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Bitfinex hacker will need 114 years to launder $7 billion worth of stolen Bitcoin

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Only 4% of nearly 120,000 Bitcoin (around $7 billion today) stolen by a hacker from crypto exchange Bitfinex in 2016 have been laundered so far—and it will take the thieves over a century to cash out their bounty in full, according to blockchain intelligence firm Elliptic.

According to the report published on Thursday, 79% of the stolen funds hadn’t moved to this day and still reside in the hacker(s) wallet. While another 21% have been moved around over the past five years, the malicious actors managed to launder or exchange “only” approximately $270 million of their cache.

This is because the evolution of crypto tracking tools, regulation, and law enforcement methodologies have made illicitly gained digital assets extremely hard to cash out today, Elliptic pointed out.

Peeling off your BTC

For example, the hacker used so-called “peel chains” to launder and exchange their funds. Using this method, crypto tokens are usually moved around a lot, rapidly migrating from wallet to wallet, while just small portions of BTC are being “peeled off” to their actual destination along the way.

An example of peeling chains used by the Bitfinex hacker
An example of peeling chains used by the Bitfinex hacker. Image: Elliptic

Back in 2016, coins laundered via peel chains were extremely hard to trace manually, the firm explained, but there are now many automatic tracing systems that have been developed since then. For example, the “Elliptic Forensics” software ostensibly allows to “determine within milliseconds the ultimate source or destination of funds in an address, regardless of the number or complexity of the transactions used by a launderer.”

Still, after stealing 119,756 BTC in 2016, the hacker reportedly conducted a “flurry of transactions” in 2017, but their activity nearly ceased by 2020.

However, when the price of Bitcoin began exploding in early 2021, the temptation apparently became too much for the hacker, prompting them to move 12,241 BTC in April—worth $774 million at the time.

Elliptic also identified the three main venues the hacker used to move his stash: darknet markets (84%), privacy wallets (12%), and exchanges (4%).

Not so many options anymore

The laundering process first began in 2017 on Alphabay, the largest darknet market at the time. After it was shut down by law enforcement later that year, the operation moved to Hydra, which is the biggest illegal marketplace today.

“After a hiatus in 2019, the launderers returned to Hydra in 2020, and are currently depositing $3 million of the stolen bitcoins every month. In total, approximately $72 million-worth of the stolen bitcoins have been sent to Hydra to date,” Elliptic revealed.

The hacker also actively used privacy-focused wallets that allow users to hide their coins from blockchain trackers. Initially, some portions of BTC were sent to JoinMarket, but the hacker later switched to Wasabi as their primary wallet.

In total, the attacker has laundered roughly $10 million and keeps sending another $1 million worth of the stolen Bitcoin to Wasabi Wallet every month.

Finally, crypto exchanges account for just 4% of the hacker’s transactions—and this is because most of them are using strict know-your-customer and anti-money laundering procedures today, making it extremely hard to cash out stolen funds without revealing your identity.

“At that rate, it will take another 114 years to work through the rest of the stolen funds. As well as shedding light on criminal activity such as that suffered by Bitfinex, blockchain analytics has made it increasingly difficult to make crime pay when using crypto for illicit purposes,” Elliptic concluded.

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Coinsmart. Beste Bitcoin-Börse in Europa
Source: https://cryptoslate.com/bitfinex-hacker-will-need-114-years-to-launder-7-billion-worth-of-stolen-bitcoin/

Blockchain

Bitcoin Mining to Relocate from China to US Amid Crackdown

Bitcoin Mining China US

Rate this post Following the nationwide crackdown on miners, Bitcoin mining operations in China are gearing up to relocate three tons of crypto mining equipment to the US. The new reports emerged just a few weeks after authorities in several provinces ordered power companies to discontinue supply to mining firms. Bitcoin Mining Operations Are Transitioning From China to The US In light of China’s hardening stance on crypto mining, Bitcoin moguls in the country have started to look elsewhere for lucrative opportunities.  The world’s most populous nation banned crypto-related services in May and decided to monitor mining activities more stringently. Critics in China argue that mining operations consume inordinate energy and jeopardize the country’s climate goals in the process.  To date, Xinjiang, Qinghai, and Sichuan have openly prohibited power supply to mining companies. Not surprisingly, Bitcoin’s hash rate fell sharply in the aftermath of these decisions. The ban in Sichuan, in particular, took a toll on daily hash rates.  Some experts believe that China’s anti-mining climate could provide a breakthrough for the US. For years, crypto miners relied on China’s cheap electric supply to carry out their operations. In fact, in 2018, miners in China accounted for the world’s 74%  production of Bitcoin. Now, these ventures are eyeing Texas, South Dakota, or even Canada, triggering a mass transition. The recent relocation of a mining farm from Guangzhou to Maryland is the most visible instance of this mass transition. According to Eunice Yoon, a CNBC representative, the move will see nearly three tons of mining machinery being transported to the United States. Miami Opens Its Doors to Ousted Crypto Miners Meanwhile, Miami is welcoming ousted miners to establish operations in the city. Its current mayor, Francis Suarez, a vocal advocate for cryptocurrencies, has highlighted his support for digital assets on repeated occasions. Suarez has promised several incentives for miners, which include tax concessions, infrastructure incentives, and limited regulations to galvanize investments in the sector. Furthermore, he has guaranteed lower electricity bills for miners, with more than sufficient supply from Miami’s abundant nuclear power. As far as the BTC hash rate is concerned, the current gap between the US and China is significantly wide. However, this gap is expected to begin closing as more mining companies transition to the US.

