Fireblocks Integrates Astar Network, Boosting Secure DeFi Access for Institutions

Digital asset management platform, Fireblocks, has now incorporated Astar Network, Japan’s leading blockchain, marking an expansion in the company’s secure services for institutional investors. With the new integration, over 650 banks and financial institutions can now tap into Astar’s thriving DeFi ecosystem, as well as trade, swap, and lend digital assets on Astar via Fireblocks.

Astar Network has rapidly become a preferred choice in Japan owing to its support for the popular Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM) environment, as well as the addition of WebAssembly (WASM), transforming it into a multi-chain platform supporting interoperable applications.

Fireblocks, well-known for its commitment to security, has managed to have its digital asset infrastructure system certified by the Cryptocurrency Certification Consortium (C4), making it the first service provider to receive such recognition. Its multi-party computation (MPC) technology has won over traditional financial clients including BNY Mellon, ANZ Bank, and NAB, as well as Japanese trading platforms such as CoinTrade.

Stephen Richardson, Managing Director, Financial Markets and Head of APAC at Fireblocks, commented on the integration saying, “Fireblocks has always focused on facilitating institutional adoption in the digital assets industry. By leveraging our highly secure network and MPC-based wallet infrastructure, banks, exchanges, OTCs, and hedge funds can now seamlessly access Astar’s assets.”

The integration was celebrated at a special event during WebX in Tokyo, attended by more than 200 guests, including executives of global enterprises, web3 founders, and venture capitalists. The attendees gained valuable insights into the application of web3 technology in the corporate sphere, and the growing role enterprises play in web3, particularly in Japan, where the government is progressively exploring ways to utilize web3 technology.

Maarten Henskens, CEO of Astar Foundation, emphasized the impact of the integration stating, “We’re looking forward to leveraging this integration to enhance adoption while giving institutions looking to build on Astar a secure and robust way to safeguard their digital assets.”

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Trust Wallet Discloses Security Flaw Resulting in $170k Loss

The popular cryptocurrency wallet known as Trust Wallet has acknowledged that it had a security weakness that resulted in the loss of over $170,000 for some of its customers. The firm has said that the vulnerability has been fixed, and that it has sent notifications to all of the people who were impacted.

The Trust Wallet bug bounty program is credited with the discovery of the vulnerability, as stated by the company. In November of 2022, a security researcher disclosed a WebAssembly flaw that was present in the open-source framework known as Wallet Core. Trust Wallet additionally noted that new wallet addresses issued by the Browser Extension between November 14 and November 23 included this vulnerability.

On the other hand, the organization reminded its customers that any email addresses that were established before or after those dates are completely secure. Users of Trust Wallet were encouraged to upgrade their apps and establish new addresses in order to strengthen the security of their accounts.

Popular mobile cryptocurrency wallet Trust Wallet supports over 20 different blockchains, including Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Binance Smart Chain, among others. Binance, which is one of the biggest cryptocurrency exchanges in the world, is the owner of the platform.

The bug bounty program is an effort that gives researchers in the field of cybersecurity the opportunity to search for and disclose security flaws in return for financial compensation. Researchers are incentivized via the initiative to discover and disclose vulnerabilities, which paves the way for businesses to strengthen their own security protocols.

Both the promptness with which Trust Wallet addressed the problem and the openness with which it disclosed the existence of the security flaw have earned the company accolades. This event brings to light the need of taking precautions while dealing with cryptocurrencies, and it should serve as a warning to users that they need to be extra watchful when it comes to protecting the assets they have.

In summing up, the security flaw that was found in Trust Wallet thanks to its bug bounty program has been fixed. The impacted customers have been notified by the firm, who has also suggested that they update their app and establish new wallet addresses. The necessity of taking precautions to protect one’s bitcoin holdings is highlighted by Trust Wallet’s openness on the issue and its prompt response in trying to resolve it.


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Iota releases Smart Contracts Protocol alpha ahead of Coordicide rollout

The Iota protocol (MIOTA) is continuing its pivot toward implementing smart contracts with an alpha release of IOTA Smart Contracts Protocol, or ISCP.

As announced on Thursday, the project has released a more stable iteration of its smart contracts platform, which was previously in the pre-alpha stage. The new version signals a higher readiness of the technology, allowing developers to compile and test smart contracts for the first time. The smart contracts are based on Rust and the WebAssembly framework, putting it in a similar development environment as some of the more recent smart contract platforms like Polkadot and Near Protocol.

The overall architecture of the ISCP is also somewhat similar to existing sharding-based projects. The smart contract-enabled chains would act as layer-two environments, validated by Iota’s Tangle, a ledger based on a Directed Acyclic Graph. The validators do not need to verify all chains at once, as the creators of the smart contract chain will directly choose the mechanism for assigning validators. This allows creating both open networks and permissioned enterprise chains, which is a major focus of the Iota project.

The Iota team expects that the alpha release will attract developers who want to build applications in decentralized finance and nonfungible tokens, thus hoping to hitch a ride on recent trends in blockchain. For Iota developers, building new projects won’t be as easy as taking the code of some popular project on Ethereum, a strategy commonly seen on many current Ethereum competitors. Due to the WebAssembly environment, there are few ready-made projects to implement. Still, the Iota project plans to have an environment-agnostic presence, with support for the Ethereum Virtual Machine and its smart contracts being in the immediate roadmap.

The smart contracts alpha is being rolled out in parallel to the GoShimmer testnet, an environment without the Coordinator. A “Mana” module to be released this month would allow to integrate the ISCP chains directly into this Coordinator-free testnet, though in the meantime developers can deploy isolated testnets to develop DApps in an Iota-based environment.

An Iota spokesperson told Cointelegraph that the smart contracts will be an integral part of the upcoming Coordicide completion, which would signal the launch of Iota 2.0:

“The vision of ISCP is to run in production on the fully decentralized IOTA protocol without a Coordinator. That is what we are building for with GoShimmer and we are very confident that we will be able to achieve that this year.”

The alpha smart contracts release signals that the Iota project feels confident about its plans and is looking to grow a developer community around its project. Still, the team will need to work double-time to compensate for the late start in an extremely competitive and somewhat crowded smart contract chain landscape.