11 Feb 2022
. 5 min read
Get your daily, bite-sized digest of cryptoasset and blockchain-related news – investigating the stories flying under the radar of today’s crypto news.
Intel intends to contribute to the development of blockchain technologies, with a roadmap of energy-efficient accelerators that will ship this year, Raja M. Koduri, Senior Vice President General Manager at Intel, said in a blog post today. “Argo Blockchain, BLOCK (formerly known as Square), and GRIID Infrastructure are among our first customers for this upcoming product,” Koduri said. The company expects that their circuit innovations will deliver a blockchain accelerator that has over 1000x better performance per watt than mainstream GPUs for SHA-256 based mining. Intel has also formed the new Custom Compute Group, responsible for building “custom silicon platforms optimized for customers’ workloads, including blockchain and other custom accelerated supercomputing opportunities at the edge.”Digital asset miner Merkle Standard and Bitcoin mining hardware manufacturer Bitmain formed a joint venture to develop up to 500 MW of clean digital mining infrastructure. Upon full development, the data center could support the deployment of over 150,000 mining machines. The joint venture will run exclusively Bitmain mining equipment, the company said.
Dara Khosrowshahi, CEO of Uber, told Bloomberg TV that the American mobility as a service provider giant will accept crypto ‘at some point’. Exactly a year ago, he also didn’t rule out the possibility of Uber eventually accepting cryptocurrencies as payment.Out of 100,000 hires in more than 150 countries that global payrolls and hiring company Deel has been involved with over the past six months, about 2% opted to take at least part of their salaries in currencies not backed by a sovereign, the firm’s data show, per Bloomberg. Bitcoin (BTC) accounted for about two-thirds of the crypto payments since Deel began offering that option in July last year, it added.Canadian rapper Drake placed a series of bets on the upcoming Super Bowl game using BTC worth CAD 1.6m (USD 1.3m) in total through the online betting app Stake. Drake’s total payout could reach CAD 2.9m (USD 2.3m), according to the valuation of BTC by the app at the time his bets were placed.
Canadian Conservative lawmaker Michelle Rempel Garner recommended that prime minister Justin Trudeau’s finance minister begin setting up a national framework for cryptoassets to woo investors, per Bloomberg. Though the nation “should be attracting billions of dollars of investment in this fast-growing industry,” it’s instead losing talent to Europe and the US, she added.Gyorgy Matolcsy, the chief of Hungary’s central bank, said he supports banning crypto trading and mining in the EU on the grounds that it could “service illegal activities and tend to build up financial pyramids.” Matolcsy proposed instead that EU citizens and companies would be allowed to own cryptoassets outside the EU and regulators would track their holdings.
Criminals netted USD 1.3bn in ransom payments from hacking victims in the past two years, according to crypto forensics firm Chainalysis.This number is separated into USD 602m in payments in 2021 and USD 692m in 2020, but the 2021 figure is expected to increase and surpass 2020 as additional information becomes available.Cross-chain DeFi and NFT tool DEGO Finance was exploited on February 10, draining the network for over USD 10m. Blockchain security and analytics company PeckShield added that the exploiters withdrew more than USD 10m from Dego Finance as well as from GameFi Incubator Cocos-BCX.Funds held in Atomic Wallet, a crypto wallet that supports over 300 coins and tokens, may be at risk, according to a security audit conducted by Least Authority. They added that a “significant” number of issues remained unresolved even after they’d contacted Atomic Wallet and warned users against using their services.Developers from the Ethereum (ETH) Layer 2 scaling project Optimism announced that a “critical bug” had been identified and subsequently patched earlier this month. The bug, which could have enabled hackers to create as much ETH in an Optimism account balance as they wished, was first discovered by white-hat hacker and iOS jailbreak software Cydia developer Jay Freeman, who received a bounty of USD 2m for his efforts.The MakerDAO community behind the Maker (MKR) project announced that it will begin offering a maximum of USD 10m bounty on bug bounty platform Immunefi to those who point out legitimate security threats in its smart contracts. Whitehat hackers stand to gain payouts ranging from USD 1,000 for low-level vulnerabilities to a maximum of USD 10m for critical issues found in Maker’s smart contracts and apps, while the payouts will be made in DAI stablecoins.
South Korea’s USD 200bn sovereign wealth fund Korea Investment Corp. (KIC) plans to boost investments in Silicon Valley startups as it looks to the metaverse and artificial intelligence to accelerate its expansion in alternative assets, per Bloomberg.Integrated platform Coinbase Primeannounced it has empowered OneRiver Digital Assessment Management to offer wealth managers direct access to ONE Digital SMA, a suite of digital investment strategies and indexes in a separately managed account (SMA) platform. Coinbase Prime worked with OneRiver Digital to map investment processes, operational workflows, security requirements, and permissions to create a solution for institutions, they said.Smart contract hub Astar Network announced a USD 100m Astar Boost Program, which is a fund for liquidity providing, financial support, an incentive program, and more. They added that the program was made to support more DeFi users and DeFi projects who want to build on Astar Network.Fraud and compliance platform Sardine raised USD 19.5m in a Series A funding round led by Andreessen Horowitz (a16z). The capital should be used for product development and hiring in the coming months, while a16z General Partner Angela Strange will join the Sardine board of directors as part of the investment.Metaverse land investor Everyrealm, known as Republic Realm before their rebranding,raised USD 60m in a Series A funding round led by a16z. The rebranding is a partial spin-off from their parent company Republic, a multi-asset private investing marketplace.
Crypto mining rig manufacturer Ebang registered a crypto exchange called Ebonex Australia with the Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre. The approval was completed on December 3rd 2021 and is expected to add “substantial value” to the company, per Dong Hu, Chairman and CEO.
The CEO of the bogus South Korean crypto exchange VGlobal has been handed a 22-year prison sentence and ordered to pay USD 89m worth of damages after he was convicted of running a multi-level fraud ring disguised as a trading platform. As reported, prosecutors and victims had both pushed for a life sentence judgment. Per Chosun, six other senior executives were also found guilty of fraud and given jail terms of 4-14 years, as well as substantial fines.
Amrapali “Ami” Gan, CEO of the online subscription platform known for adult content OnlyFans, told Reuters that the platform will enable creators to set NFTs as their profile pictures. OnlyFans will only support NFTs minted on the Ethereum blockchain.
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