Bitcoin, following the concerns of China’s ongoing crackdown, fell below $30,000 for the first time in five months. The unit later stood at $29,590, down 9.25% in value. Bitcoin has also faced criticism over environmental concerns as its mining requires fossil fuels. Nearly 80% of trade in cryptocurrency is powered by Chinese mines, but in recent months several mines have been shut down as Beijing is being alerted of the industry. Last week 26 mines were closed down.
China’s crackdown on cryptocurrency “mining” has extended to Sichuan. Cryptomining is a big business in China, accounting for more than half of global bitcoin production. But the State Council, last month, vowed to clamp down on bitcoin mining and trading as part of a series of measures to control financial risks. The authorities urged local governments in Sichuan to start combing for crypto-mining projects and shut them down.
Over 1,100 suspects were arrested by Chinese police for using cryptocurrencies to launder illegal money. After the recent step-up in a crackdown on cryptocurrency, police made these arrests in an attempt to weed out the use of digital currency in crimes. Over 170 criminal groups have been busted by the cops. These groups charged 1.5% to 5% for converting black money into cryptocurrency. The anonymous nature of digital currencies makes them easy to use for cross-border money laundering.
In 2020, Australians reported total losses of AUS $851mn to scams, with AUS$ 128 mn lost to BEC, AUS$ 8.4mn to remote access scams while identity theft cost AUS $3.1mn. Maximum were investment scams worth AU$ 328 mn. A total of 444,164 scam incidents happened in 2020. Bank transfer was the most common payment method costing just over AU$ 97mn, while cryptocurrency was second costing AU$ 26.5mn. People over age 65 lost the most, AU $37.7mn.
After China’s new curbs on cryptocurrency, Bitcoin has dropped to a 3.5 month low, falling below the $40,000 mark. A drop of 40% since its all-time high of $64,895 in April 2021. Other cryptocurrencies also took a beating with Ether falling 12% and Dogecoin falling by 18%. Shares in COIN.O fell by 4% in pre-market trading. The recent selling of crypto has brought the market capitalisation of cryptocurrency from $3.5 trillion to $3 trillion.
China has barred financial institutions and online payment service providers from offering any service related to cryptocurrency. Services barred include trading, registration, settlement, and clearing said the local industry bodies in a joint statement. People can hold cryptocurrency but exchanges and initial coin offerings have been banned. China has warned investors against crypto trading due to the volatile nature of trade and contracts not being covered by Chinese law.
Samsung said that it will be extending support to blockchain users trading virtual assets on Galaxy devices. The decision has come at a time when Cryptocurrency’s popularity and valuation are at an all-time high. Samsung users will be able to easily manage their virtual assets by storing them in the Galaxy smartphone blockchain wallet. The wallets are protected by its defense-grade Knox security platform. It will also provide news from CoinDesk.
NTT, in a report, said that cyberattacks in three sectors – healthcare, manufacturing, and finance — accounted for a total of 62% of all cyberattacks in 2020. These sectors had a maturity score of 1.02, 1.21, and 1.84 in 2020, respectively. The cryptocurrency was also hit as cryptominers accounted for 41% of all identified malware in 2020. Healthcare was targeted by remote access trojans while the tech industry was affected by ransomware.
Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao, in an interview with ET, said that due to regulatory inconsistency and lack of information in India about crypto exchanges, it may miss out on many $50-100 bn companies. It may cause an adverse impact for companies relying on financial services and make these industries dependent on global service providers instead. Zhao said they have blockchain tech to prevent scams, as only 0.01% of such activities have happened on Binance.