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Vitalik Buterin Comments on Strange Transaction Fees

Vitalik Buterin Comments on Strange Transaction Fees

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Multiple transactions recently incurred millions in transaction fees on the Etheruem network, which creator Vitalik Buterin thinks could have been blackmail. 

“So the million-dollar txfees *may* actually be blackmail,” Buterin said in a June 12 tweet.

Proposing his theory on the situation, Buterin explained:

“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 story is currently developing. We will update accordingly as new information is available.

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Brave’s International Referral Program Hits Major Roadblocks

Brave’s International Referral Program Hits Major Roadblocks

Crypto-powered web browser, Brave, has halted its referral program for users in China, Russia, Indonesia, Vietnam and Ukraine after detecting “a high number of fraudulent referrers” in those regions, according to a June 11 announcement. 

Brave’s referral program allows content makers to earn Basic Attention Token (BAT) — utility tokens that run on the Ethereum blockchain — for getting new users to download the browser via unique referral codes. 

While the program was initially capped at $1 million USD worth of BAT tokens, it has now done “several times that amount”, Brave’s statement alleges, stressing that the scheme has been a key part of its worldwide growth:

“The ability for Brave supporters to share the browser directly has led to unprecedented success, helping grow the Brave user-base to more than 15 million monthly active users worldwide.”

Over the course of the past few months, Brave has detected “a high number of fraudulent referrers” in “a small set of regions”. The web browser was reportedly able to put a hold on this activity before any BAT tokes were paid out, halting the referral program effective Thursday June 11. 

According to Brave, the changes are temporary, as the company hopes to resume the program for those countries “in the near future”. Moreover, content makers will now be asked to verify their ID before using the referral program. 

Cointelegraph reached out to Brave for additional details, but received no reply as of press time. This story will be updated, should a response come in.

Earlier this month, Brave found itself in hot water when reports surfaced that the browser was automatically filling an affiliate link into its address bar when a user attempts to access the website for Binance and its United States-arm Binance.US.

Brave’s co-founder and chief executive, Brendan Eich, soon acknowledged the “mistake,” pledging to fix the issue. 

Brave’s popularity has been surging lately, possibly in connection with recent endorsements by podcast host Joe Rogan and the renowned K-pop band BTS.


Coronavirus update: U.S. case tally passes 2 million mark and 21 states are still seeing increases in infections

Coronavirus update: U.S. case tally passes 2 million mark and 21 states are still seeing increases in infections

The number of U.S. cases of the coronavirus illness COVID-19 marked a grim milestone of more than 2 million on Thursday, and cases continued to climb in 21 states, even as they push ahead with reopening economies after lockdowns and restrictions on movement.

The increasing rate of new infections in states, including California, Texas and Florida is raising fears of a second wave breaking out just as business activity is resuming. The stock market, which has seemed resilient to much of the bad news on the virus, cratered after the latest jobless claims data showed more than 47 million people have sought benefits since the start of the outbreak.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told CNBC that shutting the economy for a second time is not a viable option. President Donald Trump, meanwhile, announced he will resume holding election rallies with the first in Tulsa, Oklahoma on June 19th and is not expected to require that attendees practice social distancing.

Critics echoed the concerns of public-health experts that Americans will suffer unnecessary hardship and deaths if reopening continues to spread the virus. Dr. Anthony Fauci, head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease, said the pandemic is not over yet and described it as his worst nightmare after it took a single month to span the globe.

Read now: Fauci calls pandemic his ‘worst nightmare,’ warns ‘it isn’t over yet’

“After months of failing to respond quickly or effectively to the COVID-19 crisis, the Trump administration appears to be trying out a new strategy: pretending the pandemic is over,” said Kyle Herrig, president of nonpartisan watchdog Accountable.US in a statement. “The problem is, that won’t stop the virus from spreading — nor will it help the millions of Americans struggling to make rent and put food on the table as the economy continues to struggle.

“People’s lives are on the line — we need Trump to treat this pandemic with the seriousness it deserves and help keep the American people safe.”

