US Officials Consider Expanding Deposit Insurance Coverage

US officials are reportedly studying ways to expand deposit insurance coverage to protect depositors and prevent capital from being pulled from smaller banks to supposedly safer-looking heavyweights. The current deposit insurance cap under the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) stands at $250,000. However, following the collapse of several banks in March, there have been calls to increase that amount.

Organizations such as the Mid-Size Bank Coalition of America have called for the cap to be lifted for the next two years. They argue that expanding the insurance coverage would provide necessary protection to depositors during these uncertain times.

According to a Bloomberg report on March 21, Treasury Department staff members are currently discussing the possibility of the FDIC being able to expand the current deposit insurance beyond the max cap to cover all deposits. The FDIC has reported that domestic U.S. bank deposits totaled $17.7 trillion as of December 31.

However, such a move would ultimately depend on the level of emergency authority federal regulators have and whether the insurance cap can be increased without formal consent from Congress. Bloomberg’s sources indicated that U.S. authorities do not deem such a drastic move necessary at the moment, as recent steps taken by financial regulators are likely to be sufficient. The potential strategy is being considered just in case the current situation worsens.

In response to recent bank collapses, the Federal Reserve rolled out the $25 billion Bank Term Funding Program (BTFP) on March 13 to stem any further contagion. This move by the government is an attempt to maintain stability in the financial system and restore confidence in banks.

Meanwhile, in a March 20 press briefing, White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre was asked about the federal government’s view on expanding FDIC insurance beyond $250,000. Jean-Pierre emphasized that the government’s focus is on ensuring the stability of the financial system and creating a fair playing field for all banks. She also highlighted that recent actions taken by the government have instilled confidence in the public regarding their deposits, stating that “Americans should be confident of their deposits. We’ll be there when they need them.”

While the current situation may not require such a drastic move, the possibility of expanding deposit insurance coverage beyond the current cap is being considered. The government will continue to monitor the situation and take necessary steps to ensure the stability of the financial system.


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SpankChain Shuts Down SpankPay Crypto Payment Processor

SpankChain, an Ethereum-based blockchain platform designed to help adult content creators cut out traditional banks and intermediaries, has closed its crypto payment processor, SpankPay. The closure comes after the company lost its payment service provider, Wyre, in February due to “violations of any third-party payment processor or network rules.” SpankPay attempted to find another service provider, but all attempts were rejected due to the adult industry nature of their business.

In a Twitter thread, SpankPay announced that the decision to close the payment processor was due to the escalating hostility of the banking environment towards adult industry payment processors, which had made it untenable for the small team and niche market it served. Despite the shutdown, the company reassured users that their money was safe and would be returned as soon as possible.

SpankPay was launched in July 2019 as an adult-industry-friendly payment solution that enabled adult entertainers and merchants to accept cryptocurrency for their services. The closure of SpankPay is a significant blow to SpankChain, as the platform was a key part of its blockchain ecosystem.

The adult entertainment industry has always faced challenges with traditional banking systems, as banks have been reluctant to work with the industry due to its controversial nature. SpankChain sought to change this by providing a blockchain-based platform that allowed adult content creators to transact directly with their customers, cutting out traditional intermediaries.

The closure of SpankPay highlights the ongoing challenges faced by the adult entertainment industry in accessing traditional banking services. The industry has been forced to rely on alternative payment methods, such as cryptocurrencies, to transact with customers. The use of cryptocurrencies has enabled adult content creators to access a global market and avoid the restrictions imposed by traditional banks.

Despite the challenges, SpankChain remains committed to advancing the adult industry and has promised to continue developing and investing in products that serve the niche market it serves. The closure of SpankPay is a significant setback for the company, but it is determined to continue to innovate and find new ways to help adult content creators succeed in the digital age.


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Arbitrum’s ARB Token Airdrop Triggers OTC Trading

The Arbitrum community is abuzz with anticipation following the announcement of the ARB token airdrop by Arbitrum Foundation. The new token will be airdropped to eligible community members on Thursday, March 23, and marks Arbitrum’s official transition into a decentralized autonomous organization (DAO).

