Solana-based DeFi protocol Hubble raises $10M, prepares for mainnet launch

The Solana (SOL) network is ready to see the mainnet launch for another decentralized finance (DeFi) protocol, aimed at Web3 development and backed by bigshots from the crypto industry.Hubble Protocol, a project aiming to develop a censorship-resistant crypto-backed stablecoin among other DeFi services, has raised $10 million from Three Arrows / DeFiance Capital, Delphi Digital, Digital Currency Group (DCG), Crypto.com Capital, ParaFi, Jump Capital, Decentral Park Capital, CMS, Spartan, DeFi Alliance and Mechanism Capital. Hubble plans to expand its team and DeFi products with fresh funds, starting with its scheduled mainnet launch on Jan. 28, according to the announcement. The first item on Hubble’s roadmap is the launch of its zero-interest borrowing platform that mints USDH, a censorship-resistant crypto-backed stablecoin that’s “positioned to become a building block for other protocols” on the Solana ecosystem.From a decentralized stablecoin to an innovative borrowing marketplace to undercollateralized lending, the Hubble team is building “core DeFi primitives for the Solana ecosystem,” according to DCG director of investments Matthew Beck. He added: “These are critical components of the Web3 financial stack on one of the most prominent networks in the crypto market.”Seeing stablecoins as a multi-trillion dollar market opportunity, ParaFi Capital vice president Anjan Vinod stressed that crypto users will want access to both centralized and decentralized stablecoins, where Hubble comes into play. “We see Hubble’s low transaction costs and USDH network effects as compelling features to drive liquidity to the protocol,” he added.Related: Solana could become the ‘Visa of crypto’: Bank of AmericaFollowing its mainnet launch, Hubble users can stake the platform’s native token, HBB, to earn the majority of the protocol’s fees from minting USDH. According to the announcement, Hubble aims to develop undercollateralized lending services in the future and “explore further DeFi innovations laying the foundations for a global and open financial system.”

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NCFTA onboards crypto exchange Binance to fight against cybercrime

The National Cyber-Forensics and Training Alliance (NCFTA), an American non-profit, onboarded its first crypto firm Binance to aid their ongoing battle against cybercrimes. Founded in 2002, the NCFTA partners with law enforcement and various business and academic entities to source threat intelligence to identify and mitigate cybercrime threats. By partnering with Binance, the world’s biggest crypto exchange in terms of trading volume, the NCFTA aims to tackle international cybersecurity investigations. According to Binance’s VP of Global Intelligence and Investigations, Tigran Gambaryan, the exchange aims to be the leading contributor in the fight against cybercrime, ransomware, and terrorism financing:“Joining the NCFTA is an important step in our joint fight against cybercrime, securing the cryptocurrency ecosystem for the entire community.”Through this partnership, Binance will gain access to NCFTA’s dedicated team of analysts along with trends related to emerging and real-time threats. The crypto exchange has also set up an in-house team to tackle blockchain and cryptocurrency fraud, namely the Binance Investigations Group. According to the press release:“To date, Binance has cooperated with hundreds of criminal investigations, which have led to high-profile arrests, including a cybercriminal group laundering $500M in ransomware proceeds.”Gambaryan also believes that securing the crypto ecosystem against cyber threats requires strong cooperation between law enforcement, government agencies and players within the ecosystem.Related: Pakistan to investigate Binance for multi-million dollar crypto scamOn Jan. 9, Pakistan‘s Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) issued a formal notice to Binance to identify links around a multi-million crypto scam in the region.KARACHI: Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) has detected an online fraud of Rs100 billion using a cryptocurrency and issued notice to the local representative of Binance, @cz_binance @binance @BinanceHelpDesk @BinanceUS pic.twitter.com/3oukwzmDqh— Innocent Pashteen✌ (@FighterDawar) January 7, 2022As Cointelegraph reported, the Pakistani government received numerous complaints against an ongoing scam that involved misleading investors into sending funds from Binance wallets to unknown third-party wallets — sparking a criminal investigation. Speaking to Cointelegraph, a Binance spokesperson confirmed the exchange’s intent to cooperate with the local authorities:“User protection is a top priority for us at Binance. Our law enforcement team also works closely with agencies and governments around the world to help educate teams on tackling financial crimes.”

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Mercedes partners with NFT artists to celebrate G-Class series

Mercedes has teamed up with Art2People to create an exclusive Mercedes-Benz NFT collection based on its G-Class vehicle line, according to a tweet by the luxury automobile manufacturer. Five artists were commissioned to create various G-Class-inspired works in a range of media, resulting in unique designs for each artwork.What happens when five #NFT artists take on the challenge of reinterpreting the iconic #GClass?The NF-G Challenge by @art2people_xyz@antonitudisco @baugasm @klarens_malluta @StudioCTaylor X @StudioZyva @kilimanjaroger @macomoroni @niftygateway➡️ https://t.co/HrD56AIPGi pic.twitter.com/mV0f8ig6KT— Mercedes-Benz (@MercedesBenz) January 17, 2022For this project, five artists from the NFT industry were selected to interpret the G-Class in their own style. The artists involved come from diverse areas, such as music, fashion, graphic design, architecture, creative marketing, luxury design and real estate. The artists include Charlotte Taylor, Anthony Authie, Roger Kilimanjaro, Baugasm and Germany-based Antoni Tudisco. Nifty Gateway and Mercedes will launch the NFTs on Sunday.Related: Korean Bithumb exchange to launch NFT marketplaceMercedes is not the first major brand to be involved with NFTs. In June 2021, McLaren unveiled its intention to utilize NFTs to create virtual versions of its legendary F1 automobiles. In July 2021, Coca-Cola launched a unique NFT initiative to raise money for Special Olympics International.This isn’t the first time Mercedes-Benz has been involved with blockchain technology. The car manufacturer teamed up with blockchain startup Circulor to launch a trial to ensure that cobalt emissions are tracked throughout the supply chain.

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UK Treasury wants to remove blockchain reference from crypto definition

The United Kingdom is actively looking to regulate the crypto market and has proposed many new policies to bring various crypto markets under the rule of law. However, among the various newly proposed suggestions, what turned many heads is the request to remove blockchain and Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) references from the definition of crypto assets.BRITAIN SETS OUT PLANS FOR REGULATING CRYPTO ASSETS, PROPOSES TO REMOVE REFERENCE TO BLOCKCHAIN FROM THE DEFINITION OF CRYPTO ASSETS— *Walter Bloomberg (@DeItaone) January 18, 2022A new crypto report titled “Cryptoasset promotions: Consultation response” from the Her Majesty’s (HM) Treasury noted that, while most crypto assets use DLT or blockchain as an underlying technology, it might change over time the industry evolves. Thus, crypto assets must be exempt from the reference of DLT to “future-proof the definition for innovations.” The official statement said:“Most crypto assets currently use distributed ledger technology (DLT), it might be that this changes as the technology and industry evolve. Therefore, the government proposes to remove the reference to DLT from the definition of qualifying crypto assets. “Related: UK 3rd for ETH ownership as crypto adoption grows 1% in December: SurveyApart from the controversial crypto-asset definition change, the HM Treasury paper also discussed bringing decentralized finance (DeFi) under the scope of regulation on a case-to-case basis and said the government would closely monitor the fast-growing industry. The official paper read:”Whether certain crypto assets lending activities or decentralized finance platforms are within the scope of the regime ultimately depends on the activities being carried out and promoted. As such, this will need to be considered on a case-by-case basis.”Many crypto proponents believe the removal of blockchain and DLT reference as proposed by the committee could cast a danger on the decentralized nature of the crypto market. For example, Chinese CBDC e-CNY or digital yuan is said to be based on blockchain technology, however, it’s more of a private blockchain and highly centralized, controlled by the government. The British government seems to be following a similar path with a definition change.

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Multichain asks users to revoke approvals amid ‘critical vulnerability’

Cross-chain router protocol Multichain (formerly Anyswap) urges users to revoke approvals for six tokens to avoid loss due to a “critical vulnerability” that is currently being exploited by malicious individuals.Users who approved WETH, PERI, OMT, WBNB, MATIC and AVAX on the Multichain platform are now at risk, experts warn. To avoid loss, the Multichain team advises users to cancel all of the approvals given to the specified tokens so that they can protect their crypto assets.Multichain also published a step-by-step tutorial on how users can easily revoke approvals. In a tweet, The firm also advised users not to transfer any of the affected tokens before revoking the approvals.The vulnerability was first detected by a security firm called Dedaub and was reported to the Multichain team. The problem was then fixed, and Multichain reports that all digital assets their V2 Bridge and V3 Router are secured.However, at the moment, hackers are still exploiting the vulnerability to gain access to users’ funds. At the time of writing, Multichain reports that a total of 445 WETH ($1,412,274.25) is affected.Please revoke your approvals ASAP. Someone is exploiting this. https://t.co/fFGcrjNN0e— Dedaub (@dedaub) January 18, 2022Related: DeFi protocol Grim Finance lost $30M in 5x reentrancy hackMeanwhile, reports show that hacks and scams took over $10.2 billion from users in 2021. However, despite the losses, the community is taking the appropriate measures to adjust. CEO and founder of security Immunefi, Mitchell Amador recently told Cointelegraph that “Despite the appearance of entirely new vulnerabilities in the on-chain economy, the community is adapting rapidly.” According to Amador, the community is circulating the “best practices” for securing their digital assets.Aside from Immunefi, many digital asset security firms are watching out for possible hacks, scams, and rug pulls. Earlier this month, Certik identified Arbix Finance as a rug pull, warning users to stay away from the project to protect their digital assets.

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