Category: Crypto

New Ripple-Based Decentralized Exchange Launches in San Francisco

A new U.S. Ripple-based decentralized crypto marketplace dubbed DCEX has now opened registration for retail and institutional accounts.

A new Ripple (XRP)-based decentralized crypto marketplace, DCEX, has now opened registration for retail and institutional accounts, according to a press release published July 30.

The new San Francisco-based platform runs on technology developed by blockchain firm AlphaPoint, and will initially offer 15 crypto-crypto trading pairs, all against Ripple as a base currency. These include Bitcoin (BTC), Litecoin (LTC), Ethereum (ETH), Bitcoin Cash (BCH), EOS (EOS), IOTA (MIOTA), and ZCash (ZEC), among others, with further altcoins to be listed in the future.

DCEX will also reportedly make all of the assets included in the Bloomberg Galaxy Crypto Index (BGCI) — which tracks the top ten “most liquid” crypto assets and presents itself as an “institutional benchmark” for the crypto market — available in one location for investors.

According to the press release, DCEX believes that using XRP as a base currency will allow for “high-speed transfers” that can help investors to better take advantage of “price inefficiencies” in their arbitrage among currency pairs on different exchanges.

The marketplace claims in the release that its network will facilitate “up to one million transactions per second,” and will also enable participants to connect to APIs to facilitate “high frequency” crypto trading strategies, as well as to margin trade.

DCEX, reportedly registered with FINCEN, is taking “initial steps” towards becoming a fully compliant and regulated operator under the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and other regulatory agencies, the press release notes.

As a Cointelegraph analysis outlined this spring, decentralized exchanges (DEXs) are gaining traction in the cryptosphere, both on ideological grounds and due to perceptions that centralized platforms are more vulnerable to thefts, such as the industry record-breaking hack of $532 mln in NEM from Coincheck earlier this year.

Bitcoin.org Removed from Bitcoin Core Website

Bitcoin.org Removed from Bitcoin Core WebsiteAbout four days ago news.Bitcoin.com reported on a dispute concerning the removal of the owner of Bitcoin.org, an anonymous figure known as ‘Cobra.’ At the time a Github contributor opened an issue on the website’s repository, saying that Cobra had become untrustworthy for showing support towards the Bitcoin Cash (BCH) network. Then the CEO of […]

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Chinese Banking Giant Trials Blockchain to Issue Land-Backed Loans

One of the “Big Four” commercial banks in China has completed the issuance of a loan worth of $300,000 using a blockchain system. 

Interest in Philippines Economic Zone Crypto License Spikes – 17 Firms Paid in Full

Interest in Philippines Economic Zone Crypto License Spikes - 17 Firms Paid in FullThe Philippines government-owned Cagayan Economic Zone Authority (Ceza) is in the process of issuing more crypto licenses. Interest for the license by offshore companies “surpassed all our expectations,” Ceza administrator said. Seventeen firms have already paid in full; 19 more are in the pipeline. Ceza expects to earn about $68 million from crypto licensing. Also read: Yahoo! […]

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Chamber of Digital Commerce Proposes Guidelines for ‘Responsible’ Crypto Market Growth

The Chamber of Digital Commerce Token Alliance has released a report proposing guidelines and principles for “responsible” crypto market growth.

The Chamber of Digital Commerce Token Alliance has released a collaborative report of proposed guidelines for “responsible growth” of the cryptocurrency market, according to their July 30 press release.

The Chamber of Digital Commerce is a blockchain and cryptocurrency advocacy group, founded by Perianne Boring in 2014.

The document, entitled “Understanding Digital Tokens: Market Overviews & Guidelines for

Policymakers & Practitioners,” is broken up into three sections: a regulatory overview of digital token markets in five countries, principles for those distributing digital tokens that are not intended to be securities, and economic coverage of the “global token landscape.”

Paul Atkins, CEO of Patomak Global Partners and former U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Commissioner, said in the press release that guidelines are needed for the smart regulation that “strikes the right balance between protecting investors while allowing for innovation in this new technological frontier,”

“We think it is important to explain the unique attributes of blockchain-based digital assets, which are not all strictly investment based, and provide guidance to consumers, regulators and the industry.”

The Token Alliance is made up of more than 350 international members from the blockchain and token industries, as well as experts in topics from economics to law. The press release notes that the alliance’s guidelines will “likely evolve” as the regulatory environment develops, and encourages readers to comment on the report through GitHub.

The report concludes by noting that this is the first installment of a series for “opening the doors to creative thinking and understanding in the token ecosystem,” and suggests future topics ranging from KYC/AML guidelines to “hybrid tokens” — those that changed form to no longer be considered a security.

Internationally, groups and governments have come up with their own sets of guidelines for governing the cryptocurrency market. In April, a Japanese research group established guidelines for initial coin offering (ICO) regulation, and the Lithuanian government also released their own ICO guidelines in June.

Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple, Bitcoin Cash, EOS, Litecoin, Cardano, Stellar, IOTA, TRON: Price Analysis, July 30

With the debate over the importance of a Bitcoin ETF approval still raging on, how are the markets reacting?

The views and opinions expressed here are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Cointelegraph.com. Every investment and trading move involves risk, you should conduct your own research when making a decision.

The market data is provided by the HitBTC exchange.

Fatfish Internet Group CEO Kin-Wai Lau believes that a Bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) might be a reality within “a couple of months.” However, industry experts are divided on whether a Bitcoin ETF is necessary or not.

U.S. Securities and Exchange (SEC) Commissioner Hester M. Peirce, the sole official to express dissent over the recently rejected Winklevoss twins’ ETF proposal by the SEC, believes that an ETF could institutionalize the Bitcoin market and bring more transparency to cryptocurrency trading.

A Wells Fargo/Gallup poll conducted among U.S. investors has found out that 75 percent of the participants viewed Bitcoin as a “very risky” investment, while 23 percent considered it “somewhat risky.” This shows that an SEC-approved ETF could attract numerous new investors to Bitcoin.

If investors follow the right principles, even digital currencies can be traded at manageable levels of risk, the way we have done for the many past months. We have only suggested reliable setups, recommended booking partial profits at regular intervals and trailed the stops higher to minimize the risk for our readers wherever possible.

Still, no forecast is 100 percent correct, hence, the traders should close the positions at the recommended stop losses and protect their capital.

BTC/USD

Bitcoin is looking tired. It has broken down of the small uptrend line, which shows that the bullish momentum is weakening.

