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Koinex

Koinex Exchange Shuts Down Trading Services in India

Koinex is the latest cryptocurrency exchange to fall prey to India’s ban on virtual currencies. Months after delisting several cryptocurrencies, the exchange has shut down its trading services. The exchange has blamed uncertainty as well as disruptions for the unexpected decision.

Koinex Shutdown

In an official statement, Koinex says it has always wanted to provide blockchain enthusiasts a reliable way of digital trading assets. The government-instituting ban on cryptocurrencies, according to Koinex management, made it impossible to continue offering crypto trading services. The exchange has since given its customers until July 15 to withdraw all their digital assets from the exchange.

According to CEO Rahul Raj, they could no longer continue to operate in India given the immense financial burden because of stringent regulations. Immediate reports indicate that the government is planning to introduce a new bill that will ban cryptocurrencies completely and propose a jail term for anyone dealing in them.

“We have stayed away from disclosing details to the public in the larger interest of mindfully steering the industry towards positive regulations, but unfortunately we’re not too hopeful that things will change for the better in the near future,” said Mr. Raj.

>> Bitrue Hacked: Another Crypto Exchange is Breached with 4.2M Stolen

Cryptocurrency Ban in India

Koinex joins a string of other crypto exchanges that have had to close shop in recent months. In September of last year, Zebpay was forced to close down all its operations as the Reserve Bank of India passed a ban on virtual currencies. The exchange has since had to shift all its operations to Australia where cryptocurrencies are considered legal tenders.

If recent developments are anything to go by, then Unocoin could be the next crypto exchange to exit the Indian Market. Reports indicate that the exchange has laid off a significant amount of staff given the regulatory uncertainty that makes it impossible to operate a successful crypto business in the country.

The uncertainty in the Indian market is a stark contrast to developments in other mature economies. In the US, for instance, cryptocurrencies are slowly finding their way into the mainstream sector. Facebook and JPMorgan have both already launched cryptocurrencies.

Featured image: DepositPhotos © pitamaha

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Bitrue

Bitrue Hacked | Another Crypto Exchange is Breached with 4.2M Stolen

According to reports, Singapore-based crypto exchange Bitrue has been hacked. The culprits have made off with approximately $4.2 million in user assets.

What’s going on? Here’s what we know so far.

Bitrue Hacked

The hack was announced earlier today via Twitter, with the company saying it first noticed the issue around 1 am local time Thursday.

Those who have had funds stolen are to be reimbursed as tokens on the exchange are insured. Details have emerged about what was taken; according to Bitrue, the loot includes 9.3 million Ripple (XRP) valuing $4.01 million at present, and 2.5 million Cardano (ADA) worth $231,800 at current prices.

Bitrue tweeted:

“First of all, please let us assure you that this situation is under control, 100% of lost funds will be returned to users, and we are reviewing our security measures and policies to ensure this does not happen again.”

The exchange detailed further how the breach occurred:

“A hacker exploited a vulnerability in our Risk Control team’s 2nd review process to access the personal funds of about 90 Bitrue users. The hacker used what they learned from this breach to then access the Bitrue hot wallet and move 9.3 million XRP and 2.5 million ADA to different exchanges.”

Currently, Bitrue has frozen funds and any accounts that are associated with the hack. It is conducting an emergency investigation into its system and will be up and running “as soon as possible.”

Cryptocurrency Hacks in 2019

The news is likely to stir investors who are all too aware of the dangers with cryptocurrency and hacks on exchanges. According to CoinTelegraph, so far in 2019, there have been seven large-scale crypto exchange hackings resulting in the loss of millions of dollars.

>> Bitcoin (BTC) Price Continues to Shine: Hits $13K Mark

Recently, on June 6, UK- and Slovenia-based crypto exchange GateHub was a victim of a hack whereby nearly $10 million worth of Ripple (XRP) was stolen. In this instance, an unidentified hacker used a “sophisticated method to gain access to a database holding users’ access tokens and steal their funds.”

Only one month prior, major exchange Binance faced its second major hacking. This time the hackers withdrew 7,000 Bitcoin, valuing approximately $40 million USD at the time. The first major breach the exchange faced came in March 2018.

Hacking is a notorious issue in the crypto-space, with hacks claiming $1.7 billion USD in 2018 alone.

Featured Image: DepositPhotos © aetb

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fiat

Breaking Down the Barrier Between Fiat and Crypto

It can be tough to get started with cryptocurrency because, at first glance, it does not seem easy to buy coins and tokens. The big exchanges such as OKex and KuCoin focus almost exclusively on crypto-to-crypto purchases, and while that is certainly useful, it does not help people who are just starting. Additionally, once people find a reliable fiat-to-crypto service, they then likely have to transfer their coins to another crypto exclusive exchange if they even want to consider buying some of the lesser-known altcoins. Every crypto fan has likely gone through this process sometime in the past, so they probably all understand how off-putting it can be for beginners. Luckily, there are companies that are trying to solve this problem.

Crypto Banking Services

In the last few years, companies have been coming out that offer cryptocurrency and banking solutions. Over the past year or so we’ve seen the likes of Wirex, N26, Atronocom, and Revolut come to fore and really push the boundaries when it comes to how we see banking services. Users are usually given access to a crypto banking app on their phone, which lets them carry out a number of tasks, including being able to trade cryptocurrency in many cases.