Arbitrum One and Arbitrum Nova are networks that allow users to transact on the Ethereum blockchain with better speeds and lower fees. With 55% of the Ethereum layer 2 market share, according to layer-2 analytics site L2Beat, anticipation for an Arbitrum token has been at a fever pitch since the network went live in 2021.

The airdrop will grant 11.5% of the total supply to eligible Arbitrum users and 1.1% to DAOs operating in the Arbitrum ecosystem. With ARB’s total circulation of 10 billion, the Arbitrum community will control 56% of the tokens.

The announcement of the airdrop has triggered a surge in over-the-counter (OTC) trading of unreleased ARB tokens. OTC trading allows easy buying and selling of cryptocurrencies directly between sellers and buyers. The process is usually very fast, with funds being transferred directly from a bank account to the seller. In this case, when a price is agreed on by the buyer and seller, the seller receives payment from the buyer and then gives up the seed phrase linked to the eligible wallet.

However, the Arbitrum community has also warned others to stay vigilant after reports of phishing websites and scams offering Arbitrum airdrop tokens. As one of the most significant crypto projects without a token, the anticipation for an Arbitrum token has been high since the network went live in 2021.

Arbitrum’s main competitor in the Ethereum scaling space, Optimism, launched its OP token nearly a year ago when it transitioned to DAO governance. However, the launch of the ARB token puts Arbitrum in direct competition with Optimism and could lead to further developments in the Ethereum scaling space.

In summary, the announcement of the ARB token airdrop by Arbitrum Foundation has triggered over-the-counter (OTC) trading of unreleased tokens, with 11.5% of the total supply being granted to eligible Arbitrum users and 1.1% to DAOs in the Arbitrum ecosystem. However, the community has also warned others to be cautious of phishing websites and scams offering Arbitrum airdrop tokens. With the launch of the ARB token, Arbitrum is now in direct competition with Optimism in the Ethereum scaling space.


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Coinbase Petitions SEC on Staking

In response to the SEC’s February crackdown on Kraken’s staking program, Coinbase has submitted a “Petition for Rulemaking” arguing that staking should not be classified as securities. The 18-page document argues that staking is not a monolithic concept and that core staking services do not meet the criteria of the Howey test, which defines what constitutes a security.

Coinbase argues that staking is not an investment of money, as the opportunity cost of staking is not an investment. Users retain full authority over their assets, with the ability to unstake them, sell, hypothecate, vote, pledge, or otherwise dispose of them independently of the service provider. The rewards users receive are simply payments for services rendered, and core staking services entail ministerial maintenance and not managerial efforts in the sense of traditional investing.

The petition cites several historical precedents that can guide the SEC on the current regulatory work with crypto staking. These include the 1973 Committee on Special Investment Advisory Services, the SEC’s Regulation Fair Disclosure from 2000, and the Report of Investigation Pursuant to Section 21(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934: The DAO, from 2017. Coinbase urges regulators to consider the economic consequences of their actions on the digital asset ecosystem and take a different approach to the treatment of staking services.

Coinbase publicly distanced itself from Kraken’s staking program in February, with CEO Brian Armstrong expressing his readiness to defend the company’s position in court “if needed.” Despite the SEC’s actions, Coinbase has reiterated to customers that its staking services will continue and “may actually increase.”

Overall, Coinbase’s petition to the SEC on staking argues that the practice should not be universally labeled as securities. It provides a detailed argument based on historical precedents and highlights the economic consequences of regulatory actions on the digital asset ecosystem.


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MetaMask Enables Direct Bank Transfers for Crypto Purchases in Nigeria

In a move that aims to make self-custody cryptocurrency purchases more accessible in Nigeria, MetaMask has partnered with MoonPay to expand direct on-ramps with local banks. ConsenSys, the parent firm of MetaMask, announced the integration on March 21, allowing users in Nigeria to purchase crypto via instant bank transfers. This new feature is available within the MetaMask mobile and Portfolio DApp, significantly simplifying the process of buying crypto without using credit or debit cards in Nigeria.

