White hat hackers have been instrumental in investigations regarding last month’s breach of the Coincheck exchange. The
community members have helped track down the $538m of NEM cryptocurrency that was stolen from the Tokyo-based exchange. The
ethical hackers have assisted authorities and encouraged others to join in providing aid. One prominent white hat known by
the Twitter handle JK17 managed to identify the accounts that the stolen money was sent to shortly after the breach. The
information was shared with the NEM foundation, and the accounts have been marked and are currently being monitored. The
funds have now been moved to over 400 accounts including some owned by innocent holders, in what appears to be an attempt to
confuse trackers. However, many more white hats have reportedly joined the hunt, making short work of the task. Shota Hamabe,
a 34-year-old programmer is one such individual. Shortly after the breach, he held an information session at Hackers Bar, a
restaurant and IT hub in Tokyo’s Roppongi district, to coordinate and discuss options. Whilst JK17, Hamabe and others have
been highly effective in locating and flagging the accounts where the stolen NEM has been moved to, efforts to identify the
owners of the accounts, (the hackers responsible), have been unsuccessful. It was reported that one NEM trader had been
questioned by Tokyo police regarding the incident, however, no further information has been provided regarding the
individual’s involvement. Officers are also analyzing access logs in Coincheck’s system in an attempt to identify the
culprits, but this may be a lengthy process. Meanwhile, it appears that nearly 9 billion yen ($83.6m) worth of NEM is
believed to have been exchanged for Bitcoin and other virtual currencies using the dark web and other anonymous services. It
remains to be seen whether the hackers will be brought to account.
Matt Hougan has made a career shift from ETFs to cryptocurrencies. He jumped from the traditional fund market to a
cryptocurrency index-fund manager, a market he described to Bloomberg as a “generationally significant opportunity with
interesting challenges.” He joins San Francisco-based Bitwise Asset Management as vice president of R&D. He made a splash
with his call that cryptocurrencies are on their way to being a multi-trillion dollar market, though he admits to Bloomberg
cryptos remain an “early-stage technology” that could be a bumpy road at times. For instance, Hougan suggests the
cryptocurrency markets could suffer a 50% drop before attaining a $1 trillion combined market cap. And as the leading digital
coins have proven so far in 2018, volatility is the name of the game.
Jarrod Dicker is the new CEO of blockchain media company P.oet. Dicker is making the move to Po.et while departing from his position as Vice President of Innovation and Commercial Strategy at The Washington Post. Dicker believes Po.et won’t just help content creators express their artistry independently, but that it will also work to serve media companies, brands and marketers. He wants those industry stakeholders to be able to generate revenue using their own platforms, publishers and business models. Dicker views the platform as an opportunity to provide transparency in media attribution and valuation. His move from The Washington Post strengthens the platform’s broader appeal as digital media continues to evolve. With first-generation content-driven brands like The Huffington Post recently announcing they will no longer compete alongside the Medium’s of the world, it looks as though power is shifting back into the hands of the creator. This evolving trend along with the addition of Dicker and Po.et’s growing number of use cases is truly positioning the platform for growth.
ShapeShift, a cryptocurrency exchange, has been pulled into the Bitcoin Cash (BCH) versus bitcoin (BTC) debate by partnering with the @BitcoinCom wallet that exchanges BTC for BCH. ShapeShift has stated via a tweet there was a miscommunication in its latest announcement concerning its partnership with the @BitcoinCom Wallet. ShapeShift stands by its offering to provide its API integration services for the wallet, but it also stands by its position to refer to bitcoin as bitcoin, and not Bitcoin Core. Some have criticized the marketing practices of Bitcoin.com regarding BCH. Two days ago, ShapeShift announced that it has integrated its full API to support Bitcoin.com wallet user exchange between BTC and BCH and vice versa. It noted the Bitcoin.com wallet app became available in mid 2017 and more than 1.7 million wallets have been created on the platform. The ShapeShift integration expands the features in allowing the wallet’s users to exchange BTC for BCH. Bitcoin.com, which provides a free wallet, states on its website that the Bitcoin Core network is in trouble due to high fees and slow transaction times, and that Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is the upgrade that solves these problems, and provides a guide for people to learn more about Bitcoin Cash. The website clearly states that it supports both BTC and BCH.