BTC/USD

A failure to break out of the $8,566.4 line is likely to result in a dip to the breakout levels of $7,750 once again. The 20-day EMA is close to $7,600 and is trending up. Hence, we anticipate a strong support in the zone of $7,600 – $7,750.

Therefore, we suggest maintaining the stop loss of $7,400 on the remaining positions initiated at $6,650. The BTC/USD pair will pick up momentum above $8566.4.

ETH/USD

Ethereum could not break out of the 50-day SMA for the past six days. This has resulted in a liquidation of long positions held by traders, which has pushed prices below the trendline support.

ETH/USD

The ETH/USD pair can now slide to the next support line at $440 and below that to $404.99. This brings the larger range of $404.99 – $496.36 into play.

The digital currency will gain momentum only on a breakout and close above the $500 mark.

We recommend holding the long position with the stop loss at $400.

XRP/USD

Nothing much has happened on Ripple for the past nine days, as it has been stuck in a tight range of $0.435 – $0.47.

XRP/USD

The XRP/USD pair will take a directional move only on a breakout or breakdown of the large range of $0.4242 – $0.51978.

Though we like the positive divergence on the RSI, we shall wait for the buying to return before proposing any trades on it.

BCH/USD

The moving averages have completed a bullish crossover and the 20-day EMA has been providing support to Bitcoin Cash since July 20. This confirms the moving average as a strong support.

BCH/USD

On the upside, the downtrend line continues to act as a strong resistance. The BCH/USD pair will either break out above the downtrend line or break down of the 20-day EMA within the next couple of days.

If it breaks out, the zone between $880 and $934 will continue to act as a strong resistance. In case of a breakdown, the supports are at $670 and $745.

We suggest traders hold their existing long position but trail the stops to $740. Let’s reduce our risk.

EOS/USD

The 20-day EMA is flat and the 50-day SMA is also flattening. Both of these point to a continued consolidation of EOS inside the range of $6.8926 – $9.4456.

EOS/USD

The EOS/USD pair should now decline to $7.7 and thereafter to the bottom of the range at $6.8926. A break down from the range will be a negative development, which can result in a deeper fall to $5.1 and further to $4.3396.

We shall turn bullish on the virtual currency on a breakout and close above the range. The targets on the upside will be $11.9986 and thereafter $15. Therefore, we maintain the buy call given on July 25.

LTC/USD

After failing to break out of the $91 level on July 24 and July 25, Litecoin has declined to the lower end of the tight range of $80 – $91. A break of this level will plunge the prices to the bottom of the larger range between $74.074 and $91.146.

LTC/USD

The LTC/USD pair is forming a nice basing pattern and will turn positive once it breaks out of $91.146 and sustains above it for three days.

On the downside, any break of the $74 line will be a negative development and can result in a drop to $57.

There are no trades on the cryptocurrency as long as it remains inside the range. We might initiate a long call on a break out of the range.

ADA/USD

Cardano is looking weak. It has not been able to reach the downtrend line of the descending triangle. It has a strong support close to $0.153 from the horizontal line and the 50-day SMA.

ADA/USDIf this level breaks down, the ADA/USD pair can slide to $0.12. Therefore, we suggest to maintain the stops on the existing long position at $0.14.

The digital currency will show first signs of recovery if it breaks out of the downtrend line of the descending triangle. It will turn positive only above $0.181617. Both moving averages have flattened out, increasing the probability of a range formation.

XLM/USD

Stellar did not find buyers above $0.32 and has turned down, breaking below the uptrend line. It can now correct to the 20-day EMA, which should act as a strong support.

XLM/USD

If the digital currency bounces off from the 20-day EMA and rallies above $0.32, it will retest the $0.36 level once again.

A break of the 20-day EMA can sink the XLM/USD pair to the next support at $0.2544. Therefore, the investors can retain their stop loss on the existing long positions at just below the 20-day EMA.

IOTA/USD

IOTA has failed to break out of the 20-day EMA for the past four days. This increases the probability of a fall to the critical support at $0.9150.

IOTA/USD

The digital currency has formed a descending triangle pattern, which will complete on a breakdown and close below $0.9150. If the bears break below the June 29 low of $0.8851, the IOTA/USD pair can slide to $0.666 and below that to $0.5721.

Therefore, we suggest traders book a loss on 50 percent of their existing long position at the current prices and keep a stop on the remaining position at $0.8850.

The first sign of a change in trend will be indicated when the virtual currency sustains above the downtrend line of the triangle. Until then, all rallies will be sold into.

TRX/USD

Tron broke out of the downtrend line on July 29, but could not scale the 50-day SMA on a close (UTC time frame). This is the second time the digital currency has turned down from the 50-day SMA, which makes it a critical overhead resistance.

TRX/USD

The TRX/USD pair is currently trying to take support at the downtrend line and the 20-day EMA. If this support breaks, the next stop is at $0.03275.

On the upside the digital currency will pick up momentum only after it sustains above the 50-day SMA. We don’t find any reliable buy setups now, hence, we are not suggesting a trade on it.

The market data is provided by the HitBTC exchange. The charts for the analysis are provided by TradingView.

Charlie Lee to Advise Development of HTC Crypto-Compatible Smartphone Exodus

Litecoin (LTC) founder Charlie Lee tweeted July 29 that he will be an advisor for HTC’s new smartphone Exodus, which will support LTC and the Lightning Network (LN). In acknowledging Lee’s new advisory position, HTC

Novogratz’s Crypto Bank Galaxy Digital to Start Trading Aug. 1 on Canadian Exchange

Crypto-focused merchant bank, Galaxy Digital LP, is set to begin trading on Canada’s TSX Venture Exchange on August 1st.

Mike Novogratz’s crypto-focused merchant bank, Galaxy Digital LP, is set to begin trading on Canada’s TSX Venture Exchange on August 1, Bloomberg reports July 30.

The New-York headquartered firm will reportedly trade on the TSX Venture Exchange through a separate vehicle, Galaxy Digital Holdings Ltd., under the GLXY ticker.

For Galaxy’s founder, the former Goldman Sachs partner and crypto bull Mike Novogratz, the route to secure this week’s listing has been long-winded. Without the two years’ of audited financials required for a U.S. initial public offering (IPO), the fledgling bank opted for a so-called “reverse takeover” route by merging with an already TSX-listed shell company.

