Weekly Crypto Roundup: Disharmony, Drop, and Discounts

Cryptocurrency headlines this week were dominated by the Harmony heist, in which hackers stole around $100 million in cryptocurrency funds, now believed to be linked to North Korea.

Cryptocurrency headlines this week were dominated by the Harmony heist, in which hackers stole around $100 million in cryptocurrency funds, now believed to be linked to North Korea.

Last week in crypto was dramatic overall, with more company catastrophes and a heist too. However, the ongoing crypto winter did not stop two high-profile crypto traders, called “whales” in crypto parlance, from getting new coins.

Putting the ‘damage’ on Harmony

Cryptocurrency headlines this week were dominated by the Harmony heist, in which hackers stole around $100 million in cryptocurrency funds, now believed to be linked to North Korea.

Harmony is an Ethereum-compatible blockchain, the second largest in the industry by market cap. The hack affected Harmony’s Horizon Bridge, which allows investors to move their crypto assets across blockchains.

Harmony offered $10 million for information that led to the stolen funds and even tried to negotiate with the hackers.

“The final term is that they withhold $10 million and return the remaining amount, plus the team stops the investigation. The deadline for a response from the responsible party is Monday, July 4 at 23:00 GMT to initiate communication,” a company blog post on Wednesday stated.

Cryptographic bridges are known to be susceptible to vulnerabilities. In March of this year, an Ethereum sidechain known as Ronin Bridge suffered an attack that caused it to lose more than $600 million. This was one of the largest crypto hacks on record and was again linked to North Korea.

The crypto community is no doubt tracking how Harmony will reach investors whose funds were stolen.

An arrow, or three, to the heart

A large part of the crypto sector’s struggles right now exists thanks to Singapore-based Three Arrows Capital, a cryptocurrency hedge fund that was ordered liquidated by a court in the British Virgin Islands.

Three Arrows Capital previously failed to honor margin calls and was reportedly exploring options such as bailouts and asset sales.

The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has also reprimanded the crypto hedge fund for sharing “misleading information” about the directors’ actions and exceeding its assets under management limit.

As centralized platforms face financial and legal uncertainty in this latest crypto winter, investors are also being forced to rethink the institutions they once trusted without question.

Big players go shopping

With Bitcoin still below $20,000 and Ethereum’s Ether just over $1,000, investors are extremely fearful. However, two large whales claimed that they took the opportunity to buy the dip.

The president of El Salvador, Nayib Bukele, who has already bought more than 2,000 BTC for the country, reported that he bought 80 more.

“El Salvador today bought 80 #BTC at $19,000 each! #Bitcoin is the future! Thanks for selling cheap,” Bukele tweeted, with a winking emoji.

Excluding the last purchase, El Salvador’s Bitcoin investments were down 57.77%, according to the Nayib Tracker website.

Meanwhile, MicroStrategy CEO and billionaire Michael J. Saylor reported that his company had purchased 480 BTC at $20,817 per Bitcoin.

“As of June 28, 2022, MicroStrategy, together with its subsidiaries, held a total of approximately 129,699 bitcoins, which were purchased at a total purchase price of approximately $3.98 billion and an average purchase price of approximately $30,664 per bitcoin, including fees and expenses,” a company statement said.

MicroStrategy shares fell 74.76% in the last year.

Next week’s headlines are likely to focus on whether or not the ongoing crypto winter forces other big companies to pull out.

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