Coinberry Traders Keep Control of Keys With BRD Crypto Wallet Integration

Coinberry Traders Keep Control of Keys With BRD Crypto Wallet Integration

Cryptocurrency trading service Coinberry has partnered with BRD, a secure bitcoin wallet service, in a deal that promises to bring BRD's Canadian users onto Coinberry's no-fee trading platform. The deal was announced on Monday, August 20, 2018, at the Blockchain Futurist Conference in Toronto, Ontario.

Toronto-based Coinberry is the first federally registered, commission-free trading platform for crypto assets in Canada, creating value for users using proprietary algorithms to source desirable crypto asset prices from trusted exchanges. BRD (formerly known as Bread Wallet), for its part, operates from its headquarters in Switzerland, providing crypto wallet services for more than $8 billion worth of assets to over 1.2 million customers in more than 150 countries around the world.

Working together under the new partnership, the plan is to integrate Coinberry's fee-free platform with BRD's non-custodial wallet in a deal that promises to have a positive impact on the Canadian crypto industry. With this alliance, BRD has secured a reliable partner that would enable faster payments (on-ramp) and remittances (off-ramp) into fiat.

In an interview with Bitcoin Magazine, BRD Chief Product Officer James MacWhyte said:

“They [Coinberry] are the only solution that allows users to get bitcoin using Canadian dollars in Canada. We actually don't have a way to do that right now. If I'm a BRD user, I don't have a way to get coins within the platform. We want to give choice and opportunity for our users to be empowered to hold their own cryptocurrency assets. [Coinberry] provides them an easy way to buy crypto, but we don't want to hold that crypto. That's where BRD comes in because that's what we provide — we're a cryptocurrency wallet.”

BRD's non-custodial wallet technology uses a decentralized framework to remove the centralized risk factor of a single “honeypot” that hackers can exploit to harvest data or pass it across to any centralized authority.

It allows users to quickly and seamlessly buy, deposit and withdraw bitcoin on the Coinberry platform, while keeping control of their keys at all times, which is a crucial consideration at a time when exchanges are proving to still be vulnerable to hacks.

Speaking with Bitcoin Magazine at the conference, Coinberry President Andrei Polikov explained the reasoning behind the partnership.

“BRD is both a pioneer and technology leader in cryptocurrency, and we are very excited to join forces. BRD’s wallet has all the functionality a crypto user could want, and we expect BRD’s community will enjoy taking advantage of Coinberry’s great rates on crypto. You should be in control, and you should be holding your assets.”

For his part, BRD Chief Strategy Officer Aaron Lasher praised the security and simplicity that the integration will create for users.

“Eventually our users will be able to just hit a toggle switch and move from their Coinberry account to their BRD wallet, not even needing to worry about private or public keys. That sort of integration is possible with trading partnerships like this.”

This article originally appeared on Bitcoin Magazine.

SoftBank Denies Reports of Bitmain Deal; Bitmain Still Silent

SoftBank Denies Reports of Bitmain Deal; Bitmain Still Silent

Japanese telecom giant SoftBank has denied media reports of its involvement in a pre-IPO funding round of bitcoin mining rig manufacturer Bitmain.

Last week, several media outlets had reported that SoftBank and Chinese internet giant Tencent were leading a pre-IPO funding round for Bitmain. The new information comes on the heels of a report that shows Bitmain unloaded most of its bitcoin (BTC) to accumulate bitcoin cash (BCH).

According to last week's story, SoftBank and Tencent invested an undisclosed amount of money in the world's most valuable bitcoin mining rig maker, bringing its valuation to about $15 billion a few weeks before its planned Hong Kong IPO.

Originally published on the Chinese platform QQ on August 4, 2018, the story was rapidly reproduced and reblogged around the world, It claimed that the funding round was made up of several investors including China Gold, SoftBank and Tencent.

Crypto news publication Cointelegraph reports, however, that following last week's widely syndicated story, an anonymous source reached out with a tip stating that neither SoftBank nor Tencent were actually involved in the pre-IPO funding round.

Responding to Bitcoin Magazine’s request for comment, Kenichi Yuasa of SoftBank's corporate communication office called the rumors “background talk” not worth mentioning, stating:

Neither the SoftBank Group Corp. nor the SoftBank Vision Fund were involved in the deal.

