James Howells, an IT Engineer, is offering a percentage of his Bitcoin stash to the Newport City council to dig up a hard drive containing over 7,000 bitcoins that he accidentally discarded.
Howells Seeks to Recover 7,500 BTC
According to the South Wales Argus, James Howells was renewing his appeal to the city council to be given permission to dig up the harddrive. The report noted that the discarded hard drive contained 7,500 BTC (about $290 million).
Back in 2013, the IT Engineer in the process of doing some cleanup, accidentally threw away the hard drive containing the BTC stash. Although Howells did not immediately realize his mistake, the Newport resident later started making moves to recover the lost device from the landfill site.
However, the Newport city council rejected Howells’ earlier pleas to dig up its landfill site. According to the city council, the IT Engineer has been trying to contact the city on the possibility of retrieving the device since 2014.
Furthermore, the authorities said that their reason for turning down Howell’s appeal was that such excavation efforts were detrimental to the environment. However, Howells is ready to offer 25 percent of his BTC worth, which is around $71.6 million, to search for the discarded hard drive.
According to Howells, the fund would be used to support the city’s COVID-19 Relief Fund. Howells is also conscious of possible environmental pollution during the process, and has made plans to prevent pollution.
Speaking on the determination to locate the lost Bitcoin, the IT Engineer said:
“There is no guarantee of that [it still working] because of the environment it’s been in, but there are things that give me confidence. The outside case might be rusted. But the inside disk, where the data is stored, there should be a good chance that it still works. I believe there still will be a chance. But the longer this drags on though, it’s less likely to be a possibility.”
3.7M BTC Likely Lost Forever
While Howells may be doing everything to get his lost Bitcoins, the Newport City Council seems reluctant to oblige the request. The authorities are concerned about the resulting cost if the entire exercise becomes futile. Meanwhile, Howells noted that funds would be placed in an escrow account if things do not go as planned.
Howells is one of the many bitcoin holders who have lost their BTC either by forgetting their keys, or erroneously sending bitcoin to wrong addresses. As reported by BTCManager earlier in January, a BTC holder lost 2.6 BTC after making a costly mistake.
Many holders are desperate to recover their lost bitcoin stash, as spot price is experiencing a parabolic advance. According to a Chainalysis data, 20 percent of all existing bitcoin — 18.5 million BTC — is possibly lost in stranded wallets.
Prepare For Liftoff: Bitcoin Loses Bear Market Trendline Against Altcoins
Aside from a few rare outliers, over the last several years, owning Bitcoin has been the better investment compared to other cryptocurrencies. Altcoins like Ethereum and others have only recently caught up, and BTC dominance has maintained the lion’s share of the crypto market cap.
However, dominance has lost an important trendline dating back four full years to the peak of the last bull market, and it could suggest a major turnaround is about to occur across the crypto market. Could this be the » Read more
” href=”https://www.newsbtc.com/dictionary/altcoin/” data-wpel-link=”internal”>altcoin season crypto investors have been waiting for?
Bitcoin Dominance Loses Crucial » Read more
” href=”https://www.newsbtc.com/dictionary/bear/” data-wpel-link=”internal”>Bear Market Trendline
” href=”https://www.newsbtc.com/dictionary/coin/” data-wpel-link=”internal”>coin by comparison as investors searched for the next BTC.
Related Reading | Five Signs That Say Altcoin Season Hasn’t Even Started Yet
Those investors ended up learning the hard way that there is no replacement for Bitcoin. Altcoins plunged by as much as 99% in most instances, while Bitcoin wiped out only 84% of its gains by comparison. Both scenarios are now far in the rear view, and since then Bitcoin has a commanding lead.
BTC dominance has lost an important monthly trendline dating back to the top of the last bull market | CRYPTOCAP-BTC.D on TradingView.com
At the height of that fever, dominance reached as low as 35%, but has since remained around or above 63%. That key level was lost at the same time a pivotal trendline was, and now there could be no over-performance in Bitcoin for the next year or more.
The trendline in question dates back four years to the bull market peak, and has kept dominance supported ever since.
Altcoins Are Ready To Explode If Dominance Dives Further
” href=”https://www.newsbtc.com/dictionary/altcoin/” data-wpel-link=”internal”>altcoin season, which thus far the leading cryptocurrency by market cap has kept locked away for many years now.
A zoomed in view shows how many times BTC dominance tried to reclaim the line | CRYPTOCAP-BTC.D on TradingView.com
Losing the previous long term trendline resulted in some short term consolidation followed by a large move lower. A bearish retest of 70% BTC dominance failed, sending the important crypto market metric falling back lower to the second ascending trendline.
Related Reading | Altcoin Season Is Here: “Buy Crypto” Surpases Bitcoin Searches On Google
With the 63% level now lost also, BTC dominance should gravitate toward the mid-50% range, allowing altcoins to soar compared to Bitcoin for an extended period of time.
