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Crypto Exchanges Under Fire: DragonEx Hacked, Coinbene Undergoes Sudden Maintenance

Singapore Exchange Loses A Mass Of Crypto Exchanges haven’t had the best start to 2019. Sure, Binance has been doing A-OK with its initial exchange offering (IEO) model, with its resident token rallying past $17, but lesser-known crypto platforms have been suffering. Earlier this year, QuadrigaCX was revealed to have ‘lost’ access to over $150 million worth of Bitcoin, Ethereum, and other assets, as Cryptopia suffered a devastating hack. This facet of the industry’s misfortune has continued, unfortunately enough. According to CoinDesk, DragonEx, a Singapore-based exchange, was hacked. The company announced this unfortunate happening via its Telegram channel, in which DragonEx’s PR staff claimed that funds of users and the platform itself were “transferred and stolen.” DragonEx has yet to divulge the exact details of the crypto assets stolen, including the type and the nominal value. However, the company did post the addresses of the assumed hackers, of which there were about 20 pertaining to a series of assets (Bitcoin, XEM, EOS, XRP, ETC, etc.). From a brief look, a minimum of 135 BTC, 500 Ether, and 4,670 LTC were forcibly yanked from the exchange’s coffers. This, for those who are wondering, racks up to ~$800,000. The full amount hacked, however, could easily be much higher than this sum. DragonEx has purportedly informed a number of local authorities, including those in Estonia, Thailand, Singapore, and Hong Kong, to the attack. Elaborating, the crypto startup wrote: “We’re assisting policemen to do investigation. All platform services will be closed and the accurate assets loss recovery situation will be announced in a week. It was added that the firm will “take the responsibility no matter what.” Coinbene Under Seige? This comes as Coinbene suddenly revealed it would be undergoing maintenance. A tweet from the company claims that it “upgraded the platform wallet… operations such as deposit and withdraw will be affected.” While this is a normal announcement for exchanges across the board, Coinbene’s session came straight out of left field, leading to ramping speculation. Nick Schteringard posted the below message in a bid to draw suspicion to the exchange’s Ethereum wallets, which sent out a mass of ERC-20 tokens yesterday. Some strange activity spotted on #Coinbene. Users report that #ETH wallets were hacked and attach these two addresses. https://t.co/f5NxvfscSC https://t.co/S1WnwI8CUx #bitcoin #exchange— Nick Schteringard (@schteringard) March 26, 2019 Coinbene’s ongoing imbroglio comes after Bitwise Asset Management, an American crypto-centric investment services provider, targeted the exchange in its scathing report on fake Bitcoin trading activity. As reported by Ethereum World News previously, Bitwise drew attention to “suspicious exchanges” such as the little-known CoinBene to back its report. CoinBene purportedly utilizes “trade printing” between the bid and ask prices, hinting that there could be an automated system behind much of the trades. Thus, some have concluded that this sudden period of maintenance could be the platform’s bid to rectify bots and other bad actors. Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash The post Crypto Exchanges Under Fire: DragonEx Hacked, Coinbene Undergoes Sudden Maintenance appeared first on Ethereum World News.
Ethereum World News

Japanese E-Commerce Giant, Rakuten, Gets Nod of Approval by FSA to Launch Crypto Exchange

Rakuten, the e-commerce giant and Japan's Amazon has completed the registration of its cryptocurrency exchange Rakuten Wallet that will be going live next month, as per the press release of the company on March 25. The official announcement reads: “We are pleased to announce that our registration with the Kanto Finance Bureau has been completed […]
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$3.4M Huobi Prime Sale Shows Investor Enthusiasm Remains High

Huobi Prime successfully completed its first initial exchange offering (IEO) on Huobi Prime this afternoon. The sale concluded in a matter of seconds, and raised $3.4M – proving that investor enthusiasm for the new token sale format isn’t confined to Binance Launchpad. TOP Network, a blockchain-based messaging service, was the first project featured on the new platform. More than 1.5bn TOP tokens were sold, around 7.5% of the total supply. The token was made available for trading almost immediately, and at the time of writing was exchanging hands at a multiple of around four times the asking price. The sale comprised three funding rounds, each offering larger quantities at a slightly higher asking price than the last. Although each round was set to last 30 minutes, each round was heavily oversubscribed and finished within seconds of opening. The first round completed within seven seconds. Huobi only announced its new Prime feature last week, as Crypto Briefing reported. Unlike the first few sales on Binance Launchpad, which were open to the general public, Huobi requires eligible participants to hold 500 Huobi Tokens (HT) – used to purchase tokens – at least 30 days prior to the sale. As Ross Zhang, Huobi’s head of marketing said at the time, this was to ensure the exchange gave equal opportunities to investors who were “involved and invested in our ecosystem”. Binance announced Sunday that Launchpad sales would now feature a new lottery-based format to its token sales. Better Protections For Investors… Unless Conflicts Arise? What makes IEOs interesting is that they tweak the token sale model. Instead of direct transactions between investors and projects, the exchange itself forms the counter-party. Participants must register and create an account on the platform, and this requires them to first pass KYC/AML checks. It’s also within the best interests of exchanges to ensure sales are full compliance. It’s their necks on the line and this means they are likely to carefully vet projects first. As Huobi said in its initial announcement, tokens must first pass a “[r]igorous screening and selection processes to ensure only premium projects that have yet to be listed on any major exchange are included.” Binance upgraded its own KYC/AML procedures today. Other exchanges are also looking at the IEO model, and despite a failure to launch with their first effort, Bittrex is seeking to offer VeriBlock as its next attempt. The VeriBlock project, which counts Bittrex CEO Bill Shihara as an advisor, would be valued at over $200M if the sale is completed successfully. Bittrex includes a disclaimer on its website explaining that as a result of Shihara’s dual role, “Bittrex holds a customary minority equity position in an affiliate of the sponsor of the VBK Coin Initial Exchange Offering, and will indirectly benefit from the successful completion of the Initial Exchange Offering.” Whether this discourages investors remains to be seen. Few would have thought three months ago that sales such as BitTorrent (BTT), Celer Network (CELR) and now TOP Network would have been possible. KuCoin’s Spotlight platform will be hosting its first token sale next week. Is an IEO season upon us? The author is invested in digital assets, but none mentioned in this article. Join the conversation on Telegram and Twitter! The post $3.4M Huobi Prime Sale Shows Investor Enthusiasm Remains High appeared first on Crypto Briefing.
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Why the New ‘Apple Card’ Credit Card Doesn’t Compete With Bitcoin

