Cryptospace Spotlight 2022 #8 (20 Feb 2022)
JPMorgan became first bank to enter metaverse, Canada froze crypto accounts amid convoy protests and OpenSea rushes to handle NFTs 'hacking' incident!
Technology & Industry
JPMorgan became the first bank to enter Metaverse in blockchain-based Decentraland, and unveiling its Onyx lounge. JPMorgan also released a paper exploring how businesses can find opportunities in the metaverse. [more] [more-jpm-paper]
Fluence Labs is one of the Web3 projects looking to change the landscape of computing by helping blockchain applications ditch their reliance on centralized cloud computing and go fully peer-to-peer. It has raised $9 million in a Series A led by Multicoin Capital. [more]
The Bitcoin network hit another all-time high in terms of difficulty as competition among miners intensifies, with hash rate up 45% in 6 months. [more]
Mastercard announced that it will add payments-focused consulting services for crypto and digital currencies, and that it may eventually help develop central bank digital currencies (CBDCs). It will cover everything from cryptocurrency and NFT strategy to crypto cards and loyalty programs. [more]
The New York Stock Exchange, or NYSE, has filed a trademark application with the United States Patent and Trademark Office, or USPTO, on Thursday to register the name “NYSE” for several blockchains and crypto-related products and services. The goods specified include virtual reality and augmented reality software, NFTs and online marketplaces. [more]
The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is preparing to issue federal licenses for virtual assets service providers by the end of this quarter in a bid to attract crypto companies to the country, according to Bloomberg. The government also wants to create a favorable environment for crypto mining. The Securities and Commodities Authority (SCA) and central bank will be responsible for regulation, with regional financial centers determining their day-to-day procedures on licenses. [more] [more-bloomberg]
Canada asks banks, and exchanges to block crypto accounts tied to trucker convoy protests. Ethereum founder cautioned on the adverse impact. [more]
Justice Department announced Eun Young Choi to serve as the first Director of National Cryptocurrency Enforcement Team (NCET). [more]
The NCET was established to ensure the department meets the challenge posed by the criminal misuse of cryptocurrencies and digital assets, and comprises attorneys from across the department, including prosecutors with backgrounds in cryptocurrency, cybercrime, money laundering and forfeiture.
The UK tax authority has seized three NFTs as part of a probe into a suspected VAT fraud involving 250 alleged fake companies. [more]
20 Feb - OpenSea investigates on the “rumors of an exploit” regarding smart contracts connected to its platform upon receiving complaints of missing NFTs. Its CEO updated and warned its users about the ongoing phishing attacks. Some of its users had unknowingly signed a malicious payload from an attacker resultant in some of their NFTs were stolen. [more]
OpenSea announced a new smart contract upgrade with a one-week deadline on 18 Feb. However, the urgency and short deadline could have opened up a small window of opportunity for hackers. [more]
Users received emails pretended to be from the NFT marketplace about a planned smart contract migration may have been a phishing attack.
PeckShield, a blockchain security company that audits smart contracts, stated that the rumored exploit was “most likely phishing” – a malicious contract hidden in a disguised link. The company cited that same mass email about the migration process as one of the possible sources of the link.
Fraudsters are using bots designed to trick investors into divulging their two-factor authentication (2FA), to drain cryptocurrency accounts. [more]
This new type of fraud goes right at that 2FA code, and it uses people’s fear of their accounts being hacked against them. In taking action they think will protect them, they actually expose themselves to thieves.