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  1. #1
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    [EN] China to Shut Bitcoin Exchanges

    Regulators told at least one of the exchanges that the decision to shutter them has been made.

    Authorities to ban commercial trading of all virtual currencies.

    Chao Deng
    Sept. 11, 2017

    Chinese authorities are ordering domestic bitcoin exchanges to shut down, delivering a heavy blow to once-thriving trading hubs that helped popularize the virtual currency pushing it to recent record highs.

    China’s central bank, working with other regulators, has drafted instructions banning Chinese platforms from providing virtual currency trading services, according to people familiar with the matter. Regulators told at least one of the exchanges that the decision to shutter them has been made, one of the people said, while another said the unwinding may take several months.

    Beijing isn’t banning people from investing in virtual currencies, and China hosts some of the world’s largest bitcoin miners—the operations that generate the cryptocurrency. Ending commercial trading in all virtual currencies is likely to further diminish use of bitcoin in a large and once-promising market, and sends a signal to regulators elsewhere mulling how to bring order to virtual currencies in their own markets, analysts said.

    While China has in the past accounted for as much as 90% of trading activity, Chinese exchanges BTCC, Huobi, OKCoin and others represented more than 20% of global volumes in the past 30 days, according to database Bitcoinity.org.

    The price of one bitcoin traded at around $4,158 Monday evening in Beijing, roughly flat for the day, but down about 16% from a record high on Sept. 1. Prices dropped after regulators moved to cool the market, issuing a ban last week in China on initial coin offerings, a kind of fundraising via virtual currencies.

    The People’s Bank of China didn’t respond to a request for comment.

    Beijing has ramped up scrutiny of the domestic bitcoin market and other virtual currencies since the beginning of the year—part of a major government effort to root out financial risks. Officials earlier this year circulated a draft of anti money-laundering rules for the exchanges, a powerful warning, even though the regulations were never formalized, according to people familiar with the matter.

    The stakes for Beijing grew as prices of virtual currencies like bitcoin soared, adding to the risk of further speculation by domestic investors. Analysts and investors said one reason bitcoin prices rose last year was that Chinese investors began buying up the asset and selling the yuan in belief that the Chinese currency would fall.

    Virtual currencies in theory can allow holders to bypass the traditional banking system to move money outside of China’s capital-controlled borders.

    Officials from the central bank, cyberspace administration and banking, securities and other regulatory bodies considered various options for months but ultimately came to a consensus to shut down virtual currency exchanges, said the people familiar with the matter.

    “Too much disorder was naturally a basic reason” for the ban, said one of the people.

    Trading volumes have already plummeted in China, with authorities stepping up efforts to rein in the exchanges. Analysts said more activity is moving underground, where individuals can send virtual currencies to each other using private addresses, which serve like safe-deposit boxes.

    The people said that regulators will likely have to tolerate noncommercial trading of virtual currencies. “The government also doesn’t have the power to control” that, said one person.

    Speculation about a ban increased over the weekend, after a respected local financial news organization, Caixin, reported that such a move was coming. One of the people familiar with the matter said that regulators expect exchanges to report back on how they plan to unwind their businesses.

    The ban was surprising for many, given that Chinese authorities have allowed bitcoin exchanges to operate within the mainland for years. The central bank defined bitcoin as a “virtual good” back in 2013 and had banned banks and third-party payment institutions from engaging in bitcoin-related activities. While exchanges got a scare, they were quickly allowed to continue operations.

