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  • Cointelegraph.com News - 25 May 2019, 10:50 pm

    Decentralized credit and loans: better for borrowers and better for the economy. In the feverish quest to decentralize anything even remotely open to decentralization, one of the most promising areas is finance and the financial industry. This shouldn’t be too surprising, given bitcoin and the origins of blockchain technology, but at a time when even babies are being put “on the blockchain,” the emergence of decentralized finance (DeFi) provides welcome proof of crypto’s real utility and applicability.And while DeFi is covering a wider range of areas — from remittances to derivatives and investments — its most promising sector involves credit and lending. That’s because, thanks to the openness, security and transparency of blockchains, it’s possible to make loans and credit available to a larger pool of people than ever before, while the interoperability of blockchains opens up the possibility for creating a spectrum of new lending products and services.But even though the sector has expanded considerably over the past year or so, decentralized finance still needs to put in plenty of work before it can compete with legacy financial systems. At the same time, users need to be careful when using early stage and untested DeFi platforms and services, just as they need to be aware that not all DeFi systems are truly decentralized.The big decentralized lendersDeFi might be a relatively new and ill-defined term, but its meaning is simple, referring to the use of blockchains, cryptocurrencies and/or smart contracts in providing financial services to clients. And when it comes specifically to loans and credit, there are numerous platforms, services and companies that are harnessing decentralized ledger technology for the purposes of lending services.The most well known of these is MakerDAO, which lends its stablecoin — DAI — to users, who gain their loans by depositing ether (ETH) with the Maker system as collateral. According to the recently launched DeFi.Review website, it’s the biggest decentralized finance platform by a comfortable margin, having roughly $508 million in ether locked up in its platform. Behind it is EOS REX, which has deposits of EOS worth around $437 million, and which lends to users who want extra EOS in order to stake the cryptocurrency for extra CPU/NET bandwidth on the EOS blockchain.Both of the platforms above are infrastructural, in that they serve primarily to support crypto economies and ecosystems — be this the EOS blockchain in the case of EOS REX or various cryptocurrency markets in the case of DAI. As such, they arguably don’t satisfy the common sense or traditional definition of lending and credit, given that they aren’t awarding loans to the general public. Meanwhile, the fact that they both account for approximately 86% of the total amount of assets locked up by DeFi platforms (according to DeFi.Review) is an indicator of how young the sector still is.Why lending is better when it’s decentralizedNonetheless, as young as DeFi lending may be, there are many other platforms besides MakerDAO and EOS REX that are offering credit via decentralized means. Launched in September 2018 and…Read More

  • Cointelegraph.com News - 25 May 2019, 10:00 pm

    United States-based stock and crypto trading app Robinhood is set to raise at least $200 million in a new funding round, Bloomberg reports. United States-based stock and crypto trading app Robinhood is set to raise at least $200 million in a new funding round, Bloomberg reported on May 24.Per the report, an unspecified source familiar with the matter told the outlet about the company’s plans to raise further funding. Moreover, Bloomberg reports that the round would increase the firm’s value to between $7 billion and $8 billion, but that the details could change.Other people familiar with the matter also told Bloomberg that the new funds come from existing investors, all of whom asked not to be identified and to keep the details private. While the funding talks are reportedly ongoing, a further funding round could increase the company’s worth to $10 billion, but the numbers are subject to change until the deal is closed.Robinhood, which allows for zero-fee stock trading, first introduced bitcoin (BTC) and ether (ETH) trading in January last year.As Cointelegraph reported earlier this week, Robinhood has officially launched its crypto trading app in New York following the acquisition of a BitLicense by the New York State Department of Financial Services in January 2019.Also during this week, the new April 2019 Exchange Review from crypto data provider Cryptocompare revealed that centralized cryptocurrency exchanges saw a major uptick in trade volume this April.Read More

  • Cointelegraph.com News - 25 May 2019, 4:14 pm

    EOS developer Block.one is attempting a 10% buyback of its stock. Earlier this week, it was revealed that EOS developer Block.one is attempting a 10% buyback of its stock, reportedly the second one in less than a year.It seems that some of the company’s investors are up for a big payday: The earliest backers could expect a hefty 6,567% return on their initial investments, while Michael Novogratz has already managed to secure a much more modest, though still profitable, 123% return.But why would Block.one buy its shares back in the first place? It appears that the startup’s executives are confident about the future of their network — and a marketed announcement scheduled for June 1 could be one of the reasons.What is Block.one?Block.one is a private company known for developing and publishing the EOS.io protocol. It is registered in the Cayman Islands, lead by CEO Daniel Larimer and chief technology officer Brendan Blumer.EOS.io, in turn, is a blockchain-powered smart contracts protocol for the development, hosting and execution of decentralized applications (DApps). In other words, it’s a decentralized alternative to cloud hosting services.EOS.io is supported by its native cryptocurrency, EOS, currently the fifth-largest by total market cap. The tokens can be staked for using network resources: As per the project’s white paper, DApp developers can build their product on the top of the EOS.io protocol and make use of the servers, bandwidth and computational power of EOS itself, as those resources are distributed equally among EOS cryptocurrency holders.The platform was launched in June 2018 as open-source software, with its first testnets and original white paper emerging earlier in 2017.Notably, Block.one holds the absolute record in terms of funds raised during an initial coin offering (ICO): It has managed to gather around $4.1 billion — or about 7.12 million ether (ETH) — worth of investments for EOS.io after fundraising for nearly a year. The second-biggest campaign of the sort, the messenger Telegram, has raised less than half the amount — i.e., $1.7 billion.What is the purpose of the new buyback?Having raised a record-breaking amount of money last year, the EOS.io publisher is now performing a 10% buyback of its shares.A Block.one spokesperson has confirmed to Cointelegraph that the stock repurchase is “closing,” and hence at the final stage. The company’s representative also said they are unable to reveal the participants.“Buybacks are a normal activity for many companies,” the spokesperson told Cointelegraph. “Block.one is confident of its growth prospects and industry opportunities. We are pleased with the support from investors, and that they have been able to benefit from, and participate in, the success of our company.”Notably, this isn’t the first buyback for Block.one. As per Bloomberg, this stock repurchase offer comes “less than a year” after the initial buyback, in which Block.one reportedly aimed to acquire 15% of its outstanding shares at $1,200 each, but gathered a total of 13.8% in the end, which equaled around $300 million.The new buyback, in turn, values the company at around $2.3 billion, up from about…Read More

  • Cointelegraph.com News - 25 May 2019, 3:37 pm

    Major Swiss telecommunications firm Swisscom announced its plans to distribute tokenized artwork through its Swisscom TV television network. Major Swiss telecommunications company Swisscom announced its plans to distribute tokenized artwork through its Swisscom TV television network. The news was reported by Cointelegraph auf Deutsch on May 24.Per the company’s press release, limited artworks — initially 100 works by 30 artists — from selected artists are exclusively available on the Swisscom TV box through the NOOW app. The app was developed by Swiss tokenization startup Dloop. The works have been chosen by Stefanie Marlene Wenger, who commented in the press release on the development:“This is about more than creating a virtual gallery; the next step will be to include curated exhibitions on the platform and a close collaboration with galleries.”Since its launch, NOOW app reportedly allows users to select pieces and buy certified copies, which will be issued in limited numbers. The press release claims that digitization has eroded the value of original art by allowing it to be copied without any quality loss.As the announcement claims, in the Swisscom system “the owner receives a certificate of authenticity and knows how many copies of a work exist.”  Basel artist Jonas Baumann is also quoted, praising the distribution advantages of digitization:“NOOW helps me to bring art to the screen. It also offers new creative opportunities to experiment with animated images and offer them to a wider audience.”As Cointelegraph reported in March, the blockchain-based art registry startup Artory has acquired auction house database Auction Club.Also, in May last year news broke that American online art auctioneer Paddle8 and The Native, a Swiss tech company, were launching a blockchain-based art authentication service.Read More

