Crypto Highlights: PayPal BTC record trading volume at Binance.US, Bitcoin ATMs up by 85% this year, $7.6B stolen in crypto since 2011, Value DeFi protocol hacked, Yet another BCH fork: There is more in this week’s crypto highlights.
Top Crypto Headlines By Crypto Gator
Top Stories Across The Industry
The other day it was a bank in Singapore, now Belarus is in the news; has the institutional ‘FOMO’ already begun?
The largest bank in Belarus, BelarusBank has just announced launching cryptocurrency exchange services. The services adopted aim at facilitating access to the use of cryptocurrencies. It allows one to easily buy BTC (Bitcoin) in exchange for Fiat currencies such as the US dollar (USD), Russian Ruble (RUB) and Belarusian Ruble(BYN).
Belarusbank transacts based on the optimum market price at the time of transaction. Details of service as reported on Whitebird’s website states that the service will be conducted online. Purchases and sales procedures will be carried out using Visa payment cards.
“Trading Bitcoin using Euros will soon be added to the list” says BelarusBank.
A local media source reveals that services were initially targeting citizens of Russia and Belarus. However, plans are on-going to expand its customer base in the future. BelarusBank further plans to engage Whitebird to support the bank in providing other cryptocurrencies related services to its customers.
DeFi hacks have been on the rise in 2020, from bZx protocol hack to Akropolis. Now Value DeFi is in the headlines for the wrong reasons.
Value DeFi lost $6 million dollars to flash loan exploiter. On Friday, a thread on Twitter showed a complicated manipulation of flash loans by an attacker who made away with an estimated six million dollars.
Emilio Frangella called attention to a huge loan request of 80,000ETH from Aave amounting to about $36 Million on November 14th, 2020. “This is the most complex exploit I’ve ever seen”, says self-described whitehat hacker and co-founder of DeFi Italy.
Value DeFi token plunged 25% from 2.73 to 2.01 at press time due to exploitation. In this incident Multi Stable vault pricing loopholes were exploited to the tune of $6million. Community discord acknowledged the exploit and had asked for some time to work on the MultiStable vault fixes.
Attackers spent $0.31ETH from profits made, to send a message to the protocol deployer’s address, saying: “Do you really know flash loans?” As attacks on DeFi increases, Stani Kulechov of Aave commented on Twitter that “building resilient DeFi is becoming difficult”.
Within the last year, the financial world has experienced a boom in decentralized finance or DeFi with over $13 billion in TVL(Total value locked). As a technology framework, DeFi has demonstrated to the world its staggering potential to revolutionize access to business loans.
DeFi protocol offers a win-win solution for both crypto holders through incentivization mechanisms, yield farming and for borrowers through access to loans with friendly terms.
First, high volatility and over-collateralization posed significant challenges to DeFi loaning. Collateral volatility led to a loss of $6.5million DAI for MAKER alone and there may be similar occurrences in the future. Secondly, the inability of traditional businesses to borrow from DeFi as well as the real cash flow behind protocol tokens poses a major setback.
Going forward, speculators believe that the DeFi market is in desperate need of rebuilding infrastructures and systems that can bridge the gap with traditional businesses. There needs to be a seamless interconnection between DeFi and CeFi for the decentralized products to strive better in the financial market.
Since Bitcoin Cash forked out of Bitcoin, the crypto asset has been caught in a web of multiple forks arising due to one controversy or the other. After the BSV split, BCH has opened up for yet another fork.
The highly controversial hard folk of the (BCH) Bitcoin cash blockchain has now finally been executed. A report on this says, “currently there is a clear winner in the dispute between the developer teams of Bitcoin Cash (BTC ABC) and Bitcoin Cash Node (BCHN).
A peep into the hash rate of both parties BCH, ABC and BCHN shows that BCHN is the winner with all 73 blocks mined through the use of a BCHN software mining pool.
Bitcoin Cash Node’s victory was expected even prior to the Bitcoin Cash hard fork, 88% of miners already declared support to Roger Ver, Chief developer of the BCHN. More so, major exchanges like Coinbase also declared their support for BCHN.
