Research: Ethereum-Based Prediction Market Augur Currently Faces a Design Flaw Attack

Ethereum-based (ETH) prediction market Augur is currently facing a design flaw attack, according to research by cryptocurrency exchange Binance released on April 1.

The aforementioned attack involves a controversial market described as betting on the price of ETH at the end of March, which expired on April 1, 2019, 1:59 AM (UTC +8), a few hours off from the actual end of March 31.

Since the contract expires before that tie, it may be deemed invalid in what Binance researchers call a design flaw attack. The market has also been reportedly wash traded by a few wallets, presumably to inflate the volume.

Reddit users had already brought up this expiration issue on March 20, with Augur core developer Joey Krug noting at the time that the crypto community had exaggerated the scope of the scam, while admitting that a safeguard against such activity is currently malfunctioning and should be updated in Augur version 2.

According to Binance research, the attacker also reportedly sent a limit sell order for the more realistic outcome (that the price will be between $100 and $1,000) “at a quote that is above what would be rewarded by an invalid result, but quite below that which an unsuspecting participant may consider as a good deal” in order to lure in a newcomer.

If the market is deemed invalid, then all users that contributed will see their shares valued at one-third of their initial value.

The report also further notes that the market — already covered by Cointelegraph — “Which party will control the House after 2018 U.S. mid-term [sic] election?” was another instance of such an attack. This market, which reportedly exhibited a total volume of more than $2 million, featured a market settlement date was on Dec. 11, 2018, while the change in the U.S. house was effective as of Jan. 3, 2019.

In this case, users did not deem the market as invalid and settled for the Democrats’ win as the outcome. The research also suggests potential solutions to the exploitable nature of Augur’s mechanics, such as a price-based refunding mechanism, clearer references and market validators with non-trivial stakes.

Per the report, prediction markets appear to be one of the best blockchain use cases, since they necessitate trustlessness and decentralization to work correctly, protecting themselves from both governmental actions and censorship.

However, according to Binance, Augur presents other substantial flaws, including low liquidity, barebones functionality, complex mechanics, an unclear approach to governance and the aforementioned ongoing attack.

Prediction market regulation is particularly unclear, as a centralized prediction market can fall under the scrutiny of the regulators of multiple states. For instance, Ireland-based prediction Markets Intrade and TEN have seen the United States Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) file a civil complaint over their violation of the off-exchange options trading ban.

United Arab Emirates to Host Blockchain Aviation Conference in Abu Dhabi

Increasing blockchain presence in aviation will form the focus of a dedicated conference in Abu Dhabi from April 2 to 4, official news portal Emirates News Agency confirmed in a press release on March 31.

Promising attendance by 800 people from almost 100 countries, “Blockchain: Unlock the Potential” aims to bring the possibilities of the technology, as they extend to the aviation industry, to a global stage.

The press release notes that the event is held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohamed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, crown prince of Abu Dhabi, and includes the country’s minister of economy and an executive from Heathrow Airport as speakers.

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) was selected as a host venue due to authorities’ ongoing efforts to implement blockchain at state level in various areas of the local economy.

Saif Mohammed Al Suwaidi, director general of the UAE’s General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA), commented in the press release:

“Selecting the UAE is a testament to our leadership’s continuing efforts towards investing in new technologies across different domains including the aviation sector and in maintaining strong partnerships between the government and the private sector, and the continuous endeavours in exploring methods to improve aviation business practices in a dynamic and thriving environment.”

Basic details about the conference reveal it will include blockchain applications throughout the industry, including aircraft and other assets, along with finance deals and other business-related processes.

The event comes around two weeks after Abu Dhabi hosted another blockchain-related event, this time directly tackling cryptocurrency and fintech phenomena.

The event drew supportive comments from local authorities on cryptocurrency, fuelling speculation the UAE could become a haven for digital assets.

“It is essential that we develop frameworks and regulations that govern these technologies and developments,” Abdul Aziz Al-Ghurair, chairman of United Arab Emirates Banks Federation (UBF) said.

The aviation industry itself also continues to look into blockchain, one recent case involving NASA, which is considering applications of the technology in air traffic control environments.

Bitcoin Price Analysis: BTC/USD Ready to Break Out or April Fools?

bitcoin price chart Bitcoin Price

Bitcoin Price Analysis: BTC/USD Ready to Break Out or April Fools?


Bitcoin price completed the close of the Daily, Weekly, Monthly and Q1 in the green. Let’s take a look at the charts to determine what could be expected for the number one crypto asset in the near future.


