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Most Significant Hacks of 2019 — New Record of Twelve in One Year

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Most Significant Hacks of 2019 — New Record of Twelve in One Year

Twelve major cryptocurrency exchange hacks occurred in 2019. Of these, 11 hacks resulted in the theft of cryptocurrency while one only involved stolen customer data. In total, $292,665,886 worth of cryptocurrency and 510,000 user logins were stolen from crypto exchanges in 2019. Cryptocurrency exchanges experienced more hacks last year than in 2018, when only nine cryptocurrency exchanges fell victim to security breaches.

As time goes on, you might think that cryptocurrency exchanges would become more secure. The reality, however, is that more hacks on cryptocurrency exchange are taking place year after year. In general, crypto exchanges remain unregulated, and it’s still unclear which regulatory agency has jurisdiction over the crypto markets.  

Although there are no established rules regarding how cryptocurrency exchanges should safeguard customer funds, there are crypto-friendly countries and states. Canada, Malta and the American state of Wyoming have created crypto-friendly legislation that makes it easier for businesses to operate and gives them guidelines regarding security practices.

Sadly, not all countries have created guidelines or laws that help crypto businesses operate and reduce the risk for consumers. The way cryptocurrency exchanges store and protect their customer’s wealth differs from exchange to exchange; unfortunately, this makes cryptocurrency exchanges a hotbed for hacks that result in the theft of cryptocurrency or customer data.  Let’s take a closer look at the cryptocurrency exchange hacks of 2019 and how much cryptocurrency, fiat and customer data was stolen in each incident.

Related: Crypto Exchange Hacks in Review

Hacks on crypto exchanges in 2019

1. Cryptopia

Date: Jan. 14, 2019

Headquarters: New Zealand

Amount stolen: $16,002,108

Just two weeks into the year, the first hack on a cryptocurrency exchange took place. New Zealand-based Cryptopia was hacked for over $16 million worth of cryptocurrency at the time. Social media users started their own investigation, according to which, over 20 different cryptocurrencies were taken from the exchange’s hot wallet.

2. LocalBitcoins

Date: Jan. 26, 2019

Headquarters: Finland

Amount stolen: $27,000

A few weeks later, the popular over-the-counter Bitcoin exchange LocalBitcoins was the victim of a security breach. Attackers were able to replace the official link to the exchange’s forum with a fraudulent link that led users to a fake page that resembled the discussion board but collected the information of the users who attempted to log in.

The attackers used the information they obtained to steal 7.9 Bitcoin — worth $27,000 at the time — from at least six user accounts.

3. Coinmama 

Date: Feb. 15, 2019

Headquarters: Israel

Amount stolen: 450,000 account usernames and passwords

In just the second month of the year, Israel-based cryptocurrency broker Coinmama learned that its database had been breached. As a result, an estimated 450,000 user account logins and passwords had been compromised and posted on a darknet registry.

4. DragonEx

Date: March 24, 2019

Headquarters: Singapore

Amount stolen: $7.09 million 

On March 24, Singapore-based exchange DragonEx posted in its official Telegram group that it had experienced a hacking attack, and as a result, a portion of the users’ and the platform’s crypto assets had been stolen. Days later, DragonEx released an announcement on its website, saying: “On March 24th, DragonEx suffered APT attack, which is the greatest challenge since DragonEx was first launched in the year of 2017. 7.09 million USDT assets are stolen.”

5. CoinBene

Date: March 25, 2019

Headquarters: Singapore

Amount stolen: $105 million

Just two days after the DragonEx hack, another cryptocurrency exchange in Singapore, CoinBene, was hacked. Many CoinBene users became suspicious of a hack when the CoinBene site unexpectedly went down for maintenance. Individuals who were tracking the CoinBene hot wallet noticed that a whopping $105 million worth of crypto assets had been removed. Even though all of the evidence is on the blockchain, CoinBene continues to deny that it was ever hacked.

