HitBTC Users Cannot Move or Withdraw USDT Due to “Currency Operations not Available” Error

Most cryptocurrency users are concerned over the USDT issue. With so many new tokens in circulation and no independent audit, things have become very dubious. TO make matters worse, it now seems HitBTC users can no longer move USDT either. Withdrawing is impossible and trading with this “altcoin” is very spotty. This is not a good development by any means. Moreover, the exchange’s support team seemingly has no explanation for this development either.

There have been quite a few oddities with Tether in recent months. Their issuance of USDT tokens has been documented multiple times. It seems new tokens are brought into circulation every time the Bitcoin price takes a big hit. This may still be a big coincidence, but few people seemingly believe that. It is evident things aren’t adding up and speculation will run wild until we see official clarification regarding this matter.

More USDT Woes to Deal With

To make things worse, it seems HitBTC users can no longer use or withdraw USDT. That is a rather worrisome development, even though it is one of the smaller exchanges. People have reported issues with this site for a few days now, most of which seems to be related to USDT trading. It is uncanny how this “asset” can effectively cause so many problems in quick succession. How all of these issues will be resolved, remains to be seen.

Adding to the list of oddities are the growing number of unconfirmed transactions from one of Tether’s wallets. More specifically, Omnichest shows several dozen unconfirmed outgoing transactions. Unlike previous transactions, these are not for big amounts per se. Some transactions are as small as 600 USDT.  Nor are they labeled as “Grant Tokens” either. Something isn’t adding up in this regard, that much is rather evident. How this will affect HitBTC and possibly other exchanges moving forward, remains to be seen.

For now, it remains unclear if this is a Tether or HitBTC issue. We do know the Omni developers added a feature for centralized issuers to freeze specific wallets. It is highly doubtful Tether would do something like that for HitBTC, though. At the same time, one can’t deny the possibility exists, even though it would serve no real purpose. A lot of frustrating things are going on with HitBTC and USDT, that much is evident. The “currency operations not available” error is certainly worrisome.

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The price of bitcoin has risen from yesterday… Another ten dollars at the time of this writing, thereby placing the price at around $245…

In the midst of this good news, however, I’m not so sure if we should be celebrating or if we should still be worried.  The price of bitcoin has jumped about $20 over the last two weeks, and while this is indeed a refreshing sign for most, there are several problems currently running amok in the bitcoin community.

bitcoin price security cartoon

Between the recent string of hackings on BTER, Excoin and HitBTC that have caused probably millions of dollars in bitcoins to disappear, it may be a little too early to break out the champagne.  It seems to me that security is a huge issue right now, and the question I often ask myself is, “What can we do?”  I am not an IT expert, and thus I cannot make any suggestions about what to do in situations like this.  How could such a string of attacks occur?  Furthermore, how could they still be occurring?  The havoc isn’t quite over yet.  As I reported yesterday, exchanges such as Huobi and Shapeshift.io have now reported security breaches, and the attacks all appear to be related (though evidence suggesting so is currently limited).

It’s times like these when bitcoin and digital currency distrust really grows, and while I hate to admit it, I really can’t blame people for their fears when they witness events like these.  I often wonder if these kinds of circumstances will eventually lead to the death of everyone’s favorite cryptocurrency, and while it may be a little too early to tell, several feel that bitcoin doesn’t have much of a future ahead.  Companies such as Bitreserve, for example, are going so far as to say bitcoin will be gone in a number of years, and you can’t help wondering… Do they have a point?

What do you all think?  Will continual attacks such as those on BTER, Excoin and HitBTC eventually lead to bitcoin’s end?  Or will the digital currency stand strong?  Post your thoughts and comments below.

The Chief Technical Officer of OKCoin, Changpeng Zhao is leaving his position with the exchange after only eight months allegedly due to creative differences with the men upstairs.

While neither party has commented about the nature that led to the separation, I cannot help but wonder if the recent bitcoin-related problems being experienced in China had anything to do with Zhao’s exit.  OKCoin, after all, is a China-based bitcoin exchange, and when talking about his future plans, Zhao mentioned that he is still open to a positon in the bitcoin commercial community, but that the current state of affairs in the digital currency world could force him to take an extended leave:

okcoin CTO makes an exit (2)

 

“I am pretty sure I will still be in the bitcoin space.  I think we’ve entered a winter phase in the bitcoin industry, but I strongly believe it will pass.”

Winter phase indeed… We’re all aware of the alleged Ponzi scheme that took place within the corporate borders of MyCoin, the China-based exchange that sunk into the depths with over $8 million of its investors’ funds.  Following this event, bitcoin exchange BTER suffered a vicious cyberattack that saw to the theft of nearly $2,000,000 in bitcoins.  Since the fate of BTER has been confirmed, similar circumstances have been witnessed with exchanges Excoin and HitBTC, and other platforms such as Huobi (also based in China) have encountered security breaches.  The attacks continuing, China’s lawmakers have been very strict these past few weeks when it comes to placing a full ban on bitcoin and related digital currencies.

