UNICEF turns mining malware into good—donate computing power instead of cash

In a funny twist, the mechanism commonly used as a mining malware is now being used for a good cause: UNICEF now allows you to donate some of your computing power instead of cash.

Since last year, several organizations—including government websites—have been plagued by a series of pestilent attacks based on several hacking tools leaked from the NSA. One of these tools gave birth to the CoinHive, a malware that had gained notoriety after discreetly being slipped into users’ computers through some usability plug-ins and secretly mined Monero for the hackers.

Now, Unicef is using a similar mechanism in order to generate funds without requiring donors to shell out their own cash. According to ZDNet, UNICEF’s donation platform is powered by the same Monero mining program. But unlike the Monero miner, the website—named theHopePage.org, clearly asks users for confirmation before using anybody’s system to mine for UNICEF Australia. Users can also adjust how much computing power they are willing to donate, and can simply keep the browser tab open to keep contributing. This gives people an opportunity to “give hope, just by being here,” as their website says.

“The longer you stay on the page and the more processor power you donate, the more algorithms get solved, which earns cryptocurrency,” they wrote in their website. “Mining is perfectly safe for your computer. If you’re ever worried about power consumption, turn down the amount of processing power you’re donating.”

Upon agreeing, the website then proceeds to use the viewer’s computing power to mine cryptocurrencies, the proceeds of which go directly to the fund, the organizations says.

“The cryptocurrency is automatically donated to UNICEF Australia and is turned into real funds that reach children through life-saving supplies like safe water, therapeutic food and vaccines. Turn the Hopepage into your homepage to give every day.”

As of last check, over 1,600 people were donating to the website.

This is not the first time UNICEF turned to cryptocurrency mining to solicit computing power donations. In February, they also appealed to online gamers, who are likely to have powerful graphics cards perfect for crypto mining. The website, Game Chaingers, would allow gamers to donate their computing power to help Syrian children, although attention to the website has died down since its launch.

Note: Tokens on the Bitcoin Core (segwit) Chain are Referred to as BTC coins. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is today the only Bitcoin implementation that follows Satoshi Nakamoto’s original whitepaper for Peer to Peer Electronic Cash. Bitcoin BCH is the only major public blockchain that maintains the original vision for Bitcoin as fast, frictionless, electronic cash.

Alcohol company Madison Group pours $60M into crypto miner Diginex

The cryptocurrency and blockchain space appears to be getting crowded of late with several multinational companies and other large entities looking to pounce on what is proving to be a considerable investment opportunity, even amid the negative press that the market has had over the last few months.

The latest news in the acquisitions and sales market comes from Hong Kong. Diginex, a multinational crypto-asset investment services firm, announced that it has sold 51% of the company’s stake in the cryptocurrency and mining field to another Hong Kong-based firm, Madison Group Holdings.

Diginex is heavily invested in blockchain or distributed ledger technology (DLT), and it is slightly curious that they should sell their stake to a company who is better known for the retail of alcoholic beverages. The price for a 51% stake in the company was around $60 million. Undoubtedly Madison Group see a considerable potential in the cryptocurrency mining business, which has taken the world by storm of late. In fact only last week, multinational companies Samsung and AMD have reported record turnover and profits from their mining-related operations, largely through the sale of semiconductor chips.

The Memorandum of Agreement signed by the two companies listed other synergies, including the leverage of Diginex’s proprietary platform DigiAssets, which can also be used for cryptocurrency owners to purchase wines of high value as well as other assets. Madison’s investment will allow Diginex to continue rolling out their GPU mining operations in Western Europe in partnership with several hardware suppliers, as well as power and security providers—with a goal of building efficient mining and high-performance computing (HPC) data centers for cryptocurrencies.

In a statement, Diginex CEO Miles Pelham said Madison Group’s cash injection will allow the company “to expedite our steps towards becoming the global provider of Distributed Ledger Technologies. We will continue to build out our mining operations in Sweden and Switzerland, but also focus on helping corporates and governments across the world to implement transformative DLT applications.”

