Binance Boosts Visa Card Incentives with Auto Top-Up, Daily Cashback & Higher Spending Limits

Binance has added some perks to its recently launched debit card rolled out in the European Economic Area (EEA) one month ago. The crypto exchange is looking to expand its footprint in the retail market as more crypto users opt to have a good part of their portfolio stored in digital assets. Binance’s Visa-branded card is designed to facilitate a seamless conversion to fiat when making payments.

With over 60 million outlets accepting Visa payments, Binance card users can leverage this service to make online payments. The exchange is yet to integrate a prepaid function for PoS payments but is currently in the product pipeline. Notably, the crypto card service by Binance is part of a growing niche as more merchants move to accept crypto payments.

Binance has now increased the incentives for using its crypto card; the exchange introduces a ‘daily cashback’ reward program instead of the ‘one-week’ initial arrangement. This means that users will be getting their rewards daily, making it more attractive to use the Binance card more frequently.

As for cashback reward rates, Binance has bumped the figure to 8% from 7%, which was initially set as the maximum amount. Binance crypto card users whose purchases are eligible for the cashback rewards can expect an 8% cashback that could be cashed out daily. It is quite noteworthy that the cashback reward program favors BNB holders, depending on the amount they hold.

Besides the cashback incentives, Binance raised its crypto card’s spending limit to €870 per day. The crypto exchange anticipates that it will further raise this limit upon scaling the physical card mainstream use in the future. An automatic top-up feature has also been integrated to make daily deposits seamless.

The Binance crypto card touts zero maintenance, subscription, and transaction fees, apart from 3rd party charges where they apply. Users can currently deposit funds into their pre-selected Binance digital wallets to use them via the exchange’s crypto card. However, it remains scanty whether Binance will ultimately feature withdrawals, contactless payments, chip, and PIN tech within the physical card.

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Author: Edwin Munyui

Coinbase Wallet Targeted by New Trojan Malware Dubbed ‘Alien’

The Coinbase wallet is among 226 Android applications targeted by a recently discovered Trojan dubbed ‘Alien.’ This malware mostly targets the financial services space and is a by-product of the dreaded Cerberus Trojan. According to ThreatFabric, which discovered the malware, this specific strain had caused a lot of trouble in Google play to an extent where the team in charge had become complacent.

Alien is quite an advanced malware given that the malicious players behind it can steal user credentials, intercept notifications, and alter the state applications on the compromised device. ThreatFabric noted:

“Most importantly, it offers a notifications sniffer, allowing it to get the content of all notifications on the infected device, and a RAT (Remote Access Trojan) feature (by abusing the TeamViewer application), meaning that the threat actors can perform the fraud from the victim’s device.”

The blog highlights that the next probable moves by those running ‘Alien’ would be to improve the Random Access Trojan or build an ATS function for automation of the fraudulent process. Nonetheless, it points out that the number of new banking Trojans will undoubtedly increase and come with more advanced features.

“The last quarter of 2020 will probably come with some additional changes to the threat landscape, especially since the source code of the Cerberus Trojan has been made publicly available. In the coming months, we can definitively expect some new malware families, based on Cerberus, to emerge.”

With crypto space growing aggressively, Trojan attacks have become more common as fraudsters move to capitalize on the shaky security ecosystems. IT security firm Eset had also recently discovered a Trojan malware targeting crypto traders who use Apple’s MACOS. Other instances include a cryptojacking ‘shellbot,’ which targeted Linux users back in 2019.

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Author: Edwin Munyui

China Construction Bank Disables Chinese DCEP Wallet After Users Notice Feature in Bank App

China Construction Bank, one of the central state-owned banks in China, recently realized that the official wallet for the national CBDC is open for public use within its official banking app. The users could navigate to the wallet by merely entering the national digital currency, which would take the users to the wallet feature where they can register and activate the wallet by subscribing with the mobile number associated with their bank accounts.

Soon, the bank came to discover about the activation of the official wallet from the amount of community’s buzz that the activation caused among the crypto community in the country. Many customers went on to make small transactions in the yet to be released CBDC.

As soon as the news was brought to the attention of the state-owned bank, they swiftly disabled the feature. After disabling the official wallet feature, people searching for the CBDC wallet were shown a message which roughly translated to, “This feature is currently unavailable for the public, kindly wait patiently.”

