Crypto Three Things (9/21)

Wednesday, Sep 21st 2022

Commentary

Nasdaq as a crypto custodian

“Be less curious about people and more curious about ideas.” -  Marie Curie


1) Nasdaq expands into crypto tokens: The second-largest stock exchange is preparing to dive into the crypto space by offering custody services for Bitcoin and Ethereum to institutional investors. According to Tal Cohen, Nasdaq's Executive Vice President, the push comes amid persistent interest from professional money managers despite the recent downturn. Following this initiative, Nasdaq plans to roll out crypto trading services pending approval from the New York Department of Financial Services.

Titan's Takeaway: Nasdaq's push to become a custodian of digital assets is a strong sign that traditional finance is not deterred by the crash that stripped billions from token valuations. We're enthusiastically looking forward to the stock exchange's new line of services.

2) House bill to ban Terra-like coins: Lawmakers on the House Financial Services Committee have introduced a draft of legislation that would place a two-year ban on issuing tokens similar to TerraUSD – the algorithmic stablecoin that collapsed this year. The definition would apply to stablecoins that maintain their fixed value by relying on another crypto asset from the same creator. The bill's latest version is headed for a vote as soon as next week.  

Titan's Takeaway: Besides adding layers of protection for crypto participants, stablecoin regulations will also pave the way for banks and financial institutions to issue digital tokens with a 1-to-1 peg to a fiat currency.

3) Wintermute suffers $160M hack: U.K.-based crypto market maker Wintermute lost $160M in its decentralized finance unit after a hacker exploited a vulnerability in private keys generated by third-party app Profanity. However, Wintermute CEO, Evgeny Gaevoy, stated that the firm has no solvency issues with "twice over that amount in equity left." He clarified that the platform's lending and over-the-counter services have not been affected and issued an open call to treat the attack as a "white hat" operation.

Titan's Takeaway: While Wintermute appears to be taking it on the chin, the attack was big enough to disrupt its services. Ironically, this specific flaw was disclosed last week, prompting the company to take precautions by blacklisting vulnerable addresses. Regrettably, it missed one.


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