Crypto News Headlines (28-Jun-2022)

The attacker behind last week’s $100 million exploit on the Harmony network started moving funds worth millions of dollars in cryptocurrencies last night, blockchain data shows.

Harmony is aware of the movement and is collaborating with blockchain analysis firms and the Federal Investigation Bureau (FBI) to catch the culprit, developers said in a tweet on Tuesday morning. The exploited “Horizon” bridge allowed users to exchange assets, such as tokens, stablecoins and non-fungible tokens (NFTs), between the Ethereum, Binance Smart Chain (BSC) and Harmony blockchains.

Blockchain data shows that the exploiter wallet marked “Horizon Bridge Exploiter” moved over 36,000 ether (ETH), worth over $44 million, in the past 26 hours.

On Monday, the exploiter moved over 18,000 ether, worth over $22 million at the time of writing, to three wallets. The coins were then sent to Tornado Cash, with the three wallets holding only a few ether at writing time.

Kaiko, a crypto market data provider, announced a $53 million Series B funding round today.

The funding round was led by early Alibaba-backer Eight Roads with participation from Revaia, Alven, Point9, Anthemis, and Underscore.

With this latest raise, the firm’s valuation has tripled since its $23 million Series A raise in June 2021.

“With the growing institutional participation in digital assets, access to reliable, transparent, and regulatory-compliant market information has never been of greater importance,” read the announcement from Kaiko.

Decrypt has contacted Kaiko about the latest raise.

Kaiko’s CEO Ambre Soubiran described the past two months as a “marathon,” explaining the difficulties of raising funds during crypto’s ongoing bear market.

“What was challenging, in all honesty, was the due diligence and closing process because we were really, really under scrutiny,” Soubiran in an interview with Bloomberg. “The hardest part was getting the whole thing across the finish line in the middle of a minus 80% downturn.”

Soubiran added that the recent crypto meltdown has actually been advantageous as clients seek answers for the long unwind.

A Moroccan central bank committee is working to put in place an appropriate regulatory framework for cryptocurrencies, Bank Al-Maghrib (BAM) governor Abdellatif Jouahri has reportedly said. The governor also revealed his institution has engaged both the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank over the benchmarks that will be used.

Before Jouhari’s latest remarks, News reported in March 2022 that the Moroccan central bank was in talks with two global financial institutions as well as with the central banks of France, Sweden, and Switzerland. At the time, The talks, according to the central bank, were focused on what would be the crypto regulation best practices.

Balancing Innovation and Consumer Protection

Meanwhile, a Mapnews report stated BAM’s mooted regulatory framework for cryptocurrencies is expected to strike a balance between the need to foster innovation and the welfare of consumers.

In addition to addressing issues around the regulation of cryptocurrencies, Jouhari hinted that the framework being worked on will also see Morocco’s money laundering and anti-terrorism financing regulations being upgraded.

Bitcoin investment products saw record weekly outflows worth $453M, a report by CoinShares reveals. James Butterfill, the head of research at CoinShares, said these outflows were likely responsible for Bitcoin’s $17,760 price that weekend.

While all digital asset investment products faced a record-high $423 M weekly outflow, the outflows were mostly focused on Bitcoin. The $423 M outflows are the largest ever since the records have been maintained. The previous high was recorded in January of this year, which was valued at $198 M.

The outflows represented 1.3% of Assets Under Management, which is the third-highest AuM outflow ever.

Canada Record The Most Bitcoin Outflows

The CoinShares report reveals that the outflows were almost entirely from Canadian exchanges and one specific provider. Purpose Investments, a provider in Canada, saw a weekly outflow worth $490 M.

Canada was the only country to record a weekly outflow of $487 M. Rest of the countries combined had a weekly inflow of $65 M.

Members of the crypto community on Twitter have been left bewildered by the beleaguered Celsius Network continuing to pay weekly rewards despite pausing withdrawals two weeks ago.

As previously reported, crypto lending platform Celsius paused withdrawals on June 13 after citing extreme market conditions amid the current bear market. Reports soon followed that the firm was undergoing liquidity issues and may be heading toward insolvency, potentially putting users’ funds at risk.

Figures such as Simon Dixon, Bitcoin (BTC) OG and CEO and co-founder of online investment platform BnkToTheFuture, tweeted his bewilderment to his 59,300 followers on Monday over receiving nearly $4,000 worth of crypto rewards but being unable to withdraw them:

“Email on one of my accounts. Can’t withdraw but @CelsiusNetwork is still paying out. I’m curious if you think the rewards should still be coming? Thoughts?”

Upon searching “Celsius still paying” on Twitter, there are countless users raising questions over the lending platform, with some such as CryptoStylesUSA calling it “insulting” that Celsius continues to pay weekly rewards while keeping their “crypto hostage.”

