It’s been a very interesting week and be![in]Crypto has curated the most important stories in cryptocurrency for your summary. The stories range from the $200 million Nomad hack, the WazirX investigation by Indian authorities, the resignation of Michael Saylor as CEO, the 140 billion dollar re-entry of stablecoins to the market, and the US Senate’s proposal to make the CFTC’s cryptocurrency watchdog.
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Crypto projects that have been battered are trying to reach a compromise
Nomad, a crypto bridge, suffered a blatant abuse that resulted in a loss of nearly $200 million. The attack rocked all cryptocurrencies as hackers went all the way to impersonate Nomad employees to steal more funds.
Github, a developer platform, has fallen victim to malware that has affected up to 33,000 Github repositories. This step can have serious consequences for developers who clone open source code because sensitive data such as API keys, encryption keys, and Amazon AWS credentials will be accessible to bad actors.
To control exploit incidents, projects have started offering rewards to bad actors for turning them into white hat hackers. Slope, the Solana-based wallet provider that has been hit with a major security breach, has announced that hackers will get 10% of the stolen funds and face no legal action if they return the funds.
White hat hackers have managed to recover $9 million of the $200 million stolen, with security firm PeckShield indicating that efforts are underway to recover more funds. The Nomad team confirms that they are cooperating with law enforcement agencies and major blockchain security companies.
Regulators upping the ante on digital assets
This week has seen significant regulatory activity against cryptocurrency operators. Robinhood has been slammed with a $30 million fine by the New York State Department of Financial Services (DFS) for failing to meet anti-money laundering regulations for its virtual currency business.
In India, WazirX has been under investigation by the country’s Ministry of Finance over allegations of money laundering. The effect was to freeze some of the exchange’s funds on its links to Chinese loan applications operating in India.
The Securities and Exchange Commission has indicted Forsage and 11 others for their role in the Ponzi cryptocurrency scheme that cost investors more than $300 million in losses. The move was the result of a concerted effort among regulators in the Philippines and Canada as some of the defendants pleaded guilty to the heavy charges.
Senator Cynthia Loomis was fired from all cylinders this week as she alleged that all exchanges operating in the United States are under investigation by the Securities and Exchange Commission. The Securities and Exchange Commission stepped up its attempts to control the booming industry by issuing heavy fines and dragging projects to court.
Cheers to a fresh start
Hashid, an early stage investor in LUNA, will be back on the scene after losing billions from the Terra crash. Simon Seojoon Kim, founder of the project, indicated that the company will focus its attention on blockchain games and is in the process of raising millions of dollars in funds.
Henry Arslanian, PwC’s chief cryptocurrency, is also looking for new beginnings after leaving his role at the company to create a new digital asset fund. Arslanian chose Dubai as the base for the new funds due to its positive attitude towards cryptocurrencies and the tightening of regulations in countries in the Asia Pacific region.
Michael Saylor has announced that he is stepping down as CEO of MicroStrategy and taking over as CEO. The decision comes on the heels of MicroStrategy, which reported a $1 billion loss from its Bitcoin business, and Saylor’s need to focus on “promoting Bitcoin.”
A wave of positives
Away from the cryptocurrency hack reports, this week has recorded a barometer of positive reports. As the crypto winter shows signs of thawing, experts on the chain have noted that $140 billion worth of stablecoins could enter the market again. Changpeng Zhao, CEO of Binance, commented, “If people want to get out of crypto, most of them will not own stablecoins.”
Instagram created a buzz during the week following the announcement that the Non-Fungible Token (NFT) feature would be available in 100 countries after it was limited to North America and Europe. The team also revealed an integration with Coinbase Wallet, Dapper Wallet, and Flow blockchain that has driven the industry into a frenzy.
Tether gave hope to the Ethereum community by saying that it will support ETH 2.0 despite widespread reports of delays. Seeds of skepticism have been raised on the grounds that stablecoin issuers will maintain their support following claims that the Ethereum network could disintegrate after a merger and stablecoins could face a flood of lawsuits if things go wrong.
Lawmakers around the world are dealing with cryptocurrencies
US Senators are deliberating on a new bill that would give the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) control of the cryptocurrency markets. The proposed law would amend the definition of a commodity to include “digital goods,” bringing virtual currencies such as Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH) under the control of the Commission.
The impact of the bill will create new categories in the industry such as digital commodity brokers and digital commodity custodians who will need to register with the commodity before they are allowed to operate.
The Bank of Thailand says it will start trialling central bank digital currencies (CBDC) in retail capacity later in the year. Major banks in Thailand have stated that the CBDC trial will focus on two primary arms – the innovative use case and safety scenarios of digital baht.
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