North Korean Hackers, Lazarus Behind $625 Million Ronin Hack – Treasury
In recent action, the United States Department of the Treasury has linked notorious North Korean hacking group Lazarus to the $625 million Ronin Network hack, the Ethereum-based blockchain that powers popular NFT game Axie Infinity.
On April 14th, the U.S. Treasury announced that it added a new Ethereum wallet address to its sanctions list belonging to the Lazarus Group. It was later revealed that the blacklisted wallet is the same as the one labeled “Ronin Bridge Exploiter” by Sky Mavis, the creators of Axie Infinity.
Crypto analytics firm Chainalysis confirms that the address “was involved in the Ronin hack.” Blockchain analytics company, Elliptic writes, “it is somewhat unsurprising that this attack has been attributed to North Korea,” with 18% of the fund already laundered.
Attacks by the Lazarus Group, which has been labeled a “state-sponsored hacking organization” by the FBI, date as far back as 2009. The hacking group is responsible for 2014 breach of Sony Pictures and numerous attacks on pharmaceuticals in 2020.
This is the first time the U.S. Treasury has publicly linked and blacklisted a crypto wallet address linked to the infamous Lazarus Group.
Musk to Buy Twitter for $43 Billion, With Hopes to Cut Down on Crypto Scam Tweets
Less than two weeks after Elon Musk purchased a 9.2% stake in Twitter for an estimated $2.89 billion, the Tesla CEO has offered to acquire 100% of Twitter in an all-cash deal valued at $43 billion.
Musk, who had criticized Twitter for failing to adhere to the principles of free speech, believes that the micro-blogging platform needs to be transformed into a private company.
In his proposed takeover of Twitter, the centibillionaire hopes to change the user experience of the major social media platform. According to Musk, one of his top priorities will be “eliminating the spam and scam bots and the bot armies that are on Twitter.”
He adds that they make Twitter much worse, and joked that if he got a Dogecoin for every crypto scam on Twitter he would have 100 billion DOGE. For example, multiple institutional accounts were hijacked on Twitter just recently in an attempt to lure users into Azuki NFT scams.
Eliminating crypto scams from Twitter, which has been one of the biggest proponents of crypto adoption, could see the micro-blogging platform further support crypto growth.
Amazon Considering Selling NFTs, but CEO Says No Crypto Payments Yet
U.S. e-commerce giant Amazon could offer non-fungible tokens (NFTs) in the near future, but its CEO, Andy Jassy, has said that the online shopping giant has no immediate plans to accept cryptocurrencies as payment.
In an interview, Jassy revealed that it might be possible for Amazon to sell NFTs on its e-commerce platform, and that he expects the digital art industry to continue to grow “significantly.”
Although more companies are beginning to accept Bitcoin and other cryptos as payment, Jassy explained that Amazon is not “close to adding crypto as a payment mechanism in our retail business.”
While Jassy revealed that he doesn’t own any Bitcoin or NFTs, he believes that cryptocurrencies will become bigger over time.
The adoption of NFTs has been on an upward trajectory, and integration with Amazon would only serve to increase the popularity of the digital art form.
Bitcoin Falls to Sub $40k as Stocks Dip, Experiences Third Mining Difficulty Drop in 2022
Showing an increasing interconnectedness with the financial markets, Bitcoin has experienced a sharp decline, falling from $41,600 to lows of $39,650. Bitcoin’s price drop correlates with a disappointing outing for U.S. equities on April 14th.
The 24 hour price chart for Bitcoin (BTC). Source: Tradingview
The S&P 500 (SPX) is down by 1.22% over the last 24 hours, while Bitcoin lost 2.5%.
Bitcoin also experienced a drop in its mining difficulty adjustment algorithm (DAA) – the third time so far in 2022. After hitting a block height of 731,808, the DAA dropped by 1.26% to 28.22 trillion, making it slightly easier to find blocks.
The computational power dedicated to mining Bitcoin is 202.82 exahash per second (EH/s). Additionally, there are a further 108,160 blocks to go until Bitcoin miners reach the next bitcoin reward halving. Bitcoin’s next halving is expected to occur in around May 2024.
Experts suggest that, as Bitcoin continues trading in sync with the large-cap equities, an inversion of trends may be ahead.