Blockchain This Week – Crypto Recruitments, Solana and Apes, Diffused Heist, TikTok and Blockchain

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Walmart Seeks Crypto Lead

This week was positive for mainstream adoption of crypto. Earlier this week, one of the largest retailers in the US, Walmart, is hiring a digital and cryptocurrency product lead. This new role involves driving the retail giant’s digital currency strategy and identifying crypto partnerships.

Lloyds Bank Looking for Digital Currency Head

It seems like banks and other financial institutions are also seeking ways to penetrate the crypto market. In one such attempt, the British retail bank Lloyds Banking Group is looking to hire a “digital currency and innovation, senior manager.” The one selected would be required to explore investment opportunities around crypto.

Solana Jumps High

This week, SOL, the native token of Solana Blockchain, reached an all time high of $81.25, gaining over 78.5% in the last week. This dramatic rise is mainly attributed to the NFT project Degenerate Ape Academy that launched on Solana earlier this week. A collection of 10,000 unique images of cartoon apes sold out within eight minutes into the launch, spiking the trade volumes on the platform.

Poly Network Saga Continues

Following the 600 million dollar heist of last week, DeFi protocol Poly Network plans to launch a $500,000 rewards program on bug bounty platform ImmuneFi. Meanwhile, the ostensible white hat hacker(s) is yet to return $141 million of the stolen funds as they are holding up on turning over the final key for the multi-sig wallet. 

Moreover, these attackers are now eager to accept the $500,000 bounty offered by Poly Network, but plan to use it to pay anyone else who can hack the DeFi site. The DeFi network claims they have sent the bounty to the hackers but are yet to receive the keys.

$350 Million Heist Averted

This week supposedly, yet another multi million hack was averted, thanks to a bunch of white hat hackers from the crypto community. This group, led by Sam Sun, a research partner of Paradigm crypto firm, discovered and patched a bug on Miso, a fundraising platform of SushiSwap, all within five hours. As a result, SushiSwap says, no funds were lost. Otherwise, an estimated $350 million would have been lost.

#RewardsNotRansom

The attendees of the cybersecurity conference “Black Hat” in Las Vegas were greeted by an open WiFi network called #RewardsNotRansom. Anyone accessing it was led to a page that heralded the US State Department’s new $10 million bounty initiative. Informants can choose to be paid in cryptocurrency for the information they have about the hackers.

Antinalysis Cut Off From Data Source

A dark web tool Antinalysis that enables criminals to check how risky it is to cash out a particular stash of illicit Bitcoin, had to shut down this week. Antinalysis was relying on the data from the anti money laundering software AML Bot for the risk analysis reports. Once AML Bot cut off this service, the dark web tool had a little option left to continue its services.

Galaxy Digital

Galaxy Digital, the crypto trading firm, had two crypto fund related announcements this week. First, it has filed with the US regulators for an ETF that will invest in Bitcoin futures. Furthermore, it has also launched a DeFi index fund that aims to give institutional investors exposure to a basket of DeFi tokens.

Wells Fargo Files for a Bitcoin Fund

Banking giant Wells Fargo registered a private Bitcoin fund with the US regulators this week. This fund aims to provide the wealthiest clients an opportunity to invest indirectly in crypto. It is collaborating with NYDIG and FS Investments on this offering.

Bank of Korea’s CBDC on Samsung Galaxy Phones

The Bank of Korea is launching a new CBDC pilot on Galaxy smartphones of tech giant Samsung Electronics. The central bank seeks to explore the possibility of making offline crypto payments in this trial.

Solve CAPTCHA to Earn Crypto

Identifying images with cars and bikes to gain access to web pages has always been arduous, dredging tasks to users. But, what if you could make money while doing so? Human Protocol, the tech firm behind hCaptcha, has launched a CAPTCHA web application that allows users to earn HMT tokens for solving these challenges.

World Mobile to Use Crypto for Internet in Africa

World Mobile, the UK based telecoms company, is building a mobile mesh network to bring internet connectivity to the scores of people who are still not online, starting with African nations. To raise money for this venture, it launched World Mobile Token (WMT), a utility token on Cardano Blockchain, in July that has now raised over $39 million.

Crypto Recovery

Several cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin, Ether, and ADA, saw a spectacular rise in their price this week. Bitcoin got closer to the $50K mark and reached $49,362.74 yesterday. Meanwhile, Ether slumped below $3K briefly before rising to $3,307.31 and now remained buoyed at that level. But, the highest jump was in the price of Cardano network’s native token ADA. This week, it reached an all time high of $2.58.

Sports and Crypto

EPL Players to Sport DOGE Logo

The meme currency Dogecoin is the shirt sleeve sponsor for the 2021-22 season of the English Premier League football team, Watford Football Club. Hence, the players of this club will now wear the DOGE logo on their jersey sleeves.

Top NBA Pick to Be Paid in Crypto

Cade Cunningham, the top pick of the Detroit Pistons NBA team, has signed a sponsorship deal with crypto firm BlockFi. As per the deal, Cunningham will star in educational and promotional videos for BlockFi and will receive his signing bonus in Bitcoin. 

Topps Ends Plans to Go Public

Digital cards and collectibles business Topps put brakes on its plans to go public via a merger with a Special Purpose Acquisition Company (SPAC). This decision follows the loss of the exclusive licensing deal to make baseball cards with Major League Baseball and MLB players’ association.

Crypto Crimes and Lawsuits

Ipreo to Pay $142 Million to Symbiont

A Delaware state judge ruled this week that banking focused tech firm Ipreo LTS must pay at least $142 million to Symbiont in damages after finding that its acquisition by IHS Markit, a competitor, breached a non-compete agreement. Ipreo and Symbiont entered into the non-compete when they formed a joint venture, Synaps. Synaps aimed to use blockchain to transform the inefficient secondary market for syndicated loans. 

Mixing Service CEO Pleads Guilty

Larry Dean Harmon, the former chief of Helix, Bitcoin mixing service, has pleaded guilty to one count of money laundering in the US District Court of District of Columbia. The jailed CEO’s firm reportedly laundered over 354,468 BTC for drug vendors on several darknet sites between July 2014 and December 2017.

UK Police Want to Return Millions of Dollars Worth of Crypto

UK police are looking to return close to $22 million worth of stolen crypto recovered from the USB drives. The USB sticks belonged to scammers who tricked people into investing in what they assumed was a Binance Smart Chain service.

Swedish Government to Return Crypto Back to Drug Dealer

Authorities in Sweden are compelled to return 33 of the 36 Bitcoin seized from a drug dealer. The 36 Bitcoin were worth $150,000 when they were confiscated, but by the time the authorities auctioned them, it had appreciated so much that selling only three of them was sufficient for recouping the original amount. Hence, now the Swedish government is forced to return the rest of Bitcoin.

Liquid Exchange Gets Hacked

Japan’s crypto exchange Liquid Global suffered a hack this week that saw the attackers made away with close to $100 million. The platform’s Multi Party Computation (MPC) system reportedly was compromised to facilitate this attack. Warm Wallets were jeopardized, and the firm was moving the crypto to cold storage.

And Finally, TikTok Partners with Audius

The popular video sharing app TikTok has teamed up with the decentralized music streaming platform Audius in a first of its kind deal. As a result, any artist who is already on Audius can now upload their tracks and share them on TikTok.

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