“Limited” Edition NFT’s Stolen; Only Accounts with No 2FA Affected, says Nifty Gateway

“Limited” Edition NFT’s Stolen; Only Accounts with No 2FA Affected, says Nifty Gateway

With so much money flowing in the crypto space, hackers have locked onto their new target – Non-Fungible Tokens (NFT).

As we saw with DeFi, now NFTs are becoming popular, going mainstream with millions of funds flow into space; hackers have started taking notice. Several people reported their NFTs being stolen.

Early on Monday, Michael J. Miraflor of Publicis Groupe took to Twitter to share that someone has stolen his NFT on the Nifty Gateway marketplace. Miraflor said,

“I got an alert that I sold something on the @niftygateway Marketplace. When I checked to confirm the transaction, I noticed that my entire collection was empty.”

He then received multiple fraud alerts from his financial services provider American Express. He added,

“During today’s drop, I got multiple fraud alerts from AMEX. I have been using fiat/cc exclusively on NG.”

Miraflor got legal advice and has reported the matter to the local police and contacted his insurance company, which covers his physical art. His digital assets, NFTs, however, are lost and may never be recovered.

Other people also shared similar accounts of their NFTs stored on the platform being stolen, on Twitter.

In response to the security concerns on the platform, crypto exchange Gemini owned Nifty Gateway said the platform wasn’t at fault. The platform tweeted,

“We have seen no indication of compromise of the Nifty Gateway platform. The Nifty Gateway team is communicating with a small number of users who appear to have been impacted by an account takeover.”

According to the marketplace, the impact was “limited” and only those accounts were impacted which didn’t have any 2 two-factor authentications (2FA) enabled.

The attacker obtained access through valid account credentials. Some of the NFTs involved in these account takeovers were reportedly sold in transactions negotiated over Discord or Twitter. It said,

“We encourage our users to enable 2FA that we provide on the platform and never reuse passwords…We strongly encourage all Nifty Gateway customers to purchase their NFTs on the official Nifty Gateway marketplace.”

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Author: AnTy

Concentration of Power is the ‘Only Real Issue’ with DOGE says Tesla’s Elon Musk

Concentration of Power is the ‘Only Real Issue’ with DOGE says Tesla’s Elon Musk

While Dogecoin’s original creator, Billy Markus, can’t comprehend the insanity going around the meme cryptocurrency’s prices, Tesla CEO will “literally pay” actual dollars to get its major holders to sell their coins.

During this week’s sell-off, the popular Dogecoin has taken the hardest beating among the top cryptocurrencies.

The meme cryptocurrency went down to $0.0473, about halving its value from last week’s high above $0.088. As of writing, DOGE/USD has found its way above $0.062, much like the rest of the crypto market, which recovered fast after the dip which has been propelled by the highly leveraged traders.

The cryptocurrency is still a long way from $1 that many degens have been targeting for this token, which its original creator Billy Markus, not Tesla CEO Elon Musk, just can’t comprehend. He doesn’t have any DOGE except what has been tipped to him recently, shared Markus in his Reddit post last week.

While Markus has nothing to do with the coin now, having left around 2015, Musk has shared his concern about the concentration of power among DOGE holders. Musk tweeted,

“If major Dogecoin holders sell most of their coins, it will get my full support. Too much concentration is the only real issue IMO,”

“I will literally pay actual $ if they just void their accounts.”

According to Bitinfocharts, 28.7% of DOGE’s supply is held by just one address, which owns more than 36.8 billion DOGE worth over $2 billion.

A mere 11 addresses hold 19.85% of coins, a total of 25 billion DOGE worth nearly $1.4 billion, while another 91 addresses have a total of 25.2 billion DOGE that is worth almost $1.38 billion.

The largest number of holders, over 1 million addresses, own between 1-10 DOGE. As per this, 87.68% of addresses hold 0% of the DOGE supply.

Dogecoin rich list

Source: bitinfocharts – Dogecoin Distribution

There are only 58 addresses that are richer than $10 million and 393 addresses that are richer than $1 million.