The process has reportedly taken a “frustrating” — in Novogratz’s words — eight months, with Canadian regulators closely scrutinizing the firm and pushing back its trading debut from April to August. In a TV interview with BNN Bloomberg in Toronto, Novogratz said:

“If I knew what I know now, knew the crypto markets were going to swoon as much, and it was going to take so long, I might have stayed private for another year or so and then gone public. But I don’t think it’s a mistake."

This spring saw a protracted downtrend in the crypto markets, with Bitcoin (BTC) dipping below $6,000 after its industry record highs of $20,000 in December 2017. According to Bloomberg, Galaxy sold shares at $5 Canadian dollars (about $3.80 USD) apiece in a private placement in January, weeks after Bitcoin had peaked.

“Unfortunately, the Canadian capital markets aren’t roaring anymore," Novogratz is quoted as saying in the interview, adding that he has “faith that they will come back." Placing Galaxy’s difficulties in the wider listings landscape, Novogratz noted,

“There was a surge of companies that listed in Canada and they all traded really poorly. I think the regulators got a little bit more nervous and said, ‘Hey, wait a minute, let’s make sure we know what we’re seeing here’."

Brady Fletcher, managing director of the TSX Venture Exchange, told Bloomberg that although the due diligence process “probably takes a little bit longer than entrepreneurs like Mike would like it to,” TSX is nonetheless “excited about the upcoming listing and [thinks that] Galaxy is a great story."

According to Bloomberg, Novogratz intends to seek further stock listings in Frankfurt, London, and Hong Kong, adding,

“We’re going to be a global company; we want to be globally traded.”

As Cointelegraph reported last week, Galaxy Digital released its first quarter report for 2018, posting a $134 million loss with $85.5 million as an unrealized loss on digital assets.

The firm has also recently ventured into the crypto-lending sphere, leading a $52.5 million fundraising round for BlockFi, a firm that offers corporate and retail loans on backed by digital asset holdings.

P2P Network to Stop Private Data Breaches and Censorship Via New Protocol, DApp Platform

A digital cooperative community aims to give users complete control over their personal information, eliminating censorship and obstruction by governments and large companies.

A major cryptocurrency exchange says the world is on the brink of a data crisis, and is launching a digital cooperative designed to give users total control over their personal information.

CoinBene has announced it is listing the Internet of People (IoP) — a digital cooperative community which aims to allow users to build “a new generation of DApps” with full control of personal information, eliminating censorship and obstruction by governments and large companies.

IoP says its protocols and “people first” principle are essential in a world where data breaches occur daily, with large corporations harvesting far more information than they need. As well as attacking the state of the internet — and arguing the online world has failed to stay true to the web’s original goal of connecting people — IoP says that cryptocurrencies have so far worsened this particular problem instead of resolving it, with ICO funding models “trumping the values which crypto was built on.”

“More than a cryptocurrency”

CoinBene says IoP is more than a cryptocurrency, enabling peer-to-peer operations to be performed without middlemen, censorship and obstruction. The first version of a new communications protocol called Mercury has just been released, and it says that DApps that use IoP’s protocols are inherently more private and secure and, at the same time, will be able to offer all of the services that centralized companies provide.

IoP has stressed that one key difference with Mercury will be how data is treated — with DApp owners only receiving the information that is essential for them to offer their goods and services. Where possible, IoP says the personal data of its users never leaves their device — and if it does, it is encrypted to a high standard.

Describing itself as a decentralized digital cooperative (DDC), IoP says it already has members based in nearly 40 countries — and IoP says it has no need to conduct an Initial Coin Offering because their cryptocurrency “is held by people who actively support our project’s values.”

IoP is comprised of a decentralized network of nodes, and it says anyone is welcome to set up and run their own. Its community is rewarded through IOP Coins, and IoP believes its concept has the potential to reduce the high levels of energy consumption which are often associated with mining.

CoinBene says it is delighted to be listing IoP and says the launch helps the exchange in its quest to offer as many digital assets to its customers as possible.

What it means for users

In time, IoP hopes to make using Mercury for decentralized applications as simple as using mainstream, centralized players, such as Google Play or Apple’s App Store. The main difference would come in the levels of privacy afforded to users.

IoP says that its infrastructure means users cannot be spied on — and its server allows users to create specific profiles for different purposes. For example, it could mean that a user has one profile for their business activities and another for online dating. The platform is also confident that the peer-to-peer nature of its network means governments will be unable to block, censor or even access data.

IoP says it wants to bring cryptocurrency to the masses — creating technology that people actually need and offering the resources that the public needs in order to understand how crypto works and the benefits that it can offer. IoP also says that it is currently collaborating with major universities all over the world. There, they integrate IoP and add cryptocurrency to their curricula, as it believes that crypto is going to be relevant to almost every modern discipline in the future.

 

Disclaimer. Cointelegraph does not endorse any content or product on this page. While we aim at providing you all important information that we could obtain, readers should do their own research before taking any actions related to the company and carry full responsibility for their decisions, nor this article can be considered as an investment advice.

Vietnam: Crypto Mining Firm CEO Allegedly Flees With $35 Mln in Investor, Company Funds

Vietnam is the scene of another major cryptocurrency fraud after a mining firm CEO reportedly absconds with investor and company funds.

The CEO of Vietnamese cryptocurrency mining firm Sky Mining has reportedly disappeared with investor and company funds worth an alleged $35 million, local media outlet VNExpress reported July 29.

According to VNExpress, Sky Mining CEO Le Minh Tam disappeared a week ago, appearing to organize a cleanout of company assets.

VNExpress notes that Sky Mining CEO Tam — although he has not been found in person —

apologized for “everything” to investors in a Facebook post on Wednesday, explaining that the company’s profitability had fallen with the market’s volatility.

Tam told investors to go to the company office in order to regain their capital, after which he would declare bankruptcy. However, investors found that Sky Mining’s Ho Chi Minh City headquarters building is closed and all of the signage has been removed, VNExpress writes.

The firm’s 600 miners housed in a separate facility in a neighboring district were also discovered to have been taken away by people “claiming to be maintenance workers.”

Le Minh Hieu, deputy chairman of Sky Mining, has already formed a “board” dedicated to assisting investors who lost money, as well as assessing the extent of the losses and remaining asset value.

Hieu noted that he was not able to give details about the company’s assets, as Tam was directly in charge of the mining rigs, but investors estimate the loss to be around $35 million, VNExpress reports.

Hieu told VNExpress that he believes Tam left for the U.S., adding,

“[The board] has reported this to the police and showed evidence that we are not guilty. We are victims too.”

