Gangster Rajesh Bharti and three of his associates were killed while eight police personnel were injured in the encounter in the south Delhi area on Saturday.
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In an address at the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) summit, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said mega connectivity projects must respect sovereignty and territorial integrity of countries.
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Another day, another crypto hack. This time it’s Korea, the crypto-mad Asian country, where an exchange called Coinrail lost more than $40 million in altcoins, ICO-issued tokens that aren’t bitcoin or Ethereum, after it was hit by an apparent attack over the weekend.
Korea may be a hot spot for crypto investment, but Coinrail is one of its smaller exchanges, just about ranking inside the world’s top 90 based on trading volume, according to coinmarketcap.com. Nonetheless, even the smaller exchanges have plenty of coins, as the size of this heist illustrates.
Most notably, the hackers got away with $19.5 million-worth of NPXS tokens that were issued by payment project Pundi X’s ICO. Added to that they scored a further $13.8 million from Aston X, an ICO project building a platform to decentralize documents, $5.8 million in tokens for Dent, a mobile data ICO, and over $1.1 million Tron, a much-hyped project originating from China.
That’s according to a wallet address that has been identified as belonging to the alleged attacker, who also got hold of smaller volumes of a further five tokens from Coinrail.
In all the cases, the companies issuing the tokens themselves were not hacked, the tokens that were nabbed belong to Coinrail users.
해킹공격시도로 인한 시스템 점검중입니다. 일부코인(펀디엑스,NPXS)이 확인되었으며 추가적인 코인피해가 있는지 여부를 확인중입니다. 추후 자세한 사항은 재공지하겠습니다 / There has been an cyber intrusion in our system. We're confirming it and some coins(Pundi X, NPXS) are confirmed.
— coinrail (@Coinrail_Korea) June 10, 2018
It isn’t clear how, or indeed whether, Coinrail will go about compensating its customers — Japan’s Coincheck refunded its customers following a high-profile attack earlier this year — but some of the ICO projects are taking steps in response.
Pundi was hit the hardest, claiming that some three percent of its total volume of tokens was impacted by this attack. It said it has frozen the tokens that were stolen and it has ceased trading of its tokens across all exchanges to help with the post-attack investigation, which it said includes the Korean police. NPER, which had around $860,000-worth of tokens taken from Coinrail, said it had frozen the stolen funds and it plans incinerate the tokens to render them useless to the hacker. Aston has also frozen its affected tokens, according to Coinrail.
Other projects have yet to comment, although Coinrail said in a statement on its website that two-thirds of the stolen tokens have been frozen with more action likely to happen.
Coinrail took its service offline and it said in a statement that it has moved the remainder of its assets — which it said is 70 percent of its total holdings — to cold storage while it reviews its security system and fully investigates the incident.
Some have suggested that the hack was responsible for bitcoin’s valuation dropping by over five percent in what is the cryptocurrency’s biggest decline for two weeks. However, Coinrail is so obscure that this theory seems unlikely.
What is for certain is that the hack serves as another strong reminder that the space remains unregulated — there’s with little recourse for victims of a crypto exchange hack, unlike say a bank robbery or payment fraud. More importantly, those who do buy bitcoin, Ethereum or other crypto tokens should keep their tokens securely in a private wallet (ideally using a hardware device for access) rather than leaving them within an exchange where they could be stolen.
For those of you keeping score on recent hacks on exchanges, here are a few: Coincheck lost an estimated $400 million earlier this year, last November saw Tether claim it lose $31 million following an attack while EtherDelta suspended its exchange service for a period in December after it was compromised.
The Mt. Gox hacking in 2014 is the mother of all crypto attacks, of course. In total the exchange lost around 744,408 BTC. That was worth around $350 million at the time, but today a holding of that size would be valued at some $5.3 billion.
Note: The author owns a small amount of cryptocurrency. Enough to gain an understanding, not enough to change a life.
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In startup land, the mandate is to get bought, go public or die trying.
And, as far as getting bought goes, one of tech’s Big Five could be a desirable acquirer. They have a lot of weight to throw around. Alphabet (the parent company of Google), Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Microsoft account for a titanic amount of market value — close to $3.9 trillion at time of writing. At least, that’s according to Crunchbase News’s dashboard of notable tech stocks.
When challenged by one another, these hulking behemoths of the tech sector more often fight than flee. And when challenged by a scrappy upstart, it is likely that they will gobble up the talent, technology and business of any aspiring competitor. It’s the circle of life.
And it’s those acquisitions we’re going to look at here.
Taken together, tech’s Big Five account for a relatively small portion of the overall M&A market. The chart below shows the number of acquisitions made by members of tech’s Big Five from 2007 through 2017. (For reference, Crunchbase records thousands of acquisitions per year.)
