The ERC-20 token with the backdoor

Leo Zhang

By Leo Zhang

Two companies entered into acquisition agreement. The buyer intended to pay in SoarCoin, an ERC20 token they had issued. Unbeknownst to the seller, the token contract contained functions that allowed the buyer to steal back tokens after they the transfer (see story below). This is not the first time critical issues have plagued Ethereum smart contracts.

Exclusive: Aussie firm loses $6.6M to backdoored cryptocurrency
(Bank Info Security, by Jeremy Kirk)

"So how did Soar Labs reclaim its coins? Queensland Police described the problem as a backdoor within the coin's code, which was confirmed during a forensic analysis by a German company."

Technical & Updates

A new kind of DEX
(Decred, by Jake Yocom-Piatt)

"To make a DEX work, there are a number of basic practical considerations that must be taken into account. Using atomic swaps, it is possible to perform trustless exchanges of supported cryptocurrencies both on-chain and off-chain. In order to generate and maintain an order book, there needs to be a meeting place where users can communicate about prices. To prevent users from submitting fraudulent orders, there needs to a mechanism for users to demonstrate they control the funds their orders correspond to."

Japan's GMO group announces the first Bitcoin miner based on 7nm chips

Mining proposal that allows hardware owners decide what blocks to mine, therefore reducing centralization around mining pools
(Bitcoin Improvement Proposals, by Matt Corallo)

"The primary mechanism by which this proposal addresses these deficiencies is through the separation of the channels that work-information and pool-payout-information are carried. The work-carrying protocol replaces both getblocktemplate and Stratum when passed directly to mining hardware, while the payout protocol manages all pool<->client communication."

Discussion with Matt Corallo on the new mining proposal

Ballot proposal: Embracing Simple PoW and ASICs
(Zcash Foundation, Josh Cincinnati)

"To be blunt: I do not think ASIC Resistant is a long-term, sustainable goal. I do think, based on the data available at the time, it was reasonable to make that a high priority when Zcash launched, and that it helped to encourage broader, fairer distribution of ZEC, but to me it is abundantly clear that it's not the right design goal today."

Bitcoin & Cryptocurrency News-Zencash attack update, blood on the blockchain & Github sold

Lisk-the mafia blockchain
(by Simon Günther)

"Thus, over the course of time, cartels have formed with the goal of establishing the same group of delegates in the top 101 as permanently as possible. Some problematic features of the Lisk network are playing into these cartels hands here."

First big steps toward proving the Unique Games Conjecture
(Quanta Magazine, by Erica Klarreich)

"Over the past decade and a half, the conjecture — which asks whether you can efficiently color networks in a certain way — has inspired discoveries in topics as diverse as the geometry of foams and the stability of election systems. And if the conjecture can be proved, its implications will reach far beyond network-coloring: It will establish what is the best algorithm for every problem in which you’re trying to satisfy as many as possible of a set of constraints — the rules in a sudoku puzzle, or the seating preferences of a collection of wedding guests, for instance."

News & Commentary

South Korean supreme court rules Bitcoin is an asset
(Bitcoin Magazine, by Colin Harper)

"South Korea’s Supreme Court just ruled that bitcoin is a legally recognizable asset. The landmark ruling occurred on May 30, 2018, and it overturns a decision made by one of the country’s lower courts in a case dating back to last year."

HitBTC, a popular exchange, is being sued by a P2P loans startup

One firm is way ahead of Wall Street on Bitcoin
(The New York Times, by Nathaniel Popper)

"Susquehanna built its own systems for storing the cryptocurrencies it is holding for more than a day. To deter hackers, the private keys are kept in devices in an off-site facility that is not connected to the rest of the company’s computer systems."

Facebook confirms data sharing with Chinese companies
(Reuters, by David Shepardson)

"The social media company said Huawei (002502.SZ), computer maker Lenovo Group (0992.HK), and smartphone makers OPPO and TCL Corp (000100.SZ) were among about 60 companies worldwide that received access to some user data after they signed contracts to re-create Facebook-like experiences for their users."

ECB Chief Economist confirms June meeting is crucial for QE decision
(Bloomberg, by Paul Gordon and Alessandro Speciale)

"Even just having the conversation though would be a significant leap forward on the path to unwinding unprecedented stimulus, after months in which the ECB avoided formally addressing the matter. In April, Draghi kept the Governing Council’s deliberations away from the future path of monetary policy despite a plea from Austria’s Ewald Nowotny to the contrary."

Short-volatility complex returns, defying Wall Street alarm