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/china-t...ces-1505100862

  2. #2
    WHT-BR Top Member
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    Cryptocurrencies




    Name Symbol Price USD Market Cap Vol. Total Vol. %
    Bitcoin BTC 4,203.6 $69.15B $1.57B 39.39%
    Ethereum ETH 296.93 $27.83B $577.23M 14.50%
    Litecoin LTC 68.330 $3.49B $424.14M 10.65%
    Bitcoin Cash BCH 555.49 $8.95B $278.01M 6.98%
    Ethereum Classic ETC 15.2501 $1.39B $146.61M 3.68%
    Ripple XRP 0.21733 $8.34B $138.06M 3.47%


    • Number of Currencies: 866
    • Total Market Cap: $146,134,071,980
    • 24H Volume: $3,981,922,012




  3. #3
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    Beijing and Bitcoin Don’t Mix



    Jacky Wong
    Sept. 11, 2017

    If bitcoin is an outlaw in the world of currencies, China has until recently been its Wild West. Perhaps no longer. Chinese regulators are planning to shut down the country’s once hugely popular bitcoin exchanges, The Wall Street Journal reported Monday. The news should send a chill through the cryptocurrency world.

    Sure, China doesn’t dominate bitcoin activity quite as much as it used to. At the start of this year, Chinese exchanges accounted for more than 90% of bitcoin trading globally. Trading volumes have fallen off a cliff since Beijing forced exchanges to adhere to anti-money-laundering rules and introduce trading fees. Still, these exchanges host nearly a third of global bitcoin trading.



    More concerning for bitcoin afficionados is that Beijing’s intolerance of cryptocurrencies appears to be growing. Regulators last week banned so-called initial coin offerings in China—ICOs work like IPOs, except instead of an equity stake in a company, investors get virtual coins they can use in the future to buy the company’s yet-to-exist products or services.

    Until the last few days, Beijing’s antipathy hardly seemed to have dented bitcoin. The cryptocurrency has quadrupled in value this year.

    But it has dropped around 10% in the past two days, since talk of shutting down Chinese exchanges first emerged. The worry now is that Beijing’s next steps may include attempts to tamp down the amount of trading Chinese investors engage in. Figures are hard to come by, but it’s highly likely Chinese traders are still driving much of the trading activity in bitcoin away from organized exchanges.

    The hard truth is that a loosely regulated, somewhat complicated financial instrument like bitcoin was never likely to sit well with a government that is still obsessed with micromanaging its own hard currency, the yuan. That’s one more reason to suspect this year’s bitcoin bubble is reaching its limits.

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/beijing...mix-1505120133
    Última edição por 5ms; 11-09-2017 às 23:48.

  4. #4
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    01:08:16 GMT - Real-time Data








    Current time in China ‎(UTC+8)‎
    9:10 AM
    Tuesday, September 12, 2017

  5. #5
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    10:42:45 GMT - Real-time Data


  6. #6
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    Criminals Thought Bitcoin Was the Perfect Hiding Place, but They Thought Wrong

    Companies have popped up to help cops identify suspects who use Bitcoin, and savvy criminals are moving to other currencies.

    Mike Orcutt
    September 11, 2017

    A notice to people using Bitcoin for illicit purposes: you can run, but it’s getting a lot harder to hide. Law enforcement officials are using Bitcoin’s public ledger, called the blockchain, to follow the digital money and track down suspected criminals using it.

    As the most popular cryptocurrency, Bitcoin has helped fuel the rise of ransomware attacks—extortion schemes, like the recent WannaCry cyberattack, in which hackers hold the contents of a victim’s computer hostage until they get paid. Criminals can use Bitcoin to collect ransoms easily and without having to reveal their identities. The currency has also been associated with online drug sales, money laundering, and sex trafficking.

    But while Bitcoin users can withhold their identities, they can’t avoid revealing other information that can be useful to investigators. Every Bitcoin transaction is recorded on its blockchain, a publicly accessible record of all transactions made using the currency. Blockchains “provide a really useful source of truth,” says Jonathan Levin, cofounder of Chainalysis, which develops software tools for analyzing blockchain data. Its products can help investigators draw inferences about how people are using the currency.

    Chainalysis combines its analysis with other publicly available information to identify users through the unique strings of numbers they use on the blockchain, called addresses, and then map how they move funds around. This technique can be used to do things like identify the Bitcoin exchanges where the users of a gambling site are converting their bitcoins into dollars (see “Mapping the Bitcoin Economy Could Reveal Users’ Identities”).

