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Despite the immediate success of dog-themed decentralized exchange ShibaSwap, there are warnings the DEX’s liquidity providers are throwing capital into an opaque protocol of questionable security.
Building on the popularity of their Dogecoin fork, Shiba Inu (SHIB), amid the Elon-Musk stoked dog-token trading frenzy, the coin’s developers launched their DEX with enticing yield incentives for liquidity providers on July 7.
Within 24 hours of launching, the protocol had amassed a Total Value Locked (TVL) of more than $1 billion.
On July 8, platform reviewer DeFi Safety published a report on ShibaSwap, scoring the protocol at just 3%, far below the 70% level the site considers a pass.
Describing the score as “a devastating fail,” DeFi Safety failed ShibaSwap on all but two of its 22 review criteria, with the protocol scoring 30% for the clarity of information provided in its whitepaper.
The review’s author is Rex Hygate, the founder of SecuEth and Caliburn Consulting. He highlighted ShibaSwap’s anonymous team, lack of transparency and documentation and pointed to the fact there is no public software repository, development history, or way to test the code.
ShibaSwap is up with a devastating 3% score. If you are looking for a prime example of what absolute negligence looks like in a protocol, look no further than this. Zero Transparency. You are putting your money in a black hole. https://t.co/dUzU0vvCHW @ChrisBlec @ShibArmy #DeFi pic.twitter.com/QG3ykYakdt
— DeFi Safety (@DefiSafety) July 7, 2021
On July 7, Solidity developer, Joseph Schiarizzi, posted an article warning that ShibaSwap’s staking contract had been under the control of just a single address for most of its first day of operation.
While ShibaSwap has since updated the contract to a multi-signature account requiring six of nine Safe Owners to agree on transactions before can be executed, Schiarizzi warns that each of the addresses may be under the control of a single entity:
“Multiple of these Safe Owners are new accounts with 0 transactions and no ETH, so they are most likely just place holders for the ShibaSwap devs who can agree easily to call any owner only function on the staking contract.”
Schiarizzi emphasized the risks associated with the staking contract’s migrate function being under the control of a single entity, identifying that the contract owners “can simply deploy a new migrator contract which sends themselves all the LP tokens.”
DeFi Watch analyst Chris Blec shared Schiarizzi’s warnings about ShibaSwap’s security risks to his 22,000 followers and highlighting the DeFi Safety review
⚠️ Yesterday, it was noticed that all funds in ShibaSwap could be drained by 1 Ethereum account.
ShibaSwap then switched ownership to a new Gnosis multisig with unknown signers & fresh addresses.
The problem: it’s possible to create a multisig and own all the keys yourself. pic.twitter.com/wSN1yOB2Qn
— Chris Blec (@ChrisBlec) July 7, 2021
Cactus Custody, a qualified institutional custodian solution powered by Matrixport, today announced that it is the first MetaMask Institutional (MMI) integrated custodian able to support MMI’s multi-chain capabilities and all EVM compatible chains.
This feature called “DeFi Connector” offered by Cactus Custody enables institutional clients seamless and secure connection with decentralized finance (DeFi) protocols via MMI.
The successful upgrade, enables multi-chain connectivity access across all Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM) compatible chains, sidechains, and layer-2s, including but not limited to Ethereum, Binance Smart Chain, Polygon, Smart Bitcoin Cash, Avalanche, Fantom, Arbitrum, HECO, Harmony One and Celo, etc.
“Our offering concurrently delivers the highest level of security and usability to institutions seeking to tap into the vast opportunities within DeFi. We are fully committed to enabling multi-chain capabilities that provide even broader access to DeFi, whilst adhering to world-class standards of security and compliance.”
– Cynthia Wu, Head of Sales and Business Development, Matrixport
“EVM chain support is one of the most important institutional needs. With our latest custodial account multichain feature, Cactus Custody not only supports multiple EVM chains but also allows institutions to freely bridge digital assets across these networks. This is a profound DeFi offering for institutions.”
– Johann Bornman, Product Lead for MMI
Apple’s stock price jumped in after hours trading after CEO Tim Cook said during the company’s Q1 2022 earnings call that he sees considerable potential in the Metaverse space.
