Crypto Biz: Binances chaotic June miners gear up for halving Bitfinexs Latam expansion

Crypto Biz: Binances chaotic June miners gear up for halving Bitfinexs Latam expansion

This week’s Crypto Biz looks at the story behind Binance’s debanking in Australia, Bitcoin miners preparing for the next halving, and Bitfinex’s expansion in Latin America.

June was a tough month for Binance, as it faced stress tests worldwide after the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filed a lawsuit against the crypto exchange and its leadership.

In a nutshell, over the past 30 days, the Belgian financial regulator ordered Binance to cease all crypto services, the exchange failed to obtain a license in the Netherlands, Binance’s Brazil head has been subpoenaed to appear before Congress concerning a Ponzi scheme investigation, and just a few days ago, another ongoing investigation in France became public.

And there’s more: Binance’s United Kingdom-based subsidiary canceled its registration with the Financial Conduct Authority, and in the U.S., the exchange still has a long road ahead in its struggle with regulators. Moreover, the exchange was denied a crypto custody license in Germany and lost its euro banking partner.

Yet, despite all these developments, Binance remains untouched as the top dog among centralized exchanges, with $58.11 billion in total value locked, down from $63.8 billion on June 1, according to data from DefiLlama. The exchange’s next big focus is in the United Arab Emirates, an allegedly “prime destination” for crypto businesses seeking a clear path forward.

“We keep building,” Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao said in a tweet on June 28, following a long and hectic month.

This week’s Crypto Biz looks at the story behind Binance’s debanking in Australia, Bitcoin (BTC) miners preparing for the next halving, MicroStrategy’s latest Bitcoin purchase and Bitfinex’s expansion in Latin America.

Binance Australia got 12 hours’ notice before it was debanked, exec says

There was no prior warning, consultation or redress. In the middle of the night, Binance Australia’s team was suddenly told it would be “cut off” from the country’s banking system. Binance regional manager Ben Rose shared details of the exchange’s debanking in the country at the Australian Blockchain Week on June 26. In May, the company announced that its dollar services were suspended after its payments provider Zepto was told to discontinue support for Binance. According to Rose, the move impacted around 1 million Australian-based customers, with Binance now seeking an alternative payment provider.

Ben Rose (right) on stage at the Australian Blockchain Week. Source: Cointelegraph

Riot Platforms to add 33,000 Bitcoin miners ahead of 2024 halving

Bitcoin miner firm Riot Platforms is loading up for the next halving cycle by purchasing 33,280 “next-generation” rigs for its Texas facility, costing $162.9 million. The miners, which were sourced from MicroBT, will boost the firm’s self-mining capacity by 7.6 exahashes per second (EH/s) to 20.1 EH/s once the machines are installed in the first quarter of 2024. Among the machines, 8,320 are M56S+ models with a hash rate of 220 terahashes per second (TH/s), while the remaining 24,960 M56S++ are slightly more powerful at 230 TH/s.

MicroStrategy buys $347 million worth of Bitcoin amid market thaw

MicroStrategy announced the purchase of 12,333 Bitcoin on June 28, worth $347 million at publication. MicroStrategy now owns 152,333 BTC worth $4.52 billion, with an average purchase price of $29.668 per coin. The coins were bought between April 27 and June 27, with the purchase partly financed by the issuance of new stock. MicroStrategy has been actively purchasing Bitcoin using cash and stock financing during the crypto bear market, sometimes irrespective of price. In Q1 2023, the firm reported its first profitable quarter since 2020 due to a one-time income tax benefit. 

Bitfinex launches P2P trading platform in Venezuela, Argentina and Colombia

Digital asset exchange Bitfinex is expanding its operations to Latin America. The crypto company has launched a peer-to-peer trading platform in Venezuela, Argentina and Colombia, allowing users in the South American nations to buy and sell Bitcoin, Ether (ETH), Tether (USDT), Tether’s euro-pegged stablecoin, Tether EURt (EURT), and Tether Gold (XAUT). In April, Bitfinex’s El Salvador arm received a digital asset service provider license from the National Digital Asset Commission. Last month, the exchange partnered with Chile-based crypto platform OrionX to support local education and financial literacy programs.

Crypto Biz is your weekly pulse of the business behind blockchain and crypto, delivered directly to your inbox every Thursday.

Polygon proposes architecture for 'Polygon 2.0' including aggregator bridge

Polygon proposes architecture for 'Polygon 2.0' including aggregator bridge

The forthcoming multi-chain system will use ZK proofs to transfer assets between networks.

Polygon Labs, creator of the Polygon (MATIC) network, has proposed an architecture for its forthcoming “Polygon 2.0” project. The team suggested in a June 29 blog post that the new project should be made up of four different ‘layers,’ which will combine to create a web of networks ultimately connected to each other through Ethereum. If approved by validators, Polygon 2.0 will also feature an aggregator that makes bridge transactions “near-instant and atomic” the team said.

The team first announced Polygon 2.0 on June 12, claiming that the new project would establish “the value layer” of the Internet. But details were scarce at that time. On June 20, co-founder Mihailo Bjelic proposed upgrading the current Polygon network to use zero-knowledge proofs, which he said was necessary in order to make the old network compatible with the “vision” of 2.0.

The June 30 post goes into greater detail about what Polygon 2.0 will look like. The foundation of the project will be the “staking layer” that currently exists. This consists of a “validator manager” contract on Ethereum plus an additional “chain manager” contract for each individual Polygon chain. In the future, new Polygon chains will be able to form by launching new chain manager contracts on Ethereum.

Connecting to this foundational staking layer will be an “interoperability layer” that contains bridges connecting each Polygon chain to each other, through Ethereum. This layer will be secured by using zero-knowledge proofs to validate all transfers.

The interoperability later will also feature an aggregator that combines individual ZK-proofs from each bridge into one proof before sending it to Ethereum. This will enable “seamless” bridge transactions and “dramatically [reduce] Ethereum gas consumption for proof verification,” the team stated.

The third layer of Polygon 2.0 will be the current execution layer which relies upon the Erigon Ethereum client, and the fourth layer will be a “proving layer” that standardizes the ZK-proof process across all Polygon chains.

The team announced that further details about each layer will be provided at a future date.

Polygon isn’t the only network trying to expand into a multi-chain ecosystem. zkSync Era has announced that it intends to create a network of “Hyperchains,” which it hopes to launch in a testnet phase by the end of the year. Optimism is also trying to create a “Superchain” in cooperation with Coinbase’s Base network, and it recently implemented its “Bedrock” upgrade to pave the way towards this transformation.

Crypto VC is struggling only from a North American perspective  Animoca Brands CEO

Crypto VC is struggling only from a North American perspective Animoca Brands CEO

Speaking with Cointelegraph at the Collision Conference, in Toronto, crypto veteran Yat Siu outlined how crypto firms can cope with unique environments, stressing that it is not "as bad as it sounds".

The crypto space has been in an uneven state around the world, with Web3 startups flourishing in the Middle East and Asia, while North American crypto entrepreneurs face challenges under tough macroeconomic and regulatory conditions, according to Animoca Brands CEO Yat Siu. 