Related: Over $100 Million Missing: CoinBene Claims Maintenance, a Month of Questions Point Toward a Hack

6. Bithumb

Date: March 30, 2019

Headquarters: South Korea

Amount stolen: $18.7 million

March was a bad month for cryptocurrency exchanges. Just a few days after the CoinBene hack, Bithumb was hacked for an estimated $18.7 million — $12.5 million in EOS tokens and $6.2 million in XRP. Unlike other exchange hacks, Bithumb believed that the theft was an inside job committed by a former Bithumb employee who had access to its hot wallets.

Related: North Korea and Crypto: Is the Regime Responsible for Major Hacks?

7. Binance

Date: May 7, 2019

Headquarters: Malta

Amount stolen: $40 million

On May 7, Binance — the world’s biggest cryptocurrency exchange — experienced a security breach. As a result, 7,000 BTC, equivalent to $40 million at the time, was stolen. In addition, Binance said that hackers were able to obtain user API keys, two-factor authentication codes and possibly more user information.

Later, on Aug. 7, it was revealed that hackers were in possession of over 60,000 pieces of Know Your Customer data from the Binance exchange. An individual going by the name “Bnatov Platon” said he or she hacked the individuals that hacked Binance back in May and discovered that the original hackers had also gained access to 60,000 pieces of customer KYC data, including the photo IDs of 10,000 Binance users. 

Related: Binance KYC Breach — Did It Happen, and If So, Who’s to Blame?

8. GateHub

Date:  June 1, 2019 

Headquarters: United Kingdom

Amount stolen: $10 million

In June, GateHub made an announcement, saying 100 of its users’ XRP wallets had been compromised. A GateHub community member took a deep dive into the hack and discovered that by June 5, 23,200,000 XRP had been stolen from 80–90 of these wallets — the equivalent to about $10 million at the time. 

9. Bitrue

Date: June 26, 2019

Headquarters: Singapore

Amount stolen: $4.23 million

At the end of June, Bitrue was hacked, and roughly $4.23 million was stolen. Hackers learned of a vulnerability in Bitrue’s security that gave them access to about 90 user accounts. Afterward, hackers used what they learned from their 90-account takeover to successful compromise Bitrue’s hot wallet. As a result, 9.3 million XRP and 2.5 million ADA were stolen.

10. BITPoint

Date: July 11, 2019

Headquarters: Japan

Amount stolen: $32 million

On July 11, Japan-based cryptocurrency exchange BITPoint was alerted of an irregular outflow of XRP from its hot wallet. Several hours later, BITPoint became aware that Bitcoin, XRP, Ether, Bitcoin Cash and Litcoin had been moved from the exchange’s hot wallet without authorization. In total, $32 million worth of cryptocurrency was moved out of BITPoint’s hot wallet — $23 million of which belonged to BITPoint users.

Related: BITPoint Hack Shows That Regulators’ Scrutiny Does Not Equal Safety

11. VinDAX

Date: Nov. 5, 2019

Headquarters: Vietnam

Amount stolen: $500,000

For the most part, the VinDAX hack is a mystery. VinDAX is a small cryptocurrency exchange based in Vietnam that primarily hosts token offerings for unheard of companies. Information regarding this security breach is scarce. However, The Block took a deep dive into this mysterious hack and learned from the VinDAX support staff that roughly 23 cryptocurrencies — worth $500,000 in total — had been removed from its hot wallet without authorization.

12. Upbit

Date: Nov. 27, 2019

Headquarters:  South Korea

Amount stolen: $49,116,778.00

And finally, the last hack of the decade: Upbit. Upbit is a South Korea based cryptocurrency exchange that was hacked for 342,000 ETH — equivalent to $49,116,778 at the time — on Nov. 27. All that is really known is that hackers were able to gain access to Upbit’s hot wallet and move Ether without authorization. However, Upbit released a statement shortly afterward telling users that it would be covering all of the losses with the exchange’s assets.

Related: Upbit Promises Swift Reimbursement, Theories Over Missing Funds Swell

The damage

In total, $292,665,886 worth of cryptocurrency was stolen from 11 cryptocurrency exchanges and 510,000 pieces of user information were taken from the database of one exchange — a total of 12 cryptocurrency exchanges experienced security breaches.

