TL;DR: Welcome to In Case You Missed It (ICYMI), a daily crypto news update. Centra Tech founder pleads guilty in ICO fraud case. Ethereum high tx fees linked to Korean P2P exchange. Bitmain still leading ASIC market, according to BitMEX. ConsenSys launches staking services for Ethereum 2.0. BTC mining difficulty rises by almost 15%, and Privnote.com suffers cryptocurrency phishing attacks.
Centra Tech Founder Pleads Guilty in ICO Fraud
A co-founder of Centra Tech, an ICO that used ads featuring Floyd Mayweather and DJ Khaled to promote their token, pled guilty of conspiracy to commit securities fraud and wire fraud. Robert Farkas, charged back in 2018, defrauded investors, offering a cryptocurrency card to be used in any store accepting traditional cards. Centra Tech raised more than $25 million in its ICO. Farras accepted a sentence of 87 months with a fine of $250,000, while the two other founders will go to trial in November.
Ethereum High Fee Transactions Linked to Korean P2P Exchange
Update: We have identified the victim, a small P2P exchange in Korea called Good Cycle, which appears to be a Ponzi Scheme project. Our investigation found that their security is really lacking, e.g., using HTTP instead of HTTPS, and could be easily hacked.
— PeckShield Inc. (@peckshield) June 16, 2020
The mystery of high fee transactions on Ethereum rages, with some of the community rejecting the proposed theory some kind of blackmail scheme against a service. However, Peckshield, a blockchain security company, was able to identify a probable culprit. The affected transactions might be coming from a small P2P exchange called Good Cycle. It also appears to be a Ponzi scheme, and could explain why they’ve not made any movements publicly to try to get their funds back.
Bitmain Still Leads ASIC Market, But Has Lost Ground to MicroBT
Bitmain continues to be the top ASIC manufacturer in the world with close to 50% of the market amassed, according to BitMEX’s latest mining research. However, MicroBT, another Chinese company, has now a firm grasp on 35% of the market, having only just 9% of it a year before. Bitmain faced internal issues, with both co-founders struggling to gain full control of the company in a feud that has affected company operations. Canaan, another Chinese mining company, is currently in third place, holding 12% of the market.
ConsenSys Launches Staking Service for Ethereum 2.0
Consensys, an Ethereum based software company, announced it will start offering a staking service platform aimed to provide this kind of functionality to exchanges and institutions prior to the launch of Ethereum 2.0. The pilot program will include six participants: Binance, Crypto.com, DARMA Capital, Huobi Wallet, Matrixport, and Trustology. The swap to PoS consensus will open staking possibilities, with users seeking third parties to stake their funds easily, and ConsenSys wants to capitalize on this possible trend.
BTC Mining Difficulty Rises Again
The BTC mining difficulty experienced an important rise of 14.95%, the biggest of its kind since January 2018, according to statistics coming from BTC.com. As opposed to what happened earlier last month when the difficulty dropped, many old generation hardware miners will be less profitable and will be turned off for this same reason. In the long run, this trend means mining companies will have to renew their hardware, changing it for more efficient miners to keep generating profit, with mining manufacturing companies also profiting from this renewal.
Privnote Users Suffer Phishing Attack Targeting Cryptocurrency Users
Privnote.com, a private encrypted message service with read-message-self-destruction, is the target of a phishing attack by the similarly named Privnotes.com. The site is targeting cryptocurrency users of the service, changing any bitcoin address detected in the messages to a different one unless the recipient of the message is the same sender, according to KrebsOnSecurity. This would be the result of the implementation of an automated script, that might also be syphoning other kinds of data like passwords.
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