Of those affected, twenty investors have also filed a complaint with local police, the publication adds.

The debacle comes three months after the collapse of a major ponzi scheme engulfed Vietnamese consumers who invested in two pseudo-Initial Coin Offerings (ICO). A reported 32,000 people lost money after company officials absconded, allegedly stealing as much as $660 million.

Last week, authorities in Vietnam banned local companies from engaging in activities related to cryptocurrencies. Earlier in July, the country’s central bank also voiced support for a ban on imports associated with cryptocurrency mining.

Dubai Plans to ‘Disrupt’ Its Own Legal System with Blockchain

Dubai is planning to develop what it calls a “Court of the Blockchain” as part of a wider push for smart government operations.

Largest Movie Theater Chain in Thailand Going Crypto

Largest Movie Theater Chain in Thailand Going CryptoThailand’s largest movie theater chain, Major Cineplex, is reportedly integrating crypto payments to allow customers to pay for its services and products with cryptocurrency, including movie tickets and popcorn. Thailand recently began regulating crypto businesses. This week, the Thai Securities and Exchange Commission started accepting license applications from crypto operators. Also read: Yahoo! Japan Confirms Entrance […]

The post Largest Movie Theater Chain in Thailand Going Crypto appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Total Market Cap See Slight Decline, Bitcoin Keeps Holding Its Position

Total market cap is slightly down, while nine out of the top ten coins by market cap show slight green.

Sunday, July 29: crypto markets have seen diverging trends over a 24 hour period, with nine out of the ten top cryptocurrencies by market cap slightly in the green, according to Coinmarketcap.

Market visualization

Market visualization from Coin360

Bitcoin (BTC) is slightly up by less than one percent over the past 24 hours and is trading at around $8,206 at press time, with an intraday high of $8,285. The major cryptocurrency reached as high as $8,431 this week, following the crypto market rebound that started in mid-July. Holding the some of the biggest gains among the top ten coins over the past week, Bitcoin is now up almost 39 percent over the past month.

Bitcoin 1 month price chart

Bitcoin 1 month price chart. Source: Cointelegraph Bitcoin Price Index

Bitcoin’s market dominance over altcoins also keeps growing, currently amounting to almost 47.5 percent.

Percentage of Total Market Cap (Dominance)

Percentage of Total Market Cap (Dominance). Source: Coinmarketcap

Ethereum (ETH) is down a negligible percentage over a 24 hour period, trading at around $466 at press time. The top altcoin keeps fluctuating around $460, having seen its intraday high of $470. Over the past week, ETH reached its peak of $483 on July 25.

Ethereum weekly price chart

Ethereum weekly price chart. Source: Cointelegraph Ethereum Price Index

Total market cap is hovering around $297 billion by press time, after touching $304 billion earlier this week.

Total market capitalization chart

Total market capitalization chart. Source: Coinmarketcap

TRON (TRX) has seen the biggest gains over the past 24 hours, gaining almost 8.5 percent by press time. This week, the altcoin has broken into the top ten coins by market cap, with its market cap having surpassed that of Tether (USDT). At press time, TRX’s market cap amounts to around $2.6 billion, while Tether’s market cap has fallen from its intraweek high of $2.7 billion to a current $2.5 billion, according to Coinmarketcap.

Earlier this week, on July 26, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) officially rejected the Winklevoss twins’ petition looking to review the previous rejection of their Bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) in March 2017.

Subsequently, SEC Commissioner Hester M. Peirce published an official dissent of the second rejection of the Winklevoss’ application. Peirce argued that the financial regulator has overstepped “its limited role” since it focused on the features of the underlying BTC market, rather than the derivatives that the applicant intended to list.

On July 27, Nasdaq held a private meeting with representatives from both traditional finance and crypto industry firms to discuss a way to “get the [crypto] industry on the path to legitimacy.”

Six Tools Used by Hackers to Steal Cryptocurrency: How to Protect Wallets

Every year, thousands of users become victims of hacking attacks by voluntarily sending fraudsters $200 millions of dollars in cryptocurrency. Why does this happen and what are the possible solutions?

In the early July, it was reported that Bleeping Computer detected suspicious activity targeted at defrauding 2.3 million Bitcoin wallets, which they found to be under threat of being hacked. The attackers used malware — known as “clipboard hijackers” — which operates in the clipboard and can potentially replace the copied wallet address with one of the attackers.

The threat of hacking attacks of this type has been predicted by Kaspersky Lab as early as November of last year, and they did not take long to become reality. For the time being, this is one of the most widespread types of attacks that is aimed at stealing users’ information or money, with the overall estimated share of attacks to individual accounts and wallets being about 20 percent of the total number of malware attacks. And there’s more. On July 12, Cointelegraph published Kaspersky Lab’s report, which stated that criminals were able to steal more than $9 million in Ethereum (ETH) through social engineering schemes over the past year.

 Carbon Black

Image source: Carbon Black

Briefly about the problem

The already mentioned Bleeping Computer portal, which works on improving computer literacy, writes about the importance of following at least some basic rules in order to ensure a sufficient level of protection:

“Most technical support problems lie not with the computer, but with the fact that the user does not know the ‘basic concepts’ that underlie all issues of computing. These concepts include hardware, files and folders, operating systems, internet and applications.”

The same point of view is shared by many cryptocurrency experts. One of them, Ouriel Ohayon — an investor and entrepreneur — places the emphasis on the personal responsibility of users in a dedicated Hackernoon blog:

"Yes, you are in control of your own assets, but the price to pay is that you are in charge of your own security. And since most people are not security experts, they are very much often exposed  —  without knowing. I am always amazed to see around me how many people, even tech savvy ones, don’t take basic security measures."

According to Lex Sokolin — the fintech strategy director at Autonomous Research — every year, thousands of people become victims of cloned sites and ordinary phishing, voluntarily sending fraudsters $200 million in cryptocurrency, which is never returned.

What could that tell us? Hackers that are attacking crypto wallets use the main vulnerability in the system — human inattention and arrogance. Let's see how they do it, and how one can protect their funds.

250 million potential victims

A study conducted by the American company Foley & Lardner showed that 71 percent of large cryptocurrency traders and investors attribute theft of cryptocurrency to the strongest risk that negatively affects the market. 31 percent of respondents rate the hackers’ activity threat to the global cryptocurrency industry as very high.

