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.
Maduro announces Petro-backed funds to boost Venezuela’s economy
Venezuela has long been fighting the woes of an unstable economy; President Nicolas Maduro announced strong steps to recover and strengthen the nation’s economic state. On October 16, Maduro communicated through a broadcast that he will be creating several government funds and will be denominated in its cryptocurrency, Petro.
Additionally, he will also be providing resources to the administrative division of every state. Maduro said:
“I am assigning 1 million bimonthly petros as of November to all the states and the protectorates—through the corporations we are going to create—as an investment modality for their free use in the attention of their priorities. In concrete terms, this means, my compatriots, that we are assigning between 1,354,000 euros and 3,249,600 euros to governors and protectorates.”
Maduro also declared creation of various Petro funds for agricultural and industrial developments. The funds will also be used for acquiring supplies and raw materials which cannot be bought through traditional methods due to Venezuela’s account being blocked. According to reports, the aforementioned funds include a stack of 1 million Petros for agricultural development, over 600,000 Petros for industrial inputs and machinery, while 4 million Petros were dedicated to the telecommunications sector. Apart from the above allocation on funds, Maduro will be assigning almost 9 million euros in Petro for 70 national road works projects and $2 million-worth of Petros to a joint fund with China.
The President informed that these funds would be backed in fiat but wasn’t very specific as to which fiat, euro or US dollar. The announcement followed news of Venezuela developing a payment method based on Bitcoin. It was also speculated that the country had kept an undisclosed amount of Bitcoin and Ethereum under the rugs as its international reserves. This was reportedly done to protect against the impact of new US sanctions and was also looking into a new message system operated by Russia international payments as an alternative to SWIFT.
Brave Ads reward over 290,000 online creators in BAT
Brave Browser was the first to pioneer cryptocurrency based reward system for online creators, using its in-house BAT token. As a followup to its successful launch, the company released a blog post, which highlighted,
“High platform engagement persists with 14% click-through rate, compared to 2% industry average”
The post also highlighted that Brave currently caters to a creator base of over 290,000 Brave Verified Publishers who have joined to receive Basic Attention Tokens (BAT). The list includes 200,000 YouTube creators, 33,000 website publishers or creators, 15,000 Twitch streamers, and 28,000 Twitter accounts.
The Browser company also claimed to reach 8 million monthly active users and delivers nearly 400 privacy-preserving ad campaigns owing to a number of partnerships and ad campaign.
Brave highlighted partnerships with Intel and SLIVER.tv to leverage tokenized ad campaigns. The company mentioned,
“Brave has also initiated the purchase of BAT with ad revenue from brands that chose to pay for their campaigns in USD, in order to fund users with the 70% revenue ad share they receive for viewing Brave Ads in Brave Rewards.”
Bermuda government to accept taxes in USDC stablecoin
Based on the latest report by Circle, Bermuda became the first government to accept payments for taxes, fees and other government services using stablecoin, USD Coin (USDC). The acceptance of USD-backed cryptocurrency is a result of Bermuda’s efforts into supporting the use of USD-dollar backed stablecoins and decentralized finance protocols and services. The announcement highlighted,
“Governments everywhere will need to respond to this fundamental innovation, and this initiative from Bermuda builds on their broader leadership around crypto and digital asset policy and regulatory issues.”
Moreover, Circle was also the first company in the world to receive a Class F license under their highly progressive Digital Assets Business Act. As the licence provided Circle permission to operate a payment system built on USDC, the company claims this as major contributing factor towards powering Bermuda’s broad range of financial services built entirely on crypto and digital assets.
As an important note to the crypto investors, Circle also highlighted,
“In one year, USDC has established itself as the second most popular stablecoin in the world, earned support from more than 100 companies across the global crypto ecosystem, and reached $1 billion in issuance.”