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Crypto.com Steps Up To Boost Security And Privacy Studies Via Donations

Hong-kong based cryptocurrency exchange, Crypto.com, known for its industry-standard security measures, announced on Thursday that it is granting a donation of an undisclosed amount to the Crypto Research Lab of the University of Pennsylvania (UPenn) in order to boost the analysis of security and privacy in this age of digital revolution. The crypto exchange inked […]

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Tether Cuts 17% Of Its Commercial Paper Holdings Over Q1 2022

As per the official report published on May 18, Tether, the issuer of the world’s most used stablecoin, USDT, has cut 17% of its commercial paper holdings and increased United States Treasury bills with this reserve amount to back its stablecoin, USDT. Tether made the reduction over Q1 2022 and continues for a further 20% decline since April 1. The firm will highlight this 20% reduction in the Q2 report. The crypto project took these steps following the USDT stablecoin losing its dollar peg. The stablecoin dropped to 95 cents on May 12. In addition, to assuage users’ fears over the catastrophic effects of the recent bloodbath, Tether noted that its reserves were “fully-backed” in a blog post on Thursday. Related Reading | TA: Bitcoin Reclaims $30K, Why Bulls Face Uphill Task According to the statement of the stablecoin issuer, it has decreased commercial paper holdings. As a result, the holdings decreased from $24 billion to $20 billion in the first quarter. As well as, the company increased its investments in the market money funds and U.S. treasury bills during that time. The firm has added 13% to its Treasury Department and lifted the investment amount from $35.5 billion to $39 billion. Chief technical officer at Tether, Paolo Ardoino, expressed; Tether has maintained its stability through multiple black swan events and highly volatile market conditions and, even in its darkest days. Tether has never once failed to honor a redemption request from any of its verified customers. Tether Affirms It Is “Fully Backed” He further added; This latest attestation further highlights that Tether is fully backed. And that the composition of its reserves is strong, conservative, and liquid.  In February 2021, New York Attorney General alleged the firm had misrepresented the figure of fiat collateral through which stablecoins USDT is backed. The company settled the legal dispute with A.G by paying an $18.5 million fine. And since then has been liable to disclose its reserve every quarter per the settlement. As a result, Tether reported its reserve allocation for Q4 2021 last February. According to that report, the company has reduced its commercial paper holdings from $30 billion to $24 billion, diminished by 20%. Continued redemptions from USDT would cause forced sales of commercial holdings, possibly leading to spillover in contagion in the traditional financial market, said Nikolaos Panigirtzoglou, an JP Morgan Chase & Co. analyst on Thursday. Citing the outflows of the Tether, Panigirtzoglou said; This is not all exiting crypto markets as around $5 billion appears to have shifted to USDC and Binance USD. Related Reading | Bitcoin Selling Pressure Continues As Long-Term Holder SOPR Spikes Up Tether has a market capitalization of over $74 billion at the time of writing. While Tether’s reported assets backing USDT have exceeded $82 billion. To assure users that Tether is stable as its name sounds, over the last two weeks of market volatility, Tether highlighted that it would “honor all redemptions from verified customers” for USDT. Featured image from Pixabay and chart from TradingView.com  

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More Stress For El Salvador As Bitcoin Dips To $29,000

El Salvador has been on the radar of leading financial and economic institutions since it made Bitcoin a legal tender. It has mainly become a spectacle as cryptocurrency supporters and non-supporters alike watch on to see how this plays out. El Salvador which had made good on its bitcoin promise had made multiple BTC purchases at close to the height of the market last year and some this year. The country now holds at least 2,300 BTC since it made its first purchase in September of 2021. Now that the price of Bitcoin is down significantly since the country had begun buying, how is this playing out for the North American country? El Salvador And Its Bitcoin El Salvador had bought another 500 BTC in May after the market had declined to $1.68 trillion. These bitcoins which were purchased at an average price of $30,774 had brought the country’s holdings to 2,301 BTC so far. It would be the lowest price that the country had been able to purchase the digital asset and given that this purchase was only a small part of its larger holdings, the country still remains in loss from its multiple purchases. Related Reading | Funding Rates Fall To Yearly Lows Following Bitcoin’s Fall Below $29,000 The first time El Salvador had bought some BTC in September, it had been trading above $44,000. What this means is that the digital asset is down about 45% since then. Its entire stash is now worth about $70 million at present prices. So even with the dollar cost averaging method that has seen the country buy BTC at different prices, it is still down 28% from its total purchase value. BTC falls to $28,000 | Source: BTCUSD on TradingView.com The move to accept BTC has not only proved controversial on just the bitcoin price side, but it has also affected the country’s ability to receive international aid in the form of loans. Last year, it was made public that the country had been looking to secure $1.3 billion from the IMF. However, this does not seem likely to happen given that the IMF has expressed its disdain for the adoption of bitcoin as a legal tender.  It has advised the country to remove the digital asset as an official national currency, citing that this could cause problems for the economy in the long-term, revealing that the current account deficit for El Salvador’s remittance and the external financing-reliant economy is estimated to drift around $2 billion for the next three years. But President Nayib Bukele has turned a deaf ear to this. Related Reading | Crypto Carnage Causes Flight To Bitcoin Safe Haven, Dominance Demonstrates El Salvador is a country that is heavily reliant on remittances from citizens abroad who send money home to loved ones. For this reason, the president has said that BTC will greatly help make these remittances easier and cheaper for its residents. On the price side, the president is not much bothered by the recent decline either. He has said in the past that he expects the price of the digital asset to reach $100,000 sometime in 2022. If this happens, then the country will be in significant profit from its BTC holdings. Featured image from Coingape, chart from TradingView.com Follow Best Owie on Twitter for market insights, updates, and the occasional funny tweet… 

