Issue #33
Week 17 2021

Crypto Twitter Boxing Bickering!

A somewhat entertaining back and forth between a couple of well known Crypto Twitter personas appeared to quickly escalate...

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Gladiators Ready!

After CryptoMessiah accused Andre Cronje of a ‘rug-pull’, a bit of Twitter trash talk rapidly evolved into a full blown fight being scheduled between the two widely followed Crypto Twitter influencers.

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Pokershares.com odds, provided this fight happens in 2021.

If this fight happens at all…

Developing.

Or maybe not……

We’ll be keeping an eye on this.. After a handful of posturing Tweets, at least one participant appears to have lost ‘interest’…

We’ll be sure to follow up when these fighters come to agreeable terms.

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Uranium Goes Critical

Uranium Finance, a Binance Smart Chain AMM (Automated Market Maker) protocol was exploited this week during a planned migration-upgrade, resulting in the loss of $50 million in various cryptocurrencies.

Among the cryptocurrencies stolen from the Uranium protocol were:

  • 80 bitcoin ($4.3 million)
  • 1,800 ETH ($4.7 million)
  • 17.9 million BUSD ($17.9 million)
  • 5.7 million USDT ($5.7 million)
  • 638,000 ADA ($0.8 million)
  • 26,500 DOT ($0.8 million)
  • 4,000 wrapped BNB ($18 million)
  • 112,000 U92 Uranium tokens

The attacker(s) have already utilized Anyswap to convert ADA and DOT funds to ETH, and further used Tornado Cash to mix (anonymize) ~2,400 ETH (~$6.9 million at time of writing), while the stolen BNB and BUSD worth over $37 Million are still located in a contract created by the attacker on the Binance Smart Chain. These funds might prove much more difficult for the thief to fully cash out, as being part of the Binance ecosystem means these specific funds can likely be blacklisted from any kind of further exchange or interaction within the Binance ‘walled garden’. This is an important point worth being highlighted, one which should not be ignored or forgotten regardless of how this particular incident is resolved. Though it may wind up providing a kind of salvation for victims of this hack, the ability of a central party to interfere with the attacker(s), effectively blocking their desired crypto transactions speaks to just how ‘decentralized’ the Binance Smart Chain (BSC) actually is.

A more technical and detailed account of the Uranium finance exploit has been provided in the team’s latest medium post. The Uranium team acknowledges that though attribution for this attack is difficult, that it is quite possible, even likely, that this was an inside job.

“The exploit was made possible because during an update of the codebase for V2, we changed our swap fees from 0.20% to 0.16%, and this resulted in an unintended calculation that effected permitted swap fees. Those changes had the consequences to adapt the sanity checks of the balances, but one line wrongly stayed unchanged (in green), which lead to the possibility of an attacker draining the reserves. Literally a single 0 on a single line.”

Uranium-Exploit

“We also feel the need to state clearly to those that may think we should do a v3, that this will definitely not be happening. We will of course continue to help Binance and our users as much as we can via Telegram and if funds are secured will provide every assistance in the redistribution, but that is where Uranium ends. We will not be trying to make this project reborn again, doing so is not possible under these circumstances.”

According to Uranium Finance’s Telegram channel administrator “Baymax,” the bug which allowed the exploit was leveraged just two hours before version 2.1 of the protocol was launched. The suspicious timing of the exploit narrows down the list of potential perpetrators significantly. It is worth noting that this is an extremely young ‘DeFi’ protocol and there are no team members identified on the Uranium Finance official website. This makes investigation for victims especially challenging.

Baymax states: “There are a total of 7 people in Uranium who knew of the exploit. Outside of Uranium would be the 3 auditors contractors and their respective sub cons who may be aware of this flaw.”

“From the information that we gathered with the community input, it leans towards that someone leaked information that may have led to exploiters finding out about our vulnerabilities.”


