Cryptocurrency Ether, the token transacted on the ethereum blockchain, witnessed a 3% rise on the Bitstamp exchange to touch $3,144 to set a new record. The present value of the digital currency has jumped 325% higher in the year so far, outgrowing a 95% rise of bitcoin. Both Ether and Bitcoin soared over 100% this year and hit a 2.5-year high on the last Sunday. The rise in Ether highlights the fact that investors are diversifying their exposure.
Major digital currencies posted sharp losses after the news reports said that President Joe Biden was planning to double taxes on capital gains to 39.6% on an annual earning of $1 mn years, Bitcoin slipped to $47,555, falling below the $50k mark for the first time since March. Ether and XRP fell 3.5% and 6.7%, respectively, while dogecoin was down 20% at $0.21. The tax plans also jolted share markets, as investors booked profits and other risk assets.
PayPal will start allowing its users in the USA to use cryptocurrencies to pay its online merchants across the globe. Those having bitcoin, ether, bitcoin cash and litecoin in PayPal digital wallets will be able to convert them into currencies at checkouts to make the transaction. PayPal is working on the service since late last year, and in few months it will be available to its 29 mn merchants.
Meitu, a beauty app that helps touch up user-profile pictures, has reportedly bought 15,000 units of Ether for $22.1 mn and 379.1 Bitcoins for $17.9 mn in the open market on March 5. No other company has invested this heavily in cryptocurrency in recent times. The company has used as much as $100 mn of cash to fund crypto purchases because it believes that crypto could diversify its portfolio.
India would prohibit all private cryptocurrencies i.e bitcoin and introduce an official digital currency issued by the RBI. The panel re-considered the launch of govt-backed digital currency after it had banned it in 2019 with a jail term of up to 10 years and large fines. In 2018 the RBI also ordered financial institutions to cut-off dealings in virtual currency. The Supreme Court in March 2020 allowed banks to handle transactions in cryptocurrency.
Rajshekhar Rajaharia, an independent cybersecurity researcher, said that data of nearly 10 cr credit and debit card users of India was being sold on the Dark Web via cryptocurrency Bitcoin. The massive data, according to Rajaharia, has been leaked from a compromised server of payments gateway Juspay. The Bangaluru based firm said that no financial data were compromised during the Aug 2020 cyber-attack and the actual number was much lower than 10 cr.
Seven Hong Kong-based VPN providers – UFO VPN, FAST VPN, Free VPN, Super VPN, Flash VPN, Rabbit VPN, Safe VPN – have leaked 1.2TB data of their 20M global users. Notably and surprisingly, these VPN providers offer ‘no-log’ services. It means that they don’t record users’ activity over their network. Data leaked from these apps include Bitcoin payment info, home address, passwords etc. These apps are, except Rabbit VPN, are still available on Play Store.