Category Archive : Exchange News

Russia’s Top Crypto Exchange Website was Blocked by Telecom Regulator

BestChange.ru, an aggregator of over-the-counter (OTC) cryptocurrency suppliers in Russia, is being blocked by the country’s internet censorship agency, Roskomnadzor.

According to the popup announcement on BestChange.ru, the website is still available to the users through VPN or websites like BestChange.net.

Website block announcement is made on local social media VK.com, stating that BestChange.ru website was blocked alongside a bunch of other industry sites. As per the public court records, Roskomnadzor blocked BestChange.ru alongside websites like cryptowikipedia.ru and coinpost.ru. 

As per the SimilarWeb data, BestChange saw almost 3.3 million traffic in July, with most of them coming from Russia, Ukraine, and Turkmenistan.

Although the court-approved BestChange website blocking on Jan. 22, the company only notified on July 23.

BestChange Head of Public Relations Nikita Zuborev said,

“We always hear about the lawsuits accidentally, we never get a subpoena [in time] and our lawyers always have to request a time extension to appeal first and then get to the lawsuit itself.”

The lawsuit also targeted cryptocurrency news websites and even an online shop was offering bitcoin for sale or goods in exchange for bitcoin.

The website was first blocked in 2017, but the website remains available through a VPN. Again the website was blocked in 2019.  

Bitcoin is not illegal in Russia, but it may not be used as a means of payment. On July 31, Russia’s President Vladimir Putin signed that starting from January 2021 payments in cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin are going to become illegal.

290 Hacks Have Robbed The Crypto Industry Over $13 Billion

According to blockchain security firm Slowmist, hackers have looted the crypto industry of more than $13 billion in 290 different hacks.

As the crypto industry grows, the exploits seem to happen weekly either on an exchange, a blockchain, or a crypto wallet. The crypto users and investors must take precautions on storing their crypto assets.

The market is entering the bullish territory and the size of malicious attack is expanding, only in August there are several issues, such as the exploitation of the DeFi option provider, Failure of YAM v1 because of a rebase bug, and two attacks on Ethereum Classic.

More than $142 million worth of hacks happened in Ethereum based protocols, and over $1.15 billion damage resulted due to ERC-20 exploit. The centralized exchange has given up $4.6 billion to hackers.

Crypto.com CISO Jason Lau said,

“Unfortunately, like the mainstream/traditional finance industry, crypto is not immune to hacking. Bad actors and hackers follow the money, and the recent strong performance of crypto markets has made exchanges especially attractive targets.”

With 115 has EOS DAPPS leads the way. Ethereum DAPPS has been hacked 21 times and TRON DAPPS hacked 20 times, respectively. Still, each hack helps the industry grow stronger with long-term security measures.

One recent hack to be noted is the Ryuk ransomware hack, in which over $1 million worth of bitcoin was sent as payments to controllers and passed through a wallet on the Binance exchange platform.

Bitmex Restricts Ontario Residents As Mandated By Candian Regulators

Bitmex, a cryptocurrency derivative exchange will restrict access to users from Ontario, Canada, starting from Sep. 1, 2020, restrictions are mandated by the Ontario Securities Commission (OSC).

The Ontario Securities Commission (OSC), an independent Crown corporation,  responsible for regulating the capital markets in Ontario. OSC’s statement comes not long after BitMEX authoritatively announced that the platform will be confining access to users in Ontario.

Bitmex said,

With effect from 00:00:00 EST on 1 September 2020, we are restricting access to users who are Ontario (Canada)…The restrictions are mandated by the Ontario Securities Commission.

Bitmex refused to give more information about the regulatory status of its operations in Canada, staying hazy whether the trade works legitimately across the nation.

According to the exchange’s terms of service, any attempt to register or trade on the exchange after Sep 1 will be considered as a breach of the company’s.

The exchange says that it will continue to work with the OSC and will keep its users updated.

OSC has always been active in the crypto industry. It was given preliminary approval in late July, for the initial public offering (IPO) of the 3iq Corp company’s Ether Fund. The IPO of 3iq’s Bitcoin Fund was also approved by the regulator.  

