/ KPMG in Canada adds Bitcoin and Ethereum to its corporate treasury

KPMG in Canada has completed an allocation of cryptoassets to its corporate treasury, the firm's first direct investment in cryptoassets. The allocation includes Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH), as well as carbon offsets to maintain a net-zero carbon transaction to deliver on the firm's stated environmental, social and governance (ESG) commitments. "Cryptoassets are a maturing asset class," says Benjie Thomas, Canadian Managing Partner, Advisory Services, KPMG in Canada.

More on Cision2022-02-07

/ Hacker Steals $320 Million From Solana, Ethereum Bridge Wormhole

Wormhole, a protocol that allows users to move their tokens and NFTs between Solana and Ethereum, has confirmed that it suffered an exploit of 120,000 Wrapped Ethereum, worth over $320 million—higher than the $250 million originally suspected. "ETH will be added over the next hours to ensure wETH is backed 1:1," it posted on Twitter, adding: "We are working to get the network back up quickly." Earlier on Wednesday, a post on Wormhole's Twitter account noted the network was "down for maintenance" due to a "potential exploit." But by that point the exploit, pointed out by Paradigm security researcher samczsun, appeared to be real. A message on the Ethereum blockchain, purportedly from Wormhole, states: "We noticed that you were able to exploit the Solana VAA verification and mint tokens. We would like to offer you a whitehat agreement, and present you a bug bounty of $10 million for exploit details, and returning the wETH you have minted."

More on Decrypt2022-02-02

/ Dune Analytics raises $69.42 million in Series B, now valued at $1 billion

Crypto analytics platform Dune has entered the unicorn club with its latest $69,420,000 Series B round. The round was led by hedge fund Coatue and brings Dune Analytics' valuation to $1 billion, confirming The Block's reporting from last month. Existing investors, including Multicoin Capital and Dragonfly Capital, also participated in the round. Dune has big plans in place with fresh capital in hand. It looks to build a community of up to 1 million analysts, support more blockchains, build an API, and massively expand its team, the firm's co-founder and CEO Fredrik Haga told The Block.

More on The Block2022-02-02

/ Mastercard’s CipherTrace Used ‘Honeypots’ to Gather Crypto Wallet Intel

On March 3, 2020, just before lunchtime in Washington, D.C., Stephen Ryan sent someone at the U.S. Treasury department a thank-you note with a curious detail. The chief operating officer and co-founder of cryptocurrency sleuthing firm CipherTrace, Ryan was one of 16 executives who attended an industry summit the day before with then-Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin. Along with his gratitude for the meeting, Ryan attached a slide deck that laid out CipherTrace’s strategy for demystifing crypto wallets.

More on CoinDesk2022-01-31

/ This NFT on OpenSea Will Steal Your IP Address

NFTs are usually passive affairs. A consumer buys the token, and then sells or stores the NFT. The NFT doesn’t really do anything. Some new NFTs are being used to harvest viewers’ IP addresses, though, in a demonstration of how NFT marketplaces like OpenSea allow vendors, or attackers, to load custom code when someone simply views an NFT listing. “We've been researching a lot of problems in the NFT space (with more of a focus on fraud) and one of the things we were playing around with was different XSS attacks on websites that display NFTs which is when I realized we could get OpenSea to load HTML pages,” Nick Bax, head of research at NFT organization Convex Labs, told Motherboard in an online chat. XSS refers to cross site scripting attacks, one of several different kinds of attack that someone could use an NFT for.

More on VICE2022-01-28

/ Putin Says Russia Has 'Competitive Advantages' in Bitcoin Mining

Russian president Vladimir Putin today said that Russia has "certain competitive advantages" when it comes to mining cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, according to a transcript posted to an official government website. His comments came one day after the government's Finance Ministry said it would be "necessary to allow these technologies to develop"—and that a cryptocurrency ban was not necessary. Last week, Russia’s central bank called for a ban on Bitcoin mining and cryptocurrency transactions. "As for cryptocurrencies, the central bank has its own position, it is related to the fact that, according to experts of the central bank, the expansion of this type of activity carries certain risks, and above all for the citizens of the country, given the high volatility and some other components of this topic," President Putin said Wednesday in a video call with government members.

