A "modern miracle" full of bugs
Cryptocurrency has been an exciting phenomenon for both engineers and investors. Since the beginning of the blockchain hype in 2016, many promises have been made on its behalf. A report published by the IMF claims blockchain will "revolutionize finance by making transactions faster and more secure..." (see report below). US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) Commissioner Rostin Behnam has called cryptocurrency a "modern miracle." Ironically, Bitcoin futures, a market regulated by CFTC, is now under investigation for price manipulation. Meanwhile, more exploits have been discovered on Ethereum network. A security research lab found hackers have stolen over $20 million from misconfigured Ethereum clients (see story below).
"Even with short-term dislocations, reorganizing the economy around revolutionary technologies generates huge long-term benefits."
"Price manipulation in the bitcoin futures market emerged as one of the main concerns in the run-up to their release; clearly, this fear has not abated. Manipulation strategies include spoofing: a practice which entails institutional investors buying huge amounts of crypto so that the market interprets this move as a signal of some change in the demand level – other investors then pile in, hoping to catch the wave, pushing the price higher at which point the spoofer sells for an artificially high profit."
Technical & Updates
Someone tries to make quick money by scanning port 8545, looking for geth clients and stealing their cryptocurrency, good thing geth by default only listens on local 8545 port. So far it has only got 3.96234 Ether on its account, but hey it is free money! pic.twitter.com/YVSWlMtYGa— 360 Netlab (@360Netlab) March 15, 2018
"Revisiting that research today, the Netlab team says scans for port 8545 never stopped, but intensified as multiple groups joined the scanning activity, with one group alone being more successful than most, after managing to siphon over $20 million worth of Ether funds from exposed applications."
"They have proliferated in months from 5,000 to now nearly 100,000 as cat tokens, dog tokens, bot tokens, silly tokens, amazing tokens, all sorts of tokens launch."
"Execution in a Turing-complete context is extremely tricky and hard to analyze. Securing a Turing-complete smart contract becomes the equivalent of proving that a computer program does not have bugs. We know this is very difficult, as nearly every computer program in existence has bugs."
@TheBlueMatt's brilliant proposal that separates 1/ block construction process from 2/ payout process. You'll still get the benefit of connecting to a pool (stable payouts) while not conceding the right to propose a block. Best of both worlds solution that will help d14n. 💪💪 https://t.co/sRfbwsswx1— Hugo Nguyen (@hugohanoi) June 6, 2018
News & Commentary
"The hacker has since dipped into some of the 2.6 billion NPXS tokens in an attempt to sell 26 million coins at decentralized ERC-20 exchange IDEX, transaction data reveals. IDEX froze those coins before they were liquidated, Pundi X confirmed, adding it had also instigated its own ‘emergency security protocol’ to halt all NPSX transactions at midday Sunday to investigate the theft of coins that equaled 3 percent of its entire current supply."
"The venue will allow euro trading later this year from its Malta operations, Zhao said by phone on Monday. He plans to add other fiat currencies, he said, without providing details. Binance said in March it would set up a base in Malta."
"The new rules should change the Apple cryptocurrency app landscape quite drastically, given how third-party apps for initial coin offerings or sending and receiving cryptocurrency are essentially banned. It will also be interesting to see how many apps get removed for having secret miners that might have been added through hacks by cybercriminals."
It seems much of the VC funding into new blockchains is focused on capturing some market, repackaging it, and reselling it (much like the SV-based "plaform" corps). This flies directly in the face of FOSS principles and the permissionless philosophy that underpins Bitcoin.— Eric Lombrozo (@eric_lombrozo) June 10, 2018