Bitcoin Could Hit $31,000 By 2021, According to Mining Difficulty Metrics

Bitcoin quantitative analyst PlanB has published mining difficulty data showing that the price of BTC could hit $31,000 by the year 2021. 

BTC Price and Mining Difficulty

Mining difficulty has been historically used as an indicator for network resources and refers to the complexity of the equations being solved in validating bitcoin transactions and mining new BTC. Higher difficulty means more competition for miners in obtaining block rewards, which leads to greater computing power being devoted to securing bitcoin’s blockchain.

According to the analysis by PlanB, which combines bitcoin price statistics with mining difficulty, BTC undergoes regular difficulty cycles that correspond with changes in valuation. The price increase for bitcoin following a low in the difficulty cycle has decreased over time, rising 50,000% in late 2013 compared to 9,000% in December 2017. 

Given the relative low in mining difficulty for the current cycle, which occurred in December 2018, PlanB predicts that the price of BTC will top out again by 2021. 

Unfortunately, the predicted valuation range for bitcoin appears much more variable. PlanB said that the price of BTC could be anywhere from $30,000 to $300,000 at the next price top. 

Bitcoin Ransomware Hackers Lose Control of Their Decryption Tool

Michael LaVere
  • Software firm Emsisoft warns that attacks broke their own decryption tool for the Ryuk ransomware.
  • Affected users are at risk of having their files deleted despite paying the bitcoin ransom. 

A security firm has warned that the Ryuk bitcoin ransomware has broken its own decryption tool, causing affected users to lose their files even after sending the BTC ransom. 

Software company Emsisoft told news outlet The Next Web that the hackers behind the Ryuk ransomware are responsible for the decryption error. According to the security firm, a recent update made to Ryuk caused the program to alter the way it calculates the length files, inadvertently making the decryption tool defunct, 

As a result, the decryptor provided by the Ryuk authors will truncate files, cutting off one too many bytes in the process of decrypting the file. Depending on the exact file type, this may or may not cause major issues.

Users who pay the crypto ransom are still at risk of losing their files and data, depending on where the byte cutoff is made. 

Emsisoft recommends Ryuk victims backup encrypted data before running the decryption key,

A final word of advice: prior to running any ransomware decryptor – whether it was supplied by a bad actor or by a security company – be sure to back up the encrypted data first. Should the tool not work as expected, you’ll be able to try again.

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