    Chainalysis’s tools are clearly valuable to criminal investigators. Since 2015, the company has supported investigations by the U.S. Internal Revenue Service, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Drug Enforcement Administration, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and Europol. In most cases, says Levin, investigators turn to Chainalysis when they already have some kind of lead, like a Bitcoin address they found among a suspect’s possessions. If they can determine that a suspect is using a particular exchange, they can use a court order get more information from that exchange.

    The government is also interested tracking the flow of funds on the blockchain to determine whether merchants that accept Bitcoin are reporting it and paying proper taxes, says Danny Yang, founder of BlockSeer, which also develops Blockchain analytics tools and supports law enforcement investigations.

    Cryptocurrency exchanges are becoming customers of analytics firms too. In many places it’s unclear the degree to which exchanges are required by law to know their customers and make sure they aren’t laundering money, as is required of traditional banks. But it’s difficult for exchanges to open bank accounts if they don’t understand who their customers are. And if the government is able to see that criminals are using certain exchanges, the exchanges want to be able to see that too, says Yang.

    The news isn’t all good for law enforcement, though. There are ways to confuse investigators, such as using so-called mixing services, which take bitcoins from many users and mix them up before sending them back out to different addresses at different times. More important, some newer cryptocurrencies, prominently Zcash and Monero, are designed to conceal the information that Chainalysis, BlockSeer, and others use to follow the money.

    Savvy criminals are already migrating to these untraceable systems. Last month, Chainalysis confirmed that WannaCry hackers were able to convert a portion of their ransom payouts from Bitcoin to Monero before the service they were using blacklisted their addresses.

    https://www.technologyreview.com/s/6...thought-wrong/

  7. #7
    WHT-BR Top Member
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    1.65 Million Zombies Are Mining Cryptocurrency for Hackers

    Jordan Pearson
    Sep 12 2017

    Cryptocurrencies are a boon to all sorts of criminals, from online drug dealers to ransomware hackers, due to their semi-anonymous nature. But another set of scammers takes a different approach: loading up victims' computers with software that "mines" currencies to generate a profit, without the owner's knowledge.

    Cryptocurrency mining can be lucrative. By setting up a computer or group of machines to work around the clock, miners solve math problems required by a given cryptocurrency (Bitcoin, Ethereum, Monero, etc.) to create new funds. The newly generated funds are returned to miners as a reward because mining is resource-intensive and can rack up electricity costs. Mining cryptocurrency is legal, but criminals can get other people's computers to put in the work while they reap the rewards by surreptitiously installing mining software on their computers with malware.

    According to new statistics released on Tuesday by Kaspersky Lab, a prominent Russian information security firm, 2017 is on track to beat 2016—and every year since 2011—in terms of the sheer number of computers infected with malware that installs mining software. So far in 2017, the company says it has detected 1.65 million infected machines. The total amount of infected computers for all of the previous year was roughly 1.8 million. The infected machines are not just home computers, the firm stated in a blog post, but company servers as well.

    "The main effect for a home computer or organization infrastructure is reduced system performance," Anton Ivanov, a security researcher for Kaspersky, wrote me in an email. "Also some miners could download modules from a threat actor's infrastructure, and these modules could contain other malware such as Trojans [malware that disguises itself as legitimate software]."

    Ivanov said that the firm doesn't know how much money has been made overall with this scheme, but a digital wallet for one mining botnet that the company identified currently contains over $200,000 USD.

    The most popular cryptocurrencies mined by malware were Zcash and Monero, according to Kaspersky. This is noteworthy, because it reinforces the notion that mining Bitcoin, the most popular and valuable cryptocurrency, is just too difficult for normal people to engage in (or for hackers controlling other people's computers). The Bitcoin mining space is dominated by gigantic firms that run server farms, largely in China. Smaller or newer currencies like Zcash and Monero are thus more likely to pay off. In addition, Ivanov noted, Zcash and Monero promise more privacy for users and, as it happens, criminals, than Bitcoin and Ethereum.

