The claim that virtual currencies are the most secure form of payment is to be disputed by an “ethical” hacker at the film, music and technology festival, South By South West (SXSW) 2019. Rob Pope, the co-founder of Dogtown Media and former security specialist with banking giants like HSBC and Barclays, will reveal how crypto is not as safe as you think it is in an upcoming security demonstration.
According to a press release, Pope plans on explaining how the perceived robust encrypted system underlying cryptocurrencies can be broken into. The security specialist’s presentation is titled, “Crypto Crime: How to Steal Cryptocurrency,” on March 15 at the Austin Texas SXSW 2019.
Pope aims to disprove the myth of the unbreakable security of blockchain technology and will also give a live hacking demonstration to the public on how to steal cryptocurrencies. He also plans on detailing the processes and protocols which users can employ to protect their virtual currencies.
The press release references a report by CNBC which stated that $1.1 billion in cryptocurrency was stolen from users in the first half of 2019 alone. The report detailed theft funneled through the Dark Web, targeting of crypto-exchanges and companies, and targeting new investors.
Citing three important pieces of reference, the Mt.Gox scandal, the NEM hack, and the Yapian bankruptcy, the report detailed the loss of cryptocurrency due to errors of their operators, rather than their product.
Businesses were the second more proliferated target, but the prime contention was the virtual currency asked as ransom, not the attack itself. Criminals hack into a company’s mainframe and demand ransom in the form of cryptocurrencies due to its untraceable and anonymous nature, a point in favor of the decentralized industry not against it.
Hackers look at the most vulnerable piece of the system, and in the case of cryptocurrencies, it is the operator, the intermediary or the network, not the coin itself. On the basis of this strategy, individual and group errors are pounced upon to gain access to cryptocurrencies with rare instances of hacking into the very essence of the virtual currency.
Given the cited information in the press release, it can be presumed that the seminar by Pope will delve more into the inadequacies of the users of cryptocurrencies rather than the digital asset itself. Regardless, the seminar is expected to shed light on the method by which cryptocurrency crimes can be prevented and users can keep their digital funds safe.
Japanese Cryptocurrency Exchanges Opening Twice More New Accounts Since March
It’s no secret that the trading volumes of exchanges remain high in bull markets and low in bear markets. Traders across the world decrease their trading frequencies during bear markets, and increase them during bull markets. And a new report that came today seems to confirm the same theory once again. According to some recent reports published by Japanese media, the cryptocurrency exchanges in Japan have observed a 200% rise in the number of new accounts being opened with them over the course of last two months. This increase, as you can see, has coincided with the arrival of the bull run in cryptocurrency market. Clearly, the co-relation between cryptocurrency trading volumes and prices of cryptocurrencies is a strong one.
The report we’re talking about came from Cointelegraph Japan. They compiled their report based on the data collected from 3 trading platforms: Coincheck, DMM Bitcoin and Bitpoint. Daily account openings on Bitpoint are thrice more in May than they were in March, and at DMM they’re 1.5 times more than they were in April. Coincheck has also seen an increase in new account openings since March, but its increase is not as significant as that of DMM and Bitpoint. However, collectively the number of new account openings on all these platforms are 2x more than they were about 2 months ago.
Coincheck’s PR team also provided some of the interesting inputs to Cointelegraph Japan. The company said that the highest jump in the number of new accounts being opened came recently on 14th of May. That day 7x more new accounts were registered in comparison to other days. To recall, May 14 is the day when Bitcoin shot up to $8,250.
Clearly, if the adoption of cryptocurrencies has to increase then their prices also have to stay high. These are not traditional currencies that must be priced lower in order to be mainstream, as people from the legacy finance field suggest. These are different things, meant to perform differently and be adopted differently.
Russian Central Bank to Consider Gold-Backed Cryptocurrency
Russia’s central bank will consider the use of a gold-backed cryptocurrency to facilitate international settlements, according to a Tass report.
Elvira Nabiullina, governor of the Bank of Russia, said Thursday that her institution is to review a proposal for the development of the cryptocurrency.
Nabiullina said at the nation’s lower house, or Duma:
“As for mutual settlements, we will consider, of course, [the] proposal on … a gold-backed cryptocurrency. But, in my opinion, it is more important to develop settlements in national currencies,” she said at the State Duma.
She added that fiat currency settlement systems within the Eurasian Economic Union are improving and have “good dynamics.”
The news is perhaps surprising, as Russia’s government has been famously anti-crypto in past years, moving to block foreign exchange platforms from the country in 2017 and even blocking media sites that covered the topic back in 2015. A minister once said that Russia would never make cryptocurrencies legal.
However, the nation has softened its stance somewhat in more years, with moves to legislate around cryptocurrency starting in 2017. A digital assets bill could be passed this current session of the Duma, TASS indicates.
According to today’s report, Nabiullina said that, while it may mull the use of the gold-backed cryptocurrency, the central bank is against the use of cryptocurrency in Russia’s monetary system.
“We do not see the possibility that cryptocurrencies could act as monetary surrogates. Definitely not in this part,” she said.
Cryptopia: New Zealand Court grants 10 extra working days to present its first liquidators report
Cryptopia, the defunct New Zealand cryptocurrency exchange, announced that there was an update with regard to the first liquidation report. The exchange stated that the New Zealand Court grated the platform ten extra days to present the report, with the date now scheduled to 4th June 2019.
The exchange stated on its official Twitter handle,“The New Zealand Court has granted a 10 working day extension on the initial Cryptopia Ltd Liquidators report. It is now due on 4 June and will be available on the New Zealand Companies website when it is submitted”
Sean Crypto Phillips, a Twitter user stated,“I hope that the liquidators understand that the coins are funds held in trust, not general assets of Cryptopia, so should be returned in full and without conversion. Also, I will be interested in any news of recovery from amounts sent to Huobi, although my balance was intact.”
Currently, the exchange’s website continues to be under maintenance, with the site displaying the press release pertaining to the liquidation process. According to that announcement, the liquidation process is handled by David Ruscoe and Russell Moore, representatives of Grant Thornton.
The exchange had decided to take this path because of the security breach that occurred earlier this year in January. Notably, the exchange fell victim to two attacks with the hacker gaining control over all of its Ethereum funds. At present, “the liquidators are focusing on securing the assets for the benefit of all stakeholders.” The investigation conducted by Grant Thornton was reported to take months instead of weeks, with the first report set to be released in the coming month.
Aside from this, the exchange also made headlines when the attacker had started to move the stolen Ethereum funds to different wallets and exchanges, which includes Huobi and EtherDelta. Huobi, a leading centralized exchange, released a statement concerning this incident on its official social media handle. The platform stated that the stolen funds were automatically detected by its system, following which it was immediately frozen.