Altcoins could also theoretically hold up better in a wider correction, but that scenario is unlikely as the riskier assets typically are more volatile and react more sensitively to greater crypto market selloffs.
Featured image from Deposit Photos, Charts from TradingView.com
John McAfee faces more charges connected to money laundering and wire fraud
According to the United States Department of Justice, Manhattan Federal Court today charged John McAfee and his team’s executive adviser Jimmy Gale Watson Jr for fraud and money laundering conspiracy crimes.
McAfee has been charged with securities fraud, touting, and wire fraud among other offenses stemming from the fraudulent promotion of crypto that federal law recognized as securities.
On 6 October last year, United States watchdog, Securities Exchange Commissions (SEC) charged the founder of the McAfee antivirus software firm for allegedly making over $23 million in the process of shilling seven initial coin offerings. Jimmy Gale Watson Jr. was also charged for violating Securities’ law in real-time on Twitter for shilling the ICOs along with McAfee.
The ICOs reportedly raised $41 million in the process with half of those proceeds pocketed by McAfee.
Manhattan US Attorney Audrey Strauss alleged that the duo exploited social media and “enthusiasm” among investors in the “emerging crypto market” to make millions through “lies and deception.” She further claimed:
…[McAfee and Watson] allegedly used McAfee’s Twitter account to publish messages to hundreds of thousands of his Twitter followers touting various cryptocurrencies through false and misleading statements to conceal their true, self-interested motives.
The investors of these ICOs allegedly concealed the fact that they were compensating McAfee and his team for their promotional tweets through funds raised from public ICO investors.
While McAfee is currently detained in Spain on separate criminal charges filed by the DoJ’s Tax Division. Watson was arrested on 4 March in Texas and will be presented before a federal magistrate judge in the Northern District of Texas, today.
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PAID Network exploiter nets $3 million in infinite mint attack
Paid Network, a DeFi platform aimed at real-world businesses, has been exploited today in an “infinite mint” attack that has sent PAID token prices plunging upwards of 85%.
While the exploit netted nearly $180 million in PAID tokens at the time of the attack — what would have comfortably been the largest exploit of a DeFi protocol — the hacker’s payday will end up being far less. One observer noted that the attacker’s wallet only converted some of their tokens to wrapped ether, leaving the rest in rapidly-devaluing PAID tokens:
Summary of $PAID incident:
Total PAID swapped to WETH: 2079.603371141493
Total PAID left in account: 594,717,455.71
Total amount in attacker account = $27,418,034.33
Stay Safe. pic.twitter.com/Lz93qGKAq0
— vasa (@vasa_develop) March 5, 2021
The attacker’s wallet still has over 57 million PAID tokens worth $37 million.
The exploit is conceptually similar to an attack on insurance protocol Cover that took place in late December last year. In that instance, the team took a “snapshot” of holders prior to the attack and issued a new token, returning the supply of the token to pre-exploit levels.
The team confirmed on Twitter that they are currently planning for a snapshot and restoration:
We are investigating the issue. We pulled liquidity, are creating a new smart contract, & will be restoring everyone’s original balances to before the hack.
Those with staked, Lpool & UniFarm $PAID will have their tokens be sent to them manually.
We will share more updates soon
— PAID NETWORK (@paid_network) March 5, 2021
However, token holders anxious for a resolution may be out of luck. Some in the community are speculating that the attack on PAID wasn’t an exploit at all, but instead a “rugpull” — a colloquial term for an insider designing contracts to specifically make them exploitable and swiping user funds.
Nick Chong of Parafi Capital noted on Twitter that Paid’s deployer contract, an externally controlled account, transferred ownership of the deployer to the attacker shortly before the mint, indicating that a member of the team either rugpulled, or errantly allowed the attack to take place with a security lapse:
Paid Network’s deployer, an EOA, transferred ownership of a contract to the attacker 30 mins before the minthttps://t.co/h14GdV4fCf
— Nick Chong (@n2ckchong) March 5, 2021
Additionally, a DeFi risk analysis account @WARONRUGS warned of exactly this exploit in late January, noting that the contract owner can mint PAID tokens at any time:
❌ Scam Advisory #86- PAID Network $PAID (0x8c8687fC965593DFb2F0b4EAeFD55E9D8df348df)
Reason: The owner can mint tokens and did mint tokens to fresh wallets who never bought the presale. Contract is behind a proxy.
Likeliness of losing all funds: Very High
— #WARONRUGS❌ (@WARONRUGS) January 25, 2021
An on-chain note sent to the attacker has ominously warned that “the LAPD will be in contact with Kyle Chasse very shortly.” Kyle Chasse is the CEO of Paid Network.
Paid Network did not respond to a request for comment by the time of publication.
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