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Decentralization First: Privacy Coin Monero Cuts Out ASIC Miners to Stay Independent

On March 9, Monero was successfully upgraded via a hard fork.

On March 9, Monero (XMR) network was successfully upgraded via a hard fork. The new code curbed application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC)-powered mining with a new proof-of-work (PoW) algorithm. Additionally, new dynamic block size algorithm and improved privacy — which is considered to be Monero’s key feature — were introduced.

Once the ASIC miners were taken out of the equation, the network’s hash rate dropped over 80 percent — which, however, might be positive for the cryptocurrency in the long term.

Anonymity above all: Monero’s main principle

Monero is a privacy coin, meaning that it is anonymous and untraceable by design. It was originally created in April 2014 under the name of BitMonero. Eventually, BitMonero was forked and became an open-source project dubbed “Monero” (which means “coin” in Esperanto).

Monero is based on the CryptoNight proof-of-work (PoW) hash algorithm, which entails three key features: ring signatures, which are used to mix the spender’s address with a group of others, making it more difficult to trace transactions; stealth addresses, which are generated for each transaction and make it allegedly impossible to track its actual destination by anyone else other than the two parties involved in it; and ring confidential transactions, which are used to conceal the transferred amount.

XMR’s focus on privacy helped it to stand out from more conventional cryptocurrencies and become a relatively popular means of payment within the underground economy, namely on darknet markets like Alphabay and Oasis. In 2016, partly due to being integrated on those trading platforms, XMR experienced more growth in market capitalization and transaction volume than any other cryptocurrency, skyrocketing almost by 2,800 percent, as per CoinMarketCap. Currently, XMR is the 13th-biggest coin by market cap, with equivalent of over $845 million.

Monero Price and Market Capitalization

Monero’s alleged privacy has attracted a lot of controversy. For instance, as previously reported by Cointelegraph, Monero has been endorsed by white supremacists like Christopher Cantwell specifically for its focus on anonymity.

Consequently, it has also drawn pushback from mainstream players such as Japan-based Coincheck, which chose to remove XMR and three other anonymity-focused altcoins due to Counter-Terrorist Financing (CTF) and Anti-Money Laundering (AML) procedures imposed by the local financial regulator. More recently, the Finance Committee of France’s National Assembly suggested a ban on anonymous cryptocurrencies, including Monero.

Notably, the United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has claimed that, although privacy coins are less liquid and more anonymous than BTC, the agency “still has ways of tracking” altcoins, including Monero specifically.

New update: ASIC resistance at all costs

The upgrade v 0.14.0, dubbed “Boron Butterfly,” was activated at block height 1,788,000 on March 9, as per the previously released schedule. Given that it was a noncontentious fork, no chain split occurred. Monero’s hard forks are normally planned every six months in order to ensure sustainability.

According to the log, Monero’s privacy was enhanced via payment ID changes, and a new dynamic block size algorithm was introduced to prevent blockchain bloating attacks.

More importantly, the upgrade introduced a new PoW algorithm, CryptoNightR, also known as Cryptonight variant 4 (CNv4). Specifically, this algorithm introduced ASIC-resistance in a bid to keep the network decentralized. Monero has been pushing out ASIC-powered mining from the XMR network since its birth, but the code has to be updated regularly to ensure that.

The Monero developer known as Binaryfate confirmed to Cointelegraph that the new algorithm is designed to render useless any existing ASIC that would have been mining XMR before the fork, as well as reduce the efficiency gap with graphics processing units (GPUs) and central processing units (CPUs) if new ASICs were designed for the new algorithm:

“The point of making Monero ASIC-resistant is to ensure sufficient decentralization of the network, since ASICs are far from being commoditized. As one of the goals of the project is to be a fungible currency, it is also important to be censorship resistant (for instance so nobody can try to enforce or be pressured to enforce only a subset of whitelisted transactions to be mined).”

“The CryptoNightR algorithm is essentially another tweak that aims to reduce the efficiency gap for ASICs. One of its features is including random code generation, which presumably makes it more difficult for ASIC manufacturers to design and build a device,” an active Monero community member told Cointelegraph via direct messages on Reddit.

ASIC resistance is currently the philosophy of the community.”

