This week’s summary of various cryptocurrency news and developments.
Various cryptocurrency exchanges suspended ERC-20 token deposits over critical bug
This week, multiple cryptocurrency exchanges, including OKEx, HitBTC, Poloniex, and Shapeshift, suspended ERC-20 token deposits and withdrawals over a critical smart contract bug that allowed malicious actors to create a seemingly unlimited number of tokens in affected contracts. Using the bug, dubbed “batchOverFlow,” the malicious actors could then transfer the tokens to an exchange and manipulate the market.
Due to a potential issue detected in ERC20 smart contracts, we initiated an internal inspection. All deposits and transfers on ERC20 tokens will be getting online in accordance with the results of the inspection. Please refer to the System Health page for online status.
— HitBTC (@hitbtc) April 25, 2018
We've temporarily suspended ERC-20 token deposits and withdrawals while we review all smart contracts for exposure to the reported batchOverflow bug. We take any reports of vulnerabilities very seriously to ensure that customer funds remain safe. Thank you for your patience!
— Poloniex Exchange (@Poloniex) April 25, 2018
Shortly after halting deposits and withdrawals, the cryptocurrency exchanges re-enabled them. While it isn’t known how many tokens were affected by the bug, it seems no fraudulent funds were used to manipulate the market.
Mt Gox trustee moved $160 million worth of Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash
A service that monitors the Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash wallets holding funds from the now-defunct cryptocurrency exchange Mt Gox, CryptoGround, recently flagged a few transactions, that show the Mt Gox trustee, Nobuaki Kobayashi, moved approximately 16,000 BTC and 16,000 BCH from the wallets.
— Alistair Milne (@alistairmilne) April 26, 2018
The transacted cryptocurrencies, worth over $160 million, may end up negatively impacting the cryptocurrency markets, some believe. The last time Kobayashi moved funds from the wallets, Bitcoin entered a months-long bear market, believed to have been influenced by the sale of the moved funds. At the time, the trustee claimed he sold the coins in a way that wouldn’t influence the market.
Bitcoin futures trading volume reached a new all-time high
According to available market data, Bitcoin futures trading volume has recently reached a new all-time high, peaking at about $670 million between regulated US exchanges Cboe and CME. On CME, over 11,000 contracts – worth about 56,000 BTC – were traded on Wednesday, the day volume peaked, equating to about $490 million in trading volume for a single day, which made CME one of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges, despite its lack of altcoin products.
Cboe, the first regulated US exchange to list Bitcoin futures contracts, saw 19,000 contracts, each worth 1 BTC, traded on the exchange that day, leading to a $168 million 24-hour trading volume. The volume was notable, as it was three times the exchange’s average daily volume for Bitcoin futures.
Parity Technologies says it has “no intention” to split Ethereum over frozen $320 million
Parity Technologies has recently issued a statement revealing it doesn’t plan on moving forward with a code change, named EIP-999, that could result in an Ethereum (ETH) blockchain split. The code would seek to recover the about $320 million that were frozen due to a bug in Parity’s multi-signature wallet smart contract library in November 2017. The statement, signed by the company’s co-founders Jutta Steiner and Gavin Wood, reads:
- “Let us make clear: we have no intention to split the Ethereum chain. We plan to continue to work with the community to find a path forward. We have all dedicated a great deal of time and effort to developing the Ethereum ecosystem, and have no intention of harming what we have helped build.”
Nevertheless, Parity promoted a recovery process for the frozen funds, and apologized to its users once again, as they’re unable to access their funds.
Iran’s central bank bans banks from dealing with cryptocurrencies
The Central Bank of Iran (CBI), recently issued a ban on the country’s commercial banks, so they won’t offer services to cryptocurrency-related firms. The central bank cited money laundering and capital flight concerns to issue the ban. In a circular, the financial institution claimed cryptocurrencies can be used for illegal activities, and to “exchange sums between wrongdoers.” An excerpt from said circular reads:
- “Banks and credit institutions and currency exchanges should avoid any sale or purchase of these currencies or taking any action to promote them.”
Chile’s anti-monopoly court orders banks to re-open cryptocurrency exchange accounts
According to reports, Chile’s anti-monopoly court has recently ordered two of the country’s banks, Banco del Estado de Chile and Itau Corpbanca, to re-open accounts belonging to cryptocurrency exchange Buda. The banks reportedly shuttered the accounts without giving the company a proper explanation to do so, in a move some believed to be a blanket ban on cryptocurrency exchanges. Buda managed to see the banks re-open its accounts as a result of a lawsuit it filed against 10 Chilean banks, after it deemed the closures “arbitrary” and “unjustified.”
Bitcoin breaches $9,000 mark as cryptocurrency ecosystem surpasses $400 billion
Bitcoin, the flagship cryptocurrency, managed to surpass the $9,000 mark this week and reach a high of nearly $9,700 before its price went back down to $9,020 at press time, according to data from CoinMarketCap. Notably the cryptocurrency ecosystem recorded gains throughout the week, which allowed to once again go past the $400 billion mark. At press time, Bitcoin’s dominance is at 37.7%, while Ethereum’s is at 15.9%.