Crypto Espresso: Your quick shot of the latest crypto moves and news
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Morning Coinheads. It’s a brand new day, and the news isn’t great. There’s been two serious security breaches; a small one on Solana-based tokens and a huge one at cross-chain messaging protocol Nomad, with many millions of dollars worth of stuffs pinched.
We’ll get to those in a moment, but first, some numbers – because numbers are cool, especially when they’re all about how much money we’re making. Or losing, if you’re the head of a South Korean VX firm.
It’s been another not-ideal 24 hours for the majors, which were travelling along nicely and gaining well until about 4.30am, when the wheels came off and they dipped back to yesterday’s lows.
They’ve been slowly improving this morning, and at the time of writing, the majors were in positive territory again: BTC (+1.51%) and ETH (+2.17%) are both on the rise, with BNB (+6.61%) and XRP (+1.14%), but Solana (for obvious reasons) is lagging, up just 0.18%.
But now, grab something hot and pop a few sugars in – you’ll need something sweet to help digest today’s news.
Cross-chain messaging protocol Nomad was almost completely drained of US$190 million worth of coins and tokens, after an exploit was made public and an online mob formed to get in on the action, Coindesk reports.
Over the course of several hours, an easily-exploited security vulnerability essentially threw open the doors to the vault, leading to transfers of millions of dollars worth of, well, coins and tokens.
It’s been labelled as the fourth largest crypto hack in history, and there is a lot to cover, so we’ll be putting together a far more in-depth look at it once we’ve had time to digest all the info.
In the meantime…
While everyone was super-busy looking at the Nomad hack, someone’s been quietly helping themselves to millions of dollars worth of Solana and Solana-based tokens.
The bleeding’s been stopped, and Solana’s devs say it was possible because of “compromised private keys created, imported, or used in Slope mobile wallet applications”, and that the damage has been limited to around 8,000 individual wallets that were susceptible to the attack vector.
So far, the damage to wallets containing Solana, the USDC stablecoin and other Solana-based tokens is estimated to be around US$4.5 million, and while the hole’s been plugged, the investigation is ongoing, so that figure could very well change, Cryptoslate says.
We’ll add this to our list of “things that got hacked this week”, and we’ll have more detail in an upcoming piece. Watch this space.
Meanwhile, Decrypt is reporting that a major Bitcoin miner in Texas is onto a massive lurk, thanks to the woeful state of the Texas energy grid and the need for people in Texas to not die of hot in the middle of summer.
While announcing its July results, Riot blockchain – which boasts a deployed fleet of 40,311 miners capable of an energy-sapping 4.2 exahash per second – says it voluntarily pulled the plug on its rigs to help the Lone Star State to balance its energy grid.
For its efforts – or lack thereof – the company has been awarded a US$9.5 million rebate on its power bill, and a few less people in Texas were baked like glazed hams in the homes. Everybody wins!
As a business model, Riot could be onto something there. Build something that’s a massive drain on a critical utility, and then get the government to pay you to never turn it on.
On a completely unrelated note, if anyone can help us design the world’s largest lawn sprinkler, please get in touch.
And finally, in an interview with Bloomberg, South Korea’s most well-known cryptocurrency investor Simon Seojoon Kim has revealed just how butt-puckeringly enormous the company’s loss was when Luna popped its clogs.
Kim was a very early investor in the ill-fated TerraUSD/Luna token rush, snapping up 30 million of them – so when it all went belly up in May, Kim took the mother of all crypto baths, losing some US$3 billion.
But, while a loss that large would have had many people leaving sad notes to loved ones and leaping out the nearest window, Kim has told Bloomberg that he’s keeping the faith.
“In the tech sector, there’s no such thing as a portfolio that guarantees success, and we make our investments with that in mind,” said Kim. “We believe in the community’s growth, and that has never changed.”
There’s a lesson in there somewhere, but we’re not sure if it’s a good one or not. So… let’s go with “good”, because the harsh lesson in there is just too painful to even think about.
Disclaimer: The author of this piece has a crypto account, but God only knows what’s in it at the moment other than none of the above – and he’s far too lazy to try anything stupid.