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South Korean Exchange Suffers a Hack, Sending Crypto Markets Tumbling

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If you haven’t checked the cryptocurrency market in the past 24 hours, you may be in for a shock. Bitcoin has fallen the most that it has since May 23, as Bloomberg pointed out, and is currently hovering at $7,200, down 5%. The broader cryptocurrency market is in selloff mode too, with just about each of the top 100 coins trading in the red.

Source: CoinMarketCap

The culprit appears to be a security breach at South Korean cryptocurrency exchange Coinrail, which according to the exchange’s website occurred at dawn. Coinrail, which ranks at No. 94 for trading volume, has contacted local authorities and is currently picking up the pieces.

Coinrail pointed to “security intrusions” targeting a handful of altcoins, including NPXS, NPER and ATX digital currencies, all of which have since been frozen. The exchange has also directed about three-quarters of cryptocurrency funds to cold storage, which is an offline way of securing funds. An update on the Coinrail website said:

“Seventy-percent of your coin rail total coin/token reserves have been confirmed to be safely stored and moved to a cold wallet and are in storage,” according to a statement on Coinrail’s website.

Coinrail also provided an update on the trio of affected coins –

  •  NPXS and ATX: Frozen
  • NPER: Frozen “and additional to be issued”

All three coins are down sharply. Pundi X was down 9% at last check, ATX coin is down 27% and NPER is off 15%.

Three-percent of the Pundi X token supply was affected by the hack and was apparently sent to the IDEX exchange. Pundi X updated its Twitter followers that $NPXS transactions are halted at the direction of the Korean National Police Agency, adding they hope the Coinrail hack “can be resolved soon.”

 

Based on a tweet from NPER, they might have the hacker where they want them.

“While some NPER tokens appear to have been hacked from the exchange, the NPER team placed the hacker’s wallet address on a permanent “ Lock “ and made it impossible to move, according to NPER on Medium, urging its investors to remain “relaxed.”

Coinrail is ranked No. 94 among cryptocurrency exchanges for trading volume, with less than $3 million transacted over the most recent 24-hour period. While there’s never a good time for a security breach, the cryptocurrency markets were beginning to show some resilience, and despite some recent selling, bitcoin was within earshot of the $7,800 level. Now it will have to regain lost ground once again, serving as a reminder of just how fragile a market without formal regulation can be.

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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2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. sasikantsh

    June 10, 2018 at 8:12 pm

    What?! A tiny ass exchange somewhere in s korea with a puny $3 mil trade volume is causing this dip. Seems really unlikely.

  2. Monkeymantra

    June 10, 2018 at 10:28 pm

    You guys don’t seriously think this caused this dip do you??

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Crypto Real Estate: The Time Is Now

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If you’re a Russian oligarch, an Asian billionaire or just a simple kid from South Jersey with giant aspirations, it is time for action in the newly emerging world of crypto real estate.  Here is why.

For the average home buyer the price of a home has increased about 1.72% annually over the past 10 years.  That is just slightly more than the 1.49% rate for the U.S. economy. Things have changed somewhat in recent time and we read Case Shiller numbers placing the rate between 5%-7%.

For investors in bitcoin, the action is taking place elsewhere in the real estate world.  It is in the world of the super high-end real estate where BTC and other cryptos can play a role.

If your soul contains an ounce of cynicism, at this point,  you are probably saying what is new about the connection between crypto and real estate?  The answer is arbitrage. Never have high-end property prices been so high and crypto prices so low.  It would be a classic arbitrage to sell high-end real estate and buy bitcoin.

Natural Buyers For Bitcoin

There are plenty of statistics on housing and loads of public records revealing who owns a given piece of property.  The US government claims that 9.6 million Americans own second homes and perhaps 16% own investment property.

But when it comes to the true high-end market, global real estate is definitely in the billions. For example, take penthouse in 432 Park Ave in New York that, when new, sold for over $100 million in cash and you get the idea.  This is a market where anonymity is prized and protected. This has long represented the “no brainer” for bitcoin to gain acceptance. And best of all, it is perfectly legal medium of exchange.

