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OpenSea Security Breach
OpenSea issued a blog post earlier today informing its community that an employee of Customer.io, its email vendor, had reportedly shared a list of the marketplace&39s users&39 and newsletter subscribers&39 email addresses with an unauthorized third party.
The Customer.io employee had allegedly abused their position in order to obtian access to the list before subsequently sharing this information with the unnamed third party. Following the breach, OpenSea cautioned users to expect potential phishing attacks, claiming that email phishing attempts are more common than ever before nowadays.
It also advised users not to share crypto wallet passwords and addresses or participate in any transactions posted through email links. Although OpenSea has yet to confirm if the breach involved crypto wallet data, it did issue a warning according to which anyone who had shared an email address with the company to exercise caution nonetheless.
Lastly, although the NFT marketplace has already reported the breach to law enforcement authorities, it does not change the fact that this is just the latest incident associated with OpenSea&39s platform, with some customers even considering leaving the marketplace behind altogether due to the apparent lack of safety and security.
Alameda Research Commits $500 Million to Fund Distressed Trading Platform, Voyager Digital
Three Arrows Capital (3AC), a well-known cryptocurrency hedge fund, has now defaulted on a loan worth over $670 million. Voyager Digital, a digital asset brokerage, had recently issued a notice according to which the fund failed to successfully repay a $350 million loan in USDC and 15,250 BTC.
Voyager stated that it aims to continue pursuing 3AC recovery. In the meantime, the broker stressed that the platform is still operational and is actively fulfilling customer orders as well as withdrawals. However, experts believe that such assurance is presumably an attempt to keep fear of contagion from spreading throughout the wider cryptocurrency ecosystem and market.
Stephen Ehrlich, Voyager CEO and Co-Founder, said that the team is working tirelessly and quickly to improve the situation and pursue viable options to continue meeting customer liquidity demands.
Elsewhere, FTX CEO Sam Bankman Fried's quantitative trading firm, Alameda, committed $500 million in funding to Voyager Digital in the previous week. Voyager has already drawn $75 million from this credit line, and Sam is also now the single biggest shareholder of Voyager Digital.
WhiteBIT CEO Volodymyr Nosov Shared The Company’s Plans And Recent Projects
WhiteBIT is one of the major European crypto exchanges with over 2,5 million users, headed by Volodymyr Nosov. Traders have access to a constantly growing number of trading pairs and hundreds of assets on the platform. WhiteBIT is also an ecosystem of products in the FinTech area. WhiteBIT exchange not only offers a wide range of crypto to buy, but the exchange also provides a vast choice of state currencies, margin trading with a leverage of up to 20x, and Bitcoin perpetual futures.
One of the main features of the WhiteBIT exchange is constant development. We work hard to provide our users with handy trading tools. We also never stop developing and increasing the functionality of our products, building new partnerships and, of course, helping our beloved Ukraine says Volodymyr Nosov.
The company was founded in 2018 in Kharkiv, Ukraine, and has been working tirelessly to increase the level of blockchain adoption among Ukrainians and throughout the globe ever since. One of the main goals of Volodymyr Nosov and his team is to make operations with digital assets accessible to everyone.
Besides, the CEO of WhiteBIT helps the company enter the international market and negotiates partnerships with various companies and foundations to help them implement cryptocurrency as an additional and effective method of payment or fundraising. Over the past few months, the number of updates and collaborations has skyrocketed: Volodymyr Nosov shared a lot of new projects and partnerships.
It is a crypto processing platform created in September 2020 in Kharkiv, Ukraine as a part of the WhiteBIT ecosystem. Whitepay allows making cryptocurrency payments without restrictions, and the solution integration takes only up to 24 hours.
From the first days of the hostilities in Ukraine, the platform made it possible to donate for the needs of the country at war in multiple cryptocurrencies. Crypto enthusiasts from all over the world immediately joined in to help. At the moment, more than $1 million has been transferred for civilian and military needs.
On the 5th of May, Whitepay concluded an official partnership with the United24 platform, founded by Volodymyr Zelensky. United24 is a tool to accumulate funds from anyone who wants to help Ukraine win the war.
Whitepay has also started collaborating with the Tabletochki Charitable Foundation. It means that now people can make cryptocurrency donations to help children fight cancer.
Volodymyr Nosov is also the creator and co-host of Gagarin Show. It is an educational YouTube show about crypto where the hosts explain various concepts humorously and straightforwardly and discuss the latest news.
