Crypto Platform Cubits Begins Insolvency Procedure After Alleged Hack, Locks Users’ Funds

Crypto Platform Cubits Begins Insolvency Procedure After Alleged Hack, Locks Users’ Funds

United Kingdom-based cryptocurrency payment platform Cubits has filed for administration following a sudden outage that locked customer funds, a company press release revealed Dec. 11. The act of filing for administration means that an insolvent company has appointed an external administrator in order to act on behalf of its creditors. Cubits, the trading name of legal entity Dooga Ltd., claimed it had lost funds worth €29 million ($32.8 million) to “fraudsters” in February 2018 that it was unable to reclaim. Now, Dooga has brought in administrators “to work with those who are owed money by the Company and to collect monies that are owed.” “Our goal is to achieve the best outcome for creditors generally at the earliest possible date,” one of the two newly appointed administrators Steve Parker commented in the press release, continuing: “Dooga’s current position is secure, investigations are proceeding and we will be writing to creditors, formally, this week.” Both of Opus Restructuring & Insolvency (a part of Opus Business Services Group), Parker is joined by Trevor Binyon to work as “Joint Administrators” for Dooga. Cubits users had raised the alarm Monday after the platform’s website went offline. At the time, the company’s Twitter account claimed the reason for the downtime was “maintenance.” The website subsequently went from claiming services would “be right back” to a generic error message Dec. 12. The website now shows a copy of their press release explaining the administration procedure. Some users reacted coldly, claiming they had already been waiting several weeks to withdraw funds. Opus Business, now in charge of Cubits’ administration, has not responded to a request for comment on users’ locked funds by press time. The February episode focuses on three Chinese traders who allegedly purchased Bitcoin (BTC) on Cubits via Malta-based payment processor Pay Secure Online Ltd, regularly known as PaySec. The company allegedly never paid Dooga the fiat due, leaving the company with debts totalling €35 million ($39.7 million). In August, a Maltese court upheld a garnishee order (third party order) filed against PaySec, which Dooga openly claims “colluded” with the traders. “Since February, Dooga has made every possible effort to recover these funds,” the release continued: “Unfortunately — contrary to expectations — these efforts have been unsuccessful up until now.”…

Ex-Mt. Gox CEO Karpeles Denies Embezzlement as Prosecutors Call for Ten Year Jail Term

Ex-Mt. Gox CEO Karpeles Denies Embezzlement as Prosecutors Call for Ten Year Jail Term

The former CEO of defunct Japanese Bitcoin exchange Mt. Gox, Mark Karpeles, could spend ten years in jail over alleged embezzlement, Japanese daily news outlet Nikkei reported Dec. 12. Karpeles, who presided over the major hack of Mt. Gox in 2014 that resulted in the loss of 850,000 BTC ($2.87 billion), has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing. In a Tokyo court on Wednesday, prosecutors read out an indictment against the embattled executive, who is currently confined to Japan as a condition of his bail, claiming he stole funds worth 340 million yen ($3 million). The prosecution has asked for a ten-year prison sentence for Karpeles’ alleged embezzlement. While not connected to the hack itself, Karpeles has attracted the attention of authorities as part of the investigation into how Mt. Gox lost so much money. He has often protested his innocence and publicly appealed to affected traders, speaking about his regret at the events. The exchange continues to conduct civil rehabilitation proceedings, which should see victims compensated for their losses. According to Nikkei, Karpeles today denied he “hacked and stole” money on his own, as well as manipulated Mt. Gox ledgers and used the embezzled funds to pay for property rent, furniture and business acquisitions. It remains unknown when the trail will conclude, the publication added. Japan continues to safeguard its local exchange sector after another major hack this January saw crypto exchange Coincheck lose over half a billion dollars of altcoins to malicious parties.

Former AriseBank Execs Settle Charges in SEC ICO Fraud Lawsuit

Former AriseBank Execs Settle Charges in SEC ICO Fraud Lawsuit

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has settled charges with two former executives of AriseBank, which was hit with a token sale fraud lawsuit in early 2018. Former AriseBank CEO Jared Rice Sr. and former COO Stanley Ford will pay a combined $2.7 million in disgorgement and penalties, as well as $187,767 each in penalties. While neither admitted or denied the charges, both have also agreed to lifetime bans from serving as officers or directors of public companies and from participating in digital securities offerings. Specifically, the two will pay $2.26 million in disgorgement and $68,423 in prejudgement interest. Moreover, both are permanently prohibited from violating antifraud and registration provisions of federal securities laws. AriseBank’s ICO was halted by the SEC in January of this year, which sued the company and the individuals behind it for allegedly committing fraud. The Texas Department of Banking issued a separate cease-and-desist order against the company a day earlier, noting that the company was not authorized to provide banking services in the state, where it was based. Rice was arrested late last month by the FBI after being indicted on separate criminal charges of securities and wire fraud. He allegedly lied to investors about AriseBank’s authorizations, claiming the “first decentralized banking platform” could offer Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC)-insured bank accounts, credit and debit cards through Visa and other services. However, the platform reportedly has no relationship with the FDIC or Visa. SEC image via Shutterstock

