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Multichain under fire from users as hacking losses grow to $3M

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Multichain under fire from users as hacking losses grow to $3M

Multichain users have lost over $3 million due to an unsolved security vulnerability that appeared in six supported tokens on Jan. 17.

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Multichain under fire from users as hacking losses grow to M

Hackers have continued to exploit a critical vulnerability in the cross-chain router protocol (CRP) Multichain that first appeared on Jan 17.

Earlier this week, Multichain urged users to revoke approvals for six tokens to protect their assets from being exploited by malicious individuals.

However Multichain’s announcement on Jan. 17 encouraged more hackers to try the exploit. One stole $1.43 million, another offered to return 80% while keeping the rest as a tip. According to Tal Be’ery, the co-founder of the ZenGo wallet, the stolen amount has now risen to $3 million.

The @MultichainOrg hack is far from being over.
Over the last hours more than additional $1M stolen, rising the total stolen amount to $3M.
One victim lost $960K!https://t.co/fYhYxUojB8 pic.twitter.com/Gvh5hB6t6s

— Tal Be’ery (@TalBeerySec) January 19, 2022

Six supported tokens are still subject to the security vulnerability including WETH, PERI, OMT, WBNB, MATIC, and AVAX.

Users have accused the company on social media of not providing them with clear enough information or support regarding the situation. One user who lost $960k offered 50 ETH to the hacker’s address in return for the remaining funds.

The company claimed on Jan.17 that the critical vulnerability affecting the six tokens had been reported and fixed on Jan. 17, but on Jan. 19 it again reminded users to revoke approvals of the tokens. Multichain has since turned off the comments on its recent tweets.

Crypto Twitter figure “ChainLinkGod” said that he was “incredibly confused” by the platform’s message, while “drarreg17” asked Multichain what it was going to do to “compensate users like myself who were affected by the exploits?”

— ChainLinkGod.eth 2.0 (@ChainLinkGod) January 19, 2022

Related: Multichain asks users to revoke approvals amid ‘critical vulnerability’

Unhappy users posting in the company’s Telegram group today complain  Multichain has not been able to resolve the security vulnerability yet, nor has it been able to provide its users with the support they seek.

Seems like @MultichainOrg reached out to the attackers offering them “bounty” (or in other words, actually paying ransom)https://t.co/DzUGUF3vX0 https://t.co/iKLh0HCBXG pic.twitter.com/yC3QEeiZhJ

— Tal Be’ery (@TalBeerySec) January 18, 2022

According to Be’ery, the company reached out to the original address that has been holding over 450 ETH ($1.43 million) in stolen funds since Jan. 18 and offered the hacker or hackers a bug “bounty for exploits.”

Multichain (formerly Anyswap) envisions being the ultimate router for Web 3.0. The ecosystem supports 30 chains, including Bitcoin (BTC), Avalanche (AVAX), Ethereum (ETH), Fantom (FTM), Litecoin (LTC), and Terra (LUNA), and offers no-slippage swapping.

With nearly $9 billion in TVL, it is unclear when and how Multichain will sort the situation. Cointelegraph has contacted the project for comment.

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Fed report finds most Americans who own crypto tend to be high income hodlers

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Fed report finds most Americans who own crypto tend to be high income hodlers

Only 12% of American adults used crypto in 2021, and the demographic gap between those who invested in it and those who used it in transactions was enormous.

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Fed report finds most Americans who own crypto tend to be high income hodlers

The United States Federal Reserve Board has included data on cryptocurrency in its new Economic Well-Being of U.S. Households in the 2021 report. The Fed’s ninth annual report looked at survey results from 11,000 people questioned in October and November 2021. 

The report indicated financial wellbeing is the highest it has been since reporting began, with 78% of U.S. adults “doing okay or living comfortably financially.” That is an increase of 3% over the last three years. As a diagnostic of financial fitness, the report cites the 68% of Americans who say they could cover a $400 emergency expense using cash or its equivalent alone.

