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March 23,2024

Hackers Can Access Cryptographic Private Keys Of Mac Users

Apple recently encountered a critical vulnerability enabling the extraction of sensitive data. Numerous concerns were raised following the discovery of a potentially catastrophic flaw in the Apple M-series chips, which could apparently allow hackers to obtain the cryptographic private keys of Mac users. Without a direct solution, researchers propose an alternative approach, which could severely impact performance.


Vulnerability In M-Series Chips Enables Key Retrieval

The identified vulnerability operates as a side channel, facilitating the retrieval of end-to-end keys during the execution of common cryptographic protocols on Apple chips. Due to its microarchitectural nature, direct patching is not feasible, unlike conventional vulnerabilities.

Instead, the report suggests integrating defenses into third-party cryptographic software as a solution. However, this method might significantly impact the performance of M-series chips during cryptographic tasks, particularly noticeable in earlier generations like M1 and M2.

The researchers further explain that the vulnerability is exploited when both the targeted cryptographic operation and a malicious application, operating with standard user system privileges, are processed on the same CPU cluster.

The key insight is that while the DMP only dereferences pointers, an attacker can craft program inputs so that when those inputs mix with cryptographic secrets, the resulting intermediate state can be engineered to look like a pointer if and only if the secret satisfies an attacker-chosen predicate.


The GoFetch Exploit

The latest research reveals an overlooked issue concerning DMPs within Apple silicon. In specific scenarios, these DMPs misinterpret memory content, including critical key material, as the pointer value used for loading other data. Consequently, the DMP frequently accesses and interprets this data as an address, leading to memory access attempts, as explained by the team of researchers.

This process, termed dereferencing of pointers, involves reading data and inadvertently leaking it through a side channel, representing a clear breach of the constant-time paradigm. The researchers identify the exploit as GoFetch, operating under the same user privileges as most third-party applications, targeting vulnerabilities in clusters of M-series chips. It affects both classical and quantum-resistant encryption algorithms, with extraction times varying between minutes to hours depending on the key size.


March 22,2024

SBF Says He Is Not A Supervillain And Demands Amendments To His Punishment

Lawyers representing Sam Bankman-Fried (SBF) have contested certain legal cases referenced by the U.S. government in its sentencing memo, advocating for a more lenient punishment for the former FTX CEO. A court filing on Wednesday highlighted this pushback.

The legal team representing SBF responded to the memo earlier in the week, asserting that the portrayal of their client as a supervillain was unfair. In another letter on Wednesday, the defense team critiqued some of the legal arguments put forth by the prosecution.


The Bargaining Continues

Having been convicted of fraud and conspiracy, Bankman-Fried faces sentencing on March 28th. His defense attorneys argue that a sentence of no more than 6.5 years is appropriate, noting that FTX creditors will recover their losses. Conversely, the United States DOJ is advocating for a sentence ranging from 40 to 50 years. A presentence investigation report recommended a sentence of 100 years, primarily due to the significant loss incurred at the time of the FTX bankruptcy, exceeding $8 billion.

A key contention revolves around the interpretation of a precedent-setting U.S. Supreme Court case, Kisor Vs. Wilkie, particularly regarding whether punishment should be based on intended loss or actual loss, as outlined in the Wednesday filing. The government contends that SBF is attempting to align the sentencing court with the same definition of loss which was prevalent in the Kisor Vs. Wilkie case, and that this should be dismissed.


Defining Loss

The issue of the aforementioned loss pertains to the former FTX customers, now creditors of the bankrupt exchange. The bankruptcy team of the defunct exchange estimates that these customers may recover almost all of their assets partially due to recoveries secured over the past year and a half and the recent increase in crypto values.

Losses represent just one aspect Judge Lewis Kaplan must consider in determining the sentence. Other factors include trial evidence, character references, victim impact statements, and potential testimony during the upcoming sentencing hearing. The presentence report, recommending a 100-year sentence, is viewed as a guideline calculation rather than a definitive determination of an appropriate sentence.


March 22,2024

Apple Sued By DOJ For Illegally Throttling Competition And Stifling Innovation

The United States Department of Justice (DOJ) has filed a comprehensive antitrust lawsuit against tech giant Apple, alleging that its regulations in the app market and its perceived monopoly have unfairly suppressed competition and hindered innovation.

Filed on March 21st in a federal court in New Jersey, the complaint, supported by 16 state attorneys general, contends that the dominance of Apple within the smartphone market has been exploited to compel developers to utilize its payment system, thereby locking in both developers and users to its platform.