Read:Yes, America needs to brace itself for a second wave of coronavirus

What cryptocurrency will become the main one in a year?

All 50 states are in the process of reopening and some are even starting to allow visits to nursing home residents, about three months after they were stopped to avoid spreading the virus. West Virginia is allowing visitation by appointment from June 17, if the nursing home has had no cases of COVID-19 for at least the past 14 days.

Massachusetts and Indiana, for example, already allow visits, only outside, and Ohio this week began allowing visits in assisted-living and intermediate-care facilities. In many other states, families often resort to visits through windows.

Nursing home residents accounted for at least a quarter of the more than 113,000 Americans who have lost their lives to the pandemic, according to data compiled by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Some 60,000 cases of illness have been reported, and nearly 26,000 of those residents died.

Managing their reopening is viewed as a major test, ahead of the reopening of schools later in the year.

For more, read: U.S. states slowly reopen after coronavirus lockdowns with visits to nursing homes permitted now

See also:Arizona hospitals at 83% capacity as coronavirus cases surge

There are now 7.43 million confirmed cases of COVID-19 worldwide and at least 418,052 people have died, according to data aggregated by Johns Hopkins University. At least 3.5 million people have recovered.

The U.S. has the highest case toll in the world at 2.0 million and the highest death toll at 113,209.

Brazil has 772,416 cases and 39,680 fatalities, the data show. Brazil, which stopped updating its official numbers at the weekend, has resumed its updating of its numbers after a Supreme Court judge ordered the government to do so.

Russia has topped 500,000 cases after a spike overnight. It now has 501,800 cases and 6,522 fatalities.

The U.K. has 292,854 cases and 41,364 deaths, the highest death toll in Europe and second highest in the world after the U.S.

India now has 286,577 cases and 8,102 deaths.

Two early hot spots, Spain has 242,707 cases and 27,136 deaths, while Italy has 236,142 cases and 34,167 deaths.

Read: Locals reclaim Madrid as their city while waiting for the tourists to return

Peru, France Germany, Iran, Turkey Chile, Mexico, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and Canada are next and all ahead of China, where the illness was first reported late last year. China has 84,210 cases and 4,638 deaths.

Moderna has previously said it expects the experimental vaccine to move into Phase 3 trials in July if it is successful in the mid-stage study. The plans for the Phase 3 trial include a randomized, placebo-controlled study with about 30,000 participants in the U.S.

The primary endpoint will test whether a 100 microgram dose of the investigational vaccine prevents symptomatic COVID-19 disease, and secondary endpoints will evaluate if the vaccine candidate can prevent severe forms of COVID-19 and infection from the virus at all.

The latest Labor Department data showed the number of Americans applying for traditional jobless benefits in the latest week slowed to 1.54 million from a revised 1.9 million at the end of May. Economists polled by MarketWatch had forecast 1.6 million new claims filed the usual way through state unemployment offices.

New applications for benefits have dwindled since peaking at almost 7 million in late March, but they are still extremely high. Before the pandemic paralyzed the U.S. economy in March, new claims were running in the low 200,000s and sat near a 50-year low.

But more than 47 million new jobless claims have been filed since the crisis took root three months ago, an unfathomable number that shows just how much devastation COVID-19 has caused to million of Americans and the U.S. economy. However, people have been returning to work as states reopen, and there are likely duplicative claims given many state employment offices have been overwhelmed, especially early in the crisis.

“The worst in the labor market appears to be over, but it is still in terrible condition from the viral recession,” said chief economist Gus Faucher of PNC Financial Services.

Read now:Revisiting that funky drop in unemployment to 13.3% in May: Nobody really believes it

Separately, the Labor Department said the wholesale cost of U.S. goods and services rebounded in May after three straight monthly declines. The producer price index rose 0.4% in May after a record 1.3% decline in the prior month. Economists polled by MarketWatch had predicted a 0.1% gain.

See now: Consumer prices drop again as pandemic cuts rate of inflation to near zero

The rate of wholesale inflation in the past year was a negative 0.8% in May, up slightly from a negative 1.2% in the prior month.

