Singapore Mining Mall
At least five computer stores are now selling cryptocurrency mining rigs in Singapore’s Sim Lim Square, according to a report from the region. The six-story complex is mainly known for attracting tourists from around Asia with its cheap electronics, shopping bargains, and many computer spare parts and service shops. However, Singaporeans these days want more cryptocurrency hardware than another knockoff mobile phone or gaming laptop, and local businesses are adopting to meet this demand.
One shop owner, Wilson Josup sells about ten rigs on a weekly basis, up from just one or two when he first started selling them about six months ago. He said that based on customer testimonials, letting a S$4,000 rig operate non-stop can earn around S$400 a month. And clients range from those in their 20s to retirees, he toldthe South China Morning Post. “Most of my customers would ask me to help transfer the rigs from their homes to a data center because they don’t like the heat and noise,” noted Josup, adding that his profit margin on each rig was around 10%.
Another store owner, Trecia Tay, has yet not sold any mining rigs but explains she now receives about ten inquiries about them every week, five times the amount of questions from just three months ago.
Singapore serves as a global regulatory, financial and logistics hub for many companies in Asia. When the government of China started to threaten a clampdown on bitcoin-related activities under its jurisdiction, a number of Chinese businesses officially migrated to the island nation including bitcoin exchanges and miners. The country stands to benefit much more from this trend if it will continue to provide an accommodating and stable regulatory environment.
Beyond just Singapore, this story exemplifies how cryptocurrency miners are overcrowding the retail computer market all over the world. In a related matter, GPU manufacturer Nvidia recently requested retailers take measures to try and ensure its products get into the hands of gamers, not miners.
Valetta, February 25th 2018 – With FundFantasy’s presale having been sold out, and their public token sale coming up today, the FundFantasy project has made tremendous advancements, and have made some interesting changes to their bonus structure. The new model is simpler and is designed to avoid congestion on the Ethereum network.
FundFantasy is a Daily Fantasy Trading (DFT) Platform featuring peer-to-peer, blockchain-based, simulated investing contests that relies on real market data. Users on the FundFantasy platform compete for crypto and other prizes by trying to craft the ultimate portfolio. It bears some resemblance to the Daily Fantasy Sports industry, hence the name FundFantasy.
In contrast to other ICO’s, FundFantasy have already developed their MVP, and it is available to explore on the official FundFantasy website.
- First 48 hours –
- 50% bonus for any purchase of 1 ETH and above (Presale investors of over 1 ETH will have their bonus updated to 50%).
- 25% bonus for purchases over 0.1 ETH and under 1 ETH.
- The full duration of the token sale – 50% bonus for any purchase over 100 ETH or equivalent in other currencies.
The FUNDZ token sale will start in less than 24 hours, on Sunday the 25th of February at 12:00pm GMT. The bonus period* will last 48 hours, here’s a list of local times:
- Los Angeles – 04:00 (4am) local time
- New York – 07:00 (7am) local time
- Sao Paolo – 09:00 (9am) local time
- London – 12:00 (12pm) local time
- Paris – 13:00 (1pm) local time
- Moscow – 15:00 (3pm) local time
- Abu Dhabi – 16:00 (4pm) local time
- Tokyo – 21:00 (9pm) local time
- Seoul – 21:00 (9pm) local time
- Melbourne – 23:00 (11pm) local time
To participate, go to https://ico.fundfantasy.com
Gox II: Goxxed Harder
Japan thought its days of being the focal point for record-breaking cryptocurrency heists were behind it. Less than four years on from the Mt Gox hack, which heralded the end of Japan’s and the world’s largest exchange, the country is back in the spotlight. Over the past few years, Japan has earned praise for its measured approach to cryptocurrencies, having encouraged their use in a regulated environment. Only this week, the Bank of Japan gave crypto a mild endorsement. But on Friday January 26, the nation’s 127 million citizens awoke to the news that another seismic cryptocurrency hack had occurred on home soil. At around 3am local time, someone withdrew all of the NEM held by the exchange in a single transaction.
The identity and origin of the hacker is unknown at this time, but what few details have emerged suggest serious flaws in Coincheck’s security procedures. It appears that the 500 million NEM were stored in a hot wallet with no multi-sig. If so, the exchange has learned nothing from recent history, for it was a similar setup that resulted in Mt Gox losing around 850,000 bitcoins in 2014. At a press conference on Friday, when asked about Coincheck’s security practices, there was an awkward pause before president Wakata Koichi Yoshihiro batted the question away, electing to issue an apology instead.
The Coincheck Hack by Numbers
The magnitude of the Coincheck hack, a haul which exceeds any other, can be seen by comparing it alongside real world record-breakers.
Securitas Depot Robbery, $83 million: Disguised in wigs and prosthetics, a gang did over a security depot in Britain in 2006. They would have made off with more, only there was no more space for cash in the lorry. The Securitas robbery was worth one sixth of the NEM hack.
Knightsbridge Security Deposit Robbery, $97 million: A safety depot raid in London in 1987 netted a huge load of cash and jewelry but it was still only worth a fifth of the NEM cryptocurrency hack.
Baghdad Bank Heist, $282 million: Iraq’s Dar Es Salaam bank was relieved of hundreds of millions of dollars in 2007, with two guards alleged to be the instigators. The bumper robbery was worth around half the NEM stolen from Coincheck.
Mt Gox, $450 million: The tranche of bitcoins stolen from the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange in 2014 was worth around $80 million less than the value of NEM that was taken.
An Irredeemable Fortune
In reality, the thief may find themselves struggling to shift their hot property. Within hours of the attack occurring, the NEM team had contacted cryptocurrency exchanges seeking to have the wallet address blacklisted. One thing NEM won’t be doing is emulating Ethereum and hard-forking. If the blockchain were to be rolled back and the stolen coins forked away, it would do Coincheck a favor, but would do little to demonstrate the immutability of blockchain ledgers.
