August 12, 2021       /       Unchained Daily       /       Laura Shin

Daily Bits ✍️✍️✍️

  • The Poly Network hacker has returned nearly all of the $600M in funds they stole earlier this week. 
  • TaxBit, a crypto tax software company, closed a $130M Series B at a valuation of $1.33B. 
  • Soccer star Lionel Messi’s new contract with Paris St. Germain includes cryptocurrency fan tokens. 
  • Ethereum burned over $100M worth of ETH in its first week following its London upgrade. 
  • Representative Anna Eshoo penned a letter to Speaker Nancy Pelosi advocating to amend the crypto tax provision in the infrastructure bill. 
  • Kryptoin filed for an Ethereum ETF on Thursday. 
  • Dune Analytics, a blockchain analytics firm, raised $8M in funding through a Series A.

What Do You Meme?

What’s Poppin’?

Call it a fad, call it a bubble, NFTs are still here, and the headlines are not getting any less head-scratching. One caught my attention this week as especially, shall I say, *interesting.*

Case in point: EtherRock #65 sold for roughly $228K yesterday afternoon. Just a few hours earlier EtherRock #40 sold for around $150K. 

EtherRock is an early NFT project consisting of 100 NFT images depicting, well, identical rocks — each with its own (slightly) distinct color. The website, of course, specifically explains that the pet rock-inspired project serves “NO PURPOSE” outside of being able to be bought and sold. 

The project, which launched in 2017, was, ahem, unearthed just over a week ago by Ethereum users. Enthusiasm for the early-NFT project was quick to catch on: after minting half of the rocks over a three year span, the remaining 50 rocks were minted in a single day, with each subsequent mint growing more expensive than the last, thanks to the design of EtherRock’s smart contract. 

Yesterday’s sales are the culmination of a busy week of trading for EtherRocks. The first big purchase occurred last Friday, for 15 ETH ($45K). Since then, according to the EtherRock Twitter feed, nearly a quarter of the collection has been purchased on the secondary market. At publishing time, the highest rock sale sits at 96 ETH ($300K+). 

What a time to be alive.

Recommended Reads

  • Alex Gladstein on Cuba and Bitcoin:

  • a16z’s Chris Dixon on Web 3:

  • Kevin Werbach, a Wharton professor, on DeFi and regulation:

On The Pod…

Poly Network, a cross-chain DeFi protocol, recently suffered a $600M hack — the largest DeFi exploit in crypto history. Mudit Gupta, security researcher and SushiSwap dev, breaks down the attack, explaining how it occurred, why the hacker is returning the funds, and what Poly Network should do next. Show highlights:
  • how Poly Network works

  • what specific mechanism the hacker attacked on Poly Network

  • why many people (including myself) had never heard of Poly Network before the hack

  • how “keepers” failed to protect Poly Network

  • why a failed transaction was the key to pulling off the hack

  • what SlowMist claims to have discovered about the hacker

  • what could be motivating the hacker to return the stolen funds

  • how the hacker is communicating with Poly Network

  • why Tether was able to freeze funds while USDC and BSC allowed the hacker to get away with their tokens

  • how Poly Network should handle negotiations with the hacker

Book Update

My book, The Cryptopians: Idealism, Greed, Lies, and the Making of the First Big Cryptocurrency Craze, is now available for pre-order now.

The book, which is all about Ethereum and the 2017 ICO mania, comes out Jan. 18. Pre-order it today!

You can purchase it here: