Coachella NFTs Now Stuck On FTX

FTX customers around the world have assets frozen on the cryptocurrency exchange. This happened after its sudden collapse last week. Apparently, this freeze is to the tune of billions of dollars’ worth in total. And it’s not just cryptocurrency or DeFi tokens either—some users have NFTs stuck in FTX, too.

NFTs Stuck In The FTX Saga

Discord servers tied to projects that launched via the FTX NFTs platform over the last year are now filling up with complaints from users who cannot withdraw their Solana-based assets from the FTX account wallet.

In some cases, even those who transferred their NFTs to external, self-custody wallets now can’t see the NFT artwork. This, however, is due to apparent FTX server issues. Links to many of the projects launched through the FTX NFTs marketplace are likewise now broken. FTX announced on Friday that it had filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

Furthermore, the affected projects include major music and sports brands. This includes concert festivals Coachella and Tomorrowland, NBA star Steph Curry’s 2974 NFT collection, and Formula One-themed NFTs.

What Exactly Happened

Coachella announced its partnership with FTX US in February, and its plan to release 10 lifetime festival passe. This happened as NFTs was hailed by some as a step forward for mainstream Web3 adoption. And not to mention real-world utility for such digital assets.

The festival released various other NFT collectibles alongside the passes. Billboard, which first reported issues around the NFTs on Tuesday, made a statement. It said that the sale generated $1.5 million in total.

Now, however, users in Coachella’s Discord server are reporting that they cannot transfer their NFTs out from their FTX wallets. Others say that the Coachella NFTs held in their self-custody wallets aren’t displaying artwork. Discord moderators have said that it’s apparently due to FTX’s server being down.

We do not currently have any lines of communication with the FTX team,” a Coachella server administrator wrote on Friday. “We have assembled an internal team to come up with solutions based on the tools we have access to. Our priority is getting Coachella NFTs off of FTX, which appears to be disabled at the moment.”

In a statement today, Coachella Innovation Lead Sam Schoonover affirmed that the festival is trying to respond for NFT holders. “We’re actively working on solutions and are confident we’ll be able to protect the interests of Coachella’s NFT holders,” he wrote.

Custodial Concerns Over FTX NFTs

Unlike many NFT marketplaces, FTX NFTs was a custodial platform which means that it held purchased NFTs for buyers. The only exception is if they opted to transfer it to an external wallet. 

Also, given that FTX’s partners were major mainstream brands, it may have served more casual buyers. Buyers that didn’t bother to transfer the assets to self-custody wallets.

On top of assets initially sold through the FTX NFTs platform, there is a change. Now, anyone trying to sell another supported NFT through the marketplace would have to give FTX custody first. 

Currently, those NFTs are stuck on the platform as the firm begins bankruptcy proceedings.

Metaplex, the creator of Solana’s NFT protocol, worked with concert festival Tomorrowland. Their job was to develop its first NFT drop on FTX NFTs earlier this year. 

Furthermore, CEO Stephen Hess said that the situation illustrates the risks involved with centralized, custodial marketplaces. Especially as users currently have no way of accessing their purchased assets on the platform.

Hess said… “We hope this serves as a wake-up call to NFT collectors and creators that escrow-based marketplaces present significant risks.

Aptos – The New Move-based Layer 1 Chain

Meta’s failure to launch its blockchain-based stablecoin project Diem has caused a rift. It has led several of its employees to leave and develop their own Layer 1 blockchains. The first of these to launch – and do so with a bang – is Aptos.

Aptos Unpacked

Aptos is a Proof-of-Stake-based Layer 1 blockchain that combines parallel transaction processing with a new smart contract language called Move. With this, they achieve a theoretical transaction throughput of over 100,000 transactions per second. The project is the brainchild of two former Meta engineers, Mo Shaikh and Avery Ching.

Aptos first made waves in the crypto industry in March this year. The buzz was about it emerging to have raised $200 million in a seed round. One led by the renowned venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz. 

In July, the startup raised another $150 million at a $1.9 billion pre-money valuation in a Series A funding round. This was led by FTX Ventures and Jump Crypto, before its valuation hit $4 billion two months later.

It is worth highlighting that Aptos did all this before launching its blockchain. The blockchain only went live on mainnet on October 17. 

To reward the early users of its testnet and fairly distribute the initial token allocation, Aptos airdropped 150 APT tokens to 110,235 eligible addresses. 

According to CoinGecko data, Aptos currently has a fully diluted market capitalization of around $9.2 billion. This figure is despite launching only a few days ago with little activity happening on the network. Beyond its provenance and links to Meta, the project’s valuation has raised questions. 

What Makes Aptos Special?

Furthermore, from a technical perspective, the driving force behind Aptos can be boiled down to two things. One is Move, the Rust-based programming language independently developed by Meta. And the network’s unique parallel transaction processing abilities.

