Bitcoin mining giant Bitmain has filed a lawsuit against a mystery hacker who allegedly stole bitcoin from one of the firm’s cryptocurrency exchange accounts.

According to the suit, which the China-based Bitmain filed on Nov. 7 in the US District Court for the Western District of Washington, the unknown hacker infiltrated Bitmain’s Binance account in April and stole funds from the firm.

However, perhaps to better conceal their identity, the hacker did not just attempt to withdraw Bitmain’s funds to their own bitcoin wallet. Rather, they used the bitcoin to artificially inflate the price of small-cap cryptocurrency MANA, the native ERC-20 token of virtual reality platform Decentraland.

MANA bitmain bitcoin hack
MANA Market Cap | Source: CoinMarketCap

Spurred by the irregular trades, the MANA price rocketed from $0.12 to $0.34 on Binance in the span of less than an hour. Even more remarkable, the global MANA price rose to $0.20 — a gain of 40 percent — meaning that a hack involving a single cryptocurrency exchange account single-handedly raised the nominal value of the MANA cryptocurrency’s market cap by more than $80 million.

Presumably, this allowed the hacker to sell MANA they were already holding at inflated prices, and, significantly, they could potentially have liquidated the funds on one or more separate crypto exchanges since the Bitmain pump disrupted the worldwide MANA market.

bitmain bitcoin binance hack
Source: Bitmain

The suit itself alleges that, as part of the hacker’s wash trading scheme, they transferred approximately 2.3 million MANA to Binance from Seattle-based cryptocurrency exchange Bittrex. It further claims that, “upon information and belief,” the hacker sent the bitcoin that they accrued through wash trading MANA back to Bittrex.

Bitmain claims, that, as a result of the scheme, they lost approximately 617 BTC, worth $5.5 million at the time of the hack.

Commenting on the suit in their weekly “Crypto Caselaw Minute,” lawyers Stephen Palley and Nelson M. Rosario explained that, despite the best efforts of the hacker, this “John Doe suit” will likely allow Bitmain to subpoena account information from Bittrex and Binance, which could ultimately divulge the identity of the thief.

They concluded:

“What’s the lesson? It’s almost Captain Obvious territory folks: Stealing crypto from a centralized exchange leaves a lot of fingerprints. And your name doesn’t need to be known for you to get sued. Now that the lawsuit is on file, one assumes that Bitmain’s next step will be to issue subpoenas to Binance and other service providers, allowing it to identify the defendant.”

*This post is credited to CCN

Hong Kong’s biggest ever gathering of global blockchain leaders, hosted by NexChange

HONG KONG, Nov. 6, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — The Official Hong Kong Blockchain Week will be launched from March 4 – 8, 2019 and be hosted by NexChange. Blockchain business and technology leaders from around the world will converge in Hong Kong.

The week will be anchored by NexChange’s Block O2O Global Blockchain Summit 2019 (March 5-6). The Hybrid Summit will be hosted by Strategic Programme Partner Hybrid Block on March 7. The Week will be supplemented by over 20 accredited events, details of which can be found at hkblockchainweek.net.

Over 120 speakers from 50+ countries will meet with more than 150 investors and in excess of 100 journalists at HKBCW.

Hong Kong is Asia’s premiere blockchain conference center for new blockchain enterprises to come and raise money, for major exchanges to establish themselves and for investors to decide where to place their bets in the blockchain future. Major corporate players will come to network, learn, and present their solutions alongside influential global NGOs.

The Hong Kong government has made a major push to support research and development of new technologies, including funding for blockchain. Major government departments and research centers are lining up to stand behind Blockchain Week.

From Bitcoin loyalists to those building Blockchain 2.0, 3.0, and beyond, Hong Kong will gather over 3,000+ delegates at the main event and at smaller blockchain events across Hong Kong. Deep dive education, practical workshops, networking opportunities, exhibitions and site tours will make it an action-packed week.

Hong Kong is host to crypto’s biggest exchanges, the highest concentration of investors and the most crypto-active community in Asia. Major consortia like Hyperledger have made Hong Kong home for their Asia Pacific leaders. Bitmain chose Hong Kong’s stock exchange for its upcoming listing. Major multinationals have blockchain research labs and architects situated in the heart of Asia.

