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Bitrue Hacked | Another Crypto Exchange is Breached with 4.2M Stolen



According to reports, Singapore-based crypto exchange Bitrue has been hacked. The culprits have made off with approximately $4.2 million in user assets.

What’s going on? Here’s what we know so far.

Bitrue Hacked

The hack was announced earlier today via Twitter, with the company saying it first noticed the issue around 1 am local time Thursday.

Those who have had funds stolen are to be reimbursed as tokens on the exchange are insured. Details have emerged about what was taken; according to Bitrue, the loot includes 9.3 million Ripple (XRP) valuing $4.01 million at present, and 2.5 million Cardano (ADA) worth $231,800 at current prices.

Bitrue tweeted:

“First of all, please let us assure you that this situation is under control, 100% of lost funds will be returned to users, and we are reviewing our security measures and policies to ensure this does not happen again.”

The exchange detailed further how the breach occurred:

“A hacker exploited a vulnerability in our Risk Control team’s 2nd review process to access the personal funds of about 90 Bitrue users. The hacker used what they learned from this breach to then access the Bitrue hot wallet and move 9.3 million XRP and 2.5 million ADA to different exchanges.”

Currently, Bitrue has frozen funds and any accounts that are associated with the hack. It is conducting an emergency investigation into its system and will be up and running “as soon as possible.”

Cryptocurrency Hacks in 2019

The news is likely to stir investors who are all too aware of the dangers with cryptocurrency and hacks on exchanges. According to CoinTelegraph, so far in 2019, there have been seven large-scale crypto exchange hackings resulting in the loss of millions of dollars.

>> Bitcoin (BTC) Price Continues to Shine: Hits $13K Mark

Recently, on June 6, UK- and Slovenia-based crypto exchange GateHub was a victim of a hack whereby nearly $10 million worth of Ripple (XRP) was stolen. In this instance, an unidentified hacker used a “sophisticated method to gain access to a database holding users’ access tokens and steal their funds.”

Only one month prior, major exchange Binance faced its second major hacking. This time the hackers withdrew 7,000 Bitcoin, valuing approximately $40 million USD at the time. The first major breach the exchange faced came in March 2018.

Hacking is a notorious issue in the crypto-space, with hacks claiming $1.7 billion USD in 2018 alone.

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Binance US to Include NEO and ATOM for Trading



One of the biggest reasons behind the remarkable growth of the cryptocurrency space is due to the establishment of big-ticket exchanges, and in that regard, Binance US could end up becoming one of the most influential. It is the world’s biggest crypto exchange by trading volume, and its entry into the United States is a major event.

Key Details

It emerged that the American arm of Binance is going to add support for both Cosmos (ATOM) and Neo (NEO). The company made the announcement on October 30 and went on to add that users will be able to trade in both those tokens from October 31.

It is a significant step and is certainly going to help Binance US in attracting more customers. Both ATOM and NEO are among the biggest cryptocurrencies in the world at the moment by market capitalization. According to a leading crypto analysis website, both are within the top 20 in the world at this point, and hence, the listing should eventually raise the volume of trading in the platform.

At the end of the day, the United States remains one of the biggest markets for crypto platforms, and the more options the exchange provides, the greater the chance of driving volume.

>> Ripple Invests in Cybersecurity Startup Funding Round

Dogecoin Listing

However, the latest update is not all. Binance has been adding new tokens rapidly to its American platform, and last week, it announced the listing of Dogecoin on the platform. Although it is not among the biggest tokens in the crypto space, it should be remembered that it has a great recall value and is well known among crypto traders all across the world as well as in the United States.

Dogecoin enjoys modest volumes, and one crypto analysis firm reported last week that it had a 24-hour volume of $7.85 million on Thursday. That being said, the latest listings by Binance US could have an important effect on the future of the exchange.

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RAID Project | Bittrex Cancels RAID IEO Hours Before Launch

RAID project

RAID project

Cryptocurrency exchange Bittrex has reportedly canceled an IEO (initial exchange offering) hours before its launch. The RAID project was expected to make $6 million USD by selling its XRD token to customers on the Bittrex exchange.

Canceled RAID Project

Bittrex reportedly called off the token sale after it learned that the RAID project had suddenly terminated its partnership with e-gaming data analytics company OP.GG.

According to Bittrex, the partnership “was a vital part of the RAID project,” Bittrex said in a statement“When Bittrex International became aware of this significant event, we did not feel that it was in the best interest of our customers to move forward with the IEO.

