Crypto Rising Star BlockFi Combats ‘Vulgar And Racist’ Spam Attack

High-profile cryptocurrency lending startup BlockFi faced a malicious attack on its platform earlier this week.

On Sunday afternoon, the company’s employees identified a malicious actor spamming the platform’s sign-up page with fake accounts, using offensive language. The accounts were registered with over 1,000 emails, roughly half of which were identified as valid emails belonging to real users. The attacker put offensive terms in the fields for first and last names on the account registration page, flooding the system with hundreds of unfinished registrations, says BlockFi’s CEO and co-founder Zac Prince.

“I think this spam attack [was] designed to try and create negative sentiment around BlockFi by trying to get emails sent with vulgar language in them,” says Prince. He estimates 500 such emails were actually sent before the problem was caught.

Click here to subscribe to the Forbes CryptoAsset & Blockchain Advisor


Earlier in the morning, Prince tweeted BlockFi was temporarily pausing new signups due “to a minor technical issue with the new account signup workflow” and gave assurance the technical team is addressing the problem. “Deposits / Withdrawals / Trading etc continues to operate completely normally for existing clients,” wrote Prince.

While the incident could raise red flags, given BlockFi suffered a temporary data breach that exposed some client data last May, Prince notes “the hackers have never been successful in penetrating internal company’s systems” and that the latest attempt could be described as “just shooting lasers at the onion”, in comparison to what had happened in May.

News of the attack came amid BlockFi reportedly being in the process of closing a Series D round of capital at a valuation close to $3 billion. Potentially a new crypto unicorn, the company is growing at an unprecedented speed, even for the saturated digital assets space. Its $50 million Series C round valued the company at a relatively small $435 million just six months ago.

The three-year-old firm is one of the leading cryptocurrency lending providers with products ranging from crypto-backed loans to interest-earning accounts. BlockFi has raised more than $100 million within the last three years from numerous crypto-native and institutional investors, including Susquehanna Government Products, Coinbase Ventures, and Winklevoss Capital.

Competitors include New York-based Celsius and blockchain-based Aave, which directly connects lenders and borrowers, without a middleman in between. BlockFi’s revenue in February was just short of $50 million, compared to the full-year revenue of approximately $100 million in 2020.

Following the May attack, BlockFi hired a new chief security officer, Adam Healy, who had held a similar position at Bakkt, cryptocurrency venture of New York Stock Exchange-owner ICE. According to Prince, Healy has expanded the cybersecurity team to over 15 people and is looking to add more.

Last month, cryptocurrency portfolio tracker Blockfolio, recently acquired for $150 million by Hong Kong-based crypto exchange FTX, has suffered a similar attack, when messages containing racial slurs were sent to the users of the platform.


Tagged : / /

NBA Top Shot Exec: ‘We Weren’t Ready’ for Surge in NFT Demand

In brief

  • Crypto collectibles platform NBA Top Shot has exploded in popularity in recent weeks.
  • The demand has caused technical headaches for Dapper Labs, forcing it to rethink Top Shot’s developmental roadmap and approach to pack drops.
  • Dapper Labs’ Caty Tedman spoke with Decrypt about Top Shot’s recent rise.

Dapper Labs’ CryptoKitties popularized the idea of unique and scarce crypto artwork tied to verifiable non-fungible tokens (NFTs), dramatically slowing down Ethereum in late 2017 as people vied for rare digital cartoon cats. Now Dapper’s latest NFT collectibles play, NBA Top Shot, is seeing similarly incredible demand on a seemingly much larger scale.

Launched in beta last May and rolled out to the public in October, NBA Top Shot has grown from tens of thousands of users at the start of 2021 to nearly 500,000 total users as of last week. It is the most popular decentralized app (dapp) overall right now according to DappRadar, and has reportedly seen some $255 million in sales over the past 30 days. For context, that’s about how much collectors spent in total on NFTs in all of 2020.

