Cryptocurrency hackers have attacked one of the internet’s most used traffic analytics services, StatCounter, in order to siphon Bitcoin $BTC▲1.46%from users of online exchange desk Gate.io.

In a targeted attack, hackers breached StatCounter to such an extent that over 688,000 websites were caught loading the malicious script, ZDNet reports.

StatCounter is much akin to Google Analytics, in that it allows analysis of the internet traffic flowing through websites. Webmasters must add special StatCounter code to their sites in order to get the statistics, an aspect of its design that hackers appear to have leveraged to spread their malicious code as widely as possible.

The attack redirected the Bitcoin of cryptocurrency traders, particularly when Gate.io users withdrew or transferred their Bitcoin. The code simply replaced any Bitcoin address entered into the page with one owned by the hackers.

Security researchers from ESET, a Slovakian cybersecurity firm, were the first to discover the exploit, which it describes as a “supply-chain attack.”

ESET notes that while close to a million websites were affected, the entire threat seems to have been localized to one particular URL domain: Gate.io, a cryptocurrency exchange currently handling over $1.7 million worth of Bitcoin every day.

According to ESET, the malicious code wouldn’t actually do anything unless the link contained a specific string: “myaccount/withdraw/BTC.” Researchers identified Gate.io to be the only website using a URL that contained this string.

Despite the security breach lasting days, it’s difficult to say just how many individuals were affected by the attack, or even how much the hackers managed to make away with.

ESET notes the script automatically generated a new Bitcoin address each time it was run. This effectively neutralizes the ability to link Bitcoin transactions together in a meaningful way, which frustratingly protects the identity of the attackers.

Gate.io says it will remove StatCounter from its website altogether. It also urged users to enable two-factor authentication and two-step login protection.

An attorney for embattled Bitcoin Foundation founder Charlie Shrem formally hit back on Nov. 5 at accusations by Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss as part of an ongoing lawsuit concerning alleged Bitcoin (BTC) theft.

In a filing addressing the Winklevosses’ claims, attorney Brian E. Klein said Shrem, who is under investigation for allegedly “stealing” 5000 bitcoins ($32 million) from the twins in 2012, had “committed no misconduct.”

“Shrem can show by verifiable evidence that he did not take the 5,000 bitcoins (the Winklevosses) accuse him of taking,” the filing reads.

As Cointelegraph reported, the lawsuit against Shrem involves a convoluted history spanning six years. The result of a falling out over a deal to help the Winklevosses accrue cryptocurrency, Shrem had also lost the billionaires as business partners in his now-defunct exchange project BitInstant.

Shrem subsequently spent a year in jail on separate charges related to BitInstant, not involving the twins.

In September, however, the same judge in charge of the previous proceedings agreed to partly freeze Shrem’s assets amid accusations by the Winklevosses he had failed to pay almost $1 million in restitution to the state as part of his plea deal.

This, Klein continues, is also incorrect, countering:

“The true facts are that Shrem paid a portion of the money owed before he knew of the (Winklevosses’) complaint, and is in the process of paying the rest.”

Klein also denounced the idea Shrem had used the 5,000 BTC in question to purchase assets such as cars and property as having “no basis in fact or law.”

Bitcoin has ticked higher over the last 24 hours, boosted by positive sentiment across major cryptocurrencies, two-year record-low volatility, and bullish comments from the chief executive of Overstock, the U.S. Amazon rival — which began accepting bitcoin back in 2014.

Bitcoin and cryptocurrency boards showed a sea of green for the last 24 hours trade, with bitcoin cash adding a huge 13% as a looming fork adds trading volume and miners join the network to have their say on the potential split. Bitcoin itself added 2% to trade above $6,600 for the first time mid-October.

Bitcoin bull Patrick Byrne, Overstock’s CEO, meanwhile told crypto YouTuber Naomi Brockwell he is still expecting the mass adoption of cryptocurrency and the collapse of the current established financial system.

“People turn to it where they collapse, like Venezuela or Cyprus or Syria, something like that,” Byrne told Brockwell. “When people start getting into it is when their own financial systems collapse. So yes, given that I think the entire modern financial system is a big Keynesian, magic money tree Ponzi scheme, I do expect that the day will come when people turn to crypto.

Byrne did not commit to bitcoin, the original cryptocurrency which just celebrated its 10th birthday, being the cryptocurrency that would come out on top, however.

Bitcoin was earlier this year looking stronger than most other major cryptocurrencies, having lost less of its value since last year’s huge bull run pushed it to almost $20,000, up from under $1,000 at the beginning of the year. Bitcoin has since lost some 60% of its value, compared to around 80% for many other major digital tokens.

