Ledger Reveals 3 Month Policy for Keeping Buyer Info; 2k New Users Affected in Data Breach

Ledger Reveals 3 Month Policy for Keeping Buyer Info; 2,000 New Users Affected in Data Breach

This time the information was leaked by the hardware wallet’s e-commerce provider Shopify’s rogue employees. But “these attacks have only strengthened our resolve to build and release products that keep you and your crypto safe,” says Ledger.

Hardware wallet Ledger, which is meant to “provide security to critical digital assets for consumers & institutional investors,” keeps leaking information about its customers.

After the last data breach affected 272,000 customers, yet another one has leaked the customer records of additional 20,000 Ledger customers.

On Wednesday, Ledger informed the crypto community that in an incident in the first half of 2020 (April and June), its e-commerce provider Shopify’s team members illegally exported merchants’ customer databases.

Shopify alerted Ledger about this incident on December 23rd, in which 93% of the information obtained was similar to the previous data dump, 7% of the customer records breached were new.

Reportedly, this incident affected over 200 merchants of Shopify, but the e-commerce giant didn’t discover that Ledger was also targeted in this attack until Dec. 21st, 2020.

As for why Ledger would keep the information, the company says, “our goal is to completely delete your personal data (such as your name, address, and phone number) as soon as possible.”

However, the company stores e-commerce information for “accounting and legal obligations,” in a segregated environment — “separate, dedicated, and encrypted storage inaccessible from the internet or external devices, with limited access rights” — for “as short a period of time as necessary” which is 3 months after the order is shipped.

The company has already contacted the concerned users directly to inform them about this incident.

“We are dedicated to taking action against this incident,” wrote Ledger while advising users to never share a 24-word recovery phrase.

If a user purchased a Ledger product after the end of June 2020 or outside of the Ledger.com site, their data is not exposed.

“We are deeply sorry that these incidents occurred and for any pain or stress they’ve caused our customers,” reads the official announcement in which the company says it will

“soon release a technical solution that will remove the 24 words as the single pillar of the security of our hardware wallets and will open the door to funds insurance for individual customers.”

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Author: AnTy

Ethereum Transaction Volume & Daily Active Wallets Took a Hit in November

November was a shaky month for Ethereum as it prepared for the launch of ETH 2.0. Amidst the excitement for the next phase, the total value locked in Ethereum DeFi showed erratic movements.

But the increase in prices helped TVL reach $13 billion by the end of the month, while adjusted TVL was around $11 billion, as per the latest Dapp Radar report.

While Daily active wallets grew by 239% year-on-year, they decreased by 19% month-on-month with the biggest drop recorded within the DeFi ecosystem, where daily active wallets took a dive from 54k to 45,600.

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Much like this, the total transaction volume surpassed $41 billion but was still down 12% to October levels; this has been because of a big decrease in the DeFi ecosystem, which accounts for 99% of it.

The NFT category, though fueled Ethereum volume it also saw a decrease of 24% while the Games category had an increase by almost $1 million, with Axie Infinity and Sorare being the biggest contributors with $2.2 million and $1.3 million, respectively.

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All of this obviously led to gas prices being a major network issue, as the average gas price got around 55 Gwei during the month.

“November was all about Ethereum 2.0 news and speculation, token price growth, and increased TVL. Although, transaction volume and daily active wallets decreased during November. We believe that improved results lie ahead for Ethereum,” concluded the Dapp Radar report.

As for other blockchains, Tron reached an all-time in terms of daily active wallets at 150,000 in November. But the same can’t be said of EOS, which, although saw improved activity, continues to see a decrease, painting a “doubtful” picture for the protocol.

Hive, meanwhile, managed to maintain a stable activity of 10k daily active wallets in November 2020.

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Author: AnTy

Gab CEO Banned by Traditional & Crypto Payment Processors; Bitcoin is a ‘Free Speech Money’

Thanks to Bitcoin, Gab has achieved its first $100,000 revenue in a month, said Andrew Torba, the social networking service CEO.

