Hacker steals $15M after degens pile into unreleased Yearn Finance project

Hacker steals $15M after degens pile into unreleased Yearn Finance project

The decentralized finance (DeFi) community’s insatiable appetite for unaudited code has once again ended in tears and the loss of millions.Eminence, an unfinished “economy for a gaming multiverse” being built by Yearn Finance’s Andre ‘I test in production’ Cronje, was discovered by DeFi sleuths after the developer posted art teasers for the project to Twitter. He then headed to bed on September 28.Excitement for the upcoming project quickly reached a fever pitch, with the community FOMOing roughly $15 million into the EMN protocol. However, the protocol was quickly exploited and drained … before the hacker bizarrely opted to transfer $8 million of the funds back to Cronje’s yearn deployer account by the time the developer had woken up:3/x 5. We posted the first clan “Spartans”. And I went to bed.6. Around ~3AM I was messaged awake to find out a) almost 15m was deposited into the contracts b) the contracts were exploited for the full 15m and c) 8m was sent to my yearn: deployer account.— Andre Cronje (@AndreCronjeTech) September 29, 2020Noting that he has received “a fair amount of threats” Cronje announced that the Yearn treasury will assist in refunding users back the $8 million he received from the hacker according to a snapshot of EMN balances prior to the hack.Cronje emphasized that neither Eminence’s contracts nor ecosystem are final, highlighting that he wasn’t planning on releasing the project for at least another three weeks.Cointelegraph will follow the story as it unfolds and update this article accordingly.

Relief and Regret: Crypto Twitter Reacts as Coinbase Says No to Corporate Activism

Relief and Regret: Crypto Twitter Reacts as Coinbase Says No to Corporate Activism

Coinbase’s Brian Armstrong dropped a bombshell on corporate America and the culture wars when he told employees, firmly, to keep activism out of the workplace.In a blog post on Monday, Armstrong said Coinbase employees should be “laser focused” on the company’s mission: to create an open financial system for the world. The message is clear: Coinbase won’t touch topics unrelated to its business and it expects employees to pursue social activism in their own time.Armstrong predicted his blog might stir up some controversy. He was right. Twelve hours after publication, the post has split the crypto industry straight down the middle. Some have come out in praise of Armstrong’s public stance; others have criticized it as regressive and out of touch with the times.Some supporters responding to Armstrong’s tweet picked up on the theme that business leaders should remove unnecessary distractions from the workplace. Building a business is hard enough, said Messari’s Ryan Selkis, “without feeling the need to build a pitch-perfect political platform.” Boost VC’s Adam Draper said focusing on a “unified mission” was the only way companies get things done. Similarly, former Coinbase vice president Dan Romero, who left last year, tweeted that “resolutely pursuing” the corporate mission of building an accessible finance system would do more social good for countries outside the U.S.But not everyone saw it that way. Likely anticipating the negative reaction to his blog, Armstrong restricted comments to the Twitter accounts he followed. The only critical one, on his thread anyway, came from Reuben Bramanathan, a lawyer and former product manager at Coinbase, who said the exchange shouldn’t use its mission statement to ignore problems of inequality and injustice. Others on a separate thread – where replies weren’t restricted – accused Coinbase of trying to bury its head in the sand. Coinbase and its employees are part of American society and can’t close the blinds on issues that directly affect their lives, both in and outside of work, said one. Some highlighted that such a narrow focus on the mission might harm Coinbase’s business in the long run. One said the stance could inadvertently shrink the pool of talent willing to work at the exchange. Another, that screening for just the mission could likely lead to the wrong sort…

CoinDesk Live: Can Old Schools Teach New Tech?

CoinDesk Live: Can Old Schools Teach New Tech?

