Korea’s Exchange Hacks: What the Country’s Crypto Scene Is Saying
The past two weeks have seen two South Korean exchanges get attacked and robbed, sparking commentary and critique among the country’s local cryptocurrency community.
It began with the Coinrail hack on June 9. At the time, the popular South Korean cryptocurrency exchange tentatively announced a “cyber intrusion” that saw the loss of $40 million worth of cryptocurrencies.
The exact number and amount of tokens taken from the exchange have yet to be confirmed by the company itself, though a third-party firm assisting Coinrail gave a few estimates in a blog post the following day.
If that wasn’t enough, on June 20, Bithumb – South Korea’s largest by trade volume – also announced a major security breach in which $31 million was reported to be lost. In a post published on their official website the same day, Bithumb reassured customers that their assets were now securely stored in offline “cold” wallets unreachable to hackers and the stolen funds would be fully reimbursed.
Combine this environment with a recent bearish market trend taking the price of bitcoin down in a way not seen since 2014 and you get the kind of social media uproar that questions just about everything.
As one Korean cryptocurrency skeptic tweeted:
Along the same lines, @marco20bil mocked a past Coinrail advertisement boasting its security by uploading a picture of the ad and tweeting at the company:
“Anyone would look at this and see it as an insider act, no? Please catch the culprit and restore the platform back to the original state as soon as possible…You said there is no vulnerability of being hacking in an advertisement. Are you joking me right now?”
For most, it’s not a matter of tech security – that’s a given for those that care – but rather about the people who operate the exchanges behind the scenes.
As @leejongsul78 puts it:
Indeed, much of the community’s ire has been pointed toward those operating the exchanges.
One user, @dongjinkim5, addressed Bithumb directly in light of their urgent notice Twitter announcement to users on June 19, pleading:
Another accused Coinrail of withholding information about what actually went down during the hack.
As might be expected, some of the furor devolved into the downright conspiratorial. For example, one user emphasized the possibility Bithumb may be creating a cover-up by claiming it had been robbed through a hack.
No strangers to risk
As far as answers go, the community can only watch and wait as the investigations unfold.
And as it stands, the government of South Korea is doing some of the heavy liftings there: the Korea Internet and Security Agency (KISA) and the Ministry of Science, Information, and Communication Technology are currently in the process of investigating both hacks, but have yet to make any public disclosures on their findings.
But South Koreans are no strangers to the riskiness of crypto markets, as just last year, another notable cryptocurrency exchange, Youbit, was hacked for a reported $73 million worth of bitcoin, and subsequently, filed for bankruptcy last December.
Nor are South Koreans quick to accept these incidents as merely cyber-related heists by criminals out for the money.
As reported by the Wall Street Journal, speculation arose around the possibility of the true culprit behind the Youbit hack being none other than their adversarial counterpart, North Korea. It has been reported from other sources that this is by no means the first time the South Korean National Intelligence Service has suspected North Korea to be behind cryptocurrency hacks as a method to evade financial sanctions.
One of the alleged targets was Bithumb, which reportedly saw $7 million pilfered during a string of attacks last year.
Still, the avid support of cryptocurrencies in South Korea remains strong, and while the fallout of past weeks events is still taking shape, eyes are not only looking to South Korea, but to the world.
As one South Korean cryptocurrency trader, @sunghq2, put it:
“The price impact that the Bithumb hacking will have is determined by the West’s reaction to the incident amplifying Asia’s reaction, which then impacts Asia’s reaction, impacting the West’s reaction, and back and forth.”
It’s just like that (slightly amended) famous saying goes: Back and forth the crypto markets go – where it’ll stop, nobody knows.
Editor’s Note: Statements in this report have been translated from Korean. Not all statements are fully translated.
Written by CoinDesk.com
FOMO for Dogecon: What You Missed At the Gathering of the ‘Shibes’
Admit it: you wish you were there.
Dance parties, rap shows, puppy parades – you name it, Dogecon had it.
And, perhaps more importantly, what this untraditional gathering of the crypto community didn’thave was pretty striking considering the circumstances: a panic over falling crypto prices.
Indeed, as Matt Condon put it on Twitter, “radical positivity” was the name of the day at Dogecon.
The four-day celebratory conference about “the social layer of crypto culture” took place in Vancouver, British Columbia. Built around the cryptocurrency with a Shiba Inu at its heart, the conference received overwhelmingly positive reviews both from attendees and those who watched from the virtual sidelines.
Even the sponsors of the event were largely unabashed on social media:
With over 200 participants having attended Dogecon Vancouver, its success – amplified by crypto Twitter – arguably brought a breath of fresh air to a community that, in recent weeks, has been bogged down with concerning news of hacks, bearish market trends and cryptocurrency forks.