Indeed, as Mark D’Aria, founder and CEO of Bitpro, a New York-based installation and mining operation management firm, told Cointelegraph, ASIC-powered rigs are not necessarily welcome by developers because of their profit-driven nature, especially when it comes to cryptocurrencies with smaller market caps:

“Because ASICs are specialized hardware used to compete in a zero sum game for block rewards, manufacturers are incentivized to keep their development secret to protect their competitive edge. Unlike GPUs which are general purpose hardware, ASICs are basically money printing machines, and nothing more. For an ASIC manufacturer their goal is obviously to make the most money possible — and in most cases, particularly for smaller market cap coins, there’s no way to justify selling the device for less money than they project that it can print.”

Since the Boron Butterfly hard fork has been activated, Monero network’s hash rate initially dropped over a whopping 80 percent — which seems to indicate that the network was once again largely controlled by ASIC-powered rigs despite Monero’s previous efforts, as mining operations eventually get updated to comply with new algorithms.

Monero Hashrate

Binaryfate argues that the drop is not harmful for the network, adding that the hash rate always takes a day or two to adjust, and already looks “pretty stable” at this point:

“The PoW algorithm has changed and you cannot compare the hash rate pre and post fork in terms of absolute numbers. The cost of the energy being burned for mining is a good metric for the security of the network (provided it is also decentralized), and there is no indication that less energy is burned now than before the fork.”

As a Monero community member told Cointelegraph, the hash rate was approximately 350-400 megahash per second (MH/s) before ASIC devices entered the network, and is expected to come eventually back to that level. The hash rate seems to be around 269 MH/s as of press time.

According to D’Aria, the ASICs might still take over eventually — and largely outperform GPUs as per the current PoW:

“The biggest problem of all though – one that is highly problematic for their [Monero’s] cryptonight PoW, no matter how many tweaks they make each 6 months – is that cryptonight ASICs are vastly more efficient than GPUs can ever be. Once the ASICs hit the network, they raise difficulty to such extremes that no GPU can ever be profitable,” he explained, adding how ASIC domination might undermine the token’s integrity:

“By the time of the Monero fork it was estimated that well over 80% of the hashrate was ASIC, and it would have been trivial for them to 51% attack the chain. In theory they could double spend, or even use the threat of the double spend to in essence blackmail the community into not making changes that would hurt their bottom line. Monero could not be taken seriously as a store of value if it was under the control of such entities, thus the situation undermines the entire value proposition of the blockchain.”

Therefore, by cutting out ASIC miners, Monero aims to remain a decentralized and open-source project. As for now, the most evident consequence of its recent hard fork is the shutdown of Coinhive, a JavaScript-based digital currency mining service that banks on a computer code to be installed on websites.

Once set up, the service used some of the computing power of a browser that loads the site in question. Although Coinhive was not an inherently malicious code, it had become popular among hackers for cryptojacking.

On Feb. 26, the mining service announced it will stop its operations on March 8. “The announced hard fork and algorithm update of the Monero network on March 9 has lead us to the conclusion that we need to discontinue Coinhive,” they wrote.

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Bitcoin Private Team Accuses Crypto Exchange HitBTC of Fraud After Delisting

Bitcoin Private (BTCP) developers have accused cryptocurrency exchange HitBTC of fraud in connection with the recent coinburn.

Bitcoin Private (BTCP) developers have accused cryptocurrency exchange HitBTC of acting in a fraudulent manner in regards to their delisting from the exchange following a planned coinburn.

The accusations are portrayed in a letter written on Feb. 26 to the exchange by the Petros Law Group on behalf of the BTCP community, developers and contributors, and published by the Bitcoin Private Twitter profile on March 9.

According to its authors, the letter — which was published the day BTCP was delisted from HitBTC — alleges that HitBTC attempted to extort BTCP following unresolved complications arising from the coinburn.

According to the document, at the beginning of March last year, BTCP was created in a fork from ZClassic (ZCL) and Bitcoin (BTC) with a notice of a future coinburn in its whitepaper: the scheduled event was meant to delete (or “burn”) all the coins which haven’t been claimed (or moved) since the fork. On March 3, 2018, the day after the launch, HitBTC reportedly charged the BTCP team a listing fee of half a million dollars in Bitcoin.

The document includes screenshots of apparently since-deleted tweets in mid-February from HitBTC, which explained to users that since the exchange’s BTCP addresses were created after the fork took place, users won’t be affected by the coinburn.

