Crypto Exchange Gate.io Removes StatCounter Service Following Report of Security Breach

Crypto exchange Gate.io has removed web analytics tool StatCounter from their website following a breach report by cybersecurity firm ESET, according to an official blog post published today, Nov. 7.

The company has reported that they immediately removed StatCounter’s traffic stats service after receiving a security notice by ESET about suspicious behavior. Gate.io claimed they subsequently scanned the website with 56 antivirus products, and “no one reported any suspicious behavior at that time.” However, the firm still changed its traffic tracker, also reporting that “users’ funds are safe.”

On Nov. 6, Slovakia-based cybersecurity firm ESET published a security report claiming that hackers had successfully breached major web analytics tool StatCounter, targeting Bitcoin (BTC) exchanges that use the traffic analytic service. According to ESET researcher Matthieu Faou, the attackers compromised the StatCounter platform — which is reportedly used by more than two million other websites — by modifying the JavaScript (JS) code on each page of the website.

The hackers managed to add a piece of malicious code containing “myaccount/withdraw/BTC,” which intends to replace the destination address of a Bitcoin transfers by crypto exchange users with an address belonging to the attackers.

Modified script at www.statcounter[.]com/counter/counter.js. Source: WeLiveSecurity

According to Faou, who is reportedly the first to detect the “supply-chain attack,” this Uniform Resource Identifier (URI) “myaccount/withdraw/BTC” has been solely valid on crypto exchange Gate.io, allegedly “the main target of this attack.”

Now-ranked the 38th top crypto trading platform by daily trade volume as of press time, the exchange is quite popular in China with a rank of 9,382 in terms of in-country traffic, while its global rank amounts to 33,365, according to SimilarWeb traffic data and analytics tool.

In the conclusion to his report, the ESET researcher stated that the recent security breach again demonstrates the fact that external “JavaScript code is under the control of a third party and can be modified at any time without notice.”

As reported by Cointelegraph earlier this year, JS has been one of the major tools of hackers implemented in cryptojacking. According to the analysis, JS-based browser add-ons and extensions are “extremely vulnerable to hacking attacks” and often used for hidden mining by deploying users computing resources. For example, in mid-October, researchers found a crypto-mining malware that hides itself behind a fake Adobe Flash update.

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Third Largest Crypto Exchange Huobi Opens Deposits for New ‘Stablecoin Solution’ HUSD

Singapore-headquartered cryptocurrency exchange Huobi announced the creation of what it calls a “stablecoin solution” in a blog post Friday, Oct. 19.

Set to go live from Friday, the project, known as HUSD, will consist of Huobi’s own stablecoin asset which investors can use as an go-between to interact with four USD-backed stablecoins currently listed on the exchange.

Specifically, Huobi will accept and store Paxos Standard (PAX), True USD (TUSD), USD Coin (USDC) and Gemini Dollars (GUSD), giving users a balance in HUSD as a kind of aggregator of all four.

According to Huobi’s post, users can then cash out the same stablecoin they deposited or select from any of the other three.

HUSD will also be tradeable against other cryptocurrencies, beginning with controversial stablecoin Tether (USDT), followed by Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH).

Commenting on the project, Huobi said it would expand it to cover other stablecoins in future.

“We will keep a close watch on new stablecoins that appear on the market and optimize the HUSD standards,” executives wrote:

“We look forward to more stablecoins being involved in the HUSD system.”

Huobi announced the listing of the above four USD-backed stablecoins earlier this week, following a similar move by OKEx.

Huobi is currently the third largest crypto exchange globally by daily trading volumes, seeing about $416 million in trades on the day to press time.

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Binance Launches Its First Fiat-Crypto Exchange in Uganda

Major international crypto exchange Binance has announced that its fiat-to-crypto exchange will open in Uganda this week, the company reveals Monday, Oct. 15.

CEO and founder of Binance, Changpeng Zhao (CZ), had told Cointelegraph in an exclusive interview in June of plans to open the Ugandan crypto-fiat exchange.

As per Binance Uganda’s press release, the new branch will officially start accepting deposits and withdrawals of Ugandan shillings (UGX) Wednesday, Oct. 17. Binance Uganda notes that exchange has already begun its know-your-customer (KYC) procedures.

An additional press release reports that Uganda’s national fiat can only be traded with Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH), but that the exchange is planning to add more pairs soon.

A Cointelegraph analysis of cryptocurrency in Africa noted that although the Bank of Uganda issued a warning to investors about cryptocurrency risks in March 2017, the country’s government has showed interest in using blockchain technology.

Binance’s CFO Wei Zhou says that company’s first fiat-to-crypto exchange in Uganda will help maintain sustainable economic stability in Africa, noting that the company plans to bring “more innovations to the region.”  

