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Cryptocurrency markets and news round-up 9 October 2018

Posted: 9 October 2018 7:00 pm

Market update

Markets might be looking a healthy shade of green today, but all is not as it seems. Volume data from CoinTelegraph and Coin360 indicates that trade volume is at its lowest point in 13 months.

As the bitcoin price wedge continues to tighten, and with no major news on the immediate horizon, the market looks set to continue this way for a while.

Trading trends

Bitcoin (BTC)

Speaking of major news – the US Securities and Exchange Commission has finally set a timeline to review nine bitcoin ETFs. The SEC has set a deadline of 5 November to review the ETF proposals.

The ETFs give traders exposure to the performance of bitcoin without actually having to own the asset.

As ETFs will be traded on the US stock market, many speculators have pinned their hopes for an increase in bitcoin's price on the approval of an ETF, which makes 5 November a big date in many traders' diaries.

Bitcoin prices are continuing to trade sideways in an ever-tightening wedge pattern. Analysts are agreed that a break out is now well-overdue; however, the market appears to be waiting for some sort of trigger. Now that an ETF decision date has been set, the market may finally have something to countdown too.

In fact, bitcoin's price has been so sideways, that some reddit users have taken to calling it the industry's latest stablecoin.

Bitcoin is currently trading for US$6,662, up around 0.7% on the day.

Trading trends

Tron (TRX)

The founder of Tron, Justin Sun, has come out with an announcement that Tron's next software upgrade will make the network 200 times faster than Ethereum and 100 times cheaper than EOS.

As you can see by the tweet, Sun is clearly going after the dapp market with this latest update, which will include the release of the Tron Virtual Machine. The Virtual Machine will allow developers to test smart contracts before deploying them on to the mainnet.

Tron's own dapp tracking website, trondapp.org currently only lists five live dapps, which includes a blockchain explorer and BitTorrent, a program that was built well over a decade before the Tron whitepaper was even published. The program was recently purchased by the Tron Foundation.

Given the lack of dapps, you can see why Sun is trying to lure dapp developers over to building on Tron. Given that the tweet contained no link to documents or data to support the assertion, developers may want to wait for confirmation before jumping ship.

Tron surged by up to 12% following the announcement. It has now dropped down to 4% in the same 24 hour period and is trading for 2.6 cents.

Tron sits at #11 by market cap, according to CoinMarketCap data.


Upcoming 51% attack on Einsteinium to be live streamed

So next up is a bit of quirky news about Einsteinium, a little know coin which currently sits around #224 by market cap.

It's making headlines though, as someone has announced their intention to launch a 51% attack on the cryptocurrency, while live streaming the entire process.

A 51% attack is when someone uses a sizable amount of hashpower and money to launch a specific type of cryptocurrency attack. It's called a 51% attack because it typically depends on the attacker having control of at least 51% of the coin's network hashing power.

According to crypto51, which estimates the cost for a 51% attack across a range of cryptocurrencies, an attack on Einsteinium actually comes in remarkably cheap at about $24 per hour.

You can do a few things with a 51% attack, but one of the most economically advantageous is akin to the old "coin on a string" trick, where you put a string on a coin, spend that coin in a vending machine and then use the string to pull it back out.

Except in this case, the coin is cryptocurrency, the vending machine is an exchange and the string is a lot of hashing power.

So when attacking exchanges, the attack involves selling funds on the exchange – typically in exchange for bitcoin – and then pocketing the bitcoin as quickly as possible.

Afterwards, the hacker can fork the network to recover their spent coins. Now the attacker has both the bitcoin and the original coins at the expense of the exchange.

But word travels fast, and it's unlikely that someone can pull this off too many times before exchanges catch on. And in this case, the potential attacker has said those words somewhat loudly on the Internet.

As such, there are now only three exchanges left trading Einsteinium, with Poloniex delisting it last month, no doubt realising the potential for attack.

A 51% attack has the potential to seriously devalue a cryptocurrency, which would make a very sad end for Einsteinium.

But markets are nothing, if not irrational, and Einsteinium's price has somehow grown by up to 30% in the past 24 hours, with over $5 million of volume, according to reported exchange data from CoinMarketCap.

The world is a strange place sometimes.


Binance reveals listing fees

Binance has announced its intention to disclose to the public the listing fees that cryptocurrencies must pay to get listed on the platform. In addition to this, the fees will now be passed along to Binance's charity wing, the Blockchain Charity Foundation.

According to a blog post published yesterday, projects that hope to get listed on the platform will continue to propose their own fee, which essentially boils down to a silent auction style of bidding.

Binance claims they will never suggest a price or dictate a minimum. The exchange has long been at the centre of speculation about what exchanges charge projects to get listed, and some commentators believe listing prices reach extortionate levels. A Bloomberg report from April suggested that fees can be as much as $1 million to $3 million per exchange.

Binance's charity wing, the Blockchain Charity Foundation, was launched recently, with Helen Hai appointed as chair. Hai has experience as a goodwill ambassador for the UN and has said the charity's first arena of focus will be in Africa.

Blockchain has often been lauded as a solution to bringing transparency to the global charity industry. Criticisms of the industry include the misallocation of funds, poor transparency and spending too much on bureaucracy.

It will be interesting whether Binance commits to using blockchain to aid transparency in its own charity venture.

Before you go
Man steals power from railway to mine BTC

Turning to China, a local man has been arrested for the unusual crime of stealing power from a railway station to power his bitcoin rig.

Cointelegraph reports that the man was siphoning power from a railway factory in November and December of last year. He was running 50 miners, and 3 fans nonstop, which netted him around $17,500 worth of BTC in that time. He also happened to net the railway factory an additional $14,500 or so on their electricity bill.

The man has been sentenced to 3.5 years in prison for the theft as well as being ordered to pay back the stolen electricity and his mining equipment has been confiscated. Ouch.

As I said it's an unusual crime – but not unheard of:

  • Earlier this year in Russia, a group of nuclear engineers from a nuclear warhead facility were arrested after trying to use one of the country's most powerful supercomputers to mine bitcoin.
  • Next door in the Ukraine, employees of the national police were caught mining on government resources for four months before being caught.
  • At home in Australia, the Australian Federal Police investigated staff at the Bureau of Meteorology for a similar crime. However, charges were never laid.
  • And lastly, right here at finder, rumours are a rogue member of staff turned an old printing room into a mining rig while no one was watching.

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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