On Feb. 15, one day before the coinburn was planned to happen, HitBTC reportedly contacted BTCP requesting assistance to protect its users’ funds in a series of emails, which then escalated into a request for compensation of 58,920 BTCP to be given after the coinburn due to expected losses.

However, as the document underlines that BTCP addresses created after the fork will not be affected, the exchange cannot have been concerned about users’ loss of funds, as that situation did not exist. Instead, the document alleges that HitBTC secretly held 58,920 BTCP in a BTCP Segwit wallet, and the concerns over the coinburn were related to the exchange’s personal funds.

The document further claims that BTCP developers informed the exchange that they didn’t intend to accommodate the compensation demand, but did provide technical assistance — shown with email screenshots — meant to help protect the funds from the coinburn.

On Feb. 17, the coinburn reportedly happened, one day after it was forecasted, and on Feb. 21, HitBTC allegedly threatened to pull BTCP support if the coin’s development team did not compensate 58,920 BTCP.

HitBTC has released a statement on its official blog on March 9 stating that the BTCP team was unable to provide a safe way to move the funds before the burn, but that the exchange has compensated all the custody losses. HitBTC has not responded to Cointelegraph’s request for comment by press time.

As Cointelegraph reported in December last year, during the import of Bitcoin chain data, an additional 2.04 million units of altcoin Bitcoin Private were reportedly secretly coined.

The discovery was later confirmed by the coin’s developers, who stated that the findings were mathematically accurate but “at this time, the source, purpose, and recipient of this exploit is currently unknown.”

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Hodler’s Digest, Feb. 25–March 3: Top Stories, Price Movements, Quotes and FUD of the Week

Facebook is getting serious about crypto, Samsung’s new smartphone will support more cryptos, and more in this Hodler’s Digest.

Top Stories This Week

Nasdaq Begins Listing Brave New Coin’s Bitcoin and Ethereum Price Indexes

Nasdaq, the world’s second-largest stock exchange, began its live listing of two crypto price indexes from United States blockchain and crypto market data company Brave New Coin (BNC) this week. The listings, which had been announced earlier this month, are BNC’s Bitcoin Liquid Index (BLX) and Ethereum Liquid Index (ELX). According to the announcement, the indexes will show reference rates for the price of 1 BTC and 1 ETH, quoted in USD and refreshed every 30 seconds. Brave New Coin has also announced future plans to add another index for tracking the price of Ripple (XRP).

Samsung Announces Galaxy S10 Crypto Partners, Bitcoin and Ethereum Support

South Korean tech giant Samsung’s new Galaxy S10 smartphone will reportedly have crypto wallet functions for both Ethereum and Bitcoin, as well as two other tokens. The much-discussed crypto features seemed to have been revealed at the Mobile World Congress this week, where Samsung presented the various projects featured on the smartphone, including support for the cosmetic industry-focused COSMEE token (COSM) and crypto gaming-focused Enjin’s token (ENJ). Also this week, anonymous sources had reported that Enjin Wallet would be backing a blockchain wallet in Samsung’s new smartphone.

Jamie Dimon Says JPM Coin Could Eventually Find Consumer Use

Jamie Dimon, the CEO of JPMorgan Chase, said this week that the company’s previously announced JPM Coin could eventually see consumer use. The bank’s proposed digital asset had been announced by the U.S. banking giant last week, noting that the coin could increase settlement efficiency in several of its operations. However, Dimon’s comments to CNBC this week implied a wider focus for the coin’s use, as he noted that it “could be internal, could be commercial, it could one day be consumer.” The JPM Coin has been both lauded and opposed by those in the crypto community, with some suggesting it defeats the purpose of crypto itself.

New York Times: Facebook Reportedly Shopping ‘Facebook Coin’ to Crypto Exchanges

Social media giant Facebook is reportedly “hoping to succeed where Bitcoin failed” with its highly secretive cryptocurrency project, according to anonymous sources speaking to the New York Times. This week, the Times wrote more about Facebook’s alleged coin that had previously been revealed, noting through its sources that the company planned to integrate WhatsApp, Messenger and Instagram into one entity and provide the newly unified service with a crypto token. According to the unnamed sources, Facebook is far enough along in the project that they have been meeting with crypto exchanges about the possibility of listing the so-called “Facebook Coin.”

