Japanese Financial Watchdog Launches Investigation Following $60 Million Exchange Hack

Japanese Financial Watchdog Launches Investigation Following $60 Million Exchange Hack

The Financial Services Agency (FSA) of Japan has launched an investigation after $60 million worth of cryptocurrencies were allegedly stolen from local crypto exchange Zaif, Cointelegraph Japan reports Friday, September 21. According to the report, the FSA has sent its staff to Tech Bureau — Zaif’s parent company based in Osaka — to verify whether the company will be able to cover customer losses. As Cointelegraph Japan has learnеd, the Japan Virtual Currency Exchange Association (JVCEA) has urged all local crypto exchanges to conduct an immediate inspection of their security protocols. Following the notice, exchanges BitFlyer and Quoine reported they had not detected any data breach during the check. As Cointelegraph has previously reported, Zaif experienced a security breach on September 14, but the server error was only detected on September 17. Hackers reportedly stole cryptocurrencies amounting to 4.5 billion yen from users’ wallets along with 2.2 billion yen from the assets of the company itself, with total losses totalling $59.7 million. According to Cointelegraph Japan, Zaif previously received two administrative warnings from the FSA in March and June. The first mentioned instances of “system failure” and “fraudulent withdrawals.” Despite Zaif failing the check, the exchanged was not closed. The Japanese National Police Agency recently published a report stating that crypto thefts have tripled in 2018. During the first six months of this year 60.503 billion yen ($540 million) worth of crypto was stolen from different wallets. The biggest hack of this year took place in January 2018, when 58 billion yen ($520 million) worth of NEM coin were stolen from Coincheck crypto exchange.

Markets Update: XRP Briefly Dethrones ETH as Second Largest Crypto

Markets Update: XRP Briefly Dethrones ETH as Second Largest Crypto

Markets and Prices The cryptocurrency markets have produced a significant rally today – with just three of the top fifty crypto markets by capitalization posting losses for the last 24 hours of trade action as of this writing. The most notable gainer has been XRP – gaining over 50% in the last day to overtake ETH as the second largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization. Also Read: China Updates Crypto Rankings, Downgrades Bitcoin BTC Break Above Resistance at $6,500 USD BTC has broken above the $6,500 resistance area, following roughly two weeks of sideways price action between approximately $6,000 and $6,500. As of this writing, BTC is trading for approximately $6,700 after appearing to establish roughly $6,800 as local resistance when looking at intraday price action. BTC has gained roughly 4% in the last 24 hours. Looking at the stochastic RSI on the weekly charts shows that momentum is coiling into an increasingly tightening mid-level range – suggesting that the markets may be primed for a strong move in either direction. BTC/USD – StochRSI – Bitfinex – 1w Bitcoin Core has a total capitalization of $115.7 billion and a market dominance 52%. BCH Tests $500 Area Bitcoin Cash gained roughly 12% in the last 24 hours – bouncing from approximately $430 to currently be trading for $483. BCH/USD – Bitfinex – 4hr BCH also gained nearly 7% over BTC today – rallying from 0.067 BTC to 0.0735 BTC, before retracing to the current price area of 0.072 BTC. BCH/BTC – Bitfinex – 1d The BCH/BTC rally appears to coincide with a bounce of the upper-side of the descending trend line that has guided price action since May. BCH currently has a market cap of $8.34 billion and a dominance of 3.75%. Dramatic XRP Rally Elevates Ripple to Second Largest Crypto by Market Cap XRP posted the largest gains of the top cryptocurrency markets – rallying by 100% before violently retracing to post daily gains of approximately 50% as of this writing. The markets quickly bounced from roughly $0.4 to $0.8, before retrace to the current $0.6 price area. XRP/USD – Bitfinex – 4hr XRP posted similarly impressive gains over BTC also – rallying 90% from 0.000062 BTC to test 0.000117, before retracing to the current price are…

