This week’s summary of various cryptocurrency news and developments.
Cryptocurrency exchange Binance fended off a ‘massive’ theft attempt
One of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges, Binance, was recently hit with a large scale theft attempt, that it managed to fend off. According to a report published by the company, hackers have been phishing its users since early January, and created API keys – that allow users to trade with bots – for every account they compromised.
A user’s history. Can you see the two dots under the domain name? Phishing website that redirects to the real website after login. Additionally, after you log in once, it doesn't let you access the phishing site again – will auto-redirect you to Binance (even after logging out) pic.twitter.com/WOKhKrp7tx
— CZ (not giving crypto away) (@cz_binance) March 7, 2018
The hackers then waited for the right time to act. When it came, they placed Viacoin sell orders from their accounts at extremely high prices, and then proceeded to match these orders with the accounts they phished. Binance users started seeing their accounts liquidate their altcoin balances, to buy Bitcoin and then Viacoin. After the hackers had their trades filled on the VIA/BTC pair, they immediately attempted to withdraw.
This, however, triggered Binance’s security systems, which halted trades and withdrawals. Binance has since reversed most of the fraudulent trades, and withheld hackers’ assets.
Coincheck revealed it will reimburse hack victims
According to Bloomberg, hacked cryptocurrency exchange Coincheck is set to reimburse customers who lost money because of the heist. Per reports, the cryptocurrency exchange will repay its 260,000 users at a rate of 88.549 yen ($0.82) per NEM. A total of 523 million NEM were stolen, according to Coincheck, and the company s set to repay using its own capital.
In a statement, Coincheck said:
- “The timing of the reimbursement and the application process are currently under consideration. The source of the refunded money is being carried out using our own capital.”
Mt Gox trustee sold $400 million worth of Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash
Mt Gox trustee Nobuaki Kobayashi has recently revealed he sold about 35,841 Bitcoin and 34,008 Bitcoin Cash over a six-month period, in which the flagship cryptocurrency was enduring a bearish period. The amount liquidated, according to various reports, equals roughly $405 million. Kobayashi explained his move, stating:
- “As a result of the consultation with the court, I considered it necessary and reasonable to sell a certain amount of BTC and BCC at this point and secure a certain amount of money for distribution resources, and thus, I sold the amount of BTC and BCC above. I made efforts to sell BTC and BCC at as high a price as possible in light of the market price of BTC and BCC at the timing of sale.”
After the collapse of Mt Gox the trustee was put in charge of liquidating the funds to pay back creditors. After the liquidations, he still controls a pool of over 160,00 BTC. Kobayashi warned that additional liquidations may follow.
The terms “cryptocurrency,” “blockchain” and “initial coin offering” were added to Webster’s dictionary
The Merriam-Webster dictionary, one of the world’s most established dictionaries, recently added the terms “blockchain,” “cryptocurrency,” and “initial coin offering” to its lists, amid over 800 new entries. Per the dictionary, “cryptocurrency” is defined as “any form of currency that only exists digitally, that usually has no central issuing or regulating authority.” The dictionary notes it uses a system that records transactions, and cryptography to prevent counterfeit transactions.
“Blockchain,” per the dictionary, is “a digital database containing information (such as records of financial transactions) that can be simultaneously used and shared within a large decentralized, publicly accessible network; also : the technology used to create such a database.” The term “initial coin offering” isn’t accessible at press time.
Japan’s Financial Services Agency suspended two cryptocurrency exchanges
Japan’s financial watchdog, the Japanese Financial Services Agency (FSA), stated this week that it suspended two cryptocurrency exchanges, citing poor security and compliance standards. Per the financial watchdog, the suspension is a month long. Additionally, 5 other local cryptocurrency exchanges need to produce a “Security Improvement Plan” by March 22 in order to keep their doors open, as the FSA found them to currently have insufficient security measures.
Venezuela’s National Assembly declared the Petro illegal
Venezuela’s Assemblea Nacional [National Assembly] recently released a public statement revealing that it sees the country’s oil-backed cryptocurrency, the Petro (PTR) as unconstitutional. The lawmakers warned that the cryptocurrency could be a threat to those who invest in it, and denounced it as a fraud. Per Venezuela’s National Assembly, the Petro is a symptom of the country’s ongoing political crisis, and isn’t the solution that will help Venezuelans keep food on their tables. Rafael Guzmán, president of the National Assembly’s finance committee stated:
- “This deepens the crisis that we are living in. The PTR is another [example] of corruption, and we will come out of this crisis with measures that we have announced from this Parliament.”
Bitcoin at $9,378 as it starts recovering from bearish period
Most of this week’s news had a negative impact on the cryptocurrency ecosystem. This week Bitcoin, the flagship cryptocurrency, fell to a low of little over $8,700, before its price started to recover back to $9,378 at press time. Bitcoin’s market cap is currently of $158 billion, and its dominance is now at 41.3%.