Solana Based DeFi Protocol, Luna Yield, Goes Dark as Customers Fear An Exit Scam: Report

Solana Based DeFi Protocol, Luna Yield, Goes Dark as Customers Fear An Exit Scam: Report

While the market appears to be rallying once more, this month hasn’t been all sunshine and rainbows for crypto platforms. In what is growing to be an alarming trend, it appears that a rug pull might have duped some crypto investors.

Nowhere to be Found

Earlier today, SolPad, an Initial Digital Offering (IDO) platform built on the Solana blockchain, confirmed that one of its platforms has gone completely dark. The platform, named Luna Yield, offers yield farming with vaults that are available on Solana (SOL), Polygon (MATIC), and the Binance Smart Chain.

In its tweet, SolPad explained that the platform appeared to have been witnessing problems. The service scrubbed its online presence, deleting its websites and social media channels. The website is still available on Google’s results page, but it can’t be reached.

Luna Yield was the second IDO to debut on SolPad, going live earlier this week. According to news sources, the platform had gotten $6.7 million in user funds and was building a relatively strong community. Now, it appears that all of those funds have been stolen.

According to an anonymous source, the platform’s founders reportedly took all of the SOL tokens in the platform and converted them to Ether. From there, they transferred the money to Tornado Cash – a decentralized, non-custodial privacy solution that’s built on the Ethereum blockchain. Put simply, those funds are gone and can’t be recovered.

Although the SolPad team has requested patience as they try to contact the Luna Yield developers. However, this situation already has the trappings of an exit scam – a case where a platform’s developers take off with investors’ funds. If indeed it is an exit scam, it would be a first on the Solana blockchain.

Criminal Activity Making a Comeback

The situation marks just the latest criminal event that will befall the crypto space in the past few weeks. Last week, cross-chain decentralized finance (DeFi) protocol Poly Network was hacked, with investors losing up to $610 million in digital assets. After multiple investigations, the hacker was said to have exploited a vulnerability between contact calls to conduct the hack.

Eventually, nearly all of the funds were restored after the hacker seemed to have grown a conscience.

Poly Network eventually claimed that the hack was filled with “white hat behavior” and even offered the hacker a job. They turned it down, along with the company’s $500,000 bounty.

While the industry was reeling from that, Liquid Global, a popular crypto exchange, was hit in a hack just yesterday. The Japanese exchange confirmed the hack on Twitter, noting that only its hot wallets had been affected.

Although Liquid has yet to confirm anything, news sources believe that the exchange lost about $80 million to the hack. There are also unconfirmed reports that the funds belonged to the Celsius Network, which integrated with Liquid in April to offer the latter’s customers a compounding return on their crypto purchases.

Efforts are being made to get the funds back, with fellow crypto exchange KuCoin blacklisting all addresses involved in the hack.

Read Original/a>
Author: Jimmy Aki

Difficult Time Ahead for Risk Assets; Fed Has Pres. Biden’s Blessing to Do ‘Whatever Necessary’

“The opportunity for bitcoin remains very, very bright,” according to Grayscale CEO, based on who’s investing, their size of allocations, and with the conviction, they are doing that. As for tapering, Guggenheim Chairman says the earliest it would start would be March next year.

This week started on a red note, with Bitcoin’s price going under $30k for the first time in over a month. But before the mid of the week, we made progress and came really close to $33k.

Commenting on this volatility, Michael Sonnenshein, Grayscale Investments CEO said, investors allocating to crypto know that it is going to be a part of it.

“Most of the investors we’re dealing with are not looking at short-term price movements or volatility. Their crypto allocations are really over the medium to longer-term time horizon. So I don’t think people feel terribly fazed when they see sudden movements in the market,” he said in an interview with Bloomberg this week.

But with Bitcoin falling in line with stocks this week, is it a diversification play? “Certainly,” said Sonnenshein, noting that for a lot of investors, it is a “differentiated return stream.”

While the Bloomberg hosts are hearing that there’s no money sitting on the sidelines wanting to get in, according to Sonnenshein, based on who’s investing in the market, their size of allocations, and with the conviction, they are doing that, “the opportunity for bitcoin remains very very bright.”

