In today’s edition of Bitcoin in Brief, we cover the return of Coinbase to Wyoming, the expansion of Robinhood Crypto to Iowa and Georgia, a lawsuit against an exchange for failing to give a user his BCH plus a cybersecurity research that finds cryptocurrency exchanges experienced a massive surge of user data leaks.
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Coinbase Returns to Wyoming
Coinbase has announced that its money transmitter license has been renewed in the state of Wyoming. That means that after about three years of absence, locals can once again use the platform to buy, sell and spend supported cryptocurrencies. Wyoming passed a number of laws meant to make the state more attractive to Bitcoin business this year, including exempting cryptocurrencies from property taxation.
Mike Lempres, Chief Legal & Compliance Officer, stated: “Regulators and legislators can work together to foster innovation by either licensing cryptocurrency money transmissions or exempting cryptocurrency from money transmission laws. The leadership and partnership between the state legislature and Governor Matt Meade allowed for this new legislation to be signed into law, under which cryptocurrency companies in Wyoming are no longer required to double reserve the assets of state residents. Now Coinbase and other compliant, regulated cryptocurrency companies can serve Wyoming customers in the same way we serve customers from nearly every other state.”
Robinhood Crypto Reaches Iowa and Georgia
Robinhood Financial, the Palo Alto-headquartered US stocks brokerage app, has added another two locations where cryptocurrency trading is now supported for its clients. The company officially announced on its Twitter page that the service is rolling out to Iowa and Georgia. The app now supports Ethereum Classic (ETC), in addition to its previous offering of BTC, BCH, ETH, LTC and Doge. In total, Robinhood Crypto is now available in 19 US states, including Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, New Jersey, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, Texas, Utah, Virginia and Wisconsin.
Chinese User Sues Okcoin
According to media reports from China, a user of Okcoin named Feng Bin is suing the exchange over some missing bitcoin cash. The client claims he had to receive about 38.75 BCH following the fork due to his holdings before the event which just recently marked its one year anniversary. The Chinese investor alleges that when he contacted the Okcoin team to help recover his BCH he was told by support staff that the deadline the exchange set for doing so had expired and he was no longer eligible due to that reason.
‘Leaky’ Cryptocurrency Exchanges
Group-IB, a Moscow-based cybersecurity firm, has issued a report about user data leaks from cryptocurrency exchanges. The researchers analyzed the theft of 720 user accounts (logins and passwords) from the 19 largest exchanges during 2017, and found a steady increase in the number of compromised user accounts. In 2017, it increased by 369% compared to 2016. And in January 2018, the number of incidents jumped by 689% compared to the 2017 monthly average. The US, Russia and China are where users are targeted most often.
The study identified 50 active botnets used for launching cyberattacks on users of cryptocurrency exchanges. The researchers found that cybercriminals employ sophisticated malicious software and even modified tools previously used for attacks on banks to hack cryptocurrency exchanges and gain access to users’ personal data. However, the main culprit is that both users and exchanges fail to use two-factor authentication. The second cause is disregard for basic cybersecurity rules such as using weak and repetitive passwords.
“In 2018, we will see even more incidents. This situation requires prompt and effective response of all stakeholders, including experts in different areas,” stated Ruslan Yusufov, Director of Special Projects at Group-IB.
What do you think about today’s news tidbits? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.
Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Group-IB.
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