Universities are often key to getting new industries off the ground, providing the infrastructure to take paradigm-shifting ideas to the next level. But in blockchain and digital finance technology, how do they measure up? CoinDesk wanted to see how well universities are doing on blockchain. Over the last few months, we’ve gathered data on a host of metrics, from the courses in cryptocurrencies that universities offer, to whether they have dedicated blockchain clubs and research centers. CoinDesk U, a ranking of the top-20 U.S. schoolsDuring a special CoinDesk Live episode on Oct. 6 at 4 p.m. ET, we will release the results of the first CoinDesk U ranking. We are inviting students from around the U.S., as well as representatives from student club networks, the crypto industry and leading institutions, to discuss traditional academia’s relevance and support for the financial technology poised to fuel Web 3.0.The event comes at a time of unprecedented stress on the university business model, with many wondering whether pricey degrees still make sense, particularly during COVID-19 where the socializing benefit is lost. There are many skeptics of formal education in crypto, which tends towards self-help and collaborative learning. Watch live on CoinDesk.com, Twitter and YouTube. Tuesday, Oct. 6, 2020 | 4 p.m. ETSpeakers: Reuben Youngblom, Stanford1st panelWhitney Griffiths, Microsoft and Howard Adam Patel, Loyola, TokenDaily and Midwest Blockchain ConsortiumArshdeep Singh, UT Dallas Blockchain Club Rob Klages, Gator Blockchain Club, University of Florida 2nd panelAshlie Meredith, MousebeltErick Pinos, Blockchain Education NetworkTyler Wellener, BlockVenture CoalitionCameron Dennis, Blockchain Acceleration FoundationThe episode concludes with an interview with the winning school. Hosts: Stephanie Izquieta, Ben Schiller

Binance CEO Says He Fully Expects DeFi to Cannibalize His Crypto Exchange

Binance CEO Says He Fully Expects DeFi to Cannibalize His Crypto Exchange

Binance CEO Changpeng “CZ” Zhao acknowledges the contradictions inherent in trying to tap into the fast-growing business of decentralized finance, or DeFi, while trying to defend his company’s reign as the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange.The company’s new foray into DeFi, Binance Smart Chain, attempts to replicate some of the features of the Ethereum blockchain that have proven fertile for developers building decentralized, blockchain-based trading and lending applications that theoretically could one day challenge traditional lenders and Wall Street trading firms. But DeFi could also threaten big cryptocurrency exchanges like his own.  Like rival cryptocurrency exchanges OKEx, Huobi and Coinbase, Binance is trying to hold on to its central role in digital-asset markets as upstart DeFi projects like Uniswap, Curve, Balancer and SushiSwap attract a bigger share of industry trading volumes. Zhao says he’s open to the idea that Binance may have to adapt its business model to stay relevant, especially with total collateral locked into DeFi protocols surging 16-fold this year to $11 billion.“Our mission is not to build a CeFi exchange,” Zhao said in an interview with CoinDesk, using a shorthand term for centralized finance. “Right now it is one of our larger businesses that support our growth. But over the long term, we want to push decentralization.”In designing Binance Smart Chain, the company had to sacrifice elements of decentralization to compete against Ethereum and protect the company’s brand. Binance Smart Chain is controlled by 21 node operators, which are elected by Binance Coin (BNB) holders. But because the company is one of the largest holders of the BNB tokens, it retains significant control over the project’s direction. “There is a tradeoff between more decentralization versus speed, so we thought that 21 nodes run by the community is probably enough,” Zhao said in the interview.Binance Smart Chain’s goal is not to be “the Ethereum Killer,” Zhao says, but to provide an alternative to users and developers frustrated with Ethereum’s soaring transactions fees.“There are people who are really more into more decentralization,” Zhao said. “They will probably stick with Ethereum.” An anything-goes culture thrives in DeFi, with ridiculously named projects from Yam to SushiSwap exploding in popularity seemingly overnight, only to quickly flame out. But Binance can’t afford to release the reins entirely on its DeFi project; there…

Token Projects to Recover $130M from the Kucoin Hack, Devs Condemned for Centralization

Token Projects to Recover $130M from the Kucoin Hack, Devs Condemned for Centralization

