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Coinbase to halt operation in Japan

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Coinbase to halt operation in Japan

Coinbase to halt operation in Japan Andjela Radmilac · 2 hours ago · 2 min read

The exchange said leaving Japan is part of its restructuring process that will help it weather the bear market.

2 min read

Updated: January 18, 2023 at 10:38 am

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Cover art/illustration via CryptoSlate

Coinbase announced that it would be halting its operation in Japan due to current market conditions.

The exchange said in a Jan. 18 announcement that it was forced it to “make the difficult decision” to halt operations in the country and conduct a complete revision of its Japanese business.

The decision comes just days after the company announced that it was beginning to wind down its operations in the country. Coinbase’s Vice President for Business Development, Nana Murugesan, said on Jan. 11 that the company wasn’t interested in mergers and acquisitions and won’t sell its Japanese unit.

At the time, Murugesan said that the shutdown wouldn’t take place until Coinbase finalized its discussions with the Japanese Financial Services Agency. A small number of employees are set to remain in their positions in the coming weeks so that the company can ensure the safety of customer assets.

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Operation ceased in Japan

Discussions with the Japanese authorities have now been finalized, and the exchange is closing down.

Customers will be able to deposit fiat currencies into the exchange until Jan. 20, after which the functionality will be halted. Withdrawal for both fiat and crypto will be available until Feb. 16. Any remaining cryptocurrencies left on Coinbase accounts after Feb. 17 will be converted to JPY and transferred to a Guaranty Account at the Legal Affairs Bureau.

Coinbase said that customers would be able to withdraw their holdings to any cryptocurrency wallet or liquidate their portfolio and withdraw their JPY to a Japanese bank account.

The announcement comes a week after the exchange said that it would be laying off around 950 of its employees globally. The company said that the layoffs are part of a restructuring process that will enable it to weather the bear market.

Coinbase’s Japanese platform was launched in August 2021 in a bid to capture the growing market. At the time, Coinbase partnered with Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group (MUFG), one of the largest banks in Japan, to service its growing Japanese user base.

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Bear Market

2019 Bitcoin investors back in profit above $21.8k

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2019 Bitcoin investors back in profit above $21.8k

2019 Bitcoin investors back in profit above $21.8k Liam ‘Akiba’ Wright · 8 hours ago · 1 min read

Bitcoin holders in profit on average as the price continues to rally

1 min read

Updated: January 29, 2023 at 10:48 pm

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Cover art/illustration via CryptoSlate

Investors who purchased Bitcoin in 2019 are back in profit, according to data analyzed by Glassnode and CryptoSlate. The average acquisition price can be derived by tracking exchange data and aligning the price of Bitcoin with the time of withdrawals.

The below chart illustrates the average acquisition price of Bitcoin since its inception.

Bitcoin average withdrawal price

Interestingly, the average historical price is not consistent across exchanges. The average price for all exchanges sits around $16.7k, while Coinbase and Binance are around $21k. With Bitcoin’s price well above $23.5k, all exchanges are, on average, in profit. The broader market may welcome such data as it indicates market stress has been reduced.

Bitcoin exchange average price

Notably, Bitfinex investors have a considerably lower average withdrawal price of around $11,000. Given that Bitcoin has been above $11,000 since October 2020, such a low price makes it a considerable outlier.

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Bitcoin difficulty hits new ATH rising by 4.68%, further securing the network

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Bitcoin difficulty hits new ATH rising by 4.68%, further securing the network

Bitcoin difficulty hits new ATH rising by 4.68%, further securing the network Liam ‘Akiba’ Wright · 12 seconds ago · 2 min read

Bitcoin saw second largest positive adjustment in difficult level in over a year

2 min read

Updated: January 29, 2023 at 3:24 pm

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Cover art/illustration via CryptoSlate

‘s difficulty has risen by 4.68% in the second largest positive adjustment in a year to reach a new all-time high. The blockchain’s difficulty is set automatically within Bitcoin’s core code based on mining activity on the network.

The below chart illustrates the most significant adjustments, both positive (green) and negative (red.) Over the past twelve months, the change in difficulty can be seen to have little correlation with Bitcoin’s price.

