Binance Prepares Launch of Crypto Exchange in South Korea

Binance, the world’s leading exchange by trading quantity, is thinking about opening an office in South Korea, based on report.

Changpeng “CZ” Zhao stated the likelihood to local news source Block In Press on Tuesday, stating that the company is “working with local partners, but we do not know the particulars.”

Still, regarding to a report by CoinDesk Korea, a company named Binance LLC has been founded in the country, with the manager listed as Jiho Kang of BXB Inc., a firm providing a Korean won-backed stablecoin.

A Binance spokesperson apparently told Block In Press, “We have been in discussions with BXB, but there is no specific decision.”

Including to the likelihood that a launch is on the cards, Binance has been promoting for a consent officer for South Korea.

In a write-up on their website, the exchange says:

“We are seeking a Compliance Officer to support our expansion into all global frontiers, including KYC, Client Onboarding and AML/CFT. The role is based in Seoul, South Korea.”

Some of the applicant should have: “Good knowledge on provisions of local laws, directives, regulations and otherwise standards applicable to subject persons and knowledge of upcoming regulation of virtual currency policies is a strong plus.”

CoinDesk Korea also increases the chance that Binance might work with BXB to establish a Korean won-backed stablecoin on its system. The exchange just lately stated that it’s developed a token connected to the British pound and that more relying on other fiat currencies are considered.

Apart from it’s global service, the exchange not long ago declared that it will launch a regulated platform for users in the U.S. The firm also has local exchanges in Singapore, Jersey and Uganda.

The Most Recent Crypto Vault Has Promised „Bank Grade“ Security

Trustology, a company established by a group of technologists, has released its very own iPhone- controlled crypto vault which is even secure for banks. Thanks to Trustology, from this Wednesday, everyone is able to download TrustVault on their iPhones. This recent crypto vault happens to be used in order to store ether, which is a cryptocurrency. Soon, ERC-20 tokens and Bitcoin will also be stored with the help of this brand-new crypto vault.

At first glance, you might think that TrustVault is just some regular crypto wallet mobile phone application, but that is not the case. The team of professionals behind the TrustVault has used a combination of HSM, which stands for hardware security modules along with some strict verification processes which turned out to be a complete success.

The CEO of Trustology, Alex Batlin has said that although the TrustVault app looks simple, its massive advantage is immense the strength of service which something the future users must be takin consideration.

Also, if the customer, unfortunately, loses his phone, Trustology gives him an option to recover his account easily. The reason is that the private keys to the crypto wallet aren’t in fact stored on the user’s phone. Because people take part in the setup process, it can’t be said that this is just some regular cold storage solution. The timeframe for your assets to get out can take up to a maximum of two days.

The moment you’re on board with TrustVault, everything is going to be automated and you will be in a position to move your funds in a matter of seconds.

The Process Of Having A TrustVault Account
Just when the TrustVault app was launched, in the iPhone enclave, two keys were made:

  • A private cryptographic key
  • Right after the private key, there’s a very important bank-grade process which is crucial for knowing who the customer is exactly. This particular process links the key which can’t be extracted to your very own user identity. You have to remember that with this you can’t control your funds, unfortunately.

After this is done, the following motion for you would be to make a key account with the TrustVault app. Your request for creating an account is going to be signed with a mobile phone key which is private. That key will be made in the Hardware Security Module and also in a so-called „policy file.” This file associates the key which is in the user’s iPhone to the key which is located in the Hardware Security Module.
If you’re eager to move your cash, you are obliged to sign a transaction, and you have the possibility do that with the help of a key located in your iPhone.

What Mobile Device Can You Use For The App?

At this very moment, TrustVault can only be used on an iPhone, and the reason is that this is the only mobile device with an enclave, which can in terms of security, support this type of custody service.

Customers will soon be in a position to use the app on their Android phones, but not on every Android mobile device in particular. Google Pixel 3 will soon be available to use the services of TrustVault. This phone has a very secure chip which has been named „Titan M.” In fact, it is even superior to the iPhone, security-wise.

Bitcoin Leading the Way for Credit Card Support

TernioIt’s clear to see that cryptocurrencies are here to stay. But the industry is about the experience another big innovation, as the up-and-coming currency will get a further boost in the form of credit card support. This can revolutionize the way we look at cryptocurrencies and make them even more popular. We’re getting deeper into the details to bring you the most comprehensive information about this news.

How Will Cryptocurrencies Work With Credit Cards?
The credit card with which the cryptocurrencies will be integrated with will be made by the blockchain company Ternio. It’s called the BlockCard and its main use is to accelerate the way we use crypto coins on an everyday basis. According to Ian Kane, COO of Ternio, the BlockCard will allow users greater convenience and remove the popular notion that cryptocurrencies are only speculative assets and don’t have any real-world value.
All of the transactions will happen completely on digital asset exchanges, meaning you can use it anywhere you like, both online and in physical shops and stores. The company announced that they will be launching two types of cards, physical and virtual debit cards. There are two types of physical cards and will cost you a bit of money depending on your choice. The virtual card will be free.
A simple blockchain-based solution like this not only means more convenience but also that this system can potentially outshine regular credit cards since it will allow users to avoid hefty transaction fees and enjoy the advantages of simple and fast payments and transactions.

ternio blockcard - bitcoin debit cardThe BlockCard Mobile App
In line with the mobile trends, the folks at Ternio also recently made public that they’re creating a mobile app to go hand in hand with the BlockCard. Using the app and the card together will enable you to spend multiple currencies around the world. You will also be in full control of your balance and will be able to send, store, track or directly buy more cryptocurrencies.

What currencies Will it Support?
There are several cryptocurrencies rumored to be in the talks, with Bitcoin and Ethereum leading the way. According to the information we’ve got from reliable sources close to Ternio, the BlockCard will support Bitcoin, Ethereum, Stellar Lumens and Ternio. Of course, there are plans of introducing others soon, depending on how well the project catches on.

Get your BlockCard Now!
The scheduled introduction was set for December of 2018, but the first release only includes 100 BlockCards, available to first sign-ups. The BlockCard project will come to fruition in its entirety the near future, so make sure you sign up for it if you’re a crypto and blockchain enthusiast.
The waiting list is a bit long, but the company announced that there will be early referral bonuses, community participation and all sorts of activities to all of the users who decide to sign up with them. The sign-up process is free and you’re not required to purchase anything, though if you want access to the card, you will have to deposit $100.

Newly-Discovered Botnet Fights Mining Malware

fbot - the friendly botnetMeet Fbot, the friendly botnet. Not only is Fbot not malicious, but it seems that its purpose is the discovery and removal of the crypto-mining malware of a particular type.

Normally, a collection of devices connected over the Internet, each of them running one or several bots of its own, aka botnet, acts as an aggressive predator in the virtual jungle. It performs DDoS attacks, sends spam, and steals data. Botnets are a relatively new threat: the first one that we know of was officially brought to light in 2001 by a U.S. company EarthLink in the course of a lawsuit filed against Khan C. Smith. Since 2000, Smith used ErthLink’s network for sending junk emails and had managed to send about 1.25 billion of these. The lawsuit resulted in one of the largest spam judgments in history: the company won $24.8 million. At that time, Smith’s botnet was held accountable for approximately 25% of all junk mail.

malware aimed at crypto miningThe amount of malware aimed at crypto mining has grown dramatically. Systems of every scale and size have been affected, from small individual ones to those belonging to governments. In August 2018, it was reported that the attacks have spiked by more than 950% compared to the previous year. According to Skybox Security, mining malware has now replaced ransomware as the biggest cyber threat: “Cryptocurrency miners may be the new kid on the block, but they’re taking over.”

On September 13th, 360Netlab’s team discovered an interesting botnet the sole purpose of which, according to a blog post by Hui Wang, appears to be “just going after and removing another botnet com.ufo.miner.”

Newly-Discovered Botnet Fights Mining MalwareFbot has an interesting lineage: it appears to be a variation of a Satori botnet. Satori is based on a program used for performing DDoS attacks. However, Fbot’s DDoS module was deactivated. Its new role is to search for a specific malware, a version of ADB.Miner, responsible for crypto-jacking. Once the prey has been detected in a system, Fbot installs itself over it on the infected device and then self-destructs. The vigilante botnet uses EmerDNS, a decentralized domain name system, instead of the traditional DNS, which makes tracking the addresses more difficult. As the 360Netllab blog explains: “it raised the bar for security researchers to find and track the botnet (Security systems will fail if they only look for traditional DNS names).”

There is still no information on whether this interesting new botnet was intended for good or if it is simply a means to eliminate competition and clear the way for another attacker.

The Cost of Testing Ethereum’s Casper

ethereum casper-hybridEthereums’s Hybrid Casper FFG (Friendly Finality Gadget), the new consensus protocol, has received special attention at the Toronto Ethereum conference. According to Vitalik Butering, the creator of Ethereum, testing the protocol will require the submission of 1,500 Ether, minimum.

Friendly, but Costly
Casper FFG is, essentially, a hybrid POW / POS consensus protocol. The idea is to have the blocks mined via POW (Proof of Work), with every fiftieth block being a POS (Proof of Stake) checkpoint, at which a network of validators would assess the finality.

In the recent months, the community has seen a considerable progress in the development of Casper. In April 2018, the code for the protocol was announced to be ready for review. During the Toronto conference which took place at the beginning of May this year, Vitalik Buterin initiated the discussion of the new protocol. He would not announce any particular dates but said that his expectation was for the development to go quicker from now on.

During his talk, Butering described the Casper algorithm and outlined the way it would change the current state of things.

Proof of Stake is seen by many as a much more just way of ensuring the global synchronization. With POS, the users lock up a number of coins as stake. According to Buterin, an initial submission of 1,500 Ether (approximately $1 million) into the smart contract is going to be required to participate in Casper. That is, obviously, a lot of money, and Buterin accentuated that the nodes that do not have the necessary sum can pool their resources or work in a group and then share the profit.

Buterin seems to be very optimistic about Casper’s future. He said that it “will hopefully be one of the more joyous experiences in Ethereum in a fairly short time.”

It is the scaling challenges currently faced by Ethereum that are to be blamed for such a large sum of money required. The new consensus protocol can only support a particular number of nodes. On the bright side, Buterin expects the number to go down to about 32 Ether (around $25) after the implementation of the sharding solution that divides the blockchain into smaller bits.

Also, even those who do not have the sufficient crypto funds will have a chance to stake on the testnet that at the moment runs only a small number of nodes.

A Simple Process

Apart from startling the public with numbers, Buterin explained what steps need to be taken to set up the validator or the node that would take part in the Casper POS protocol.

According to Buterin, Casper FFG is highly customizable and allows a lot of freedom for the developers. For example, the nodes may introduce such features as extra security and multiple keys during the initial stage of the set-up process.

Of course, for those who are somewhat less familiar with software development, the process of setting up Casper may seem a difficult task, but, as Buterin said, it is, in fact, very simple: “The good news is … that in practice, you personally as a user probably don’t need to worry about which validation code you’re using. You as a user basically just click a button that says deposit.”

Once Casper has been set up, the user would need to select the wallet for the returns, but, again, Buterin promised that the client “will do all this magic” for the users. After that, the user needs to submit a deposit of at least 1,500 Ether and run the software. The size of the rewards is going to be proportional to the sum at stake. Voting on the potential blocks will occur automatically, so that the users don’t need to completely understand the intricate mechanics of the process – all they need to do is make sure the node stays online and watch the incoming returns. Buterin assured the audience that “as a regular user you just need to keep your node online, keep your node running, and your node will just do all this voting automatically.”

How Much does Casper Return?

There is still no final information on what returns are to be expected by the nodes. However, Buterin was able to give some approximate numbers. If the validators constantly stay online, a 10 million Ether deposit would, presumably, earn a regular return of around 0-5% annually. As Buterin optimistically stated, “Probably closer to five than to zero.”

The exact sum of the returns depends on the user’s activity in the system. Casper’s slasher concept goes beyond simply rewarding the users for good performance: it also punishes those who misbehave by curbing such actions as double-voting or forming large staking pools. The users caught in the act could lose 1-100% of the deposit, depending on the scale of the mischief.

The Friendly protocol is also going to penalize the users for inactivity, so that a node that mostly stays offline will eventually begin losing some of the deposit. Yet, staying online for a period between 2/3 and 1/2 of the time will still result in returns. Even if a user only has a laptop, it is fairly safe to become a validator, provided there is a guaranteed Internet connection.


Crypto Scams on Twitter: Hold on to Your Bitcoin!

traffic sign - SCAM!The most widely advertised feature of the decentralized cryptocurrency is the symbiosis of trust and unbiassed verification within the blockchain technology.

However, as the recent crypto scams that have been pulled off on Twitter show, trust needs to be applied with great caution.

A Chain of Scandals

Bitcoin wars on Twitter have been going on for some time now. The factions supporting various types of crypto have been engaged in a full-scale flame war, bombarding each other with angry messages and accusations. As if that wasn’t enough, Twitter was all but buried under a landslide of fake verified accounts and a swelled number of copycat accounts.

Once the breaches in the defenses were found, more and more scammers started using the photo ID to trick Twitter into giving their accounts the “verified” badge and go on impersonating real, unsuspecting people and entities. The end goal is, of course, to swindle the users out of as much money as possible before anyone suspects fraud.

The notorious account “Protafield” (verified, of course) pretended to be a crypto exchange and staged the non-existent Ether giveaways.

Another verified profile, “seifsbei”, managed to impersonate six different accounts, such as Bitfinex, a crypto exchange, and even went as far as impersonating Vitalik Buterin, the creator of Ethereum.

These incidents make it more than obvious that Twitter’s verification process falls short of protecting its users and sifting the honest ones from the wrongdoers. Simply put, the “verified” badge no longer guarantees anything. As the founder of start-up Tim Pastoor stated, “People at home see this as a stamp that Twitter sees this as a good account, which can be very subjective”. He also said that scams are made even more dangerous because it is not the intent that is vetted, but merely the identity that is behind the account.

looks like someone is about to steal my bitcoin?A representative of Bitfinex, one of the larges Bitcoin trading platforms, says that fighting the influx of fake accounts takes a considerable amount of time and effort: “We dedicate a lot of resources towards combating illegitimate Twitter accounts and educating our users on how to spot them. However, our impact on certain sites is limited”.

Lethal Patterns

The situation with the restless crypto segment of Twitter is anything but simple.

The false information that the fake account holders present to the users is camouflaged by impeccable terminology. The well-applied technical language does not only make the information look trustworthy, but also makes the standard scam detection processes that Twitter uses, such as language analysis, insufficient.

On the other hand, systematic fraud can be spotted due to the scammers’ tendency to promote the tokens in packs, boosting each other’s reputation and visibility.

Another factor to consider is, well, human. It is commonly known that people rather trust acquaintances more that strangers, and acquaintances less than close friends. Thus, to filter the information, Twitter could allow users to have more control over their feed, the way that Facebook does it. Tim Pastoor believes there are going to be iterations: “I would probably recommend starting with allowing people to filter based on people that they already trust, and to maybe make more use of your second or third-degree networks”.

The mess gets even worse because the accounts can pass to other owners, and not necessarily through hacks, and the new owners’ motives can be very different.

An example of such stray account is the suspended @bitcoin. It started with tweeting the information supporting bitcoin, changed hands many times over the years, and ended up tweeting controversial and misleading information. Finally, it caused so much disapproval, that Twitter had it suspended, and then divested of the verification mark.

The Power of a Tweet

Despite the apparently unreliable verification process, it is a fact that Twitter has a great influence on the crypto markets. Regular users can have as much impact on the price swings of a particular crypto enterprise as the scammers.

The founder of CoinTrend, Nick Lucas, says that there is “basically a lot of influence on Twitter when John McAfee or someone mentions a specific coin.” For example, the price of the Safe Exchange Coins spiked within 24 hours after McAfee tweeted about it.

Naturally, the tweets can just as well have a negative effect. As Lucas puts it, “If everyone is talking negatively about something that is getting pushed into a core repo coin, that can also have an impact. If someone with a big following tweets something, it can cause a scare”.