Powered by NexChange, there will be a blockchain expo and a blockchain conference. Hear from blockchain experts on:

Cryptonomics    

Investment Climate 

Blockchain for finance

ICOs vs VC and IPOs 

Regulatory Issues   

AI and blockchain

Security Tokens

NexChange CEO and Founder, Juwan Lee, says, “It is time for the first official Hong Kong Blockchain Week with the full support of the vibrant global blockchain community coming together. ”

About NexChange

NexChange is an innovation ecosystem-as-a-service, specialising in fintech, insurtech, blockchain, AI and healthtech. By creating a global O2O community, we create, market and invest in innovative products:

  • Innovation Studio – Creating or collaborating with partners to create strategically innovative products.
  • Product Marketing – Strategically and tactically marketing products through the global O2O community.  Advising companies on their go-to-market strategies.
  • Ventures – Investing, advising, accelerating and acquiring companies that create innovative products.  We source deals and facilitate partnerships.

*This post is credited to Prnewswire

China and the USA have been competing with each other in every field to gain global dominance. The same competition seems to have entered the cryptocurrency industry as White House, understanding China’s Bitcoin Dominance is now backing Ripple Labs.

Its BTC vs XRP as two global superpowers look at a crypto world

China is, by far, the undisputed world leader in bitcoin mining — with Chinese mining pools controlling more than 70% of the bitcoin network’s collective hash rate, the measuring unit of the processing power of the bitcoin network.

Many in the bitcoin and cryptocurrency industry have expressed concern about how much control this gives China over bitcoin, with the Beijing-based Bitmain Technologies mining more than half the world’s bitcoins creating an oligopolistic to near monopoly situation.

While China’s dominance is fairly visible, the United States doesn’t want to stay behind in this race. According to the reports coming in from the White House, it appears U.S. president Donald Trump’s White House is also worrying about China’s bitcoin dominance and Ripple Labs executive, are suggesting the U.S. administration is interested in ripple (XRP) adoption to offset China’s bitcoin strength.

Ripple Lab’s chief strategist, Cory Johnson, was quoted saying in a wide-ranging interview with crypto-focused magazine Breaker that

“The White House, in particular, seems to be thinking about what it means to have 80% of bitcoin mining taking place in China and a majority of ether mining taking place in China,”

“When you look at XRP, there is no mining, so from a foreign-control aspect or from an environmental aspect, XRP is a very different beast. And in conversations we’ve had with the administration, they seem to get that and think that might matter.”

China manufactures most of the world’s bitcoin and cryptocurrency mining equipment and its massive mining farms are supported by the country’s cheap electricity prices, giving it dominance in bitcoin while for Ripple, Ripple Labs controls 60% of the ripple supply and the XRP tokens don’t require any mining. This situation of Bitmain’s dominating control over Bitcoin’s mining and Ripple’s majority control over XRP has received a lot of criticism from the industry as these being centralized in hands of few. A lot of experts believe that this war of the US vs China may intensify the centralization issues as both global superpowers would want to control these cryptos.

But according to Weiss Rating’s latest tweet Ripple’s XRP is more decentralized. The tweet says Ripple is moving towards decentralization whereas the open-to-everyone model of Proof-of- Work mining resulted in oligopolies instead of decentralization it promised to create.

Weiss Ratings@WeissRatings

China’s #BTC dominance worries Trump’s White House, pushing it toward XRP. The open-to-everyone model of PoW mining resulted in oligopolies instead of decentralization it promised to create. #XRP is moving towards decentralization, while BTC seems to be doing the opposite.

The attention and backing the crypto curries are getting from respective global giants could do amazing news for cryptocurrencies but concerns over-centralization and control still looms. One can only wait and watch how these countries play out their moves to gain supremacy in global as well as crypto worlds.

*This post is credited to CoinGape

At Yang Zuoxing’s modest office a short drive from the prestigious Tsinghua University in Beijing, desks are strewn with cryptocurrency mining equipment and cots stand ready for engineers too exhausted to go home after marathon days at work.

This is Yang’s bunker as he fights an uphill battle against Bitmain Technologies — his old employer and the world’s dominant provider of crypto mining chips — that may include an initial public offering for Yang’s two-year-old startup as soon as next year.

Yang says he helped Bitmain design its market-leading technology but left the company in June 2016 after co-founders Jihan Wu and Micree Zhan turned down his request for a stake in the business. Yang started his own crypto chip company, MicroBT, a month later. He now claims his firm’s mining gear is just as good, if not better, than Bitmain’s.

“We compete in every area,” Yang, 45, said in an interview.

His company is the latest to challenge Bitmain’s dominance in the market for specialized crypto mining chips, which Frost & Sullivan predicts will grow more than fivefold to $17 billion by 2022 despite this year’s selloff in digital assets.

Bitmain controlled an estimated three quarters of the market in 2017, but analysts including Mark Li of Sanford C. Bernstein have said that the company may be losing its technological edge. If competitors like MicroBT start taking more market share, they could complicate Bitmain’s plans to raise billions of dollars in a Hong Kong IPO.

