Bitcoin and cryptocurrency news round-up: 2 January 2018

Harry Tucker 2 January 2018 NEWS

bitcoin-cryptocurrency

What you need to know.

For the third day in a row RaiBlocks is up over 30%, bitcoin is down to start the year, and Verge coin has reportedly been blackmailed by John McAfee.

1. RaiBlocks continues its massive run

For the third day in a row, RaiBlocks has jumped over 30% to now sit at US$30 per coin, a feat many didn't think was possible until much later in the year. RaiBlocks is now the 15th most valuable crypto based on market value at a little over US$5 billion. This is up from its ranking of 22 from just the start of the week.

RaiBlocks is currently leading the vote for exchange Binance's vote for the next coin to add. Currently RaiBlocks is only listed on three relatively small exchanges, limiting its exposure.

2. Bitcoin is down for the start of the new year for the first time since 2015

For the first time in 3 years, Bitcoin has started the year off at a loss, shrinking almost 6% on 1 January to sit at US$13,700 per BTC. For comparison, on the same day in 2017 it rose over 3%, almost hitting US$1,000 at US$998. It then continued to end the year up more than 1300%.

3. John McAfee allegedly blackmailed a senior member of the Verge Coin community

Security giant John McAfee had previously been bullish on Verge Coin, tweeting his support and investment into the cryptocurrency. However, last week he appeared to back track on that, claiming his phone was hacked and that it wasn't him who sent out the originally tweet backing the currency.

A senior member of the Verge community, known as XVGWhale, claims that McAfee attempted to blackmail him if McAfee wasn't paid off. XVGWhale has uploaded screenshots of the conversation he had with McAfee showing the threats being made to kill the Verge currency by McAfee.

4. North Korean hackers are hijacking computers to mine Monero

As sanctions increase on North Korea from the international community, the country has been turning to cryptocurrency mining and hacking as a way to earn money. A new report found that a hacking unit named Andariel seized a South Korean server, stealing around 70 Monero coins in December, worth around US$25,000.

North Korean hackers allegedly prefer Monero over bitcoin because the currency is more focused on privacy and is easier to hide and launder.

5. Stellar Lumens (XLM) is now the 9th most valuable crypto currency

Stellar Lumens is up over 30% on the first day of 2018, pushing into the top 10 crypto rankings for the first time. The price of XLM has doubled in the last few weeks of 2017 after a number of big partnership announcements with technology companies and banks. Its market cap is now over US$8.1 billion, making it larger than the likes of Monero, DASH and Neo.

Disclaimer: This information should not be interpreted as an endorsement of cryptocurrency or any specific provider, service or offering. It is not a recommendation to trade. Cryptocurrencies are speculative, complex and involve significant risks – they are highly volatile and sensitive to secondary activity. Performance is unpredictable and past performance is no guarantee of future performance. Consider your own circumstances, and obtain your own advice, before relying on this information. You should also verify the nature of any product or service (including its legal status and relevant regulatory requirements) and consult the relevant Regulators' websites before making any decision. Finder, or the author, may have holdings in the cryptocurrencies discussed.

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