BTC Difficulty | Source: Glassnode

Higher difficulty means a more secure blockchain as it becomes more energy intensive to attempt to attack the network. In addition, it becomes harder to mine new blocks as the difficulty increases about the global hashrate.

The difficulty adjusts relative to the miners’ hashrate to keep the time to create a new block to a consistent 10 minutes. Thus, should a ‘bad actor’ onboard miners onto the network to attack it, the difficulty would continue you increase along with the hashrate. The difficulty adjusts every 2,016 blocks meaning an attack would have under two weeks before the new miners would cause the network to adapt to reduce their impact and control of the network.

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Further, an increase in difficulty means more consistency in block times. The time to mine a new block becomes more reliable with a greater difficulty due to increased competition among miners.

However, the increase in difficulty puts further stress on the mining industry. More computing power is required to earn equivalent rewards, making the ROI on mining hardware less favorable.

The rise in Bitcoin’s price in recent weeks will have alleviated many miners’ worst fears as Bitcoin rewards are worth more in dollar terms. Following several miners filing for bankruptcy or restructuring during the bear market, the price rally is a much-needed respite for miners.

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Bitcoin wallet cracking competition unbeaten as seed words revealed

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Bitcoin wallet cracking competition unbeaten as seed words revealed

Bitcoin wallet cracking competition unbeaten as seed words revealed Liam ‘Akiba’ Wright · 1 min ago · 2 min read

Wasabi Wallet opened a challenge for users to ‘crack’ a Bitcoin wallet to educate the public on blockchain security – no funds have yet been claimed

2 min read

Updated: January 28, 2023 at 10:25 pm

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Cover art/illustration via CryptoSlate

Wallet provider, Wasabi Wallet, launched an educational Bitcoin competition on Jan. 23, asking people to ‘crack’ the seed phrase of a wallet loaded with over 4 million Sats.

The project, titled ‘Hunting Sats,’ is backed by Swan Bitcoin, Trezor, Blockstream, and several other respected companies in the Bitcoin space. First, a Bitcoin wallet was generated utilizing a 12-word BIP-39 seed phrase. The words were then distributed among the partners, with a new word to be revealed daily.

The event aims to shed light on the nature of crypto account security in a practically transparent way. The chance of anyone guessing the wallet’s seed phrase is virtually zero due to the cryptography involved. However, showcasing this to the world through a ‘cracking’ competition is a novel method of education.

To further demonstrate the security of private keys, as more words from the seed phrase are revealed, the weaker it becomes.

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There have been plenty of similar competitions on Reddit and other platforms. This latest one has a solid list of partners collaborating to promote healthy wallet security.

As of press time, four words have been revealed, blast, hollow, state, and monkey. More words will be released by the end of the competition on Jan. 30. The Hunting Stats website explains the motivation behind the campaign.

“As bitcoiners, we wanted to organize a fun game to start 2023 on a high beat with projects and companies we respect and use every day. Bitcoin security and privacy are essential and we hope Hunting Sats can bring together bitcoiners who care about these principles.”

The campaign is rooted in difficulty comprehending how secure a Bitcoin private key is. The odds of guessing a 12-word seed phrase are 1 in 10^40. However, that is a number too large to comprehend easily.

Bitcoin private key security

To attempt to visualize the problem, the distance from the Earth to the Moon is about 238,855 miles. To travel 10^40 miles (the odds of guessing a seed phrase) would require traveling to the Moon and back approximately 42,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 times.

For context, the estimated age of the universe is roughly 13.8 billion years, and traveling to the Moon and back at the speed of light would take about 1.28 seconds. Therefore, even traveling at the speed of light, it would take longer than the age of the universe to go to the Moon 42,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 times.

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Therefore, while the competition is fun, it is doubtful that anyone will ‘win’  the Bitcoin in the wallet. However, interest in crypto is slowly returning. The crypto fear and greed index flipped to ‘greed’ recently, and Google searches for ‘Bitcoin’ reached highs last seen in November. Competitions such as this can aid new users in understanding crypto security.

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