Binance recovers the majority of funds stolen from Curve Finance
Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao said the exchange is working to return the stolen assets to their rightful owners.

Crypto exchange Binance has recovered a big part of the funds from the recent hack that targeted the decentralized finance (DeFi) protocol Curve Finance.

In a tweet, Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao announced that the exchange has frozen and recovered $450,000 of the stolen assets, which is more than 80 percent of the stolen funds. According to Zhao, the hacker tried to send the funds to the exchange in various ways but was detected by Binance. The exchange is currently working to return the funds to their rightful owners.

The Curve Finance team detected the hack on Tuesday and alerted their users to refrain from using their website. An hour after the warning, the team announced that it was able to find and resolve the issue. However, the attackers were still able to hijack around $537,000 worth of USD Coin (USDC) before the issue was resolved.

According to experts from the blockchain analytics firm Elliptic, a hacker compromised the domain name system (DNS) of Curve Finance, which ended with malicious transactions getting signed. The experts told Cointelegraph that the funds were then sent to various exchanges and crypto mixers in an attempt to hide the trail. In the end, the funds were sent to Binance and were caught by its team.

This is not the first time this week that the good actors in the crypto community have worked to return stolen funds. On Monday, whitehat hackers and researchers returned an estimated $32.6 million worth of USDC, Tether (USDT) and other altcoins to Nomad, following the recent $190 million exploit.

The Curve Finance exploit is only one of the many attacks that happened in 2022. According to analytics firm Chainalysis, $2 billion worth of funds were drained because of cross-chain bridge hacks. This is 69% of the overall stolen amount in the year.

_____

Institutional staking won’t take off unless asset lock-up solved: Coinbase CFO
Coinbases CFO says they won’t see a “real material impact” of institutional revenue on their platform until a liquid staking product is worked out.

Institutional staking of crypto assets, including the post-Merge Ethereum, could become a “phenomenon” in the future, but not while their assets still need to be “locked up.”

Speaking during a Q2 earnings call on Tuesday, chief financial officer Alesia Haas noted that she didn’t expect their new exclusive institutional staking service, rolled out in Q2, to be a “near-term phenomenon” until a “truly liquid staking option” is available:

“This is the first time we had the products available. Previously, the way that institutions could have access to staking is via Coinbase Cloud [...] But offering it as the delegated staking service similar to what we have for retail customers.”

However, Haas said it was still “early days” for their new staking service, adding they’ll likely only see a “real material impact” when they have created a liquid staking option for post-Merge Ethereum, also known as Eth2.

Liquid staking is the process of locking up funds to earn staking rewards, while still having access to the funds.

Haas explained that many financial institutions “don’t want their assets held indefinitely:”

“So when you stake ETH2 you are locking in your assets into Ethereum until the Merge and then some period after. For some institutions, that liquidity lock-up is not palatable to them. And so, while they may be interested in staking, they want to have staking on a liquid asset.”

Haas reaffirmed this issue is “something we are looking to solve,” and added that once this liquid staking is available for financial institutions that can pool in funds at higher proportions, “we’ll see the real material impact of institutional revenue.”

Investors and institutions have been able to access Coinbase’s delegated staking service through Coinbase Prime, which was first launched in Sep. 2021. The platform also offers other integrated services, such as access to a custody wallet with enhanced security, real-time crypto market data and analytics, and other crypto-native features like decentralized governance.

_____

BTC mining stocks double in a month as production ramps
Stock prices of listed Bitcoin mining companies, including Core Scientific, Hut 8 and Marathon Digital have surged over the past 30 days.

Crypto mining companies have seen their stock prices increase as much as 120% over the last month, amid rebounding crypto asset prices, higher mining profitability and sharp increases in Bitcoin (BTC) production.

Crypto mining companies Marathon Digital Holdings at 124.12%, Core Scientific at 110.39%, Hut 8 at 98.95% and Riot Blockchain at 96.69% have seen their stock prices rocketing upward over the last 30-days, according to data from Yahoo Finance — significantly outperforming BTC with 18.0% and Ether (ETH) with 67.8% asset prices.

In a Q2 results filing on Thursday, Core Scientific reported a staggering 1601% increase in self-mined Bitcoin year-to-date, reaching 6,567 BTC. Q2 revenue rose 118% year-on-year to $164 million, driven by increases in digital mining revenue and hosting revenue.

Hut 8 Mining Corp. also saw its mined Bitcoin increase in the quarter, up 71% compared to the prior-year period to a total of 946 mined BTC due to “an increase in hash rate from additional highly efficient miners” and ramping of activities at its Ontario mining site. Its revenue also increased in Q2, rising 30.7% year-on-year to $43.8 million.

Marathon Digital, which shared its Q2 results earlier this week, also said it had increased its Bitcoin production year-on-year, producing 707 BTC in the quarter despite a “challenging macro environment,” with an 8% increase in Bitcoin production activity.

All three companies, however, posted widened losses, driven by impairment losses on their crypto holdings.

The stock price surge has also coincided with climbing crypto prices since the June and July slump, with key crypto assets including BTC and ETH gaining 18.0% and 67.8%, respectively.

Bitcoin mining profitability has also rebounded from year-lows on June 19, according to Bitinfocharts.

Bitcoin mining companies have had to deal with a number of factors in recent months that have impacted BTC production and profitability, including lower asset prices and higher energy costs, which have been partially attributed to the heat wave in Texas and the Russia-Ukraine conflict.

_____

This Daily Dose was brought to you by Cointelegraph.

Share this post