Ethereum’s Constantinople and St. Petersburg Upgrades Have Been Activated

Ethereum’s next two network upgrades, known as Constantinople and St. Petersburg, have successfully taken place this week on the main network at block 7,280,000, in accordance with the previously released schedule. The two updates have been combined into one event, following the delay of the Constantinople upgrade in January over a newly discovered security vulnerability. While Constantinople adds the so-called “difficulty bomb” and the decrease of Ethereum’s block reward, St. Petersburg is meant to delete a previous update, Ethereum Improvement Proposal 1283, from Ethereum’s test networks, as the EIP has been identified to have security vulnerabilities.

Winners and Losers

The crypto markets are slightly down by the end of the week, with Bitcoin trading at around $3,854, Ethereum at $134 and Ripple around $0.31. The total market cap is at about $130 billion.

The top-three altcoin gainers of the week are RegalCoin, Archetypal Network and President Trump. The top-three altcoin losers of the week are ICE ROCK MINING, PonziCoin and CapdaxToken.

Winners and Losers

For more info on crypto prices, make sure to read Cointelegraph’s market analysis.

Most Memorable Quotations

“Let’s do this in Europe, the avant-garde of agricultural technology, by developing tools that will track every product from raw material production to packaging and processing. The innovation is there and it must be used in the agricultural world, it must be fully used because it is at the service of shared excellence and it will serve the consumer.”

Emmanuel Macron, president of France


“You can stare at it [Bitcoin] all day, and no little Bitcoins come out or anything like that. It’s a delusion, basically.”

Warren Buffett, CEO of Berkshire Hathaway


“I’m not sure I can buy that we’ve seen massive value destruction, I think we’ve seen massive value creation.”

Steve Wozniak, Apple co-founder

“JPMorgan Coin could be internal, could be commercial, it could one day be consumer.”

Jamie Dimon, JPMorgan Chase CEO


“We’re happy to go on the record. Coinbase’s listing of XRP (also, not ‘our token’) was Coinbase’s independent decision – we did not give them anything to make it happen.”

Miguel Vias, head of XRP markets

FUD of the Week

QuadrigaCX Wallets Have Been Empty, Unused Since April 2018

In further QuadrigaCX news, the embattled Canadian crypto exchange’s auditor — Big Four audit firm Ernst & Young (EY) — released a report this week showing that the exchange’s cold wallets appear to have been empty since April 2018. EY identified six separate crypto wallets that had been used to store Bitcoin, but noted that there had been no deposits in the wallet since April of last year (besides one for $500,000), noting that they cannot find a reason as to why the wallets had been ceased. EY also included in its report the discovery of 14 user accounts that appear to have been created outside the normal process by Quadriga, which were then used to trade on the exchange’s platform.

Crypto Mining Service Coinhive to Shut Down Operations in March

Coinhive, a crypto mining service that specifically targets altcoin Monero (XMR), has announced that it will be shutting down operations in March 2018. According to the blog post, the project has become economically inviable due to the market conditions, as well as the more than 50 percent drop in hash rate following the last Monero hard fork. XMR has dropped around 85 percent over the course of the year, the blog post noted, underlining that it contributed to the decision to discontinue Coinhive. The service is a JavaScript-based digital currency mining service that relies on computer code being installed on websites, that then uses some of a browser’s computing power to mine.

Netherlands Bitcoin Trader Attacked in His Home

According to local media, a Bitcoin trader was attacked in his home in the Netherlands this week by a group of robbers that had disguised themselves as police. The victim, 38-year-old Tjeerd H., was robbed by a group of criminals wearing balaclavas and bulletproof vests with a police coat, who threatened him with firearms. According to the local media outlet, H. was a cryptocurrency trader, and police sources have confirmed this. As cryptocurrency has risen in popularity in recent years, attacks on traders have also risen in number, as Cointelegraph has previously reported.

Best Cointelegraph Features

#DeleteCoinbase: Exchange Users Respond to Acquisition of a Firm Run by Former Spyware Developers

After Coinbase’s acquisition of blockchain startup Neutrino this month, users have taken to the internet in order to lambast what they see as the company’s lack of sensitivity to human rights issues. The online #DeleteCoinbase campaign stems from the fact that some of Neutrino’s employees are associated with Hacking Team, an information tech outfit that has reportedly sold surveillance capabilities to different governments. Cointelegraph takes a look at the crypto community’s response to this controversial acquisition.