US Congressman Drafts Bills to Aid Blockchain Development

US Congressman Drafts Bills to Aid Blockchain Development

U.S. Representative Tom Emmer wants to support the development and use of blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies. To that end, the lawmaker announced a trio of blockchain-focused bills Friday, saying he intends to introduce them into Congress in the coming weeks. The bills tackle a range of issues around the blockchain space, including development, miners and cryptocurrency-related taxes. The bills are aimed at providing support for the nascent industry, a press release said. In a statement, Emmer said that “the United States should prioritize accelerating the development of blockchain technology and create an environment that enables the American private sector to lead on innovation and further growth.” He added: “Legislators should be embracing emerging technologies and providing a clear regulatory system that allows them to flourish in the [U.S.].” The bills specifically will touch on the regulatory approach to the space, essentially providing developers and users some leeway in building, mining or transacting with cryptocurrencies. The first bill “expresses support for the industry and its development” within the U.S. by advocating for “a light touch, consistent and simple legal environment.” The second bill would ensure cryptocurrency miners do not need to register as money transmitters, as they “never take control of consumer funds.” This legislation would also include multisignature wallet providers. The final bill would create a “safe harbor” for taxpayers who have any cryptocurrencies resulting from a network hard fork. The bill would prevent the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) from levying any fines against taxpayers who try to report gains from these tokens, at least until the IRS provides clear guidance on how taxpayers can report such gains. Emmer’s new bills come the same day he and fellow Representative Bill Foster were named co-chairs of the Congressional Blockchain Caucus, a group of lawmakers focused on spurring blockchain technology development through legislation in the U.S. government’s lower house. “I am proud to join my colleagues to lead Congress so that policymakers and industry can work together to realize this promise and unleash its economic potential in the United States and around the world,” Foster said in a statement. Tom Emmer image via Al Mueller / Shutterstock The leader in blockchain news, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by…

Bitmain Unveils Next-Generation ASIC Chip to Be Integrated into New Antminer Machines

Bitmain Unveils Next-Generation ASIC Chip to Be Integrated into New Antminer Machines

Bitcoin (BTC) mining behemoth Bitmain has unveiled its next-generation ASIC chip soon to be used in the firm’s new “Antminer” crypto mining machines, Reuters reports September 21. An Application-Specific Integrated Circuit (ASIC) chip is a piece of tailored mining hardware geared to mine cryptocurrency based on a specific hashing algorithm. Bitmain CEO and co-founder Jihan Wu reportedly announced the new crypto-mining-specific ASIC chip BM1391 during his keynote lecture at the World Digital Mining Summit in Georgia. According to Wu, Bitmain has now started to mass produce the chip and plans to integrate it into its next-generation Antminer machines. The new “acceleration” ASIC chip is said to use an SHA256 algorithm and is based on a highly-advanced semiconductor manufacturing technology, 7nm (nanometer) Finfet. It reportedly integrates “more than a billion transistors,” using a special circuit structure and low power-intensive technology to optimize efficiency. According to CEO Wu, tests have shown the chip “can achieve a ratio of energy consumption to the mining capacity that is as low as 42J/T.” Wu emphasized that as the industry matures, “exponential growth” in blockchain user traffic means that ever-greater processing power will be required to keep pace. He predicted that bleeding-edge computing technology development will also need to be integrated with blockchain to address the challenges facing the burgeoning industry. Just yesterday, Bitcoin mining software manufacturer Bitfury Group unveiled its own ASIC chip dubbed Bitfury Clarke, which the firm plans to integrate into a range of hardware, including its mining servers. In July, Cointelegraph reported that bearish crypto markets had negatively impacted the sale of ASIC chips, with a predicted price drop of 20 percent that month. The affected graphics card suppliers including the Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC), as well as its integrated circuit (IC) design service partners like Global Unichip.