BitcoinBTCUSD +0.27%  and other cryptocurrencies were lower on Tuesday as the digital asset space remained under pressure. Investors across asset classes remain downbeat, and the picture for crypto continues to look cloudy.

The price of Bitcoin fell 2% over the past 24 hours to $21,000. That’s less than one-third of the largest crypto’s all-time high near $69,000 in November 2021, but above its bottom of under $18,000 earlier this month.

 “Bitcoin has stabilized after a reaction to short-term oversold indications last week, supporting a short-term neutral bias within a bearish long-term trend,” said Katie Stockton, managing partner of technical research group Fairlead Strategies.

“Risk remains elevated given the recency of the major breakdown below $27,200, with intermediate- and long-term momentum still strongly negative,” Stockton added.

The government of Massachusetts has warned of the prevalence of cryptocurrency scams targeting the LGBTQIA+ community on social media, dating apps and elsewhere.

Scammers may be taking advantage of June being Pride Month to target this community, the Massachusetts Government said on Monday, citing a prior warning from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).

“Fraudsters may contact their victim impersonating a friend, partner, or family member asking for funds due to an emergency or debt,” according to the warning. “Alternatively, scammers will develop new relationships with their target, usually with romantic intentions to then receive monetary gifts and steal personal information.”

A “red flag” for such a scam would be a request of payment in cryptocurrency, it added.

Therefore warning signs to look out for include social media friend requests from new profiles or ones with minimal prior activity and matches on dating apps that move quickly but refuse in-person connection.

At the start of this month, the FTC produced analysis saying consumers had lost over $1 billion in crypto-linked fraud from January 2021 through to March this year. Romance scams was in the top three most prevalent types of fraud alongside bogus investment schemes and business/government impersonation frauds.

As the bear market continues, announced Monday that it is removing 15 cryptocurrencies from its Crypto Earn rewards program.

Dogecoin (DOGE), Shiba Inu (SHIB), Tezos (XTZ), and FLOW are among those being removed, but added Zilliqa (ZIL), Fantom (FTM), and NEAR to the list. is also modifying the reward rates for five different stablecoins: TGBP, TAUD, TCAD, TUSD, and USDP (Paxos USD), which are digital assets pegged to the British Pound, Australian Dollar, Canadian Dollar, and US Dollar. Reward rates for other cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, Ethereum, Polygon, Avalanche, and Solana remain unchanged.

The company didn’t say in its announcement why it removed those particular tokens; Decrypt has reached out for further comment.

Response to the news was mixed, with many users saying on Twitter that it was “a shame” that Shiba Inu and Dogecoin rewards were no longer an option.

Others said that the exchange’s interest rates were so low that they were comparable to a traditional bank. “Not worth to lockup any funds!” One Bitcoin holder said.

The NFT market is facing a slump phase that is affecting prices and the popularity of NFT projects recently. However, there are projects that have managed to stay afloat and even thrive. One of them is Cryptoys, an NFT startup that has announced the completion of a successful funding round.

The Series A funding round, which raised $23 million, was led by a16z crypto, with the participation of other companies and firms including Mattel, Dapper Labs, Draper & Associates, Acrew Capital, Coinfund, Animoca Brands, and Sound Ventures.

The company will use these funds to further develop its own platform, dubbed “cryptoyverse,” which aims to entice a younger crown to engage with NFTs and play-to-earn services on top of the Flow blockchain, the same tech used by Dapper Labs to deploy its well known NBA Top Shot app.

About the inclusion of younger users in this play-to-earn and gaming platform, Cryptoys’ CEO Will Weinraub stated:

You have to take a step back from all of this Web3 maximalism. You’ve got to take baby steps to getting millions and millions of people to these new paradigms.

  1. Bitcoin mining revenue mirrors 2021 lows, right before BTC breached $69K

Bitcoin (BTC) visiting the $20,000 range after one and a half years made mining — the most important job of the ecosystem — a costly affair. However, if history were to repeat itself, BTC investors may witness another epic bull run that previously helped Bitcoin reach an all-time high of $69,000.

Changes in Bitcoin prices directly impact the miners’ income, who earn fixed block rewards and transaction fees in BTC for running their mining operations. In June 2022, the total mining revenue dipped below the $20 million range, with data recording the lowest dip of $14.401 million on June 17.

The recent dip in Bitcoin mining revenue was last seen one year back when the total value tanked to $13.065 million on June 27, 2021 — back when BTC traded at roughly $34,000. What followed after that was Bitcoin’s five-month-long epic bull run, which was supported by pro-crypto initiatives such as El Salvador’s BTC acceptance and crypto-friendly regulations across the globe.