Manipulating The Market

According to the DOJ, the App Store guidelines and developer agreements impose a range of evolving rules and restrictions, enabling the company to charge higher fees, impede innovation, provide a less secure or diminished user experience, and stifle competitive alternatives. This situation may be why numerous crypto-based apps currently offer only limited functionality on iOS devices.

The DOJ also asserted that the anticompetitive behavior exhibited by Apple not only restricts competition in the smartphone market but also has repercussions on industries affected by these limitations, including financial services. For instance, Apple has allegedly eliminated alternative payment systems in ways deemed anticompetitive and exclusionary.


A Chokehold On The Industry

The DOJ highlighted the 30% fee, commonly referred to as the Apple tax, which the company imposes on apps and in-app payments for content, products, or services it did not create. This fee is only compatible with fiat currencies and has effectively prohibited the use of cryptocurrency in apps or made it economically unfeasible for crypto-based apps to offer in-app purchases.

Apple does provide certain enterprise and public sector customers the option to offer their own apps through custom app stores, but iPhone users and developers are not granted access to such alternative app stores, according to the DOJ.

The DOJ further alleged that Apple often applies its App Store rules inconsistently and employs them to penalize and restrict developers leveraging technologies that threaten its monopoly power. Some NFT marketplaces, such as OpenSea, have disabled features on their iOS apps due to the 30% fee on NFT sales. The Bitcoin-friendly social app known as Damus also had to remove a BTC tipping feature after Apple removed its app for not utilizing its in-app payments function.


March 21,2024

Ethereum Foundation In Hot Water As Government Authorities Initiate Investigation

The Ethereum Foundation, a non-profit organization based in Switzerland and a significant player in the Ethereum ecosystem, is currently under investigation by an undisclosed government entity. Details regarding the focus and scope of this investigation have not been made public. The revelation surfaced through GitHub on February 26th, 2024, indicating receipt of a confidential inquiry by a governmental source.


A Confusing Development

This inquiry coincides with a period of notable technological advancements within Ethereum, the second-largest blockchain by market capitalization. Ethereum, launched in 2015 through an initial coin offering (ICO) for its ETH token, recently underwent a significant technical upgrade known as Dencun.

Previously, the Ethereum Foundation made a statement affirming no contact by any entity requesting confidentiality. However, this statement, along with the aforementioned search warrant notification, was removed on February 26th in a GitHub update. Such notifications indicate that companies have not received confidential subpoenas or document requests via government authorities. Removal of such notices often indirectly suggests receipt of such requests.


More Than Meets The Eye

Legal experts familiar with the situation suggest that Swiss regulators may have solicited documents through the Ethereum Foundation and may be collaborating with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Additionally, it is speculated that other offshore entities might be under similar scrutiny.

The SEC is presently evaluating several applications for an Ethereum Exchange-Traded Fund (ETF). However, optimism regarding the approval of these applications has waned due to perceived limited communication between applicants and SEC officials. Speculation suggests that any reported interactions between the SEC and its international counterparts could be linked to the impending May 23rd ETF deadline faced by the SEC.


March 21,2024

Trezor Gets Exploited As Hacker Targets X Account

Trezor saw its X account recently encounter a breach, wherein a hacker utilized the social media account to promote a fraudulent crypto presale, accompanied by a malicious link. The crypto community promptly detected the suspicious activity and alerted other X users. As of now, the Trezor team has regained control of the account.


Exploiting Goodwill

In the now-removed tweets, the hacker claimed Trezor was supporting the $SLERF Community, leveraging ongoing fundraising efforts in the crypto sphere. The unauthorized post advertised a fake $TRZR token presale, requiring users to send SOL to the address of the hacker. Additionally, supporters were promised a separate bonus airdrop upon visiting a linked website, which is a typical tactic of a wallet drainer.

Unsurprisingly, many expressed concerns over the security breach, considering Trezor likes to emphasize its security features. Gratitude was extended to those who alerted others, potentially preventing further victims. Some users questioned the precedent set by fundraising for participants affected by the Slerf presale debacle, fearing it could enable similar behavior.


Damage Control

Despite the relatively small sum stolen, questions arose regarding whether the vigilance of the community or the limitations of the hacker led to the modest haul. This incident, although a minor victory, highlights a potential vulnerability nonetheless.

Lastly, the theft prompts speculation regarding the adequacy of security measures or the possibility of an inside job. Trezor acknowledged the incident, citing robust protections, including two-factor authentication, and reassured users of ongoing investigation and vigilance against future threats.


