The United States Treasury’s Department, Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) has sanctioned two Chinese officials and accused them of cryptocurrency laundering. OFAC accused the two to have been in connection with a 2018 cryptocurrency exchange hack by the Lazarus Group. Moreover, the US Department of Justice indicted both of them with money laundering.

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Juiadong Li and Yinyin Tian are allegedly linked to activities of the Lazarus Group.

A malicious cybersecurity wing that law enforcement believe has links with the North Korean government. Following the announcement of the indictment, Secretary Steven Mnuchin said the following:

“The North Korean regime has continued its widespread campaign of extensive cyber-attacks on financial institutions to steal funds. The United States will continue to protect the global financial system by holding accountable those who help North Korea engage in cyber-crime.”

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The users of Coinbase Wallet could now be able to transfer digital currencies to “short human-friendly addresses,” in addition to the ones which were created with the help of Ethereum Name Service (ENS).

On Tuesday Siddharth Coelho-Prabhu, the product lead declared that Coinbase Wallet now supported personalized wallet usernames for transferring digital currencies, except the traditional long ones like “0x89136a83664fa0673930be34463e444260775dc”.

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The Customizable Address Will Make The Privacy Better

According to a blog post by Coelho-Prabhu, they believed these developments would make digital currencies much simpler to use and help encourage adoption among a larger mainstream audience.

Sent live Tuesday, customers could transfer digital currencies by asking receivers for their Wallet usernames such as “@walletfan” and use them as the transferring addresses. There was also an advantage to keep usernames private.

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A 25-year-old former Microsoft worker, Volodymyr Kvashuk is convicted for stealing a load of cryptocurrencies from its employer. Kvashuk was a Ukrainian citizen and a software developer at Microsoft from 2016 to 2018. The worker is charged for 18 federal felonies for stealing $10 million worth of digital currency and then using them for purchasing extravagant properties such as a lakefront home worth $1.2 million and a Telstra vehicle worth $160,000.

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During a testing program held for Microsoft’s online sales platform, Kvashuk created fake test account. He acquired the currency stored value and then sold them online.

To hide the source of currencies, Kvashuk used a bitcoin mixing service. The worker even used the test accounts of other employees, reported the US Attorney’s Office. He moved $2.8 million worth Bitcoin to his bank accounts after seven months of illegal pursuit and then filed fake tax forms to make it look legal. …

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Vodafone was seen gaining Bitcoiners attention through a new Bitcoin advertisement on its Facebook page. Earlier, Vodafone became the 8th firm to disassociate itself from the Libra cryptocurrency project of Facebook.

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A Response To Facebook’s Libra

Initially, Libra’s network intended to have partner companies to operate the PoS(Point-of-Sale) validation nodes for the cryptocurrency’s network for a reasonable fee. The involvement of regulatory bodies paused the forward momentum of Facebook’s Libra. Almost 8 of the 10 firms who became members earlier chose to walk away from the Libra project. In January 2020, Vodafone walked away from this ambitious crypto project.

Some saw the introduction of a Bitcoin-focused Vodafone advertisement on the firm’s Facebook profile as a veiled outrage directed at Facebook.

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CEO of crypto exchange Binance, Changpeng Zhao has suggested that the highly bullish block reward halving factor hasn’t kicked in, thus current bitcoins (BTC) price volatility is not to be worried about. He also suggested that Bitcoin’s movement will go upwards during an interview on February 20.

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Binance CEO explained that taking the past into account, Bitcoin’s reward halving has lead to a positive influence on the price. While he admitted that there’s no guarantee of what the price would be after halving, he stated that he expects a miner to spend double the amount to mine a single coin.

Changpeng Zhao Notes Other Factors That Can Contribute to Halving

Zhao noted that an asset’s price is determined not by the cost of production but by its demand, but still, he holds the view that miners will not fancy selling below the production cost.

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bZx, the Decentralized Finance (DeFi) lending protocol, has been on the receiving end of another malicious exploitation. Just days after the protocol suffered a $350k worth of crypto loss, it has been hit by a second attack that has led to the loss of an estimated 2,388 ETH. This time around, the protocol has been hit using its own flash loans which it activated just yesterday. This has led to the firm halting offering its services until further notice.

In addition, bZx co-founder Kyle Kistner, through the firm’s Telegram channel, claimed that the latest attack was executed by manipulation of price oracle. The hacker is estimated to have gotten away with 2,388 ETH worth about $645, 000 at the time. However, the previous exploitation happened on the protocol’s fulcrum platform. An estimated 2% of the total assets under management were stolen.

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