  • Cointelegraph.com News - 25 May 2019, 2:44 pm

    Most of the top 20 cryptocurrencies are reporting moderate losses on the day as bitcoin still holds over the $8,000 mark, with minor gains. Saturday, May 25 — most of the top 20 cryptocurrencies are reporting moderate losses on the day by press time, as bitcoin (BTC) still holds over the $8,000 mark, with minor gains on the day.Market visualization courtesy of Coin360Bitcoin is a fraction of a percent up on the day, trading at $8,025 at press time, according to CoinMarketCap. Looking at its weekly chart, the coin is up about 9.4%.Bitcoin 7-day price chart. Source: CoinMarketCapEther (ETH) is holding onto its position as the largest altcoin by market cap, which currently stands at $26.6 billion. The second-largest altcoin, XRP, has a market cap of $16.2 billion at press time.CoinMarketCap data shows that ETH is nearly 0.41% down over the last 24 hours. At press time, ETH is trading around $251. On the week, the coin has also seen its value increase almost 6%.Ether 7-day price chart. Source: CoinMarketCapYesterday, news broke that Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin proposed creating an on-chain smart contract-based ether mixer.XRP is over half of a percent down over the last 24 hours and is currently trading at around $0.385. On the week, the coin is up over 3%.XRP 7-day price chart. Source: CoinMarketCapAmong the top 20 cryptocurrencies, the one reporting the most notable price action is bitcoin SV (BSV), which is down over seven percent on the day. As Cointelegraph reported on May 21, BSV promoter and self-proclaimed Satoshi Nakamoto Craig Wright filed U.S. copyright registrations for bitcoin’s whitepaper and code. Following the news, BSV’s price jumped over 100%.At press time, the total market capitalization of all cryptocurrencies is $250.8 billion, over eight percent higher than the value it reported a week ago.Total market capitalization 7-day chart. Source: CoinMarketCapAs Cointelegraph reported yesterday, privacy-focused encrypted instant messaging service Telegram has created a new programming language for its Telegram Open Network (TON).In other industry news, according to a recent report, the initial coin offerings sector is showing signs of an uptick due to positive investor sentiment, apparently spurred by the recent crypto market rally.Read More

  • Cointelegraph.com News - 25 May 2019, 12:53 pm

    A new report from ICObench claims that the initial coin offerings sector is showing signs of an uptick due to positive investor sentiment. The initial coin offerings (ICO) sector is showing signs of an uptick due to positive investor sentiment, apparently spurred by the recent crypto market rally. The data was revealed in a new report from token rating platform ICObench, shared with Cointelegraph on May 25.Providing data as of May 21, the report notes that the success rate of ICOs has increased, ostensibly reflecting a rise in projects’ quality. 85% of total funds raised so far in May reportedly belong to projects with a high (3-3.5) rating — as compared with 68% in April.  According to ICObench’s data, the number of published projects in May has increased by 157 to hit 5,512 projects, with 287 ongoing ICOs and 140 upcoming token sales expected.The report notes that data for the total funds raised so far in May has been overwhelmed by the reported $1 billion initial exchange offering (IEO) from cryptocurrency exchange Bitfinex — bringing the total amount of funds raised via token sales this month to roughly $1.075 billion.As reported, an IEO represents an alternative model of token offering wherein a centralized crypto exchange operates the sales and ostensibly vets both the projects themselves and prospective investors.Aside from Bitfinex, IEOs from Economi and Poseidon each raised around $10.5 million and 2.4 million respectively, according to the report.  The sum of all funds collected from the top 5 IEOs (excluding Bitfinex) so far this month hit almost $15.5 million.Bitfinex’s major offering has resulted in May being the month with the highest total funds raised so far in 2019. In ICObench’s historical data — which represents May 2018 through May 21, 2019 — only May and June 2018 saw higher levels of total funds raised via token sales.In terms of geographical distribution, the Brisitish Virgin Islands took the lead in terms of total funds raised, followed by the Cayman Islands. The United Kingdom contributed the highest number of ICOs — with 9 projects — yet scored only 7th place in terms of total funds.    In mid-May, Bitfinex unveiled its own native exchange utility token, LEO, for which the exchange had ostensibly raised the $1 billion in a private IEO — removing the need for a public offering. Also this month, together with spin-off Ethfinex, Bitfinex has launched an IEO platform.The exchange meanwhile continues to challenge court proceedings sparked by the New York Attorney General’s (NYAG) recent accusations against it. The NYAG alleges that the firm lost $850 million in user deposits and had subsequently secretly covered up the shortfall using funds from its sister firm, stablecoin operator Tether.Read More

  • Cointelegraph.com News - 25 May 2019, 12:25 am

    The FCA has reported that ICAP Crypto is a clone firm borrowing details from ICAP Europe Limited. The primary financial regulator of the United Kingdom, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), warned that ICAP Crypto is a clone firm in a public announcement on May 24.According to the report, ICAP Crypto is a clone firm of ICAP Europe Limited. Clone firms are a type of scam in which the scammers use information from legitimate firms in an attempt to convince targets that they are genuine.In this case, ICAP Europe Limited is a legitimate firm that is authorized by the FCA, and its details are being propagated in scams using the similarly-named ICAP Crypto “firm” which is neither authorized nor registered by the FCA.In 2018, the FCA issued warnings over at least two nominally crypto-related clone firms. The first clone, Fair Oaks Crypto, attempted to confuse targets by claiming to be affiliated with Fair Oaks Capital. The second clone, Good Crypto, ran its scam by misrepresenting some of the registration information of the legitimate firm Arup Corporate Finance as its own.As previously reported by Cointelegraph, the FCA stated this week that crypto and forex investors in the U.K. were scammed out of over $34 million from 2018–2019. The FCA went on to say that it was contemplating a ban on “high-risk derivative products linked to cryptoassets.”The FCA also recently accepted three blockchain businesses into its regulatory sandbox. According to the FCA, previous blockchain projects they have approved include:“… digital identity solutions, platforms which tokenize issuance of financial instruments, and services aimed at facilitating greater access to financial services for vulnerable consumers.”Read More

  • Cointelegraph.com News - 24 May 2019, 11:10 pm

    Two miners have purportedly executed a 51% attack on the bitcoin cash blockchain. Two miners have reportedly executed a 51% attack on the bitcoin cash (BCH) blockchain, according to tweets by Cryptoconomy Podcast host Guy Swann on May 24.A 51% attack occurs when someone controls the majority of mining power on a Proof-of-Work blockchain network. This means that the majority block verifier can prevent other users from mining and reverse transactions.While many have assumed that a 51% attack would be carried out with malicious intent, the above case happened as the two mining pools attempted to prevent an unidentified party from taking some coins that — due to a code update — were essentially “up for grabs.”According to Swann, two miners with majority control of the network — BTC.top and BTC.com — performed the attack in an effort to stop an unknown miner from taking coins that were sent to an “anyone can spend” address following the original hard fork in May 2017.  As per Swann’s tweets:“When the unknown miner tried to take the coins themselves, http://BTC.TOP  & http://BTC.COM saw & immediately decided to re-org & remove these [transactions] TXs, in favor of their own TXs, spending the same P2SH coins, + many others … So just 2 miners, in secret & w/ no trouble, took it upon themselves to remove 2 blocks w/ another’s TXs, & replace with their own.”51% attacks have generally been considered an undesirable and unprofitable option to take funds, as it would require a massive amount of computing power, and once a network is considered compromised, users would ostensibly flee.According to statistics on Coin.Dance, BTC.top and BTC.com control 43% of the bitcoin cash mining pool.As Cointelegraph reported, the Ethereum Classic (ETC) blockchain experienced a 51% attack in January. Researchers at the crypto exchange Gate.io reportedly found that an attacker had reversed four transactions, resulting in a loss of 54,200 ETC. The exchange promised to compensate the affected users, and advised other trading platforms to block transactions initiated by the attacker’s address.Read More

