Binance Lists Second BEP2 Community Project TomoChain (TOMO)

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Binance Lists Second BEP2 Community Project TomoChain (TOMO)

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Binance has announced the listing for the second month of the BEP2 Community Listing Program as TomoChain (TOMO), a proof-of-stake blockchain platform that operates a 150 masternode architecture. 

TomoChain Listed on Binance

In June, leading crypto exchange Binance announced the creation of the BEP2 Community Listing program, which aims to support the development of “high quality blockchain projects” in the industry. The program plans to list at least one new project over the course of three months. 

TomoChain represents the second month’s coin listing, selected from a competitive pool of eleven other projects that met the criteria for the exchange. Binance reports in the official update that TOMO was selected based upon the criteria outlined for the program, which includes authenticity of trading volume on their decentralized platform Binance DEX

The projects that were not selected during the most recent round of competition are eleibgible to apply for next month’s listing. Binance also reiterated that zero BNB was collected for the TOMO listing fee, which is supposed to be a community driven competition. 

TOMO seeks to improve upon ethereum’s network by implementing certain features such as double validation and staking smart contracts. The price of TOMO jumped 13 percent following the announcement. 

Binance KYC Hack: Exchange Offers Lifetime VIP Compensation for Victims

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Binance KYC Hack: Exchange Offers Lifetime VIP Compensation for Victims

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The world’s leading cryptocurrency exchange Binance has announced a compensation plan for victims of the KYC hack that surfaced earlier in the month. 

Lifetime VIP for Victims

According to the official blog post published on Aug. 23, the exchange is offering a lifetime Binance VIP membership to users who were affected by the KYC hack. The membership will include preferential trading fees, support and “more services,” with the exchange encouraging users to contact the exchange about their possible security breach. 

Binance calls the investigation into the hack “ongoing,” and says that they are still pursuing leads in relation to the source of the images that surfaced online matching the exchange’s user information. 

Binance also puts some of the responsibility for the hack on third-party vendors and points out the inconsistencies between the leaked KYC data, 

During our review of the leaked images, there were multiple photoshopped or otherwise altered images which do not match the KYC images in our database and are being accounted into the comprehensive investigation. In addition, every image processed through Binance for KYC purposes is embedded with a concealed digital watermark, which was notably absent from all of the leaked images.

In a similar situation, crypto platform Huobi also pointed to hackers using third-party vendors to obtain client information, as opposed to a direct breach in the exchange. 

Binance calls security their “top priority,” and is committed to “protecting our users in all possible circumstances.” The exchange claims to use an AI-based facial verification function first introduced in 2018, while upgrading their indexing of KYC data in 2019. 

23 Texas Towns Hit by Coordinated Ransomware Attack

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23 Texas Towns Hit by Coordinated Ransomware Attack

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Texas has become the latest state to be hit by a coordinated ransomware attack, with 23 municipalities being hit by hackers demanding crypto at the same time.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation and cybersecurity experts from the state’s financial crimes unit said the security breach began late last week.

The mayor of one of the cities said the attackers were asking for a $2.5 million in ransom, likely in the attackers’ preffered payment method bitcoin. Gary Heinrich, mayor of Keene, told National Public Radio that the attackers had hit the software provider that ran the city council’s IT systems.

Single Actor Attack

Elliott Sprehe, spokesman for the state’s information resources department, said that he was not aware of any of the targeted cities having paid anything to the criminals.

Sprehe added that although no-one had yet been identified as being behind the attacks, evidence so far uncovered indicated all the attacks were carried out by “one single threat actor”.

In many of the previous similar attacks seen in the US, hackers have demanded the ransom be paid in bitcoin. Indeed, in June, the Florida city of Riviera Beach paid $600,000 in the top cryptocurrency after records in one of the city’s suburbs was encrypted.

BitPay Blocks $100,000 Bitcoin Donation to Amazon Rainforest Charity

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BitPay Blocks $100,000 Bitcoin Donation to Amazon Rainforest Charity

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Crypto payments company BitPay has refused to honor a large donation to a non-profit environmental organization that is working to protect the Amazon rainforest.

