$42M Crypto Ransom for Trump Secrets; Nvidia vs. Investors Over Mining Losses; BTC Fees Rise

TL;DR: Welcome to In Case You Missed It (ICYMI), a daily crypto news update. REvil group wants $42 million ransom in crypto for Trump’s “dirty laundry.” Nvidia accused of misleading investors about its mining business. Facebook Libra scores three new members. BTC transaction fees reach $5+. Woman charged for illegally exchanging bitcoin in Australia, and FTX launches bitcoin hashrate futures.

REvil Group Wants $42 Million Ransom for Trump’s Secrets

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REvil, a ransomware group, is asking for $42 million in crypto ransom to be paid not to reveal secrets that could harm US president Donald Trump. REvil obtained this information through a hack last week of Grubman Shire Meiselas & Sacks, a law firm with very important celebrities as customers. The ransom group declared, “The next person we’ll be publishing is Donald Trump. There’s an election going on, and we found a ton of dirty laundry on time.” Grubman has refused to make any ransom deal with REvil so far.

Nvidia Battling Disgruntled Crypto Investors’ Lawsuit

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Nvidia, the graphics hardware giant, received a new complaint from investors who explained the company failed to disclose the importance of crypto mining to the company’s earnings. The complaint, filed in a California federal court, states Nvidia put out numbers reporting earnings that understated crypto mining by more than $1 billion between May 2017 and November 2018, when Nvidia’s stock price crashed. The chip manufacturer has faced the lawsuit threat since early 2019.

Facebook Libra Association Scores Three New Members

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Libra Association, the institution behind the Facebook Libra cryptocurrency, added three new members to the initiative. Temasek, a $300 billion wealth fund from Singapore, Slow Ventures, a VC firm operating in San Francisco, and Paradigm, another crypto-focused investment firm in California were all admitted. Libra has been slowly gaining steam since its proposal of a centralized, fiat-backed currency changed into several national stablecoins last month.

BTC Transaction Fees Keep Rising Amidst Hashrate Reduction

BTC transaction fees experienced yet another rise, reaching (and surpassing) the $5 mark amidst a global shortage of hashrate as a consequence of the recent halving process. According to Coin.dance, a bitcoin aggregator, it is now 4,000%+ more expensive to make a transaction on BTC than using Bitcoin Cash (BCH). Fees are expected to keep rising until the next difficulty adjustment, as miners rely on network congestion and fees than on the mining subsidy to keep their operations afloat.

Woman Charged for Illegally Exchanging Bitcoin in Australia

In the first cryptocurrency crime of its kind in Australia, a woman was arrested for exchanging cash into bitcoin at a mall in Sidney. The woman handled a wallet that had transacted more than 300 bitcoin since 2017, according to the Cybercrime Squad. The woman could be associated with a bigger group accused of exchanging crypto at a larger level. She is now facing money laundering and illegal exchange of cryptocurrency charges. The Australian police declared this is only the beginning of its actions in cases like this.

FTX Exchange Launches Bitcoin Hashrate Futures

FTX, a cryptocurrency derivatives exchange, launched Bitcoin hashrate futures, an instrument that allows traders to speculate about the state of the bitcoin network in the near future, helping miners hedge against difficulty adjustments in the network. Sam Bankman-Fried, CEO of FTX, explained they had seen an enormous amount of interest in these futures, particularly from mining companies. FTX has been active during the coronavirus quarantine, recently launching another futures contract tracking oil prices.

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