Following Money Through the Bitcoin Laundry Is Not So Easy

Just recently there was a small ransomware outburst called “Peyta” that attacked various computers around the world. The creators of Peyta didn’t make as much money as the Wannacry extortionists had made a few weeks earlier, as Petya only raked in around $8,000 worth of BTC. However, the money the hackers accumulated has moved and following those bitcoins has proven to be extremely difficult.

 

Petya Ransomware Funds Travel Through the Tumbling Process

The latest Petya ransomware wasn’t as crazy as the mainstream media portrayed it to be, and the creators only made off with $8,000 in extortion funds. One of the reasons the attackers didn’t make much money was due to their email being shut down. What’s interesting about the Petya ransomware is the hackers chose to use one particular address to collect funds as opposed to multiple addresses commonly used in these types of protocols. After a couple of days, the hackers started moving the money to different addresses. Individuals following the funds believe the money was sent through a tumbler or a platform that mixes bitcoins in order to obfuscate the sending process.

Following Money Through the Bitcoin Laundry Is Not So Easy
A depiction of a Coinjoin mix or tumbling process.

‘A Vast Majority of Transfers had More Than Ten Total Transactions’

According to the publication Quartz those bitcoins will be extremely hard for law enforcement to locate. The news outlet says they followed the money as far as they could, but the bitcoins were sent through a series of transfers and one of them was a legitimate bitcoin exchange. After the first few hops, the publication details funds were sent to a “high volume address” which they assumed was the trading platform.

After this point Quartz explains, they could only speculate on which transactions belonged to Petya.

“We collected each spent output from that address, then each spent output from those addresses, and so on,” explains Quartz columnist Keith Collins. “In order to limit the number of rabbit holes the crawler followed, we only included transfers that occurred within eight hours of the first outgoing transaction from the first wallet. We considered high-volume wallets to be wallets that had three or more total transactions, as returned from the Blockchain.info API, but the vast majority of those had more than ten total transactions.”

Following Money Through the Bitcoin Laundry Is Not So Easy
This picture depicts the Petya funds which were mixed through over 2000 addresses.

Taking Action Against Digital Currency Mixers

There are multiple ways for groups and individuals to mix their bitcoins to confuse blockchain surveillance. These include tumblers like Joinmarket and the many other mixing platforms found on the deep web. Further, some users opt to utilize altcoins like Zcash and Monero, because they believe these cryptocurrencies offer better anonymity. In the future, many people think better forms of cryptocurrency anonymization will be coming like Schnorr signatures and other types of Zero Knowledge platforms. However, law enforcement and government officials have been saying for quite some time that bitcoin mixers and anonymizers should be illegal. For instance, the Basel Institute on Governance, Europol, Interpol, and U.S. officials have been discussing proposals to “take action against digital currency mixers/tumblers.”

Can Law Enforcement Really Follow 2373 Hops?

Quartz details that the Petya funds were estimated to be sent to over 2373 addresses over the course of the mixing process. “If we knew what bitcoin address or addresses the Petya money ended up in, we’d likely find hundreds of thousands of transactions between that address and the starting address,” explains the news outlet. “That’s more than we could ever chart.”

The news comes at a time when blockchain surveillance companies have become a hot topic, and just recently Chainalysis claimed to know the destination of the missing 650,000 Mt Gox bitcoins. With hackers mixing their coins through a series of transfers blockchain forensic companies may be fabricating how well they can follow these transactions.

What do you think about mixing transactions? Do you think law enforcement can really follow all the outputs when funds are sent through a bitcoin tumbler? Let us know in the comments below.

The Bitcoin Scaling Countdown: Miners Begin Running Segwit2x Software

It seems July 17 has initiated the beginning steps towards Segwit2x activation as the code has been released and miners who supported the “New York Agreement” (NYA) have started running the new BTC1 software.

