Ring in the hacking bells once again.
BitPoint, a licensed Japanese cryptocurrency exchange, has been hacked, leaving over 3.5 billion yen. Japan is the latest to join the list of countries with crypto-exchanges subjected to cyber-attacks, joining the likes of South Korea, Canada, and New Zealand.
According to Nikkei Asian Review, the Tokyo-based BitPoint saw “unauthorized access,” leading to a ‘leakage’ in funds. This breach resulted in 3.5 billion yen being funneled out of the exchange, resulting in BitPoint halting all deposits and withdrawals from 0630 [JST], 12 July.
The report read,
“On the 12th, the company announced that it has stopped all services including deposits and withdrawals and transactions on its website. It is undecided when the service will resume.”
Cryptocurrency investors are still reeling from the dark days of Mt. Gox, which remains the worst drawn-out cryptocurrency exchange attack to plague the industry. The case of yet another Japanese exchange succumbing to cyber-attacks is a stark reminder of the same. Koji Hagashi, a popular cryptocurrency influencer in the Japanese digital assets space, reiterated the same,
BitPoint, one of licensed exchanges in Japan, got hacked today and supposedly have lost 10s of millions dollars worth of cryptocurrencies. Gox incidents are nothing new but I’m afraid this may affect the regulation and make it even more strict in Japan.
— Koji Higashi (@Coin_and_Peace) July 12, 2019
He added that “sentiment” in the island country has been on the up-and-up in terms of trading volume. Regulation has also been structured around effective exchange performance, with the Financial Services Authority not curtailing performance and development. Higashi called it “bad timing,” an incident which could “put a pause to the [Japanese] market yet again.”
The sentiment in Japan toward had been improving quite a lot recently and trading volume of crypto was also picking up. So it’s a really bad timing and put a pause to the market yet again. we shall see.
— Koji Higashi (@Coin_and_Peace) July 12, 2019
Earlier in the year, when Mt. Gox’s rehabilitation program was going on, BitPoint was one of the recipient exchanges of the Bitcoin [BTC] and Bitcoin Cash [BCH] proceedings. Nobuaki Kobayashi, Mt. Gox trustee, allegedly sold the virtual currencies on BitPoint in a bid to repay creditors.
Libra’s presence on Weibo grows; China senses competition for Alipay and WeChat
Libra, Facebook’s much-talked about cryptocurrency, has not only gotten the United States riled up, but has also breached its shores to disrupt the Chinese market. A recent analysis of Weibo, China’s alternative to Twitter, has revealed that Libra was the second most searched entity on the social media platform.
To be exact, the term ‘Libra will compete with Alipay and WeChat’ was trending on China’s social media space in the wake of the debates going on in the U.S. Congress over the week. Some cryptocurrency enthusiasts had their doubts about the search parameters with @guymp, an e-commerce researcher, tweeting,
1.) Libra is extremely unlikely to be allowed to operate in China
2.) Alipay/WeChatPay user account are *by design* almost completely nonexistent outside of China.”
Several countries have started talking about the Mark Zuckerberg-led cryptocurrency and China’s interest in the asset has only managed to pull more people into the digital asset industry. Some proponents of the space have also speculated that China is simultaneously working on their own crypto-project to rival that of Facebook and Bitcoin. Anthony Pompliano, CEO of Morgan Creek Digital Capital, had recently stated,
“China is accelerating those plans in response to Libra. They are very worried about Libra being very US-dominated or regulated by the U.S., they feel like the digital currency would give the US an advantage over China. So China is going to push forward and accelerate to build a central bank regulated digital currency.”
Libra’s worldwide reach is not just based on speculation, but rather on hard research. A recent TIE report had touched on Libra’s dominance in the Twitterverse, which included search hits in the U.S. and the United Kingdom. TIE reported that tweets about Libra accounted for 43.8 percent of all crypto-related tweets in the United States, out of which 54.8 percent were negative.
The UK however, had a different outlook towards Facebook’s cryptocurrency, with a majority of the sample space claiming that Libra would be good for the community.
WATCH: Lukka CEO Believes in a Future Full of Corporate Tokens
Jake Benson is a long-time industry entrepreneur and the CEO and Founder of Lukka, a comprehensive tool for calculating capital gains taxes for cryptocurrency. In this clip he and CoinDesk Editor Pete Rizzo talk about a future where corporate tokens aren’t a “surprise.”
“It’s not a surprise to me that inevitably corporations they’re going after creating their own tokens but for Facebook to be one of the first big ones is is pretty much a surprise,” he said.
“If this project is going to be successful I think they absolutely have to satisfy minimum requirements,” he said. “But I would also believe that the onus is on them to sort of demonstrate that there’s additional level of controls and transparency that might be benefits of cryptocurrency that maybe weren’t even possible before.”
Benson expects to see a “more compliant” future… as long as the social media giant can avoid the problem of privacy invasion associated with the platform.
You can read our complete Libra coverage here and watch our CoinDesk LIVE interviews here.
Facebook’s Libra is not a cryptocurrency, claims CoinShares’ Meltem Demirors
The largest cryptocurrency in the world, Bitcoin [BTC], saw a drastic fall in its price on July 16, as U.S. legislators sharpened their arguments against crypto and its viability. Bitcoin noted a fall of 12% in its price and was being traded at $9,591, at press time.
However, providing support to the coin was Meltem Demirors, CSO of CoinShares, who opined about the difference between Bitcoin and Libra, and how imitators of currency should be seen for facts. Demirors said,
“I urge to view Bitcoin as open pubic networks that enable innovation and growth, and to treat Libra and its future imitators, and there will be many, in the context of the facts- private efforts led by corporations holding billions of dollars of public’s money. “
In an interview with CNBC, the CSO clarified that the question is not about Libra being dangerous. The question is, what is Libra? It is trying to be a cryptocurrency, but the facts are that Libra holds assets including US dollars and government securities and is essentially, holding public’s funds.
Demirors elaborated on the same in her statement to the House of Representatives,
“We’re seeing a wave of interesting cryptocurrencies and countless imitators which borrow some features but are decidedly not cryptocurrencies. Libra is not a cryptocurrency. “
Cryptocurrencies are here to stay and this has been said time and time again. However, with skepticism playing its part, the need for Libra to be regulated has been marked as urgent. Even though Bitcoin is not regulated since it is a technology, the businesses built on top of it are.
Even though there remains a fair bit of uncertainty about the United States’ regulatory stance, for now, lawmakers are very aware that regulatory clarity is tantamount, with a number of efforts underway. The Token Taxonomy Act is one such step, and would exclude cryptocurrencies from being classified as securities.
Demirors added that it might be too early to say whether any regulations will be applied on crypto, but there could be a formation of two committees; One, that would focus on the issue of cryptocurrencies and two, a subcommittee that focuses on the issue of Libra. The CSO concluded that she was cautiously optimistic about growing clarity in crypto-regulations, with Demirors claiming that the debate created much-needed political momentum.