On March 18, Euler Finance, a decentralized finance (DeFi) platform, received a surprising gift from the hacker who had drained $197 million from the platform just a few days earlier. The attacker returned 3,000 ETH ($5.4 million) to Euler Finance’s deployer address, citing a change of heart.
The attack on Euler Finance, which occurred on March 15, was one of the biggest DeFi hacks of 2023 so far. The attacker was able to drain $197 million through multiple transactions and later used a multichain bridge to transfer the funds from the Binance Smart Chain (BNB) to Ethereum. The stolen funds were then moved into Tornado Cash, a crypto mixer that anonymizes transactions.
In response to the hack, Euler Finance announced a $1 million reward to anyone who could help track down the hacker and retrieve the funds. The platform also demanded that the hacker return 90% of the funds within 24 hours to avoid possible jail time.
It is unclear why the hacker returned the funds, but it may have been due to the pressure from the $1 million bounty or the fear of getting caught. This is not the first time a DeFi hacker has returned stolen funds. In July 2022, the attacker who stole $600 million from Poly Network returned the funds and even received a job offer from the company.
DeFi hacks are becoming more common as the industry grows and attracts more attention from hackers. According to CipherTrace’s 2023 DeFi Decentralized Exchange (DEX) Report, DeFi hacks have already surpassed $1 billion in 2023. To prevent such attacks, DeFi platforms are investing in better security measures and insurance policies.
The return of the funds to Euler Finance may come as a relief to the platform and its users, but it also highlights the need for better security measures in the DeFi industry. As the industry continues to grow and mature, it is likely that we will see more hacks and exploits, but hopefully, we will also see more successful recoveries and stronger security measures.
Sam Bankman-Fried is a well-known person in the realm of cryptocurrencies. He is also the co-founder and CEO of FTX, which is one of the most successful platforms for trading digital assets. On the other hand, he has just found himself in the middle of a legal dispute that has the potential to have significant repercussions for his future.
The legal actions at issue are connected to the collapse of FTX, which took place in 2018. Bankman-Fried and his colleagues were all listed as defendants in the case, which accused the corporation of a variety of illegal activities, including market manipulation and wash trading. While Bankman-Fried was originally able to stay out of prison, he was obliged to pay a bail bond in the amount of $250 million, which is thought to be the biggest bail bond ever posted in connection with a criminal prosecution in the United States.
Since then, Bankman-Fried has been free on bond, but the judge in charge of the case, Lewis Kaplan of the Southern District of New York, has some reservations about his usage of encrypted-messaging applications and virtual private network (VPN) services. Specifically, Bankman-Fried used Signal, a messaging service that provides end-to-end encryption, to contact former coworkers at FTX and Alameda. This prompted Kaplan to forbid him from using such apps and threaten to revoke his bail privileges if he acted out of order. Bankman-use Fried’s of Signal prompted Kaplan’s response.
Currently, the attorney for Bankman-Fried is making preparations to offer a revised bail package to the court. This new bail package may contain additional restrictions or a larger bond sum. It is not yet known how the lawsuit will turn out, but it is quite evident that Bankman-future, Fried’s in addition to the reputation of FTX and the cryptocurrency sector as a whole, is on the line.
Binance has been the subject of regulatory scrutiny on a global scale, with a number of nations implementing limits or completely banning its services as a result of allegations of regulatory infractions. The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in the United States initiated an investigation into Binance.US in February over trading entities that are reportedly tied to Changpeng “CZ” Zhao, the CEO of Binance. An investigation report indicated that Binance was likely responsible for the transfer of around 400 million dollars in money from a Binance.US account to a trading business run by Zhao.
In their letter, the senators from the United States, lead by Elizabeth Warren, expressed their worries over the operations of Binance and asked for the firms’ balance sheets, AML rules, and documentation regarding the link between Binance and Binance.US. The senators charged that Binance and its American affiliate intended to circumvent authorities in the United States, evade sanctions, and assist the laundering of at least $10 billion in illicit funds. Previous statements made by Binance indicate that the two businesses are distinct organizations, each with its own autonomous management and activities.
