Unscrambling the Harvest Finance hack and its aftermath
Harvest Finance, the Decentralized finance protocol was hacked for a staggering $24 million. The attack was a reminder to the crypto community that DeFi has sure risen to prominence but it has its own share of loopholes, and it is this that the attackers take advantage of.
Harvest Finance attack details
The attacker directly attacks the protocol’s liquidity pools leading the arbitrage attack using a large flash loan – a type of uncollateralized loan. The attacker later returned $2.5 million but in a mere seven-minute act, the entire hack was complete, leaving the protocol stakeholders bewildered.
In further addition to the details of the hack, the protocol revealed that the hacker manipulated prices on one money lego which is the Curve Y pool. This was done to drain another money lego farm USDT (fUSDT), farm USDC(fUSDC) multiple times.
The attacker then converted the funds to renBTC and later excited to Bitcoin. renBTC is not synthetic because it does not rely on any liquidation mechanism and it is certainly not the price of Bitcoin on Ethereum. It is a one-to-one representation of Bitcoin on Ethereum which can be redeemed for BTC at any time and in any amount.
The native token of Harvest Finance, FARM fell 54% to $101.79 when the news of the hack came forward. Following the attack, the amount of money that was locked in the protocol plummeted from $1 billion to $575 Million On October 25th. The investors were so fretful that they pulled their deposits back.
Harvest Finance acted accordingly and withdrew all the funds from the shared pools almost immediately after it had completed a fine evaluation of the attack. It began with reconstructing the processes which included DAI, USDC, USDT, TUSD as well as WBTC and renBTC. The funds are currently present in the vaults safely so that they are not exposed to further market manipulation. The hack did not involve DAI, TUSD, WBTC, and renBTC, and the depositors in these vaults were not affected.
How was the hack carried out?
The mechanics of the protocol has allowed for the execution of such an attack. Let us see how:
The investment strategies used by Harvest involves calculating the real-time value of assets that are invested in the base real-time protocols. The value of the assets is then used by the vaults to calculate the number of shares to be used to the user depositing the funds. The same value of the assets is also used when the users take out funds from the vaults.
Payout is then calculated upon the user exit. What also needs to be noticed here is that the assets inside some of the vaults are deposited into shared pools of underlying DeFi protocols. These are subject to market effects such as impermanent loss, arbitrage, and slippage. This means that its value can be manipulated through larger volumes of market trades.
The attacker knew this well and had exploited the impact of the impermanent loss of USDC and USDT inside the Y Pool of Curve.fi by manipulating the asset value to deposit funds into the vaults and obtain the shares for a beneficial price.
The aftermath of the Harvest Finance Hack
Harvest Finance’s Twitter account has been buzzing with messages and activity. The protocol has taken full responsibility for the engineering attack and has ensured that in the future such attacks will be countered and mitigated. The protocol has made it clear that formatting a disaster management plan to assist those who are affected will be the top priority for the protocol.
The protocol is investing its resources to catch hold of the scammers and has already provided a list of Bitcoin addresses of the hacker where it believes that the stolen funds may have moved. It also had taken immediate action by asking prominent exchanges like Binance, Coinbase, and Huobi to block the attacker’s addresses. It further said that there is:
“A significant amount of personally identifiable information on the attacker, who is well-known in the crypto community.” Not willing to dox the cyber-thief, Harvest Finance is now offering a $100,000 bounty “for the first person or team to reach out to the attacker”.
Harvest further tweeted that the $2.5 million returned by the hacker will be distributed to the affected depositors on a pro-rata basis using a snapshot. The attack on Harvest comes only six weeks after the attacker escaped with $8.1 million in Bitcoin from another DeFi protocol BZX, however, BZX managed to recover the funds.
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Visor Finance (VISR): The YFI for NFT’s?
Visor Finance: A smart user-controlled platform to interact with DeFi protocols
Within the realms of liquidity mining in the decentralized Finance sector, there are several issues that need to be supervised. Right from discoverability and reputation to programmability to the security of liquidity, the issues are hard to deal with.
Visor Finance is a truly ground-breaking protocol that overcomes this issue and works towards building the liquidity mining protocol. Its solution aims to mint and interacts with NFT Smart vaults where users will have the ability to interact with the existing DeFi protocols but with their VIsor NFT’s. The team put up a great FAQ for beginners here.