“Even though there is no Bitcoin ETF today investors aren’t waiting to add crypto to their portfolios. BTC is doing hundreds of millions of dollars a day in notional trading volume.”

Sonnenshein also commented on GBTC unlocks about which a lot of investors are concerned about and wondering about its effect on the fund growing so large.

“It’s a little too early to tell,” he said. “But what we have seen is with BTC trading at a discount to net asset value a lot of investors, particularly institutional money, have been stepping into that trade realizing that that capital can actually help them own or control more bitcoin than it would be if they were buying bitcoin in the spot market,” which will ultimately lead it back towards NAV and “in the longest case scenario it will be an ETF that would arbitrage away any discount to the net asset value,” Sonnenshein added.

Taper Tantrums

Interestingly, the government continues to pump money into the market that works in Bitcoin’s favor. While the Federal Reserve Chair has assured that quantitative tightening isn’t happening as of now, US President Joe Biden also said this week that inflation is temporary.

“The Fed is independent. It should take whatever steps it deems necessary to support a strong, durable economic recovery.”

The President said his plans to invest more in infrastructure and better care for older people and children would enhance productivity and raise wages without raising prices. This, he said, will “take the pressure off of inflation (and) give a boost to our workforce.”

With the Fed meeting next week and Jackson Hole, there are expectations that the Fed will provide some clarity on tapering. In an interview with Bloomberg, Guggenheim Investments Chairman Scott Minerd said,

“It’s been very interesting to watch how hawkish a number of the Fed FOMC members have become in such a short period of time… I think that by September the Fed will probably feel some obligation to lay out how tapering will work but may not be so anxious to actually announce a date when it would start. I think the earliest we would expect tapering to start would be March of next year.”

But any sign of acceleration would be interpreted as bad for the stock market and probably good for bonds, he added. Even before that, Minerd warned of rough months ahead.

“Usually the stock market has its weakest performance in the months of September and October,” with the old rule – sell in May go away, come again at Labor Day.

While warning about “a seasonally difficult time for risk assets,” Minerd talked about Bitcoin. Calling it a “risk-on asset,” he feels that the latest drop could have lower to go.

“I think that there is still more air to come out of this,” he said. This means, ultimately, something in the neighborhood of $15k will be the standard bull market for a bear market, according to him.

As such, he ain’t buying the cryptocurrency anytime soon but would make that decision based upon price action in the future.

Read Original/a>
Author: AnTy

Australian Crypto Payments Service Provider, Banxa, Set to Go Public in Canada

Banxa, an Australian based fiat-crypto payments service provider, is set to list on the Canadian Stock Exchange this December. The shares of this crypto startup will begin trading on the Canadian VC marketplace dubbed ‘TSX Venture Exchange,’ an ecosystem run by TMX Group, which is also in charge of the Toronto Stock Exchange.

According to the initial reporting by a local Financial Review Street talk section, Banxa will be listed on TSX Venture Exchange with an estimated market cap of $50 million. Notably, the firm had already received a green light from Canadian authorities to debut within this jurisdiction. Banxa touted the listing as the first of its kind for a crypto payments provider. Domenic Carosa, the founder and Chairman of Banxa, informed the publication that,

“Our TSX listing will make Banxa the first crypto Payment Service Provider (PSP) to be listed in the world, bringing well-needed transparency and governance to the crypto sector.”

The Aussie crypto startup has been operational for around six years and now enjoys the backing of heavyweights, including OKGroup, Alium Capital, and Alex Waislitz’s Thorney. Some of its clients include prominent exchanges and digital wallet providers like Shapeshift, Abra, Kucoin, OKEx, and Binance. Banxa has raised around $5 million pre-IPO, holding its series A funding earlier in the year.

Read Original/a>
Author: Edwin Munyui

VC Backed Startup, Deel, Partners With Coinbase to Roll Out Cryptocurrency Payroll Service

Deel, a San Francisco based crypto startup backed by Andreesen Horowitz, is launching a crypto payroll tool that would allow international workers to get paid in different cryptocurrencies.

