BNB Chain DeFi ecosystem recovers almost one-third in three months

On the DeFi side of things, BNB Chain suffered a 93% decrease from Q3 of 2021 but has since shown signs of steady recovery.

After a year-long struggle to fend off the market bears, parts of the crypto ecosystem started showing signs of recovery in the third quarter of 2022. BNB Chain’s Q3 report confirms significant growth in crypto trading volumes and decentralized finance (DeFi) but a drop in nonfungible token (NFT) trading.

According to DappRadar BNB Chain Report Q3, BNB Chain retained its position as the second biggest DeFi blockchain after Ethereum (ETH), with a Total Value locked (TVL) of $7.6 billion.

On the DeFi side of things, BNB Chain suffered a 93% decrease from Q3 of 2021 but has since shown signs of steady recovery. The TVL of $7.6 billion represents a 28.67% increase from BNB Chain’s Q2 performance. The blockchain also represents 36.6% of the market share for GameFi ecosystems, which is followed by Ethereum at 20.2% and Polygon (MATIC) at 11.8%.

PancakeSwap, Venus and Alpaca Finance are among the largest in the pool of over 300 DeFi decentralized apps (DApps) hosted over BNB Chain.

“BNB chain owes this relative success to the performance of PancakeSwap,” reads the report, as the ecosystem represents 68.2% or $4.1 billion in TVL, followed by Venus at 16.3% ($995 million) and Alpaca Finance at 8.7% ($530 million).

NFT trading volumes continue to dip, with BNB Chain recording an almost 33% drop this year — from $276,000 in Q1 to $185,000 in Q3. According to the report, the unique trader’s count decreased by 45% in just three months.

While the metrics shared in the DappRadar report showcase an overall positive movement for the quarter, it also revealed the need for crypto projects to achieve sustainable growth.

Related: $100M drained from Solana DeFi platform Mango Markets, token plunges 52%

The idea of DeFi took off in Singapore as major finserve DBS Bank decided to implement the technology for the Singaporean central bank.

On Nov. 2, DBS announced the commencement of testing trading of foreign exchange (FX) and government securities using permissioned, or private, DeFi liquidity pools.

Speaking to Cointelegraph about Project Guardian, a government initiative to explore digital asset tokenization on public chains, a DBS spokesperson confirmed the use of Polygon mainnet using a fork of Uniswap v2 protocol.


Deribit crypto exchange halts withdrawals amid $28M hot wallet hack

Crypto exchange Deribit halted withdrawals following a hot wallet hack where hackers got away with $28 million in stolen funds.

Major cryptocurrency derivatives exchange​​ Deribit has halted withdrawals after suffering a $28 million hot wallet hack.

Deribit exchange got its hot wallet compromised before midnight UTC on Nov. 1, the firm reported on Twitter.

The exchange emphasized that client funds are safe as losses are covered by Deribit’s reserves, stating:

“Client assets, Fireblocks or any of the cold storage addresses are not affected. It’s company procedure to keep 99% of our user funds in cold storage to limit the impact of these type of events.”

As part of the ongoing security checks, Deribit had to halt withdrawals, including custodians Copper Clearloop and Cobo, until the exchange is 100% confident about security following the hack. “Deposits already sent will still be processed, and after the required number of confirmations, they will be credited to accounts,” the firm added.

According to the information on Deribit’s Telegram chat, trading on Deribit is operating as usual. “Due to our hotwallet policy we were able to limit loss of user funds,” a Deribit support person noted.

Deribit’s insurance fund will not be affected by the hack, as the exchange will pay the loss for it as well. “Deribit remains in a financially sound position and ongoing operations will not be impacted,” the statement notes.

A spokesperson for Deribit told Cointelegraph that the company is aiming to resume withdrawals as soon as possible and is now checking “all security measures.” The platform is also working on a full incident review at the moment to provide more details about the vulnerability that could have caused the issue, the person added.

The hack was the first time for Deribit to experience such an attack and losses since the company’s launch, the representative said.

Founded in 2016, Deribit is one of the largest crypto derivatives exchanges in the world, allowing users to trade crypto futures and options. At the time of writing, Deribit’s daily trading volume amounts to $280 million, according to data from CoinGecko.

