YouTube Channel of South Korean Government Hacked in an Elon Musk-Crypto Scam (Report)

Hackers have reportedly attacked several big-name South Korean YouTube channels in the past few months. After gaining access, most wrongdoers used the platform to upload cryptocurrency-related videos.

Among the victims was the official YouTube channel of the South Korean government. Earlier this month, a group of cybercriminals compromised it so they could promote a crypto scam featuring Elon Musk’s image.

South Korean Users Should Stay Alerted

A recent coverage revealed that hackers had attacked the YouTube channels of the South Korean government, the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, and the Korea Tourism Organization.

In the government’s case, criminals changed the account’s name to “SpaceX Invest” to convince consumers that it was related to the American spacecraft manufacturer, spearheaded by Elon Musk.

To add to the confusion, the scammers posted videos of interviews where the world’s richest talked about bitcoin and other digital currencies. However, the government was quick to react and identified the fraud a few hours later.

Individual YouTube channels were also compromised. After breaching the security of a popular one with over 560,000 subscribers, hackers started sharing videos of illegal software that investors could download and assumingly become rich.

Park Tae-hwan – team leader at AhnLab’s security emergency response center – outlined that the real purpose of most attackers was to gain access to popular YouTube channels and promote fraudulent crypto schemes to a vast audience.

“Each organization should check their security response system as now may be an experimenting period for bigger attacks,” he warned.

Kim Seung-joo – a professor at Korea University – explained that the three main hacking methods are phishing attacks and credential stuffing, information stealers, and malware. In his view, scammers are smart enough to target separate YouTube accounts and not the platform itself, as otherwise, Google would step in and detect the issue:

“If the attack was on the YouTube platform itself, the damage may have been bigger, and Google would have released an official announcement.”

A Similar Incident in the UK

Such scams are not an isolated case for South Korea. In July, hackers attacked the YouTube channel of the British Army and used it to promote two different fraudulent crypto schemes. Once again, the criminals uploaded previous interviews of famous people who have discussed cryptocurrencies recently, including Elon Musk and Jack Dorsey, to con investors.

Similar to the South Korean government, though, the UK’s Ministry of Defence managed to cope with the problem in a matter of hours.

“Apologies for the temporary interruption to our feed. We will conduct a full investigation and learn from this incident. Thanks for following us, and normal service will now resume,” the authorities stated at the time.

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Ripple Explodes 22% Daily, Bitcoin Flat at $19K (Market Watch)

After marking a new three-month low yesterday, bitcoin went on the offensive and reclaimed $19,000.

Most altcoins are also slightly in the green today. Ripple, on the other hand, is this week’s best performer with a massive 60% surge. In the past 24 hours alone, the asset is up by more than 20%.

XRP Takes the Stage

The alternative coins had a few quite turbulent trading days, especially after the US Federal Reserve increased the interest rate by 75 basis points.

Ethereum, which has underperformed since last week’s Merge, dumped to a multi-month low at around $1,200. However, it began recovering value rather rapidly and bounced off to over $1,300. Another 4% increase in the past 24 hours has driven ETH to $1,330 as of now.

Binance Coin, Cardano, Solana, Dogecoin, Polkadot, Shiba Inu, MATIC, and Tron are also slightly in the green from the larger-cap alts.

Ripple, though, continues to steal the show. The native cryptocurrency has skyrocketed by another 22% in the past 24 hours to over $0.5. The asset has added over 60% of value on a weekly scale.

XLM, CRO, ALGO, XCN, and CHZ have all jumped by double-digit percentages from the lower-cap alts.

The crypto market cap is up to almost $950 billion after a $20 billion daily increase.

Cryptocurrency Market Overview. Source: Quantify Crypto
Cryptocurrency Market Overview. Source: Quantify Crypto

Bitcoin Goes Back to $19K

The primary cryptocurrency was also negatively impacted by the US Fed’s actions. It traded at $19,000 and jumped to $20,000 ahead of the central bank’s announcement.

In a matter of minutes, though, the asset plummeted by almost $2,000. As such, it painted a new three-month low of just over $18,000.

Nevertheless, the bulls stepped up at that moment and pushed BTC north. Yesterday, it touched $19,000, but it went to $19,500 earlier today. As of now, it has retraced by a few hundred dollars but still stands north of $19,000.

Its market capitalization is back beneath $370 billion, and its dominance over the altcoins has taken another hit to 39%.

