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XMR Surges 9% Despite Disclosure of Brutal, Patched Monero Bug

Developers Unveil Massive Monero Bug

Revealed on July 3rd by developers on HackerOne, Monero (XMR) was recently subject to a number of security vulnerabilities. One bug in question would have given attackers the ability to “create” XMR that didn’t really exist on the blockchain.

If used correctly, this exploit would have allowed the hacker to credit his own exchange accounts with XMR, trade said credit for “actual” cryptocurrency, then withdraw the asset, be it Bitcoin, Ethereum, or otherwise, from the victimized exchange. The developer that discovered this bug has been paid around $4,000 worth of XMR for the discovery of the potential exploit.

Interestingly, this glitch is very similar to one disclosed last year, which actually affected an exchange listing crypto assets based on Monero’s code. As reported by Ethereum World News previously, a lesser-known exchange named Altex revealed that “every CryptoNote-based coin” it had listed was under pressure from the attack and the bug.

The bug seemingly allowed users to manipulate the amount of cryptocurrency shown by certain XMR wallets, with each new line of copied code multiplying the Monero amount displayed.

While this bug doesn’t facilitate the materialization of XMR out of thin air, attackers could use this as a medium of attack against a cryptocurrency exchange. More specifically, malicious users could trick exchange support staff teams into crediting their account with Monero that doesn’t exist, with one coder noting that users could bluff a value of up to 8,000 times over their original transaction amount.

In spite of these constant bugs, XMR has been subject to a nice pump, caused by who knows what. In fact, according to Coin Market Cap, the popular privacy-centric altcoin is up around 9% in the past 24 hours, finding itself sitting at $96.5 — just shy of the $100 psychological price point.

monero price chart july 6th

This strong swing upside makes even less sense when you look at Bitcoin’s performance. Bitcoin, which has easily outperformed altcoins over the past few weeks, is up a mere 2% in the past 24 hours, making XMR’s move that much more notable.

Competitor ZCash Has Ambitions

This disclosure comes hot on the heels of news that the Electric Coin Company, the organization behind much of Monero rival ZCash’s development, has lofty ambitions.

Speaking at the Croatian event, Electric Coin Company executives and employees unveiled plans to involve “sharding” in its chain. For those unaware, sharding is a mechanism which splits information in a database across different servers. This, in the context of cryptocurrency, could allow for different groups of nodes in a blockchain to process different requests, allowing for a potentially dramatic increase in transaction times and data throughput.

Photo by Jantine Doornbos on Unsplash

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Swiss Stock Exchange Asks Central Bank to Issue Stablecoin

Principal Swiss stock exchange SIX has asked the country’s central bank for to issue a stablecoin for settlements.

Principal Swiss stock exchange SIX asked the country’s central bank to issue a stablecoin, local media SwissInfo reports on June 26

Per the report, the crypto asset would be used to settle payments on its new digital securities trading platform. The exchange reportedly announced during the Crypto Valley Association conference this week that users of its upcoming SDX platform will be able to swap fiat currency for a new stablecoin.

The exchange explained that “SDX member banks will be able to settle their trades and other obligations against tokenised CHF within SDX once we are up and running.” The firm further explained that the tokens can be coined on-demand:

“SDX would accept CHF payments from member banks in central bank money and issue equivalent tokenised CHF in SDX. The value of tokenised CHF would be pegged 1:1 with CHF at all times. We most definitely favour a central bank issued stablecoin.”

The outlet further claims that Switzerland’s central bank confirmed that it is in talks with SIX “about different options on how to settle the cash side” of trades, but no final decision has been made as of yet.

As Cointelegraph reported in February, SIX Swiss Exchange will test blockchain integration for its forthcoming parallel digital trading platform SDX in the second half of this year. The SDX platform is meant to allow for trading digitized versions of stocks. Users will reportedly be able to use the token to buy securities or redeem it for cash.

Also the United States’ largest bank, JPMorgan Chase, is expecting to pilot its own cryptocurrency JPM Coin by the end of 2019.