This is yet another reminder of just how important good research can be, not to mention a bit of skepticism. The number of available DeFi instruments has grown so rapidly over the past many months, with the temptation of high-yield opportunities being dangled in front of largely inexperienced newcomers, all DeFi players should be on high alert. With this technology becoming more commonplace, and potential gains growing larger, participants can easily be overcome by greed and complacency, failing to thoroughly scrutinize the extreme levels of risk involved in a DeFi protocol where they once might have. The Uranium Finance DeFi protocol peaked at something like $80 Million in crypto assets, while the exploitable bug was still active and drastically underestimated in it’s potential severity. Remember to always exercise EXTRA caution in the crypto space, and never risk what you cannot afford to lose!

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Opensea, Where's My NFT

There was a special auction held this week. One for the ownership of a mixed medium drawing by Jean-Michel Basquiat in the form of an NFT.

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Jean-Michel Basquiat - Free Comb With Pagoda (1986)

Further, it was sold along with the option for the winning bidder to destroy the original, making the NFT the only remaining edition of the art in existence.

The Art Newspaper had an excellent article prior to the auction taking place, before we knew just where things were headed!

“According to the auction sponsor Daystrom, the transaction, which will be stamped on the Ethereum blockchain, will “memorialize ownership” as well as “reproduction and IP rights that will be sold to the highest bidder in perpetuity”—though the consensus is that buying an NFT, much like a physical work of art, does not confer copyright. Licensing intellectual property rights is possible, though legally tricky. The potential destruction also raises issues about the artist's moral rights.”

Of course not everyone agrees with the nature of this NFT auction. It’s interesting, in a way I can see the NFT preserving the art in a way which might otherwise be impossible, or at least much more challenging. Destroying the physical original could certainly be considered insulting, foolish, or both. The notion of preserving ownership of this art by destroying half of the existing copies is completely counter-intuitive. It seems the act of destroying the original to ‘achieve’ would primarily serve as

As if this alone wasn’t interesting enough, the late artist’s estate promptly had the NFT removed from Opensea, suggesting the seller own the license or rights to the art.

“David Stark, the licensing agent who deals with Basquiat’s archive, tells The Art Newspaper: “The estate of Jean-Michel Basquiat owns the copyright in the artwork referenced. No license or rights were conveyed to the seller and the NFT has subsequently been removed from sale.”

There seems to have been some confusion just who was in the right here...

There have been other Basquiat NFT collections delisted on OpenSea unexpectedly as well this week.

We’ll be sure to stay tuned. This particular project being removed appears to be isolated to OpenSea. Looks like the Daystrom Basquiat NFT might be proven to be a bit more authentic than some might have expected as well!

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Rarible/Binance marketplaces

There was some mixup for NFT marketplaces this week, as Rarible announces their integration of credit cards as a form of payment and Binance announced an NFT market.

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First, let’s start with Rarible; on Thursday, April 29th, they announced a partnership with Wyre, a regulated Money Service Business, to allow users to add ETH funds with Apple Pay and Credit Cards.

This announcement is significant because it allows for more people to enter the NFT market. Rarible is already a huge NFT market, and with this announcement, who knows how big it will get. But, this isn’t the first time an NFT market accepts credit cards as a form of payment. Others like Nifty Gateway have been doing it for years now.

The biggest takeaway from this announcement is that there is now no excuse not to buy the gazette.


In other big news, Binance announced their entering of the NFT hype with the creation of their own NFT marketplace. The marketplace is expected to come out in June and will be called Binance NFT.

It will run mainly on Binance Smart Chain, but the Ethereum network will also be supported to allow users to view Ethereum NFTs in their Binance wallet. According to Binance NFT head Helen Hai, it aims to “provide minimum NFT transaction costs.”

Binance plans dividing the marketplace into two main parts. The first part is the “Trading Market” which allows everyday artists to create NFTs with Binance charging a 1% processing fee. The second part is a “Premium Event” meant for high-end artists and exhibits, and Binance will charge a 10% processing fee. 

