Check out the biggest breaking crypto market updates for today:
Ethereum Software Infrastructure Provider Flashbots Becomes Unicorn After Raising $60 Million
Ethereum infrastructure service Flashbots has reportedly raised $60 million at a valuation of $1 billion in a Series B funding round. The round was led by San Francisco-based firm Paradigm and saw participation from other undisclosed investors who were selected based on their reverse pitches.
The funds will reportedly be used to help finance the development of a new version of the technology.
The company filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on July 21 to notify the agency it had raised about $30.4 million of the total it was seeking. More SEC filings are expected to become public in the near future, which will likely show the firm raised the total amount desired across the rolling closing.
Investors and partners had been invited to invest in a reverse pitch “beauty contest for decentralization.”
The company said participants in the Series B included “leading venture capital firms, Layer-2 networks,” angel investors, decentralized exchanges and apps, in addition to MEV supply chain actors.
The funding will be directed toward development of the Suave platform that allows users to “transact cheaper and more privataely” on the blockchain.
The competition of the Series B round follows reporting from The Block earlier this year stating the startup aspired to attain unicorn status by raising up to $50 million. Top crypto VC Paradigm was the lead investor in the company’s seed-stage fundraise in 2020, according to Crunchbase.
Again the leading investor in the Series B, Paradigm General Partner Charlie Noyes said in a statement that he envisions Flashbots delivering on some of the more promising aspects of blockchain technology. “The future of MEV is the future of crypto,” he said. “We’re proud to continue supporting Flashbots in its mission to develop Suave, and ensure crypto remains transparent, efficient, and equitable.”
Flashbots’ service proposes blocks for validators running the Ethereum blockchain. MEV, or maximal extractable value, is a technique that involves manipulating transaction sequencing to capitalize on profitable on-chain trades.
Avalanche Foundation Creates $50 Million Incentive Program To Purchase Tokenized Assets
The Avalanche Foundation has announced the launch of “Avalanche Vista” – a program that will see the entity allocate the $50 million towards the purchaser of assets tokenized on the avalanche blockchain.
The program is reportedly intended to showcase the utility of creating on-chain digital representations of “real world” things including equity, credit, real estate and commodities.
Ava Labs president John Wu stated,
“Asset tokenization isn’t just the future of capital markets, it’s a critical driver of the present. The groundswell of momentum across institutions building on-chain has been astounding, and the Avalanche Foundation is taking a big leap forward with this initiative.”
The initiative follows recent milestones in the field, including Securitize’s tokenization of an interest in a flagship KKR fund, the Avalanche Foundation said, also pointing to the launch of a marketplace for asset-based securities called IntainMARKETS.
“The $50 million allocation reflects the Avalanche Foundation’s commitment to driving forward a financial system that’s more accessible, efficient and cost-effective through the use of Avalanche’s novel consensus mechanism, unique Subnet architecture, and technical innovation,” the foundation said.
“It intends to accelerate the growth of tokenization and its role in on-chain finances by demonstrating the merits of applying blockchain rais to historically more manual and operationally intensive use cases, including asset issuance, settlement, transfer and administration,” it added.
Avalanche Vista is not the first fund designed to propel the blockchain’s ecosystem forward. In 2021, a $180 million DeFi investment program was launched alongside Aaven and Curve to draw in more asset and decentralized applications onto the Avalanche blockchain.
Alphapo Payment Provider Hack Now Estimated at Over $60M – ZachXBT
According to the latest report from on-chain sleuth ZachXBT, a recent hack involving crypto payments processor Alphapo’s hot wallets is now estimated to have resulted in a loss of $60 million.
ZachXBT had earlier placed loss estimates at roughly $31 million. However, this figure was updated when ZachXBT identified an additional $37 million in stolen assets on both the Tron and Bitcoin networks. The on-chain sleuth also stated that on-chain data points to Lazarus Group as being the potential attacker.
Alphapo is a centralized crypto payment provider for e-commerce subscription services, gaming sites and other online businesses. It’s known as the provider for mystery box platform HypeDrop and gambling sites Bovada and Ignition. On July 23, security experts began reporting that the site’s hot wallets appeared to have been drained of at least $21 million, with some sources reporting the losses exceeded $31 million.
At the time, Alphapo did not comment on the alleged hack, but it did tell Cointelegraph later that deposits and withdrawals were being reinstated at new addresses. The team said funds deposited to old addresses will be “additionally verified.”
HypeDrop confirmed that its payment provider was “experiencing issuers” that were causing withdrawals to be delayed – but that withdrawals would be reinstated once the issue was resolved.
Neither company confirmed that the issues were caused by a hack, but security researchers have argued that the large outflows from known hot wallets, combined with stalled withdrawals, imply that the funds may have been moved by an attacker.
The new report from ZachXBT identifies an additional $37 million allegedly drained from the old addresses on the Tron and Bitcoin networks, bringing the total to more than $60 million in losses.
Citing data from Dune Analytics, the on-chain sleuth argued that the Lazarus Group may be behind the attack:
“This hack appears to likely have been done by Lazarus as they create a very distinct fingerprint on-chain.”
The Lazarus Group is a cybercrime group first identified by a consortium of security researchers led by Novetta in 2014. The group is believed to have ties to the government of North Korea.
Alphapo is not the only centralized crypto provider to have suffered mysteriously large withdrawals in July. On July 7, cross-chain bridging protocol Multichain suffered over $100 million in unexplained withdrawals.
On July 14, the Multichain team announced that it would stop operations after revealing that these withdrawals had been caused by an attacker accessing the protocol’s private keys through a cloud storage service.