Singapore investment firm Temasek Holdings has reduced compensation for the execs responsible for the firm’s investment into the now-defunct crypto exchange FTX.
Temasek was once the second-largest outside investor of FTX, with 7 million shares, according to Forbes. The firm however was forced to answer for its investment play after the exchange collapsed.
According to a May 29 report from Bloomberg, Temasek has now concluded its internal review of the $275 million investment loss incurred from FTX, which it initiated shortly after the exchange collapsed in November 2022.
While the findings revealed that there was “no misconduct” internally, it was reported that both its investment team and senior management took “collective accountability,” and had their compensation reduced.
The $275 million FTX investment which is now written off, was said to be 0.09% of Temasek portfolio value of more than $293 billion, at the time of collapse.
Temasek has stood by its claims that it conducted an extensive due diligence process into FTX before making its investment.
In a seperate May 29 Bloomberg statement, Temasek’s chairman, Lim Boon Heng, said that “there was fraudulent conduct intentionally hidden from investors, including Temasek,” suggesting that it has had a major impact on the firm:
“We are disappointed with the outcome of our investment, and the negative impact on our reputation.”
Singapore’s Deputy Prime Minister Lawrence Wong previously reiterated similar words at a parliament meeting in November 2022, just days after FTX collapsed.
“What happened with FTX, therefore, has caused not only financial loss to Temasek but also reputational damage” Wong said.
Temasek stated that when it conducted its due diligence, it reviewed FTX’s financial statements, assessed regulatory risks with crypto market financial service providers, and sought legal advice over nine months from Feb. to Oct 2021.
It was added that the firm also engaged with people with firsthand knowledge of FTX, including employees, other investors, and industry participants.
In more recent news, Temasek denied rumours that it had invested $10 million into Array, the developer of the algorithmic currency system based on smart contracts and artificial intelligence.
In a short statement on May 2, the firm addressed the circulating news articles and tweets regarding Temasek’s investment, dismissing them by stating “this news is incorrect.”
Digital Currency Group (DCG), the parent company of CoinDesk, closed its trade execution and prime brokerage services unit, TradeBlock, citing crypto winter and regulatory uncertainties. Gerber Kawasaki director of Get Invested Brett Sifling shared his crypto markets analysis. Plus, Columbia Business School adjunct professor Austin Campbell discussed the state of stablecoin regulation in the U.S. And TRM Labs head of legal and government affairs Ari Redbord explained why crypto hacks are down significantly in the first three months of 2023.
“CoinSwitch has always been conscious of its expenses,” said Ashish Singhal, the company’s co-founder and CEO. “Today, we are proudly serving more than 19 million registered users, and are excited to grow and evolve with them by providing them with a diverse range of investment options, including fixed deposits (FD), mutual funds, Indian stocks, and more.”
An Ether (ETH) wallet that has been inactive since Ethereum’s ICO (Initial Coin Offering) in 2015, has suddenly awoken after eight years of dormancy, moving a total of 8,000 ETH in just two minutes.
The wallet received the 8,000 ETH after participating in Ethereum’s ICO (Initial Coin Offering) in 2015 and remained inactive until May 27. On that day, its owner began with a cautionary transfer of 1 ETH to a new wallet. One minute later they transferred the remaining 7,999 ETH to the new wallet address.
At the time of writing, the ETH stash is worth approximately $14.7 million.
This transaction was first noticed by blockchain analytics service Lookonchain, which informed its 219,000 Twitter followers of the transfer.
In the comments section of the post, there was some community speculation around the reason for the transfer. One commenter suggested that the owner had just been released from prison, while another made a humorous remark that they were transferring funds from an old Ledger — a pointed comment about the company’s controversial new Recover upgrade.
At the time, the 8,000 ETH was purchased at a price of just $0.31 per token, which places the initial investment amount at around $2,500.
At today’s prices of $1,917, this marks a staggering 590,000% gain for the owner.
This isn’t the only ICO-era Ether wallet to re-awaken in recent months. On April 24, another wallet which received 2,365 ETH ($4.5 million) made its first transaction in nearly 8 years, after the owner transferred just 2,360 ETH to a new wallet address.
On March 5, another ETH wallet transferred 10,226 ETH ($19.6 million) out to new wallet address after remaining dormant for five years.
The new wallet address is also one with little in the way of any significant transaction history. The only other ETH transaction recorded in the new wallet is a 207 ETH ($380,000) incoming transaction that was made just a few minutes prior to the most recent transfer. Notably, the additional 207 ETH were sent from another wallet that remained completely inactive since June 12, 2017.
Interestingly, the new wallet also contains $46 worth of a memecoin called Gensler (GENSLR), and just $0.24 worth of a dragon-inspired token called Dejitaru Tsuka (TSUKA), according to data from Web3 wallet tracker DeBank.
The Ethereum ICO occurred in two primary stages. The first stage was the pre-sale, and between July 22 and Sept. 2, 2014 the sale of Ethereum tokens to new investors raised $18 million. The going exchange rate for the pre-sale was 1 BTC — for 2,000 ETH. The second stage was the official launch of the Ethereum blockchain which occurred on July 30, 2015. This meant that some investors waited more than a year to be able to redeem and use their ETH.
Dormant wallets with vast sums of crypto can awaken for a variety of reasons. Sometimes dormant wallets reawaken because they’ve been hacked. Other times, it’s simply because the owner may have forgotten about it and upon its re-discovery, have decided that it’s possibly a good time to sell.
In late 2024, citizens of the United States will take to the voting booths to elect their next president — a four-year term that could have a vast impact on the next crypto bull run.
Though polls are set to open on Nov. 5, 2024, dozens of U.S. politicians have already signaled an intention to contest President Joe Biden for the country’s top position.
The current Biden administration appears to have been taking an increasingly anti-crypto stance. Meanwhile, former president Donald Trump is again bidding for the job — setting the stage for a rematch. Others are seeking to carry the Democrat and Republican presidential nominations.
‘No fundamental value’: Joe Biden — Democrat
The current president of the United States, Joe Biden, kicked off his re-election bid on April 25, and is at the moment, the likely favorite for the Democrat’s presidential nominee.
Biden’s attitude toward crypto is possibly best summarized by his 2023 Economic Report of the President which included a section on crypto for the first time since it began in 1950.
The section aimed to debunk the “Perceived Appeal of Crypto Assets.” It argued crypto doesn’t deliver on “touted” benefits and claimed “many of them have no fundamental value.”
The former president turned NFT salesman Trump threw in his non-consecutive re-election bid on Nov. 15, 2022. According to current polling, he’s the favored Republican nominee.
Trump has said crypto “may be fake” and is “a disaster waiting to happen.” He’s also said Bitcoin (BTC) “just seems like a scam” and didn’t like it “because it is another currency competing against the dollar.”
In July 2019 as president, Trump tweeted he was “not a fan of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies” claiming their value was “based on thin air.”
During his presidency, Trump targeted crypto use in financial crimes and purportedly told his Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin to “go after Bitcoin” in a conversation on trade sanctions against China. “Cryptocurrencies” were mentioned in his 2021 budget proposal but only for explaining their use in crimes.
‘Every right to do Bitcoin’: Ron DeSantis — Republican
Ron DeSantis said he would “protect” Bitcoin in his May 24 presidential bid announcement on Twitter. Polls taken before the Florida governor’s announcement have him second favorite to Trump.
During his Twitter Space campaign kick-off, DeSantis said “You have every right to do Bitcoin” and would “protect the ability to do things like Bitcoin.”
He called out Congress, claiming it “never addressed” crypto and said regulators had made it so “that people can not operate in that space.”
His 2022–2023 budget proposal for the state of Florida proposed the government allows businesses to pay state fees with cryptocurrencies.
DeSantis is probably better known as an anti-central bank digital currency (CBDC) figure.
He passed laws in Florida prohibiting the use of a federal CBDC as money and banned the use of foreign CBDCs. He’s also rallied against the Federal Reserve’s FedNow 24/7 instant payments system, claiming it’s a CBDC precursor.
