Coinbase Lists EOS on, Rolls Out New Security Feature

Notable cryptocurrency-related headlines from the past 24 hours include (i) Coinbase’s listing of EOS on and rolling out of a new security feature; (ii) reports that U.S. authorities are investigating North Korean hackers accused of executing a number of cryptocurrency-related hacks; and (iii) the clamping down by Huobi Global on wash trading activity in the wake of Bitwise’s recent in-depth report.

At the time of writing, bitcoin (BTC) and ether (ETH) are trading at $8,261.8 (-5.2%) and $254.7 (-10.1%). As for the MVIS CryptoCompare Digital Assets 10 Index, it is currently tracking at 4,020.8 (+1.5%).

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Coinbase Lists EOS on, Rolls Out New Security Feature

U.S.-headquartered cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase announced the addition of support for the EOS (EOS) cryptocurrency at and in the Coinbase Android and iOS apps. It went on to point out that buying, selling, converting, sending, receiving, and storing EOS would “not initially be available for residents of the United Kingdom or the state of New York.”

Hours later, Coinbase revealed the launching of support for Universal 2nd Factor [U2F] security keys, “a strong way for Coinbase [and Coinbase Pro] users to protect their account.” In a blog post, Coinbase describing U2F security chips as “tiny hardware tokens [that] contain cryptographic chips that perform the hard work of ensuring that you’re authenticating to the correct website – and that nobody else can authenticate while pretending to be you.”

U.S. Authorities Investigating North Korean Cryptocurrency Hackers

U.S. intelligence authorities have reportedly accused North Korean hackers of orchestrating large-scale cybercrimes involving cryptocurrency hacks, mining, and bank theft, according to reports by the Korea Herald.

The multiple security breaches by North Korean entities have been primarily motivated by political and economic sanctions imposed on the nation by the U.S.

'Surprised' Huobi Deals with Cryptocurrency Wash Traders

Following its inclusion in Bitwise Asset Management’s recent reputation-damaging report prepared for the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Huobi Global – one of the world’s leading cryptocurrency exchanges – claimed it had identified “a few of [its] market makers conducting what [it] suspect[s] may have been wash trading for the sake of performance and marketing purposes.” The market makers in question have since stopped adopting such strategies, CoinDesk reported.

Upon reading Bitwise’s publication – which suggested the popular crypto exchange reported inauthentic trading volume – Huobi’s team were “surprised,” according to comments from chief executive Livio Weng. Huobi is reportedly in the process of updating its policies in an effort to avoid issues related to washing trading moving forward.

Error in Time-Locked Bitcoin Contracts Allows for Miner 'Fee-Sniping'

Michael LaVere
  • Crypto researcher 0xb10c discovered an error in bitcoin "time-locked" transactions that could be used as an attack vector.
  • Miners can take advantage of the program to carry out "fee-sniping" and steal funds from one another. 

Users have discovered an error in bitcoin “timelocked” contracts that could potentially allow miners to steal BTC from one another. 

Anonymous crypto engineer 0xb10c reported discovering more than one million “time-locked” transactions made between September 2019 and March 2020. In a post, 0xb10c detailed how these special bitcoin transactions were not being accurately enforced by the network. 

As opposed to normal transactions, time-locked transactions prevent recipient bitcoin from being accessed after sending. Users must wait for a specific number of blocks to be added to the network in ten-minute intervals before gaining control of their bitcoin. 

0xb10c claimed the errant time-locked transactions provided an attack vector for miners to steal transaction fees  from one another via “fee-sniping.” According to the engineer, the backlog of time-locked transactions were being purposefully designed for a “potentially disruptive mining strategy” involving the theft of miner fees. 

In an interview with CoinDesk, 0xb10c said time-locked transactions represented a “low-priority” problem at present that could eventually balloon to involve the wider network. He explained that fee-sniping would become more lucrative in a few years as the majority of miner income shifts towards transaction fees. 

He continued, 

A fix for this has been released in early 2020. However, it will take a while before all instances of the currently deployed software are upgraded.

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