Billions stolen from South Korean Bitcoin exchange

Bithumb, the fourth largest Bitcoin exchange in the world was recently hacked resulting in Billions of Won being stolen.

According to the Korean Internet & Security Agency (KISA), earlier this year personal computers owned by staff at the exchange were infiltrated by an unknown 3rd party. Personal information was exploited by the hackers to obtain access to more than 3,000 individual accounts. Servers located at Bithumb’s headquarters were not comprised.

“It is an accident caused by an external infringement on the personal computer of the employee who is not related to the server of the head office.” “Some users Personal information leaked, he explained. However, some customers were found to have been stolen because of the disposable password (OPT) used in electronic financial transactions.” said Dr. Bitsum

Bithumb is South Korea’s largest virtual currency exchange, with annual transactions worth hundreds of billions of won. The cumulative amount of Bitcoin traded at Bithumb last year reached over 2 trillion won.

Bithumb’s 24 hour trading volume on the 4th of July exceeded 100,000 Bitcoin.

https://www.bithumb.com/

On June 29th 2017 Bithumb was made aware of the hack and subsequently reported it to the authorities a day later. At the time of writing hundreds of Bithumb customers no longer have access to their funds and have filed a complaint with the National Police Agency’s cybercrime report center.

Bithumb have promised to compensate its users for loss of personal information amounting to $870 per user (despite losses exceeding this amount), although the company is still investigating and has also hinted at further damages being announced.

Once made aware of the issue the exchange acted quickly in reporting to three government and state agencies. It is still unclear how widespread the damage is.

Due to the laws surrounding Bitcoin and digital currencies in the country it is not yet known if Bithumb will be facing any criminal charges.

Please follow and like us:

LazyCoins Goes “FAST” With New UK Banking Partnership

Scroll to bottom for Q&A With LazyCoins CEO

London-based Bitcoin exchange LazyCoins has announced a new partnership with a major financial banking service to provide customers with lightening fast transactions, a step ahead of their ‘Lazy’ name.

The new partnership see’s the implementation of a local deposit and withdrawal option for customers based in the United Kingdom and Ireland with a bank in the jurisdiction.

lazypay

The Faster Payments Service (FPS) has long been the envy of banking institutions around the world, payment times between different banks often took days, but with the new banking partnership, in most situations the transaction’s are almost instantaneous opening LazyCoins customers to speedy trading environment no other exchange can currently provide. Current FIAT deposit and withdrawal methods on other exchanges can take days and even weeks with high fees.

“Depositing £100 into Kraken cost me £35 in banking fee’s, the new announcement from LazyCoins would make this free to deposit £100 into the platform wallet and would take minutes” said Mark Hulme, a local Bitcoin trader in London.

LazyCoin’s banking announcement is notable because bitcoin startups in the UK are currently forced to bank elsewhere in the EU such as Poland and Latvia. This is due to the fact that financial institutions are reluctant to get involved due to their perceived high-risk factor and bureaucracy.

LazyCoins is doing the impossible so to speak, going where other Bitcoin exchanges such as CoinFloor and Safello have failed by providing the FPS service.

With the UK government slow to provide a solid compliance or regulation protocol for exchanges, LazyCoins has taken this into their own hands and is fully regulated and licensed as a Money Business License (MSB) which would currently cover them for operations under current legislation. Although recently Britain took a significant step towards becoming a global bitcoin hub on Wednesday as the government announced it would regulate digital currencies for the first time by applying anti-money laundering rules to exchanges.

“In a further boost to its credibility, the company has secured its Money Business License (MSB) from Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC). Now a fully licensed bureau de change for GBP and Euro markets, LazyCoins users can now enjoy faster payments and same day deposits. Their European customers, the Brits in particular, are likely to find this interesting as it makes it easier for them to buy, trade and spend their bitcoins in the UK.

“In the coming months, we’re also launching LazyPay, an application that makes it easy for merchants to accept payments in Bitcoin, while dramatically reducing their cost of doing business. With a number of London merchants already signed up, we’re going on a mission to spread the word and make bitcoin part of everyday life,” Said Danial Daychopandan, CEO and founder of LazyCoins.

Another recent exchange which looked promising after announcing Faster Payments Service integration was “Mimex”, but a worrying blog post on the company’s website cited liquidity problems and the website is currently down. The founder failed to respond for comment.

