Binance is the largest crypto-exchange by trading volume, however, on 7th March, its users got affected by a hack of third-party software, and as a result, unauthorized transactions were made from their user’s accounts.
Since then, Binance’s CEO, Changpeng Zhao has claimed that the exchange is working normally and the funds of users are safe as well. Many users have shown their concern and complained by using social media platforms; Twitter and Reddit, that without their permission, their altcoins had been converted into Bitcoin and most of them didn’t even logged into their accounts.
There were many posts on Reddit, claiming that hackers have used their bitcoins for buying VIA coins for 0.025 BTC each. Without attracting any attention, hackers managed to withdrew the bitcoins in small amounts. It’s claimed by a Reddit user, Profetu, that Binance’s administration took actions to the complaints of their users by freezing their accounts in one hour. Furthermore, the user suggested;
“The hacker accumulated VIA in advance (from Binance or other exchange and sent to Binance) then he set a huge sell order at 0.025BTC. Then using API made some account sell alts and buy VIA with that BTC, [and then withdrew] BTC.”
Another user wrote;
“Same happened to me. I had 100% USDT worth $1548. Today I logged in so I can buy some xrp, but my account balance is $200 out of $1548, and apparently I bought 5 VIA coins and exchanged my USDT to BTC while I was in the gym?”
Few traders have presented a theory that the attack was linked with compromised API keys which had been requested by Binance’s users to further use inside the range of other applications such as; chart in monitoring services and trading bots. This theory also explains how the attackers have managed to pass over the two-factor authentication. But at the same time, it fails to explain why this attack affected the users who never requested API keys.
A user asked;
“Do you use any trading bots like profittrailer or gunbot? Do you have any API opened for any kind of services?” – Bonnie_channel
Another Reddit user wrote;
“That is what I am wondering! I never gave permission for this API key to be created. That is why I think it’s an issue on [Binance’s] end”.
Later, a tweet was posted by Binance, saying that deposits and withdrawals are now in a working condition and all illegitimate trades have been rebounded. Changpeng Zhao also said that a phishing website has been used by hackers to get the login information and to divert users from the authentic Binance website.
Ethereum’s price made the headlines on Tuesday as news of it hitting a new all-time high circulated the web. On the other hand, Bitcoin’s market share dropped below 50 percent for the first time in over a month.
From $19,130 on Monday to $18,191 on Tuesday morning, bitcoin’s price declined by nearly $1000. A 5 percent decline was observed within 24 hours which reduced bitcoin’s market cap to $304.7 billion. While the reason is still unsure, it is observed that the global average bitcoin price has hit $20,000 in several instances unlike the BTC/USD in major exchanges such as Bitfinex and Bitstamp.
Ethereum Takes the Crypto-Verse by A Storm:
As for Ethereum, it had been hovering around $300 for quite some time while Bitcoin was surging. But, the cryptocurrency took December by a storm and ripped the charts by surpassing $800, first touching at $882 then finally settling at $824. Showing a 24-hour gain of 12 percent, with a market cap of $79.5 billion.
Bitcoin Cash Following Closely Behind at $2,500:
Ethereum was not the only altcoin to shine at bitcoin’s fall-out, bitcoin cash price showed an impressive rally of 21 percent. Enabling the altcoin market to rise by $25 million and making their combined valuation to touchdown at $300 billion for the very first time.
By Tuesday morning, bitcoin cash’s price had settled down to $2292 and a $38.7 billion market cap.
In addition, Ripple and Litecoin were also one of the lucky altcoins to benefit from bitcoin’s expense by experiencing an increase of four percent and seven percent respectively. Ripple’s market share now lying at $30.5 billion and Litecoin’s at $18.7 billion.
Surprisingly, besides Bitcoin, the rest of these altcoins had experienced a great rally on Tuesday. While none of them have actually been successful enough to throw off the biggest cryptocurrency, they’re set out to be great competitors.
According to a report, the cryptocurrency market has struggled to sustain its momentum, yet failed to do so, and dropped to $463 billion. Similarly, other major cryptocurrencies including the top cryptocurrency, bitcoin, has struggled to record gains.
Ethereum and Bitcoin:
Only Bitcoin, Ripple, and Bitcoin Cash are the ones amongst the 5 most valuable cryptocurrencies in the global market that have managed to record daily gains. Native cryptocurrency of Ethereum, Ether, has shown a slight upsurge in its value and has increased by 4% after seeing a plunge below $820. Ether still remains in the cryptocurrencies that have shown some upward momentum.
Ether has tended to follow the bitcoin price trend throughout its recovery time. However, in some periods, Ether moved in a different path from other cryptocurrencies including bitcoin. When the price of bitcoin hit the value of $12,000 last week, ICO tokens/ ERC 20 tokens and Ether didn’t perform well. But, Ether has performed a lot better than other cryptocurrencies this week, by moving in a diverse direction to the most leading cryptocurrency in the market.
Bitcoin is still priced above the $10,000 mark, and many experts have labelled it as the psychological threshold for both buyers and sellers. It is quite hard to assess the short-term trend of bitcoin at this time when bitcoin, the most leading cryptocurrency in the market, is experiencing massive ups and downs on a regular basis.
