Inside Monero’s ‘Last Ditch Effort’ to Block Crypto Mining ASICs

Developers behind the cryptocurrency monero are ramping up efforts to keep specialized mining hardware from dominating its race for rewards. Of the coins that have a strong privacy focus, monero – launched in 2014 – possesses the largest market capitalization by far with an estimated $1.5 billion valuation. The annual mining rewards generated by the now 5-year-old blockchain total roughly $62 million, according to data site Messari. But such rewards appear to be increasingly falling into the hands of ASIC operators, nudging out smaller, independent or hobbyist participants. To keep…

Major Pan-African Insurance Firm Rolls Back Insurance for Crypto Mining Equipment

Pan-African insurance company Old Mutual has opted out of insuring cryptocurrency mining equipment due to the absence of regulation in the industry, local technology-focused new outlet ITWeb reported on June 10. Following comprehensive research of the industry, Old Mutual has arrived at a decision not to insure equipment used for digital currency mining because of the unregulated nature of the industry. Among other reasons, the company also named cryptocurrencies’ exposure to fraudulent activity and modified electronic infrastructure of mining equipment that leads to overheating and other malfunctions. Christelle Colman, an…

Pan-African Insurer Old Mutual Will Not Insure Mining Rigs

Old Mutual, a legacy, pan-African insurance company, announced it will not insure equipment used for cryptocurrency mining, according to a statement released June 10. The company cites the expense, risk, and speculative nature of the industry. Africa contributes less than 10 percent of the total bitcoin hash rate, according to Bitcoin Magazine. Many advocates for the fledgling industry think strict regulations, costly electricity prices, and mining rig price tags are preventing it from developing — a problem that will only get worse if miners cannot take out protection on their…

Cybercriminals Use Obfuscation Trick to Install Crypto Mining Malware

Cybersecurity firm Trend Micro has confirmed that attackers have been exploiting a vulnerability in the Oracle WebLogic server to install monero (XMR) mining malware, while using certificate files as an obfuscation trick. The news was revealed in a Trend Micro blog post published on June 10. As previously reported, forms of stealth crypto mining are also referred to with the industry term cryptojacking — the practice of installing malware that uses a computer’s processing power to mine for cryptocurrencies without the owner’s consent or knowledge. According to Trend Micro’s post,…

Russian Parliament Considers Imposing Fines on Crypto Mining by End of June

Russia’s parliament, the State Duma, is considering imposing administrative responsibility for the mining of cryptocurrencies, local news outlet TASS reported on June 7. In an interview with TASS, Anatoly Aksakov, the chairman of the State Duma Committee on the Financial Market, said that the government may introduce administrative responsibility for digital currency mining by the end of June. Aksakov stated: “I note that any operations with cryptocurrency that are contrary to the Russian legislation will be considered illegitimate. This means that mining, organizing issuance, circulation, creating exchange points for these…

Over 74% of Bitcoin Mining is Powered by Renewable Energy

Cryptocurrency investment products and research firm CoinShares estimates that 74.1% of bitcoin (BTC) mining is powered by renewable energy in its bi-annual mining report published on June 5. The report also claims that “at current prices, the average miner is highly profitable, with even older gear and high-cost producers currently able to make positive ROI.” The paper also notes that bitcoin mining operations are concentrated where there is ample renewable energy supply. Still, the report also notes: “The renewables estimate is down from 77.8% in our November 2018 report and…

UK-Based Crypto Mining Firm Argo Upgrades Q2 2019 Forecast Due to Market Rally

London-based cryptocurrency mining firm Argo Blockchain has significantly upgraded its 2019 second quarter forecast in light of the crypto market upturn. The news was reported by Alliance finance and stock market news agency for London South East on June 3. Following news of Argo’s revised forecast, shares in the firm reportedly spiked 20% to 6.29 pence (around $0.08) during morning trading hours today. The firm has a market capitalization of £18 million (around $22.8 million), Alliance notes. By the end of Q2 2019, Argo revealed it expects to generate 420…

Chinese Authorities to Investigate Illegal Mining Farms at ‘Global Mining Capital’ Sichuan

The state authorities of China’s Sichuan province will investigate local bitcoin (BTC) mining farms that have been allegedly been built illegally, local media agency Sina reports on May 30. Located at the bitcoin “global mining capital” of Sichuan, the bitcoin mining farms with over 30,000 bitcoin mining machines have been reportedly constructed without an official approval from the local government, and are thus subject for further examination. Specifically, the alleged illegal mining farms are located along the Sichuan’s Dadu river, a major Chinese river that will host the world’s biggest…

Australian Securities Regulator Releases Cryptocurrency, Mining, ICO Guidelines

The Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) published new initial coin offering (ICO) and cryptocurrency guidelines on its official website on May 30. The regulator detailed the prerequisites that a cryptocurrency business needs to follow in order to comply with both the Australian Corporations and ASIC Acts, but did not cover regulations enforced by other national institutions. Notably, the guideline specified that if a crypto asset is a financial product, then the issuer and firms dealing with it are required to hold an Australian financial services license. The report also…

Australian Civil Servant Caught Mining Crypto With Government Hardware

The Australian Federal Police (AFP) has charged a government employee alleged to have misused government IT infrastructure for personal cryptomining operations, per a press release. In the release, the AFP states that the unnamed 33-year-old man is an IT contractor with the Australian government, who took advantage of his access to “manipulate programs to use the processing power of the agency’s computer network for cryptocurrency mining.” For his effort, the report claims he earned AU$9,000 (around $6,200) from the mining operation. He was subsequently charged for the unauthorized modification of…