13 Jun 2022
Changpeng Zhao (CZ) is the founder and CEO of the biggest crypto exchange, Binance. He is also known as an influencer to crypto-avid with a sizable number of followers on social media. CZ was a member of the Blockchain.info core team and the former CTO of OKCoin. In particular, he joined Blockchain.info as a third member of its wallet development team where CZ worked closely with many well-known names in crypto at this time, including Roger Ver and Ben Reeves.
The net worth of CZ is currently estimated at around $65B, ranking 19 among the wealthiest people in the world.
Binance was operating in 5 different nations as a subsidiary company of Binance, including Uganda, USA, Jersey, Australia, and Singapore. At the same time, it also has a business license in many countries before becoming the biggest crypto exchange in transaction volume, ahead of Coinbase and FTX.
However, the ambition of Binance is to become a crypto exchange with the largest market share. It is the reason why the CZ tour was born. Up to now, CZ has visited 12 countries across four continents to maximize its influence and negotiate with these nations’ governments to get the business license.
Europe: France, Germany, Spain, Italy
America: (Brazil, El Salvador, Argentina)
Asia: Vietnam, Bahrain, UAE, Malaysia, Kazakhstan
As a result, Binance got a business license in Italy, France, UAE, Argentina, and Bahrain. Furthermore, after the meeting with the government of Kazakhstan, Binance was allowed to be an advisor for building crypto rules, blockchain-based infrastructure, and the development of Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) in this nation.
In a previous tweet, he stated that “we are still early”, meaning the current technology is still in the early phase of the technological development cycle. It is also understood that more people still do not know what blockchain/crypto is.
In practice, the crypto ownership rates were estimated at an average of 3.9%, with over 300 million crypto users worldwide (2021). This figure only accounts for 3,8% of the world’s population, meaning the prevalence of Crypto is lower significantly compared to the stock market. Certainly, it is a big chance for investors to get early access before its size becomes more popular.
Buying into this vision, Binance has gotten itself involved in many different crypto projects to fill its “Binance product universe”. Therefore, as the crypto market grows and blockchain adoption increases, CZ’s businesses will be more profitable.
From that standpoint, the primary purpose of CZ’s tour is to establish relationships with governments in countries where it has a sizable number of crypto users and communities (most of them have more than 1 million crypto users). This is move is not only beneficial for crypto users within those nations but also leverages Binance’s position from surrounding countries in the region.
Vietnam is the country that has ranked number one in Crypto Adoption globally for 2021. Hence, it is a market that cannot be ignored by Binance. The founder of the firm confirms this sentiment by sharing in an interview recently:
“We want to reach Asia and want Vietnam to be a pioneer market in the region to access new development” and currently “Vietnam is also a pioneer in the region in terms of blockchain”.
The potential of the Vietnamese crypto market is also being reflected by other macro indicators:
Vietnam is one of the top 50 countries with the leading Innovation Index (GII) worldwide and the 38th innovation output index in 2021 (according to the World Intellectual Property Organization - WIPO).
Vietnam is at a golden age in terms of population, i.e. the proportion of workers (ranging from 15 to 65 years old) is up to 55% ⇒ Young, dynamic and creative workforce is a resource to help make this dream come true.
Blockchain businesses with a team from Vietnam that have resonated around the world can be mentioned as Axie Infinity (the first technology unicorn to reach 1 billion USD), and Coin98 Finance (invested by Binance Labs).
The abundant human resources and high technological innovation, coupled with existing unicorn projects will be the bedrock for the future growth of Vietnamese blockchain technologies in the near future.
The positive side that blockchain technology brings to Vietnam:
1. Creating a competitive advantage for Vietnamese citizens in finding job opportunities in the technology sector, such as web3 and blockchain.
2. Making Vietnam an attractive destination for blockchain talents in the region and globally ⇒ attracting cash flow and outside investment.
3. Blockchain technology could transform the traditional business model into a simpler, transparent, and more efficient one.
4. Bringing transparency in data, simplifying the storage, security, and authentication of information using decentralized ledger technology ⇒ to solve social and economic problems.
5. It is possible to flexibly apply blockchain technology to many industries such as finance, commerce, public-agricultural services, logistics and transportation, traceability of goods, and many more.
