Sodinokibi Crypto Ransomware Switches from Bitcoin to Monero to Hide Money Trail

A kind of ransomware — a malware that encrypts user data and asks for a ransom to restore access to it — switched from Bitcoin (BTC) to Monero (XMR) to better protect the hackers’ identities. According to an April 11 report by cybersecurity news outlet BleepingComputer, using Monero will make it harder for law enforcement to track ransom payments to the hackers behind Sodinokibi. As the article mentions, Europol strategy analyst Jerek Jakubcek explained during a February webinar how anoncoins influence legal investigations: “Since the suspect used a combination of…

Chiliz Working on Blockchain-Based Covid-19 Immunity Passes for Football Fans

Chiliz has announced that it has begun working on a blockchain-based solution to allow soccer fans to gradually return to the stadiums — provided that they hold a government-issued “immunity pass.” According to its blog post dated April 13, the proposed Socios Pass could be a solution to mitigate some of the damage to the sports industry caused by the novel Coronavirus pandemic. While some countries in Europe, including Italy, are already drafting plans for an eventual return to normalcy, the general understanding is that soccer events will be held…

Huobi Launches On-Chain Analytics Tool to Monitor Illicit Crypto Activity

Per an April 13 announcement, Huobi (HT) Global has launched Star Atlas, an on-chain analytics tool to monitor illicit cryptocurrency transactions that could work in tandem with similar tools. Past criticism  The tool should help Huobi address some of the past criticism it had received. Chainalysis’  2020 State of Crypto Crime Report stated:  “Binance and Huobi lead all exchanges in illicit Bitcoin received by a significant margin.” Ciara Sun, VP of global business at Huobi Group, explained the functionality of the new tool to Cointelegraph: “Star Atlas is an on-chain…

Chinese City Signs Deal With Huawei to Strengthen Blockchain Adoption

The government of the Nanshan District of Shenzhen, China has announced an agreement with the multinational telecommunications and consumer electronics giant Huawei to boost the adoption of blockchain, among other technologies, in the region. According to an April 13 report from local newspaper The Global Times, the Nanshan government and Huawei will work together to establish the Kunpeng industrial demonstration zone, to accelerate the application of blockchain, artificial intelligence, big data and 5G. Both parties agree that the move should turn the city into a model zone for the chip…

New Zealand Police Spotlight Bitcoin Ransom Scam Targeting Porn Viewing

New Zealand police issued an alert on April 13 regarding a crypto-related scam that threatens victims with release of information on their porn use. According to a report published in the NZ Herald, the authorities say that the scammers extort victims through email. The scammers claim to have obtained information about the targeted victim’s consumption of pornography and threaten to leak that information if victims do not pay a ransom of NZ$1,900 (US$1,150) in Bitcoin (BTC). Victims receive an alert from the fraudsters, in which they assure that they have…

Bitcoin Price Weekly Closes As Shooting Star Doji, Epic Plunge May Follow

Bitcoin price closed last night’s weekly candle as a shooting star doji, which could signal that a powerful reversal and epic plunge is coming when formed at the top of an uptrend. Is there more downside in Bitcoin’s near term future? Or was the recent drop to under $4,000 the final bottom before the next bull market? Bitcoin Price Weekly Candle Closes as Shooting Star Doji Bitcoin price is trading below $7,000 once again, closing out last night’s weekly candle at roughly $6,900. As the dust settled on the week’s…

Changes in Crypto M&As Signal More Consolidation Ahead as Industry Matures

The crypto industry continues to mature, even during these bearish times, according to a recent report from PwC. The Big Four accounting firm’s findings showed that although the number of merger and acquisition deals in the crypto space decreased by 40% in 2019, the funds are now going to established companies instead of seed-stage startups. Additionally, crypto-native actors are beginning to take the stage from institutional investors as the market becomes more consolidated and less United States-centric. So, what exactly does it mean for the industry, and will institutional investors’…

Binance’s US Arm to Launch Tezos Staking This Week

As Tezos (XTZ) staking has apparently been getting more popular in recent months, the service will be soon available on another cryptocurrency exchange in the United States. Binance.US, the U.S. arm of the world’s biggest crypto exchange, Binance, will launch staking rewards this week. As officially announced today, Binance.US will launch staking rewards for XTZ on Thursday, April 16. The service is expected to be activated at 09:00 EST, Binance noted. First XTZ rewards to be distributed in May 2020 In the April 13 announcement, Binance clarified that no action…

Crypto Exchange Traffic in Russia Rises by Over 5% Amid Pandemic

Amid the global COVID-19 pandemic and concerns over ongoing quarantines and rising unemployment, more and more people around the world are apparently turning to crypto, Russia being no exception. According to data by cybersecurity firm Qrator Labs, people in Russia have become increasingly engaged with crypto exchange services amid the ongoing coronavirus outbreak. Crypto exchange-related traffic surges 5.56% in Russia Specifically, traffic on crypto exchanges in Russia surged 5.56% in the last week of March 2020 in comparison to February averages, a study by Qrator Labs reportedly said. Citing data…