More Than $284 Million In DeFi Lost Through Hacks And Exploits Since 2019: Messari Research

More Than $284 Million In DeFi Lost Through Hacks And Exploits Since 2019: Messari Research

  • About $284 million in Decentralized Finance (DeFi) outfits based on Ethereum have been lost through hacks and exploits since 2019.
  • The popularity and unprecedented growth of decentralized finance (DeFi) have seen the sector become a soft target for exploiters and hackers.

In a report released by crypto data research firm Messari, DeFi platforms have so far lost more than $284.9 million to unscrupulous exploiters and hackers. The firm analyzed DeFi data from 2019. The report states that the lost figure represents about 0.65% of the entire amount currently in DeFi platforms within the Ethereum network.

Through their official Twitter account, Messari provided a breakdown of the findings.

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The research outfit stated that only a fraction of the lost fund is covered by the DeFi insurance, emphasizing the importance of insurance growth in the sector. Although $284 million is a large amount of money, it is important to note that at the moment, about $117.6 billion is locked in different DeFi platforms.

The report shows that flash loan attacks account for about 50 percent of all the hacks. This offers extra evidence that this is the most common exploitation method in the DeFi segment. It is no doubt that the majority of DeFi hacks have been in the form of flash loan attacks which in most cases capitalize on temporary price flaws.

Although there was a notable decline in crypto hacks last year, DeFi heists and attacks accounted for over half of the total attacks in the crypto sector during the year. This year, Cream Finance and Alpha Homora have fallen victims to unscrupulous attacks leading to the loss of huge amounts of funds. In February, Alpha Homora suffered the worst single attack in the DeFi sector, losing about $37.5 million.

DeFi hacks and exploits are not only found in the Ethereum chain since the Binance Smart Chain (BSC) has also suffered attacks in the recent past. A BSC-hosted platform, Uranium Finance, suffered a $50 million heist. The platform realized that the attacker took advantage of bugs within the platform’s smart contract siphoning the money during the expected token migration occasion.

Messari’s report explains that the time is ripe to embrace insurance protocols currently on the rise. Protocols such as Etherisc and Nexus Mutual can offer valuable cover to such hacks and exploits. These protocols can ensure investors do not lose their money when an attack occurs.

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Author: Joseph Kibe

MicroStrategy’s Massive Premium Implies Bitcoin Price of $122k, says Investment Firm Short on MSTR

The price of the MSTR shares have crashed 60% in less than a month since company executives started selling some stocks.

Bitcoin bull Michael Saylor, the co-founder, and chief executive officer of publicly-traded business intelligence company MicroStrategy, has been betting big on the leading digital currency.

The company bought another 205 BTC on Friday, bringing its total holdings to 91,065 BTC, representing 0.488% of Bitcoin’s circulating supply.

While the company continues to bet more and more on Bitcoin, its share prices are not feeling the same bullishness. MSTR share prices have crashed nearly 60% in less than one month from their all-time high of about $1,314 on Feb. 9.

On Friday, the MSTR shares fell as low as $537 before recovering to $620. Interestingly, MSTR is suffering from losses more than Bitcoin.

During the same period, the price of Bitcoin went from $46,500 to an ATH of $58,300, only to see a correction of 26% to almost $43k. Currently, BTC is consolidating in the $40k-$50k range.

The losses in the cryptocurrency market have actually been the result of the weakness in the stock market, which has been reacting to the rising bond yields. “The bond market selloff is showing some signs of stability, and that could mean the bitcoin pullback is nearing its end,” said Edward Moya, a senior market analyst at OANDA.

In related news, MicroStrategy President and CFO Phong Le sold 10,000 shares of MSTR on March 2nd, at an average price of $802.46 a share. Company CTO Timothy Edwin Lang sold 10,000 shares of MSTR stock on Feb 22nd.

Moreover, General Counsel Wei-ming Shao sold 5,000 MSTR shares on March 3rd. Director Jarrod M Patten and Stephen X Graham also sold 1,150 shares and 2,000 shares respectively on Feb. 24.

