Friday, 23rd of December. As the week comes to an end, we can focus on the highlights of the crypto industry over the past few days.
Since early 2022, crooks issued nearly 120K tokens
From the beginning of 2022 to December 1, 117,629 fraudulent tokens related to rug pull scams appeared on the market. According to Solidus Labs, that’s about 15 scam projects appearing every hour.
“Over the past five years, rug pull scams have gone from a small problem to a major outbreak where fraudulent token developers steal billions of dollars from millions of retail investors,” the experts stress.
Among the most popular networks, BNB Chain has the highest reputation among scammers: about 12% of the total BEP-20 token issuance accounts for the scam projects. Ethereum, however accounts for 8%.
The victims of rug pull arrangements included almost 2 million investors throughout the year. Taken together, this is comparable to the total number of people affected by the four major bankruptcies in the industry – FTX, BlockFi, Celsius and Voyager (roughly 2.3 million people).
The most popular type of scam tokens turned out to be the so-called honeypot. There is no possibility of reselling such a coin by the purchaser in the smart contract. The most notorious case was the Squid Game, where investors lost $3.3 million.
Scammers have also often resorted to surreptitiously issuing additional tokens or transferring ownership schemes.
At Solidus Labs experts say scam token developers exploited 153 different centralized crypto platforms to fund projects and withdraw money. From September 2020, their total transactions on these exchanges totaled $11 billion in Ethereum. Almost $4 billion of this amount accounted for the America-based platforms.
Christie’s NFT sales plummet 96% in 2022
For 2022, Christie’s auction house sold 87 NFTs for a total of $5.9 million. This is 96% less than the previous year.
At the time, the sales volume exceeded $150 million amid a boom in the NFT market. The work of Mike Winkelman, aka Beeple, accounted for a major part of the figure. Back in March, NFT named Everydays: The First 5000 Days went off the block for $69.3 million, and in October, while the other one, HUMAN ONE, went for $28.9 million.
In 2022, the most expensive lot in the segment was the NFT sculpture Living Architecture by Refik Anadol, which sold for $1.4 million.
As the company explains, the drop occurs in digital art performance because of its experimental nature and the general volatility of the crypto market.
However, Christie’s stressed that they will keep taking steps forward on this issue. As of July, the firm held its fifth Christie’s Art and Tech Summit events as well as created a Web3-focused venture capital fund. Its earliest investors included LeyZero, Manifold and ProtoHologram.
Once The Merge was completed on the Ethereum network in September, the company launched on-chain platform called Christie’s 3.0. The platform has already had its first two auctions.
Despite the collapse in the NFT industry, this year was a bumper year for the company, with total sales reaching $8.4 billion.
Coinbase shares down 91% since IPO
Coinbase, a bitcoin exchange, saw its capitalization dip more than tenfold after its shares began trading on Nasdaq. On December 20, the value of securities was estimated at $34.97, at the time of the IPO (April 2021) the figure stands for $381.
According to the results of the last trading session, they ended with a decline of 0.57%, while the Nasdaq index was close to zero, though Bitcoin and Ethereum gained 2.8% and 4.2%, respectively.
On December 8, the top manager of Coinbase admitted that due to the crypto winter year-end revenues of the exchange could be halved compared to 2021.
Coinbase posted a net loss of $545 million in the third quarter of 2022, as opposed to $1.1 billion in the last year.
As you may remember, in October, ARK Invest bought Coinbase shares for the first time since June. For these purposes, the organization spent another $21.4 million in November and an additional $3 million in December.
Hackers demand $2.25M in BTC from Chinese electric car maker
Cybercriminals demanded that China’s largest electric car maker, NIO, pay $2.25 million in bitcoin for the information they stole.
Following the email from the hackers received on December 11, the company set up a special conference to investigate the incident.
After a preliminary investigation, the stolen data is believed to be the basic information of some users and vehicle sales before August 2021.
The NIO immediately informed law enforcement and regulatory agencies about the incident. So the company is proceeding with its own investigation into the leak.
To recap, for 2021, the number of cyber attacks on government and commercial enterprises increased by 50% compared to the year before.