Foley & Lardner

Image source: Foley & Lardner

Experts from Hackernoon analyzed the data about hacking attacks for 2017, which can be conditionally divided into three large segments:

– Attacks on the blockchains, cryptocurrency exchanges and ICOs;

– Distribution of software for hidden mining;

– Attacks directed at users’ wallets.

Surprisingly, the article "Smart hacking tricks" that was published by Hackernoon didn’t appear to get wide popularity and warnings that seem to be obvious for an ordinary cryptocurrency user must be repeated again and again, as the number of cryptocurrency holders is expected to reach 200 million by 2024, according to RT.

According to research conducted by ING Bank NV and Ipsos — which did not consider East Asia in the study — about nine percent of Europeans and eight percent of U.S. residents own cryptocurrencies, with 25 percent of the population planning to buy digital assets in the near future. Thus, almost a quarter of a billion potential victims could soon fall into the field of hacking activity.

Apps on Google Play and the App Store

Tips e
– Don’t get carried away with installing mobile applications without much need;
-Add Two Factor Authorization-identification to all applications on the smartphone;
-Be sure to check the links to applications on the official site of the project.

Victims of hacking are most often smartphone owners with Android operating system, which does not use Two Factor Authentication (2FA) — this requires not only a password and username, but also something that user has on them, i.e., a piece of information only they could know or have on hand immediately, such as a physical token. The thing is that Google Android’s open operating system makes it more open to viruses, and therefore less safe than the iPhone, according to Forbes. Hackers add applications on behalf of certain cryptocurrency resources to the Google Play Store. When the application is launched, the user enters sensitive data to access their accounts and thereby gives hackers access to it.

One of the most famous targets of a hacking attacks of this type were traders of the American cryptocurrency exchange Poloniex, which downloaded mobile applications posted by hackers on Google Play, pretending to be a mobile gateway for the popular crypto exchange. The Poloniex team didn't develop applications for Android, and its site doesn't have links to any mobile apps. According to Lukas Stefanko, a malware analyst at ESET, 5,500 traders had been affected by the malware before the software was removed from Google Play.

Users of iOS devices, in turn, more often download App Store applications with hidden miners. Apple was even forced to tighten the rules for admission of applications to its store in order to somehow suspend the distribution of such software. But this is a completely different story, the damage from which is incomparable with the hacking of wallets, since the miner only slows down the computer operation.

Bots in Slack

Tips:
-Report Slack-bots to block them;
-Ignore bots’ activity;
-Protect the Slack-channel, for example, with Metacert or Webroot security bots, Avira antivirus software or even built-in Google Safe Browsing.

Since mid-2017, Slack bots aimed at stealing cryptocurrencies have become the scourge of the fastest-growing corporate messenger. More often, hackers create a bot that notifies users about problems with their cryptos. The goal is to force a person to click the link and enter a private key. With the same speed with which such bots appear, they are blocked by users. Even though the community usually reacts quickly and the hacker has to retire, the latter manages to make some money.

Steemit @sassal

Image source: Steemit @sassal

The largest successful attack by hackers through Slack is considered to be the Enigma group hack. The attackers used Enigma's name — which was hosting its presale round — to launch a Slack bot, and ended up defrauding a total of $500,000 in Ethereum from credulous users.

Add-ons for crypto trading

Tips
-Use a separate browser for operations with cryptocurrencies;
-Select an incognito mode;
-Do not download any crypto add-ons;
-Get a separate PC or smartphone just for crypto trading;
-Download an antivirus and install network protection.

Internet browsers offer extensions to customize the user interface for more comfortable work with exchanges and wallets. And the issue is not even that add-ons read everything that you are typing while using the internet, but that extensions are developed on JavaScript, which makes them extremely vulnerable to hacking attacks. The reason is that, in recent times — with the popularity of Web 2.0, Ajax and rich internet applications — JavaScript and its attendant vulnerabilities have become highly prevalent in organizations, especially Indian ones. In addition, many extensions could be used for hidden mining, due to the user's computing resources.

Authentication by SMS

Tips:
-Turn off call forwarding to make an attacker’s access to your data impossible;
-Give up 2FA via SMS when the password is sent in the text, and use a two-factor identification software solution.

Many users choose to use mobile authentication because they are used to doing it, and the smartphone is always on hand. Positive Technologies, a company that specializes in cybersecurity, has demonstrated how easy it is to intercept an SMS with a password confirmation, transmitted practically worldwide by the Signaling System 7 (SS7) protocol. Specialists were able to hijack the text messages using their own research tool, which exploits weaknesses in the cellular network to intercept text messages in transit. A demonstration was carried out using the example of Coinbase accounts, which shocked the users of the exchange. At a glance, this looks like a Coinbase vulnerability, but the real weakness is in the cellular system itself, Positive Technologies stated. This proved that any system can be accessed directly via SMS, even if 2FA is used.

Public Wi-Fi

Tips:
-Never perform crypto transactions through public Wi-Fi, even if you are using a VPN;
-Regularly update the firmware of your own router, as hardware manufacturers are constantly releasing updates aimed at protecting against key substitution.

Back in October last year, in the Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA) protocol — which uses routers — an unrecoverable vulnerability was found. After carrying out an elementary KRACK attack (an attack with the reinstallation of the key) the user's device reconnects to the same Wi-Fi network of hackers. All the information downloaded or sent through the network by a user is available to attackers, including the private keys from crypto wallets. This problem is especially urgent for public Wi-Fi networks at railway stations, airports, hotels and places where large groups of people visit.

Sites-clones and phishing

Tips:
-Never interact with cryptocurrency-related sites without HTPPS protocol;
-When using Chrome, customize the extension —  for example, Cryptonite — which shows the addresses of submenus;
-When receiving messages from any cryptocurrency-related resources, copy the link to the browser address field and compare it to the address of the original site;
-If something seems suspicious, close the window and delete the letter from your inbox.

These good old hacking methods have been known since the "dotcom revolution," but it seems that they are still working. In the first case, attackers create full copies of the original sites on domains that are off by just one letter. The goal of such a trick — including the substitution of the address in the browser address field — is to lure a user to the site-clone and force them to enter the account's password or a secret key. In the second case, they send an email that — by design — identically copies the letters of the official project, but — in fact — aims to force you to click the link and enter your personal data. According to Chainalysis, scammers using this method have already stolen $225 million in cryptocurrency.

Cryptojacking, hidden mining and common sense

The good news is that hackers are gradually losing interest in brutal attacks on wallets because of the growing opposition of cryptocurrency services and the increasing level of literacy of users themselves. The focus of hackers is now on hidden mining.

