Meta and BlackRock dive deeper into crypto as Voyager receives approval to return cash
Data from CryptoCompare shows that the price of Bitcoin started last week around the $23,000 mark and moved sideways throughout most of it, before surging past the $24,000 mark for the first time in eight weeks over the weekend.
Ethereum’s Ether, the second-largest cryptocurrency by market cap, moved steadily upward throughout the week from around $1,650 to nearly $1,800 at the time of writing, as the network approaches a major upgrade called the Merge.
Headlines in the cryptocurrency space last week showed that various large organisations were diving deeper into the cryptocurrency space during this bear market, despite falling prices. Meta, formerly Facebook, has for example, revealed it’s rolling out non-fungible token (NFT) support across 100 countries in Africa, the Asia-Pacific region, the Middle East, and the Americas. The move includes adding support for Coinbase Wallet and Dapper.
The initial rollout will be done for the popular social media app Instagram and comes with support for digital collectibles minted on the Flow blockchain. Integrations with other third-party wallets such as MetaMask, Trust Wallet, and Rainbow are being completed, the firm said.
Meta doesn’t charge fees for posting or sharing NFTs on Instagram, and now supports three blockchains: Ethereum, Polygon, and Flow.
Meanwhile, the world’s largest asset manager with over $10 trillion in assets under management, BlackRock, has made a deal with Nasdaq-listed cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase to give the asset manager’s institutional clients access to cryptocurrency markets by connecting to Aladdin, BlackRock’s portfolio management platform, short for “Asset, Liability, Debt and Derivative Investment Network”.
The Aladdin platform provides essential infrastructure for the global investment industry, and will offer its clients access to cryptocurrencies. The first digital asset to be available will be bitcoin, but others will follow. The Nasdaq-listed cryptocurrency exchange will provide cryptocurrency trading, custody, prime brokerage, and reporting capabilities.
Adoption also grew over the past week after finance giant Schwab Asset Management revealed the launch of its first cryptocurrency-related exchange-traded fund (ETF) on the New York Stock Exchange Arca.
Nearly 8,000 Solana wallets drained
Solana’s ecosystem was targeted in a new exploit that drained nearly 8,000 wallets from users of different platforms, including Phantom, Slope, and TrustWallet. The attack siphoned over $5 million in SOL and SPL tokens, with the exact cause of the attack being tied to Slop Mobile Wallets.
According to a team dedicated to Solana blockchain’s status, an investigation conducted alongside developers and ecosystem teams revealed the bug wasn’t on Solana’s core code but instead on software used by “several software wallets popular among users of the network.”
Slope Finance issued a statement shortly after the investigation’s findings were unveiled, confirming a cohort of its wallets were compromised in the breach. It recommended users create a new seed phrase wallet and transfer their assets to it.
Over the week, there was another exploit, as cross-chain token bridge Nomad saw attackers drain virtually all of its funds, leading to a total loss near $200 million. Nomad, which like other cross-chain bridges, allows users to send and receive tokens between different blockchains, acknowledged the exploit and said an investigation is ongoing.
According to a researcher at crypto investment firm Paradigm, a recent update to one of Nomad’s smart contracts made it easy for users to spoof transactions, meaning they were allowed to withdraw money from the Nomad bridge that did not belong to them.
Notably, over the week, nearly $5 million worth of digital assets are believed to have been drained from the hot wallet of cryptocurrency exchange ZB.com. The exchange halted client withdrawals earlier in the week.
Ethereum blockchain data shows that significant amounts of over 20 digital assets moved from ZB.com’s hot wallet to another address, which has subsequently liquidated all but five of these tokens so far.
MicroStrategy Reports $917 Million Bitcoin Impairment Charge
Nasdaq-listed business intelligence firm MicroStrategy took a non-cash digital impairment charge of $917.8 million in the second quarter of the year, according to its Q2 2022 earnings call.
An impairment charge describes a reduction or loss in the recoverable value of an asset. MicroStrategy’s impairment charge is related to its Bitcoin holdings and reflects the cryptocurrency’s price decline compared to when the firm purchased it.
The firm’s impairment charge in the second quarter marks a sharp increase from its $170.1 million charge in the first quarter of the year. Since August 2020, MicroStrategy has bought 129,699 BTC at an average price of $30,664 per coin.
While most companies in the space are struggling, crypto hardware wallet maker Ledger is in talks to raise at least $100 million in a new funding round that will give it a higher valuation than what it commanded at its last financing round.
Francisco Memoria is a content creator at CryptoCompare who’s in love with technology and focuses on helping people see the value digital currencies have. His work has been published in numerous reputable industry publications. Francisco holds various cryptocurrencies.
Featured image via Unsplash.