The crypto market is not exhibiting signs of recovering. On the contrary, as a culmination of the year, around Christmas, it lost an additional $18 billion within 48 hours.
Many of the larger coins took a hit on Christmas Day, just after delivering substantial gains last week.
The largest cryptocurrency on the market, Bitcoin, dropped below the $3,800 mark despite circulating around $4,300 only one day prior.
XRP (Ripple) also suffered loses and is currently trading at $0.36, while Ethereum is doing somewhat better than the previous week and is trading around $125 at press time.
Joseph Lubin, co-founder of Ethereum and founder of ConsenSys, in a recent Twitter thread expressed his opinions about the prevailing state of cryptocurrency, calling it the “crypto bottom of 2018.”
He went on by saying that this bottom is marked by “fear, uncertainty and doubt.”
Lubin stays optimistic about Ethereum and ConsenSys, claiming that a bright future is expected for these ventures.
More Than 90% of Monero Has Already Been Mined
Monero has reached a new milestone. Over 90 percent of the total 18.4 million XMR coins, which will be in circulation by the end of May 2022, are already mined.
More than 16 million coins have been mined as the current mining reward reaches around 3.4 XMR per block.
When the supply approaches its maximum in 2022, the prize will stand at 0.6 XRM per block and will prevail that way indefinitely.
This is called “tail emission” and will assist with reducing inflation and help with the liquidity of the coin.
Illicit cryptocurrency mining has become a growing trend in 2018, especially involving Monero, as this coin was the main cryptojacking goal.
Hackers infected devices with mining malware, often one that mines Monero, a software that can easily be bought on the dark web for a cheap price.
As a privacy coin, Monero has been the favored cryptocurrency for trading on darknet markets as users are switching from Bitcoin to more anonymous coins.
9 People Arrested for Using Cryptocurrencies to Sell Narcotics
South Korean authorities arrested nine drug dealers that were operating on the dark web using cryptocurrency, earlier this month.
As the online publication Korea Herald reported, Seoul Central District Prosecutors arrested the dealers, all in their mid-20s and 30s, who were organizing drug trades on a website accessible only through the dark web.
Among the involved is also the owner of the website, known by his surname Shin.
This was the first time for South Korean officials to prosecute dark web traffickers and close down their online trading channels.
It’s said to have consisted of 636 members, between March and November 2018. During this time, over 50 drug sales were conducted.
In their purchases, the arrested drug dealers used DarkCoin, a privacy-focused cryptocurrency associated with the dark web which was later rebranded to Dash in early 2015.
The value of the suspects’ trades is estimated to $88,700. To make their illicit trades more private, they also communicated using encoded messages.
The drug dealers are further accused of growing cannabis and selling hashish, LSD and MDMA.
The Year of Crypto Malware and Data Breaches
Approaching the end of this 2018, it’s inevitable to mention just how broadly the entire year was influenced by massive data breaches and cryptojacking.
Only recently, NSFOCUS researchers spotted Monero mining malware and ransomware targeting the financial sector.
The two variants of Satan, which is a ransomware-as-a-service (RaaS) that first appeared in 2017, exploit Linux and Windows vulnerabilities.
Researchers found the first one in November and the second one a few weeks later.
This variant of Satan, unlike the first one, infects the device with ransomware and installs the Monero miner without the victim’s awareness.
When it comes to data breaches, Business Insider made a list exhibiting the most extensive data breaches of 2018, and the number only shows the scope of the problem.
Among the 10 largest breaches in 2018 is the latest scandal with Facebook where tens of millions of users had their information jeopardized, Quora’s data breach with over 100 million users affected, and the most recent case with Marriott Starwood hotels where the data of half a billion people was stolen.
The massive data breach that holds the first place on the list is Aadhar, India’s government ID database.
It’s unknown when the breach occurred, but it was discovered in March 2018 and affected 1.1 billion people.
Often the data stolen from these thefts end up on the dark web, where the information is traded in exchange for cryptocurrencies.
That’s it for our summary of this week’s major crypto news headlines. This is the 26th post in our crypto news series.
Catch up on the latest installments here:
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