‘Bitcoin should not be regulated as a security’: Vivek Ramaswamy — Republican
Pharmaceutical firm founder Vivek Ramaswamy has also signaled a pro-crypto stance but is considered a long shot for the Republican nomination.
In mid-May, Ramaswamy tweeted “Bitcoin should not be regulated as a security.” At the Bitcoin 2023 conference, he announced he would accept campaign donations in Bitcoin.
At the conference, Ramaswamy reaffirmed Bitcoin should not be considered a security, saying “We need to keep it that way.”
With its historic Merge event in September, Ethereum has become a proof-of-stake blockchain. The mechanism now used to confirm transactions relies on validators staking their Ether (ETH). Ethereum’s March upgrade, codenamed Shanghai, finally enabled stakers to withdraw their locked Ether.
There are currently several ways people make money on or using Ethereum. Broadly, they can be grouped into “investment themes,” including: a) decentralized finance (DeFi); b) stablecoins; c) Bitcoin (BTC) (via wrapped versions of BTC); and d) nonfungible tokens (NFTs). Following Shanghai, the network began to offer fixed-income assets.
Yield is one of the core pillars of traditional finance (TradFi). A rise or fall in yield leads to an increase or decrease in the perceived risk of other financial assets. Thus, movements in the benchmark rate set by the United States Federal Reserve provide the rationale behind investment decisions, in general.
Accordingly, compliance professionals use trends in the risk-free rate to detect irrational movement of funds in capital markets, as such fund flows might be attempts to launder money. The reasoning here is that launderers of illicit funds do not actively chase financial gains like regular investors, as the sole purpose of money laundering is to obfuscate the trail of dirty money.
With Ethereum’s staking yield denoting the “risk-free rate” of the crypto ecosystem, the Shanghai upgrade may have enhanced the state of crypto forensics.
TradFi forensics focuses on activity — crypto forensics focuses on entities
Financial crime risk in TradFi is managed using automatic systems that alert institutions to probable illicit use of financial assets. While data scientists design and deploy models to raise red flags over suspicious transactions, investigation teams still must assess resultant leads and evaluate if Suspicious Activity Reports (SARs) need to be filed.
An interesting point of contrast between forensics for TradFi and crypto is that the latter focuses more on the criminal entity than the activity itself. In other words, investigators analyze networks of crypto wallets to identify transfers of criminal assets.
Money laundering occurs in three stages: a) Placement: proceeds of crime enter the financial system; b) Layering: complex movement of funds to obscure the audit trail and sever the link with the original crime; and c) Integration: criminal proceeds are now fully absorbed into the legal economy and can be used for any purpose.
For crypto assets, it is convenient to design solutions to detect the placement of illicit assets. This is because most laundered money originates from crypto-native crimes such as ransomware attacks, DeFi bridge hacks, smart contract exploits and phishing schemes. In all such offenses, a perpetrator’s wallet addresses are readily available. Consequently, once a crime has been committed, relevant wallets are monitored to analyze asset flows.
In contrast, forensic experts working for, say, a bank do not have any visibility into the offense — such as human or drug trafficking, cybercrime or terrorism — when criminal proceeds are being injected into a bank’s ecosystem. This makes detection extremely difficult. Hence, most Anti-Money Laundering (AML) solutions are designed to identify layering.
Ethereum’s staking rewards make it easier to detect unusual activity
To design solutions to detect layering, it is imperative to think like criminals, who craft complex flows of funds to obfuscate the money trail. The time-tested approach to exposing such activity is to spot the irrational movement of assets. This is because money laundering does not have the goal of generating profit.
With Ether’s post-Shanghai staking yields providing benchmark interest rates for crypto, we can formulate baseline risk-reward structures. Armed with this, investigators can systematically spot financial behavior running counter-intuitive to trends in the benchmark rate.
To illustrate, there might be a pattern where an address or a group of addresses that points toward an entity that consistently takes on high risk while earning below the risk-free rate. A situation like that would almost certainly be investigated at a bank.
Case in point, such a transaction surveillance architecture can be used to detect the wash trading of NFTs. Here, multiple market participants collude to carry out numerous NFT trades with the goal of layering criminal assets or manipulating prices. Since earning profits is not the intention behind the vast bulk of these transactions, such activity will raise a red flag.
Similarly, in a situation where proceeds of terrorism are being layered via DeFi protocols, detection of irrational asset movements can provide substantial leads to investigators, even without knowledge of the actual crime.
Financial crime and DeFi
Traditional capital markets are often used to covertly move funds to circumvent sanctions and finance terrorist activity. Analogously, DeFi ecosystems present an attractive target for financial crime due to the ability to move vast sums of assets between jurisdictions using blockchain.
Further, there has been a significant shift in activity from centralized exchanges to decentralized exchanges due to recent fiascos like the collapse of FTX. This increase in DeFi volumes has made it easier for illegal flows to remain obscure.
Even more compelling is the introduction of better compliance controls by centralized crypto service providers – often mandated by regulators – which are likely driving criminals to seek out new channels for money laundering.
Consequently, illicit flows to DeFi could originate from an expanded set of crimes. This paradigm shift in crypto markets will require forensics teams to increase their capabilities of investigating complex fund flows across diverse protocols without prior knowledge of the source of criminal assets.
Accordingly, compliance efforts need to pivot around the discovery of layering typologies. In fact, with the rapid progress in blockchain interoperability, systematic surveillance to detect criminal transfers has become even more crucial.
Our ability to detect suspicious activity in crypto is less than ideal, partly due to crypto’s extreme price volatility. The volatility renders static risk thresholds ineffective and can enable money laundering to go undetected. In this sense, if and when Ethereum sets a benchmark rate, it will provide a means of establishing baseline rationality for fund flows and thus spotting outliers.
Debanjan Chatterjee has more than 17 years of experience analyzing trends in financial crime using data science, including more than 13 years at HSBC. He holds a master’s in economics from India’s Delhi School of Economics.
This article is for general information purposes and is not intended to be and should not be taken as legal or investment advice. The views, thoughts and opinions expressed here are the author’s alone and do not necessarily reflect or represent the views and opinions of Cointelegraph.
Crypto insurance providers spend enormous amounts of time judging whether to provide coverage to a crypto company, and almost none of them offer assurances to individuals, insurance and crypto executives told Cointelegraph.
Raymond Zenkich, president of cryptocurrency insurance firm Evertas, told Cointelegraph that it’s a complicated process to initially assess the risks of a crypto platform.
He explained that initially, an underwriting — the process of evaluating and analyzing the risks of insuring the assets — is performed “based on a very detailed application form” that involves crunching 2,000 variables across 20 risk areas.
“A significant risk factor is key management: whether keys are stored in hot, warm, or cold wallets,” Zenkich noted.
He added that it doesn’t just stop there, as “there are several gradations of hot and warm, each with their own risk profile.”
On April 14, cryptocurrency exchange Bitrue suffered a hot wallet exploit, with attackers stealing nearly $23 million worth of crypto assets. The affected hot wallet held less than 5% of the exchange’s overall funds, and the remaining wallets have “not been compromised,” according to the firm.
Zenkich explained that after determining the level of storage risk, the firm will then need to look at thousands of “business, technology, and operational variables,” before being able to work out how much of a premium to charge, stating:
“Once we have the answers to all the applicable questions, we determine what kind of premium we would need to charge to justify taking on the risk.”
That being said, crypto insurance providers are usually unwilling to insure individuals whodon’t hold assets on an exchange — such as through self-custody or other means.
Adrian Przelozny, CEO of the Australian crypto exchange Independent Reserve, said that this is because it “would be very hard” for a customer to prove to the insurance provider they actually lost the crypto and didn’t just take it themselves.
Przelozny explained that while the provider only insures assets on the exchange platform itself, its “customers have a direct relationship with the insurer,” and “can choose to have 100% insurance coverage,” for a small fee when signing up.