  • Cointelegraph.com News - 24 May 2019, 10:25 pm

    Encrypted instant messaging service Telegram has created a new programming language for its Telegram Open Network. Privacy-focused encrypted instant messaging service Telegram has created a new programming language for its Telegram Open Network (TON), according to a document posted on an unofficial TON Telegram channel on May 23.The document — evidently authored by Telegram co-founder Nikolai Durov and dated May 23 — introduces a new language called Fift.  The language is specifically designed for developing and managing TON blockchain smart contracts, and interacting with the TON Virtual Machine (TVM).TVM, in its turn, executes smart contract code in the TON blockchain, supporting all operations required to parse incoming messages and persistent data, and to create new messages and modify persistent data. The document provides a brief overview of Fift, including the language’s basics and TON-specific operations, among other issues.The release follows a recent report, stating that Telegram plans to launch TON in the third quarter of 2019. The TON network will supposedly host decentralized applications, similar to the Ethereum network.The eventual release of TON has been highly anticipated in the crypto and blockchain communities, as Telegram — which boasts over 200 million users — raised $1.7 billion in two initial coin offerings last year.Telegram reportedly launched a private beta testing of the TON blockchain to a limited number of global developers in April. While testing did not provide any specific outcomes, two anonymous testers revealed that the TON Blockchain demonstrated an “extremely high transaction speed.”Also in April, TON partnered with German financial services provider Wirecard to develop new digital financial products.Read More

  • Cointelegraph.com News - 24 May 2019, 9:20 pm

    Swiss luxury watch and clock manufacturer Vacheron Constantin will start using blockchain technology to track its timepieces. Swiss luxury watch and clock manufacturer Vacheron Constantin will start using blockchain technology to track its timepieces, lifestyle magazine Robb Report reported on May 24.Founded in 1755, Vacheron Constantin is recognized as the world’s oldest watch manufacturer. The company plans to issue a paper and digital certificate to each of its vintage watches, and will use blockchain tech to integrate additional information into the certificate, including a complete history of the product and manufacturer.Vacheron Constantin reportedly said that blockchain will help fight counterfeiters and guarantee authenticity of its watches, as well as protect potential customers from purchasing fakes. The company stated:“[Blockchain] makes it possible to create a forgery-proof digital certificate of authenticity, which follows the watch throughout its life, even if that involves several changes of owner. A unique number is thus assigned to a unique object, making the two inseparable and securing data relating to the property, value, nature and authenticity of the timepiece.”Earlier in May, major global fiber producer Lenzing announced it will implement blockchain to bring more transparency to its fiber supply chain.  Lenzing expects to launch its supply chain traceability platform in 2020.While blockchain has been widely deployed to revamp supply chains through the tech’s potential to improve efficiency and transparency, a senior executive at United States-based logistics firm FedEx expressed skepticism about blockchain in the company’s processes. Dale Chrystie claimed that, at the moment, traditional shipping data systems are superior to blockchain-based ones, as distributed ledger technologies are purportedly too nascent.Read More

  • Cointelegraph.com News - 24 May 2019, 8:11 pm

    Opposition politicians in Luxembourg have sought details regarding the current government’s e-government plan that involves blockchain tech and AI. Opposition party members in the Luxembourg parliament are demanding specifics from the prime minister on a proposed e-government plan, according to a report by the Luxembourg Times on May 24.The plan reportedly centers on the implementation of blockchain technology, as well as artificial intelligence (AI) in government administration. The seat of the newly-created government position Minister for digitalization, Marc Hansen, said there will be an emphasis on improving data storage and transmission in the government with blockchain technology.Laurent Mosar, a prominent member of the opposition Christian Democrats party, has asked for Prime Minister Xavier Bettel to provide specifics on various aspects of the plan. Mosar sought clarification on who in the private sector would partner with the government to develop the technology, which areas of the public sector would benefit, and actual deadlines for the projects.According to the report, the e-government plans regarding AI were similarly vague, and government spokespersons declined to comment when asked for the AI project budget.As recently reported by Cointelegraph, Luxembourg lawmakers passed a bill for facilitating blockchain tech in the financial sector this February. The new bill reportedly provides legal certainty with respect to blockchain-based securities in circulation, as well as the same legal protection for financial transactions on the blockchain as accorded to fiat transfers.A number of governments around the world are reportedly in the planning or implementation stage of rolling out blockchain strategies, such as New Zealand, Germany, Australia, and the United Arab Emirates.Read More

  • Cointelegraph.com News - 24 May 2019, 7:15 pm

    Montana Governor Steve Bullock signed a bill exempting utility tokens from state securities earlier in May. The United States State of Montana has recognized utility tokens and exempted them from state securities by passing a new bill this month. House bill 584, titled “Generally revise laws relating to cryptocurrency,” was signed by the Governor of Montana Steve Bullock on May 8.Initiated by State Representative Shane Morigeau, the bill had its first reading in February 2019. The Bill has now passed with 33-15, and will come into force on July 1.The new law defines a utility token as a digital unit that is created, recorded on blockchain, capable of being exchanged without a third party, and issued to enable owners to access a good or service delivered by the issuer “without vesting the holder with any ownership interest or equity interest in the issuer.”According to the bill, a utility token transaction has to meet a number of requirements, with the purpose of a token being “primarily consumptive,” while using such tokens for speculative or investment purposes is prohibited. In this regard, the legislators explained that utility tokens should be used to provide or receive goods, services or content.While utility tokens are exempt from state securities law, the issuers of such tokens still have to interact with the securities commissioner, and must file a notice of intent to sell such tokens.By passing its utility token law, the State of Montana has joined other crypto-friendly states, including Wyoming and Colorado. In January 2019, the State of Wyoming passed a bill recognizing cryptocurrencies as money. Subsequently, the State of Colorado passed cryptocurrency exemptions to its digital token act, enabling licensing requirements for entities operating with digital tokens.Read More

  • Cointelegraph.com News - 24 May 2019, 7:06 pm

    Blockchain browser Brave is testing a new tipping function for social media platform Twitter on its Nightly version. Blockchain browser Brave is testing a new tipping function for social media platform Twitter on its Nightly version, it announced in a tweet on May 23.The post reads that users of Brave Nightly — the testing and development version of blockchain-based browser that blocks ads and website trackers — will have access to the browser’s new feature for tipping tweets with the Brave Rewards program. The feature is designed to award content creators with Brave native digital tokens, basic attention tokens (BAT).A related announcement on the project’s website provides a detailed explanation of the tipping feature:“When you visit Twitter in the Brave Browser for desktop, you will see a special tip button on each tweet. Tap on a tip button to send a tip directly to the author of the tweet. Tips are sent instantly and appear in their Brave Rewards account within minutes.”Brave Rewards also allows users to tip creators on video-sharing website YouTube while watching their videos.In late April, Brave launched Brave Ads, an option that enables its users to earn rewards for watching advertising. The option allows the browser’s users to receive 70% of the ad revenue share as a reward for their attention in the form of BATs. Brave Ads purportedly ensures that brands are connecting with people who are interested in advertising, eliminating costs, and risks regarding privacy, security, and fraud.As reported last December, Brave became the default browser on a phone from major smartphone manufacturer HTC, and will reportedly be pre-installed on the HTC Exodus 1, “the first native blockchain phone” with support for multiple blockchains, including The Bitcoin and Ethereum networks.At press time, BAT is trading at $0.347, having gained 2.22% over the past 24 hours, according to CoinMarketCap. The token’s current market capitalization is around $439 million, while its daily trading volume is around $53.6 million.Read More

  • Bitcoin Magazine - 24 May 2019, 6:56 pm

    The purpose of this infographic is to visualize the size of large cryptocurrency hacks that have occurred in the past as if they all happened today. The hacks included in this infographic extend beyond exchanges, as there were other large entities that experienced cryptocurrency hacks, such as marketplaces like Silk Road 2.0. All hacks in this infographic are displayed as if the price of bitcoin was the same when they occurred, in order to visualize their magnitudes in relation to one another.The x-axis shows the price of bitcoin at the time of the hack. The y-axis shows the amount lost in the hack (converted to BTC for altcoin hacks). The size of each hack circle was determined by the value of BTC lost using a consistent price, regardless of the actual price at the time.It is important to note that several of the exchanges (rendered in green) were hacks that did not necessarily involve bitcoin or exclusively involve bitcoin.Mt. GoxHack Dates: June 2011, February 2014Amount Lost: 790,000+ BTCIn March 2014, Mt. Gox declared bankruptcy due to a series of hacks and thefts that went unreported for over three years, which were later documented by blockchain analyst Kim Nilsson. The final collapse resulted in a crash of Bitcoin in 2014. Below is a summary of all meaningful hacks that occured.On March 1, 2011, 80,000 BTC were stolen from Mt. Gox’s hot wallet, as thieves were able to make a copy of the wallet.dat file. In May 2011, hackers stole 300,000 BTC temporarily stored on an off-site wallet, which was on an unsecured, publicly accessible network drive. However, shortly after, the thief got nervous and returned the stolen funds with a 1 percent (3,000 BTC) “keeper’s fee.” In June 2011, a hacker was able to get into Jed McCaleb’s administrator account and manipulate prices, temporarily crashing the market. After the ordeal was over, the hacker managed to steal 2,000 BTC.In September 2011, a hacker was able to get read-write access to Mt. Gox’s database. The hacker created new accounts on the exchange, inflated user balances and was able to withdraw 77,500 BTC, after which they deleted most of the logs containing evidence of such transactions. In October 2011, a bug in Mark Karpeles’ new wallet software caused 2,609 BTC to be sent to an unspendable null key. The largest hack occurred at some point between September and October 2011 when a hacker was able to obtain a copy of Mt. Gox’s wallet.dat file and stole 630,000 BTC.BitcoinicaHack Date: March 1, 2012Amount Lost: 43,000 BTC and then another 18,457 BTCWeb hosting provider Linode’s servers were hacked, granting access to the bitcoin stored on pioneering exchange Bitcoinica. The incidents ultimately led to the demise of Bitcoinica.BitFloorHack Date: September 2012Amount Lost: 24,000 BTCBitFloor was compromised when a hacker was able to access unencrypted backups of the exchange’s wallets and transfer out the coins.PoloniexHack Date: March 4, 2014Amount Lost: 97 BTCIn March 2014, Poloniex announced that it has been the victim of an attack due to…Read More

  • Cointelegraph.com News - 24 May 2019, 6:40 pm

    Select major cryptocurrencies are showing signs of resuming their uptrend. The views and opinions expressed here are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Cointelegraph. Every investment and trading move involves risk, you should conduct your own research when making a decision.Market data is provided by the HitBTC exchange.Cryptocurrency fund manager Brian Kelly expects Bitcoin to rally further in the next few months on the back of its “halvening,” due in 2020. He proposes investors to buy around the current levels and  keep 1% to 5% of their portfolio in Bitcoin.Similarly, CEO of Morgan Creek Capital Mark Yusko believes that Bitcoin investments will outperform the S&P 500 investment fund over the next 10 years. According to him, the low correlation of the cryptocurrency with other asset classes is also a reason why it should be in every investors portfolio.Other than Bitcoin, the altcoins are also putting forth their use cases in various fields. The Enterprise Ethereum Alliance has outlined various use cases for the real estate sector. Not only crypto and blockchain companies that are looking at various opportunities where the technology can be of help. Elvira Nabiullina, the head of the Bank of Russia is interested in a gold-backed cryptocurrency as she believes it will improve mutual settlements with global jurisdictions.Facebook is in talks with the major cryptocurrency exchanges on the issue of its rumored cryptocurrency. The social media giant wants to ensure that its cryptocurrency is liquid, tradeable and secure. With fundamental factors supportive, how do the technicals look? Let’s find out.BTC/USDThe trend in Bitcoin (BTC) is up. It held its first support of $7,413.46 on May 23, which is a positive sign. Both the moving averages are trending up and the RSI is in positive territory. This suggests that the bulls have the upper hand.A breakdown of $7,413.46 and the 20-day EMA will be the first indication that the momentum has weakened. If the 20-day EMA breaks down, the BTC/USD pair can drop to the next support of the 50-day SMA and below it to $5,900. We anticipate this level to hold.On the upside, if the pair ascends $8,496.53, it can rally to the next resistance of $10,000, which is likely to act as a stiff resistance. We do not find any reliable buy setups at current levels, hence, we are not suggesting a trade in it.ETH/USDEthereum (ETH) has been holding above the support of $225.39 for the past few days. This shows strong demand at lower levels. Both the moving averages are trending up and the RSI is in positive territory. This shows that the bulls are in command.The bulls will now try to push the ETH/USD pair to the overhead resistance of $268.24. Above this, a rally to the $300–$322 resistance zone is possible. The pair will lose momentum if it breaks down of the 20-day EMA and the trend will turn in favor of the bears if the 50-day SMA cracks. Though bullish, we do not find a…Read More

  • Cointelegraph.com News - 24 May 2019, 5:50 pm

    Does Craig Wright’s copyright claim on bitcoin code change anything? Bitcoin SV (BSV) has had a big week. On Tuesday, its price jumped by just over 110%, leaping from about $62 at 1:14 p.m. UTC to $132 an hour later. Given that BSV had been having a rough time in the previous month, with a number of high-profile delistings, this dizzying price rise must have come as a relief to the supporters of the cryptocurrency and the company that created it — nChain.And while explanations for sudden market shifts are often hard to come by in the cryptocurrency industry, some within the media pinned BSV’s abrupt climb on the news that nChain founder Craig Wright had filed a copyright registration for the original bitcoin white paper with the United States Copyright Office. Given that this registration identified Wright as “Satoshi Nakamoto” — a claim Wright has been making since December 2015 — it ostensibly provided him and bitcoin SV with a considerable injection of credibility and authority. So, on the surface, at least, bitcoin SV’s price rise was the result of Craig Wright being seemingly “recognized” by the U.S. government as the true author of the bitcoin (BTC) white paper, and the market rushed to get its hands on the cryptocurrency he now backs.However, this could show that Craig Wright is trying to ramp up his efforts to intimidate anyone who denies he’s Satoshi Nakamoto and/or calls him a fraud. But even if the filing represents a new peak (or low) in his attempts to browbeat detractors and rival cryptocurrencies, some may argue that this reveals a high level of ignorance and incompetence. The copyright has no legal bearing on attempts to pass off a cryptocurrency as the “real” bitcoin, something that Wright claims he wants to stamp out.Registering a copyright claim vs. proving a copyrightWright has filed two copyright claims with the U.S. Copyright Office, with the office officially registering both of these in early April. One is a claim for the original bitcoin white paper, while the other is for most of the bitcoin 0.1 source code, with the nChain press release concerning these registrations summarizing them in the following way:”U.S. copyright registration no. TXu 2-136-996, effective date April 11, 2019, for the paper entitled bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System, with year of completion 2008. The registration recognizes the author as Craig Steven Wright, using the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto.””U.S. copyright registration no. TX-8-708-058, effective date April 13, 2019, for computer program entitled bitcoin, with year of completion 2009 and date of first publication January 3, 2009. The registration recognizes the author as Craig Steven Wright, using the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto. Wright wrote most of version 0.1 of the bitcoin client software, and the registration covers the portions he authored.”There’s no disputing that these registrations have been filed with the U.S. Copyright Office. Nonetheless, they don’t provide any real evidence of bitcoin authorship, since — as numerous commentators have pointed out — it’s highly unlikely that the Copyright…Read More

  • Cointelegraph.com News - 24 May 2019, 5:15 pm

    sponsored A crypto derivatives exchange says it offers competitive advantages over rivals thanks to its partnerships with established industry players. A crypto futures exchange says its features mean it is well-positioned to solve current problems that exist among rivals.The team behind FTX claims they were driven to act after “hours of feedback” to established exchanges about the problems with their products went ignored.As a result, the company claims that its platform “reduces the likelihood of clawbacks” through a three-tiered liquidation model — tackling the problem represented by “significant amount of customer funds on other derivatives exchanges that have been claimed by socialized losses.”In a blog post, the exchange explained: “FTX really does see clawbacks as a worst-case scenario that we hope never happens. We designed a system that we think will withstand huge market moves and huge volume without leading to any clawbacks.”This is achieved through a “backstop liquidity provider system” in which providers that have opted into the system have the opportunity to take over an account’s obligation before it goes bankrupt, meaning they can attempt to manage the position and “instantly inject liquidity from other exchanges.”FTX claims that testing showed that “even market moves of 40 percent in a 20-minute period were not enough to cause clawbacks.”Competitive advantagesFTX says that its backstop liquidity provider system is coupled with universal margin wallets via TrueUSD or USDCoin that enable users to trade all derivatives in one place. In addition, the company claims traders can “instantly” put on short or long positions with up to triple leverage without maintaining any collateral in margin.In addition, FTX offers noninverted futures. Specially, its USDT/USD and BNB/USD futures provide easy and effective hedging opportunities for USDT and BNB positions. The exchange has also launched leveraged tokens on USDT, BTC, ETH, EOS, XRP with -1, +3 and -3 leverage, allowing users to put on positions that would typically require posting collateral without doing so.When it comes to over-the-counter trading, FTX says that it offers “some of the tightest spreads in the industry” despite the recent bear market and a competitive landscape thanks to an automated request-for-quote system.FTX is available hereThe crypto exchange adds that it is backed by Alameda Research, which it claims has become “one of the largest liquidity providers and market makers in the space,” trading anywhere between $200 million and $1 billion a day, depending on market volatility.FTX argues that its offering is hard to replicate because of how many of its unique selling points depend on Alameda’s expertise. A summary of its white paper adds: “FTX is designed by people who really know the products. Everything from collateral to maintenance margin to liquidation processes to product listing has been redesigned from the ground up by one of the heaviest users of the products. It is built by traders, for traders.”When it comes to developing new features, the exchange says that it is able to tap into Alameda’s tech team — and claims they are able to build “complex crypto trading systems under…Read More

