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Crypto market wrap: Tornado Cash digital token jumps, altcoins recover


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Illustration of coin
Sanctioned crypto mixer Tornado Cash's digital token rose 10% on Wednesday. - Photo: Shutterstock

Tornado Cash’s digital token jumped 10% on Wednesday as altcoin prices recovered.

The sanctioned crypto mixer’s native coin TORN appeared to get caught in a market-wide upswing. All but a few top-100 cryptocurrencies were in the green. The entire market had dipped on Tuesday.

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TORN to USD

Quick compliance

TORN’s rise exceeded 10% at times on Wednesday but the price receded around the time that conventional markets closed in North America. (All figures based on CoinMarketCap data.)

The US Treasury Department sanctioned Tornado Cash on Monday, causing the coin to nosedive. TORN has lost most of its value since peaking in February 2021.

The Treasury alleged that Tornado Cash allowed North Korean state-backed hackers and other criminals to launder stolen money anonymously.

The Good Mixer? 

A crypto mixer pools digital assets to shield their owners’ identities. While mixers are often used for legitimate privacy protection, they have also been used for illicit purposes.

American companies quickly complied with the sanctions, because breaches could resulted in steep fines or prison sentences. But Circle CEO Jeremy Allaire criticized the move, contending that US President Joe Biden’s government crossed a line by requiring companies to block or limit the functioning  open-source software on the Internet.

Other crypto industry leaders have expressed similar sentiments.

CRV to USD

Curve gets hacked

The market again showed resilience following a major security breach.

Curve, a decentralized finance (DeFi) exchange operator, said that it found and resolved a front-end hack on its Curve.fi website in a domain name system (DNS) spoof. But Curve’s token (CRV) rose with the rest of the market.

"This attack demonstrates once again that the ingenuity of hackers presents a near and ever-present danger to our industry,” said Paolo Ardoino, chief technology officer for Bitfinex.

“The fact that a hacker is able to change the DNS entry for the protocol, forwarding users to a fake clone and approving a malicious contract says a lot for the vigilance that must be exercised.

Curve moved quickly 

“We applaud Curve for its ability to be able to pinpoint the source of the hack, and speedily act. This is exactly how a protocol should react during a time when customers' funds are at risk."

According to Ardoino and Assure DeFi, $573,000 worth of cryptocurrency was stolen. Crypto security firm Certik said $612,000 worth of stablecoins, including USDC, was stolen and then swapped for ether (ETH), the main coin of the Ethereum blockchain.

XRP/USD

0.49 Price
+1.890% 1D Chg, %
Long position overnight fee -0.0500%
Short position overnight fee 0.0140%
Overnight fee time 21:00 (UTC)
Spread 0.00600

ETH/USD

1,334.21 Price
-0.430% 1D Chg, %
Long position overnight fee -0.0500%
Short position overnight fee 0.0140%
Overnight fee time 21:00 (UTC)
Spread 5.00

DOGE/USD

0.06 Price
+0.360% 1D Chg, %
Long position overnight fee -0.0500%
Short position overnight fee 0.0140%
Overnight fee time 21:00 (UTC)
Spread 0.0008739

BTS/BTC

0.00 Price
0.000% 1D Chg, %
Long position overnight fee -0.0500%
Short position overnight fee 0.0140%
Overnight fee time 21:00 (UTC)
Spread 0.00000002

Cross-chain exchange Fixed Float said it froze $200,000 after the hacker tried to transfer the ether there.

The market also showed resilience on Monday as prices stayed in the green even after the US sanctions against Tornado Cash were announced and Singapore-based crypto lender froze assets due to difficult market conditions.

CEL to USD

Celsius Network coin surges

The beleaguered Celsius Network coin (CEL) surged 24% after plunging 21% on Tuesday. (All figures based on CoinMarketCap data.)

Volatility has been extreme

CEL has faced extreme volatility at times since its value imploded in wake of the Celsius Network’s financial collapse and subsequent move into bankruptcy protection.

The financial troubles of Celsius, Voyager and Three Arrows, also known as 3AC, have contributed largely to the current crypto winter. Voyager and Three Arrows have also filed for bankruptcy.

AAVE was another notable gainer as it climbed 13%, but most other increases were less than 10%.

Market leaders bitcoin (BTC) and ether (ETH), the main coin of the Ethereum blockchain, were up 2% and 8%, respectively.

 

Buterin used Tornado Cash

Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin has revealed on Twitter that he used Tornado Cash to donate crypto to Ukraine following its invasion by Russia.

Buterin, who was born in Russia and raised in Canada, said he did not use the crypto mixer to conceal his identity.

“My intent was protecting the recipients, not myself,” he tweeted. The [Russian] government knows my positions on the Ukraine issue anyway.”

Coinbase stock rebounds

Crypto exchange operator Coinbase’s stock (COIN) rebouned as it closed up 7.37% on the NASDAQ Global Select market. COIN had sunk 10.6% on Tuesday due to a negative quarterly earnings report.

Coinbase's recently announced partnership with global asset manager BlackRock (BLK) “‘could usher trillions of dollars into the crypto industry in the coming years,” Ark analyst Yassine Elmandjra, said during a monthly portfolio update on Tuesday.

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