Binance’s Hillman mentioned in his response to the senators’ letter that the cryptocurrency exchange uses both in-house and third-party tools to monitor user transactions and profiles in real time. As a result of alerts generated by transaction monitoring, Binance was able to halt more than 54,000 transactions between August 2021 and November 2022. Binance didn’t address the senators’ concerns about the exchange’s lack of openness, despite the fact that it had already provided the financial data that had been sought to the U.S. authorities. Instead, it omitted the information from the letter it had sent to the senators.
As a whole, it is probable that Binance’s answer is an effort to soothe worries and strengthen its relationship with U.S. authorities, who have been clamping down on cryptocurrency exchanges and other participants in the sector. Yet, Binance’s regulatory difficulties are far from being resolved, and it is possible that the exchange may be subjected to more scrutiny in the months ahead as authorities work to assure compliance with AML and other legislation.
Srinivasan, a well-known Bitcoin enthusiast and entrepreneur, is betting that the United States will experience hyperinflation, leading to a deflation of the U.S. dollar and a surge in the value of Bitcoin. Medlock, on the other hand, is bearish about hyperinflation in the country. The bet has been set up as a smart contract, and if Srinivasan loses, he will pay $1 million worth of the dollar-pegged stablecoin USD Coin (USDC) and one BTC to Medlock. If Bitcoin’s price reaches $1 million by the deadline, Srinivasan will keep the 1 BTC and the $1 million in USDC.
Srinivasan has also disclosed that he will move another $1 million in USDC for another wager on the same topic, with Medlock and one other person. The bet comes at a time when Bitcoin’s price has already reached $27,387, with its market capitalization adding over $194 billion year-to-date to a 66% growth in 2023. It has also outperformed Wall Street bank stocks amid fears of a global banking crisis.
Srinivasan’s bet is based on his belief that the U.S. economy is facing an impending crisis that will lead to the deflation of the U.S. dollar, which will result in a hyperinflation scenario that will drive Bitcoin’s price up to $1 million. This view is shared by many other Bitcoin proponents, who argue that Bitcoin’s finite supply and decentralization make it a safe-haven asset in times of economic uncertainty.
However, the mainstream financial industry and economists have largely dismissed these claims, arguing that Bitcoin’s price is driven mainly by speculative trading and that it has no intrinsic value. Despite these criticisms, Bitcoin’s popularity and adoption continue to grow, with major companies and institutions like Tesla, MicroStrategy, and PayPal investing in the cryptocurrency.
In conclusion, Balaji Srinivasan’s $1 million bet on Bitcoin’s price reaching $1 million in 90 days is a bold move that reflects the growing optimism among Bitcoin proponents about the cryptocurrency’s future. While it remains to be seen whether Srinivasan will win the bet, the ongoing debate over Bitcoin’s value and role in the global economy is likely to continue for some time.
The banking industry has been facing risks from uninsured deposit withdrawals, with almost 190 banks at a potential risk of impairment to insured depositors and potentially $300 billion of insured depositors at risk, as revealed by economists’ analysis. In the meantime, Representative Tom Emmer has warned the FDIC that its actions to purge legal crypto activity from the US are “deeply inappropriate” and could lead to broader financial instability. Furthermore, the US Federal Reserve announced a review of the supervision and regulation of Silicon Valley Bank in light of its failure, which will be released for public review by May 1.
The MBCA’s request to extend deposit insurance is aimed at reducing the risk of bank failures, which could potentially harm the entire banking industry. The proposal to fund the insurance program by raising deposit-insurance assessment on lenders who opt to participate in the increased coverage is a significant move towards ensuring stability in the banking industry. The economists’ analysis shows that there is a potential risk to insured depositors if uninsured depositors decide to withdraw their deposits. If this occurs, almost 190 banks would be at risk, and insured depositors could face a potential loss of up to $300 billion.
Representative Tom Emmer’s letter to the FDIC Chair raises concerns over reports that the FDIC is “weaponizing recent instability” in the banking sector to “purge legal crypto activity” from the US. Emmer argues that these actions are “deeply inappropriate” and could lead to broader financial instability. This concern over broader financial instability is further highlighted by the Federal Reserve’s announcement of a review of the supervision and regulation of Silicon Valley Bank in light of its failure. The review’s public release by May 1 shows that the Federal Reserve is taking steps to ensure that the banking industry remains stable and secure.