The cryptocurrency community has been discussing the Kucoin hack as a great number of ERC20 projects have frozen, paused, or reversed their smart contracts after the hack. Estimates say that at least $129 million ERC20 tokens affected are considered “safe” from the hacker’s clutches. Additionally, evaluations show the breach may be much larger than originally estimated, as one report says the compromise saw $280 million stolen. The Kucoin hack has been the talk of the town in crypto land these days, as the exchange was hacked on September 25, 2020. News.Bitcoin.com reported on the initial losses estimated to be around $150 million, the day after calculations were up to $200 million. Today, another analyst has stated that the hacker likely stole nearly $280 million during the Kucoin breach. “So I did some accounting of the Kucoin hack based on the wallets very likely associated and based on my estimation, there was nearly $280 million of assets stolen, not $150M,” said Larry Cermak the Director of Research at the Block Crypto on Monday morning. “This would make it the third-largest hack in history and [seven] times larger than the Binance hack last year,” Cermak added.One of the biggest conversations this weekend on social media and crypto forums was mostly about ERC20 projects that had figured out ways to reverse the hack or freeze the funds stolen. News.Bitcoin.com already reported on the frozen tether (USDT) for $22 million worth of stablecoins from the ETH and EOS chain. Additionally, the Ocean Protocol paused the project’s smart contract as well when the hacker started dumping 10k batches of the Ocean token on Uniswap. But a bunch more ERC20 projects either restarted, froze, or paused their protocols in order to save the tokens from the hacker’s dumping. Other token projects that participated in the ‘$129 million re-boot’ included Kardiachain ($9M), VIDT Datalink ($7M), Velo Labs ($76M), Orion Protocol ($8.5M), Aleph token ($510k), Covest ($520k), NOIA Network ($5M) and more. The projects have since been criticized for not being decentralized and executing rollback not seen since the 2017 DAO hack. “History doesn’t repeat but it does rhyme,” tweeted Jameson Lopp after the ERC20 rollbacks and freezes were revealed. “Fascinating to see how rollbacks have evolved since The DAO.” The software developer…

Mark Cuban Wants an Expiration Date on Stimulus Checks: Critics Says Proposal Is Right out of a Banana Republic Playbook

Mark Cuban Wants an Expiration Date on Stimulus Checks: Critics Says Proposal Is Right out of a Banana Republic Playbook

U.S. billionaire Mark Cuban wants the next stimulus check to come with an expiration date in order to force Americans to spend the funds. The businessman believes this “use it or lose it” approach would benefit the U.S. economy as it promotes spending instead of saving. Cuban argues that when consumers are forced to spend, it helps businesses to stay open and help the economy to recover from the knock-on effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.Explaining details of his proposal, Cuban says that “all American households, no matter their income level, should receive a $1,000 stimulus check every two weeks for the next two months.”Cuban, who made a similar proposal in May, argues that “without mandating the money be spent within 10 days of receipt, many Americans will save it.” The last time the Treasury sent checks to U.S. citizens at the start of the lockdown period, some Americans used their funds to invest in stocks as well as in cryptocurrencies.The billionaire says the objective is to get that money flowing into the economy every two weeks. Once businesses start having demand, “even if they’re closed and working online,” then there is a “reason for them to be able to bring back employees and retain those employees if demand is sustained.”However, some critics have assailed Cuban’s “risky” plan as well as the general calls for endless streams of free money. In a Twitter post, analyst Jereon Vandamme, says billionaires like Cuban “hope they will profit the most, while the system gets inflated.”Vandamme is particularly incensed by Cuban’s use it or lose it proposal saying:“Expiration dates on money are used in banana republics. Copy-paste from the Gideon Gono playbook, former central banker of Zimbabwe.”Prior to Zimbabwe’s economic collapse in 2008, Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe governor, Gideon Gono had introduced as legal tender, bearer cheques that had an expiration date. Gono argued that bearer cheques, which were issued between 2003 and 2008, were a necessary tool in his fight against cash hoarders and the foreign currency black market. Some of the bearer cheques had a circulation period not exceeding three months.However, this strategy failed and Zimbabwe went to record the second-highest ever recorded inflation of 79.6 sextillion percentage.Meanwhile, despite these concerns about the proposed economic stimulus plan, haggling…