Privately-owned Diginex described itself as a full services provider for distributed ledger technologies, operating out of Hong Kong, Switzerland, Germany, and Japan. The company offers all DLT ecosystem services with mining and HPC operations in Asia, Switzerland and Sweden, as well as blockchain consulting, ICO advisory, smart contract design and provision together with cryptocurrency payments and crypto-asset investment services.

Note: Tokens on the Bitcoin Core (segwit) Chain are Referred to as BTC coins. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is today the only Bitcoin implementation that follows Satoshi Nakamoto’s original whitepaper for Peer to Peer Electronic Cash. Bitcoin BCH is the only major public blockchain that maintains the original vision for Bitcoin as fast, frictionless, electronic cash.

Strong demand for crypto mining chips boosts Samsung Q1 profit

South Korean electronics giant Samsung has gone big in the cryptocurrency market focusing on mining, where it appeared rich pickings were to be had.

On Thursday, the electronics company reported an impressive first quarter 2018 performance with revenues and profits in record territory for the fourth quarter in a row. The catalyst, according to Samsung, was the huge demand for semiconductors used in cryptocurrency mining, which offset the continued weak demand in the smartphone market.

The figures made for an outstanding reading. Samsung posted operating profit of KRW15.64 trillion ($14.45 billion) with an excess of KRW60.56 trillion ($60 billion) in revenue. The latter was chiefly fueled by the rise in Samsung’s memory chip sales, which the company said continued to grow at a rapid pace.

Speaking during an earnings call, Robert M Yi, executive vice president for investor relations at Samsung, explained that the boom in turnover and profits was chiefly due to extremely favourable market conditions in the industry.

“In the semiconductor business, earnings increased significantly year-over-year thanks to favorable memory market conditions driven by a strong demand for server and graphic memory as well as earnings improvements in both System LSI and foundry businesses led by increasing demand for chips used in flagship smartphones and cryptocurrency mining,” he said.

However, Samsung continues to face increasing competition from other manufacturers of semiconductors as new players enter the cryptocurrency mining industry. Additionally, continuing weak demand for smart phones continues to negatively affect the company and the next quarter might not be as positive where results are concerned.

Meanwhile, AMD also reported strong performance in the first quarter of 2018, thanks to the continued demand for cryptocurrency mining.

First-quarter revenue for the chipmaker came in at $1.65 billion, while operating income and net income amounted to $120 million and $81 million, respectively. The first quarter’s “outstanding start to 2018” marked a 40% year-over-year revenue growth for AMD, according to President and CEO Dr. Lisa Su.

Note: Tokens on the Bitcoin Core (segwit) Chain are Referred to as BTC coins. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is today the only Bitcoin implementation that follows Satoshi Nakamoto’s original whitepaper for Peer to Peer Electronic Cash. Bitcoin BCH is the only major public blockchain that maintains the original vision for Bitcoin as fast, frictionless, electronic cash.

Cisco targets cryptocurrency mining with new patent

California-based IT and networking company Cisco has been granted a patent for a crowd-sourced cloud computing application, which the company claimed could be used for cryptocurrency mining.

On Tuesday, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office awarded the patent for a Cisco-developed system that allows customers to divide their excess processing power and create a cloud application, which can be used for different purposes such as cryptocurrency mining. The processing power can be shared with Internet Service Providers (ISPs), application providers, peers or even third parties, according to the company.

In its patent filing, Cisco said the crowd-sourced cloud computing model “is suitable for, among other things, offering distributed processing and services that can be optimized for speed, volume, scale and resiliency, cost, and regulatory compliance—for example, distributed neighborhood theft protection systems, or cluster, city or municipality county relevant services.”

“One such case involves Bitcoin mining, which may be very computational intensive and is typically more convenient for every participant when done in ‘mining pools,’” according to the company.

Cryptocurrency mining requires processing power, which can be very costly. By providing crowd-sourced cloud mining, Cisco said it aims to help cut down on the cost needed to mine cryptocurencies like BTC.

According to the filing, the easily-scaled system is suitable for offering distributed processing and services to neighborhoods and business entities given its resiliency to certain attacks. In addition, service providers can also “use geographic distribution to offload or optimize network loading, as well as to resell large-scale, low-cost computing and storage capacity.”

