OKEx hosts events in Lagos, Cape Town, Accra, Nairobi and Osogbo amid major push into Africa

Cape Town — SEPTEMBER 25, 2019 — OKEx, the world’s largest spot and futures digital asset exchange, today announced its entry into the African market to provide professional, secure, and convenient digital asset trading to cryptocurrency users and newcomers. OKEx is dedicated to providing resources that will facilitate blockchain adoption in emerging markets, including those in Africa. Company leaders are hosting a series of meetups this month in African cities, including Lagos, Cape Town, and Accra, with upcoming events in Nairobi, Kenya and Osogbo, Nigeria. 

In recent years, unstable political environments and the depreciation of fiat currencies in Africa have prompted citizens to move their assets to crypto or alternative investment opportunities. South Africa, for example, has the fifth highest cryptocurrency adoption rate in the world. Yet despite widespread interest in cryptocurrencies, many people have encountered challenges in safely and securely buying, trading, and managing their digital assets. Research shows that many people give up on cryptocurrencies because they are too impractical, and that 19 percent of people who use cryptocurrencies have been hacked on an exchange. 

“Cryptocurrency exchanges have a responsibility to their customers to provide a safe, secure, and user-friendly experience,” said Andy Cheung, OKEx’s Head of Operations, who grew up in South Africa. “Our goal at OKEx is to usher in a new era of cryptocurrency adoption in Africa, and we’ll do this by providing a level of approachability and professionalism that thus far has not been delivered in this ecosystem.”

Along with Andy Cheung, OKEx recently brought on blockchain solutions architect and fintech business developer Khaya Maloney to oversee this new market. OKEx’s next meetups in Africa will be held on September 21 in Nairobi, Kenya and September 28 in Osogbo, Nigeria. For more information, please click here

ABOUT OKEx

OKEx is a world-leading digital asset exchange headquartered in Malta, offering comprehensive digital asset trading services including fiat-to-token trading, spot trading, and derivatives trading to traders globally with blockchain technology. Currently, the exchange offers over 400 token and futures trading pairs enabling users to optimize their strategies.

Bitcoin SV Vision: Episode 24

The Bitcoin SV (BSV) community has never been busier, with developers, merchants and consumers turning to BSV in increasing numbers. In the latest episode of Bitcoin Vision, founding president of the Bitcoin Association Jimmy Nguyen discussed some of the most exciting developments in the world of BSV, including an important update on the 2nd Bitcoin SV Virtual Hackathon.

Run virtually in August, the Hackathon was organized by blockchain research firm nChain, and sponsored by CoinGeek. The response to the event was overwhelming, with applications from teams spanning no fewer than 35 countries globally.

Of those, Nguyen reported that 18 made it to the finish line with qualifying submissions, which were then filtered by the judging panel to leave the final three.

The theme of the event was “the use of bitcoin,” with teams tasked with developing apps that offer meaningful ways for ordinary people to engage with BSV micropayments.

The first finalist is BitQ&A, a question and answer application that allows users to ask questions and receive answers, incentivized by BSV rewards. Hailed as an effective incentive model for growing knowledge in the BSV community, the app is seen as a potentially valuable resource for BSV developers in future.

The second finalist is Codugh, which allows developers to monetize API calls in BSV. Consumers spend bitcoin when they call APIs, which solves a currently difficult-to-monetize yet crucial development activity.

They are joined by Hive, an app for organizing knowledge through BSV. Hive organizes data into beehive structures by topic, which can be linked to other hives in order to create a more coherent pool of information — akin to structuring the Internet in a more user-friendly way, with the help of BSV.

A rep from each team will be flown to the CoinGeek Seoul Conference 2019, taking place at the Le Meridien Hotel on October 1-2, where the judges will consider and unveil the winning team.

The episode also explores RateSV, a platform which allows users to earn BSV by investing in a real-time financial data channel. Channels can earn through API requests or by hosting ads, with rewards paid in BSV. Version 2.0 is expected to launch this month.

Crypto exchange OKEx, the world’s 12th largest by volume, has announced a daily settlement option for BSV futures, down from the currently once-per-week settlement. Designed to deliver an optimized trading experience, the move comes after a little over seven months of support for BSV.

OKEx exchange denies allegations it manipulated the crypto markets

OKEx exchange denies allegations it manipulated the crypto markets

Customers of the OKEx cryptocurrency exchange woke up recently to find that the exchange had fooled around with options on its platform. OKEx had settled Bitcoin BCH futures contracts with virtually no warning prior to last week’s hard fork of the BCH blockchain, leading to what some are calling “multi-million-dollar” losses. In fact, one investor said that his fund dropped $700,000 almost instantaneously because OKEx closed the contracts at a level different than what was reflected in market prices. The decision has caused a hurricane of bad press for the exchange, with many calling for an investigation. As is to be expected, the exchange has publicly come forward to that it did nothing wrong.

