Altcoins, Bitcoin, Blockchain, Crypto Apps, Crypto Mining News, Crypto Tech, Cryptocurrency, Fraud and Scams, News & Updates

Bitcoins and Pieces: Dark Midweek Edition

Darknet News

  • Darknet markets set a new revenue record in 2020, hoarding in a total of USD 1.7bn worth of cryptocurrency, as claimed by Chainalysis. This report comes as individual purchases from darknet markets declined, falling from 12.2m in 2019 to fewer than 10m in 2020, they said, adding that almost all of the growth in darknet market activity we saw in 2020 can be credited to Russian-speaking countries-focused Hydra, the biggest darknet market in the world, accounting for over 75% of darknet market revenue globally in 2020.

Mining News

  • Canaan, a supercomputing service provider, said it would be supplying 6,000 units of its A1246 model of AvalonMiners to Core Scientific, a major crypto mining operator in the United States. Machines should be received and installed over three months, the company said in an emailed announcement.

Fraud News

  • The US Securities and Exchange Commission indicted three individuals with defrauding hundreds of retail investors out of more than USD 11m through two fraudulent and unregistered digital asset securities offerings. From approximately December 2017 through May 2018, Kristijan Krstic, founder of Start Options and Bitcoiin2Gen, and John DeMarr, the primary US-based promoter for these companies, fraudulently induced investors to buy digital asset securities, the SEC said.

Staking News

  • ConsenSys, an Ethereum (ETH) software company, and Securosys, a cybersecurity specialist, launched a new long-term Ethereum 2.0 staking method. The partnership provides the possibility to create Ethereum 2.0 withdrawal keys in Securosys Hardware Security Modules (both on-premise and as a cloud service) directly from the ConsenSys Codefi Staking API, according to the companies.

Crypto Adoption news

  • CoinFlip, a major US-based Bitcoin ATM operator, said it grew its network from 441 ATMs in January 2020 to over 1,400 by year’s end, with terminals 45 50 states. Additionally, CoinFlip claims it saw an average 48% increase in the unspecified amount per customer transaction in 2020. The company aims to expand its network beyond North America this year. CoinFlip said it already increased its Chicago-based workforce from 17 employees at the start of 2020 to a team of 160 and is looking to hire more people.
  • Circle and the Stellar Development Foundation announced today that USD coin (USDC) is now live on the Stellar (XLM) network. Stellar USDC is available on Stellar’s decentralized exchange.

Exchanges News

  • OKEx announced it would integrate the Bitcoin Lightning Network, a second-layer scaling solution based on the Bitcoin blockchain, in the coming quarter. This “will dramatically decrease transaction fees and times,” the major exchange added.

Regulation News

  • The Indian government will explore blockchain technology for the digital economy, Minister of State for Finance Anurag Singh Thakur said today, as stated by “It was announced in the Budget Speech of the year 2018-19 that the government does not consider cryptocurrencies legal tender or coins and will take all measures to eliminate the use of these crypto-assets in financing illegitimate activities or as part of the payment system,” Thakur reportedly added.

Trading News

  • Bitwise Asset Management announced it had begun the regulatory process to allow shares of the Bitwise Bitcoin Fund to trade on OTCQX. If approved, shares of the fund would be available for trading in traditional brokerage accounts and custody with many traditional custodians, they added.

Blockchain News

  • Schoolchildren aged between 13 and 15 in Satka, a city in the Southern Ural Chelyabinsk Region of Russia, have been invited to take a free “master class” in blockchain technology. Through Satka74, the Russian antivirus and software firm Kaspersky Labs will organize three IT-dedicated training sessions this month in conjunction with the Ministry of Information Technology, Communications and Digital Development Chelyabinsk Region, with one session wholly devoted to blockchain technology. Kaspersky has been pursuing the blockchain-related business of late. Late last year, it announced that it was working on creating a blockchain-powered voting platform for nations to use as part of their democratic activities.
  • A Chinese farmers’ market is now making use of blockchain-powered invoices and receipts, announced ST Daily. Stall owners at the Wuyi Farmers Market, in Pu’er City, Yunnan Province, are issuing customers paying as little as USD 1.05 with blockchain-powered receipts on their smartphones via a dedicated app. The market, reported the media outlet, is the center of a new pilot that will be expanded to farmers’ markets throughout the city and the surrounding area if it proves successful. The pilot has been applied to all vegetable and fresh fruit vendors selling their produce at Wuyi and allows customers to access critical information on their purchases and verify stallholders’ credentials.

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