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Regulations set the table for more talent, capital and building in crypto industry

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Regulations set the table for more talent, capital and building in crypto industry

The feeling in the crypto and decentralized finance space has been shifting and evolving. The industry is also becoming more scrutinized and, inevitably, more organized. Some weeks ago, United States President Joe Biden signed an Executive Order to expedite and focus regulatory oversight of the $3-trillion industry. 

The order will spur the government to examine the risks and benefits of cryptocurrencies, with a particular focus on consumer protection, financial stability, illicit activity, U.S. competitiveness, financial inclusion and responsible innovation. While the results of this order have yet to unfold, this moment helps to set the table for more clarity, predictability, security and stability for decentralized finance (DeFi).

Like with any industry, clarity on how DeFi and crypto should operate is important. Regulatory oversight by the U.S. government will be ultimately helpful and should be welcomed by participants and organizations in the DeFi community.

Related: Powers On… Biden accepts blockchain technology, recognizes its benefits and pushes for adoption

Meanwhile, there are plenty of signs that the DeFi and crypto ecosystem is teeming with talent, creativity, energy — and capital hungry to participate. Denver recently hosted one of the largest Ethereum conferences and hackathons of the pandemic era. Over nine days in February, ETHDenver welcomed more than 12,000 people to the in-person event to share ideas, build and reveal new protocols, curate investments and socialize.

Word got around town during the conference that a group of brilliant youngsters in their late teens and early 20s had set up a hacker house in Denver. Some of the most talented, smartest and youngest hackers in the world were there welcoming venture capitalists to visit. The price of admission for a chat on the ground was $3,000 a pop. Events like ETHDenver and impending regulatory involvement and oversight reveal a path for an energetic, meaningful and proactive year ahead in the crypto industry.

Talent meets creativity meets money

Denver included an interesting and eclectic ecosystem of players, investors and builders. The culture and industry are strengthening and deepening. When thirsty venture capitalists (VC) are paying $3,000 just to talk to the smartest 19-year-olds in the country, it’s a bold sign of life in the industry. Denver showed us that the space is much less fringe than it used to be.

These young people, in some cases, are leaving top schools to join DeFi teams or to develop protocols and products, and there is plenty of investment capital to provide a runway for big ideas, tools and decentralized applications.

Related: Inside the blockchain developers’ mind: Building truly free-to-use DApps

Meanwhile, members of the first wave of crypto have evolved into a so-called old guard, providing stability, cautiousness and experience to help usher in projects, decentralized autonomous organizations and protocols. The VCs, gigabrains and old guard continue to be supported and energized by the legions of crypto troops whose enthusiasm for investing, discussion and participating in the space continues to provide the lifeblood for DeFi.

There is a mixing going on that’s creating a healthier ecosystem with bright ideas, expertise, money and enthusiasm that will provide longevity for the industry as Web3 matures and evolves.

The battle for talent escalates

One common discussion point in Denver was that everyone is hiring and struggling to maintain a pipeline of talented, experienced and engaged developers, engineers and technical experts. We can expect that trend to continue as the mainstream world becomes increasingly interested in crypto and DeFi.

It’s likely that Web2 talent from the likes of Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Netflix and Google will increasingly be pulled into Web3 — and that’s a good thing.

There is plenty of experience and know-how in traditional technology companies that can and should help build DeFi protocols, services and systems, thereby decentralizing finance. Not everyone will be open to the risk or uncertainty of the crypto space, but that sense of risk is reducing as Web3 organizations continue to receive large investments that provide plenty of runway and breathing room to generate stability and comfort.

Web3 is starting to show its relevance, and it looks like we are turning a corner toward more stable talent recruitment and retention.

Related: Web3: Onboarding the next billion users — The road ahead

A bear market provides space for top builders

Anyone who has been paying attention to the TradFi and DeFi markets in recent weeks and months recognizes there has been whipsaw volatility in prices and tokens. Entire markets have been up and down for plenty of reasons and could stay that way for the next year or more. This scenario is likely one of the many reasons why the U.S. government is keen to assess (and regulate) the industry.

But true builders in crypto don’t retreat in bear markets — they thrive. A bear crypto market can be more productive, especially for teams focused on good ideas and creativity. Bull markets tend to be more consumer- or trader-centric, and the noise can often drown out or blunt meaningful progress.

Good ideas within the developer community tend to rise to the surface during bear markets, earning more air time, visibility, reflection and development. The DeFi space is growing more academic both in team construction and recruitment, and that brainpower will be critical as it focuses on new ideas and solutions to existing problems.

This article does not contain investment advice or recommendations. Every investment and trading move involves risk, and readers should conduct their own research when making a decision.

The views, thoughts and opinions expressed here are the author’s alone and do not necessarily reflect or represent the views and opinions of Cointelegraph.

