Welcome to Around the Blockchain, Huobi Learn’s daily rundown of the crypto markets.
North Korean hackers stole almost $400 million in crypto through cyber attacks in 2021, according to new data from Chainalysis. The blockchain analytics firm also noted that only 20% of the stolen crypto was BTC, compared to nearly 100% in 2017, adding that “for the first time ever, Ether accounted for a majority of the funds stolen at 58%”. The 2021 DPRK attacks targeted mainly “investment firms and centralized exchanges” and used “phishing lures, code exploits, malware, and advanced social engineering” to steal the funds, which the UN Security Council believes the state used to evade economic sanctions and help fund nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programs.
The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) has submitted a report urging the courts to ban the use of all cryptocurrencies within the country, and requested that the Sindh High Court impose penalties on offenders. In later 2021, the Sindh High Court had requested for an inter-ministerial committee to submit a report to the court on how to legislate crypto. The report states that the risks of crypto, primarily money laundering and terrorism financing, far outweigh its benefits for Pakistan. The high court has asked the committee to submit the report to the law and finance ministries, who are to announce their final decision on 11 Apr. TV host and crypto entrepreneur Waqar Zaka has argued against this, and the court will resume hearing his petition on 12 Apr.
Block founder and CEO Jack Dorsey has confirmed that the company (previously known as Square) is “officially building an open bitcoin mining system”, after first announcing in Oct 2021 that it was considering the project. Block GM for hardware Thomas Templeton tweeted that the aim of the system is to make mining bitcoin “more distributed and efficient”, adding that the company wants to address several “customer pain points” and “technical challenges”, such as mining rig availability, high prices, reliability, and power consumption.
Stablecoin issuer Tether has frozen three Ethereum addresses holding over $160 million worth of USDT, according to data from Etherscan. The addresses are the latest on Tether’s blacklist, which started in Nov 2017 after a breach that saw $30 million worth of USDT stolen. This brings Tether’s total of blacklisted Ethereum addresses to 563, though a spokesperson said in an email that the firm was “unable to disclose any further details” at the moment.
Crypto exchanges FTX US and Bitstamp USA are working on offering stock trading, allowing them to draw in a similar user base of meme stock investors as Robinhood. This development spells bad news for Robinhood, and its share price dropped to an all-time low of $15.30 yesterday. Still, there may be some hope in the form of interest from the Shiba Inu community — rumors are rife that the altcoin $SHIB could be listed on Robinhood as soon as Feb, though CEO Vlad Tenev has denied this multiple times.
Show me the money
According to data from Huobi Global, BTC’s trading volume fluctuated slightly, with the price under high upward pressure and daily charts showing signs of a down-trend. ETH saw a slight decrease and a similar price trend to BTC, and is now around 3,260. Trading volume was very low, though daily charts show an upward trend in the short term.
In fact, BTC reached an intra-day high of $44,500 (its highest level in a week) before falling to a low of $42,315. Crypto analyst Rekt Capital posted a chart that shows BTC facing stiff resistance at $44,825, while on-chain analysis firm Whalemap said, “Reclaim of $46,500 will look like a trend reversal. Whales will be providing a bit of resistance there, though.” Independent market analyst Michaël van de Poppe expressed a similar sentiment but added: “Relax, stay calm and enjoy the markets.”