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Crypto ransomware payments increase 300% since 2020

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OFAC announces three measures for businesses to prevent crypto ransomware raids.
• Virtual robberies have affected Bitcoin ATMs as well as companies.

Since the crypto market has become more and more popular, crypto ransomware payments have also increased commensurately in the world. According to Chainalysis magazine, many hackers have profited from the privacy of transactions which is offered by cryptocurrencies.

Although the US Treasury Department and OFAC have been fighting these cyber-attackers since last year, the problem has not diminished. This motivates security agencies to attack cryptocurrencies.

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OFAC expects crypto ransomware problems

Crypto ransomware

The US control agency, OFAC, updates its data accepting that crypto ransomware problems have increased in 2021. However, the security bureau also suggested some methods for cyber-attack victims to apply.

Data hijacking in companies is one of the most complex points that information pirates often use. Cybercriminals take away your access to a virtual business or steal your money. Those affected who wish to regain access to the company must pay a ransom, where cryptocurrencies come in.

The latest crypto-ransomware attacks have been involved in problems with the public bus, management companies, gas companies, among other firms in the United States. According to reports, there are over 20 data hijacks every month, so the situation is spiraling out of control.

OFAC, as one of the most important financial security offices in the country, believes that to avoid this attack, companies should follow its suggestions.

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The agency believes those affected should limit paying for ransoms to reduce the rate of virtual assaults. Each company should also verify its security levels and make them tougher to prevent hackers from breaking through its defenses. Finally, OFAC encourages all companies, victims of crypto ransomware, to report it to initiate investigations.

Investigation system renewed against ransomware

After OFAC discloses each step, it clarifies that its investigation system has been updated to respond immediately. Although the agency did not reveal if they have caught one virtual criminal.

Chainalysis magazine has shared in its data that crypto ransomware payments have exceeded over $400 million in the last three years. From 2019 to 2020, virtual attacks have increased to over 300 percent, and this year the number could possibly double.

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Crypto ATM robberies are another unfortunate event that has ravaged the decentralized marketplace. These ATMs are adapted to make purchases and sales of cryptocurrencies easier and have been proven to be susceptible to hacks by malicious people. The security agency also plans to put in the effort to correct this problem to make cryptocurrency trading a more secure experience.

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Executives From Coinbase and Other Crypto Firms To Testify at Hearing on Digital Assets in News Source

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Executives from the top crypto firms in the US will be testifying in an upcoming hearing on digital assets to the House Committee on Financial Services, led by Congresswoman Maxine Waters.

In a statement, Waters names six executives in the digital asset space who will testify at the hearing on December 8th.

The names include:

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  • Jeremy Allaire, co-founder, chairman and CEO of blockchain-focused financial services firm Circle
  • Samuel Bankman-Fried, CEO and founder of crypto derivatives exchange FTX
  • Brian P. Brooks, CEO of full-service blockchain tech firm Bitfury Group
  • Charles Cascarilla, CEO and co-founder of blockchain infrastructure firm Paxos Trust Company
  • Denelle Dixon, CEO and executive director of non-profit organization Stellar Development Foundation
  • Alesia Jeanne Haas, CFO of popular crypto company Coinbase Global Inc.

The hearing is entitled “Digital Assets and the Future of Finance: Understanding the Challenges and Benefits of Financial Innovation in the United States.”

In an interview with CNBC, Bitfury CEO Brian Brooks says that one of the things he hopes is discussed at the hearing is the lack of clarity behind the issuance of stablecoins.

“First of all, are we or are we not going to resolve some of the contradictions in US crypto policy?

Just to give you an example of that, we’ve got an administration that is taking the position that only banks should be able to issue stablecoins.

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But it seems like the posture of the administration is also that companies that issue stablecoins can’t be banks, so my hope is we’ll talk a little about how do we resolve these Kafkaesque contradictions.”

Brooks also mentions that he hopes Bitcoin (BTC) and crypto mining can be sold as something that can be a part of an environmentally sustainable future, rather than an obstacle to it.

The hearing can be watched live, here.

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BitTorrent Token Surges as Mainnet Launch Date Gets Confirmed

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The file sharing token bittorrent (BTT) surged higher in the crypto market today, following the news that the mainnet of its own BitTorrent Chain will be launched on December 12, along with a redenomination of all circulating tokens.

At the time of writing (10:00 UTC), BTT traded at USD 0.003947, up a whopping 67% for the past 24 hours. The strong gains positioned BTT as today’s second-best performing token among the top 100 coins by market capitalization, behind only the game-like decentralized finance (DeFi) token SPELL.

BTT price last 14 days:

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Source: CoinGecko

The price gains today came with sharply rising trading volumes across exchanges. As of press time, the 24-hour trading volume for BTT stood as USD 2.6bn, representing more than a tripling from USD 712m yesterday.

Upbit was the most active exchange for trading in the token, followed by Binance.

According to an announcement from BitTorrent Inc. – the company behind the token – the new BitTorrent Chain, shortened BTTC, will become a “heterogeneous cross-chain interoperability protocol” that leverages various sidechains for improved scaling of smart contracts.

The new blockchain will be based on the Proof-of-Stake consensus mechanism, and is said to enable interoperability between Ethereum (ETH), Tron (TRX) and Binance Smart Chain (BSC), with more chains to be supported in the future.

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At the same time, the announcement said that old BTT tokens starting from the same date will be exchangeable for new ones at a rate of 1:1,000. Accordingly, the total supply of tokens will also be increased from the current 990bn to 990trn, while the total market capitalization will remain the same.

Once the new mainnet is live, BitTorrent Inc. says use cases for its BTT token will include staking in return for rewards, participation in governance over the protocol, and payment of gas fees for token transfers on the BTTC blockchain.

At press time, BTT is ranked as the 51st most valuable cryptoasset, with a total market capitalization of USD 3.465bn, per CoinGecko.

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The token, which originally was built on the Tron blockchain, is intended to be used as an incentive for users of the file sharing clients BitTorret and µTorrent, for example as payment in exchange for faster download speeds between users.

The developer behind the two mentioned software clients, BitTorrent Inc., is a US-based company founded all the way back in 2004. BitTorrent / µTorrent today represent major peer-to-peer network for decentralized file sharing. It has an active user base of more than 90m people globally, according to the company.

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BitMart CEO Addresses Hacking Concerns, BitMart Keeps Top 30 Rank

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  • BitMart CEO addressed hacking concerns via tweet.
  • BitMart remains one of the top 30 exchanges.

Crypto hacking is one of the common cyber threats that the crypto world has endured in the past years. In fact, hacking is a word that is not new anymore in the crypto world. For example, these past days, unknown hackers have successfully penetrated the blockchain of the BitMart exchange. As a result, the exchange lost more than $150 million worth of digital currencies such as ETH and BSC tokens.

The incident came as a shock to the BitMart community, especially the holders of the affected tokens that were stolen. Also, this event spread like wildfire in the crypto space and gathered different opinions. This made the CEO of BitMart, Sheldon Xia react in a tweet post:

The tweet explains how the BitMart company plans to compensate its losses for the hacking incident. Furthermore, Sheldon Xia also stated that they are creating multiple teams to work on a project that will ensure the protection of its users. Indeed, this tweet made by the exchange CEO addressed the incident and provided peace of mind to its investors and traders.

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On the other hand, despite the hacking event, BitMart remains one of the top 30 crypto exchanges in CoinGecko. The exchange ranks along with the biggest exchanges such as Bithumb and KuCoin, to name some. With this, we can say that BitMart remains competitive in spite of the hacking challenges it faced lately.

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