As Cointelegraph previously reported, this year Binance has revealed plans to open several fiat-to-crypto exchanges.

In August, Binance LCX — a joint venture between Binance and Liechtenstein Cryptoassets Exchange (LCX) — had announced plans to launch a fiat-to-crypto platform in Liechtenstein and offer trading between Swiss francs (CHF) and euros (EUR) against major digital currencies pairs. However, the exact date of the launch was not revealed.

Later in September, Binance had stated it will soon start private beta testing of a fiat-to-crypto exchange in Singapore, which will presumably support the Singapore dollar.

Binance is the largest international crypto exchange by 24-hour adjusted trading volume, seeing almost $1.8 billion in trades on the day to press time, according to CoinMarketCap.

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India's National Stock Exchange Trials Blockchain E-Voting for Listed Companies

The National Stock Exchange of India (NSE) is testing a blockchain platform developed by Elemential Labs to conduct e-voting for listed companies, local news outlet Hindu BusinessLine reports September 27.

The NSE’s pilot will entail tokenizing voting rights and using the blockchain platform to connect the firm, registrar and transfer agents (RTA), and the regulator. Hindu BusinessLine notes that tokenized votes are both easy to transfer and to proxy, and the test will reportedly be used to evaluate how easy it is to audit the entirety of the voting procedure using blockchain.

Sankarson Banerjee, CTO of projects at NSE, is quoted as saying that the blockchain system offers features that can bring the exchange “closer to an environment of improved corporate governance and compliance,” outlining that:

“The immutable nature of blockchain will ensure that every action taken by a network participant is transparent to the regulator. Additionally, the smart contract framework enables synchronisation of the vote count process between the company and the regulator in real time.”

Elemential Labs’ platform uses the Hyperledger framework, and NSE will reportedly take charge of developing and managing the front-end application of the system.

Elemential CEO Raunaq Vaisoha echoed Banerjee in advocating for blockchain’s power to ensure regulatory compliance in real time and to offer “highly transparent and clear corporate governance,” which he considered to be “an operating standard that most companies aspire to.”

As reported earlier this month, the Union Cabinet of India — the country’s chief decision-making body led by prime minister Narendra Modi — has approved a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with BRICS members on collaborative research into blockchain and other distributed ledger technologies (DLT).

This summer, the Indian state of Telangana announced it would be signing several MoUs with blockchain firms as to eventually implement the technology across government services.

As blockchain makes inroads with the country’s government, India’s Supreme Court is currently in the midst of reviewing the Reserve Bank of India (RBI)’s controversial ban on banks’ dealings with crypto-related entities. Just this week, the court listened to the final round of petitions on the ban, which has officially been in force since July 6.

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Operator of Hacked Crypto Exchange Zaif Gets Third Warning From Japan's Watchdog

Japan’s Financial Services Agency (FSA) has issued a third business improvement order to the owner of hacked crypto exchange Zaif, Tech Bureau. The news was reported by Cointelegraph Japan today, September 25.

As previously reported, as a result of a security breach on the Zaif exchange September 14, hackers succeeded in stealing 6.7 billion yen ($59.7 million) worth of crypto assets belonging to both users and to the exchange itself. The Financial Services Agency had already ordered Tech Bureau to make business improvements first in March, and subsequently in June this year.

The FSA considers that Tech Bureau’s investigation into the causes of the recent hack – as well as its response to customers – have been inadequate. While the firm reportedly announced it was in talks with Fisco Group to receive financial support of 5 billion yen on Friday, September 21, the FSA says it did not receive a concrete report on the matter from the firm directly.

The FSA’s newly-issued business improvement order specifies the following contents as necessary measures that are to be urgently addressed:

“(1) Determination of the facts and causes of the hacking incident (including clarification of the attribution of responsibility) and [the] formulation and execution of measures to prevent [its] recurrence

(2) Prevention of [the] expansion of customer damage

(3) Response to customer damage

(4) Review and implement concrete and effective improvement plans based on the hacking incident, [as well as the] contents of [two prior business improvement orders] from 8 March and 22 June [this year]

(5) Submit written reports pertaining to (1) and (4) above by Thursday, September 27.”

According to CT Japan, FSA staff are continuing to undertake on-site inspections of Tech Bureau. Based on their findings, the agency will reportedly potentially issue more stringent measures such as a business suspension order and/or cancellation of the exchange’s registration.

Earlier this summer, the FSA published the results of its on-site inspections of cryptocurrency exchange operators, deciding on the basis of its findings to apply more rigorous oversight into new applications from exchanges hoping to receive an official operating license. According to the agency, there are currently “hundreds” of companies awaiting its review.

In the wake of January’s industry record-breaking $532 million hack of crypto exchange Coincheck, the year has seen the agency unfold a series of increasingly exacting measures for domestic operators.

