23 February

USDT stablecoin issuer Tether cut its reserves allocation to commercial paper by more than one fifth between September and December last year, dropping from around $30.5 billion to $24.16 billion.

The makeup of Tether’s reserves shifted significantly since its prior report from late September, with cash and bank deposits dropping 42% to 4.187 billion, while its allocation to money market funds increased 200% to $3 billion, and its treasury bills also grew 77.6% to $34.52 billion.

The significant amount of commercial paper backing Tether’s reserves — which hit 65.39% as of May 2021 — sparked criticism from onlookers who have questioned the lack of transparency regarding the origins of the paper and its credibility as an investment. There were also concerns last year Tether may be exposed to the Evergrande crisis via commercial paper holdings, although Tether said this was not the case.

Tether is legally required to disclose its reserves every quarter as part of an $18.5 million court settlement with the Office of the New York Attorney General from February 2021.”

“Bitcoin (BTC) ticked up slightly after U.S. President Joe Biden announced new sanctions against Russia.

Biden said, for the first time, during a press conference Tuesday that he views Russia’s latest move into two separatist regions of Ukraine as an “invasion.” He announced sanctions on Russia that would effectively “cut off western finance,” Bloomberg reported.

The prospect of large-scale sanctions against Russia could be a potential bull run for bitcoin as Russia looks to the crypto market to navigate potential global punishment.”

See Also: Analysts say Bitcoin ‘bottom is in’ as BTC bounces back to $38,000

“The London Stock Exchange Group (LSEG) has bought TORA, a provider of technology for the trading of multiple asset classes including crypto. The acquisition will add digital assets to LSEG’s trading capabilities, the group announced on Tuesday.

The deal opens the door for LSEG to offer crypto or non-fungible token (NFT) trading in the future.

See Also: NY stock exchange owner ICE buys stake in tZero security token platform
See Also: Tokenized Asset Firm Securitize Acquires Stock Transfer Company

Cryptocurrency tied to the Canadian truckers protesting COVID-19 restrictions has been on the move, in defiance of the authorities’ orders to freeze funds, blockchain analysis shows. The situation highlights the limitations of a government’s ability to thwart transactions through decentralized, censorship-resistant systems.

Nearly all of the roughly 20 BTC (about $788,000 U.S. at current exchange rates) sent to the Tallycoin fundraiser is gone from that address. Most of the 30 bitcoin wallets identified by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) as being attached to the fundraising have been largely drained as well.

On Feb. 17, Twitter user NobodyCaribou wrote that fundraisers for the Freedom Convoy distributed 14.6 BTC among 90 protestors.

Epic P2P bitcoin wallet airdrop. Team of two, distributed to 90 (ish) truckers over 24 hours. 14.6 btc.

Four small portions of the roughly 20 bitcoin raised – about 0.14 BTC each – ended up at two centralized exchanges, Coinbase and Crypto.com. It is not clear whether the funds were cashed out for fiat or frozen at those platforms.”

See Also: Regulator in Canada Warns Crypto Exchanges Not to Promote Self-Custodial Wallets: Report
See Also: Coinbase Wallet extends support to Ledger hardware wallet

“Laura Shin, a cryptocurrency journalist and host of the Unchained Podcast, claimed to have discovered the identity of the individual behind an exploit which drained more than 3.6 million Ether from Germany-based startup Slock.it’s The DAO in 2016.

According to a Tuesday Bloomberg report, Shin claimed that she had “extremely strong evidence” that Mimo Capital co-founder [and ex-TenX CEO] Toby Hoenisch was responsible for removing more than 3.6 million Ether (ETH) from The DAO in June 2016 — roughly $50 million at the time.

According to Van de Sande, the hacker used crypto exchange Shapeshift to convert the pilfered ETC — following the hard fork — to Bitcoin (BTC). They believe the attacker then use crypto wallet Wasabi to mix the BTC, four “different central exchanges” to further launder the funds, and finally privacy-focused cryptocurrency Grin “for added privacy.”

Chainalysis said it was able to de-mix the crypto transactions and trace the funds to exchanges that later received the tokens in accounts allegedly managed by Hoenisch. The firm added that ‘this is yet another example of evidence preserved on the blockchain forever.’

Had developers not acted to hard fork the network, the original 3.6 million ETH tokens would have been worth more than $9 billion at the time of publication. However, with the ETC price roughly 10% that of ETH, the stolen funds are estimated to be worth roughly $94 million.

I have no pity on Toby Hoenisch, if he is truly the guy. That period was stressful for all of us, we almost saw everything we had build fracture and fall.

I imagine a number of people who have used [Wasabi] for illicit purposes are feeling insecure today. This may get them wondering if blockchain forensics will catch up to them later, even if they use the latest crypto obfuscation techniques today.”

See Also: Former Crypto CEO Denies Responsibility for $11 Billion Ethereum DAO Hack
See Also: Exclusive: Austrian Programmer And Ex Crypto CEO Likely Stole $11 Billion Of Ether (Original Article)

“Singapore-based Luna Foundation Guard (LFG), a nonprofit organization supporting the growth of the Terra ecosystem, has raised $1 billion through the sale of LUNA, the native token of the Terra blockchain. The funding round, which ranks among the largest in crypto history, was led by Jump Crypto and Three Arrows Capital.

The funding will go toward building a bitcoin-denominated foreign-exchange reserve for UST, an algorithmic-based stablecoin in the Terra ecosystem. According to Luna Foundation Guard, the UST Forex Reserve aims to strengthen and protect the peg of the UST stablecoin, which is algorithmic-based.

A decentralized Reserve can provide an additional avenue to maintain the peg in contractionary cycles that reduces the reflexivity of the system.”