Need to know what happened in crypto today? Here is the latest news on daily trends and events impacting Bitcoin price, blockchain, DeFi, NFTs, Web3 and crypto regulation.
China’s crackdown on the crypto economy broadened this week after a former government official was sentenced to life in prison for Bitcoin mining and a slew of corruption charges. Meanwhile, the Terra.money website has been temporarily closed after it was compromised over the weekend by hackers attempting to scam users via phishing attacks and social media app Friend.tech has denied a report suggesting its database of users had been “leaked.”
Chinese official faces life in prison for BTC mining, other charges
Xiao Yi, a former member of the Jiangxi Provincial Political Consultative Conference Party Group, has reportedly been sentenced to life in prison for a slew of charges that include corruption, abuse of power and Bitcoin mining.
The abuse of power charges stem from Yi providing financial and electricity subsidies to Jiumu Group Genesis Technology, a Fuzhou-based company that operated more than 160,000 BTC mining machines. According to prosecutors, Yi “covered up” the mining operation by fabricating statistical reports on electricity usage. The prosecution found that, between 2017 and 2020, Jiumu Group was responsible for 10% of the city of Fuzhou’s electricity consumption.
“Yi pleaded guilty and repented, actively returned the stolen funds, and all the bribes and their profits have been seized,” according to the ruling magistrate of the Hangzhou People’s Court.
China has been broadening its enforcement action against the crypto economy. Earlier this month, a Chinese national was sentenced to nine months in prison for helping an acquaintance acquire Tether (USDT).
Terra.money website frozen to prevent more phishing scams
Layer-1 blockchain Terra has temporarily shut down its website in order to protect users from ongoing phishing scams on the platform.
“The terra(dot) money domains have successfully been frozen to prevent further user phishing scams, but a full resolution is still underway,” Terra officially announced on X (formerly Twitter) on Aug. 22.
Terra advised all users to avoid engaging with any sites under the aforementioned domain until the foundation posts an official “all-clear” notice from this account. Terra added:
“Our team has been working around the clock to rectify this issue, but we’ve encountered delays with some third-party responses.“
In the announcement, Terra also mentioned some details and updates regarding its multichain wallet Station Wallet, which allows users to access decentralized applications on diverse platforms and blockchain networks, including Terra, Juno and Kujira.
On Aug. 21, Station Wallet posted significant updates about the wallet to increase the safety and security of its users. Station Wallet urged users to stay away from using Station desktop and mobile apps until the wallet confirms their safety. “An announcement will be posted as soon as they have been updated,” it noted.
Station Wallet also provided several links to the updated browser extensions and apps that allow users to interact with the wallet.
The freeze comes shortly after the Terra website was compromised over the weekend by hackers who attempted to scam users via phishing attacks. Terra initially posted a warning for users on Aug. 19, urging users not to interact with any sites with the Terra money domain until further updates are published. Terra then soon published a similar warning the next day, on Aug. 20.
To all Terra users,
Please do not interact with any sites with the terra(dot)money domain until we put out another update.
Although sites are coming back online, the team is still working to secure full access to the domain.
During this time, please only refer to our…
— Terra Powered by LUNA (@terra_money) August 19, 2023
The latest issues hitting Terra come more than a year after the previous version of the Terra ecosystem collapsed in May 2022. The event wiped out $40 billion from the crypto ecosystem and triggered a massive contagion in the industry as Terra’s algorithmic stablecoin TerraUSD (UST) collapsed.
Despite all the failures, a part of the Terra community led by Terra co-founder Do Kwon decided to work on reviving the project. The enthusiasts subsequently launched Terra 2.0 with the promise of helping retrieve the lost funds.
According to data from CoinGecko, the Terra (LUNA) token market capitalization amounts to $152.7 million at the time of writing. The token has significantly tumbled amid the news of Terra money’s latest hack, losing 22% of its value over the past seven days. The token is also down more than 70% over the past year.
Some online industry observers have expressed little to no sympathy for those affected by the latest issues on Terra due to its long history of issues.
“If you have a terra.money domain it deserves to be hacked,” one Redditor wrote in a thread discussing Terra money’s latest hack. “If you’re still in the Terra ecosystem, I have little sympathy for you,” another Reddit user stated.
Friend.tech denies report that database of over 100,000 users was leaked
The team behind the viral decentralized social media platform Friend.tech has refuted a report that claimed that the personal information of more than 100,000 of its users was “leaked.”
The now-amended report, first posted by The Block, suggested that data posted by Banteg, a pseudonymous developer for Yearn.finance, was “leaked” information.
The Friend.tech team, however, clarified that the information came from scraping its public API.
This is just someone scraping our public API that shows the association between public wallet addresses and public Twitter usernames.
It’s like saying someone hacked you by looking at your public Twitter feed.
— friend.tech (@friendtech) August 21, 2023
“It’s like saying someone hacked you by looking at your public Twitter feed,” the official friend.tech account argued.
Banteg originally published a repository of the publicly available scraped data containing details of users on the Friend.tech platform on GitHub.
This data included wallet addresses on Base, linked to the corresponding Twitter usernames for more than 101,000 users.
“101,183 people have given friend.tech access to post as them, leaked db (database) indicates,” Banteg wrote.
However, Banteg appears to agree that the report had inaccurately interpreted his tweet.
This article does not contain investment advice or recommendations. Every investment and trading move involves risk, and readers should conduct their own research when making a decision.