A few days ago, the ethereum network witnessed two transactions sent from the same address and with an abnormally high transaction fee. The first transaction involved $133 worth of ethereum and cost $2.6 million to transfer the funds. A couple of hours later, the same user spent another $2.6 million to send ETH worth around $87,000.
These transactions quickly caught the eyes of most crypto enthusiasts, with some suggesting it was a mistake caused by a bug in the wallet software of the unknown ethereum user.
However, roughly 23 hours later, another anomalous transaction was noted by the crypto community. This one involved the user sending 3,200 ETH and paying a fee of $500K. It should be noted that the ETH address for this third transaction had no connection to the earlier address that sent the first two unusually expensive transactions. This aroused speculations of bad faith in play – such as a hacker.
Ethereum founder Vitalik Buterin took to Twitter a few hours ago to share his insight on what may have actually transpired. In his tweet, Buterin argued that the “million-dollar txfees *may* actually be blackmail” directed at a certain exchange.
To elaborate on his theory, Buterin postulated:
“Hackers captured partial access to exchange key; they can’t withdraw but can send no-effect txs with any gasprice. So they threaten to “burn” all funds via txfees unless compensated.”
This key, according to Buterin, could have been stored in a sort of a cloud server with a non-root account that is capable of withdrawing only to certain whitelisted addresses.
Buterin further explained that “similar situations could happen in ‘scorched earth’ games, including scorched-earth vaults aka ‘Moeser-Eyal-Sirer’ vaults”, and it could also be a situation “where hackers can slash but not steal staked funds”.
When quizzed whether these scenarios were only possible on ethereum, Buterin noted that they can happen on any other blockchain platform.
This theory has been corroborated by researchers at blockchain security firm Peckshield who concluded that the exorbitantly high fees are possible “gas price ransomware attacks launched by hackers targeting the exchange”.
How Does the Future Look for Cryptocurrencies in the Financial Market?
The trading share of cryptocurrencies in the financial markets is getting bigger by the day, as professional and occasional investors redirect their funds from traditional assets to crypto coins. Billions of dollars, euros, pounds, and of other fiat currencies are used by traders, for the opening of new crypto trading positions, increasing crypto coin values, reputation, and market share. This is also one of the reasons, why new cryptocurrencies are regularly being launched. However, the supply of investment funds is not without limit, and on many occasions, it feels like a number of these new crypto coins are doomed for failure.
Today, cryptocurrency development stretches beyond its original creational limits, as even regulated institutions are investing in the creation of digital coins. These coins are generated to achieve collective wallet digitalization and consequently to gradually eliminate the need for cash. This, of course, is not something for which traders and investors care about, as their primary concern is how these assets will perform in the financial market. That being said, if a crypto asset is trusted and respected in the real world, then this will reflect on its performance in the world of finance. The problem is that for a cryptocurrency to earn the respect of the real economy, it will need to have enough time to mature.
Crypto Trading and Investment Challenges
Trading cryptocurrencies is not an easy task. There is a lot of research required, and there is a lot of work that needs to be done before opening a trading position. Experienced traders know that it is not something as fun and as easy as taking a spin on penny roulette, but those with less experience in crypto trading can end up facing heavy losses, just because they have not invested enough time to prepare for the worst-case scenario. Even though we have not seen any signs of a new cryptocurrency bubble burst for a long time, it does not mean that the threat is not there. This applies both to new cryptocurrencies as well as to those which the market categorizes as established.
Where Do We Go from There?
With a higher demand for digital monetary alternatives, it is only natural that countries, unions of nations, and Central Banks are looking towards finally regulating the crypto market. The regulation of such assets will set new standards for commerce and revolutionize the flow of money. It will, however, limit the profit potential of crypto coins, as it will no longer be possible for a cryptocurrency – whether it is new or old – to go from being worth peanuts to being worth as much as gold in a matter of hours.
👉Not being able to become rich overnight is bad news for those who dream of becoming wealthy through cryptocurrency trading, but it also comes with benefits. A regulated cryptocurrency market will discourage “dodgy trader” activity and reduce the risk of seeing toxicity forming in the crypto market. This will allow for the growth of crypto assets in a positively-charged environment, which will give them the time and stability they need to get to the same level of trust as that of traditional trading assets.
How Blockchain Can Help Your Business Grow
Ever since the introduction of Bitcoin in 2009, the world has changed the way it views fiat currencies and digital security. People were excited that they could finally transfer digital currency anywhere in the world without exaggerated banking fees or long hours.
The technology, however, proved so versatile that it has found its way into other uses as well. In 2020, there are so many businesses that use blockchain that we simply don’t have the time to enumerate them all in a single short article. But we will do our best to give you examples of ways the blockchain could potentially help you.
