Weekly update: Important developments in cryptocurrency space Dec 14, 2019

We’re just a couple of weeks away from the start of a fresh year, and fresh opportunities for the cryptocurrency world to grow. Undoubtedly, 2020 is going to bring with it a tremendous amount of change in the Bitcoin ecosystem, given what has transpired in the past six months alone, and the industry is going to see huge improvements in both innovation and adoption. As 2019 draws to a close, there are still a lot of unanswered questions that will be looking for responses after the new year.

Nvidia is facing a lawsuit over claims it reportedly made regarding its crypto mining equipment. Investors allege that the company provided “misleading” information related to its revenue and earnings, which the technology company denies. It is trying to have the suit thrown out, but will most likely have to explain its case in court.

A Brazilian gang managed to abscond with $359 million in investor funds before being stopped by police. Law enforcement in Curitiba descended on the operations last week and are now trying to put the pieces of the puzzle together. There are reportedly as many as 5,000 victims of the scam and it’s too early to tell whether or not they’ll be able to recover their funds.

The in-fighting at the highest echelon of Chinese crypto mining manufacturer Bitmain continues. The two co-founders, Micree Zhan and Jihan Wu, are each trying to assert his authority over the other, with Wu recently having ordered the company to ignore anything Zhan said or did. Zhan is fighting back through legal channels, but Wu surfaced this week to once again claim that he is the king of the hill and is trying to reel in clients by offering huge discounts and offers. His attempts at putting the drama behind him won’t last, though, as soon as Zhan has a chance to bring everything to the front when the dispute goes to court.

The government in the Argentinian province of San Luis is scrambling to recover from a ransomware attack that hit its operations in late November, but was only made public recently. Hackers have reportedly infected a government server that holds ten years’ worth of records and wanted to be paid an unspecified amount of BTC. Some reports put the figure at 50 BTC, which would currently be worth around $370,000. It isn’t clear if the government paid the ransom, but the province’s minister of Science and Technology, Alicia Bañuelos, asserts that 90% of the data has already been unlocked.

Crypto exchange BitMEX has PR issues off and on for more than a year and is now having to deal with a new problem. An investor in the company is suing for $300 million, alleging that the exchange and its founder, Arthur Hayes, have engaged in fraud against the investor, Frank Amato. He asserts that he handed over $30,000 when the company was getting started per an agreement that would see that money turned into equity that, today, would be worth $50 million. He wants his $50 million, and another $200 million in punitive damages.

The hack that took down the Cryptopia exchange in New Zealand earlier this year led to losses that have exceeded. Since then, the administrator assigned to try to recover funds and distribute payouts to users, Grant Thornton New Zealand, has been trying to put everything in order—a task made difficult by the disorganized methods the exchange used to store funds. More than $15 million was stolen in the hack, and Grant Thornton has been able to recover portions here and there by selling company assets. It just reclaimed another $5 million of the actual stolen funds; however, it reportedly has had to spend around $2.45 million since it first took on its responsibilities. All of the expenses will be deducted from possible payouts, reducing what creditors will actually be able to pocket when all is said and done.

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