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What Ethereum Investors Should Takeaway From Recent ICO Hacks

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Investors in initial coin offerings (ICOs) should take necessary precautions when sending Ether, the native token of Ethereum, to ICOs due to potential hacking attacks and security breaches.

Coindash Hack, $7 Million in Losses

Recently, Coindash, a Blockchain-based trading platform, which was set to raise $12 million in its ICO, had over $7 million worth of Ether stolen and redirected. While the ICO was ongoing, the website of Coindash was hijacked and the publicly available Ether wallet address of Coindash was altered. As a result, the majority of funds were redirected to the wallet address of the hacker.

“It is unfortunate for us to announce that we have suffered a hacking attack during our Token Sale event. During the attack, $7 mln were stolen by a currently unknown perpetrator. The CoinDash Token Sale secured $6.4 mln from our early contributors and whitelist participants and we are grateful for your support and contribution,” said the Coindash team in an announcement.

Controversy emerged immediately after the disclosure of the Coindash team’s announcement. In an online community, one of the investors revealed that he personally notified the Coindash development team of the insecure ICO and fundraising method the team was relying on to raise tens of millions of dollars.

MJ Dillon wrote in a public slack channel of Coindash:

“Has anyone mentioned how bad an idea it is that you have a whitelist of people you’ll be emailing a contract address to with a ‘send money now!’ message before the address is public? Isn’t that just asking someone to try to hijack that process?”

However, the Coindash development team responded rather irresponsibly. Instead of looking into the security issue Dillon noted, the team ignored it and ultimately suffered a $7 million loss as a consequence.

Coindash and its executives including CEO Alon Muroch tried to stabilize the situation after the hack. In an interview with Bloomberg, Muroch stated:

“Our vision is still viable. We want to make sure to communicate a message of hope and continuity. There’s still money in the company and we will just double our efforts to make it much more effective.”

Still, $7 million was lost in the process and both users and Coindash suffered as a result of poor security measures and the failure to implement proper security measures while running a large-scale ICO.

$30 Million in Loss, ICOs Suffer Multi-Million Dollar Losses Due to Hacks

Earlier this week, analysts including Tuur Demeester revealed that over $30 million worth of Ether were stolen by hackers from three different ICOs.

“~$32M (~153k ether) stolen from three ICOs today. What is that, like 3% of total ICO money raised?,” wrote Demeester.

TokenData, a cryptocurrency and asset analytics platform, further revealed that including the $7 million Coindash hack, total amount of Ether from ICOs stolen in July amount to 3 percent of total amount raised by ICOs, which adds up to $1.5 billion.

On July 20, Blocktix, revealed in an official announcement that a vulnerability in the codebase of Parity’s multi-signature codebase led to the loss of millions of dollars worth of Ether.

Blocktix was using the same contract source to multisig our own ethereum wallets of which we owned two, one for our presale and one for our old contract. We choose the multisig contract to provide additional security.

“Today the news broke that Parity’s Multisig codebase had a vulnerability in their codebase, allowing funds to be drained from Multisig addresses. The Presale multisig got hit by the Whitehat group, and currently the funds are in their address,” said Blocktix.

Some analysts claimed that the same hacking group that successfully breached into the Decentralized Autonomous Organization (DAO) and stole millions of dollars in Ether hacked the three ICOs.

What Should Investors Takeaway From These Hacks?

Admittedly, the vast majority of investors within the ICO market have become involved in the market to place speculative investments. Most of the investors are simply trying to learn more about the space, gain short-term profit or expose themselves to the asset class.

It is of utmost importance of investors for security reasons to ensure that each ICO has proper security measures in place. For instance, analysts and investors of Coindash already knew that there was risk involved in the way Coindash conducted its ICO.

Investors must consult security experts to ensure that ICOs are safe to invest in and that ICOs implemented proper security measures.

Important: Never invest (trade with) money you can't afford to comfortably lose. Always do your own research and due diligence before placing a trade. Read our Terms & Conditions here. Trade recommendations and analysis are written by our analysts which might have different opinions. Read my 6 Golden Steps to Financial Freedom here. Best regards, Jonas Borchgrevink.

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3.4 stars on average, based on 3 rated postsJoseph Young is a finance and tech journalist based in Hong Kong. He has worked with leading media and news agencies in the technology and finance industries, offering exclusive content, interviews, insights and analysis of cryptocurrencies, innovative and futuristic technologies.




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  1. gxd01

    July 22, 2017 at 10:38 pm

    Can you elaborate on the “Investors must consult security experts to ensure that ICOs are safe to invest in” statement? Do you have any examples or suggestions of who and where?