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Report: Hong Kong Stock Exchange Eyeing Blockchain Firm Acquisitions

Insider sources have suggested that the Hong Kong Stock Exchange (HKEX) is eyeing takeovers in the blockchain and other tech sectors, according to a Bloomberg article published September 21.

Bloomberg cites “people with knowledge of the matter” as saying that the exchange is considering a change in strategy due to stalling trading links with exchanges in China, citing worsening U.S.-China trade relations as a further cause for concern.

The sources reportedly told Bloomberg that HKEX CEO Charles Li has met with “at least three investment banks” to discuss diversifying the exchange’s model, including a possible set of takeovers in the “data, analytics and blockchain sectors.” Due to the sensitivity of the matter, Bloomberg’s sources asked to remain anonymous.

They reportedly suggest that Li has been looking to the venture capital arms of U.S.-based stalwart exchanges CME Group Inc. and Nasdaq Inc. “as possible models,” with Bloomberg noting that Nasdaq saw 19 percent of its 2017 revenue from data products and 13 percent from market technology.

By contrast, Bloomberg’s data indicates that HKEX generated almost 100 percent of its 2017 revenue from clearing and trading fees.

Bloomberg’s sources further allege that potential technology acquisitions were “the focus” of two recent key HKEX meetings — a strategy discussion with senior managers on September 10, and a board member meeting on September 12. They report that the exchange is due to launch a three-year strategy plan starting in 2019, of which the details are currently under discussion.

Banny Lam, head of research at CEB International Investment Corp., told Bloomberg in an email that:

“The strategy is in the right direction but it is not easy to achieve the targets. HKEX needs to maintain a momentum of growth by exploring new businesses.”

According to Bloomberg, HKEX has “struggled to integrate” its 2012 acquisition of London Metal Exchange, and the article cites an unnamed HKEX advisor as saying that there are “industry concerns” surrounding the success of future deals.

As previously reported, within China itself, blockchain has been making inroads into the very infrastructure of major stock exchanges. Earlier this summer, the world’s fourth-largest stock exchange, the Shanghai Stock Exchange (SSE) released plans to adopt the technology for use in securities transactions.

The Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) is also planning to implement blockchain to replace its current system for processing equity transactions, a switch that is currently slated for spring 2021.

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Shanghai Stock Exchange Partners With Major Insurance Firms to Improve Industry With Blockchain

The Shanghai Stock Exchange (SSE) and Insurance Asset Management Association of China (IAMAC) have agreed to cooperate on improving the insurance and pension industries with the use of blockchain tech. China Securities Journal newspaper reported on the partnership Monday, August 20.

China Securities Journal wrote that the SSE, the world’s fourth largest stock exchange, was joined by several major insurance industry players, including the IAMAC, Changjiang Pension Insurance Company, Tokyo Maritime Sunshine, and others.

The stated goal of the new group is “to create a new, high-efficiency, low-cost and safer insurance industry” through the use of blockchain technology. The article clarifies:

“The digital transformation of enabling insurance will build a blockchain service platform to solve the bottleneck problem of enterprise innovation. With convenient and efficient application development, flexible deployment mode and visual monitoring and operation platform.”

As Cointelegraph reported July 12, the Shanghai Stock Exchange had revealed its plans to use blockchain in its securities transactions, indicating the increasing level of adoption of the distributed ledger technology (DLT) by larger institutions.

Last week, a major U.S.-based entrepreneurial accelerator Y Combinator announced the launch of its new China-based division to “build a long-term local organization that will combine the best of Silicon Valley and China and create a lot of innovation.”

Earlier this month, Intercontinental Exchange (ICE), which operates the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), has unveiled its plans to build an “open and regulated, global ecosystem for digital assets” in cooperation with Microsoft and others.

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Japan’s Financial Watchdog Publishes Results of Its On-Site Crypto Exchange Inspections

Japan’s financial watchdog, the Financial Services Agency (FSA), has published the results of its on-site inspections of cryptocurrency exchange operators, Cointelegraph Japan reports August 10.

Based on its findings, the watchdog has decided to apply more rigorous oversight into new applications from exchanges hoping to receive an official operating license. Newly registered exchanges will be required to undergo on-site inspections at an early stage and the agency plans to closely examine the effectiveness of their business models.

According to the agency, there are currently “hundreds” of companies awaiting its review.

The FSA probe revealed that exchange operators’ maintenance of their internal control systems has failed to keep pace with the rapid growth of transaction volumes, which it partly attributed to the “renaissance” of the crypto markets in fall 2017.

