Blockchain network concept , Distributed ledger technology , Block chain text and computer connection with blue matrix coded backgroundIn this issue:

New Developments and Research on Crypto-Asset Market Activities

Blockchain Developments in Supply Chain, Patient Data and Energy

New Hacks, Old Hacks, Preventive Hacks and the World’s Largest CoinJoin

New Developments and Research on Crypto-Asset Market Activities

By: Robert A. Musiala Jr.

According to data from Bitcoinity, in May 2019, bitcoin trading volume on Coinbase, one of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges in the U.S., reached a 14-month high. This news comes at the same time as a recent announcement that Coinbase plans to launch its debit card product in six more European countries. The debit card allows holders to spend cryptocurrencies at traditional credit and debit card point-of-sale systems. In other cryptocurrency exchange news, late last week, another large U.S.-based exchange, Bittrex, announced that it will remove 32 crypto-assets from U.S. trading.

According to a report this week, one of the world’s largest insurance firms has teamed with a group of other insurers to offer an insurance product specifically designed for cryptocurrency custody providers. According to another recent report, one of the largest banks in South Korea is preparing to launch a custody service for cryptocurrencies and other crypto-assets.

Several notable studies on blockchain were released over the past week. The Financial Stability Board, an international monitor, delivered a report to the G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors on the potential effects of blockchain and cryptographic assets on the global financial system. In addition, the University of Cambridge released its Global Cryptoasset Regulatory Landscape Study, and a major global consulting firm published a study focused on blockchain applications for the retail banking industry.

A recent report from AnChain.AI, a blockchain analytics and security firm, analyzed data from decentralized application (Dapp) platforms and found that 75 percent of the transactions analyzed were performed by bots. A final notable report released this week analyzed energy consumption of Bitcoin mining activity. The report estimated Bitcoin’s annual electricity consumption at 45.8 terawatt hours and annual emissions at 22.0 – 22.9 metric tons of carbon dioxide. The report noted that the annual emissions figures were comparable to the level of emissions produced by the nations of Jordan and Sri Lanka and the city of Kansas City, Missouri.

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The Carbon Footprint of Bitcoin

Blockchain Developments in Supply Chain, Patient Data and Energy

By: Robert A. Musiala Jr.

According to a report published this week, the eighth-largest retailer in the U.S. has taken a significant step toward integrating blockchain into its business model by joining the Hyperledger Grid Project, an industry working group for supply chain solutions. The report cites a blog posted by the retailer in April 2019 that discusses the benefits of blockchain and the company’s blockchain initiatives. Late last week, the world’s largest beer brewer announced an investment in blockchain startup BanQu, which is working to implement blockchain solutions for unbanked and underbanked farmers and commodity producers in emerging markets.

In the pharma industry, one of the world’s largest pharmaceutical companies recently shared plans to develop a blockchain solution for managing healthcare data for patients with diabetes.

And in the energy sector, a recent publication from the International Renewable Energy Agency analyzes blockchain’s applicability to the power sector. The report found several compelling use cases for blockchain, including the potential to improve power system efficiency by automating processes, accelerate adoption of new power grid and storage technologies, and enable new models for peer-to-peer power trading and energy project financing.

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New Hacks, Old Hacks, Preventive Hacks and the World’s Largest CoinJoin

By: Joanna F. Wasick

Cryptocurrency wallet GateHub recently confirmed a major security breach. A total of nearly 23.2 million XRP (approximately $9.5 million) was reportedly stolen from about 85 customers. ChangeNow, a cryptocurrency exchange, issued a statement that it had flagged certain addresses associated with the hack and helped stop another 500,000 XRP from being taken.

Proceeds from the 2016 Bitfinex hack were recently detected as being transferred on the Bitcoin blockchain after years of inactivity. Those responsible for the $60 million hack have not been identified; however, late last week, 174.54 BTC (about $1.37 million) was transferred from a wallet connected with the theft.

According to reports, Wasabi Wallet, a bitcoin “jumbler/mixer,” recently executed a “CoinJoin” transaction involving 100 people. Jumbling is done by mixing transactions of multiple users in a single group, which works to obfuscate the origin of individual tokens. This is reportedly the largest number of individuals ever involved in a single CoinJoin event.

Earlier this week, cybersecurity firm Trend Micro reported that hackers have been exploiting a vulnerability in a major enterprise application server, which had originally been identified in April. The hackers reportedly used the vulnerability to access computer processing power to mine for cryptocurrencies – a practice known as “cryptojacking” or “crypto-mining malware.”

Cryptocurrency startup Komodo recently took a novel proactive step to protect its users from hacks. According to reports, after finding a back door in one of its wallets, the company’s own security team exploited the vulnerability, hacked into the system and gained control over the accounts in order to secure the funds at risk. All at-risk funds (nearly $13 million) were safeguarded before any “real” hackers could access them.

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