Bitcoin Price: Daily Chart

The Daily Chart for Bitcoin price paints an overall positive picture for the bulls. The previous week’s bear blockade at $4050, which was the task at hand for the bulls, was ultimately overcome last Friday.

Bulls weren’t the fools on this April 1st as BTC hit a new yearly high at $4138.

The $4050 level itself has already been tested on Saturday and also in the early hours prior to the run up to the high – these are encouraging signs of prior resistance now becoming support.

The volume profile shown down the right hand side of the chart illustrates that the Point of Control in terms of price where volume is traded remains back at $3906. This is also where the 50-day moving average is found.

This is where the bulls need to step in should the bears decide to take advantage of the decreasing volume, and successfully break price down.

Overall volume is still declining as price is rising, however. This is generally seen to be bearish divergence so the bulls should proceed with relative caution approaching resistance at $4250.

Meanwhile, the bulls continue to consolidate in a bottoming Adam and Eve with an inverse head and shoulders pattern within Eve’s Cup.

Should this play out, the bulls will look to break toward the measured move targets for both, being $4800- $5000. BTC price needs to see a high volume break out to trigger this move given that the market is grinding up tentatively on low volume in a bear market.

Should this pattern fail to break out, it could prove to be crushing for market sentiment and the bulls if they fail to find support at the key daily Moving Average levels. A move to the mid $2000s may then be in play.

Order Book Analysis

Looking at the order book, we can see that there has been selling interest art $4250 in the same way that there was at $4050, which served to cap price.

On the 4-hour timeframe, this appears to have been pulled for now, which may be a positive sign for the bulls. But it does serve as a reminder that there is selling interest above at resistance, which could not be broken back in December.

Bitcoin Price: Weekly & Monthly Charts

The monthly chart illustrates that bitcoin price has now moved from 2019 lows of $3320, closing up at $4096 – some 12% for the year, which is difficult to ignore.

It also shows that BTC closed march above the December 2019 lows and has printed a second higher low on the MACD, just as the MACD is approaching zero – another positive sign.

The Weekly Chart shows that bitcoin price successfully closed the week above the 20-week moving average, again being positive. It is also the closest it’s been to the Bollinger bands, which are now the tightest they’ve been throughout the bear market on the weekly chart, suggesting that a big move is imminent.

The MACD is also into the ninth week of higher highs and is crossed bullish, but still below zero. Again, this is a positive sign.

Positive Signs for a Bottom

In summary, the Bitcoin and wider crypto markets are showing all the positive signs one would expect to see of a market that is trying to find a bottom and is doing so consistently.

The main concern is the lack of meaningful volume and a higher high above $4250 to confirm that there is a break in the bearish trend overall. Fortunately, we are at a pivotal point and are about to find out in due course.

Trade Bitcoin (BTC), Litecoin (LTC) and other cryptocurrencies on online Bitcoin forex broker platform evolve.markets

To get receive updates for the writer you can follow on Twitter (@filbfilb) and TradingView.

The views and opinions of the writer should not be misconstrued as financial advice.  For disclosure, the writer holds Bitcoin at the time of writing.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Tradingview.com, Tensor Charts

How Bitcoin May Surge off of Billions of Dollars From IPOs Like Lyft, Uber

After multiple private funding rounds over half a decade, the San Francisco-headquartered Lyft, the world’s second largest ridesharing startup, took to the Nasdaq on Friday after months of media hype. While this happening has little to do with crypto on the surface, some industry commentators claim that Lyft’s initial success on American markets could bode well for Bitcoin (BTC) and other digital assets.

Silicon Valley’s Biggest Startups May Go Public, Could Crypto Rally?

The time has come for some of Silicon Valley’s biggest names to go public, as firms look to migrate away from the venture capital-only funding model. Lyft, of course, is now live on the Nasdaq. But, the transportation startup, which has consumed one-third of the world’s ridesharing market, is reported to soon be joined by companies like Uber ($72 billion), Pinterest ($12.3 billion), Postmates ($2 billion), Slack ($7 billion) and Airbnb ($31 billion) — whose products you likely actively use.

This “IPO Frenzy,” as The Wall Street Journal dubs it, will allow venture capital firms to slowly unload billions of dollars worth of shares in the aforementioned companies, as long as their lockup contract allows it. Much of the cash (rumored to be in the dozens, if not hundreds of billions) garnered as a result of the sale of shares is likely to be reinvested in some of the Bay Area’s hottest names, Bitcoin-friendly firms included.