BTCUSD. Source: TradingView
BTCUSD. Source: TradingView

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Washington State Hops on Celsius Network’s Bankruptcy Case

Celsius has been grilled by state watchdogs for alleged “financial mismanagements.”

In a recent turn of events, Washington’s Assistant Attorney General Stephen Manning filed a motion on September 22nd to Judge Martin Glenn to represent the Washington State Department of Financial Institutions.

The filing read,

“I certify that I am a member in good standing of the bar in the State of Washington and, if applicable, the bar of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington and U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.”

  • The crypto lender first froze customer withdrawals in June, blaming “extreme market conditions.”
  • It laid off around 150 employees shortly thereafter and onboarded restructuring consultants from an advisory firm, Alvarez & Marsal, to “preserve and protect assets.”
  • The following month, it filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, and the subsequent proceedings in the Southern District of New York revealed the depths of its financial troubles. Celsius reportedly owes 500,000 creditors approximately $5 billion.
  • Since then, state securities regulators from Texas, Vermont, Wisconsin, and now Washington have pushed for greater transparency.
  • Vermont’s Department of Financial Regulation (DFR), for one, leveled serious allegations against the troubled crypto lender. After claiming that Celsius has been insolvent since 2019, the DFR later alleged that, in reality, the platform was never profitable enough to pay out the promised yields.
  • Celsius was also accused of market manipulation and boosting the price of its native CEL token.
  • The United States Department of Justice also called for a court-appointed examiner to ensure that Celsius is providing creditors with accurate information.

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SupraOracles Releases Roadmap to Mainnet While Starting 550 Signed Web 3 Project Integrations

[PRESS RELEASE – Zug, Switzerland, 22nd September 2022]

Unveiling multiple technological breakthroughs, SupraOracles is excited to announce its novel cross-chain oracle infrastructure enabling highly accurate, robust data porting across a multitude of blockchains and DLTs with only 3-5 second finality. Now, with over 550+ signed integration partners, they’re officially announcing the launch of their Alpha testnet as they progress towards mainnet in early 2023.

To jumpstart momentum, Supra has partnered with Dorahacks, the host of BNB Grants and BNB Global Hackathons, by sponsoring and providing its oracle service to over 4,000-5,000 developers worldwide. Developers interested in adding this new, institutional grade oracle to their Web3 toolkit are invited to apply to the Supra Network Activate Program: https://join.supraoracles.com/network-activation-program

Oracles play a key role in Web3 projects. Developers need oracles to securely connect their decentralized applications (dApps) with timely, accurate data originating from other blockchains or real-world sources. This opens up a world of use cases such as exotic derivatives backed by real-world assets, options markets, multi-lateral clearing and settlement across public blockchains and DLT networks, that otherwise are simply not feasible with incumbent oracles today.

Supra’s PhD driven research team, led by the renowned Dr. Aniket Kate, has prioritized a number of novel principles in their design that brings a new gold standard to how oracles should perform. The most crucial being security of the core data, decentralization of nodes and consensus, auditability of data provenance, and cost efficient, predictable budgeting for consumers.

With these innovations, Supra has received recognition from Web3 incubators like Mastercard’s Start Path program, Berkeley Blockchain Xcelerator, and Silicon Valley’s Plug and Play, which recently named Supra among their top 10 up-and-coming Web3 projects.

Supra is drawing near to the launch of their incentivized testnet in Q4, with a roadmap that includes activities for developers to begin their testing:

  • 2022 Early October: Launch Data Dashboards, documentation for Ethereum, BNB Chain, Polygon, Avalanche, Aptos testnet chains
  • 2022 Late October: Supra’s VRF service documentation
  • 2022 November: Node Operators Onboarding launch
  • 2022 December: Incentivized testnet live, whitepapers unveiled
  • 2023 Early Q2: Mainnet goes live

Node Operators interested in learning about Supra’s block rewards and incentivization programs are invited to join the Discord community to know more: https://discord.io/supraoracles.

SupraOracles CEO, Joshua Tobkin commented, “We’ve built oracles that will undoubtedly exceed the typical expectations of cross-chain solutions, and we’re proud to bring forth a world-class product to the industry to help blockchains do even more incredible things.”

About SupraOracles

SupraOracles is supercharging oracles for a better, decentralized future. Blockchains need better, faster, accurate, and more secure off-chain data. SupraOracles provides a next-generation cross-chain oracle solution so smart contracts and blockchain apps work better.