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Miners Begin Running the New Segwit2x Software

As the price of bitcoin dropped to new lows this weekend, some bitcoin proponents were patiently waiting for the promised BTC1 software. Now it seems in a short period of time the bitcoin ‘community’ may see the protocol Segregated Witness (Segwit) activated as the mining community has begun to signal BIP91. The proposal BIP91 is a combination of Segwit2x and BIP148. The version 1.14.4 code has been pushed to the repository by the Segwit2x working group, and a few mining pools have already started running the protocol. The China-based Bitmain technologies announced their support via Twitter by stating;

All of our bitcoin mining pools will start running the new Segwit2x software today  

Other mining pools signaling and mining BIP91 blocks include Bixin, Antpool, BTC.com, Bitfury, and Bitclub so far. Now spectators are waiting for other pools like BTCC, F2pool, Slush, and a few others to join. Back in June Bitcoin.com reported on how a vast majority of the hashrate was signaling their initial support for Segwit2x. Miners running the new BTC1 software and currently signaling BIP91 means that if enough hashrate reaches over 80 percent and continues for a 336 block period, Segwit will “lock in”. If all is successful, this will then lead to another 336 block period that will activate the Segwit protocol on the main chain.

The Bitcoin Scaling Countdown: Miners Begin Running Segwit2x Software
Mining pools mining BIP91 blocks on July 17, 2017.

Bitcoin Community Sentiment

It’s still a bit early and hard to gauge the overall sentiment of bitcoiners, but there are definitely a lot of individuals on forums and social media who support the Segwit2x plan. For instance, Fred Wilson, managing partner at Union Square Ventures revealed he favored Segwit2x adoption on July 17 via the investor’s blog.

“I am for the Segwit2x proposal and hope that we see it broadly adopted later this month,” explains Wilson. “There is a chance that doesn’t happen, and a user activated soft fork (UASF) could be used to force Segwit into the market. I personally hope that a user activated soft fork doesn’t happen as it would create a lot of turbulence.”

The Bitcoin Scaling Countdown: Miners Begin Running Segwit2x Software
An explanation of BIP91.

Rootstock Chief Scientist, Sergio Demian Lerner also states his opinion of the Segwit2x compromise revealing he doesn’t believe the intention is to “fire core programmers,” which is one of the conspiracies that has been spread around the community.

“In my humble opinion the New York Agreement wanted to start from Bitcoin Core 0.14 because the group wants core to keep leading Bitcoin,” explains the Rootstock developer and initial creator of the Segwit2x proposal.

It doesn’t try to be the next core — If NYA intention was to dump Core, they would have started from BU or Bitcoin Classic or they would have removed the witness discount

Further Sergio Demian Lerner details that he knows Segwit isn’t perfect but he doesn’t think perfection is obtainable anyway.

“I audited Segwit in 2016. Found problems. Code far from perfect. HOWEVER I DO support Segwit because I don’t believe in perfection,” says the Rootstock engineer. “You have to know the actual code in detail to say you know Segwit. That’s the problem with Segwit. That’s a community fault.”

Many Others Just Want This All to Be Over

The Bitcoin Scaling Countdown: Miners Begin Running Segwit2x Software
BIP91 begins to gather support on July 17, 2017.

There are still those who vehemently disagree with the progression of BTC1 and are showing sole support for either UASF or UAHF, vowing never to compromise. However, gauging sentiment via Twitter or Reddit forums is a horrible metric, and the only things that matters now in this debate are the actions from the network’s participants, rather than mere internet chatter.

People are also discussing the next step of the Segwit2x plan after the Segregated Witness protocol is implemented, which is the 2MB hard fork. The hard fork subject is also a contentious topic, and people are wondering if NYA participants will still support the hard fork after Segwit gets implemented. If Segwit2x continues to be agreed upon then exactly 12,960 blocks (~3 months) after Segwit activates — The hard fork will commence.

Now if mining pools continue to do what they agreed upon in regards to the NYA plan and other miners join in then the implementation of Segwit will likely happen soon.

What do you think about Segwit2x? Are you in favor of this compromise? Let us know in the comments below.

Markets Update: Bears Drag the Bitcoin Price Down to New Lows

This week the price of bitcoin has been descending downwards following a bearish trendline and is currently hovering just around the US$2000 range. The price started its downtrend on July 10 after staying around the $2550 territory for a few days, but subsequently started dropping to a low of $2225 on July 14. At press time the price of BTC is struggling to stay above $2K, and current technical indicators are showing the bear run may not be over.

