Samsung Starts Producing Chips For ASIC-miners

South Korean behemoth Samsung started producing their own  ASIC-chips for Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies mining.

High-tech elements producer finished the development of their own ASIC-chip last year.This month they have launched high-volume output of the chip.

CNN reports with reference to local media about ASIC-chips’s shipments to a chinese company,majoring in the production of the Bitcoin mining equipment. The company’s target market is China.However, it is also planning to enter other asian markets in the future.

“We are in the middle of a foundry business that is being supplied to a virtual money mining company in China,” a Samsung spokesperson confirmed to a Seoul-based media outlet, adding that the company was unsure how profitable the venture would prove to be.

For now taiwan company TSMC is the only important competitor for Samsung, among other semiconductor producers. This company cooperates with Bitcoin mining equipment producer – Bitmain. According to DigiTimes report,  90% of TSMC capacities are used for producing chips for Bitmain during an off-peak season.

There are reports saying that in the coming months Samsung is planning to produce GPU-miners for some other altcoins.

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CryptoMining.Farm Scam: 30 Victims Lost $1.34 Million

Thirty people have filed complaints to Thailand’s Technology Crime Suppression Division stating that they were victims of crypto mining scam, they allegedly lost 42 million baht ($1.34 million). The police thinks that the amount of victims can be bigger.

According to the victims’ words, the leaders of the scam convinced them to invest money into CryptoMining.Farm, a blockchain-mining website. One anonymous victim said to the Bangkok Post that one of the leaders promised investor an impossibly high return – 70% a year.

The victims signed contracts when they entered the website, the documents said that a customer may withdraw money at any time he/she wanted without any additional condition. However, the situation has changed since August. The victim stated that:

“From August the owner began imposing conditions for withdrawing the money. Then at the start of this month, the site announced it would start paying back investors in 84 installments which would take over seven years to complete. The payments were supposed to be made in foreign currencies [which] is not permitted by Thai laws.”

After a preliminary investigation, the police is sure that not 30, but 140 people became victims of the scam. Moreover, it can be related to a big scandal which happened in August 2018, when a popular Thai actor and his siblings stole about 797 million baht ($25.5 million).

According to the Bangkok Post, the company has two official offices in Bangkok and Chiang Mai, which may make the victims think that the company’s operations are legal.

Thailand treats digital money with caution and tries to regulate it. The Thai Ministry of Finance even issued a document last year where all the country’s cryptocurrency activities were regulated, including the taxation of participants of crypto market.

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Japanese Giant GMO Internet Lost ¥1.3 Billion in 2018: Report

One of the biggest Internet companies in the world, Japan-based GMO Internet Inc., posted a report on its financial performance. An operating loss accounts for ¥1.3 billion (~$11.75 million) in 2018.

GMO’s mining business

According to the report, mining business fared very poorly in 2018 which resulted in great losses. The company explained that the business did not increase as expected due to the collapse of cryptocurrency market in Q4. The report provides  the table where we can see the real revenue and real loss of the company. The data provided below does not include “extraordinary losses” of approximately $319.2 million.

Source: GMO Fiscal Report 2018

Alongside, Internet giant announced that it would implement a policy change regarding to their mining business model. The company will sell its bitcoin mining assets at cheaper rates to compensate for a portion of its annual losses.

Moreover, GMO plans to relocate mining centers to the regions where power supply is cheaper. The centers allegedly will be somewhere in Northern Europe.

GMO’s Bitcoin exchange

Source: GMO Fiscal Report 2018

According to the report, the company’s quarter-revenue has fallen by 66.7%, even though the company annually posts about its 7% profit from its crypto exchange GMOCoin.

In 2018, GMOCoin recorded a net sales of ¥4.02 billion (~$36.33 million). In Q1, crypto exchange has lost about ¥76 million, yet, high sales of next quarters compensated them. The fall of cryptocurrency market has also played a significant role in GMO’s revenues. Each phase ended on a lower note than a previous one in terms of sales, while the profits remained marginal.

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Mozilla Firefox Is Working On Security To Adopt Crypto Mining and Fingerprinting Blockers

Mozilla Firefox has become the fastest and safest web browser in the world after a major upgrade in 2018. The browser has always been known for its flexibility and support for extensions, yet, it does not stop here. According to the report of Techdows, Firefox decided to pursue implementation of strong privacy tools, creating blockers for crypto mining and fingerprints.  

