Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey Shows off Bitcoin Lightning Network Node

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Twitter co-founder and CEO Jack Dorsey has recently shown off a recently received Bitcoin Lightning Network full node he got from Casa, further showing the entrepreneur’s commitment to the flagship cryptocurrency and its layer-two scaling solution.

The node Jack Dorsey showed off on Twitter is one being sold by Casa for $300, that already comes with a gold membership on the company’s platform, and is already pre-synced to make it easier to set up.

The Casa Node, a plug-and-play solution, is built with Raspberry Pi 3B+ and comes with cables that help users get going. Running a full Bitcoin node helps validate the cryptocurrency’s blockchain, contributing to its decentralization and security.

Since Casa’s node allows Dorsey to participate in the Lightning Network (LN), the cryptocurrency’s layer-two scaling solution, the entrepreneur may also contribute to its liquidity. The LN’s capacity surpassed 50 BTC late last year, and is now over 733 BTC.

Dorsey, who’s also the CEO of Square, the company behind the Cash app, which lets users buy and sell bitcoin, has notably invested in the LN last year, helping it become a reality. Last month, he backed a ‘trust game’ based on it that saw users pass a ‘torch’ worth hundreds of thousands of satoshis to one another.

As CryptoGlobe covered, data from cryptocurrency analytics platform Data Light has shown that 74% of all Bitcoin nodes are located in only 10 countries, with the US alone having over 2,600 nodes.

Behind the US are Germany and France, with 2,016 and 698 Bitcoin nodes respectively. The countries with the greatest Bitcoin nodes per capita were Singapore and the Netherlands, at 17,700 and 32,000 citizens per node.

QuadrigaCX Auditor: Most of $150m in Lost Crypto Has Been Drained, What Does This Mean for Investors?

The QuadrigaCX imbroglio took a turn yesterday when Big Four Auditing Firm, Ernst & Young (EY) released its “Third Report of the Monitor” that asserts that they have identified six separate crypto wallets were used to store the exchange’s cryptocurrency.

Unfortunately for embattled QuadrigaCX investors, the wallets did not contain any of the nearly $150 million in cryptocurrency that is still missing following the death of the exchange’s CEO, and the hunt for this missing crypto will continue on.

Ernst & Young: There Have Been No Deposits into QuadrigaCX Crypto Cold Wallets Since April 2018 

Aside from one inadvertent transfer into one of the wallets totaling at under $500,000, the report claims that there have been no deposits into the wallets since April of last year.

“To date, the Applicants have been unable to identify a reason why Quadriga may have stopped using the Identified Bitcoin Cold Wallets for deposits in April 2018, however, the Monitor and Management will continue to review the Quadriga database to obtain further information,” the report explained.

Importantly, besides a small fraction of cryptocurrency remaining in the addresses, there is still well over $100 million worth of customer’s crypto still missing.

Furthermore, EY noted that they have thus far been unable to discover why the six wallet addresses had stopped being used by the exchange, but that they would continue to review their data sources in order to garner more info on where the funds were being directed to.

“The Monitor has made inquiries of the Applicants as to the reason for the lack of cryptocurrency reserves in the Identified Bitcoin Cold Wallets since April 2018. To date, the Applicants have been unable to identify a reason why Quadriga may have stopped using the Identified Bitcoin Cold Wallets for deposits in April 2018, however, the Monitor and Management will continue to review the Quadriga database to obtain further information.”

Ernst & Young did not discuss whether or not they know about any existing wallet addresses outside of the six aforementioned ones, and also did not discuss whether or not there are any cold storage addresses holding cryptocurrency besides Bitcoin.

Could the Missing QuadrigaCX Funds Be Held on Various Crypto Exchanges?

Recently, a research report published on the Zerononcense Blog claimed that they have identified the wallet addresses where the exchange was keeping their Ethereum, and that there is a “strong possibility” that there may be a significant amount of ETH being held on some major cryptocurrency exchanges, including Poloniex, Kraken, and Bitfinex.

According to the report, there may be over 600,000 ETH being held in wallets on these exchanges, and that the now defunct exchange’s deceased CEO – Gerry Cotton – may have been moving the ETH to these exchanges while QuadrigaCX was operational.

