Indonesia’s Largest Crypto Exchange INDODAX to Overtake Country’s Stock Exchange


Indonesia Digital Asset Exchange, or INDODAX — the largest Indonesian cryptocurrency exchange — is set to bypass the nation’s century-old stock exchange in the number of users. According to Chief Executive Officer Oscar Darmawan, INDODAX, formerly known as, will have 1.5 million members buying and selling digital currencies like Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Ripple by the end of the year.

The platform, which went live in 2014, currently has 1.14 million users. This is in contrast to Indonesia Stock Exchange, which offers stocks, futures, and exchange-traded funds and has only 1.18 million registered participants, according to data from the Indonesia Central Securities Depository.

“We are seeing almost 3,000 new members signing up everyday,” Darmawan said. “Most people are trading in Bitcoins though transactions in Ethereum has increased significantly of late.”


As of today, the platform is undergoing a rebrand, changing its name from to the Indonesia Digital Asset Exchange or INDODAX. Darmawan said that one of the reasons for relabeling the exchange was to reaffirm the company’s position as a digital asset exchange:

“Many people recognized us as a payment system using Bitcoin. In fact, we didn’t intend to have such payment system,” Darmawan said in a press conference today at the Kempinski Hotel in Jakarta.

The exchange is currently focused on the rebranding project, and Darmawan has claimed the transaction and company structure will not be affected during the process, assuring the exchange’s users that they will not experience significant negative impacts: “We guarantee our members won’t be affected because we’re conducting the rebranding process smoothly,” he said.

That said, Oscar was reluctant to detail the process(es) involved with INDODAX legal structure during the rebranding. “We’ll release our official statement after it’s all done. The process is underway now,” he concluded.

Bank Indonesia

Earlier this year, Bank Indonesia took a firm stance against cryptocurrencies. The bank announced that it does not deem digital currencies legal tender, and urged all parties to refrain from owning, selling, or trading in them. The move highlighted the challenges currently faced by regulators across the globe as they seek to manage the potential risks associated with cryptocurrencies, but often don’t have the means to out-right ban their use. 

“Owning virtual currencies is very risky and inherently speculative,” the central bank said in the January statement. Saying, “digital tokens are prone to forming asset bubbles and tend to be used as method for money laundering and terrorism funding, so it has the potential to affect financial-system stability and harm the public.”

With INDODAX set to overtake Indonesia’s stock exchange in users, it’s not clear whether many of the country’s citizens have heeded to Bank Indonesia’s warnings. 

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Recap: Binance Attack

On March 7th, the second-largest cryptocurrency exchange by market cap, Binance, almost fell victim to large-scale attack. According to the company, the attack — which took place over just a two minute period — was part of a well-organized phishing and stealing attempt. Fortunately,  when all was said and done, users funds were declared safe.

What happened? Hackers used account information obtained through several months of phishing and strategically placed a large number of market buys on the VIA/BTC market, pushing the price high, while 31 pre-deposited accounts were there selling VIA at the top in an attempt to move the Bitcoin from the phished accounts to 31 accounts controlled by the hackers. Withdrawal requests were then attempted from these accounts immediately afterwards.

In a blog post, Binance described how it played-out as follows: “As withdrawals were already automatically disabled by our risk management system, none of the withdrawals successfully went out. Additionally, the VIA coins deposited by the hackers were also frozen. Not only did the hacker not steal any coins out, their own coins have also been withheld.”

“Binance Hacker Bounty”

Today, in response to these attempted thefts, Binance issued a statement entitled “Binance Hacker Bounty.” In it, they explain that this most recent attack highlights the fact that the industry can’t simply play defense. The company explains how the hackers were well organized and patient: waiting for the most opportune moment to act and utilizing VIA, a coin with small liquidity, to maximize their gains.

Because of this, Binance is offering:

 “A $250,000 USD equivalent bounty to anyone who supplies information that leads to the legal arrest of the hackers involved in the attempted hacking incident on Binance on March 7th, 2018.”

The company outlines how the process will work: a person who provides information leading to the arrest will receive their payout in BNB, Binance’s self-issued coin, and if it’s multiple people, the company will split the bounty at its digression amongst those involved.