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Rumors Mount as Hacked Bitcoin (BTC) From 2016 Bitfinex Debacle Jump

172.5 Suspicious Bitcoin On The Move

Yesterday, the crypto community was in for a bit of a surprise. Bitcoin from the infamous 2016 hack of Bitfinex, which resulted in the theft of nearly 120,000 BTC, was suddenly moved. As spotted by cryptocurrency transaction tracker “Whale Alert”, which tracks large fund transfers, hacked funds, and key blockchain processes, five suspicious transactions were seen on the Bitcoin chain within a few minutes. This comes after there were a few small Bitcoin transactions from the presumed hacker’s address were registered earlier this year. The details of the latest transfers can be seen below.

Once community members saw this series of transactions, a flurry of rumors quickly hit Crypto Twitter. You see, in Bitfinex’s white paper for its LEO digital asset, the firm explained that it would try and communicate with the hacker to work out a compromise. It has been suggested that attempts are being made to allow the hacker to keep a portion of the winnings in exchange for a majority of the funds.

What makes this even more interesting is that if Bitfinex manages to secure such a deal with the hacker, they would use the funds they receive to purchase LEO (just as Binance buys back BNB), thus pushing up the value of the asset greatly. Three Arrows Capital’s Su Zhu laid out more of the details below.

According to a spokesperson to The Next Web’s Hard Fork, however, the five transactions above, which amounted to $1.37 million worth of Bitcoin, have nothing to do with the plan outlined in the white paper. She explained: “We are not involved, and the movement is not tied to the procedure outlined in the UNUS SED LEO white paper.”

It is unclear where the funds are headed, or what the hacker intends to do with them, but it is likely an attempt to get fiat for the tainted BTC.

Hacked Funds Under Scrutiny

The funds from Bitfinex’s historic debacle aren’t the only set of digital assets that have been under scrutiny. Earlier this year, Cryptopia, a New Zealand-based exchange known for its smorgasbord of faceless, little-known altcoins, was hacked for a purported $15 million worth of Ethereum and other ERC-20 tokens. As normal, exchange operators and data analytics firms jumped on the addresses in question, and have since done their best to notify service providers to blacklist the addresses in case transactions are made.

This has effectively put a pin on the movement of the funds, save for this interesting $126 Ethereum transaction made the other day. The Cryptopia hacker is likely having trouble washing their funds, even through decentralized exchanges. The same can be said for the Bitfinex hacker too.

Title Image Courtesy of Marco Verch Via Flickr

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Crypto Giant Coinbase Loses (Yet Another) Executive in Exodus

Wall Street Veteran Leaves Coinbase

After securing $300 million worth of funding in 2018, crypto startup Coinbase has somehow been put between a rock and a hard place. Executives, and key ones at that, have begun to leave the firm, citing a multitude of reasons. Most recently, Asiff Hirji, the TD Ameritrade executive-turned-the company’s chief operating officer, has revealed that he will be departing.

Despite joining Coinbase in December 2017, Hirji has been instrumental in Coinbase’s history, spearheading last year’s historic funding round that valued the company at $8 billion and its push into the institutional markets. In fact, in an interview with CNBC, the former executive suggested that 2019 was going to be a great year for cryptocurrencies as a result of institutions, looking to the fact that his team managed to see massive inflows into its custody business. On the matter of his importance to the firm, chief executive Brian Armstrong explained in a statement reported on by Bloomberg:

His experience and mentorship helped guide Coinbase through an important chapter in its history. He joined at a critical time when both the company and crypto space were going through rapid growth, bringing his extensive experience to bear when it was most necessary.

Per the statement, Emilie Choi, the vice president of business, data, and international of Coinbase, will be Hirji’s successor. Sources tell Bloomberg that Choi, formerly of Yahoo and LinkedIn, has been responsible for key partnerships, acquisitions, and was also instrumental in the firm’s funding round.

Executive Exodus

As hinted at earlier, this news is the latest in a string best defined as an “exodus of executives from Coinbase”. It seemingly started last October when Adam White, a vice president, left for Bakkt to become a part of the crypto initiative’s C-suite. More recently, we’ve seen Dan Romero, one of Coinbase’s earliest employees and executives, chief technology officer Balaji Srinivasan, and Christine Sandler leave the firm too, citing reasons of new positions or wanting to take a break from the cryptocurrency/working world.