When asked on Jan. 27 during the call about Apple’s opportunities within the Metaverse, Cook responded “we see a lot of potential in this space and are investing accordingly.”
“We’re always exploring new and emerging technologies and I’ve spoken at length about how it’s very interesting to us right now.”
The Metaverse is an interoperable virtual universe created in part by users, offering socialization, gaming and even live concerts. Although it can be accessed with a browser, the experience is better with virtual reality (VR) or augmented reality (AR).
APPL had dropped about 3% to $159.22 during regular trading hours, but has since jumped up 8% to $167.23 in after hours trading. The Metaverse was just one of the topics discussed on the call.
Appleinsider reported that in the Jan. 27 call, Cook pointed out that Apple (APPL) already has a bevy of 14,000 apps on its App Store that have been designed using the AR developer platform ARKit. Apps designed using ARKit could help users gain access to the Metaverse.
Whereas Meta has leaned toward using the Oculus headset to immerse users into the Metaverse, Apple is placing its bets so far on AR technology. An Apple headset was scheduled for release in 2022, but Bloomberg reported on Jan. 14 that it may be delayed due to hardware and software challenges.
Despite Cook’s embrace of the Metaverse, the headset in development is believed to be focused on gaming, communication, and content consumption. So far, the largest company in the world by market cap is lagging behind other tech leaders like Meta and Microsoft, both of which are moving forward with public plans to develop in the Metaverse.
Microsoft recently purchased Activision Blizzard for $69B with the intention of expanding Metaverse gaming.
Following one of the most tumultuous 48 hours in recent crypto history, DeFi’s most freewheeling act is showing signs that it may be coming to an end.
On Thursday morning, popular on-chain analyst zachxbt revealed in a Twitter thread that 0xSifu, the pseudonymous treasury manager for decentralized finance (DeFi) project Wonderland, is in fact Michael Patryn – the co-founder of a notorious Canadian crypto exchange that defrauded investors of upward of $190 million.
The revelation has rocked “Frog Nation,” a loose conglomerate of projects that include Popsicle Finance, Wonderland and Abracadabra, which are all now helmed by prolific DeFi developer Daniele Sestagalli.
Frog Nation-related assets, including ICE, TIME and SPELL are down on the day in excess of 30%, and observers are now worried that Abracadabra’s MIM – one of the largest algorithmic stablecoins with a circulating supply in excess of $4.6 billion, according to CoinGecko – may lose its peg.
Before 0xSifu news
$1.4B 3Crv, $1.1B $MIM
— FreddieRaynolds (@FreddieRaynolds) January 27, 2022
In an effort to understand how Patryn came to be so deeply embedded in the organization, CoinDesk reached out to Sestagalli, who expressed doubts about the manner in which he ultimately revealed his colleague’s past to the community – but not about working with him in the first place.
“I have been thinking today, could I have prevented more damage today by saying, ‘Yes, it’s him?’ I don’t know,” he said.
Sestagalli told CoinDesk that he initially began talking to Patryn in a trading group with other prominent crypto personalities. Sestagalli had previously taken note of how Patryn added valuable input in a variety of other chat channels, particularly related to yield farming mechanics.
When Sestagalli launched Wonderland, a fork of Olympus DAO, in September, he thought that Patryn would be a natural fit, particularly after Patryn made suggestions for Abracadabra features.
“When I decided I wanted to launch Wonderland, I said to him, ‘I know you know a lot about OHM,’ and he had a deep understanding of bonding. [I said,] ‘Do you want to help me use the Olympus DAO model to raise funds for a DAO?’”
While working together, Wonderland grew to be arguably the most successful Olympus fork, at one point even exceeding Olympus’ treasury. Sestagalli and Patryn became notorious for their aggressive use of treasury funds, investing in startups and deploying yield farming strategies, at times being accused of recklessness.
— Daniele never asks to DM (@danielesesta) December 4, 2021
“We had tons of meetings, passed through moments and difficult decisions – that’s how I met him. Not as a person, but as Sifu,” Sestagalli said.