Speaking with Cointelegraph at the Collision Conference, in Toronto, Siu highlighted the main differences between the environment for crypto businesses worldwide, stressing that it is not "as bad as it sounds".

According to him, Web3 startups can still raise funding from venture firms, but current conditions like higher interest rates across the globe along with a downturn in crypto assets prices have raised the bar for newcomers.

"Valuations have come down, obviously, but the number of builders entering the space, the number of smart contracts being deployed, the number of people still on the increase. Generally, we're very bullish," he noted, adding that Animoca had added nearly 60 investments to its portfolio in the past months.

Despite being active, the space isn't as strong as it used to be. According to a recent PitchBook’s Crypto Report for the first quarter of 2023, crypto companies raised $2.6 billion across 353 investment rounds. Deal value decreased 11% quarter-over-quarter and total deal value decreased 12.2%.

Venture capital activity across various quarters. Source: PitchBook 

Siu's comments come on the heels of major developments affecting the crypto space since FTX's dramatic collapse in November 2022. In the United States, for instance, the Securities and Exchange Commission launched a crackdown on crypto firms in an attempt to regulate the industry through enforcement actions.

In contrast, Hong Kong has implemented a licensing system for crypto businesses in order to mitigate the risks associated with the digital asset markets. The United Kingdom took a similar approach, approving a legislation that gives regulators power to introduce and enforce regulations for crypto businesses.

"If you are thinking from a North American perspective [about crypto VC], it might sound bad. When you go to the Middle East, Asia, actually it's very vibrant," noted Siu. According to the CEO, the regulatory aspect has been a "hammer" on Web3 companies. "It's creating a lot of fear because people don't know what is going on," he continued.

The veteran crypto entrepreneur doesn't believe in coincidences when it comes to the different approaches countries are taking to the industry. For Siu, favorable environments in Asian nations and hostile movements in the U.S. are part of the country' agendas for emerging technology.

"Pushing Web3 as a narrative is also about the national interest above and beyond, sort of the end user interest for self sovereign identity. And the US is doing everyone a favor. Sadly, though, because I think the US is important in this [...] Because of political reasons, they are leaving it in the hands of other places around the world to have a role. But the exciting side is it allows for ecosystems to flourish that never could before."

Crypto City guide to Sydney: More than just a ‘token’ bridge

VLS Beta For Major Security Enhancement Of Lightning Nodes Released

VLS Beta For Major Security Enhancement Of Lightning Nodes Released

In a significant development for the Bitcoin Lightning Network, the Validating Lightning Signer (VLS) beta release has been announced, aiming to address the growing security concerns within the network. The VLS solution, an open-source Rust library and reference implementation, separates a user's private keys from their Lightning node, providing an extra layer of protection against potential compromises and theft of funds. According to the announcement, VLS offers a level of security unmatched by other solutions in the ecosystem.

"We're thrilled to announce the VLS beta release, a major step forward for Lightning network security, and we're excited to share it with developers and companies in the Bitcoin ecosystem," stated the VLS team. They encouraged developers and companies to try out the VLS Beta release, participate in the feedback process and test the software with sample CLN or LDK nodes to help enhance the security of the Bitcoin Lightning Network.

The VLS beta release introduces various features designed to safeguard against malicious nodes and enhance user protection. These features include working with CLN and LDK, encrypted cloud state backup, disaster recovery capabilities, a complete set of Layer 2 and Layer 1 validation rules, heartbeat generation and an allowlist for approved destinations. However, it's important to note that while VLS is secure against common ways of stealing user funds, it may not cover all possible scenarios of fund loss. Therefore, the team advises running VLS in testnet or with limited funds until the production release.

VLS provides a unique approach to Lightning Network security by sequestering private keys and secrets in hardened policy signing devices. The reference implementation in Rust ensures that proposed transactions are safe to sign by applying a comprehensive set of validation rules. By incorporating UTXO Set Oracles to provide proofs of unspent UTXOs, VLS offers additional protection even in the case of a complete compromise of the node software.

Looking ahead, the VLS roadmap includes plans to run signers on platforms with limited resources, improve performance for embedded processors, and add features such as extended BOLT-12 support and VSS integration. Additionally, the team aims to enable the use of multiple signers using multi-sig with Lightning keys, pending the maturity of key protocols like Taproot, MuSig2 and FROST.

The VLS beta release represents a significant advancement in securing the Bitcoin Lightning Network and holds promise for developers, companies and users seeking enhanced protection for their funds within the network.

Crypto mass adoption is coming but how fast?

Crypto mass adoption is coming but how fast?

The latest Cointelegraph Report assesses the current growth rate of global cryptocurrency usage and tries to predict when crypto will reach mass adoption.

Cryptocurrencies must reach mass adoption to unlock their maximum potential as a network technology and their value as financial assets. 

As with other technologies, the adoption of crypto follows a classic bell curve: Starting from a small number of innovators, it grows as early adopters embrace it, moving into mass adoption as it expands to the early and late majority. Finally, it reaches those lagging behind in its final phase.

Since its launch 14 years ago, Bitcoin’s (BTC) adoption has dramatically increased. The cryptocurrency has gone from being a fringe technology discussed by a small group of cypherpunks and nerds to being known worldwide, with some nation-states even adopting it as legal tender.

According to most estimates, though, crypto’s global adoption rate is still in the single digits, which means it still remains in the “early majority” phase of global adoption.

To grow further and reach true mass adoption, crypto will need to overcome the “chasm” — the gap separating the early adopters from the early majority. To do so, certain catalysts may be required. 

What are those catalysts, and how far is crypto from reaching mass adoption? To find out, don’t miss the latest Cointelegraph Report on YouTube, and don’t forget to subscribe!

Dont be naive  BlackRock's ETF won't be bullish for Bitcoin

Dont be naive BlackRock's ETF won't be bullish for Bitcoin

Are regulators trying to disarm crypto-native companies in order to pave the way for Blackrock to steamroll the industry?

There is no doubt that BlackRock’s spot Bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) application — and the flood of contenders that followed — has buoyed the bulls. It could signal the winds of change in the regulatory sphere, they say. It could bring Bitcoin exposure to the masses, they holler. 

While there might be some truth in these statements, we need to take a step back and look at the bigger picture. We should not be in a world where the mere possibility of a spot Bitcoin ETF coming to fruition in the United States sends markets into overdrive. BlackRock’s potentially oversized impact on Bitcoin’s (BTC) price trajectory should give everyone in the Bitcoin community pause for thought rather than be a cause of celebration.

A spot Bitcoin ETF would clearly be a simple way for U.S. retirement funds to gain exposure to Bitcoin’s upside, and it’s very possible that an approved ETF in the U.S. would drive significant price appreciation in the years that follow. But what will it do to further Bitcoin’s cause — to decentralize finance, empower the unbanked and revolutionize how we interact with money globally? Very little, if anything.

The TradFi invasion

BlackRock’s application and the discussions around it have certainly served as a reminder of the distrust that exists between some parts of the crypto community and the traditional finance world.

Related: Ripple verdict could spark a new bull market — or more malaise

The timing of BlackRock’s foray into Bitcoin ETFs is particularly intriguing and has sent conspiracists wild. Given the Securities and Exchange Commission’s lawsuits against Binance and Coinbase, some believe the agency is disarming crypto-native firms to pave the way for the likes of BlackRock to take over the crypto mantle.

Of course, such claims are unsubstantiated speculation. However, they demonstrate how the more deeply involved traditional finance (TradFi) entities become in the digital assets space, the more we risk Bitcoin becoming just another asset class and losing sight of its intended purpose and true value proposition.

When you delve further into the details of BlackRock’s filing, the alarm bells start ringing louder. The filing makes a provision that in the event of a hard fork, BlackRock can “use its discretion to determine which network should be considered the appropriate network for the Trust’s purposes.” This could potentially be significant, enabling BlackRock to attempt to weigh in on Bitcoin’s direction — or at least steer institutional allocations and mainstream uptake.

Oversized influence on what is intended to be a decentralized monetary system is clearly a cause for concern in and of itself, but the broader issue with ETFs is that investors cannot withdraw the underlying Bitcoin. It’s in the ownership of Bitcoin that the true benefits lie.

Upholding Bitcoin’s ethos

Let’s not forget that Bitcoin was created as a direct response to the bailouts and quantitative easing that followed the 2008 financial crisis. Unlike traditional currencies, Bitcoin has a limited supply, is genuinely scarce and operates with decentralized governance.

Fifteen years on from the crash, central banks around the world can still not break the habit of printing money, using it as a “get out of jail free” card. Except it is nothing but free. Ordinary, hard-working individuals the world over are paying the price as their currencies are debased, which is now exacerbated by soaring nontransitory inflation.

Related: Gary Gensler is hurting the little guys for Wall Street

While central banks play Russian roulette with public finances, Bitcoin’s ethos is to empower individuals by providing a censorship-resistant, borderless form of money. As an open-source monetary network, Bitcoin has the power to transform the way we interact with money. It could significantly reduce the importance of centralized institutions — perhaps even render them obsolete — which the conspiracists would say TradFi knows only too well.

Bitcoin ETFs seem at odds with this empowerment ethos. El Salvador — with its radical approach to Bitcoin adoption — is arguably more aligned with Bitcoin’s core aims than any ETF could ever be. While El Salvador seeks to empower the unbanked through actively promoting Bitcoin ownership, Bitcoin ETF investors will be left without any of the benefits of Bitcoin while lining the pockets of — and cementing the status of — TradFi institutions.

Ownership over price speculation

Bitcoin spot ETFs are likely to establish a stronger presence within the cryptocurrency ecosystem in the years to come and appeal to a certain class of investors, yet their role should not overshadow the trajectory of Bitcoin’s future. If we only focus on giving people exposure to price movements without actual ownership, then we will have totally missed the point of what could be a revolutionary monetary system. And no, if a rule is ever proposed that demands retail can only invest via ETFs rather than through direct ownership, this is not “consumer protection.” It spells their disempowerment.

Our industry should maintain a cautious stance, understanding that the increasing involvement of ETFs and traditional finance in the cryptosphere could pose risks to the underlying purpose of Bitcoin. Being alert to these risks means not getting blinded by the hype, but remaining committed to the original ethos of Bitcoin — a tool to transform the world’s financial systems, not merely an asset for speculation.

Ben Caselin is vice president and chief strategy officer at MaskEX, a digital assets trading platform headquartered in Dubai, UAE. Focused on driving the mass adoption of Bitcoin and digital assets, he is responsible for MaskEX’s global expansion efforts across business development, marketing and communications. Prior to joining MaskEX, he held various senior executive roles at AAX. He holds a BSc degree in cultural anthropology and development sociology from Utrecht University and an MSc in global migration studies from UCL.

This article is for general information purposes and is not intended to be and should not be taken as legal or investment advice. 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.

U.S. House committee chairs Blockchain Association turn up heat on SEC head Gensler

U.S. House committee chairs Blockchain Association turn up heat on SEC head Gensler

Three House chairs sent a letter regarding recordkeeping and FOIA, and the industry advocacy group suggested Wells notice recipients ask for his recusal from their cases.

Three committee chairs in the United States House of Representatives have sent a letter to U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Chair Gary Gensler demanding a more satisfactory response to their Nov. 1 letter regarding the SEC chairman’s and the agency’s compliance with recordkeeping requirements. 

Judiciary Committee Chair Jim Jordan, Oversight Committee Chair James Comer and Financial Services Committee Chair Patrick McHenry stated that the response they received from Gensler to their inquiry did not address direct requests made in their letter. Specifically, they asked for certification that the SEC follows federal recordkeeping and transparency rules and that Gensler and his subordinates have not used private email accounts to conduct official business, as well as explanations of the agency’s definition and use of “off-channel communications.”

The congresspeople, along with Rep. Tom Emmer, were responding to a Wall Street Journal report criticizing the SEC and other agencies for shoddy recordkeeping. “Government officials routinely engage in the same sort of record-keeping shenanigans for which Wall Street groups were recently fined [by the SEC],” the report concluded. Specifically, the article noted the use of chats by officials for government business, which are not searched to fulfill subsequent Freedom of Information Act requests.

The new letter reiterates the original requests and adds, “If you do not intend to comply with any or all of the above requests #1-5, describe the factual and legal basis for your noncompliance.” The letter, dated June 28, cited inconsistencies in Gensler’s publicly accessible meeting schedules in 2021. Crypto is mentioned. 

Related: Coinbase seeks dismissal of SEC suit, claims extraordinary abuse of process

Gensler was the object of specifically crypto-related criticism the following day, when the Blockchain Association released a paper arguing that Gensler should recuse himself from digital asset enforcement decisions. The paper claimed:

“In the digital asset space, the SEC has all but abandoned its role as a rulemaking body. Key issues of existential importance to the digital asset industry remain unresolved, chief among them the question of whether and when a digital asset represents a ‘security.’”

Gensler “has clearly stated his view” that all digital assets other than Bitcoin (BTC) are unregistered securities and all digital asset trading platforms are unregistered securities exchanges, the paper said, citing numerous statements made by the SEC chairman. Those statements show that Gensler has prejudged “everything other than bitcoin,” it continued, and:

“Due process requires not only that agency decisionmakers act without bias, but also that they avoid even the appearance of bias.”

Wells notice recipients can seek Gensler’s recusal through the SEC or in federal court, the paper reminded.

Magazine: Crypto regulation: Does SEC Chair Gary Gensler have the final say?

CME Group set to introduce ETH to BTC Ratio futures

CME Group set to introduce ETH to BTC Ratio futures

The scheduled launch date for these futures contracts is set for July 31, pending regulatory review.

On June 29, the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) Group announced its plans to introduce Ether/Bitcoin Ratio futures. The launch of these futures contracts is slated for July 31, subject to regulatory review.

