In recent weeks, two big topics have utterly dominated the cryptocurrency media cycle: Facebook’s ongoing struggles to launch its Libra stablecoin, and China’s complete reversal of its once-hostile stance on all things crypto and blockchain. These are big stories, and they merit the extensive coverage they’ve received. But they aren’t the only stories that matter to the global cryptocurrency community.
In this post, we’re taking a look at three of the biggest recent cryptocurrency headlines from around the world.
1. Russian firm plans to turn shuttered aluminum plant into massive cryptocurrency mine. In 2018, the increasingly heavy impact of U.S. sanctions on Russia resulted in the closure of the Nadvoitsy Aluminum Plant in the Finland-bordering province of Karelia. Last week, cryptocurrency startup Russian Mining Corporation (RMC) announced plans to repurpose the plant as a bitcoin mining facility. RMC’s CEO, Dmitry Marinichev, claims that the facility’s ready access to inexpensive power could allow it capture as much as 20% of the bitcoin mining market. While ambitious, the plan isn’t exactly far-fetched. Last month, Bitmain opened the “world’s largest” cryptocurrency mining facility in a former aluminum plant in Texas. Bitmain’s facility has the capacity to draw 300 MW — enough to power a small city — and RMC’s plant may have even greater capacity.
2. Argentina’s central bank blocks cryptocurrency purchases with credit cards. Facing serious economic stability issues and a 53% inflation rate, it’s hardly surprising that Argentina’s economic authorities are increasingly worried about capital flight from the country. Just last month, for example, the Central Bank of Argentina (BCA) reduced the monthly amount of U.S. dollars a citizen could purchase from $10,000 to just $200. This new policy was recently extended to cryptocurrency, with the BCA officially banning all purchases of bitcoin and other crypto tokens using credit cards. Argentinians can still purchase bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies from their bank accounts, although there has been speculation that this may also change in coming weeks.
3. Seychelles-based derivatives exchange BitMEX leaks thousands of email addresses. Earlier today, BitMEX released a statement admitting that it had accidentally exposed thousands of customer email addresses due to a CC (carbon copy) error in a mass newsletter email. As many as 22,000 customer email addresses may have been leaked — the company’s entire database — potentially exposing BitMEX customers to countless future phishing scams. BitMEX is one of the world’s largest markets for crypto derivatives, handling around $2.8 billion in daily trades.