Circle has launched a cross-chain protocol that enables USDC transfers between the Ethereum and Avalanche blockchains. The protocol works by burning the selected amount of native USDC on the source chain, and minting an equivalent amount of new USDC on the intended destination chain. The protocol makes USDC transfers between the two networks faster and more user-friendly, as people previously had to use third-party bridges or a Circle partner to facilitate transfers between the two networks. Additional support for Solana and other blockchains will be added later in 2023.
On April 24, the head of crypto at Visa, Cuy Sheffield, announced a new cryptocurrency-related project focused on stablecoin payments. Details are still sparse at this stage, but Sheffield shared a job listing relating to the project. The job listing is seeking candidates with a good understanding of layer-1 and layer-2 solutions, alongside experience with writing smart contracts using the programming language Solidity.
Crypto exchange Kraken has fought back against the U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS) over what it feels is an “unjustified treasure hunt” for users’ trading info. According to court documents, the firm requested a federal court in San Francisco to intervene and ask the IRS to back off. The IRS issued a summons in February demanding additional information on Kraken users who traded $20,000 or more in any single year from 2016 to 2020.
Meta disclosed in its Q1 earnings report that its metaverse unit, Reality Labs, posted a loss of around $4 billion during the quarter. In what has been a costly venture for the firm, the $4 billion loss adds to the $14 billion Reality Labs loss over the entirety of 2022. Still, Meta posted a profit totalling roughly $5.7 billion in Q1 overall, with the firm’s work on artificial intelligence somewhat curbing the losses. Mark Zuckerberg was also not phased by the loss from Reality Labs, as he reiterated that “we continue to expect Reality Labs operating losses to increase year-over-year in 2023” as the firm eyes growth in the long term.
Viral clips of Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Chair Gary Gensler started circulating this week, showing him taking a highly contradictory stance on crypto compared to what he holds now. As it stands, Gensler thinks almost every crypto asset apart from BTC is a security, and has pushed hard to regulate the crypto sector from that viewpoint. However, in a snippet from one of his “Blockchain and Money” lectures from 2018, Gensler said, “Three quarters of the market is non-securities, it’s just a commodity, cash, crypto.” He even suggested Ether was not a security, despite repeatedly suggesting otherwise over the past couple of years.
After House Republicans passed their bill to increase the US debt ceiling on April 26, market analysts promptly started weighing up its potential impact on the price of Bitcoin (BTC). Analysts such as the COO of investment firm Onramp, Jesse Meyers, believe that raising the debt ceiling will prompt the Federal Reserve to print more money, thus boosting capital inflows into “risky” assets like BTC. “When the debt ceiling is lifted and credit-contraction leads to economic crisis… They will have to print money on a massive scale,” he said. “#Bitcoin was the winner during the last round of stimulus.”
Ethereum-based decentralized finance protocol Ordinals Finance was accused of performing a rug pull. According to blockchain security firm CertiK, the protocol’s developer abruptly pulled 256 million OFI tokens out of its smart contracts using a “safuToken” function. Another 13 million OFI was then removed through an “ownerRewithdraw” function, bringing the total number of withdrawn tokens to 269 million. In total, the reported loss to investors was estimated to be around $1 million, almost half of the total OFI market cap.
According to research from pseudonymous blockchain sleuth ZachXBT, one specific wallet address launched “114 memecoin scams” over the previous 45 days. The alleged scammer used the 0x739c58807B99Cb274f6FD96B10194202b8EEfB47 address, and stolen funds from scams are continually sent to this address. ZachXBT was unable to calculate how much the funds equated to, as the alleged scammer used multiple wallets to split up funds.
According to Google Ads data coupled with blockchain analytics, over $4 million has been stolen after people clicked on malicious phishing websites that mimic legitimate crypto platforms. It marks a concerning trend for the crypto community, given that these dubious websites are promoted on Google search results and closely replicate real platforms.