After 5+ years of research, and thousands of hours of R&D and simulations, SupraOracles’ revolutionary technical breakthrough helps solve the Oracle Dilemma while improving performance across the board. The team’s academic mindset forms the bedrock of the organization and reinforces their commitment to deep research and a rigorous scientific process in everything they design and build.

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Zilliqa Announces Its Own Web 3 Gaming Console With Crypto Mining Capabilities

Zilliqa is working on a console that will offer the possibility of mining cryptocurrencies while players have fun with their favorite Web3 games.

Zilliqa, a Layer 1 blockchain protocol, announced the launch of its new Web3-focused video game console competing against Nintendo, Microsoft, and Sony— but with a twist that makes it unique.

According to Zilliqa’s statement published by VentureBeat, the new console is designed for gamers and cryptocurrency enthusiasts, as it will feature its own Game hub, a Web3 wallet, and crypto mining utilities. By next month Zilliqa will start testing the gaming hub.

For now, Zilliqa has refrained from disclosing the hardware specifications of the console; however, judging by the variety of ports shown in the photos (Headphone Jack, Ethernet, USB-C, USB 3.0, HDMI, among others), it is expected to be a competitive piece of hardware on par with its mainstream competitors.

Zilliqa gaming console ports
Zilliqa gaming console ports

Zilliqa Hopes to Become the Steam of Web 3 Gaming

Valentin Cobelea, head of gaming technology at Zilliqa, said the company got a great response from the community when it announced its first game at Gamescom. The team expects to catch users’ attention not only for the gaming capabilities of their device but for its monetary incentives, which will be a nice plus for those interested in getting it.

“Zilliqa’s hardware console and gaming hub will allow non-crypto natives to earn money while playing fun games without the complexity of managing the crypto they earn.”

Cobelea further added that the console and gaming hub will be launched in early 2023 once the company expands its catalog. Zilliqa hopes to become “the Steam equivalent for Web3 games.”

“With the backing of Zilliqa’s large crypto community and the easy-to-use infrastructure, we have no doubt that we can become the Steam equivalent for Web3 games.”

Web 3 Video Games Make Their Way Into the Gaming Industry

According to a recent Zilliqa report on Web3 games, blockchain gaming activity skyrocketed more than 2000% during 2021, and despite the bearish times, some games have managed to have more than 300 thousand active users.

However, there is still a long way to go for these types of games to manage to compete equally with those on Web 2, since players who enter Web2 do so to have fun without caring about economic gains, while on Web3, the vast majority of players enter to make money.

According to Zilliqa, the Web3 gaming industry is still in its early years of maturity, so perhaps in the future, studios will be able to offer new game modalities that, beyond focusing on monetary incentives, are fun and competitive as Axie Infinity was in the midst of the Bitcoin bull run, where several families in countries like the Philippines abandoned their jobs to dedicate themselves full time to this game.

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Helium Is Finally Moving From its Custom Blockchain to Solana

The community members of the Internet of Things (IoT) blockchain network, Helium, has voted for a complete transition to Solana to improve network scalability.

  • The HIP 70 proposal published by the Helium Foundation has been in the works for several months.
  • In August, the foundation detailed the reasons behind the core developers’ inclination to Solana from its own bespoke chain to ramp up Helium in terms of speed, stability, and ability to serve more users.
  • The vote for the migration began on September 12. A majority of 81.41% voted in favor of the migration, while the rest, 18.59%, stood against it.
  • The proposal states,

“The proposed changes in HIP 70 do not change the fundamentals of the Helium Network or HNT, but provide several benefits to the Helium Network including more HNT available to subDAO reward pools, more consistent mining, more reliable data transfer, more utility for HNT and subDAO tokens, and more ecosystem support.”

  • After the completion of the migration, a new version of the Helium Wallet App will be unveiled.
  • The history of the Helium Layer 1 blockchain will remain public, and users can access the new application by updating their current wallet app.
  • The holders of the HNT token will also be able to use other wallets within the Solana ecosystem, including Phantom or Solflare.
  • For the uninitiated, Helium is a Google-backed startup founded in 2019.
  • It is essentially a distributed wireless network that offers users crypto tokens as rewards for sharing their home internet service with a broader community.
  • So far, it has attracted over 952k active node operators, as per the latest data.

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The SEC is Angling to Take Authority Over All Ethereum Transactions in SPRK Suit (Opinion)

On Monday, the Securities and Exchange Commission filed a regulatory action against Ian Ballina. The computer engineer and data scientist has appeared prominently on investment programs such as CNBC, Forbes, Business Insider, and Entrepreneur Magazine.

