Welcome to Around the Blockchain, Huobi Learn’s daily rundown of the crypto markets.
Cybercriminals are using one-time password (OTP) bots purchased on Telegram to trick users into granting them access to their crypto accounts. According to cybersecurity firm Intel471, such bots are “remarkably easy to use” and inexpensive to operate. For instance, a Telegram bot called BloodOTPbot charges hackers $300 monthly for access, and an extra $20 to $100 for additional phishing tools targeting specific social media accounts, financial services and crypto platforms. Hackers use such bots to place ‘official’ phone calls while also prompting 2FA codes from their targets’ crypto platforms. The targets then divulge their 2FA codes, giving hackers instant and complete access to their accounts.
Republican and Democratic senators have proposed the Accountability for Cryptocurrency in El Salvador Act (ACES) in the US Senate in a bid to “mitigate potential risks to the US financial system” (such as terrorism funding and money laundering) posed by El Salvador’s adoption of BTC as a legal currency. Should the bill pass, federal agencies will have 60 days to submit a report assessing different aspects of El Salvador’s financial stability and cybersecurity capabilities. In response, the country’s president, Nayib Bukele, tweeted: “You have 0 jurisdiction on a sovereign and independent nation. We are not your colony, your backyard, or your front yard.”
Chinese central bank, the People’s Bank of China (PBOC), has said its central bank digital currency (CBDC), e-CNY, is being used to make at least $315,000 in payments daily at the ongoing Beijing Winter Olympics. e-CNY is being trialed at the Games, and state-controlled commercial bank, Bank of China, has set up several digital yuan ATMs at some central venues there. Director-general of the PBOC’s Digital Currency Research Institute, Mu Changchun, said “all foreign users” were using hardware wallets, while domestic users were using software wallets.
Mastercard is expanding its payments-focused consulting service to include “crypto and digital currencies” as it is “helping banks navigate the adoption of digital currencies”. The payments giant added that its crypto consulting services would cover “early-stage education, risk assessments and bank-wide crypto and NFT strategy development to crypto cards and the design of crypto loyalty programs”. It has also partnered with “digitally native firms that offer best-of-breed” crypto solutions.
Red Bull Racing (RBR) has announced crypto exchange Bybit as its new principal team partner, in a deal RBR said was the “largest per annum cryptocurrency sports agreement to date”. The partnership entails a multi-year agreement allowing Bybit to be a “top-tier ally behind title partner Oracle”, and aims to boost “fan engagement with scope for digital asset creation and social tokens in future”. RBR further said the two would work on a range of “crypto-inspired initiatives”, including crypto literacy and green technology promotion, and that Bybit would help RBR distribute its “growing digital asset collections” as a fan issuance partner.
After adding bitcoin tips in Sep 2021, Twitter is now allowing users to add their Ethereum wallets for Twitter-native tipping with ETH and ERC-20 tokens; the Tips feature also available in India, Ghana and Nigeria. A spokesperson for the social media giant said, however, that the new feature does not support Ethereum Name Service (ENS) domain names. Twitter’s lead product manager of creator monetization, Johnny Winston, said it was “continuing to expand ways to get paid on Twitter” that offer “more choices for creators and fans who want to use crypto”.
Show me the money
According to data from Huobi Global, BTC fell to a low of 43,300 last night before rebounding to above 44,000, then seeing a slight drop to near 43,900. Similarly, ETH fell to 3,050, climbed to 3,190 and then fell slightly to near 3,140. Daily charts for both BTC and ETH are showing signs of an up-trend. In terms of contracts, Huobi Futures data showed stable open interest (OI) in both BTC and ETH futures, amid a relatively inactive contract market. BTC’s volume, however, decreased significantly while ETH’s remained stable.