March 20,2024

South Korea Initiates Crypto Regulation Discussions With ASEAN

South Korean regulators engaged in discussions with officials representing ASEAN, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, and the OECD regarding cryptocurrency policy in Seoul on March 18th, 2024. According to Yonhap, the event was organized by the Seoul-based Financial Services Commission (FSC), the primary financial regulatory body in South Korea.

The international conference aimed to share the progress of digital finance policies in ASEAN countries. The participants expressed their desire to address risks associated with cryptocurrencies and related issues. The regulatory meeting was part of an event titled South Korea-OECD Roundtable: On Digital Finance in ASEAN.


An Important Meeting

Various representatives by the Korea Institute of Finance also participated in the discussions. The discussions on March 18th focused on presentations and discussions related to topics concerning central bank digital currencies and crypto assets.

Joining South Korean regulators were representatives by financial regulatory authorities, central bank officials, and other major financial institution officials by Asia and OECD member countries. The FSC announced that the parties agreed to exchange findings on global trends and share opinions on digital finance. On March 19th, the participants convened to exchange views on artificial intelligence in the financial sector.


FSC Vice Chairman Speaks

In his opening address, Kim So-young, Vice Chairman of the FSC, highlighted the positive impact of financial innovation through digital technology, including increased productivity in the financial industry. He emphasized the importance of establishing an appropriate regulatory framework to manage the risks associated with new technologies and protect consumers.

Kim urged South Korean regulators, along with their counterparts by ASEAN and the OECD, to proactively address the challenges posed by digital finance and cryptocurrency markets. He also emphasized the expanding international cooperation in the financial industry and called for sharing the latest financial trends with international organizations and major global countries, including ASEAN nations.

Kim concluded that South Korea and ASEAN nations should enhance cooperation to ensure alignment with the international regulatory framework. The direct investment by South Korea flowing into China last year fell the most in data dating back more than three decades, indicating weakening economic ties. 


March 20,2024

Fidelity Adds Staking Feature To Ethereum Spot ETF Application

As per various recent updates, Fidelity has reportedly modified its prior Ethereum Spot ETF application to incorporate the Staking feature. The move has significance as it indicates a keen focus toward making the biggest altcoin more mainstream and accessible to everyone.


Still A Ways To Go

The introduction of the staking functionality in Ethereum followed the transition to the Proof of Stake (PoS) mechanism. Wallet holders who locked their respective coins were rewarded with ETH in exchange for contributing to the overall security of the network.

Still, it was very evident that the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) showed reluctance towards this feature, leading many Spot ETF applicants to omit it from their submissions. This is unsurprising, especially since SEC Chair Gary Gensler has long been against the idea of making cryptocurrencies mainstream.


Is The SEC Working With TradFi?

Former Yahoo Finance reporter Zack Guzmán expressed intrigue about the development, stating that the progression of Ethereum ETFs seems peculiar as it appears Fidelity might be adding a component to justify the denial of the ETH ETF by the SEC, potentially striking a deal with Gensler.

That statement has caused many to wonder if Gensler may in fact be aligned with traditional financial giants. In related news, CEO Dan Tapiero shares his projection for the price of Bitcoin over the next two years. Notably, the aforementioned adjustment by Fidelity stirred activity in the price department, with BTC trading at around $65,600 as of the time of this writing.


March 20,2024

BlackRock Submits Application For Inaugural Tokenized Asset Fund

BlackRock has taken a notable step towards the future of digital asset management by submitting the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Form D for the BlackRock USD Institutional Digital Liquidity Fund.

The launch of the fund represents a significant shift in asset management, laying the groundwork for broader adoption of tokenization in the financial sector. Backed by a strong reputation and plenty of relevant expertise, this initiative is poised to establish a new benchmark for digital asset funds. Additionally, the partnership with Securitize further reinforces the legitimacy and regulatory compliance of the tokenized offering.


Overview Of The Fund

The establishment of the BlackRock USD Institutional Digital Liquidity Fund occurred in 2023, intending to tokenize it on the Ethereum blockchain utilizing an ERC-20 token named BUIDL. This innovative initiative aims to transform traditional asset management by introducing a tokenized system facilitating instant settlement and aiming to address illicit activities within financial markets. Notably, the fund operates under the jurisdiction of the British Virgin Islands and requires a minimum investment of $100,000.

Securitize, a notable U.S. firm specializing in digital asset securities, has been engaged by BlackRock to facilitate token offerings for the fund. As a registered stock transfer agent and alternative trading system with the SEC, Securitize brings expertise and regulatory compliance to the table. The involvement of the firm underscores the commitment to ensuring a smooth and compliant tokenization process.


