This week’s summary of various cryptocurrency news and developments:
BitcoinTalk’s user data from 2015 hack for sale on the dark web
Back in 2015, a BitcoinTalk employee was victim of a social engineering attack that, according to forum administrator Theymos, could have compromised emails, private messages and even password hashes. A couple of days ago, all the data was leaked from unknown sources and an opportunist known only as “DoubleFlag” grabbed the data and put it up for sale for 1 BTC.
According to sources, the file contains over 500.00 user account data, including email addresses, usernames, website titles, passwords and locations. The leaked passwords are all encrypted and, according to LeakedSource, some of them may be very hard to decrypt.
Stripe, an online bitcoin payment company, made it to top 5 on Forbes Cloud 100 list
A company that makes bitcoin payments easy, Stripe, has been named one of the best cloud companies in the world by Forbes, as it managed to achieve fourth place out of 100 companies with big names such as MailChimp and Ayden staying behind Stripe. On the podium, huge names such as DocuSign and Dropbox.
According to Forbes, the list was chosen by a panel of 27 judges, most of them CEOs who selected companies based on their quantitative financial health scores and other qualitative factors.
ABN AMRO, the Dutch banking giant, is not releasing a bitcoin wallet to its customers
Yesterday social media went crazy with news that one Netherlands’ biggest banks was going to release a bitcoin wallet to its customers as part of its services. The speculation surfaced after a page on the ABN AMRO’s website claimed that the bank closely followed the evolution of bitcoin, and that they were examining through a survey whether the Netherlands had a need for a bitcoin wallet managed through the secure environment they have to offer.
Since then, the page went down and an ABN AMRO representative revealed that the webpage and the survey within it were part of a dormant project. Now, all that remains is a cached version of the page and, according to the representative, why it was published is a mystery that is being investigated internally.
Ransomware? The FBI advises you not to pay the bitcoin ransom and contact them
In contrast to a previously issued a statement in which it said that ransomware is a painful type of extortion that is better dealt with by just giving extortionists the money, the FBI now claims that you should not pay the bitcoin ransom and contact them immediately or file a complaint on www.ic3.gov. According to them, any type of information can help them investigate the case and, as the supervisory special agent of the FBI’s special division puts it: “People have to remember that ransomware does not affect just one person or one business. It will more than likely move on and affect somebody else. And for those who pay the ransom, it only encourages them to extort the next person.”
As of late, ransomware attacks have grown, with three banks, a pharmaceutical company and even a police department having to pay thousands of dollars in order to be able to access their files again.
Italy may start taxing speculative use of bitcoin
A few documents seem to show that the country now wants to start applying value-added tax (VAT) to speculative bitcoin use, or in events in which money is made during a sale or purchase that involves the cryptocurrency. While the United States see bitcoin as a form of property, the move seems to show the world that Italy is now starting to see bitcoin as money. These documents have been published due to a request coming from an undisclosed Italian company.
Bitcoin may be recognized as money in the state of Florida as new bill is being drafted
A Florida-based bitcoin reseller is currently escaping charges due to the cryptocurrency not actually being seen as money, and that is helping push the legislation towards it actually being recognized as currency in the United States of America. Senator Dorothy Hukill said it is crucial to understand bitcoin in order to protect its constituents, and that the bill currently being drafted is needed partly because of the growing interest in bitcoin. She said “It’s not everywhere, but more and more I see companies accept bitcoin”.
Pro-independence Scotcoin needs value
Scotcoin started off as a way to help Scotland get rid of the British pound and acquire independence from the U.K. The plan is, at the moment, failing as according to British newspaper the Express, Scotcoin is now worth even less than a Zimbabwean dollar. As of right now, 1.000 Scotcoins are roughly equal to 86 pence. The coin was launched by the Scottish National Party in an attempt to experiment with the digital currency and stop relying on the pound.
Bitcoin price closing in on the $630 mark
Last week, when the last bitcoin news roundup was published, the price of bitcoin was starting to grow exponentially. This week, we can confirm that it did grow and, at the time of this writing, it was at roughly $622. The price may be rising and that seems to prove that, even though Bitfinex was hacked, people are still very much interested in the cryptocurrency, even though Monero, another cryptocurrency, is gaining a lot of popularity among darknet markets. According to a few sources, there are still more buyers than sellers on the market.