Hart Lambur is a co-founder of UMA and Across. UMA is a decentralized financial contracts platform where Hart leads a team of financial contract and oracle design researchers. He is also a co-founder and the CEO of Risk Labs, the entity behind the UMA protocol. Prior to this, Hart served as the CEO of Openfolio, a personal finance tracking platform he co-founded in 2013. He also worked for Goldman Sachs, where he provided liquidity in U.S. Treasuries for a diverse range of clients, including central banks, money managers and hedge funds.

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Targeted phishing scam nets $438K in crypto and NFTs from hacked Beeple account

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Targeted phishing scam nets $438K in crypto and NFTs from hacked Beeple account

Links posted to a fake Louis Vuitton NFT raffle were made to capitalize on a recent real collaboration between Beeple and the luxury fashion brand.

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Targeted phishing scam nets 8K in crypto and NFTs from hacked Beeple account

Digital artist and popular nonfungible token (NFT) creator Mike Winkelmann, more commonly known as Beeple, had his Twitter account hacked on Sunday as part of a phishing scam.

Harry Denley, security analyst of MetaMask, alerted users that Beeple’s tweets at the time containing a link to a raffle of a Louis Vuitton NFT collaboration were, in fact, a phishing scam that would drain the crypto out of users’ wallets if clicked.

⚠️ Beeple’s Twitter account has been compromised (ATO) to post a phishing website to steal funds.

0x7b69c4f2ACF77300025E49DbDbB65B068b2Fda7D
0xF305F6073CFa24f05FF15CA5b387DD91f871b983 pic.twitter.com/0MPNwOPlEu

— harry.eth (whg.eth) (@sniko_) May 22, 2022

The scammers were likely looking to capitalize on a real recent collaboration between Beeple and Louis Vuitton. Earlier in May, Beeple designed 30 NFTs for the luxury fashion brand’s Louis The Game mobile game, which were embedded as rewards to players.

The scammer continued to post phishing links from Beeple’s Twitter account, leading to fake Beeple collections that lured in unsuspecting users with the promise of a free mint for unique NFTs.

Bad actors continue have access to Beeples Twitter account and they have now tweeted another phishing domain.

This one just prompts the user to send ETH to an EOA (0xcad7fc974F61A08ADEF110D1BA446fa5b5B5Bb27).

Infra: 44.227.238.106 pic.twitter.com/HzTga1OvNK

— harry.eth (whg.eth) (@sniko_) May 22, 2022

The phishing links were up on Beeple’s Twitter for around five hours, and an on-chain analysis of one of the scammers’ wallets shows the first phishing link scored them 36 Ether (ETH), worth roughly $73,000 at the time.

The second link netted the scammers around $365,000 worth of ETH and many NFTs from high-value collections such as the Mutant Ape Yacht Club, VeeFriends and Otherdeeds, among others, bringing the grand total value stolen from the scam to around $438,000.

On-chain data shows the scammer selling the NFTs on OpenSea and putting their stolen ETH into a crypto mixer in an attempt to launder the gains.

Beeple later tweeted that he had regained control of his account and added to remind his followers that “anything too good to be true IS A F*CKING SCAM.”

ugh we’ll that was fun way to wake up.

Twitter was hacked but we have control now. Huge thanks to @garyvee ‘a team for quick help!!!!

— beeple (@beeple) May 22, 2022

Related: Needed: A massive education project to fight hacks and scams

Beeple has created three of the top ten most expensive NFTs sold to date including one which sold for $69.3 million, the most expensive ever sold to a sole owner. This attention has made him a target for hacks.

In November 2021, an admin account on Beeple’s Discord was hacked with scammers there also promoting a similarly fake NFT drop which resulted in users losing around 38 ETH.

Earlier this month, cybersecurity firm Malwarebytes released a report which highlighted a rise in phishing attempts as scammers try to cash in on NFT hype. The firm noted the use of fraudulent websites depicted as legitimate platforms is the most common tactic used by scammers.

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Interest in Ethereum Name Service reaching ‘critical mass’

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Interest in Ethereum Name Service reaching ‘critical mass’

The latest metrics on new registrations and renewals of existing domains on ENS show that interest in the digital identity service has shattered previous records.

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Interest in Ethereum Name Service reaching ‘critical mass’

The Ethereum Name Service is having its best month on record for new registrations, account renewals and revenue thanks to community awareness and low gas fees.

Lead developer at Ethereum Name Service (ENS) Nick Johnson tweeted on Monday the metrics for the Web3 domain service through May so far. He noted that numbers were poised to shatter existing records because they were already at all-time highs, “and there’s still a week of May left.”

May is now an All Time High for every single ENS metric we track – registrations, renewals, revenue (ETH & USD) and income (ETH & USD).

