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Bitcoins and Pieces: Hackerday Edition

Crime News

  • The Spanish National Police have arrested Santiago Fuentes, the operator of cryptocurrency arbitrage firm Arbistar 2.0, as a result of an investigation that started last September, as some investors sued the platform of being a bitcoin (BTC) Ponzi scheme, La Provincia announced. The condition was completed when the company canceled a product, because of which 32,000 customers purportedly couldn’t access their bitcoin savings, which hit at least EUR 9.34 million (around $11 million) worth of investments, stated in the article.
  • There is a phishing attack that uses emails posing to be crypto exchange Coinbase and installing an Office 365 consent app that gives hackers access to a victim’s email, said in a report by BleepingComputer. The campaign acts as a “New terms of service” that Coinbase users must read and accept to continue using the service. The Consent app’s permissions do not allow the attackers to send an email on a victim’s behalf, but the Mail.ReadWrite permission does allow them to update a draft message created by the user.

Legal News

  • A local branch of the People’s Bank of China (PBoC) with other Chinese authorities have allegedly arrested 77 people and shut down three online gambling sites over what is reported to be money laundering via, among other methods, tether (USDT). According to the alleged announcement by the bank’s official WeChat account, the total amount involved in this reported laundering is close to CNY 120m (nearly USD 18m).
  • A New York court has authorized the proposed settlement between the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and Canadian social media startup Kik Interactive. In their blog post, Kik stated that they’ll be “OK,” that its assets are still its property, that the SEC hasn’t asked to register KIN as security and didn’t impose trading restrictions on it, and that there’s “an open path for getting listed on new exchanges that couldn’t list us previously.” The SEC communicated that the court granted its motion for summary judgment in September, “finding that undisputed facts established that Kik’s sales of “Kin” tokens were sales of investment contracts, and therefore of securities.

Exchanges News

  • The matter of who exactly is the South Korean governmental setup is responsible for countering North Korea’s alleged systematic hacking raids on South Korean crypto exchanges has become a political hot potato, announced Fn News. The financial regulator, the Financial Services Commission, has reportedly stated that the matter “not [its] responsibility,” as crypto exchanges currently do not fall under its remit. The commission told National Assembly members that it believed the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Korea Communications Commission (KCC) were responsible – but both the KCC and the ministry stated they believed the financial regulator was required to take the lead.
  • Kraken’s new Japanese exchange has officially begun trading under the flag of its Tokyo-based Payward Asia affiliate, the company stated in a press release. Kraken exited the Japanese market in 2018 but has returned after last month obtaining regulatory permission – although all former Kraken Japan account holders are obliged to sign up for Payward Asia to use the platform. The new exchange exclusively uses financial giant SBI’s banking affiliate as its fiat on/off-ramp and will initially offer JPY trading pairs in bitcoin (BTC) and four major altcoins.
  • Nasdaq-listed bitcoin (BTC) mining equipment manufacturer Ebang set up a wholly-owned subsidiary in Australia in preparation for opening a digital asset trading platform. As claimed during the press release, the digital asset financial service platform is “in the stages of preparation.” The company is currently applying for the Australian financial service license ahead of the planned global expansion, though they warned the shareholders that there is no guarantee that the company will receive the regulatory approvals and licenses needed to operate in Australia.
  • Prominent crypto exchange Binance has reported that Binance Labs, its investment and incubation arm, is leading a USD 1.25 million strategic investment in Audius, a decentralized streaming protocol for the distribution, monetization, and streaming of audio content. Per the emailed press release, Audius has 750,000 monthly active users (MAUs) and over a million streams each month across more than 100,000 tracks, and it has teamed up with artists like deadmau5, 3LAU, and RAC.

Blockchain News

  • Game technology studio Mythical Games reported that the upcoming private beta for Blankos Block Party, an open-world multiplayer game that integrates blockchain, with a focus on player-designed levels and collectible assets, will begin on November 17, while the open beta will follow later this year. According to the press release, players who want to start their collection of the digital vinyl toys can now purchase a Founder’s Pack and get exclusive and limited in-game content, as well as priority access to the private beta.
  • The South Korean blockchain-powered loyalty point platform Milk has already an enormous 110,000 users six months after its launch, the company has claimed, as per D Daily. Milk has struck key partnership deals with leading crypto exchange Bithumb and travel giant Yanolja. The company says that the number of app downloads has increased every month since launched, exceeding the 110,000 marks last month. The firm says it has “about 90,000 monthly active users,” 54% of whom are male and 46% of whom are women. Some 37% of users are in their 30s, the company added.
  • Decentralized storage network Filecoin‘s upgrade, which came with the FIP-004 proposition, went life, According to the media reports, citing the project’s Slack. Miners who have installed the upgrade Lotus 1.1.0 will receive 25% of their block rewards immediately with no vesting, as reported earlier.


  • The People’s Bank of China (PBoC) is asking for public feedback on a revised draft of the current central banking law which would legalize the digital yuan but would forbid the circulation of yuan-pegged digital tokens. According to the proposed revision, making and selling of yuan-backed digital tokens would be punished with a fine that is up to five times the amount of the involved proceeds.
  • Kazushige Kamiyama, Director General of the Bank of Japan‘s payment and settlement systems department, who’s also running the digital yen research, said that the central bank hasn’t made any decisions on digital currency yet and that its launch is conditional on public support, Bloomberg announced. “At the end of the day there’s no way we can proceed without gaining sufficient understanding from the Japanese public. […] It’s not desirable if what China is doing becomes impossible to understand for us,” the article quoted Kamiyama as saying.
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