He added that it’s a long insurance contract with many events covered, from hacks to “theft caused by our team.”
Meanwhile, a spokesperson for cryptocurrency exchange Binance told Cointelegraph that its emergency insurance fund, the Secure Asset Fund for Users (SAFU), is managed internally.
“It is a fund that is owned by Binance [that] was established in July 2018 to protect users’ interests,” they said.
“A verified loss sustained by a user from a vulnerability or other deficiency in Binance’s security systems and/or security protocols would be covered by SAFU,” said the spokesperson.
Simon Dixon, CEO of online investment platform BnkToTheFuture, however, believes there are things that traditional insurance providers can learn from their crypto counterparts to improve their practices.
“There is an opportunity to improve on traditional insurance with Smart Contracts and make it more accessible to all which I look forward to seeing grow as an industry, with our sector’s usual growing pains.”
The United States looks to avoid a catastrophic debt default after the White House and the House Republicans agreed upon a tentative deal on May 27. The U.S. equities markets rallied in anticipation of the deal on May 26 and the positive sentiment has rubbed off onto the cryptocurrency sector, which is attempting a recovery.
Buying is not limited to Bitcoin (BTC) alone as select altcoins are also showing signs of a short-term up-move. However, sustaining the rally at higher levels may prove to be difficult for the bulls.
After the debt ceiling deal, traders are likely to focus their attention on the Federal Reserve’s rate hikes. The hot Personal Consumption Expenditures data on May 26 increased the likelihood of a rate hike at the Fed’s June meeting. The probability of a 25 basis point rate hike has risen from 17% a week back to 64% on May 28, according to the CME FedWatch Tool.
Along with Bitcoin, what altcoins that are looking ripe for a short-term up-move? Let’s study the charts of these top five cryptocurrencies to spot the important levels to watch out for.
Bitcoin price analysis
Bitcoin has reached the overhead resistance zone between the 20-day exponential moving average ($27,146) and the support line of the symmetrical triangle. This zone is likely to witness a solid tussle between the bulls and the bears.
If the price turns down from the overhead zone, the bears will make another attempt to yank the price to the pivotal support at $25,250. The bulls are expected to defend the zone between $25,250 and $24,000 with all their might because a break below it could intensify selling. The BTC/USDT pair could then tumble to $20,000.
On the contrary, if buyers overcome the overhead obstacle and push the price back into the triangle, it will suggest strong buying on dips. That increases the possibility of a break above the resistance line of the triangle. The pair may then soar to $31,000.
The 4-hour chart shows that the pair is trading inside a descending channel pattern and the bears are trying to defend the resistance line. If the price turns down from the current level but rebounds off the 20-EMA, it will indicate that dips are being bought.
The bulls will then again try to thrust the price above the channel. If they succeed, the pair may start an up-move to $28,400.
Contrarily, a break below the moving averages will suggest that the pair may extend its stay inside the channel for some more time.
XRP price analysis
XRP (XRP) has formed an inverse head and shoulders pattern, which will complete on a break and close above the neckline.
The 20-day EMA ($0.45) is sloping up gradually and the RSI has jumped into positive territory, indicating that the path of least resistance is to the upside. If bulls drive and sustain the price above the neckline, the XRP/USDT pair could start a rally to the overhead resistance zone between $0.54 and $0.58. The pattern target of the bullish setup is $0.55.
This positive view will be negated in the near term if the price turns down from the neckline and plummets below the 20-day EMA. The pair could then descend to the important support near $0.40.
The 4-hour chart shows that the pair is witnessing a tough battle between the bulls and the bears near the neckline. The rising 20-EMA and the RSI in the positive zone indicate a minor advantage to the buyers.
If the price rebounds off the 20-EMA, it will increase the likelihood of a break above $0.48. If that happens, the pair is likely to start its up-move. Alternatively, if the price turns down and breaks below the moving averages, it will tilt the short-term advantage in favor of the bears. The pair may then drop to $0.44.
Arbitrum price analysis
The bulls pushed Arbitrum (ARB) back above the 20-day EMA ($1.17) on May 28, indicating the start of a potential recovery.
The bears are likely to pose a strong challenge at $1.20 but if bulls pierce this level, the ARB/USDT pair could pick up momentum. There is a minor resistance at the 50-day simple moving average ($1.29) but it is likely to be crossed. The pair may then climb to $1.36 and later to $1.50.
If bulls want to prevent the rally, they will have to quickly pull the price back below the 20-day EMA. If they manage to do that, the pair may slip to $1.06 and then to $1.01. This is an important zone for the bulls to defend because if it cracks, the pair may witness a sharp fall to $0.73.
The 4-hour chart shows that the bulls have pushed the price above the resistance line of the symmetrical triangle pattern. The bears are trying to stall the up-move at $1.20 but if the bulls do not allow the price to re-enter the triangle, it will enhance the prospects of an upside breakout. The pattern target of the setup is $1.43.
Contrarily, if the price turns down and breaks back into the triangle, it will suggest that the recent breakout may have been a bull trap. The bears will then try to sink the price back toward the support line of the triangle.
Eos (EOS) has been oscillating between $0.78 and $1.34 for the past several months. Generally, in such a large range, traders buy near the support and sell close to the resistance.
The EOS/USDT pair bounced off $0.81 on May 25 and rose above the 20-day EMA ($0.89) on May 28. This is the first indication that the range remains intact. The bulls will try to push the price to the 50-day SMA ($1) where the bears are likely to mount a strong defense.
If the next dip finds support at the 20-day EMA, it will suggest that the bulls are on top. The pair could then rise to $1.11. The bears will have to tug the price below the vital support at $0.78 to indicate the start of a downtrend.
The recovery attempt is facing selling near the overhead resistance at $0.93 but the bulls have not given up much ground. The moving averages have completed a bullish crossover and the RSI is near the overbought zone, indicating that bulls have the upper hand.
If buyers drive the price above $0.93, the pair could pick up momentum and rise toward the psychological level of $1 and subsequently to $1.11. This positive view could invalidate in the near term if the price turns down and breaks below the moving averages.
Aave price analysis
Aave (AAVE) has been falling inside a descending channel pattern, which generally behaves as a bullish setup.
After struggling near the 20-day EMA ($65.50) for the past few days, the bulls pushed the price above the resistance on May 27. This suggests the start of a possible relief rally.
The AAVE/USDT pair could first rise to the 50-day SMA ($70) and thereafter attempt a rally to the resistance line. A break and close above this level may start a short-term up-move.
Contrary to this assumption, if the price turns down from the current level and breaks below the 20-day EMA, it will suggest that demand dries up at higher levels. The next support on the downside is at $62.
The 4-hour chart shows the formation of an ascending triangle pattern which will complete on a break and close above $67.40. The pair could then start an up-move toward the pattern target of $74.
Instead, if the price turns down from the current level, it will indicate that bears are fiercely protecting the $67.4 level. If the price slips below the moving averages, it will suggest that the pair may remain inside the triangle for some more time. A break below the triangle will invalidate the positive setup, tilting the advantage in favor of the bears.
This article does not contain investment advice or recommendations. Every investment and trading move involves risk, and readers should conduct their own research when making a decision.
This article is for general information purposes and is not intended to be and should not be taken as legal or investment advice. The views, thoughts, and opinions expressed here are the author’s alone and do not necessarily reflect or represent the views and opinions of Cointelegraph.
Bitcoin may be the answer to combat cybersecurity threats driven by artificial intelligence, such as deepfake, said Michael Saylor, executive chairman of MicroStrategy, during a recent interview with Kitco News.
Saylor illustrated his views using social media accounts created by robots as an example. According to him, billions of fake accounts are behind a digital “civil war” in today’s society, stirring up hatred among real users of digital platforms.
“The risk in cyberspace is I can spin up a billion fake people, and I can create a civil war by having the fake Republicans hate on the fake Democrats, or the real Democrats. Having the fake Democrats hate on the real Republicans,” said the tech executive when discussing how artificial intelligence and other next-generation technologies will make deepfake cheaper and harder to detect.
