weekly blockchain security roundup

More scams, hacks and exploits this week – starting the new year out with lots of activity! First up – the biggest theft of tokens ever reported.

Japanese exchange Coincheck got hacked a couple days ago for $533 million USD worth of NEM tokens. Apparently the exchange was overwhelmed with activity and never got around to fixing their system, which was simply to conduct all trades from an online “hot” wallet. This is one of the classic fail moves memorialized by MT Gox back in the day – not keeping most money offline in cold storage, then getting hacked.
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lesser known tokens

Thought I’d showcase some of the lesser known tokens. They’re lesser known for good reason in many cases, yet entertaining.

Bit20 (BTWTY) is the Berkshire-Hathaway of the token world, with the price of one token over a million USD. A closer look however, reveals the supply in circulation to be exactly one token, with a market cap of over a million dollars USD for those who can’t do the arithmetic.

Bitconnect (BCC) meanwhile, still enjoys a market cap well over $100 million USD somehow, for some reason which defies logic. Just goes to show that some ponzi schemes are better than others eh? Who is hanging onto these tokens at $18.57 each?

Pizzacoin (PIZZA) is currently trading for just over $0.0025 USD at the time of writing, with a market cap of $3496 USD. Sound like a better deal than an all you can eat at the local brick oven pizzeria? Well probably not, judging by the website, which is simply a domain name pointed at a closed hosting account. The block explorer seems to be out of commission as well, which makes it all the more strange that blocks are getting mined somehow and transactions are happening. In fact, $628 worth of trades were included in blocks in the past 24 hours.

Knockoff tokens, soundalike forks and a few scamcoins

I decided to go digital dumpster diving into the list of top 1000 cryptocurrencies by market cap to see how many Bitcoins I could find. And look how many Bitcoin knockoffs, wannabes, Bitcoin forks, and tricksters there are. Talk about brand dilution!

The whole spectrum is represented here; from early altcoins trying to tinker with basic assumptions about consensus mechanisms or block discovery times, all the way to some that are simply intended to confuse unwary investors.

Here’s the list, sorted by market cap, along with a bit of commentary. They might be sorted in terms of appeal as well, as there are some real stinkers in this bunch!

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