This implies that in a Liquidity rewarding program, rather than depositing tokens in the project’s smart contract, the users lock them to their NFT and will still be eligible for rewards.
Key aspects of Visor NFT
NFT’s or non-fungible tokens are everywhere. It was once just an obscure part of the blockchain technology world but its boom has led to a sudden embrace in its entirety. NFTs are usually associated with digital art or in-game assets but Visor Finance has implemented an NFT for a use case that is not related to art or game but it has been designed to interact with multiple DeFi protocols.
Let’s take a look at some key aspects:
- Visor NFT will act as the key interface between the user’s funds in custody and DeFi protocols to which they interact with. Every single Visor is easily identifiable by its singular string of digits which also is a complaint ERC721 id.
- During its liquidity mining program, the user funds are immediately unlocked without any counterparty risk during the mining program if needed.
- Assets can also be assigned to diverse liquidity mining programs. This can be done without the need for the assets to leave user custody and attaching it to the required endpoints.
- The best part is that the user funds are quickly discoverable by liquidity mining programs. The platform users can then authorize staking and unstaking to their Visor NFT for reward distribution.
Benefits of the platform
VisorNFT allows users to lock assets into several concurrent liquidity mining reward programs. The users will have the ability to sign ahead in time permissions for top DeFi platforms at the protocol level. The owner of the vault can submit a signature for assets in the vault to become collateralized. The user-controlled contract vault also has something called the Visor’s factory which will allow for the introduction of updates and extensions to the Visor NFT without breaking compatibility across reward platforms. There are several contract templates which the users can choose for minting new versions of the Visor NFT.
Visor also aims to keep the NFT with its unique ID and immutability with several paths for upgrades and extensions. The purpose of the upgrades will be for easy migration of assets through the web user interface.
How do the upgrades take place?
The Visor smart vault factory boasts an ownable admin. The admin will be able to introduce new templates for upgrades and extensions to the Visor smart vault. They will also set the default behavior for active templates. Visor Finance strives to pass on these rights to the community and with more developments, it intends to make it their top priority.
The Visor Factory will also have a default active template which will also double up as the stable release of the Visor Smart vault. Users will have the go-to choose alternative templates to mint for different reasons. The canonical release will be considered the default and will be put under upgradation consideration only after it has been discussed with top industry leaders.
Liquidity Bootstrapping pool
The Visor community participated in the liquidity Bootstrapping pool with full zest and enthusiasm. The event in association with Balancer Labs was a huge success and marked the successful launch for Visor Fiance. More than 900 addresses participated in the Pool event. 450 people also went through the NFT minting process through the web UI and now own their Visor NFT smart vault.
It also has brought about two governance proposals which were suggested by the Visor community members. Based on their suggestions and inputs, the team has adjusted the rewards program as given below:
Proposal 1: Additional communities for Phase 1 consideration
Proposal 2: Very active participants in DeFi, why not adding INV and RULER
The whitelist rewards will be extended to many other active DeFi communities which have active snapshots and run liquidity mining programs. It will also extend to those communities which run yield farms that will align with the use-case of Visor. The proposals at the end will allow for greater participation in phase one of the rewards program but will also accelerate the overall use of the Visor NFT.
Hence, in essence, Visor NFT is a user-controlled systematic, hassle-free vault that holds assets, and provides safe exposure to DeFi protocols without giving up on custody. The Visor NFT is not about those properties that are manifested in the art of in-game assets.
They go a step ahead to utilize and assist in accelerating NFT’s capacity for being singular, unique for different purposes. For the user, this is a golden opportunity to expose their vault’s history of past interactions with DeFi protocols with Merkle roots of hoards of permissioned addresses, enhanced liquidity visibility more so at a network level.
The users are at liberty to choose their own strategy but they will never have to relinquish their assets. The community per se values being given the autonomy to choose and since the Visor NFT platform is all about user-control it will help in the wider and higher participation in future developments. The platform is now looking to integrate with projects to implement their rewards program in order to be compatible with the UniversalVault standard that the Visor NFT uses.
Rewards go live Monday, more details can be found here.