According to the announcement, the settlement of Ether/Bitcoin Ratio futures will be in cash, based on the final settlement price of CME Group’s Ether (ETH) futures divided by the final settlement price of CME Group's Bitcoin (BTC) futures. Moreover, this new contract will adhere to the identical listing cycle observed in CME Group’s Bitcoin futures and Ether futures contracts.

Giovanni Vicioso, CME Group’s global head of cryptocurrency products, emphasized the potential for relative value trading opportunities between Ether and Bitcoin. Vicioso highlighted that while these two assets have historically displayed high correlation, their market dynamics may now vary, making it possible to capitalize on their performance differences. He added: 

“With the addition of Ether/Bitcoin Ratio futures, investors will be able to capture ether and bitcoin exposure in a single trade, without needing to take a directional view. This new contract will help create opportunities for a broad array of clients looking to hedge positions or execute other trading strategies, all in an efficient, cost-effective manner."

CME Group made its initial foray into the cryptocurrency market by introducing the first Bitcoin futures contract in December 2017. This was followed by the introduction of an Ether futures contract in February 2021. Recognizing the growing demand for cryptocurrency investment opportunities, CME Group further expanded its offerings in 2022 by introducing micro BTC and ETH futures contracts, providing traders with additional options to engage in these digital assets.

Related: CME Group to launch 3 metaverse reference rates

On April 17, CME Group announced plans to expand its cryptocurrency options by introducing new options for standard and micro-sized Bitcoin and Ether contracts. These new contracts were set to become available from May 22, pending regulatory review.

The expansion included daily expiries from Monday to Friday, allowing traders to better manage short-term price risks. This move aimed to offer market participants increased precision and flexibility in managing Bitcoin's and Ether’s short-term price risks amid heightened volatility in the digital asset sector.

Magazine: How to resurrect the ‘Metaverse dream’ in 2023

UK crypto bill reaches final stage on track for passage

UK crypto bill reaches final stage on track for passage

The legislation now waits on King Charles’ table for royal assent, the final step required for a parliamentary bill to become law.

A bill bringing cryptocurrencies under the same rules applied to traditional assets is set to pass into law in the United Kingdom as it reaches the final stages for King Charles’ royal assent on June 29, the final step required for a parliamentary bill to become law.

Approved by the upper chamber of the U.K. parliament on June 19, the Financial Services and Markets Bill has been discussed in the British Parliament since July 2022 and is expected to increase legal clarity and support the adoption of cryptocurrencies in the country.

The new law will give the Treasury, Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), Bank of England and Payments Systems Regulator the power to introduce and enforce regulations for crypto businesses.

Related: London Stock Exchange Group may provide clearing services for BTC derivatives in Q4

This legislation marks a significant milestone for the local crypto community. In a recent interview, the economic secretary to the U.K. Treasury, Andrew Griffith, said the country wants to capitalize on the benefits that blockchain can bring to the private sector and economy, adding that the long-term vision is to “let firms make the most of the opportunities from crypto assets” under adequate crypto regulation.

The legislation could be a catalyst for attracting more crypto firms to the U.K. amid the tight regulatory environment around the world. Recently, venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz (A16z) announced its first new office outside of the United States in London, following a “productive dialogue” with the U.K. prime minister and “months of constructive conversations” with policymakers and the FCA. Chris Dixon, A16z’s crypto founder and managing partner, cited a “predictable business environment” as one of the main factors behind its decision to expand overseas.

Magazine: US enforcement agencies are turning up the heat on crypto-related crime

How to start a career in artificial intelligence

How to start a career in artificial intelligence

Discover how to kickstart a career in AI by building a strong foundation through AI courses, gaining practical experience with projects and more!

Global industry disruption brought about by artificial intelligence (AI) is creating interesting job prospects for anyone interested in this cutting-edge subject. AI is revolutionizing how we live and work with technologies like self-driving cars and virtual assistants. 

If you’re interested in the seemingly limitless potential of AI and want to start a career in this rapidly expanding industry, you may consider the following actions you can take to begin your exploration of the fascinating area of artificial intelligence.

Developing a strong foundation

Establishing a firm foundation for AI requires a thorough comprehension of the underlying ideas. Learn about important subjects, including data analysis, natural language processing, neural networks and machine learning. Experts in the field of artificial intelligence teach specialized AI systems through online courses and platforms, such as Coursera, Udacity and edX. Through real projects, you can gain knowledge and work with AI groups to build your network.

For instance, to get a solid theoretical and practical understanding of AI, enroll in courses such as Andrew Ng’s “Machine Learning Specialization” from Stanford University and on Coursera, or the “Deep Learning Specialization” from

Related: 5 free artificial intelligence courses and certifications

Choose a specialization

Because AI spans a wide range of fields, it’s important to decide on your area of interest and specialty. Whether you have a passion for computer vision, robotics, medicine or finance, choosing a niche will enable you to concentrate your study efforts and gain knowledge in that particular area.

To become an expert in your chosen field, keep up with the most recent research publications, attend conferences and join AI groups. For instance, to improve your image recognition and object identification abilities, investigate the OpenCV and TensorFlow libraries and take part in Kaggle competitions if you’re interested in computer vision.

Build a strong portfolio

In the crowded AI job market, standing out from the competition requires a strong portfolio. Work on personal projects, contribute to open-source projects or take part in AI hackathons to demonstrate your abilities.

Create and deploy AI models, document your process, and highlight the impact of your work. This will demonstrate your ability to tackle real-world problems and attract potential employers. For instance, you can develop a sentiment analysis model for social media data or create a chatbot using natural language processing techniques and deploy it on a website.

Related: 10 emerging technologies in computer science that will shape the future

Gain practical experience

In the field of AI, internships, research projects and industrial partnerships offer priceless practical experience. To obtain practical experience, collaborate with professionals and comprehend how AI is used in the real world, look for possibilities to work with well-established AI businesses, research laboratories or startups.

Your abilities will improve, your comprehension will deepen, and you will become more marketable to potential employers as a result of practical exposure. As an example, sign up as an intern at AI research labs such as OpenAI, Google Brain or Microsoft Research or work with academic institutions on AI projects.

Keep up with industry trends

To succeed in AI, you must be abreast of the most recent developments and market trends. Follow well-known AI researchers, sign up for forums, go to conferences, and engage in continuous learning.

This will help you stay at the forefront of AI innovation, understand emerging technologies and adapt to the evolving landscape. For instance, you can attend conferences such as NeurIPS (the Conference and Workshop on Neural Information Processing Systems), ICML (the International Conference on Machine Learning) or AAAI (the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence) and follow influential AI researchers, such as Yann LeCun, Andrew Ng or Fei-Fei Li.

The decision to pursue a career in artificial intelligence is an exciting one that offers a wealth of possibilities. By building a strong foundation, specializing in a niche, developing a robust portfolio, gaining practical experience and staying updated with industry trends, you can pave the way for a successful AI career. Embrace the transformative power of AI, fuel your passion and unleash your potential to make a profound impact in this exciting field.