OSC also started the proceedings against the cryptocurrency exchange Coinsquare last month for market manipulation and wash trades worth 590K Bitcoin, as well as other charges. 

Bitmex not only restricts service in Ontario. As per the exchange’s terms of service, residents of Québec also are not allowed to access the platform.  

The exchange is also restricted from operating in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China, the Republic of Seychelles, Bermuda, Crimea and Sevastopol, Iran, Syria, Cuba, North Korea, and Sudan.

Ryuk Ransomware Hack Wreaked $1M Bitcoin Withdrawal on Binance Exchange

Ryuk Ransomware Hack Wreaked $1M Bitcoin Withdrawal on Binance Exchange

Researchers have traced over $1 million worth of bitcoin sent as payments to Ryuk ransomware controllers and passed through a wallet on the Binance exchange platform.

According to an article from Forbes, the researchers said they had analyzed a sample of 63 transactions, linked to the Ryuk malware that was worth around $5.7 million in total, in which the FBI estimated that over $61 million have been stolen using Ryuk ransomware. 

Of the $5.7 million, hackers were able to withdraw $1 million from a Binance wallet into cash. Researchers found that hackers are still holding the remaining $4.7 million on non-exchange wallets. 

 In the Forbes article, Binance admitted,

“Unfortunately, when it comes to tracking illicit activity on-chain, attribution is not always black and white… The recipient may be completely unaware of the fraudulent source of the transaction”

Binance has numerous security systems in place, using various techniques to identify scams. The system is under continuous improvement to ensure the utmost vigilance. For such scamming activities and minimizing the risk of false-positive results.

Binance recently partnered with law enforcement in Ukraine to help identify a gang of cybercriminals who are trying to launder $42 million through the exchange.

In recent times, these ransomware hackers have been targeting hospitals and healthcare providers amid the COVID-19 pandemic, according to Interpol. These hackers would encrypt their victims’ data before demanding cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin to unlock them.  

CoinBase-Apple-Crypto Exchange

Coinbase CEO Says Apple Still Restrictive and Hostile Towards Cryptocurrency

On Aug 23, Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong Tweeted about the $2 trillion tech giant Apple for being very restrictive and hostile to the cryptocurrency in the past few years.

Brain said,

“Apple has been very restrictive and hostile to cryptocurrency over the years. They’re still blocking some functionality right now, including the ability to earn money with cryptocurrency by completing tasks, and unrestricted dapp browsers.”

Through Coinbase Earn platform users can earn cryptocurrency by just learning about cryptocurrency by watching videos and answering quizzes. Brain says that Apple now wanted to block the earning platform. 

Apple seems to have a long history of hostility towards crypto. In December 2019, both Apple and Google’s Android app store Google Play removed DAPPs in its application, since Coinbase wanted to comply with the rules of Apple’s App Store.  Apple users are unable to use DAPPs unfortunately.

In 2018, Coinbase was also instructed to remove access to cryptocurrency collectibles from its iOS app. In 2013, just one month after the launch of Coinbase’s app, it was pulled from the App Store without any explanation.

Although Apple remains on the sidelines of the cryptocurrency boom, last year Vice President of Apple Pay Jennifer Bailey said crypto had long-term potential.

Bailey said,

“We think it’s interesting. We think it has interesting long-term potential.”

Apple is an American multinational technology company that develops, designs, and sells consumer electronics, online services, and computer software. It is one of the Big Tech companies, like Amazon, Microsoft, Google, and Facebook.

Elliptic Partners with Binance, Adds BNB to Blockchain Analytics Platform

On August 18, Elliptic added Binance Chain to its blockchain analytics and crypto asset risk monitoring platform to track any possible illegal activities committed on its blockchain.

Elliptic was the only known blockchain forensics and risk intelligence tool that can support the Binance coin (BNB) and all tokens on the Binance network.  

Binance Chief Compliance Officer Samuel Lim said,

“This partnership not only strengthens our commitment to regulatory compliance but also opens the door for wider adoption of BNB and BUSD.”

