A man in Taiwan has been arrested over claims he mined millions of dollars’-worth of cryptos using stolen power.

According to a report from EBC Dongsen News on Wednesday, a man with the surname Yang is suspected of stealing electricity valued at over NT$100 million ($3.25 million) via his various business premises to mine bitcoin and ether, reaping around the same amount in mining profits.

Yang reportedly tapped the power supply at 17 stores in Taiwan for his illicit crypto mining operations. He would first rent an internet cafe or a toy store, then hire electricians to redesign the wiring so that the stolen electricity would not be metered, the report alleges.

Taiwan Power Company, the island’s state-owned utility provider, first discovered the operations after noticing an unstable power supply and launching an investigation. Yang was suspected and subsequently arrested by the police.

Wang Zhicheng, deputy head of the fourth brigade of Taiwan’s Criminal Investigation Bureau said in the article:

“The group recruited electricians who managed to break into the sealed meters in order to add in private lines to use electricity for free before that usage reaches the meters.”

Several such cases of mining using stolen power have emerged recently, as easy gains have proven too much of a temptation for some. Last month, two principals at a Chinese school got in hot water after stealing electricity from the institution to mine ether.

Back in June, police in the eastern Chinese province of Anhui arrested a man for allegedly stealing a significant amount of power for bitcoin and ether mining, after the local power grid company reported a spike in electricity use. And, in April, six individuals were arrested in China’s Tianjin region over claims they used 600 cryptocurrency miners to generate bitcoin with power taken from the local power grid.

Bitcoin (BTC) tumbled to 15-month lows earlier today, dashing hopes of a rally signaled by current extreme oversold conditions.

The world’s largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization fell to $3,200 on Bitstamp at 00:15 UTC – the lowest level since September 2017.

BTC was trapped in a five-day-long narrowing price range 24 hours ago and showed signs that it might break upwards with a strong move toward the crucial resistance at $3,633.

These bullish expectations were based largely on a premise that the sellers are facing exhaustion, as indicated by the 14-week relative strength index (RSI), having engineered a 49 percent price drop in the last four weeks.

Further, evidence of bargain hunting had emerged earlier this week in the form of a three-day inverted hammer candle.

Even so, BTC dived out of the narrowing price range in U.S. trading hours yesterday, killing the prospects of a short-term inverted hammer bullish reversal above $3,633.

BTC’s persistent failure to produce a notable price bounce despite extreme oversold conditions indicates that the bearish sentiment is very strong. As a result, a convincing break below the 200-week moving average (MA) support of $3,170 cannot be ruled out.

At press time, BTC is changing hands at $3,250 on Bitstamp, representing a 2 percent decline on a 24-hour basis.

4-hour chart

The symmetrical triangle breakdown seen in the 4-hour chart indicates a resumption of the sell-off from the Nov. 29 high of $4,410.

The stacking order of the 50-candle moving average (MA), below the 100-candle MA, below the 200-candle SMA, is a classic bear indicator. The RSI has also fallen back into bearish territory below 50.00.

BTC, therefore, risks falling to the psychological level of $3,000. On the way lower, it may encounter support at $3,179 (200-week MA).

Daily chart

As seen above, BTC has charted lower price highs (marked by arrows) along the downward sloping 10-day exponential moving average (EMA). Notably, BTC persistently failed to close above that EMA hurdle at the end of the last month.

Hence, the 10-day EMA, currently at $3,465, is the level to beat for the bulls.

View

  • The range breakdown on the hourly chart may have opened the doors for a deeper drop to $3,000.
  • The 14-week RSI remains below 30.00, marking oversold conditions. Recent price action, however, indicates that the market is paying little heed to the indicator.
  • A UTC close above the 10-day EMA of $3,465, if confirmed, could be considered a sign of short-term bullish reversal.

On December 7, the Bitcoin price achieved a new yearly low, as the valuation of the crypto market fell by $16 billion within a 24-hour span.

Bitcoin Price Struggles to Recover from New Yearly Low

Bitcoin (BTC) fell to as low as $3,210 on fiat-to-cryptocurrency exchanges like Bitstamp and Coinbase, which led other major cryptocurrencies and low market cap digital assets to fall by around 15 to 20 percent against the U.S. dollar.

bitcoin price

Since then, the Bitcoin price has rebounded from $3,210 to $3,455, by more than seven percent within merely 12 hours.