These numbers clearly show the ownership of DOGE is highly skewed, with very few having nearly all the DOGE coins.

And the answer to this, as one DOGE enthusiast recommended and Musk agreed with, “Whales will have to consider Elon’s ultimatum here. If they comply, Dogecoin becomes the currency of the internet. If they don’t, or “cheat” by distributing their coins across multiple wallets, then it loses Elon’s endorsement. Easy decision for the whales. Do the right thing.”

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Author: AnTy

Growing Number of Clients Bought ETH, But Only A Select Group Is Investing in DeFi: Coinbase

Growing Number of Clients Bought ETH, But Only A Select Group of VC Funds & Family Offices Investing in DeFi: Coinbase

DeFi remains retail-driven just like the early days of Bitcoin adoption, says Coinbase whose clients are interested in Ethereum’s evolving potential as a store of value and its status as a digital commodity.

2020 brought “traditional hedge funds to the forefront of participation,” states Coinbase in its 2020 in the Review report.

Covering the year “crypto cemented its status as an institutional asset class,” said the largest cryptocurrency exchange in the US, which is planning to launch its IPO, noting that macro funds are the earlier adopters with several large funds now begun trading Bitcoin and Ethereum directly with investor capital as well.

The company’s clients invested in Bitcoin for a range of reasons, including as a store of value, as an inflation hedge and/or insurance against new potential monetary policy risks, as a portfolio diversification tool, and as a treasury reserve asset.

Coinbase is particularly expanding its business in Europe and Asia, with Singapore as the staging post for Asia expansion because of its regulatory clarity. After opening its third office in Europe, Coinbase now has 120 full-time employees in the region.

A Trend Occurring out of View for Most of Wall Street

“While our institutional clients predominantly bought Bitcoin in 2020, a growing number also took positions in Ethereum,” reads the report.

The second-largest cryptocurrency, which has been more volatile than Bitcoin, is seen by Coinbase’s institutional clients as a “decentralized computing network that shares Bitcoin’s properties of trustless store and transmission of value, along with more flexible programmability via smart contracts.”

Ethereum’s evolving potential as a store of value and its status as a digital commodity required to power transactions on its network are the clients’ reasons for owning the digital asset. However, the community needs to settle on a clearer and simpler narrative, which Coinbase says is both a challenge and an opportunity for Ethereum.

Decentralized Finance (DeFi) is also seen as one of the most important growth developments for the Ethereum network as Coinbase clients believe this sector has “potential to reinvent financial products and services.”

Coinbase hasn’t yet seen significant investment in DeFi assets from institutional clients, except for “a select group of venture capital funds and family offices.”

DeFi remains retail-driven; just like the early days of Bitcoin adoption, Coinbase added maturity would take time.

“We can imagine a future in which institutional investors can access both traditional and decentralized financial services through trusted, regulated onramps,” which may be difficult to imagine today given the relatively small size of the DeFi market, a bottom-up trend that is occurring out of view for most of Wall Street.

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Author: AnTy

Regulation Will Only Boost Mass Institutional Buying and Selling: BitPay COO

Regulation Will Only Boost Mass Institutional Buying and Selling: BitPay COO

Sonny Singh says $20k is BTC’s floor price and expects $45k next month. According to him, Coinbase’s IPO is “very very instrumental” for the market and its numbers will blow Wall Street’s minds away.

$20,000 is the floor price for how far Bitcoin could go down, said Sonny Singh, Chief Commercial Officer at BitPay.

As for the upside, given that his $30k target has been hit in just 20 days rather than taking over a month, with “very little sell-side pressure,” he sees BTC going to $40k-$45k next month when some pressure will be seen.

Sonny also predicted that this year Bitcoin will “become a trillion-dollar currency” and the magic number for that is $54,000 roughly. At this point, he expects, even governments and the Treasury Department to start buying BTC “which may sound far-fetched but two years ago corporations buying bitcoin for the balance sheet was crazy too.”

