DeFi Hacker Returns $5.4M to Euler Finance
The attack on Euler Finance, which occurred on March 15, was one of the biggest DeFi hacks of 2023 so far. The attacker was able to drain $197 million through multiple transactions and later used a multichain bridge to transfer the funds from the Binance Smart Chain (BNB) to Ethereum. The stolen funds were then moved into Tornado Cash, a crypto mixer that anonymizes transactions.
In response to the hack, Euler Finance announced a $1 million reward to anyone who could help track down the hacker and retrieve the funds. The platform also demanded that the hacker return 90% of the funds within 24 hours to avoid possible jail time.
It is unclear why the hacker returned the funds, but it may have been due to the pressure from the $1 million bounty or the fear of getting caught. This is not the first time a DeFi hacker has returned stolen funds. In July 2022, the attacker who stole $600 million from Poly Network returned the funds and even received a job offer from the company.
DeFi hacks are becoming more common as the industry grows and attracts more attention from hackers. According to CipherTrace’s 2023 DeFi Decentralized Exchange (DEX) Report, DeFi hacks have already surpassed $1 billion in 2023. To prevent such attacks, DeFi platforms are investing in better security measures and insurance policies.
The return of the funds to Euler Finance may come as a relief to the platform and its users, but it also highlights the need for better security measures in the DeFi industry. As the industry continues to grow and mature, it is likely that we will see more hacks and exploits, but hopefully, we will also see more successful recoveries and stronger security measures.
Regulated Stablecoins Likely to Remain in Use by 2030
The panelists acknowledged the growth of the crypto industry and emphasized the importance of both centralized and decentralized approaches to digital assets. Alexandra Sasha, the first deputy to the Danish Parliament, spoke of the need for both centralized and decentralized payment options. She stated that “you will have people who will want to centralize the digital era, and you will always have the people who do want this decentralized way of using payments, of course, unless it gets banned, but I do not think that’s the goal of anyone.”
Kelvin Lester Lee, commissioner of the Securities Exchange Commission of the Philippines, expressed uncertainty about whether regulated digital assets would be thriving by 2030. However, he acknowledged that they would still be present and might also look different. This suggests that while the future of digital assets is uncertain, it is clear that they will continue to be an important part of the financial landscape.
Douglas Arner, a professor working in the areas of interconnection between finance and technology regulation at the University of Hong Kong, added that this entire decade would be a competition between centralized approaches and decentralized approaches. According to Arner, the competition applies just as much in the context of the metaverse as it does in the context of the crypto ecosystem. He believes that by the end of the decade, there will be a spectrum of different structures where there’s a high likelihood that regulated stablecoins will emerge as the most widely used monetary instrument embedded in blockchain applications.
While there is still uncertainty about the future of regulated stablecoins, the panelists agreed that they are likely to remain an important part of the financial landscape. As the crypto industry continues to grow and evolve, it will be interesting to see how regulatory policies adapt to ensure the continued use and development of digital assets. It is clear that digital assets will continue to play a crucial role in shaping the future of finance, and that they will require careful management and regulation to ensure their continued success.
DeFi Execs Argue KYC as Solution to Combat Money Laundering in the Industry
During a panel session titled “Blockchain Security to Smart Compliance: AML & KYC Solutions in DeFi,” industry leaders endorsed KYC as a solution to tackle Anti-Money Laundering (AML) issues. Dyma Budorin, the CEO of smart contract auditing firm Hacken, warned of the prevalence of tools readily available to hackers to “launder the money.” He described it as the “biggest issue” in the industry, where hackers can easily steal millions of dollars and launder the funds into various wallets, making it difficult to track the source of the funds. Therefore, he believes KYC is about transparency and accountability, and it should be part of the industry.
However, Victor Yim, the head of fintech at Hong Kong’s incubator for entrepreneurship, Cyberport, suggested that KYC alone would not solve all AML problems. He explained that even in traditional finance, where KYC measures are prominent, “there is still money laundering happening every day.” Despite this, Yim believes KYC measures can make a “better tomorrow” for the DeFi industry. He added that it would require a collective effort, including regulators, policy bureau, and other players, to execute successfully. He cited the concept of “anonymous traceable” as an example of a balance between anonymity and compliance, where individuals remain anonymous unless called upon by law enforcement, adding that it will “protect the good people while still getting the bad people.”
Alexander Scheer, the founder of zkMe, emphasized that different mechanisms should be used for different solutions. For example, crypto mixers need to be handled differently from DeFi front-ends and on- and off-ramps. Scheer also touched on regulations, stating that the DeFi industry should proactively take the lead and “front run” regulations before they are imposed by regulators. This proactive approach could help to ensure that regulations do not stifle innovation in the industry.
In conclusion, implementing KYC measures in DeFi could enhance transparency and accountability in the industry, making it more difficult for hackers to launder stolen funds. However, it is crucial to acknowledge that KYC alone is not a panacea for AML issues, and different mechanisms should be used for different solutions. The DeFi industry should collaborate with regulators and other stakeholders to develop effective solutions that balance compliance with innovation, safeguarding the interests of all stakeholders, and preventing bad actors from exploiting the system.
Hong Kong Investors Launch $100M Fund for Web3 Startups
According to a Bloomberg report from March 30, ProDigital Future has completed its half-year fundraising period with about $30 million in its pockets. However, it aims to raise $100 million by the end of 2023. The fund is led by Ben Ng, a partner at Hong Kong-based equity firm SAIF Partners, and Curt Shi, a long-time tech investor from China. Sunwah Kingsway Capital Holdings and Golin International Group have already invested in the fund.
Shi, the co-leader of ProDigital Future, told journalists that the fundraising process has been “relatively smooth,” although the investors are cautious about putting their money into crypto projects. ProDigital Future has attracted Hong Kong investors, as well as some family offices from China, Australia, and Singapore.
The fund aims to “embrace Hong Kong and its policies” while expanding its reach to Australia, Singapore, Europe, and the United States. ProDigital Future has already invested in six digital-asset projects, including metaverse company GigaSpace and One Future Football, a digital football league from Australia currently operating in stealth mode.
The launch of ProDigital Future comes amid growing regulatory efforts to oversee the crypto market in Hong Kong. In October 2022, the government of Hong Kong floated the idea of introducing its own bill to regulate crypto. On Feb. 20, Hong Kong’s Securities and Futures Commission released a proposal for a licensing regime for cryptocurrency exchanges, set to take effect in June.
The proposed licensing regime includes a necessary licensing procedure, demanding that potential market players meet several prerequisites, including the safe custody of assets, Know Your Customer, Anti-Money Laundering, and Combating the Financing of Terrorism regulations.
Despite these regulatory efforts, the launch of ProDigital Future signals a growing interest in the potential of the crypto market in Hong Kong and the wider Asia-Pacific region. With a focus on Web3 startups and a commitment to regulatory compliance, the fund aims to support the growth and development of the digital industry in the region.
Regulated Stablecoins Likely to Remain in Use by 2030
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