More on Decrypt2022-01-26

/ Oregon Man Admits Selling Marijuana and Laundering Bitcoin

An Oregon man admitted selling marijuana on the darkweb and laundering Bitcoin. Robert Kelly O’Neill, 59, pleaded guilty to possession with intent to distribute marijuana and money laundering. O’Neill’s case, along with many others, came from the investigation conducted as a part of the so-called “Operation Dark Gold.” In January 2016, Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service (USPIS) launched a widespread investigation into darkweb vendors, according to announcements from both agencies. During the investigation, HSI and USPIS employees identified a darkweb vendor known as “Gold” who exchanged Bitcoin for cash. Gold advertised money laundering services wherein darkweb vendors would send Gold Bitcoin and Gold would ship cash to a physical address provided by the vendor. Such a scheme is ripe for infiltration by law enforcement; if they were able to take control of Gold’s accounts, they could passively collect the addresses of darkweb vendors

More on Darknetlive2022-01-24

/ Bank of Russia Calls for Full Ban on Crypto

Russia must ban cryptocurrencies, the country's central bank said in a report released Thursday. The report, "Cryptocurrencies: trends, risks, measures," was presented during an online press conference with Elizaveta Danilova, the director of the Bank of Russia's Financial Stability Department. The report says cryptocurrencies are volatile and widely used in illegal activities such as fraud. By offering an outlet for people to take their money out of the national economy, they risk undermining it and making the regulator's job of maintaining optimal monetary policies harder, the report says. The bank, therefore, suggest Russia needs new laws and regulations that effectively ban any crypto-related activities in the country. In particular, cryptocurrency issuance and organization of its circulation in Russia must be banned. The ban should apply to exchanges, over-the-counter trading desks and peer-to-peer platforms.

More on CoinDesk2022-01-20

/ NFT marketplace OpenSea buys crypto wallet Dharma Labs, changes CTO

NFT marketplace OpenSea on Tuesday said it had bought Dharma Labs, a digital wallet for cryptocurrencies, for an undisclosed amount, and said Dharma's chief executive officer would become OpenSea's chief technology officer. OpenSea, which was founded in 2017 and was recently valued at $13.3 billion in its latest round of venture funding, said the deal would help it "dramatically improve the experience of buying, minting, and selling NFTs" on its marketplace. NFTs, or non-fungible tokens, are a type of digital asset which exist on the record-keeping technology blockchain. They have exploded in popularity over the last year, with people buying artworks and video highlights from sports games as NFTs.

More on Reuters2022-01-18

/ Crypto.com Suffers Hack for At Least $15M in Ethereum

Cryptocurrency exchange Crypto.com has reportedly fallen victim to a hack, with at least $15 million worth of Ethereum stolen. Despite reports of missing funds, the platform has yet to confirm that it has indeed been attacked. With almost $3 billion in trading volume in the last 24 hours, Crypto.com is the industry’s fourth-largest centralized crypto exchange, according to CoinGecko.

More on Decrypt2022-01-18

/ BitMEX Group plans to acquire a 268-year-old German bank

Crypto firm BitMEX Group announced Tuesday its plan to acquire Bankhaus von der Heydt, a 268-year-old private bank based in Germany. The group's BXM Operations AG — a company founded by BitMEX CEO Alexander Höptner and its CFO Stephan Lutz — has signed a purchase agreement with Dietrich von Boetticher, the bank's current owner. The deal is subject to the approval of German financial regulator BaFin. Bankhaus von der Heydt was founded in 1754. In October, it partnered with Fireblocks to offer crypto services to its clients. BitMEX Group said it expects the transaction to complete in the middle of this year. But the BaFin approval may not come easy after recent fintech scandals in Germany, including Wirecard and Greensill Bank.

More on The Block 2022-01-18

/ USDC's supply on Ethereum surpasses that of rival USDT's for the first time

The total supply of the USDC stablecoin on the Ethereum blockchain has surpassed that of rival Tether's (USDT) for the first time. The current total supply of USDC on Ethereum stands at 39.92 billion, whereas USDT's total supply on the blockchain stands at 39.82 billion, according to Etherscan. USDC's supply beating USDT's on Ethereum is significant since the blockchain remains a major contributor of growth for both stablecoins. USDC and USDT are available on several blockchains, including Solana and Algorand.

More on The Block2022-01-17