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Ethereum Prepares For Ropsten Testnet Merge As Token Struggles To Hold $2k Support

The Ethereum 2.0 update is generating a lot of buzz and interest, and we’re getting closer to its launch than ever before. Ethereum 2.0 Goes To Testnet Testing for Ethereum’s long-awaited Merge is progressing, though not at the rate that many had hoped. Testing on Ropsten, Ethereum’s largest and primary testnet, which has the closest similarity to the mainnet, is the next key milestone in the Merge testing process. Ropsten testing will be merged on June 8, according to Ethereum client developers. Although there is no official indication on when the Merge will take place on mainnet, it is expected to happen in the second part of this year. On Monday, Ethereum DevOps developer Parathi Jayanathi submitted a pull request for the Ropsten testnet Merge configuration code, indicating that it is ready for implementation. The Merge is Ethereum’s long-awaited upgrade, in which the current Ethereum Mainnet and the beacon chain PoS system will merge. Because it has a comparable network structure to the Ethereum Mainnet, this testnet is considered the best replication. Developers may now perform realistic deployment testing before making changes to the mainnet. The Ropsten testnet Merge will combine the proof-of-work (PoW) network with a new proof-of-stake (PoS) consensus layer testnet, with a May 30 launch date. It will simulate what will happen when Ethereum and the Beacon Chain merge and the network becomes a PoS network. Related Reading | New Data Shows China Still Controls 21% Of The Global Bitcoin Mining Hashrate Testing how the merge would work on Ethereum’s main public testnet would be one of the final assessments. As a result, the Ropsten public testnet is regarded as the most accurate clone of the Ethereum Mainnet, as it uses a similar network structure and allows developers to test their work in a live environment. Online, community developers have expressed their enthusiasm for the testnet announcement. According to Preston Van Loon, an Ethereum core engineer at Prysmatic Labs: Ropsten testnet is getting merged on June 8! Merging Ropsten is a huge testing milestone towards Ethereum's mainnet merge later this year. 🎉 https://t.co/X7eLIMA72g — prestonvanloon.eth @ Permissionless (@preston_vanloon) May 18, 2022 Price Fails To Hold $2K ETH is dropping inside a falling wedge on a daily time frame (in yellow). It’s worth noting that the wedge bottom is lined with the $1700 horizontal support level (in green), which could signal a trend reversal. As a result, if the bulls can hold the green zone, the price will be more likely to rise towards the $2450 level of static resistance. The price is more likely to begin a protracted regression phase if the bears continue to suppress the market and breach below the green support zone. ETH is trading on dynamic support (in green) against Bitcoin, which has blocked additional price decreases four times in the past. The world’s second-largest cryptocurrency, down 4.1 percent in the last 24 hours to US$1,974, has lost 48% of its value since 2022. ETH/USD trades below $2k. Source: TradingView And crypto investors who bought on November 16, 2017, when the Ethereum price was at an all-time high of US$4,892, will have lost just over 60% of their investment. Ethereum’s market cap has decreased to US$236 billion from well over half a trillion dollars at its height, despite maintaining its number two position. Related Reading | Bitcoin Indicator Hits Historical Low Not Seen Since 2015 Featured image from iStockPhoto, Charts from TradingView.com