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Fear Uncertainty and Doubt Plagues Cryptocurrency Markets

It’s been a pretty grueling week if you’ve been watching cryptocurrency markets, as bitcoin and various altcoins have drastically corrected in value. On July 14 bitcoin’s price formed some new lows dipping to the $2225 range forming a downwards triangular pattern. Over the course of the day and into the overnight the price per BTC continued to slide until finally subsiding to just above the $2K mark. The decentralized currency’s total market capitalization is now only $33 billion, but due to the significant drop in altcoin markets, BTC dominance is up to 46 percent. Bitcoin trade volume is seeing mediocre activity compared to weeks prior at roughly $1 billion USD worth of trading per day.

BTC/USD July 15, 2017, 9:30 am EDT.

BTC/USD Technical Indicators

Technical indicators show that traders have allowed bears to reign over the market and the ball is in their court now. At press time the long term 200 Simple Moving Average (SMA) is well above the 100 SMA, pointing to continued market losses. The Relative Strength Index (RSI) has dropped pretty low since July 12 indicating the beginning of the seller’s market takeover. Further stochastic indicators are also signaling bearish conditions and those shorting the market may be able to set some downside targets. However, at the time of writing, there is a significant foundation at the $1950-2K range and the price may hover in this vicinity for a few more hours.

Markets Update: Bears Drag the Bitcoin Price Down to New Lows
Bitstamp BTC/USD prices July 15, 2017, 9:30 am EDT.

Market Sentiment: Upcoming Protocol Changes Has Likely Created Weak Hands

The bearish market sentiment is likely due to the protocol changes planned for the end of the month. There have been many discussions on the various scenarios where the bitcoin blockchain could split on August 1. Many bitcoiners are patiently waiting to see if the storm passes, but no one knows exactly how things will play out between UASF, UAHF, and Segwit2x. Some bitcoin proponents are fairly positive that Segwit will be implemented soon and the August 1 scenarios may not happen. Other bitcoin enthusiasts are waiting for the next Segwit2x release that is expected to come out this weekend, according to Jeff Garzik. When this happens, the vast majority of miners signaling support for Segwit2x will actually start running the code.

The uncertainty tied to the bitcoin ecosystem is likely affecting altcoins markets as well. Just like Crypto Compare’s Charles Hayter told us last week, “a rising tide lifts all boats, but the opposite is also true.”

Waiting on the Sidelines for the Perfect Entry Point

Overall bitcoiners are either not happy about the price drop or enthusiastically detailing they are buying the dip. It’s safe to assume as the next two weeks get closer, there will be some volatile action for intra-range players to profit off scalps and breaks. Some traders are speculating that Segwit will be activated soon and the price will reverse back up the ladder. Other traders are envisioning a continued drop to the $1800 territory and a possible following rise after that low price point. One thing is for sure is that traders are uncertain right now and the bulls have stepped off to the sidelines for a lower price entry.

Bear Scenario: If bitcoin breaks the key resistance range below $2K we will see lower trajectories towards the $1800-1900s. At press time according to order books and depth readings, there is a solid foundation within the $1800-2000 territory that should certainly last for the next few days. These critical zones, however, can cause quite a bit of fear and uncertainty which can always spark the possibility of more intensified panic selling.

Bull Scenario: If buy pressure picks up after consolidating above the $2K range we could see some nice recovery over the next 24-hours. Sell walls are pretty flat at the moment, and the price could break higher with ease if bullish traders decide to jump back in the game. However, it seems most buyers are waiting for a lower price trajectory and are assuming this will happen with the current looming possibility of a chain split. Another bullish theory that could take place is; Segwit gets activated within the next two weeks, and the price climbs upwards following this event.

Where do you see the price of bitcoin going from here? Let us know in the comments below.

Disclaimer: Bitcoin price articles and markets updates are intended for informational purposes only and should not to be considered as trading advice. Neither  http://blog.easypaypakistan.com nor the author is responsible for any losses or gains, as the ultimate decision to conduct a trade is made by the reader. Always remember that only those in possession of the private keys are in control of the “money.