The rising popularity of the digital collectibles experience—in which users buy packs containing random “moments,” or tokenized video highlights of NBA players—is part of a wider surge in interest in NFTs spanning collectible artwork and rare items in crypto games. The sudden boom in the NFT market has led to critics decrying it all as a bubble—a get-rich-quick fad akin to the ICO bubble of 2017.

But Dapper Labs says it always expected NBA Top Shot to have a broad appeal. Just not this rapidly. The result has been downtime for the marketplace, halted signups for new users, and long waits ahead for users to withdraw funds. All issues that the company is currently scrambling to address.

“It’s been wild. We thought we would see this kind of exponential growth, but not quite this soon,” Dapper Labs’ Caty Tedman, Head of Marketing & Partnerships, told Decrypt. “I think there were lots of things we weren’t ready for. We weren’t ready for the influx of registrations on the site, and we weren’t ready for the influx of customer care tickets that came in through our system. I’m not even sure if, four weeks ago, we had a system set up for it. We were just kind of handling them in Discord until then.”

As Tedman puts it, immense demand is “the greatest kind of problem to have.” However, it still causes headaches when the platform struggles under the weight of increased traffic, and the small team hasn’t implemented some of the infrastructure needed to support that added activity. Key functions of the Top Shot experience have been temporarily closed at times for maintenance, plus there is an extensive backlog in account verifications needed for users to withdraw any money earned from selling moments in the marketplace.

On top of that, every new pack drop has put heavy strain on the platform, causing Dapper to rethink how drops work in a fair and equitable way while fighting off bots that try to disrupt that system. Over the weekend, Dapper split a common “Seeing Stars” pack drop across three different release windows, and then required that users own at least one moment to try and buy Sunday’s rare “Rising Stars” pack—a move to try and stop bots from buying them up just to flip them immediately on the marketplace.

Contending with bots and bad actors is a problem familiar to people who try to buy rare sneakers or concert tickets. Given the rising resale value of NBA Top Shot moments, it’s now one that Dapper is also trying to mitigate by seeking out experts and expanding its team. Tedman says that the Flow blockchain hasn’t been the issue—good news for a team that famously stress-tested the Ethereum blockchain with CryptoKitties.

“The good news is, the Flow blockchain is humming,” said Tedman. “On the Top Shot side, it’s almost like the equivalent of a DDOS attack every time we announce anything. We’re grappling with what a lot of industries already know is something that needs to be addressed constantly. I’ve talked to people in the sneaker drop industry, and they’re like, ‘Oh, you guys are being botted, right?’ Again, we thought we were going to grow, but not at this rate at this point.”

NBA Top Shot’s sudden popularity has also shifted the roadmap ahead. Dapper Labs had a list of feature enhancements that it wanted to make, including a CryptoKitties-like offers system and auction tools, but those have been pushed off in favor of stability and making sure users can actually experience NBA Top Shot. Demand is so high that entry-level base packs of moments are currently unavailable, which makes it difficult for new users to get started without spending large sums of cash. “Base packs should not be selling out instantly,” said Tedman.

Even while dealing with those scalability issues, NBA Top Shot continues on. The new pack drops over the weekend saw hundreds of thousands of users queue up in digital waiting rooms to try and secure new moments, and Dapper closely collaborated with the league to unveil this season’s NBA Rising Stars rosters last week—complete with a tied-in pack drop on Sunday. 

“It’s been amazing,” said Tedman of collaborating with the NBA. “They are a partner who truly leans in when they say they are going to lean in, so when they brought us that [Rising Stars] opportunity, it was exactly what we had been talking about the whole way. They said, ‘As you build the product and as we deepen the relationship, we’ll find great things to do together that are very special.’ They really put their money where their mouth was on that one.”

The recent rise has been sudden, but even while struggling to scale amidst unprecedented demand, Tedman believes that there is an even larger potential prize out on the horizon. Half a million people using a blockchain-driven digital collectibles platform is huge, but that’s only a fraction of the number of total NBA fans around the globe.

