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Cryptocurrency Exchanges, Huobi and Fisco Raided By Japanese Financial Services Agency (FSA)

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Japanese Financial Regulator, the Financial Services Agency (FSA) have reportedly, conducted raids at two Cryptocurrency Exchange offices in Japan. Reportedly, the two exchanges “underwent major changes to management structures” which were brought to an investigation by the FSA.

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Huobi Japan Inc., a Singapore based Exchange from China and Fisco cryptocurrency Inc., Minato-ku-based Exchange were the two firms put under surveillance.

According to a press release from Reuters,

“The FSA investigations were designed to ensure appropriate measures have been implemented for customer protection and legal compliance after the management changes, the sources said.”

Furthermore, the sources remained anonymous as they are not authorized to speak to the media. Huobi Japan Inc. was established under its parent company based out of Singapore after it acquired the Government registered, BitTrade Exchange.

Fisco is a financial services provider in Japan that deals in equity, foreign exchange, bonds, and commodities markets. It acquired Government registered Zaif Exchange to enter into cryptocurrencies in 2016.

The Japanese Regulators have so far brought a total of 123 companies under its surveillance that deals in cryptocurrencies; Japan is one of the first developed countries to regulate Cryptocurrency Exchanges.  The Exchanges are required to register with the Government and comply with the rules of customer protection and legal formalities laid down by the Government.

Also Read: Japan to Launch Blockchain Payment Experiment for Tokyo 2020 Olympics

Hence, the raids carried out by the FSA were to ensure that the regulatory compliances have been followed at the two Exchanges after management changes. Furthermore, Japanese banks are the forerunners of the institutions that plan to integrate Blockchain and cryptocurrency in the current financial system.

Do you think that the raids call for an ominous tiding or it was just a routine check? Please share relevant details with us.  

Cryptocurrency Exchanges, Huobi and Fisco Raided By Japanese Financial Services Agency (FSA)

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Cryptocurrency Exchanges, Huobi and Fisco Raided By Japanese Financial Services Agency (FSA)
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Japanese Financial Regulator, the Financial Services Agency (FSA) have reportedly, conducted raids at two Cryptocurrency Exchange offices in Japan. Reportedly, the two exchanges “underwent major changes to management structures” which were brought to an investigation by the FSA.
Nivesh Rustgi
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The presented content may include the personal opinion of the author and is subject to market condition. Do your market research before investing in cryptocurrencies. The author or the publication does not hold any responsibility for your personal financial loss.

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Dash launches anti-51% attack ChainLocks and improved InstantSend

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The core team of cryptocurrency Dash, today has officially released Dash Core v0.14.0 software to the Dash mainnet -— the most significant release to date in the ongoing rollout of Dash Evolution.

With this update, the Dash network’s user experience will be improved substantially, enabling immediate transaction confirmation without sacrificing network security. Additionally, the introduction of ChainLocks nearly eliminates the threat of 51% mining attacks – a first for Proof of Work (PoW) blockchains.

Most notably, Dash Core v.0.14.0 introduces three critical new features that are necessary to the future of Dash and the Dash Evolution platform:

  • Long Living Masternode Quorums – finite-duration masternode quorums, of varying sizes depending on the network need, which can validate events and transactions without having to form the quorum “on-demand”. This optimizes Dash network’s consensus, increasing confirmation speed while decreasing network stress on individual nodes.
  • LLMQ-Based ChainLocks – utilizing LLMQs, ChainLocks streamlines on-chain confirmation while making it nearly impossible to successfully pull off a 51% attack on the network, regardless of resources available to the potential attackers.
  • LLMQ-Based InstantSend – following the deployment of automatic InstantSend on the Dash network, LLMQ-based InstantSend will make it significantly easier for users to conduct real-time transactions with Dash while simultaneously improving scalability and reducing network overhead.

“This release has been a major moment on our calendars for quite some time, and I couldn’t be prouder of the work being done by the Dash developer community. Our goal for Dash Evolution has always been for it to make Dash the most user-friendly blockchain-based payment system in the world, and the release of Version 0.14.0 is a significant leap forward in that endeavor. In addition to bolstering our network security via ChainLocks – making our network the first Proof of Work blockchain to essentially eliminate the threat of a 51% attack – the official introduction of LLMQs opens up a whole new world of potential use cases for Dash beyond payments.”

Ryan Taylor, CEO of Dash Core Group

In recent months, the Dash network has deployed several features laying the foundation for the ongoing rollout of Dash Evolution – including automatic InstantSend, which makes it easier for users to complete near-instant transactions at the point of sale without incurring an additional cost.

