Cryptocurrency

Welcome to Finance Redefined, your weekly dose of essential decentralized finance (DeFi) insights — a newsletter crafted to bring you significant developments over the last week.

The United States regulators want to take a closer look at money laundering and terror financing laws by the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), as it asked banking sector players for feedback on DeFi’s crime risks.

Ethereum developers are targeting the last week of March for Ethereum’s Shanghai hard fork and some additional improvement upgrades by June of next year. Ankr protocol has deployed $15 million to buy back the bad debt resulting from its recent exploit and the resultant circulation of HAY (HAY).

Chainlink deploys staking to increase the security of oracle services. Stakers will earn Chainlink (LINK) tokens as they participate in a decentralized alerting system that flags the network when feeds are not meeting performing requirements.

The top 100 DeFi tokens had a mixed week in terms of price action, as many tokens traded in green while several others posted a net loss on the weekly charts.

US regulator to seek feedback on DeFi’s impact on financial crime

A United States financial regulator is looking to gain feedback from the banking industry about how DeFi may affect the bureau’s efforts to stop financial crime.

The FinCEN said it is “looking carefully” at DeFi, while the agency’s acting director, Himamauli Das, said the digital asset ecosystem and digital currencies are a “key priority area” for the agency.

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Ethereum developers target March 2023 for Shanghai hard fork

According to a discussion at the 151st Ethereum Core Developers Meeting on Dec. 8, core programmers have set a tentative deadline of March 2023 for Ethereum’s Shanghai hard fork. In addition, developers will aim for May or June 2023 to launch the Ethereum Improvement Protocol (EIP) 4844 upgrade that will introduce proto-danksharding to the network.

Although the much-anticipated proof-of-stake Merge upgrade was completed on Sept. 15, staked Ether (stETH) is currently locked on the Ethereum Beacon Chain. The token is created by the decentralized finance protocol Lido, with close to 3.5 million stETH ($4.48 billion) in circulation. After the Shanghai upgrade, stETH users can withdraw their funds along with any applicable staking rewards for validating network transactions. The Ethereum Foundation said that it structured the upgrades in this manner to “simplify and maximize focus on a successful transition to proof-of-stake.”

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Ankr deploys $15M to make users whole as Helio stablecoin recovers after exploit

Stablecoin protocol Helio, which issues the United States dollar-pegged HAY stablecoin, said in a Dec. 7 tweet that it had bought back $3 million worth of bad debt in HAY thus far in the open market. The day prior, blockchain infrastructure platform Ankr stated it would allocate $15 million to buy back the bad debt resulting from its recent exploit and the resultant over-circulation of HAY.

A series of seemingly unrelated incidents occurred on Dec. 2 when a hacker manipulated vulnerabilities in Ankr’s smart contract code and compromised private keys after a technical upgrade. As a result, the hacker minted 20 trillion Ankr Reward Bearing Staked BNB (aBNBc), which was pegged to BNB and dumped them, with the price of aBNBc plunging to less than $2 from around $300.

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Chainlink launches staking to increase the security of oracle services

In an announcement sent to Cointelegraph, Chainlink said that the new staking feature is an integral part of its “Chainlink Economics 2.0” efforts that focuses on security and sustainable growth.

Previously, Chainlink users who wanted to receive LINK token rewards needed to launch their own nodes. With the newly launched staking mechanism, Chainlink stakeholders have an additional way to earn while helping increase the oracle platform’s security.

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DeFi market overview

Analytical data reveals that DeFi’s total value locked remained above $40 billion. Data from Cointelegraph Markets Pro and TradingView show that DeFi’s top 100 tokens by market capitalization had a volatile week, with several tokens registering a bullish weekly surge while others traded in the red.

Synthetix (SNX) was the biggest gainer among the top 100 DeFi tokens, registering a surge of 11.8% over the past week, followed by Stacks (STX) by 10.8% and Thorchain(RUNE) with 7.47%.

Thanks for reading our summary of this week’s most impactful DeFi developments. Join us next Friday for more stories, insights and education in this dynamically advancing space.

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