Barry Silbert, the head of Digital Currency Group, a New York-headquartered cryptocurrency conglomerate, claims that this newfound supply of cash, held by investors like Andreessen Horowitz (a16z), Accel, the Founders Fund, and Sequoia (all of which have serious stakes in the crypto industry already), will find its way into the hands of cryptocurrency and blockchain names.

This isn’t just baseless speculation.

a16z secured Lyft shares for $4.25 apiece in a private round years ago. These same shares now sell for $77 on the public market, netting the prominent venture firm a purported $1.8 billion. With Andreessen Horowitz also owning 5% of Pinterest, it should be able to cash $500 million out when the social media platform goes public. A hefty percentage of this liquid capital will likely be siphoned into the American fund’s crypto arm, which established a $300 million war chest for blockchain firms last year.

Not So Fast, Claims Bitcoin Bull Arthur Hayes

While Silbert’s conjecture makes sense, especially considering the notable overlap of IPO whales and pro-crypto venture capitalists, Arthur Hayes isn’t convinced that the arrival of Silicon Valley startups on Wall Street will be a boon. In Hayes’ recent profanity-ridden BitMEX Crypto Trader Digest, the industry insider adamantly claimed that VC money is unlikely to find its way into the blockchain space.

Hayes remarks that 2017’s Bitcoin rally (and other cryptocurrencies too) was effectively predicated on “easy” or “free” money, which was created by the Federal Reserve’s third quantitative easing (QE) session. On the other hand, the collapse in this budding market over 2018 went hand-in-hand with a period of quantitative tightening, which also created turmoil in the stock markets. But interestingly, Hayes explains that the U.S. central bank “couldn’t stomach a 20% correction in the S&P 500,” and thus could begin another round of QE.

bitcoin

While this turn of events makes it sound like the prophesized fourth QE will boost cryptocurrencies yet again, the BitMEX chief executive claims that the next influx of “easy money will manifest itself in other higher profile and more liquid dogs**t before crypto.” Hayes adds that this newfangled asset class will be the last to “feel the love (VCs cashing in on IPO deals),” specifically as a result of 2018’s downturn, which likely left a sour taste in the mouths of bigwig investors — sour enough to disenchant them from “FOMO[ing] back into the markets.”

However, this all isn’t to say that cryptocurrencies cannot do well over 2019. In fact, Hayes explains that he still fully expects for Bitcoin to reach quintuple-digits by this year’s end, somehow. The former institutional player, who was slammed hard by 2008’s Great Recession, explains that by early-Q4 “green shoots will begin to appear,” giving Bitcoin a chance to rally back to $10,000 and potentially beyond.

Featured Image from Shutterstock

Pakistan Introducing Regulations, Licensing Scheme for Crypto Firms

Pakistan is putting in place regulations for the cryptocurrency industry.

The Express Tribune, citing finance ministry sources, reported Monday that the nation’s federal government has decided to bring in Electronic Money Institutions (EMIs) regulations following recommendations from the Financial Action Task Force (FATF).

While the new framework has not yet been made public, draft regulations from the country’s central bank, published in October 2018, would require EMIs to meet certain requirements to be licensed by the country’s government, with firms that do not follow rules facing suspension or cancellation of licenses.

Companies would have to meet capital requirements, undergo scrutiny of executives, take measure to protect users’ funds and carry out customer due diligence, including storing personal details such as name, ID card number, address and telephone number.

Pakistan is introducing the rules in order to monitor and regulate the sector, as well as prevent the illicit use of cryptocurrencies.

The sources were quoted as saying in the report:

“These regulations will help combating money laundering and terrorism financing while it will also help regulation of digital currency throughout the country.”

A ceremony will be held at the Islamabad office of the State Bank of Pakistan Monday, to welcome in the new rules, The Express Tribune says.

FATF, a global money-laundering watchdog, has warned that cryptocurrency poses a risk for money laundering and terrorist financing several times in the past. The watchdog is also expected to publish rules for international cryptocurrency regulation by June.

The task force said last October that global jurisdictions will have to bring into force licensing schemes for crypto exchanges. Digital wallet providers and companies offering financial services for initial coin offerings (ICOs) will also be included under the new rules.

“There is an urgent need for all countries to take coordinated action to prevent the use of virtual assets for crime and terrorism,” FATF said at the time.

In February, FATF reportedly said that Pakistan has made only “limited progress” on curbing money laundering and terrorism financing, adding that it would continue to work with the country to fight such illegal activities.