SoftBank has been noted for its interest in blockchain technology, having trialed a blockchain-based, cross-carrier telecom payment system in September 2017. Tencent, for its part, is now counted as a truly global tech player, having surpassed Facebook's market capitalization in 2017.

Investment from either of these behemoths would not only strengthen Bitmain's financial position but would also indicate to the market that they believe in its long-term growth potential.

Conversely, if the story was shared with an intent to deceive the market, this could lend credence to a growing number of voices that believe that Bitmain is not inhabiting the fantastic market space it claims to be.

Blockstream Chief Strategy Officer Samson Mow is one of those voices. On August 11, 2018, Mow posted a tweet showing Bitmain's Q1 2018 results with the following comment:

Why is Bitmain raising capital so fast & only showing Q1 results to pre-IPO investors? We're well into Q3 now. The reason is Q2 was a disaster. Bitmain is sitting on a massive $1.24 billion in inventory & S9 prices dropped by ~85%! Q2 losses range in the $600-700 millions.

In response, other voices around the crypto world have also been speculating about Bitmain's exact market position. Some opine that it is possible that Bitmain is not being totally upfront about its market position, in essence sitting on an extensive inventory of unsold miners in a bear market and trying to use an IPO as an exit strategy to leave investors figuratively holding the bag.

Responding to a request for comment from Bitcoin Magazine Tina Dang from Bitmain's International PR and Communications Department said, "Unfortunately, we are unable to comment on these topics."

Updates to follow as this story develops.


This article originally appeared on Bitcoin Magazine.

Thai Central Bank Defends Cryptocurrencies

Thai Central Bank Defends Cryptocurrencies

In the high-profile Thai crypto fraud case involving an actor, Thailand’s central bank has clarified that the fraud is not related to cryptocurrency trading, but a general misuse of money. Thailand has recently legalized seven cryptocurrencies, authorized seven crypto firms, and the Bank of Thailand has green-lighted commercial banks’ subsidiaries for crypto activities.

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

Bank of Thailand’s Clarification

Thai Central Bank Defends Cryptocurrencies
Mr. Veerathai Santiprabhob.

The current high-profile fraud case involving over 5,564 BTC has received much attention in Thai media. It involves a well-known soap actor and model, Jiratpisit Jaravijit, also known as “Boom”.

The Thai News Agency reported on August 20 that the Bank of Thailand (BOT) Governor, Mr. Veerathai Santiprabhob, has clarified that this fraud case is not about crypto trading. He pointed out that, as far as he knows, the scheme was not dependant on using cryptocurrencies. He emphasized that in this case:

The money is used for the wrong purpose. It is not a fraud that occurred during crypto trading.

Mr. Veerathai continued to warn investors that crypto investing is risky due to price volatility, reminding them that they should understand the risks and only invest what they can afford to lose.

Further Development of the Case

This case involves a Finnish bitcoiner and his partner being duped into investing in fraudulent investments including tokens called dragon coins, as news.Bitcoin.com previously reported.

Thai Central Bank Defends CryptocurrenciesAccording to local media, the Thai police’s Crime Suppression Division (CSD) summoned eight scam suspects on Thursday. They were Boom, members of his family, two businessmen and a former soldier, the Bangkok Post detailed.

The publication also reported that “a ‘whale’ investor in the Stock Exchange of Thailand (SET) and staff at up to three Thai banks are suspected of being complicit” in the fraud. Three of the country’s largest banks – Bangkok Bank, Siam Commercial Bank and Kasikornbank – were named. “All handled transactions involving part of the swindled money,” the publication noted and quoted the police explaining:

Police said several of the banks’ employees failed to report money transfers of 2 million baht [~US$61,040] or higher, a serious violation of bank rules. Staff are required to inform the Anti Money Laundering Office (Amlo) when sums of this value change hands.

Thai Central Bank Defends CryptocurrenciesThailand has recently enacted its cryptocurrency regulations. The country’s main crypto regulator, the Thai Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), has authorized seven crypto firms, five of which are crypto exchanges, to legally operate in the country. The regulator is also reviewing other applications. The seven cryptocurrencies that can be legally traded for the Thai baht are BTC, ETH, BCH, ETC, LTC, XRP, and XLM.

