Get the top stories, funding deals, technical analysis, cryptocurrency jobs and much more delivered to your inbox, every Monday morning.
United States Department of Justice Has Accused Mining Capital Coin Of Conducting Large Crypto Fraud
The United States Department of Justice has accused Mining Capital Coin CEO Luiz Capuci Jr. of conducting a large-scale crypto fraud operation. The CEO faces a possible jail sentence of up to 45 years after being charged with wire fraud, securities fraud, and money laundering.
Authorities believe that Capuci and others cheated investors out of a whopping $62 million. Mining Capital Coin claimed that it had invested in cryptocurrency mining and trading, however this was not the case.
The CEO told investors that the company controlled a vast network of mining operations capable of generating long-term returns. He also promoted the companys trading bots to investors by suggesting that they were created by top programmers from around the world.
However, as per federal prosecutors, Mining Capital Coin turned out to be little more than a pyramid scheme. The cash collected from investors was never invested in any of the previously mentioned projects, and the CEO had reportedly transferred the stolen funds to his own crypto wallets without fulfilling any of his promises.
Binance Receives DASP Registration In France As Changpeng Zhao Continues To Work Alongside Regulators
The AMF (Autorité des marchés financiers) has officially provided Binance France a DASP (Digital Asset Service Provider) registration, with the consent of the ACPR (Autorité de Contrôle Prudentiel et de Résolution).
This achievement marks Binances first DASP in Europe and reflects the exchanges dedication to becoming a compliance-first global exchange, which is also in line with CEO Changpeng Zhaos previous comments wherein he declared that it would be in everyones best interests if Binance and various regulatory authorities were to work together going forward.
A big win for Binance
The exchange has been granted permission to offer trading and custody services for Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), and numerous other cryptocurrencies now that it is classified as a registered DASP by the French stock market watchdog AMF.
Compliance and regulation are crucial success factors for the crypto and blockchain sector. Binance has thus made steps to assure compliance over the years, including expanding its global compliance staff and advisory board, in addition to actively assisting in the battle against fraudulent activities, ransomware and hacks. Binance is hence glad that the exchanges efforts seem to have paid off, and that the team went through tough French compliance criteria in order to receive DASP certification which Changpeng Zhao believes is necessary for the survival of this industry.
Binance once took pride in the fact that it had no official headquarters. However, following a backlash from authorities in a number of countries, including the United Kingdom, Italy, and Singapore last year, the exchange is now attempting to reach an agreement with regulators instead. To that end, Changpeng Zhao previously stated that the company intends to build its European headquarters in Paris.
Lastly, Binance will considerably expand its activities in France in order to make cryptocurrency trading and other related services increasingly accessible to everyone. Keeping in line with the overall objective to be the main framework services provider for the blockchain ecosystem, the Binance team wants to continuously grow their global workforce in order to pursue additional infrastructure development for the foreseeable future.
Elsewhere, Binance recently made headlines when it was revealed that the exchange shall be backing Elon Musk's Twitter takeover alongside others such as Sequoia Capital.
Vasil Hardfork Just Around The Corner As All Eyes On Cardano
As the Cardano (ADA) ecosystem grows and evolves, its team has been working tirelessly in terms of providing important updates which outline all of the developments that regularly occur with the eventual goal of adhering to the projects roadmap. Most recently, all eyes are on the upcoming Vasil hardfork.
What can we expect?
Regarding its underlying technology, there have been significant changes to the upcoming Vasil hardfork. The hardfork is set for next month and will reportedly assist in scaling the protocol as well as drastically boost transaction throughput, volume, and liquidity.
As per Cardanos most recent status reports, the node and consensus teams have been prepping the Ouroboros protocol, which is the current consensus method on the Cardano blockchain, for the imminent hardfork since the end of April.
Furthermore, the teams have been hard at work on improving the performance features of UTXO HD, which define how the Cardano blockchain is stored, testing diffusion pipelining as well as benchmarking. Cardano has also raised its block size by 10% so as to improve network performance by an even greater extent.
A crucial time for Cardano
On May 5th, Tim Harrison, Vice President of Community and Ecosystem at Input Output, announced that Cardano was planning two developer gatherings for the end of May and around mid-June, with one scheduled to take place in Barcelona and the other in Austin, Texas.
