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Today in Crypto: Crypto Hacks Drop 70% in Q1 2023, Binance CSO Said Reuters' 'Weak' Article is Filled with Conspiracy Theories, Solana Integrates AI with a ChatGPT Plugin

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Get your daily, bite-sized digest of cryptoasset and blockchain-related news – investigating the stories flying under the radar of today’s crypto news.

Security news

  • Around $400 million was stolen across nearly 40 cryptocurrency attacks in the first three months of 2023 – down 70% from the same period in 2022, according to new research from security firm TRM Labs. In fact, it added, the amount stolen through crypto hacks in Q1 was less than any quarter in 2022. The fall in value was significantly greater than the fall in crypto prices during this period, it added. To date, hacking victims have recovered over half of all stolen funds in Q1 2023.

Exchange news

  • Binance pushed back against a Reuters article that alleged the exchange commingled customer funds with revenue in 2020 and 2021, with chief strategy officer Patrick Hillmann writing that “this story is so weak that they had to put up front, “Reuters found no evidence that Binance client monies were lost or taken” in a transparent attempt to protect themselves from a libel suit.” The author “pinned 1000 words of conspiracy theories (which we explained were false) with zero evidence other than a “former insider”,” Hillmann said.
  • Coinbase responded to the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in regards to filing a writ of mandamus, saying that “the SEC does not dispute that mandamus is appropriate if the agency has made up its mind not to engage in the rulemaking requested in Coinbase’s petition. That dooms the SEC’s arguments against mandamus here.” It added that the Court should issue a writ of mandamus instructing the SEC to respond to Coinbase’s rulemaking petition within 7 days. Chief Legal Officer Paul Agrawal said on Twitter that mandamus “is the tailor-made remedy for the extraordinary facts presented” in the case.

Blockchain news

  • The Solana Foundation, a non-profit foundation supporting the Solana (SOL) network, announced that Solana became "the first Layer 1 blockchain" to integrate artificial intelligence (AI) with a ChatGPT plugin developed by Solana Labs. The ChatGPT plugin integrated with Solana is available as a download from Github.  The Foundation also announced an AI accelerator program for university students and a strategic grant program to accelerate the usage and integration of AI on Solana, it said. 

Metaverse news

  • Nanjing, the capital city of China’s Jiangsu province, revealed the China Metaverse Technology and Application Innovation Platform, led by the Nanjing University of Information Science and Technology (NUIST). According to a NUIST announcement, the platform’s goal is to combine resources of Chinese academic institutions and enterprises and to strengthen research in metaverse-related areas. The founding members represent various academic institutions and companies connected to the metaverse.

Regulation news

  • Aisha Ghaus Pasha, Minister of State and Finance in Pakistan, said the central State Bank of Pakistan and the Information Technology Ministry have been ordered to start working on a crypto ban, per local reports. “Cryptocurrency will never be legalized in Pakistan,” the Minister reportedly said, adding that this was a condition put on the country by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) in order to keep Pakistan off the "gray list" in relation to anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing regulations. However, FATF does “not require countries to indiscriminately ban virtual assets and virtual asset service providers,” the watchdog told CoinDesk.