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Hacker stole 336 BTC from Crypto exchange Cashaa

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U.K. based cryptocurrency exchange Cashaa reported hackers took more than 336 Bitcoin. The company has stopped all the crypto-related transactions, however, prima facia users are not affected by this hack. 

In a media brief shared with Cointelegraph, Kumar Gaurav, CEO of Cashaa said that one of their wallets was compromised and more than 336 Bitcoin was sent to the hacker. He also suspects that hacker is from east Delhi, India. The company has filed a cybercrime incident report to the Delhi crime bureau with acknowledgment number 20807200031555 under the cryptocurrency crime category. 

Cashaa suspects malware was installed onto the computer used to make exchange transfers like user withdrawals. The malware notified the hacker when an employee logged into the account at 1:23 pm on July 10 and made two transfers from the wallet. Cashaa was using a Blockchain.com wallet to store and send BTC. Kumar said to Cointelegraph:

“We are still investigating the damage caused by the incident and suspend all the withdrawals for 24 hours. We have called the board meeting to decide whether the company will bear all the losses.”

However, the main concern of Cashaa is to not allow hackers to sell the bitcoin on exchanges. In a tweet, the company also provided the bitcoin address (14RYUUaMW1shoxCav4znEh64xnTtL3a2Ek) of the hacker to track the movement of the stolen funds. By seeing the pattern of transactions from the reported address, there is some possibility that coin mixture software is being used to move the funds and reduce traceability.

Kumar blamed an increase in hacking incidents on the exchanges that support trading where these hackers can deposit the funds. He said:

“Everyone working in the crypto industry has to work very hard to bring the same level of security which currently an average person has when dealing with a bank account. As of today, hackers are very confident to hack crypto addresses and move it through exchanges that are facilitating such laundering through their systems. Exchanges like these must be shut down and owners of these exchanges should be charged with money laundering facilitation crime.”

Investigating agencies including Delhi Police Cyber Crime department are already on the case. Also, all the crypto exchanges have been notified about the hacker address to block any Bitcoin coming from it.

Quick support from Indian exchanges:

Almost all exchanges have extended support to Cashaa in monitoring the addresses and report any suspicious transactions. Kumar said:

“We are glad that all majors exchanges in India like CoinDCX, WazirX and Bitbns as well as international Exchanges like Binance have shown their quick support. We like to give a strong message to the hackers that they can’t just hack bitcoin thinking they will able to cash out.”

Nischal Shetty, Founder and CEO of WazirX, an Indian cryptocurrency exchange, told Cointelegraph that “we will help Cashaa in all the manner and also working on setting up certain security standards for exchanges.” He said:

“It’s unfortunate that there has been a hack. WazirX will ensure that we lock any funds that reach us from the hacked wallet. We have informed the Binance team as well. Also, as an industry, we’re working on setting up certain standards to ensure that every exchange adheres to a general set of security standards. This will help prevent such incidents in the crypto ecosystem.”

Source: https://cointelegraph.com/news/hacker-stole-336-btc-from-crypto-exchange-cashaa

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Slow But Steady: FATF Review Highlights Crypto Exchanges’ Struggle to Meet AML Standards

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In June 2019, the intergovernmental Financial Action Task Force (FATF) introduced its revised set of standards for virtual asset service providers. The document establishes the anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism (AML/CFT) requirements that regulated VASPs —  the term mainly referring to cryptocurrency trading platforms — must eventually implement in their day-to-day operations. The guidelines are framed as recommendations, and the FATF leaves it to the participating nations’ governments to develop their own regulations in accordance with suggested principles.

The watchdog has also set a 12-month review timeframe to monitor the public and private sectors’ progress in putting the revised standards into effect. Following the review period’s expiration in June 2020, the FATF put together a report summarizing a year’s worth of legislative and compliance work. Here is how both the FATF and industry participants evaluate today’s state of international anti-money laundering standardization as it relates to digital assets.