How did it all start?

At the end of August, 2018, Mozilla Firefox made a post in its blog stating that they would change the approach to the anti-tracking. To be more specific, they made a decision to improve load page performance.

In accordance with the study made by Ghostery, more than half of time required to open a page is spent to load third-party trackers. On this reason, Mozilla ran a test version of a feature that blocked trackers and other “harmful practices”, including cryptocurrency mining malware scripts, in Firefox Nightly with the possibility to make it automatically in Firefox 63.  

Keeping in mind that cross-site tracking protection may break all the websites in the browser, Mozilla decided to add features one by one and they go even further in Firefox 67.

What does Mozilla offer now?

First is the ability to block cryptocurrency miners. As we all know, operating systems are often affected by different mining malwares, like it happened with Linux system back in November, 2018. That is why, Mozilla takes measures to prevent it.

Second is blocking of fingerprinting. Identifying your unique device may not be as harmful as mining malwares, yet still it is better to use it as a privacy matter. Only generic information will be sent to the websites that you visit, and your hardware configuration will be harder to distinguish from others on the web.

The way these extensions will look in the browser is shown below:


Source: https://techdows.com/

In fact, Mozilla continues to do what other browsers have already started long ago.

Opera thought about how to protect users from miners in December, 2017, showing the world its beta version of a browser extension NoCoin that had an embedded anti-mining mode to protect users from hidden miners. Later, it turned to mobile version of the browser.

Google Chrome also launched extensions for protection from illegitimate mining and cryptocurrency theft in October, 2018.

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Ethereum Mining: Features, Pools and Prospects in 2019

Ethereum has became a real sensation in the cryptocurrency world, the launch of this platform has served as a catalyst in the development of the entire industry. In this article we will talk in detail about the mining of this cryptocurrency, as well as discuss its prospects in 2019.

1. General information about the Ethereum project

Ethereum is a platform where you can create other decentralized projects. ETH is a coin of the same name which is needed for working with the platform.

The well-known programmer, Vitalik Buterin, has been at the origins of the Ethereum, he still takes an active part in the life of the project, but most of the tasks are performed by a large staff. The total capitalization of the project, as of beginning of 2019, is just over $11 billion. Ethereum firmly consolidated on the third place in the global Coinmarketcap rating.

2. ETH mining algorithm

The growing popularity of the coin have forced many miners to transfer their computing power into Ethereum blockchain. The unlimited emission is one of the features of Ether. This is a both plus and minus of the project: on the one hand, miners, potentially, can endlessly mine new coins, but on the other hand, such an approach can lead to inflation and devaluation of coins.

Now, the confirmation in the network is made by using PoW algorithm (Proof of Work), which allows you to mine coins in the usual way, by providing the network with your computing power. But the development team has worked quite a while on transferring the network to the PoS (Proof of Stake). According to Buterin, this innovation will reduce the inflation of the coin by several times. But all the people who are now engaged in the ETH mining will be forced to reconfigure their equipment for mining other coins.

3. What do you need for ETH mining?

  • Computing equipment, you can use the power of the CPU on a PC, but it is better to have several video cards (ideally, DDR 5 memory).
  • Uninterrupted access to the Internet, whereby high speed is not needed, a good ping is more important.
  • A good and reliable pool for mining, as the mining of ETH cryptocurrency in solo mode is absolutely unpromising for the vast majority of people. Only real giants who are engaged in mining on an industrial scale can afford their own mining, but even they often prefer to work in a pool.
  • A wallet that supports ETH, fortunately, there are so many of them.
  • Proper equipment maintenance and overheating protection. For that, you need to carefully consider the system of ventilation and space cooling.

4. Pools for mining

Choosing the right pool is very important. Below you find a list of the most popular and relevant pools of the second half of 2018:

  • Minergate works not only with Ethereum. It is one of the most popular pools in the world. Best of all it works with nvidia graphics cards. The resource has a simple and intuitive interface, which is clear for any average person.
  • NiceHash is also a multi-currency pool. Mining software is very easy to set up. The software automatically selects the best algorithm, based on the features of the video card or CPU.
  • Ethereumpool. From the name it is already clear that this pool is focused exclusively on Ethereum. It works relatively recently, but its computing power already reaches almost 2% of the total power.
  • WeiPool. Another young pool that can impress with small commissions (1.5%) and a user-friendly interface.
  • ETH Supernova. This pool is quite famous for many users, but recently it has begun to operate with Ethereum. The issue of reliability and safety comes first. The pool has been operating for more than one year and during this time has managed to gain the confidence of the miners.