Visor Finance CoinGecko: https://www.coingecko.com/en/coins/visor
Visor Finance Vault: https://vault.visor.finance
Visor Finance Twitter: https://twitter.com/VisorFinance
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Best DeFi Coins 2021: Here are the Top DeFi coins to watch out for
Best DeFi Coins 2021: Here are the ones you should keep an eye on in 2021.
The best DeFi coins in 2021 are ETH, DOT, GRT, Cosmos, Badger, POLS, DPI, AAVE, SNX, MIR and BNB.
The DeFi industry is progressing towards gaining mainstream status as leading financial institutions and corporate giants are quickly adopting digital assets. The largest enterprises and even government entities are joining the Bitcoin bandwagon to leverage the immense potential of crypto and blockchain.
While economies are struggling to sail through the challenges posed by the coronavirus pandemic and the aftermath of widespread lockdowns since last year; surprisingly or unsurprisingly, the digital assets space is flourishing like never before.
Best DeFi Coins To Watch out for in 2021
Let us discuss some of the most promising tokens of 2021 that are making waves in the Defi space. With so many to choose from, we feel these defi coins and tokens are the ones with maximum potential for 20201.
This list does not include Ethereum, which you should all know by now! Ethereum is in our opinion the absolute best defi coin and should be regarded as the #1 de facto defi coin.
Polkadot aims make cross-blockchain computation a reality, a feat many projects have sought to accomplish but few have achieved. Blockchains are innately insulated and cannot communicate with each other, Polkadot, through their relay chain will allow blockchains to send messages to one another.
Dot is the native token of Polkadot blockchain. Polkadot is the decentralized blockchain interoperability provider that allows various side chains to connect to the public blockchains. The interoperability provider offers scalability through the use of a common set of validators on multiple blockchains. DOT is used for governance, bonding, and staking. DOT holders get to control the protocol and enjoy the various benefits which are available to Polkadot miners. DOT token is also used for bonding when new chains are added to the network which is done through proof of stake.
The biggest gem about its protocol is its support of the arbitrary data transfer that can be done both publicly and privately across a number of blockchains all possible with a single network. The system provides the unification of many chains called parachains which can be built through substrates, an internet model to create crypto and decentralized systems on the blockchain. They communicate through the main element called the Relay Chain which is responsible for maintaining consensus across the network.
The protocol is designed to enable the mechanism to interoperate with each other as equals of one common network. It has a software framework with which people can implement their parachains.
Polkadot has three really interesting facets:
Relay Chains: Which coordinate consensus and transaction delivery between chains.
Parachains: Constituent blockchains which gather and process transactions.
Bridges: Links to Blockchains with their own consensus mechanism
The Graph (GRT)
GRT is the native token of the Graph Network protocol. The Graph protocol is like Google for blockchains as it is used to organize the blockchain data making it easier to access. The Graph protocol is used heavily by DeFi applications and can be used to publish subgraphs on the network using GraphQL language.
One can think of it as an open API that makes it easy for developers to build on blockchains, which make it easy for developers to access blockchain data and serve data to their users.
“The Graph is quickly becoming the backbone of DeFi and the broader web3 ecosystem.
Before The Graph, Ethereum was really difficult to build on making applications difficult to use. The Graph protocol organizes and makes blockchain data accessible. The Graph is currently one of the most used protocols in the blockchain space today, behind Ethereum and IPFS, growing exponentially. A community of over 10k developers have built 8k+ subgraphs, deploying them for applications like Aragon, Balancer, Synthetix, AAVE, Gnosis, Numerai, Livepeer, DAOstack, Uniswap, Mintbase, Gods Unchained, Decentraland, and many others. The Graph’s query volume has been growing at ~>50% month over month.
What Google does for the web, The Graph does for blockchains.
–Tegan Kline, Head of BD @ The Graph.
The Graph service processes more than 4 billion queries in a month from applications like Synthetix, Coin Gecko and Uniswap and provides data that is substantial for a DeFi application. It offers data like past trading volumes, liquidity, and token prize. GRT token is used by Indexers, curators, and delegators on the Graph network for curating and indexing the services.
It is an ERC20 token which is used to incentivize the stakeholders. With 10 billion tokens at the launch of the main net, GRT is currently trading at $2.0675 while some experts estimate that it can even go up to $10 in 2021.