In addition, the SEC has revealed that about 50 initial coin offering (ICO) projects are seeking to launch, five ICO portals plan to open for business, and 20 crypto exchanges have applied for a license. Meanwhile, the Bank of Thailand has green-lighted subsidiaries of commercial banks to engage in crypto activities.

What do you think of the Bank of Thailand’s action? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock and the Bank of Thailand.


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China Updates Crypto Ranking – Bitcoin Makes Top 10

China Updates Crypto Ranking – Bitcoin Makes Top 10

China has updated its crypto ranking, adding two projects to the previous month’s list. Bitcoin has significantly improved, making the top 10 list for the first time. Crypto projects are ranked in three categories: technology, application, and innovation.

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

33 Crypto Projects Ranked

China’s Center for Information Industry Development (CCID), under the country’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, officially released its fourth crypto project ranking on Friday. The new list consists of 33 crypto projects, two more than the previous list.

China Updates Crypto Ranking – Bitcoin Makes Top 10The center began ranking 28 crypto projects in May. The following month it added 2 more projects: EOS and Nebulas. Last month one more was added: Gxchain. This month two more public chains were added: NULS and Tezos.

For the first time since the CCID began ranking crypto projects, Bitcoin made the top 10 list, jumping from the 16th place in the previous month to the 10th place this month. Meanwhile, EOS remains top of the list, followed by Ethereum.

China Updates Crypto Ranking – Bitcoin Makes Top 10

The CCID explained that its assessment “mainly examines the basic technology, application and innovation of public chains,” adding:

The current model is basically the same as the previous one, and only some data accounting methods have been revised. In terms of the composite index, the three public chains with the highest increase in scores compared to the previous period were EOS, Nano and Komodo, and the three public chains that have risen the fastest in ranking were Komodo, Nano and Bitcoin.

Bitcoin’s Lead and New Additions

The CCID elaborated that “in terms of innovation sub-indicators, Bitcoin’s recent code update is very active,” earning the project a score of 40.3 for this category – the highest on the list.

The overall ranking puts EOS at the top of the list, Bitcoin the 10th spot, Stratis the 13th spot, Bitcoin Cash 29th, and Hcash 30th. However, the center noted:

Compared with the previous ranking, the top five most improved [in terms of] innovation are EOS, Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Hcash and Stratis.

The two new additions, NULS and Tezos, debuted in the 21st and 28th places, respectively. The former “is a blockchain infrastructure for customized services,” consisting of “microkernels and functional modules,” the center described. It occupies the 21st place overall “due to the short time its mainnet has been online, [and] many functions are still under development.” Similarly, the center ranks Tezos 28th even though “Tezos also has outstanding features in technological innovation,” the CCID detailed.

What do you think of the CCID’s new ranking? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock and the CCID.


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BitConnect’s Alleged Ringleader Arrested in India: Local Reports

BitConnect Ringleader Arrested in India: Local Reports

Nearly eight months to the day after the ponzi scheme BitConnect exit scammed, the sins of the project have caught up to one of its figureheads.

Divyesh Darji, the alleged leader of BitConnect’s Asian team, was arrested this Saturday, August 18, 2018, in the Delhi airport by the Gujarat Criminal Investigation Department (CID). In cooperation with the country’s immigration task force, the authorities booked Darji after he arrived from Dubai, United Arab Emirates, his place of residence.

According to P. G. Narwade, a CID inspector involved in the case, “[a] look-out circular was issued against [Darji],” leading to the Immigration Department’s tip that he was en route to India from Dubai.

“The accused held seminars, events in India and other countries promising high interest — daily interest rate of 1 per cent — on investment in BitConnect coins. The cost of one BitConnect coin on January 16, 2018, when the company shut down, was USD $362,” Narwade said.

The CID’s report on the incident claims that BitConnect ran off with roughly $14.5 million worth of investor funds when the platform went down. In the weeks before the exit scam, BCC, BitConnect’s coin, peaked at an all-time high of $472. A week after the platform shuttered its services, the price of BCC had plummeted to below $15. Now, with a price of $0.67, the coin has no active markets.

Since its inception in 2016, U.K.-registered BitConnect operated as a lending service that promised 1 percent interest daily, and the platform itself featured its own exchange and wallet. Upon going defunct in January of 2018, BitConnect’s team — who, during its operation and in the aftermath of its cessation, never revealed themselves — told investors that they would keep wallet services running despite closing the exchange and lending platform.