  • Bitcoin Magazine - 24 May 2019, 5:14 pm

    The popular peer-to-peer bitcoin trading network LocalBitcoins has shut down all trading operations for Iranian users.LocalBitcoins’ website offers a variety of pages for users of different nations and, as of May 24, 2019, the Iranian page displays a message that “LocalBitcoins is currently not available in your selected region,” in English only. In an official correspondence regarding the update, a representative of LocalBitcoins confirmed that Iranians can no longer access the service.“If you have an account already, you will be able to withdraw your bitcoins, but you will not be able to use the platform for trading,” the representative said of Iranian users.LocalBitcoins is not the first peer-to-peer trading network to block Iran in this fashion. Major companies such as Coinbase and Binance have also begun rejecting Iranian customers on the basis of their nationality within the past year. Ziya Sadr, an Iranian bitcoiner, told Bitcoin Magazine that the move “shouldn't come as a surprise.”The reason for these companies’ blocks seems clear: the new wave of sanctions that the United States is levying against Iran and companies that conduct business within the country. Since the Trump administration unilaterally violated an agreement with the Iranian government regarding the nonproliferation of nuclear weapons in 2018, relations between the two countries have been deteriorating.Iranian citizens have shown interest in the borderless nature of Bitcoin for just this reason, among the other natural advantages of the technology. In April, the country’s first Bitcoin ATM made a splash at a Tehran technology exhibition. Camera crews interviewed several passersby and the topic of using Bitcoin to circumvent unjust sanctions came up repeatedly.Bitcoin is fundamentally a platform designed to connect users worldwide, regardless of the restrictions imposed on free exchange by various nations. After receiving the Lightning Torch from Bitcoin Magazine via Welsh bitcoiner Bitgeiniog in March, Sadr called Bitcoin “a safe haven.”“Laws and regulations may force a business to take decisions against their will,” Sadr told Bitcoin Magazine regarding the LocalBitcoins ban. “This will force a business like LocalBitcoins to lose users and revenue, but the market operates and there will always be different business that will serve us.”Indeed, the space as a whole is not abandoning the country of some 80 million people. Also on May 24, Hodl Hodl announced that it was offering full support for operations in the country. More than just keeping the site open, Hodl Hodl also announced that it would provide Farsi language support (unlike LocalBitcoins’ English-only error message), a discounted exchange fee and a Telegram group specific for Iranian users to establish contact with each other. Bisq, another decentralized bitcoin exchange, has also added Farsi support and offers Iranian bitcoiners a viable alternative.Ironically, even in the wake of LocalBitcoins’ exit from the country, Iranians “actually now have more and better options for p2p exchanges than before,” Sadr said. This article originally appeared on Bitcoin Magazine.Read More

  • Cointelegraph.com News - 24 May 2019, 3:26 pm

    Anonymous sources say that Facebook’s upcoming Globalcoin project is “bigger and more open” than just a payment method. Social media giant Facebook has reportedly held talks with major United States-based crypto exchanges about the issuance of its own crypto, the Financial Times (FT) reports on May 24.Citing two people familiar with Facebook’s “Globalcoin” project, the FT wrote that Facebook has discussed the initiative with major crypto exchange and wallet Coinbase. The article also notes that Facebook reportedly spoke with the Gemini exchange, which was founded by the Winklevoss twins, the well-known rivals of Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg.According to the anonymous sources, Facebook has been conducting negotiations with major crypto-related firms in order to ensure that its long-rumored stablecoin is pegged to the value of the United States dollar and is liquid, tradeable and secure.Other firms reportedly included Chicago’s leading high-frequency trading firms Jump and DRW, the report says.All the parties mentioned above have declined to comment on the matter to the FT, with the report adding that the social media giant has required them to sign non-disclosure agreements.While the BBC has recently reported that Facebook’s upcoming cryptocurrency will be focused on payments, the sources reportedly revealed that Globalcoin will be “bigger and more open” than just a payment method for purchases on Facebook. As previously reported, Facebook allegedly plans to integrate its three fully-owned applications — WhatsApp, Messenger and Instagram — to deliver its massively exposed cryptocurrency project.According to the FT, industry experts claim that regulation will be Facebook’s biggest obstacle in delivering its own cryptocurrency.On May 2, Facebook registered a new financial tech firm, Libra Networks LLC, in Geneva, which notably plans to offer services in finance and emerging technologies including payments, financing, identity management, data analysis, big data, blockchain and others.Earlier in April, Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss came to an agreement with bitcoin (BTC) entrepreneur Charlie Shrem to end a lawsuit the twins filed against Shrem last year. The brothers had previously accused Shrem of stealing 5,000 bitcoin (worth about $40 million at press time).Read More

  • Cointelegraph.com News - 24 May 2019, 3:14 pm

    Russian state-owned firm Rostec offers a $1.3 billion plan to apply blockchain in all the state data systems. Russian state-owned holding conglomerate Rostec proposed a roadmap on applying blockchain in all the governmental data systems, local financial newspaper Kommersant reports on May 24.An institution under Rostec has reportedly developed a blockchain roadmap worth up to 85 billion rubles ($1.3 billion) that claims to provide an economic impact of up to 1.6 trillion rubles ($25.4 billion) in five years.The project was presented by Rostec’s structural body, the Novosibirsk Institute of Programming Systems (NIPS), during a blockchain conference held in the Republic of Tatarstan on May 23.According to Kommersant, the NIPS’ roadmap includes a blockchain implementation in the processes and data systems of industrial enterprises, municipal elections, the monitoring of the budgetary performance and other services.The report notes that the absence of cryptocurrency and blockchain regulation is a major impediment to the adoption of the proposed roadmap. Yuri Pripachkin, the president of the Russian Association of Cryptocurrency and Blockchain, considered the lack of regulation a “catastrophic obstacle on the path blockchain adoption.”The expert argued that necessary legislation should be enforced as soon as in late 2019 in order to have better results, while the roadmap is based on a supposition that the regulation will come into force in 2021.On the other hand, Russian prime minister and former president Dmitry Medvedev recently declared that crypto regulation is not a priority for the state of Russia since cryptocurrencies “have lost their popularity.”On May 22, the central bank of Russia claimed that the draft bill on crypto regulation is prepared enough to be adopted in the spring of 2019, in accordance with the order of the country’s president, Vladimir Putin.Read More