The release of v.0.14.0 marks the final step before the release of Dash Core v1.0 – also known as Dash Evolution. Once released in full, Evolution will enable developers to build dApps without the infrastructure needed to run a full node, made possible through decentralized hosting. And as part of Dash Evolution, Dash Core Group will be releasing its own consumer-facing payments app, called Dashpay, to showcase the platform’s capabilities.

“I’m thrilled to see our second major release hit mainnet in the past 6 months. Not only has our developer team generated significant momentum internally, but have done so while delivering some of the industry’s most powerful new features. With each release, Dash gets increasingly closer to realizing its potential as ‘digital cash’.”

Bob Carroll, CTO of Dash Core Group

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Cryptopia Cracked: Are Centralized Exchanges the Way to Go?

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It goes without saying that exchanges command significant influence over the cryptocurrency market, being the exclusive portals for fiat into the world of blockchain. Exchanges are also the most significant winners of the cryptocurrency craze, and bank billions by raking in fees and maintaining custody over sizeable crypto wallets comprised of their own funds but also those of the customers. In a largely unregulated environment, the latter idea comes with its own set of implications and risks.

Not every exchange uses its capital to reduce these risks adequately. Instead of reinvesting in a more secure custody service or establishing carefully administered audits, some exchanges may begin to act in their own financial interests. Traders keeping their coins in exchange wallets understand that the direct connection to the market and ability to trade into and out of fiat demands a steep price — and familiarity with this compromise is universal.

For a sector that is moving gradually toward improved compliance, customer safety and access to the crypto market shouldn’t be mutually exclusive. This is why breaches like that of Cryptopia are vital to pay attention to, as they also highlight the often-adversarial role that exchanges play with their customers.

With the news that Cryptopia is now being liquidated, several months after two major hacks, the reality may be setting in for optimistic crypto traders. Despite their best intentions and ambitious statements, exchanges are not always friendly places to customers, for more than one reason. For early investors, this scary reality tempers investment enthusiasm and represents an anchor on the market that, in 2019, is past due to be cut loose. But is the future really that bleak?

Thanks to the transparency of the ledger, websites like Etherscan, and watchdog social accounts such as Whale Alert, have already tracked the stolen Cryptopia funds to a handful of wallet addresses that moved the funds over to an exchange. However, this is far from identifying the perpetrators of the hack or even preventing them from using the crypto they stole.

Cryptopia crushed

Exchange hacks are an unfortunate yet predictable occurrence in cryptocurrency and add to its notoriety as a “Wild West” marketplace. Cryptopia is just one instance in a long history of hacks, which, as of April 2019, totaled over $1.3 billion lost or stolen in crypto since the origination of bitcoin in 2009. Of that $1.3 billion, 61% was lost in 2018 alone — and 2019 seems to have the ambition to surpass that figure.

The hack of New Zealand exchange platform Cryptopia was reported in January after several days of on-and-off maintenance, when it finally announced on Jan. 15 that, at the time, around $16 million had been stolen from over 76,000 different wallet addresses. On Jan. 29 the hacker struck again, siphoning a further 1,675 ethers (ETH) from a variety of 17,000 Cryptopia wallets.

“What surprises me the most is the negligence in relation to security of the entire chain of work with wallets,” Codex Exchange CEO Serge Vasylchuk exclusively told Cointelegraph. “Maximum isolation is necessary both from external influences and from accidental internal interference — on the developer’s part or anyone else’s, because each change in the system may entail a security breach. That’s why backups should be done regularly. Private key backuhereumps must be on a well-protected physical copy with no questions. This hack would have been prevented if they would have taken these must-have measures seriously.”

Also, the founder of Cryptopia, Adam Clark has seemingly moved on from the failed project and is now working on a new cryptocurrency exchange called Assetylene. It claims to be “New Zealands most advanced crypto trading platform,” offering fast and secure service. It is unclear if the exchange is fully operational at this point in time, several pages like “About Us” are blank and “Market Summary” displays zero activity.

Badly run exchanges demonstrate the need for decentralization

So, why did it take so long for Cryptopia to acknowledge the threat and then to deal with it appropriately? How could it have let its customers’ private keys become exposed?

Answers are still inconclusive, but some are of the opinion that the hack was an inside job, meant to drain the exchange of its funds before a scheduled audit. Though this would be incomprehensibly malevolent, it’s already bad enough that a platform with over 1 million customers would expose their private keys to intruders.