Previously, MoonPay had a card integration feature, but about 90% of attempts to buy crypto with a credit or debit card were declined, according to Santos, a MetaMask spokesperson. With the new integration supporting local bank transfers, crypto purchases on MetaMask are now faster and cheaper, allowing users to access crypto without sending assets from a centralized exchange.

Despite the current issues with crypto on-ramps in Nigeria, the country has emerged as a major market for MetaMask, ranking third in mobile monthly active users. It is also among the top ten countries in terms of visitors to over the last month, Santos added. Nigeria is one of the world’s top 20 ranked countries in cryptocurrency adoption, according to the Chainalysis 2022 Global Crypto Adoption Index. Some reports suggest that 35% of the Nigerian population aged 18 to 60 owned or traded cryptocurrencies in 2022.

This high level of adoption is despite the Central Bank of Nigeria banning banks from servicing crypto exchanges in February 2021. However, in December 2022, local media reported that the Nigerian government was preparing to pass a law recognizing the usage of Bitcoin (BTC) and other cryptocurrencies to keep up to date with “global practices.” This move, coupled with the new integration between MetaMask and MoonPay, may signal a growing acceptance of cryptocurrencies in Nigeria.

It is important to note that Nigeria’s cryptocurrency market faces challenges such as a lack of regulatory clarity and security concerns. However, the partnership between MetaMask and MoonPay provides a viable solution for those seeking to invest in crypto without the use of credit or debit cards. As the adoption of cryptocurrencies continues to grow in Nigeria and other countries around the world, we may see further innovations aimed at increasing accessibility and usability.


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Bitcoin Hodlers Experience Profits on Majority of Trading Days

Bitcoin has been a popular investment asset since its inception in 2009, and data shows that hodlers have experienced profits on the majority of trading days. According to, Bitcoin hodlers enjoyed profitable days on 88.50% of the 4,593 days the cryptocurrency has been tradable. This challenges the historical narrative that crypto has depreciating volatility, proving that holding Bitcoin is provably profitable in the long run.

The profitability of Bitcoin can be attributed to its hard limit on total supply and seamless global usability. These factors have contributed to its status as a store of value, and the historical price performance of Bitcoin confirms its potential as a profitable investment. However, investors must understand Bitcoin’s market cycles to maximize their profits and avoid buying at the top and selling at the dip.

Out of the 4,593 trading days, only 531 or 11.56% were unprofitable for long-term hodlers. These unprofitable days occurred between December 28, 2022, and June 12, 2022, during which Bitcoin was priced above the range of $26,246.58 and $28,344.5. This emphasizes the importance of understanding market cycles, and investors should exercise caution to avoid significant losses.

While some investors prefer to hold Bitcoin long-term, others make daily trades on crypto exchanges for consistent profits. Regardless of the investment strategy, understanding the market cycles and trends is crucial for maximizing profits.

However, investing in Bitcoin is not without its risks, as demonstrated by the recent security vulnerability discovered by General Bytes. The manufacturer of Bitcoin ATMs had to shut down its cloud services after discovering a vulnerability that allowed attackers to access users’ hot wallets and gain sensitive information. Karel Kyovsky, the founder of General Bytes, stated that multiple security audits since 2021 did not identify the vulnerability.

In conclusion, Bitcoin’s profitability challenges the historical narrative of depreciating volatility in the crypto market. Hodlers have experienced profits on the majority of trading days, making Bitcoin a potentially lucrative investment asset. However, understanding market cycles and trends is essential for investors to maximize their profits and avoid significant losses. Additionally, investors should be aware of the potential risks associated with investing in Bitcoin, such as security vulnerabilities.


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Australian Banks Ordered to Report Crypto Transactions

The Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) has reportedly ordered local banks to report on their exposure to cryptocurrency transactions in the wake of recent banking collapses, including the Silicon Valley Bank (SVB) and Silvergate failures. The regulator is seeking to obtain more information and insight into banking exposures to crypto assets and associated risks.

