This week’s summary of various cryptocurrency news and developments:
WannaCry ransomware campaign netted hackers nearly $100,000 in bitcoin
A massive global ransomware campaign using a strain known as WannaCry, carried out by an unknown author, recently hit organizations in nearly 100 countries using an NSA exploit and demanded a bitcoin ransom in return for the victims’ files back. Even though the attack hit organizations all over the world, at a rate Europol called “unprecedented”, the hackers “only” managed to get nearly $100,000 out of the ordeal.
Here are the three wallets used by the perpetrators, with a total roughly 48.2 BTC in them at the time of press:
- https://blockchain.info/address/12t9YDPgwueZ9NyMgw519p7AA8isjr6SMw– 16.8 BTC
- https://blockchain.info/address/115p7UMMngoj1pMvkpHijcRdfJNXj6LrLn – 12.9 BTC
- https://blockchain.info/address/13AM4VW2dhxYgXeQepoHkHSQuy6NgaEb94-18.5 BTC
A major bug has been found in CryptoNote based currencies
The team behind anonymous cryptocurrency Monero (XMR) reportedly found a bug that affects CryptoNote-based currencies such as DashCoin (note: DashCoin and Dash are two different currencies), Bytecoin, Boolberry, and DigitalNote. The bug allows for the creation of infinite coins in an undetectable way. It has already been patched by several currencies, including Monero, Aeon, Boolberry, DashCoin, Forknote and Bytecoin.
Some of the mentioned coins recently saw huge surges in value, although the cause may be unrelated.
There are nearly 200,000 unconfirmed bitcoin transactions
Last week, DeepDotWeb reported that there were over 150,000 unconfirmed bitcoin transactions according to Blockchain.iinfo. At the time of press, the number has climbed to 195,000, although some reports indicate the number got to 225,000 during the week. The backlog, paired with high fees, has led a lot of users to alternative cryptocurrencies such as Ethereum, some speculate. The scaling debate aims to solve bitcoin’s issues, but it seems to have no end in sight.
Kraken and Poloniex may be investigated for possible market manipulation
Berns Weiss LLP has announced that it would be investigating potential market manipulation and insider trading claims on behalf of Kraken and Poloniex users who have suffered losses due to last week’s DDoS attacks. Before the DDoS attacks a large ether sell order was placed and, while down, both exchanges continued with their activities even though users couldn’t access their platforms, which led to several leveraged positions being liquidated. The law firm stated that:
- If the exchanges or individuals associated with the exchanges violated the law, then users who suffered losses as a result of those violations may bring a lawsuit to recover money damages.
Payza to offer full bitcoin support
Global payment platform Payza recently announced that it has embraced bitcoin and cryptocurrencies. Members can now buy, sell, and hold bitcoins right in their Payza e-wallets, which also means users can exchange bitcoin for USD and vice-versa, directly from their accounts. Bitcoin payments processed on the platform, unlike traditional bitcoin payments, will be reversible as they will be protected Payza’s Resolution Center. Moreover, fees are going to be cheaper when it comes to bitcoin:
- The fee to receive Bitcoin is just 1.2% per transaction, which is lower than the standard Payza receiving fee of 2,9% + $0.30. All Bitcoin transfers from Payza member to Payza member are instant
Payza ended its announcement with news that more options are still to come. According to the company, other major cryptocurrencies such as Litecoin, Monero, Dash, and Ripple will be integrated as well.
Norway’s largest internet-based bank added bitcoin to its platform
Norway’s largest online bank, Skandianbanken, has added a new feature that integrates bitcoin into its platform. According to Bitcoin.com, the web bank’s customers can now access Coinbase accounts, allowing them to check the value of their bitcoins from the same platform they use to check their bank accounts. The bank believes its customers will appreciate the feature, even though it also believes cryptocurrencies are still at an early stage. Christoffer Hernæs, the bank’s Head of Innovation and Development, told news outlets:
- “It’s still an early phase for cryptocurrencies. It may be ok to test the waters, without jumping into it head first
Alza, a large European e-retailer, just started accepting bitcoin
According to CryptoCoinsNews, a major European e-retailer, Alza, has started accepting bitcoin payments and could, according to reports, accept other major cryptocurrencies such as Litecoin and Ethereum in the future. The company’s move comes after numerous customers requested that the cryptocurrency was available as a payment method. Alza is prevalent in Central and Eastern Europe, and is currently using BitcoinPay’s services to allow bitcoin payments, and even installed new bitcoin ATMs in some of its retail stores.
Bitcoin near $2,000, with a total market cap above $30 billion
Bitcoin is once again reaching new heights, coming close to the $2,000 as one bitcoin is currently worth $1,993,45, according to CoinMarketCap. The cryptocurrency’s total market cap is now above the $30 billion mark, even though its dominance over altcoins has fallen below 50%.
Ripple maintains its position as the No.2 cryptocurrency as Ethereum catches up
Ripple’s market cap is, at the time of press, of $13.92 billion. One token is currently worth $0.36 as the currency’s value has recently surged. Even though the centralized currency blew past Ethereum last week to take its place as the No.2 cryptocurrency, Ethereum seems to be catching up as one ether is now worth $126.94, meaning the cryptocurrency now has a total market cap of $11 billion.
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