Scammers, Satoshi and Tesla Miners: Elon Musk’s Complex Relationship With Crypto

Elon Musk, Tesla CEO and overall tech entrepreneur, recently complimented Bitcoin’s structure, calling the coin a “quite brilliant” digital currency. Cointelegraph examines Musk’s relationship with cryptocurrency, starting from October 2014 up until present day, as the entrepreneur previously has rarely made direct comments about crypto technology.

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Ethereum’s Core Dev Team Is Searching for a New Hard Fork Coordinator

Ethereum’s core developers discussed the need for a new hard fork coordinator during a core developer meeting on March 1.

Ethereum’s (ETH) core developers discussed the need for a new hard fork — or network upgrade — coordinator during a core developer meeting on March 1.

As Cointelegraph reported in February, Afri Schoeden, release manager at Ethereum infrastructure firm Parity Technologies, has quit all Ethereum projects after a controversial tweet that sparked outrage on social media.

His departure led to a conversation among the Ethereum core developers on Friday concerning the search for a new candidate for hard fork coordinator and the definition of the role, which would include some of the tasks that Schoeden used to perform. The Ethereum Foundation’s community relations manager, Hudson Jameson, defined what their hard fork coordinator would do during the developer meeting call:

“A hard fork coordinator in my mind decides hard dates for submitting EIPs [Ethereum Improvement Proposals] for consideration, deciding on those EIPs, implementation and testing, and then finally what day the hard fork would be.”

Moreover, Jameson also specified that such a coordinator “wouldn’t be a dictator in this regard,” but, instead, would suggest different options after considering all the relevant data. Also, core developer Lane Rettig declared during the meeting that he thinks that Ethereum developers would “like to do hard forks more often” and that the coordinator could help make that possible.

On Feb. 28, Ethereum’s Constantinople and St. Petersburg hard forks were both successfully activated at block 7,280,000.

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Ethereum’s Constantinople, St. Petersburg Upgrades Have Been Activated

The Ethereum mainnet’s latest update, Constantinople and St. Petersburg, went live at block 7,280,000.

The Constantinople and St. Petersburg network upgrades for the world’s second largest cryptocurrency, Ethereum’s (ETH), occurred today Feb. 28, according to

Specifically, the updates went live on the main network at block 7,280,000, in accordance with previously released schedule. Although the upgrade has two names of two originally separated updates, they have subsequently been combined into one.

Per, not all Ethereum users have adopted the updates. Only 22.3 percent of Geth and Parity clients are reportedly already running the Constantinople-compliant version.

Constantinople is set to bring multiple efficiency improvements to the platform, including cheaper transaction fees for some operations on the Ethereum network. As previously reported, the Constantinople hard fork was delayed in January due to a newly discovered vulnerability.

The St. Petersburg upgrade is meant to delete a previous update, Ethereum Improvement Proposal (EIP) 1283, from Ethereum’s test networks, since that EIP had been identified to have security vulnerabilities.

In January, major United States cryptocurrency exchanges Coinbase and Kraken became the latest to confirm support for Ethereum’s upgrade. The two exchanges join Binance, Huobi and OKEx, who had started to monitor the event before its first implementation attempt.

At press time, ETH is up 2.59 percent over the day and is trading at around $137.19. The altcoin started the day around $132, according to CoinMarketCap.

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Ethereum’s Constantinople Hard Fork Goes Live Today. The Road to ETH 2.0 Begins

The Ethereum community is expectant because finally, after a long and bumpy road, the Dev. team is ready to launch the long-awaited Constantinople Upgrade.

The hard fork is expected to be activated at approximately 19:30 UTC when Ethereum reaches block 7,280,000. At this point, two critical upgrades will be simultaneously activated: Constantinople and St. Petersburg.

Due to the features of these updates, the new block (7280001) will be incompatible with the “old version” of the blockchain. However, unlike what happened with the DAO issue or with the hard fork that gave rise to BCH, this update will be non-contentious, which means that virtually the entire community agrees on the new implementation so it should occur without any problem.

Constantinople… Finally

It is important to know that Constantinople was scheduled for release in early 2019, however, after some bugs were discovered in the protocol’s code, developers decided to postpone its release until they fixed the errors, guaranteeing users can test the best possible version of Ethereum.

