Cryptopia: Authorities Allow Hacked Exchange to Reopen, but It's Still Down

Hacked cryptocurrency exchange Cryptopia has recently been given by New Zealand’s authorities the green light to “open again whenever they like,” roughly a month after hackers accessed it wallets and stole cryptos estimated to be worth dozens of millions of dollars.

According to local news outlet NZ Herald, detective inspector Greg Murton has revealed authorities “finished the main part of the work required by the High Tech Crime Group” at the cryptocurrency exchange’s business premises, and that although some staff remain there “finishing up aspects of their work,” the exchange is free to reopen.

Murton was quoted as saying:

Cryptopia management have full access to their facilities and business premises and the Police investigation is not preventing their business from getting up and running again.

The detective inspector, however, refused to comment on exactly how much was stolen from Cryptopia’s wallets, or on whether any changes have been implemented. Despite the green light to reopen, at press time Cryptopia’s website is still down, with a message explaining what happened to its users.

While some experts have estimated hackers managed to take roughly $23 million in the attack, the exact figure is unclear. The hack itself was an unusual one, as according to an investigation conducted by Elementus 76,000 wallets were penetrated in the attack, meaning thousands of private keys were obtained.

Elementus’ research only used Ethereum and ERC-20 tokens evidence, and found that in the attack there was a glaring “lack of urgency,” as it lasted weeks, while usually attacks on exchanges are fast and only see one wallet get breached.

Murton, speaking to the NZ Herald, refused to comment on whether the hackers kept stealing funds after police started its investigation, or on whether some of the stolen cryptocurrencies had been frozen by another exchange.

An unnamed Cryptopia staff member reportedly told the news outlet he had no idea whether it would reopen, as he was “relying on police bulletins and the media for updates.” Meanwhile, as CryptoGlobe covered, the hackers behind the attack have already cashed out $3.2 million, $2 million of which through decentralized exchange EtherDelta.

Tron's 'Four Major Developments' Including zk-SNARKs to Launch By Q2 2019

The developers of Tron (TRX), one of the largest platforms for building and deploying decentralized applications (dApps), are reportedly planning to release a set of upgrades and new tools to enhance the blockchain network’s functionality.

As noted by Misha Lederman, the co-founder of IAmDecentralized.org, a platform that is being created to support the ongoing development of decentralized technologies, the Tron blockchain ecosystem is set to deliver the following “major development”:

  • “BitTorrent Speed, $BTT,”
  • “Institutional-friendly multi-signature & account management,”
  • “USDT-TRON stablecoin launch on #TRX blockchain,”
  • “Implementing privacy option for transactions.”

Lederman, who’s known for being one of the most vocal supporters of Tron (especially on Twitter), revealed that Tron’s major developments (listed above) will be launched in the “coming weeks and months” of Q2 2019.

"BitTorrent Speed" And Multi-Sig Wallets Launched

After acquiring BitTorrent last year for $140 million, Tron’s userbase may have increased significantly as the peer-to-peer (P2P) file sharing solution reportedly has more than 100 million users. In order to improve the existing functionality of BitTorrent and its native BTT token, Tron’s developers are launching “BitTorrent Speed,” an application that will compensate network participants in BTT in exchange for providing bandwidth and seeding.

On February 24th, Tron founder Justin Sun had announced (via Twitter) that the following set of updates would be integrated on the dApp development platform (Tron’s version 3.5):

  • “hard fork upgrade” (already activated on February 28th),
  • “Multi-signature [wallets] and [new] account management features for institutional investors,"
  • “Dynamic energy adjustment to real-time network performance,”
  • “50% up performance & res usage,”
  • ”Better [virtual machine] VM safety, events server for dApps.”

As explained by Sun in a video he posted from his official Twitter account (on March 7th, 2019), Tron’s partnership with Tether Ltd., the developer of the world’s first and largest stablecoin (USDT) involves the development of a Tron-based USDT token that offers “TRX holders a new way of value storage, provides dApp users a new way to play [or access] dApps, and increases legitimacy with institutional investors.”

Adding zk-SNARKS To Tron's Ecosystem

Moreover, the partnership between Tether Ltd and the Tron Foundation will involve the creation of a new TRC-20 compliant USDT stablecoin that will provide interoperability with applications and protocols across Tron’s ecosystem.

Notably, Tron’s development team is planning to integrate zCash’s zk-SNARKS privacy technology - which is intended to provide Tron’s users the option to conduct private transactions.

During the “Bad Crypto” podcast, Sun revealed why he is planning to incorporate the zk-SNARKS on the Tron network. He remarked:

People don’t want their privacy stored by Facebook or Google because those people can more easily manipulate the data so they can push ads to you. You don’t want to share those data with them. That’s why I think the decentralized way becomes a good way to do that and limit how much data you are required to share.