It is unclear how this will effect Coinbase, but the frequency of these departures likely have some worried.

Shift In Crypto Strategy

All this comes as the company has ostensibly taken a shift in business strategy through new ventures and practices. For instance, the company’s trading platforms have begun to support a multitude of altcoins, upwards of five, when just two years ago, Coinbase supported a mere three, and was rather hesitant to anger the Bitcoin community by adding other digital assets.

What’s more, we’ve seen the company take a large focus on cryptocurrency custody, launching support for dozens of digital assets, like Bitcoin, Ethereum, and altcoins, to satisfy the growing institutional subset of investors. Coinbase Custody was recently revealed by Armstrong to have $1 billion in assets under management, which is a fair portion of the entire digital asset market.

But most recently, the company was revealed to be looking into margin trading, following in the footsteps of Binance. Choi recently told The Block that conversations have begun in regards to launching the feature. Choi elaborated:

“Margin, lend, borrow is definitely going to be a next big step for us, especially on the active trader side.”

Title Image Courtesy of Marco Verch Via Flickr

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Crypto Exchange Coinbase Enables EOS Ahead Of June 1st Event

Coinbase Adds EOS Support

According to an announcement published by Coinbase, EOS is now supported on the American exchange’s consumer platform (mobile application and Coinbase.com). Users of the applications, whose count is in the millions, can now purchase the popular crypto asset, currently the fifth largest in circulation, along with sell, convert, send, receive, and store EOS.

According to Coinbase blog post, EOS will be available for customers in “most jurisdictions”, save for residents of the United Kingdom and the state of New York, the latter of which has always been somewhat stringent towards digital assets of all sorts. Per the firm, “additional jurisdictions may be added at a later date.”

This recent development comes just two months after Coinbase Pro, the startup’s professional trader-centric platform, revealed that it would be adding three crypto assets, EOS (EOS), Augur (REP), and Maker (MKR).

It seems that Coinbase, which was once against adding alternative cryptocurrencies that weren’t inextricably linked to Bitcoin, is finally bending to its customers’ needs, especially as its profits are purportedly (The Block) on track to dwindle over fiscal 2019.

The June 1st Announcement

Coinbase’s support for EOS comes ahead of June 1st, a purportedly massive day for Block.one. For those unaware, Block.one, the firm behind the EOS protocol, has been hinting that it will be making a large announcement on June 1st, two days away as of the time of writing this. This isn’t just hype. Mere days ago, Block.one purchased over $20 million worth of EOS RAM, which gives it access to more of the blockchain’s computational resources. This lends to the theory that the company is intending to launch something big.

Per an in-depth analysis from trade publication CryptoGlobe, the announcement may have something to do with an EOS-based social networking platform, which may or may not take the form of a decentralized application. What corroborates this is comments from Dan Larimer, a cryptocurrency pioneer that is now Block.one’s CTO. One comment that sticks out is “we will not collect data like Facebook does”.

While we don’t conclusively know what the announcement is going to be, it’s likely going to be a monumental piece of news for the future of EOS, which has been one of the fastest growing smart contracting platforms alongside Tron and Ethereum. That’s what Mike Novogratz of Galaxy Digital recently suggested on CNBC anyway.

Title Image Courtesy of Marco Verch Via Flickr 

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Coinbase Now Supports Cryptocurrency Token EOS

Major cryptocurrency EOS is now being offered on Coinbase for trading and storage.

Major United States-based cryptocurrency exchange and wallet service Coinbase has added support for EOS, according to a press release on May 30.

The new addition is reportedly available for trading and storage in most areas covered by Coinbase, with the exception of the United Kingdom and New York at press time.

The announcement also notes that there are no transaction fees associated with EOS; the cost is instead paid in computing resources, such as a tax on RAM, CPUs, or network bandwidth. Users that run the network also earn EOS by contributing to the computational power needed to run transactions.