Looking Ahead

BlackRock CEO Larry Fink has been an outspoken proponent of tokenizing financial assets as the next frontier in asset management. Fink sees transitioning assets onto a single ledger through tokenization as a way to streamline processes, enhance transparency, and mitigate risks associated with illicit activities. Fink recently expressed optimism about the future of tokenization, highlighting its potential to revolutionize the financial landscape.

Fink believes the next step going forward will be the tokenization of financial assets, and that means every stock, every bond, and so on, will be on one general ledger. The CEO further stated that every investor will have their identification, enabling BlackRock to eradicate issues surrounding illicit activities in the realm of bonds, stocks, and digital assets.


March 20,2024

XRP Officially Recognized As A Utility Token By ECGI

Enthusiastic members of the XRP community are rejoicing over a recent development that could significantly influence the future of the Ripple-supported token. A fresh research paper by the European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI) has reinforced the classification of XRP as a utility token, aligning with a U.S. federal court ruling in July 2023.


Addressing The Legal Classification

The paper, titled Corporate Governance Meets Data and Technology, authored by Wei Jiang of Emory University and Tao Li of the University of Florida, examines the evolving landscape of fundraising methods in the blockchain sphere. It explores various fundraising avenues, including Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) and Security Token Offerings (STOs).

The primary focus of the research lies in the ambiguous regulatory environment surrounding cryptocurrencies, particularly highlighting concerns raised by regulatory bodies like the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) regarding the categorization of tokens issued through these fundraising mechanisms.

Notably, SEC chairman Gary Gensler has maintained the stance that nearly all cryptocurrencies, including XRP, should be treated as securities and thus fall under the jurisdiction of the SEC. However, a federal judge ruled last July that XRP transactions on public crypto exchanges do not qualify as securities.


Focus Shifts To Key Date In SEC Vs. Ripple Case

The affirmation by ECGI concerning the utility token status of XRP lends credibility to claims that the cryptocurrency serves as a global bridge currency within Ripple Payments (formerly RippleNet), facilitating real-time and cost-effective cross-border transactions. This could pave the way for widespread adoption of XRP by banks and other financial institutions seeking efficient payment solutions.

Attention surrounding the SEC Vs. Ripple lawsuit has now shifted to March 22nd, the day when the securities regulator will present crucial opening briefs on the proposed Ripple remedies. Reputable defense attorney James K. Filan highlighted that the opposition brief by Ripple representatives is expected by April 22nd, 2024, followed by the reply brief of the SEC two weeks later, on May 6th, 2024.


March 18,2024

Charles Hoskinson Defends Hydra Protocol As Cardano Reaches New Milestone

Cardano (ADA) has reached a significant milestone with the introduction of USDM, a stablecoin backed by fiat currency. The Mehen token (USDM) serves as a digital store of value, issued by Mehen Finance, with a 1:1 conversion rate to USD.

As a native token on the Cardano blockchain, USDM can be transferred without the need for additional smart contracts. Mehen announced on X that institutional customers will commence the onboarding process, expected to take one to two days, indicating that USDM will gradually integrate into the blockchain during the week starting March 18th. This development marks a pivotal moment for Cardano as it expands its ecosystem, attracting more users and developers.


Introducing USDM

USDM is distinguished as the first stablecoin of its kind on Cardano, in contrast to algorithmic or synthetic tokens like iUSD and DJED. Notably, USDM is fully backed by USD at a 1:1 ratio. Users deposit dollars into their Mehen account, which shall be held within separate accounts for token holders.

Following the completion of transactions, users can mint an equivalent amount of USDM cryptocurrency tokens. Consequently, the stablecoin market on Cardano has seen significant growth, with a 37% increase quarter-over-quarter and a remarkable 673% year-over-year surge, further fueled by the introduction of the USDM stablecoin.


Promoting Hydra

Cardano founder Charles Hoskinson recently responded to concerns regarding the Hydra protocol on X, dismissing what he termed as FUD (Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt). Hoskinson affirmed the continued progress of the project, emphasizing the heightened productivity and motivation of the team as well as their commitment to see things through.

Charles went out of his way to reassure Cardano enthusiasts and ADA holders while simultaneously underscoring that Hydra is in fact advancing with robust community engagement and substantial protocol enhancements, and that the best is yet to come.


March 18,2024

SHIB Community Adopts A Proactive Approach By Burning Millions Of Tokens

Recent data disclosed by the Shibburn tracker unveiled a notable reduction in circulating Shiba Inu (SHIB) meme coins. Within the past 24 hours, the SHIB community cooperatively moved 28,709,351 SHIB coins into a non-functional wallet, effectively diminishing the overall supply.

