It’s not always sunny in Justin Sun’s world after another $115M was stolen from his crypto projects.
Never a dull moment in crypto!
Keep reading for the details you need to know…
Here’s what’s in today’s issue:
- Rebecca shares her thoughts on 3 major DeFi hacks, Bitcoin breaking new records, Binance users heading for the exits & the PYTH token airdrop.
- Altcoin alpha by David.
- This week’s airdrop by Jesse.
- Sam has an NFT report on Immutable.
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😱 3 Major DeFi Hacks
Another week and another bunch of hacks in DeFi land.
This week saw 3:
- HECO Chain bridge had over $85M stolen
- HTX exchange had $30M stolen
- KyberSwap DEX had $48M stolen. And 2 out of the 3 have Justin Sun in common…
1. HTX and HECO Chain bridge exploit
HTX exchange is Justin Sun’s rebranded Huobi, which saw hackers steal $30M. More than double the initially reported $13.6M.
The hack targeted the platform’s hot wallets.
This is now the second time it’s been hacked since its rebrand in September this year.
HTX has committed to fully compensating users for their losses.
But the big hack took place on the HECO cross-chain bridge.
HECO was a 2022 merger between Tron and BitTorrent’s bridge ecosystem. $86.6M was stolen from the bridge in what seems to be a compromised blockchain operator.
Let’s not forget about Poleniex’s $100M exploit on November 10. That’s 4 hacks in 2 months for Justin Sun…what is going on here?
2. KyberSwap DEX exploit
KyberSwap DEX has been drained of $48M across multiple blockchains.
It’s been mostly ETH, wETH, and USDC stolen. But the hacker also hit up Arbitrum, Optimism, Ethereum, Polygon, and Base.
The hack seems to have used an “infinite money glitch” to trick the smart contract in the platform’s concentrated liquidity feature to essentially double count.
It was a case of proving it worked on one chain, then rinse and repeat on others.
Once the money was long gone and armed with a sense of humor, the hacker started demanding payment for returning the funds. But only after some much-needed R+R…
A 10% bounty is on the table until 6am UTC on November 25…the saga continues.
👀 Bitcoin Breaks New Records
Bitcoin just broke two new records. One good, one bad.
Neither of those was a new all-time high in USD price. Not yet, anyway. So let’s get the bad news over with first…
Bad News: Largest transaction fee in Bitcoin’s history
Insane fee alert!
Block 818,087 has seen the largest BTC transaction fee to date. A Bitcoin whale accidentally paid $3.1 million in fees on a single transaction. That’s around 83 bitcoins.
The original transaction was for 139.42 bitcoins, meaning the sender overpaid by 120x. And the receiver of the Bitcoins got 40% less than expected. Ouch! That’s an incredibly costly mistake!
It’s those Bitcoin Ordinals sending the network silly.
But what is bad for users is good for the miners.
The block in which the insane fee was paid was mined by AntPool. Between the 6.25 BTC block reward and the 83 BTC transaction fee, this single block paid AntPool $3.42 million. Ker-ching!
This isn’t the only large fee we’ve seen recently. Paxos paid 19.82 BTC in fees back in September, around $500K. The miner of that block gave the fee back to Paxos.
Will Antpool be as nice?
Good news: Hash rate hit a new all-time high
We’re almost into December which means the Bitcoin halving is just 5 months away. Cue more miners coming online.
The total hash rate hit a new all-time high of 491 exahashes per second (TH/s).
This means the Bitcoin network is stronger than ever and more difficult to attack the network and take control.
The downside of this is that the miners may see increased costs, so the battle is on to see which ones make it to the other side after the halving.
🔄 Binance Out, Coinbase In
Binance users are heading for the exits.
With CZ out the door at Binance, the exchange saw over $1 billion in retail outflows in 24 hours. And that doesn’t include Bitcoin.
I guess the PTSD from FTX is still real for many.
After leaving Binance, it seems investors are seeking refuge on Coinbase instead. In the same timeframe, Coinbase’s reserves increased by 12,000 BTC whilst Binance’s reserves dropped by 5,000 BTC.
It makes sense, given that Coinbase has been named as the custodian in the various spot Bitcoin ETF applications.
But whilst it sounds like a lot, Binance remains the No.1 exchange for trading volume. By a mile.
So it’s not over yet for Binance. But if we do see multiple spot Bitcoin ETF applications approved, it could signal the end of Binance’s market dominance.
Either way, it’s clear that the big boys of TradFi are coming to switch things up.
🚀 PYTH Token Launches
There’s a new token in town! And it has something to do with two other altcoins that have rallied hard: SOL and LINK.
Pyth is an Oracle network that aims to compete with Chainlink. It was originally designed for Solana but has been built on its own network, Pythnet, based on Solana’s tech.
