11 Class-Action Lawsuits Filed for Sale of Unregistered Crypto, Bitcoin ATMs in the U.S. Close Due to the Coronavirus, China Warns Citizens Off of Crypto and more in our weekly roundup.
Binance, BitMEX, KuCoin and TRON Face Allegations of Selling Unregistered Securities
New York federal court saw a series of coordinated lawsuits filed this Friday against major crypto exchanges and token issuers. The lawsuits claim that a great number of tokens supported by the defendant companies were unregistered securities.
The companies accused of selling unregistered securities include Binance, KuCoin, TRON, BProtocol, Status, KayDex, Quantstamp, BiBox, and HDR Global Trading. If this is proven to be the case, these companies may face an entire set of charges for violating their requirements as issuers of tokens and as managers of exchange platforms.
The lawsuits make take a while to resolve given the usual pace of class action litigation made even slower as the result of the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent shutdowns. Nevertheless, the high-profile case has already gained publicity and may greatly affect the operations of the companies involved.
Bitcoin ATMs Across the United States Close to Halt the Spread of the Coronavirus
With the Trump administration extending the shut-down of inessential businesses to the beginning of May in an attempt to curb the spread of COVID-19, Bitcoin Depot has followed suit closing down ATMs across the country.
Bitcoin Depot is the largest Bitcoin ATM operator in the world with over 600 Bitcoin ATMs — or “BTMs” — in the U.S. alone. Most functioning BTMs are located in extremely public areas — venturing out into these areas may promote the spread of the Coronavirus. Bitcoin ATMs can also open the door for face-to-face contact between users, with screens and buttons collecting viral particles if not properly disinfected.
Digital assets do not require a social presence and are the perfect alternative to fiat with most of the world indoors under strict lock-down. Encouraging the use of digital assets during an era social distancing may be the way to help “flatten the curve”.
Crypto-Mining Botnet Found on Thousands of Microsoft Servers
Guardicore Labs released a report saying that a malicious botnet has been infecting Microsoft SQL database servers for the last two years.
The malware dubbed “Vollgar” was using these servers to mine Voller (VDS) and Monero (XMR). Vollgar used brute force to breach machines with sub-par security before performing a reconfiguration of the database and deploying various malware modules, specifically — crypto miners and RATs (Remote Access Tools). The attack campaign managed to breach as much as 3000 machines daily, with most infected servers remaining such for short periods of time thus hiding the tracks of the hackers.
The attacks came from 120 IP addresses mostly originating from China. According to the report, entities across a variety of fields across the United States, China, South Korea, and India have suffered as a result of the hacking.
China’s Top Internet Finance Authority Warns Against Crypto-Speculation
The National Internet Finance Association of China (NIFA) has released a statement warning local businesses and individuals steer clear of trading, buying, or mining cryptocurrency and went as far as to call these actions “speculative activities”.
According to NIFA, a large number of Chinese cryptocurrency exchange platforms have moved their servers overseas in order to circumvent local regulations and continue their activities. These platforms have been especially popular with Chinese investors and the general public in light of the Coronavirus outbreak.
As a result, NIFA decided to warn potential crypto users from engaging with virtual currency and urged them to revert to their 2017-issued “Notice on Guarding Against Risks of Initial Coin Offerings”. That notice stipulates “that virtual currency trading and ICOs are illegal financial activities, and called for nationwide rectification”.
GitHub Will Bury Bitcoin Code Inside of a Mountain in Norway
GitHub has decided to store Bitcoin code in an arctic coal mine in Norway’s Svalbard as a part of an archiving program meant to safeguard humanity’s technological history. A snapshot of the code will be copied onto film reels. These will then be stored in secure steel containers meant to withstand over 1,000 years of cold weather and harsh conditions.
The team plans to deposit the data in late April. While the main focus of the effort is Bitcoin Core, it is likely that a host of other currencies hosted by GitHub will be included as well. Supporters and enthusiasts argue that having an additional hard copy of the code may prove valuable, with electronic records being fragile and easily compromised.
Bitcoin Core contributor Bryan Bishop stated that this operation, at the very least, can help humanity preserve a “fascinating section of financial history” for generations to come.
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