For the first time in its four year history, Gab saw a six-figure revenue that too without a “single credit or debit card transaction.”

In his post on Tuesday, Torba shared how Gab has been banned from not only dozens of payment processors like PayPal, Square, and Stripe but also many crypto payment platforms like Coinbase and Bitpay.

Besides the business, Torba said he and his family have also been “blacklisted by VISA for merchant processing.”

Calling Bitcoin “free speech money,” he said the digital asset has been crucial for their future, helping not only businesses like Gab and individuals like him but all those firms and people who are being cut off from the banks traditional payment processing methods.

Bitcoin solves this problem, and as such, they are spending “a lot of time at Gab working to educate our community about the importance of understanding and using bitcoin,” said Torba.

The platform accepts eCheck and checks by mail besides bitcoin as payment options.

“We are excited to continue building the home of free speech online funded by the biggest community of free speech warriors on the planet and with bitcoin, free speech money.”

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Author: AnTy

Bitcoin Average Transaction Fees Jump 188% to Above $10 Following Price Rally

Bitcoin’s price is experiencing a bullish month with over 25% gains and came very close to hitting 2019 high yesterday.

Currently, BTC is trading around $13,220, having dropped over 4% since rallying yesterday, on the back of the increased trading volume, which has climbed above $3 billion.

This latest bout of volatility is not only proving good for investors, traders, and speculators but also miners as the percentage of Bitcoin miner revenue from fees increased to 22.25% yesterday — the highest value since January 2018.

This is because the average Bitcoin transaction fee has spiked 188% to above $10, as per Bitinfocharts.

The total fees have also jumped to 2.67 million from $403k on Oct. 17.

Coin Metrics BTC Fees
Source: Coin Metrics

Just last week, the average fees were mere $1.4, and from there, as the price of bitcoin rallied and the market jumped in to participate in this euphoria, the activity increased, and so did the fees.

The last time we were at this level was in February 2018, while the all-time high was $55 at the top of the bull market in mid-December 2017.

A similar surge is not seen in transaction count, but a spike was recorded in transaction transfer value.

However, with the latest surge, Bitcoin’s average transaction fee is eclipsing ETH’s at $1.69. Ethereum’s average transaction fees were higher than BTC’s for most of September after it exploded over the summer due to the rapid rise of DeFi.

But the momentum has shifted back to BTC.

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Author: AnTy

Reserve Bank of Australia Is ‘Closely Watching’ CBDC Research, Despite A ‘No Rush’ Attitude

Barely a month after saying it sees no rush in launching a central bank digital currency (CBDC), the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) has confirmed that it is still following closely on the developments in this space. RBA’s head of policy payments, Tony Richards, said that the monetary authority is also considering going the ‘wholesale’ way where the CDBC would be limited to particular financial institutions.

Richards spoke at a Blockchain, Crypto, and FinTech conference held at the University of Western Australia. He highlighted some of the considerations that RBA will focus on as it continues to deliberate on the CBDC proposition,

“We will be continuing to consider the case for a CBDC, including how it might be designed, the potential benefits and policy implications, and the conditions in which significant demand for a CBDC might emerge.”

While RBA’s mid-September report was skeptical about issuing a CBDC, Richards noted that a public policy case for its issuance is yet to be made. He went on to add that the bank is currently looking at the design options that it could take if it eventually launches a CBDC. Unlike Bitcoin, whose foundation is on the blockchain, Richards anticipates that an Aussie CBDC will take the form of a centralized & permissioned digital ledger.

Other consideration factors include whether to develop the CBDC as a token-based or account-based ecosystem. The RBA is also looking at the retail case as part of its ongoing research on the policy and technological effects of launching a CBDC. Richards confirmed that they would continue to follow closely what CBDC advanced jurisdictions are doing,

“If some jurisdictions do move towards full implementations of CBDC, there will be many central banks like us who will be closely watching.”

With the current CBDC developments, it appears that these digital assets may soon become part of legal backed tenders in global circulation. The Bank of International Settlements (BIS) recently released a CBDC report in collaboration with seven major central banks. Russia has also issued a consultative paper on CBDCs, while Japan’s central bank is set to pilot its digital yen in 2021.