In recent months the likes of ripple (XRP) and ethereum have recovered some losses and stemmed their outflows.

“Whether bitcoin is the one, whether bitcoin has solved its speed problems or it’s another cryptocurrency, only time will tell,” Byrne added.

Bitcoin price chart

The bitcoin price has ticked higher over the last week, adding some $200.COINDESK

Elsewhere, bitcoin’s volatility has sunk to its lowest level for nearly two years in contrast to the increasingly wobbly U.S. stock index the S&P 500, which has climbed to near seven-month highs since September as investors fret over expected interest rate hikes by the Federal Reserve and fears around the U.S. trade war with China.

Bitcoin (BTC) mining giant Bitmain has officially released two new 7nm (nanometer)  “Antminer” crypto mining machines, according to an official tweet posted Nov. 5.

Bitmain indicated in September that it would be equipping its new Antminer models with next-generation Application-Specific Integrated Circuit (ASIC) chips.

ASIC chips are geared to compute optimally for a specific hashing algorithm and, as Bitmain’s tweet confirms, these latest “acceleration” chips use an SHA256 algorithm, which is based on 7nm Finfet semiconductor manufacturing technology. Today’s tweet from the company reads:

“We are officially announcing the release of our new 7nm miners which possess industry-leading hash rates designed to mine with the SHA256 algorithm. Two models will be offered, the Antminer S15 and T15. Available for purchase on 11/8 [Nov. 8].”

In Bitmain CEO and co-founder Jihan Wu’s keynote lecture in September, he outlined that the new chip integrates “more than a billion transistors,” using a special circuit structure and low power-intensive technology to optimize efficiency. Wu claimed that tests have shown the chip “can achieve a ratio of energy consumption to the mining capacity that is as low as 42J/T.”

Bitmain has also made headlines this week by announcing it would be rolling out a firmware update for so-called ‘Overt AsicBoost’ to all its Antminer models, which it claims will increase mining “effectiveness” on the machines.

Crypto’s mining titans have been hot on each other’s heels to compete for the edge in advanced mining hardware; just a day ahead of Bitmain in September, Bitfury Group unveiled its own 14nm ASIC chip, dubbed Bitfury Clarke, which is customized for SHA256 Bitcoin mining. Bitfury’s chip can reportedly “execute a hashrate up to 120 gigahashes per second (GH/s) and a power efficiency rate as low as 55 millijoules per gigahash (mJ/GH).”

Just today, Bitfury revealed it had raised $80 million in a closed funding round led by European venture capital fund Korelya Capital. Other participants included South Korean internet giant Naver Group, Asian institutions Macquarie Capital and Dentsu Japan, as well as Michael Novogratz’sGalaxy Digital.

Yesterday, Nov. 5, just a week after reporting that crypto-mining related sales were “negligible” in Q3 2018, U.S.-based semiconductor manufacture AMD evidently partnered with seven major tech companies to produce eight new cryptocurrency mining rigs it is marketing as “blockchain compute solutions.”

The Thai Revenue Department has revealed its plans to track tax payments using blockchain and maсhine learning, local news outlet Bangkok Post reported Nov. 5.

Ekniti Nitithanprapas, the Revenue Department’s director-general, told reporters that blockchain will be used to verify the validity of taxes paid and to speed up the tax refund process.

Machine learning, in its turn, will help reveal tax fraud and create more transparency, Nitithanprapas also noted. The official further noticed that a digital tax collection system based on modern technologies is one of the government’s top priorities.

Nitithanprapas, who has also been International Economic Advisor of Fiscal Policy Office for the country’s Ministry of Finance since 2015, did not reveal when exactly the Department’s experiment with blockchain was going to start or which particular solutions it would use.

The Thai Revenue department is evidently following the path of the country’s Ministry of Commerce in terms of tech adoption  – the Ministry announced last month that it will trial decentralized solutions in copyright, agriculture, and trade finance. The Thai official responsible for the project explained that blockchain feasibility studies would refer to processing digital IDs, IP registration management, and security, along with smart contracts.

Thailand’s finance industry also has a stake in deploying blockchain networks. In October, Thailand’s oldest bank, Siam Commercial Bank, partnered with global management consultancy firm Accenture to release a blockchain platform for supply chains.

In September, Thailand’s fourth largest bank, Kasikornbank, partnered with Visa’s B2B Connect program to provide its customers with blockchain-powered solutions for cross-border payments.

Bitcoin mining infrastructure provider Bitfury has raised $80 million in a closed funding round, the company revealed in a press release shared with Cointelegraph Nov. 6.

The round, which comes weeks after rumors Bitfury was considering an IPO, was led by European venture capital fund Korelya Capital.