According to McAfee Labs, in the first quarter of 2018, 2.9 million samples of virus software for hidden mining were registered worldwide. This is up by 625 percent more than in the last quarter of 2017. The method is called "cryptojacking" and it has fascinated hackers with its simplicity in such away that they massively took up its implementation, abandoning the traditional extortion programs.

The bad news is that the activity of hacking has not decrease in the least bit. Experts of the company Carbon Black — which works with cybersecurity — revealed that, as of July 2018, there are approximately 12,000 trading platforms on the dark web selling about 34,000 offers for hackers. The average price for malicious attack software sold on such a platform is about $224.

Carbon Black

Picture source: Carbon Black

But how does it get on our computers? Let's return to the news with which we started. On June 27, users began leaving comments on Malwarebytes forum about a program called All-Radio 4.27 Portable that was being unknowingly installed on their devices. The situation was complicated by the impossibility of its removal. Though, in its original form, this software seems to be an innocuous and popular content viewer, its version was modified by hackers to be a whole "suitcase" of unpleasant surprises.

Of course, the package contains a hidden miner, but it only slows down the computer. As for the program for monitoring the clipboard, that replaces the addresses when the user copies and pastes the password, and it has been collecting 2,343,286 Bitcoin wallets of potential victims. This is the first time when hackers demonstrated such a huge database of cryptocurrency owners — so far, such programs have contained a very limited set of addresses for substitution.

After replacing the data, the user voluntarily transfers funds to the attacker's wallet address. The only way to protect the funds against this is by double-checking the entered address when visiting the website, which is not very pleasant, but reliable and could become a useful habit.

After questioning of victims of All-Radio 4.27 Portable, it was discovered that malicious software got on their computers as a result of unreasonable actions. As the experts from Malwarebytes and Bleeping Computer found out, people used cracks of licensed programs and games, as well as Windows activators like KMSpico, for example. Thus, hackers have chosen as victims those who consciously violated copyright and security rules.

Well-known expert on Mac malware Patrick Wardle often writes in his blog that many viruses addressed to ordinary users are infinitely stupid. It's equally silly to become a victim of such hacking attacks. Therefore, in conclusion, we'd like to remind you of the advice from Bryan Wallace, Google Small Business Advisor:

“Encryption, anti-virus software, and multi-factor identification will only keep your assets safe to a point; they key is preventive measures and simple common sense.”

Market Caps for Privacy-Centric Currencies Have Dropped Significantly

Market Caps for Privacy-Centric Currencies Have Dropped SignificantlyOver the past few years, a few privacy-centric cryptocurrencies have gained both in popularity and value. Many of these coins like monero, dash, pivx, zcash, and more were at one time top ten digital asset contenders as far as market valuation is concerned. Now even though a few of these specific digital assets have dropped […]

The post Market Caps for Privacy-Centric Currencies Have Dropped Significantly appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Huobi Informs Users on Decision to Launch P2P Trading in India

Huobi Informs Users on Decision to Launch P2P Trading in IndiaFollowing several announcements of plans for global expansion, this week crypto exchange Huobi has reportedly informed Indian users of its intentions to present them with a P2P platform that allows trading in Indian rupee. The email notice published by local media promises zero transaction fees for exchanging BTC, ETH, and USDT. Also read: 3 Million […]

The post Huobi Informs Users on Decision to Launch P2P Trading in India appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Hodler’s Digest, July 23-29: Winklevoss ETF Gets Second SEC Rejection, While Fortune Recognizes Crypto Trailblazers

Iran explores circumventing U.S. sanctions with cryptocurrency, and a former JPMorgan exec thinks blockchain can save the world.

Coming every Sunday, the Hodler’s Digest will help you to track every single important news story that happened this week. The best (and worst) quotes, adoption and regulation highlights, leading coins, predictions, and much more — a week on Cointelegraph in one link.

Top Stories This Week

Top Stories This Week

US SEC Rejects Winklevoss Twins ETF, Again, While Commissioner Dissents

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has again rejected Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss’ application for a Bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF). The first rejection came in February 2017, with the SEC citing the largely unregulated nature of the BTC markets. This time, the SEC noted in its rejection that the Winklevoss’ application did not demonstrate that their exchange would be able to prevent fraudulent and manipulative acts. However, the SEC Commissioner officially dissented to the rejection, arguing that the SEC’s decision erred on three grounds: it focused on the underlying Bitcoin market, not the derivatives, it will inhibit institutionalization of the Bitcoin market, and it shows a “skeptical view of innovation.”

Iran Plans To Create State-Issued Cryptocurrency To Circumvent US Sanctions

According to local media, the Iranian deputy for management and investment at the Directorate for Scientific and Technological Affairs has said that a plan for a working digital currency is already on the agenda. Although the technical details about the national cryptocurrency remain unknown, the deputy noted that the currency could “help us at the time of sanctions.”

Former JPMorgan Executive Believes Blockchain Could Prevent “Global Financial Crisis”

The former vice president of North American investment banking at JPMorgan Chase said this week that blockchain “may be the key to avoiding the next global financial crisis.” Pang Huadong noted that although the technology is still in its nascency, its development prospect are “limitless,” underlining its transparency’s potential to establish trust mechanisms “at the lowest cost.”

Ex-Programmer At Russian Payment Services Firm Qiwi Mined 500,000 BTC In 2011

Sergey Solonin, the CEO of Russian payment services provider Qiwi, claimed this week that a former programmer at the company used its payment terminals to mine around 500,000 Bitcoin back in 2011. Qiwi apparently noticed the covert mining operation when electricity usage increased in the terminals at night. According to Solonin, the programmer refused to give up the Bitcoin (worth about $5 million then and $4 billion today) and quit the company. Apparently, the Bitcoin have all since been “lost.”

Fortune’s “40 Under 40” Includes Five Crypto Trailblazers

The latest incarnation of Fortune’s “40 Under 40,” a list of the most impressive young disruptors in global business, includes five persons from crypto and blockchain-related fields. Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin made the list for the third time, and Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong for the second. Also noted are Russian Telegram co-founder Pavel Durov — which raised a combined $1.7 billion in two ICOs this year — and the co-founders of payment trading app Robinhood — which added a crypto trading option this year — Vlad Tenev and Baiji Bhatt. Fortune also released, for the first time ever, a crypto-focused “40 Under 40.”