Fidelity Refiles For Spot Bitcoin ETF Joining Peer Institutions

Fidelity Refiles For Spot Bitcoin ETF Joining Peer Institutions

In a recent flurry of events indicating growing institutional interest in Bitcoin, Fidelity Investments has refiled its application for a spot Bitcoin ETF. This move comes after several other major players in the financial industry have also made similar filings, cementing Bitcoin's position as a sought-after asset among traditional investors.

The momentum began with BlackRock, one of the world's largest asset management firms, filing for a spot bitcoin ETF application. Although they were not the first — ARK Investments and 21Shares had already filed for a spot ETF — they initiated the cascading effect now seen. Investment firms Bitwise and Invesco both refiled for their own spot ETFs, which they had submitted previously.

Shortly thereafter, WisdomTree, an investment management company renowned for its innovative exchange-traded products, filed its own application for a spot Bitcoin ETF. Adding to the now-growing list of firms seeking to launch spot Bitcoin ETFs, Valkyrie Investments joined the race.

Meanwhile, ARK, a prominent investment management firm, amended its 19b-4 filing for a spot Bitcoin ETF, solidifying its position in the race for approval. With the inclusion of a surveillance sharing agreement between CBOE and a crypto exchange (likely Coinbase), ARK's filing aligns with BlackRock's strategy and places them at the forefront to potentially be approved first, given their early filing.

However, amidst this competition, Fidelity Investments has reentered the fray by reapplying for a spot Bitcoin ETF. Fidelity, a trusted name in the financial industry, brings its significant expertise and reputation to the bitcoin market, further solidifying the notion that Bitcoin is gaining acceptance among institutional investors.

Jaymes Seyffart, an ETF analyst at Bloomberg, took to Twitter to share his guesses at when the filings may be addressed, noting that the dates for when the filings will be approved or denied are not exact.

This series of events serves as a testament to the growing recognition of Bitcoin's potential as a mainstream asset class. As more established financial institutions and investment management companies join the race to offer Bitcoin ETFs, it becomes evident that Bitcoin is no longer just a niche investment for early adopters.

What Is Proof Of Stake? And How Does It Work?

What Is Proof Of Stake? And How Does It Work?


In a blockchain network where participants remain anonymous, a dependable coordination mechanism is essential. The "proof" acts as confirmation that a participant has met the requirements to validate a block of transactions, signifying their good-faith participation. One such consensus algorithm employed to generate new blocks, distribute new cryptocurrency, and validate transactions is proof of stake (PoS).

This mechanism provides an alternative to the original consensus method, proof of work (PoW). Rather than the energy expenditure necessitated by PoW, PoS requires validators or miners to make contributions to the network from their own holdings of the blockchain's native cryptocurrency, i.e., their “stake.”

To avoid losing their stake, validators are incentivized to operate honestly and reach a consensus on the order and validity of transactions. PoS miners are selected based on the amount of cryptocurrency they hold or "stake" in the network; therefore, the more cryptocurrency a validator stakes, the more likely they will be chosen to create the next block.

Read More >> Technical Guide To Proof Of Stake

Comparison With Proof Of Work

Instead of stakes, PoW requires considerable computational resources and energy consumption to validate transactions and create new blocks. For this reason, people assume proof of stake is more energy efficient and less resource intensive than PoW. Yet, we will learn later in this article that this is a somewhat false assumption.

Both consensus mechanisms aim at producing new blocks and validating transactions. They must also maintain the security and integrity of the blockchain network, but they do so in different ways.

In PoW, miners compete to solve the Byzantine Generals’ Problem faster and reach a consensus on the validity of transactions. The quickest miner to complete the target hash creates a new block and receives the block reward, the network's token of value. By selecting the chain with the most work, the network overcomes any ambiguity, and double spending is prevented due to requiring at least 51% of the global hash power for a double spend block to catch up.

In Ethereum’s PoS, by means of comparison, the double-spending problem is solved using “checkpoint blocks” at various points in time, approved by a two-thirds majority vote through a stake to “assure” everyone in the network about the “truth” of the system.

Another significant difference between PoS and PoW is the incentives and the ethics behind them. In a PoS network, incentives hide a negative (penalty-based) connotation since validators may lose their stake if they act maliciously. This contrasts with PoW, where miners are only incentivized to behave honestly to be rewarded with cryptocurrency through a positive (reward-based) incentive system.

Bitcoin miners who attempt to break the rules by producing poorly formatted blocks or invalid transactions will find their blocks ignored by full nodes. As a result, they will incur substantial electricity costs. Moreover, they would need to command 51% of the hash power to build upon older blocks; otherwise, these chains will lag behind, leading to even more costly energy waste.

One of the most heated debates in consensus mechanisms is decentralization and the ability to maintain this decentralization. PoW decentralization is secured by an active network of full nodes, in addition to miners, a vital feature that isn’t reflected in PoS consensus mechanisms. The importance of nodes in PoW was marked in the blocksize war of 2017 when the small block supporters won the battle against big blockers by starting the user-activated soft fork (UASF) movement and voting for the BTC chain instead of Bitcoin Cash (BCH). That historic Bitcoin event emphasized how nodes could win against big corporations and that miners do not control the network, unlike PoS validators.

How Proof Of Stake Works

In a proof-of-stake network, participants can be miners or validators who verify and authenticate transactions and create new blocks based on the amount of the blockchain’s native cryptocurrency they hold or "stake" in the network.

Validators are randomly selected to add the following block based on their stake; the more cryptocurrency a validator has staked, the more likely they will be chosen to validate transactions and create new blocks.

When a validator is chosen to create a new block, they need to validate all the transactions in the block and add them to the blockchain. To validate the transactions, the validator must check that they are valid, are not “double spending,” and that the sender has enough cryptocurrency to make the transaction.

Once all transactions are validated in the block, a new block is created and added to the blockchain. At that point, the successful validator is rewarded with native tokens for their work.

In a proof-of-stake network, consensus is achieved when most validators agree on the state of the blockchain. If a validator creates a block that is not accepted by the majority of validators, the block is rejected, and the validator may lose their staked cryptocurrency.

Valid Criticisms Of Proof Of Stake

Although proof of stake is often perceived as more energy efficient and less resource demanding when compared to proof of work, these assumptions can be easily refuted, showing that decentralization and security are compromised with proof of stake and that PoS is a mirror image of the current monetary system, which is known to be particularly energy inefficient, as well as unfair to the majority of participants.

One key argument against the perceived advantages of proof of stake is the concentration of wealth and power this can lead to. In a PoS system, validators with more stake (or wealth) have a higher probability of being chosen to validate transactions and create new blocks. This results in a rich-get-richer scenario, where the wealthiest validators gain even more control and influence over the network. The table below from Nansen Research provides a clear picture of the staking landscape within the Ethereum proof-of-stake system. 

Source: Nansen

This concentration of power contradicts the principles of decentralization, as a small number of validators can potentially dominate decision-making processes. Unlike proof of work, where miners have to invest in computational power, proof of stake allows validators to accumulate wealth and control the network based on their initial stake, rather than their ongoing contributions to the system.