Former Mt. Gox CEO Could Face 10 Years in Jail Over Embezzlement

Former Mt. Gox CEO Could Face 10 Years in Jail Over Embezzlement

News Japanese prosecutors are seeking a 10-year jail term for Mark Karpeles, the former CEO of Mt. Gox. The embattled Frenchman, who has been previously accused of diverting company money for prostitutes, business acquisitions and luxury items, is facing charges of transferring $3 million of client funds to his own account for investment in a software development business. Also read: Netherlands to Regulate Cryptocurrencies in Bid to Curb Money Laundering Karpeles Pleads Innocence But Authorities Aren’t Buying It According to prosecutors, Mark Karpeles falsified Mt. Gox’s trading system to make customer balances appear healthier than they in fact were. He also acted in violation of the country’s corporate law, Japanese daily The Mainichi reported on Dec. 12. Karpeles has sworn his innocence and says the money, moved in the last four months of 2013, was meant to serve as only a temporary loan. He also argued, earlier in the trial, that the funds in question did not belong to clients but were his now-defunct company’s revenue. However, prosecutors have argued there is no evidence that this diversion of funds was merely as a temporary loan. “There was no documentation of loans and there was no intention of paying back,” reads their submission at the Tokyo District Court. Karpeles, prosecutors argue, must be slapped with a harsh sentence for betraying the confidence of investors who trusted him with their money. The Great Bitcoin Heist Mt. Gox went from handling 70 percent of global bitcoin trades in 2013 to bankruptcy in 2014 after about $400 million was supposedly lost to hackers, with 200,000 bitcoins recovered two weeks later. The current lawsuit is not investigating the cause of this theft. As the effects of the discrepancy became apparent, the exchange initially delayed withdrawals for up to three months before completely ceasing them altogether, ostensibly over the theft of bitcoins. The company entered bankruptcy proceedings in 2014 but has since undergone civil rehabilitation processes to enable it to pay bitcoin still owed to investors. It has yet to be determined how much users will be repaid, given the numerous fluctuations in bitcoin’s trading price since 2014. Mark Karpeles“I never imagined things would end this way and I am forever sorry for everything that’s taken place and all the effect it had on everyone involved,”…

Scaling & Developer Productivity

Scaling & Developer Productivity

At Coinbase we care about developer productivity. As we’ve scaled from a single service to many, we’ve invested in tools that give us the confidence to rapidly ship new services to production. Like other growing technology companies we’ve been scaling our once monolithic infrastructure through new microservices that encapsulate well defined tasks, buy-down technical debt and help us move fast. As we’ve gone down this path our DevOps team has worked to maintain high developer productivity. We’ve used data to guide our work that we’re now sharing here and hope more people will too. This post takes a glimpse into the data behind deployments at Coinbase and one way we think about developer productivity. In the early days, Coinbase was simple. When we were first able to measure deployment data in early 2015 we ran one production service: coinbase.com. Coinbase is a rails app and we ran on Heroku. Life was good. Deployments were one command, we moved fast and we built a service that laid the foundation for where we are today. Heroku Makes Deployment Simple. [via]While running on Heroku in February 2015, we deployed 120 times and our top 3 most frequent deployers on a small team accounted for 58% of all deploys to production. At the time the median deployments per month for an engineer was 8. You can see some of our team’s deployment trends below coming back after winter holidays and ramping up into 2015. Throughout this period, we are only measuring our deployments to Heroku. (Though we launched the service that would become GDAX in February 2015, its early deploys aren’t measured in this dataset). Early Deployments of Coinbase.com on Heroku, Split by EngineerWith 2015 came two big changes to our infrastructure. Our security and compliance needs grew to accelerate our migration into a more secure environment (we chose AWS) and we started creating new services for the distributed architecture that would power GDAX. To meet both of these goals we designed and started deploying into new cloud infrastructure to securely many services. We started by deploying GDAX and Coinbase soon followed suit. We need to empower developers to move fast yet provide confidence that systems are safe and secure. As we designed our new infrastructure and the deployment pipeline that made…