  • Cointelegraph.com News - 24 May 2019, 3:04 pm

    Novogratz suggested that one of the crypto assets created by social media giants will succeed. Michael Novogratz, founder and CEO of cryptocurrency merchant bank Galaxy Digital, has suggested that one of the crypto assets created by social media giants will succeed. Novogratz made his remarks during an interview with CNBC published on May 24.At the end of the interview, Novogratz noted:“I think Facebook’s payment currency, I think Telegram’s gonna have one…You’re gonna see one of those payment coins work, and I think that has the chance to be a real currency.”Earlier in the interview, Novogratz reiterated his stance that bitcoin (BTC) is a store of value, again comparing the coin to gold as he did in February. Still, he pointed out that while something like Facebook’s coin will probably be used for payments, bitcoin will be limited to being a store of value.Novogratz also again stated that the “crypto winter is over,” which is in line with what he said at the beginning of the month,when he expressed the idea that cryptocurrencies are now in a bull market. When the interviewer asked Novogratz whether he believes the people who previously got “burned” by bitcoin won’t buy it again for many years, he said:“I don’t think it’s the case. And a lot of institutions never got in, so they felt kinda smart and now all of them say, ‘Wait a minute, now there’s more cover.’ […] Retail will come and go, and a lot of the guys who got burned won’t come, but there’s seven and a half billion people on the planet, there’s plenty of retail customers to continue to come in. ”Novogratz said that coins such as ethereum (ETH) and eos — which he refers to as web 3.0 coins — are interesting. Still, he explained that all those networks are fighting to become web 3.0, and that it is going to take two to five years to find the winner, since “it’s much more like a venture play than a currency play.” Such initiatives, he noted, need to get developers to build applications on their platforms and thus become useful.As Cointelegraph reported this current month, Novogratz has previously stated that since bitcoin is just a store of value, it is not going to change the world, but web 3.0 could.Yesterday, news broke that encrypted messaging service Telegram will purportedly launch its Telegram Open Network in the third quarter of 2019. Facebook’s secretive alleged cryptocurrency, now dubbed the Globalcoin, will also reportedly launch in 2020.Read More

  • Cointelegraph.com News - 24 May 2019, 1:34 pm

    Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin proposed creating an on-chain smart contract-based ether mixer. Ethereum (ETH) co-founder Vitalik Buterin has proposed creating an on-chain smart contract-based ether mixer in a note on collaborative development platform HackMD on May 24.In his note, Buterin argues that the Ethereum ecosystem needs more privacy, and points out that the default behavior is to do everything through a single account, allowing for all of the user’s activities to be linked to each other. Furthermore, he notes that simply spreading the ether across multiple addresses is not a solution, since the transactions sending ETH to those wallets connect them.Buterin also linked to a Twitter thread where it has been brought to his attention that to apply for the HumanityDAO initiative, users are asked to simply tweet their Ethereum address. Twitter user Mooncritic noted: “You can now look up many people’s Ethereum balance by their Twitter handle.”For this reason, Buterin proposes “a simple mixer for sending fixed quantities of ETH from one account to another without the link being visible on-chain.” According to him, even if the mixer would be able to manage only small amounts of ETH, it would still enable privacy-preserving usage in many applications which involve small quantities of funds.On the technical side, the proposed system would be composed of two smart contracts: the mixer and the relayer registry. While the mixer would “mix” the coins, ensuring privacy by employing ZK-SNARKs, the relayer registry would allow anyone to publish their IP address for a small fee.The system would allow users to send a transaction to deposit, wait to get more anonymity, generate a ZK-SNARK proof and relay it to the addresses contained in the registry. The software allowing for the use of the mixer would be web-based, requiring users only to visit a web page in their browsers to use it.As Cointelegraph reported earlier this week, Dutch, Luxembourg authorities and Europol have shut down one of the three largest cryptocurrency mixers.In September 2017, a group of analysts evaluated how much and where Ethereum transactions were being processed, allegedly finding that a mixer was responsible for 65% of the transaction volume.Read More

  • Cointelegraph.com News - 24 May 2019, 12:32 pm

    Major P2P crypto exchange LocalBitcoins.com has banned users based out of Iran. Major peer-to-peer cryptocurrency exchange LocalBitcoins.com has banned users living in Iran, according to their website as of today, May 24.Screenshot of LocalBitcoin Iranian page as of press timeA source had previously told Cointelegraph in an email that the impetus for restricting Iranian transactions is to comply with financial regulations in Finland, where the headquarters of LocalBitcoins.com is located. Moreover, exchanges are purportedly cutting off Iranian users due to sanctions previously imposed on other exchanges by the United States.Major crypto exchanges Coinbase and Binance do not currently support users living in Iran.One of the purported advantages of LocalBitcoins for Iranian users was that it did not require a credit card or online payment, meaning that Iranian users without international bank accounts could still buy and trade crypto, says the source.At press time, LocalBitcoins has not responded to Cointelegraph’s request for comment.In January of this year, Cointelegraph reported that Iran was allegedly planning to unveil its own cryptocurrency as a way to circumvent sanctions.Earlier in May, United States Congressman Brad Sherman — a noted critic of cryptocurrencies in general — said that they are a threat to American foreign policy. Sherman suggested a complete ban on U.S. citizens purchasing crypto, as he thinks crypto diminishes the power of the U.S. dollar as an international financial standard.Read More

  • Cointelegraph.com News - 24 May 2019, 11:54 am

    A capital markets platform in Singapore will be ready to fully launch regulated trading of digitized securities in early 2020. Capital markets platform iSTOX has joined Singapore’s regulatory sandbox to launch digitized securities trading in late 2019, the firm announced in a tweet on May 24.Following its addition to the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS)’s FinTech Regulatory Sandbox on May 1, the Singapore-based company will start providing service for the trading of digitized securities starting from Q4 2019, according to an iSTOX official press release.Operated by ICHX Tech, a blockchain infrastructure firm incubated by major Singapore investment firm ICH Group, iSTOX expects to graduate from the sandbox and be fully operational by early 2020, the press release notes. The firm claims to be the first “fully-regulated platform in a major global financial center to offer issuance, settlement, custody and secondary trading of digitized securities.”The MAS represents both Singapore’s central bank and financial regulator. The authority launched its FinTech Regulatory Sandbox in order to enable local projects to develop new financial products and services in a secure and efficient ecosystem.In late 2018, the MAS expanded its regulatory framework for payment operators to bring selected cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin (BTC) and ethereum (ETH) under its jurisdiction. The bank has submitted a new bill that is expected to replace two existing pieces of its legislation related to payments and remittances.Recently, MAS’ CFO Sopnendu Mohanty has recognized the potential of blockchain to improve the efficiency of cross-border payments after the bank successfully carried out its first blockchain cross-border transaction in digital currency in cooperation with the Bank of Canada.Read More

  • Cointelegraph.com News - 24 May 2019, 11:11 am

    Most of the top 20 cryptocurrencies are reporting moderate gains on the day as bitcoin approaches the $8,000 mark again. Friday, May 24 — most of the top 20 cryptocurrencies are reporting moderate gains on the day by press time, as bitcoin (BTC) crosses the $8,000 mark again.Market visualization courtesy of Coin360Bitcoin is up over 5% on the day, trading at $8,018 at press time, according to CoinMarketCap. Looking at its weekly chart, the coin is down over 8.42%.Bitcoin 7-day price chart. Source: CoinMarketCapEarlier this week, CEO of Morgan Creek Capital Mark Yusko said bitcoin should be in every investor’s portfolio.Ether (ETH) is holding onto its position as the largest altcoin by market cap, which currently stands at $26.6 billion. The second-largest altcoin, XRP, has a market cap of $16.2 billion at press time.CoinMarketCap data shows that ETH is up over 6% over the last 24 hours. At press time, ETH is trading around $251. On the week, the coin has also seen its value increase by about 4.78%.Ether 7-day price chart. Source: CoinMarketCapXRP is about 4% up over the last 24 hours and is currently trading at around $0.386. On the week, the coin is up over 2.3%.XRP 7-day price chart. Source: CoinMarketCapAmong the top 20 cryptocurrencies, the only one reporting losses is bitcoin sv (BSV), which is nearly 1% down at press time.At press time, the total market capitalization of all cryptocurrencies is $249.5 billion, less than 7.8% higher than the value it reported a week ago.Total market capitalization 7-day chart. Source: CoinMarketCapAs Cointelegraph reported earlier today, United States telecom and media giant AT&T is now accepting cryptocurrency for paying phone bills online.In traditional markets, the United States stock market is seeing discrete losses so far today, with the S&P 500 down 1.19% and the Nasdaq down 1.58% at press time. The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX), on the other hand, has lost a solid 5.61% on the day at press time.Major oil futures and indexes are mostly down today, with WTI Crude up 1.05%, Brent Crude up 1.1% and Mars US down 4.85% at press time. The OPEC Basket is down 0.95% and the Canadian Crude Index seen its value loose 8.22% by press time, according to OilPrices.Read More