6. The new technology adoption is aligned with the national digital transformation goal by 2025 and 2030 according to the Prime Minister's Decision No. 749/QD-TTg.
The engaging conversation between the Vietnamese Government representative and CZ (Binance CEO) also presents the country's openness and goodwill towards the Crypto field, despite the fact that many regulatory issues will need to be ironed out before blockchain and crypto become mainstream.
A decentralized exchange (DEX) called Maiar of Elrond ecosystem suffered a massive hack with a loss of $113M EGLD.
Right away, founder and CEO of Elrond Network Benjamin Mincu declared that his team recognized a chain of suspicious activities on the Maiar DEX. After this investigation, the team decided to lock down its exchange to solve the bug and the whole crew managed to put the DEX back online.
The exploitation happened as the hacker successfully invaded through a loophole in the wEGLD - EGLD smart contract from Elrond. He then created three wallets at the same time and funded them with transactions from Binance. After that, they deployed 3 different smart contracts to drain the EGLD in the contract.
These accounts were flagged as “suspicious” by the Elrond team, the activities took place on June 5:
450k ELGD was moved to another address at 10:04 pm (shard 0)
800k ELGD was moved to another address at 10:05 pm (shard 1)
400k ELGD was moved to another address at 10:06 pm (shard 2)
We will focus on shard 1 to describe the ELGD attack as shard 0 and shard 2 are deployed in a similar fashion. A member of the Elrond team, Arda (Twitter account of a member of the Elrond project) found the suspicious transaction on explorer:
The transaction is called from the “wrap-elgd-callback function”, which is believed to be a specific action of the hacker’s smart contract. As this function was executed on-chain, a large amount of EGLD was sent to the address of the hacker.
In addition, the team also disclosed the key ingredient of the hack was coming from the “managedExecuteOnDestContextByCaller”, this feature enables the hacker to drain EGLD out of the project’s smart contract.
Firstly, the hacker deployed two smart contracts (SC) called SC A and SC B. At 10:01 pm, he called SC A to send a few EGLD to the WEGLD smart contract and asked the protocol to send back WEGLD. The moment WEGLD is received back to SC A, it allows SC A to execute a token transfer on behalf of the EGLD protocol. AKA, it has been hacked.
In this way, SC A can easily request the WELGD pool to send 800k EGLD to SC B. The hacker withdrew these EGLD from SC B and swapped the EGLD for USDC on Maiar at $22.08. It made the price of EGLD on Maiar drop 92% in 38 minutes led to the “pause” of this exchange. On the other hand, other CEXs or DEXs do not show any signs of ELGD price loss.
After detecting the bug, the team of Elrond worked all night to find a solution. At the same time, they also proposed a new emergency mainnet upgrade to mend their smart contract and improve security. The validator system approved immediately this upgrade proposal.
According to the announcement of the Elrond team, the Elrond foundation recovered most stolen funds, meaning all funds were safe and available to deploy. The Maiar exchange was also back in operation on June 8. Currently, the price of ELGD on Maiar is similar to the price on Binance and it is allowed to swap again.
Techcrunch - June 7, 2022 at 10:36PM
Paypal, the leading transaction facilitator, has long held a friendly position towards crypto payment. The firm has offered zero-cost crypto transfer internally among Paypal users for almost 2 years, making it possible for merchants and customers to transact using Bitcoin and a number of other popular cryptocurrencies.
Last week, Paypal announced that it would crank up the crypto support by allowing users to transfer cryptocurrencies outside of Paypal’s ecosystem. Paypal clients can now send their BTC and ETH directly from and to exchanges in the blockchains, naturally, for a fee. This move brings Paypal one step closer to being “a conduit between the fiat, or traditional finance, environment and the web3 environment” - Fernandez da Ponte, the SVP and general manager of Paypal answered in an interview.
The general manager of blockchain, crypto, and digital currencies, Fernandez da Ponte also disclosed that it “was the most demanded from our users since we began offering the purchase of crypto on our platform”.
In the meantime, the new feature is only available in the US for Paypal users who had done an additional identity verification. The rollout will be a gradual process, according to Paypal’s spokesperson.