LazyCoins Q&A

We caught up with LazyCoins founder and CEO, Danial Daychopandan.

  • 1) You have the backing of a financial partner for ‘Faster Payments’ can you reveal who you are working with?

– Given this point has been a little contentious for other firms, we would prefer not to disclose this information, at this time. While we have, of course, presented ourselves transparently to our business partners, we would not like to get drawn into “If LazyCoins, then why not us?” debate. However its not a secret, our banking details are available to our verified users.

  • 2) How do you plan to keep ahead of competion, such as UK exchange CoinFloor who have been a main exchange in the UK?

– First of all, we welcome all Bitcoin businesses. The more entrepreneurs and companies that help drive wider adoption of digital currencies the better it is for all in our industry.

And our brand and company ethos is all about making bitcoin a part of everyday life. So we see ourselves as a bitcoin portal, rather than just an exchange.

Besides, we believe focusing on solving our customers’ problems and creating valuable services is way more important than staring at the competition.

  • 3) Many exchanges in the UK have had the backing of a bank, but were shutdown, do you have an agreement? are you concerned this will happen to LazyCoins?

– We’re a licensed Bureau de Change and practice strict Know Your Customer (KYC) and Anti-money Laundering (AML) requirements – even though it’s not yet a UK law for bitcoin companies. We also have fiat-to-fiat markets for forex traders. Our banking partners understand our model and have given us their support. This is a rare position to be in.

  • 4) With the ‘Faster Payments’ option for customers to deposit, is this just open to just UK customers or does it expand to European banks?

Now a fully licensed Bureau de Change for GBP and Euro markets, LazyCoins users can now enjoy faster payments and same day deposits. Brits in particular, will find this attractive as it makes it easier for them to buy, trade and spend their bitcoins in the UK. Our European customers can use Sofort or SEPA transfers, which are not instant but usually credited within 24 hours.

Please follow and like us:

Polish Bank ‘Bank BPH’ Suspends BitMarket’s Business Account

A promising Polish Bitcoin exchange sees bank account suspension

Until recently, the Polish banking system went against the trend by offering support to digital currency businesses, and the future looked bright for many start-ups in this sector.

Other major European banks, too, were similarly supportive in providing bank accounts to bridge the fiat-related operations. Unfortunately, this has stopped, now that Bank BPH has suspended the bank account of popular bitcoin exchange BitMarket.pl.

The disappointing news follows closely behind the suspension by Handelsbanken of the bank account of Stockholm-based exchange Safello, who only recently had introduced a faster deposit and withdrawal method for UK customers.

This is worrying news for exchanges still needing the support of the traditional banking system for users to fund and withdraw their accounts with fiat to purchase bitcoins.

Until now, many European countries have been willing to work with bitcoin businesses; months down the line, however, these same businesses have had their bank accounts suspended with little to no notice. The suspicion is that, behind the scenes, government officials having been exerting undue influence.

Polish exchange BitMarket discovered its business account had been suspended on 26 January, but initial reports from the bank pointed towards a technical glitch.

BitMarket founder Michal Pleban recently told CoinDesk that BPH’s closure of the bank was sparked by an alleged fraudulent transaction flagged up at the local district attorney’s office.

By not providing proper notification to BitMarket regarding the closure of the account, the bank failed to follow normal procedure. This has raised doubts about whether the bank was closed for legitimate reasons, such as breaking the terms and conditions, or whether government officials are working behind the scenes to cripple the bitcoin industry.

The immediate closure of the account also caused deposit and withdrawal problems for BitMarket’s customers, as the technical section which communicates with the bank was never turned off, even though the account was closed.

I hope the recent spate of closures is not a sign of bigger things to come in Europe. According to an industry insider, if the closure was not to the result of a glitch, other exchanges such as CoinFloor, another exchange based in the UK which secured a Polish bank account with Polish PKO Bank, may be on the verge of no longer having a bank account.

‘I am currently on a quest to find a bitcoin-friendly bank in Poland,’ said Michal.

Corruption in the Polish banking system is well documented, and many smaller banks are run by the mafia operating on the fringes.

Please follow and like us:

Norwegian bitcoin exchange launches with a pledge to donate 5% of profits to charity

The newly launched Bitcoin and Litecoin exchange platform bitcoinsnorway.com has pledged to donate 5% of their profits to charitable organisations fighting poverty.

