WhaleFin Weekly — Hacks, Security, Adoption
Learn about the most recent trends and updates in the crypto industry.
CRYPTO INDUSTRY UPDATES
$570 Million Worth of Binance’s BNB Token Stolen in Binance’s Hack
Binance resumed its operations last Friday after an exploit on the cross-chain bridge which forced the company to halt the petitions of its blockchain platforms BNB Chain and Binance Smart Chain.
The thieves withdrew 2 million BNB, worth around $565 million.
Source: Reuters, Cointelegraph
Transit SWAP Exploiter Returns 70% of $28.9M Hack
Transit Swap, a multichain decentralized exchange aggregator, lost roughly $21 million after a hacker exploited an internal bug on a swap contract.
In less than 24 hours after the hack, the Transit Finance team, along with security companies Peckshield, SlowMist, Bitrace, and TokenPocket, were able to identify the hacker’s IP, email address, and associated on-chain addresses.
The hacker has returned 70% of the stolen assets, equating to roughly $16.2 million.
Crypto-Friendly McDonald’s Starts to Accept Bitcoin and Tether in Lugano
The Swiss town of Lugano enables citizens to use their crypto wallets to pay for taxes and student tuition fees, and transact with local merchants like McDonald’s.
Lugano’s efforts to become a crypto-friendly region are made possible by Plan ₿ Foundation, a joint initiative between the Swiss City of Lugano and USD stablecoin issuer Tether.
Bitcoin, Tether, and LVGA payments are now recognized as de facto legal tender in Lugano.
LUNA and LUNC Prices Drop Following South Korea‘s Order for Do Kwon to Forfeit His Passport
On Oct 6, the South Korean Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued an order for Terra co-founder Do Kwon to hand over his passport within 14 days of the order. Failure to comply will result in the invalidation of his passport, and any requests for reissuance in the future will be rejected.
His current whereabouts are still unknown despite a Korean court arrest warrant issued last September 14, and an Interpol Red Notice issued on September 26. Kwon continues to claim that he hasn’t been contacted by authorities, and he denied he is “on the run”.
The Terra ecosystem has taken a huge hit over the past few months since its initial collapse, with LUNC and LUNA prices dropping further after news of Do Kwon’s passport invalidation.
On top of this, the South Korean government reportedly freezed Do Kwon’s crypto assets worth $40M, but Kwon claims the funds are not his.
Source: News Bitcoin, Coindesk
Chainlink Partners With SWIFT on Cross-Chain Protocol
Chainlink, the largest on-chain data provider, joins forces with SWIFT, the world’s largest banking messaging layer, to develop a Proof-of-Concept protocol that will connect SWIFT’s network to nearly every blockchain
The protocol will allow traditional finance investors to access digital and traditional assets on one network.
SWIFT’s interbank messaging system connects over 11,000 banks around the world and is the most widely-used platform for cross-border fiat transactions. The company is exploring blockchain technology and central bank digital currencies to facilitate faster transactions.
Source: Yahoo Finance
Circle’s Expansion for Its Multichain Vision of Interoperability
After significantly benefiting from Terra’s collapse and filling the void left by UST stablecoin, Circle’s USDC is expanding to include 5 blockchains by the end of the year, namely Polkadot, Optimism, Near, Arbitrum, and Cosmos.
USDC expanding to NEAR should come at no surprise, as one of Circle’s executives became the new CEO of the NEAR Foundation last December.
It is particularly significant as it is possible that the NEAR protocol could replace Solana as USDC’s de facto home chain, especially following Solana’s frequent power outages.
Read Cointelegraph’s interview with Circle’s vice president of product here.
Sources: Decrypt, Cointelegraph
ETH Staking Is Too Difficult
After the Ethereum Merge and transition to Proof-of-Stake, staking Ether now plays a central role in validating blocks and securing the network.
However, some community members believe that the staking process is too difficult, especially for regular investors.
According to a community member of the Ethereum subreddit, ETH staking is way too complicated, as it took them an entire weekend only to get things up and running.
INTERNATIONAL POLICIES AND KEY DYNAMICS
Fed Moves Toward Another Big Rate Increase
To contain inflation, further interest rate hikes have been announced, as the recent measures seem to have done little to cool the U.S. labor market.
