SpiritSwap is the latest victim of a domain hijacking attack

In what is beginning to become a pattern, SpiritSwap was the latest project where attackers gained control of their domain and were able to modify the frontend to divert funds to a wallet under their own control. SpiritSwap tweeted that the "the hacker has managed to exploit Godaddy" (unlikely—it was more likely a case of stolen credentials) and swap out the recipient address.

The hacker only managed to exfiltrate around $18,000 before being discovered, and SpiritSwap shut down their swapping through their router to prevent the attack from continuing.

MM.Finance suffered a similar attack earlier in the month, losing $2 million after an attacker gained control of the domain and swapped in their own address to siphon funds.

Phishing attack targets users of sites including Etherscan and CoinGecko

Popular cryptocurrency websites including Etherscan, CoinGecko, and DeFi Pulse were showing users a pop-up prompting them to connect their MetaMask wallets. CoinGecko founder Bobby Ong stated that he believed the culprit was a malicious advertising script from a crypto ad network called Coinzilla. The advertisement appeared to be from a site mimicking the popular Bored Apes Yacht Club NFT project, which was taken down after the scam was discovered. It's as yet unclear how many users accepted the prompt, or what malicious actions (if any) were taken.

Crypto.com reverses some Luna trades, offers $10 consolation prize

One of the features of crypto that its proponents sometimes highlight is that transactions can't be reversed. This, of course, is not true when making trades on exchanges like Crypto.com, who can largely do whatever they want with the wallets they maintain and the coins they keep track of on users' behalf.

On May 13, the company announced it would be reversing transactions made during an hour-long period on May 12 when "users who traded LUNA were quoted an incorrect price". Some users were able to profit off the discrepancy, but later were told that their transactions were being reversed. Crypto.com offered $10 in CRO, their cryptocurrency token, "for the inconvenience caused". Crypto.com halted Luna trading after discovering the issue, and it remains halted as of May 13.

The issue sounds quite similar to issues that affected various defi projects around the same time. Several projects who failed to account for unexpected Luna price data coming from blockchain oracles including Chainlink suffered major attacks.

Unexpected oracle data in the wake of Terra blockchain halt enables multiple attacks on other platforms

Earlier today, Terra halted their blockchain after a devastating few days. Subsequently, Chainlink's oracle paused the price feed, causing it to fall out of sync with the apparent market price of the token. This enabled multiple attacks on various platforms.

$13.5 million was fraudulently borrowed from the Venus protocol on BSC. Blizz Finance on Avalanche reported their protocol had been entirely drained, amounting to around $8.3 million. Blizz subsequently announced in a post-mortem that "Blizz has no treasury or development fund and a significant portion of the stolen assets belonged to our team. As such we regret to announce the protocol has been paused and we do not intend to resume operations."

FBI charges EminiFX CEO with fraud

Eddy Alexandre, CEO of the cryptocurrency and forex trading platform EminiFX, was charged by the FBI with fraud for his role in what he described to investors as a crypto investment scheme. Promising to double investors' money in five months with his secret robo-investing software and team of "experienced traders", in reality Alexandre pocketed most of the money. He spent $15 million of the money on his own expenses, including luxury vehicles. The small portion of funds he did invest ended up losing money.

The two fraud charges carry maximum sentences of 10 and 20 years.

Terra blockchain is halted after token crash increases threat of governance attacks

After $LUNA dropped below $0.01, Terra announced that they halted the Terra blockchain. "Terra validators have decided to halt the Terra chain to prevent governance attacks following severe $LUNA inflation and a significantly reduced cost of attack", they wrote on Twitter. This means that no transactions can continue on the Terra chain, and that holders of any tokens based on that chain (including the TerraUSD stablecoin or LUNA) can't do anything with those tokens.

Terra only announced this after halting the network, giving their users no opportunity to try to withdraw funds. They have made no announcement about whether or when they intend to bring the network back online, although it seems safe to assume that the enormous loss of confidence in Terra would make any restart short-lived.

Tether loses peg, drops below $0.95

Price chart of Tether to USD, showing a gradual decline below $0.99, then a dramatic dip to $0.95, before recovering to around $0.98 and then a more gradual recoveryTether/USD on May 11–12 (attribution)
Tether, the largest stablecoin, had a major wobble. Pegged to the U.S. dollar and widely used throughout the cryptocurrency ecosystem, even a fractional cent deviation from its peg can have enormous ramifications. Tether spent six hours below $0.99—at one point slipping down to $0.95—in the most significant deviation from its peg in recent history. The dip was widely connected to the recent and even more dramatic de-peg of the previously third-largest stablecoin, TerraUSD, as well as the general crypto market crash.

Tether began to recover somewhat as the day progressed, gradually returning to above $0.99. However, the de-peg has clearly shaken the cryptocurrency ecosystem. The heavy reliance on Tether means that a substantial or protracted loss of its peg would be devastating, and the open secret that Tether does not have the backing assets it once claimed has intensified fears about a possible run on Tether.

BitPrime exchange forced to pause trading due to lack of liquidity

The New Zealand cryptocurrency exchange BitPrime paused trading operations, issuing a notice to their customers: "A perfect storm has occurred, where liquidity has reduced, the market has crashed, and our overheads have increased. These have eroded trading capital and liquidity to a point where we felt we couldn’t guarantee fast trading execution and liquidity of customer funds." Unlike many exchanges, BitPrime doesn't also play the role of a wallet, so customers aren't prevented from moving their crypto as they would be if this happened with an exchange that holds customer funds.

CoinDesk reports that Terra's Do Kwon was behind another failed algorithmic stablecoin project

In a scoop published shortly after the catastrophes began with TerraUSD and Luna, CoinDesk reported that Terraform Labs CEO Do Kwan had also previously led a different failed stablecoin project. Using the pseudonym "Rick Sanchez", Kwon created "Basis Cash" (BAC), another algorithmic stablecoin. Basis Cash also aimed to peg to the US dollar, but never actually achieved this value. The coin has traded far below $1 for most of its existence, dropping and remaining below $0.01 in early 2021.

Do Kwon has never disclosed his involvement with this failed project. CoinDesk wrote that although their "default position is to respect the privacy of pseudonymous actors with established reputations under their well-known handles unless there is an overwhelming public interest in revealing their real-world identities", there was now "such public interest as Kwon’s UST stablecoin death spirals, wreaking havoc across the broader cryptocurrency market. Amid this precarious situation, investors deserve to know that UST was not Kwon’s sole attempt at making an algorithmic stablecoin work." It was not made clear in the article when CoinDesk first learned of Kwon's connection to Basis Cash, though the authors later stated they'd learned of it the night before they published.

Terra $LUNA token drops in price by 98% amidst ongoing TerraUSD stablecoin collapse

A chart showing the ostensible value of $LUNA in USD from April 11 to May 11, showing a precipitous drop between approximately May 5 and May 11Terra ($LUNA) to USD from April 11–May 11 (attribution)
Terraform Labs develops two cryptocurrencies: TerraUSD ($UST), an algorithmic stablecoin meant to be pegged to the U.S. dollar, and $LUNA, a crypto asset used both for speculation and to help maintain the UST peg. As UST dramatically lost its peg throughout early May, Luna plummeted in value alongside it. Luna was trading between $80 and $90 in the first days of May, but as of May 11 had lost 98% of its value and was hovering between $2 and $3. By midday on May 12, the token was trading at or below $0.01.

Such a dramatic crash in a cryptocurrency that was in the top ten by market cap has been devastating to some. Some members of the Terra/Luna community on Reddit have spoken of being massively over-invested in Luna, with some describing losing their life savings and appearing to be in crisis.

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