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Moonday Mornings: Ethereum dev released on $1M bail over North Korea case

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Blockchain, cryptocurrencies, and insider stories by TNW.

Check out this weekend’s top cryptocurrency headlines

Hello Hard Forkers, welcome to another Moonday Morning where we wrap-up the weekend’s hot cryptocurrency and blockchain headlines.

Take a look.

A small but illegal Bitcoin mine has been located and dismantled in the Ukraine, according to a Facebook post published by an account which appears to belong to the Chairman of Ukraine’s state railway. Late last year, Yevhen Kravtsov said the farm was located in a railway building in Ternopil in the west of Ukraine.

The farm allegedly installed more than 100 cryptocurrency miners which were attached to the railway building’s power supply in such a way they bypassed the electricity meter. Kravtsov said the people running the mine had saved themselves more than $40,000 by doing so.

Virgil Griffith, the Ethereum ETH developer that allegedly travelled to North Korea to give a talk on how cryptocurrency could be used to evade sanctions, has been released on a $1 million bond, AP reports. The bail has been granted despite prosecutors’ fears that Griffith may flee the country before his trial

The news comes shortly after Griffith was formally indicted by US authorities late last week. The developer was placed on house arrest, with an electronic tag, at his parent’s home.

The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) is skeptical whether Libra will make inroads in the country at all, ZDNet writes. According to the report, the RBA believes it’s still unclear if there will be strong demand for stablecoins, and cryptocurrency-based products like Facebook’s Libra in Australia.

In a submission to the Select Committee on Financial Technology and Regulatory Technology the RBA said: “Australia is already well served by a range of low-cost and efficient real-time payment methods, such as the New Payments Platform, that utilize funds held in accounts at prudentially supervised financial institutions.”

The Japanese Financial Service Agency is reportedly planning to introduce a rule that limits the amount of leverage an investor can use in cryptocurrency margin trading, English-speaking outlet The Japan News reports.

The new rule would see leverage limited to twice the deposits of traders. The industry currently has a self-imposed cap of four times; the new law would cut potential leverage in half. According to sources familiar with the matter, the new rule looks set to come into force in the springtime.

And finally…

Gregg Bennett, the man who allegedly lost $1 million worth of Bitcoin in a SIM-swap attack, has taken out Twitter adverts attacking cryptocurrency exchange Bittrex, the Seattle Times reports. The ads spread Bennett’s claims that Bittrex is an “unsafe exchange.” He also maintains a website that documents his case against the exchange.

Bennett fell victim to the SIM-swap attack last year. He claims Bittrex violated or ignored its own security standards and industry-standard practices,  which allowed hackers to steal 100 Bitcoin from him. Bittrex has said it’s not at fault and asked for the case to be dismissed.

There you have it, now go get on with your week.

Published January 13, 2020 — 09:41 UTC

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