Contradictory situation: the Central Bank of the US doesn't support their own cryptocurrency

Contradictory situation: the Central Bank of the US doesn't support their own cryptocurrency

Regulation under the Internal Revenue Code, zero confirmation transactions, crypto is 'the worst financial idea', Grayscale’s report

As the investment community knows, over the last six months, the digital asset market experienced one of the largest price drawdowns since the inception of Bitcoin in 2009. However, what is more interesting, and somewhat counterintuitive, is that the pace of investment into Grayscale products has accelerated to a level that we have not seen before.

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Bitcoin Miners’ Refuge? Zcash Mining Hash Rate Sees 650% Growth

While the bitcoin hash rate has taken a downward shift during the latter half of last year, Zcash has been on a constant upward movement that could make it a crypto miners refuge. Miners Flocking to Zcash The reports of Bitcoin miners leaving the crypto mining scene has been doing the rounds since mid-2018 after the crash of 80 to 90 percent in cryptocurrency prices. Bitcoin is down about 82 percent from its all-time high at $20,000 to about $3,500. Around October, Bitcoin hash rate took a dip and only started upward descent in mid-December. According to Diar’s latest report, cryptocurrency miners are flocking to Zcash due its block reward halving period. “Cryptocurrency miners have found refuge in solving for Zcash with the block reward still two halving periods behind Bitcoin (Zcash follows the same controlled supply model with differing block times).” The privacy-focused cryptocurrency, Zcash is a code fork of Bitcoin protocol that uses  zero-knowledge proofs to “enable privacy-preserving transaction data.” It first came into existence in late October 2016. The hash rate of Zcash has been growing on a constant upward movement as can be seen in the 1-year chart above. “With 7200 ZECs up for grabs daily the networks mining hash rate has been able to sustain a 650% growth as other cryptocurrencies lose equipment in the face of the ongoing bear market and stiff competition.” Earlier this month, zooko Took to Twitter to share the ongoing developments in Zcash to share that “As expected, the GitHub thread about radically revamping Zcash mining is heating up. … It’s important because at today’s prices there is more than $400K/day of new Zcash issuance” The community is also working on Zcash blossom, a “dual-proof-of-work scheme, where one algorithm is backward compatible with current mining equipment, and another is designed to work well with GPUs on a temporary time scale.” Harmony mining will be affecting the miners as its goal is to make the Zcash ecosystem more resilient by “spreading issuance and political influence among distinct kinds of stakeholders.” The post Bitcoin Miners’ Refuge? Zcash Mining Hash Rate Sees 650% Growth appeared first on Coingape.

Russia’s Economy Ministry Drafts New Law to Allow Companies to Deal with Virtual Currencies

It might be possible for some companies to start dealing with virtual currencies in Russia. This is according to a new draft law presented by the Economy Ministry, there are some parliamentarians that are showing support for this implementation. Some companies that work on the IT sector or blockchain industry could be allowed to use cryptocurrencies. The information was released by Russian media called Izvestia. At the moment, this implementation could just affect some regions in the country. As per the report, the State Duma is currently supporting the idea of these cryptocurrency pilots. This would allow digital assets to be tested in the society and the economy. Anatoly Aksakov, the chairman of the parliamentary Financial Markets Committee, commented on this issue: “The law on the regulatory sandbox, which I hope we’ll adopt during the spring [parliamentary] session, will allow either individual companies or a given industry to use crypto instruments in their economic turnover and business operations in certain regions.” Apparently, the bill is still being discussed to be implemented in different regions. However, the potential regions or entities for this program have not yet been determined. Nevertheless, blockchain and other companies working with technology might be able to be part of this project. Furthermore, there are some regions such as the Kaliningrad Oblast or the Republic of Tatarstan that have shown their interest in this new implementation. There are other potential candidates that include Moscow, Novosibirsk Oblast, Omsk Oblast or even the Autonomous Republic of Crimea. During the last months, there have been several reports related to Russia starting to use cryptocurrencies. Russia has been affected by sanctions imposed by western countries and economies that have affected the country. The Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs (RSPP) has been investigating digital currencies and how to implement them in the economy. Sergey Mytenkov, RSPP vice president, said during a conversation with Izvestia that some cryptocurrencies could be used by companies affected by western sanctions to attract capital and also make payments. Cryptocurrency regulations are expanding all over the world after a year in which digital assets fell more than 80%, while in some cases they lost more than 95%. In 2017, the number of Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) grew exponentially and several tokens were released to the market. However, most of these ICOs did not survive the bear trend. Some of them have even shut down their operations. Investors have also marked that there were several ICOs that were just scams. Due to this situation, regulatory agencies are starting to take a more active stance towards digital assets and blockchain technology.
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Iceland’s “Bitcoin Bandits” Sentenced in Big Crypto Mining Theft Case Worth Nearly $800,000 USD

It has been reported that the primary suspects in the “Big Bitcoin Heist” of 2018 have been sentenced to prison terms following the much-reported heist that saw them steal over $750,000 worth of crypto mining equipment. What Was The ‘Big Bitcoin Heist’? On January 16, 2018, the four men hired three more individuals in order to rob the Advania mines. The crew was able to steal 225 fully functional Bitmain mining rigs with the help from an ‘inside man’ and allegedly wore security uniforms. This particular heist was the crew’s biggest and the robbery reportedly took hours. The ‘inside man’ gave the thieves a security access code and a layout of Advania’s floor plan. Iceland police arrested two members of the gang on February 1, 2018, with an illegal stun gun and more than a half ounce of cocaine. From that point, one of the suspects purportedly turned on Stefansson and his gang, so the police were able to track down each member of the group following the first two arrests. The first of the individuals arrested include Sindry Thor Stefansson, who was originally arrested in April for the theft of mining equipment in the country. Based on translated court documents, another six individuals were tied into the charges, which is a total of ten criminal counts. The full charges include “possession of weapons, cocaine, and theft of over $2 million USD worth of mining computers and equipment.” What added a twist to the drama was when Stefansson escaped from prison. He was placed in the low-security prison a little over a week ago though he has been in custody. He fled through a window before taking the approximately 60-mile trek to Keflavík International Airport, where he used a stolen passport to board a passenger plane bound for Sweden and where security footage spotted him. Interestingly, he was on the same flight as the Prime Minister of Iceland. The Final Sentance All in all, seven men were sentenced for the heist, with Sindri Þór receiving the heaviest sentence. The computers were never found and the men were sentenced to pay Advania, the company that owned the computers, 33 million ISK(close to $270,634) in damages. Stefansson was not charged additionally for his attempted escape and just four and a half years in Prison. Hafthór Logi Hlynsson will serve 20 months and Matthías Jón Karlsson was sentenced to two-and-a-half years. Both Peter Stanislav Karlsson and Viktor Ingi Jónasson will have to spend 18 months behind bars while the others get lighter punishments.
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