According to the Australian Financial Review, the APRA has instructed banks to improve their reporting on crypto assets and provide daily updates to the regulator. The agency has started requesting banks to declare their exposures to startups and crypto-related companies, citing three people familiar with the matter. The new measures are reportedly part of the APRA’s increased supervision of the banking sector, aimed at mitigating the risk of similar collapses occurring in Australia’s banking system.

The move comes in the aftermath of the collapse of global banks, including Credit Suisse and SVB, which have raised concerns over the stability of the financial system. On March 19, UBS Group agreed to buy Credit Suisse for $3.2 billion after the latter collapsed over the weekend. The banking sector has been facing pressure from investors and regulators to improve risk management and transparency.

Barrenjoey analyst Jonathan Mott reportedly warned that while the situation “remains stable” for Australian banks, confidence could be quickly disrupted, putting pressure on bank margins. The APRA’s increased scrutiny of cryptocurrency transactions is aimed at mitigating this risk, as the regulator seeks to gain a deeper understanding of the potential impact of crypto assets on the stability of the banking system.

The Australian government has been taking a cautious approach to regulating the cryptocurrency industry, with the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) recently stating that it has no plans to issue a digital version of the Australian dollar. However, the APRA’s move to increase reporting requirements on crypto assets suggests that regulators are taking a more active role in monitoring the sector.

In conclusion, the APRA’s decision to order local banks to report on cryptocurrency transactions reflects the growing concern over the potential risks posed by crypto assets to the stability of the banking system. While the situation in Australia remains stable, the recent collapses of global banks have highlighted the need for improved risk management and transparency in the financial sector. The APRA’s increased scrutiny of the crypto industry is a step towards achieving this goal, as regulators seek to gain a deeper understanding of the potential impact of crypto assets on the stability of the financial system.


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ZenGo uncovers dApp vulnerability

ZenGo, a crypto wallet developer, has discovered a security vulnerability in decentralized applications (dApps) called the “red pill attack.” This vulnerability allowed malicious dApps to steal user assets using opaque transaction approvals. ZenGo conducted research that revealed that many leading vendors, including Coinbase Wallet, were vulnerable to such attacks. However, ZenGo stated that all vendors were receptive to their reports, and most of them were quick to fix their faulty implementations.

The vulnerability is possible due to a programming oversight in “Special Variables” among smart contracts storing general information on the blockchain functionality, such as timestamp of the current block. During simulations, there is no correct value for Special Variables, and developers “take a shortcut” and set them to an arbitrary value. This vulnerability is where the “red pill attack” derives its name from the iconic “red pill” scene from The Matrix movie series. “If malware is able to detect it’s actually being executed in a simulated environment or living in the matrix, it can behave in a benign manner, thus deceiving the anti-malware solution, and reveal its true malicious nature only when actually executed in a real environment.”

ZenGo demonstrated in a video how a smart contract simulation on Polygon (MATIC) could be compromised using this method. ZenGo showed that when the user sends the transaction on-chain, COINBASE is filled with the non-zero address of the current miner, and the contract just takes the sent coins.

ZenGo said the fix for the vulnerability was straightforward. Instead of populating these vulnerable variables with arbitrary values, the simulations need to populate them with meaningful values. ZenGo presented redacted screenshots of bug bounties, apparently awarded by Coinbase, for solving the issue. The Ethereum Foundation has also awarded ZenGo a $50,000 grant for its research on transaction simulations.

Decentralized applications or dApps are an essential part of the blockchain ecosystem. They operate on decentralized networks, where there is no central authority, and transactions are recorded on the blockchain. The advantage of dApps is that they provide users with a more secure and transparent way to transact without a central authority. However, as with any technology, there are vulnerabilities that need to be addressed. The discovery of the “red pill attack” vulnerability by ZenGo underscores the importance of security in the blockchain ecosystem.