Distorted from fundamentals

The traditional media and funds have voiced their opinion against the company’s increasing Bitcoin bet. This week, WSJ called MicroStrategy’s Bitcoin buying spree “irresponsible,” based on Marc Lichtenfeld, chief income strategist at The Oxford Group’s view, who calls Bitcoin a “very speculative and volatile asset.” He said,

“I have never seen a company do this. This is beyond the excesses I have seen during the dot-com boom, and I think it makes them very, very vulnerable.”

According to Lichtenfeld, MSTR shares are “completely distorted from (its) business fundamentals” and simply linked to Bitcoin.

Another criticism came from investment management firm Bireme Capital which published its Q4 2020 Investor Letter, revealing that it is short on MicroStrategy, declaring $450 as its fair value.

The fund that had a net return of 47.1% for the year ending 2020 said MicroStrategy has a massive premium, its market cap increasing by $9 billion on a ~$3b windfall on its bitcoin purchases.

According to Bireme Capital’s calculations, MSTR’s current share price implies a bitcoin price of $122,000. The letter reads,

“MicroStrategy (MSTR) is the latest firm with shrinking revenues and negligible profits to pivot to the blockchain. Rather than attempt to start a cryptocurrency business, MSTR pivoted in the most straightforward way possible: it simply bought hundreds of millions of dollars worth of bitcoin overnight. In one light, this is an utter abdication of all the principles of corporate finance. Why not return the money to shareholders, who can decide for themselves whether or not they want to own bitcoin? But in another light, this was a brilliant end run around the SEC, who has been denying bitcoin ETF proposals le and right for years. MSTR went from being a mere stagnant software business to the de facto bitcoin ETF.”

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Author: AnTy

BTC Breaks Yet Another Level, k, as Elon Musk says, Bitcoin and Ethereum ‘Seem High’

Since making a similar remark on his electric car company, the price of TSLA shares has surged 400%. Tesla CEO is also busy mining his favorite cryptocurrency Dogecoin as a “fun family project.”

The market value of Bitcoin hit the milestone of $1 trillion on Friday as the price of the digital asset broke past many levels.

Today, we went even higher, past $57,000, aiming for the sweet round number of $60k now. As of writing, BTC/USD has been comfortably trading above $57k, with a market cap of $1.06 billion.

With Bitcoin continuing to roar higher, Tesla CEO Elon Musk threw some love at Bitcoin with yet again the picture of Bitcoin in his Twitter profile, but “Just for a day.”

Musk also took a jab at gold bug Peter Schiff, who thinks and talks about Bitcoin day and night, all the time, and this time as well saying gold is real money and better than both fiat and Bitcoin, referring to Musk calling “Bitcoin is almost as BS as fiat money.”

“An email saying you have gold is not the same as having gold. You might as well have crypto. Money is just data that allows us to avoid the inconvenience of barter. That data, like all data, is subject to latency & error. The system will evolve to that which minimizes both.”

Musk explained to Schiff, adding, “That said, BTC & ETH do seem high lol.”

Musk made a similar infamous comment regarding his electric car company back in May last year, “Tesla stock price is too high imo.” Since then, the price of TSLA shares has surged 400%.

Besides Bitcoin, the founder and CEO of SpaceX is also busy mining his favorite cryptocurrency, Dogecoin.

“I just set up some little Doge mining rigs with my kids. It was fun,” said Musk on Saturday. He also shared that he has been using Antminer L3+ rigs to mine the meme coin, which was bought off eBay.

“Not really economic, but it was a fun family project,” he added.

The Next Major Milestone

When it comes to Bitcoin, the leading digital currency is enjoying more than a 92% uptrend in 2021 so far.

Despite the latest round of gains, over 17% this week, the funding rates on Bitcoin perpetual contracts haven’t heated up, currently between 0.0158% on Deribit and 0.1457% on Huobi, as per Viewbase.

While the Perp-spot basis is flat, the basis of the future is sky high while implied volatility is falling and 25-day skew rising, noted trader and economist Alex Kruger adding, “leverage is very high, but inflows are gargantuan.”

Now that the first milestone for $1 trillion has been hit, the next major milestone ahead for Bitcoin is surpassing the market cap of gold which is about $10 trillion. This will put the price of Bitcoin around $500,000.

Qiao Wang of DeFi Alliance has a 90% conviction that it will happen in our lifetime but will this happen during this hype cycle, that’s to be seen.

Before that, going above $100k will make it the world’s largest asset, dethroning Apple. The hopium from Su Zhu, the CEO of Three Arrows Capital,

“This is not yet another cycle; this is the End of Cycles. The one where after BTC flippens gold, it doesn’t flip back. The one where web3 supersedes web2. Where culture is collected and accrued digitally instead of physically. Where life is lived mindfully rather than mindlessly.”

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Author: AnTy

Binance’s Has Been Blacklisted in Russia Since Sept; New Ruling Removes the Restriction

Binance’s Has Been Blacklisted in Russia Since Sept; New Ruling Removes the Restriction

  • The World’s largest crypto exchange in terms of capitalization, Binance, has been removed from the blacklisted websites in Russia following a court order.
  • Binance’s website was formally blacklisted in September last year by the Russian regulators. However, the exchange’s trading in the country has not been affected.

According to a popular news agency, Kommersant, on Jan. 21, Arkhangelsk Regional Court ordered that the Binance website be expunged from the list of blacklisted websites in the country.

The head of Binance Russia, Gleb Kostarev, confirmed to Bitcoin Exchange Guide that the reports were indeed true explaining that the court session was held on Jan. 20. The court’s decision read,

“Issuance and usage of bitcoins are fully decentralized, and there is no way to regulate it by the government, which contradicts the current Russian law.”

Binance’s website was blacklisted in June after Arkhangelsk Regional Court sided with local prosecutors, arguing that the firm was aiding in distributing information regarding Bitcoin, unlicensed crypto in the country. According to Kostarev, Binance Russia was not issued with a formal notification of the court hearing and only realized the blacklisting by the regulator, Roskomnadzor, three months later. Kostarev stated that the failure to notify the company made it difficult to defend its rights properly in court.

The ruling which was seen by CoinDesk indicates that the prosecutors extracted their complaint after Binance moved to challenge the decision.

Cryptos such as Bitcoin is legal in Russia even after the digital assets law was adopted on Jan.1. The law states that cryptos are legal taxable properties. The country also adopted another order requiring civil servants to declare their crypto holdings for taxation purposes.

Kostarev explained that the blacklisting of the firm’s website had no major effect on its trading volumes.

“Though the September ban had no impact on our volumes in Russia, for us, it was important to protect our reputation and appeal in this case.”

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Author: Joseph Kibe

SushiSwap Captures Bigger DEX Market Share; Lays Down 2021 Roadmap

While Uniswap lost 40% of its market share since August, Sushiswap gained 1,120% in just over 2 months. Meanwhile, the Sushi token price is fast approaching its ATH as the team shares what’s to come this year.

Decentralized exchange SushiSwap’s native token Sushi has been enjoying an uptrend of 790% since November.

The token, which is still 62% away from its all-time high of $12.5 made on Sept. 1st, started climbing upwards today ahead of the roadmap release as announced by the project lead 0xMaki on Friday.

Sushiswap actually accounts for 24.4% of all DEX volume, up from a mere 2% in late Oct., as per Dune Analytics. Meanwhile, Uniswap’s share has decreased from 70.65% in late Aug. to now 42.6%.

The second-largest DEX recorded a $3.2 billion volume in the last 7 days.

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In terms of count of unique addresses that traded, trailing the last 7 days, Sushiswap comes in 3rd with 8,414 number of traders followed by 1inch’s 13,236 and Uniswap’s 98,426.

Much like other metrics, the TVL (total value locked) of the project has also reached $1.7 billion, from merely $239 million in early November.

What’s Ahead?

The team is planning to move to a new domain this year as “we aren’t an AMM anymore moving forward but an OpenOrg part of the Yearn ecosystem,” revealed the roadmap. It will also support IPFS.

The governance transition could either be like the Aragon v2 model or like Synthetix to opt for Council of community members is expected to finish by Q4 of 2021.

DSD, FRAX, and BAO projects are already secured for integration in Q1 2021 besides cross-chain AMM enabled by Rune/Moonbeam and live testing version of Sushiswap on Kusama, MEV integration via ArcherDAO, shared the team.

The plan is to incentivize teams, wallets, dApps & protocols to build with Sushiswap via an emission enabled pool of 0.1x and provide technical support for projects natively integrating Sushiswap.

