Crypto News Weekly 21.09.18: Nasdaq Acquires Crypto Firm, Zaif Hacked for $60M

Nasdaq moves into crypto via acquisition

The world-famous, New York-based NASDAQ stock exchange has started to acquire a crypto-related business in Sweden called Cinnober for $190 million. The offer, which is 22% above the regular trading price for Cinnober, has already been recommended for acceptance by the Cinnober board, and is expected to be completed before the end of the year.

The firm will bring crypto expertise to the exchange, along with its BitGo virtual coin wallet and its specialized TRADExpress, which is a crypto trading service for exchanges. In April, Nasdaq CEO Adena Friedman said the company would consider a crypto trading desk once the market had matured a little more, and recently they also announced  the launch of a AI assisted virtual coin prediction tool.

Japanese Zaif exchange hacked for $60 million

The giant Japanese crypto exchange Zaif has announced that it had been hacked for $60 million but kept the news under wraps for five days before going public. The theft occurred from one of the exchange’s hot wallets, mainly losing Bitcoin but also Bitcoin Cash and MonaCoin. The exchange has said that customers assets would not be affected and they would look for support from the major shareholder, the Fisco Group.

Earlier in the year, the Japanese Coincheck exchange suffered one of the largest ever hacks, at approx $520 million worth of cryptocurrencies which led to the Japanese regulators examining all exchanges and operating procedures, but obviously it seems they have a way to go yet to getting the house in order.

NSA fuels cryptojacking explosion

A new report by the Cyber Threat Alliance says that illegal crypojacking, the practice where malware takes control of other resources to secretly mine cryptocurrencies, has risen by 459%.

The explosion is being credited to the use of a hacking tool, called EternalBlue, which targets weaknesses in the Windows operating system and was released to the general world after hackers called the Shadow Brokers put online a batch of NSA tools that  they had successfully stolen after hacking their system.

The weakness is not vulnerable in updated and patched systems, but, with the number of computers running out of date versions of Windows, still manages to be successful.

SMS-based crypto transfers launched in Venezuela

In Venezuela, a country hit by international sanctions, currency devaluation and a national cryptocurrency launch that seems to be based on fresh air and not actual oil reserves, Dash has launched a crypto transfer service that operates by sms.

The currency has already been experiencing large growth in use of the currency after the company targeted the market in a country that has been predicted to hit inflation of 1 million percent by the end of the year and is currently 475% . The new service also allows Venezuelans working outside of the borders to transfer funds to relatives in the country without needing access to the Internet for the transfer.

Venezuela’s president Maduro caused controversy this week, while the country’s population struggles to find enough affordable food to get by on, he was shown in a famous Turkish restaurant being fawned over by a celebrity chef with a lavish meal.