Home Ethereum Why Twitter Anons Are Sending Crypto To Celebrities – TechCrunch

Why Twitter Anons Are Sending Crypto To Celebrities – TechCrunch

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Why Twitter Anons Are Sending Crypto To Celebrities – TechCrunch

Welcome back to Chain reaction.

Last week, we talked about a hack that gave ironic new meaning to the word “trustless”. This week, we’ll tackle one of the most polarizing aspects of crypto: privacy.

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all mixed up

A Weekly Window into the Thoughts of a Senior Crypto Journalist Anita Ramaswamy:

Tornado Cash has been making waves in crypto circles this week. The US government’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), a watchdog agency within the Treasury, Sanctions Leveled Against Cryptocurrency Mixer for its role in facilitating money laundering. Hackers backed by North Korea and others have used the Tornado Cash platform to hide stolen crypto associated with some of Web3’s most high-profile hacks to date, including last week’s Nomad heist and the Axie video game hack. Infinity earlier this year.

But in imposing penalties, OFAC was essentially using a hammer to crack a nut. The agency’s official notice on the matter stated that the platform facilitated money laundering worth $7 billion – which is the total value of crypto assets that were sent through Tornado. Cash since its inception in 2019. Meanwhile, blockchain analytics provider Elliptic says only ~$1.5 billion in funds on Tornado are actually related to crime, including ransomware attacks and fraud . The rest, according to Elliptic, could include “legitimate uses of mixers such as Tornado, for example to maintain financial privacy.”

So what are some of these legitimate uses? One example came from Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin, who confessed on Twitter that he used the service to send donations to help Ukraine safely without the knowledge of the Russian government.

However, OFAC’s saying does not distinguish between criminal and legitimate use cases. As a result, many law-abiding crypto users are likely suffering. Two major crypto infrastructure providers, Alchemy and Infura, have blocked access to their API from all wallets using Tornado Cash. Circle reportedly froze around $75,000 of its USDC stablecoins that were connected to Tornado through a shared wallet, according to data from Dune Analytics.

Of course, pranksters on the internet had fun, as is usually the case in the crypto world. Some have sent cryptos via Tornado Cash to known wallets held by celebrities such as Jimmy Fallon and Shaquille O’Neal in an attempt to troll them into having their wallets banned under sanction rules.

OFAC’s heavy-handed action appears to be a failed approach that raises more enforcement questions than it answers. Only time will tell how the latter pans out, but in the meantime, the crypto community is, understandably, quite upset.


the last capsule

This week on Chain Reaction, Jacqueline and anita ran the show while Lucas was on vacation. Jacquelyn was coming off an exciting Friday night call with Vitalik himself, so she shared some of her comments on where crypto is headed.

We then dove into the news of Tornado Cash being sanctioned in the US, Coinbase’s disappointing second quarter results and the beef between Binance and India’s largest crypto exchange, WazirX, over a transaction that allegedly took place two and a half years ago (or did it)?

Be sure to tune in to catch up on the latest crypto tea, and tune in next Tuesday for Anita and Lucas’ conversation with Li Jin, a web3 investor focused on the creator economy at Variant Fund.

Subscribe to Chain Reaction on Apple, Spotify or your alternative podcast platform of choice to follow us weekly.


follow the money

Where startup money is moving in the crypto world:

  1. Leap Crypto leads Injective$40 million to help develop DeFi applications.
  2. Pinata raised $21.5 million in a recently announced Series A and seed round from investors including Greylock and Pantera.
  3. CreatorDAOa decentralized platform for content creators, raised $20 million in a round led by a16z and Initialized Capital with participation from celebrities including Paris Hilton and Liam Payne.
  4. blockchain game company Lysto raised $12 million in a round led by Hashed, Square Peg and Beenext.
  5. Unstoppable finance landed $12.8 million in a round led by Lightspeed for its DeFi wallet.
  6. Flatteninga crypto-focused developer tools system, grossed $20 million in a Series A round led by Coatue.
  7. Blockchain payment platform Ansible Labs raised a $7 million seed round led by Archetype.
  8. Starting zero-knowledge crypto RISC Zero raised $12 million in a funding round led by Bain Capital Crypto.
  9. Fair.xyz landed $4.5 million from investors including OpenSea for its NFT minting platform.
  10. Cashmere raised $3 million at a $30 million valuation from investors including Coinbase Ventures to create a Solana venture portfolio.

TC+ analysis

Here are some of the crypto scans from this week available on our Senior Journalist’s TC+ subscription service Jacquelyn Melinek:

5 takeaways from Coinbase’s disappointing Q2 results

Coinbase, once extremely profitable following its direct listing in 2021 thanks to a series of crypto-related trading activities, is now scrambling to contain costs and brave the ongoing “winter” in its market and to stick to previous profitability targets for the full year . What follows are five takeaways from the Coinbase report that stood out from TC’s Alex Wilhelm and Ram Iyer.

As Telegram grows, crypto traders’ reliance on the app also increases

The crypto community has relied on social media sites like Twitter or messaging apps like Discord and Telegram to interact. But some say Telegram is the ultimate communication and information hub – an imperative place to be in the crypto community. “Using Telegram is the foundation of the crypto community,” the founder of the Telegram channel, who goes by the name of nakamotocat, told TechCrunch. “Projects have come and gone, players have risen and fallen, but a lot of the talk between different projects and market players resides on Telegram, and that remains a constant.”

Ethereum co-founder sees role shrinking as blockchain becomes more decentralized

As the Ethereum layer 1 blockchain continues to focus on a roadmap towards greater decentralization, its co-founder, Vitalik Buterin, believes that moment may come sooner than expected. Also looking to the future, Buterin believes the next decade will be pivotal for crypto. “I think in general, over the next 10 years, crypto needs to evolve into something that’s not based on promises of being useful in the future, but actually useful.”

Solana Co-Founder Says NFTs Have “50 Different Use Cases” That Can Onboard Millions This Year

Looks like yesterday, the NFT boom caught the attention of the crypto community, making waves even outside the web3 world. But about a year later, the NFT hype died down somewhat. But that doesn’t stop some in the crypto world from remaining optimistic about non-fungible tokens. “I think in NFTs, everything is just scratching the surface,” Solana co-founder Raj Gokal told TechCrunch. “I think NFTs have 50 different use cases that seem to be lumped into one. I think we expect the majority of [crypto] projects to use NFTs.


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