On the weekend news of a bug at NEO-Nodes made the rounds. The NEO bug discovered by the Chinese software giant Tencent is supposed to make it potentially possible for attackers to withdraw crypto currencies from wallets of NEO node operators. NEO co-founder Erik Zhang now gave the all-clear – at least in part.
On December 1, Tencent Security on the Chinese social media platform Weibo announced the discovery of a bug in the NEO block chain. Accordingly, the operators of NEO nodes expose themselves to crypto-piracy if they use the standard configuration. This is what the Tencent announcement says:
“The monitoring of the famous blockchain project NEO […] revealed the risk of remote piracy. When a user starts the NEO node with the default configuration and opens the wallet, the digital currency can be stolen remotely.”
Tencent recommends three things to the node operators:
1. update of the NEO client to the latest version
2. not using the RPC function and changing the BindAddress in the configuration file to 127.0.0.1
3. if not: change RPC port, enable HTTPS-based JSON RPC interface and adjust firewall policies accordingly
So far, so FUD. What, in contrast to the Tencent warning, did not make the round so fast was the answer from NEO co-founder Erik Zhang, who refuted the claims only a few hours later.
Erik Zhang: “Normal” users not affected
Zhang swiftly reacted to reassure the NEO-Hodler community. “Normal users” don’t have to worry because the RPC function is disabled by default. RPC can only be accessed via the NEO-CLI client. Since this is a command line program, technically inexperienced users do not run the risk of opening the door to hackers through careless configuration adjustments. Zhang closes:
Since Zhang does not deny the security gap, one can assume that operators of NEO nodes are in danger of being robbed. It is probably for this reason that Zhang points to the bounty program that NEO launched this year under the name “NEO Vulnerability Bounty Program”. Anyone who finds a relevant and above all unknown NEO bug is entitled to a reward from NEO.
The guidelines of the Bounty Program state:
“If vulnerabilities are published before NEO repairs or publishes them, the reward is void.”
Tencent will therefore not be able to claim a reward for discovering the NEO bug.
This post summarize is succintly:
“No vulnerability exists and there is nothing to fix.
- Normal users do not use neo-cli
- Neo-cli does not have RPC activate by default
- Neo-cli does not have wallets active by default
- Users that need neo-cli with RPC and wallet enabled are advised to set a firewall in the installation docs for obvious reasons (putting your private key on an accessible server is pretty dumb)”
Was this FUD by Tencent?
No, because bug clearly exists. However, Tencent did, purposefully or not, mislead their readers by claiming this was a default configuration which is proven to be false. It is important to note that bugs and software errors are the most common thing in any company and with any technology. NEO team is clearly aware of that and puts a lot of focus and resources into their bug bounty campaigns and should be applauded for that.
NEO News: Week in Review – March 11th – March 17th
On March 13th, NEO founder Da Hongfei participated on a smart contracts discussion panel at the Token 2049event held in Hong Hong. The panel was moderated by Piers Ridyard from Radix DLT, and consisted of Xinshu Dong, CEO of Zilliqa, Yanislav Malahov, founder of æternity, and Zhuling Chen, COO of ælf.
On March 15th, NEO Global Development released neo-cli version 2.10.0, which is due to be rolled out to TestNet consensus nodes on March 18th. The update includes numerous changes designed to increase the stability and performance of the NEO blockchain.
The most noteworthy changes are the inclusion of dBFT 2.0, an updated version of NEO’s consensus mechanism, and a set of memory pool performance improvements.
NNT Catch Up
TranslateMe recently released a report which highlights progress made in the months leading up to March 2019. TranslateMe reported positive feedback on its proof-of-concept Telegram web application. Additional support now includes the French, Japanese, Russian, Chinese, German, Korean, Dutch, Portuguese, Hindi, Spanish, and Arabic languages.
TranslateMe claims that in February 2019 it received sufficient funds to set up its GPU machine learning facility. The machines perform the tasks required to offer translations and API endpoints for both internal and commercial uses.
The For the Win (FTW) decentralized gaming platform is now available via the O3 Wallet. The FTW dApp allows users to create and participate in NEP-5 lotteries and raffles. By using the latest version of the O3 Wallet, users don’t have to log into the FTW dApp with private keys or browser extension software.
COZ officially announced an update to the developer community’s organizational and operational structure. These changes include a newly defined project focus, an update to the rewards system, and transition from a council to board members. The reorganization took form following a three-day summit held in December 2018 in Amsterdam, NL. The summit focused on the vision and direction for COZ in 2019 and beyond.
NEO News Today interviewed NEXT, a China-based developer community that seeks to become the largest NEO community for dApp incubation. To promote the innovation of blockchain applications, NEXT is also running a NEO dApp competition. The total prize pool exceeds CN¥300,000 and will be split across various awards.