Coinbase Has Drawn a Line in the Sand for Its Activist Employees

Coinbase Has Drawn a Line in the Sand for Its Activist Employees

You might call it taking a stand by not taking one.Brian Armstrong, CEO of Coinbase, took a strong stance against employee-driven corporate activism over the weekend, explaining that, going forward, his company would be “mission focused.”That means Coinbase will devote all of its attention to achieving the goal creating “infrastructure for the cryptoeconomy,” but will eschew any kind of activism, and won’t take a stand on policy or societal issues that go beyond that mission. It’s not that those issues aren’t important and don’t need solving, Armstrong says, but that Coinbase’s best shot at making the world a better place is by achieving its central mission.It’s clear that Armstrong’s post comes in response to some kind of employee movement at Coinbase rather than pressure from the outside. He explains how he recently realized some employees believed Coinbase’s world-changing mission means the firm should actively push forward other ways to improve the world. Now that he’s taken this stance, though, he has very politely told those people to be activists on their own time, or find another job.What’s also clear is that Armstrong believes he’s far from alone among his C-Suite peers – not just at Coinbase or in the crypto industry, but among executive teams across corporate America. By sharing his position publicly, Armstrong obviously hopes it resonates and catches on, perhaps lighting the spark of some kind of backlash to the cultural moment that has, among other things, seen Scientific American take a position on the presidential race for the first time in its 175-year history.And Armstrong is probably right to think so. Although barely any other CEOs responded to his post, several influencers chimed in their support. To be fair, the odds were skewed in his favor – big chunks of the crypto community, generally known to favor libertarianism and pseudonymity, would certainly feel affinity to Armstrong’s “leave me out of it” position.Of course, there was no shortage of people calling out Armstrong for taking a position that doesn’t just go against the grain of a trend sweeping companies throughout America, but is fundamentally cowardly and on the wrong side of history. Ultimately, it will push away talent, critics say, since it will set the wrong tone with exactly the kind of employees…

Bored with Bitcoin price, traders chase gains in altcoins and DeFi tokens

Bored with Bitcoin price, traders chase gains in altcoins and DeFi tokens

For the few weeks Bitcoin (BTC) price has moved within a $850 range and recently the price resumed the trend of daily higher lows. Despite this, $11,000 remains a hurdle the price has struggled to overcome but one positive is that altcoins are beginning to recover some of the hefty losses of the past few weeks. Cryptocurrency daily market performance snapshot. Source: Coin360Perhaps now that CME Bitcoin options closed without any major disruption and a new month on the verge of beginning, Bitcoin price can make a move higher and finally clear the $11K resistance. The weekly time frame shows strong support from $10,000-$10,500 and as Cointelegraph contributor Rakesh Upadhyay noted: “Bulls have consistently purchased dips to and below $10K and this psychologically important level may now act as a floor for launching the next leg of the uptrend.”As the chart shows, $11,000-$11,200 has been a difficult zone to overcome and risk averse traders are likely waiting for $12,000 to turn from resistance to support before opening new positions. BTC/USDT weekly chart. Source: TradingViewWhile $10,000 has held as a solid level of support since the price made a double bottom at $9,800, a revisit to the high volume VPVR node at $9,500 is possible if BTC breaks the pattern of lower highs by falling below the ascending trendline to $10,100.  This seems unlikely given that bulls have defended the $10K level quite vigorously over the past two weeks. BTC/USDT daily chart. Source: TradingViewUltimately, not much has changed and Bitcoin price simply continue to slowly grind higher. In the event of a breakout with sustained purchasing from bulls, Bitcoin price could push through the $11K resistance to attempt a higher high above $11,400. As shown on the daily timeframe, on Sept. 3 Bitcoin price dropped 13.3% from $11,400 and the high volume VPVR node at this level suggests it will now function as resistance. Bitcoin price daily performance. Source: Coin360While Bitcoin price continues to consolidate, altcoins moved a tad bit higher. At the time of writing Polkadot (DOT) has gained 4.99%, OMG Network (OMG) is up 25.18%, and Maker (MKR) has added 6.09%.  According to CoinMarketCap, the overall cryptocurrency market cap now stands at $343.7 billion and Bitcoin’s dominance index is currently at 57.5%.Keep track of top crypto markets in real time here

One of Hal Finney’s lost contributions to Bitcoin Core to be ‘resurrected’

One of Hal Finney’s lost contributions to Bitcoin Core to be ‘resurrected’