The post Bitcoin Mining to Relocate from China to US Amid Crackdown appeared first on Cryptoknowmics-Crypto News and Media Platform.

Republished by Plato

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Following the nationwide crackdown on miners, Bitcoin mining operations in China are gearing up to relocate three tons of crypto mining equipment to the US. The new reports emerged just a few weeks after authorities in several provinces ordered power companies to discontinue supply to mining firms.

Bitcoin Mining Operations Are Transitioning From China to The US

In light of China’s hardening stance on crypto mining, Bitcoin moguls in the country have started to look elsewhere for lucrative opportunities. 

The world’s most populous nation banned crypto-related services in May and decided to monitor mining activities more stringently. Critics in China argue that mining operations consume inordinate energy and jeopardize the country’s climate goals in the process. 

To date, Xinjiang, Qinghai, and Sichuan have openly prohibited power supply to mining companies. Not surprisingly, Bitcoin’s hash rate fell sharply in the aftermath of these decisions. The ban in Sichuan, in particular, took a toll on daily hash rates. 

Some experts believe that China’s anti-mining climate could provide a breakthrough for the US. For years, crypto miners relied on China’s cheap electric supply to carry out their operations. In fact, in 2018, miners in China accounted for the world’s 74%  production of Bitcoin. Now, these ventures are eyeing Texas, South Dakota, or even Canada, triggering a mass transition.

The recent relocation of a mining farm from Guangzhou to Maryland is the most visible instance of this mass transition. According to Eunice Yoon, a CNBC representative, the move will see nearly three tons of mining machinery being transported to the United States.

Miami Opens Its Doors to Ousted Crypto Miners

Meanwhile, Miami is welcoming ousted miners to establish operations in the city. Its current mayor, Francis Suarez, a vocal advocate for cryptocurrencies, has highlighted his support for digital assets on repeated occasions.

Suarez has promised several incentives for miners, which include tax concessions, infrastructure incentives, and limited regulations to galvanize investments in the sector. Furthermore, he has guaranteed lower electricity bills for miners, with more than sufficient supply from Miami’s abundant nuclear power.

As far as the BTC hash rate is concerned, the current gap between the US and China is significantly wide. However, this gap is expected to begin closing as more mining companies transition to the US.

READ  Blockpass Provides KYC Services for Trading Firm Blitz Network

#Bitcoin In China #China Crypto Mining #Francis Suarez #Miami

Source: https://www.cryptoknowmics.com/news/btc-mining-ops-to-relocate-from-guangzhou-to-maryland-amid-chinese-crackdown/

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Blockchain

MicroStrategy Acquires More Bitcoin, Holds More Than 105,000 BTC

MicroStrategy Bitcoin

Rate this post Business analytics firm MicroStrategy has added more Bitcoin to its balance sheet, taking the company’s collective holdings to a whopping 105,085 BTC. According to an announcement from the firm’s CEO Michael J. Saylor, MicroStrategy spent $489 million to add another 13,005 BTC to its treasury. Michael Saylor Announces New Bitcoin Purchase For MicroStrategy Saylor and his company have maintained their belief in Bitcoin’s potential despite the primary crypto’s ongoing price struggles in a volatile market. The company has been pumping the digital asset since last August following the pandemic-induced inflation, which forced investors to seek non-traditional options that safeguard their assets. In its most recent accumulation effort, MicroStrategy snagged 13,005 BTC for an average price of $37, 617 per token. However, the digital asset has declined sharply in the last few days, and one coin is currently trading for $32,500.  As part of its announcement, the firm revealed that its recently formed subsidiary MacroStrategy LLC holds 92,079 BTC of its total balance.  Altogether, the new investment takes MicroStrategy’s combined Bitcoin holdings to a staggering 105,085 coins. At the current spot price, this holding is worth $2.74 billion, with each token amounting to slightly more than $26,000.  MicroStrategy Raised $500M to Procure Its Current BTC Investment Earlier this month it was reported that MicroStrategy was offering senior secured notes due in 2028 to raise half a billion dollars in debt. These notes bore an annual interest rate of 6.125%. The company had originally capped the sale at $400 million, but shortly thereafter it boosted its offer by another $100 million.  Following the sale of its debt offering, the company revealed that it had amassed nearly $489 million, which would be invested in Bitcoin. At the same time, MicroStrategy also announced that it was planning to sell up to $1 billion in stocks and that part of those proceeds would be directed to buying more Bitcoin. Even before its recent purchase, MicroStrategy owned the largest reserve of the flagship crypto among all publicly traded companies. 

