Bitcoin investors take historic bath!

In just three days last week, Bitcoin investors saw the largest realized loss ever—losses locked in by trading—as a Bitcoin sell-off saw investors bleed $7.3 billion, according to blockchain analytics provider Glassnode. The last month has seen a sustained crash that pushed Bitcoin’s price below $20,000 for the first time since 2020.

About 555,000 Bitcoins were traded between prices of $18,000 and $23,000, according to the firm. Long-term holders liquidated about 178,00 bitcoins at prices below $23,000, with a number of them realizing losses as high as 75 percent. “The last three consecutive days have been the largest USD denominated Realized Loss in Bitcoin history,” Glassnode wrote in a tweet on June 19.

Bitcoin miners have been feeling the pain beyond wallet balances, however. The Financial Times reported that shares in listed mining companies like Marathon Digital and Hut 8 have fallen around 40 percent over the past month, with some firms having to take machines offline as energy costs increase, Bitcoin’s price drops, and funding has dried up from capital markets…

To quote the late, great, Jerry Lester…”And away we go!”

All Ponzi schemes topple eventually

One week ago, as cryptocurrency prices plummeted, Celsius Network – an experimental cryptocurrency bank with more than one million customers that has emerged as a leader in the murky world of decentralized finance, or DeFi – announced it was freezing withdrawals “due to extreme market conditions”.

Earlier this past week, Bitcoin dropped 15% over 24 hours to its lowest value since December 2020. Last month, TerraUSD, a stablecoin – a system that was supposed to perform a lot like a conventional bank account but was backed only by a cryptocurrency called Luna – collapsed, losing 97% of its value in just 24 hours, apparently destroying some investors’ life savings.

Eighty-nine years ago, Franklin D Roosevelt signed into law the Banking Act of 1933 – also known as the Glass-Steagall Act. It separated commercial banking from investment banking – Main Street from Wall Street – to protect people who entrusted their savings to commercial banks from having their money gambled away.

Glass-Steagall’s larger purpose was to put an end to the giant Ponzi scheme that had overtaken the American economy in the 1920s and led to the Great Crash of 1929…

Which brings us to the crypto crash.

I know a few folks who’ve been gambling in crypto since the advent of Bitcoin. I hope they’ve they’ve “taken the money and run”! I know a little bit about Ponzi schemes and 1929. RTFA for the beginning of the discussions coming up in the near future.

Massachusetts coppers pay bitcoin ransom in malware scam

Massachusetts police have admitted to paying a bitcoin ransom after being infected by the Cryptolocker ransomware.

The Cryptolocker malware infects a computer, normally via a legitimate-looking email that urges the reader to open an attachment often posing as a voicemail, fax, invoice or details of a suspicious transaction that is being queried.

Once the Windows computer is infected, the malware encrypts the user’s hard drive and then begins displaying a countdown timer, while demanding payment for the release of the data of 2 bitcoins – an almost untraceable, peer-to-peer digital online currency – which at current exchange rates equates to about…$1338.

“(The virus) is so complicated and successful that you have to buy these bitcoins, which we had never heard of,” Swansea Police Lt. Gregory Ryan talking to the Herald News. “It was an education for (those who) had to deal with it.”

Ryan insisted that the Massachusetts police systems were now clear of infection, and that essential operational computers were not affected, nor was there any data stolen…

If a computer becomes infected it should immediately be disconnected from any networks and a professional called in to clear the machine. However, the current state of encryption technology means that it is unlikely the encryption can be unscrambled, and therefore the hard drive will likely have to be erased and restored from a backup.

The rules and procedures needed for protection are the same as they ever were. Don’t open attachments within unexpected emails. Social engineering is what it’s all about folks. Showing up on your cyber-doorstep with a plausible tale that sounds interesting and especially profitable. So, emails imitate correspondence from your bank, your best friend – whose system is already compromised – your grocery store or Doctor Oz.

Verify and validate on your own separate from any links you can click on. Your world isn’t going to come to an early demise if you miss an “important” communique from Microsoft. Even if it is genuine, they’re probably just trying to sell you something.

The solution is always easier if you’re doing regular backups. You then can wipe your hard drive – or even buy a new one – and restore your backup from a verified safe source and date. I use Apple’s Time Machine to perform incremental backups on my desktop computer once an hour. I use SuperDuper once a week to backup the whole hard drive. Each of those are to separate standalone hard drives.