And there’s more. Binance also states that it has allocated the equivalent of $10,000,000 USD in crypto reserves for future bounty awards against any illegal hacking attempts on the exchange. And even further, the company asks others in the industry to join them in this offensive move against future potential hacks, saying:

“We have also invited other exchanges and crypto businesses to join our initiative. We welcome their participation at any time.”

This call-to-arms come as other crypto companies across the globe are banding together to address the regulatory and safety issues that are impacting the industry. Let’s hope other exchanges will follow Binance’s lead, and take their own proactive steps to protect users from the ever-increasing challenges hackers and cyber-criminals bring to the crypto industry.

Two Indian cryptocurrency exchanges have halted trading amongst fears of a crackdown. Although the Indian government has expressed keen interest in blockchain-based technologies, cryptocurrencies are not regulated in the country. And while it hasn’t yet introduced restrictions on the coins, the threat of doing so has been enough to spook some in the industry.

In an email to its customers, BTCXIndia, which bought and sold Ripple, stated that it would not be accepting new deposits. BTCXIndia, which bought and sold Ethereum, advised its customers to withdraw their funds on or before March 4th. So far, they are the only Indian trading platforms to have closed down. Others, like Zebpay, Unocoin, and Coinsecure, are still doing business.

Kamesh Mupparaju, the founder and CEO of the exchanges, said they ceased operations because of threatening language. “If there is a sudden [order] to withdraw the funds, that would mean trouble for the customers,” Muppajaru told CNN.

“As we heard in the budget speech, the Indian government is discouraging crypto currency trading. This has been clear also by government actions in the last year, and has put our business under a lot of stress and putting us in a position where we don’t feel that we can continue our business in a professional manner any longer.”

Officials in the country have repeatedly warned citizens not to trade in digital currencies. The finance ministry compared them to “Ponzi schemes” in late December, and Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said in February that the government would eliminate their use “in financing illegitimate activities or as part of the payment system.” India’s central bank has also warned that those who invest in cryptocurrencies do so “at their own risk.”

Changing Direction

The exchanges are not dropping off completely. In the email from BTCXIndia, the company informed users that it’s simply shifting gears, moving away from cryptocurrencies and more towards advising corporate clients adopting blockchain-based technologies:

“We are launching full-fledged blockchain labs on March 09, 2018 for Blockchain based application development and consultancy. We hope that this work will help the government seeing the huge benefits that India can derive from blockchain technologies, and eventually promote progressive and clear regulation also for the public blockchain space.”

Mupparaju founded BTCXIndia as a Bitcoin exchange in 2014, but switched to Ripple in March of last year after bitcoin’s epic price surge made it too expensive for most of his customers. He launched ETHEXIndia a year before, in March 2016.

Similar to other cryptocurrency companies, exchanges need to keep evolving. In the case of Bitfinex, the company is planning to launch their third major trading platform. Late last year, they introduced Ethfinex for Ethereum-oriented trading. It now sees they will provide a decentralized trading platform on the EOS.IO platform. As such, EOSfinex is born, a brand new trading platform for everyone to enjoy. It will be quite interesting to see what the future holds for this new platform.

EOSfinex is the first high-performance decentralized exchange platform built on top of EOS technology. This will help Bitfinex push the boundaries of the cryptocurrency market and its trading aspects. By focusing primarily on scalability and speed, this new platform will certainly be appealing to a lot of users. It is still a trustless and transparent platform capable of providing an on-chain experience first and foremost. There is a growing demand for decentralized exchange experiences, that much is evident.

EOSfinex Offers a Decentralized Exchange Experience

Bitfinex has been working on implementing new protocol-level technologies first and foremost. Such tools need to be able to handle high volume and bring out the best of blockchain technology. As such, the Bitfinex team focuses on EOS as of right now, as the project has the most merit in their opinion. Processing tens of thousands of transactions per second will still be challenging. At the same time, this technology may offer low fees and fast confirmation times. That is, assuming the real-world test of this technology lives up to the expectations.

Bitfinex CEO J.L. van der Velde comments as follows:

“We are excited to leverage to further advance the field of high performance and trustless on-chain exchange. continues to display an unwavering dedication to improving blockchain scalability through the EOS.IO platform and it is our hope that this collaboration will allow significant advancement for all decentralized exchange.”