Supply & Demand

Talking about the current price movement in the market, Sonny said Monday’s 20% correction was “just a minor blip in the road” — it wasn’t long-term fundamentals at all rather just futures getting liquidated. Singh said in his interview on Bloomberg,

“What you’re seeing over the last month is there’s supply and demand. There are a lot of institutional buyers out there and there’s very little supply.”

While these buyers have bought in all the BTC for a three to five-year time horizon, if Bitcoin hits about $45,000 next month or so and these institutions decide to start selling, the selling pressure of $200 million which the industry has never seen before can cause a catapulting event, to cause things to come down pretty quickly and there $20k will act as a floor, he explained.

Regulatory Concerns

On the regulation side, which remains a concern for outsiders, it is already happening. Governments are passing a lot of KYC/AML policies on the exchange but “that really won’t slow growth,” said Singh.

While it may slow the utility of sending Bitcoin to your friends or spending it at merchants, regulation will only help the actual mass institutional buying and selling, he said.

As for the Ripple part, Singh said it is to be seen if the SEC would want to do a long drawn out court case or do a quick settlement, especially as the administration changes under the new president.

According to Wayne Trench, chief executive officer at OSL, the main regulatory hurdles are already solved in terms of custody and clarity.

The last remaining pieces are regulators globally collaborating cross-border which is starting to happen now, said Trench noting that industry bodies are working on collaborating across borders that we’ll see play out a bit more in 2021.

Big for the Market

Singh also believes Coinbase’s IPO is “very very instrumental” for the market because while Wall Street loved that Square traded $1.6 bln with crypto in Q3 last year, Coinbase traded $1.5 bln on this last Saturday.

“The revenue numbers at Coinbase are going to blow people’s minds away and then Wall Street is going to really drive that stock price up,” he said. And then Charles Schwab, E-Trade, and others won’t sit back and let Coinbase have a sole market, Singh added.

“It’s going to put a lot of media frenzy around this whole industry.”

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Author: AnTy

Binance US, Genesis, & Abra Suspends XRP Support; Bittrex & Uphold Clarifies No Plan to Delist

Much like all the XRP trading and deposit suspension that has happened so far, only the US users are affected. Exchanges clarify that Spark (FLR) Token Distribution in 2021 is unaffected.

Binance’s US-based crypto exchange Binance.US has announced the delisting of XRP on Jan. 13, 2021, at 10 am EST. Binance.US users won’t be able to deposit XRP but withdrawals will be unaffected.

Much like all the trading and deposit suspension that has happened so far, only the US users are affected.

The exchange further clarified that delisting will not affect users from claiming their Spark (FLR) Token Distribution in 2021.

Another one to join this list is Genesis which sent an email to its users, informing them of the XRP trading and lending suspension, as of Dec. 29. The users are not allowed to make new purchases while those who hold XRP have until Jan. 15 to sell it.

The company no longer supports loans in XRP either and both open-term loans and fixed-term loans will also be called. Meanwhile, the “team is actively monitoring the evolving regulatory situation with XRP.”

Abra has also joined the list of companies ending XRP support for US users, despite it being a peer-to-peer transaction network.

According to the firm’s message, Abra plans to suspend trading in XRP for US customers at 3 PM PST on Jan. 15th.

“Abra is registered in most states as an MSB and has had previous legal battles with the SEC that led to them delisting their stock ETF offering,” noted Adam Cochran, partner at Cinneamhain Ventures.

No plans to delist XRP

Amidst all the suspensions, cryptocurrency exchange Bittrex, which no longer allows its US customers to trade XRP clarified that they are not going to delist the digital asset and will maintain all XRP markets: BTC-XRP, USD-XRP, USDT-XRP, ETH-XRP, and EUR-XRP.

“Uphold will continue to list XRP until and unless the Complaint is adjudicated against Ripple – specifically citing that XRP is, today, a security, or trading volume dissipates to a point where we can no longer support,” came the tweet from JP Thieriot, CEO of crypto trading platform Uphold.