The coin behind Dogecon
The event may perhaps be proof of at least one thing: the near-zealous commitment the project still attracts, with recent charts showing that dogecoin transactions frequently outnumber those of bitcoin cash, the fourth most popular cryptocurrency in the world (by comparison, dogecoin is 40th by market capitalization, according to CoinMarket Cap).
So why the attraction? Dogecoin was always more about its community than challenging its crypto-cousin bitcoin, save for its vastly expanded token supply, faster block-times and viral memes. And the cryptocurrency inarguably suffered a blow in the wake of well-publicized scams like Moolah and the pump-and-dump schemes of Wolong.
Indeed, when the dogecoin first launched, it almost immediately attracted a following friendlier to newcomers in the crypto space than the “overly serious” bitcoin community.
Perhaps that’s SmileyGnome’s (likely rhetorical) point – that events like Dogecon seek to offer an alternative to the toxicity on display in the crypto-community on an all-too-often basis.
Or, at the very least, it’s an opportunity to praise Lord Doge.
Shiba Inu image via Shutterstock
Written by CoinDesk.com
Meet Three More Applications That Utilize Bitcoin Cash OP_Codes
Three Apps That Showcase the Bitcoin Cash Network’s OP_Return Innovation
Over the past few weeks since the successful Bitcoin Cash network upgrade this past May lots of BCH supporters have been experimenting with the new OP_Codes and OP_Return transactions. Immediately after the fork, platforms like Memo.cash, and Blockpress also upgraded their software which allowed users more characters per written post. With all the OP_Return innovation taking place a developer called ‘Unwriter’ has created three platform extensions called Chainfeed, the _opreturn Twitter bot, and read.cash. The applications work with programs like Memo.cash, while also using the Twitter API as well.
Chainfeed: A Global Real-Time News Feed Powered by BCH OP_Return Transactions
Chainfeed is a global newsfeed that shows all the messages being created on the Bitcoin Cash network in real-time. Basically, the tool logs all the OP_Return transactions on the BCH chain and delivers the data to users on the client side. Scrolling through the app’s interface shows all the OP_Return transactions taking place right now and a portion of the feed is a bunch of gibberish. However, users can filter the platform’s query so it only finds OP_Return transactions tied to specific applications like Blockpress. Chainfeed’s data site and the info shown can be shared with direct links alongside the ability to be bookmarked as well.
“There are currently two tabs: ‘all’ and ‘featured apps.’ ‘All’ is the raw OP_Return feed,” explains the Chainfeed creator.
‘Featured Apps’ is for applications that have their own overlay application protocols (such as memo.cash or blockpress so far). It’s still early days so there aren’t many apps that make use of the OP_Return data transaction feature yet, but we will probably see a lot of exciting apps soon.
The Twitter Bot ‘_Opreturn’ Turns Twitter Into an Application-Specific Bitcoin Sidechain
The developer has also created a Twitter bot called @_Opreturn which is a program that uses the Chainfeed firehouse API to monitor real-time messages sent on the BCH chain. Then the messages are replicated onto Twitter using the Twitter API. Visiting the bot’s Twitter page shows the application is quite active as it posts BCH-powered OP_Return transaction and streams them into _Opreturn’s Twitter feed. So far since Unwriter launched the bot the platform has tweeted 3,322 times and a good majority of the posts stem from the Memo.cash application.
“We’re turning Twitter into an application-specific Bitcoin sidechain,” explains Unwriter.
Watch All of Those Bitcoin Cash Social Media Accounts With Read.cash
Lastly, the developer Unwriter has created another BCH application called read.cash. In essence, read.cash takes all your BCH-centric social media accounts from Yours.org, Blockpress, and Memo and creates a platform that allows the owner to manage all of the tethered BCH wallets in one place. Read.cash enables users to add wallets using public keys instead of private keys. Creates a watchlist for all of the accounts’ wallets so people can view their accounts’ actions and most importantly the funds stored on these websites. Moreover, users have the ability to recharge application wallets using QR codes and the Moneybutton application.
All of Unwriters platforms are open source and the codebase and descriptions can be viewed at the developer’s Github repository. The applications Unwriter has created just scratches the surface when it comes to the potential of these censorship resistant social media platforms and the extensions that have followed. Ever since the OP_Codes were re-enabled it has caused a tidal wave of platforms that showcase innovation like the apps mentioned above and other realized concepts like trustless betting, auctions, and dice rolls.
Written by Bitcoin.com