Alpari Major Russian Forex Broker: Launches Bitcoin Trading Pairs

Alpari Group, Russia’s largest native forex broker, has announced the launch of two bitcoin trading pairs, with the company now offering BTC/USD and BTC/EUR CFDs to traders. Alpari Group joins a growing list of international forex and CFD brokers that have introduced cryptocurrency trading markets in recent weeks.

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The Introduction of Bitcoin Derivatives Trading Is of Prescient Timing for Alpari

Major Russian Forex Broker Alpari Launches Bitcoin Trading Pairs

Alpari Group is a forex and contracts for difference (CFD) broker that is licensed in Belarus, Belize, Mauritius, and Russia. Alpari has launched BTC/USD and BTC/USD trading pairs this week, joining a growing list of international derivatives markets that have begun to offer cryptocurrency trading products.

The company was founded in 1998, and since 2014 it has been recognized as the largest Russian Forex broker based upon monthly turnover and number of clients. Despite its Russian success, Alpari has seen significant struggles in recent years – following the insolvency of its UK entity and the revocation of the company’s United States National Futures Association and subsequent exit from the US markets.

The introduction of bitcoin derivatives trading is of prescient timing for Alpari, following recent announcements that Russia is developing a regulatory framework for bitcoin and cryptocurrencies. Many commentators are skeptical that Putin’s Russia will fully embrace bitcoin, as cryptocurrency has the potential to further erode the Russian state’s ability to exercise centralized control over financial circulation.

Alpari Group Has Become the Latest Major International Forex Broker to Introduce Bitcoin Trading Pairs

Major Russian Forex Broker Alpari Launches Bitcoin Trading Pairs

From the perspective of the Russian state, encouraging bitcoin-based trading could facilitate growth in Russian fintech firms like Alpari – allowing such to cash in on the growth of cryptocurrency without promoting the disruptive potential of free and direct cryptocurrency trading, or risking encouraging direct competitor to the national cryptocurrency that Russia has announced it is developing.

Alpari has joined a growing list of international forex and CFD brokers who have recently launched bitcoin and cryptocurrency trading pairs. Israeli-based Panda Trading Systems also announced the introduction of seven cryptocurrency CFD products this week, with Panda’s Ori Hazan stating that Panda is “very pleased to be a part of this exciting new direction the online trading industry is taking. Cryptocurrencies have been on our radar for quite a few years now, but they finally seem to be moving into mainstream adoption and we’re ready for this change.”

In recent weeks HYCM has launched bitcoin derivatives trading to UK, Dubai and Cyprus customer, with Ayondo, Etoro, Plus500, and many other CFD brokers also introducing cryptocurrency CFD markets in recent months.

Do you think that Russia will encourage cryptocurrency trading through derivatives whilst attempting to limit the direct use cryptocurrency by its citizens? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!

Investment Funds That Offer Cryptocurrency Exposure See Big Gains

These days bitcoin continues to outperform many traditional assets as the decentralized currency has become the premiere digital asset class of the 21st century. There are many ways individuals can obtain bitcoins and hold the appreciating investment themselves. However, there are also other traditionalized methods where people can invest in cryptocurrencies through trusts, self-directed IRAs, hedge funds, and other investment vehicles.

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In 2017 Bitcoin Visibility Increases Among Mainstream Investors and Traditional Fund Managers

Bitcoin’s performance as an asset class continues to outshine traditional investments like stocks, precious metals, and the bond market. Just recently the well-known mainstream financial publication Bloomberg called bitcoin an “exchange traded fund (ETF) on steroids.” Furthermore, people have found that there are other ways to invest in bitcoin which are similar to traditional individual retirement accounts (IRA), or stock market investments. This includes cryptocurrency based investment trusts, exchange-traded notes and many more types of methods.

Investment Funds That Offer Cryptocurrency Exposure See Big Gains

So far in 2016 and the past six months of 2017 cryptocurrency funds have soared in value considerably compared to traditional assets. Some of these traditional investment rails just offer bitcoin while others offer a basket of cryptocurrencies that can sometimes outperform one single digital asset if managed properly.