The report looked at cryptocurrency usage for the first time. It found that 12% of U.S. adults held or used crypto in 2020, with 11% holding it as an investment, 2% using it for a purchase or payment and 1% sending it to friends or family. Investors holding crypto “were disproportionately high-income, almost always had a traditional banking relationship, and typically had other retirement savings.” Forty-six percent had annual incomes of $100,000 or more and 89% of those who were not retired had retirement savings. Twenty-nine percent had incomes under $50,000.

Related: Rising global adoption positions crypto perfectly for use in retail

The profile of the typical user making transactions with crypto differs starkly from investors. The report claimed that almost 60% of these users had incomes below $50,000, with 20% having incomes under $25,000. Only 24% had incomes above $100,000. Thirteen percent did not have a bank account. That compares with the 6% of adult Americans who lack bank accounts. Twenty-seven percent of those who used crypto for transactions did not have credit cards, compared to 17% of the total population.

Those who used crypto for transactions faced other disadvantages as well. Almost a quarter did not have a high school diploma, according to the results of the report.

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WEF 2022: Bankers at WEF see the need for caution and speed on central bank digital currencies

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WEF 2022: Bankers at WEF see the need for caution and speed on central bank digital currencies

Experts point out sticking points as well as greatest needs in the creation of central bank digital currencies for domestic and cross-border, wholesale and retail, uses.

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WEF 2022: Bankers at WEF see the need for caution and speed on central bank digital currencies

The process of introducing a central bank digital currency (CBDC) is fraught with unknowns, some of which were elucidated in a panel of experts gathered Monday at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. The panel concluded that good design is key to a successful CBDC, and there are fewer challenges for wholesale CBDC introduction.

Bank of Thailand governor Sethaput Suthiwartnarueput said that although many central banks are considering a CBDC, there is little practical experience with them. The Thai National Bank began proof-of-concept programs in 2018. Its mBridge project began as an experiment in establishing a cross-border wholesale payment corridor with the Hong Kong Monetary Authority and has grown to include the Bank of China, the United Arab Emirates and the Bank for International Settlements. Cross-border transactions using traditional banking technology can take days to complete, while CBDC transactions are much faster.

Suthiwartnarueput said the use of blockchain technology can have unintended consequences. It is good for transparency, he said, but anonymity affects scalability. There is risk in a CBDC’s design because smart contracts require that the handling of every situation be specified ahead of time. He cited the current sanctions on Russia as an example of a potential challenge to CBDC design. The Thai central bank is looking at a “limited pilot” for a retail CBDC in the fourth quarter of this year.

International transactions between persons, especially remittances from workers located in other countries, which make up a market of $48 billion per year, are one of the most pressing use cases for CBDCs. Suthiwartnarueput said CBDCs can carry out such transactions at 50% less expensive and 68% faster than current money transfer technology. Currently, the average fee for a transfer of this type is 6.3% of the transaction sum.

Related: WEF 2022: Crypto remittances must have allure of cash without regulatory constraints — Jeremy Allaire

Credit Suisse chairman Axel Lehmann pointed out the rapid progress being made by non-blockchain fast payment technologies and raised questions for domestic retail CBDCs, such as whether accounts with central banks would pay interest. Privacy and intermediation are other thorny issues for retail CBDCs. International Monetary Fund managing director Kristalina Georgieva said, “We feel a little behind the curve” in the creation of retail CBDCs, and Bank of France governor François Villeroy de Galhau agreed, saying a “CBDC is not the monopoly on progress,” and central banks should not waste time in introducing it.

Suthiwartnarueput and the French central banker agreed that cross-border wholesale CBDC settlements may become a reality within five years.

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fUSD stablecoin launch and rumors of Cronje’s return send Fantom (FTM) price higher

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fUSD stablecoin launch and rumors of Cronje’s return send Fantom (FTM) price higher

After a strong 2,000% rally in early 2021, Fantom (FTM) price collapsed alongside multiple altcoins and even though the blockchain has an impressive capability, it has yet to find mass adoption due to the lack of a compelling use case. FTM price hit an all-time high at $3.46, only to collapse to its pre-bull market lows under $0.25 after the failure of the Solidly DeFi project and the departure of developer Andre Cronje.  

