Your guide to a better future
All the bitcoin, cryptocurrency and NFT news for the week ending May 20.
Julian is a staff writer at CNET. He’s covered a range of topics, such as tech, travel, sports and commerce. His past work has appeared at print and online publications, including New Mexico Magazine, TV Guide, Mental Floss and NextAdvisor with TIME. On his days off, you can find him at Isotopes Park in Albuquerque watching the ballgame.
After two linked cryptocurrencies collapsed and became almost worthless, a plan emerged to create a new blockchain for the luna cryptocurrency. Seth Green’s NFTs were stolen in a phishing scam. Nike and StockX are in a legal fight that could determine how intellectual property rights are applied to NFTs in the future. Here’s what happened in crypto over the week:
Last week luna and terraUSD, two cryptocurrencies linked on the terra blockchain, collapsed and shed most of their respective values. The people who held these tokens lost most of their investment.
Do Kwon, CEO of Terraform Labs, the company behind both luna and terraUSD, posted a plan on Monday to “fork” the old terra blockchain network into a new one. Owners of luna tokens are allowed to vote on the proposal. Right now, about 79% of votes are in favor of the plan, with four days left to vote.
Kwon’s plan proposes a new terra blockchain should be created from the old one, and the new one would then be the default terra blockchain with a new luna cryptocurrency. The original terra blockchain would be renamed “terra classic.” The original luna cryptocurrency and terraUSD stablecoin, both of which are next to worthless, wouldn’t exist on the new terra blockchain.
This isn’t the first time someone has suggested forking a blockchain. Ethereum forked into a new blockchain back in 2016 after a hacker stole millions of ether. The ethereum blockchain and the ethereum classic blockchain both exist today.
Read CNET’s full story on the plan to revive Luna here.
Seth Green of Robot Chicken and Austin Powers fame took to Twitter on Tuesday to lament the loss of his NFTs to a phishing scam. Green lost four expensive NFTs, including one from the popular Bored Ape Yacht Club collection. The NFTs taken from Green were previously sold for a combined value of more than $200K.
The phishing scam that Green fell for has become a popular way for cybercrooks to phish NFTs from unsuspecting wallet holders.
Here’s how the scam works — hackers may send you a link to a spam NFT site, where you can connect your existing digital wallet that may contain NFTs. If you click a phishing link while your wallet is connected to the browser, your NFTs can be transferred to a different wallet controlled by the crook.
The addresses for the digital wallets and the transactions involving them are generally public, so people can see which wallet has the phished NFTs, even if the wallet’s owner is anonymous. Green noted in his tweet that one of the NFTs had already been resold, and asked the buyer to contact him.
Read CNET’s full story on the phishing incident here.
StockX is an online retailer that primarily caters to sneaker enthusiasts who are willing to spend hundreds or even thousands of dollars for collectible sneakers. Nike filed a lawsuit against StockX earlier this year because the online merchandiser was selling NFTs of Nike sneakers without Nike’s permission.
NFTs are still a fairly new technology, and the intellectual property laws for them are far from clear. If this case goes to court, it could determine how intellectual propert laws around NFTs work in the future. It’s also important to note that Nike is selling its own NFT sneakers independently of StockX.
Nike amended its legal complaint against StockX this week to include charges that the online retailer is selling counterfeit Jordan sneakers (physical sneakers, not digital ones). One of the main reasons why StockX is a popular retailer for collectible sneakers is because of its authenticity guarantee, which is important when you’re buying a pair of shoes online for hundreds of dollars.
Read CNET’s full story on why Nike and StockX are in a legal fight.
Thanks for reading. We’ll be back with plenty more next week. In the meantime, check out this story by Bree Fowler on how the digital footprints we leave behind on the internet are bigger than we realize.