Crypto News Highlights (8th April to 12th April 2024)

Here are the top stories that happened in crypto this week.

Crypto News Highlights (8th April to 12th April 2024)
Here are the top stories that happened in crypto this week.
  • Bitcoin Mining Difficulty Surges to Record High Just Ahead of Halving
  • World App Hits 10 Million Users Milestone in Less Than a Year
  • Sam Bankman-Fried Files Notice of Appeal for FTX Trial
  • Bankrupt Voyager, FTX Reach Settlement to Resolve Claims
  • This Trader Reportedly Lost $800k Worth Of Crypto To Malicious Chrome Extensions

Bitcoin Mining Difficulty Surges to Record High Just Ahead of Halving

Bitcoin's mining difficulty has soared to unprecedented levels, setting a new all-time high just over one week before the highly anticipated halving event.

Data from indicates that Bitcoin's difficulty recently reached 86.39 trillion hashes. Simply put, a hash is the cryptographic process of converting data into a code that's virtually impossible to decode without using powerful computers. This proof-of-work mining mechanism is crucial for maintaining the integrity and security of the Bitcoin network.

Miners, who are responsible for creating new coins, generate hashes as part of the mining process. The longer the hash, the more computational power is required for mining. Consequently, a higher level of computational power results in enhanced network security.

Bitcoin's difficulty rate has steadily increased since the beginning of the year, albeit with occasional minor fluctuations.

This surge in security coincides with the impending halving event, a once-in-four-years occurrence that will slash Bitcoin miner rewards by half, from 6.25 BTC to 3.125 BTC per block processed. Scheduled for April 20, the event is anticipated to reduce the supply of coins available in the market. Miners will face heightened challenges, necessitating only the most robust and efficient operations to sustain the network.

This development is generally regarded as positive news, as it aligns with the increasing adoption of Bitcoin and the rising market demand. As more participants join the network and the Bitcoin price surges, the network is expected to strengthen further.

World App Hits 10 Million Users Milestone in Less Than a Year

The World App, the pioneering native Worldcoin (WLD) wallet, has reached 10 million users in less than 12 months of its launch. As the premier wallet compatible with World ID, the World App is pivotal in offering accessible, self-custodial wallet services worldwide.

Launched in May 2023, the World App quickly gained traction, garnering 4 million downloads by November of the same year. Presently, the app caters to users across over 160 countries, with 2 million users engaging daily and facilitating over 70 million transactions.

Tiago Sada, Head of Product at TFH, expressed excitement about this milestone, emphasising its tangible impact. He stated:

"Reaching this milestone demonstrates the potential of making the fundamental technologies of Ethereum accessible and user-friendly. The World App represents our dedication to simplicity and functionality in the crypto domain."

The World App aims to streamline crypto interactions by prioritising the essential functions of Worldcoin and Ethereum. It enables users to authenticate their identity with World ID, conduct global transactions without fees, participate in crypto token swaps, and access Worldcoin Grants across various sectors.

The app caters to a diverse user base, supports most mobile devices, facilitates gasless transactions, and offers 24/7 support in over ten languages.

A notable instance highlighting the app's impact comes from Kenya, where a World App user purchased a goat using Worldcoin. This story garnered attention and support from the crypto community, resulting in donations that enabled the user to acquire additional livestock.

Sada added: "Such stories vividly illustrate the life-changing potential of cryptocurrency. Our vision is to enable similar empowering experiences on a global scale."

This development occurs against a backdrop of regulatory concerns regarding Worldcoin's biometric data collection practices in several countries, including Kenya.

Worldcoin recently took steps to enhance transparency by making a significant portion of its code open-source. Additionally, the project underwent a security audit and received praise from industry leaders.

Sam Bankman-Fried Files Notice of Appeal for FTX Trial

Sam Bankman-Fried, the former FTX founder, officially submitted his notice of appeal for his FTX trial on April 11 and is requesting to remain in a Brooklyn, New York prison to stay close to his legal team.

In the court filing, Bankman-Fried's lawyers formally lodged an appeal against his 25-year prison sentence following the FTX fraud trial last year.

Simultaneously, in an additional court filing, attorneys representing the FTX founder requested that Judge Lewis A. Kaplan keep Bankman-Fried at the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn to "facilitate access to his appellate counsel" as he works to overturn his sentence.

In addition to SBF's 25-year prison term, Judge Kaplan, who originally proposed placing the former "king of crypto" in a medium-security prison in his home state of California, ordered Bankman-Fried to forfeit an estimated $11 billion.

Following his guilty verdict in November 2023, Bankman-Fried vowed to "vigorously" contest the charges against him.

During his sentencing, Bankman-Fried's attorneys characterised the Metropolitan Detention Center as "the worst federal jail in the country," citing issues such as limited access to water and unreliable electricity experienced by inmates.