The network company has created numerous blockchain-based systems. Last month, Cisco was granted a patent for a blockchain-based confidential group messaging system. This system ensures secure communication when sending group messages or any other confidential information. They also received a blockchain-based patent for Internet of Things (IoT) devices. The technology identifies different connected devices, monitors their activities and evaluates their trustworthiness when connected to a particular network.

Note: Tokens on the Bitcoin Core (segwit) Chain are Referred to as BTC coins. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is today the only Bitcoin implementation that follows Satoshi Nakamoto’s original whitepaper for Peer to Peer Electronic Cash. Bitcoin BCH is the only major public blockchain that maintains the original vision for Bitcoin as fast, frictionless, electronic cash.

Philippines’ special economic zone opens doors to crypto operators

Blockchain and cryptocurrency companies, the Philippines welcomes you with open arms. And tax breaks.

On Wednesday, Reuters reported that the Philippine government is opening the special economic zone to allow cryptocurrency and blockchain operators “to take advantage of tax perks while generating employment,” a move indicating that the country is looking to emulate the much-lauded Silicon Valley in California to give grist to the blockchain mill. It has to be noted that the reputation of cryptocurrencies has taken a bit of a beating of late with the wild swings in prices as well as several ICOs that either went bust before they started or were immediately identified as frauds and scams with investors losing several millions of dollars.

Raul Lambino, chief of the Cagayan Economic Zone Authority (CEZA), told the news agency that they are authorizing at least 10 companies to enter the Cagayan Special Economic Zone, where a financial services technology hub will be created. CEZA manages the special economic zone, which has always been noted for innovative business concepts like a freeport.

Lambino said the companies can offer cryptocurrency mining, ICO or exchange services. The initial group of operators were made up of Japanese, Hong Kong, Malaysians, and Korean companes, according to the CEZA chief.

Lambino, however, clarified that crypto-to-fiat and fiat-to-crypto exchange transactions must be done outside of the country “to avoid infringing Philippine regulations.” This is a common problem in many Asian countries that has seen lots of business move away from countries such as Hong Kong and Japan due to strict regulation.

Companies who set up in the Special Economic Zone are required to create employment in exchange for tax breaks. They will also be required to invest no less than $1 million over a two-year period and pay up to $100,000 in license fees. There are also plans to build a fintech and blockchain university to churn out suitably qualified employees for companies setting up in the area, according to the report.

CEZA’s announcement comes on the heels of reports that the Philippines Security and Exchange Commission is also looking to regulate the mining market, having issued a note on cryptocurrency Cloud Mining Contracts, in which it insisted that these be classified as securities.

Note: Tokens on the Bitcoin Core (segwit) Chain are Referred to as BTC coins. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is today the only Bitcoin implementation that follows Satoshi Nakamoto’s original whitepaper for Peer to Peer Electronic Cash. Bitcoin BCH is the only major public blockchain that maintains the original vision for Bitcoin as fast, frictionless, electronic cash.

600 computers seized in China’s crypto mining crackdown

China’s disdain for all things crypto continues to grow. In the latest example, authorities seized 600 computers and related hardware in Tianjin earlier this week, due to abnormally high electricity usage in the city, Xinhua reported. It turns out that the hardware had been used to set up a large cryptocurrency mining operation, which was uncovered by the local utility company. That company then informed the police, who launched an investigation.

During the investigation, five individuals were identified as “persons of interest,” but no other details were made available. An additional person was detained for his involvement.  Whether any will be charged with criminal activity has not yet been announced.

According to the Chinese news outlet, this was the largest case of power theft recorded in a long time. However, there was doubt over whether the actions constituted theft, since it appeared the electricity was being purchased legally. The operations run afoul of Chinese laws, though, since authorities were not notified beforehand of the mining activities.

The move will certainly have Chinese miners looking for options outside of the country. China has been the home to the majority of the world’s cryptocurrency mining, but this could change soon. The Chinese government has taken a hard stance against cryptocurrency-related operations, already resulting in some companies shutting down completely and others leaving for other locations.

The recent crackdown indicates a reversal of policy. Many thought China would be loosening up on cryptocurrencies, but it would now seem to not be the case. The country’s central bank will also become stricter, tightening the screws on miners’ power usage in the country.

