Another week, another roundup of Altcoin news stories as the Altcoin market shows some signs of growth, a Coincheck suspect is questioned by police, LitePay launch gives Litecoin a boost, Citibank in India bans debit card crypto purchases, a mining farm is stolen in Bulgaria, and Puerto Rico welcomes the crypto community.
Puerto Rico welcomes crypto-community
Puerto Rico, a country that is currently fighting bankruptcy and is still suffering from the devastation caused by hurricane Maria, just held its annual two-day investor’s summit. There were many people in attendance, including a multitude of crypto investors who were attracted to the island due to its tax breaks and the growing crypto-community choosing Puerto Rico as the hot new spot to relocate to.
Brock Pierce, director of the Bitcoin Foundation and co-founder of Block One, was one of the more vocal exponents of the possible new Puerto Rican crypto utopia. Brock spoke at the conference of their readiness to leave the “pilot phase” and move on to bigger and better things.
Mining Farm Stolen in Bulgaria
21 mining rigs with an estimated value of €150,000 have recently been stolen from a cryptocurrency mining operation in the Bulgarian city of Blagoevgrad. According to police reports, the mining farm was unlocked and left open to allow cool air to circulate the farm and cool down the machines, which were running without a dedicated cooling system. A cheap solution to the issue of overheating but a very obvious flaw in their security.
The operator of the mining farm was alerted to the robbery when he started receiving text messages notifying him that the machines were no longer online. The theft targeted a series of the latest ASIC mining rigs which have been in high demand recently.
Citibank in India bans debit crypto purchases
Following UK and American banks’ ban of credit card use for purchasing cryptocurrencies, India has followed suit with its own anti-crypto measures. However, Citibank India has gone one step further by banning the purchase of crypto on debit as well as credit cards. This information is being cited in the Indian press, and they issued existing customers an email on the 11th February, quoting the concerns of the Reserve Bank of India.
Indian authorities have been attempting to recover taxes on cryptocurrency trades, and have already issued 100,000 notices from the Central Tax Office to investors asking for details of their assets and their trading.
LitePay Launch gives Litecoin a boost
Litecoin recently announced on Twitter that it is planning to launch its LitePay service on the 26th February, allowing merchants to handle Litecoin payments with greater ease and arriving alongside the Litecoin debit card. LitePay was initially announced in the days leading up to Christmas of last year and now we are just days away from the grand reveal. LitePay claims that its new payment system will allow businesses to easily accept Litecoin payments, offering a seamless way for hodlers to spend some of their crypto.
This announcement has given Litecoin a bit of a boost and, once the story was picked up in mainstream media, LTC rallied above the market norm, gaining approximately 30% in the last day. Alternative media sources are crediting the rise in value to the speculated Litecoin Cash which is said to be forking from Litecoin on Sunday, giving Litecoin holders equal amounts of the new coin. Founder of Litecoin, Charlie Lee, said that the rumored split is a complete scam and the fork is not supported by Litecoin.
Coincheck suspect questioned by police
Sources close to the police in Japan report that a crypto-trader has been questioned after converting a minor amount of the stolen Nem coins to Litecoin from the $500 million Coincheck hack that occurred on the 26th January. Coincheck showed some signs of good faith after the hack, vowing to refund every user affected out of its own capital. Despite this, many users have decided to file a lawsuit against them.
The man questioned is said to have converted the Litecoin through resources on the dark web. He is supposedly aware of the source of the coins but no further arrests have been made in connection with the crime.
Altcoin market tentatively starts to grow
After the monumental price corrections that occurred across the board for the altcoin market, this week things appear to be stabilizing a bit and, as of now, climbing back upwards to former glories in small steps. The effects of the Christmas crash are lingering and it may be a while before the market begins to flourish again.
Ethereum is looking livelier, creeping back towards the $1000 mark, currently sitting at around the $946 mark. Ripple is experiencing a strong recovery buoyed by the recent news of Saudi Arabian banking tryouts and is sitting well above the $1 mark. Neo ($125) and EOS ($10.20) are looking healthy too, with IOTA showing the first signs that it might start to regain just a bit of its previous popularity.