Chinese National Media Alleges OKEx Is Illegally Trading Bitcoin Futures in the Country

  • Chinese national media recently claimed OKEx, one of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges, has been illegally trading bitcoin futures contracts in the country.
  • The report cites two alleged investors, Yang and Zhao, who've used the cryptocurrency exchange's services.

China National Radio (CNR), in its “Voice of China” podcast, has recently alleged that cryptocurrency exchange OKEx has been illegally trading bitcoin futures contracts in the country, following a ban imposed by the government last fall.

Through a piece titled “Exchanges that still prevail after the ban”, CNR claimed OKEx, a Hong Kong-based company launched by OKCoin, one of the “Big Three” trading platforms in China before the crackdown, is offering said contracts to mainland Chinese investors.

The media outlet cites two sources, Yang and Zhang, who reportedly used OKEx’s services in the country. According to the two investors, OKEx is operating in Beijing for Chinese users, and has only moved its headquarters to Hong Kong on paper. The company is, per the report, registering itself in Belize to dodge regulations.

The investors allege OKEx is trading bitcoin futures and giving investors the option to use leverage on these, while calling them “contract transactions.” The report reads (roughly translated):

“Mr. Yang, who also conducts contract transactions on the platform, told reporters that even though they are called "contract transactions," they actually conduct digital currency futures transactions. They can use leverage to multiply the investment results…”

CNR's report

The report further adds OKEx runs a “point to point” operation that lets investors pay using their Alipay or Wechat accounts, bypassing China’s crypto to fiat transaction ban. The cryptocurrency exchange’s technological developments, per CNR, are still managed by the OKCoin team.

CNR notes that Yang and other investors have reported OKEx to the country’s authorities, and were told that the Financial Bureau was working on the case. It’s worth noting the Chinese media outlet’s report is part of a cryptocurrency investigation series it’s broadcasting, that yesterday claimed initial coin offering (ICO) operators are still selling tokens to Chinese investors.

Last fall, China banned cryptocurrency exchanges from the country citing “financial risks.” As recently covered, the country’s largest website have removed cryptocurrency-related ads from their platforms.

At press time, OKEx is the second largest cryptocurrency exchange by trading volume, processing $1.9 billion in the last 24-hour period.

N. Korean Hackers Are Posing as a Crypto Company to Infect Apple macOS Users

  • N. Korean hackers are posing as a legitimate crypto company to infect macOS users with malware.
  • The malware gives hackers full remote access to a computer.

MacOS users have come under attack by a group of North Korean hackers who are presenting themselves as a legitimate cryptocurrency company. 

According to a report by the International Business Times, several outlets are claiming that the most recent attack on macOS was conducted by the Lazarus Group, a collection of hackers supported by the North Korean government. 

Apple Security Specialist Jamf Patrick Wardle published a blog post which outlined the recent malware. According to Wardle, hackers have created a fake cryptocurrency company with the appearance of a legitimate, official website. In addition to the website, the hacking group has established a fictitious firm named JMT Trading and released an open-source trading application to GitHub. 

Users who download the code for the application unleash a malware that targets Apple’s macOS users, allowing hackers full access to the computer’s files. Wardle says the malware allows hackers to execute commands remotely and take control of the user’s computer. 

However, Wardle says the malware is not particularly sophisticated and “actually fairly easy to detect.” He gave a list of recommended security tools for macOS users concerned they may be at risk for downloading the malware. 

The recent macOS malware is not the first time North Korea has been tied to a series of high-profile hacks. In August, it was reported that the country may be responsible for as much as $2 billion in hacks related to crypto and financial exchanges. 

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