However, the UN Conference on Trade and Development warns that this could trigger a worldwide economic crisis.
Source: Reuters, Bitcoinist
CBDC test involving HK, Thailand, China, UAE
China has completed a 40-day trial using central bank digital currencies (CBDC) to settle trades with Hong Kong, Thailand, and the United Arab Emirates via a special “bridge” arrangement.
The test ran on the four sides of the mBridge platform, a multi-country payment project launched by the Hong Kong Monetary Authority, Bank of Thailand, and the Bank for International Settlement Innovation Hub Hong Kong Centre (2019). The PBOC and the central bank of the United Arab Emirates joined the programme in 2021.
Binance Signs Mou With Kazakhstan to Fight Financial Crime
Binance has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Financial Monitoring Agency of the Republic of Kazakhstan that will establish a long-term collaboration to fight financial crime.
Source: Crypto Economy
European Parliament Members Vote in Favor of Crypto and Blockchain Tax Policies
The European Parliament voted in favor of a file to use blockchain technology to modernize taxation processes in the European Union.
The resolution recommended authorities in the parliament’s 27 member states consider a “simplified tax treatment” for crypto users involved in occasional or small transactions.
Source: Source: Bloomberg, Business Insider
Crypto Venture-Capital Firm Leads $14M Funding Round for Its DeFi Security Platform
Crypto-focused investment firm Paradigm has raised $14 million in a seed funding round for its decentralized-finance investment discovery and risk assessment platform Exponential.
The platform runs on an institutional-grade risk assessment system that detects potential risks in the protocols, assets, and blockchains underlying a user’s investments. Users are also given the option to find and compare yield opportunities across the major chains and protocols.
Soon, users will also be able to invest directly in DeFi projects through Exponential’s custodial platform.
Source: Yahoo Finance, Coindesk
Vasil Upgrade Finally Unlocks DeFi on Cardano
Cardano, the world’s fifth-largest blockchain by market capitalization, is going through its latest upgrade, Vasil, to dramatically improve the blockchain’s performance, and may particularly benefit decentralized finance applications.
Some argue the update may be a little too late, as many other competitive options are already available on the market.
Source: The Defiant
DeFi Project SushiSwap Finds a New Leader After Crypto Struggles
Jared Grey, the former CEO of Bitfineon, was elected the new “head chef” by Sushi DAO, the organization behind the decentralized cryptocurrency exchange SushiSwap, after a year of struggles.
The price of its SUSHI token is down 89% since the start of the year.
Monuverse to preserve the world’s cultural heritage
Monuverse is turning important global monuments into digital art by combining blockchain technology, 3D imaging, generative art, and local collaboration.
The first NFT project highlights the Arco della Pace (Arc of Peace), in Milan, Italy.
Warner Music Group partners with OpenSea
Warner Music Group partners with OpenSea, the top peer-to-peer marketplace for NFTs, to offer Web3 tools and resources to artists “to build and extend their fan communities in Web3.”
Source: Creative Industry News
NFT Crossposting and Sharing Now Available on Instagram and Facebook
Meta recently announced that all users on Instagram and Facebook can connect wallets and share NFTs across 100 countries.
Users will be able to tag creators and collectors, and cross-post digital collectibles between platforms without paying any fees.
Bitcoin is a ‘buying opportunity’ — Robert Kiyosaki
The businessman and best-selling author of Rich Dad Poor Dad, has called Bitcoin, silver, and gold a “buying opportunity” amid the continued interest rate hikes.
Source: Financial Express
Crypto spring Is Inevitable — Token Metric’s Senior Analyst Bill Noble
The senior market analyst at Token Metrics embraces market volatility:
“It’s 10% up or 10% down each day. I don’t have to wait five years in between crises. As a matter of fact, I only have to wait about 45 minutes.”
Central banks can push DeFi into mainstream — Swiss National Bank official
Thomas Moser, a governing board member at the Swiss National Bank, stated that CBDC could provide more stability and lower risks to the development of DeFi
Despite being polar opposites, centralization and decentralization in digital currencies can actually work together as centralization is not bad for DeFi, Moser argued.
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