This Week in Crypto – BTC Falls, Libra Competition, Trading Boom in India

Node Count for BTC Falls to 3-Year Low

According to data from one of the critical Bitcoin developers. The number of computers running the BTC program has fallen to the lowest level in the past three years.

Operational nodes dropped to below 47,000, which have not been at such levels since 2017. The drop is quite significant and peaked in 2018 to over 200,000.

To put this plainly, it means fewer individuals are partaking in the validation of any transactions, or keeping copies for the shared transaction history. Such numbers come at the same time we are seeing a surge in price, and the Bitcoin halving is days away.

Blockchain Node Count BTC

It can be worrying when you can look at what is the blockchain effect of this. It means individuals or miners are losing interest and switching off their nodes. Industry insiders see some nodes as ‘nodes of last resort’ and continue running regardless of what happens in the market.

What differs is, full nodes are not there to mine new BTC blocks and coins. They are there to store individual blockchain copies for the sharable ledger.

The issues come when trying to determine what the ‘enough nodes’ number is.

Libra Faces Stiff Competition

Not everyone will have seen Coinbase reviews or news of the Facebook ‘Libra’ coin, and the struggles it faced. Since the introduction, it has seen a change in scope, and now is appearing to be another payment method and not much more.

However, Celo, which is a competing project, amasses 75 members to its alliance. Some of these members hedge their bets and are members of the Libra alliance as well.

Celo is a newcomer and only began in March, and already they have multiple projects on the go. Coinbase and Anchorage previously announced support for the Celo Gold token once it comes to launch.

Once this happens, some of the block rewards for Celo will help the continual planting of new trees in Project Wren.

While this is good for the environment overall, the aim is to have a carbon-neutral decentralized network.

Other projects in Africa between Clabs and Appen saw the introduction of microwork, which is one of many on the cards from this consortium.

While both Libra and Celo are similar in some respects, they have diverse approaches and focus. How it will affect Libra and its foray into the crypto world will be seen, but the pace at what Celo is moving, and it may just overshadow the Facebook alternative.

Cryptocurrency Chainalysis

Chainalysis Publishes 3-Part Series

A prominent blockchain surveillance company has been busy publishing a three-part series that looks at a new Ponzi scheme, North Korea, and crypto use in Iran.

Iran is said to be increasing its focus on crypto use. Many of these as a means of bypassing sanctions because some exchanges such as LocalBitcoins has ceased to support for Iranian users.

Iran is cut off from many exchanges, these are internationals, and there are still many regional ones in operation. It does pose issues of how their exchanges can even interact with the international ecosystem. Yet now, they are doing just that.

Futurenet is the Ponzi scheme that started in Poland. On the surface, it doesn’t appear any different from any other crypto Ponzi scheme. Investors buy into the program with the promise of large rewards, and as always, introducing friends delivers even more.
Futurenet appears to have infrastructure all of its own, with shell companies to accept and make payments to victims.

North Korea was the third, and a UN report a while ago reckons North Korea is stockpiling crypto to the tune of around $670 million.

Black Host, who is a Swiss host provider, has been accepting digital payments for services and goods. In many eyes, this company isn’t doing anything wrong, yet Chainalysis thinks this company has links to the Lazarus Hacking Group.

Best Wallet for Cryptocurrency

Lockdown Trading Boom in India

Things may appear quiet on many fronts with the pandemic, yet the crypto sector in India sees a boom up to 10X.

There is an increase in both interests of crypto and the physical activity of trading volumes. Add to this the numbers of new users, signing up for their cryptocurrency best wallet for given exchange.

Many individuals are taking advantage of the time at home to learn more about crypto; and how they can benefit.
Much of the recent price jumps have sparked an added interest. It is just in the past two months the entire crypto industry has opened up.

After the two years of confusion and uncertainty which way crypto would go in the country, it now appears more precise than ever; the direction it will go is forward and driven by an entire countries interest.

In the spate of two months, exchanges are seeing volumes increase by 10x from around $1M.

Brave browser Not Seeing All Features in Use

The Brave browser is something different in an industry that is awash with company’s claiming their browser is the best.

Brave now has over 13 million active monthly users, yet there are just a few who appear to be using all the included features, particularly the added token features.

With these numbers, Brave could have one of the most significant user bases in the crypto world. However, users are not using these features. When you put numbers on users who are signing up to join the crypto rewards system, this only equates to around 1.7 million.

The percentage is slightly above 10% of the total number of users. Traditional ad tracking is one more feature in Brave, yet it does allow users to take part in a donation model for clean advertising.

Braves BAT token is supposed to support content creators and to pay the users who view the ads, which the browser allows through its system.

Brave saw many mobile users shunning the browser, although it was hugely popular on the desktop. Since then, Brave has partnered with Binance to include a Binance widget in the desktop version of the browser.

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