He went on to say that the Barcelona event in particular shall focus on audit and certification, whilst the Austin event will mainly work on the projects smart contracts platform Plutus and Marlowe, a language built for developing and executing Cardanos financial contracts. Moreover, the number of Plutus Scripts surpassed 2,000 in late March of this year. As part of the previous hardfork event, these smart contracts had been deployed on the Cardano blockchain in September 2021.
Ultimately, this summer could be a make or break period for Cardano as all eyes are on Charles Hoskinson and his project. ADAs price has not been performing at the levels that many had hoped, but Cardano enthusiasts are hopeful that a rally is just around the corner thanks to the Vasil hardfork and all the other developments that have been taking place.
Google Is Assembling A Web 3.0 Team
Google is reportedly assembling a Web 3.0 team to create new services for developers operating blockchain apps.
Google Cloud Vice President Amit Zavery stated that, while Web 3.0 is still very much in its embryonic stages, the market has nevertheless demonstrated tremendous potential. He went on to say that numerous customers have already requested that the company increase its support for Web 3.0 as well as crypto-oriented technologies.
One of the primary principles of Web 3.0 is decentralization, which is achieved through the use of blockchain technology and is a big step forward from Web 2.0, which was primarily dominated by large corporations such as Google itself. Now though, these companies realize that the time has come to focus on Web 3.0.
Gucci Moves To Accept Crypto In Select Stores
Gucci has announced that it shall start accepting payments in crypto at 5 of its U.S stores by the end of May, with the store also sharing its ambitions of eventually expanding the new payments service to all 111 of its North American locations.
Gucci will thus reportedly accept a number of popular cryptocurrencies, such as Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), Litecoin (LTC), Wrapped Bitcoin (WBTC), Bitcoin Cash (BCH), Dogecoin (DOGE), Shiba Inu (SHIB), along with 5 stablecoins as well.
In preparation for the launch, Gucci's employees have begun their training and instruction on crypto, NFTs, and Web 3.0. In related news, the store had also purchased digital property in The Sandbox (SAND) back in February and established a virtual retail experience similar to its Vault e-store.
Polkadot Has Announced Cross-chain Communications Protocol
Polkadot (DOT) has just announced a new cross-chain communications protocol, with the team claiming it shall eliminate the need for clunky bridging procedures which have already cost the cryptocurrency sector billions of dollars in cyber assaults and exploitations.
As such, Polkadot's multichain ecosystem is being created on the concept of full interoperability, and the newly introduced XCM messaging system is meant to encourage it.
XCM channels will reportedly be kept as safe as Polkadot's core hub, Relay Chain, and are additionally usable by parachains. Put simply, XCM would enable effective communication between parachains and smart contracts.
Ultimately, bridges have been among the most common areas of failure in the cryptocurrency industry. Polkadot, along with various other projects, therefore want to get rid of them as soon as possible.
Evmos Finally Goes Live On Cosmos Network After Years Of Development
Evmos, previously known as Ethermint, recently went live on the Cosmos network following years of development, according to its developers. Tharsis, Evmos' development team, came up with the idea for Evmos as Ethermint back in 2016.
Evmos is distinct in that, unlike a majority of other Cosmos chains, it is completely interoperable with Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM), a computational environment readily utilized by Ethereum blockchain developers.
Users and developers may now access Evmos as a Layer-1 blockchain on Cosmos, an interoperability protocol with over 250 applications and services in its ecosystem.
The Evmos launch will therefore enable users to construct Ethereum smart contracts and assets and utilize them within the Cosmos ecosystem. Initially, Evmos was supposed to launch in February, however it was pushed back due to technical concerns.
What else should we know?
The Evmos team expects that by incorporating the EVM technology, it would make the project more attractive to Ethereum developers and draw applications and assets from them. Since last year, EVM has become the most frequently used smart contract standard, as it can now be seen on a variety of blockchains attempting to duplicate Ethereums success. These include the likes of Avalanche, BNB Chain, Fantom, Polygon, and Moonbeam.