Most Memorable Quotations

Most Memorable Quotations

Alexis Ohanian

“We’re looking for those companies who are building the robust but very unsexy infrastructure that’s probably not going to make a headline anytime soon,” — Alexis Ohanian, a co-founder of Reddit and VC firm Initialized Capital, on what he looks for in investments

Leanne Kemp

“So when you look at our portfolio — diamonds, jewelry, watches, wine, collected automotive cars, maybe even helicopters — I guess it's motivated by me, the things I like to eat, to drink, to fly, to wear — handbags — selfishly, why not be motivated by that?” — Leanne Kemp, founder of Everledger, on which high class assets the blockchain platform tracks

Laws And Taxes

Laws And Taxes

US SEC Delays Review Of Direxion’s Bitcoin Exchange-Traded Fund

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has postponed its decision on investment firm Direxion’s Bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) application until September 21, in a move that only affects Direxion’s offering. The SEC said it was “appropriate” to delay its review in order to have “sufficient time to consider this proposed rule change.”

Libertarian Party Gubernatorial Campaign To Accept BTC, Despite Legal Uncertainty

Phil Anderson, the Libertarian candidate for Wisconsin governor, will accept Bitcoin donations despite the state’s Ethics Commission previously finding them a “serious challenge” to compliance with state law. Anderson believes his party is abiding by the law in accepting BTC, and said he will “push all the way back” if the Ethics Commission files a complaint.

South Carolina Watchdog Removes Enforcement Action Against 2 Blockchain Startups

The Securities Divisioon of the office of the Attorney General of South Carolina has removed the cease-and-desist orders against shipping platform ShipChain and cloud mining platform Genesis Mining. ShipChain has received the cease-and-desist, which it had refuted, in May for allegedly violating the state’s securities laws. Genesis Mining was also previously halted for reportedly selling “unlicensed securities.”

South Korean Financial Regulator Urges Legislators To Speed Up Crypto Bill

South Korea’s Financial Services Commission has asked lawmakers to move quickly in their approval of the country’s first cryptocurrency bill. Hong Seong-ki, the head of the regulator’s virtual currency response team, warned of the security and money laundering risks associated with South Korean crypto exchanges in a statement, underlining that the bill should be passed “as soon as possible.”

Adoption

Adoption

Nasdaq Holds Closed-Door Meeting With Finance Firms To Discuss Crypto Legitimization

Nasdaq, Inc. held a closed-door meeting this week to discuss steps for making the cryptocurrency industry more legitimate in global markets. Nasdaq confirmed that the event took place, and the discussion was reportedly attended by around half a dozen representatives from both crypto and traditional financial firms — supposedly including the Winklevoss twins’ Gemini. An unnamed source told Bloomberg that this was just the beginning of such discussions.

EU Parliamentary Study Finds CBDC Can Be A “Remedy” For Crypto Market Competition

A new study, commissioned by the European Parliament Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs (ECON), has found that central bank-issued digital currencies could be a “remedy” for a lack of competition policy in the crypto sector. The study also refers to Bitcoin and blockchain as “sources of disruption” for the monetary policy and financial stability.

Digital Asset Manager Bitwise Files ETF Petition With US SEC

Bitwise has filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commmission to launch a cryptocurrency exchange-traded fund this week. According to Bitwise, their HOLD10 Cryptocurrency Index will include 10 cryptocurrencies and will track the Bitwise HOLD 10 Private Index Fund founded in November of last year.

South Korean Telephone Giant Launches Blockchain-Based Commercial Network

The state-owened KT corporation, South Korea’s largest telephone company, has announced the launch of its blockchain-powered commercial network. According to the KT Corporation, they have built a blockchain layer on top of its existing nationwide network to improve its security and transparency. KT Corporation also plans to offer blockchain-basedroaming services with some international mobile carriers.

Asia-Based Family Office-Focused Asset Management Fund To Offer Crypto-Custody

The Fusang Investment Office, which focuses on family officies, announced plans to launch a crypto-custody service in Hong Kong. According to the company’s CEO Henrgy Chong, the Fusang Vault will hold digital assets for clients as well as provide periodic audits. Chong noted that there is an increasing need for an independent third paty for holding a clients’ crypto assets.

Mergers, Acquisitions, And Partnerships

Mergers, Acquisitions, And Partnerships

Google Partners With Two Blockchain Firms To Offer Fintech, Cloud Service Solutions

Google announced this week that it has partnered with Digital Asset and BlockApps in order to offer distributed ledger solutions on Google’s Cloud Platform. In their statement, Google said that customers will also be able to test out open-source integrations for the Hyperledger Fabric and Ethereum protocol on their Google Cloud Platform Marketplace Service.

Seven Starts Cloud Group Partners With Chinese VC Institute For Asset Digitization

Seven Stars Cloud Group (SCC), a global blockchain and AI-focused fintech firm, has partnered with the China Venture Capital Research Institute (CVCRI) to extend SCC’s asset digitization services. CVCRI’s relationship with Chinese authorities and regulators will reportedly help develop the fractionalizion and securitization of a set of new fixed income asset classes, tradable on government designated exchanges within China.

Singapore Airlines Releases Microsoft-Developed Blockchain Loyalty Wallet

Singapore Airlines has launched its own loyalty digital wallet based on blockchain technology, co-developed by Microsoft and KPMG Digital Village. The new wallet, called “KrisPay,” converts frequent flyer miles into digitized “KrisPay” miles that customers can use to pay for retail purposes via a mobile app.

ConsenSys Signs MoU With Future “Smart City” Xiongan For Blockchain Consulting

China’s Xiongan New Area government has brought blockchain software tech company ConsenSys on board to help develop blockchain tech applications in their future “smart city,” according to a recently signed Memorandum of Understanding. ConsenSys has confirmed that they will advise the Xiongan government on blockchain and software solutions in order to establish it as a “next generation smart city [and] leading blockchain innovation hub.”

Indian State Of Telangana Announces Signing Of Several MoUs With Blockchain Firms

The Indian state of Telangana has announced it will sign several memoranda of understanding with blockchain firms in order to bring the technology to state applications. According to a government official, introducing blockchain will help bring more transparency and efficiency to public services.

Funding Rounds

Funding Rounds

General Electric Venture Arm Contributes To Xage Security’s $12 Mln Funding Round

The venture capital arm of General Electric, GE Ventures, has participated in a $12 million Series A funding round for blockchain startup Xage Security. The funding round, led by March Capital Partners with City Light Capital and NexStart Partners also as participants, aims to develop Xage Security’s security fabric for industries ranging from energy to building management.