The Apple credit card launches this summer. Here’s why it nothing like Bitcoin and is more underwhelming than a utility token with no use-case. Apple Announces Credit Card Apple has long been revered as the world’s most innovative company. There’s no denying that the smartphone changed the way billions of people around the world live their lives forever. But it’s time for the trailblazing tech company to wake up and smell the roses. While Apple was releasing one carbon-copy product after another at higher and higher prices, the competition was busy doing the opposite. Now the high-end, high-priced tech manufacturer is scrambling to hold its own in a rapidly evolving market. And with the launch of its underwhelming Apple Card, there’s something sad about the stench of its desperation. Apple Card vs Samsung’s Built-In Bitcoin Wallet Apple’s largest competitor apart from the slew of cheaper Chinese products is undoubtedly Samsung. The South Korean giant hasn’t had an easy ride either with equally pricey products getting undercut left and right. But as one large company embraces the future, its flagship Galaxy S10 coming with a built-in Bitcoin wallet, Apple’s response is disappointing, to say the least. Rather than acknowledge the cryptocurrency revolution, and appeal to a younger market, the smartphone manufacturer aims to ‘disrupt’ the credit card industry. Isn’t that the wrong pool to be swimming in? The revolution won’t come in the form of borderless transactions since it’s only available in the United States. It also won’t be peer-to-peer, eliminate centralized institutions, or greatly reduce fees. Although its interest rates will be: Among the lowest in the industry Mind. Blown. Apple’s game plan is more about additional security of payments, no annual or foreign transaction fees, and the fact that (wait for it) its partner Goldman Sachs will never sell your data for marketing. You can even buy yourself a coffee on the Goldman Sachs blockchain. You just have to trust Apple and Goldman Sachs to do so. It’s a Custodial Hardware Hot Wallet The Apple Card will come built into the iPhone’s Wallet App, which effectively makes it a custodial hardware hot wallet for USD. Apple claims they will never track your transactions, and all the information will be held on your device. Users can request a laser-etched titanium card, should they be so inclined, although, there seems to be little point in that. In fact, why even offer a traditional card for a wallet the company wants you to get rid of in the first place? If you’ve failed to be bowled over by so much innovation so far, there’s more. Users can track their spending on their phone through a user-friendly app. You Have to Trust Goldman Sachs In the wake of major gaffes by tech companies like Facebook and Google, Apple is pushing its next-generation security and privacy features. The centralized entity will not track your transactions and Goldman Sachs (the other centralized entity) has agreed not to sell user data. Explosive stuff compared to a decentralized alternative financial system which requires no intermediaries at all. Increased adoption of Apple Pay? Perhaps. A revolution in finance? It’s just as well Cook wasn’t speaking at a Bitcoin conference, the audience would have walked out in droves. Steve Jobs Would Have Had Bitcoin in iOS by Now Apple Card seems like a desperate bid to push Apply Pay onto the people rather than let them to choose how they manage their finances. CEO Tim Cook enthused that the card was: The most significant change in the credit card experience in 50 years. Exactly where has he been lately? Steve Jobs would have Bitcoin integrated into iOS by now.  The aim of the game is presumably to bump up the adoption of Apple Pay in partnership with market leaders MasterCard and Goldman Sachs. Two giant financial institutions that will hardly feel the pinch from Apple Pay and its meager card. There are no real tangible benefits for users of the card beyond a few outstandingly mundane offers. For example, paying for Apple products with your built-in Apple Card gets you a whopping 1-3% cash back on purchases. So what is Apple thinking entering an already saturated market that swathes of people are trying to overthrow? Once on the cutting-edge of innovation, Apple now seems to be extremely myopic when it comes to the future. What do you this of this new credit card? Will it undermine payment-focused cryptocurrencies with low fees? Share your thoughts below! Images via Shutterstock The post Why the New ‘Apple Card’ Credit Card Doesn’t Compete With Bitcoin appeared first on Bitcoinist.com.
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