Gagarin News is an international news project about blockchain and cryptocurrencies available in Ukrainian, English, and Russian. Volodymyr Nosov comments: Scaling Gagarin Show into an international and multilingual Gagarin News project is a logical step for my team and me. In the future, the project will provide unique technical tools that are going to be based on modern algorithms. On the portal, users can find the latest news from the crypto world, research results in the field of blockchain, market trends, etc.
Integration with the Diia web portal
At the beginning of the year, the WhiteBIT exchange integrated with Diia, thanks to which the exchanges users from Ukraine now have an opportunity to pass a quick identity verification.
Diia is a web portal of public services in Ukraine, which allows saving IDs in a digital form and gives access to a wide range of other public services. According to Nosov, Integration with Diia is the next step towards improving the interaction of Ukrainian users with our crypto exchange. It helps to bypass the old verification procedure and waiting for an account verification decision. I hope that one day, WhiteBIT will offer the same to our users from other countries.
Cooperation with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine
In April 2022, the Kharkiv-based company WhiteBIT also signed a memorandum with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Within its framework, the exchange provides information support and technical means to facilitate and improve communication between the consular service and those citizens of Ukraine who need help in countries where the company has its offices.
The CEO noted, This collaboration proves that business can cooperate with the government fruitfully. WhiteBIT is always ready to provide aid to its native city, Kharkiv, and the whole Ukraine in such a difficult time. An online meeting between the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Dmitro Kuleba, and Nosov also took place. They discussed the current role of digital assets and blockchain, and how they shape todays world.
Volodymyr Nosov also said that WhiteBIT plans to continue giving and accumulating financial aid and other means to support Ukraine, its citizens, and the Armed Forces.
Nosov also mentioned that the WhiteBIT exchange team has been actively developing new markets and working on new functionality. He says that the outcome of this work lies not only in new convenient functionality introduced on the exchange but also in the companys ability to assist its native country, develop its digital capabilities, and bring both victory and freedom as close as possible. In conclusion, the head of WhiteBIT claimed that he has more news to share and cooperations to announce, but all in good time.
Luxury Brand And Experience Adoption Of Crypto Assets
Hublot, a well known Swiss luxury watchmaker, recently enabled its customers to purchase a limited range of products via cryptocurrencies after joining forces with the crypto payment service provider BitPay.
Tag Heuer, another globally recognised Swiss luxury watchmaker, similarly agreed to such payments last month. On its U.S website, the company accepted major cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, and even Shiba Inu along with five stablecoins as payment.
Elsewhere, Prague City Tourism collaborated with Global Payments to allow passengers of the iconic Tram Line 42 to buy tickets in digital assets, thereby highlighting the growing importance and popularity of virtual assets in general. Merchants still reserve the right to select fiat payments as well if desired.
Cardano Vasil Hard Fork Testnet Delayed
IOG (Input Output Global), the development company behind the Cardano blockchain, has recently announced that the network's Vasil hard fork testnet will be delayed until the end of June due to software errors and a commitment to quality as well as security.
There are reportedly 7 bugs left that need to be resolved, in addition to several tests that Charles Hoskinson insisted on following the TerraUSD disaster which caused the crypto market to crash.
At any rate, it is being said that the IOG team is very close to finalizing the underlying fundamentals and core aspects of the upcoming Vasil hard fork, which the Cardano community hopes will finally provide the blockchain with some much needed momentum and help ADA's price recover to its previous heights.
After Ropsten, The Sepolia Testnet Is Next In Line For Merge Trial
After Ropsten, the Sepolia testnet is next in line for a merge trial run, as its Beacon Chain is now live and ready to provide developers with valuable information in the run-up to the real thing.
As such, the Sepolia testnet shall begin reaching consensus using PoS rather than PoW after merging with its dedicated Beacon Chain. However, the precise date of Sepolia has yet to be confirmed and further delays are expected due to the difficulties concerning ETH 2.0.
Testnet merges are necessary for Ethereum developers as well as independent project developers who use the Ethereum network to recognise what to expect when the complete merge occurs.
The Ethereum mainnet merge, like the testnets, would therefore involve the entire network finally transitioning to PoS consensus, which is reportedly being said to ultimately reduce Ethereums energy consumption by over 99%.
Operation Hidden Treasure Officially Launched By IRS As Regulators Tighten Their Grasp On Crypto
Although cryptocurrency assets like Bitcoin, Cardano, Ethereum and so on continue to become increasingly popular and are even being widely accepted as a viable alternative to traditional assets, this has not changed that fact that numerous regulatory authorities around the world are still looking for ways to regulate and tax the new asset class, in addition to also punishing those crypto investors who fail to pay their taxes.