Novogratz’s Crypto-Focused Merchant Bank Leads $52.5 Mln Funding Round For BlockFi

Mike Novogratz’s crypto-focused merchant bank, Galaxy Digital, has led a $52.5 million dollar funding round for the crypto lending firm BlockFI. BlockFi offers corporate and retail loans on Bitcoin and Ethereum, and hopes to expand their services to support both more cryptocurrencies and more geographic markets in the future.

Winners And Losers

Winners And Losers

Winners And Losers

The top three altcoin gainers of the week are ChainLink, TenX, and Kin. The top three altcoin losers of the week are PIVX, MOAC, and DigiByte.

For more info on crypto prices, make sure to read Cointelegraph’s market analysis.

FUD Of The Week

FUD Of The Week

Defunct Bitcoin Stock Exchange BitFunder Operator Pleads Guilty To Federal Charges

Jon Montroll, the operator of Bitcoin stock exchange BitFunder, has plead guilty to federal charges of obstruction of justice and securities fraud this week. Montroll is charged with providing false balance statements to the U.S. Securities and Exchange in an investigation of the fake 6,000 BTC BitFunder hack in 2013.

Major Indian Crypto Wallet, Provider Unocoin Suspends Fiat Deposits After RBI Ban

Unocoin, an Indian crypto wallet provider and exchange, has suspended rupee deposits and withdrawals “as per orders” from the country’s central bank. The exchange notes that the suspension is temporary until “an alternative method of funding is identified and deployed.” RBI’s crypto dealings ban came into effect on July 5, and a hearing about its legality has been moved to September 2018.

Delaware Department Of Justice Asks Poloniex Users If They Have “Issues”

The Investor Protection Unit of the Delaware Department of Justice wrote an email to a list of individuals this week, asking him to contact them if they were having any issues with their Poloniex account. The Poloniex crypto exchange has recently been the subject of complaints online, with users writing on Reddit about their missing or “stuck” deposits.

MetaMask ETH Network Browser Extension Temporarily Pulled From Google Chrome

MetaMask, a browser extension for interacting with the Ethereum network, was pulled from the Google Chrome Web Store for five hours this week before being listed again. The company tweeted that it was “unsure” of the reasons for the delisting. During the time the app was removed, Ethereum-based prediction market protocol Augur tweeted a warning that there was a fake, phishing application now present on Google Chrome’s store posing as the MetaMask extension.

“Assassination Markets” Appear On Blockchain Event Betting Platform Augur

“Assassination markets” have popped up on Augur — a blockchain-based platform that uses Ethereum for event betting — consisting of users betting on whether certain public figures will die. Users have recently begun posting bets on the deaths of various public figures, including U.S. president Donald Trump and Berkshire Hathaway CEO Warren Buffett. Hypothetically, should the wager become high enough, it could create an incentive for someone to carry out the crime.

Prediction Of The Week

Prediction Of The Week

Reddit Co-Founder Upholds BTC Prediction Of $20,000, ETH Prediction of $1,500 In 2018

Alexis Ohanian, both a co-founder of Reddit and the VC firm Initialized Capital, has upheld his previous forecasts of BTC hitting $20,000 and ETH hitting $1,500 in 2018. Ohanian described Bitcoin as a “robust” asset, noting that blockchain development has helped BTC stay up even with its volatility.

Best Features

Best Features

Graduating out of Skeuomorphism

This article delves into the reason behind why Bitcoin became associated with an image of a gold coin with a “B” on it in the first place — an “interesting design concept” called skeuomorphism. The concept entails the association of digital concepts with forms that resemble their physical counterparts, like an online “shopping cart” that isn’t really a shopping cart at all. The article posits the question of how Bitcoin would have developed if it had been marketed as the alternative to Western Union, instead of its initial perception as a coin or investment vehicle.

The Tezos Experiment

Meltem Demirors, the CSO at CoinShares and a lecturer on blockchain at Oxford, explores the possibilities of the Tezos ecosystem in an exhaustive article that includes a specialized Tezos jargon dictionary, a graphics-heavy breakdown of tezzies delegations, and speculations about the potential for “token holder activism.” Demirors notes the token holder activism can be used for both good and bad, advising her readers to “remember that blockchains don’t change human nature.”

FX Settlement Provider CLS Begins Final Testing for Blockchain Payment Banking Service

FX markets settlement provider CLS is expected to launch its blockchain-powered payment service for banks later this summer.

Forex exchange (FX) settlement giant CLS is in the final stages of testing its blockchain payment service for banks, Financial News reported July 27.

The service is reportedly set to be launched later this summer, with at least seven banks expected to sign on to the system in the early months.

CLS, the New York-based global multi-currency cash settlement system, has been working with tech company IBM to introduce the blockchain-powered payment netting service. The system is set to be incorporated in banking IT systems to boost the level of standardization in the global FX markets, as well as reduce costs of the process.

At the moment, the FX markets are reportedly lacking standardization as forex institutions are forced to complete the process manually, which often causes scattered approaches to netting and leads to higher costs, the Financial Times notes.

CLS is planning to offer its members two options to connect to the CLSNet service, providing a direct, as well as an intermediary, connection via the SWIFT financial messaging provider. However, a CLS spokesperson clarified that clients would rely on the SWIFT provider in the first stages, while direct node hosting will be offered as “the service continues to grow with functionality and client adoption, and the DLT [distributed ledger technology] matures.”

While around seven banks are ready to test the upcoming service, they are reportedly just half of those that backed the project originally. CLS chief strategy and development officer Alan Marquard revealed that some of their big banking members are cautious to connect directly to the blockchain since the technology is still not tested enough for settlement and safekeeping of securities.

Marquard explained that banking institutions cannot “just install a piece of software,” as they first need to “build operational knowledge and know-how” to ensure their databases have adequate privacy protection.

CLS Group, originally Continuous Linked Settlement, is a U.S. FX settlement service supplier with such high-profile members as Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan, Barclays, and Citigroup. In late May, the company invested $5 million in blockchain consortium R3 in order to collaborate with leading blockchain experts.

SWIFT, with 45 years of experience in providing financial institutions with transactions information, has recently reported that its blockchain pilot for bank-to-bank transfers went “extremely well,” having first announced the Hyperledger-based project for a cross-border payments market back in 2017.

Earlier in June, Ripple (XRP) chief cryptographer David Schwartz claimed that banks are unlikely to deploy blockchain to process international payments, citing low scalability and privacy problems.