And there’s still a week of May left.

pic.twitter.com/u0tTcVPr3f

— nick.eth (@nicksdjohnson) May 22, 2022

Jonson told Cointelegraph on Monday that the main factor contributing to higher demand in ENS domains is that it is a place where people can “form shared communities without any overarching structure imposed on them beforehand.” This has had astounding results for the domain service:

“ENS has reached a critical mass of awareness and adoption. Most wallets support ENS names, so the usability factor is significant.”

ENS is an open-source blockchain protocol founded in 2017 that allows people to assign a digital identity to their Ethereum wallet. Each name is a nonfungible token (NFT) that ends with .eth and can act as an address, a cryptographic hash or a website URL.

The data shared by Johnson shows that there have been 304,968 new registrations, 13,260 renewals, and 3,165.85 Ether (ETH) in revenue so far in May. All of these metrics leave previous highs in the dust.

Johnson also said that ”low gas fees definitely have an impact” on the higher onboarding and renewal rates. To send a fast transaction on Ethereum costs about 22 GWEI, worth about $0.92 at the time of writing, according to gasprice.io. In periods of high volume, gas fees can be higher than $50, which may act as a deterrent to using the network unless in emergencies:

“You can register a 5+ character ENS name for a year for $5. High gas fees can make the cost several times that, so gas prices have a big impact on the affordability of ENS names.”

Interest in ENS domains has been quickly rising since April, when social clubs such as the 10k Club within ENS gained tremendous attention. The 10k Club was formed by owners of ENS domains numbered between 0-9999. Both new registrations and renewals have nearly doubled since then.

Related: Web3, NFTs, Metaverse: The tools for a truly decentralized future

ENS’s record high revenues coupled with a market downturn has sparked plans in the ENS decentralized autonomous organization (DAO) to squirrel away funds for ongoing development. Johnson stated that the income slated for funding development and maintenance “for the indefinite future” would help the project weather further market volatility:

“With that guarantee against market effects, additional funds can be used more freely to help grow the ecosystem.”

However, the bullish metrics have not been reflected in ENS prices. The token has been on a steady decline since its November 2021 launch in which all .eth domain holders were airdropped a portion of the supply. ENS has fallen 86% from its November all-time high to $12.21, according to CoinGecko.

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Top 5 cryptocurrencies to watch this week: BTC, BNB, XMR, ETC, MANA

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Top 5 cryptocurrencies to watch this week: BTC, BNB, XMR, ETC, MANA

The Dow Jones Industrial Average has declined for eight consecutive weeks, the first such losing streak since 1923. On May 20, the S&P 500 briefly fell into bear market territory, indicating that traders continue to sell risky assets in fear of a recession. 

Due to its tight correlation with US equities markets, Bitcoin (BTC) has remained under pressure for many weeks. The bulls are attempting to push Bitcoin higher during the weekend and avert an even longer losing streak.

Crypto market data daily view. Source: Coin360

Bitcoin’s performance in the first five months has been the worst since 2018, indicating that sellers are in control. However, after several weeks of weakness, the crypto markets may be on the cusp of a bear market rally.

What are the critical levels that may signal the start of a sustained recovery? Let’s study the charts of the top-5 cryptocurrencies that may outperform in the near term.

BTC/USDT

Bitcoin rebounded off the crucial support at $28,630 on May 20, indicating strong buying near this level. The bulls are attempting to push the price above the downtrend line, which could be the first indication that the selling pressure may be reducing.

BTC/USDT daily chart. Source: TradingView

Above the downtrend line, the BTC/Tether (USDT) pair could rise to the 20-day exponential moving average (EMA) of $31,887. The bears are likely to defend this level with vigor. If the price turns down from the 20-day EMA, the bears will once again try to sink the pair below $28,630.

If they manage to do that, the pair could drop to $26,700. This is an important level to keep an eye on because a break and close below it could open the doors for a decline to $25,000 and then to $21,800.

Conversely, if buyers thrust the price above the 20-day EMA, the pair could attempt a rally to the 61.8% Fibonacci retracement level at $34,823. If this level is scaled, the pair could climb to the 50-day simple moving average (SMA) of $37,289.

BTC/USDT 4-hour chart. Source: TradingView

The 4-hour chart shows that the price is getting squeezed between the downtrend line and $28,630. The 20-EMA and the 50-SMA have flattened out and the relative strength index (RSI) is just above the midpoint suggesting a balance between supply and demand.

This balance could tilt in favor of buyers if they push and sustain the price above the downtrend line. If that happens, the pair could start its northward march toward the 200-SMA.

On the contrary, if the price turns down from the current level, the bears will attempt to sink the pair below $28,630 and gain the upper hand.

BNB/USDT

Binance Coin (BNB) recovered sharply from the critical support at $211 and has reached the overhead resistance at the 20-day EMA of $323. This is an important level for the bears to defend because a break and close above it could indicate that a bottom may be in place.

BNB/USDT daily chart. Source: TradingView

Above the 20-day EMA, the BNB/USDT pair could rally to $350 and thereafter to the 50-day SMA of $376. This level could again act as a stiff hurdle but if bulls thrust the price above it, the pair could rally to the 200-day SMA of $451.

Contrary to this assumption, if the price turns down sharply from the 20-day EMA, it will suggest that bears have not yet given up and they continue to sell at higher levels. The pair could then drop toward $211. If the price rebounds off this level, the pair may consolidate between $211 and $320 for a few days.

BNB/USDT 4-hour chart. Source: TradingView

The bulls are attempting to push the price above the overhead resistance at $320. If they succeed, the pair could rally toward $350. The bears are likely to defend this level aggressively. If the price turns down from $350, the pair could again drop to $320.

If the price rebounds off this level, the pair could remain range-bound between $320 and $350 for some time. The bullish momentum could pick up above the 200-SMA and the pair may rally to $380 and later to $400.

Conversely, if the price turns down from the current level, the pair could drop to $286 and then to $272.

XMR/USDT

Monero (XMR) dropped below the strong support at $134 on May 12 but the bears could not sustain the lower levels. This suggests aggressive buying on dips. The price has recovered sharply to the 20-day EMA of $179.

XMR/USDT daily chart. Source: TradingView

If bulls push and sustain the price above the 20-day EMA, the XMR/USDT pair could rise to the overhead resistance zone between the 200-day SMA of $202 and the 50-day SMA of $212. The bears are expected to mount a strong defense in this zone

If the price turns down from this zone, but bulls arrest the subsequent decline at the 20-day EMA, it will suggest a potential change in trend. Conversely, if the price turns down from the current level, the bears will try to pull the pair to $150 and thereafter to $134.

XMR/USDT 4-hour chart. Source: TradingView

The 4-hour chart shows the formation of higher lows and higher highs. The bears tried to pull the price below the 50-SMA but the bulls defended the level successfully. This suggests a change in sentiment from selling on rallies to buying on dips.

The pair could next rally to the 200-SMA where the bears may offer a strong resistance. If bulls overcome this barrier, the pair could rally to $225. Contrary to this assumption, if the price turns down and breaks below the 50-SMA, the pair could slide to $150. A break below this level could challenge the strong support at $134

Related: Dollar Cost Averaging or Lump-sum: Which Bitcoin strategy works best regardless of price?

ETC/USDT

Ethereum Classic (ETC) dropped sharply from $52 on March 29 to $16 on May 12. The bulls are attempting to start a recovery which could face resistance at the 20-day EMA of $23.

ETC/USDT daily chart. Source: TradingView

If the price turns down from the 20-day EMA, the bears will again attempt to resume the downtrend by pulling the ETC/USDT pair below the critical support at $16.

On the contrary, if buyers propel the price above the 20-day EMA, it will suggest the start of a stronger relief rally. The positive divergence on the RSI also points to the possibility of a recovery in the near term. The pair could then rise to the 38.2% Fibonacci retracement level at $30, where the bears may mount a strong resistance.

ETC/USDT 4-hour chart. Source: TradingView

The price has been trading between $19 and $23 for some time. This suggests that the bulls are attempting to form a higher low, but the bears continue to pose a strong challenge at higher levels. The flattening 20-EMA and 50-SMA do not give a clear advantage either to bulls or bears.

If buyers drive the price above $23, it will suggest the start of a new up-move. The pair could first rally to the 200-SMA and then to $33. Alternatively, if the price turns down and plummets below $19, the bears will gain the upper hand. They will then attempt to sink the pair to $16.

MANA/USDT

Decentraland (MANA) turned down from the 20-day EMA of $1.24 on May 16, but a positive sign is that the bulls did not allow the price to sustain below the psychological level of $1.00.

MANA/USDT daily chart. Source: TradingView

The buyers will once again attempt to push the price above the 20-day EMA. If they succeed, the MANA/USDT pair could rally to the 50-day SMA of $1.72. The bears may again mount a stiff resistance at this level but if bulls clear this hurdle, the pair could start its northward march toward the 200-day SMA of $2.72.

Contrary to this assumption, if the price slips below $1.00, the bears will try to sink the pair to the crucial support at $0.60. A break and close below this level could start the next leg of the downtrend.

MANA/USDT 4-hour chart. Source: TradingView

The pair is stuck between $0.97 and $1.36, indicating that bulls are buying the dips below $1.00 and the bears are selling on rallies. The 20-EMA and the 50-SMA have flattened out, indicating that the consolidation may continue for some more time.

If buyers propel the price above the 50-SMA, the pair could rise to the resistance of the range at $1.36. The bullish momentum could pick up if buyers overcome this barrier. Conversely, the bears could gain the upper hand if the price turns down and plummets below the support at $0.97.

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

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