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Crypto Reacts: The CryptoPunks V1 NFT Collection Turns Five Years Old

The creators deployed the original CryptoPunks smart contract five years ago today. It’s a historic day for sure. Those pioneering NFT projects created a Billion-dollar industry. So, why is the crypto media so silent about the CryptoPunks NFT collection’s fifth anniversary? Because we’re talking about the legendary CryptoPunks V1. The creators, Larva Lab, celebrate the […]

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How Can the Rise in Fuel Price Be Turned Into a Good Investment?

The oil industry has had a chaotic two years. Crude oil prices were down early in the COVID-19 pandemic; nevertheless, the price has now topped $100 per barrel. Moreover, the worldwide benchmark, Brent crude oil, is currently trading above $111 per barrel. There has been a considerable rise in gas prices worldwide because of the rise in oil prices. If prices continue to rise, as many economists predict, it would stifle economic development, induce decreased consumption, and, in some situations, spark political instability. The increasing gasoline costs have already sparked fatal riots in nations such as Kazakhstan, Iran, and Zimbabwe. And, the significant factors for this have been the rebound in fuel consumption since the height of the coronavirus outbreak and supply difficulties in the aftermath of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Even analysts at JP Morgan Chase & Co and Bank of America have predicted that the Russian disruption will send oil prices up to $185 per barrel. Reasons for Rising Fuel Prices Oil has had a history of more significant fluctuations in price than any other asset. The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, or OPEC, is the primary driver of oil price changes. Second is the supply and demand rules. Prices fall when supply exceeds demand, and vice versa when demand exceeds supply. The current instability is because of Russia’s conflict in Ukraine, which has caused crude oil prices to climb over $100 a barrel. Further, crude oil prices have risen rapidly over the recent weeks as the US and its western allies implemented severe sanctions on Russia. As a result of this, citizens’ lives are affected due to fuel prices’ direct impact on increasing inflation. Even the cost of other essential products has increased drastically, leaving people devastated. Making the Most of Rising Panic Rising fuel costs are putting economies under a lot of pressure. Many are worried about how it will affect the cost of other essentials rather than focusing on how to benefit from the situation. Some solutions can aid in these situations, and specific DeFi projects, such as Duet Protocol, offer them a unique approach called synthetic asset collateralization. Users have to provide liquidity to the protocol, which will be utilized to generate synthetic assets. For example, a user can provide liquidity and choose to mint dWTI, a synthetic asset whose price is pegged to WTI crude oil. And with this asset, users can earn rewards and other utilities within Duet’s ecosystem. Moreover, the platform allows users to mint synthetic assets like Oil futures, stocks, commodities, ETFs, Indexes, and Real-estate by providing capital to its reserve. These assets, represented as dAssets, can be traded in swaps (DEX), staked to earn rewards, or held in wallets to gain exposure. And, the benefits of holding them instead of their physical equivalents is that they provide greater liquidity, high-speed transactions, easy accessibility, transparency and low transaction fees. Minting Synthetic Assets on Duet Protocol Duet’s Synthetic assets are divided into two categories, stablecoin and dAssets(synthetic assets including but not limited to synthetic index, synthetic commodities, synthetic real estates, synthetic inverse asset, synthetic leverage asset, etc).  Currently, dUSD, dWTI and dXAU are the only dAssets supported with more of them coming soon. The process of minting these assets includes users providing collateral. Duet accepts more than a dozen high-quality assets such as wBTC, ETH, USDT, DAI, LTC, etc. as collateral. Interestingly, Duet Protocol accepts assets unique in the DeFi world as collateral. It includes LP tokens in large swap protocols and deposit certificate tokens in the credible lending protocols to enhance the efficiency of users’ funds and the composability of protocols. While minting Synthetic assets is just one part of the protocol, the platform will also facilitate the listing of creative synthetic assets, such as synthetic stablecoins that track the inflationary level and NFTs. Anyone will be able to list these assets permissionless with the help of oracle providers like Chainlink, Band or Uniswap. This makes Duet Protocol the infrastructure for collateral treasury, satisfying liquidation demands while also assisting with regulatory compliance. In addition, Duet will create a unique market-making mechanism using synthetic assets with high liquidity and trade volume. This eliminates the need to incentivize liquidity providers with tokens and allows for arbitrage between TradFi and DeFi to sustain the protocol’s liquidity. And, as a result, all “buying orders” on-chain will be dealt directly. Volatility Is All That Matters The best investments are made during volatile times. Economic conditions keep fluctuating for various reasons, and one should take advantage of these opportunities. The current state of rising fuel prices may be an ideal time to invest in some assets. And, synthetic assets from Duet Protocol, may be worth considering, given its rewarding mechanism. The current war scenario and interest rate hikes may last for a long time, but it is up to people to seek out and grab opportunities.  

