News
22
Feb
crypto news review

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News Summary 2/22: OpenSea, Canada, BNB, Bitcoin and Ethereum

The popular NFT marketplace OpenSea was under a phishing attack. The Canadian authorities have frozen Bitcoin addresses and bank accounts of people supporting the protests. Binance rebranded its blockchain and Binance Coin. The stats of Bitcoin and Ethereum are looking good.

OpenSea users lost millions of dollars in a phishing attack

Ethereum-based OpenSea is by far the most popular NFT marketplace. Its trading volumes broke a new record in January. February has also been a strong month, although the biggest NFT boom seems to be calming down.

Now OpenSea is in the headlines for the wrong reasons. Its users have been subjected to a phishing attack. The damages are worth millions of dollars of Ether (ETH) as well as potentially up to $200 million worth of NFT art.

OpenSea founder Devin Finzer commented on the situation on Twitter:

It is known that a few dozen users were affected by the attack. The exact amount of NFT losses has not yet been published. However, it appears that the OpenSea site itself has not been hit.

The hack was quite cleverly done. The hacker had created a smart contract already a month ago. He (or she) also knew that an update was coming to OpenSea, which required users to accept a connection to a new smart contract with their wallets.

Unfortunate users linked their wallets to a scam smart contract, after which the hacker was able to steal their coins. For now, it is unclear how the phishing attack was carried out exactly.

OpenSea sent an email to its users about the new update, but this email was apparently totally valid. Users may also have been scammed through Telegram, Discord, or other social media platforms.

Such a scam is very typical in the world of cryptocurrencies. Think very carefully about which application you are giving access to your Web3 wallet. Even with a single wrong click, you can permanently lose your funds.

Canadian government tries to freeze cryptocurrency addresses

Canada has been in the headlines around the world in recent weeks. More specifically on social media, as the country’s shocking events are hardly covered in mainstream media. Western politicians have also stayed largely silent.

A Freedom Convoy protest has expanded from truckers to all citizens. The last time we wrote about this was two weeks ago. At that time the Canadian government blocked support for protesters through a crowdfunding service (GoFundMe). Bitcoin holders came to help and raised about $1 million for the protesters.

Now, this has led to new problems. The Canadian government has tried to freeze the Bitcoin accounts of individuals supporting the protesters. The government has contacted exchanges and other platforms in Canada.

One of such was the wallet software maker Nunchuk. Their response went viral on Twitter.

As the message says, Nunchuk cannot freeze a single Bitcoin address as the developer of the wallet software has no access to it. Nunchuk also doesn’t know which Bitcoin wallet belongs to who.

”Please look up how self-custody and private keys work.  When the Canadian dollar becomes worthless, we will be here to serve you, too.” Ouch!

The situation in Canada has awakened many to understand the value of Bitcoin. So far it has been seen in western countries mainly as a speculative asset “without any real use”. Many Canadians have woken up to the reality that their bank accounts can be frozen at any time. For a Bitcoin wallet, the situation is different.

The founder of the Kraken exchange, Jesse Powell, commented with a tweet that became very popular. Powell stated that the Kraken must obey any requests of the authorities and that the exchange cannot protect its users. Powell urged the funds to be transferred away from the exchange to people’s own wallets if being concerned about their safety.

Binance rebranded its blockchains

Binance is the market’s leading cryptocurrency exchange and is often in our news reviews. This time the news is about Binance’s blockchains and its native token. Binance announced a rebranding last week. It wants to drop the Binance name from both blockchains and from the Binance Coin.

Until now, Binance has had two blockchains: Binance Chain and Binance Smart Chain. The Binance CHain has had little use it also has quite limited functionality. The Binance Smart Chain, however, is a full-blooded smart contract platform that became very popular in 2021 thanks to PancakeSwap DEX.

In the future, Binance Chain and Binance Smart Chain will form a single entity called BNB Chain. Old Binance Chain will be a so-called governance layer, which includes staking. Binance Smart Chain runs smart contracts and other functions as it has done before. The new names for these blockchains are Beacon Chain and Smart Chain.

Check out a summary from The Defiant channel below.

And what about Binance Coin? Its ticker will continue to be the BNB, but the token is no longer called Binance Coin. From now on it will be just BNB. Binance says the abbreviation BNB comes from the words “Build and Build”.

Binance wants to underline the independence of its blockchains and the BNB token. There may also be a need to clarify the blockchain from the regulators’ point of view. The SEC, which oversees the U.S. securities market, has set its sights on the so-called DINO services.

DINO comes from the words Decentralized In Name Only. It refers to DeFi services, which call themselves decentralized but are in reality anything but decentralized.

Binance Smart Chain’s popularity has declined since the spring of 2021. It has lost popularity to Terra, Avalanche, Solana, and Fantom. Let’s see if the new branding has any impact on the status of the new BNB Chain.

Bitcoin and Ethereum networks break records

Bitcoin’s price has been on a low level for the past few months, but it’s not reflected in the network’s statistics. Many people believe that Bitcoin’s hash rate is the most important indicator. The Hash rate saw a huge drop last summer due to a mining ban in China. Now the situation is different.

At the beginning of January, Bitcoin’s network returned to the level it was before China’s ban. The year 2022 has strengthened this trend. The image below shows the seven-day average of the hash rate.

btc-hash-rate

Hash rate and Bitcoin’s price have correlated quite a lot in history. At the moment, they are going in a completely different direction. It is certain that Bitcoin’s opposite trend will not continue forever.

Ethereum is also moving in the right direction. The number of addresses with at least 0.1 ETH broke a new record of about 3.98 million. Because Ethereum is a smart contract platform and thrives through apps & users, this statistic is more relevant than hash rate.

However, one statistic is on a downward trend. This is a relief for all Ethereum users since gas fees are going down. According to Decrypt, the reason for this is the slowdown of the NFT market. Hopefully, this trend will continue for a little longer as Ethereum’s transaction fees have been terribly high for a long time.

Ethereum will move from the current Proof of Work consensus algorithm to the Proof of Stake consensus in the summer of 2022. This means that mining will come to an end. However, this does not yet increase Ethereum’s capacity to a new level. It won’t happen until next year when sharding is implemented. In the meantime, layer 2 solutions will have to provide scalability.

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