Some big events are about to come for us. Several threats are lurking, but new projects and more bullish perspectives are on the way too. Let’s check how this August was in the crypto industry.
On the markets
- BitcoinBitcoin is the first decentralized digital currency. It was created in 2009, by an anonymous founder or group of founders... More (BTCAn abbreviation for Bitcoin.) decreased by over 11% during August 2022 [CMC]. The investment management giant BlackRock adopted it anyway, while the U.S. inflation slowed briefly. That led the price to over $25,000 per coin, but it was fleeting. Other factors, like the rising inflation in Europe, a potential conflict between U.S. and China over Taiwan, and the Mt. Gox BTC distribution, sent the price to $19,000. Now, the currency it’s struggling to keep a $20,100 mark.
- Ethereum (ETH) is about to change its system to Proof-of-Stake (PoS) through The Merge in September. In the wake of this event, this crypto briefly increased by 27% but ended August 2022 in decline. Ethereum Classic (ETC), which will keep the Proof-of-Work (PoW) system, also experienced a brief increase, but it’s now in decline too. Several developers may be planning to fork the original chain (again).
- Two stablecoins lost their peg last month: Acala Dollar (aUSD) and HUSD (by Huobi). The first suffered a severe attack, which mined unlimited units of the coin and sent the price to zero. Even after fixing the issue, aUSD is barely at $0.68 per token. Meanwhile, HUSD had liquidity problems that sent it to $0.8. Now it’s traded at $0.99.
More crypto markets in August
- Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs) daily sales increased by over 32% [CryptoSlam]. Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC), Sorare, and CryptoPunks are the leading collections. The Total Value Locked (TVL) in crypto DeFi projects, on the other hand, decreased by 7.4% in August. The current leaders here are MakerDAO (MKR), Lido (LDO), and Aave (AAVE) [DeFi Llama].
- Beyond Crypto, the European Statistical Office (Eurostat) announced an estimate of 9.1% annual inflation in August 2022. The euro lost its parity with the dollar. In the U.S., some experts say that “leading indicators suggest a recession is now more likely than not” [Comerica]. The war in Ukraine seems far from ending, and China is facing a crisis in the real estate industry. All this could keep hitting the crypto market.
- Despite the bad news, there were some bullish coins in August. EOS rebranded to Antelope, along with Telos, Wax, and UX Network. That pumped the coin by over 63%. Other gainers included Shiba Inu (+45%), Chiliz (+42%), and BNB (+8%).
Regulations on crypto
- U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is after crypto businesses in the country. They’re investigating Coinbase, Binance, and most crypto exchanges while enforcing major rewards to report offenders. They also accused the Dapp Forsage of fraud, and their lawsuit against Ripple continues —with unfavorable results for the government agency.
- On August 8, the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) banned the crypto mixer Tornado Cash. They allege that around $7 billion have been laundered using this service, including criminal funds from North Korean hackers. Other sources argue the opposite. However, they arrested the suspected developer of the app in Amsterdam. Europe didn’t ban this service, though.
- The European Union (EU) is preparing a new regulatory entity to supervise the crypto businesses that offer “high-risk” services, such as Tornado Cash. Dubbed Anti-Money Laundering Authority (AMLA), it could take some time to be established. The MiCA law for crypto assets is also in progress.
- Iran and Kazakhstan keep hostilities against non-registered Bitcoin miners. Since March 2021, the first country has seized over 9,400 mining machines —due to a lack of licenses. In August, Kazakhstan arrested a gang suspected of forcing IT experts to run an illegal crypto mining operation. Beyond them, Paraguay’s government chose not to approve the previously proposed regulation for crypto mining.
Hacks and security
- Only during August, over $211.2 million were stolen from crypto platforms [DeFiYield]. The most serious attack was on the ETH bridge Nomad, with $190 million stolen and $36.3 returned. It follows the Solana Slope WalletA crypto wallet is a user-friendly software or hardware used to manage private keys. There are software wallets for desktop... More (Exploit – $5.2 million from users), ZBExchange (Exploit – $4.7 million), and Dragoma (Exit scam – $3.5 million). Most of the attacked platforms were in the BSC, though.
- The new malware SOVA is targeting crypto apps on Android, especially Binance and Trust Wallet. The threat emulates these apps (over 200) to attract victims and, once installed, starts to steal valuable information —from passwords to private keys. It also includes now a ransomware feature capable to encrypt the files on the phone.
- Crypto projects are being scammed with deepfakes; it was revealed in August. A supposed member of a crypto exchange (p/e Binance) gets in touch with them through a video call, where they really look like the original staff member —thanks to the deepfake. Then, they proceed to ask for a fee to list their token in the exchange.
- Over 8,000 crypto ATMs from General Bytes are at attack risk. A malicious hacker discovered an exploit that let them steal the coins deposited by the users. This company has crypto ATMs across 120 countries. Luckily, they already released the solution, but it should be implemented by the ATM operators, locally.
- The DeFi platform Aave is preparing its own stablecoin. Dubbed GHO, the users will have the possibility to mine it with proper collateral, and it’ll gain yield for them. Its system will be very similar to DAI from MakerDAO.
- Craig Wright “won” a libel lawsuit against the developer Peter McCormack, who called him a fraud (for affirming to be Satoshi NakamotoThe inventor of Bitcoin, which might be one person or a group of people who released the original Bitcoin whitepaper... More) back in 2019. A British court granted Wright the sum of £1 ($1.18 or around 0.0000553 BTC). McCormack started a crowdfunding campaign to cover this fee —as another joke.
- Bitcoin cities are quickly spreading worldwide. Among the new Bitcoin Citadels we have Valley of Angels (Honduras), Bitcoin Ekasi (South Africa), Aleph Citadel (Argentina), Blockchain Valley (Bulgaria), and at least 13 locations in Peru from the initiative “Pay with Bitcoin” by the NGO Motiv.
- In the wake of the ETH Merge, Justin Sun (TRON founder) announced that he will donate forked ETH coins to anyone who wants to split the Ethereum network. Some developers may have that intention, so, this could be seen as an incentive to do it.
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