In this week’s daily editions of Bitcoin in Brief we reported about a couple of new exchanges, a major security breach at Bancor, and why the Binance CEO came out against Ethereum founder Vitalik Buterin. This week’s most commented-on article covered the Nobel laureate economist Joseph Stiglitz, who predicted that cryptocurrencies will be “regulated into oblivion.”
New US Exchange
On Monday we reported that the American crypto trading market got a little more competitive with a new exchange opening. HBUS, a strategic partner of Huobi, has begun accepting new user registrations by U.S. residents, supporting BTC, BCH, ETH, ETC, LTC, USDT, CVC, DASH and TUSD. Additionally covered, ASIC producer Bitmain has raised up to $400 million in its latest fundraising round valuing the company at $12 billion, and Binance donated $1 million to flood victims in Japan.
The big story on Tuesday was that Bancor reported it had experienced a “security breach”. A wallet used to upgrade some smart contracts has been compromised and used to withdraw 29,984 ETH, worth approximately $12.5 million. “The same wallet also stole: 229,356,645 NPXS (~$1M) and 3,200,000 BNT (~$10M).” Bancor added that “once the theft was identified, we were able to freeze the stolen BNT”.
The countermeasures raised questions about the decentralized status of Bancor which doesn’t square with the freezing of tokens and shutting down the network. We also reported that Irish entrepreneurs are setting up a new decentralized crypto exchange in Europe.
Google Founder Is a Crypto Miner
On Wednesday we reported that Sergey Brin, president of Google parent company Alphabet, revealed that he is a crypto miner. “A year or two ago my son insisted that we needed to get a gaming PC”, Brin said. “I told him If we get a gaming PC we have to mine cryptocurrency.
So we got an ethereum miner on there and we’ve been making a few pennies and dollars since.” He added: “That definitely got me interested and I started to study the technology behind it and found it to be fascinating.” Additional stories included why Elon Musk is impressed by crypto scambots on Twitter, a response from Fcoin regarding fake volume allegations, and a $100 million venture capital fund for blockchain startups in Israel.
CZ vs Vitalik
The main focus on Thursday was that Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao (CZ) has decided to publicly defend his industry from a verbal attack by Vitalik Buterin. The Ethereum founder expressed a deep hatred for the particular business model at the heart of the current crypto trading ecosystem, saying: “I definitely hope centralized exchanges go burn in hell as much as possible”.
In his response, CZ’s core argument was that without centralized exchanges the field will develop ten times slower and will be ten times smaller. He additionally attacked the claim that decentralization is always better. Additionally covered were developments regarding two upcoming crypto phones.
Amid the flood of new alternatives taking on Tether, on Friday we reported that another stablecoin has been introduced, this time by a company that operates one of the major payment processors in Taiwan. Green World Fintech Services says the crypto, pegged to the New Taiwan Dollar (NTD), is called Taiwan Digital Token (TWDT).
Green World claims to have patented a dollar-to-token process that is supposed to protect the TWDT from fraud and money laundering risks. The project will be realized in cooperation with some established Taiwanese banks. The crypto accounts of TWDT users will be tied to “trusted bank accounts” in order to verify personal data before transactions are permitted. We also reported about a solution for handling your crypto portfolio for when you die.
Russians Used Bitcoin to Hack US Elections
On Saturday we reported on one of the biggest political stories in the world. According to a federal indictment announced by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, Russian agents used bitcoin in their campaign to influence the outcome of the 2016 US elections.
Authorities in Washington claim that hackers working for the Russian foreign military intelligence paid in crypto for servers in the US and Malaysia, website domains, and virtual private networks (VPNs) used to release information stolen from the Democratic camp and to obscure their identities and cover their tracks. They also laundered more than $95,000 through bitcoin. We also reported that a leading website for betting on horse racing has begun accepting bitcoin (BTC) and bitcoin cash (BCH) deposits.
“Regulated Into Oblivion”
The most commented-on article during the week covered Joseph Stiglitz, the former chief economist of the World Bank and Nobel laureate, who predicted that cryptocurrencies will be “regulated into oblivion” in the future. “You cannot have a means of payment that is based on secrecy when you’re trying to create a transparent banking system.
If you open up a hole like bitcoin then all the nefarious activity will go through that hole, and no government can allow that.” Stiglitz added: “Bitcoin could easily be worth just $100 in 10 years. People in power will move to regulate anonymous transactions. That you can be sure of.”