Blockchain News 28 September 2020

Blockchain and Cryptocurrency News Roundup

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  • September 28, 2020
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28 September 2020.

Jump into a short summary of some of the biggest headlines in Crypto this week. GasNow: China’s hot, new tool that predicts Ethereum gas prices, Russian web censor tells Binance it’s been blacklisted, Kucoin hacked for $150 million in Bitcoin; Bitfinex and Tether freeze $33 million of the stolen funds & Bitcoin price reaches $10,800—following bullish momentum along with safe haven asset gold.

GasNow: China’s hot, new tool that predicts Ethereum gas prices

We’ve all been there. Scratching our heads, we repeatedly check Etherscan or ETH gas station to calculate the optimal gas fees to farm that tasty food token. Sometimes we get lucky. Other times, we have to come back later and try again. Getting the gas price right is a daily headache for DeFi farmers. One product that has won many Chinese farmers’ hearts is GasNow, an ETH GasPrice forecast system developed by SparkPool, one of the largest Ethereum mining pools based in China. This week’s da bing takes a look at GasNow and how a Chinese mining pool came to develop such a tool. As DeFi started to pick up steam, the dev teams at Sparkpool realized that there was a big gap between quoted gas fees from ETH Gas Station and the actual gas fees they processed on the network. It is a problem for everyone on the network. So on August 12, they decided to hack together a tool to give themselves a more accurate and timely prediction of gas fees.

Five hours later, GasNow was born.

“There are two ways to calculate gas fees,” “Uncle Meow,” the pseudonymous product leader of Sparkpool, told me. “Most existing solutions calculate gas fees based on historical gas fee data. However, Sparkpool calculates gas fees based on our own mining pool’s pending transaction mempool, where all the valid transactions are waiting to be confirmed by the Ethereum network.” The benefit of using pending-transaction data is that such a calculation is predictive rather than retrospective. “Especially during the heyday of yield farming, timing was everything.” Uncle Meow told me. Once the tool was tested, the team decided to release it to the public so everyone who raced to farm DeFi tokens could benefit. Suddenly, GasNow was making a huge splash on crypto Wechat and everyone in the DeFi circle was talking about it. Data shows that GasNow has 500w average API requests per day and 12,000 unique visitors.


Russian web censor tells Binance it’s been blacklisted

Russian internet censorship agency Roskomnadzor blacklisted Binance in June, but apparently only made the cryptocurrency exchange aware of its decision today. Binance Russia director Gleb Kostarev notified followers on Facebook Friday that Roskomnadzor had added the exchange’s domain to its list of prohibited websites. The reason, according to Kostarev, was that Binance had been caught publishing information about how to buy and sell bitcoin, which is apparently an offense in Russia. “Not sure if we should laugh or cry,” he said. While cryptocurrencies are officially recognized as taxable property in Russia, the Ministry of Finance has recently made moves to put crypto trading under harsh supervision. Russian news agency RBK said a court had already approved Roskomnadzor’s motion to block Binance on June 2. “Issuance and usage of bitcoins are fully decentralized, and there is no way to regulate it by the government, which contradicts the current Russian law,” the court decision reads. In a Kafkaesque twist, Kostarev told CoinDesk that Binance wasn’t notified about the court’s decision or even aware of its existence until today. Roskomnadzor also banned access to a bitcoin wallet, Metbea. Kostarev said that Binance is looking into contesting the prohibition.


Kucoin hacked for $150 million in Bitcoin; Bitfinex and Tether freeze $33 million of the stolen funds

The Singapore-based exchange confirmed the September 25 security breach, but did not disclose the amount stolen. “Bitcoin, ERC-20 and other tokens in Kucoin’s hot wallets were transferred out of the exchange,” said Kucoin in an update on Saturday. Meanwhile, Bitfinex and Tether, issuers of the centralized stablecoin USDT, immediately froze a combined $33 million worth of USDT suspected to be part of the funds looted in the Kucoin hack – an action that has stirred questions around the influence of centralized platforms. Paolo Ardoino, chief technology officer of both entities, tweeted that Bitfinex froze $13 million USDT on EOS as part of the hack. Tether froze $20 million USDT “sitting on this ethereum address as a precautionary measure,” he said. In its update, Kucoin maintains that funds in its cold wallets (offline storage, which is less susceptible to hacks) are safe, even as the hot wallets were hit.

Kucoin, which prides itself “as the most advanced and secure cryptocurrency exchange”, said it will be suspending deposits and withdrawals to pave way for what it calls “a thorough security review.” But these issues appear to have already been happening while the hack was in progress. Users started having difficulties with withdrawals on September 25th, long before the exchange had made any official announcement regarding the breach. On September 25, at 9:55 p.m. (ET), the onchain analysis firm Cryptoquant’s Telegram signals channel detailed that Kucoin was hacked. “Usually, after being hacked,” Cryptoquant signals channel said. “The BTC outflow increases rapidly and then becomes zero. Since 20:00 UTC on September 25th, the outflow has continuously been zero.” The Kucoin team waved off the concerns, claiming that “the transactions were simply pending.” It later emerged that about $150 million worth of BTC and other tokens had been spirited out of the exchange. More than 11,480 ether (ETH), worth over $4 million, was received into this address. A further $146 million involved transactions related to tokens such as ampleforth, maker, OMG and YFI – all decentralized finance (defi) tokens. Others include little known digital assets like chroma, vid, and ocean token.

Bitcoin price reaches $10,800—following bullish momentum along with safe haven asset gold

After a few days of steep correction, the cryptocurrency market is on a journey of recovery, as Bitcoin’s price recently surged from $10,300 to $10,800 within an hour. Bitcoin’s price is currently trading at $10,697, according to CoinGecko at press time. Bitcoin (BTC) has recently undergone a strong rally, taking its price to almost $11,000. As the US dollar has weakened, it seems as Bitcoin has been able to gain strength, trading up around 4 percent in the past 24 hours. Ethereum is trading at $338 at press time. A few days ago, Bitcoin was trading at $10,130, before its recovery yesterday and traded sideways around the $10,400 level for a while. Bitcoin then rallied to its day peak at $10,800, however, it has lost some momentum and has been retracing to the $10,600 level.  While the stock market has recovered slightly, Bitcoin is up about 4 percent, while the traditional market, including the S&P 500, Nasdaq Composite, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed with an uptick of 0.3 percent yesterday. Although Bitcoin has been correlated with the stock market, it’s more significant gains have indicated that the world’s largest cryptocurrency is more correlated with gold. Gold has been rallying from its daily low of $1,845 per ounce to its daily high of $1,878. The precious metal’s movement could also be a more accurate indication for the cryptocurrency market.

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