  • Cointelegraph.com News - 24 May 2019, 10:16 am

    A teaser of the platform’s new look notably includes a view of margin trading, which CEO Changpeng Zhao previously said was in testing. Cryptocurrency exchange Binance delivered what appeared to be the first confirmation it had added margin trading for traders in a social media update on May 24.As part of its ongoing transition that will see new products, including a decentralized exchange, Binance released preliminary views of its new trading interface.Composed of a “dark” and “light” mode, developers conspicuously chose a view of margin trading for the teaser screenshots,The unveiling follows comments from CEO, Changpeng Zhao (also known as CZ), who confirmed margin trading would appear on Binance during a live “Ask Me Anything” session earlier this month.“As we are working on our margin system, that’s rolling out very, very soon,” he told viewers, adding that the feature would first be made available to large-volume traders for help with testing. CZ stated:“We will do a gradual rollout of the margin platform; it’s actually being beta tested by our internal team.”Binance has recovered strongly from an unexpected security breach at the start of May which saw hackers steal bitcoin (BTC) worth $41 million at the time.While the event sent jitters through markets, sentiment rebounded, with Binance covering consumer losses and shutting down full functionality for a week while improvements were implemented.The exchange relaunched deposit and withdrawal options on May 15.Margin trading allows exchange account holders to use their existing balances as collateral, opening up the possibility for higher profits, but likewise entailing a higher level of risk. Some other major exchanges, including Kraken, GDAX and BitMEX already offer the tool.Read More

  • Cointelegraph.com News - 24 May 2019, 10:09 am

    Privacy-centric cryptocurrency monero will reportedly switch to a new proof-of-work algorithm in October. Privacy-centric cryptocurrency monero (XMR) plans to switch to a new proof-of-work (PoW) algorithm in October. The new algorithm follows an agreement with Arweave, which will fund an audit of the new algorithm, an Arweave spokesperson told Cointelegraph via email on May 23. Arweave, which has launched a permanent and decentralized internet, said that monero will implement the RandomX algorithm, thus replacing CryptoNight, if the audit is successful. Until now, monero developers reportedly hard-forked the network once every 6 months to ensure application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC) resistance by implementing small changes to CryptoNight. However, this approach has been criticized for being overly centralized, as one commentator on GitHub noted in 2018 that the frequent hard forks mean a higher degree of centralization to coordinate them. Arweave claimed that RandomX requires less developer intervention to stay ASIC-resistant, and will render graphics processing unit-based mining uncompetitive. Arweave has purportedly partnered with monero developers to co-fund the audit, which is expected to reach $150,000 of funding and will be conducted over the next two months. The GitHub page dedicated to RandomX also notes that the algorithm requires miners to dedicate over two gigabytes of RAM to the process, which could make cryptojacking attempts harder to hide. As Cointelegraph recently reported, a global threat report from Check Point Research has concluded that the three most common malware variants detected in April were crypto miners, which often mine monero. At the beginning of May, security intelligence firm Trend Micro Inc reported that cybercriminals are now reportedly exploiting known vulnerability CVE-2019-3396 in the software Confluence, a workspace productivity tool made by Atlassian, to mine monero.Read More

  • Bitcoin Magazine - 23 May 2019, 8:46 pm

    Summary:The bitcoin market is seeing some pullback as the monthly and weekly resistance level has proven to be a tough level to crack. On the daily level we can see a couple of attempts to break the level, but ultimately this was matched with strong selling pressure.On bitcoin’s four-hour chart we can see that support that once held the market up is now turning into support with a failure to reclaim the level.If we fail to reclaim the $7,800s, we can expect to see a retest of the $7,300s and if that level doesn’t hold, we will very likely see a test of the low $6,000s.Trading and investing in digital assets like bitcoin is highly speculative and comes with many risks. This analysis is for informational purposes and should not be considered investment advice. Statements and financial information onBitcoin Magazine and BTC Inc sites do not necessarily reflect the opinion of BTC Inc and should not be construed as an endorsement or recommendation to buy, sell or hold. Past performance is not necessarily indicative of future results. This article originally appeared on Bitcoin Magazine.Read More

  • Bitcoin Magazine - 23 May 2019, 7:47 pm

    AT&T customers can now use bitcoin to settle their bills online.According to a press release from the Dallas-based mobile carrier, customers who want to use cryptocurrency to pay their bills can do so by selecting BitPay as a payment option on the myAT&T app or when they log in to their account. BitPay is a popular crypto payment service that helps businesses accept cryptocurrencies for payments online.“It's exciting for BitPay to support AT&T as it moves to accept bitcoin as a payment option,” Sonny Singh, BitPays chief commercial officer, told Bitcoin Magazine. “Bitcoin lets customers pay from anywhere in the world quickly and easily.”For AT&T’s part, adding BitPay as a payment option gives its customers more flexibility.“We’re always looking for ways to improve and expand our services,” said Kevin McDorman, vice president of AT&T’s Communications Finance Business Operations, per the release. “We have customers who use cryptocurrency, and we are happy we can offer them a way to pay their bills with the method they prefer.” This article originally appeared on Bitcoin Magazine.Read More

  • Bitcoin Magazine - 23 May 2019, 4:16 pm

    The founder of defunct cryptocurrency exchange Cryptopia, which entered liquidation following a hack in January 2019, has launched a new exchange called Assetylene.The LinkedIn employment history for the founder of the failed New Zealand exchange, Adam Clark, indicates that he’s been working on Assetylene since September 2018, which is also when the exchange’s Twitter account went live. With fewer than 100 followers, the account is billed as representing “New Zealand’s most advanced crypto-currency exchange [sic].”Once a highly prominent exchange in New Zealand, Cryptopia lost nearly 10 percent of its entire liquidity in a hack earlier this year. Attempts to salvage the business ultimately failed. On May 15, 2019, its liquidators formally announced that the company was defunct. At the time of this writing, hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of Cryptopia’s assets are still circulating in an easily tracked manner.Seeing as Cryptopia did not fully close until May 2019, and Assetylene’s date of founding is listed in the preceding September, it may be that Clark had moved on to this new business well before Cryptopia’s collapse began. However, there’s also reason to believe that Clark set up the new exchange quickly, after Cryptopia’s hack had already occurred.For one, an archived copy of the Assetylene site shows that it is based on the TradeSatoshi platform, which can set up exchanges within minutes. Furthermore, Clark’s own LinkedIn shows that he was TradeSatoshi’s senior software development engineer when Assetylene was first set up. More damningly, Assetylene has zero liquidity, is not listed on CoinMarketCap and its about page is empty with no trading data found on the site.Assetylene may very well become a full-fledged exchange with time. However, given the time period that it has apparently remained inactive while Cryptopia was still viable and its current insufficiency, the jury’s still out. This article originally appeared on Bitcoin Magazine.Read More

  • Bitcoin Magazine - 23 May 2019, 4:13 pm

    More crypto users can now walk into their local grocery store and purchase cryptocurrencies, thanks to the expansion of a partnership between Bitcoin ATM operator Coinme and coin-cashing machine purveyor Coinstar.The expansion, announced in a press release, means that bitcoin will be available for purchase at over 2,200 locations in 21 states and the District of Columbia. The partnership began in early 2019 and grew to offer bitcoin purchases at kiosks in 19 states in late April.Specifically, the kiosks allow users to enter their phone numbers and deposit cash in exchange for bitcoin redemption codes, which can be redeemed on Coinme’s website with an account. Users can purchase up to $2,500 worth at a time and are subject to a 4 percent flat fee. This article originally appeared on Bitcoin Magazine.Read More

