This week’s summary of various cryptocurrency news and developments:
Bitcoin Gold’s website hit with a DDoS attack after it separated from the Bitcoin blockchain
This week, another hard fork created Bitcoin Gold (BTG) a new cryptocurrency that aims to solve Bitcoin’s mining problems by creating an ASIC-resilient mining ecosystem, where the gap between GPU/CPU and ASIC mining is smaller. As some pointed out, things similar to what BTG brings to the table have been tried by altcoins in the past, and none has actually been successful. Following Bitcoin Gold’s hard fork, the new cryptocurrency’s website was hit with a massive Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack that made its website inaccessible. Given that BTG’s blockchain isn’t yet public and there no block exploreres, information about it was nearly impossible to come by.
Massive DDoS attack on our cloud site. 10M requests per minute. We are working with the providers to ban all the IPs. We will be up soon!
— Bitcoin Gold [BTG] (@bitcoingold) October 24, 2017
Bitcoin Gold is a controversial cryptocurrency, as some have pointed out that developers gave themselves a premining period with minimal difficulty, and that its codebase is “not in a functional state.” So much so, that some exchanges refused to support BTG on their platform.
Billionaire investor Warren Buffet says Bitcoin is a “real bubble”
According to MarketWatch, Warren Buffet is now among those who believe the cryptocurrency market is in bubble territory, as in his annual question-and-answer session in Omaha, Buffet stated that Bitcoin is a “real bubble” and added that applying value to Bitcoin didn’t make a lot of sense, saying:
- “You can’t value Bitcoin because it’s not a value-producing asset.”
Buffet’s remarks came at a time in which Bitcoin was near the $6,000 mark. Back in 2014, the billionaire investor told people to stay away from the cryptocurrency as it was “a mirage basically.”
Fake cryptocurrency exchange apps found on Google Play
Cybersecurity firm ESET recently published a blog post in which it exposed two different fake cryptocurrency exchange apps on Android’s Google Play store, aiming to steal trader credentials and get access to email accounts through a fake Google prompt, in an attempt to allow fraudsters to withdraw and transact funds in people’s accounts while unnoticed. The two apps, named “POLONIEX” and “POLONIEX EXCHANGE” managed to have a total of about 5,500 installations before ESET notified Google and they were removed from the app store.
Other fraudulent apps may still be in the app store. A few outlets pointed out that another Poloniex app named “Poloniex – Bitcoin/Digital Asset Exchange” is still available on Google Play, and is seemingly just mirroring Poloniex’s mobile website. Its polarized reviews may mean it’s also grabbing user credentials. Its developer, named “MIT Service” is unlikely related to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and has a Bittrex app with poor reviews on the app store as well. To stay safe, users are advised to use two-factor authentication (2FA), carefully analyze if their service has a mobile app, and use a reliable security solution.
Rumors state Amazon may soon accept Bitcoin payments
Last month a rumor stating Amazon would accept Bitcoin payments by October spread like wildfire and, although we’re nearing the end of the month and the e-commerce giant still doesn’t accept the cryptocurrency, German newspaper Die Welt recently fueled new rumors in an article that states fintech sources in Silicon Valley were echoing last month’s rumors. In the article, Die Welt argues that, even if the date – previously rumored to be October 26 – wasn’t set in stone, the e-commerce giant should soon accept the cryptocurrency.
When contacted, an Amazon spokesperson replied with a rather generic answer, stating:
- “(Amazon) opts to include new products or services only when these are useful for our customers – until that point, we do not engage in rough speculation.”
European Central bank’s chief says Bitcoin isn’t “mature enough” for regulations
Mario Draghi, the European Central Bank’s (ECB) chief has, according to CNBC; stated that Bitcoin is still not “mature enough” for the central bank to regulate it. The comments were made during a press conference, included Draghi saying that the bank is cautiously observing Bitcoin and fintech developments, and that innovation should be “cherished for its potential benefits,” but also assessed for risks. Draghi, who in the past stated that the ECB doesn’t have the authority to regulate cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, didn’t add when Bitcoin would be considered worthy of ECB’s analysis or regulations, he just stated:
- “With anything that’s new, people have great expectations and also great uncertainty. Right now we think that especially as far as Bitcoins and cryptocurrencies are concerned, we don’t think the technology is mature for our consideration,” Draghi said.
Billionaire Saudi prince Alwaleed: Bitcoin is “going to implode”
Saudi prince Alwaleed bin Talal, who has an estimated net worth of over $17 billion, recently criticized Bitcoin in an appearance on CNBC. He notably stated that he doesn’t believe in the cryptocurrency, and even warned that Bitcoin was like “Enron in the making,” referring to a U.S. energy company that filed for bankruptcy after widespread accounting fraud was revealed. Per prince Alwaleed’s words, he just doesn’t believe in Bitcoin. He stated:
- “I just don’t believe in this Bitcoin thing. I think it’s going to implode one day. It’s Enron in the making (…) This thing does not make sense. It’s unregulated. It’s not under the control of the U.S. Federal Reserve or any other central bank.”
Indonesia banned Bitcoin as a payment method
Bank Indonesia (BI) governor Agus Martowardojo recently threatened to take action against Bitcoin adopters if the cryptocurrency is used as a payment method in the country, as the financial institution recently reaffirmed its stance that Bitcoin isn’t a legal payment method. While speaking at Jakarta, the country’s capital, Martowardojo stated that people should know “not to use Bitcoin as a means of payment. There is a risk.” He stressed that financial innovation needs BI’s approval, and that this approval means a number of requirements need to be met – all of this before adoption as a payment method in Indonesia. Then, he notably stated:
- “When the BI has asserted Bitcoin is not a valid payment instrument, those who use it will be dealt with. I do not want any violations in Indonesia.”
Bitcoin at $5,709.48 after correcting from an all-time high
Bitcoin hit $6,170 earlier this week but the cryptocurrency’s price soon corrected to, at press time, $5,709.48. Bitcoin’s market cap is now at $95 billion and its dominance is of 56.6%. Bitcoin’s hard forks have been influencing the price and while some expect the SegWit2x hard fork to help it surge, others believe the new token may take away part of Bitcoin’s market share.
Bitcoin Cash at $384.22 following hard fork announcement
According to reports , the Bitcoin Cash (BCH) network will hard fork on November 13, in an attempt to fix the network’s Difficulty Adjustment Algorithm (DAA) that essentially allows difficulty to adjust faster than every 2016 blocks, and that according to developers might’ve been useful at the time of the cryptocurrency’s creation, but is now leading to a miner “gold rush” whenever difficulty drops. The hard fork is merely going to be a protocol upgrade that, according to Juan Garavaglia, has consensus as most supporters were already asking for a solution to the network’s DAA. Following the announcement, Bitcoin Cash’s price started surging, to $384.22 at press time. BCH’s market cap is of $6.4 billion.