Top Crypto News – 20/06/2018

Crypto Exchange Bithumb Halts Withdrawals Amid $31 Million Hack


Bithumb, one of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges in South Korea by trading volume, is halting asset deposit and withdrawal services after hackers stole 35 billion won (or $31 million) from the platform.

The company said in an announcement today that the hack happened between late Tuesday night until early Wednesday morning Korean time. Though Bithumb has yet to disclose which cryptocurrency or in what amount had been damaged, it said in the announcement that the loss will be covered by the platform.

Meanwhile, the company said other assets have been moved to a cold wallet that stores cryptocurrencies in an offline environment that is not accessible through the internet. As such, Bithumb said investors should “immediately discontinue depositing cryptocurrencies until further notice.”

The exchange has not responded to CoinDesk’s request for comment.

As of press time, Bithumb is seeing over $300 million 24-hour trading volume on its platform, making it currently the sixth largest exchange in the world, data from CoinMarketCap shows.

The hack marks the second incident in less than two weeks in South Korea. As previously reported by CoinDesk, Coinrail, a smaller cryptocurrency exchange in the country also reported that it was hacked on June 10.

Though the platform did not disclose the amount of the damage, other sources suggested at the time that $40 million worth of cryptocurrencies could be at risk.

CoinDesk will continue monitoring the evolving situation.

Korean won image via Shutterstock
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Medium Is the Latest Platform to Start Censoring Crypto Companies


Medium Wields the Banhammer on Bug Bounties

Medium Is the Latest Platform to Start Censoring Crypto CompaniesMedium is the crypto community’s platform of choice for long reads and thought leadership pieces. It’s a place where the latest thinking on tokenomics, hashing algorithms, blockchain scaling and much more can be found. It’s also where ICOs and other cryptocurrency projects publish details of their crowdsale, bug bounties, and other initiatives for the benefit of their community. In the past week, however, Medium has begun inexplicably suspending the blogs of crypto projects. The reasons for its decision are sketchy, but the suspensions seem to be triggered by content discussing airdrops or bug bounties.

In a post entitled “Status, Medium, and Censorship”, Ethereum-based messaging platform Status wrote, on June 15: “Medium is currently one of the primary communication channels of the cryptosphere. Blockchain-based visionaries, both affiliated with projects and independent free-thinking technologists, have all made Medium a critical part of how they communicate. Recently, we attempted to publish a blog post announcing our latest Bug Bounty Program. The post was immediately suspended, followed by an automated email noting a general violation, without detailing any specifics, and a link to Medium’s recently updated policy regarding cryptocurrencies.”

Medium Is the Latest Platform to Start Censoring Crypto Companies

They continued: “Though we had not violated any of these policies, we re-submitted several revisions that carefully edited out any potential trigger words, like “bounty”, “ETH,” and “SNT”. The post was never successfully published.” Status is not the only project to have been suddenly suspended without warning: this week’s Medium page also succumbed to the same fate. It’s since been restored, but the most recent blog post, discussing its airdrop, has gone. While’s Medium blog is hosted on the Medium platform, Status’s is self-hosted on their own domain. In each case, the end result has been the same: sudden suspension.

Creeping Censorship Is an Attack on Cryptocurrency

When Google and Facebook announced that they were calling a stop to ICO ads, few mourned their loss. But when other platforms joined in, including Twitter and, bizarrely, email marketing service Mailchimp, it led to fears that cryptocurrency was facing a concerted global attack. Be it through imitation or collusion, company after company has begun censoring or excluding crypto projects, whilst allowing far more egregious content including affiliate schemes, hate speech, and spam.

Medium Is the Latest Platform to Start Censoring Crypto Companies
Evan Williams

In its terms of service, Medium states that “We can remove any content you post for any reason” but does not specify what sort of content might give the company grounds to exercise that right. There is nothing that explicitly excludes cryptocurrency, airdrops, or bug bounties. Medium was founded by former Twitter CEO Evan Williams. While fellow co-founder and current Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey is extremely bullish on bitcoin, Evans’ only discernible comment on cryptocurrency is a single tweet posted five years ago.

“We worry that the seemingly arbitrary decision to suspend our blog is a sign of a troubling trend,” finish Status. “We’re concerned about the creeping censorship around cryptocurrencies. We want our society to be freer for everyone. We believe the forces of censorship and centralization often are closely bound and we worry when we see the power to freely express ourselves so arbitrarily limited.”

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$800 Million: ICON’s Token Swap to Take Place Within 24 Hours


The countdown has begun for smart contracts protocol ICON’s June 20 token swap.

On Wednesday, investors will swap their existing ethereum-based ICX tokens, used for project fundraising, for coins on a live version of ICON, effectively exchanging all existing tokens in an elaborate code migration. Launched in 2017, ICON aims to connect independent blockchain communities, each with their own governance proposals, to a governing blockchain based on a protocol called loopchain.

ICON sold 50 percent of its ICX token supply for the idea in a sale last September, raising 150,000 ETH worth around $42,750,000. The project launched its blockchain in January this year, and according to CoinMarketCap, it has a collective market capitalization of about $800 million.

Still, investors have yet to be issued ICX tokens.

As such, ICON’s swap will be implemented at an exchange rate of 1:1 (1 ethereum ICX token for 1 mainnet ICX coin) via the ICONex wallet from June to September 25, as well as through supporting exchanges. Users will have until Wednesday to transfer their tokens to Binance and Upbit, and until Thursday for Bithumb – the only three exchanges supporting the swap, according to ICON.

In the event that, instead of using the ICONex wallet, token holders wish to have an exchange carry out the migration process, ICON has advised users to have approximately 0.002 ETH in their ICX-ethereum wallet in order to pay for the transaction.

Once ethereum tokens are swapped for ICX coins, the fundraising tokens will be burnt, with those that don’t make the swap being locked once the swap period ends. This is to prevent further use of the tokens. (ICON has not yet indicated how token holders can track the progress of the swap.)

But if tomorrow will mark the live version of the long-awaited platform, it hasn’t all been smooth sailing in the run-up to the swap. For example, there has been some confusion within the community as to when the token migration was set to occur.

Unlike other projects, such as EOS, ICON opted to conduct its token swap after its mainnet launch. The project said at the time of the launch that it planned to delay the swap, projected for March in the project’s roadmap, until after it released its native wallet.

However, by early April, the project had yet to announce the date of the swap, and later apologized for what it called a “lack of communication leading to confusion throughout the community,” in an update on its Medium page.

Additionally, the project encountered some technical difficulties.

On June 16, a bug was discovered in ICON’s smart contract, allowing any user except the smart contract creator to disable token transfers. Although developers resolved the issue the same day, that didn’t stop users from faulting the project for its coding oversight in this instance.

Like other projects, ICON has also expressed concerns over potential scams. Yesterday, the ICON Foundation warned users of those who could be impersonating the project during the swap, such as actors requesting ICX to be sent to individual wallets rather than the ICONex wallet and supporting exchanges.

In addition to releasing its mainnet and preparing for the token swap, ICON recently announced partnerships with the Deloitte Startup Advisory Group and social media platform Line Plus, adding to their list of enterprise partners which include Samsung, Wanchain, Hyundai and Aion.

Railroad image via Shutterstock
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