ValteFri, Apr 9, 2021 9:13 PM
Weekly Digest: From CZ's Diamond Hands To North Korean Hackers
Every week we make a digest about the most significant news in crypto with bloggers and crypto community members, but this week we decided to find out what companies’ representatives and media think about all things crypto.
Please enjoy and don’t forget to add your favourites to your CoinJoy Feed!
Projects And Updates
Riot Blockchain is partnering with Bitmain, a leading mining hardware distributor, to buy 42,000 mining machines S19j Antminers worth more than $138 million. That’s how Riot Blackchain is planning to increase its BTC mining hash up to 7,7 EH/s, nearly doubling its current capacity. First batch of 3500 apparatuses is to be delivered in November this year.
“We are proud of this accomplishment and remain focused on continuing to evaluate additional opportunities in the space,” — Megan Brooks, COO of Riot
The Polkastarter Council that looks for collaboration with the most active and efficient projects related to blockchain has announced the adding of new members. Those are presented as a group of world-class independent companies believing in the blockchain potential. The main selection criteria is to share Polcastarter‘s vision and goals on the crypto world and also the support of blockchain development. Among new members are: Huobi Polkadot Ecosystem Fund, Polygon, Alchemy, OKEx’s Blockdream Fund, Signum Capital, NGC Ventures, Morningstar Ventures, and Eric Wang on the Polkastarter Council. The companies will join four existing Council members: Astronaut Capital, AU21 Capital, Moonrock Capital, and Digital Finance Group (DFG). The collaboration of those 12 giants can have a significant effect on the crypto world.
“Polkastarter has emerged as a leading protocol to find and support young, high-potential projects through a fair and compliant IDO process. We are proud to be joining the Polkastarter Council to provide our insights to the project selection process and the development of the platform,” — Huobi Polkadot Ecosystem Fund
Polygon (Matic) Network partnered with Trace Network and Infosys consulting to expand its ecosystem and now includes also DeFi, NFTs, and decentralized insurance. This is supposed to move the whole system to the next level and help Ethereum to overcome its scaling issues. Trace Network is working on inter-chain link creation and removes blockchain data silos when Infosys Consulting allows expedient unsettling technologies. First of all the collaboration will focus on fixing the current issues to implement NFTs and DeFi. Tracy also has the advantage of being able to help the project to find traditional institutes funding. Polygon together with Infosys has created the M-setu hybrid blockchain to improve the communication between insurance providers.
📌 Cardano Foundation Unveils First Deployment Of Its Supply Chain Solution With Swiss Company Scantrust
The Cardano Foundation in a partnership with Swiss-based Scuntrast rolled out a supply chain traceability and anti-counterfeiting solution on April, 6. The solution is based on metadata functionality presented in December 2020, which is now used for commercial purposes. The development of a verification and authentication solution makes it possible to use Cardano as a public audit platform that securely records supply chain data, confirms the origins of the product, and substantiates the businesses involved in the chain. The union of Cardano and Scuntrust provides the chance for the companies to trace the data using Scuntrust QR-codes and at the same time to benefit from Cardano fast platform with low rates.
Coinbase finally got registered with the Security and Exchange Commission (SEC) on April, 1 which means its actions are now directly listed publicly. The stock is expected to be traded on the Nasdaq Global Select Market under the ticker symbol “Coin” from April, 14.
The local Bitcoin Community of Argentina leaked some data, showing that Argentina’s Central Bank is interested in identifying clients who hold, trade or pay using crypto assets. The institution with a 50% inflation rate is asking local banks to investigate those users and to provide the Central bank with the full info such as an address, number, and type of account. As per local officials that are made to gauge the expanding cryptocurrency market and to decide whether more regulations are needed. Accordingly to the report, as there are no related regulations those measures should be considered as a part of the payment systems study. As Argentina goes through heavy inflation and a currency crisis with harsh restrictions on the use of foreign money Bitcoin became the most attractive alternative.
"Inflation was 36.1%, which was at least lower than the 53.8% of 2019. Inflation is expected to reach 48% this year. Argentina has a population of 45 million, and for each one of them, #Bitcoin has become a moral imperative,” — Michael Saylor, MicroStrategy CEO
The billionaire Rick Caruso Real estate company Caruso Properties will accept Bitcoin as payment for its services in Los Angeles. To make this possible Caruso Properties partnered with the Gemini cryptocurrency exchange and converted 1% of its funds to Bitcoin. The billionaire acknowledged that Bitcoin has proven its worth. As well-known crypto-lever Elon Musk rents the property from Caruso in LA the community is wondering whether he will become the first client to pay in Bitcoin.