The watchdog’s perspective

The report states that 35 out of 54 surveyed nations have implemented the revised standards on virtual assets in their domestic legislation, while another 19 have yet to do so. The FATF admits that implementation was not always smooth for both the public and private sectors. However, the group maintains that it hasn’t detected any major issues that could warrant amending the requirements.

The organization said it would keep a close eye on digital assets and announced another 12-month review of the revised standards’ implementation.

A particularly enlightening discussion of the FATF decision making happened last week on the Dedicated Online Financial Integrity Network’s (DOLFIN) platform. The webinar featured four former heads of the United States delegation to the FATF, whose accounts offered an informed perspective on how the organization approaches risk management for virtual assets and stablecoins.

Jennifer Fowler, currently a director in Brunswick Group’s Washington, D.C. office who served as the Vice President of the FATF in 2017-2018, said that continuous risk assessment is at the heart of the watchdog group’s approach to digital assets.

One concerning trend that Fowler mentioned is that lately the organization has noticed an uptick in the number of professional money launderers turning to crypto, especially against the backdrop of the coronavirus pandemic. Fowler mentioned that another potential threat that the FATF is closely watching is peer-to-peer transactions, whose growth can render the group’s traditional focus on regulating intermediaries (such as VASPs) obsolete.

Chip Poncy, currently an executive on K2 Fin’s compliance team who led the U.S. delegation to the Financial Action Task Force from 2010 to 2013, talked about the paradigm of open versus closed loops in assessing the risks posed by new financial instruments. An open-loop system is the one that is connected to the traditional finance system, while a closed-loop system is self-sufficient.

New financial instruments that create open-loop systems can be regulated at the points bridging them with the fiat realm (e. g. VASPs), while closed-loop arrangements are of limited interest to the policy community. However, when a closed-loop system expands to reach a substantial size, it can create risks of its own. This is why, Poncy observed, the FATF is keeping a watchful eye on the scale of digital assets’ adoption.

No taking foot off the gas

To VASP representatives and industry insiders, the FATF report held few surprises. Elsa Madrolle, international general manager at the crypto wallet and security startup CoolBitX, told Cointelegraph that the continuation of the 12-month review process until June 2021 has been widely expected, as the FATF generally stayed in close contact with the industry throughout the year, hosting regular Contact Group updates.

Naturally, service providers welcomed the one-year review extension. Under the initial deadline, it has been virtually impossible for market participants to ensure compliance with one of the central components of the revised standards package, known as the travel rule. It holds that for transactions exceeding $1000, exchanges should transmit the details on the identity of both originator and beneficiary of the funds.

Sumit Gupta, CEO of Indian crypto exchange CoinDCX, observed to Cointelegraph:

“The FATF has committed to conducting a second review in June 2021, signaling that it is reaffirming its stance towards the sustainable regulation of the crypto industry at a pace that is appropriate for the development of the global crypto market. We do not see this as an extension of its deadline so that VASPs can take their foot off the gas, but rather as a buffer period for the industry to move towards full implementation of the Travel Rule come next year.”

Compatibility issues

Others, however, noted the downsides to the FATF’s approach. A major bone of contention has been that the watchdog group’s recommendations are not particularly conducive for creating a coherent cross-border regulatory environment. On top of that, revised standards can prove incompatible with some existing regulatory frameworks.

 Terry Culver, CEO at Digital Finance Group, commented to Cointelegraph:

“One challenge is that implementation will face significant challenges from other contradictory regulations for AML and data protection. For example, the FinCen Travel Rule sets US regulation apart from other jurisdictions. Another example is that the EU just determined that the bulk transfer of personal data to the US is not allowed under GDPR.”

Nathan Catania, a partner at global digital asset policy and regulatory adviser XReg Consulting, further opined:

“It is clear that there is no unified approach to the AML/CFT regulation of VAs and VASPs, the approaches taken from jurisdiction to jurisdiction can vary drastically. This makes it very difficult for crypto businesses to navigate what I have been calling a global regulatory minefield. VASPs will need to be very careful with the customers that they target, as they may fall in scope of regulatory regimes in other places.”