However, traders are cautious in regards to the short-term price trend of the dominant cryptocurrency given the intensity of its recent fall and the volatility the market has shown throughout the past two weeks.

Factors and Trends

Positive developments continue to surround the cryptocurrency market as large financial institutions in the likes of Nasdaq and Fidelity make big bets on emerging infrastructure providers like ErisX, a strictly regulated cryptocurrency exchange in the U.S. market.

Yet, the prices of major cryptocurrencies are falling at a rapid rate, in most cases with low volume, suggesting that many assets are free-falling without high sell pressure.

As technical analyst DonAlt said, Bitcoin still remains below an important resistance level at $3,700, and the failure to break out of it could result in the asset remaining in a low price range between $3,000 and $3,500.

The analyst explained:

“Decent day with quite a big bounce across the board. That said BTC is still below resistance. If BTC wants to turn bullish on larger time frames I’d really wanna see it manage to reclaim the lowest zone on the chart ($3,740).”

In a bear market, especially in crypto, the prices of major cryptocurrencies tend to drop by large margins, unaffected by developments in the sector. For instance, several reports claimed earlier this week that the delay of the Bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) of VanEck by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) caused the price of BTC to drop substantially.

However, the delay of the VanEck ETF to February was expected by many investors in the traditional financial market because the SEC does not have any motive to go out of its way to prematurely approve an ETF prior to its final deadline.

Even if a Bitcoin ETF was to be approved or rejected, the event would likely have minimal impact on the current state of the market, because the market is so overwhelmed.

For Bitcoin to recover, the market has to start demonstrating exhaustion and extreme fatigue from the steep sell-off. Historically, in 2010, 2012, and 2015, BTC dropped by around 85 percent, underwent a several-month-long consolidation and accumulation phase, before engaging in a proper recovery.

2019

The bear market of the cryptocurrency market will likely extend to 2019, and regardless of major developments that lay ahead including the VanEck Bitcoin ETF decision in February and the scheduled launch of the Bakkt futures market in January, the market will only begin to recover when bears and sellers lose momentum and control over the market.

Emotions were high during bitcoin’s block size debate (each side believing bitcoin would be damaged by the other’s triumph), and they’re high again in this year’s bear market. People are once again listening to the fortune tellers, who shape their crypto outlook on market sentiment, and while there are many that signal allegiance to the cause, some are just here for the quick rewards, both social and monetary.

It disappoints me to see the toxicity in this small cryptocurrency community, but it doesn’t surprise me.

Specifically on Crypto Twitter, it’s the environment itself that rewards the group-think we’re seeing. Previously independent thinkers are rewarded for conforming and are punished for their dissent. While it’s easier to resist threats in groups, it’s harder to create and progress without being open-minded. We see similar patterns in politics and even in debates about nutrition.

All said, I must say that it is my experience that the Twitter toxicity does not transfer to offline interactions. I have met many bitcoiners from both sides of the block, and I can’t recall one time I felt any toxicity in person. In fact, the opposite is the truth, it’s always a treat. I would mention names, but I don’t want to blow their tough-guy covers.

To quote Ian Mackaye of Fugazi, the tough guys are all “ice cream-eating motherfuckers.” I mean that in the fondest of ways.

Instead of checking the daily graphs, it would better serve most crypto-enthusiasts to revel in cypherpunk writings such as Tim May’s Crypto Anarchist Manifesto and Wei Dai’s b-money paper. Both are great reminders of why we’re here in the first place. (If you’re going to look at a graph, make it the BTC:USD logarithmic graph. It has the best chance of predicting the future.)

Bitcoin is activism, not a get rich quick scheme or a startup platform. The point of bitcoin is to regulate bad laws and to democratize bad policies by way of circumventing harmful enforcement.

Any system, software or hardware, blockchain-based or otherwise, that contributes to these goals is worth paying attention to.

Equally, any software or hardware projects that fail in this manner are only of interest to me once they amend their fragility. In this regard, decentralized exchanges and ICOs are worthless in their current form, but DEX or ICO v2.0 or v3.0 may end up being decentralized and powerful tools for preventing oppression in all of its forms.

Go Gig (and Boring)

In 2012, my brother Josh and I printed up bitcoin postcards to give out at regional Students for Liberty events all over the East Coast. At the time, it was mostly the Libertarians embracing the infant technology and this was our activism.