The two first met in person after Sestagalli had to flee his country of residence last year after threats against his family following his home address being doxxed. Sestagalli invited Patryn to move with him as well as large swaths of the rest of the Frog Nation team.
Patryn eventually agreed, and as the two grew closer in person, Patryn revealed his past.
According to Sestagalli, his personal experience working with Patryn led him to believe that the convicted felon had turned a new leaf.
“In my personal opinion, I try to avoid judging people for what they have done in the past. I tried to stick to the experience I had with him, and we had many, many months of working together, talking every day, and building successful things together.”
Anon culture is popular in crypto, especially in DeFi circles where it is not uncommon for founders and prominent members to maintain some level of anonymity.
3/ One of the reasons why blockchain technology and DeFi is so powerful is that has no bias about your past. I have no bias about @0xSifu he has became a friend and part of my family and if my reputation of judgment will be hit by his dox, than be it. All frogs for me are equal.
— Daniele never asks to DM (@danielesesta) January 27, 2022
Nonetheless, Sestagalli was taken aback by the revelation, saying he “felt like I was living in a Netflix documentary.”
“When he told me, it was kind of wild. ‘It’s me, it’s this,’ I was like ‘holy f**k.’ Of all the people I could have encountered in my journey, I encountered him. What were the chances?”
Coincidentally, Patryn first met Cotten on a message board and developed that relationship both online and then eventually in person as the two men started up Quadriga.
He says he conducted personal due diligence on Patryn’s background, but ultimately decided to overlook his colleague’s history because Patryn “has not had any behavior internally in our experience that would raise any red flags.”
“I did my own research. I looked into it, I said, ‘OK, there is a young guy who did some credit card stuff – you understand? Some mistakes when he was young. And then there was the Quadriga situation, which is definitely unclear,” he said.
Patryn had been convicted of identity fraud and spent time in federal prison in the U.S. At that time, he went by the name of Omar Dhanani and became “Michael Patryn” after serving his time, something he had previously denied as recently as 2019.
Crypto exchange QuadrigaCX was founded by Gerald Cotten and Patryn in 2013, quickly becoming one of the largest crypto exchanges by trading volumes in Canada. Cotten died in December 2018 after a trip to India, after which over $190 million worth of cryptocurrency owed to 115,000 customers was deemed missing, as per reports.
Where the funds went remains a mystery, as Quadriga executives claimed that only Cotten had access to the private keys that held the millions of dollars worth of client funds.
Sestagalli admitted that the circumstances surrounding Cotten’s death did give him pause.
“To be honest, at the beginning when I did my research I had my doubts. You know? I was like, ‘Yo, I’m another co-founder, I don’t want to end up like the last one,’” Sestagalli said, laughing.
Ultimately, however, he opted to trust his gut.
“You can look at something from afar, and you can look someone in the eyes. I asked him, what was his version of the situation? And in my opinion, at that point in time, let’s be realistic – it was good enough. If it wasn’t, I would have put him out.”
Sestagalli claimed multiple times throughout the interview that the TIME treasury funds – currently worth in excess of $700 million, according to a dashboard shared with CoinDesk – previously managed by Patryn are safe.
Additionally, in a post in Discord on Thursday morning, Patryn himself wrote that there is “no risk to Wonderland assets if something happens to me.”
The funds are reportedly managed by a multi-signature scheme, a popular tool that requires multiple individual signatories to approve transactions. Multi-sigs are broadly considered to be a bare-minimum security tool, however, particularly when managing a fund of Wonderland’s size.
Moving forward, Sestagalli said that what happens next is in the hands of the rarely-invoked Wonderland DAO.
“Right now [Patryn] is not managing the treasury, and the community needs to vote on if he should stay. That will happen today,” he said.
A vote is now taking place to decide if Patryn should be permanently removed from his position as treasurer.
Vote to remove Sifu as treasury manager. https://t.co/fGTBqlAdii
— Daniele never asks to DM (@danielesesta) January 27, 2022
Sestagalli noted that he will be abstaining from the vote, only the seventh in the DAO’s history. “I already made my choice,” he said.
UPDATE (Jan. 27, 18:26 UTC): Adds information on Patryn’s identity-theft conviction.
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