Daily Archives: November 10, 2018

Thailand Authority to Allow First ICO Portal in the Country

Thailand’s top securities regulator will allow the first Initial Coin Offering (ICO) portal to function from this month according to local news reports. The move comes after the government appeared to have loosened up its stance on ICOs in a bid to attract more investment in the sector.

Rapee Sucharitakul, the Secretary-General of the Thailand Securities and Exchange Commission, however, has said that ICOs themselves will have to start seeking official approval from the commission individually so that they can be made available to Thai investors.

Sucharitakul said:

“At least one ICO portal will be certified in November, then we can approve each ICO offering, which might start in December,”

Thailand government’s efforts to legalize ICOs and cryptocurrency markets began in May with a royal decree. Now the confirmation from the head of the country’s SEC shows it is entering the final stages to legalize the sector. The new legislation is also expected to vet the ICOs and new projects wanting to operate in the country. Over five such ICOs were currently under review by the Finance Ministry in Bangkok.

While the SEC has been complying with government orders, it is still generally skeptical towards cryptocurrencies and has warned the public against investing too much in ICOs because they could be scams.

The Prime Minister also urged additional measures to be introduced to counter the threat of terrorism financing and other threats to customer security. The country’s revenue department has also revealed plans to speed up the tax process using blockchain technology.

So, overall the country is moving along a progressive curve when it comes to cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology.

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Malaysia Education Ministry to Develop Blockchain-based Degree Verification System

Malaysia’s education ministry (MoE) has announced that it is developing a blockchain-based degree verification system to combat degree fraud according to a recent tweet.

The official social media communication stated that the system is being developed in collaboration with a university consortium. The system is designed to be able to test and verify the authenticity of university degrees in the country and will include six public sector universities in the first phase.

The system is being built on the NEM blockchain, under the leadership of a professor from International Islamic University Malaysia.

The reason behind the pursuit of the new blockchain degree verification system is not just for the preservation of integrity and reputation of Malaysian universities but also to protect the rights of the students and promote the overall use and universal application of the Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT).

The program will serve as skills training for students trying to enter the blockchain sector and the consortium will also receive backings to develop industry-standard blockchain solutions that could help generate useful revenue for the participating universities through patented technology.

The move comes after various other universities have announced the development of similar blockchain-based degree verification platforms. The top engineering institute in the world, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) became the first university in the world to implement a degree issuing system that is based on blockchain back in October 2017.

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Bitmain Sues Unknown Hacker Who Stole 617 Bitcoins via MANA Market Manipulation

Bitmain is suing ‘John Doe’, an unknown hacker who gained access to Bitmain’s Binance account on 22 April 2018. Ultimately 617 bitcoins worth USD 5.5 million were stolen from Bitmain, the largest cryptocurrency mining firm on the planet.

The scheme the hacker used to steal the bitcoins was unique. Instead of directly withdrawing cryptocurrency from Bitmain’s account, likely impossible due to some sort of 2FA requirement, the hacker manipulated the MANA market to steal Bitmain’s bitcoins. MANA is the native cryptocurrency of decentraland, and its trading volume of only USD 10 million per day on average makes it an easy target for market manipulation.

After the hacker gained access to Bitmain’s bitcoins and ether, they placed large buy orders for MANA. This caused a rally in daily trading volume from USD 10 million to over USD 100 million. Part of this price rise can be explained by other traders thinking this was a legitimate MANA rally and jumping in. Globally, MANA’s average price jumped from USD 0.12 to USD 0.23 during the hack, an impressive 90% rise. On Binance, the price rise was even more drastic, with a peak price of USD 0.34, a 180% increase.

The hacker likely had a large amount of MANA on hand before the hack, and they filled Bitmain’s overpriced MANA buy orders. Then the hacker placed orders to buy Mana at prices far below the market value and used the Bitmain wallet to match these orders. The combination of these mechanisms drained USD 5.5 million of bitcoin from Bitmain’s wallet in a single day, without directly withdrawing cryptocurrency from Bitmain’s wallet.

After the bitcoins were siphoned into the hackers wallet, the hacker proceeded to trade for other cryptocurrencies and withdraw funds. Some of these funds were withdrawn to Bittrex and other unnamed cryptocurrency exchanges. Essentially, the hacker mixed the coins to obfuscate the trail.

Bitmain is suing the hacker for unauthorized access, computer trespass in the 2nd degree, electronic data theft, the USD 5.5 million of stolen cryptocurrency, and attorney fees. A key part of this lawsuit will involve subpoenas to obtain information from Binance and Bittrex, in order to gain enough information to identify the hacker and proceed with the criminal case.