Other participants included South Korean internet giant Naver Group, Asian institutions Macquarie Capital and Dentsu Japan, as well as Michael Novogratz’s Galaxy Digital.

“This private placement will take our corporate governance to the next level, broaden our financial strategic options, and ideally position us for our next phase of growth as the market matures,” executive vice chairman George Kikvadze commented.

Despite the challenging market in 2018 taking its toll on mining manufacturers, Bitfury joins industry stalwart Bitmain in mulling an IPO, a trend which is also expanding to other business sectors within cryptocurrency.

The chairman of Russia’s State Duma Committee on Financial Markets has claimed that the entity is considering the launch of state-backed cryptocurrency pegged to the Russian ruble, Russian radio news station Govorit Moskva reported Friday, Nov. 2.

Speaking at a press conference on the increase of the household debt load, Chairman Anatoly Aksakov expressed his confidence that the government will back a cryptocurrency, “but it will be a ruble-pegged cryptocurrency.” The deputy clarified that the implied coin will represent a blockchain-powered stablecoin pegged 1:1 to the ruble.

Aksakov further described the model of creating the stablecoin, stating that the cryptocurrency will be backed by a banking deposit of a certain amount. After that, a banking institution is set to issue a corresponding amount of crypto assets by using blockchain technology and adhering to the 1:1 proportion.

According to Moscow-based news outlet Mskagency, the chairman has clarified that the cryptocurrency will be issued by the central bank since it is backed by fiat currency. In conclusion, Aksakov noted that the implementation of blockchain technology in terms of issuance “crypto-money” is “promising.”

In late October, Aksakov claimed that major cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH) are doomed to a “bleak future” since they are not backed by anything, adding that this was a reason for the recent amendment to the Russian draft law “On Digital Financial Assets” removing the definition of crypto mining from its purview.

The idea of launching a Russian state-issued cryptocurrency, dubbed the CryptoRuble, was announced in early 2018, with the Russian Association of Cryptocurrency and Blockchain (RACIB) claiming that the coin will be launched in the middle of 2019.

However, most recently, presidential adviser Sergey Glazyev claimed that there is still no movement on the matter, while stating that the existing programmatic tools could allow for a “very fast” issuance of cryptocurrency.

Nov. 2: Cryptocurrency markets have continued trading slightly in the green today, remaining relatively quiet with moderate gains throughout the top 20 coins. Most of the top 100 digital currencies have experienced humble gains over the past 24 hours.

COIN360

Market visualization from Coin360

The leading cryptocurrency Bitcoin (BTC) is up only 0.06 percent on the day, and is trading at around $6,395 as of press time. BTC has seen slight volatility during the day, with the deepest and highest points of $6,327 and $6,396 respectively.

BTC

Bitcoin 24-hour chart. Source: CoinMarketCap

Ethereum (ETH) is up by slightly almost 1 percent over the last 24 hours, trading around $200, and the altcoin’s weekly chart showing its price decreasing by a relatively modest 0.41 percent. After dipping to its weekly low of $193.29 on Oct. 31, ETH has been steadily gaining in price.

ETH

Ethereum 24-hour chart. Source: CoinMarketCap

The third largest cryptocurrency by market cap Ripple (XRP) is up by 0.57 percent over the last 24 hours, and trading around $0.459 at press time. Over the past seven days, XRP is down by 0.06 percent.

XRP

XRP 24-hour chart. Source: CoinMarketCap

Bitcoin Cash (BCH) has stood out among other top 10 coins, making gains of 9 percent on the day. The altcoin is trading at around $462, while its daily trading volume is around $522 million, according to CoinMarketCap. On its weekly chart, BCH rose to as high as $469 following a dive to $411.

BCH

Bitcoin Cash 24-hour chart. Source: CoinMarketCap

During the last week, total market cap has seen some notable fluctuations, with a sudden dive to $202 billion and surge to $209 billion on Oct. 29 and Nov. 1 respectively. After jumping to as much as $209 billion yesterday, total market capitalization dropped to $205 billion, after which it saw moderate gains today.

TOTAL

Total market capitalization weekly chart. Source: CoinMarketCap

The industry has been awaiting the decision of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) regarding the review of proposed rule changes related to a series of applications to list and trade various BTC Exchange-Traded Fund (ETFs) set for Nov. 5.

Yesterday, the so-called “godfather of ETFs” Reggie Browne said that Bitcoin ETFs will be certified “no time soon.” He specified that Bitcoin ETFs will be approved only after the development of a strong regulatory framework for the industry.