For now, we will have to wait and see when EOSfinex will go live. As of right now, there is no official ETA or deadline for this venture. If EOSFinex is even remotely as successful as Bitfinex, things will get interesting for the cryptocurrency industry as a whole. With more decentralized exchange solutions, the need for centralized trading platforms will eventually disappear. That can only be considered to be a positive trend for this decentralized industry.

Many different lessons can be learned from the Coincheck debacle. The heist on this Bitcoin exchange raises a lot of questions and provides few answers. Additionally, it seems criminals will continue to exploit any sort of weakness on centralized platforms. As such, there is a growing need for decentralized trading solutions. These decentralized exchanges will be of great interest to cryptocurrency users worldwide. Even so, this new business model is not without its flaws either.

Several companies and projects already provide a decentralized exchange model. EtherDelta and BarterDEX are two of those examples. They cut out the middleman and let users trade currencies directly. It’s an intriguing business model, although one that still needs some work. In the case of EtherDelta, a few vulnerabilities have been discovered already. The centralized web front-end of this decentralized exchange still attracts criminal activity. Although only minor heists occurred, it is evident things will need to change.

Decentralized Exchanges are the Future

With the recent Coincheck hack, it is evident we need to move away from centralized solutions. That is much easier said than done, to say the least. Centralized trading platforms are very convenient for both novice and veteran users. Despite the convenience, users have to give up the control of their private keys. Most people seemingly have no problem with that, even though they should know better by now. Decentralized trading solutions are not as convenient, as they usually require users to set up and run the software themselves.

How decentralized exchanges will evolve, remains to be seen. There is a genuine interest in this business model, but the current solutions are not as secure as they could be. Moreover, these platforms don’t verify user identities either. Although that isn’t necessarily a problem, it also poses a lot of new challenges. This is especially true when trying to recover lost or stolen funds on behalf of users. In the case of EtherDelta, for example, funds have not been recovered to date.

It’s a matter of time until this situation improves. Decentralized exchanges will eventually become the new normal sooner or later. For now, these solutions struggle to generate a lot of trading volume. This is mainly due to the lack of convenience when using these tools. In an ideal future, the majority of cryptocurrency trading volume will originate from decentralized exchanges. New platforms are showing up on a regular basis, which creates more positive competition.

A lot of things have happened in the world of cryptocurrency. Upbit, one of Korea’s oldest trading platforms, had all but disappeared from people’s mind in the past few months. That is somewhat surprising, as the platform was only launched in October of 2017. Ever since that time, the company has not been too transparent regarding its daily transaction volume. Surprisingly, they did so earlier this week, and the results are somewhat shocking. In fact, they are now the world’s biggest exchange in terms of daily transactions.

It is good to see Upbit make a name for itself in the world of cryptocurrency. Although the platform hasn’t been around that long, it is of great interest to its users. More specifically, their 24-hour trading volume last night shattered most records to date. Nearly 5 trillion Won – worth $4.62bn – was exchanged on this platform in 24 hours. That is a very steep amount, although it is not entirely surprising either. South Korean trading platforms are dominating all trades these days and things will not change anytime soon.

Upbit Notes an Impressive Trading Volume

The disclosure of the Upbit trading volume is rather controversial. it is unclear why the company is doing so only now. After all, these metrics are shared by all other trading platforms without any problems. It seems the company purposefully waited until a major development could be reported. It is evident these numbers make some other exchanges pale in comparison. Upbit even successfully surpassed Binance in terms of trading volume, which is rather impressive.

It will be interesting to see how things will evolve in the future. More specifically, the South Korean government wants to clamp down on cryptocurrency trading. Whether or not they will be successful in this regard, remains to be seen, though. Domestic cryptocurrency trading is subject to major speculation and irrational behavior. That is evident by the current cryptocurrency prices most people see on these platforms right now. Curbing this enthusiasm will not straightforward or even appreciated.

It is unclear what the future holds for Upbit and other cryptocurrency exchanges. For now, the regulatory measures in South Korea have made a negative impact on the markets already. This is only a temporary dip which will eventually lead to higher lows, though. Upbit has a big role to play in the future of cryptocurrency, that much is evident. Whether or not they can keep producing such massive trading volume, remains to be determined. It is not unlikely this is only the beginning for the South Korean exchange.