The result of the actions is an increase in mining operations in other countries. Iceland and Canada have gained favor recently due to the low electricity costs. This shift will more than likely continue, ultimately pushing all cryptocurrency businesses out of the country completely.

Last year, China banned trading between cryptocurrencies and the Chinese Yuan. The over-the-counter (OTC) trading had been gaining in popularity before being squashed by the People’s Bank of China. The country has also been targeting other trading platforms, and it would seem that crypto isn’t feeling the love anymore in China.

Note: Tokens on the Bitcoin Core (segwit) Chain are Referred to as BTC coins. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is today the only Bitcoin implementation that follows Satoshi Nakamoto’s original whitepaper for Peer to Peer Electronic Cash. Bitcoin BCH is the only major public blockchain that maintains the original vision for Bitcoin as fast, frictionless, electronic cash.

Alleged Bitcoin mining rig heist mastermind arrested again in Amsterdam

Stefansson told reporters he will be bringing his ‘illegal’two-and-a-half month detention to the European Court of Human Rights.

Just last week, the primary suspect in the “big Bitcoin heist” in Iceland escaped from a low-security prison and fled to Sweden—coincidentally boarding the same plane as prime minister Katrín Jakobsdóttir. Sindri Thor Stefansson was implicated as the mastermind behind a string of burglaries that looted 600 mining computers as well as several other expensive hardware items from an Icelandic data centre.

Shortly after his April 17 escape, the fugitive reached out to Icelandic newspaper Frettabladid, saying he has been detained without evidence for months. He issued a letter expressing his desire to negotiate a deal with the Icelandic police to let him go home without being arrested again, adding that he was legally free to go on the day he escaped prison.

And today, Police spokesman Rob van der Veen that Stefansson has, in fact, been arrested again on Sunday night in downtown Amsterdam. According to Stefansson, he will be taking the issue regarding his “illegal detention” to the European Court of Human Rights.

The four-month heist came as a bit of a shock to Iceland, a country with very low crime rate. Additionally, most cryptocurrency-related crimes are instigated behind the veil of online anonymity. The physical requirements of pulling off a theft of this magnitude had police commissioner Olafur Helgi Kjartansson classifying it as “a grand theft on a scale unseen before.” He added: “Everything points to this being a highly organized crime.” An inside job has not been dismissed and one of those arrested in relation to the robbery was a security guard.

Overall, 600 graphic cards, 100 power supplies, 100 processors, 100 motherboards, and a whopping 600 mining computers were believed to be included in the stash, all of which have not been found. The mining computers alone are estimated to cost over $2 million.

Last month, authorities monitoring power usages in the country in case the thieves start using the stolen hardware to mine for themselves. They also called on internet service providers, electricians, and storage spaces to report any service requests that may be consistent with storing, installing, or using the stolen hardware.

Note: Tokens on the Bitcoin Core (segwit) Chain are Referred to as BTC coins. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is today the only Bitcoin implementation that follows Satoshi Nakamoto’s original whitepaper for Peer to Peer Electronic Cash. Bitcoin BCH is the only major public blockchain that maintains the original vision for Bitcoin as fast, frictionless, electronic cash.

Suspect in big-time Bitcoin mining rig heist wants to go home

Stefansson wrote to Icelandic newspaper Frettabladid and wants to be assured he can go home without being arrested again.

In a string of burglaries between December 2017 and January this year, a big loot of Bitcoin mining hardware were stolen from a data centre in Iceland. The grand theft involved a whopping 600 mining computers—worth over $2 million, as well as 600 graphic cards, 100 power supplies, 100 processors, and 100 motherboards, and was believed to have been pulled off in four separate hauls. The heist was one so bold that Iceland police commissioner Olafur Helgi Kjartansson called it “a grand theft on a scale unseen before.”

Last week, Sindri Thor Stefansson—alleged mastermind out of 11 suspects arrested in relation to “the big Bitcoin heist,” escaped prison through a window and reportedly fled to Sweden by plane using a fake name on his ticket (he did not need a passport since he was travelling within a passport-free zone. Reports say the Iceland prime minister Katrín Jakobsdóttir was in the same flight as Stefansson.

