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Crypto Thefts In Japan Triple In H1 2018

According to the Japanese media The Asahi Shimbun, the number of cryptocurrency thefts has tripled over the first half of 2018. Japan is one of the leading crypto markets but it looks like it has a hard time keeping cybercriminals away. The National Police Agency (NPA) reports that compared to the same period last year, the number of hacks has grown immensely.

In 2017, the authorities have registered less than 60 cases, while this year they are 158 and counting. Unsurprisingly, Bitcoin leads the race. The number one cryptocurrency seems to be the most targeted  as it was the prime subject of the attacks 94 times. Bitcoin thefts amount to 860 million yen stolen. Second comes Ripple’s XRP, which was targeted 42 times. The bad guys have snatched 1.52 billion yen worth of XRP in the first six months of the year. Surprisingly, Ethereum was the prime target in just 14 cases, which however result in 60 million yen losses.

Of course, tens of altcoins have been compromised as well. NEM (XEM) for example made the news during the infamous Coincheck hack.

“More than 60 percent of all cases, or 102 incidents, involved individuals who used the same ID and password for their e-mail account and other Internet services, such as online shopping, for cryptocurrency dealings,” read the police report.

In total, the Japanese market has lost over 60.50 billion yen (roughly $540 million) in the first half of 2018. In contrast, for the same period last year, the cyber thieves have stolen a mere $5.5 million. We should note, however, that since the Coincheck wrongdoing the officials introduced stricter regulations. The NPA is monitoring whether exchanges comply with KYC and AML policies, while the Financial Services Agency has investigated many of the domestic exchanges.

Though in general, the number of crypto thefts declined after March, the culprits still managed to steal $60 million from Zaif earlier this week.



Coinbase Rebrands Toshi Wallet To Coinbase Wallet

As you might have noticed, Coinbase recently rebranded the Toshi Wallet to Coinbase Wallet. The non-custodial wallet is soon to support not only Ethereum and ERC20 tokens but Bitcoin Cash, Litecoin, and Bitcoin as well.

Why Coinbase Wallet matters?

First of all, the fact that the San Francisco-based exchange went on to rename that specific wallet product to Coinbase Wallet means just one thing – Coinbase is really trying to hold crypto traders in its platform. It’s not only that it offers a variety of crypto trading services, now that it offers Coinbase Wallet, promoting it as “the easiest and most secure crypto wallet, the business giant wants to level up its game.

However, it has been known for a long time that online wallets in general and specifically exchange wallets fail miserably when it comes to protecting your tokens. So why would Coinbase Wallet be any different?

Coelho-Prabhu says in a blog post:

“Toshi was developed by the Coinbase team a little over a year ago — When the product launched, it featured the world’s first mobile dapp browser — Later, we became the first wallet to launch crypto collectibles,” then adding, “And as part of our effort to be the most trusted brand in the space, we also set out to provide best-in-class secure storage. With Coinbase Wallet, your private keys are secured using your device’s Secure Enclave and biometric authentication technology.

Coinbase Wallet Features

Currently, you can use it to store your Ethereum and ERC20 tokens. However, unlike online wallets Coinbase Wallet allows you to store and trade collectible, non-fungible, tokens and receive airdrops. Furthermore, it really allows you to seamlessly interact with decentralized applications and platforms.

The team behind it has tried to secure it as users can create their own private seeds and recovery phrases. In fact, an additional security feature asks you to level up security by using your fingerprint as a biometric authentication.

The Coinbase Wallet is available for Android and iOS and we are really looking forward to how it turns out.





Monero GUI Wallet Now Offers Ledger Support

Most recently, the team behind Monero GUI wallet announced an update, which pleasantly surprised the Monero community. The new Version offers Ledger support.

Monero has always stood out as privacy and security-oriented token but this time the development team really outdid itself. In fact, Monero has perhaps the most dedicated community and that dedication is often paid off. Without creating any unnecessary hype, the developing team silently builds a sustainable ecosystem.

These tactics over put Monero in the shadows and regular updates often go unnoticed. However, the last Monero GUI wallet release was difficult to miss. The most important update is definitely the one which allows for a native Ledger wallet support. The fact that the hardware wallet now integrates easily with Monero is a win-win situation. The cold wallet manufacturer adds a trusted token, while the Monero lovers get a chance to fully reap the benefits of Ledger’s hardware wallet.

