Good afternoon and welcome to our rolling coverage of all things cryptocurrency, including price, regulation, innovation and financial crime.
Continued uncertainty over the Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) decision to approve a proposed bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) has caused prices to crash.
Bitcoin a huge amount of ground today, dropping 8.72 percent on the day to trade at $6,494.73.
Ethereum crashes down by 11.98 percent to trade at $306.88.
Ripple fell a whopping 17.83 percent to trade at $0.337825, while Litecoin suffers a 14.05 percent loss to sell for $64.07 percent.
Bitcoin prices are unable to rally against a flood of unsure investors waiting to see what happens with the ETF decision, which could ultimately make or break the market.
Can BTC recover and gain the ground it is predicted to make in 2018?
6.51pm UPDATE: Top crypto exchange COO on increased hashrate and bitcoin’s future
Following the news of the Bitcoin hashrate reaching 52 quintillion hashes per second, COO of Blockbid, David Sapper gives his insights into the future of Bitcoin and what this increased hashrate means for the cryptocurrency.
Mr Sapper said: “The Bitcoin hashrate has accelerated in growth this year, seeing a 60% rise in the last three months. This is great news for Bitcoin miners as it increases their chance of finding the next block and for investors as an increased hashrate can lead to increased prices.
“With less than 4 million bitcoins left to mine and the reward being halved from 12.5 to 6.25 per block in May 2020, I’m sure that we will see the hashrate continue to increase for the foreseeable future. Past halving’s in 2012 and 2016 saw Bitcoins price spike in 2013 and 2017, so even though supply is limited I don’t see miners slowing down anytime soon.
“Hashrate is one of the key indicators of the Bitcoin’s network strength and I’m extremely surprised to see that with the steady increase in hashrate we have seen the Bitcoin price drop back down to $7,000. Bitcoins volatility will always play a factor in its price, but hopefully Bitcoins price will soon start following its growing hashrate”
5.20pm UPDATE: Crypto-mining campaign claims more than 200,000 devices worldwide.
Paolo Passeri, Global Solutions Architect, Netskope said: “Security researchers have uncovered a global cryptomining campaign that has already compromised 200,000 devices worldwide. A vulnerability in MikroTik routers is being leveraged by hackers, 175,000 of which have been compromised in Brazil. Despite the heavy concentration in South America, the infection spread quickly across the world and another 25,000 instances were discovered in Moldova.
“Taking a close-up look at how the attack was carried out, the CVE-2018-14847 vulnerability in the MikroTik routers has been exploited by hackers by injecting Coinhive cryptocurrency mining script. Once injected, the script is then applied to every website visited by users of the device, causing each to become a means of mining Monero cryptocurrency at the expense of the victim CPU. Despite this vulnerability being patched back in April, the success of this campaign proves that too many users have ignored the warning, and cybercriminals have immediately taken advantage of this opportunity.”
“Although ignorance and a lack of awareness are major contributing factors, this campaign is also highly sophisticated. The attackers have shown a very deep, technical understanding of the architecture of the MiroTik routers, and they have recognised that even if a vulnerability is patched the day it is found, there will be enough unpatched devices to profit from in the following months.”
“One thing is certain, crypto criminals are relentless in the pursuit of new and innovative ways to launch attacks and profit from their victims. Last week we witnessed another first in the case of Steam, when the digital distribution platform for video games removed a title from its portfolio upon the discovery that the app harboured a secret cryptocurrency miner.”
3.45pm UPDATE: Bitcoin ETF decision poses unanswered question, says eToro analyst
The continued uncertainty over the SEC’s decision to ratify and approve the proposed bitcoin ETF has caused prices to drop and poses a number of unanswered questions among the community, according to Matthew Newton, an analyst at eToro.
Mr Newton said: “A green light for the bitcoin ETF would fire the starting gun on a race among institutional investors to cash-in on this new product. The market is therefore rightly frustrated by the delay to the decision.
“But there is something bigger at stake. The lingering question mark for the SEC is around bitcoin custody. To approve the decision, they’d need to do so in the knowledge that the ETF was backed by physical bitcoin – either stored by the CBOE or a third party.
“Sooner rather than later, these incumbents will either have to decide whether to develop their own storage capabilities in-house, or place their trust in crypto institutions. We could even start to see consolidation in the market with heavyweight finance houses acquiring crypto companies. Goldman Sachs has already begun deliberations over custody, so watch this space.
“Along with regulatory oversight, this question of custody will determine the next big move in the market.”