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Current State of The Crypto Market (June 6th, 2019)

Hackers:  North Korean hackers have allegedly attacked users of South Korean exchange UpBit with a clever phishing exploit.  According to data released by the security company East Security, the hacker attempted a cyberattack by sending a phishing e-mail on May 28. The subject of the mail suggested that UPbit needed more information regarding a fictional sweepstakes payout for tax purposes. The mail did not come from the exchange but from another server outside of South Korea.  The email contained a file claiming to contain documentation for the payout. According to East Security, running this file displayed what looked like a normal document but would activate malicious code. It would then send data about the user’s machine as well as exchange logins to the hackers and then connect the machine to a command-and-control system for later remote access.

Bullish Key Players:   A Bitcoin enthusiast recently took to Twitter to air a bullish opinion about Bitcoin’s prospects.  According to the tweet from Crypto Magical (@CryptoMagical), Bitcoin has had a pattern, since 2011, of having three extremely bullish years followed by a somewhat bearish one and then a repeat of another three-year rally.  As volatile as the Bitcoin market is, there’s no real reason to believe that there won’t be another surge in the near future. All the analysis done by respected crypto experts believes that the bleakest experience Bitcoin would have any time soon is a few significant pullbacks. Even when this happens, it is generally believed that the market will correct itself and begin to surge again.

Banks & Institutions:  The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has sued messenger app maker Kik for its $100 million ICO – which the agency contends was an unregistered securities sale – and the regulator appears to have built up a strong case in its initial court move.  In a complaint filed Tuesday, the SEC alleged that Kik violated federal securities law by not registering its kin token sale. In a response, Kik’s general counsel, Eileen Lyon, said that the SEC’s complaint makes a number of inaccurate assumptions which “stretch the Howey test well beyond its definition” and that the agency’s push will not withstand judicial scrutiny.  Nelson Rosario, a principal at Smolinksi Rosario Law, said that the SEC’s complaint against Kik was similar to others brought against other initial coin offerings, in particular with respect to the evidence that the regulator is putting forth.  “Obviously this is a very sophisticated kind of token offering, done by a company that was already established [and not a token startup] but [the] kind of evidence that the SEC brought to bear is very much the same that it’s brought against [other ICOs],” he said.

Adoption: In a move best defined as a “baby step” for crypto adoption, technology giant Apple, one of the world’s most valuable publicly-traded firms, quietly added a Bitcoin symbol into its devices natively.  While this is far from Apple actually accepting BTC or other digital assets for purchases, this quiet move confirms that the firm sees Bitcoin as a viable technology and asset.  Yesterday, Apple conducted its latest Worldwide Developers Conference, during which executives of the firm made a number of announcements, but what slipped under the radar was that in Apple’s latest update to SF Symbols, which gives developers of Apple applications symbols to utilize.  Four Bitcoin symbols were added, two circular and two square logos.

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