Despite the relatively weak price of Bitcoin, trading volumes in regions such as Brazil, Venezuela, Peru, Argentina and Colombia are rising to record levels.
Brazil, Venezuela, Argentina, Peru and Colombia
- Customers are massively increasing at almost any bitcoin exchange for brasil.
- Although the Bitcoin price was again trending towards $6,000 this month, the economic uncertainties in countries such as Venezuela and Argentina have made it possible to see how the population continues to switch large amounts of Fiat to Bitcoin.
- Data from Coin Dance tracks the volume on the Localbitcoins P2P platform and these figures confirm that the last seven days have seen the largest trading volume ever recorded in Argentina, with nearly 6.9 million pesos of switching.
- Venezuela produced the second highest week with almost 295 million bolivars. Coin Dance noted that accurate figures are difficult to assess due to the country’s currency changeover on August 20 and rampant hyperinflation.
- Both Argentina and Venezuela have long been in the headlines due to financial difficulties. As the year progresses, the domino effects in neighbouring countries will become increasingly pronounced.
- In Peru, where the weekly volume had been declining since June, a sudden increase also caused 2.6 million sols to switch to Bitcoin. The situation is similar in Colombia, which recorded its fifth highest weekly volume.
Bitcoin dominant – Altcoins are left out
As market activity gradually recovered, Coin Dance noted that the period to September 1 was the lowest overall activity since July last year. The relatively weak Bitcoin price has meant that interest has declined in many regions of the world, but not in countries such as Venezuela, Peru, Colombia which are in financial difficulties.
The population is looking for alternative investment opportunities in crisis regions to protect themselves against the devaluation of their own currency. The Bitcoin dominance has reached 50 percent, the highest level since December. In addition, Ethereum has been able to recover and increased by about 15 percent in the last 24 hours.
Bitcoin addresses exchanged via Tor when visiting a website
Unknown persons have operated almost a quarter of all Tor exit nodes to exchange Bitcoin addresses. The attacks could continue. Using exit nodes in the Tor network, unknown persons have conducted a man-in-the-middle (MITM) attack on several crypto-currency websites accessed via the anonymization service. According to a report by security researcher Nusenu, the attackers group had 380 Tor exit relays at the peak of their activities. The Tor team had responded to the attacks with several interventions.
Since January, the attackers repeatedly added servers to the Tor network that acted as exit nodes. These exit nodes forward traffic from the Tor network to the regular Internet, for example, to a website offering crypto-currencies. This forwarding position can be used similar to VPN servers or proxies for man-in-the-middle attacks by manipulating the traffic.
The attackers use an attack called SSL stripping, which intercepts the page request and prevents redirection to an HTTPS version of the website. Instead, the person who opened the website is presented with a fake or forwarded version of the website via HTTP. Such attacks work even without the Tor network and can be prevented with HSTS Preload.
Bitcoin addresses are exchanged
If the attack succeeds, the attacking group scans the now unencrypted traffic of the crypto-currency websites for Bitcoin addresses and then exchanges them in the hope that the attacked parties will send their Bitcoins to a false address. The exchange of Bitcoin addresses is not in itself a new attack, but he has never seen it on this scale, explains Nusenu.
“The full extent of their operations is unknown, but one motivation seems simple and straightforward: profit,” Nusenu writes. In total, the security researcher was able to discover seven Tor exit node clusters of the attackers. At the peak of the attacks, the group is said to have operated 380 exit nodes, about a quarter of all tor exit relays. Starting in May, he reported these to the Tor admin team, which intervened several times and banned the malicious servers from the network. However, Nusenu expects the group to continue its attacks and still runs more than 10 percent of the exit nodes on the Tor network.
It is no secret that the exit nodes can be misused for man-in-the-middle attacks. Those who use Tor should therefore make sure that the websites they visit over the network are protected by HTTPs on the regular Internet. If they are not, the data can be read by the Tor exit nodes – or any other node on the normal Internet through which data flows. Onion services, i.e. websites and services offered within the Tor network, are protected against SSL stripping, since the connection between server and client is encrypted by design.