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Bittensor $8m TAO theft and Canadians are still allergic to crypto


An attacker has managed to make off with around USD 8m from the Bittensor network in a major series of wallet drains. This in turn forced Bittensor to shut down temporarily.

Bittensor said the attack had been contained with the chain put in safe mode. There is an internal investigation ongoing.

The attack was originally discovered by a pseudonymous investigator who found that an unknown address was used to obtain 32,000 Bittensor (TAO) tokens. Only months ago Bittensor was the target of another attack which drained a wallet for USD 11.2m.

The issue continues to be a major one for the private tokens market. Previously smart contracts were the Achilles heel for networks but private key leaks are now becoming a serious issue. According to a report from Merkle Science, 55% of the hacked digital assets in 2023 were lost due to private key leaks.

Hackers are known to be looking for easier targets outside the smart contracts space and have identified private keys as a potential vulnerability. Leaks frequently occur due to successful phishing attacks or just insecure storage practices.

The number of successful hacks on smart contracts has dropped dramatically in the last couple of years, with only USD 172m lost in 2023 versus USD 2.6bn the year before.

Annual Bank of Canada survey on crypto adoption

An annual survey from the Bank of Canada has found that only 3% of Canadians currently own Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies for use in day to day payments. The vast bulk of Canadians are still relying on either cash or credit cards.

Having said that, the Bank of Canada said Canadians are starting to use other alternative payment systems.

Cryptocurrencies are still the least favoured form of payment in Canada. Less than 3% of Canadians currently use crypto for payment. There is a widespread reluctance to go cashless, Bank of Canada said.

All this is despite the roll out of Bitcoin ATMs in Canada. Canada is host to the second largest network of Bitcoin ATMs in the world after the United States. There are nearly 3000 active Bitcoin ETFs in Canada.

The Bank of Canada itself does not seem to be averse to the idea of digital assets being used as part of the payments system. It has inaugurated a new innovation hub in conjunction with the Bank for International Settlements (BIS Toronto Innovation Centre) to explore the way digital payments may work in Canada, Latin America and the Caribbean in the future.

DWF Labs launches China-focused Web3 development fund

A Web3 investor and market maker, DWF Labs, has launched a $20m fund, called the Cloudbreak Fund, which will support Web3 projects in Chinese speaking regions. The aim is to offer both investments and strategic resources that will help to grow Web3 projects.

DWF Labs said that Web3 projects in China have been seeing tremendous growth in recent months and there is a case for providing them with more support. The fund will target projects in a number of sectors, including gaming finance, memecoins, derivatives and social finance. But the fund is open to any project from Chinese-speaking regions.

DWF Labs Managing Partner Andrei Grachev said part of the rationale of the fund launch was to encourage developers who might be discouraged by the downturn in the crypto market to continue their projects.

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This article does not constitute investment advice. Make sure you do your own research or consult a professional advisor.

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