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The Ronin Hack Aftermatch: Axie Infinity’s $1M Bug Bounty

The popular blockchain game Axie Infinity has been left shaking after the $650 million Ronin bridge hack. The studio behind the game, Sky Mavis, has been taking multiple measures to try to secure the network and win back the confidence of users. The latest move announced is a $1 million bug bounty program that invites white hat hackers to stress test the blockchain. Co-Founder and COO of Sky Mavis and Axie announced: “Calling all whitehats in the blockchain space. The Sky Mavis Bug Bounty program is here. Help us keep the Ronin Network secure while earning a bounty up to $1,000,000 in bounty for fatal bugs.” The Ronin Hack On March 23rd, a hacker was able to scoop $600 million from the Ronin bridge. It is the largest hack in the history of decentralized finances so far. The Ronin Network team confirmed that Sky Mavis’s Ronin validator nodes and Axie DAO validator nodes were compromised as the attacker used “hacked private keys in order to forge fake withdrawals.” The attack was uncovered after the attacker was unable to withdraw 5k ETH from the bridge. But it was too late, as they had already drained 173,600 Ethereum and 25.5M USDC from the Ronin bridge in two transactions. The Ronin team stated that they are working with law enforcement officials, forensic cryptographers, and investors “to make sure all funds are recovered or reimbursed,” and added that “All of the AXS, RON, and SLP on Ronin are safe right now.” “While racing for mainstream adoption, we made some trade-offs that ended up leaving us vulnerable to this sort of attack. It’s a lesson that we’ve learned the hard way. A lesson that will guide how we build Ronin out moving forward. We’re confident that we will come out stronger and wiser from this.” As a response, the Sky Mavis team raised $150 million led by crypto exchange Binance with participation from Animoca Brands, a16z, Dialectic, Paradigm, with the goal to reimburse all the funds stolen during the hack to the affected users. Since then, the team has been working with Chainalysis and Crowdstrike “to monitor the stolen funds” and “to handle forensics and the setup of surveillance tools.” Bridges can be a vulnerable point for blockchain projects, and this hack set a big warning about it. Bridges connect blockchains with the purpose of enabling transactions between tokens built on different ecosystems. However, bridges have a complex code and don’t have enough security standards yet, and hackers are gazing upon them to spot any vulnerability. Related Reading | Hacker Scoops Up $2 Million Bounty After Spotting Fatal Flaw In Ethereum Rollup $1M Bounty Bridges can be so complex that it is not 100% clear if code auditing is enough to ensure the Ronin bridge’s safety. The Ronin team had stated that they are in the process of “implementing rigorous internal security measures to prevent future attacks.” “The Ronin Network bridge will open once it has undergone a security upgrade and several audits, which can take several weeks.” Now, they are calling in all white-hat hackers of the blockchain to search for vulnerabilities in exchange for a handsome reward. The team has given a list of products that should be stress-tested while prioritizing smart contracts and blockchain, websites, and apps. They noted that the only vulnerabilities that are considered eligible for monetary rewards are those with a working proof of concept that shows how they can be exploited. Rewards for Smart Contracts and Blockchain vary from $1,000 to $1,000,000, and for Web and Apps, they vary from $50 to $15,000. All rewards will be paid in AXS tokens and only a specified portion of the received funds can be liquidated per month. “It is possible that extraordinarily severe issues or those with extreme impact may be rewarded up to $1,000,000″ the announcement stated and added that “Sky Mavis may award an additional reward bonus for exceptional reports.· Axie Infinity (AXS) Price For the past weeks, Axie Infinity’s token AXS has been tumbling, falling around 30% after the hack. However, traders are watching out for a breakout above the key resistance level of $58 as the current zone has previously served for accumulation, which could mean a rebound for AXS. However, there also seems to be a risk to trigger a head-and-shoulders pattern, which could sink AXS further down. The token is down 0.09% in the last 24 hours. Related Reading | Axie Infinity Smooth Love Potion (SLP) Explodes With 300% Gain This February

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Ether Continues To Trump World’s Top Corporations Amid Fierce Competition From Cardano, Solana, Polkadot

Online Searches For "Sell Ethereum" Skyrockets 1000% In Less Than 24 Hours As Liquidity Supernova Turns Negative

Ethereum’s market cap sits at $360.37 billion which is larger than the valuation of top brands in the world. Since launch, the asset has played second fiddle to Bitcoin and has had to grapple with some of the sternest challenges that threatened its existence. The community is confident that the dark days are over and […]

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What Are The CryptoPunks V1? And, How Can They Disrupt The Market?