In addition, all bitcoin invested in the lending platform was transferred into BCC at an exchange rate of $363.62 and returned to their respective investors. Given the subsequent depreciation of BCC following the service’s closure, these funds did not come out to cover these users’ original investments, resulting in enormous losses.

In the since-removed blog post explaining their reasoning for shutting down the platform, the BitConnect team insisted that bad press and pressure from international governments forced their hand. Cease-and-desist orders from British, South Carolinian and Texan officials began piling up in the beginning of 2018. These notices seemed to corroborate the suspicions of crypto community members, including Vitalik Buterin and Charlie Lee, that insisted the service was a classic pyramid scheme.

The fallout of the service’s closure confirmed these concerns, and a handful of class action suits have surfaced to seek recompense for damages.

This article originally appeared on Bitcoin Magazine.

Chaincode’s Residency Program Is Back, This Time With Lightning App Classes

Chaincode’s Residency Program Is Back, This Time With Lightning App Classes

The Lightning Network, the second-layer solution designed to make quick, cheap and easy Bitcoin payments, is maturing. But widespread adoption — still a long way off — will require plenty more participants; an ecosystem of new apps is one way to get there.

“Lightning is a promising technology, but right now, very few people are fluent with it,” Chaincode Labs engineer James O’Beirne told Bitcoin Magazine.

To that end, O’Beirne and fellow Chaincode Labs and Bitcoin Core developers John Newbery and Marco Falke are organizing a Lightning applications development course — a “Bitcoin Residency” program — to encourage more developers to build on the network. The weeklong class, designed for a dozen students, kicks off on October 22, 2018, in the Flatiron district of New York City near the Chaincode Labs office.

“We would like to familiarize more engineers with how Lightning works and see more Lightning applications,” O’Beirne said. “And we would like to get a better understanding for what Lightning is capable of doing.”  

This is the third Bitcoin residency program Chaincode has hosted; the first two in 2016 in early 2018 were focused on the Bitcoin protocol and contributing to Bitcoin Core. As with previous Chaincode residencies, students will learn from a handful of experienced mentors. The Lightning residency is slightly different in that it is project-based, however. Students will spend the week building their own Lightning-based apps and then demo their projects on the final day of class.

The week’s mentors will include Chris Stewart, founder at Lightning-based data service SuredBits; Christian Decker, Blockstream engineer and maintainer of the c-lightning Lightning implementation; Elaine Ou, a blockchain engineer who has implemented LightningBuddy, a library that can be used to talk to a lightning node from a Twitter account, and Jellybean, a vending machine application built on top of Lightning; Jack Mallers, lead developer of Lightning-based crypto wallet zap; Justin Camarena, engineer at Bitrefill, a payment processor that accepts Lightning payments; and lightningk0ala, the pseudonymous creator of the wildly popular satoshis.place, a multiplayer online game. All of the talks will be video recorded and made available to the public.

Knowledge of the Bitcoin protocol is not a prerequisite for the class, O’Beirne stressed. In practice, Lightning apps can be built in any programming language and then plugged into the network using an API provided by one of the Lightning implementations (lnd, c-lightning or eclair). Students should also enter into the program with some idea of the Lightning app they want to build.

Most importantly, he said, applicants should be experienced in delivering high-quality web applications and have an interest in learning. “We encourage anyone familiar with web technologies who thinks they can put together the minimum viable parts of an application in a week to apply,” O’Beirne said.  

O’Beirne anticipates an “intense” week: “We’ll be catering lunch, and I’m sure we will put together some extracurricular events.” As for the apps the students are building, he hopes the students will continue their work long after the class ends. “Hopefully these won’t be just one-off projects, but the start of a few really exciting new projects even past the residency,” he said.

Chaincode is offering a stipend for travel and lodging. Applicants should apply here.

This article originally appeared on Bitcoin Magazine.

Crypto Exchange Works With Regulators to Develop Legal Frameworks for Arab States

Crypto Exchange Works With Regulators to Develop Legal Frameworks for Arab States

Following the statement by Saudi Arabia declaring cryptocurrency illegal, the largest crypto exchange in the Middle East and North Africa is working with regulators across the region to develop crypto regulations. Bitoasis confirmed its platform is unaffected by the Saudi Arabian crypto stance.