EOS is one of the largest cryptocurrencies recently added to the exchange — with a market cap of over $8 billion — since Ripple’s token XRP was added in February. Coinbase also recently added support for two more tokens, stablecoins dai and USD Coin (USDC).

Earlier in May, Coinbase also expanded its global offerings, with announced trading support for over 50 new jurisdictions and an educational program with small crypto payments, Coinbase Earn, that is available in over 100 countries.

More recently, Coinbase Vice President of Business, Data and International, Emilie Choi, confirmed that decentralized trading is not on the agenda for the exchange right now. Choi commented on issues of compliance being a deterrent to Coinbase launching a decentralized exchange (DEX), saying:

“We have to make sure that if we offer a dex that we’re doing it in a way that is safe and secure and compliant. I think that there’s not a lot of clarity right now on how that would work. We think this space is interesting but we’re not actively investing in it right at this moment.”

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Crypto Derivatives Platform Vows to Tackle Socialized Losses Seen on Other Exchanges

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 advantages

FTX 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 here

The 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 time pressure,” resulting in a development cycle that is much shorter than those of other established platforms.

A token with purpose

FTX has issued a token called FTT, which the exchange says offers significant utility to users. It can be used as collateral for futures positions, while simultaneously reducing fees and margin trading requirements. The startup also says that holders can benefit from lower spreads for over-the-counter trading, and that FTT “will become even more useful when we add other derivative products to the platform.”

The exchange says its team has a rich background, drawing from Wall Street firms and major tech companies such as Facebook and Google. The first round of FTX’s public token sale began on April 11, and the company says it hopes to conclude the fundraising drive within a few months.

Learn more about FTX

Disclaimer. Cointelegraph does not endorse any content or product on this page. While we aim at providing you all important information that we could obtain, readers should do their own research before taking any actions related to the company and carry full responsibility for their decisions, nor this article can be considered as an investment advice.

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Major Swiss Stock Exchange SIX Developing Stablecoin Pegged to the Franc

The company is also planning to launch a blockchain-powered exchange for digital tokens in the second half of 2019.

Financial service provider SIX is developing a stablecoin pegged to the Swiss franc, a company spokesman confirmed to Cointelegraph on May 23.

The company is also planning to launch a blockchain-powered exchange for digital tokens in the second half of 2019, but the spokesman said he was currently not at liberty to discuss further details concerning whether the stablecoin will operate on that exchange.

SIX also runs Switzerland’s top stock exchange — and earlier this month, a top executive revealed that the company is planning to issue its own tokens on the upcoming digital exchange. Thomas Zeeb, SIX’s head of securities and exchanges, said at the time:

“Ultimately we want to be able to tokenize existing securities — equities, fixed income, funds. Maybe the token will eventually replace the share one day.”

Testing is expected to begin later in the summer, paving the way for a live rollout early next year. It is unclear whether the stablecoin will be ready in time for this launch.

Last year, the SIX Swiss Exchange announced plans to list the world’s first crypto-based exchange-traded product (ETP) — tracking a basket of five major coins including bitcoin (BTC), ripple (XRP) and ethereum (ETH).

An ETH-based ETP, backed by the Swiss startup Amun AG, began trading on March 5.

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Binance Records ATH in Trading Volume. Stats are “Much Higher” Than The Peaks of 2017

Exchanging Cryptocurrencies

The crypto market is registering records of popularity, indicating that the bearish season seems to be over. After Ethereum experienced a historic increase in its transactions, Binance seems to prove that the hype in the markets is even stronger than what many of us have imagined.

A recent tweet published by CZ, Binance CEO, showed his
astonishment upon a boost in trading volume so dramatic that his Exchange
(currently the most important in the ecosystem) struggled to withstand the
heavy workload exerted by users.

The failures of the Exchange annoyed some traders, who
reported substantial losses given the difficulties to establish positions and
correctly manage the order books.

Interestingly, although BTC is still halfway through its
2017 price peak, CZ explains that this seems to be a historical landmark. The
number of orders is currently much higher than the crest of 2 years ago.