Deel raised about $44 million in funding ($14M Series A and $30M Series B) during the ongoing pandemic and specialized in offering payroll and compliance services to remote workers internationally. The new payroll tool would allow the Deel customers to accept their payroll in top cryptocurrency like Bitcoin, Ether, and XRP with instant withdrawals.

Deel has partnered with Coinbase to offer its payroll tool, and users would be required to have or create a Coinbase account to use the new services.

Dan Westgarth, Deel’s chief operating officer, explained that the motive behind creating such a payroll tool was to help international workers to save hefty remittance costs charged by traditional banks and money transfer services. He explained,

“A question on a lot of people’s tongues is: will it be widely adopted? Will the companies paying these people to be willing to opt into it?

Well, we built it in a way that the company doesn’t choose. The remote worker chooses.”

“So I can be working for an old, boring institution, run by a load of old guys who don’t understand crypto and oppose it.

They could pay me in U.S. dollars, but given I’m a Deel user and given I get paid through Deel; I could elect to have my paycheck delivered in XRP — instantly.”

Read Original/a>
Author: James W

Verizon to Launch News Verification on Public Blockchain for Complete Transparency

On Friday, Verizon officially unveiled its new open-source newsroom product based on blockchain, designed to set new standards for corporate accountability. The platform itself, aptly named Full Transparency, is dedicated to immutably document the news releases of the company, doing so by way of a public blockchain.

An Age Where Massive Amounts Of Information Can’t Be Trusted

Verizon then proceeded to post its first news story through this platform, according to a Verizon representative. This story made a record of any and every alteration made to the original publication, though a representative from Verizon noted that these only apply to the text changes.

As the years stretched on and connectivity increased, a massive spike in censorship, fact-checking and fake news have only caused grief in both traditional and social media. To highlight this, Verizon mentioned the 2020 Edelman Trust barometer, which stands as an indicator of the public’s trust in media. On the 19th of January, Edelman’s “Trust Barometer” reported that 76% of the world is concerned about how false information can be weaponized, with 57% feeling that they cannot fully trust their media.

The Mandatory Kind Words

Jim Gerace stood as the Chief Communications Officer of Verizon and stated the matter at large. He highlighted how Verizon is eager to bring Full Transparency to the market, seeing a company dedicated to connecting people to information. Gerace stressed how this product could ensure that corporate trust and accountability can be held in its own quiet way.

Alongside this, Gerace openly invited organizations across the globe, at least those prioritizing transparency as much as Verizon does, to adopt these communication practices of blockchain verification.

Setting New Standards For Transparency

Verizon hopes that this platform will set a new standard when it comes to corporate responsibility and transparency. In its statement about the matter, Verizon highlighted that all news releases published to Verizon Newsroom will now be bound and secured through the use of cryptographic principles. Through doing so, subsequent changes can then be tracked and contextualized as well.

This endeavor comes thanks to Verizon and Huge, a marketing company, as well as MadNetwork, a blockchain data storage company, and AdLedger, a nonprofit blockchain application entity.

Verizon has already been exploring blockchain-based solutions for a while. Earlier in 2020, Verizon set its sights on blockchain technology to help enhance security, as well.

Read Original/a>
Author: Ali Raza

Enel Group Attacked Again by Ransomware, Netwalker Demands for 1234.0238 Bitcoins

According to an update from Bleeping Computer, Enel, a multinational energy firm based in Italy, is facing yet another ransomware attack. Barely five months since the firm neutralized a Snake ransomware attack, a Netwalker has now attacked its systems, touting to have accessed 5TB of Enel’s data. They are demanding to be paid 1234.0238 BTC ($16.3 million at the time of publication) as a ransom to surrender its decryption keys and maintain Enel’s data privacy.

As per the Bleeping computer report, the attacker first shared a ransom note with them; it appeared to be from a Netwalker who had compromised Enel’s data. Notably, Enel is a leading Fortune 500 company and operates in over 40 countries, while its customer outreach is more than 61 million.

Netwalker-Enel-ransom-note (1)
Source; Bleeping Computer

While Enel has yet to comment on the issue, the attackers have shared links to confirm that they have compromised data from the Enel group. So far, Enel has yet to respond to Netwalker, a situation that now appears to be doubling the amount of ransom. The attackers are now asking for 1234.0238 BTC to give Enel access to the decryptor; something they say must be bought.

