituaries” has seen another addition to the long list of deaths since bitcoin’s oldest death on December 15, 2010. According to the list of articles with 382 deaths to-date, bitcoin was declared dead again on September 4, 2020.

Ever since Satoshi Nakamoto released the decentralized network, a number of people have doubted bitcoin and over the years some individuals have deemed the project “dead.”

Famous people, journalists, economists, luminaries, and many more have written long-winded essays on why the cryptocurrency is sure to fail. The website 99 Bitcoins maintains a list of “Bitcoin Obituaries” collected over the years and so far there’s been 382 deaths in total.

This past weekend the crypto economy slid in value considerably, as a number of digital currencies lost between 15-35% during the last seven days. Out of the top ten coins in terms of market capitalization, binance coin (BNB) staved off the market rout by only losing 12% and bitcoin (BTC) lost a touch over 16%.

The rest of the top ten crypto assets lost a much larger percentage, as coins like ETH and DOT lost close to 30%. Despite this, another bitcoin obituary was listed on September 4, when BTC dropped to $10,500 per coin.

The death stems from the web portal Newsbtc and it was written by Uri Shalev who titled the article: “Bitcoin is Worthless in Long-term.” Shalev says that even Warren Buffet won’t go near the crypto asset and BTC must be a bubble.

“In contrast, bitcoin or other digital currencies are very likely worthless in the long term, and those are the kind of assets that investing legend Warren Buffet won’t touch,” Shalev writes. “It’s these latter kinds of assets that have a greater chance to be in bubble territory because they don’t generate cash flow to support their valuations.”

Of course, most crypto proponents understand that bitcoin is not dead and the digital asset has seen much bigger losses than a mere seven-day 16% cut. In fact, the “Bitcoin Obituaries” list has gotten lighter over the years, as 2020 has only seen three deaths total with Shalev’s piece included.

2017 saw the greatest number of bitcoin deaths with 124 that year, but it dropped to 93 in 2018. The bitcoin obituary metric then chopped in half in 2019, as last year only saw 41 deaths.

2020 has been a crazy year, in general, with the faltering global economy and Covid-19 outbreak that plagued the world. Despite this tumultuous year, 2020’s death list, at least so far, is much lighter than most years and could compare to 2010, 2011, 2012’s single-digit numbers.

What do you think about bitcoin’s latest ‘death’ and the catalog of bitcoin obituaries over the years? Let us know what you think in the comments section below.

The post Bitcoin Obituaries Lists Another Crypto Eulogy, 2020 BTC Deaths in the Single Digits appeared first on Bitcoin News.

$700 Million Worth of Synthetic Bitcoin Is Circulating on the Ethereum Blockchain

$700 Million Worth of Synthetic Bitcoin Is Circulating on the Ethereum Blockchain

According to onchain data, there’s now 69,836 synthetic bitcoin tokens (over $700 million) circulating on the Ethereum blockchain. Out of the six synthetic bitcoin token projects, wrapped bitcoin (WBTC) commands the largest number of coins with over 63% and 44,622 WBTC.

Synthetic bitcoin (BTC) has grown massively in recent weeks and since news.Bitcoin.com’s last report on the subject, there was 38,021 BTC circulating on the Ethereum chain.

Since then, that metric has jumped more than 83% as there’s now 69,836 synthetic bitcoin tokens in the wild on September 7, 2020. Dune Analytics shows there are seven synthetic BTC projects but tBTC has zero coins minted, while the other six projects have between 45 BTC to over 40,000.

$700 Million Worth of Synthetic Bitcoin Is Circulating on the Ethereum Blockchain

The top project minting the most synthetic BTC is the Wrapped Bitcoin (WBTC) protocol which commands roughly 44,622 BTC to-date or 63%. The Ren Protocol’s renBTC has over 23% of the aggregate total of synthetic BTC with 16,268 renBTC in circulation today.

The token hBTC has 4,810 and sBTC has a total of 2,918 at the time of publication. The two projects with the least amount of synthetic BTC is imBTC (1,173) and pBTC (45).

WBTC has gained a lot of traction, and on Monday reports detail that the organization Alameda Research obtained 70% of the WBTC minted in August. Alameda was cofounded by the FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried.