SEC Hammers Sparkster Coin for Improper Disclosures

The SEC filed the civil complaint in Austin, Texas, over the initial coin offering for the Ethereum-based token Sparkster. The commission alleges improper consumer disclosures regarding Ballina’s compensation from the 2018 ICO:

“[Ballina] claimed he could help people ‘make millions with initial coin offerings…’ [Further he] failed to disclose the compensation he received from the issuer while he publicly promoted the tokens. He also failed to file a registration statement with the SEC for the tokens that he re-sold using an investing pool that he organized.”

On the popular crypto price tracker, CoinMarketCap, the page for SPRK has no price listed. Further, it says, “Market data is untracked. This project is featured as an ‘Untracked Listing.’

That means the Ethereum token doesn’t meet all of CMC’s guidelines for tracked listings. These include leveraging cryptography and decentralized consensus mechanisms to maintain peer-to-peer (P2P) ledgers for digital currency. CMC also only tracks cryptos with a functional website and block explorer. Moreover, coins “must be traded publicly, and actively traded on at least one (1) exchange (with material volume).”

Sparkster CEO Sajjad Daya reached a settlement to pay out $35 million to defrauded investors. That settlement came on Tuesday, just a day after the SEC filed its complaint.

Takeover Authority Over All Ethereum Transactions?

After the dust settled on the civil action, Wednesday’s closer look at the suit by the industry yields an interesting possibility. The SEC appears to be gearing up to take all Ethereum tokens and transactions under its jurisdiction.

In the 69th section of the filing, the commission advanced a novel legal theory regarding the regulation of cryptos:

“[The investors] sent their ETH contributions to Balina’s pool. At that point, their ETH contributions were validated by a network of nodes on the Ethereum blockchain, which are clustered more densely in the United States than in any other country. As a result, those transactions took place in the United States. [bold emphasis added]”

While Sparkster is headquartered in the Cayman Islands, the SEC’s theory is that the plurality of Ethereum nodes in the U.S. means all Ethereum tokens and transactions take place in the United States. This is another prong in an SEC sweep to take jurisdiction over Ethereum. That includes a recent warning by the SEC chair that the merge to proof-of-stake makes Ethereum a security.

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Uniswap Foundation Launches First Wave of Grants Totaling $1.8M

Uniswap Foundation, the organization that oversees the development of the largest DEX in the world, has stated that its first wave of grants sums up to almost $1.8 million total.

According to the official announcement, the grants vary in size and scope and are spread across three areas – protocol growth, community growth, and governance stewardship.

Uniswap Diamond

Uniswap Diamond is heralded as one of the most ambitious initiatives to be funded by Uniswap Grants. All ecosystem stakeholders are expected to benefit from this work.

The aim is to enhance the pro trader and LP experience, ramp up market share, and ease development and on-chain data analysis. For the purpose of historical and real-time on-chain data, API and SDK will be added, which is expected to be a game-changer for developers building on top of Uniswap, analysts, and end users.

Additionally, Diamond will also comprise a pro interface intended to increase Uniswap’s market share amongst pro users familiar with the features of a more traditional centralized exchange. Despite being a DEX leader, Uniswap only has around 1% of all crypto trading market share. Uniswap Diamond, however, aims to amplify that share by competing directly with the leading centralized platforms in terms of user experience and data.

The grant will be built by the cross-chain governance research – GFX Labs – which have been active Uniswap contributors since the beginning. Notably, the GFX team was one of the first liquidity providers on v3.

“We’re particularly excited about this grant because it represents the kind of ambitious, high-impact, long-term-oriented work that the newly created Foundation is uniquely able to support. We are also thrilled to build a stronger tie between GFX Labs – a talented development team that has already shown a strong commitment to Uniswap – and the ecosystem as a whole.”

Meanwhile, Uniswap.fish, Decentralized Volatility Oracle, and Numoen are also some of the prominent grants in addition to Diamond.

“Reinvigorating Governance”

The ambitious plan of Uniswap Foundation to streamline Uniswap’s Grant Program (UPG) and lessen friction in the protocol’s governance system became a reality last month. The initial proposal received over 99% of the votes from UNI holders in the affirmative.

Former Uniswap chief of staff, Devin Walsh, presented the proposal and earlier said the team had already been moving at a fast pace while delivering on its top priorities in areas such as building out its talent pool, ramping up the Uniswap Grants program and “reinvigorating the governance process.”