“Based on the transaction analysis included in the report, it appears that a significant amount of Ethereum (600,000+ ETH) was transferred to these exchanges as a means of ‘storage’ during the years that QuadrigaCX was in operation and offering Ethereum on their exchange… it is very possible that QuadrigaCX, the creditors, and other entities are unaware of this discovery,” the Zerononcense Blog report explains.

Jesse Powell, the co-founder and CEO of Kraken, responded to the report on Twitter, explaining that none of the aforementioned funds are being stored on Kraken, and further adding that the possibility of these funds being held on exchanges is the “best hope that QCX clients have” of ever retrieving their lost funds.

“This is the best hope that QCX clients have — that Cotten was keeping client funds in other exchanges. Unfortunately, nothing at Kraken. Hopefully, others are looking. Could be accounts were created under different names so might take some real digging to find.”

Powell has been highly involved in the whole imbroglio since it first began, and Kraken just recently announced a $100k bounty for any information leading to the discovery of the missing funds.

“Kraken is giving up to $100,000 USD (fiat or crypto) as a reward for the tip(s) that best lead to the discovery of the missing $190 million US dollars. Can you help us unravel the Curious Case of Cotton’s Coins?” The exchange announced in a recent tweet.

The entire crypto community will continue sitting at the edge of their seats as the situation relating to the status and whereabouts of the missing funds continues to unravel, but at this time the best hope for investors affected by the situation is likely that the missing funds are scattered about on various cryptocurrency exchanges.

NewsBTC will continue to bring you the latest developments relating to the QuadrigaCX situation.

Featured image from Shutterstock.

Report: Quadriga’s 6 Cold Wallets Have Been Without Funds Since April 2018

Report: Quadriga’s 6 Cold Wallets Have Been Without Funds Since April 2018

Ernst & Young, the court-appointed monitor in the Quadrigacx saga, released a report on March 1 which shows that cold wallets known to have been used by the Canadian exchange have been without funds since April 2018. The latest twist adds some clarity to a mystery that has held Quadrigacx customers spellbound, hoodwinked into believing Gerald Cotten had supposedly died with the keys to their $190 million fortune.

Also read: America’s Signature Bank to Offer Services to Bermuda Crypto Companies

6 Empty Cold Wallets Identified

Accountants Ernst & Young identified six cold storage addresses used by Quadrigacx to store cryptocurrency in the past, the Toronto Star reported on March. 2. Five of those wallets have been empty since April 2018. The report detailed how a sixth wallet “appears to have been used to receive bitcoin from another cryptocurrency exchange account and subsequently transfer bitcoin to the Quadriga hot wallet” on Dec. 3.

The only other transaction, as disclosed last month, was when $371,000 worth of BTC was accidentally moved to a cold wallet – the sixth wallet – controlled by CEO Cotten, thought to have died in India in December.

Report: Quadriga's 6 Cold Wallets Have Been Without Funds Since April 2018

According to a blockchain-based review of transactions of the six wallets from April 2014 to April 2018, aggregate BTC monthly balances in the identified cold wallets ranged from zero to a peak of 2,776 BTC, the article said. On average, aggregate month end balance amounted to about 124 BTC over the four-year period. Quadrigacx also appears to have moved some bitcoin to rival crypto exchanges. The report read:

The monitor has made inquiries of the applicants as to the reason for the lack of cryptocurrency reserves in the identified bitcoin cold wallets since April 2018. To date, the applicants have been unable to identify a reason why Quadriga may have stopped using the identified bitcoin cold wallets for deposits in April 2018, however, the monitor and management will continue to review the Quadriga database to obtain further information.

The Mystery Continues

The Quadrigacx saga has left more than 115,000 customers in the cold, unsure whether they will ever recover their combined $190 million in cryptocurrency, until now believed to have been buried together with Cotten. The company has been under court-approved creditor protection since Feb. 5, with Ernst & Young acting as monitor under the process.

Report: Quadriga's 6 Cold Wallets Have Been Without Funds Since April 2018

Quadriga, run as a one-man operation by Gerald Cotten, using his laptop, officially ceased operations at the end of January. His widow Jennifer Robertson described Cotten’s normal procedures for transactions as moving “the majority of the coins to cold storage as a way to protect the coins from hacking or virtual theft,” as per the March. 1 report.

The Toronto Star reported that Ernst & Young has also identified another three cold wallet addresses that may have been used by Quadrigacx. Even though the said wallets do not contain any funds, the monitor is analyzing the history of their transactions.