A great percentage of synthetic bitcoin is circulating among holders while the rest is used on platforms such as Compound, Balancer, Aave, and Uniswap.

Synthetic bitcoin trades take place on a few centralized exchanges like FTX and Binance has revealed listing WBTC this week. On decentralized exchange (dex) platforms, Synthetic bitcoin trades are happening on 0x, Bancor, Synthetix, Balance, Curve, and Uniswap.

Despite the massive growth and popularity, Ethereum cofounder Vitalik Buterin detailed that he has concerns about synthetic bitcoin projects.

“I continue to be worried about the fact that these wrapped BTC bridges are trusted,” Buterin wrote on August 16. “I hope they can all *at least* move to a decently sized multi-sig,” the developer added.

Following Buterin’s statements, the community discussed a research paper by the Wanchain project which claimed the Ren Protocol kept all the collateralized bitcoin in one address.

“Paradoxically, we found that the Bitcoin address provided by renBTC that users transfer their real BTC to for locking has not changed since the first day it went online,” the Wanchain report wrote.

Despite the trust issues, with 69,836 synthetic bitcoin tokens on the Ethereum blockchain, the ETH network continues to solidify itself as BTC’s most dominant offchain solution.

What do you think about the $700 million worth of BTC circulating on the ETH chain in synthetic form? Let us know in the comments below.

The post $700 Million Worth of Synthetic Bitcoin Is Circulating on the Ethereum Blockchain appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Whale Watch: 68 New Whales Join ETH Network, BTC Holds Lowest Concentration of Whales

Onchain data shows that during the market carnage this past weekend the number of ethereum whales increased significantly, while ETH prices dropped by 30%. Analytics from the data firm Santiment shows 68 new whales joined the network during the last three days.

During the last three days, cryptocurrency prices dropped considerably but ethereum (ETH) and a handful of defi tokens took some deeper losses in comparison. Over the weekend after the Sushiswap fiasco, ETH and a number of ERC20 token prices plummeted, losing 30% in value.

The lower prices of ETH sparked a buying frenzy and according to Santiment data, 68 new whales (1,000 to 10,000 ETH) joined the ETH ecosystem.

“Santiment‘s holder distribution chart shows that as ethereum was falling, there was a spike in the number of addresses with millions of dollars in ETH, colloquially known as whales,” the crypto proponent Ali Martinez tweeted on Sunday. “Roughly 68 new whales holding 1K to 10K ETH have joined the network in the past three days.”

Bitcoin (BTC) token summary on September 7, 2020.

At the time of publication, the entire market cap of 6,700+ crypto assets is just above the $300 billion mark losing 7% in value during the last 24 hours. Looking at the top ten digital assets, in terms of market valuation, ETH’s concentration of large holders is 40% according to Intotheblock’s onchain metrics.

In contrast to ETH’s concentration of large holders, bitcoin (BTC) has around 10%.

Ethereum (ETH) token summary on September 7, 2020.

ETH’s holders’ composition by time held is 56% today, while BTC’s time held aggregate is roughly 65%. Holders’ composition by time held is the classification of addresses according to their weighted average holding period.

Chainlink (LINK) token summary on September 7, 2020.

Meanwhile, tether (USDT) has a decent concentration of whales equal to ethereum at 40% but of course holders composition by time held for USDT is much less. Chainlink’s (LINK) concentration of whales is by far much larger, resting at 82% today.

Bitcoin Cash (BCH) token summary on September 7, 2020.

Bitcoin cash (BCH) whales on Monday is around 30% and holders’ composition by time held stands at 93%.

Bitcoinsv (BSV) the fork of BCH has a touch lower concentration of whales at 28% today and holders’ composition by time held is around 89%.

Litecoin (LTC) has a bigger concentration of large holders in contrast to BSV and BCH with 48% today. Holders’ composition by time held is resting at 66% for litecoin as well.

Lastly, the tenth market position held by cardano (ADA) has 33% a concentration of whales and ADA’s time held holders’ composition is only 37% on Monday.

The top ten’s onchain data shows that BTC has the least number of whales, while Chainlink (LINK) has the most concentration of large holders.

What do you think about the concentration of large holders in the crypto asset economy? Let us know what you think in the comments below.

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