Related: Scary stats: $3B stolen in 2022 as of ‘Hacktober,’ doubling 2021

At the time of writing, some of Deribit’s website sections also appear to be nonoperating. Deribit Insights, the firm’s crypto data hub, is not available at the time of writing, showing a “critical error on this website.” In the meantime, Deribit’s trading website is intact. According to a Deribit representative, the website issue and the hack are not related.


Strange and Mysterious Airliner Encounters With UFOs

In the world of UFO sightings and encounters, some of what are considered to be the most traditionally reliable and intriguing of these are those made by pilots. These are those witnesses that know what to expect up there, and have a keen eye for details. Especially with the crews of passenger airliners they are tasked with protecting and watching over their charges, and so must ever be vigilant to any dangers or possibly hostile objects they encounter up there. Due to this, UFO sightings logged by airliner pilots have long held a special veracity and reliability to them that makes them particularly interesting, and here we will look at a selection of such wierd incidents. 


Cattle Mutilations: How Many Theories Can There Be?

The controversy surrounding cattle mutilations has been around since the 1960s, but no-one has really solved the mystery. Or, mysteries. That’s right: there might not be just one reason for the mutes. With that said, let’s have a look at the grisly riddle. Since at least 1967, reports have surfaced throughout the United States of animals – but, chiefly, cattle – slaughtered in disturbing and bizarre ways. Organs are taken and significant amounts of blood are found to be missing. In some cases, the limbs of the poor cattle are broken, suggesting they have been dropped to the ground from a significant height. Evidence of extreme heat, to slice into the skin of the animals, has been found at mutilation sites. Eyes are removed, tongues are sliced off, and, typically, the sexual organs are gone. While the answers to the puzzle remain frustratingly outside of the public arena, theories abound. They include extraterrestrials, engaged in nightmarish experimentation of the genetic kind; military programs involving the testing of new bio-warfare weapons; and government agencies secretly monitoring the food-chain, fearful that something worse than “Mad Cow Disease” may have infected the U.S. cattle herd – and, possibly, as a result, the human population, too.  


Judge orders probe to investigate whether Celsius was a Ponzi

The Federal judge overseeing the Celsius case has asked for an investigation to look into whether the firm acted like a Ponzi scheme and has asked for additional details before approving a $3 million bonus scheme.

The judge overseeing the Celsius bankruptcy case has ordered the examiner and the official committee of Celsius creditors to determine who will head a probe into whether the firm was operating like a Ponzi scheme.

The order during the Nov. 1 hearing comes in response to allegations from customers that Celsius had used assets of new users to pay yields and facilitate withdrawals to existing users, and as a result, fits the legal definition of a Ponzi scheme.

The judge had approved the appointment of an independent examiner on Sep. 9 to look into aspects of Celsius’ business following calls for greater transparency into its operations, such as its tax payment procedures and why some customers were moved to different accounts.

It is not the first time the embattled lender has been accused of operating like a Ponzi scheme, with decentralized finance (DeFi) protocol KeyFi having alleged that Celsius acts like one when it sued Celsius on Jul. 7.

Celsius had filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy on Jul. 13, citing a crash in crypto values and poor asset deployment decisions, and the case has been proceeding through the court system since.

In the Nov. 1 hearing, the Federal judge, Martin Glenn, also told Celsius that they would have to include more details in its Oct. 11 motion to pay nearly $3 million to 62 employees as part of a key employee retention plan (KERP), with Law360 quoting the judge as saying:

“I was shocked when I saw the redactions. I had never seen anyone try to redact everything,”

Glenn is referring to a section within the motion that outlines the participants of the bonus, where every detail relating to the individuals available to the public had been redacted, including their salaries and job descriptions.

Related: Core Scientific may consider bankruptcy following uncertain financial condition: Report

The U.S. Trustee had filed an objection on Oct. 27 to the KERP, taking issue with the lack of identifiable metrics within the motion to warrant such an expensive bonus scheme and that it prevented interested parties from arguing whether some participants could be considered insiders and therefore ineligible for a KERP.


Stablecoin issuers Circle and Paxos gain approvals in Singapore

The approvals came after the Monetary Authority of Singapore issued two consultation papers that proposed to ease regulatory hurdles for digital asset service providers.