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BitcoinNews.com Daily Podcast 9th November 2018, Hacker Steals USD 5.5 Million From Bitmain

Listen to the 9 November 2018 BitcoinNews.com Daily Podcast below.

On this edition of the BitcoinNews.com Daily Podcast, we discuss how a hacker stole 617 bitcoins from Bitmain’s Binance account, and how 1 out of 40 bitcoins have been seized by the government at some point in the past. Learn about the lawsuit against cell phone carriers due to their roles in facilitating sim swapping. Hear about a USD 35 million South Korea blockchain fund.

Follow the Bitcoin News Daily Podcast on AnchoriTunesSpotifyGoogle PodcastsStitcherRadio PublicPocket CastsOvercastCastbox, and Breaker. We broadcast a new episode every day, covering the most important topics in the crypto, Bitcoin, and blockchain world!

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North America: Crypto and Blockchain News Roundup 2-8 Nov 2018

North America

Welcome to another weekly blockchain news roundup from around the world. Here, we present to you all the latest blockchain and cryptocurrency news, continent by continent and country by country.

USA

Politician Tries to set Record Straight on Cryptocurrency Donations: US politician Brian Forde has tried to clarify misconceptions against cryptocurrency campaign donations in the country including lack of transparency.

Brian Forde has served previously as Senior Tech Advisor to President Obama and he was the one who educated the president about the new industry. He was also one of the first US politicians to collect cryptocurrency campaign donations during his run for the House of Representatives. He received reportedly $300,000 in donations through Bitcoin alone.

He clarified in an article that the misconceptions regarding cryptocurrency donations are false including the allegation that they cannot be traced. Forde cleared that cryptocurrencies have the same process as their fiat alternatives when it comes to campaign donations.

SEC Shuts down 12 ICOs in One Year: The Securities and Exchange Commission has shut down a dozen ICOs in one year alone, according to its official report at the end of the current fiscal year.

According to the federal regulator, these banned ICOs raised more than $68 million before they were finally shut down. Overall, the SEC confiscated, fined more than $3.945 billion during the same period overall from all violators.

SEC to Issue Simplified Crypto Guidelines: The SEC is working on clarifying when and how cryptocurrencies and ICOs can be regarded as securities by the regulator and treated as such according to a recent speech by Director of Corporate Finance.

Willian Hinman, the director said on record that the SEC was working to release new regulations in plain English to help new startups looking to offer their tokens in the market. The overall attitude despite these simplifications will remain hawkish.

Crypto-favorable Candidates Elected in US Gubernatorial Elections: According to the results of the mid-term elections of this week, five pro-crypto governors have been elected in the country. Three are newly elected governors while two pro-crypto ones have been re-elected.

The five governors are given extremely high ranking by the Digital Asset Trade Association that assigns rankings to politicians regarding their crypto-friendliness.

Bank of America Gets Tamper-proof DLT Patent: Bank of America, the country’s second-largest bank has secured a blockchain patent that can provide a useful barrier against hacking attempts on banking networks.

The patent reportedly prevents tampering by having redundant keys which can be removed from a tampered device for good.

Cryptocurrency Pioneer Says He Will Run Only for Promoting Cryptocurrencies: Famed cryptocurrency pioneer John McAfee has said that his run for the 2020 presidential elections is solely meant for the promotion of cryptocurrencies in the country.

McAfee will reportedly campaign from the Libertarian platform like in the 2016 elections. However, he has now come out and said that the only reason he is doing this is to promote cryptocurrencies in the country.

Canada

First Bitcoin-backed Loan Service Launched for Businesses and Consumers: A financial company named Ledn Inc has become the first organization to offer fiat loans in exchange for Bitcoin as collateral.

The move was founded by a Bitcoin investor Mauricio Di Bartolomeo who aims to fill the market gap for Canadians who are invested in cryptocurrencies but can’t obtain loans because of various reasons.

Marshall Islands

President in Hot Water over National Cryptocurrency Launch: The President of Marshall Islands Hilda Heine is in trouble after promoting the idea of a national cryptocurrency in the tiny Pacific nation. She will now have to face a vote of no confidence in the country’s legislature on 12 November 2018.

The current currency of the islands is USD despite the country gaining independence from the mainland forty years ago. President Heine incurred the wrath of IMF and the USA after her move to start the island’s own national cryptocurrency. Now she is facing backlash and possible impeachment in the parliament. If she wins this battle, she will launch the Sovereign (SOV) as early as next year.

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