Badger is a DAO intended to enable developers to build products and infrastructure to bring Bitcoin to Decentralized Finance space.
Badger wants to promote the use of BTC on the decentralized finance networks so that Bitcoin can be used as collateral across the other blockchains. $BADGER is the token of the Badger DAO which can be used for governance decisions on the Badger DAO. As per Coingecko Badger token is currently trading at $59.53
The total value locked of the token isan astoudning $2,165,892,549 and the market cap of $149,875,918.
$DIGG is also a product by Badger, which is an elastic supply rebase token that is pegged to the price of bitcoin.
Cosmos is defined as a decentralized network of blockchains that can work, scale, and operate with each other. As per the company, Cosmos brings blockchains together by offering a dual-layer network that enables assets, data and token exchange seamlessly with each blockchain operating independently on the network. Cosmos is another defi coin that is looking to achieve interoperability with blockchains and has a lush developer ecosystem.
ATOM is the native cryptocurrency of the Cosmos platform and is used for governance and validating on-chain transactions. The users can earn by staking ATOM. With the total supply of 237928231 ATOMS, it is estimated that around $40 million tokens are traded daily. Currently, Cosmos Atom is trading at $25.36, and it has a total market cap of $6.80 Billion.
Polkastarter is an interoperability provider or a cross-chain Decentralized Exchange on the Polkadot blockchain. The Polkastarter platform offers trading, token polls and auction and acts as a crowdfunding pool for the upcoming cryptocurrency projects. It has created quite a stir in the crypto markets as it offers interoperability like Polkadot and facilitates liquidity like Ethereum.
The Polkastarter DEX offers cost-effective and fast transactions. The POLS token is used to pay transaction fees on the exchange and used for governance. Currently, $POLS is trading at $6.78 with a total market cap of $383049688 as per CoinMarketcap data.
DeFi Pulse Index (DPI)
DeFi Pulse Index is a phenomenal way for new people to get into DeFi without having to do an enormous amount of research. DPI is a basket of the top “blue-chip” defi protocols. This is perfect for new retail buyers, or for older individuals who believe in the growth of the sector, but may not be the best with technology.
n index used to monitor the performance of various decentralized financial assets in the market. It is a digital asset that tracks a token price in the DeFi market and is weighted on the token’s circulation supply value. The DeFi Pulse Index is capitalization-weighted. Currently, the token is trading at $435.93 with a total market cap of $119.07 Million and volume of $6.53 million as per Index coop.
AAVE is the native token of AAVE platform on which the users can stake their tokens and then earn interest. Ethereum blockchain is the most widely used in DeFi. However, the high gas fees often bog down the developers and investors. Aave is an open-source and non-custodial liquidity protocol on which the users can gain interest by borrowing and depositing assets. The Market Cap of the AAVE token is currently at $596.8 million.
The all-round crypto lending platform allows lending and borrowing assets without any middleman, thus saving costs and giving them full control of the transactions. AAVE token holders can take loans from the Aave platform without any fees and use AAVE token as collateral without any fees. While the Aave platform supports 17 cryptocurrencies, AAVE token holders get higher benefits than other token holders. They can view loans before the public and can earn more money if they post AAVE tokens as collateral. AAVE platform provides flash loans.
Synthetix is a platform built on Ethereum which allows the users to trade crypto assets and synthetic assets, precious metals etc. in the form of ERC-20 tokens. The platform is one of its kind as it allows the creation of real-world assets which users can trade through cryptos. While Synthetix initially started with the stablecoin, it has now become one of the most substantial DeFi projects having $18 million worth of SNX tokens.
SNX token holders can earn profits from the rewards with the Synthetic inflationary monetary policy. SNX tokens started at $0.03 at the start of 2019 and currently trading at $24.01 on Feb 16, 2021. The distinguishing factor of Synthetix platform is that it allows users to bet on assets without holding the resource, the Synths or synthetic assets are used on the platform backed by SNX token which then users can stake on the platform to gain rewards.
Mirror Protocol (MIR)
MIR is the native token of the Mirror Protocol which enables the developers and users to create fungible assets or Synthetics to reflect the real-world assets. The Mirror Synthetics can be used as building blocks in smart contracts to amalgamate real-world assets in the blockchain. With the rise of Wall Street Bets, we think mirrored assets mAssets will have a lot of demand in 2021.