BK Capital Management

Investment Funds That Offer Cryptocurrency Exposure See Big GainsThe BKCM investment asset fund was created by CNBC host and investment analyst Brian Kelly. The firm specializes in the macro-economics of digital assets and offers mainstream investors exposure to currencies like bitcoin. BKCM says its managers are fluent in “traditional capital markets, blockchain assets, and technology experience.” According to the company’s website, the fund focuses on “liquid exchange” digital assets. Kelly has been an active proponent of bitcoin and other emerging digital assets throughout many of his broadcasts on the network CNBC.

Investment Funds That Offer Cryptocurrency Exposure See Big Gains
This Spring BKCM was up 68% in April and 172% YTD according to the company’s reports.

Grayscale’s Bitcoin Investment Trust

Investment Funds That Offer Cryptocurrency Exposure See Big GainsThe Grayscale Bitcoin Investment Trust (GBTC) is a fund run by the Digital Currency Group’s (DCG) Barry Silbert. The DCG founder Silbert has been well known among investment circles when he created the brokerage firm Secondmarket and since then focused his efforts towards cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups. The publicly quoted GBTC is an easy way for investors to get exposure to bitcoin and can be purchased through traditional self-directed IRAs. The Bitcoin Investment Trust has outperformed the S&P 500, gold shares, and treasury bonds by gaining 220.59 percent this year. Moreover, GBTC shares trade at a premium compared to an individual purchasing bitcoin traditionally through an exchange. Alongside this, Grayscale also offers an Ethereum Classic fund that is similar to GBTC. The ECX Index is eligible to be held in an IRA, Roth IRA, and other investment accounts.

Investment Funds That Offer Cryptocurrency Exposure See Big Gains
GBTC sees considerable gains over the past year.

Ark Investment Management

Investment Funds That Offer Cryptocurrency Exposure See Big GainsArk Innovation (ARKK) is a fund that invests in innovative technologies and companies, as well as funds like GBTC. Ark investment says they see the internet, mobile, and other technologies transforming the world’s business models. “We’re believers in bitcoin, the currency, and Bitcoin, the technology platform,” explains Ark’s Founder and Chief Investment Officer Cathie Wood. Currently, Ark has four ETF’s for investors to choose from which include the Industrial Innovation ETF, Web x.0 ETF, Genomic Revolution Multi-Sector ETF, and the Innovation ETF.

Investment Funds That Offer Cryptocurrency Exposure See Big Gains
Ark Innovation’s one year chart shows a significant spike over the past six months.

Self-Directed IRAs

There are other ways investors can add bitcoin to their portfolios like self-directed IRAs. The California-based company Bitcoin IRA allows you to purchase bitcoins or ethereum with traditional IRAs or a 401K. The firm’s offering is a modest interest bearing account that utilizes the high returns from ETH and BTC markets. Other self-directed IRAs can allow people to purchase bitcoin as well through companies like the Millennium Trust, Entrust Group, and Pensco. “Technology is having a transformative effect on our daily lives, and the alternative investment industry is no different,” explains Millennium Trust.

Investment Funds That Offer Cryptocurrency Exposure See Big Gains

Mainstream Investment funds and IRAs That Include Bitcoin Are Prospering

There are many other ways mainstream investors can gain exposure to bitcoin rather than purchasing it directly, and more are popping up in great number. Just recently Bitcoin.com reported on Britain’s largest online trading platform, Hargreaves Lansdown, which has announced it will allow its customers to invest in bitcoin. The firm commands over £70bn of investors funds and will allow its 876,000 customers access to the decentralized currency. With cryptocurrencies performing so well and gaining in value exponentially many more mainstream funds and IRAs are likely to include digital assets for their customer’s portfolios. While there are no ‘official’ Securities and Exchange Commission approved ETFs at the moment there are still plenty of similar investment options in 2017.

What do you think about these funds and IRAs? Let us know in the comments below.

Rollout of 260,000+ Bitcoin-Accepting Stores in Japan Begins

shutterstock_289570631-640x426Three months after Recruit Lifestyle partnered with Japanese bitcoin exchange Coincheck to enable over 260,000 retail stores to accept bitcoin, the company has finally announced on Monday that its point-of-sale app is now bitcoin-ready. Immediately, a chain of 334 eyeglasses stores using the app announced that it will accept the cryptocurrency starting July 10.