How Does the Official Wallet Look and Function

The official wallet app was online for a brief period, but in today’s day and time, anything which makes it to the internet ones hardly disappear, and that has been the case with the ongoing official digital Yuan wallet launch by mistake. People were quick to post the layout of the wallet app on the internet, which showed that the users who managed to register with the new wallet app were given an official wallet ID, which could be used for the transfer of funds between the official wallet app and the user’s account.

The wallet would not just allow transactions between the bank and the app a user can send their digital yuan to another wallet by adding the unique wallet ID.

China is going to become the first country to launch its official digital currency issued by the People’s Bank of China. The big-four state-owned banks have been tasked to develop their respective wallet app to facilitate transactions using the CBDC.

China started its research on Central Bank Issued Digital Currency almost five years ago, and rumor mills were rife that the launch of the digital yuan would take place by the end of last year. However, the Chinese government mostly discarded these rumors without offering any official stance on the date of the launch. However, by the first quarter of 2020, the PBOC launched the testnet, and last week the mainnet for the digital yuan was established as well.

During the trial run, the government used digital yuan as a form of a travel subsidy for government employees in selected areas. The testing phase was later expanded to more cities and even included restaurants and fast-food chains.

With the official launch of the digital yuan just round the corner, many countries are actively observing China’s progress in the digital currency domain.

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Author: Hank Klinger

Cryptocurrency Focused Insurer, Evertas, Raises A $2.8 Million Seed Round Led by Morgan Creek

  • Evertas crypto insurer has received $2.8 Million cash injection from a recently concluded seed round led by Morgan Creek Capital Management.
  • Morgan Creek CEO will onboard the Evertas Board of Directors as part of the agreement.

Chicago based Evertas insurance has raised $2.8Million in a recent seed round. The insurance company, formerly known as BlockRe, was founded in 2017 by current CEO J Gdanski. They have zeroed in on the crypto realm, helping their clients reduce exposure to crypto-related risks offering expertise in insurance, Blockchain, investigation, and financial audits.

The seed round was led by Morgan Creek, an investment advisory firm that offers customized investment management facilities to institutions, wealthy individuals and families. Other investors in the investment round include Plug n Play, Kailash Ventures, RenGen, Vy Capital, and Wavemaker Genesis.

Notably, the founder and CEO at Morgan Creek, Mark Yusco, will onboard the Evertas Insurance board of Directors as stipulated in the deal. The funds raised are set to be used in an expansion plan of their customer base and product market.

According to Evertas CEO, being the only crypto-focused insurer places them at a prime position to capitalize on the lucrative crypto space, especially now that the governments across the world are turning their eyes to the industry.

Evertas’ spokesperson – Phil Anderson – highlighted that they are looking to venture into extending their vault services to cold and hot wallets for their clients. Their clientele will be comprised of mostly institutional investors, crypto exchanges, and extremely rich investors.

They were recently greenlighted by Bermuda Monetary Authority to commence operations in the jurisdiction operating as a class 3A insurer. As a small scale insurer, they are required obligated to have at least a million dollars as its minimum capital and surplus.

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Author: Lujan Odera

Crypto Exchange CoinMetro Launches New Affiliate Program

The CoinMetro crypto exchange recently unveiled a new and expanded affiliate program that aims to pay out the highest affiliate rates of any cryptocurrency exchange. In addition to collecting 40% of what their referrals generate in revenue, affiliates can also earn 10% of what traders referred by their referrals accumulate. Since CoinMetro’s revenue sharing program lasts for a lifetime, this puts the potential earnings of an affiliate far beyond what they could be for most other crypto exchange referral programs—making CoinMetro’s affiliate program one of the best crypto affiliate programs out there.

Under the new program, affiliates have a choice of participating in different income models: seasonal promos with a CPA model (set bonuses for signup/deposit), and a Revenue Share Model (receive a cut from revenue brought in from referrals). Because it offers a great deal of flexibility, this affiliate program is perfect for traders, affiliate marketers, crypto enthusiasts, and bloggers looking to monetize through their crypto content.

CoinMetro’s June affiliate bonus, in which both the affiliate and their referral received a 5€ bonus upon verification, managed to attract 7,000 new users in the first week of the month, with a significant portion of the signups directed by US traffic. Through its introduction to an expanded audience of traders, the exchange is gaining more visibility at a time when crypto is poised to enter a new bull market, making the potential for referral-based profits a highly lucrative endeavor.

