Today in Crypto: $437,483,543 Lost to Crypto Hacks & Frauds in Q1, Italian Man Swindled Out of $1.8M, Metaco Partners with VP Bank
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- Bug bounty and security services platform Immunefi released its Crypto Losses in Q1 2023 Report, which shows the volume of funds lost by the community due to hacks and scams. Per the announcement, Immunefi reviewed all crypto protocol exploits by blackhat hackers, as well as cases of alleged fraudulent protocols and rug pulls. In Q1 2023, the crypto and DeFi ecosystem reached $437,483,543 in total losses, a 64.4% decrease to Q1 2022 when hackers and fraudsters stole over $1.2 billion. In Q1 2023 attacks and activity spiked: the number of single incidents increased 192% YoY from 25 to 73 in Q1 2023. BNB Chain surpassed Ethereum to become the most targeted chain, with 33 incidents in Q1 2023, while Ethereum saw 22 incidents. Arbitrum had no incidents in Q1 2022 but had 8 incidents this quarter. Polygon had 5 and Optimism 3 incidents.
- An Italian financial consultant in Hong Kong was swindled out of more than $1.8 million in five weeks after being tricked by his fake online lover into investing in crypto, the South China Morning Post reported. The man, 55, fell victim to the romance scam in mid-February after he responded to a message from the dating app Tinder sent by a con artist impersonating a female investment broker in Singapore, a source familiar with the case said. They continued communicating on WhatsApp, and the man was persuaded to set up an account on a bogus trading website to invest in digital currency.
- Metaco, a provider of digital asset technology infrastructure to regulated financial institutions, has partnered with VP Bank, one of the largest private banks in Liechtenstein. The announcement said that the collaboration leverages Metaco's flagship platform, Harmonize, to allow VP Bank the optionality to expand its digital asset custody and tokenization services beyond art and physical collector items, such as being able to support tokenized financial assets or minting, burning, and storage of tokens.
- Crypto-focused venture capital firm Dragonfly has made a $10 million strategic investment in crypto derivatives and copy trading platform Bitget. According to the announcement today, the investment will support Bitget's ongoing global market and service range expansion, as well as its coming CSR initiatives aimed at increasing crypto education and adoption.
- Cash and crypto payroll company Franklin announced today that it has raised $2.9 million in a seed funding round led by gumi Cryptos Capital and CMT Digital, alongside strategic investors including Arca, Sfermion, Portage Ventures, and Synergis Capital. Per the press release, the funds raised will be used to further develop the Franklin product suite and to integrate with strategic partners to “disrupt a payroll industry which is rife with inefficiencies, barriers to entry, and high costs.”
- LayerZero Labs, the team behind the messaging protocol LayerZero, today announced the closing of a $120 million Series B funding round, valuing the company at $3 billion. The round saw participation from 33 investors, including a16z crypto, BOND, Christie's, Circle Ventures, OpenSea Ventures, Samsung Next, and Sequoia Capital, amongst others. LayerZero is a messaging protocol that allows for interoperability and facilitates seamless cross-chain messaging across countless blockchains, and it “provides the underlying infrastructure needed for decentralized applications (dapps) to live across multiple blockchains,” it said.
- Masa, an Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM)-compatible Soulbound Token (SBT) protocol, announced plans to launch Base SBT Developer Toolkit for developers and Base Camp soulbound identity for users on crypto exchange Coinbase’s new Base Layer-2 blockchain. “Upon the launch of Base Testnet, the Base team published a Request for Builders, to inspire innovative infrastructure and dapps on the new blockchain,” said the announcement. “Masa is responding to that call by bringing on-chain trust and reputation to Base, through our pioneering Soulbound Token protocol.”
- BitMEX is listing its native token BMEX on Gate.io, saying that this is “the first external exchange to list BMEX.” From 05:00 UTC on April 5, Gate.io traders will be able to buy and sell BMEX, via a BMEX/USDT spot pair, on their Spot Exchange, said the announcement. More listings on other exchanges will come soon, it added.
- Marathon Digital Holding released its March 2023 production results, reporting that, as of April 1, Marathon held a total of BTC 11,466; its operating fleet consisted of approximately 105,200 Bitcoin miners; it increased hashrate 64% in Q1 2023 to 11.5 EH/s as of March 3; and it increased Bitcoin production 21% month-over-month, producing a record BTC 825 in March and a record BTC 2,195 in Q1 2023. It ended the month with $124.9 million in unrestricted cash and cash equivalents on its balance sheet, it said.