The month of August 2022 has yielded some interesting crypto-related news headlines, although the overall sentiment has been somewhat mixed. Even so, the industry continues to forge ahead despite rather bearish market conditions. So join us in this monthly Cointraffic news recap to make sure you stay on top of the crucial developments!
A Very Costly Attack On Solana Wallets
Solana is one of the biggest ecosystems in cryptocurrency and overall blockchain development. That success often attracts the wrong kind of attention. In this case, nearly 8,000 network wallets fell victim to a major attack, draining users' SOL and USDC balances. The issue pertains to funds kept in internet-connected wallets, including Phantom, Slope, and Trust Wallet. However, neither Phantom nor Trust Wallet had native breaches, whereas the Slope Wallet was the primary issue.
More specifically, the hack affected addresses created, imported, or otherwise used in Slope at some point. All Solana users who ever relied on Slope are better off generating new addresses - if they haven't done so already - as any wallet may be compromised at this point. Another option is to generate a seed phrase through a different wallet to remove any potential third-party access.
The hack resulted in several millions of dollars in crypto assets being stolen from users. The money has not been recovered.
Ethereum Inches Closer To The Merge
The Ethereum network is on the cusp of activating its biggest network upgrade since its inception. Known as The Merge, it signifies the transition from proof-of-work to proof-of-stake. That switch will make the network more energy efficient and remove the need for mining activity. Before the upgrade can go live on the Mainnet, the developers conducted a final run on the Goerli testnet to ensure everything works as intended.
Overall, the Goerli testnet run was deemed "a success", even though several mainnet clients had issues regarding The Merge. Those have all been ironed out and will not impact the upgrade process, even if users do not install the latest version right away. Moreover, the test run confirmed The Merge was finalized as a chain and worked as intended.
It is expected The Merge will go live on the Ethereum Mainnet in mid-September 2022. Regular users and ETH holders do not need to install specific software to benefit from the switch to proof-of-stake.
Nike Is The Top Mainstream NFT Brand
Ever since mainstream brands and companies took an interest in NFTs, people wondered whether these efforts would be successful. Nike has been a dominant force in the non-fungible token space and will continue that trend throughout 2022. The company notes growing revenue - over $185 million so far - from its NFTs, surpassing over 67,000 transactions.
Although Nike is joined by the likes of Dolce & Gabbana, Tiffany, Gucci, and other brands, the sneaker and sportswear brand continues to inch ahead. However, the overall sales data indicates momentum has slowed down a tad in Q3 2022, although it will not affect Nike's dominant market position too much.
Part of Nike's success can be attributed to acquiring RTFKT, one of the leading innovators in the NFT industry.
Who Bought $3 Billion In BTC?
Even though the Bitcoin price trend has not been too promising throughout 2022, investors continue to seek exposure to the world's leading cryptocurrency. Earlier this month, one individual acquired $3 billion worth of BTC. So far, no one knows who this mystery entrant may be or why they are accumulating so aggressively. The lower bitcoin price makes BTC a more appealing long-term investment, though.
The new "whale" has acquired this vast sum of BTC through several purchases during July 2022. More BTC has been added to this address throughout August 2022, giving it a current balance of 135,807.78 BTC. As this whale keeps accumulating, they also benefit from cost-averaging down, as the bitcoin price remains unstable. So far, the address has sustained a net loss of over $360 million, or over 10%.
Bitcoin Plunges Hard But Bounces Back
As mentioned earlier, 2022 has not been kind to the bitcoin price. In fact, the leading cryptocurrency dropped below $20,000 again in August following a stubborn approach by Fed Chairman Jerome Powell to halt inflation. Those Fed efforts will likely prove futile, but the speech triggered a broad market sell-off across cryptocurrencies, stocks, and other risk assets. For BTC, the price dipped as low as $19,526, although the market has bounced back since.
For now, it seems unlikely bitcoin will return to its all-time high of nearly $69,000 in 2022. Macroeconomic issues, combined with industry-wide problems such as collapsing stablecoins, bankrupt platforms, and hedge funds, and overall hacks and thefts, create a very volatile cocktail. Today, bitcoin trades above $20,300 again, although there is still no market stability to speak of.