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

Bitoasis Working With Regulators

Crypto Exchange Works With Regulators to Develop Legal Frameworks for Arab StatesDubai-based cryptocurrency exchange Bitoasis has revealed that it is working with the regulators from the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) “to develop regulatory frameworks in light of Saudi Arabia’s ban,” Arabian Business reported on Thursday. According to its website, the exchange is currently present in UAE, Kuwait, Bahrain, Oman and Saudi Arabia.

Crypto Exchange Works With Regulators to Develop Legal Frameworks for Arab StatesThe GCC is a regional intergovernmental political and economic union consisting of all Arab states of the Persian Gulf except Iraq. Its member states are Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates.

The CEO of Bitoasis, Ola Doudin, described:

As a pioneer in the industry, we are working closely with regulators in a number of our key markets across the GCC to develop and comply with the necessary regulatory framework…Regulations are absolutely fundamental. They are essential to grow and formalise the industry, while minimising risks on customers.

Response to Statement by Saudi Arabia

Crypto Exchange Works With Regulators to Develop Legal Frameworks for Arab StatesOn August 12, the Saudi Arabian “standing committee for awareness on dealing in unauthorized securities activities in the foreign exchange market” issued a statement warning that “unauthorized virtual currencies are illegal inside the kingdom of Saudi Arabia.” This committee is headed by the country’s Capital Market Authority, Ministry of Interior, Ministry of Media, Ministry of Commerce and Investment and the Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority.

The statement reads:

The committee assured that virtual currency including, for example, but not limited to, bitcoins are illegal in the kingdom and no parties or individuals are licensed for such practices.

Crypto Exchange Works With Regulators to Develop Legal Frameworks for Arab StatesReferring to the statement by Saudi Arabian authorities, Bitoasis commented, “the recent adverse announcement on digital asset trading in Saudi Arabia highlights the necessity for a clear and comprehensive regulatory framework to build confidence at the highest level.”

Citing that cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology “are the future of money,” the exchange’s CEO was quoted explaining, “this fast-growing industry is at its early stage and regulations are currently being discussed and developed in every part of the world, including this region.” She elaborated:

As a whole, our region is progressive and quick to adapt to new technologies that can create more efficient, competitive, and smarter economies. Regulatory frameworks will affirm digital assets’ status as a reality in today’s world.

Bitoasis also confirmed that its “platform is still open to customers to safely and securely trade digital assets across the Middle East.”

What do you think of Bitoasis helping to develop crypto regulatory frameworks for the Arab states? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock and Bitoasis.


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Japan Roundup: Public Companies Unveil New Mining Plan, Exchange, Token Fund

Japan Roundup: Public Companies Unveil New Mining Plan, Exchange, Token Fund

Three Japanese public companies have individually made announcements regarding their cryptocurrency operations. Forside has grown its mining operation with a plan to sell 7nm bitcoin mining rigs. Farsteps is planning a Singapore exchange launch. Meanwhile, Line Corp, the operator of Japan’s most popular chat app, has added crypto price quotes to its Clova AI assistant and has launched a token fund. In addition, human consultants are now available to answer questions about bitcoin for free from within the Line chat app.

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

Forside Expands Mining Operation

Japan Roundup: Public Companies Unveil New Mining Plan, Exchange, Token FundA Tokyo Stock Exchange-listed company in the content and real estate-related businesses, Forside Co. Ltd. (TYO:2330), announced last week developments of its mining operation.

“Forside Financial Services Co. Ltd., a consolidated subsidiary of Forside Co. Ltd., received OEM from LC Mining (GPU mining machines) developed by Lucky Cue Co. Ltd.,” the Zaikei Shimbun described, adding that the company will start selling these mining rigs under its brand name, FFSM.

Japan Roundup: Public Companies Unveil New Mining Plan, Exchange, Token Fund
Picture of mining equipment provided by Forside.

Forside Financial Services has already started a mining operation in Canada. Its parent company says that the mining rig sale is “one of the efforts aimed at realizing the growth strategy development of the virtual currency mining business” at the subsidiary.

Furthermore, Forside announced:

In the future, our subsidiary will use semiconductor chips (mining chips) utilizing state-of-the-art 7nm process technology on its own mining [operation]…[and] selling ‘Next Generation Mining Board’ equipped with the chips.