Hackers rarely sleep. That’s one statement that Sony forgot back in 2011. While it is unclear whether they now use the blockchain or not, many other companies have started implementing it with great results.
The encryption technology that the blockchain employs requires transactions and other processes to go through multiple nodes connected to the blockchain to get approval. This way, if a hacker attempts to do something malicious, the multiple nodes will eventually realize that fraud’s at stake and stop the transaction in its tracks.
More Payment Methods
People often think that the blockchain is meant solely for cryptocurrencies. That’s not true, at least not anymore. Banks all over the world have started implementing this tech to ease transaction times and lower processing fees.
Moreover, businesses that implement blockchain can use this technology to offer their customers multiple payment methods with seemingly endless currency options. One non-banking company that has proved the efficiency of this method is BetConstruct, offering more than 400 payment methods.
Through the blockchain, you can set up a reliable network of chatbots that can help out your customers.
With the help of the blockchain, these AI bots can easily communicate with one another and learn from each other based on what users respond, how they rate their satisfaction with the chat, and how customer support agents respond to users once the chatbot sends them their way.
Hire Better Employees
Small companies often don’t have the time or necessary resources to double-check the information in a CV. But with the help of the blockchain, you won’t need any of that.
Even today, there are still a lot of people seeking a job who ungracefully lie in their resumes. The blockchain can process all the data in a resume and send you the verified information to see if it’s legitimate.
Not only does this save you time, but it also means you’ll have hired the right person for your future projects. And we all know what having the right person can mean if you want your company to be successful.
Improve Your Marketing Campaigns
You’re probably aware of the usual marketing techniques like social media, video ads, billboards, SEO, SEM, and more. Look, you won’t need the blockchain to implement those tactics.
However, Blockchain can be used by marketers to keep track of client information and consumer behavior. With this data, skilled marketers can craft clever campaigns that bring greater ROI. You can also use the blockchain to track any changes made to your campaigns. If only David Ogilvy has had this tech at his disposal, who knows what he would’ve been able to craft.
👉🔥The Bottom Line
The blockchain has revolutionized businesses all around the globe the same way it has revolutionized the way people view money.
Implementing this technology for your business will net you tons of long-term benefits for an otherwise small investment considering all the things you’ll be getting.
Report: Q3 2020 Was The Best Quarter For DeFi
This week, Belgium’s Financial Services and Markets Authority made a startling revelation. Cryptocurrency fraud victims have lost at least €10 million between May 2019 and September 2020, the financial regulator said.
Belgians Have Lost €10 Million In Cryptocurrency Fraud
Belgian citizens have lost almost 10 million euros to fraudulent crypto investment schemes. Belgium’s apex financial authority, the Financial Services and Markets Authority, said on Monday. According to the watchdog, this data is from May 2019 to September 2020. Speaking about the modus operandi adopted by the scammers and crypto robbers, the FSMA said:
These platforms often use very aggressive methods to try to persuade you to invest ever larger sums. They will also try to persuade you to let them take control of your computer remotely so as to be able to make certain payments.
Adding to its statement, the regulator pointed out ‘fake advertisements that typically use images of celebrities.’ Potential victims get beguiled by platforms displaying these adverts circulating on social media. When interested folks click on them, cryptocurrency shysters call them to ‘to discuss an investment offer.’
Apart from bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, online robbers offer investment schemes in foreign exchange products and contracts for differences (CFDs) that can be traded in markets with commodities and shares.
The FSMA had already apprised users about potential cryptocurrency frauds and scam-filled activities in 2018. Since then, it has added fake credit letters to its list of unscrupulous investment offerings. These the regulator said claim ‘to offer loans on favorable terms but intend to steal money.’ Also, investors need to stay away from fraudulent wealth management and alternative investment scams, FSMA mentioned.
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Is This Why The UK FCA Banned Crypto Derivatives For Retail Customers?
As per the latest update from the cryptocurrency scene in the UK, the country’s top financial watchdog, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), has banned the sale, marketing, and distribution of cryptocurrency derivatives and ETNs to retail customers effective January 6th, 2021.
The FCA enumerated several reasons to justify it’s latest banning move. Volatility in crypto prices, the so-called ‘lack of inherent value,’ and inadequate understanding of cryptocurrency systems are others. But the financial regulator also specified that ‘prevalence of market abuse and financial crime in the secondary market’ is why retail players should stay away from crypto derivatives.
Also, there is no legitimate need for retail customers to invest in these products, the FCA added. The most crucial question now is: Will these measures actually block the propagation of crypto fraud and scams? Will such a ban actually protect users?
In a world where fiat and traditional market scams are dominant and much more widespread than digital currency fraud, an outright ban on different crypto investment opportunities will only do so much. What is required is tightening law enforcement on scammers and the bad actors, which will eventually make crypto investment safe for users.
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