Pakistan flag image via Shutterstock

Bitmain’s Antminer S17 Series to Be Released on April 9, 2019

Bitmain’s Antminer S17 Series to Be Released on April 9, 2019

Bitmain is moving forward from their failed IPO attempt and launching their new Antminer S17 Series on April 9, 2019, they announced via a blog post on March 29, 2019.

Coming Soon

The crypto mining industry is in a bit of a slump at the moment. Since the price of crypto dropped in late 2018, Mining has become far less profitable and as such, the demand for mining products and services has taken a hit.

Some mining firms have gone out of business while others like Nvidia are trying to sell off some of the equipment that had been bought prior to the crash. Despite this, there is still a glimmer of hope for the mining industry to ride out the crypto winter.

One of these is Bitmain announcing on March 29, 2019, that it’s new Antminer S17 series miners will be launched on April 9, 2019. The new miners will be based off the SHA256 algorithm and will be able to mine currencies such as bitcoin and bitcoin cash.

Details about the new Miners

The new miners series will include the Antminer S17 Pro, Antminer S17, and Antminer T17. Part of their most prominent features includes improved energy efficiency and a higher hash rate. On top of this, they will be compatible with the previous S15 series.

“The new miner offers a steep improvement in the hashrate in terms of space and power consumption,” said Yangxin, Product Manager of Bitmain’s latest Antminer series.

The miners will also come equipped with the new and improved 2nd generation 7nm ASIC BM1397 mining chips. The chips offer a 28.6 percent improvement in power efficiency compared to the previous 7nm chip, the BM1391.

The new miners also take into consideration the infamously high cost of mining and seek to make it more profitable for miners.

“Electricity bills are very high for Bitcoin mining right now so the improved energy efficiency means a significant drop in costs and, thus, increase in profits. Secondly, the new miner offers a steep improvement in the hashrate in terms of space and power consumption. This will be especially meaningful for mining farms when you consider the investment needed with set up,” Yangxin said.

This is a very welcome development for Bitmain as they recently suffered the setback of having their Hong Kong IPO filing elapsed and being forced to postpone it.

Like BTCMANAGER? Send us a tip!

Our Bitcoin Address: 3AbQrAyRsdM5NX5BQh8qWYePEpGjCYLCy4

Boost for Institutional Crypto Adoption as Coincheck Launches Bitcoin OTC Trading Desk

Boost for Institutional Crypto Adoption as Coincheck Launches Bitcoin OTC Trading Desk

Coincheck cryptocurrency exchange announced on April 1, 2019, that it is launching a Bitcoin over-the-counter (OTC) desk for institutional investors. The new service enables large-scale players to buy and sell large amounts of cryptocurrencies swiftly.

Initially Accepting Bitcoin

The Japan-based cryptocurrency exchange reported via a blog post that institutional investors will be able to trade large volumes of Bitcoin using a new web interface the firm is hosting. The OTC trading desk initially accepts the only BTC, but it is likely to be expanded shortly to accommodate other cryptocurrencies as well.

As BTCManager reported in July 2018, Coincheck was acquired by Japanese financial service provider Monex Group following the January 2018 hacking incident where over $530 million worth of NEM cryptocurrency was stolen. Monex group announced then it was planning to expand its operations to the United States via the subsidiary and open cryptocurrency trading operations.

In the Footsteps of Coinbase

The initiative by Coincheck follows a similar one by leading U.S. based Coinbase cryptocurrency exchange which launched its OTC services for institutional crypto clients in November 2018 after going through the rigorous process of becoming a fully regulated broker by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) a year earlier.  

Since the takeover by the Monex group, Coincheck has been rebuilding its systems, and they made the necessary changes that saw them receive a new license from Japan’s Financial Services Authority (FSA).

Some of the steps included following rigorous anti-money laundering (AML) procedures, know-your-customer (KYC) and the delisting of anonymous cryptocurrencies. The exchange resumed trading of the XRP and Factom altcoins in November 2018.

It seems that Coincheck is planning to shed the tag of having been a victim of the greatest cryptocurrency hacking and gone back to operations and now has gone on to move into the OTC cryptocurrency trade for institutional investors.

Under the new stewardship of Monex, Coincheck is restoring its image and even planning to reimburse the customers who were affected by the hacking incident.

Like BTCMANAGER? Send us a tip!

Our Bitcoin Address: 3AbQrAyRsdM5NX5BQh8qWYePEpGjCYLCy4

ICO Funding Slows Down, New Forms of Funding Picking Up

Third party services may advertise Spread bets and CFDs on Cryptovest, which are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 81% of retail investor accounts lose money when spread betting or trading CFDs. You should consider whether you understand how spread bets or CFDs work and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.