Stablecoin issuers Circle and Paxos have each received approvals for their respective licenses from the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), the city-state’s central bank.

Circle received in-principle approval for a Major Payments Institution License allowing it to issue cryptocurrencies and facilitate domestic and cross-border payments while Paxos received its license to offer digital payment token services.

Circle and Paxos both announced their approvals on Nov. 2, which came a week after the MAS issued two consultation papers on proposals for regulating digital payment token service providers and stablecoin issuers under Singapore’s Payment Services Act (PSA).

The PSA was passed by the Singapore Parliament in 2019, which purports to regulate payment systems and authorizes MAS to oversee the conduct of payment service providers.

Circle, the issuer behind USD Coin (UDSC), and Paxos with its Pax Dollar (USDP), both U.S. dollar-pegged stablecoins will now be able to offer their respective stablecoins and other digital payment token products within Singapore.

According to Dante Disparte, Circle’s Chief Strategy Officer and Global Head of Public Polic, its approval is set to open up greater potential for cryptocurrencies and open payment systems to drive economic growth in Singapore under the more innovative-friendly regulatory framework.

Co-founder and CEO of Circle Jeremy Allaire added the license “in one of the world’s leading financial hubs” will be “instrumental to Circle’s regional and global expansion plans in raising global economic prosperity.”

Paxos Asia CEO Rich Teo was also thrilled with its approval:

“We’re excited to have MAS as our regulator, and with their oversight, we’ll be able to safely accelerate consumer adoption of digital assets globally in partnership with the world’s biggest enterprises.”

Related: Singapore MAS examines crypto firms ahead of new regulations: Report

While it remains to be seen how many more firms will follow Circle and Paxos’ footsteps, the easing in regulations comes as MAS knocked back over 100 out of 170 applicants in late 2021 under the tighter regime.

MAS took things one step further in mid-2022 following the now saga that stemmed from Singapore-based and bankrupt Three Arrows Capital’s (3AC), with chief fintech Sopnendu Mohanty stating that MAS will be “brutal and unrelentingly hard” on “bad behavior” from the crypto industry.

Singapore is fighting to take back its perception to be one of the more crypto-friendly countries. However, it continues to tread with caution for retail investors — with Singapore’s largest bank DBS recently deciding to only expand its crypto trading services to accredited investors who meet strict criteria.

Cointelegraph reached out to Circle and Paxos for comment but did not receive an immediate response.


Nifty News: NFT marketplace says no to opt-in royalties, Visa jumps on World Cup NFTs and more

A new NFT marketplace is giving a hard pass to optional royalties, bucking the trend, and NFTs are getting a new home on Ripple’s XRPL.

NFT marketplace says no to optional royalties

While nonfungible token (NFT) marketplaces such as Ethereum (ETH)-based X2Y2, LooksRare, and Solana (SOL)-based Magic Eden have made the switch over to “optional” creator royalties, a newly launched marketplace is taking a hard stand against it.

Find Satoshi Lab, the company behind the popular move-to-earn app StepN has launched its new NFT marketplace named MOOAR on Nov. 1, notably featuring “no optional royalties.”

Instead, its NFT royalty policy will be set to a default of 2% but allows creators to set royalties between 0.5% to 10%. There is no option for 0% royalties, nor can it be set by the user.

“With the raging debate going on surrounding the paying of royalties, we are aware that many users have been vocal in opposing the enforcement of such royalties,” said the MOOAR team in a Medium post.

“Fully empathizing with the sentiment, we strongly believe this ‘cancel culture’ has forced marketplaces into a corner to the point that prominent marketplaces have adopted optional royalties,” it added.

Launch Day! Get #MOOAR!

Find Satoshi Lab (@FSLWeb3), the company behind STEPN, is thrilled to announce the launch of MOOAR NFT marketplace & launchpad.

This milestone is one of many on our roadmap to become a one-stop platform for the Web3 Community. ⬇ [1/10]

— MOOAR | Season #1 (@mooarofficial) November 1, 2022

On Aug. 27, Ethereum-based NFT marketplace X2Y2 announced it would be introducing an option that allows buyers to set the royalty fee when buying an NFT.