Bitcoin price doubled from its yearly low at $6,100 just one week ago and then breached the $12,000 mark later. Even in some regions like South Korea, bitcoin price surpassed the mark of $13,000. But today, the price of bitcoin is valued at $10,769, which shows signs that it would recover back to the $12,000 mark.
A cryptocurrency that is funded by the US dollar, Tether, is an imperative indicator of the short-term performance of the crypto-market. Many investors on most important cryptocurrency exchanges like; Bitfinex and Binance use Tether to hedge the cryptocurrencies worth during the time of volatility, especially when the market commences to drop.
The daily trading volume of Tether is $2.684 billion, on 27th February, which makes it the second most liquid cryptocurrency after Bitcoin. This large daily trading volume of Tether shows that a lot of traders are ambiguous about the short-term trend of most important cryptocurrencies, and are also evading the price of cryptocurrencies in the crypto-market to the US dollar.
News about generating blockchain funds by a Chinese company are in the news right now. But before discussing about that news, we must have a watch on the history and importance of blockchain. Designed in 2008, blockchain is the backbone of Bitcoin and all the other cryptocurrencies. Blockchain system works by taking in digital transactions and storing them in pieces of digital information called blocks. These blocks are in turn linked together to form ledgers. In case of blockchain, such ledger can be defined as a list of digital transactions. Each time you wish to change the data inside a blockchain database, the software adds a block to the chain containing all the information required to verify the changes. The block will have a unique identifier (a hash) and can be encrypted depending on the underlying software use-case for it.
Importance of Blockchain Technology in other industries
Blockchain has also a serious impact on various other industries. Even IBM has started work on their own blockchain projects. The main reason for it is that blockchain has played an important role in maximizing the technology’s capabilities, such as autonomous records and easy to access contracts. Even the Pharmaceutical giants are planning to use blockchain to prevent frauds and secure their transaction records. Now let’s come to the point and elaborate why blockchain funds have become so important for China to show active participation in it.
Why China is interested in Blockchain Funding?
Due to such an important role of blockchain in digital transactions, especially cryptocurrency, it has been reported that a government-led investment firm known as Investment Association of China (IAC) is going to establish a funding center to strengthen the blockchain development in China.
This news leaked out when a document related to that entity was circulated by IAC on the internet. IAC reports directly to China’s National Development and Reform Commission.
Later, vice chairman of the IAC, Liu Ren confirmed the document’s authenticity. He further explained that IAC had to take an initiative in this regard due to the growing importance and popularity of blockchain in cryptomarket. That’s why their association decided to provide fundings and maintained standards for the good of cryptocurrency industry.
However, he did not disclose that whether the funding will be provided from the state or private sectors.
This new blockchain funding center will also seek further working with overseas blockchain projects to generate further investment options. It will also provide consultation services to those persons or firms that are interested in blockchain investment. In short, Chinese government is quite serious in its efforts to develop investment plans for the domestic as well as foreign blockchain industry. Chinese Ministry of Industry and Information Technology recently announced that it will soon launch a committee in order to set national standards for blockchain technology.
No doubt cryptocurrencies have become notoriously volatile as various governments and financial organisations are imposing restrictions regarding the sale and purchase of fraudulent ico. On the other hand it is also a fact that continuous boom in the cryptocurrency market is the main reason behind the birth of some alarming situations regarding its investment and fundraising options. With an increase in the popularity of Initial coin offering and cryptocurrencies, many top social networking websites have recently banned advertisements related to all sorts of activities related to this specific market. Recently Facebook, Google and Twitter are on the top of the list among the sites which have prohibited ads related to cryptocurrencies. Not only that but the US Securities and Exchange Commission has also issued a strict warning according to which celebrities can no more endorse ICOs without proper announcement. Even a country like India has officially announced that Bitcoin is no more than an illegal tender within its borders.
some massive frauds and illegal activities related to the digital tokens have also become a reason for such restrictions. One of such recent fraudulent activities was reported by the US security exchange commission against two co-founders of a supposed financial services start-up for organizing a deceptive initial coin offering.
Who Was Behind That ICO Fraud?
The names of the two founders are Sohrab Sharma and Robert Farkas who are behind that ICO fraud. They were running of a cryptocurrency firm by the name of Centra Tech which was also authenticated by champion boxer Floyd Mayweather. The US Securities and Exchange Commission charged the founders of Centra Tech for organizing a fraudulent initial coin offering. All that information was made public in a press release dated April 2.
Sohrab Sharma and Robert Farkas, were arrested and charged for raising 32 million dollars in an unregistered investment with the help of so called “CTR Token”. Farkas was fully prepared to leave the country, but was arrested moments before he could board his flight.
How Was This ICO Fraud Discovered?
According to the statement issued by US Securities and Exchange Commission, Sohrab Sharma and Robert Farkas offered a number of financial products on behalf of their company Centra Tech which also included a debit card backed by Visa and MasterCard. It was being claimed by Centra Tech that with the help of this debit card users could instantly convert cryptocurrencies into US dollars and other legal tokens. In fact it was all based on a fraud as no such agreement existed between Centra Tech and Visa or Mastercard.
Centra Tech was also alleged for creating fictional resumes and biographies in order to promote its fraudulent company. The company also hired celebrities like champion boxer Floyd Mayweather to promote their initial coin offering.
According to a warning issued by the US Securities and Exchange Commission in November last year, the ICOs which involved celebrities could be illegal.