Top 5 news of the blockchain industry

Too many interesting news to talk only about one! Read today’s digest and stay abreast of the latest news.

In today’s digest – anonymous hacker has returned stolen crypto funds, Coinbase’s Adam White is joining Bakkt as its COO, China’s central bank hiring crypto specialists, release of the blockchain-based smartphone and plastic surgeon and startup investor buys $352 million stake in Korean crypto exchange Bithumb.

Hacker returned stolen crypto funds

A hacker who stole 165.38 ETH from the SpankChain platform has returned the funds. He shared the private key for the wallet holding the ETH after speaking to SpankChain CEO Ameen Soleimani on a phone call. The hacker also helped SpankChain recover the roughly 4,000 BOOTY tokens that were frozen as a result of the attack.

SpankChain sent the hacker, whose identity was not disclosed, $5,000 in reward money, $4,000 for the BOOTY tokens and the 5.5 ETH the hacker originally used to execute the attack against the platform.

Coinbase’s Adam White is joining Bakkt as its COO

Adam White, Coinbase’s fifth employee and the person who led the development of its institutional-aimed businesses, is joining Bakkt, the cryptocurrency venture at ICE, the parent company of the New York Stock Exchange.

The new project, which ICE is partnering with Microsoft and Starbucks to build out, aims serve as a “ecosystem for digital assets,” per a press release on the platform.

China’s central bank hiring crypto specialists

The People’s Bank of China’s (PBOC) crypto research arm is hiring blockchain and crypto specialists as the country steps up efforts in developing a digital currency. The Digital Currency Research Institute has four positions opened for those with specific blockchain/cryptocurrency skills. It is the first time that the research institute has specified applicants need to have knowledge in cryptography.

China has stepped up a crackdown on cryptocurrency transactions and initial coin offerings in recent months after banning both in September last year but at the same time continued efforts to develop a yuan-based digital currency.

Blockchain-based smartphone

Indonesian point-of-sale (POS) terminal maker Pundi X Labs (Pundi X) has unveiled the development of a new smartphone as well as an operating system and communication protocol for mobile devices based completely on blockchain technology. Pundi X claims the XPhone lets users call, send messages, and transfer files all by using blockchain instead of traditional carriers.

Pundi X develops technology to solve challenges that blockchain technology is facing and make it usable in our life, – said Pitt Huang, the co-founder and CTO of Pundi X.

Plastic surgeon and startup investor buys $352 million stake in Korean crypto exchange Bithumb

A group led by one of South Korea’s leading plastic surgeons, Dr. Kim Byung Gun, has made a major investment in crypto exchange Bithumb’s holding company. He also established an Initial Coin Offering (ICO) analysis firm in Singapore last year.

The surgeon’s BK Global Consortium has closed a deal to acquire “50 percent plus one share” of BTC Holding Co. – the largest investor in Bithumb’s operator – for around 400 billion won ($352 million).


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