coin renders

Use our news to inform cryptocurrency trading decisions, stay up-to-date on happenings in the industry, and more!

The SEC Launches Phony ICO Site to Promote Scam Awareness
In a bid to raise awareness of potential investment scams in the cryptocurrency space, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) Office of Investor Education and Advocacy have launched a fake website posing as a luxury travel firm kicking off the pre-sale portion of their initial coin offering (ICO).

Cryptocurrency Mining Malware Crashes Your PC When Discovered
Please beware: a new form of cryptominer, dubbed WinstarNssMiner, crashes your system the moment anti-virus software attempts to remove the malware. ZDNet warns “The cryptominer launches the svchost.exe process — used to manage system services — and injects malicious code into the file. One injected process begins mining cryptocurrency while the other runs in the background to avoid detection and scan for antivirus protection.”

Steve Wozniak: Bitcoin And Blockchain Will Achieve Full Potential In a Decade
Tech leaders everywhere are beginning to sing the praises of blockchain. Apple’s co-founder Steve Wozniak was the latest, saying blockchain was “a great idea” and that it “is the next major IT revolution that is about to happen” according to Cointelegraph auf Deutsch. Woz was giving the opening speech at WeAreDevelopers World Congress 2018 in Vienna, Austria.

China Ranks Ethereum as the World’s Best Blockchain Network
The Chinese government ranked Ethereum as the world’s best blockchain network. CCN reports “On May 17, China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology released its public blockchain ratings, ranking various blockchain projects like Ethereum in the global cryptocurrency sector based on three criteria: technology, application, and innovation.” Bitcoin came in at number 13.

Entirely Crypto-Focused LedgerX Announces the First Regulated Bitcoin Savings Account
“Bitcoin bulls now have a new opportunity to put their money where their sentiment is. On Tuesday, CFTC regulated derivatives exchange, LedgerX, launched a Bitcoin savings account, the latest in a slew of traditional banking products made available for the digital currency” as reported by CryptoSlate.

New Coinbase Prime Geared Towards Wall Street Investors
This week Coinbase announced Coinbase Prime, a set of tools and services for institutions, tailored for high-end investing in cryptocurrency.

Image courtesy of Carty Sewill, http://cartyisme.com/

Image courtesy of Carty Sewill, http://cartyisme.com/

Ethereum Overview

Ethereum has maintained its position as the second largest cryptocurrency for long enough that it appears firmly established as a stable entity in the cryptocurrency space. In addition to its popularity and significant market capitalization, it is also targeting a slightly different use-case than Bitcoin, meaning it has the potential to forge its own identity, separate from Bitcoin and other contenders.

Purpose

Ethereum was designed from the start as a platform to develop “smart contracts”. Essentially, a smart contract is a way for two people to record any kind of exchange, and with a blockchain being an immutable record, that record can be referenced and verified by anyone. Currency is merely one form of contract, and the main currency on the Ethereum blockchain is their native token, called Ether. While other forms of contract besides currency are theoretically possible, by far the most popular use of this blockchain has been to create new alternate currencies. These additional currencies on the blockchain are referred to as ERC20 tokens. ERC stands for “Ethereum Request for Comments”, and 20 is a number designation for when the standard was created that allowed for new token creation. By using this blockchain, new coins are able to leverage the established trust of Ethereum, which could be seen as an advantage over other coins that start from scratch.

Ethereum is currently the go-to standard for smart contracts and token creation. However, since its creation, there are many new blockchains which aspire to capture the smart contract market, in whole or by focusing on niche applications. Ethereum has a considerable head start, but things can change surprisingly fast in the world of cryptocurrencies.

Technical

Ethereum can be mined on Graphics Processing Units, or GPUs, which are a type of computer chip that has long been available for people to purchase for their computers to improve the visual experience of games, media, and other uses. By making Ethereum available to mine on widely available hardware, it takes advantage of an existing broad base of computing power. However, one disadvantage to using GPUs instead of a dedicated computer chip is that computations are slower and energy consumption is higher, and subsequently it is relatively a more expensive process.

Ethereum encrypts all transactions with a hashing algorithm called Kekkak-256, which provides a similar level of security to the SHA-256 algorithm favored by Bitcoin. Also, like Bitcoin, all transactions are pseudo-anonymous, meaning that users of the system are not named in any way on the system, but the numbered transactions themselves can be viewed publicly on a blockchain explorer. (https://etherscan.io/ for example)

Market

As of May 2018, Ethereum has a market capitalization of roughly 79 billion US, which is less than half of Bitcoin, but more than double the next coin down the list — Ripple, at roughly 3.5 billion. As one goes down the list of coins, the volatility increases exponentially, but Ethereum, near the top, has so far mostly been on the rise for over a year and a half. It is, however, notable that the initial surge in investment in Ethereum coincides with the beginning of the highly fractious scaling debate within the Bitcoin community. While this may simply turn out to be the catalyst that helped launch Ethereum into its own future, it may also indicate that its success may still be contingent on the fortunes of its predecessor, Bitcoin.

