Cryptospace Spotlight 2022 #19 (8 May 2022)
Yuga Labs "virtual" virtual land sales heated up Ethereum network, Near protocol defended against attempted attack and US sanctioned cryptocurrency mixing service!
Technology and Industry
Blockchain protocol Polkadot (DOT) has launched its messaging system XCM (cross-consensus messaging) to enable communication between its various parachains and allow assets like non-fungible tokens (NFTs) to be transferred from one chain to another. [more]
Juno and the whale saga. $36M worth of JUNO tokens to an address no one can access due to copy-paste error. [more]
It seems that Proposal 21 will attempt to correct this error after the failed effort of Proposal 20.
Nvidia to pay $5.5M as part of SEC case concerning 'inadequate disclosures' around crypto mining [more]
Binance has received regulatory approval in France as its digital asset service provider (DASP). [more]
Coinbase is on other side of Goldman’s first Bitcoin-backed loan [more]
14 plaintiffs filed lawsuit against bZx DAO for the lost of roughly $1.6 million after its DeFi platform was hacked in November through phishing attack. [more]
Gucci will accept cryptocurrency payments in some US stores at the end of this month, and plans to extend the pilot to all of its directly operated North America stores this summer [more]. Porsche dealership in Baltimore, Maryland has begun accepting mainstream crypto payments for vehicles, along with DOGE and Shiba Inu [more].
United States -
U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control today issued first-of-its-kind sanctions against a cryptocurrency mixing service, Bender.io, with links to North Korea. [more]
OFAC claims that Blender has been used to launder funds for Russian-linked ransomware groups such as Trickbot, Conti, Ryuk, Sodinokibi, and Gandcrab. It also alleges that Blender was used to obfuscate $20.5 million of illegal proceeds connected to the infamous Ronin hack in March.
The United States District Court for the Southern District of New York has ordered a total fine of $30 million from the three co-founders of BitMEX crypto derivatives exchange, including former CEO Arthur Hayes, for violating regulations including poor implementation of anti-money laundering (AML) protocols.
The SEC has announced that it will add 20 investigators to its Crypto Assets and Cyber Unit in order to better monitor the crypto industry. [more]
Argentina - The Central Bank of Argentina (BCRA) discourages new crypto assets offerings from financial institutions after two of the country’s largest banks signaled they were opening up to crypto assets offerings. [more]
Euporean Union - Upcoming European Union crypto rules, known as the Markets in Crypto Assets Regulation, or MiCA, could require issuers of non-fungible tokens (NFTs) to centralize and register under this new regulation as the proposed scope “significantly broaden”. [more]
It also plan to tackle decentralized finance and bitcoin's energy use.
United Arab Emirates - Dubai’s cryptocurrency regulator has become the first such national watchdog to acquire land in the metaverse with plans to establish a virtual headquarters. [more]
Dubai’s Virtual Assets Regulatory Authority (VARA) will create its “MetaHQ” using The Sandbox metaverse platform.
El Salvador - El Salvador’s bitcoin bond reportedly hasn't lured a single investor, and markets are bracing for a default on conventional debt. [more]
Security and Risk
Security firm - BlockSec - was able to rescue $3.8 million (~1,360 ETH) from the exploiters with an "internal system" that can detect and front-run hacking incidents using off-chain arbitrage bots called flashbots.
The hack is made possible due to the wrong MetaSwapUtils lib is used for calculating the swap. The latest code is deployed in 0x824dcd7b044d60df2e89b1bb888e66d8bcf41491, but the old lib 0x88cc4aa0dd6cf126b00c012dda9f6f4fd9388b17 is used.
The attack occurred due to a Domain Name System (DNS) vulnerability, with the perpetrator proceeding to insert a malicious contract address that would divert funds to their own private wallet.
The stolen funds were sent to Tornado Cash, a privacy protocol on Ethereum, before moving to OKX.
MM.Finance has said that it will compensate and reimburse impacted users.
Opensea noted that the attack had limited impact: <10 wallets were impacted with stolen items amounting to <10 ETH.
Opensea is still investigating the incident.
Rainbow Bridge is a cross-chain bridge that lets users transfer assets between the Ethereum, NEAR, and Aurora networks. It was built by Aurora Labs.
Bankers, lawyers and big tech executives are pondering career pivots of their own as many are flocking to the UAE, which Binance CEO has called it the “Wall Street of crypto. [more]
“We see a lot of interest from employees in traditional financial institutions who want to work for us,” Richard Teng, the head of Middle East and North Africa at Binance, which is the world’s largest crypto exchange by trading volume, said in an interview at Bloomberg’s Dubai office.