Bitmain, which filed its preliminary listing application on Sept. 26, declined to comment for this article but has flagged increased competition as a potential risk for its business.

MicroBT has raised the equivalent of $22 million from individual investors and is in talks with institutional money managers in China for additional funding, Yang said. He’s considering filing for an IPO next year, joining a race to tap public equity markets that also includes Chinese rivals Canaan Inc. and Ebang International Holdings Inc.

One of Yang’s selling points to investors: MicroBT doesn’t have exposure to Bitcoin Cash, a cryptocurrency that has tumbled about 60 percent this year. Bitmain, which has been a vocal supporter of Bitcoin Cash, is thought to be a major holder. In its IPO filing last month, the company disclosed a $103 million impairment of its crypto assets in the first half, though it didn’t provide a breakdown of its holdings.

Bitmain still towers over MicroBT by almost any financial measure. It earned $743 million on $2.8 billion of sales in the first half, according to its IPO filing. MicroBT had a profit of $48 million and sales of $186 million during the same period, Yang said, declining to disclose more detailed financial information.

Bitmain’s commanding lead may not last. One sign that competitors like MicroBT may already be catching up, according to Bernstein’s Li: Bitmain took a $253 million writedown on unsold inventory in the first half.

Yang, the majority shareholder of MicroBT, said he’s well placed to challenge Bitmain’s dominance. After graduating from Tsinghua with a PhD in mechatronics in 2001, Yang said, he worked on hardware and low-wattage chip designs for companies including Ingenic Semiconductor Co., which is listed in Shenzhen. Yang said he’s been involved in designing crypto mining chips since 2014, including time at ASICMiner and a 15-month stint at Bitmain in which he worked remotely on the company’s Antminer S7 from Shanghai.

After Yang left the company to start MicroBT in 2016, Bitmain unsuccessfully sued him over patent rights. A Chinese court ultimately revoked Bitmain’s patent on grounds that the circuit designs in question were widely used.

MicroBT’s flagship Whatsminer M10 can deliver better power efficiency than Bitmain’s S9i, Yang said, adding that MicroBT is working on upgrades to stay competitive as Bitmain rolls out new products.

“Their technology is great,’’ Yang said. “But ours is too.”

*This post is credited to MyBroadband

Bitmain Technologies, the world’s biggest supplier of cryptocurrency mining equipment, is looking to help push its industry into the mainstream through a sponsorship deal with professional US basketball team the Houston Rockets.

AntPool, the Bitmain-owned bitcoin mining company, has signed up for an undisclosed amount as a major sponsor of the Rockets in the upcoming 2017-2018 season of the National Basketball Association (NBA), according to an AntPool statement on Wednesday that was posted on Facebook.

“As the cryptocurrency industry around the globe continues to evolve and develop, it is going to be more and more important for companies like AntPool to lead the conversation and conversion of consumers to adopt and understand digital currencies,” said Li Haijiao, the head of AntPool’s overseas operations.

AntPool will set up an exhibition inside the Toyota Centre, the Rockets’ home arena in downtown Houston, from January 19 next year, according to the company. It was unclear whether the logos of Bitmain and AntPool will be featured at the arena’s courtside billboards, which would make these seen by an estimated 900 million online viewers in China during live broadcasts of the Rockets’ games.

Li said AntPool decided to sponsor the Rockets because it was the “No 1 team in China”.

That popularity started when the Rockets drafted professional basketball player Yao Ming as the first overall pick in the 2002 NBA draft. Yao played centre with the Rockets until the 2010-2011 season. He retired on July 20, 2011. The team is now led by star guard James Harden.

Representatives of Bitmain and the Rockets did not immediately respond to requests for comments.

The campaign by Beijing-based Bitmain with the Rockets marks an escalation of major professional sports team sponsorships by cryptocurrency companies, following a landmark deal signed in January this year between popular Premier League club Arsenal and US firm CashBet.

While China’s government has cracked down on digital currency exchanges and initial coin offering schemes, large financial institutions in the US and other major markets have built up their support for trading of bitcoin, ethereum and other cryptocurrencies.

Last month, AntPool announced that it would make Houston, the most populous city in the state of Texas, as the first stop for its US expansion. The company, which expects to start its US business early next year, plans to build a data centre to host its cryptocurrency mining machines in Rockdale, a city that is about a two-hour car drive northwest from Houston.

AntPool has pledged to invest US$500 million in the Texas economy over a period of seven years.

