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Bitcoin Sinks After Hackers Steal $65 Million

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An illustration photo shows a Bitcoin (virtual currency) paper wallet with QR codes and a coin

Bitcoin plunged after one of the largest exchanges halted trading because hackers stole about $65 million of the digital currency.

Bitcoin slumped 5.3 percent against the dollar as of 10:17 a.m. on Wednesday in Tokyo, bringing its two-day drop to 13 percent. Prices also sank 6.2 percent on Monday, although it was not clear if that initial move was related to the hack.

Hong Kong-based exchange Bitfinex said on Tuesday that it halted trading, withdrawals and deposits after discovering the security breach. The exchange said it was still investigating details and cooperating with law enforcement, but acknowledged that some bitcoin have been stolen from its users.

“Yes – it is a large breach,” Fred Ehrsam, co-founder of Coinbase, a cryptocurrency wallet and trading platform, wrote in an e-mail. “Bitfinex is a large exchange, so it is a significant short term event, although Bitcoin has shown its resiliency to these sorts of events in the past.”

Bitfinex confirmed in a message to Bloomberg News on Wednesday that the hackers took 119,756 bitcoin, or about $65 million at current prices. More than $1.5 billion has been wiped out from bitcoin’s market capitalization this week, according to research from CoinDesk.

“We will look at various options to address customer losses later in the investigation,” Bitfinex wrote in a blog post. “We ask for the community’s patience as we unravel the causes and consequences of this breach.”

The Hong Kong exchange was the largest for U.S. dollar-denominated transactions over the past month, according to bitcoincharts.com. Chinese exchange OKCoin was the largest overall bourse for trading in the digital currency, over 90 percent of which is denominated in the Chinese yuan.

The price drop was reminiscent to the market reaction after Tokyo-based Mt. Gox — then the largest bitcoin exchange in the world — disclosed it was hacked in February 2014 and filed for bankruptcy weeks later. Bitcoin prices plunged 30 percent that month.

Bitfinex halted trading in all digital currencies, including ethereum, but said losses were limited to bitcoin. It did not immediately respond to questions whether deposits in non-digital currencies such as U.S. dollars were safe.

“Bitfinex is in lockdown/investigation mode, so we’re not going to know anything for sure for a few days,” Peter Todd, one of the key developers who work on bitcoin, wrote in an e-mail.

CEO/Founder Investors King Ltd, a foreign exchange research analyst, contributing author on New York-based Talk Markets and Investing.com, with over a decade experience in the global financial markets.

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Fintech

Fintech TagPay Rebrands to Skaleet

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From today, TagPay will be known as Skaleet, an international fintech company offering a back-end technology platform. Its core banking platform is fully interactive with an ecosystem of banks, fintechs and technology partners.

It has the speed and agility required to quickly launch new personalized services to the market. Skaleet’s ambition is to bridge the gap between complex financial products and customers’ changing needs.

In this new digital world, Skaleet helps financial institutions become faster and more agile in adapting to their customers’ changing needs by offering innovative services. Our range of services allows banks, neobanks and fintechs to stay in the race against the Big Tech threat that is attempting to dominate this market.

Skaleet’s platform offers complete banking solutions for the day-to-day management of retail banking: onboarding, AML-CFT, bank accounting, regulatory reporting, card issue, SEPA, bank accounts, credit engines and a best-of-breed approach to facilitate the integration of key product and technology partners.

Breaking the banking industry’s IT glass ceiling to increase performance and innovation

With its flexible, modular and natively digital banking platform, Skaleet’s ambition is to innovate by offering new services to fully respond to the latest challenges facing the banking and financial markets, as well as to the growth and scalability requirements imposed by the rapid digitalization of the sector.

Skaleet enables banks and financial institutions to leverage its cloud-native platform to accelerate the launch of new financial services that fully meet their customers’ needs.

Yves Eonnet, CEO of Skaleet, said: “Our mission is to support the digital transformation of banking institutions, neobanks and fintech companies. Our ambition is to become the leading technology platform for digital core banking, offering our customers all the financial services they need.”

The company’s mission statement: to put technology at the forefront of the transformation in financial services

Fifteen years ago, Hervé Manceron and Yves Eonnet set out to take advantage of the latest technological innovations to support new ways of providing mobile financial services. This led them to launch TagPay, a technological platform for managing mobile money accounts.

