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The Crypto Beat - June 7, 2021

Written by:
Aaron Goldstein
Published on:
Jun/07/2021

Here are all the latest stories related to cryptocurrencies Monday June 7, 2021.

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CryptoFights

CryptoFights battles its way to 18.4% share of BSV network actions

FYX Gaming’s CryptoFights has fought its way to second-top place for number of actions on the BSV network. Since opening its beta to the general public, the game has become extremely popular, and is currently responsible for over a third of all actions performed on the blockchain.

According to Trends.cash, CryptoFights performed 53,014 actions on BSV in the past 24 hours, putting it in #3 spot behind second placer RUN token protocol and top placer RouterSV. Though still in its beta phase CryptoFights has become the most popular game on the BSV network as well.  Source: CoinGeek

El Salvador

El Salvador Making Bitcoin Legal Tender Paves A Path For Bitcoin Adoption In Countries

In a recorded announcement Monday at the Bitcoin 2021 conference, the president of El Salvador, Nayib Bukele, announced that the country’s government would declare bitcoin as legal tender.

"Next week I will send to congress a bill that will make bitcoin a legal tender,” he said.

It should be noted that 70% of the El Salvador population does not have a bank account.

In declaring bitcoin legal tender, El Salvador has become the first country to onboard to a non-fiat currency.  Source: Bitcoin Magazine

MicroStrategy

MicroStrategy to Offer $400M in Notes to Buy More Bitcoin Even as It Warns of $284.5M Impairment

While MicroStrategy has raised money to buy bitcoin from the proceeds of notes offerings before, it was always done by notes that were convertible into the company’s shares. This time the notes are to be guaranteed on a senior secured basis by MicroStrategy Services Corp, a subsidiary of MicroStrategy.

US Government

U.S. seizes $2.3 mln in bitcoin paid to Colonial Pipeline hackers

(Reuters) - The Justice Department on Monday recovered some $2.3 million in cryptocurrency ransom paid by Colonial Pipeline Co, cracking down on hackers who launched the most disruptive U.S. cyberattack on record.

Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco said investigators had seized 63.7 bitcoins, now valued at about $2.3 million, paid by Colonial (COLPI.UL) after last month's hack of its systems that led to massive shortages at U.S. East Coast gas stations.

The Justice Department has "found and recaptured the majority" of the ransom paid by Colonial, Monaco said.

An affidavit filed on Monday said the FBI was in possession of a private key to unlock a bitcoin wallet that had received most of the funds. It was unclear how the FBI gained access to the key.

A judge in San Francisco approved the seizure of funds from this "cryptocurrency address," which the filing said was located in the Northern District of California.

Colonial Pipeline had said it paid the hackers nearly $5 million to regain access. Bitcoin was trading down nearly 5% around 1800 ET (2200 GMT). The cryptocurrency's value has dropped to around $34,000 in recent weeks after hitting a high of $63,000 in April.

Bitcoin seizures are rare, but authorities have stepped up their expertise in tracking the flow of digital money as ransomware has become a growing national security threat and put a further strain on relations between the United States and Russia, where many of the gangs are based.

"Right now, prosecution is a pipedream," Vice President John Hultquist of the Mandiant cybersecurity firm said in praising the move. "Disrupt. Disrupt. Disrupt."

The hack, attributed by the FBI to a gang called DarkSide, caused a days-long shutdown that led to a spike in gas prices, panic buying and localized fuel shortages. It posed a major political headache for President Joe Biden as the U.S. economy was starting to emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic.

The White House urged corporate executives and business leaders last week to step up security measures to protect against ransomware attacks after the Colonial hack and later intrusions that disrupted operations at a major meatpacking company.

Deputy FBI Director Paul Abbate, who spoke at the same news conference as Monaco on Monday, described DarkSide as a Russia-based cybercrime group.

Abbate said the FBI was tracking more than 100 ransomware variants. DarkSide itself victimized at least 90 U.S. companies, including manufacturers and healthcare providers, he said.

Colonial Chief Executive Joseph Blount, who will testify before the Senate on Tuesday, said in a statement that the company had worked closely with the FBI from the beginning and was "grateful for their swift work and professionalism."

"Holding cyber criminals accountable and disrupting the ecosystem that allows them to operate is the best way to deter and defend against future attacks," Blount said.

Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo said on Sunday the Biden administration was looking at all options to defend against ransomware attacks and that the topic would be on the agenda when Biden meets Russian President Vladimir Putin this month.

Tom Robinson, co-founder of crypto tracking firm Elliptic, said that the bitcoin wallet from which the funds were taken had contained 69.6 bitcoins. The seizure announced on Monday was of just 63.7 bitcoins, which Robinson said likely represented the share that had gone to the DarkSide "affiliate" who had initially hacked into Colonial.

Investigators say DarkSide often used a partnership model with other hacking groups to compromise numerous victims.

DarkSide would normally keep a smaller share for its role in providing the encryption software and negotiating with the victim, Robinson said. On Monday, minutes after the first funds were transferred out, the rest followed. The U.S. government might have seized that second amount as well but not announced it yet, Robinson said.

The FBI affidavit filed on Monday said that the bureau had tracked the bitcoin through multiple wallets, using the public blockchain and tools. Small amounts were shaved off the initial 75 bitcoin payment along the way.

The remaining amount reached the final wallet on May 27 and stayed there until Monday.

- Aaron Goldstein, Gambling911.com

Business/Financial News

Attendees Hospitalized Following Miami Bitcoin Conference

More of those who attended last weekend's Miami Bitcoin Conference have come forward to tell their stories of falling ill, some confirming they tested positive for Covid-19.  The organizers point to the fact that vaccinations have been widely available in the United States.  According to CoinDesk, most respondents to their inquiries indicated that they had gone to Miami fully vaccinated

What Are The Types of Sportsbook Solutions Available

What Are The Types of Sportsbook Solutions Available

Bookies, there is a comprehensive sportsbook solution, and we want to tell you why you need it, and where you can find it. The pay per head industry has turned the gambling industry on its ear, and now you can get in on the ground floor with a three-in-one website that includes a fantastic sportsbook, a world-class racebook, and a Las Vegas-style casino.

Blockchain for Business: CoinGeek’s Zurich Conference is Live & Free With Over 100 Speakers

CoinGeek’s 7th Conference (June 8-10) will feature real use cases in BSV blockchain technology ranging from healthcare to eSports, iGaming to NFTs, and will focus on the environmental impact of digital assets and the future of money itself.

California Man Gets 2 years in Prison for Laundering Bitcoin

California Man Gets 2 years in Prison for Laundering Bitcoin

A Southern California man who pleaded guilty to illegally operating kiosks where customers could buy Bitcoin with cash, or sell Bitcoin in exchange for cash has been sentenced to two years in federal prison.

SEC Sues Cryptocurrency Promoters Over $2 billion Scheme

SEC Sues Cryptocurrency Promoters Over $2 billion Scheme

Federal regulators have accused a group of people of promoting a securities offering tied to digital currency that raised over $2 billion from retail investors without being properly registered.

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