Illustrating his point, Catania came up with an example of a hypothetical VASP registered in Gibraltar and targeting Australian clients, which would have to comply with AML regulations in both jurisdictions.

Too wide a scope or too narrow?

Dr. Omri Ross, chief blockchain scientist at the digital asset trading platform eToro, took issue with one of the tenets of the FATF’s guidance, which states that virtual assets should be held to the same level of scrutiny as any other asset class. He commented:

“While I sympathize with the reasoning behind these recommendations, my concern is that the application of general standards for supervision and monitoring may quell technological innovation. However, if these technologies were to be nurtured, they could in fact introduce far greater transparency in international monetary flows”

In contrast, Manuel Rensink, Strategy Director at the fintech firm Securrency, highlighted the narrow scope of the FATF’s travel rule. Rensink told Cointelegraph:

“A widening of the Travel Rule should also be extended to: Transactions in asset-backed virtual assets, including digital securities and all stablecoins; P2P transactions as well as automated smart contract transactions depending on attributes such as transaction size and volume; DEXs, smart contract operators, (DeFi) protocol operators should also be considered VASPs.”

The race for travel rule compliance

One thing that all crypto industry insiders seem to agree on is that currently crypto exchanges are largely technically unprepared to comply with the travel rule. Digital Finance Group’s Culver remarked on this matter: “The regulator is ahead of the crypto sector in this area — a nice change of pace.”

At the same time, blockchain technology clearly holds immense promise as a foundation for innovative compliance tools, and groundbreaking work in that department is already underway. Cointelegraph already reported on efforts such as BitGo’s crypto wallet API and the CoolBitX – Elliptic partnership specifically addressing the travel rule challenge.

Omri Ross of eToro commented:

“Early findings in academic studies, law enforcement and commercial research indicate that the level of complexity and sophistication that can be achieved, using blockchain technologies for KYT, is far superior to existing solutions currently used in the financial sector.”

Securrency’s Manuel Rensink spoke to the same effect, adding that artificial intelligence and machine learning reporting tools can be layered on top of blockchain transactions to allow regulators to effectively monitor all transactions within their jurisdictions.

The formidable potential will likely translate to a diverse set of solutions at the end of the day. As CoolBitX’s Elsa Madrolle noted, “it does appear that the market believes there will not be a global ‘one size fits all’ solution that can cater to every jurisdiction’s regulations all at once that work for all VASPs.” In this situation, the question of interoperability comes front and center.

A huge breakthrough on this front came earlier in May, when an industry-wide working group on interVASP Messaging Standards (JWG) unveiled a solution designed to enable diverse service providers’ systems to talk to one another. As more digital asset service providers hop on board of this initiative, seeing the major crypto exchanges comply with the travel rule by June 2021 appears perfectly attainable.

Source: https://cointelegraph.com/news/slow-but-steady-fatf-review-highlights-crypto-exchanges-struggle-to-meet-aml-standards

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Title Token for Blockchain Estate Registry, Part 3

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The advantage of the cross-blockchain protocol for public registries is that it can unite any number of existing ledgers in one ecosystem and does not need to upgrade the protocols of such blockchains. In simple terms, the protocol works as an aggregator of tokens across blockchains. The protocol conceptually comprises two major elements:

  • The format requirements for an entry by knowing the standard of a record, the user’s machine can automatically collect records from various ledgers in one bundle.
  • The hook, which is the algorithm that scans blocks of ledgers and extracts recognized records (when they comply with the format) in one overlaid database.

The resulting representation of the collected tokens is a logical superstructure across many blockchains — the public registry. It is decentralized because the same algorithms are applied to every node independently. So, a government agency, for example, doesn’t exclusively own one public property database, but it literally lives on every user’s machine in the cross-blockchain database.

Cross-blockchain database

As we discussed the level of the protocol in Part 2, we have a component of governance to address legal issues and enforce lawful decisions. The subsystem works as a set of patches and filters for users’ records. Even though formally compliant with the format, the user’s record can be filtered out as the jurisdiction recognizes it illegal or void.