Nonetheless, the Netwalker attackers have communicated with the Enel group as per a recent post on Enel’s support chat.

“Hello, Enel. Don’t be afraid to write to us. Tomorrow we will make a blog post about you or start looking for good hands for your files.”

Meanwhile, they have shown that they are willing to leak Enel’s data if their demands are not met. The Netwalker has already released a screenshot of Enel’s unencrypted data, threatening to make it public and analyze further for ‘interesting things.’

As the crypto industry grows, attackers have found a ‘favorite’ in privacy coins like Monero while others don’t go past Bitcoin. Recent months have seen multiple malicious players demand ransom in BTC, one of the latest attacks on Argentina’s immigration office where the hackers demanded $4 million in BTC.

Read Original/a>
Author: Edwin Munyui

Serum Blockchain Launches New Automated Market Maker, To Challenge Ethereum’s High Fees

Project Serum announces its own automatic market maker (AMM), the Serum Swap, based on the Solana blockchain. This is a direct challenge to the Ethereum blockchain, which has witnessed a lag in transactions and high gas fees as the DeFi application growth exploded in the past few months.

The new Serum Swap AMM will work similarly to other decentralized AMMs in that you can join a liquidity pool and trade cryptocurrencies on the platform seamlessly.

Serum is a platform launched by Sam Bankman-Fried, CEO of FTX Exchange as a competitor to Ethereum – providing a faster and cheaper platform to complete your decentralized finance, DeFi, trades. While Ethereum promises up to 15 transactions per second, the Solana-based Serum Swap “takes about 1 second” to settle a trade or pool addition/removal, and the gas fees at a low of roughly $0.00002 per trade.

At launch, SBF Almeda, as Sam is known on Twitter, announced the Serum Swap platform would offer users over 1 million SRM tokens, native to Serum, to incentivize saving and trading on the AMM. Liquidity providers and traders on the platform will receive these airdropped SRM tokens as additional rewards for their kick-starting actions until November 25 – representing a 600% APY.

Serum continues its fight in the DeFi space with the Swap launch following the recent addition of Circle’s USDC stablecoin – a widely used asset in the ecosystem – and the launch of the Solana-Ethereum bridge, named “Wormhole.” The bridge aims at offering DApps on Ethereum, a direct channel to a scalable and low fee transaction platform.

The platform charges a taker’s fee of 0.3% payable in SRM – 0.25% goes to the liquidity providers (LPs), 0.04% goes to an SRM buy/burn depending on profits and losses made 0.01% goes to the GUI hoster.

While Ethereum’s Uniswap remains the largest swap and AMM in DeFi, with over $2.87 billion in locked value (TVL), a jam and fee raise experienced in the last bullish run could see several investors switch to cheaper and faster platforms.

Read Original/a>
Author: Lujan Odera

Cashaa’s New Joint Venture, UNICAS, to Roll Out 22 Physical Crypto Banks in India

U.K. based cryptocurrency firm, Cashaa partners with India’s banking service provider, United Multistate Credit Cooperative Society, as the latter, introduces banking transactions using cryptocurrencies to 22 physical locations in northern India. According to a blog post on Medium, the two financial firms will operate under a joint venture, UNICAS, to launch the products in December this year.

The UNICAS venture will allow users to invest in cryptocurrency, real estate, gold, and other physical assets directly, buy crypto using cash at any of the 22 physical locations, and take up loans against their digital assets. Cashaa plans to open over 100 physical locations across India in 2021, currently stationed across three states – Delhi, Rajasthan, and Gujarat, with a combined population of over 140 million.

The Indian based bank will provide the physical locations and licenses necessary to operate in the country while Cashaa joins in with experience in the crypto space. Mr. Dinesh Kukreja, Managing Director of United Multistate Credit Co. Operative Society, will lead UNICAS as the joint venture’s chief executive.

“We are the first regulated financial institution in the world with physical branches where users can access crypto products,” Kukreja, CEO, UNICAS.

Kukreja stated the project would allow the company to “scale and offer customized financial and crypto products for the local Indian markets.” The banking location will be reconstructed as crypto launches, allowing crypto transactions using the rupee and asking for loans using your crypto assets.