  • Bitcoin Magazine - 22 May 2019, 6:13 pm

    The Dutch Financial Intelligence and Investigation Service (FIOD) has shut down cryptomixing site Bestmixer.io.According to local media, Dutch authorities moved to shut down the site on May 22, 2019, as part of a joint operation with police agencies from several European nations, including France, Latvia and Luxembourg. Following concerns originally raised by the online security company McAfee in 2018, the FIOD has claimed that the service was used for money laundering.As Dutch media reported, no arrests have yet been made in the Bestmixer case, as Europol officials attempt to determine the extent to which criminal money laundering was used on the site.McAfee also released its own report on the FIOD’s action against Bestmixer, describing the site’s possible connections to cybercrime and usage as an easy way to launder money.The “bitcoin laundering” technique described by McAfee was used to the same effect as the CoinJoin protocol, which allows multiple users to pool transactions into a single group, scrambling funds and obscuring links between sending and receiving addresses. The key difference between the two is that Bestmixer was a centralized, custodial service and explicitly advertised as a way to launder coins for illegal purposes, while CoinJoin's mixing is user-operated and solely presented as a privacy-enhancing mechanism.CoinJoin has, over the last year, come to occupy a substantial percentage of all crypto transactions in the space. As such, it may be cause for concern that this legal action against Bestmixer could come to affect other, similar crypto services, even if they operate as completely legal entities.“Today’s Bestmixer seizure shows an increase in law enforcement activities on pure crypto-to-crypto services,” Dave Jevans, CEO of blockchain forensics company CipherTrace, told Bitcoin Magazine. “This is the first public seizure of a bitcoin mixing service and shows that not only are dark marketplaces subject to criminal enforcement, but other services are as well.”But Bestmixer may have been particularly egregious in leveraging its coin mixing services to help bad actors skirt financial regulations.“Bestmixer has blatantly advertised money laundering services and falsely claimed to be domiciled in Curacao, where it claimed it was a legal service,” Jevans added. “The reality is that they were operating in Europe and serviced customers from many countries around the world. Bestmixer is also known for its ‘crypto dusting’ activities, where it sends small amounts of bitcoin to tens of thousands of addresses in an attempt to defeat cryptocurrency anti-money laundering tools.”While it’s still unclear how the FIOD will proceed, authorities have seemingly replaced Bestmixer’s site header with a notice that the domain has been seized.This article was updated to clarify the differences between Bestmixer and CoinJoin. This article originally appeared on Bitcoin Magazine.Read More

  • Bitcoin Magazine - 22 May 2019, 4:27 pm

    This article was originally published by 8btc and written by Vincent He.Nearly 100 victims from various parts of China have reported to the Hangzhou police bureau, claiming that they were deceived by two young men, named Zhou Yi and Li Xiang, who allegedly stole nearly 7,000 bitcoin through exchanging or borrowing.According to the victims, Zhou and Xiang had claimed on the internet that they could exchange bitcoin as futures and provide interest. The victims trusted them, as some preliminary orders in small amounts were delivered on time. As the pair could offer bitcoin at prices lower than the market rate and delivery seemed stable, they soon collected several thousand orders.“I began OTC [over-the-counter] Bitcoin trading since 2017, unexpectedly I was cheated by more than 2 million yuan this year,” Mr. Wang, one of the alleged victims, said. “As a senior bitcoin speculator, I always buy low and sell high, I trust my peers.”But Mr. Wang was not alone, as there appear to be more than 100 victims in this case. It has been reported that more than 7,000 BTC, equating 300 million yuan (≅$43.4 million), was involved.This apparent bitcoin trade scam was conducted in two WeChat groups. If someone wanted to buy bitcoin, they could negotiate privately in the groups and transfer the money to a designated bank account after confirmation. One or two days later, Zhou Yi would send bitcoin to the buyer’s designated wallet.”I had been trading with them for more than a year,” Mr. Zhang, another one of the victims, said. “I first traded with them last summer and then bought bitcoins from them three times a week until they lost touch in April. The amount of each transaction [was] about two or three million yuan. In nearly a year, the volume of transactions has reached billions of yuan. Their price [was] very low. I earned nearly one million yuan before.”Aside from trading bitcoin as futures, the pair was also borrowing bitcoin and promising interest. They gave 100 to 120 yuan worth of BTC to victims as interest, so 90 percent of the victims would deposit bitcoin into their account. When victims pushed them for the release of these bitcoin, they would always transfer some money as compensation before disappearing.Now Zhou and Xiang have been arrested for “illegal public deposit absorption” and the case is pending further investigation. The biggest concern for victims is how to determine the nature of the case. Some of the victims are not satisfied with the initial charges.“We just want to give the police more information to prove that they knew at the beginning of March that they couldn’t issue coins, and that the subsequent transactions were not only illegal public deposit absorptions, but also a fraud,” a victim said.So, where is the legal boundary for OTC Bitcoin trading?“It is legal to own bitcoins in China,” said Sa Xiao, a council member at the Bank of China Law Research Association, as cited by The Beijing News. Additionally, Xiao considers the occasional exchange…Read More

  • Bitcoin Magazine - 22 May 2019, 3:47 pm

    The Australian Federal Police (AFP) has charged a government employee alleged to have misused government IT infrastructure for personal cryptomining operations, per a press release.In the release, the AFP states that the unnamed 33-year-old man is an IT contractor with the Australian government, who took advantage of his access to “manipulate programs to use the processing power of the agency’s computer network for cryptocurrency mining.”For his effort, the report claims he earned AU$9,000 (around $6,200) from the mining operation.He was subsequently charged for the unauthorized modification of restricted data and the unauthorized modification of data to cause impairment. The charges mentioned carry a maximum sentence of 2 years and 10 years, respectively.Speaking on the matter, Acting Commander Chris Goldsmid, manager of cybercrime operations, said the civil servant in question will be prosecuted for his actions.“Australian taxpayers put their trust in public officials to perform vital roles for our community with the utmost integrity,” Goldsmid said, per the release. “Any alleged criminal conduct which betrays this trust for personal gain will be investigated and prosecuted.”Earlier this year, Matthew McDermott, an IT manager for the Florida Department of Citrus (FDoC), was arrested for using the department’s computers to mine cryptocurrencies. According to the report, McDermott used his employer’s computers to mine various digital assets, particularly bitcoin and litecoin. His actions were said to have cost the State Department about $825 in additional utility bills from October 2017 to January 2018. This article originally appeared on Bitcoin Magazine.Read More

  • Bitcoin Magazine - 22 May 2019, 2:44 am

    Bitcoin was barely a year old and trading for less than a penny. Excitement for the world’s first cryptocurrency was still largely bottled up in the infant hobbyist forum Bitcointalk, itself barely half a year old. Here, OGs effervescent with enthusiasm compared notes on economic philosophy, technical knowledge and the new cryptographic beast that Satoshi Nakamoto created. Satoshi himself was still active on the forum, too, as the earliest adopters shared their visions for the future of money.Though, if that future was going to be realized, something was still missing: No one had ever spent bitcoin on anything. Darknet markets wouldn’t exist for a few years and the only transactions users facilitated (besides peer-to-peer ones on the network) were done in cash.Perhaps this is why Laszlo Hanyecz decided it was time to make history. On May 18, 2010, the Bitcoin Core contributor asked fellow enthusiasts on Bitcointalk if someone would “make [two large] pizzas yourself and bring it to my house or order it for me from a delivery place.” He offered 10,000 BTC for the service and, though it took four days, he got his wish.One prescient user cautioned that 10,000 bitcoin was “quite a bit” — around $41 at the time. And, of course, “quite a bit” sounds like an absurd understatement today; seven years later, at bitcoin’s all-time high, that sum would be worth $200,000,000.To Hanyecz, who told Bitcoin Magazine that he spent something near 100,000 BTC on pizza that year, the purchase was just another drop in the bucket.“We would just give people bitcoin on the forum,” he said — sometimes 100, sometimes 1,000 BTC at a time.“I wanted to do the pizza thing because to me it was free pizza,” Hanyecz explained. “I mean, I coded this thing and mined bitcoin and I felt like I was winning the internet that day. I got pizza for contributing to an open-source project. Usually hobbies are a time sink and money sink, and in this case, my hobby bought me dinner.”Not Just “That Pizza Guy”The May 22, 2010, transaction would be etched in stone, as much for the symbolic significance of the purchase as for the gaffe that Hanyecz spent the future-equivalent of Kanye West’s net worth on two large Papa John’s pizzas.But there’s more to Hanyecz’s story than this transaction, even though the legendary pizza purchase has overshadowed his other achievements in the Bitcoin space. The developer is doing just fine despite the purchase, actually, mainly because of his other (and vastly more important) contribution to Bitcoin’s development: GPU mining.Before revolutionizing mining, the software engineer, who was introduced to Bitcoin in late 2009, was a member of its first class of contributors. As he humbly put it, Hanyecz “had been working on [bitcoin], fixing bugs and things like that.” His “minor” contributions include building and deploying the first macOS Bitcoin Core release.They also include revamping the landscape of mining. Hanyecz first introduced the community to GPU mining in May 2010, which he saw as simply contributing…Read More