According to Saylor, who has over 3 million Twitter followers, he receives nearly 2,000 fake followers every day. “I literally saw in a matter of one hour, 1500 bot accounts got scrubbed off my account, and they were bots. So, we can no longer live with that status quo,” he continued. The executive believes the solution for deepfake and other digital trust issues lies in decentralized identities (DIDs).
A decentralized identity is a self-owned, independent identity that enables trusted data exchange. In other words, it is a way to verify and control an online identity and personal information.
“If someone wants to launch a billion Twitter bots, that’s going to cost them a billion transactions […]. By combining the power of cryptography with the power of a decentralized crypto network like Bitcoin, we can bring cost and consequence into cyberspace,” he explained.
Saylor’s Microstrategy is one of the companies working on encrypted signatures for social users and corporate solutions. The CEO of Open AI, Sam Altman, is also developing technology for proof of personhood with his crypto project, Worldcoin. To build decentralized identification tools, the company closed a $115 million fund round last week.
Similarly, layer-2 protocol Polygon launched a decentralized identity solution in March. Powered by zero-knowledge proofs (ZK proofs), it uses cryptographic techniques to allow users to verify their identity online without having their sensitive information passed or potentially stored with a third party. The product came out nearly a year after announcing its development.
Approximately 12 crypto startups raised over $151 million this week, with Web3 gaming taking center stage.
Openfort brought in $3 million in an effort to continue developing its wallet as a service product for Web3 gaming. Gumi Cryptos Capital and Maven 11 teamed up to lead the seed round, with participation from Game7, NGC Ventures and Newman Capital.
Founded by brothers Joan and Jaume Alavedra, Openfort seeks to provide infrastructure that will be able to support crypto transactions on popular games.
“Web2 hit games like Clash of Clans are accustomed to monitoring and controlling all aspects of their game economies,” said Joan Alavedra, cofounder of Openfort, in a statement. “By offering programmable player management we provide the power needed for the next hit games in Web3.”
Openfort plans to use a technique called account abstraction, which enables “smart contracts to initiate transactions themselves,” according to a post on the Ethereum website. Openfort’s investors think account abstraction will make the gaming experience a lot smoother and simpler for users.
Also in the gaming sector, Pomerium, a Web3 game developer, notched a $20 million investment in an angel round. The individual who kicked in the funds remains undisclosed.
Worldcoin raises $115 million
The blockchain-based financial and identity network co-founded by OpenAI creator Sam Altman pulled in nine figures this week, despite a bear market in crypto funding.
Worldcoin’s $115 million Series C round was led by Blockchain Capital. Other investors included a16z, Bain Capital Crypto and Distributed Global.
Worldcoin, built by tech company Tools for Humanity, has plans to institute a structure similar to that of a DAO. Three ideas are crucial to its mission.
World ID is its take on digital identity. Worldcoin — the Ethereum-based token itself — will be the currency “freely distributed” to people, similar to universal basic income. Finally, the World App will be the crypto wallet for the ecosystem.
Worldcoin is still in beta, but it plans to launch in the first half of 2023, according to its website.
Other notable fundraises
News site Semafor, though not a crypto firm, raised $19 million to replace the funds it initially received in June of last year from FTX’s Sam Bankman-Fried. After a bout of criticism, Semafor returned the approximately $10 million it received from Bankman-Fried in January 2023, the New York Times reported.
LabDAO raised $3.6 million with help from Inflection.xyz and Village Global to decentralize drug discovery.
Sort, a smart contract platform for developers building Web3 apps, brought in $3.5 million in a seed round led by Lemniscap.
Num Finance, a local stablecoin issuer in Latin American countries, won a $1.5 million investment in a pre-seed round led by stablecoin-focused Reserve.
The market dominance of stablecoins pegged to the United States dollar has undergone some changes over the past year. While most of them are in a downward trend, Tether (USDT) has climbed back to its all-time high, data from CoinGecko shows.
In the past 12 months, Circle’s USD Coin (USDC) has seen its market share decline from 34.88% to 23.05% at the time of writing. Market participation of Binance USD (BUSD) plunged from 11.68% to 4.18% in the same period, while Dai (DAI) held its participation rate at 3.66%, down from 4.05% in May 2022.
Tether’s USDT is moving in a contrasting trend. The stablecoin market dominance currently sits at 65.89% from 47.04% one year ago. Its market capitalization soared to $83.1 billion, while the USDC market cap dropped to $29 billion from its $55 billion peak.
The U.S. banking crisis led to USDC depegging in March as reserves worth $3.3 billion were stuck at Silicon Valley Bank, one of three crypto-friendly banks shut down by regulators. Despite Circle’s assurances, the market quickly responded to the news, causing USDC to depeg from the dollar.
With the growing connection between the crypto space and traditional finance, stablecoins have become increasingly popular. A report released recently by the European Systemic Risk Board highlighted the need for more transparency in the digital assets market, specifically for stablecoin reserves.
Tether has been heavily criticized for lacking transparency over the past years. Owned by Hong Kong-based iFinex, the crypto firm was fined $18.5 million in 2021 by the New York Attorney General’s Office for allegedly misrepresenting the fiat backing for its reserves. As part of the settlement, the stablecoin issuer was also required to provide greater financial transparency.
Tether’s leadership has fought back against the negative allegations on Twitter. Additionally, the company is seeking to reduce its exposure to the banking system following the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank. Its latest audit report shows Tether pulled over $4.5 billion out of banks in the first quarter of 2023, leading to a “substantial reduction” in counterparty risk amid the ongoing global economic uncertainty.
The company also boosted its U.S. Treasury bills to a new high of over $53 billion, or 64% of its reserves. Combined with other assets, USDT is now backed by 85% cash, cash equivalents and short-term deposits, according to the report.
A similar move has been made by Circle. The stablecoin operator reportedly adjusted its reserves to mitigate risk in the face of macroeconomic uncertainty, and no longer holds Treasuries maturing beyond early June.
Several months after the collapse of FTX, and following relentless media coverage of alleged criminal mastermind Sam Bankman-Fried, Axios and Harris Polling asked Americans how they felt about 100 highly-visible brands.
And shockingly, despite evaporating billions of dollars of investor value, crashing the crypto industry, and wiping out countless average crypto enthusiasts through a mixture of incompetence and alleged criminality, FTX did not come out absolute bottom of that survey — which may give some hope to those behind a plan to reboot the exchange.
In fact FTX wasn’t too far away from the companies in 97th and 98th on the list: Twitter and the Fox Corporation.
By the time Axios surveyed over 16,000 Americans in March 2023, Twitter had been decimated by Elon Musk and Fox Corporation was facing a Dominion lawsuit. Fox’s rating was captured in the face of widely-reported comments from Tucker Carlson on ex-President Trump, such as “I hate him passionately” that may have helped add a bipartisan flavor to the apparent disdain Americans have for the company.
FTX, in 99th place on the list of 100 companies, also trailed Spirit Airlines, TikTok, Balenciaga and even Meta. Another Elon Musk project, Tesla, dropped 50 places in the public’s estimation.
Axios measured attitudes to company reputations on character, trust, and ethics, among other metrics.
Bitcoin doesn’t do so well, either
FTX was not the only crypto brand represented on the list, however. Bitcoin was also top-of-mind among Americans last year, and was included in the survey.
Bitcoin’s scores were not quite as catastrophic as FTX’s — but the largest cryptocurrency was still in the bottom 10, just behind oil giant BP… and two places behind Family Dollar. Bitcoin has been the target of environmental groups concerned about its energy use, although a New York Times ‘hit piece’ on the subject did not emerge until after the survey was completed.
At the other end of the list, Patagonia and Costco headed the brands considered most reputable by Americans, with Amazon’s top 10 ranking proving that being a tech company does not automatically make you unpopular. Apple and Samsung also made the top 10.