    The increased rate of mining with malware is likely due to the massive bull-run that cryptocurrency markets across the board have enjoyed this year, buoyed in part by rampant speculation on the future value of digital assets. "In our opinion, it is happening because top cryptocurrencies have rapidly increased within the year," Ivanov wrote me.

    If you've noticed a suspicious slow-down on your computer recently, or your electricity bill is inexplicably growing, you might just be mining digital coins for someone else.

    https://motherboard.vice.com/en_us/a...-far-this-year

  8. #8
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    JPMorgan's Dimon says bitcoin 'is a fraud'

    David Henry, Anna Irrera
    September 12, 2017

    Bitcoin “is a fraud” and will blow up, Jamie Dimon, chief executive of JPMorgan Chase & Co, said on Tuesday.

    Speaking at an investor conference in New York, Dimon said, “The currency isn’t going to work. You can’t have a business where people can invent a currency out of thin air and think that people who are buying it are really smart.”

    Dimon said that if any JPMorgan traders were trading the crypto-currency, “I would fire them in a second, for two reasons: It is against our rules and they are stupid, and both are dangerous.”

    Dimon said that if the supply were actually limited to 21 million bitcoins, it might be useful to drug dealers and murderers and people in countries with exceptionally unstable currencies.

    That would be “a limited market,” he said. “It is worse than tulips bulbs.”

    Banks and other financial institutions have largely steered clear of bitcoin since it emerged following the financial crisis. They are also concerned over its early association with online crime and money laundering.

    JPMorgan and many other banks have, however, invested in blockchain, the technology that tracks bitcoin transactions. Blockchain is a shared ledger of transactions maintained by a network of computers on the internet.

    Dimon said such uses will roll out over coming years as it is adapted to different business lines.

    Financial institutions are hoping blockchain can be adapted to simplify and lower the costs of processes such as securities settlement, loan trading and international money transfers.

    Dimon predicted big losses for bitcoin buyers. “Don’t ask me to short it. It could be at $20,000 before this happens, but it will eventually blow up.” Dimon said.

    “Honestly, I am just shocked that anyone can’t see it for what it is.”

    http://www.reuters.com/article/us-us...-idUSKCN1BN2KP

  9. #9
    WHT-BR Top Member
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    Dec 2010
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    00:38:46 GMT - Real-time Data




    • Number of Currencies: 868
    • Total Market Cap: $142,384,346,289
    • 24H Volume: $4,766,990,991


    Cryptocurrencies


    Name Symbol Price USD Market Cap Vol. Total Vol. %
    Bitcoin BTC 4,121.0 $67.76B $1.85B 38.88%
    Ethereum ETH 289.59 $27.08B $746.26M 15.68%
    Litecoin LTC 66.000 $3.38B $478.85M 10.06%
    Bitcoin Cash BCH 532.00 $8.32B $274.56M 5.77%
    Ethereum Classic ETC 14.9661 $1.36B $166.17M 3.49%
    Última edição por 5ms; 12-09-2017 às 23:43.

  10. #10
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    Dec 2010
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    Erik Voorhees‏ @ErikVoorhees 17 hours ago

    My memory is failing, was it Bitcoin or was it JP Morgan that was bailed out by the government?



    Pirate Beachbum‏ @piratebeachbum 23 minutes ago

    Sometimes I wonder if bitcoin investors who are panic selling have any investing experience. This is when you look to buy BTC or just HODL


    Ross Gerber‏ @GerberKawasaki 24 minutes ago

    Jamie Dimon and friends cause the financial crisis (London whale too) sink millions of Americans into BK and calls bitcoin a scam.


    Russian Market‏ @russian_market 17 hours ago

    2012 Dimon: Bitcoin is a bubble
    2015 Dimon: Bitcoin is a bubble
    2017 Dimon: Bitcoin is a bubble. I fire you all with all your bitcoins.


    Bitcoin é uma seita

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