Blockchain and Cryptocurrency News Roundup

  • Post by:
  • May 3, 2021
  • Comments off

03 May 2021.

Here’s a short summary of some of the biggest headlines in Crypto. Ethereum breaks above $3.2K for the first time ever, Crypto market cap soars above $2 trillion, Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin becomes billionaire as Ethereum hits $3K and a crypto phishing bot is targeting MetaMask seed phrases

Ethereum breaks above $3.2K for the first time ever 

Ethereum (ETH), the second-largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization, went above $3,200 Monday for the first time in history, according to CoinDesk 20, after setting multiple all-time highs last week.

The native token of Ethereum’s blockchain clocked a record high of $3,201 during the European hours, having crossed above the $3,000 mark during the Asian hours. Ether is now up about 327% on a year-to-date basis versus a 101% rise for bitcoin. Ether’s impressive gains came as the demand for the second most valued cryptocurrency has soared.

The total market capitalization for decentralization finance (DeFi), recently hit above $100 billion, with some of the most popular DeFi projects being built on the Ethereum blockchain.

There are more than $68 billion worth of value locked in DeFi, per data from DeFi Pulse.

CoinMetrics data shows the number of active addresses recently surged to a new all-time high of 771,000, surpassing the previous record of 739,000 set in November.

The daily transaction count on Ethereum’s blockchain has increased by 22% to 1.376 million this year, per data provided by Glassnode.

Ether’s growth also came as the Ethereum blockchain undergoes the Eth 2.0 upgrade, which will switch the Ethereum blockchain to a proof-of-stake (PoS) consensus from the current proof-of-work (PoW) consensus mechanism.


Crypto market cap soars above $2 trillion

Current data from crypto market analytic providers has shown that Bitcoin’s dominance in the digital currency ecosystem is reducing, as the market regains momentum and soars above $2 trillion after a week-long slump.

According to CoinMarketCap, Bitcoin currently dominates the market by 48.7% atop a market capitalization of $1.08 trillion at the time of writing.

The ongoing crypto market boom has been reflective of the growing strides of thousands of altcoins. Institutional investors’ interests are rising, as evidenced by the increasing number of digital tokens now featured on platforms catering to high-profile investors. Back in March, Grayscale Investments LLC added five new trusts including Grayscale Livepeer Trust, Grayscale Filecoin Trust, Grayscale Decentraland Trust, Grayscale Chainlink Trust, and Grayscale Basic Attention Token Trust.

By implication, both retail and institutional investors are showing a great deal of interest in the crypto market, following initial actions by the likes of MicroStrategy and Tesla in stacking up Bitcoin, making its price largely unaffordable for the average investor. Many today are picking out the novel crypto projects and pumping in liquidity, boosting the market capitalization of these digital assets.

Price Implication of Reducing Bitcoin Dominance  

One of the core elements that will help determine the level of maturity of altcoins is if break free from the massive price effect of Bitcoin. The market has come a long way, with BTC exerting a dominance of over 95% back in 2013. As more innovative blockchain systems and cryptocurrencies entered the space, the dominance usurped by Bitcoin plunged to 65% for the most part of 2020. 

For a market with over 9,000 digital currencies, the burgeoning dominance effect implies that if the price of Bitcoin falls due to any fundamental factor, several altcoins will sway in the same direction.

Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin becomes billionaire as Ethereum hits $3K

Vitalik Buterin’s crypto holdings have doubled since January 2021 to surge above $1 billion.

Vitalik Buterin, a co-founder of the world’s most popular smart contract platform, the Ethereum blockchain, has officially become a crypto billionaire.

Buterin’s public Ether address, which he described as his main wallet back in 2018, has hit $1 billion on its balance following Ether’s meteoric rise above a $3,000 price mark on Monday.

At the time of writing, the address holds around 333,500 Ether (ETH) now worth $1.029 billion, according to on-chain data from Etherscan, as ETH more than quadrupled in value from around $700 at the beginning of 2021.

According to some online crypto players, 27-year-old Buterin now could be the youngest self-made billionaire in the cryptocurrency industry. 

Amid surging prices, Buterin has been generous with his crypto holdings. In late April, the Russian-Canadian programmer donated 100 Ether and 100 Maker (MKR) tokens to a COVID-19 relief fund for India.


A crypto phishing bot is targeting MetaMask seed phrases

The popular wallet software warned its users against a Twitter bot that tricks users out of their crypto.

MetaMask, a browser plug-in for Ethereum wallets, has alerted users about a phishing bot.

Bots target users on Twitter, prompting them to enter their seed phrases in a Google Doc.

MetaMask never asks users of their seed phrases and operates no Google Doc-based support.

MetaMask, an Ethereum-based cryptocurrency wallet, today alerted its users about a phishing bot attempting to steal seed phrases.

“[The phishing request] comes from an account that looks ‘normal’ (but few followers), helpfully suggests filling out a support form on a major site like Google sheets (hard to block), [and] asks for your secret recovery phrase,” MetaMask tweeted today.

MetaMask is a widely-used browser extension for Ethereum users to interact with Ethereum-based decentralized applications (dapps). The extension functions as a wallet where they can store the keys to their tokens, and secure it with a 12-word seed (mnemonic) phrase after registration. Anyone who has access to the 12 words can drain the MetaMask wallet of funds.

The damage done by this phishing attack isn’t yet known, but it appears from some of the replies to MetaMask’s PSA on Twitter that some users unwittingly shared their seed phrases with the attackers. “So there is no way to get back our token right?,” one user wrote. “Someone moved my .1, .5 eth to same wallet address,” wrote another.

Public blockchains track transfers of funds, but the owners remain anonymous. As a result, funds are often irrecoverable. But there’s always a chance: last summer, white hacker Harry Denley broke into a phishing scam database and returned $16,000 of cryptocurrency to its rightful owner.

In another phishing attack last December, blockchain intelligence firm CipherTrace identified a malicious website pretending to be MetaMask, which users wouldn’t be able to tell apart unless they paid attention to the site’s URL address.

But seed phrase-stealing bots are everywhere on the Internet, and they are extremely quick.

Last May, one Reddit user reportedly lost $1,200 in Ethereum after mistakenly uploading their seed phrase onto GitHub, an open-source code-hosting platform. In less than two minutes, the attacker used the stolen seed phrase to empty the wallet.

“I just want you all to be aware to NEVER have a digital copy of your mnemonic or private key,” the user, “tycooperaow”, wrote. MetaMask often advises users to keep their seed phrases offline, like on a piece of paper, and stash it somewhere safe.

The phishing bot attack comes at a time when MetaMask use significantly increased in a short span of time. The number of MetaMask users has grown by 500% over the last six months, according to its creator, blockchain software firm ConsenSys (which funds an editorially independent Decrypt).


Join the Community

Learn more about Konfidio and how we’re accelerating the adoption of disruptive technologies to build a more decentralized future.