Swiss Bankers Ease Access for Crypto Startups to Prevent Mass Exodus

Swiss Bankers Ease Access for Crypto Startups to Prevent Mass Exodus

The Swiss Bankers Association (SBA) has issued basic guidelines for banks working with blockchain startups on Friday, September 21. As Reuters reports, the measure was taken to prevent a mass crypto exodus out of Switzerland. The document states that banks see blockchain as an opportunity for Switzerland to house financial and technology startups despite “risks,” especially money laundering. Due to a significant increase of crypto-related companies based in the country, the SBA has decided to provide a road map for banks to open their corporate accounts. The guidelines divides blockchain companies into two large groups: those with and those without Initial Coin Offerings (ICO). Blockchain companies without ICOs should be treated like other small- and medium-sized companies, and will be obliged to accept relevant Swiss regulations and apply them to their business models. The second group includes blockchain startups with ICOs who issue tokens either in fiat or in crypto. Companies whose ICOs are funded via digital coins will have to comply with stricter rules and fall under the Swiss AML and KYC laws. The SBA guidelines will treat the acceptance of cryptocurrencies under ICOs as a “spot transaction.” As per the scheme provided by SBA, ICOs funded with fiat are placed under the same rules as blockchain companies with no ICOs. According to Reuters, the move comes amid a recent exodus of crypto-related startups who have failed to get access to the Swiss banking sector. As the news agency has learned, only a few of almost 250 local banks have allowed to assets raised via crypto to be stored. Moreover, two of them have withdrawn their services for blockchain-related companies. For instance, Zuercher Kantonalbank, the fourth largest Swiss bank, has closed more than 20 blockchain-related accounts, Reuters reported in July. Under these unstable conditions, the new guidelines might help to create a dialogue between banks and crypto startups more simple, according to SBA strategic adviser Adrian Schatzmann: “We believe […] we’ll be able to establish a basis for discussion between banks and innovative startups […] facilitating the opening of accounts.” Switzerland is home to dozens of crypto-related startups, situated mainly in the canton of Zug known as Crypto Valley. Based on Reuters data, the total number has now climbed up to 530 firms. As…

China Updates Crypto Rankings, Downgrades Bitcoin

China Updates Crypto Rankings, Downgrades Bitcoin

Finance The China Center for Information Industry Development has updated its crypto rankings. The list contains 33 crypto projects, ranked overall and in three separate categories. High up in the overall ranking are EOS, Ethereum, and Bitshares. Bitcoin, however, has been downgraded. Also read: 160 Crypto Exchanges Seek to Enter Japanese Market, Regulator Reveals China’s Fifth Ranking The China Center for Information Industry Development (CCID), under the country’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, officially published its fifth crypto rankings on Sept. 20. Thirty-three crypto projects are ranked. Each is given an overall score and a separate score for each of the three categories – basic technology, application, and innovation. In the overall ranking published Thursday, the center put EOS at the top of the list, followed by Ethereum, and then Bitshares. EOS and Ethereum were also at the top of last month’s overall ranking. Bitshares, however, jumped from the 12th place the 3rd place. BTC was downgraded from the 10th place to the 16th place while BCH fell a few places, from the 29th place to the 31st place. In the innovation category, however, BTC tops the list, with EOS in the 3rd place. The center started ranking 28 crypto projects in May. Two more projects were added in June, one in July, and two in August. Last month BTC made the top ten list in the overall category for the first time. Ranking Methodology The center explained that there were some improvements in the latest evaluation methodology compared to the previous month, stating: The evaluation of the public chain development tools was classified and refined, and the accounting method of the actual throughput of the public chain was optimized. The basic technology category “mainly evaluates the technical realization level of the public chain, and examines the function, performance, safety and decentralization of the public chain,” the center described. This category accounts for 65 percent of the overall ranking. The application category “mainly evaluates the comprehensive level of public chain support for practical applications, involving node deployment, wallet application, development support and application implementation,” the CCID explained. This category accounts for 20 percent of the overall ranking. Innovation only carries a weight of 15 percent in the overall ranking. This category “focuses on the continuous innovation…

Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple, Bitcoin Cash, EOS, Stellar, Litecoin, Cardano, Monero, IOTA: Price Analysis, September 21

Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple, Bitcoin Cash, EOS, Stellar, Litecoin, Cardano, Monero, IOTA: Price Analysis, September 21

The views and opinions expressed here are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Cointelegraph.com. 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. Michael Novogratz, founder of the digital asset management firm Galaxy Digital, has recently reiterated his view that cryptocurrencies have hit a bottom and a rebound is due. He believes several institutional players might invest in the market, boosting prices. It, however, will be a slow grind higher. We have also been maintaining that the rally this year will be a gradual upward move, unlike the vertical increase seen in 2017. Another billionaire investor, Tim Draper is unperturbed by the continuous decline in crypto, viewing it as a buying opportunity and sticking to his target of $250,000 by 2022. In regards to the news, the hack of a Japanese crypto exchange Zaif has not resulted in any panic selling, which shows that the bears are currently unable to capitalize on adverse headlines. The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has said it had not “reached any conclusions with respect to any of the issues involved,” with the Bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) proposal backed by investment firm VanEck and financial services company SolidX. The Commission has requested further comments on the matter. This keeps the hope alive that an ETF might become a reality sooner than most expect. When an asset class doesn’t fall on adverse news but rises on minor positives, it indicates that the investors are looking for reasons to buy. So, which are the cryptocurrencies that are showing a bottom formation? Let’s find out. BTC/USD Bitcoin has broken out of both moving averages. It should now move up to the downtrend line of the descending triangle, which will act as a stiff resistance. The cryptocurrency has turned down four times from this line, making a lower high on each occasion. This sequence will be broken if the bulls can push price above the previous lower high of $7413.46. Such a move will invalidate the descending triangle, which is a bullish sign. The positive divergence on the RSI is another indication of accumulation at the support. The zone…

Report Finds Cryptojacking Instances Jumped 400% In A Year

Report Finds Cryptojacking Instances Jumped 400% In A Year

Instances of cryptojacking malware have jumped more than 400 percent since last year, a new report finds. A collaborative group of cybersecurity researchers called the Cyber Threat Alliance (CTA) published the report Wednesday, detailing the various and repercussions from cryptojacking – the illicit practice of hijacking a user’s computer to mine cryptocurrencies. Most notably, CTA points out in the research that the number of instances of illicit mining malware found has sharply spiked in the months from the close of 2017 to end of July 2018. The report states: “Combined data from several CTA members shows a 459 percent increase in illicit cryptocurrency mining  malware detections since 2017, and recent quarterly trend reports from CTA members show that this rapid growth shows no signs of slowing down.” In the key findings document, the alliance points to a particular exploit that has been plaguing the security world for over a year, Eternalblue, as one of the leading causes. Eternalblue is the infamous NSA exploit that was used in the Wannacry ransomware and NotPetya attacks. The CTA’s analysis explains that a number of Windows operating systems remain vulnerable to the bug, despite a patch released by Microsoft. As such, these systems run a vulnerable network file sharing protocol dubbed SMB1. Malicious actors target these susceptible machines for their processing power, which even simple cryptojacking software can hijack. In fact, these actors have even begun repurposing existing software to specifically mine cryptocurrencies, the report said, explaining: “Researchers noted in February 2018 that the BlackRuby Ransomware family began ‘double dipping’ by adding the open-source XMRig software to their tools to mine Monero. The VenusLocker Ransomware family completely shifted gears, dropping ransomware for Monero mining. The Mirai botnet, notable for its 2016 DDoS attack that used IoT devices to impact substantial portions of U.S. internet services, has since been repurposed into an IoT-mining botnet.” Further, by decreasing the mining rate, the malware can easily and cheaply be scaled across a network in large organizations and persist on the host computer for a longer time, resulting in a larger pay-out. Palo Alto Networks, one the partners in the alliance, found that Coinhive dominates in terms of software used by malicious actors, with some 23,000 websites containing Coinhive source code. Moreover, the group of security firms has noticed that malicious actors…