Amazon Watch, founded in 1996 and based in Oakland, California, works to protect the rainforest and advance the rights of indigenous people in the Amazon Basin. It took to Twitter on Friday to complain that a donation of $100,000 was rejected by BitPay for being “too high”.

Issue Escalated

Bitpay responded by saying it would escalate the issue and try to contact the donor. It then suggested the charity upgraded its approved volume on the Dashboard settings. However, Amazon Watch said it tried this and was told to email BitPay’s compliance department.

BitPayintroduced its Dashboard at the beginning of August to help offer better support and improve the platform’s risk mitigation and identity verification efforts. Reports of thousands of fires across the Amazon forest will no doubt have prompted many people to make charitable donations. 

Burn Satoshi’s Bitcoin, Suggests Paxful CEO in Thought Experiment

One member of the global cryptocurrency community has come up with what can best be described as a scorched earth policy for settling the debate over who is Satoshi Nakamoto once and for all. 

With the spotlights of Bitcoin watchers firmly on the latest questionable claim to be the creator of cryptocurrency as we know it, Ray Youssef – CEO and co-founder of crypto marketplace and wallet service, Paxful – in a now-deleted Tweet – took to Twitter to propose a Bitcoin soft fork that would ‘burn’ the BTC its  pseudonymous developer is thought to hold in wallets that have never been active.

His suggestion was ignored by a group of crypto-luminaries who he tagged for support, and apparently rounded on by commenters. 

Blockchain analysis undertaken in 2013 by Security Researcher and Bitcoin Blogger, Sergio Demain Lerner , alleged that Nakamoto may have amassed something like 980,000 bitcoin as a lone miner in the early days of its existence. When the BitMEX exchange team revisited Lerner’s work a year ago, they reduced this estimate to 700,000 – but didn’t rule out the possibility that the figure could be much higher.

Thus, the cryptocurrency the creator fo bitcoin likely accumulated between Jan and August 2009 (or late-Jan 2010, depending on whose opinion you listen to) could, theoretically, be worth something in the region of $10 billion at the current market rate.

A more realistic assessment of their value, however, centers on the idea  that – as they are sitting in the most closely watched wallets on the crypto scene – any attempt to move or sell them would cause massive upheaval in the global cryptocurrency markets, crash the BTC price and gut their value before a significant amount could even make it to a hot wallet somewhere. 

This scenario has been a sword of Damocles threatening Bitcoin since the Satoshi’s Stash theories first appeared amid early interest in the concept, explaining the appeal of simply removing control of the coins from their owner – especially to someone with a vested interest in Bitcoin’s value. However, Youssef’s suggestion that such a measure would ‘smoke out’ Nakamoto’s real life persona, was obviously considered to be ethically outrageous by some and a logistical nightmare by almost everyone. 

It’s not that it isn’t technically possible. It is. However, unless it had the consensus of the entire Bitcoin network (saying it wouldn’t is a pretty safe bet), the fork would create two blockchains and a ‘Schroedinger’s Nakamoto’ – where Satoshi was very rich on one, but not on the other. 

Let it not be forgotten that a similar schism led to a fork in the Ethereum blockchain following The DAO hack a few years back, a split that we have to thank for the existence of Ethereum Classic, which stuck with the pre-DAO blockchain. Let it also not be forgotten that recent Bitcoin forks have not worked out so well for most of the parties involved. Let it also not be forgotten that Nakamoto is considered with almost deity like reverence by some crypto-evangelists. All in all, it seems Youssef is now regretting making the suggestion

So, while Youssef’s suggestion could well have been a way to get the real Satoshi Nakamoto to please stand up, it would likely have done much more damage than good.

Bitcoin Retesting $10k, Threatening to Break Important Uptrend – Price Analysis

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Bitcoin Retesting $10k, Threatening to Break Important Uptrend – Price Analysis

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Since mid-summer, the market and analysts have been wondering if Bitcoin’s (BTC) retrace from $14,000 local highs was the retrace; as in, when would it return to a full uptrend? $9,000 was reached on the downside, but with Bitcoin threatening again to break down through $10,000, we may soon be back considering the retrace question.

