Decentralized finance, better known as DeFi, may not be “decentralized” enough as attackers exploited centralized weak points to drain users of billions of dollars in 2021, according to research from blockchain security firm CertiK. In a new report on the state of DeFi security in 2021, CertiK researchers said “centralization issues were the most common attack vector” within decentralized finance. The blockchain security firm cited 44 DeFi hacks totaling $1.3 billion in lost funds in 2021. That’s an increase of over $500 million compared with 2021. “This underscores the importance of decentralization and highlights the fact that many projects still have work to do to reach this goal,” CertiK said, adding:“Centralization is antithetical to the ethos of DeFi and poses major security risks. Single points of failure can be exploited by dedicated hackers and malicious insiders alike.”Research undertaken by ImmuneFi revealed that the value lost due to DeFi hacks and related scams exceeded $10 billion over the past year, revealing major discrepancies in how exploits are classified and tracked. However, most research on the matter seems to agree that security exploits targeting DeFi projects have witnessed a steep rise.Although DeFi exploits have undermined the legitimacy of cryptocurrency markets in the eyes of traditional investors and legacy financial systems, CertiK offered a silver lining: 2021’s losses represented only 0.05% of crypto’s total market capitalization, down 17% from the previous year. Related: What is a honeypot crypto scam and how to spot it?The cryptocurrency market peaked just north of $3 trillion in November 2021 after starting the year below $800 billion, according to CoinGecko data. DeFi was a major growth catalyst for crypto, with the sector’s total value locked rising from less than $20 billion at the start of 2021 to a record high of nearly $260 billion in December. Total value locked, also known as TVL, refers to assets that are currently being staked on DeFi protocols.Total TVL is down from record highs but remains well above $200 billion. Source: DeFi LlamaCertiK cited the growing popularity of Binance Smart Chain (BSC) as one of the biggest reasons for DeFi’s success. Between January and December 2021, BSC’s TVL grew from $62 million to $21 billion — an increase of 31,000%.Demand for CertiK’s blockchain security services appears to be on the rise as more projects look to avoid falling victim to scams and exploits. The company audited a total of 1,737 projects in 2021. As Cointelegraph reported, CertiK is approaching unicorn status after securing $80 million in Series B2 investments that concluded in late November 2021.Čítaj viac
Less than 1% of the biggest Bitcoin (BTC) hodlers allegedly control more than a quarter of all BTC in circulation, according to a new study.The National Bureau of Economic Research, an American private nonprofit research organization, released a study claiming that 10,000 Bitcoin investors, or 0.01% of all BTC holders, own 5 million BTC, or 27% of all 18.9 million coins in circulation.The amount of BTC held by the “one percent” is equivalent to approximately $232 billion, the Wall Street Journal reported on Monday.The study, which was conducted by finance professors Antoinette Schoar at the MIT Sloan School of Management and Igor Makarov at the London School of Economics, aims to demonstrate that Bitcoin is not as decentralized as one might think.“Despite having been around for 14 years and the hype it has ratcheted up, it’s still the case that it’s a very concentrated ecosystem,” Schoar said.According to the WSJ report, the top hodlers control a bigger share of BTC than the richest American households control in dollars. Citing data from the United States Federal Reserve, the report notes that the top 1% of U.S. households hold about a third of all wealth.The new report may sound alarming for the crypto community, as major Bitcoin advocates have been promoting decentralization as one of the Bitcoin network’s biggest principles.Related: Fish food? Data shows retail investors are buying Bitcoin, whales are sellingAccording to Quantum Economics founder Mati Greenspan, much of the circulating BTC supply is controlled by Satoshi Nakamoto, the pseudonymous creator of Bitcoin. “Satoshi’s coins alone make up for more than 5%,” Greenspan told Cointelegraph, adding:“Over time, the ownership of Bitcoin is designed to get more distributed. For fiat, the opposite tends to happen.”It’s worth noting that much of BTC’s circulating supply is also apparently not controlled by anyone and is likely to be lost forever. According to crypto-insurance firm Coincover, around 4 million BTC is out of circulation due to lost access.Čítaj viac
New research by consumer data aggregator CivicScience has found that a growing number of investors are selling their shares to purchase more crypto. The research questions were sent to people over 18 years old in the U.S. at varying times during 2021. The results were weighted by U.S. census data. Each question had between 1000 and 40,600 respondents. Out of 3,700 respondents surveyed, the number who said they would be more likely to invest their money in cryptocurrency than traditional stocks increased 140% in just five months. Back in June, only 10% of respondents said they would be more likely to invest their money in cryptocurrency than traditional stocks, which rose to 24% in November.Interesting those who said they follow the financial market and economy “very closely” or “somewhat closely” were more likely to swap their traditional assets for crypto. Out of the 1285 respondents who said they follow the market “very closely,” 40% said that they or someone they know has sold their traditional stocks to purchase crypto. This percentage dropped to 30% for those who follow the market “somewhat closely,” and around 17% for those who said they followed the market “not closely at all.”Around 44% of the 1,988 respondents who had sold stocks for crypto said they’d sold less than 10% of their portfolios. But around one-fifth had sold over half of their stock assets to buy crypto which Zack Butovich from CivicScience described as a “shockingly significant number.” That might be pushing it, but it’s certainly notable.Related: True or false: 91% of surveys about Bitcoin and crypto are totally wrongAccording to its website, CivicScience sources its data through digital and mobile content partnerships. Cointelegraph contacted CivicScience for more detail on its methodology and is awaiting a response. CivicScience also found that those not interested in blockchain tech has continued to decline, from 80% in May of this year, to 68% currently based on 40,571 responses from May 1 to Dec. 6.Čítaj viac
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