Crypto News Ethereum

Blockchain Data Indicates $10M Worth Of Ether From The Ronin Exploit In Rotation

More than 5,505 Ether of the Ronin Bridge exploitation seems to be transferred through Tornado Cash, a unique privacy crypto exchange. Blockchain data showed that the address associated with the $625 million Ronin Bridge Attack had begun transferring ether tokens valued at over $10 million. This occurred during the Asian morning hours. The data showed that the Ronin hacker had transferred over 5,505 ether to one unknown account this morning. Additionally, the funds were sent from another Ethereum wallet funded by the prominent hacker’s blockchain address. All these took place within the early hours of Wednesday, as the funds were sent in groups of 100 ether each to the Tornado privacy crypto exchange. The Ronin Bridge Ether Exploit Ronin Bridge is an Ethereum-based sidechain for the play-to-earn game Axie Infinity, an NFT game. It was created by Sky Mavis and is running both Ronin Bridge and Axie Infinity. Related Reading | Bitcoin Market Plunges Into Extreme Fear, How Scary Does It Get? On March 23, cybercriminals exploited The Ronin Bridge Network, and the hackers looted over $625 million worth of assets. The assets comprise 25.5 million USDC and over 173,600 ether. A report on their blog revealed this data. The platform realized the attack when one of its users couldn’t withdraw 5,000 Ether from the Ronin Network. Then, they took to Twitter to notify the public of the security breach on the platform. After the hack, the Ronin Bridge temporarily shut down to redevelop the platform. Moreover, even though attackers targeted the hack at Ronin and Axie Infinity, the incident didn’t affect the ‘axie’ tokens. Therefore, the AXS and SLP tokens used to facilitate transactions within the Axie Infinity game are still safe and unaffected. Blockchain Data Reveals Ongoing Ether Fund Transfer Within the early hours of Wednesday, Etherscan, a blockchain tracking platform, revealed that the attackers made about 55 transactions from an address funded by the principal looter. Currently, the wallet holds 3.45 ether, summing to $6,885.84. This step followed the massive selling of looted ether in April when the looters transferred over 21,000 ether via various transfers to the Tornado exchange. The transaction was worth over $65 million then. Tornado Privacy Crypto Exchange Tornado crypto exchange is an advanced crypto exchange that tweaks and breaks through the on-chain for a destination and source address. Thus, enabling hackers to hide their addresses while illegally withdrawing looted funds. The United States Trace the Looting to North Korean Hackers The United States official had previously traced the looter’s address to the “Lazarus” group, an infamous group of hackers sponsored by the North Korean supreme leader Kim Kuk-song. Also, Chainalysis, the blockchain tracking platform, traced and confirmed the transaction between the North Korean Cybercriminal group. Related Reading | New Data Shows China Still Controls 21% Of The Global Bitcoin Mining Hashrate In a thread on Twitter, the platform even provided proof of the Lazarus group being behind the March exploitation. Sky Mavis Accrues $150 Million In A Funding Round to Regain Ronin Bridge Sky Mavis, the Ronin Bridge, and the Axie Infinity platform raised over $150 million following the massive attack and exploitation. This effort was to regain the Ronin Bridge platform after the previous hit. Among the list of supporters was the world’s biggest cryptocurrency exchange Binance, alongside other crypto entities. Featured image from Pexels, charts from EtherScan and TradingView.com

Bitcoin

South Korean Politician Demands Parliament To Investigate TerraUSD’s Collapse

The “People Power Party” representative, a South Korean politician Yoon Chang-Hyeon called a parliamentary hearing on TerraUSD (UST) due to its sudden collapse last week. According to a report from South Korean Newschannel “Newspim” on Tuesday, May 17, at a plenary meeting of the National Assembly’s Political Affairs Committee, Yoon Chang-Hyeon stated; We should bring […]

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Binance Actively Seeking Regulatory Nod In Germany As Exchange Pushes European Expansion

Why Binance Is Splashing $200 Million On A Strategic Investment In 104-Year-Old Magazine Forbes

Binance, the world’s largest crypto exchange by trading volume, is not abandoning its efforts to spread its tentacles to new jurisdictions and expand its global footprint despite the recent crypto market bloodbath.  CEO Changpeng Zhao revealed Wednesday that the leading exchange is applying for official licenses to operate its regulated trading platform in Germany. Binance […]

Bitcoin

The Neko LLC – Providing Safety, Security, and Innovation for The Future of DeFi

Popular Japanese figurines known as Maneki-Neko are seen to bring good luck and wealth to their owners. In light of this, the Neko Developers desire to share their progress with the cryptocurrency community, ensuring safety, security, and innovation. Introducing MANEKI-NEKO/NEKO, an ERC20 Token, a non-custodial software wallet (NekoMask), a non-custodial hardware wallet (The Neko), as […]