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Author: Edwin Munyui

BitMEX Loses its Dominant Position; Competition Among Binance, ByBit, & Others Heating Up

Since starting the month, the price of bitcoin has weathered numerous storms.

From KuCoin’s $281 million hack, US President Donald Trump testing coronavirus positive, UK’s FCA banning crypto derivatives to FATF red-flagging hardware wallets, Europol prioritizing privacy wallets, and of course, BitMEX’ indictment, BTC held through it all.

The leading digital currency kept to $10,000 strongly, and went as high as $11,500 last week, recording a 5.24% increase.

However, the same couldn’t be said of the popular crypto derivatives platform BitMEX which saw its BTC balance decreasing by 30%.

As a matter of fact, BTC futures annualized rolling 3-month basis actually went negative on BitMEX while on FTX, it was +6.52%, +6.30% on Binance, and +5.65% on Deribit.

Although still having a 6% difference to other exchanges, it is now gradually moving upwards to 4%.

Bitcoin futures on the platform are also trading at a discount at $11,460 compared to $11,527 on Kraken, $11,582 on Deribit, $11,594 on FTX, and OKEx, and above $11,600 on both Huobi and Binance for the month of December.

Stealing BitMEX”s Share

Meanwhile, open interest on the exchange went down hard to 35k BTC on the weekend, from the high of 55k BTC, $615 million right before the crash in direct response to criminal charges brought on by the CFTC and DOJ.

OI on BitMEX does not show any signs of slowing down its decline, although currently, it sits at 36k BTC, about $413 million.

Meanwhile, other platforms are capturing this as this month; the total OI increased by 16.6%.

While percentage-wise, FTX saw the biggest jump of 51.2% ($85 million), OKEx was the one that recorded the largest spike in absolute terms at $110 million (13.5%), as per Skew.

Besides BitMEX every platform experienced a rise in their open interest: CME 43.4% ($150 million), Deribit 35% ($60 million), Kraken 26% ($11 million), Bakkt 23% ($3 million), Binance 22.3% ($93 million), Bybit 19.6% ($76 million), Huobi 8% ($41 million), and Bitfinex 4.8% ($3 million).

Binance has actually taken the leader position in the space in terms of open interest with Bybit close behind, surpassing the OI on BitMEX. Vetle Lunde, an analyst at Arcane Research, noted,

“BitMEX has lost its dominant position while the competition in the derivative markets has been sharpened as more exchanges have gained traction.”

Open Interest Distribution
Source: Arcane Research

Traders left BitMEX but didn’t leave the market; they have moved on to other exchanges to trade perpetual BTC contracts.

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Author: AnTy

Is FTX CEO Accelerating the Deep DeFi Rout?

After going through a deep pullback in the past month, most of the DeFi tokens struggle to let go of the losses.

Although the news of Square buying $50,000,000 worth of BTC has sent the market into a tisy, not all coins are moving out of the red. Coins like UNI (+22%), LRC (+13.5%), and KNC (+5%) are recording some gains. DeFi darling YFI has manged to dig itself out of the deep red into the green (+5%).

Much like the price, the total value locked (TVL) in the DeFi Sector has declined by almost 10% to $10.12 billion, as per DeFi Pulse.

Popular DEX Uniswap, however, is an exception to this, whose TVL has jumped 30% in a fortnight.

Keep on Dumping!

As we reported, numerous popular DeFi tokens have lost 80% to 90% of their value since hitting all-time highs during the period of mid-August and the beginning of September.

But still, they continue to go down more and more, which could be seen as an opportunity for the project enthusiasts to buy these tokens at low prices which might have missed them the first time around.

In the past 7 days, more losses have been incurred by the DeFi sector, with YFII leading with almost -46% drop. Other notable losers include SUSHI (-41%), CRV (-37%), YFI (-29%), SWRV (-33%), bzrx (-37%), UNI (-24%), UMA (-25%), LEND (-20%), and SNX (-17%).