Enter Propy (PRO)

Here is a company that appears to be positioned to take advantage of transactions in the global ultra high-end real estate market. Before getting started, one thing needs to be disclosed.  I neither own or am being compensated for writing about Propy. I stumbled across the name purely by accident.

Propy.com fancies itself as being dedicated to solving the complexities of purchasing property across borders.  They claim to be the world’s first international marketplace. The PRO token is built on the Ethereum ERC20 standard. Propy raised $15.4 million with their ICO last September which places a value on the company of roundly $100 million.

So PRO may not rank with the likes of Telegram but they are not exactly chopped liver either. With the spread between the price of ultra high-end real estate and bitcoin never having been greater and the perpetual need for anonymity, the team at PRO may find itself in a sweet spot no matter if the like it or not.

The First Crypto Test In Rome On June 28

CCN.com reports that PRO has managed to team up with the Hilton family-owned real estate broker Hilton & Hyland in an auction of a Roman villa named the Palazetto Mansion aiming to snatch $38 million in dollars or crypto from the buyer.  This is not first effort of its kind but it is by far the largest.

Arbitrage In The Air

Events in Rome on June 28 will be most interesting as much for bitcoin as for PRO.  This is not to say that bitcoin is the only crypto in the world, just the largest and best known. Nevertheless, the total value of bitcoin is now just a little over $114 billion so every billion of future real estate transactions will make a difference at these levels.

Perhaps this is all wishful thinking on the part of someone who owns neither PRO nor BTC but several things are obvious.  First, those folks that put their hidden billions in real estate using corporate identities are not casual investors but savvy players with lots of high priced advisors.  Arbitrage spreads between ultra high end real estate and crypto present a pretty irresistible attraction. Just something to consider when investor psychology toward crypto in general stinks.  

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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4.4 stars on average, based on 82 rated postsJames Waggoner is a veteran Wall Street analyst and hedge fund manager who has spent the past few years researching the fintech possibilities of cryptocurrencies. He has a special passion for writing about the future of crypto.




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Treading the Floods: Cryptocurrency Prices Stable Following Bithumb Attack 

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Cryptocurrencies emerged unscathed Wednesday following yet another security breach of a South Korean exchange, as the market continued to favor a corrective rally for bitcoin and the major altcoins.

Crypto Prices Hold Steady

Bitcoin fell by as much as $200 Wednesday on news of a cyber attack targeting South Korea’s Bithumb exchange. However, the coin quickly recovered and now sits just shy of $6,800, according to data provider CoinMarketCap. Prices peaked at $6,821.56 at 12:34 UTC.

Compared with 24 hours ago, bitcoin’s per-coin value was virtually unchanged.

The ten biggest altcoins by market cap exhibited the same pattern, with prices treading water compared with Tuesday afternoon. The total cryptocurrency market was valued above $290 billion, up from an earlier low of around $282 billion.

Bitcoin and the major altcoins have more or less retained their bullish bias, which suggests that a continuation of the upward trend is likely. Since bottoming last week, coins have rebounded $26 billion.

Bithumb Attack: What We Know

Hackers made off with roughly $31 million in stolen cryptocurrency on Wednesday as Bithumb suffered its third cyber breach in 12 months. The attackers reportedly targeted users’ holdings of XRP, the third-largest cryptocurrency by market cap, by running a series of unauthorized access attempts.

Bithumb was unable to prevent the attack despite spending upwards of 10 billion won ($9 million) on security enhancements. This includes complying with new guidelines for financial institutions requiring 5% of company staff be made up of IT specialists. Bithumb has reportedly exceeded that quota by a wide margin.

The Seoul-based exchange confirmed that it had migrated outstanding crypto balances to cold storage and said it will fully refund affected users. Transactions on the exchange remain suspended for now.

