Welcome to Around the Blockchain, Huobi Learn’s daily rundown of the crypto markets.
Prince Philip of Serbia and Yugoslavia has declared that Bitcoin is freedom, saying “we need to take the money away from the state” and have “good quality money that’s not subject to inflation”. In a TV interview, the prince, who works with a global asset manager in London, attributed inflation to “unprecedented amounts of stimulus” having been “pumped into the economy” since the 2008 financial crisis and during the COVID-19 pandemic. He said this could be avoided with Bitcoin, as it would never be “an inflationary asset”, which would in turn “protect people”. He further praised Bitcoin for being “censorship-free” and “very fungible” and therefore, able to “help with people’s sovereignty (and) freedom”.
Amid ongoing concerns that Russia could use crypto to evade sanctions, the US Department of the Treasury has said it does not believe crypto can be “used in a large-scale way” to do so. Treasury undersecretary for domestic finance Nellie Liang said in a Reuters interview that crypto’s “share as a medium for illicit finance” was nowhere near “as large as just using cash”, and that the crypto ecosystem was too under-developed to effectively facilitate widespread sanctions evasion. She added that the Treasury had been studying this issue for years, and that despite “a fair amount of oversight”, the crypto transaction size the Treasury had observed so far was “fairly small”.
Makerdao protocol engineer Hexonaut believes real-world assets (RWAs) should be introduced into Makerdao’s collateralized debt position (CDP) scheme as crypto-native yields have dried up liquidity and several competitors have turned to bridging RWAs. He said the project should “expand to uncorrelated, quality loans to diversify the portfolio with productive assets again”, adding that there were a few “off-chain counter-parties and on-chain protocols that have emerged over the last year, spear-heading the effort to connect RWAs to crypto”. He also published a Makerdao governance proposal alongside other contributors on the same day, in which he stated that reliance on RWAs would be unavoidable for the project, and proposed a two-step plan involving a capital raise and taking risk-on exposure “conservatively”.
A Hubspot data breach has leaked BlockFi and Swan Bitcoin user information to hackers but as Hubspot is an external tool, the hackers could not access internal systems. Both companies have said their operations were unaffected, treasuries not at risk, and internal information uncompromised. The breach occurred after a bad actor gained access to an employee account and used it to target crypto stakeholders; Hubspot said 30 clients were affected but did not name them. This comes as several users reported a weekend surge in phishing emails from companies trying to lure them into entering their passwords on a fake website.
Binance has told the Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) it is committed to stop opening new accounts for Ontario residents, and phase out certain services to comply with regulations. In a letter to the OSC, Binance listed several commitments to the OSC, including “ceasing trading in existing Ontario accounts, with exceptions to protect investors” and “providing fee waivers and offering free reimbursement to certain Ontario users”. Additionally, Binance will prepare reports for the OSC and retain an independent third party to ensure its commitments are kept.
A 20 Mar smart contract exploit of the Li Finance (LiFi) swap aggregator has resulted in about $600,000 being lost from 29 users’ wallets. The attacker extracted varying amounts of 10 different tokens — including USDC, MATIC, USDT, AAVE and GNO — from wallets that had given ‘infinite approval’ to LiFi. The attacker then swapped the stolen tokens for around 205 ETH (worth roughly $600,000), though the stolen ETH has yet to be moved from their wallet. Owners of 25 of the wallets have been reimbursed from treasury funds, though this accounts for only $80,000 of the total losses. The owners of the 4 remaining wallets have been offered compensation in the form of LiFi tokens under the same terms as other angel investors, in amounts equivalent to their losses — a move that would help to mitigate damage to LiFi’s treasury. At the same time, the hacker has been offered a bug bounty to return the funds.
Show me the money
According to data from Huobi Global, BTC backtracked after a small increase over the weekend that failed to reach its 9 Mar high. ETH fell over the weekend, though daily charts show muted signs of an upward trend. In terms of contracts, Huobi Futures data show unchanged open interest (OI) in both BTC and ETH futures, with stable trading volume amid a relatively inactive contract market.