Food and energy costs drove the increase. Energy costs rose 4.5% after three straight declines. Food prices gained 6%.

Read:Vroom stock more than doubles in first day of trading amid hopes pandemic accelerates online car buying

Elsewhere, companies continued to raise capital through equity, debt or convertible debt offerings, and to offer updates on the status of reopening efforts.

Here are the latest things companies have said about COVID-19:


Author: Ciara Linnane

Cardano ADA, Electroneum ETN, Digibyte DGB, Theta Network, Loopring LRC - CRYPTOCURRENCY NEWS

Cardano ADA, Electroneum ETN, Digibyte DGB, Theta Network, Loopring LRC – CRYPTOCURRENCY NEWS


Theta Network Guardian Node staking is now live on Theta Mainnet 2.0

Wow! Congrats @Theta_Network on steady growth and decentralization. $THETA team has been doing a great job on all fronts. ~700 Guardian nodes helping decentralize voting power and block finalization with 52% of the total tokens staked! This project is too exciting to miss $tfuel

— A Crypto Consultant (@aCryptoConsult) June 11, 2020

Version 2.0.2 of the Theta Guardian Node app is out! Along w/ minor fixes, it allows users to select a performance tier to improve node syncing on lower-spec computers. For more info and start staking on Theta Network, check the Guardian Node FAQs here:

— Theta Network (@Theta_Network) June 10, 2020

IOHK (Cardano) Joins Hyperledger

Did you know you can send a USDT
Anywhere in the world fast and free
With Ethereum’s security guarantee
Now join me

— Loopring 🧞‍♂️ (@loopringorg) June 6, 2020

They say Loopring is what Lightning could have been
Was but a dream to send bitcoin on Ethereum
WBTC & renBTC now on Loopring Pay, games begin
zkRollup fast, cheap, secure; win, win, win, come on in.

also @ensdomains support!@WrappedBTC @renprotocol

— Loopring 🧞‍♂️ (@loopringorg) June 9, 2020

Double Announcement Time.

Loopring Exchange frontend is now open-source!
– Run with it, improve it, fork it!

Loopring Pay frontend; 25,000 LRC (~$2.5k) bounty!
– Design it, build it, earn it!

Ethereum’s fast lane is getting a frontend facelift 😙

— Loopring 🧞‍♂️ (@loopringorg) June 10, 2020

Announcement: Soon we will launch DigiTrust, this is currently planned for Q3-2020! But there is much, much, much more to come! Hold on tight in the coming months! @DGB_Foundation @DGBAT_Official @DigiByteCoin @changeangel_io @vertbase Thx to @muakyurt for the design!

— AntumID (@ANTUMID) June 11, 2020

Internet of environments ensure data integrity of sensor data using #DigiByte partner @v_id_blockchain technology, IBM Cloud and Watson Technology.

Spoiler Alert: V-ID is working with Sofftech on another big use-case for validation of certificates on the #DigiByte Blockchain!

— DigiByte (@DigiByteCoin) June 12, 2020

3 signs Coinbase is definitely adding DigiByte

1) Massive volume increase starting March 25 suggesting big exchange accumulation when DigiByte was at its lowest.

2) Coinbase testing DigiByte advertising on Google.

3) They publicly state that they’re exploring adding DigiByte.

— Michael (@DigiByteMike) June 11, 2020

Thank you @coinbase for considering @DigiByteCoin as one of the candidates for your upcoming exchange listings. I know the community has been supporting and looking forward to the listing for a while. Good luck with your selections and efforts! #LovefromDigiByte #DigiByte

— Michelle (@michelle_dgbat) June 10, 2020


Author: by admin

A Critical Bitcoin Buy Wall Appears in the Low-$9,000s: Win for Bulls

A Critical Bitcoin Buy Wall Appears in the Low-$9,000s: Win for Bulls

It’s been a brutal past 24 hours for Bitcoin.

After attempting to secure $10,000 as support on June 10th, the cryptocurrency failed to do so, diving instead of rallying as most investors were expecting.

