Archive for the ‘Crypto News’ Category

Kraken, one of the big crypto exchange is finally back online after an extended downtime of over two days due to problems experienced during scheduled and long overdue upgrade of the trading system. The long period of downtime for the popular exchange, especially among European users has caused a lot of different rumors and speculations to circle around, even though the exchange has tried to assure users that all funds are safe. The main concern was that people did not have access to their funds stored on the exchange and within turbulent market that could mean a lot of potential losses, especially for day traders. Anyway, the good news is that no funds were lost and any transfers of crypto to the exchange during the downtime should also be available in the user’s balances.

Do note that all orders have been cancelled prior to trading resuming and all trading pairs were launched with no orders on the books, so be extra careful at the moment when placing orders, especially for sales or buys with market price. Withdrawals are currently disabled and will remain disabled for a minimum of 12 hours, for fiat or crypto deposits (initiated before, during or following the downtime) users should allow up to 2 additional business days for funds to be credited. Kraken has also activated zero fee trading for all clients (across non-margin trades) starting today and lasting through the end of this month (January) as an excuse for the caused trouble with the long downtime.

Update: It seems that not all issues have yet been resolved and soon after getting back online the exchange has taken down trading until they resolve a problem with the order book data not being displayed properly.

The first days of the New Year came with an unpleasant surprise for many if not all users of Visa debit cards powered by Bitcoin and/or other crypto currencies as services such as Wirex and Xapo among others just stopped working. The reason was not known at first apart from the fact that the issuer of the actual Visa prepaid cards, a company called WaveCrest, has deactivated them after getting instructed to do so directly from Visa. WaveCrest is the Visa debit card partner for many services offering Bitcoin or other crypto currency wallets that can be accessed and funds in them used through the prepaid debit cards. Below is a quote of the email message sent from WaveCrest to all its customers regarding the issue, not many details revealed as of the reason for cards getting deactivated.

Dear Cardholder,

We, WaveCrest, are the issuer of your Visa Prepaid card, which you have enrolled for through one of our program partners. Visa have today instructed us that we must close all WaveCrest issued Visa Prepaid Cards with immediate effect.

How will this affect you?

Your WaveCrest-issued Visa Prepaid Card will no longer function. However, as your funds were stored in your e-wallet they will remain accessible to you via your wallet provider.

We thank you for your cooperation.

Yours sincerely,
WaveCrest

Services such as Wirex and Xapo are still working and offering their customers access to their funds, though the plastic or virtual cards issued by them are no longer operating while they find another solution with another issues of debit cards. If you are using any other service that is offering a prepaid Visa debit card powered by crypto currencies and it has stopped working suddenly, then the reason is most likely the same – they have used WaveCrest as the card issuer as well. If you are using a service that still has functioning Visa prepaid debit card powered by BTC or another crypto please feel free to share the name of the service as most likely they are using an alternative card issuer. The chances are however that other Visa card issuers like WaveCrest might have also received the same order from Visa to shut down the cards of their crypto partners.

On a side note, we are hearing that in some European countries more and more banks are starting to refuse to accept banks transfers coming from crypto exchanges after being advised to do so from their central banks. Apparently there is something cooking in the EU regarding crypto and this year we might actually see some sort of regulation coming up on a European Union level and we are yet to see if it will be for good or for bad.

Earlier today the NiceHash went into maintenance mode and it has continued for hours, something that does not normally happen with the service, sparking rumours about a hack. A bit later the official confirmation has been posted that the rumored hack has indeed happened, below is a quote of the official statement released by NiceHash with more details to follow soon hopefully…

Official press release regarding the NiceHash security breach

Unfortunately, there has been a security breach involving NiceHash website. We are currently investigating the nature of the incident and, as a result, we are stopping all operations for the next 24 hours.

Importantly, our payment system was compromised and the contents of the NiceHash Bitcoin wallet have been stolen. We are working to verify the precise number of BTC taken.

Clearly, this is a matter of deep concern and we are working hard to rectify the matter in the coming days. In addition to undertaking our own investigation, the incident has been reported to the relevant authorities and law enforcement and we are co-operating with them as a matter of urgency.

We are fully committed to restoring the NiceHash service with the highest security measures at the earliest opportunity.

We would not exist without our devoted buyers and miners all around the globe. We understand that you will have a lot of questions, and we ask for patience and understanding while we investigate the causes and find the appropriate solutions for the future of the service. We will endeavour to update you at regular intervals.

While the full scope of what happened is not yet known, we recommend, as a precaution, that you change your online passwords.

We are truly sorry for any inconvenience that this may have caused and are committing every resource towards solving this issue as soon as possible.


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