Bitcoin News Roundup 24th September 2016

This week’s summary of various cryptocurrency news and developments

New developments:

The Real Deal, the dark web marketplace where Yahoo! Accounts were for sale, was attacked

After Yahoo! confirmed it was hacked, we learned that 200 million accounts for sale wasn’t a lot, taking into account the company revealed 500 million were compromised and that the attack was “state-sponsored”. Nevertheless, Business Insider reported that the website where it was all for sale, The Real Deal, was under a DDoS (distributed denial-of-service) attack earlier this week, making it unavailable to users. Information on 200 million accounts was for sale on the site for 3 Bitcoin.

Bitcoin seen as money in case tied to JPMorgan hack

A judge ruled earlier this week that bitcoin is money in a case related to Anthony Murgio’s operation Coin.mx, a considered unlicensed bitcoin exchange. According to the judge, bitcoin met the definition of money as they can be accepted as payment for goods and services, and bought directly from an exchange or a bank account. Authorities have connected Coin.mx with Gery Shalon, an Israeli man charged with computer hacking and fraud scheme that targeted dozens of companies, including JPMorgan, and that exposed personal data of more than 100 million people.

Earlier this year, a Florida judge didn’t see bitcoin as money in a case related to laundering.

Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies may be targeted in the fight against ransomware

According to David S. Kris, former assistant attorney general at the US Department of Justice’s national-security division, cryptocurrencies just like bitcoin may need to be targeted in the fight against ransomware, as extortion attacks have increased in the last few years when cryptocurrencies started to become mainstream.

Tech firm Kaspersky Lab has said the number of ransomware victims has grown exponentially, from 131.000 in 2014, to 718.000 in 2015-2016. According to experts, some banks even began so stockpile 50-100 bitcoins in a way to counter a ransomware attack, in order to get rid of the problem immediately.

Gemini to launch daily bitcoin auctions

Gemini Trading, a bitcoin and Ethereum exchange founded by Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss, has decided to start hosting daily bitcoin auctions, making it the first end-of-day auction on a bitcoin exchange – a pretty standard feature in traditional exchanges. The move comes in order to give mainstream investors an investment mechanism. Gemini will be accepting two-sided bid in BTC/USD on a daily basis, and after 22h50m off bidding, it will start publishing “indicative auction prices to give bidders a chance to pull their money until the bid closes. The determined bitcoin price in which the auction is set-up is based on Winkdex, an index that determines the value of bitcoin by taking a look at its three biggest exchanges.

Ethereum network hit by a DDoS attack

Yesterday, Ethereum’s blog informed all miners that the network was under attack. Ethereum co-founder Jeffrey Wilcke ensured that the attack’s effects were limited to network shutdown, and that no memory overload had occurred on account of the attack. In order to avoid the issue, miners were told to switch from Geth mining to Parity. This was not the first time the Ethereum network was attacked, as it was hit right before Ethereum Devcon 2.

According to MIT, bitcoin isn’t popular among students

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) started a Bitcoin Project founded by Jeremy Rubin and Dan Elitzer in 2014 that intended to create an ecosystem for digital currencies at MIT. For every undergraduate that signed up for the project, they were given $100 worth of bitcoin, and throughout the project over 3.100 students participated. Within the first month, over 40% traded their bitcoins for money, and within two years only 14% still used their bitcoins, most of them just holding on to them waiting for value to increase. A factor that might have been involved in the failure is the lack of businesses around campuses accepting bitcoin.

World Affairs:

Dutch brothers face prison time for mining bitcoin with stolen electricity

In the Netherlands, two brothers are facing prison sentences up to 15 months for allegedly stealing electricity to power computers in order to mine bitcoins worth an estimate $223.500. The computers were allegedly found in a building also used as a cannabis nursery in Rotterdam, belonging to one of the brothers. The computers were running on stolen electricity.

Cryptocurrencies like bitcoin may destroy the Russian economy, says state official

According to the deputy general of Russia’s Federal Financial Monitoring Service (Rosfinmonitrong), cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin may threaten the destruction of the Russian economy. Reasoning that unlike traditional currencies, cryptocurrencies cannot be properly controlled by the state, which means it cannot adjust supply in order to fight inflation, for example. Russia had already expressed support for a state-controlled cryptocurrency in the past, one that would outlaw bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.

Financial:

Bitcoin is above $600, still remaining resilient

As bitcoin is accepted by all kinds of businesses throughout the world, it remains resilient despite being linked to a different number of crimes. Even though Bitfinex was somewhat recently hacked, bitcoin has recovered to a certain extent, reaching the $600 mark once again after it was lost earlier this week.

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