Ankr defi project exploited for over $5 million

The BNB Chain-based Ankr defi protocol suffered an exploit of their aBNB token. "We are currently working with exchanges to immediately halt trading," they wrote. However, the attacker had already bridged and tumbled at least $5 million in funds from the exploit before the announcement was even made.

Early analysis by PeckShield suggested that the contract had an unlimited mint bug, allowing arbitrary minting of aBNB tokens. The attacker, and possible subsequent copycat attackers, used this flaw to mint quadrillions of aBNB, which they then traded to various other tokens.

Auros misses loan payment due to FTX exposure

Crypto trading firm Auros missed a payment on its 2,400 wETH (~$3 million) loan from the Maple defi lending project. According to M11 Credit, the operator of the credit pool from which Auros has taken the loan, this was due to "a short-term liquidity issue as a result of the FTX insolvency".

In total, Auros has 8,400 wETH (~$10.7 million) and $7.5 million in USDC in loans from M11 credit pools, plus another $2.4 million in loans from the Clearpool defi lending project, for a total of more than $20 million in unsecured loans.

Kraken pays over $360,000 to settle violations of sanctions against Iran

The US cryptocurrency exchange Kraken settled charges from the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) alleging that they had violated sanctions against Iran. In the agreement, Kraken will pay $362,158.70 for the potential civil liability, and agree to commit $100,000 in various compliance controls.

The OFAC investigation was first revealed in July, in reporting from the New York Times.

Kraken lays off 1,100 employees in 30% cut

The US cryptocurrency exchange Kraken announced that it had laid off 30% of its employees, or about 1,100 people. They blamed "macroeconomic and geopolitical factors" resulting in less trading and fewer clients. "Unfortunately, negative influences on the financial markets have continued and we have exhausted preferable options for bringing costs in line with demand," they wrote.

Block subsidiary TBD announces they will trademark "Web5", cancels plans after completely foreseeable backlash

TBD is a subsidiary of Block (formerly Square), a tech company co-founded by billionaire social media mogul and Twitter founder Jack Dorsey. In July, they unveiled the concept of "Web5", which they define an "extra decentralized web platform".

Who could have predicted that people might balk when TBD then announced they would try to trademark the term? Apparently they saw no irony in their attempt as a single, powerful entity to gain control over the trademark.

The same was not true of the people who responded to the post, who wrote things like, "We need to make sure web 5 is truly open by copyrighting it", and simply "🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡".

Six hours later, the company tweeted, "we have heard the community and we are responding to their concerns". They issued a statement acknowledging that "we have heard loud voices in the community who are concerned about the potential for abuse of trademark law in ways that would undermine the mission of decentralization." Gee, you think?

And no, they still haven't explained what happened to web4.

BlockFi files for bankruptcy

Crypto lending firm BlockFi has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in the wake of the FTX collapse. The company was in dire straits in the spring after Terra and Three Arrows Capital blow-ups, but was bailed out in June by a $250 million loan from FTX, followed by a deal giving BlockFi a $400 million credit facility and giving FTX the "option to acquire" BlockFi.

Because of this dependency, it was no surprise when BlockFi announced they were once again in crisis following the FTX explosion. On November 15, the Wall Street Journal reported they were preparing for possible bankruptcy and considering layoffs.

On November 28, BlockFi filed for bankruptcy. Their filing estimates they have more than 100,000 creditors (the maximum option on the form), between $1–10 billion in assets, and between $1–10 billion in liabilities.

Shitcoin project tests the limits of cringe by building $600,000 statue of Elon Musk and delivering it to Tesla HQ

A large silver statue of Elon Musk's head, atop a rocket shaped structure. The sculpture is on the back of a flatbed truck.Elon Musk statue (attribution)
A shitcoin project desperate for the kind of pump that sometimes occurs when Elon Musk tweets about a cryptocurrency has gone to new lengths to get his attention. The group spent $600,000 and six months on a six-ton statue that's supposed to be Elon Musk's head on a rocket ship, but looks rather like a giant Elon Musk caterpillar.

The group then delivered the sculpture to Tesla HQ in Austin, Texas, and is reportedly refusing to leave until he accepts the statue. Unfortunately he may be too busy burning Twitter to the ground to have noticed.

Despite receiving press coverage in outlets including the Wall Street Journal, Fox Business, and USA Today, the project has as of yet failed to achieve much of a pump, and the token is trading around where it was several months ago. I've not named the token here in the hopes of not contributing to the goals of their viral marketing stunt.

150 companies seek Binance's bailout for organizations "facing significant, short term, financial difficulties"

On November 14, CZ of Binance announced an "industry recovery fund", which he said would devote money to ending "further cascading negative effects of FTX [and] help projects who are otherwise strong, but in a liquidity crisis".

In a blog post outlining the $1 billion initiative, Binance also divulged that "we have already received around 150 applications from companies seeking support under the [Industry Recovery Initiative]"—only a week and a half after it was announced.

Lemon Cash crypto exchange lays off almost 40% of its staff

The Argentinean cryptocurrency exchange Lemon Cash announced that they had laid off 38% of their employees, or around 100 people. The CEO blamed the international crypto environment, as well as a "recessionary period" in startup investments. He also urged that the announcement was not related to the FTX collapse, and explained that although the company had user funds stored with FTX, they withdrew them prior to FTX halting withdrawals.

Lemon had closed a $44.1 million series A funding round earlier this year, which they kicked off in July 2021.

Users unable to withdraw from CoinList due to protracted "technical difficulties"

Beginning in mid-November, users of the CoinList exchange and ICO platform reported that they couldn't withdraw assets from the platform. On November 24, CoinList tweeted, "There is a lot of FUD going around that we would like to address head on. CoinList is not insolvent, illiquid, or near bankruptcy. We are experiencing technical issues that are affecting deposits and withdrawals." This was not entirely reassuring, given the number of companies in the crypto industry who have announced they were just fine before being revealed to be deeply underwater.

CoinList lost $35 million in the June Three Arrows blowup. Shortly after the FTX collapse, CoinList claimed to have "no material exposure to FTX, FTT, Alameda or any credit exposure to any affiliate of FTX". However, they stopped processing withdrawals shortly after.

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