Attack Of The Crypto Bots | SEC Investigates Bored Apes Creator – Forbes





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Also: The Secretive World Of MEV, Where Bots Front-Run Crypto Investors For Big Profits
ZUCKERBERG SEEKS METAVERSE COOL WITH MICROSOFT
Meta Platforms FB , which is not exactly having fun in the metaverse, has decided to drag work into it. The company formerly known as Facebook is teaming up with Microsoft MSFT to integrate the Office 365 suite into its Quest VR headset. From 3D renditions of Microsoft’s key apps to immersive Teams meetings, Microsoft is also looking at bringing virtual reality (VR) to creative projects.
CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced the partnership at Meta’s annual Connect conference, where a year ago he changed his company’s name to reflect its commitment to the metaverse, a more immersive version of the internet that includes components of alternate and virtual reality. Its first year as a metaverse-focused company has not been particularly fruitful for Meta, whose shares are down about 60% over the period. In addition to spending billions of dollars on the metaverse, Meta’s traditional businesses are suffering from competition and a weakening advertising outlook.
TROUBLED APES
Apecoin fell 14% on Wednesday, tumbling to $4.71, following a report that the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission is investigating sponsor Yuga Labs over whether its popular collections of non-fungible tokens (NFTs)–including the Bored Ape Yacht Club series–should be considered and regulated as securities.
The news should have surprised no one–the SEC has been known to be interested in NFTs for some time as part of its competition with the Commodity Futures Trading Commission for clout in regulating crypto, and Yuga is the NFT market leader with its collections valued at about $2.4 billion. Apecoin itself may also be under SEC scrutiny, according to Bloomberg, but a spokesman for the agency declined to comment on the matter. The Ethereum-based governance and utility token was designed to be used within the APE ecosystem, including the top three NFT collections by market value—Bored Ape Yacht Club, CryptoPunks and Mutant Ape Yacht Club—and metaverse collection Otherside. Now, it can also be used for in-store purchases in the United States at luxury-brand outlets like Gucci and Tag Heuer Monaco. As of Friday morning EDT, the token is trading at $4.54, down 11.7% over the past week.
DEFI’S NEW $100 MILLION EXPLOIT
A disgruntled attacker literally squeezed all the liquidity out of the decentralized Mango Markets crypto exchange and is apparently holding $100 million worth of tokens as ransom to force the organization to use the assets in its treasury to finance bad debt taken on to bail out a large investor earlier this year. The heist occurred on Tuesday around 6 p.m. New York time when the attacker artificially propped up the price of the Mango token and used the unrealized profit to borrow and withdraw a range of cryptocurrencies from the platform.
The decentralized autonomous organization (DAO) overseeing the project froze the program shortly afterward. On Thursday, the DAO said via Twitter: “We plan to reimburse as much as we can using the DAO treasury (subject to vote) and whatever tokens we’re able to recover.” Last week, hackers stole an estimated $100-$110 million from Binance’s BNB BNB Smart Chain (BSC).
VCs TAKE ADVANTAGE OF CRYPTO WINTER
BlockTower, a Miami-based crypto-focused financial firm, unveiled its previously announced $150 million fund investing in digital-assets-focused businesses. Backers include MassMutual, French investment bank Bpifrance, former Midas List investor Roger Ehrenberg and the Teacher Retirement System of Texas. While other firms have invested hundreds of millions in as little as six months, BlockTower has made just 10 investments so far this year, worth about $20 million, leaving plenty of gunpowder as buy-in prices drop and other investors pause their activity in the category. The firm looks to write $500,000 to $5 million checks it can lead or co-lead into companies and crypto projects at their early stages, aiming for equity stakes of up to 10% in a startup, or as much as 5% of a token protocol.
BLOCKCHAIN 50: CALL FOR 2023 NOMINATIONS
For four years, the Forbes Blockchain 50 list has chronicled the institutional adoption of technology popularized by bitcoin. Since the inaugural roundup in 2019 the enterprises on our list—often household names like Walmart WMT and Boeing BA —have moved beyond test projects and now rely on distributed ledgers in key parts of their businesses to improve efficiency and transparency. Now is your chance to help us find the best possible honorees for next year’s issue. We look for businesses valued at $1 billion or more or those that generate at least $1 billion in annual revenue and have made meaningful use of the technology. Read more here.
ELSEWHERE
Coin Center Sues Treasury Over Tornado Cash Ban [Decrypt]
Stablecoin Issuer Tether USDT Cuts Commercial Paper Holdings To Zero [CoinDesk]
Binance Launches $500 Million Fund To Provide Loans To Bitcoin BTC Miners [The Block]

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