Current State of The Crypto Market (December 26th, 2019)

Hackers:  Last week, a software company that develops antivirus programs reported the discovery of malicious code hidden in WAV audio files, including malware known as “steganography,” in which hackers hide malware codes in ordinary-looking files. The report notes that when played, some of the WAV files produced music with no discernible quality issues, while others simply generated static. The malicious WAV files enable hackers to steal processing resources from unwitting users and use it to mine cryptocurrency. The report goes on to explain the three methods the WAV file loaders employ to decode and execute the malicious code, and provides in-depth technical details on the WAV file loaders and indicators of compromised, including malware sample hashes and C2 infrastructure.

Key Players:  YouTube erroneously purged cryptocurrency education videos from its video-sharing platform this week.  Youtube recently responded to allegations that it had intentionally deleted content from cryptocurrency education channels such as ChrisDunnTV, Crypto Tips, BTC Sessions and others in what apparently amounted to hundreds of missing videos, the spokesperson said that YouTube made “the wrong call.”  They stated “With the massive volume of videos on our site, sometimes we make the wrong call. When it’s brought to our attention that a video has been removed mistakenly, we act quickly to reinstate it. We also offer uploaders the ability to appeal removals and we will re-review the content,” the spokesperson said. YouTube has issued near-identical statements after previous inadvertent video purges.  The spokesperson further stated that YouTube has not changed any policies related to cryptocurrency videos.   In spite of this, some YouTubers claim their deleted videos remain inaccessible. Chris Dunn, who runs an investment education channel with 200,000 subscribers and a multi-year video library, says the purge has actually gotten worse since he successfully appealed his deletions.

Banks & Institutions:  Under a law going into effect Jan. 1 requiring digital asset custodians to be licensed, each company that currently custodies crypto and targets German clients must announce to Germany’s Financial Supervisory Authority its intention to get a license before April 1 and submit an application before Nov. 1.    A clause allows current crypto custodians to keep serving German customers without being penalized if they declare their intent to apply, but those same companies are waiting on BaFin to release final regulations around the law.

Adoption: Fiat gateway infrastructure provider Simplex has partnered with cryptocurrency wallet provider Broxus to facilitate buying of bitcoin and ether directly via Telegram.  The service is based on Telegram bot @broxusbot, Simplex told The Block, adding that users can purchase the two cryptocurrencies with a regular bank card via the bot.  Users are then routed to checkout with Simplex, who takes care of the authorization, payment processing and delivery of cryptocurrencies, said the firm, which is one of Binance’s fiat gateway partners.   “To achieve our mission of enhancing crypto adoption and usability, we are working constantly to be present on any platform that users can engage and use crypto on. The Broxus bot enables the masses of Telegram users with great user experience, coupled with the simplex secure and global fiat infrastructure for the crypto world,” Nimrod Lehavi, founder and CEO of Simplex, told sources.