 

Air Regi Starts Handling Bitcoin Payments

Rollout of 260,000+ Bitcoin-Accepting Stores in Japan BeginsBitcoin.com reported in April about Recruit Lifestyle Co., Ltd. partnering with Japanese bitcoin exchange Coincheck for its point-of-sale (POS) app called “Mobile Payment for Air Regi” to accept bitcoin payments.

On Monday, almost three months later, Recruit Lifestyle finally announced that the Air Regi app now offers a bitcoin payment option starting on July 3. The announcement came two days after the law that removes the 8% consumption tax on bitcoin went into effect in Japan.

Currently, about 260,000 commercial facilities, food establishments, drugstores and other retail locations nationwide use this tablet-based POS system. Coincheck said in April that by this summer, bitcoin will become a payment option at all of these shops that use this proprietary app. The exchange explained:

Customer holding bitcoins can pay with bitcoin simply by scanning the barcode displayed on ‘Mobile payment for Air Regi’ app.

First Roll Out – 334 Eyeglasses Stores

Rollout of 260,000+ Bitcoin-Accepting Stores in Japan BeginsOn Monday, a chain of eyeglasses stores with 334 locations across Japan also announced that all of its stores will start accepting bitcoin beginning July 10. The chain is called Megane Super and it uses the Air Regi app.

The company expects its user base to increase, especially from Europe and the U.S., since the new form of payment will improve convenience, Kabutan reported. In addition, it believes adding the bitcoin payment option will attract tourists to the stores which already accept Alipay and Line Pay through Air Regi.

More than 260,000 Stores Coming

Kagayaki Kawabata, Coincheck International Business Developer, confirmed to Bitcoin.com that the eyeglasses stores are the first of the 260,000+ stores that will start accepting bitcoin using the Air Regi app. He added:

Some other stores are also preparing Air Regi bitcoin payments…Also, adding to existing 260,000 stores that already use Air Regi, we will cooperate with Recruit Lifestyle to expand the stores that accept bitcoin.

In addition to working with Recruit Lifestyle, Coincheck has also been busy signing up merchants to accept bitcoin directly. Recent additions to the exchange’s list of 5000+ bitcoin-accepting stores include popular capsule hotels, a property management company in Akihabara, and Kai Corporation which owns five unique restaurants in Japan.

Do you think Japanese consumers will start using bitcoin more with all these new shops accepting it? Let us know in the comments section below.


GDAX Exchange Sees Colossal ETH Flash Crash, Angered Traders Mount Lawsuit

Details have surfaced of a violent flash crash on Global Digital Asset Exchange’s (GDAX) ETH markets today, with Ethereum tokens being sold for prices as low as $0.10. Amidst a dramatic uproar from angered traders, some are attempting to mount a class action lawsuit against the company.

 

Reports Surfaced of Traders Losing Extreme Amounts Money During Violent Slippage on GDAX’s ETH-USD Market

Global Digital Asset Exchange (formerly Coinbase Wallets) provides Coinbase wallet owners with an exchange interface for bitcoin and cryptocurrency trading. GDAX offers fiat to cryptocurrency pairings to traders in 32 different countries, with Coinbase offering simple bitcoin transactions and storage services to 190 nations.

GDAX Exchange Sees Colossal ETH Flash Crash, Angered Traders Mount Lawsuit

On Wednesday reports surfaced of traders losing extreme amounts money during violent slippage on GDAX’s ETH-USD market.

Vice president of GDAX, Adam White, has blamed the crash on a multimillion dollar sell order that apparently drove prices from $317.81 to $244.48, resulting in an instantaneous $29.4% loss of value. The order then triggered approximately 800 stop losses, seeing widespread liquidations among traders in leveraged positions.

The crash saw ETH tokens being sold for as little as $0.10 USD. Many fortunes shattered as the price plummetted before many fortunes were made by those who were able to purchase drastically undervalued ETH tokens.

An official post has been published on GDAX’s blog, stating “our initial investigations show no indication of wrongdoing or account takeovers. We understand this event can be frustrating for our customers. Our matching engine operated as intended throughout this event and trading with advanced features like margin always carries inherent risk. We are continuing to conduct a thorough investigation and will keep customers updated with any resulting actions. With that in mind, it is important to note that these trades are final in accordance with our GDAX Trading Rules (Section 3.1). Honoring properly executed orders is critical to maintaining the integrity of an exchange.”

