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Crypto Flipsider News – HSBC Partners with The Sandbox, ConsenSys Doubles Valuation, and Aptos Raises $250 Million; NFTs are Coming to Instagram; Three DeFi Protocols Exploited for $14 Million; Kazakhstan Mining Crack Down

Cryptocurrency Mar 16, 2022 12:01PM ET
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Crypto Flipsider News – HSBC Partners with The Sandbox, ConsenSys Doubles Valuation, and Aptos Raises $250 Million; NFTs are Coming to Instagram; Three DeFi Protocols Exploited for $14 Million; Kazakhstan Mining Crack Down
 
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Read in the Digest:

  • HSBC has partnered with The Sandbox, Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) backs ConsenSys to double valuation, and Aptos raises $250 million from a16z.
  • Instagram to welcome NFTs soon – Mark Zuckerberg.
  • Deus Finance, Agave, and Hundred lose $14 million in Wave of DeFi exploits.
  • Kazakhstan cracks down on crypto mining, Mexico’s 3rd richest man to mine Bitcoin.

HSBC Partners with The Sandbox, Microsoft Backs ConsenSys to Double Valuation, and Aptos Raises $250 Million from a16z

Over the last six months, the metaverse, a prospective trillion-dollar industry, has attracted the biggest names from across various sectors. British banking giant HSBC has become the latest to enter the industry, partnering with ‘The Sandbox‘.

According to The Sandbox, the partnership with HSBC has seen the bank purchase a plot of land in the virtual world of The Sandbox. HSBC will develop the land to play host to sports, e-sports, gaming, and finance professionals.

Leading Ethereum and DeFi company ‘ConsenSys’, announced a hefty $450 million Series D funding round backed by Microsoft. The funding has taken the firm’s valuation up to $7 billion, more than double what it held in November 2021.

‘Aptos‘, a Web 3.0 project created by former Meta employees, banked $250 million in a funding round led by Andreessen Horowitz. The former Meta employees claim to be the original creators, researchers, designers, and builders of ‘Diem‘.

Flipsider:

  • Aptos has disassociated itself from Meta, stating that it has “no formal relationship with Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) and no investment from them.”

Why You Should Care

The shared vision for the Web 3.0 world as the future of the internet has fueled the growing number of investments.

Instagram to Welcome NFTs Soon – Mark Zuckerberg

Meta-owned Instagram could become the next social media platform to integrate non-fungible tokens (NFTs) into their platform. Mark Zuckerberg made the announcement, which sparked excitement in the crypto space, while speaking at the South by Southwest conference.

During the “Into the Metaverse: Creators, Commerce, and Connection” session, Zuckerberg stated: “we’re working on bringing NFTs to Instagram in the near term” to confirm the speculation.

In January, we reported that Facebook and Instagram were working on implementing the NFT profile picture and minting features to the platforms, which have now been confirmed by the Meta boss.

Zuckerberg also explained that “over the next several months, the ability to bring some of your NFTs in, and hopefully over time be able to mint things within that environment.”

Flipsider:

  • Declining to provide an official launch date, Zuckerberg stated that there were “a bunch of technical things to be worked out” before the feature can be rolled out.

Why You Should Care

The Head of Instagram, Adam Mosseri, explained that the company was “actively exploring” NFTs to bring the technology to a wider audience.

Deus Finance, Agave, and Hundred Lose $14 Million in Wave of DeFi Exploits.

Questions around the security of decentralized finance have once again been raised as three DeFi protocols suffered exploits totaling losses $14 million. Bilateral over-the-counter (OTC) derivatives platform Deus Finance was breached, suffering the theft of $3 million from the network.

According to a post mortem conducted by PeckShield, the hackers used flash loans to manipulate the contract to falsely show that DEI (one of the two tokens issued by Deus Finance) had collapsed.

Just hours after Deus Finance was breached, Agave and Hundred Finance reported a similar flash loan reentrancy attack on the Gnosis chain. The attacker stole a combined $11 million from both DeFi protocols using the bug.

Exploiting the “callAfterTransfer” function, the attacker continued borrowing from the protocols by making requests to borrow funds without being required to put up additional collateral. Then, they proceeded to siphon the funds using Tornado Cash to mask the address.

Flipsider:

  • ConsenSys, a leading DeFi company, has managed to double its valuation in four months, setting its value at $7 billion.

Why You Should Care

The exploitation of Agave, which is a fork of Aave, has raised concerns about the safety of users’ funds across the DeFi industry.

Kazakhstan Cracks Down on Crypto Mining, Mexico’s 3rd Richest Man to Mine Bitcoin

Following China’s 2021 ban on crypto mining, Kazakhstan emerged as a hotspot, contributing 18.1% of the world’s Bitcoin mining. However, a fresh turn of events has seen Kazakhstan intensify its crackdown on crypto mining.

Kazakhstan’s Financial Monitoring Agency reported on March 15th that it had shut down 55 crypto mining firms and confiscated mining equipment valued at nearly $200 million. Moreover, 25 firms were further flagged as illegal operations.

Taking a different route, Ricardo Salinas Pliego, the third-richest person in Mexico, is reportedly planning to start mining bitcoin. The billionaire could leverage his geothermal power plant to mine bitcoin from as soon as July, according to the reports.

Salinas earlier stated that the plant generates 10 MWh continuously runs renewable. In February, Ricardo Salinas Pliego advised Bitcoin investors to “continue to hunt for the bottom and hold BTC firmly.”

Flipsider:

  • Despite the crackdown, mining revenues in Kazakhstan have been projected to soar to $1.5 billion in the next five years.

Why You Should Care

The energy consumption and related carbon emissions of Bitcoin mining have led to increased crackdowns to root out illegal mining operations.

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Crypto Flipsider News – HSBC Partners with The Sandbox, ConsenSys Doubles Valuation, and Aptos Raises $250 Million; NFTs are Coming to Instagram; Three DeFi Protocols Exploited for $14 Million; Kazakhstan Mining Crack Down
 

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