02-01-2018: Long Blockchain Cancels Bitcoin Mining, Stock Plummets

Long Island Iced Tea maker is canceling plans to purchase Bitcoin mining rigs. Less than a month after agreeing to purchase 1,000 AntMiner S9 crypto mining rigs, former iced tea maker Long Blockchain has scrapped the plan. In a Friday filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, the company announced it would not purchase either the mining rigs or the power supply units it had originally indicated it would buy in a filing early in January. No reason was given for the change in plan. However, when the purchase deal was originally announced, it was noted that the company had until Jan. 31 to raise $4.2 million to complete the transaction. At the time, Long Blockchain said it would issue 1.6 million shares of common stock to raise $7.7 million. It is unclear how successful the company’s fundraising attempts were, though the company did call off its stock sale a week later (coindesk).

Ripple has landed its largest client with Santander Bank’s U.K. division announcing a mobile app powered by the company’s distributed ledger on Friday. The bank had been piloting the app for 18 months with its employees, integrating Apple Pay for payments between £10 and £10,000 ($14 and $14,000), according to Finextra. The app will be rolled out in Spain, Brazil, the U.K. and Poland, according to the company’s 2017 earnings presentation. Customers will be able to use the app to facilitate same-day cross-border payments in under a minute, according to the slide. The app will also provide a digital wallet, a personal finance manager and help aid person-to-person payments (coindesk).

More than half a million machines have been hijacked by a cryptocurrency miner botnet, forcing them to mine nearly 9,000 monero tokens (worth roughly $3.6 million), according to a new report. The botnet, which infected more than 526,000 Windows servers at its peak, has been used to mine 8,900 monero tokens since it first started appearing in May 2017, according to ZDNet. The botnet is based on the Windows exploit EternalBlue, which was developed by the U.S. National Security Agency and leaked by the Shadow Brokers hacker group last year. Eternal Blue was subsequently deployed in conjunction with another NSA-developed exploit, DoublePulsar, in the WannaCry attack. Windows servers have been the botnet’s primary victims, which ZDNet notes are ideal hosts because they are always turned on and have more processing capacity than a personal computer. The majority of affected machines are reportedly located in Russia, India and Taiwan, though the attack is global (coindesk).

Japan’s Finance Minister Taro Aso has confirmed that authorities inspected the recently-hacked crypto exchange Coincheck for compliance Friday, Feb. 2, to “ensure protection of users.” The country’s Financial Services Agency (FSA) carried out the move ahead of a deadline — set for later this month — for Coincheck to submit an account of the $530 mln hack that took place last Friday. Part of a package of remedial measures regulators are demanding of the exchange, the hack report should shed light on security failures that allegedly allowed hackers to steal half a billion in NEM from accounts within a matter of hours. According to local journal The Japan Times, the FSA said today that it had ordered all cryptocurrency exchanges in the country to submit a report on their risk management systems (cointelegraph).

And lastly, The Eastman Kodak Company announced Jan. 30 that the launch of their cryptocurrency KODAKCoin would be delayed in order to evaluate the status of potential investors. The delay was announced the day before the Initial Coin Offering (ICO) was set to start, according to the project’s Jan. 9 press release. As explained in on the company’s website, Kodak intends to run an ICO that offers security tokens as an ‘exempt offering’ — this means the company does not have to register their security with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), but only “accredited investors” can participate in the ICO (cointelegraph).

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