With the new update, buyers on the platform will be given the liberty of setting the amount of royalties they want to contribute to an NFT project. This means that some creators may not receive royalties when their artworks are sold.

The controversial move was followed by the Solana-based NFT marketplace Magic Eden on Oct. 15, which announced it would also be moving to an optional royalty model after “difficult reflection and discussion with many creators.”

Less than two weeks later on Oct. 27, NFT marketplace LooksRare became the latest to succumb to pressure from buyers, announcing it was doing away with enforcing creator royalties, allowing buyers to choose to pay royalties on an opt-in basis.

Visa gets in on World Cup NFT action

Credit card giant Visa has become the latest major company set to cash in on FIFA World Cup-related nonfungible tokens (NFTs) — unveiling a charity auction for five NFTs ahead of the upcoming tournament in Qatar. 

The auction is in partnership with crypto exchange, with all auction proceeds going to Street Child United, a charitable organization promoting the rights of impoverished children.

Each NFT features digital art inspired by icon goals from five famed soccer players including Jared Borgetti, Tim Cahill, Carli Lloyd, Michael Owen, and Maxi Rodriguez, and is part of the “Visa Masters of Movement.”

NFT titled “Jared Borgetti 2002 FIFA World Cup Korea Japan™”

The credit card company has been a long supporter of NFTs and its ability to provide a “promising medium for fan engagement.”

In a report released on Aug. 23, 2021, Visa said that “NFTs appeal to collectors, fans, teams, leagues, and talent.”

In particular, NFTs can become primary sources of fan engagement, customer relationship management, and newer revenue streams, it said.

Visa’s announcement also comes on the same day that announced it will now be able to self-issue its own Visa card in Singapore, after becoming a Visa Associate Program Member in the city-state.

The Visa card will allow the exchange’s users in Singapore to use it for everyday purchases and earn rewards in CRO coins.

Visa is the Official Payment Technology Partner of FIFA. Other notable sponsors include which became an official sponsor in March, and blockchain network Algorand, which inked a partnership in May as FIFA’s official blockchain platform.

Ripple’s new stomping ground for NFTs

As of Oct. 31, Ripple’s XRPL blockchain has officially become a new home for NFTs.

RippleX developers have been working on the project since the XLS-20 proposal was filed on May 25, 2021, which proposed the goal to bring NFTs to the XRP Ledger.

At the time, the team described the proposal as one that would introduce extensions to the XRP Ledger that would support a “native non-fungible token type, along with operations to enumerate, purchase, sell and hold such tokens.”

Ripple CTO David Schwartz told his 395,600 Twitter followers on Oct. 31 that the XLS-20 standard has now been enabled on the XRP Ledger Mainnet after a vote approved the roll-out of the technology.

Schwartz noted that “this presents a key milestone for developers and creators to tokenize any asset and build innovative Web3 projects with utility.”

Thanks to the collective effort of the #XRPL community and @RippleXDev engineers, XLS-20 is now enabled on the XRP Ledger Mainnet and a few NFTs have already been minted. (1/4)

— David “JoelKatz” Schwartz (@JoelKatz) October 31, 2022

In an accompanying Nov. 1 blog post, Schwartz said the benefits of launching NFTs on the XRP Ledger include much lower costs for minting, trading and otherwise transferring NFTs compared to “leading layer-1 blockchain solutions.”

He also said their “no-smart contracts” approach will make NFTs on the XRPL less vulnerable to hacks, while NFTs will include “automatic royalties” which essentially allow creators to be given a share of revenue whenever an NFT is bought or sold.

Scammers impersonate indie game, adding NFT twist

The indie developer behind farming sim game Coral Island has taken to Twitter to warn its followers of a scammer impersonating them on the internet and purporting to be involved in “GameFi” and NFTs.

The developer Stairway Games pointed to the doppelganger account on Twitter on Oct. 31, clarifying that Coral Island “is not an NFT game” and the page has no affiliation with Coral Island.

Related: Steph Curry files trademark for the Curryverse, where players earn NFTs

The fake Coral Island Twitter page in question describes itself as “Re-imagined farm sim game goes GameFi. Enter the farmverse!” and links to a similar Instagram page, as well as a fully-decked-out website using assets, lifted directly from the developers.