Another 14 user accounts created outside the normal process were also identified, with deposits created and used for trading, stated the article. Ernst & Young has contacted the 14 exchanges involved with the accounts and received responses so far from four.

What do you think about the twists and turns at Quadrigacx? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock.


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Jeffrey Gogo

Jeffrey Gogo is an award winning financial journalist based in Harare, Zimbabwe. A former deputy business editor with the Zimbabwe Herald, the country’s biggest daily, Gogo has more than 15 years of wide-ranging experience covering Zimbabwe’s financial markets, economy and company news. He first encountered bitcoin in 2014, and began covering cryptocurrency markets in 2017





Bitcoin, Ether, XRP, and Stellar Lumens Accepted for ICO Purposes, Says Thai SEC

Bitcoin, Ether, XRP, and Stellar Lumens Accepted for ICO Purposes, Says Thai SEC

On February 28, 2019, Thailand’s financial watchdog, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), updated the list of cryptocurrencies which can be used for initial coin offering (ICO). The list now comprises of a total of four digital currencies – bitcoin (BTC), ether (ETH), XRP, and stellar lumens (XLM).

BCH, ETC, and LTC Face the Axe

Thai authorities have for long worked on formulating a cohesive regulation skeleton for the cryptocurrency industry.

Crypto enthusiasts the world over got the first glimpse of it on February 4, 2018, when it came to light that the SEC and the Stock Exchange of Thailand were working to develop a legal and inclusive ecosystem for ICOs in the country.

Thailand has continually been touted as one of the most pro-crypto nations in the world, and there’s not much room to debate that.

In the latest step by the SEC, the financial watchdog has updated its list of cryptocurrencies eligible for ICO investments and base trading pairs by removing bitcoin cash (BCH), ethereum classic (ETC), and litecoin (LTC).

The official announcement reads in part:

“Key factors taken into consideration regarding the cryptocurrencies on the list include relevant developments and news, as well as other important factors related to cryptocurrencies. The list will be updated periodically.”

The SEC clarified that the update would have no impact on any of the existing digital assets business or investors because no ICO has been launched so far. Also, the existing cryptocurrency exchanges have never used ETC, BCH, or LTC as base trading pairs.

It’s worth highlighting that the SEC reiterated that announcement of such list of cryptocurrency does not imply that they are legal tender in the country.

A Result of Recent Events?

The exclusion of ETC and BCH from the list of eligible ICO cryptocurrencies is something worth noting.

As mentioned previously, the SEC takes into account “relevant developments and news” to update the list. However, close followers of the crypto industry know that ETC and BCH’s last few months weren’t exactly spectacular.

BTCManager reported on January 8, 2019, how Coinbase suspended all transactions related to the Ethereum Classic blockchain while it was under a 51 percent attack.

Similarly, the cryptospace witnessed one of its lowest moments in recent history courtesy of a dramatic network war between Bitcoin Cash ABC and Bitcoin Cash SV camps.

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Ethereum’s Developers Are Looking for Hard Fork Update Coordinators

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ethereum-developers-looking-for-hard-fork-update-coordinators-after-departure-of-afri-schoedon

Developers of Ethereum (ETH), the world’s largest blockchain-based platform for building and deploying decentralized applications (dApps), are currently looking for technical specialists that would help them coordinate the next system-wide hard fork upgrades for Ethereum.

Last month, Ethereum core developer Afri Schoedon parted ways with the open-source project due to internal communication problems. Schoedon had been responsible for managing Ethereum’s hard fork updates, in addition to various other tasks related to the smart contract platform’s ongoing development.

In a March 2 meeting, Hudson Jameson, the Ethereum Foundation community relations manager, explained that the the role of Ethereum’s hard fork coordinator would involve “[determining] hard dates for submitting [ethereum improvement proposals] EIPs for consideration, deciding on those EIPs, implementation and testing and then finally what day the hard fork would be.”

Role Of “Ethereum Cat Herders”

Hudson also noted during the meeting call that the new coordinators “wouldn’t be a dictator in this regard, but they would be the one to come up with suggestions or different options to bring to the table.” According to discussions held during the meeting, Ethereum’s developers are planning to appoint between two to three specialists who would be tasked with managing internal communication and ensuring that future hard fork updates to Ethereum are handled effectively.

