Altcoins, Bitcoin, Crypto Mining News, Cryptocurrency, Economy, Fraud and Scams, News & Updates

Bitcoins and Pieces: Mining Shutdowns, Ledger Scammers, and Chinese Blockchains

Adoption News

  • Central digital-asset manager Grayscale Investments has pledged USD 1m to Coin Center, a US non-profit think tank and cryptocurrency advocacy group. Per the press release, Grayscale has pledged to match Coin Center donations of up to an additional USD 1m through February 2021. This donate-and-match commitment was initiated by crypto exchange Kraken in 2018. The crypto community took up the pledge to match donations up to another million, enabling Coin Center to raise over USD 3 million years, it stated.
  • While privately-issued digital currencies are very unlikely to replace government-issued fiat currencies as a medium of exchange, they could partially displace haven assets like gold and said a research note from the Bank of Singapore National Business. Once key disadvantages have been addressed – such as trust, volatility, regulatory acceptance, and reputational risks – cryptocurrencies could replace gold as an electronic store of value. Digital currencies can also be used in investor portfolios as a potential safe-haven asset, and for asset diversification, it said.

Bitcoin News

  • Valkyrie Digital Assets, the crypto subsidiary of investment firm Valkyrie Investments, appealed for a bitcoin ETF. As claimed by the document filed with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Coinbase Custody Trust Company, LLC would serve as the custodian for the Valkyrie Bitcoin Fund.
  • Bitcoin (BTC) mining difficulty, the measure that determines how hard it is to bid for mining rewards, has struck a new all-time high of 20.82 T on January 23, having gone up 1.05%. This reflects a 10.79% increase to 20.61 T two weeks prior.
  • Major American investment management firm VanEck has begun another effort to launch a digital asset-related exchange-traded fund (ETF). As claimed by the filing, this new Digital Assets ETF would track the Global Digital Assets Equity Index’s price and performance run by its subsidiary MV Index Solutions.

Blockchain News

  • Ethereum (ETH)-focused blockchain company ConsenSys has partnered with China’s Blockchain-based Service Network (BSN) to make blockchain more accessible for enterprises and government organizations, said the emailed press release. As part of this partnership, ConsenSys Quorum, an open-source protocol layer that serves as a foundation for businesses to build Ethereum-based enterprise solutions, will be available in some 80 cities through BSN’s public city nodes throughout mainland China.


  • Local government officials in three of China’s biggest and most affluent cities have stated that they will take part in further pilots for the forthcoming digital yuan. As announced in the Global Times, a state-run, English-language media outlet, Beijing’s Mayor told reporters over the weekend that the capital “will accelerate the building of innovative demonstration zones for fintech and professional services in 2021, and promote the pilot application” of the digital RMB. Authorities in second city Shanghai and economic powerhouse Shenzhen made similar claims. The media outlet quotes a “veteran industry insider” as stating that the latest pilots were “only the first step of a long march.'”

Crime News

  • A 48-year-old Californian man claims he has fallen prey to scammers who tricked him into handing over the keys to USD 27,000 worth of BTC. According to Fox KTVU, the man, a T-Mobile customer, responded to a text message saying that attempts had been made to change his password, instructing him to call what he thought was a T-Mobile customer services number. The alleged scammers then followed up by calling him and claiming they worked for Ledger and would help him recover bitcoin from his account, which had been frozen. The man then proceeded to tell this caller his wallet password and “anonymous account identification numbers” – which he duly handed over. When he later checked his BTC wallet, he discovered that scammers had stolen his funds. The police are investigating.

Exchanges News

  • Coinbase now has above $90 billion in assets on the platform and over 43m registered users, per the updated numbers published on its website. It reported upwards of USD 455bn in total volume traded.

Mining News

  • A total of 36 large-scale crypto mining “farms” have been shut down in Abkhazia, as claimed by an official Ministry of the Interior release. In addition to the farm shutdowns, in three of the de facto state’s regions, an additional 970 mining rigs were disconnected in the Ochamchira region. Miners in the Gagra region, where 17 of the farms were located, were using a combined 10 megawatts of power, local authorities declared. The closures come as the nation continues to battle illegal crypto mining in a crisis that has caused months’ worth of power outages and blackouts. Ministers have also recommended that crypto miners in Abkhazia be charged with hefty fines to ease the grid’s pressure.

Regulation News

  • The US Senate Committee on Finance voted unanimously to approve Janet Yellen, the former Chair of the Federal Reserve, as the new Treasury Secretary, announced Reuters. The next step is the Senate vote. Yellen made a splash in the Cryptoverse with her recent quotes about cryptocurrencies, as well as other comments made last week before the Senate’s Finance Committee.
  • Russia’s Ministry of Labor has stated that officials of federal and local government bodies, including the Bank of Russia board members and chairs of government-owned corporations and their close family members, are prohibited from owning cryptocurrencies. According to the Ministry’s letter, referring to the law on digital assets that came into effect this month, all such individuals must dispose of any crypto holdings in their possession.

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