Category Archives: Changpeng Zhao

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Binance Cautions Against Using Firefox Due to Coinbase Vulnerabilities

Binance Cautions Against Using Firefox Due to Coinbase Vulnerabilities

The Firefox vulnerability that BitcoinNews.com reported on last week has led to crypto exchange Binance’s vocal CEO, Changpeng Zhao, calling on his significant following to stop using the web browser.

And don’t use Firefox (or at least upgrade it to the latest one). Stay #SAFU. https://t.co/FoP5XLU3wd

— CZ Binance (@cz_binance) June 21, 2019

His Twitter post was pretty straightforward, and did at least tell those who insisted to use Firefox to use the latest version. He didn’t disclose if the exchange was also targeted by the malware, but his concerns seem pretty clear from the announcement. If hackers had targeted Coinbase, it would make sense they would also do the same for Binance, as the exchange has one of the largest userbases globally, and records some of the highest trading volumes for Bitcoin and other digital assets.

The first responsers to Zhao’s post actually recommend Brave browser, which is a crypto-specific one based on Mozilla (also a relation to Firefox).

The Zero Day vulnerability, on Firefox versions without the patch, would allow an attacker to crash the browser and execute code, including installing a backdoor via a trojan horse. It is estimated that is has been around for at least two weeks before discovered, although it is also noteworthy that no Coinbase users have been reported as victims, just their own employees.

This probably was because none of the code was in fact created by a malicious hacker, although those with bad intentions would definitely want to exploit the vulnerability.

Coinbase Chief Security Officer Philip Martin has confirmed that the exchange was not the sole target, and were pleased to report absolutely no financial losses as a result of this vulnerability.

Although Firefox issued the patch on version 67.0.3, there has been one more new version released since, 67.0.4. Users are recommended to always update to the latest stable version via authorized sources.

 

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Binance to Withhold Trading Facilities from US Customers

Binance to Withhold Trading Facilities From US Customers

The world’s largest crypto exchange by volume, Binance, put forth an updated term of use agreement on 14 June 2019, which stated the retraction of trading benefits from the US customers. It stated:

“Binance is unable to provide services to any U.S. person. Binance maintains the right to select its markets and jurisdictions to operate and may restrict or deny the Services in certain countries at its discretion.”

Twitteratis believe that this could pave way for a new mega crypto exchange since Binance.com gets about 24% of traffic from the US-based customers.

Binance restricts trading to the US customers

Binance, in an attempt to revamp its internal blueprint, announced that it has been reviewing user accounts in order to accomplish enhanced platform security and to meet the global regulatory requirements. Users will be required to fulfill Binance’s terms of use within 90 days. Effective on 12 September 2019, accounts not in accordance with these terms will be restricted from the ability to trade and deposit on the platform. However, these users will continue to have access to their wallets and their funds.

The news came shortly after the Malta-based cryptocurrency exchange platform announced the launch of a trading platform, Binance US, specifically for the US customers. This platform comes as a comfort to facilitate fiat-to-crypto exchange to serve full-fledged trading abiding by the market regulations.

Recently, Binance DEX announced geo-blocking of 29 countries including the US effective July onward.

Non-verified US customers will perhaps still be able to trade on Binance through a virtual private network (VPN). Currently, users can withdraw up to 2 BTC without any restrictions.

 

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Blockchain Transparency Institute: Even Binance Is Not Safe from Wash Trading

Blockchain Transparency Institute_ Even Binance Is Not Safe from Wash Trading

A new study from the Blockchain Transparency Institute (BTI) has shown that even large crypto exchanges like Binance are not safe from wash trading practices, unlike as previously claimed by earlier studies.

BTI has apparently spent the last four months fine-tuning a new algorithm designed to identify individual accounts on crypto exchanges that are allegedly involved in wash trading. It now claims that more than 10% of Binance trading is done via wash trading, observed over 30 trading pairs on the exchange, with some even showing signs of as much as 75% wash trading volume.

It’s not all bad, however, as Binance top volume pairs such as BTC and ETH still record 85% to 95% legitimate volume. Despite this almost squeaky clean image, it has been removed as a “verified exchange” by BTI:

“About 88 to 92 percent of daily trading volume is fabricated depending on the day. Bitcoin’s daily trading volume is about 92 percent fabricated. [Among] the top 40 largest exchanges with actual volume, Bitcoin’s volume is about 65 percent fabricated. Almost all of this fabricated volume comes from OKExBiboxHitBTC, and Huobi.”