NEXT developers are also responsible for several projects in the NEO ecosystem, including the ExChain “intelligent identity network,” the Endorsit decentralized content ecosystem, the Blolys block explorer, and the wallet application iWallic. Alongside iWallic and Blolys, NEXT is currently developing a Chrome extension known as NEO Line. Although the team does work as a typical NEO development community by providing tooling, resources, and utilities, NEXT predominantly intends to function as a NEO dApp incubator.
March 11th, New Kind of Network (NKN) announced the deadline of its token swap is 11:59 pm (UTC) on Thursday, March 28th. Any remaining NEP-5 NKN tokens after March 28th will be permanently locked and kept out of circulation. As of March 11th, NKN reported 127 million NEP-5 NKN tokens (out of a total of 350 million circulating tokens) have yet to undergo the ERC-20 token swapping process.
March 11th, Moonlight announced the addition of Chris Croft to its advisory board. Croft is a 17-year veteran of the labor staffing and recruitment industry, with experience leading the world’s largest privately owned staffing and recruitment business.
March 11th, nOS announced two weekly poker tournaments as a follow-up to its inaugural Texas hold ‘em poker tournament. The previous Sunday’s nOS Poker tournament was a success with “roughly 80 players” signing up. Both weekly tournaments feature a prize pool of 2,500 NOS tokens, with the winner awarded 800 NOS. The first-come, first-serve registration starts 15 minutes before the competitions.
March 12th, Switcheo over-the-counter (OTC) trading service went live on its primary exchange platform. The OTC service is designed to “securely execute peer-to-peer trades of digital tokens that Switcheo cannot form a market for.” Between March 12th and April 11th, 2019, trades made on Switcheo OTC will not going incur any fees.
March 13th, Conjure and TranslateMe announced a partnership that is meant to “provide a barrier-free platform for content creators and consumers.” Through the partnership, TranslateMe will provide translation services for the Conjure whitepaper, website, and marketing materials. In the future, the parties expect to integrate TranslateMe with the Conjure video platform itself through an API.
March 13th, Phantasma Chain announced the design, tokenomics, and feature set of its upcoming standalone blockchain. Phantasma Chain is slated to launch in April 2019 with a proof-of-stake consensus mechanism and a dual-token model. The upcoming blockchain will be feature-rich, with support planned for side chains, “Ghost Mode” anonymous transactions, a built-in decentralized exchange, a native “Phantasma Gold” dollar-pegged stablecoin, voting rights, distributed file storage, a staking model with a rewards pool, Phantasma Name Service, and an “NFT Marketplace” for non-fungible tokens.
March 13th, Endorsit released its 44th weekly report, which highlighted updates to its mobile dApp and new testing channel for community involvement.
March 14th, O3 Labs released a new UTXO manager feature, which is designed to address the “Transaction is too big to sign” error that may occur when trying to sign a NEO or GAS transaction with a Ledger device.
March 15th, Switcheo announced the conclusion of the Alchemint SDUSD trading competition, as well as the winning traders. The first place winner recieved 150 NEO, 150,000 SWTH, and 200,000 SDS.
March 15th, Bridge Protocol completed the TOLL to BRDG token swap. Bridge Protocol engineers took a snapshot of the block height at 4:00 pm (UTC) and conducted an airdrop of BRDG tokens at a 1:1 ratio with TOLL. In preparation for the token swap, Bridge coordinated with HitBTC Exchange, Switcheo DEX, and Aphelion DEX.
March 15th, Trinity released its early March bi-weekly report, which focuses on the team’s efforts in gearing up for the development of trinity-neo-gui, which will feature state channel integration.
March 16th, imusify announced it had been accepted into FasterCapital’s accelerator program, “a global virtual incubator and accelerator targeted at high-profile startups working on disruption.”
Recap of NEO GameCon in Akihabara, Tokyo
On March 9th and 10th, NEO held its inaugural NEO GameCon in Akihabara, Tokyo. The conference was NEO’s first gaming-focused event and attracted more than 1500 attendees over the two days. Speakers included NEO leadership such as Da Hongfei, Erik Zhang, and Johnson Zhao; celebrities such as pop group 9nine, and TV show hosts from Tsukuriba; and ecosystem projects such as O3, MagicCube, and NEOLAND.
Day one began with an opening speech from NEO founder, Da Hongfei, who outlined the trends he had observed in the gaming industry. Da noted the move of software distribution from the physical to the digital, and the shift from PCs and consoles to mobile devices. “When the best game can be played with your mobile phone, everyone will play the game,” Da said.