A Medium user, “AMBER AI,” addressed the issue in a recent post, accusing OKEx of “outright market manipulation and one of the more serious acts of fraud in the history of limit order book trading in the cryptocurrency markets.”

The poster added that traders have lost as much as $24 million over the decision. The post continues, “The course of events surrounding the BCH hard fork are indicative of market manipulation, fraud and deceit.”

After OKEX made the move, it weakly tried to explain its decision as a means to protect user assets. It said, “It has come to our concern that an early announcement may make room for market manipulation and cause loss to our users. Therefore, we decided to give a short notice in order to maintain the fairness and stability of the market.”

In response to the accusations levied against it by AMBER AI, it said, “In the absence of evidence, Amber AI alleged us for trading against our own customers and manipulating the markets. These are completely false allegations and the defamatory statements have caused serious damages to OKEx’s reputation.”

Its reputation was already damaged, due to its own decisions. This past August, the exchange froze a user’s account and began a forced liquidation because the user took a long position of 4,168,515 Bitcoin futures contracts. OKEx then contacted the user and asked him to lower the position, a request that was refused. The exchange had no business getting involved with the user’s actions.

OKEx has apparently had its feelings hurt by the AMBER AI Medium post. It said that it is considering legal action against the user. Given that the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission could be poised to investigate OKEx over its handling of the contracts, a post on Medium seems to be the least of its problems.

ERC20 deposits blocked on OKEx over critical smart contract bug

ERC20 deposits blocked on OKEx over critical smart contract bug

Hong Kong-based cryptocurrency exchange OKEx has put the brakes on all ECR20 deposits following the possible discovery of a bug in at least 12 smart contracts that are built to the ECR20 standard. The news came out Tuesday, forcing the exchange into action to prevent attackers from exploiting the bug.

The smart contract bug, called “BatchOverFlow,” allows an attacker to create tokens from thin air and then deposit them into a verified Ethereum wallet. In a statement, OKEx said attackers who exploit the bug “can generate an extremely large amount of tokens, and deposit them into a normal address,” which “makes many of the ERC-20 tokens vulnerable to price manipulations of the attackers.”

“To protect public interest, we have decided to suspend the deposits of all ERC-20 tokens until the bug is fixed. Also, we have contacted the affected token teams to conduct investigation and take necessary measures to prevent the attack,” according to the exchange.

Following OKEx’s suspension, another cryptocurrency exchange followed suit. Changelly, which operates as a broker between exchanges and users, announced via Twitter that it would be suspending deposits following “an exploit check.” Changelly promised to bring the tokens back as soon as they’re certain “there is no vulnerability in deposits received.”

The bug was first identified over the weekend and published in a post on Medium. The author of the post, “ranimes,” claims that it could affect over 20 ERC20 smart contracts. The post includes several proofs-of-concept, showing the validity of the bug.

How much damage has been done and what tokens were affected isn’t known. However, BeautyChain, a beauty-themed ecosystem, was already exploited. Once the exploit of its coin, BEC, was identified, exchanges began suspending BEC trading, and some rolled back BEC trades.  OKEx rolled back BEC/BTC, BEC/ETH and BEC/USDT to 1:18 PM April 22, Hong Kong time.

Note: Tokens on the Bitcoin Core (segwit) Chain are Referred to as BTC coins. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is today the only Bitcoin implementation that follows Satoshi Nakamoto’s original whitepaper for Peer to Peer Electronic Cash. Bitcoin BCH is the only major public blockchain that maintains the original vision for Bitcoin as fast, frictionless, electronic cash.
Malta attracts yet another cryptocurrency exchange—OKEx

Malta attracts yet another cryptocurrency exchange—OKEx

Hot on the heels of Binance declaring that it is coming to Malta, cryptocurrency exchange OKEx confirmed that it’s also setting its sights on the Mediterranean Island, which has proudly declared itself to be the “Blockchain Island.”

In a blog post on Thursday, OKEx announced that it was looking favourably at moving its operations to Malta since there was a lot of potential for the technology to move forward. Parliamentary Secretary for the Digital Economy Silvio Schembri posed for a photograph with Tim Byun and Chris Lee, top officials of OKEx whilst tweeting the announcement.

“Malta’s Virtual Financial Asset Act is a solid foundation for the industry and the government to work together in fostering the nascent blockchain/digital asset industry. More specifically, Malta’s sound risk-based approach will help cultivate a responsible, compliant, and healthy ecosystem,” explained Tim Byun, chief risk officer and head of government relations at OKEx.

