BSV halved miner’s rewards, UK’s Travelex paid 285 Bitcoin to hackers, HTC will integrate Monero mining into EXODUS 1S smartphone and more in our weekly roundup.

European Parliament Suggests Ramping Up Crypto Regulation

The European Parliament proposed to broaden the current definitions of crypto assets and digital tokens that need to follow regulations set in place by AMLD5. AMLD5 – the Fifth Anti-Money Laundering Directive – was adopted back in 2018 and extended Europe’s anti-laundering rules to cover virtual currencies, making exchanges and providers of custodial wallets comply to the same legal requirements as banks and other financial institutions. Originally only a recommendation, the directive came into full regulatory effect in January of this year across 28 member countries of the European Union.

The latest report released by the European Parliament Research Service asserts that the directive’s existing framework has grown outdated with the crypto industry growing and evolving at a rapid pace. A variety of crypto-related businesses are not currently covered by existing guidelines. The report suggests expanding the current definitions to include unregulated businesses and practices and monitoring the activities of private miners, suggesting that some criminal activity may be slipping through the cracks.

Bitcoin SV Halved Its Miners’ Block Rewards

Bitcoin SV (BSV) is a coin that was created when another currency – Bitcoin Cash (BCH) – experienced a hard fork in 2018. The forked currency has since become supported by many digital exchanges and users alike. Last Friday, BSV miners on the network produced the 630,000th block which triggered the halving of rewards from 12.5 BSV to 6.25 BSV per every block.

A halving is significant in that it predicts increased volatility for traders and an obvious lowering of rewards for miners. The past week has also marked the first-ever halving for BCH – another offspring of the Bitcoin network that broke off in 2017. BSV miners now fear the same profitability issue that BCH saw after the halving: immediate mining revenue was reduced by half, which resulted in no or slight returns.

The next BSV halving will take place when miners reach the 840,000th block, which is predicted to happen in four years.

Lightning-Friendly App Fold Announces a Visa Debit Card with Bitcoin Rewards

The Lightning-compatible mobile app Fold has announced the release of the first-ever debit card with bitcoin rewards. The waiting list is currently open for anyone interested with a reward of 30k sats promised to all who join.

The app has joined Visa’s Fintech Fast Track Program which allowed the company to create a co-branded card with Visa. Visa had provided the financial and technical support necessary to create a card that rewards users with a cash-back in Bitcoin for making purchases with US Dollars.

The card will also feature a boosted cashback from select retailers, including major fast-food restaurants (Starbucks, Dunkin Donuts, and Burger King), retail chains (Best Buy, Gap, Lowe’s, Macy’s, and Nike), and leading online platforms (Amazon and Airbnb).

UK’s Travelex Reportedly Paid Off Over $2 Million in Bitcoin to Hackers

After an attack that happened on the first day of 2020, British currency exchange company Travelex has reportedly paid their hackers a ransom worth 285 bitcoin – which amounts roughly to $2.3 million.

Several days into the new year, Travelex announced that it was experiencing a series of technical issues due to what was at first described as a software virus. The company later confirmed that the “virus” was in fact a malware known as “Sodinokibi”. The malware affected customer data, consumer-facing services, and international money transfers.

The hacking pummeled Travelex operations so badly that employees, reportedly, has to do all calculations with pen and paper. The company has since opened a line of communication with its attackers who announced an original ransom of $6 million before lowering it to the now agreed-upon price.

HTC Will Integrate Monero Mining Into Their EXODUS 1S Smartphone

HTC announced that its newest blockchain smartphone – EXODUS – will allow users to mine Monero (XMR).

HTC’s partner Midas Labs had supplied the company with an ASIC chip that will, when installed onto the smartphone, allow users to mine XMR through an app called DeMiner. A representative of the company noted that this move will allow democratizing mining by giving a smartphone the hash rate comparable to that of a desktop computer while consuming much less power.


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