With that in mind, the IRS (Internal Revenue Service) has officially launched Operation Hidden Treasure, the goal of which is to clamp down on anyone investing in cryptocurrencies and not paying their taxes. It is also important to note that the IRS has only recently focused its attention towards cryptocurrencies, which has since resulted in a subtle alteration to the crypto-oriented inquiry on income tax returns that now asks citizens whether they disposed, bought, sold or exchanged any financial interest in the context of digital currencies.
What is Operation Hidden Treasure?
The IRS has introduced Operation Hidden Treasure in order to impose strict penalties on those who fail to report their income generated from investing in cryptocurrencies. On March 5th, 2021, Damon Rowe (the IRS Director of the Office of Fraud), announced the new initiative and said that it primarily aims to catch those taxpayers who attempt to conceal their crypto income regarding their respective tax returns.
With that in mind, in order to ensure that the operation is successful, the IRS has formed a task force composed of specialists and experts who have plenty of experience when it comes to the monitoring of various types of crypto-based income and revenue. Moreover, the IRS will also be collaborating with the agencys Criminal and Civil departments to further enforce crypto-related taxation laws.
How will the IRS go about it?
The aforementioned task force intends to address a common crypto tax evasion strategy which involves carrying out recurring financial transactions under $10,000 in order to avoid tax reporting obligations. Elsewhere, other tax evaders occasionally utilize shell companies to conceal their actual crypto income since they can help hide the identity of a companys owner, thereby allowing them to partake in different types of criminal activities without being discovered by the authorities.
Lastly, due to the fact that some cryptocurrency exchanges permit taxpayers to trade for items or various other digital assets without having to disclose their identities, Operation Hidden Treasure shall also look into crypto blockchain cloaking technology. Lastly, many expect the investigation to provide more options for tracing unreported cryptocurrency income via anonymous transactions going forward.
Cardano Finally Arrives on Ledger
Cardano has finally arrived at Ledger Live following months of anticipation. Users are now capable of sending, receiving, purchasing, and managing ADA directly through the application.
With this latest development, the Ledger Live app now officially supports the top ten biggest cryptocurrencies in terms of market capitalization, thanks to the long-awaited integration of ADA.
Ledger Live allows users to manage their digital assets from the safety of the Nano Hardware Wallet, securing assets on the Ledger Nano X or Nano S Plus.
Ledger is also among the worlds leading crypto hardware wallet providers and it had announced back in April that version 4.0 of the Cardano app for Ledger wallets which support smart contracts was indeed made available.
Around the time that Ledgers support team revealed that the Ledger Live app was actively working on adding full Cardano support, the Cardano community was ecstatic and things could potentially only get better from here as in terms of future developments, the Vasil hard fork is just around the corner as it is scheduled to occur on June 29th, 2022.
Jack Dorsey Announces Plans For Web5
Jack Dorsey, a well-known Bitcoin maximalist, has habitually dismissed all cryptocurrencies and chains other than Bitcoin (BTC) as unsatisfactory and untrustworthy. Most recently, after Jack Dorsey misspelled the cryptocurrencys name on Twitter, Solana jokingly renamed itself Solano.
This past Friday, the Twitter co-founder announced the intention of Block subsidiary TBD to create Web5, which will reportedly be an extra decentralized platform constructed on top of the Bitcoin blockchain to address what Dorsey sees as Web3s failures to safeguard users privacy and personal data.
Although Solana is still called as such on the companys official website, many are nevertheless wondering what the future of the cryptocurrency will be after repeated exploitations on the Layer-1 blockchain had resulted in a seemingly irrecoverable loss in investor confidence and interest.
Meanwhile, many are actively questioning what Jack Dorsey means by Web5 when the world has not even fully entered the Web3 era as of yet. Some have taken it as little more than a joke, whereas others are very interested in what the former Twitter CEO has planned for the future.
Celsius Network Freezes Transfers
Bitcoins (BTC) price has fallen even further after Celsius Network, a major U.S cryptocurrency lending company, had frozen transfers, swaps and withdrawals after citing extreme conditions. This is the most recent indicator of how financial market volatility is causing havoc in the crypto market.
The Celsius move resulted in a sell-off across cryptocurrencies, with their value falling beneath $1 trillion for the very first time since the beginning of 2021.
Celsius provides customers who deposit cryptocurrency assets on its platform with interest-bearing products, after which it subsequently lends out cryptocurrencies in order to earn a return.