The platform enables the secure purchase, sell and hold of both Bitcoin and Litecoin and offers lighting fast transaction times with low fees worldwide. Bitcoins Norway values customer service and dons the company slogan “Be a part of the Bitcoin adventure!”

Customers will only be charged a 0.5% trading fee while executing transfers in less than 24 hours, banks transfers globally taking just 24-48 hours. Norwegian law states that digital currencies are regarded as income, subsequently Bitcoins Norway takes all legal actions to prevent money laundering.

The site implements an minimalistic design displaying all necessary information on the main page; like price chart, open orders, transaction history and updated buy and sell exchange rates in the top right corner. Day traders, professionals and Bitcoin enthusiasts alike can effortlessly buy, sell and trade Bitcoin and Litecoin by clicking the buy and sell buttons right next to the price chart. Bitcoins Norway allows the client to easily choose and trade a variety of coin pairs like XBT and LTC to NOK, USD, EUR. The site is available in both English and Norwegian. Bitcoins Norway utilizes cutting edge security features including cold wallet storage for all funds to minimise risk exposure to malicious hackers.

Bitcoins Norway sees the necessity of giving back to the world, hence they are dedicating 5% of their profit to global charity organisations. Bitcoins Norway has chosen to support 4 organisations in particular; Doctors without Borders, MSF, (Médecins Sans Frontières) a non-governmental humanitarian-aid organization consisting of medical professionals working in countries with extreme poverty and war. Save the Children, an international aid organisation that promotes children’s rights and provide help and support in development countries. The International Red Cross one of the world’s most well-known charities and SOS Children´s Villages an organisation dedicated to aid abandoned, poverty-stricken and orphaned children.

The launch of Norwegian exchange Bitcoins Norway illustrates increasing support for Bitcoin in Scandinavia. Bitcoins Norway allows effortless handling of Bitcoin and Litecoin with fast money transfers between 24-48 hours, with optimal security and low fees of maximum 0.5%. By donating a generous 5% of profits to worthy causes around the globe – Bitcoins Norway proves to be an ethical, as well a professional contribution to the cryptocurrency ecosystem.

Please follow and like us:

Price of one Bitcoin to reach $2000 by end of 2014

A prominent venture capitalist has predicted that the price of a single Bitcoin will breach the $2000 mark by the end of the year.

Geoff Lewis, a leading partner at the Founders Fund which has investors and early employees of prominent technology companies including PayPal, Facebook, Googleand Google has predicted at the CoinSummit in London that Bitcoin will rocket in price within the next five months.

Other industry experts have told the Daily Telegraph newspaper that the $2000 price is an underestimate of the potential value Bitcoin will posses in the future.

Roger Ver said”

“I actually think $2000 is a pretty conservative estimate,” he told The Telegraph. “We don’t know for sure if it’s going to happen in this year, but there’s no doubt in my mind that Bitcoin’s price is going to be thousands of dollars and, almost for sure, tens of thousands of dollars for one.”

There are now a whopping 13m Bitcoins in circulation with a growing number of wallets and prominent stores accepting the currency.

Will the price reach $2000 by the end of the year? Who knows!

Please follow and like us:

Leaked Crisis Document Confirms Mt. Gox lost 744,400 Bitcoins

A leaked document(if legitimate) entitled “Crisis Strategy Draft” has surfaced across the internet confirming that troubled Bitcoin exchange Mt. Gox has entered serious financial problems.

It states that the exchange will shut its doors for one month as part of a four-step rebranding strategy, with CEO Mark Karpeles stepping down once a suitable replacement has been found.

The exchange first entered muddy waters earlier this year when an alleged transaction bug in the Bitcoin source code caused havoc. It has only now become apparent that a massive 744,408 BTC with an estimated market value of $350 million has been skimmed by an unknown 3rd parties using this exploit. The company also has fiat liabilities of around $55 million. It’s worth noting that Mt. Gox was warned about the transaction bug, as revealed in our exclusive interview with Bitcoin developer Gregory Maxwell. They chose to ignore it which resulted in the “S**t hitting the fan”.

Although the leaked document appears genuine due to the apparent in depth financial knowledge of the exchanges current situation, it is yet unclear whether it has been internally leaked or drawn up by an external crisis management firm specialising in these type of situations.