According to Bankman-Fried's legal team, he struggled to find suitable food for his vegan diet in prison, relying solely on water, peanut butter, and bread for sustenance.

Conditions of Bankman-Fried's incarceration were heavily emphasised in his defence before his sentencing. A court filing in February alleged that the FTX founder, diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), was "uniquely vulnerable" in prison due to potential difficulties in responding to social cues and contexts.

Bankman-Fried's lawyers have asserted that he never intended to harm anyone and that he plans to dedicate his post-prison life to charitable endeavours aligned with his commitment to effective altruism.

Bankrupt Voyager, FTX Reach Settlement to Resolve Claims

Bankrupt crypto firms FTX Trading and Voyager Digital Holdings have reached a settlement to resolve loan disputes, a move aimed at reimbursing creditors.

The protracted claims and disputes between the two parties were resolved on Tuesday, paving the way for the release of $445 million to Voyager, including interest.

Voyager's downfall was exacerbated by the collapse of crypto hedge fund Three Arrows Capital (3AC), to which it had loaned approximately 60% of its holdings.

According to a motion filed Tuesday, the beleaguered FTX requested approval from a Delaware bankruptcy court for the agreement. The deal stipulates "mutual releases fully resolving all claims and disputes between and among" Voyager and FTX.

Both firms had filed claims against each other in their respective Chapter 11 bankruptcy cases. The dispute stemmed from a cryptocurrency loan Voyager extended to Alameda Research Ltd., an FTX subsidiary, in October 2021.

In January of the following year, Alameda and FTX initiated an adversary proceeding against Voyager to recover loan repayments. In retaliation, Voyager filed proofs of claim totalling $130 million against FTX in June 2023, accusing Alameda of breaching the terms of the October 2021 loan agreement.

According to court filings, following the settlement, neither party will pursue further action against the other, subject to certain conditions.

The successful resolution with FTX offers hope for investors whose cryptocurrencies had been locked up on the platform.

"I believe that the settlement achieved is a particularly favourable outcome for Voyager creditors given the risk, expense, delay, and market uncertainty associated with continued litigation of the FTX Adversary Proceeding," noted counsel to Voyager.

The settlement is expected to release $450 million, plus interest, in the near term, which can be distributed to creditors in a second distribution in the coming months.

Additionally, the filing cautioned creditors to beware of scammers posing as Voyager. "We continue to receive reports of fraudulent activity targeted towards Voyager creditors," the counsel noted. However, measures have been taken to address these incidents.

This Trader Reportedly Lost $800k Worth Of Crypto To Malicious Chrome Extensions

An anonymous cryptocurrency investor, known as "Sell When Over" on X, has reported a staggering loss of $800,000 due to two allegedly malicious Google Chrome browser extensions.

The investor first sounded the alarm with a post on X, revealing a loss of $500,000 from multiple wallet applications.

"I think I got extension attacked, with two suspicious extensions that appeared on my Chrome browser," they disclosed. Further investigation by the victim unveiled the full extent of the compromise, resulting in a total loss of $800,000. They suspected a breach in their Google Chrome browser, potentially involving a keylogger targeting specific crypto wallet extensions.

Several weeks prior, the trader had repeatedly postponed updating Google Chrome. However, a mandatory Windows update eventually forced a system restart. Upon relaunching Chrome, they noticed that all their tabs had disappeared and extension logins had been reset.

Following the incident, the victim had to re-enter all their credentials on Chrome and manually reimport seed phrases for their cryptocurrency wallets from a separate secure device.

The user suspects that the keylogger compromised their sensitive information, leading to the subsequent loss of funds. Moreover, they did not observe any abnormal behaviour in their browser following the restart, with their virus scanner indicating no issues and no other suspicious extensions.

After conducting a preliminary investigation, they identified two suspicious extensions – "Sync test beta" and "Simple Game" – along with an auto Korean translation setting enabled in Chrome.

The user remained uncertain about how exactly their Chrome browser was compromised but confirmed that the "Sync test BETA" extension was indeed a keylogger. Meanwhile, "Simple Game" appeared to monitor tab activities and communicate with an external site's PHP script.

"This is an $800k costly mistake – the lesson is if anything seems off, prompting you to input a seed, then wipe the whole PC first," the trader cautioned.

They also explained that their guard had been down because the update coincided with a major Chrome update, which included changes to the user selection process and the sign-in interface with Google. This led them to believe that the reset of extensions and the loss of tabs were due to this significant update.

As of the latest update, the attackers reportedly transferred the funds to two exchanges: MEXC, located in Singapore, and, headquartered in the Cayman Islands.

Disclaimer:  The information provided in this crypto news round-up is for informational purposes only and should not be considered financial or investment advice. Obiex will not be held liable for your investment decisions.