However, OP.GG has claimed that the alliance with RAID was never a sure thing to begin with, stating:

OP.GG has stopped all potential business discussions related to RAID project and there will be no economic and technical cooperation with RAID coin. In addition, OP.GG has no intention of developing any blockchain related business utilizing RIOT GAMES data. OP.GG will take all possible legal measures against individuals or organizations disseminating false facts related to this.”

>> Thai Stock Exchange to Launch Cryptocurrency Platform Next Year


RAID has claimed that it, not Bittrex, pulled the IEO, saying “it would not be right to proceed as scheduled […] after a discussion with Bittrex, RAID Team came to a final decision to not proceed with IEO.”

Customers who participated in a previous token sale will be issued refunds through Cobak.

The XRD token was created as a means to “give data ownership back to users using blockchain technology” using a game data ecosystem. The token would also be used to develop game-related business, according to the project.

What we know is that the IEO has unraveled along with the relationship between the RAID project and Bittrex. Much remains unclear, however, over the true nature of RAID’s relationship with OP.GG.

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US Regulator Launches Investigation into Client Trades



The month of July has not been a particularly good one for cryptocurrencies, and if recent reports regarding BitMEX are to be believed, then the upcoming weekend might not be a great one either.

Report Details

In a sensational report from Bloomberg, it has been revealed that popular crypto exchange BitMEX is apparently being investigated by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission for allegedly allowing US residents to trade on the platform. Although US residents can trade in cryptocurrencies, the situation with BitMEX is a bit different. US residents are categorically excluded from using the platform since it is registered in Seychelles.

It is the same with any other crypto platform registered in that country. It has now emerged that some user might have used tools like VPN to get around those regulations and traded anyway. In such a situation, it is the responsibility of the platform in question to bar such users from the platform. It should be noted that no official confirmation has yet been made about the investigation by either BitMEX or the CFTC. The development came to light on social media through Bloomberg reporter Tim Culpan, who seems to have been briefed about the events.

>> Litecoin (LTC) Eyes Fresh Gains Above $100: All Eyes on Halving Event

Once the news broke on social media, selling pressure was experienced in many cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin. The news brought immense pressure on Bitcoin, and soon enough, the token gave up as much as $500, bringing it close to $10,000. The recent report has also brought into focus the relentless attacks that both BitMEX and its Chief Executive Officer Arthur Hayes received from noted economist Nouriel Roubini over the course of the month so far. After a debate between the two in Taipei, the economist has been relentless in his attack, and on Wednesday he had even published an essay in which he stated that he has evidence that criminal activities are going on in the BitMEX platform.

What do you think of the whole debacle?

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Bakkt’s First Week Trading Volumes Hit Just $5 Million USD



Bakkt, the highly anticipated Bitcoin futures contract, recorded just $5 million USD in total trading during its first week.

The long-awaited Bitcoin futures platform from The Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) launched last week to considerably underwhelming fanfare given the hype surrounding the project since it was initially announced last year. According to ICE, which is also the parent company of the New York Stock Exchange, just 623 Bitcoin futures contracts were traded during the first week of Bakkt. Each of Bakkt’s futures contracts represents one Bitcoin, so just over $5 million was traded based on Bitcoin’s current value of $8,325 USD.

Compare this with the Chicago-based CME launch in 2017, the biggest rival to Bakkt, which traded over 4,000 Bitcoin futures on September 27 alone. This represents a trading volume of $165 million with CME contracts worth five Bitcoins. Bakkt’s daily futures contracts fared even worse than the monthly one, with fewer than six being traded during the first week.

Bakkt was touted as a gateway for institutional investors to get into Bitcoin, with many analysts believing it would help build trust towards crypto trading among legacy financial institutions. While it is still early days, it hasn’t exactly panned out as analysts expected. Guy Hirsch, managing director of eToro, has urged for patience with Bakkt:

“I see the hesitance as a ‘wait-and-see’ approach more than a reaction to the structure of the offering. Crypto is still a relatively new asset class and institutions are still learning about the benefits that it offers. These sorts of offerings can often take a long time to play out and gain market share. Expect institutions to cautiously watch each other and ensure that the market infrastructure is in place before making any commitments.”

>> Ripple Transfers XRP to New Trading Address: Bad News for Crypto?

Perhaps one reason for the lack of trading volume on Bakkt is Bitcoin’s stuttering price over the last week. Bitcoin’s price tanked more than 20% from $10,026 to below $8,000 in the first seven days of Bakkt’s launch. However, some analysts have argued that the declining price is a direct consequence of Bakkt, with JP Morgan saying, “It may be that the listing of physically settled futures contracts has contributed to recent price declines, rather than the low initial volumes.”

