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BitMex List All 44 of Bitcoin’s Recent Forks


The trading platform, BitMex, has collated a list of Bitcoin’s 44 fork tokens, including those which have been forked from Bitcoin Cash. The list reveals the sheer amount of coins that have originated from Bitcoin, although it does not include software forks such as Litecoin and DASH— this list focuses specifically on chainsplits.

Searching through the list shows just how many of these forks are either no longer in use or are being neglected by their developers. For instance, Oil Bitcoin and Bitcoin Pay both seem to be almost entirely abandoned. Numerous other forks seem to be well maintained, but don’t offer anything of use. Coins like BitcoinStake and BigBitcoin are mostly providing the same old Bitcoin but with one or two changes.

What does this teach us about cryptocurrency?

Sadly, there is still of fraudulent and misleading activity in the industry. Almost all of the Bitcoin forks listed appear to have chosen to use the Bitcoin name as a means of capitalizing on Bitcoin’s success. They are doing it as a way to gain publicity or possibly as a way of fooling newcomers. Of course, this is not to say that every Bitcoin fork is a scam, as both Bitcoin Private and Bitcoin Cash appear to have solid teams with working products.

This list teaches us that we need to be careful about which coins we invest in. There are large numbers of high-quality cryptocurrencies on the market, but there are still some scams too. Many of the useless coins listed are the reason why big exchanges are reluctant to support forks.

What should be done about this?

The issue of poor and useless forks is not a problem that will go away by itself. We, as investors and fans, need to be mindful of which cryptocurrencies we support. It is only after developers learn that deliberately creating misleading forks will not yield any profits that they will stop. However, this is not to say that all forks are bad, just that many newer forks should be met with an increased level of scrutiny. A guide to evaluating forks can be found here.

Monero Hit with More Cryptojacking Malware

Monero is the cryptocurrency hit the hardest regarding mining malware – where malware uses the host’s OS to mine cryptocurrency. This malware is now so common that it has earned its own name – cryptojacking. Nearly 150 XMR, worth roughly $30,000, were mined from 500,000 infected computers in around three days with malware called WinstarNssmMiner.

In most cases, these types of malware are not overly sophisticated or aggressive. They can sometimes be shut down by simply closing the browser, but WinstarNssmMiner is a little more tenacious. As soon as it detects anti-virus software, the malware crashes the computer.

When the WinstarNssmMiner is downloaded, it injects the ‘svchost.exe’ with malicious code. This script is used to execute basic computer functions and alters the PC’s critical process function so it can crash the computer at will. If the malware detects an established anti-virus program, it won’t install itself – but only if it is an established anti-virus program – such as Avast.

The cryptojacking trend is ominous. With copious amounts of money to be made in the mining industry, we could see more aggressive types of cryptojacking malware, and there has already been a considerable rise in occurrences. According to a report by Symantec, cryptojacking grew by 8,500% in 2017. Windows systems continue to be extremely vulnerable, as do Oracle web logic servers.

Earlier this month, the Coinhive mining code was found on over 300 government and university websites mining Monero. All affected websites were using an infected version of Drupal, a content management system. Web-related technologies continue to be targeted by hackers due to their security vulnerabilities.

Coinhive is one of the most widespread and damaging pieces of cryptojacking malware. In January 2018, it spread to YouTube. Google, the owner of Youtube, stopped the virus swiftly when it became known. According to software security firm, Check Point, Coinhive is the number one “most wanted” malware, and the firm asserts that 55% of businesses are affected by crypto miners.

In Russia, India, and China, nearly 500,000 thousand machines were recently infected with the Smominru crypto mining botnet, again targeting Monero through the windows OS. Some estimates suggest that damages were in the region of $3.6 million by the end of January.

Cryptojacking is on the rise, and it may not even require significant technical skills. It is seen as a cheaper and easier alternative to ransomware. With cryptojacking, all infected machines will work to mine cryptocurrency. Ransomware is often nowhere near as profitable, and the risk of being caught and identified is also far less. Ironically, privacy-based coins such as Monero and Zcash are targeted as opposed to Bitcoin and other coins –  since identities are private, it is harder to trace the hackers.

Russia Issues First Commercial Blockchain Bond

The race for blockchain regulation and integration is picking up momentum, and Russia is gearing up to rival blockchain-friendly Japan regarding adoption and integration. Sberbank CIB is a corporate subsidiary of state-owned Sberbank, and they have recently become the first state-owned entity to purchase commercial bonds using blockchain technology in Russia.

Using the open source Hyperledger Fabric 1.1, Rouble-denominated bonds were issued using smart contracts. The issued bonds are worth around $12 million, with a six-month maturity date and a 6.8% annual coupon. The bonds were placed by MTS, a Russian telecommunications company, and purchased primarily by Sberbank CIB. The technology means that these bonds are transparent and immune to any alteration. This will ensure considerable savings on administrative tasks, which entails the safe storage of physical bond records and accounts.

This event is far more significant than it might first appear. The value of the total bond market, though disputed, is generally held to be around $100 trillion. Nearly $700 billion is traded on a daily basis, compared to around $200 billion for stocks. The issuance of bonds through blockchain is an important step forward for the blockchain industry as a whole. It is an important indicator that blockchain technology could soon permeate all aspects of finance.

