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Money Stuff: Crypto Hackers Are Nice Now

Matt Levine
Money Stuff
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Nice Hackers Steal Crypto from Poly Network

  • A bug in Poly Network's code allowed hackers to steal about $600 million in cryptocurrency from their protocol.
  • When Poly Network kindly asked the hackers to return the crypto, they began returning them. They've now sent back $256 million in tokens.
  • Why?
    • The hackers may have attacked protocol to reveal flaws in their code and not for the sake of stealing.
    • Laundering and cashing out crypto is extremely difficult due to the transparency of the blockchain and the use of blockchain analysis.

Stablecoins: How can crypto always be worth $1?

  • Blockchain depositary receipt - someone else keeps dollars in the bank and issues crypto-token backed by those dollars.
  • Problems with this method:
    • Banks don't want deposits right.
    • They especially don't want deposits from crypto companies.
    • The bank might lose your money if they go bankrupt.
  • More problems (temptations of the Stablecoin operator):
    • The Stablecoin operator may invest in securities to earn a higher yield.
      • e.g., Circle Internet Financial Inc (which offers USD Coin) disclosed that USD Coin was backed by much riskier assets than USD (e.g., CDs, corporate bonds, and Treasury Bonds).
    • The operator may lend the money to other crypto exchanges.
    • The operator may steal the money.

Carbon Structuring

  • Junior traders at TotalEnergies SE attempted to orchestrate a French energy giant's first shipment of "carbon-neutral" natural gas after it purchased 2 carbon-neutral cargos from Royal Dutch Shell.
  • While the deal looked good on paper, it did virtually nothing to decrease carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.
  • The dilemma with oil-and-gas companies: they may feel bad about ruining the environment, but they can't become carbon-neutral without suffering the loss of their clients.
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