The weakness culminated in a $1,000 drop lower on June 11th that took place over the course of approximately eight hours. During the drop, approximately $80 million worth of positions on BitMEX alone were liquidated, crushed as the $9,500 support was rapidly lost.

The bull case is getting a strong boost with the news that a buy wall has appeared on Bitfinex, though.

A trader shared the chart below on June 11th, showing that according to the Order Book Dominance Bands indicator, a massive block of buy orders have appeared from $8,600 to $9,000 for BTC.

Although this may suggest that the cryptocurrency has room to drop from the current price of $9,300, such a large confluence of buy orders shows that buyers believe there is upside ahead of Bitcoin.

As indicated below, whenever there has been strong buy support over the past few months, the cryptocurrency has rallied. Furthermore, whenever there was a confluence of sell-side orders, the trend topped.

The bull case may still be in play, but a tumbling stock market could change the narrative.

Bitcoin’s weakness on June 11th came as the S&P 500 and Dow Jones saw their worse performances since the extreme weakness seen in March and April, both falling around 6%.

As Avi Felman of BlockTower Capital observed, “the tick for tick with the SPX is back baby.” This comment was referring to analyses from March and April that revealed Bitcoin and the S&P 500 were trading in tandem, with prices moving together down to the minute.

Tick for tick with the SPX is back baby 🙏🏽

— Avi IS RIGHT (@AviFelman) June 11, 2020

Most analysts seem to be bullish on the market, despite the 6% drop.

Yet the underlying economy is painting different signs: as reported by Bloomberg, the World Bank is currently projecting the worse economic loss since World War 2, an annual GDP drop of 5.2%.

It isn’t clear if the stimulus from governments will be enough to stave off a stock market decline related to the poor macroeconomic data.

Should stocks plunge yet again, Bitcoin is unlikely to benefit. As Arthur Hayes of BitMEX explained:

“Bitcoin will be owned unlevered. Could the price retest $3,000? Absolutely. As the SPX rolls over and tests 2,000 expect all asset classes to puke again. As violent as the Q1 collapse in asset values was, we have almost 100 years of imbalances to unwind the ancien régime.”


Apex Crypto News - Biggest Crypto Exchanges Push for Global Presence

Apex Crypto News – Biggest Crypto Exchanges Push for Global Presence

Cryptocurrency exchanges have an important role in driving adoption around the world, but even the biggest operations face significant challenges when trying to expand their services. The advent of Bitcoin (BTC) and the subsequent development and launch of numerous other cryptocurrencies have changed the way people look at transacting across the world. Dependency on traditional banking systems is no longer the only option available to people.

Blockchain networks and cryptocurrencies are able to bypass conventional financial systems and allow people to transact directly, without having to go through a centralized institution. In an ideal, cryptographically secure world, users would transact peer-to-peer, but there are some barriers to entry for the uninitiated. Therefore, most of those new to crypto use exchanges as their entry points into the ecosystem as they convert their fiat currency into their cryptocurrency of choice. In 2020, users are spoiled by choices with the sheer number of cryptocurrency exchanges operating internationally.

Nevertheless, a handful of these exchanges are attempting to surge ahead of the pack and establish themselves as truly global enterprises. But what are the key challenges they face, and how have they gone about building their respective empires?

It’s clear that building a successful cryptocurrency exchange requires an enormous amount of time and resources as well as the ability to jump through a number of hurdles at any given time.

This is compounded when working across borders and continents, given that many countries have their own regulations and laws around the use of cryptocurrencies and the transfer and flow of fiat currencies. Jay Hao, the CEO of OKEx, told Cointelegraph that there are a number of considerations that make for a complex and challenging business environment, which means that “most CEOs in this business don’t get much sleep.” He added:

“Growing a global cryptocurrency exchange is probably one of the most difficult businesses to be in. There are many challenges from attracting and retaining the right talent to consolidating and expanding your user base, ensuring liquidity, depth of market, and an attractive product offering. You also have to make sure that the exchange is robust and secure, can handle high unexpected amounts of volume with next-to-no downtime, all the while meeting requirements from regulators. The list of challenges is actually endless.”