Wash trading is a term given to a form of fabricated trading to create false of inflated trading volumes at crypto exchanges so as to affect their standings on exchange rankings, which typically use trading volumes to indicate popularity. It involves the creation of two accounts, set up to buy and sell crypto to each other.

Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao has, in the past, accused other exchanges of manipulating their volume statistics to give other traders the impression they have more liquidity and are more used than they really are.

This all stemmed from an even earlier study by crypto trader Sylvain Ribes who traded crypto at several exchanges to see the effects of his own trades on their volume data.

 

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Binance: Privacy Coins Could Boom in India

Binance_ Privacy Coins Could Boom in India

Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao has come out to say that even if the rumored bill to ban crypto in India were true, it would mean good news for crypto as Indians would then flock to privacy coins to bypass the ban.

A Bloomberg Quint exclusive which made its rounds on the internet rumor mills this week cited a draft bill that says authorities from India across regulators, financial and judiciary agencies, had determined to jail nationals involved in the “sale, purchase and issuance of all types” of digital assets including crypto and Bitcoin. Sentences could lead to fines and jail terms of up to ten years.

The country’s central bank, the Reserve Bank of India, had strangely denied its own involvement in this draft bill, although had purportedly been the proposer of a “Digital Rupee” solution that would replace Bitcoin. This supposedly was “recommended by a panel headed by Economic Affairs Secretary Subhash Chandra Garg” and has the keen backing of credible state agencies, according to an article by NewsBTC.

Zhao is not the least worried about this development, it seems. He believes that such a ban would in fact “really push privacy coin adoption forward”.

There aren’t very clear statistics on Indian crypto users but it is believed that the country’s largely unbanked population could be dabbling in crypto, with peer-to-peer and over the counter trading picking up in popularity in the country, especially with the restrictions on crypto exchanges.

That Bill in India will really push privacy coin adoption forward.

— CZ Binance (@cz_binance) June 7, 2019

Privacy coins like Monero have always been a natural option when Bitcoin is banned or is under scrutiny, as was the case in the years following the closure of dark market Silk Road, when Monero became the crypto of choice for dark web traders.

 

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Crypto Pioneer $4.57 Million Charity Bid Wins Lunch with Warren Buffett

Crypto Pioneer .57 Million Charity Bid Wins Lunch with Warren Buffett

As Tronsters were enthusiastically waiting for the “big announcement”, the suspense was broken by Justin Sun, who took to Twitter to announce his win at the eBay charity auction to have lunch with the highly-esteemed investor, philanthropist and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway, Warren Buffett.

Justin Sun, owner of BitTorrent and CEO of Tron Foundation, bid a whopping USD 4.57 million at the 20th annual charity lunch to break the record held by Warren Buffett for the past 20 years. The previous record was set at USD 3.45 million in 2016.

Justin Sun wins charity auction to have lunch with Warrenn Buffett

The amount will be contributed to the San Francisco based charity organization, Glide Foundation. This foundation provides assistance to the homeless with a goal to establish a community living with poverty and marginalization.

Highlighting the importance of such a foundation, Sun said:

“BitTorrent and TRON’s US headquarters are in San Francisco, and bidding on this charity auction was a key priority for our team. I’m proud to have my bid donated to GLIDE, a foundation that provides critical support for our local homeless community.”

Previously, Warren had openly shown his skepticism towards cryptocurrencies. However, he did see potential in the underlying technology of cryptocurrencies, Blockchain. In an open letter to the community, Justice Sun revealed that he hopes to secure a mutual understanding through rightful communication to build Buffett’s confidence in cryptocurrencies and the blockchain technology. He said:

“I also firmly believe that with the right communication and understanding, Buffett will change his overall stance on cryptocurrency and blockchain, allowing this new investment strategy to become integrated into his overall portfolio.”

He further stated:

“I want to close by noting that this is not only a personal highlight for me or even a great day for TRON and BitTorrent; I see this as a win for the entire blockchain community. I can’t wait for the lunch and the opportunity to learn from a master investor and hope he will take away a few insights from us!”

Binance CEO, Changpeng Zhao, pointed out to the importance of the move for pushing adoption as a pathway for the entire financial world to set eyes on cryptocurrencies.

 

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Binance Tests GBP-Backed Stablecoin on its DEX

Binance Tests GBP-Backed Stablecoin on its DEX

Barely a month after Binance CEO, Changpeng Zhao (CZ) hinted on the possible launch of a stablecoin, the cryptocurrency exchange behemoth is now testing a GBP-backed stablecoin asset on its Binance Chain.