Headquartered in Beijing, Bitmain recorded US$2.5 billion in revenue last year, according to a report by Bernstein Research analysts published in August

It said Bitmain had an estimated 85 per cent share in the mining rig market for all cryptocurrencies last year. For bitcoin mining gear alone, the company had a 77 per cent share.

The company also operates two of the world’s biggest bitcoin mining pools, AntPool and BTC.com, which collectively account for about 30 per cent of all the processing power on the global bitcoin network.

It is said to plan an initial public offering in Hong Kong that could raise as much as US$3 billion, according to a Bloomberg report last month, citing people with knowledge of the matter.

Bitmain’s US expansion, however, has come on the heels of speculation that the company may be losing its technological edge. Bitmain, co-founded by 32-year-old billionaire Wu Jihan, may need to write down the value of its inventory as makers of rival cryptocurrency mining equipment catch up, according to Bernstein analysts.

*This post is credited to South China Morning Post

Bitmain Technologies, the world’s biggest producer of cryptocurrency mining chips, is planning a Hong Kong initial public offering that could raise as much as $3 billion (R44 billion), people with knowledge of the matter said.

 
The Beijing-based company, whose 32-year-old co-founder Jihan Wu is one of the most powerful players in crypto, plans to file a listing application with the Hong Kong stock exchange as early as September, according to the people. 
 
Bitmain closed a private funding round in the past few weeks valuing the company at about $15 billion, one of the people said, asking not to be identified because the information is private.
 
If the IPO proceeds as planned, it would represent a major test of investor appetite for digital-currency companies after the market value of Bitcoin and its peers tumbled by more than 75 percent since early January. 
 
A successful listing would be a landmark event for the crypto industry, which is increasingly trying to move from the fringes of finance into the mainstream.
 
For Bitmain — which is estimated to control as much as 80 percent of the market for crypto mining gear — an IPO may also mark a step toward a future beyond crypto.
Wu, who co-founded the company in 2013, has said he wants to branch out into areas such as artificial intelligence. A listing could give Bitmain the extra funding and public profile it needs to pursue other businesses.
“The challenge is advancing our technology beyond what we’ve already achieved,” Wu said in an interview with Bloomberg in May.
 
Bitmain’s bread and butter is designing custom chips known as application-specific integrated circuits, or ASICs. 
 
These are particularly good for the brute-force number crunching required by cryptocurrency miners, who verify virtual currency transactions and earn crypto-denominated rewards by solving complex math problems. ASICs are also useful for the heavy workloads associated with some forms of AI, such as machine learning.
 
Wu said in the May interview that Bitmain booked $2.5 billion of revenue last year and that he and co-founder Micree Zhan together owned about 60 percent of the business. 
 
He added at the time that he was open to a listing in Hong Kong — or in an overseas market with US dollar-denominated shares — in part because it would give early investors including Sequoia Capital and IDG Capital a chance to cash out.
 
Details of Bitmain’s listing haven’t been finalized, and its fundraising target could change, the people said. Nishant Sharma, a Beijing-based spokesman for Bitmain, declined to comment.
Speculation about Bitmain’s IPO plans and finances has intensified in recent days. The cryptocurrency news site CoinDesk reported on August 10 that Bitmain was seeking to raise as much as $18 billion in an IPO, citing documents it had obtained. Unverified investor presentations purporting to show details of Bitmain’s business have been circulating online, prompting discussions in crypto circles over the company’s exposure to falling virtual currency prices.
While Bitmain gets most of its revenue from mining equipment sales, it also runs some of the world’s biggest mining collectives, in which members combine their processing capacity and split the rewards.
The company’s outsized role has prompted a backlash from some virtual currency purists, who disdain anything that hints of a concentration of power in the crypto ecosystem. Wu’s support for Bitcoin Cash, an offshoot of Bitcoin, has also stoked controversy.
Despite its dominant position, Bitmain will face plenty of competition as it courts investors. Canaan, a maker of crypto mining gear that’s also working on AI applications, has already filed for a Hong Kong IPO.
The company will aim to raise about $1 billion, people with knowledge of the matter said in May. Ebang International Holdings, another producer of mining gear, has also disclosed its intention to list in the city.
There’s no guarantee investors will pile in, especially given the recent weakness in Hong Kong’s stock market amid jitters over rising interest rates and a U.S.-China trade war. The city’s benchmark Hang Seng Index has dropped 18 percent from this year’s high in January, one of the biggest declines among major markets worldwide over the period.
“I don’t think people will be too interested,” said Alex Wong, Hong Kong-based director of asset management at Ample Capital Ltd., in reference to share sales by crypto mining companies. “When the demand for Bitcoin diminishes, their revenue can drop very fast.”