This accomplishment was realized through six specific transactions, the largest of which transferred 21,657,489 and 6,824,773 SHIB coins respectively. This strategic move marks a significant step in reducing the availability of SHIB in the cryptocurrency market. The decision to burn these coins underscores a growing dedication by the Shiba Inu community toward enhancing the value of their preferred cryptocurrency by limiting its circulation.


Going Back And Forth

Concurrently, Shiba Inu cryptocurrency has witnessed substantial fluctuations in its price. Over the last 48 hours, SHIB experienced a sharp decline of 19.20%, with 13.17% of this drop occurring within the last day. This decline follows a period of remarkable growth during which SHIB eliminated two zeros from its value, reaching a peak of $0.00003 before correcting to its current trading price of $0.00002811.

These price fluctuations in Shiba Inu are closely correlated with broader trends in the cryptocurrency market, particularly in response to a significant correction in the value of Bitcoin. Following its peak at $73,750, Bitcoin underwent a downturn and is presently trading at $68,321. This movement reflects the volatile nature of the cryptocurrency market, where substantial gains can swiftly be followed by steep declines.


Pros And Cons Of Meme Coins

The recent actions concerning Shiba Inu, including coin burning and price adjustments, underscore the dynamic and community-driven nature of meme cryptocurrencies. These occurrences highlight the unique factors that influence the valuation and perception of digital currencies like Shiba Inu within the constantly evolving crypto landscape.

Meme coins present both advantages and disadvantages. On the positive side, they often experience rapid price appreciation driven by enthusiastic communities and speculative trading. Their low entry barriers make them accessible to new investors, and they can serve as an introduction to the world of cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology.

However, these coins also come with significant drawbacks. Their speculative nature makes them highly volatile and prone to unpredictable price swings. Moreover, meme coins typically lack intrinsic value or utility beyond speculative trading, leaving them vulnerable to pump-and-dump schemes. They may also have limited long-term viability as investment assets and pose risks of scams and rug pulls due to the decentralized and unregulated nature of many meme coin projects.


March 18,2024

Fundraising Deals - March 12th to 18th, 2024

Here are the latest fundraising deals in Web3, courtesy of CryptoWeekly.



Berachain from the United States secured an impressive $69M in a Venture round of funding led by BH Digital on March 15th, 2024. Berachain is a high-performance, EVM-compatible blockchain built on Proof-of-Liquidity consensus.



Nyan Heroes, based in Singapore, raised $3M in a Venture round, supported by Mechanism Capital on March 14th, 2024. Powered by Unreal Engine 5 and blockchain technology, Nyan Heroes offers a AAA multiplayer experience with multiple character classes and unique gameplay abilities.



D2X Group, operating out of The Netherlands, closed a Series A funding round worth $10M, with Point72 Ventures as the lead investor on March 14th, 2024. D2X is launching the first regulated (MiFID II) crypto futures & options trading venue out of the Netherlands to facilitate the institutional adoption of the asset class.



Polyhedra Network, headquartered in the United States, announced a successful Series B funding round of $20M, with Polychain leading the investment on March 14th, 2024. Polyhedra focuses on empowering interoperability and computation via ZK in addition to making Web3 more scalable.



mmERCH, a startup based in the United States, secured $6.4M in seed funding from Liberty City Ventures on March 14th, 2024. This is a company that believes in a world of difference where clothes are as distinctive as DNA and users have got the on-chain data to prove it.



Clique, also from the United States, raised $8M in a Series A round with Polychain as the primary investor on March 14th, 2024. The Clique Compute Coordination Network organizes various heterogenous compute resources, allocating them as needed by both general applications and smart contracts.



Gaxos.AI, based in the United States, received $3.5M in Post-IPO Equity funding, although the investor remains unknown, on March 13th, 2024. Gaxos.AI is transforming the way humans interact with AI.



Coinbase announced a significant Post-IPO Debt funding round of $1.1B, with the investor undisclosed, on March 13th , 2024. Coinbase is an American publicly traded company that operates a crypto exchange platform.



SnowSeed, hailing from Indonesia, secured $5M in seed funding from Medi Crypto International on March 12th, 2024. This is an NFT investmet platform that combines the advantages of physical assets and non-fungible tokens.



Kulipa, operating in the United States, raised $3M in seed funding from an undisclosed investor on March 12th, 2024. Kulipa enables self custodial crypto wallets to issue their own debit card through their API-as-a-service platform for seamless integration.



Elixir Network closed a Series B funding round with a notable $8M investment led by Maelstrom on March 12th, 2024. Elixir builds orderbook liquidity across exchanges via a high-throughput DPoS network.