On the face of things, Mt. Gox’s future does not look good, but one thing we do know is they they still have enough assets and liabilities to launch a new exchange as part of the four-step process as outlined.

Remaining assets and liabilities include:

  • 2,000 BTC
  • $22.4 million fiat
  • 1.1 million user database
  • High volume of trading
  • Publicity in the worlds media
  • Valuable domain names such as Bitcoins.com
  • Physical Bitcoin cafe
  • Japanese Bitcoin wallet software

 

The suggested four-step plan includes:
 

1. Reduce liabilities

The stakeholders of MtGox are not the owners, but everyone in Bitcoin. This is sad but the reality. The current situation will negatively affect everyone who owns or operates in Bitcoin. We will need to inject fresh coins inside the system in order to establish a basis to eventually clear the books by running the exchange (perhaps 200,000 coins). The costs of not doing so are incalculable at this stage.

Support from Bitcoin big players and core community – long term, high leverage:

Coins for equity, coin donations, and cash injections to buy coins at the cheap MtGox price are some options among many.

Bet on future profit to refill the lost coins – Long term, low leverage:

Regardless of malleability and regulatory issues, MtGox’s main problems are massive robbery and poor bitcoin accounting. However, the business as an exchange is highly profitable and healthy when run properly.

(Please refer to the business plan draft attached)
 

2. Shut down MtGox.com, launch new branding Big focus on the future

Letter from the CEO Admitting his errors and expressing desire to fix the situation by stepping back as a CEO. Blaming the technology implementation which was not sized and designed to deal with such level of transactions or to deal with malleability.

It’s time to step up and face reality by bringing a transition of respected advisors who will run things properly. In Japan, a CEO cannot resign until a new CEO is nominated. In that case customers knows that MtGox is still around and working, but under new management. Try to reduce the impact and raise stakeholder confidence, and eventually get Mark out. New branding, means that there are future-forward plans already in the works, and customers will see that MtGox actually has a plan in motion
 

3. 1 month transition while updating the industry

In order for stakeholders to follow up on MtGox progress, we will use SNS platforms with constant positive communications.

  • Every new milestone reached will be announced: Team members, new marketing, progress on the technology implementation etc…
  • The Customer support will stay operational to deal with people who want to have access to their account/history
  • During this period, the advisory board will be created, hopefully a new CEO can be chosen and try to reset and secure the trading engine platform. Expertise to find: Analysts, top class developers (crypto), IT security expert, marketing, Bitcoin experts, economists, execs (CFO, COO, CMO, etc)

 

4. MtGox becomes Gox

To avoid a bank run from customers, the daily amount of bitcoin and cash withdrawals will be limited. With the profit, a meticulous analysis will be made over the coming years to clean the bitcoin balance sheet while running the exchange and generating revenue to pay back stakeholders.
 
New offerings such as additional currencies, low trading fees, etc will give customers a reason to stay with MtGox.
 
The new branding is already complete, and new services such as the Bitpocket wallet are already developed and ready for deployment.
 
With a new image, team, and offering we believe that it will be a challenge, but is not impossible. The risks of not acting are incredibly large and unpredictable.

Please follow and like us:

Mt. Gox Bitcoin price surges 200% amidst withdrawal rumors

Withdrawal speculation has sparked a price surge on the troubled Bitcoin exchange Mt. Gox, with the BTC/USD exchange rate reaching an all time high since forgoing transaction meltability problems.

The rumour was sparked on the popular Bitcoin reddit community board which retains over 100,000 loyal subscribers resulting in a surge in the BTC/USD price. It reached an all time high of $348.

Headquartered in Tokyo, Mt. Gox was once the most popular virtual currency exchange in the world, reporting an impressive 10,000 new user registrations per month last April.
If you’ve not been keeping up with the recent news, this success was quickly reversed with prices diving to $91.50 when user accounts were suspended. Mt. Gox blamed a transaction bug in the Bitcoin source code.

Investors and account holders have yet to receive concrete evidence that their investments are safe or even timely progress of how the company is working to fix the alleged bugs.

Is the sudden price surge a sign that the troubled exchange is once again operating as normal?

All the same, we think it’s safe to say that even if withdrawals resume, customers will no longer trust such a company with their hard-earned Bitcoins.

Please follow and like us: