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Crypto This Wednesday: Shopify Integrates Solana Pay, MoonPay Fixes Binance.US Failure, and More

Fernanda T
Latest News
August 23 2023 09:05AM

Bitcoin teeters below $26,000 ahead of Jackson Hole

Bitcoin (COIN:BTCUSD) briefly dipped below $26,000 with a weekly drop of 10.42% as the market awaits the central bankers meeting in Jackson Hole. At the time of writing, Bitcoin is trading at $26,382,32. Fundstrat’s Sean Farrell suggests Powell’s dovish comments could drive the recovery and notes a possible market bottom, citing the industry’s lack of catalysts.

Shopify integrates Solana Pay for a new era of payments

Solana Pay, from Solana Labs, has integrated with Shopify (NYSE:SHOP), enabling entrepreneurs to use fee-free crypto transactions through 2024. With USD Coin (COIN:USDCUSD) as the initial payment option, this alliance allows access to a large portion of US e-commerce. The partnership seeks to reduce traditional transaction costs and offer simple loyalty systems based on NFTs.

Quantstamp launches flash loan attack detection service

Blockchain security specialist Quantstamp has introduced “Economic Exploit Analysis”, an automated service that identifies flash loan vulnerabilities in smart contracts. Developed based on research from the University of Toronto, the service, compatible with Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM), aims to strengthen security in DeFi markets, where flash lending attacks can compromise large amounts of cryptocurrencies.

Farcaster will migrate to OP Mainnet to expand accessibility

The decentralized social media protocol, Farcaster, has confirmed its migration from Ethereum to the OP Mainnet, a popular Layer 2 network. This transition, announced by co-founder Dan Romero, will allow open registrations, making the platform accessible to everyone, unlike the current invitation-only system. The migration is also expected to optimize Farcaster’s functionality, which already has over 10,000 users and is considered an emerging competitor in the decentralized social media market.

MoonPay assists Binance.US customers after suspension of Dollar deposits

After the suspension of US dollar deposits on Binance.US in June, payments startup MoonPay now allows its customers to convert US dollars into cryptocurrencies. Users can purchase tether stablecoin (COIN:USDTUSD) via cards or payment platforms and then exchange them for other tokens.

Majority of financial institutions favor CBDCs for faster global payments, Citi survey reveals

A Citigroup (NYSE:C) study indicates that 87% of respondents support the use of Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDCs) to speed up transaction settlements. This support has grown by 21% since last year. Despite the optimism, uncertain regulations remain the main barrier. While 52% believe that CBDCs will dominate the financial sector in the coming years, regulatory concerns are seen as the biggest threat for 51% of respondents.

Australia postpones decision on CBDC

Australia will postpone the decision on the adoption of a central bank digital currency (CBDC) for a few years, due to outstanding issues arising in its pilot project, the Australian central bank said. The initial research, carried out by the Reserve Bank of Australia and the Digital Finance Cooperative Research Centre, explored the feasibility and benefits of a CBDC, including payments system improvements. However, technical, operational and privacy challenges require further research before full deployment.

Russian banks move ahead with Digital Ruble tests

MTS and PSB, Russian banks, started tests of the digital ruble, with businessmen using the currency for payments. With plans by the Russian Central Bank for a launch between 2025-2027, several institutions including VTB Bank have reported successful transactions. Not all banks are on board, however, with some big names such as Sberbank and Tinkoff pulling out of the pilot project. The implementation of CBDC could mean significant losses for commercial banks.

New Thai prime minister proposes national ‘airdrop’

Srettha Thavisin, former CEO of real estate developer Sansiri and active in the digital asset sector, has been appointed as Thailand’s prime minister following disputed elections. During his campaign, Thavisin promised a nationwide ‘airdrop’, where every Thai over 16 would receive 10,000 baht (~US$300) to spend locally. While the project has been criticized for its complexity and cost, it highlights the growing interest in blockchain in Thai politics. Interestingly, prominent political leaders in the country have shown interest in cryptocurrencies.

FBI warns of attempted bitcoin withdrawal by North Korean hackers

The FBI reported that North Korean hackers, linked to the Lazarus and APT38 groups, may try to move more than $40 million in stolen bitcoins. These groups have been associated with several cryptocurrency attacks, including significant Alphapo and Atomic Wallet thefts. The FBI has identified six wallets associated with these groups and has warned cryptocurrency companies to avoid transacting with them.

Multichain crisis: CEO and core team arrested and $1.5B unreachable

On July 14, the team at the Chinese multichain protocol, valued at $1.5 billion, confirmed suspicions about the arrest of its CEO, Zhaojun He, in May. Unspecified accusations involving Zhaojun and an increased crackdown on cryptocurrencies in China are at the heart of the turmoil. $1.5 billion is now unreachable, fueling fears of money laundering and unexpected centralized controls. Victims seek answers and justice.

Bankman-Fried’s defense relies on legal advice for acts in FTX

Sam Bankman-Fried, founder of FTX, plans to defend himself by claiming that he acted on legal advice, including that of Fenwick & West, when making decisions related to the lending of funds and settings for Signal. His defense team detailed that strategy in a letter, emphasizing that trust in counsel’s advice is central to determining intent. He has pleaded not guilty to recent charges and will stand trial in October.

Investors sue Atomic Wallet after $100M hack

Following a $100 million breach of Atomic Wallet in June, a group of disgruntled investors, including many from Russia and the Commonwealth of Independent States, filed a class-action lawsuit. Lawyers Max Gutbrod and Boris Feldman are leading the case, representing about 50 clients who lost a total of $12 million. While the breach was initially linked to the North Korean cybercriminal group Lazarus, Feldman suggests the possible involvement of Ukrainian hackers.

BlockFi challenges FTX and 3AC over billionaire claims

BlockFi, a cryptocurrency lender in liquidation, has clashed with efforts by FTX and Three Arrows Capital (3AC) to recover billions transacted prior to its collapse. In a lawsuit, BlockFi accused both companies of trying to victimize each other and refuted the $5 billion claims. The dispute could impact reimbursements of up to $1 billion to BlockFi customers. While FTX seeks recovery of several transactions, BlockFi argues that some of these were not standard loan agreements.

Former OpenSea employee convicted of insider trading in NFTs

Nate Chastain, a former member of OpenSea, was sentenced to three months in prison for insider trading. He will also face three months of house arrest, three years of supervised release, a $50,000 fine and is expected to hand over illegal earnings in Ethereum (COIN:ETHUSD). This case is a landmark case in the NFT industry, highlighting the seriousness of insider trading in the digital world.

Drop in market value of bitcoin miners contrasted by increase in revenues

After a Bitcoin flash crash last thursday, the top five miners suffered a collective loss of $2.8 billion in market cap. Riot Blockchain (NASDAQ:RIOT), Marathon Digital Holdings (NASDAQ:MARA), Canaan Inc (NASDAQ:CAN), Hut 8 Mining (NASDAQ:HUT) and Cipher Mining Technologies (NASDAQ:CIFRW), saw their market capitalization combined decline to approximately $6.7 billion from $9.5 billion in July. However, despite this decrease, AltIndex pointed to a 43% growth in mining revenue since January. In parallel, Bitcoin mining difficulty reached a new high on August 22nd.