Jameson revealed that several individuals had already expressed an interest in providing support and that he was looking to appoint a select group of volunteers, called “Ethereum cat herders”, that would be tasked with interviewing and hiring hard fork (backwards incompatible) managers for the Ethereum blockchain.

Looking For Coordinators And Project Managers

Ethereum developers Lane Rettig, Schoedon, and Jameson had initially proposed the idea to create the Ethereum cat herders group (in January 2019). As noted by the developers, the group would be appointed to handle “the broader purpose of coordination and project management” within the Ethereum ecosystem.

Notably, the Ethereum blockchain went through two separate, near-simultaneous hard fork upgrades on February 28. This, after an attempt to update Ethereum failed in mid-January 2019 as Zurich, Switzerland-based cybersecurity firm, ChainSecurity found a critical smart contract vulnerability in Ethereum’s new code for the hard fork.

Currently, Ethereum’s developers are planning to make further changes to the Ethereum network through another upgrade called Istanbul, in addition to exploring possibilities of switching to a new type of ETH mining algorithm called Prog proof-of-work (PoW).

JPMorgan Chase Reportedly Considering Using AZTEC Protocol for Quorum

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It looks like JPMorgan Chase is experimenting with the idea of incorporating AZTEC protocol, which “uses cutting-edge zero-knowledge proofs to enable private transactions on Ethereum”, into Quorum platform (which is an enterprise-focused version of Ethereum). ACTEC protocol “enables the logic of transactions to be validated, whilst keeping the values encrypted.” 

AZTEC is a London-based blockchain startup headed by mathematician Tom Pocock who believes that “established financial institutions would benefit from using public blockchains.” It is backed by Ethereum Co-Founder Joseph Lubin’s ConsenSys Labs.

AZTEC’s Chief Technology Officer and the creator of the AZTEC protocol is Dr. Zac Williamson, a former physicist at CERN and T2K Japan with a PhD in particle physics from Oxford University. Here is how Dr. Williamson describes the AZTEC protocol in AZTEC’s white paper:

“The Anonymous Zero-knowledge Transactions with Efficient Communication (AZTEC) protocol describes a set of zero-knowledge proofs that define a confidential transaction protocol, designed for use within blockchain protocols that support Turing-complete general-purpose computation.

The protocol is utilizes a commitment scheme that enables the efficient verification of range proofs. This is combined with a set of zero-knowledge Sigma protocols to enable efficiently verifiable confidential transactions.

The reference implementation of the AZTEC protocol is implemented on the Ethereum public blockchain. It can be used to create confidential representations of existing digital assets. At the time of publication, AZTEC zero-knowledge proofs cost approximately 840,000 ‘gas’ to verify on the Ethereum main-net.”

And here is how describes the motivation behind the AZTEC protocol:

“A confidential transaction describes a transaction on a public blockchain net- work, where the value of the transaction is hidden. Existing blockchains have implemented confidential transactions, such as Monero… or ZCash… However confidential transactions have not yet been implemented on a blockchain platform which also supports general-purpose computation through a Turing-complete virtual machine… This limits existing confidential transactions to transactions where the value being transferred is the native cryptocurrency of the blockchain in question.

The AZTEC protocol enables confidential transactions in a generic form that can be implemented on blockchains that support general-purpose computation, such as the Ethereum blockchain… The AZTEC protocol can be attached to existing digital assets defined on these platforms (for example, digital assets that conform to the ERC20 token standard)… The protocol also enables confidential cross-asset trades for digital assets defined on the same blockchain platform via confidential, zero-knowledge decentralized exchanges.”

Although there are those who doubt the suitability of zero knowledge proof based system for enterprise use cases, AZTEC CEO Pocock does not seem worried; he told Coindesk back in November 2018:

“Without scaling we can put one transaction per second through the public network – this will be orders of magnitude faster with upcoming scaling to the network. Even today, it is more than sufficient for CreditMint to move the private corporate debt markets onto the public blockchain. It takes milliseconds to both construct and verify AZTEC zero-knowledge proofs.”

According to Pocock, what makes AZTEC protocol different from earlier attempts at using zero-knowledge proofs to add privacy support to Ethereum is that the AZTEC protocol is “working on the ethereum mainnet (i.e. not a test environment or private chain) and is ‘significantly more efficient in terms of gas costs.'”

In another interview with Coindesk, this time late last month, AZTEC’s CEO revealed that JPMorgan Chase is looking at using the AZTEC protocol for Quorum:

“It’s being tested by the most important bank in blockchain today. JPMorgan Quorum actually.”