NBA Top Shot is aiming even higher, but to reach that larger chunk of potential users, it will need to ensure that new users can get into the experience without spending an arm and a leg—and that covetable NFT collectables won’t just be niche objects of affection for crypto millionaires.


Tagged : / / /

Top Trader Expects Massive Altcoin Rally This Month – Here Are His Top 5 Picks

A widely-followed crypto trader and analyst who built his following with bullish calls on Bitcoin says that he anticipates altcoins to be the big movers this month.

In a new tweet, the analyst known as Capo tells his 59,500 followers that he’s closely watching the performance of altcoins as the Bitcoin dominance index is showing signs of a deep pullback.


“Exciting times ahead for altcoins.”

Source: Capo/Twitter

Traders rely on the Bitcoin dominance index to predict whether Bitcoin will outperform altcoins or vice versa. When the index flashes signs of weakness, it’s often a sign that altcoins may be about to outperform Bitcoin.

Capo’s bearish outlook on the Bitcoin dominance index comes as he emphasizes his bullishness on Ethereum against Bitcoin (ETH/BTC). The trader retweets a chart he posted in late February showing that ETH/BTC may be poised to print a new all-time high.

“Soon you will see…”

Source: Capo/Twitter

Another coin on Capo’s radar is Ethereum-based automated market maker Balancer (BAL), which he says is also primed to reach a new all-time high against Bitcoin.

“BAL/BTC all-time high is programmed.”

Source: Capo/Twitter

The next coin on Capo’s list is a project designed to reduce risk through diversification and decentralizations: Reserve Rights Token (RSR). According to Capo, RSR/BTC is positioning to soar over 66% from 0.0000015 to 0.0000025.

Source: Capo/Twitter

Coming in at number four is e-sports and video entertainment protocol Verasity (VRA/BTC), which Capo notes has managed to end its six-month downtrend.

“VRA – Before vs. After. Squiggles don’t lie. Bearish market structure is broken after a deviation. Fundamentals are good.”

Source: Capo/Twitter

The last coin is blockchain-based gaming ecosystem SAND. Capo says he is bullish on both SAND/BTC and SAND/USDT.

“SAND Not selling below $1.”

Source: Capo/Twitter

Don’t Miss a Beat – Subscribe to get crypto email alerts delivered directly to your inbox

Follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Telegram



Disclaimer: Opinions expressed at The Daily Hodl are not investment advice. Investors should do their due diligence before making any high-risk investments in Bitcoin, cryptocurrency or digital assets. Please be advised that your transfers and trades are at your own risk, and any loses you may incur are your responsibility. The Daily Hodl does not recommend the buying or selling of any cryptocurrencies or digital assets, nor is The Daily Hodl an investment advisor. Please note that The Daily Hodl participates in affiliate marketing.

Featured Image: Shutterstock/wacomka


Tagged : / / /

Ethereum Targets $2,000 While a Correction Looms

Key Takeaways

  • Ethereum prices have gone up by more than 16% over the past three days after breaking out of a consolidation pattern. 
  • While there is more room to go up, the uptrend may be approaching exhaustion. 
  • A spike in selling pressure could see ETH retrace to $1,600 before it advances further toward $2,000. 

Share this article

Speculation is mounting around Ethereum’s upcoming July upgrade. While market participants grow overwhelmingly bullish, the price of ETH could rise before it retraces quickly.  

Ethereum to Revisit Previous All-Time Highs

Ethereum is back in the spotlight after enduring a two-week-long consolidation period. The second-largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization broke out of a symmetrical triangle on Mar. 6 that has seen it surge by more than 16% since then.  

The height of the triangle’s y-axis suggests that ETH prices could rise by another 5.50%. Thus, a further increase in buying pressure could push ETH to reach a target of $1,960. 

Nexo Earn

Ethereum US dollar price chart
ETH/USD on TradingView

Warning Signals Pop Up

While the recent upswing seems to have been fueled by speculation around Ethereum’s “buyback” update, which aims to restructure fees, investors must remain cautious.