Vitalik Buterin. Creator of Ethereum

Vitalik Buterin. Creator of Ethereum

Precisely to avoid these problems, the St. Petersburg upgrade will disable a part of Constantinople’s code that contained flaws in the security of Smart contracts. Beyond this, the rest of the changes implemented with St. Peterburg should not affect ordinary users.

The Constantinople protocol is an update that serves as preparation for a radical change in the structure of the Ethereum Blockchain. Ethereum 2.0 is seen as a PoS blockchain with second layer developments that will allow an very high number of TPS with low energy consumption (with a few optimizations in the code) and an economic model that stimulates savings by increasing the value of the circulating tokens.

The most significant change that Constantinople brings is the reduction of the block reward from three ETH per block to only two ETH. This reduction continues the vision started with a previous fork, Byzantium, which reduced the reward from 5 ETH to 3.

Similarly, it is expected to increase network efficiency (something that will mainly benefit DApps developers) as well as an optimization in the gas usage required for Smart contracts execution.
For those interested in a real-time follow-up of the fork, the Fork Monitor website will provide them with all the information they need to be up to date.

Expectations Have Not Affected ETH Trading

The Ethereum trading community is not over-hyped about this news. During this week, ETH has been relatively stable, facing strong resistance in the 140 USD zone, according to data from Coinpricewatch

The post Ethereum’s Constantinople Hard Fork Goes Live Today. The Road to ETH 2.0 Begins appeared first on Ethereum World News.

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Major Ethereum Software Client Upgrades in Preparation for Constantinople Hard Fork

The Go Ethereum software client has published a code upgrade that includes a list of new features, including an activation time for the Constantinople hard fork.


The Ethereum (ETH) Constantinople upgrade appears to be proceeding as planned, as a widely used Ethereum software client has published new code that includes a Constantinople activation time on GitHub Dec. 11.

The post reads that Geth, which stands for Go Ethereum, v1.8.20 is a special release that will “finally” enable the Constantinople hard fork on the Ethereum mainnet at block 7,080,000. Geth is one of the three original implementations of the Ethereum protocol. The description further states:

“It’s also our last planned release of the 1.8 family, meaning that we’ll start merging backwards incompatible changes onto master in preparation of Geth 1.9.0.”

Ethereum core developers agreed to launch the long-awaited Constantinople hard fork at block 7,080,000 on Friday, Dec. 7. The upcoming Constantinople hard fork comprises five separate Ethereum Improvement Proposals (EIPs) in order to soften the transition from proof-of-work (PoW) to the more energy efficient proof-of-stake (PoS) consensus algorithm.

PoS would fundamentally change the Ethereum blockchain by means of a host of new upgrades, which prevent any backwards compatibility. This means that nodes must either update synchronically with the entire system or carry on running as a separate blockchain entity.

The Friday agreement follows a decision to delay the Constantinople hard fork for late January 2019 due to a “consensus” issue that appeared during an upgrade trial on the Ropsten testnet in October.

Yesterday, Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin declared that future blockchains with sharding based on PoS will be “thousands of times more efficient.” Buterin stated that, as scalability advances (driving fees down) and user experience gets better, non-financial applications will become “a bigger part of the story.” He also noted that blockchains are not about “cutting computational costs,” but are instead about increasing computational costs while decreasing “social costs.”

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OKEx Crypto Exchange Lists Bitcoin Cash ABC Under Original Bitcoin Cash Ticker

Major crypto exchange OKEx announced it will list Bitcoin Cash ABC under the original Bitcoin Cash ticker, BCH.

The Malta-based cryptocurrency exchange OKEx announced that it will list Bitcoin Cash ABC under the original Bitcoin Cash ticker BCH, according to an official statement Dec. 11.

According to the announcement, the sixth largest crypto exchange will change the ticker of Bitcoin Cash ABC from BCHABC to BCH. It will also change the Bitcoin Cash SV ticker from BCHSV to BSV. The ticker switch will take place at 5 a.m. UTC+1 on Dec. 13.

Spot trading of both BCHSV and BCHABC will be suspended while all remaining balances of the original Bitcoin Cash will be settled and removed from users’ accounts. Spot trading will purportedly resume two hours after the initial suspension.