The development was made public by a Twitter user CryptosBatman yesterday, who highlighted the speed at which the exchange was moving in order to launch its own stablecoin:

BIG NEWS!

It looks like @Binance has issued their Stable Coin $BGBP on Binance Chain!

It’s incredible how fast Binance moves. I can’t say enough how big this is for Binance and Binance Chain.

Expect $BNB to skyrocket from here! pic.twitter.com/FAEdvMG2tF

— CryptosBatman ⚡ (@CryptosBatman) June 3, 2019

CZ responded: “This is in testing phase still, only £200 minted so far.  Slowly, but surely.”

Binance already has a number of stablecoin assets being utilized on its centralized exchange, to include USDT, USDC, PAX, TUSD, and USDS; with each of them seeming backed by the US-dollar. Although a few crypto enthusiasts have expressed their mixed feeling about the GBP-backed stablecoin, Binance would, however, be in tune with a few others who are staking an investment in the pound-backed stablecoin, along with TrustToken and London Block Exchange, despite the not so much interest in the asset class when compared to its counterpart USD stablecoin classes.

Binance had just launched its own blockchain and its DEX has begun seeing a host of new and ported cryptocurrency assets being launched on the platform for trading. With the testing of the GBP-backed stablecoin – which seems like a positive move for the exchange as well as the industry as a whole, the more interesting outlook would be if the stablecoin would gain enough traction considering that the versions done by its supposed competitors aren’t as functional as those of the USD-backed stablecoins.

However, Binance’s abilities are not one to be doubted as the exchange has pulled some stunning results – bucking the trend – since its launch during the bear market of 2018. One of its noticeable performance is the steady rise in the price of its platform’s coin BNB despite the recent hack that occurred on the exchange. The BNB coin currently trades above its all-time high in 2018, making it the only cryptocurrency trading above its 2018 all-time high value.

 

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Binance CEO Takes Sequoia Capital Back to Court on Reputation Claims

Binance CEO Takes Sequoia Capital Back to Court on Reputation Claims

Crypto exchange Binance‘s CEO Changpeng Zhao has just extended litigation battles with VC investor Sequoia Capital, after suing a unit of the firm in court, following an initial dismissal of their case against him.

Zhao has claimed that the suit by Sequoia Capital China has already damaged his reputation, regardless of its dismissal. He says that it prevented him from raising money at favorable valuations and thus, demands compensation from them.

In his new filing, it states:

“The injunction order has caused loss to me for which I am entitled to reasonable compensation by Sequoia. In particular, I have suffered i) a loss of chance to raise capital through successive rounds of financing at increasing high valuations; and ii) damage to my reputation.”

The filing, according to CoinDesk, was submitted to the Hong Kong High Court on 20 May. Zhao requested for a hearing on an order for “immediate summary of assessment of damages”. The court’s website has published confirmation of a hearing for the case on 25 June, between Zhao and SCC Venture VI, an incorporation of Sequoia Capital China.

In the original case made in the opposite direction, Sequoia accused Zhao of breaching exclusivity contracts by talking to IDG Capital in the midst of Series A funding discussions. However, in December 2018, the Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre dismissed all of Sequoia Capital’s claims.

The defendant has not responded to request for comments.

 

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Binance Withdrawals, Deposits to Resume Tomorrow Following Hack

Binance Withdrawals, Deposits to Resume Tomorrow Following Hack

Hacked cryptocurrency exchange Binance plans to have deposit and withdrawal services up and running again by tomorrow, CEO Changpeng Zhao revealed.

In a company blog update, Zhao claimed the team had made ”significant overhauls” to the system, adding or restructuring the architecture of the exchange’s advanced security features. Upgrading the system requires a trading halt, he noted, with the exact time of withdrawals and deposits resuming to be shared at a later stage, although it is expected to be some time tomorrow.

Despite deposits and withdrawals currently marked as ‘Suspended’, one Binance user claimed they were able to make deposits to addresses that they already had on file.

In case you weren’t aware, we have been able to deposit on @binance this entire time! They “suspended deposits”, which means they disabled the deposit button on the site.

If you know the address, it’s fine. I made several deposits to the addresses that I already have on file.

— Jesse Feinberg (Darth Crypto) (@ToolFreeCrypto) May 12, 2019

The security breach occurred last week, the exchange losing around BTC 7,000 from its hot wallet to hackers who were able to access both user API keys and the two-factor authentification codes that were required to withdraw the Bitcoin. It is thought they gained access to these private keys through a combination of phishing and malware infection.