Dispute Behind the Hard Fork
The dispute resulted in a fork centered on the “Coinbase Rule”, which states that 8% of Mined BCH be directed to Bitcoin ABC to finance the development of the protocol. Roger Ver regards the Coinbase rule visual as a soviet-style central planner’s dream come true and as such he was against it.
Over $7.6 billion worth of cryptocurrencies have allegedly been stolen since 2011 by two predictable bucket names; Hacks and Scams. According to a report, $2.8 billion has been stolen via Hacks totaling about 113 attacks, with the largest being the Coincheck hack in 2018 with about $535 million worth of NEM Coin.
The United States, United Kingdom, China, Japan, and South Korea have experienced the highest number of exchange security breaches, where the United States is leading with about 13 targeted attacks. Crystal blockchain has identified 23 prominent fraudulent schemes with $4.8 billion stolen via scams.
$7.6 billion is the total rough estimate of crypto assets stolen in the past 10 years, where China is leading the pack in terms of its major counterparts. Sadly, the number of sophisticated hacks and scams only stand to increase as the years go by.
Across the globe, Bitcoin automated teller machine installations surged this year due to the coronavirus-induced need for contactless transactions. The number of BTC ATMs increased by 85% bringing the total to 11798, as reported by Coin ATM Radar.
In another report by Global Trade Magazine, reveals an expanding adoption of Bitcoin as the fear of coronavirus infection accelerates market growth. Bitcoin ATMs allow for transactions using credit or debit cards, through both mobile or computer devices.
Well over 800 BTC ATMs have been installed in October in the US only and more countries are likely to follow suit. This drives increased participation and use in cryptocurrencies the world over as Bitcoin marches stronger than ever towards mainstream adoption. With giant companies like PayPal now lending their support, cryptocurrencies are well set to step into the next wave of mass adoption.
You cannot keep the world of Decentralized Finance out of the spotlight. DeFi has managed to record a thumping 55% growth in the total no. of users within the past six weeks in spite of the huge losses experienced in the last month. Largely due to the negativity around DeFi, many critics hastily wrote off the “DeFi bubble”. Measuring metrics however proves that the industry sustained a sector-wide growth.
Crypto markets data aggregator Dune analytics noted that the total number of unique DeFi users increased roughly ten times over compared to statistics from last year. To give some perspective, 85,000 new users were found added to the existing number of DeFi users within the first two weeks of November 2020.
Compound and Dydx are among DeFi’s strongest gainers in recent times. Uniswap has also expanded rapidly as the number of pairing rose by 34%. Uniswap, Curve, Sushiswap and Ox makeup for more than 91% of total Decentralised Exchanges.
American users are closing in on a record $25 million trading volume in Binance.US exchange, within just one month of PayPal’s crypto service launch. On 13th November, PayPal lifted the waitlist period for its US-based customers.
PayPal began crypto offerings in collaboration with Paxos in October. Daily trade volume on Paxos trading service, ItBit exchange rose about four times within November. Following PayPal’s crypto launch, $30 million USD in day trades were recorded bringing PayPal to the front pages of major media and news platforms.
However, PayPal still needs to cover significant ground, before it can comfortably pick up competition with exchanges like Kraken and Coinbase Pro where the daily trading volume exceeds $500 million. PayPal may however unlock the next phase of cryptocurrency mainstream adoption through its pool of 364 million retail users as operational services kick off in the US.
At this moment, PayPal supports only four cryptocurrencies: Litecoin, Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, and Ethereum. There are plans to expand across Europe than to go global by making its service available to all PayPal users.
What has to be mentioned is that PayPal does not allow users to withdraw their cryptocurrency from their platform, effectively defeating the whole purpose of purchasing cryptocurrencies through PayPal. Furthermore, PayPal has a track record of freezing accounts with no warning, leaving some clients with no recourse to dispute PayPal’s decision and potentially leaving some clients with major losses.
As stated previously in our post titled “4 Best Practices To Follow In Securing Your Cryptocurrency Holdings”, if you do not own the keys to your cryptocurrency wallet(s), you might as well consider the cryptocurrency as not yours. Therefore it is wisest to purchase cryptocurrencies through an exchange like Binance which lets you withdraw your crypto to your own personal wallet address.