Coinbase Have Been Overcome by Technical Difficulties Lately

Coinbase Have Been Overcome by Technical Difficulties Lately

With GDAX’s terms of service stating that all trades are final, some unhappy investors are attempting to mount a class-action lawsuit against the company. A Google document file is currently being circulated, with any investors who lost capital due to the crash being encouraged to join. Despite their best efforts, many within the cryptocurrency community are highly skeptical as to the likelihood that sullied investors will be able to retrieve their losses – citing the failed attempted lawsuit against cryptocurrency exchange Poloniex after losses were sustained by investors due to technical errors besieging the exchange.

Coinbase have been overcome by technical difficulties lately, with the crash coming approximately one week after Coinbase and DGAX both experienced problems during peak-volume trading periods. The problems resulting in complaints from users who found themselves locked out of their accounts and unable to manage trades. A similar incident of extreme slippage occurred in April, with GDAX an extreme drop in price to a low of $0.06 during scheduled website maintenance.

GDAX’s slippage has been one of the numerous issues that have plagued the ethereum markets over the course of the past week. A glut of over-hyped ICOs have recently entered the markets, resulting in popular wallet service Myetherwallet to receive thousands of complaints after experiencing technical difficulties, in addition to the Ethereum network experiencing severe congestion. Many are interpreting the problems as a likely catalyst that the much anticipated ‘flippening’ (ethereum coming to overtake bitcoin as the cryptocurrency that boasts the largest total market capitalization) not to take place soon, or ever, as the recent dramas may inspire ethereum investors to realize profits and reduce risk exposure.

What would you do if you had lost money during GDAX’s flashcrash? Share your thoughts below!

GPU Shortage Intensifies as Cryptocurrency Mining Offers up to Twice the Average Russian Monthly Wage

European consumers in general and especially russian consumers have faced massive graphics card shortages following a dramatic increase in demand for cryptocurrency mining hardware. With some miners claiming that they can make up to $1600 USD a month and the average Russian wage sitting at less than $700 USD monthly it is unlikely that demand will subside soon.shutterstock_395785147-640x452

The Ease With Which Anybody Can Begin Mining Cryptocurrency Is Attracting the Interest of Many Russians

Local Russian media outlets are reporting a dramatic shortage of graphic cards. The shortage has been attributed to an increase in demand for cryptocurrency mining hardware, following extensive media coverage documenting the meteoric rise of many cryptocurrencies this year.

GPU Shortage Intensifies as Cryptocurrency Mining Offers up to Twice the Average Russian Monthly Wage

Reports have suggested that individuals are purchasing up to 600 graphics cards at once, driving prices to surge by approximately 80 percent. Russian IT hardware distributor Treolan has told journalists that graphics cards shipments have tripled over the past two months.

The ease with which anybody with a desktop computer can begin mining cryptocurrency is attracting the interest of many Russians. With the average monthly wage sitting at approximately $680 USD during April 2017 (a 10% increase since January), many Russians can exceed the wages offered them in the labor market simply by hoarding and running graphics cards mining altcoins.

The Augmented Demand for Mining Hardware Has Not Been Confined to Russia

With bitcoin mining being conducted on an industrial scale using Application Specific Integrated Chips (ASICs) many miners from lower income nations are choosing to mine alternative cryptocurrencies. ASICs are not available for many altcoins still, meaning that GPU-based mining rigs can still be used profitably to mine said altcoins.

Cryptocurrency Mining Offers up to Twice the Average Russian Monthly Wage

The augmented demand for mining hardware has not been confined to Russia, with recent reports of graphics card shortages originating from across the globe. South Africa has reported similar shortages amongst commercial retailers, whilst proliferating stories of online computing hardware stores being sold out of graphics cards led to PC Gamer to report on a global shortage of GPUs.

With cryptocurrency mining offering profits that are potentially higher than those offered by the labor markets of many developing nations, it is unlikely that the demand for GPUs in low-wage nations like will Russia cease anytime soon.

What cryptocurrencies do you mine? Tell us in the comments section below!