Bitfinex Upgrade Adds 100x Leverage for Bitcoin

Cryptocurrency exchange, Bitfinex has finally launched its margin trading system, allowing users to wager on the price of Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH) with up to 100x leverage.

Bitfinex announced the completion of its upgrade on Monday, and while the product was relatively underplayed users have been quick to point out the new addition:

The derivatives product has been under development since May. Bitfinex revealed details about the leverage increase as well as the chosen collateral within the LEO whitepaper:

Qualified Bitfinex account holders will be able to trade a new hedging product through a derivatives wallet. The product will have USDT-based collateral (unavailable in the rest of the market), up to 100x leverage and isolated margin for individualized risk level.

While margin trading was available on the exchange prior to the upgrade, users were only offered 3.3x leverage.

High-risk High Reward

Margin trading doesn’t come without its price, and the price is often remarkably high. Essentially, Trading using leverage allows users to borrow funds against their existing capital to increase buying power. Win a trade with high leverage, and the rewards speak for themselves. However, with the crypto market's trademark volatility margin trading is especially risky, particularly when leverage is set at 100x.  

Bitfinex is now the third major crypto exchange to implement such a lofty level of leverage, the other two being BitMEX and Deribit.

On September 2, $68 million in bitcoin shorts evaporated as BTC exhibited an explosive 6% move up.

BTC shorts on BitMEX$68 million in BTC shorts liquidated on BitMEX. Source: Coin360

BitMEX has often been criticized offering such high leverage, with a plethora of users who can attest to the dangers of margin trading. The exchange's reputation for liquidating traders is such that there are several twitter accounts dedicated to monitoring each blown position:

Margin trading is becoming an extremely popular instrument. In fact, more and more cryptocurrency exchanges are scrambling to offer some iteration of this derivative product.

Notably back in July, Binance moved to launch its own highly anticipated margin trading platform. Although, unlike Bitfinex, Binance chose to ease users in a little, capping leverage at 3.3x.

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.

Featured Image Credit: Photo via Pixabay.com