BitMEX’s head of research, Jonathan Bier, gave a statement to Bloomberg this week that will soon be proven true or false. In regards to how the upcoming Bitcoin Cash fork would play out, Bier said that he believes that the important divide between the economic majority and the mining majority will sort itself out in rapid fashion.

“The chain will split in two, but the economy will support ABC and reject SV (Satoshi’s Vision). SV will have a low price and miners will leave it in a few weeks. That is my prediction.”

As head of research, Bier would have played an important role in the roll-out of the new fork monitoring tool that Bitmex has sponsored.

A Theory with Legs

Bier’s prediction is based on the reality of the situation rather than personal feelings regarding the technicalities of the upcoming hard fork. It is an informed and wizened view. The economic majority in a cryptocurrency is, in real terms, as important as the mining majority. There are a lot of reasons for this, not the least of which is the cost of the hardware involved in mining cryptocurrencies.

Miners take financial risks on hardware with the reasonable expectation that they will be able to earn a return. If one or the other chain is better equipped to service that result, then that will become the preferred chain of miners, and if they are within a few dozen dollars of each other in unit price, this preference can fluctuate algorithmically in ways that can have a dramatically negative effect on everyday users as difficulties rise and fall and make block times irregular.

Demonstration of this principle is not hard to find. There are many orders of magnitude more miners, pools, mining pools, and so forth contributing to the difficulty of the Bitcoin network than Bitcoin Cash’s current network as a whole. Yet, Bitcoin Cash itself (owing in large part to its architecture being almost identical to that of Bitcoin’s, with some important differences) likely has as much of a lead on the majority of other altcoins.

Some exchanges have decided in advance that they will not list Bitcoin SV at all, but they are just a few of hundreds of places that people transact in BCH. Multiple major exchanges have already made pairs including both versions of Bitcoin Cash, enabling traders to engage in pre-fork futures trading.

Other Possibilities

bitcoin cash fork
Bitcoin SV currently has majority support from miners, but will that persist following the fork? | Source: Coin Dance

While Bier’s informed opinion on the matter represents one likely outcome – that Bitcoin SV loses both economic and mining support in that order and in a short span of time – there are others.

As noted in the Bloomberg article, Calvin Ayre and other wealthy individuals – some of whom, like Ayre, own a lot of cryptos as well as mining hardware – have skin in this game. They could conceivably, by themselves and at a loss (although not in their rational self-interest), prop the SV price up for a time.

The likelihood that Ayre’s planned appeals to Bitcoin exchanges — to only list his version of Bitcoin Cash — are successful feels, well, very small. Purely to stimulate trading of the SV coin (or any trading at all) on their exchange(s) and encourage deposits, some exchanges might well list SV exclusively. It would alienate some users, but the 80/20 rule applies: 20 percent of customers make up 80 percent of many business models. In this case, some small exchanges might want that 20 percent to become SV diehards or just people looking to dump their SV coins, or some combination of both. But anything approaching a volume or economic majority? Forget about it.

A scenario that feels likely to this reporter is that both chains live on indefinitely. Whether or not either token enjoys a bullish token price across exchanges, it’s hard to imagine Craig Wright or Calvin Ayre coming back into the fold at this point, nor Roger Ver and Jihan Wu welcoming them back if they decided to do so. CoinGeek by itself has the capability to prop up the SV blockchain, and its media efforts have the capability to continually attract new users and widen the base. (Bitcoin ABC has the same capabilities utilizing a wider array of resources – Jihan Wu, Roger Ver, the coterie of major exchanges which have come out in definitive support of ABC.)

Ayre, Wright, and their sizable number of supporters seem to share a very specific vision for cryptocurrency, and it seems that only complete capitulation of their peers would be enough for them to call it quits this far in. A whole generation of Bitcoin mining hardware is soon to be obsolete with next-generation miners coming online, and this soon-to-be-resold hardware has a convenient retirement plan: mine on one or all of the latter-day Bitcoin blockchains. Effectively, a dedication or rededication of any significant amount of hash power from unexpected sources to either chain would change outcomes significantly, and this possibility relies very much, of course, on the market performance of either.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article are solely those of the author and do not represent those of, nor should they be attributed to, CCN.

This post credited to ccn Image from nChain/YouTube

 

China and the USA have been competing with each other in every field to gain global dominance. The same competition seems to have entered the cryptocurrency industry as White House, understanding China’s Bitcoin Dominance is now backing Ripple Labs.

Its BTC vs XRP as two global superpowers look at a crypto world

China is, by far, the undisputed world leader in bitcoin mining — with Chinese mining pools controlling more than 70% of the bitcoin network’s collective hash rate, the measuring unit of the processing power of the bitcoin network.

