Cointelegraph By Jordan Finneseth
On Feb. 12 Bitcoin (BTC) price hit a new all-time high at $48,985 before pulling back to the $46,000 level.
A quick glance at the 4-hour chart shows the top-ranked cryptocurrency trading in what appears to be a brief phase of consolidation but BTC is still maintaining its bullish momentum through a pattern of higher highs and higher lows.
If BTC can maintain its current pace and structure, a move to the $50,000 level could possibly occur before the weekend ends.
A report released by analysts at Decentrader shows that as Bitcoin’s liquid supply has been decreasing, demand for the top cryptocurrency has been increasing as the number of BTC that have not moved on-chain for an extended period of time also rises.
As can be seen on the chart above, BTC currently has a liquid supply of roughly four million coins and the figure has been steadily decreasing since June 2020 as whales and institutional investors increase their exposure to this nascent asset class.
Further evidence of the growth of big-money players can be found by looking at the surge in wallets holding more than 1000 BTC.
As the number of large wallets grows, the number of smaller wallets has remained flat or decreased, indicating that “larger players are scooping up bitcoin off smaller players.”
PayPal delves deeper into cryptocurrency
Additional bullish news for the cryptocurrency sector came as PayPal announced that it plans to extend its crypto services to residents of the United Kingdom.
This marks the first time users outside of the U.S. will be able to purchase crypto through the platform which should be available on the PayPal and Venmo apps by the end of Q2 2021.
In an effort to keep up with the likes of PayPal and the Cash App, Apple Pay has unveiled a new partnership with BitPay that will allow Apple Wallet users to use their BitPay card to make purchases.
It has also emerged that Grayscale Investments may soon bring a new level of exposure to decentralized finance as a newly filed corporate registration in the State of Delaware shows that the asset manager is considering Yearn Finance as a potential future offering.
Choppy trading sets the tone in traditional markets
Traditional markets faced early pressure on Friday following the Feb.11 announcement that federal regulators have launched probes into Robinhood and Reddit for signs of market manipulation related to the recent wild moves seen in stocks like GameStop and AMC.
After weathering the early downturn, all three major indices managed to climb higher and finish the day in the positive with the S&P 500 and NASDAQ closing out the session at record levels, up 0.47% and 0.50% respectively. The Dow also managed to squeeze out a positive gain of 0.09%.
The wider cryptocurrency market continued its bullish upsurge as multiple projects saw double-digit gains and new all-time highs.
Ether (ETH) ventured deeper into uncharted territory on Friday by setting and set a new all-time high at $1,863, while Polkadot (DOT) was the best performing top-10 coin, experiencing an increase of 21% overnight for a new high at 29.52.
Other notable performers include the pure proof-of-stake protocol Algorand (ALGO), which increased 38% for a 2021 high at $1.84, and Tezos (XTZ), which saw its price increase 23% for a new record high of $5.41.
The overall cryptocurrency market cap now stands at $1.48 trillion and Bitcoin’s dominance rate is 60.4%.
Price analysis 3/5: BTC, ETH, ADA, BNB, DOT, XRP, UNI, LTC, LINK, BCH
PAID Network exploiter nets $3 million in infinite mint attack
Cointelegraph By Andrew Thurman
Paid Network, a DeFi platform aimed at real-world businesses, has been exploited today in an “infinite mint” attack that has sent PAID token prices plunging upwards of 85%.
While the exploit netted nearly $180 million in PAID tokens at the time of the attack — what would have comfortably been the largest exploit of a DeFi protocol — the hacker’s payday will end up being far less. One observer noted that the attacker’s wallet only converted some of their tokens to wrapped ether, leaving the rest in rapidly-devaluing PAID tokens:
Summary of $PAID incident:
Total PAID swapped to WETH: 2079.603371141493
Total PAID left in account: 594,717,455.71
Total amount in attacker account = $27,418,034.33
Stay Safe. pic.twitter.com/Lz93qGKAq0
— vasa (@vasa_develop) March 5, 2021
The attacker’s wallet still has over 57 million PAID tokens worth $37 million.
The exploit is conceptually similar to an attack on insurance protocol Cover that took place in late December last year. In that instance, the team took a “snapshot” of holders prior to the attack and issued a new token, returning the supply of the token to pre-exploit levels.
The team confirmed on Twitter that they are currently planning for a snapshot and restoration:
We are investigating the issue. We pulled liquidity, are creating a new smart contract, & will be restoring everyone’s original balances to before the hack.
Those with staked, Lpool & UniFarm $PAID will have their tokens be sent to them manually.
We will share more updates soon
— PAID NETWORK (@paid_network) March 5, 2021
However, token holders anxious for a resolution may be out of luck. Some in the community are speculating that the attack on PAID wasn’t an exploit at all, but instead a “rugpull” — a colloquial term for an insider designing contracts to specifically make them exploitable and swiping user funds.
Nick Chong of Parafi Capital noted on Twitter that Paid’s deployer contract, an externally controlled account, transferred ownership of the deployer to the attacker shortly before the mint, indicating that a member of the team either rugpulled, or errantly allowed the attack to take place with a security lapse:
Paid Network’s deployer, an EOA, transferred ownership of a contract to the attacker 30 mins before the minthttps://t.co/h14GdV4fCf
— Nick Chong (@n2ckchong) March 5, 2021
Additionally, a DeFi risk analysis account @WARONRUGS warned of exactly this exploit in late January, noting that the contract owner can mint PAID tokens at any time:
❌ Scam Advisory #86- PAID Network $PAID (0x8c8687fC965593DFb2F0b4EAeFD55E9D8df348df)
Reason: The owner can mint tokens and did mint tokens to fresh wallets who never bought the presale. Contract is behind a proxy.
Likeliness of losing all funds: Very High
— #WARONRUGS❌ (@WARONRUGS) January 25, 2021
An on-chain note sent to the attacker has ominously warned that “the LAPD will be in contact with Kyle Chasse very shortly.” Kyle Chasse is the CEO of Paid Network.
Paid Network did not respond to a request for comment by the time of publication.
Cryptocurrency exchange Bybit shuts up shop in UK in compliance with FCA ban
Cointelegraph By Greg Thomson
Singapore-based cryptocurrency derivatives exchange Bybit announced on Friday that it would be suspending services for its customers n the United Kingdom. Bybit offers a range of high-end trading products for cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin (BTC), Ether (ETH), Bitcoin Cash (BCH), Litecoin (LTC) and more.
The move follows a blanket ban on all retail cryptocurrency derivatives trading by the Financial Conduct Authority, and U.K. customers will be given until March 31 to close out positions and withdraw their funds from the platform, a company announcement stated.
The post also affirmed the company’s intention to continue dialogue with regulators in the hope of opening up shop in the U.K. once more.
“We request your immediate cooperation in this matter. We regret this situation, and will seek dialogue with regulators to explore options. We hope to be able to earn the privilege to serve you again in the future,” stated the announcement.
Going forward, new sign-ups to the exchange using U.K.-based mobile phone numbers or IP addresses will be rejected automatically.
In October 2020, the FCA issued an announcement declaring that all retail cryptocurrency derivatives trading, encompassing products such as options, futures and exchange-traded notes, would be banned. The ban went into effect in early January 2021.
Remarkably, the FCA’s decision to ban these products flew in the face of feedback received from industry consultants. The FCA canvassed the opinions of trade bodies, national authorities, exchanges and legal representatives, with 97% of respondents arguing against the prospect of a ban.
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