For starters, the Evmos developers intend to build bridges with Ethereum to enable interoperability. The team is hence collaborating with bridge programs such as Celer, Connext, Nomad, and others to enable token transfers between the two chains. Moreover, crypto investors shall be able to shift assets to Evmos and utilize them through Evmos own apps via these bridges, according to Federico Kunze Küllmer, Evmos Co-Founder and Tharsis CEO.
There are also plans for Evmos to grow inside the Cosmos ecosystem. The Evmos blockchain may transfer data and assets with other Cosmos-backed chains via a protocol known as IBC (Inter-Blockchain Communication).
This compatibility essentially allows Evmos apps to communicate directly with Terra, a Cosmos-based blockchain comprising $29 billion in crypto assets and home to the worlds third biggest stablecoin, TerraUSD (UST). To that end, Terras board previously discussed a potential partnership with Evmos for UST and earmarked $8 million to increase Evmos liquidity.
Additionally, there are other DEXs (decentralized exchanges), money markets, and NFTs slated to debut on Evmos, such as EvmoSwap, Coslend, Diffusion Finance, Nomad, QuantumSwap, among others. Whatever the case may be, the future looks bright for Evmos.
Deus Finance Gets Hacked As Over $13 Million Stolen In Latest Flash Loan Based Exploit
Deus Finance DAO has become the latest target of a hack that saw a massive $13.4 million be stolen. To make matters worse, this is the second attack on the platform within the past 2 months.
PeckShield, a blockchain security company, announced on April 28th that hackers had indeed compromised Deus Finance, a decentralized finance initiative that uses the Fantom blockchain. According to the firm, the incident resulted in a loss of over $13 million, with ETH accounting for the majority of the stolen assets.
The breach was reportedly made feasible by the modification of the price oracle which reads from the StableVW AMM, USDC/DEI pair via a flash loan. The modified collateral DEI price was then utilized to borrow from and drain the pool.
Another day, another flash loan exploit
Unfortunately, this is not the first time that hackers have successfully stolen funds through flash loan based exploits, and judging from the most recent activities, it will most likely not be the last either. After being utilized in some of the most high-profile assaults of 2022 alone, flash loans have gained quite the reputation of being among the most popular ways to target DeFi platforms.
The breach was triggered by a total of 800 ETH, which was extracted from Tornado Cash and transmitted to Fantom via the MultiChain. The stolen funds were subsequently converted to Ether and transferred to the hackers account at the end of the assault.
There may be some light at the end of the tunnel though, as the hackers wallet address was quickly marked with a warning that marks it as being allegedly involved in a flash loan exploit. However, the damage has already been done and it is currently unclear whether the hacker has already sent the stolen crypto to another wallet by now.
From bad to worse
The previous attack, which took place in March, was eerily similar to the most recent attack in that it employed the same flash loan-assisted pricing manipulation. The funds were moved from Tornado Cash and transferred in the same manner as the April hack.
Needless to say, the community is extremely disappointed that the protocol has been hacked again in the same way and in such a short period of time. While we await an official response, countless calls have since been made to Circle to freeze the $USDC implicated in the incident. We can only hope that the funds are quickly returned to the rightful owners and that other platforms do their best to ensure that something like this does not happen to them in the near future. Some have even resorted to hiring white hat hackers and employing bug bounty programs.
Goldman Sachs Approved Bitcoin-Backed Fiat Loan
Goldman Sachs has just approved its first Bitcoin-backed loan, indicating that Wall Street is becoming increasingly interested in crypto. A borrower was allowed to utilize BTC as collateral for a cash loan using the bank's secured lending program.
According to a Goldman representative, the bank recently expanded a secured loan facility in which they lent cash collateralized on BTC, with the borrower owning the BTC. They went on to say that the structure and the 24/7, 365-day risk management were the most intriguing aspects.
In related news, Goldman, which also has a specialized digital assets division, recently traded its first OTC BTC options to Galaxy Digital.
With the latest move though, Goldman seems to be following in the footsteps of other traditional banking behemoths in terms of expanding its crypto investments and portfolio.
Elsewhere, Cowen also formed a digital assets divsion in the past month, while BlackRock (BLK) recently took part in Circle's $400 million fundraising round.