Binance Coin (BNB)
Currently, Bitcoin is racing ahead in the cryptocurrency markets at an unprecedented rate with the leading financial institutions joining the Bitcoin bandwagon. Recently Tesla announced buying Bitcoin worth $1.5 Billion resulting in sending the price of BTC ‘to the moon.’ As the BTC markets are rallying, the altcoin market is also racing towards surprising highs. Binance Smart Chain’s native token BNB also showed a similar growth trend this week trading close to $132.40 nearing its all-time high. As the cryptocurrency markets are quite active since the beginning of this year, Binance Coin has also shown incredible growth since the end of January.
BNB token is currently rallying. The price is visibly correcting that with the value being consolidating between $136 and $117. On Feb 10, Binance Coin reached an all-time high of $148 as it rallied over 121% in the week of Feb 10. On Jan 11, the price of BNB was $35.37, and it reached $148 within one month. The BNB token has shown a massive increase of 256% in such a short period. The Decentralized Finance space has grown exponentially in recent times; the decentralized finance protocols have fast moved to Binance Smart Chain.
Binance Exchange has listed many new DeFi projects on its platform due to which the trading volumes on the exchange have grown exponentially. The Binance Launchpad platform has also helped Binance create a reputable position in the cryptocurrency markets with its in-house token launch platform. It is interesting to note that Bianca is continually announcing new collaborations and integrations with the projects that use its BNB token.
Best DeFi Coins 2021: What’s next?
Crypto has evolved in the real sense and is no longer restrained to mere tokens which can be traded on various exchanges. DeFi coins and their various protcols have now become the steering wheel of upcoming financial systems which offer agility, transparency and higher efficiency. As the technology gets better each day, the decentralized systems have given way to autonomous and highly decentralized businesses which will revolutionize the way economies transact.
The new-age consumer understands technology and processes better, and wants more control and transparency in the financial systems. Lately, people have lost trust in government agencies and have started to question the monetary policies of the leaders. As traditional finance struggles to provide a hedge against inflation and fiat currencies lose their potent value, economies are looking for efficient and more secure solutions. Decentralized finance is the future of finance as it is backed by widely accepted blockchain technology.
We have discussed some of the leading best DeFi coins that can play a substantial role in Decentralized Finance space in 2021. As the DeFi space evolves, it is interesting to see how these defi coins impact and transform the markets. The market experts are betting heavily on the DeFi coins and the investors can achieve substantial gains through intelligently weighing their investments and managing their portfolio across diverse defi coins and tokens. This is part one in our series of the Best DeFi Coins 2021.
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TotemFi: The Hottest Prediction Market Protocol Right Now
TotemFi: The Hottest Prediction Market Protocol Right Now
Until the trend for decentralization came into this world, users had no option but to access markets through traditional, centralized platforms. But as financial literacy entered into the societal mainstream, investors quickly realised that traditional markets have glaring flaws.
Take the case of prediction markets; traditional prediction markets have numerous barriers to entry which can lead the user to either become disenfranchised with them and quit altogether or to compromise themselves through incorrect usage of esoteric financial instruments. This is a serious issue, and this is where TotemFi comes into the picture.
TotemFi is a Decentralized prediction platform that offers users rewards in both BTC and native TOTM tokens. The decentralized application (dApp) leverages blockchain technology to root out the problems engraved in traditional systems. TotemFi is on a pathway to create an accessible, trustless platform that will tokenize the ability to predict future asset prices and events.
The protocol will consolidate and blend incentives for individuals, who will in turn be rewarded for their ability to predict the future price of a given cryptocurrency. Over time broader events which the community decides they would like to speculate on will be incorporated into the platform, such as sports results, political elections, and equity prices. Arguably the best aspect of the platform is that the protocol will not penalize users for incorrect predictions. Hence primarily the goal is to create an accessible platform for prediction with the use of blockchain technology.
Problems with traditional models
If you have invested your resources in another platform that is far more centralized than you think, then you will have undoubtedly encountered some of the problems with centralisation. When users place funds in a centralized mechanism, it is apparent that it will be controlled by a third party. There is also no assurance whatsoever that the funds will merit any rewards, let alone in a timely and transparent process.