Australia-based BTC Markets also took to Twitter to share that they are monitoring events in the US regarding the SEC but have “no plans to delist XRP at this time.”

The price of XRP meanwhile lost a considerable amount of its value in the last two weeks. After falling under $0.17, the crypto asset is currently trading around $0.22.

“XRP’s market cap has fallen by 93% from $137B to under $10B. That makes the value of the XRP collapse bigger than Enron and Worldcom,” said Joshua Frank, CEO of The TIE. “While not a bankruptcy, XRP is effectively the third-largest collapse of all-time behind Lehman Brothers and Washington Mutual,” he added.

Coinbase Under Hot Water Too

A class-action lawsuit has been filed against US-based crypto exchange Coinbase alleging that it knew XRP was a security and still sold it “illegally”.

Just this week, Coinbase, which recently filed to go public, said it suspended support for XRP trading and deposits.

The case is filed by Thomas Sandoval in the U.S. District Court, Northern District of California (San Francisco) and he is seeking damages for the commission paid by him and other users to Coinbase for XRP tokens.

“Until late this month Coinbase sold the XRP token, the value of which was entirely linked to the success or failure of Ripple Co. and the managerial efforts of its executives,” Sandoval said in the complaint. “Indeed, Ripple Co.’s survival as a corporate entity depended on its sale of unlicensed XRP securities to the public to fund its business operations.”

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Author: AnTy

Bitcoin Destroys $28k As USD Gets Annihilated; Hitting A New 2020 Low

Bitcoin is facing an imminent supply-side crisis with only 22% of BTC circulating supply available in the market for buying and selling.

As we said, much like last week, this one started on a slight red note as Bitcoin consolidated around $26,000 only to rush higher but much faster this time around.

Breaking into a new all-time high at above $28,500 on the back of $5.88 billion ‘real’ volume, Bitcoin couldn’t sustain the bullish momentum and soon dropped to $27,345. But we are back on the move. Trader SalsaTekila noted,

“BTC looks like it wants to send. No sellers showing up at the highs. I’m not short anymore, nor ‘hedged’, seems like price discovery is about to continue…”

Bitcoin is simply not taking a break, everyone is trying to time the markets, but at this point, it is anyone’s guess how high we will go in the short-term and if and when any meaningful pullbacks will make an appearance.

Meanwhile, Bitcoin proponent Max Keiser, who has been waiting for a $28,000 target to hit, has increased his short-term target to $35,000 now that $28k has been destroyed.

Keiser has “high conviction on &35k,” a target that is hashrate-adjusted. The hashrate of the world’s largest network is at 134.46 Th/s, keeping around the all-time high of 157.65 Th/s, as per Bitinfocharts.

In the light of this strong hashing power being used to generate BTC, the next difficulty is expected to be between 3% to 10% that would be coming on January 9. He said,

“This is the equilibrium price based on the price-lagging-hashrate spread that I flagged last year. Now that $28,000 has been confirmed, $35k target looks like a lock.”

However, for this continuation to $30k Bitcoin needs to sustain the $27,000-27,500 support which could even take us to $32,800 but “losing $27,000 and correction is imminent,” said trader Michaël van de Poppe.

Imminent Bitcoin Supply Crisis

A big bull signal for Bitcoin is the number of BTC actually available for buying and selling. Out of the 88.5% of the total supply already mined, that is ~18.6 million, 78% of the circulating supply is considered illiquid while only 4.2 million BTC (22%) is available in the market for buying and selling, as per Glassnode’s analysis.

In 2020 alone, more than 1 million BTC became illiquid. This illiquidity points to the emergence of a supply-side crisis and “a sustained rise of illiquid bitcoins is an indication of strong investor hodling sentiment and a potential bullish signal.”

Not to mention all the institutional herd that is gobbling up BTC. According to the chief global strategist of Morgan Stanley Investment Management, Bitcoin could replace the dollar as a global reserve currency.

The USD Index in the meantime is at multi-year lows, currently trading under 90. All the money printing has pushed USD to a new 2020 low that was last seen in April 2018.

