Darknet Relies on Bitcoin Mixers; tBTC Project Fumbles; Fed Chair Says There is No Limit to Policies

TL;DR: Welcome to In Case You Missed It (ICYMI), a daily crypto news update. Darknet is increasingly relying on bitcoin mixers. tBTC bitcoin-pegged token project on Ethereum pauses deposits. Fed Chairman Jerome Powell says the central bank still has plenty of “ammunition” to fuel the economy. GRIN project almost forgotten. Bakkt grows customer list grows to 70 with important partnerships, and Grayscale Investments bought up to 33% of all newly minted bitcoin over the first quarter. 

Darknet Relies More on Bitcoin Mixers

A recent Bitfury study concluded bitcoin mixers are an increasingly used tool for darknet markets. Mixer usage rose to 20% during the first quarter, a double-digit swing from at this point a year ago. “This is likely in response to increased regulation and verification processes for exchanges, leading darknet bitcoin owners toward other services to obfuscate the source of their coins,” researchers explained. Governments around the world have been cracking down on coin mixing services’ ability to obscure transaction history, and last year the Financial Action Task Force on Money Laundering (FATF) met with “representatives from the 205 members of the FATF Global Network, the IMF, UN, World Bank” in Orlando, Florida over just that subject.

tBTC Project Paused Deposits

tBTC, a bitcoin 1:1 pegged token project on Ethereum as wBTC, paused its deposits after just one week of operating. Matt Luongo, tBTC lead, declared via Twitter they pulled an emergency stop and were returning the BTC pegged to early customers. While the pause has likely to do with a vulnerability on the system, the tBTC team has not disclosed the problems. Luongo announced a postmortem report will be shared later, but he was adamant the project will continue, stating they would “rise again.”

Fed Chairman Says Central Bank is Far From Being Done

JK Rowling

Jerome Powell, Chairman of the Federal Reserve, declared they have just only started taking measures to reactivate the damaged economy in the wake of coronavirus. Powell stated in an interview on the television news program 60 Minutes the agency wasn’t “out of ammunition by a long shot. No, there’s, there’s really no limit to what we can do with these lending programs.” While there are concerns about the lending programs and their effect on the economy in the near future, it seems the Federal Reserve will keep flooding the economy with money for now.

GRIN Almost Forgotten

JK Rowling

GRIN, the first MimbleWimble-based cryptocurrency, advertised by some to be the next bitcoin, lost its attractiveness apparently, as price and hashrate have dropped significantly since its launch. The hashrate protecting the blockchain suffered a sharp drop since its second hard fork, and also its price dwindled to sub $1 dollar numbers in the recent months. But, even more alarming, a vulnerability that could reveal the identities of users was disclosed recently and has not been addressed yet, a sign that shows how little interest remains in the project once touted by BTC maximalists.

Bakkt Grows to 70 Customers, Announces Important Partnerships

Cryptocurrency derivatives exchange Bakkt, the first exchange offering regulated physically-settled bitcoin futures, announced reaching a milestone of 70 customers along with inking important new partnerships. Adam White, president of Bakkt, declared 70 institutional customers were using Bakkt Warehouse to secure their currencies and also to support the delivery of Bakkt’s futures contracts. White also announced they partnered with Marsh, an insurance broker, to offer up to $500 million in coverage customers.

Grayscale Investments Buying Up New Bitcoin

A Redditor recently noticed Grayscale Investments has been on a buying splurge, racking up more than 30% of newly minted bitcoin over the last three months. 60,762 new BTC were added to the Grayscale Bitcoin Trust Fund between February and May, probably in anticipation of the halving and its expected impact on a price run-up. By the middle of this month, Grayscale counted 343,954 BTC under its management, up 21% in a mere three months, for a total of $3.37 billion value.

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