Crypto Market Highlights February 12, 2022

Intel confirms crypto mining plan, Bitcoin takes over 2/3 of crypto payments from Deel, Uber reiterates crypto mining intent, and other crypto market highlights reportedly aggregated over the past 24 hours.

Crypto Market Highlights: Investment News

Korea’s $200 billion national investment fund Korea Investment Corp. (KIC) plans to increase investment in Silicon Valley startups as supermarkets and artificial intelligence are expected to accelerate the expansion of alternative real estate, according to Bloomberg.

Integration platform Coinbase Prime announced that it has authorized OneRiver Digital Assessment Management to offer wealth managers direct access to ONE Digital SMA, a suite of digital investment strategies and indicators in a Private Managed Account (SMA) platform. Coinbase Prime worked with OneRiver Digital to map the investment process, operational process, security requirements and permissions to create the solution for institutions, they said.

The Astar Network smart contract hub announced the $100 million Astar Boost program, which is a fund that provides liquidity, financial support, an incentive program, etc. They added that the program is designed to support multiple DeFi users and DeFi projects looking to build on the Astar network.

Fraud and compliance platform Sardine has raised $19.5 million in a Series A funding round led by Andreessen Horowitz (a16z). The funds will be used for product development and recruitment over the coming months, while a16z General Partner Angela Strange will join Sardine’s board as part of the investment.

Land investor Metaverse Everyrealm, known as Republic Realm before the rebrand, has raised $60 million in a Series A funding round led by a16z. The rebrand is an excerpt from its parent company Republic, a multi-asset marketplace for private investments.

Crypto Market Highlights: Stock Market News

Cryptocurrency mining rig maker Ebang has registered a cryptocurrency exchange called Ebonex Australia with the Australian Transaction Analysis and Reporting Center. According to Chairman and CEO Dong Hu, the approval was completed on December 3, 2021 and is expected to bring “significant value” to the company. According to Bloomberg, Conservative lawmaker Canadian Michelle Rempel Garner has recommended Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s funding ministers begin to do so to create a national framework for cryptocurrencies to attract investors, adding that while the country “should have attracted billions of dollars of investment in this fast-growing industry,” it has instead lost talent to Europe and the US.

György Matolcsy, governor of Hungary’s central bank, said he supports a ban on cryptocurrency trading and mining in the EU, arguing that it “could serve illegal activities and tend to build a financial pyramid.” Instead, Matolcsy has proposed that European Union citizens and businesses should be allowed to own crypto files outside the European Union and that regulators track holdings.

Crypto Market Highlights: News on new products and services

Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi told Bloomberg TV that the American mobility giant will “eventually” embrace crypto. Exactly one year ago, he also did not rule out that Uber would finally accept cryptocurrencies as a means of payment.

Of the 100,000 workers in more than 150 countries that global payroll and recruitment firm Deel has worked with over the past six months, around 2% have opted to receive at least part of their pay in non-cash currencies, data shows, according to Bloomberg. Bitcoin (BTC) accounts for about two-thirds of crypto payments since Deel started offering the option last July, it added.

Canadian rapper Drake placed a series of bets on the upcoming Super Bowl totaling CAD$1.6 million (US$1.3 million) in BTC via online betting app Stake. According to the app’s BTC valuation at the time of its deployment, Drake’s total payout could reach CAD$2.9 million ($2.3 million).

Crypto Market Highlights: Security and Regulatory News

According to crypto forensics firm Chainalysis, criminals have made $1.3 billion in ransoms from hacked victims over the past two years. The number is split into $602 million in payments in 2021 and $692 million in 2020, but the 2021 number is expected to increase and exceed 2020 as more information becomes available.

DEGO Finance’s multi-chain DeFi and NFT engine was taken down on February 10, costing the network over $10 million. Blockchain security and analytics firm PeckShield added that miners have withdrawn more than $10 million from Dego Finance as well as GameFi Incubator Cocos-BCX.

Funds stored in Atomic Wallet, a cryptocurrency wallet that supports more than 300 coins and tokens, may be at risk, according to a security audit conducted by the Least Authority. They added that some “significant” issues remained unresolved even after contacting Atomic Wallet and warning users not to use their service.

Developers of the Ethereum (ETH) Layer 2 scaling project Optimism announced that earlier this month a “critical bug” was identified and subsequently patched. The flaw, which could allow hackers to generate as much ETH into Optimist account balances as they want, was first spotted by white hat hacker and iOS jailbreak software developer Jay Freeman, who received a $2.00 bonus for his efforts received millions of dollars.

The MakerDAO community behind the Maker (MKR) project has announced that they will begin offering up to $10 million in bounties on the Immunefi bug bounty platform for those who point out legitimate security threats in their projects. Whitehat hackers can receive payouts from $1,000 for low-level vulnerabilities to $10 million for critical issues in Maker smart contracts and applications, while paying in DAI stablecoin.

The CEO of breakaway South Korean crypto exchange VGlobal has been sentenced to 22 years in prison and ordered to pay $89 million in damages after being found guilty of running a multi-tiered fraud ring disguised as an exchange. As reported, both prosecutors and victims pushed for life sentences. Per Chosun, six other senior executives were also convicted of fraud and sentenced to between 4 and 14 years in prison and heavy fines.

Crypto Market Highlights: NFTs News

Amrapali “Ami” Gan, CEO of online subscription platform OnlyFans, known for adult content, told Reuters that the platform will allow creators to set NFT as their profile picture. OnlyFans only supports NFTs minted on the Ethereum blockchain.

Crypto Market Highlights: Mining News

Intel intends to contribute to the development of blockchain technology with a roadmap for energy-efficient accelerators to ship this year, Raja M. Koduri, senior vice president, general manager, Intel, said in a blog post today. Argo Blockchain, BLOCK (formerly known as Square) and GRIID Infrastructure are among our initial customers for this upcoming product,” said Koduri. The company hopes its circuit improvements will provide a blockchain accelerator with 1000x better performance per watt than mainstream GPUs for SHA-256-based mining. Intel also established the Custom Compute Group, responsible for building “custom silicon platforms optimized for customer workloads, including blockchain and other custom accelerated supercomputing opportunities.”

Digital asset mining company Merkle Standard and bitcoin mining hardware maker Bitmain have formed a joint venture to develop clean digital mining infrastructure of up to 500MW. After full development, the data center can support the deployment of more than 150,000 mining machines. The company said the joint venture will operate proprietary Bitmain mining equipment.

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