Dec 8, 2017 5:58 PM PHT
MANILA, Philippines – A whopping 4,700 bitcoins or the equivalent of around $76* million dollars were stolen from Slovenia-based bitcoin mining marketplace NiceHash.
The digital heist was reported by NiceHash on Thursday, December 7, Philippine time. It shut down regular operations on the same day to investigate the breach.
The company made the announcement on Facebook, saying, “Importantly, our payment system was compromised and the contents of the NiceHash Bitcoin wallet have been stolen.”
“Clearly, this is a matter of deep concern and we are working hard to rectify the matter in the coming days,” the company said.
NiceHash head of marketing Andrej P. Škraba told Wall Street Journal as to how many coins were stolen and described the heist as “a highly professional attack with sophisticated social engineering” – the symptoms of which started to show as panicked site users reported troubles using the website over the past days.
As posted above, CEO Marko Kobal and co-founder Sasa Coh also went live on Facebook on Friday, November 8, to further explain the situation and to apologize to its users. They said that they will be sharing more in the coming days, and that they have notified cryptocurrency exhanges to see if they can track and recover the stolen funds. “However, this will take time,” Kobal said.
The site, a platform that allows users to sell their computer’s processing power to miners of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, urged users to change their passwords and informed them that they are working with law enforcement agencies.
The heist comes as Bitcoin continues to surge in value, jumping from $8000 to $16,000 as of Friday, December 8 in a matter of weeks. Bitcoin is stored in digital wallets, and as the value rises, they become more appealing targets for digital thieves. At a time when cybersecurity remains a huge issue with no one certain solution, the hack shows one of the dangers of investing in the volatile digital currency.
While 4,700 bitcoins is a lot, the number pales in comparison to the 850,000 bitcoins lost by Japan-based bitcoin exchange Mt. Gox potentially to hackers in February 2014. – Rappler.com
*1 BTC = $16,155.02
Gelo Gonzales is Rappler’s technology editor. He covers consumer electronics, social media, emerging tech, and video games.
The 10 Fastest-Growing Cryptocurrency Ecosystems In 2021 – Forbes
As the cryptocurrency industry grows more fragmented, new data shows which platforms software developers are flocking to.
Two years ago, bitcoin dominated the cryptocurrency market, gobbling up 70% of its market value. But as crypto has ballooned to exceed $2 trillion in assets, the industry has fragmented. Today, bitcoin’s share sits below 40%, and new crypto networks are popping up every day. One way to sift through the clutter and see where the industry is going is to follow the software developers who build and maintain crypto networks.
“Developers tend to be pretty rational. If there’s something they can play with that has real utility, developers have this ability to go find that thing,” says Avichal Garg, a managing partner at crypto-focused venture firm Electric Capital. He views the number of developers who are working on a crypto network “as a leading indicator of where value will be created and accrue over the next 10 years.”
Garg co-authored a report with Electric Capital partner Maria Shen that reveals which cryptocurrency platforms attracted the most developers in 2021. They used data from GitHub, the go-to online repository where developers store their code, to estimate how many engineers work on each platform. Their data underestimates the total number of developers, since it doesn’t capture code that’s written privately or the many engineers that work at companies like Coinbase.
Their research says 18,000 active developers (including both full and part time contributors) are working on cryptocurrency platforms, up from roughly 10,000 a year ago. Garg sees that surge as a validation of the industry’s growth and longevity. Kinjal Shah, an investor at Blockchain Capital, agrees: “When people are voting with their feet and their time, it’s a strong signal that there is something they’re building for the long term,” she says.
Electric Capital’s research analyzed nearly 500,000 sets of code and 160 million code updates. It compared December 2020 to December 2021 to calculate growth. For the list below, it counted a developer as full time if he or she made at least 10 software updates in a month.
The fastest-growing platforms are all competitors to Ethereum, the second-largest crypto network launched in 2015 that has 1,300 full time developers creating applications on it. Ethereum acts as a decentralized computer that applications can be built on, and it’s maintained by more than 5,000 “nodes” or computers that help validate transactions. One downside of being so widely distributed is that Ethereum can only process about 15 transactions a second (the Nasdaq stock market averages about 20,000 transactions per second), and a single transaction fee can sometimes exceed $100.
All of these fast-growing crypto networks take different approaches than Ethereum to decentralization and “consensus,” the algorithmic process of validating a transaction. They settle transactions faster and have lower fees, and most aren’t as widely decentralized as Ethereum.
Korea-based Terra was founded by entrepreneur Do Kwon, 30, and launched four years ago. Its UST “stable coin”—a cryptocurrency pegged to the value of a U.S. dollar–has grown quickly to reach a market value of $10 billion, putting it in the top five stable coins in the world, according to crypto data site Messari. San Francisco-based Solana surprised many crypto insiders over the past year as it attracted hundreds of developers and vocal support from crypto billionaire Sam Bankman-Fried. A variety of applications built on Solana, ranging from crypto trading exchanges and lending products to music apps, have become very popular. Solana’s SOL token went from $1.85 in January 2021 to $170 by the end of the year, hitting a market value of $53 billion.
Near, a protocol founded in the Bay Area in 2017, was launched by Alexander Skidanov and Illia Polosukhin, two engineers who worked previously on the highly regarded MemSQL distributed database system and Google’s TensorFlow machine learning platform. Both Solana and Near were built in Rust, a popular programming language that’s more widely used than Solidity, which Ethereum is based on. Solana and Near have also been aggressive about offering grants to software developers if they agree to build applications on their respective systems. Near announced an $800 million grant program in October, and former Circle CMO Marieke Flament became the Near Foundation’s CEO this year.
One platform that lost a significant number of developers was EOS, which dropped from about 125 total active developers (including full and part time) in December 2020 to 80 a year later. In 2018, EOS famously ran a $4 billion “initial coin offering” fundraise and was later fined $24 million by the SEC for running an unregistered security offering. The company didn’t admit or deny wrongdoing.
In addition to the fastest-growing networks, Electric Capital’s research shows which have the largest number of total developers. Ethereum has long retained the top spot, and about one in every four new crypto developers who entered the industry over the last year chose to build on Ethereum.
Crypto scams are the top threat to investors 'by far,' say securities regulators – CNBC
World's Top Bitcoin Mining-Rig Maker Halts Sales as Clients Flee – Bloomberg
Bitcoin mining machines operate at a mining facility by Bitmain Technologies Ltd. in Inner Mongolia, China.
Bitmain Technologies Ltd. has suspended sales of machines for spot delivery globally, aiming to prop up local prices after crypto miners fleeing Beijing’s crackdown dumped used mining rigs on the market.
The world’s biggest maker of Bitcoin machines told the local mining community Wednesday it has stopped selling new equipment after prices for top-tier rigs plunged by about 75% since April. By postponing sales, it could help miners exiting the industry get better prices for their machines. Bitmain could also benefit if the reduced supply buoys prices over the longer term for new machines.
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