In a recent interview with Cointelegraph, Changpeng Zhao, the CEO of Binance who is otherwise known as “CZ,” stressed the importance of having a “global mindset” while maintaining a sustainable business model. In order to do this, CZ believes that exchanges need to understand the specific needs of users in different regions. “We have different approaches for various markets,” he further told Cointelegraph, adding:

“To run a global business, we have to make sure we are always offering a solid infrastructure for the users and enhance their experience, which is especially important for the 24/7 crypto space. Then, we have team members from different communities to provide customized products and services to a local market, and ensure our marketing strategy is aligned with local culture, custom and language.”

Huobi’s head of global business and markets, Ciara Sun, shared a similar idea, highlighting two major considerations that the exchange has focused on since its founding: localization and regulatory compliance. Sun told Cointelegraph that having a sound grasp of the wants and needs of users is a driving factor in launching exchange support in new regions:

“Localization doesn’t just mean offering the exchange in a new language. Users in different markets and regions each have different preferences, habits, and requirements, so we need to adapt to each audience and provide local users with highly tailored experiences.” 

As Sun explains, understanding why users in specific countries or regions are looking to use cryptocurrencies also provides some insights into what sort of offerings will work in different places: “We spend a lot of time learning the intricacies of a new market before we enter it.”

Cointelegraph also spoke to BitMEX to gauge its views on the most challenging aspects of running a cross-continent operation. A spokesperson for the company highlighted customer support as a considerable undertaking and one that requires the highest amount of its resources:

“As a 24/7 cryptocurrency derivatives trading platform serving users from around the world, our ability to provide seamless support, regardless of time zone, is an important part of our service. Our Customer Support team is now one of the largest teams within our organisation and offers support in multiple languages.”

A spokesperson for the exchange Kraken told Cointelegraph that regulatory considerations in different jurisdictions are some of the toughest challenges in terms of trying to set up new bases of operation:

“Clear regulatory guidance is important because it helps determine what products we can offer and who we can target with our businesses. If done properly, it can also ensure a level playing field for all competitors. Additionally, education continues to be a focus of ours as well, as there are both awareness and knowledge gaps when it comes to crypto and its benefits.”

So, becoming a global cryptocurrency exchange is not a clear-cut endeavor either, as there is no single regulatory body that exists for the industry. Given that cryptocurrencies have been in existence for just over a decade, regulation is very much down to individual countries and their laws.

Given that most financial institutions around the world face strict control measures from regulatory bodies, cryptocurrency exchanges have had to adopt similar practices. Many of these operations have to abide by Know Your Customer and Anti-Money Laundering guidelines in order to operate.

As OKEx’s Hao explained, the company takes direction from the guidelines of the Financial Action Task Force, or FATF, when looking to branch out to new regions. Nevertheless, Hao believes that a global body overseeing cryptocurrency regulation is an unlikely scenario, forcing the exchange to have a large legal team on board in order to ensure compliance in each jurisdiction where the exchange operates:

“I think that it will be very hard to establish a global regulatory authority for this space as all jurisdictions have their own laws and requirements. They are also constantly changing as the industry evolves.”

Huobi’s Sun hammered home the importance placed on regulatory compliance by its exchange as a fundamental part of its business model. “It’s crucial that a crypto exchange meets all local regulatory requirements with the proper licenses to operate,” Sun said, adding: “This requires an enormous amount of time and effort and most ‘global’ exchanges don’t actually bother with this but we believe it’s critical.”

A major takeaway from most of the exchanges is the challenging task of navigating a global landscape that has vastly different regulatory and legal parameters. Sun admitted that it is a difficult undertaking, but said that the first port of call is a country or region’s securities and exchange commissions and its financial regulators, adding: “As of yet, there isn’t a global consensus for classifying and regulating digital assets, so each market is unique with its own complexities.”