Elliptic now provides the broadest coverage of any crypto transaction screening solution with over 97% of all crypto assets monitored by trading volume.

This news follows the addition of 89 new crypto assets to Elliptic’s blockchain analytics platform, including BUSD, Zcash, and ZEN.

In the future, Elliptic will provide crypto compliance monitoring to issuers using the Binance Launchpad to launch new BEP2 tokens on the Binance blockchain. Binance Coin (BNB) also powers the Binance Decentralized Exchange (DEX) which, in turn, is powered by Binance Chain.

Since 2019, Binance has been using Elliptic’s blockchain analytics solutions and services for its global compliance operations.  The service functions in all regions where Binance operates to help them comply with global and local anti-money laundering (AML) regulatory requirements. 

Elliptic is the global leader in crypto asset risk management solutions for crypto businesses and institutions worldwide. On the other hand, Binance is the world’s leading blockchain and cryptocurrency infrastructure provider with a financial product suite.

Crypto Exchange Bitso Registers Over 1M Users Prior to Brazil Launch

Bitso, a Ripple and Coinbase-backed crypto exchange in Latin America, has hit 1 million registered users prior to its upcoming launch in Brazil.

Bitso was officially launched in Mexico in 2014 through which users can buy, sell, or transfer crypto. As of now, it has raised over $4 million in funding. Besides its operation in Mexico, this year it has expanded its service to Argentina, another country with many crypto enthusiasts. 

Bitso’s Director or Cross-Border Payments Santiago Alvarado discussed the latest developments in leveraging crypto for cross-border payments in Latin America. The discussion was joined by Ripple product manager Craig DeWitt and Prysm Group Cataldo.

Alvarado said,

“Bitso reached a major milestone by hitting a one million user market last week. After topping Mexican and Argentinian crypto markets, Bitso is now expecting to enter Brazil.”

Bitso’s success in Argentina is connected to the unique crypto activity and increasing the need for cross-border payment in the local market. Argentina has traded 92 Bitcoins on LocalBitcoin over the past week, which is the biggest amount to be traded on exchanges in Argentina since 2016. According to Coin Dance data, that equaled more than 100 million Argentine pesos – the largest amount of local currencies have ever been traded against BTC.

Bitso is an early partner of Ripple, which is the fourth biggest crypto by market cap.  In October 2019, prominent US crypto exchange Coinbase and Ripple put an undisclosed sum in Bitso to help it expand to Argentina and Brazil.

 

Binance Partners With Etana Custody to Support 15 Fiat Currencies

On July 7, Binance announced its partnership with Etana Custody for a new fiat gateway that provides deposit services for 15 fiat currencies.

Through Etana, Binance users are now able to deposit 15 new fiat currencies which include UAE dirham, Australian dollar, Canadian dollar, Swiss franc, euro, Checz koruna, British pound, Danish krone, HK dollar, Hungarian forint, Norwegian krone, Mexican peso, New Zealand dollar, Polish złoty, and Swedish krona.

The Binance-Etana partnership will provide services across the Asian, European, North American, and Oceanian markets. Binance is also aiming to include over 180+ fiat currencies in the future.

Binance Founder and CEO Changpeng Zhao (CZ) said,

“At Binance, we are committed to furthering global digital assets adoption by launching multiple fiat-to-digital assets gateways. Binance’s fiat gateways cover over 170 countries & regions in the world and we are continuing to add more to make crypto more available across the globe.”

Binance users can link their accounts with Etana and wire funds directly from their fiat bank accounts. The fiat balance from Etana will be credited instantly and free-of-charge to their Binance account after initiating a fiat deposit request on the said exchange.

Etana custody fees for deposits of $1,000 or higher are waived, but a bank wire transfer fee of $35 still applies. The maximum deposit and withdrawal limit is tied to the level of the Binance account, while the minimum deposit and withdrawal limit is $150.

Furthermore, Binance has made an announcement in mid-June that it will be expanding to the UK with a regulated crypto trading platform for both institutional and retail investors.