So, what does this all mean? It means that cryptocurrency exchanges have to do better in terms of industry standards and security practices. Sadly, we did not see enough legislation and security improvement in 2019, and we experienced even more cryptocurrency exchange hacks than in any previous year. But hopefully, these things will change in 2020 and the cryptocurrency markets will be safer for every party involved in the cryptocurrency ecosystem.

Published at Sun, 05 Jan 2020 13:32:00 +0000

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The Nebulas blockchain project releases plans for a massive DeFi ecosystem!

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Recently, the Nebulas blockchain project released it’s revised roadmap detailing the immediate future of the project and its current direction. 

Even though the tough times, Nebulas persevered, endured and developed their own blockchain ecosystem with a custom consensus mechanism entitled Proof of Devotion (PoD),  which gave way to the development of a completely decentralized network as well as governance for all and even a unique decentralized staking (dStaking) method that eliminates security risks for the user.

With a strong foundation in place – both technologically and with the support of community governance, Nebulas can now continue to focus on its ecosystem by using its advantages over other blockchains.

DeFi to rule the economy

The features in development are designed to tap into the fast-paced market of Decentralized Finance (DeFi) with Nebulas offering many asset lending options via an on-demand trading platform similar to Uniswap but for Nebulas based NRC-20 token assets. The platform will also support instant asset swaps via its application layer resulting in faster, easier, cheaper, and more secure services.

A cross-chain bridge to ensure sustainability

Nebulas will be developing a cross-chain bridge where native Ethereum assets can be utilized on the Nebulas blockchain. In addition, Nebulas’ native asset NAS will be available on the Ethereum blockchain giving access to this unique asset to all. 

By developing cross-chain bridges, users on both networks have new tools and features to utilize. This includes Nebulas’ future decentralized exchange(DEX) which will offer transactions at a fraction of the cost when compared to the over-crowded Ethereum network.

Securing collateral

Based on Nebulas’ decentralized staking (dStaking) technology, users looking to collateralize their assets on Nebulas will be pleasantly surprised to learn that their loaned assets remain in the original, controlled wallet thereby reducing the potential attack on pools of assets which has been an issue for other platforms. Nebulas believes the security of assets is of utmost importance.

Bringing Nebulas Rank to life

When Nebulas began development in 2017, one of its defining features was Nebulas Rank (NR) which essentially creates an advanced trust mechanism based on blockchain transactions. Combined with a multitude of DeFi applications and additional features coming soon to Nebulas, this idea will soon be a reality with all who participate in blockchain benefiting from this unique feature.

Conclusion

The Nebulas ecosystem has come a long way and all the new features being developed will give Nebulas the power and flexibility to create its own path in the blockchain ecosystem following the vision of letting everyone benefit fairly from decentralized collaboration. 

To learn more about Nebulas’ current roadmap, please visit the link.

Disclaimer: This is a paid post and should not be considered as news/advice.

Source: https://eng.ambcrypto.com/the-nebulas-blockchain-project-releases-plans-for-a-massive-defi-ecosystem

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Bitcoin, Ethereum lose August’s first round to small-caps

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Two of the market’s top cryptocurrencies, Bitcoin [BTC] and Ethereum [ETH], have been witnessing a strong surge in their values over the past few weeks. This week, however, the BTC and ETH markets appeared to be taking a break as the overall percentage change in the value of the top two crypto-assets was just 5% each, while small-cap assets were once again making a comeback.

According to data provided by Arcane Research, small-cap assets were already up by 18% within the first ten days of August, outperforming their July value of 12%. On the contrary, the mid-cap assets that led the market in July were back to the second position after reporting 11% in growth on the charts for the month.

Source: Arcane Research

In fact, large-cap assets, in general, maintained their strong performance on the charts and recorded more than 10% in returns for the month, while Bitcoin lagged behind with just 7%.

