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.

Article First Published here

Alibaba's Ant Financial to Launch Blockchain Backend-as-a-Service Platform

Ant Financial, the financial affiliate of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba, is launching a blockchain BaaS (Backend-as-a-Service) platform, local news outlet China Money Network reports September 21.

The announcement was reportedly made by Ant Financial vice president Jiang Guoefei at the Ant Technology Exploration Conference (ATEC) in Hangzhou yesterday. The new BaaS platform is being launched in tandem with an enterprise-focused “ant blockchain partner program” that will reportedly enable small- and medium-scale businesses to implement and innovate new blockchain solutions.

The announcement aligns with what Gueofei characterized as a move to “open up” Ant’s in-house technologies to the wider commercial sector:

“In the past two years, Ant Financial has been working on two aspects about blockchain. One is to improve the technology, and the other is to open it up and accelerate the commercialization of blockchain applications.”

As part of its impetus to commercialize the technology, Ant Financial trialed its very first blockchain remittances earlier this summer, using its newly-developed blockchain-based electronic wallet cross border remittance service. The trial demonstrated a transfer of funds between Ant Financial’s AliPayHK — the Hong Kong version of Ant’s popular mobile payment app Alipay — and Filipino payment app GCash.

Alibaba founder Jack Ma has signalled increasing involvement of AliPay in blockchain for several years, with Ant Financial most recently securing $14 billion in funding for the technology’s development this June.

Fresh data published late August revealed that Alibaba had sealed first place globally on a new list that ranked entities by the number of blockchain-related patents filed to date; the e-commerce conglomerate has filed a staggering 90 such patents, outflanking even IBM.

Nonetheless, Ma delivered a keynote lecture earlier this month in which he noted that blockchain is one of a host of advanced technologies that still need to prove they can help evolve society in a “greener and more inclusive” direction.

Article First Published here

Chinese Retail Giant JD.com Launches Enterprise Blockchain-as-a-Service Platform

Chinese e-commerce giant JD.com has revealed its new Blockchain-as-a-Service (BaaS) platform in a press release published today, August 17.

The new tool, dubbed JD Blockchain Open Platform, aims to enable businesses to build, host and implement blockchain solutions without having to develop the technology from scratch.

According to the press release, the service will offer smart contract functionality for “public and private enterprise clouds.” JD outlines a range of potential use cases for the platform:

“The technology can help companies streamline operational procedures such as tracking and tracing the movement of goods and charity donations, authenticity certification, property assessment, transaction settlements, digital copyrights, and enhance productivity.”

JD presents the BaaS tool as the “latest expansion” of its Retail as a Service (RaaS) strategy, through which it aims to make advanced technologies and infrastructure accessible to other businesses and industries.

The platform will host an app store that offers different “blockchain bottom layers, tools and software” that have either been developed in-house or by independent software developers. While these latter are not specified in the press release, JD says it will oversee and implement “stringent quality control over the offerings on the app store.”

The first partner to use the platform is reportedly the China Pacific Insurance Company (CPIC) for creating a blockchain-based electronic invoice system to trace “fapiao” — the Chinese term for official tax authority-approved invoices.

As Cointelegraph has reported, major firms including WeChat giant Tencent, alongside China’s municipal authorities, have recently been turning to blockchain-based e-invoice systems in order to achieve a frictionless link between enterprise and consumer entities and state tax services.

While JD is by no means a newcomer to the blockchain space,  other Chinese corporations have preempted its BaaS offering. In April, telecoms giant Huawei revealed its Hyperledger-powered BaaS tool, which is similarly geared towards cloud-based smart contract development and efficient blockchain solutions for businesses.

Article First Published here

BTC/BCH Payment Service Bitpay Reports Growing Usage Processing $1.2 billion USD

Economy & Regulation

Bitpay’s chief operating officer, Sonny Singh, recently attested to the efficacy of bitcoin as a means of payment, stating that “bitcoin is being used all around the world for things other than speculation and trading.” The COO also reported that Bitpay processed $1.2 billion USD worth of bitcoin payment in 2018.

Also Read: Swissquote Reports 44% Increase in Profit After Adding Cryptocurrency Services 

It Does Not Matter To Bitpay Whether It’s ”Crashing”

itpay COO Believes Bitcoin is "Working" as Means of PaymentSonny Singh, the chief operating officer of Bitpay, recently discussed the use of bitcoin as a means of payment.

Mr. Singh stated that “Bitcoin is actually working,” adding that when “people say ‘wow the price has gone down so much, it’s crashing’ – that’s not relevant to what I’m doing.”

The Bitpay CEO asserted that “The key thing is that bitcoin is actually being used all around the world for things other than speculation and trading.” Mr. Singh claims that Bitpay “did 1.2 billion dollars last year in payments,” adding that such “means people spent $1.2 billion dollars of payments using bitcoin.”

Need for Greater Crypto Education to Foster Adoption

Bitpay COO Believes Bitcoin is "Working" as Means of PaymentDespite his belief that bitcoin is currently “working” as a means of payment, Mr. Singh emphasized the need for greater education regarding the benefits of cryptocurrency in order to foster adoption.

“In America, everyone’s so used to credit cards or goes online and types credit card numbers. But it’s safer and easier to do this through QR code because you don’t have to give your credit card numbers. […] The merchants save money in America by paying with bitcoin, because they pay 1% of the transaction fee, but with credit cards, that’s 4%. So the merchants can make a lot of money if you are paying with bitcoin. But yet they don’t understand it, they have to be educated about it. And the consumers have to get the habit of spending with bitcoin. For them, it’s better and quicker than credit cards, and better for privacy,” he stated.