CoinMetro is an innovative way to buy and sell the world’s top cryptocurrencies, designed for use by traders of any level of experience. The exchange places a heavy emphasis on the education of its traders, equipping them with the knowledge they need to best maximize their success while trading and investing. CoinMetro currently features 13 different cryptocurrencies for trading and several different fiat pairing options.

Though based in the EU, the CoinMetro crypto exchange receives a lot of US traffic and from those looking to trade relatively rare pairings, such as BTC/GBP and ETH/GBP. The affiliate program is, therefore, great for customers in the US who are looking to add some extra funds into their CoinMetro account. Some of the other coins traded on the exchange include Bitcoin Cash (BCH), Chainlink (LINK), Quant (QNT), Ripple (XRP), and the exchange’s utility token, CoinMetro Token (XCM).

A fully EU-licensed exchange, CoinMetro is owned and operated by CoinMetro OÜ, which is incorporated in Estonia under company number 14448371. The CoinMetro Platform is an exchange-based order book for various pairings of cryptocurrencies and fiat currencies, such as euros and British pounds. For more information about CoinMetro and its new affiliate program, please contact Liina Laas (email: [email protected]). Additionally, more information about the referral program can be found here.

Disclaimer: This is a paid press release from CoinMetro. BitcoinExchangeGuide does not endorse, nor are we responsible for the content included in this paid release. We encourage all of our readers to do their research before interacting with the company.

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Author: Bitcoin Exchange Guide News Team

Crypto Hardware Wallet Ledger: ‘Funds are Safe’ After ‘BigSpender’ Vulnerability Found

A vulnerability was recently discovered by ZenGo in popular cryptocurrency wallets Ledger, Edge, and BRD. Named BigSpender, the vulnerability could lead to a double-spend and an incorrect balance on the wallet.

Double-spending is spending the same money more than once and preventing it is one of the most critical tasks of any digital currency system.

The issue with BigSpender is that “vulnerable wallets are not prepared for the option that a transaction might be canceled and implicitly assume it will get confirmed eventually.”

This negligence results in increasing a user’s balance on an unconfirmed incoming transaction but doesn’t decrease if the transaction is double-spent.

Other implications included the state of canceled transactions not updated in the users’ transaction history, canceled transactions’ coins still being selected by the wallet’s software, and user interfaces not well distinguished from a confirmed state.

Easy with Minimal Risk

The vulnerability was found while investigating the handling of Bitcoin’s Replace-by-Fee (RBF) feature, a standard method that allows users to “undo” a yet to be confirmed transaction by sending another transaction, spending the same coins with a higher fee.

Due to RBF’s standard nature, attackers can easily and with minimal risk launch the basic double-spend, amplification attack, and Denial-of-Service (DoS) BigSpender exploits.

According to the ZenGo report, in some of the vulnerable wallets, this attack is hard or even impossible to recover from in which DoS attack becomes permanent.

Attackers don’t even need a big amount of money to launch the attack, they only pay for the small cancellation fees. And they do it by sending a small amount to many users of a vulnerable wallet as it doesn’t need the consent of victims which are then unable to use their funds.

Funds are Safe

BRD has related a fix while Edge and Ledger are working on it. Ledger and BRD have already handed bug bounty awards to ZenGo.

“There is no actual double-spend being performed. The user funds stay safe,” Ledger told Forbes.

In its official response, Ledger reassured that “it’s not a vulnerability, but instead a clever piece of social engineering where a malicious actor would try to trick you.” The vulnerability cannot be used to get the 24-word recovery phrase or access your crypto in any way. Your funds are safe, it said.

ZenGo has also released an open-source tool checking your BigSpender vulnerability in Bitcoin wallets.

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Author: AnTy

Ripple CTO Bullish on Bitcoin But Has Been Selling His Stash for Years

David Schwartz, chief technology officer at Ripple, recently shared that he is still bullish on bitcoin but is currently selling his BTC stash.

On being asked by Adam Back, co-founder and chief executive officer of the blockchain technology company, Blockstream, “aren’t you pro-BTC and converting XRP into Bitcoin?” Schwartz shared,

“Nope. I’ve been slowly selling bitcoin for the past several years.”

And the reason behind selling bitcoin is the risk. “I’m still bullish on bitcoin, it’s just the level of risk that has me selling,” he said.

This snippet is from the discussion about who is the pseudo-anonymous bitcoin creator Satoshi Nakamoto.

