Russian banking giant Sberbank and the country’s National Settlement Depository will test an initial coin offering on a central bank regulatory platform. Sberbank and the National Settlement Depository (NSD), Russia biggest bank and the securities depository respectively, will test the issuance of an initial coin offering (ICO) on a regulatory platform established by the Bank … Continued
The mining pool of HDAC, a blockchain platform and company operated by Hyundai BS&C, a subsidiary of South Korea’s biggest car manufacturer and major conglomerate, experienced a hacking attack on May 24 and was forced to halt withdrawals temporarily. Mining Pool Breach According to local cryptocurrency media outlet TokenPost, HDAC’s mining pool fell victim to … Continued
South Africa’s central bank is choosing to call cryptocurrencies like bitcoin as ‘cyber-tokens’ rather than currencies, arguing they do not ‘meet the requirements of money’. The South African Reserve Bank (SARB), the country’s central bank, prefers to see cryptocurrencies as ‘tokens’ rather than currencies according to deputy governor Francois Groepe. As things stand, the authority
Mizuho, one of Japan’s three so-called ‘megabanks’, will sponsor Neutrino, the country’s first blockchain coworking space established by Ethereum-based startup Omise Japan. Named ‘Neutrino’, the country’s first specialized blockchain co-working space was established by Omise in Tokyo in March this year. Omise, a Thai-based startup, sees Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin among its advisors and closed
Employees of a regional police department in Ukraine were recently caught mining cryptocurrencies using the department’s resources, according to the court document. They had been mining for four months before they got caught and their mining farm seized.
Employees of the National Police of Ukraine reportedly set up a cryptocurrency mining farm in their workplace and mined cryptocurrencies for four months before they were caught, local media reported this week. The employees work at the Rivne Oblast regional police headquarters’ Communications Department. This information was revealed in the Rivne City Court document number No. 569/8710/18, Finclub reported.
Ukrainian news agency Glavcom elaborated, “In April of this year, employees of the Department of Homeland Security of the Police Headquarters in Rivne Oblast identified the [crypto mining] equipment at the office of the Communications Department,” adding:
The same day, the investigator of the regional administration removed from his colleagues two wooden frames, which featured eight graphics cards, six power units, two hard drives, a motherboard and a complete system unit.
“A pre-trial investigation in the criminal proceedings under Part 1 of Article 185 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine on the fact of theft of electricity” has already begun, the publication detailed, noting that the court decided not to reveal the cryptocurrencies mined.
The investigation “established that from the beginning of 2018, officials of the Communications Department…abused their official position, acting in contravention of the interests of the service,” the news outlet quoted the court document. The employees unilaterally used the electricity of the region “for their own purposes, for the proper functioning of the equipment for the extraction of cryptocurrencies, which caused significant damage to the interests of the State Enterprise of the Rivne region,” the court document details.
The policemen are charged with the theft of electricity belonging to the management of the National Police in the Rivne region, which they used to extract cryptocurrency, but it is not known how much electricity they used.
In Ukraine, there is currently no regulatory framework for cryptocurrencies despite having multiple proposals. However, Deputy Governor of the National Bank of Ukraine, Oleg Churiy, recently revealed that the central bank is working on a bill to regulate them.
What do you think of these police officers mining cryptocurrencies at work? Let us know in the comments section below.
Images courtesy of Shutterstock.
Need to calculate your bitcoin holdings? Check our tools section.
Billionaire investor and former hedge fund manager Mike Novogratz said that he is optimistic that the US Department of Justice’s (DOJ) recently-launched probe into allegations of bitcoin price manipulation will contribute to the long-term health of the cryptocurrency market. Speaking in an interview with Bloomberg, Novogratz — the founder of $250 million cryptocurrency merchant bank
American Express has deployed Hyperledger’s blockchain technology to make its Membership Rewards program more versatile, marking the first application of blockchain technology to a major U.S. financial services loyalty program. Under the revamped program, merchants will be able to create Membership Rewards offers on their own platforms to engage customers and at the same time
Just recently news.Bitcoin.com reported on the Zimbabwe-based exchange Golix filing a lawsuit over the recent Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) ‘cryptocurrency ban’ that was issued in a financial guidance circular earlier this month. Now, according to numerous regional reports, the Zimbabwe High Court has ruled in favor of the trading platform’s argument because the RBZ failed to show up to the trial.
Multiple regional news outlets and individuals on social media have reported that the Zimbabwe High Court has lifted the RBZ ban against cryptocurrency activities taking place within the country. The local digital asset exchange Golix decided to take the case to the High Court stating the RBZ had no right to enforce such laws and only the country’s parliament can issue a financial ban.
After the bank issued its Circular to Banking Institutions No. 2/2018: Virtual Currencies, many people thought the central bank effectively banned all cryptocurrency activities. Today, Golix and its legal team managed to get High Court judge Justice Alphas Chitakunye to overturn the ban.
On May 24 one of the legal team members, and a constitutional lawyer, Fadzayi Mahere, announced the victory to her Twitter followers stating:
RBZ ban on cryptos lifted by the High Court. Administrative justice is alive and well in this jurisdiction. Section 68 of the Constitution is our best friend.
Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe Representatives Fail to Attend Harare High Court Trial
Alongside Fadzayi Mahere, the Golix team was represented by another attorney named Hopewell Chitima. The legal team used Section 68 of the country’s constitution but no representatives from the RBZ showed up to the trial. Regional reports state that because of this action, the Harare High Court justice ruled in favor of the Golix team. High Court judge Alphas Chitakunye’s ruling states:
The ban issued by the Respondents [RBZ] through letter dated 15 May 2018 against Applicant directing it to cease operations, shut down its virtual currency exchange business and ordering the closure of its bank account with its banks is hereby reversed and set aside.
At the time of publication, there have been no statements made by the RBZ, the central bank’s registrar Norman Mataruke, or the RBZ governor, John Mangudya.
What do you think about the High Court lifting the RBZ ban? Do you think the central bank will respond to this ruling? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.
At news.Bitcoin.com all comments containing links are automatically held up for moderation in the Disqus system. That means an editor has to take a look at the comment to approve it. This is due to the many, repetitive, spam and scam links people post under our articles. We do not censor any comment content based on politics or personal opinions. So, please be patient. Your comment will be published.
This op-ed on GDPR and blockchain was written by Robert Chu — CEO of Embleema, the patient-driven healthcare blockchain, and Former SVP at IMS Health (Now IQVIA) — and Alexis Normand, former Head of B2B of Nokia Digital Health Internet privacy advocates are surely disappointed by Mark Zuckerberg’s mid-April performance in front of the US … Continued
It appears Bitcoin Gold (BTG) has been double spend attacked over and over again, totalling something in the neighborhood of $18 million at current prices. BTG forums seem to have been tracking the hack, going as far back as last week, monitoring the controversial coin’s hashrate, ultimately determining a 51% attack was under way.
“An unknown party with access to very large amounts of hashpower is trying to use ‘51% attacks,’” Bitcoin Gold forum poster Mental Nomad announced a week ago, “to perform ‘double spend’ attacks to steal money from Exchanges. We have been advising all exchanges to increase confirmations and carefully review large deposits.”
A founding economic principle of bitcoin was its alleviation of the double spend problem. It was a main stumbling block in the historical race to create a viable cryptographic monetary form – foiling a great many coders along the way. Satoshi Nakamoto solved it through a decentralized, distributed ledger confirmation process (blockchain). Going as far back as its genesis block from early 2009, users can be confident transactions aren’t rebroadcast. Like clockwork, 6 times an hour, blocks are added – copied to nodes within the universal network.
One way to achieve double spending is known as a 51% attack. It’s accomplished by bogarting the network’s computing power. With a majority, bad actors can get between the Nakamoto solution and transaction confirmations. By stymieing block completion in the usual manner, all sorts of mischief can arise: blockchain mining rewards redirected, users’ transactions reversed, etc. Not too long after, a double spending attack can commence, acting as the fiat equivalent to counterfeiting. Needless to type, any crypto suffering from such a problem is certain to immediately lose user confidence. Such attacks are interesting for another reason, as Mental Nomad is careful to point out. “There is no risk to typical users or to existing funds being held. The only parties at risk are those currently accepting large payments directly from the attacker. Exchanges are the primary targets,” he assured last week. “It appears that actions on the part of the exchanges have deterred the attacker, for now.” And hitting exchanges tends to elicit little sympathy, at least initially, due to users being insulated. Exchanges are particularly vulnerable because they generally covet large deposits, which only compounds the problem in cases like these.
Over period of days, batches of BTG were deposited into exchanges supporting the forked coin, only to be sent back to the depositor’s wallet. The lag between such a transaction and some exchanges’ discovery is sufficient enough to nab tokens, doubling the filthy lucre. Exchanges trading bitcoin gold have responded by upping transaction confirmation filters, but evidently to no avail as the attacker gains ever-more BTG network control.
Bitcoin Gold team members seem to have communicated with some exchanges. “Requiring more confirmations greatly increases safety,” the forum details. “Until now, some Exchanges were operating with less than five confirmations required. We have been urging higher limits to prevent such an attack, and urging manual review of large deposits of BTG before clearing the funds for trading.” Indeed, according to BTG, “One of the targeted Exchanges reported that they strongly believe this attacker attempted to hit them with a double-spend of BTC in the past. In their words, ‘we are 100% sure that it is the same person, we found many associations between the accounts.’”
Evidence put forward by the BTG team points to address GTNjvCGssb2rbLnDV1xxsHmunQdvXnY2Ft as the attacker’s wallet; mined coins, according to the forum post reside at GXXjRkdquAkyHeJ6ReW3v4FY3QbgPfugTx. More than 388,201.92404001 BTG were funneled through the wallet, totalling more than $18 million according to Bitcoin Gold Explorer. That a top thirty crypto by market cap can be so easily troubled is a giant of enough problem, but it could also take exchanges down in the process – something the ecosystem is very sensitive to since Mt. Gox. And though, for now, BTG is confident enough to suggest users are not at risk, history shows that can quickly be the case as an exchange freezes withdrawals in an effort to stop hemorrhaging.
Bitcoin Gold has been beset by controversies since its birth fork late last year, including a recent dust-up between BCH advocate Craig Wright and BTG founder Jack Liao. To be fair, however, it is not the only blockchain to suffer a 51% attack. Mere days ago, recently Chinese government highly rated coin verge (XVG) was made to heel, again. These pages reported XVG, “On the morning of May 22, Suprvona, one of the largest altcoin mining pools, informed its 19,000 Twitter followers that verge was suffering yet another 51% attack, causing all blocks to be rejected.”
Do you think the BTG hack spells doom for the coin? Let us know what you think of this subject in the comments below.