According to a blog post, the company has frozen withdrawals and transfers between accounts in order to stabilize liquidity as well as operations while the team works to reportedly protect and preserve the digital assets and crypto investors.
Nevertheless, the spike in interest regarding crypto lending has alarmed regulators, particularly in the United States, who are becoming increasingly concerned about investor protection along with all the systemic risks posed by unregulated lending products.
Pressure On Regulators To Come Up With A Viable Framework For Cryptocurrencies As 21 Advocates Write Joint Letter To Lawmakers
Although the crypto and blockchain sector is expanding at an extraordinary rate and decentralized finance is being adopted just about everywhere as a viable substitute for traditional finance, several authorities have nevertheless adopted quite the critical stance toward the industry. This has resulted in various groups worldwide advocating for the adoption as well as fair regulation of digital assets like cryptocurrencies and NFTs.
According to the letter, Bitcoin (BTC) facilitates financial inclusion as well as equality as it is open, transparent, accessible and permissionless. The advocates believe that the flagship crypto is available to anyone on the planet and that both Bitcoin and various stablecoins provide unprecedented access to the global economy for a variety of different groups in numerous countries such as Argentina, Nigeria and Turkey, all of which are nations where local currencies are on the brink of collapse.
As per the letter, these activists have apparently committed their lives to the fight for liberty and democracy. In this struggle, they, like countless others living under authoritarian regimes as well as unstable economies, have depended on BTC and stablecoins to survive. The most recent example of this, according to them, would be the ongoing crisis in Ukraine.
Is everyone on board?
Moreover, the letter says that it is now crucial to take an expansive, ethical and empathetic approach regarding monetary tools and digital assets which are increasingly playing a key role in the lives of countless people facing financial difficulties and political repression around the world.
However, it should be mentioned that this letter is in fact a rebuttal to another written a week prior by a group of more than 1,500 computer scientists who urged lawmakers to not give in to pressure from digital asset industry financiers, lobbyists, and supporters to create a regulatory safe environment. This is because these digital assets are, in their opinion, risky, unreliable, flawed and relatively unproven as far as longevity is concerned in addition to also lacking real-world use cases.
At any rate, both letters showed up at a period when Congress is debating legislation to regulate digital assets and lawmakers are actively proposing regulatory frameworks for cryptocurrency markets. The world looks to those in charge to take initiative as the United States seeks to set an example for the rest of the world. Only time will tell what the regulatory outcome will be.
Tezos Blockchain To Become New Home For USDT Tokens As Tether Launches New Asset
Tether, the company being the worlds leading cryptocurrency stablecoin, recently announced the launch of new USDT tokens which shall be constructed via the Tezos blockchain. The goal is to expand the companys digital footprint across both the DeFi as well as digital payments sectors.
Too little, too late?
It is no secret that Tether has had its fair share of problems. Most recently, following the Terra (LUNA) and TerraUSD (UST) disaster, institutional faith in stablecoins had been shaken to the point that many actively questioned their long-term utility and reliability.
Although some stablecoins such as BUSD and USDC have been trying to renew this confidence and help the crypto market recover, Tether remains the leading stablecoin as aforementioned and all eyes are fixated on what the company will do going forward, especially after last years controversy wherein Tether was penalized for $41 million by the CFTC (Commodity Futures Trading Commission) for reportedly making false and misleading statements about its USDT token being completely backed by corresponding fiat currencies.
A new era for Tether?
Still, all may not be lost as USDT on Tezos, according to the press release, shall apparently power revolutionary applications such as payments, decentralized finance, and more. As such, greater context about the intended utility of these new Tether tokens was provided as well.
As per the official statement, the new Tether tokens are not to be viewed as an investment, but rather a utility for conducting online transactions, fighting against inflation and volatility, and serving as a safe haven as far as remittances are concerned. Moreover, the Tether tokens will be securely stored, received and sent across the blockchain, in addition to also being redeemable for the underlying asset, although this will be subject to the relevant terms of service as well as the fee schedule.
Tether presently supports transfers on a number of blockchains, including Avalanche, Algorand, Ethereum, EOS, Liquid Network, Kusama, Omni, Polkadot, Solana, Tron, and even Bitcoin Cashs Standard Ledger Protocol.
Paolo Ardoino, Tethers Chief Technology Officer, praised the launch of USDT on Tezos, predicting that it will help Tether grow in the coming years and showcase the true value of the stablecoin. He also stated that Tezos is rapidly entering the market, and that the team firmly believes that this integration shall be critical to long-term growth and sustainability.