Da stated that he believed blockchain would be the “backbone” of gaming in the future, citing three primary reasons. The first is that blockchain allows personal ownership of in-game assets, which are tradable and enable a free market. The second is that blockchain creates new avenues for games to acquire new players, through the issuance of tokens, airdrops, and profit sharing. Thirdly, Da believes that blockchain will disrupt the current value chain of the gaming industry, allowing independent game developers to have more influence than previously possible.
Finally, Da compared the blockchain gaming industry to the early days of mobile gaming, stating that the technology is currently immature, speeds are low, and graphics not perfect. However, Da believes the blockchain gaming industry has the potential to become one of the largest industries in the world.
The next speaker was John Wang, NGD director of ecosystem growth. Wang followed on from Da by stating that “blockchain is not a new type of game; it is a kind of game solution.”
He noted the interest in blockchain-based games by citing the high transaction volumes on games such as CryptoKitties, CryptoCountries, and Fomo3D, which reached as high as $3.8 million in one day. Wang also shared research that indicated simulation games with token integration had retention rates eight times higher than traditional simulation games over 30 days.
Wang stated that NEO aims to “provide a one-stop solution for the game developer,” by supporting multiple game engines and development languages, while also providing multiple distribution channels for its ecosystem projects. Looking forward, he also revealed that NEO was aiming to release a “Game Development Guide” in March and that NGD expects the release of more than 10 games before June.
Wang finished his presentation by stating that “Blockchain games may not be the future of the blockchain, but the games that use blockchain technology will be the future of games.”
Next up was a presentation of “CryptoFast,” a new racing game that is built using NEO technology. Founder Junyu Zhou joined panel hosts Cotton Taro, a media producer and MC, and Minami Momochi, who describes herself as “the world’s first animetic idol” to talk about the game, which was demoed in a VS race by Japanese pop sensation, 9nine.
CryptoFast is a simulation car racing game where players can purchase, customise, and race cars in tournaments. In addition, developers will be able to contribute content to the game by designing cars, race tracks and other game modes. New additions to the game will need to be voted in by token holders, and revenue is distributed amongst content creators. Players will also be able to sell advertising space on in-game assets such as cars or race tracks, and there will be unique license plates available through auction.
The CryptoFast development team will create initial game assets, and gradually transition to the community development model.
After a short break, TV Tokyo show Tsukuriba took to the NEO GameCon stage with hosts Hyakka Ryoran and Haruku Ishida to talk about “New generation games and game music.” Discussing the topic was Hiroto Sasaki, who has worked on music for games such as Tekken and Time Crisis 4, Emi Hirayama, famous for her work as a voice actress on “The [email protected],” and Shoutarou Kaizuka, a music producer for Japan’s oldest record label, Nippon Columbia.
Traditional panels followed Tsukuriba; The first was a discussion on “The future of Games and Blockchain” featuring NGD general manager, Johnson Zhao. Also on the panel was Guangyu Su, vice president of DMM Games and Takashi Seiko, President of Real World Games Co., Ltd, moderated by Kurokawa Fumio.
The second panel focused on “How to use blockchain to distribute NFTs,” moderated by NGD ecosystem growth director, Miki Hayama. Hayama was joined by Keigo Minamiguchi, a Kyoto University student and NEO community developer, Kazuhiro Koiso, from VALU Inc, and Ito Yusuke of the Hakuhodo Blockchain Initiative.
Tsukuriba then returned for a “next generation games special” to a stage packed with guests. Cotton Taro, Minami Momochi, and 9nine reappeared and were joined by Kishida Mel, an anime and game illustrator, Dogma Kazami, a popular gaming streamer, and Ao Hibiki, an anime “virtual YouTuber.”
The guests took part in judging for the “Game Ideathon,”which asked contestants to come up with creative concepts for next-generation games that included functionality enabled by NEO blockchain technology. The competition received 98 entries, with the ten finalists presenting their ideas during Tsukuriba on the NEO GameCon stage. Johnson Zhao also participated as a judge as the ten finalists were reduced down to four, receiving the opportunity to refine their ideas and return on day two to pitch for a JP¥500,000 prize.
Day two began with a speech from Johnson Zhao on “Blockchain and User Value” as it pertains to gaming. Johnson shared his musings on how to value the internet. He concluded that the amount of data created through time spent on the internet is a reflection of the internet’s value. Blockchain, therefore, has value because it allows data to be owned and traded as an asset.
Johnson told the audience about a friend from China who has played a virtual pet game for 15 years. Recently, the company who maintains the game has decided to close the service. As Johnson’s friend will no longer be able to access the game, losing his virtual pet after so many years is compared to “losing a family member.”
Johnson said that NEO would like to help developers migrate from traditional games to blockchain based games, where players will have full ownership and access to their data through technology such as NFTs, NeoFS, and NeoID. He noted that the technology doesn’t matter to players, only the gaming experience.