The website includes sections such as “Roadmap” and “Tokenomics,” with claims that it would launch staking, airdrops, character NFTs, and a “token earning system” in the future.

Hey folks, this is not us. @coralislandgame is the only Coral Island game twitter page. We are not an NFT game and the page below has no affiliation to Coral Island. Thank you!

— Stairway Games (@stairwaygames) October 31, 2022

Coral Island is a farming simulator game currently in early access, it’s said to be a mix of “Harvest Moon, Story of Seasons, Stardew Valley and a tiny bit of Animal Crossing,” according to one user review on gaming platform Steam.

More Nifty News

The nonfungible token (NFT) marketplace for American video game retailer GameStop has officially gone live on Ethereum layer-2 blockchain ImmutableX, all part of the latest Web3 push from the gaming retailer.

There’s been pushback from Silicon Valley CEOs about the current iterations of the Metaverse. Microsoft gaming chief Phil Spencer called it a “poorly built video game,” while Snap CEO Evan Spiegel hinted that the current iterations of the concept are very basic, and he won’t feel like spending time inside it after a long day of work.


Record hash rates may see Big Oil become a major BTC mining player

Big Oil’s influence over the Bitcoin network is growing stronger due to surging hash rates and distressed mining companies.

Surging Bitcoin (BTC) network hash rates are causing problems for mining companies but might be rolling out the red carpet for energy giants.

The Bitcoin hash rate, the amount of computing power given to the blockchain through mining, has reached another record peak. According to, the metric hit an all-time high of 267 exahashes per second (EH/s) on Nov. 1 after increasing almost 60% since the beginning of the year.

Commenting on the new peak, Capriole Fund founder Charles Edwards speculated that highly efficient government and oil company enterprises were entering the mining game at scale.

New Bitcoin hash rate world record! 9% higher than the prior all time high set just a few days ago.

I have no doubt that we have serious, highly efficient government & oil company enterprises entering the mining game at scale as we speak.

— Charles Edwards (@caprioleio) November 1, 2022

He added that this was bullish and not a sign of a miner capitulation. However, in the short term, it could be considered bearish as miners sell coins to cover their expenses and remain in business.

This scenario would result in a stagnation or fall in hash rate which hasn’t been seen yet, adding more weight to the premise that rigs are being deployed by other entities.

“Big oil will undoubtedly become major players,” said Edwards.

It appears that the big oil influence is already happening.

Earlier this year, it was reported that ExxonMobil has been working with Denver-based Crusoe Energy Systems to mine Bitcoin in North Dakota. In June, reports emerged that the oil subsidiary of Russian natural gas giant Gazprom will provide energy to mining firm BitRiver.

There has been an increased usage of gas flare energy, a byproduct from the oil industry that is otherwise wasted, to power Bitcoin mining.

Earlier this month, Argentina’s state-owned energy company YPF stated that it would be converting residual gas flare energy into power for crypto mining.

These are just a few examples of the influence that big oil is having over Bitcoin mining, and they are likely to increase going forward. Back in 2020, Cointelegraph reported that oil companies could dominate BTC mining by 2025.

Related: Stranded no more? Bitcoin miners could help solve Big Oil’s gas problem

Firms that rely on Bitcoin mining as their sole business and revenue source are struggling at the moment as each block becomes more competitive, energy prices skyrocket and hash price or profitability slumps.

Just this week, mining giant Argo Blockchain announced a restructuring of its business strategy and details of its mining hardware selloff. Last week, Bitcoin miner Core Scientific filed forms with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) warning of potential bankruptcy proceedings.

The depressed price of Bitcoin, which is down 70% from its all-time, high is certainly not making things easier for Bitcoin miners.


MicroStrategy CEO reiterates ‘long term’ Bitcoin play in Q3 earnings

The world’s largest corporate holder of Bitcoin has reduced its losses compared to previous earnings as its CEO says it will continue to buy and hold Bitcoin long term.

The third quarter earnings for business intelligence firm MicroStrategy revealed a narrowed net loss of $27.1 million for the quarter, while it continues to grow its Bitcoin (BTC) portfolio despite poor crypto market conditions.

The world’s largest publicly traded corporate Bitcoin owner confirmed it still owns 130,000 BTC at the end of Q3 2022. That amount represents 0.62% of all Bitcoin that will ever be owned, which it says was acquired for a total cost of around $4 billion, or $30,639 per BTC.

