Imagine experiencing a robbery without knowing the culprit. Yes, quite an unfortunate scenario. Now, multiply this robbery by a multi-million dollar, think about the situation then. No wonder, you will be petrified. Well, this is the emerging case coming from the crypto world.
Knock knock, who’s there?
On 3 August, the Solana network encountered a multi-million dollar hack, the culprits of which remained unknown as of this writing.
Consequently, SOL, the native token of the Solana network, dropped by 3.76% over the last 24 hours as it slid down to $38. The incident saw more than 8000 wallets face the repercussions.
The affected users shared their distress on social media platforms. So far more than 8000 wallets have been affected. And, the hackers have managed to steal $580 million. This was reportedly done by the four addresses mentioned below in the tweet.
MisTrack, a security analyst shared this development.
So far more than 8000 wallets and ~$580M were stolen by the following 4 addresses.
— MistTrack🕵️ (@MistTrack_io) August 3, 2022
Blockchain investigator PeckShield reiterated the said illicit activity. He further added that the widespread hack was likely caused due to a “supply chain issue” which was exploited to steal users’ private keys.
#PeckShieldAlert The widespread hack on Solana wallets is likely due to the supply chain issue exploited to steal/uncover user private keys behind affects wallets. So far, the loss is estimated to be $8M, excluding one illiquid shitcoin (only has 30 holds & maybe misvalued $570M) pic.twitter.com/aTGNsTc6d8
— PeckShieldAlert (@PeckShieldAlert) August 3, 2022
Related wallet providers Phantom, and non-fungible token (NFT) marketplace Magic Eden alerted users on the same issue. Phantom, a Solana wallet built for DeFi and NFTs tweeted,
We are working closely with other teams to get to the bottom of a reported vulnerability in the Solana ecosystem. At this time, the team does not believe this is a Phantom-specific issue.
As soon as we gather more information, we will issue an update.
— Phantom (@phantom) August 3, 2022
Magic Eden confirmed the reports earlier in the day on 3 August by stating,
“There seems to be a widespread SOL exploit that’s draining wallets, people should revoke permissions for any suspicious links.”
As per Solana Status‘ investigation, engineers from multiple ecosystems, with the help of several security firms, investigated drained wallets on Solana. “There is no evidence hardware wallets are impacted,” the team revealed in a tweet.
Meanwhile, Ava Labs CEO and founder Emin Gun Sirer stated that the number was 7,000 plus wallets. Well, ‘a number which is rising at around 20 per minute.’ As the transactions appear to be signed properly, the attacker likely acquired access to private keys.
One possible route is a “supply chain attack” where a JS library is hacked, and it exfiltrates (steals) users’ private keys. Affected wallets seem to have been created in the last ~9 months, but there are reports of freshly created wallets also being affected.
— Emin Gün Sirer🔺 (@el33th4xor) August 3, 2022
Binance’s chief, Changpeng Zhao (CZ), too commented on this delicate matter to shed light on this situation.
Shades of certainty
Unfortunately, this isn’t the first time, a Solana-related hack was discovered.
This doesn’t mean that SOL didn’t see the light at the end of the tunnel.
Despite market conditions, network usage measured by unique fee payers continued an upward trend.
On the Solana network, unique fee payers reached an all-time high of 450,000 in May. This was almost double the previous all-time high of 280,000 in January 2022.
Notably, the network averaged around 205,000 unique fee payers during Q1. And, stabilized at about 320,000 during Q2.
The growth in unique fee payers is consistent with the growth in newly minted NFTs, NFT sales, and unique NFT buyers.
Axie Infinity holders have reasons to celebrate market drawdown
The market crash has affected every cryptocurrency in some or the other way. And, the recovery from the same has been a nightmare for many. But not for the Axie Infinity holders.
These GameFi token holders stand to be some of the most thriving individuals when compared to the investors of other cryptocurrencies.
Axie Infinity, no worries
The altcoin marked its all-time high of $160 back in November 2021. However, it has consistently been on a downtrend.
Down by almost 90%, AXS was seen trading at $17.8 on 9 August after rising by about 40% from the lows of the June crash.
Now, in such a case, at least a majority of the investors would be bound to take a hit in some or the other way. But surprisingly, not a lot of investors are suffering losses.
This is because even before Axie Infinity came anywhere close to its all-time high (ATH), the investors were already in profit since they had been accumulating for a very long time.
Consequently, in November, not even 1% of the investors were at a loss. However, as prices began falling, their profitability did too.
Plus, the ones who bought their supply around the time AXS was at its highest point are a part of the cohort which noted losses. Their FOMO purchase is taking a hit as the price has returned to its 15-month lows.
At the moment, after a 40% recovery over the month, Axie Infinity investors are noting a slight improvement, although 22.29% of them are still at a loss, which is still a far lower concentration in comparison to the market.
But even for these 22.29% investors, profits do not lie millions of miles away from the ATH.
