Top Stories This Week
The decentralized finance (DeFi) ecosystem experienced a challenging week after a seismic security incident led to over $61 million being stolen from Curve Finance’s pools, leaving several protocols facing broader contagion risks. This attack exposed vulnerabilities across DeFi projects and sparked efforts to recover stolen funds over the past few days, hammering the performance of tokens and even stablecoins as a result of the dramatic ups and downs in this story. As the community navigates the aftermath of this exploit, Cointelegraph compiled the week’s events, presenting a timeline of what happened since the hack on July 30.
US DoJ is concerned about a run on Binance should prosecutors bring fraud charges
The United States Department of Justice is reportedly considering charging cryptocurrency exchange Binance with fraud, but hesitating based on costs to consumers. According to people familiar with the matter, Justice Department officials are concerned about an indictment against Binance causing a run similar to what happened with FTX in November 2022. The officials are considering fines or non-prosecution agreements for Binance rather than criminal charges in an effort to reduce the harm to consumers. Binance has been targeted by a criminal probe in the U.S. for allegedly violating the country’s sanctions on Russia and has also faced lawsuits from U.S. regulators.
Hong Kong debuts retail crypto trading with HashKey and OSL
Digital asset firm HashKey has successfully obtained all necessary licensing to broaden its business from serving professional investors to taking on retail users, as Hong Kong expands its cryptocurrency trading to individual investors. The first license, Type 1, allows HashKey to operate a virtual asset trading platform under Hong Kong’s securities laws. The second one, Type 7, officially enables the firm to provide automated trading services to both institutional and retail users. OSL, another local crypto firm, received an upgrade to its existing license from Hong Kong’s Securities and Futures Commission, allowing it to offer Bitcoin (BTC) and Ether (ETH) trading to retail investors immediately.
Coinbase denies SEC told it to delist everything but Bitcoin
Coinbase has denied reports claiming that its CEO, Brian Armstrong, was once told by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission to delist all cryptocurrencies on its platform except for Bitcoin. In an interview with the Financial Times, Armstrong reportedly stated that the SEC wanted Coinbase to delist the nearly 250 tokens on its platform. According to a Coinbase spokesperson, however, the report is missing context and the SEC didn’t request Coinbase to delist any specific assets. SEC Chair Gary Gensler has previously claimed that “everything other than Bitcoin” is a security under the agency’s remit.
Ethereum’s 8th birthday: Crypto industry shares its top moments
The crypto community has come together to celebrate the birthday of the Ethereum network, marking eight years since the Ethereum Foundation first sent the network live.
On July 30, 2015, former Ethereum Foundation CCO Stephan Tual penned a blog post, officially announcing that the network had been rolled out. “The vision of a censorship-proof ‘world computer’ that anyone can program, paying exclusively for what they use and nothing more, is now a reality,” he wrote. Eight years later, Ethereum and its native currency, Ether (ETH), has grown to become the second-largest crypto asset in existence, boasting a market capitalization of $225 billion and more than 1,900 monthly active developers.
Winners and Losers
At the end of the week, Bitcoin (BTC) is at $28,985, Ether (ETH) at $1,823 and XRP at $0.63. The total market cap is at $1.16 trillion, according to CoinMarketCap.
Among the biggest 100 cryptocurrencies, the top three altcoin gainers of the week are Helium (HNT) at 39.79%, XDC Network (XDC) at 20.11% and Bone ShibaSwap (BONE) at 18.04%.
The top three altcoin losers of the week are Compound (COMP) at -18.41%, Curve DAO Token (CRV) at -15.86% and Stellar (XLM) at -14.36%.
For more info on crypto prices, make sure to read Cointelegraph’s market analysis.
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Crypto winter can take a toll on hodlers’ mental health
Most Memorable Quotations
“The digital asset products and services that TASE is exploring will no doubt play foundational roles in the future of Israel’s economy.”