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Analysis

Crypto Update: Coins Drift Sideways as Trading Activity Plunges

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Liquidity dried up in the cryptocurrency segment in recent days, as trading volumes have been declining progressively, while the major coins got stuck in tight ranges. Only a few coins show signs of activity, and the bearish short-term patterns continue to dominate the market. With a group of currencies, namely Litecoin, Monero, Dash, and Bitcoin itself clearly dragging the segment down, the short-term trend will likely continue, as the previous leaders are now showing strength either.

While all of the top digital currencies are showing some gains today, and the total value of the market edged close to $290 billion, major resistance levels are still towering above. The fact that the effect of the Bithumb hack faded away quickly is a positive here, but until signs of bullish momentum and a clear leadership forming, the short-term outlook remains bearish.

BTC/USD, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

Bitcoin continues to trade near the $6750 level, edging ever closer to the declining short-term trendline, in a bearish consolidation pattern. Bulls would need a sustained move above $7000 to negate the declining trend, but for now at least a test of last week’s lows is likely with a possible move towards the key long-term zone between $5850 and $6000.  The short-term zone around $6350 level provides support, while further resistance is ahead near $7350.

Ethereum Nears Trendline as ETC Attempts Breakout

ETH/USD, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

Ethereum has been among the strongest coins in the last few days again, and coupled with its long-term relative strength, the second largest coin is still the best candidate to lead a recovery. That said, the coin still faces strong resistance between $555 and $575, and bullish momentum is suspiciously weak. Primary support is found at $500 with further zones near $450 and $400.

ETC/USD, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

Ethereum Classic has been positively diverging compared to the rest of the market, together with Binance Coin, and to a lesser extent Tron ever since its inclusion to Coinbase, and the coin moved above the key $16 resistance yesterday in late trading.

While ETC is slightly overbought from a short-term perspective, a consolidation above $16 and a subsequent move higher could confirm a trend change. For now, the short-term trend signal is only neutral, and traders should remain cautious given the broad downtrend in the segment

Featured image from Shutterstock

Disclaimer:  The analyst owns cryptocurrencies. He holds investment positions in the coins, but doesn’t engage in short-term or day-trading, nor does he hold short positions on any of the coins.

Important: Never invest (trade with) money you can't afford to comfortably lose. Always do your own research and due diligence before placing a trade. Read our Terms & Conditions here. Trade recommendations and analysis are written by our analysts which might have different opinions. Read my 6 Golden Steps to Financial Freedom here. Best regards, Jonas Borchgrevink.

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4.6 stars on average, based on 278 rated postsTrader and financial analyst, with 10 years of experience in the field. An expert in technical analysis and risk management, but also an avid practitioner of value investment and passive strategies, with a passion towards anything that is connected to the market.




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Altcoins

Three Reasons XRP Is Not a Security: Ripple’s Garlinghouse

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Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse was a featured panelist at the CB Insights Future of Fintech conference in New York today. Chief among the themes in the discussion was XRP, the No. 3 cryptocurrency based on market capitalization in which Ripple owns the majority of tokens.

While the No. 1 and No. 2 digital currencies, bitcoin and Ethereum, respectively, were cleared from being regulated as securities, Wall Street regulators have yet to make a call on XRP.

“I think it’s really clear XRP is not a security,” Garlinghouse said in the session.

There is a misconception in the cryptocurrency community that Ripple controls XRP. In fact, XRP is a decentralized digital currency that Ripple uses in its cross-border payments product xRapid. They could just as easily use bitcoin except “ bitcoin transactions on average are 45 minutes in and 45 minutes out. So XRP is uniquely positioned to solve the cross-border liquidity problem,” Garlinghouse said. 

He went on to outline a trio of reasons why XRP should never be identified as a security.

  1. “If Ripple as a company shut down tomorrow, the XRP ledger would continue to operate.”  
  2. “If you buy XRP, you’re not buying shares of Ripple.” As a holder of XRP, you’re not entitled to dividends or equity. Even though Ripple owns more than half of XRP, it doesn’t give them control of the currency, he said, comparing it to the dynamic between Saudi Arabia and oil. “Saudi Arabia owns a lot of oil, but they do not have control of oil.” 
  3. Utility. “XRP is solving a problem. There’s no security in a utility,” he said, adding that he “looks forward to the SEC clarifying some things.

Crypto Exchanges

Garlinghouse was diplomatic about cryptocurrency exchanges like Coinbase that have yet to add XRP to their trading platforms. In recent weeks, Coinbase announced that it would begin supporting Ethereum Classic (ETC), while many in the cryptocurrency community have been wondering when the U.S.-based exchange will add support for XRP.