While his whereabouts are still unknown, Stefansson wrote to Icelandic newspaper Frettabladid, saying he was detained by the Iceland police for months without any evidence. According to his letter, his detention—while already illegal—was also set to expire on April 16. While the police tried to extend his detention for an additional ten days, that extension had not been approved at the time of his escape, meaning he was legally free to go when he escaped on April 17th.

He also wants to negotiate a deal with the Iceland police and to be assured that he can go home without being arrested.

Below is a rough translation from the report:

“There are two aspects to all matters, and this is especially true here. I know it was not right for me to escape land like I did, and I can not take it back, even if I wanted to. Why did I do this?

I would never try to flee prison if I was legally deprived of my freedom by judge decision, that’s a fact. On April 16th. Check. At 15:00 I went to the front of a judge where the prosecution carried out a further detention for 10 more days and the referee took the decision until April 17th. Check. 09.30, the following day. The judge did not provide temporary custody during a period of reflection. But on the same day, April 16, or one hour after the party, at 16:00, the custody was released and so I was free. I did not realize that until later that day when the prison staff at Sogni called me for a meeting. There I was informed that I was a free man whose expulsion had expired but under the threat that the police would arrest me if I left the prison without explanation. I was forced to sign a paper that I was free travel less than if I would stay in a prison room until the extension of detention was approved.

The Prison Affairs Agency is in possession of this document and is working to bring it to my lawyer.

I simply refuse to be in prison of my own will, especially when the police threatens to arrest me without explanation.

I’m not trying to say that it was my right decision to go, and I’m very excited because my family has had to suffer because of the massive harassment of the media and the public. I did not expect to get an international arrest warrant because I was free of travel and thought it would be impossible to be a stamped stroke trap. I would never have done this unless I considered myself to be free.

In addition, I have been in custody for two and a half months unsuccessfully, without evidence, but only because of police suspicion. That’s what I’m angry about. I have not been published a single testimony and I was threatened and threatened with longer isolation while isolation took place. I was often told that I could walk out if I would locate the so-called German I’m suspected of stolen. I was a dump in isolation, a punishment, because they did not find this mean. Without proof. I and my lawyer have already discussed and I want this to be appealed to the European Court of Human Rights.

In any case, I have to deal with this position in which I am. I have no interest in fearing and hiding and causing my family more dementia. I’m working on negotiating with the police in Iceland that I can get home without being arrested abroad. Also, this document must show the surface that shows and supports what I say that I have been free of travel. I can flee for as long as I want, I’ve been in contact with a group of people who give me a roof over my head, auto, hence forged ID if I want and money to live. It would be no matter if I would like it, but I would rather like to deal with this home in Iceland so I’ll be there soon.”

Note: Tokens on the Bitcoin Core (segwit) Chain are Referred to as BTC coins. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is today the only Bitcoin implementation that follows Satoshi Nakamoto’s original whitepaper for Peer to Peer Electronic Cash. Bitcoin BCH is the only major public blockchain that maintains the original vision for Bitcoin as fast, frictionless, electronic cash.

South Korea toughens import requirements for crypto mining chips

Cryptocurrency mining in South Korea is about to become more difficult, thanks to the Korean Customs Service (KCS).

Customs officials in South Korea have tightened the standards applied to cryptocurrency mining chip imports, adding them to a list of products that must meet certain basic specifications before they can be imported, according to KCS data published on Wednesday.

Crypto mining chips will now be required to have certification in support of sanitation and safety, as well as a series of other requirements that apply to importing other types of restricted products.

The decision has been made following reports of a significant increase in the number of chips imported into South Korea, driven by strong demand from cryptocurrency miners. According to media reports, November and December of 2017 saw in excess of 454 chips imported, at a total value of 1.3 billion won—equivalent to roughly $1.2 million.

The new measures will require chips to be compliant with a number of additional regulations, which the authorities say is a result of the energy consumption in cryptocurrency mining, and the fire risk that comes with overheating hardware.

Imported chips will also have to comply with radio frequency regulations, in addition to the other standards required by the National Radio Research Agency, which is responsible for setting regulation in this area.