In 2014, eager to respond to the increasing importance of digital technology and changing customer needs, the publisher launched a next generation international core banking system solution. The ambition of this platform: to accelerate the launch of new, competitively priced services. TagPay has developed a cloud-native platform to meet the needs of financial service providers. Cloud-agnostic, agile and scalable, it has quickly become a leading platform for many financial institutions across the world. At the beginning of the year, TagPay reached a new step by announcing its largest funding: €25M from our new investor Long Arc Capital to enrich its offering and accelerate its international growth.

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Social Media

Twitter Recommended Conditions To Lift Suspension Will Be Applicable To Other Social Media Platforms- FG

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Twitter Tip Jar- Investorsking

The Federal Government says the recommended conditions for the lifting of the suspension imposed on the microblogging and social networking service, Twitter will be applicable to all Over-The-Top and other social media platforms in Nigeria.

The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, disclosed this on Monday when he featured on a phone-in programme of TV Continental, “This Morning, ’’ monitored by the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN).

The minister, who did not disclose the recommendations by the Federal Government ministerial negotiation team to engage with Twitter on the suspension, said its report would be submitted to President Muhammadu Buhari.

Mohammed, who headed the team, however, reiterated that the engagements with the microblogging and social media platform had been positive and fruitful.

“All I can say is that the recommendations we are going to make will not only be applicable to Twitter but they will be applicable to all OTTs and other social media platforms in Nigeria.

“Today, we are dealing with Twitter, we don’t want a situation where we will be dealing with Facebook tomorrow and Instagram the next day. Our recommendations will be very comprehensive.

“You will recall that during the 61st Independence anniversary celebration, the president said Twitter will return to Nigeria as soon as they meet the conditions of government.

“Even last night, the ministerial team met under my chairmanship and we reviewed the position of things.

“I want to say that we should wait for the committee to officially give its reports to the president but things are looking very positive and rosy.

“After submitting our reports and recommendations to the president, I will be disposed to say what we agreed and what have been met and what has not been met,’’ he said.

NAN reports that following the indefinite suspension of its operations in Nigeria for activities capable of undermining Nigeria’s corporate existence, Twitter had written to the president seeking engagement over the suspension.

The president subsequently set up the ministerial team led by Mohammed, with other members including Ministers of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola and that of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, to dialogue with Twitter over its suspension.

Other members are the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami as well as Minister of Labour, Chris Ngige and that of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Pantami.

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Fund Raising

Wicrypt, Nigerian Wi-Fi Sharing Startup Secures $1.5M Funding For Expansion

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Wicrypt-Investors King

A Nigerian blockchain-based Wi-Fi sharing startup, Wicrypt, has raised US$1.5 million in a strategic funding round to help it expand operations into new countries.

Wicrypt is a decentralized mobile internet sharing and monetization network that allows anyone to earn money by sharing their Wi-Fi with others. Users can either download the Wicrypt software and deliver Wi-Fi from their mobile device or purchase a one-of-a-kind Wicrypt Hotspot Creator device.

Wi-Fi providers can customize their customers’ experiences using the Wicrypt dashboard, which includes surveys, ads, and data collection. Wicrypt-enabled devices are all represented by one-of-a-kind NFTs linked to the blockchain. While users using WiFi pay Wicrypt hosts, Wicrypt also rewards hosts with its native coin, $WNT, for having high device uptime.

In 2018, the startup launched in Africa, signing an exclusive agreement to supply internet service to the inhabitants of Enugu, Nigeria. It became profitable in 2020 after being bootstrapped by its founder, and it has now acquired US$1.5 million in investment to help it go even further.

The round was led by AU21 Capital, with participation from Polygon founder Sandeep Nailwal, Inclusion Capital, Outlier Ventures, Chain Capital, Pluto Digital Assets, Onega Ventures, N7 Labs, Cardano and PolkaFoundary.

“While we have formed substantial business partnerships in Africa, this funding allows us to grow into new countries by increasing our marketing efforts,” said Ugochukwu Aronu, chief executive officer (CEO) of Wicrypt.

“Wicrypt is providing last-mile internet to people of the world who need it while leveraging the blockchain by having hosts stake $WNT to become a part of the Wicrypt Network. This ensures overall security of the network and that host do not perform malicious actions while providing internet connections to clients.”

Wicrypt is offering people the option to access the internet in locations where Wi-Fi can be highly expensive and unattainable for many people, according to Nailwal, who added that investing in a profitable company was unusual in the blockchain world.

“By empowering people to share their Wi-Fi and make money, they are making this a win-win situation for all involved, particularly in remote regions where large internet companies are not incentivised to provide coverage,” he said.

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