Source: Messari

Another valid criticism of proof of stake is the pre-mine configurations many cryptocurrencies, including ether (ETH), are based on. Mining tokens before their public launch means that founders, stakeholders, and developers may access a lot of wealth and have a considerable advantage over any other investors or validators who later join the network. While such a design could also apply to proof-of-work blockchains, it is more often used in the proof-of-stake ecosystems, because in such systems, it’s possible to have a greater share of the validation process, due to the absence of nodes.

Common critiques of the PoS consensus mechanism:

  • Lack of decentralization: validators who hold a large amount of cryptocurrency have a higher chance of being selected to create new blocks, receive rewards, and they have more influence over the network, leading to a concentration of power in the hands of a few validators. This could lead to a situation where a small group of validators controls the network and its rules, potentially compromising its security and decentralization and reinforcing existing wealth inequalities.
  • The validation process can be manipulated: since the network could be manipulated by owning 51% of the tokens in circulation, it is easier to influence the transaction validation than with a 51% attack on PoW, which requires controlling 51% of a network’s current computational power.
  • Security: in PoS, the network's safety depends on the amount of cryptocurrency held by validators, making it more vulnerable to attacks if a large number of validators were to collude.
  • Complexity: there are various types of proof of stake, such as delegated PoS (DPOS), leased PoS (LPOS), pure PoS (PPOS), and other hybrid types. These are all variants of an overengineered system, which is difficult for anyone to truly explain and understand. The more complex a system is, the more likely it is to fail.
  • Environmental impact: proof of stake (PoS) is often criticized for its environmental impact, mirroring the concerns associated with the existing monetary system. Unlike proof of work (PoW), which incentivizes the expenditure of energy, PoS systems are considered less energy intensive. However, the proliferation of blockchains relying on inefficient PoS mechanisms collectively exacerbates their environmental footprint.
  • Nothing-at-stake problem: the nothing-at-stake problem is a theoretical weakness in PoS, where validators have little to lose by creating multiple versions of the blockchain. In a PoS network, validators could create multiple versions of the blockchain, hoping that one version will become the "correct" version. This could lead to a situation where the network is unable to reach a consensus, compromising its security.
  • Difficulty in determining the right amount to stake: determining the optimal amount of cryptocurrency to stake in a PoS network is challenging. Validators must balance the desire for higher rewards with the risk of losing their stake.

Would Bitcoin Ever Move To Proof Of Stake?

Ethereum’s recent shift from PoW to PoS in September 2022 sparked ideas across the corporatized environmental world that Bitcoin should do the same and therefore abandon the “extreme energy consumption” required by its consensus mechanism.

Changing Ethereum to a PoS system won’t/didn’t reduce energy consumption by 99.95%, as it fails to take into account that expensive enterprise farms and corporations use enormous amounts of energy to subsidize the work necessary to complete PoS transactions globally.

The Greenpeace “Change the Code” campaign funded by Ripple Labs to discredit the energy usage of Bitcoin’s proof-of-work system is a typical example of how the corporate world does not encourage change and, instead, promotes the perpetration of an elitist system that is now fully mirrored in Ethereum’s consensus mechanism.

Besides proposing a new revolutionary and fair monetary system, PoW fosters renewable energy innovation and the use of stranded and wasted energy which will benefit the environment more than a supposedly energy-efficient PoS system in the long term. Proof of stake is merely better at concealing the energy purchases made by the corporations that enable its validating mechanism.

Thankfully, Bitcoin’s code is highly resistant to these types of attacks and was purposely developed this way. It is improbable that a proposal to change the code would even pass any initial stage of consideration by the developers, let alone the community.


In free markets, it is important to allow both proof-of-work (PoW) and proof-of-stake (PoS) mechanisms to coexist and evolve in ways that are profitable and beneficial to their respective supporters. Bitcoin, as an innovative monetary system, not only brings about technological advancements but also strives to have a positive impact on the environment. Educating individuals about the significance of PoW in this transformative process is a responsibility that Bitcoin enthusiasts understand and embrace.

If you're concerned about wealth protection, financial inclusion, and fostering a better environment for all life on earth, the ideal choice is a currency that is borderless, permissionless and embodies pristine hard money and freedom technology.

This type of money, which is impervious to censorship and safe from confiscation, highlights the superiority of proof of work over proof of stake. In years to come, Bitcoin may likely be the only token of value, and the decision to support proof of work will be seen as obvious in hindsight.

Will Bitcoin ever trade below $27000 again?

Will Bitcoin ever trade below $27000 again?

On this week’s episode of The Market Report, Cointelegraph’s resident expert discusses whether Bitcoin will ever be below $27,000 again. Have you missed your chance to purchase some sats at sub $30,000 levels?

In the latest episode of The Market Report, analyst and writer Marcel Pechman analyzes some data to conclude whether Bitcoin (BTC) will ever trade at $27,000. Some analysts attribute Bitcoin’s recent 21.5% gains to BlackRock’s spot Bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) filing, but other events might have also fueled the cryptocurrency gains.

Pechman asserts that, following a period of enforcement actions by regulators against exchanges allegedly acting as unregistered securities brokers, the United States crypto regulatory environment has improved. More recently, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has drawn opposition in Congress and the Federal Reserve. That shows just how conflicting the U.S. government’s views on crypto regulation are.

Pechman shows how Bitcoin futures and margin markets show confidence being restored despite the price rally. Some distrust would normally be expected as traders expect a pullback after a 20% or higher gain. Consequently, Bitcoin bulls should now have the upper hand to sustain the $27,000 Bitcoin price support level.

Next, Pechman raises a question on the ARK Investment Management spot Bitcoin ETF request, which is reportedly the first in line for the SEC’s approval. Pechman highlights that the ETF has been a distant dream for the past six or seven years, and nothing has changed regarding the complaints from the regulator.

Moreover, the regulator’s claims about stablecoins are definitely something to be considered because that’s also heavily impacting the price formation on exchanges servicing U.S.-based clients. Still, Pechman advises not to bet against trillion-dollar money management companies.

According to Pechman’s estimates, the U.S. spot Bitcoin ETF could attract $20 billion in market capitalization within a couple of years. Consequently, it makes sense to buy Bitcoin now if you believe that the ETF will be approved in the next year or so.

Lastly, the show discusses why miners are adding equipment ahead of the 2024 Bitcoin halving. Don’t miss it! The Market Report airs exclusively on the new Cointelegraph Markets & Research YouTube channel.

CFTC issues $54M default judgment against trader in crypto fraud scheme

CFTC issues $54M default judgment against trader in crypto fraud scheme

As a result of the judgment, the defendant is also now prohibited from engaging in any trading activities within markets regulated by the CFTC and is barred from registering with the regulatory body.

On June 28th, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) announced that Judge Naomi Reice Buchwald of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York had issued a default judgment that granted a permanent injunction against Michael Ackerman, a resident of Alliance, Ohio. 