Given all this, one can easily assume that Zhao is probably saving himself from what is looking like a problematic future.  If indeed things do escalate in such a way in the bitcoin world, and if the country does eventually place a ban on bitcoin, it would probably be best if Zhao and other figures in his position do their best to protect themselves.  While the future of bitcoin in China remains unconfirmed for the time being, an extended leave might do all bitcoin enthusiasts in the East some good… At least until the malicious side of things die down a bit.

The price of bitcoin has jumped up to about $236.  Last week, we saw the price hovering around the low $220 range, and while the digital currency did undergo a surge over the weekend that saw it rise in price by nearly $50, it has now been suggested that this was all part of the present hacking scam…

It all started with BTER, where nearly $2 million were stolen by alleged cyber thieves.  Now, the news has come forth that HitBTC was “hit,” along with Excoin and a number of banks.  It is believed by some that the hackers somehow managed to get their hands on the price and manipulate it to suggest a massive surge.  People would be so distracted that the string of future hacks set to take place would go unnoticed, and to some extent, if this is what happened… It worked.

this is sparta Bitcoin Thoughts on bitcoin

Now the price has dropped back down, but the good news is that there is still a bit of a rise over what we witnessed last week, and we are faced once again with the age old question… What does make the bitcoin price go up and down?  What are the primary factors affecting it?

Sometimes, it even feels like good news brings the price to a halt.  Following the announcement of Coinbase’s Lunar Exchange, we witnessed a massive surge in price, only to see an equally heavy downfall almost a day later.  Why so sudden, and why so drastic?  Did the “lunar love” die off that quickly?

Now the string of hackings may have a negative effect on the price (similar circumstances were witnessed following the Bitstamp attack), so something is telling me that $236 is not something we should get terribly used to yet… So let’s enjoy it while it’s here and prepare for the future as best we can.

As it turns out, we were all so concerned with the recent attack on BTER that we didn’t even notice the other hacks occurring on “neighboring” exchanges, and while evidence is currently limited, it is being whispered amongst members of the crypto community that all three attacks were coordinated, heavily planned and are possibly even linked.

Recently, exchanges Excoin and HitBTC joined BTER as the latest groups to suffer a hack, and it is being reported that millions have been stolen from a great number of financial institutions, suggesting that it’s not just the bitcoin arena that’s been hit.

Both HitBTC and Excoin are not revealing just how much was taken, but at the same time, it was apparently enough for both sites to go down temporarily.  Excoin later posted on its Twitter account that they would be back online in the near future:

“I apologize for the lack of updates, we are working with our data center to find a solution.  We will be back and running soon.”

Bitcoin Hacking

That doesn’t appear to be an option now, however.  As much as $300 million has been stolen, while other sources are reporting the stolen amount as nearly $1 billion.  The New York Times is reporting that cyber-security firm Kaspersky Lab has compiled evidence that the attacks were originally planned back in 2013, and part of the problem is that the banks work so secretly that the thefts were never fully reported.

The Times states:

“The silence around the investigation appears motivated in part by the reluctance of banks to concede that their systems were so easily penetrated and in part by the fact that the attacks appear to be continuing.”

Continuing is the key word, here.

Popular Chinese Bitcoin exchange Bter went offline after being struck by a 7,170 BTC theft.

The incident first came to the spotlight when some of the Bter users noticed a number of elite transactions moving from Bter’s cold wallet to a random Bitcoin wallet address. After their successful completion, the aforesaid amount was further transacted to another wallet, a screenshot of which can be seen below.

Bter Bitcoin hack

A few hours after the suspicious Bitcoin fund transfers, Bter issued a notice describing the actuality of this event. “7,170 BTC got stolen from our cold wallet in the transaction,” the exchange informed followers by a transaction status link. “All wallets have been shut down and withdrawals of unaffected coins will be arranged later,” it added.

In between the aforementioned notices, Bter also announced a bounty of 720 BTC to whoever will bring the stolen funds back.

Post Bter, HitBTC Also Went Offline

Soon after the notification of Bter, some users also complained about their inability to withdraw funds from their respective HitBTC accounts. It might be possible that this exchange simply froze their services as a matter of precaution. We would soon update our readers as soon as the story progresses.

Bitcoin Market Crashed

Bitcoin value crash

Right after enjoying a steep $40 surge, Bitcoin value crashed back to near 230 in the last few hours. A conspiracy theory is circulating in the market that the previous bullish rally was nothing but manipulated, probably inflated artificially by the hacker to inject optimism inside the market. As the value topped its intra-week best, the hacker dumped a substantial chunk of its steal in USD markets and eventually went away with an inflated amount.

We will continue to monitor this entire event. Kindly stay tuned to newsbtc.com for more updates.