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The greenback has lost 13% of its value since March when it initially jumped while all the other markets, stocks, precious metals, oil, and Bitcoin annihilated. But with the central banks around the world printing money like crazy, fiat is getting debased and every other asset class, especially Bitcoin is rallying hard.

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Author: AnTy

DeFi Project Nexus Mutual Suffers $8.25M Attack; Only Founder’s Personal Wallet Affected

DeFi insurance project Nexus Mutual has suffered an attack.

But for the crypto community, the only good thing is that Nexus Mutual founder Hugh Karp’s personal addresses were only affected.

On Monday, the team took to Twitter to share that at 9:40 on Dec. 14 itself, the personal address for the project creator was attacked and drained by a member of the mutual itself.

“Only Hugh’s address was affected in this targeted attack, and there is no subsequent risk to Nexus Mutual or any members,” noted the team.

370,000 NXM worth $8.25 million has been stolen from Hugh’s personal wallet.

As per the initial investigation, this targeted attack was made on Hugh’s hardware wallet by gaining remote access to his computer. By modifying the popular Ethereum wallet MetaMask’s extension, the attacker tricked Hugh into signing a different transaction to transfer the funds to the attacker’s address.

“Since on hardware wallets you often can not validate practically what you are actually signing the weakest point to attack is the interface that creates the sign request – e.g., the Dapp,” said Martin Köppelmann, founder of the prediction market platform Gnosis.

As such, one needs to make sure that the private key only signs what the owner intends to, for which multiple signier or sanity checks must be used to separate the transaction request from signing it, advised Köppelmann.

According to the Nexus Mutual team, the attacker completed his KYC earlier this month and then switched the membership to a new address on Dec. 3rd.

“The mutual is not impacted; the pool of funds and all systems are safe. Our investigation is ongoing to identify the attacker and how they operated,” added the team.

Hugh also took to Twitter to urge the attacker to return the stolen NXM to him, and in return, they will drop the investigation and grant them the $300k bounty.

The project currently has a total value locked (TVL) of about $94 million, and its token NXS is currently trading at $0.226, down 1.91%. The token with a market cap of $15.65 million has a year-to-date performance of about 28%.

Meanwhile, Wrapped Nexus (wNXM), which the attacker used to move the funds, is seeing a bigger drop of over 16% to $16.41.

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Author: AnTy

Ethereum Market Points to the “Start of a New Bull Cycle;” New Addresses Hits a 25-Month High

Last week, ETH touched $535 a couple of times, only to follow the Bitcoin bulls and make it back to $595.

Over the weekend, the surge in price also saw the number of new ETH addresses hitting a single-day, 25-month high, reaching 177.5k addresses.

“Notably, more addresses interacting on an asset’s network is a very promising indicator for bulls,” stated crypto data provider Santiment.

Today, however, the second-largest cryptocurrency went back to $582.

According to one trader, Ethereum is simply at the “start of a new bull cycle,” with points of interest for longs around $425-$460 with any dips to be bought. “The next higher high in the impulse wave is most likely going to be $850 or $1,150,” he added.

Despite more than double of Bitcoin’s gains in 2020, ETH is still 63% away from its all-time high.

The Bullish Signs

ETH’s outperformance also led miners to slowly offload their ETH, with their aggregate holdings declining from 1.13 million ETH to 1.016 million ETH since mid-October.

At the same time, there has been a 15.2% decline in the amount of ETH held by exchanges. This kind of decline was last seen during the 2017 bull run. This is likely to result from an increased focus on self-custody, long-term storage, and yield opportunities in DeFi. ~57% of ETH’s total supply hasn’t actually moved in a year.

Currently, there are over 7 million ETH locked in the DeFi space. Ethereum is the dominant smart contract platform, which, according to Coinbase, has proven to be “comparatively secure so far.”

However, it has its own drawbacks in the form of scaling and control, and flexibility. And projects like Polkadot and Cosmos are the front-runners as its competitors.

The Risk of Centralization

Amidst all the price action, the number of ETH locked in the ETH 2.0 deposit contract for staking continues to grow.