As per the roadmap, the team ticked off — no lockup so that it can integrate inside Aave-Maker, Keep3r auto-serving of reward, and Wrapped-SLP to be used in various money markets that are being worked on.

The team also introduced Mirin in addition to the Deriswap that comes with franchised pools, double yield, K3PR dynamic yield rebalancing, and integrated 1-Click Za among others.

As for BentoBox, Yearn.Finance creator Andre Cronje introduced with the Sushi-Yearn merger is ready for its soft launch in mid-January. The project has already been audited by Quantstamp & PeckShield but would see another round from Trail of Bits.

When it comes to Minimal Initial Sushi Offering (MISO), a token launchpad, the team is about done with the smart contracts. The v1 of the launchpad will have multiple features; freeze of SLP with vesting for teams, liquidity mining, ICBO, farms, auctions, and crowdsales.

For the layer 2 solution, Sushi will move in sync with the greater Yearn ecosystem. Meanwhile, the Onsen program will be announcing support for mid-tier and lower cap tokens to become accredited to participate in its liquidity mining program.

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Author: AnTy

Grayscale Recording Inflows “Unlike Ever Before;” Meanwhile Largest Gold ETF Yet to See Any

Bitcoin is enjoying a wild rally, having surged more than 20% since yesterday this too, while average BTC fees being just above $4.

Trading above $23,000 with $11.27 billion in ‘real’ volume, the market is euphoric with greens.

Bitcoin’s market cap has reached above $430 billion today, adding more than $70 billion since yesterday.

This is all the result of the factors at play in this bull market that we haven’t ever seen before in terms of “investment banks writing research highlighting bitcoin superiority to gold,” said Michael Sonnenshein, Managing Director of the largest crypto asset manager Grayscale Investments.

We also saw prominent investors like Paul Tudor Jones, Stanley Druckenmiller, BlackRock CIO, and many others coming out supporting this asset class and corporations like Square and MicroStrategy adding bitcoin to their balance sheet as a reserve asset.

As Sonnenshein shared in his interview with CNBC, Grayscale is currently seeing flows that “are now probably up 6x what they were last year.”

Elaborating on the type of investors that are buying GBTC at over 34% premium to Bitcoin price and ETHE at nearly 210% premium to Ether, Sonnenshein said these “investors that are putting capital to work are unlike any of the investors we’re seeing ever before.” He said,

“It’s some of the world’s largest investors and the allocations that they’re making are bigger than we’ve ever seen before and their time horizon for this is generally something over the medium to longer-term.”

As of writing, GBTC holds just above 569k BTC, worth more than $12 billion, representing just over 3% of Bitcoins’ circulating supply, while their Ether stash represents 2.58% supply at 2.94 million ETH worth $1.84 billion.

Unlike all the flows that Bitcoin sees currently, gold has yet to recover from all the outflows it started recording last month. Kevin Rooke noted,

“The world’s largest gold ETF sold 8.3% of its gold so far in Q4 (100+ tons), and hasn’t seen any inflows in 17 trading days. November 19th was the last day the NAV of GLD actually went up, almost a month ago.”

However, the price of gold did manage to uptrend some on the back of declining USD, and Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell vowing that they will keep up with its massive monetary stimulus.

Climbing to $1,890, the bullion still recorded 22.32% returns in 2020 compared to Bitcoin’s 223%.

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Author: AnTy

Bitcoin ATH Retest with ‘Negative Divergence’ Calls For a ‘Larger Corrective Risk Scenario’

Since the middle of last week, the price of Bitcoin has been struggling to decide whether it wants to break $20,000 or finally make the much-anticipated pullback.

The range BTC is trading in is getting narrower, which could bring some good movement. For now, BTC price is keeping around $19,000 with volume low at just around $2.3 billion.

Meanwhile, the US Dollar index remains weak, which, combined with the momentum behind talks on a coronavirus relief bill gaining some speed, should keep risk appetite higher.

But in the short term, the market expects a correction after Bitcoin rejected $20,000 to set up for a stronger base for another vertical move and not risk another “uglier” breakdown down the road.

As Sven Henrich, founder of NorthmanTrader, pointed out, the retest of 2017 highs came with that of “negative divergence on the RSI.”