Ackerman is now subjected to a ban from participating in any trading activities within CFTC-regulated markets and is prohibited from registering with the CFTC. Alongside these restrictions, the judgment mandates Ackerman to provide $27 million in restitution to the victims who suffered from his fraudulent digital asset trading scheme. Additionally, Ackerman is compelled to pay a $27 million civil monetary penalty, serving as a substantial financial consequence for his involvement in the deceptive scheme.

Ackerman is accused of operating a fraudulent scheme that solicited funds from individuals and entities under false pretenses. However, instead of using the funds for their intended purpose, he is alleged to have misappropriated the majority of the funds for personal use or to perpetuate the fraudulent trading scheme. 

The case, brought forward by the CFTC, traces back to February 11, 2020, when Ackerman was accused of orchestrating an elaborate scam that spanned from August 2017 to December 2019. The complaint alleged that Ackerman operated the scheme to solicit funds for trading digital commodity assets but instead misappropriated the funds.

Over 150 individuals and entities reportedly entrusted Ackerman with a total of at least $33 million. Shockingly, less than $10 million of the deposited funds were actually used for trading, while the remainder was fraudulently diverted for personal use or to prolong the deceptive operation.

Related: Ooki DAO to shut down after ‘precedent setting’ court battle with CFTC

During a keynote speech at City Week 2023 in London, Christy Goldsmith Romero, a commissioner of the CFTC, proposed the reduction of cryptocurrency anonymity as a way to mitigate the risks associated with digital assets. Romero highlighted the importance of governments and the industry working together to address the appeal of cryptocurrencies for illicit finance. 

She emphasized that managing the risks of digital assets is crucial to uphold market integrity, national security, and financial stability. Romero specifically mentioned the need to tackle the challenge of identity verification to minimize illicit finance risks in the cryptocurrency market, as the use of mixers and anonymity-enhancing technology introduces significant potential risks.

Magazine: Crypto regulation: Does SEC Chair Gary Gensler have the final say?

Tether Signs Agreement With Country Of Georgia To Develop Bitcoin And Peer-To-Peer Infrastructure

Tether Signs Agreement With Country Of Georgia To Develop Bitcoin And Peer-To-Peer Infrastructure

Tether has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Government of Georgia, aiming to position the country as a central hub for peer-to-peer (P2P) technology. The collaboration seeks to foster a thriving startup ecosystem and attract international attention and investment to Georgia. Paolo Ardoino, CTO of Tether, emphasized the company's commitment to advancing global strategies and diversifying offerings beyond stability. In a press release he stated, "Tether aims to empower cities and facilitate the adoption of blockchain technologies such as bitcoin as well as peer-to-peer technology solutions such as Keet and Holepunch." The partnership will focus on creating a conducive environment for decentralized solutions and technology startups.

Deputy Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development, Irakli Nadareishvili, highlighted Tether's interest in investing in Georgia, with plans to establish a special fund for local startups. The fund will support the development of blockchain technologies and help position Georgia as an attractive ecosystem for technological startups. Nadareishvili also emphasized the importance of cooperation in the educational field to further attract companies operating in the sector.

The collaboration between Tether and the Government of Georgia will go beyond startups and education. According to the press release, they will “also explore the development and implementation of a robust and independent communication and financial system.”

To strengthen the distributed technology ecosystem in the country, Tether and the Georgian government will work closely with local academic institutions, including Business & Technology University (BTU), to develop educational programs and initiatives. These efforts aim to equip students and professionals with the necessary knowledge and skills for success in the Bitcoin industry.

Overall, the partnership between Tether and the Government of Georgia seeks to foster innovation, promote Georgia as a global leader in Bitcoin and peer-to-peer technologies, and attract companies and professionals to the country. By creating a flourishing environment for technology usage and investment, Georgia aims to ignite a revolution of innovation and economic growth in the space.

Bitcoin ETF race gets hotter as ARK Invest adds surveillance agreement to application

Bitcoin ETF race gets hotter as ARK Invest adds surveillance agreement to application

ARK Invest and 21Shares’ third application for a spot Bitcoin ETF now includes a surveillance sharing agreement.

ARK Investment Management has amended its spot Bitcoin (BTC) exchange-traded fund (ETF) application with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission, making it similar to BlackRock’s recent filing. 

The amendments include a surveillance sharing agreement with the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) futures markets and crypto exchange, most “likely Coinbase,” said Bloomberg ETF analyst Eric Balchunas on Twitter.

In the race for the first Bitcoin ETF in the United States, ARK’s filing update puts it ahead of its competitors.

The investment company of Cathie Wood and the European asset manager 21Shares requested approval for a spot BTC ETF a third time in April after previous applications were denied in 2021 and 2022. As a reason for the rejections, the regulator noted that it did not meet the rules of practice and Exchange Act requirements for listing a financial product.

Speaking in a recent interview, Bloomberg Intelligence ETF analyst James Seyffart confirmed that ARK’s request is the front-runner for a Bitcoin ETF. “21Shares, ARK and Cboe [Chicago Board Options Exchange] are first in line because their next SEC decision date is Aug. 13, 2023, and we don’t yet have a date for the other 19b-4 applications like the one from BlackRock,” he noted.

Even if ARK receives approval in the coming weeks, the BTC ETF saga may not be over, as it still needs to appoint a crypto exchange to enter into a surveillance-sharing agreement. Although Coinbase may be a strong candidate for this position, the company has already partnered with BlackRock to become a Bitcoin custodian should approval be granted.

“Would BlackRock [...] even allow Coinbase to enter into a SSE agreement with another that would help another issuer beat them to market? If so ARK would need another crypto exchange to use,” Balchunas continued on Twitter.

BlackRock joined the long line of applicants on June 16, triggering a wave of similar initiatives on Wall Street, especially from previous applicants. Financial investment firms such as Valkyrie, WisdomTree and Invesco have refiled for spot Bitcoin ETFs in the past few days.

Cointelegraph reached out to ARK Invest but did not receive an immediate response.

Magazine: Bitcoin is on a collision course with ‘Net Zero’ promises

Nevada FID Files Court Petition To Place Prime Trust In Receivership Over Financial Woes

Nevada FID Files Court Petition To Place Prime Trust In Receivership Over Financial Woes

Nevada's Financial Institutions Division has taken legal action against Prime Trust LLC, filing a court petition to place the company in receivership. The Division cited concerns about Prime Trust's unsafe and unsound operations as well as its insolvency. This move follows a Cease-and-Desist Order issued on June 21, 2023.

The court petition revealed that the company owes more than $82 million in fiat cash, and that the company lost access to what it describes as “legacy” wallets holding cryptocurrency in 2021.

The petition states: 

"In January 2021, PRIME reintroduced specific legacy wallet forwarding addresses to customers (“Legacy Wallets”). It is understood PRIME did so because of limitations associated with creating new wallets within the Fireblocks platform. PRIME purportedly believed that these legacy wallets existed on the Fireblocks platform or were configured to forward to wallets accessible on the Fireblocks platform. However, it is understood that on or about December 2021, PRIME discovered that it was unable to access the Legacy Wallets and the cryptocurrency therein. It is understood that from December 2021 to March 2022, to satisfy the withdrawals from the inaccessible Legacy Wallets, PRIME purchased additional digital currency using customer money from its omnibus customer accounts. PRIME is reported to have been making efforts to regain access to the Legacy Wallets. However, as of the date of this Petition, PRIME has been unable to do so.”