Novogratz Says Crypto Market Showing ‘Classic Bottom’

Novogratz Says Crypto Market Showing ‘Classic Bottom’

Michael Novogratz, the founder of the cryptocurrency asset management firm Galaxy Digital, believes the market has hit a bottom. The market is experiencing “seller fatigue,” Novogratz contended while speaking at Yahoo Finance’s second annual All Markets Summit on Thursday, and added further that bitcoin, the biggest cryptocurrency by market capitalization, is now on the upswing. Indeed, bitcoin is showing signs of life, having persistently found takers around $6,000 in the last three months. Hence, the signs indicate that the bears have likely run dry. Novogratz also took note of the “classic bottom” in Galaxy Digital’s cryptocurrency index, which is down more than 80 percent from its peak. The valuations are cheap by December standards, and that could entice bargain hunters and investors like Novogratz who view bitcoin as a store of value. “Bitcoin has held $6,000. Yes, it is off its highs, but it has established itself as a store of value,” Novogratz said, according to a report from Reuters. The billionaire investor also told attendees that, in his view, plenty of money is waiting on the sidelines. Novogratz similarly touched on the recent craze around cannabis-related stocks, noting that the investor fervor “feel[s] like bitcoin and ethereum did in December of last year,” according to a separate report from CNBC. “The companies trade up to $28 billion on almost no revenue,” he was quoted as saying by the network. “If I was long them, I’d sell them and if you’re a speculator, I’d get short them.” Photo by Brady Dale for CoinDesk The leader in blockchain news, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups.

PR: iCoinbay Rolls Out Trading Premium Gain Plan

PR: iCoinbay Rolls Out Trading Premium Gain Plan

This is a paid press release, which contains forward looking statements, and should be treated as advertising or promotional material. Bitcoin.com does not endorse nor support this product/service. Bitcoin.com is not responsible for or liable for any content, accuracy or quality within the press release. iCoinbay released a new trading campaign entitled [Trading Premium Gain]; iCoinbay is a tokenized, community-based digital asset exchange. This new campaign allows traders who use the platform to increase their earnings through normal trading activities. According to publicly released information, the plan can be summarized as follows: 1.Issuance of TPG tokens worth 100% the value of transaction feesAccording to their released “TPG White Paper”, iCoinbay thinks that users’ normal usage of the platform should count as contribution to the community. With each transaction, a corresponding amount of the platform’s token, TPG, will be issued to the trader(s). 2.70% of exchange income distributed to TPG holders As described in their white paper, holders of the platform’s TPG tokens have the right to income distribution. Each week, iCoinbay will distribute 70% of previous week’s income to community members, based on the proportion of TPG held. 3.Pioneer insurance system designed specifically to protect TPG valueThe interesting part is that iCoinbay has also rolled out an insurance system. In order to better protect TPG holders from price fluctuations on the secondary market, iCoinbay’s campaign includes an insurance policy specifically made for TPG tokens. No matter how the market moves, after 100 days, holders of TPG will be able exchange them for stablecoins at their originally issued price. iCoinbay uses the theory of a token economy as the basis for their platform, and develops each aspect of their business with three values in mind: joint development, joint success, and joint responsibility. Although tokens and blockchain are two different things, the driving force behind blockchain’s recent explosion in popularity has actually been the token economies that developed around Bitcoin, Ethereum, etc. Another way to put it is that blockchain is the stage for a new world, and tokens are the main actors on this stage. Based on this, iCoinbay is concentrating on building an exchange that allows community members to trade safely while using traditional financial measures (such as insurance) to protect the value of traded…