Central African Republic Is Worlds Second Country To Accept Bitcoin As Legal Tender
The Central African Republic has now become the worlds second country to accept Bitcoin (BTC) as legal tender, confirming reports that had circulated for a few days.
As per a statement from President Faustin Archange Touadera, the National Assembly recently approved an officially signed measure authored by Gourna Zacko, Minister of Digital Economy, and Calixte Nganongo, Minister of Finance and Budget, after which BTC was legalized.
The Central African Republic has a population of over 4.8 million people, with around 11% having an Internet connection. El Salvador was the first country to accept the flagship crypto as legal tender less than a year ago. Crypto enthusiasts are thus hopeful that other countries will follow suit and eventually legalize Bitcoin within their own borders as well.
Elon Musks Twitter Offer Accepted
Elon Musk and Twitter have come to an agreement wherein the social media platform has officially accepted a $54.20-per-share buyout offer from the Tesla CEO, valuing the company at approximately $44 billion in cash.
Twitter will henceforth become a privately owned firm once the transaction is finalized.
Elon argues that free speech is the foundation of a healthy democracy, and that Twitter is the main virtual hub where important issues affecting humanity's future are often discussed.
He went on to declare that he wants to make Twitter better than ever by adding new features, making the algorithms open-source in order to promote trust, combating spam bots, and authenticating everyone.
In related news, Jack Dorsey praised the Tesla CEO and his new acquisition, claiming that Elon could very well be the singular solution to Twitter's various contemporary issues. Whether that is indeed the case or not remains to be seen.
Tether Use Cases - Are They Still Relevant?
Tether is a cryptocurrency that is pegged to the U.S. dollar. This means that each Tether unit is worth $1. Tether is often used as a way to store value in a digital form. Because it is pegged to the dollar, it is seen as a stablecoin. This makes Tether popular among cryptocurrency traders who want to avoid the volatility of other digital assets.
Tether was created in 2014 by Brock Pierce and Reeve Collins. The two co-founded the company Tether Limited, which issues the token. Tether is headquartered in Hong Kong.
Tether is built on top of the Bitcoin blockchain and uses the Omni Layer Protocol. This allows for the creation and issuance of tokens on the Bitcoin blockchain. Each Tether unit is backed by real currency that is held in a reserve. Tether Limited claims that its reserves are audited monthly by an accounting firm.
Their Use Cases
Tether is often used as a way to pay for products and services online. Because it is stable and has low volatility, it is seen as a safe way to make transactions.
One of the more popular examples for this is betting with cryptocurrencies. Tether bet is seen as one of the more stable options available. Because it is pegged to the U.S. dollar, Tether does not experience the same level of volatility as other digital assets. This makes it a popular choice for those looking to avoid risk when placing bets online. It can also be easily converted into other cryptocurrencies, making it a versatile option when looking to make a bet on a specific blockchain-based project.
Another use case for Tether is as a way to store value in a digital form. Because it is pegged to the dollar, it is seen as a stablecoin, which makes it popular among cryptocurrency traders who want to avoid the volatility of other digital assets. Tether can also be used to buy and sell other cryptocurrencies. It is listed on a number of cryptocurrency exchanges, and it can be converted into other digital assets.
Are They Still Relevant?
Tether is often compared to other popular cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin. Because it is pegged to the U.S. dollar, Tether does not experience the same level of volatility as other digital assets. Bitcoin, on the other hand, is not pegged to any specific currency and is instead backed by the computing power of its users. This makes it a more volatile option, but also allows for more flexibility when it comes to transactions.
When comparing the two, it is important to consider what your goals are with cryptocurrency. If you are looking for a stable option that can be used to buy and sell other assets, then Tether is a good choice. If you are looking for a more flexible option that can be used for a variety of purposes, then Bitcoin may be a better choice.
Tether is still relevant now and will likely still be in the future. It has a lot of use cases and its partnership with Bitfinex will help to increase its adoption. It is a popular choice among cryptocurrency traders and is seen as a stablecoin. Tether is also versatile and can be used to buy and sell other cryptocurrencies. It is listed on a number of exchanges and can be easily converted into other digital assets.