For the International Students for Liberty Conference in early 2013, we decided to do something a bit wilder, we wanted to show these youngsters how bitcoin works. We built a little orange box that accepted cash notes and sent out bitcoin transactions. Not only was it a huge hit at the conference, it reached social media and we started getting interest from media and potential buyers.

This was our chance to take our passion for bitcoin to the next level. We founded Lamassu and started manufacturing bitcoin ATMs, a machine we like to now call “cryptomats.”

Fast forward almost six years and we’re still going strong, still advocating bitcoin and there’s a booming industry making machines that help people buy and sell bitcoin. From the get-go, our business has always been more about activism than pure short-term profit. The business decisions we make are a mix of what we need to do to succeed and how to stay in line with our techno-libertarian ideals of privacy and decentralization.

Our main goal has always been to introduce as many people to cryptocurrencies as possible. And so our software is free, open source and unlicensed. We don’t charge cryptomat operators any fees for machine usage, and they host their own servers. End-users who use the machines never have their coins stored for them by operators, but are required to actually use bitcoin to get it.

As a whole, the cryptomat industry is quite unlike others in the cryptocurrency ecosystem. There’s been very little drama of late.

We’ve seen healthy, steady growth. And the field is made of quality companies, such as our main competitors Genesis and General Bytes, that have endured radical bear and bull markets. All these are very important for the ecosystem, yet perhaps a bit mundane in terms of the news cycle. No ICOs, no mass hacks and the companies involved have at best millions worth of revenue, not billions.

But at the same time, I feel it’s the kind of boring the cryptoverse needs. Hundreds of thousands of ordinary people around the world are using cryptomats every month to get small amounts of bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies directly to their wallets. No banks, no third party custody, no waiting.

It’s still the easiest way for a first time user to get crypto, and the more cryptomats there are in the world, the more useful and reliable they become. Inch by inch, row by row.

BUIDLers on the Roof

The hardest part for bitcoin was getting to $0.10.

The exponential growth since has become the norm and would take something extraordinary to derail. As such, we have to think about what happens when a growing population of the world starts owning bitcoin. Will the next financial crisis be the one that pushes bitcoin to the mainstream? What if this actually does happen, but there’s still no good user interface to protect people from losing, misusing and failing to protect their funds? Will they end up trusting people to help them?

For me, this is still the biggest question in crypto. I don’t doubt the success of bitcoin and other key cryptocurrencies, but I’m concerned things will get messy when the central banks run out of tricks.

At Lamassu, we have been keeping our heads down, working to improve our corner of the still unsolved UI problem of crypto. We’ve been aggressively hiring coders and customer support staff and expanding our manufacturing facilities.

We have fierce competition, but it’s one of mutual respect. I know our competitors are doing it for the same reasons we are, a deep rooted ideology with bitcoin at its core, to free money and markets from powerful middlemen.

The whole point of bitcoin is for people to help themselves, but it’s our jobs as proponents to make that easy. The sooner people can actually use, store, and secure their own coins, the safer they’ll be when the bank runs hit. Lest we build skyscrapers of blockchains, with no elevators in which to ascend them.

Between 600,000 and 800,000 bitcoin miners have shut down since mid-November amid declines in price and hashrate across the network, according to the third-largest mining pool.

In an interview with CoinDesk, Mao Shixing, founder of F2pool, said his firm’s estimate takes into account the total network hashrate drop and the average hash power of older mining machines that are having a hard time generating profits.

According to data from blockchain.info, the bitcoin network’s entire hashrate, which captures the aggregated computing power on the world’s first blockchain, has dropped from around 47 million tera hashes per second (TH/s) on Nov. 10 to 41 million on Nov. 24 – an almost 13 percent decline.

Mao explained most miners that may have halted operations are likely those using older models, such as the Antminer T9+ made by Bitmain and AvalonMiner 741 by Canaan Creative. These miners have an average hash power of around 10 TH/s and are estimated to be losing money right now, according to F2pool’s miner revenue index.

In fact, the bitcoin hashrate on F2pool, which now accounts for about 11.4 percent of the total network, has also seen a decline of over 10 percent in recent weeks, Mao said.

“It’s hard to calculate a precise number of miners connected to us that had unplugged. But we saw over tens of thousands of them [shut down] in the past several days based on conversations we had with larger farms that we are in regular contact with,” he said, adding:

“This is what’s happening among miners in China.”