The PYTH token launched on November 20 with an airdrop. There were 250M tokens up for grabs through the airdrop, putting over $77M into the pockets of users who claimed.
PYTH’s total market value settled down at around $500M on the first day after a peak of $765M. As for the PYTH token, it burst onto the scene at around $0.54 before crashing down to $0.27 the same day.
It’s since doubled and climbed back to the $0.54 range.
So, is it a LINK killer?
Quite possibly, in the coming bull market.
Chainlink currently dominates the Oracle sector right now with a 45% market share. But, PYTH is superior in two areas: integrations and speed.
Pyth has 4 price feeds and is available on 40 blockchains vs. Chainlink’s 4 price feeds and 15 blockchains.
As PYTH is a Solana-based token, it’s got speed too! The bull market is going to be interesting!
Did you claim the Pyth airdrop? Reply to this email and let me know.
Existing Projects / Tokens
- Arkham [ARKM] has received a strategic investment from Binance Labs Fund. Arkham is an AI-powered blockchain analysis platform that provides in-depth information and visualization tools to better understand on-chain activity.
- Avalanche’s [AVAX] newest backer, Colony Lab, is investing $10 million in the network’s expansion. Over the past few months, the company purchased 500,000 AVAX worth approximately $8 million. The company plans to set up a network validator and build a tokenized index that tracks the value of popular Avalanche assets.
- Ethereum Name Service [ENS] is in the process of launching an EVM Gateway, which will improve interoperability between ETH L1s and L2s. ENS is a distributed naming system that converts human-readable ETH addresses into machine-readable alphanumeric codes for the purpose of making Ethereum easier to navigate for users.
- Kaspa [KAS] is now live on Rollbit for leverage trading. Kaspa has been crushing it this year as it’s up 2500% since January. Kaspa is a proof-of-work protocol that process blocks in parallel. Therefore, developers say the protocol is highly secure while also having a high TPS.
- PENDLE is receiving a strategic investment from the Spartan Group. Spartan Group says Pendle has transformative potential with advancing on-chain yield trading. Pendle is an ETH protocol that enables the tokenization and trading of future yield.
- Synthetix [SNX] V3 will soon be released. Developers say the upgrade will include expanded options for collateral deposits, cross-margin, account-based access, and liquidation upgrades (more options around liquidations).
Upcoming Projects / Tokens
- BLAST is a developing Ethereum L2 that offers native yield for ETH and stablecoins. Paradigm and StandardCrypto are the protocol’s primary backers. Currently, the L2 offers a one way bridge that locks all user funds for three months. Deposited ETH pays staking rewards via the BLAST token, which will officially launch in May of 2024.
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Pyth Network Mega Airdrop
Last week Premium Subscribers got early notice of an up-and-coming project called Pyth Network. At a glance, Pyth Network appears to be muscling in on Chainlink’s Oracle Services. While they are direct competitors for Oracle Data Sales, these two projects don’t have everything in common. For starters, Pyth is said to have faster Oracles. Tailor built for real-time feeds instead of Chainlink’s way of passing information when certain intervals are met. I’ll share with you a closer and more in-depth look at Pyth Network very soon.
In the meantime, if you’ve completed any interactions with Solana or EVM-based project like Arbitrum, Base, zkSync Era, Linea, BNB Chain, Polygon, Polygon zkEVM, Optimism, Aurora, Avalanche, Aptos, Sui, Evmos, Cosmos, Osmosis, Injective, and several other networks. You could be eligible to Claim the Pyth Network Airdrop. Over 90,000 wallets are eligible to claim their portion of the 600,000,000 PYTH Tokens, based on your on-chain activity across 27 different blockchains and over 200 decentralized applications. Making the Pyth Airdrop one of the largest this year.
The amount of PYTH you’re eligible to claim is based solely on your activity prior to September 1st, 2023. The eligibility period will remain open for users to Claim this PYTH Airdrop until Feb 18, 2024. Users in restricted countries will need to use a VPN to access the website and claim their PYTH tokens. I found success using endpoints in NZ to claim the drop. This will not be the final Airdrop for Pyth Network, only the first in a series of Airdrops. Pyth has already opened up the option to Stake your PYTH tokens and participate in the project’s governance. The unlocking period in place for stake’s is two epochs, with each epoch lasting one week. Governance participation will likely be a qualification or requirement for future drops. So even if you decide to liquidate your reward, staking a few dollar’s worth of PYTH is still a smart thing to do.
Web3 Gaming: What Is Immutable?
Immutable is a well-established, specialized option for Web3 gaming development, which contains two chains: the newer Immutable zkEVM option, and the original Immutable X.
Immutable has introduced Passport (a non-custodial wallet) and Checkout (an easy way of making purchases), and has partnerships with Ubisoft and AWS.
There are over 150 games building on Immutable, a native token (IMX), and there’s a strong emphasis on speed, scalability, and the creation of a smooth user experience.
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