Bitcoin [BTC] worth $5.84 million stolen from MapleChange; Binance CEO gives his insight

MapleChange, a Canada-based cryptocurrency exchange, recently announced that their platform was hacked. The exchange platform took to their Twitter handle to provide clarity on the situation, stating that they could not refund the stolen cryptocurrencies.

According to their official post, a bug on the platform enabled a group of hackers to withdraw funds remotely. The platform reported that 913 Bitcoins [BTC] were stolen and that they cannot refund any of the funds until a “thorough investigation” was conducted.

Another controversial aspect was that the “thorough investigation” resulted in the exchange platform realizing that they did not have funds for repaying its users. Furthermore, they stated that the platform would not function anymore and that they would soon deactivate their social media channels. Their official post stated:

“We have sustained a hack, and we are investigating the issue.”

On their official Twitter handle, the exchange stated that they had not “disappeared”, but had temporarily turned off their accounts to think of a solution.

In addition, they could not refund “everyone with all their funds”, but would soon open wallets in order to allow its users to “hopefully” withdraw whatever funds were left on the exchange. They added:

“We CANNOT refund any BTC or LTC funds unfortunately. We will try our best to refund everything else.”

Changpeng Zhao, the CEO of Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange in terms of trading volume, was surprised by the hack and stated that a procedure was required to rank exchanges based on their wallet storage. He added that users had to avoid using exchange platforms which did not have anything in their cold wallets.

Maplechange’ed, a platform dedicated to find, take down and expose maplechange.com, with the help of members from the Lumeneo [LMO] telegram channel, allegedly found that Glad Poenaru, a service technician at American Piledriving Equipment, could have been responsible for the hack.

Joseph Young, a cryptocurrency investor and analyst, stated:

“A small crypto exchange pulled off an exit scam, taking all customer funds. There is no incentive for using small exchanges. Use established exchanges that are regulated, & transparent. Small exchanges also focus on maximizing profitability, not security or investor protection.”

MapleChange further added:

“We are sending all of the coin developers the wallets containing the coins we have left. So far, LMO and CCX have been handed over the funds.”

https://ambcrypto.com/bitcoin-btc-worth-5-84-million-stolen-from-maplechange-binance-ceo-gives-his-insight/

How Binance is Legitimizing the Crypto Market by Eliminating Money Laundering

Binance, the world’s largest crypto exchange, has voluntarily engaged in an initiative to eliminate money laundering on its platform.

For years, despite the inherent lack of privacy measures on major public blockchain networks like Bitcoin and Ethereum that discourage the settlement of illicit transactions, a widely pushed narrative against crypto has been the suspected usage of digital assets by criminals.

Eliminating Easily Refutable Claims

Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple, Bitcoin Cash, EOS, and many other major cryptocurrencies are not anonymous by nature. With Know Your Customer (KYC) and Anti-Money Laundering (AML) systems integrated by cryptocurrency exchanges, it is extremely difficult for criminals to utilize digital assets to settle the transfer of illegal proceeds.

Authorities and government agencies across the globe are well aware of the non-anonymous characteristic of blockchains, which could have motivated governments like the US, Japan, and South Korea to legitimate and recognize the cryptocurrency market.

This week, Binance has started to cooperate with Chainalysis, a leading blockchain analysis company that evaluates suspicious transactions and addresses, to improve its AML system and to further legitimize the cryptocurrency sector.

binance cryptocurrency exchange

“Cryptocurrency businesses of all sizes face the same core challenge: earning the trust of regulators, financial institutions and users. We expect many to follow Binance’s lead to build world-class AML compliance programs to satisfy regulators globally and build trust with major financial institutions,” said Jonathan Levin, co-founder and COO of Chainalysis.

In 2018, some of the world’s most influential banks were cracked down for money laundering. Danske Bank laundered $243 billion from criminal groups, and as CCN reported on October 20, Nordea Bank, the largest financial group in the Nordic countries, is said to have taken several illicit payments from banks in the Baltic region.

With the institutional market of cryptocurrencies growing exponentially, the tightening of AML systems employed by public exchanges is expected to solidify cryptocurrencies as a recognized asset class and the digital asset market as a well-regulated sector.

Wei Zhao, the CFO at Binance, said that maintaining the firm’s vision of increasing the freedom of money globally, the exchange will continue to adhere to regulatory mandates in the countries it operates in.