In conclusion, ZenGo’s discovery of the “red pill attack” vulnerability in dApps is a significant development in the blockchain ecosystem. The vulnerability, which allowed malicious dApps to steal user assets, highlights the importance of security in the blockchain ecosystem. ZenGo’s research has shown that many leading vendors were vulnerable to such attacks, but they were quick to fix their faulty implementations. The fix for the vulnerability is straightforward, and ZenGo has urged developers to populate vulnerable variables with meaningful values.


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DeFi Insurance Claims Reach $34.4 Million

The decentralized finance (DeFi) industry has seen remarkable growth in recent years, with more than $160 billion in total value locked in various protocols and applications as of March 2023. However, this rapid growth also brings increased risks, such as smart contract bugs, hacks, and market volatility. To mitigate these risks, several DeFi insurance companies have emerged in the past few years, offering coverage for various types of losses and damages.

According to a recent report by OpenCover, a DeFi analytics firm, DeFi insurance companies paid out $34.4 million in claims in 2022, a significant increase from previous years. In comparison, only $36.9 million of such claims have been paid out since OpenCover began tracking the data. The report noted that notable payouts included $22.5 million during the collapse of the Terra Luna ecosystem in May 2022 and $4.7 million from the collapse of crypto exchange FTX in November 2022.

DeFi insurance coverage has expanded to eight major categories, including protocol loss coverage, stablecoin depeg coverage, yield token coverage, custodial account coverage, audit (smart contract bug) coverage, slashing coverage for professional validators, and other customized coverage. The report also highlighted that in the past nine months, the mean daily leverage ratio of active policy amount to underwriting capital was 1.07 times across different providers.

However, despite the growth of the DeFi insurance industry, the report also pointed out that more needs to be done regarding the ability to scale. “Ultimately, scaling these innovations to a meaningful size will depend on the robustness of DeFi risk assessment frameworks — of which there are currently very few,” the report stated.

At the time of writing, the total value of underwriting capital pools tracked by OpenCover amounts to $286 million (186k ETH) with a low of $210 million and a high of $394 million in the last nine months. However, the current value is 26% lower than the period maximum in USD terms, indicating that there may be some market volatility and uncertainty in the DeFi insurance sector.

In conclusion, the DeFi insurance industry has come a long way in providing coverage for various risks and losses in the DeFi ecosystem. However, as the DeFi industry continues to grow and evolve, there is a need for more robust risk assessment frameworks and better scalability solutions to support the long-term sustainability of the sector.


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Tomi Raises $40M for Decentralized Web Alternative

Tomi, a decentralized cloud computing network, has announced that it has raised $40 million in a funding round led by DWF Labs, Ticker Capital, and Piha Equities, as well as Japanese crypto investor Hirokado Kohji. Tomi aims to provide an alternative to the traditional internet by creating a decentralized autonomous organization (DAO) that governs a “surveillance-free alternative” to the internet. The funding will be used to attract publishers and further develop its network.

Tomi was launched in 2022 by an anonymous group of crypto industry veterans who sought to create a version of the internet governed by a DAO. The tomiDAO is responsible for network governance, including voting on code alteration proposals and managing content that violates community guidelines.

The spokesperson for Tomi clarified that all monetization efforts on the network are facilitated through the network’s native token, TOMI. The token is used as the primary currency for various activities within the network, such as buying domains, paying transaction fees on tomi’s layer-2 network, and participating in voting activities.

Decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs) are blockchain-based entities with no central ownership that are governed by self-organizing communities. Their utility has grown over the years as more organizations look to implement bottom-up decision-making without hierarchical management. The Marshall Islands have recognized DAOs as legal entities, making them more accessible for organizations to adopt.

Decentralizing the internet can enhance digital ownership by promoting open services powered by decentralized apps instead of centralized applications controlled by major technology companies. This push for decentralization is currently being led by Web3 companies that have raised billions in venture capital to advance their version of Web3.

Tomi’s project seeks to provide an alternative to the tech titans and re-educate the masses that they can have control again. The network’s surveillance-free nature appeals to content creators looking for a more secure and decentralized platform to share their content. Tomi’s unique approach to decentralization through its DAO and native token could disrupt the centralized nature of the internet, empowering users and promoting digital ownership.


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