Russia is also going through the process of regulating cryptocurrency. The stance is not clear right now, as there are a number of draft bills. As it stands, it appears that cryptocurrency will not be deemed legal tender, and authorities have not wavered from this position. However, trading cryptocurrencies through exchanges may soon be regulated.

Two draft bills are in place to regulate ICOs, trading, and mining while simultaneously banning the use of cryptocurrency as legal tender. What this means is that it will not be obligatory to accept cryptocurrency as a form of payment, but it can be used in certain instances. The Central Bank of Russia has outlined their position on the matter, though there seems to be some internal dispute between the Central Bank and the Finance Ministry. Vladimir Putin has set a deadline of July 1st for a consensus to be reached.

Blockchain and Cryptocurrencies Find Support In Canada

Canada has a lot going for it in the crypto and blockchain space.

Most people know by now that Ethereum was created in Canada and that Toronto is a major development hub for DLT technology. As other nations around the world have become increasingly strict about how cryptocurrencies are used, Canada has pushed forward with numerous crypto firsts.

HIVE Blockchain was the first crypto mining company to go public and has been followed by Hut-8 and a few others on the TSX-V. Canada offers relaxed listing requirements when compared to the US stock markets and allows companies to list quickly via reverse mergers.

Mike Novogratz is also said to be working on taking Galaxy Digital Holdings public using this method, which lets companies get their shares on the market without the time-consuming process associated with an IPO.

Galaxy Digital Holdings has already raised USD 250 million for their project, and after they acquire the shares of a pharma company that didn’t make it, they could be the first publicly traded crypto merchant bank in the world.

Natural Advantages

As China clamped down on the use and mining of cryptos, Canada became the go-to destination for mining operations that needed a new home.

Both Quebec and Saskatchewan have ultra-low electricity costs, and unlike Inner Mongolia, the power comes from hydroelectric dams. This means that crypto mining operations in Canada are more or less sustainable and create a market for large amounts of unused electricity.

Canada is also very cold, which is a huge advantage to crypto miners. Instead of having to pay for expensive HVAC systems to cool the massive mining farms, miners can use the frigid Canadian winters that last for at least half the year.

Unlike the US, Canada is more than willing to allow foreigners to work and live in their country. The ability to relocate the brightest and best to a nation is a major competitive advantage as is the existing tech-friendly development culture that exists in Canada.

Rapid Integration

Based on population size, Canada is relatively small based on G10 standards. With a population of just 36 million people, Canada’s population isn’t quite the size of California’s.

Regarding regulations, this is a huge advantage.

Since Canada has a smaller population than most advanced nations, they can adapt quickly to social and economic changes. Canada created crypto tax legislation in 2013, and in Canada, there is no gray area regarding how cryptos are classified legally.

In addition to giving their citizens certainty for tax planning purposes, this kind of straightforward approach gives new businesses the confidence they need to make long-term plans.

The Canadian Government has also launched an initiative to see how blockchain can be integrated into Canadian culture responsibly, which is a good sign for blockchain development in Canada over the coming years.

Blockchain International Show London June 6 -7, 2018

The Blockchain International Show (BIS) will be held at the ExCeL international conference center in London from June 6 -7, 2018. The prestigious two-day event will host sixty blockchain speakers from around the world including:

  • Marloes Pomp – Program Officer Blockchain, Dutch Government
  • Marc Taverner – Global Ambassador for Bitfury Group
  • Jimmy Nguyen – Chief Executive Officer, nChain Group
  • Michael Mainelli – Executive Chairman at Z/Yen Group
  • Richard Kastelein – Co-Founder of Cryptoassets Design Group
  • Bogdan Malesa – Founder of Universal Crypto
  • Iman Multaq – CEO at Sigma Investments
  • Kendrick Nguyen – CEO of Republic
  • Spiros Margaris – Influencer and Venture Capitalist, Senior Advisor at Arbidex
  • James Roy Poulter – CEO of Blockchain Reserve
  • Ali Tumbi – Founder of Global REIT

The event will be conducted in two parallel sections with one dedicated to financial and regulatory controls and the other for blockchain developments, ICOs, and tokenizations. There will be an emphasis on providing real-world solutions and detailed discussions on how to grow blockchain communities.

Presentations from the invited speakers will focus on generating profitable partnerships and identifying the business sectors that are most likely to be disrupted by decentralized ledger technology (DLT).

Exhibition Area

The exhibition area will showcase the latest hardware and software products being used within the blockchain field for IT businesses, computer security companies, social services, automation and the banking sector. Cryptocurrency storage systems and the very latest cryptocurrency mining hardware will be on display together with other blockchain-related hardware.

Visitors to the exhibition area will be able to network with the exhibitors and attend the lecture zone where they can ask their FinTech and blockchain-related questions.

The event organizer, Smile Expo Events, has an interactive smartphone app for iOS and Android devices to keep everyone up to date with events being run globally. In addition, they use all regular social media networks to promote up-and-coming exhibitions and developments in the blockchain sector.

Tickets for the event are now available via the BIS website with concessions available for students and VIP passes providing access to all areas of the exhibition. Be sure to make a note in your diary, June 6 -7, 2018, for the London ExCeL Blockchain International Show.