Coindesk says that this claim was confirmed by a source working at JPMorgan who told them that the Quorum team was “looking at AZTEC and is ‘generally looking to industrialize zero-knowledge proofs for Quorum.'”

The AZTEC protocol is “live today on the Ethereum Mainnet.” AZTEC says that it will be open sourcing its protocol “under a permissive license in the coming months.”

Featured Image Credit: Photo via Pexels.com

Max Keiser: Fed’s ‘Permanent QE’ Flipped Bitcoin Price Bullish (Interview)

max keiser Interviews

Max Keiser: Fed’s ‘Permanent QE’ Flipped Bitcoin Price Bullish (Interview)


Max Keiser shares his thoughts with Bitcoinist on JPM Coin, Warren Buffet’s anti-Bitcoin comments, and what ‘permanent QE’ means for BTC price in the future.


Max Keiser: JPM Coin a ‘Hot Steaming Pile of Dog Crap’

Bitcoinist: Are your surprised that JPMorgan revealed its JPM Coin after bashing Bitcoin for years?

Max Keiser: JP Morgan is years behind and may never catch up in the cryptocurrency space. It’s laughable Jamie Dimon has been very vocal criticizing Bitcoin as a way to try and stop it and that didn’t work. Honey Badger don’t care. Now he’s trying to compete with his insecure, centralized, hot steaming pile of dog crap called JPM Coin. LOL.

Warren Buffet recently called Bitcoin a “delusion” that attracts charlatans. Why are top execs like Dimon and Buffet so vehemently opposed to Bitcoin (but not ‘blockchain)?

 Buffett’s returns are tied directly to the Ponzi-economics of fractional reserve, illicit money printing by banks and central banks, market rigging and accounting fraud – all made easy – thanks to the absence of Hard Money in our economy.

Of course, Buffett hates Bitcoin and Gold for the same reason thieves hate locks and bacteria hate antibiotics. Buffett is a scammer who prints money via the banks he’s involved with to buy monopoly positions in large American companies that he then rips apart with mass-layoffs and stock buybacks. He’s the Charles Manson of Wall Street. 

In our past interview, you said that the 2018 Bitcoin bear market was the result of the USD strengthening amid expected rate hikes. How will bitcoin react to the Fed now going into ‘permanent QE’ in 2019?

 The trend in Bitcoin’s price flipped from bear to bull once the Fed said it would ease-off tightening and engage in permanent money printing (‘permanent QE’). This, by the way, is the definition of debt-monetization, which means the door has been opened to a hyperinflationary currency collapse of the USD.

 Since you always say “you can’t taper a Ponzi” are negative interest rates inevitable? What does this mean for cash and how will it affect bitcoin?

 Nine trillion in global sovereign debt has been issued with a negative interest rate (buyers lock in a loss if held to maturity). Negative rates are coming to retail bank accounts. This is wealth confiscation by the bank cartels to keep their insolvent balance sheets from imploding. The impact on Bitcoin and Gold will be moving to new ATH as safe-haven money pours in.

Bitcoin isn’t like a commodity since it’s production (of blocks) is constant regardless of demand. It’s not really like a stock either since its supply is hard-capped. Even Satoshi called it “bloody hard” to write a description for it since there’s “nothing to relate it to.” How would you classify Bitcoin? Is an entirely new definition needed?

Correct. Bitcoin is an entirely new asset class that so far has eluded definition by anyone. I could expand on this more, but for the purpose of this interview, suffice to say, that some surprises are still to come in terms of how Bitcoin interacts with the global economy and how every definition of money, economics and finance will have to be rewritten.

You also believe that hard money like Bitcoin discourages starting wars. Can you talk a little bit more on this considering the latest tensions in Venezuela and Kashmir?

Fairtrade using Hard Money is peaceful. Unfair trade using unsound money, like fiat money, causes tension, resentments, violence, and wars.

Venezuela is a money printing basket case that is printing its way into the loss of sovereignty. If they switched to Bitcoin and/or Gold they could keep their sovereignty. The same can be said for India and Pakistan. The only country in the world that seems to understand this is Russia. They are aggressively stockpiling Gold and I’m hearing from Kremlin sources they will be adding Bitcoin later this year.