“XRP is listed on 75 exchanges around the world. It has expanding liquidity … The consumer speculator is not our target market. Our target market is financial institutions that we can solve big problems for,” Garlinghouse noted.

Crypto Rivalry?

Yesterday Ethereum Co-Founder and ConsenSys Founder Joseph Lubin, who was included among the panelists, took a swipe at rival coin XRP, suggesting it is “massively overvalued.” The same question was posed to Garlinghouse during his session about Lubin’s ConsenSys. Garlinghouse took the high road, saying he was “excited” about them, adding they’re “underrated.”

XRP is the third largest cryptocurrency, boasting a market cap of $21 billion compared to more than $53 billion for Ethereum and $115 billion for bitcoin. Garlinghouse’s outlook is that at least one bank will be using it by year-end.

Featured image courtesy of Shutterstock.

Important: Never invest (trade with) money you can't afford to comfortably lose. Always do your own research and due diligence before placing a trade. Read our Terms & Conditions here. Trade recommendations and analysis are written by our analysts which might have different opinions. Read my 6 Golden Steps to Financial Freedom here. Best regards, Jonas Borchgrevink.

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4.5 stars on average, based on 16 rated postsGerelyn has been covering ICOs and the cryptocurrency market since mid-2017. She's also reported on fintech more broadly in addition to asset management, having previously specialized in institutional investing. She owns some BTC and ETH.




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Altcoins

Calm Prevails in Crypto World as Bitcoin Runs Up Against Resistance

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Cryptocurrencies resumed their rangebound trading Thursday, as bitcoin’s relief rally showed signs of stalling while Ethereum and the major altcoins were held to break-even.

Market Update

The combined value of all coins and tokens in circulation is $287 billion, virtually unchanged from the overnight hours.

Bitcoin touched a session high of $6,790.25 but was unable to extend its rally past $6,800. The bulls have been rejected at this level on at least three occasions since Tuesday, a sign the relief rally was losing steam.

The largest cryptocurrency by market cap bottomed around $6,133 on June 13. At the time, the short-term technical indicators supported a further breakdown in price, with $5,900 seen as the next likely target.

Ethereum prices were up a mere 1% Thursday to $534. ETH/USD values reached an earlier high of $542.74, which was not unlike the high from Tuesday.

The major altcoins ranked between nos. 3 and 10 by market cap were virtually unchanged compared with 24 hours ago.

Digital currency prices have shown remarkable progress in terms of stability, as total market values fluctuated within a $4 billion range through the overnight session. Twenty-four hour trade volumes have held just above $12 billion, according to CoinMarketCap.

Bithumb fell to the no. 9 spot based on total volume after the exchange shut down deposits and withdrawals in the wake of a $31 million cyber heist. The exchange has processed $181 million worth of cryptocurrency trades since early Wednesday, which is roughly half of the previous day’s turnover.

In Search of Direction

While cryptocurrencies have exhibited rare price stability over the past nine days, it is too premature to conclude that the bears have relinquished control of the market. The total market is down a whopping 38% from the April swing high and volumes have declined by more than half over that period.

With the exception of the recent attacks on South Korean exchanges, the latest crypto headlines have been mostly positive. If they can be summed up in one theme, it would likely be the growing institutional interest in cryptocurrency.

The San Francisco-based Coinbase exchange has been leading in that capacity by announcing the arrival of crypto custodial services. Goldman Sachs-backed Circle and BitGo are also in negotiation with regulators about launching similar services. Meanwhile, Wall Street custodians JPMorgan Chase & Co and Bank of New York Mellon Corp are reportedly working on custody services that could facilitate digital currency transactions.

While promising, these developments alone won’t be enough to generate the next crypto bull market. For institutional capital to be the driving force of the next major market uptrend, actual custodial services and not merely the promise of them must be deployed.

Disclaimer: The author owns bitcoin, Ethereum and other cryptocurrencies. He holds investment positions in the coins, but does not engage in short-term or day-trading.

Featured image courtesy of Shutterstock.

Important: Never invest (trade with) money you can't afford to comfortably lose. Always do your own research and due diligence before placing a trade. Read our Terms & Conditions here. Trade recommendations and analysis are written by our analysts which might have different opinions. Read my 6 Golden Steps to Financial Freedom here. Best regards, Jonas Borchgrevink.

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4.6 stars on average, based on 461 rated postsSam Bourgi is Chief Editor to Hacked.com, where he specializes in cryptocurrency, economics and the broader financial markets. Sam has nearly eight years of progressive experience as an analyst, writer and financial market commentator where he has contributed to the world's foremost newscasts.




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