Reggie Browne, who is a senior managing director of the ETF group at Cantor Fitzgerald, isn’t holding his breath for a bitcoin ETF. Despite the determination of crypto asset managers jumping through hoops to satisfy US regulators, Browne, who earned the nickname as “the Godfather of ETFs” from Forbes for his influence over the $4.7 trillion market, has his doubts, saying it will happen “no time soon.”

Browne addressed what he finds to be slim odds of a bitcoin ETF amid an inability by regulators thus far to craft a regulatory framework by which cryptocurrencies could operate. In the interim, “it’s very difficult for the commission to wrap their heads around a positive approval because there’s no data yet…the markets just aren’t here,” said Browne, who was speaking at the Georgetown University’s Financial Markets Quality Conference held in Washington, D.C. this week, an event at which SEC Chairman Jay Clayton was also present. Browne’s remarks were cited in Business Insider.

Crypto Catch-22

There’s a bit of a catch-22 in the crypto markets, as the arrival of a bitcoin ETF is widely deemed to be a sign of maturity in the nascent market, which just celebrated its 10th anniversary. Meanwhile, the approval of such a product is dependent on regulation that is waiting for a more mature market. The SEC has already declined nine bitcoin ETF applications, and the crypto community has their hopes pinned to a product designed by asset manager VanEck and blockchain startup SolidX.

wall street bitcoin

VanEck Director of Digital Asset Strategies Gabor Gurbacs on Nov. 1 told Fox Business: “I don’t know exactly how close we are but we are the closest we can be,” adding: “It’s very clear to me America wants a bitcoin ETF and we are here to build it.” In the meantime, VanEck is waiting on pins and needles for SEC feedback on its application.

Waiting Game

It isn’t the first time a Wall Street executive has weighed in on the fate of a bitcoin ETF. In recent days Larry Fink, who is at the helm of BlackRock, the world’s largest asset manager boasting $6.3 trillion in assets under management, quashed any expectation that the firm would issue its own bitcoin ETF in the near future. BlackRock, which is one of a trio of asset managers that together control 82% of ETF market share, is on the sidelines until there are signs the crypto market is “legitimate,” which to him requires government backing.

Meanwhile, if the SEC’s motivation for suppressing a bitcoin ETF is, in fact, a lack of data and markets, as the Godfather of ETFs suggests, they are going to have fewer reasons to decline the product once institutional capital makes its way into the crypto space, which is largely expected to coincide with the opening of regulated crypto exchange Bakkt this year.

Google co-founder Sergey Brin and CEO Sundar Pichai have a lot more in common than just their jobs. Both tech billionaires have crypto-savvy young sons who mine ethereum.

Pichai said his 11-year-old son mines ethereum on a home computer that Pichai built himself, according to Business Insider. He made the amusing revelation at the New York Times DealBook conference this week while — ironically — discussing tech addiction and the importance of limiting screen time for children.

“Last week I was at dinner with my son, and I was talking about something about bitcoin and my son clarified what I was talking about was ethereum, which is slightly different,” Pichai recounted. “He’s 11 years old, and he told me he’s mining it.”

When asked if he built a server to help with his son’s crypto mining efforts, Pichai said no, and insisted that his family only has one computer at home.

‘I Had to Explain How Paper Money Works’

Pichai said his son understands a lot more about virtual currencies than he does about fiat currency, so he had to explain how money works in real life.

“I had [to] explain to him how paper money actually works,” Pichai laughed. “I realized he understood ethereum better than how paper money works. I had to talk to him about the banking system, the importance of it. It was a good conversation.”

In July 2018, Google co-founder Sergey Brin revealed that he mines ethereum with his son, as CCN has reported.

“A year or two ago, my son insisted that we needed to get a gaming PC,” Brin said. “I told him, ‘Okay, if we get a gaming PC, we have to mine cryptocurrency. So we set up an ethereum miner on there.”

Brin — whose net worth tops a staggering $47 billion — added that he and his son had made some money on crypto-mining.

“We’ve made a few pennies, a few dollars,” he joked.

Sergey Brin: ‘We Are in a Tech Renaissance’

As CCN reported, Brin has previously credited ethereum mining with playing a central role in the recent computing boom that is driving a “technology renaissance.”

Brin made the revelations in an enthusiastic letter to investors, where he raved: “We are truly in a technology renaissance, an exciting time where we can see applications across nearly every segment of modern society.”

Brin added: “There are several factors at play in this boom of computing. First, of course, is the steady hum of Moore’s Law…The second factor is greater demand, stemming from advanced graphics in gaming and, surprisingly, from the GPU-friendly proof-of-work algorithms found in some of today’s leading cryptocurrencies, such as ethereum.”