Blockchain This Week – Crypto Winter’s Ripple Effects, Yam Thwarts Attack, CryptoPunk Sells for 26M, “You Have Been Served” Via NFT, Web3 Venture Investing Grows

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Celsius Files for Bankruptcy

Earlier this week, embattled New Jersey based crypto lender Celsius replaced the law firm Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP hired last month with lawyers from Kirkland & Ellis LLP. Then, they cleared their outstanding DeFi debt after recovering 400,000 Staked Ethereum, which was collateral for its loan on Aave, by repaying $81.6 million in USDC. Celsius also paid back $50 million in DAI to Compound in return for its close to $200 million worth of wrapped bitcoin as collateral.

Meanwhile, the Vermont Department of Financial Regulation labeled Celsius as “deeply solvent,” urging investors to exercise caution. But the week culminated with Celsius finally filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York. It also announced that it had initiated a financial restructuring. The filing shows that the company owes clients and creditors $5.5 billion while it has $4.3 billion worth of assets, leaving a gaping hole of $1.2 billion.

OpenSea Lays Off 20% of Staff

NFT marketplace OpenSea’s CEO Devin Finzer took to Twitter to announce the layoff of 20% of OpenSea’s workforce due to an “unprecedented combination of crypto winter and broad macroeconomic instability.” He claims that this layoff would help the company weather the winter for the next five years without any further downsizing.

3AC Drama Continues

Earlier this week, Su Zhu, one of the founders of the beleaguered crypto hedge fund Three Arrows Capital (3AC), posted screenshots of two recent emails from Advocatus Legal LLP, legal councilors for 3AC, to British Virgin Islands court appointed 3AC liquidators. The first letter accuses the liquidators, Russell Crumpler and Christopher Farmer, of “baiting” the founders of 3AC. And the second one blames them for not exercising an agreed StarkWare token offer that supposedly resulted in 3AC losing substantial value. Meanwhile, founders Su Zhu, Kyle Davies, and their families have reportedly received threats of physical violence.

On the lawsuit front, a New York bankruptcy judge has granted the liquidators complete control of 3AC’s US assets and authorized them to issue subpoenas to the founders. Furthermore, 3AC liquidators are also working on getting Singapore courts to recognize the British Virgin Islands liquidation order to preserve the company’s Singapore assets. 

Yam Blocks $3M Hack

The Yam Finance team disclosed that it had successfully thwarted a malicious governance attack that attempted to take over the project’s $3.1 million treasury. As per Yam’s report, an attacker issued a governance proposal with a spam description. The malicious actor then voted for the proposal using 224,739 YAM tokens, which is sufficient to reach a consensus. Fortunately, before the execution of this vote, the Yam team was able to cancel the proposal.

Uniswap Users Lose Funds to a Phishing Scam

Using a fraudulent free airdrop as bait, hackers managed to rob Uniswap platform users of nearly 7,500 Ether worth close to $8 million. Users were promised an airdrop of 400 UNI tokens and were asked to connect their wallets and sign the airdrop transaction. After which, hackers grabbed the users’ tokens using a malicious smart contract.

Crypto Roller Coaster Ride Continues

Earlier this week, the Consumer Price Index (CPI), which is an indicator of inflation, rose 9.1% YoY, beating the analyst expectations of 8.8%. This worse than expected report prompted a downturn in the crypto market, with bitcoin plummeting to $19K. The very next day, crypto markets turned green with DeFi tokens Aave, Uniswap, and Curve leading the pack. Bitcoin, too, seems to have detached itself from the stock market downtrend and rose to $21,138.24.

Serve Legal Notice as NFT

It seems like people and businesses in the UK can now serve legal notices via NFTs. A UK court has granted the firm Giambrone & Partners LLP consent to serve legal documents to an unidentified individual via an NFT airdrop to the defendant’s crypto wallet, accusing them for the loss of crypto funds.

A $2.6M CryptoPunk

A rare CryptoPunk, 32nd rarest in the 10,000 collection, was sold for 2,500 ether, worth around $2.6 million at the time of sale. The sale of this NFT was the fifth largest in the CryptoPunk collection’s history.

Gnosis Rebrands, Raises Money

Digital asset management firm, Gnosis Safe, has rebranded as Safe after spinning off from parent company Gnosis after a community vote in April. Furthermore, it has raised $100 million to build an adaptable multi wallet ecosystem. The funding round was led by crypto fund 1kx and had 63 other contributors.

Multicoin’s Venture Fund III

Multicoin Capital, the crypto firm investing in web3 and DeFi ventures, announced its third venture fund worth $430 million. Multicoin plans to use the fund to invest in projects that are looking to reshape consumer markets.

Animoca Raises $75M

Animoca Brands, which has historically invested in web3 firms such as Dapper Labs and NBA Top Shots, has raised $75 million at a valuation of $5.9 billion. According to the statement issued, Animoca plans to use the funds for acquisitions, investments, and IPs to further promote metaverse into the mainstream.

Magic Eden Launches Gaming Ventures

Solana NFT marketplace Magic Eden has launched Magic Ventures, an investment arm, which will focus on strategic investments in the web3 gaming sector. It has also hired Tony Zhao from Chinese gaming giant Tencent to head its gaming investments. 

Lightspeed Raises $7B

Lightspeed Venture Partners revealed that it had closed its latest funding round that has added $7 billion more across four funds focusing on early and growth stage web3 companies. Additionally, it unveiled Lightspeed Faction, an independent crypto native team building on Lightspeed’s nine year legacy.

Putin Bans Digital Payments

Russia President Vladimir Putin signed legislation that bans the use of digital securities and utility tokens as means to pay for goods and services in the country. This law was earlier passed by the Duma, Russian Assembly, last week.

NYDIG Brings Bitcoin to Yankees

Financial services firm NYDIG has partnered with MLB team New York Yankees to enable the players to convert part of their salary to bitcoin. Players can use NYDIG’s Bitcoin Savings Plan (BSP) to allocate a portion of their paycheck to bitcoin.

Disney’s Accelerator Program

This year’s Walt Disney Company’s accelerator class would focus on creating immersive experiences with technologies such as NFTs, AI, and AR. To that effect, Disney has selected web3 companies Polygon, Inworld, and Flickplay alongside AI and AR firms, Inworld, Obsess, and Red 6.

Samsung Launches Space Tycoon

Electronics giant Samsung has launched Space Tycoon, a virtual experience built on Roblox world. In this metaverse, users can build Samsung products from scratch by picking up their core components. This virtual world will also have a shop for buying in game items.

GameStop’s NFT Marketplace

Video game retailer GameStop has launched an NFT marketplace in beta, which currently supports artworks as NFTs, but will soon add video game items. This marketplace is hosted on Ethereum mainnet and a layer 2 scaling platform, Loopring. Within two days of its launch, the GameStop marketplace had moved over 3,000 ether, nearly twice the all time trading volume on three month old Coinbase NFT platform.


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