“By working with Chainalysis, we are able to continue building a foundational compliance program that enables the next phase of our growth. Our vision is to provide the infrastructure for a blockchain ecosystem and increase the freedom of money globally, while adhering to regulatory mandates in the countries we serve.”

Importance of Compliance

The cryptocurrency sector is entering a new phase of development and growth, as Zhou explained.

During the 2017 bull market in which the valuation of the cryptocurrency market surged to $800 billion, the asset class obtained significant mainstream awareness in both countries that support crypto and regions that have established impractical regulatory frameworks to prevent local blockchain markets to flourish.

In a period in which governments are introducing increasing efforts to embrace crypto and blockchain businesses as a part of the fourth industrial revolution, voluntary initiatives by companies like Binance to legitimize the industry will ease the process of governments in regulating and acknowledging the global market.

https://www.ccn.com/how-binance-is-legitimizing-the-crypto-market-by-eliminating-money-laundering/

‘Game Over’: Wall Street Analyst Says Bitcoin Must Not Breech Year-To-Date Support

By: William Suberg

Renaissance Macro Research’s head of technical research Jeff deGraaf concluded it may be “game over” for Bitcoin (BTC) in a new analysis, CNBC reports August 9.

In a note to clients, deGraaf, who has received multiple accolades for his trading insights in the past twenty years, claimed Bitcoin’s price movements suggest the largest cryptocurrency is “permanently impaired.”

CNBC quotes deGraaf as writing that Bitcoin’s “parabolic moves are notoriously dangerous for short-sellers,” adding that a top normally develops with the appearance of a “descending triangle over months, with reduced volatility and little [fanfare],”

“Once the top is complete on the support violation, the security in question can often be considered permanently impaired or even ‘game‐over’. We are of course referencing Bitcoin as exhibit ‘A’ in today’s market.”

Such a situation would become a genuine consideration if BTC/USD broke year-to-date support levels, deGraaf added.

Bitcoin prices have come full circle over the past three weeks to trade around $6,359 by press time, after previously rising as high as $8,450 in late July.

This time last year, Bitcoin traded at around half that figure — $3,400 — as markets began their ascent that brought Bitcoin’s price to around $20,000 in December 2017.

Chart

Meanwhile, misgivings from traditional finance sources have continued in recent months, despite increased Wall Street interest and pledges to build out Bitcoin-related infrastructure.

Last week, JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon broke silence once more to call the cryptocurrency a “scam” after previously saying he “was not going to talk about” it.

https://cointelegraph.com/news/blockchain-encyclopedia-launches-as-developers-iron-out-token-challenges

Glencore Slumps as U.S. Orders Documents in Corruption Probe

By Thomas Biesheuvel and Franz Wild

Glencore Plc tumbled the most in two years as U.S. authorities demanded documents relating to possible corruption and money laundering.

The world’s biggest commodity trader said Tuesday that it’s been subpoenaed by the U.S. Department of Justice to hand over documents related to the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and U.S money laundering statutes. The documents relate to the company’s business in Nigeria, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Venezuela from 2007 to the present.

The shares plunged as much as 13 percent, and more than 5.5 billion pounds ($7.3 billion) have been knocked off Glencore’s market value, about half the $14.8 billion of profit the company made last year.

It’s been a tumultuous year for Glencore, mostly due to challenges linked to its business in the Congo, where it operates giant copper and cobalt mines. The Swiss trader and miner is already facing the possibility of a bribery investigation by U.K. prosecutors over its work with Dan Gertler, an Israeli billionaire and close friend of Congo President Joseph Kabila, people familiar with the situation said in May.

Glencore said it’s reviewing the subpoena and will provide further information as appropriate. The shares dropped to the lowest in almost a year and were down 11 percent by 12:11 p.m. in London.

The DOJ usually issues subpoenas when it is investigating a company. In December, a Swiss court ordered companies controlled by Gertler to hand over bank documents to U.S. Federal prosecutors.

“Given the flow of negative news we’ve had through the course of this year, the knee-jerk reaction is worse than it otherwise might have been,” Hunter Hillcoat, an analyst at Investec Securities Ltd., said by phone. “The DOJ fines can be big, but to wipe out 10 percent of the market cap would be bigger than any fine I can recall.”