Another pressing concern is the vulnerability of the entire system. Markets can be easily subjected to manipulation, with influential people pouring in their bias. If not for them, then the media can have enough influence on predictions to distort the proper and efficient functioning of the market and its participants. Other problems include:
- Resources are allocated in the most economically efficient manner but do not imply equality or fairness in traditional prediction markets. There is just no coalition of incentivization between the user and the group outcome. Some incentives of actors in the ecosystem can ruin the chance of a fair result.
- Many platforms have to be significantly buffered with funds in order for the users to give their predictions. While the user who acts as a bettor speculates to earn money off some institutions, institutions in turn take positions which are contrary to their users.
- Prediction markets in the financial world might be less accessible for users as they lack knowledge, mastery, and grasp over derivative instruments. They either leave or enter positions without perfect information, and subsequently lose their money.
Understanding how TotemFi works to overcome the problems
TotemFi is a DeFi system, which immediately places it above the conventional markets. The ecosystem is based on an ERC-20 token with auditing staking contracts, rendering it a completely trustless system. Unlike centralized financial markets, the user here can interact with the protocol easily. The user has a confident conjecture towards the platform as the participation is wide and diverse, and the opinions are far from biased.
The TotemFi predictor protocol also has high-yield staking returns, which complement the additional rewards paid in BTC and TOTM when users’ predictions fall within the correct price range on given expiry date of the staking-pool. There is no chance of users being penalized for incorrect predictions, on account of the 3% “burn-rate” which is applied when users enter staking pools – making it a completely sustainable ecosystem.
The rewards will be both individual and collaborative for accurate predictions, meaning that when the average prediction of all staking-pool participants falls within the correct price range of the underlying asset on expiry, all users will be rewarded. The platform will therefore harness the “wisdom of the crowd” concept.
TotemFi’s competitive advantages
While many platforms deliver only lip service, they eventually become a part of the space without changing it, but TotemFi has committed to modifications. What makes Totemfi stand out?
For the community
For TotemFi, working in sync with the community is at the heart of its solutions. It is an innovative prediction protocol that empowers the community and the end-user to earn its native token $TOTM and BTC in the form of rewards.
With TOTM staking, users can enjoy the benefits of high-yield returns, combined with an accelerated chance for additional rewards when the aggregate pool prediction is accurate.
Dynamic rewards calculator
Users can calculate potential returns before staking with the rewards calculator on the dApp, adding an extra layer of transparency to the user-journey of the TotemFi platform and the prediction protocols.
No penalties for inaccuracy
TotemFi aims to promote a healthy ecosystem in which the users do not have to worry about being penalised for incorrect predictions. This way, users can access financial markets in an accessible way, with minimal barriers to entry.
TotemFi staking pools
When participants enter a pool, they will issue a prediction for the price of BTC on the date of maturity for the prediction pool. The prediction that comes closest to the price of BTC on maturity wins the prize pool.
TotemFi will have multiple pools for users to benefit from. Users will have the choice to select a maturity time frame which fits their needs and requirements, and which facilitates their prediction strategy.
In order to ensure that there is a fair amount of consistency and truth, the price that will be taken will be from a single source like a blockchain oracle. For each staking pool, there will be a Bitcoin and TOTM reward for accurate predictions. The rewards at the beginning will equal 37.5% of the total prize for the 1’st prize, 20% for the next position, and 11% for the third position. The figures are not rigid, and can be changed later based on community demands.
The more TOTM staked, the higher the range of accuracy will be on either side of the prediction. In order to promote fairness in the entire proceedings, the range increases will have an inverse relationship with the amount of TOTM staked.
Initially, the staking pools will have a 15-60 day maturity. For accurate predictions, there will be TOTM and bitcoin rewards for each pool. TotemFi delves into their staking and reward mechanism in this article, here is an excerpt:
Additional “enhanced rewards” will be available for an individual the earlier they enter into the predictor pool. The increase in return will be fixed upon entering the pool regardless of when the pool actually departs. For example: Participant A enters into a pool with 125 hours until the projected time launch. They, therefore, gain a fixed additional 4% staking reward. This additional staking reward is gained irrespective of whether another participant fills up the pool prior to the full 125 hours passing (i.e. the trigger event is pool allocation met).