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Report: Companies, Investors Circumvent Chinese ICO Ban

A Xinhua News Agency investigation revealed ways Chinese crypto investors are avoiding the country’s ICO ban.

An investigation by the Xinhua News Agency has shown it is possible to bypass China’s Initial Coin Offering (ICO) ban, according to an article published September 26.

The investigation has shown that despite the government’s efforts to crack down on “ICO illegal financing,” investors can circumvent the law by using a “foreign shell” company, among other possibilities.

Xinhua reports that after China’s crypto regulations became more stringent, domestic virtual currency exchanges went overseas for registration — while appearing to be shut down within the country — and were still able to “provide trading services to domestic users.”

The agency specifically mentions Malta as a destination of choice, noting the existence of Chinese language versions of the now Malta-based companies. Xinhua also mentioned the use of Telegram messaging groups to coordinate with domestic Chinese users. Quoting an “insider source,” the news agency writes:

“It seems that the entire process platform does not violate the relevant policies, but the over-the-counter transaction[s] [have] actually opened a hole in the ICO token transaction.”

While authorities have attempted to block internet access to ICO projects in China, Xinhua states that most measures can be subverted by using a Virtual Personal Network (VPN).

Xinhua also claims that there are “self-media public companies” that play a role in advertising and promoting ICO projects within China.

China’s first outright ban of ICOs was enacted a year ago in September 2017. Earlier this month, the People’s Bank of China released a new document on its official website, stating that it would continue to guard against ICO and cryptocurrency-related trading risks.

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Monero Developers Have Patched the ‘Burning Bug’

Monero devs have created a patch for a bug that could allow an attacker to burn consumers’ funds and trigger significant damage.

The developers of open-source cryptocurrency Monero (XMR) have patched a bug that could allow an attacker to “burn” the funds of an organization’s wallet while only losing network transaction fees, according to an announcement published September 25.

The bug was reportedly discovered after a community member described a hypothetical attack on the XMR subreddit. The bug could purportedly affect merchants and organizations in the XMR ecosystem, enabling an attacker to trigger significant damage. The blog post further describes how the bug would be exploited:

“An attacker first generates a random private transaction key. Thereafter, they modify the code to merely use this particular private transaction key, which ensures multiple transactions to the same public address (e.g. an exchange’s hot wallet) are sent to the same stealth address. Subsequently, they send, say, a thousand transactions of 1 XMR to an exchange. Because the exchange’s wallet does not warn for this particular abnormality (i.e. funds being received on the same stealth address), the exchange will, as usual, credit the attacker with 1000 XMR.”

While Monero notes that the attacker would not be able to directly accrue monetary gains with such an attack, “there are probably means to indirectly benefit.”

Following the attack, the hacker sells the XMR for Bitcoin (BTC) and then withdraws the BTC. As a result of the attack, the exchange is left with 999 unspendable or “burnt” outputs of 1 XMR.

Notably, the bug has not affected the protocol or the coin supply. XMR developers subsequently created and included a patch in the code, which was announced via XMR’s official Twitter account:

XMR, which claims to be a private and “untraceable” cryptocurrency, was the target of fraudulent activities in the crypto space previously. Earlier this month, the MEGA Chrome extension was compromised, which allowed cybercriminals to steal users’ XMR in addition to other sensitive information.

In June, a report published by security company Palo Alto Networks found that around 5 percent of all XMR in circulation at the time was mined maliciously. XMR reportedly has an “incredible monopoly” on the cryptocurrencies targeted by malware, with a total of $175 million mined maliciously.

XMR is currently the tenth largest digital currency, with a market capitalization of nearly $1.9 billion and a circulating supply of over 16 million, according to CoinMarketCap. At press time, XMR is trading at around $114, up 0.68 percent over the last 24 hours.

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Andreessen Horowitz Invests $15 Million in Stablecoin Firm MakerDAO

Andreessen Horowitz via its investment fund a16z has acquired 6 percent of the total MakerDAO token supply.

American venture capital fund Andreessen Horowitz has invested $15 million into blockchain startup MakerDAO (MKR), according to an announcement published September 24.