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Traders in Asia have a huge influence on cryptocurrency markets. So much so that when news comes out of South Korea of police raids on exchanges and a possible all-out crypto ban the markets take a nose dive.

Two of the largest exchanges in the country and the rest of the world were raided by police and tax inspectors this week. This is not the first time the government has tried to quash the fervor for crypto in the Southeast Asian nation. South Korea is responsible for up to 20% of the global trade in cryptocurrencies so what happens there will have a ripple effect on the markets. Evidence of this can clearly be seen during the Asian trading session this morning as all assets are plummeting as panic selling ensues.

The world’s second largest crypto exchange, Bithumb, was raided this week as staff told reporters that they were asked to disclose paperwork to tax inspectors. Coinone was also targeted in the raids in what appears to be another government fear mongering effort;

“A few officials from the National Tax Service raided our office this week. Local police also have been investigating our company since last year, they think what we do is gambling,” 

Reports have also emerged of banks that offer crypto accounts being raided on accounts of crime prevention. The South Korean government is developing a system that seeks to ban the use of anonymous trading accounts according to local press Yonhap News. Under the measure, only real-name bank accounts and matching accounts at cryptocurrency exchanges can be used for deposits and withdrawals, while the issuance of new virtual accounts to cryptocurrency exchanges will be banned.

The government is also seeking to strengthen requirements of local crypto exchanges to prevent money laundering and toughen punishments for crimes related to virtual currency according to reports.

As usual, the media frenzy followed and a selloff has begun during the Asian session this morning. News outlets such as CNBC misreporting that South Korea has banned trading does not help the matter. All cryptos are in the red at the time of writing with Bitcoin falling 25% from $17,500 to just over $13,000. Ethereum and Litecoin are also retracting but Ripple has taken the biggest hit with a 50% drop in less than a week.

Clampdowns in Korea will always happen, trading has not been banned and there is no need to panic. Smart traders will use these opportunities to take advantages of dips in a market that has already seen an explosive growth in the past month, not so smart ones will panic sell.

The year 2017 has been incredibly positive for most cryptocurrency exchanges. All platforms saw their user base grow, which is always a positive outcome. At the same time, it also means these companies need to start upgrading their infrastructure sooner or later. Otherwise, they will suffer from degraded services, such as Kraken and Coinbase. Binance is halting new user registrations due to the overwhelming influx of new traders.

In a way, it is good to see exchanges halt new user registrations ahead of time. More specifically, if the infrastructure gets taxed too much, things will deteriorate pretty quickly. Companies such as Kraken and Coinbase know all too well how things can get out of hand. Binance wants to remain ahead of the curve at all times. To do so, they are not accepting any new users until an internal upgrade has been completed. A smart decision by the company, as it will avoid unnecessary friction.

A Major Step Forward by Binance

While this is not a popular decision, it does make a lot of sense.All services will remain operational for the time being. New users will simply have to wait until the infrastructure upgrade is complete. For now, we don’t know how long this will take, though. The popularity of Binance should not be underestimated by any means. It has quickly become one of the hottest altcoin exchanges in the world. That popularity will only increase further if they continue to provide an optimal service.

If Coinmarketcap is to be believed, Binance is the biggest cryptocurrency trading platform in the world. Their daily volume has surpassed $2.5bn, which is rather impressive. It simply makes sense to implement the necessary upgrades at such a critical time. After all, if the company were to suffer from issues, their reputation would take a major hit. It’s always best to scale well in advance, rather than wait for problems to arise. There is still a growing demand for cryptocurrencies, that much is rather evident.

Such rapid growth in the world of cryptocurrency is rather unprecedented. After all, things were trucking along nicely until mid-2017. Ever since it feels as if we are in a new gold rush era. Everyone wants to sue exchanges and buy cryptocurrency. A positive development, assuming companies can scale quickly enough. Whether or not Binance will be successful in doing so, remains to be determined. Their course of action certainly hints at a positive future in this regard.

It’s always good to see existing cryptocurrency services support new currencies. In the case of ShapeShift, they have been adding quite a few coins throughout 2017. It seems this trend will carry over into 2018, as the first new currency has been added already. NEO, one of the top 15 cryptocurrencies, is now available for trading on this platform.