According to Hacken’s blockchain security team, “The Cryptopia hack is quite different from other exchange and wallet hacks. First of all, the funds were transferred from ethereum accounts. Hackers need to sign the transaction with an account’s private key to be able to transfer ether or tokens to their personal account. It could have happened that hacker somehow gained access to Cryptopia’s private key storage. The fact that a hacker gained access to private keys is confirmed by the fact that transfers continued several days after the breach was discovered.”

The lack of transparency on the part of Cryptopia, which remains tight-lipped about the ordeal and willing to let customers flail, also seems questionable. Centralized exchanges are able to rely on the legal system to some extent when it comes to repaying stakeholders, but it isn’t always the most elegant or satisfying solution, given that they still exist on the fringes of traditional finance. The embrace of decentralized exchanges is partly due to the idea that traders own their own private keys and therefore exercise true ownership of their cryptocurrency.

This is clearly demonstrable in other exchange hacks, all of which occurred on centralized exchanges exclusively. The largest hack of all time, in January 2018, saw Japanese exchange Coincheck hacked for over $500 million in crypto at the time, which appeared to have resulted from a lazily managed custody model. Not only was Coincheck not registered with Japan’s Financial Services Agency (FSA), it was also revealed that it had kept the entirety of its NEM in a single hot wallet as opposed to the hybrid hot-and-cold solution deployed by most modern exchanges.

And it also seems that the New Zealand exchange took no action for several days while it was being drained. Blockchain forensics firm Elementus said at the time, “Despite the hack, many Cryptopia users continue depositing funds into their ethereum wallets. In just the two hours since these breaches took place, many of the very same ethereum wallets that were just drained have already been topped with more ether.” The lack of transparency meant users lost much more than they should have, had Cryptopia been forthcoming.

After the liquidation announcement, however, the company did take to Twitter, asking users to stop depositing crypto onto the soon-to-be-defunct platform.

Do exchanges remain vulnerable despite efforts?

The recent Binance hack to the tune of $40 million was also catalyzed by error, but these instances could also be preventable if exchanges didn’t insist on being responsible for keeping customer funds safe. In its purest form, blockchain removes this necessity anyway. However, in the interest of profit, exchanges have decided to become “funds” rather than just service providers, despite not being technologically or legally capable of doing so in some cases.

Moreover, regulation remains fuzzy, even though there is a growing consensus that it is necessary to increase security and safety of traders and their funds. Even the likes of Mike Novogratz have advocated for greater external and self-regulation. According to him, the industry is leaning that way regardless, noting that “we think all the exchanges should go to a process where they can almost self-regulate, right? They do what the regulators want beforehand,” as a way of creating more transparency and improving the overall ecosystem.

Regardless, there are simply too many attack vectors for hackers to explore when it comes to cryptocurrency exchanges. From weak smart contracts to phishing and insecure storage methods, it’s clear that centralized exchanges need to adjust their approach and, at the very least, pour their profits into a security apparatus that will hopefully keep the platform safe.

Some exchanges, like Binance, even put away 10% of funds into a dedicated wallet for the express use of reimbursing hacked customers. Initiatives like these, although very welcome, should not be the safety net for billions of dollars stored in crypto, and by themselves indicate that the expectation of a hack is always present.

The Cryptopia hack and subsequent liquidation have reawakened the conversation about how safe crypto really is. The hack itself resulted in millions being lost, and the company proved unable to manage the aftermath and to respond to its users’ very valid concerns.

However, the increasing emphasis on regulation and a stronger focus on security means that, at the very least, the problem is likely to be mitigated soon. As exchanges learn from their rivals’ lessons and the market matures, it will likely weed out those exchanges that refuse to improve and leave only those that prioritize transparency and user safety.

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Why Litecoin Will Skyrocket 140% in Less Than 3 Months & Hit $220

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By CCN: The Litecoin price has enjoyed a breakneck bull run in 2019, launching the cryptocurrency nearly 200 percent higher in less than six months. But while cautious investors might be tempted to take their profits and run, a crucial upcoming event could send Litecoin another 140% higher over the next three months, enabling LTC to eclipse the $220 mark for the first time in more than a year.

The trigger from this mammoth ascent? Litecoin’s long-awaited “halvening,” which will slash block rewards by 50%, from 25 LTC to 12.5 LTC.

Historically, such halvenings (or “halvings”) have proven to be bullish catalysts for proof-of-work cryptocurrencies. As inflation decreases, investors anticipate a comparable increase in price.