Binance is trying to make NFTs more centralized with the creation of this NFT market. It will be interesting if people actually care about how decentralized their art is. Also, It wouldn’t be crazy to see smaller artists migrate toward this new marketplace because of the lower gas fees BSC offers. I would suggest reading Matty’s thoughts about this announcement.

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Spring into Beeple

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The world’s most prominent NFT artist, Beeple, dropped his Spring Collection this weekend, and let me tell, like all things Beeple, it’s fucking BIG and revolutionary. This drop has it all, from dropping physicals to innovating a new way to enter a drawing.

Like all Beeple drops, this one was on Nifty Gateway and lasted three days. In the drop, there were four 1/1 pieces each being auctioned off, two silent auctions with each having three editions, a ranked auction of NFT with 100 editions, and four $1 raffles, each having 100 editions. This drop was massive; in total, there were 11 different Beeple works up for sale.

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Along with the NFTs, some of the winners will receive special 1/1 physicals.

One of the most interesting new creations to come out of this drop is Beeple’s use of a quiz to enter the raffle for the pieces, “JANUARY 1ST, 2021” and “GIGACHAD.” I took the quiz for “JANUARY 1ST, 2021” and it was a doozy of one. In Beeple style, the quiz was very unconventional; the answers and questions did not make any sense. But, it was still really cool to see this taking place in an NFT market.

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The quiz was set to help the stopping of bots from entering and winning the raffle. But, after noticing the number of entries, people became skeptical that this actually helped stop bots.

May 1st, 2021, marked the 14th year of everydays, and this drop seems like a great celebration of an artist’s dedication towards his work. Congratulations to Beeple on such an incredible accomplishment and for helping bring NFTs to the mainstream.

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🗣️
Bad 1inch
Exchange!

In other news, this week, we found out another reason why 1inch is struggling to become the preferred way to trade for many traders. A situation came up where a Chinese trader exchanged $83,000 of USDT for $104.33 of DIGG. Now, if my math is correct, those two numbers are nowhere near equal to each other.

To complete this trade, 1inch decided the best route to go through was Sushiswap’s pool, which only had $200 of liquidity.

In the Twitter thread, 1inch responded, saying they are going to refund the user’s mistake. They also mention they will add more “big warning” so this situation doesn’t happen again.

After some digging, Twitter users were able to find the apparent trader. In a message, the trader said, “I used @1inchNetwork to buy $DIGG initially at 1.59. But @1inchNetwork routing sent me to ETH, but there was no depth. $DIGG is a BTC pool, and there’s no depth in ETH. So I first changed 30 ETH and then 0.0019 DIGG. When I swapped, it indicated 1.59, but the final transaction was 0.0019.” 

According to the trader, there was no slippage involved. This caused SiegeRhino to respond to 1inch, saying that if the trader’s message is valid, this was not a user error but an error on 1inch’s side.

To make this situation even worse, a bot was able to run off with the loot. This Twitter thread explains what happened to the $85,000.

It is unclear at the moment what was the cause of this situation, but one thing is for sure this shouldn’t be happening on such a big DEX aggregator. Some questions have come up: If this was a user error, should the trader have been refunded even after multiple errors? If this wasn’t a user error, then how come 1inch’s route was so bad? Is this a pattern we are going to see in the future?

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🐒
Bored Apes

This week we saw the birth of a hot NFT project, Bored Ape Yacht Club. The project is a collection of 10,000 unique Bored Ape Tokens, and each Ape acts as a membership card to their exclusive collaborative art experiment called the “BATHROOM.” Each Ape is made up of 170 random traits and attributes, making some rarer than others.