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Michael Saylor Sees Bitcoin Trading at $69,000 in the Next Four Years

Michael Saylor – Co-Founder and Chairman of the business intelligence software MicroStrategy – predicted that bitcoin’s price will reach its all-time high levels from November 2021 (approximately $69,000) “sometime in the next four years.”

Over the years, the 57-year-old entrepreneur has presented himself as an outspoken supporter of the leading cryptocurrency, while his company is the largest BTC corporate holder. Earlier this week, it accumulated additional 301 coins, rounding up its entire stash to 130,000 BTC.

Huge Jump for BTC in the Following Years

The pro-bitcoin American business executive – Michael Saylor – seems unfazed by the ongoing crypto winter. Despite the market’s collapse this year, he believes bitcoin will reach its all-time high of $69,000 in the following four years.

During his latest interview, he went further forecasting that the primary digital asset could trade at $500,000 in the next decade should it match the market capitalization of gold:

“The next logical step for bitcoin is to replace gold as a non-sovereign store of value asset.”

Michael Saylor, Source: Bloomberg

Despite the significant current difference between the two assets’ market cap (gold’s is around $11 trillion, while bitcoin’s is approximately $365 billion), Saylor has often given his preference to the cryptocurrency.

Last year, he outlined BTC’s merits and claimed that it is 50 times better than the precious metal. This summer, he doubled down on that stance, saying the asset is “obviously better than gold and everything that gold wants to be.” Instead of going to zero (as some might predict given its recent price decline), Saylor envisioned it will shoot up to $1 million in the years to come.

MicroStrategy Keeps Buying BTC

A few days ago, the company interacted with bitcoin once again, spending $6 million to purchase 301 coins at an average price of $19,851 per asset. Thus, the Nasdaq-listed firm’s crypto holdings surged to 130,000 BTC.

However, due to the market’s crash, MicroStrategy currently sits on a significant unrealized loss on its investment. Over the years, it has spent around $4 billion to accumulate its stash, while this amount is now worth approximately $2.5 billion.

The shares of the company have also been on a downtrend in the past several months. Last November (when the crypto market was at its peak and bitcoin was trading at almost $70,000), MSTR stocks were worth over $800, while now they hover below $200 (a 75% decline).

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Crypto Cross Border Payments Are Approved in Russia: Report

Russia’s central bank and Ministry of Finance have agreed on legislation to enable cross-border payments using cryptocurrency, according to a report from the Russian outlet Kommersant on Wednesday.

The policy change is reportedly intended to let Russian nationals access digital wallets. 

Taking Advantage of Blockchain

According to Russian Deputy Finance Minister Alexei Moiseev, the bill has already been agreed to by the central bank “on the whole.”

“It generally describes how to acquire cryptocurrency, what can be done with it, and how it can or cannot be settled with it in the first place in cross-border settlements,” he explained at the 14th International Banking Forum “Banks of Russia – 21st Century”.

Earlier this month, a local news agency reported that the central bank was weighing the possibility of permitting cross-border crypto payments in the near future. According to the Finance Minister, both the central bank and Ministry of Finance had agreed that “it is impossible to do without cross-border settlements in cryptocurrency.”

“Now people open crypto wallets outside the Russian Federation,” he said.  “It is necessary that this can be done in Russia, that this is done by entities supervised by the Central Bank, which are required to comply with the requirements of anti-money laundering legislation.”

The central bank’s stance stood in stark contrast to some of the bank’s past positions, which sought to ban crypto assets in their entirety. 

However, the central bank was opposed by the Ministry of Finance, which suggested that crypto ought to be regulated instead. 

The State Duma also rejected a blanket-ban approach. In fact, a Russian MP said in March that Russia might begin accepting Bitcoin for oil payments, following international sanctions levied against the country. 

Within a few months, the central bank revised its position, saying that it doesn’t object to using cryptocurrencies “in principle” for cross-border payments. 

What Does Putin Think?

In June, Russia agreed to pass legislation banning cryptocurrencies as a domestic means of payment, in order to reinforce the Russian ruble’s primacy as the national currency. The president – Vladimir Putin – signed the legislation into law by July. 

However, Putin has previously shown interest in leveraging Russia’s climate and energy resources in the Bitcoin mining sector. 

“We have certain competitive advantages here, especially in the so-called mining,” he said. “ I mean the surplus of electricity and the well-trained personnel available in the country.”

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