Image courtesy of Carty Sewill, http://cartyisme.com/

coin renders

Use our news to inform cryptocurrency trading decisions, stay up-to-date on happenings in the industry, and more!

Critical Vulnerability Applicable to Miners of Bitcoin Cash

Bitcoin ABC said in a security advisory that a critical vulnerability has been found in Bitcoin ABC version 0.17.0. In an incident report issued by the company on Monday they noted “If exploited the flaw would have caused an unintended split in the Bitcoin Cash network.” Updating to Bitcoin ABC 0.17.1 fixes this problem.

Bill Gates Wants to Short Bitcoin, Tyler Winklevoss Calls His Bluff

Bill Gates made news yesterday when he declared he would short bitcoin if he could. Gemini co-founder, Winklevoss challenged Gates. “Dear @BillGates there is an easy way to short bitcoin,” he wrote on Twitter. “You can short #XBT, the @CBOE Bitcoin (USD) Futures contract, and put your money where your mouth is!”.

Owner of New York Stock Exchange Said to Be Developing a Bitcoin Exchange

Intercontinental Exchange, owner of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), has been developing an online platform to buy cryptocurrency, reports The New York Times.

People Who All of a Sudden Think Bitcoin is Cool

And now for a bit of fun… 99Bitcoins is compiling a list of Fiat Defectors, prominent people who previously shed a negative light on Bitcoin but are now singing its praises. Billionaires George Soros and Mark Cuban make the list. You can submit nominees of your own.

Image courtesy of Carty Sewill, http://cartyisme.com/

coin renders

Use our news to inform cryptocurrency trading decisions, stay up-to-date on happenings in the industry, and more!

New Head Of South Korean Financial Regulator Considers Relaxing Cryptocurrency Regulations

The Korea Times is reporting new Financial Supervisory Service Governor Yoon Suk-heun said the country will consider relaxing cryptocurrency regulations. An official from one of South Korea’s four major cryptocurrency exchange operators, Upbit, said, “We don’t oppose regulations. But you can’t entirely kill the markets by simply imposing regulations. What the new FSS chief should think about is how the regulators should provide remedies to help crypto trading and blockchain technology get better.”

Monero Cryptojacker Using NSA exploit EternalBlue

BlockExplorer’s Armin Davis reports that following the use of the NSA developed EternalBlue exploit in the now infamous ransomware WannaCry, a new malware known as WannaMine has surfaced.

Iceland’s 600 Missing Bitcoin Mining Machines Reported To Be in China

Earlier this year 600 Bitcoin mining machines were stolen from Iceland, a case generally chalked up to unsolvable until a few days ago when Icelandic media outlet RUV reported the machines are likely in Tianjin, China. Cointelegraph reports, “In Tianjin, it was precisely a pattern of highly irregular electricity usage that is reported to have attracted the attention of a local grid operator, leading to the authorities’ confiscation of the suspect mining hardware.”

Bitmain to Begin Shipping Equihash ASIC Miners in June

Chinese mining rig manufacturer Bitmain has unveiled the first Equihash ASIC miners, BlockExplorer’s David Murray reports, “making it likely that it will soon be unprofitable to mine Zcash using GPU-powered devices.”

BlockShow Europe 2018 Coming Up May 27-28

BlockExplorer’s Isaac Rocket reports, “After an eventful two months of hosting blockchain meetups across Europe, Blockshow is bringing their journey to a close with the featured conference, BlockShow Europe 2018.” This will be a big event with over 80 blockchain experts presenting, on the most pressing issues of today’s blockchain community.

Following the use of the NSA developed EternalBlue exploit in the now infamous ransomware WannaCry, a new malware known as WannaMine has surfaced.

WannaMine follows in the footsteps of WannaCry, using the NSA developed EternalBlue exploit to propagate. After infection, the similarities between WannaCry and WannaMine end. Where WannaCry would proceed to encrypt all available files and notify the user of its existence, WannaMine silently installs and runs mining software for the cryptocurrency Monero.

Use of Monero

This is the next in a line of cryptojacking attacks involving mining software that specifically mines Monero. The reasoning behind the perpetrator’s use of Monero is unknown, though it may have something to do with Monero’s minability on mid to low-end computers, and the privacy that exists on Monero’s blockchain.

Detection

After infection and initial setup, WannaMine uses Windows management tools for its persistence. Once infected, it can be difficult to find the malicious settings within the large number of legitimate ones.

One of the simplest methods of detection is to monitor your computers CPU usage.  Abnormally high CPU usage can be caused by cryptojacking. You can view your CPU usage using Windows Task Manager. Otherwise, high CPU usage will make your computer hotter, which may make its fans run louder.

Prevention

WannaMine uses EternalBlue for its propagation, and as Microsoft patched the vulnerability in 2017, so long as all computers on your network are up-to-date you should be secure from WannaMine. Otherwise, standard security advice such as not following unknown links applies.