A new prediction market on the Augur (REP) platform has provoked a major debate in the crypto community. Users can now bet on whether they believe that Coinbase will delist Ethereum Classic (ETC) by the end of 2019.
The recent 51 percent attack on the ETC network led to the loss of a significant amount of funds, although the price of ETC wasn’t affected as negatively as might have been expected. Many have started to speculate about the future of the crypto, in the wake of this potential damage to its reputation.
Users of decentralized prediction platform Augur can now back up their speculations on the fate of ETC with real capital, placing ETH bets on the outcome of “Will Coinbase, Inc (coinbase.com) delist ETC trading pairs on the Consumer exchange before Jan 1, 2020 12:00AM UTC?”.
The bet has drawn the attention of Cornell professor and crypto commentator Emin Gun Sirer, who described it as an “assassination market for ETC”. This is a reference to the infamous markets on Augur where users can bet on the murder of President Trump and other leading public figures.
This is, in effect, an assassination market for ETC.
— Emin Gün Sirer (@el33th4xor) January 10, 2019
Sirer seemed to think that the apparent lack of security on the Ethereum Classic network would eventually force the leading crypto broker to delist ETC, in order to protect its own reputation, although others believed that it wouldn’t take any action unless it actually lost money directly.
Coinbase has a reputation to maintain. They can't be seen to be propping up a coin that's unsafe to transact.
— Emin Gün Sirer (@el33th4xor) January 10, 2019
If you’re interested in more forecasts and predictions for 2019, check out this Chepicap article, where we round up what a host of crypto experts have seen in their crystal ball.
Coinbase Shares User Tips for Helping Keep Your Bitcoin and Crypto Asset Holdings Safe
As we all know by now, one of the main benefits of using altcoins is the fact that they allow people to participate in online transactions without having to use an intermediary service such as a bank or credit card company.
Instead, when making use of digital assets, people who want to send/ receive tokens can simply make use of a “cryptographic key” that can be used to “authorize transactions” from an individual’s cryptocurrency wallet. With that being said, it is worth noting that in the case of a hacker getting access to the aforementioned key, he/she can immediately gain control of all your funds — thus putting you in a very precarious position.
So without any further ado, let’s have a look at some of the ways in which you can protect your private keys so that your account can remain tightly secured at all times.
(i) Always Remain Vigilant:
Many a time, cyber miscreants try to pose as officials from top firms such as Binance, Coinbase, OKEX trying to convince you to hand over sensitive information such as your private keys to them.
Not only that, but sometimes criminals are also known to impersonate individuals by collecting personal information that a person might have shared on various social media platforms (as a means of gaining access to your email or mobile phone). Thus, in order to stay safe from such nefarious agents, it is best for you to regularly keep tabs on your social media accounts as well as regularly change your account password.
(ii) Establish Strong Security Protocols:
Another way of staying secure is by making use of a password that is at least 16 characters or more in length. Not only that, but it is also advisable that the password you use to protect your account has not been employed by you to protect other online platforms that you might be regularly using.
(iii) Make Use of Tools Such as 2-FA:
As many of our readers may already know, using a 2-Factor Authentication system can be of much use when trying to bolster one’s financial accounts. In terms of how the service works, every time a person tries to log in to their account, a code (one-time 2FA code) is sent to their mobile device.
Additionally, to be even safer when using 2FA, you can make use of an authentication app like Google Authenticator or Authy instead of an SMS-based 2FA.
(iv) Don’t Reveal Your Personal Information Online:
While it goes without saying, there are still many people who have in the past fallen victim to hacking scandals because they were bragging about their cryptocurrency holdingsonline. You should regularly review your online presence and make sure that only limited info related to your personal identity is available online for the world to see.
(v) Stay Savvy:
Quite often hackers and other miscreants pose as tech support so as to gain your confidence. In such cases, if you are not sure whether the person can be trusted or not, it is safe to not reveal crucial data to them unless you have checked with somebody else from the company first.
Also, it should also be remembered that most legitimate tech support guys never ask for your passwords, 2FA codes, or try to gain remote access to your computer.
Last but not least, many scammers also try to devise fake exchange sites that are made to imitate real ones and steal your account information. So always be sure to do a bit of a background check of the platform that you are planning on using.
Some Common Scams To Be Wary Of
(i) Tech Support Scams:
As mentioned earlier, many fraudsters resort to posing as tech support personnel in order to steal your hard earned crypto. Most commonly, the scammer tells their victim that their computer has been infected with a virus and thus in order to get rid of the malware, he/she will have to install some remote desktop software so as to help them diagnose the problem.
In such an event be sure to report the matter immediately or disconnect the call without a moment’s hesitation.
(ii) Ponzi Schemes:
Many a time scammers will try to offer you some deal that seems too good to be true. For example, they might ask you to invest in certain pyramid schemes that promise to give back insane returns within a short period of time. In such cases, it is best to stay away completely— because once you’ve sent even a small amount of crypto towards the proposition, you can never retrieve it back.
Another common tactic used by a lot of scam artists is that of using a lookalike website that is designed to steal your login credentials. To avoid such scams, be sure about the website’s name since most scams usually contain a typo (or there is something visibility off in the structure of the website).
In closing, we would like to say that by simply devoting a little bit of your time to understanding how crypto works, you can ensure that your altcoin holdings remain safe at all times.
For more information on how to better secure your digital assets, please visit BitcoinExchangeGuide.com
Coinbase Opens New Office In Portland, Oregon To Expand Crypto Company’s US Operations
Coinbase just announced the opening of its new office in Portland, Oregon on Twitter. The San Francisco-based crypto giant now has seven offices worldwide.
Coinbase posted photos of the office’s grand opening ceremony on Twitter earlier today. The crypto company added that it was “inspired by Portland’s diverse tech community and deep talent pool”.