But what the Big Five lack in quantity is made up for in size. If you’ll forgive the big-game pun, acquisitions by Big Five account for a lion’s share of big deals in dollar terms.
So, for each of the Big Five, let’s see just how big some of those deals got. We base our analysis on Crunchbase data that, whenever possible, has been cross-checked with public news sources and regulatory filings. We’ll proceed from the most valuable (in market capitalization terms) to the least.
Despite being the most valuable among the Big Five, Apple’s acquisitions are not just among the smallest of the bunch, but also the least disclosed. In other words, out of the deals listed in Crunchbase and elsewhere, most of them don’t have dollar values attached to them. This may speak to Apple’s secretiveness and its tendency to build most of its products and services in-house.
Apple’s biggest M&A deal to date was its $3 billion buyout of Beats Electronics, which is perhaps best known for its flashy wireless headphones. But it’s not the headphones that caught Apple’s eye. Rather, it was its streaming service, which Apple CEO Tim Cook told ReCode’s Peter Kafka was “the first subscription service that really got it right.”
Including the Beats deal, here are the largest M&A deals we were able to find.
It’s hard to find a business vertical Amazon isn’t somehow involved in. Web hosting? Check. White-labeled staples like batteries and paper towels? Check. Doorbells? Check. They apparently sell books online, too.
Now, in all seriousness, Amazon’s $13.7 billion buyout of Whole Foods in June 2017 brought the online shopping giant squarely into the world of brick-and-mortar retail as well. And while the Whole Foods deal was Amazon’s biggest splurge to date, it’s certainly not alone in the company’s collection of commerce company buys. These include Amazon’s buyout of Quidsi (the parent company of Diapers.com and Soap.com, which was the first to offer the free two-day shipping for which Amazon Prime is famous), footwear and clothing retailer Zappos, and Middle Eastern e-commerce site Souq.com.
Of tech’s big five, Alphabet is the most acquisitive, and it makes the most corporate venture investments. It’s also the company with the most complicated corporate structure. Recall that Alphabet is the parent organization of Google, and it’s Google which has made the surpassing majority of Alphabet acquisitions.
But for all the resources Alphabet has put toward M&A, its acquisitiveness resulted in a rather mixed bag of results. Most glaring amongst its duds is its $3.2 billion buyout of Nest Labs and, relatedly, the $555 million spent on Dropcam (which would later be rebranded as part of Nest’s home security offering).
Nest reportedly failed to meet revenue expectations and seize a dominant position in the connected home market, ceding ground to incumbents like Honeywell. And there are plenty of scrappy upstarts nipping Nest’s heels in markets like home security, smart doorbells and smart locks.
This being said, then-Google’s YouTube deal is likely Alphabet’s best acquisition from an ROI perspective. Although Alphabet doesn’t break out YouTube’s revenue, some good estimates and public market comps suggest the video streaming unit could be worth a cool $100 billion.
Microsoft made news this week by announcing its acquisition of software version control and code hosting platform GitHub for $7.5 billion. And, at this point, it seems like Microsoft is timing announcements of its biggest deals just to dunk on Apple. Myke Hurley, a tech podcaster and the founder of Relay FM, observed on Twitter that Microsoft’s 2016 acquisition of LinkedIn and its GitHub deal were both announced on the opening day of Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference.
Apart from cheeky timing, you will notice that Microsoft has made the largest M&A deals among tech’s Big Five.
Of the Big Five companies in tech, Facebook’s M&A patterns seem to be the most binary. Its deals are either tiny or humongous. There isn’t much of a middle ground.
Some of Facebook’s biggest acquisitions present a case study of acquiring one’s way to nearly insurmountable market dominance. Although its acquisitions of Instagram and WhatsApp didn’t cause much of a stir at the time, today these deals are seen as a cautionary case for current and future antitrust regulators.
On a brighter note, though, Facebook’s M&A record is also a lesson in the “buy versus build” dilemma many companies face. It’s sometimes more expedient to buy a company (and, critically, its engineering team) than to build new features from scratch. For many of the smaller deals listed here, we can see that Facebook opted to buy.
The Big Five’s acquisitions in perspective
At the very top of the tech food chain, the Big Five are in a unique position, and not just as rainmakers for VCs seeking liquidity.
Alphabet, Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Microsoft are some of the most powerful companies operating today, and their acquisitions tell part of the story of how they got to prominent positions in the first place.
Although some acquisitions appear to come out of the blue, it’s important to remember that one doesn’t just buy a company for the heck of it. There’s a strategic motivation for these deals at the time they’re made. And when these deals are struck, they can telegraph the company’s future plans.
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The Mankameshwar Temple, which is situated on the banks of Gomti River near Daliganj Bridge, became the first temple ever to have hosted an iftar in Lucknow. Devotees also offered namaz at the ‘aarti sthal’.
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