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| January 19, 2019

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Kanye West deletes Twitter, Instagram accounts — again

October 7, 2018 |

Kanye West is once again off of social media.
FOX News


Kanye West Deletes His Instagram and Twitter Accounts

October 6, 2018 |

Kanye West has done it before and now he’s done it again … he’s deleted his Twitter and Instagram. Ye went dark around 1:45 PM PT Saturday without warning or any announcement as to why. However, his social media disappearance comes after a…

Facebook Finds Security Flaw Affecting Almost 50 Million Accounts

September 29, 2018 |

Facebook discovered a security flaw affecting almost 50 million accounts, the company said Friday. A problem in its code allowed outsiders to take over users’ accounts. US Business

Facebook says 50 million user accounts have been affected by a security breach

September 28, 2018 |

Nearly 50 million Facebook accounts have been affected by a security breach that enabled hackers to take over users’ accounts, the social media giant announced Friday.

The new breach comes as Facebook strives to convince its more than 2 billion users that it can be trusted. It is grappling with…

L.A. Times – Business

Gemini Dollar Code Review Reveals the Stablecoin’s Accounts Can Be Frozen

September 16, 2018 |

Gemini Dollar Code Review Reveals the Stablecoin's Accounts Can Be Frozen

This week a blockchain researcher named Alex Lebed published a code review on the new stablecoin, the gemini dollar, created by the Gemini Trust cryptocurrency firm. According to Lebed’s study, gemini dollar accounts can be frozen by the exchange, and the tokens can be turned into non-transferable assets.

Also read: Markets Update: Short Term Recovery – Is a Bullish Reversal in Sight?

The Custodian Has the Ability to Freeze Gemini Dollar Accounts

Gemini Dollar Code Review Reveals the Stablecoin's Accounts Can Be FrozenThe latest tether (USDT) competitor, the gemini dollar (USDG) created by the cryptocurrency exchange owners the Gemini Trust, has had a code review this week. A post written by Alex Lebed details that exchange’s new stablecoin creation has some interesting centralized features. It’s also interesting to note that Lebed is not only a blockchain researcher but also the founder of ‘Stableunit,’ another stablecoin that claims to be decentralized and offer low volatility. According to Lebed’s report, he reviewed the gemini dollar’s codebase that was created with an ethereum-based smart contract.

“Gemini USDG is a new centralized stablecoin (similar to tether) implemented as an ERC20 token on the Ethereum blockchain,” explains Lebed’s study.

The current implementation gives Gemini the ability to freeze any account or make all tokens non-transferrable. The custodian is able to completely change the implementation of the token every 48 hours.

After detailing with references on how anyone can verify his work on their own, Lebed reviews the code and replicates the results. Lebed claims the custodian of the gemini dollar smart contract can generate an “infinite amount of tokens.” Moreover, Lebed emphasizes that the custodian can easily make all the tokens non-transferable.

“This project has another single point of failure: the company — They can just say one day: ‘you know what, sorry, we don’t want to change your tokens for dollars anymore,’” Lebed states.

You think this is impossible because it’s a big company with a reputation? History has a precedent when the whole country with the largest economy in the world did this in 1971. And here we speak about just a private company which has to follow all the regulations of the US government.     

‘Then It’s Not a Cryptocurrency’

Gemini Dollar Code Review Reveals the Stablecoin's Accounts Can Be FrozenSince the rise of tether, and the slew of other stablecoins released over the past few months, many other cryptocurrency firms are in the midst of creating their own stablecoin. For instance, there are at least 6-7 more stablecoin projects on the way like the Boston-based US cryptocurrency unicorn, Circle Invest, is in the midst of making a stablecoin. And then, of course, Lebed seems to be making his own decentralized version of a stable digital asset. In an update after the editorial review published, the author notes that Gemini Trust is not hiding the fact that his claims are possible in the official white paper.  

“Nowadays this is considered a best practice for evolving smart-contracts, especially for the asset-backed token — And Gemini made an excellent job by explicitly mentioning that in their whitepaper,” Lebed concludes.

Of course on social media and Reddit forums, cryptocurrency proponents were quick to note that controversial Tether Limited, the company that issues tethers via the Omni Layer, also has the ability to freeze accounts. One Reddit user explains what he thinks of the gemini dollar custodian’s freezing ability saying, “then it’s not a cryptocurrency, just a database.”