While Forside did not reveal the supplier of its 7nm mining chips, in Japan, GMO Internet recently started selling 7nm mining rigs with a plan to sell its “Next Generation Mining Board.”

Fasteps Plans Exchange Launch in Singapore

Japan Roundup: Public Companies Unveil New Mining Plan, Exchange, Token FundAnother Tokyo Stock Exchange-listed company, Fasteps Co. Ltd. (TYO:2338), recently announced that its Singaporean subsidiary plans to launch a crypto exchange in Singapore. The company mainly engages in system solution, media solution, and cost management businesses.

In June, Fasteps opened an exchange in Hong Kong called Bitone. It currently offers trading in three markets, with 11 BTC trading pairs, 10 ETH trading pairs, and 5 USDT trading pairs.

Japan Roundup: Public Companies Unveil New Mining Plan, Exchange, Token Fund

Line Launches Token Fund, Adds Prices to Clova

Japan Roundup: Public Companies Unveil New Mining Plan, Exchange, Token Fund
Line Clova AI assistant.

Line Corporation (TYO:3938), the operator of Japan’s most popular chat app, has added crypto price quotes to its Clova AI assistant for Android and iOS operating systems. Crypto prices are provided by Kraken exchange.

The company also announced last week that its subsidiary, unblock corporation, has established a corporate token venture fund in Hong Kong called “unblock ventures ltd.”

With LVC Corporation, the subsidiary that operates the group’s cryptocurrency and blockchain businesses, as its sole investor, “unblock ventures focuses on token investments and has a capital commitment of USD10 million,” Line explained, adding:

By launching this new corporate token fund, Line is aiming to boost the development and adoption of cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology.

Meanwhile, Tokyo-based consulting center Bitcoin no Madoguchi is offering free consultation via the Line chat app. Users can add the company as a friend inside Line and start asking questions. According to Coinchoice publication, once a question is submitted, an answer will be delivered from a person working at the Bitcoin no Madoguchi office between 30 minutes and 7 hours.

What do you think of these Japanese public companies’ crypto operations? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Forside, Farsteps, Line Corp.


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Three Hackers Held in China Over $87 million Crypto Theft

Three Hackers Held in China Over $87 million Crypto Theft

Three suspects have been detained by Chinese police in connection with an alleged cryptocurrency theft. The supposed hackers stole bitcoin and other digital assets worth an estimated $87 million USD. Authorities say this is the biggest heist of this type in the People’s Republic so far.

Also read: South African Tax Authority Going After Crypto Traders

Coins Worth 600 Million Yuan Stolen by Hackers

Three Hackers Held in China Over $87 million Crypto TheftPolice in China have arrested three men suspected of stealing approximately 600 million yuan (over $87 million USD) worth of cryptocurrency through hacking. The presumed criminals targeted personal and corporate computers, local media reported.

The case has been described by law enforcement officials in Xian, capital of the northern Shaanxi province, as the “highest value cryptocurrency criminal investigation” in the country to date. An officer quoted by the South China Morning Post, commented:

Our bureau has not dealt with this kind of case before. It’s the first virtual currency-related case in Shaanxi.

The investigation was initiated in March, this year when one of the victims, a resident of Xian, notified local police that his computer had been hacked. He complained that the unknown attackers had appropriated 100 million yuan (almost $15 million) in bitcoin core (BTC) and ethereum (ETH).

The Suspects Worked for Top Internet Companies

According to investigators, the men had been employed by leading internet companies and had extensive tech background. No details about the firms were revealed, however. After taking hold of the virtual funds, they sold the coins by splitting the digital cash into small amounts and conducting multiple transactions in order to cover their tracks.

Three Hackers Held in China Over $87 million Crypto TheftPolice analyzed enormous amount of collected data with the help of experts from the IT sector before identifying the first suspect, a resident of the central Hunan province named Zhou. Two months later they were able to find the other two supposed accomplices – Cui, a man from Beijing, and Zhang from Jilin province.

Security services put the men under around-the-clock surveillance before detaining them in coordinated raids this past Wednesday. Chinese authorities and media note that the investigation is still ongoing.

The popularity of cryptocurrencies in the People’s Republic has led to a significant increase in both crimes and disputes related to digital assets. According to a recent report, Chinese courts are overwhelmed by a growing number of such cases. With unclear regulations and an ambiguous ban on ICOs and cryptocurrency trading, Chinese judges find it hard to resolve many of them.