In a February 8, 2011 post on Bitcointalk, Finney said that reading a book titled “Guide to Elliptic Curve Cryptography” by Hankerson, Menezes, and Vanstone, gave him an idea of how to speed up signature verification by 25%. In the following post from the same day, Finney announced that he had already written “test code” and uploaded it to the Github repository. However, there was a problem with Finney’s proposal — his method had already been patented by someone else.“Method for Accelerating Cryptographic Operation on Elliptic Curves” (also known as GLV or Four-Dimensional Gallant–Lambert–Vanstone Scalar Multiplication) received a patent on September 19, 2006 — likely at a time when Satoshi Nakamoto was already busy at work on Bitcoin (BTC). In order to understand the invention, we have to dive a bit deeper into elliptical curve cryptography. The patent reads:The improvement comes from representing “the scalar k as a combination of components k, and an integer A”. Mathematical operations performed on k represented in this form appear to be less computationally expensive, hence the gains in speed. Finney’s 2013 proposal was implemented with the release of the libsecp256k1 library, but was never enabled due to existing legal concerns. That’s how things stood until September 25, when the patent expired. According to the Blockstream co-founder Adam Back, the code is now expected to be activated in the next Bitcoin Core update.February 2011 seems to be the time when Finney was most focused on optimizing Bitcoin’s signature verification. In a post from February 7, 2011, Finney said he was looking at “batch signature verification”, which he believed might speed up the process by a factor of four. The idea behind it was that instead of verifying signatures one by one, to verify them block-wise: hundreds or even thousands at a time. However, according to Blockstream’s co-founder Pieter Wuille (who was one of the authors of the libsecp256k1 library), when GLV is combined with batch verification, the gains disappear once you reach approximately 1,000 signatures:“The benefit of batch+GLV over just batch is less than single+GLV over just single. And for very large numbers, the benefit tends to a ratio 1 (so no benefit). But at least up to 1000s of signatures, it is still an advantage.”Indeed, it has been implemented…

Price analysis 9/28: BTC, ETH, XRP, BCH, BNB, DOT, LINK, ADA, BSV, CRO

Price analysis 9/28: BTC, ETH, XRP, BCH, BNB, DOT, LINK, ADA, BSV, CRO

Bitcoin (BTC) soared above $10,000 on July 27 and has sustained above this level since then. Data shows that this streak of 63 consecutive days of closes above the $10,000 level is a new record.This also shows that  the level has now become a strong support after previously acting as a stiff resistance. Bulls have consistently purchased dips to and below $10K and this psychologically important level may now act as a floor for launching the next leg of the uptrend.Daily cryptocurrency market performance. Source: Coin360At the moment it seems that the monetary and fiscal stimulus measures unleashed across the globe have increased the allure of cryptocurrencies as investors look for alternative investment opportunities to safeguard their portfolio from the debasing of fiat currencies.With less than 2.5 million Bitcoin left to be mined, the scarcity factor could soon come into play as demand from institutional investors picks up.After weeks of downside price action and short periods of consolidation, can Bitcoin and altcoins build upon the bullishness of the past few days to resume the uptrend? Let’s analyze the charts to find out.BTC/USDBitcoin is currently range-bound between the uptrend line and the overhead resistance at $11,178. The flat moving averages and the relative strength index just above the midpoint suggest a few days of consolidation.BTC/USD daily chart. Source: TradingViewThe bears will mount a stiff resistance in the zone between the 50-day simple moving average ($11,097) and the downtrend line. If the price turns down from either resistance, the bears will try to sink the price below the uptrend line.If they succeed, the BTC/USD pair can drop to the critical support at $9,835. The selling could intensify if this critical support breaks down.However, during the next dip, if the pair rebounds off the uptrend line, the bulls will make one more attempt to push the price above the overhead resistance and resume the uptrend. The first target on the upside is $12,048 and above it $12,460.ETH/USDEther (ETH) has risen above the downtrend line and the bulls are now trying to push the price above the 20-day exponential moving average ($362). This up-move suggests that the selling pressure has reduced. ETH/USD daily chart. Source: TradingViewIf the ETH/USD pair breaks and closes (UTC time) above the 20-day EMA, a quick rally…