On Nov. 20, Mao shared via his Weibo social media account a photo of a man packing computer gear into boxes, with the caption “shutting down is not an option, now have to sell by the kilos.”

The post was widely taken to mean even mining equipment of recent vintage was being sold off by the kilogram in China, but Mao told CoinDesk he was half-kidding when he wrote it, explaining:

“Those miners being sold by the kilos are even older and obsolete models that aren’t usable anymore. So people are selling to recycle [them] like copper instead of for further mining purposes.”

Winter Is Coming

Stepping back, Mao said there are multiple factors that contributed to the shakeout among miners, including the recent market decline that followed the bitcoin cash hard fork on Nov. 15; an increase in electricity costs in China; and the fact that Chinese manufacturers are still racing to upgrade their products, making older machines increasingly uncompetitive.

“All these factors are overlapping right now which led to this recent phenomenon,” Mao said.

As the winter comes in China, hydropower plants are experiencing a dry season when electricity costs have doubled from what they would have been in the summer when water was abundant.

During the summer, Mao said, electricity costs in China’s mountainous Southwestern region, where lots of mining farms reside, could go below 0.2 yuan, or $0.029, per 1 KW/h. But at this time of the year, that is going up to above 0.3 yuan ($0.043).

While other fossil fuel power stations, for instance in China’s Xinjiang province, may generate electricity at a steadier rate, the overall costs are still at least about 0.28 yuan ($0.04) per 1KW/h, Mao said.

As bitcoin’s price recently tanked to a 13-month low below $4,000, mining farms that have been using machines made in 2016 and 2017 with lower productivity just can’t break even, Mao added.

To be sure, the fact that mining farms have unplugged does not necessarily mean they are out of the game completely.

“Bitcoin mining is always a dynamically adjusted process,” Mao said, meaning when the hashrate drops, so does the mining difficulty. The latest data shows the bitcoin mining difficulty has already declined slightly by 5 percent within the past a few days.

This dynamically adjusted process could give those who haven’t thrown in the towel an incentive to stick around, Mao said, concluding:

“The change of bitcoin’s mining difficulty normally has a lag of about 14 days [following hashrate change]. After this wave of shutdowns, those players who opted to stay in may have a better life.”

The bitcoin white paper changed how money can work, yes, but less discussed – and even more important – is how it is changing how we share and place value on ideas.

As we look back at the 10 years since bitcoin’s white paper was first published, I think it’s clear Satoshi’s words aren’t just words. Like another famous white paper, Alan Turing’s “Computing Machinery and Intelligence,” bitcoin’s was clear and scientific, describing with authority a particular – and new – idea.

This is an important differentiator. We tend to think of bitcoin as the network, nodes, miners and HODLers, but it’s really an idea, first expressed in the white paper. (Many so-called white papers today are simply marketing or legal documents.)

Everything that came after, including the code, is a continuation of that idea. An ideal white paper, then, is an objective description of an idea. Beliefs about what the idea means can change, but if an idea is good people will build on it.

The concept of bitcoin as an idea is basic, but it’s also easy to misunderstand.

Bitcoin was a new invention that could do things that were not possible before. The world just does not work the same way as it did before the existence of the bitcoin white paper and its idea. That’s a big distinction from describing an idea based on an existing invention.

One can argue that they think an idea is bad or they can say that they think that it won’t have much application or adoption. There are valid debates about the technology, but the basis for them should acknowledge that the idea exists and is indeed new.

At least for now, bitcoin does work. It also works in a different way than anything else before it ever worked: this is important. Those who criticize the technology without understanding what it can do as “nothing more than a database” are missing this key point.

It really is a new idea and can do things differently.

This Thing Called Governance

Once we have a basis to agree what an idea is, we can begin work on that idea.

I was early enough in bitcoin to see this firsthand: a mostly unified vision of what this experiment might do. In those early days, there was also much less focus on day-to-day economics. Early on, it’s easy to gather around a vision. As time goes on and interpretations of the idea change, there will be differing opinions about direction.
White papers, like bitcoin’s, both help people gather around an idea that they share in common and serve as a guideline for future people working on that idea.