On top of this previously unknown blunder, the petition detailed the “unsafe” financial state of the firm, saying: 

“In addition to the above, it is reported that the frequency of customer withdrawals from PRIME have recently increased. Furthermore, many of the withdrawals were for large sums. As such, at or about the time of the instant Petition, it is understood that PRIME’s financial status is such that it owes, in fiat currency, $85,670,000 to its clients but has $2,904,000 in fiat currency (equaling an $82,766,000 fiat currency liability). As to digital currency, PRIME owes $69,509,000 to its clients but only has $68,648,000 in digital currency … As such, PRIME would be unable to satisfy all of its withdrawals.”

According to the released statement, the Division's petition seeks the appointment of a receiver who will assume control over Prime Trust's day-to-day operations and conduct a thorough financial examination. The receiver will then determine the best course of action to protect the company's clients, which may involve rehabilitating Prime and returning it to private management or liquidating the company altogether.

In a statement, the Nevada Financial Institutions Division emphasized that it is unable to provide legal advice or counsel to Prime's customers. Customers with inquiries about the impact of this action on their business are advised to contact Prime Trust directly at

Yield Protocol declares full recovery from Euler hack awaits user token exchange

Yield Protocol declares full recovery from Euler hack awaits user token exchange

The permissionless, collateralized fixed-rate borrowing and lending market restored operations in May and will now switch out user tokens worth $1.5 million.

Yield Protocol announced on June 27 that it had fully recovered from the Euler flash loan attack. Liquidity providers can now update their strategy tokens, the protocol said on Twitter. That was the last step to protocol restoration after “a long journey.”

Yield Protocol was one of the 11 decentralized finance protocols that suffered losses after the attack on the noncustodial lending protocol Euler Finance. It paused mainnet borrowing after the hack on March 13 and claimed losses from its liquidity pools were under $1.5 million. Euler lost over $195 million in the attack.

On May 18, Yield Protocol announced that it was “back in full swing” and users could borrow and lend for the June and September series. It said at that time that it would take “about a week” for users to be able to claim replacement tokens.

Related: Euler Finance attack: How it happened, and what can be learned

Yield Protocol worked with Euler on the return of the funds after Euler recovered most of its losses from the hackers in April, it recounted in a blog post. Then it went through the complex process of deploying 26 new contracts and executing about 300 permissioned calls to reset the fixed-yield token maturities and restore the protocol.

Swapping their liquidity provider tokens for new ones minted during the restoration process will make users whole. The bloggers commented:

“We are fortunate that the outcome of this hack will not result in losses to the Yield community. Nevertheless, it has been a very long journey back to full protocol restoration.”

Also in May, Yield Protocol weathered the discovery of a bug in its strategy contracts that required it to pause the protocol for two weeks.

Magazine: ‘Deflation’ is a dumb way to approach tokenomics… and other sacred cows

Over $204M was lost in Q2 DeFi hacks and scams: Report

Over $204M was lost in Q2 DeFi hacks and scams: Report

More than $208.5 million was lost initially, but approximately $4.5 million was recovered, making the total amount of unrecovered funds over $204 million.

Over $204 million was lost in decentralized finance (DeFi) hacks and scams in the second quarter of 2023, according to a June 27 report from Web3 portfolio app De.Fi.

The report, titled “Q2 De.Fi Rekt Report,” was partially based on data from De.Fi’s “Rekt Database.” Over $208.5 million was initially lost during the quarter, but $4.5 million was recovered through prosecutions, deals with hackers and other recovery methods.

Funds lost and recovered in Q2 2023. Source: De.Fi

According to the report, the number of DeFi hacks in Q2 rose by “almost 7 times” year-over-year, with 117 incidents during the period compared with only 17 in the same quarter of 2022. A total of over $665 million was lost during the first half of 2023.

The top five hacks of the second quarter were against Atomic Wallet, Fintoch, MEV-Boost, Bitrue and GDAC. The June 3 Atomic Wallet exploit was responsible for $35 million, or around 17% of the total. Fintoch users lost $30.6 million from its alleged rug pull, and the MEV-Boost attack was responsible for $26.1 million. Together, these three attacks resulted in over 45% of the total losses for Q2.

Related: Sturdy Finance offers $100K bounty to hacker if funds are returned

De.Fi reported that the most common cause of losses was “access control issues,” or issues where an attacker gained unauthorized control of a wallet. This was responsible for $75.8 million of losses, or a quarter of the total. The second most common cause was exploits, totaling $55.3 million. Users lost $47.3 million through rug pulls or exit scams in Q2, as well.

Losses from DeFi hacks and scams were actually smaller in Q2 than in Q1, with CertiK reporting in April that over $320 million was lost from January to March.

Trader weighs in on possible Bitcoin price drivers for remainder of 2023

Trader weighs in on possible Bitcoin price drivers for remainder of 2023

A popular name on Twitter, trader Michaël van de Poppe was interviewed for the 10th episode of Cointelegraph’s Crypto Trading Secrets podcast.

Cointelegraph’s Crypto Trading Secrets podcast has published its 10th episode, featuring an interview with trader Michaël van de Poppe, who caters to an audience of more than 650,000 on Twitter under the handle @CryptoMichNL. During the June 14 interview recording, host Benjamin Pirus discussed several topics with van de Poppe, such as his opinions on what might drive Bitcoin’s (BTC) price over the rest of 2023. His answer, in part, references United States regulations.

“I think if there’s clarity on the framework that’s being established in the U.S. in terms of whether or not cryptos are going to be securities or commodities — that’s going to push markets,” van de Poppe said, adding:

“Because if you have that framework, it opens up for more institutional investors. I don’t believe that the U.S. is going to be the big one. I think the other parts of the world are already stepping in.”

In mentioning other regions’ crypto-related regulatory environments, van de Poppe highlighted the Markets in Crypto-Assets (MiCA) regulatory framework from the European Union, which was approved in late May. “I think the U.S. is behind, but the more we get clarity on that, it’s going to be beneficial for the markets and activate more liquidity into the markets,” he explained.

The trader also noted the macroeconomic conditions potentially affecting Bitcoin significantly, such as the situation around interest rates and unemployment in the United States and other countries. “I think all those factors are going to move all the markets, including Bitcoin, and that’s what we need to find out in the rest of the year whether or not there is going to be a recession and whether or not Bitcoin is going to be the big winner or the big loser,” van de Poppe said. 

Van de Poppe also spoke about several other topics, including his early interest in the stock market as a kid.

Check out this and other episodes from Cointelegraph’s Crypto Trading Secrets podcast on Cointelegraph’s podcast page, Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts or TuneIn.

This article is for general information purposes and is not intended to be and should not be taken as legal or investment advice. 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.