Given that FTX is accused of stealing customer money and blowing it on lavish parties in the Bahamas while its principals lived it up in an orgiastic penthouse, it would have to be quite an achievement to rank below the crypto exchange in public trust.
And indeed, only one corporate entity was perceived as worse, a business already convicted of criminal behavior in the lead-up to the poll: The Trump Organization.
Royalties give NFT creators a way to keep getting paid for their work, even after the original sale of the NFT.
Nonfungible tokens (NFTs) have been a key technical paradigm and a building block of the Web3 ecosystem. While the rise of NFTs was really led by the Ethereum community through 2020 and 2021, other chains like Solana and even Bitcoin have followed suit with major projects launching on these blockchains.
Creators have historically looked for different forms of income from their work. While there are laws pertaining to protecting intellectual property in the Web2 world, enforcing these laws and protecting creators’ interests has been hard to achieve.
Royalty payments are passive income that goes toward a creator on each transaction of their finished product. The product could be music, art, game utilities or any other form of digital asset. While creators earn from the primary sale of their NFTs, royalties are paid to the creator for each subsequent purchase as well.
As more institutions explore digital assets, the need for on-chain analytics platforms has never been higher.
Compliance experts, investigators and regulators employ these blockchain analytical tools to better understand the patterns and entities in cryptocurrency transactions.
To learn more about the tools and how they fit into broader cryptocurrency adoption, Cointelegraph sat down with Tom Robinson, the co-founder and chief scientist at analytics firm Elliptic; and Eray Akartuna, a senior cryptocurrency threat analyst at Elliptic.
Cointelegraph: What are the typical use cases you see for on-chain analytics for institutional clients?
Tom Robinson: Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and sanctions compliance for crypto exchanges and other businesses handling crypto assets: Our crypto transaction and wallet screening tools help businesses remain compliant with regulations and to reduce fraud.
Due diligence on crypto businesses: Our Discovery product provides risk profiles of exchanges and other crypto services based on analysis of their blockchain transactions. This is used by crypto businesses and financial institutions to gain insights into the businesses they are transacting with.
Investigating crypto transactions: Investigator — our blockchain investigations software — allows graphical exploration of crypto wallets and the transactions between them. Law enforcement investigators use this to “follow the money” and link criminal activity to individuals. It is also used by crypto businesses to investigate potential illicit activity by their customers.
CT: How is Anti-Money Laundering in crypto different from mainstream AML within banks for fiat?
TR: The main difference is that most crypto transactions are visible on the blockchain. This makes it much easier to identify whether funds have originated from criminal activity by tracing them using blockchain analytics tools.
CT: Do you see a role for artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning to play within on-chain analytics? Particularly within fraud prevention and AML?
Eray Akartuna: Yes, we already use machine learning within our blockchain analytics products. However, it’s very important to ensure the accuracy of these techniques through extensive testing.
There are certain aspects of blockchain transactions where we can use machine learning to understand or identify certain patterns. Patterns seen on the Bitcoin blockchain may not necessarily be the same as patterns on the Ethereum blockchain; they work in slightly different ways. I would point out the use of heuristics.
There are certain aspects of the blockchain transactions where we have common spend that will help us know whether the addresses are owned by a single entity or not — if I want to identify illicit activities and illicit actors on a blockchain — and identify their wallet addresses.
For instance, the North Korean cyber hackers were using a programmatic way of laundering. The hack was conducted in 2018, where they used about 113 wallets to disassociate funds from the original theft in an automated fashion. We could programmatically analyze the timestamps of those individual transactions to understand exactly how this automated software works.
If we are analyzing dark web markets or terrorist entities, etc., using heuristics can help us identify if a wallet address has been associated with a certain illicit entity. We can then use those heuristics to understand what other wallet addresses may also belong to or be associated with that entity.
We’ve got a risk score which fits into predictive analysis. When we look at the incoming and outcoming transactions to a cluster of wallets, we can see ultimately where they ended up. Entities identified as belonging to an exchange, a terrorist group or a dark market can be spotted when they are transacting with particular entities that we’re focusing on.
Let’s say about 50% of that crypto has gone to a certain dark web market; we can actually use that to provide a risk score of how risky the wallet is. The risk score is then used by exchanges and banks to decide if they want to do business with these wallet holders or not.
CT: What are the most complex problems you are solving at Elliptic? Why are they complex, and why is it important to solve them?
TR: The most complex and important problem we have solved recently is how to identify proceeds of crime in crypto, even when they have been laundered cross-asset and cross-chain. Criminals now move their proceeds between assets, using decentralized exchanges; and between blockchains, using cross-chain bridges.
We developed holistic screening as a way of automatically tracing crypto funds between assets and blockchains. This unique capability is now absolutely essential; otherwise, money launderers will exploit businesses’ lack of visibility into their activity.
CT: How do you see banks adopting digital assets and with that on-chain analytics? What has the uptake been so far?
EA: We are seeing slow but steady adoption, but compliance is top of mind for banks. Blockchain analytics is seen as an essential part of the puzzle and a way to assuage the concerns of regulators.
If institutions want to get involved in the decentralized finance (DeFi) space and plan to invest clients’ funds, they need to know whether the liquidity pool that they are investing in is credible and has the right risk profile. If the liquidity pool has illicit funds going in and out of it, there is a compliance issue there. That is a key use case for institutions who are looking to get involved in DeFi.
The other use case is where some challenger banks like Revolut are allowing their customers to hold and trade cryptocurrencies. These banks will need compliance and AML capabilities before offering these products to customers.
CT: Have you had any interactions with regulators that would affect how you would serve the financial services industry, and what are the key areas of interest from a regulatory perspective?
TR: We have a constant dialogue with regulators around the world, many of whom use our products. It’s important that they understand how our blockchain analytics solutions function so that they can have confidence in the compliance programs run by the exchanges and banks that use our products.
The Federal Reserve has been executing an aggressive plan over the past year, hiking rates in a concerted effort to quell runaway inflation. With ten consecutive increases beginning in the spring of 2022, it’s the steepest series of rate hikes America has witnessed since the 1980s.
As 2021’s near-zero interest rates fade from sight in the rear-view mirror, questions are percolating about how soon the current tightening cycle may end. Both gold bugs and bitcoin aficionados are perking up, spurred by murmurs of a potential change in policy amidst wavering markets.
On the Blockworks’ On the Margin podcast, host Mike Ippolito interviews Luke Gromen, founder and president of Forest for the Trees, about the Federal Reserve’s end game and how a possible change of direction might affect hard assets; both metallic and digital in nature.
Gromen loves gold and bitcoin in the current scenario, suggesting “both win” in the end.
“People say the Fed’s gonna raise rates a lot and that’s bad for gold.”
“Historically that was,” Gromen acknowledges, but things are different now. “There has been no time in the last hundred years where if the Fed raises rates too much, they will bankrupt the United States government.”
Nothing is more bullish for gold and bitcoin, he says, than the moment when markets say, “Oh my God, they can’t raise rates more.”
“Obviously, the US government’s not going to go nominally bankrupt,” he says. “The Fed will print the difference.”
Tax receipts are coming up short against government spending, Gromen observes. “Health and Human Services, Social Security, Treasury spending — if you add those three categories up, they were more than first half tax receipts.”
The point at which the government can not pay “true interest expense” is already here, Gromen says. “We were there in 2020. We were there in 2021.”
“We’re there again.”
Which is normally “great for gold and bitcoin,” Gromen says, but there’s a catch. “If the Fed does not print the money,” given the dollar’s incumbent role as reserve currency, “the US government’s gonna crowd out global dollar markets, which we are seeing.”
Gold and bitcoin win either way
As the dollar goes up against other currencies, some pressure could be exerted upon bitcoin and gold “in the short run,” according to Gromen. But at some point, rising rates and restrictive printing policy become too much of a threat to stability.
Markets could panic at the prospect of a default if the Federal Reserve continues to hold off on printing, he says, which “ain’t bad for gold or bitcoin.” Alternatively, the Fed could be forced to “finance the gap with printed money.”