When those interested in bitcoin as an idea differ on the direction of a project, they can choose from several options:

  • Interpret the original texts in the way that they believe was intended
  • Adapt the text or keep it fixed and rigid (like a Constitution)
  • Adapt the text, change it and make it different
  • Disregard it or propose something potentially better.

Ideas, at least at first, are always centralized.

On day one, no one really disagrees about what that idea means. The creators of that idea can be very clear and no one can say “this is what you meant.” This key early centralized authority to define and start a project is crucial.

But as bitcoin adapts and grows, we’re seeing that disagreement unfolds in a special way.

Building a Forest

Bitcoin is like planting a forest: an idea started with somebody planting a seed. In the case of the bitcoin white paper, the planter was Satoshi Nakamoto.

Then people come along to water that seed (early developers). Then more people help: other developers, companies, and individuals begin to support it. People take clippings from this little tree that’s now growing and they plant their own copies of it.

Some are an identical copy, some use the same seeds, some are clones. Some are mutants, some are what some call weeds. Some die.

Eventually a whole bunch of people plant more plants, water them, feed branches and together we built a forest. It’s in the later stages that it gets more and more tricky. As systems become large and complex, there are more stakeholders and disagreements.

It is inevitable that there will be shifts and splits, fragments and schisms. You can hang out in any section of that forest you want.

But when people disagree, bitcoin (the idea) has a unique mechanism to deal with this (as do other the projects which copy it in form and substance). Bitcoin is a huge network now with diverse participants with diverse goals. Many of these participants may or may not like every aspect of the way that bitcoin evolves.

But, we all have shared incentive as participants in the network to make the work network work. If it is got a network effect and it’s secure, then we are going to continue to use it.

Voting with software

A key part of the invention is that bitcoin is designed to prevent mob rule.

Efforts in the past in global politics have worked on trying to fight, control or end mobs. In crypto, mobs can go their own way. People who agree to a certain set of rules can participate on a network with any set of rules that they agree with.

The mob does not have the ability to outvote them. They can still run that chain. The only effect other individuals can have is to move elsewhere and build something new. If it makes your system obsolete then you can choose to follow them.

Inevitably as with all important texts, we had major groups which fractured and disagreed over their interpretation of the paper.

Ultimately, in bitcoin, each party is able to run the code that they prefer based on the rules that they like. People are free to choose their own personal interpretation of what the white paper means (or whether that is even relevant or important).

The success and popularity of bitcoin helps to contribute to a new governance system. This could perhaps affect commerce and other voluntary interactions: the ability to voluntarily run the code with the rules you want.

Many people do not understand this. We still have people concerned about the centralization and control over bitcoin by key developers or companies. Other projects may have more centralized or influential personalities. While certain people have great *influence* over some projects, they only have control if they control consensus.

This is what’s great about decentralized open-source projects, and it’s a critical part of bitcoin as an idea.

Running code is like running your own personal Constitution. When you run the bitcoin software, you are agreeing to a set of rules that can’t be affected by mob rule. If times or your beliefs change, the system allows you to adapt and change with the rules you prefer.

Whatever comes next, the white paper will be the root of it all.

Months after its debut, the cryptocurrency being launched by the estate of the late Wu-Tang Clan member Ol’ Dirty Bastard (ODB) is moving ahead – starting with a public pre-sale that begins this week.

Back in March, performing artist Young Dirty – ODB’s son, whose real name is Barson Jones – spoke to media outlets about the plan to create a fan-centric cryptocurrency, built on top of the TAO blockchain network and traded on the AltMarket exchange (which is hosting the pre-sale).

And perhaps unlike other cryptocurrencies with celebrity backing – an area that the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has taken a stern tone toward – those behind ODBCoin say they moved carefully toward launch.

“We had to take the time out to get everything correct,” Young Dirty said in an interview.

Bryce Weiner, AltMarket’s CEO, described ODBCoin as “merchandise, like a T-shirt, which makes it a commodity” in the eyes of U.S. regulators.

The idea is that ODBCoin (formerly known as Dirty Coin) will be the first of a planned series of artist-branded cryptos developed and distributed. Rather than serving as vehicles for investment, the tokens are intended to act as a kind of incentive for fans of artists like Young Dirty, allowing them to be spent at shows or on merchandise.

The use of blockchain as part of consumer inventive schemes has been explored in the past by numerous companies, including American Express and Singapore Airlines, among others.

