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Cryptocurrency Morning Brief

Jul 10, 2018

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  • MyEtherWallet (MEW), has suffered a serious security issue for the second time this year after a VPN service was compromised for five hours. MyEtherWallet is used for storing and sending cryptocurrencies. The service warned users that those who utilize Hola, a free VPN plug-in, may have been caught in a malicious attack to steal cryptos. Hola was compromised for five hours – and those who used MEW during the time with Hola installed may have been affected. This intrusion underlines the risks associated with free wallet plug-ins (see Quantamize Crypto QuantShot on Securing & Storing Cryptocurrencies from 5/24/18 & 6/3/18). Recently in February, MEW was affected by a DNS attack where USD$365,000 of cryptocurrency was stolen from users.
  • The London School of Economics (LSE) will be offering a course called “Cryptocurrency Investment and Disruption”. The six-week course will begin in August and will provide students with practical knowledge on cryptos as well as the theoretical thought leadership for which LSE is known for. Students will learn about exchanges, ICO analytics and the use of cryptocurrency wallets. Similarly, The University of Oxford already has a six-week blockchain course and US universities such as Stanford, Duke, MIT and Cornell have their own crypto courses as well.
  • Li Xiaolai, a notable cryptocurrency investor has resigned from his role as managing partner of the USD$1bn Hangzhou Xiong’An Blockchain Fund. Li made his resignation on Monday night and said that he did so to preserve the reputation of the government-backed blockchain investment fund. Li was receiving defamatory comments from Chen Weixing due to alleged fraudulent activity from Chen Weixing. Li has recently filed a defamation suit against Chen and Chen responded that it will be his chance to take on Li with other victims.
  • As reported last week, accusations have reached FCoin founder Zhang Jian, for orchestrating a series of Sybil attacks to drive traffic to the FCoin exchange. The Sybil attack caused an increase in Ethereum transaction fees and created congestion on the network. A reddit user has posted its analysis of what took place and is calling for individuals to join him/her in a class action suit that will be brought against the FCoin exchange.
  • Israeli Cryptocurrency trading startup, Bancor, said that criminals have stolen USD$13.5mm, most of which is Ether. The company was able to successfully freeze an additional USD$10mm of its own Bancor token, limiting the damange. The Tel Aviv-based firm raised USD$153mm in an ICO last year and the network automatically prices and trades any cryptocurrency that wants to be listed. In its first year of operations, more than USD$1bn of token conversions occurred on its platform.
  • Fan Wenzhong, head of the international department of the China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission, said that “we all think blockchain is an innovation with significant meaning – correct. But we shouldn’t mythologize blockchain”. Additionally, Fan went on to say that multi-entry bookkeeping has been around for centuries and that decentralization is not a new trend but a loop. Beijing is taking the lead on blockchain technologies is negative on cryptocurrencies and has blocked access over 100 crypto exchanges due to the potential risk they pose to the financial system. Police in China have investigated ~300 cases related to cryptocurrencies over the past couple of years.