Crypto News Headlines (22-May-2023)

Cryptocurrency trading platform Hotbit said it ended all centralized exchange (CEX) operations, citing deteriorating operating conditions and changes in the broader crypto landscape.

Users have until 04:00 UTC on June 21 to withdraw their assets from the platform, Hotbit said Monday.

Hotbit, which says it has 5 million users, suspended trading deposits and withdrawals last August after law-enforcement authorities froze some of its funds during a criminal investigation into a former employee.

The wider crypto industry was then plunged into crisis mode after the collapse of exchange FTX in November, which resulted in “continuous outflows of funds from CEX users … and deteriorating cash flow,” Hotbit said.

In a span of just five days, News delivered a report stating the presence of slightly over seven million Ordinal inscriptions. However, as of the time of writing this article, an increase has occurred, bringing the total count to approximately 8,376,936 inscriptions. Within this short period, 1.3 million additional inscriptions have been added, signifying an ongoing trend. Recent statistics from Dune Analytics, recorded on May 21, reveal that bitcoin miners have seized the opportunity presented by these inscriptions, earning 1,448.84 BTC. The total value of these inscription-associated fees has reached roughly $39.14 million.

Of the vast number of inscriptions, approximately 90% consist of plain text, while a count of over 500,000 comprises JPEG and PNG files. Interestingly, there are nearly 10,000 inscriptions that house video files, while a small fraction of applications, and audio files, add a multimedia dimension to the 8.3 million minted inscriptions. These Ordinal inscriptions have not only provided a means for creative expression but have also paved the way for the creation of fungible tokens through the BRC20 standard.

It’s likely targeting your favorite crypto projects on the largest blockchains. But what exactly is Inferno Drainer?

Scam Sniffer, a platform specializing in the identification of scams, announced on Friday that the malicious software provider is allegedly linked to thousands of scams resulting in the theft of several million dollars.

By analyzing off-chain and on-chain data on Ethereum, Arbitrum, BNB Chain, and other chains, the security firm identified 4,888 victims who collectively lost over $5.9 million in cryptocurrencies and NFTs.

Approximately 1,699 ETH is reported to have been stolen and distributed across five different addresses, each holding between 300 and 400 ETH.

The extent of these scams was revealed when a suspected Inferno Drainer member named “Mr Inferno” appeared in a Scam Sniffer’s Telegram group.

The crypto community is being urged not to let their guard down despite a significant decline in crypto hacks during the first quarter of 2023 — with one firm warning it is most likely a “temporary reprieve, rather than a long-term trend.”

2022 was the biggest year for crypto hacking in history, with an estimated $3.8 billion stolen, primarily from decentralized finance (DeFi) protocols and North Korea-linked attackers, according to a report from Chainalysis earlier this year.

However, this number appears to have drastically reduced in the first quarter of 2023. According to a May 21 report by TRM Labs, the amount stolen through crypto hacks in Q1 2023 “was less than any other quarter in 2022.”

An attacker who sparked community-wide panic by hijacking the Tornado Cash governance is now proposing to undo their hack — and while not everyone feels the hacker can be trusted, they apparently have little choice in the matter.

On May 21, the passage of a malicious proposal allowed the attacker to gain complete control over Tornado Cash’s governance. With total control over the governance of the decentralized crypto mixer, the attacker was in a position to inflict massive losses, considering they could withdraw all of the locked votes, drain all of the tokens in the governance contract and brick the router.

While the story unfolded, community member Tornadosaurus-Hex or Mr. Tornadosaurus Hex, took proactive steps to minimize the potential damages by publishing a subsequent proposal requesting all members to withdraw all funds locked in governance, as shown below.

MIAMI BEACH, Florida – Bitcoin mining behemoth Marathon Digital Holdings (MARA) says it will match up to $500,000 in donations to non-profit Bitcoin research and development firm Brink, on a two-for-one basis during the Bitcoin 2023 conference in Miami Beach, Florida, and subsequently match additional donations on a one-for-one basis after the conference up to Dec. 31.

The donations will go towards funding grants and programs that pay Bitcoin Core developers to write and maintain code for the world’s dominant blockchain – an open source decentralized project that is completely reliant on such voluntary donations.

Earlier this year there were fears of a drop-off in the Bitcoin funding landscape from the current market downturn – crypto winter, in the industry lingo. Marathon’s pledge, which could raise $1 million when third party donations are included, shows one vested corporate entity’s willingness to financially support the Bitcoin funding ecosystem.

In just over a year, the American populace will cast their votes for the next leader of the United States on Tuesday, November 5, 2024. As the nation awaits this occasion, it has become apparent that a familiar rivalry may once again take center stage. Both the current U.S. president, Joe Biden, and the former 45th president, Donald Trump, have thrown their hats into the political ring, sparking widespread curiosity and skepticism among the public. The question on everyone’s lips is: What has propelled these two figures to lock horns once more in the pursuit of power?

“There’s no way the next election will actually boil down to Biden vs. Trump is there? I mean…seriously?” John Lennon’s son Sean Ono Lennon tweeted at the end of April.

Malaysia’s leading securities regulator, the Securities Commission (SC), today announced that it has ordered Seychelles-based crypto exchange Huobi to shutter operations in the country.

It appears Huobi has fallen foul of Malaysian regulators for operating a digital asset exchange without registration, according to the announcement. Running a crypto exchange without a Recognised Market Operator (RMO) license is an offense under the Capital Markets and Services Act 2007.

A public reprimand has also been issued against the exchange and its founder Leon Li. As the company’s chief executive, Li has been ordered to oversee the process of winding down local operations, ceasing communications with Malaysian investors, disabling the website, and withdrawing the app from app stores.

Vivek Ramaswamy becomes the second Presidential candidate in the United States to officially accept Bitcoin (BTC) donations for the upcoming 2024 elections.

“Give $1,” said Ramaswamy while announcing that he was accepting Bitcoin donations. The revelation came just two days after Robert F. Kennedy Jr. became the first presidential candidate in United States history to accept campaign donations in Bitcoin. Ramaswamy stated, “Let’s make the 2024 election a referendum on fiat currency.”

US Presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy announcing accepting Bitcoin donations. Source: Facebook

As shown above, Ramaswamy flashed a QR code while on stage, which when scanned, would redirect users to a payment gateway that offers various payment options for donations, including BTC and Satoshi (sats) — the smallest denomination of Bitcoin.

The divorce proceedings of a New York couple took a turn after a forensic accountant helped track down the husband’s 12 Bitcoin BTC tickers down $26,835 stash, which he intended to hide from his wife.

The couple in question were married for 10 years, but the man’s wife suspected that her husband did not reveal all his assets, which would get split between the two following their divorce. The woman — addressed pseudonymously as Sarita — revealed to CNBC that her husband was earning $3 million annually, which was not reflective of his declared assets.

Sarita appointed a forensic accountant, who eventually found that her husband failed to declare 12 BTC — worth roughly $500,000 — stored in an undisclosed crypto wallet. Having no clue about the Bitcoin investment, she stated:

“It was never even a thought in my mind because it’s not like we were discussing it or making investments together. It was definitely a shock.”