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Expert issues warning after Tom Brady NFT sells for £30.4k, as marketplaces saw £30 million stolen last year

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An expert has warned those considering purchasing an NFT off the back of the Tom Brady £30.4k sale, as NFT marketplaces saw £30 million stolen by scammers last year.

The findings, pulled together by Smart Betting Guide, analyzed a database recording crypto scams and exploits to identify the most vulnerable platforms and blockchains over the last year – with NFT marketplaces and collections frequently targeted by cybercriminals.

While NFTs benefit from decentralized ownership, verifiable authenticity, and transparent ownership history due to being built on blockchain technology, they are susceptible to security risks like phishing attacks, physical theft, malware, and social engineering attacks.

Before the Super Bowl LVIII, a video NFT of Tom Brady sold for £32,436, while an NFT of Joe Montana – who previously played for both the Chiefs and 49ers – went for £27,088.

The celebrity appeal behind these NFTs could see a surge in demand for more crypto endorsements, especially ahead of major sporting or starstudded events.

However, users should be cautious if considering making a purchase, as NFT platforms saw £30,366,456 in funds lost due to scams – the vast majority of which (97%) were stolen from Ethereum users (£29,530,291), followed by Binance (£816,247) and Cardano (£19,918).

There’s all the more reason to be especially cautious now, as the analysis also found that February is one of the worst months for crypto losses, with an average of £623,366,085 taken by scammers each year. This is 6% above the typical monthly loss (£594,861,199).

However, NFT databases and collections saw fewer funds stolen than other platforms, with crypto bridges losing more than £326 million (£326,241,991) due to exploits last year. This is 118% higher than the average loss reported across the affected platforms (£149,640,022).

The blockchain that saw the most funds stolen this way was Ethereum, accounting for 88% of the losses (£318,030,610), followed by Avas (£8,127,726) and Binance (£83,655).

Following behind as the second-most affected category is CeFi platforms, with £198,296,739 lost due to cybercriminals over the last year. This loss is a third (33%) above the average.

The category that saw the lowest sum lost was stablecoins, designed to maintain a stable value relative to a specific asset, such as other cryptocurrencies or commodities. In 2023, scammers stole £8,009,767 from this crypto – 95% below the average (£149.6k).

While February was the third month that saw the most funds stolen, the worst month came out as December, with a loss of £821,716,080 (39% above the monthly average).

Ranking second is January, with an average of £662,039,960 taken yearly. This is 12.2% above the monthly average and makes for a tough start to the year for blockchain users.

The risk drops slightly once we get into March, with the average sum lost equating to 2.9% less than the monthly average. Overall, the likelihood of being hit by a crypto scam is higher in the first half of the year compared to the second half – aside from in December.

As well as identifying when blockchain users are most likely to be targeted by scammers, the data reveals which scams resulted in the highest losses since 2011. Rug pull exit scams proved the most damaging, with a total of £41.3 billion stolen over the past 13 years.

 

Regarding the findings, Zigmas Pekarskas, CEO of Smart Betting Guide, said: “As with any technical asset, cryptocurrency is vulnerable to scams – especially as it continues to grow in popularity and application. This is particularly true given crypto transactions are often anonymous and typically irreversible, so it’s difficult to trace transactions back to individuals.

“Some platforms, including NFT databases, are more susceptible to cybercrime than others. When transacting on one of these platforms, ensure you do your research and due diligence. Research the NFT marketplace and the seller, focusing on reviews, ratings, and feedback from other users. This must be done even when purchasing an extremely limited or in-demand item, like the Tom Brady NFT that sold before the Super Bowl.

“Verify that the NFT you’re interested in is authentic and not an authorized copy, and check the usage rights. Use a secure cryptocurrency wallet to store your funds and NFT assets – ideally with multi-signature support – and report any suspicious activity or fraudulent listings to the marketplace’s support team as early as possible.”

 

 

The post Expert issues warning after Tom Brady NFT sells for £30.4k, as marketplaces saw £30 million stolen last year appeared first on HIPTHER Alerts.

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Supply Chain Finance Market Forecast to Reach $9.4 Billion by 2029: Increasing Emphasis on Sustainable Sourcing

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Global Supply Chain Finance Market

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Blockchain

Web3 Startups Raise Nearly $1.9B in Q1 2024 Despite Overall Downtrend in Crypto VC Interest

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Venture capital funding for cryptocurrency and blockchain projects has seen a notable resurgence in the first quarter of 2024, marking its first quarterly rise since 2021. Crunchbase data released today indicates that Web3 startups secured nearly $1.9 billion in funding across 346 deals during this period. This represents a substantial 58% increase from the previous quarter, offering a glimmer of hope amidst the ongoing downward trend in overall crypto VC interest.