GUI wallet users are now able to open Monero Ledger wallet within GUI itself. However, this is only possible if the user has connected a physical Ledger wallet to their computer. This further adds to the security offered by Ledger. Furthermore, this is not the only update GUI wallet comes with. The user interface is slightly adjusted as well as some minor bugs apparent in previous versions.

Unsurprisingly, one Redditor wrote:

“The professionalism and passion of this dev team continues to astound me. Well done!!!”

The price of Bitcoin may define the whole market and the unmatchable diversity of the Ethereum ecosystem may make or break the industry but it’s really projects like Monero that bring something special to the cryptocurrency world. It is fascinating to see how Monero evolves over time. We have to say that the team has really upped its game with the integrated Ledger wallet support.

More on Ledger, here.


Secure Your Recovery Seeds With Crypto Key Stack

Last time we discussed how important recovery seeds really are. Earlier this year we also outlined the best practices when it comes to storing your recovery seed. Since everybody knows that the best way to store such confidential information is to put it offline, we’ve decided to show you one of the best products on the market that can help you do just that.

Of course, you can always write your seed on a piece of paper and lock it somewhere safe but water, fire, and even sunlight can destroy the paper, leaving you with empty hands. What I’m talking about is – Crypto Key Stack.

Crypto Key Stack is the perfect cold storage for your cryptocurrencies. Simply said, you get a stainless steel plate that can store up to 24-word mnemonic phrases. Ideal for backing up you hardware wallet or MetaMask. Since the team behind this revolutionary stack take security very seriously, they ask you to engrave your back up phrase by hand. When you purchase Crypto Key Stack you get one, three or ten stainless steel plates plus personal electric engraver. This way you can safely write your recovery seed at the comfort of your home, without having to worry that you might expose your backup phrase to someone else.

Why Crypto Key Stack?

Because it is manufactured out of black anodized stainless steel. Or simply said the black finish offers enhanced visibility once you engrave your precious words. Additionally, stainless steel is so durable that neither water nor fire can damage it. First of all, even fire above 2100o F (1150oC) cannot destroy it. This temperature is two times higher than the average temperature of house fires. Even if you store Crypto Key Stack in your wet basement it won’t get rusty and unusable because it’s made out of stainless steel, remember?

You can personalize your stack by purchasing additional plates (up to ten in one stack) or get plates featuring the logos of Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Litecoin.



Wozniak: I Like To Think Bitcoin Can Be The World’s Single Currency

Steve Wozniak, Apple’s co-founder, has expressed his interest in cryptocurrencies several times so far. In May he praised Ethereum for its pivotal role in the development of distributed ledger technologies. He even went on to say that he sees Ethereum as the new Apple. Interestingly, he hinted that he likes Ethereum for the platform it is rather than its native token.

Most recently, he seemed positive about Bitcoin’s future as well. During the Money 20/20 conference in Europe Woz said in an interview that he digs the idea of a worldwide cryptocurrency that people can exchange at almost no cost.

“I buy into what Jack Dorsey says, not that I necessarily believe it’s going to happen, but because I want it to be that way, that is so pure thinking,” he said.

As you know, the CEO of Twitter and fintech platform Square, has long been a Bitcoin advocate, stating that in ten years time it will be the one and only currency used on the internet.

“The world ultimately will have a single currency, the internet will have a single currency. I personally believe that it will be bitcoin,” Jack Dorsey said.

It looks like Steve Wozniak has not changed his view on Bitcoin despite that he admits he had sold all of his tokens. He noted that cryptocurrency trade took too much of his time. What’s more, he even fell victim to fraudsters who drained his card during a Bitcoin transaction. Woz has often described Bitcoin as “pure digital gold” and “totally decentralized”.

“Bitcoin is mathematically defined, there is a certain quantity of bitcoin, there’s a way it’s distributed… and it’s pure and there’s no human running, there’s no company running and it’s just… growing and growing… and surviving. That to me says something that is natural and nature is more important than all our human conventions.”

It is good to hear some renowned tech gurus endorsing cryptocurrencies in times when the market is in the red once again.


What Is 51% Attack And Should We Freak Out?

The crypto community has seen all kinds of fraudulent activities. And there is nothing strange in that.  Cryptocurrencies are still considered something new, which opens up endless possibilities for both investors and hackers.

On one hand, digital assets attract traders from all walks of life, including institutional ones. This means that tons of money are invested in various cryptocurrencies on a daily basis. On the other hand, bad actors are standing in front of a golden mine. The technologies underpinning the tokens are all different and new, which means security is having its flaws. It is ten years since Bitcoin took on its wild journey in the world of crypto assets and for the time being fraudsters have come up with several ways to steal it.

Probably the most popular way to steal cryptocurrencies is through an exchange hack. One just have to breach the security measures and allocate as much tokens as possible to his or her wallets. This could happen through phishing or DDoS as well. Cryptojacking is another form of winning tokens, though it has nothing to do with stealing them. Instead hackers infect websites, which force visitor’s devices to mine certain cryptocurrency as send the reward to the bad guys.

However, in the last few weeks we have witnessed that another threat is rising – 51% attack. Potentially extremely profitable, 51% attacks have been relatively mild so far.

What is a 51% attack?

It occurs when one person or a group of persons takes control over the majority of the blockchain’s specific hashrate. In other words, if a group of miners controls over 50% of the computing power needed for Bitcoin’s running it can do quite interesting things like reversing transactions and double spending coins. The bandits would also be able to get all the rewards from other miners, relocate funds, halt transactions and prevent other miners from creating a new block.

Nevertheless, it is extremely difficult to conduct such an attack. What’s more, it is expensive, though it depends on your target. Usually, the larger the blockchain the pricey the attack. For example, conducting a 51% attack on Ethereum Classic might cost you between $55 million and $85 million. Why? Because you need powerful mining rigs. They, in turn, consume tremendous amounts of electricity, so yes purchasing miners and paying your bills can actually make you drop the idea. The prices for Bitcoin and Ethereum are a staggering $550,000 and $360,000 per hour respectively.

What about smaller networks?

Einsteinium is the cheapest currency with only $77 per hour. However, the profits will be so small that it’s not worth even considering attacking it. Bytecoin and Bitcoin Private would cost you $600 per hour on average.

All being said, we have to note that so far every 51% attack has been caught on time. Meaning the hackers managed to run away with just bits of the token supply. This makes us think that 51% attacks are just not worth the hassle.

Exchanges, security,

Taylor Got Hacked, Over A Million Worth Of Ether Is Lost

The more cryptocurrencies grow in popularity, the more their value increases. This, in turn, attracts even more people into the ever-growing world of crypto finance. However, a great part of the newcomers are non-tech individuals who don’t necessarily understand the market.

For traders like them, there are various applications that are supposed to make their lives easier. Though relying on third-party solutions is a bad idea, especially when it comes to your funds. Yet, many prefer to “trade” via automated platforms, thus relegating their finances to others. This requires trust, and in the case of Taylor that trust was unjustified. Here’s why – when developers decide to cash in on the crypto trend they create cryptocurrency platforms. Unfortunately, even if they come up with a useful solution they often underestimate security.

What I’m trying to say is, the more popular a crypto app, the more money it proceeds. Hackers know that and once they are sure they can deliver a proper attack they strike. And boy, this time they ran away with 2.578 Ether from Taylor. By today’s prices, this is close to $1.5 million. Additionally, all TAY wallets were drained, including team and bounty pools. Interestingly the founder of Taylor and his advisors have their funds as prior to the attack. There is a reason for that however, they were locked in a contract.

Why, Why, Why?

In a post, the company hints that the probable perpetrator is the same group that conducted the CypheriumChain attack. The company also states that IDEX has delisted TAY tokens until there are more details available. Even worse, Taylor admits that they will be unable to refund the lost funds. So if you had some tokens there, the chances are you will never see them again in any form.

Unfortunately, there are still many inexperienced traders who rely on third-parties to take care of their funds. These days even little kids know that leaving your tokens in an online exchange is a very bad idea. Especially when there are super secure crypto wallets like Ledger, Trezor, and KeepKey.