“Ultimately, they win either way.”
With that said, Gromen admits he’s taking a “barbell approach” to the current situation. “I’m overweight gold, overweight bitcoin, overweight gold miners along with some energy plays and some industrial equity plays.”
“But I’m also overweight cash — US dollar cash and short-term Treasuries — and we have been all year.”
Flying the plane into the ground to fight inflation
Gromen suspects Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell doesn’t understand the “second and third derivatives of what he’s doing” as he appears to be committed to “flying the plane into the ground to fight inflation.”
“There’s not been a lot of instances where I’ve seen US policy-makers understanding the second and third derivatives of what they do for a long time, by and large.”
“I need to be flexible in terms of managing my own liquidity and in terms of keeping my firepower dry,” Gromen admits. “That’s the better way to hedge the volatility that will ensue if the Fed continues to not print.”
A dormant wallet that purchased 8,000 ether ($14.8 million) in the Ethereum ICO in 2015 has woken up and transferred its funds to another address.
The wallet first made a test transaction with 1 ether ($1,845) before sending the remaining 7,999 ether to the address, as noticed by on-chain analysts Lookonchain.
When the owner participated in the Ethereum ICO, or initial coin offering, the funds were purchased for around $0.31 per token, or just shy of $2,500 in total. That means the owner is sitting on a 591,900% return on investment at current prices.
The funds have been moved to another wallet with limited transaction history. The only other movement in that wallet is a 207 ether ($380,000) inbound transaction that was made only a few minutes earlier. These funds were sent from a different wallet that hadn’t been active since 2017.
It’s unclear why this Ethereum ICO participant is consolidating some — or all — of their funds into one wallet. They don’t appear to have been sent to an exchange and haven’t been sold on-chain.
These types of movements have happened a few times in the past. In December, two addresses moved $27 million of ether, of which some funds were from the Ethereum ICO. In April, another ICO participant moved $4.4 million of funds.
The governance token holders of Tornado Cash will soon regain control over the protocol’s operations, thanks to an unexpected proposal put forth by the individual responsible for the attack. This development allows the community to regain authority and steer the protocol toward recovery and improved security measures.
On May 26, the proposal to restore control to the original governance holders of Tornado Cash passed successfully. A total of 517,000 token votes were in favor of the proposal, with none opposing it. At the time of writing, the time remaining for the execution to take place was 2 hours 40 mins. This resolution brings a swift conclusion to a governance takeover that, fortunately, did not impact the protocol itself but did lead to the theft of certain governance tokens.
By successfully orchestrating a takeover of the protocol’s governance system, the attacker maneuvered a malicious proposal that granted them 1.2 million votes. Leveraging this significant voting power, they proceeded to pass additional proposals, ultimately seizing control over previously vested governance tokens. Their tactics allowed them to manipulate the governance structure, resulting in a transfer of authority in their favor.
In a surprising turn of events, just a few hours after the hack, the attacker unexpectedly made contact with the Tornado Cash community, presenting a new proposal that purportedly aimed to restore governance control. This unexpected gesture took many by surprise, raising curiosity and prompting further scrutiny of the attacker’s intentions and motivations.
As reported by Martin Lee, a data journalist from the crypto analytics site Nansen, the attacker managed to pilfer a significant sum of 483,000 TORN tokens. Subsequently, they conducted a series of swaps, converting the majority of the stolen tokens into 485 ETH, equivalent to approximately $890,000. This strategic maneuver left them with 39,000 TORN, valued at around $160,000. To obfuscate the origin of the funds, a portion of the ether was cleverly routed through Tornado Cash, adding an additional layer of anonymity to the transaction.
Tornado Cash, the Ethereum blockchain-based mixing service, found itself embroiled in controversy when it was officially sanctioned by the U.S. Treasury in August 2022. The sanction stemmed from allegations that the protocol had been utilized for money laundering purposes.
Adding to the existing number of protocol hacks in the crypto industry, Jimbos Protocol has not escaped the sights of the attackers as it has suffered an attack resulting in a loss of a large amount of funds.
According to PeckShield, a blockchain security unit, Jimbos Protocol, the liquidity protocol of the Arbitrum system, was hacked on the morning of May 28. The attack resulted in the loss of 4,000 ETH, equivalent to approximately $7.5 million.
Specifically, the attacker took advantage of the lack of slippage control of liquidity conversions. The protocol’s liquidity is invested in a price range that doesn’t need to be equal, creating a loophole where attackers can reverse swap orders for their own gain.
Despite being launched less than 20 days ago, the Jimbos Protocol aimed to address liquidity and volatile token prices through a new testing approach. However, it appears that the protocol’s mechanism was not adequately developed, leading to a logical vulnerability that created favorable conditions for attackers. As a consequence, the price of the underlying token, JIMBO, has plummeted by 40% and shows little sign of recovery.
According to PeckShield’s findings, the attackers managed to extract a significant amount of 4,090 ETH from the Arbitrum network. Subsequently, they utilized the bridge called Stargate and the Celer Network to transfer and collect a substantial sum of approximately 4,048 ETH from the Ethereum network.
The occurrence of hacking incidents targeting decentralized finance (DeFi) protocols is not a novel phenomenon within the cryptocurrency market. While there have been reports indicating a significant decline in the number of such attacks when compared to previous years, the community has still been exposed to numerous instances of exploitation in recent times.
Despite efforts to enhance security measures, the DeFi ecosystem continues to grapple with the persistent challenge of safeguarding against potential vulnerabilities and unauthorized access. An example lies in the flash loan attack the 0VIX protocol fell victim to, resulting in a substantial loss of nearly $2 million.
Another noteworthy occurrence involved the hijacking of Tornado Cash, a prominent privacy-focused protocol. Unknown attackers successfully compromised the system and extracted significant quantities of TORN tokens, leading to substantial financial losses.
Crypto project Jimbos Protocol was exploited for 4,090 ETH ($7.5 million) just three days after its version 2 was launched.
The hack was enabled by the protocol’s lack of control over slippage for the tokens under its control, according to crypto analysts PeckShield. The exploiter made use of a $5.9 million flash loan — where tokens are borrowed and instantly repaid — to carry out the attack.
“We are aware of the exploit regarding our protocol and are actively in contact with law enforcement and security professionals. We will release further information when possible,” the protocol said on Twitter.
The Arbitrum-based Jimbos Protocol is an attempt to make a token with a semi-stable floor price, that’s backed by an amount of assets. It attempts to take some elements of the Olympus DAO project — which rose quickly in price before eventually collapsing — but with a few changes hoped to make it more sustainable. The core idea is to use the project’s own liquidity to support its price, in combination with taxes and incentives.
The project initially launched on May 16 but shortly after the launch, a smart contract bug stopped the protocol from working as expected. Users were told to not interact with version 1 and wait for version 2. Following today’s exploit of version 2, the token’s price has fallen from $0.24 to $0.18, down 25%.
On the project’s website, it notes that “these mechanisms are experimental, the contracts are unaudited, and that any amount of money you put into this protocol can be lost due to unforseen circumstances at any time.”
On May 25, popular crypto investor DCF God said he had bought some jimbo tokens, before realising it lacked the feature he had bought them for. Today he noted, “Oh and now I’m rugged.”
ZaynFi has become the first DeFi platform to be approved in accordance with Islamic finance principles, paving the way for greater adoption of DeFi among the global Muslim population.
ZaynFi, a Decentralized Finance (DeFi) protocol focused on simplifying yield-generation within DeFi, has received Shariah approval from Amanie Advisors, a leading global Shariah advisory firm. The approval makes the ZaynFi protocol the first DeFi platform to receive such certification, paving the way for greater adoption of DeFi for over 2 billion Muslims globally.
The Shariah approval by Amanie Advisors confirms that ZaynFi’s protocol complies with Islamic Finance principles, providing a trusted and transparent platform for Muslims who wish to engage in DeFi activities. This approval represents a significant milestone for the DeFi industry, which sets the standards for Shariah governance within the industry.
