The Hard-Luck Texas Town That Bet on Bitcoinand Lost

In 1952, The Saturday Evening Post christened Rockdale, Texas, “The Town Where It Rains Money.” An estimated 100 million tons of lignite coal lay buried a few miles south of the city limits, and Alcoa had just swooped in to build a $100 million smelter that would use the cheap energy source to produce aluminum for fighter planes, skyscrapers, auto­mobiles, and more. “At the mere mention of somebody blowing into town with $100,000,000 to spend, many citi­zens were seized by attacks of vertigo,” wrote local author George Sessions-Perry. “Others merely went off and lay down in an effort to regain their composure. Then things began to happen.” Seemingly overnight, Rockdale’s population doubled to 5,000. A photo accompanying the Post story …

Hack Brief: Hackers Stole $40 Million from Binance Cryptocurrency Exchange

Binance is one of the world’s biggest cryptocurrency exchanges. As of Tuesday, it’s now also the scene of a major cryptocurrency theft. In what the company calls a “large-scale security breach,” hackers stole not only 7,000 bitcoin—equivalent to over $40 million—but also some user two-factor authentication codes and API tokens. Theft has long been endemic to cryptocurrency; hackers stole more than $356 million from exchanges and infrastructure in the first three months of 2019 alone, according to a recent report from blockchain intelligence company Ciphertrace. But it’s less common to see an established exchange like Binance get hacked—and for the attackers to get so much other information along the way. The Hack Binance has been fairly forthcoming about the hack, …