Crypto Markets See Modest Gains, Bitcoin Rises Above $3,400

Crypto Markets See Modest Gains, Bitcoin Rises Above $3,400

Wednesday, Dec. 12: Cryptocurrency markets have seen moderate gains on the day, with all top 20 coins by market capitalization in the green, according to Cointelegraph’s Coin360. Market visualization from Coin360 Bitcoin (BTC) began the day around $3,414, subsequently reaching its intraday high of $3,534. At press time, the major coin is trading at $3,499, up 2.21 percent over the last 24 hours. Bitcoin daily price chart. Source: CoinMarketCap Today, Cointelegraph reported that the R&D lab at crypto startup TenX has tested the use of its cross-blockchain interoperability protocol to exchange ERC-20 tokens. The goal was to exchange the tokens — which run on the Ethereum (ETH) platform but are not strictly “native” since they rely on invoking a smart contract to transfer ownership — for Bitcoin’s smallest transactable unit, known as “Satoshi,” using the second-layer scalability Lightning Network protocol. The second largest cryptocurrency Ripple (XRP) has taken an upturn and is currently trading at $0.308 at press time, up 2.36 percent on the day. On its weekly chart, the coin is down over 9 percent, while its lowest price point was around $0.29 on Dec. 7. XRP 7-day price chart. Source: CoinMarketCap The third cryptocurrency by market cap, Ethereum, is currently trading at $91.41,up by 2.77 percent over the last 24 hours. The coin has seen substantial losses over the last week, down more than 12 percent. Ethereum 7-day price chart. Source: CoinMarketCap After experiencing a massive increase following its hard fork from Bitcoin Cash (BCH), Bitcoin SV (BSV) saw a drop of over 6 percent yesterday, Dec. 11. Today the altcoin is trading sideways, and is neither up nor down over the last 24 hours. BSV is trading at 90.14 at press time, according to CoinMarketCap. Yesterday, the Malta-based cryptocurrency exchange OKEx announced that it will list Bitcoin Cash ABC under the original Bitcoin Cash ticker BCH. It will also change the Bitcoin Cash SV ticker from BCHSV to BSV. BCH has also seen some gains over the last day, up 1.8 percent. The altcoin is trading around $103 at press time. On its weekly overview, BCH has experienced considerable losses, down almost 23 percent. The coin’s highest price point on the week was $133.37 on Dec. 6, and subsequently dropped as low…

Bitcoin, Ripple, Ethereum, Stellar, EOS, Bitcoin Cash, Bitcoin SV, Litecoin, TRON, Cardano: Price Analysis, Dec. 12

Bitcoin, Ripple, Ethereum, Stellar, EOS, Bitcoin Cash, Bitcoin SV, Litecoin, TRON, Cardano: Price Analysis, Dec. 12

The views and opinions expressed here are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Cointelegraph. Every investment and trading move involves risk, you should conduct your own research when making a decision. The market data is provided by the HitBTC exchange. When markets were rising, the novice traders believed they can never go down, and one must only have the courage and patience to HODL. However, after this year’s nerve-racking correction, most of those same traders now believe that the cryptocurrencies are going to zero. They were wrong on the way up, and they are wrong again on the way down. The fundamentals are getting better and are pointing to a better future. Mike Novogratz, former hedge fund manager and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. partner said that the markets are sober now, as the speculative mania is gone. He remains bullish and believes that Bitcoin is not going to zero, it is just in a “methadone clinic.” The most popular twins in the crypto space, Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss, are also undeterred by the current bear market. They have launched a new mobile crypto trading app with various investment features. Their crypto exchange, Gemini plans to enter the Asian crypto space in 2019. But not everyone is bullish about the future. Harvard University Professor of Economics and Public Policy Kenneth Rogoff believes that the long-term value of Bitcoin is “more likely to be $100 than $100,000,” as reported by The Guardian. We, however, believe that the current fall is a good buying opportunity, but the traders should not expect a vertical rally. The markets are likely to form a large base before starting a new uptrend. BTC/USD Bitcoin is currently trading inside a descending channel. The bulls have been attempting to defend the $3,500 mark for the past three days. A break of this first support will result in a retest of the Dec. 7 low of $3,329.05. If the bulls hold $3,500, the BTC/USD pair might pull back to the resistance line of the channel, just below the 20-day EMA. We expect this level to act as a stiff resistance. Though the moving averages continue to fall, the RSI has been forming a positive divergence for the past…

Denmark Targets 2,700 Bitcoin Traders for Tax Payments After Tip-Off From Finland

Denmark Targets 2,700 Bitcoin Traders for Tax Payments After Tip-Off From Finland