At launch, the banks will allow transactions, buying, and selling of six cryptocurrencies, including – Bitcoin (BTC), Cashaa (CAS), Ethereum (ETH), Binance (BNB), Bitcoin Cash (BCH), EOS, Litecoin (LTC), and Ripple (XRP).

However, there still is the dark cloud of regulation from the Indian government following the Supreme Court’s ruling – overturning the blanket ban of cryptocurrencies imposed by the Royal Bank of India (RBI). Kumar Gaurav, Founder & CEO of Cashaa, said the confused nature of the government could be the reason “most Indians are not aware or are miss guided about cryptocurrency as an online product.”

“They tend to trust what they see or what the government recognizes and recommends,” he continued. “Also, India is still largely a cash-based economy despite a Demonetization drive. With UNICAS Crypto lounges we intend to address both issues which are slowing the process of cryptocurrency adoption in India.”

The joint venture aims at rapidly expanding its reach across India – targeting over 100 branches serving cryptocurrency customers in 2021. With the traditional finance world merging with the innovative crypto industry, Kukreja aims the partnership will “bring enormous transformation to both Indian fintech and the crypto industry.”

Read Original/a>
Author: Lujan Odera

Kraken Opens Trading For Japanese Users, Becoming 1st Exchange to Enter Japan Organically

Kraken, one of the leading crypto exchanges based in the United States, has relaunched its trading services for Japanese customers under its expansion plan in the Asia Pacific region.

Japanese customers would be able to access Kraken’s spot trading services, to begin with, according to the announcement on October 22. The exchange would offer spot trading services for Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), Litecoin (LTC), Ripple (XRP), and Bitcoin Cash (BCH). The exchange would offer crypto-to-crypto trading pairs along with JPY-denominated pairs for trading.

Kraken claimed that it is the first foreign exchange to organically enter the Japanese market without acquiring any local exchange.

Customers Could Make Deposits in 5 Crypto Assets

The re-launched trading services in Japan by Kraken has been done under its expansion plans in the region. To encourage more customers to join the platform and make it easier for them to trade using the platform, the exchange would offer deposits in 5 crypto assets along with local JPY deposits and withdrawals. The local fiat deposit and withdrawals would be available via SBI Sumishin Net Bank.

Before its current relaunch in Japan, Kraken had already launched its Japanese customers’ services back in 2014. By 2018, it had shut its operation in the country, citing the rising cost of operations and expanding in other geographical locations.

Kraken acquired the ‘Crypto Asset Exchange Service Provider’ license last month on September 8th and started registering user accounts by September 18.

David Ripley, COO of Kraken, expressed his joy in re-entering the Japanese markets and said that Japan is a dominant crypto market, and it would prove to be a crucial point for the exchange in its expansion plan in the region. He said,

“In today’s challenging economic environment, more people are turning to cryptocurrencies to hedge against volatile markets and use cryptocurrency as a store of value.”

Read Original/a>
Author: Hank Klinger

Bitstamp Rolls Out New Crime Insurance Policy to Protect Crypto Held on the Exchange

Bitstamp, one of the leading crypto exchanges based in Europe, has introduced a new insurance policy against online crypto thefts and other crimes for digital assets held online.

The insurance policy comes in the wake of several exchange hacks leading to the theft of millions worth of digital assets. Most of these exchanges fail to ensure the proper refurbishment for the loss incurred by the exchange users. Thus, this insurance policy initiative by the Bitstamp exchange could prove to be a great attraction for customers.

Paragon International Insurance Brokers would offer Bitstamp’s new insurance policy in association with Woodruff-Sawyer. The insurance policy would be applicable for several digital assets like bitcoin and other similar crypto-assets.

The policy would cover several crimes such as online theft, hack, employee theft, loss of assets while under the custody of the exchange, loss in transit, loss caused by computer fraud, and losses related to legal fees and expenses.

Bitstamp revealed that 98% of all the digital assets under its custody are held offline and are protected and covered by the crypto custodian BitGo. Thus, the current insurance policy would focus on assets held online, even though it meant covering both online and offline.

Read Original/a>
Author: James W