In his opinion, “Should the divergence confirm here as well, then Bitcoin is at risk of a sizable retrace move of the recent rally.” However, this won’t necessarily be bearish.

According to him, a healthy retrace would be the most common one .382 fib, which offers “perfect confluence” with the 2019 high at $13,790. But this corrective risk scenario isn’t a given if $17,000 holds.

“So Bitcoin is in a watch phase now with the risk of a larger corrective scenario unfolding” with the bottomline that a corrective move is actually healthy and a “buying opportunity.”

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Bitcoin is already ready to start the New year on a high note, with $36,000 Bitcoin call options on Deribit being the leading strike at the moment, with 19,995 contracts having a national value of $378 million in open interest.

“The majority of this is on our monthly January 2021 options,” noted the derivatives platform.

However, as we have been seeing, 2020 is different from the last bull run, with institutions rushing in the market more heavily while the 2017 rally was retail-focused.

According to Teddy Fusaro, chief operating officer at Bitwise Asset Management, we’re seeing marginal buyers right now.

“Oftentimes, once you sit down and you study the asset class, and you do develop an opinion, you do become a buyer. And I think that’s really what we have started to see really since the late summer,” he said.

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Author: AnTy

Companies Investing in Bitcoin Are Being ‘Rewarded by the Public Markets’

The US Dollar index has been on a decline ever since March, currently down at multi-year lows. Despite this, US companies have accumulated the largest pile of cash ever.

At the end of June, the cash holdings of non-financial companies had grown to a record $2.1 trillion, an increase of 30% from last year. This is also higher than the previous peak of almost $2 trillion in 2017.

Among the biggest hoarders were AT&T and Delta Air Lines, with each holding over $15 billion at the time. Interestingly, back in 2019, AT&T announced support for Bitcoin for mobile bill payment through the third-party service provider BitPay.

S&P 500 companies that aren’t in the financial, utility, and transportation sectors are also expected to have $1.9 trillion in cash, which is the most they have ever held since 1980.

Among the investment-grade borrowers, the ratio of current assets to liabilities has risen to 97% in the US and 86% in Europe, as per BNP Paribas. These liquidity levels were last exceeded since 2000 during mid-2004 in Europe and late 2009-early 2010 in the US.

Cash hoarding soared this year after record-breaking amounts of debt were issued by the companies against the coronavirus pandemic’s disruptions. Amidst this, companies also cut down on dividends, capital expenditures, and buybacks.

US companies also sold over $3 trillion of investment and high-yield bonds as of Nov. 20, the most since 2006. This makes sense in the current environment of extremely low, zero, and sub-zero interest rates.

Analysts expect companies to make use of this cash next year, but not to “pay down debt in this interest-rate climate.”

One could easily argue that the best way to utilize all this money that is burning a hole in companies’ pockets is to invest in Bitcoin, which is already proving to be a beneficial investment.

MicroStrategy is one such company that just yesterday added another $50 million of its cash into BTC, adding to its $575 million Bitcoin stash. In total, the company now holds 40,824 BTC, 0.2% of Bitcoin’s total circulating supply.

Since the March sell-off, MSTR shares have increased 228% in value to the price level last seen in July 2000.

As Teddy Fusaro, chief operating officer at Bitwise Asset Management, noted, “many of the public companies that have announced that they’ve purchased Bitcoin or cryptocurrency have been rewarded by the public markets.”

In 2020, Bitcoin price has made a new all-time high, having surged 166% in value, currently trading around $19,000.

“Soon they won’t have a choice. They will have to protect their reserves by buying Bitcoin, said trader Scott Melker.

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Author: AnTy

Bitcoin Re-Accumulation Makes $200k per BTC by 2021’s End Look Conservative

Since last week, Bitcoin has been on a rollercoaster ride.

It has been late on Wednesday night, last week, that the price of the digital asset went down hard, to nearly $16,300 right after hitting $19,500.

This week started in a similar fashion, up to a new high around $19,850 only to come back down to $19,075. Yesterday, we went even higher to above $19,950 followed by a sharp retracement to $18,270.

