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Chainalysis Reports more than a billion Dollars in Crypto stealing by two groups of hackers



Chainalysis Reports more than a billion Dollars in Crypto stealing by two groups of hackers

Analysis firm Blockchain Chainalysis has revealed in its most recent report that only two groups benefited from the majority of cryptocurrency attacks that have occurred to date.

According to the new report shared with The Wall Street Journal, the two piracy groups could have obtained $ 1 billion in cryptocurrencies. The firm also indicates that it is estimated that since the creation of Bitcoin, more than $ 17 billion in cryptocurrencies have been stolen.

Chainalysis calls the two piracy entities Alpha and Beta, as the groups responsible after the attacks. In addition, the WSJ quotes Philip Gradwell, chief economist at Chainalysis, saying that the two organizations are probably still active.

At the same time, it revealed that tracking the funds that were stolen in publicly reported hacks took three months to complete. Chainalysis pointed out that his analysis could be incorrect. The Blockchain analysis platform could not identify the two hacking groups either.

According to the report called Crypto Crime Report, “piracy dwarfs all other forms of cryptocurrencies, and is dominated by two prominent groups of professional piracy.”

“Together, these two groups are responsible for stealing around $ 1 billion to date, at least 60% of all publicly reported attacks.”

The report notes that both Alpha and Beta did their best to shuffle the coins they stole, apparently in an attempt to obfuscate the source of the funds. For the most part, this involved a large number of transactions that moved stolen funds from one address to another, the report said.

“Hackers often move stolen funds through a complex variety of wallets and exchanges in an attempt to hide the criminal origins of the funds. On average, hackers move funds at least 5,000 times. ”

The two groups have different ways of handling stolen cryptocurrencies. While Alpha begins to shuffle the funds immediately, Beta is more patient and can sometimes wait up to a year and a half. In one case, it is said that Beta has cashed more than $ 32 million at one time.

The report states that, supposedly, Alpha is a “giant organization, tightly controlled, at least partly driven by non-monetary objectives,” while Beta is a “smaller and less organized organization” strongly sanctioned and very money-focused.

Both groups have succeeded in channeling much of their profits to change it to fiat money, Chainalysis writes, since more than half of all pirated funds were converted in less than four months, and approximately three quarters of the pirated funds were They retired in six months. This was done in large part through the use of regular exchanges, according to the report, which Chainalysis believes was possible because exchanges and enforcement have had a limited ability to track pirated funds.

The report notes that Alpha converts approximately 75 percent of funds within a month on average, while Beta charges 50 percent just a few days after its self-imposed waiting period.

Last year more than 7 billion were lost in cryptocurrencies through exchange hacks. This was an increase of almost triple the previous year, which lost approximately $ 266 million due to security breaches.

Recently in a forum of the popular P2P exchange Localbitcoins, a link for phishing was posted, but the attack was stopped at that moment with only five affected wallets.

In addition, recently it was learned that $ 16 million was stolen in Ethereum (ETH) and ERC20 tokens were stolen in mid-January from the Cryptopia exchange in New Zealand, as the most recent attacks occurred in the crypto space.


AMC Theatres to Start Accepting Ethereum, Litecoin, And Bitcoin Cash In Addition To Bitcoin By Year-End



AMC Theatres to Start Accepting Ethereum, Litecoin, And Bitcoin Cash In Addition To Bitcoin By Year-End

The world’s leading movie theatre chain will be accepting Litecoin, Ethereum, and Bitcoin Cash in addition to Bitcoin as payments for confectionaries and movie tickets at all its U.S. outlets before December 31.

This is according to a Twitter announcement made by the Company’s C.E.O Adam Aron on Thursday morning sending out a wave of bullish sentiments on the three cryptocurrencies by crypto enthusiasts.

“Cryptocurrency enthusiasts: you likely know AMCTheatres has announced we will accept Bitcoin for online ticket and concession payments by year-end 2021. I can confirm today that when we do so, we also expect that we similarly will accept Ethereum, Litecoin and Bitcoin Cash.” 

Last month, the C.E.O in an early morning earnings call had disclosed that AMC was actively engaged in setting up payment systems that would allow movie enthusiasts to pay for various services and purchases using Bitcoin. He had also acknowledged receiving a lot of inquiries from users and shareholders on the possibility of the company accepting payments in crypto which could have largely informed Thursday’s announcement.

Although Litecoin foundation did not respond to the statement in writing, Litecoin’s news page and Charlie Lee, the founder of Litecoin retweeted AMCs announcement gesturing their affirmation.

Broadening the crypto payments net

Litecoin has been making inroads in institutional halls thanks to its long-term persistence and reliability. Its completed MWEB upgrade project which allows the network to become much more scalable and make transaction amounts un-viewable to the public makes Litecoin the ideal choice for payments while protecting users’ data.

According to the Litecoin Foundations Q1 report, various companies have already announced that they’re integrating Litecoin including Paypal, Vaultoro, Flare Network, Moon among others. Its successful payment integrations have also attracted a fair share of challenges with a recent false report that Walmart was integrating Litecoin in its payment network.

Bitcoin cash which fulfills the original promise of Bitcoin as “Peer-to-peer electronic cash” could also see mass use given its fast transactions, low fees, and reliable confirmation. It also allows use on a large list of wallets including Ledger and Trezor among others, which are synonymous with most U.S. crypto owners. Its discounts on payments due to the elimination of credit cards are likely to attract most AMC movie enthusiasts looking to pay using this method.

On the other hand, Ethereum payments to the company could be fulfilled through Ethereum-Pay,  a decentralized ERC-1363 payable token built on the secure Ethereum network specifically tailored to be integrated with E-commerce transactions. 

EthereumPay creates a universal payment platform that allows merchants & users around the world to do business with each other instantly and cheaper than ever. Ethereum payments are accepted by companies including Sotheby, Overstock, Gipsybee,  Shopify CheapAir, Tripio among others.

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Crypto Researchers Concerned About The ‘Centralized Structure’ Of The Binance Smart Chain



Crypto Researchers Concerned About The 'Centralized Structure' Of The Binance Smart Chain

Binance Smart Chain has been rising in popularity as interest rates from different parts of the world, including South Korea, sent the network’s transaction records to new highs. However, this has not deterred analysts’ from pointing out the increasing level of centralization within the network. Ryan Watkins, a Messari analyst recently addressed the influence that Binance has on the entire Binance Smart Chain, explaining that most of the commendable progress made on the network is not the result of the implementation of innovative concepts. Rather, it is a product of Binance’s control over the BSC network.

“The reason why BSC is faster and more scalable is not because of some magical technological innovation. No, it’s instead the magic of centralization. BSC is an Ethereum fork with a centralized validator set. That’s it. Nothing more.” He wrote on Twitter.

Unlike some other networks, the Binance Smart Chain has a total of 21 validators (people who verify the transactions and confirm their legitimacy, before adding them to the Blockchain). These validators are handpicked by the Binance Chain, further strengthening the notion that the network may be more centralized than it shows itself to be. 

Wilson Withiam rolls out some points to consider, starting with the pattern of resetting active validators, which is determined by the voting power of each validator. He notes that BNB staking and delegation is carried out on the Binance Chain, by Binance Chain validators as well.

In essence, Withiam argues that the pattern of validator distribution across the Binance Smart Chain is questionable as the identities of those behind the nodes in the validator sets are not made transparent. As he puts it “BSC now supports several third-party validators, although at least 5-6 others have close ties to Binance. The distribution of validator accounts is far less clear for Binance Chain.”

To dispute that Binance’s user experience is not ahead of other networks is false, and Withiam agrees with this. Even Watkins acknowledges this as he noted that BSC has fueled mainstream adoption of DeFi “Binance has incredible reach and influence and has used that to funnel a boatload of new users in DeFi. Binance executes period. That’s why BSC is winning.” He asserted. 

However, he argues that speed and scalability outside Ethereum without sharding or a centralization can only be legitimately found on the Solana Blockchain. Conclusively, Withiam urges BSC users to poke into the network, enough to understand where the loopholes are. 

“For those using BSC, take the time to understand the topology of the network. Sure, the fees and speed (both UX factors) are undoubtedly preferable. But strong censorship resistance and fault tolerance are not part of the package.” He wrote in conclusion.

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