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Alexander Vinnik, the suspected operator of the infamous BTC-e exchange, plans to start a hunger strike on Monday, days before his next court hearing. The Russian, who has been accused by U.S. authorities of laundering billions of dollars through the now-defunct crypto trading platform, fears he is not going to receive a fair trial.

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Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro has announced that the price of the petro, his country’s national “cryptocurrency,” has been increased from 3,600 sovereign bolivars to 9,000. While the wallet for the petro is still unavailable, the Venezuelan government continues to sell the digital currency and issue certificates of purchase to buyers.

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It’s been less than two weeks since the Bitcoin Cash (BCH) hard fork and blockchain split that occurred on Nov. 15. Since then there’s been a lot of discussion concerning the hash war, with BSV and BCH miners acquiring blocks, gathering hashrate and accumulating proof of work. Now after 11 days, blockchain company Coingeek has announced that the BSV developers will apply replay protection to the BSV chain, essentially bringing the hash war to an end.

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On Nov. 27, the world’s second-largest semiconductor chip maker, Intel, was granted a patent for a processing system that mines Bitcoin but utilizes more “energy-efficient hardware accelerators.” According to the patent called the “Optimized SHA256 Datapath,” the newly invented “high-performance” Bitcoin mining process could reduce overall power consumption by 15 percent.

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Over the last few months, a petition aimed at freeing Ross Ulbricht from prison has garnered 100,000 signatures. The request addressed to U.S. president Donald Trump and hosted on Change.org explains that Ulbricht deserves clemency because his investigation, trial, and sentencing were rife with abuse.

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On Jan. 3, 2019, cryptocurrency proponents the world over will commemorate Bitcoin’s 10th anniversary. While some will raise a glass to Satoshi’s decade-old accomplishment, others may choose to mark the occasion by acquiring a piece of memorabilia. Predictably, there is no shortage of companies lining up to hawk commemorative bitcoin baubles.

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In a recent interview, former Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) employee and National Security Agency (NSA) subcontractor turned whistleblower, Edward Snowden, argued that the price and value of bitcoin is an expression of the “large population” that believes in its “usefulness” as a means of exchange.

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Tether is back in business. Its stablecoin platform, which has lain dormant since last year, is to reopen for fiat deposits and tether (USDT) redemption. The move, described by Tether as a “new vision,” ought to return its stablecoin to the parameters it was originally designed to meet. With a minimum fiat deposit of $100,000, however, Tether’s service will be off-limits to retail investors.

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