The recent surge in funding can be attributed to investors adopting a more long-term perspective on Web3, as opposed to the hype-driven “tourist investors” predominant in recent years. Chris Metinko, the author of the report, notes that investors are shifting their focus to the AI sector, indicating a change in investment strategy. There is a growing interest in supporting the foundational infrastructure of the decentralized internet, rather than solely concentrating on crypto wallets and lending platforms, which attracted significant investments during the peak period of 2021 to 2022.

While large funding rounds were relatively uncommon in Q1, several notable investments stood out. Exohood Labs, a company integrating AI, quantum computing, and blockchain, secured a remarkable $112 million seed round at a valuation of $1.4 billion. EigenLabs, an Ether token “restaking” platform, raised $100 million in a Series B round led by a16z crypto. Additionally, Freechat, a decentralized social network leveraging blockchain technology, secured $80 million in a Series A round. These investments, among others, contributed to the increase in valuations and the emergence of four new Web3 unicorns in Q1.

Despite the recent progress, the future trajectory of Web3 remains uncertain. Metinko suggests that the next few quarters will be pivotal in determining the industry’s direction. While investors anticipate a rebound in investment as the decentralized internet evolves, it may take another year for venture capital activity to stabilize after the exuberance of 2021. Factors such as the approval of U.S. spot Bitcoin exchange-traded funds and the upcoming Bitcoin halving could also influence the market, given the rising prices of Bitcoin and Ether.

A noteworthy example of significant funding in the Web3 space is Monad Labs’ recent successful funding round, which secured $225 million led by Paradigm. Monad Labs is a layer-1 blockchain compatible with Ethereum, offering faster transaction processing. This funding round harkens back to the golden era of crypto funding in 2021-2022, when L1 solutions attracted substantial investments.

Earlier this year, Balance, a digital asset custodian based in Canada, announced that it had once again reached $2 billion in assets under custody (AUC) amidst the recent market recovery. Similarly, Korea Digital Asset (KODA), the largest institutional crypto custody service in South Korea, has experienced remarkable growth in crypto assets under its custody, expanding by nearly 248% in the second half of 2023.

Analysts at Bernstein Research project that crypto funds could reach an impressive $500 billion to $650 billion within the next five years, representing a significant leap from the current valuation of approximately $50 billion. This forecast underscores the growing optimism and potential for substantial growth within the crypto industry in the coming years.

Source: cryptonews.com

The post Web3 Startups Raise Nearly $1.9B in Q1 2024 Despite Overall Downtrend in Crypto VC Interest appeared first on HIPTHER Alerts.

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ASIC cracks down on blockchain mining firms

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Three blockchain mining companies – NGS Crypto, NGS Digital, and NGS Group – along with their directors, Brett Mendham, Ryan Brown, and Mark Ten Caten, are facing legal action from the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) for allegedly operating without a license, in violation of Australia’s Corporations Act. ASIC initiated legal proceedings against these entities on April 9, citing concerns about their non-compliance with financial regulations and their solicitation of Australian investors.

According to ASIC, the NGS companies promoted blockchain mining packages with fixed-rate returns to Australian investors, encouraging the transfer of funds from regulated superannuation funds to self-managed superannuation funds (SMSFs) for conversion into cryptocurrency. Approximately 450 Australians invested a total of around USD 41 million in these packages, raising concerns about potential financial losses.

The legal action filed by ASIC alleges that the companies violated section 911A of the Corporations Act, which prohibits companies from providing financial services without a valid Australian Financial Services Licence (AFSL). ASIC is seeking interim and final court orders to prohibit the NGS companies from offering financial services in Australia without an AFSL.

ASIC Chair Joe Longo emphasized the importance of investors carefully considering the risks before investing in crypto-related products through their SMSFs. Longo stated that ASIC’s actions send a message to the crypto industry about the regulator’s commitment to ensuring compliance with regulations and protecting consumers.

In a separate development, the Federal Court appointed receivers for the digital currency assets associated with the NGS companies and their directors to safeguard these assets amid concerns about the risk of dissipation. Mendham was also issued a travel restriction order, preventing him from leaving Australia.

While a court date for the proceedings has not been set, ASIC’s investigation is ongoing, with the regulator continuing to gather evidence and build its case. It is worth noting that the investigated companies share a similar name with NGS Super, a legitimate Australian pensions provider, leading to potential confusion among investors. NGS Super clarified that it is not involved in selling cryptocurrency or related products and has taken legal action to protect its trademark and members’ interests.

Source: iclg.com

The post ASIC cracks down on blockchain mining firms appeared first on HIPTHER Alerts.

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