As another round of losses hit DeFi tokens, Twitterati points to derivatives exchange FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried shorting YFI, CRV, and UNI.

Some market participants speculate that Bankman-Fried might be behind the latest dose of losses, especially for YFI, CRV, and UNI, which he has been dumping on leading spot exchange Binance.

It is worth noting that Bankman-Fried is also the CEO of the quantitative cryptocurrency trading firm Alameda Research.

The Catalyst…

While some aren’t liking it, others said Bankman-Fried is simply shorting a few cryptos, which means he believes the coin will decline in value.

Jason Choi of crypto fund The Spartan Group found it all absurd, stating, “Always find it amusing that the idea of shorting is deemed evil on crypto twitter.”

And if you think Bankman-Fried will short his FTT or SRM, that’s a big fat no, because he ain’t short on his creation, of course, rather he is “long as fuck.”

Trader Moon Overlord also pointed out the obvious nature of the situation, which is “a person apart of a trading firm does a trade.” Back in late August, when FTX acquired the crypto portfolio tracker Blockfolio, the trader said, “FTX didn’t pay for a portfolio tracker they could build in 5 minutes they paid $150M for your data and bag info.”

The market also likened Sam’s behavior with billionaire investor George Soros acting as a catalyst in collapsing the British pound in 1992 by shorting it.

In the process, Soros made an estimated $1 billion profit. While that incident was viewed as “a permanent black mark on the UK as a center of financial prestige,” following the event, “Britain entered a period of growth and prosperity,” noted Sahil Bloom, VP at Altamont Capital Partners.

If not Soros, someone else would have used the opportunity to their advantage, and he “merely accelerated” the process. The same could be seen in the DeFi market, which may finally find its bottom and embark on a new bull run.

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Author: AnTy

Ethereum ‘Getting Ready for Spadina’ Testnet Next Week

The Spadina testnet of ETH 2.0 has been scheduled for genesis before the month ends, on September 29 at 12 pm UTC, as per the dev update.

The means, next week, a “dress rehearsal” Testnet for the community to practice sending deposits, launching beacon nodes, and validator clients starting from genesis.

For this, Eth2 Standard API definitions are complete, and implementation started, and voluntary exit implementation is ready. Prysm web UI beta testing, meanwhile, will be coming in the first week of October.

It is a small scale testnet that will last just three days with 1024 validators with the main net spec requiring 16384 validators to launch.

For the eventual launch of Ethereum 2.0, Spadina’s deployment was announced a couple of weeks back, following the Medalla testnet going live last month.

This mainet-configuration test network will run parallel with Medalla with the aim to practice the more difficult and risky parts of the process before reaching the mainnet.

ETH 2.0 is expected to go live later this year or early next year with its phase-zero launch, but not everyone is excited to stake.

Still, a good 65% of 287 respondents of the ConsenSys survey revealed earlier this year that they intend to stake 32 ETH.

However, the extremely high fees and congestion on the Ethereum network are making it unusable for the small players for now. As we reported, Coinbase will no longer be covering the gas fees for its users.

“The Ethereum gas price is high due to increased network activity, which means that we have to find avenues to either support this increase in activity, or to reduce it,” said Kosala Hemachandra, founder and CEO of MyEtherWallet (MEW).

According to him, this can be done by “increasing the block gas limit to a safe amount and also by utilizing existing layer 2 solutions.”

Just this week, Optimism took its first step towards its testnet with Synthetix, Chainlink, and Uniswap being the early adopters.

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Author: AnTy

Euphoria Back in the Market? Bitcoin to Hit $11,000 But Ether is Struggling This Time

The leading digital currency is approaching the levels seen right at the beginning of this month before we went down under $10,000 to hit as low as $9,800.

In a bullish start of the week, bitcoin first hit $10,750 yesterday, and now today, the crypto asset recovered some more and went further up to as high as $10,945 on Bitfinex, for now.

At the time of writing, BTC/USD has been trading at $10,900 in the greens, with real trading volume also slowly climbing to $1.9 billion. The greens have also turned market sentiments from “fear” to “neutral.”

