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US Hackers demanding ransom in bitcoin attack govt computers

GEORGIA: Hackers demanding ransom payable in bitcoin have attacked computers of the Atlanta city government in the southern US state of Georgia, officials say. The ransomware assault shut down multiple internal and external applications for the city, including apps that people use to pay bills and access court-related information, Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms told a news conference Thursday. "This is a very serious situation," Bottoms said. City officials said they learned of the attack before dawn Thursday when they…

G20 agrees to keep ‘watchful eye’ on cryptocurrencies

BUENOS AIRES: Financial policymakers from the world’s top 20 economies agreed to keep a watchful eye on cryptocurrencies on Tuesday and opened the door to regulating the booming industry at a later stage. Wild swings in the price of Bitcoin, the best known of a myriad of digital currencies issued by private companies, and fears they may be used for evading taxes, launder money, finance terrorism or just scam small investors have raised calls for concerted actions by global regulators. Finance ministers and central…

Google bans cryptocurrency advertising

LONDON: Alphabet Inc’s Google said on Wednesday it was banning advertisements for cryptocurrencies and initial coin offerings, the latest internet company to clamp down on the sector amid growing concerns about scams. Google’s action, which takes effect in June and follows a similar move by Facebook earlier this year, sent the price of the best-known cryptocurrency, bitcoin, down more than 10 percent to its lowest in a month. Interest in cryptocurrencies has surged in the last year as their prices rocketed. That…

UK-based Coinfloor to launch physically settled bitcoin futures

BOCA RATON, Fla: Cryptocurrency exchange operator Coinfloor said on Wednesday it will launch a futures exchange for digital assets that will include the first physically delivered bitcoin futures contracts next month. The new London-based trading platform, known as CoinfloorEX, is aimed at hedge funds, proprietary trading firms and sophisticated retail investors, as well as cryptocurrency miners, Mark Lamb, co-founder of Coinfloor, said in an interview. “When you talk to the liquidity providers, they all say the same…

Creation of digital currencies carries ‘significant fraud risks’: report

ZURICH: The creation of digital currencies, like bitcoin, by central banks could revolutionise the global financial system but also carries significant fraud risks, the Bank for International Settlements warned on Monday. In a report, the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) said the launch of crypto currencies by central banks had potential benefits but could also have a detrimental impact, including exposing banking centres to a greater risk of cyber attacks. "The potential effect of fraud could be more…

‘Bitcoin not a legitimate method of payment’

BEIJING: China does not recognize Bitcoin and other digital currencies as legitimate forms of payment, the central bank governor, Zhou Xiaochuan, said on Friday. “We do not currently recognize Bitcoin and other digital currencies as a tool like paper money, coins and credit cards for retail payments,” Zhou told reporters on the sidelines of the annual parliament session. “The banking system does not accept it.” China has taken a string of steps in recent months to clamp down on the cryptocurrency market, including…

China says Bitcoin not a legitimate method of payment

BEIJING: China does not recognize Bitcoin and other digital currencies as legitimate forms of payment, the central bank governor, Zhou Xiaochuan, said on Friday. “We do not currently recognize Bitcoin and other digital currencies as a tool like paper money, coins and credit cards for retail payments,” Zhou told reporters on the sidelines of the annual parliament session. “The banking system does not accept it.” Read More: China looks to completely block cryptocurrency trading China has taken a string of steps in…

Bitcoin falls below $9,000 in latest slump

WASHINGTON: Bitcoin fell below $9,000 Friday afternoon to a daily low of $8,587, according to CoinDesk's Bitcoin Price Index. The latest fall is said to triggered by regulation fears. On Thursday, the US Securities and Exchange Commission warned of “potentially unlawful” systems that trade crypto-currencies, which investors may use with an unearned sense of safety. The world's biggest and best-known digital currency BTC=BTSP was last down 7.53 percent at $9,924.03 on the Luxembourg-based Bitstamp exchange yesterday. It…

Cryptocurrencies failing as money, but this technology has future – expert

LONDON: Cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin are failing as a form of money and have shown clear signs of being a financial bubble, but their technology could improve the financial system in future, Bank of England Governor Mark Carney said on Friday. Carney joined a chorus of concern among global policymakers over the rise of digital currencies, saying authorities needed to prevent their use by criminals and new rules were needed to treat them like other assets. Despite the surge in interest in cryptocurrencies, they were…

Bitcoin stock exchange operator arrested over fraud charges

NEW YORK: The operator of a shuttered bitcoin-denominated exchange was arrested on federal charges that he lied to U.S. securities regulators to avoid taking responsibility for the theft by hackers of virtual currency now worth nearly $70 million. Federal prosecutors in Manhattan announced the charges against BitFunder founder Jon Montroll the same day the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filed a lawsuit accusing him and the company of running an unregistered securities exchange that defrauded its users. “As…