In conclusion, the MBCA’s request for an extension of deposit insurance is an important step towards ensuring stability in the banking industry. The proposal to fund the insurance program by raising deposit-insurance assessment on lenders who opt to participate in the increased coverage could provide banks with the necessary funds to ensure that they can meet the demands of their customers. The concern over broader financial instability, raised by Representative Tom Emmer, and the Federal Reserve’s review of the supervision and regulation of Silicon Valley Bank, highlights the need for continued vigilance to ensure the stability and security of the banking industry.
UBS would be able to reduce the size of Credit Suisse’s investment bank as a result of the purchase, with the combined firm constituting no more than a third of the newly combined business. A merger between UBS and Credit Suisse would result in the creation of one of the biggest and most systemically significant financial institutions in Europe. UBS has total assets on its balance sheet worth $1.1 trillion, while Credit Suisse has total assets at $575 billion.
Bypassing the typical Swiss regulations that call for a six-week consultation period during which shareholders can express their opinions on an acquisition, the emergency measures that are currently being considered would make it possible for the transaction to move forward without the approval of the company’s shareholders. Reportedly, the SNB and FINMA are aiming to secure a regulatory agreement by the end of the day on Saturday in order to conclude the purchase before to the opening of markets on Monday.
Credit Suisse has been shaken by a slew of financial scandals, the most notable of which are the failure of Greensill Capital, which had a portfolio worth $10 billion with Credit Suisse, and the loss of $4.7 billion as a result of the failure of family office Archegos Capital Management. In addition to this, legal action may be taken against the bank because of its part in the fall of supply chain financing company Lex Greensill’s corporate empire.
The Swiss National Bank (SNB) and the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA) had previously issued a joint statement on March 15, stating that Credit Suisse met the requirements imposed on systemically important banks regarding their capital and liquidity, and that should it be required, the SNB would provide Credit Suisse with liquidity. But, the authorities now feel that the only option to avert a complete collapse in trust in the bank is for UBS to purchase Credit Suisse.
The announcement of this news comes after the United States-based investment firm BlackRock indicated in a tweet on March 18 that it is not interested in purchasing Credit Suisse.
On March 10, the activities of Silicon Valley Bank UK were terminated by order of the Bank of England (BoE), which said that the bank did not provide any “critical services” in support of the financial system. Once this event occurred, HSBC purchased the bank for the very cheap price of one pound. But, just a few days following the purchase, HSBC gave its approval for bonuses of several millions of pounds to be given to workers and top executives of Silicon Valley Bank UK.
It was emphasized by the sources that the bonuses would not have been paid out if Silicon Valley Bank UK had not been purchased in a financially sound manner. The exact amounts of the bonuses that were given to Erin Platts, CEO of Silicon Valley Bank UK, and her senior colleagues are unknown at this time; however, insiders have emphasized that the payments were a signal of HSBC’s confidence in the talent base at Silicon Valley Bank UK as well as an effort to retain key staff.
As a result of the BoE’s announcement that it intends to place Silicon Valley Bank UK into a “bank insolvency procedure,” the bank was required to cease making payments and accepting deposits. Prior to this, Silicon Valley Bank UK was instrumental in the growth and support of the innovative economy in the UK. In the meanwhile, the United States banking arm of Silicon Valley Bank has been taken over by the government. In the meantime, Silicon Valley Bank’s parent company, SVB Financial Group, has filed for protection under Chapter 11 bankruptcy while it searches for purchasers for its other assets.
SVB Group’s chief restructuring officer William Kosturos stated that the Chapter 11 process will allow the group to “preserve value” as it evaluates strategic alternatives for its prized businesses and assets. Kosturos stated that the group will be able to “preserve value” if it goes through with the process. Notwithstanding this, both SVB Capital and SVB Securities will continue to do business as usual, both under the direction of their own separate teams.
In recent years, the banking industry in the United States has been confronted with a number of issues, including the failure of large banks and the necessity of involvement by the federal government to avert an economic meltdown. These problems have made it necessary for the federal government to get involved. As a result of these events, discussions on the most effective ways to shield the economy and fend off any potential crises in the future have been reignited.
