ENS domain names

Will USDT, USDC Be a Hindrance to Ethereum's Merge?

By Allen Taylor | Cryptocracy | 6 Aug 2022


Bloomberg analyst says bitcoin is trading at “extreme discount.” Bitcoin mining company Core Scientific sold more bitcoin in July than it mined. Running a bitcoin mining operation is expensive. It’s likely that the company has financial obligations to meet and doesn’t have a large cash reserve. In that case, remaining liquid during the bear market is essential for long-term survival.

Will stablecoins hinder the future of Ethereum’s Merge? Cofounder Vitalik Buterin thinks USDT and USDC could be a big factor. What the Merge means for miners. Tron Founder Justin Sun throws support behind Ethereum hard fork. BitMEX CEO Arthur Hayes says ETH could surge to $5,000 after the Merge.

Coinbase and BlackRock are partnering to make crypto trading easier for institutional investors. Bloomberg investors discuss what that means for crypto. Coinbase is also the target of two new class action lawsuits, one alleging deceptive practices and the other seeking compensation for losses due to violations of securities laws. Has all this attention on the U.S.’s largest crypto exchange humbled Coinbase, and did the company’s rapid rise leave it exposedEveryone’s talking about Coinbase. It’s unclear whether the partnership with BlackRock is a response to Coinbase’s sudden troubles, but it can’t hurt the company in the long run. An infusion of capital from the world’s largest investment bank will only help. Decentralization advocates, however, will see it differently. Coinbase’s biggest troubles right now are not related to the crypto winter. The exchange is getting hit from two sides—regulators are angling from one end and investors are tugging at the other, trying to use the law like a battering ram to regain their losses. If Coinbase can weather this storm, it will emerge a very strong contender.

Riot Blockchain shut down operations and made $9.5 millionBitcoin mining operations located in Texas have it in their contract to cease operations during extreme weather conditions so that they don’t tax the power grid.

Binance Card now supports XRP, SHIB, and AVAXThe card is only available in Europe.

Kevin O’Leary drops Coinbase like a hot potato, saying he doesn’t want to sleep with any chick who goes to “war with the regulator.” On one hand, I see his point. On the other, I see the point on top of his head.

Domain name NFTs.com sells for $15 million. In the early days of the internet, single-word domain names sold for millions. We’re about to enter a second age of domain name glory when single-word Web3 domain names go for a crazy amount of money—all based on speculation. On another note, ENS domain name registrations surged last month and are almost at the 2 million mark.

ENS domain names

CryptoPunk sales jump 248 percent after Tiffany’s auction. The 20 most expensive NFT sales of all time.

Voyager Digital to resume cash withdrawals on August 11.

KuCoin enters the metaverse holding hands with Ertha.

FLOW token rallies 35 percent.

Pearson wants to turn college textbooks into NFTs to cash in on secondary salesWhy not? College textbooks have a robust secondary market and students who sell books usually do so at a loss (they actually recoup a portion of their investment). With NFT textbooks, Pearson can capitalize twice. But I doubt that college students will make much money on NFT books unless a college textbook happens to be a classic or one written by a superstar author.

If cryptocurrencies are unhackable, how do they keep getting stolen?

Americans’ interest in crypto dropped 30 percent in 2022. It usually happens in a bear market. They’ll get interested again when the headlines turn positive.

Solana co-founder says NFTs have 50 different use cases, but not all of them are worthwhile. Instagram is rolling its NFT plans out to 100 countries. To prove he can drink from his own fountain, Mark Zuckerberg is turning a childhood memory into an NFT.

Nomad is offering a 10 percent bounty for retrieval of its $190 million loss in hack.

Near protocol reveals wallet breach that could have exposed private keys.

Media integrity, 1984, and the wild ride of cryptoYou don’t want to miss this podcast episode featuring yours truly and Scott Cunningham of Crypto & Things.

Why Web2 gamers aren’t buying the Web3 buzz.

The decentralization, transparency, and anonymity of venture capital in Web3.

Leo Finance has a new microblogging platform called LeoThreadsLeo Finance is a part of the Hive ecosystem.

Snapchat for Desktop, Ford EV sales, and how cryptocurrency is changing social mediaAnother can’t-miss podcast episode.

Lido DAO to sell 1 percent of treasury to Dragonfly Capital.