The new customs regulation comes at a time of tightening restrictions over cryptocurrency in South Korea more broadly, following a raft of regulatory changes introduced over the last few months. In addition to banning foreign speculation on Korean crypto exchanges, and ending the practice of anonymous cryptocurrency trading in the country, the authorities have been involved in several high profile crackdowns.

Most recently, Korean police made arrests across 13 companies suspected of leveraging cheap electricity to power crypto mining operations, as well as the decision last year to ban mining cryptocurrencies in shopping centres, on account of the increased fire risks associated with the mining process.

The news will come as a blow to miners in South Korea, who must now comply with the tighter standards for importing chips in future.  It remains to be seen whether the measure will have the desired effect, in limiting the number and increasing the quality of chips imported for crypto mining purposes.

Note: Tokens on the Bitcoin Core (segwit) Chain are Referred to as BTC coins. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is today the only Bitcoin implementation that follows Satoshi Nakamoto’s original whitepaper for Peer to Peer Electronic Cash. Bitcoin BCH is the only major public blockchain that maintains the original vision for Bitcoin as fast, frictionless, electronic cash.

Israel’s Blockchain Mining merges with Canadian miner Bitfarms

Canada, in particular the Quebec area, is quickly becoming a hub for cryptocurrency mining operations. Aside from maple syrup, the area enjoys competitive electricity rates, cold weather to keep equipment cool. It’s for these reasons that Bitfarms set up shop there in 2013 and quickly became one of the leading cryptocurrency mining operations. Now, the company is set to merge with Israel-based Blockchain Mining Ltd (BML) to form one of the world’s largest mining outfits.

Bitfarms, the commercial name chosen by its registered owner, Backbone Hosting Solutions, Inc., has farms that have a combined capacity of around 27.5 megawatts (MW). It also has plans for three additional farms, which would have more than 100MW of capacity. The four existing facilities are capable of mining 200 quadrillion hashes per second (200 Ph/s). In November and December 2017, it was earning over $200,000 per day from mining SegWit-Coin BTC (also referred to as Bitcoin legacy or Core), Bitcoin Cash, Dash, Ethereum and Litecoin.

BML is traded on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange (TASE) under the name BLCM. The company was formerly known as Natural Resource Holdings and had made substantial income dealing with precious metals. When it said that it would get into the cryptocurrency game with a transition to Bitcoin investing, its stock skyrocketed by 1,300%.

BML first mentioned late last year that it would be merging with Bitfarms, and announced this past Sunday that the merger had been completed. With that news, BML’s stock rose by almost 50% before the day was out. BML now owns 75% of Bitfarms, and is the 10th most-traded company on the TASE.

Bitfarms received $39 million in loans from two investment banks after the news of the pending merger was first announced. The money will be used to expand the company and invest more in its mining operations. Bitfarms’ corporate vice president of strategy, Emiliano Grozky, said of the merger, “The deal confirms our position as a leader in the blockchain technology industry. We are ready to implement our expansion in Canada.” Bitfarms was reportedly started without any outside financial support, attracting more than 200 shareholders to fund the company.

Note: Tokens in the SegWit chain are referred to as SegWit-Coin BTC (inaccurately called Bitcoin Legacy or Core by many) and SegWit Gold (SWG) and are no longer Bitcoin. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is the only true Bitcoin as intended by the original Satoshi white paper.  Bitcoin BCH is the only public block chain that offers safe and cheap microtransactions.

Bitmain’s crypto mining facility secures land deal in US state

China’s cryptocurrency mining giant Bitmain has cleared a hurdle in its bid to establish a mining facility in the state of Washington.

According to a Union Bulletin report, the three commissioners of the Port of Walla Walla have agreed—despite public objection to the idea—to go on with the “land lease and purchase option for 10 acres between the Dodd Road Industrial Park and Wallula Gap Business Park.” The option to buy an additional 30 acres has been taken out from the agreement—for now, at least.

Ant Creek, the name of Bitmain’s data facility in Port Walla Walla, will pay approximately $4,700 monthly in rent.

Director of Operations Jeff Stearns described Ant Creek as “both a blockchain and artificial-intelligence company,” with two different chief executives. Stearns also echoed Bitmain co-founder Jihan Wu’s description of Ant Creek as the “largest manufacturer of cryptocurrency mining equipment in the world.”