A total of 1,466,401 ETH worth more than $860 million have been sent to ETH2.0 deposit. This represents nearly 1.3% of ETH’s circulating supply, signaling strong demand for Proof of Stake participation.

However, this comes at the risk of centralization. Justin Drake, ETH 2.0 researcher at Ethereum Foundation, noted that 10.7% of validator deposits are from crypto exchange Kraken while other exchanges Coinbase and Bitfinex have 5.8x more ETH than Kraken. Drake said,

“Two exchanges could control 1/3 of the validators. Five exchanges could control 1/2 of the validators. Stake from home to avoid exchange fees and decentralise.”

According to Dune Analytics, these deposits came from 3,736 unique depositors.

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Author: AnTy

Coinbase Front-Runs an Upcoming “Negative” New York Times Article

On Wednesday, Coinbase not only cautioned the industry of the Treasury Secretary’s intentions to regulate self-custodied wallets but showed another bout of transparency.

In its attempt to front-run the New York Times, the San Francisco-based cryptocurrency exchange said NYT is “planning to publish a negative story about Coinbase” in the next few days regarding its apolitical stance.

Coinbase says it doesn’t care what NYT thinks, but what they do care about is “our employees,” and as such, they put out this explanation for everyone.

The story, for which The Times reporter Nathaniel Popper has been reaching out to Coinbase employees, reportedly will allege that “several Black employees had negative experiences at Coinbase over the last few years,” wrote the exchange. It further said,

“The story will likely imply that Black employees were discriminated against during this process; this is false.”

While the story is likely to allege that several Black employees filed complaints with the company, the reality is there have been “only three” such people that did that.

Coinbase is basically expecting the story to paint “an inaccurate picture” as such, the exchange wants to convey that it is “committed to maintaining an environment that is safe, supportive and welcoming to employees of all backgrounds,” don’t be political at the workplace, of course.

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Author: AnTy

Ethereum Has “Little Resistance Ahead,” Over 100,000 ETH Now Staked

Bitcoin is not the only protagonist of the ongoing bullish crypto market.

While the leading digital asset popped above $18,000, ready for a new all-time high, the price of Ether also surged to nearly $500, last seen in June 2018.

Both Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH) are enjoying a hot streak this week. While BTC’s realized cap topped at $130 billion on Nov. 17, ETH’s realized cap grew 3.9% week-over-week and is at its highest level since Sept. 2018 at over $36 billion.

According to In/Out of the Money Around Price (IOMAP) indicator of IntoTheBlock, “there is little resistance ahead until $581, with strong support around the $460 mark.”

At $460, 80% of the addresses currently holding ETH are experiencing profit.

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Another encouraging pattern is the percentage of ETH supply on cryptocurrency exchanges, which continues to decrease steadily. About 3 million ETH has moved off centralized exchanges since September, which according to quant trader Qiao Wang could be “a result of “productive” activities like Uniswap yield farming.”

Wang further believes “ETH could outperform BTC in the next bull run. Perhaps not on a risk-adjusted return basis, but likely on an absolute return basis.”

Another reason for this movement could be ETH holders depositing their ETH for staking for the first stage of ETH 2.0 – the “Beacon Chain.”

The progress of Eth 2.0 staking is behind schedule, with another 13,424 staking validators are required in the next 2 weeks to trigger the launch of ETH 2.0.

With about 80% of the required validators still missing, the current rate is not enough, but it is expected to ramp up towards the end of the deadline.

Still, when Phase 0 launches, it doesn’t change anything about Ethereum as the Beacon Chain doesn’t have accounts, and it can’t handle smart contracts either. It is simply the first stage in the transition of the second-largest network from a proof-of-work to a proof-of-stake consensus model.

The Beacon Chain will undergo testing in a live environment, and in the future, when Ethereum shard chains (Phase 1) are launched, the two blockchains will eventually be merged, at which PoS mining will be enabled, bringing faster processing times and cheaper transactions.

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Author: AnTy