This Week in Crypto – August 9, 2019
Hello everyone and welcome to this week in crypto, this is your roundup for the week ending August 9th, 2019. Bitcoin mining power has set new records this week, a hacker has released hundreds of KYC photos, reportedly from Binance, many countries are implementing suggestions by Financial Action Task Force, Coinbase prevented a sophisticated phishing attack, and Binance is preparing for the launch of it’s US exchange.
Bitcoin Mining Power Sets New Record
Bitcoin mining power has set new records this week. Computing power for the Bitcoin network has stayed above 70EH/s quintillion hashes per second on average over the past two weeks, and just this week it surpassed 80EH/s quintillion hashes per second for the first time.
Tens of thousands of ASICs are being switched on to keep up with the block difficulty. Some of which may be from Blockstream, who just announced this week the launch of a mining farm and blockstream mining pool.
The increase in computing power seems to be boosting investor confidence and classifying Bitcoin as a safe haven, especially with the devaluation of the Chinsese Yen.
Nations Adopting Financial Action Task Force Guidelines
Many nations are enforcing KYC and AML systems to meet the standards of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), an international money-laundering task force that provides recommendations for regulators. Fifteen nations are planning to set up a system to monitor, collect, and share transaction and personal data of cryptocurrency users.
The Thai secretary-general of the AML Office plans to amend AML laws to include cryptocurrencies. And VC Trade, a Japan-based crypto exchange launched by SBI Holdings, has integrated a KYC compliant wallet to meet Financial Action Task Force standards. The FATF most recently demanded that crypto service providers scrutinize their customers’ behavior and report irregular transactions to authorities.
Ryan Zurrer Leaves Web3 Foundation To Start New DAO
Zurrer most recently helped close the Web3 Foundation’s second token sale for the Polkadot project. Zurrer told CoinDesk “With the success of the DOT sale, the success of the Web3 Summit and the Web3 Foundation in a strong position organizationally, it’s an appropriate time to step away. I will migrate and go back to what my primary passion is – deploying capital and helping early-stage teams build new concepts in the space”
A draft of the new DAO’s white paper has been posted on GitHub. Those who join the new DAO will be given DAO tokens and will only be asked to vote under intervals called mandates. The white paper defines a number of principles that will govern its operations, such as clean capital, value creation and security. Participants will be able to enter and leave the DAO freely.
Zurrer said that further announcements about those partnering with him will be made at the upcoming Web3 Summit during Berlin Blockchain Week.
Hacker Releases Alleged Binance KYC Photos
A hacker under the pseudonym “Bnatov Platon” has released hundreds of KYC photos on Telegram. The hacker claims to have hacked an insider involved with the 7,000 bitcoin hack on Binance last May. It is possible that identifying user information may have been leaked during that hack. However, Binance alleges the customer data was obtained from an unnamed third-party company it had contracted to conduct its KYC processing since February 2018.
The hacker demanded 300 bitcoin, but couldn’t strike a deal with Binance. He started releasing photos this Monday on an open file sharing site, and then on Telegram. Binance claims that the KYC leak is false, however they are offering a 25 bitcoin reward for information that leads to an arrest. Traders on Twitter are not convinced that the KYC leak is false.
Coinbase Prevents Phishing Attack
Coinbase says it prevented a complex phishing attack attempting to collect keys and passwords on the Firefox browser. In May, over a dozen Coinbase employees received an email from a legit seeming University of Cambridge “Research Grants Administrator.” The email came from a legitimate Cambridge academic domain and passed through security filters undetected.
Later on, targeted Coinbase employees received a subsequent email that contained a malicious URL. When opened in Firefox, the phishing attack could install malware on the recipient’s machine. Coinbase noted that within hours of an employee clicking on the link, security alerts were sent to the security team and successfully detected and counted the attack. Coinbase says they have locked down that employee’s computer.
More than 200 individuals across several organizations were found to have been targeted. Only 2.5% of those targets received an email with a malicious link. Mozilla has since patched two 0-day vulnerabilities on the FireFox browser.
Binance Prepares For US Exchange Launch
Binance adopted a Digital Asset Risk Assessment Framework to meet compliance requirements for the U.S. exchange. Binance is considering 30 assets for listing, including: Bitcoin, BAT, IOTA, Lite Coin, Ethereum, and more.
This has been your roundup from This Week in Crypto for the week ending August 9th 2019. Be sure to support the podcast by subscribing on your favorite podcast app including Google Home and Alexa devices. Also join us on Telegram to let us know your thoughts at t.me/weekincrypto. Thanks for listening, we’ll see you next time.