Litecoin Flashes Multiple Bullish Patterns

Litecoin’s halving won’t happen until around August 6, yet the altcoin’s price has already tripled in 2019. Even so, the cryptocurrency’s technical picture suggests the rally still has plenty of momentum.

Currently, it’s struggling to take out resistance at $100, but the bulls appear determined to pierce this level. On the daily chart on Coinbase, you can easily see the formation of an ascending triangle pattern.

litecoin price chart

The Litecoin price is forming an ascending triangle. | Source: TradingView

The triangle is a continuation pattern, which indicates that the market is very likely to resume its uptrend once consolidation is over. As you can see, the diagonal support is still intact.

In addition, the three moving averages are in perfect bullish alignment. The 50-day MA is above the 100-day MA, and the 100-day MA is on top of the 200-day MA. These signals tell us that Litecoin’s uptrend remains healthy.

On top of the ascending triangle, Litecoin is also painting a massive inverse head-and-shoulders pattern on the weekly chart. This pattern has been under construction for almost a year now. That’s a long time to build a base in the cryptocurrency world.

litecoin price weekly chart

The Litecoin price has spent the past year building a massive inverse head-and-shoulders pattern. | Source: TradingView

The neckline of this pattern is $100. This means that fireworks will begin once bulls convincingly take out this level. Using the height of the pattern to estimate a target, a breach of $100 will likely send Litecoin to $175.

LTC price chart

$175 is the easy target price for Litecoin | Source: TradingView

LTC Price Won’t Face True Resistance Until $220

Breakout from this pattern signifies the end of the Litecoin’s long-term downtrend. This will attract breakout traders, trend followers, and others who were staying on the sidelines during this long bear winter.

The bullish momentum generated will make it possible for Litecoin to pierce $175 quickly. That’s because the only strong resistance from the macro perspective above $100 is $220.

LTC price chart

After punching through $100, bulls won’t find much resistance until $220. | Source: TradingView

Of course, we expect Litecoin to spend some time consolidating around $175 before it can ascend to $220. At that point, however, the bullish sentiment is likely to be very strong. This means that buyers are likely to front-run each other just like they are in bitcoin right now.

With the “halvening” just around the corner, bulls should expect Litecoin to trade as high as $220 before August 2019.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article are solely those of the author and do not represent those of, nor should they be attributed to, CCN.

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Announcing CryptoSlate Research, an exclusive newsletter delivering thoroughly researched analysis and crypto market insight

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Since 2017, CryptoSlate’s mission has been to provide high quality and objective analysis of the blockchain and cryptocurrency market. CryptoSlate has achieved this by becoming a key community resource for important news, comprehensive analysis, and relevant data under one streamlined platform.

Over the past year and a half, CryptoSlate has published over 2,300 news articles and maintained growing databases of 2,100+ cryptocurrencies, 100+ companies, 100+ products, and 26 places. In providing these services, CryptoSlate has built a talented and proficient team of journalists, software developers, and analysts who are constantly acquiring knowledge about the often complex world of crypto.

Announcing CryptoSlate Research, our exclusive newsletter

To take advantage of the expansive CryptoSlate knowledgebase, and as part of our initiative to keep the community enlightened, we are expanding our long-form analysis through CryptoSlate Research—a premium newsletter containing curated, thoroughly researched exclusives and fascinating interviews with industry leaders.

These articles are only available to CryptoSlate Research subscribers and are not published anywhere else. Additionally, subscribers will gain access to our private Slack and be able to engage with CryptoSlate Researchers and vote on and suggest potential research topics.

Learn more or join CryptoSlate Research

Why subscribe to CryptoSlate Research?

Stay up-to-date

Keeping up and staying well-informed about crypto is a challenge. The pace of change and the infinite number of domains involved means there is an overwhelming amount of quantitative and qualitative material to absorb.

CryptoSlate Research makes understanding crypto possible by interpreting emerging software breakthroughs, dissecting new regulations, getting the scoop on worldwide adoption stories, and distilling the most valuable information to keep subscribers abreast.

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The discourse around blockchain is brimming with discord and rife with conflicts of interest–making it difficult to obtain reliable, unbiased, and relevant information.

Instead, CryptoSlate leverages data-driven analysis to make intelligent decisions about crypto’s potential and growth. CryptoSlate Research helps to separate fact from FUD using raw blockchain data, the latest academic research, and guidance from experts in the field.

Additionally, CryptoSlate is an independent organization–not owned or invested in by any other entity in the blockchain space. CryptoSlate values editorial independence and always seeks to be completely transparent with our readers.