Are the CryptoPunks V1 the original CryptoPunks? Technically, yes. According to LarvaLabs, the company behind the collection, the V1s “are not official Cryptopunks,” though. How will the market react now that they’re making a resurgence? This might be the first, but it’s not the last time you’ll hear about the CryptoPunks V1. Let’s explore their history and the controversy around them. Related Reading | Snoop Dogg Joins The Bored Ape Yacht Club And The Sandbox. Read All About It What Are The CryptoPunks V1? Back in 2017, prehistory for the NFT market, LarvaLabs distributed 10.000 CryptoPunks V1. However, there was a fatal mistake in the governing smart contract. After a transaction, it allowed the buyer, not the seller, to withdraw the money. The buyer could literally have its cake and eat it too, leaving the seller completely in the red.  Here’s a thread explaining the technical details of the faulty contract: Explaining the V1 CryptoPunks exploit…this one is incredibly tricky so want to share what I learned! TL;DR – when a buyer purchased a punk, the ETH deposited in the contract could be withdrawn only by the *buyer*, not by the seller. So buy(), withdraw(), repeat. — foobar (@0xfoobar) March 24, 2021 What did LarvaLabs do? They disowned the original series and started again. They gave away another set of 10.000 CryptoPunks, the V2, and the rest is history. The almost free collectibles gained traction little by little and became the behemoth they’re today. All of the CryptoPunks in circulation were  V2s, until now… A Rebel Marketplace Arises The CryptoPunks V1s still exist, but they had no marketplace to commerce in because Open Sea banned them. However, a new platform came into town and allowed them to reappear. This time, they’re called Classic Punks or Wrapped CryptoPunks V1, because to be able to sell them you have to wrap them in a new smart contract that doesn’t have the know vulnerabilities of the original contract. The rebel marketplace is and, so far, these up-and-coming NFTs have made 307.44 ETH in sales. Not bad, considering there are only 116 holders and LarvaLabs owns at least 1000. In LooksRare, only 23 owners are selling 269 items, so they’re pretty rare. The marketplace describes them as: “A wrapped CryptoPunk from the initial exploited V1 contract version. Buyer beware – if you don’t understand the preceding sentence, this is not the CryptoPunk you’re looking for.” Another buyer beware has to be, that low number of holders means that a few people have control of the market and can potentially manipulate it as they see fit. So, tread lightly.  ETH price chart for 02/04/2022 on Kraken | Source: ETH/USD on LarvaLabs Disowns The CryptoPunks V1 Through their public channels, the only thing LarvaLabs said was: “PSA: “V1 Punks” are not official Cryptopunks. We don’t like them, and we’ve got 1,000 of them… so draw your own conclusions. Any proceeds will be used to purchase real Cryptopunks!” PSA: "V1 Punks" are not official Cryptopunks. We don't like them, and we've got 1,000 of them… so draw your own conclusions. Any proceeds will be used to purchase real Cryptopunks! — Larva Labs (@larvalabs) January 25, 2022 However, in the company’s official Discord channel, they are threatening legal action. They also admitted that they sold a bunch of CryptoPunks V1 because they thought that by “selling some of the tokens we would signal our distaste for it.” According to LarvaLabs, they’ve been using the 210 ETH that they received to buy V2 CryptoPunks. And they matched that amount and made a donation to the Rainforest Foundation.  Here’s trader extraordinaire and crypto influencer Cobie explaining the situation: wtf is larva labs doing tbh — Cobie (@cobie) February 2, 2022 As he puts it, “they dumped on people and now they’re trying to make what they dumped as worthless as possible.” Real people paid those 210 ETH. Why do they have to suffer? However, they might end up with the upper hand. LarvaLabs can use all the legal tricks that they want, but they can’t destroy the CryptoPunks V1 contract.  The Intricacies Of The V1 Contract As this pseudonymous Twitter user puts it, “my understanding is the contract code is permanent – you can only update a contract post deployment by calling the selfdestruct() function, if there is one. A function which neither of the two Crytopunk contracts have!” @larvalabs cannot do that with v1 punks because, both their v1 and v2 contracts point to the same file! You'll find this identical imageHash in both contracts: ac39af4793119ee46bbff351d8cb6b5f23da60222126add4268e261199a2921b — Stroudonian (@0xStroudonian) January 29, 2022 Not only that, there’s another way to destroy a contract, and here’s where the big reveal comes. “Because of ETH’s extortionate storage costs, most use external forms of storage (punks are off-chain art!). In layman’s, contracts essentially include a link to specific reference point, which contains the image. LarvaLabs cannot do that with v1 punks because, both their v1 and v2 contracts point to the same file!” Oh, what a tangled web we weave! And that’s the story of the CryptoPunks V1. Related Reading | Will NFTs Kill Traditional Art? Famed Collector Cozomo de’ Medici Makes The Case The CryptoPunks V2 Market According to NFT Stats, “The total sales volume for CryptoPunks was $41.42M. The average price of one CryptoPunks NFT was $232.7k. There are 3.373 CryptoPunks owners, owning a total supply of 9,999 tokens.” Let’s check in a few years to see if the CryptoPunks V1 make a dent on that. Featured Image: Screenshot of CryptoPunks V1 from LooksRare | Charts by TradingView