The biggest U.S. penalty for foreign corruption under the FCPA was a $965 million payment imposed on Swedish telecoms company Telia Company AB after it accepted that it paid hundreds of millions of dollars in bribes to a government official in Uzbekistan.

The largest fine linked to the U.S. law was meted out to Odebrecht SA, Latin America’s top construction company, and an affiliate. Odebrecht was ordered by a U.S. judge in 2017 to pay $2.6 billion to resolve bribery allegations involving Petroleo Brasileiro SA, Brazil’s state-run oil company. Odebrecht was ordered to pay $2.39 billion to Brazil, $93 million to the U.S. and $116 million to Switzerland.

While Glencore didn’t specify exactly what the DOJ is investigating, it has faced legal challenges in DRC, Venezuela and Nigeria that might suggest where the U.S. authorities are focusing their probe.

The company’s relationship with Gertler, who’s under U.S. sanctions over allegedly corrupt deals in Congo, has long been a cause for concern. In Venezuela, Glencore is among oil traders accused of paying bribes to get the inside track on oil deals, according to a lawsuit filed by a trust for Petroleos de Venezuela SA earlier this year. In 2015 a former representative of Glencore alleged that the company failed to pay a fee for helping to free 15 Russian sailors detained on suspicion of smuggling guns in Nigeria.

The company’s problems had seemed to ease last month as it headed off two of its biggest challenges in Congo. Faced with the risk of losing control of its mines, Glencore bowed to the demands from two entities with close government ties — the state-run mining company Gecamines and Gertler.

A spokesman for Gertler declined to comment.

Glencore’s bonds also slumped on the news. The company’s 500 million euros ($583 million) of notes due April 2026 led the decline, falling more than 2 cents on the euro to 109 cents, the biggest drop in more than two years, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

“After navigating the recent challenges in the Congo, albeit with a jurisdictional shift in risk from the Congo to the U.S., this investigation is likely to provide another reason for investors to proceed with caution around the Glencore investment case,” RBC Capital Markets analyst Tyler Broda said in a note to investors.

Stocks rise as oil rallies after Iran deal fallout

By Fred Imbert & Alexandra Gibbs

Stocks rose on Wednesday as energy shares jumped on the back of a strong rally in oil prices. The move higher in stocks and oil follows President Donald Trump’s decision to pull the U.S. out of the Iran nuclear deal.

The Dow Jones industrial average climbed 37 points, with Chevron and Exxon Mobil as the best-performing stocks in the index. The S&P 500gained 0.3 percent as energy rose 1.7 percent. The Nasdaq compositeadvanced 0.1 percent.

Chevron and Exxon Mobil both rose more than 1.5 percent, while the Energy Select Sector SPDR Fund (XLE) gained 1.8 percent. U.S. oil rose 2.4 percent to trade at $70.70 per barrel.

Trump said Tuesday that the U.S. would be walking away from the Iran deal and that sanctions on the Middle Eastern country would be reinstated. In the run-up to the 2016 presidential election, this was a campaign promise that Trump had pledged.

“This would have been much more shocking a year ago (when [Brent] oil was US$50) than now (with oil at US$75),” said Hasnain Malik, head of equity research at Exotix Capital, in a note to clients.

“Longer term, this event further narrows the space for countries that would benefit from cooperation with both the US (and its closest regional allies Israel, Saudi and the UAE) and Iran to chart a neutral path, and may portend a weakening of the US-EU strategic relationship,” Malik said.

Following the announcement, countries around the world reacted differently. While some nations in the Middle East commended the move made, U.S. allies in Europe did not. The president of Iran, Hassan Rouhani, said that his country would continue to commit to the nuclear deal, according to Reuters.

Equities closed flat on Tuesday after a choppy trading session. Since late March, stocks have traded in a tight range, with the S&P 500 bouncing between its 50-day and 200-day moving averages, two key technical levels.

“The market had traded up so much late last year and earl y this year,” said Greg Luken, CEO of Luken Investment Analytics. “It takes time to digest that.”

In the bond market, the 10-year Treasury yield reclaimed its position above the 3 percent mark on Wednesday, a level that recently put markets on edge. The two-year note yield also traded at its highest level in nearly a decade.

Meanwhile, in corporate news, shares of Walmart fell 3.2 percent after the company agreed to buy 77 percent of Flipkart for $16 billion. Flipkart is am e-commerce company based in India.