“We are grateful to receive the Shariah certification from Amanie Advisors. We are on a mission to simplify DeFi for the masses and we are delighted that with this certification, we expand the reach of our products into the global Muslim market,” said ZaynFi’s Core Contributor, Syakir Hashim. “This is the first time that Shariah governance around DeFi’s yield taxonomy has been established. This will open up the world of DeFi to a large underserved community” added Syakir Hashim, Core Contributor of ZaynFi.
ZaynFi has recently launched the beta version of its product on BNB Chain to a select group of early users. The product offers users a chance to earn
above-market yields with their stablecoins while minimizing exposure to the volatility commonly associated with cryptocurrencies.
ZaynFi is a Decentralized Finance (DeFi) protocol that offers simple solutions for liquidity provisioning to Decentralized Exchanges and yield-farming. The protocol is designed to be highly scalable, secure, and efficient, providing users with a trusted and transparent platform for engaging in DeFi activities.
About Amanie Advisors
Amanie Advisors is a leading global Shariah advisory firm that provides Shariah-compliant solutions for financial institutions, corporations, and governments. Amanie Advisors is known for its expertise in Shariah compliance and its commitment to promoting Islamic finance globally.
By offering fractional investment opportunities in AI Startups, InQubeta aims to provide investors with the chance to support a niche that is experiencing rapid growth.
InQubeta (QUBE), a new crowdfunding platform that focuses solely on AI startups, is generating buzz as its presale is set to exceed market expectations.
In contrast, established projects like Polkadot (DOT) and Chainlink (LINK) have been experiencing a decline in holders, but why?
First and foremost, InQubeta is a new player in the crypto world that aims to revolutionize the way investors support AI startups – it’s a crowdfunding platform that allows fractional investment in AI startups using QUBE tokens.
The AI market is growing at an exponential rate, with a projected size of half a trillion US dollars by 2023. This presents a significant opportunity for investors to get in early and potentially make significant profits.
What sets InQubeta apart from its competitors is its focus on AI startups. While other platforms may support a variety of projects, InQubeta is solely focused on the AI industry, giving investors the chance to support a specific niche that’s seeing unprecedented growth.
The concept of fractional investment allows investors to invest in a brand without risking their portfolio, meaning that InQubeta is the first platform of its kind, providing a unique way for AI startups to raise funds and engage with their community.
Their native QUBE token is deflationary by nature, serving as an ERC20 token that aims to create a more transparent, secure, and democratic investment ecosystem for AI tech startups.
Investors can also earn rewards through staking their tokens, making this an attractive investment opportunity for those who believe in the growth potential of AI technology startups as a whole.
InQubeta also has its very own NFT marketplace – allowing AI startups to raise funds and offer reward and equity-based NFTs, while QUBE token holders can easily invest in the projects they believe in, essentially creating a mutually beneficial ecosystem.
Furthermore, the platform offers transparency and security for investors, as they can see exactly where their investment is going and how it’s being used. This is a crucial factor for investors who want to ensure their money is being used ethically and responsibly.
Chainlink (LINK) isn’t doing so hot in comparison. It has been experiencing a decline in holders as the hype surrounding the project has died down somewhat in recent months, with investors becoming more focused on other promising blockchain projects.
Another factor that may be contributing to the decline in LINK holders is the increasing competition in the oracle space. While Chainlink was once the dominant player in the oracle market, there are now a number of other projects competing for market share. This may be leading some investors to diversify their portfolios and invest in other oracle projects, rather than concentrating all their holdings in LINK.
Polkadot (DOT) has also been experiencing a decline in holders for a number of reasons. One possible explanation is that the crypto market has been highly volatile in recent months, and many investors may be looking to take profits or cut losses by selling off their positions. Additionally, the recent sell-off in the broader cryptocurrency market may have spooked some investors, leading them to sell off their DOT holdings as well.
Another factor that may be contributing to the decline in DOT holders is the increasing and ever continuous growth of competition in the macro blockchain space. As more platforms emerge, investors will naturally lose the early bullish feelings they had towards the project – especially due to a few big security concerns in recent months.
Overall, both DOT and LINK are still promising projects with strong fundamentals, but the recent declines in holders may be a reflection of the increasing competition in the broader crypto market – presenting InQubeta as an excellent opportunity amid these two. Of course though, it’s very important to do your own research on these projects before deciding to buy or sell any token.
The cyber security unit of the Hong Kong Police Force have launched CyberDefender, a new metaverse platform designed to educate the public of the potential dangers associated with Web3 and the metaverse.
According to a May 27 statement, the Cyber Security and Technology Crime Bureau (CSTCB) of the Hong Kong Police Force unveiled a new metaverse platform, CyberDefender, in an effort to prepare its citizens for the “challenges ahead in the digital age” with a focus on technology crime prevention.
An online event was held on the same day as it launched, “Exploring the Metaverse,” spanning across three virtual venues, with the aim of discussing crime prevention strategies within the metaverse.
During the event, chief inspector of CSTCB, Mr Ip Cheuk-yu emphasized the importance of exercising caution in the metaverse, urging attendees to apply the same level of vigilance they practise while using the internet. He stated:
“All crimes in the cyberspace could also happen in the metaverse, such as investment frauds, unauthorized access to systems, theft and sexual offenses.”
“The decentralized nature of virtual assets in Web3 may also increase the likelihood of cyber criminals targeting end point devices, virtual asset wallets and smart contracts” he noted.
The CyberDefender educational initiatives appear to be focused on “the younger generation”, with the statement noting:
Police will continue to organize public educational initiatives on different themes through the “CyberDefender Metaverse” platform, raise the awareness among teenagers regarding the latest advancements in information technology, potential pitfalls and the importance of preventing technology crimes.
According to the statement, The Hong Kong Police Force received 663 reports involving virtual assets during Q1 2023, with a total loss of $570 million – a 75% increase compared to Q1 2022.
This comes after it was reported on May 22, that Nanjing, the capital city of China’s eastern Jiangsu province, launched the China Metaverse Technology and Application Innovation Platform to advance metaverse research and development across the country.
The innovaiton platform is being led by the Nanjing University of Information Science and Technology (NUIST).
Big Eyes Coin’s presale will wrap up on June 3 but watch out for the new Big Eyes Casino!
Ripple vs. SEC: Analyzing The Ongoing Battle and Implications For XRP, Dogecoin & Big Eyes Coin
The ongoing legal dispute between Ripple and the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has captured the attention of the cryptocurrency community, especially XRP investors. A recent revelation by pro-XRP lawyer John Deaton suggests that an obscure footnote in a Ripple legal document could have a significant impact on the outcome of the lawsuit.
Ripple, a prominent blockchain company, has developed various solutions for cross-border payments and remittances. XRP, the digital asset associated with Ripple, has often been under scrutiny regarding its classification as a security by the SEC. The recently discovered footnote indicates that XRP was discussed by SEC staff prior to the Hinman speech, which could have significant implications for Ripple’s ongoing legal battle. This development raises questions about the regulatory landscape surrounding cryptocurrencies and the potential impact on XRP’s status.
This article aims to examine and analyze the similarities and differences between XRP, and other cryptocurrencies like Dogecoin (DOGE), while also exploring the potential implications for Big Eyes Coin (BIG), one of the promising meme coins in 2023.
How Does XRP Compare With Dogecoin?
XRP shares some similarities with other cryptocurrencies, particularly Dogecoin, which gained immense popularity as a meme coin. XRP and Dogecoin have garnered attention from crypto enthusiasts and investors due to their unique features and community-driven nature.
However, while Dogecoin emerged as a fun and lighthearted cryptocurrency, XRP has focused on real-world utility and its integration into the financial sector. Despite their differences, both XRP and Dogecoin have experienced significant volatility in the market and have attracted passionate communities.