According to the investigations, the total digital assets of domestic exchanges surged to 792.8 billion yen ($7.1 billion), an over six-fold increase within the space of one year. Meanwhile, most exchanges’ workforces are fewer than 20 people, meaning that one employee on average was found to be managing digital assets worth 3.3 billion yen ($29.7 million).

The comprehensive document identified a wide array of problems across exchanges’ business models, risk management and compliance, internal audits, and corporate governance. The agency further highlighted concerns over insufficient anti-money laundering (AML) measures among certain exchanges.

Local news platform Nikkei has reported that it is likely the new registration of exchange operators — which had virtually stopped in the wake of January’s $532 mln hack of crypto exchange Coincheck — will resume following the FSA’s interim publication.

The FSA has said that “substantial” ongoing review of registration procedures will be necessary, and that it will continue to give “priority to investor protection.”

In May, the FSA unrolled regulatory stipulations for registered exchanges, including tough restrictions on the trading of anonymity-oriented altcoins.

In July, the FSA announced it was considering changing the legal framework for the regulation of cryptocurrency exchanges, and the agency was also recently restructured in order improve its handling of fintech-related areas, including cryptocurrencies.

A self-regulatory body, the Japan Virtual Currency Exchange Association (JVCEA), formed in early March in order to develop and coordinate policies in conjunction with the FSA. Last month, JVCEA announced it would be requiring its members to place maximum limits on the volumes traded by their customers.

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First Crypto Firm IPO on London Stock Exchange Raises $32.5 Million

A crypto mining company has raised £25 million (about $32.5 million) through an IPO on the London Stock Exchange (LSE). 

U.K.-based Argo Mining (ticker: ARB), which provides “accessible” crypto mining via a subscription service, is the first crypto company to be listed on the LSE. The company raised £5 million (about $6.5 million) more than its initial goal of £20 million through the IPO. 

Argo kicked off on the exchange with about 156 million shares accounting for 53.2% of its issued shared capital, according to a company document. Shares were priced at 16 pence, giving the business a total market valuation of £47 million pounds (about $61.2 million).

“Argo’s admission to the London main market is a major step in the company’s development and will put us in a strong position to execute our long-term growth strategy,” executive chairman Jonathan Bixby said in the document. “We are delighted with the strong response from investors which will enable us to grow our business in multiple jurisdictions.”

The company won approval from the UK Listing Authority in May to be listed on the exchange, and subsequently released its crypto mining subscription service in June. According to its website, Argo offers consumers three packages differentiated by the capacity of the mining power provided. BTG, ETH, ZEC and ETC are currently supported. All of its packages are sold out.

Bixby told the Financial Times around the time of the release that Argo wants to be “the Amazon Web Services of crypto.”

“More than 90 percent of crypto mining is done by elites on industrial scale because it is technically very difficult to do,” Bixby was quoted as saying. “It is incredibly expensive to buy, up front, the hardware you need at $5,000 a machine.”

Several other mining companies in the space are also considering IPOs.

As previously reported by CoinDesk, market leader Bitmain is rumored to be conducting a pre-IPO funding round and to be considering going public. Two other China-based mining hardware makers, Canaan Creative and Ebang Communication have both filed IPO applications with the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.

London Stock Exchange image via Shutterstock

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.

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FlipNpik Token One of the First Available on New StellarX Exchange


This is a paid-for submitted press release. CCN does not endorse, nor is responsible for any material included below and isn’t responsible for any damages or losses connected with any products or services mentioned in the press release. CCN urges readers to conduct their own research with due diligence into the company, product or service mentioned in the press release.

2 Aug, London, UK and Singapore, Singapore – FlipNpik is excited to announce that the FNP token will soon be listed on the StellarX marketplace. The new platform, powered by the Stellar network, is fast and without transaction fees.

FlipNpik will be one of the first coins listed on StellarX, the new professional grade trading interface for Stellar tokens. StellarX is an exciting project sharing the same values as FlipNpik. “Because we’re built on the open Stellar order book, no one — no exchange, no miners, no middleman of any kind — takes a cut of your transactions,” announced Christian R, co-founder of Stellar (XLM) and now StellarX.

“Indeed, you’ll be able to trade FNP tokens completely for free on StellarX. The StellarX marketplace will benefit all our investors by allowing more visibility and liquidity of the FNP Token,” stated FlipNpik CEO Henri Harland. “It’s great news – we can reward the support of the community and make the FNP token a credible cryptocurrency with high potential value,” he added.

Led by a strong team of experienced entrepreneurs and experts in the fields of digital currencies, finance and marketing, FlipNpik empowers small businesses and communities by providing a global platform that supports a unique ecosystem of mutually beneficial relationships.

FlipNpik is also working to list its token on exchange platforms located in Asia and Europe. New announcements should follow in the weeks to come.

Whale bonus’ for the Public Ending Soon