What are your thoughts on the ‘bitcoin mining is wasteful and bad for the planet’ argument?

It’s a dumb, non-starter argument. If anything, bitcoin mining is an incredible reduction in energy usage:

It promotes renewables for efficiency, bitcoin miners are portable, they go wherever there’s excess energy that is going to waste.

As the USD (and other paper money) collapses – energy usage by these fiat schemes, bigger than Bitcoin by a huge factor – will also collapse, resulting in a net reduction in energy use by 90% globally. I predict that eventually, Bitcoin’s carbon footprint will be zero and fiat money will disappear.

Wyoming is quickly becoming a ‘blockchain-friendly’ US state that has been in the headlines lately for its pro-cryptocurrency business legislation. Where do you stand on regulating Bitcoin?

Wyoming sees an opportunity to steal some thunder from Delaware and Nevada and become the go-to state for Bitcoin incorporation. This is fantastic news for Bitcoin and Bitcoin businesses. Caitlin Long and Trace Mayer are doing an amazing job. 

Before we go… Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez or Trump? Who would pump Bitcoin price the most? 

Some Bitcoin heavyweights have the ear of Trump, so I’ll go with fellow New Yorker Trump on this one. 

What do you think of Max Keiser’s comments? Share your thoughts below!


Images courtesy of Shutterstock

The History of HODL & Bitcoin’s Best Worst Trader

In December 2013, the most famous term in crypto was coined in a drunken online rant. CoinDesk tracked down the man who birthed “HODL” and – over copious amounts of whiskey – discovered how his views have changed since achieving anonymous online fame. And maybe, just maybe, we got him to read his famous post.

See more at coindesk.com/bitcoin-at-10

Crypto Tidbits: Ripple On Coinbase, Ethereum Constantinople Now Live, Facebook in Crypto

For the umpteenth week in a row, a viable argument can be made that the crypto industry saw a solid seven days. Save for one or two shortcomings, the news cycle remains more positive than not, while the Bitcoin price has continued to bounce around in a tight range. Funny enough, fundamentals have continued to drastically deviate from the market.

Over the past seven days, Samsung confirmed the existence of a native crypto wallet, XRP was (finally) added to Coinbase, and Ethereum’s much-awaited Constantinople upgrade went live.

Crypto Tidbits

  • Samsung Crypto Wallet ConfirmedLast week, NewsBTC reported that there was a high likelihood that the “private key storage for blockchain-enabled mobile services” was Samsung’s euphemism for a fully-fledged cryptocurrency wallet. Just days after our report, media began to report that at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Samsung representatives took to the stage to divulge that yes, the Galaxy S10 lineup, had a built-in storage system for digital assets. In fact, it was revealed that the South Korean technology giant partnered with CosmoChain (COSM) and Enjin (ENJ) to embark on this venture. The two lesser-known altcoins posted double-digit gains (percentage-wise) as the news broke.
  • XRP Added To Coinbase In Surprise Turn Of EventsAfter months, if not years of deliberation, Coinbase, the world’s most well-recognized crypto startup, added XRP to both its Pro and Consumer (.com) platforms. In the eyes of some industry commentators, this confirms that Coinbase believes that XRP isn’t a security token tied to Ripple, or that the startup determined that listing the asset would outweigh getting bashed by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). This wasn’t the only non-cut and dried facet of this listing. In the hours prior to the listing, the cryptocurrency unexpectedly rallied, as Bitcoin remained relatively flat, leading some to claim that there was a likelihood of insider trading.
  • Hacked Crypto Startup Cryptopia To Commence Operations (Again): Cryptopia, a New Zealand-based exchange that was hacked in mid-January for a purported sum of $17 million, has finally given an update on its situation. In a number of Twitter comments, the disgraced firm noted that at maximum, it lost 9.4% of all cryptocurrencies under its possession in the aforementioned hack, and plans to restart operations in the coming week. Cryptopia users rejoice (or maybe not).
  • Square Sold $166 Million Of Bitcoin In 2018: Per Square’s (SQ) most Q4 2018 earnings report, the company, headed by the only and only Jack Dorsey of Twitter, sold a jaw-dropping $52 million worth of Bitcoin from October to December. This means that over fiscal 2018, the company sold $166 million worth of the flagship cryptocurrency. The Block estimates that 10,000 BTC was sold. Square’s recent report comes after Dorsey claimed that he is looking into integrating the Lightning Network into his company’s facets.