Japan’s Financial Services Authority has confirmed it is “looking into the facts” surrounding the matter. Meanwhile, Coincheck has promised that it is seeking to compensate its customers who had their NEM stolen. Despite its hefty dollar value, the NEM hack is unlikely to put a discernible dent in the cryptocurrency markets. It raises serious questions though about Coincheck’s fitness to operate a cryptocurrency exchange.
The company had previously reported being approved by the Financial Services Agency, but it’s emerged that Coincheck was not registered with the FSA. The only way for Coincheck to pay back its customers may be for it to be allowed to continue trading. Whether regulators will allow the beleaguered exchange to stay in business – and whether customers will trust it again – is another matter entirely.
George Soros Believes Bitcoin’s Bubble is Maintained by Dictators
A balding moderator chose to read from an audience question. He asked Mr. Soros, “Somebody says, ‘You’re a currency speculator. What do you think of cryptocurrencies? Is bitcoin a bubble, and do you have a position in cryptocurrencies?’”
Mr. Soros grinned, looking every bit of his approaching 90 years old, and seemed to acknowledge the obvious grin spreading across the room and his face. “Well,” he laughed while scratching his head momentarily, “cryptocurrency is a misnomer, and it’s a typical bubble which is always based on some kind of misunderstanding.”
His currency speculation isn’t like most. Mr. Soros’ currency moves have damn near sacked entire economies. Just ask the Bank of England. Or most of Asia at one time or another. Currency? You can say he knows a little something, yes.
Stammering to collect his next thought, Mr. Soros clarifies, “Bitcoin is not a currency. A currency is supposed to be a stable store of value. And a currency that can fluctuate twenty five percent in a day can’t be used, for instance, to pay wages because wages could drop twenty five percent in a day. So, it’s a speculation based on a misunderstanding,” he stressed.
Bitcoin for Tax Evasion
Whether he truly understands the technology and just why its volatility could be a feature rather than a bug is beyond the scope of present reportage. But he is aping the legacy party line, “There is also a very innovative blockchain technology which can be used for positive or negative purposes,” he said almost as an afterthought.
“Currently [bitcoin] is used mostly for tax evasion and the … for the … people in the … the rulers in dictatorships to build a nest egg abroad. Recently, just now, there was a conference where instead of discussing conditions in Russia, they mainly discussed bitcoin because that’s what the rulers were interested in,” Mr. Soros explained, incredulous. Indeed, world leaders have been unusually vocal about cryptocurrency the last few weeks, and the subject is dominating much of the financial press.
“So this will have a big effect on the valuation of bitcoin. Normally when you have a parabolic curve,” he held his left hand like a karate chop, “eventually it has a very sharp break. But in this case, I think, as long as you’ve got dictatorships on the rise, you will have a different ending because the rulers in those countries are going to turn to bitcoin to build a nest egg abroad.”
It’s hard to know what in particular he is referring, but guesses include North Korea, Venezuela, Iran, and maybe even Russia. Scant evidence exists they’re actively participating in hording bitcoin, but at least one is creating its own version.
“So I expect instead of an abrupt break, another flat top over … but it’s nevertheless a bubble, typical, which is always based on a misunderstanding like the tulip mania. But the blockchain technology can be put to positive use. And we use it, actually, in helping migrants to communicate with their families and to keep their money safe,” he concluded. No follow-up questions came with regard to just how migrants are using blockchain to communicate nor secure their money.
He never did answer as to whether he has a position in cryptocurrency.
What do you think ?
Amid volatility in Bitcoin and other cryptos propelled South Korea and China to tighten regulations, however Japan wants to ensure any rules that it adopts won’t hinder innovation
“It’s uncertain whether global cooperation would mean global regulation. It may mean sharing a common view on the risks involved in cryptocurrency trading and seeking to send out a common message,” Yamaoka said. “Global harmonization may not necessarily mean global regulation.”
China’s central bank is moving forward with plans to adopt a state-backed digital currency, but it will likely look very different from bitcoin and other public cryptocurrencies.
In an op-ed, which was published by regional media outlet Yicai, People’s Bank of China (PBoC) Vice-Governor Fan Yifei outlined the bank’s vision for its central bank digital currency (CBDC).
Fan made clear that the CBDC’s purpose is to replace physical currency (M0), and the central bank expects to exercise the same level of centralized control over digital currency as it does over cash.
He said that the CBDC, which may or may not be built using blockchain technology, is intended to save costs, increase efficiency and security, and — importantly — curb public demand for privately-created cryptocurrencies.
The purpose of the CBDC is to “save costs, increase the speed of currency circulation, improve payment convenience and security,” he said. “In addition, the credit advantage of having a central bank endorsement will help curb public demand for privately-encrypted digital currencies and consolidate my monetary sovereignty.”
Fan also stipulated that while CBDC transaction histories will not be accessible to the general public, the currency will have “controllable anonymity,” purportedly so that the central bank can mitigate terrorism and money-laundering, among other financial crimes.
“In addition, personal information and privacy are disclosed if no third party is anonymous, but crimes such as tax evasion, terrorist financing and money-laundering are encouraged if perpetual third-party anonymity is allowed. Therefore, in order to strike a balance, we must achieve controllable anonymity, disclosing the transaction data only to the third party of the central bank,” he said.
Notably, the central banker also said that it is unlikely that the CBDC network will support smart contracts because this functionality would alter the nature of the currency, which is meant to be digital cash.
“[A]dding extra social or administrative functions to the cash actually derails the renminbi,” he concluded, noting that the Chinese yuan can legally only be used for specific functions: pricing, exchanging value, and storing value.