Union Bulletin, however, reported that Walla Walla residents didn’t buy the description of the subsidiary company, claiming the focus on blockchain technology rather than cryptocurrency mining was just a way of softening the facts with more neutral language. One of the residents called it “misdirection.”

The residents were concerned about the amount of energy the company would extract from the community, which has the cheapest electricity rates in North America.

Walla Walla resident Robb Lincoln pointed out that unlike other developments,  which employ more people and add value to existing industries, Ant Creek will only “extract electricity and create wealth for the owner with no trickle down.” Another resident Peder Fretheim, told the commissioners the project will only be “used for two things: transactions you want to hide from the law and speculation.” The hearing became intense during the public comment period, and one resident was escorted out.

Though crypto mining companies have been quick to flock to regions with energy surpluses and inexpensive rates, they have been met with resistance from the local residents. States like Washington have announced a moratorium on new crypto mining operations while they evaluate their effects on the community’s power grid.

Peter Swant, president of the commission, said the decision was difficult as the project would not only meet the Port of Walla Walla’s mission of job and tax creation but also provide infrastructure. He also said that he was elected to do what the people would like, and representing the wants of 60 or 70 people that had attended the meeting out of a community of 60,000 residents was going to be difficult.

Note: Tokens in the SegWit chain are referred to as SegWit-Coin BTC (inaccurately called Bitcoin Legacy or Core by many) and SegWit Gold (SWG) and are no longer Bitcoin. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is the only true Bitcoin as intended by the original Satoshi white paper.  Bitcoin BCH is the only public block chain that offers safe and cheap microtransactions.

Unregistered cloud mining operators face up to 21 years’ prison time, Philippine SEC warns

Even recruiters will not be spared from prosecution, SEC says.

Amid the rising number of businesses—both legitimate and dubious—in the cryptocurrency space, cloud mining operators have triggered alarm bells and are now on the Philippine Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) radar.

In a release, the SEC has issued a warning to unregistered cloud mining operators—including their agents.

“The Commission has detected that certain individuals or groups of persons are enticing the public, through a popular social media platform or in their own independent websites, to invest in so-called cloud mining contracts,” the SEC wrote on their website. The warning mentions both local and foreign firms who solicit investors from the Philippines.

According to the SEC, such contracts can be classified as securities, and will therefore be subject to securities laws—they have to be registered and those soliciting these investments required to be licensed to operate.

“Applying the Howey Test as discussed by the Honorable Supreme Court in Power Homes Unlimited vs. SEC (G.R. No. 164182, February 26, 2008), a cloud mining contract is an investment contract falling within the purview of the term “securities” as defined by law,” the warning stressed.

The SEC explains that the activity ticks all the check boxes for securities: there is the requirement of investment money, the collected investment money is pooled to purchase mining equipment for profit, there is expectation of profit, and the distributed profits are generated from others people’s (cloud mining operators) efforts.

The SEC warns that violators can be prosecuted, and that even agents promoting such activities and recruiting others to engage in these activities are not exempt from prosecution.

“Likewise, those who act as salesmen, brokers, dealers or agents of these companies in selling or convincing people to invest in the investment scheme being offered by these cryptocurrency mining companies including solicitations and recruitment through the internet without the necessary license or authority from the Commission may likewise be prosecuted and held criminally liable under Section 28 of the Securities Regulation Code and penalized with a maximum penalty of twenty-one (21) years of imprisonment or both pursuant to Section 73 of the SRC.”

The SEC ultimately discourages people from investing in activities by unregistered entities. At a time when it’s easy to fake websites and profiles, get-rich-quick schemes and cons have become rampant. Several websites have instigated scams, collecting money from ill-informed “investors” and disappearing shortly after.

Note: Tokens in the SegWit chain are referred to as SegWit-Coin BTC (inaccurately called Bitcoin Legacy or Core by many) and SegWit Gold (SWG) and are no longer Bitcoin. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is the only true Bitcoin as intended by the original Satoshi white paper.  Bitcoin BCH is the only public block chain that offers safe and cheap microtransactions.