As the calendar year draws to a close, the cryptocurrency news cycle tends to slow down significantly. Most of the big announcements in the cryptocurrency and blockchain space tend to be postponed until the start of the new year, and most news outlets operate with a skeleton crew over the holidays. As a result, it can be easy to miss out on some truly interesting cryptocurrency stories during this industry downtime.
With that in mind, here are three year-end cryptocurrency news stories that you might have missed.
1. Poloniex ends KYC requirements for withdrawals under $10k. Last week, Bermuda-based cryptocurrency exchange Poloniex announced that it would no longer require know-your-customer (KYC) verifications for “Level 1” accounts. Under the new rules, users can withdraw up to $10,000 per day from the exchange without providing Poloniex with legal verification of their identifies. The move is part of Poloniex’s larger exit from U.S. regulatory oversight earlier this year, which saw former owner Circle sell the exchange to a group headed by Tron founder Justin Sun.
2. 90% of ether wallets now underwater. According to an analysis published this week by IntoTheBlack, 31.31 million ether wallets — representing more than 90% of total ETH holdings — hold tokens that are less valuable than when those tokens were purchased. These “underwater” or “out-of-the-money” holdings represent a serious problem for cryptocurrency investors, with around 11% of those wallets representing purchases made when ETH was at-or-near it’s all-time high of $1,340. The report states that just 4.4 million ETH wallet addresses (around 14%) hold tokens that were purchased at or below current ETH prices.
3. Thousands of crypto-mining machines seized in China. Earlier this year, China’s State Electric Power Department began investigating “suspicious electricity use” in China’s Tangshan prefecture. This week, police announced the seizure of 6,890 cryptocurrency mining ASICs that were being used in an illegal mining operation. According to the report, the miners were using 40 times the electricity of a typical family in the area. While criminal charges have yet to be announced, the police claim that the miners were”stealing electricity” from a nearby village.