Big Eyes Coin and the Meme Coin Craze
In the realm of meme coins, Big Eyes Coin stands out as one of the promising projects in 2023. Meme coins have gained traction due to their viral nature and the potential for significant returns.
Big Eyes Coin aims to combine meme coins’ fun and speculative appeal with tangible utility in the form of decentralized applications.
As the Big Eyes Coin presale draws to a close, it’s crucial to consider the potential impact of regulatory developments, such as the Ripple-SEC lawsuit, on the meme coin market.
The ongoing legal battle between Ripple and the SEC has broader implications for the crypto industry.
The recently discovered footnote regarding XRP’s discussion by SEC staff highlights the internal debates within the regulatory body and their significance for the lawsuit’s outcome.
This development affects Ripple and XRP and raises questions about the regulatory future of cryptocurrencies in general. Furthermore, the comparison between XRP and other cryptocurrencies, such as Dogecoin, highlights the diverse nature of the crypto market and the different roles these digital assets play.
As investors eagerly anticipate the launch of Big Eyes Coin and the rise of meme coins, it is essential to stay informed about regulatory developments that may shape the future of this exciting industry. Crypto enthusiasts and meme coin lovers can explore the Big Eyes Coin presale website, where they can find additional information about this promising project.
Stay updated and be part of the ever-evolving crypto landscape.
United States president Joe Biden and Republican Kevin McCarthy have reportedly reached a “tenative” agreement to raise the federal government’s $31.4 trillion debt ceiling.
According to a May 28 Reuters report, which cited two sources familiar with the negiotations, Biden and McCarthy reached ” a tenative deal” to raise the debt ceiling, in an effort to avoid a default, over a 90-minute phone call on May 27.
“The White House and negotiators for House Republicans have reached an agreement in principle to avert a debt default,” the sources stated. However one source reported that there is still some components of the deal to be finalized, stating:
“But, I’m not sure it’s completely settled. Might be one or two small things they need to finish. But close enough to move forward.”
It was reported that the deal would prevent an “economically destabalizing default,” if it succeeds in getting it passed in Congress before the Treasury “runs short of money” – which it was recently warned would occur on June 5 if the debt ceiling is not raised.
This is a developing story, and further information will be added as it becomes available.
Binance suspends deposits for bridged tokens, seeks clarity from Multichain team
Crypto exchange Binance suspended deposits for 10 bridged tokens following days of uncertainty surrounding the Multichain protocol. Transactions on the cross-chain protocol have been delayed over multiple bridges in the past few days, with little information from Multichain’s team about the ongoing issues. In a tweet from May 24, Multichain said that some cross-chain routes were unavailable “due to force majeure,” noting that the time for service restoration was unclear. Binance was not the only company to take steps amid the unexplained downtime — the Fantom Foundation removed 449,740 MULTI ($2.4 million) from liquidity on SushiSwap. The MULTI token plunged during the week. On Twitter, rumors circulated that Multichain’s team had been arrested by the Chinese police, with $1.5 billion of smart contract funds under authorities’ control.
FTX 2.0 launching soon? Court filing shows a reboot plan in the works
Bankrupt crypto exchange FTX’s revival plans could soon become reality. According to court filing documents, FTX’s new management had a series of meetings with creditors and debtors in the past month, reviewing plans for restarting the exchange and finalizing the material required for its rebooting as FTX 2.0. The documents also suggest FTX could soon enter into a bidding process. Previous reports pointed out that a reboot could come as early as 2024, as the exchange has already recovered over $7 billion in assets.
Sam Altman’s Worldcoin secures $115M for decentralized ID
The bear market didn’t stop Worldcoin from raising $115 million this week in a Series C round led by Blockchain Capital. Funds will be used to support its decentralized World ID and recently released gas-free crypto wallet, World App. The project was co-founded by OpenAI CEO Sam Altman and built by Tools for Humanity developers to address issues emerging from the exponential complexity of artificial intelligence, such as proving personhood. Worldcoin’s token, WLD, is not available in the United States and some other countries.
Fahrenheit wins bid to acquire assets of crypto lender Celsius
Crypto consortium Fahrenheit won the bidding war for insolvent crypto lender Celsius Network. The bid incorporates Celsius assets previously valued at nearly $2 billion, including institutional loan portfolio, staked cryptocurrencies, mining unit, alternative assets, and over $450 million in liquid cryptocurrency. Behind the consortium are the venture capital firm Arrington Capital and crypto miner US Bitcoin Corp. While Celsius and its creditors have accepted the bid, regulatory approval is still required to complete the acquisition. Celsius filed for bankruptcy protection in July 2022, contributing to a prolonged “crypto winter” in the industry.
Earlier this week, the crypto community celebrated the 13th anniversary of the first Bitcoin transaction when developer Laszlo Hanyecz made the first documented purchase of a good with BTC. The exchange involved 10,000 BTC — worth $41 at the time — and two pizzas from a local restaurant in Florida. The milestone turned into an annual celebration for the crypto space, with community members reminiscing on how far the industry has come since the transaction. Over a decade on, the pioneer cryptocurrency network faces a new wave of disruption thanks to the advent of Ordinals, highlighting the need for developers and capital to build layer-2 solutions.
Winners and Losers
At the end of the week, Bitcoin (BTC) is at $26,737, Ether (ETH) at $1,831 and XRP at $0.46. The total market cap is at $1.12 trillion, according to CoinMarketCap.
Among the biggest 100 cryptocurrencies, the top three altcoin gainers of the week are Render Token (RNDR) at 16.86%, Kava (KAVA) at 10.71% and Huobi Token (HT) at 9.44%.
The top three altcoin losers of the week are GMX (GMX) at -13.35%, Sui (SUI) at -12.38% and Fantom (FTM) -11.00%.
In a Twitter update on May 25, Philip Swift, creator of data resource LookIntoBitcoin and co-founder of trading suite DecenTrader, eyed a BTC price breakout still in progress. “A lot of panic in the market today,” Swift summarized.
BTC/USD is currently testing the mettle of key moving averages against a backdrop of traders’ downside targets extending to $25,000 and below, Cointelegraph reported. Even Swift believes that Bitcoin could still return to as low as $20,000 in the coming months, despite remaining bullish on higher timeframes.
“Zooming out, bitcoin is actually performing well and as expected for this stage of cycle. A clear BTC breakout above Realized Price,” he added, referring to the aggregate price at which the BTC supply last moved. It currently sits at just above $20,000, according to LookIntoBitcoin.
FUD of the Week
DeFi protocol WDZD Swap exploited for $1.1M: CertiK
DeFi protocol WDZD Swap was recently exploited for $1.1 million worth of Binance-Pegged Ether. According to a report from blockchain security firm CertiK, a known exploiter labeled “Fake_Phishing750” by BSCScan created the contract that later drained the tokens from the protocol. Once the malicious contract was created, the attacker used it to perform nine transactions that drained the funds from the Swap LP contract where the ETH had been deposited. Fake_Phishing750 was responsible for an attack on another protocol called “Swap X,” CertiK stated.
ETH can be both a security and a commodity, former CFTC commissioner says
Ethereum’s native token, Ether, may be both a commodity and a security, the former commissioner of the United States Commodities Futures Trading Commission, Dan Berkovitz, has claimed. The CFTC regulates futures and swaps on commodities, while the SEC solely regulates securities. However, if something is a commodity in the eyes of the CFTC as well as a security under the SEC’s definition, it’s entirely possible for both regulatory bodies to have jurisdiction over it.
Binance denies fund mismanagement allegations, calls it ‘conspiracy theory’
Binance denied allegations of mismanagement of customers’ funds, in response to a Reuters report claiming the crypto exchange commingled customer’s funds with company revenue. As per Reuters’s sources, Binance allegedly blended billions of dollars of corporate revenue and customer funds between 2020 and 2021, with the majority of commingling taking place on accounts held at now-bankrupt Silvergate Bank. On Twitter, Binance chief of communication Patrick Hillmann called the report “1000 words of conspiracy theories.”
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