Once released, these bank accounts will be fully functional, complete with IBAN certification. Users can even opt for a debit card linked directly to them. This is the type of progress that is needed within the industry as it essentially makes crypto more beginner-friendly.

>> Regulators Discuss Cryptocurrency Legislation Ahead of G20 Summit

Binance’s Fiat Option

Binance may largely be a crypto-to-crypto exchange, but in January it launched a fiat option for the pound and euro. This is designed to make the process of going from fiat to obscure crypto easier than ever. This is something that many of the older crypto fans have been anticipating for years, largely because they understand how complex and tedious it is to usually buy smaller cryptocurrencies with fiat. Hopefully, Binance soon expands the number of fiat options it has available.

With companies like those mentioned above focusing on easing the crypto process, it won’t be long before we see the entire industry try and do the same. As the years go on, getting into crypto has become less and less time-consuming. There is clearly still a big barrier between crypto and fiat, but that barrier is getting increasingly smaller.

This article was curated through CryptoCurrencyNews’ Contributor Program. If you would like to write for us, send us your submission!

Featured image: DepositPhotos © SectoR_2010

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Coinbase debit card

Coinbase Debit Card to be Available in Six More European Countries

In April, cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase launched its Visa Coinbase debit card in the UK. Coinbase has announced that, as of Wednesday, it will be launching the Visa debit card in France, Spain, Germany, the Netherlands, Italy, and Ireland.

Coinbase Debit Card Showing Strong Adoption

The debit card allows Coinbase account holders to use digital currencies such as Ethereum, Bitcoin, and Litecoin to pay for purchases in retail outlets and online for traders that accept Visa. Zeeshan Feroz, the Coinbase UK CEO, stated that the aim of the card is to make paying with cryptocurrency as easy as using cash.

The CEO said that since the launch of the card in mid-April in the UK, its take up has been strong. He didn’t provide specific figures but did indicate that they had blown past the company’s initial 1,000 cards that it was offering for free.

As indicated previously, the Coinbase debit card is linked to a mobile app in iOS and Android and directly syncs with the Coinbase accounts. It gives users the option of selecting the type of cryptocurrency they would prefer to use in their spending. Equally, the card is also accessible as a physical contactless card that one can use to make a withdrawal of cash from ATMs.

>> Visa B2B Connect: Cross Border Enterprise Payments on the Blockchain

Instead of paying merchants directly with cryptocurrency, the exchange charges users a conversion fee to change fiat money such as the euro into crypto. Coinbase has partnered with PaySafe to offer the debit cards.

Growing Acceptance of Crypto Payments

Cryptocurrency is gaining traction, and a number of start-ups, tech companies, and banks are increasingly accepting the use of crypto payments as a way of making trading easier.

Earlier this year, Binance, one of the largest crypto exchanges in the world that rivals Coinbase, partnered with Simplex to start offering credit and debit card payments. Fintech start-ups such as Square in the US and Revolut in the UK are already offering cryptocurrency trading on their platforms while social media giant Facebook is planning to launch its own digital currency toward the end of this month.

What do you think about this expansion of the Coinbase debit Card?

Featured image: DepositPhotos © LDProd

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Coinroom

Coinroom Exchange Shuts Down and Leaves with Customers’ Crypto

According to sources from news outlet money.pl, a Polish cryptocurrency exchange known as Coinroom has shut down abruptly and disappeared with all its customers’ funds in tow.

The Polish exchange, first registered in 2016, has even deleted its Twitter page.

Coinroom Shuts Down

The news outlet reportedly received an email from one of the exchange’s customers who said that the exchange ceased operations overnight and disappeared with all the funds in April. Though the exact amount stolen isn’t yet known, many customers reported having over $15,000 worth of cryptocurrency in their account.

Before culling the exchange, Coinroom had reportedly sent emails to its customers regarding contract terminations. It gave them only one day to withdraw their money, which was in accordance with regulations the exchange signed with users.

However, reportedly, the exchange returned only part of the funds to some customers, while many others didn’t receive any of their funds back at all.

One customer reportedly lost 2.005 Bitcoins, which values over $16,000 USD at current prices.

Another user said the following:

“[O]n the second day after sending the e-mail, I went to the Coinroom headquarters. The lady at the reception did not want to let me in, she claimed that nobody was in the office. Instead, she called someone from the company. I was asked to leave my details. Nobody contacted me.”

The issue is now being investigated by the District Prosecutor’s Office in Warsaw. According to sources here, the office has begun “proceedings against Coinroom in connection with unauthorized activities providing payment services that intermediates in the exchange of cryptocurrencies.”

>> Bitcoin (BTC) Price Falls Below $8,000 On Panic Selling

Cryptocurrency Scams

Scams within the cryptosphere have become all too common. As cryptocurrencies gain mainstream traction, it is inevitable that more opportunities to be hacked will appear. In the past two years alone, several scams and exchange hackings have amounted to millions of dollars worth of cryptocurrency being stolen.

Recently, in early May, the NYPD announced a Bitcoin scam whereby callers were impersonating government officials and requesting payments in Bitcoin. In this case, scammers pretended to be from the Social Security Administration (SSA) and even went as far as manipulating their caller IDs to show SSA numbers.

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