The reasons for the same can be largely attributed to the DeFi rally, one that diverted traders’ attention to altcoins once again, following which, Bitcoin’s market noted a prominent downtrend. This was evidenced by the CMBI Bitcoin Index as it was reporting just 3.9% in returns over the last week, followed by the CMBI Ethereum Index with 2.5%.

On the contrary, altcoins, especially the Bletchley-40 [small-cap assets], were reporting great returns of 20.7% for the week. Such exponential market growth was led by the likes of Synthetix and Ampleforth, both of which registered double-digit hikes recently on the hourly charts.

Source: CoinMetrics

Further, even the Bletchley-20 [mid-cap assets] and Bletchley-10 [Large-cap assets] were reporting better returns of 9% and 7.4% respectively, compared to single asset indexes, namely, Bitcoin and Ethereum.

Finally, with small-cap assets once again exhibiting their inverse proportionality to Bitcoin’s price, the greed in the market was observed to be climbing.

Source: Arcane Research

The Fear and Greed Index was noted to be around 84, pushing above 80 in over a year. With the crypto-market going through a period of positive volatility, it is important for the traders to be careful. Historically, periods of extreme greed period have been short-lived and a similar trend could be expected now as well.

Source: https://eng.ambcrypto.com/bitcoin-ethereum-lose-augusts-first-round-to-small-caps

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Bitcoin Cash, Tron, Synthetix Price Analysis: 13 August

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Bitcoin’s price, at the time of writing, was facing strong resistance around the $12k mark. Bitcoin’s inability to brush past this resistance also seemed to stunt the growth of many of the market’s altcoins, with fork coin Bitcoin Cash losing close to 12 percent of its trading value in the past week, along with a Tron. However, in the case of smaller altcoins like Synthetix, the price action has been very different.

Bitcoin Cash [BCH] 

Source: BCH/USD, Trading View

Since the last week of July, Bitcoin Cash’s price had been on a steady uptick. However, over the past 7 days, the coin has stumbled on yet another strong resistance, one that saw its price fall by 11.9 percent. At press time, Bitcoin Cash had a trading value of $283.30 with a market cap of $5.3 billion and a 24-hour trading volume of $1.8 billion.

The resistance at $321 continued to hold strong and if the coin were to dip to its early-July price levels, then there were three key supports that it will have to breach at $279, $258, and $244, respectively.

The Stochastic indicator for the coin had dipped significantly into the oversold zone. The MACD indicator echoed a similar sentiment after it underwent a bearish crossover. To add to the coin’s recent woes, Bitcoin Cash lost its 5th spot on CoinMarketCap’s list to a surging Chainlink after the latter rose by over 28 percent in 24 hours.

Tron [TRX]

Source: TRX/USD, Trading View

Like Bitcoin Cash, Tron’s price has found itself stuck between $0.019 and $0.021. At press time, Tron was being traded at $0.020 with a market cap of $1.4 billion. The resistance at $0.021 had been unbreached, despite the best efforts of Tron over the past few days. Further, there were two strong supports at $0.019 and $0.017.

The Bollinger Bands had, at press time, contracted relatively and may see slightly lower levels of volatility. The Stochastic indicator, after having spent time in the overbought zone, was heading towards the neutral zone.

Earlier in the month, it had been reported that Tron hit yet another milestone and was very close to having $1 billion smart contract triggers.

Synthetix [SNX]

Source: SNX/USD, Trading View

Unlike the previous two cryptos, Synthetix’s fortunes have not been held back. In the past week, the coin has surged by close to 50 percent. At press time, SNX was priced at $5.95 and noted a market cap of $555 million. If the coin were to see a reversal with regard to its price action, there were two strong supports at $3.7 and $2.8, both levels that can help stabilize SNX’s price.

Further, the EMA ribbons had settled below the press time trading price and were likely to offer support. The MACD indicator, after having undergone a bullish crossover, signaled that the price hike may continue on the charts.

Source: https://eng.ambcrypto.com/bitcoin-cash-tron-synthetix-price-analysis-13-august

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