“We look forward to working with the Malta government as it is forward thinking and shares many of our same values, the most important of which are protection of traders and the general public, compliance with Anti Money Laundering and Know Your Customer standards, and recognition of the innovation and importance of continued development in the Blockchain ecosystem,” added OKEx CEO Chris Lee.

Incidentally, Malta has just proposed major anti-money laundering legislation which is expected to sail through the local Parliament. This continues to confirm the much vaunted hype behind the Mediterranean island of Malta, which has already secured a major coup with Binance founder Changpeng Zhao tweeting his support for further expansion in the blockchain and cryptocurrency industries.

OKEx is currently based outside of Hong Kong and is operating from Japan, but has actively been considering a move from some time following regulatory clampdowns in the Asian country.

Malta, on the other hand, has begun actively courting cryptocurrency firms. Government officials have said that they want to transform the EU member state into a “Blockchain Island” through the passage of blockchain-friendly legislation.

The island saw the first major fruits of those efforts in March, as Hong Kong-based exchange Binance—currently the largest in the world—confirmed that it would move to Malta and not establish its base in Japan as previously planned.

Malta’s Prime Minister Joseph Muscat personally welcomed the company to the region, and Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao has said that he is aware of more than 20 cryptocurrency projects considering a move to Malta. Amongst these is the TRON project backed by Justin Sun, who has also tweeted his support for Malta’s ambitious moves in the region.

OKEx and Binance are not the only Hong Kong-based exchanges plotting to relocate their operations. Bitfinex, the sixth-largest cryptocurrency exchange, is reportedly to move its headquarters to Switzerland.

Note: Tokens in the SegWit chain are referred to as SegWit-Coin BTC (inaccurately called Bitcoin Legacy or Core by many) and SegWit Gold (SWG) and are no longer Bitcoin. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is the only true Bitcoin as intended by the original Satoshi white paper.  Bitcoin BCH is the only public block chain that offers safe and cheap microtransactions.
Large chunk of trading volumes on crypto exchanges are fake

Large chunk of trading volumes on crypto exchanges are fake, study claims

As if the situation regarding online scams, fake ICOs and continuous threats of harsh regulation are not enough, the cryptocurrency market woke up to another story recently—that of fabricating trades.

In a hugely interesting study that will definitely rock the industry even further, Sylvain Ribes has alleged that no less than 93% of trade volumes on cryptocurrency exchange OKCoin (now known as Okex) are false and fabricated.

The amount that is being traded on these exchanges and which is alleged to be false is a staggering $3 billion—a no mean feat when the daily average trading volume of legacy Bitcoin (BTC) is at the moment around $5 billion. If this were to be true then the whole cryptocurrency market would definitely be in considerable turmoil all around. There appear to be massive discrepancies between trading volumes in cryptocurrencies and this data has been gleaned by Ribes from the order books of exchanges such as Okex and Huobi, which offers a clear indication that these may be falsifying their trading volumes.

Sylvain Ribes has indicated that these studies are a clear indication of a “measure how badly market selling $50k USD worth of each cryptocurrency would crash the price.”

However, the discrepancy in the order books is not limited to two exchanges only, according to Ribes. In fact, he observes what he calls “slippage”—or “the percentage change between the observed mid-spread price and the lowest price I had to consent to sell the asset”—on exchanges that are also much more established such as GDAX, Bitfinex, and Kraken as well as Binance. The latter has denied several times that it has been hacked or that there is an operational glitch, leading to the suspicion that there is some kind of manipulation going on. Such spreads are often very high and may give rise to manipulation.

“I found ridiculously massive discrepancies between exchanges. Not the kind that can be easily hand-waved away (“oh well, their users must behave differently”), but the kind that can only be explained by some figures being overstated as much as 95%,” Ribes wrote in the Medium post.

Ribes is particularly concerned about Okex, which has a large volume of daily trades—a huge proportion of which are fakes, he said.

“Although those numbers alone prove to me without the shadow of a doubt that a suffocating majority of Okex volume is fake, I had not witnessed first-hand how they implemented it—I thus logged into their platform and had a look at some pairs trading history. And indeed, they fake their volume in a laughingly obvious and artificial way,” Ribes concluded.

Note: Tokens in the SegWit chain are referred to as SegWit1X (BTC) and SegWit Gold (SWG) and are no longer Bitcoin. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is the only true  Bitcoin as intended by the original Satoshi white paper.  Bitcoin BCH is the only public block chain that offers safe and cheap microtransactions.