  • Singapore’s GIC Fund Revealed To Have Invested In Coinbase: Citing a number of sources familiar with the matter, Bloomberg reports that Singapore’s primary sovereign wealth fund, GIC, purportedly participated in Coinbase’s historic $300 million funding round that concluded in October 2018. For those who missed the memo, this round, which valued the now-XRP-friendly Coinbase at $8 billion, was led by Tiger Global and Andreessen Horowitz. So interestingly, Singapore’s involvement in the San Francisco-based company wasn’t initially disclosed.
  • Facebook May Launch Crypto Asset In The Coming MonthsPer a report from The New York Times, which cited information from five individuals privy to Facebook’s blockchain division, an asset created by the social media giant could see listing on traditional cryptocurrency exchanges, and in the upcoming months no less.

  • Ethereum Constantinople Goes Live: At long last, Ethereum Constantinople, a blockchain upgrade centered around reducing Ether inflation and offering short-term scaling solutions, has gone live. Many argue that this upgrade is imperative for the long-term success of the popular smart contract platform, especially as competitors, like the yet-to-be-launched Dfinity and Cosmos, prepare to make a stand against Ethereum’s hegemony.
Featured Image from Shutterstock

Crypto Wallet Coinomi Clarifies Vulnerability Claims, Responds to Controversy

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Coinomi, a multi-asset cryptocurrency wallet, has recently been embroiled in controversy after a Twitter user claimed it was sending its users’ seed phrases in plain text to third-party servers belonging to Google. In its response, Coinomi clarifies the controversy surrounding it, and the vulnerability.

As CryptoGlobe covered, Twitter user Warith Al Maawali claimed through a website that his passphrase into Coinomi was compromised, and that as a result he lost “$60k-$70k worth of crypto-currency.”

Digging deeper, Maawali found that Coinomi was sending users’ seed phrases as non-encrypted plain text to a Google-owned domain over a spell check function. As a result he claimed someone who was able to see the seed phrase – potentially someone at Google – stole his funds.

He claimed that after reaching out to Coinomi, the firm “kept reminding him” of the “legal implications” of disclosing the vulnerability, and added it “did not reflect any responsible behavior and they kept asking me about the technical issue behind the bug because they were worried about their public image and reputation.”

Coinomi Responds

Through a Medium post, the multi-asset crypto wallet claimed that while the seed phrases were being spell checked, the spell check requests “returned an error (code: 400) as they were flagged as ‘Bad Request’ and weren’t processed further by Google.”

According to the firm, the bug came from a “bad configuration option in a plug-in used in Desktop wallets only,” and as such users who are using its Desktop wallets should updated to the latest version as soon as possible, while those using its Android and iOS wallets reportedly have to do nothing to remain secure.

The post further questions the validity of Maawali’s claim that the security bug led to the theft of over $60,000 worth of crypto, as according to Coinomi the wallet couldn’t have been hacked over the vulnerability:

Coinomi Team never had access to these seed phrases or funds. No one else except for Google could read the contents of the encrypted packets that contained the seed phrases. Google rejected these requests … as they were badly formed (didn’t contain a valid Google API key) and never actually processed them.

The crypto wallet provider further released the full dialogue it had with Maawali before the incident became public. In it, we can see the Twitter user asked the firm for a refund on the stolen funds, asking it to be considered a “bug bounty reward.”

If it didn’t, Maawali noted he would have no choice but to report the incident on social media. After Coinomi requested a video call to conduct a know-your-customer check and presumably investigate the incident, Maawali replied he was soon going live with the incident so he could “let the authorities and the public” deal with Coinomi.

After seeing another request for his “funds back 65k-70k or 17 BTC in value,”Coinomi took to Twitter to declare it doesn’t “negotiate with blackmailers.”

On social media, onlookers have now been criticizing both sides. Some questioned whether Maawali’s claims are genuine, as it wouldn’t make sense to refuse a KYC check to restore what he claimed to be his life savings, nor would it make sense for someone to store his life savings in a hot wallet, instead of a hardware one.

As for Coinomi, some users have noted its approach to the situation wasn’t the best one, and claimed the firm wasn’t able to properly handle the situation. While in some statements Coinomi claimed a firm it works with concluded the funds didn’t appear to have been hacked, in other statements it points out Maawali’s computer could’ve been compromised before he entered his seed phrase.