Supporting different currencies is the bread and butter of ShapeShift. This service allows users to convert between different currencies without creating an account. Although it can’t be used for major transactions in one go, it has a certain appeal. Especially for users who don’t want to rely on regular exchanges, such a platform can make a big difference. After all, it is convenient, has low fees, and transactions are completed very quickly. Adding NEO to the list of supported currencies makes a lot of sense.

NEO Trading is Live on ShapeShift

As a result of this move, NEO can now be traded against all other supported currencies. This will give the popular altcoin a lot of new trading markets waiting to be explored in the future. Right now, trading NEO is somewhat limited to Bitcoin and Ethereum across most platforms. With ShapeShift, about 30 different combinations are added to this list as we speak. It is always good to have more options at one’s disposal, to say the very least.

As is always the case, it remains to be seen if this will generate more interest in NEO. While it is a popular altcoin, it’s not even close to rivaling Ethereum. That seems a bit odd, considering this altcoin refers to itself as the Ethereum of China. It will be interesting to see how the future plays out for this currency. Its value has gone up steadily throughout 2017 and that trend is still in place during the first week of the new year.

ShapeShift has quickly become one of the most popular cryptocurrency conversion services in the world. Their service is easy to use and a lot of currencies are supported as we speak. The addition of NEO will be beneficial to this company as well, in the long run. For now, it remains to be seen if there is sufficient demand to warrant this addition. Only time will tell if that is effectively the case.

A leading crypto-analyst at EXMO, an exchange based in the UK, has been kidnapped in Ukraine. According to a report in the Telegraph, Pavel Lerner was taken from outside his office in a district of Kiev called Obolon.

The abduction took place on December 26. Reports from local media claim Lerner was dragged into a black Mercedes-Benz as he was leaving work. Exactly who is behind the incident is currently unknown. All the perpetrators concealed their identities using balaclavas.

Curiously, after the news broke about Lerner’s kidnapping, the EXMO exchange experienced a DDOS attack. This temporarily affected trading. However, normal service has since resumed.

Despite the gravity of the incidents affecting the company, a statement from them to RT claimed that the kidnapping would not affect the operation of the exchange and that users needn’t fear the loss of funds from their accounts. It read:

“We are doing everything possible to speed up the search of Pavel Lerner… Any information regarding his whereabouts is very much appreciated. Despite the situation, the exchange is working as usual. We also want to stress that nature of Pavel’s job at EXMO doesn’t assume access either to storages or any personal data of users. All users funds are absolutely safe.”

The kidnapping is the latest in a spate of criminal acts against cryptocurrency exchanges. They’ve become lucrative targets with the prices of digital assets ever-increasing throughout 2017. Being cryptographically-secured, and decentralised, cryptocurrencies themselves, when stored correctly, don’t present many opportunities for cybercriminals. However, vast stores of digital assets, such as those kept by exchanges, provide a suitable honeypot to direct criminal operations toward. This year, several exchanges and centralised cryptocurrency services have had their security comprised.

YouBit fell to cybercriminals twice in 2017 causing them to declare bankruptcy, and Slovenia-based cloud mining firm NiceHash were also victims of similar attacks. Meanwhile, various ICOs have been targeted by cybercriminals, as well as the Ethereum wallet platform Parity. The trend looks set to continue into 2018 as interest in cryptocurrencies increases.

Such examples are causing companies that are new to the space to consider security more than ever. Unnamed sources associated with Goldman Sachs (rumoured to be in the process of opening a trading desk by mid-2018) have acknowledged the importance of keeping their platforms safe from the threat of cyber attacks. The security of client funds represents one of the largest obstacles for them and ensuring they are airtight before they launch is likely behind the delayed the launch of the Goldman trading desk until June of next year.


In the latest statement, EXMO officials reiterated the earlier message and requested the public to share any useful information. The statement reads,

“We are doing everything possible to speed up the search of Pavel Lerner. Any information regarding his whereabouts is very much appreciated. We are kindly asking you to email to [email protected] in case you are aware of any facts that might help the investigation. Despite the situation, the exchange is working as usual. We also want to stress that nature of Pavel’s job at EXMO doesn’t assume access either to storages or any personal data of users. All users funds are absolutely safe.” 

The article originally labeled Pavel Lerner as the Chief Technological Officer at EXMO. However, the company has since then clarified that Lerner was the platform's leading analyst and not the CTO or CEO as few publications have reported.
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