Many proponents of blockchain and crypto were hoping for 2019 to be the year for a “bug-less” cryptoverse. Unfortunately however, that isn’t turning out as everyone hoped it would, as only three months into 2019 and over 40 bugs have been detected in blockchain and crypto related platforms.
According to a report by the tech news outlet The Next Web (TNW), white hat hackers have managed to detect over 40 bugs in various blockchain and crypto platforms over the past 30 days.The report published on 14th March, revealed that according to an investigation carried out by TNW, as much as 13 blockchain, as well as crypto related companies were the target of 43 vulnerability reports between Feb. 13 and March 13.
In the blockchain sphere, Unikrn, which is an e-sports gambling platform, reportedly took the prize for the most vulnerability reports, amounting to a total of 12 bugs. OmiseGo developer followed in on a close second, having received only six bug reports, only half of Unikrn. In the third place, we have EOS with only five vulnerability reports.
Tendermint, the consensus algorithm and a peer-to-peer (P2P) networking protocol, received four bugs. Right behind Tendermint, is the decentralized prediction market protocol Augur, which received three bugs. Augur is joined by the smart contracts platform Tezos, which too received three bugs.
Even the anonymity driven cryptocurrency Monero couldn’t manage to stay bug free and reportedly saw two vulnerability reports. In addition, ICON and MyEtherWallet also witnessed two vulnerability reports.
Furthermore, the major American crypto exchange, Coinbase received one vulnerability report. Brave, the developer of blockchain browser joined Coinbase, as the Brave software received one vulnerability report as well.
The white hat hackers were handsomely awarded a total of $23,675 for their efforts, in which Tendermint contributed a total of $8,500, making it the biggest contributor. EOS gave out $5,500 in rewards, where as Unikrn awarded $1,376. According to TNW, the low amounts of bounties imply that the uncovered bugs were not as critical.
On the other hand, reportedly tens of thousands of dollars in bounties were handed out by EOS to white hat hackers who found critical vulnerabilities in its platform.
Moreover, only this week the major hardware wallets manufacturer, Ledger revealed the vulnerabilities in one of its major competitor’s devices, i.e. Tezor. Apparently the Tezor device could potentially be imitated by backdooring the device with malware and then re-sealing it in its box by faking a tamper-proof sticker, which is reportedly easy to remove.
Tezor didn’t deny the vulnerability, however it did respond claiming that none of the weaknesses revealed by Ledger are critical for hardware wallets; explaining that in order even remotely exploit the device, physical access to the device, specialized equipment, time, and technical expertise are required.
For further updates stay tuned to BlockPublisher.
Waves Founder Sells Blockchain Startup to Russian Financial Consultant
A startup founded by the Waves platform team, Vostok, has been sold to one of the project’s earliest investors.
According to a report by Gazeta.ru, Waves CEO Alexander Ivanov “sold his stake” in the data management and smart city oriented project to Mark Garber of the financial consultancy GHP Group.
The Waves platform has developed blockchain solutions through partnering with some of Russia’s largest private and state-owned enterprises, as well as global firms, for institutional, industrial, and military use.
Vostok, in particular, aligned with the Russian state-owned conglomerate Rostec in 2018 to securely manage data for the firm’s 700 industrial entities. Additionally, the startup was instrumental in roadmapping the “digital economy” as part of the “Strategic Development Objectives of the Russian Federation up to 2024,” announced by President Vladimir Putin.
Ivanov told Gazeta:
“I would like to focus on the international development of the Waves Platform. The tasks of building a decentralized Internet of the new generation based on the blockchain (the so-called Web3), which we implement in Waves, require my one hundred percent concentration.”
Though details of the deal have not been disclosed, Garber plans to integrate Vostok’s digitalization solutions in GHP’s mining, production, and logistics projects.
Gazeta also reports that Garber holds a stake in the container transporting company Fesco and serves on the board of another trade logistics company, called TransContainer.
Vostok was formed in 2018. Its”Gorod N” project saw a partnership with Nizhny Novgorod region administrators to develop a civic voting and public budgeting solution, which reportedly enables citizens to vote on where tax dollars are spent.
Garber intends to keep the startup’s development team aboard, but will elect a new supervisory board. As part of their initiative to strike larger international deals, Waves will open a Berlin office.
Tether Stablecoin to Launch on 5th Blockchain
The popular and sometimes controversial stablecoin tether (USDT) is to launch on a fifth blockchain.
Announced by the (mostly) U.S. dollar-backed token’s issuer on its website, the news means traders will have a USD stablecoin option on omni, ethereum, tron, EOS and, soon, algorand.
“Extending Tether into the Algorand ecosystem is a fantastic opportunity for us to further contribute to blockchain interoperability and collaboration. … We are very excited about the potential this enables for other projects in the decentralised ecosystem and we eagerly await working closely with many of them in the future,” said Tether CTO Paolo Ardoino.
Tether is widely used by traders to move money in and out of cryptocurrencies like bitcoin without needing to exchange back into dollars with each trade. Crypto exchanges also use the token to transfer funds between each other to avoid having to move lots of bucks through not always cooperative banks.
Despite its widespread use in the crypto markets, the stablecoin has had its issues – including accidentally minting $5 billion USDT during a chain swap process last weekend.
Long a concern to users and regulators, Tether has never released a full accounting audit to prove its coin is backed by USD, as it claimed for years. Its lawyer recently acknowledged that, in fact, USDT was only about 74 percent backed by fiat equivalents as of April 30.
Tether’s relationship with its sister firm, crypto exchange Bitfinex, has also come under the spotlight, with claims the token has been used to prop up the price of bitcoin.
New York’s Attorney General’s office has further alleged that Bitfinex lost $850 million and subsequently used funds from Tether to secretly cover the shortfall, and said that Bitfinex had operated in the state without a license.
40-Strong Blockchain Insurance Group B3i Appoints CEO
Insurance industry blockchain group B3i, which is now building DLT solutions for some 40 member firms, has appointed John Carolin as chief executive officer.
Carolin, who joined B3i as chief financial officer in March 2018, had served as interim CEO since March of this year.
B3i began life back in October 2016 as a blockchain consortium and later became an independent company owned by 17 insurance and reinsurance industry big hitters like Allianz, Munich Re, Swiss Re, Tokio Marine, XL Catlin and Zurich.
The company added $16 million to its coffers back in March 2019, after suggestions it was trying to raise as much as $200 million, according to some reports.
Last month B3i, which aims to use distributed ledgers to streamline back-office processes and claims handling, held a hackathon to let industry members test its platform.
Speaking about the B3i hackathon, Carolin said:
“Our team of subject matter experts is highly motivated, especially following the very positive feedback received last month at our Hackathon to test the initial product.”
Last year, B3i decided to switch from Hyperledger Fabric to R3’s Corda platform. The move was followed soon after by another blockchain insurance consortium, RiskBlock, also moving to Corda.
“I look forward to leading the B3i team as we execute on a bold vision to enable better insurance through frictionless risk transfer,” Carolin added.