Starting with the 4-hour chart, we see that BTC has been trending down of late, in the local market structure. An inability to even make it above the 55 exponential moving average (EMA) seems to be kicking the leading crypto down to its last line of defense at $10,000.

Reaching apexBTC chart by TradingView

A volume break on this timeframe and exchange (Bitstamp) may be the start of a selloff. The uptrending blue band represents an uptrend with resonance from all the way back in February, and it is now perfectly confluent with the key $10,000 mark. Repeated retests of a level often result in their failure.

Looking at the 12-hour indicators, we see a worrying condition in the MACD, which is not rebounding up on this cycle, but rather trending sideways in negative territory. The RSI is consolidating on the low side of its range.

Indicators not talkingBTC chart by TradingView

What we take away from this is a picture of consolidation, erring to the downside. Indeed, as we have discussed here recently, Bitcoin has been consolidating between about $10-11,000 for the past month, and it is anyone’s guess whether a break up or down is in the works.

A daily chart gives us the full picture of a moment of decision. Namely, will Bitcoin hold this symmetrical triangle consolidation pattern – riding the February uptrend – or will it break to the bottom of a descending channel pattern that it also seems to have respected?

Just on the edge hereBTC chart by TradingView

This channel bottoms out near $8,000. If we lose $10,000 here, we could head down to this often considered retrace target. If that happens, the grand uptrend that Bitcoin has started putting down during 2019 would be tested. Indeed, at time of writing it looks likely that $10,000 will be lost – but this is Bitcoin we’re talking about, and 2019 has already been filled with moments of dramatic buy support flooding in at the 11th hour.

The views and opinions expressed here do not reflect those of CryptoGlobe.com and do not constitute financial advice. Always do your own research.

tZERO Opened Its Doors to Non-Accredited Investors, but Their Options Are Still Limited

tZERO Opened Its Doors to Non-Accredited Investors, but Their Options Are Still Limited

Last week, tZERO announced that its securities tokens (TZROP) are now available to be traded to non-accredited investors, as per Rule 144 of the Securities Act of 1933.

Despite the launch, the platform offers limited functionality, Overstock’s OSTKO security token and TZROP comprising the only markets that are currently available for non-accredited investors to trade. Traders are only able to place limit and market orders to purhcase security tokens using fiat currency, with tZERO’s markets open for trade during weekdays between 9:30am and 4:00pm EDT.

Signing up to trade on tZERO requires submitting identifying documentation to the platform, with verification taking several days for the company to complete. As the platform develops and evolves, however, more functionality is to be expected.

TZROP Tokens to Generate Divident for Investors

TZROP were first issued via a private placement during August 2018, and have been tradable among accredited investors since January of this year. The tokens are now exclusively tradable on the PRO Securities alternative trading system (ATS) to investors who hold an account with Dinosaur Financial – a broker-dealer headquartered in New York.

According to a press release, the TZROP token offers investors “direct exposure to tZERO’s revenue growth through its quarterly dividend model,” with tZERO pledging to distribute 10% of its adjusted gross revenue to holders of its security token . Investors can reportedly choose to receive dividends in the form of BTC, ETH, TZROP, or U.S. dollars.

However, the release notes that the distribution of dividends is subject to approval from tZERO’s board of directors, and Delaware law.

Peer-to-Peer Trading of TZROP Tokens Prohibited

TZERO emphasized that peer-to-peer transfers of TZROP have not been authorized, asserting that TZROP holders must exclusively resell tokens “on the PRO Securities’ […] ATS only through a brokerage account established with Dino, a subscriber to the ATS, with clearing and custody provided by Electronic Transaction Clearing, a registered broker-dealer, and Computershare, as transfer agent.”

To comply with the company’s regulatory obligations, tZERO also reserves the right to prohibit tZERO security token holders from moving TZROP from Dinosaur Financial brokerage accounts to personal wallets.