What do you think about the stablecoin phenomenon? Let us know in the comment section below.

Images via Pixabay, Fandom, and the Gemini dollar logo. 

Want to create your own secure cold storage paper wallet? Check our tools section.

The post Gemini Dollar Code Review Reveals the Stablecoin’s Accounts Can Be Frozen appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Bitcoin News

Bank of America reportedly froze some accounts after asking customers about their citizenship

September 1, 2018 |

In order to get a bank account in the U.S., customers need to provide their name, date of birth, address and an identification number, which may or may not indicate a person’s citizenship, federal regulators say.

But recent reports show that banks are also explicitly asking for an individual’s…

L.A. Times – Business

Banks Freeze Company’s Accounts After Owner Traded on Localbitcoins

August 26, 2018 |

Banks Freeze Business' Accounts After Owner Traded on Localbitcoins

The owner of cryptocurrency mining electric bicycle retailer, 50cycles, recently had his company’s accounts with HSBC and Barclays frozen within hours of transacting on peer-to-peer cryptocurrency trading platform, Locabitcoins.

Also Read: P2P Exchange Options Increasing for Crypto Traders in India

HSBC and Barclays Freeze Accounts of 50cycles

Scott Snaith, the owner of cryptocurrency mining electric bicycle retailer, 50cycles, has sought to deter businesses from partnering with U.K. high street banks after his company was thrown into “chaos” following the freezing of his business’s accounts.

Mr. Snaith’s accounts were frozen by HSBC and Barclays just hours after he conducted five-figure BTC transactions via peer-to-peer trading platform Localbitcoins, in which he sold BTC for fiat currency that was deposited into his personal bank accounts, and not his company’s accounts. Mr. Snaith asserts that the transactions were “entirely transparent and above board,” adding that his trading partners were U.K. account holders with verified identification. Mr. Snaith stated that no explanation was offered for the account closures, describing himself as being the victim of “financial discrimination.”

“My two personal bank accounts and business account were frozen for using a well-known bitcoin trading site. No unlawful activity has taken place but just because the word ‘Bitcoin’ was mentioned my accounts were locked instantly. A ‘senior fraud advisor’ then closed my complaint off – leaving me with no choice but to take the issue to the Financial Ombudsman for appeal. This situation is a complete nightmare and the knock-on effects have been unbelievable. One of my staff left as they had just had a baby and couldn’t afford to be in a job that was unable to pay them, which isn’t surprising,” Mr. Snaith said.

HSBC Reinstates Account, Barclays Refuses

Banks Freeze Business' Accounts After Owner Traded on LocalbitcoinsWhilst HSBC have reinstated Mr. Snaith’s account, Barclays maintained the freeze. Mr. Snaith stated: “I’ll never be able to bank with Barclays again. I’m a professional business owner taking advantage of new financial technologies and it looks like the banks are failing to keep up with their customers’ habits. We are the ones being punished. The banks are deliberately creating obstacles. They are anti-digital currency and displaying a new form of financial discrimination.”

“To me, this is a clear case of the high street banks abusing their power. It is not a criminal matter but a personal, corporate decision that someone has made. In my mind, that’s wholly wrong, and I am sure there are many other victims that are even less fortunate than myself,” he added.

What is your reaction to the freezing of 50cycles’ accounts? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!

Images courtesy of Shutterstock

At there’s a bunch of free helpful services. For instance, have you seen our Tools page? You can even lookup the exchange rate for a transaction in the past. Or calculate the value of your current holdings. Or create a paper wallet. And much more.

The post Banks Freeze Company’s Accounts After Owner Traded on Localbitcoins appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Bitcoin News

Tech Giants Target Accounts Linked to Iran

August 24, 2018 |

Google, Facebook and Twitter are zeroing in on Iran, scrubbing their online networks of fake accounts, videos and social-media posts by the rising cyber adversary aimed at spreading misinformation. US Business

Korean Crypto Exchange Bithumb Suspends Opening New Virtual Accounts

August 2, 2018 |

Korean Crypto Exchange Bithumb Suspends Opening New Virtual Accounts

Bithumb has suspended issuing new virtual accounts to crypto traders starting on August 1 after failing to renew the contract with its bank. These accounts are part of the real-name system enforced by the Korean government earlier this year. Only three exchanges in the country are now reportedly able to open new virtual accounts for their customers.