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The cryptocurrency markets are volatile, prone to manipulation, and largely unregulated. Consequently, most investors are at a clear disadvantage.

CryptoSlate Research empowers readers to stay on top. Get the story behind major price movements, take a look at the fundamentals behind major projects, and learn what strategies professional traders are implementing through regular technical analysis.

What motivates us

When CryptoSlate launched in December 2017, the market was rife with scams and flimsy ICOs—and filled with an array of self-proclaimed advisors, hucksters, and charlatans.

Meanwhile, crypto journalism at the time also left a lot to be desired. Many publications were staffed by writers who knew little about crypto and were focused on churning out sensationalist headlines to amass clicks and make money from predatory crypto-advertising.

Moreover, many of these publications did not have the best interest of their readers in mind and were participating in undisclosed pay-to-play publishing schemes and promoting illegitimate projects.

CryptoSlate has never been involved with hidden pay-to-play advertising and has always been committed to the utmost transparency in our reporting.

CryptoSlate was founded by two, Seattle-based, crypto-savvy software professionals who saw the potential of crypto and the necessity for innovation in its corresponding media delivery. Reliable reports with genuine insight into the industry were rare—but CryptoSlate is changing that.

We invite you to join us in our mission and sign-up for CryptoSlate Research.

Our goal is to give you an informational edge at an affordable price. For just over $1 per day, you will have access to all previous and current CryptoSlate Research content and as mentioned, the benefit of interacting directly with our team in our private Slack channel.

To learn more, including sample research articles and background on our researchers, click here.

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Nate Whitehill is the co-founder and CEO of CryptoSlate. Nate has a deep interest in how blockchain technologies will transform a multitude of global industries over the next decade.

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Disclaimer: Our writers’ opinions are solely their own and do not reflect the opinion of CryptoSlate. None of the information you read on CryptoSlate should be taken as investment advice, nor does CryptoSlate endorse any project that may be mentioned or linked to in this article. Buying and trading cryptocurrencies should be considered a high-risk activity. Please do your own due diligence before taking any action related to content within this article. Finally, CryptoSlate takes no responsibility should you lose money trading cryptocurrencies.

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Co-Founder Quits Avalon Mining Chip Maker Canaan Over ‘Differences’

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One of the 3 co-founders of Canaan Creative, maker of the Avalon cryptocurrency mining apparatus, has stepped down from the Chinese corporate’s management.

According to executive trade registration information updated on Jan. 30, Xiangfu Liu will not function a board member on the Hangzhou-based Canaan Creative – a task he had served since 2013.

Further, an individual accustomed to the placement mentioned Liu had left his day by day control position on the producer and his government board member place at its preserving corporate, Canaan Inc., which unsuccessfully sought an initial public offering (IPO) in Hong Kong remaining 12 months.

Canaan Creative didn’t reply to requests for remark. But the individual as regards to the corporate instructed CoinDesk that Liu left his position because of disagreements with the corporate’s general technique.

Specifically, Canaan Creative’s control sought after to proceed development the corporate as a pure-play producer of chips for crypto mining and synthetic intelligence. Unlike rival producer Bitmain, Canaan does now not mine crypto itself or run mining swimming pools, and the management sought after to stay it that means, in an effort to justify the corporate’s sustainability for an IPO, the supply mentioned.

However, Liu, who has a background in pc science, believes {hardware} and tool must now not be separated completely within the blockchain business, which means firms that make mining apparatus must now not minimize themselves off from mining farms and pool companies, the supply mentioned.

Major shareholder

Nevertheless, Liu, 35, stays a considerable shareholder of Canaan Creative. According to the now-lapsed Hong Kong IPO prospectus, Liu co-founded the company with Nangeng Zhang and Jiaxuan Li in 2013.

While Zhang serves as Canaan’s leader government officer, Liu used to be basically in control of the company’s out of the country trade technique and advertising and marketing, and he owns about 17.6 p.c of Canaan’s overall stocks. In overall, the 3 co-founders regulate over 50 p.c of the company.

Liu’s departure from the board additionally comes amid contemporary layoffs at Canaan, the supply mentioned, declining to reveal their scale.

But Canaan is a ways from on my own in lowering workforce, as different mining giants like Bitmain have additionally gone through layoffs in addition to administrative center closures, partially because of the total bearish marketplace stipulations in 2018.

The information additionally comes weeks after a media report that Canaan Creative is now mulling an software to move public in New York after its preliminary IPO plan failed because of the hesitation of the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.

Canaan Creative symbol from CoinDesk’s archives.

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