Mixin hacked for $200M, Worldcoin eyes greater expansion and Haun Ventures’ execs talk crypto regulation

Image Credits: Andrey Suslov / Getty Images

Welcome back to Chain Reaction.

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Hello, frens and cheers to the end of September!

We’re recovering from Disrupt 2023 and gearing up for the highly anticipated Sam Bankman-Fried trial, which starts on October 3. Keep an eye out for lots of coverage from us as it all unravels over a six-week period to determine whether the 31-year-old former CEO of FTX is guilty on seven counts of fraud and conspiracy. More to come.

As for other news, it’s been an interesting and somewhat slower week for the crypto community.

But, black hat hackers struck the industry, yet again. On Sunday, Hong Kong-based crypto company Mixin lost around $200 million to hackers in a breach. The hack on Mixin is the biggest theft in the crypto world in 2023, according to data maintained by Rekt. What was the second largest hack, you’re wondering? I can’t give everything away, so go read the story below.

This week in web3

  1. Worldcoin doubles down on emerging markets amid wider criticism (TC+)

  2. Hackers steal $200M from crypto company Mixin

  3. Yuga Labs security researcher warns of chilling effect after feds search phone at airport

  4. Telegram starts to look like a super app, echoing WeChat

  5. Why Solana, Polygon and Aptos expect the enterprise to drive mass adoption (TC+)

  6. Katie Haun believes now is a good time to invest in crypto

  7. Chris Lehane: The SEC isn’t handling crypto regulation ‘strategically’ (TC+)

  8. Akowe wants to fix Africa’s broken certificate system with blockchain

The latest pod

For this week’s episode, Jacquelyn interviewed Tiago Sada, head of product for Tools for Humanity and core contributor to Worldcoin, at TechCrunch’s Disrupt 2023 in San Francisco.

Tools for Humanity, which is the team building Worldcoin, raised $115 million in a Series C round back in May with investors like Blockchain Capital, a16z, Bain Capital Crypto and Distributed Global. In March 2022, Worldcoin raised $100 million at a $3 billion valuation.

The project was co-founded by OpenAI CEO Sam Altman with a three-part mission to create a global ID, a global currency and an app that enables payments, purchases and transfers with its token.

Worldcoin has been on a world tour since April, hitting major cities like Tokyo, Miami, New York City and San Francisco. It has also set up shop in major cities in countries like Kenya, India and China.

We dive into why someone would scan their eyes, alternate options and privacy concerns some skeptics have about the project.

We also talked about:

  • The global adoption of Worldcoin

  • Kenya "indefinitely" pausing Worldcoin iris scans

  • The project's biggest challenges for growth

  • How AI can fit into Worldcoin

  • Future opportunities and roadmaps

Subscribe to Chain Reaction on Apple Podcasts, Spotify or your favorite pod platform to keep up with the latest episodes, and please leave us a review if you like what you hear!

Follow the money

  1. On-chain leverage trading platform Avantis Labs raises $4 million seed round led by Pantera Capital

  2. Privacy-centric blockchain Fhenix raises $7 million in round led by Multicoin Capital

  3. Web3 dev platform Alchemy acquired blockchain indexing platform Satsuma

  4. Bitmain will invest $54 million in now-bankrupt bitcoin mining firm Core Scientific

This list was compiled with information from Messari as well as TechCrunch’s own reporting.

What else we’re writing

Want to branch out from the world of web3? Here are some articles on TechCrunch that caught our attention this week.

  1. Bootstrapping is cool once again (TC+)

  2. The current labor market is a gold mine of talent for startups (TC+)

  3. What’s the best way to run a startup in a world full of advice? (TC+)

  4. This startup wants to verify your ID without storing your personal data

  5. Was tech’s ‘bull run’ simply a temporary surge? (TC+)

Follow me on Twitter @Jacqmelinek for breaking crypto news, memes and more.