Move is a new smart contract programming language that emphasizes safety and flexibility. Its ecosystem contains a compiler and a virtual machine. Furthermore, it also has many other developer tools that effectively serve as the backbone of the Aptos network. 

Although Meta originally wanted Move to power the Diem blockchain, the language was designed to be platform-agnostic. Furthermore, there are also  ambitions to evolve into the “JavaScript of Web3” in terms of usage. In other words, Meta intended for Move to become the developers’ language of choice. One for writing safe code involving digital assets quickly.

Using Move, Aptos was built to theoretically achieve high transaction throughput and scalability without sacrificing security. It leverages a pipelined and modular approach for the critical stages of transaction processing.

A Faster Approach

For context, most blockchains, especially the top ones like Bitcoin and Ethereum, execute transactions and smart contracts sequentially. In simple terms, this means that all transactions in the mempool—where all submitted transactions await confirmation by the network’s validators—must be verified individually and in a specific order. 

Consequently, the growth of the network’s computing power doesn’t translate into faster transaction processing. This is because the entire network is effectively doing the same thing and acting as a single node.  

Aptos differs from other blockchains in its parallelized approach to transaction processing and execution. This means that its network leverages all available physical resources to process many transactions simultaneously. 

Other Layer 1 networks and sidechains making similar claims, including Solana and Polygon, have suffered numerous network outages since their inception.

Bitcoin And Ethereum Could Be Poised For Recovery

The bitcoin price has been bouncing around $20,000 per bitcoin since mid-June (despite some eye-popping bitcoin price predictions). However, ethereum has fallen sharply in the aftermath of its long-awaited, energy-saving upgrade, flying in the face of expectations.

Now, as Blackrock and Fidelity make surprise moves to enter the bitcoin and crypto market, a new finding surfaces. A survey of professional investors who collectively manage $2.2 trillion in assets has returned a huge crypto price prediction.

How Investors Are Taking This Bitcoin Price Action?

Institutional investors and wealth managers were found to be optimistic about the future price of bitcoin and ethereum. Furthermore, 46% forecasting bitcoin will be worth $35,000 or more within six months. However, 64% predict the price of ethereum will exceed $2,000 during the same period.

“Predicting future price movements in the cryptocurrency market is always a challenging endeavor. However, the survey clearly points to constructive price recovery expectations by institutional investors.” This was stated by Anatoly Crachilov, the chief executive of London-based crypto asset manager Nickel Digital.

Meanwhile, over half (58%) of respondents said they expect the crypto bear market to end within six months. This suggests a spring price rally.

“It is a well-grounded long-term optimism,” Crachilov added. “Investors acknowledge that the ongoing crypto winter still has some way to run but there is also a recognition that, if history is any guide, once the winter ends these high-beta markets will stage strong recovery.”

This Week on Bitcoin And ethereum

This week, as the stock market buckled under pressure from the Federal Reserve and fears rampant inflation could require an even stronger response.  Bitcoin, and other crypto prices climbed before falling back, with the bitcoin price dropping to just over $18,000.

“The $18,000 level has continued to provide decent support and if bitcoin doesn’t break down in the coming days, we could see upward movement in October with $24,000 and $26,000 being initial levels to watch,” Joe DiPasquale, the chief executive of bitcoin BitBull Capital, said in emailed comments.

After a sharp drop in the last few days, crypto tokens regained some flair. Top crypto tokens were moving in tandem with other riskier assets, rising higher on Thursday.

Whats Up With The Crypto Markets In Russia

Russia escalated its unprovoked invasion of Ukraine and the prospects of a severe global recession increased exponentially. Consequently Bitcoin, the largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization, was trading above $19,000.

Barring the US dollar-pegged USD Coin, all top crypto tokens were trading sharply higher on Thursday. BNB zoomed more than 5%, whereas Bitcoin, Solana and Ethereum rallied 4% each. XRP and Polygon were 3% up.

The global cryptocurrency market cap was trading significantly higher at $941.75 billion, jumping by 3% in the last 24-hours. However, the total trading volume tumbled over 12 per cent, close to $82.32 billion.

Expert take

This week, the global crypto market cap saw rapid changes with key cryptocurrencies including Bitcoin and Ethereum plummeting. The tokens dropped below their reserve prices but only to make corrections as spot volumes increased. According to Prashant Kumar, Founder & CEO, weTrade.

“Almost a fortnight after the Merge, Ethereum is trading at $1,300,” he added. “The strengthening US dollar, increased rate hikes and calls for broader regulations for stablecoins by the US Federal Reserve chair are all affecting the market.”

On the global scene, AQUA, a Web3 community platform for gamers, has launched its flagship marketplace for trading in-game assets. The startup also announced a $10 million investment from DIGITAL, an investment firm backed by Steve Cohen.