Zhao has said he is wary of sharing too much information regarding the changes to Binance’s security measures as it would ”[weaken] our security response strategy”.

Binance is the world’s fifth largest exchange by trading volume.

 

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Binance Apologizes for Rollback Idea, Provides Hack Updates

Binance Apologizes for Rollback Idea, Provides Hack Updates

Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao has apologized for causing concern among the crypto community when he openly spoke about the possibility of a rollback for the Bitcoin blockchain following confirmation of a hack leading to the theft of USD 40 million worth of bitcoins on its platform.

The rollback had caused a sharp backlash, particularly among Bitcoin-only communities, aghast at the very concept of an immutable blockchain could be reversed on the whim of a corporate entity that had hoped to incentivize miners to cooperate. Zhao explained:

“Given how much I talk, I sometimes say the wrong stuff, dirty words like ‘reorg’, for which I apologize. It is my strong view that our constant and transparent communication is what sets us apart from the ‘old way of doing things,’ even and especially in tough times.”

He had issued an update to the press on ongoing security revamp on the exchange as well as progress on the investigations. This security incident update was shared with Cointelegraph yesterday.

It is now claimed that the hack employed several techniques including phishing and malware infection to collect 2FA codes and API keys. Zhao did not share much else, wary of watching eyes:

“Hackers are reading every word we post and watching every AMA we host. Sharing too many security details actually weakens our security response strategy.”

Nevertheless, he revealed that significant progress was achieved in updating security protocols, and shared that some of the new measures could be implemented this week.

 

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Brexit, Binance and Bitcoin: A New Era for Crypto in the UK?

Brexit, Binance and Bitcoin: A New Era for Crypto in the UK?

With the clock ticking on Britain’s much-debated exit from membership of the EU and all that means if a decision is finally agreed by September, where will this leave the UK in European Crypto Space? In a position of strength, or cut-off from its legislative support on the other side of the channel?

Well, no man is an island according to English metaphysical poet John Donne, but at this moment in time, it appears that the UK is digging its own hole in the sand as each week passes towards the latest agreed date of departure, when Great Britain and Northern Ireland hopefully get its rules back from the longtime European partners; the leaver’s much heralded and acclaimed  “taking back control.”

Does this even matter when it comes to cryptocurrency trading? In the UK the banks are aware of it, the Bank of England is monitoring it, and the man on the street pretty much knows about it. Bitcoin continues to be classified as private money, with VAT applied and also subject to capital gains tax, where profits and losses are involved.

However-and Britain has illustrated with great clarity to a dumbfounded Europe with its Brexit machinations-it is often slow to make decisions and enforce regulations; in fact, the UK now risks falling behind its European partners regarding cryptocurrency regulations unless it acts with more clarity and decisiveness, and guess who has taken up the leading role in this regard? The French…that must hurt.

Yes, the UK’s Financial Services Authority (FSA) did release a recent update of its progress which is currently in the hands of the specially selected Cryptoassets Taskforce.  However, a series of final guidelines or policy guidelines are still awaited from the FSA after the release of this consultation paper as far as regulatory dynamics go. With France now happy to lead Europe on a regulatory charge, Britain could be left counting its fingers after Brexit.

There are those in the UK however who like what they see in terms of crypto’s future after Brexit. Mike Romanov chief executive of Digital Securities Exchange (DSX) feels it can continue its dominance in the financial markets and crypto could come under the UK rather than EU legislative control. Others see an opportunity too, with a dent left in the Euro cryptocurrency market as Britain goes into its own crypto shell, out of reach from the EU’s legislative grasp, opening the door for new smaller players outside of the EU to leap in and plug some holes.

This is the Bitcoin bull’s stance, Britain hopes for friendlier digital currency regulations than it has at present. Another consideration is what might happen to the price of BTC with the impact of a final departure or possible vote to remain (the usual suspects) this year. There is a general feeling that it is simply the Brexit debate which is pinning the economy down and any kind of departure from this pain will be a release for both traditional and digital financial markets. According to the Bank of England, the economy has been shedding about £800M every week since they made the verdict in 2016.

There is one man who is just happy at what he sees, and if it continues, well then long may it do so. Enter Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao who, having now set up in Jersey is in the right place at the right time; well located for Europeans and Brits alike, whatever the outcome. With the existing offshore legal and regulatory framework for cryptocurrency, it is made to measure, given that there is now more than just a hint that Brits could turn to cryptocurrency come the predicted economic fallout given a no deal Brexit this year, and for this event, Zhao sees himself in the front line.

When it comes to crypto, the front line is always the place to be.

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