Five Minute Blockchain Newsletter No. 36: Ongoing hack of wallets • Helium wrongly claimed to have Lime as a customer • FTC tries to block acquisition of Within by Meta • BlackRock partners with Coinbase • Free report: State of Blockchain
August 5, 2022• Issue No. 36
Five Minute Blockchain
Welcome to a new edition of the TruBlo newsletter. We are funding 45 early-stage blockchain ideas to explore new options for "trusted content on future blockchains". A list of all TuBlo projects is here: https://www.trublo.eu/projects/.
Updates this week:
Estimated reading time: 5 min 12 seconds
Ongoing Solana hack drains thousands of wallets
An ongoing hack affecting certain crypto wallets has resulted in losses of up to $5 million. According to news sources, hackers gained access to almost 8,000 wallets.
"Elliptic chief scientist Tom Robinson told CNBC the root cause of the breach is still unclear, but 'it appears to be due to a flaw in certain wallet software, rather than in the Solana blockchain itself.'"
Earlier this week another platform, Nomad, lost around $190, in another hack.
Web3 company Helium is in trouble because of false claims
"Founded in 2013 by CEO Amir Harleem and Napster's Shawn Fanning, Helium has dubbed itself "The People's Network." Ostensibly, Helium is hoping to build a network for Internet of Things devices — basically, anything that requires connectivity to the internet, such as smart refrigerators or the Ring doorbell — in places with shoddy or non-existent WiFi or 5G coverage. Helium's decentralized model calls for it to expand connectivity through multiple independent devices, rather than depend on a centralized infrastructure."
The company is widely seen as an early success story of web3 approaches. Currently, though, the company is making headlines for misleading claims: Helium listed Lime (the scooter company) and Salesforce as clients for years, and now Lime says this was never true.
What would an Apple bank account need?
A fintech expert examines what features and layers a fully working banking application provided by Apple should have. Interesting read and an excellent example of what might come next: Complex interweaving of services as an extension of tech platforms.
FTC tries to block Meta from buying Within, maker of a popular VR fitness app
In autumn 2021, Meta agreed to buy Within, a creative VR studio developing VR content. The most successful app from Within is a VR fitness app called "Supernatural". According to unverified information, the price Meta agreed to pay was around $400 million.
In the US, the FTC (Federal Trade Commission) is now suing against the deal one week before the planned completion. Quote from the published court document: "If consummated, the Acquisition would substantially lessen competition, or tend to create a monopoly, in the relevant market for VR dedicated fitness apps and the broader relevant market for VR fitness apps."
Google postpones introduction of new advertising tracking approach
YouTube partners with Shopify for live-stream selling
In China, live-stream selling is enormous. People present products and sell them directly. Now YouTube has teamed up with Shopify to introduce this model to US and EU markets.
Big hopes to get rich with YouTube
"A cottage industry is persuading people to spend thousands to create video businesses on YouTube. Disclaimer: It is harder than it looks."
Talon, a company from Tel Aviv building a secure browser, raises $100 million
The company is working on a browser with cybersecurity features; the goal is to reduce data breaches.
"Tel Aviv-based Talon provides a browser, TalonWork, that a company's employees can use to access the cloud applications they use for their work. TalonWork is based on Chromium, the open-source browser engine that powers Google Chrome."
Meta adds support for NFTs, integrates with Coinbase
"Meta (META) has started to roll out non-fungible tokens (NFT) across 100 countries after integrating with Coinbase (COIN) Wallet and Dapper."
BlackRock announces partnership with Coinbase
Goal is to offer crypto investment options for institutional investors.
"Mutual customers of Coinbase and BlackRock's investment management platform, Aladdin, will have access to crypto trading, custody, prime brokerage and reporting capabilities, according to a recent blog post. BlackRock had $8.5 trillion in assets under management as of the second quarter of 2022, while Aladdin has more than 200 institutional users, including insurers, pensions, corporations, asset managers, banks and official institutions" (Source: Coindesk)."
On Thursday, the stock of Coinbase soared by up to 30% as a reaction to the announcement.
Ethereum is moving towards a new model, though slowly
Ethereum is preparing for a significant upgrade towards much larger scale and faster transactions while reducing energy needs. The future model is ending the current approach of 'proof of work', which consumes much energy in solving math problems. The future direction will be less energy-hungry and allow for more transactions on the chain per second, up to over 100k. The move had been announced several times, but so far was postponed due to technical challenges. A longer article on Coinbase explains the current situation and the likeliness of Ethereum doing the switch in 2022.
"Ethereum's upgrade will combine the current proof-of-work blockchain with a proof-of-stake blockchain called the Beacon Chain, which has been running since 2020. Once complete, the Beacon Chain will take over the process of validating new transactions. Hundreds of thousands of validators have already staked more than 13 million ETH on the Beacon Chain."
Free Report: State of blockchain Q2'22
The 192-page State of Blockchain Q2'22 Report breaks down what is happening in the market.
"After seven consecutive quarters of growth, venture capital funding to blockchain startups — including those covering crypto, NFTs, blockchain infrastructure, and more — dropped 29% quarter-over-quarter in Q2'22."
• A new gig economy: Writing "web novels" for apps, such as Werewolf romance books LINK
• Video: "Supernatural": Video of the VR training app mentioned above. Don't miss the video. LINK
• Soundcloud announces a reduction of 20% of its workforce, aims to reach profitability LINK
• Trial against Alex Jones reveals revenue of Infowar: Up to 800K per day in 2018 LINK
• When crypto platforms go bankrupt, where does all the money go? LINK
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