Ether’s Lack of Upside

This time, Bitcoin is leading with Ethereum slow on the uptake, barely in the green at $375.

Just like Ether’s gains have been attributed to the success of DeFi, the underperformance is linked to DeFi as well. Meanwhile, with the Ethereum network already clogged up, the trading activity across DEX will suffer yet again because of the elevated fees.

“This double edged sword notion is nothing new,” said Denis VinoKourovo of London-based broker Bequant but noted, with Ethereum 2.0 on track for a November 2020 launch, it “may soon cause a bit of a stir in the derivatives market place.”

While the much-needed upgrade is on track, Ethereum Foundation also announced the impending launch of a second parallel testament called Spadina, which will run alongside the currently active Medaala testament.

The second “dress rehearsal,” Spadina has a mainnet like configuration. It will last for three days, giving everyone another chance to go through the process of deposits and the launch of the genesis block. VinoKourovo added,

“If markets are indeed underpricing the success of Ethereum2.0 launch, then vol spread between Ethereum vs. Bitcoin will narrow, as it stands 1m IV ETH vs. BTC is 77% vs. 55%, whereas 6m out the same spread is at 82% vs. 72%.”

Rest of the Market

Just like Ether, DeFi tokens aren’t feeling as euphoric either.

In the DeFi space, bZx Network is currently down 22%, which has been because of yet another hacking that resulted in the theft of $8 million worth of cryptocurrency.

Other notable losers include RUNE (8%), CRV (7%), SUSHI (5%), SNX (4%), and COMP (2%).

Meanwhile, YFI is trading in the green by 6.42% at $41,843, along with LPC (3.59%), BAL (3%), UMA (2.35%), and CREAM (1.24%).

But it is KIMCHI, which is leading with 46% gains and YAMV2 with over 13%.

Among the top digital assets, Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is up by 4.43% and Crypto.Com Chain (CRO) 3.73%.

Meanwhile BNB (-8.47%), Tron (-4.60%), and LINK (-2%) are recording losses.

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Author: AnTy

C.R.E.A.M Finance Goes Live on Binance Smart Chain; Deposits Jump Past $300 Million

Earlier this month, Binance announced the launch of Binance Smart Chain to enable the creation of smart contracts and the staking mechanism for BNB.

At that time, it announced Ethereum-based Cream as its DeFi collaborator, and today the DeFi project has gone live on Binance Smart Chain.

Unlike the sky-high costs on the Ethereum network, BSC boasts of only $0.05 – $0.10 per transaction.

“BSC never aimed to replace ETH, BSC is just ETH-compatible. Smart projects are giving their users more options. Option for cheaper fees,” said Binance CEO Changpeng “CZ” Zhao.

Binance is speeding up its efforts to keep up with the DeFi world. Recently, it announced a $100 million fund to connect the DeFi and CeFi world with “support for Yield Farming with major crypto assets coming soon to Binance Smart Chain.”

As Binance chases DeFi, its native token BNB enjoys the greens of 18% to trade at $27.5.

Meanwhile, right from the launch of Cream on BSC, the tokens supported are BNB, BUSD, BTC, ETH, XRP, BCH, and LTC.

“The Binance ecosystem and its reach of 400,000+ accounts and fiat gateways covering over 170 countries and regions will help get DeFi into mass adoption,” states Cream’s official announcement.

Since its launch two months back, C.R.E.A.M Finance has amassed $309 million in deposits or total value locked (TVL), $224 million of which were added just this week — making it the 10th largest DeFi project as per DeFi pulse.

This week, the DeFi aggregator also launched an automated market maker (AMM) called ‘Swap,’ a market that is increasingly getting crowded with new projects popping up every other day.

A fork of Balancer, Swap comes with a slightly lower fee structure than the popular Uniswap with support for Yearn, Aave, Compound, Balancer, Uniswap, and TokenSet besides its own tokens.

The governance token of the project is currently trading at $252 in green. In the past seven days, Cream has jumped 170% in value and made its ATH at $289 on Wednesday.

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Author: AnTy