The chief executive officer of tZERO, Saum Noursalehi, stated:

“Following the one-year anniversary of the close of our security token offering, non-accredited investors now have the ability to purchase and trade in our security tokens. Today marks another milestone as we further democratize access to all investors, regardless of net worth, can invest in the business opportunity of a blockchain-based capital market.”

TZERO Receives Patent for ‘TOME’ Technology

On Aug. 6, 2019, tZERO was awarded a patent for a process for recording trading data on a public blockchain, dubbed the “Time Ordered Merkle Epoch (TOME) methodology.”

According to the company’s announcement:

TOME is a base-layer technology that uses digital signatures to record and verify time-series data such as trades, executions and settlements. This technology enables low-latency systems, including traditional matching engines or private blockchain ledgers, to be anchored into immutable public blockchain ledgers.

TZERO plans to incorporate TOME into its product suite, in addition to licensing the technology to other firms.

Bitwise’s Global Head of Research: ‘Bitcoin Is Like Gold … Just in the 1970s’

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In an article published earlier this week, Matthew Hougan, the Global Head of Research at Bitwise Asset Management, argues that Bitcoin is too volatile to be considered a “store of value”, but that is OK because if you want to become wealthy, what you really want is “an emerging store of value”. 

Hougan’s article for Forbes, which came out on Wednesday (August 21), was addressing the claim made in a Barron’s article published on August 16 that questioned the claim that Bitcoin is a safe haven asset.

In particular, Hougan highlighted this paragraph from the Barron’s article:

This week certainly would appear to qualify as a good test for an asset’s safe-haven bona fides… There was a market meltdown in Argentina, escalating trade tensions between the U.S. and China, inversion of the Treasury yield curve (viewed as a recession indicator), grim economic news from Germany, and anti-government protests in Hong Kong.

The author of the Barron’s article was trying to point that despite all the global turmoil that week, Bitcoin ended the week down 10%.

Hougan says that we should not take from this that Bitcoin is not digital gold. He says that, in fact, Bitcoin is behaving just like gold did in the 1970s. 

According to Hougan, “safe haven assets are supposed to be boring.” For example, he points out that gold’s annualized rate of return since 1980 is only 2.3% per year, which when adjusted for inflation, comes to -0.7% per year. In other words, it has been basically been “holding its value”, which is what you want in a “store of value.”

He then says that if, however, “you’re interested in wealth creation,” then “history suggests you don’t actually want a store of value; you want an emerging store of value” (i.e. “an asset that has all the characteristics of a store of value, but doesn’t yet have widespread acceptance amongst investors”).

Hougan looked at the history of gold and found that the “vast majority of returns gold has enjoyed in the modern era came in the 1970s”:

  • 1970s: 1,365% 
  • 1980s: -22% 
  • 1990s: -28% 
  • 2000s: 281%
  • 2010s: 50%

He says:

The 1970s was, of course, when the U.S. abandoned the gold standard. At the time, people didn’t know what to make of gold. Would it succeed as a ‘safe haven’ asset, untethered from the dollar, or be cast aside as a ‘barbarous relic,’ as John Maynard Keynes once called it?

The result was a period of significant volatility, as the two forces argued back and forth. There were years, like 1975, when gold tumbled in value, falling 25%. And years, like 1979, when it soared, rising 120%

He also says that the daily price volatility of 1970s gold was not that different from Bitcoin’s daily price volatility:

There was daily volatility too: In 1973, gold’s price moved more than 3% one out of every ten days! Sounds almost like bitcoin to me.

He then notes that just like the uncertainty about the future of gold back then made it a risky asset to own, it was that risk that “led to gold’s volatility and strong returns,” and that as “evidence mounted that gold would in fact continue to serve as a safe haven, returns spiked and more investors made gold a part of their portfolios.” Hougan believes that the same scenario is now playing out for Bitcoin.

Hougan considers Bitcoin to be “an emerging store of value” that will keep increasing in value over time as more and more investors “gain greater confidence in bitcoin’s place in the world” and as it gets “easier for institutional investors and financial advisors to buy.”