Denmark’s tax agency (Skattestyrelsen) has confirmed it is “identifying” 2,700 individuals it says owe taxes on Bitcoin (BTC) gains, according to a Dec. 12 press release. According to Skattestyrelsen, the Danish citizens bought and sold Bitcoin via an unnamed Finnish cryptocurrency exchange between 2015 and 2017, but did not declare any profits or losses on tax documents. Now, the agency will go after each individual with an eye to determining their payment obligations. “Right now we are identifying the individual citizens and keeping the new information up to those we already have,” tax director Karin Bergen commented, continuing: “If something does not match, we will contact them and ask for more information. However, how many people it is and what it may mean, it is still too early to say.” Skattestyrelsen did not mention which exchange was involved, but said the information had come via a tip-off from Finnish tax authorities. Finland is home to well-known international P2P Bitcoin trading platform LocalBitcoins, which this year implemented limited Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Know Your Customer (KYC) processes for “high volume” account holders. The 2,700 traders involved purchased Bitcoin worth 49.7 million kronor ($7.55 million) and sold Bitcoin worth 53 million kronor ($8.05 million). “This is probably just the tip of the iceberg,” Bergen added: “The knowledge we gain about data mining, segments and methods in general will make us wiser in the area and benefit from our guidance and control work.” Denmark has traditionally painted a mixed picture of its attitudes to cryptocurrency. This month, the country contains a total of 1,500 Bitcoin-accepting restaurants via online food portal Hungry.dk, while on the other hand, local bank Nordea banned its workers from owning crypto earlier this year.

Reports: Crypto Exchange Kraken to Plan Private Offering After ‘$4 Billion’ Valuation

Reports: Crypto Exchange Kraken to Plan Private Offering After ‘$4 Billion’ Valuation

United States cryptocurrency exchange Kraken is considering a private offering to high-net-worth investors, Finance Magnates reported Dec. 12, quoting emails sent by the company. Kraken, which is currently the subject of a lawsuit over its support of the competing forks of altcoin Bitcoin Cash (BCH), has reportedly valued its shares at $4 billion. According to Finance Magnates, executives are now offering select major clients to whom the email was sent a chance to acquire further equity, subject to a minimum investment of $100,000. “The transaction process will be done by a 3rd party service, who will run accredited investor checks, facilitate the execution of transaction documents, and the funding of your investment,” the email reportedly states. Those involved have until Dec. 16 to signal their interest and will undergo vetting for eligibility prior to participating, Finance Magnates added. Kraken had not responded to a request for comment by Cointelegraph at press time. Last month, fellow exchange Coinbase informally ruled out holding an initial public offering (IPO) after it was valued at $8 billion. Kraken has sought to upend ongoing regulatory demands in the U.S. in recent months, being one of just four exchanges to reject a request for information from New York authorities in September as part of their crypto exchange inquiry. The current Bitcoin Cash lawsuit focuses on alleged collusion to manipulate control of the altcoin and “centralize its network” following the contentious hard fork on Nov. 15. The fallout from the event continues, with rival factions laying blame on each other for various problems. Bitcoin.com CEO Roger Ver and Bitmain co-founder Jihan Wu are also named in the lawsuit.

Deutsche Telekom, Alibaba Cloud, Citi Join Hyperledger Blockchain Project

Deutsche Telekom, Alibaba Cloud, Citi Join Hyperledger Blockchain Project

Blockchain consortium Hyperledger is continuing its rapid expansion by adding 16 new members. Some 16 new members were announced Wednesday at the Hyperledger Global Forum in Basel, Switzerland, including cloud computing firm Alibaba Cloud, a subsidiary of the global conglomerate;  financial services giant Citigroup and its Citi Ventures arm; trade finance blockchain platform We.Trade; and Deutsche Telekom, the largest telecommunications provider in Europe. The consortium’s newest members also include Guangzhishu Technology, Guangzhou Technology Innovation Space Information Technology, KEB Hana Bank, HealthVerity, MediConCen, Techrock, Xooa and BlockDao, Hyperledger said. With the latest additions, Hyperledger has grown to more than 260 members. In a statement, Hyperledger executive director Brian Behlendorf said the additions prove that interest in the blockchain space continues to grow, adding: “The growing Hyperledger community reflects the increasing importance of open source efforts to build enterprise blockchain technologies across industries and markets. The latest members showcase the widening interest in and impact of DLT and Hyperledger.” John Calian, a senior vice president at Deutsche Telekom and head of its R&D unit T-Labs, said building a roaming application on Hyperledger’s Fabric was “a natural choice.” He added that businesses in particular benefit from using an open source, permissioned platform such as one based on Fabric, as it provides a production-ready ecosystem ideal for groups with multiple stakeholders. Hyperledger has been steadily adding new members in recent months, as well as publishing tools for developers to utilize its software. Earlier this month, the consortium released a cryptographic library, called Ursa, to help blockchain developers more easily create implementations while cutting down on bugs. Deutsche Telekom logo via r.classen / Shutterstock