US SEC's Bitcoin ETF Decision Could Influence Cryptocurrency Market in Korea, Report States

The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) currently has two different bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) proposals on the table, and its decision could influence the cryptocurrency market in South Korea.

According to the Korean Herald, South Korean institutions have been “keeping a tight leash on the whole cryptocurrency industry,” while observing the US’ moves on them. Speaking to the news outlet an official with the country’s main exchange, Korea Exchange, stated:

There are strong voices supporting the launch of bitcoin ETFs within the market -- which is why we are observing the progress and response of the US Securities and Exchange Commission’s decision on bitcoin ETFs.

The official, who chose to remain anonymous, added that providing a “solid index required for the launch of such ETFs and of its role when it is commercialized and integrated into the market is being discussed expansively at the KRX because it would eventually concern investor protection issues.”

The clock started ticking for the SEC to review a bitcoin ETF application filed by Bitwise Asset Management with NYSE Arca earlier this month, meaning an initial decision is expected by April 5. Some industry observers believe a bitcoin ETF will bring in additional liquidity to the cryptocurrency ecosystem, and attract institutional investors.

Per the Korea Herald, however, local investment banks and asset management firms have been focusing on blockchain ETFs. Speaking to the news outlet a spokesperson for Mirae Asset Global Investments noted the firm manages an overseas blockchain ETF, but is “yet to engage in any bitcoin transactions.”

Lee Kyung-ho, a professor at Korea University’s Graduate school of Information Security, added:

With the government expanding its investment in research and development of blockchain technology, the projects are expected to minimize or eliminate the risk of integrating ETF transactions in the cryptocurrency market.

He added that cryptocurrency exchanges implement know-your-customer (KYC) and anti-money laundering (AML) checks may also help a bitcoin ETF be launched, as it’ll “boost transparency in transactions.”

South Korea is a country that has banned initial coin offerings (ICOs), but allowed crypto exchanges to remain open. The government has extended tax breaks for the blockchain industry this year to spur innovation.

'Big Spender' Bitcoin Wallet Exploit Is an 'Issue With BTC Itself', Says BCH Supporter

Michael LaVere
  • Crypto security firm ZenGo has identified a double-spend exploit dubbed "BigSpender" which affected popular bitcoin wallets.
  • Exploit allows an attacker to cancel a bitcoin transaction without the receiving user knowing. 

A crypto security firm has identified a double-spend exploit targeting popular bitcoin wallet providers. 

According to a report by ZenGo, the security firm has discovered a double and multiple spend wallet exploit for bitcoin dubbed “BigSpender.” The report claims the exploit allows an attacker to cancel a bitcoin transaction but still have it appear in a victim’s vulnerable wallet. 

The report reads, 

The core issue at the heart of the BigSpender vulnerability is that vulnerable wallets are not prepared for the option that a transaction might be canceled and implicitly assume it will get confirmed eventually.

As CryptoGlobe reported, ZenGo found that a user’s balance would be increased following an unconfirmed incoming transaction, without a subsequent decrease in the event the transaction being double-spent. The firm outlined how an attacker could use the exploit to cancel transactions of sent bitcoin while still receiving goods and services in return. 

The security firm tested nine popular cryptocurrency wallets and found BRD, Ledger Live and Edge to be vulnerable to the exploit. All three companies were notified by ZenGo of the threat and subsequently updated their products. However, the firm noted that “millions” of crypto users may have been exposed to the attack prior to the update. 

Bitcoin Cash supporter Hayden Otto told Cointelegraph the exploit is particularly concerning for bitcoin-accepting merchants. 

He said, 

The technique is facilitated by RBF (replace by fee), a so-called ‘feature’ added at the protocol level by the Bitcoin Core developers.The issue exists if you use BTC. Wallet software can only make some trade off, which results in a worse BTC user experience, in order to try to protect BTC users.

Otto claimed the exploit was derived from “an issue with BTC itself” and had little to do with wallet software. 

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