Featured Image Credit: Photo via Pixabay.com

Chainalysis Launches Real-Time Suspicious Transaction Alerts for 15 Cryptocurrencies

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Chainalysis Launches Real-Time Suspicious Transaction Alerts for 15 Cryptocurrencies

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Blockchain intelligence firm Chainalysis has introduced “suspicious cryptocurrency transaction alerts” in “Chainalysis Know Your Transaction (KYT)”, its “real-time anti-money laundering (AML) compliance solution”.

Chainalysis, which was founded in 2014 by Dr. Michael Gronager (the current Chief Executive Officer), Jan Moller (the current Chief Technology Officer), Jonathan Levin (the current Chief Operating Officer), is a company with two main products:

  • Chainalysis Reactor — its investigation software suite
  • Chainalysis Kknow Your Transaction (KYT) — its compliance software suite

Chainalysis KYT supports “real-time transaction screening”; “case management capabilities”; “enhanced due diligence”; and “KYT for token issuers”.

In a press release published on its blog on Thursday (August 22), Chainalysis says that Chainalysis KYT’s alerts are “designed to help cryptocurrency businesses and financial institutions mitigate exposure to regulatory and reputational risk by helping compliance teams focus on the most urgent activity and enforce compliance policies while better allocating resources.”

John Dempsey, VP Product, Chainalysis, had this to say:

As lawmakers and regulators focus their attention on the industry, it is more critical than ever that cryptocurrency businesses demonstrate compliance best practices.

According to Chainalysis, this new feature results in alerts being generated “whenever a transfer involves a risky counterparty and crosses a value threshold.” Alert levels (Severe, High, Medium, and Low) are “based on factors such as category, service, direct versus indirect exposure, direction of funds, and amount,” and are available for all 15 cryptocurrencies that Chainalysis supports (including BTC, ETH, BCH, LTC, USDT, and DAI).

Michael Breu, Gemini’s Chief Compliance Officer, also chose to comment on this announcement:

As a New York Trust company we are required to monitor transactions on and off our platform. Tools like KYT alerts, which provide real time and ongoing blockchain analysis, coupled with Gemini’s own compliance policies, help us meet our regulatory obligations.

 

Featured Image Credit: Photo via Pixabay.com

Young Australian Woman Accused of Stealing 100,000 XRP Pleads Guilty

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Katherine Nguyen, the first Australian charged with cryptocurrency theft, has pleaded guilty.

Background

On 25 October 2018, according to a report in media outlet “news.com.ua”, police in the state of New South Wales in Australia arrested a 23-year-old woman from Sydney over the alleged theft of 100,000 XRP tokens.

Apparently, detectives from the State Crime Command’s Cybercrime Squad had set up a task force back in January 2018 to investigate the reported theft of 100,000 XRP tokens from a 56-year-old man. The investigators were told by the alleged victim that he was locked out of his email account for two days in mid-January 2018, but he thinks that his email account may have gotten hacked in December 2017.

After he managed to eventually get back control of his email account, he noticed some suspicious activity involving his cryptocurrency account, and when he checked this wallet, he found that almost all of the crypto there had disappeared.

However, after an approximately ten-month investigation, on 25 October 2018, detectives used a search warrant to get access to the young woman’s home, arrested her, and took her to Ryde (a suburb of Sydney) Police station, where they charged her with “knowingly deal with proceeds of crime.” 

The police were alleging that the woman (possibility with the help of others) took over the man’s email account, changed his password, thereby locking him account, and then set up two factor authentication using a mobile phone number. It is further alleged that she then accessed his crypto account, and transferred his XRP tokens to a crypto exchange in China, where this XRP was converted to Bitcoin.

Latest Development

On Friday (August 23), Australian TV news channel 7NEWS sent out the following tweet:

According to their report, in January 2018, Nguyen, the alleged cryptocurrency thief, “hijacked” the email account of a 56-year old man with the same surname as her. 

The report goes on to say that although Nguyen has pleaded guilty, there is “still some dispute over the exact facts,” which will hopefully be “settled at a special hearing in October” (this hearing has been given the task of preparing “a pre-sentence report”).

When she is sentenced in October, there is a real possibility that she will have to go to jail.

Featured Image Credit: Photo via Pixabay.com