Today in Crypto: Swift Sees ‘Clear Potential and Value’ in CBDCs, Whitehat Hackers Interested in Ethereum & Solana, Safeheron Says Multisig Wallets & Dapps are Vulnerable, Gate.io Plans Visa Cry
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- Interbank messaging company Swift announced “further progress on its experimental solution for interlinking Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDCs), reporting that 18 central and commercial banks found “clear potential and value” in the API-based CBDC connector after a comprehensive review.” Over the coming months, Swift will develop a beta version of the solution for payments that can be tested further by central banks, while a second phase of sandbox testing will also be held, in which the Swift community can collaborate further with a focus on new use cases, including in securities settlement (such as a cross-asset exchange), trade finance, and conditional payments, it said.
- Bug bounty and security services platform Immunefi released its ‘The Hacker Ecosystem Survey 2023’, finding that whitehats are primarily interested in Ethereum (92%), with Solana (31%) in second place. 76.1% of the whitehats see attack surfaces growing, but 88.5% also see increased security measures by projects across the industry. Most whitehats mention reentrancy (43.2%) as the most common vulnerability they come across when reviewing code, followed by access control (18.2%), with other vulnerabilities including input validation (9.1%), oracle manipulation (6.8%), logical errors (6.8%), rounding errors (4.5%), gas optimization (4.5%), unchecked returned values (2.3%), uninitialized proxy (2.3%), and flash loan (2.3%). Most of the respondents (77%) are interested mainly in solving technical challenges, followed by money (69%), then career opportunities (62%), and community (38%).
- Safeheron, a digital asset self-custody infrastructure provider, said it identified a vulnerability affecting the integration of potentially hundreds of multi-party computation (MPC) wallets and decentralized apps (dapps) including Fireblocks and dYdX. The provider “discovered that users of dYdX and other dApps using the STARK key authentication method are unknowingly exposing their MPC wallets to unauthorized access and control,” the report said. Safeheron also announced the upcoming launch of its open-source MPC-ECDSA protocol in mid-March, which aids in patching this vulnerability, it said.
- Gate Group, the parent company of crypto exchange Gate.io, plans to launch a Gate Visa crypto debit card through its Lithuania-based company, Gate Global UAB. A waitlist and registration process is now available for the new card, open to users in most of the European Economic Area (EEA) countries with plans to expand to other regions, it stated.
- Coinbase announced the launch of Wallet-as-a-Service (WaaS), a set of wallet infrastructure APIs that allows any company to onboard their users to Web3. WaaS allows companies to embed Web3 / crypto experiences natively via Web3 wallets similar to Web2 wallets (like ApplePay, but Web3), said the announcement. Companies like Thirdweb, Floor, Tokenproof, and Moonray are already using WaaS to onboard users to Web3 experiences across gaming, token-gated events, and digital marketplaces, it added.
- Cryptocurrency portfolio tracker and tax calculator CoinTracker announced its partnership with tax preparation company H&R Block for the 2023 tax season, enabling users to leverage automated crypto tax filing capabilities to ensure accurate crypto filing. The partnership brings benefits to H&R Block and CoinTracker users, including a free CoinTracker tax plan for those with fewer than 25 crypto transactions, a 10% discount on CoinTracker tax plans for those with more than 25 crypto transactions, and a 20% discount on H&R Block online products for CoinTracker users, it said.
- zkSync announced an integration with Axelar, which enables Web3 applications built on zkSync Era’s zkEVM to compose dapp functions and liquidity across all 32+ chains that Axelar connects — which includes Cosmos chains, EVMs and other Ethereum Layer 2 chains. Per the blog post, “bridges have historically been a key vulnerability in crypto, and accounted for $1.4bn in stolen funds (69% of total hacks) from January to August of last year alone.” Axelar’s interchain communication alternative looks to address this, implementing cross-chain capabilities through APIs. They added that cross-chain functionality is essential to onboarding more users to Web3 and that integrations like these would make launching multi-chain dapps simpler for developers.
- Web3 accelerator Outlier Ventures announced the first cohort for its Zero-Knowledge (ZK) Base Camp accelerator program, which are using ZKproofs to innovate infrastructure, scaling, and privacy, including zkSig, Radius, Syndr, Truffles, DataHive, and vSelf. Per the press release, “Outlier Ventures’ inaugural ZK Base Camp will provide tailored mentorship, networking and support from over 400 best-in-class mentors and ecosystem partner organisations including Aleo, Aztec, ImmutableX, NetherMind, Polygon, and zkSync.”
- Alpha Sigma Capital announced an investment from Transform Ventures and its founder, Michael Terpin, into its new holding company, Alpha Transform Holdings, created by the merger of select assets from Transform Ventures and Alpha Sigma Capital’s parent company, creating a new holding company. The new company will also create two new funds with a total of $100 m AUM. The press release said that the investment includes funding for the Alpha Transform Holdings parent company, the new Alpha Liquid digital asset fund, and a closed-end venture capital firm for early stage equity investments in blockchain, AI, and emerging technology companies. Terpin also made a personal investment in cash, bitcoin, and ethereum of $2.65m, with an option to invest an additional $2.9m.