Forex Suggest has launched a calculator to show you how much money you’ve lost by spending your crypto.

cryptocurrencies

Overheard in my email inbox

 

Web3 adoption seems inevitable, but so does the increase in security issues and hacks. What are the main factors causing this?

 

“Similar to fire and weather alerts, which get communities mobilized, evacuate threatened areas, and activate volunteer rescue teams, blockchain communities need processes and tools to deal with emergency situations.” Nikos Andrikogiannopoulos, CEO of Metrika

“Most of the developers in the blockchain space are learning on the fly, as they come from conventional technology stacks and are retrofitting their skills. Education will become a driving force for better and more secure programming.” Daniel Keller, Co-Founder of Flux

“As the industry matures, we will continue to see hacks. Early indications with Nomad was that it was driven by opportunistic "looters" but cross-chain bridges have been targeted by nation-state threat actors in the past with meticulous planning and precise execution.” Andrew Morfill, Chief Information Security Officer at Komainu

The Nomad hack is yet another crosschain vulnerability. We’ve seen quite few this past year. What causes these, why do they happen?

 

“In the case of Nomad, a bug in the software update allowed a type of transaction that normally should be allowed to only the owners of the funds. This bug allowed anyone who wanted to copy-paste the type of transaction, to change the recipient's address, and drain the funds.” Nikos Andrikogiannopoulos, CEO of Metrika

“Most of the current decentralized finance (Defi) models use a hybrid of centralized and decentralized technology, so there is an increased risk of exploits and malicious third-party actors.” Daniel Keller, Co-Founder of Flux

We’re three days into August and have had two major hacks. How can the industry better prepare?

 

“Most decentralized finance makeup is refugees from conventional finance, focusing on building a legacy-based system on Defi. When these leaders, developers, and teams focus on iteration, they look at the mechanics and development for speed and quick access; security tends to be an afterthought.” Daniel Keller, Co-Founder of Flux

“An industry set of standard smart contract templates that are known to be secure, smart contract auditing and secure software development lifecycles would be steps in the right direction.” Andrew Morfill, Chief Information Security Officer at Komainu

“A lot of the analytics we see in exploits today are forensics and fraud detection after the exploit happens. We need analytics and real-time monitoring for anomalies before anomalies happen.” Nikos Andrikogiannopoulos, CEO of Metrika

Is the end-user or the protocol ultimately responsible?

 

“The protocol is responsible for identifying exploits and doing the necessary audits, procedures, stopgaps, and code protection. Retail investors are responsible for taking risks in consideration before using any conventional or Defi-based product. Although sad, hearing stories about people losing their life savings should just not happen, and a deeper level of education is needed to allow Defi to truly flourish.” Daniel Keller, Co-Founder of Flux

“Both. Ultimately the protocols that are proven to be secure will have credibility over those that suffer these types of incidents but retail investors need to do their research and understand the risks.” Andrew Morfill, Chief Information Security Officer at Komainu

“Unlike banks where deposits are secured up to $250K by the Federal Deposit Insurance, crypto is not regulated at the same depth; regulation in those areas is actively developed by CFTC and SEC. Until the crypto space reaches this maturity level, the ultimate financial responsibility lies with consumers who have chosen to make early investments in the nascent crypto world” Nikos Andrikogiannopoulos, CEO of Metrika

 

Around the World with Crypto

 

India raids office of WazirX director for fraud, seizes $8.1 million. Binance CEO tells investors to move their funds to Binance as WaxirX could be shut down. Interestingly, Binance says it doesn’t own WazirX, but WazirX leaders disagree. What’s really going on here? Did something get lost in the paperwork?

Binance, MasterCard partner on prepaid crypto card in Latin America.

DTravel has completed first smart contract rental booking.

The Bank of Thailand is preparing to test its digital currency.

Philippines issues a public warning concerning Binance.

More African central banks are exploring digital currencies.

Snark and commentary in italics. I’ve got one hand in my pocket and the other is giving the peace sign.

Cryptocracy is a decentralized newsletter published several times a week. I curate the latest news and crypto analysis from some of the brightest minds in crypto, and sometimes offer a little insightful and snarky commentary. Always fresh, always interesting, and always crypto.

First published at Cryptocracy. Not to be construed as financial advice. Do your own research.

Image credits: ENS domain names, Bitcoin.com; cryptocurrency values, Forex Suggest

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Allen Taylor
Allen Taylor

Writer, editor, publisher. Content strategist for fintech, blockchain, and crypto firms.


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