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SIX Stock Exchange Adds XRP to Latest ETP Project

SIX Stock Exchange

SIX Stock Exchange

The largest stock exchange in Switzerland, the SIX stock exchange, is planning on launching an XRP crypto exchange-traded product (ETP). Amun AG was the first crypto startup to launch ETPs on SIX. Hany Rashwan, CEO of Amun AG, told CoinDesk that this new product will have the ticker AXRP.

SIX Stock Exchange Adds XRP ETP

The SIX Stock Exchange has not released any formal news yet on this matter and the ETA of AXRP is unknown at this time. In addition to the XRP ETP, Rashwan told CoinDesk that SIX has approved ETPs for four more altcoins. According to the CEO, Bitcoin Cash (BCH), EOS, Stellar (XLM), and Litecoin (LTC) will be the next altcoins to get their own ETP products on the SIX Stock Exchange.

Amun AG has yet to provide thorough details regarding the new ETP listings. In November of 2018, SIX launched its first ETP that tracks a basket of top-weighted cryptocurrencies. This new product was issued by Amun AG under the HODL ticker. Since November, this total monthly trade volume for HODL has taken over an ETP that tracks crude oil. According to research by CoinDesk journalists, HODL became a top traded ETP on SIX in both December and January, prompting further digital currency ETP products.

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Rashwan told CoinDesk that most of the buyers of these products are based in Switzerland. Over the past few weeks, Amun AG has issued Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH) ETPs on the SIX Stock Exchange.

What is an ETP?

ETPs are passive investment instruments with no active trading strategies involved. ETPs are priced so the value is derived from other investment instruments such as a currency. SIX has its own rules for these traded products and states they are not treated as “collective investment schemes;” therefore, ETPs are not supervised by Switzerland’s market regulator. Amun AG backs each ETP by an identical amount of crypto assets, which is checked on a continuous basis. Rashwan told CoinDesk it stores its collateral with Kingdom Trust.

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$6.4 Milllion USD Worth of FSN Tokens Stolen in Fusion Network Hack

FSN Tokens

FSN Tokens

Fusion Network, a blockchain-based stablecoin exchange, has announced that $6.4 million USD worth of FSN tokens have been taken from a compromised wallet.

The foundation in charge of the network revealed the theft in a blog post on Saturday, September 28. The post stated that one of the network’s wallets, containing 10 million of the Fusion Network’s native FSN tokens and 3.5 million ERC-20 FSN tokens had been emptied. The blog post went on to suggest that the theft may have been an inside job: “There is uncertain evidence showing that theft may have been caused by personnel related to the Fusion Foundation.”

“The Foundation deeply regrets this incident and its impact on the path of Fusion’s innovation,” said the firm. “While private key theft is an industry-wide risk and occurrence, we clearly must strengthen the protection around our private keys.” The theft represents nearly 25% of FSN token total market capitalization.

The Fusion Network was launched last summer with the intention of providing legacy institutions with access to blockchain by facilitating the transfer of stablecoins, coins backed against a fiat currency, and other digital coins. The Fusion Foundation, which oversees the network, is a non-profit organization based in New York headed by CEO DJ Qian, who revealed details of the FSN tokens theft via a Telegram group.

>> Bitcoin Fraud: Two New Cases Circulating the Media

Speaking to CoinDesk, Fusion’s Chief Product Officer John Liu said that the foundation is aware of the thief’s identity and has plans in place to demonetize the stolen FSN tokens. “This is not a newbie hacker. This criminal has been preparing this in advance. He was well prepared to implement this.” Liu added that the foundation’s method for isolating the stolen funds cannot yet be disclosed. The value of FSN tokens immediately halved following the breach, dropping from around $0.50 to $0.25 in a seven-hour period.

The news comes just a month after McAfee released its Threat Report, which pointed out that crypto-jacking was on the rise.

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Binance Introduces Crypto Lending Service



When cryptocurrencies came along around a decade ago and even when the industry went on its astonishing bull run back in 2017, the sector was still regarded as a novelty of sorts. The rise of an actual ecosystem with Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies at the center remained a pipe dream for most. However, things have changed over the past few years, and now there is a real possibility of cryptocurrencies finding mainstream acceptance. In a new development, which should count as another landmark stride for the crypto sphere, Binance has announced that it is going to introduce a lending service.