The post MicroStrategy Acquires More Bitcoin, Holds More Than 105,000 BTC appeared first on Cryptoknowmics-Crypto News and Media Platform.

Republished by Plato

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Rate this post

Business analytics firm MicroStrategy has added more Bitcoin to its balance sheet, taking the company’s collective holdings to a whopping 105,085 BTC. According to an announcement from the firm’s CEO Michael J. Saylor, MicroStrategy spent $489 million to add another 13,005 BTC to its treasury.

Michael Saylor Announces New Bitcoin Purchase For MicroStrategy

Saylor and his company have maintained their belief in Bitcoin’s potential despite the primary crypto’s ongoing price struggles in a volatile market. The company has been pumping the digital asset since last August following the pandemic-induced inflation, which forced investors to seek non-traditional options that safeguard their assets.

In its most recent accumulation effort, MicroStrategy snagged 13,005 BTC for an average price of $37, 617 per token. However, the digital asset has declined sharply in the last few days, and one coin is currently trading for $32,500. 

As part of its announcement, the firm revealed that its recently formed subsidiary MacroStrategy LLC holds 92,079 BTC of its total balance. 

Altogether, the new investment takes MicroStrategy’s combined Bitcoin holdings to a staggering 105,085 coins. At the current spot price, this holding is worth $2.74 billion, with each token amounting to slightly more than $26,000. 

MicroStrategy Raised $500M to Procure Its Current BTC Investment

Earlier this month it was reported that MicroStrategy was offering senior secured notes due in 2028 to raise half a billion dollars in debt. These notes bore an annual interest rate of 6.125%. The company had originally capped the sale at $400 million, but shortly thereafter it boosted its offer by another $100 million. 

Following the sale of its debt offering, the company revealed that it had amassed nearly $489 million, which would be invested in Bitcoin. At the same time, MicroStrategy also announced that it was planning to sell up to $1 billion in stocks and that part of those proceeds would be directed to buying more Bitcoin.

Even before its recent purchase, MicroStrategy owned the largest reserve of the flagship crypto among all publicly traded companies. 

READ  MicroStrategy’s Bitcoin Stack Up: Brilliant Moves or Risk?

#Bitcoin #CEO Michael Saylor #MicroStrategy #MicroStrategy BTC Investment

Source: https://www.cryptoknowmics.com/news/microstrategy-acquires-more-bitcoin-holds-more-than-105000-btc/

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Chris Giancarlo: U.S. risks becoming ‘backwater’ without central bank digital currency

Republished by Plato

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One of the few high-profile public officials to have served under both the Obama and Trump administrations, Chris Giancarlo is a former Wall Street executive-turn-regulator who is widely-respected by nearly all parties on Capitol Hill. As the former Chairman of the Commodities Futures Trading Commission, however, his latest venture, the Digital Dollar Foundation, might well test his soft touch with politicians.

The former regulator is now leading the Foundation towards five pilot programs set to launch this year, part of a broader effort to help the United States regain the lead in a race against China towards a functioning CBDC.

According to Giancarlo, however, the US’s priorities when it comes to a CBDC shouldn’t merely be jingoistic:

“What’s very clear, [is] that China intends their digital yuan to be an instrument of state surveillance. […] And this is why it’s one of the reasons why the digital dollar project, we’re so animated, because we feel that our new mission is to make sure central banks wake up to this and the US Fed wakes up to this, that these social values that got us here, the rule of law, a free capital markets, free enterprise, zones of individual economic privacy, are ingrained in a new digital future of the US dollar, and that we don’t allow ourselves to be taken in by what China’s doing and match that state surveillance approach.”

However, the race to a CBDC isn’t merely about maintaining current US values, but also potnetially about unlocking new forms of smart contract-based value for the wider population. 

“The notion of a digital currency, whether it be sovereign and non-sovereign, tied to smart contracts, allows money to solve the old problem of being able to move it in place, i.e. moving around the globe as easily as you could send a text message, but also move it in time. Heretofore, money was a temporal thing, but with a smart contract you can say, I want to program my money today to go to my one grandchild in the future once they graduate college and all of those contingencies can be programmed in. […] With a programmable digital currency, you can program it today to move around the globe in space, but move around the globe in time. And that is such, I think, such a powerful construct.”

Ultimately, this work is part of an effort to ensure that America maintains technological supremacy. 

“You can’t stop the march of technology in time, and if you do, you become a backwater. We in the United States have always been open to innovation and we must be open to this innovation as well. In a prudent way, in a way that’s in correspondence with our society that expects investor protections and a role for government. […] And it’s one that I’m very excited to be involved in.”

Watch the full interview here:

[embedded content]

Chris Giancarlo: U.S. risks becoming ’backwater’ without central bank digital currency

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Coinsmart. Beste Bitcoin-Börse in Europa
Source: https://blockchainconsultants.io/chris-giancarlo-u-s-risks-becoming-backwater-without-central-bank-digital-currency/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=chris-giancarlo-u-s-risks-becoming-backwater-without-central-bank-digital-currency

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