As the loss-bearing holders’ concentration would come down to just 6%, AXS would be a profitable investment once again.
USDC, USDT, BUSD caught in the midst of tornado- Here’s how
The invention of Bitcoin [BTC] in 2008 led to the idea of decentralization which became the mantra of the entire crypto ecosystem. However, it was necessary to involve regulators and central authorities because of some illegal activities and their negative effect on unsuspecting investors.
The latest is the money laundering enterprise set up by Tornado Cash, which has somehow pointed to some defects around stablecoins. The mission behind the platform creation was to let users make private transactions using the Ethereum [ETH] network. However, they went beyond their jurisdiction.
According to a New York Times report on 8 August, Tornado Cash has been involved in laundering over $7 billion worth of stolen cryptocurrency.
This led the United States (US) treasury department to blacklist the company. Similarly, Circle, the company behind stablecoin, USDC, froze the accounts of its users linked to the platform.
This action led to conversations around the true nature of crypto decentralization. Crypto investor and Bankless CEO Ryan Adams referred to the action as an “assault on crypto.”
Today the US sanctioned Ethereum addresses associated w/ a privacy service called Tornado cash.
Circle immediately froze the USDC in those accounts. GitHub suspended contributors to Tornado.
If you were waiting for the opening shot of big brother’s assault on crypto this was it
— RYAN SΞAN ADAMS – rsa.eth 🦇🔊 (@RyanSAdams) August 8, 2022
In response to the same decision, a researcher at Proximityfi, a NEAR-based DeFi platform, said that the crypto community needed actual decentralized stablecoins.
According to him, the trio of Circle [USDC], Tether [USDT], and Binance USD [BUSD], were past their relevance.
After recent events, it is time the crypto space develops a new stablecoin that is
– 100% decentralized
– censorship resistant
– truly resilient
In this thread I’ll explain and summarize one interesting idea to issue a BTC/ETH-backed stablecoin using derivatives contracts 🧵👇
— Res ®️ (@resdegen) August 8, 2022
In the thread, he explained that the top three stablecoins in market value do not align with the ideas behind decentralization.
Additionally, he mentioned that there were genuinely decentralized stablecoins that were not as popular, including RAI and LUSD, revealing that Ethereum Founder Vitaik Buterin was a big fan of the former.
He went further by proposing the idea of a stablecoin backed by BTC or ETH to achieve true decentralization.
Interestingly, there have been debates about USDC superseding USDT. So will this latest proposal bring an end to both stablecoins?
At press time, the Tornado cash website had been brought down with its developers booted out of GitHub. However, there was no response from the camps of Circle, Tether, or Binance regarding the proclamation.
In conclusion, the recent actions of Circle may contrast with its earlier claims.
On 18 June, CEO Jeremy Allaire debunked claims that the company could freeze accounts at any point.
With the recent happenings, it may seem that the concerns of EthHub founder Anthony Sassano were valid. The future will tell where USDC, BUSD, and USDT go next or make improvements.
Assessing the odds of Polkadot [DOT] sustaining its growth
Polkadot has been grabbing headlines recently with its performance. The latest updates on the network have added fuel to DOT’s uptrend in the crypto market.
This has made DOT the highest performing crypto asset among CoinMarketCap’s top 10 tokens. DOT, at press time, was trading at $9.01 after gaining a significant bull charge over the week by 16.35%.
The token has, however, lost momentum since 8 August and has taken a hit of 3.34%.
Dotting the map
According to data from Lunar Crush, Polkadot has scaled new heights during this week. In a weekly review update, Polkadot Insider has provided information to support this claim.
Social signals of the network suggest that Acala, Moonbeam, and Astar are the most influential projects on Polkadot right now.
Social mentions of Polkadot have clocked around 211.29k while social dominance has racked up at 0.40% over the period under review.
Impressively, social engagements surrounding Polkadot have crossed more than 700 million during the first week of August.
Furthermore, the Polkadot-based Astar network has announced a partnership with Alchemy Platform to accelerate dApp development.
This news release will certainly be a boost for Polkadot as it will promote user growth on it.
Another Polkadot-based network, Phala, has launched a stake pool description function on its application.
It will allow pool owners to access social channels such as Discord and Twitter directly from the application.
1/ Last week the Polkadot ecosystem continued building, deploying and growing. Check out some of the announcements from the ecosystem and hear the latest news from the parachain teams, infrastructure providers, and wallets in this week’s #PolkadotRoundup.
Read the 🧵below
— Polkadot (@Polkadot) August 8, 2022
Well, Polkadot has certainly shown growth in several on-chain metrics. The market-wide sentiment has provided a timely boost to support Polkadot in its future.
However, a report suggests that DOT could yet see a near-term setback. It followed bears at press time after noting a negative change in the past day.
A sudden setback has shifted the course of network volume which was still 36% up on 9 August.
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