The company reported on Nov. 1 impairment charges for the quarter of $727,000, far less than the $917.8 million it recorded in the second quarter of 2022 or the $65 million for the same period last year, thanks to stable Bitcoin prices throughout the last quarter.

An impairment charge is an accounting term used by businesses to describe a reduction in the value of held assets, and according to MicroStrategy, it had cumulative impairment losses of approximately $2 billion as of Sept. 30.

In an earnings call MicroStrategy president and CEO, Phong Le reiterated the firm’s long-term hodling strategy, saying:

“We have not sold any Bitcoin to date. To reiterate our strategy, we seek to acquire and hold Bitcoin for the long term. And we do not currently plan to engage in sales of Bitcoin. We have a long-term time horizon and the core business is not impacted by the near-term Bitcoin price fluctuations.”

Michael Saylor, who stepped down from his position as CEO on Aug. 8 but remains with the company as an executive chairman, mentioned in the call that since embarking on its Bitcoin strategy on Aug. 11, 2020, the company’s share price was up 116% compared to Bitcoin’s 72% increase for the same period.

In the accompanying earnings report, chief financial officer Andrew Yang gave a nod to the recent announcement from the United States Financial Accounting Standards Board’s decision to support “fair value accounting” for Bitcoin, noting:

“If finally adopted and implemented, we believe fair value accounting will improve upon the current, unfavorable intangible accounting treatment applicable to Bitcoin holdings and will promote additional institutional adoption of Bitcoin as an asset class”

MicroStrategy reported adjusted earnings per share losses of $0.96, compared to analyst estimates of a loss of $0.94, and its revenues of $125.4 million surpassed estimates by just 0.05%.

Related: The Madeira Bitcoin adoption experiment takes flight

The firm’s revenues over the past year have reached $119.3 and $122.1 million respectively for Q1 and Q2. $16.4 million of its Q3 revenue came from its subscription services, which represents a 51% increase compared to the year prior in what is the fastest-growing source of revenue for MicroStrategy.


Singapore bank DBS uses DeFi to trade FX and state securities

Major Asian financial institution DBS Bank has applied DeFi technology for a project backed by the Monetary Authority of Singapore.

DBS Bank, a major financial services group in Asia, is applying decentralized finance (DeFi) for a project backed by Singapore’s central bank.

DBS has started a trading test of foreign exchange (FX) and government securities using permissioned, or private, DeFi liquidity pools, the firm announced on Nov. 2.

The development is part of Project Guardian, a collaborative cross-industry effort pioneered by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS). Conducted on a public blockchain, the trade included the purchase and sale of tokenized Singapore government securities (SGS), the Singapore dollar (SGD), Japanese government bonds and the Japanese yen (JPY).

The project has shown that trading on a private DeFi protocol enables simultaneous operations of instant trading, settlement, clearing and custody. The initiative could potentially transform the existing trading processes by providing better liquidity across multiple financial assets and markets, DBS said.

According to DBS’ head of strategy Han Kwee Juan, the latest Project Guardian developments lay the foundations for building global institutional liquidity pools enabling faster trading, greater transparency, lower settlement risks and other benefits. Han noted that smart contracts show a lot of promise for trading execution and verification, stating:

“Smart contracts will reshape how execution can be achieved in a highly trusted manner, especially if it takes place in a permissioned market where all anonymous wallets are verified by trust anchors such as Know Your Customer processes.”

Han also pointed out that a highly liquid market attracts more investors and adds efficiency by bypassing intermediaries. “Currently, FX and government securities are primarily transacted in the over-the-counter markets involving multiple intermediaries resulting in friction in the settlement process,” he added.

Related: Singapore’s MAS proposes banning cryptocurrency credits

DBS Bank made a massive move into the crypto industry in recent years, launching an institutional cryptocurrency exchange in December 2020. The company has also been working to expand its crypto trading platform to retail investors.

The latest milestone in Project Guardian is yet another example of the growing trend involving a combination of DeFi technology with centralized finance tools. According to Swiss central bank official Thomas Moser, DeFi can work well with central bank digital currencies, complementing each other in terms of stability and liquidity.

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