The public registry built on the cross-blockchain protocol aligns with three fundamental principles for decentralization:

  • Technological pluralism. Blockchain should be one of the technologies, and relying on it will be as equally wrong as using central server systems; there must be a variety of technologies simultaneously — because competition leads to progress.
  • Technological neutrality. Having multiple effective technologies in a bundle; none of these should be privileged.
  • Blockchain agnostic. The cross-blockchain protocol complements the two above principles to enable using credible ledgers in one bundle. Developers can create blockchain agnostic applications, and their users will be free to choose any blockchain in such a bundle or transfer their assets from ledger to ledger if one does not suit their purposes.

Digital identity and electronic signatures

It is clear that governments will not allow anonymous transactions with immovable properties while we live in a world full of terrorist threats, problems of money laundering and blockchains that can potentially veil such activities.

To address these, there must be verified digital identities, but without exposing personal data on-chain at the same time. And the answer to that is the combination of old and new technologies. The technology of public key infrastructure, or PKI, has existed for decades. Countries of the European Union are an example of the mass adoption of PKI through their legislative framework of eIDAS regulation. Estonia, for instance, offers the Estonian e-Residency, which is a smart card with a private key inside the chip.

In PKI, users create an asymmetric pair of private and public keys. The private key is used to encrypt transactions, creating a so-called digital signature. The public decrypts the signature and verifies the transaction if it is signed with the corresponding private key. To maintain the validity of the public key, the user will ask a certificate authority to create a publicly available certificate where it includes the user’s public key.

PKI is a centralized system that is prone to various vulnerabilities. We cannot eliminate a trusted third party to verify our identities, but we can address several types of attacks on the centralized PKI infrastructure. Blockchain technology is the perfect solution to develop a new generation of PKIs. Think about public certificates as tokens. Similar to creating tokens (certificates) of property, we can also create tokens to certify our identity. If you lose your private key, you will need to contact your certificate authority and ask to update its token of your identitiy (certificate) as invalid.

There is no need to publish any personal data on-chain, instead only a cryptographic representation, which links to the personal data without exposing it.

To reduce the risks of leaks of personal data from centralized servers, we should use self-sovereign identities. For example, a selective disclosure protocol can be applied to store personal data on a user’s device, a smartphone, and reveal transaction details in a limited manner.

Digital identity is a separate topic that requires a lot of attention, and it was elaborated in relation to the recent Twitter hack, Europe’s experience with e-signatures and blockchain’s ability to prevent data leaks.

Conclusions

Having all these technologies and concepts in mind, we see a larger picture. Credible public blockchains provide immutable ledgers, which, contrary to traditionally state-owned property registries, enable users to perform peer-to-peer transactions. However, blockchains do not require any public agency to maintain the infrastructure, as public ledgers are self-governed. 

Title tokens are records that represent legal rights. They are validated on-chain by those whom we trust and delegate this right. Trusted third parties are needed not only because a person cannot certify their birth and death, for example, to enable inheritance procedure but for any legal issues and law enforcement that inevitably arise. Through third parties and the cross-blockchain protocol, we can create an ecosystem of blockchains where users create and certify all sorts of rights, facts and digital identities.

Trusted records in an interoperable cross-chain environment

This concept is better than the current centralized systems, as it runs through the framework of smart laws and digital authorities, and they are the digital form (filters and patches) with the rooted records of addresses belonging to representatives whom people delegate the mandate of power for legal governance. Contrary to the centralized system, ledgers require everything to be recorded on-chain publicly to take effect, and they do not alter recorded transactions. So, on-chain governance is transparent and accountable.

This concept cannot be implemented overnight, but its advantage is that it can be piloted step-by-step and run parallel to the existing system of public registries. The shift will happen when the government that wants to benefit from innovations recognizes the right of citizens to choose between a traditional registry and a blockchain, and it is a fundamental right for the decentralization of governance.

This is part three of a three-part series on the theory of title token — read part one on the blockchain estate registry here, and part two on cross-blockchain protocol and smart laws here

The views, thoughts and opinions expressed here are the author’s alone and do not necessarily reflect or represent the views and opinions of Cointelegraph.

