Bitcoin Price: US$37,064.13 (-0.18%)
Ethereum Price: US$ 2,044.68 (-0.41%)
A fake regulatory filing falsely suggesting BlackRock’s intention to launch an XRP exchange-traded fund (ETF) led to a spike in XRP’s price, surging more than 10%. However, BlackRock quickly refuted the claim, stating it had not filed any such documents. The incident highlights the potential misuse of Delaware’s corporate registration process, as previously seen with Grayscale in 2021. Meanwhile, the U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS) faced criticism from the crypto industry regarding its proposed crypto tax rule, deemed a dangerous overreach. During a hearing, IRS officials showed interest in addressing concerns related to decentralised platforms, stablecoin transactions, and non-financial assets, suggesting potential flexibility in the final rule. In other news, CoinShares reported a third consecutive week of significant net inflows into digital asset investment products, totalling $293 million, bringing the year-to-date inflows to over $1 billion. Bitcoin funds accounted for the majority of last week’s net inflows at $240 million. This influx aligns with the recent optimism surrounding a potential U.S. regulatory approval of a spot bitcoin ETF, contributing to Bitcoin’s 37% gain since October. Additionally, Ether funds saw their largest net inflow since August 2022, with $49 million, likely influenced by BlackRock’s spot ether ETF application.
Bitcoin researcher Robin Linus has released a new proposal called “BitStream,” outlining a concept for decentralised file hosting incentivised via Bitcoin payments. Linus, known for his previous “BitVM” paper, envisions an open market for content hosting where an atomic swap of coins for files occurs. Payment channels like Lightning would be utilised to charge for each download, preventing potential overhead costs for server hosts. The proposal includes encryption and fraud-proof mechanisms, with a bond contract ensuring clients receive the correct file or can penalise the server in case of discrepancies. BitStream aligns with Linus’s focus on off-chain solutions to avoid network performance issues. In another development, hackers employing a piece of code known as Create2 have reportedly stolen over $60 million in crypto within six months. ScamSniffer reveals that these wallet drainers use Create2 to predict contract addresses before deployment on the Ethereum network, enabling them to bypass security alerts and deceive users into approving malicious signatures, leading to unauthorised access to private keys. Additionally, Cboe Digital, the crypto arm of the Chicago Board of Options Exchange, is set to launch margined bitcoin and ether futures on January 11, making it the first U.S.-regulated exchange to offer both spot and leveraged derivatives trading on a single platform. The margined futures will enable traders to use leverage, enhancing liquidity and hedging opportunities in the crypto market.
Raft, a decentralised U.S. dollar stablecoin protocol, reported a security exploit leading to a loss of $6.7 million despite multiple security audits. The incident involved a hacker borrowing 6,000 Coinbase-wrapped staked Ether (cbETH) on Aave, transferring it to Raft, and exploiting a smart contract glitch to mint 6.7 million R tokens, Raft’s stablecoin. The attacker then swapped the unauthorised funds on decentralised exchanges Balancer and Uniswap, securing $3.6 million in proceeds. Raft acknowledged vulnerabilities in the precision calculation when minting share tokens and stated that despite audits by Trail of Bits and Hats Finance, the flaws leading to the exploit were not detected. Foresight Ventures, a venture capital firm in Singapore, has acquired a majority stake in crypto-focused media company The Block, valuing it at $70 million. Foresight Ventures purchased an 80% stake for $60 million, and The Block will continue operating as an independent business. The media company’s CEO, Larry Cermak, remains the second-largest shareholder, with Foresight CEO Forest Bai becoming chairman. The deal allows The Block to distance itself from past ties to the FTX scandal. In another development, a new phishing scam has emerged in China, using a fake Skype video app to target crypto users. Chinese hackers exploited the ban on international applications, creating fake versions of commonly searched apps like Skype. The attackers inserted malware into the fake Skype app, targeting crypto users and replacing wallet addresses. The scam was discovered by crypto security analytics firm SlowMist, which found that the malicious app was uploading images, device information, user ID, and phone numbers to a phishing gang. The hackers initially targeted Tron and Ether addresses but stopped the wallet address replacement during SlowMist’s testing.
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