Bitcoin Daily: Russian Government Bans Officials From Holding Crypto; BuyUCoin Hack Leaks Private Data Of 325,000 Users

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Russia’s Ministry of Labor has banned federal and local governmental officials — and their spouses and underage children — from holding digital currencies, CoinDesk reported.

The announcement, first published on the Ministry’s website in December, is reportedly a move to fight corruption, according CoinDesk, citing Russian news site Forklog. The prohibition is part of a larger legal reform that also bans government officials from opening accounts at foreign banks.

Officials have until April 1 to divest from any foreign cryptocurrencies, although they won’t be required to report any crypto holdings for the year 2020, the report stated.

In other news, in an attack on Indian cryptocurrency exchange BuyUCoin, hacker group ShinyHunters leaked the private information of over 325,000 users, Inc42 reported.

The data leaked included names, email addresses, phone numbers, bank account details and tax ID numbers, the report stated.

ShinyHunters is a known cybercriminal group that hacks websites, steals user databases and sells the information through data breach brokers or in private sales, Inc42 reported,

After first calling reports of the breach “rumors,” BuyUCoin later stated that it was “thoroughly investigating each and every aspect of the report about malicious and unlawful cybercrime activities by foreign entities,” according to Cointelegraph.

Other reports, however, show only leaked information of 161,487 of the exchange’s users, noted Cointelegraph, citing BleepingComputer.

No user funds have been compromised in the attack. Cointelegraph noted that 95 percent of funds are kept in cold storage.

Lastly, while cryptocurrencies might never replace fiat currencies as a medium of exchange, they could replace gold as a store of value, according to research from the Bank of Singapore, The National reported.

They could become a “safe-haven asset” and used for asset diversification in investor portfolios if they can overcome volatility, regulation, trust and reputation challenges, according to the report. Stability has continued to be a prevalent issue of digital coins, even despite the recent price surge.

“Bitcoin is highly volatile as its rally over the past year from $4,000 to more than $40,000 and then back towards $30,000 shows,” Bank of Singapore’s Mansoor Mohi-uddin told The National. “In a financial crisis, cryptocurrencies are more likely to be dumped by investors during a market meltdown, as occurred at the start of the pandemic in March 2020.”

Even if their volatility lessens, cryptocurrencies face a great challenge in procuring acceptance from national governments, the report stated.

“Governments are very wary of any technology that could potentially displace national currencies,” Mohi-uddin said, per the report. “This would reduce the ability of policymakers to print money during economic crises.”

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