Also read: Yahoo! Japan Confirms Entrance Into the Crypto Space

Bithumb Halts Issuing New Virtual Accounts

Korean Crypto Exchange Bithumb Suspends Opening New Virtual AccountsCrypto exchange Bithumb has announced the suspension of new virtual account issuance starting on August 1. With a 24-hour trading volume of $ 245,786,110 at the time of this writing, Bithumb currently ranks as South Korea’s largest cryptocurrency exchange by trading volume, according to Coinmarketcap.

Business Korea elaborated:

Bithumb, one of South Korea’s four biggest cryptocurrency exchanges, will stop issuing new virtual accounts from August as it has failed to renew a contract with NH Nonghyup Bank.

Korean Crypto Exchange Bithumb Suspends Opening New Virtual AccountsHowever, the news outlet noted that “customers who already have virtual accounts can use them for deposit and withdrawal services.” For Bithumb customers, virtual accounts are needed to deposit or withdraw Korean won.

According to Etoday, the bank has given Bithumb a one-month grace period. During this time, it will continue to provide deposit and withdrawal services for existing accounts. However, the publication noted that “it will become difficult to use existing virtual accounts if the contract renewal is finally terminated.”

Using the Real-Name System

Real-name virtual accounts are part of the system aimed at preventing money laundering and increasing transparency, implemented by the Korean government at the end of January. The regulators want all crypto trading accounts to be real-name ones but are met with a number of challenges.

Korean Crypto Exchange Bithumb Suspends Opening New Virtual AccountsThe biggest problem is that banks only offer this service to four of the country’s largest crypto exchanges. The rest of the exchanges still use corporate accounts which the regulators are trying to phase out citing that they are more prone to money laundering.

The four exchanges receiving real-name services were Upbit, Bithumb, Coinone, and Korbit. Each had been increasing its efforts to comply with the anti-money laundering (AML) regulation. In May, Bithumb said it will lower withdrawal limits for traders not using the real-name system. “We have decided to gradually reduce the withdrawal amounts in the Korean won because it is raising concerns that bank accounts for unconverted withdrawals may become a target of various financial crimes,” an official of the exchange said at the time.

Bank Refuses to Renew Bithumb’s Contract

Korean Crypto Exchange Bithumb Suspends Opening New Virtual AccountsWhen the real-name system was first introduced, “the government forced cryptocurrency exchanges to renew the service contract with banks every six months in a bid to encourage them to make continuous efforts to prevent money laundering,” Business Korea detailed.

The first renewal was the end of July. Upbit, Coinone, and Korbit were able to renew their contracts with their banks. However, Bithumb’s request for renewal with NH Nonghyup Bank was denied. The news outlet quoted an official of the bank describing:

We have decided not to renew the contract because Bithumb still has problems in protecting consumers and information and preventing money laundering.

“The bank thinks that Bithumb’s data processing systems have flaws in light of the recent hacking incident, which caused the exchange a loss of 18.9 billion won (US$ 16.88 million),” the publication added. Previously, Bithumb also had a contract with Shinhan Bank for the real-name service but it was terminated due to increased risks from multiple security breaches, Shinhan previously explained.

An official from Bithumb was quoted by the news outlet, “we have a consensus with Nonghyup Bank on renewal of the contract. We are planning to iron out our different views on some legal expressions and start issuing virtual accounts soon.”

What do you think of Bithumb not being able to open new virtual accounts? Let us know in the comments section below.

Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Nonghyup Bank, Joongang Daily, and Bithumb.

Need to calculate your bitcoin holdings? Check our tools section.

The post Korean Crypto Exchange Bithumb Suspends Opening New Virtual Accounts appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Bitcoin News

Inmates Hack Tablets, Pad Accounts by $225K

July 27, 2018 |

Idaho prison officials say 364 inmates exploited vulnerable software in the JPay tablets they use for email, music, and games to collectively transfer nearly a quarter million dollars into their own accounts, reports the AP . The department’s special investigations unit discovered the problem earlier this month, and the improper conduct…