Cryptocurrency Prices Today: ETH And BTC Are Starting To Recover

Top Cryptocurrency gains today as bitcoin and Ethereum manage to show signs of recovery after days of serious slumps following the Merge. While bitcoin managed to climb above $19,000 mark on Thursday, Ethereum on the other hand saw a 24 hour gain of about 5%. Other altcoins which include the likes of Dogecoin, Litecoin and Solana were all in greens this morning.

Furthermore, Ripple emerged as the biggest gainer, with a 24-hour gain of 34.13%. At the time of writing this report, the global cryptocurrency market cap stood at $950.8 billion. Consequently, this marks a 4.73% gain in the last 24 hours, as per CoinMarketCap data.

Top Cryptocurrency Prices Today

Bitcoin price stood at $19,38.77, seeing a 24-hour gain at 3.34%. Meanwhile, ETH price stood at $1,339.17, marking a 24-hour gain of 5.70% at the time of writing. Dogecoin followed by registering a 24-hour gain of 6.66% as per CoinMarketCap data, currently priced at $0.0614.

Litecoin also saw som magic as the cryptocurrency saw a 24-hour gain of 4.51. At the time of writing, it was priced at $54.26. XRP price stood at $0.5328, seeing a 24-hour gain of 31.01%.

Furthermore, Solana price stood at $32.90, marking a 24-hour gain of 5.47%. Today’s price action saw the biggest gainers as Ripple (XRP) at 34.13% in 24hours. The best loser being Terra Classic, with a 4.93% gain in 24 hours.

What Cryptocurrency Exchanges Are Saying About The Current Price Action

Mudrex co-founder and CEO Edul Patel told ABP Live: “Bitcoin and Ethereum rose on Thursday after going through a roller coaster ride in the past few days. BTC managed to trade above $19,300 with the support of buyers. If BTC can close above $19,500 today, we might see an upward trend in the next week. But if it falls below the current level, we might see BTC going back to the $18,000 support. The second largest cryptocurrency, Ethereum, has also shown a bullish sentiment in line with BTC. This price action comes as a relief to the market participants after the successful Merge. If ETH can hold above the current level, we might soon see it reaching the $1,500 level.”

Sathvik Vishwanath, CEO and co-founder of Unocoin said, “Indian markets mainly reacted to the US central bank’s hawkish tone on interest rates, which created pessimism among investors. The Fed’s latest quarterly summary of policymakers’ projections shows that US central bankers expect to raise the key interest rate, now in a range of 3-3.25% after Wednesday’s 75 basis point increase, to 4.4% by the end of this year and to 4.6% until the end of this year. cryptocurrencies fended off declines triggered by the US Federal Reserve’s next big interest rate hike, although sentiment remained cautious given the central bank’s warning of economic pain ahead of policy tightening. Bitcoin had some positive price movement in the morning but ended with 1.5% negative by end of the day. Second-biggest coin Ether continued to underperform, falling 2% as well.”

WeTrade Founder Has His Say On The crypto Situation

WeTrade founder Prashant Kumar offered his take on the market scenario as well, “After days of movement in the red due to increased interest rates, the crypto market cap saw some positive movement with a 4% increase during Asia trading hours on Friday morning. Bitcoin caught up by 3.8% but is still trading below $20,000.”

Crypto Disaster: Thousands Of Solana Wallets Hacked

First it was the Bridge Protocol Nomad that was attacked at the start of the week. Now, the digital market has to deal with another major hit. 

In the early hours of Wednesday, August 3rd 2022, hackers attacked the Solana Ecosystem. This attack has rendered thousands of wallets empty and their owners in pain.

How Severe?

Currently, it is hard to give a very accurate report on the amount of damage inflicted. This is because of varying statistics from crypto analytic companies.

Blockchain forensic firm Elliptic gave its report on the incident and the extent of damage. Over $5.2 million in crypto-asset is missing so far, according to the company’s report. They also said that about 7,500 Solana wallets have been affected according to their findings.

Furthermore, security company PeckShield stated that about 4 Solana wallets drained $8 million from its victims.

The root cause is still not clear,” according to Elliptic’s co-founder, Tom Robinson. “It appears to be due to a flaw in certain wallet software, rather than in the Solana blockchain itself.” 

The attack sent Solana’s SOL token down as much as 7.3% to $38.40 in early trading on Wednesday, its lowest in a week. Bitcoin rose 1.3% to $23,327. 

The exploit affected users of a digital crypto wallet made by Slope Finance, according to a tweet sent Wednesday afternoon by Solana Status, a Twitter account managed by the Solana Foundation.

The tweet said that there is no evidence that Solana’s cryptography or protocol was compromised.

Slope confirmed in an official statement earlier today that a group of its wallet had been affected. The statement also indicated that the company’s founders and staff had also lost funds.

The crypto start-up has decided to conduct its own investigation on the issue.

Crypto Hacks This Year

The crypto projects seem to be providing a well of fortune for hackers. Consequently, the industry has suffered numerous attacks this year. 

Solana’s predicament comes a few days after Nomad lost close to $200 million in a security exploit on Monday. Nomad is a bridge protocol for transporting crypto tokens across different blockchains.

According to Elliptic, in 2022 alone, about $1 billion dollars was stolen from bridges.

Much remains unknown at this point — except that hardware wallets are not impacted,” Solana spokesman Austin Federa said.  

While there’s speculation the incident was a supply-chain attack, the nature of the exploit remains unclear. Supply-chain hacks occur when an outside party or provider with access to the victim’s systems and data is infiltrated.

Impact Of The Crypto Hack On Solana 

Solana, which has suffered network outages in the past, is a rival to the Ethereum blockchain. 

As transaction prices on Ethereum rose last year, chains like Solana, which tout their low transaction fees, emerged as alternatives for minting non-fungible tokens. The code underpinning Solana is also popular with clients looking to build their own decentralized-finance applications. 

Some NFTs were stolen in the hack – but the full impact of the exploit is still unclear, Elliptic’s Robinson said.

In other news, cryptocurrencies seem to be on the downside. Bitcoin currently trades at $22,897 and Ethereum $1,611. They are both down by 0.03% and 0.17% respectively. 

Solana is now at $38.72 which indicated a 0.05% drop from its original price. Cardano is up by 0.33%, bringing it to $0.5006.

Although the market looks steep, there are speculations that major coins will be on the rise. Is the crypto winter almost over? We’ll find out soon.

Chia Rivals Ethereum And Solana For NFT Superiority

There’s no doubt that Ethereum is way ahead in the NFTs scene. The famous blockchain technology not only leads by trading volume but also by high-value market. Solana closely follows its trail and now a new ‘Big boy’ steps into the scene. Chia blockchain platform has claimed to deliver in areas where the above NFTs platform fall short. 

What Makes Chia Different?

The entrant blockchain platform caught the attention of many in the crypto world last year. How? By delivering a new kind of storage based alternative to blockchain security and mining. An alternative that suggested a more “green” and environmentally friendly option, compared to Bitcoin and Ethereum.

It is this same idea that the platform is deciding to bring to the NFT space.

Today, Chia announced the launch of its so-called NFT1 standard on main-net. This was done just weeks after rolling out the initial NFT0 standard on test-net.

Chia Network Director, President, and COO Gene Hoffman made a suggestion. He suggested that the new NFT-capable platform would be more eco-friendly than Ethereum. He also claims that it will be more stable than Solana, which has seen spurts of downtime since last fall.

What’s been exciting is I think people are seeing this as a real opportunity to have a more green option than proof-of-work, especially as Ethereum may or may not get around to the Merge.”

Gene Hoffman

Can Chia Handle The Heat?

Ethereum’s environmental impact has been hotly debated amid the rise of the NFT market. In addition to that, the Merge that Hoffman mentioned – a shift to an energy-efficient proof-of-stake consensus model – has been on the horizon for years. It’s currently slated for August this year.

After taking aim at Ethereum’s latest upgrade, Hoffman doubled down on his criticism of Solana. He added, “We’ve seen Solana’s technical acumen of late, and that’s not been very strong.”

However, the network’s longest periods of downtime came amid overwhelming demand prompted by automated bots. This includes a peak as high as 6 million transactions per second sent to try and game an NFT mint.

With NFT support just coming online, Chia does not appear to have been tested in such an extreme manner. And for its counter-part, Solana is attempting to address its admitted stability issues.

Could Chia handle the demand of a hot NFT project mint, with or without bots trying to overwhelm the process?

Chia currently processes about 30 transactions per second (TPS), while Solana can range up into the thousands. Hoffman admitted that some kind of layer-2-scaling solution would be necessary to handle NFT mints at a faster rate than Chia’s TPS.

But he also suggested that Chia is designed for different needs than Solana, pointing to a recent Chia blog post regarding the so-called blockchain trilemma – that a blockchain can only be two of the three following things: secure, decentralized, and scalable (or able to handle a sizable amount of transactions). Chia has opted for the first two.

Plotting NFT support

An NFT is a blockchain token that serves as proof of ownership of an item, and they’re often used for digital goods like artwork, collectibles, and video game items.

The NFT market expanded to $25 billion worth of trading volume in 2021, per data from DappRadar, and that momentum carried into 2022 ahead of the recent wider crypto market decline that has impacted NFTs as well.

With the NFT1 standard, Chia Network claims that it offers improvements over Ethereum and Solana NFT functionality, such as providing what it says is a clearer picture of the provenance of an NFT via a decentralized identifier (DID), as well as enabling improved permanence of assets tied to NFTs.