Data from Cointelegraph Markets Pro and TradingView shows that since dropping to $0.238, FTM has rallied 119.23% to $0.5216 on May 23.

FTM/USDT 4-hour chart. Source: TradingView

Three reasons for the uptrend in FTM price are the launch of the first native stablecoin on the Fantom network, new protocol upgrades and partnership announcements, which bring new functionality to the network, and speculation that Andre Cronje is working with decentralized finance (DeFi) protocols on Fantom.

Fantom launches its first native stablecoin

The most notable development to occur in the Fantom ecosystem in the past few weeks was the release of fUSD, the first native stablecoin on the network.

The launch of fUSD comes on the heels of the collapse of TerraUSD and looks to capture some of the capital flight from algorithmic stablecoin by offering an over-collateralized alternative.

On May 20, the Fantom Foundation released an update outlining the maximum collateral factor and minting cap for each supported form of collateral. The foundation also set the fUSD staking reward at 11.3%

The update also included details on Fantom liquid staking, setting a global cap of 150 million staked Fantom (sFTM), removing validators for the list of those eligible to mint sFTM and setting a loan-to-value (LTV) ratio of FTM at 90% for the purposes of minting sFTM.

New partnerships improve sentiment for FTM

A handful of recent protocol updates and new partnerships have also helped to bring a boost in momentum to Fantom, including the launch of Snapsync, which allows new nodes to quickly join the network.

With the integration of Snapsync, the time it takes for new nodes to synch could be reduced from 24 to seven hours, helping to enhance network reliability, improve scalability and create a greater degree of decentralization.

Fantom has also announced that it is currently in the process of launching Gitcoin on the Fantom network to simplify the process of obtaining grants to develop in the Fantom ecosystem.

Fantom also partnered with Unmarshal and XP.Network. Unmarshal is a Web3 infrastructure provider that will integrate its indexing services with the Fantom protocol to give developers easy access to organized and granular on-chain data.

Through the partnership with XP.Network, Fantom users will be able to bridge nonfungible tokens (NFTs) between Ethereum (ETH), BNB Smart Chain (BNB), Elrond (EGLD), Aurora (AURORA), Tron (TRX), Avalanche (AVAX) and Velas (VLX).

Related: Crypto remittances must have allure of cash without regulatory constraints — Jeremy Allaire

Did Andre Cronje return?

Another factor, albeit speculative, bringing a boost FTM price is speculation that well-known DeFi developer Andre Cronje could be contributing toward DeFi development on the Fantom network.

Amid rumors about the return of lead DeFi developer Andre Cronje, the price of the native FTM token has risen by almost 40%. Cronje proposed a number of measures aimed at stabilizing the situation and increasing the sustainability of the Fantom ecosystem as a whole.

— Ashley Torres (@torresamba) May 23, 2022

The speculation started when Cronje submitted an fUSD optimization proposal that designed to solve a major depegging issue with the stablecoin on May 20 . A Fantom wallet that is believed to belong to Cronje has also added more than 100 million FTM over the past two weeks.

VORTECS™ data from Cointelegraph Markets Pro began to detect a bullish outlook for FTM on May 20, prior to the recent price rise.

The VORTECS™ Score, exclusive to Cointelegraph, is an algorithmic comparison of historical and current market conditions derived from a combination of data points including market sentiment, trading volume, recent price movements and Twitter activity.

VORTECS™ Score (green) vs. FTM price. Source: Cointelegraph Markets Pro

As seen in the chart above, the VORTECS™ Score for FTM spiked to a high of 89 on May 20 at the same time as its price began to increase 62.3% over the next three days.

The views and opinions expressed here are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Cointelegraph.com. Every investment and trading move involves risk, you should conduct your own research when making a decision.

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