“The Bored Ape Yacht Club is a collection of 10,000 unique Bored Ape NFTs— unique digital collectibles living on the Ethereum blockchain. Your Bored Ape doubles as your Yacht Club membership card and grants access to members-only benefits, the first of which is access to THE BATHROOM, a collaborative graffiti board. Future areas and perks can be unlocked by the community through roadmap activation. Visit www.BoredApeYachtClub.com for more details.”

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The project exploded over the weekend; within a blink of an eye, all 10k apes were sold out. This explosion was unexpected; the story for many people is that they went to bed not knowing what this was and woke up to see a new project that exploded and sold out. 

The Ape hype seemed to have come from many big influencers and flippers that bought them up. One example of a big influencer drawing in all the hype is Pranksy. He is now the largest owner of Bored Apes with more than 1,200 Apes. It’s also worth mentioning that Jimmy, who started a lot of this hype, is the second-largest owner of Bored Apes with a little less than 400 Apes.

Not only did the primary market explode, but so did the secondary. Just today, we saw an Ape sell for 21 ETH.

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Overall this is a great project with great marketing, which allowed it to sell out so fast. The only concern that comes up like all projects that explode out of nowhere is longevity. But this concern is coming from a person that was asleep during the buying and missed out.

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Jay and Silent Bob NFTs

This was always just a matter of time. The popular Kevin Smith comic characters Jay and Silent Bob have officially been immortalized, in the form of NFTs!

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These NFTs are being minted and sold on both Ethereum and Phantasmachain.

For those unfamiliar, Phantasmachain is a dual token Proof of Stake blockchain focussed on features like NFT minting, oracles, storage, email and chat, all natively built into the chain.

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“The solution to the absurd energy consumption issues of legacy blockchains”

“This has not only allowed Phantasma to deliver next generation technology, but also to overcome the high costs of minting NFTs and the absurd energy consumption of legacy blockchains that use a Proof of Work (PoW) algorithm like Ethereum.”

If you do plan to buy or mint on the dual token PoS chain be prepared to do a little bit of research on just how Phantasmachain functions.

Why-Semkhor

Kevin Smith partnered with Semkhor NFT Studio.

Jay and Silent Bob's Crypto Studio Present Smokin' Tokens NFTs!

Since their first appearance in CLERKS over twenty five years ago, Jay and Silent Bob have been selling out to the world of collectibles! From t-shirts to toys, the stoner duo's likenesses have been stuck on both tacky and tremendous trinkets treasured around the globe!

Now, Jay and Silent Bob blaze into blockchain with their first round of Smokin' Tokens NFT's! From Kevin Smith's Crypto Studio! comes the first in a series of NFT's that celebrate the many movies of New Jersey's most unlikely heroes. The initial release commemorates the pair's latest adventure, Jay and Silent Bob Reboot and features amazing art by John "Captain Ribman” Sprengelmeyer!

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Smokin' Tokens #1 comes in four colors: Weed Green! Indica Orange! Bluntman Purple! Mooby Yellow!

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Then there's the super rare fifth color: The Platinum Smokin' Token!

This small run rewards the bearer with a cameo in the next Jay and Silent Bob feature, CLERKS III (shooting this summer)!

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And as a special bonus drop, J&SBCS presents

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The KILLROY NFT!

Featuring a preview of the forthcoming first film in history to be sold exclusively as an NFT!

Everyone who purchases ANY Jay & Silent Bob, Killroy or Bluntman and Chronic NFT will receive a bonus Jay & Silent Bob ❤️ Phantasma tribute NFT after the sale has ended!

50 users will be drawn at random among everyone who purchases ANY Jay & Silent Bob, Killroy or Bluntman and Chronic NFT to receive a Mooby bonus NFT with a secret code that can be redeemed for Jay & Silent Bob merchandise hand picked by Jay & Silent Bob themselves!

Big congrats to Kevin Smith,  this is a pretty cool, pretty solid first NFT release!

Especially thanks to the great initiative, dedication, and obvious hard work by Phantasma, and Semkhor!

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