Stop Searching for Satoshi; We are all Satoshi

A Twitter user declared Adam Back as Satoshi Nakamoto to which the cryptographer replied with a simple “not me.”

Some also see Hal Finney, a cypherpunk and early Bitcoin contributor and Nick Szabo, a cryptographer who designed BitGold, as the pseudo-anonymous creator. Both are among the top runners for being Satoshi.

“FWIW they both said it wasn’t them also. We’ll never know – many cypherpunks had no social media footprint, and anon posts. Probably a digital ghost, who burned the nym to be safe,” said Back about Finney and Szabo being Nakamoto.

“Bitcoin is better as a decentralized digital commodity without a founder. We are all Satoshi,” he added.

This is where software engineer and Director at Ripple, Nik Bougalis, came who agreed with Back about Bitcoin being better without a founder.

“Abandoning the Satoshi Nakamoto persona and leaving Bitcoin to the world was a brilliant move,” he said.

A Ripple enthusiast also feels Ripple CTO Schwartz could be Satoshi Nakamoto. Still, Bougalis dismissed this, stating Schwartz has publicly denied it and that “his code & writing style simply don’t match Satoshi’s.”

And, “unfortunately” for Schwartz, he “didn’t find out about bitcoin until 2011.”

Schwartz chimed in to say that he thinks it’s plausible that instead of just an individual, Satoshi was a small group of people.

And that’s where Schwartz shared that he doesn’t have millions of Bitcoins, but he hasn’t lost the keys to his BTC holdings either, which he has been slowly selling for the past some years now.

“Bullish on X but Selling the X? Charlie is that you?,” a user commented on this statement.

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Author: AnTy

Barstool’s Founder Doesn’t Understand BTC, It’s ‘Mario Brothers’ But ‘Can’t Get Enough’ of it Either

Barstool Sports’ Dave Portnoy, who has recently become a day trader, then bought one stock before the coronavirus lockdown shared his views about Bitcoin.

After the lockdown shut down sports and closed local casinos, the value of Penn’s stock tanked that Portnoy owns “a ton of” — Penn National Gaming bought a considerable stake in Barstool Sports. Out of that carnage emerged “DDTG” Davy Day Trader Global.

Portnoy’s newfound popularity in the trading universe is the result of “doing something the financial community hasn’t seen before and making it fun.”

“We are ‘Barstooling’ it, we are making hype videos, we are getting behind it, we are live-streaming it,” he said on CNBC Fast Money. Portnoy, 43, livestreams to his 1.5 million Twitter followers with the caveat: “I’m not a financial advisor. Don’t trust anything I say about stocks.”

Portnoy touted airline stocks and is dissing the likes of Warren Buffett. “I’m sure Warren Buffett is a great guy, but when it comes to stocks, he’s washed up,” he tweeted. “I’m the captain now.”

Bitcoin is like Mario brothers

Portnoy who is now using random scrabble letters to choose a stock, took to Twitter today to tell everybody who is trying to get him into BTC that he feels the same way about bitcoin today as he did in 2017.

Near the peak of the bull market, Portnoy invested in bitcoin because everyone was going on about the leading digital currency. However, he doesn’t “even know what the fuck cryptocurrencies or bitcoin is,” he said in the video that he made at that time.

He doesn’t get all the fuss about bitcoin mining, for him, “It’s like Mario brothers when you hit something a mushroom pops up, except that it’s bitcoin.”

It’s “not real,” but it’s worth thousands of dollars ($11k at that time), up more than 65% in just three months when he first tried to buy it. “It just keeps going up, keeps going up, keeps going up…”

Portnoy has all the same questions that any other outsider has, that it’s a scam, a Ponzi scheme and that you can’t buy groceries or pizza with it (Tell that to Laszlo Hanyecz who paid 10,000 bitcoins for two pizzas in 2010).

So, he doesn’t get bitcoin or cryptos, but everyone; the homeless guy, Instagram models, and Nick from the office (who has 20% of his net worth in BTC) is talking about bitcoin, and everyone is getting rich.

Though he believes it’s going to crash, he would instead crash with it then just sit on the sidelines.

And he “can’t get enough” of bitcoin.

Unlike the time when the crypto community tried to make Harry Potter author JK Rowling understand Bitcoin, this time, the community restrained.

Moreover, he’s already in bitcoin.

Stimulus checks driving millennials

Since the mid-March crash, when everything from Bitcoin, stocks, gold, to Treasuries, tanked, the stock market has been surging like crazy reaching their all-time highs yet again thanks to Federal Reserve’s money printing.