Binance’s CZ told Cointelegraph that the lack of a global body that governs all markets is down to the fact that the crypto industry is still in its infancy, meaning exchanges have to work closely with regulators in every single country:

“To take the US for example, it has well-established legal and compliance systems, where a crypto exchange has to apply for various licenses from different states in order to serve citizens of those states. […] For Binance, we always work closely with local governments and regulatory agencies and operate compliantly in all the jurisdictions we serve.”

Kraken’s spokesperson highlighted how operating in different continents requires specific compliance with various regulatory bodies and watchdogs and the rules that they set out. These considerations go deeper than just adhering to KYC, AML and FATF regulations; they also include following United States sanctions, meaning that Kraken is prohibited from operating in some countries. The spokesperson added: “We are also increasingly cognizant of maintaining compliance with global data protection regulations, such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in Europe.”

BitMEX’s spokesperson said that a key driver of success would come down to an exchange’s ability to adapt to regulatory parameters as it continues to develop. Additionally, the exchange sees that regulators all over the world are upping their interest in crypto, adding:

“We welcome their efforts, as they will help to establish greater standards for the cryptocurrency market that will underpin the advancement of this rapidly growing asset class. We believe that the successful platforms of the future will be those that can quickly embrace and maintain these standards.”

The proliferation of cryptocurrencies has been slow and steady over the past decade, but the industry has already made the traditional financial landscape aware of itself. Nevertheless, “the new” still has to plug in and be compatible with “the old.” In order to create accessibility for new users, cryptocurrency exchanges have to create fiat gateways to their platforms, which requires building relationships and compatibility with the traditional financial system.

Kraken offered its take on the intersection of cryptocurrency and traditional banking, conceding that the relationship between the two is important to drive adoption of the former. Nevertheless, the apathy of some banking institutions and the difficulty of interfacing and working with such organizations is still a challenge, as it’s “time-consuming to come to terms with these partners,” the company stated, adding:

“Despite the presence of many forward-looking banks, many others are extremely (and unnecessarily) risk-averse when it comes to crypto. This is unfortunate because they are depriving their clients of opportunities to engage with and benefit from this new and exciting opportunity.”

Further challenges are created by countries that try to apply existing laws to govern the use of cryptocurrencies. As Hao explained, “It’s a help and a hindrance” for the growth of cryptocurrency use, as some countries have developed crypto regulations upon realizing that the current framework cannot be adapted, while other jurisdictions are still lagging behind. He added: “This can be to the detriment of cryptocurrency as it all depends on how crypto is defined in the first place.”

For Binance’s CZ, regulation is not necessarily in opposition to cryptocurrencies. CZ believes that supporting regulation can drive innovation and help shape the crypto and blockchain space, much like the evolution of foreign exchange trading: “Given that the forex industry and the crypto industry, both driven by high technologies, share some similarities, forex regulation could serve as a good reference for regulators to formulate more supportive regulatory frameworks for the crypto industry.”

Huobi’s Sun believes that there is a changing attitude toward cryptocurrencies from regulators and the traditional financial system as they slowly gain an understanding of crypto and blockchain systems: “It’s only natural that forex regulation and banking systems have not yet fully caught up,” Sun said, adding that “current regulation continues to evolve as regulators adapt to the changing financial landscape.”

Sun told Cointelegraph that as a result, more and more traditional banking and financial institutions are onboarding the technology and opening up support to cryptocurrencies and exchanges:

“We’re also seeing less resistance from legacy financial institutions and banks. […] We’ve also partnered with banks to enable fiat gateways for local users in several markets, so while there’s still progress to be made, I believe the legacy banking system is moving quicker than anticipated.”

As the various representatives of these cryptocurrency exchanges have highlighted, the global cryptocurrency environment is a complex one. Building and launching a cryptocurrency exchange is a technical and challenging endeavor in and of itself. Taking that exchange and launching support in different jurisdictions adds multiple layers of complexity that require an inordinate amount of resources and energy.

Given the effort required, exchanges that are slowly building a global footprint are surely at the forefront of the industry and are pushing the adoption and acceptance of cryptocurrencies around the world.


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