Many in the bitcoin and cryptocurrency industry have expressed concern about how much control this gives China over bitcoin, with the Beijing-based Bitmain Technologies mining more than half the world’s bitcoins creating an oligopolistic to near monopoly situation.

While China’s dominance is fairly visible, the United States doesn’t want to stay behind in this race. According to the reports coming in from the White House, it appears U.S. president Donald Trump’s White House is also worrying about China’s bitcoin dominance and Ripple Labs executive, are suggesting the U.S. administration is interested in ripple (XRP) adoption to offset China’s bitcoin strength.

Ripple Lab’s chief strategist, Cory Johnson, was quoted saying in a wide-ranging interview with crypto-focused magazine Breaker that

“The White House, in particular, seems to be thinking about what it means to have 80% of bitcoin mining taking place in China and a majority of ether mining taking place in China,”

“When you look at XRP, there is no mining, so from a foreign-control aspect or from an environmental aspect, XRP is a very different beast. And in conversations we’ve had with the administration, they seem to get that and think that might matter.”

China manufactures most of the world’s bitcoin and cryptocurrency mining equipment and its massive mining farms are supported by the country’s cheap electricity prices, giving it dominance in bitcoin while for Ripple, Ripple Labs controls 60% of the ripple supply and the XRP tokens don’t require any mining. This situation of Bitmain’s dominating control over Bitcoin’s mining and Ripple’s majority control over XRP has received a lot of criticism from the industry as these being centralized in hands of few. A lot of experts believe that this war of the US vs China may intensify the centralization issues as both global superpowers would want to control these cryptos.

This post credited to coingape  Image source: Coingape

As of Thursday, Sept. 25, the bitcoin price has climbed about 3 percent, briefly crossing the $6,700 level and extending toward $6,750 at one point in the early evening.

While this movement has made plenty of cryptocurrency  traders and investors happy in the short-term, a recent analysis of spending patterns relating to some of the earliest blocks of bitcoin has revealed that a very early miner has been taking advantage of the last several years’ long-term upward trajectory to slowly cash out tens of thousands of coins since Dec. 2016.

A recent tweet from a cryptocurrency expert, Blockchain data analyst Antoine Le Calvez, has revealed that a mysterious bitcoin miner has managed to send approximately 30,000 BTC cryptocurrency exchanges between Dec. 2016, and Jan. 2018, potentially cashing them out for a mammoth payday.

Mystery Miner Cashes In

According to Le Calvez, the mysterious bitcoin miner has been smart enough to cash in on their youngest blocks of bitcoin to not reveal the full extent of their mining period.

It would seem that, at the latest, the mining started somewhere around Dec. 2009, back when the value of BTC wasn’t much above $0, still wasn’t anywhere near reaching dollar parity, and the flagship cryptocurrency could be profitably mined with a standard-issue CPU. The first Bitcoin Pizza Day, you will remember, did not occur until 2010.

Furthermore, the researcher believes that the mystery miner had mined for at least seven months. Through this time, he managed to acquire more than 30,000 BTC since block rewards were high and miners were few.

He speculates that the miner could have even commenced mining operations earlier than Dec. 2009 since, recognizing that spending older coins is more likely to attract attention, he desires to conceal his sell-off. For some, this may raise questions, such as whether the mystery wallet owner is not Satoshi Nakamoto himself, although the researcher seems to think otherwise.

This post is credited to ccn Featured Image from Shutterstock

A district of Shanghai says it is ready to embrace blockchain technology – but will adhere to the government’s cryptocurrency ban.

Per a report in Chinese media outlet Eastday, Yangpu District, in the northeastern part of downtown Shanghai, is planning to nurture some 1,000 blockchain technology professionals, foster 100 blockchain startups and provide incubation facilities for 10 promising potential “unicorn” startups.

The move is the first blockchain incentive to be embarked upon by a single Shanghai district, rather than the greater city authorities.

Yangpu authorities were careful to stress that the new blockchain push would not stop them from “resolutely curbing illegal financial activities such as cryptocurrency trading and token financing” – in line with Beijing’s crackdown on crypto-related activities.

Earlier this week, Shanghai welcomed a group of Australian blockchain startups visiting on a trade mission co-organized by Austrade and the Australian Digital Commerce Association. Per Australian media outlet Financial Review, the group’s activities in the city involved paying a visit to the headquarters of fintech giant Ant Financial.

Meanwhile, a Nevada-based company with links to China has unveiled an ambitious plan to turn a United States Defense Department data center into a vast cryptocurrency mine.

Per a company statement, Wuhan General Group (China), says it is “negotiating a redesign” for the 51,000 sqm data center, although it has not revealed whereabouts in American the building is located.