One of the most prominent economists in the world, Peter Schiff, is one of the primary voices in this debate. He maintains that there is a possibility that the present economic crisis may become much more severe if the regulations that are put on banks are made more stringent. Schiff makes reference to the global financial crisis that took place in 2008, which was in large part precipitated by the collapse of the housing market. Schiff, on the other hand, contends that “too much government regulation” was the primary factor that led to the disaster.
The opinion that Schiff is advocating, on the other hand, is not shared by everyone. After conducting a more in-depth investigation of Silicon Valley Bank (SVB) recently, a group of economists came to the conclusion that approximately 190 banks across the United States are in danger of failing as a result of the actions of their depositors. This was the finding that led to this conclusion. They argue that the monetary policies that are written down by central banks might be harmful to long-term assets such as mortgages and government bonds, which would result in losses for financial institutions if they were to invest in these types of assets.
This word of warning calls attention to the problems that the banking industry in the United States is now facing and the need of giving careful consideration to the impact that changes in regulatory and monetary policies will have. As the economy continues to shift and new problems emerge, policymakers will need to work together to devise solutions that will satisfy the concerns of a wide variety of interested parties while also protecting the financial well-being of the banking industry and the economy as a whole.
The DeFi world was rocked when Euler Finance fell victim to the biggest DeFi hack of 2023, with $197 million in funds stolen. Since then, the crypto community has been closely following the on-chain movements of the stolen funds, hoping to track down the attacker. Blockchain investigator Chainalysis recently identified that 100 ETH from the stolen funds was transferred to an address linked to North Korea.
The hacker responsible for the Euler Finance hack also transferred 3,000 ETH to Euler’s deployer account without disclosing their intent. However, no other transfers have been made at the time of writing, leaving many in the crypto community speculating whether the hacker was trolling or if they genuinely considered accepting Euler Finance’s bounty reward of $20 million.
While Chainalysis has linked the stolen funds to North Korea, it has also highlighted the possibility of misdirection by other hackers. It is unclear whether North Korea is actually involved in the hack or if the hacker was simply using the address to throw investigators off their trail.
The Euler Finance hack has raised questions about the security of DeFi platforms, as Euler Labs CEO Michael Bentley expressed disappointment in the hack, revealing that ten separate audits over two years had assured its security. The fact that the hacker was still able to access and steal the funds has highlighted the need for stronger security measures in DeFi platforms.
The use of DeFi platforms has skyrocketed in recent years, and the potential rewards have attracted many hackers seeking to exploit vulnerabilities in the system. This has led to an increase in DeFi hacks, with many experts calling for stronger security measures to protect investors’ funds. The Euler Finance hack serves as a reminder that even with multiple security audits, DeFi platforms are not immune to hacks, and investors should exercise caution when investing in these platforms.
FTX was one of the most important cryptocurrency exchanges prior to its failure, which coincided with the creator and CEO, Sam Bankman-Fried, resigning from his position. The platform’s image, on the other hand, was damaged by charges of the theft of cash belonging to its users. Despite this, it was revealed that Bankman-Fried was attempting to have FTX subject to government regulation in an email exchange from May of 2022 that was stolen.
According to the Washington Examiner, Bankman-Fried contacted Martin Gruenberg, the chairman of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), in May 2022 and invited him to a meeting on June 13, 2022. This communication was made possible by Mark Wetjen, a former commissioner of the Commodities Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) who had only just started working for FTX US in the role of head of policy and regulatory strategy.
Based on the flow of emails, it was clear that Bankman-Fried was attempting to “promote discourse” and “starting examining” the prospect of FDIC regulation for FTX. This action was probably taken as a reaction to the rising regulatory scrutiny that bitcoin exchanges in the United States are now under. On the other hand, it is not known whether or not the meeting with Gruenberg actually took place, nor can it be established whether or not FTX was successful in its attempt to get federal regulation.
The failure of FTX in November 2022 may be attributed to a number of issues, including claims of fraudulent activity and poor management. In the wake of the collapse, Bankman-Fried stepped down from his position as CEO, although he continues to be a significant role in the bitcoin sector. Bankman-attempts Fried’s to seek government regulation for the exchange may have been a symptom of his intention to establish FTX as a reputable and trustworthy platform, notwithstanding the controversy that surrounds FTX.