This Week in Crypto: Industry Developments and Milestones

Welcome to our weekly Crypto Industry News roundup, where we summarize all the noteworthy events in the crypto space. From the latest hot wallet exploits, price movements, and market trends to advances in blockchain technology, we'll help you stay informed with significant developments and milestones that have unfolded over the past week. Let's dive in.

Withdrawals from HTX top $258M after exploit

Crypto investors are withdrawing their assets from the HTX exchange (formerly Huobi) after a November 22 exploit led to a $30 million loss and a temporary suspension of services. Data from DefiLlama reveals that between November 25 and December 10, HTX experienced net outflows of $258 million. Notably, 32.3% of HTX's reserves are in Bitcoin (BTC), and 31.8% are in Tron (TRX). Despite the setbacks, HTX remains the 16th largest crypto exchange by daily trading volume, totaling $1.6 billion in the last 24 hours.

HTX has faced multiple security breaches in the last two months, including the recent $30 million exploit on November 22. H.E Justin Sun, the founder of TRON (TRX) and associated with HTX, has assured affected users of full compensation for hot wallet losses and initiated an investigation. 

Other entities linked to Sun, such as Poloniex and the HECO bridge, also fell victim to hacking incidents. The largest exploit was the $100 million attack on the Poloniex exchange on November 10, attributed to a compromised private key.

November 2023 marked the worst month for crypto theft, with malicious actors making off with $363 million in stolen digital assets. The situation raises concerns about the security measures of crypto exchanges, prompting investors to withdraw funds from HTX.


Bitcoin price dips toward $40K: Trend reversal or temporary correction

On December 11, 2023, Bitcoin experienced a notable 7% pullback, prompting questions about whether it signifies a buy-the-dip opportunity or a broader market reversal. The dip — a 6.5% drawdown and over $300 million in long liquidations— reduced BTC's price to around $42,240. Analysts are closely monitoring whether Bitcoin can maintain this level to determine the nature of the market movement.

Despite the short-term volatility, when viewed on the longer 1-day candle timeframe, the pullback appears as a minor retracement within a larger bullish trend established over the past few months.

The Relative Strength Index (RSI) has retreated into neutral territory below 70, indicating the potential for a continuation of the overall upward trend. Key levels to watch include $31,860, $28,050, and $25,200, with the absence of a significant approach to these levels supporting the argument that the current price action is a healthy correction rather than a bearish trend reversal.

In the context of historical Bitcoin bull markets, pullbacks exceeding 20% have been common. While the recent dip might indicate a temporary correction in a bullish phase, the market's ability to hold above $42,000 will be crucial in affirming a short-term dip rather than a complete trend reversal.


Venus protocol's $270K hole: an exploit or an oracle malfunction?

Decentralized finance (DeFi) protocol Venus acknowledged an issue with one of its price feed oracles, resulting in approximately $270,000 in borrows. Despite analysts describing the incident as an exploit, Venus downplayed it and committed to replacing the funds from its treasury.

The problem stemmed from a malfunctioning price oracle affecting the Binance Smart Chain-based defi lending and borrowing marketplace. An isolated pool on Venus Protocol for liquid-staked BNB was reportedly exploited, but Venus representatives emphasized that it was an oracle price issue in a small market.

Venus Labs' Head, Brad, confirmed that the Binance oracle, supporting the snBNB asset in the isolated pool, reported a wrong price, leading to approximately $270,000 in borrows.

To address the incident, the Venus community proposed an injection of liquidity from the treasury into the affected pool, totaling around $274,000, while recovering funds with partner support.

The total value locked on Venus Protocol did not appear affected and stood at $738 million at the time of writing. The native token, Venus (XVS), experienced a 17.5% dip to $9.56 in the past 24 hours, partly coinciding with a broader market sell-off.


Tangem launches Winter Blockchain Marathon

Tangem, your favorite hardware wallet, unveiled ambitious plans for its Winter Blockchain Marathon (WBM 2024). We're set to integrate five prominent blockchains — Hedera, Aptos, XDC, VeChain, and Algorand. Tangem's WBM aims to satisfy our users' urgent demands and enhance our offerings to foster greater inclusivity within the blockchain ecosystem.

Hedera, known for its high-performance public ledger, will enable Tangem users to store and manage HBAR tokens securely. Aptos, a blockchain platform focusing on decentralized finance (DeFi) solutions, will offer Tangem users opportunities to engage in various decentralized financial activities. XDC, designed for enterprise-level applications, will provide a robust foundation for the secure storage of digital assets. 

Tangem's integration with VeChain, a leading supply chain-focused blockchain, allows users to manage and manage VET. Lastly, Algorand's inclusion in Tangem's hardware wallet enhances the platform's capabilities by supporting the ALGO token and facilitating participation in the Algorand ecosystem. As the Winter Blockchain Marathon unfolds, Tangem users can look forward to a more inclusive and dynamic cryptocurrency management experience.

Join us every Monday to explore the latest developments, trends, and noteworthy events that shape our little industry. Stay informed, stay engaged, and Stay secure with Tangem.