Bitcoin Cash ABC has earned the BCH ticker on other major exchanges as well. On Dec. 8, the Gemini crypto exchange founded by the Winklevoss brothers announced that it will “only be providing support for the Bitcoin ABC network,” which it states will be identified on the platform as “Bitcoin Cash with ticker: BCH.”

In late October, United States-based wallet service and exchange Coinbase made a similar decision, while stating it would “continue to evaluate the safety of the BCH SV chain.” Coinbase said that it sided with the ABC camp due to “a number of factors including the fact that ABC has a higher hashrate and a longer proof-of-work (PoW) chain.”

Bitcoin Cash split into Bitcoin Cash ABC (Adjustable Blocksize Cap) and Bitcoin Cash SV (Satoshi’s Vision) in a hard fork that was the result of a network update on Nov. 15. Since the split, Bitcoin Cash ABC — championed by crypto evangelist Roger Ver — appears to have claimed victory.

Last week, Florida-based United American Corp. (UnitedCorp) filed a lawsuit against a slew of major firms and personages in the crypto space like the Kraken crypto exchange, crypto mining firm Bitmain, and Roger Ver.

The suit alleges that the accused used unfair methods and practices to manipulate the BCH network for their benefit and to the detriment of UnitedCorp and other BCH stakeholders. It further alleged that on Nov. 20, the Bitcoin Cash ABC dev team put a “poison pill” into the blockchain by way of a “Deep Reorg Prevention” in order to strengthen control over the Bitcoin Cash blockchain ledger.

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‘The Drug Is Gone’: Mike Novogratz Compares Current Bitcoin Markets to ‘Methadone Clinic’

Mike Novogratz has said that the ICO market is “dead right now” during an interview on the current state of the crypto industry.

Mike Novogratz compared current cryptocurrency  market performance to a “methadone clinic” in an interview with Bloomberg Dec. 11.

During the interview, Bloomberg asked Novogratz how coming from Wall Street made him different from most of the cryptocurrency community, which seem to treat cryptocurrency “almost like a religion.” Novogratz answered that, while he believes in the underlying technology, “when prices get stupid,” he sells.

Novogratz also characterized Bitcoin’s (BTC) enormous growth in late 2017 –– which peaked at $20,000 per coin –– “a drug.” He called the period a “speculative mania,” adding that the “audience is more sober now — the drug is gone.”

According to the hedge fund manager, the current market is characterized by “pessimism” and “fear,” with people expecting the leading cryptocurrency will go “to zero.” Novogratz, however, remains confident, concluding:

“But it’s not going to zero. We’re at the methadone clinic.”

During the interview, the former Goldman Sachs partner and hedge fund manager admitted that he thought Bitcoin “was going to hold at $6,200 […] but then Bitcoin Cash decided to fork again.” The idea that the contentious Bitcoin Cash hard fork has been a major factor that instigated the current sell-off is widespread among analysts.

Further explaining market fear and uncertainty that could have led to the most recent sell-off, Novogratz told Bloomberg:

“At the same time [as the BCH hard fork] the SEC came out and sanctioned a few ICOs and said, ‘Oh, by the way, your investors can sue for damages.’ That scared the heck out of a lot of people.”

When asked if Initial Coin Offerings (ICO) will “ever come back,” Novogratz stated that “the ICO market is pretty much dead right now.” He added however that “the SEC doesn’t want to kill this innovation” and that he expects a market for regulated security tokens in the United States.

He explained that security tokens “aren’t things that go from $1 to $1,000” but instead they are “things that yield 14 percent” that will be sold to qualified buyers. He concluded, “that sounds a heck of a lot less sexy, but you’re going to see that business grow.”

The Galaxy Digital founder also reiterated the popular idea that “Bitcoin is going to be digital gold, explaining:

“That means [Bitcoin is] the only one of the coins out there that gets to be a legal pyramid scheme. Just like gold is. All the gold ever mined in the history of the world fits in an Olympic-size swimming pool. You’re out of your mind to think that pool’s worth $8 trillion. But it is because we say it is.”

As Cointelegraph reported last month, Galaxy Digital lost $136 million in the first three quarters of this year, but Novogratz remains confident that crypto will “flip next year.”

Last week, U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Chairman Jay Clayton said that ICOs “can be effective” but that “securities law must be followed.”