5. Conclusion

Now, Ether is not having its finest hour, the coin rate has fallen to the psychological mark of $108. The profitability of Ethereum mining significantly decreased in 2018, but by and large, it can be said about almost any cryptocurrency.

It is important to remember that fundamentally nothing has changed and Ethereum is still the most technologically advanced platform. ETH mining should not be considered as a short-term opportunity to earn money, this should be treated as an investment in the future. Now the development team is actively working on elimination of the system shortcomings. Taking into account this information, we can make a conclusion that the project’s chances of a bright future are quite high.

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The CEO of Circle Believes That a Clearer Policy of the SEC Will Cure the Crypto Industry

The CEO of the project Circle, backed up by the major bank Goldman Sachs, Jeremy Allaire started a thread on Reddit together with his co-workers, where they debated the accomplishments of the company in the recent time, talked about prospects for the future and discussed the overall situation on the crypto market.

According to the representatives of Circle, one of the main issues with crypto in the US is the lack of regulatory framework and, most importantly, the inability of the Securities and Exchange Commission to clearly define cryptocurrencies as belonging to a particular type of assets.

We remind you:

The SEC: Unlike ICO Tokens, Bitcoin and Ethereum Can Not Be Securities

There absolutely needs to be more regulatory clarity to really make this fly — in particular around who can issue these, how they can be stored and transmitted, and what markets can allow their trading. There’s a lot of attention on this and we absolutely expect to see these issues resolved and for far more real world experiments to hit the markets this year,” said Jeremy Allaire.

Also, the CEO of Circle claimed that the US should follow the example of France and have a separate kind of taxation for crypto-to-crypto transactions.

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“51% Attack” Hit Ethereum Classic: A Full Analysis Of The Process

As we have reported earlier, Ethereum Classic was hit by 51% attack, it means that hackers obtained more than 50% of network’s mining hashrate.

A Malicious “51% Attack” Hit Ethereum Classic, The Loss Allegedly Accounts For $460 000

Slowmist, Chinese-based blockchain journal, has released a full report on the attack. The earliest hit occured on January 5, the culprit hacked some exchanges, like Bitrue, Coinbase, Gate.io, however, this was noticed only two days later.

The first action was a transfer of more than 5000 ETC from Binance to the criminal’s address 0x24fdd25367e4a7ae25eef779652d5f1b336e31da. This amount of coins moved to a mining node, that created block 7254355. After that, the hacker deposited 4000 ETC to Bitrue exchange in block 7254430, yet, this transaction vanished from the Ethereum Classic chain. Another 9000 ETC was stolen in the same way. The Bitrue address 0x2c9a81a120d11a4c2db041d4ec377a4c6c401e69 no longer exists, and the official history is clear. Though, Bitrue managed to save some records:

The scheme of the hacker attack is simple:

  • make a deposit;
  • withdraw to a safe address;
  • to double coins – just move the coins to other addresses.

One of the biggests victims is Coinbase exchange. It was estimated that the loss from the attack accounts for $1 million. The above-mentioned report also provides the information about two attacker addresses which were blackmailed by Coinbase later. They are:

– 0x090a4a238db45d9348cb89a356ca5aba89c75256
0x07ebd5b21636f089311b1ae720e3c7df026dfd72

In Twitter, one of users (nickname: @OGBTC) claimed that he knew the culprit personally.

https://twitter.com/OGBTC/status/1082559086070136832

Another user (nickname: @sebseb7) indicated that it was he who knew the hacker.

The “51% Attack” is over for now. All we can do is to estimate the losses and to take measures so that it will not happen again.

The report also stated:

“[W]e recommend that all digital asset services platform block transfers from the above malicious wallet addresses. And strengthen the risk control, maintain a high degree of attention, and be alert to double spend attacks that may erupt at any time.”

We remind you:

The Dark Overlord Threatens To Reveal The Truth of 9/11 Attacks Unless Ransom in Bitcoin is Paid

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