But the closest analogue is perhaps a loyalty project involving IBM and China UnionPay, which back in 2016 unveiled a proof-of-concept that sought to make incentive points freely tradeable between users. It’s that sort of commodification that the ODBCoin’s creators are betting would be adopted – and indeed, embraced – by an artist’s fanbase.

“It’s a great way to connect with fans and reward them for their interest. I look forward to delivering even more music that would make Dad proud,” Young Dirty explained.

Ultimately, the goal is for ODBCoin to pave the way for other artists to create similar tokens, with Weiner saying, “We will be announcing our next project at the conclusion of this sale.”

“We are quite proud of the response from the music industry and we look forward becoming home to the biggest names in music,” Weiner told CoinDesk.

Transaction fees on monero, the 10th largest cryptocurrency network, have fallen sharply after last Thursday’s system-wide software update.

The reduction comes in the wake of the platform’s activation of a highly-anticipated new form of cryptography named “bulletproofs,” a new technology that seeks to make the monero network’s privacy features more scalable by restructuring how its confidential transactions are verified.

According to data published by BitInfoCharts, average monero fees fell from about $0.54 cents on Thursday to roughly $0.021 cents as of Saturday – a 96 percent drop.

Such a dramatic shift was previously predicted by monero developers speaking to CoinDesk. “I think you can safely say a typical [transaction] fee goes down by more than 95 percent,” monero core developer “moneromooo” remarked last week.

Moneromooo also said that fee reductions could even be lower, depending on the kind of transaction that users create.

Alongside bulletproofs, the upgrade, performed via a mechanism called a hard fork, contained other features intended to improve privacy on the platform, as well as new code to deter manufacturers from building specialized mining hardware for monero.

Speaking on IRC last week, developers celebrated the upgrade, with Sarang Noether, a cryptographer at the Monero Research Lab that led the work on the bulletproofs implementation, writing that “it’s gonna be great seeing the blockchain growth charts.”

There were also predictions that the drop on fees might open the door to additional uses for XMR, the cryptocurrency that powers the monero blockchain. Core developer “hyc” said that the upgrade was “definitely making the notion of micropayments more palatable again.”

The Intercontinental Exchange’s upcoming cryptocurrency trading platform Bakkt will officially launch on December 12, pending regulatory approval.

ICE announced Monday that Bakkt could begin offering physically settled bitcoin futures contracts in December, marking the first cryptocurrency-related offering provided through the new platform. Bakkt will hold the bitcoins backing the futures contract in the ICE Digital Asset Warehouse, according to the notice, provided the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) signs off.

These futures contracts will be cleared through ICE Clear US, another subsidiary of the exchange, which notably owns the New York Stock Exchange.

“Each futures contract calls for delivery of one bitcoin held in the Bakkt Digital Asset Warehouse, and will trade in U.S. dollar terms. One daily contract will be listed for trading each Exchange Business Day,” the announcement read.

Bakkt was first announced earlier this year, when ICE announced its intention to develop “an open and regulated, global ecosystem for digital assets.”

At the time, the exchange also noted it would offer a one-day bitcoin futures contract, meaning clients can cash their futures products out to receive bitcoin, rather than cash.

The exchange was initially expected to launch in November, pending approval by the CFTC. No reason was immediately given for the delay through December.

Bitbox, the cryptocurrency exchange launched by Japanese messaging giant LINE, has announced it is now listing its own token for trading against several major crypto assets.

The company said Tuesday that the LINK (LN) token is now exclusively available on Bitbox in trading pairs with bitcoin, ethereum and the U.S. dollar-pegged stablecoin tether.

The move marks the latest step taken by the company as part of its efforts to apply blockchain and cryptocurrency to mainstream use cases.

Bitbox announced in August that it had launched a proprietary blockchain network called LINK Chain that utilizes a combination of delegated proof-of-stake and practical Byzantine fault tolerance as its consensus mechanism.

As CoinDesk reported at the time, the messaging firm plans to hand out 800 million of the total 1 billion LINK tokens for free to users who participate in decentralized applications that are already being launched on the LINK Chain network.

LINE added that in the coming months, it is launching three new decentralized applications focusing on various types of product review, via which users can earn LINK tokens in return for contributions.

The firm launched The Bitbox crypto-to-crypto exchange in July this year, making it available for in all countries except the U.S. and Japan due to the regulatory requirement for a license in those two nations.