We opened our newest office in Portland, OR today! Thanks to the local & state officials and organizations that have welcomed us to the city. We’re inspired by Portland’s diverse tech community and deep talent pool, and look forward to investing in our presence for years to come. pic.twitter.com/nTJAfU6GL7
— Coinbase (@coinbase) January 10, 2019
Coinbase first announced that it was opening an office in Portland in June 2018.
“As part of our plans to continue expanding and grow, Coinbase is opening its newest office in Portland, Oregon,” the company wrote in a blog post at the time.
Coinbase decided to open the office in Portland after exploring “a variety of different U.S. cities.” After a thorough analysis, the Coinbase team decided they were “inspired by Portland’s incredibly talented, innovative open-source and blockchain communities,” adding that they also appreciated Portland’s commitment to providing equal opportunities for all, “as it mirrors our values at Coinbase.”
This isn’t a short-term move:
“Coinbase has signed a seven-year lease on its new Portland office. Renovations took place over the second half of 2018. As of January 10, 2019, the Portland Coinbase office is now operational.”
Coinbase’s Portland office will host a variety of business-related functions. Over the last few months, Coinbase has been hiring customer support agents, finance specialists, and compliance, IT, and HR personnel. The company originally aimed to add 100 jobs to the local economy, although it’s unclear how many employees they ultimately hired.
“We’re excited to find people who are excited about the future of cryptocurrency, and who want to help Coinbase achieve its mission of creating a more equitable and open financial system for the world. That’s why we’re eager to expand to cities like Portland, where best-in-class talent from across the community will be critical to our important mission.”
You can view available Coinbase job positions at their careers page. The jobs page currently lists 13 openings in Portland, including positions for customer support, investigations, and legal and compliance personnel.
As of January 2019, Coinbase has seven offices located worldwide, including its headquarters in San Francisco and satellite offices in New York, Chicago, and Portland. Worldwide, Coinbase has opened offices in London, Tokyo, and Dublin.
Clearly, the ongoing crypto bear market hasn’t dampened Coinbase’s desire to continue growing across the country and around the world.
Coinbase Suspends Ethereum Classic After Blockchain History Rewrites
Crypto exchange Coinbase has halted all ethereum classic transactions, withdrawals and deposits due to a series of blockchain history reorganizations on the network.
Ethereum classic saw more than 100 blocks “reorganized” during a potential 51 percent attack late Sunday, according to at least two different block explorers – Bitfly (Etherchain) and Blockscout. Coinbase said in its blog post that it detected some 88,500 ETC being double-spent (totaling some $460,000).
Media publication Coinness reported Monday that an in-house analyst had detected an abnormal hash rate (or computation energy) going into a single mining pool, potentially causing mass reorganizations (reorgs) of mined blocks. Though initially refuted by the core proponents behind ethereum classic on Twitter, the official account has now affirmed potential cause for concern, tweeting out:
“We are now working with Slow Mist and many others in the crypto community. We recommend exchanges and pool significantly increase confirmation times.”
SlowMist, a China-based security firm, first alerted users of the strange activity occurring on the network Monday morning, stating that its team was trying to trace the cause of the attack. SlowMist did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Recent reports from Coinness stated that “certain abnormality” had been detected in the mining hash rate of a private ethereum classic mining pool.
The duration of the attack seems to be in dispute. Blockscout reported block reorganizations occurring at 02:00 UTC and 05:00 UTC Monday, while Bitfly said in a Tweet at 17:00 UTC that the attack was potentially “ongoing.” In its note, Coinbase wrote that “the attacks are ongoing.”
Blockscout project lead Andrew Cravenho affirmed to CoinDesk that although the last recorded reorg attack was seen 14 hours ago, the network is constantly “fluctuating and people are always switching their hashing power,” suggesting the potential for continued disruption under “the perfect circumstances.”
He also noted that the reorg may have begun before being noted on Blockscout. In a blog post, Coinbase said it first noticed the reorg on Jan. 5, two days before other reports began.
And though reiterating to CoinDesk that indeed “a huge reorg took place” on the ethereum classic blockchain, Cravenho’s explanation of the event as a 51 percent attack is not widely agreed upon.
In an email to CoinDesk, ethereum classic dev advisor Cody Burns said that the activity could not be labeled a 51 percent attack but rather “a selfish mining attack” caused by a client-local phenomenon.
He added in a post on Twitter that “…the entire Ethereum network doesn’t ‘reorganize’ simultaneously. It would be more likely that someone discovered all of Coinbase ETC nodes and ‘surrounded’ them.”
Still, Burns suggested in an email to CoinDesk that regardless of the situation’s origin, companies providing services for ethereum classic should take steps to protect their users.
“The best course of action is for businesses and exchanges using ANY ethereum based chain is to increase the number of confirmation blocks to >400 blocks,” he wrote.
In response to the deep reorg, Kraken announced in an incident report that it was increasing the number of confirmations required to make an ethereum classic deposit. Bitfly told CoinDesk that it was likewise taking this action.
Poloniex announced it was disabling ETC wallets, and it does not currently have a firm timeline on when they will be re-enabled.
The ethereum classic Twitter account claimed that the excessive hashrate may have come from crypto miner manufacturer Linzhi, which reportedly confirmed it was testing new machines with a 1,400Mh/s hashrate.
However, in an email to CoinDesk, Linzhi Shenzhen director of operations Wolfgang Spraul pushed back, saying “We are categorically denying such claims, they are entirely baseless and may be part of the attack itself.”
The company has not yet launched its first product, he said, adding:
“If we would test our ASICs, we would never do that on any mainnet, we would do that on a testnet or a private net. We would most likely invite independent industry figures like David Vorick or Anthony Lusardi to observe what we are doing.”