Michael Shaulov, CEO of Fireblocks
“Spot [Bitcoin] ETFs will serve another set of customers in a synergistic fashion to grow the entire asset class.”
Michael Saylor, CEO of Microstrategy
“Generative AI has enormous economic potential and could boost global labor productivity by more than 1 percentage point a year in the decade following widespread usage.”
“I personally have not seen any audit reports of USDT. I don’t think most people I spoke to have not seen that either. So it’s kind of a black box because we just don’t know.”
Changpeng “CZ” Zhao, CEO of Binance
“As president, on day one, CBDC goes into the trash can — we’re not going to allow it.”
Ron DeSantis, governor of Florida
“The most important thing that happened this year in Bitcoin is Larry Fink.”
Mike Novogratz, CEO of Galaxy Digital
Prediction of the Week
BTC price upside ‘yet to come’ at $29K after Bitcoin RSI reset — Trader
Bitcoin has not yet seen the majority of its gains this cycle, popular traders believe. After over a month of acting within a tight trading range, traders’ patience with Bitcoin is wearing thin, but amid expectations that BTC price will test levels closer to $25,000 or even lower, pseudonymous analyst Credible Crypto is one of those arguing the opposite.
Analyzing data, including Bitcoin market cap dominance and its relative strength index (RSI), he concluded that conditions had been reset. “Biggest upside moves on BTC are YET TO COME,” he summarized, before adding that:
“A month of sideways action on BTC and dominance has simply made a higher low. H12 bullish div confirmed, RSI on higher TF looks reset, maintaining above the ‘magic’ 40 RSI level, who’s ready for the next leg up?”
Continuing, fellow pseudonymous trader CryptoCon flagged RSI over longer timeframes to deliver a similarly bullish take on BTC price performance:
“I see price going sideways, and I’ve never been more bullish! Just wait until we break into phase 2 on the 3 Week RSI… Early bull market price action, period.”
FUD of the Week
Is SBF secretly behind BALD? Crypto Twitter debates latest conspiracy
Crypto Twitter has been abuzz with debate after a new conspiracy theory has suggested FTX founder Sam “SBF” Bankman-Fried may be secretly behind one of the most controversial new memecoins on Base. The Bald memecoin was launched on July 30 and witnessed an incredible 289,000% gain within the first 24 hours of trading. After the token’s anonymous developer removed thousands of ETH in liquidity, the price of Bald plummeted more than 85% — sparking allegations of a rug pull, which the developer has denied. The incident led a number of blockchain sleuths to dig into the developer’s on-chain past, prompting some to draw a link to SBF as the Ethereum wallet address responsible for deploying the Bald token, which had received thousands of ETH in funding from wallets associated with FTX and Alameda Research.
Individual charged with money laundering admits to hacking Bitfinex in 2016
Ilya Lichtenstein admitted to a U.S. court that he was the individual behind an exploit of cryptocurrency exchange Bitfinex in 2016 which resulted in the theft of roughly 119,754 Bitcoin. Lichtenstein spoke as part of a plea agreement with prosecutors, who charged him and his wife Heather Morgan with money laundering conspiracy and conspiracy to defraud the United States. The couple allegedly laundered more than 94,643 BTC from the Bitfinex hack — worth roughly $54 million at the time.
Users said CertiK’s warning was a false alarm — then the project rugged
Blockchain security firm Certik tried, in 2022, to warn users of an imminent rug pull surrounding a crypto project, but investors became angry and fired back. The firm rescinded the security alert. Then, the project pulled the plug. This is the story behind the Web3 gaming project “Crypto Cars.” At the time, the project’s native token was rapidly falling in price, its website was temporarily down, and its developers said that it would no longer respond on its Telegram due to the Lunar New Year holiday celebrated in Vietnam. The situation triggered Certik’s alert, but when Cointelegraph attempted to follow up with the project on Aug. 1, 2023, it had long ago shut its doors.
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Cointelegraph Magazine writers and reporters contributed to this article.