Crypto Lending: Key Details

Binance is one of the biggest crypto exchanges in the world and attracts a tremendous volume of trade every day. Hence, it goes without saying that it is a service that is being backed by one of the most prominent entities in the crypto world. The service in question is known as Binance Lending, and it is going to go live on August 28. According to reports, the customer will get access to the service on a first-come, first-serve basis and will be able to lend three types of cryptocurrencies. One of them is BNB, which has been developed by Binance, the other is Ethereum Classic, and the third is USDT, which is backed by the US Dollar.

>> Ripple (XRP) Popularity Remains Despite the Price Slump in 2019

The customers who use this service will also be able to earn interest at an annualized rate, and the minimum tenure is going to be of 14 days. The rates of interest are also different for different tokens. ETC will fetch an interest of 7%, while the interest for BNB and USDT have been set at 15% and 10% respectively. It goes without saying that the service is a revolutionary new offering and one that could end up being a highly useful one. However, it remains to be seen whether Binance will expand crypto lending to other cryptocurrencies.

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Kraken Implements New Funding Options for 5 Fiat Currencies



The US-based crypto exchange Kraken is rolling out new funding options for five major fiat currencies. In order to do so, the exchange has partnered with Etana Custody.

Let’s check this out.

Kraken’s New Funding Options

Yesterday, July 29, the crypto exchange put out an official announcement saying that it will offer new funding options for US dollars, Euros, Canadian dollars, British Pound, and Japanese Yen.

Kraken’s global customer base can access the fiat funding options by linking their bank account and wiring funds to the in-built Etana Custody Wallet, which is integrated into Kraken customer accounts. The new funding options are only available for “Intermediate” and “Pro” level traders and are not available for “Starter” Kraken accounts.

The processing times are estimated to take between 1–5 business days as money exchange relies on wire transfers.

The announcement states further that along with funding support, Etana will provide Kraken accounts with conversion between any of the five fiat currencies. And further, Kraken markets will also now be available via the forex trading platforms MetaTrader 4 and 5.

Fiat Onramps

“Onramps,” or the exchange of fiat currency for cryptocurrency to begin trading on a crypto exchange, has been an issue within the sector for some time. But increasingly, exchanges are implementing options that seek to make this conversion as straightforward as possible.

>> Facebook Warns Libra Currency May Not Hit the Market

Only yesterday, major European crypto exchange Bitstamp announced a partnership with digital asset brokerage BCB Group in order to support direct transfers in British pounds sterling. This is expected to take effect by the end of this year.

With the UK on the verge of leaving the European Union, the exchange is making sure its UK clients can continue to have access to fiat transfers on the European trading platform.

Earlier today, Swiss crypto exchange Smart Valor launched trading of four fiat currencies with Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH).

Will this make trading in cryptocurrencies easier?

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Bakkt Futures Monthly Trading Volume Starts to Pick Up Pace



Bakkt, the crypto exchange platform from the Intercontinental Exchange, has seen its futures trading volume soar to 1,061 contracts, indicating that institutional investors are finally getting on board with the platform.

Since its launch on September 27, Bakkt has endured a sluggish start to life despite being one of the most highly anticipated exchange in the world of crypto this year. With just 623 futures contracts being traded in the first week, for a total value of just over $5 million USD, it appeared as though the platform was a massive flop. Bakkt had been touted as an entry point for legacy financial institutions into crypto trading, given its close associations with legacy institutions like the New York Stock Exchange.

However, the monthly trading volume skyrocketed on Tuesday to $10 million USD, the second-largest figure recorded so far, falling 112 contracts short of the peak volume of 1,183. The last time Bakkt’s monthly futures volume spiked was on October 25, the day Bitcoin pumped over 18%. This week’s spike is slightly unusual in that Bitcoin has been trading in a narrow range of $9,169.84 and $9,474.89. Despite this, Bakkt’s advocates will be happy to see growing interest from institutional investors, which is bullish for Bitcoin.

Bakkt trading volumes and Bitcoin’s value are closely linked. The slow start to life for the platform came at the same time as a downward spiral in BTC value, crashing from above the $10,000 USD milestone to below $8,000 USD over the course of Bakkt’s first weekend following its launch. Some analysts blamed the exchange’s poor start for the downward spiral; however, the roles have since reversed, with BTC value now dominating volume on Bakkt.

>> Coinbase to Offer Tezos Staking to US Consumers

Bitcoin has been in bull territory lately, after making gains last week following the Chinese Government’s relaxed stance on crypto mining. However, those gains look unsustainable, according to some analysts, who believe it could fall to below $8,500 in the near term, which could spell bad news for Bakkt.

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