The company says the facility already “has over 3MW of power ready to accommodate up to 1,300 mining machines for BitcoinZcash and other cryptocurrencies.” However, Wuhan says it hopes to deploy a further 12,000 rigs and hike the power capacity up to a 30MW by next year.

Although negotiations appear to be ongoing, Wuhan says its first order of rigs from ASICminer will “arrive in late October,” with more to follow “in the coming months.” Wuhan says the facility will bring in an initial monthly revenue “in excess of USD 3.5 million” once it is operational.

The company, which has bases in Nevada and the Chinese city of Hubei, made a name for itself producing industrial blowers and power generation equipment and batteries. However, earlier this month, it announced it was spinning off its battery business, and said it will now “focus its operations on large-scale mining cryptocurrency farms.”

 

This post credited to cryptonews Image source: iStock 

Iran, which is planning to launch a national cryptocurrency, now recognises cryptocurrency mining operations although regulations to legalise the activity has not been finalised.

IBENA, a news agency specialising in financial and economic news, quoted the secretary of the Supreme Council of Cyberspace, Abolhassan Firouzabadi, as saying that the government now recognises crypto mining.

He says government ministries and agencies that have accepted the industry include the Communications and Information Technology Ministry, the Central Bank of Iran, Industry Ministry, Mining and Trade Ministry, Economic Affairs Ministry and Finance Ministry.

Meanwhile, Firouzabadi says that the National Cyberspace Centre together with the central bank will release the regulatory framework and policies for startups and businesses that want to participate in the cryptocurrency sphere by Sept 22.

IBENA reported on Aug 25 that the draft regulatory framework for the introduction of a cryptocurrency was ready.

In that earlier report, an official of the National Cyberspace Centre says regulations on cryptocurrencies will be introduced when the central bank makes its stance clear on the issue at the end of September.

 

This post is credited to cryptonewsasia  Image source: Cryptonewsasia

Cybersecurity company Trend Micro has revealed that between January and July 2018, its researchers detected unauthorized crypto mining attacks – also known as ‘cryptojacking’ – at a rate nearly 1000 percent higher than in the second half of 2017. The information was revealed in the company’s H1 2018 report titled “Unseen Threats, Imminent Losses.”

From Malware to Cryptojacking

One significant insight contained in the report is that cybercriminals who previously favored the use of malware and ransomware to shake down their victims are increasingly looking toward digital coin mining as a new frontier.

Explaining the new threat, an excerpt from the Trends Micro report reads:

“Throughout the next few months, we also saw a noticeable shift away from highly visible ransomware to a more discreet detection: cryptocurrency mining. These damaging threats — from the miners that quietly leech power from victims’ devices to the dangerous vulnerabilities that leave machines open to covert attacks — split limited security resources and divide the focus of IT administrators.”

A cryptojacking attack, while often escaping detection by network security personnel and users can have debilitating consequences for a network or computer equipment such as increased response time and extreme lags, physical degradation of hardware due to increased workload and overheating, and power usage spikes.

The attack is quite devastating because it makes use of a computer system’s graphics processing capability instead of its processor, which slows down a system’s operating speed with serious effects, particularly for an enterprise level computer operation.

The report states that as predicted in 2017, detection of cryptojacking incidents and attempts has increased twofold, and more pertinently, it continues to expand as cybercriminals increasingly see a future in digital currency crime. According to the report, not only is the number of incidents going up, but the number of cryptojacking malware families is also increasing, which shows that bad actors are investing considerable amounts of time and resources in developing cryptojacking as a new area of criminal enterprise.

Breakdown and Statistics

The security roundup reveals that between January and July 2017, Trend Micro’s researchers documented a 141 percent increase in unauthorized crypto miningincidents. Over the same period, they also found 47 new cryptojacking malware families as hackers evolved and changed their mode of operation.

Strategies used for gaining access to systems to mine crypto included inserting malvertising into Google’s DoubleClick ad program, injecting infected advertisements into websites, deploying Adware downloader ICLoader, and even uploading mining script to AOL’s ad platform.

Over the course of 2018, there have been several reports of cryptojacking incidents affecting hundreds of websites including government websites and high profile platforms by cybercriminals mining Monero. Monero generally remains the cryptocurrency of choice for crypto jackers because it offers almost total anonymity as well as market liquidity.

It is challenging catching crypto jackers by tracing Monero wallet funds. This is because they use crypto blending services to launder their crypto funds before withdrawing them. To avoid becoming victims of cryptojacking, it is recommended that network security administrators should regularly look out for power usage spikes, unusual power usage patterns or other unauthorized activity on their networks.

 

This post credited to Coinjournal   Image source: coinjournal