During this period, Bitcoin jumped 150% but this time, instead of piling into the crypto market, millennials and Gen Zs who are stuck at home with free time and government stimulus checks have found their way into stocks through apps like Robinhood.

Robinhood added over three million funded accounts in the first four months of 2020, and half of them are those who opened accounts are first-time investors.

With commission-free trading, “the barriers to entry are essentially zero, and the cost to transact is essentially zero,” said Julian Emanuel, chief equity and derivatives strategist at BTIG LLC.

Although these first-time investors are not really qualified, “You learn more when you’re losing,” Emanuel said.

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Author: AnTy

Plaintiff Asks Courts to Preserve BitMEX Emails Held on Twilio; Potential Market Manipulation Lawsuit Evidence

Bitcoin Manipulation Abatement LLC (BMA), the firm that recently filed a lawsuit against BitMEX, is pushing for more action from the court to protect potential evidence.

BMA accused BitMEX of market manipulation and non-licensed operations in the U.S; Its counsel has now asked the court to preserve BitMEX email data held on Twilio, a U.S provider for cloud services.

The filing against BitMEX was initiated in mid-May with BMA targeting its Seychelles registered shell company, HDR Global Trading Ltd. According to the submission, BitMEX used this entity as a fallback in exemption from the U.S market laws.

The complaint highlights that BMA was mocked with an ‘incorporated in Seychelles, come at me bro’ meme upon requesting BitMEX’s operational information.

BitMEX Emails Might Be Incriminating; BMA

In a follow up of the initial filing, BMA published another one on June 9. The plaintiff estimates that around 3,000 email records that could incriminate BitMEX are stored on Twilio, given it is the avenue used for daily communication by the firm.

Pavel Pogodin, the general counsel for BMA, has since emphasized that BitMEX went against the law as Twilio is domiciled in the U.S:

“It was a mistake for them to use the U.S. company for this purpose and claim lack of personal jurisdiction of U.S. and California courts at the same time.”

The recent filing by BMA notes that Twilio has put a temporary deletion hold on BitMEX email records up to June 15. After this, the cloud service provider will evaluate the preservation request, an outcome that might grant BitMEX permission to erase its account records. BMA, therefore, found it prudent to make a move within the few remaining days in a bid to strengthen its case against BitMEX. The filing partly reads:

“to preserve a snapshot of information, including specific user email address data, which is evidence of defendants’ contacts with the forum and evidence of defendants operating an unlicensed money transmission business in the United States.”

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Author: Edwin Munyui

Ransomware Demands Jump 200% in 2019; Scammers Demanding $115k on Average: Crypsis

The digital forensics firm Crypsis Group recently released a report on ransomware attacks and how the demand for ransom amounts has grown significantly by 200% from 2018 to 2019.

The report also detailed that, over the years, the amount of demanded Ransom by the attackers has grown dramatically. The average amount of ransom asked by these attackers has reached $115,123.

The report further revealed that these ransomware attackers have now shifted their focus towards enterprises and big players who they know can pay a higher ransom, rather than smaller individuals. The methods of attacks, attack tactics, and victim manipulation have also matured over the years.

Popular Choice of Malware For Ransomware Attacks

Crypsis Group report also listed some of the popular malware used for ransomware attacks in recent times which included Ryuk, Sodinokibi (or “REvil”), and Phobos. Among the mentioned three ransomware variants, Ryuk has been the favorite of scammers and was also the most used variant in 2018.

Most Common Ransomware Variants
Most Common Ransomware Variants

These attackers make use of TrickBot, which is a banking Trojan in the form of phishing emails or even pop-ups. When the victim clicks on the link, the malware is quietly transferred into the system which is very difficult to detect. The malware then ends up gaining control over the system and attackers demand a ransom amount, usually in cryptocurrency, to give access back to the company.

Another report from Verizon last month revealed that in 2020, a majority of these ransomware attackers targetted educational institutions.

Ransomware attacks have been one of the worst nightmares for private sector enterprises including crypto exchanges like Binance as well as government agencies who have fallen prey to these kinds of attacks. While the government has tried to educate the masses about these attacks, they have largely failed to contain the issue.

These ransomware attackers adapt quite fast to the changing security services and despite their malware getting banned a number of times, they come back with a different malware name and more elaborate sophisticated tools to avoid being detected.

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Author: Rebecca Asseh