Hello Forkers, welcome to Moonday Mornings, Hard Fork’s wrap-up of the weekend’s top cryptocurrency and blockchain headlines you can’t afford to miss!
Let’s see what happened this week:
1. Cybercriminals use Kobe Bryant wallpaper to cyptojack victims
According to researchers at Microsoft’s Security Intelligence division, cybercriminals embedded a coin mining script in a digital wallpaper featuring the recently deceased basketball star Kobe Bryant.
While the world mourns the loss of an NBA legend, cybercriminals are, as expected, taking advantage of the tragedy. We found a malicious HTML file posing as a Kobe Bryant wallpaper that contains a coin mining script. pic.twitter.com/w2JwPvqFy5
— Microsoft Security Intelligence (@MsftSecIntel) January 30, 2020
Documented in a series of tweets last week, Microsoft says its Defender SmartScreen blocks the script after identifying it as a Trojan virus. It’s not clear if the unscrupulous scammers have managed to profit by exploiting Bryant’s passing.
2. Ex-NFL mogul rejects plea deal over cryptocurrency laundering charges
Reginald Fowler, a former stakeholder of the Minnesota Vikings NFL team, who was arrested for allegedly running an unlicensed money transfer business used for cryptocurrency exchange deposits turned down a plea offer presented by prosecutors.
Fowler was reportedly set to plead guilty to a single felony on the grounds that he would forfeit $371 million held in more than 50 different accounts, BNN Bloomberg writes.
However, the accused said they would only agree to forfeit whatever assets currently sit in the accounts.
3. Luxembourg’s financial regulator warns of illicit cryptocurrency business
The Commission de Surveillance du Secteur Financier (CSSF) in Luxembourg issued a warning for a suspicious cryptocurrency business last week. According to a CSSF announcement, Crypto Bull is operating out of offices based in Luxembourg, but has not registered with the regulator.
The country’s financial regulator was one of the first to grant operating licenses to businesses that deal in cryptocurrency in an attempt to better regulate the space. In other words, avoid or at least tread with extreme caution when dealing with unlicensed cryptocurrency businesses in the country.
4. No, Bitcoin ETFs are not coming anytime soon
A year ago, with rising institutional interest, it seemed possible that a Bitcoin exchange traded fund (ETF) would be approved by US regulators. But that doesn’t appear to be the case anymore.
According to The Block 2020 Outlook Survey, most respondents don’t believe we’ll see a Bitcoin ETF approved this year, The Block reports.
106 individuals from venture capital firms, financial services businesses, and other companies in the digital asset space took part in the survey. More than 77 percent responded “no” when asked if a Bitcoin ETF would be approved in the US this year.
5. Twitter adds a Bitcoin emoji
Twitter figurehead Jack Dorsey tweeted the Bitcoin emoji yesterday and “Crypto-Twitter” is going wild. Anytime the #bitcoin hashtag is used, Twitter now automatically adds a Bitcoin emoji immediately after (you may need to click through to see the emoji on Twitter‘s app or site).
— jack 🌍🌏🌎 (@jack) February 2, 2020
Dorsey also took the opportunity to CC in Unicode, the Twitter account for industry standards in how computer text is represented on screens. But according to Emojipedia, the Bitcoin sign was added to Unicode 10.0 in 2017, as a character, but not an emoji.
Either way, Twitter has a Bitcoin emoji now.
Now go get on with your week of furiously tweeting the Bitcoin emoji.