After a few hours the Binance team solved the situation and
although the volume of orders exceeded expectations, at no time was the
platform shut down or put the funds of users at risk.

Binance Had Issues, Bitcoin is Down… But The Panorama is Still Bullish

It is difficult to establish an absolute correlation between the Binance issue and the price of Bitcoin, however being the main crypto Exchange in the market, it is probable that this failure has increased the number of short positions, causing a fall of Bitcoin to prices near 7650 USD.

Although the correction in the Bitcoin price dragged other
cryptocurrencies with it, the trend still seems to be bullish and the
indicators favorable. It is possible that once natural trading resumes, the
market will return to normal again.

This anomaly can be seen by comparing the signals on charts with candles set at 4 hours and those with candles set at 1 day. Those who trade in the short term have a significant amount of bearish signals, whereas for those who trade with candles of 1+ day, will have a more favorable outlook.

Currently Bitcoin (BTC) registers a normalization of its RSI, which has dropped to normal zones after presenting overly high values, however, a cross in the MACD as a result of this bearish behavior could reach the token to test a support close to 7350 USD in the short term, although the pattern remains bullish.

On the other hand, the short-term candles outlook shows that after dropping from 8000 USD to close to 7000 USD, Bitcoin managed to recover and then correct close to 7616 USD. However, the Relative Strength Index (RSI) shows an optimistic outlook awaiting confirmation.

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Binance Hints At Impending Margin Feature, Could Boost Crypto Rally

Binance Drops “2.0” Graphic, Expected To Launch Margin

On Tuesday, crypto exchange Binance recently the tweet seen below. No words were attached to the image, which reads “2.0” and shows a portion of Binance’s logo.

So what exactly is this nebulous graphic implying, if anything? Well, most like Alex Kruger, Filb Filb, and more, believe that this recent tweet is a sign that the company will soon launch margin trading, a new graphical user interface, and other offerings that its crypto users have been waiting for. Let’s take a closer look at the expectations for margin trading, which means that users can leverage their trades.

Well, during an “Ask me Anything” stream following the now infamous $40 million hack,  Binance’s Changpeng “CZ” Zhao fielded questions about Binance’s plans for its expansive roster of products. Responding to rumors that the exchange intends to launch margin trading for Bitcoin and other popular digital assets, the industry insider stated that Binance does, in fact, have plans to launch the aforementioned feature soon.

CZ explains that engineers at Binance are “beta testing” the feature, and that leverage support will soon roll out to “large traders,” whom the exchange “has agreements with, so if they are bugs, we can fix those.” He adds that once the bugs regarding margin trading are ironed out, it may be rolled out to Binance’s clientele in certain friendly jurisdictions, citing the fact that “the code is done.”

This confirmation that margin trading, which Binance first mentioned in its seminal whitepaper, is soon arriving comes just days after Reddit sleuth “enriquejr99” revealed that the “isMarginTradingAllowed” boolean in Binance’s API was enabled for nine pairs: BTC-USDT, BNB-BTC, ETH-BTC, TRX-BTC, and XRP-BTC, and four others.

While this isn’t decisively a bullish catalyst, well-regarded crypto analyst Filb Filb told followers of his Telegram group that this feature is “exactly what we need for [this] bull market”, hinting that this new feature from Binance could be a factor in what boosts Bitcoin and other digital assets in the years to come. Or, at the very least, be a factor in kick-starting this expected move to the upside.

Could Financialization Of Crypto Be Bad? 

While some are entirely fine with Binance launching margin, as this may attract more investment in the space, some are wary that this added vector of speculation can result in more market chicanery.

Renowned crypto-centric researcher Willy Woo points out that blockchain data shows that there weren’t enough capital movements to warrant the idea that spot markets caused the Bitcoin boom. Instead, Woo exclaims that the recent move to $8,000 was an “orchestrated short squeeze to milk profits”, a move purportedly “done by pros”.

With margin, there is that much more risk that there will be players trying to manipulate or liquidate shorts or longs in a bid to turn a profit.

Title Image Courtesy of Marco Verch Via Flickr

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