Although news of the attack hit the airwaves on Wednesday, some analysts believe the theft occurred several days earlier as part of Bithumb’s data upgrade. However, the exact cause of the breach remains unclear.

Goldman Sachs Weighs Crypto Trading as an Option

U.S. multinational investment bank Goldman Sachs is considering taking a bigger dive into cryptocurrency by launching a full-scale trading operation, according to COO David Solomon.

“We are clearing some futures around bitcoin, talking about doing some other activities there, but it’s going very cautiously,” Solomon said during an interview in China, as reported by CCN. “We’re listening to our clients and trying to help our clients as they’re exploring those things too.”

Currently, the Wall Street investment giant is clearing bitcoin futures contracts. It has also announced plans to introduce a new bitcoin trading operation, which includes using its own money to trade with clients in a variety of contracts linked to bitcoin.

Institutional traders are awaiting the arrival of custodial services dedicated to cryptocurrency before taking the full plunge into digital assets. To that effect, the San Francisco-based  Coinbase exchange is leading the charge by announcing a new line of crypto custodial services to unlock up to $10 billion in institutional capital.

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 458 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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Cryptocurrency Prices Have Recovered $26 Billion from Last Week’s Bear-Market Low

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Cryptocurrency prices were seeing green on Tuesday, as investors continued to rally behind news of a popular bitcoin trading app being granted regulatory approval to operate in New York. The push for regulated crypto custodial services has also not gone unnoticed, with the likes of Coinbase looking to overcome one of the final barriers to institutional adoption.

Crypto Prices Hit One-Week High

Digital currencies on Tuesday overcame tepid trading conditions and lower trade volumes to reach their highest level in seven days. The total market peaked at $294.2 billion at 17:00 UTC but has since consolidated at $290.5 billion, according to CoinMarketCap. As a reminder, the market bottomed near $264 billion last week, the lowest since early April.

Crypto prices have been surprisingly stable since last week’s brisk selloff. As Hacked reported earlier, bitcoin volatility is at its lowest level in a year even while factoring the latest price collapse.

Almost all of the top-ten coins had reported gains over the past 24 hours. Tron’s 8.3% gain was the biggest, with TRX trading at $0.048.

Ethereum rose 3.4% over the past 24 hours to trade at $536.86. Bitcoin cash reported slight gains, climbing 1.6% to $900.54.

Bitcoin was virtually unchanged compared with the same time Monday. The world’s largest cryptocurrency by market cap is up 2.5% over the past seven days.

Although trading volumes were a paltry $13.2 billion, turnover is up 39% from Sunday’s lows.

Prices received their initial boost Monday afternoon on news that Square, Inc.’s Cash app was granted a BitLicense to operate in New York. The app, which has a bitcoin trading platform, has more than seven million active users. The company, which is led by Twitter’s Jack Dorsey, saw its share price and market cap rise significantly on the news.

Custodianship: The Final Frontier?

San Francisco-based Coinbase has joined forces with hedge funds and third-party custodians to unlock up to $10 billion in institutional capital. According to some industry insiders, custodianship is the last of the major barriers to widespread cryptocurrency adoption among hedge funds, banks and day traders.

As Goldman Sachs, Nomura Holdings and others have demonstrated, there is strong appetite for cryptocurrencies at the institutional level. But without a stable and robust custodian service, staking large positions on a highly volatile market is not considered feasible. This is especially the case for funds that are involved with handling university endowments and pension programs.

According to Ari Paul, co-founder of the Blocktower crypto-focused hedge fund, institutional money has been trickling into the digital currency market since mid-2017. And while adoption has been slower than expected, “that doesn’t mean it’s not coming,” Paul tweeted May 31. “There are a lot of pieces that need to come together, one big piece being third party custody,” he said.

Kyle Samani, a cryptocurrency hedge fund manager, recently told Bloomberg that custodianship is viewed as “the final barrier” to market entry. “Over the next year, the market will come to recognize that custodianship is a solved problem. This will unlock a big wave of capital,” he said.

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 458 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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