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It is turning out to be quite the month! Binance has suspended activity after hackers exploited the bridge code, leading to renewed questions and interest in securing networks against such intrusions. Furthermore, Elon Musk has reneged on his reneging, offering to purchase Twitter under the original deal prior to being required to testify in court this week as part of Twitter’s lawsuit against the Tesla CEO.
In other news, reputable members of the gaming industry have shown significant interest in creating blockchain games, and Ripple’s XRP has pumped in the wake of their latest legal win against the SEC.
Binance pauses its blockchain in response to a hacker attempting to run away with US$560M worth of BNB tokens.
Exploiting a bug in the BNB Chain, Binance’s blockchain network, hackers were able to trick the system, using their manipulation of the bridge’s code to mint 2 million BNB tokens. Binance responded swiftly, suspending all activity on their blockchain, and freezing the vast majority of the stolen assets. At present, it is believed the hackers successfully stole something in the realm of US$100 million worth of assets.
Assets weren’t stolen from Binance or the user’s wallets—in a strange turn of events, the tokens were fabricated out of nothing, owing to the nature of the exploit. Binance made certain to reassure their users of the safety of their funds. In any case, such a hack would have seen a huge amount of BNB hit the market, reducing its value significantly.
Interestingly, it seems the hackers were unprepared for their success, failing to properly move the stolen assets before having them frozen. The hack was remarkably successful in one respect, and clumsily botched in another. The BNB Chain was operational after being suspended for one day, though the price of BNB fell by 5-7% in the days following the incident.
That said, the hack has once again shone a light on the security of cross-chain bridges, forcing Binance, among others, to investigate future security measures. BNB Chain has indicated that measures going forward will be determined by governance votes.
Elon Musk’s offer to purchase Twitter is back on the table, which resulted in a short-term price rally in DOGE.
On 14 April, Musk offered to purchase Twitter for US$54.20 per share. Twitter accepted the deal on 25 April, but by 8 July, Elon Musk wanted out. After Musk reneged on his offer, Twitter filed a lawsuit against the Tesla CEO.
Now, Musk has reignited the deal, on the basis that Twitter drops the charges, stating his intention to purchase Twitter by the end of this month. However, Twitter has refused to drop the suit, raising concerns about debt financing to pay for the deal. Twitter also claimed it did not trust that Musk would see his offer through, making the rather worrying observation that a particular bank helping Musk to finance the deal had just recently testified it had not received any notice of his plans to make the purchase.
Musk claims he backed out due to a disagreement over the number of spam accounts, however, Twitter claims he went back on the deal over concerns in the decline of tech prices, from which Musk derives his enormous wealth.
The presiding judge has given both sides until 28 October to come to an agreement, deferring legal proceedings for the time being. However, Twitter has refused to back down, stating that any legal concessions could be an invitation for further mischief.
Prominent gaming figures including Sega, Epic Games and PUBG announce new Web3 gaming projects.
Blockchain gaming has emerged as a prominent sub-sector of the crypto industry in the past few years which has attracted the interest video game publishing giants.
First, PUBG creator Brian Greene announced that Artemis, his next project currently under development, will be an open-world crafting game—blockchain-based and featuring NFTs. He stressed that, unlike many other blockchain-based games, it will be made for fun, and not for money.
Second, Sega, in concert with Double Jump Tokyo, has announced their intention to release a blockchain game, based on the Sangokushi Taisen arcade franchise. The Japanese Oasys network, which the game will leverage, was specifically built with blockchain gaming in mind, and as such integrates with other blockchains.
Finally, Epic Games has released a demo of Star Atlas, based on Solana and built on Unreal Engine 5, which allows players to explore a showroom of items bought as NFTs. While access is currently limited, the project looks ready to expand in the coming months, although the final release is likely to be a few years down the track.
XRP has rallied over 50% in the last month following rumours of an upcoming court case ruling.
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filed suit against currency exchange and remittance network Ripple in December of 2020, claiming that Ripple’s sales of XRP represented an investment contract and securities offering. Conversely, Ripple has accused the SEC of favouring Bitcoin and Ethereum and is unfairly targeting other cryptocurrency competitors.
Their defence against the SEC includes references to high ranking members of the Commission asserting that ETH and BTC were not to be classified as securities, as they were sufficiently decentralised.
Just recently a district judge ruled in favour of Ripple Labs after it ordered the SEC to release documents pertaining to former division director David Hinman alerting to the fact that Bitcoin and Ethereum are not securities.
In the midst of all of this, XRP has had a bullish rally despite the bearish sentiment currently clouding the crypto market.