Mr. Singh added that the typical American cryptocurrency-user is principally concerned with speculation rather than the utility of bitcoin, stating: “A lot of people in America have heard of bitcoin, but not a lot of them own bitcoin. Even the tech people and college kids bought bitcoin, they’ll not spend it. They bought it only for speculation. And if you ask them about bitcoin, they can tell you about the price but nothing else, because they treat it as an investment tool. We need to get these people to actually start to spend bitcoin.”

Asian Region a Key Market for Bitpay

itpay COO Believes Bitcoin is "Working" as Means of PaymentThe Bitpay COO indicated that Asia comprises the company’s major market, stating “I have to say that Asia is a very big market for Bitpay and for bitcoin overall. And it will be that way for a long time, not just for trading, but for businesses as well. If you [live] in China or Korea and you have to pay an invoice to America, let’s say a million dollars, and you use bank services, it’ll take you 3 to 5 days for that payment to happen and it cost 3% to 4% in fees. We can do the whole thing in one day for 1% fee by bitcoin. That’s how bitcoin solves a real pain point. It’s cheaper and quicker than bank wire in most regions of the world.”

Mr. Singh also expressed his confidence that bitcoin “will become a main street product in the next couple of years,” adding “It just takes a little time.”

Do you think that bitcoin fulfills its utility as a means of exchange? Join the discussion in the comments section below!


Images courtesy of Shutterstock


The Bitcoin universe is vast. So is Bitcoin.com. Check our Wiki, where you can learn everything you were afraid to ask. Or read our news coverage to stay up to date on the latest. Or delve into statistics on our helpful tools page.

Article First Published here

Cryptocurrency Exchange Binance Buys Ethereum Wallet Service in First-Ever Acquisition


Binance, one of the world’s two largest cryptocurrency exchanges, has just completed its first-ever acquisition.

According to TechCrunch, the Malta-based exchange operator acquired Trust Wallet, creator of the eponymous mobile Ethereum wallet that includes support for ether, as well as ERC-20 and ERC-223 tokens. Terms of the deal have not been disclosed, but Binance confirmed that it included a mixture of cash, Binance stock, and Binance tokens (BNB).

Trust Wallet is not one of the better known Ethereum wallets. It has about 50,000 downloads on Android through the Google Play store, earning a 4.6 out of 5 star rating from 1,138 reviewers. Download statistics were not immediately available from Apple’s App Store, but the wallet had a comparable rating from a similar number of reviewers. For comparison, imToken, the most popular Ethereum wallet, has more than 5 million monthly active users, most of whom are based in Asia.

“The Trust Wallet team shares the same values as us and the products are very complementary,” Binance CEO Changpeng “CZ” Zhao told the publication. “For users who like to withdraw funds into a wallet now we have a product they can use.”

Zhao said that Trust Wallet will continue to operate independently, with Binance providing some administrative and marketing support and otherwise serving as a “godfather” to the wallet service.

By offloading those functions to Binance HQ, Trust Wallet’s development team will have more time to focus on its core product offering, perhaps hastening its planned support for other cryptocurrencies including bitcoin, EOS, and NEO.

The Trust Wallet acquisition comes as Binance is actively working on building a decentralized exchange (DEX), complete with its own public blockchain. Such platforms, which have also been announced by several other major exchanges, will allow users to trade cryptocurrencies without entrusting their funds to a centralized custodian and placing them at risk of hacks and exit scams.

Zhao said that Trust Wallet will serve as one of the Binance DEX’s default wallets, though it’s not clear when the platform will go live.

Binance’s centralized exchange currently ranks as the world’s second-largest cryptocurrency trading platform, with a daily volume of $1.3 billion. Only OKEx, which, like Binance, has created its own crypto token, opened an office in blockchain-friendly Malta, and unveiled plans to create a DEX, has processed more trading volume over the past 24 hours.

Featured Image from Shutterstock

Follow us on Telegram or subscribe to our newsletter here.
• Join CCN’s crypto community for $9.99 per month, click here.
• Want exclusive analysis and crypto insights from Hacked.com? Click here.
• Open Positions at CCN: Full Time and Part Time Journalists Wanted.

Advertisement


Article First Published here

Huobi Launches Service to Build Crypto Exchanges in the Cloud

Huobi, the world’s third-largest cryptocurrency exchange platform by trade volume, is now offering a business arm to help customers build their own digital asset exchanges.

Dubbed the Huobi Cloud, the service is set up to provide clients “a one-stop solution … [to enable] its partners to build secure and stable digital asset exchanges quickly,” according to the official press release, though it did not provide specifics on what it will offer these partners.

The company goes on further to explain:

“Over the past five years, Huobi has accumulated rich and valuable [research and development], security, compliance and operational experience through its digital asset trading platforms … Huobi is looking to share its expertise and experience with the entire blockchain ecosystem and through this, develop the industry further to achieve mutual benefits for all stakeholders.”

As such, Huobi Cloud is envisioned to strike up new global partnerships in an attempt to “promote the rapid and healthy development” of the blockchain space worldwide.

The announcement comes a day after the exchange announced it was making efforts to deepen alliances within the industry through the establishment of the “Huobi Blockchain Plus Industry Alliance.”

The Alliance will focus on “community-based operations” to bring together experts and academics in the blockchain field to work together and leverage Huobi’s “ecological resources.”

These resources give members access to “jointly building blockchain labs with partners free of charge, sharing the research capability, technical capability and Blockchain Plus practical experience accumulated by Huobi Group over the past five years,” among others.

Indeed, the cryptocurrency exchange giant has been making efforts to build stronger networks for the blockchain industry in recent months. In June, after launching a new investment option for retail investors, Huobi revealed they would be facilitating an investment fund envisioned to raise $93 million for blockchain startups in both China and South Korea.

Huobi image via Piotr Swat / 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.

Article First Published here