The Tom Demark (TD) Sequential indicator suggests that Ethereum may retrace after reaching the symmetrical triangle’s target of $1,960.

This index is about to present a sell signal on ETH’s 12-hour chart. It could develop as a green nine candlestick, which is indicative of a one to four candlesticks retracement. 

SIMETRI 10x potential

It is worth noting that the TD setup has been incredibly accurate at anticipating local tops on Ethereum trends. The three sell signals that this indicator has presented since the beginning of the year were all validated, resulting in significant corrections.

Therefore, it is imperative to consider the short-term pessimistic forecast before entering any long positions.

Ethereum US dollar price chart
ETH/USD on TradingView

Transaction history shows that nearly 780,000 addresses have previously purchased over 12 million ETH at an average price of $1,600. In the event of a correction, this support hurdle must hold to prevent a steep decline towards $1,300.  

Disclosure: At the time of writing, this author held Bitcoin and Ethereum.

Share this article


Tagged : / / / /

OpenSea collector ‘pulls the rug’ on NFTs to highlight arbitrary value

A crypto artist known as neitherconfirm recently listed 26 non-fungible tokens, or NFTs, for sale on OpenSea’s digital marketplace. Things took an unexpected turn earlier today, however, after the artist changed the images associated with each token from computer generated portraits into photos of literal carpets.

The pieces, which originally featured people and animal faces in a seemingly stained glass style, are now nothing more than an expensive metaphor for why you can’t trust the store-of-value proposition of any asset that maintains an aspect of centralized control.

“All discussions about the value of NFTs are meaningless as long as the token is not inseparable from the artwork itself,” said neitherconfirm. “What is the meaning of creating an unforgeable token on a highly secured network if somebody can alter, relink or destroy your possession? As long as the value of your artwork is reliable on a central service you do not own anything.”

The current price disparity between the artist’s seemingly similar rugs seems to lend some validity to their claims. At time of publication, the top bid on many of the NFTs is for under $1.00, while one (which currently has no offers) is listed for an astonishing $139 quadrillion — or around 80,000x the market cap of the entire crypto space. Neitherconfirm has since implied that they have received more offers on their rugs than they did on the original portraits.

Though the artist’s identity is unknown, they stated on twitter that their full-time job is “making sculptural art” under a top-selling artist that regularly sells pieces for more than $10 million. It is unclear if neitherconfirm created unique computer generated rug images to prove their point, or simply found pictures of carpets online and turned them into NFTs.

The crypto space is currently experiencing a massive boom in the quantity and value of non fungible tokens. While crypto artists were auctioning their works for up to $130,000 late last year, 2021 has seen NFT prices inflate to once-unfathomable amounts. Back in February, the owner of an NFT created by Mike Winkelmann, also known as Beeple, resold the piece on Nifty Gateway for a record-breaking $6.6 million.

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey recently jumped in on the action as well, auctioning off tokenized ownership of the first ever tweet. He has promised to convert any proceeds into Bitcoin (BTC), and donate them to nonprofit organization GiveDirectly’s Africa Response. At time of publication, the highest offer on the tokenized tweet is $2.5 million.

“Right now the appeal of NFT’s is the status of owning one,” said MyEtherWallet founder and CEO Kosala Hemachandra. “NFTs are hot in the same way lambo’s are hot to Bitcoin purists. I think this current version of non-fungible tokens will continue to evolve into bigger and broader use cases.”

However, neitherconfirm claimed that pieces of art are “only a store of monetary value if they possess artistic value” as well as subjective beauty:

“Certainly a token can bring a huge benefit for moving rightful ownership, especially for digital art. Without any doubt there is revolutionary value in distributing ownership. Just the token itself is not the artwork — it certainly can be, but this is a different story.”

The artist noted in a pinned tweet that they will donate 51% of all profits from the rug-pull NFT series to charity.

Cointelegraph reached out to neitherconfirm for comment, but did not receive a response in time for publication.