Following Johnson was the Yoyogi Animation Academy voice audition battle. The competition involved participants performing their best character voice auditions to be judged by NEO founder Erik Zhang and Matsumoto Kenichi, CEO of Blue Print, a game development company. Voice actors Kouno Marika and Matsumoto Rika hosted the event, the latter famous as the voice of Ash Ketchum (known as “Satoshi” in Japanese) from Pokemon. The winner received the NEO GameCon special award trophy.
After a short break, John Wang returned to the stage to reiterate many of the points from his presentation on day one. Sean Chen, the founder of BlaCat, followed by sharing a trailer of various games coming to the BlaCat platform including NEO.Girl, Blocklords, Sky of Mine, and CardMaker. Chen also revealed details of the BlaCat partnership plan, which includes benefits such as NFT certificates and permanent VIP status, which would usually cost US$12.99 per year.
Next was a panel on the topic “The future of Games and Blockchain.” Panelists included Wynne Ray from DMM.com OVERRIDE, Edison, founder of the NEO-NEXT development community, Hongyu Hu from Beosin blockchain security company, Shun Ishikawa, developer at blockchain game company DoubleJump.Toyko, and moderator Kurokawa Fumio.
NeoWorld creator Vilen Peng followed this presentation by showcasing an extended NEOLAND trailer. NEOLAND is a SecondLife-esque virtual world that allows players to build factories, businesses, and neighborhoods, and generate income from the profits.
After another short break, Tsukuriba returned for a day two appearance along with Dogma Kazami, Momochi Minami, Cotton Taro, Kishida Mel, Kaizuka Shotaro, and Hibiki Ao. The cast discussed various game technologies such as augmented reality and virtual reality, as well as receiving an overview of DoubleJump.Tokyo’s game MyCryptoHeroes from Shun Ishikawa.
The entire cast then remained on stage for the conclusion of the Game Ideathon, with the four finalists from day one returning to pitch refined ideas based on previous feedback. Johnson Zhao reappeared as a judge and was joined by Iida Yuki, executive chairman of LiveStreamers Inc. The final prize of JP¥500,000 was awarded to “Creative Old Gentlemen,” a concept for an API that would allow users to simply install online blockchain games. The panel was broadcasted live on TV Tokyo.
The final presentation of NEO GameCon was the launch of JobTribes, a game based on a best seller book titled “Japanese Salary & Job Dictionary.” Still in development, the JobTribes game story is under the care of Shin Kibayashi, a famous Japanese manga story writer. Haruhiko Mikimoto, an anime character designer who has worked on projects such as Astro Boy, is also involved with game development. The panel was comprised as follows: Shin Kibayashi, story writer; Yamada Konpe, the author of “Japanese Salary & Job Dictionary”; Yoshida Naohito, Eole inc CEO; Ohtsu Tamichi, game producer; Mori Kazutaka, blockchain lawyer at One Asia Lawyers; Tsurusaki Hiroshi, CEO of blockchain development company TecoTec Inc; and Ito Masayuki, WBO super featherweight world champion.
The event concluded with many speakers returning to the stage to present the Game Ideathon award to the “Creative Old Gentlemen” team. Da Hongfei made some closing comments, noting “blockchain technology is not mature yet, there are a lot of things to do and today we’re building the foundation for a future world.”
NEO Price Prediction: Long-term (NEO) Value Forecast – March 17
- NEO/USD market still maintains its choppy market movement around $10 and $8 marks.
- Indicators yet align with the possibility of seeing a number of declines in the valuation of the pair in a near time.
NEO/USD Long-term Trend – Ranging
- Distribution territories: $12, $14, $16
- Accumulation territories: $7, $5, $3
During the long trading days back, NEO/USD trade has only slightly stridden northwards to touch the upper range mark. That means the pair still maintains its choppy market movement around $10 and $8 marks.
The 14-day SMA is located above the 50-day SMA within the range zones. In about a few days, the crypto-market has been strongly hovering around its 14-day SMA indicator. The Stochastic Oscillators are located closely around the overbought zone. They have now crossed very slightly at range 80.
At this point in time, the crypto’s movement to the northwards is uncertain as the bulls are yet not been able to break out at the $10 upper range mark. Like wisely, indicators still in line with the possibility of seeing a number of declines in the valuation of the NEO/USD market. Whilst the market dips down against its 50-day SMA indicator, then that could be the bearish signal. Traders should also keep a watch on any likelihood of a quick correction in regards to such price action at that market territory.
The views and opinions expressed here do not reflect that of BitcoinExchangeGuide.com and do not constitute financial advice. Always do your own research.