MakerDAO is the firm which stands behind Ethereum-based stablecoin Dai (DAI) and its accompanying decentralized credit system. DAI is pledged to U.S. dollars but collateralized by Ethereum (ETH). DAI users can generate the stable coin by locking up an excess amount of ETH in a smart contract, so if a user wants to access their collateral, they have to pay back the DAI debt.

Per the announcement, Andreessen Horowitz via its investment fund a16z acquired 6 percent of the total MKR token supply. The purchase will allow a16z to manage MKR and the Dai Credit System as it reportedly becomes “the first” decentralized autonomous stablecoin organization.

MKR will also receive operating capital through further financing stages, three years of support for the community, and operational support from more than eighty a16z team members. Rune Christensen, CEO and cofounder of MakerDAO, commented:

“With investment and operational support from a16z crypto, MakerDAO will be able to accelerate evolution, innovation, and adoption of the Dai Credit System.”

In August, Andreessen participated in a $100 million funding round of cloud computing startup DIFINITY. In February, Andreessen previously participated in the startup’s investment, contributing to a $61 million round. Having raised a total of just under $200 million since its foundation in 2015, DFINITY ultimately wants to create a platform which will “host the world’s next generation of software and services on a public network.”

In July, blockchain cloud computing platform Oasis Labs announced that it raised $45 million from major investors as part of its plan to help companies adopt blockchain. Oasis’ investors included a16z along with cryptocurrency exchange Binance, Pantera Capital and Accel.

At press time, total market capitalization of DAI is around $55 million, while the currency’s circulating supply is around 54.9 million, according to data from CoinMarketCap.

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Where and How to Buy Kin | Step-by-Step Tutorial

Last year, messaging app Kik, owned by Canadian-based company Kik Interactive, launched their own cryptocurrency, called KIN. At the time of its ICO, KIN raised over $50 million dollars (over 160,000… Continue reading “Where and How to Buy Kin | Step-by-Step Tutorial”

The post Where and How to Buy Kin | Step-by-Step Tutorial appeared first on UseTheBitcoin.

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Dubai Department of Finance Launches Blockchain-Based Payment System for UAE Gov’t

Dubai Department of Finance has launched a blockchain-powered payment system geared towards government entities in collaboration with Smart Dubai Office.

The Dubai Department of Finance (DoF) has partnered with the Smart Dubai Office (SDO) to launch a blockchain-powered payment system. The news was reported on by a local news site Zawya, September 23.

The new platform, called “Payment Reconciliation and Settlement,” was officially launched Sunday, September 23. It is reportedly geared towards government entities, such as the Dubai Police, Roads and Transport Authority (RTA), Dubai Health Authority (DHA), and others.

According to Zawya, the Dubai DoF and SDO intend for the system to provide for a more accurate and transparent governance process, as well as to enable real-time payments within and between government structures.

As Zawya reports, the currently existing process for transactions in Dubai government is time-consuming, requiring up to 45 days to complete any given operation.

The new system is reportedly already in use by the Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) and the Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA), with a total number of test transactions amounting to more than five million.

Dr. Aisha Bin Bishr, Director General at the SDO, commented that blockchain is “one of the most promising of [emerging] technologies.”

In 2017, the SDO group was granted the top honors at the Smart Cities Expo and World Congress in Barcelona, acquiring the City Project Award from among 308 other teams for their Dubai blockchain Strategy.

The Smart City project was reportedly introduced by Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of the Dubai Emirate Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid in 2013. Supported by the government, private sector, and institutional partners, the organization’s goal is to provide a smart ecosystem for cooperation between government entities and residents and visitors.

Smart Dubai is not the only government-backed initiative that intends to employ major emerging technologies such as blockchain in the country.

In April of this year, the UAE Vice President and Prime Minister launched the “UAE Blockchain Strategy 2021” initiative, with a goal to achieve the position of a global leader in adopting the technology.

In July, the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) announced its partnership with Smart Dubai to develop a “Court of the Blockchain.” The organizations aim to explore the potential of the technology in addressing the shortcomings of the UAE’s legal system, for example by introducing blockchain-based verification of court judgements.