How to Earn BCH as a Bitcoin Bounty Hunter

How to Earn BCH as a Bitcoin Bounty Hunter

Bounty hunters have been helping to bring criminals to justice since the days of the Old West, and they are still just as needed today. If you want to become a bounty hunter and get paid with cryptocurrency, you don’t even need a fast horse or a revolver these days – just useful information on some highly wanted hackers.

Also Read: New BCH Apps and a Special Giveaway in This Week’s Video Update From Bitcoin.com

How to Become a Bitcoin Bounty Hunter

Bitcoin Bounty Hunter is a service from Bitcoin.com that allows people to anonymously crowdsource payments for completing tasks. The platform now offers several missions with a total payout of over 750 BCH. Unlike other bounty programs that only focus on software bugs, this service is open to all kinds of bounties, including those for catching crypto criminals. As such, a focus on hackers, who often hurt the crypto ecosystem, has naturally evolved.

How to Earn BCH as a Bitcoin Bounty Hunter

Among the crowdsourced bounties on the platform, we can see that individuals are offering over 400 BCH to help catch the entity who hacked into Satoshi Nakamoto’s email accounts, over 200 BCH for the identity of an extortionist, almost 100 BCH to help catch whoever is responsible for the theft of tens of thousands of BTC from Bitcoinica and Zhou Tong, as well as about 30 BCH for the notorious Mt. Gox hacker.

If you’ve been hurt by a hacker you want the public to track down, or just need a particular task completed, from graphic design to video editing, create a new listing at Bitcoin Bounty Hunter and name your price.

Do you want to start earning BCH by becoming a bounty hunter? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock.


Verify and track bitcoin cash transactions on our BCH Block Explorer, the best of its kind anywhere in the world. Also, keep up with your holdings, BCH and other coins, on our market charts at Satoshi’s Pulse, another original and free service from Bitcoin.com.

Avi Mizrahi

Avi Mizrahi is an economist and entrepreneur who has been covering Bitcoin as a journalist since 2013. He has spoken about the promise of cryptocurrency and blockchain technology at numerous financial conferences around the world, from London to Hong-Kong.

US SEC Seeks Crypto Specialist Attorney Advisor to Develop Plan for Crypto Securities

The United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is looking to hire a crypto specialist attorney advisor for its Division of Trading and Markets (TM). The new job listing was posted on March 29 to the official government employment portal, USAJobs.

The successful candidate will reportedly be tasked with establishing “a comprehensive plan to address crypto and digital asset securities” in coordination with TM staff and members of other SEC offices and divisions.

The new hire would be expected to develop and maintain expert-level industry knowledge of crypto and digital asset securities as well as related products, and to serve as the division’s point of contact for domestic and global regulators, market participants and the wider public.

Other crucial responsibilities will reportedly include “applying knowledge of federal securities laws to digital asset securities and crypto matters, i.e., broker-dealer, exchange, clearing agency and transfer registrations, exchange product applications, sales and trading practices, etc.”

The new hire will further be tasked with conducting regular meetings with TM and other agency staff to foster open communication and a shared understanding of core issues, as well as keeping departments abreast of relevant industry, legal and policy developments.

With a prospective salary of $144,850–$238,787 a year for a full-time role (commencing with a two-year trial period), applicants must fulfil certain conditions to be eligible to apply for the post.

These include holding a Juris Doctor (J.D.) or Bachelor of Laws (LL.B.) degree, as well as being an active member of the Federal Bar Association in good standing.

Applicants must also demonstrate evidence of four years of post J.D. experience as a practicing attorney, three years of which should have included interpreting and applying laws governing the securities industry, in particular, the Securities Exchange Act of 1934.

They are also asked to indicate they have provided “guidance and expertise in the evaluation of legal and policy issues, addressing securities law issues that often lack clearly applicable precedents due to the novelty of the issues, analyzing the factual and legal issues involved.”

As reported, the SEC took its first steps toward engaging new talent specifically tasked with clarifying crypto regulatory matters with its June 2018 hire of Valerie Szczepanik — colloquially known as the SEC’s “Crypto Czar.”

In her role as associate director of the SEC’s Division of Corporation Finance — as well as its senior advisor for Digital Assets and Innovation — Szczepanik indicated this March that assets in the rapidly-growing stablecoin sector could experience issues under existing securities laws.

Multiple crypto industry figures and lawmakers have repeatedly called on the SEC to provide greater regulatory clarity for the interaction of blockchain-based tokens and securities laws.