In the Daily: Coinhive Closedown, Eos Heist, Crypto Entrepreneur Arrested
In this edition of The Daily, the creator of the in-browser crypto mining software Coinhive is closing down due to the low prices of monero and its forks. Also, $7.7 million of Eos has been stolen by a hacker and the crypto entrepreneur behind the money-throwing stunt in Hong Kong last year has been arrested for fraud.
Coinhive Discontinues Monero Miner
Coinhive, the creator of the in-browser cryptocurrency miner that has become instrumental in numerous cryptojacking campaigns, as well as in many funding projects with noble causes, is closing down. Its team explained that due to the current price of monero, the main cryptocurrency the software mints, as well as the drop in its hash rate after the last fork, mining is not economically viable anymore.
The service will be terminated on March 8, according to a blog post published on Coinhive’s website. “The drop in hash rate (over 50%) after the last Monero hard fork hit us hard. So did the ‘crash’ of the cryptocurrency market with the value of XMR depreciating over 85% within a year,” the statement details. Its authors point out that the next hard fork and algorithm update of the Monero network, scheduled for March 9, has also contributed to their decision to discontinue Coinhive.
Mining will not be operable anymore after March 8, 2019, Coinhive noted. User dashboards will be accessible until April 30, 2019. This will allow them to initiate their payouts in case their balances are above the minimum payout threshold. “It has been a blast working on this project over the past 18 months… Thank you all for the great time we had together,” the developers added.
$7.7 Million in Eos Stolen by Hacker
Around $7.7 million worth of the EOS cryptocurrency has been stolen by a hacker. The theft was revealed last week in a Telegram post by a community of EOS cryptocurrency owners called EOS42. According to a report by Zdnet, the heist took place after one of 21 maintainers of an EOS blacklist failed to do its job.
The unnamed user who discovered the hack followed a standard security procedure of the Eos blockchain allowing the blacklisting of malicious accounts. It involved notifying the top 21 block producers of the malicious account’s Eos address.
These miners are supposed to update a blacklist of banned Eos addresses. Digital asset trading platforms use the list to ban malicious accounts and prevent the transfer of stolen funds. However, the system implemented to prevent hacks failed to do so in this case.
The EOS42 team explained in a blogpost that hacked accounts can be emptied even if only one top 21 block producer does not have an updated blacklist. According to their statement published on Medium, “a newly rotated top 21 BP failed to apply the blacklist.” A platform developing Eos-based blockchain games has been identified as the block producer that did not run the latest version of the blacklist.
Crypto Entrepreneur Arrested for Fraud
The crypto businessman who made headlines last December with a money-throwing stunt on a street in Hong Kong was arrested this week. Wong Ching Kit is suspected of fraud related to the sale of cryptocurrency mining equipment, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reported. According to the news outlet, the 25-year-old entrepreneur has been detained along with a member of his company.
Both men have been accused of conspiracy to defraud investors by selling them mining devices for a cryptocurrency called Filecoin. Hong Kong police conducted searches in Wong’s office and the homes of the two, seizing cash, documents and computers. Law enforcement officials have also frozen assets belonging to Wong’s company at an estimated value of around $5 million Hong Kong dollars (over $600,000).
Ho Yui Kuen, Chief Inspector at Hong Kong’s Commercial Crime Bureau, told media that police have received reports from 18 people since December who alleged they were coaxed by Wong’s company. They have reportedly lost over 2.6 million Hong Kong dollars ($330,000).
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