Cryptocurrency news roundup, 1.4.18

This week’s summary of various cryptocurrency news and developments.

New developments:

Monero rejects ASIC miners through emergency software update

Privacy-centric cryptocurrency Monero (XMR) recently went through an emergency software upgrade called Lithium Luna that saw its proof-of-work (PoW) hashing algorithm become resistant to ASIC machines. Among other things, the upgrade, according to the cryptocurrency’s core developer Riccardo Spagni, “slightly changes the proof-of-work algorithm to prevent DoS attacks by ASICs.”

The move came shortly after hardware manufacturing giant Bitmain announced a new ASIC miner capable of mining Monero and other CryptoNight based cryptocurrencies, the Antminer X3. At the time the new miner was added to Bitmain’s website, Spagni warned the machine wouldn’t work on Monero. Its developers have vowed to do everything they can to keep the cryptocurrency ASIC-resistant.

Wall Street analyst claims Bitmain developed an Ethereum ASIC miner

According to CNBC, Wall Street firm Susquehanna recently reduced its price targets for stocks of leading GPU manufacturers Nvidia and AMD. Behind the move was a report from one of the firm’s analysts, Christopher Rolland, who claims China-based hardware manufacturer Bitmain has created an ASIC miner that’ll work on Ethereum. The machine, according to Rolland, is set to ship out in Q2 this year. He said:

  • “During our travels through Asia last week, we confirmed that Bitmain has already developed an ASIC [application-specific integrated circuit] for mining Ethereum, and is readying the supply chain for shipments in 2Q18.”

Following CNBC’s report, Ethereum developer Vlad Zamfir posted a poll on Twitter, that asked users if they would support a hard fork to render Ethereum ASIC miners obsolete, noting it was out of curiosity and not a proposal. The poll saw 6,900 people vote, with 57% revealing they would support a hard fork.

Report suggests most NEM hacked from Coincheck has already been laundered

Earlier this year, hackers managed to steal over $500 million worth of NEM from Japanese cryptocurrency exchange Coincheck. According to a report published by Nikkei, an analysis of online transaction records related to the theft conducted by a cybersecurity firm in Tokyo shows that nearly all of the funds have been laundered through dark net channels. The report suggests that a dark web portal selling said funds shows the remaining balance is zero.

Said dark web portal was reportedly created on February 7, and offered to exchange the stolen NEM into other cryptocurrencies. By mid-March, the hackers had managed to launder 40 percent of the tokens, despite being tagged by the NEM Foundation. The coins are expected to be cashed out through foreign exchanges that don’t adhere to know your customer (KYC) norms.

Reddit disabled Bitcoin payments over ‘Coinbase change’

Reddit recently removed the option that allowed users to pay for their premium membership program, Reddit Gold, using Bitcoin. The reason behind the move was an “upcoming Coinbase change,” according to a Reddit admin. It was found out Reddit no longer accepted BTC when a user created a video in which he or she was only able to pay with PayPal or a credit card, sparking a debate. Admin emoney40 clarified that it wasn’t possible to pay with the cryptocurrency due to the Coinbase Commerce change, stating:

  • “The upcoming Coinbase change, combined with some bugs around the Bitcoin payment option that were affecting purchases for certain users, led us to remove Bitcoin as a payment option.”

World affairs:

Chilean cryptocurrency exchanges ask for regulatory guidance after banks shut down their accounts

According to various reports, two Chilean cryptocurrency exchanges, BUDA and Crypto MKT, recently saw a number of banks shut down their bank accounts. In response, the cryptocurrency exchanges issued a public statement asking the country’s banking association, ABIF, to clarify its stance on the cryptocurrency industry in an attempt to find out whether the banks had the right to shut down their accounts. Local publication Publimetro reports that the ABIF responded to the two exchanges by claiming it isn’t responsible for solving the problem, as it needs to be addressed and resolved “in the context of the individual relationship of each bank with its customers.”

Dutch court dubs Bitcoin “transferable value”

Various industry analysts saw a victory for Bitcoin this week, after a Dutch court described Bitcoin as a “transferable value” during a case in which it was requested of Koinz Trading BV to pay mining proceeds worth 0.591 BTC, roughly worth $4,208 at press time. The court noted that property rights apply to Bitcoin as it is able to transfer value in a peer-to-peer manner. According to the Cointelegraph, translated court documents read:

  • “Bitcoin exists, according to the court, from a unique, digitally encrypted series of numbers and letters stored on the hard drive of the right-holder’s computer. Bitcoin is ‘delivered’ by sending Bitcoins from one wallet to another wallet. Bitcoins are stand-alone value files, which are delivered directly to the payee by the payer in the event of a payment. It follows that a Bitcoin represents a value and is transferable. In the court’s view, it thus shows characteristics of a property right. A claim for payment in Bitcoin is therefore to be regarded as a claim that qualifies for verification.”

Financial:

Bitcoin at $7,117 as various altcoins hit yearly lows

The cryptocurrency ecosystem has seemingly not seen the end of its ongoing bearish period, as most cryptocurrencies are down this week as well. Bitcoin, the flagship cryptocurrency, is currently trading at $7,117, as its market cap is of $120 billion. Notably, its share of the cryptocurrency ecosystem has risen to 45 percent, as most altcoins, including Ethereum, are now hitting their yearly lows.