Oleksii Konashevych is the author of the Cross-Blockchain Protocol for Government Databases: The Technology for Public Registries and Smart Laws. Oleksii is a Ph.D. fellow in the Joint International Doctoral Degree in Law, Science and Technology program funded by the EU government. Oleksii has been collaborating with the RMIT University Blockchain Innovation Hub, researching the use of blockchain technology for e-governance and e-democracy. He also works on the tokenization of real estate titles, digital IDs, public registries and e-voting. Oleksii co-authored a law on e-petitions in Ukraine, collaborating with the country’s presidential administration and serving as the manager of the nongovernmental e-Democracy Group from 2014 to 2016. In 2019, Oleksii participated in drafting a bill on Anti-Money Laundering and taxation issues for crypto assets in Ukraine.

Source: https://cointelegraph.com/news/title-token-for-blockchain-estate-registry-part-3

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Eerily Accurate Analyst Thinks Bitcoin Could Hit $20,000 in the Next 3 Months

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  • Bitcoin has finally started to show weakness after recovering from last weekend’s flash crash.
  • After falling as low as $10,500 last weekend, the leading cryptocurrency surged as high as $11,950 before retracing.
  • As of the time of this article’s writing, BTC trades for $11,500, sliding to this critical level from the aforementioned highs.
  • The retracement for Bitcoin has been bearish, especially considering it was rejected at $12,000 again.
  • Some remain optimistic that Bitcoin bulls are in control, though.
  • One historically accurate analyst that predicted BTC’s macro price action is still optimistic.
  • He shared in a recent TradingView analysis that the flagship digital asset could hit $25,000 in the next three months.

Bitcoin Could Hit $25,000, Says Eerily Accurate Crypto Analyst

Bitcoin’s price action may seem unpredictable, but there are some commentators that have mastered the art of doing the impossible. One such individual is a pseudonymous trader known as “PentarhUdi,” who shares his thoughts via TradingView.

He predicted Bitcoin would bottom around the $3,000s in December, then bounce to ~$15,000 by the middle of 2019, drop to the $6,000s by late 2019, then begin a parabolic uptrend.

While the pandemic-induced drop in March threw a wrench into his plans, everything else came to be.

PentarhUdi now predicts that Bitcoin could hit $20,000 or even higher in the next three months. Referencing the chart below, the analyst wrote:

“This is not more than 4 months prediction, as I spotted new bullish channel . According to my idea price may reach ATH area in 2 months with following some triangle-like consolidation. For EW lovers – I think price is in starting local III wave with all 3rd-wave-specific bullish drama around. Wave length is around 2 months.”

Chart from TradingView.com

Far from the Only Optimist

Although $20,000 in two/three months is on the high-end of the prediction spectrum, there are many other optimists sharing similar sentiment to PentarhUdi.

Mike Novogratz, a former Goldman Sachs partner and current CEO of Galaxy Digital, sees Bitcoin hitting a new high this year. Telling CNBC in an interview last week how Federal Reserve and central bank money printing will boost scarce assets, he said:

“Great bubbles usually end with policy moves… It doesn’t look like the Fed is going to raise rates … The liquidity story isn’t going to go away. We’re going to get a big stimulus. Bitcoin still has a lot of retail interest in it. A lot of that retail interest shifted to the story stocks, to the tech stocks, because they were just more fun … Yesterday you saw a lot of money shift back over to gold and bitcoin.”

The calls for a new high by the end of 2020 have been echoed by other market participants. These include BitMEX chief executive Arthur Hayes, Pantera Capital’s two co-CIOs, and many pseudonymous traders on Twitter.

Featured Image from Shutterstock
Price tags: xbtusd, btcusd, btcusdt
Charts from TradingView.com
Eerily Accurate Analyst Thinks Bitcoin Could Hit $25,000 in the Next 3 Months

Source: https://bitcoinist.com/eerily-accurate-analyst-bitcoin-hit-25000-next-3-months/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=eerily-accurate-analyst-bitcoin-hit-25000-next-3-months

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