“The price remains highly volatile and draw-downs can be sharp, but volatility is important for the asset to scale, seek price discovery, attract attention and education and over time this volatility should subside,” said Davy Research analyst Roland French, according to whom, the sell-off was likely due to profit-taking.

As of writing, BTC/USD has been trading below $18,900 with a $4.29 billion volume.

With all exchanges’ inflow mean surging to 32 BTC, the picture is not looking good for Bitcoin yet. According to Ki Young Jo, the CEO of data provider CryptoQuant, the three possibilities for this BTC whale deposits could be another dump, an alt season, or whales simply preparing in case of emergency.

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Amidst this short-term backdrop, on-chain analyst Willy Woo shared a dose of hopium with his Top Model suggesting $200k per BTC by the end of 2021 now looking conservative.

“$300k not out of the question,” he said adding “I’ve never been so bullish for 2021.”

This bullishness is because of the re-accumulation phase which is coinciding with spot market inventory depletion which is twice as long and deeper than the last cycle. Not to mention, HODLers are holding stronger “pointing to reflexivity increasing; an amplified 2021 bullish feedback loop.”

Also Read: Bitcoin Institutional Adoption Flashing Green; Money Flowing from Gold into BTC

All that is working for Bitcoin

Amidst Bitcoin’s struggle to break the $20,000 successfully and on strong volume, the US dollar is keeping around its two and a half year low while investors’ risk appetite returns as further fiscal stimulus talks resume and expectations of a solid global recovery increases.

For the first time since the election, US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin held stimulus talks. After the talks, Pelosi said Mnuchin would review coronavirus relief proposals — the proposed relief bill of $908 billion would fund measures through March 31.

Fed Chairman Jerome Powell along with Mnuchin urged Congress to provide more help for small businesses.

The Fed will also be meeting to set policy on Dec. 15 and 16. “There’s a general view that there’ll be something in the December meeting…given there’s no real fiscal development in the last few months,” said BNZ senior markets strategist Jason Wong.

In his remarks on Monday, Powell said “challenging” few months lie ahead and “a full economic recovery is unlikely until people are confident that it is safe to re-engage in a broad range of activities.”

Meanwhile, the Bank of Japan’s deputy governor said the central bank would “take additional easing steps without hesitation as needed.”

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Author: AnTy

PayPal Customers Bought the Dip on Bitcoin & Crypto

The losses that came late Thursday night was the biggest decline since the March sell-off. However, the largest cryptocurrency is still up 135% YTD with its investor base widening who are turning to it in search of a hedge against dollar weakness amidst loose monetary policy.

As we reported, just this week, VanEck launched a physically-backed Bitcoin ETP on the Deutsche Boerse Xetra exchange.

With PayPal diving in, the retail investors are piling in to chase the momentum. The volume on ItBit, the exchange service of Paxos, exploded on Nov. 26. BTC/USD accounts for over $50 million in volume.

ItBit Trading Volume

“It continues to attract both institutional and retail attention as a 21st-century substitute to the gold play,” said Byron Goldberg, who runs the Australian operations for crypto exchange Luno.

Just Noise Against the Larger Bullish Trend

The decline in prices, which has the market in distress even today, as BTC/USD trades under $17k, was exacerbated by unsustainably high leverage. Trader and economist Alex Kruger noted,

“Too many greedy longs bought the top on leverage, and made the price very vulnerable.”

This started soon after the market made a new 2020 high at nearly $19,500. The choppiness in the market is in part due to the Thanksgiving holiday in the US. Another reason could be the expiry of 78k Bitcoin options today. Shane Oliver, Head of Investment Strategy at AMP Capital Investors Ltd. in Sydney said,

“After big rallies in shares and various other assets, they are all vulnerable to a bit of a pause.”

“But Bitcoin more than most, as it surged higher far more and had become far more frothy with speculative interest.”

However, the market is showing resilience as any dips were almost immediately absorbed, making it a bullish dumping. Kruger said,

“I’m bullish. This correction represents noise against the larger bullish trend.”

“The steep contango structure that prevailed up until now finally narrowed,” said Denis Vinokourov of Bequant.

“Only time will tell whether this is the beginning of a longer and more extensive correction, but the overall market structure is very different to the last time Bitcoin traded near these levels. As such, the base scenario remains intact for now.”

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Author: AnTy