“I believe bitcoin and blockchain are going to be doing the same at the future and we want to be ahead of the curve,” — Rick Caruso
The piloting test to promote digital yuan on the Chinese island province Hainan will happen from April 12 to 25 and will be conducted by The Industrial and Commercial Bank of China’s Hainan branch, People's Bank of China's Haikou branch, and Sansha city's municipal government. Hainan is in the second group of the cities to try central bank digital currency. Participants will get a 99 yuan discount for every 100 yuan purchase within the island, including supermarket, hotels, and restaurant expenses. The pilots already happened in Shenzhen, Beijing, Suzhou, and Chengdu – cities from the first bunch and in Shanghai and Changsha from the second tier. This brings China closer to the final launch of the digital yuan, the development for which started over 6 years back.
The buyers from the US now can pay for products and services on Walmart, eBay, and Amazon with eGold, but only through Shopping.io which was created by dropship experts to offer a crypto gateway. Elrond enabled this possibility from April 8 because of the rapid growth of the online retail market in the US. The company plans to add Alibaba to the list of resellers in the near future. Moreover, commissions will not be applied to the purchases made with eGold. Elrond also carries the plans to enlarge the product offerings for its clients, so businesses can exchange their goods and services directly to crypto.
”We value the experience of our customers above everything else and we’re therefore excited to offer them the possibility of using the eGold and Maiar combo for making purchases on our platform,” — Shopping.io CEO Arbel Arif
The electronic registers of over 3000 Italian schools managed by Axios Italia were hacked and the ransom in Bitcoin to unlock the servers containing the data. The amount isn’t specified but considerably can reach several tens of thousands euro. The malefactor also left the Telegram contact to discuss the ransom and to unlock the registers. According to the Axios, computer specialists report the access was locked up by the ransomware and asking for the ransom to return the access in Bitcoin or Monero which provide the best anonymity. The company is not planning on paying the ransom; instead they are working on the alternative solution to get the data back such as restoring the whole infrastructure and putting stronger security checks. The system is expected to restart by April, 12.
“We hope that the postal police will find those responsible for this hacker attack, which is an attack on schools and puts thousands of people at risk by creating inconvenience for institutions and parents,” — Mario Rusconi, President of the National Association of Headmasters of Lazio
US Secret Services latest crypto news put some light on the North Korean attack on South Korean exchange, Bithumb. The hackers got access to the customers’ data and funds and asked the ransom of $16 million to return the data. In the ransom note, they threatened to destroy all the data if the money would not be paid. The same group called in the reports Lazarus group was also sending fake job applications with the infected code to Bithump employees during the hiring company that took place last year. Lazarus group is quite known as they managed to steal $24 million from an Indonesian company in 2018 and complete theft of $75 million from an unnamed Slovenian crypto company.
Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao, third in the list of the richest people in the crypto and blockchain industry, whose net worth is about $8 million, told Bloomberg that he doesn’t keep any funds in fiat, property or cars and hold nearly all of the money in crypto assets. He explained that traditional funds are not interesting for him, because buying or selling them requires a longer time. As an example, he mentioned the apartment he sold in 2012 to become a Bitcoin investor which took longer than he wished. So he chooses liquidity over ownership and prefers not to own anything as it takes away the flexibility. He admitted that several laptops were the most expensive things he bought.
“I’m not using crypto to buy fiat, I’m not using crypto to buy houses. I just want to keep crypto. And I don’t plan to convert my crypto into cash in the future,” — Changpeng Zhao
📌 Billionaire Mark Cuban Thinks Ethereum Will "Dwarf" Bitcoin, ETH Sets New Record-High Of Over $2,150
Ethereum skyrocketed to its all-time high at $2150, with the crypto market reaching $2 trillion. Now when the price stabilized around $2000, but expected to raise up to $2150 in a short term, Mark Cuban, owner of NBA’s Dallas Mavericks and a billionaire investor declared that on the long run Ethereum will surpass Bitcoin as it is only store value while Ethereum has several applications leveraging smart contracts and extensions. He also acknowledged that the upcoming Ethereum upgrade will most likely cause colossal network appeals, much bigger than same of Bitcoin. Recently the analyst from Messaru crypto analytics also predicted that Ethereum will overtake Bitcoin in value.
“You really have to work a lot harder on bitcoin than you do on Ethereum,” — Mark Cuban
PayPal chief executive Peter Thiel sees China’s predominance in Bitcoin might be dangerous for the US dollar as the biggest Asian country might use Bitcoin characteristics to subvert the US dollar and then, using the euro, prevent the dollar from leading the world’s economy so China will gain control. He also mentioned China’s digital RMB, the Digital Currency Electronic Payment, calling it a “totalitarian measuring device” even though many countries including the US are developing similar projects. He suggests that US strategists follow an uncompromising approach to Bitcoin projects to protect the US economy. Thiel is known for his mistrust towards China since his investment into Bitcoin mining company Layer1 Technologies in 2019 to prevent Chinese prevailing in the mining sector.
“They don’t want the Renminbi to become a reserve currency because then you have to open your capital account and do all sorts of things they really don’t want to do. I think the Euro you could think is in part a Chinese weapon against the dollar,” — Peter Thiel