Do you think Chinese police have the capacity to investigate crypto-related crimes? Share your opinions on the subject in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock.


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Prolific Bitcoin Dealer ‘Blew a Giant Hole’ Through US Legal Framework

Prolific Bitcoin Dealer 'Blew a Giant Hole' Through US Legal Framework

A Mexico-based “prolific bitcoin dealer” has been indicted and held without bond in the US on a number of international money laundering charges. He used Bitfinex for his exchange needs after Coinbase closed his account. His “activities ‘blew a giant hole’ through the legal framework of U.S. anti-money laundering laws,” the Department of Justice wrote.

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

Bitcoin Dealer Indicted

The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) announced Friday that a bitcoin dealer, Jacob Burrell Campos, was indicted for international money laundering and is being held without bond. Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert Ciaffa said during Burrell’s bond hearing on August 17 that:

Burrell was a prolific bitcoin dealer who sold approximately $750,000 worth of bitcoin to hundreds of buyers throughout the United States. He conducted 971 separate transactions with over 900 individual customers, and accepted cash in person, through his bank accounts, and through Moneygram.

Prolific Bitcoin Dealer 'Blew a Giant Hole' Through US Legal FrameworkCiaffa told the court that Burrell operated as a “bitcoin exchanger” and his activities constituted a money transmitting business. He was therefore required to register with the Department of Treasury and comply with all anti-money laundering requirements including “reporting suspicious cash transactions.”

However, Ciaffa claimed that Burrell accepted cash “with no questions asked,” adding that he “supplied hundreds of individuals with an easy outlet to avoid the anti-money laundering laws applicable to all financial institutions, including licensed and registered bitcoin exchanges,” for a 5% fee.

The indictment states that Burrell sent 28 wire transfers totaling over $900,000 from his bank accounts in the U.S. to a bank account in the name of Bitfinex in Taiwan. Ciaffa elaborated:

Burrell sent the money from the United States to buy bitcoin and fund his business. With these and other funds, Burrell bought over $3 million worth of bitcoin in over 2,600 transactions. Burrell resorted to buying bitcoin through Bitfinex after his account was closed by Coinbase, a U.S.-based bitcoin exchange, for circumventing its ID verification process.

Blowing Giant Hole Through US Legal Framework

Prolific Bitcoin Dealer 'Blew a Giant Hole' Through US Legal FrameworkBorn in San Diego, Burrell lives in Rosarito, Baja California, Mexico. He was arrested on August 13 while trying to enter the U.S. from Mexico. The 21-year-old “was ordered held without bail today in connection with a 31-count indictment charging him with operating an illegal money transmitting business, failing to maintain an anti-money laundering program, international money laundering and conspiracy to structure monetary transactions,” the DOJ announcement reads.

The indictment also charges him with conspiracy to structure the importation of monetary instruments. Ciaffa told the court that “Burrell agreed with others to smuggle over $1 million in U.S. dollars into the United States from Mexico, in amounts slightly less than $10,000, in order to avoid the currency reporting requirements.”

The Justice Department reported the assistant U.S. attorney saying:

Burrell’s activities ‘blew a giant hole’ through the legal framework of U.S. anti-money laundering laws by soliciting and introducing into the U.S. banking system close to $1 million in unregulated cash.

Prolific Bitcoin Dealer 'Blew a Giant Hole' Through US Legal FrameworkU.S. Magistrate Judge Karen S. Crawford “ordered him held without bail,” citing that he has “significant ties to Mexico, citizenship in three countries, no steady employment in the United States, the ability to access large sums of cash, and a disdain and unwillingness to comply with U.S. laws.” She, therefore, “concluded that Burrell posed a substantial risk of flight.”

According to the DOJ, the 31 counts in the indictment against Burrell carry different prison terms and fines. The first count carries a maximum of five years in prison and a fine of $250,000. The second carries ten years in prison and a $500,000 fine. The third through 30th counts, for the charge of international money laundering, carry “twenty years in prison for each count, [and a] $500,000 fine.” The last count carries five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. However, the Justice Department clarified that the charges and allegations “are merely accusations” and the defendant is “considered innocent unless and until proven guilty.”

What do you think of this case? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock.


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