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Crypto: Phishing Hack Strikes MicroStrategy, Malicious Code Compromises Tornado Cash, and More

Fernanda T
Latest News
February 26 2024 8:57AM

MicroStrategy hit by phishing scam on X; continues Bitcoin portfolio expansion

MicroStrategy’s account on X (formerly Twitter) was compromised, disclosing a fake airdrop of an MSTR Ethereum token in the early hours of February 26. PeckShield alerted to a phishing link in the announcement, leading to a fake website. Although the post was deleted, MicroStrategy has not commented. The hack resulted in a loss of $440,000 by deceived users, with Scam Sniffer indicating that a large part came from a single victim. In other news, between February 15 and 25, MicroStrategy (NASDAQ:MSTR) invested about $155 million in purchasing an additional 3,000 Bitcoins, bringing its total to 193,000 units, valued at nearly $9.9 billion. Michael Saylor, the company’s leader, revealed that the average cost was $31,544 per Bitcoin, totaling an investment of $6.1 billion. The funding for these recent purchases came from the sale of 1,272,077 company shares, generating about $750 million.

Tornado Cash compromised by malicious code

The security of Tornado Cash cryptocurrency mixer users’ funds was compromised due to the insertion of malicious code, revealed by a user named Gas404 on Medium. The attack, disguised in an old governance proposal, allows for the leakage and theft of deposits by redirecting them to an external server. This incident comes after the platform had already faced a drastic drop in transactions due to US government sanctions.

Scam in crypto gaming project RiskOnBlast takes 420 Ether

The crypto gaming project RiskOnBlast, after raising 420 Ether (approximately $1.29 million) in a pre-sale, vanished on February 25, along with its website and online presence, leaving over 750 investors at a loss. According to fraud expert SomaXBT, the assets were illegally transferred to platforms such as MEXC, Bybit, and ChangeNOW. RiskOnBlast had participated in the Blast Big Bang competition, an initiative to promote web3 projects on the Ethereum Layer-2, created by the founder of Blur NFT, known as “Pacman.”

BitForex goes offline after suspicious $57 million withdrawal

The cryptocurrency exchange BitForex became inaccessible after a suspicious $57 million withdrawal from its hot wallets. Investigator ZachXBT was one of the first to notice the suspension of withdrawals and the disappearance of the platform’s team. Currently, attempts to visit the BitForex website result in a blocking message. The reason behind the incident and the whereabouts of the exchange team remain uncertain at the time of writing.

Bitcoin increases Satoshi Nakamoto’s wealth to $51 billion in 2024

In 2024, the market value of Bitcoin (COIN:BTCUSD) surpassed the $1 trillion mark, becoming one of the ten most valuable assets globally. This growth greatly benefited Bitcoin’s enigmatic creator, Satoshi Nakamoto, whose net worth increased by nearly $9 billion in two months, reaching $51 billion. With about 1 million BTC, Nakamoto would approach the top 25 of the world’s richest individuals, surpassing many billionaires in potential liquidity, although selling such quantities could impact the market. Nakamoto’s identity and the fate of his coins remain unknown.

Mantle token records record high driven by innovations and partnerships

The token of the Ethereum Layer-2 blockchain, Mantle (COIN:MNTLLUSD), reached a new peak of $0.948, driven by interest in its applications and the Layer-2 ecosystem. Mantle’s “double dose” strategy, offering attractive yields for Ether staking, has attracted attention. Experts point to Mantle’s ongoing DeFi ecosystem development and strategic partnerships as key factors. Since its launch, the Mantle network has been growing, positioning itself as a significant scalability solution for Ethereum.

Timely sale of UNI tokens by an old wallet during price spike

During a 60% spike in the value of the uniswap token (COIN:UNIUSD) on Friday, an old wallet, possibly belonging to an early investor or Uniswap team member, liquidated 90,000 UNI for $1.03 million. Uniswap, a decentralized exchange platform, had distributed these governance tokens to early users in 2020. After the sale, the wallet retained 926,000 UNI, valued at $10.6 million. The appreciation occurred after a governance proposal encouraged UNI staking and delegation, although the price slightly receded after the sale.

For more than a week, Uniswap led over Bitcoin (COIN:BTCUSD) in transaction fees paid by users, with the overtaking occurring on February 14. Recent data reveals that Uniswap collected $1.9 million in fees on February 25, surpassing Bitcoin’s $1.2 million. In the meantime, Ethereum (COIN:ETHUSD) remains on top with $10.6 million in daily fees.

Ethereum whales bet big with a $45.5 million investment

A crypto whale made a considerable bet of $45.5 million on Ethereum (COIN:ETHUSD), contributing to a significant increase in the coin’s value. This massive investment reflects the growing confidence of large investors in Ethereum’s promising future. Data from Lookonchain indicates that a significant wallet moved 14,632 ETH from Binance, while other substantial transactions were observed, all indicating a targeted accumulation of ETH and a long-term holding trend, pushing the price close to $3,200, a peak not seen since April 2022.

Whale dumps over 400 billion SHIB amid resistant market

A crypto whale, identified by the address ‘0x30e’, moved a massive amount of 421.6 billion SHIB tokens (COIN:SHIBUSD), totaling $3.98 million, as reported by the on-chain data platform SpotOnChain. The operation, carried out on February 24, involved transferring the tokens to Binance and an unspecified DEX, resulting in a considerable loss of 61.4% compared to the whale’s initial investment of $10.30 million.

Ripple releases 400 million XRP in surprise move

Ripple (COIN:XRPUSD) caught the community’s attention by releasing 400 million XRP tokens, valued at about $217 million, an action that deviated from the usual schedule and came with an enigmatic memo. This atypical unlock, reported by Whale Alert and observed by the XRP community, sparked speculation due to its unexpected nature and the peculiar content of the memo. This usual practice of releasing tokens from its escrow wallet typically follows a monthly pattern, but this particular event challenged expectations, leading to various theories in the community.

AiB launches Blockchain GovGen anticipating Cosmos’ AtomOne fork

All in Bits, developer of Cosmos (COIN:ATOMUSD), announced the launch of the GovGen blockchain, planned to precede the controversial AtomOne fork of the Cosmos Hub. Led by Jae Kwon, co-founder of Cosmos, GovGen aims to involve the community in decisions about AtomOne’s design through a decentralized governance mechanism. ATOM holders opposed to proposal 848 will receive the GovGen token, marking a new chapter in Kwon’s trajectory and the evolution of the Cosmos Hub.

Solana Parcl prepares airdrop with new tokens in April

The Solana Parcl real estate protocol announced its PRCL token airdrop for April, strengthening confidence in the network. The event will distribute 7-8% of 1 billion tokens to the community, offering holders governance rights and access to real estate data. With 10-12% of the tokens already in circulation, the team will reveal more details in March. Parcl, which facilitates access to global real estate indices and real-time data, has significant trading volume, despite recent criticisms of Solana.

Growth of Trump’s crypto fortune boosted by token with his name

Donald Trump, previously skeptical about Bitcoin, dove into the cryptocurrency universe, initially through NFTs that sold out quickly, marking his first significant financial victory in this market. Following this success, he expanded his crypto portfolio to include Ethereum (COIN:ETHUSD) and Wrapped Ether, but the real jewel in his crypto crown came in the form of TRUMP tokens (COIN:TRUMPUSD), a gift from developers of a crypto project. This gesture added 579,281 tokens to his digital fortune, catapulting the total value of his crypto assets to approximately $5 million, with the TRUMP tokens alone worth almost $3 million, thanks to their significant appreciation.

Bitcoin ETPs near all-time high driven by spot ETFs in the US

According to ByteTree, global Bitcoin ETPs are close to reaching the 2021 record of 966 thousand Bitcoins, with a significant boost from spot ETFs in the US, attracting about $5.5 billion. In the last 30 days, there has been an influx of over 100 thousand Bitcoins, surpassing the previous maximum of 90 thousand. The entry of 96 thousand Bitcoins in February stands out, almost doubling the total of the previous four months.

US Bitcoin ETFs attract $232 million in recent flows

Since their debut on January 11, US Bitcoin ETFs have seen impressive adoption, with a highlight of $232 million in new investments on February 23. The BlackRock ETF (NASDAQ:IBIT) led the growth, contributing $168 million to the total increase, while the Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (AMEX:GBTC) saw a reduction in withdrawals, signaling a possible decline in divestment. The cumulative volume of net inflows into Bitcoin ETFs reached $5.5 billion, reflecting growing interest in these financial products.

OANDA launches crypto platform in the UK after acquiring Coinpass

OANDA, a veteran of the US forex market, is establishing a new cryptocurrency trading platform in the UK, named OANDA Crypto, after acquiring a majority stake in Coinpass, approved by the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). The platform will allow trading in over 63 cryptocurrency pairs with plans for future expansion.

Circle partners with Overdare to develop gaming metaverse

Circle Internet Financial, known for its stablecoin (COIN:USDCUSD), announced a collaboration with Overdare, an initiative of South Korean powerhouses Krafton and Naver Z Corporation. This partnership aims to integrate Circle’s programmable digital wallets into the new Overdare gaming platform, enabling USDC transactions for content developers. Circle CEO Jeremy Allaire revealed plans for a Roblox-style metaverse (NYSE:RBLX), powered by USDC and scheduled for the second half of 2024, which will also use Settlus blockchain technology for revenue management.

Financial Stability Board focuses on crypto assets and AI

The president of the Financial Stability Board, Klaas Knot, highlighted cryptography, tokenization, and artificial intelligence as key areas of vigilance in communication to G20 finance ministers. The correspondence anticipates the G20 meeting in São Paulo, introducing future reports on crypto and tokenization scheduled for October, and a study on AI in November. This focus follows efforts to harmonize global crypto regulation, especially after challenges in the sector, including the collapse of FTX.

Avail raises $27 million in initial round

Avail, a modular blockchain innovation from Polygon, raised $27 million with leadership from Peter Thiel’s Founders Fund and Dragonfly. The round also included SevenX Ventures, Figment Capital, among others. Co-founder Anurag Arjun remained silent on the valuation, but sources indicate a substantial figure. Separating from Polygon in March 2023, Avail seeks to solve scalability challenges for rollups and is preparing to launch its mainnet.